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The complicated and dangerous geopolitics of Kosovo

Under the mask of the separation of Serbs and Albanians, Vucic wants to execute an open treason that violates the Constitution that he is obliged to protect.

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The ethnic demarcation that is promoted by Serbian president Aleksandar Vucic, between Serbs and Albanians is just another name for the creation of Greater Albania. Vucic statements and spinnings of the necessity for the “demarcation” between Serbia and Kosovo caused shock among Serbs. Most of his political life, Vucic advocated for a Greater Serbia, but with coming to power, things changed. Against his demarcation is virtually the entirety of Serbia…from experts, to the pillar and base of Serbia, and throughout the history of the Serbian Orthodox Church.

A few years ago, I wrote in my analytical column that Vucic came to power with the help of the Atlanticists, and that in accordance with that, his policy would be treacherous. I did not make a mistake. Now we are presenting the final act of betrayal. In announcements, Serbia would establish sovereignty in the north of Kosovo, provide guarantees for Serbs, and for the Serbian Orthodox Church south of the Ibar River and Serbia would be on an accelerated path to the EU.

The division of Kosovo would mean the redrawing of borders in the Balkans. Under the mask of the separation of Serbs and Albanians, Vucic wants to execute an open treason and violates the Constitution that he is obliged to protect. Although the Treaty of Brussels, signed in 2012, stipulates that Kosovo Serbs receive the Community of Serb Municipalities (ZSO), Pristina has obstructed this part of the agreement for many years, now it has unequivocally rejected it. The Kosovo Albanians clearly said they don’t want the community of Serb municipalities because they don’t want to have Kosovo’s Republic of Srpska.

Changing the “boundaries” would mean that a part of the majority Serb north of Kosovo will become an integral part of Serbia, while parts of southern Serbia with the Albanian majority, municipalities Preševo and Bujanovac will be given to Kosovo. However, by such a solution, the majority of Kosovo Serbs (about 80,000 people) and the monasteries of the Serbian Orthodox Church would remain under the authority of Kosovo, which would surely trigger a new mass exodus in the region. Serbs from Kosovo would de facto disappear; those north of the Ibar river and those south of the Ibar river.

As the abbot of Serbian Orthodox Church monastery Visoki Decani Sava Janjic writes, this ethnic cleansing of Serbs would occur under the direction of President Vucic himself.  The most fateful would be the fate of the Serbs south of the Ibar river, because they would immediately begin to emigrate. Since the issue of Kosovo for the international community would be solved, this fate would be awaiting the Serbian Orthodox Church.

The Albanians would find a way to take away the Serbian monasteries which were built in the Middle Ages. The best example for this is Montenegro, where after the separation from Serbia, the Government of Montenegro performed an open persecution of the Serbian Orthodox Church. The Montenegrin police even forbade the Serbian Orthodox Church from serving in some churches, while announcing a new law according to which all churches and monasteries of the Serbian Orthodox Church would be seized and be under the jurisdiction of the Montenegrin Government.

On the announcement of this shameful act of law, the EU and US are silent. Serbs north of the Ibar, as soon as they become an official part of Serbia, would no longer be important to the official Belgrade. Which means the cessation of economic aid, and therefore the beginning of the accelerated emigration. This would result in the fact that the Serbs would almost disappear in Kosovo. The separation of Montenegro (2006) from the state union with Serbia and the proclamation of Kosovo’s independence (2007) has changed the geopolitical relations in the region. Namely, the territorial “narrowing down” of Serbia has significantly weakened its influence on neighboring countries. In line with that is Vucic’s policy of demarcation with the Albanians.

One of the main reasons why Serbian president Aleksandar Vucic publicly insists on demarcation is due to the entry of Serbia into the EU. However, what the European Union brought to the neighbors of Serbia, is best seen throughout Croatia. Geopolitically speaking, the European Union has destroyed Croatia. Because of the possibility of free travel and work in EU, there is an exodus in Croatia. Croatia has already decreased below 4 million inhabitants. And, according to estimates, if nothing changes, in 2030 will have less than 3 million inhabitants. In addition, Serbia would need to coordinate its foreign policy with the EU, which means it would impose sanctions against Russia.

