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Vladimir Putin’s actions in Syria have RESTORED Russia to world power status

Washington’s bringing destruction to Syria and Ukraine, has strengthened their bonds to Russia

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‘The Operation in Syria – Putin’s grandmaster move obliged the world to respect Russia’ – This was the title of an interesting article in the Russian language.

Here is a paraphrased translation of how the article began:

One of the most important events of 2016 was the destruction of terrorists in Syria. Russia, at the request of Syrian President Bashar Assad, volunteered to help wend the war, and achieved great results in a short time. But there would not be any positive results, if not for one person – Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation made a complex, and fateful decision, a call on which the future of the Syrian Republic depended. Now, Syria’s people and governemnt have a chance to begin again.

Russia has hardly been seen as a serious power since her fall in the 1990’s, but she rose from the ashes of Syria like a phoenix, reminding the world that Russia is still a great power, and proving she will be a pillar of the multipolar world for years to come.

In 2014, President Obama described Russia as :

“a regional power that is threatening some of its immediate neighbors”

Yet two years later, Russia begin the destruction of ISIS which is now effectively complete, beginning her withdraw from Syria, and the whole world from the US, to the EU, to middle eastern countries like NATO-member Turkey understand that Russia is, in fact, a great power.

“Russia is not, as President Obama said, ‘a regional power.’ This was a big error in assessment,” European Commission chief Juncker said.

Russia has shown, that while she does not want to “replace” the US as a superpower, she actually does not believe in a monopolar world where there is one superpower, preferring a multi-polar world similar to the Pre-World War era, where each great power has a sphere of influence that must be respected.

Russia has always been respectful to her western allies, but her actions in Syria have created facts on the ground, requiring those who dismissed her earlier to accept the reality of her position in the world.

The Russian article goes on to talk about how Russia has been given a vital opportunity to test military equipment in Syria, including hundreds of advanced cruise missiles, prior to the use of which, the whole world didn’t realize such a capability and tactical employment in the way she did was possible. It is perhaps providential those statements above were made in 2014, because in the years between then and now, not only did Russia save Syria, but Crimea rejoined Russia.

It was like a return to the days of Catherine the Great, when Russia liberated all of what is now Ukraine and Crimea from the last remanent of the Mongol Hordes, the Crimean Tatar Khanate backed by the Ottoman Empire. Check out below the first Russian national anthem to Catherine the Great “Let the Thunder of Victory resound” with english subtitles over footage of Russia’s cruise missiles.

The article goes on to discuss how Russia’s actions in Syria have begrudgingly earned the respect of local middle eastern leaders like Erdogan, and the Saudi King who made his first official visit to Moscow. Even if they don’t personally love Russia, her actions in Syria have created facts on the ground which are impossible to ignore.

The Duran has a great article by Alexander Mercouris using two simple maps to illustrate those facts. Just take a look at Syria before:

Red is Syrian government, the black area is ISIS controlled, green is Al-Qaeda terrorists

And after Russia intervened (February 1st, 2018):

ISIS got their behinds handed to them, courtesy of the Russian bear, and the world has noticed.

The US strategy has been…well…not successful, to put it politely. A US General admitted to the Senate that by 2015, and 500 million dollars later, they had only trained “about 4 or 5” “moderate” fighters against ISIS, as the Washington Post reports.

Ordinary citizens have also noted Russia’s success in several tweets:

Putin said Russian servicemembers deserve credit, as they have “demonstrated the strength of our army and navy”.

Above all, Putin’s work has reaffirmed the eternal friendship between Syrians and Russians. It matters not what the world thinks about Syria. The Syrian people are the only ones whose opinon truly matters on events there, and they love Russia.

Image result for putin syria hero

Perhaps the most significant geopolitical reality that has come out of the Syrian conflict, and the Ukrainian one for that matter, is how in some ways, the Deep State’s plans backfired miserably.

If western powers wanted to see a diminished role for Russia in the middle east, by funding terrorists in Syria (Russia’s middle east ally), then their plans achieved the reverse. Russian-Syrian resolve and cooperation are now stronger than ever before, not to mention other middle eastern powers have accepted Russia’s role as an immovable geopolitical reality.

While the war has been disastrous for Syria, and Russians weep with her people, and help defend them and rebuild, from a purely military perspective, the war has strengthened the Russian military by providing them with crucial field testing of the skills they learned in training. Russia will take that crucial training back home, having proven much of her highly touted military might in real warfare.

If certain powers hated Russia so much, that they cynically plunged her brotherly nations like Syria and Ukraine (regarding the people, not the current state) into war, out of fear for her power, then their actions created a self-fulfilling prophecy.

