Pentagon: U.S. military in Ukraine

Brussels 03.11.2022 U.S. Air Force Brigade General Pat Ryder acknowledged during an official briefing that active-duty U.S. military personnel are not only deployed in Ukraine, but are operating far away from the U.S. Embassy in Kiev.

The day before, an unnamed U.S. Department of Defense official said at a background briefing that “U.S. personnel” had “resumed on-site inspections to assess weapon stocks” in Ukraine.

Reporting on this announcement, NBC News noted that “these inspectors in Ukraine appear to be some of the first members of the U.S. military to re-enter the Eastern European country since the start of the war, outside of military guards posted at the U.S. Embassy…”

During Tuesday’s on-camera briefing, Travis Tritten of military.com asked, “The military has personnel inside of Ukraine, who are doing weapons inspections now. I’m wondering what the rules of engagement for those personnel are if they are fired on by the Russians or they are targeted by the Russians.”

“We do have small teams that are comprised of embassy personnel that are conducting some inspections of security assistance delivery at a variety of locations” Ryder said.

“My understanding is that they would be well far away from any type of frontline actions, we are relying on the Ukrainians to do that, we are relying on other partners to do that…. They’re not going to be operating on the front lines” he continued.

“We’ve been very clear there are no combat forces in Ukraine, no US forces conducting combat operations in Ukraine, these are personnel that are assigned to conduct security cooperation and assistance as part of the defense attaché office” the general said.

To this explanation, Tritten replied: “But this would be different because they would be working outside the embassy. I would just ask if people should read this as an escalation.”

Ryder claimed that the U.S. action was not escalatory, and simply refused to answer Tritten’s question about what the Washington would do if any active-duty U.S. troops were killed.

At present Russia has expanded its targeting of logistics sites throughout Ukraine, with weapons depots being a major target. The question “what will be the consequence if these U.S. troops, serving as liaisons for the coordination of logistics and weapons shipments, are targeted, including inadvertently, by Russia?” remains unanswered.

The United States has exported weapons, but also ensured economic assistance for Ukraine, altogether mounting to $50 billion. Having financed and supplied the war, the Washington intends to control the weapons trajectory and use. The ambivalence caused by reports of the growing black market of weapons has fuelled and argument within the American political establishment in advance of the midterm elections.

The U.S. military and State Department are increasingly concerned that advanced weapons may end up in the hands of elements within Ukraine that may use them in a way that Washington has not approved beforehand.

The Pentagon’s statements followed the release of a report by the State Department on its plans to “Counter Illicit Diversion of Certain Advanced Conventional Weapons in Eastern Europe.”

The report referred to “a variety of criminal and non-state actors [who] may attempt to acquire weapons from sources in Ukraine during or following the conflict, as occurred after the Balkan Wars in the 1990s.”

Unfortunately, the “Criminal” actors, however, are embedded in the Ukrainian military, particularly in the form of the fascistic Azov Batallion, which is playing a frontline role in the war against Russia and whose leaders have been brought to Washington where they received warm welcome by Congressmen, Democrat and Republican alike.

The open secret is that the actual U.S. force presence in Ukraine is far greater even than that admitted by the Pentagon.

In October, veteran journalist James Risen reported that the Biden administration had authorized the clandestine deployment of U.S. Special Forces in Ukraine.
“Clandestine American operations inside Ukraine are now far more extensive than they were early in the war,” wrote Risen.

Secret U.S. operations inside Ukraine are being conducted under a presidential covert action finding, current and former officials said. The finding indicates that the president has quietly notified certain congressional leaders about the administration’s decision to conduct a broad program of clandestine operations inside the country. One former special forces officer said that Biden amended a preexisting finding, originally approved during the Obama administration, that was designed to counter malign foreign influence activities.

In July, the New York Times reported that dozens of US ex-military personnel are operating on the ground in Ukraine and that retired senior US officers are directing portions of the Ukrainian war effort from within the country.

US forces are intimately involved in all aspects of Ukrainian military operations, having helped provide intelligence for the strike that sunk the Moskva, the flagship of the Russian Black Sea fleet, in April, and for Ukrainian strikes that have killed Russian generals.

