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“Rejection of Russian energy resources means that Europe will become the region with the highest energy costs in the world. This will seriously undermine the competitiveness of European industry which is already losing the competition to companies in other parts of the world…. Our Western colleagues seem to have forgotten the elementary laws of economics, or simply prefer to ignore them.” Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation

On Tuesday, Russia announced a 40% reduction in the flow of natural gas to Germany through the Nord Stream pipeline. The announcement, that was made by Gazprom officials, sent tremors through the European gas market where prices quickly soared to new highs. In Germany—where prices have tripled in the last three months—the news was met with gasps of horror. With inflation already running at a 40-year high, this latest reduction in supply is certain to tip the German economy into recession or worse. All of Europe is now feeling the impact of Washington’s misguided sanctions on Russia. Here’s more from Oil Price website:

“Russia’s Gazprom said on Tuesday that it would limit natural gas supply via the Nord Stream pipeline to Germany by 40 percent compared to planned flows because of a delay in equipment repairs… The lower supply of gas via Nord Stream to the biggest European economy, Germany, sent Europe’s gas prices surging by double digits...

Russian gas deliveries to Europe… have already been down after Ukraine stopped last month flows from Russia to Europe at … one of the two transit points… thus supply was cut off for a third of the gas transiting Ukraine onto Europe.” (“Europe’s Gas Prices Surge 13% As Russia Reduces Nord Stream Flow“, Oil Price)

The United States and its European allies have imposed more sanctions on Russia than any country in history. But Tuesday’s announcement helps to illustrate who is actually suffering from the sanctions and who is not. Russia is not suffering, in fact, Russia does not seem particularly perturbed at all. It has calmly brushed aside Washington’s attacks as one would whisk-away a fly at a family picnic. Even more surprising is the fact that the sanctions have strengthened the ruble, increased revenues from raw materials, sent Russia’s trade surplus into record territory, and pushed gas and oil profits into the stratosphere. By every objective standard, the sanctions appear to be benefiting Russia which, of course, is the opposite outcome that was expected.

Washington’s Economic Sanctions on Russia: Success or Failure?

  1. The Russian currency (the Ruble) has rallied to a five-year high.
  2. Russia’s commodities are raking in windfall profits
  3. Russia’s trade surplus is projected to hit a record high this year
  4. Russia’s oil and gas sales have risen sharply

There’s no evidence that Washington’s sanctions have achieved the objective of “weakening” Russia or damaging its economy. There is, however, considerable proof that the sanctions have backfired and inflicted a heavy toll on their supporters and their people. And while it’s hard to quantify how much damage has actually been done, we’ve tried to identify specific categories where the impact has been most dramatic. The sanctions have:

  1. Triggered a sharp rise in food and energy prices. (soaring inflation)
  2. Caused major disruptions in global supply-lines (Deglobalization)
  3. Greatly increased food shortages and the likelihood of famine
  4. Precipitated a severe slowdown in the global economy

So far, Russia has withstood these attacks patiently and without any retaliatory response. But we must assume that the sudden 40% reduction in gas flows to energy-dependent Germany is intended to send a message. Keep in mind, Nord Stream 2 was a massive multi-year, \$10 billion project to which Russia was fully committed until Germany ‘pulled the rug out from under Putin’ at the eleventh hour. Germany proved that—when push comes to shove—Berlin will always march in lockstep with Washington rather than fulfill its business agreements or act in the interests of its own people. What Germany is discovering now, however, is that acting as Washington’s poodle comes at a very high price indeed. Here’s more from Reuters:

“Gazprom said on Tuesday it has curbed supplies via the Nord Stream 1 undersea pipeline to Germany to up to 100 million cubic metres (mcm) per day, down from 167 mcm, citing the delayed return of equipment that had been sent for repair….

Gazprom no longer exports gas westwards through Poland via the Yamal-Europe pipeline following Russian sanctions against EuRoPol Gaz, which owns the Polish section. Flows via Yamal-Europe continue eastwards from Germany to Poland.

“Due to the delayed return of gas compressor units from repair by Siemens … and technical engines’ malfunctions, only three gas compressor units can currently be used at the Portovaya compression station,” Gazprom said..

“Due to the sanctions imposed by Canada, it is currently impossible for Siemens Energy to deliver overhauled gas turbines to the customer. Against this background we have informed the Canadian and German governments and are working on a viable solution,” the company said.” (“Nord Stream gas capacity constrained as sanctions delay equipment“, Reuters)

Naturally, the media is going to point to a maintenance snafu as an excuse, but how credible is that? How often is supply of a vital resource cut by nearly half due to a compressor malfunction?

Not often. Russia is sending a simple but poignant message to Germany: “You made your bed, now sleep in it.” Russia’s reaction is perfectly normal after having been “stabbed you in the back.”

And, Germany’s travails are just beginning because it has no way to make up for the energy shortfall it will face in the near future; a shortfall that will precipitate rolling blackouts, freezing homes, and a relentless strangulation of its domestic industry. As the German government is discovering, there is no viable substitute for Russian hydrocarbons which is neither readily available nor does the quality fit Germany’s particular requirements. In other words, the US has led Germany down the primrose path believing that they could simply switch to other energy suppliers and everything would be just dandy. That is certainly not the case. As it happens, Germany and all of Europe are going to pay more for their energy than any region in the world which will severely undermine the EU’s competitiveness. This, in turn, will lead to a sharp decline in living standards as well as growing social unrest. Here’s more from the Wall Street Journal:

“For decades, European industry relied on Russia to supply low-cost oil and natural gas that kept the continent’s factories humming.

Now Europe’s industrial energy costs are soaring in the wake of Russia’s war on Ukraine, hobbling manufacturers’ ability to compete in the global marketplace. Factories are scrambling to find alternatives to Russian energy under threat that Moscow could abruptly turn off the gas spigot, bringing production to a halt.

 

The media would like to believe the Fed is doing everything in its power to fight inflation, but it’s not true.

Yes, the Fed raised rates by 50 basis points in May and, yes, the Fed is trying to sound as “hawkish” as possible. But these things are designed to dupe the public not to reduce inflation. Let me explain.

The current rate of inflation in the US is 8.6%, a 40-year high.

At its May meeting, the Fed raised its target Fed Funds Rate to 1%. Here’s the scoop:

“The Federal Reserve recently announced that it’s raising interest rates by half a percentage point, bumping the federal funds rate to a target range of 0.75-1.00%.” (The Spokesman-Review)

Got that? So the Fed’s rate is still a measly 1%. That’s what the media is trying to hide from you, and that’s why you might have to read 9 or 10 articles before you find a journalist who provides you with the actual rate.

Why are they hiding the rate?

Because the rate is 7.6% below the rate of inflation, so it doesn’t do a damn thing. It’s another public relations travesty dolled-up to look like serious monetary policy. But it’s a joke, and you can see it’s a joke.

Think of it like this: If I loaned you \$100 at 1% interest– but inflation was running at 8%– I would lose 7 bucks per year, right?

Right. And that’s what the Fed is doing. When interest rates are set below the rate of inflation, then the Fed loses money on every loan. In other words, the Fed is providing a subsidy to the banks for borrowing money. Have you ever heard of anything so ridiculous?

