Tag Archives: Vladimir Putin

Why BRI Is Back with a Bang in 2023, by Pepe Escobar

The Eurasian axis the U.S. is trying to thwart becomes increasingly interconnected and increasingly strong. From Pepe Escobar at unz.com:

The year 2022 ended with a Zoom call to end all Zoom calls: Presidents Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping discussing all aspects of the Russia-China strategic partnership in an exclusive video call.

Putin told Xi how “Russia and China managed to ensure record high growth rates of mutual trade,” meaning “we will be able to reach our target of $200 billion by 2024 ahead of schedule.”

On their coordination to “form a just world order based on international law,” Putin emphasized how “we share the same views on the causes, course, and logic of the ongoing transformation of the global geopolitical landscape.”

Facing “unprecedented pressure and provocations from the west,” Putin noted how Russia-China are not only defending their own interests “but also all those who stand for a truly democratic world order and the right of countries to freely determine their own destiny.”

Earlier, Xi had announced that Beijing will hold the 3rd Belt and Road Forum in 2023. This has been confirmed, off the record, by diplomatic sources. The forum was initially designed to be bi-annual, first held in 2017 and then 2019. 2021 didn’t happen because of Covid-19.

The return of the forum signals not only a renewed drive but an extremely significant landmark as the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), launched in Astana and then Jakarta in 2013, will be celebrating its 10th anniversary.

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Russia’s Neo-Byzantinism, by Laurent Guyénot

Here’s a crazy idea. Maybe before the U.S. gets fully involved in war with Russia, we should learn a little bit about Russian history and culture. It couldn’t hurt. From Laurent Guyénot at unz.com:

There is something irresistibly attractive in Russia’s defense of traditional and religious values (what might be called Russian neo-conservatism if that label had not been usurped by American Jewish warmongers). But where does it really come from? We tend to assume that it is a reaction to Western post-modern decadence. But there is more depth to it.

What is Russia? How does Russia define herself, and how does she conceive of her relationship to Europe? Specifically, from what tradition do Russia’s current ruling elites draw their vision of Russian civilization? I wanted to learn about the Russian thinkers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries that the Russians themselves have rediscovered since the fall of Communism, and who are said to have a strong influence on Vladimir Putin and his entourage. Here is what I found.

Let’s start, quite logically, with three authors whose books were offered by Vladimir Putin to governors and members of his United Russia party for the New Year 2014 (see here and here):

  • Vladimir Solovyov’s The Justification of the Good
  • Nikolai Berdyaev ‘s The Philosophy of Inequality
  • Ivan Ilyin’s Our Tasks

All three authors are deeply religious and patriotic, and as such committed to Russian Orthodoxy. All three are passionate about Russia, and hold her as “an original and independent civilization,” in the terms used by Vladimir Putin in his October 27, 2022 speech at the Valdai Forum.

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The Russian Regime Change Trap, by Tom Luongo

Contrary to various predictions from various ideological predilections, Putin probably will not be deposed next year. From Tom Luongo at tomluongo.me:

Regime change in Russia is all the rage right now. It’s another episode of MI-6’s longest running show, “Russia – Putin’s Fragile Playground,” playing daily in our intelligence co-opted media.

And, hey, thanks to Elon Musk that’s no longer a conspiracy theory, despite the protestations of the bad guys.

The current picture is one punctuated with regular stories of Ukrainian drone attacks on a Russian air base or power station. There’s even now a major article making the rounds about how Russia is facing organized sleeper cells of saboteurs operating without restraint to take out critical infrastructure.

Not that I doubt that it’s true, of course the US and its “key NATO ally” (*cough* the UK *cough*) are fully committed to taking down Russia, but it’s the fact that it’s happening now as Russia makes big moves to reorganize its military to fight this war for the long haul is what’s interesting.

This implies that all of a sudden now there is significant pushback to the scale of that commitment within the EU. I have serious doubts about that.

The recent admission by Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel that the Minsk Accords were just a time-buying exercise to arm Ukraine for the war can be interpreted in a number of ways.

But for me, knowing that the dominant narrative has been to frame this as a US-led proxy war versus Russia, Merkel’s admission plays into that perfectly. Remember, I’ve always made the distinction between The Davos Crowd and the Neoconservatives.

I’ve always viewed the Neocons as the Useful Idiots of the more Leninist Davosians. Merkel is a committed Davosian lieutenant if there ever was one.

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WHAT IF….. By Hardscrabble Farmer

What if Covid and the Ukraine-Russia war are just psyops to enslave the world, and Putin and Xi are just part of the script? From Hardscrabble Farmer at theburningplatform.com:

Being There - Rotten Tomatoes

If one were cynical enough they might look at the last year as an effort of the Globalists not to undermine Russia and defeat it, but rather as a means to get them to rebuild their military forces to levels not seen since WWII. Ditto the Western powers. Perhaps, rather than an actual war in Ukraine where no one has eyes to see what is actually unfolding, this may have been a means of those who frequent the WEF conferences to build a force capable of defeating internal resistance of the people being crushed under the totalitarian practices world-wide. Ditto the “conflict” with China. Covid, for all it’s byzantine intrigues looks in the rear-view mirror to be a lot more like a well coordinated Sino-American Psy-Ops than a divisive era.

