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Mon, 06 Feb 2023
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Setting the Record Straight; Stuff You Should Know About Ukraine

Putin
On February 16, 2022, a full week before Putin sent combat troops into Ukraine, the Ukrainian Army began the heavy bombardment of the area (in east Ukraine) occupied by mainly ethnic Russians. Officials from the Observer Mission of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) were located in the vicinity at the time and kept a record of the shelling as it took place. What the OSCE discovered was that the bombardment dramatically intensified as the week went on until it reached a peak on February 19, when a total of 2,026 artillery strikes were recorded. Keep in mind, the Ukrainian Army was, in fact, shelling civilian areas along the Line of Contact that were occupied by other Ukrainians.

We want to emphasize that the officials from the OSCE were operating in their professional capacity gathering first-hand evidence of shelling in the area. What their data shows is that Ukrainian Forces were bombing and killing their own people. This has all been documented and has not been challenged.

So, the question we must all ask ourselves is this: Is the bombardment and slaughter of one's own people an 'act of war'?

Bullseye

'Putin didn't threaten me or Germany' - Chancellor Scholz rejects Bojo's claims of Russia threat

Chancellor Olaf Scholz

Johnson is notorious for exaggeration, spinning facts, or even outright lying, be it in his speeches to his constituency or in parliament.
Refuting Boris Johnson's claims, Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Vladimir Putin has neither threatened him nor Germany.

"No, Putin didn't threaten me or Germany. During our telephone calls, our very different perspectives on the war in Ukraine have become very clear," Scholz said in an interview for German media commenting on Boris Johnson's hefty claims.

Scholz has been consistent with his stance on the crisis in Ukraine blaming it wholly on Russia, claiming that Putin's military operation was uncalled for.

"We cannot simply accept that, because it's a fundamental violation of the European peace order. That is why we support Ukraine financially, through humanitarian aid and also with arms," Scholz said.


Comment: NATO's war on Serbia was a violation of European peace, as was NATO's encroachment and encirclement of Russia.


Comment: And there we have it, for anyone that needed (anymore) proof that Bojo 'partygate' Johnson was lying. With that, one can reasonably deduce that he's also lying about the threat to his own life.

That said, it also supports the notion that, at least in some instances, Germany seems to be willing to defy the establishment narrative to the benefit of Russia; and, notably, there was another recent example: Germany finally admits it's 'open' to the idea the West could be responsible for Nord Stream sabotage, 'with aim to blame Russia'


Quenelle - Golden

EU threatens Georgia with sanctions if it resumes flights to Russia, GDP in the country is up 11%

georgia russia flag
The spokesman for the European Union's external relations service, Peter Stano, said that Georgia must comply with aviation sanctions against Russia imposed by the EU. He warned that the EU sanctions regime provides for secondary sanctions against those who support circumvention of anti-Russian restrictions. This was stated in a letter from Stano in response to a request from the Netgazeti portal.

He indicated that the European Union is aware of ongoing discussions related to the possible restoration of direct flights between the two countries. Stano urged Tbilisi to support the aviation sanctions imposed by the EU and other states against Moscow, as well as to be vigilant against any attempts to circumvent them.

Comment: Civil.ge reports:
Geostat said growth was observed in construction, manufacturing, transportation and storage, financial and insurance activities as well as trade, hotels and restaurants.

A decline was registered in real estate activities, professional, scientific and technical activities, electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply.

Meanwhile, the estimated real GDP growth amounted to 10.1 percent in 2022 compared to the previous year.
Source: Geostat



Attention

NIH knew that grants to researchers were dangerous, but didn't monitor them

fauci
© Nash/AP
Dr. Anthony Fauci
The Office of the Inspector General dropped a new report about the relationship between the National Institutes of Health, the EcoHealth Alliance, and the facilities that received grants from the organization.

The contents do not reflect well on either the NIH or the EcoHealth Alliance. They were playing with fire, knew it, and failed to ensure that safety was front and center when messing with microbes.