How would you like a deal like that? How would you like it if the Fed paid you interest on your credit card debt? You’d probably like that, right? But—if you were honest with yourself—you’d admit that it was a “gift”, because that’s what it is, a gift. The big banks are getting another handout from Uncle Sugar. That’s the whole deal in a nutshell.

Meanwhile, you and I and the other 300 million serfs, continue to pay a hefty 18% to the banks that are being subsidized by the Federal Reserve. Sound fair?

So, how much would the Fed have to hike rates if it really wanted to do its job? Check out this clip from an article at the Chicago Booth Review:

“The usual wisdom says that to reduce inflation, the Fed must raise the nominal interest rate by more than the inflation rate. In that way, the real interest rate rises, cooling the economy.

At a minimum, then, according to the usual wisdom, the interest rate should be above 8.5 percent. Now. The Taylor rule says the interest rate should be 2 percent (the Fed’s inflation target), plus 1.5 times how much inflation exceeds 2 percent, plus the long-term real rate. That means an interest rate of around 12 percent. Yet the Fed sits, and contemplates at most a percent or two by the end of the year.” (“Why Hasn’t the Fed Done More to Fight Inflation” Chicago Booth Review)

So if the Fed was serious about fighting inflation, they would have raised rates to roughly 12%. Instead, they have decided to use their allies in the media to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes. That’s what’s going on. It’s another big snow-job. Here’s more from the Chicago Booth Review:

“… the inflationary shock we just experienced, whatever its source, together with today’s low interest rate, gives us a large negative real interest rate. That negative rate is itself additional “stimulus”: it raises output and lowers unemployment. Higher output and lower unemployment, however, raise inflation even more, relative to the large past inflation. Higher inflation means an even lower real interest rate, and more inflation still, in a never-ending spiral—until the Fed gives in, raises interest rates to much above inflation, and contains the mess with a large recession.” (“Why Hasn’t the Fed Done More to Fight Inflation” Chicago Booth Review)

So, when the Fed’s rate is lower than the rate of inflation, then inflation rises, the opposite of what we want to achieve.

Bottom line: Ultra-loose monetary policy fuels inflation and creates gigantic economy-destroying asset bubbles that wipe out trillions and ruin lives. Sound familiar?

It should. We’ve been through this drill many times before.

Here’s something else you should know: The Fed has had its foot on the gas since Lehman Brothers blew up in 2008. That’s when Fed Chair Ben Bernanke dropped rates to zero and put the printing press on “full throttle”. From that point on, the Fed has been flooding the zone with low-price liquidity that has inflated the biggest asset-price bubble of all time.

Why does everyone need to know this?

Because inflationary pressures are forcing the Fed to raise rates, but even the slightest rate-hike can touch-off firesales that impact other shadow lenders that are equally overextended triggering a daisy-chain of defaults that can domino through the system causing another financial crisis. In other words, the asset-price bubble the Fed has created with its low-rate mania is so gargantuan and unstable, that any tightening of policy can ignite a system-wide meltdown. That’s why Powell is so skittish about raising rates. It’s because he doesn’t know who the weak players are and where they are hiding. If one giant investment bank– that is drowning in red ink– suddenly goes belly-up after interest rates rise, then that bank is going to take down 20-or-so counterparties along with him. That’s the problem with today’s grossly-entangled market; the web of debt stretches across the entire system endangering even the stronger players. The last thing Powell wants to do is prick the bubble the Fed has been inflating for the last 14 years.

Did you know the Fed has purchased \$9 trillion in mostly US Treasuries and Mortgage-Backed Securities since 2008?

What that means is that stock and bond prices have risen not on their growth-potential or due to basic supply-demand dynamics, but because the Fed has been actively distorting market prices to enrich its investor friends. This is how wealth is transferred to other members of the investor class, not in great bags filled with money, but through the underpricing of credit that is further amplified through dodgy debt instruments. That’s the name of the game.

Recently, the Fed has indicated that it wants to reduce its balance sheet to a more manageable size. The problem is that– just as stock prices rose when the Fed purchased USTs– so too, they will fall sharply when the Fed sells. And, that is precisely what has happened everytime the Fed has tried to shrink its balance sheet; stocks have fallen off a cliff. So, while the Fed has succeeded in pushing stock prices higher, (by purchasing \$9 trillion in financial assets), it will not succeed in keeping stocks high while rolling off its prodigious asset-pile. In other words, the Fed will not be able to repeal the laws of physics.

Do you remember The stock market crash of 2020? Do you remember how it ended? Here’s a little background from an article at The Balance:

“The stock market crash of 2020 began on Monday, March 9, with history’s most significant point plunge for the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) up to that date. Two more record-setting point drops followed it on March 12 and March 16.

The stock market crash included the three worst point drops in U.S. history. The drop was caused by unbridled global fears about the spread of the coronavirus, oil price drops, and the possibility of a 2020 recession.

 

“The ferocity of the confrontation in Ukraine shows that we’re talking about much more than the fate of the regime in Kiev. The architecture of the entire world order is at stake.” Sergei Naryshkin, Director of Foreign Intelligence

Here’s your ‘reserve currency’ thought for the day: Every US dollar is a check written on an account that is overdrawn by 30 trillion dollars.

It’s true. The “full faith and credit” of the US Treasury is largely a myth held together by an institutional framework that rests on a foundation of pure sand. In fact, the USD is not worth the paper it is printed on; it is an IOU flailing in an ocean of red ink. The only thing keeping the USD from vanishing into the ether, is the trust of credulous people who continue to accept it as legal tender.

But why do people remain confident in the dollar when its flaws are known to all? After all, America’s \$30 trillion National Debt is hardly a secret, nor is the additional \$9 trillion that’s piled up on the Fed’s balance sheet. That is a stealth debt of which the American people are completely unaware, but they are responsible for all the same.

In order to answer that question, we need to look at how the system actually works and how the dollar is propped up by the numerous institutions that were created following WW2. These institutions provide an environment for conducting history’s longest and most flagrant swindle, the exchange of high-ticket manufactured goods, raw materials and hard-labor for slips of green paper with dead presidents on them. One can only marvel at the genius of the elites who concocted this scam and then imposed it wholesale on the masses without a peep of protest. Of course, the system is accompanied by various enforcement mechanisms that swiftly remove anyone who tries to either break free from the dollar or, God help us, create an alternate system altogether. (Saddam Hussein and Muammar Qaddafi come to mind.) But the fact is– aside from the institutional framework and the ruthless extermination of dollar opponents– there’s no reason why humanity should remain yoked to a currency that is buried beneath a mountain of debt and whose real value is virtually unknowable.

It wasn’t always like this. There was a time when the dollar was the strongest currency in the world and deserved its spot at the top of the heap. Following WW1, the US was “the owner of the majority of the world’s gold” which was why an international delegation “decided that the world’s currencies would no longer be linked to gold but could be pegged to the U.S. dollar, “because the greenback was, itself, linked to gold.” Here’s more from an article at Investopedia:

“The arrangement came to be known as the Bretton Woods Agreement. It established the authority of central banks, which would maintain fixed exchange rates between their currencies and the dollar. In turn, the United States would redeem U.S. dollars for gold on demand….

