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5 reasons the Malorossiya declaration is a modest proposal that the EU, Russia and US should support

Today’s Malorossiya declaration gives most international parties who are observing the conflict in Donbass, most of what they have wanted for years. On inspection, the proposals are the opposite of radical, they are entirely reasonable. They do not require the Russian Federation to absorb new territory and it would restore human rights in Ukraine/Malorossiya to pre-2014 levels or better.

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Predictable condemnation of the declaration of the state of Malorossiya has come from EU states, the Kiev regime and even Russian officials. But on closer inspection, Malorossiya could be a win-win situation for Europe, Russia, the United States and for the people of Malorossiya.

Here’s why.

1. Malorossiya to remain sovereign from the Russian Federation 

For those who have been following measures that many politicians in Donbass and The Russian Federation have taken to integrate the bureaucratic, financial and logistical ties between Donbass and Russia, today’s announcement does not call for Malorossiya to become part of the Russian Federation.

According to the statement released from Donetsk, Malorossiya is defined in the following way,

“Malorossiya is an INDEPENDENT, SOVEREIGN state with a new name, a new flag, a new constitution, a new state structure, new principles of social and economic development, and new historical prospects. But this is NOT A REVOLUTION! This is a return to history. This is a novelty that restores, not destroys”.

Thus, for those in Russia worried (however inappropriately) about international repercussions from the west about absorbing new territories, the Malorossiya plan, if fully implemented and accepted honestly, would put these questions to rest for the foreseeable future.

While the western powers are resolutely opposed to Russia re-uniting in a formal sense with Donbass or the broader historic territories of Malorossiya and Novorossiya and with the Russian government making no moves to advocate for a larger Russian Federation, such vexed are rendered irrelevant under the new plans from Donetsk.

2. MINSK II Without The Impossible Provisions 

Many of the key elements of the MINSK II agreement that Russia, the EU and US still favour as a settlement to the war in Donbass are actually retained in the Malorossiya declaration.

a. MINSK II calls for a cessation of violence and so does the Malorossiya declaration.

b. MINSK II calls for local control and accountability throughout the present territory of Ukraine and so too would such a thing happen according to the Malorossiya declaration.

c. MINSK II calls for all languages spoken in the territories in question to be respected and so too does the Malorossiya declaration call for full legal status to both Russian and Malorossiyan (aka Ukrainian).

d. MINSK II calls for respect for self-determination in accordance with international law and of course so does the Malorossiya declaration.

The biggest stumbling bloc to the MINSK II agreements is that the current Kiev regime simply does not want to attempt to implement the protocols. There has been no ceasefire, no withdrawal of weapons, no full prison exchange and no movement on laws for local-autonomy, human rights, so-called inter-ethnic rights or language rights. Quite the opposite has happened, regime officials have called for total war and the killing of civilians continues to escalate.

The problem with MINSK II is not that it asks the impossible, the problem is that it asks the rational from a totally irrational regime. It is a problem of personalities and their ideology, not a problem of the content itself. Much of the content of MINSK II which stresses peace and local rule is not only preserved in the Malorossiya declaration but it is actually enhanced. 

3. It accounts for the so-called ‘territorial integrity of Ukraine’

The Malorossiya declaration would see most areas which currently comprise Ukraine remain united or in some cases (Donetsk and Lugansk) become re-united into a single indivisible state. All that would change would be the style of government, the constitution and name of the state. It would literally be a successor state with virtually the same borders.

Even the most ardent Russophobes in the EU often hold their collective noses or look the other way when faced with the fact that the current regime in Kiev is one which promulgates fascist ideology, that which is illegal in many EU states. This the current regime is popular in many EU quarters less because of what it stands for than for what it stands against: good relations with Russia. This is a position which was always financially untenable for both Brussels and Kiev and is increasingly becoming a political headache for the EU which now has its own major crisis of integrity, namely, Brexit.

