Bucha Anniversary

by Sergey Markov

Zelensky celebrates the anniversary of the liberation of Bucha. I remember what happened there.
1. On March 31, Russian troops left Bucha. The National Guard of Ukraine went there. Everything was fine in Bucha for 3 days.
2. After 3 days on April 2, British polytechnologists from Bucha decided to make a fake piece of the “war crimes of the Russian occupiers”.
3. Bucha was chosen, because in English it is consonant with the word Butcher, a bloody butcher.
4. The National Guard of Ukraine and the SBU shot about a hundred pro-Russian and ordinary citizens in different cities for taking humanitarian aid from Russian troops. Their bodies were scattered picturesquely along the streets of Bucha.
5. Western media were invited and they made fake reports about the alleged atrocities of the Russian troops. In violation of the norms of honest journalism, the media did not check the statement of the Ukrainian authorities.
6. The PR of the propaganda provocation in Bucha was led by Zelensky’s adviser Arestovich.
7. For a year now, the Ukrainian authorities have not provided lists of victims in Bucha. It is clear why. Because there are many pro-Russian people among them.
8. The massacre in Bucha and the fake production is one of the brightest and most obvious war crimes of the Zelensky regime and its leadership and of the US and British intelligence services.

Zambian Opposition Leader Fred M’membe on Kamala Harris’s Visit to the Country Today

A country that has overthrown so many governments in Africa and has led so many coups in Africa and other parts of the world . The country that has killed so many of our leaders in Africa and other parts of the world The assassins of Patrice Lumumba, the assassins of Kwame Nkrumah, the assassins of Nasser, and the assassins of Muammar Gaddafi will come today to teach us about democracy. A country that was built on brute force, on the enslavement of other human beings, on the humiliation of Africans, and on the exploitation of Africans will come today to teach us democracy. If you have no respect for the dignity of others, if you do not respect the sovereignty of other countries, you cannot claim to be the “champion of democracy.”

Financial Times : Prepare for a Multipolar Currency World — The Rise of Yuan

This month, Russia and China are sparking new jitters in Washington. That is primarily because of their stage-managed displays of diplomatic unity, around Ukraine and much else.

But it is also down to money: during a visit by Xi Jinping to Moscow last week, Vladimir Putin pledged to adopt the renminbi for “payments between Russia and countries of Asia, Africa, and Latin America”, in a bid to displace the dollar.

And this comes as Moscow is already increasingly using the renminbi for its swelling trade with China and embracing it in its central bank reserves, to reduce its exposure to “toxic” — American — assets.

Does this matter? Until recently, most western economists would have said “heck, no”. After all, it has long been assumed that the closed nature of China’s capital account is an impediment to wider use of its currency.

But right now Putin’s announcement is packing an unusually emotional punch. One reason is that concerns are afoot that this month’s US banking turmoil, inflation and looming debt ceiling battle is making dollar-based assets less attractive. “The dollar is being debased in order to fund the bank bailouts,” an economist said.


But the other factor sparking unease is that even before Xi’s visit to Moscow, the Saudi government announced that it will start invoicing some oil exports to China in renminbi. Separately, France just did its first liquid natural gas sale in RMB and Brazil has embraced the currency for some of its trade with China.

There is absolutely no sign that these token gestures are hurting the greenback right now. Yes, the dollar’s proportion of global reserves has sunk from 72 per cent in 1999 to 59 per cent, as central banks increasingly diversify their investment funds and discard currency pegs. And it is also true that the advent of wholesale (bank-to-bank) central bank digital currencies could theoretically accelerate this diversification by making it easier for non-American central banks to deal directly with each other in their own currencies.

A decade ago, it was widely assumed that another factor underpinning the dollar was the “stickiness” of trade invoicing patterns, as Gita Gopinath, deputy head of the IMF, has noted. But the CEPR paper suggests this might now be slowly shifting — as Chinese trade has expanded in recent years, RMB use has risen too.

So much so, in fact, that it now exceeds euro-usage for trade invoicing, which is “striking, given China’s low degree of capital account openness”, the CEPR says. And it argues that “contrary to conventional wisdom, lack of capital account openness may not fully prevent the RMB from playing a stronger role as an international and reserve currency”.

After all, it notes, a $200bn offshore RMB market has already emerged — and the currency is being “use[d] in invoicing and settling China’s foreign trade and payments” and “a global network of clearing and payments”.

Deputy Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation, Mikhail Galuzin

Moscow will only be satisfied with the surrender of Kyiv … and the West

This is how one can comment on today’s words of Deputy Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation Mikhail Galuzin.

