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PUTIN: 9/11 was not inside job

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Oliver Stone and Vladimir Putin discussed the September 11th attacks during a series of interviews which recently aired in the US.

While most people in the US no longer believe the official story of how the towers collapsed on 9/11, man more have posited theories on how and why officials from within the US deep state helped to orchestrate the attacks.

Vladimir Putin responded to the theories in the following way, in the midst of a wider discussion on the NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden,

“I don’t believe that (the US side planned to stick US whistle-blower Edward Snowden in Russia to call him a traitor). Nor do I believe that the American intelligence services were the ones to organise the terrorist attacks in New York”.

So there you have it…unless Putin was simply being diplomatic?

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667..neighbor of the beastTim Webbregvernon .DarkEyesIsabella Jones Recent comment authors
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Zchnetterhorn
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Zchnetterhorn

Doesn’t exclude i side job

Zchnetterhorn
Guest
Zchnetterhorn

Doesn’t exclude insider job

Isabella Jones
Guest
Isabella Jones

He doesn’t exclude the idea of an inside job. He just says he doesn’t believe it was the Intelligence services who organised it. The statement leaves the field wide open.

regvernon .
Guest
regvernon .

An FBI field officer drew attention to the group taking flying lessons. His report was not acted on. This suggests that at the highest levels of the FBI there may have been both knowledge of the plans and complicity.

Isabella Jones
Guest
Isabella Jones

Indeed. True. But they could have been acting under orders. What V. Putin said was that he didn’t believe they organised it. I have no doubt that certain elements in the Corridors of Power in US probably acting in collusion with Saudi Arabia, were involved in making it happen. Ultimately many people were dragged in down the line I imagine. Certainly there have been huge amounts of input from flight specialists regarding the impossibility of flying in a tight curve so low, of many many issues, which are enough to convince that the whole thing was some sort of set… Read more »

Tim Webb
Guest
Tim Webb

Cui Bono?
Israel.

regvernon .
Guest
regvernon .

You don’t know that. You are speculating, probably because of the ‘dancing Israelis.’ Judging by the Stock Market trades in advance of the event, a lot of people knew something was going to happen so Cui Bono applies more widely than might be thought. One thing is certain for sure, Israel does not have the ability to deploy the kind of directed weapons technology that turned the Twin Towers to microscopic dust in mid air so whatever the involvement of Israelis (as opposed to Israel) I prefer to think that if any such were involved it was on the role… Read more »

Tim Webb
Guest
Tim Webb

There was a great deal more jewish involvement than merely a few “dancing Israelis”.
Perhaps you should investigate the situation a little more thoroughly than you have done.

regvernon .
Guest
regvernon .

Oh yes? And where, pray, should I look? And Jewish involvement means what in your book?

Tim Webb
Guest
Tim Webb

Jewish involvement, in my and anybody else’s book, means that jews organized, committed, filmed, and benefited from, the events of that day.
There are many places where you could begin your investigation into the truth; but how about researching the jewish “art students” who described on jew TV how they had been in the US to observe and record the events as they unfolded.

Anne Felippe
Guest
Anne Felippe

Dont forget israel’s complicity

Bessarabyn
Guest
Bessarabyn

yes ; his term was “to organise ” . Read. It was organised by foreign agencies , Mossad … and U$ agencies told to turn blind eyes at certain defined (organised) times and locations .

Natylie Baldwin
Guest

I vote for being diplomatic. It makes one wonder why he would even mention it at all since that wasn’t the question. It wouldn’t be in Putin’s interest to be the one to say that it was. 19 hijackers didn’t defy physics and make the buildings come down at free fall speed in their own footprints by driving airplanes into them. Those guys didn’t wire the buildings for demolition. Nor did they have anything to do with NORAD standing down when not 1, not 2, not 3, but 4 or 5 planes go off course over major American cities, including… Read more »

Isabella Jones
Guest
Isabella Jones

And I agree – the official story is clearly utter balderdash. I just emphasis that V.V. said he did not “believe” [i.e. he isn’t claiming he has any evidence of any sort] that the intelligence agencies “organised” the atrocity. This leaves the entire field of [a] who did and [b] at what point they were involved, wide open, is all I am saying. Agree also – it’s not clear exactly why he mentioned it, however, bringing subjects into an answer that seems tangential is something Putin does a lot. Whether he is thinking aloud, rambling in one direction while thinking… Read more »

Natylie Baldwin
Guest

Good to hear from you, Isabella. I thought I heard a while back that you were actually living in Russia. Hope all is well. I just was there for 2 weeks (Moscow and St Petersburg). Would love to go back again and just stay in St. Petersburg for about 10 days. Love that city – so beautiful.

