This post first appeared on Russia Insider
RUSSIAN FEDERATION SITREP 12 March 2015
A SPLIT AT LAST? Many of us have been wondering how much longer Europe will harm and abase itself in Washington's service. Has the crack finally opened? You must read this: Der Spiegel, quoting the German Chancellery, is saying that NATO and Washington are lying. “German leaders in Berlin were stunned. They didn't understand what Breedlove was talking about. And it wasn't the first time.” “The German government is alarmed. Are the Americans trying to thwart European efforts at mediation led by Chancellor Angela Merkel? Sources in the Chancellery have referred to Breedlove's comments as 'dangerous propaganda'.” “No wonder, then, that people in Berlin have the impression that important power brokers in Washington are working against the Europeans”. The EU foreign policy chief says the EU will not allow itself to be dragged into confrontation with Moscow. Rather late but welcome nevertheless. Perhaps this explains why Washington took its first step to de-escalate by postponing sending troops to Ukraine. In Washington's war against Russia, it's Europe that is paying and, should fighting spread out of Ukraine, it is where it will be fought.
MORE DE-ESCALATION? Zbigniew Brzezinski (“without Ukraine, Russia ceases to be a Eurasian empire”) now says Washington should assure Moscow that Ukraine will never be in NATO. Of course NATO and the EU are already pretty tightly joined (more tightly than people realise) but that's something.
NEMTSOV MURDER. The official story, never particularly convincing, has taken another hit. Sputnik reports the chair of the Moscow Public Oversight Commission says neither suspect has admitted involvement and the Russian Presidential Human Rights Council wonders whether the earlier confession was beaten out of them. The Saker is also unconvinced.
HOW STUPID DO THEY THINK WE ARE? NATO which claims to see Russian tanks crossing the border, admits “it’s unclear to what destination” weapons withdrawn according to the Minsk provisions have been moved to. Is this ignorance an indication that Kiev is indeed faking the pullback, or is NATO, as the Germans say, just making everything up?
MH17. Remember MH17? World's biggest story until suddenly it wasn't? Coverup says a Dutch reporter. (Video). No evidence of a Buk, but plenty of evidence of air-to-air missiles and cannon shots in the wreckage. Maybe that's why we hear so little about it.
CORRUPTION. The Governor of Sakhalin has been arrested on suspicion of involvement in a bribery scandal connected with a contract bid.
HMMM. Remember that story about the Russian aircraft shutting down the USS Donald Cook? I didn't take it seriously until I read that a Russian company delivered the first of its helicopter-mounted jamming systems to the Russian Armed Forces. Add in stories of submarines “sinking” carriers... Take carriers and Aegis out of the US surface fleet and all you have are expensive targets.
CRIMEA. The former Japanese PM visited Crimea and says what he saw there convinced him that the secession referendum reflected popular will. Two polls agree with him. Here is some background on Crimea-in-Ukraine: many votes to get out. By the way, Catherine did not “conquer” or “acquire” Crimea in 1792; lost to the Mongols five and a half centuries earlier, she re-acquired it. Ditto Novorossiya.
NEW NWO. Chinese have a liking for enigmatic and poetical statements. But Washington is so bound up in talking to itself that it doesn't hear. So the Chinese Ambassador to Belgium put it a bit more bluntly: Washington's involvement in Ukraine could "become a distraction in its foreign policy... The United States is unwilling to see its presence in any part of the world being weakened, but the fact is its resources are limited, and it will be to some extent hard work to sustain its influence in external affairs.” Russia is working on its alternative to SWIFT and Beijing says its will be in place by the end of the year.
IMPERIAL OVERSTRETCH. Venezuela is now a threat to the USA. How many is that now? “During the fiscal year that ended on September 30, 2014, U.S. Special Operations forces (SOF) deployed to 133 countries”. Resources “limited”, “to some extent hard work to sustain”, “distraction to foreign policy”.
UKRAINE BOWS TO IMF. A leaked document tells us it's the usual “austerity package”: big increases in energy prices, 20% cut in state employees, reduction in schools, retirement age increased and so on. The usual results and misery will follow and, when Ukraine has been asset-stripped, the apology.
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