Voices from Russia

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Rolling Blackouts Announced in Seven Ukrainian Oblasts

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On 22 March 2017, Ukrenergo announced rolling electrical blackouts in seven Ukrainian oblasts. If alternative supplies of coal don’t materialise soon, the Ukraine will begin earlier-announced major electrical blackouts. Today, Ukrenergo Acting Director Vsevolod Kovalchuk told journalists in Kiev:

If new coal supplies aren’t forthcoming, we may have to implement the plan we spoke of in February [serious limitation of energy consumption: Aleksei Zhuravko]. At present, the power stations are working normally, based on coal reserved stockpiled prior to the blockade. We can manage until the early spring due to conservation measures at coal-powered power stations [that is, power blackouts and brownouts: editor].

Previously, media reports stated that power blackouts in case of a negative scenario would occur in seven oblasts… Kharkov, Dnepropetrovsk, Kiev, Chernigov, Zaporozhye, Sumy, and Cherkassy. Governmental authorities in these areas are responsible for organising ad hoc departments to deal with this emergency in the power sector. Yesterday, Ukrainian Prime Minister Groysman stated that the Ukraine is exploring the possibility of buying coal in the USA, Australia, and South Africa. Because of the trade embargo with the LNR and DNR, coal reserves at Ukrainian power stations are close to zero. Previously, Groysman stated that the Donbass blockade would cause the loss to the Ukrainian state budget of 3.5 billion USD (201.43 billion Roubles. 24.11 billion Renminbi. 229.2 billion INR. 4.67 billion CAD. 4.6 billion AUD. 3.25 billion Euros. 2.8 billion UK Pounds) and idle 75,000 workers. The State National Commission for Energy and Utility Regulation will increase the wholesale market price for electricity by 1 percent, instead of the previously-announced decline of 5.8 percent, due to cost increases mandated by the purchase of imported coal.

22 March 2017

Aleksei Zhuravko

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Wednesday, 22 March 2017

22 March 2017. The Old Master on American Fecklessness

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Unlike Trump’s phoney mouthpiece Rex Tillotson and Obama’s clueless hacks Clinton and Kerry, Sergei Viktorovich is a real diplomat, with many years of experience. He sees the Americans as reckless and feckless brats… God help us, for that’s what the American Establishment is, and they’ll continue being such until they’re stopped. Can the Old Master keep the peace? God willing… for there’s no sane voice here, sadly enough.

BMD

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

First Meeting of the Russia-Donbass Integration Committee Took Place in Yalta

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In fact, the integration of the Donbass Peoples Republics into the Russian Federation’s economy, culture, and educational system is inevitable. The complete isolation from the Ukraine led to a reorientation of production and logistics to markets in the Russian Federation. It’s a logical solution for developing the region’s industrial and employment potential. Today, the initial meeting of the Russia-Donbass Integration Committee took place in Yalta in the Crimea; it addressed issues of interaction of the DNR and LNR with the Russian Federation in all sectors of life. The meeting occurred in the ceremonial hall of Livadia Palace. LNR and DNR politicians, along with public and cultural figures, met with their Russian counterparts; the participants discussed in detail the issues of integration and the role of public diplomacy in the process.

The Donbass is Ready to Cooperate

DNR Head of State A V Zakharchenko attended the forum. He pointed up:

Ukrainian actions that started a total blockade only strengthened our faith in the correctness of our chosen course. Kiev’s aggressive actions led to a complete economic and transport divorce [from the Ukraine] that made the Donbass completely independent economically and ready for full-scale reorientation into the Russian market. The process of reorienting our economy will take some time, we’ll have difficulties in doing it, but we’ve already started the process. It’s in its early stages but it’s comprehensive and moving quickly. The blockade causes more damage to the Ukraine itself than to the Donbass; all that it does is to accelerate the process of its integration into the Russian Federation. Today, we’re engaged in restoring old economic ties. We’re going to the Russian market and using Russian raw materials. Already, we’ve sent our first batch of goods to the Russian Federation. More and more products made in the DNR go onto the Russian market.

