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Transgender Ukraine, desperately in need of western approval

The split personality of the Russian soul: Moscow and Kiev.

Alex Christoforou

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Article first appeared on RussiaFeed.


Ukraine is ready to sacrifice everything, its culture, its history, its religion and its sense of self, so as to be included in the rapidly declining western system.

Why would Ukraine hitch itself onto a train that is crashing at such a rapid pace, when north of its borders and eastward towards China, a new world is rising?

Via GEFIRA…

All nations can be made to suffer from disturbed or split personality and then they are unhappy after their own fashion, toys in the hands of the powers that be.

All healthy nations are alike, but an unhealthy nation is unhealthy after its own fashion. This paraphrase of the opening sentence from Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina neatly serves the purpose of analyzing the Ukrainian soul, a soul that has dissociative identity disorder. A transgender man has an identity disturbance in that he thinks or feels he was born a woman and other females are not his sexual partners. The same is true of peoples. A Ukrainian thinks or feels he is not Russian and, consequently, that Russians are not his brothers. A transgender man physically looks like a man and still thinks he is not a male; a Ukrainian speaks Russian, professes Orthodox Christianity, writes Cyrillic and still says he is anything but.

We from such European countries as Poland, France or Germany may ask ourselves, what is the origin of the Ukrainian state? What is the origin of the Russian state? Ukrainian and Russian children learn about the same beginnings of their respective countries, read stories about Rurik, Oleg and Olga, Vladimir the Great and Yaroslav the Wise. Polish and Czech, French and Spanish, British and Norwegian children do not learn that their respective nations share the same origin whereas Ukrainian and Russian children do. Kiev is regarded as the mother of Russian cities. True, there was a time when the Russian vast lands were split into a number of principalities, but then Italian, Polish, and German were too.

The land east of the Bug River and west of the Urals is historically, ethnographically, culturally and emotionally referred to russkiy mir(Russian world, Russian civilization). In the Middle Ages it was known as Rus’ or Ruthenia and was comprised of Great Russia with its centre in Moscow, Little Russia with its centre in Kiev and White Russia with its present-day centre in Minsk. They all three share one and the same founding legend.

Parts of Rus’ (or Ruthenia) were once conquered and held by the Tartars (Mongols), Lithuania and Poland, which might have contributed to the split in the collective psyche of the people inhabiting these areas. Yet, Poland too, was partitioned by three foreign powers and kept in subjugation for more than a hundred years. The occupying forces made various attempts to either Germanize or Russify its population, and still Poland emerged as one nation.

True, some Ukrainians, especially in the western parts of the country speak a variety of Russian, which they call a separate language. Yet the Ukrainian language is not more different from Russian than the Bavarian or Liverpudlian dialects are different from German or English. Surely, nobody says we have the Bavarian or Liverpudlian languages? In the 19th century the Ukrainian dialect of the Russian tongue was forcibly turned into a language by deleting some of the Russian and taking on some of the Polish vocabulary and affirming the local west-Ukrainian pronunciation. The Russian Cyrillic alphabet used for Ukrainian has as many as… three ‘new’ characters. Well, the American variety of English, too, has some spelling and pronunciation peculiarities that make it a tiny bit different from its British counterpart, yet American children are taught English at school, not American.

Of course, such differences are skilfully exploited by the powers that be just as it was done in the case of Yugoslavia, where Westerners could be easily duped into believing that Croats and Serbs speak two entirely different languages because… the former use the Latin whereas the latter the Cyrillic script, while in point of fact they speak the same language. The Turkish language has not changed simply because Kemal Atatürk had the Arabic script done away with and decreed the use of Latin characters, or did it?

