Saturday 20th of July 2024

london and washington knew the crimean question was settled....



London and Washington knew of the overwhelming desire of Crimeans to re-unite with Russia from the early days of Ukraine's independence. UK and US diplomats predicted that Ukraine would split and that Crimea would look to Russia, British Cabinet papers released to the National Archives in London reveal.

In 1994 the British got a chance to learn first-hand about the strength of pro-Russian sentiments in Crimea. A visit by Foreign Secretary Douglas Hurd to Ukraine and Russia coincided with a crisis in relations between Kiev and Simferopol, Crimea's capital. In May 1994, the Foreign Office informed Prime Minister John Major that the Crimean parliament, the Supreme Soviet, had "decided to renew the validity of the Crimean Constitution adopted in 1992". This, the FCO memo said, meant ending the legal status of Crimea as part of Ukraine.

Crimea had been an autonomous republic within the Russian Federation; in 1945 it was downgraded to a region within the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic and was in 1954 transferred to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic in what the Foreign Office described as an "administrative fiat of [Communist leader — NG] Kruschev".

The Crimean head at the time was sacked for opposing the move. Most Crimeans never accepted the transfer, which many saw as a "virtual deportation from Russia to Ukraine", and in early 1991 over 80% of them voted in a referendum to restore Crimea's autonomy. The Ukrainian Supreme Soviet acquiesced. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union in December 1991, the Crimeans began a relentless campaign to reunite with Russia. In May 1992, the Crimean parliament adopted the republic's constitution, which declared Crimea's right to self-determination. Kiev threatened to open criminal proceeding against the Crimean leaders and hinted at military action to stamp out "separatism".

The Crimeans had to put their drive for reunification with Russia on ice. But in 1994 they repeated their attempt and elected their own president on a ticket of re-integration with Russia.

Grass Greener in Russia

The British Foreign Office briefed Prime Minister John Major in May 1994:

"Kiev insisted that the Crimean parliament should rescind anti-constitutional measures, particularly attempts to take over the command of interior ministry forces, the security services and demands for dual citizenship — Ukrainian and Russian". [About 70% of Crimeans are ethnic Russians — NG]

"The Ukrainian authorities see these moves as part of a further push for secession by Crimea, or possibly for eventual reunification with Russia.

If the Crimean parliament refuses to back down they could legally seek to impose direct rule…but it is hard to see how they could enforce this on the ground…"

Crimea, the FCO brief continued, "has always had a special status in the Ukrainian constitution and enjoys considerable autonomy under existing legislation". In fact, Crimea had its own constitution that gave the republic sovereign powers.

The Foreign Office saw the potential for even greater devolution for Crimea, particularly on economic matters, which the central government in Kiev had neglected, despite all the financial assistance it was receiving from the West.  

"Crimean demands for autonomy or re-integration with Russia will not go away. 70% of the population are ethnic Russians. They only became Ukrainian by administrative fiat of Kruschev in 1954. Their historic, linguistic and cultural ties are all with Russia and at present Russia looks to have a more prosperous future. The two parliaments may be able to come to a compromise, probably involving Crimea gaining further economic autonomy.

This ultimately is the key to security and stability in Crimea. Unless Ukraine embarks on a serious economic reform programme to stem economic decline the grass will always seem greener on the other (Russian) side".

Negative Security Assurance

While in Ukraine, Douglas Hurd was told that Kiev was open to international help in settling the dispute with Crimea. The Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) agreed to establish a resident Mission to Ukraine, to be based in Kiev with an office in Simferopol. The Ukrainians have subsequently unofficially claimed that they were able to handle Crimea without the CSCE's help. "Some might see it [CSCE involvement] as internationalizing a purely internal Ukrainian problem", an FCO memo said.

Russia, the FCO observed, was acting responsibly by calling on Kiev and Simferopol to resolve their differences peacefully.

The British Ambassador in Ukraine cabled London:

"Deputy [Ukrainian] Foreign Minister Tarasyuk, said that president Kravchuk had informed president Yeltsin of Ukraine's intention to resolve the situation strictly in accord with the Constitution and to treat it as an internal matter. Yeltsin had raised no objection. This had encouraged the Ukrainians to think that action up to normal law enforcement measures need not necessarily induce a Russian reaction.

Despite these resolute statements Ukraine has few options and is all too painfully aware of it".

The Americans were also doubtful about the chances of a peaceful resolution of the Crimean issue, but what most concerned them at the time was Ukraine's accession to the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Ukraine had inherited Soviet-era nuclear weapons, and Washington — as well as London — was eager for it to give them up for good. However, the issue of Crimea threatened to derail the denuclearization of Ukraine.

