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TLD Interview with the Donetsk People’s Republic Ministry of Foreign Affairs

We have the honor of interviewing First Deputy Prime Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Donetsk People’s Republic, Mikhail Mhukhin. He speaks to us about the ongoing crisis in the DPR, the history of Donbass and its relationship to Ukraine, and initiatives currently being implemented to end the conflict. For further correspondence, you can visit the official MOFA DPR
website at mid-dnr.ru/en/.

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HANEUL: One year
after the US-backed Euromaidan coup, Ukraine is still engaged in a long and
bloody civil war. What progress have you made in the fight against the fascist
Ukranian military, Svoboda, and Right Sector?

MIKHAIL:
First and most importantly, we have built an independent state. Even though some
parts of our territory are still controlled by the Ukrainian Armed Forces, the
state system of the DPR is fully functional and controls all vital operations.
We can pay salaries and social dowries, form state budgets, and arrange foreign
trade.

At present, the DPR has legitimately elected
authorities: the Head of the Republic, [Prime Minister] Alexander Zakharchenko,
and the supreme legislative body, the People`s Council. The elections for local
Councils will take place soon.

It should be stressed that we have achieved all these goals
during unceasing hostilities and blockades made by the Ukrainian authorities,
in addition to the critical humanitarian situation in the region. In our
opinion, all of these problems are the main arguments in the fight against our
enemy. We managed not only to survive, but also to develop a full-fledged
state.

Militarily, the DPR Army has demonstrated to the whole
world its ability to act effectively, and the number of magnificent victories
over Ukrainian troops vindicates this. One should note that the number of UAF
soldiers exceeds ours, as does their military equipment.

Nevertheless, we will always insist on and continue to
desire a peaceful resolution to the conflict. We have never sought to annihilate
Ukraine and the Ukrainians; however, our key issue is to provide the security
of our people and to create the conditions for a normal, peaceful life. We are
always ready for dialogue, even with Kiev.

HANEUL: After the
May 11th referendum, the DPR declared itself independent from Ukraine, yet the
international community has denounced your right to do so. Can you tell me what
this signifies about democracy building?

MIKHAIL:
The
issue of DPR recognition remains urgent, indeed. This is the main priority for
our Ministry`s work today, and we make progress gradually in this direction.
The Republic of South Ossetia has officially recognized the DPR, and we are
establishing diplomatic contacts now. The Republic of Abkhazia also announced
its readiness to recognize the DPR.

Furthermore,
we work in other areas of cooperation and with all countries on any continent.
Some of them are officially recognized and some are not. Additionally, we are now
actively promoting cooperation with other social and political movements to
support the self-determination of their territories. This process is rather
long and complex.

As
for the position of a number of Western countries towards us, we understand
extremely well the reasons of it. One should decide whether or not to recognize
our Republic; it does not depend on us. From our side, we can ensure this
process by proving our consistency as a full-fledged member of the
international community. It is paradoxical that, even though the citizens of
our state are similar to those in the USA, Britain, or Japan, we still have to
prove our right to exist. In this regard, we have huge expectations of the
public’s opinion, especially in western countries, as it starts to change.
People from all over the world are getting to learn more truths about us, and
we hope that your authorities will take an objective stance towards the DPR.

HANEUL: Can you
give us a history of the Donetsk Oblast and its history in relation to Russia?
Why did the DPR decide to remain autonomous instead of integrating into the
Russian Federation like Crimea?

MIKHAIL:
Donbas
was always a place of enormous accumulated human resources’—the place where
people of all nationalities united in order to labor together and use Russian
as their common language. As a result, a unique political platform has arisen
in Donbas; the consequences of which we can observe today. All this explains
why Donbas has always strived for autonomy and independence.

Crimea
has made its own long journey and has finally returned to Russia. However, we
are two distinct regions and have formed differently. We do not have the goal
to join Russia as a priority now, but instead follow our path to forming an
independent state. We have resolved the social and economic problems brought
about by Ukraine’s military aggression and complete transport and economic
blockade of our land.

HANEUL: Historically,
Ukrainians experienced the 1941 pogroms in Lyiv in which the Ukrainian
Insurgent Army worked with the Nazis to murder thousands of Polish and
Ukrainian citizens. Do you believe that you are reliving this nightmare? Who
should be held accountable for this?

MIKHAIL:
We
stress that the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UIA or UPA) did not act alone during
World War II. With the support of foreign states, the UIA successfully existed
in some regions from 1946 until 1948 as a local instrument of the Cold War.
However, the ideologies of Ukrainian nationalists have not changed; just their
owners.

