Voices from Russia

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

BREAKING NEWS. Russia and Syria to Halt Airstrikes in Aleppo for 48 Hours

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On Tuesday, Defence Minister S K Shoigu announced that the Russian and Syrian forces halted airstrikes in Aleppo on Tuesday for a 48-hour humanitarian ceasefire. The ceasefire will start ahead of schedule. Earlier, Russian military sources said that they’d halt airstrikes on Thursday, but General Shoigu told us that the ceasefire would start two days early to pave the way for further humanitarian action in Aleppo. General Shoigu expected that nations with sway over anti-government militant groups entrenched in eastern Aleppo would put pressure on them to cease hostilities in return.

18 October



Monday, 17 October 2016

Syrian Stalemate: Window of Opportunity for American Intervention Now Closed


The Anglos truly believe their rot that they’re the most benevolent people on the face of the earth. History shows otherwise…


CIA veteran and Nonresident Senior Fellow in Foreign Policy at the Brookings Institution Paul R Pillar noted that Russia’s efforts in Syria have the aim of resolving the conflict and ending the strife, adding that American policymakers who believe that they can pressure Moscow and Damascus into making concessions by military force are profoundly wrong. The breakdown of the American-Russian agreement on Syria sparked a lively debate, one largely misinterpreted so far. Pillar shed light on “what this episode doesn’t indicate”. American commentators and academics have been sceptical all along about the possible outcome of US-Russian negotiations, suggesting that Moscow has no interest in resolving the conflict with diplomacy. However, Pillar wrote in an article for The National Interest:

Such an approach is flawed. The broader political and military position that is a Russian interest isn’t served by unending conflict in Syria. There is a flaw in this concept. The Russians still have an interest in being a major part of resolving that conflict. On the other hand, those who believe that a military solution might end the conflict are wrong. The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) is now unable to recapture every inch of Syrian territory and maintain full control over the country. Likewise, the so-called opposition can’t oust Bashar al-Assad, even with outside help. Those who call for exerting military pressure on Moscow and Damascus to induce them to make concessions need to keep in mind that what’s at stake for the Assad government is nothing less than their survival. For its part, Russia is committed to protecting its Middle Eastern ally.

The deployment of Russian S-300V4 SAM systems in Syria in response to the Obama administration’s debates about the possibility of missile launches and airstrikes on Syrian army positions confirmed Pillar’s assumption. Pillar emphasised:

The balance of pressures would then be unchanged even though the war would be that much more intense.

Dave Majumdar, the Defence Editor of The National Interest, echoed Pillar:

Besides potential military risks, there are certain legal problems preventing Washington from overtly hitting Assad’s forces in Syria. The legal problem comes from the fact that the United States isn’t technically at war with Syria, nor is there a UN resolution authorising American forces to operate inside that nation. Even ongoing US military operations inside Syria are illegal.

Pillar went on to say:

The US national interest has nothing to do with changing the political colouration of the régime in Damascus. What Washington needs to care about is how to stop the spread of terrorism and violent extremism in the region.

Similarly, Majumdar emphasised:

The fight against the Assad régime is complicated by the fact that there are no clear-cut good guys on the ground to side with. Even so-called “moderate” rebels backed by the US government behead children.

In his Friday op-ed for online newspaper Vzglyad, political analyst Yevgeni Krutikov noted:

Washington’s hysteria over the Syrian Arab Army advance in Aleppo is quite understandable. Liberating Aleppo from Islamists would pave the way for Assad’s victory in the Syrian war. At the same time, it would mean that Washington’s five year-long political and military manoeuvres in the region were in vain. To add insult to injury, the Obama administration’s fiasco is likely to coincide with the final phase of the US presidential campaign. Recently, the SAA not only gained more ground in Aleppo, but also kicked off an offensive against Islamists in Deir ez-Zor, where the US Air Force hit Syrian government forces several weeks ago. In addition, the SAA intensified its activity in Hama. In this context, it becomes clear why American war planners renewed the debate over directly striking Assad’s positions in Syria. In their eyes, only a massive assault against the SAA could save the USA’s reputation. Still, such an outcome is highly unlikely… neither the UN nor the US Congress is likely to open the door for yet another US military intervention in the Middle East.

8 October 2016

Sputnik International



The USA’s enterprise is going down the shitter. However, that doesn’t mean that they’ll just pack it in and go home. They believe their own propaganda that they’re the sole hyperpower, with the capability to dictate to all comers. I fear that the USA will try to pull out its errors in Syria and the Ukraine with a heightened involvement, whether “legal” or not. The USA needs another defeat like Vietnam to teach it some humility. Remember, Vietnam wasn’t only a defeat; it was an open defeat in the eyes of the whole world. If the USA were to beef up involvement and still lose in Syria and the Ukraine, it may prove a similar shock to the American Establishment. After all, the Establishment hasn’t wavered with its commitment to a mercenary army since Vietnam… the lesson sank home that conscripts weren’t just clay in their hands. Long-service troops proved more amenable to pressures and threats. I fear that the situation will escalate, as the Anglos truly see themselves as the masters of the world. Their hubris and arrogance is beyond measure. God do help us.


Saturday, 15 October 2016

15 October 2016. Two Interventions in the Middle East…





If you lived in that neck of the woods, would you want Russian bread or American bombs? That isn’t hard to answer. No wonder America is so pissed off… the Russians show them up for what they’ve always been… moralising bullies who mouth empty pietistic platitudes whilst they kill and maim with no sense of humanity or compassion. That’s what I see…


Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Putin Slams USA With Geopolitical Judo

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With a swift determined twist, Russian leader V V Putin wrong-footed his American adversary, pinning him to the ground over the Syrian crisis. Writhing and flustered, the American opponent is protesting at being upended. First, in the form of a contorted media campaign smearing Russia’s military operations as somehow criminal. Second, the Americans are breathlessly claiming that Russia’s “outrageous” support for Syrian state forces is scuppering peace efforts. Third, the Americans tried to intimidate Russia by cutting off diplomatic contact over Syria, which is a veiled attempt to threaten Russia militarily, either from direct American intervention in Syria or indirectly by upping supply of anti-aircraft missiles to proxy terror groups.