"Little cause for joy", lamented the US State Department. "Rada probably resistant to reform and effective decision-making. Crimea on a slow fuse. NPT ratification could be delayed".

Ukraine had signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty but its parliament was delaying ratification, demanding extra security guarantees from nuclear powers, on top of the standard negative security assurance offered by established nuclear powers to states that had joined the NPT regime.

negative security assurance is a guarantee by a state with nuclear weapons that it will not use or threaten to use them against a non-nuclear state. Unlike a positive security assurance, it does not require a state with nuclear weapons to come to the aid of a non-nuclear state if it is attacked by another state with nuclear weapons.

The Ukrainians insisted on positive security assurance, but neither London nor Washington was prepared to offer this.

In April 1994, the British Foreign Office reassured Prime Minister John Major that the negative security assurances that Britain, alongside the US and Russia, had agreed to give Ukraine in return for her giving up nuclear weapons "does not bind us to any significant new commitments".

"A new paragraph which states 'the sides will consult in the event this situation arises which raises a question concerning these commitments' does not require us, we believe, to go beyond the steps which we would anyway wish to take in such a situation"

The assurance was less than the Ukrainians would like, the FCO admitted. Kiev had repeatedly asked for a legally binding treaty, something which London and the other depositaries of the NPT had firmly resisted. To counter Ukraine's pressure for more binding guarantees, the US suggested offering the same common assurance to Kazakhstan and Belarus. Both had agreed to get rid of their share of Soviet-era nukes and ratified the NPT in exchange for national guarantees given separately by each of the NPT depositary states. But Ukraine was insisting on a joint guarantee by all three depositaries [Russia, Britain and the US], hence this post-dated offer of a joint guarantee to Kazakhstan and Belarus was designed to "serve as an example to Ukraine" and "help persuade doubters in the Ukrainian Government that this is really the best offer they are going to get".

The FCO advised the PM that a joint assurance to Kiev would add "nothing in substance" and would not "open the flood gates to similar demands from other states".

London and Washington were so worried that Ukraine would have second thoughts about agreeing to give up its Soviet-era nuclear arsenal that they were looking for ways of luring Kiev into ratifying the NPT by promising partnership with the EU.

EU Commissioner for Trade Sir Leon Brittan went to Ukraine to discuss a Ukrainian request that President Kravchuk sign a Partnership Cooperation Accord with the EU in Brussels in the end of May or early June 1994. The request was clearly linked to the timing of the snap presidential election in June-July 1994 [which Kravchuk lost to Kuchma — NG].

Sir Brittan "had been obliged to reply that some member states wanted accession to the NPT [in other words, getting rid of nuclear weapons — NG] before the PCA was signed".

The trade commissioner admitted that such strict conditions might be hard to accept, but it was apparently the only way forward to ratify the NPT and then move on to a PCA with the EU.

Finally, Western efforts bore fruit and in November 1994, the Ukrainian parliament ratified the NPT, albeit with "awkward provisos" in the view of British diplomats. Nevertheless, London and Washington told the new president, Kuchma, that they considered Ukraine's accession to be unconditional. Ukraine was given a joint negative security assurance by Britain, the US and Russia at the Budapest CSCE summit in early December 1994.

Splitting Ukraine

Once the NPT was out of the way, London channelled its efforts into luring Ukraine away from Russia.

The British Secretary of State of Defence Malcolm Rifkind wrote to Foreign Secretary Douglas Hurd:

"…the situation in Ukraine merits particular attention and it is in the clear interest of the West for us to make every effort to promote Ukrainian independence and stability. This is a major security interest for the UK, perhaps second only to what happens in Russia. We must take a long term view of our interests".

Kiev took its own view of the way forward having obtained the security assurance by the nuclear states. Four months after the Budapest summit, it unilaterally abolished the 1992 Crimean constitution and deposed the popularly elected president of Crimean Republic, Yuri Meshkov.

His supporters claimed that Ukraine had effectively annexed Crimea through a coup d'etat. They made further attempts to uphold their constitutional rights in 1995, 1998 and 2006, but to no avail. However, as British diplomats opined in 1994, Crimean demands for autonomy or re-integration with Russia would not go away.

An American forecast for the long term developments around Crimea turned out to be prescient: "Ukraine could eventually split into more than two parts", the State Department predicted in 1994. Fast forward to 2014, and it looks like Washington knew all along what would happen if Ukraine was forced to make an existential choice between the East and West.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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get the russians to build trump's wall....

While certain politicians are still having difficulties getting their walls built, Russia has announced it had finished a border barrier between Ukraine and Crimea. Construction took just over a year and less than $3 million.