What’s the matter with Ukrainian identity disturbance? The whole can be traced back to the times of Peter the Great and then again to 19th century when among the Russian intelligentsia the movement of Westernizers (Западничество) came into being, which reflected the split Russian soul. Part of it wants to stay Russian, Slavophile, the other part is ashamed of being Russian. A split personality syndrome. Ukrainians for the most part represent the pro-Western inclination of the Russian soul. In a similar case of the Southern Slavs, Croats have been westernized since the dawn of their history as they accepted Christianity from Rome; Serbs became easterners as they accepted Christianity from Byzantium. A Ukrainian is a Russian desperately in need of westernizing himself and his country. The tighter is the leash on which Moscow holds him, the more disruptive tendencies a Ukrainian will show. This pro-Western strand in the Russian soul is being skilfully exploited by the West for its own purposes. Nations, as we know, can be created when it suits someone’s purposes. At present Germans in Austria are Austrians, not Germans, but there was a time when they were Germans; Catalans are Spaniards or they are not Spaniards, as the case may be; not long ago citizens of the German Democratic Republic would have fought against their historical compatriots from the Federal German Republic. Did we have two German nations?

Ukrainians cutting themselves off from Moscow are like the British colonists across the Atlantic cutting themselves off from the British crown. The difference is, however, that the thirteen colonies at least comprised a significant number of nations other than English, Welsh or Scottish and they were mostly religious rebels from the Church of England. Ukrainians, on the other hand, are like their Russian compatriots Orthodox Christians and have no significant national or religious minorities. Furthermore, throughout history Ukrainians have hardly ever rebelled against Moscow. They willingly declared their allegiance to the Great Russian capital in 1654 (Treaty of Pereyaslav) at the climax of the largest revolt against the Polish Crown. Prior to that event Kiev was part of the the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. Thus Little Russians broke away from a culturally western country to happily let themselves be embraced by their eastern brothers. The Russian soul subconsciously knew where it belonged. In Poland Ukrainians were called Cossacks and later Rusini(which in Polish is as close to the word denoting Russians as in English Germanic is to German).

Ukraine’s territory after World War One and the Russian Civil War was carved out of Russia by the Bolsheviks, who happily joined to Ukraine vast eastern areas, without the Crimea, though. The Bolsheviks themselves were mostly of non-Russian nationality or indifferent to national questions, so they didn’t care about such things as delineating territories. In 1956 Nikita Khrushchev, Secretary General of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (for all practical purposes the Soviet Union’s president), himself a Ukrainian, carved the Crimea out of Russia (then a Soviet Socialist Republic) and had it joined to Ukraine (then, too, a Soviet Socialist Republic). Thus the peninsula was not Russian only for a few decades (1956-2014) and only formally because it was and is inhabited by Russians. When it was incorporated back into Russia, not a shot was fired on the Ukrainian side.

Now the West-prone Russians (centered around Kiev) are being played off against the West-averse Russians (centered around Moscow) and both are presented to the world as two separate nations. Were the Americans two separate nations when they fought the Civil War of 1861-1865? The resentment in the southern states against the North has persisted ever since. If Russia were the world’s superpower rather than the United States, she might as well choose to play the southern American states off against Washington. Then, conversely, rather than having Ukrainians jumping in the city squares and shouting “Кто не скачет, тот москаль!” (Who is not jumping [with us] is Moscow’s [lackey (useful idiot)]), we would have Southerners jump and shout “Who’s not jumping with us, is Washington’s lackey”. And surely, in due time we would learn that Southerners speak a language other than the Northerners and have every right to be recognized as a separate nation.

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Foreign Banks Are Embracing Russia’s Alternative To SWIFT, Moscow Says

Given its status as a major energy exporter, Russia has leverage that could help attract partners to its new SWIFT alternative.

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Via Zerohedge


On Friday, one day after Russia and China pledged to reduce their reliance on the dollar by increasing the amount of bilateral trade conducted in rubles and yuan (a goal toward which much progress has already been made over the past three years), Russia’s Central Bank provided the latest update on Moscow’s alternative to US-dominated international payments network SWIFT.

Moscow started working on the project back in 2014, when international sanctions over Russia’s annexation of Crimea inspired fears that the country’s largest banks would soon be cut off from SWIFT which, though it’s based in Belgium and claims to be politically neutral, is effectively controlled by the US Treasury.