Repetition
is a peculiar feature of history. The tragedy in Odessa—the repression of
dissidents and multiple war crimes—proves this fact. The above-mentioned
organizations and people unfortunately follow the examples of their historical
leaders and idols. However, they should remember the fate of the UIA and its
leaders, which will partially help them to predict their own.

You
can see throughout history the actions of the UIA and other nationalist groups,
which were directed not only against Poles but also Russians, Jews and representatives
of other ethnicities. Those who support neo-Nazism in Ukraine should think about
where the Nazis would turn their weapons tomorrow.

HANEUL: Which
international organizations are working with your government to provide
humanitarian aid to your citizens, and how long do you estimate this crisis to
last? How can people around the world become involved in reporting, assisting,
or donating to your cause?

MIKHAIL:
We
are open to dialogue and are always ready to accept help from all organizations
and private persons. There are a number of organizations operating in the DPR,
such as the International Committee of the Red Cross (Russian Federation ICRC), Medicines Sans Frontiers, and dozens of
other charity funds and communities.

Our
experiences have shown that we are not alone—that many people from numerous
countries are ready to help us sincerely and freely. For example, we have received
a few trucks with medicaments from all over Germany, collected with the
assistance of some Bundestag MPs.

Remember
that Donetsk currently has a full economic blockade. The direct deliveries of
financial assets, food products, and other goods to the DPR are impossible now,
but we are trying to solve this problem everyday. We are very pleased and
appreciate the desire of people from the entire world to help us.

HANEUL: Do you
believe that PM Alexander Zakharchenko should have taken part in the second Minsk
agreement in Belarus? Why didn’t the Normandy Four (Russia, Ukraine, Germany,
and France) include Donetsk, Luhansk, and Crimea into the peace talks? How have
the peace talks helped ease tensions in Donbass, and do you believe that there
should be separate talks between the DPR and other groups?

MIKHAIL:
The
situation surrounding the DPR, the LPR and Crimea cannot be combined in the
negotiation process, as Crimea is already a part of Russia.

The
Donetsk People`s Republic is one of several parties in the conflict, so without
Alexander Zakharchenko`s participation, a negotiated resolution is impossible. However,
we can explain Kiev’s harsh stance and attempts to ignore the DPR and LPR in
the Normandy Four negotiations. Ukraine considers the truce as a period to
accumulate military forces and prepare for further hostilities, and Kiev has
never shown its full readiness for a lasting peace.

The
real conflict is between the people of the southeast and Ukrainian government,
whom should actually negotiate. Apart from that, the DPR’s entrance into the
negotiation process means that it will achieve its new status, which Ukraine is
trying to prevent. Alongside this, Ukraine is trying to expand the number of
participants involved in the conflict, such as Germany and France, in order to
supply them weapons. We hope this will not happen.

We are
satisfied with Germany and France’s viewpoint; they have started to change
their positions on events happening in Donbass. We expect that, instead of more
sanctions, they will initiate humanitarian missions here in order to stop the
catastrophe, not deteriorate it.

We are sure
that peace will finally come, but we cannot achieve it with regular concessions
from one side and continuous breaches from the other. Peace is always a
compromise and we are ready for it, but only after ensuring the safety of our
citizens.

HANEUL: The UAE
has already committed weapons to the Ukrainian military, and the United States
has considered arming the junta directly. If this occurs, how will this affect
the current situation? Will this escalate to a large conflict between
superpowers?

MIKHAIL:
According to
present information, the weapons contracts made between Ukraine and the UAE are
not a significant concern, and we personally believe those contracts were made
just for PR. We doubt Kiev managed to convince its partners to supply weapons
on credit, and it does not have enough money to buy them. Another issue is the
USA’s weaponry. According to confirmed information, they never stopped
supplying weapons to Ukraine. Along the whole frontline, after each Ukrainian
force’s retreat, one can easily find weapons made in America, including heavy artillery.
Besides, the large amount of American personnel training Ukrainian soldiers
invokes serious concern. In what way should we estimate [the outcome]? Exposing
Washington`s participation in the Donbass conflict is difficult, but direct
interventions take place and grow with every passing month, so it is very difficult
to predict such consequences.

For more information,
please visit The Last Defense at thelastdefense2012.tumblr.com
or following us on Twitter at @thelastdefense

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Episode 32: Riding the Caliphate Interstate with Jeff Steinberg

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The Last Defense
27 Jan 2015

In order to fully communicate the history of the Islamic State and its relationship with the House of Saud and Turkey, we consulted Jeffrey Steinberg, Senior Editor and Counterintelligence Director of the Executive Intelligence Review with 40 years of experience working with the LarouchePAC. He is also member of and active contributor to the Schiller Institute based in Wiesbaden, Germany. Click HERE to listen to the full interview.

