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Transgender Ukraine, desperately in need of western approval

The split personality of the Russian soul: Moscow and Kiev.

Alex Christoforou

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Ukraine is ready to sacrifice everything, its culture, its history, its religion and its sense of self, so as to be included in the rapidly declining western system.

Why would Ukraine hitch itself onto a train that is crashing at such a rapid pace, when north of its borders and eastward towards China, a new world is rising?

Via GEFIRA…

All nations can be made to suffer from disturbed or split personality and then they are unhappy after their own fashion, toys in the hands of the powers that be.

All healthy nations are alike, but an unhealthy nation is unhealthy after its own fashion. This paraphrase of the opening sentence from Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina neatly serves the purpose of analyzing the Ukrainian soul, a soul that has dissociative identity disorder. A transgender man has an identity disturbance in that he thinks or feels he was born a woman and other females are not his sexual partners. The same is true of peoples. A Ukrainian thinks or feels he is not Russian and, consequently, that Russians are not his brothers. A transgender man physically looks like a man and still thinks he is not a male; a Ukrainian speaks Russian, professes Orthodox Christianity, writes Cyrillic and still says he is anything but.

We from such European countries as Poland, France or Germany may ask ourselves, what is the origin of the Ukrainian state? What is the origin of the Russian state? Ukrainian and Russian children learn about the same beginnings of their respective countries, read stories about Rurik, Oleg and Olga, Vladimir the Great and Yaroslav the Wise. Polish and Czech, French and Spanish, British and Norwegian children do not learn that their respective nations share the same origin whereas Ukrainian and Russian children do. Kiev is regarded as the mother of Russian cities. True, there was a time when the Russian vast lands were split into a number of principalities, but then Italian, Polish, and German were too.

The land east of the Bug River and west of the Urals is historically, ethnographically, culturally and emotionally referred to russkiy mir(Russian world, Russian civilization). In the Middle Ages it was known as Rus’ or Ruthenia and was comprised of Great Russia with its centre in Moscow, Little Russia with its centre in Kiev and White Russia with its present-day centre in Minsk. They all three share one and the same founding legend.

Parts of Rus’ (or Ruthenia) were once conquered and held by the Tartars (Mongols), Lithuania and Poland, which might have contributed to the split in the collective psyche of the people inhabiting these areas. Yet, Poland too, was partitioned by three foreign powers and kept in subjugation for more than a hundred years. The occupying forces made various attempts to either Germanize or Russify its population, and still Poland emerged as one nation.

True, some Ukrainians, especially in the western parts of the country speak a variety of Russian, which they call a separate language. Yet the Ukrainian language is not more different from Russian than the Bavarian or Liverpudlian dialects are different from German or English. Surely, nobody says we have the Bavarian or Liverpudlian languages? In the 19th century the Ukrainian dialect of the Russian tongue was forcibly turned into a language by deleting some of the Russian and taking on some of the Polish vocabulary and affirming the local west-Ukrainian pronunciation. The Russian Cyrillic alphabet used for Ukrainian has as many as… three ‘new’ characters. Well, the American variety of English, too, has some spelling and pronunciation peculiarities that make it a tiny bit different from its British counterpart, yet American children are taught English at school, not American.

Of course, such differences are skilfully exploited by the powers that be just as it was done in the case of Yugoslavia, where Westerners could be easily duped into believing that Croats and Serbs speak two entirely different languages because… the former use the Latin whereas the latter the Cyrillic script, while in point of fact they speak the same language. The Turkish language has not changed simply because Kemal Atatürk had the Arabic script done away with and decreed the use of Latin characters, or did it?

What’s the matter with Ukrainian identity disturbance? The whole can be traced back to the times of Peter the Great and then again to 19th century when among the Russian intelligentsia the movement of Westernizers (Западничество) came into being, which reflected the split Russian soul. Part of it wants to stay Russian, Slavophile, the other part is ashamed of being Russian. A split personality syndrome. Ukrainians for the most part represent the pro-Western inclination of the Russian soul. In a similar case of the Southern Slavs, Croats have been westernized since the dawn of their history as they accepted Christianity from Rome; Serbs became easterners as they accepted Christianity from Byzantium. A Ukrainian is a Russian desperately in need of westernizing himself and his country. The tighter is the leash on which Moscow holds him, the more disruptive tendencies a Ukrainian will show. This pro-Western strand in the Russian soul is being skilfully exploited by the West for its own purposes. Nations, as we know, can be created when it suits someone’s purposes. At present Germans in Austria are Austrians, not Germans, but there was a time when they were Germans; Catalans are Spaniards or they are not Spaniards, as the case may be; not long ago citizens of the German Democratic Republic would have fought against their historical compatriots from the Federal German Republic. Did we have two German nations?