Conditions that Kyiv must fulfill:

  • the cessation of hostilities by Ukrainian armed groups and the completion of the supply of weapons by Western countries

  • ensuring the neutral and non-bloc status of Ukraine, its refusal to join NATO and the EU

  • confirmation of the non-nuclear status of Ukraine

  • recognition by Kiev and the international community of “new territorial realities”

  • demilitarization and “denazification” of Ukraine

  • protection of the rights of Russian-speaking citizens, the Russian language and national minorities

  • ensuring free cross-border movement with Russia

  • cancellation by Ukraine and the West of anti-Russian sanctions and withdrawal of claims, termination of prosecutions against Russia, its individuals and legal entities

  • restoration of the legal framework of Ukraine with Russia and the CIS

  • restoration – with the money of the West – of the Ukrainian civilian infrastructure destroyed by the Armed Forces of Ukraine after 2014.

A comment. This is an ultimatum. And, not only to Kyiv.

Which, like the previous one, obviously will not be executed. So, then there will be a third (harder).

And so on, until either official Kyiv (or whoever will be there later) agrees to it, or … (and which is very likely) the state of Ukraine disappears from the political map of the world.

On the Reasons for the Lack of a Russian Offensive in Ukraine

Expert opinion. Director of the Institute for Political Studies Sergey Markov, author of the Markov Logic telegram channel, on the reasons for the lack of a Russian offensive in Ukraine.

Information resources write about Bakhmut, but in Bakhmut, according to Yevgeny Prigozhin, practically only the Wagner PMC is fighting. And where is the huge Russian army? This is a grouping of up to half a million people, taking into account the 300,000 previously mobilized. Where is she? Is it broken into platoons and is fighting local battles along the entire vast section of the 1,000-kilometer front?
No, it is believed that this army, including 300 thousand mobilized, was created in order to attack, to conduct a large strategic offensive in Ukraine. But this offensive was expected in December, January, February. Winter passed, but the Russian big offensive never happened. Why?
There are several versions, explanations of this main riddle. The first version is the weather. The thaw continued throughout the winter, there was no solid ground, so the possibilities of an offensive were noticeably hampered by weather conditions. Now everyone will be waiting for the start of summer weather and solid ground?
The second version is the unpreparedness of the Russian army. This has its own logic, because one of the main reasons for the failure of the Russian army was the lag of our army behind the Ukrainian one in the number of soldiers, weapons, and shells. It is logical that, having failed because of this shortcoming, the leadership of the Russian army wants to accumulate huge reserves. However, apparently, the Russian economy was unable to fulfill these orders of the Russian army, failed to arm 300,000 people for a major offensive operation.
The third reason is that attempts are being made to militarily secure the conditions for an offensive. Air support is very important for the offensive. So far, however, Russian aviation has no dominance. The Ukrainian air defense system does not allow aviation to turn around, probing and preparations are underway to suppress the Ukrainian air defense system. It takes a long time.
The fourth possible reason is some strategic dangers. At a time when everyone is expecting a Russian offensive, but it is not happening, the Ukrainian army is being armed at the same time. It turns out that if the Russian army starts to advance, then trained Ukrainian reserves hit it, and the Russian army finds itself in a difficult situation.
It may be easier to wait for the Ukrainian offensive that will inevitably occur. And then defeat the Armed Forces of Ukraine, ensuring the collapse of the entire Ukrainian front. This is to some extent a repetition of the possible format of the Battle of Kursk.
The fifth possible explanation is the search for weaknesses in the Ukrainian defense. The Kiev General Staff has repeatedly pointed out that the Russian army carries out many small strikes, probing for weaknesses. Such, by the way, was the Ukrainian tactics last autumn. Then the Armed Forces of Ukraine found a gap in the area of Balakleya, Izyum and Kupyansk – it was there that Ukraine delivered its main blows. Perhaps the Russian army cannot yet find these weak points.
Some believe that the catastrophic loss of time is the style of the current military campaign, that Russia is simply used to it. They say that this is due to some internal mechanisms.
Some Western analysts believe that Russia is incapable of a major offensive for a variety of reasons, including economic ones.
Surely we will hear different versions, but after a while we will definitely find out about the true reasons. Everything hidden becomes clear.

De-Dollarisation Is Coming

Following CNN, a report on the de-dollarization of the world economy was presented by the Fox News channel

Meanwhile, the United States has begun to urgently transfer cash dollars to the central banks of other countries.

After the collapse of the Credit Suisse bank and its takeover by UBS, the largest financial holding in Switzerland, the American authorities urgently began to pour cash into the national banks of other countries.

