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Sherlock

Kremlin comments after another EU state drops Nord Stream probe

Baltic Sea gas leak from the Nord Stream 2 pipeline
© Swedish Coast Guard via Getty ImagesFILE PHOTO: Baltic Sea gas leak from the Nord Stream 2 pipeline in September 2022.
Copenhagen must have found "close allies" when searching for the culprits behind the sabotage, a spokesman has suggested

The Danish decision to end its investigation into the sabotage of the Nord Stream gas pipelines under the Baltic Sea was probably motivated by Copenhagen's unwillingness to establish the truth about the crime, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has suggested.

The energy links built to bring Russian natural gas directly to Germany were ruptured by unknown perpetrators in a series of explosions in September 2022. Germany as well as Denmark and Sweden, in whose economic zones the sabotage took place, had each launched separate inquiries. Sweden closed its probe earlier this month.

Comment: As if coordinated in an operation lockstep, only three weeks ago, Sweden came to the same result.
Sweden halts Nord Stream investigation, hands off to Germany, as Hersh fills in more blanks and not only:
NATO subservience: Sweden announces its largest-ever Ukraine aid package
The case was complicated, here is another angle, and not the links in the comments.
Independent investigator: Elements of UK government behind Nord Stream attacks
While Sweden still has aid to give, Denmark needs to increase the taxes. From the same source:
Raise taxes to fight Russia - EU state's PM
The "naive" West should realize that security comes at a price, Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen says
[...]

EU nations must prioritize defense spending by carving out money from social programs to deter Russia amid the Ukraine conflict, Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen has argued.

In an interview with the Financial Times on Tuesday, Frederiksen said the EU should try to avoid the mistakes of the 1930s, when the continent failed to check Nazi Germany's expansion, and focus on what she called a "more aggressive Russia" by "scaling up" defense.

Russia has stated that one of its key objectives in the Ukraine conflict is to "denazify" the neighboring country. Kiev's failure to implement the Minsk agreements, which were designed to give the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk special status within the Ukrainian state, was a significant contributory factor to the conflict.

Former Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko has since admitted that Kiev's goal regarding the agreements was to use the ceasefire to buy time and "create powerful armed forces," a position which was later echoed by ex-German Chancellor Angela Merkel and ex-French President Francois Hollande, who helped broker the agreement.

Frederiksen urged European powers "to admit that we haven't used enough money on our own defense and security" since the end of the Cold War, pouring funds into welfare and tax reduction instead.
It could be argued that the Danish PM expresses a trend of the times: Rise of the War Harpies: The Women Destroying our World, but is it a malicious intent, cunning or fear? Perhaps he PM is on board with
Putin defeated US plan for Russia - Nuland though considering Nuland accidentally reveals the true aim of the West in Ukraine:
"And by the way, we have to remember that the bulk of this money is going right back into the US to make those weapons," Nuland said
the Danish PM appears to be advocating for a win-win. A win by pouring EU tax money into the US Military-Industrial Complex, and advertising the carrot of defeating Russia to protect US hegemony in Europe. The reaction of the Danish PM comes while others say: Washington's 'credibility at stake' - Polish FM or 'Russia must win this war' - Canada's Trudeau, and France creates coalition to arm Ukraine with long-range weapons How it all began was never of much interest to these countries, only few talk about it: Slovakia's PM Fico: Ukraine's 'rampant neo-Nazis' were cause of war, Kiev NATO membership is attempt to start WWIII


Mr. Potato

Biden calls China's Xi 'head of Russia'

Biden Xi
© Tim Rue/Corbis via Getty ImagesThen-US Vice President Joe Biden attends a February 2012 luncheon with China's Xi Jinping in Los Angeles.
US President Joe Biden has again stumbled with the nationalities and identities of world leaders, referring to Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping as the "head of Russia" and failing to remember the name of his former boss, Barack Obama.

