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Moscow waiting for Western leaders 'to sober up' - Lavrov

© Sputnik/Murad Orujov
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. The US and its allies are currently "mired in cave Russophobia," the foreign minister has said.
Moscow will determine how its future relations with Western nations will develop only after they come to their senses, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday.

Speaking at the Gorchakov Public Diplomacy Fund, which provides support to Russian and foreign NGOs and think tanks, Lavrov accused the US and its allies of being "mired in cave Russophobia, while sacrificing the glaring problems in their own societies."

"When and if they sober up, we will decide on our position regarding further relations with them. But we will make this decision, of course, on our own and based on our terms," the foreign minister added.

Comment: See also: Russia possesses weapons capable of wiping out any enemy, including US — Patrushev


Kremlin spokesman vaguely backs ex-president's 'piracy' call

streaming netflix prime
© Global Look Press / Silas Stein
The term "pirated content" has a whole new meaning in the contemporary world, the Kremlin told journalists on Saturday. Spokesman Dmitry Peskov, was offering support to a suggestion by former President Dmitry Medvedev to allow Russians to download western entertainment content for free.

It is Russia that has been outright "robbed" by the US and its allies, Peskov said, adding that Moscow has to deal with "pirates" in the West anyway. "They have seized our assets, stolen our assets," the Kremlin spokesman told journalists, saying that "before, such people were called 'pirates'; now, they are called 'bandits'."

Earlier on Saturday, Medvedev suggested finding "proper pirates" and using them to obtain content from western entertainment companies that left Russia over its conflict with Ukraine. Medvedev, who is currently the deputy chairman of the Russian Security Council, also said that any such content should be put online for free to make the western entertainment giants suffer "maximum damage so that they go broke."

Comment: A national pastime - digital piracy - may just get the stamp of approval from the Kremlin.


How they convinced Trump to lock down

© Reuters/Leah Mills
Former US President Donald Trump and Dr. Anthony Fauci
An enduring mystery for three years is how Donald Trump came to be the president who shut down American society for what turned out to be a manageable respiratory virus, setting off an unspeakable crisis with waves of destructive fallout that continue to this day.

Let's review the timeline and offer some well-founded speculations about what happened.

On March 9, 2020, Trump was still of the opinion that the virus could be handled by normal means.

Two days later, he changed his tune. He was ready to use the full power of the federal government in a war on the virus.

What changed?


My would-be assassins are still in office - former Pakistani PM

© AFP/Aamir Qureshi
Former Pakistani PM Imran Khan
Imran Khan says the threat to his life is "real," and that the current PM is "petrified" that he will return to power...

Death threats will remain a constant part of former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan's life until he can return to power and hold his would-be killers accountable, he told Going Underground host Afshin Rattansi on Saturday.

Khan told Rattansi that he has survived two attempts on his life in the last week - one which involved him being led into a "deathtrap" outside a court in Islamabad, and another in which agents of the state were to provoke police into opening fire on a crowd of Khan's supporters before "coming after" him to finish the job.
"The threat is real because these people are sitting in power. They are petrified that if I win the elections they will be in trouble, or held accountable."
He blames Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, and Major General Faisal Naseer, a senior intelligence official, of plotting his assassination at a rally last November. Khan, who was removed from office in a no-confidence motion seven months earlier, was hit in the leg and hospitalized. Sharif denies any involvement in the alleged murder attempt, and has accused Khan of spreading "false and cheap conspiracies." He has also denied colluding with the US to have Khan removed from power.


The big questions that weren't answered by the Telegraph's Lockdown Files

© Unknown
UK PM Rishi Sunak • MP Matt Hancock
The Telegraph's Lockdown Files have fizzled out. I fear they've had less impact than lockdown sceptics hoped. They did have some impact, including coverage by the BBC, though other media that advocated the harshest restrictions did their best to ignore the leak, or to attack Ms. Oakeshott personally. Now we're back to trivia: Lineker, Partygate, and a dredge through the lower sludge of the Met, which ignores their main deficiency: an inability to catch burglars.

The Files reveal Matt Hancock as arrogant, vain and ignorant. He lacks curiosity. He entangles himself in his own spin, unable to reduce quarantine when he's told he can do so. He 'deploys' data on the Alpha variant to increase fear, not owing to its medical impact. He is drunk on power, mocking those paying to be imprisoned in Heathrow's Premier Inn. His supposed boss - Boris - emerges marginally better. Boris half-knows that it is all mad. He occasionally expresses alternative views, but he is too feeble, cowardly and innumerate to seize control. Instead, he ignores the rules... and pays the price.

So, here we are... £400 billion squandered; two years stolen; trust in government and science shattered; the Brexit Government's majority wasted; awash with folk who have lost the habit of work.

Back, though, to the Files. What bugs me is what hasn't emerged.

Arrow Up

Germany now addicted to US LNG - German MP

LNG tanks
© Getty Images/fmajor
Opposition politician laments ecological and economic effects of losing access to Russian energy...

The sabotage of the Nord Stream natural gas pipelines has turned Germany's dependence on Russian natural gas into an addiction to liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the US, a member of the German Bundestag, Andrej Hunko, has said.

