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Russia-obsessed Western elites acting like delinquents - Moscow

FILE PHOTO: Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov.
© Sputnik / Gavriil GrigorovFILE PHOTO: Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov.
Testing Russia's resolve seems to be the life goal of some leaders in the West, Deputy Foreign minister Sergey Ryakbov has said

Some Western leaders are so obsessed with sticking it to Moscow that they're behaving like delinquent youths who have no regard for the consequences of their actions, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov has said.

He made the comment in an extensive interview with TASS on Friday, during which he discussed the poor state of US-Russia relations. Washington and its allies are "prepared to balance on the edge of direct armed conflict with us," even though it undermines their national security, he added.

"There are plenty of people among those in power in the US and other key Western states, who are de facto provocateurs. They've made testing Moscow's resolve the goal of their existence," Ryabkov said.

Comment:


Bullseye

Victory Day remembrance, why the Western elites want to forget

victory day
Many ordinary citizens around the world, including in the United States and across Europe, are united with Russia in properly honoring Victory Day.

Russian historian Roman Shumov aptly captured the sublime significance of Victory Day. He wrote this week, "For Russians, May 9 isn't just a celebration of military triumph - it is a celebration of victory over death."

This week Russia and allied nations celebrated Victory Day with the customary splendor and respect on display in Moscow's Red Square. All across Russia, and on a smaller scale in other European countries too, there were commemorations in honor of the soldiers and civilians who gave their lives to defeat Nazi Germany in May 1945.

When Nazi Germany officially surrendered on May 9, the people of the Soviet Union had made the most excruciating and crucial sacrifice to gain victory. There is still no exact figure, but it is estimated that 27 to 30 million Soviet citizens died in the Great Patriotic War (1941-45). About 10 million of that total were Red Army soldiers, the rest civilians who died through unimaginable suffering of violence and deprivation. It was their collective sacrifice and heroism in the face of barbarism that finally wielded defeat on the Nazi Third Reich. It is only fitting that the Battle of Berlin was the last stand for Hitler's regime and that the hoisting of the Soviet flag over the Reichstag was the iconic moment of triumph.

Георгиевская ленточка

Russia & China — Two against one

putin and xi
© Konstantin Zavrazhin, Kremlin
Chinese President Xi Jinping's extremely warm reception of President Vladimir Putin yesterday in Beijing sealed the increasingly formidable Russia-China strategic relationship. It amounts to a tectonic shift in the world balance of power.

The Russia-China entente also sounds the death knell for attempts by U.S. foreign policy neophytes to drive a wedge between the two countries. The triangular relationship has become two-against-one, with serious implications, particularly for the war in Ukraine. If U.S. President Joe Biden's foreign policy geniuses remain in denial, escalation is almost certain.

In a pre-visit interview with Xinhua, Putin noted the "unprecedented level of strategic partnership between our countries." He and Xi have met more than 40 times in person or virtually. In June 2018, Xi described Putin as "an old friend of the Chinese people" and, personally, his "best friend."

For his part, Putin noted Thursday that he and Xi are "in constant contact to keep personal control over all pressing issues on the Russian-Chinese and international agenda." Putin brought along Defense Minister Andrey Belousov as well as veterans like Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and key business leaders.

Map

Putin reveals plans for Kharkov

Russian soldier
© SputnikFILE PHOTO.
Russian combat operations are not aimed at capturing the city, the president has said

Russia has no intention of capturing the Ukrainian city of Kharkov, which is close to the Russian border, President Vladimir Putin has said. Moscow's forces have been making notable gains in the area in recent days.

Speaking to reporters at the Harbin Institute of Technology during his two-day visit to China, Putin commented on Russia's operations in Kharkov Region, asserting that Moscow is achieving success on the battlefield by acting "strictly according to plan."

Comment:

From the same source:
17 May, 2024 13:20
Ukraine was warned about Russia's Kharkov offensive - Guardian
Despite the advance notice from the UK, Kiev's defense lines on the border were "thin to absent," the paper said

The UK warned Ukraine ahead of the Russian offensive in Kharkov Region, but Kiev failed to prepare for the attack that resulted in Moscow's troops making rapid gains, The Guardian reported on Thursday, citing sources.

British intelligence provided Ukraine with advance warning about the attack, according to one of the newspaper's sources, although he did not say how much time Kiev had to prepare.