Bids for building the two-meter tall, 60-kilometer long fence separating the peninsula from Ukraine opened in September 2017. The Federal Security Service (FSB) announced the project’s completion on Thursday. The contract was estimated at approximately 200 million rubles, or $2.87 million at current exchange rates.

The fence is also reportedly equipped with high-technology surveillance devices, from vibration sensors to night vision cameras.

Russia’s ability to build a fence so quickly and at a fairly low cost has already prompted some snarky commentary about US President Donald Trump and his inability to even start construction of his wall on the border with Mexico.


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a wall that's a fence that's a barrier...

Outgoing White House chief of staff John Kelly says US President Donald Trump has backed away from his campaign pledge to build a wall along the US-Mexico border.

Key points:
  • Mr Kelly says he should be judged on the things Mr Trump did not do while he was chief of staff
  • He says he has "nothing but compassion" for illegal immigrants
  • Mr Trump was always well-informed before making decisions, he says


Mr Kelly, who will leave his post on Wednesday after 17 months in the job, made the admission in an extensive interview with the Los Angeles Times.

He said the President was now pushing for a steel slat structure, rather than a concrete wall.

"To be honest, it's not a wall," Mr Kelly said, adding the mix of technological enhancements in the President's new preferred design resulted from conversations with law enforcement professionals on the ground.

"The President still says 'wall' — oftentimes frankly he'll say 'barrier' or 'fencing', now he's tended toward steel slats.


Mr Kelly's statement marked the starkest admission yet by the President's inner circle that Mr Trump's signature campaign pledge, which sparked fervent chants of "build that wall" during rallies, would not be fulfilled as advertised.

When asked about security concerns at the border, Mr Kelly admitted America had an "immigration problem".

A former Homeland Security secretary, Mr Kelly is well versed in the complexities of immigration and border security and his views seemingly contrast with Mr Trump's harsh rhetoric on migration.


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obama's wall...

Trump on Sunday referenced reports of a privacy “wall” built around Obama's Washington, DC home, comparing it to the construction of a wall along the US-Mexico border.

Trump tweeted that the brick structure that was reportedly put up last year along the Obamas' Kalorama home was “totally necessary for their safety and security” and that the US “needs the same thing, slightly larger version!”


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obama's wall is not a wall...

Trump claims there’s a 10-foot wall around the Obamas’ D.C. home. Neighbors say there’s not.

The 8,200-square-foot house has several security features but is completely visible from the street.

evidence of disbelief...


By James O’Neill

In the Lyrical Ballads, a collection of essays and poems by William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, the latter coined the phrase “the willing suspension of disbelief.” It enabled the reader to overlook the logical improbabilities or fanciful concoctions to achieve “poetic faith”.

A modern equivalent might be “magical realism,” a term conceived by the German writer Franz Roh in 1925. Magical realism was a style of fiction that painted a realistic view of the modern world while also adding magical elements.

Both terms are appropriate when one considers modern journalism, especially as applied to some of the major stories of 2018. Four events during that year illustrate the point.


Although not strictly speaking a 2018 story, it nonetheless ran strongly through 2018, blending a number of sub stories, all with the common element of Russia bashing.

Following the United States inspired and financed Maidan coup in February 2014, the Crimeans decided to hold a referendum as to whether or not they would remain part of Ukraine (to whom they were ‘gifted’ by Khrushchev in 1954 after hundreds of years as part of Russia), or revert to being part of what was now the Russian Federation.

A referendum overwhelmingly voted to rejoin Russia. Although the process was far more democratic than was the case with Kosovo leaving Serbia (which the West supported) the Crimean move has been consistently referred to in the western media as an example, variously, of a “Russian invasion,” or “Russian aggression.”

Contrary facts are simply ignored. A similar inability to distinguish fact from fiction was also applied to the Ukrainian shooting down of MH17, or the manifestly staged provocation in the Kerch Strait linking the Black Sea to the Sea of Azov.

Actual evidence in respect of these matters is simply not reported in the western media. It is a phenomenon George Orwell would readily recognise where only “newspeak” is allowed, and dissenters and “unpersons” never seen or heard.


The second illustration is the ongoing war in Syria and western media allegations that Syria’s President Assad used chemical weapons against the civilian population. The White Helmets, a British led group of fake emergency responders feature prominently in multiple Syria related stories, but never portrayed for what they really are. On the ground independent reporters such as Vanessa Beeley are simply ignored.

The alleged chemical attack at Douma on 7 April 2018 was immediately used to justify the bombing of Syria by United States, United Kingdom and French military forces before there had even been an inquiry, much less a finding adverse to the Syrian government.

When the OPCW released their interim report on 17 July 2018 they concluded “no organophosphate nerve agents or their degradation products were found.” There was no apology from the US, UK or France. No compensation was paid to the victims of their bombing.

