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Polish PM says ‘biggest threat is Russia’ – but Poland invaded Russia many times

Poland has long been an aggressor state against Russia, yet Poles also contributed to significantly to Russian history

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The Polish Prime minister has declared (unsurprisingly), that the greatest threat to Poland is Russia. This is a standard declaration we have come to expect from all NATO countries and their allies; according to them, no matter what the situation is, Russia is always the bad guy. Prime Minister spoke at Davos, fearing a Russian invasion of Ukraine, according to Fort Rus:

“What will happen when the Russian army moves deep into Ukrainian territory is unknown. It is better to have a second and third line of defense than to remain without these kinds of weapons,”- the Polish Prime Minister said.

You could substitute the Polish PM for any western leader at this point. It wouldn’t be surprising if a tiny micro-nation in the Pacific ocean declared their greatest threat is a Russian Invasion, followed by Russian hacking and then tropical storms.

Poland however, has a long story of conflict with the Rus’ peoples (Russians, Ukrainians, Belarussians, Carpatho-Russians). Does that mean the Polish Prime Minister was right in his assessment? Absolutely not; however this long history reveals the deep-seated roots of Russophobia in Poland.

With Fire and Sword – A Tragic History of Russo-Polish Conflict

Hatred grew in the hearts of men and poisoned the blood of brotherly peoples.” – Henryk Sienkiewicz, ‘With Fire and Sword’

That quote from the famous Polish author perfectly describes the relationship between Russia, Poland, and Ukraine for that matter. In a better world, Russians and Poles should be friends, they are both Slavic peoples, and that cultural bond should be more powerful than politics. Sadly, the history is filled with conflict.

When these three words are used in the same sentence: Poland, Russia, Invaded – the average westerner always assumes the sentence is: Russia invaded Poland. This is both the result of the Cold War, in which Russia was always portrayed as a villain in the west, and also Polish biases.

War is inherently tragic, however, in the context of Russo-Polish Wars, Polish people inherently speak as if Poland was always sinless, and Russia invaded Poland brutally and without just cause from the very beginning of their relationship. This is untrue, Poland in fact, invaded Russia long before Russian soldiers ever set foot on Polish soil in any meaningful way. Two wrongs do not make a right, it is not my intention to portray the conflicts from a moralistic point of view, casting the blame on one party or another. It is necessary, however, to understand these events from an objective, historical perspective, and the history of Russo-Polish Wars did not begin with a Russian invasion of Poland. We always hear about Russian Aggression against Poland, but the following are some major examples of Polish Aggression against Russia, long before Russian armies ever set foot in Poland.

The Polish Intervention in the Kievan Interregnum 1018

In the year 1018, taking advantage of the interregnum in Kievan Rus’ following the death of Saint Vladimir ‘Equal-to-the-Apostles’, Baptiser of All Rus’, Poland invaded Kiev. The image of famous Polish King Boleslaw the Brave entering the Golden Gate depicts the moment, and how Poland’s coronation sword got its name.

The Polish sword Szczerbiec is sometimes called the “Jagged Sword”, because the King apparently chipped the edge on the Golden Gate.

Poland intervened in support of their favored candidate for the Kievan throne, Svatopolk the Accursed Prince, at war with his brothers, of whom he already killed a few. With a name like “The Accursed”, you have to know that’s a fine and reputable member of society right there.

Sviatopolk I of Kiev.jpg

What is it with Western-allied countries constantly supporting the LEAST popular person they possibly could during a military intervention! Svatopolk is known as “Accursed” in Ukrainian histography as well, not only Russian, so let no one claim Poland was supporting the “Ukrainian” candidate. At this time in history, Russians, Ukrainians, and Belarussians were completely indistinguishable. Svatopolk was married to the daughter of the Polish King, and possibly responsible for the murder of his brothers Boris and Gleb. (Other sources claim he was their uncle)

The Polish intervention would be the equivalent of Russia invading Poland in support of their own candidate for the Polish presidency, (who happens to be married into a powerful Russian family).

