Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 17, 2022

The MoA Week In Review - NOT Ukraine OT 2022-49

Last week's posts at Moon of Alabama:

Not really related but fitting:

> Shortly, the public will be unable to reason or think for themselves. They'll only be able to parrot the information they've been given on the previous night's news. <
Zbigniew Brzezinski, 1972
> He could undermine the messaging so much that he could actually control what people think. And that is OUR job. <
Mika Brzezinski, 2017

Other issues:

On war propaganda and censorship:

Regime change in Pakistan:


peter pobjecky - #FreeAssange @peterpobjecky - 22:33 UTC · Apr 12, 2022
The #Russian military found an #Ukrainian UAV with liquid containers and sprayers on the territory of one of the military units abandoned by the Armed Forces of #Ukraine #UkraineRussia

A sinking empire:

Use as open (not Ukraine) thread ...

Posted by b on April 17, 2022 at 12:40 UTC | Permalink


More on war propaganda:

The UK is Trying to Drag the US into World War III (Michael Tracey, April 14, 2022)

Posted by: S | Apr 17 2022 14:11 utc | 1

Posted by: S | Apr 17 2022 14:11 utc | 1

Thanks for that, it was very interesting. It seems like we have reached peak Orwell, "War is peace," indeed.

Posted by: Quiet Rebel | Apr 17 2022 15:06 utc | 2

The text of b's final link is not long. I hope he won't mind if I post it:

April 16, 202213:50
The leaders discussed current issues of bilateral cooperation, including in trade and the economy, and expressed their commitment to further developing mutually beneficial ties between Russia and Saudi Arabia.

They spoke highly of the joint work in the OPEC Plus format aimed at ensuring the stability of the global oil market.

The leaders also exchanged opinions on some topics on the international agenda, including the situation around Ukraine and Yemen settlement.

Vladimir Putin congratulated the leaders and people of Saudi Arabia on the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

It was agreed to maintain contact at different levels.

Posted by: juliania | Apr 17 2022 15:33 utc | 3

Will Wikileaks leverage the Biden regime to free Assange with Hunter Biden laptop revelations that clearly point to Biden Crime Family operations?

Hey, a guy can dream...

"Kim dot com just announced that Wikileaks is in possession of Hunter Biden’s laptop, and will be publicly publishing everything without redaction. #freespeech."

Posted by: gottlieb | Apr 17 2022 15:35 utc | 4

thanks b!

thanks to the many wonderful posters who share here as well..

the scrum article looks good... i read as much as i could before it asked me to spend some money.... interesting about the well known polish journalist quitting over the description for azov that they demanded... i am fascinated how the usa state dept had azov on the terrorist list, but then they decided to remove them.... it reminds me of the usa's support for various other terrorist groups, including its support for ISIS prior to the gauntlet coming down on them, thanks russia... fascinating - all of this attempt at manipulating the general public as such an important goal for western powers..

@ gottlieb | Apr 17 2022 15:35 utc | 4

- would be good! what a travesty the west has adopted in its approach towards assange... a travesty for all fair minded people and for assange in particular... those behind this - there is a special place in hell for them..

Posted by: james | Apr 17 2022 15:42 utc | 5

...Also thanks to b for the link to the article about Konstantey Gebert, Poland's prominent newspaper columnist:

...“If we cannot come to an agreement on the essentials, we will have to part ways,” wrote Gebert. He may publish in Wyborca in the future as a contributor rather than a columnist or staff writer, he added.

“We regret to acknowledge the decision of our colleague. We are pleased with the declaration that the end of a regular series of articles does not mean the end of our cooperation,” Wyborca wrote in a statement..."

Posted by: juliania | Apr 17 2022 15:44 utc | 6

Posted by: gottlieb | Apr 17 2022 15:35 utc | 4

You're obviously semi-joking, but I'm pretty sure that the Biden regime and the "Intelligence" Community will have no issue simply drone striking the Wikileaks office, or even apartment buildings where Wikileaks contributors may be working remotely. Soleimani style. It's not like Killary didn't "joke" about it before.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Apr 17 2022 18:11 utc | 7

here is full scrum article
use archive - it often works

Posted by: downtownhaiku | Apr 17 2022 18:20 utc | 8

A little bit of being Moon of...

So there is this story in The Guardian,

which mentions this,

"Jayson Pihajlic, who fought against Islamic State alongside Pinner and Aslin in the Syrian Democratic Forces, said the men were “standard bearers for democracy” who were fighting “as volunteers, not mercenaries”."

So allow me just one little Google for Jayson Pihajlic, you can do the same as well. Now I am sure a saw a photo of someone on Instagram with the account name of "Jayson Pihajlic" holding up an ISIS flag!

And then,

so... who or what is able to conscript these idiots?

Posted by: Andrew | Apr 17 2022 19:55 utc | 9

@ Andrew | Apr 17 2022 19:55 utc | 9 with the rhetorical question

so... who or what is able to conscript these idiots?

The God of Mammon folk farm it out to the lesser religions that promise a glorious afterlife.

The solution is always to have more faith and follow religious leadership blindly.

Did you see Pope Frank kissing the Ukraine flag? I haven't seen him kissing the flags of Palestine, Yemen, Afghanistan, etc., have you?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 17 2022 20:21 utc | 10

I'm not sure who/where posted, but re D Feinstein, there was a pic of her embracing Lindsay Graham, after AC Barret's confirmation to the SCOTUS. did she do the same after KB Jackson's confirmation? maybe she forgot?

in any case, when Jackson was asked during confirmation about her work as legal council for the war crimes victims at the public torture center on occupied land known as "Gitmo," she replied,

"I was only doing my job."

this country is a fast-rotting pile of worm food.

Posted by: rjb1.5 | Apr 17 2022 20:56 utc | 11

psychohistorian | Apr 17 2022 20:21 utc | 10
don't forget his performance before Congress. after he bellowed and brayed about "land of the free and home of the brave," i fully expected him to give the crowd what it wanted, pull a shotgun from somewhere beneath his sacred robes, and to blast a shot into the air while screaming, "YEE HAW!"

people who fight over shit like the 'filioque clause' and what day to celebrate easter are by definition Crusaders.

Posted by: rjb1.5 | Apr 17 2022 21:00 utc | 12

The origins of WW1 redux."When (two) elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers” is an East African proverb, cited in English since at least the 1910s. In the 1960s, Kenyan leader Jomo Kenyatta (1894-1978) and Cambodian leader Norodom Sihanouk both used the “when elephants fight” saying to describe their small countries, seemingly trampled in the cold war between the United States and the Soviet Union.

Here is one voice from Australia:

Meanwhile these matters have also been considered in New Zealand.

ANZAC Day is fast approaching, I urge Australians and New Zealders to remember the last words of the Ode of Remembrance, "Lest we forget."

It's also time for a number of countries to consider the costs and benefits of becoming the next battlefield.

Posted by: Paul | Apr 17 2022 21:18 utc | 13

Global Times is running a multipart series dealing with the Outlaw US Empire entitled "Unmasking the Superpower", which now has five parts that can be accessed via the above link. The most recent is Human Rights Destroyer which is quite apt given Ukrainian events.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 17 2022 21:20 utc | 14

Dianne Feinstein and her fitness for office.

Leave her there, she is among like spirits.
If she goes, then Pelosi will look stupid:/

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 17 2022 21:32 utc | 15

Paul #13

ANZAC Day is fast approaching, I urge Australians and New Zealders to remember the last words of the Ode of Remembrance, "Lest we forget."

Thank you, but from conversations with associates here I can assure you they have definitely forgotten. Methinks they have been chewing cycad nuts.

Many are full of rah rah rah for the just war. SAD!

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 17 2022 21:37 utc | 16

gottlieb #4

Thank you for that good news and good to hear of Kim dot Com again.

The thought of Wikileaks leveraging Biden over his scabrous son's laptop is nice but misplaced.

Biden is an ugly hardened moron and has zero compassion. He is a severely wounded human who does evil sh!t with everything he touches. He only understands brute force but like any bully will back down rather than risk any harm to himself.

I look forward to seeing frank reporting of the laptop's content.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 17 2022 21:47 utc | 17

"Lest we forget."

we as a population have never learned. Rainbow flag wrapped around a tree.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 17 2022 21:52 utc | 18

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 17 2022 21:37 utc | 16

"Many are full of rah rah rah for the just war. SAD!"

Uncle T,
the rah rah crowd, dressed in sports coats with leather elbows while sitting on the sidelines on shooting sticks, had better stick to watching Rugby Union rather than cheering wholly avoidable wars for sport.

Good on ya @ Peter AU1 @18, pithy comment.

Posted by: Paul | Apr 17 2022 22:25 utc | 19

james | Apr 17 2022 15:42 utc | 5

Assange is Australian like some of those aboard MH17. I would like to be able to see a war crimes tribunal for the fascists that have taken power here. Gallows and public hanging would not be out of place.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 17 2022 22:38 utc | 20

Quiet Rebel | Apr 17 2022 15:06 utc | 2 "we have reached peak Orwell"

Other than highlight your comment, I can think of nothing to add.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 17 2022 22:50 utc | 21

I look forward to seeing frank reporting of the laptop's content.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 17 2022 21:47 utc | 17

Rep. Darrell Issa now has the contents of that laptop, so perhaps the real fireworks will be beginning after all. I don't care for Issa, but hell, any port in a storm!

Posted by: malenkov | Apr 17 2022 23:36 utc | 22

I found this on Xymphora:

Huge yikes: Kamala Harris @VP served wine from Psagot at her Passover Seder. It is produced in an illegal Israeli settlement which is colonizing the occupied West Bank. This demonstrates serious contempt for Palestinians and int’l law".

Let there be no doubt now why Kamala Harris, the most unpopular DP presidential candidate, was SELECTED as the VP running mate with the senile old farty pants.

Posted by: Palu | Apr 17 2022 23:45 utc | 23

@ Palu | Apr 17 2022 23:45 utc | 23

Of course, one would think that any reasonable Jew would feel offensively patronized by having a shikse like Kamala Harris doing a seder to begin with.

Posted by: malenkov | Apr 17 2022 23:48 utc | 24

"And if that is so, then 🕳 ... ¹²³

[¹²³]“When all the signs are still pointing to ‘HEAVEN’ but the temperature keeps getting hotter:”

Happy Oestre, b.

... "I usually have a pretty good sense of the characters—they're often living in my head before I write about them—so" ... [Charles deLint, in Blue Girl]

Posted by: Laurence | Apr 17 2022 23:56 utc | 25

Postscript ...