As a result of the western funding of terrorists in Syria, and support for a Nazi coup in Ukraine, Russia effectively gained a more permanent and powerful military presence in Syria (with Damascus’s permission) and Crimea returned to Russia.

Russia of course deeply regrets these conflicts, but had the west never started them in the first place, Russia would have largely ignored the idea of an increased military presence in Syria, and certainly, there was no practical thought of Crimea rejoining Russia.

This is perhaps one of the cardinal areas western pundits misunderstand Russia, when they talk about her “behavior” as if the 1156-year-old superpower is a juvenile misbehaving – almost all of Russia’s actions have been very moderate, conservative, and most important…reactive!

Russia did not actively seek to fight in Syria, and avoided it for sometime since the war began in 2011, seeing as she believes all states must be left to handle their own affairs without outside interference. Despite the fact that Ukraine and Russia have not merely a shared history, but literally come from the same source, and are intricately a part of each other’s civilization to the point where it is not possible to speak of Russian civilization without mention Ukraine, even more so Ukrainian without Russian, Russia did not interfere in Ukraine.

Russia only became involved in the situations in these two states after the Deep State arrayed billions of dollars against the small states with a clear intent to actively harm Russia.

Russia may be an empire, in the sense of it being a powerful super-nation with many different cultures and languages united to one imperial Russian statehood and identity, but she has no interest in “nation building”, an arrogant idea that one can create a nation, which takes centuries if not millennia of common cultural development.

Russia does share that common history with Ukraine, as all of their most ancient figures were the same, and they share the same origin myth. They were united as one nation (at times ruled in separate city-states) from 862 to 1362, when they were separated only to be reunited in 1652, and separated again amidst the World Wars of the 20th century, and again in the 1990s.

The Russian Orthodox religion, as well as Christianity, in general, began in Antioch, Syria, where according to the Bible (Acts: 11:26), Christians were first called ‘Christians’. Syria was part of the Eastern Roman Empire which introduced Orthodoxy to Rus’, when Saint Vladimir was baptized on the shores of Crimea.

Saint Vladimir’s Church in Sevastopol, Crimea, near the ruins of the ancient Greek city of Chersones

Russia shares the most ancient of ties with Syria and Ukraine, dating back to her foundation. She will not interfere in anyone’s affairs, but she will not sit by and watch as precious parts of her history are torn asunder. The events in Syria and Ukraine have proven – Russia defends her people.

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Russia’s Lukoil Halts Oil Swaps In Venezuela After U.S. Sanctions

Under the new wide-ranging U.S. sanctions, Venezuela will not be able to import U.S. naphtha which it has typically used to dilute its heavy crude grades.

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Via Oilprice.com


Litasco, the international trading arm of Russia’s second-biggest oil producer Lukoil, stopped its oil swaps deals with Venezuela immediately after the U.S. imposed sanctions on Venezuela’s oil industry and state oil firm PDVSA, Lukoil’s chief executive Vagit Alekperov said at an investment forum in Russia.

Russia, which stands by Nicolas Maduro in the ongoing Venezuelan political crisis, has vowed to defend its interests in Venezuela—including oil interests—within the international law using “all mechanisms available to us.”

Because of Moscow’s support for Maduro, the international community and market analysts are closely watching the relationship of Russian oil companies with Venezuela.

“Litasco does not work with Venezuela. Before the restrictions were imposed, Litasco had operations to deliver oil products and to sell oil. There were swap operations. Today there are none, since the sanctions were imposed,” Lukoil’s Alekperov said at the Russian Investment Forum in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.

Another Russian oil producer, Gazprom Neft, however, does not see major risks for its oil business in Venezuela, the company’s chief executive officer Alexander Dyukov said at the same event.

Gazprom Neft has not supplied and does not supply oil products to Venezuela needed to dilute the thick heavy Venezuelan oil, Dyukov said, noting that the Latin American country hadn’t approached Gazprom Neft for possible supply of oil products for diluents.

Under the new wide-ranging U.S. sanctions, Venezuela will not be able to import U.S. naphtha which it has typically used to dilute its heavy crude grades. Analysts expect that a shortage of diluents could accelerate beginning this month the already steadily declining Venezuelan oil production and exports.

Venezuela’s crude oil production plunged by another 59,000 bpd from December 2018 to stand at just 1.106 million bpd in January 2019, OPEC’s secondary sources figures showed in the cartel’s closely watched Monthly Oil Market Report (MOMR) this week.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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Germany Pulls Rank on Macron and American Energy Blackmail

Why France’s Macron, at the last minute, attempted to undermine the project by placing stiffer regulations is a curious question.