The term “division of Kosovo” and “the demarcation between Serbs and Albanians” is deliberately imposed and almost turned into everyday life in Serbia. The true and only true term is in fact the division of Serbia. Because the withdrawal and the voluntary giving of state territory does not lead to peace, it’s precisely the opposite. It’s enough to look at the history of the Balkans , to realize and understand that with this Vucic‘s proposal pandora’s box will be opened. Because as soon as Serbia would agreed to the division with the Albanians, the Republika Srpska would soon be “on the table”, then the Serbian province of Vojvodina and the Sandzak region. This would result in the geopolitical capitulation of Serbia. The only logical policy on Kosovo is a frozen conflict policy. Serbia, as the strongest military force in the Western Balkans, should adhere to United Nations Resolution 1244 and wait for changes on the world political scene.

Albanian gain from the division

Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama presented the idea of a joint foreign and security policy of Albania and Kosovo, joint diplomatic missions, as well as the election of a joint president last year in the Kosovo Parliament. Relations between Kosovo and Albania are already very intertwined in various fields of political, economic and cultural cooperation, with virtually no border between the two countries.

Rama has also announced the creation of a unified educational system, as well as a unified common market without restrictions and customs. NATO and EU membership for the Albanian/Kosovo political elite is, in fact, the only possible, and therefore very logical way to achieve their own historical goals – the unification of national territories.

The plan has several phases – the first is certainly the unification of Albania with Kosovo. That is impossible to do, unless Serbia renounces Kosovo, something that unfortunately it is now doing under the Serbian president, and under the pretext of the separation of Serbs and Albanians. It is here that we can see the extent of treason trying to be executed by Aleksandar Vucic, because without Kosovo, Greater Albania project is impossible.

If Vucic’s plan for “demarcation” passes, we would soon have attempts to divide Macedonia, followed by the integration of Albanians in Montenegro. Recently in the capital of Montenegro Podgorica, the city municipality of Tuzi with the Albanian majority became an independent municipality. The northern part of Greece is the last in line. It is important to emphasize that the main sponsors of the project of a Greater Albania are US and United Kingdom.

Russian red line

Serbia and Republika Srpska are today the only real Russian allies in Balkans. Serbia is the only state in the Balkans where the Russian army can conduct military exercises, and where Russia has a humanitarian center in strategically important city of Niš.

A recent statement by Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic that “we will be for a million less if we do not solve the Kosovo knot”, is shameful, but speaks enough. Kosovo has nothing to do with the economic development of Serbia. The main problem of the weakness of the Serbian economy is poor economic policy, as well as corruption and crime. The person most responsible for this is Aleksandar Vucic.

Since coming to power, Vucic fully meets the Atlanticist’s requirements, except one, entry into NATO. However, after the “separation” with Albanians, all preconditions for the Serbian entry into NATO will be complete. We should not be surprised if Vucic than declares that “if Serbia does not become a NATO member, it will be smaller by one million.”

With the membership of Croatia and Albania (2009), and Montenegro (2017) into the NATO alliance, the United States has in terms of security “almost rounded off” the space of the Western Balkans, which is geopolitically important for the control of the Adriatic basin, the eastern Mediterranean, and the Black Sea region. Besides Serbia, still there still remains Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina outside of NATO.

Bosnia is very important because it has a small exit to the Adriatic, therefore it is the only part of the Adriatic, which is not under NATO control. The only one who prevents the entry of Bosnia and Herzegovina in NATO, for now, is Republic of Srpska. According to some sources close to Vucic we can already hear that Serbia should accept reality on the occasion of NATO, because Serbia is surrounded by NATO.

If Russia allows Vucic to implement the “separation” with Kosovo, then Kosovo (either independently or as part of Albania), as well as Serbia will become part of NATO.  After that, there will be no space for Russia in the Balkans. Therefore, Russia should act preventively, and make it clear that no demarcation will be given to the Kosovo issue, and that the issue of Kosovo must be resolved in accordance with UN resolution 1244.

