Putin appoints governors for Donbass

Strasbourg 05.10.2022 President Putin appoints acting heads of four “new Russian regions”, Russian TASS news agency reports. (Image above: archive)

Following referenda where voters opted for the accession of the regions to Russia, Putin and the heads of the four regions signed treaties on their accession to Russia at a Kremlin-hosted ceremony, the news agency continues. THe moved unanimously condemned by the European Union, assessing the change as “annexation”.

Russian President Vladimir Putin appointed acting heads of the four new Russian regions who will govern until the regions’ heads are elected according to Russian law.

The same politicians who headed the regions prior to their accession to Russia have retained their posts. Denis Pushilin, who was a leader of Russian-speaking protests in the Donetsk Region after a coup in Ukraine, became acting head of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR). Pushilin participated in a ceremony on April 7, 2014 when the DPR was created, and in 2018 he was elected head of the republic.

Leonid Pasechnik has been a head of the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR). In 2014, when protests against Euromaidan events and a nationwide coup began in southeastern Ukraine, he took the side of the Lugansk Region’s people’s militia and was elected head of the republic in 2018.

The leaders of the two self-proclaimed Donbass republics retained the title of heads, while the heads of the other two regions became acting governors.

Yevgeny Balitsky, who has been leading the Zaporozhye Region’s military-civilian administration, will be the region’s acting governor. The military-civilian administration was formed in the region’s liberated areas after those had been taken over by Russian troops. And Vladimir Saldo, previously the head of the Kherson Region’s military-civilian administration, will become the region’s acting governor.

Following referendums where voters opted for the accession of the regions to Russia, Putin and the heads of the four regions signed treaties on their accession to Russia at a Kremlin-hosted ceremony on Friday. Pushilin, Pasechnik, Balitsky and Saldo signed off on the documents on behalf of the four regions.

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

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.

Lavrov plane refused air passage

Strasbourg 06.06.2022 The Russian delegation was scheduled to hold talks in Belgrade, while the EU and NATO member-countries have closed their airspace, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has confirmed that the countries bordering Serbia have closed their airspace to Minister Sergey Lavrov’s aircraft.

“The countries bordering Serbia have closed the only air route to the aircraft of Sergey Lavrov who was to depart for Serbia. The Russian delegation was scheduled to hold talks in Belgrade, while the EU and NATO member-countries have closed their airspace,” Zakharova said in an on-air broadcast of Italy’s La7 television channel late on Sunday.

Serbia’s daily Ve·ernje Novosti reported earlier that Bulgaria, North Macedonia and Montenegro had closed their airspace to Lavrov’s plane due to depart for Serbia.

Russian Ambassador Antonov on food crisis

Brussels 28.05.2022 Russian ambassador to Washington Anatoly Antonov on Friday, May 28, said the food crisis, which had been unfolding for the past couple years, worsened due sanctions on Russia by the U.S. and its allies.

“The crisis was further exacerbated due to the introduction by Washington and its satellites of illegitimate sanctions against Russia,” the diplomat said in statement released by the Russian Embassy in Washington. “Despite the references of the U.S. officials to exemptions from the restrictions, which allegedly provide for the opportunity for our country to trade in farm goods, domestic exporters often don’t have a chance to make shipments.”

“They face blocked payments, denials of loans and insurance, problems with booking freight ships, purchase of farm equipment and even seeds,” he went on to say. “In addition, the US continues to increase import taxes on our fertilizers.”

Antonov described such actions as “the utmost hypocrisy” and called the US attempts to blame Russia for the food crisis as absolutely unfounded.

“We urge a halt to shifting the blame,” he continued. “Russia is committed to its export obligations and is ready for negotiations to resolve this most serious problem, including through the UN.”

The diplomat also said that difficulties in the food market have been building up for a long time, at least over the past two years. “They are associated with miscalculations and systemic errors in the macroeconomic policy – primarily financial and foreign trade policies – and energy and food policies of Western countries,” he said. “At the same time, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to significant disruptions of supply chains.”

“Freight costs have almost doubled,” he continued. “Naturally, all this couldn’t not fail but lead to a sharp increase in food prices. Wheat prices increased by a quarter over 2021.”

The Wall Street Journal earlier reported that UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres is negotiating with Russia and Ukraine to unblock the export of Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea in exchange for the lifting of a number of sanctions that hinder the export of Russian fertilizers. Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the UN Vasily Nebenzya and Permanent Representative of the United States Linda Thomas-Greenfield confirmed that there are talks on resuming the exports of Ukrainian grain and Russian fertilizers to the global market. However, the sides insists that these issues are discussed separately from each other and don’t assume any exchanges.

