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West ready to sacrifice rest of the world for global domination, Putin says

West ready to sacrifice rest of the world for global domination, Putin says

Inside Russia : Outside Russia : News Digest by Embassy of Russian Federation in Bangladesh on May 13 2022.

Dhaka May 13 2022 :

INSIDE RUSSIA

West ready to sacrifice rest of the world for global domination, Putin says

MOSCOW, May 12. /TASS/. The culpability for the global consequences of sanctions against Russia, including possible hunger in a number of countries, rests with Western countries who for the sake of their domination are ready to sacrifice the rest of the world, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting on economic issues on Thursday.

He noted that a number of countries are already encountering the threats of hunger and if the sanctions against Russia continue, the EU may also encounter consequences which would be difficult to reverse. “The blame for this entirely and completely rests with the elites of the Western countries who for the sake of preserving their global domination are ready to sacrifice the rest of the world,” the Russian leader stated.

In turn, Russia is confidently coping with external challenges, he added, thanks both to the responsible macroeconomic policy of recent years and systemic solutions on bolstering the economic sovereignty and technological and food security.

“Our production companies are gradually filling in domestic market niches freed up after unscrupulous partners left, including basic goods, industrial and service equipment, construction and agricultural machinery,” the Russian leader noted.

 

Russia set to reap largest-ever wheat harvest

This year’s production is set to total 87 million tons, according to President Putin

Russia is expecting a bumper crop this year, including a record wheat harvest, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday, citing preliminary data.

“A good harvest is expected this year. According to experts – of course, these are preliminary estimates – grain harvest can reach 130 million tons, including 87 million tons of wheat,” Putin said, noting that “this can become a record [wheat harvest] in the entire history of Russia.”

According to the Russian president, such a result “will allow not only to meet domestic needs with a margin, but also to increase supplies to the global market for our partners, which is very important for the world food markets.”

Putin added that a number of countries are facing the threat of famine, pointing out that the blame for that lies entirely on “the Western elites.”

Russia’s largest grain harvest was recorded in 2017, which came in at 135.5 million tons, including 86 million tons of wheat.

In 2020, the figure was 133.5 million tons of grain (including 85.9 million tons of wheat). Last year, the harvest stood at 121.4 million tons (with 76 million tons of wheat).

Russia is projected to retain its leadership in the world’s wheat market in the coming years.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

 

Russian Foreign Ministry slams resolution by WHO Regional Committee for Europe

MOSCOW, May 12. /TASS/. A resolution by the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Committee for Europe, which suggests considering the possibility of shutting down the WHO European Office for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases in Moscow runs directly contrary to the organization’s goals and objectives, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

“We believe that the resolution in question runs directly contrary to the goals and objectives of the WHO, designed to ensure the highest level of health for all of mankind, and undermines the principles of international cooperation in this field,” the statement reads.

According to the ministry, Russian Deputy Health Minister Andrey Plutnitsky pointed out at the committee’s session that the humanitarian situation in Ukraine had started to deteriorate in 2014. “It included numerous civilian deaths in Donbass as a result of punitive actions by the Kiev regime, the destruction of social infrastructure facilities, a loss of access to healthcare and consequently, a rise in communicable and non-communicable diseases. The danger of the military biological programs that had been implemented in Ukraine by the US and its allies was highlighted separately,” the statement added.

However, according to the Russian Foreign Ministry, those who initiated the session insisted on considering a draft resolution, which, apart from “presenting baseless accusations, proposed a set of measures to restrict fruitful cooperation between the WHO and Russia.” The Russian delegation was forced to put the document to a vote and it was adopted by a majority of participants.

A document adopted at the May 10 special session of the WHO Regional Committee for Europe calls on WHO Regional Director for Europe Hans Kluge “to consider temporarily suspending all regional meetings in the Russian Federation, including technical meetings and meetings of experts, as well as conferences and seminars whose composition is set by the WHO Regional Office for Europe, until peaceful resolution of the conflict between the Russian Federation and Ukraine.” The resolution also requests the regional director “to safeguard the technical cooperation and assistance provided by the WHO European Office for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases, including the possible relocation of the aforementioned office to an area outside of the Russian Federation.”

The draft resolution was submitted by 38 WHO member states and gained the support of Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, Israel and Turkey, as well as of EU countries. Russia, Belarus and Tajikistan voted against the document, while Armenia and Kazakhstan abstained.