Instead, there was a media blackout, just as one can never find in the mainstream media any articles arguing that the US led “Coalition” fighting in Syria is there in violation of international law.

Australia’s politicians pretend to have legal justification, but refuse to release the advice upon which this claim is founded. Similarly, part of the alleged justification for attacking Syria is a supposed invitation from the Iraqi Government, who have has flatly denied any such invitation. None of this is reported in the mainstream media.


The third ongoing farce is the Mueller “investigation” into what is boldly claimed (not alleged, but stated as a fact) Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. That not a shred of actual evidence has been produced to support this claim is again simply ignored. Instead, each indictment brought by Mueller against sundry bit players in the Trump campaign, and individuals who don’t even qualify as such, is treated as ‘corroboration’ of Russian interference.

The careful demolition of the ‘Russia interference’ meme by respected investigative analyst Gareth Porter ( 10 October 2018) is of course completely ignored.


The final illustration is the alleged of poisoning with “Novichok” of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury in March 2018. This was immediately blamed on Russia, again before an investigation had been concluded, followed by sanctions, the expulsion of Russian diplomats (including by Australia) and a general tirade of abuse against Russia in general and President Putin in particular.

The Skripal case is a classic illustration of Coleridge’s willing suspension of disbelief, Roh’s magical realism and Orwell’s doublethink (the act of simultaneously accepting two mutually contradictory beliefs as correct) all rolled into one.

Rob Slane ( 9 January 2019) has brilliantly deconstructed the many logical, scientific and political absurdities in the official story. One will wait in vain for the merest hint of this demolition in the mainstream media.

One possible reason for this non-coverage of the actual evidence and instead a non-stop barrage of disinformation, suppression of evidence and manipulation of the public can be found in the activities of a shadowy organisation known as the Institute for Statecraft, and one of its projects known as the Integrity Initiative (sic).

Fresh revelations are emerging about this project on a daily basis and a proper analysis must await developments. Suffice to note at this point that the Integrity Initiative is known to be funded by the United Kingdom government, ostensibly to counter ‘Russian disinformation.’ It is rather a major project to spread falsehoods about Russia through “clusters” of journalists working in mainstream media outlets.

The latter have gone beyond the willing suspension of disbelief and instead actively promote disinformation they know to be untrue. It is not only potential embarrassment that prevents this story getting the attention it deserves. It is a strong suspicion, no more than that at the time of writing, that a D Notice has been issued in the United Kingdom and Australia.

The effect has been to prevent discussion of what is an extraordinary campaign to mislead the public, attack opposition politicians and the alternative media, and generally undermine what used to be regarded as a free press.

That some of the same personnel involved in the Integrity Initiative are also involved in the Skripal matter (itself subject to a D Notice) reinforces the belief that this project has wider tentacles than originally thought.

It seems that Coleridge, Roh and Orwell will continue to be highly relevant through 2019.

James O’Neill is a barrister at law and geopolitical analyst. He may be contacted at


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another confirmation vote?...

John Kerry, who served as US Secretary of State from 2013 to 2017, had proposed another referendum on Crimea's reunification with Russia, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview with RBC.

"I am not going to reveal a big secret here, but former US Secretary of State John Kerry told me about that in April 2014. He told me that he could well understand the result of the vote. "Everything is clear. Everything happened as the Crimean people wanted. But for order, hold another referendum," Sergei Lavrov said recalling what John Kerry had told him. 

"I hope John does not take offense at me. He too has published a few secrets of our conversations with him in his memoirs," said Lavrov.

After the coup in Ukraine in February 2014, the authorities of the Crimea and the city of Sevastopol held a referendum about the issue of reunification with Russia. More than 80 percent of voters took part in the referendum and more than 97 percent of them voted for reunification with Russia. On March 18, 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed an agreement to incorporate the Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol into the Russian Federation. The Federal Assembly ratified the document on March 21. Despite the convincing results of the referendum, Ukraine refused to recognize the Crimea as part of Russia.

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are the US arming terrorists in crimea?

Russia’s embassy in the US has demanded clarification after an unnamed American official was cited in a report stating that US forces are providing weapons to militant units in Crimea as they launch attacks on Russian troops.

The embassy said it treated the report with “grave concern” in a social media post on Thursday, asking Washington to provide further details as to whether American weapons were being passed to Ukrainian fighters carrying out clandestine operations in Crimea.

“Unnamed US officials speak about their country’s support of terrorist activities in third countries. In this case, they talk specifically about Russia,” the embassy said on Facebook.

“If it is true... we then demand the US side to clarify whether or not Washington directly or indirectly has facilitated the SBU [Ukrainian security services] in organizing terrorist attacks against the people of Crimea.”

