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Why Vladimir Putin deserves a Nobel Peace Prize (seriously)

The reality is that the Russian leader has done more to promote the cause of global peace and security than any other Western leader in recent times

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(Strategic Culture Foundation) – For many years, and despite all evidence to the contrary, the Western media has forwarded the inane idea that Vladimir Putin ranks in the same club with some of history’s most loathsome creatures, up to and including Hitler.

The reality is that the Russian leader has done more to promote the cause of global peace and security than any other Western leader in recent times. That explains why he is the object of such intense scorn.

Putin’s rise as a statesman of the first magnitude began, oddly enough, with the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 on the United States. Since that day, Washington has taken advantage of that national tragedy to achieve specific geopolitical ends, the majority of them – coincidentally or not – diametrically opposed to Russia’s own national security. Moscow, for its part, was expected to serve as nothing more participatory than a captive audience to the US war machine as it began its destruction tour through the Middle East, most notably in Afghanistan and Iraq.

In late 2013, the tide began to turn, as the violence began to roost on Russia’s doorstep. Kiev had suddenly erupted in protests against the government of then-Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich, whose only crime had been to suspend the implementation of an association agreement with the European Union.

This was the moment when Washington’s long-term investment in Ukraine started to pay off handsome dividends (Victoria Nuland, the US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian affairs, shamelessly admitted at the time that Washington had invested more than $5 billion since 1991 to help Ukraine achieve “the future it deserves”).

With the blessing of myriad US-backed NGOs and think tanks, protesters took to the streets in the so-called Maidan uprising, barricading themselves in the capital and attacking police, eventually forcing the democratically elected president to flee the country.

As John J. Mearsheimer observed in the prestigious journal Foreign Affairs, “the United States and its European allies share most of the responsibility for the crisis.”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov echoed that frank assessment last month when he told the UN General Assembly: “The West constructed its policy on the basis of a principle, ‘If you are not with us, you are against us,’ having chosen the path of reckless eastward NATO expansion and provoking instability in the post-Soviet space…. This policy is precisely the root cause of the protracted conflict in Southeastern Ukraine.”

Does Putin deserve a Nobel Peace Prize just because it was the West, and not Russia, to blame for the Ukrainian crisis? No, but the story does not end there. Although Western media continue to regurgitate the delusional psycho-babble of a ‘Russian invasion’ of Ukrainian territory, such wild conspiracy theories have never been documented by a single legitimate photograph or satellite image. Or are we now expected to believe Russia owns invisible tanks and artillery, too? The reality is not so complicated: it was the Americans who launched their own Ukraine invasion in the early stages of the protests that only served to fan the flames of discontent. And yes, there is proof.

Victoria Nuland, for example, was photographed on the streets of Kiev, happily handing out cookies to anti-government participants, some of them outright fascists who eventually went on to fill top positions in the new government.

As Mearsheimer argued: “The new government in Kiev was pro-Western and anti-Russian to the core, and it contained four high-ranking members who could legitimately be labeled neo-fascists.”

And the political intrigue went far beyond stale pastries. In a leaked phone call with US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt, Nuland mentioned Arseniy Yatsenyuk as a candidate to lead the Ukrainian government. Was anybody surprised when Yatsenyuk became prime minister on February 27? In the course of that famous phone call, Nuland also expressed some incredibly candid sentiments toward America’s foremost ally when she remarked, “F*ck the EU”.

Meanwhile, US Senator John McCain, Washington’s preeminent hawk, also crashed the party in Kiev at the height of tension, agitating the anti-government protesters in Independence Square by telling them “the destiny you seek lies in Europe.”

It should be remembered that no Russian politician had the sheer audacity to show up anywhere in Ukraine to tell the people where their destiny was to be found.

As the Western media continued to spin the mythical yarn of a “Russian invasion”, the Kremlin was working assiduously to clean up the mess in Ukraine caused by many decades of behind-the-scenes horseplay, much of it seeded by foreign-backed NGOs and assorted think tanks. Putin played a significant role in mediating and bringing together the leaders of Ukraine, Germany, and France to ratify the Minsk Agreements (Feb. 11, 2015) designed to end the violence in the Donbass region of Ukraine.

Despite international recognition of the demands set down by Minsk (which include the “immediate and full ceasefire in particular districts of Donetsk and Lugansk oblasts of Ukraine and… Pullout of all heavy weapons by both sides to equal distance with the aim of the creation of a security zone on minimum 50 kilometers (31 miles)…”), there have been numerous reports of gross violations.

Last month, Putin called for a UN peacekeeping mission to be sent to the war-torn eastern regions of Ukraine. The peacekeepers would be deployed on the demarcation line to protect the OSCE [Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe] mission, which monitors the ceasefire between the government forces and rebels.