However, the alert had followed a public warning by Russian President Vladimir Putin in March, saying Moscow could move to establish a "cordon sanitaire" in Kiev-controlled territories to protect civilians in Russian border regions, particularly in Belgorod, from indiscriminate Ukrainian artillery and drone bombardment.

Given that Ukrainian officials had also reported a concentration of Russian troops in the area ahead of the offensive, "it might have been expected that the attack would be swiftly repulsed," The Guardian said.

However, Ukrainian defensive lines "were thin to absent" in Kharkov Region, the paper said. As a result, the Russian Defense Ministry reported the capture of several border settlements in Kharkov Region in recent days.

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky recently admitted that Kiev was not ready to meet a large-scale Russian attack due to delays in Western arms shipments. He has canceled scheduled trips to Spain and Portugal, heading to Kharkov instead. Zelensky described the situation as "very serious," but promised that Kiev was redeploying reinforcements to the area from other frontline sectors.

On Tuesday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken traveled to Kiev to reassure Ukraine that it was "not alone" in the face of the Russian onslaught. He noted that the country was now going through its "critical moment" on the battlefield.

Echoing The Guardian report, some Ukrainian service members complained about the absence of fortifications and minefields in Kharkov Region, while local outlet Ukrainska Pravda reported that funds earmarked for creating defenses had simply been stolen. Ukrainian officials, however, have dismissed the narrative about the lack of defenses as "Russian propaganda" aimed at driving a wedge between local administrations and the top brass in Kiev.

On Friday, during his visit to China, Putin confirmed that Moscow's combat operations in the region were aimed at creating a "cordon sanitaire," stressing that his country had no plans to capture Kharkov, Ukraine's second-largest city, at this point.
The following article explains the process of corruption:
Ukrainian military stole money intended for fortifications - local media
14 May, 2024 14:15
Ukrainian military stole money intended for fortifications - local media
With millions of dollars reportedly embezzled, Russian armor was free to roll across the border into Kharkov

[...]

Writing in Ukrainska Pravda on Monday, Ukrainian anti-corruption activist Martina Boguslavets explained that Kharkov's Department of Housing and Communal Services (ZhKG) and Regional Military Administration (OVA) had been given 7 billion hryvnias ($176.5 million to build fortifications to hold back this advance.

Much of this money was embezzled, Boguslavets claimed. For the supply of wood, the ZhKG and OVA signed contracts worth 270 million hryvnias ($6.8 million) with five companies that were set up immediately after the contracts were announced. No bidding process took place, and at least two of these companies were owned by the same person, Boguslavets wrote.

"Moreover, the owners of these firms do not resemble successful businessmen and businesswomen," she wrote. "They have dozens of court cases, from whiskey theft to domestic violence against a husband and mother; some of them are deprived of parental rights and have had enforcement proceedings for bank loans."

Boguslavets described these business owners as "avatars," placed in charge of the companies either for a small fee or without their knowledge. One of the supposed CEOs, whose firm was paid 52 million hryvnias ($1.3 million) is an agricultural laborer, according to Boguslavets' documents.

"The naked eye can see how a government official mercilessly registers new companies, using for this purpose people who, due to the circumstances, may not be aware of this," she wrote. "And this someone continues to make money on blood."
See also:


Evil Rays

Taiwan lawmakers exchange blows in bitter dispute over parliament reforms

taiwan taipei parliament
© REUTERSTaiwan lawmakers argue and exchange blows during a parliamentary session in Taipei, Taiwan May 17, 2024.
Taiwanese lawmakers shoved, tackled and hit each other in parliament on Friday in a bitter dispute about reforms to the chamber, just days before President-elect Lai Ching-te takes office without a legislative majority.

Even before votes started to be cast, some lawmakers screamed at and shoved each other outside the legislative chamber, before the action moved onto the floor of parliament itself.

In chaotic scenes, lawmakers surged around the speaker's seat, some leaping over tables and pulling colleagues to the floor. Though calm soon returned, there were more scuffles in the afternoon.

Lai, who is to be inaugurated on Monday, won January's election, but his Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lost its majority in parliament.

Comment: Notably, fighting has often broken out in Ukraine's parliament.