LNR Head of State I V Plotnitsky said:

The Donbass is a special region with great industrial potential. The recognition by the Russian Federation of LNR and DNR documents demonstrates support for the people of Donbass and the basis for a new joint forward-looking relationship.

The Donbass Will Send Coal to the Crimea

Today, one of the first steps of a new era of cooperation occurred. Zakharchenko announced at the Livadia Palace:

The Crimea needs our coal and metal. The Donbass Republics need food and wine produced in the Crimea. I believe that our cooperation would bear fruit. We could ship tens of thousands of tonnes of goods. The Crimea and the Donbas have a common destiny.

Plotnitsky told reporters:

We plan to supply of “black gold” to the Crimea. Over the next two years, the LNR intends to send to the Crimea 3.5 million tonnes of coal. We’ve signed a contract; it’s in force. These things are happening already in the real world.

Prospects in Culture and Education

Natalya Volkova, Director of the Donetsk State Academic Music and Drama Theatre, said:

The Ukraine broke the ties the Donbass had with Russian regions. Now, however, we’ve begun the process of restoring lost dynamics, in particular in the social and cultural sphere. Since November 2016, all-Republic governmental organisations, trade unions, cultural institutions, and creative groups have been active in joint ventures with their counterparts from Russia. We’ve had about 160 working meetings already. The interaction between Donbass and Russian cultural figures is of great importance. We concluded cooperation agreements, developed new programmes and opened new points of contact.

Acting Rector of the Donbass Academy of Construction and Architecture Yevgeny Gorokhov said:

The DNR and Russia need partnerships and close ties. We offer to help people in the Crimea with training. The Crimea has a problem in training specialists in architecture, environmental safety, construction, and housing and communal services. We’re ready to help you to prepare such people.

The Project “Rossregion” on the European Model

Chairman of the State Council of the Republic of Crimea Vladimir Konstantinov proposed the creation of a project for closer cooperation between the Donbass and RF federal subjects following the example of the EU projects at a meeting of the Committee:

We can use this model. We can call this “Rossregion”. This is how we can conduct joint intensive work whilst maintaining the existing status quo.

Do note that the Russia-Donbass Integration Committee is a permanent public structure aimed at strengthening the process of humanitarian, social, and cultural integration of the Donbass with the Russian Federation. More committee meetings, including in the Donbass, will take place during 2017.

18 March 2017

DAN Donetsk News Agency

https://dan-news.info/obschestvo/pervoe-uchreditelnoe-zasedanie-integracionnogo-komiteta-rossiya-donbass-proshlo-v-krymu.html

Russia’s Orthodoxy Makes It Natural Defender of Mainstream Islam

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The West’s liberal crusade is anathema to both Russian traditions and Russia’s legally stringent views on foreign policy. One can characterise the contemporary foreign policy of the Russian Federation as a pragmatic defence of self-interests along with the interests of its allies. It tends to conduct all of these policies within the framework of international law. In fact, Russia often finds herself having to define the precepts of international law to other nations who frequently violent it. Most frequently, Russia uses the UN as a forum to accomplish this. The long-serving and recently-deceased Russian Ambassador to the UN, V I Churkin was emblematic of Russia in holding others to account, at least in terms of rhetoric and voting record.

By contrast, Western foreign policy often shows a flagrant disregard for international law. Israel’s recent illegal attack on Syria, as well as the illegal presence of US, Turkish, Saudi, Qatari, British, Dutch, Belgian, German, and Jordanian soldiers, airmen, and terrorist proxies in Syria, is just one example of the West and her allies using extralegal means to paint the world map in their particular shade of blood. One could equally point to the illegal wars in Iraq, Libya, and Yugoslavia as other relatively recent examples. However, beyond the illegality of much of Western foreign policy, there’s another way in which it diverges sharply from that of Russia. Of course, a quest for profit underpins Western policy, but beyond this universal reality, it’s crucial to understand how the West attempts to sell its foreign policy. Even more important is the fact that many Western political figures actually believe what they say when promoting their policies (although some clearly don’t).