The U.S dollar was officially crowned the world’s reserve currency and was backed by the world’s largest gold reserves thanks to the Bretton Woods Agreement. Instead of gold reserves, other countries accumulated reserves of U.S. dollars. Needing a place to store their dollars, countries began buying U.S. Treasury securities, which they considered to be a safe store of money.

The demand for Treasury securities, coupled with the deficit spending needed to finance the Vietnam War and the Great Society domestic programs, caused the United States to flood the market with paper money….

The demand for gold was such that President Richard Nixon was forced to intervene and de-link the dollar from gold, which led to the floating exchange rates that exist today. Although there have been periods of stagflation, which is defined as high inflation and high unemployment, the U.S. dollar has remained the world’s reserve currency.” (“How the U.S. Dollar Became the World’s Reserve Currency”, Investopedia)

But now the gold is gone and what’s left is a steaming pile of debt. So, how on earth has the dollar managed to preserve its status as the world’s preeminent currency?

Proponents of the dollar system, will tell you it has something to do with “the size and strength of the U.S. economy and the dominance of the U.S. financial markets.” But that’s nonsense.

The truth is, reserve currency status has nothing to do with “the size and strength” of America’s post-industrial, service-oriented, bubble-driven, third-world-sh**hole economy. Nor does it have anything to do with the alleged safety of US Treasuries” which– next to the dollar– is the biggest Ponzi flim-flam of all time.

The real reason the dollar has remained the world’s premier currency is because of the cartelization of Central Banking. The Western Central Banks are a de facto monopoly run by a small cabal of inter-breeding bottom-feeders who coordinate and collude on monetary policy in order to preserve their maniacal death-grip on the financial markets and the global economy. It’s a Monetary Mafia and– as George Carlin famously said: “You and I are not in it. You and I are not in the big club.” Bottom line: It is the relentless manipulation of interest rates, forward guidance and Quantitative Easing (QE) that has kept the dollar in its lofty but undeserved spot.

But all that is about to change due entirely to Biden’s reckless foreign policy which is forcing critical players in the global economy to create their own rival system. This is a real tragedy for the West that has enjoyed a century of nonstop wealth extraction from the developing world. Now– due to the economic sanctions on Russia– an entirely new order is emerging in which the dollar will be substituted for national currencies (processed through an independent financial settlement system) in bilateral trade deals until– later this year– Russia launches an exchange-traded commodities-backed currency that will be used by trading partners in Asia and Africa. Washington’s theft of Russia’s foreign reserves in April turbo-charged the current process which was further accelerated by banning of Russia from foreign markets. In short, US economic sanctions and boycotts have expanded the non-dollar zone by many orders of magnitude and forced the creation of a new monetary order.

How dumb is that? For decades the US has been running a scam in which it exchanges its fishwrap currency for things of genuine value. (oil, manufactured goods and labor) But now the Biden troupe has scrapped that system altogether and divided the world into warring camps.

But, why?

To punish Russia, is that it?

Yes, that’s it.

But, if that’s the case, then shouldn’t we try to figure out whether the sanctions actually work or not before we recklessly change the system?

Too late for that. The war on Russia has begun and the early results are already pouring in. Just look at the way we’ve destroyed Russia’s currency, the ruble. It’s shocking! Here’s the scoop from an article at CBS:

“The Russian ruble is the best-performing currency in the world this year….

Two months after the ruble’s value fell to less than a U.S. penny amid the swiftest, toughest economic sanctions in modern history, Russia’s currency has mounted a stunning turnaround. The ruble has jumped 40% against the dollar since January.

Normally, a country facing international sanctions and a major military conflict would see investors fleeing and a steady outflow of capital, causing its currency to drop….

 

Look at this map of Ukraine.

Can you see what’s going on? The Russians are creating a buffer zone along their western perimeter.

Why are they doing that? What benefit do they derive from a buffer zone?

Well, a buffer zone creates a distance between Russia and Ukraine which Putin thinks is necessary since Ukraine is threatening to join NATO. So, he’s creating his own DMZ on his western flank.

But what does that prove?

It proves that we’ve been lied to from the very beginning. Putin was not planning to reconstruct the Soviet Empire like the media told us. He did not want to seize the Capitol, Kiev, and he did not want to conquer the entire Ukrainian landmass. That was all baloney.

What he wanted to do, is what he has done.

Don’t take my word for it, look at the map. You don’t need CNN or Rachel Maddow to tell you what you can see with your own two eyes. This is the reality ‘on the ground’.

This is a buffer zone. It creates a distance between Russia and Ukraine, it protects the ethnic Russians in the Donbass region, and it establishes a landbridge to Crimea where Russia’s vital deep-water port of Sevastopol is located. In other words, it achieves what Putin wanted to achieve from the very beginning, that is, enhanced security along his western border.

What we are seeing is the basic parameters of Russia’s “Special Military Operation”. Yes, many people will prefer to call it a “war”, but the term is not nearly as precise as “Special Military Operation”.

Why?

Because “Special Military Operation” indicates that the main objective is to save the lives of the ethnic Russians who had been under constant bombardment for the last 8 years and, also, to create a security zone that prevents a hostile NATO army and its missile system from being deployed to Russia’s border. These are the goals of the “Special Military Operation”; to “demiliterize” and “denazify” the area under Russia’s control. Get it?

Will the “Special Military Operation” go beyond the Donbass to Kiev and cities in the west?

Probably, not. Going beyond the Donbass would likely involve a complete mobilization of men and resources which has not yet taken place in Russia. By not mobilizing, Putin is signaling to the west that he will limit his operation to the area on the map. (With some slight expansion) Putin is indicating that his main concern is security, and since his concerns were casually brushed aside by Biden and Zelensky, he took matters into his own hands. In other words, he imposed his own settlement.

Okay, but if these are the parameters of the Special Military Operation, then what are the chances of a wider war?

That depends on Biden. If Washington continues on the path of escalation –by sending weapons systems that can strike targets in Russia– then Putin will respond. We should know that by now. Putin is not going to back down no matter what. If Washington wants to up-the-ante, then they should prepare for an equal response. That’s the way it’s going to work. For now, the “Special Military Operation” is just a “Special Military Operation”. But when it becomes a war, then all bets are off. Then we will see a full mobilisation, a complete rupture in US-Russo relations, and a halt to all hydrocarbon flows from east to west.

Do you think Europe and the United States are prepared for that? Do you think the EU can replace the 25% of the oil and 40% of all the natural gas it presently imports from Russia? Do you have a wind-powered car that will get you to work on time or a factory that will run on solar power? Do you have a plan for heating your house with hydrogen or perhaps a battery from an old Prius?

No, you don’t, and neither does Europe. Europe runs on fossil fuels. America runs on fossil fuels And the more fossil fuel that is consumed, the more the economy grows. The less fossil fuel is consumed, the more the economy shrinks. Are you prepared for life in a shrinking economy with high unemployment, skyrocketing inflation, unending recession, and deepening social malaise brought on by your government’s misguided desire to “stick it to Putin”?