The Kingdom of Galicia–Volhynia 1349

Galicia-Volhn was one of the divisions of Kievan Rus’, existing on what is now Western Ukraine. Its history is long and fascinating, and beyond the scope of this article.

It’s most famous capitol was Lvov, Ukraine’s most western city, considered to be very Polish. This Old Rus’ Kingdom actually extended into small parts of eastern Poland before their lands were seized and their identity was assimilated into Poland. A Heavy Polish-Catholic influence can been seen in Western Ukraine to this day – even the dialect is Polish influenced.

Jesuit Catholic Church of Saints Peter and Paul in Lvov

In 1349, despite attempts to obtain an alliance with Poland, the westernmost Kingdom of Rus’ was invaded by Poland, ending its independence. By 1362, Kiev was conquered by Lithuania, which lettered entered into a permanent union with Poland – Rzeczpospolita – The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Poland occupied Rus’ territories (including in modern Russia) for centuries, until the great reunification of Ukraine with Russia under Hetman Bogdan Khmelnitsky in 1652. Some western lands were still occupied centuries after that.

But that was so long ago…

I realize there will be people who refuse to accept the fact that Russia is a continuation of Rus’, and others will say those other examples are far too early. One could argue that citing 11th-century events as examples of Polish aggression towards Russia would be like considering the Norman Invasion in 1066 as French Aggression against England.

It remains immature and naive to think events that occurred in the past have no effect on the modern world. The formation of a nation happens over the course of hundreds of ages, as a result, today’s wars could be affected by events centuries ago. Most of today’s issues in Europe are largely the result of WW1 (which lead to the second), and many consider the Sykes-Picot Agreement to be a source of the Middle East woes to this very day. This is part of the reason why progressivist historiography goes wrong. The idea of endless progress aside, Human civilization does not go endlessly forward with the past becoming irrelevant, history proves in many ways, we are still fighting over the same basic things today as we were in the medieval period.

Nevertheless, Poland continued to attack Russia in the Early Modern Period.

The Time of Troubles 1593-1618

The time of troubles was…well…one of the worst periods in Russian history. It stands together with the Mongol Invasion/Tatar Yoke, The Bolshevik Revolution, and the Neo-Liberal invasion of the 1990’s. Poland invaded Russia and went as far as the Moscow Kremlin…they occupied the Moscow Kremlin, and for around a decade, it looked like Russia was about to collapse.

Prince Dmitri begged to lead an army to defend Russia against Poland

There were multiple imposters claiming to be Czar (The False Dmitris), a famine which practically killed a third of the country, and roving bands of pillaging marauders everywhere…it was a very, very, very bad time.

During the Polish Occupation, they imprisoned the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Homogenous, demanding he blessed the Polish Army. When he refused, the beat and starved the elderly monk to death in a dungeon.

The Polish King Sigismund, with the help of greedy Russian Boyars who betrayed the Motherland, made a claim to the Russian Throne, seeking to incorporate all of Russia into the commonwealth. Poland already occupied the Russian city of Smolensk prior to the conflict. The Polish invasion of Russia was so brutal, peaceful monks took part in the defense of Russia.

The conflict only ended when Prince Pozharsky and Citizen Kuzma Minin helped organize an army to retake the Kremlin, and to elect a new Czar. During the election, Prince Wladyslaw of Poland was considered a candidate, and Polish influence was still strong, however, Michael Romanov was elected instead, ending the Time of Troubles. A truce was signed in 1618, but Poland still occupied Smolensk, and when Wladyslaw was later crowned, he refused to relinquish his claim to the Russian throne.

Polish Soldiers murdering Ivan Susanin who lead them into the woods to save the Czar in Glinka’s famous opera “Life for the Czar”

The Smolensk War 1632-1634

The Smolensk War was essentially a continuation of the previous unresolved hostilities. Russia attempted to reclaim Smolensk from Poland. The result was simply the status quo prior to the war, in Poland’s favor. The Polish King did renounce his claim to the Russian throne, however.