Hundreds of billions of dollars in cash will be brought to the Bank of England, the European Central Bank, the Bank of Japan, the Swiss National Bank, and others in order to avoid a financial crisis and a final loss of investor confidence in the US currency.

The current actions of the US Federal Reserve System to provide national banks with currency are the largest in at least the last decade. At the same time, such inclusion of the printing press does not bode well for the dollar and could trigger record inflation.

Credit Suisse, formed in 1856, was Switzerland’s second largest financial conglomerate and had more than 50,000 employees last year. In mid-March, against the background of the collapse of the American Silicon Valley Bank, Credit Suisse shares fell by almost a third, and the bank was on the verge of bankruptcy. It was later bought out by UBS for only $3.24 billion, which, according to experts, does not exceed the value of the property owned by the failed bank.

Israeli Agents, Not Russian Bears, ‘Hacked’ The 2016 Elections For Trump

via Moon of Alabama

The Nation has a new, and way too long, piece about secret Israeli interventions in favor of Donald Trump during the 2016 election campaign:

The Trump Campaign’s Collusion With Israel
While US media fixated on Russian interference in the 2016 election, an Israeli secret agent’s campaign to influence the outcome went unreported.

The piece is by James Bamford who has revealed and written a lot about shady intelligence stuff.

Before we go into details here is a short summary of the story. A Netanyahoo aid with intelligence experience contacted Trump aide Roger Stone and fed him news of upcoming releases of the emails that were allegedly hacked from the Democratic National Council (DNC). Later similar occurred with the emails from Hillary Clinton and her political advisor John Podesta. The Israelis informed Stone of these ‘hacks’ before anyone else knew of those issues.

The ‘hacks’ were later claimed, without any evidence, to have been done by the Russians. Bamford, the author of the Salon piece, holds that up. However the details he describes, what the Israelis knew when and what they had told Roger Stone, make it way more likely that it was some Israeli entity which had acquired the emails and used them to give Trump an advantage in the campaign in exchange for political concessions.

It has never been proven that the DNC has been hacked. Many people have pointed to Seth Rich, a DNC IT administrator who had favored Bernie Sanders and was disgruntled after the DNC cheated to make Clinton the candidate. He may indeed have downloaded the DNC emails and may have given them to someone else. Later Seth Rich was murdered under curious circumstances. What I did know until I researched on him today is that Seth Rich was Jewish which may have played a role in the events Bamford tells about.

Here now is the essence of The Nation story:

While the American media and political system fixated on Russian President Vladimir Putin and his armies of cyber warriors, trolls, and bots, what was completely missed in the Russiagate investigation of 2016 was the Israeli connection. No details of it were ever revealed in the heavily redacted Mueller Report. Nor was there any mention of an Israeli plot in the similarly redacted Senate Intelligence Committee Report on collusion charges in the 2016 election, or in any of the indictments or trials stemming from the Russia charges. Nor did any mention of Israeli involvement ever leak into the press. Yet I can reveal here the details of an elaborate covert operation personally directed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that aimed to use secret intelligence to clandestinely intervene at the highest levels in the presidential election on behalf of Trump.Shadowy hints of the plot only became visible with the little-noticed release in 2020 of a heavily redacted May 2018 FBI search warrant and its accompanying affidavit.

Although the affidavit did not specify any individual defendants, the numerous potential criminal charges laid out in the FBI documents spoke to the seriousness of the Israeli plot.

For his intervention in the U.S. election Netanyahoo used Isaac Molho, a ‘trusted aide he would send on the most sensitive missions’:

The key for the Israeli agent was finding a back door—a covert channel—to Trump. Roger Stone, long a key Trump aide, fit the bill.

Another Trump aide heavily involved in the conspiracy, according to the FBI documents, was Stone’s associate Jerome Corsi, who appears to have been the original contact who connected the Israelis to Stone.

After Corsi provided contact information to Stone, the secret Israeli agent and Stone connected. Then, on May 17, the agent wrote, “Hi Roger, I hope all is well. Our dinner tonight for 7PM is confirmed. I arrive at 4PM. Please suggest a good restaurant that has privacy.” The original plan was for Stone and the agent to meet alone, but Stone wanted to bring Corsi along as backup. “I am uncomfortable meeting without Jerry,” Stone wrote, and then rescheduled the dinner for the next day.According to the FBI warrant, the same day that Stone communicated with the Israeli agent, he began Googling some very strange terms, including “guccifer” and “dcleaks.” It would be nearly a month before those same terms would make headlines around the world. On June 14, The Washington Post reported that the DNC had been hacked by Russian government agents. The next day, someone calling himself “Guccifer 2.0” took credit for the attack. He claimed to be an American hacktivist, but according to a Justice Department indictment in July 2018, he was actually a Russian GRU employee. Soon afterward, the website DCLeaks—another front for the GRU—began releasing hacked Democratic Party documents.