That’s a bad choice, isn’t it? Especially when a face-saving deal can be made at anytime. In fact, Biden could stop the fighting tomorrow if he extended the hand of friendship to Putin and declared that, yes, Ukraine will accept neutrality til the end of time and NATO expansion will stop ASAP.

That’s all it would take. Just extend the olive branch and Putin will ‘call off the dogs’. Guaranteed.

That’s what this guy would have done. Remember him? Remember how bad things were when Trump was in office and gas was 2 bucks a gallon, and everyone had a job, and there was no inflation, and violent crime was under control?

Listen to what Trump had to say about Russia:

“Well, I hope we do have good relations with Russia. I say it loud and clear and I’ve been saying it for years. I think it’s a good thing if we have a great relations with Russia. That’s very important. And, I believe, some day that will happen. It’s a big country, it’s a nuclear country, it’s a country we should get along with, and I think we will eventually get along with Russia.”

He’s right, isn’t he? We need to get along with Russia and put an end to the fighting before thesemorons drag us into World War 3.

 

Do you know why Henry Kissinger’s speech at the World Economic Forum touched-off such a furor?

Kissinger didn’t criticize the way the war in Ukraine is being conducted or the lack of progress on the ground. No. What Kissinger criticized was the policy itself, that’s what triggered the firestorm. He was throwing a bucket of cold water on the people who concocted this loony policy by telling them to their faces that they “got it wrong.”

And, they did get it wrong, because the policy they are currently pursuing is hurting US allies and US interests. That is the metric we use to determine whether a particular policy is stupid or not and, unfortunately, this passes the “stupid test” with flying colors.

Let me explain: Our basic strategy is to “weaken” and “isolate” Russia by severing Russia’s economic ties with Europe and goading them into a long and costly quagmire in Ukraine. That’s the plan.

Now you might think that it sounds pretty reasonable but– according to Kissinger– it’s the wrong plan.

Why?

Because US National Security Strategy identifies China as America’s number one rival (which it certainly is) so, naturally, any policy that makes China stronger, runs counter to US strategic interests.

Got it? So, the question is: Does our proxy-war in Ukraine make China stronger?

And the answer is: Of course, it does. It makes China alot stronger because it forces Russia to strengthen relations with China.

What does that mean in practical terms?

It means that relations between the world’s manufacturing powerhouse (China) and the world’s second biggest producer of hydrocarbons (Russia) just got a helluva alot better because of Washington’s counterproductive war in Ukraine. That’s what it means. It also means that– as relations between the two countries improve– the pace of US imperial decline is going to accelerate as the non-dollar zone expands and bilateral trade gradually replaces the current US-dominated global trade system.

You can see this happening already. The war in Ukraine has triggered a shocking collapse in global trade, major disruptions in critical supplylines, unprecedented food and energy shortages, and the greatest redivision of the world since the breakup of the Soviet Union. Washington has decided to stake its future and the future of the American people on a senseless geopolitical gambit could turn out to be the greatest strategic catastrophe in US history.

Kissinger grasps the gravity of the situation which is why he decided to put in his two-cents. But he wasn’t just critical of the policy, he also offered an ominous warning that has been almost-entirely ignored by the media. Here’s what he said:

“Negotiations need to begin in the next two months before it creates upheavals and tensions that will not be easily overcome. Ideally, the dividing line should be a return to the status quo ante (…) Pursuing the war beyond that point would not be about the freedom of Ukraine, but a new war against Russia itself”.

There it is in black and white, but let’s break it into two parts to get a better sense of what he’s saying:

  1. The policy is wrong
  2. The policy must be changed immediately or the damage to the US and its allies will be severe and permanent. (“Negotiations need to begin in the next two months”)

That might sound too apocalyptic for some, but I think Kissinger is on to something here. After all, look at the massive changes the world has already experienced since the conflict began; the disruptions in supplylines, the food and energy shortages, and the rolling-back of the globalization project. Pretty big changes, I’d say, but they’re probably just be the tip of the iceberg. The real pain is still ahead of us.

What is this winter going to look like when home heating bills go through the roof, industries across Europe succumb to the higher energy costs, unemployment soars to Great Depression levels, and rolling blackouts become a regular feature of life in the west? That’s what the future holds for Europe and America if the policy isn’t reversed and a negotiated settlement quickly reached.

Putin has already stated that Russia will not put itself in a position where it is economically dependent on Europe again. Those days are over. Instead, he is redirecting critical energy flows to China, India and beyond. Europe is no longer a priority customer, in fact, they have emerged as a threat to Russia’s survival, which means, Russia will continue to reorient its production eastward.

How will this impact Europe?

That’s easy. Europe is going to pay more for its energy that any country in the world. That is the choice they made by shrugging off Russia’s legitimate security demands, and that is the outcome they will have to live with.

So, here’s what you need to know:

In 2021, Russia provided 40% of all the natural gas consumed in the EU.

In 2021, Russia provided over 25% of the oil consumed in the EU.

If you think that those quantities of hydrocarbons can be replaced by producers in Nigeria, Iran, Saudi Arabia or some other far-flung location, you are sadly mistaken. Europe is walking headlong into the biggest energy crisis in its history, and it can only blame itself. Here’s more from an article at RT:

“The current energy crisis could be one of the worst and longest in history and European countries could be hit particularly hard, the head of the International Energy Agency, Fatih Birol, said on Tuesday. In an interview with German magazine Der Spiegel, Birol said that the fallout from the events in Ukraine is likely to make the current energy crisis worse than the crises of the 1970s.

Back then it was all about oil. Now we have an oil crisis, a gas crisis and an electricity crisis at the same time,” Birol told the publication, adding that before the ongoing events in Ukraine, Russia was “a cornerstone of the global energy system: the world’s largest oil exporter, the world’s largest gas exporter, a leading supplier of coal.”

As part of its Ukraine-related sanctions, the EU introduced restrictions on Russian fossil fuels and has pledged to gradually phase them out. Birol warned that countries in Europe that are more dependent on Russian gas are facing a “difficult winter,” as “gas may well have to be rationed,” including in Germany. His comments came as Russia’s state gas supplier Gazprom cut off supplies to some energy firms in Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands and other countries, after their failure to pay for the fuel in rubles as per new requirements.” (“Fuel rationing may be coming to Europe – IEA“, RT)

So, I guess, freezing to death in the dark is preferrable to insisting that Ukraine remain neutral and stop killing ethnic Russians in the east? Is that the “principal” that Europe is defending?

If so, it’s a bad choice.

Here’s something to mull over: Did you know that all “oil blends” are not alike?

Why would that matter?

 

“I can’t believe it’s monkey-pox season already and I haven’t even taken my Ukrainian decorations down.” Robin Monotti

Bill Gates prediction that the world would face an unexpected smallpox outbreak is miraculously unfolding. Should we be surprised?

I know I’m not. Here’s the money-quote that was delivered by Gates 6 months before the first case was recorded.