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“Putin Has Misread the West (And) if He Doesn’t Wake Up Soon, Armageddon Is Upon Us”, Mike Whitney interview with Paul Craig Roberts

According to Paul Craig Roberts, Putin does not comprehend that the West never acts in good faith towards Russia. From Mike Whitney and Roberts at unz.com:

 

 

Question 1—You think that Putin should have acted more forcefully from the beginning in order to end the war quickly. Is that an accurate assessment of your view on the war? And—if it is—then what do you think is the downside of allowing the conflict to drag on with no end in sight?

Paul Craig Roberts—Yes, you have correctly stated my position. But as my position can seem “unAmerican” to the indoctrinated and brainwashed many, those who watch CNN, listen to NPR, and read the New York Times, I am going to provide some of my background before going on with my answer.

I was involved in the 20th century Cold War in many ways: As a Wall Street Journal editor; as an appointee to an endowed chair in the Center for Strategic and International Studies, part of Georgetown University at the time of my appointment, where my colleagues were Henry Kissinger, National Security Advisor and Secretary of State, Zbigniew Brzezinski, National Security Advisor, and James Schlesinger, a Secretary of Defense and CIA director who was one of my professors in graduate school at the University of Virginia; as a member of the Cold War Committee on the Present Danger; and as a member of a secret presidential committee with power to investigate the CIA’s opposition to President Reagan’s plan to end the Cold War.

With a history such as mine, I was surprised when I took an objective position on Russian President Putin’s disavowal of US hegemony, and found myself labeled a “Russian dupe/agent” on a website, “PropOrNot,” which may have been financed by the US Department of State, the National Endowment for Democracy, or the CIA itself, still harboring old resentments against me for helping President Reagan end the Cold War, which had the potential of reducing the CIA’s budget and power. I still wonder what the CIA might do to me, despite the agency inviting me to address the agency, which I did, and explain why they went wrong in their reasoning.

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Putin’s Conundrum, by Mike Whitney

Vladimir Putin is dealing with people in the U.S. power structure who are just crazy enough to use nuclear weapons. From Mike Whitney at unz.com:

The primary purpose of the Nuclear Posture Review(NPR) is to deceptively “rebrand” the offensive use of nuclear weapons as a justifiable act of defense. The new criteria for using these lethal WMD has been deliberately maligned with the clear intention of providing Washington with a green light for their use and proliferation. Accordingly, US foreign policy warhawks have established the institutional and ideological framework needed launch a nuclear war without fear of legal reprisal. These arduous preparations were carried out with one objective in mind, to preserve America’s steadily-eroding position in the global order through the application of extreme violence.

Vladimir Putin is worried. Very worried.

In a recent press conference, the Russian President expressed his concern that the United States might be planning a nuclear strike on Russia. Naturally, Putin did not state the matter in such crude terms, but his comments left little doubt that that’s what he was talking about. Here’s part of what he said:

The United States has a theory of a ‘preventive strike’…Now they are developing a system for a ‘disarming strike’. What does that mean? It means striking at control centres with modern high-tech weapons to destroy the opponent’s ability to counterattack.”

Why would Putin waste time on the various theories circulating among foreign policy wonks in the United States if he wasn’t concerned that these ideas were actionable?

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A Hair Trigger on Endgame, by Paul Craig Roberts

Putin has threatened to adopt a doctrine that the U.S. has already adopted—the preemptive nuclear strike doctrine—and U.S. policymakers are calling foul. They are nothing if not hypocritical. From Paul Craig Roberts at paulcraigroberts.org:

Dear Readers:  The insouciance of Washington and its European puppets toward the dangerous situation they are provoking with Russia is frightening.  The Western world is now led by people who have made it clear that they will risk nuclear war in their pursuit of American hegemony.  Evil has clearly triumphed in the Western world.

We are now on the brink of a nuclear holocaust.  One false warning of nuclear attack, believed to be true, could cause Russia to launch a full-scale nuclear attack against the US and Europe.
 
False warning signals indicating incoming nuclear weapons have happened before, but were discounted because a sufficient level of mutual trust had been achieved. Now, with two decades of reckless provocations of Russia, with missile bases being constructed on Russia’s borders in Poland and Romania, with US/NATO fully committed to defeat Russia in Ukraine, and with massive anti-Russian propaganda in place of diplomatic negotiation, trust has been destroyed.  Notice the provocative idiocy of US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin who mischaracterizes Putin’s warning about the extremely dangerous situation as “Russian saber-rattling.”  With utter fools like Austin making decisions, there is a zero chance of avoiding Armageddon.  Lloyd’s position is that it is Putin who must avoid provocative behavior, not Washington.