 

Finland joining NATO to become definite threat for Russia, Kremlin says

MOSCOW, May 12. /TASS/. The expansion of NATO does not facilitate security in Eurasia and Finland joining NATO is a threat for Russia, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists on Thursday.

“Without a doubt,” the Kremlin official said replying to a question on the matter. “Another expansion of NATO does not make our continent more stable and safe,” he added.

He emphasized that Russia would devise the necessary measures to maintain its security in response to this situation. “Of course, all this will be a subject matter for special analysis and for devising the necessary measures to keep the situation in balance and maintain our security,” the spokesman said.

That said, according to him, Russia’s reaction to Finland’s accession to NATO will depend on the proximity of the alliance’s infrastructure to its borders. “All will depend on what this process of expansion will imply. To what extent the military infrastructure will get closer to our borders,” Putin’s press secretary explained.

He reiterated effective instructions by Russian President Vladimir Putin to develop a list of measures to bolster Russia’s western border over the strengthening of NATO’s eastern flank. “Finland joined the unfriendly steps that were taken within the EU framework with regards to our country. This can only cause our regret and is a cause for our corresponding tit-for-tat responses,” the Kremlin official added.

“The expansion of NATO and the alliance’s military infrastructure approaching our borders do not make the world, and, what’s important, our Eurasian continent more stable and safe. This is unmistakable,” Putin’s press secretary concluded.

According to a joint statement by Finnish President Sauli Niinisto and Prime Minister Sanna Marin published on Thursday, Finland should apply for NATO membership as soon as possible. The formal decision on the application is expected to be made on Sunday, May 15.

 

Energy firms under Moscow’s sanctions no longer involved in Russian gas supplies — Kremlin

MOSCOW, May 12. /TASS/. Foreign energy companies subject to Moscow’s retaliatory sanctions will no longer be able to participate in gas supplies from Russia, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Thursday. He also described the restrictions as blocking.

On Wednesday, the Russian government approved a list of legal entities against which retaliatory sanctions are imposed. It includes 31 companies from Germany, France and other European countries, as well as from Singapore and the USA. There are former European subsidiaries of Gazprom among them as well as traders and operators of underground gas storage facilities.

“The sanctions against these companies are blocking,” he said in response to a question about how this decision will affect gas supplies to Europe.

“Therefore, there will be no relations with these companies, they are simply prohibited,” Peskov said. He confirmed that “these companies can no longer participate in the process” of gas supplies from Russia.

“Other companies will most likely be involved in the process. For details, you need to contact Gazprom,” he added.

On Moscow’s counter sanctions

According to the documents the Russian government approved earlier, the Russian authorities, legal entities and citizens will not be able to conclude transactions with sanctioned foreign companies and other entities under their control.

The government also set additional criteria for transactions that are prohibited from being performed with companies from the sanctions list. These include transactions concluded in favor of these entities, or transactions involving the making of payments, transactions with securities with the participation or in favor of such companies. The document also bans the entry ships owned or chartered by sanctioned persons, in their interests or on their behalf into the Russian ports.

In particular, Russia’s sanctions list includes Gazprom Germania GmbH, Gazprom Schweiz AG, Gazprom Marketing & Trading USA Inc, Vemex, Wingas, EuRoPol GAZ.

On March 31, 2022, the Gazprom Group ceased participation in the German company Gazprom Germania Gmbh and all its assets, including Gazprom Marketing & Trading Ltd. The German Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action placed Gazprom Germania GmbH under the trusteeship of the Federal Network Agency until September 30.

Gazprom Germania is an international group of companies that, through its subsidiary Gazprom Marketing & Trading, is engaged in natural gas trading in the UK spot markets, as well as the sale of liquefied natural gas in Southeast Asia. Through its subsidiary Gazprom Schweiz AG, it trades natural gas in countries Central Asia and the former Soviet Union, as well as in Austria, Italy and Serbia. In Germany natural gas is mainly sold through Wingas and in the Czech Republic and Slovakia through Vemex Gazprom Germania.

EuRoPol GAZ is a joint venture between Gazprom and Poland’s PGNiG, which owns the Polish section of the Yamal-Europe gas pipeline.

 

Gazprom confirms Russian sanctions prohibit use of Yamal-Europe pipeline capacities

MOSCOW. May 12 (Interfax) – The Russian sanctions against EuRoPol GAZ mean that Gazprom is barred from using this pipeline’s capacity.