“It’ll take probably about a billion a year for a pandemic Task Force at the WHO level, which is doing the surveillance and actually doing what I call ‘germ games’ where you practice… You say, OK, what if a bioterrorist brought smallpox to 10 airports? You know, how would the world respond to that?” Bill Gates, Sky News, November 6, 2021

One can only marvel at Gates’ extraordinary powers of perception. He’s like some kind of Software Soothsayer able to divine the future from the entrails of animals. Is that it, or does he have a crystal ball tucked-away somewhere in the bowels of his Lake Washington mansion? Whatever it is, it’s trully astonishing. Here’s more from the World Socialist Web Site:

“An unprecedented outbreak of monkeypox virus has officially spread to 10 countries outside of Africa, with 107 confirmed or suspected cases reported as of this writing, in the United Kingdom (9 cases), Portugal (34), Spain (32), France (1), Belgium (2), Sweden (1), Italy (3), Canada (22), the United States (2), and Australia (1).”

Much remains unknown about what is causing the outbreak, which is the most geographically dispersed and rapidly spreading monkeypox outbreak since the virus was first discovered in 1958. In the coming days and weeks, more data and scientific understanding will emerge, but already there is profound concern within the scientific community and among the public, which has found wide expression on social media.” (“Over 100 monkeypox infections detected in 10 countries as unprecedented outbreak spreads globally“, World Socialist Web Site)

Repeat: The most “rapidly spreading monkeypox outbreak since the virus was first discovered in 1958.”

I wonder if that “rapidly spreading” part has something to do with the way that researchers have been tweaking the gain-of-function of these unique pathogens in order to make them more contagious and more lethal? Is that what’s going on?

We’ll probably never know.

And, is it fair to ask whether monkey-pox might be another lab-generated virus that was concocted in the 300-or-so Pentagon-funded secret labs sprinkled around the world that are presently conducting a massive war on humanity to further the ambitions of billionaire elites who are committed to reducing the global population while imposing strict, police state surveillance on every sentient being on planet earth?

We probably won’t get an answer to that one either.

In the interest of fairness, though, we should mention that “reputable” media outlets, like Newsweek magazine, have refuted the claim that Gates made the prediction that we allude to above. Here’s Newsweek’s explanation:

“While Gates has talked about the possibility of bioterrorist smallpox attacks in the past, his comments have been drawn slightly out of context and don’t mention monkeypox.” (Fact Check: Did Bill Gates Predict The Monkeypox Outbreak? Newsweek)

“Slightly out of context?” You mean, Gates did NOT draw attention to a particular infectious disease (smallpox) that magically reemerged from extinction just months later? What “context” is the author talking about? We’d like to know.

Strictly speaking, it doesn’t matter what Newsweek says or doesn’t say, after all, Gates has become the embodiment of everything that’s wrong with today’s Public Health Gestapo, which is why he’s become a magnet for criticism. And, whether he’s been treated fairly or not, a sizable number of people believe quite strongly, that Gates is the mastermind behind a plan to use lab-generated infectious diseases to subjugate the global population in order to establish a tyrannical New Order controlled by voracious elites like himself. And the WHO’s new sovereignty-eviscerating treaty further underscores this point, in fact, it seems to suggest that Gates and his fellow travelers believe their lifelong ambition to rule the world is now within their grasp. Check it out:

In researching this article, I stumbled across a number of tidbits that readers might find interesting. For example, I discovered that there had been a tabletop exercise simulating a global pandemic involving an unusual strain of #monkeypox” that took place in March 2021. It’s astonishing how many of these ‘preparatory drills’ seem to take place just prior to some particularly horrific event. Can we dismiss them all as mere coincidences? Check out this blurb from the Brownstone Institute:

“… media outlets around the world are on red alert over the world’s first-ever global outbreak of Monkeypox in mid-May 2022—just one year after an international biosecurity conference in Munich held a simulation of a “global pandemic involving an unusual strain of Monkeypox” beginning in mid-May 2022.

Monkeypox was first identified in 1958, but there’s never been a global Monkeypox outbreak outside of Africa until now—in the exact week of the exact month predicted by the biosecurity folks in their pandemic simulation. Take these guys to Vegas!

The global Monkeypox outbreak—occurring on the exact timeline predicted by a biosecurity simulation of a global Monkeypox outbreak a year prior—bears a striking resemblance to the outbreak of COVID-19 just months after Event 201, a simulation of a coronavirus pandemic almost exactly like COVID-19. ” (“Monkeypox Was a Table-Top Simulation Only Last Year”, Brownstone Institute)

And here’s a minute and a half video that helps to explain the excerpt above. (Video) You may notice that the anchor reporting the (simulated) outbreak says, “Scientists have decided that this monkeypox virus was engineered.”

Uh huh. And, further along, one of the analysts offers these prescient words of advice: “We’re seeing far fewer cases where governments’ took early and decisive action”

What do you think that means? Could it mean that we’d better prepare ourselves for another round of experimental clot shots? Is that what it means?

So, here’s your Pandemic Quiz for the Day: What do you think the chances are that an oddball affliction, like Monkeypox, could spontaneously break out in 10 different locations around the world (where it had never appeared before) at the exact same time?

How about “zero” chance? Is that too high?

I’m going to go out-on-a-limb here and say there is zero chance that this new disease occurred “naturally”. The only rational assumption one can make, is that monkey-pox, like Covid, is a lab-generated pathogen spread by covert agents that are prosecuting a bio-war on the global population. But we’ll have to consult Dr Fauci on the matter and see if he agrees. Here’s more from the WSWS:

 

Why is Germany sending weapons to Ukraine? Don’t they realize these weapons will be used to kill Russian soldiers? Don’t they realize these weapons will be given to Nazi combatants who tattoo swastikas on their arms and march in torchlight parades? Don’t the German people care about that?

In World War 2, the German Wehrmacht killed 27 million Russians. Isn’t that enough? How many Russians have to die to satisfy Germany’s bloodlust? Another million or so? 5 million? 27 million? How many?

And, how does a country with Germany’s history justify the killing of more Russians today? Alot of people would like an answer to that question? I know I would.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz thinks that Germany has a moral obligation to back Ukraine in its war against Russia. In a televised speech to the nation he said, “We defend law and liberty on the side of the party under attack. We support Ukraine in its battle against the aggressor.”

What Scholz failed to mention were the numerous (Ukrainian) provocations that took place prior to the Russian invasion. He failed to mention Kiev’s stepped-up bombardment of east Ukraine where 14,000 ethnic Russians have been killed in the last eight years. He failed to mention the 30-or-so Ukrainian bio-weapons labs where lethal pathogens –that target specific ethnicities and spread highly-contagious diseases around the world– are being secretly developed. He failed to mention that President Zelensky had threatened to rebuild Ukraine’s nuclear weapons program which would put nuclear missiles on Russia’s western border. And he failed to mention that Ukraine had become a defacto member of NATO via its joint-military drills, logistical support, training and arms shipments from the Alliance. All of these have created a grave threat to Russia’s national security. But Scholz failed to mention any of them. Instead, he used the entire presentation to whip up support for another US-led bloodbath.

“We cannot allow ourselves to be paralyzed by fear,” Scholz said emphatically. “So, we have decided to deliver arms.”