Russia calls U.S.to unfreeze Afghan funds

Brussels 27.05.2022 Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolay Patrushev called for assistance in the earliest possible unfreezing of Afghan assets “illegally” blocked by the United States.

“[It is] necessary to facilitate the earliest possible unfreezing of Afghan assets illegally blocked by US in order to develop social and economic projects in Afghanistan,” the Russian Security Council Secretary said on Friday, May 27, in the city of Dushanbe, Tajikistan, during the fourth round of multilateral consultations on the Afghan issue.

The statesman also spoke in favor of establishing closer coordination in order to develop a unified line on the Afghaninstan direction, intensifying efforts to increase the volume of international humanitarian aid to the society and to organize its delivery to the country.

“On the Afghan track it is important to promote the consolidation of corresponding international efforts, first of all under the aegis of the UN. We believe that the [United Nations] should be the main coordinator in solving the whole range of problems of post-conflict reconstruction of Afghanistan,” Patrushev said.

Lavrov: no timetalbe in Ukraine

Brussels 02.05.2022 Moscow won’t set artificial timetable for its military operations in Ukraine in order to complete it by Victory Day, celebrated in Russia on May 9, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (pictured) said in an interview with Italy’s Mediaset broadcaster.(Image above: illustration).

“Our troops won’t artificially base their activities on a specific date, including Victory Day,” he pointed out in response to a question. “We will solemnly celebrate May 9 the way we always do,” Lavrov added.

According to the top diplomat, the pace of Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine first and foremost depends “on the need to mitigate risks for civilians and Russian troops.”

Lavrov underlined that the operation was particularly aimed at ensuring the safety of civilians and making sure that there were no threats from Ukraine to civilians and Russia, “which would be related to offensive weapons and the spread of Nazi ideas that the West is trying to downplay.”

“I have seen reports on NBC, I have read the National Interest magazine. Serious articles have started to appear there that are warning against playing games with Nazis, like it happened in 1935-1938,” the Russian Minister has underlined.

Russian prisoners of war killings

Brussels 11.04.2022 The evidence has emerged revealing Ukrainian soldiers killings of captured and bound Russian prisoners of war near Bucha, the small town near Kyiv where presumed massacre of Ukrainian civilians happened according to President Zelensky and the international community accusing Russia of war crimes.

Kiev is plotting, with the West’ support, provocations with massacre of civilians in the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) to place the blame for it on the Russian army, Colonel Mikhail Mizintsev, chief of Russia’s National Defense Management Center, said on April 10.

“Official Kiev, with the support from several Western countries, continues to plan barbarous and ruthless actions with mass killings of civilians in the Lugansk People’s Republic to later accuse the Russian armed forces and LPR troops,” he said.

According to the Colonel, a provocation is planned in the Ragovka community in the Kiev region. The Ukrainian side, in his words, is plotting to shoot a fake video about searches of places of mass burials of civilians allegedly killed by Russian troops. “A team of Ukrainian forensic experts and police officers will be involved in the provocation to make it look more trustworthy,” he said.

“Reporters from foreign mass media outlets have arrived in the city of Kremennaya in the Severodonetsk district and have accommodated in the building of the local hospital. They are supposed to record the Ukrainian army’s provocation with the alleged selling of ambulance cars carrying patients by Russian troops,” he said.

Apart from that, he said that Ukrainian nationalists have mined reservoirs with chlorine at a water utility in the Popyasnaya district and plan to blow them up when forces of the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) approach the city.

Russia suspended from UN HRC Geneva

Brussels 07.04.2022 Today UN’s general assembly on Thursday, April 7, voted to suspend Russia from the Geneva-based Human Rights Council, in a new international reaction to Kremlin over the invasion of Ukraine and alleged atrocities, especially in the town of Bucha near the capital.

Ninety-three (93) UN members approved Russia’s suspension — the first imposed on any permanent member of the UN Security Council.

However, 24 UN members, including China, Iran, Bolivia and Kazakhstan, voted against Russia’s suspension. Another 58 countries abstained, including India, Indonesia and Egypt, showing that a wide range of countries are either siding with Moscow or remaining neutral as the military conflict continues.

Reacting upon the news Russian diplomat Gennady Kuzmin from the mission to the UN, said that the Human Rights Council has been in fact “monopolised by a single group of states that exploits the mechanism to achieve their opportunistic goals”.
“These states over years have either engaged in gross and mass violations of human rights or showed indulgence towards such”.