“In accordance with the decree No.252 from the Russian president from May 3, 2022 and government decree No.851 from May 11, 2022, sanctions were introduced against a number of foreign companies. Among them is the company EuRoPol GAZ, which is the owner of the Polish section of the Yamal-Europe pipeline,” Gazprom’s official spokesperson Sergey Kurprianov said.

“There is a ban on transactions and payments in favor of persons under sanctions, in particular, for Gazprom this means a ban on the use of the EuRoPol GAZ-owned pipeline to transport Russian gas through Poland,” he said.

Kuprianov said that “previously, the Polish side repeatedly violated the rights of PJSC Gazprom as a shareholder of EuRoPol GAZ, and on April 26, 2022 put it on the sanctions list, blocking the company from exercising rights on shares and other securities of EuRoPol GAZ, and receiving dividends.

 

OUTSIDE RUSSIA

 

Russia does not see Central Asia as geopolitical struggle arena — speaker

ASHGABAT, May 12. /TASS/. Russia has not and does not regard Central Asia as an arena for geopolitical confrontation and is interested in the development of all Central Asian states, Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matvienko said on Thursday during a plenary session of the Inter-Parliamentary Forum of Central Asian countries and the Russian Federation.

“Russia, of course, is interested in the comprehensive development of all Central Asian states, increasing the well-being and security of the region. I want to stress that the Russian Federation has not considered and does not consider Central Asia as an arena for geopolitical confrontation; Russia traditionally respects the right of the states of the region to sovereign development and welcomes trends towards strengthening intraregional integration,” Matvienko said.

According to her, regional security challenges require special attention. “We are talking, first of all, about comprehensive work to counteract international terrorism, extremism, violent power overthrow, coups d’etat attempts. We are interested in the constant development of multilateral dialogue on these issues, the maintenance of cooperation mechanisms such as the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), the meetings on interaction and confidence-building measures in Asia,” Matvienko added.

According to the Federation Council Speaker, today Russia’s relations with the countries of the Central Asian region are of a strategic partnership nature. “A special tone of trust is set by the leaders of our states, who maintain an ongoing dialogue,” she stressed.

As Matvienko noted, in 2021, Russia’s trade turnover with Central Asian countries amounted to about $37 billion, “significantly exceeding the figures in the previous period.” “There are almost 17,000 enterprises with Russian investment in the region. Despite the impressive figures, the potential of our economic cooperation is far from being fully realized. One of the main tasks of parliamentarians is to help unlock it, using the opportunities we have,” Matvienko concluded.

 

Finland’s accession to NATO to pose threat to Russia

MOSCOW. May 12 (Interfax) – Finland’s accession to NATO will pose a threat to Russia, Russian presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov said.

“Of course, it will,” Peskov told reporters in response to the relevant question.

“Another enlargement of NATO does not make our continent more stable and secure,” he said.

Russia regrets that Finland has joined the unfriendly steps of the European Union, Peskov said.

“As you know, Finland has joined the unfriendly steps undertaken by the European Union in regard to our country. We cannot help but regret that and view it as a reason for our tit-for-tat response,” Peskov said at a press briefing.

Journalists asked Peskov why Finland had decided to join NATO.

“You should ask the Finnish authorities that have made this decision,” Peskov said.

According to Peskov, Russia will make a special analysis upon Finland’s accession to NATO to elaborate measures for the provision of national security.

“As you remember, there is an order from the president, the supreme commander-in-chief that a list of measures be composed to strengthen our western flanks in connection with the strengthening of the eastern flank of NATO. NATO has been enlarging towards us. So, clearly, all of that will be elements of a special analysis and the elaboration of measures necessary for maintaining a balance and providing our security,” Peskov told reporters in response to a question on how Russia could respond to Finland’s accession to NATO.

“Everything will depend on the manifestation of the further [NATO] enlargement process, how far the military infrastructure will grow towards our borders,” Peskov said.

Finland’s leaders announced earlier on Thursday their intention for the country to join NATO “without delay”.

 

Indian refineries buy 25-30 mln barrels of Russian oil with delivery in May-June

MOSCOW. May 12 (Interfax) – Indian refineries took advantage of the sharp discounts for Russian Urals, ESPO and Sokol grades, to buy substantial volumes via tender and spot purchases for delivery in May and June, the IEA report said.

An estimated 25-30 million barrels were picked up, mostly through trading houses. They have also begun to negotiate longer-term contracts.

Trading houses (Trafigura, Vitol) reportedly sold the crude to Indian refiners on a delivered basis, covering shipping and insurance costs, which resulted in a price paid by India’s refiners that is higher than the quoted discounts for Russian spot crude sales. On the other hand, South Korean refiners waived Urals cargoes and increasingly sought Middle East and US grades, the IEA said.

