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German legislators came, saw, and slammed Russia sanctions on trip to Crimea

Crimea is and was always Russian, as a its history amply demonstrates

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Come and see the beauty of Crimea by the sea. In order to truly understand Crimea, you have to visit this beautiful, magical place. Do so, and your perspective on it, and the world may completely change. You may also fall in love.

If more policymakers would just visit this land which they issue sanctions over, and truly understand the wonder and history Crimea offers the world, they make change their perspective. That is what happened when the German delegation visited.

German lawmaker opposes anti-Russian sanctions, urges Ukraine to accept Crimean people’s choice

These were the words of Helmut Seifen, a German MP from North Rhine-Westphalia after his Crimea visit:

 I think that the sanctions introduced after Crimea held its referendum and was reunited with Russia are counterproductive. This is a way of escalation.Some political forces must come to power in Ukraine that would accept the will of the Crimean people. This would bring peace between the nations and ordinary people could resume their travels from Ukraine to Crimea and back. All ties would be restored,” added the German politician.

This is something alternative media has been covering for ages now, and something that top US professors have already explained – Crimea is Russia. Sanctioning Russian lands for joining Russia is insanity. The sooner people understand that, the sooner they stop risking a dangerous conflict with catastrophic consequences for the whole world.

The fact that Crimea is Russia is not a matter of opinion, it is a simple historical fact, and no one upon truly studying the history and culture in depth would disagree, unless they are a radical anti-Russian nationalist. In order to truly appreciate the German MP’s revelation, we must take a walk through the annuals of Crimean history.

The Glorious and Tragic History of Crimea – the same could be said of many Slavic lands:

Crimea is one of the most important parts of Rus’, yet it began it’s story with the Greeks. Indeed, would you believe the site of the Baptism of the first Rus Prince was NOT a part of Kievan Rus’? How is this possible? Let’s find out…

Kievan Rus’ was the first Russian state, which all scholars agree was the ancestor of Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus.

If one looks carefully, they will notice the Crimean peninsula was not a part of Kievan Rus, but was, in fact, a Greek colony – a territory of the Eastern Roman Empire. There are 9th-century Greek monasteries on the peninsula to prove it.

Bear in mind, this is not the time or place for a detailed history of Crimea, of which pages could be written, but the simply account goes that Crimea, the site of the Baptism of Saint Vladimir of Kiev, in preparation for his marriage to a Byzantine Princess, would eventually fall to Mongol hordes like the rest of Rus’. This means Crimea is not part of what Ukrainians misleadingly refer to as “Ancient Ukraine”, as they call Kievan Rus. This is misleading, as while Ukrainian people have an equal claim to the land with Russians and Belarussians, there was no such term as Ukraine in the period, and the state was called Rus’, from which Russia takes her name, and the three peoples were indistinguishable in that time.

Mongol Invasion (light grey) around 1250 A.D.

After the Mongol Empire fractures into the Golden Horde, Crimea eventually is ruled by a splinter group called the Crimean Khanate, who were vassals of the Ottoman empire. The khanate was the source of endless suffering for Rus’ people, often abducting slaves from Ruthenia (modern day Ukraine), and Polish-Lithuanian territories, and selling them to the Ottoman Turks. This was how Suliman the Magnificent received his wife, Roxalana, a Ukrainian girl abducted by the Crimean Tatars.

Image result for Роксолана

The Cossacks of Zaporozhia would be forced to ally with the Tatars against the Poles, in the interest of national liberation, but the moment Hetman Bogdan Khmelnitsky was able to negotiate the reunification of Ukraine with Russia, his Cossacks quickly ignored the Tatars, whom they only saw as an ally of convenience, and never forgot their cruelty.

A map showing Cossack-Russian, Polish, and Crimean Khanate (light purple) lands

Eventually, after freeing the nation from Polish rule with Russia’s help, the Cossacks would in turn help Russia settle the “Wild Fields” of Southern Ukraine and Russia, including the Kuban where they still dwell today. In this process, it led to the settlement of New Russia (Novorossia).

It was called “New” as the land had little to do with Ancient Rus’, and all the great cities of Odessa, Nikolayev, Kherson, etc. were built in the late 18th century by the modern Russian empire, as opposed to being cities built during the shared period of Rus’. The map below clearly show how Cossacks helped Russia settle these new lands, and reveal the historical evolution of the land now called Ukraine.