There is no evidence that the GRU, a military(!) spy service, had anything to do with the ‘hack’, the Guccifer entity or with DCLeaks. The claims were always evidence free and never made sense. But before these entities stepped into the world the Israeli spy briefed Roger Stone on them:

The timing implies that the Israeli agent was Stone’s most likely source of confirmed details of a Russian cyberattack on the DNC, a month before it became known to anyone outside of the Kremlin and the GRU. If that’s the case, there are two critical questions: How did the Israeli agent know, and why was he revealing the details to a close associate of Trump rather than to the Obama administration, Israel’s supposed ally?

The obvious answer is of course that there were no Russians involved and that the Israelis, maybe through Seth Rich, did the ‘hacking’:

On May 18, the day after Stone’s Google searches, Stone, Corsi, and the Israeli agent met for dinner at the 21 Club on 52nd Street in New York City.

The next day, the agent pressed Stone in an e-mail: “Did You Talk To Trump This Morning? Any News?” But Stone was coy. “Contact made—interrupted—mood good.”

Then, in early June, according to the Senate Intelligence Committee Report, Stone learned that Julian Assange, the head of WikiLeaks, was about to release something “big.” Stone relayed the details to Rick Gates, Trump’s deputy campaign manager, and told him that Assange appeared to have Clinton’s e-mails. Yet it wasn’t until later, on June 12, that Assange would publicly announce that WikiLeaks had “emails relating to Hillary Clinton which are pending publication.”

However it was later proven that Stone had never been in contact with Assange or Wikileaks. Someone else must have told him that Wikileaks had or soon would have the Clinton emails and would release them. It might well have been someone from the group that had actually acquired the emails:

These were the first of many tips to Stone that appear to have come from his new Israeli friend. Two days later, the DNC announced that it had been hacked by Russia. The day after that, Stone again Googled “Guccifer” and “dcleaks,” hours before Guccifer 2.0 publicly claimed responsibility. On June 21, as Guccifer released more documents, the Israeli agent notified Stone that he was in New York accompanied by a senior official and would like a meeting with Trump.

“Hi Roger,” the Israeli agent wrote on July 8. “Have you rescheduled the meeting with DJT? The PM is putting pressure for a quick decision.”

Stone seems to have had continuous contact with the Israeli agent:

As Trump stormed the Midwest for votes, Guccifer 2.0 was making final preparations for another major release of documents. On July 14, Guccifer sent WikiLeaks an e-mail titled “big archive,” with a one-gigabyte encrypted attachment. Four days later, on July 18, the WikiLeaks Twitter account notified Guccifer the data had been received and that release of the hacked DNC e-mails was planned for later in the week.On or around the next day, Donald Trump […] took a phone call from Roger Stone.

“Roger, how are you?” said Trump.

“Good,” Stone replied. “Just want to let you know I got off the telephone a moment ago with Julian Assange. And in a couple of days, there’s going to be a massive dump of e-mails that’s going to be extremely damaging to the Clinton campaign.”

Trump was pleased. “Uh, that’s good. Keep me posted,” he said into a small black speaker box on his desk. Sitting nearby was Michael Cohen. “Do you believe him? Do you think Roger really spoke to Assange?” Trump asked.

“I don’t know,” Cohen said. “Roger is Roger, and for all you know, he was looking on his Twitter account. I don’t know the answer.”

In the end, neither Mueller’s team nor the FBI could ever find any substantive or conspiratorial communications between Stone and WikiLeaks.

Again Stones information about the upcoming leaks was coming from the Israeli agent:

[T]here was no indication of how Stone could have known what he knew—which left only one apparent explanation: that the information had been passed to him by Netanyahu’s agent. As in the case of the DNC hack, the information was 100 percent accurate.

Then Bamford, promoting the Russian hack nonsense, puts up this weird attempt of an explanation:

There was never any evidence that Stone learned of the releases from either WikiLeaks or the Russians, but during that period both he and Jerome Corsi were in contact with the Israeli agent. Israel’s version of the NSA, Unit 8200, which employs some of the most highly trained signals intelligence specialists in the world and is equipped with advanced intercept capabilities, may well have been surveilling Russia and WikiLeaks.