The EU remained the largest market for Russian oil exports in April, with 3.4 million bpd, or 43%. Its share, however, declined from 50% at the beginning of the year, with volumes falling by 535,000 bpd. The US and UK together accounted for 9% of Russian exports at the start of the year, but their share fell to zero in April. This drop was offset by an increase in loading to India (+730,000 bpd), with its market share rising from zero to 10%, and Turkey (+180,000 bpd).

 

Russia hopes West should stop promoting unipolar world after operation in Ukraine — Lavrov

MUSCAT, May 11. /TASS/. Russia hopes that after its targets of the current special military operation in Ukraine are reached, the West will halt its drive for the ‘unipolar world’ and stop violating the principles of the UN Charter, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Wednesday.

“We hope that after our special military operation is completed and all of the set tasks within its frames are reached, it would help to stop West’s attempts to undermine the international law and to halt its blunt violations of the UN Charter provisions, including the principle of the sovereign rights of countries, and will force the West to stop promoting the so-called unipolar world dominated by the United States and its allies,” Lavrov said at a news conference following his meeting with Foreign Minister of Oman Sayyid Badr Albusaidi in Oman capital city of Muscat.

The Russian foreign minister also said that the Russian authorities informed in detail the authorities of Oman about developments in Ukraine and about the country’s ‘geopolitical fraction’.

“We have informed in detail our partners from Oman on the developments [in Ukraine] in the context of the Russia’s special military operation and about the geopolitical fracture regarding this situation,” the minister said.

“We believe that in regard to the ongoing situation in Ukraine, Oman assumed a weighted and balanced position, which, first of all, rests on national interests of their people’s interests,” Lavrov added.

Russia’s military operation

The situation at the line of engagement in Donbass escalated on February 17. The Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR) reported the most massive bombardments by the Ukrainian military in recent months, which damaged civilian infrastructure and caused civilian casualties.

On February 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced recognizing the sovereignty of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics. Russia recognized the Donbass republics in accordance with the DPR and LPR constitutions within the boundaries of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions as of the beginning of 2014.

Russian President Putin said in a televised address on February 24 that in response to a request by the heads of the Donbass republics he had made a decision to carry out a special military operation in Ukraine. The Russian leader stressed that Moscow had no plans of occupying Ukrainian territories, noting that the operation was aimed at the denazification and demilitarization of Ukraine.

 

China votes against UN probe into alleged Russian war crimes

Beijing cites ‘politicization’ of Human Rights Council in opposing an investigation into possible human rights abuses in Ukraine

China has voted against a UN Human Rights Council investigation into possible Russian war crimes in Ukraine amid concern that the probe is politically motivated, shifting from its previous stance of abstaining on the conflict.

“We have noted that in recent years the politicization and confrontation at the [council] has been on the rise, which has severely impacted the credibility, impartiality and the solidarity,” said Chen Xu, the top Chinese diplomat at the UN office in Geneva.

Chen made his comments before the Human Rights Council voted on Thursday – by a 33-2 margin with 12 abstentions – to approve a resolution calling for the war-crimes probe. Eritrea was the only other nation to vote no. Members that abstained included Armenia, Bolivia, Cameroon, Cuba, India, Kazakhstan, Namibia, Pakistan, Senegal, Sudan, Uzbekistan and Venezuela.

‘Another Private Party’: Russian Mission to UN in Geneva Blasts UNHRC Resolution on Ukraine

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The Russian Permanent Mission to the UN Office and other international organizations in Geneva on Thursday criticized the resolution adopted at a special session of the UN Human Rights Council on Ukraine, calling the latter “another private party.”

The UNHRC special session on Ukraine was held earlier on Thursday at the official request of Kiev. Some 47 countries supported the session, while Moscow refused to participate.

The session participants adopted a resolution on the deteriorating human rights situation in Ukraine, in which the Council demanded an immediate cessation of hostilities in Ukraine and requested the Independent International Commission of Inquiry to launch a probe into the events in Ukraine.

The resolution was supported by 33 countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, and Lebanon, 12 countries abstained, including Armenia, Cuba, Kazakhstan, India, and Uzbekistan, while China and Eritrea voted against the resolution.