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel embraced the idea, urging member states to “openly discuss with the Russian Federation the conditions of a UN mission.” Washington and Kiev, however, flat out rejected the proposal.

In the context of the ongoing Ukrainian crisis, there is one major footnote that cannot be overlooked, and that involves the Crimea Referendum, which eventually brought the peninsula into the Russian Federation.

Although Western pundits regularly speak of a Russian “Crimean invasion” as loosely as they talk of a Ukrainian one, nothing could be further from reality. The Supreme Council of Crimea considered the ousting of President Yanukovich as a coup and the new government in Kiev as illegitimate, stating that the referendum was a response to these developments, as well as to the breakdown of civil order that was sweeping the country.

In Crimea, a largely Russian-speaking republic that was an integral part of Russia until it was gifted to Ukraine by Nikita Khrushchev in 1954, the official results of the referendum were impossible to dispute: 96.77 percent of Crimeans voted in favor of integration of the region into the Russian Federation.

The Russian State Duma ratified the reunification with the Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol on March 20, 2014. Western condemnation came fast and furious, but Putin reminded the critics the situation mirrored that of the Kosovo referendum for independence.

“In a situation entirely the same as the one in Crimea they recognized Kosovo’s secession from Serbia legitimate while arguing that ‘no permission from a country’s central authority for a unilateral declaration of independence is necessary,’” Putin said, adding that the UN International Court of Justice agreed with those arguments.

“That’s what they wrote, that’s what they trumpeted all over the world, coerced everyone into it – and now they are complaining. Why is that?” he asked.

Although few would admit it, Vladimir Putin’s peacekeeping efforts in Ukraine brought about a drastic reduction in violence at a time when many Western observers were predicting that Russia would launch a full-scale invasion of Ukrainian territory. Image their disappointment when just the opposite occurred?

Vladimir Putin’s peacekeeping efforts, however, did not stop at Russia’s borders.

Syria Intervention

Many people have probably already forgotten Russia’s immense contribution to securing peace in the Arab Republic of Syria, which has been suffering internal strife since 2011. And no, I am not talking about Putin’s decision to assist President Bashar Assad from eradicating ISIS terrorists in the country, although that is certainly a momentous event.

I am speaking about that day, almost exactly fours ago, when then-US President Barack Obama – a Nobel Peace Prize winner, mind you – was just about to give the signal to launch an all-out military assault against the sovereign state of Syria. The reason? Washington said the Assad government had used chemical weapons to attack a Damascus suburb just weeks earlier. Never mind that Assad would have known full well that to carry out such an attack would mean political and national suicide, and that the use of chemical weapons would only have assisted the cause of the anti-government rebels, who were praying for American airstrikes on Assad. But I digress.

When the British House of Commons refused to give then-PM David Cameron permission to join the Americans in their latest war game, Obama suddenly got very cold feet. In a bid to save face, then Secretary of State John Kerry reportedly ‘misspoke’ when he said the US would call off an attack on Syria if Assad agreed to surrender all of his chemical weapons within a week.

Enter Russian diplomacy at its finest hour. What followed was a marathon series of meetings in Geneva, Switzerland between Foreign Ministers John Kerry and Sergey Lavrov that eventually resulted in an agreement that not only deterred the threat of war, but removed chemical weapons from Syria.

Lavrov said the agreement removed any potential use of force against Syria, while underscoring that deviations from the plan, including attacks on UN inspectors, would be brought to the UN Security Council, which would decide on further action.

At the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, then Secretary General, gave a glowing account of the US-Russia-Syria agreement, which also made Syria a signatory to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

This premier example of diplomacy on the part of Vladimir Putin and his administration shows that war can always be diverted so long as their exists the will between men and nations. Sadly, the United States has gone on to demonstrate an insatiable determination to interfere – illegally – in the internal affairs of Syria, going so far as to even launch brazen attacks on the Syrian military (perhaps most disturbingly, the US media actually praised Donald Trump following such attacks). Although Russia has also become involved militarily in Syria, it has only done so at the expressed invitation of Damascus to help President Assad rid his country of terrorist forces that the US-led Western forces failed to destroy.

In summary, given Vladimir Putin’s extraordinary efforts to bring about the conditions of peace both in Ukraine and in Syria, it would seem that he is the most fitting candidate to win a Nobel Peace Prize. Of course, the Western capitals would never see things that way, which only highlights the great schism that now separates Russia from the West, which has lost its ability to judge right from wrong, truth from deception.

The Nobel Peace Prize is presented by the King of Norway on December 10 each year.

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Vladimir Putin calls new Ukrainian church ‘dangerous politicking’

President Putin said creation of the “Orthodox Church in Ukraine” is against Church canon and that the West drove Constantinople to do it.