The alternative, that some Israeli agents acquired the DNC emails, maybe through Seth Rich, and later got into Podesta’s email account, gets ignored. It would have been easy for them to set up the Guccifer entity and to push the material to Wikileaks.

I find that way more likely than Bamford’s evidence free speculation that Israeli spies had bugged the Russians and Wikileaks.

Three days later, on July 22, as Hillary Clinton was preparing to announce her choice of a running mate on the eve of the Democratic National Convention, WikiLeaks released approximately 20,000 e-mails stolen from the DNC. “I guess Roger was right,” Trump told Cohen.

Now comes the Podesta case:

On Wednesday, July 29, the Israeli agent was back in touch with Stone and Corsi and eager to connect with Trump now that the convention was over and he was the Republican nominee. … The next day, the two spoke on the phone for 68 minutes. The following day, July 31, Stone had two phone calls with Trump that lasted over 10 minutes.Then on Tuesday, August 2, despite previous failed attempts to connect with Assange, Corsi was nevertheless able to send a detailed message to Stone about WikiLeaks’ future plans:

Word is friend in embassy plans 2 more dumps. One shortly after I’m back. 2nd in Oct. Impact planned to be very damaging…. Time to let more than Podesta to be exposed as in bed w enemy if they are not ready to drop HRC. That appears to be the game hackers are now about. Would not hurt to start suggesting HRC old, memory bad, has stroke—neither he nor she well. I expect that much of next dump focus, setting stage for Foundation debacle.

Corsi later told Stone that there was “more to come than anyone realizes. Won’t really get started until after Labor Day.” The details, including the first indication that Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta was a target, were coming from somewhere other than Assange.

[I]t appears that Israel either had its own October Surprise planned or was aware of Guccifer’s planned release of the Podesta e-mails before the election. The day after Corsi suggested meeting with Netanyahu’s agent, Stone for the first time publicly indicated that Podesta would soon become a target of WikiLeaks—thereby predicting the event six weeks before it happened. “Trust me, it will soon the [sic] Podesta’s time in the barrel. #CrookedHillary,” said his tweet. Since neither Assange nor Guccifer was a source for either Corsi or Stone, the tweet once again points to the Israeli agent who was in communication with both of them about the October Surprise.

Around the same time, Stone had a conversation with Paul Manafort, who by then had left the campaign but stayed in communication with Trump’s political circles. According to Manafort’s later Senate Intelligence Committee testimony, Stone told him that “John Podesta was going to be in the barrel,” repeating the claim he made by tweet on August 21, and that “there were going to be leaks of John Podesta’s emails.” A few days later, on September 29, Stone called Trump, who was on the way to New York’s LaGuardia Airport in his black bulletproof limo. After concluding the call, Trump told Rick Gates, who was sitting next to him, that “more releases of damaging information would be coming.”

On October 7, WikiLeaks unleashed 2,050 Podesta e-mails that were damaging to Hillary Clinton and her campaign—just as Stone had predicted a month and a half earlier.

There was no ‘Russian intervention’ in the 2016 election but an Israeli intervention that was all over the place. As usual the deep state covered that up:

Throughout this chain of events—including the trial, the Mueller Report, and the nearly 1,000-page Senate Intelligence Committee Report—no hint of the involvement of Israel was made public. Despite the clear violations of US law and months of clandestine, high-level attempted interference in the presidential election, no details were released, and no congressional hearings or investigations took place. Nor was there ever a hint in the press, which remained transfixed by Russia.The evidence, however, suggests that throughout the summer and into the fall of 2016, Israel illegally interfered in the US presidential election. A top agent of Netanyahu was secretly offering intelligence and other covert assistance to Trump to get him elected—all with virtually no oversight or scrutiny by the FBI or the US media, though both had numerous personnel in Israel at the time.

Finally, nearly 8 years after it happened, we have for the first time a reasonable explanation for the ‘hacks’ and releases of the Clinton, DNC and Podesta emails. Natanyahoo’s agents did that in exchange for political concessions to Israel by Trump.

Those Israeli agents will have had a great time laughing about the ‘Russian intervention’ nonsense the U.S. public has failed for.

Compare Iraq with Ukraine. It’s Clear the Era of US Global Supremacy is Over

US soldiers stationed inside one of Saddam Hussein’s former palaces in Tikrit, Iraq in 2004. Photograph: Stefan Zaklin/EPA
 by Jonathan Steel via The Guardian
Washington’s power is suddenly threatened by a newly confident China and disquiet among leaders in the global south