“Any reasonable person, after reading the politicized and detached from reality resolution adopted today, will see that the document does not imply any progress on the human rights issues, does not carry added value in finding opportunities to help the Ukrainian society and its residents in the human rights field, does not contribute to dialogue on the situation in this country,” the mission said in a statement on its website.

“The only task of this document is to draw the UN HRC and another monitoring mechanism – the Commission of Inquiry created in Western blueprints to exert pressure on our country – even deeper into the information war unleashed by the ‘collective West’ against Russia.”

The mission called the session “another private party,” during which “a limited circle of countries widely known for its Russophobic stance ‘shared’ the same theses,” adding that “truly independent delegations that have their own independent viewpoints on world events” either inactively participated or rejected the resolution.

The mission noted that the West in its “Russophobic campaign” overlooked the criminal acts of Kiev against its people, saying that “everyone kept silence for eight years straight, while the Ukrainian Nazis gradually exterminated the peaceful population of Donbass, finishing off the survivors with an economic blockade.”

The mission further claimed that the world is now witnessing the familiar pattern, when Western countries “turn a blind eye to the inhumane treatment by the Ukrainian military and nationalists of POWs [prisoners of war] and their own population, to the use of civilians as a ‘human shield’ and civilian objects as firing positions.”

The agency also voiced questions to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, which has been silent and “has been providing simple statistical information on the dead and wounded civilians in Donbas” for the last eight years. The mission noted that it has sent numerous materials on the crimes carried out by Kiev; however, it has yet to receive “a single response to the hundreds of pages of documentary materials on the crimes of Ukrainian nationalists.”

The mission added that the West and Ukraine have “nothing to do with genuine concern for the fate of Ukraine itself and its people.” Russia cannot accept this approach, thus it made the right choice to ignore the session, the mission concluded.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said earlier that Russia will not participate in the session as Moscow’s arguments regarding the objectives of the Russian special military operation in Ukraine and the real situation on the ground are being completely ignored by the West.

Russia launched its special military operation in Ukraine on February 24 after the breakaway republics of Donetsk and Luhansk appealed for help in fending off Kiev’s provocations. The United States and other Western countries have since been pressuring Moscow with sanctions, which include airspace closures and restrictive measures targeting numerous Russian officials and entities, media, and financial institutions.

 

SPECIAL MILITARY OPERATION IN UKRAINE

 

Kremlin warns against attempts to interfere in Russia’s special operation in Ukraine

MOSCOW, May 12. /TASS/. Moscow will be ready to give the most resolute response, if any side ventures to interfere in Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday.

“We, first of all, proceed from the statements that the president [Russian President Vladimir Putin] has made since February 24 that Russia will be ready to give the most resolute response to the side, which will try somehow to get into Ukraine and get into the special military operation that the Russian Armed Forces are currently conducting in Ukraine,” the Russian presidential spokesman stressed.

“These statements by the president are well known and we, first of all, proceed from these statements,” the Kremlin spokesman pointed out.

Commenting on the issue of a potential Russia-NATO direct clash, the Kremlin spokesman said that “all want to avoid” this scenario. “Both Russia [wants to avoid it] and, statements to this effect have been repeatedly made by NATO and, most importantly, by Washington, including at the highest level: such statements have been made by [US] President [Joe] Biden. This is what everyone would want to avoid,” Peskov said.

Deputy Chairman of Russia’s Security Council Dmitry Medvedev wrote on his Telegram channel earlier on Thursday that pumping weapons into Ukraine increased the probability of NATO’s potential conflict with Russia that might grow into a nuclear war that “would be a scenario catastrophic for all”.

 

French Medical Volunteer in Ukraine Opens Up About Azov Regiment’s ‘War Crimes’

The Russian military estimates that over 6,500 foreigners from at least 62 countries are operating across Ukraine, most of them in combat roles. As many as 400 are believed to be trapped in Azovstal – a massive steelworks complex in the Azov Sea-adjacent city of Mariupol, which suffered heavy damage in fighting over the past two months.

Adrian Bocquet, a former French Army soldier who spent several weeks in Ukraine delivering medical equipment and supplies, has opened up on atrocities he said he witnessed committed by the Azov Regiment – a notorious neo-Nazi fighting force operating under the Ukrainian National Guard.

“There, on the spot I saw war crimes. I saw a lot of war crimes. The only crimes I saw during the days I was there were perpetrated by Ukrainian forces”, Bocquet said, speaking to Sud Radio earlier this week.

Bocquet said he spent several weeks in the country assisting in the delivery of medical humanitarian assistance to hospitals and orphanages, but that some of this assistance wound up in the hands of the Ukrainian military.

“I saw Russian soldiers who were taken prisoner, bound and badly beaten…They were brought [to a detention area] in groups of three or four in minibuses. Every soldier exiting the minibus received a bullet from a Kalashnikov rifle in the knee…Those who admitted that they were officers got shot in the head”, the former soldier said.

“When I returned to France, I was extremely shocked by what the people who were invited on the TV shows were saying. A chasm exists between what I see and hear on TV and what I saw on the spot. For me it’s abominable”, Bocquet said.

The volunteer said he saw Azov Regiment fighters operating across the country, with their characteristic Nazi-style rune patches standing out. “It shocks me enormously that Europe still gives weapons to a force which in my view are neo-Nazis, who have neo-Nazi insignia. We don’t talk about it. It’s an SS insignia brandished across Ukraine, everywhere”, Bocquet said.

“No one in Ukraine seems concerned about this, while we arm them with European weapons. They go off and commit war crimes, I saw this myself”, the Frenchman added.

The former soldier said he faced 10 tense hours in detention by Azov as they searched and questioned him about what he was doing in the country, and that he was eventually exfiltrated from the country via Slovakia before travelling to Poland, from where he took a plane back to France.

Bocquet is the latest foreigner to have been on the ground in Ukraine to open up on suspected war crimes committed by Ukrainian forces. Last month, a Danish national fighting in Ukraine confirmed to local media that captured Russian soldiers were being executed.

In March, a US Army veteran who volunteered to fight in Ukraine detailed his own harrowing escape from the country after being left without weapons and threatened with execution.

United Nations Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine chief Matilda Bogner confirmed this week that her office has “credible” evidence of the “torture, ill-treatment and incommunicado detention” of Russian military personnel held in Ukrainian captivity, and said such activity “violates fundamental rules of international humanitarian law”.

Russian prosecutors have engaged in the systematic collection of evidence about suspected war crimes in Ukraine, not only from the period since Russia and its Donbass allies began the “demilitarisation and de-Nazification” special operation in February, but going back to the spring of 2014, when Kiev kicked off its punitive “anti-terrorist operation” against the nascent Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics.

 

Polish Intervention in Ukraine Might Unleash World War III, Retired US Colonel Warns

Late last month, Russian Foreign Intelligence Service chief Sergei Naryshkin said Warsaw was working on a plan to deploy “peacekeeping forces” in western Ukraine under the guise of “protecting” the region “from Russian aggression”, with the ultimate goal being the reincorporation of these territories into Poland. Warsaw has denied such plans exist.

The entry of Polish forces into the conflict in Ukraine to try to save a “shattered” Ukrainian military and “save face” for the Biden administration threatens to unleash a direct military confrontation between NATO and Russia, retired US Army colonel Douglas Macgregor has warned.

“Ten weeks after the conflict began, it is instructive to reexamine the strategic picture. The war against Russia in Ukraine has evolved, but not in the way Western observers predicted. Ukrainian forces look shattered and exhausted. The supplies reaching Ukrainian troops fighting in eastern Ukraine are a fraction of what is needed. In most cases, replacements and new weapons are destroyed long before they reach the front”, the retired officer, who served as senior adviser to acting Secretary of Defence Christopher Miller in the final months of the Trump presidency, wrote in The American Conservative.

“Confronted with the unambiguous failure of US assistance and the influx of new weapons to rescue Ukrainian forces from certain destruction, the Biden administration is desperate to reverse the situation and save face”, Macgregor added, suggesting that Poland “seems to offer a way out” amid Warsaw and Kiev’s talk of “erasing borders” between them.

Commenting on reports that the Polish general staff has been instructed to formulate plans to intervene in Ukraine by seizing the country’s western territories, Macgregor assured that Washington’s de facto control of the Zelensky government means Kiev’s approval for such a radical measure shouldn’t be a problem.

“Presumably, the Biden administration may hope that a collision involving Russians and Poles in any form – including air and missile attacks against Polish forces on the Ukrainian side of the border – would potentially call for the NATO council to meet and address Article V of the NATO Treaty”, i.e. the requirement that the bloc come to the defence of any alliance member that’s the victim of an armed attack.

Macgregor suggested that it was “unclear” whether a Polish intervention in Ukraine would formally force NATO into war with Russia, with the possibility that it may be left up to each ally. “About the most that any analyst can say with confidence at this point is that Polish military intervention would confront NATO members with the specter of war with Russia, the very development most NATO members oppose”, the observer warned.