Likewise, countries have the right to change their name both in war time and in peace time. This for example is why the country still commonly referred to as The Czech Republic prefers to be called Czechia. Sticking with Czechia, this is why when Czechoslovakia spit in 1993, it was called a Velvet Divorce, both countries retain an open border, have good relations and are both part of the European Union.

Without advocating for a position of joining Russia, the Malorossiya declaration allows for the current borders of the state now called Ukraine to be essentially preserved while allowing for the possibility of regions, ostensibly those who reject the Russian heritage of the most of Ukraine, to remain as part of a separate sovereign entity.

This would most likely manifest itself with regions formerly belonging to Poland/Austria and Hungary/Czechoslovakia to remain sovereign states who pursue a different geo-political path from Malorossiya.

If this is what people want and if this is what people vote for, it is called self-determination and this is also part of the MINSK II agreements as well as more importantly, a recognised protocol of international law.

4. A Belorussian Solution (with a bit of pre-coup Ukraine thrown in)

Statements made in support of the Malorossiya declaration specifically mention the Union-State which since 1996 has existed between Russia and Belarus. Under these provisions the states have open borders, a common customs area and cooperate intensively in crucial matters of trade, economics and security.

Both states remain sovereign according to this agreement and both states are entitled to disagreements, a privilege that Belorussian President Alexander Lukashenko has frequently invoked throughout the years.

Had Ukraine’s last legitimate President Viktor Yanukovych not been overthrown, a similar agreement could have well been on the table between Ukraine and Russia. In many ways, as mutual members of the Commonwealth of Independent States, many of the aforementioned realities already existed in respect of Kiev’s pre-2014 relationship with Moscow.

For those concerned about normalcy returning to the region, this is far from a radical proposal in this respect, it is actually simply going back to the last time Ukraine was a semi-stable state prior to 2014.

5. Everything Tolerated Except Fascism 

The Malorossiya declaration tolerates everything that all observers to the conflict could genuinely and reasonably expect from a post-conflict settlement including a commitment to human rights, language rights, the right to an education, the right to democratic self-determination and the right to live in a country with much needed constitutional reforms.

Surely changing a country’s name is less severe than disenfranchising a large portion of the country’s citizens? But in harassing Russian language schools and teachers, in shutting down Orthodox Churches which are part of the Moscow Patriarchate and seizing their property, by prohibiting the use of the Russian language and by shutting down Russian language television, radio and websites (including social media), the current regime is acting in a manner incompatible with normal, modern human rights requirements.

Frankly, if the proposals didn’t come from Donetsk and one read them to a middle-level EU politician, many might find such a politician saying, “It sounds like a revised Ukraine with an acknowledgement of the region’s history without the fascist elements”.

Indeed that is all it is. 

As the declaration says itself,

“…this is NOT A REVOLUTION! This is a return to history. This is a novelty that restores, not destroys”.

One would be hard pressed for a more accurate description of what is being proposed. There will certainly be growing pains along the way, but better to grow in a spirit of refreshed and revitalised peace than to descend into the childish anarchy that is the current Kiev regime.

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Larchmonter445
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Larchmonter445

The proposal is a solution. There are no other solutions.
All it takes is for the US to cease paying for the war.
Will Trump go for this?
It removes the lunatics from the new entity. It will be less corrupt.
However, the American project has been 26 years in process, and it has many authors and many nurturers along the way.

Putin will have to sell it. It didn’t come out of nowhere. It’s the perceptual Gestalt of the present Ukraine. Now a small Donbass embraces most of Ukraine, leaving a small Banderstan for the nazis and NATO.

http://bobbyrettew.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/gestalt-theory.jpg

Punisher 1
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Punisher 1

There are a couple of problems with this solution. I like it myself,and think it should be implemented. But see problems with that implementation. First,The Kiev regime and their Western supporters proclivity for murder. They are sure to try and kill the leaders of this movement. And the fact they have succeeded several times recently to murder officials in Donbass makes me worry they will keep to that path. Had they failed,or suffered harsh reprisals for those killings they would have been deterred from continuing with that policy. But they succeeded,and didn’t face any reprisals because of their crimes. So… Read more »

K Pomeroy
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K Pomeroy

“The problem with MINSK II is not that it asks the impossible, the
problem is that it asks the rational from a totally irrational regime.” Great quote, Adam Garrie!