Russo-Polish War (The War for Ukraine) 1654-1667

The first major Russian offensive against Poland happened during the Khmelnitsky uprising, when the Cossacks asked their Russian brothers for aid. The famous Polish book “With Fire and Sword” was set during this time period. The final sentence of the book perfectly describes the Polish-Russian conflict:

Hatred Grew the Hearts of Men and poisoned the blood of brotherly peoples.

You can read the book here in PDF form, or watch the Polish-Ukrainian movie with English subtitles:

Hetman Bogdan Zinovii Khmelnitsky, a Russian-Ukrainian hero lead the Cossacks of Zaporozhia in full rebellion against Poland who had been occupying them and depriving them of their rights for centuries. Polish nobles had largely supported the Union of Brest in 1595-96, which created the Uniate (Catholic) Church in Ukraine. The “Unia” was just as dangerous to Russian Orthodox culture, as Polish armies were to Russian lands. Many Orthodox Churches were confiscated and forced to become Catholic, more by local Catholic magnates than the Commonwealth itself, known for its strong religious freedoms, though they did little to prevent the forced conversions.

This first major Russian victory against Poland marked the first time Moscow actively attacked Poland. The First Russo-Polish war ultimately resulted in Russia reclaiming ancient Russian land like Smolensk and Kiev long occupied by Poland-Lithuania. It was hardly an offensive of Russia against the Polish heartlands. Before Russian armies ever set foot in Poland, Polish armies had conquered the westernmost Rus’ principality, and later sacked Moscow, after occupying Kiev for centuries.

Russia begins to expand

Poland began its steady decline after a series of foreign invasions. The Swedes destroyed hundreds of Polish cities and churches during the Deluge, and sacked Warsaw. No one today speaks of Swedish aggression against Poland. Between 1772-1795, Poland was partitioned thrice, and the final time, she ceased to exist as a state. While Russia did take a portion of Poland, the country was equally partitioned by Prussia and Habsburg Austrian Empire. Russia had been invaded by Poland numerous times prior to these tragic partitions.

The Patriotic War of 1812 (Napoleonic Wars)

A little-known fact is that Polish troops played a major role in Napoleon’s invasion of Russia, particularly at Smolensk. The fact that Russians and Polish-Lithuanian troops have been fighting for Smolensk since the Middle Ages proves the cyclical nature of human civilization. Poles fought for Napoleon with the hopes of the resurrection of Poland. The Polish national anthem even mentions how the nation will be reformed:

March, march, Dąbrowski,
From the Italian land to Poland.
Under your command
We shall rejoin the nation.
We’ll cross the Vistula, we’ll cross the Warta,
We shall be Polish.
Bonaparte has given us the example
Of how we should prevail.

Every Russian soul can understand what it means to fight for the survival of your Motherland, especially when its fellow Slavs fighting. This is just another example of the many times Polish troops spilled Russian blood during an invasion of Russia.

In Our Time

The details of the Great Patriotic War are worthy of their own articles, as volumes could be written about them. Regardless of how the war began, their fellow Slavs in the Red Army liberated Poland from Nazi Germany. Russian and Polish soldiers died fighting side by side in WW2.

In the photo above, Russian Marshal Zhukov and Polish Marshal Konstantin Rokossovsky of the CCCP greet Marshal Montgomery in Berlin, after the Soviet Union won the war in 1945. Another famous Polish-Russian was the father of the Russian space program which put the first man in space, Konstantin Tsiolkovsky.

Tsiolkovsky.jpg

If any Poles hold Soviet security services responsible for anti-polish actions, they should consider the founder of the first Soviet secret service was also Polish (Dzerzhinsky).

Despite all the conflicts, from a Russian perspective, one can consider the Polish peoples (not the governments) to be brothers.

Now, in a most cynical act, Poland has been demolishing red army memorials, an act which Russia considers highly Russophobic. Not all Poles agree with those moves, and a group of Polish activists has vowed to protect the monuments to their shared Slavic history, as RT covered in a great video.