Seraphim Hanisch

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In an interview with the Serbian newspapers Politika and Vecernje Novosti ahead of his visit to Serbia, Russian President Vladimir Putin noted the creation of the “Orthodox Church of Ukraine”, a schismatic agglomeration headed by Ukrainian ultra-nationalists was “dangerous politicking.” He further noted that:

The establishment of the new religious entity in Ukraine is nothing but an attempt “to legalize the schismatic communities that exist in Ukraine under the jurisdiction of Istanbul, which is a major violation of Orthodox canons.”

“Yet, hardly anyone in the U.S. or in the Ukrainian leadership worries about this,” Putin said.

“Once again, this has nothing to do with spiritual life; we are dealing here with dangerous and irresponsible politicking,” he said.

President Putin had more things to say in the interview, and we present what he said in full here (emphasis ours), as reported on the Kremlin.ru website:

Question: The Serbian Orthodox Church has taken the side of the Russian Orthodox Church in the context of the ecclesiastical crisis in Ukraine. At the same time, a number of countries are exerting pressure on Patriarch Bartholomew and seek to ensure recognition of Ukrainian ”schismatics“ by Local Orthodox Churches. How do you think the situation will evolve?

Vladimir Putin: I would like to remind your readers, who are greatly concerned about the information regarding the split in the Orthodox community but are probably not fully aware of the situation in Ukraine, what it is all about.

On December 15, 2018, the Ukrainian leaders, actively supported by the USA and the Constantinople Patriarchate, held a so-called “unifying synod”. This synod declared the creation of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, with Patriarch Bartholomew signing the tomos (decree) granting it autocephaly on January 6, 2019. Thus, it was attempted to legalize the schismatic communities that exist in Ukraine under the jurisdiction of Istanbul, which is a major violation of Orthodox canons.

Yet, hardly anyone in the US or in the Ukrainian leadership worries about this, as the new church entity is an entirely political, secular project. Its main aim is to divide the peoples of Russia and Ukraine, sowing seeds of ethnic as well as religious discord. No wonder Kiev has already declared ”obtaining complete independence from Moscow.”

Once again, this has nothing to do with spiritual life; we are dealing here with dangerous and irresponsible politicking. Likewise, we do not speak about the independence of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. It is de-facto fully controlled by Istanbul. Whereas Ukraine’s largest canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which has never requested autocephaly from Patriarch Bartholomew, is absolutely independent in its actions. Its connection with the Russian Orthodox Church is purely canonical – but even this causes undisguised irritation of the current Kiev regime.

Because of this, clergymen and laymen of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church are being persecuted and deprived of churches and monasteries, and attempts are made to deny the Church its legitimate name, which raises tensions and only leads to further discord in Ukrainian society.

Evidently, Ukraine’s leaders have to understand that any attempts to force the faithful into a different church are fraught with grave consequences. Yet, they are eager to put interconfessional concord in the country at stake in order to conduct the election campaign of the current Ukrainian President based on a search for enemies, and to retain power by all means.

All of this does not go unnoticed by Orthodox Christians.

Naturally, Russia does not intend to interfere in ecclesiastical processes, especially those happening on the territory of a neighboring sovereign state. However, we are aware of the danger posed by such experiments and blatant interference of the state in religious affairs.

The situation continues to degrade in Ukraine, and though the Orthodox faithful of the Autonomous but Moscow-based Ukrainian Orthodox Church are the hardest hit, worry over Ukrainian lawlessless-made-law has the Jewish community in that country nervous as well. This is perhaps to be expected as the Azov Brigade, a neo-Nazi aligned group that is hypernationalist, is a good representation of the character of the “hate Russia at all costs” Ukrainian nationalists. A parallel piece in Interfax made note of this in a piece dated January 17th 2019:

[A] bill passed by the Verkhovna Rada introducing a procedure by which parishes can join the new Ukrainian church makes it easier to seize places of worship, and supporters of autocephaly have already started doing this across the country, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church said.

“They need this law to seize our churches. You can’t just come with a crowbar to someone else’s barn, but now the law allows you to do so. They aren’t creating something of their own, but are trying to steal what’s ours,” Ukrainian Orthodox Church spokesperson Vasyl Anisimov told Interfax on Thursday.

The religious entity set up in December with Constantinople’s involvement and called the Orthodox Church of Ukraine “in fact doesn’t yet exist in nature. It’s fake. It doesn’t have any parishes of its own or government registration,” he said.

However, “the supporters of autocephaly don’t have plans to create anything of their own at all, so they have chosen the path of takeover, and the authorities are helping them in that,” Anisimov said.

“Hence, the legislation passed by the Verkhovna Rada today is in fact absolute lawlessness,” he said.

“If you pass legislation affecting an industry, you should talk to industrialists, and if it’s legislation on the agricultural sector, talk to farmers. And here legislation on a church is passed, and moreover, this legislation is aimed against this church, it is protesting, and Jews are protesting, too, because this legislation may affect them as well – but nobody is listening, and they change the law for the sake of an absolutely absurd and unconstitutional gimmick. But, of course, it’s the people who will ultimately suffer,” Anisimov said.

