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The United States has just made an exceptionally dangerous, even reckless decision over Ukraine. Mikhail Gorbachev, the Soviet leader who ended the Cold War, warns it may lead to a nuclear confrontation with Russia.

Rule number one of geopolitics: nuclear-armed powers must never, ever fight.

Yet Washington just announced that by spring, it will deploy unspecified numbers of military “trainers” to Ukraine to help build Kiev’s ramshackle national guard. Also being sent are significant numbers of US special heavy, mine resistant armored vehicles that have been widely used in Afghanistan and Iraq. The US and Poland are currently covertly supplying Ukraine with some weapons.

The US soldiers will just be for training, and the number of GI’s will be modest, claim US military sources. Of course. Just like those small numbers of American “advisors” and “trainers” in Vietnam that eventually grew to 550,000. Just as there are now US special forces in over 100 countries. We call it “mission creep.”

The war-craving neocons in Washington and their allies in Congress and the Pentagon have long wanted to pick a fight with Russia and put it in its place for daring to oppose US policies against Iran, Syria and Palestine. What neocons really care about is the Mideast.

Some neocon fantasies call for breaking up the Russian Federation into small, impotent parts. Many Russians believe this is indeed Washington’s grand strategy, mixing military pressure on one hand and social media subversion on the other, aided by Ukrainian oligarchs and rightists. A massive propaganda campaign is underway, vilifying Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin as “the new Hitler.”

Back to eastern Ukraine. You don’t have to be a second Napoleon to see how a big war could erupt.

Ukrainian National Guard forces, stiffened by American “volunteers” and “private contractors,” and led by US special forces, get in a heavy fire fight with pro-Russian separatist forces. Washington, whose military forces are active in the Mideast, Central America, the Philippines, Africa, Afghanistan, Pakistan, South Korea, has been blasting Moscow for allegedly sending some 9,000 soldiers into neighboring Ukraine.

The Americans, who have never been without total air superiority since the 1950’s Korean War, call in US and NATO air support. Pro-Russian units, backed by Russian military forces just across the border, will reply with heavy rocket fire and salvos of anti-aircraft missiles. Both sides will take heavy casualties and rush in reinforcements.

Does anyone think the Russians, who lost close to 40 million soldiers and civilians in World War II, won’t fight to defend their Motherland?

Heavy conventional fighting could quickly lead to commanders calling for tactical nuclear strikes delivered by aircraft and missiles. This was a constant fear in nearly all NATO v Warsaw Pact Cold War scenarios – and the very good reason that both sides avoided direct confrontation and confined themselves to using proxy forces.

Tactical nuclear strikes can lead to strategic strikes, then intercontinental attacks. In a nuclear confrontation, as in naval battles, he who fires first has a huge advantage.

“We can’t allow Russia to keep Crimea,” goes another favorite neocon mantra. Why not? Hardly any Americans could even find Crimea on a map.

ORDER IT NOW

Crimea belonged to Russia for over 200 years. I’ve been all over the great Russian naval base at Sevastopol. It became part of Ukraine when Kiev declared independence in 1991, but the vital base was always occupied and guarded by Russia’s military. Ukrainians were a minority in the Crimea – whose original Tatar inhabitants were mostly ethnically cleansed by Stalin. Most of those Russian troops who supposedly “invaded” Ukraine actually came from the giant Sevastopol base, which was under joint Russian and Ukrainian sovereignty.

Only fools and the ignorant can have believed that tough Vlad Putin would allow Ukraine’s new rightist regime to join NATO and hand one of Russia’s most vital bases and major exit south to the western alliance.

Two of Crimea’s cities, Sevastopol and Kerch, were honored as “Hero Cities” of the Soviet Union for their gallant defense in World War II. Over 170,000 Soviet soldiers died in 1942 defending Sevastopol in a brutal, 170-day siege. Another 100,000 died retaking the peninsula in 1944.