In conclusion, history has revealed that the long history of conflict between Poland and Russia was initiated by Poland. Poland invaded Kiev in the 11th century, and occupied Ukraine until the 17th when they captured Moscow during Russia’s Time of Troubles. It was only after the 17th century did Russian soldiers ever set foot on Polish soil. Poland started historical conflicts, Russia merely reacted to them, and finally won, after taking heavy losses early on.

This is not to blame Poland, but rather to end the one-sided discussion of Russian-Polish history as if Russia is always the aggressor and Poland is an innocent victim. The time has long come to set aside the age-old conflicts.

Destroying Soviet monuments and crying about imaginary Russian aggression in the 21st century doesn’t help anyone but those who want Slavic peoples to continue fighting instead of uniting.

When the Polish Primer Minister speaks about the imaginary Russian threat to Poland, he fails to realize a greater and real threat is this endless hatred of Russia in Poland. The Russophobia is making it impossible to move on to friendly, normal relations.

The past is the past, both nations have invaded each other, and for the sake of Polish and Russian children, the hatred needs to end.

The conflict between the two Slavic peoples is best understood by the words of a famous Polish Author Henryk Sienkiewicz:

Hatred grew in the hearts of men and poisoned the blood of brotherly peoples. ~ Nienawiść wrosła w serca i zatruła krew pobratymczą ~ Ненависть вросла в сердца и отравила кровь двух братских народов. – With Fire and Sword

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Is the Violent Dismemberment of Russia Official US Policy?

Neocons make the case that the West should not only seek to contain “Moscow’s imperial ambitions” but to actively seek the dismemberment of Russia as a whole.

The Duran

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Authored by Erik D’Amato via The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity:


If there’s one thing everyone in today’s Washington can agree on, it’s that whenever an official or someone being paid by the government says something truly outrageous or dangerous, there should be consequences, if only a fleeting moment of media fury.

With one notable exception: Arguing that the US should be quietly working to promote the violent disintegration and carving up of the largest country on Earth.

Because so much of the discussion around US-Russian affairs is marked by hysteria and hyperbole, you are forgiven for assuming this is an exaggeration. Unfortunately it isn’t. Published in the Hill under the dispassionate title “Managing Russia’s dissolution,” author Janusz Bugajski makes the case that the West should not only seek to contain “Moscow’s imperial ambitions” but to actively seek the dismemberment of Russia as a whole.

Engagement, criticism and limited sanctions have simply reinforced Kremlin perceptions that the West is weak and predictable. To curtail Moscow’s neo-imperialism a new strategy is needed, one that nourishes Russia’s decline and manages the international consequences of its dissolution.

Like many contemporary cold warriors, Bugajski toggles back and forth between overhyping Russia’s might and its weaknesses, notably a lack of economic dynamism and a rise in ethnic and regional fragmentation.But his primary argument is unambiguous: That the West should actively stoke longstanding regional and ethnic tensions with the ultimate aim of a dissolution of the Russian Federation, which Bugajski dismisses as an “imperial construct.”

The rationale for dissolution should be logically framed: In order to survive, Russia needs a federal democracy and a robust economy; with no democratization on the horizon and economic conditions deteriorating, the federal structure will become increasingly ungovernable…

To manage the process of dissolution and lessen the likelihood of conflict that spills over state borders, the West needs to establish links with Russia’s diverse regions and promote their peaceful transition toward statehood.

Even more alarming is Bugajski’s argument that the goal should not be self-determination for breakaway Russian territories, but the annexing of these lands to other countries. “Some regions could join countries such as Finland, Ukraine, China and Japan, from whom Moscow has forcefully appropriated territories in the past.”

It is, needless to say, impossible to imagine anything like this happening without sparking a series of conflicts that could mirror the Yugoslav Wars. Except in this version the US would directly culpable in the ignition of the hostilities, and in range of 6,800 Serbian nuclear warheads.

So who is Janusz Bugajski, and who is he speaking for?