HANEUL
: Can you give us a history of the Islamic State? How did they rise to power after the [2003] US-NATO invasion of Iraq?

JEFF: You have to go to 1979 when Brzezinski was the National Security Advisor to Jimmy Carter, [when he] convinced the president to sign a secret authorization to begin covert operations in Afghanistan, six months before the Soviets arrived around Christmastime of 1979. Known as the Bernard-Lewis Plan, it involved promoting Islamic Fundamentalism all across the Southern tier of the Soviet Union. When the Soviets finally moved in, things became concentrated in building up a radical Islamic terrorist apparatus, sponsored by the US, British, Saudis, French, and Israelis.

The whole idea was to play Islamic Fundamentalism against the “godless Soviet Union”, but the problem this created was the emergence of groups such as al-Qaeda. Osama bin Laden himself went to Peshawar in Northwest Pakistan, near the Afghanistan border, as part of this Anglo-American/ Saudi project to create a terrorist organization against the Soviet presence in Afghanistan. That effort succeeded somewhat, but the consequences of that was the birth of an international Jihadi terrorist apparatus that is haunting the world today.

You had the establishment of al-Qaeda [MSC] following the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. Some of those networks in Pakistan and Afghanistan spread to other areas, including Somalia—Chechen rebels in the Caucuses, which then moved to Pakistan and Afghanistan and became some of the leading commanders of al-Qaeda. This in turn created spin-offs such as al-Qaeda in Iraq, in the Arabian Peninsula, and the Islamic Maghreb, many splits and permutations such as the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, and the British and French backed those networks to overthrow Gaddafi, and now we have a mess in North Africa as a result.

I was frequently on Capital Hill in the mid-1980s, and you would see well-known neoconservatives touring with these so-called freedom fighters who later became leading figures in al-Qaeda. This is a long collusion between Western intelligence agencies and radical Sunni Jihadist networks.

HANEUL: The Islamic State wants to expand its territory. How legitimate are their aims and what exactly are they trying to accomplish? Are they just controlled by the West or is this something more sinister?

JEFF: Saudi Arabia is a kingdom that shares power between the House of Saud and Wahhabi clergy, who are among the most radical fundamentalists of all the Sunni branches. In the 1960s, during the crackdown from Egyptian President Nasser against the Muslim Brotherhood, many of them fled to Saudi Arabia, joined the Wahhabis and began spreading a form of pan-Arabism around the world, with enormous financing from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries. They began opening up madrasas—special Islamist schools—in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and parts of Africa as early as 1963.

You had the founding of the Muslim Worldly [League], the origins of neo-Salafism—a form of fundamentalist Islam with a messianic caliphate ideology, whom received support from Arab Gulf powers, as well as British and US intelligence services, to be used against the Soviets and China. Al-Bagdhadi, the nominal head of IS, is committed to the establishment of a universal caliphate under [IS] direction. For that reason, there’s concern between the Saudis and the IS network, whom could potentially overrun Saudi Arabia and incorporate it into their version of a caliphate.

You had a merger in Saudi Arabia of the Muslim Brotherhood and Wahhabism, but later, when the MB became had democratic electoral politics in Egypt, the Saudis no longer liked that, and this created splits between different factions of Jihadism. IS inside Iraq contains members that have fought for over a decade—Chechens, Uyghyrs, Afghans, Saudis, Libyans, and Iraqis—whom have traveled around the world in this continuous battle, honing skills in asymmetrical warfare. You also have in Iraq remnants of the old Hussein military that are deeply resentful that they were removed from any power sharing in their country, and who have opportunistically joined the neo-Salafists.

HANEUL: [Turkey] wants to expand into the European Union, NATO and has one foot into the Arab world. What exactly are the aims of [Tayyip Erdogan] related to these three fronts?

JEFF: The Turks have been instrumental in the rise of ISIS [over the last two years]. There were several critical border crossings turned over to ISIS. They had training facilities inside Turkish territory, and integrated with smuggling networks that operate into Northern Syria and Iraq, and [they] are integrated into the ruling AKP party and Turkish MIT, the equivalent to the CIA, headed by [Hakan] Fidan, one of the most trusted right-hand men of Erdogan. If you look at the AKP, it’s an informal kind of Muslim Brotherhood with many parallels. There are more radical elements than Erdogan, and former presidents like [Abdullah] Gül that was a genuine moderate than him and [Ahmet] Davutoğlu. They’re playing a dangerous game; they’ve crossed swords with the US, and Washington and the Pentagon are pissed off at Erdogan.