Isabella Jones
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Isabella Jones

Can someone clear up for me, please, where the Donbass and Lughansk thing fits in here. I see “Donbass” being used to cover both, and then sometimes only part of the region with Lughansk being referred to separately. I’ve been unable to see where they fit with each other for a while now – and am currently no wiser. The map gives me no help as – at least on my pc – it is too blurred to be read.
Assistance anyone??

Peter Hallam
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Peter Hallam

I too would like comment on this. I appreciate that there are two separate regions who are both fighting against what is effectively a NAZI aggressor, but: a) Why are they not cooperating more? b) Why does the Donbass seem to be speaking for Lughansk without them commenting? I’ve read that this declaration was not coordinated with Lughansk? Is this true? Is there any reason that either region would not want to be affiliated with the other even though they are ‘supporting’ each other in the fight against Fascism? FWIW: I really hope this plan works and that the majority… Read more »

Isabella Jones
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Isabella Jones

AGree with you Peter. The Galicians should re-instate the country of Galicia, a sort of enclave of Polish Banderites with some vaguely Ukrainian leanings. They seem to be a bunch of people who feed off hate – they should all get together in a walled off community and left to get on with it.
I remember Dmitry Orlov saying an old Russian curse was ” Go to hell – and take Galicia with you”.

Ivan Grozny
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Ivan Grozny

While I understand there is some confusion – it’s a BIG surprise for most of us – there was some 19 representatives from all over the ‘former’ Ukraine present, when the declaration was made – curious, LPR members was absent (why?? The issue of corruption is larger in Lugansk??). God forbid, this is the start of a ‘two-state solution’ like we see in ‘former’ Palestina. [I mean constant negotiations and no results]

Is this the answer??
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Russian Il-20 downed by Syrian missile. Russia blames Israel. Israel blames Syria (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 110.

Alex Christoforou

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The unthinkable has happened in Syria.

The world now teeters on the brink of all out war in Syria as a Russian Il-20 was downed by Syrian missile after Israeli F-16s used it as cover during attack, according to statements made by the Russian Ministry of Defense.

President Vladimir Putin, answering a reporter’s question during a press conference with Hungarian PM Viktor Orban, said the downing of the Russian Il-20 plane looks like “a chain of tragic circumstances.” 

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the tripwire triggered that has the potential to tip the fragile balance in Syria towards conflict between Russia, Iran and Israel.

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The Russian military says an Israeli raid on Syria triggered a chain of events that led to its Il-20 plane being shot down by a Syrian S-200 surface-to-air missile. Moscow reserves the right to respond accordingly.

Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said…

“Israel did not warn the command of the Russian troops in Syria about the planned operation. We received a notification via a hotline less than a minute before the strike, which did not allow the Russian aircraft to be directed to a safe zone.”

The statement by the Russian Defense Ministry said that four Israeli F-16 fighter jets attacked targets in Syria’s Latakia after approaching from the Mediterranean.

The Israeli warplanes approached at a low altitude and “created a dangerous situation for other aircraft and vessels in the region.”

The statement further said that 15 Russian military service members have died as a result…

“The Israeli pilots used the Russian plane as cover and set it up to be targeted by the Syrian air defense forces. As a consequence, the Il-20, which has radar cross-section much larger than the F-16, was shot down by an S-200 system missile.”

According to reports from RT, the Russian military said that the French Navy’s frigate ‘Auvergne,’ as well as a Russian Il-20 plane were in the area during the Israeli operation.

Map of the incident on September 17 in Syria provided by the Russian defense ministry.