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Understanding the Holodomor and why Russia says nothing

A descendant of Holodomor victims takes the rest of us to school as to whether or not Russia needs to shoulder the blame.

Seraphim Hanisch

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One of the charges that nationalist Ukrainians often lodge against their Russian neighbors is that the Russian government has never acknowledged or formally apologized to Ukraine for the “Holodomor” that took place in Ukraine in 1932-1933. This was a man-made famine that killed an estimated seven to 10 million Ukrainians , though higher estimates claim 12.5 million and lower ones now claim 3.3 million.

No matter what the total was, it amounts to a lot of people that starved to death. The charge that modern-day Russia ought to apologize for this event is usually met with silence, which further enrages those Ukrainians that believe that this issue must be resolved by the Russian acknowledgement of responsibility for it. Indeed, the prime charge of these Ukrainians is that the Russians committed a genocide against the Ukrainian people. This is a claim Russia denies.

To the outside observer who does not know this history of Russia and Ukraine’s relationship, and who does not know or understand the characteristics of the Soviet Union, this charge seems as simple and laid out as that of the Native Americans or the blacks demanding some sort of recompense or restitution for the damages inflicted on these societies through conquest and / or slavery. But we discovered someone who had family connections involved in the Holodomor, and who offers her own perspective, which is instructive in why perhaps the Russian Federation does not say anything about this situation.

Scene in Kharkiv with dead from the famine 1932-33 lying along the street.

The speaker is Anna Vinogradova, a Russian Israeli-American, who answered the question through Quora of “Why doesn’t Russia recognize the Holodomor as a genocide?” She openly admits that she speaks only for herself, but her answer is still instructive. We offer it here, with some corrections for the sake of smooth and understandable English:

I can’t speak for Russia and what it does and doesn’t recognize. I can speak for myself.

I am a great-granddaughter of a “Kulak” (кулак), or well-to-do peasant, who lived close to the Russia/Ukraine border.

The word “кулак” means “fist” in Russian, and it wasn’t a good thing for a person to be called by this label. A кулак was an exploiter of peasants and a class enemy of the new state of workers and poor peasants. In other words, while under Communism, to be called a кулак was to bring a death sentence upon yourself.

At some point, every rural class enemy, every peasant who wasn’t a member of a collective farm was eliminated one way or another.

Because Ukraine has very fertile land and the Ukrainian style of agriculture often favors individual farms as opposed to villages, there is no question that many, many Ukrainian peasants were considered class enemies like my great grandfather, and eliminated in class warfare.

I have no doubt that class warfare included starvation, among other things.

The catch? My great grandfather was an ethnic Russian living in Russia. What nationality were the communists who persecuted and eventually shot him? They were of every nationality there was (in the Soviet Union), and they were led by a Ukrainian, who was taking orders from a Georgian.

Now, tell me, why I, a descendant of an unjustly killed Russian peasant, need to apologize to the descendants of the Ukrainians who killed him on the orders of a Georgian?

What about the Russian, Kazakh golodomor (Russian rendering of the same famine)? What about the butchers, who came from all ethnicities? Can someone explain why it’s only okay to talk about Ukrainian victims and Russian persecutors? Why do we need to rewrite history decades later to convert that brutal class war into an ethnic war that it wasn’t?

Ethnic warfare did not start in Russia until after WWII, when some ethnicities were accused of collaboration with the Nazis and brutal group punishments were implemented. It was all based on class up to that time.

The communists of those years were fanatically internationalist. “Working people of all countries, unite!” was their slogan and they were fanatical about it.

As for the crimes of Communism, Russia has been healing this wound for decades, and Russia’s government has made its anticommunist position very clear.

This testimony is most instructive. First, it points out information that the charge of the Holodomor as “genocide!” neatly leaves out. In identifying the internationalist aspects of the Soviet Union, Ukraine further was not a country identified as somehow worthy of genocidal actions. Such a thought makes no sense, especially given the great importance of Ukraine as the “breadbasket” of the Soviet Union, which it was.

