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Vladimir Putin and John Bolton meet to prepare for presidential summit

Warm greetings all around as the the Russian leader and John Bolton get friendly – and get down to business

Seraphim Hanisch

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Russian President Vladimir Putin and US National Security Adviser John Bolton met Wednesday in a preparatory meeting regarding a long-awaited and anticipated summit with President Donald Trump. That summit has been looking more and more likely to happen since the first known reports in The Wall Street Journal on 2 June, and today’s meeting appeared by all accounts to be very positive.

The Washington Post’s Anton Troianovski writes in his report:

Putin warmly greeted Bolton in a grand oval meeting hall at the Kremlin, flanked by statues of Russian czars set before lime-painted walls.

Putin opened the meeting by repeating to Bolton his frequent contention that U.S.-Russian relations are in a poor state in large part because of the domestic political environment in the United States.

“Your visit here to Moscow inspires hope that we will be able to take first steps to restore full-fledged relations between Russia and the United States,” Putin said. “Russia never sought confrontation, and I hope that today we will be able to talk about what we can do from both sides in order to restore full-fledged relations on the foundation of equality and of respect for each other’s interests.”

Bolton in turn said he hoped Russia and the United States could find “areas where we can agree and make progress together.” He quipped that he looked forward to “hearing about how you handled the World Cup so successfully,” drawing a big smile from the Russian president.

“Even in earlier days when our countries had differences, our leaders and their advisers met,” he added. “I think that was good for both countries, good for stability in the world, and President Trump feels very strongly on that subject.”

The Post further reported that Bolton also met with Russian Foreign Defense Minister Sergey Lavrov and Kremlin Foreign Policy Adviser Yuri Ushakov, who with Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu met all together with the Russian President. The Post continued:

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said last week that Trump and Putin will likely meet “in the not too distant future” following Bolton’s visit to Moscow. Russian officials have sought such a meeting for months and have blamed U.S. domestic politics for the difficulty in making it happen. Trump himself has also pushed for a meeting with Putin despite resistance from senior political aides and diplomats.

The Trump-Putin summit would be the first meeting of the two presidents not taking place on the sidelines of a broader international gathering. It would garner intense scrutiny because of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible collusion between Moscow and Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. And it could overshadow the July summit meeting of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, raising fresh questions about Trump’s commitment to America’s traditional alliances.

The Trump-Putin meeting is expected to take place while Trump is in Europe in mid-July. He is scheduled to attend the NATO summit meeting July 11 and 12 in Brussels and to visit Britain on July 13. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov declined to comment on news reports that a Trump-Putin meeting could take place in Vienna or Helsinki.

“We cannot boast about a wealth of bilateral contacts in our bilateral relationship,” Peskov said, describing the purpose of Wednesday’s meetings with Bolton. “Such contacts are used to exchange views on the main problems in international affairs – they are rather clear and obvious – and to discuss the sad state of our bilateral relationship.”

The Russian News Agency TASS had more comments on the meeting:

At the talks, the Russian head of state suggested discussing “what both sides could do to mend full-fledged relations based on equality and respect for each other’s interests.”

Trump’s adviser said he expects to talk with Putin about ways of bolstering Russian-US cooperation in the areas where both sides see eye to eye. Bolton noted that even when Russia and the US had serious differences, the two leaders and their advisers met and this laid the groundwork for ensuring global stability.

Bolton assured Putin that Trump is committed to achieving these goals.

Putin congratulated the United States upon gaining the right to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup and noted that Russia was ready to share its experience in organizing such a sporting event. “I would like to congratulate you upon the United States getting the right to host the FIFA World Cup in 2026,” Putin told Bolton. “For now, we’ve arranged the tournament in the proper fashion. It will be a pleasure for us to share this experience with you.”

Bolton replied that the United States was glad to learn that Russia was so successful in hosting the World Cup.