Matt Stoller is Research Director for the American Economic Liberties Project. His first book Goliath, published by Simon and Schuster, was released in October.
Thousands of paid subscribers

The American Economic Liberties Project (AELP) is an American non-profit organization that advocates corporate accountability legislation and aggressive enforcement of antitrust regulations.[1][2]

History and leadership

The AELP was founded in February 2020[3] and is led by Sarah Miller, a former Department of the Treasury official.[4] The AELP is funded in part by the Omidyar Network.[5][6]

Posted by: Laurence | Apr 18 2022 0:06 utc | 26

Below are quotes from a ZH posting from another web site posting that I don't want to link to...

Russia’s war in Ukraine is obscuring one very alarming threat posed by the Chinese regime: its system of paperless money, warned hedge fund manager Kyle Bass.

“It is, I think, the single largest threat to the West in the last 50 years. And it’s being overshadowed by the Russian invasion of Ukraine,” Bass said during a recent interview on EpochTV’s “American Thought Leaders” program."

“This isn’t a simple digital payment app. This is an app that tracks where you are, what your name is, what your social security number is, [and] what all of your identifiers are. It has the geo-locating ability,” he explained.

Bass explained once the Chinese digital money is fully-developed and is made available to everyone outside of China, the Chinese regime could seek out certain e-yuan users, such as those in financial trouble, and corrupt them.

The above is called projection and what is described as a potential for China is SOP in empire and has been for decades even without digital currency.

The bottom line is whether you want sovereign governments, supposedly responsible to the public, or the God of Mammon cult of private inherited families and Pope Frank to provide social incentives and management to your community.

Hi Pope Frank! I am one of the victims of Jesuit hacking in high school because I asked too many questions and now clearly see the organization you lead as an impediment to human evolution. I call you out as a member of the God of Mammon cult because your organization does not walk the talk but supports usury and wars against those that want sharing embedded into their form of government/political economy.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 18 2022 0:16 utc | 27

malenkov #22

Rep. Darrell Issa now has the contents of that laptop, so perhaps the real fireworks will be beginning after all. I don't care for Issa, but hell, any port in a storm!

Agreed. I am not familiar with that human so I looked him/it up. The Wiki page has this bloke with the best sh!t eating grin I have seen in long time. So he is in character.

He has considerable background skill and if he were to end up as a Presidential contestant that laptop and its contents would be mighty handy kit.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 18 2022 0:24 utc | 28

Peter AU1 #20

I would like to be able to see a war crimes tribunal for the fascists that have taken power here. Gallows and public hanging would not be out of place.

I share your grok for spectacle and may I suggest drawing and quartering with the assistance of four stout brumbies. Perhaps at the Gabba or Hyde Park or even inside the Melbourne Zoo.

The Greens would be onside with the latter due the carbon neutral impact in disposal issues.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 18 2022 0:33 utc | 29

Below is a quote from a Xinhuanet posting that clarifies the China Saudi Arabia relationship, IMO

RIYADH, April 16 (Xinhua) -- In his phone conversation with Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud on Friday morning, Chinese President Xi Jinping highlighted the strategic and overarching significance of China-Saudi Arabia relations.

Over the past year, China and Saudi Arabia have joined their efforts and moved forward together, facilitating new development in bilateral ties, Xi said.

The Chinese side supports Saudi Arabia in safeguarding national sovereignty, security and stability, and in independently exploring a development path suited to its own national conditions, Xi stressed.

I think this is saying to empire that efforts at regime change in SA will be be met with China resistance......the end of the US dollar Reserve Currency petrodollar established when Nixon went off the gold standard in 1971.

The US dollar Reserve Currency status has been under attack for some time but the concept of death by a thousand cuts is growing in applicability here, IMO.

Progress is slow and then....the birth of an alternative Reserve Currency is, IMO, the biggest challenge to empire in centuries. I can't help but think that this has been planned by China/Russia and the wheels are rolling to build a broad grouping of nations BRICS/SCO/African/South American/??? to buy into a new system of global finance that is sovereign owned/designed/managed in contrast to the private cult Western one.

What a time to be alive.....bring it on!

Change brings opportunity for growth and gawd knows we could use some social evolution.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 18 2022 3:28 utc | 30

Below is a Xinhuanet posting about the ongoing and escalating debt slavery of Sri Lanka to the private finance folk behind the IMF

COLOMBO, April 17 (Xinhua) -- The Sri Lankan government on Sunday sent a delegation to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for discussions over ways to get the lender's loans.

The delegation, led by Finance Minister Ali Sabry, also includes Governor of the Central Bank Nandalal Weerasinghe. The delegation is to visit the IMF headquarters and hold discussions in the next few days.

Sabry told media they expect to receive around 4 billion U.S. dollars from the IMF in five tranches if the discussions are successful.

Sri Lanka has been undergoing a serious economic crisis and foreign reserves stand below 2 billion dollars.

Sri Lanka's Finance Ministry said on Tuesday that the government had decided to suspend normal debt servicing of all affected debts for an interim period till it puts together an orderly and consensual restructuring program supported by the IMF.

Sri Lanka is just this focus of the ongoing churn of increasing debt that many 3rd, 2nd and 1st world countries are being forced to build under the God of Mammon system of global finance and manufactured social and economic upheaval.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 18 2022 3:50 utc | 31

Elderly Palestinian woman shot dead at Zionist occupation checkpoint, VIDEO:

Posted by: Paul | Apr 18 2022 3:53 utc | 32

Balkanskaya Spletnitsa [Balkan Gossiper] Telegram channel on UK activities in the Western Balkans:

Rybar writes that Britain is not only deliberately dragging out the Ukrainian conflict, but is also trying to rekindle a number of others, including the Kosovo conflict.

However, in addition to the self-proclaimed republic, which the Foggy Albion¹ suddenly decided to supply with weapons and a number of provocations in which the British special services were allegedly behind, there is another hot spot in the Balkans. We are talking about Bosnia and Herzegovina, where the confrontation at any moment can develop into an acute stage.

Britain is indeed returning to the region as an active player and is not even hiding it. In December, Liz Truss brought together Western Balkans foreign ministers in London to announce that she intended to increase political and diplomatic presence. At the same time, the Foggy Albion¹ got its own special envoy to the Western Balkans—Stuart Peach, the former head of the NATO Military Committee and the Chief of the Defense Staff of Great Britain, who served in the command of the North Atlantic Alliance Air Force during the years of the bombing of Yugoslavia.

There is increase in the budgets of British NGOs promoting the narrative that the Republika Srpska is a “genocidal entity” that must be eliminated for the security and stability of Europe. Some organizations are operating with the direct support of members of the British Parliament. They also waged an active campaign to legitimize the new High Representative in BiH, as well as to increase the NATO contingent in Sarajevo.

The contingent is indeed increasing: EUFOR vehicles are already roaming the streets of the city, which causes concern among local residents. And given the firm position of the leader of the Bosnian Serbs, I’m afraid that the transition from sanctions blackmail to more aggressive actions is not far off—there will certainly be provocations. And it is quite possible that, thirty years past, Bosnia may become a “theater” of hostilities again.


¹ A common epithet for the UK in Russia.

Posted by: S | Apr 18 2022 5:22 utc | 33

... The optics – those that slip by the "Patriot defenses" of the corporate media – are likely to be a PR disaster. Worse still, at that point, Washington hawks (many of whom fully expect the above scenario) will be able to argue even more strongly that Biden needs to "do more."

Here’s the Problem

What Establishment Washington seems unable to grasp is:

That Putin was not bluffing?

Posted by: Laurence | Apr 18 2022 7:17 utc | 34

Bernhard, you had a while ago written in defense of China's economic activity in Sri Lanka as non-exploitative and generally a good idea. Here is an article by someone from India, like you a retired military officer who has something to say about political matters. Raja Menon's general stance is hostile to China. Which is not to say it is indefensible. Here he writes of the Chinese misfortunes of Sri Lanka, Burma and Pakistan. Would welcome your considered response sometime.

Posted by: sarz | Apr 18 2022 7:48 utc | 35

after booting Khan, Pakistan army is already bombing Afghanistan. don't trust the MSM narrative but something is going on. in any case, this is what the US wants. the coup is already delivering 'benefits'

Posted by: mastameta | Apr 18 2022 10:10 utc | 36

Does anybody know of pro-Imran Khan articles on the situation in Pakistan and the popular protests? Everything I have seen linked is from the anti-Khan side. It gets so tiresome wading through the thick and smelly BS.

Posted by: BM | Apr 18 2022 11:52 utc | 37

indian punchline wrote about it. as did the Grayzone and multipolarista

Posted by: mastameta | Apr 18 2022 13:51 utc | 38


You have to go back to the Tamil Tigers and their suppression and the takeover by the Rajapaksa people. They are the ones who went all in for the Chinese money. Unfortunately, the current government is incompetent, and does not like all of its' citizens. Governments that hate a part of their citizenry always make a mess and go bankrupt trying achieve cultural purity, which is actually a dumb idea. Just look at the Southern USA.

Nature hates monocultures and concentrates, and immediately sets about polluting/diluting them. (This is called entropy.)

Posted by: Bemildred | Apr 18 2022 15:30 utc | 39

BM 37

Does anybody know of pro-Imran Khan articles on the situation

Posted by: Rd | Apr 18 2022 15:36 utc | 40

Today's Russian language Kremlin website feature are Putin's opening remarks prior to a meeting on economic issues. IMO, it's unfortunate all the discussion isn't provided as the first to speak after Putin was Chairman of the Central Bank Elvira Nabiullina, although we can see what was to be discussed from Putin's opening remarks. TASS usually has a good report about such proceedings, but today it only highlights Putin's remarks and thus isn't very helpful.

RT has an item recapping Nabiullina's Duma testimony today that's also thin on details. Also of interest is Russia's continuing to transit gas through Ukraine to Europe, although volumes are down @50% which are offset by rates that are 2-3x higher so overall revenues have remained stable. I'm curious as to the Ukrainian entity getting the transit payments.

I know there are many barflies unable to reach the Kremlin's website and have trouble getting a decent machine translation, so what follows is the transcript of Putin's remarks. Do pay attention to Russia's rate of inflation and what the government's doing to mitigate its negative impact:

Opening remarks by the President at the meeting on economic issues

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Colleagues, good afternoon.

Today, our agenda includes an analysis of the current situation in the Russian economy and its main trends. We will discuss what additional solutions are needed in the current conditions to support domestic business, enterprises, industries and, of course, citizens.