Secondly, it shows a very western-style of “divide to conquer” with a conveniently incendiary single-word propaganda tool that is no doubt able to excite any Ukrainian who may be neutral to slightly disaffected about Russia, and then after that, all Ukrainians are now victims of the mighty evil overlords in Moscow.

How convenient is this when the evil overlords in Kyiv don’t want their citizens to know what they are doing?

We saw this on Saturday – taken to a very high peak when President Petro Poroshenko announced the new leading “Hierarch” of the “Ukrainian National Church” and said not one single word about Christ, but only:

“This day will go down in history as the day of the creation of an autocephalous Orthodox church in Ukraine… This is the day of the creation of the church as an independent structure… What is this church? It is a church without Putin. It is a church without Kirill, without prayer for the Russian authorities and the Russian army.”

But as long as Russia is made the “problem”, millions of scandalized Ukrainians will not care what this new Church actually does or teaches, which means it is likely to teach just about anything.

Russia had its own Holodomor. The history of the event shows that this was a result of several factors – imposed socialist economics on a deeply individualized form of agrarian capitalism (bad for morale and worse for food production), really inane centralized planning of cropland use, and a governmental structure that really did not exist to serve the governed, but to impose an ideology on people who really were not all that interested in it.

Personal blame might well lay with Stalin, a Georgian, but the biggest source of the famine lay in the structures imposed under communism as a way of economic strategy. This is not Russia’s fault. It is the economic model that failed.

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Mueller Finally Releases Heavily Redacted Key Flynn Memo On Eve Of Sentencing

Alex Christoforou

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Via Zerohedge


Having initially snubbed Judge Emmet Sullivan’s order to release the original 302 report from the Michael Flynn interrogation in January 2017, Special Counsel Robert Mueller has finally produced the heavily redacted document, just hours before sentencing is due to be handed down.

The memo  – in full below – details then-national security adviser Michael Flynn’s interview with FBI agents Peter Strzok and Joe Pientka, and shows Flynn was repeatedly asked about his contacts with former Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak and in each instance, Flynn denied (or did not recall) any such conversations.

The agents had transcripts of Flynn’s phone calls to Russian Ambassador Kislyak, thus showing Flynn to be lying.

Flynn pleaded guilty guilty last December to lying to the FBI agents about those conversations with Kislyak.

The redactions in the document seem oddly placed but otherwise, there is nothing remarkable about the content…

Aside from perhaps Flynn’s incredulity at the media attention…

Flynn is set to be sentenced in that federal court on Tuesday.

Of course, as Christina Laila notes, the real crime is that Flynn was unmasked during his phone calls to Kislyak and his calls were illegally leaked by a senior Obama official to the Washington Post.

*  *  *

Full document below…

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Don’t Laugh : It’s Giving Putin What He Wants

The fact of the matter is that humorous lampooning of western establishment Russia narratives writes itself.

Caitlin Johnstone

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Authored by Caitlin Johnstone:


The BBC has published an article titled “How Putin’s Russia turned humour into a weapon” about the Kremlin’s latest addition to its horrifying deadly hybrid warfare arsenal: comedy.

The article is authored by Olga Robinson, whom the BBC, unhindered by any trace of self-awareness, has titled “Senior Journalist (Disinformation)”. Robinson demonstrates the qualifications and acumen which earned her that title by warning the BBC’s audience that the Kremlin has been using humor to dismiss and ridicule accusations that have been leveled against it by western governments, a “form of trolling” that she reports is designed to “deliberately lower the level of discussion”.

“Russia’s move towards using humour to influence its campaigns is a relatively recent phenomenon,” Robinson explains, without speculating as to why Russians might have suddenly begun laughing at their western accusers. She gives no consideration to the possibility that the tightly knit alliance of western nations who suddenly began hysterically shrieking about Russia two years ago have simply gotten much more ridiculous and easier to make fun of during that time.