Isabella Jones
Guest
Isabella Jones

Hi Natylie – thanks for your good wishes. Yes, I am currently living in Russia but in Vladivostok. Whilst it has it’s points of interest, my overriding desire is to make it to Moscow and St. Petersberg. However, much depends on how events unfold, because – as you would well know – for we visitors, everything depends on the elusive Visa !! I’d love to be able to stay and live and work there for at least a year, if not longer however, … could be difficult. It’s interesting getting the “other take” from the things you read both in… Read more »

Natylie Baldwin
Guest

That sounds great. As I recall, Vladivistok is the 3rd largest city after Moscow and St. Pete. Good to hear what it’s like from your stay there. From what I’ve heard from people who have experience with it, it’s very difficult for most westerners to get a visa for more than 3 months at a time and most expatriates have to travel to Finland for a few days and come back in. You can stay for 3 months and then have to leave and come back. It sounds like a pain but a fair number of people do it. Good… Read more »

Isabella Jones
Guest
Isabella Jones

Well, there are visa’s for longer than 3 months – not tourist ones’ though. You can get a work visa for a year if you can get a contract plus letter of invitation. a student visa ditto but that’s about all. I’m investigating soon the 3 yr “Temporary” visa, but what it’s restrictions are I dont know. They all have restrictions, in that the Work Visa requires you to apply for the first time to a Russian Embassy in your “home” country which makes a few issues, and on it goes. You can renew it by crossing the border every… Read more »

DarkEyes
Guest
DarkEyes

And, Isabella, is the knowledge of the language of the land a condition for a work-visa for let’s say one year?

Isabella Jones
Guest
Isabella Jones

No DarkEyes, it isn’t. You need knowledge of the language for Government jobs, but not for an ordinary Work Visa, no. Just the letter of invitation and your work contract. I am planning to make a visit to the Dept. Immigration early next month, to dig deeper into the 3 yr Temp. Res. Visa, and will happily let anyone who wants know what I discover.

DarkEyes
Guest
DarkEyes

Thank you, Isabella. Yes, please.

Aleksandar Tomić
Guest
Aleksandar Tomić

The statue itself is the proof it was an inside job. Jet fuel, melting, steel beams… 😉

Le Ruscino
Guest
Le Ruscino

Putin is smart as he has to say this because he knows the Yanks are on a terrible hook until the crash & burn of their economy.

The Global War of Terror has failed to save the American economy just as the intended war with Russia & the current attempt to start a war with China.

No War = Curtains for the US – unless Trump can get Americans back to work ?

Penrose
Guest
Penrose

Who wants to tell all of those grieving American parents that their children were killed or maimed in the Middle East for an ignoble purpose.

Le Ruscino
Guest
Le Ruscino

There’s 200 Million dead in the last century for exactly the same purpose if truth be told – that a lot of grieving parents of which very few were American.

Henrik
Guest
Henrik

That’s if you don’t count the ones who have lost their lives in both world wars and other conflicts,to save the world

DarkEyes
Guest
DarkEyes

To save the world? Of what?

Penrose
Guest
Penrose

A program for America:
1) Cut the military budget by 80% and bring the troops home.
2) Put the above cuts into rebuilding infrastructure.
3) Build a nationwide modern train system.
4) Get rid of the Federal Reserve debt money system and assign interest free money creation to the government.

Phillip Kokesh
Guest
Phillip Kokesh

no, he was being most precise in his wording; the folks controlling the intelligence services are the culprits… 😉

Dennis Morrisseau
Guest

OK, Who then?…….There was huge Israeli involvement we know.