Tass reported in two parallel pieces that there were apparently two meetings, one lasting for two hours and the other about 90 minutes. According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, the parties discussed Syria, Ukraine and the present state of Russia – US relations.

It was widely hoped in Russia that President Trump’s election would mark a turning point in the worsening bilateral relations between the two countries. Since at least 2014, the Russian Federation has endured constant struggle as Western countries contended that Russia was interfering with Ukrainian sovereignty and acting illegally in the alleged “annexation” of Crimea which also happened in that year.

The withering sanctions, while having some effect on Russia’s ability to engage in commerce with the West, have at the same time galvanized the country‘s support of its own President, who has helped Russia to become much stronger internally and in its economic alliances with China, Saudi Arabia, India and other nations.

Further, the Russian Federation has made massive strides in military hardware, far surpassing Western military technology through the development of hypersonic weapons.

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AM Hants7.62x54rtomDaisy AdlerLinda Wren Recent comment authors
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AM Hants
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AM Hants

Body language, so obvious which one is seriously unimpressed, with good reason.

AM Hants
Guest
AM Hants

Just noticed the faces of Sergei and Sergey. Russia, do not look amused with the irritant.

7.62x54r
Guest
7.62x54r

The white collar temp-worker Bolton does not have the appearance of a stately and intelligent man.

tom
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tom

Make sure you get your pen back, Mr Putin! And remember to count your fingers.

Daisy Adler
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Daisy Adler

Don’t trust this professional warmonger, who wrote:

“If I were doing the Security Council today, I’d have one permanent member, the United States, because that’s the real reflection of the distribution of power in the world. All international laws are invalid, meaningless attempts to constrict American power.”
“Negotiation is not a policy. It’s a technique. It’s something you use when it’s to your advantage, and something that you don’t use when it’s not to your advantage.” – John Bolton

Daisy Adler
Guest
Daisy Adler

In the past, Bolton lied and misquoted president Putin by declaring, “Vladimir Putin called ‘the breakup of the Soviet Union the greatest geopolitical tragedy of the 20th century.”

This is what V.Putin really said, in a speech in 2005:
“We should acknowledge that the collapse of the Soviet Union was a major geopolitical disaster of the century. As for the Russian nation, it became a genuine drama. Tens of millions of our citizens and patriots found themselves outside Russian territory. Moreover, the epidemic of disintegration infected Russia itself.”

Linda Wren
Guest
Linda Wren

Putin is genuine in wanting a better relationship but he’s definitely not stupid. Putin looks like he can’t just believe the bs. Cheesed off you think?

obidiah_slope
Guest
obidiah_slope

Interesting………..

Akit
Guest
Akit

Absolutely amazed to gear the war- mongering walrus being so polite! Quite out of character! Very suspicious.

Ugh...
Guest
Ugh...

US is cancer, stay away.

Lena Jones
Guest
Lena Jones

Putin looks like he needs a peg on the nose to live through the handshake, and Bolton looks like he loves the stink of jewish shit on his mustache.

Ralph Conner
Guest
Ralph Conner

I hope Mr. Putin can sterilize that hand! How embarrassing for our country to be represented by such a degenerate.

IllyaK
Guest
IllyaK

Yosemite Sam is in dire need of a polonium injection.

John Vu
Guest
John Vu

Deepstate puppeteer goes to Moscova.

AM Hants
Guest
AM Hants

Here we go again, Russia World Cup and UN changes? Hope Russia and Syria prevent it.

White Helmets are helping Syrian militants prepare ‘false flag’ chemical attack – Idlib residents
https://www.rt.com/news/431099-white-helmets-false-flag-chemical/

Eggie Offo
Guest
Eggie Offo

The smile on Mr. Putin’s face showed that he was happy to meet Bolton after begging to meet them.

Ronald
Guest
Ronald

NYT has a piece today “A Spymaster Steps Out of The Shadows”, on John Brennan.
A master piece of propaganda, you might almost think he’s a good guy, unless you know better.

Latest

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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