The report is entitled quite sexily:
THE NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH AND ECOHEALTH ALLIANCE DID NOT EFFECTIVELY MONITOR AWARDS AND SUBAWARDS, RESULTING IN MISSED OPPORTUNITIES TO OVERSEE RESEARCH AND OTHER DEFICIENCIES.
Catchy title, as you would expect from the Inspector General's office. They have a flair for the dramatic.

Well, the findings themselves are dramatic. As explained by Hannah Cox of The White Coat Waste Project, the NIH at the very least dropped a very important ball. And perhaps, given Dr. Fauci's fondness for gain-of-function research, intentionally so. We may never know that one way or another.

Comment: To cut funding to EcoHealth Alliance would be acknowledging fraud. Bogus narratives protect the guilty.


Dollars

Hunter Biden tried to sell intelligence on Russian oligarchs: report

HBiden
© Washington Free Beacon
Hunter Biden
A newly revealed email is raising serious questions about Hunter Biden's business dealings and what kind of access he had to classified information.

Joe Biden is currently embroiled in a scandal surrounding his illegal possession of classified materials going back to his days in the US Senate. The email in question dates to 2011. The New York Post has the report.

Documents dating back to 2011 on his notorious "laptop from hell" showed Hunter offered to sell intelligence on Russian oligarchs to the US aluminum firm Alcoa Inc. for $55,000, according to The Post's exclusive October 2021 report.

As his father served as former President Barack Obama's second-in-command, Hunter Biden offered to provide a "statistical analysis of political and corporate risks, elite networks associated with Oleg Deripaska, the Russian CEO of Basic Element company and United company RUSAL," which had just signed a metal supply agreement with Alcoa.

Hunter Biden also offered the company a "list of elites of similar rank in Russia, map of [Deripaska's] networks based on frequency of interaction with selected elites and countries."

Comment: Successful parental modeling: Hunter takes after his dad.


Footprints

US pressures allies to expel Russia's Wagner mercenaries from Libya, Sudan

Wagner
© the hill.com
Wagner mercenaries
The United States has stepped up pressure on Middle East allies to expel the Wagner Group, a military contractor with close ties to Russia's president, from chaos-stricken Libya and Sudan where it expanded in recent years, regional officials told The Associated Press.

The U.S. effort described by officials comes as the Biden administration is making a broad push against the mercenaries. The U.S. has slapped new sanctions on the Wagner Group in recent months over its expanding role in Russia's war in Ukraine.

The group is owned by Russian oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin, a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Pentagon has described it as a surrogate for the Russian Defense Ministry. The Kremlin denies any connection.

The Biden administration has been working for months with regional powers Egypt and the United Arab Emirates to pressure military leaders in Sudan and Libya to end their ties with the group, according to more than a dozen Libyan, Sudanese and Egyptian officials. They asked for anonymity to speak freely and because they were not authorized to discuss the issue with the media.

"Wagner obsesses them (American officials)," said an Egyptian senior government official with direct knowledge of the talks. "It is at the top of every meeting."

Comment: 'For Hire' coming under fire:
In a news release, the State Department said sanctions against the Wagner Group will include its key infrastructure and associated front companies, the company's battlefield operations in Ukraine, those producing weapons for Russia and those administering Russia-occupied areas of Ukraine.
"This action supports our goal to degrade Moscow's capacity to wage war against Ukraine, to promote accountability for those responsible for Russia's war of aggression and associated abuses, and to place further pressure on Russia's defense sector."
The State Department also said that it plans to designate five entities and one individual linked to the Wagner Group and Prigozhin, targeting a range of the company's key infrastructure including an aviation firm used by the company, a Wagner-based propaganda organization, and Wagner front companies.

The Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control also designated the Wagner Group as a significant transnational criminal organization pursuant to executive order 13581. It cited the group's pattern of serious criminal behavior that includes:
"Violent harassment of journalists, aid workers, and members of minority groups and harassment, obstruction, and intimidation of UN peacekeepers in the Central African Republic (CAR), as well as rape and killings in Mali.