Dennis Morrisseau
US Army Officer [Vietnam era] ANTI-WAR
–BACK ON THE TRUMP TRAIN–
Lieutenant Morrisseau’s Rebellion
FIRECONGRESS.org
Second Vermont Republic
POB 177, W. Pawlet, VT USA 05775
dmorso1@netzero.net
802 645 9727

Doug Brown
Guest
Doug Brown

Whatever. Those buildings came down in their own footprint and only controlled demolition is capable of achieving such precision. No one was charged for this crime. The people responsible are still free.
It’s a smelly rotting affair and make no mistake.

ignasi
Guest
ignasi

He says were not of intelligence
Because it is the government that moves all the threads of the damn lie

CumExApostolatus
Guest
CumExApostolatus

Mr. Putin is wily coyote.

M Green
Guest
M Green

I just finished watching all four hours of the Putin Interviews and I do not believe that Putin makes this statement about 9/11. I vividly recall him stating that it was not the plan of the US intelligence services to strand Snowden in Russia. Putin then quipped, “They’re not that clever,” but did not follow it up with any comment on 9/11, let alone the one given here. I have written a good deal about 9/11 and if Putin had said this I would not have missed it. If I am mistaken, perhaps the author or one of the commentators… Read more »

667..neighbor of the beast
Guest
667..neighbor of the beast

Response to Bin Laden assassination:

Russia is ready to help step up efforts to combat terror, saying only joint efforts can produce results.
“Russia was among the first countries to face the dangers inherent in global terrorism, and unfortunately knows what al Qaeda is …not from hearsay,” the Kremlin said. “Retribution will inevitably reach all terrorists.”

667..neighbor of the beast
Guest
667..neighbor of the beast

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Orthodox Churches begin to respond forcefully to Ukrainian situation

Two jurisdictions, including one with a difficult history with Russia, move to condemn uncanonical acts in Ukraine.

Seraphim Hanisch

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Two local jurisdictions within the Eastern Orthodox Church announced their refusal to accept the legitimization of two schismatic groups in Ukraine, a move authorized by the Ecumenical Patriarch, but spurred by powers in the United States and Petro Poroshenko’s secularist-oriented Ukraine.

On October 11th, 2018, the Ecumentical Patriarch, Bartholomew I of Constantinople, authorized his legates to pronounce two schismatic Orthodox “churches” in Ukraine to be restored to canonical communion with the Ecumenical Patriarchate, and by extension, across the entire Orthodox world.

This move was strongly condemned by the authorities of the Russian Orthodox Church, which has the only canonically accepted church presence in Ukraine, a situation that the Ecumenical Patriarch himself agreed with only a few years ago.

Russia moved to break communion with the Ecumenical Patriarchate, creating a split in the Orthodox Church, but a split that at first risked Russia standing alone in their statement of disapproval of the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s actions.

For a time the reaction of the other “local” Orthodox Churches was cautious, with the vast majority (excepting only the Greek Church in the USA) coming out in support of the canonical group in Ukraine, but without taking similar action to Moscow.

That appears to be changing.

On November 12 and 16, respectively, the Churches of Serbia and Poland issued strong statements. They both categorically refused to recognize the Ukrainian schismatic groups and they forbade their clergy to concelebrate with the “clergy” within these groups. The Serbs’ statement on this was as follows:

“The Assembly does not recognize the mentioned figures and their followers as Orthodox bishops and clergy and, consequently, does not accept liturgical and canonical communion with them and their supporters.”

The Polish Church made a similar announcement, but with even more force:

“The Holy Bishops’ Council forbids the priests of the Polish Orthodox Church from having liturgical and prayerful contact with the ‘clergy’ of the so-called Kiev Patriarchate and the so-called ‘Autocephalous Orthodox Church,’ which have committed much evil in the past,” the statement reads.

According to the Polish hierarchs, persons deprived of episcopal and clerical ordination cannot be leaders in establishing peace in the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

Only the observance of the dogmatic and canonical norms of the Church and the preservation of the centuries-old tradition will protect Orthodoxy from severe ecclesiastical consequences on an international scale. The Polish Orthodox Church prays fervently for the unity of the holy Orthodox Church and for peace for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church,” the message further reads.

And while yet officially under the omophorion of Constantinople, several Greek monasteries on Mount Athos, the Orthodox monastic republic that is the spiritual center of all of Eastern Orthodoxy, inserted special petitions in their services to pray for Metropolitan Onufry and the people of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church – that is, the canonical group that is a highly autonomous, or independent, Church while yet under the Moscow Patriarchate.