The Russian ministry said the Israelis must have known that the Russian plane was present in the area, but this did not stop them from executing “the provocation.” Israel also failed to warn Russia about the planned operation in advance. The warning came just a minute before the attack started, which “did not leave time to move the Russian plane to a safe area,”the statement said.

The statement gives a larger death toll than earlier reports by the Russian military, which said there were 14 crew members on board the missing Il-20. It said a search and rescue operation for the shot-down plane is underway.

A later update said debris from the downed plane was found some 27km off the Latakia coast. The search party collected some body parts, personal possessions of the crew, and fragments of the plane.

Meanwhile Israel has come out to blame the Syrian government for the downing of the military plane, according to an IDF statement.

Israel said that it “expresses sorrow for the death of the aircrew members” of the Russian plane. However, it stated that the government of Bashar Assad “whose military shot down the Russian plane,” is “fully responsible” for the incident.

Israel further blamed Iran and Hezbollah for the incident.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) explained that its jets were targeting a Syrian facility “from which systems to manufacture accurate and lethal weapons were about to be transferred on behalf of Iran to Hezbollah in Lebanon.”

Israel claimed that the weapons were “meant to attack Israel.”

Via RT

The IDF assumed that the Syrian anti-air batteries “fired indiscriminately” and didn’t “bother to ensure that no Russian planes were in the air.” The Israelis said that when the Syrian military launched the missiles which hit the Russian plane, its own jets were already within Israeli airspace. “During the strike against the target in Latakia, the Russian plane that was then hit was not within the area of the operation.”

According to the Israeli military, both IDF and Russia have “a deconfliction system,” which was agreed upon by the leadership of both states, and “has proven itself many times over recent years.” The system was in use when the incident happened, the IDF stated. The IDF promised to share “all the relevant information” with Russia “to review the incident and to confirm the facts in this inquiry.”

The military presented a four-point initial inquiry into events in Latakia. It insisted that “extensive and inaccurate” Syrian anti-aircraft fire caused the Russian jet “to be hit and downed.”

The Russian Il-20 aircraft, with 15 crew on board, went off radar during an attack by four Israeli jets on Syria’s Latakia province late Monday. Later on Tuesday the Russian Defense Ministry said that an Israeli raid on Syria triggered a chain of events that led to its plane being shot down by a Syrian S-200 surface-to-air missile.

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Trump Orders Immediate Release Of All Text Messages, Carter Page FISA Application From Russia Investigation

Trump has ordered the DOJ to release all text messages related to the Russia investigation with no redactions.

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Via Zerohedge

President Trump has ordered the Department of Justice to release all text messages related to the Russia investigation with no redactions, of former FBI Director James Comey, his deputy Andrew McCabe, now-fired special agent Peter Strzok, former FBI attorney Lisa Page and twice-demoted DOJ official Bruce Ohr.

Also released will be specific pages from the FBI’s FISA surveillance warrant application on former Trump campaign aide Carter Page, as well as interviews with Ohr.

The statement reads in full:

“At the request of a number of committees of Congress, and for reasons of transparency, the President has directed the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Justice (including the FBI) to provide for the immediate declassification of the following materials: (1) pages 10-12 and 17-34 of the June 2017 application to the FISA court in the matter of Carter W. Page; (2) all FBI reports of interviews with Bruce G. Ohr prepared in connection with the Russia investigation; and (3) all FBI reports of interviews prepared in connection with all Carter Page FISA applications.

In addition, President Donald J. Trump has directed the Department of Justice (including the FBI) to publicly release all text messages relating to the Russia investigation, without redaction, of James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, and Bruce Ohr

***

As we reported last Monday, Trump had been expected to release the documents any time – with specific attention to the Page documents and the “investigative activities of Justice Department lawyer Bruce Ohr” – who was demoted twice for lying about his extensive relationship  with Christopher Steele – the former MI6 spy who assembled the sham “Steele Dossier” used by the FBI in a FISA surveillance application to spy on Page.