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Authored by Finian Cunningham via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


It was billed politely as a Franco-German “compromise” when the EU balked at adopting a Gas Directive which would have undermined the Nord Stream 2 project with Russia.

Nevertheless, diplomatic rhetoric aside, Berlin’s blocking last week of a bid by French President Emmanuel Macron to impose tougher regulations on the Nord Stream 2 gas project was without doubt a firm rebuff to Paris.

Macron wanted to give the EU administration in Brussels greater control over the new pipeline running from Russia to Germany. But in the end the so-called “compromise” was a rejection of Macron’s proposal, reaffirming Germany in the lead role of implementing the Nord Stream 2 route, along with Russia.

The $11-billion, 1,200 kilometer pipeline is due to become operational at the end of this year. Stretching from Russian mainland under the Baltic Sea, it will double the natural gas supply from Russia to Germany. The Berlin government and German industry view the project as a vital boost to the country’s ever-robust economy. Gas supplies will also be distributed from Germany to other European states. Consumers stand to gain from lower prices for heating homes and businesses.

Thus Macron’s belated bizarre meddling was rebuffed by Berlin. A rebuff was given too to the stepped-up pressure from Washington for the Nord Stream 2 project to be cancelled. Last week, US ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell and two other American envoys wrote an op-ed for Deutsche Welle in which they accused Russia of trying to use “energy blackmail” over Europe’s geopolitics.

Why France’s Macron, at the last minute, attempted to undermine the project by placing stiffer regulations is a curious question. Those extra regulations if they had been imposed would have potentially made the Russian gas supply more expensive. As it turns out, the project will now go-ahead without onerous restrictions.

In short, Macron and the spoiling tactics of Washington, along with EU states hostile to Russia, Poland and the Baltic countries, have been put in their place by Germany and its assertion of national interests of securing economical and abundant gas supply from Russia. Other EU member states that backed Berlin over Nord Stream 2 were Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Greece and the Netherlands.

Washington’s claims that Nord Stream 2 would give Russia leverage of Europe’s security have been echoed by Poland and the Baltic states. Poland, and non-EU Ukraine, stand to lose out billions of dollars-worth of transit fees. Such a move, however, is the prerogative of Germany and Russia to find a more economical mode of supply. Besides, what right has Ukraine to make demands on a bilateral matter that is none of its business? Kiev’s previous bad faith over not paying gas bills to Russia disbars it from reasonable opinion.

Another factor is the inherent Russophobia of Polish and Baltic politicians who view everything concerning Russia through a prism of paranoia.

For the Americans, it is obviously a blatant case of seeking to sell their own much more expensive natural gas to Europe’s giant energy market – in place of Russia’s product. Based on objective market figures, Russia is the most competitive supplier to Europe. The Americans are therefore trying to snatch a strategic business through foul means of propaganda and political pressure. Ironically, the US German ambassador Richard Grenell and the other American envoys wrote in their recent oped: “Europe must retain control of its energy security.”

Last month, Grenell threatened German and European firms involved in the construction of Nord Stream 2 that they could face punitive American sanctions in the future. Evidently, it is the US side that is using “blackmail” to coerce others into submission, not Russia.

Back to Macron. What was he up to in his belated spoiling tactics over Nord Stream 2 and in particular the attempted problems being leveled for Germany if the extra regulations had been imposed?

It seems implausible that Macron was suddenly finding a concern for Poland and the Baltic states in their paranoia over alleged Russian invasion.

Was Macron trying to garner favors from the Trump administration? His initial obsequious rapport with Trump has since faded from the early days of Macron’s presidency in 2017. By doing Washington’s bidding to undermine the Nord Stream 2 project was Macron trying to ingratiate himself again?

The contradictions regarding Macron are replete. He is supposed to be a champion of “ecological causes”. A major factor in Germany’s desire for the Nord Stream 2 project is that the increased gas supply will reduce the European powerhouse’s dependence on dirty fuels of coal, oil and nuclear power. By throwing up regulatory barriers, Macron is making it harder for Germany and Europe to move to cleaner sources of energy that the Russian natural gas represents.

Also, if Macron had succeeded in imposing tougher regulations on the Nord Stream 2 project it would have inevitably increased the costs to consumers for gas bills. This is at a time when his government is being assailed by nationwide Yellow Vest protests over soaring living costs, in particular fuel-price hikes.

A possible factor in Macron’s sabotage bid in Germany’s Nord Stream 2 plans was his chagrin over Berlin’s rejection of his much-vaunted reform agenda for the Eurozone bloc within the EU. Despite Macron’s very public amity with Chancellor Angela Merkel, Berlin has continually knocked back the French leader’s ambitions for reform.