This is an interesting situation because in terms of ecclesial jurisdiction, Mount Athos is actually under the Ecumenical Patriarchate. However, the monasteries there often are known for taking the hardest of hardline stances when even their own Patriarchate takes actions they feel to be wrong:

Thousands of Russian and Ukrainian Orthodox Christians go on pilgrimage to Mt. Athos, which is under the jurisdiction of Constantinople, every year. However, the Russian Church, of which the Ukrainian Church is an autonomous, self-governing part, broke communion with Constantinople on October 15, which the Ukrainian Church confirmed yesterday, due to unilateral Constantinople’s interference in ecclesiastical life in Ukraine.

We know that the majority of the abbots of the Athonite monasteries do not agree with the anti-canonical decisions of the Phanar,” Met. Anthony said.

“In several monasteries—Greek ones, by the way—they have included a special petition in the Litany of Peace in the morning and evening services: ‘For His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry with his suffering flock.,’” he explained, adding, “We are very grateful to the Athonites for their brotherly love and prayers.”

This is a story that it still developing, but the recent moves by Poland and Serbia may be outlining the path that other local Orthodox Churches will take.

That move is to deny recognition to the schismatics that Patriarch Bartholomew lifted the anathemas and depositions for. If this step were to be taken by all the local Churches that have expressed support for the canonical Ukrainian Church, the result would be not much different than where the schismatics were on October 10th:

Filaret Denisenko’s group and Makary’s group would indeed have communion with Constantinople, and presumably the Greek Orthodox Church in the USA, but with no one else.

This move would be a severe repudiation of the Ecumenical Patriarch’s repeated declaration that he has the sole authority to grant autocephaly to anyone anywhere in the Orthodox world (or even to take it away), which is a canonical absurdity.

Given the substantial problems that Filaret Denisenko continues to create, such as refusing to be considered only a Metropolitan (this was the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s order), and to still consider himself a patriarch, blessing a blasphemous “icon” that is really just a monument to Ukrainian ultra-nationalism and secularism (note the neo-Nazi wolfsangel and machine guns in the upper right of this photo:

And given the ideations of Patriarch Bartholomew himself, who is also recently reported to be pushing towards creating unity with the Roman Catholic Church, while acting like a pope himself by insisting that all the local Orthodox Churches will accept his decisions, it does not look like this situation is going to go away by itself.

However, by placing the problem of the schismatics squarely in Patriarch Bartholomew’s hands (since he created the problem), the pressure created by other churches refusing to concelebrate with the Ukrainian schismatics may be enough to isolate the Ecumenical Patriarchate itself, rather than fulfilling the highly likely goal that the US, Ukraine and Patriarch Bartholomew may have had initially – to isolate Russia and create a situation where Russia is made to look like the bad guy, once again.

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Whose Money Stoked Religious Strife in Ukraine – and Who Tried to Steal It?

Was $25 million in American tax dollars allocated for a payoff to stir up religious turmoil and violence in Ukraine?

Jim Jatras

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Authored by James George Jatras via Strategic Culture:


Was $25 million in American tax dollars allocated for a payoff to stir up religious turmoil and violence in Ukraine? Did Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko (unsuccessfully) attempt to divert most of it into his own pocket?

Last month the worldwide Orthodox Christian communion was plunged into crisis by the decision of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I in Constantinople to recognize as legitimate schismatic pseudo-bishops anathematized by the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which is an autonomous part of the Russian Orthodox Church. In so doing not only has Patriarch Bartholomew besmirched the global witness of Orthodoxy’s two-millennia old Apostolic faith, he has set the stage for religious strife in Ukraine and fratricidal violence – which has already begun.

Starting in July, when few were paying attention, this analyst warned about the impending dispute and how it facilitated the anti-Christian moral agenda of certain marginal “Orthodox” voices like “Orthodoxy in Dialogue,” Fordham University’s “Orthodox Christian Studies Center,” and The Wheel. These “self-professed teachers presume to challenge the moral teachings of the faith” (in the words of Fr. John Parker) and “prowl around, wolves in sheep’s clothing, forming and shaping false ideas about the reality of our life in Christ.” Unsurprisingly such groups have embraced Constantinople’s neopapal self-aggrandizement and support for the Ukrainian schismatics.