There was a meeting between military commanders of the anti-ISIS coalition. Not only did Turkey send a deputy to the meeting, but carried out a bombing campaign against the PKK along the borders of Syria and Iraq the day before. Washington and some European leaders quietly made sure that Turkey didn’t get a seat on the UN Security Council. Frictions are becoming severe, and some American military personnel asked, “Why is Turkey in NATO if they’re on the other side”? I think that the neo-Ottoman aspirations of Turkey in MENA trump its desire to integrate into the EU and are openly promoted by Davutoğlu.

They’re not completely out of control. The Saudis are strong backers of IS and I am not convinced that they are an existential threat to the House of Saud. In the 1990s, bin Laden was protesting against the residual US military forces in Saudi Arabia after the first Iraq War, and then Head of Saudi Intelligence Turki bin Faisal sent a liaison to Afghanistan and funds once again flowed freely to al-Qaeda, granted they would attack America, but not the House of Saud. They’re perfectly capable of negotiating with IS. Things can change, but I’m not persuaded that we’re at that point yet.

You have a lot of contending forces—Gulf states—that are working with the Muslim Brotherhood, whom are training forces against Assad. What they’re attempting to do is to use militias with strong ties to Turkey and lead by the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood. The “elected” government in Libya has allied with Egypt against the Libyan [Walter] Dorn Movement, which is backed by Turkey and Qatar. So, within the Sunni world, you have these fault lines that are becoming militarized, especially between Sunni and Shiite, which could easily turn into a regional war or even something bigger.

HANEUL: How will this affect BRICS and Western players in the long run?

JEFF: Several prominent Russians have made statements, one from [ex-Ambassador Veniamin] Popov that said, “if the US is serious about waging war with IS, then it has to be a coalition of countries with shared interests”. This emphatically includes BRICS; particularly Russia and China, for reasons such as the targeting of the Caucuses and Xinjiang provinces of Western China, where the Uighurs are a part of this “Jihadists without Borders” apparatus. There are at least 1,000 Chechens that are fighting with ISIS in Syria and Iraq, who represents some of the most seasoned IS commanders. They’ve been in combat continuously for over a decade since the Chechen wars.

Popov continued: “A serious alignment would involve the US, Russia, China, other BRICS countries, Iran and Syria”. You can’t trust Saudi Arabia or other GCC countries to genuinely try to defeat IS. If you had an alliance amongst those countries, you would have the resources to absolutely crush IS in Iraq and Syria. The Russians have a close relationship with the Syrians and Iranians, which could have genuine, direct coordination rather than the sneaky ones we have now. Egypt is a channel for feeding intelligence to the Syrian military, and the Iranians benefit from coordinated efforts between Iraq and the US, and Shiite militias, whom are some of the most effective fighters there.

Ultimately, [IS] has approximately 30-50,000 fighters in the region, and they’re relying on former Ba’athist military personnel in Iraq and Sunni tribes in Anwar who will go where they think the winner is. They’re not ideologically committed to the Islamic State and don’t believe in a caliphate; they’re just pissed off because they’ve been cut out from the power share in their own country and are demonstrating that they have more military ability with IS than with the Iraqi government. The minute those tribes see a fairer power share and are convinced Islamists will suffer defeat… they’ll switch sides. You’ll have a replay of the Anbar Awakening from the mid 2000s, so there’s a limit to how far IS can go before overstretching themselves.

They don’t pose a threat to overthrow Putin in Russia, or Xi Jinping in China, but can make a mess of things. The problem you’re dealing with is that the British, factions in the US, and the Saudis still continue to see this as an Islamic card they can play against the Russians and Chinese. If they are freaked out by what BRICS represents since the July meeting in Brazil, that’s where you can see these asymmetric operations—the air-sea battle against China and supporting neo-Nazis in Ukraine targeting Russia—you do see a situation where a general war does become a World War.

Europe feels American cholera at doorstep

24.07.2014

Europe feels American cholera at doorstep. 53245.png

The United States has virtually occupied Europe. In the EU, many already say: “Brussels is the bridle, which the US has thrown on all European countries to speed us together.” Well-known publicist Israel Shamir, who lives both in Europe and in Russia, shared his views on the subject with Pravda.Ru. 