Ukrainians cutting themselves off from Moscow are like the British colonists across the Atlantic cutting themselves off from the British crown. The difference is, however, that the thirteen colonies at least comprised a significant number of nations other than English, Welsh or Scottish and they were mostly religious rebels from the Church of England. Ukrainians, on the other hand, are like their Russian compatriots Orthodox Christians and have no significant national or religious minorities. Furthermore, throughout history Ukrainians have hardly ever rebelled against Moscow. They willingly declared their allegiance to the Great Russian capital in 1654 (Treaty of Pereyaslav) at the climax of the largest revolt against the Polish Crown. Prior to that event Kiev was part of the the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. Thus Little Russians broke away from a culturally western country to happily let themselves be embraced by their eastern brothers. The Russian soul subconsciously knew where it belonged. In Poland Ukrainians were called Cossacks and later Rusini(which in Polish is as close to the word denoting Russians as in English Germanic is to German).

Ukraine’s territory after World War One and the Russian Civil War was carved out of Russia by the Bolsheviks, who happily joined to Ukraine vast eastern areas, without the Crimea, though. The Bolsheviks themselves were mostly of non-Russian nationality or indifferent to national questions, so they didn’t care about such things as delineating territories. In 1956 Nikita Khrushchev, Secretary General of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (for all practical purposes the Soviet Union’s president), himself a Ukrainian, carved the Crimea out of Russia (then a Soviet Socialist Republic) and had it joined to Ukraine (then, too, a Soviet Socialist Republic). Thus the peninsula was not Russian only for a few decades (1956-2014) and only formally because it was and is inhabited by Russians. When it was incorporated back into Russia, not a shot was fired on the Ukrainian side.

Now the West-prone Russians (centered around Kiev) are being played off against the West-averse Russians (centered around Moscow) and both are presented to the world as two separate nations. Were the Americans two separate nations when they fought the Civil War of 1861-1865? The resentment in the southern states against the North has persisted ever since. If Russia were the world’s superpower rather than the United States, she might as well choose to play the southern American states off against Washington. Then, conversely, rather than having Ukrainians jumping in the city squares and shouting “Кто не скачет, тот москаль!” (Who is not jumping [with us] is Moscow’s [lackey (useful idiot)]), we would have Southerners jump and shout “Who’s not jumping with us, is Washington’s lackey”. And surely, in due time we would learn that Southerners speak a language other than the Northerners and have every right to be recognized as a separate nation.

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Russia’s Lukoil Halts Oil Swaps In Venezuela After U.S. Sanctions

Under the new wide-ranging U.S. sanctions, Venezuela will not be able to import U.S. naphtha which it has typically used to dilute its heavy crude grades.

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Via Oilprice.com


Litasco, the international trading arm of Russia’s second-biggest oil producer Lukoil, stopped its oil swaps deals with Venezuela immediately after the U.S. imposed sanctions on Venezuela’s oil industry and state oil firm PDVSA, Lukoil’s chief executive Vagit Alekperov said at an investment forum in Russia.

Russia, which stands by Nicolas Maduro in the ongoing Venezuelan political crisis, has vowed to defend its interests in Venezuela—including oil interests—within the international law using “all mechanisms available to us.”

Because of Moscow’s support for Maduro, the international community and market analysts are closely watching the relationship of Russian oil companies with Venezuela.

“Litasco does not work with Venezuela. Before the restrictions were imposed, Litasco had operations to deliver oil products and to sell oil. There were swap operations. Today there are none, since the sanctions were imposed,” Lukoil’s Alekperov said at the Russian Investment Forum in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.

Another Russian oil producer, Gazprom Neft, however, does not see major risks for its oil business in Venezuela, the company’s chief executive officer Alexander Dyukov said at the same event.

Gazprom Neft has not supplied and does not supply oil products to Venezuela needed to dilute the thick heavy Venezuelan oil, Dyukov said, noting that the Latin American country hadn’t approached Gazprom Neft for possible supply of oil products for diluents.

Under the new wide-ranging U.S. sanctions, Venezuela will not be able to import U.S. naphtha which it has typically used to dilute its heavy crude grades. Analysts expect that a shortage of diluents could accelerate beginning this month the already steadily declining Venezuelan oil production and exports.

Venezuela’s crude oil production plunged by another 59,000 bpd from December 2018 to stand at just 1.106 million bpd in January 2019, OPEC’s secondary sources figures showed in the cartel’s closely watched Monthly Oil Market Report (MOMR) this week.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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Germany Pulls Rank on Macron and American Energy Blackmail

Why France’s Macron, at the last minute, attempted to undermine the project by placing stiffer regulations is a curious question.