Today, the Russian alternative, known as the System for Transfer of Financial Messages, has attracted a modest amount of support within the Russian business community, with 416 Russian companies having joined as of September, including the Russian Federal Treasury and large state corporations likeGazprom Neft and Rosneft.

And now, eight months after a senior Russian official advised that “our banks are ready to turn off SWIFT,” it appears the system has reached another milestone in its development: It’s ready to take on international partners in the quest to de-dollarize and end the US’s leverage over the international financial system. A Russian official advised that non-residents will begin joining the system “this year,” according to RT.

“Non-residents will start connecting to us this year. People are already turning to us,”said First Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Russia Olga Skorobogatova. Earlier, the official said that by using the alternative payment system foreign firms would be able to do business with sanctioned Russian companies.

Turkey, China, India and others are among the countries that might be interested in a SWIFT alternative, as Russian President Vladimir Putin pointed out in a speech earlier this month, the US’s willingness to blithely sanction countries from Iran to Venezuela and beyond will eventually rebound on the US economy by undermining the dollar’s status as the world’s reserve currency.

To be sure, the Russians aren’t the only ones building a SWIFT alternative to help avoid US sanctions. Russia and China, along with the European Union are launching an interbank payments network known as the Special Purpose Vehicle to help companies pursue “legitimate business with Iran” in defiance of US sanctions.

Given its status as a major energy exporter, Russia has leverage that could help attract partners to its new SWIFT alternative. For one, much of Europe is dependent on Russian natural gas and oil.

And as Russian trade with other US rivals increases, Moscow’s payments network will look increasingly attractive,particularly if buyers of Russian crude have no other alternatives to pay for their goods.

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US leaving INF will put nuclear non-proliferation at risk & may lead to ‘complete chaos’

The US is pulling out of a nuclear missile pact with Russia. The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty requires both countries to eliminate their short and medium-range atomic missiles.

The Duran

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Via RT


If the US ditches the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), it could collapse the entire nuclear non-proliferation system, and bring nuclear war even closer, Russian officials warn.

By ending the INF, Washington risks creating a domino effect which could endanger other landmark deals like the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) and collapse the existing non-proliferation mechanism as we know it, senior lawmaker Konstantin Kosachev said on Sunday.

The current iteration of the START treaty, which limits the deployment of all types of nuclear weapons, is due to expire in 2021. Kosachev, who chairs the Parliament’s Upper House Foreign Affairs Committee, warned that such an outcome pits mankind against “complete chaos in terms of nuclear weapons.”

“Now the US Western allies face a choice: either embarking on the same path, possibly leading to new war, or siding with common sense, at least for the sake of their self-preservation instinct.”

His remarks came after US President Donald Trump announced his intentions to “terminate” the INF, citing alleged violations of the deal by Russia.

Moscow has repeatedly denied undermining the treaty, pointing out that Trump has failed to produce any evidence of violations. Moreover, Russian officials insist that the deployment of US-made Mk 41 ground-based universal launching systems in Europe actually violates the agreement since the launchers are capable of firing mid-range cruise missiles.

Leonid Slutsky, who leads the Foreign Affairs Committee in parliament’s lower chamber, argued that Trump’s words are akin to placing “a huge mine under the whole disarmament process on the planet.”

The INF Treaty was signed in 1987 by then-President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. The deal effectively bans the parties from having and developing short- and mid-range missiles of all types. According to the provisions, the US was obliged to destroy Pershing I and II launcher systems and BGM-109G Gryphon ground-launched cruise missiles. Moscow, meanwhile, pledged to remove the SS-20 and several other types of missiles from its nuclear arsenal.

Pershing missiles stationed in the US Army arsenal. © Hulton Archive / Getty Images ©

By scrapping the historic accord, Washington is trying to fulfill its “dream of a unipolar world,” a source within the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

“This decision fits into the US policy of ditching the international agreements which impose equal obligations on it and its partners, and render the ‘exceptionalism’ concept vulnerable.”

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov denounced Trump’s threats as “blackmail” and said that Washington wants to dismantle the INF because it views the deal as a “problem” on its course for “total domination” in the military sphere.