Obviously, the main negative factor for the economy in recent years has been the sanctions pressure, the next sanctions pressure of Western countries. The hope was to quickly shake up the financial and economic situation in our country, provoke panic in the markets, the collapse of the banking system, a large-scale shortage of goods in stores.

But we can already say with confidence that such a policy towards Russia has failed, the strategy of economic blitzkrieg has failed. Moreover, the sanctions were not in vain for the initiators themselves. I am referring to the rise in inflation and unemployment, the deterioration of economic dynamics in the United States and European countries, the decline in the standard of living of Europeans, and the devaluation of their savings.

Russia, as I have already said, has withstood this unprecedented pressure. The situation is stabilizing, the ruble exchange rate has returned to the levels of the first half of February and is determined by an objectively strong balance of payments. According to the results of the first quarter, the current account surplus of the balance of payments exceeded $58 billion, and this is a historical maximum. Cash foreign currency is returning to the country's banking system, and the volume of citizens' deposits is growing.

As for the consumer market, after a short stir for a number of goods, and this happens in such situations constantly, always, retail demand has returned to normal. Inventories in retail chains are being restored.

At the same time, I would like to note that we did the right thing when we did not resort to manual, artificial regulation of the market, but instead, on the contrary, gave freedom to private business to search for the most suitable and effective solutions. It was these solutions that made it possible to ensure the rhythmic supply of goods to the retail network, the availability of the necessary products in stores.

I will dwell separately on the topic of inflation. Now it is stabilizing, but at the same time, we are well aware of this, only in the last month and a half consumer prices in Russia have grown significantly – by 9.4 percent, and in annual terms as of April 8, inflation was 17.5 percent.

I would like to draw the attention of my colleagues from the Government and the Central Bank, and we know everything about this very well: these are very high values. People feel this on their family budget, they feel how prices have risen, and we need to support our citizens and help them cope with the inflationary wave.

In this regard, I would like to remind you of the decision that has already been taken to index all social payments, pensions and salaries of specialists employed in the public sector. Specific parameters for such an increase should be prepared by the Government.

Of course, the key condition for ensuring real growth in people's incomes is the creation of new, well-paid jobs, the strengthening of economic dynamics, and the development of industry and other industries.

The current situation here is generally stable. This can be judged, among other things, by such an indicator as electricity generation. This is a good indicator that speaks about the dynamics in the economy. The number of officially registered unemployed is also at a fairly low level.

Obviously, it is necessary to constantly monitor the situation in the economy, the labor market and, as they say, keep abreast of the situation, make timely decisions for the stable, confident work of business and entrepreneurs. So far, the Government has certainly succeeded in this, and so has the Central Bank.

I would like to ask my colleagues from the Central Bank and the Government to report in detail on how you see the further development of the domestic economy, what measures we need to take to prevent possible negative developments in the situation and to prevent the situation of Russian companies and enterprises and citizens from deteriorating.

Before we move on to the agenda, I would like to focus on the topics on which I would like to focus on this today.

The first is foreign trade. The restrictions that unfriendly countries have imposed against Russia have affected the possibilities of domestic business, undoubtedly hampered the logistics of export and import supplies, and created obstacles to settlements.

It is necessary to provide maximum assistance to entrepreneurs in solving these problems, including accelerating the transition of foreign trade to settlements in rubles and in the national currencies of countries – reliable business partners. I want to emphasize that in the new, changed conditions, we must move forward here at a much faster pace. I would like to ask you to report today on how this work is organised and what results are planned to be achieved here.

Second, it is now extremely important to support domestic demand and avoid its excessive compression. It is necessary to act both through the budget system and to ensure greater availability of credit resources for business. This is the sphere of activity of the Central Bank. The Central Bank has already begun to reduce the key rate, which in the future, of course, will reduce the cost of loans in the economy.

As for the budget, I am aware of the discussions that are taking place between the Central Bank and the Government, but nevertheless, in the context of an objective decline in lending, of course, the budget must actively support the economy, saturate the economy with financial resources, and maintain its liquidity. There are opportunities for this. Of course, we need to act carefully, and the Minister and I talk about this all the time.

Nevertheless, according to the results of the first quarter of this year, a record level of surplus of the budget system was recorded. Additional solutions are needed here, and they need to be implemented exactly at the moment when the economy needs it most. Of course, we need to be careful, I understand, but at the same time, the key condition, of course, remains the long-term stability of the financial system both at the federal and regional levels. How much surplus do we have now? I think we have a combined surplus of about a trillion [rubles] in the regions– about a trillion– 0.9.

I propose to dwell on the topic of budget policy in detail today.

Let's get started. I give the floor to Elvira Sakhipzadovna Nabiullina. You are welcome.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 18 2022 15:39 utc | 41

41 Cont'd--

This Sputnik article goes beyond merely recapping Putin's remarks and ties in the economic discomfort being experienced by Russia's unfriendly nations. The lead paragraph provides a stunning stat:

"The US and its allies have slapped a grand total of over 9,600 sanctions against Russian officials, the state, companies, tycoons and other entities in connection with the crisis in Ukraine. Moscow now has more restrictions against it than Iran, Syria, North Korea, Venezuela and Myanmar combined."

The financial aspect of the Hybrid War has blownback and is causing further hurt to the already crippled Neoliberal economies of the Outlaw US Empire and its vassals. And the global macroeconomic situation will continue to favor Russia and China. In a very funny item, Goldmann Sachs says there's a 35% chance of the Outlaw US Economy going into recession--funny because the economy's been in recession since 2008 when the data isn't twisted to show otherwise as this example from Shadowstats shows:

"Reporting of Nominal (not adjusted for inflation) economic data becomes increasingly bloated and distorted in times of accelerating inflation, consider: Net of surging CPI-U consumer inflation, March 2022 Real Retail Sales declined by 0.7% (-0.7%) month-to-month and by 1.5% (-1.5%) year-to-year, yet the headline Nominal March Retail Sales gained monthly by 0.5% and annually by 6.9%, reflecting nothing more than ongoing massive increases in price levels."

These UK poll numbers reported by RT are also similar to those from the Outlaw US Empire:

"54% of the respondents reported a worsening of their financial situation in the last year, up from 42% two months ago, and 62% said they expect the future to be even bleaker.

"More than two-thirds of Britons said they have not received a pay raise despite the growing cost of living, and most of those who did receive a raise said it’s not enough to offset inflation.

"Based on these latest findings, The Telegraph surmised that personal financial woes may now have overshadowed concern over Russia’s military offensive against Ukraine in the eyes of the general public in the UK."

So, despite the increasing shrillness of the Narrative, ordinary people's support for their government's war on Russia is going from wavering to collapsing.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 18 2022 16:01 utc | 42

This is a post that’s kind of about Ukraine so I’m putting it in this thread. Volunteers, helpers and cadres of humanitarians —

Saving Salamanders in Nova Scotia

“Yellow-spotted salamanders are the province's largest species of salamander. They spend most of their lives underground, but surface for about two weeks every spring to breed. …It's easy to predict where these salamanders will cross to get to their breeding pools – they live for about 30 years and use the same pathways for their entire lives.”

Giving Sage Advice: Satire from the Beaverton

“WORLDWIDE: Long distance friendships around the world have been reduced to periodically sending each other “don’t fuck him” and “yeah, also not him” texts.”

Former pro-democracy Russian journalist now helping Ukrainian refugees full-time in Budapest

Canada’s Armed Forces are also helping Ukrainian refugees, but in Poland (and they’re collecting a pay cheque, like one from the government.)

Prince Harry’s in The Hague to launch the Invictus Games, with a very special tribute to Ukrainians

Posted by: Bruised Northerner | Apr 18 2022 16:27 utc | 43

In March 2015, as the National Front was being investigated by Eu's Office européen de Lutte AntiFraude (OLAF) in two separate cases after a complaint from then-European Parliament President Martin Schulz.

Today the OLAF is back on the same only rut, trying to derail Marine Le Pen again before an election with accusations.

Can the timing be more obvious, with the selection day for French president 6 days ahead?

Will Russia Macron back with facts of French military captured at Mariopol's AzovStal factory complex? How gullible is the French public still today?

Posted by: Antonym | Apr 18 2022 16:33 utc | 44

Will Russia pay Macron back with

Posted by: Antonym | Apr 18 2022 16:35 utc | 45

Something I discovered as I was fishing about, US Military Manual Collection, that barflies might find of interest as they're all not just about war fighting with most of the 677 dating from the 1960s; for example, this FM's about "Civil Disturbances" and was published in 1952. Those wanting to be survivalists or insurrectionists will find a great many of these very useful.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 18 2022 17:33 utc | 46

Shutting down critics in a decayed and corrupt society is equivalent to turning off the oxygen on a seriously ill patient. It hastens mortality rather than delaying or preventing it. The convergence of a looming economic crisis, fear by a bankrupt ruling class that they will soon be banished from power, the growing ecological catastrophe and the inability to thwart self-destructive military adventurism against Russia and China, have set the stage for an American implosion.

Those of us who see it coming, and who desperately seek to prevent it, have become the enemy.

Posted by: Aleph_Null | Apr 18 2022 22:23 utc | 47

karlof1 #42

So, despite the increasing shrillness of the Narrative, ordinary people's support for their government's war on Russia is going from wavering to collapsing.

This does not surprise. I also noted in another thread reports that Biden has committed the biggest ever draw down of the national petroleum reserve in history. So I guess that is yet another weapon he has handed to Russia who is in a position to throttle down even more volume of refined product and still maintain its income from the price increase + leave the USA in a position of some difficulty in refilling its strategic supply.

When the hegemon stumbles, the jackals pounce. Bonesaw man comes to mind but it is a long queue.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 19 2022 1:27 utc | 48

All these manufactured crisis...'pandemic', proxy wars, energy crunch ....

Can you guess,
cui bono ?

Raytheon and Lockheed Martin boast to investors that Ukraine-Russia crisis is a boon for their business

Biggest Oil Giants Made ‘Eye-Popping’ $205 Billion in Profits in 2021

Wall Street profits drive average bonuses to a record $258K

Pfizer revenue and profits soar on its Covid vaccine business

Pfizer Forecasts Record-Breaking 2022 Profits

Surprise surprise,
The Usual Suspects.

