Voices from Russia

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Bojo Bows Out In Blow to UK Soft Brexit

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On Monday, UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s office said in a statement:

This afternoon, the Prime Minister accepted the resignation of Boris Johnson as Foreign Secretary. His replacement will be announced shortly. The Prime Minister thanks Boris for his work.

On 8 July, Brexit Minister David Davis resigned over disagreements with the government’s policy, as Eurosceptics, Davis included, view the Brexit plan presented on 6 July as a major concession to Brussels, particularly as far as access to the EU common market and customs union is concerned. According to media reports, Johnson strongly criticised the plan. On Monday, Johnson was set to participate in a press conference alongside his German and Polish counterparts on the sidelines of the Western Balkans Summit taking place in London. However, he didn’t turn up at the summit. Political analysts say that such a turn of events may put May in an exceptionally difficult position and cause a struggle for leadership in the ruling Conservative Party. In theory, it could result in May’s resignation as party leader and the country’s prime minister. Johnson served as British Foreign Secretary for nearly two years.

9 July 2018

TASS

http://tass.com/world/1012474

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

EU Slams Pompeo’s Iran Strategy: It Won’t Make Region Safer From Nuclear Threat

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US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s promise to slap the “strongest sanctions in history” on Tehran after Washington’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal prompted an outcry from European officials. EU foreign policy Chief Federica Mogherini, commenting on the possible unprecedented sanctions against Iran pledged by Pompeo, warned:

There’s no alternative to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. Secretary Pompeo’s speech hasn’t demonstrated how walking away from the JCPOA made or will make the region safer from the threat of nuclear proliferation or how it puts us in a better position to influence Iran’s conduct in areas outside the scope of JCPOA. The Iran nuclear deal is the result of more than a decade of complex and delicate negotiations; it’s the best possible outcome, striking the right balance. This deal belongs to the international community, endorsed by the UN Security Council. The international community expects all sides to keep the commitments they made more than two years ago. Iran’s adheres to the JCPOA; the International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed ten times that Iran delivered on all its nuclear-related commitments.

Just hours before Pompeo’s speech on Iran, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson declared:

Washington’s plan to tighten the screws against the Islamic Republic won’t work. If you try now to fold all those issues… the ballistic missiles, Iran’s misbehaviour, Iran’s disruptive activity in the region and the nuclear question… if you try to fold all those into a giant negotiation, I don’t see that being very easy to achieve, in anything like a reasonable timetable. After Washington’s exit from the Iran nuclear deal, the prospect of a new jumbo Iran treaty is going to be very, very difficult. I’m not totally pessimistic about the situation. In the end, there’s a deal to be done that gives Iran greater economic access to the West but also constrains it. I think, in the end, we’ll get back to the kind of additions to the JCPOA that we initially envisaged, but it may take a long time.

For his part, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said:

Berlin took into account the US position. It didn’t come as a surprise. During my visit to Washington later this week, I’ll meet with Pompeo to discuss the issue. The situation hasn’t changed for us. During its summit in Sofia, the EU gave a unified signal that we want to keep the Iran nuclear deal. Without this agreement, we could run the risk that Iran could restart a nuclear programme.

In turn, the Iranian Foreign Ministry used stern language to comment on Pompeo’s speech:

Iran rejects the allegations and lies in this so-called new strategy; it condemns the US Secretary of State’s open interference in its internal affairs and its unlawful threats against a UN member state. Pompeo’s remarks are a naïve attempt to divert the international community’s attention away from Washington’s violation of the JCPOA. The US government will be responsible for the consequences of any persecution as well as unlawful and violent actions against the Iranian nation. The insignificant, insulting, and secondary remarks of the new US Secretary of State and his unacceptable attitude to the great and civilised Iranian nation testify to the US government officials’ despair and helpless stance on the Iranians.

In his speech “After the Deal: A New Iran Strategy” at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, Pompeo pledged:

The USA will apply unprecedented financial pressure on Tehran via sanctions. The sting of sanctions won’t ease until Iran changes its course. The new sanctions will be the strongest in history and will make Tehran battle to keep its economy alive. The USA would hold any entity conducting business with Tehran to account; we hope that US allies beyond Europe will support the new anti-Iranian sanctions.