In total, well over 16 million Soviet soldiers died in the war, destroying in the process 70% of the German Wehrmacht and 80% of the Luftwaffe. By contrast, US losses in that war, including the Pacific, were 400,000.

One might as well ask Texas to give up the Alamo or Houston as to order Russia to get out of Crimea, a giant graveyard for the Red Army and the German 11th army.

In 2013, President Putin proposed a sensible negotiated settlement to the Ukraine dispute: autonomy for eastern Ukraine and its right to speak Russians as well as Ukrainian. If war or economic collapse is to be avoided, this is the solution. Eastern Ukraine was a key part of the Soviet economy. Its rusty heavy industry would be wiped out if Ukraine joined the EU – just as was East Germany’s obsolete industries when Germany reunified.

So now it appears that Washington’s economic warfare over Ukraine is going to turn military, even though the US has no strategic or economic interests in Ukraine. Getting involved in military operations there when the US is still bogged down in the Mideast and Afghanistan is daft. Even more so, when President Barack Obama’s “pivot toward Asia” is gathering momentum.

Didn’t two world war at least teach the folly of waging wars on two fronts?

(Republished from EricMargolis.com by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Ukraine 
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  1. “Cyberattacks were elevated to warfare status in early 2007 when the tiny country of Estonia decided they were going to let the world know that their country was “under a cyberattack” by the Russians (the government), i.e. state sponsored cyberwarfare. What was claimed and later proven by the Estonians was that the Russians had launched a series of massive coordinated cyberattacks on the Estonian public and private sector in April 2007. Estonian banks, parliament, ministries, newspapers, and TV were bombard. This was all over an argument with the Russians over the reallocation of the “Bronze Soldier of Tallinn” and war graves in Tallinn (the capital of Estonia). This was the second largest state-sponsored cyberattack, second only to “Titan Rain,” a series of coordinated attacks on U.S. computer systems between 2003-2006, thought to be of Chinese origin.”

    http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/world-report/2013/01/14/estonia-shows-how-to-build-a-defense-against-cyberwarfare

    The cyberterrorism burns up resources. Smart beats tough in this environment. Now it’s Tin Soldiers of Moscow and with oil down they’ll be selling tin to make things happen.

    [MORE]

    Song by Stevie Ray Vaughan
    Went down to Tin Pan Alley
    See what was going on
    Things was too hot down there
    Couldn’t stay very long
    Hey hey hey hey, Alley’s the roughest place I’ve ever been
    All the people down there
    Livin’ for their whisky, wine, and gin
    I heard a woman scream
    Yeah and I peeped through the door
    Some cat was workin’ on Annie with a
    Lord with a two-by-four
    Hey hey hey hey, Alley’s the roughest place I’ve ever been
    All the people down there
    Livin’ for their whisky, wine, and gin
    I heard a pistol shoot
    Yeah and it was a .44
    Somebody killed a crap shooter cause he didn’t
    Shake, rattle, and roll

    Read More
    • Replies: @PETE
    Oh; thank god we, the USA do not use such terrible cyber tactics against North Korea, Iran, et.al.; did rustbelt "reader" miss the memo about the malware that destroyed part of the Iranian centrafuge's? (is that crickets I hear from the rust belt).
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  2. eisermann says: • Website

    Putin Defends Ukraine’s Je ws, Slams Ukraine’s Jewish Oligarchs

    Cites Ukraine’s appointment of [dual citizen Isr eli ] oligarchs as governors as reason for unrest

    Related: Before Crimea Was an Ethnic Russian Stronghold, It Was a Potential Je wish Homeland