Posted by: denk | Apr 19 2022 2:46 utc | 49

Xi Jinping is shooting himself in the foot with his 100% no-Covid lockdown policy as in Shanghai now: ‘Shanghai Gang’ Seeks Xi’s Ouster

Posted by: Antonym | Apr 19 2022 5:13 utc | 50

Below is a Xinhuanet posting about economic strategies in China

BEIJING, April 18 (Xinhua) -- China has rolled out a raft of measures to strengthen its financial support for the real economy, the country's financial authorities said Monday.

The country will ramp up financial support to relieve market entities in difficulties, ensure unimpeded flows in the economy and promote exports, noted a circular jointly released by the People's Bank of China and the State Administration of Foreign Exchange.

China will increase financial support for industries, enterprises and people affected by the epidemic, guide financial institutions to expand the scale of loans and make appropriate interest concessions to the real economy, and better deploy inclusive financing for micro and small firms, said the circular.

Financial institutions should address the financing needs of transportation and logistics enterprises and truck drivers, and make reasonable arrangements for loan extension or renewal as appropriate if those entities face difficulties in repaying their loans due to the COVID-19 epidemic, the circular noted.

The country will also expand the pilot project of facilitating forex receipts and payments to the whole country, facilitate Renminbi settlement and raise the efficiency of cross-border use of Renminbi, the circular added.

Reread that last part in the context of the new multipolar financial system being born.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 19 2022 5:26 utc | 51

you indian c!!ts are no different to the ukraine nazi's. your only reason for existance is war with china.
Wake up.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 19 2022 5:36 utc | 52

Indian nationalism - anglo controlled. dipshits like Antonym with no idea of how they are being played

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 19 2022 5:44 utc | 53

Peter AU1 | 53

India is not part of the 5 eyed monster, "your" Australia is. Did you like the Aussie lockdowns? No, well the Shanghai ones are worse.

Don't you see that all totalitarians are green with envy for Xi Jinping setup?
Yeah, he is needed now to counterbalance Uncle $cam, but after?

Posted by: Antonym | Apr 19 2022 6:53 utc | 54

Is Xi Jinping going for 101% lockdown mainly to win the presidential selection in October 2022 as suggested here?

Posted by: Antonym | Apr 19 2022 10:42 utc | 55

Sergey Lavrov's interview with India Today.

Posted by: alaff | Apr 19 2022 16:14 utc | 56

As promised, here's the entire machine translation of Lavrov's interview with India Today TV with all its errors:

Question: Many people today are asking the question: what is the reason for this special military operation? Why did President Vladimir Putin start it at the very moment when, as we have seen, the talks were taking place? What is the main reason? We heard America say that Russia was going to carry out this operation. India, like many other countries, did not suspect and did not think, but it happened.

Sergey Lavrov: The real reason is the complacency of many countries after the end of World War II, when our Western colleagues under the leadership of the United States called themselves winners and, in violation of their promises to the Soviet and Russian leadership, began to push NATO to the east. They kept telling us not to worry – this is a defence alliance, not a threat to Russian security. But the alliance was defensive when NATO and the Warsaw Pact existed. As you may recall, there was the Berlin Wall (both physical and geopolitical). It was quite obvious where the "line of defense" of this "defense alliance" lay.

When the "enemy" disappeared, the Warsaw Pact and the Soviet Union collapsed, they decided that they would move this "line of defense" to the east. They did it five times without explaining who they were going to "defend" against. Meanwhile, in the process, they accumulated advanced strike capabilities and used the former Soviet republics, in particular Ukraine, as a springboard directed against Russian interests.

Back in 2003, when the next presidential elections were held in Ukraine, the West quite brazenly demanded that Ukrainians decide who they were with: with Europe or with Russia. Then they began to push Ukraine to the Association Agreement with the European Union. It provided for zero tariffs on exports and imports between the EU and Ukraine. At that time, we had agreements on a free trade zone with all CIS countries, including Ukraine. We told our Ukrainian friends that we have zero tariffs on exports with them, but there is protection from the European Union, because by that time we had already been negotiating wto accession for 18 years. We were forced to take protective measures and introduce protective duties for some sectors of the Russian economy: agriculture, insurance, banking, etc. We said then that if Ukraine has zero tariffs for the EU and we and Kiev too, then we will not be protected from duty-free import of European goods.

In 2013, the Ukrainian president understood this problem and asked the EU to postpone the signing of the Association Agreement. We proposed that the three of us – the EU, Ukraine and Russia – sit down and discuss how to move forward. The European Union then very arrogantly said that this was none of our business. They say that they do not "stick their nose" into Russia's trade with China and other countries, and everything will be as they want. The President of Ukraine decided to postpone the signing of the Agreement, and the next morning demonstrations began on the Maidan in Kiev, resulting in bloodshed.

In February 2014, the European Union helped broker a deal between the Ukrainian president and the opposition. The next morning, the signatories, namely representatives of the EU (Poland, France and Germany), were ignored by the opposition, which committed a coup d'état. They announced that they were creating a "government of victors", would abolish the special status of the Russian language, threatened to expel ethnic Russians from Crimea, and sent armed groups to storm the Supreme Soviet of Crimea. That's how the war started. Crimeans said they wanted nothing to do with such a Ukrainian government. As I said, they were under threat of violence from armed groups. In the east of Ukraine, too, people said that they did not support the coup d'état, asked to leave them alone. They have never attacked other regions of Ukraine. The putschists attacked them, calling them terrorists. The Ukrainian government called these people terrorists for eight long years.

We were able to stop this bloodshed. In February 2015, the Minsk agreements were signed, which provided for the assignment of a special status to the regions of eastern Ukraine: language, the right to have local police, special economic relations with adjacent Russian regions. In general, the same thing that the EU agreed on with Northern Kosovo and Serbia. In both cases, the European Union has failed to meet the obligations guaranteed by the signatures of EU members. For eight long years, the governments and presidents of Ukraine have repeatedly said that they are not going to fulfill the Minsk agreements, that they will move to plan "B". They continued to shell the territories of the self-proclaimed republics. We wanted the Europeans, the United States and Ukraine to admit that they were ignoring the document that was approved by the UN Security Council.

People don't want to turn their gaze back into history because they don't want to take into account events that don't paint them. But these specific events are connected with the actions of the United States and the "collective West", with their desire to dominate the whole world and demonstrate to everyone that there will be no multipolarity, but a unipolar world.

They can operate anywhere: in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yugoslavia. These countries are tens of thousands of kilometers away from the United States. When there are "threats" to their safety, they can do whatever they want. For example, to raze cities to the ground, as they did in Mosul (Iraq), in Raqqa (Syria). Russia warned its colleagues that right on our borders they are creating a bridgehead against us, pumping Ukraine with weapons, ignoring the legislation of this country, which completely banned the Russian language, incited the practice of neo-Nazi ideology. Nationalist battalions were formed, which were active against their own territory, which proclaimed independence, which was promised a special status inside Ukraine.

All this is due to the fact that Ukraine has become a springboard for NATO, for its expansion. They said that Ukraine would become part of NATO, no one could stop Ukraine if it had such a desire. Then President Zelensky said that he was thinking of possessing nuclear weapons. In November 2021, President Vladimir Putin invited the United States and NATO to sit down at the negotiating table, cool down a bit and discuss what we can do with legal security guarantees without further expansion of the alliance to the east. They refused. At this time, the Ukrainian army significantly intensified shelling of the republics in violation of all ceasefire regimes. We had no choice but to recognize them, to sign a mutual assistance treaty. And in response to their request to send our military units as part of a special military operation to protect their lives.

Question: You have presented arguments, both historical and contemporary. President Vladimir Putin said that you are fighting not with the citizens of Ukraine, but with the Ukrainian regime. We know that in international politics the expression "not in my house, not at my doorstep" is often used. America often says this, as do other countries. Should an entire people be punished for wanting an independent foreign policy?

Sergey Lavrov: I don't think this is due to any kind of "independence". Since 2013 (or maybe even earlier), hundreds of British, European and American military advisers have been openly present in the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, in the SBU, literally directing everything.

As for civilians, immediately after the start of the military operation, in response to the request of Donetsk and Lugansk, in full compliance with Article 51 of the UN Charter, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that the only goals of the operation were the demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine. These are two closely interrelated problems of this country. We are focused only on military infrastructure. Unfortunately, the Ukrainian army and "national battalions" using neo-Nazi patches, the swastika (the symbol is of ancient Indian origin, but was distorted and used by the Waffen-SS), continue to hide behind civilians as human shields. They have heavy weapons in the centers of cities, near hospitals, kindergartens, schools. There is plenty of evidence on the Internet of people who have lived in these places. They asked the army not to do so.

Unfortunately, no one in the West pays attention to the facts we provide. Instead, they fabricate such dramatizations as it was a few weeks ago in the village of Bucha, from where Russian troops left on March 30 this year. The mayor of Buchi, A.P. Fedoruk, publicly said that they had returned to normal life. Only on the fourth day did they begin to show photos of dozens of corpses lying on the street. The same streets were shown a few days before – everything was fine there. A couple of weeks later, in the city of Kramatorsk, which was under the control of the Ukrainian side, people were asked to come to the railway station and struck there with a Tochka-U missile. It was unequivocally proved that this missile was fired by the Ukrainian army. That is why the next day in the West this video was no longer shown. The nature of this provocation was clear to everyone. The New York Times now say they have evidence that the Ukrainian army used cluster munitions.

Speaking in general about the civilian population and international humanitarian law, its norms, I can assure you that our army acts against military infrastructure, and not against civilians.

Question: You said that Russian forces strike only at military infrastructure or even the one located in civilian regions. However, the Russian military was not "ceremonial" in taking the cities. There were casualties and bloodshed among the civilian population, whether it was a suburb of Kiev, Mariupol, Volnovakha, which were completely wiped off the face of the earth. Is there any responsibility on the Russians for the bloodshed?

Sergey Lavrov: It is always terrible when military actions bring destruction to civilians and civilian infrastructure, residential areas. Ethnic Russians, citizens of Ukraine in the east of the country, were killed for eight years. No TV channels from Africa, Asia, Europe, the United States paid attention to this. At the same time, Russian journalists worked on the demarcation line on the part of the proclaimed republics, demonstrating around the clock the atrocities committed by the armed forces of Ukraine and national battalions. Throughout all these years, not a single foreign journalist has bothered to come and work on the contact line from the other side to see what is really happening there.

OSCE statistics show that the damage done to civilians and the infrastructure of the self-proclaimed republics was five times higher than the damage on the side controlled by the Ukrainian government. Not to mention the fact that it is possible to ignore the damage or civilian casualties inflicted on civilian infrastructure.