In any case, the retired officer stressed, Polish action would “satisfy the neocons in Washington”, with Warsaw serving as the possible “key to widening NATO’s war with Russia in Eastern Europe”, which ordinary Americans “do not want, but cannot easily stop”.

In Macgregor’s view, such a conflagration “with Russia would be a war that began without an objective appraisal of American vital interests, the distribution of power inside the international system, or the existence of any concrete threats to US national security”.

Quest for Kresy

Former Ukrainian lawmaker Ilya Kiva accused Warsaw of making preparations to annex western Ukrainian territories into Poland last week, saying the formation of a “western line of defence” may be the first stage to the creation of a Lvov-based “pro-Western” Ukrainian government which would subsequently be absorbed into Poland after a referendum.

Kiva’s remarks followed comments by Russian foreign intelligence chief Naryshkin’s announcement in late April that Moscow had obtained intel that Warsaw and Washington were “working on plans to establish tight Polish military-political control over ‘their historical possessions’ in Ukraine”. The first stage to the purported “reunification” could be the deployment of Polish troops in those regions of the country where the risk of clashes with the Russian military is minimal, Naryshkin said.

Polish Interior Ministry spokesman Stanislaw Zaryn denied the existence of such plans, accusing Russia of an “information operation against Poland and the US” and “spreading insinuations”.

Ukraine’s post-Euromaidan coup authorities first opened the door to possible Polish revanchism in western Ukraine in 2015 by denouncing the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, the 1939 treaty between the USSR and Nazi Germany which led to the return of Polish-controlled territories in western Belarus and Ukraine to the Soviet Union. Most of these territories were captured by Warsaw during the Polish-Soviet War of 1919-1921. Amid the USSR’s collapse in 1991, some Poles began to promote the idea that these “Kresy”, or “Borderlands”, be returned to Poland – although at the official level the subject has remained a taboo.

 

Why Biden’s Ukraine Military Adventure Will Benefit China & Fail to Subdue Russia

The House of Representatives on 10 May passed a $40 billion Ukraine military aid package by a 368-57 vote, beefing up Joe Biden’s initial $33 billion request. A day earlier, the US president inked a lend-lease bill into law, which would allow the White House to streamline lethal aid to the East European state.

As the Biden administration continues to ramp up military support to Ukraine, it is only stoking the flames of the ongoing conflict, either intentionally or unintentionally, according to Patrick Basham, founding director of the Democracy Institute, a Washington and London-based politically independent research organisation.

“Most Westerners are unaware that Ukraine is the inevitable loser in this tragic conflict”, Basham says “Therefore, maintaining the diplomatic fiction that Ukraine can defeat Russia only serves to lengthen the conflict, which means far more Ukrainians will die, far more infrastructure will be destroyed, and the cost of rebuilding the country will be far higher. As Russia is the inevitable victor, the sooner peace terms are negotiated and agreed between the two sides, the sooner the loss of Ukrainian life and property will cease”.

The US stepped up the provision of military aid to Ukraine after the beginning of the Russian special operation to demilitarise and de-Nazify Ukraine, which was launched on 24 February 2022. The US has allocated $3.8 billion in lethal aid for Kiev since then.

However, even before the conflict, Washington funnelled about $700 million to the East European state between January 2021 and February 2022. In general, “since 2014, the United States has provided more than $6.5 billion in security assistance for training and equipment”, according to the US State Department.

Last week’s $150 million pledge came from the remaining $250 million in presidential drawdown authority, “which allows the president to transfer excess weapons from US arsenals without congressional approval”, according to CNBC. After the bipartisan lend-lease bill was signed into law, Biden is expecting the US Senate to quickly pass the $40 billion package.

The large new package of American military aid to Ukraine is not going to help achieve peace in that country, according to Basham. On the contrary, it “does ensure that the fighting will continue longer than it should, as it may provide the Ukrainian government and parts of its military with the naïve belief that victory for their side is possible in this conflict”, he notes.

The scholar has drawn attention to the fact that despite sustaining temporary tactical defeats, Russia is steadily achieving its military objectives. The only question outstanding is when the fighting will actually end and at what cost it will come for the world, according to him.

Cui Bono? To Whose Benefit?

While Biden’s commitment to support the Ukrainian government so that it can continue to hold on to power and to hold back the Russian forces sounds like a good deal to Western ears, this strategy is fraught with security risks for the US, according to Basham. The truth of the matter is that while the US is trying to subdue Russia by raising the stakes in Ukraine, it indirectly plays into the hands of its other rival, China, argues the think tank director.