 

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According to Ukraine, the Crimean Bridge doesn’t exist (VIDEO)

Ukraine tries to deny the reality of the completion and soundness of the Crimean Bridge, though Ukraine was unable to build it, itself.

Seraphim Hanisch

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Russia’s VESTI News is truly an entertaining channel at times. This news service is strongly supported by the Russian government, and one of the criticisms it receives from Russian people is that it is an “extreme” propaganda house, telling all manner of crazy stories to distract its watchers’ attention away from the real problems that Russian people face at home.

No doubt there is truth to this, as this is a technique certainly duplicated in the US, Great Britain and elsewhere. Every nation has the right to its own propaganda. However, Vesti also seems to have a lot of fun making fun of other nations’ propaganda, and here they found a great one. Apparently, Ukraine’s propaganda ministry is trying to make the assertion that the Crimean Bridge collapsed and its debris is floating around in the Kerch Strait, “with the tectonic plates.”

See for yourself.

According to Ukrainian scientists and even “psychics”, this bridge is doomed to fall into the Kerch Strait once a sufficient earthquake hits it. Some claims appear even to say that the bridge already is not there, or at least, is not there in the way the Russian news sources have described it.

Of course, the VESTI team erupts into its famous snark, talking about how the bridge is very much alive and well and that it is the new “pride of Russia,” and so on.

This bridge is indeed quite an engineering feat, being completed only about three years after the rejoining / annexation / invasion / hostile takeover / or was it a voluntary referendum? of Crimea to the Russian Federation. This is a rapid speed for such a major project, but it is not very unusual for such projects to progress rather quickly when they are done with a will.

Burj Khalifa (formerly Burj Dubai) is presently by far the tallest building in the world, reaching skyward 828 meters, over half a mile into the sky. It took a little over four years to construct this landmark building, and it was done steadily and with a will to completion. Its would-be successor is not having as smooth an experience, for the Jeddah Tower in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, has hit problems, and even though this tower is projected to go only about 130 meter higher (reaching a significant milestone of one kilometer tall), its construction started in 2013, and as of the latest update, only 63 floors are completed.

The Crimean Bridge was built with a will to make a point, presumably to Ukraine, the rest of Russia and the world:

This is the New Russia. Look what we can do!

And, they did a marvelous feat of engineering in a very short time.

VESTI indeed does try to make some people feel better by pointing out the problems of other countries. Sometimes that is a distraction. But sometimes it is worth a serious bit of consideration.

Ukraine has a leader most of its people apparently cannot stand, who is a warmonger and a crybaby at the same time, begging the West for help while breathing threats against Russia.

While there are no doubt many, many wonderful people there trying to do wonderful things, it does seem to be that the country is suffering because of its willingness to be a pawn of the West. Russia is feeling the Western squeeze and it is not pleasant, but the Russians also seem to know that they can get themselves through this, and so they have reason to be glad when the country makes a good accomplishment such as the Crimean Bridge. The political and geopolitical importance of this project is such that it is very likely that all sorts of great engineering went into the bridge. It is prudent, and Russians seem to understand prudence very, very well.

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Second group of Su-57 stealth fighters to be requested in 2020

The second Su-57 contract will feature fighters with the advanced engine design that was under development while the prototypes were made.

Seraphim Hanisch

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The contract for a second order of Russian Su-57 stealth fighters is expected to be signed in 2020, according to an unnamed source in Russia’s aircraft-making industry. TASS, the Russian News Agency, reported on this on Wednesday, 16 January:

The second contract to manufacture 13 Su-57 fighter jets for the Russian Aerospace Forces is to be signed next year, a source in Russia’s aircraft-making industry told TASS on Wednesday.

“In 2020, we plan to sign the second contract to manufacture and deliver 13 Su-57 fighter jets, some of them equipped with the second-stage engines,” he said. “The preliminary timeframe for the new contract is five years.”

The first contract envisages the delivery of two fifth-generation aircraft in 2019-2020.

“In line with the contract signed in 2018, one serial Su-57 jet with first-stage engines will be delivered to the Aerospace Forces this year, the other aircraft featuring the same type of engine – in 2020.”

The aircraft’s manufacturer, the United Aircraft Corporation, refrained from commenting on the report.

The Su-57 is a fifth-generation multirole fighter designed to destroy all types of air targets at long and short ranges and hit enemy ground and naval targets, overcoming its air defense capabilities.

The Su-57 took to the skies for the first time on January 29, 2010. Compared to its predecessors, the Su-57 combines the functions of an attack plane and a fighter jet while the use of composite materials and innovation technologies and the fighter’s aerodynamic configuration ensure the low level of radar and infrared signature.

The aircraft has been successfully tested in Syria.

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