I want to emphasize that all the "screams" began to be heard only when the Russians decided to protect ethnic Russians who were citizens of Ukraine and faced discrimination. There were no "screams" when Raqqa, Syria, was razed to the ground, and hundreds of corpses lay uncleaned for weeks. Americans have never had remorse in achieving their military goals, whether in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria.

It's always a tragedy when people die. However, it is impossible to tolerate a situation where our Western colleagues claim that they can do whatever they want. We cannot but prevent them from banning the Russian language in education, in the media, closing all Russian-speaking channels, including Ukrainian ones, persecuting the opposition (which supports dialogue with Russia), refusing to grant special status to regions of Ukraine where a large number of Russian-speaking people live.

Question: Returning to the issue of war crimes, genocide, as well as the use of chemical weapons by Russian troops. Let's talk about video evidence. You say there were no bodies. What about the bodies that were later found in the basements? Tell me, will there be any investigation? Why do you claim that this did not happen?

Sergey Lavrov: We are investigating the atrocities committed by neo-Nazi battalions and the Armed Forces of Ukraine. A special commission was created by a Russian public organization. She, in particular, investigated fakes orchestrated by the White Helmets in Syria and elsewhere. We will seek the truth no matter what.

We know that the United States, Great Britain and other Western countries have an interesting habit: they "throw" stories into the information field when they believe that they will ideologically "play" in their favor. Then, when facts emerge that cast doubt on these news stories, they simply lose interest in them.

For example, 2007, London, poisoning of A. Litvinenko. A colossal explosion of indignation, an investigation begins. A few weeks pass, and it is made "public". This is arbitrary, because in the UK it means that everything is classified. Now we cannot get facts about what really happened to Alexander Litvinenko.

In 2014, a Malaysian Boeing MH17 was shot down over Ukraine. We wanted to be part of the investigation. However, this did not happen. But Ukraine, which did not close the sky over its territory during the conflict, was invited to the investigation team. We don't. Malaysia, the owner of the plane, was called five months later, after the Australians, Dutch and Malaysians agreed among themselves that whatever was accepted by the group should be adopted by consensus. This means that Ukraine, which did not close its airspace over its territory, had the right to veto this investigation. So here too, it was not possible to achieve the truth.

In 2019, there was a "poisoning" of the Skripals in Salisbury. People just disappeared. The only proof that has been made public is in T. May's words about "highly likely". London insisted on the expulsion of Russian diplomats by most European countries. I asked my colleagues if the British had provided any evidence other than the words "highly likely"? I was told, "They promised." I checked a year later, it turned out that no evidence was provided.

Take 2020 our opposition blogger A. Navalny was "poisoned". They immediately responded to Germany's request to allow him to go to a Berlin hospital. He was transported to Berlin 24 hours later, and after that we received no explanation as to who was flying with him, where they got the bottle, which was a key element in this investigation. When asked by the Germans if they could show the formula of the detected substance in his blood, we were told that it was a "military secret." Now we insist on the truth about A. Litvinenko, the Malaysian Boeing, Salisbury, A. Navalny.

Staged stories in Ukraine these days are of the same nature.

Question: You are talking about the atrocities of the national battalions. It's monstrous. There has to be an investigation. If they are neo-Nazis, then in no case should they have been included in the armed forces of any country. That's exactly right.

But if you look at your own military. We see only the denial of claims. Will there be an investigation against your armed forces if they have committed a crime? Will they be held accountable?

Sergey Lavrov: We have legislation according to which the military cannot take any action that is prohibited by international humanitarian law. Violations are recorded and investigated.

According to Azov. Curiously, you noted this. "Azov" in the United States in 2015 was included in the list of groups not subject to support. Congress was forbidden to provide any support to this battalion. Since then, everyone has forgotten about it. In fact, Americans, of course, remember everything. And now they decided to support them with money. In Japan, the government adopted a special decree according to which Azov is no longer considered a neo-Nazi group. Tokyo even apologized for qualifying it in this way some time ago.

When President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was asked about Azov (there were journalists who were concerned about this), he replied that there are Azov, and there are many more such "groups" that are part of the armed forces of Ukraine. The media began to ask questions about Azov only after the start of a special military operation. For eight long years, no one "hit the nail on the finger" and did not worry about what forces were being nurtured in Ukraine. It is a continuation or revival of what raged in Europe in the 1930s.

Question: President Zelensky said that Russia intends to use tactical nuclear weapons.

Sergey Lavrov: He says a lot of things. It depends on what he drinks and smokes.

Question: Do you think it was a strategic mistake of President Zelensky to provoke Russia when there were no clear guarantees from NATO and the EU that they would support Ukraine?

Sergey Lavrov: President Zelensky came to power with a promise of peace. He said that he would achieve peace on the basis of the Minsk agreements. A few months later, he announced that he could not implement the Minsk agreements because it was impossible. V.A. Zelensky never said that this was due to martial law on the ground. According to him, it is inconceivable for Ukraine to give a special status to any part of their territory.

However, it is conceivable that Ukraine was created as a single territory, where in the west they never celebrate May 9 - Victory Day, and on the other hand, the eastern territories would never praise those heroes who are revered in the west (those who collaborated with A. Hitler). It's a complex mix of regions. Against this background, to assert that Ukraine can only be a unitary state, that no special status will be granted to any part there, even if it is required by the UN Security Council, is short-sighted. If, according to his election promises, he had sought to implement the Minsk agreements, the crisis would have been resolved long ago.

Question: Do you think the West has betrayed Vladimir Zelensky?

Sergey Lavrov: No. I think they used it against Russia. They did everything to strengthen his desire to ignore the Minsk agreements. The West is a broad concept. We are talking about the United States, Great Britain. The other part of the West, including the EU, is currently only obedient servants.

Question: Will Russia use tactical nuclear weapons?

Sergey Lavrov: Ask President Zelensky. After all, he was the one talking about it. I think that the intelligence service gave him some information. To be honest, I cannot comment on what was said by an inadequate person.

Question: As a permanent member of the UN Security Council and a nuclear power, are you considering the possibility of using nuclear weapons?

Sergey Lavrov: In 1987, the Soviet Union and the United States (Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan) decided that they had a special responsibility for world peace. They signed a declaration stating that nuclear war could not be won. Therefore, it should never be started.

Tensions grew after the Trump administration came to power in the United States. We said: why don't we try to give a positive, political signal to the whole world and repeat what Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan declared? For four years, the Trump administration has refused to do so.

Five days after president Joe Biden's inauguration, they again addressed this proposal to the American side. Joe Biden agreed to extend START III without any preconditions. In June 2021, President Joe Biden met with President Vladimir Putin in Geneva. This declaration was signed on our initiative. Russia and the U.S. have said there should be no nuclear war. It's just unthinkable. Then we began to promote the adoption of the same obligations within the framework of the permanent members of the UN Security Council. This was done at the initiative of Russia, not the United States, France or the United Kingdom. In January of this year, the five permanent members of the UN Security Council at the level of heads of state and government adopted a statement that we initiated and supported all these years.

Question: So there is no question of using nuclear weapons?

Sergey Lavrov: The Russian-American statement and the statement of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council were adopted at Russia's insistence.

Question: Let's go back to the Donbass region: the DPR, the LPR. For Russia, there is no question of the independence of these republics. What happens if negotiations between Russia and Ukraine succeed? Will there be an additional agreement? Will Russia leave Sumy, Kharkov, Kherson, Mykolaiv, Zaporozhye?

Sergey Lavrov: I thought you were a journalist and you were a spy. For obvious reasons, I will not discuss the military operation.

We recognize the DPR and LPR within the borders of these regions as part of the former Ukrainian SSR. When the Minsk agreements were signed, these regions were divided (each republic roughly in half). At the moment, the people's militia of the DPR and LPR is fighting to regain the lost territories.

The fact is that when the referendum was held in 2014, the question concerned all the territories of these former regions. However, after that, the leaders of the coup d'état launched a war, which they called the "anti-terrorist operation". They have severed a significant portion of each of these regions. Yes, we recognize the LPR and the DPR in their borders proclaimed as a result of the referendum.

Question: Does this concern Mariupol and Volnovakha, which is part of the Donetsk region?

Sergey Lavrov: Yes.

Question: If the two sides come to an agreement and recognize this (although President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky said that this will not happen), will the struggle for Donbass continue to the end? Where are the red lines?

Sergey Lavrov: I cannot seriously discuss what President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky is saying. He is constantly changing his point of view in diametrically opposite directions.

President Zelenskyy took the initiative to hold talks. It was accepted. At a certain point, we were disappointed, because the Ukrainian side constantly changed its point of view, they came to the negotiations late or left earlier. On March 29 this year, a meeting was held in Istanbul. The Ukrainian side brought a document there, which stated that they would not become members of any military alliance, would adhere to a neutral status. In response, we requested security guarantees from the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and a number of other countries. All this was initialed by the heads of delegations. It was noted that these security guarantees will not apply to Crimea and the territories in the east of Ukraine.

This was not our formulation, but the Ukrainian side. Now President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky says that he is not ready for this. In other words, they began to move away from these positions. However, there is a paper signed by the head of the Ukrainian delegation. Before we can seriously discuss what President Zelensky is saying today or tomorrow, it is necessary to understand whether this person and his team can be trusted.

Question: Has an agreement been reached in Istanbul on the withdrawal of Russian troops from Kiev?

Sergey Lavrov: We have changed the configuration of our military presence. This was announced immediately after the istanbul meeting, because we believed that they had submitted for consideration what could form the basis of the agreement. As a gesture of goodwill, the configuration was changed in the Chernihiv and Kiev regions.

However, this was not appreciated. Instead, there was an immediate dramatization in bucha. This story was "played out" in the same way as with the Skripals in Salisbury, the Malaysian Boeing, A.Navalny, A.Litvinenko. It was "played", but immediately disappeared from the agenda when we presented reinforced concrete facts that they cannot dispute.

Question: Russia has appointed its mayors in Berdyansk and Melitopol. It was stated that they were going to convene a referendum that they would not remain part of Ukraine. It's true? Is that your plan?

Sergey Lavrov: Isn't this the highest manifestation of democracy – a referendum? People speak out for what they want.

Question: Does this mean that you will draw a land and water border through the territory of Sumy and Kharkiv regions? If you look at Zaporozhye and Mykolaiv...