Republicans on the House Intelligence and Judiciary committees believe the declassification will permanently taint the Trump-Russia investigation by showing the investigation was illegitimate to begin with. Trump has been hammering the same theme for months.

  • They allege that Bruce Ohr played an improper intermediary role between the Justice Department, British spy Christopher Steele and Fusion GPS — the opposition research firm that produced the Trump-Russia dossier, funded by Democrats. (Ohr’s wife, Nellie, worked for Fusion GPS on Russia-related matters during the presidential election — a fact that Ohr did not disclose on federal forms.)
  • And they further allege that the Obama administration improperly spied on Carter Page — all to take down Trump. –Axios

Ohr, meanwhile, met with Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska in 2015 to discuss helping the FBI with organized crime investigations, according to The Hill‘s John Solomon. The meeting with the Putin ally was facilitated by Steele.

Last month Trump called Ohr a disgrace, while also tweeting: “Will Bruce Ohr, whose family received big money for helping to create the phony, dirty and discredited Dossier, ever be fired from the Jeff Sessions  “Justice” Department? A total joke!”

Trump’s threat came one day after two tweets about Ohr, noting a connection to former FBI agent Peter Strzok, as well as a text sent by Ohr after former FBI Director James Comey was fired in which Ohr says “afraid they will be exposed.”

According to emails turned over to Congressional investigators in August, Christopher Steele was much closer to Bruce Ohr and his wife Nellie than previously disclosed.

Steele and the Ohrs would have breakfast together on July 30, 2016 at the Mayflower Hotel in downtown Washington D.C., days after Steele turned in installments of his infamous “dossier” on July 19 and 26. The breakfast also occurred one day before the FBI formally launched operation “Crossfire Hurricane,” the agency’s counterintelligence operation into the Trump campaign.

“Great to see you and Nellie this morning Bruce,” Steele wrote shortly following their breakfast meeting. “Let’s keep in touch on the substantive issues/s (sic). Glenn is happy to speak to you on this if it would help.”

“After two years of investigations and accusations from both sides of the aisle about what documents indicate, it is past time for documents to be declassified and let the American people decide for themselves if DoJ and FBI acted properly,” Freedom Caucus chairman Mark Meadows told Axios earlier Sunday.

In early August, journalist Paul Sperry tweeted that Trump may use his presidential authority to declassify “20 redacted pages of a June, 2017 FISA renewal, “and possibly” 63 pages of emails and notes between “Ohr & Steele,” and FD-302 summaries of 12 interviews.”

President Trump threatened to declassify documents two weeks ago – one day after the New York Times allegedly published an anonymous Op-Ed claiming to be from a White House official claiming to be part of an unelected “resistance” cabal within the Trump administration.

“The Deep State and the Left, and their vehicle, the Fake News Media, are going Crazy – & they don’t know what to do,” Trump tweeted earlier this month, adding: “The Economy is booming like never before, Jobs are at Historic Highs, soon TWO Supreme Court Justices & maybe Declassification to find Additional Corruption. Wow!”

Trump’s threat comes as calls by frustrated GOP legislators to release the documents have hit a fevered pitch. Spearheading the effort are Republican Reps. Meadows, Jim Jordan, Matt Gaetz and Lee Zeldin – who have repeatedly asked Trump to declassify more of the heavily redacted FISA surveillance warrant on former Trump campaign aide Carter Page in late 2016.

In June, Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee asked President Trump to declassify key sections of Carter Page’s FISA warrant application, according to a letter obtained by Fox News.

Carter Page, the DOJ/FBI’s person of interest, weighed in on the matter in late August, tweeting: “The Corrupt DOJ, co-conspirators in the DNC and their high-priced consultants correctly believed they had American democracy and the FISA Court over a barrel in 2016.”