The oldest president in American history made his latest mental gaffes while hosting a White House dinner for US governors on Saturday night. Referring to instructions he received from then-President Obama, Biden said, "When I was vice president, president uh, my president told me that he wanted me to get to know Xi Jinping because it was clear he was going to be the head of Russia, um, of China, and we were having problems with Russia at the time, and other countries as well."

Biden then went on to make a false claim that he has repeated dozens of times, saying that he traveled 17,000 miles with Xi in the US and China. The Washington Post gave Biden a "bottomless Pinocchio" rating in November 2022 for telling the false tale on so many occasions. The newspaper's fact-checker, Glenn Kessler, could only find one trip in which Biden and Xi traveled together, when they visited a high school outside Beijing in August 2021.


Pirates

Nuland accidentally reveals the true aim of the West in Ukraine

nuland
© Global Look Press / Rod LamkeyVictoria Nuland
US State Department fixture and Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Victoria Nuland, aka "Regime Change Karen," apparently woke up one day recently, took the safety off her nuclear-grade mouth, and inadvertently blew up the West's Ukraine narrative.

Until now, Americans have been told that all the US taxpayer cash being earmarked for Ukrainian aid is to help actual Ukrainians. Anyone notice that the $75 billion American contribution isn't getting the job done on the battlefield? Victory in military conflict isn't supposed to look like defeat. Winning also isn't defined as, "Well, on a long enough time axis, like infinity, our chance of defeat will eventually approach zero." And the $178 billion in total from all allies combined doesn't seem to be doing the trick, either. Short of starting a global war with weapons capable of extending the conflict beyond a regional one, it's not like they've been holding back. The West is breaking the bank. All for some vague, future Ukrainian "victory" that they don't seem to want to clearly define. We keep hearing that the support will last "as long as it takes." For what exactly? By not clearly defining it, they can keep moving the goal posts.

Cross

Best of the Web: Study finds that 45,000 Russian soldiers have been killed in the Ukraine War

russian war dead ukraine
At least 45,123 Russian troops have been killed since the start of Moscow's full-scale invasion of Ukraine almost two years ago, according to research by journalists from Mediazona and the BBC's Russian Service who have established the deceased soldiers' identities.


Comment: Note that these two sources, along with the current article you are reading, are vehemently anti-Putin media outlets.


Two-thirds of all confirmed dead -- volunteers, conscripts, ex-inmates, and fighters from private military companies -- were not connected to the military before the start of the invasion, researchers found.

The number includes 5,406 mobilized soldiers, 80 percent of whom were killed in the second year of the war.

Krasnodar, Sverdlovsk, Bashkortostan, and Chelyabinsk are the regions with the highest number of dead.

Journalists have identified 27,906 Russian soldiers killed last year -- 57 percent more than the confirmed losses in the first year of the invasion.


Comment: Again, at that juncture, Western media was breathlessly reporting to its audiences that ten times that figure had been killed.


Comment: The media goes with the fact-free CIA version of reality, which, as you can see, is an order of magnitude off from reality. It's actually Ukraine's casualty toll that is in the hundreds of thousands:

Russian Defense Minister: 440,000 Ukrainian troops have been 'lost' since the launch of the SMO


Briefcase

Donald Trump appeals $454M civil fraud judgement

Trump/lawyers
© Shannon Stapleton/AP/FileFormer US President Donald Trump • Lawyers Christopher Kise and Alina Habba
Closing arguments in civil fraud trial • NY Supreme Court, Manhattan, NY • January 11, 2024
Donald Trump has appealed his $454 million New York civil fraud judgment, challenging a judge's finding that he lied about his wealth as he grew the real estate empire that launched him to stardom and the presidency.

The former president's lawyers filed notices of appeal Monday asking the state's mid-level appeals court to overturn Judge Arthur Engoron's Feb. 16 verdict in Attorney General Letitia James' lawsuit and reverse staggering penalties that threaten to wipe out Trump's cash reserves.

Trump's lawyers wrote in court papers that they're asking the appeals court to decide whether Engoron "committed errors of law and/or fact" and whether he abused his discretion or "acted in excess" of his jurisdiction. A notice of appeal starts the appeals process in New York. Trump's lawyers will have an opportunity to expand on their grievances in subsequent court filings.

