Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
June 15, 2021

U.S., UK Information Warfare Behind Regime Change Drive In Belarus

by Kit Klarenberg

This piece was first published by Covert Action Magazine. It is reproduced here with the author's permission.


Protesters in Minsk - bigger

The at-times fiery protests that raged across Belarus throughout 2020 had largely fizzled out by the time local activist and seeming neo-Nazi Roman Protasevich was dramatically arrested in May this year.

Now, the country has been catapulted back to the top of the mainstream news agenda, with new life breathed into controversial self-appointed President Svetlana Tikhanovskaya’s hitherto unheeded calls for Western leaders to recognize her as the legitimate Belarusian leader.

True to form though, not a single mainstream outlet has deigned to mention that for many years prior to the unrest’s eruption, London and Washington had funded, trained, and promoted the very elements that took to the streets in opposition to President Alexander Lukashenko.

“Not Worth People’s Blood”

In April 2019, the RAND Corporation—a U.S. government think-tank—published a report, Extending Russia: Competing from Advantageous Ground.

It outlined “a range of possible means to extend Russia,” defined as “measures to bait Russia into overextending itself” in order to “undermine the regime’s stability.”

Drawing on quantitative and qualitative data from Western and Russian sources, this report examines Russia’s economic, political, and military vulnerabilities and anxieties and then “analyzes potential policy options to exploit them—ideologically, economically, geopolitically, and militarily” along with “the likelihood that [these policy options] could be successfully implemented.”

A dedicated section of the 354-page report dealt with “promoting regime change in Belarus.” It noted that, among other welcome outcomes, denying Russia “its one and only true ally” would be “a clear geopolitical and ideological gain for the West,” undermining Moscow’s proposed Eurasian Economic Union, complicating “any attempt to employ military force against the Baltic States,” and further isolating Kaliningrad,” the Russian exclave situated between Lithuania and Poland.

Fomenting unrest in Belarus was said to “present an opportunity to extend Russia by aiding the opposition, removing a long-standing Russian-allied dictator, and supporting liberalization.” Aid to Lukashenko’s opposition “could come in a variety of forms, ranging from public declarations of support by U.S. leaders to more direct financial and organizational assistance helping the opposition parties.”

Such a course of action was nonetheless forecast to be extremely risky, and likely to fail. For one, the Belarusian opposition mounting a “serious challenge” to Lukashenko was considered unlikely, and in any event would likely prompt Russia to “employ political and economic pressure to keep the regime in place,” if not intervene in the situation militarily, and produce “greater local repression” from authorities.

Furthermore, there was little tangible public appetite for democratization. RAND cited a 2015 survey conducted by the Independent Institute for Socio-Economic and Political Research, which found that 78% of Belarusians believed regime change was “not worth people’s blood” and 70% “did not want a Ukrainian-style revolution.”

“People don’t want more freedom. They want more government. They want the better life they used to have,” a Belarusian expert quoted in the report said in 2017.

Promoting liberalization in Belarus was predicted to require European support, and given the bloc faced “a host of other challenges from Ukraine to refugees to Brexit,” Brussels [European Union] “might not want to add Belarus to the mix” and “rock the boat.”

Still, there was perceived value to attempting to precipitate regime change even if the effort ultimately failed as such a campaign would “create apprehensions among Russian leaders,” making them “worry about the prospect of such a movement in their own country.” This would in turn prompt Moscow to reinforce its military presence and political influence within Belarus, burdening Russia with a “weak, corrupt dependency” and possibly even generating “some degree of local resistance,” the report approvingly suggested.

Essentially, were Moscow “to commit resources to preserve its grasp over Belarus,” it would “extend” Russia, by “provoking the U.S. and its European allies to respond with harsher sanctions.” In other words, mission accomplished.

“Shadow Political Structure”

The question of what if any impact this section of RAND’s report had on U.S. policymakers subsequently is somewhat moot, given Washington had for some time prior to its publication provably been engaged in precisely the destabilization efforts proposed therein, by way of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).

Founded in November 1983, then-U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director William Casey was central to its creation. He sought to construct a public mechanism to support groups and individuals overseas to engage in propaganda and political action undermining “enemy” governments from within—activities historically organized and paid for clandestinely by the Agency—under the bogus aegis of democracy and human rights promotion.

In 1991, senior NED official Allen Weinstein acknowledged that “a lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA,” and NED’s work often directly complements Langley’s cloak-and-dagger work.

For example, during the Reagan administration’s brutal secret war against Nicaragua’s progressive Sandinista government during the 1980s, in which tens of thousands died, NED allocated millions of dollars to “civic opposition” entities—including La Prensa, the country’s primary anti-Sandinista newspaper.

Concurrently, the CIA trained, funded, and armed the Sandinistas’ fascist opponents, the Contras. In particular, the Agency’s “Tayacan” manual on guerrilla warfare was highly influential, leading the group to incite mob violence, “neutralize” government officials and civilian leaders, and attack “soft targets” such as schools and hospitals, among other hideous atrocities.

Publicly available data indicates the NED funded at least 159 civil society initiatives in Belarus, costing $7,690,689, from 2016 to 2020 alone.

While the projects have innocent-sounding titles—“strengthening regional youth initiatives; fostering freedom of the media; promoting civic journalism”—the example of Ukraine indicates such endeavors can have highly incendiary results.

As investigative journalist Robert Parry documented after the March 2014 Maidan coup, the NED bankrolled 65 projects in Ukraine in the years prior to that uprising, in the process creating “a shadow political structure of media and activist groups that could be deployed to stir up unrest when the Ukrainian government didn’t act as desired.”

Six months prior, long-time NED chief Carl Gershman wrote a chilling op-ed for The Washington Post in which he documented Moscow’s growing troubles in its “near abroad”—the constellation of countries that formerly comprised the Soviet Union—and how his organization was exploiting them to the full. Hailing Ukraine as “the biggest prize,” he explained that “Russian democracy” could also “benefit” from Kiev being absorbed into the Western fold.