No one – and certainly not this analyst – would accuse Patriarch Bartholomew, most Ukrainian politicians, or even the Ukrainian schismatics of sympathizing with advocacy of such anti-Orthodox values. And yet these advocates know they cannot advance their goals if the conciliar and traditional structure of Orthodoxy remains intact. Thus they welcome efforts by Constantinople to centralize power while throwing the Church into discord, especially the Russian Church, which is vilified in some Western circles precisely because it is a global beacon of traditional Christian moral witness.

This aspect points to another reason for Western governments to support Ukrainian autocephaly as a spiritual offensive against Russia and Orthodoxy. The post-Maidan leadership harp on the “European choice” the people of Ukraine supposedly made in 2014, but they soft-pedal the accompanying moral baggage the West demands, symbolized by “gay” marches organized over Christian objections in Orthodox cities like AthensBelgradeBucharestKievOdessaPodgoricaSofia, and Tbilisi. Even under the Trump administration, the US is in lockstep with our European Union friends in pressuring countries liberated from communism to adopt such nihilistic “democratic, European values.”

Perhaps even more important to its initiators, the row over Ukraine aims to break what they see as the “soft power” of the Russian Federation, of which the Orthodox Church is the spiritual heart and soul. As explained by Valeria Z. Nollan, professor emerita of Russian Studies at Rhodes College:

‘The real goal of the quest for autocephaly [i.e., complete self-governing status independent of the Moscow Patriarchate] of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is a de facto coup: a political coup already took place in 2014, poisoning the relations between western Ukraine and Russia, and thus another type of coup – a religious one – similarly seeks to undermine the canonical relationship between the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and Moscow.’

In furthering these twin objectives (morally, the degrading of Orthodox Christianity; politically, undermining the Russian state as Orthodoxy’s powerful traditional protector) it is increasingly clear that the United States government – and specifically the Department of State – has become a hands-on fomenter of conflict. After a short period of appropriately declaring that “any decision on autocephaly is an internal [Orthodox] church matter,” the Department within days reversed its position and issued a formal statement (in the name of Department spokesperson Heather Nauert, but clearly drafted by the European bureau) that skirted a direct call for autocephaly but gave the unmistakable impression of such backing. This is exactly how it was reported in the media, for example, “US backs Ukrainian Church bid for autocephaly.” Finally, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo weighed in personally with his own endorsement as did the US Reichskommissar for UkraineKurt Volker.

The Threat…

There soon became reason to believe that the State Department’s involvement was not limited to exhortations. As reported by this analyst in October, according to an unconfirmed report originating with the members of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (an autonomous New York-based jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate), in July of this year State Department officials (possibly including Secretary Pompeo personally) warned the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America (also based in New York but part of the Ecumenical Patriarchate) that the US government was aware of the misappropriation of a large amount of money, about $10 million, from estimated $37 million raised from believers for the construction of the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine in New York. The State Department warning also reportedly noted that federal prosecutors have documentary evidence confirming the withdrawal of these funds abroad on the orders of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. It was suggested that Secretary Pompeo would “close his eyes” to this theft in exchange for movement by the Patriarchate of Constantinople in favor of Ukrainian autocephaly, which helped set Patriarch Bartholomew on his current course.

[Further details on the St. Nicholas scandal are available here, but in summary: Only one place of worship of any faith was destroyed in the September 11, 2001, attack in New York and only one building not part of the World Trade Center complex was completely destroyed. That was St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, a small urban parish church established at the end of World War I and dedicated to St. Nicholas the Wonderworker, who is very popular with Greeks as the patron of sailors. In the aftermath of the 9/11 attack, and following a lengthy legal battle with the Port Authority, which opposed rebuilding the church, in 2011 the Greek Archdiocese launched an extensive campaign to raise funds for a brilliant innovative design by the renowned Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava based on traditional Byzantine forms. Wealthy donors and those of modest means alike enthusiastically contributed millions to the effort. Then – poof! In December 2017, suddenly all construction was halted for lack of funds and remains stalled to this day. Resumption would require having an estimated $2 million on hand. Despite the Archdiocese’s calling in a major accounting firm to conduct an audit, there’s been no clear answer to what happened to the money. Both the US Attorney and New York state authorities are investigating.]