Published at NBC News on Monday, the report in question centered on allegations that Moscow had paid “bounties” to Taliban fighters who killed American troops in Afghanistan, a claim that first surfaced in a June New York Times story. However, buried in the article’s 12th paragraph, an anonymous official is cited as saying that US intelligence had assumed a “bounty program” existed, as it believed it was “a proportional response to the US arming of Ukrainian units fighting Russian forces in Crimea.”


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biden would not have a clue...

Kremlin responds to Biden's 'Crimea is Ukraine' statement

 01.03.2021 14:14

Russia » News from the Kremlin

Kremlin's official spokesman Dmitry Peskov responded to US President Joe Biden's recent statement, in which he refused to recognize Crimea as Russia.

On February 26, Biden stated that the United States would never recognize the annexation of Crimea.

"It is indeed impossible to recognise the annexation of Crimea. Nobody talks about her because it did not take place," Peskov told reporters on March 1.

Peskov stressed that the reunification of Crimea with Russia took place in strict accordance with all norms of international law.

On February 26, Biden's statement was published on the website of the White House website, in which he calls Crimea a part of Ukraine. According to him, Russia violated international law, sovereignty and territorial integrity of its neighboring state seven years ago. 

The State Duma, commenting on that statement, recalled that 96 percent of the Crimeans voted in the referendum to join the Russian Federation. 

Senator Alexei Pushkov said that the whole world knows that Crimea is Russia, and Biden's remarks would not change the historical fact.

Crimea became part of Russia in March 2014 as a result of a referendum. Kiev, the EU and the United States refused to recognize the results of the vote and announced that Russia annexed Ukraine's territory.

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An extensive network of tunnels, including a field hospital, was built by NATO engineers in 2015 with cement manufactured especially by Lafarge [1], for the jihadists, in violation of international law and the relevant UN Security Council resolutions.

The complex was abandoned in the face of the advancing Syrian army and has just been destroyed by the Russian army.

Let us recall that, contrary to Western propaganda, from 2011 to 2016 NATO had supervised the construction of underground facilities enabling the jihadists to wage a war of position in accordance with their manual [2]. In the absence of penetrating bunker-busting bombs, it was impossible for the Syrian army to dismantle these fortifications. From its arrival in 2014, the Russian military set about to destroy them. There were so many of them that, much to their surprise, it took the Russians over six months to get the job done. However, very large ones are still being found, like the one that was destroyed just recently.


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crimea is not ukrainian...

One of the more tiresome aspects of the mainstream media is the way they ignore history and treats all modern systems as though they were devoid of historical context. Nowhere is this more obviously the case then in the presentation of the current situation in Crimea. Western politicians and reporters seem completely bereft of historical context when discussing the current friction between Russia and Ukraine over the status of Crimea.

Worse than that, they consistently misrepresent the situation in Crimea, consistently referring to Russia’s “annexation” of the territory. The mainstream media, which astonishingly seems eager to see a war break out between Russia and Ukraine over Crimea (They also consistently misrepresent Russian support for the two Russian speaking breakaway regions of Donetsk and Lugansk).

All students in the English-speaking world are raised on British history of fighting in various foreign wars. One of those is the Crimean war, fought between Russia and England (among others) between 1853 and 1856. The legend of Florence Nightingale known to every English language school child, emanates from that war.

Crimea at that time had been part of the Russian Empire since 1774 when Catherine the Great defeated the Ottoman empire and Crimea was part of the spoils of that war.

In 1921 Crimea became an autonomous socialist republic. That Republic was dissolved in 1945 when Crimea became an Oblest in the Russian Soviet republic. In 1954 the Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev himself a Ukrainian, passed Crimea to Ukraine, where it remained until 2014, although from 1991 it was an autonomous republic within Ukraine. This latter fact is completely disregarded in western commentary on Crimea.

In 2014 there was a political uprising in Ukraine which resulted in the fleeing of the then president Yanukovich in February 2014 and his replacement by a junta. The Americans were heavily involved in that coup that took place at that time.

Following disagreements between the Crimean government and the political leadership in Kiev, it led to Crimea declaring itself independent from Ukraine on 17 March 2014. A referendum on re-joining Russia was subsequently held and received overwhelming popular support.

On 3 April 2014 Crimea became part of Russia once again. In June is adopted the Russian rouble as its currency and in May 2015 it switched its telephone code from Ukraine to Russia.

It is clear from this brief history that Crimea has been part of Russia since the 18th century and even during the 1954–2014 period when it was part of Ukraine, it retained significant independence. To refer to the change over from being a region of Ukraine to re-joining Russia as “annexation” by the latter is a complete distortion of the historical facts.