“Ukraine’s choice to join Europe will accelerate the demise of the ideology of Russian imperialism that Putin represents,” Gershman wrote. “Russians, too, face a choice, and Putin may find himself on the losing end not just in the near abroad but within Russia itself.”

Further underlying the insidious efficacy of NED’s “democracy-promotion” activities, in May 2021 a pair of Russian pranksters posing as Belarusian opposition figures successfully duped high-ranking NED representatives into bragging about their involvement in the ongoing unrest in Belarus at the start of 2020.

Among many startlingly frank disclosures, Nina Ognianova, who oversees the NED’s work with opposition groups in the country, revealed that “a lot of the people” who were “trained” and “educated” via the organization’s various endeavors in Minsk were pivotal to “the events, or the build-up to the events, of last summer.”

Gershman added that the organization was working with Svetlana Tikhanovskaya and her team “very, very closely.” 

“Malicious” Violator

U.S. meddling in Belarus dates much further back than 2016. Five years earlier, an official White House press release on U.S.-Polish “efforts to advance democracy worldwide” had a dedicated section on the pair’s work to “pressure” the Lukashenko government and “support civil society,” which stated the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) would work with the Warsaw-based Belsat TV station “to develop content and programming on democracy education.”

Founded in December 2007 by the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Belsat dubs itself “reminiscent of” U.S. propaganda outlets Radio Free Europe and Voice of America—assets of BBG [now U.S. Agency for Global Media]—describes its mission as “promoting democratization processes” in Minsk, and boasts that events in Ukraine “have shown Belsat TV has influenced the public opinion not only in Belarus, but elsewhere in the region, too.”

Belsat may well have influenced political action and policy too, with lethal consequences. For example, in May 2015 it broadcast a slick documentary about a young man who went to fight in the war in Donbas for “Tactical Group Belarus,” a Belarusian volunteer group spun out of Ukraine’s notorious “Right Sector,” a pro-government neo-Nazi militia.

The film was billed as the stirring tale of a brave protagonist “[risking] his life … because he believes that the fate of his homeland depends on it,” while every day facing potential extradition back to Minsk and years in prison, as his presence in Ukraine was illegal. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Lukashenko has repeatedly stated there is no place in Belarus for citizens who fight in the Donbas, and hundreds have been prosecuted for taking part in the conflict to date.

The documentary’s politically charged subtext could not be more blatant, and six months after transmission, the government of then-President Petro Poroshenko answered its seeming call, amending the law to allow foreigners to legally serve in the Ukrainian armed forces, and instructing police and migration services to assist would-be recruits in joining.

This development was enthusiastically welcomed by Belsat–in an article heralding the move, the broadcaster went to the shocking extent of providing the email and phone number of “Tactical Group Belarus” for any reader who wanted to “help the guys.”

How many Belarusians answered this call to arms, and went on to kill and/or be killed on the front lines, is an open question, although this obvious consideration clearly did little to dent the station’s standing with Western powers.

On an official visit to Warsaw in late 2017, then-UK Prime Minister Theresa May allocated £5 million of UK funding to Polish organizations to “detect and counter the spread of Russian information operations,” with some of the money specifically earmarked for Belsat.

UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) files leaked by hacktivist collective Anonymous shed some light on the support provided by London to the station via Thomson Reuters Foundation (TRF), the internationally renowned newswire’s charitable arm.

In all, Belsat received 150 days of intensive consultancy in a three-month period—“of which 97 were delivered in-country”—from consultants, interpreters, and project and finance managers, among them Reuters staff.

If TRF sought to greatly ramp up Belsat’s propaganda capabilities, then its counsel was certainly successful. A Media IQ monitoring report on the station’s compliance with journalistic standards “when reporting public-political news” September-December 2019 was utterly damning, finding it to be a “malicious” violator in respect to separating fact from opinion, a staggering 75% of its current affairs output contravening this basic principle during the period assessed.

“Countering Malign Kremlin Influence”

It seems likely TRF’s guidance was informed by the findings of an extensive “target audience analysis” of Belarusian citizens’ perceptions and motivations conducted in January 2017, which sought to “identify opportunities” to “appropriately communicate” with them. The study was commissioned by the FCDO in January 2017, under the auspices of a £100 million Whitehall effort to weaken Russia’s influence in its “near abroad.” 

In particular, London was interested in Belarusians’ “existing or potential grievances against their national government” that could be leveraged, and “channels and messages” through which the UK government could “appropriately engage with different sub-groups.”

The FCDO’s “target audience analysis” was carried out by long-time Whitehall contractor Albany Associates, central to a number of London’s covert information warfare operations aimed at Russia.

In one such connivance, the firm sought to “develop greater affinity” among the region’s Russian-speaking minority for the UK, European Union, and NATO. In another, it collaborated with French NGO IREX Europe to “promote media plurality, balance and literacy in Central Asia.”

In its submissions to the FCDO, Albany noted IREX had been working in Belarus since 2006 “with print, online and radio outlets,” to “improve the quality of their coverage,” and “increase their understanding of the EU and EU member states.” As part of its youth audience offering in the country, the organization was said to have founded Warsaw-based Euroradio, along with online outlet 34mag.

IREX is closely connected with the NED, and created Euroradio in 2006 with funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), another entity that has frequently been used to insidiously undermine governments in Washington’s crosshairs. Just like the FCDO, USAID—now under the direction of war hawk Samantha Power—operates a multi-faceted program targeted at Russia’s “near abroad,” Countering Malign Kremlin Influence, “in alignment with U.S. national security strategy.”

A 2015 report on backing provided by IREX to “independent” media across Eastern Europe under the terms of its “cooperative agreement” with USAID details Euroradio’s exponential rise following its launch. Within four years, it was also receiving sizable funding from the European Union and numerous foreign governments, and running elaborate promotional multimedia campaigns.

By 2008, it was sponsoring 300 events in the region annually, receiving “significant free exposure” by “placing its banners at music and cultural events,” including the annual Right to be Free concert in Lviv, Ukraine. Bands from Belarus, Ukraine, and elsewhere played to a 10,000-strong crowd, “with many bused in from Belarus.”