    Tablet Magazine: A New read on Je wish Live

    Read More
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  3. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    Truth about situation in UkraineOpinion of a dweller of MariupolLyudmila Surikova:“My acquaintances and friends often ask me: “What is going on in Mariupol? Who is shelling peaceful cities and killing ordinary civilians? Who downed MH17, who blew up the bus in Volnovakha and bombed residential area Vostochnyi?” They expect me to answer that it was done by People’s Militias or by Ukrainian Army… Nevertheless I surprise and disappoint them with my reply… Ukraine has no authority in Mariupol. “Azov” battalion is the authority in the city. Ukrainians as well as militiamen have nothing to do with the downed Boeing, as well as with the blown up bus and the shelling of Mariupol… All of the above mentioned are the deeds of international brigades of NATO’s foreign legion under the scandalous name of “Azov” according to true words of the Russian President. Such battalions are also called territorial battalions… There are many of them. “Azov” is not the only one. There is also “Aidar”, “Donbas” and others… In reality they are not Ukrainian Nationalists; they are typical Western international mercenaries, hired in various countries by Mr. Kolomoyskiy for American money and on order of the USA. In fact it is NATO’s foreign legion, as Putin said, only masked as local Nationalists… They do not fight for any idea, they earn money. It makes no difference to them who they are killing or blowing up. They are only paid for combat activities, and that is why they need to constantly murder someone, in order to report about the work done and receive their salary… And the goal set before them is simple: exterminate as many as possible pro-Russian local inhabitants, undermine the infrastructure of the industrial region and discredit Russia in the eyes of the world, if possible, even get it directly involved into a World War… They are not subordinated to Kiev or the Headquarters of Ukrainian Army. They have a different task… Their command is directly instructed from Washington or Ukrainian Security Service, which has been a CIA department for some time now. They are instructed and trained by counselors from the task forces of NATO and Israel. It is them who are shelling peaceful cities, blowing up buses, murdering civilians and kidnapping people. It is them who shoot in both directions: on Ukrainian military and militiamen, when ceasefires are declared, in order to receive their blood money… It is them who shoot in the back of Ukrainian soldiers, when the latter do not want to fight, torture and kill captured militiamen… They are called “the Third Force” here in Donbass, and they are never taken prisoners…

    Read More
    • Replies: @Kiza
    Great write up, I knew most of it, but did not know those US mercenaries are called The Third Force. These are the same mercenaries who fought in Libya and then in Syria, who sniped (American Sniper) at both the protesters and the police at Maidan, mostly paid by the US and Israel. These mercenaries come from almost any country in the World (not only from NATO countries), but all officers are from NATO countries. Over the past ten years, this NATO cladensite commercial army has become a major player at most hot spots around the World. There is a natural progression from the special forces into this mercenary army, in other words, their home countries provide free training and then they go private in a higher-risk-for-higher-pay deal. Deaths of these mercenaries never make it into body counts in the Western media.

    But, apparently, Kolomoyskiy is in financial trouble because he is not getting money any more from his assets in Eastern Ukraine, whilst the US and Israel are not giving him sufficient funds to maintain such a large mercenary army. As the war in Ukraine drags on, both Russia and the West are under increasing strain. The Europeans are busting at the seams under the strain of economic sanctions and increasing military expenditure, whilst the precarious US financial system is creaking from under the anti-Russia Saudi oil-price play and its impact on the US Bond market. As usual throughout history, the war in Ukraine will not stop out of good will, then only when someone runs out of money. My bet is that the US/Euro financial collapse will do the job, because the Russians can usually sustain much more pain, although there is no guarantee. It is an even play at the moment.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  4. Mikhas says:

    It is a game of chicken that the US regime and it´s cold war fossil’s has driven too far and can´t back down on.

    Vladimir Putin saved the hapless Clown in the White House´s face over his “red line” drivel and war path on Syria but gave NATO and the US a heavily bleeding nose and a black eye in Georgia, where they tried a similar tactic in the shadows of the Beijing Olympic´s by starting to kill 10 Russian peace keepers and somehow thought that Russia would turn the other way. There will be no hand stretched out from Moscow to save them this time.

    Anyone that have seen the pictures of Obama’s training session at the gym wouldn´t have a problem to understand how this will go down, except Obama and his white masters who keep painting themselves further into the corner.

    Read More
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  5. Since 1970 with Trident-1 linked to NAVSTAR (now called GPS) the US has been aiming to achieve a Disarming First Strike Capability according to missile engineer Bob Aldridge-www.plrc.org Bob Aldridge on the 239 missiles in Romania, 409 in Poland and on 32 ships in the Mediterranean Sea: “Whether they are on ships or land, they are still a necessary component for an unanswerable first strike.” So, the Russians will adopt Launch On Warning, probably by 2017. Of course, that means Suicide Guaranteed. Stop European Phased Adaptive Approach or commit Suicide !!!

    Read More
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  6. Quentin says:

    No, in fact WW 2 was fought by the US on two fronts and the result is well known. I guess you are referring to Mr. Hitler’s big mistake. That happened so long ago but it seems more and more like yesterday every passing day. The US is making a complete ass of itself once again by meddling in Ukraine. Don’t the proverbial US people ever add up the misery and deprivation war has caused the vast majority of them and scream…yes they do…we are the greatest, the biggest, the strongest, the -est of everything, beginning with their blind arrogance.

    Read More
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  7. PETE says:
    @rustbeltreader
    "Cyberattacks were elevated to warfare status in early 2007 when the tiny country of Estonia decided they were going to let the world know that their country was "under a cyberattack" by the Russians (the government), i.e. state sponsored cyberwarfare. What was claimed and later proven by the Estonians was that the Russians had launched a series of massive coordinated cyberattacks on the Estonian public and private sector in April 2007. Estonian banks, parliament, ministries, newspapers, and TV were bombard. This was all over an argument with the Russians over the reallocation of the "Bronze Soldier of Tallinn" and war graves in Tallinn (the capital of Estonia). This was the second largest state-sponsored cyberattack, second only to "Titan Rain," a series of coordinated attacks on U.S. computer systems between 2003-2006, thought to be of Chinese origin."
    http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/world-report/2013/01/14/estonia-shows-how-to-build-a-defense-against-cyberwarfare

    The cyberterrorism burns up resources. Smart beats tough in this environment. Now it's Tin Soldiers of Moscow and with oil down they'll be selling tin to make things happen.

    Song by Stevie Ray Vaughan
    Went down to Tin Pan Alley
    See what was going on
    Things was too hot down there
    Couldn't stay very long
    Hey hey hey hey, Alley's the roughest place I've ever been
    All the people down there
    Livin' for their whisky, wine, and gin
    I heard a woman scream
    Yeah and I peeped through the door
    Some cat was workin' on Annie with a
    Lord with a two-by-four
    Hey hey hey hey, Alley's the roughest place I've ever been
    All the people down there
    Livin' for their whisky, wine, and gin
    I heard a pistol shoot
    Yeah and it was a .44
    Somebody killed a crap shooter cause he didn't
    Shake, rattle, and roll

    Oh; thank god we, the USA do not use such terrible cyber tactics against North Korea, Iran, et.al.; did rustbelt “reader” miss the memo about the malware that destroyed part of the Iranian centrafuge’s? (is that crickets I hear from the rust belt).

    Read More
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  8. Military/Industrial/Scientific/Academic Complex which is main locomotive of USA economy cannot be stopped without massive economic dislocation of USA population. Control of oil production and pipelines is central to Central Eurasian “Great Game” of Polish petit aristocrat Zbigniew Brzezinski, chief strategist of Neocons.

    9/11 black op “attacks” based on Reichstag Fire lit by Nazis to smear Communists. As Bible says, “Nothing is new under the sun”; also your Mark Twain, “History does not repeat itself, but it rhymes”.

    American adventurism on behalf of the Neocons (that is, the Rothschildniks) will lead to start of death spiral for USA as nation-state. Ignorance of history of US people will lead to their permanent eclipse as world power. So very sad; so very predictable.

    Read More
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  9. Mark says:

    “Does anyone think the Russians, who lost close to 40 million soldiers and civilians in World War II, won’t fight to defend their Motherland?….”