The issue of nuclear arms treaties is too vital for national and global security to rush into hastily-made “emotional” decisions, the official explained. Russia is expecting to hear more on the US’ plans from Trump’s top security adviser, John Bolton, who is set to hold talks in Moscow tomorrow.

President Trump has been open about unilaterally pulling the US out of various international agreements if he deems them to be damaging to national interests. Earlier this year, Washington withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on the Iranian nuclear program. All other signatories to the landmark agreement, including Russia, China, and the EU, decided to stick to the deal, while blasting Trump for leaving.

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Converting Khashoggi into Cash

After two weeks of denying any connection to Khashoggi’s disappearance, Riyadh has admitted that he was killed by Saudi operatives but it wasn’t really on purpose.

Jim Jatras

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Authored by James George Jatras via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


The hazard of writing about the Saudis’ absurd gyrations as they seek to avoid blame for the murder of the late, not notably great journalist and Muslim Brotherhood activist Jamal Khashoggi is that by the time a sentence is finished, the landscape may have changed again.

As though right on cue, the narrative has just taken another sharp turn.

After two weeks of denying any connection to Khashoggi’s disappearance, Riyadh has ‘fessed up (sorta) and admitted that he was killed by Saudi operatives but it wasn’t really on purpose:

Y’see, it was kinda’f an ‘accident.’

Oops…

Y’see the guys were arguing, and … uh … a fistfight broke out.

Yeah, that’s it … a ‘fistfight.’

And before you know it poor Jamal had gone all to pieces.

Y’see?

Must’ve been a helluva fistfight.

The figurative digital ink wasn’t even dry on that whopper before American politicos in both parties were calling it out:

  • “To say that I am skeptical of the new Saudi narrative about Mr. Khashoggi is an understatement,” tweeted Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. “First we were told Mr. Khashoggi supposedly left the consulate and there was blanket denial of any Saudi involvement. Now, a fight breaks out and he’s killed in the consulate, all without knowledge of Crown Prince. It’s hard to find this latest ‘explanation‘ as credible.”
  • California Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said in a statement that the new Saudi explanation is “not credible.” “If Khashoggi was fighting inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, he was fighting for his life with people sent to capture or kill him,” Schiff said. “The kingdom and all involved in this brutal murder must be held accountable, and if the Trump administration will not take the lead, Congress must.”

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan must think he’s already died and gone to his eternal recreation in the amorous embraces of the dark-eyed houris. The acid test for the viability of Riyadh’s newest transparent lie is whether the Turks actually have, as they claim, live recordings of Khashoggi’s interrogation, torture, murder, and dismemberment (not necessarily in that order) – and if they do, when Erdogan decides it’s the right time to release them.

Erdogan has got the Saudis over a barrel and he’ll squeeze everything he can out of them.

From the beginning, the Khashoggi story wasn’t really about the fate of one man. The Saudis have been getting away with bloody murder, literally, for years. They’re daily slaughtering the civilian population of Yemen with American and British help, with barely a ho-hum from the sensitive consciences always ready to invoke the so-called “responsibility to protect” Muslims in Bosnia, Kosovo, Libya, Syria, Xinjiang, Rakhine, and so forth.

Where’s the responsibility not to help a crazed bunch of Wahhabist head-choppers kill people?

But now, just one guy meets a grisly end and suddenly it’s the most important homicide since the Lindbergh baby.

What gives?

Is it because Khashoggi was part of the MSM aristocracy, on account of his relationship with the Washington Post?

Was it because of his other, darker, connections? As related by Moon of Alabama: “Khashoggi was a rather shady guy. A ‘journalist’ who was also an operator for Saudi and U.S. intelligence services. He was an early recruit of the Muslim Brotherhood.” This relationship, writes MoA, touches on the interests of pretty much everyone in the region:

“The Ottoman empire ruled over much of the Arab world. The neo-Ottoman wannabe-Sultan Recep Tayyip Erdogan would like to regain that historic position for Turkey. His main competition in this are the al-Sauds. They have much more money and are strategically aligned with Israel and the United States, while Turkey under Erdogan is more or less isolated. The religious-political element of the competition is represented on one side by the Muslim Brotherhood, ‘democratic’ Islamists to which Erdogan belongs, and the Wahhabi absolutists on the other side.”