"These actions also advance President Biden's plan to promote accountability for conflict-related sexual violence, which calls for federal agencies to leverage existing sanctions authorities to pursue its perpetrators."
The moves come after a bipartisan group of lawmakers on Wednesday introduced the Holding Accountable Russian Mercenaries (HARM) Act, a proposed bill that would designate the Wagner Group as a foreign terrorist organization (FTO).

HARM Act would require the State Department to designate the Wagner Group as an FTO within a 90-day period of becoming law.

Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) said in a statement:
"Where the Wagner Group operates, atrocities follow. The HARM Act will identify Putin's private mercenary group as a Foreign Terrorist Organization and let the world know that its activities are both malign and illegal."
See also:


Bad Guys

'US sets bad precedent': China expresses dissatisfaction and protest over US shooting down civilian airship

china usa chess board global politics
© VCG
China expressed strong dissatisfaction and protest on Sunday against the US' move to shoot down a non-threatening Chinese airship for civilian use, calling the US' move an overreaction and vowing to reserve the right to take necessary actions. By turning an unintentional accident into an incident that has been hyped by the US officials and media, Washington is adding new uncertainties into the already-intense relations with China, creating a bad precedent for blurring the line between civilian and military uses, experts said.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry expressed strong dissatisfaction and protested against the US' use of force to shoot down a Chinese civilian unmanned airship, urging the US to properly handle the incident.

The Chinese side has verified the situation and communicated with the US side multiple times, saying the unintended entry of the airship into US airspace was due to force majeure and the incident was totally an accident, the ministry said.

Comment: The West is sinking ever deeper into Clown World.


Wolf

Former Israeli PM Naftali Bennett say the West scuttled Ukraine peace deal

former Israeli PM Naftali Bennett
© נפתלי בנט | Naftali Bennett/YouTube
Former Israeli PM Naftali Bennett
Last September, Fiona Hill and Angela Stent wrote this in Foreign Affairs: "According to multiple former senior U.S. officials, in April 2022, Russian and Ukrainian negotiators appeared to have tentatively agreed on the outlines of a negotiated interim settlement."

In the end, of course, no such settlement was agreed. Which may be, at least in part, because Boris Johnson advised Zelensky not to sign it during his "surprise visit" to Kiev in early April.

As you may recall, one of Zelensky's "close associates" told Ukrainska Pravda that Johnson was an "obstacle" to negotiations because he'd brought two simple messages: "Putin is a war criminal, he should be suppressed, not negotiated with. And secondly, if you are ready to sign any agreements on guarantees with him, then we are not. We can with you, but not with him, he will still abandon everyone."

SOTT Logo Radio

NewsReal: Chinese Balloon: It's All About The Optics

balloon spy china newsreal
© Sott.net
Chinese Communist spy balloon? Chinese Communist bioweapon sent from Wuhan to destroy the Free World™?

The whole world (i.e., the USA) was stunned this week as a Chinese high-altitude balloon dared traverse the USA before being shot down in a stunning and brave military move by an air-to-air missile fired from an F-22 fighter jet over US waters in the Atlantic.

Bullet dodged?

Er, no. As Joe and Niall explain in this NewsReal, such balloons (Chinese, research, 'spy' or otherwise) traverse the US and elsewhere on a regular basis. What's different this time is that 'someone' overruled the Pentagon's initial assessment that this balloon posed no threat to US national security to instead make a REALLY big deal out of it...


Running Time: 01:41:54

Download: MP3 — 70 MB


Arrow Down

Well, It's bird flu...again

Bird Flu
© Off-Guardian
Hey remember last year? Remember the spring "bird flu outbreak"?

Remember how it was all just a fear-porn story designed to discourage people from eating real food, drive up the price of poultry and eggs and sell more vaccines?

Well, guess what...

Groundhog Day
© Off-Guardian
It's groundhog day again. And I mean that quite literally since it was actually reported on February 2nd:
Bird flu has jumped to mammals in the UK - so how worried should humans be?
Yes, the experts are back and they have more "warnings". But don't worry "It's not that alarming"...yet. Although clearly someone at the New York Times didn't get the "don't be alarmist" memo, because they went with...
An Even Deadlier Pandemic Could Soon Be Here