During the 2010 election, it broadcast live footage of protests following the vote via the web, Skype, and various instant messaging platforms, “interviewed leading opposition candidates, reported on the arrests of protesters, reported from the election commission, and provided reports from six regions through regional stringers,” tailoring its “content and marketing efforts” specifically for 17-35-year-olds.

These activities among others cemented Euroradio as Belarus’s “leading external radio broadcaster” and, come 2012, its “potential audience for terrestrial broadcasts” was two million, more than one-fifth of the country’s population, the website receiving hundreds of thousands of visitors monthly.

“Sugar Daddy of Overt Operations”

Throughout 2020 and beyond, Euroradio almost endlessly published footage of violent crackdowns on protesters in Minsk, which in turn was routinely aired by the mainstream media. The BBC went to the extent of issuing an open call for activists on the ground to submit pictures and videos for use in its coverage, which Euroradio enthusiastically amplified.

It would be entirely unsurprising if much of the content featured in Western news reporting on the unrest was created by individuals and organizations secretly in receipt of funding and training from Open Information Partnership (OIP), the “flagship” strand of the FCDO’s multi-pronged propaganda assault on Russia.

OIP maintains a network of 44 partners across Central and Eastern Europe, including “journalists, charities, think tanks, academics, NGOs, activists, and factcheckers.”

Internal Whitehall documents reveal one of its primary objectives is influencing “elections taking place in countries of particular interest” to the FCDO. It achieves this disruption by helping organizations and individuals produce slick propaganda masquerading as independent citizen journalism, which is then amplified globally via its network.

In Ukraine for example, OIP worked with a dozen online “influencers” to “counter Kremlin-backed messaging through innovative editorial strategies, audience segmentation, and production models that reflected the complex and sensitive political environment,” allowing them to “reach wider audiences with compelling content that received over four million views.”

Similarly, in Russia and Central Asia, OIP established a network of YouTubers, helping them create videos “promoting media integrity and democratic values.” 

Participants were taught to “make and receive international payments without being registered as external sources of funding” and “develop editorial strategies to deliver key messages,” while the consortium minimized their “risk of prosecution” and managed “project communications” to ensure the existence of the network, and OIP’s role, were kept “confidential.”

Belarus, along with Moldova and Ukraine, is referred to in the leaked files as “the most vital space in the entire [OIP] network,” and a “high-impact priority” country for London. This suggests its 2020 election was very much “of interest”—and the shock results of Moldova’s November 2020 presidential vote suggest OIP’s informational influence can be decisive.

That election pitted upstart pro-Western Maia Sandu against incumbent pro-Russian leader Igor Dodon, with the former emerging victorious in a win widely acknowledged by the Western media to be surprising. Two Moldovan organizations, the Association of Independent Press and Newsmaker, are fellow OIP network members, and could well have served as conduits for FCDO-funded, pro-Sandu, anti-Dodon material.

Slovakian OIP member MEMO 98, coincidentally also funded by NED, published an extensive study of the election campaign, attributing Sandu’s upset to her social media Nous.

MEMO 98 similarly kept a close eye on the Belarus protests, publishing several analyses of media reporting and social media activity related to the strife, in the process drawing particular attention to the output of none other than Belsat, praising its “extensive coverage of protests and related intimidation of activists.”

In September 1991, The Washington Post published an article on the subject of “spyless coups” abroad, in which it referred to the NED as the “sugar daddy of overt operations,” and noted that throughout the late 1980s, it had “dispensed money to anti-communist forces behind the Iron Curtain.”

“Covert funding for these groups would have been the kiss of death, if discovered. Overt funding, it would seem, has been a kiss of life,” the newspaper concluded.

NED funding has very clearly been a “kiss of life” to a large number of oft-dubious opposition actors within and without Belarus, in turn unleashing all manner of chaos—and what’s more, its “sugar daddy” status is now being challenged by a number of other spectral, malign Western actors.

Whether these efforts ultimately fail or succeed in unseating the Lukashenko government is immaterial to the individuals and organizations responsible for instigating them–for merely attempting to do so serves the purpose of “extending,” and thus internationally isolating, Minsk and Moscow alike.

Previous Moon of Alabama post on the Ryanair incident in Belarus:

Posted by b on June 15, 2021 at 18:07 UTC | Permalink


thanks kit and b.. i am baffled at why so much effort is exerted on trying to destabilize and take down russia or the countries that have traditionally had good ties with russia, like belarus.... aside for enriching the coffers of banks and military corporations, we now see the enrichment of corporations like Thomson Reuters with its foundation arm serving to provide a finer quality of propaganda in aid of the same game... this group think on the part of the west is confusing to understand outside of the financial incentives it provides these corporations.. i don't believe the brainwashing is all that successful either with new holes appearing in the narrative regularly..

Posted by: james | Jun 15 2021 19:50 utc | 1

The Global Financial Syndicate’s Financial Empire is working on capturing nations (Belarus, China, Iran, Venezuela... ) with 100% state ownership of their Central Bank to be its VASSALS. It wants to control key DISTRIBUTION points for China and Russia, so they are isolated from the EU and world. These sovereign nations are challenging their financial containment through De-DOLLARIZATION (Non-$ Bloc).

“Another goal of the Western sponsors of the opposition movement is likely to be the interruption of the New Silk Road, which runs from China through Belarus to the EU countries.”

The National Bank of the Republic of Belarus (NBRB) is 100% STATE OWNED and not private. It is “accountable to the President of the Republic of Belarus.” The Central Bank of Venezuela (BCV) is 100% state owned and same with the Central Bank of Iran (CBI). People's Bank of China (PBOC) is owned by State Council of the People's Republic of China.

Monetary Imperialism is following a ploy that it successfully implemented in Myanmar through Aung San Suu Kyi. The Central Bank of Myanmar was state owned and became an autonomous and independent regulatory body by the Central Bank of Myanmar Law which was enacted by the Myanmar Parliament in 2013. The Financial Empire has chosen Svetlana Tikhanovskaya for Belarus and Juan Guaidó for Venezuela, to implement what Aung San Suu Kyi did in Myanmar?