It’s hard to discern what are the real objectives of Macron’s reforms. But they seem to constitute a “banker’s charter”. Many eminent German economists have lambasted his plans, which they say will give more taxpayer-funded bailouts to insolvent banks. They say Macron is trying to move the EU further away from the social-market economy than the bloc already has moved.

What Macron, an ex-Rothschild banker, appears to be striving for is a replication of his pro-rich, anti-worker policies that he is imposing on France, and for these policies to be extended across the Eurozone. Berlin is not buying it, realizing such policies will further erode the social fabric. This could be the main reason why Macron tried to use the Nord Stream 2 project as leverage over Berlin.

In the end, Macron and Washington – albeit working for different objectives – were defeated in their attempts to sabotage the emerging energy trade between Germany, Europe and Russia. Nord Stream 2, as with Russia’s Turk Stream to the south of Europe, seems inevitable by sheer force of natural partnership.

On this note, the Hungarian government’s comments this week were apt. Budapest accused some European leaders and the US of “huge hypocrisy” in decrying association with Russia over energy trade. Macron has previously attended an economics forum in St Petersburg, and yet lately has sought to “blackmail” and disrupt Germany over its trade plans with Russia.

As for the Americans, their arrant hypocrisy is beyond words. As well as trying to dictate to Europe about “market principles” and “energy security”, it was reported this week that Washington is similarly demanding Iraq to end its import of natural gas from neighboring Iran.

Iraq is crippled by electricity and power shortages because of the criminal war that the US waged on that country from 2003-2011 which destroyed much of the country’s infrastructure. Iraq critically needs Iranian gas supplies to keep the lights and fans running. Yet, here we have the US now dictating to Iraq to end its lifeline import of Iranian fuel in order to comply with the Trump administration’s sanctions against Tehran. Iraq is furious at the latest bullying interference by Washington in its sovereign affairs.

The hypocrisy of Washington and elitist politicians like Emmanuel Macron has become too much to stomach. Maybe Germany and others are finally realizing who the charlatans are.

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Russia Readies Own Web To Survive Global Internet Shutdown

Russia is simultaneously building a mass censorship system similar to that seen in China.

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Via Zerohedge


Russian authorities and major telecom operators are preparing to disconnect the country from the world wide web as part of an exercise to prepare for future cyber attacks, Russian news agency RosBiznesKonsalting (RBK) reported last week.

The purpose of the exercise is to develop a threat analysis and provide feedback to a proposed law introduced in the Russian Parliament last December.

The draft law, called the Digital Economy National Program, requires Russian internet service providers (ISP) to guarantee the independence of the Russian Internet (Runet) in the event of a foreign attack to sever the country’s internet from the world wide web.

Telecom operators (MegaFon, VimpelCom (Beeline brand), MTS, Rostelecom and others) will have to introduce the “technical means” to re-route all Russian internet traffic to exchange points approved by the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media (Roskomnadzor), Russia’s federal executive body responsible for censorship in media and telecommunications.

Roskomnazor will observe all internet traffic and make sure data between Russian users stays within the country’s borders, and is not re-routed abroad.

The exercise is expected to occur before April 1, as Russian authorities have not given exact dates.

The measures described in the law include Russia constructing its internet system, known as Domain Name System (DNS), so it can operate independently from the rest of the world.

Across the world, 12 companies oversee the root servers for DNS and none are located in Russia. However, there are copies of Russia’s core internet address book inside the country suggesting its internet could keep operating if the US cut it off.

Ultimately, the Russian government will require all domestic traffic to pass through government-controlled routing points. These hubs will filter traffic so that data sent between Russians internet users work seamlessly, but any data to foreign computers would be rejected.

Besides protecting its internet, Russia is simultaneously building a mass censorship system similar to that seen in China.

“What Russia wants to do is to bring those router points that handle data entering or exiting the country within its borders and under its control- so that it can then pull up the drawbridge, as it were, to external traffic if it’s under threat – or if it decides to censor what outside information people can access.

China’s firewall is probably the world’s best known censorship tool and it has become a sophisticated operation. It also polices its router points, using filters and blocks on keywords and certain websites and redirecting web traffic so that computers cannot connect to sites the state does not wish Chinese citizens to see,” said BBC.

The Russian government started preparations for creating its internet several years ago. Russian officials expect 95% of all internet traffic locally by next year.

As for Russia unplugging its internet from the rest of the world for an upcoming training exercise, well, this could potentially anger Washington because it is one less sanction that can keep Moscow contained.

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