The announcement comes amidst a major escalation of the war over the past month. Following military setbacks in both Northern and Southern Ukraine, Russia has mobilized hundreds of thousands of reservists, annexed four regions of Ukraine, and threatened the use of nuclear weapons to defend them.

A series of major provocative actions targeting Russia have massively increased tensions, including the bombing of the Nord Stream gas pipelines, for which Russia has blamed the United Kingdom, along with the assassination of Russian far-right ideologue Daria Dugina and the bombing of the Kerch Bridge, which the New York Times reported were carried out by Ukrainian forces.

Over the weekend, Ukraine carried out an attack on Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, the Times reported, which prompted Russia to shortly withdraw from its grain agreement with Ukraine, threatening to escalate the global food crisis.

Under these conditions, forces within the U.S., including admiral James Stavridis, have renewed calls for more direct U.S. intervention, including in the form of the dispatch of warships to the Black Sea.

EU: Big Tech shields Ursula

Brussels 25.10.2022 Anna van Densky OPINION On Sunday night, October 23 at 10:50 PM, I received an email from the YouTube team, informing me, that my video was removed and my channel was suspended for one week. The explanation of this hostile measure against the Freedom of speech was announced in a standard, non personalized text:

“Our team has reviewed your content, and, unfortunately, we think it violates our medical-misinformation policy. We’ve removed the following content from YouTube: “EU: demand of Ursula resignation”.
I immediately launched an appeal explaining the political and non-medical nature of my reporting from the European Parliament Strasbourg Plenary, but to no avail.

Well… But seriously, what the loud political demands of a group of the Members of the European Parliament for Ursula von der Leyen resignation have to do with the “medical-misinformation”? Ursula von der Leyen holds a position of the European Commission president, or in the other words the Prime-minister of the “United States of Europe”, and the MEPs demands of the resignation are relevant to the democratic practices, in the context of corruption allegations.

In mid-October the European Public Prosecutor’s Office opened an investigation into the EU’s coronavirus vaccines purchases, an announcement attracting attention to the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s questionable actions in concluding €71 bn contracts in total to November 2021.

My reporting censored by YouTube was correct because MEPs articulated the demands publicly a few times during the European Parliament second October Plenary in Strasbourg. Why the YouTube team is suppressing the vital for the EU citizens information, revealing corruption in the institutional highest ranks, and deleting the content about the legitimate demands of people’s representative for transparency enshrined to the EU Treaty?

Who is behind this YouTube team, who claims to be the guardians of the World Health Organization policies? On what grounds a Digital platform manifests itself as a censor, declaring that “YouTube doesn’t allow content that spreads medical misinformation that contradicts local health authorities’ (LHA) or the World Health Organization’s (WHO) medical information about COVID-19”. And what does the “medical misinformation” mean, while WHO, and other influential players in the field as the Chief Medical Advisor to the President of the U.S. spasmodically, but brazenly adapted their own slippery tactics in promotion of the Big Pharma products? Remember?

According to the statistic research the YouTube was among the major beneficiaries from the lockdown policies. According to The Insider YouTube is a powerhouse for Google, with revenue up 46% to almost $7 billion in the last quarter of 2020, doubling its profits due to lockdowns.

Just a few words about the YouTube, which is a video sharing platform where users around the world stream 694,000 hours of content every minute.
It is owned by Google, and is the second most visited website, after Google Search. YouTube has more than 2.5 billion monthly users who collectively watch more than one billion hours of videos each day. However policies of this Big Tech giant are becoming increasingly obscurant, influencing without any democratic mandate the political, and public life, moreover, manipulating and misguiding societies on epic scale.

However the concerns over the active “misinformation” censorship in favour of promotion of Big Pharma scheme of eternal use of their products reached the U.S. Senate. Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Ranking Member of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, sent a letter to YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki demanding documents and communications explaining each instance of YouTube’s censorship of him and requesting information on the development of YouTube’s COVID-19 misinformation policies.