Sergey Lavrov: In these regions, people have suffered for eight long years. Neo-Nazis forbade them to speak Russian language, were not allowed to keep the memory of the heroes of the Great Patriotic War, to hold parades and any events dedicated to the memory of their grandmothers, grandfathers, parents, fallen heroes of the Second World War.

Now these people have expelled neo-Nazis. Now they want to decide for themselves who will lead everything – their mayor, their legislative assembly. I believe that in many respects this is a manifestation of democracy after so many years of suppression.

Question: Has Ukraine lost more land than it has gained through negotiations in Donbass?

Sergey Lavrov: This is the decision of those who led Ukraine, who sabotaged the implementation of the Minsk agreements, despite the decision of the UN Security Council. We are not going to change the regime in Ukraine. We've talked about this many times. We want Ukrainians to decide for themselves how they want to live on. The main thing is not to repeat the fate of the Minsk agreements. Then they said that they did not want to have anything to do with the people who committed the coup d'état, who banned Russian culture, language and everything that people hold dear. Then they were promised by the European Union and deceived them.

We want people to have the freedom to choose what to do in Ukraine.

Question: Russia is under the largest number of sanctions in the world. How long can you endure?

Sergey Lavrov: I don't think we are arguing in the context of "how much we will endure". Enduring means going through difficulties and hoping that sooner or later everything will end.

Russia has been under sanctions for a long time: first there was the Jackson-Vanik amendment (then it was canceled), the Magnitsky Act, we were "punished" for the free expression of the will of the Crimeans and the support of those who advocated the Minsk agreements, which the Ukrainian government did not want to fulfill.

We have come to an unequivocal conclusion: we cannot rely on our Western colleagues in any area of life of strategic importance: food security (we provide it ourselves after 2014), defense and other strategic areas where advanced technologies and high-tech industries are developed that will determine the future of mankind. We haven't had time to be self-sufficient in all of these areas, but in most cases we've solved the problem. We are open to cooperation with all countries that do not use illegal, illegal, unilateral measures in violation of the UN Charter.

India is among those countries with whom we cooperate on a bilateral basis and in many international organizations. This month I came to New Delhi.

Question: India is under enormous pressure to abandon all ties with Russia, in particular in the energy sector. But she didn't give up. Will this somehow affect military-technical cooperation in the purchase of critical defense systems, such as the S-400 and other weapons? Are there talks with India on this?

Sergey Lavrov: India is our good old friend. We have long called our cooperation a strategic partnership. About 20 years ago, Indian friends suggested characterizing it as a particularly privileged strategic partnership. This is a unique description of bilateral relations between Russia and India.

Long before this became a hot topic, we supported Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "Do in India" vision. They began to replace trade with the localization of the production of products necessary for India on its territory. For a long time, the use of national currencies in mutual payments between the governments of the two countries was supported.

We also support a financial messaging system similar to SWIFT. In addition, you have your own system, we have our own. We use them more and more: we have Mir, you have UPay. They are harmonized, supported by each other. This is a small amount of the total percentage of trade, but it is gradually growing. On defense, we can provide India with anything it wants. The volume of technology transfer in the field of defence cooperation is essentially unprecedented compared to all of India's other partners.

Question: We have seen that the United States has also talked about the S-400, but perhaps cooperation will become more difficult in the future?

Sergey Lavrov: You know, when the Americans say that they are in favor of "democracy in the whole world", they mean one specific thing: they themselves decide who will be called a democracy, who deserves to be treated kindly by Washington. You just need to look at the list of those who were invited to the "summit of democracies". It will become clear that we are not talking about real democracy, but about something else. Now Americans around the world are setting their ambassadors the number one task every day to go to the Foreign Ministry, to the governments of those states in which they are accredited, and to convince countries to stop talking to Russia and join the sanctions against Russia.

Long before this crisis, I was talking to Americans and Europeans. At all conferences, they constantly talk about democracy and introduce the phrases "rule of law" and "democracy". I asked them, what about the add-on? In addition to the national level, we want democracy and the rule of law in the international arena. They don't like it. They are trying to gather everyone in this anti-Russian camp, including India, China, Turkey, Egypt – countries with their own thousand-year-old histories of civilization and culture. They're not even ashamed to publicly tell you what to do. Something is wrong not only with their manners (however, this has always been true), but also with their mentality.

US Secretary of State E. Blinken says that the United States, they say, has not yet decided whether to impose sanctions against India for the purchase of the S-400. It's said publicly: They haven't yet made a decision on what's good for you. Under Secretary Sherman says they should help India understand what is important to its security.

Question: I think your colleague answered quite harshly how India will conduct foreign policy.

Sergey Lavrov: I have great respect for Sergei Jaishankar. He is an experienced diplomat, a true patriot of his country. When it says it will make a decision based on what India considers necessary for its development and security, it commands respect. Not many countries can say that.

Q: You mentioned China. For us, the China factor is very important. Russia has a unique relationship in terms of ties with China and with India. Recently, during one of the visits, the deputy national security adviser of the United States said that if India continues to ties with Russia, there will be consequences. He said that if China committed such an incident again, no one would come to India's aid. This statement, of course, is strange. China is still on Indian territory. And they never came to "help". What will Russia say?

Sergey Lavrov: We believe that any conflict should be resolved on the basis of direct negotiations between the two sides. This was the case in Ukraine. Two sides: the "separatists" (for us they are self-proclaimed republics) on the one hand and the government of Ukraine, which came to power as a result of a coup d'état, on the other, agreed, and this document was approved by the UN Security Council. Another thing is that the government, at the instigation of the West, failed to fulfill its obligations. We believe that this principle should be applied everywhere.

We welcome the resumption of contacts between the military of India and China, negotiations at the political level, including by the foreign ministers. We hope that this situation will be resolved. We cannot use threats that are perfectly normal for Americans – if not in the way they say, there will be consequences. It's their favorite statement. We want to promote formats in which India, Russia and China will participate together.

It all began in 1996-1997, when Russian Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov proposed to create a "troika" of RIC (Russia, India, China). We continue to meet. The last meeting was in November 2021 and it was the eighteenth ministerial meeting. Political scientists of our countries also meet. Maybe it's not a very public format, but it's very useful. We are promoting this idea within the framework of the SCO in order to welcome the full membership of India and Pakistan in this organization. It also creates additional prerequisites for India and China to be together, in the company of their neighbors, to create an atmosphere of trust.

Question: Europe intends to stop gas supplies from Russia. In the summer, their policies could get worse. Do you seek to de-ideologize the global energy market through payments in rubles? How do you propose to move on if they stop taking supplies?

Sergey Lavrov: There will be no changes for european countries that purchase our gas. The reason for our decision is obvious and understandable. They "froze" Russian assets in euros, yen, pounds sterling for more than $ 300 billion. Basically, this money was stored in Western banks after we received payments from Western countries for gas supplies. In other words, they paid us and stole our own money because it is a currency associated with the Western banking system. What we offered them: they will not pay directly to Gazprom PJSC, to its bank accounts abroad, but will pay through the bank (Gazprombank is an independent company). They will pay the same amount they have to pay under existing contracts, but they will transfer the money to a special account at that bank. There will also be a parallel account in rubles. So, they will pay in euros, and within Gazprombank this money will be transferred to ruble accounts. Gazprom pjsc will receive rubles from this account.

Question: So you have absolutely nothing to lose on the money that Russia should get from Europe? So you don't lose anything?

Sergey Lavrov: Yes, exactly. Now they won't be able to keep that money in their banks, money that they don't just owe us, but that they've already paid us. It seems to me that this does not contradict the contracts. They will still pay in euros or dollars (whatever the currency of the contract), but we will have guarantees that this theft will not happen again.

Question: Let's return to the intensification of military efforts in eastern Ukraine. As for the cruiser Moskva, which was sunk, was this one of the factors in the intensification of hostilities?

Sergey Lavrov: The special military operation in eastern Ukraine is aimed, as it was announced from the very beginning, at the complete liberation of the Donetsk and Lugansk people's republics. It will continue. The next phase of the operation is now beginning. That will be an important point. What happened to the cruiser is a question for the Russian Ministry of Defense. They explained what had happened. I have nothing to add to that.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 19 2022 21:44 utc | 57

Brace yourself for the next 'crisis',...

UN Warns We’re Heading Towards Worst Global Food Crisis Since World War 2 !!!

Posted by: denk | Apr 20 2022 2:41 utc | 58


Archer Daniels Midland, Bunge: Turbocharged For Profits As Commodity Prices Rise

Crop Giant Cargill Reports Biggest Profit in 156-Year History

Bunge Quarterly Profits Nearly Double on Soy Demand and Strong Soy Processing Margins

Posted by: denk | Apr 20 2022 4:27 utc | 59

Happenings elsewhere, the annual Boao Forum for Asia 2022 began today in Boao, Hainan Province. Asia continues to be the world's economic engine:

Trade deals that pushed the region's integration also saw great progress. The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) officially came into effect this year, marking the launch of the world's largest free trade area.

Asia's intensifying integration came despite the rising anti-globalization and protectionism initiated by the US in recent years, which analysts said casts the biggest shadow over Asian economic cooperation, and it's important that Asia stays focused without being distracted by external interference.

"The two wheels of globalization are spinning at different speeds. Regionalization is strengthening, and multilateralism is weakening. It's important that the two wheels don't contradict with each other, and it's better if they can complement each other," Zhang Yuyan, director of the Institute of World Economics and Politics at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Wednesday on the sidelines of the Boao Forum 2022.

The annual forum is taking place from Wednesday to Friday this year, with the theme of "The World in COVID-19 & Beyond: Working Together for Global Development and a Shared Future."

Gu Xiaosong, dean of the ASEAN Research Institute of Hainan Tropical Ocean University, told the Global Times that enhanced cooperation in the region might have been fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic, which left other regions in the world under more severe influence from the virus while Asia was relatively stable and able to carry on business.

It has also been spurred by geographic advantages, as it's easier for Asian economies to ship products to their neighbors, particularly after the establishment of more and more connecting infrastructure facilities like the China-Laos Railway, he said.

"China and ASEAN are surely two 'forces of gravity' behind the region's cooperation. In particular, China proposes the idea of integration, and ASEAN is like a driver who helps coordinate the economies involved and push the concept into reality," Gu said.