Germany has paid heavily for last year's explosions on the pipelines, which were built to deliver cheap natural gas from Russia, The Left party politician told China's Global Times newspaper in an interview on Thursday. He noted:
"The sabotage left Berlin without an option to "choose which gas is better and cheaper and which is ecologically better. Before, it was a decision under political pressure, whether to use gas or not. But now there is no infrastructure to use gas, and this is the biggest impact."
Germany used to meet up to 40% of its demand with gas from Russia. Last year, Berlin managed to reduce its reliance on the fuel from the sanctioned country by replacing it with imports of LNG from the US, "which is by far more expensive and worse from an ecological point of view," according to Hunko.

Comment: The power to dictate eliminates the power to choose.


Russia outproducing West's ammunition supplies to Kiev - Putin

© RIA Novosti
Russian Giatsint-S self-propelled gun in Donetsk Region
The country is boosting its defense production capacity at a rapid pace, the president has said...

Russia is set to drastically increase its munitions production, President Vladimir Putin has said, adding that Western arms shipments to Kiev will only delay the inevitable outcome of the Ukraine conflict.

In an interview with Russia 1 TV aired on Saturday, Putin was asked to comment on Western plans to support Ukraine with a million additional artillery shells.

While describing the amount as "very considerable," the president stated that according to Moscow's data, the US is currently producing 14,000-15,000 artillery shells a month, while the Ukrainian military uses up to 5,000 shells each day. "Next year... [the US plans] to produce as much as 42,000, and 75,000 in 2025."

However, Putin said that Moscow's forces have been using far more munitions than Ukraine, and that the Ministry of Defense and the General Staff "even had to introduce certain limitations."
"Russia's output level and its military-industrial complex are developing at a very fast pace, which was unexpected by many. While multiple Western countries will provide Ukraine with munitions, the Russian production sector on its own will produce three times more ammunition for the same period of time."


UN finally sounds alarm over Ukraine's crackdown on churches

Church in Ukraine
© church.ua
Kiev's actions targeting the largest religious denomination in the country "could be discriminatory"

The Ukrainian state may be discriminating against the nation's largest religious denomination, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC), the UN's human rights watchdog said in a report published on Friday. The government of President Vladimir Zelensky is currently in the process of kicking UOC monks out of their homes.

The apparent mistreatment of the church, which has historic links to the Russian Orthodox Church, was highlighted in a report released by the UN's Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). It cited several draft laws submitted to the Ukrainian parliament as well as the actions of the SBU, Ukraine's domestic security agency, against the clergy.

Comment: Ironic that Zelesnky has turned on one of the institutions created to support his regime. The intrigue to splinter Ukraine's Orthodox wing from Mother Russia was the work of years.


UN mission accuses EU of aiding crimes against humanity in Libya

© Anadolu Agency
The report was based on interviews with hundreds of people, including migrants and witnesses
Fact-finding mission says state security forces and armed militia groups have committed a wide array of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

United Nations investigators say there is evidence that crimes against humanity have been committed against Libyans and migrants stuck in Libya, including women being forced into sexual slavery.

The investigators commissioned by the UN Human Rights Council also faulted the European Union for sending support to Libyan forces that they say contributed to crimes against migrants and Libyans.

Comment: See also: Putin calls for closer ties with Arab states, resolution of conflicts in Syria, Libya, Yemen, and Palestine

And check out SOTT radio's interview from 2017: The Truth Perspective: Libya Ruined: Interview with Sheikh Khalid Tantoush - Introduced by Jim & JoAnne Moriarty

Quenelle - Golden

Russia possesses weapons capable of wiping out any enemy, including US — Patrushev

Security Council Secretary Nikolay Patrushev

FILE PHOTO: Security Council Secretary Nikolay Patrushev. It was stressed that the view held by US politicians that Russia won't be able to retaliate against a US pre-emptive nuclear strike is a short-sighted and dangerous stance
Russia possesses advanced unique weapons capable of wiping out any enemy, including the United States, Security Council Secretary Nikolay Patrushev said in an interview with the Rossiyskaya Gazeta daily on Monday.

"Russia is patient and does not intimidate anyone with its military advantage. However, it possesses advanced unique weapons capable of destroying any enemy, including the United States, in case of a threat to its existence," the security chief said.

The view held by US politicians that Russia won't be able to retaliate against a US pre-emptive nuclear strike is a short-sighted and dangerous stance, Patrushev stressed.

Comment: Some commentators are speculating that the weapons Patrushev is referring to could be the SARMAT missile, which, back in 2016, Russia Behind The Headlines notes as:
A new ballistic missile with a destructive power 2000 times greater than the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki is being tested near the Ural Mountains before it enters service with the Russian Strategic Forces. Armed with 10 independently steerable warheads - and numerous decoys - a single RS-28 'Sarmat' intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) can end all human life in an area as large as Texas. According to one US writer, the 100 ton behemoth makes America's 39 ton Minuteman look like a "rocket propelled toothpick".

The western media, for once, is spot on. The 'Sarmat' is the son of the SS-18 'Satan' - the NATO codename for the nearly 50 year old RS-36, which is currently the most powerful missile in existence. The Sarmat will not only have stealth features but can travel vast distances - exceeding 11,000 km - so that it can be launched over either the North or South Poles, creating huge certainty in the enemy's mind. These features make it an extremely useful weapon of strategic deterrence.
That said, there are a variety of other weapons, both officially acknowledged, and not, that he, and his colleagues, may have in mind: