What Kazakhstan Isn’t 466


Knowledge of Kazakhstan in the West is extremely slim, particularly among western media, and many responses to events there have been wildly off-beam.

The narrative on the right is that Putin is looking to annex Kazakhstan, or at least the majority ethnic Russian areas in the north. This is utter nonsense.

The narrative on the left is that the CIA is attempting to instigate another colour revolution and put a puppet regime into Nur-Sultan (as the capital is called this week). This also is utter nonsense.

The lack of intellectual flexibility among western commentators entrapped in the confines of their own culture wars is a well-established feature of modern political society. Distorting a picture into this frame is not so easily detectable where the public have no idea what the picture normally looks like, as with Kazakhstan.

When you jump into a taxi in Kazakhstan, getting your suitcase into the boot is often problematic as it will be already full with a large LPG canister. Roof racks are big in Kazakhstan. Most Kazakh vehicles run on LPG, which has traditionally been a subsidised product of the nation’s massive oil and gas industry.

Fuel price rises have become, worldwide, a particular trigger of public discontent. The origins of the gilets jaunes movement in France lay in fuel price rises before spreading to other areas of popular greivance. The legacy of fuel protests in the UK have led for years cowardly politicians to submit to annual real reductions in the rate of fuel duty, despite climate change concerns.

The current political crisis in Kazakhstan was spiked by moves to deregulate the LPG market and end subsidy, which led to sharp price increases. These brought people onto the streets. The government quickly backed down and tried to reinstate price controls but not producer subsidies; that would have led gas stations to sell at a loss. The result was fuel shortages that just made protest worse.

Kazakhstan is an authoritarian dictatorship with extreme divisions in wealth and power between the ruling class – often still the old Soviet nomenklatura and their families – and everybody else. No political opposition is permitted. Infamously, after a massacre of striking miners, Tony Blair contacted former dictator Nazarbayev offering his PR services to help limit political fallout. This resulted in a $4 million per year contract for Blair to assist Kazakhstan’s PR, a contract on which BBC favourites Jonathon Powell and Alastair Campbell both worked.

One result of the Blairite media management for Kazakhstan was that the Guardian, publishing US leaked diplomatic cables in cooperation with Wikileaks, refused to publish US Embassy reports on corruption in Kazakhstan.

The Kazakh dictatorship is also a favourite destination of troughing royals Prince Andrew and Prince Michael of Kent.

I always viewed President Nazarbayev as the smartest of the Central Asian dictators. He allowed much greater individual economic freedom than in neighbouring Uzbekistan; Kazakhs could build up enterprises without the fear of having them confiscated at whim by the ruling family, and the collective farm land was given to native farmers and production diversified. Nazarbayev in foreign affairs skilfully balanced between Russia, the West and China, never definitively tilting in one direction. Ethnic Russian technocrats and academics were not driven from the country. Gazprom was not permitted to obtain dominant economic control.

There was no question of democracy being permitted or any form of opposition being given a voice. Media remained firmly under state control; internet access was restricted through designated ISP’s – I believe that has subsequently loosened, but I will not pretend to know the detail. But as in all systems with no democratic accountability and with effective legal impunity for the elite, corruption worsened, systems became sclerotic and frustration and resentment among the general population has built naturally.

The change of President two years ago from Nazarbayev to Tokayev brought no substantial changes in who runs the country.

The fuel price rises triggered protest, and once a population that had seen no outlet for its frustration viewed the chance to protest, then popular frustration erupted into popular dissent. However with no popular opposition leaders to direct it, this quickly became an incoherent boiling up of rage, resulting in destruction and looting.

So where do the CIA come in? They don’t. They were trying to groom a banned opposition leader (whose name I recall as Kozlov, but that may be wrong) but then discovered he was not willing to be their puppet, and the scheme was abandoned under Trump. The CIA were as taken aback by events as everybody else, and they don’t have any significant resources on the ground, or a Juan Gaido to jet in.

So where does Putin come in? Well, the Collective Security Treaty Organisation is a club of authoritarian ex-Soviet leaders. Interestingly, Uzbekistan never joined because Karimov always worried (with some justification) Putin might wish to depose him. President Tokayev’s call for help is a very definite sign of internal weakness. All the CSTO countries have an interest in discouraging popular unrest, so it is unsurprising they have sent in troops, but in numbers which can make no real difference in a vast country like Kazakhstan (which is really, really, really big).

So what happens next? I expect the regime will survive, but then neither I, nor any observer I know of, predicted this would happen in the first place. The unrest will be blamed, entirely untruthfully, on Islamic terrorists and western support. The real consequence may be in the globally important pipeline politics of the region, where there may be a long term shift away from China and towards Russia.

There will be frustration in Beijing as much as in Washington. Tokayev is now indebted to Putin in a way he never has been before. I can guarantee that emergency meetings at the highest level are taking place between the Kremlin and Gazprom right now to determine what they want to leverage from the situation. Putin, as Napoleon might have observed, is an extremely lucky general.

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466 thoughts on “What Kazakhstan Isn’t

1 2 3 4
      • Goose

        Russia could announce a phased troop withdrawal, if they wanted to make a mockery of Washington talking up the prospects of full-scale invasion plans.

        It’s as though the US and NATO are desperate for Russian forces to cross that line in order to impose sanctions and leave Germany in an impossible position over NS 2.

        • Piotr+Berman

          Withdrawal, phased or not, is too risky. Ukraine doubled the number of troops facing Donbas and is moving an increasing variety of “technique” to the area, including attack drones. Without the threat of being encircled by a combination of push from weakly defended border in the north of Ukraine and equally weakly defended south, they could well launch a crazy offensive. So the Damocletian sword has to stay in place.

          Note that “100,000 Russian” form a “mortal danger” to Ukraine with more than 250,000 troops mostly because those troops are not positioned in defense, but for offense in the extreme south-east of Ukraine. Ukraine can defuse the situation by restoring troop and “technique” positions to be like in 2019.

          • Goose

            But you do agree this is trap laid for them by the US and NATO.

            UK defence minister Ben Wallace talked today about an ‘incursion’ i.e. he’s lowering the threshold down from an invasion. If Russia doesn’t invade or even make an substantial incursion, Ukraine is still divided and ungovernable. Zelensky appears to be in deep trouble politically having failed to deliver on his promises. The clock appears to be ticking louder for the US, NATO and Ukraine, it’s almost as though they need the Russia to act recklessly.

          • Piotr+Berman

            Goose: Zelensky appears to be in deep trouble politically having failed to …

            Besides reneging on election promises which is a regular phenomenon, he is also erratic and inept. He also tries to be an authoritarian, with incomplete success due to his ineptitude.

        • Tatyana

          It seems to me, that the US and NATO are pretending to fight the threat, knowing that this threat is invented by themselves. In Western culture it’s Don Quixote and windmills, and in Russian culture it’s ‘scare the crocodiles’.

          In Moscow, a man walks down the street, clapping his hands and whistling.
          – What are you doing?
          – I scare crocodiles!
          – What? Crocodiles? They were never here!
          – You see, I’m f*cking good at scaring!

          • Goose

            Reported yesterday that a major cyberattack was launched on Ukraine – targeting more than a dozen government websites.

            On Friday Josep Borrell, the EU’s top diplomat, condemned the cyberattack and said the bloc would support Kiev. “It’s difficult to say [who is behind it]. I can’t blame anybody as I have no proof, but we can imagine”.

            Lazy assumptions due to delegating foreign and security policy to Washington, and this is the EU’s top diplomat? Borrell is a disgrace.

            If a catastrophic European war comes, possibly one involving non-conventional weapons it’ll be due to Europeans being so naive and credulous. And leaving their foreign and defence policies in Washington’s hands. The US would never allow Europeans to dictate their foreign and defence posture.

          • Tatyana

            I’ve discovered two women in european countries, who hold sensible attitude to Russia. One of them is Sahra Wagenknecht in Germany, and the second is Clare Daly from Ireland. I’d be happy if one of them took place instead of Borrell. Sometimes I think Mr. Borrell may have found the Mr. Juncker’s secret locker, and perhaps he is not quite soberly looking at things.
            In general, there is a growing understanding here in Russia that the US has occupied Europe with the help of NATO and the old countries simply do not have enough sovereignty to express their own opinion or make decisions that are beneficial for their own nations. They are forced to follow US policy. No wonder, really, how could a country with US military bases object to the will of the US? Everyone remembers Yugoslavia and many Middle Eastern countries whose leaders America did not like. Poor Cuba is still under sanctions. Tell me it’s not military coercion.

          • Goose

            Stoltenberg, Von der Leyen and Borrell.

            The way these people are appointed in backroom deals, we don’t know what influence the US exerted to guarantee their appointment. It’s similar to how the President of the European Central Bank ,Christine Lagarde – convicted over her role in a controversial €400m (£355m) payment to a businessman – yet seemingly impervious to reputational damage.

            The true scale of US influence over European politics, if known, would probably depress Europeans hugely. The US State Dept and CIA are no doubt very focused in ensuring US hegemony continues. Every country in the world plays with fire by opposing Washington. It’s easy to understand why for politicians, it’s simply easier to yield than resist.

            Remember, Henry Kissinger, in a moment of candidness said ‘America has no permanent friends or enemies, only interests’.

          • Goose

            Look at the US’s main allies: UK,CAN, AUS , and to a lesser degree NZ (NZ uses proportional representation).

            In terms of meaningful choice our democracies have been hollowed out.