These lands include Crimea, and oh how history repeats itself, because the conflict in Novorossia is, of course, still raging today. It is in understanding this history, we realize why sanctions against Russia over Crimea is pointless, and Crimea is Russia. The fact that all these lands were settled in the early modern period by the Russian Empire connects them even more with Russia, than other ancient Russian cities like Lviv, which were founded in the common medieval period, and existed seperate from Russia for several centuries. Crimea simply would not be settled by Slavs in general, were it not for the Russian Empire. In 1954, the peninsula was unceremoniously gifted to Ukraine by Nikita Khrushchev, the Soviet leader of Ukrainian descent.

Note: the “Polish territory” was ancient Rus’ territory long before Poland invaded and took it

This is where partial knowledge of history fails some people, as, without the whole story, some may concede and admit that Crimea is Russia, because it was given in 1954, but insist that Donbas and Kiev are distinctively Ukrainian. That is still not quite accurate. The issue here is that all of Ukraine was once Russia a mere less than 50 years prior. The land was only divided as the result of the Bolshevik revolution and WW1, and then artificially constructed, but by then, the seeds of nationalism took root. The difference between Ukraine and Russia is like East and West Germany, when they were two separate states. If the people wish to remain in separate states, this is a political opinion, and everyone has the right to their own opinion, but no one can deny the historical unity between them.

It was this unity that German lawmakers noticed when they went to Crimea. We have already covered the German expedition to Crimea in detail here:

German politicians visit Crimea, Ukraine throws tantrum as expected

According to RT, Kiev has already initiated legal proceedings against the German lawmakers, after threatening them that their trip could have lamentable consequences, as we noted in the article above.

It is perhaps the words of the Deputy Speaker of Crimean legislative assembly, Yuri Gempel, which perfectly sum everything up:

Europe is waking up slowly and starting to understand that Crimea has returned to Russia forever.

Any discussion of Crimea or Ukraine must be made with the understanding that this is a permanent reunion, just as the reunification of Ukraine and Russia in 1654 was meant to be, until it was sabotaged by foreign powers who manipulated petty nationalism amongst the people, and used the Bolsheviks as a tool to divide old Russia.

There is a monument to that reunion here, in our photo essay about the haunting beauty of Chernobyl which we highly recommend.

It must be understood that Crimeans did not abandon any part of themselves when they returned. Those who wish to be Ukrainian are no less Ukrainian, as Ukrainian culture is as much an inseparable part of Russia as Gogol, and just as much as Russian culture and history is inseparable from Ukraine. No matter how far across the vast steppes of time Ukrainians roam – Russia is their home.

Ой ви хлопці, славні Запорожці, Верніться до дому! (the words of an old song, urging Cossacks to return home)

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Don’t Laugh : It’s Giving Putin What He Wants

The fact of the matter is that humorous lampooning of western establishment Russia narratives writes itself.

Caitlin Johnstone

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Authored by Caitlin Johnstone:


The BBC has published an article titled “How Putin’s Russia turned humour into a weapon” about the Kremlin’s latest addition to its horrifying deadly hybrid warfare arsenal: comedy.

The article is authored by Olga Robinson, whom the BBC, unhindered by any trace of self-awareness, has titled “Senior Journalist (Disinformation)”. Robinson demonstrates the qualifications and acumen which earned her that title by warning the BBC’s audience that the Kremlin has been using humor to dismiss and ridicule accusations that have been leveled against it by western governments, a “form of trolling” that she reports is designed to “deliberately lower the level of discussion”.

“Russia’s move towards using humour to influence its campaigns is a relatively recent phenomenon,” Robinson explains, without speculating as to why Russians might have suddenly begun laughing at their western accusers. She gives no consideration to the possibility that the tightly knit alliance of western nations who suddenly began hysterically shrieking about Russia two years ago have simply gotten much more ridiculous and easier to make fun of during that time.

Couldn’t possibly have anything to do with the emergence of a demented media environment wherein everything around the world from French protests to American culture wars to British discontent with the European Union gets blamed on Russia without any facts or evidence. Wherein BBC reporters now correct guests and caution them against voicing skepticism of anti-Russia narratives because the UK is in “an information war” with that nation. Wherein the same cable news Russiagate pundit can claim that both Rex Tillerson’s hiring and his later firing were the result of a Russian conspiracy to benefit the Kremlin. Wherein mainstream outlets can circulate blatantly false information about Julian Assange and unnamed “Russians” and then blame the falseness of that reporting on Russian disinformation. Wherein Pokemon Go, cutesy Facebook memes and $4,700 in Google ads are sincerely cited as methods by which Hillary Clinton’s $1.2 billion presidential campaign was outdone. Wherein conspiracy theories that Putin has infiltrated the highest levels of the US government have been blaring on mainstream headline news for two years with absolutely nothing to show for it to this day.

Nope, the only possibility is that the Kremlin suddenly figured out that humor is a thing.

The fact of the matter is that humorous lampooning of western establishment Russia narratives writes itself. The hypocrisy is so cartoonish, the emotions are so breathlessly over-the-top, the stories so riddled with plot holes and the agendas underlying them so glaringly obvious that they translate very easily into laughs. I myself recently authored a satire piece that a lot of people loved and which got picked up by numerous alternative media outlets, and all I did was write down all the various escalations this administration has made against Russia as though they were commands being given to Trump by Putin. It was extremely easy to write, and it was pretty damn funny if I do say so myself. And it didn’t take any Kremlin rubles or dezinformatsiya from St Petersburg to figure out how to write it.

“Ben Nimmo, an Atlantic Council researcher on Russian disinformation, told the BBC that attempts to create funny memes were part of the strategy as ‘disinformation for the information age’,” the article warns. Nimmo, ironically, is himself intimately involved with the British domestic disinformation firm Integrity Initiative, whose shady government-sponsored psyops against the Labour Party have sparked a national scandal that is likely far from reaching peak intensity.

“Most comedy programmes on Russian state television these days are anodyne affairs which either do not touch on political topics, or direct humour at the Kremlin’s perceived enemies abroad,” Robinson writes, which I found funny since I’d just recently read an excellent essay by Michael Tracey titled “Why has late night swapped laughs for lusting after Mueller?”

“If the late night ‘comedy’ of the Trump era has something resembling a ‘message,’ it’s that large segments of the nation’s liberal TV viewership are nervously tracking every Russia development with a passion that cannot be conducive to mental health – or for that matter, political efficacy,” Tracey writes, documenting numerous examples of the ways late night comedy now has audiences cheering for a US intelligence insider and Bush appointee instead of challenging power-serving media orthodoxies as programs like The Daily Show once did.

If you wanted the opposite of “anodyne affairs”, it would be comedians ridiculing the way all the establishment talking heads are manipulating their audiences into supporting the US intelligence community and FBI insiders. It would be excoriating the media environment in which unfathomably powerful world-dominating government agencies are subject to less scrutiny and criticism than a man trapped in an embassy who published inconvenient facts about those agencies. It certainly wouldn’t be the cast of Saturday Night Live singing “All I Want for Christmas Is You” to a framed portrait if Robert Mueller wearing a Santa hat. It doesn’t get much more anodyne than that.

Russia makes fun of western establishment narratives about it because those narratives are so incredibly easy to make fun of that they are essentially asking for it, and the nerdy way empire loyalists are suddenly crying victim about it is itself more comedy. When Guardian writer Carole Cadwalladr began insinuating that RT covering standard newsworthy people like Julian Assange and Nigel Farage was a conspiracy to “boost” those people for the advancement of Russian agendas instead of a news outlet doing the thing that news reporting is, RT rightly made fun of her for it. Cadwalladr reacted to RT’s mockery with a claim that she was a victim of “attacks”, instead of the recipient of perfectly justified ridicule for circulating an intensely moronic conspiracy theory.

Ah well. People are nuts and we’re hurtling toward a direct confrontation with a nuclear superpower. Sometimes there’s nothing else to do but laugh. As Wavy Gravy said, “Keep your sense of humor, my friend; if you don’t have a sense of humor it just isn’t funny anymore.”

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EU’s ‘toothless’ response to creation of Kosovo army risks worsening the crisis – Moscow

Russia’s ambassador to the UN said that the EU could have and should have done more to stop the breakaway region from creating its own army.

RT

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Via RT…


The creation of Kosovo’s own 5,000-strong army is a threat to peace and security in a turbulent region and may lead to a new escalation, Russia’s UN envoy has warned, calling the EU’s lackluster response irresponsible.

Speaking at the UN Security Council emergency meeting on Kosovo, Russia’s ambassador to the UN Vassily Nebenzya said that the EU could have and should have done more to stop the breakaway region from creating its own army to replace its lightly armed emergency response force.

“The EU reaction to the decision by Pristina cannot be described as other than toothless. This irresponsible policy has crossed the line,” Nebenzya said, after the UNSC meeting on Monday.

The diplomat said the lack of decisive action on the part of the 28-member bloc was a “great disappointment,” adding that the EU seems to “have turned a blind eye on the illegal creation of Kosovo’s ‘army.’”