Scholz is simply acknowledging what everyone already knows, that he got his marching orders from Washington, and he is complying with those orders. That much is obvious. Here’s how the World Socialist Web Site summed it up in a recent article:

“The historic decision to let German tanks roll against Russia once again is not driven by “security and peace” and least of all the protection of the Ukrainian population. Instead, Germany and the other NATO powers have systematically provoked Russia’s reactionary invasion to allow them to wage a proxy war against Russia on the backs of the Ukrainian population….

In the months leading up to the Russian invasion, the Ukrainian government, with massive support from the US and Germany, has been preparing to bring the areas held by pro-Russian separatists in the east of the country under its military control. A war against Russia in Crimea was also planned…. All restrictions imposed on Germany after the world war are to be removed, and the Bundeswehr will be rebuilt into the largest European army….

The German government has already delivered tanks from former East German stockpiles to Ukraine and announced further heavy arms deliveries. These include anti-aircraft tanks and self-propelled howitzers that are capable of enormous destruction. Germany and NATO are ready to lay waste to Ukraine in order to defeat Russia…

With its heavy weaponry, Germany is equipping the Azov Battalion and other neo-Nazi units. These groups are the political descendants of Bandera’s Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN), which was responsible for the murder of thousands of Ukrainian Jews.” (“On anniversary of defeat of Nazi regime, German Chancellor Scholz delivers war speech”, World Socialist Web Site)

How did we get here? How did we reach a point where no one is concerned about the reemergence of German militarism?

It can all be traced back to Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev.

In 1990, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Gorbachev lifted his objections to German reunification and “agreed that a unified Germany will be free to choose which alliance it will belong to, and Chancellor Helmut Kohl told Gorbachev that Germany wanted to stay in NATO.”

Got that? Gorbachev gave Germany the green light to join NATO.

Can you see what a terrible mistake that was? Can you see that German reunification and the entry of Germany into a hostile, Russophobic military alliance (NATO) paved the way for the current conflagration?

Germany’s entry into NATO was followed by three waves of expansion that pushed the Alliance further and further eastward until today, NATO’s combat troops, military bases and missile systems are on Russia’s doorstep just a few hundred miles from Moscow.

And NATO’s eastward push will not stop at Ukraine either, any more than Hitler or Napolean stopped at Ukraine. Ukraine is just the last whistlestop on the way to Moscow. That’s the real strategic endpoint; Moscow. So, eventually, NATO will push deeper and deeper into Russian territory destroying everything in its path and killing anyone who gets in its way. That’s where all this is headed, in fact, the Pentagon warlords don’t even try to hide it anymore. “We want weaken Russia,” they say. “We want to break Russia’s back”. And, that is the plan. They want to crush Russia and seize its resources. Nothing is concealed. All of this is being stated publicly.

And it’s all Gorbachev’s fault. The crisis Russia faces today, can be traced back to Gorbachev.

What was he thinking? Was he thinking that NATO would honor its word and not “move one inch east” like they promised? Was he thinking Germany would not eventually ‘get back on its feet’ and resume its habitual march eastward? Was he thinking that leaders in the west had miraculously changed their spots and become more trustworthy, unselfish and peaceful?

What a stupid, stupid man. Gorbachev’s breezy liberalism has brought NATO’s weapons systems and NATO’s shock troops to Russia’s doorstep. He has cleared the path for another agonizing and bloody conflict that will plunge the entire region into chaos and ruin. Is it any wonder why western leaders sing Gorbachev’s praises at every opportunity? Check out this excerpt from an article at RT:

“Large-scale NATO military drills started in Estonia on Monday. The exercise dubbed ‘Hedgehog 2022’ is one of the largest in the Baltic nation’s history, according to the military bloc. The drills will involve some 15,000 troops from 14 nations, including both military bloc members and their partners.

Soldiers from Finland, Sweden, Georgia and Ukraine are among those that will take part in the exercise… The drills will include all branches of the armed forces and will involve air, sea and land exercises, as well as cyber warfare training, according to the broadcaster. According to a NATO statement, the drills will also see the US Navy Wasp-class landing ship ‘Kearsarge’ take part in the exercises….

The drills started just a day after Finland and Sweden officially announced their plans to join NATO...

The exercises in Estonia are, however, just one part of NATO’s large-scale military activities near the Russian border. Another Baltic state, Lithuania, is hosting the ‘Iron Wolf’ exercise, which involves 3,000 NATO troops and 1,000 pieces of military equipment, including Germany’s Leopard 2 tanks.

Two of NATO’s biggest exercises – ‘Defender Europe’ and ‘Swift Response’ – are taking place in Poland and eight other countries, involving 18,000 troops from 20 nations, according to NATO’s statement on Friday….

 

On Sunday, the foreign policy blogs were abuzz with the news that Scott Ritter had done “an about-face in his assessment of the war”. It appears that the ex-Marine had examined recent developments in Ukraine and concluded that it’s going to be much harder for Russia to win than he had originally thought..

Naturally, the news of Ritter’s reversal sent shockwaves across the internet, especially among the people who follow events in Ukraine closely and who greatly admire his even-handed analysis. Some of these people clearly felt betrayed by Ritter’s comments and blasted him as a “concern troll” which refers to a person who feigns sympathy while actually feeling the opposite. This is a terrible way to treat a guy who’s devoted so much of his time to informing people about an issue of which they might know very little without his research. Besides, Ritter is no hypocrite. Quite the contrary.

It’s fair to say, however, that Ritter has probably been the most outspoken proponent of the “Russia is winning” theory, a hypothesis that runs counter to everything we read in the legacy media or see on the cable news channels. Unfortunately, Ritter’s views on the matter have changed dramatically, and that’s due almost entirely to developments on the ground. As Ritter candidly admits, “The military aid the west is providing to Ukraine is changing the dynamic and if Russia doesn’t find a way to address this meaningfully… the conflict will never end.”

That’s quite a turnaround from a statement he made just weeks earlier that, “Russia is winning the war, and winning it decisively.”

So, what changed? What are the so-called developments that led to Ritter’s volte-face?

Here are a few excerpts from the interview that triggered the fracas. Ritter was joined by Ray McGovern and host Garland Nixon on Saturday Morning Live. (The quotes are copied from video. I accept blame for any mistakes.)

Scott Ritter (start at 47:50 minute mark) — “The thing that frustrates me… is that, it was my assessment that it would be very hard for Ukraine to absorb this new equipment and material (Material– the additional lethal weapons that have recently been shipped to Ukraine) but the howitzers are already operating against Russia. (And) They are having an effect in the Kharkov region. Not all 90 of them, but they have several batteries in place that are being used.

How did this happen?