Trump wasn't required to pay his penalty or post a bond in order to appeal, and appealing won't automatically halt enforcement of the judgment.

Putin

Putin defeated US plan for Russia - Nuland

Nuland
© Eranga Jayawardena/APVictoria Nuland speaks to reporters in Colombo, Sri Lanka, February 1, 2023
The arch-neocon has told CNN that Washington wanted a compliant leader installed in Moscow...

Vladimir Putin's Russia is "not the Russia that we wanted," Acting US Deputy Secretary of State Victoria Nuland has told CNN. Nuland explained that Washington wanted a compliant leader in the Kremlin who would "westernize" the country.

Nuland told CNN's Christiane Amanpour on Thursday:
"It's not the Russia that, frankly, we wanted. We wanted a partner that was going to be westernizing, that was going to be European. But that's not what Putin has done."
Putin's predecessor, Boris Yeltsin, enjoyed Washington's support as he oversaw the rushed privatization of the Russian economy in the 1990s. Yeltsin's reforms saw the rise of the so-called 'oligarchs', who amassed huge fortunes selling Russia's natural resources to Western buyers, while the majority of the population dealt with declining life expectancy, soaring crime and homicide rates, and the collapse of the ruble.

Putin, who first took office in 2000, is widely credited with taming the oligarchs, imposing public order, and reversing the economic and social decline of the 1990s. Putin initially sought friendly relations with the West, telling American journalist Tucker Carlson earlier this month that he asked then-US President Bill Clinton whether Russia could one day join NATO, only to be rejected.

Comment: Wishful thinking is not reality. All the rest is window dressing.


Cross

Best of the Web: Russian Defense Minister: 440,000 Ukrainian troops have been 'lost' since the launch of the SMO

Russian defense minister announces the liberation of several residential settlements in Donbass, discloses Kiev attempts to prevent the collapse of the front
cemetery war dead ukraine
Slava Ukraini
The Ukrainian army has lost over 444,000 troops since the beginning of the special military operation and has been daily losing over 800 troops and 120 various armaments since the beginning of 2024, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu told the Defense Ministry's board meeting.


Comment: 'Losing' troops presumably means both killed-in-action and wounded-in-action. For comparison, the Russian military death toll in the SMO is estimated at just under 45,000, according to a joint Russian (anti-Putin) media estimate.


He reported the liberation of several residential settlements in Donbass, disclosed Kiev attempts to prevent the collapse of the front, and announced plans to rearm the Eastern and Central Military Districts.

Military operation

Since the liberation of Avdeyevka, the Russian forces have been improving the situation in the Donetsk and Kupyansk directions and seizing new strongholds and positions of Ukrainian troops.

Since the beginning of the year, Russia has liberated close to 327 square kilometers in Donbass and Novorossiya (317 square km a week ago). "In the past week, the Ukrainian armed forces were ousted from the settlements of Pobeda, Lastochkino, Severnoye in the Donetsk People's Republic," Shoigu said.

Comment: That casualty toll for Ukrainian soldiers is probably ballpark-accurate. This is why European heads of head convened in Paris on Monday to discuss what to do next: they're at another cross-roads and are considering sending regular NATO forces to fight Russia in Ukraine because their proxy Ukrainian forces are spent.


Explosion

No plans to send Western troops to Ukraine - Scholz

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz
© Christoph Schmidt/Getty ImagesGerman Chancellor Olaf Scholz

The German chancellor has commented after French President Emmanuel Macron said the deployment of soldiers cannot be ruled out


Western troops will not be deployed to Ukraine, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has insisted, after French President Emmanuel Macron suggested that this possibility cannot be ruled out. According to Scholz, it was clear from a meeting in Paris on Monday that fellow European leaders have no appetite to send soldiers to support Kiev.