“This is very interesting time that we live in. Usually, summer is a holiday season, when nothing special happens. This summer is absolutely crazy. The relationships between the USA and its European allies are especially interesting. Tensions have been rising there steadily. Now they are rising between Germany and the USA. The recent spy scandal is only one of many. German gold in U.S. vaults has mysteriously disappeared. The spy intrigue between the U.S. and Germany clearly and openly started brewing after the figure of Edward Snowden came to public attention. His arrival and stay in Russia is a very powerful thing. It revealed all hidden henchmen, friends, agents of influence of the United States in Russia. All of them came to the surface, even such inveterate people as the owner of the Nezavisimaya Gazeta newspaper, whom I always considered a great Russian patriot. But then he came out and said, ‘No, we must immediately deliver Snowden. Snowden was, of course, a great bombshell.

"Who made a bigger contribution to these titanic moves in big politics: Assange or Snowden?”

“I have personal sympathies to Assange, whom I know personally. Again, this is not clear – could Snowden emerge if it wasn’t for Assange? After all, it was Assange and his assistant Sarah Hendrickson, who saved Snowden. Sarah took him from Hong Kong to Moscow a few hours before Snowden was going to be jailed. She was holding his hand all the time while he was at Sheremetyevo. Assange exposed a lot of materials for us and then went into the background. They are two very different figures. But Snowden, of course, drove a big wedge between Germany and the United States. Everybody wanted that to happen." 

"Germany remains an occupied country. American troops are garrisoned. British troops are garrisoned too. What can change the pattern of the existing world?”

“Germany is indeed occupied. However, no one has canceled the German wish to get rid of the American occupation. They managed to escape from the Soviet occupation in 1990, thanks to Gorbachev. Now they want to get rid of the Americans. Against this background, Snowden came up with his information about US special services eavesdropping on Merkel. It was a big blow for Merkel, who, for some reason, thought that she was a great ally, a friend, and that they do not spy on friends. After that, it was suddenly discovered that a young employee of German intelligence services was selling materials to the Americans, and the Americans were willing to buy. There was a very interesting and curious Russian angle in that situation. The Americans at first got very offended, but then they said that it was their own business. The Germans were a little dumbfounded and then said, "you know, that man wanted to sell everything to the Russians too.” Then there was another scandal, when another American spy came up. In fact, while Ukraine is becoming a US-German and pan-European colony, Germany is making tentative steps towards its own liberation.“

"What about France?" 

"In France, the situation is quite interesting too. Jacques Chirac stuck to an independent position. But after Sarkozy came, everything became different … Until recently, France thought that it should be friends with America. But then a terrible earthquake happened – the European Parliament elections. It turned out that the whole system, the whole structure, the whole paradigm – all of it collapsed. And then Hollande, who was the obedient American poodle at the time, suddenly felt chilled to the bone and made ​​a U-turn. The Americans put pressure on the French and began to demand a huge amount from them – about nine billion dollars of fine that they wanted to impose on Paribas bank. The bank financed operations with Sudan, Iran and other countries, with which America does not allow to work. What  difference does it make for a French bank, what America allows? Hollande met with Obama and said: we will defend our bank interests. Apparently, nothing came out of the idea. There was another serious thing, during the Norman meeting. Hollande was the only one among all, who mentioned Russia’s huge contribution in the destruction of Nazism during World War II. All the rest silenced it carefully. France is willing to step aside from the American dictatorship. This can be seen in how France proceeds with the execution of Mistral contracts with Russia. The United States asked the French to refuse from their delivery. Interestingly, in Russia, many criticized the purchase of those ships, but now we see that with those vessels, Russia acquired some friendship with Paris. These all very tricky things. 

"There is a huge shift in world politics going on now, independent power centers appear in front of our very eyes. There is no longer a bipolar world, where the United States and Europe stand against China and Russia. A new, multipolar world is emerging. Do you think that Russia has been increasing its influence lately?" 

"Absolutely. Indeed, Russia can be more or less fine only if great powers of the West are in conflict with each other. The tremendous growth of the Soviet Union in the 1920-1930s was connected with the fact that there was confrontation. And now it is the same. Of course, if we could win the support of Europe, to make it independent, balancing against the United States, then we all would live in the world, where Russia could breathe freely. Yet, the Americans take great care of the garden of European policy. That is, they nurture young politicians across Europe. As soon as pro-American cholera appears, they nurture it even more to make it grow. If an independent person appears, they try to bring him down. As a result, we see scandals with prostitutes, drugs, or other petty scandals that ruin people’s reputations.

"You live in Stockholm and in Moscow. Do you know what united Europe is?" 

"Thee is no united Europe. For the time being, this is a tool for the United States to keep European countries in a pack to drive it forward. This feeling is very strong, especially in France. The French say that Brussels is the bridle, which the US has thrown on all European countries to speed them together. When six European countries united at first, it was different.”

Prepared by Yuri Kondratyev
Pravda.Ru 

Read the original in Russian


For USA, Russian economic growth is aggression