“YouTube has displayed a troubling track record of censoring a sitting United States Senator, the proceedings of the United States Senate, journalists that interview me, and the display of data that is entirely generated from U.S. government health agencies,” the senator said.

Senator Johnson pressed Big Tech executives on censorship,  the silencing of conservative voices internal political bias at social media companies and their role in removing “COVID-19 disinformation.” The executives would not answer his questions.

Meanwhile on the other side of the Atlantic Ursula von der Leyen does not shy away from forceful imposition of decisions in a totalitarian power style, trampling The Nuremburg Code, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Declaration of Helsinki, and the Siracusa Principles.

Moreover led by Ursula von der Leyen the European Commission is eager to bring the “Health dictatorship” to another level. The EU is also determined to play a leading role in the negotiations for a new international legally binding agreement on “pandemic prevention, preparedness and response” and targeted amendments to strengthen the 2005 International Health Regulations.

This institution, which has become deeply authoritarian, asks Member States to relaunch their vaccine strategies and to fight against misinformation about the vaccine, which means nothing other than the return of the vaccination pass, and “health dictatorship”.

However, in spite of the heavy “editing” and mass-scale censorship the demands of transparency around the dealing of Ursula von der Leyen and the Big Pharma companies, namely Pfizer are mounting.

Olivier Frot, Doctor of Public Law, from Bordeaux University, France, managed to obtain the framework agreement from the European Commission for the purchase of “anti-Covid vaccines” from the company Pfizer BioNtech.

“We are in the presence of a very original and unusual contractual form in terms of public procurement, an ‘advance purchase agreement’, a form unknown to the writer before this study and not provided for in the texts governing public contracts awarded by the European Commission” commented Oliver Frot.
“This is a type of leonine contract in which the contracting party is exempt from economic risk (firm price over a short period, fixed contractual quantities, significant financial advance), exempt from legal risk (responsibility transferred to the participating Member State” the researcher continued.
“The information making it possible to determine the legality of the procedures for awarding and drafting these contracts is unfortunately not available. Given the totally unbalanced nature of these contracts, one can legitimately ask questions about their award conditions and the absence of corruption and/or conflicts of interest” he added.

Russia: limited nuclear conflict catastrophe

Brussels 29.09.2022 Assumptions about the possibility of a limited nuclear conflict are erroneous as any use of nuclear weapons is fraught with global catastrophe, Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antono wrote in an article published on the website of the US’ National Interest magazine.

“I would like to warn American military planners about the fallacy of their assumptions that a limited nuclear conflict is possible. They apparently hope that the United States would be able to take cover behind the ocean if such a conflict happens in Europe with British and French nuclear weapons. I would stress that this is an extremely dangerous “experiment.” It is safe to assume that any use of nuclear weapons could quickly lead to an escalation of a local or regional conflict into a global one,” he emphasized.

“I want to believe that, despite all the difficulties, we and the Americans have not yet approached a dangerous threshold of falling into the abyss of nuclear conflict. It is important to stop threatening us,” he noted. “Today, it is difficult to predict how far Washington is ready to go in exacerbating relations with Russia. Will the U.S. ruling circles be able to give up their plans aimed at wearing out our country with the prospect of its dismemberment?”

“The recent Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit and the high-level week of the 77th UN General Assembly session have proved that a considerable part of the planet is not satisfied with the world order that was created after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

“We are witnessing the majority of the global community trying to find ways to establish an equitable system of international relations which would have neither first-nor second-tier states. We firmly support such a world order based on international law, the UN Charter, and the principle of the indivisibility of security,” Antonov added

Anti-Russian sanctions “unnoticed”

Brussels 09.09.2022 Western nations have imposed about 11,000 various restrictions on Russia, which went largely unnoticed by Russian citizens, Russian Permanent Representative to International Organizations in Vienna Mikhail Ulyanov said on Friday, September 9.

“The West introduced record-breaking 11 000 sanctions against Russia. The Russian citizens have not noticed that so far,” the diplomat wrote on Twitter.