There exist a “Belarus Liberation Plan” that has been presented to the Financial Empire’s representatives in March, 2021 and discussed at Brookings Institutions. It called for its implementation from May to October of this year. When looking at the big picture, the Financial Empire is driving a REGIME CHANGE in Belarus. However, Belarus is Russia’s red line.

The Empire does ignite conflicts during Olympics at its adversaries, China (2008) and Russia (2014). China will be holding Winter Olympics in 2022. Will this Dollar Empire activate frozen conflicts in Belarus, Iran, Myanmar, Taiwan...? Is it also planning to create troubles in Russia before its September elections?

Let’s see what happens in the Biden-Putin meeting.

Posted by: Max | Jun 15 2021 20:06 utc | 2

The promotion of democracy and free speech is an intrinsic good. Bound by accompanying public responsibilities to each other in society.

So good for NED.

But I am curious. When we look at the trajectory of income disparity in the west, why assume that those who come to power via the ballot box - post info campaign funded by the west - will be compliant? After all, ordinary, young people are not the moneyed.

Why would they sell out all valuable assets to western businesses (the real aim of the west's soft coup campaign).

Who do young people represent - the crusty, old, white 1% 'ers with their sleazy duplicity and weasel words?

No, the young represent those who want a better home nation, where poor people do better, where they control their own lives, where important issues like housing and jobs are kept stable or improved, and yes, with free expression (without destruction).

Sure, the naiive first wave will be duped by their puppeteers. The second and subsequent won't. Honestly, overall, people aren't stupid.

Posted by: powerandpeople | Jun 15 2021 20:16 utc | 3

Posted by: james | Jun 15 2021 19:50 utc | 1

James, what about the sound track, would this one do?

And did we tell you the name of the game, boy?
We call it riding the gravy train

Posted by: Paco | Jun 15 2021 20:27 utc | 4

What is the extreme corruption and looting of humanity?

Private Banks create majority (90+%) of money in NATO countries. Bankers get to create money out of nothing, through bank loans, and get to charge interest on it. In essence, banking’s business model is to use public’s credit for private gains. Is that capitalism or looting?

An administration that enables LOOTING of its populace is called? It has no integrity, zero credibility and no legitimacy. Mount Doom (Debt & Deception) of Mordor is falling apart!

Name a NATO member that isn’t a suzerainty. Democracy is a cloak used to hide & divert attention from reality of suzerainty, enslavement and looting. Please don’t promote the propaganda of the clash between “democracies and autocracies”. We have a clash between sovereignties and suzerainties. Your nation wants to be a vassal or sovereign?

"The true equation is ‘democracy’ = government by world financiers.”
– J.R.R. Tolkien

Posted by: Max | Jun 15 2021 20:34 utc | 5

Just so that everyone knows, the imperial tools working for NED are fully aware that they are engaged in brainwashing. From the course description of a journalism "ethics" course at Harvard the point is made that "Powerful images can shape public opinion, but with such power comes substantial ethical and intellectual responsibility."

Keep in mind that the kinds of people teaching and taking these kinds of courses are not hard science types. They are the types who believe that the act of acknowledging the existence of cultures of violence within some lumpen proletarian subsets of American society is the cause for that violence. They believe that wishing to be a mythical creature like a unicorn can cause one to become a unicorn, so long as those wishes are not subverted by mean "conservatives" who silently refuse to accept those wishes. These are the kinds of people who believe that university campuses should be "safe zones" where fragile fantasies that cannot withstand contact with reality should be protected from any sort of challenges, and in such beliefs these people turn the entire point of university on its head. These people, professors and students alike, have never spent time in the real world. They are born into suburban American Disneyland, go straight to university from the protective cribs of primary and secondary education, and from there either stay the rest of their lives in the insulated echo chamber of the university campus or move on to the insulated echo chambers of corporate cubicle warrens. These are NOT the journalists of yesteryear like Jack London or John Reed; journalists who wore out their shoes chasing stories in the real world; journalists who lived their stories before submitting them for publication. In short, these modern day narrative spinners are steeped in profound delusion that has for generations diverged from objective reality into a fantasy land of their own creation.

While I pick on journalists here, the same dynamic applies to students of the "soft" (flimsy, insubstantial, ungrounded, irrelevant) sciences like psychology and sociology, as well as the programs for trained dogs like business.

Who runs NED and its subsidiary NGOs and field operations? Engineers? Physicists? Certainly not. Various and assorted participation trophy grievance studies majors do. Insulated bubble-dwellers all.

Moreover, they are patriots who have internalized the myth of American exceptionalism. They "know" that the "bad guys" use the tools of mass media and social media to "disinform" the "good guys", so they see it as fair and appropriate to try and counteract that imagined disinformation with disinformation of their own. It is information war, after all, and all is fair in war. The problem, of course, is that the empire's narrative warriors are themselves disassociated from the real world. When the "bad guys", say Putin and Xi, state simple objective truths, the imperial info warriors perceive it as inscrutably clever lies that must be countered at all costs. That is the basis of their "ethics" that they use to guide their creation of narratives intended to "shape public opinion".

Modern day "liberals" are liberal (flexible) with objective reality, and outside the narrative necessary to support today's stories, yesterday didn't happen. Practically all of the language that they use is Orwellian and inverted in meaning. When you read our host's quotes from these stink tankers and NGO operators, replace the key words in their utterances with antonyms to get a closer approximation of what they are really about.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jun 15 2021 21:03 utc | 6

Same-o, same-o. The U$A's corporate empire never stops agitating to undermine other nations, and all for commerce hegemony.
Still, it has to called out when necessary. Kudos, MoA......

Posted by: vetinLA | Jun 15 2021 21:12 utc | 7

I see this as the key quote:

"'People don’t want more freedom. They want more government. They want the better life they used to have,' a Belarusian expert quoted in the report said in 2017." [My Emphasis]

That "better life" was within the Soviet Union. It is a condition Putin is extremely aware of and sensitive about, which is why he's done as much as he can to promote the wellbeing of Russian citizens, and doing even more for young people starting families. And altogether is why Putin is constantly communicating with Russians and tries to be as transparent as possible. (Anyone who closely follows Putin and is honest knows he's one of the most open and transparent leaders that's ever lived.) It's also the reason for the partnership with China.