Extinguisher

'Systemic' Starlink failure in Kharkov allows Russia to take Kiev-junta by surprise, electronic weapon use suspected

ukraine starlink
© Maxym Marusenko/NurPhoto/Getty ImagesA Ukrainian soldier uses a Starlink terminal during military exercises in Chernihiv Oblast, Ukraine, in June 2023. Starlink's failure helps Russian army take Kiev forces by surprise in Kharkov Region — WP In addition, Ukrainian forces were facing ammunition shortages due to a stalled US aid package.
Russia's offensive in the Kharkov Region took the Ukrainian army by surprise because of a failure in the Starlink satellite Internet service, the Washington Post writes, citing Ukrainian military sources.

According to the paper, Russia's offensive "had been expected for months - yet it still surprised the Ukrainian soldiers stationed" near Kharkov. The Washington Post writes that Ukrainian forces were using drones to monitor the Russian army's activities but on the day the offensive began, the Starlink devices that one of Ukrainian brigades was using failed, knocked out completely for the first time since the launch of Moscow's special military operation in February 2022.

"We were left at a certain point completely blind," a drone unit commander in the 125th Brigade stationed along the Russian border in the Kharkov Region told the paper. He said that "this was the biggest problem" because Ukrainian troops were unable to follow the movement of Russian forces and "only worked through radio or through phones."

Comment: There's good reason to suppose that Starlink was indeed neutralised by some of Russia's electronic weaponry:


Sheriff

Spain denies port of call to ship carrying arms to Israel, vows that this is now 'policy' because 'Middle East needs peace'

European Union flag
© REUTERS/Jon NazcaForeign ministry says it will reject all such stopovers because 'the Middle East does not need more weapons, it needs more peace'
Spain has refused permission for a ship carrying arms to Israel to dock at a Spanish port, its foreign minister, José Manuel Albares, said on Thursday.

"This is the first time we have done this because it is the first time we have detected a ship carrying a shipment of arms to Israel that wants to call at a Spanish port," he told reporters in Brussels.

"This will be a consistent policy with any ship carrying arms to Israel that wants to call at Spanish ports. The foreign ministry will systematically reject such stopovers for one obvious reason: the Middle East does not need more weapons, it needs more peace."


Comment: Note that, along with Italy, Spain also refused to contribute to the West's recent failed attacks on Yemen over their Red Sea blockade.


Comment: It's perhaps no coincidence that, with Spain, overall, presenting more opposition to Israel's genocide than other countries in Europe, that its PM recently found his wife under investigation for 'corruption and influence peddling':


Arrow Up

Putin's only real fear: NATO Imbeciles

Radoslaw Sikorski
© New Eastern Outlook
Poland's Foreign Minister, Radoslaw Sikorski, said, "Russian President Vladimir Putin should fear a war with NATO." In a chest-thumping address before the Sejm, the lower house of his country's parliament, the former debating club champion predicted Russia's imminent defeat should Putin dare attack.

This is how we know NATO would not stand a chance. When former Washington think tank "generals" who are not soldiers predict victory, it usually means a strategic situation is desperate. Sikorski, whose genius is revealed in the scores of photos with him and Donald Rumsfeld, Hillary Clinton, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and others, will be first on a plane for Tahiti if war does break out. The potential fallout of such a conflict is so severe that he and other members of the infamous Bilderberg Group will all jet to remote islands where the impact will be minimal. Let me explain.

Let's pretend that Poland's 500 dilapidated tanks were to toe the front line along with however many of Germany's 200-something rusty Leopards at the onset of WW3. With a few tens of thousands of US, French, reluctant Italians, and Romanians, and the stalwart Brits thrown in during the first days, the East of Poland and Romania would quickly resemble Dresden, Germany, at the end of WW2. NATO's biggest problem is putting American and UK boots on the ground on a front that would be over 2500 miles long. You see, it's not only the Russians who have a problem with long borders to defend. Russia has about 13,000 tanks and 4,500 aircraft, despite what Bloomberg experts may tell you.

The problem with Western propaganda is that the propagandists end up believing their own lies. The rationale for decades has been that the U.S.S.R. or later Russia, has not attacked because of NATO. If memory serves me, it has never been Russia on the offensive. Still, the fear is stoked for the obvious reasons. Money for guns and missiles that may or may not work. In Ukraine, I am told, all the amazing German tanks sent to help Zelensky are burned-out hulks now, and the air defence systems are virtually worthless against hordes of drones. Just because Mr. Putin has not called up another 2,000,000 reservists or made a killer thrust through Belarus into Northeastern Ukraine does not mean he cannot. The problem with Sikorski and those like him is that the rest of NATO (however unfit) IS NOT THERE! The Russians and Belarusians are.