Russia is having none of this American menacing. It proceeded to ramp up the military offensive along with Syrian forces to defeat the Western-backed terror groups in their last redoubt in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo. If they vanquish the anti-government mercenaries there, then, the six-year foreign-fuelled war for régime change in Syria is all but over. In the diplomatic sphere, US Secretary of State John Kerry engaged with his Russian counterpart S V Lavrov for months. In diplomatic jargon, the two sides referred to each other as “partners”. However, in supporting opposing sides in the war and having diametric objectives, the real relationship between Washington and Moscow is clear… they’re adversaries. President Putin, an aficionado of judo and martial arts, once revealed part of his pugilist philosophy learned from growing up on the mean streets of postwar Leningrad… if a fight’s looming, then, don’t hesitate to strike first. Something of this philosophy just played out in Syria. The ceasefire plan worked out by Kerry and Lavrov was never possible, but we can commend both Russia and its Syrian ally for giving peace a chance by initially abiding by the ceasefire declared on 12 September. However, with the various foreign-backed insurgent groups continuing violence with hundreds of truce violations, it was clear that there was no chance of any kind of peaceful resolution. Furthermore, the much-vaunted American appeals for separation between so-called “moderate rebels” and proscribed terrorist brigades were a fallacy. All along, the Americans, their NATO allies, and their regional client régimes supported an array of illegally armed insurgents… terrorists. There’s no separation.

The deadly American airstrike on a Syrian army base in Deir ez-Zor on 17 September was the final proof that the Americans were never serious about calling a ceasefire. It was always about exploiting a much-needed relief for the foreign-backed terror proxies, which Russia and Syrian forces had hammered for the past year. Now, Russia and Syria shall resume their defeat of the terror brigades with even more vengeance because the failed ceasefire proved the fraudulence of Washington’s position on Syria… as not the backer of moderate rebels, but as the sponsor of terrorists, the same sort of terrorists who allegedly carried out the 9/11 attacks in New York City, which supposedly justified the USA’s foreign wars over the past 15 years. Now, here’s where Russia’s move in Syria becomes even more profound. Last weekend, after the Western media propaganda blitz about humanitarian suffering in Aleppo, Moscow issued a pointed statement warning that if the American-led military coalition, which is illegally operating in Syria in the first place, were to attack Syrian government forces again, then that would entail a “tectonic shift” for the region. Moscow’s statement was an unmistakable warning that any further American-led military action in Syria would mean all-out war.

This week, the Minoborony Rossii followed up this line in the sand by disclosing that it deployed the fearsome anti-aircraft/anti-missile S-300 missile system in Syria. Notably, too, the S-300 deployment came two days after Washington said that it was cutting off diplomatic talks with Russia over Syria. In other words, if Washington’s diplomatic snub meant to intimidate Russia, then, it clearly didn’t work. The stakes are higher than just the conflict in Syria. For at least five years, since Washington jettisoned its putative “reset policy” with Moscow, the American-led NATO military alliance pursued what can only be described as a policy of hostility towards Russia, a policy whose tacit logic is eventual war. Washington wants Russia to capitulate to its global hegemony, to revert to its pathetic vassal status as we saw under Yeltsin’s weak post-Soviet leadership. When Putin assumed power 16 years ago, Russia stopped being an American shoeshine boy. The country recovered its independence and national pride, as well as, crucially, its military prowess. Because of this independence, Washington and its European lackeys embarked on a geopolitical strategy of undermining Russia in every conceivable way, through NATO intimidation, political and media demonisation, and economic sanctions. However, this week, it appears that Putin finally had enough of relentless bullying from an American tyrant that is so out of line it found itself hopelessly wrong-footed.

When Putin announced the end of the bilateral accord with Washington to dispose of nuclear-weapon-grade plutonium, he said, with correct assessment, that it was because the Americans failed to keep their side of that bargain, and, moreover, because of the wider American hostility towards Russia on a raft of international issues, including Syria. Significantly, Russia demands that if the USA wants to resume the plutonium accord, then, it must fulfil several conditions. They include scaling back NATO forces on Russia’s borders, ending political harassment, scrapping economic sanctions, and compensating Russia for all financial losses. The BBC described Russia’s demands as an “astonishing list of conditions”. The point is that Russia knows that it gained the upper-hand over its American adversary. The Russian bear patiently tolerated unremitting provocations from the arrogant Americans for years. Even the ultimate US provocation of threatening Russia with war failed to deter Moscow from pursuing what it knows is right… to be treated with respect as an equal. The past year demonstrated that Russia has the military capability to face down any American threat, including the abominable threat of nuclear war, which the Americans repeatedly menaced through sly comments issued by its Pentagon chiefs. It seems not a coincidence this week that Russia announced defence drills involving 40 million of its citizens. In effect, Russia appears to be saying to the USA… we aren’t afraid of anything, we’re ready to defend our nation with even better capability than you have, so don’t even think about going to war. Washington can bluster all it wants about mulling military options in Syria, as it does in the Ukraine and elsewhere. Nevertheless, it’s futile bluster because Washington knows now that Russia slammed it with a geopolitical judo swing. The worst thing an adversary can do is underestimate an opponent. The arrogant ignorant Americans have certainly done that with regard to Russia.

5 October 2016

Finian Cunningham

Sputnik International


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