“For the first time in history the Western nations face the consequences of sanctions they introduce against another state,” he added.

The Ambassador tweeted: “The West introduced record-breaking 11,000 sanctions against Russia. The Russian citizens have not noticed that so far.”

In another tweet, Ulyanov underscored that the Western nations for the first time face the “consequences” of sanctions that they imposed against another nation. He further said, “Of course, the sanctions bite. The question is who they bite more. We will see.”

EU nations, US and UK have launched sanctions against Russia to apply pressure to the Kremlin to end the war in Ukraine, and accept the will of the Ukrainian leadership to join NATO. So far, European Union has imposed several packages of sanctions against Russia, including trade restrictions, asset freezes and travel bans. As part of the economic sanctions, the EU has imposed import and export restrictions on Russia which implies that European entities cannot export certain products to Russia and vice versa.

Kissinger: U.S. on brink of war

Brussels 14.08.2022 Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger believes that Washington is currently on the brink of war with Moscow and Beijing, he said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.

“We are at the edge of war with Russia and China on issues which we partly created, without any concept of how this is going to end or what it’s supposed to lead to,” he underscored.

“You can’t just now say we’re going to split them off and turn them against each other. All you can do is not to accelerate the tensions and to create options, and for that you have to have some purpose,” Kissinger added.

USA-Russia: prisoners exchange talks

Brussels 06.08.2022 Russia is ready to discuss the exchange of prisoners with the US, but only within the channel, negotiated by Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Joe Biden. If the Americans resort to public diplomacy, its’ “their problem,” Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said to reporters Friday, August 5. (Image above: Viktor Bout)

The top diplomat said that Washington’s logic in the situation around House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan is “strange,” and noted that US Secretary of State Antony Blinken displayed no interest in contacts with his Russian counterpart during the ASEAN events in Phnom Penh.

“If the Americans once again decide to resort to public diplomacy and to make loud announcements that they plan to take some steps, then that is their business, and I would even say, their problem. The Americans often do not comply with agreements on a quiet professional work on this and many other topics.”

Russia-Africa Summit announcement

Brussels 27.07.2022 Russia’s second-largest city of Saint Petersburg will host the 2023 Russia-Africa Summit, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson wrote on her Telegram channel on Wednesday, July 27.

“We are leaving the African continent under a heavy rain and this is a good sign,” she stated. “Thank you, friends, and we are waiting for you in Saint Petersburg next year at the Russia-Africa summit.”

The inaugural Russia-Africa summit was hosted by the Russian Black Sea resort city of Sochi in 2019. The summit was organised between October 22 and 24, 2019 and its slogan read as ‘For Peace, Security and Development.’

Within the framework of the African tour earlier this week, Foreign Minister Lavrov visited Egypt, the Republic of the Congo, Uganda and Ethiopia between July 24 and 27.

The visit to Ethiopia on Wednesday July 27 was be the final stop in Lavrov’s African tour, after which the Russian top diplomat will travel to the Foreign Ministers’ Meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in the Uzbekistani capital of Tashkent.

The food crisis caused by the Ukraine conflict took the center stage during Lavrov’s previous negotiations and press conferences in African countries.

Putin vows to overcome hardships

Brussels 18.07.2022 Russia is not going to lose heart or have decades of its progress reversed, despite inhospitable forecasts from opponents, President Vladimir Putin told the Council for Strategic Development at a meeting on Monday.

The president said Russia was being completely denied access to foreign hi-tech products.

“We understand that this is a major challenge to our country, however we are not going to lose heart or have decades of our progress reversed, despite predictions from a number of our ill-wishers, the opposite is true,” Putin insisted.

“[We are] aware of the huge amount of obstacles” being put up, so Russia will be “looking for new solutions while making effective use of its own technological capacities available in the country and research by innovative Russian companies,” Putin explained.

“I understand that this is a complicated task. All of us are perfectly aware of that. And it’s also clear that we cannot and will not live in isolation from the rest of the world,” the Russian president pledged.

The head of state stressed that Russia cannot be isolated from the rest of the world, or fenced off from it.