    Please, it was a BIT more than “just Russia” in the Red Army at the time…

    The soviet union lost many less than 40 million, and they wouldn’t have even had that many if so many of the Turkic and eastern peoples were not impressed into military service, or if they could not have literally emptied the concentration/labor Gulags to provide quite disposable cannon fodder.

    I don’t think “Russians” today are ready for the kind of conscriptions and far-flung asian build ups that will come for any real war to happen, or to provide any real defense for the borders of most of Russia.

    …not that US is doing anything wise by putting Americans in Ukraine.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Pete
    To Mark; that sounds very much like what that Hitler fellow said; and how did that work out? I'll give you a clue; the Germans left 4 million dead in Russia, including 190 thousand of the proud "Army of the Arch de Triumph" . Want more?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  10. Pete says:
    @Mark
    "Does anyone think the Russians, who lost close to 40 million soldiers and civilians in World War II, won’t fight to defend their Motherland?...."

    Please, it was a BIT more than "just Russia" in the Red Army at the time...

    The soviet union lost many less than 40 million, and they wouldn't have even had that many if so many of the Turkic and eastern peoples were not impressed into military service, or if they could not have literally emptied the concentration/labor Gulags to provide quite disposable cannon fodder.

    I don't think "Russians" today are ready for the kind of conscriptions and far-flung asian build ups that will come for any real war to happen, or to provide any real defense for the borders of most of Russia.

    ...not that US is doing anything wise by putting Americans in Ukraine.

    To Mark; that sounds very much like what that Hitler fellow said; and how did that work out? I’ll give you a clue; the Germans left 4 million dead in Russia, including 190 thousand of the proud “Army of the Arch de Triumph” . Want more?

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  11. Giuseppe says:

    Didn’t two world war at least teach the folly of waging wars on two fronts?

    Ukraine. Iran. Iraq 3.0. China. Seems to me that’s a war on four fronts; that’s more sustainable.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  12. Kiza says:
    @Anonymous
    Truth about situation in UkraineOpinion of a dweller of MariupolLyudmila Surikova:“My acquaintances and friends often ask me: “What is going on in Mariupol? Who is shelling peaceful cities and killing ordinary civilians? Who downed MH17, who blew up the bus in Volnovakha and bombed residential area Vostochnyi?” They expect me to answer that it was done by People’s Militias or by Ukrainian Army... Nevertheless I surprise and disappoint them with my reply... Ukraine has no authority in Mariupol. “Azov” battalion is the authority in the city. Ukrainians as well as militiamen have nothing to do with the downed Boeing, as well as with the blown up bus and the shelling of Mariupol... All of the above mentioned are the deeds of international brigades of NATO’s foreign legion under the scandalous name of “Azov” according to true words of the Russian President. Such battalions are also called territorial battalions... There are many of them. “Azov” is not the only one. There is also “Aidar”, “Donbas” and others... In reality they are not Ukrainian Nationalists; they are typical Western international mercenaries, hired in various countries by Mr. Kolomoyskiy for American money and on order of the USA. In fact it is NATO’s foreign legion, as Putin said, only masked as local Nationalists... They do not fight for any idea, they earn money. It makes no difference to them who they are killing or blowing up. They are only paid for combat activities, and that is why they need to constantly murder someone, in order to report about the work done and receive their salary... And the goal set before them is simple: exterminate as many as possible pro-Russian local inhabitants, undermine the infrastructure of the industrial region and discredit Russia in the eyes of the world, if possible, even get it directly involved into a World War... They are not subordinated to Kiev or the Headquarters of Ukrainian Army. They have a different task... Their command is directly instructed from Washington or Ukrainian Security Service, which has been a CIA department for some time now. They are instructed and trained by counselors from the task forces of NATO and Israel. It is them who are shelling peaceful cities, blowing up buses, murdering civilians and kidnapping people. It is them who shoot in both directions: on Ukrainian military and militiamen, when ceasefires are declared, in order to receive their blood money... It is them who shoot in the back of Ukrainian soldiers, when the latter do not want to fight, torture and kill captured militiamen... They are called “the Third Force” here in Donbass, and they are never taken prisoners...

