All posts by Geopolitics101

Belgorod Attack Helps Kiev to Disguise Its Military Disaster in Bakhmut

Two days after the Russians took control of the Donbass’ key city of Artyomovsk (Bakhmut), pro-Ukrainian saboteurs invaded the undisputed sovereign space of the Russian Federation and created moments of terror among local civilians.

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The Army We Don’t See: Private Soldiers Who Fight in America’s Name

The way mercenary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin and his private army have been waging a significant part of Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine has been well covered in the American media, not least of all because his firm, the Wagner Group, draws most of its men from Russia’s prison system. Wagner offers “freedom” from Putin’s labor camps only to send those released convicts to the front lines of the conflict, often on brutal suicide missions.

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Cries and Whispers Along the Russian Watchtowers

Remember Putin:

“We haven’t even started anything yet.”

“Whispers of an ‘evil power’ were heard in lines at dairy shops, in streetcars, stores, apartments, kitchens, suburban and long-distance trains, at stations large and small, in dachas, and on beaches. Needless to say, truly mature and cultured people did not tell these stories about an evil power’s visit to the capital. In fact they even made fun of them and tried to talk sense into those who told them.”

Mikhail Bulgakov, The Master and Margarita

To quote Dylan, who might have been a Bulgakov epigone: “So let us stop talking falsely now/the hour’s getting late.” By now it’s quite clear the delusion of a “peace” deal in Ukraine is the latest wet dream of the “non-agreement capable” usual suspects, always hooked on lies and plunder while deftly manipulating selected liberals among the Russian elite.

The goal would be to appease Moscow with a few concessions, while crucially keeping Odessa, Nikolaev and Dnipro, and safeguarding what would be NATO’s access to the Black Sea.

All that while investing in rabid, resentful Poland to become an armed to the teeth EU military militia.

So any “negotiations” towards “peace” in fact mask a drive to postpone – just for a little while – the original masterplan: dismembering and destroying Russia.

There are very serious discussions in Moscow, even at the highest levels, on how the elite is really positioned. Rougly three groups can be identified: the Victory party; the “Peace” party – which Victory would describe as surrenders; and the Neutral/Undecided.

Victory certainly includes crucial actors such as Dmitry Medvedev; Rosneft’s Igor Sechin; Foreign Minister Lavrov; Nikolai Patrushev; head of the Investigative Committee of Russia, Aleksandr Bastrykin; and – even under fire – certainly Defense Minister Shoigu.

“Peace” would include, among others, the head of Telegram, Pavel Durov; billionaire entrepreneur Andrey Melnichenko; metal/mining czar Alisher Usmanov (born in Uzbekistan); and Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

Neutral/Undecided would include Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin; mayor of Moscow, Sergei Sobyanin; Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office, Anton Vaino; First Deputy Chief of Staff of the Presidential administration and media czar, Alexey Gromov; Sberbank’s CEO Herman Gref; Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller; and – special bone of contention – perhaps FSB supremo Alexander Bortnikov.

It’s fair to argue the third group represents the elite majority. This means they heavily influence the entire course of the Special Military Operation (SMO), which by now has metastasized into an Anti-Terror Operation (ATO).

The “counter-offensive” fog of war

These different Russian views at the very top predictably elicit frantic speculation among US and NATO Think Tankland. Hostages of their own excitement, they even forget what anyone with an IQ over room temperature is aware of: Kiev – stuffed with $30 billion in NATO weaponry – may come up with less than zero effects out of its much lauded “counter-offensive”. Russian forces are more than prepared, and Ukraine lacks the surprise element.

Collective West hacks, after feverish head scratching, finally discovered that Kiev needs to go for a “combined arms operation” to get something out of its new deluge of NATO toys.

John Cleese has noted how the coronation of Charles The Tampax King looked like a Monty Python sketch. Now try this one as a sequel: the Hegemon cannot even pay its trillions in debt while Kiev P.R. goons complain that the $30 billion they got is peanuts.

On the Russian front, the indispensable Andrei Martyanov – a maelstrom of wit – has observed how most alarmed Russian military correspondents simply have no idea “what type and volume of combat information is pouring to the command posts in Moscow, Rostov-on-Don or staffs of frontline formations.”

He stresses that “no serious operational level officer” will even talk to these guys, joyfully described as “voenkurva” (roughly, “military bitches”), and simply will not “divulge any kind of operational data which is highly classified.”

So, as it stands, all the sound and fury about the “counter-offensive” is shrouded by a thick fog of war.

And that only serves to add more fuel to the fire of US Think Tankland wishful thinking. The new dominant narrative in the Beltway is that the leadership in Moscow is “fragmented and unpredictable”. And that may be leading to “a conventional defeat of a major nuclear power” whose “command-and-control system broke down.”

Yes: they actually believe in their own silly (copyright John Cleese) propaganda. They are the American equivalent of the Ministry of Silly Walks. Incapable of analyzing why and how the Russian elite holds different views on the method and the extent of the SMO/ATO, the best they can come up with is “protecting Ukraine is a strategic necessity, since the Russian threat increases if Moscow wins in Ukraine.”

What’s behind Prighozin’s sound and fury

Trademark American arrogance/ignorance does not erase the fact there seems to be a serious power struggle among the siloviki. Yevgeny Prigozhin, a siloviki, in fact denounced Shoigu and Gerasimov as incompetent, implying they only keep their posts out of loyalty to President Putin.