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Putin Makes REAL Nuclear Threat; US Yawns, by Ray McGovern

Read the excerpt from the press conference carefully. Putin doesn’t like the U.S.’s preventative strike doctrine, but he appears to be hinting that Russia may have to adopt it. That would raise significantly the chances of nuclear war. From Ray McGovern at antiwar.com:

Russian President Vladimir Putin stated Friday that Russia is considering changing its nuclear doctrine to allow for preventive – not just retaliatory – use of nuclear weapons. Such a change would align Russia’s nuclear posture with Washington’s own strategic doctrine and, at one stroke, make the world far more dangerous.

Putin’s highly unusual remarks leave no doubt that Russia views the U.S./NATO proxy war in Ukraine as the kind of existential threat that President John Kennedy perceived, when Moscow installed nuclear missiles in Cuba. Those missiles were capable of hitting, within minutes, Washington and the Strategic Air Command in Omaha.

For readers who have missed this, US missile capsules already emplaced in Romania and Poland – ostensibly for “ABMs” – can accommodate overnight what Russia calls “offensive strike missiles” – with even shorter launch-to-target time – than those Kennedy strong-armed Khrushchev to remove from Cuba, under threat of nuclear war.

Did Biden Renege on a Promise?

Another largely unreported factoid: When Presidents Biden and Putin held a conversation on Dec. 30, 2021, the Kremlin readout stated: “Joseph Biden emphasized … that Washington had no intention of deploying offensive strike missiles in Ukraine.” At once, Senior Putin adviser, Yuri Ushakov, pointed out approvingly that this had been one of Moscow’s chief goals in proposing security guarantees for the U.S. and NATO to consider. Six weeks later, after a “follow-up” Putin-Biden call (on Feb. 12, 2022), Ushakov lamented that Biden did not address … nondeployment of strike weapons systems on Ukrainian territory. Ushakov: “We received no meaningful response.”

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Putin Doesn’t Bluff, by James Rickards

If Putin does what he says he’s going to do in Ukraine, he will dominate that country unless the U.S. does something about it. In so doing, the U.S. risks escalating the conflict to nuclear war. From James Rickards at dailyreckoning.com:

The war in Ukraine has been in a partial hiatus for the past two months. But that hiatus is coming to an end as Russia prepares its next move. Today, we’re looking ahead to what’s coming next.

And here’s a hint: We could be entering a very dangerous period.

First off, the situation on the ground in Ukraine is best understood as a competition between the narrative and reality.

The narrative consists of what you hear from mainstream media, the White House, the Pentagon, and official sources in the U.K., France, Germany and both EU and NATO headquarters in Brussels.

The narrative says that the Armed Forces of Ukraine, AFU, have beaten back Russian forces and reoccupied Kherson, which lies strategically on the Dnipro River, Kyiv’s main access to the Black Sea.

Based on these advances, the narrative says that Russia is in retreat, Russian troops are demoralized, Putin is in jeopardy of being replaced and complete victory for Ukraine is just a matter of time.

The narrative is then used as a basis for increased financial aid from the United States (over $60 billion and growing) and increased weapons shipments from NATO members.

Narrative vs. Reality

But as I’ve explained recently, the situation on the battlefield in Ukraine is almost completely at odds with the Western narrative.

It’s true that Ukraine made recent advances in the east, but they were against lightly defended Russian positions on or near open terrain.

Much has been made of Ukraine’s retaking of Kherson, but Russia regarded it as a city of little strategic value. Rather than waste resources fighting for it, they withdrew.

The Russians also let the Ukrainians have the open land, which will later become a killing field for Russian artillery. That’s the reality you’re not being told.

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How the Mainstream Media Misses the Money Quote, by Ted Snider

Either through inadvertence or ideological bias, the media is missing major shifts in global leaders’ attitudes towards the U.S. From Ted Snider at antiwar.com:

On December 1, French President Emmanuel Macron went to Washington for the first state visit of the Biden administration. After the pageantry, presents, hand holding and flattering words of fraternity and solidarity, Macron faced the gathered press.

“We will never urge Ukrainians to make a compromise that will not be acceptable for them.” “That,” said Helene Cooper of The New York Times, “is the money quote.”

But it wasn’t the money quote by several euros. The money quote came days later when Macron was not standing shoulder to shoulder with Biden in front of an American audience, but standing on his own addressing a French audience. Macron told the French television network TF1, in an interview filmed during his visit to Washington but aired as he left, that “We need to prepare what we are ready to do, how we protect our allies and member states, and how to give guarantees to Russia the day it returns to the negotiating table.” Then Macron made his full meaning clear: “One of the essential points we must address – as President Putin has always said – is the fear that NATO comes right up to its doors, and the deployment of weapons that could threaten Russia.”

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