“Obviously, we cannot develop in isolation from the rest of the world. And we won’t. It is impossible in the present-day world to merely issue as decree and erect a huge fence. It is simply impossible,” he said and outlined top priority tasks.

According to the president, one of such tasks is to develop end-to-end technologies, which have major influence on structural changes in the economy.

Borrell: views on Ukraine conflict shift

Brussels 11.07.2022 The G20 Foreign Ministers Meeting in Bali opened to Josep Borrell the different perspectives around the world on the situation in Ukraine and its consequences, the The European Union top diplomat said, pointing at the evolution of views on the conflict.

“In the March vote at the UN General Assembly, 140 states condemned the Russian aggression and no member of the G20, apart from the aggressor, opposed this Resolution. But on how to move forward and on the consequences of the war, views differ sharply,” Borrell said in a statement published on the EU’s website on Sunday. “The G7 and like-minded countries are united in condemning and sanctioning Russia and in trying to hold the regime accountable. But other countries, and we can speak here of the majority of the `Global South’, often take a different perspective,” he concluded.

“The global battle of narratives is in full swing and, for now, we are not winning,” Borrell underlined.

The G20 foreign ministerial sessions held in Bali on July 7-8 were attended by Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who held a number of bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the G20 Foreign Ministers Meeting.

On February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a “special military operation” in response to a request by the heads of the two Donbass Republics. The U.S., the EU, the UK and a number of NATO allies retaliated with sweeping sanctions against Russia and have been ramping up their weapons supplies to Ukraine.

“In the March vote at the UN General Assembly, 140 states condemned the Russian aggression and no member of the G20, apart from the aggressor, opposed this resolution. But on how to move forward and on the consequences of the war, views differ sharply,” Borrell said in a statement published on the EU’s website on Sunday. “The G7 and like-minded countries are united in condemning and sanctioning Russia and in trying to hold the regime accountable. But other countries, and we can speak here of the majority of the `Global South’, often take a different perspective,” the EU diplomat concluded.

“The global battle of narratives is in full swing and, for now, we are not winning,” Borrell continued.

The G20 foreign ministerial sessions held in Bali on July 7-8 were attended by Russia’s top diplomat Sergey Lavrov. The Russian foreign minister held a number of bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the G20 Foreign Ministers Meeting.

On February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a special military operation in response to a request by the heads of the two Donbass republics. The US, the EU, the UK and a number of other countries retaliated with sweeping sanctions against Russia and have been ramping up their weapons supplies to Ukraine.

NATO MADRID PIVOTAL SUMMIT

Brussels 25.06.2022 NATO Leaders are meeting in Madrid at a pivotal time for our security. Russia’s war against Ukraine has shattered peace in Europe, caused far-reaching energy and food crises, and shaken the rules-based international order. NATO’s response has been swift and united.

How has Russia’s brutal and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and the new security reality in Europe affected NATO’s approach to deterrence and defence?

What is the Alliance doing to address other challenges, like China’s growing influence and assertiveness or the security consequences of climate change?

What will be included in NATO’s next Strategic Concept, the blueprint for the Alliance’s future adaptation to a more competitive world where authoritarian powers try to push back against the rules-based international order?

These are just some of the important questions that NATO Leaders will discuss during the Madrid Summit.

More than ever, NATO is the indispensable platform for transatlantic consultations and cooperation on security and defence. At the Madrid Summit, Allies will continue to adapt, taking decisions to keep NATO strong and ready in a more dangerous world. Heads of State and Government will agree to strengthen deterrence and defence, and support Ukraine for the longer term. They will agree the 2022 Strategic Concept, which will be a roadmap for the Alliance in the years to come. Allies will also boost cooperation with partners, enhance resilience and sharpen NATO’s technological edge – all underpinned by the necessary investments in our collective defence.

NATO Leaders are gathering in Madrid, Spain to discuss important issues facing the Alliance. The Madrid Summit will set NATO’s strategic direction for the next decade and beyond, ensuring that the Alliance will continue to adapt to a changing world and keep its one billion people safe.