In early May, President Donald Trump announced the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, in a move that sparked a cold snap in Washington’s ties with its European allies and co-signatories to the deal, including the EU, Germany, France, the UK, Iran, Russia, and China.

22 May 2018

Sputnik International

https://sputniknews.com/world/201805221064672753-pompeo-iran-sanctions-mogherini

Editor:

The USA is sounding desperate. It doesn’t have the ground forces to attack Iran… neither can it count on any from its allies, especially not from the KSA and Israel, which are its only local allies with any substantive ground forces (and they don’t match the Iranian ground forces in size). Naval force is irrelevant, as carriers couldn’t operate in the Persian Gulf and Iran could trade via land links to China and Russia. Air forces would face a robust air-defence system. Therefore, the only card left to the peevish Anglo toddlers is the nuclear option. With the adolescent Trump in charge, we’re in the deep kimchi, indeed. The only saving grace in this is that Hillary would’ve already used nukes on Iran… God alone knows what that would’ve led to.

The world holds its breath and waits…

BMD

Monday, 16 April 2018

Western Media: Russia Won Without Firing a Single Shot

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We can summarise the official results of the “decisive” attack by Western countries on Syria. Russia proposed a resolution to condemn the attack at the UN Security Council. Three permanent Security Council members (who participated in the attack) vetoed it, so the resolution failed. In the world of real facts, we can generally establish the figures… the attackers launched 103 rockets. True, US President Donald Trump promised that they’d be “new and smart”, but most of them were elderly Tomahawks. As they approached strategically important facilities, elderly Syrian air defence systems developed by the Soviets precisely to counter Tomahawks shot them down. The British fired eight SCALP standoff weapons, “each was five metres in length”, the BBC proudly noted. In addition, they’re newer weapons, developed only twenty years ago. The role of the French remains unclear… the French leadership asserted that they also released eight SCALP weapons from fighters and three from ships. However, the Russian forces dryly pointed up that they detected no French Rafales. Therefore, it’s possible that this US ally received credit for participation without actually acting… to maintain the unity of the coalition.

As for damage, most weapons strikes hit unoccupied buildings in Damascus and Homs Governorates, that is, confirmed strikes that hit targets in Syria. Otherwise, despite the surprise of the attack and the fact (heavily stressed by US officials) that “that we didn’t warn Russia”:

  • There were no civilian deaths
  • There were no deaths in the Syrian Arab Army (SAA)
  • The strike destroyed no aircraft or helicopters
  • No aircraft or weapons system flew into the zone of responsibility of Russian air defence systems
  • No weapon hit any Syrian airbase
  • Syrian defences shot down 71 of the 103 attacking systems

The actual effect was even less effective than that of the attack on the Shayrat airbase a year ago. Then, 59 Tomahawks managed to at least:

  • Damage a few aircraft
  • Crater the taxiways, putting the airfield out of action for several hours
  • Kill several Syrian troops

That’s the end of the facts, as a group of experts from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons arrived in Syria only a few hours after the raid. They were there to establish whether anything happened at all to justify the resolute US “response” and to find out exactly happened in Douma. Therefore, the real battle unfolded after the attack, and as expected in our strange era, it happened in the media space. A struggle began around the question of how to understand what happened.

Donald Trump, Theresa May, and Emmanuel Macron insisted that it was a vigorous and accurate retaliatory blow. They stated that they achieved their goals… they asserted that it dramatically reduced the ability of sneering monster Assad to produce chemical weapons to poison his people. Moreover, if he tries again, then, another equally devastating strike will recur, despite Russian objections, because the time for negotiations is over. The Western media wasn’t convinced that it was a forceful and severe consequence. For example, the Huffington Post bitterly stated:

  • Trump’s stated objectives were to stop “Assad’s murderous behaviour and show his strength to Assad’s patrons Russia and Iran”, but it achieved none of those goals.
  • At the time of the attack, all significant military and administrative targets were under the Russian “umbrella”, which Trump was afraid to touch.
  • In the end, Assad “didn’t stop the offensive” and “it didn’t challenge Russia”.