The exceptionalist perversion that exists in the West must be exterminated. But how to accomplish that very needed deed without becoming just as morally corrupt? Outcompeting the West is one way but takes a long time to work.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 15 2021 21:28 utc | 8

the war at and on the home front is maintained also by "civil society", non-profits, educational institutions and of course churches. I have a family member, older bro, who is a real John Bircher, President of the United Temperance and Anti-Sex Leagues, preaching the gospel of capitalism to the employable youth of the world, based out of Eastern Europe. no jobs for kids stepping on US-made landmines. thanks to people like him and his Oxford doctorate, anti-capitalist jargon will always be sustainable.

when i asked him if he's really doing any of this shit he claims even in his back yard, much less across the world, why is the population in his adopted home country collapsing, he blamed communism, of course, and its failure to develop "civil society". now a generation after communism collapsed. the "knowledge" class has fled the country, so the ngo money moves in, to fill the masses with Big Brother's very own self.

he stopped being a "willing fool" long ago, indeed, he's an intellectual terrorist, but it would be hard to explain how truly naive he is. literally doesn't know anything about anything. busy busy busy getting grant money, telling USAID and Bill Gates what they want to hear. fully supported by major international christiany "relief" orgs, major international business, et al.

and these people are everywhere. they are paid to put their private virtue forward as the antidote to the systemic evil in the world. these gospelers, these little divine sunbeams don't want to hear that Messiahs get crucified, do they?

Posted by: rjb1.5 | Jun 15 2021 21:28 utc | 9

It's naive to think that Belarussia and Russia have done nothing as the West funds groups that oppose them. Especially after the Ukraine coup.

Running double agents within the opposition should be/have been expected.

Protasevich seems to have been one.

If Protasevich is a double-agent each side faces embarrassment if he is recognized as one. So each side spins the capture of Roman and Sofia in their own way.

It's a hilarious Cold War moment if true (IMO it best fits what happened) as both sides stumble over the truth.

The (possible) betrayal of Sofia, however, is a chilling cautionary tale. A stark reminder of the old adage: keep your friends close and your enemies closer. There is no balm for such a wound and no paean could possibly excuse it.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 15 2021 21:55 utc | 10

The next big propaganda push will be the promotion of the G-7's B3W, which is the Great Reset rebranded. This is the first of what will be many articles challenging that propaganda: "Three Reasons Why G7's Build Back Better World Plan is No Competition for China's BRI."

Next to ongoing attempts at regime changes, the battle against BRI will be the main Geopolitical Tango. And since BRI has such a huge head start, we can expect every dirty trick in the book and some new ones to be used against both BRI and Russia's EAEU, which will merge together at some future point. As with the Cold War, the aim is to bring the nations of the Global South to the Neoliberal trough so they can be fleeced. the article reveals another advantage:

"Secondly, it's unclear where exactly B3W funding will come from. Observers doubt that the G7 countries would fork out $40 trillion which is more than the combined 2020 GDP of the seven countries. Many developed economies are still struggling to overcome the lockdown-related recession. The UK Parliament noted in May that because of the COVID outbreak the budget's 2020/21 deficit reached £303 billion (14.3 percent of GDP) which is 'a peacetime record.'

"For its part, the Biden administration is still unable to overcome the resistance of GOP deficit hawks and pass a set of the president's bold domestic "build back better" initiatives in US Congress. Biden's initial $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan then shrank to $1.7 trillion, while last Thursday, a bloc of Senate moderates proposed spending $974 billion over five years, or $1.2 trillion over eight years, according to Reuters.

"Meanwhile, the White House's hint that 'the private sector' could pay for B3W does not appear realistic, according to Tom Fowdy, a British political and international relations analyst.

"'This is a logical contradiction in real terms, private enterprises invest where they will make a profit, not to meet the needs of a specific country as the BRI does or to comprehensively recreate a national economy like CPEC,' Fowdy suggested [Link at Original] in his article for CGTN, a Chinese English-language news service. 'They are not willing to take 'risks,' which many BRI projects have done.'" [My Emphasis]

The most advanced engineering nations are no longer in the West, and Financial Parasites only know how to destroy nations, not build them. There's plenty of work needing to be done to lift 4 billion more people out of poverty and provide them with a sustainable existence. China and Russia are the current top two poverty eliminators while the Outlaw US Empire ought to be noted as the biggest poverty creator. The key is if the nations of the Global South understand what that difference means for them.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 15 2021 22:04 utc | 11

Thanks B for reposting this article by Kit Klarenberg.

I take it that Maia Sandu's election win in Moldavia will embolden Open Information Partnership who will see her win as justification for its program and strategies, to the extent that the strategies OIP used in Moldavia will now be serving as a blueprint to try to win future elections in Belarus and Russia, and perhaps in Latin American nations as well, no matter what results those elections will actually yield. Social media platforms will become the focus of strategies and tactics to create and nurture influencers and Bellingcrap-style "citizen journalists" who can be relied on to find and amplify grievances and issues of a minor or local community kind into major national problems.

If there is one comfort we can take away from Klarenberg's dissection of OIP's activities, it is that each time OIP actually succeeds, it'll double down on those strategies that it believes led to success to the exclusion of any alternative strategies and regardless of the political and cultural environment in which success was achieved. If OIP meets with failure instead of success the next time, it'll double down on the same strategies in the hope that maybe the next time is the charm.

BTW I think it was on a recent past MoA forum that I was told by some twat that Kit Klarenberg was not a real journalist because Klarenberg supposedly didn't venture out from his ivory tower and get his hands dirty. Amazing that the time when Klarenberg would be vindicated on these forums turned out to be very short indeed!