Western foreign policy is a latter-day version of a crusade. It’s an open endorsement of violence in order to attain what they define as a worthy goal. It’s war justified neither by law nor ethics but by ideology. In the case of the Roman Catholic Church, the Medieval Crusades were an attempt to conquer and pacify the lands of “non-believers”, forcing them to submit to their own view of worship and holiness. The Fourth Crusade (1202-4) demonstrated that the holy warriors targeted not only Muslims and Jews but also Christians. The Latin conquerors severely weakened the Greek Orthodox Roman Empire during the Fourth Crusade, paving the way for full Turkish conquest three centuries later and the beginning of Greek captivity to the Ottoman Empire.

Although they typically confine the concept of zealotry to debates on religious wars, the West implements a similar ideological strategy in selling the policy of “régime change, anytime, anywhere, with or without legal authority”. Nevertheless, in their zealous destruction of legitimate Arab régimes, the West did something even more insidious than their crusading forbearers did. They not only attacked peaceful Muslim nations, nations whose populations live side by side with Christians, but they made these countries dangerous places to live for moderate Sunni Muslims (the majority of the global Muslim population), all Shi’ite Muslims, and all Christians. Iraq and Libya are now hotbeds of Wahhabi/Salafi Islam and the terrorism that almost inevitably flows from it. This was never the case prior to Western wars upon these states. Currently, Syria is engaged in a life and death struggle against the same Wahhabi forces representing what many would justifiably call heretical Islam.

Although Russia doesn’t form its alliances and foreign policy strategy on a religious basis, Russia paradoxically acts as a defender of faith by omission. Because Russia refuses to engage in zealous quests for resources based on the creed of liberal imperial zeal, Russia is de facto acting to preserve the peaceful religious status quos of the modern Arab world in states where secularism is best defined as a freedom to pursue religious activities as one wishes irrespective of one’s faith or how committed one is to that faith. As an Orthodox Christian state, Russia’s religious tradition had no part in any crusading activities or the later imperial expansion of various Catholic states, the most prominent example being Spain whose interpretation of Catholicism led Conquistadors to view the pagan natives as underlings to be conquered. I don’t intend this historical reality to offend nor shame modern Catholics, whose contemporary religious practice is as peaceful as any other mainstream Christian denomination. However, liberals took the worst parts of Roman Catholic history and applied them to wars of conquest and exploitation, carrying on a tradition that’s part of Western culture.

Interestingly, one doesn’t need to be religious in order to internalise and adopt this particular feature of Western history. The humanistic/secular French the pretext of liberal revolutionary zeal for their wars on fellow European states in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Likewise, Leon Trotsky, a Marxist atheist, sought to apply the same creed to his view of world revolution. It’s little wonder that many of the born-again neoliberals in Tony Blair’s Warhawk government spent their school days as members of Trotskyist organisations.

Russia suffered a profound spiritual crisis in the 1990s at every level, both theoretically and practically. The internal stability and prosperity afforded by the Putin years gave Russia a sense of peace and allowed Russia to return to its heritage as the largest Orthodox Christian state in the world. As such, some would say Russia has a duty to defend fellow Christians. However, Russia articulates its foreign policy differently. Russia defends its allies against aggression, but the fact remains that in doing so, Russia is by default, living up to its tradition as a defender of the faith. Nevertheless, Russia it defends not just the Orthodox faith. Russia defends Muslims throughout the world at a time when Western wars of aggression target Islamic populations and when Western politicians like Geert Wilders lambaste Islam in the most disparaging terms. Russia must make it clear to a Muslim world bombarded by Western and Saudi propaganda, that it’s a more honest defender of Islam than any major power on earth. It’s able to say so because of its record of legality in foreign affairs and because of a Christian tradition that Europe (and largely, America) has entirely forsaken.

20 March 2017

Adam Garrie

The Duran

http://theduran.com/russias-christian-tradition-natural-defender-mainstream-islam/

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