The author bio on the Hill’s piece identifies him as a senior fellow at the Center for European Policy Analysis, a Washington, D.C. think-tank. But CEPA is no ordinary talk shop: Instead of the usual foundations and well-heeled individuals, its financial backers seem to be mostly arms of the US government, including the Department of State, the Department of Defense, the US Mission to NATO, the US-government-sponsored National Endowment for Democracy, as well as as veritable who’s who of defense contractors, including Raytheon, Bell Helicopter, BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin and Textron. Meanwhile, Bugajski chairs the South-Central Europe area studies program at the Foreign Service Institute of the US Department of State.

To put it in perspective, it is akin to a Russian with deep ties to the Kremlin and arms-makers arguing that the Kremlin needed to find ways to break up the United States and, if possible, have these breakaway regions absorbed by Mexico and Canada. (A scenario which alas is not as far-fetched as it might have been a few years ago; many thousands in California now openly talk of a “Calexit,” and many more in Mexico of a reconquista.)

Meanwhile, it’s hard to imagine a quasi-official voice like Bugajski’s coming out in favor of a similar policy vis-a-vis China, which has its own restive regions, and which in geopolitical terms is no more or less of a threat to the US than Russia. One reason may be that China would consider an American call for secession by the Tibetans or Uyghurs to be a serious intrusion into their internal affairs, unlike Russia, which doesn’t appear to have noticed or been ruffled by Bugajski’s immodest proposal.

Indeed, just as the real scandal in Washington is what’s legal rather than illegal, the real outrage in this case is that few or none in DC finds Bugajski’s virtual declaration of war notable.

But it is. It is the sort of provocation that international incidents are made of, and if you are a US taxpayer, it is being made in your name, and it should be among your outrages of the month.

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At Age 70, Time To Rethink NATO

The architect of Cold War containment, Dr. George Kennan, warned that moving NATO into Eastern Europe and former Soviet republics would prove a “fateful error.”

Patrick J. Buchanan

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Authored by Patrick Buchanan via The Unz Review:


“Treaties are like roses and young girls. They last while they last.”

So said President Charles De Gaulle, who in 1966 ordered NATO to vacate its Paris headquarters and get out of France.

NATO this year celebrates a major birthday. The young girl of 1966 is no longer young. The alliance is 70 years old.

And under this aging NATO today, the U.S. is committed to treat an attack on any one of 28 nations from Estonia to Montenegro to Romania to Albania as an attack on the United States.

The time is ripe for a strategic review of these war guarantees to fight a nuclear-armed Russia in defense of countries across the length of Europe that few could find on a map.

Apparently, President Donald Trump, on trips to Europe, raised questions as to whether these war guarantees comport with vital U.S. interests and whether they could pass a rigorous cost-benefit analysis.

The shock of our establishment that Trump even raised this issue in front of Europeans suggests that the establishment, frozen in the realities of yesterday, ought to be made to justify these sweeping war guarantees.

Celebrated as “the most successful alliance in history,” NATO has had two histories. Some of us can yet recall its beginnings.

In 1948, Soviet troops, occupying eastern Germany all the way to the Elbe and surrounding Berlin, imposed a blockade on the city.

The regime in Prague was overthrown in a Communist coup. Foreign minister Jan Masaryk fell, or was thrown, from a third-story window to his death. In 1949, Stalin exploded an atomic bomb.

As the U.S. Army had gone home after V-E Day, the U.S. formed a new alliance to protect the crucial European powers — West Germany, France, Britain, Italy. Twelve nations agreed that an attack on one would be treated as an attack on them all.

Cross the Elbe and you are at war with us, including the U.S. with its nuclear arsenal, Stalin was, in effect, told. Hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops returned to Europe to send the message that America was serious.

Crucial to the alliance was the Yalta line dividing Europe agreed to by Stalin, FDR and Churchill at the 1945 Crimean summit on the Black Sea.

U.S. presidents, even when monstrous outrages were committed in Soviet-occupied Europe, did not cross this line into the Soviet sphere.