Posted by: Jen | Jun 15 2021 23:16 utc | 12

In 2008, the Medvedev government committed Russia's then still shambolic army against Georgia after the latter invaded South Ossetia. That stopped the EUNATO war against Russia in its tracks for three years. And even when it rains it approached obliquely, destroying Libya, and Russian passivity there encouraged it to indirectly attack Syria. It took tree years of war against Syria to embolden the EUNATO gang to commit aggression against vital Russian interests by couping Ukraine, when Putin was (incredibly for a leader who allegedly sees ten moves ahead) obsessed with the Sochi Olympics, and then Putin did nothing, so the EUNATO cabal are now bolder than ever.

Now imagine if Russia had threatened military action to stop the EUNATO aggression against Libya. Would there have been a Maidan? If there had, at least imagine Russia had overthrown the weak Ukranazi coup regime in 2014. Would the EUNATO gang have darted make more moves against Russia today?

I don't think so.

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Jun 15 2021 23:59 utc | 13

*when it resumed. Not rains.

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Jun 16 2021 0:00 utc | 14

@ Biswapriya Purkayast | Jun 16 2021 0:00 utc | 14

The Financial Crisis happened in 2008, thereby slowing the Financial Empire to gets its house in order. The Empire started its ME cycle in 2011. Russia didn’t see Libya and Syria developments as a threat to its position. However, the Ukraine crisis of 2013 in its neighborhood awakened Russia and it has been in the aggressive mode since then. It has denied success to the Empire in Syria, Venezuela, Bolivia, Belarus and Nord Stream 2.

Similarly, China was in a passive mode until 2016. China and Russia are united against the Dollar Empire now. China launched its global navigational system in 2019, BeiDou, thereby becoming militarily independent. It is now offering BeiDou as an open system, free of charge, to the world, with high amounts of accuracy critical for economic and military space infrastructure. It is pursuing this quietly.

What victories has the Dollar Empire achieved since 2016?

Posted by: Max | Jun 16 2021 0:50 utc | 15

Mr. Max | Jun 16 2021 0:50 utc | 15

I think Mr. Putin did not understand the Americans, he lacked the insight of men such as Ayatollah Khamenei, and likely thought he could reach some sort of settlement with them.

Posted by: Fyi | Jun 16 2021 1:49 utc | 16

Mr. : karlof1 | Jun 15 2021 21:28 utc | 8

I think one needs to wait them out. They have no credible positive programme for themselves, let alone the rest of mankind.

Posted by: Fyi | Jun 16 2021 1:57 utc | 17

Nasrallah, in a speech shortly after the almost complete withdrawal Isr*el from S Leb, stated Isr*el held on to two tiny pockets of Lebanese land to continue to give Hzbollah a reason to exist.

He went on to say, "even if we didn't exist, they would have to create us"

The same is true for the US, without an external enemy, they will turn to fighting themselves and those they call allies.

The pathological drive to subjugate all competitors, the uniquely American expression of individualism, has possessed all facets of their life and politics. Wokeness is proof paid of this. Only a sufficiently big external enemy can keep their internal tensions suppressed. If Russia and China were not enemies (which they aren't), the American expression of Western Power would make them so.

Posted by: les7 | Jun 16 2021 2:02 utc | 18

This is quite a tale and thanks to b and Klarenberg. I can't say that I have followed Belarus politics that closely but did have a strong feeling 6 to 10 years ago that Lukashenko was playing with fire trying to play the West against Russia. One positive outcome from US's effort to overthrow Lukashenko is that Belarus will now become firmly aligned with Russia. I certainly hope that the Belarusan people realize they have no real future falling into the clutches of Western finance capitalism. They should take notice of what has happened to Latvia and Bulgaria if they have any doubts.

Posted by: ToivoS | Jun 16 2021 2:29 utc | 19

@ Fyi | Jun 16 2021 1:49 utc | 16

Your theory is a possibility. Another theory, is that Vladimir Putin is the one who is a risk-taker and assertive, compared to passive Medvedev. Putin was the PM from 2008-2012, and might be focused on getting back into the power. He hasn’t let the Empire win since he is back! Completed De-dollarization too!

What message is China sending to the Dollar Empire through “The Last G7” illustration?

Posted by: Max | Jun 16 2021 3:36 utc | 20

@ ToivoS | Jun 16 2021 2:29 utc | 19

Many nations have been fooled by the Financial Empire, including the U$A. Democracy, capitalism, free markets, independent media, rule of law,... are MYTHS.

In reality, money comes out of nothing. A good government will create its money and invest it prudently to enhance its productivity and overall well-being. This is how money serves humanity. Unfortunately, money has been weaponized for power and control of humanity, by the Financial Empire.

What is capitalism, exactly? What are its key elements & characteristics?

Capitalism is supposed to be an economic system based on private ownership. However, there is no 100% private ownership. Everything is a PUBLIC-Private partnership.

The core element of businesses is an organizational structure called a corporation. No business can exist without the limited liability clause which is granted by the corporation charter. It enables a business to file for bankruptcy and thereby walk away from the consequences of its decisions. Without this grant from the society, no individual would take big risks & most corporations would not exist. This is a big give away from the public/society to corporations. Why should the public grant this LIMITED LIABILITY? All corporations are therefore public-private partnerships. Why call it a private property? This is a public SUBSIDY to the business.

The second component of the socioeconomic system is "Capital". The privilege to create money has been granted by the state to the private banks through the central banking system. Private Banks create money. Bankers get to create money out of nothing, through bank loans, and get to charge interest on it. In essence, banking’s business model is to use public’s credit for private gains. Capital is a public SUBSIDY.

Public buy-in is won through deposit insurance guarantees (FDIC) and thereby their capital is accumulated in these banks. Without this implicit guarantees of deposits offered by the state, would you keep your money in the bank? If deposit holders converged on a bank demanding cash, the bank would go bankrupt irrespective of its profitability, of the quality of its assets, and so on. Banks loan to inflate asset prices in the real estate and stock market. This is a one way ticket to a financial crisis. Public guarantees prevent bank runs by establishing trust in banks among the public. Banks are offered insurance after a crisis. So capital creation, growth and accumulation is SUBSIDIZED.