It is the right of regions under the United Nations Charter to freely decide whether or not they wish to remain part of the country to which they are attached. An historical precedent can be seen in the case of Kosovo that in 2008 declared its independence from Serbia.

In Kosovo’s case its declaration of independence from Serbia was referred to the International Court of Justice by the United Nations General Assembly. In July 2010 the court declared its opinion. By a vote of 10:4 it cleared that “the adoption of the declaration of independence of 17th February 2008 did not violate general international law because international law contains no prohibition on declarations of independence.”

It is difficult to see any difference between the situation in Kosovo and that of the Crimea. In Crimea’s case it has the added advantage of a long history as part of Russia, which its population voted overwhelmingly to re-join.

The difference in the treatment of the two situations by western countries is therefore a classic illustration of their hypocrisy. The animus towards Russia and the constant references to Russia’s “annexation” of Crimea tells one more about the hypocrisy of the West than it does about the reality of the situation for the people of Crimea.

Notwithstanding the legal position and the clearly expressed wishes of the people of Crimea to be once again a part of Russia, the president of Ukraine persists in making threats about forcibly re-joining Crimea to Ukraine. That is never going to happen, and any military action by Ukraine to give effect to its desire would inevitably result in a crushing military loss for Ukraine.

There is more at stake however, than Ukraine’s sense of having lost part of its territory. Crimea is an important Russian naval base, as it was for years preceding Crimea’s departure from Ukraine. It is no secret, yet rarely mentioned in western media accounts of the situation, that the Americans covet taking over the naval facilities from Russia in the event of Crimea returning to Ukraine.

That also is never going to happen, but the United States’ desire to both remove a major Russian military asset and to give themselves that asset is an important factor in fermenting the ongoing dispute.

It is difficult to see a peaceful resolution of this problem. The Ukrainian government is clearly not interested in settling the dispute in an amicable manner. They are ignoring the provisions of the Minsk agreement signed in February 2015, which was brokered by the presidents of France and Germany and was signed by Ukraine and representatives of the two breakaway republics and Russia. Ukraine has never followed the terms of the agreement and continues military actions against the two breakaway regions.

The experience with this agreement is a clear warning about the Ukrainian attitude toward any resolution of the issue with Crimea. The Ukrainians feel they have the support of the United States in confronting Russia over Crimea, although the depth of that support is an open question.

The Russians are clearly under no illusions about Ukrainian sincerity. Russian foreign minister Lavrov recently issued a blunt warning that any inappropriate Ukrainian action would be met with a decisive response. There is no reason to disbelieve him.

In the meantime, the Ukrainian economy continues its downward movement. Their president is now treated as little more than a joke and his statements widely disbelieved or ignored. It is frankly difficult to see any peaceful resolution of the problem.


James O’Neill, an Australian-based former Barrister at Law, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.



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James O'Neill was a favourite fair news/opinion reporter for John Richardson. YD value the excellent clear truthful views of James O'Neill. Note that NEO, the publisher of James' articles, has been banned from Twitter for publishing truthful views contrary to the general official lying political crap of the empire.




the cavalries charged..


The West’s sole prerogative is that Russia has no right to self-defense... even when the threat is right on its border


Daniel Kovalik teaches International Human Rights at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, and is author of the recently-released No More War: How the West Violates International Law by Using “Humanitarian” Intervention to Advance Economic and Strategic Interests.


As tensions increase between Moscow and NATO over a buildup of troops near the Donbass, actually initiated by Ukraine, the West’s apparent position is that Russia has no right to self-defense. That's been the case for decades. 

Having grown up in middle America during the waning years of the Cold War, I possessed a not-so-healthy fear of an imminent Soviet invasion or attack. Bob Dylan would capture this type of fear and hysteria in his 1964 song ‘With God on Our Side’, which he ripped off from the Clancy Brothers and Dominic Behan.


Dylan’s updated version of ‘The Patriot Game’ declared: “I’ve learned to hate the Russians, all through my whole life; if another war comes, it’s them we must fight. To hate them and fear them, to run and to hide...” It is quite incredible to me that, nearly 60 years later, with the USSR itself having fallen in the meantime, these words still ring true in the West today.


However, the truth is, as I came to find out later in life, it is the Russians who have had much more to fear from us than we have from them. And it is this understanding and indeed empathy for Russia which motivates me now to wish my country would stop its aggressive moves towards that country before it is too late; before we find ourselves involved in another great war in Europe.

From the point of view of Russia, it is they who have been under constant threat from the West, certainly from the time of the Napoleonic Wars to the present. It is France which invaded Russia in 1812, with the result being the loss of about 200,000 Russian lives. The Russians were able to survive and emerge victorious only by burning down three quarters of Moscow to the ground, leaving the French stranded and unable to supply themselves.