This is where things get back to Ukraine. If the State Department wanted to find the right button to push to spur Patriarch Bartholomew to move on the question of autocephaly, the Greek Archdiocese in the US is it. Let’s keep in mind that in his home country, Turkey, Patriarch Bartholomew has virtually no local flock – only a few hundred mostly elderly Greeks left huddled in Istanbul’s Phanar district. (Sometimes the Patriarchate is referred to simply as “the Phanar,” much as “the Vatican” is shorthand for the Roman Catholic papacy.) Whatever funds the Patriarchate derives from other sources (the Greek government, the Roman Catholic Church, the World Council of Churches), the Phanar’s financial lifeline is the ethnic Greek community (including this analyst) in what is still quaintly called the “Diaspora” in places like America, Australia, and New Zealand. And of these, the biggest cash cow is the Greek-Americans.

That’s why, when Patriarch Bartholomew issued a call in 2016 for what was billed as an Orthodox “Eighth Ecumenical Council” (the first one since the year 787!), the funds largely came from America, to the tune of up to $8 million according to the same confidential source as will be noted below. Intended by some as a modernizing Orthodox “Vatican II,” the event was doomed to failure by a boycott organized by Moscow over what the latter saw as Patriarch Bartholomew’s adopting papal or even imperial prerogatives – now sadly coming to bear in Ukraine.

…and the Payoff

On top of the foregoing, it now appears that the State Department’s direct hand in this sordid business may not have consisted solely of wielding the “stick” of legal threat: there’s reason to believe there was a “carrot” too. It very recently came to the attention of this analyst, via an unsolicited, confidential source in the Greek Archdiocese in New York, that a payment of $25 million in US government money was made to Constantinople to encourage Patriarch Bartholomew to move forward on Ukraine.

The source for this confidential report was unaware of earlier media reports that the same figure – $25 million – was paid by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to the Phanar as an incentive for Patriarch Bartholomew to move forward on creating an independent Ukrainian church. Moreover, Poroshenko evidently tried to shortchange the payment:

‘Peter [Petro] Poroshenko — the president of Ukraine — was obligated to return $15 million US dollars to the Patriarch of Constantinople, which he had appropriated for himself.

‘As reported by Izvestia, this occurred after the story about Bartholomew’s bribe and a “vanishing” large sum designated for the creation of a Unified Local Orthodox Church in Ukraine surfaced in the mass media.

‘As reported, on the eve of Poroshenko’s visit in Istanbul, a few wealthy people of Ukraine “chipped in” in order to hasten the process of creating a Unified Local Orthodox Church. About $25 million was collected. They were supposed to go to the award ceremony for Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople for the issuing of a tomos of autocephaly. [A tomos is a small book containing a formal announcement.] However, in the words of people close to the backer, during the visit on April 9, Poroshenko handed over only $10 million.

‘As a result, having learned of the deal, Bartholomew cancelled the participation of the delegation of the Phanar – the residence of the Patriarch of Constantinople, in the celebration of the 1030th anniversary of the Baptism of Russia on July 27 in Kiev.

‘”Such a decision from Bartholomew’s side was nothing other than a strong ultimatum to Poroshenko to return the stolen money. Of course, in order to not lose his face in light of the stark revelations of the creation of the tomos of autocephaly for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Peter Alexeevich [Poroshenko] had to just return those $15 million for the needs of Constantinople,” a trusted source explained to reporters.

‘For preliminary information, only after receiving the remaining sum, did Bartholomew finally give his consent to sending a delegation of the Phanar to Kiev … ‘

Now, it’s possible that the two identical figures of $25 million refer to two different pots of money (a cool $50 million!) but that seems unlikely. It’s more probable the reports refer to the same sum as viewed from the sending side (the State Department, the Greek Archdiocese) and the delivery side (Poroshenko, Constantinople).

Lending credibility to the confidential information from New York and pointing to the probability that it refers to the same payment that Poroshenko reportedly sought to raid for himself are the following observations:

  • When Poroshenko generously offered Patriarch Bartholomew $10 million, the latter was aware that the full amount was $25 million and demanded the $15 million Poroshenko had held back. How did the Patriarch know that, unless he was informed via New York of the full sum?
  • If the earlier-reported $25 million was really collected from “a few wealthy people of Ukraine” who “chipped in,” given the cutthroat nature of disputes among Ukrainian oligarchs would Poroshenko (an oligarch in his own right) have risked trying to shortchange the payment? Why has not even one such Ukrainian donor been identified?
  • Without going into all the details, the Phanar and the Greek Archdiocese have a long relationship with US administrations of both parties going back at least to the Truman administration, encompassing some decidedly unattractive episodes. In such a history, a mere bribe for a geopolitical shot against Moscow would hardly be a first instance or the worst.

As one of this analyst’s Greek-American connections puts it: “It’s easy to comprehend the Patriarchate bowing to the pressure of State Dept. blackmail… not overly savory, but understandable. However, it’s another thing altogether if Kiev truly “purchased” their autocephalous status from an all too willing Patriarchate … which would relegate the Patriarch to ‘salesman’ status and leave the faithful wondering what else might be offered to the highest bidder the next time it became convenient to hold a Patriarchal ‘fire sale’ at the Phanar?!”

To add insult to injury, you’d think Constantinople at least could pay back some of the $7-8 million wasted on the Crete 2016 debacle to restart the St. Nicholas project in New York. Evidently the Phanar has better things to spend it on, like the demonstrative environmentalism of “the Green Patriarch” and, together with Pope Francis, welcoming Muslim migrants to Europe through Greece. Of course maybe there’s no need to worry, as the Ukraine “sale” was consistent with Constantinople’s papal ambitions, an uncanonical claim to “universal” status, and misuse of incarnational language and adoption of a breathtakingly arrogant tone that would cause even the most ultramontane proponent of the Rome’s supremacy to blush.

Finally, it seems that, for the time being at least, Constantinople doesn’t intend to create an independent Ukrainian church but rather an autonomous church under its own authority. It’s unclear whether or not Poroshenko or the State Department, in such event, would believe they had gotten their money’s worth. Perhaps they would. After all, the issue here is less what is appropriate for Ukraine than what strikes at Russia and injures the worldwide Christian witness of the Orthodox Church. To that end, it doesn’t matter whether the new illegal body is Constantinopolitan or Kievan, just so long as it isn’t a “Moskal church” linked to Russia.

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U.S. May Impose Sanctions Against Turkey Over S-400 “Threat” To F-35

The United States continues to consider the S-400 air defense system a threat to its F-35 fifth generation stealth fighter platform.

The Duran

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Authored by Al Masdar News:


Turkish officials have repeatedly insisted that Ankara’s purchase of the advanced Russian air defense system poses no threat whatsoever to the NATO alliance. Last month, the Turkish defense ministry announced that delivery of S-400s to Turkey would begin in October 2019.

The United States continues to consider the S-400 air defense system a threat to its F-35 fifth generation stealth fighter platform, and may impose sanctions against Ankara, Turkey’s Anadolu news agency has reported, citing a high-ranking source in Washington.

“I can’t say for certain whether sanctions will be imposed on Ankara over the S-400 contract, but the possibility is there. The US administration is not optimistic about this issue,” the source said.

While admitting that Turkey was a sovereign state and therefore had the right to make decisions on whom it buys its weapons from, the source stressed that from the perspective of these weapons’ integration with NATO systems, the S-400 was “problematic.”

The source also characterized the deployment of S-400s in areas where US F-35 fifth-generation stealth fighters are set to fly as “a threat,” without elaborating.

Emphasizing that negotiations between Washington and Ankara on the issue were “continuing,” the source said that there were also “positive tendencies” in negotiations between the two countries on the procurement of the Patriot system, Washington’s closest analogue to the S-400 in terms of capabilities.

Designed to stop enemy aircraft, cruise and ballistic missiles at ranges of up to 400 km and altitudes of up to 30 km, the S-400 is currently the most advanced mobile air defense system in Russia’s arsenal. Russia and India signed a ruble-denominated contract on the delivery of five regiments of S-400s worth $5 billion late last month.

Last week, the Saudi Ambassador to Russia said that talks on the sale of the system to his country were ongoing. In addition to Russia, S-400s are presently operated by Belarus and China, with Beijing expecting another delivery of S-400s by 2020.

Washington has already slapped China with sanctions over its purchase of S-400s and Su-35 combat aircraft in September. India, however, has voiced confidence that it would not be hit with similar restrictions, which the US Treasury has pursued under the 2017 Counter America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).

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