    Great write up, I knew most of it, but did not know those US mercenaries are called The Third Force. These are the same mercenaries who fought in Libya and then in Syria, who sniped (American Sniper) at both the protesters and the police at Maidan, mostly paid by the US and Israel. These mercenaries come from almost any country in the World (not only from NATO countries), but all officers are from NATO countries. Over the past ten years, this NATO cladensite commercial army has become a major player at most hot spots around the World. There is a natural progression from the special forces into this mercenary army, in other words, their home countries provide free training and then they go private in a higher-risk-for-higher-pay deal. Deaths of these mercenaries never make it into body counts in the Western media.

    But, apparently, Kolomoyskiy is in financial trouble because he is not getting money any more from his assets in Eastern Ukraine, whilst the US and Israel are not giving him sufficient funds to maintain such a large mercenary army. As the war in Ukraine drags on, both Russia and the West are under increasing strain. The Europeans are busting at the seams under the strain of economic sanctions and increasing military expenditure, whilst the precarious US financial system is creaking from under the anti-Russia Saudi oil-price play and its impact on the US Bond market. As usual throughout history, the war in Ukraine will not stop out of good will, then only when someone runs out of money. My bet is that the US/Euro financial collapse will do the job, because the Russians can usually sustain much more pain, although there is no guarantee. It is an even play at the moment.

    Read More
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  13. Over 200 years ago, we laughed at the Spanish. I wrote that Spain, the super power back than,
    was so egotistical and full of itself that it was digging its own grave as an empire.

    I, Benjamin Franklin, wrote:
    “Spain has such folly spread around the world, not knowing that its cost of empire were
    killing it. Spain could not see that all of its military empire and colonies were not bringing in
    anywhere near the cost of running its empire.

    Look at where Spain is today. It is basically a nothing,where it once came close to ruling the
    world.

    The cost of empire ends up killing all empires. Can anyone in the U.S. read?

    The “funny money” is all that is keeping the Wall Street empire afloat.

    Read More
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  14. eradican says:

    Your Soviet/Russian fatality count is absurdly high. Propaganda like that was created to denigrate the competence of the Soviet Union and discredit their amazing victory in WW2. They took major losses but more like 20 million dead both combatant and civilian. That doesn’t mean more weren’t injured/displaced but the number of dead was 20 million. The Soviets also killed, raped, looted, and terrorized an equal number when they began their offensives against Nazi Germany and their allies across eastern Europe. The Eastern Front was a bloodbath but the losses were roughly equal and poor Soviet performance early on was the direct result of the leadership purges in 1937/1938 which devastated the Soviet government.

    Read More
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  15. […] March to Folly in Ukraine […]

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  16. anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    I would doubt that it would come to the two nuclear powers directly fighting each other. That’s been successfully avoided since ’45. Most of the fighting would be done by Ukrainians with a few ‘advisors’ and mercenaries here and there getting cut down. The CIA chief and various high ranking American government officials have traveled there to huddle with the Kiev regime which has emboldened them. They’re going to send them what they’re calling ‘aid’, in the form of equipment, weapons, advisors. Is this supposed ‘aid’ free or will the Kiev government have to take out loans to pay for it? Will they end up in hock to the tune of multi-billions? The Americans are willing to fight the Russians to the last Ukrainian just as back in the 80′s they were willing to fight the Russians to the last Afghan.
    The Russians only need to provide the weapons to the eastern Ukrainians; they can stand on their own. All they have to do is match whatever the Kiev regime has, just like in the Vietnam war they provided the equipment to the Vietnamese who did their own fighting. It looks like this could drag on for who knows how long which could leave a partially destroyed Ukraine behind. The Americans care nothing about that though; everywhere they’ve gone or gotten involved they’ve left a trail of destruction and death, whether it’s Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and so on. Americans care not one iota about dead foreigners, only about themselves.

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