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Authored by Finian Cunningham via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


It was billed politely as a Franco-German “compromise” when the EU balked at adopting a Gas Directive which would have undermined the Nord Stream 2 project with Russia.

Nevertheless, diplomatic rhetoric aside, Berlin’s blocking last week of a bid by French President Emmanuel Macron to impose tougher regulations on the Nord Stream 2 gas project was without doubt a firm rebuff to Paris.

Macron wanted to give the EU administration in Brussels greater control over the new pipeline running from Russia to Germany. But in the end the so-called “compromise” was a rejection of Macron’s proposal, reaffirming Germany in the lead role of implementing the Nord Stream 2 route, along with Russia.

The $11-billion, 1,200 kilometer pipeline is due to become operational at the end of this year. Stretching from Russian mainland under the Baltic Sea, it will double the natural gas supply from Russia to Germany. The Berlin government and German industry view the project as a vital boost to the country’s ever-robust economy. Gas supplies will also be distributed from Germany to other European states. Consumers stand to gain from lower prices for heating homes and businesses.

Thus Macron’s belated bizarre meddling was rebuffed by Berlin. A rebuff was given too to the stepped-up pressure from Washington for the Nord Stream 2 project to be cancelled. Last week, US ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell and two other American envoys wrote an op-ed for Deutsche Welle in which they accused Russia of trying to use “energy blackmail” over Europe’s geopolitics.

Why France’s Macron, at the last minute, attempted to undermine the project by placing stiffer regulations is a curious question. Those extra regulations if they had been imposed would have potentially made the Russian gas supply more expensive. As it turns out, the project will now go-ahead without onerous restrictions.

In short, Macron and the spoiling tactics of Washington, along with EU states hostile to Russia, Poland and the Baltic countries, have been put in their place by Germany and its assertion of national interests of securing economical and abundant gas supply from Russia. Other EU member states that backed Berlin over Nord Stream 2 were Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Greece and the Netherlands.

Washington’s claims that Nord Stream 2 would give Russia leverage of Europe’s security have been echoed by Poland and the Baltic states. Poland, and non-EU Ukraine, stand to lose out billions of dollars-worth of transit fees. Such a move, however, is the prerogative of Germany and Russia to find a more economical mode of supply. Besides, what right has Ukraine to make demands on a bilateral matter that is none of its business? Kiev’s previous bad faith over not paying gas bills to Russia disbars it from reasonable opinion.

Another factor is the inherent Russophobia of Polish and Baltic politicians who view everything concerning Russia through a prism of paranoia.

For the Americans, it is obviously a blatant case of seeking to sell their own much more expensive natural gas to Europe’s giant energy market – in place of Russia’s product. Based on objective market figures, Russia is the most competitive supplier to Europe. The Americans are therefore trying to snatch a strategic business through foul means of propaganda and political pressure. Ironically, the US German ambassador Richard Grenell and the other American envoys wrote in their recent oped: “Europe must retain control of its energy security.”

Last month, Grenell threatened German and European firms involved in the construction of Nord Stream 2 that they could face punitive American sanctions in the future. Evidently, it is the US side that is using “blackmail” to coerce others into submission, not Russia.

Back to Macron. What was he up to in his belated spoiling tactics over Nord Stream 2 and in particular the attempted problems being leveled for Germany if the extra regulations had been imposed?

It seems implausible that Macron was suddenly finding a concern for Poland and the Baltic states in their paranoia over alleged Russian invasion.

Was Macron trying to garner favors from the Trump administration? His initial obsequious rapport with Trump has since faded from the early days of Macron’s presidency in 2017. By doing Washington’s bidding to undermine the Nord Stream 2 project was Macron trying to ingratiate himself again?

The contradictions regarding Macron are replete. He is supposed to be a champion of “ecological causes”. A major factor in Germany’s desire for the Nord Stream 2 project is that the increased gas supply will reduce the European powerhouse’s dependence on dirty fuels of coal, oil and nuclear power. By throwing up regulatory barriers, Macron is making it harder for Germany and Europe to move to cleaner sources of energy that the Russian natural gas represents.

Also, if Macron had succeeded in imposing tougher regulations on the Nord Stream 2 project it would have inevitably increased the costs to consumers for gas bills. This is at a time when his government is being assailed by nationwide Yellow Vest protests over soaring living costs, in particular fuel-price hikes.

A possible factor in Macron’s sabotage bid in Germany’s Nord Stream 2 plans was his chagrin over Berlin’s rejection of his much-vaunted reform agenda for the Eurozone bloc within the EU. Despite Macron’s very public amity with Chancellor Angela Merkel, Berlin has continually knocked back the French leader’s ambitions for reform.