Speaking at a press conference following a gathering of Kiev's backers in the French capital on Monday, Macron had stated that "we cannot exclude anything," despite there being "no consensus today to send, in an official manner, troops on the ground [to Ukraine]." He further argued that a Russian victory in the conflict would be a major blow for European collective security. That assessment was later echoed by French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal.

Comment: Looks like Macron has gone off-script. Everyone else seems to be in agreement. Pay and send decommissioned weapons, YES - send troops, NO.


Better Earth

Best of the Web: The new multipolar world system and the end of an era

putin xi biden multipolar world
The irreversible decline of Western supremacy, under the leadership of the United States, will not be a peaceful process, and it would be naive to think so.

Current diagnoses assert that the international system is going through a period of epoch-making changes. The tectonic plates on which the world geopolitical chessboard rests have shifted, unleashing profound modifications in the structure of the system and in the nature of its main players. This is true, but only if it is recognized that this journey has already reached a point of no return and that the trends that have been operating in recent years have matured to the point of producing an irreversible result: the configuration of a global geopolitical chessboard marked by the emergence of multiple actors endowed with different power capacities that put an end to five centuries of Western supremacy over all nations. Multipolarism has arrived and it is here to stay.

Comment: Indeed the hegemon will not go quietly; as Pepe Escobar said in his recent article:
The fact is we are already immersed in a World War that is both existential and civilizational. As we stand at the crossroads, there is a bifurcation: either escalation towards overt "kinetic military action," or a multiplication of Hybrid Wars across several latitudes.
See also:


Briefcase

OSCE violating its mandate - Moscow

Global Look Press / Sopa Images / Omar Marques
© Global Look Press / Sopa Images / Omar MarquesFILE PHOTO.
Statements by the organization no longer reflect the consensus of its members, the Russian Foreign Ministry has said

The leadership of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), as well as some of its executive bodies, have deviated from their mandate, Russian Foreign Ministry officials told RIA Novosti on Sunday. In particular, the body has been "turning a blind eye to blatant violations" committed by Ukrainian authorities and their Western backers, the ministry said.

The comments follow reports about a possible suspension of Russian participation in the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly. In early February, Moscow's permanent representative to the organization, Aleksandr Volgarev, told the OSCE Permanent Council that Russia would not take part in the assembly's winter session. It was held on February 22-23 in Vienna.

Comment: If one takes a look at the list and map of OSCE countries, the dominant countries are NATO countries. Perhaps there was another plan back in 1992. From the same source there was an article:
Putin defeated US plan for Russia - Nuland
"It's not the Russia that, frankly, we wanted," Nuland told CNN's Christiane Amanpour on Thursday. "We wanted a partner that was going to be westernizing, that was going to be European. But that's not what Putin has done."

Putin's predecessor, Boris Yeltsin, enjoyed Washington's support as he oversaw the rushed privatization of the Russian economy in the 1990s. Yeltsin's reforms saw the rise of the so-called 'oligarchs', who amassed huge fortunes selling Russia's natural resources to Western buyers, while the majority of the population dealt with declining life expectancy, soaring crime and homicide rates, and the collapse of the ruble.

Putin, who first took office in 2000, is widely credited with taming the oligarchs, imposing public order, and reversing the economic and social decline of the 1990s. Putin initially sought friendly relations with the West, telling American journalist Tucker Carlson earlier this month that he asked then-US President Bill Clinton whether Russia could one day join NATO, only to be rejected.

Putin nevertheless reached out to Clinton's successor, George W. Bush, with a proposal that the US, Russia, and Europe jointly create a missile defense system. While Bush's team initially expressed interest, Putin said that "in the end they just told us to get lost."

A combination of NATO expansion, American support for jihadist groups in the Caucuses, and Nuland's orchestration of the coup d'etat in Ukraine in 2014 made it clear that the US and its allies were not interested in cooperation, Putin told Carlson.

Nuland told Amanpour that Putin has "destroyed his own country" by intervening in Ukraine, and that the US will "continue to tighten the noose on him," presumably by supplying Kiev with weapons and imposing additional economic sanctions on Moscow.
Below are some headlines related to the the OSCE over the last few years: