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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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Photos of swastika on Ukrainian mall stairway creates a stir [Video]

Ukrainian nationalist press in damage-control mode to explain away the Nazi sign, but they forgot the name of the street the mall is on.

Seraphim Hanisch

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One of the aspects of news about Ukraine that does not make it past the gatekeepers of the American and Western news media is how a significant contingent of Ukrainian nationalists have espoused a sense of reverence for Nazis. The idea that this could even happen anywhere in the world in an open manner makes the claim seem too absurd to be taken seriously. Gone are the days when the Nazi swastika adorned streets and buildings in Europe. Right?

Well, maybe, wrong.

This was seen in Kyiv’s Gorodok (or Horodok, if you insist) Gallery, a shopping center in that city, located on Bandera Avenue.

The pro-nationalist news service UNIAN wasted no time going to press with their explanation of this incident, which admittedly may be accurate:

Children and teenagers who participated in the All-Ukrainian break dance festival held in the Kyiv-based Gorodok Gallery shopping mall were shocked to see a swastika image projected onto an LED staircase.

The mall administration apologized to visitors, explaining saying that their computer system had apparently been hacked.

“The administration and staff have no relation to whatever was projected onto the LED-staircase, and in no way does it support such [an] act. Now we are actively searching for those involved in the attack,” it said in a statement.

According to Gorodok Gallery’s administrative office, it was not the first time a cyber breach took place.

As reported earlier, Ukraine is believed to be a testing ground for cyberattacks, many of which are launched from Russia. Hackers have earlier targeted critical energy infrastructure, state institutions, banks, and large businesses.

This time, it appears, hackers aimed to feed the Kremlin’s narrative of “Nazis in power in Ukraine” and create a relevant hype-driving viral story for Russian media to spread it worldwide.

The Gorodok Gallery also apologized on its Facebook page and said that this was a result of hacking.

But what about the street that the mall is on? From the self-same Facebook page, this is what we see:


To translate, for those who do not read Ukrainian or Russian, the address says the following:

23 Steven Bandera Prospekt, Kyiv, Ukraine 04073

This street was formerly called “Moscow Avenue.” Big change, as we shall see.

Steven Bandera got his birthday designated as a national holiday in Ukraine last December. He is known in Ukraine’s history for one thing. According to the Jerusalem Post:

The street where the shopping mall is located is named for Stepan Bandera, a Ukrainian nationalist who briefly collaborated with Nazi Germany in its fight against Russia.

His troops are believed to have killed thousands of Jews.

Several Israeli papers picked this bit of news up, and of course, the reasons are understandable. However, for the West, it appears possible that this news event will largely go unnoticed, even by that great nation that is often called “Israel’s proxy”, the United States.

This is probably because for certain people in the US, there is a sense of desperation to mask the nature of events that are happening in Ukraine.

The usual fare of mainstream news for the West probably consists of things like “Putin’s military seizes innocent Ukrainian sailors in Kerch incident” or, “Ukraine’s Orthodox Church declared fully independent by Patriarch of Constantinople” (not that too many Americans know what a Constantinople even is, anyway), but the overriding narrative for the American people about this country is “Ukraine are the good guys, and Russia are the bad guys,” and this will not be pushed aside, even to accommodate the logical grievance of Israel to this incident.

If this article gets to Western papers at all, it will be the UNIAN line they adhere to, that evil pro-Russia hackers caused this stairway to have a swastika to provoke the idea that Ukraine somehow supports Naziism.

But UNIAN neglected to mention that the street name was recently changed to Stephan Bandera (in 2016), and no one appears to have hacked this. Nor does UNIAN talk about the Azov fighters that openly espoused much of the Nazi ideology. For nationalist Ukrainians, this is all for the greater good of getting rid of all things Russia.

A further sad fact about this is the near impossibility of getting assuredly honest and neutral information about this and other similar happenings. Both Ukrainian nationalists and Russian media agencies have dogs in the race, so to speak. They are both personally connected to these events. However, the Russian media cannot be discounted here, because they do offer a witness and perspective, probably the closest to any objective look at what is going on in Ukraine. We include a video of a “torchlight march” that took place in 2017 that featured such hypernationalist activity, which is not reported in the West.

More such reports are available, but this one seemed the best one to summarize the character of what is going on in the country.

While we do not know the motive and identities of whoever programmed the swastika, it cannot really be stated that this was just a random publicity stunt in a country that has no relationship with Nazi veneration.

The street the mall is on bears witness to that.

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Putin: If mid-range missiles deployed in Europe, Russia will station arms to strike decision centers

Putin: If US deploys mid-range missiles in Europe, Russia will be forced to respond.

RT

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Via RT…


If the US deploys intermediate-range missiles in Europe, Moscow will respond by stationing weapons aimed not only against missiles themselves, but also at command and control centers, from which a launch order would come.

The warning came from President Vladimir Putin, who announced Russia’s planned actions after the US withdraws from the INF Treaty – a Cold War-era agreement between Washington and Moscow which banned both sides form having ground-based cruise and ballistic missiles and developing relevant technology.

The US is set to unilaterally withdraw from the treaty in six months, which opens the possibility of once again deploying these missiles in Europe. Russia would see that as a major threat and respond with its own deployments, Putin said.

Intermediate-range missiles were banned and removed from Europe because they would leave a very short window of opportunity for the other side to decide whether to fire in retaliation after detecting a launch – mere minutes. This poses the threat of an accidental nuclear exchange triggered by a false launch warning, with the officer in charge having no time to double check.

“Russia will be forced to create and deploy weapon systems, which can be used not only against the territories from which this direct threat would be projected, but also against those territories where decision centers are located, from which an order to use those weapons against us may come.” The Russian president, who was delivering a keynote address to the Russian parliament on Wednesday, did not elaborate on whether any counter-deployment would only target US command-and-control sites in Europe or would also include targets on American soil.

He did say the Russian weapon system in terms of flight times and other specifications would “correspond” to those targeting Russia.

“We know how to do it and we will implement those plans without a delay once the relevant threats against us materialize,”he said.

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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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