The law, approved by Kosovo lawmakers on Friday, paves the way for doubling the size of the current Kosovo Security Force and for turning it into a de facto army, with 5,000 soldiers and 3,000 reservists.

The move did not go down well even with Kosovo’s usual backers, with both NATO and the EU voicing their indignation. NATO’s General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg called the decision “ill-timed” and lamented that Kosovo’s authorities had ignored “the concerns expressed by NATO.”

The EU’s top diplomat, Federica Mogherini, has echoed those concerns, saying in a statement that the mandate of Kosovo’s forces “should only be changed through an inclusive and gradual process” in accordance with the state’s constitution.

The only nation to openly applaud the controversial move was the US, with its ambassador to Kosovo, Phillip Kosnett, saying that Washington “reaffirms its support” for the upgrade as it is “only natural for Kosovo as a sovereign, independent country” to have a full-fledged army.

The Kosovo MPs’ decision has drawn anger in the Serbian capital Belgrade and provoked a strong response from Moscow, which calledon the UN mission in Kosovo to demilitarize the area in accordance with UNSC resolution 1244, and to disband any armed units.

Nebenzya pointed out that the UN resolution does not allow any Kosovo Albanian military units to be present in the region’s territory. He accused Western countries, including members of the NATO-led international peacekeeping force (KFOR), of “condoning and supporting” the violation by Pristina of the resolution.

It is feared that the army, though a relatively small force, might inflame tensions in the region and impede attempts at reconciliation between Pristina and Belgrade. Serbia has warned that it might consider an armed intervention if the army becomes a threat to the 120,000-strong Serb minority in Kosovo.

“The advance of Kosovo’s army presents a threat to the peace and security in the region, which may lead to the recurrence of the armed conflict,” Nebenzya stated.

In addition to creating its own army, Kosovo in November hit Serbia with a 100 percent import tariff on goods, defying calls by the US and the EU to roll the measure back.

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Ukraine’s President Says “High” Threat Of Russian Invasion, Urges NATO Entry In Next 5 Years

Poroshenko is trying desperately to hold on to power, even if it means provoking Russia.

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Via Zerohedge


Perhaps still seeking to justify imposing martial law over broad swathes of his country, and attempting to keep international pressure and media focus on a narrative of “Russian aggression,” Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko denounced what he called the high “threat of Russian invasion” during a press conference on Sunday, according to Bloomberg.

Though what some analysts expected would be a rapid flair up of tit-for-tat incidents following the late November Kerch Strait seizure of three Ukrainian vessels and their crew by the Russian Navy has gone somewhat quiet, with no further major incident to follow, Poroshenko has continued to signal to the West that Russia could invade at any moment.

“The lion’s share of Russian troops remain” along the Russian border with Ukraine, Poroshenko told journalists at a press conference in the capital, Kiev. “Unfortunately, less than 10 percent were withdrawn,” he said, and added: “As of now, the threat of Russian troops invading remains. We have to be ready for this, we won’t allow a repeat of 2014.”

Poroshenko, who declared martial law on Nov. 26, citing at the time possible imminent “full-scale war with Russia” and Russian tank and troop build-up, on Sunday noted that he will end martial law on Dec. 26 and the temporarily suspended presidential campaign will kick off should there be no Russian invasion. He also previously banned all Russian males ages 16-60 from entering Ukraine as part of implementation of 30 days of martial law over ten provinces, though it’s unclear if this policy will be rescinded.

During his remarks, the Ukrainian president said his country should push to join NATO and the EU within the next five years, per Bloomberg:

While declining to announce whether he will seek a second term in the office, Poroshenko said that Ukraine should achieve peace, overcome the consequences of its economic crisis and to meet criteria to join the EU and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization during next five years.

But concerning both his retaining power and his ongoing “threat exaggeration” — there’s even widespread domestic acknowledgement that the two are clearly linked.

According to The Globe and Mail:

While Mr. Poroshenko’s domestic rivals accuse him of exaggerating the threat in order to boost his own flagging political fortunes — polls suggest Mr. Poroshenko is on track to lose his job in a March election — military experts say there are reasons to take the Ukrainian president’s warning seriously.

As we observed previously, while European officials have urged both sides to exercise restraint, the incident shows just how easily Russia and the West could be drawn into a military conflict over Ukraine.

Certainly Poroshenko’s words appear designed to telegraph just such an outcome, which would keep him in power as a war-time president, hasten more and massive western military support and aid, and quicken his country’s entry into NATO — the latter which is already treating Ukraine as a de facto strategic outpost.

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