Truman did not send armored units up the highway to Berlin. He launched an airlift to break the Berlin blockade. Ike did not intervene to save the Hungarian rebels in 1956. JFK confined his rage at the building of the Berlin Wall to the rhetorical: “Ich bin ein Berliner.”

LBJ did nothing to help the Czechs when, before the Democratic convention in 1968, Leonid Brezhnev sent Warsaw Pact tank armies to crush the Prague Spring.

When the Solidarity movement of Lech Walesa was crushed in Gdansk, Reagan sent copy and printing machines. At the Berlin Wall in 1988, he called on Mikhail Gorbachev to “tear down this wall.”

Reagan never threatened to tear it down himself.

But beginning in 1989, the Wall was torn down, Germany was united, the Red Army went home, the Warsaw Pact dissolved, the USSR broke apart into 15 nations, and Leninism expired in its birthplace.

As the threat that had led to NATO disappeared, many argued that the alliance created to deal with that threat should be allowed to fade away, and a free and prosperous Europe should now provide for its own defense.

It was not to be. The architect of Cold War containment, Dr. George Kennan, warned that moving NATO into Eastern Europe and former Soviet republics would prove a “fateful error.”

This, said Kennan, would “inflame the nationalistic and militaristic tendencies in Russian opinion” and “restore the atmosphere of the cold war in East-West relations.” Kennan was proven right.

America is now burdened with the duty to defend Europe from the Atlantic to the Baltic, even as we face a far greater threat in China, with an economy and population 10 times that of Russia.

And we must do this with a defense budget that is not half the share of the federal budget or the GDP that Eisenhower and Kennedy had.

Trump is president today because the American people concluded that our foreign policy elite, with their endless interventions where no vital U.S. interest was imperiled, had bled and virtually bankrupted us, while kicking away all of the fruits of our Cold War victory.

Halfway into Trump’s term, the question is whether he is going to just talk about halting Cold War II with Russia, about demanding that Europe pay for its own defense, and about bringing the troops home — or whether he is going to act upon his convictions.

Our foreign policy establishment is determined to prevent Trump from carrying out his mandate. And if he means to carry out his agenda, he had best get on with it.

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Photos of new Iskander base near Ukrainian border creates media hype

But research into the photos and cross-checking of news reports reveals only the standard anti-Russian narrative that has gone on for years.

Seraphim Hanisch

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Fox News obtained satellite photos that claim that Russia has recently installed new Iskander missile batteries, one of them “near” to the Ukrainian border. However, what the Fox article does not say is left for the reader to discover: that in regards to Ukraine, these missiles are probably not that significant, unless the missiles are much longer range than reported:

The intelligence report provided to Fox by Imagesat International showed the new deployment in Krasnodar, 270 miles from the Ukrainian border. In the images is visible what appears to be an Iskander compound, with a few bunkers and another compound of hangars. There is a second new installation that was discovered by satellite photos, but this one is much farther to the east, in the region relatively near to Ulan-Ude, a city relatively close to the Mongolian border.

Both Ukraine and Mongolia are nations that have good relations with the West, but Mongolia has good relations with both its immediate neighbors, Russia and China, and in fact participated with both countries in the massive Vostok-2018 military war-games earlier this year.

Fox News provided these photos of the Iskander emplacement near Krasnodar:

Imagesat International

Fox annotated this photo in this way:

Near the launcher, there is a transloader vehicle which enables quick reloading of the missiles into the launcher. One of the bunker’s door is open, and another reloading vehicle is seen exiting from it.

[Fox:] The Iskander ballistic missile has a range up to 310 miles, and can carry both unconventional as well as nuclear warheads, putting most of America’s NATO allies at risk. The second deployment is near the border with Mongolia, in Ulan-Ude in Sothern Russia, where there are four launchers and another reloading vehicle.

[Fox:] Earlier this week, Nikolai Patrushev, secretary of Russia’s Security Council, said authorities of the former Soviet republic are being “controlled” by the West, warning it stands to lose its independence and identity as a consequence. “The continuation of such policy by the Kiev authorities can contribute to the loss of Ukraine’s statehood,” Mr Patrushev told Rossiyskaya Gazeta, according to Russian news agency TASS.