USA

Responsible for rocking foundations of world peace

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken attends a meeting in Kyiv on May 15, 2024.
© Unknown "[Photo Agencies]"US Secretary of State Antony Blinken attends a meeting in Kyiv on May 15, 2024.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, making an unannounced visit to Kyiv on Tuesday, apparently tried his best to "rally the spirits of glum Ukrainians facing a fierce new Russian offensive", as the Associated Press observed.

Apart from assuring his audience they are not alone and that the long-delayed military aid from the United States is now on its way and will make a "real difference" on the battlefield, the top US diplomat took to the stage at a local pub to play rhythm guitar and sing Neil Young's 1989 hit Rockin' in the Free World with a local band.

The great lengths Blinken has gone to in a bid to boost Ukrainians' morale speaks volumes of how low it has fallen. Analysts have called the current situation in Ukraine one of the most dangerous moments since the Russia-Ukraine conflict broke out in February 2022 thanks to new offensive Moscow has recently organized in the northeast of Ukraine.

Comment:
1) See also: The West is worried, that's why Blinken made an urgent visit to Kiev

2) The article appears to have instances of understatement, irony, and sarcasm.

There isunderstatement
Since the heading does not say that the US is responsible for rocking foundation of world peace, but given the article image, the reader can take the two and figure it out. [BTW: the SOTT US flag icon was added for clarification.]

There is irony
In juxtaposing the statements of Blinkin about Freedom and help to Ukraine, with the explanations about what the US money really helps to achieve which is the slavery of Ukraine and Ukrainians to buck to the coffers of the US military industrial complex. Similarly, it is ironic that the one who prides himself of Rocking in a free world is in fact not

There is humor
When the one who claims he is "rocking in free a world" is rocking world peace, to be more blunt the US is rocking for destruction which, incidentally, also does not exclude the US.

There is a suggestion of sarcasm
In this sentence: "the top US diplomat took to the stage at a local pub to play rhythm guitar and sing Neil Young's 1989 hit Rockin' in the Free World with a local band." there is a suggestion of sarcasm, considering the contrast in style between a top diplomat from the self-proclaimed, self-important leader of the free world and a local pub. Rather than offering peace and freedom, he offers more manipulation and subjugation. The representatives of the Biden administration, may not appreciate it, but there is no exaggeration in Western elites want to prosper at the expense of others - Putin, considering all that NATO and EU expansion, with the associated killing, for the sake of their ambitions promoted as ideology of "Freedom". Another option is 'West's governments need war' warns Martin Armstrong 'because their debts are no longer sustainable'

Another formulation in this category might be: "the conflict has to end before any rebuilding takes place, and that is something the Biden administration has been trying to prevent" Well, that is just top dollar.

A question or a statement?
"For how long will the Ukrainian people be willing to continue to die so that the Biden administration can claim it is rockin' in a free world." remains suspended between being a question, which it is, and a statement, which is closer to the truth and alluded to by the missing question mark, if it is anything but an honest mistake, which is doubtful. Besides, while the mention is of Ukraine the sentence can be rephrased as a more general statement, given that the article is in English and meant for an international audience. Taking this approach one varient is: For how long will the Ukrainian people of US aligned countries, especially in Europe, be willing to continue to die pay so that the Biden administration can claim it is rockin' in a free world.

3) A reader comment to the article EU to sanction more Russian-language news outlets noted:
Commissioner for Values and Transparency

That sounds so much better than "Bureau of Censorship and Blacklisting"...

Is there no one in EUNATO with a sense of irony?
It may take some time before the honourable "Commissioner for Values and Transparency" gets around to blocking Chinese media outlets. In the meantime we can learn to understand Chinese thinking before needing to learn Chinese.


Eye 1

Neil Oliver: Yet again, we're being played by those with authority and power - The many vs. the few

Neil Oliver
Neil Oliver
"Parliament's rotten, the institutions are rotten, the judiciary, the civil service, the media, all rotten. Fiat currencies are Ponzi schemes, rotten. All of it, the whole damn system, the whole damn state is rotten. Anyone with the mind to could knock it all down."