Forum's English Gateway web page links to the major papers being presented. Scroll down to Project & Research and you'll see several listed of which the two on the left provide the place to start. Here's the "Asian Economic Outlook and Integration Progress Annual Report 2022" whose introduction states:

"Currently, Asian countries should work together in developing new solutions to global governance. The enforcement of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) has created the world’s most populous free trade area with the largest size in economy and trade, building an institutional foundation for Asia to promote regional economic growth, trade and investment and to open wider to the rest of the world. Meanwhile, this progress can serve as a strong boost to the necessary improvement of international trade rules to reflect new changes. To address development deficits such as global income disparity, green gap and digital divide, Asian countries need to strengthen policy coordination and alignment to achieve an balance of payments and debt sustainability; drive joint development and adoption of green and digital technologies, and mobilize financial resources regionally and globally; and deeply engage in the development of global rules on green and digital governance so as to expand Asia’s leadership in green and digital endeavors. The “Global Development Initiative” put forward by Chinese President set out new solutions for addressing development deficit and building consensus on development in Asia and beyond.""

As you read, the forces leading the formation of the Multipolar World haven't stopped or even been slowed by the Ukraine Crisis and are keenly aware of the challenges faced to improve the global situation. I'm sure there'll be discussions about the new financial and international currency construct and the need to use national currencies instead of dollar or euro for trade.

So, if you're tired of reading about war, try reading about another important aspect of our changing paradigm--there're several papers to choose from.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 20 2022 15:54 utc | 60

More news on China's economy is provided by this report that shows rapid adjustments are being made in relation to Shanghai's covid outbreak. A few outtakes:

"China issued guidelines on establishing digital government and pushing fiscal system reforms under the provincial level on Tuesday, a report from China Central Television noted. The meeting stipulated that China should straighten out fiscal relations in local governments under provincial levels to make income division more standardized....

"To maintain China's economic growth target amid external pressures, the government has rolled out a number of policies ranging from general structural adjustment policies like setting up a unified market to more specific measures like reserve requirement ratio cuts and methods to facilitate loans after the Shanghai Omicron outbreak.

"China's economic planner, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) also noted on Tuesday that it would implement the previously launched policies to boost industrial growth and services industry recovery, as well as carry out employment priority policies and stabilize the supply of products vital to people's livelihood....

"A similar situation is investment which is backed by timely issuance of special bonds. According to the Xinhua News Agency, by the end of March, China has released all the quota related to project construction among the 3.65-trillion-yuan local government special bond quota for 2022, which speeds up and expands investment."

The final comment I've singled out because of its importance:

"A large and complete domestic market is the greatest potential of the Chinese economy in the future, which will replace low labor costs to become China's new comparative advantage." [My Emphasis]

Watching Asia's development is something to behold. What Putin called the "Golden Billion" will soon be replaced by the Eurasian Billions, especially if Europe continues to allow itself to be gutted by the Outlaw US Empire. Australia and New Zealand must come to grips with their regional reality if they wish to remain prosperous or decline as outliers of the collapsing dollar zone. Japan needs to see that it has an opportunity to revive itself, but it must first free itself from the Outlaw US Empire's stranglehold on its political apparatus. If it fails to do so, the full benefits of being in the RCEP will be denied to it as Japan will be directed to become a destabilizer in that partnership.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 20 2022 16:53 utc | 61

Could someone try to access Strategic Culture Foundation
I only get a page asking me to sign in
I have never been asked to sign in before.

Posted by: ld | Apr 20 2022 18:16 utc | 62

ld @62--

Very curious development. I got the same response even when trying to access pages read last month. This is the message posted at its VK page:

Dear followers,

Due to migration to another server ⚙, our website may be temporarily unavailable. Please, don’t worry, we continue as usual!

SCF Team

So, we should try again later.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 20 2022 18:38 utc | 63

Much obliged Karlof1
I will try again.

Posted by: ld | Apr 20 2022 18:49 utc | 64

What a time to be alive.....bring it on!
Change brings opportunity for growth and gawd knows we could use some social evolution.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 18 2022 3:28 utc | 30

Thanks for bringing on such a constructive attitude! If you could distill such cheerful optimism into a little bottle (with the dubious label "drink me"), I'd gulp it right down. With a beer chaser... urp!

No, no -- I'm afraid I'm not whistling a little tune with you in the armor-strapping chamber. This is frighteningly insane cowboy bullshit. I see Joe Biden shaking hands with nobody on stage, again, and I'm not blithe or carefree about such a sight, at such a time.

This is an order of magnitude closer to nuclear anihilation than any previous time in my life. I'm a tough old coot, having already enjoyed a longer, richer life than a wretch like me deserves -- I really feel that way, it's not a pose. I'm not afraid if the end comes for oldsters such as myself, just a little bit sooner than expected.

The kids these days, my heart goes out to teenagers coming of age in these terrible years. The pandemic has already skewed their ability to grow up together, embracing each other. Our young folks, unnaturally isolated, have so much too much on their shoulders already. Now this irreversible drift toward global self-destruction.

I know young critters are noted for their resilience, but any young humans who make it through this passage with their sanity intact -- they deserve an award or something. Simple decency in young folks is like a miracle these days.

Posted by: Aleph_Null | Apr 20 2022 19:01 utc | 65


Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 20 2022 20:35 utc | 66

Let's see if my comment gets posted.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Colleagues, good afternoon.

Today we will consider the development of the metallurgical complex, together with members of the Government, leaders of the business community, we will discuss the strategic tasks of the industry, as well as the challenges faced by our companies.

I would like to note that Russia is one of the undoubted leaders in the global steel industry. We are in the top five in terms of steel production, occupy a leading position in the production of a number of non-ferrous metals.

For foreign buyers and partners, cooperation with Russian metallurgists has always been and remains predictable and mutually beneficial.

At the same time, illegal restrictions have recently been imposed on our companies by Western states, we are aware of this. It is not only about the ban on the supply of finished products, but also about the purchase of certain components for the production of rolled metal, steel sheets, rebar and so on.

I would like to emphasise that these measures run counter to the principles of the World Trade Organisation, which our European colleagues have constantly kept repeating their commitment to.

In this regard, I instruct the Government to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the legality of the decisions of Western counterparties, as well as to prepare an updated strategy for our actions in the World Trade Organisation. I ask you to complete this work by June 1 of this year.

I would like to add that unfriendly steps towards Russian metallurgists have been taken for the sake of short-term political interests. Under this pretext, the ties that had been developed over the years were crossed out, based on such rational things as business reputation, mutual interest and economic efficiency.

These key, supporting concepts for business turned out to be superfluous in the political game of European bureaucrats. Speaking directly, the interests of European entrepreneurs, who in cooperation with Russian companies produce goods and provide employment, were simply ignored and set aside.

It is obvious that such a crude, short-sighted policy will have a negative impact on the economies of European countries, will lead to a sharp increase in the cost of metals in their markets, and we are already witnessing this. By the way, we have been observing it for a long time, even before the start of the special military operation in Donbass and Ukraine. This means that inflation will also go up, the well-being of European consumers and ordinary citizens will decrease. That is the price of the decisions made.

I have already said that there is no reason to believe that the behaviour of our partners will fundamentally change, and we must bear this in mind when implementing our own strategy for the development of metallurgy both at the corporate and state levels.

In particular, taking into account new trends, it is necessary to make changes in the structure of production and supplies of Russian metallurgical products. I know that business is already rebuilding logistics and production chains, finding new suppliers and buyers in order to preserve the work of enterprises, to protect the interests of labor collectives.

I ask the participants of the meeting to express what additional measures are needed to solve urgent sectoral problems and overcome current difficulties.

At the same time, of course, we must not forget about the long-term development of metallurgy, about the implementation of long-term sectoral plans, which are based not only on ensuring the sustainable operation of the entire metallurgical complex, maintaining production volumes, but also increasing the capabilities of enterprises, increasing the range of goods produced in Russia.

Today, together with business representatives, I propose discussing a possible model for the development of the industry in modern conditions, and for the future, of course.

At the same time, I would like to stress the importance of domestic demand. It needs to be supported and stimulated, primarily by increasing the volume of housing, infrastructure, commercial and industrial construction, through the widespread production of goods where metallurgical products are used.

I repeat: to support the demand for domestic metal, it is necessary to launch long-term projects and programs, the effect of the implementation of which will be tangible for the entire economy, for Russian regions and residents. I would like to ask you to dwell on this issue separately today.

Let's get started. I give the floor to Denis Manturov. You are welcome....

Closing remarks at the meeting on the development of the metallurgical complex
Vladimir Putin: The metallurgical complex as a whole is one of the most important complexes of Russia's real economy, one of the largest. There are large labor collectives working there. In recent years, a lot has been done for development, I know this very well, I have visited many enterprises and seen them. There is a vigorous development of new technologies, which is impressive, I must say.

Taking into account the ideas that have been voiced today, I propose to update the Strategy for the Development of the Domestic Steel Industry, calculated until 2030, by June 1 of this year.

I ask you to focus on this work. First. In the coming years, it is necessary to ensure an active growth in metal consumption within the country, we have just discussed this in detail. And I will immediately make a reservation that this is possible only under the condition of affordable prices for products. Andrei Belousov said this quite expressively and clearly. We need to take a very close look at the work of the Government and the proposals of the business community.

As I have already said, it is important to launch new metal-intensive projects with a comprehensive effect for the sectors of the economy, the regions of the Russian Federation, for the quality of life, of course, of our citizens in the end. I am referring to the construction of housing, energy and social infrastructure, railways, bridges and overpasses, and other capital facilities.

We need to step up our efforts in these areas, to fine-tune state programmes and support mechanisms. I ask the Government to work out concrete steps in this regard.

At the same time, it is important to clearly fix the targets of the "construction" in order to set the planning horizon for metallurgical companies, for their investment projects.

I would like to note here that the development goals of the mortgage programme for the current year have already been defined. I ask the Government to analyse the situation in April, assess how the tasks set are being carried out and make appropriate decisions.

Second. It is necessary to clarify the export areas of the Russian steel industry, to reorient the flows – you yourself have just said this, colleagues – to promising and dynamic markets.

It is clear that much depends on the development of transport infrastructure. I propose that a separate meeting be held in the near future on the eastern range of railways. Obviously, in the current conditions, the implementation of this project should be ahead of schedule.

Third. As for taxation, what representatives of companies spoke about today, and I asked our colleagues from the Government to comment on them. I hope that during the preparation of the updated Metallurgy Development Strategy, these forks – I repeat, we have said this many times today – will be passed. At the same time, I would like to stress that all decisions here should be linked to long-term, strategic plans, both in terms of demand and supply of metals in the domestic market.