This situation was placed by Fox in context with the Kerch Strait incident, in which three Ukrainian vessels and twenty-four crew and soldiers were fired upon by Russian coast guard ships as they manuevered in the Kerch Strait without permission from Russian authorities based in Crimea. There are many indications that this incident was a deliberate attempt on the part of Ukraine’s president Petro Poroshenko, to create a sensational incident, possibly to bolster his flagging re-election campaign. After the incident, the President blustered and set ten provinces in Ukraine under martial law for 30 days, insisting to the world, and especially to the United States, that Russia was “preparing to invade” his country.

Russia expressed no such sentiment in any way, but they are holding the soldiers until the end of January. However, on January 17th, a Moscow court extended the detention of eight of these captured Ukrainian sailors despite protests from Kyiv and Washington.

In addition to the tensions in Ukraine, the other significant point of disagreement between the Russian Federation and the US is the US’ plan to withdraw from the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF). Russia sees this treaty as extremely important, but the US point of view expressed by John Bolton, National Security Adviser, is that the treaty is useless because it does not include any other parties that have intermediate range nukes or the capability for them, such as Iran, North Korea, and China. This is an unsolved problem, and it is possible that the moves of the Iskander batteries is a subtle warning from the Russians that they really would rather the US stay in the treaty.

Discussions on this matter at public levels between the Russian government and the US have been very difficult because of the fierce anti-Russia and anti-Trump campaigns in the media and political establishments of the United States. President Putin and President Trump have both expressed the desire to meet, but complications like the Kerch Strait Incident conveniently arise, and have repeatedly disrupted the attempts for these two leaders to meet.

Where Fox News appears to get it wrong shows in a few places:

First, the known range for Iskander missiles maxes at about 310 miles. The placement of the battery near Krasnodar is 270 miles from the eastern Ukrainian border, but the eastern part of Ukraine is Russian-friendly and two provinces, Donetsk and Lugansk, are breakaway provinces acting as independent republics. The battery appears to be no threat to Kyiv or to that part of Ukraine which is aligned with the West. Although the missiles could reach into US ally Georgia, Krasnodar is 376 miles from Tbilisi, and so again it seems that there is no significant target for these missiles. (This is assuming the location given is accurate.)

Second, the location shown in the photo is (44,47,29.440N at 39,13,04.754E). The date on the “Krasnodar” photo is January 17, 2019. However, a photo of the region taken July 24, 2018 reveals a different layout. It takes a moment or two to study this, but there is not much of an exact match here:

Third, Fox News reported of “further Russian troops deployment and S-400 Surface to air missile days after the escalation started, hinting Russia might have orchestrated the naval incident.”

It may be true that Russia deployed weapons to this base area in Crimea, but this is now Russian territory. S-400s can be used offensively, but their primary purpose is defensive. Troops on the Crimean Peninsula, especially at this location far to the north of the area, are not in a position strategically to invade Kherson Oblast (a pushback would probably corner such forces on the Crimean peninsula with nowhere to go except the Black Sea). However, this does look like a possible defense installation should Ukraine’s forces try to invade or bomb Crimea.

Fox has this wrong, but it is no great surprise, because the American stance about Ukraine and Russia is similar – Russia can do no right, and Ukraine can do no wrong. Fox News is not monolithic on this point of view, of course, with anchors and journalists such as Tucker Carlson, who seem willing to acknowledge the US propaganda about the region. However, there are a lot of hawks as well. While photos in the articles about the S-400s and the Russian troops are accurately located, it does appear that the one about Iskanders is not, and that the folks behind this original article are guessing that the photos will not be questioned. After all, no one in the US knows where anything is in Russia and Ukraine, anyway, right?

That there is an issue here is likely. But is it appears that there is strong evidence that it is opposite what Fox reported here, it leaves much to be questioned.

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