Couldn’t possibly have anything to do with the emergence of a demented media environment wherein everything around the world from French protests to American culture wars to British discontent with the European Union gets blamed on Russia without any facts or evidence. Wherein BBC reporters now correct guests and caution them against voicing skepticism of anti-Russia narratives because the UK is in “an information war” with that nation. Wherein the same cable news Russiagate pundit can claim that both Rex Tillerson’s hiring and his later firing were the result of a Russian conspiracy to benefit the Kremlin. Wherein mainstream outlets can circulate blatantly false information about Julian Assange and unnamed “Russians” and then blame the falseness of that reporting on Russian disinformation. Wherein Pokemon Go, cutesy Facebook memes and $4,700 in Google ads are sincerely cited as methods by which Hillary Clinton’s $1.2 billion presidential campaign was outdone. Wherein conspiracy theories that Putin has infiltrated the highest levels of the US government have been blaring on mainstream headline news for two years with absolutely nothing to show for it to this day.

Nope, the only possibility is that the Kremlin suddenly figured out that humor is a thing.

The fact of the matter is that humorous lampooning of western establishment Russia narratives writes itself. The hypocrisy is so cartoonish, the emotions are so breathlessly over-the-top, the stories so riddled with plot holes and the agendas underlying them so glaringly obvious that they translate very easily into laughs. I myself recently authored a satire piece that a lot of people loved and which got picked up by numerous alternative media outlets, and all I did was write down all the various escalations this administration has made against Russia as though they were commands being given to Trump by Putin. It was extremely easy to write, and it was pretty damn funny if I do say so myself. And it didn’t take any Kremlin rubles or dezinformatsiya from St Petersburg to figure out how to write it.

“Ben Nimmo, an Atlantic Council researcher on Russian disinformation, told the BBC that attempts to create funny memes were part of the strategy as ‘disinformation for the information age’,” the article warns. Nimmo, ironically, is himself intimately involved with the British domestic disinformation firm Integrity Initiative, whose shady government-sponsored psyops against the Labour Party have sparked a national scandal that is likely far from reaching peak intensity.

“Most comedy programmes on Russian state television these days are anodyne affairs which either do not touch on political topics, or direct humour at the Kremlin’s perceived enemies abroad,” Robinson writes, which I found funny since I’d just recently read an excellent essay by Michael Tracey titled “Why has late night swapped laughs for lusting after Mueller?”

“If the late night ‘comedy’ of the Trump era has something resembling a ‘message,’ it’s that large segments of the nation’s liberal TV viewership are nervously tracking every Russia development with a passion that cannot be conducive to mental health – or for that matter, political efficacy,” Tracey writes, documenting numerous examples of the ways late night comedy now has audiences cheering for a US intelligence insider and Bush appointee instead of challenging power-serving media orthodoxies as programs like The Daily Show once did.

If you wanted the opposite of “anodyne affairs”, it would be comedians ridiculing the way all the establishment talking heads are manipulating their audiences into supporting the US intelligence community and FBI insiders. It would be excoriating the media environment in which unfathomably powerful world-dominating government agencies are subject to less scrutiny and criticism than a man trapped in an embassy who published inconvenient facts about those agencies. It certainly wouldn’t be the cast of Saturday Night Live singing “All I Want for Christmas Is You” to a framed portrait if Robert Mueller wearing a Santa hat. It doesn’t get much more anodyne than that.

Russia makes fun of western establishment narratives about it because those narratives are so incredibly easy to make fun of that they are essentially asking for it, and the nerdy way empire loyalists are suddenly crying victim about it is itself more comedy. When Guardian writer Carole Cadwalladr began insinuating that RT covering standard newsworthy people like Julian Assange and Nigel Farage was a conspiracy to “boost” those people for the advancement of Russian agendas instead of a news outlet doing the thing that news reporting is, RT rightly made fun of her for it. Cadwalladr reacted to RT’s mockery with a claim that she was a victim of “attacks”, instead of the recipient of perfectly justified ridicule for circulating an intensely moronic conspiracy theory.

Ah well. People are nuts and we’re hurtling toward a direct confrontation with a nuclear superpower. Sometimes there’s nothing else to do but laugh. As Wavy Gravy said, “Keep your sense of humor, my friend; if you don’t have a sense of humor it just isn’t funny anymore.”

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