In 1941, Soviet Russia, abandoned by the UK and the US to its own fate, was invaded by Nazi Germany and laid siege to. Ultimately, the Soviets were able to turn Germany back in the great battle of Stalingrad, but the USSR would lose nearly 27 million lives by the end of the war. While 80 to 90 percent of the German casualties were suffered on the Eastern Front at the hands of the Soviets and Communist Partisans, Russia’s incredible sacrifice in WWII has largely been forgotten and even denied in the West, with the US and the UK now taking credit for the Allied victory.

While Ernest Hemingway remarked – quite rightly – that “Every human being who loves freedom owes to the Red Army more than he will be able to pay in a lifetime,” these words, and the sentiment behind them, have been forgotten in a haze of collective amnesia. Incredibly, Russian President Vladimir Putin was not even invited to the commemoration of the liberation of Auschwitz on Holocaust Memorial Day – this despite the fact that it was the a Russian regiment from Gorky (now Nizhny Novgorod) which liberated the captives of the death camp.


The betrayals and indignities Russia has been made to endure are seemingly endless. Thus, while Mikhail Gorbachev was promised by the US that NATO would not “move one inch east” beyond Germany if that country were reunited, this promise was violated almost immediately. By now, NATO has pulled into its orbit six former East Bloc countries (Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Romania) and three ex-Soviet republics (Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania).

It must be noted that there is no such Russian or Russian alliance presence on the borders of the United States, Canada, or Western Europe. It is Russia that is being surrounded by the Western military bloc up to its borders, not the other way around – though one could be forgiven for thinking otherwise, from the way such issues are covered by the mainstream Western media. 

Meanwhile, NATO has major military exercises it is planning to carry out this year – with the pandemic still raging, of course – again up to Russia’s borders. These war games will involve 28,000 troops. But the West has simply ignored Russia’s offer to lower tensions in Europe by moving its troops deeper within its own territory in return for NATO relenting from stationing troops close to the Russian border.

And now we hear noises that Ukraine, another ex-Soviet Republic, and a quite significant one at that, is on the table to eventually become a member of NATO. This is, quite understandably, seen as a threat by Russia. As is the fact that, as the direct result of the US-backed 2014 Maidan, hyper-nationalist and neo-Nazi forces hold considerable sway in Kiev – in the case of latter, their influence is disproportionate to their direct electoral appeal. 

Today, the Ukrainian government, emboldened by the uncritical support it receives from the West, is calling upon NATO and the West to support it against Russia with increasing economic sanctions and heightened military assistance.


Joe Biden has already answered Ukraine’s calls with increased “lethal aid” to Kiev, designed to increase the troubled country's “interoperability with NATO.” In addition, the White Houseannounced earlier this year that it does not recognize Russia’s claim to Crimea and that it backs Kiev in its bid to return that region to Ukraine. This has been a consistent US policy, under both Barack Obama and Donald Trump. 

Meanwhile, the West begrudges Russia for stationing troops on its borders, within its own territory, in order to monitor the increased fighting within Ukraine between Kiev's forces and two self-declared republics in eastern Ukraine, overwhelmingly populated by ethnic Russians. 

It is high time that the West acknowledge Russia’s legitimate security concerns, accept this offer to discuss troop levels and placement, and approach such discussions with respect and humility. The fate of the world may very well be at stake.



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Oh my name it ain't nothin'
My age it means less
The country I come from
Is called the Midwest
I was taught and brought up there
The laws to abide
And that land that I live in
Has God on its side


Oh, the history books tell it
They tell it so well
The cavalries charged
The Indians fell
The cavalries charged
The Indians died
Oh, the country was young
With God on its side


The Spanish-American
War had its day
And the Civil War, too
Was soon laid away
And the names of the heroes
I was made to memorize
With guns in their hands
And God on their side


The First World War, boys
It came and it went
The reason for fighting
I never did get
But I learned to accept it
Accept it with pride
For you don't count the dead
When God's on your side


The Second World War
Came to an end
We forgave the Germans
And then we were friends
Though they murdered six million
In the ovens they fried
The Germans now, too
Have God on their side


I've learned to hate the Russians
All through my whole life
If another war comes
It's them we must fight
To hate them and fear them
To run and to hide
And accept it all bravely
With God on my side


But now we got weapons
Of chemical dust
If fire them, we're forced to
Then fire, them we must
One push of the button
And a shot the world wide
And you never ask questions
When God's on your side


Through many a dark hour
I've been thinkin' about this
That Jesus Christ was
Betrayed by a kiss
But I can't think for you
You'll have to decide
Whether Judas Iscariot
Had God on his side.