The third component and most important aspect of the market mechanism in the financialization is the prevalence of the practice of "too big to fail." The Financial Institution constellations that are considered "too big to fail" have been protected from failure with public money. This implicit state guarantees of solvency increase risk taking among financial institutions, thus increasing their profitability. What one get is, “bank-financed inflation of securities and securitization” through the leveraged creation of secondary forms of money (credit). Margin lending, derivatives and leverage, inflates the markets to ridiculous levels. One ends up with a ponzi scheme of inflated prices that will collapse and feed back into the financial system. So the capital constellation is SUBSIDIZED at multiple levels.

Summing up, public mechanisms boost the returns to finance amidst ideological promotion of free markets. Financial institutions have been protected and supported by the state in terms of credit creation, liquidity, and solvency, thus securing higher profits, while losses and risks have been passed to the public. Would you call this configuration "Capitalism"?

So what is capitalism or free market?

If one concludes that what we have today is not capitalism the next question is when did we ever have real capitalism? Which nation ever had capitalism? What if capitalism is a lie/myth? Where did capitalism start & why? Which place was/is the great star of capitalism?

“The great enemy of truth is very often not the lie--deliberate, contrived and dishonest--but the myth--persistent, persuasive and unrealistic. Belief in myths allows the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought."
- John F. Kennedy

Posted by: Max | Jun 16 2021 3:43 utc | 21

karlof1 #11

The next big propaganda push will be the promotion of the G-7's B3W, which is the Great Reset rebranded.

Thank you, yes the propaganda will be relentless. The Dutch MH17 kangaroo court is still hacking its way through the undergrowth of lies and BS to frame those dreadful ruskies for BUKing the oligarchs. See John Helmer as he waltzes with the bears.

Also in the pipeline is the rerun of the Skripal tearful saga and the brutal UK sacrifice of Dawn Sturgess and the exploitation of her demise to gild the novichok lily. Again John Helmer wields a fine knife to dissect Perfidious Abion's crapola that is destined for further Crown Law drivel spray this September:

In an advertisement for herself on British Broadcasting Corporation’s (BBC) Radio 4, the coroner directing the inquest into the death of Dawn Sturgess has revealed that she has already decided that Sturgess’s death on July 8, 2018, was caused by a nerve agent called Novichok fabricated by agents of the Russian state, carried to England, and used as a weapon in a murder plot.

Baroness Heather Hallett spent weeks negotiating with the BBC for this interview, preparing the announcer script, and choosing the music to be played on the long-running celebrity programme, Desert Island Discs. The 35-minute broadcast went to air on June 6; it was repeated on June 11.

Hallett announced towards the end: “There is an increasing tendency these days to jump to judgement. You have to analyse the evidence. It’s only when you analyse the evidence that you can reach a sensible and reasoned and fair judgement”.

This is not what Hallett and the BBC had agreed would be said at the start, when Hallett was introduced as “the coroner of the Salisbury Novichok inquest” who would “examine the part played by the Russian government”.

And who will pay for B3W you ask? Well how about the Clinton Foundation who are renowned for the phenomenal capacity to raise millions and occasionally deliver a banquet for their hugely generous $$ contributers. Perhaps Biden could assist and sell off the remaining USAi Uranium mines (and a few Australian ones seeing they are so willing) to be part of this global bbbullshit wank.

Then of course there is the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation with global experience in vaccinating dark people. I bet they wont let a minor divorce issue get in the way of $$$$ and giving aid to their 'good friends' supporting the WHO.

Perhaps Bill Gates' good and very wealthy friend Ghislaine Maxwell might find a way to 'divert' some the Epstein Foundation cash to help all those little kiddies in so much need ;) Of course Joe and his dopey family trust will need to be lubricated into action and get Ghislaine into home detention etc etc.. In the land of the free there is no barrier to Bring Back Better Warmongers.

You say wise words brother karlof:

The most advanced engineering nations are no longer in the West, and Financial Parasites only know how to destroy nations, not build them. There's plenty of work needing to be done to lift 4 billion more people out of poverty and provide them with a sustainable existence. China and Russia are the current top two poverty eliminators while the Outlaw US Empire ought to be noted as the biggest poverty creator. The key is if the nations of the Global South understand what that difference means for them.

I trust the lunacy and propaganda tsunami vomiting from this crowd FUKUSAi will be neutralised. I fear these FUKUSAi global terrorists will be sanctioning, slaughtering and regime changing in South America starting - well - started with Cuba a century ago and then just got bigger. Watch out Venezuela, this evil doer is not going away anytime soon.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jun 16 2021 3:52 utc | 22

ooops apologies for the screwed second link.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jun 16 2021 3:53 utc | 23

Posted by: les7 | Jun 16 2021 2:02 utc | 18

I agree with you. They are two facets of the same thing.

Posted by: Alberto | Jun 16 2021 5:06 utc | 24

Re William Gruff @ 6 and Karlof1 @ Fyi @ 16 les7 @ 18
It is misleading to suggest exceptional ism is American, if the mental
state of exceptional ism exist; I think it is a label more appropriately
assigned to the leadership of a particular nation state, when appropriate?

America is a polar continent, divided into North and South parts. Its
population is sorted and divided into many different nation states.
These different nation states each govern a different set of people,
and its governors are a different set of people, each set has
identifiers, called names.

Exceptional ism is a label which results from an assessment of the
intention or mental state of a group of people (Governors and their
monopoly powered feudal Oligarch and corporate lords or the people
or a subset thereof, that the nation state governs).

I don't believe the entire continent of America believes itself to be
exceptional. No do i believe all nation states existing on the continent
of America believe themselves to be exceptional?

Did i Miss something? It might help to identify more precisely the
target intended? Thanks.

Posted by: snake | Jun 16 2021 10:15 utc | 25

snake @25

The target of the label "exceptionalist" would be the entire population of the United States. The delusion infects all from the President and top CEOs down to the lowliest lumpen proletarians and street criminals. That narcissistic mental disorder permeates all of American society. The only way for an American to overcome it is to isolate himself from the source of the mental toxins long enough for those toxins to be purged from his mind. This requires leaving the US for a place with a very different culture and not consuming ANY western mass media at all, and that includes movies, sitcoms and pop music. A year in Cambodia trying to "go native" might be enough to learn some humility and get one's head cleared of the crap, though it will probably take longer to really heal the damage.