“The principal beneficiary of a Ukrainian quagmire is China”, says Basham. “Their non-Western influence grows exponentially as a result of Western nations’ collectively short-sighted and unrealistic approach to the crisis in Ukraine. China is leveraging and exploiting this geopolitical opportunity with the result that America will lose ground, both in absolute and relative terms, vis-à-vis China. China’s enhanced relationship with Russia will further ensure that the balance of superpower relations in our new, bipolar world, is not weighted in America’s favour”.

Meanwhile, the Western stakeholders who benefit politically and economically from the protracted conflict in Ukraine are reaching their respective goals at the expense of the US national interests, according to the scholar.

“Western politicians can portray themselves as democracy’s defenders; the defence and weapons industry can profit off supplying Ukraine with military instruments; the radical environmentalists can advance their anti-fossil fuel agenda by claiming Western economies must end their dependence upon Russian oil and gas; and, as they control Ukraine’s economic and military capabilities, Western governments can ensure that the government in Kiev dances to their diplomatic tune”, he summarises.

What’s more, the Biden administration has also dragged America’s NATO allies into the conflict, thus sending them “down a costly and unwinnable path that will produce negative repercussions for their own nations for a very long time”, Basham warns.

“Predictably, however, most NATO nations will do what American politicians are doing: they will suspend rationality and realism in order to give Biden what he wants”, he expects. “Biden is counting upon the insecurity of Western politicians and governments. The bottom-line is that, when Ukraine is finally allowed to admit she is defeated, no Western officeholder wants to be accused of ‘not having done enough’ to support Ukraine”.

Lots of Americans Believe Biden Admin Has Wrong Priorities

Meanwhile, American taxpayers are growing sceptical about the Biden administration’s Ukraine spending spree, notes the Democracy Institute’s founding director, citing the think tank’s latest surveys.

“The ordinary Americans we survey regularly tell us that they are less and less supportive of sending huge, new amounts of their money in aid of what appears to be, at best, a lengthy commitment of American resources with no finish line in sight”, Basham says. “What is especially troubling to many Americans is that, because of their government’s profligate spending during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, the nation is in a dire fiscal position. America’s national debt has grown so deep, and so fast, that taxpayers, burdened everyday by high inflation, realise that the money for aid to Ukraine can only come from two unsustainable sources: either it is borrowed or it is printed, that is, created out of thin air”.

Today, neither approach is popular, and for understandable reasons, according to the think tank director. Furthermore, most Americans polled by the Democracy Institute want the government to fund a border wall between Mexico and the United States in the first place, should the money “have” to be spent. He notes that the same Democratic establishment which told Donald Trump that the US has no money to build the border wall, “is enthusiastically spending several times that amount of money defending the Ukrainian border, instead”.

Meanwhile, “events in Ukraine, Russia, and elsewhere have not transpired as Biden predicted, to put it very politely”, says Basham. US domestic supply chain problems and rising prices, when contrasted with full shelves in Moscow and a ruble gaining in strength against the US dollar, prompt more and more questions from Americans, according to him.

‘Chasing an Increasingly Illusive Prize’

“For a variety of reasons, additional military assistance to Ukraine will not alter the outcome of the conflict with Russia”, says Basham. “Despite that essential fact, there will be more and more political pressure applied throughout the West for respective governments, especially the Biden administration, to do even more to assist the Ukrainian military”.

He expects even more misreporting of the actual military situation on the ground in Ukraine, “so that even more military aid can be supported by politicians who have been led, erroneously, to believe that Ukraine can win the war”. Make no mistake, any peace plan for Ukraine and Russia goes contrary to the plans of the Biden administration, which does not even conceal that it’s striving for a regime change in Russia, according to him.

“The probable push for even-more military aid for Ukraine would be the latest demonstration that the American political establishment mirrors most of their Western peers to the extent that they do not admit or acknowledge that a policy has failed, even when it clearly has done so”, Basham says. “Instead, they redouble their efforts utilising the same failed policy and regulatory instruments. Even more money is subsequently spent, and even more lives are ruined, chasing an increasingly illusive prize, be it a coronavirus-free world, or a Ukrainian victory over Russia”.

The Embassy of the Russian Federation in Bangladesh encourages everyone who wants to receive up-to-date information on the current events and obtain an alternative point of view to follow the Embassy’s social media accounts.

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