So now as I'm leavin'
I'm weary as Hell
The confusion I'm feelin'
Ain't no tongue can tell
The words fill my head
And fall to the floor
That if God's on our side
He'll stop the next war 



Free Julian Assange NOW !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

biden's bidet policies...


BY James O’Neill


United States president Joseph Biden made a speech on 31 August addressing the United States fiasco in Afghanistan. He took the opportunity in that speech to touch upon future United States policies in the multiple United States bases scattered around the world. These bases are estimated to number nearly 800 and are spread around more than 80 countries. At first glance, Biden’s speech contained some promising features. For example, he pledged that the United States would no longer use its military power “to remake other countries.”

He pledged that the United States would “learn from our mistakes.” The casual listener to these words would think that the United States was learning from the error of its past ways and would no longer seek to enforce its views upon the world. Such optimism was to be short lived, as rapidly became apparent when Biden turned to those countries that would prove to be the centre of United States attention in the future.

To no one’s surprise, Biden went on to name the countries that posed the most important threats to the United States “homeland”. They were China and Russia where the United States was engaged in serious competition with, and which posed challenges on multiple fronts respectively.

One day after he gave this Cold War revisited speech, Biden met with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenski, in a long postponed meeting. The White House had previously announced the United States’ unwavering support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in confronting what it described as Russia’s “ongoing aggression.” After the meeting was finally held, a further statement declared that “the bonds between the United States and Ukraine are stronger than ever.”

A reader of history would puzzle over these allegedly strong bonds, which before the United States sponsored coup against the legitimate Ukrainian government in 2014 hardly existed at all. Ukraine was designed to become yet another weapon in the relentlessly anti-Russian stance adopted by successive United States governments.

The United States interference in Ukraine’s affairs was never in doubt. Russian intelligence leaked an intercepted telephone call from the United States State Department official Victoria Nuland to the United States ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, in which she indicated that the United States clearly favoured Arseny Yatsenyuk as their choice to take over from the deposed president Yanukovych.

In his meeting with Zelensky, Biden clearly chose to ignore the patently undemocratic way in which his guest came to power. He preposterously declared that he stood shoulder to shoulder with his Ukrainian guest in their goal to “advance democracy” in Ukraine. It is a view of the country not shared by an international corruption index that rated Ukraine at 117 in a list of 179 countries in their achieving “democratic” government.

Bidens rosy view of his guests government was not shared by his own State Department which noted the country’s record of significant human rights abuses, including degrading treatment of detainees, arbitrary arrest, and serious problems with the independence of the judiciary.

All of these baleful assessments of Ukrainian reality were ignored in the Biden-Zelensky meeting. That meeting included the promise that the United States would use the Russian takeover of Crimea as a stick with which to beat Russia, with the aim of restoring Ukraine’s control of the territory “in accordance with international law.” The two’s use of this phrase is no more than a mockery of the concept.

That last remark is revealing. It rests upon the fiction that Crimea is not legally part of Russia and conveniently overlooks the relevant history. Crimea was for hundreds of years part of Russia. The British and Australians actually fought a war against Russia in Crimea in the 1850s. In 1954 Crimea was transferred to Ukraine by Russia at a time when they were both part of the Soviet Union. It was never a comfortable fit for the Crimean’s who are overwhelmingly Russian speaking and oriented to Russia not only in the language, but also in culture.

The Ukrainian (and United States) view also ignored the fact that the Crimean’s held a vote as to their future following the 2014 anti-democratic takeover in Ukraine and overwhelmingly voted to apply to re-join Russia. Western countries conveniently ignored this Democratic choice, although they have no problem accepting Kosovo’s separation from Serbia.

A point also conveniently overlooked by western critics of the Crimean process is that the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe was invited by the Crimean government to monitor the referendum that decided Crimea’s future which they ignored. It is difficult to maintain opposition to a process that one has been invited to supervise but chooses not to do so.

The United States of course has other motives than merely upholding Ukraine’s point of view. They clearly envisaged the removal of the important Russian military base at Sevastopol which they clearly intended to become yet another of their own bases, right on Russia’s borders. It is interesting that western commentators on the role of Crimea never mention this base, nor America’s ambitions to take it over.

The United States military has lost its cash cow in Afghanistan, but clearly sees a profitable future for its ambitions in Ukraine and more generally a renewed focus on Russia and China has an objective attraction to them. Russia has made it clear that it will not tolerate Ukraine becoming an American weapon in the geopolitical dispute between the two super powers. The Chinese have taken a similar view with the reaction to the blatant United States posturing in Taiwan.

For all his words about a new United States international posture it is abundantly clear that Biden has taken up where Obama left off. As such his policies pose a real danger to the world.


James O’Neill, an Australian-based former Barrister at Law, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.


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