This is as serious as it gets. Because it’s linked to a key question posed across several educated silos in Moscow: if Russia is widely known to be the strongest military power in the world with the most advanced defensive and offensive missiles, how come they have not wrapped up the whole deal in the Ukrainian battlefield?

A plausible answer is that only 200,000 members of the Russian army are currently fighting, and about 400,000 to 600,000 are waiting in reserve for the Ukraine attack. While they wait they are in constant training; so waiting works to Russia’s advantage.

Once the famous “counter-offensive” peters out, Ukraine will be hit with massive force. There will be no negotiated settlement. Only unconditional surrender.

What goin’ on right now – the Prigozhin drama – is subordinated to this logic, running in parallel to a quite sophisticated media operation.

Yes, the Ministry of Defense (MoD) made several serious mistakes, as well as other Russian institutions, since the start of the SMO. To criticize them in public, constructively, is a salutary exercise.

Prighozin’s tactics are a gem; he manipulates a degree of public outrage/indignation to put pressure on the MoD bureaucracy by essentially telling the truth. He could even go as far as naming names: officers who are abandoning different sectors of the frontlines. In contrast, his Wagner “musicians” are pictured as true heroes.

Whether Prigozhin’s sound and fury will be enough to fine tune the MoD’s entrenched bureaucracy is an open question. Still, media coverage of the whole drama is essential; now that these problems are in the public domain, people will expect the MoD to act.

And by the way, this is the essential fact: Prighozin has been allowed (italics mine) to go as far as he wants by the Higher Power (the St. Petersburg connection). Otherwise he would be in a revamped-gulag by now.

So the next few weeks are absolutely crucial. Putin and the Security Council certainly know what everyone else doesn’t – including Prighozin. The key take away is that the ground will start to be laid for US/NATO to eventually turn rump Ukraine, the Baltic lap dogs, rabid Poland and a few other extras into a sort of Fortress Eastern Europe engaged in a war of attrition against Russia with the potential to last decades.

That may be the ultimate argument for Russia to finally go for the jugular, as soon as possible. Otherwise the future will be bleak. Well, not so bleak. Remember Putin: “We haven’t even started anything yet.”

Pepe Escobar is an independent Eurasia-wide nomad geopolitical analyst, writer and journalist.

Syria and Saudi Arabia Reopen Embassies

The move comes just days after Damascus was reinstated to the Arab League, following a decade-long suspension.

Syria and Saudi Arabia have agreed to resume diplomatic relations nearly 10 years after cutting ties, both countries have announced. 

The move marks yet another rapprochement between Riyadh and its former foes, after the Gulf kingdom also restored diplomacy with Iran under a deal brokered by China.

The Syrian Foreign Ministry confirmed the decision in a statement on Tuesday, saying the renewed diplomacy would strengthen “bilateral relations between Arab countries to serve joint Arab action.”

“Based on the deep bonds and common affiliation of the peoples of the Syrian Arab Republic and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the embodiment of the aspirations of the peoples of the two countries …The Syrian Arab Republic decided to resume the work of its diplomatic mission in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” the ministry said.

The Saudi Foreign Ministry issued a similar notice on Tuesday, stressing “the brotherhood ties that unite the peoples of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Syrian Arab Republic.” While neither country specified when they would reopen their respective embassies, the kingdom added that the move would “enhance security and stability in the region.”

Riyadh initially broke relations with Damascus in 2012, not long after the Syrian war kicked off, during which Saudi Arabia supplied millions of dollars in weapons and gear to jihadist rebel factions seeking to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Saudi officials were among the first to condemn Assad’s handling of anti-government protests at the time, later shuttering the Saudi embassy in Syria and expelling the Syrian ambassador.

However, following a normalization deal between Saudi Arabia and Iran mediated by China in March, the region has seen renewed efforts to mend ties between former adversaries, with the United Arab Emirates also voicing willingness to improve relations with Syria. Tehran and Riyadh have also taken steps to end the conflict in Yemen, which has raged since 2015, taking a devastating toll on Yemeni civilians.

On Sunday, the 22-member Arab League agreed to lift Syria’s 12-year suspension from the organization, yet another step toward reconciliation. That decision followed a high-level meeting in Amman between Syria, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt and Iraq, where all parties agreed to improve cooperation on combating terrorism and pledged to “support Syria and its institutions to establish control over all of its territory and impose the rule of law.”

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The Federal Reserve Cartel: The Solution

Thomas Jefferson opined of the Rothschild-led Eight Families central banking cartel which came to control the United States, “Single acts of tyranny may be ascribed to the accidental opinion of the day, but a series of oppressions begun at a distinguished period, unalterable through every change of ministers, too plainly prove a deliberate, systematic plan of reducing us to slavery”.

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Congressional China Panel Preps Proposals to Rapidly Arm Taiwan

The House committee dedicated to countering China is preparing bipartisan proposals for the fiscal 2024 defense authorization bill that would accelerate U.S. munitions production and arms transfers to Taiwan, its chairman told Defense News in an exclusive interview.

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ASEAN Finance Ministers & Central Banks Consider Dropping US Dollar, Euro, Yen, Phasing Out Visa and Mastercard

An official meeting of all ASEAN Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors kicked off on Tuesday (March 28) in Indonesia. Top of the agenda are discussions to reduce dependence on the US Dollar, Euro, Yen, and British Pound from financial transactions and move to settlements in local currencies.

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ICC’s Putin Arrest Warrant Based on State Dept-funded Report that Debunked Itself

On March 17, the Prosecutor General of the International Criminal Court, Karim Khan, introduced an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Commissioner for Children’s Rights, Maria Llova-Belova.

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