With the noose tightening around Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (MbS), the risible fistfight cock-and-bull story is likely to be the best they can come up with. US President Donald Trump’s having offered his “rogue killers” opening suggests he’s willing to play along. Nobody will really be fooled, but MbS will hope he can persuade important people to pretend they are fooled.

That will mean spreading around a lot of cash. The new alchemy of converting Khashoggi dead into financial gain for the living is just one part of an obvious scheme to pull off what Libya’s Muammar Kaddafi managed after the 1988 Lockerbie bombing: offer up some underlings as the fall guys and let the top man evade responsibility. (KARMA ALERT: That didn’t do Kaddafi any good in the long run.)

In the Saudi case the Lockerbie dodge will be harder, as there are already pictures of men at the Istanbul Consulate General identified as close associates of MbS. But they’ll give it the old madrasa try anyway since it’s all they’ve got.Firings and arrests have started and one suspect has already died in a suspicious automobile “accident.” Heads will roll!

Saving MbS’s skin and his succession to the throne of his doddering father may depend on how many of the usual recipients of Saudi – let’s be honest – bribery and influence peddling will find sufficient pecuniary reason to go along. Saudi Arabia’s unofficial motto with respect to the US establishment might as well be: “The green poultice heals all wounds.”

Anyway, that’s been their experience up to now, but it also in part reflects the same arrogance that made MbS think he could continue to get away with anything. (It’s not shooting someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue, but it’s close.) Whether spreading cash around will continue to have the same salubrious effect it always has had in the past remains to be seen.

To be sure, Trump may succeed in shaking the Saudi date palm for additional billions for arms sales. That won’t necessarily turn around an image problem that may not have a remedy. But still, count on more cash going to high-price lobbying and image-control shops eager to make obscene money working for their obscene client. Some big American names are dropping are dropping Riyadh in a sudden fit of fastidiousness, but you can bet others will be eager to step into their Guccis, both in the US and in the United Kingdom. (It should never be forgotten how closely linked the US and UK establishments are in the Middle East, and to the Saudis in particular.)

It still might not work though. No matter how much expensive PR lipstick the spinmeisters put on this pig, that won’t make it kissable. It’s still a pig.

Others benefitting from hanging Khashoggi’s death around MbS’s neck are:

  • Qatar (after last year’s invasion scare, there’s no doubt a bit of Schadenfreude and (figurative) champagne corks popping in Doha over MbS’s discomfiture. As one source close to the ruling al-Thani family relates, “The Qataris are stunned speechless at Saudi incompetence!” You just can’t get good help these days).

Among the losers one must count Israel and especially Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu. MbS, with his contrived image as the reformer, was the Sunni “beard” he needed to get the US to assemble an “Arab NATO” (as though one NATO weren’t bad enough!) and eliminate Iran for him. It remains to be seen how far that agenda has been set back.

Whether or not MbS survives or is removed – perhaps with extreme prejudice – there’s no doubt Saudi Arabia is the big loser. Question are being asked that should have been asked years ago. As Srdja Trifkovic comments in Chronicles magazine:

“The crown prince’s recklessness in ordering the murder of Khashoggi has demonstrated that he is just a standard despot, a Mafia don with oil presiding over an extended cleptocracy of inbred parasites. The KSA will not be reformed because it is structurally not capable of reform. The regime in Riyadh which stops being a playground of great wealth, protected by a large investment in theocratic excess, would not be ‘Saudi’ any longer. Saudia delenda est.”

The first Saudi state, the Emirate of Diriyah, went belly up in 1818, with the death of head of the house of al-Saud, Abdullah bin Saud – actually, literally with his head hung on a gate in Constantinople by Erdogan’s Ottoman predecessor, Sultan Mahmud II.

The second Saudi state, Emirate of Nejd, likewise folded in 1891.

It’s long past time this third and current abomination joined its antecedents on the ash heap of history.

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