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De-Dollarization Tops Agenda at Russia’s Eastern Economic Forum

The Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) was held in Vladivostok on Sept.11-13. Founded in 2015, the event has become a platform for planning and launching projects to strengthen business ties in the Asia-Pacific region.

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Via Strategic Culture

This year, the EEF brought together delegations from over 60 countries to discuss the topic “The Far East: Expanding the Range of Possibilities”. A total of 100 business events involving over 6,000 participants were held during the three days.

1,357 media personnel worked to cover the forum. Last year, the number of participants was 5,000 with 1,000 media persons involved in reporting and broadcasting. The EEF-18 gathered 340 foreign and 383 Russian CEOs. Nearly 80 start-ups from across South-East Asia joined the meeting.

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This year, a total of 175 agreements worth of 2.9 trillion rubles (some $4.3 billion) were signed. For comparison, the sum was 2.5 trillion rubles (roughly $3.7 billion) in 2017.

They included the development of the Baimsky ore deposits in Chukotka, the construction of a terminal for Novatek LNG at Bechevinskaya Bay in Kamchatka and the investment of Asian countries in Russia’s agricultural projects in the Far East.

Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), Mail.Ru Group, Megafon and Chinese Alibaba inked an agreement on establishing AliExpress trade joint venture. Rosneft and Chinese CNPC signed an oil exploration agreement.

The Chinese delegation was the largest (1,096 people), followed by the Japanese (570 members). The list of guests included the president of Mongolia and prime ministers of Japan and South Korea.

It was also the first time Chinese President Xi Jinping attended the event to meet his Russian counterpart. The issue of de-dollarization topped the agenda. Russia and China reaffirmed their interest in expanding the use of national currencies in bilateral deals.

During the forum, Kirill Dmitriev, the head of RDIF, said the fund intends to use only national currencies in its transactions with China starting from 2019. It will cooperate with the China Development Bank.

This “yuanification” is making visible progress with Shanghai crude futures increasing their share of oil markets up to 14 percent or even more. China has signed agreements with Canada and Qatar on national currencies exchange.

READ MORE: Eastern Economic Forum opens new chapter in US-Russia dialogue

De-dollarization is a trend that is picking up momentum across the world. A growing number of countries are interested in replacing the dollar. Russia is leading the race to protect itself from fluctuations, storms and US-waged trade wars and sanctions.

Moscow backs non-dollar trade with Ankara amid the ongoing lira crisis. Turkey is switching from the dollar to settlements in national currencies, including its trade with China and other countries. Ditching the US dollar is the issue topping the BRICS agenda. In April, Iran transferred all international payments to the euro.

The voices calling for de-dollarization are getting louder among America’s closest European allies. In August, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas called for the creation of a new payments system independent of the US.

According to him, Europe should not allow the United States to act “over our heads and at our expense.” The official wants to strengthen European autonomy by establishing independent payment channels, creating a European Monetary Fund and building up an independent SWIFT system.

Presenting his annual program, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker called on Sept. 12 for the European Union to promote the euro as a global currency to challenge the dollar.

According to him, “We must do more to allow our single currency to play its full role on the international scene.” Mr. Juncker believes “it is absurd that Europe pays for 80 percent of its energy import bill – worth 300 billion euros a year – in US dollars when only roughly 2 percent of our energy imports come from the United States.” He wants the raft of proposals made in his state of the union address to start being implemented before the European Parliament elections in May.

70% of all world trade transactions account for the dollar, while 20% are  settled in the euro, and the rest falls on the yuan and other Asian currencies. The dollar value is high to make the prices of consumer goods in the US artificially low. The demand for dollars allows refinancing the huge debt at low interest rates. The US policy of trade wars and sanctions has triggered the global process of de-dollarization.

Using punitive measures as a foreign policy tool is like shooting oneself in the foot. It prompts a backlash to undermine the dollar’s status as the world reserve currency – the basis of the US economic might. The aggressive policy undermines the US world standing to make it weaker, not stronger.

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