It’s hard to discern what are the real objectives of Macron’s reforms. But they seem to constitute a “banker’s charter”. Many eminent German economists have lambasted his plans, which they say will give more taxpayer-funded bailouts to insolvent banks. They say Macron is trying to move the EU further away from the social-market economy than the bloc already has moved.

What Macron, an ex-Rothschild banker, appears to be striving for is a replication of his pro-rich, anti-worker policies that he is imposing on France, and for these policies to be extended across the Eurozone. Berlin is not buying it, realizing such policies will further erode the social fabric. This could be the main reason why Macron tried to use the Nord Stream 2 project as leverage over Berlin.

In the end, Macron and Washington – albeit working for different objectives – were defeated in their attempts to sabotage the emerging energy trade between Germany, Europe and Russia. Nord Stream 2, as with Russia’s Turk Stream to the south of Europe, seems inevitable by sheer force of natural partnership.

On this note, the Hungarian government’s comments this week were apt. Budapest accused some European leaders and the US of “huge hypocrisy” in decrying association with Russia over energy trade. Macron has previously attended an economics forum in St Petersburg, and yet lately has sought to “blackmail” and disrupt Germany over its trade plans with Russia.

As for the Americans, their arrant hypocrisy is beyond words. As well as trying to dictate to Europe about “market principles” and “energy security”, it was reported this week that Washington is similarly demanding Iraq to end its import of natural gas from neighboring Iran.

Iraq is crippled by electricity and power shortages because of the criminal war that the US waged on that country from 2003-2011 which destroyed much of the country’s infrastructure. Iraq critically needs Iranian gas supplies to keep the lights and fans running. Yet, here we have the US now dictating to Iraq to end its lifeline import of Iranian fuel in order to comply with the Trump administration’s sanctions against Tehran. Iraq is furious at the latest bullying interference by Washington in its sovereign affairs.

The hypocrisy of Washington and elitist politicians like Emmanuel Macron has become too much to stomach. Maybe Germany and others are finally realizing who the charlatans are.

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Russia Readies Own Web To Survive Global Internet Shutdown

Russia is simultaneously building a mass censorship system similar to that seen in China.

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Via Zerohedge


Russian authorities and major telecom operators are preparing to disconnect the country from the world wide web as part of an exercise to prepare for future cyber attacks, Russian news agency RosBiznesKonsalting (RBK) reported last week.

The purpose of the exercise is to develop a threat analysis and provide feedback to a proposed law introduced in the Russian Parliament last December.

The draft law, called the Digital Economy National Program, requires Russian internet service providers (ISP) to guarantee the independence of the Russian Internet (Runet) in the event of a foreign attack to sever the country’s internet from the world wide web.

Telecom operators (MegaFon, VimpelCom (Beeline brand), MTS, Rostelecom and others) will have to introduce the “technical means” to re-route all Russian internet traffic to exchange points approved by the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media (Roskomnadzor), Russia’s federal executive body responsible for censorship in media and telecommunications.

Roskomnazor will observe all internet traffic and make sure data between Russian users stays within the country’s borders, and is not re-routed abroad.

The exercise is expected to occur before April 1, as Russian authorities have not given exact dates.

The measures described in the law include Russia constructing its internet system, known as Domain Name System (DNS), so it can operate independently from the rest of the world.

Across the world, 12 companies oversee the root servers for DNS and none are located in Russia. However, there are copies of Russia’s core internet address book inside the country suggesting its internet could keep operating if the US cut it off.

Ultimately, the Russian government will require all domestic traffic to pass through government-controlled routing points. These hubs will filter traffic so that data sent between Russians internet users work seamlessly, but any data to foreign computers would be rejected.

Besides protecting its internet, Russia is simultaneously building a mass censorship system similar to that seen in China.

“What Russia wants to do is to bring those router points that handle data entering or exiting the country within its borders and under its control- so that it can then pull up the drawbridge, as it were, to external traffic if it’s under threat – or if it decides to censor what outside information people can access.

China’s firewall is probably the world’s best known censorship tool and it has become a sophisticated operation. It also polices its router points, using filters and blocks on keywords and certain websites and redirecting web traffic so that computers cannot connect to sites the state does not wish Chinese citizens to see,” said BBC.

The Russian government started preparations for creating its internet several years ago. Russian officials expect 95% of all internet traffic locally by next year.

As for Russia unplugging its internet from the rest of the world for an upcoming training exercise, well, this could potentially anger Washington because it is one less sanction that can keep Moscow contained.

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