In an editorial comment “The Main Danger in Syria is Russia”, Reuters reported:

  • Assad has already almost won the six-year war and doesn’t intend to stop.
  • Moscow, warning in advance that “in the event of a threat to the lives of Russian troops, we won’t only take out any missiles, we’ll also take out their carriers”, turned this action of unrestrained justice into something purposeless. Because, the author notes, neither Russia nor the USA is interested in a real battle between themselves in Syria. Moreover, they aren’t interested even in showing each other their newest missiles and anti-missile systems… why feed the enemy information? Therefore, the same iron hoplites of the Cold War from the last millennium fought over the deserts and mountains of an ancient country.
  • There was no success in the end. Even worse… even though it’s clear that the USA can deploy many ships off Syria, including an aircraft carrier, all that it did was to fire off a lot of old missiles. However, it’s not so much a demonstration of force as “a demonstration of the impossibility of demonstrating strength”. As per usual, Russia “held a master class on how to achieve maximum goals with limited forces”.

That is, Russia, even without a single volley from its S-400 and Pantsir systems, effectively established a situation where the West didn’t dare to test its resolve. Note that this wasn’t a report by “Russian state propaganda trying to preserve the Kremlin’s face”. This is what authoritative British-American media saw. However, other authoritative Western media outlets trumpet and disseminate the version asserted by Trump, May, and Macron… “A bloody tyrant received a lesson; if necessary, we can repeat it”, and so on. All this confirms the depressing analysis we stated on the eve of the attack:

In fact, the only understandable explanation of what’s happening is some accursed universal hype, from which the Western élite can’t escape in any way. Moreover, it seems that no one wants real results from the anticipated strike. It seems that the Western leaders themselves would be satisfied with inflicting a crushing blow in a virtual-reality game, having the opportunity then to convince their audience that the enemy suffered heavy losses.

As a result, we see a schizophrenic picture. Based on unconfirmed viral videos, real aircraft took off and the Western forces fired real weapons. According to various estimates, the strike cost 70 to 150 million real-world USD (4.29 to 9.2  billion Roubles. 439.72 to 942.27 million Renminbi. 4.58 to 9.82 billion INR. 88 to 188.62 million CAD. 90.18 to 193.24 million AUD. 56.53 to 121.14 million Euros. 48.82 to 104.6 million UK Pounds). However, in the real world, this mega-strike didn’t hurt anyone. Moreover, in fact, it was necessary only to ensure that in a virtual world (where hype, tweets, and media exchange interpretations) someone convinced his audience that he had a good reason for this action.

It’s gratifying that the leadership of the USA and their subordinate allies still keep their internal media vids separated from harsh reality. They hold a “celebration of defiance of Russia” in specially designated places for this purpose. However, this is what it comes to. The next generation of Western leaders can no longer distinguish between where PR ends and a real war begins. Moreover, this makes the real world all the less safe and increasingly alarming.

15 April 2018

Viktor Marakhovsky

RIA Novosti

https://ria.ru/analytics/20180415/1518678200.html

Saturday, 14 April 2018

14 April 2018. Western Media Reports Fairy Tales… Nine Civilians Injured… Negligible Damage

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The reports from Syria state that the Western attacks were rather puny. There were only some nine civilians injured and infrastructure damage was minuscule. Most of the Tomahawks didn’t hit their targets and most Western aircraft fired standoff weapons at the max range, so most of them went awry too. In short, the Russian SAMs did their job by simply existing… the big brave Westerners simply avoided them, which meant that they couldn’t attack the juiciest targets. In fact, the biggest bozo was Bo Jo (Boris Johnson)… “The whole world stands united”… what a maroon! The only countries involved were the USA, France, and the UK, with applause from their amen-corner in the KSA and Israel. That’s it. Germany refused to join in, as did Italy, the Netherlands, and Canada. There’s going to be a lot of noise from the Brits, Americans, and French… much smoke, but all too little actual fire, and no real damage done to Syria or to the Russian and Iranian forces in Syria.

It’s a farce. God do spare us…

BMD

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