And this is why I have radically changed my overall assessment, because I had been operating on the assumption that Russia would be able to interdict the vast majority of this equipment, but Russia has shown itself unable or unwilling to do this and– as a result– the Ukrainians are having meaningful impact on the battlefield. Not in the areas of main contention, like the Donbass, but on the periphery. This is why Russia has carried out tactical withdrawals north of Kharkov, because in order to match Ukraine’s best capabilities, Russia would have to divert resources from its main effort which Russia has decided not to do. So, they are re-configuring the battlefield. (trading land in different areas)…(“Saturday Morning Live with Scott Ritter and Ray McGovern, You Tube)

So, while Ritter’s sympathies have not changed in the slightest, it’s clear that his analysis has. At first, he didn’t think that the deluge of lethal weaponry would affect the outcome of the war. Now he’s not so sure. It’s a honest mistake but, still, he needed to ‘come clean’ and explain the factors that contributed to his U-turn. Here’s more from the same interview:

Scott Ritter– This is a transformative moment in the war, because what it means is that demilitarization is not taking place. For all the forces Russia is destroying in the east, Ukraine is rebuilding significant capability (in the west) I liken this to Moscow in December 1941, when the Germans were moving towards Moscow and the Russians just started throwing things at them., sacrificing everything to slow the German offensive. until General Winter and the combination of Siberian divisions gave them the ability to counterattack. The Germans were bled white and they were stopped and turned back. If Russia doesn’t change the calculation, then that is the trajectory we are heading on., because 200,000 troops–however capable they may be, are only capable of doing so much. And the fighting that’s taking place right now –even though it is slaughtering Ukrainians– it isn’t cost free to the Russians. They’re losing equipment, they’re losing men, they’re losing material, and unless Putin mobilizes or transfers forces in, those aren’t being replaced. So, instead of having 200,000 online, Russia might have 180,000 men. And if you don’t think removing 20,000 men doesn’t change the options available to the Russian leadership, then you don’t know anything about war.”

So, I believe Russia is going to win in the east, they are grinding them down as we speak, they are slaughtering them; the amount of death and destruction that is being dealt to the Ukrainians is unimaginable, but I believe the Ukrainians are willing to take these losses in order to buy time to reconstitute a military that will challenge Russia Because unless Russia is willing to jump across the Dnieper River and head into western Ukraine where it can eliminate the strategic depth that the Ukrainians are being gifted by the Russians, then demilitarization of Ukraine is not going to take place. It can’t take place when tens of billions of dollars of equipment is pouring in and Russia is not able to interdict it. The fact that these advanced howitzers are operating on the front lines right now, shows there’s something wrong with the Russian methodology. And–unless they alter that methodology– I think we’re in for a very long summer.” (“Saturday Morning Live with Scott Ritter and Ray McGovern, You Tube)

It’s hard to grasp what Ritter is saying here. Is he actually suggesting that Putin expand the current “special operation” into a full-blown World War? At one point, he casually opines that Russia will have to mobilize 1 and a half million men (Note: Russia currently only has 200,000 in Ukraine) if they want to prevail in Ukraine and then move on to Finland. It’s impossible to tell by Ritter’s tone whether he is simply making an objective observation of ‘what is needed’ to succeed or if he is making an explicit recommendation that he thinks Russia’s High Command should consider. I can’t answer that. Here’s more from the interview:

Scott Ritter(5:20 mark)– “The idea that the Ukrainian military has been eliminated as an effective fighting force is a flawed concept, and unless Russia broadens its special military operation– probably to the point of changing it form a special military operation to a war which includes the totality of Ukrainian battle-space–(then) this is a conflict that is dangerously close to becoming unwinnable by Russia which means that while they can complete their objectives in the east with 200,000 troops, they aren’t able to prevent Ukraine from rearming and reequipping when Ukraine is being provided with tens of billions of dollars of equipment by NATO —Whenever you provide your enemy with “safe space” to rebuild military capability, you’re never going to win. …

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: American Military, NATO, Russia, Ukraine 

On Monday, Putin delivered the annual “Victory Day” speech celebrating Russia’s victory over Nazi Germany in 1945. The Russian president made none of the hyperbolic pronouncements the media had predicted but, instead, gave a brief recap of the events leading up to the war in Ukraine. There was none of the bravado you’d expect from a leader trying to gin up support for the ongoing war. Putin simply reminded the crowd that he had done everything he could to avoid the bloody conflict in which Russia is currently embroiled. Here’s part of what he said:

“Last December we proposed signing a treaty on security guarantees. Russia urged the West to hold an honest dialogue in search for meaningful and compromising solutions, and to take account of each other’s interests. All in vain. NATO countries did not want to heed us, which means they had totally different plans. And we saw it.”

This is an accurate account of what took place in the months preceding the war. Putin tried to avoid a confrontation by repeatedly asking the US to address Russia’s reasonable security concerns. Unfortunately, the Biden administration brushed off Putin’s demands without even providing a response. The US and NATO insist that Ukraine has every right to choose whatever security arrangement it wants. But that’s clearly not the case. The United States and every nation in NATO have signed treaties (Istanbul in 1999, and Astana in 2010) that stipulate they cannot improve their own security at the expense of others.

The principle underlying these agreements is called “the indivisibility of security”, which means that the security of one state can’t be separated from the security of the others. In practical terms, that means that signatories to these treaties are not free to develop their own military capability to the point where it poses a danger to their neighbors. These terms are especially applicable to Ukraine which is seeking membership in a military alliance that is openly hostile to Russia. NATO membership has always been a “red line” for Putin who has stated repeatedly that he will not allow NATO bases, combat troops and missile sites to be located on Ukrainian soil where they’d be just a stone’s throw from Moscow. As one critic from Texas put it, “You wouldn’t let a rattlesnake make its home on your front porch, would you?” No, you wouldn’t, and neither would Putin. Here’s more from a speech Putin gave in 2007:

“I’m convinced that we have reached the decisive moment when we must seriously think about the architecture of global security. And we must proceed by searching for a reasonable balance between the interests of all participants in the international dialogue.” Munich Security Conference, 2007

For Putin, security has always been the paramount issue. How do we create a world in which ordinary people can feel safe in their homes, their communities and their countries? How do we protect the weaker countries from the constant threat of intervention, invasion or regime change by an impulsive superpower whose behavior is guided by its own material interests and its own insatiable geopolitical ambitions? Concepts like the “indivisibility of security” might appeal to the sensibilities of idealists, but where’s the enforcement mechanism? And, how do we use these grand ideas to rein in an intractable hegemon rampaging across the planet?

These are questions that need to be answered, after all, if the United Nations actually worked the way it is supposed to work, Russia’s demands would have been thoroughly debated at emergency meetings before the first shot was ever fired. But that didn’t happen. International law and global institutions failed again. As everyone knows, most of these institutions have been hijacked by Washington which now uses them to provide a fig leaf of legitimacy for its serial depredations. That’s certainly how they are being used in the current war against Russia.

The western media is also being used as a weapon against Russia. For example, Russia has been universally blamed for starting the war, but Russia did not start the war and everyone on the Security Council knows it. Ukraine started the war, and the Observer Mission of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) has collected evidence to prove it. Check out this excerpt from an interview at the Grayzone with Swiss Intelligence officer and NATO advisor, Jacques Baud:

JACQUES BAUD: “I think we have to understand, as you know, that the war in fact hasn’t started on 24 February this year… what led to the decision to launch an offensive in the Donbas was not what happened since 2014. There was a trigger for that…

The first is the decision and the law adopted by Volodymyr Zelensky in March 2021—that means last year—to reconquer Crimea by force…

(And,also,) the intensification of the artillery shelling of the Donbas starting on the 16th of February, and this increase in the shelling was observed, in fact, by the Observer Mission of the OSCE [Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe], and t hey recorded this increase of violation, and it’s a massive violation. I mean, we are talking about something that is about 30 times more than what it used to be... On the 16th of February you had a massive increase of violation on the Ukrainian side. So, for the Russians, Vladimir Putin in particular, that was the sign that the operation—the Ukrainian operation—was about to start.