It might be possible to also achieve this mental purification by living as a monk in a crevice among some rocks near the top of a mountain in Colorado, but the total and long term isolation from the poisonous effects of American culture is not optional. Six months of deep meditation and intense introspection can easily be subverted and ruined by watching a single Hollywoof blockbuster.

A sign that you might have successfully purged the insanity is if when you turn on the TV you are horrified (not just disdainful but truly horrified) by what you see on every channel; when you observe others consuming mass media it appears to you no less repulsive and nightmarish than if you were witnessing them stuffing their faces with toxic and carcinogenic industrial waste.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jun 16 2021 12:57 utc | 26

Extending Russia is a 354-page report that seems to cover all the angles for “measures to bait Russia into overextending itself”. But it doesn't mention the Central African Republic where currently over 1,000 Russian troops and contractors support the CAR government against various insurgent groups. Can anyone understand why Russia would overextend itself in CAR? It's so remote from Russia or any Russian interest geographically that it is fair to say the deployment in CAR is presumed to be a bad idea. Can anyone overturn the presumption?

Posted by: damagereport | Jun 16 2021 14:56 utc | 27

Mr. William Gruff | Jun 16 2021 12:57 utc | 26

I do not think that is accurate.

"Exceptionalism" permeates the Protestants very much more than Jews or Catholics.

And then there are vast numbers of Orientals, Muslims, Hindus, and Sikhs that are not narcists.

In my opinion, the roots of "Exceptionalism" goes back to the Puritans and through them all the way to British Protestantism's Utopianism.

Catholicism and Orthodoxy have been immune to this; the late Girolamo Savonarola was the only incidence of note of that kind of Utopianism among Catholics that I recall.

Posted by: fyi | Jun 16 2021 14:57 utc | 28

Mr. Max | Jun 16 2021 3:36 utc | 20

Chinese leaders and people wish to continue to work with the "Beautiful Country" - if they can.

China is America's to loose.

Posted by: fyi | Jun 16 2021 14:58 utc | 29

@ 4 paco.. it is either that, or we get Baroness Heather Hallett to choose the music for us! see @ 22 uncle tungsten link for more on that..

Posted by: james | Jun 16 2021 16:17 utc | 30

snake @25--

The USA's exceptionalism was imported from the UK. Even the Pilgrims thought of themselves as exceptional. Oh and did you know the Mayflower also had a cargo of African slaves?

William Gruff @26--

My experience in dealing with exceptionalism and its twin Manifest Destiny is to be mindful of their existence and actively work to suppress them. But you are correct about exceptionalism being a national disease that infects most everyone.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 16 2021 16:35 utc | 31

Monetary Imperialism is following a ploy that it successfully implemented in Myanmar through Aung San Suu Kyi. The Central Bank of Myanmar was state owned and became an autonomous and independent regulatory body by the Central Bank of Myanmar Law which was enacted by the Myanmar Parliament in 2013. The Financial Empire has chosen Svetlana Tikhanovskaya for Belarus and Juan Guaidó for Venezuela, to implement what Aung San Suu Kyi did in Myanmar?
Posted by: Max | Jun 15 2021 20:06 utc | 2

In 2013 Aung San Suu Kyi had no power whatsoever in the government. She was elected 2 years later.

Posted by: BM | Jun 16 2021 16:40 utc | 32

American exceptionalism has a role model and a predecessor which is Herrenvolk ideology of the Nazis. Another one is "white man's burden" ideology. In both cases there is the claim that the superior race, country, culture, whatever is entitled to make and break any rule, and the Untermenschen have to obey and be grateful and submissive.

Putin is wrong when in a bid of self criticism (an a bit anticommunism) is likening the overreach of the USSR and her claim of a leading role among socialist countries with that kind of exceptionalism. The reason is that he interprets both from the results in the decline of the USSR and US imperialism by overextending beyond their actual powers, a self delusional "internationalism".

This is just a cost-profit view on the affair, and so far Putin is right that the USSR held a hegemonial realm beyond her power, and bled out on it. But the communist internationalism in no way to liken with Nazi, colonial, or US exceptionalism ideologies. Sure the USSR also broke and dictated rules in her realm, but the contradiction was felt and worded over. The US, like the Nazis and the colonialists, simply feel entitled to brazenly act that way. They have no scruples at all to eradicate everyone contradicting as long as they can do it unpunished.

Posted by: aquadraht | Jun 16 2021 20:46 utc | 33

Thanks for the detailed post, Kit and b!

I discovered first-hand the power of these kinds of operations this past spring when I met a young woman (30 yrs) who'd recently arrived in Canada from Hong Kong. She arrived in Vancouver convinced that the kinds of activities taking place in Hong Kong, like barricading a university and causing massive damage to property, were ordinary behaviour in Western demoncracies. (The Canadian news gave extensive coverage to those riots and uprisings, especially in Vancouver!) And she had an answer for me, as to why, on arriving in Vancouver, she discovered a lack of support for the riot-and-burn-for-freedom in Hong Kong. It's anti-Asian bias. What do you do with someone who has been brainwashed like that?? How can you explain that in Canada if a bunch of Anglos were to blockade a university Hong-Kong-style, they'd get their a**e* tossed in jail, and the silent majority would side with the police, even if there were a bit rough with the protesters?

Posted by: Bruised Northerner | Jun 16 2021 21:05 utc | 34

@21 Max

That's one excellent comment. Many thanks.

Posted by: Grieved | Jun 16 2021 21:38 utc | 35

@ BM (#32)... Aung San Suu Kyi, seems to be nurtured for that role by intelligence agencies. Just take a look at her foreign advisors.

@ Grieved (# 35)... thanks for kind words. Appreciate it!

Posted by: Max | Jun 16 2021 22:38 utc | 36

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