One last thing. Metallurgy has its own specifics – the continuity of technological processes. Sometimes they cannot be suspended, put on pause. In this regard, I ask the Government to assist metallurgists in providing them with Russian equipment and consumables, especially in the areas that are needed, as they say, right now, as well as in the longer term.

And, of course, we need to pay attention to "docking" the needs of metallurgists and infrastructure enterprises, I mean the regulation of tariffs for services of Russian Railways and energy companies. We have just talked about this, and we must keep it in our field of vision at all times. Here, too, we need our own effective approaches. I ask the Government to think carefully about this.

I would like to thank you all for your work in general, for your work during today's meeting and express the hope that our coordinated efforts will not only contribute to the stable operation of the industry, but will also ensure its development in the short, medium and longer term. We have everything for that.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 20 2022 20:39 utc | 67

ld | Apr 20 2022 18:16 utc | 62

Earlier I was getting a sign in page, now a 503. i was getting the 503 a few times at b's site yesterday.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 20 2022 20:40 utc | 68

Source for 67.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 20 2022 20:41 utc | 69

Peter AU1 @68--

Thanks for your reply late yesterday!! We certainly share mutual respect! I just had numerous problems with my comments being blocked, thus the two tests. TomD @100 on the current thread brought up the topic related to my 67 above, which was the comment that was blocked. The important point I made but was blocked is Russia's new policy to promote its domestic market as its main internal economic engine, which is what China's also doing as noted @61 above. The Outlaw US Empire's Russia policy is a complete failure.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 20 2022 20:48 utc | 70

My Kremlin report for today ends with a look into Putin's meeting with the Supervisory Board of ANO "Russia – Country of Opportunities". Putin notes this organization has functioned for four years and "that our like-minded people from 150 countries have joined this work in one way or another. It was just, to be honest, completely unexpected for me. This means that we have many like-minded people who want to go with us, develop together, be friends, support each other. And this once again emphasizes that we are on the right track." Those numbers were likely prior to the SMO, so I wonder what they are now. The organization's leader, Alexei Komissarov, provided this data:

"Before you decided to create such a platform, sociologists conducted surveys, and in 2017, about 35–39 percent of the population believed that in Russia everyone has opportunities for self-realization. At the beginning of this year, the number of people who believe, who are sure that such opportunities exist, has grown to almost 70 percent."

That's an excellent result and suggests the anomie plaguing Neoliberal nations is mostly absent within Russia. The meeting in general is a report on Russia's socio-economic progress with reports given by the participants themselves--an aspect Putin clearly enjoys. Lots of surprises as you read through the transcript. Perhaps the most important as Putin notes is the rising of a Russia-wide volunteer movement that began @2016 but exploded into importance with the pandemic and the formation of #МыВместе--We're Together--which began as an effort by a small group of friends and has blossomed into an organization with tens of thousands of members who aided several millions during the pandemic--aid giving that still continues and has expanded into Donbass. Within the Outlaw US Empire there was once an organization called United Way, but most such organizations like Goodwill and Salvation Army mostly deal with the recycling of material goods, not on the actual welfare of people, which displays a very important difference in the communitarian natures of Russia and the Outlaw US Empire.

I must confess it's excellent to read about human advancement instead of its degradation via wars and the predatory nations that sponsor them. That was time well spent!!

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 20 2022 21:57 utc | 71

dengue in Pak, courtesy of USAss gof lab.
Ebola in Africa, courtesy of USAss gof lab.
SAR1, SARS2 [COVID] H5N1, H7N9 in China , courtesy of USAss gof proj.

NIH not only weaponised H5N1, H7N9, it publicised the recipe in 'scientific ' journals.

Few days after NIH sponsored scientistS published their thesis on how to weaponise bird flu for dummies..

Somebody wrote this comment...

Why would any sane person publish details about how to weaponize bird flu? We are not dealing with sane people. We are dealing with people infected by the blasphemous reality of the mentally ill: Satanism. We are dealing with Illuminists-Satanists who are out to execute their agenda for depopulation, genocide, fomenting chaos, diseases, deaths, violence …. to initiate hell on earth … to prepare the way for their fake messiah, the Anti-Christ, the bringer of false peace, the white horseman of Revelation 6. They want to use bio-weapons and even race specific Bird Flu in this coming Satanic World War 3.

Posted by: denk | Apr 21 2022 1:58 utc | 72

And on the Google war front there is this from The Register which should interest/educate some barflys

Brave, DuckDuckGo to unplug Google's AMP where possible

Search engines are a good idea and useful to society but when the idea is financialized like the rest of the Western economy, Google is what you get.....doing harm for profit..

It is nice to read about pushback and I will return to using Duckduckgo

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 21 2022 1:58 utc | 73

Below is a quote from the speech that Xi gave to the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) Annual Conference 2022 on Thursday

We need to work together to maintain peace and stability in the world. An ancient Chinese philosopher observed, "Stability brings a country prosperity while instability leads a country to poverty." Security is the precondition for development. We humanity are living in an indivisible security community. It has been proven time and again that the Cold War mentality would only wreck the global peace framework, that hegemonism and power politics would only endanger world peace, and that bloc confrontation would only exacerbate security challenges in the 21st century. To promote security for all in the world, China would like to propose a Global Security Initiative as follows:

It is important that we stay committed to the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, and work together to maintain world peace and security; stay committed to respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries, uphold non-interference in internal affairs, and respect the independent choices of development paths and social systems made by people in different countries; stay committed to abiding by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, reject the Cold War mentality, oppose unilateralism, and say no to group politics and bloc confrontation; stay committed to taking the legitimate security concerns of all countries seriously, uphold the principle of indivisible security, build a balanced, effective and sustainable security architecture, and oppose the pursuit of one's own security at the cost of others' security; stay committed to peacefully resolving differences and disputes between countries through dialogue and consultation, support all efforts conducive to the peaceful settlement of crises, reject double standards, and oppose the wanton use of unilateral sanctions and long-arm jurisdiction; stay committed to maintaining security in both traditional and non-traditional domains, and work together on regional disputes and global challenges such as terrorism, climate change, cybersecurity and biosecurity.

-- We need to work together to tackle global governance challenges. Countries around the world are like passengers aboard the same ship who share the same destiny. For the ship to navigate the storm and sail toward a bright future, all passengers must pull together. The thought of throwing anyone overboard is simply not acceptable. In this day and age, the international community has evolved so much that it has become a sophisticated and integrated apparatus. Acts to remove any single part will cause serious problems to its operation. When that happens, both the victims and the initiators of such acts will stand to lose. In today's world, unilateralism and excessive pursuit of self-interest are doomed to fail; so are the practices of decoupling, supply disruption and maximum pressure; so are the attempts to forge "small circles" or to stoke conflict and confrontation along ideological lines. Instead, we need to embrace a global governance philosophy that emphasizes extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, promote the common values of humanity, and advocate exchanges and mutual learning between civilizations. We need to uphold true multilateralism, and firmly safeguard the international system with the UN at its core and the international order underpinned by international law. It is particularly important for major countries to lead by example in honoring equality, cooperation, good faith and the rule of law, and act in a way befitting their status.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 21 2022 5:10 utc | 74

Below is a Xinhuanet posting that has China military head talking to US military head....

BEIJING, April 20 (Xinhua) -- Chinese State Councilor and Minister of National Defense Wei Fenghe on Wednesday held phone talks with U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.

In the phone talks, Wei said that China and the United States should earnestly implement the consensus reached by the two heads of state.

China hopes to establish sound and stable major-country relations with the United States, Wei said, adding that in the meantime, China will defend its national interests and dignity.

The United States should not underestimate China's determination and capability, Wei said.

The two militaries should enhance mutual trust, strengthen dialogue and exchanges, manage risks and crises, and carry out practical cooperation, so as to ensure the normal and stable development of bilateral military-to-military relations, he said.

If the Taiwan question is not handled properly, it will have a subversive effect on China-U.S. relations, Wei stressed, adding that the Chinese military will resolutely safeguard national sovereignty, security and territorial integrity.

Austin said that the United States will strengthen military exchanges and cooperation with China in a candid and open manner, and the United States adheres to the one-China policy.

Austin said that the two sides should manage competition and risks in a responsible way and properly handle the difficulties facing the two militaries.

The two sides also exchanged views on issues such as maritime and air security and the situation in Ukraine.

What line will the US cross that makes China respond like Russia is doing in Ukraine? I think that line is close to being crossed or these folks would not be talking.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 21 2022 5:19 utc | 75

On Elon Musk (and dumbest buyout ever).

Patric Boyle thinks it unusual and perhaps flawed. I am not surprised at either of them.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 21 2022 10:08 utc | 76

karlof1 @ 67

“”As I have already said, it is important to launch new metal-intensive projects with a comprehensive effect for the sectors of the economy, the regions of the Russian Federation, for the quality of life, of course, of our citizens in the end. I am referring to the construction of housing, energy and social infrastructure, railways, bridges and overpasses, and other capital facilities.“”

Nice to see Russia following China’s playbook and increasing domestic demand to offset decreased exports.

Posted by: financial matters | Apr 21 2022 13:24 utc | 77

@74 psychohistorian | Apr 21 2022 5:10 utc

Many thanks. That's a huge statement from Xi, an architecture for the whole world.

What I like best is how it all unrolls from his initial statement with the nugget of wisdom from the Chinese philosopher. I've noticed that ultimate wisdom is like that: it comes in supremely condensed form, and when you start unpacking it you can unpack for miles and miles.

And it's clear that Xi isn't just quoting a pithy aphorism - he takes this to heart, resonates with its meaning, and unpacks it as a plan for prosperity for the whole world.

This kind of shows us China's view of the world, and its hopes for the world, and why and how China naturally feels itself extended into all of the world, like roots (or Mycelium even), while still standing as its own solid tree.

Fascinating glimpse into Chinese thinking. Thanks again.

Posted by: Grieved | Apr 21 2022 16:25 utc | 78

@72 denk | Apr 21 2022 1:58 utc

That link doesn't seem to work - would you mind trying again?

I agree with everything you've said, and I'd like to know more about that 2012 NIH paper.

Posted by: Grieved | Apr 21 2022 16:28 utc | 79

I am thinking that the Russian budget was planned around prices for the "sokol" blend being around $65.00 a barrel.

Now that prices are running around $100, that will probably give them considerable leeway in how they approach things.

Does anyone have hard numbers on the Russian planning budget numbers? The above counts as a best guess only.

Posted by: Degringolade | Apr 24 2022 0:37 utc | 80

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