And then everything started; I mean, all the events came very quickly. That means that if we look at the figures, you can see that there’s…. a massive increase from the 16th-17th, and then it reached kind of a maximum on the 18th of February, and that was continuing.

… And that’s why, on the 24th of February when Vladimir Putin decided to launch the offensive, it could invoke Article 51 of the UN Charter that provides for assistance in case of attack.” (“US, EU sacrificing Ukraine to ‘weaken Russia’: fmr. NATO adviser“, The Grayzone)

You can see that by the time Putin invaded Ukraine, the war had already begun. The shelling of ethnic Russians had already intensified by many orders of magnitude. People were being slaughtered in droves, and tens of thousands of refugees were fleeing across the border into Russia. And, all of this had been going on since the 16th of February, a full week before Russia crossed the border. (Moon of Alabama has compiled the data on the bombardment that took place in the Donbas preceding the invasion: “The February 15 report of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine recorded some 41 explosions in the ceasefire areas. This increased to 76 explosions on Feb 16, 316 on Feb 17, 654 on Feb 18, 1413 on Feb 19, a total of 2026 of Feb 20 and 21 and 1484 on Feb 22.”)

So, why does the media keep repeating the lie that Russia started the war when it is clearly false?

The fact is, Putin sent in the troops to put out a fire not to start one. If ever there was a situation where the Responsibility To Protect (R2P) could be justified, it’s in east Ukraine prior to the invasion. 14,000 ethnic Russians had been killed before the shelling began. Should Putin have looked the other way and allowed another 14,000-or-so to be slaughtered without lifting a finger?

 

Question– Is the US making bio-weapons in Ukraine?

Answer– That’s the million-dollar question, isn’t it? Unfortunately, there’s no simple “yes or no” answer. It’s more complicated than that.

Question– Can you explain what you mean?

Answer– Sure, but some people might find it a bit confusing.

First, most of what we know comes from the Russians who investigated the bio-labs that were abandoned following the invasion of Ukraine. These are the people who uncovered the pathogens and other toxic substances that were kept at the 30-or-so facilities around the country. The Russian team has also studied the documents “they received from employees of Ukrainian laboratories on the implementation of military biological programs of the United States.” In other words, the Russians have compiled evidence that the US is violating its obligations under the terms of the Biological Weapons Convention.

Second, we know that the Pentagon –through various channels– pumped \$32 million into laboratories located in Kiev, Odessa, Lvov and Kharkov. These biolabs were chosen to oversee a “project aimed at studying the pathogens of the Congo-Crimean hemorrhagic fever, leptospirosis and hantaviruses.” The Russians believe that interest in these pathogens is due to the fact “their use can be disguised as natural outbreaks of diseases”, which is why the project received additional funding. In other words, the Russians think that the US funding was mainly aimed at biological weapons development. The Chinese appear to agree with Russia on this matter. Here’s what China’s FM said:

“Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian … asked the US to release “relevant details as soon as possible” regarding alleged US biological laboratories in Ukraine….“The US has 336 labs in 30 countries under its control, including 26 in Ukraine alone. It should give a full account of its biological military activities at home and abroad and subject itself to multilateral verification.”

“According to reports, in these facilities, large quantities of dangerous viruses are stored. Russia has found during its military operation that the US uses these facilities to conduct military plans. (“China… demands ‘full account of its biological military activities“, opindie.com)

You can see that there’s considerable concern among many of the countries the US sees as its rivals. And, their concern is not limited to the fact that the US is fooling around with all manner of highly-contagious and lethal pathogens but, also, that these 336 bio-labs are part of an integrated network under the operational control of the Pentagon. That is the biggest red flag of all!

The Russians have been quite blunt about what they think is going on. Here’s a clip from their official statement: “We believe that components of biological weapons were created on the territory of Ukraine.”

That sums it up perfectly. And they should know, too, after all, it’s the Russians who uncovered the stockpiles of pathogens and the documentation that supports their analysis. Of course, all of this could just be more “Russian disinformation”, that’s what the media would like you to believe. But what the media fails to acknowledge is that a lot of the documents gathered by the Russians have been signed by “real officials and are certified by the seals of their organizations.” In other words, the Russians can verify their analysis with hard evidence.

Here’s another excerpt from the Russian report that helps to shed light on what’s really been going on at these Ukrainian virus factories:

“During the implementation of these projects, six families of viruses (including coronaviruses) and three types of pathogenic bacteria (pathogens of plague, brucellosis and leptospirosis) were identified. This is due to the main characteristics of these pathogens that make them favourable for the purposes of infection: resistance to drugs, rapid speed of spread from animals to humans, etc…..

A study of the documents in the part of the P-781 project on the study of ways of transmitting diseases to humans through bats showed that the work was carried out on the basis of a laboratory in Kharkov.” (“Russia Mod: Briefing on analysis of documents related to US military and biological activities in Ukraine“, The Saker)

Nice, eh? So, the researchers at these facilities chose the pathogens that they believed were:

  1. The most infectious
  2. The most deadly
  3. The most drug resistant

When does it become appropriate to use a term like “diabolical”? Is that too much of a stretch? Here’s more:

“Within the framework of the FLU-FLYWAY project, the Kharkov Institute of Veterinary Medicine studied wild birds as vectors for the spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza. At the same time, the conditions under which spread processes can become unmanageable, cause economic damage and pose risks to food security have been assessed.

These documents confirm the involvement of the Kharkov Institute in the collection of avian influenza virus strains with high epidemic potential and capable of overcoming the interspecific barrier….” (“Russia Mod: Briefing on analysis of documents related to US military and biological activities in Ukraine”, The Saker)

Do you understand what they’re saying? The researchers were looking for ways to use migratory birds to transport lethal pathogens to the territories of Washington’s enemies. This is beyond diabolical. It’s Satanic.

The Russian report goes on to explain how much of the documentary evidence of potentially-criminal activity was destroyed following Russia’s invasion. Check it out:

“The materials that our Defense Ministry got hold of prove that all serious high-risk research in Ukrainian biolabs was directly supervised by US experts… Our Defense Ministry reports that at this moment the Kiev regime…. hastily covers up all traces so that the Russian side could not get hold of direct evidence of the US and Ukraine violating Article 1 of the BTWC. They rush to shut down all biological programs.

Ukraine’s Health Ministry ordered to eliminate biological agents deposited in biolabs starting from 24 February 2022. We infer from the instructions to lab personnel that the order of elimination of collections suggested that they should be destroyed irrevocably. Having analyzed the destruction certificates, we can say that the Lvov lab alone destroyed 232 containers with pathogens of leptospirosis, 30 – of tularemia, 10 – of brucellosis, 5 – of plague. The total of more than 320 containers was eliminated. Pathogens’ titles and excessive amounts give reason to think that this work was done as part of military biological programs.” (“USNC biolabs in the Ukraine”, The Saker)