            In the UK, as in the US, the big two political parties allow their memberships no substantial debate about policy. As a result, elections are instead all about perceived ‘managerial competence’, meaningful choice all but eliminated. The Labour party briefly had a leader who wasn’t an Atlanticist and he was crucified by the media and his own ungovernable party. Then US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, was recorded saying he would do all in its power to prevent Corbyn becoming PM, and the media here in the UK didn’t so much as bat an eyelid.

          • DunGroanin

            Goose,

            “ media here in the UK didn’t so much as bat an eyelid”

            I saw the media flutter their eyelids orgasmically! As if possessed by some salacious demons as they rushed to declare anti-semitism suddenly from the most anti-racist, anti-war, politician of the last 50 years. Un-personing JC and gaslighting the millions of supporters of a return to sensible politics of raising the poor and fighting the exploiters and mass murdering slavers and despoilers and stopping the wealth gap getting wider.

            I saw the wide-eyed media, jump to attention to excuse a xmas general election to reduce turnout; so that the election could be fixed by postal vote fraud (they even had to find a ‘thousand more’ for Ian Duncan Smith – as the counts showed that the higher than expected turnout meant that he would lose; I saw that Bozo would have lost without the massive manipulation of the Asian voters with extreme lies by WhatsApp. That is why Petty, the patel of BrexShit and Shrew gets a free pass.

            We all saw the charade on Randy Andy suddenly making a mid-election splash to divert the public attention from a Labour manifesto that was making massive inroads in the voters minds – there was no other reason for the timing of that. Just as there was none in the various ‘terror’ incidents at such moments…

            The real prime minister of the UK is Jeremy Corbyn. Ousted in a COUP undertaken at the ballot to avoid having him being shot in Downing Street.

            They are now trying to bury him forever in the minds of the electorate because the electorate cannot be allowed such hope of reversing the last 40 years of wiping out the socioeconomic post-war social contract that raised the poor – housed, educated, treated everyone and set an example to the rest of the world that it could be done.

            Today Starmer has colluded with the state as he is groomed into power in the fake display of ‘Opposition’, a LOYAL one, as he proceeds to wipe Corbynite lifetime of representation from history.

            Starmer refuses to criticise the government policies or offer any hope of Fairness or Change away from the neocon/neolib trajectory of every approved politician for two generations. He watched as millions are suddenly scalped by triplets of their energy costs in winter as austerity is further ratcheted to return the British to a prewar have-and-have-not world – that can provide a steady stream of servants and serfs for the better-offs all the way up the chain the Downstairs restored to the Upstairs.

            The media whores, the Ken and Barbies paid millions by Billionaires, shamelessly bat their eyelids and daily deliver the poison into the minds of strapped viewers.

            There is much more wrong that is daily happening as most of you, and our recently tortured-for-months host, know – such mental scars don’t easily heal.

            I’ll let you all check out how the media’s cuckoo’s & CIA Mockingbirds are today still attacking Corbyn. Without batting an eyelid.

          • Laszlo

            Strangely enough, there is an anecdotal evidence that sthing similar happened to the soviet troops at the Danube river whilst crushing the Hungarian uprising in 1956. It was ideologically unacceptable to mobilise them against the people of a (then) “friendly” country, being part of the Warsaw Pact. So the new contingents, brought to Hungary, were told that they were taken to the Nile/Suez to fight the imperialists. To the surprise of the people of Budapest, they were searching for crocodiles (but there were none). History repeats itself (история повторяется)!?

          • Coldish

            Tatyana (15 Jan, 17.17), re your comment on women with sensible attitudes to Russia: English journalist Mary Dejevsky of the Independent newspaper writes more sensibly and reliably than most of her colleagues (male or female) on a range of subjects including Russia. She was in Moscow during the collapse of the Soviet Union.

          • Piotr+Berman

            xDunGroanin
            January 16, 2022 at 10:11

            Reading echoes of the British press, I have learned that Starmer would be a radical improvement over Boris. And indeed, just from independent outlets like craigmurray.org.uk, I would be thinking “no whit of a difference”. BUT, Starmer staff would not get royally drunk “in Downing Street” during a week of very sad news for the royal family. Vote Labour! But if Tories get more discrete drinkers for their leaders a few months before the elections, Labour advantage goes away (as far as I know, which is not much).

      • BrianFujisan

        Dawg
        That’s Exactly what it is.. With the help of yet more BBC War Crimes – War Propaganda.
        So now we know the West is planning a FF.. And even though we know, and they U.S. U.K know that we know.. they won’t care. and go ahead.
        The impotence of the UN is sickening

    • Stevie Boy

      BS Bingo: Luke Harding/Guardian/MI6 + BBC. Just need Eliza Higgins and Reuters and we’ll have a full (fool) house. Must be true …

        • Rhys Jaggar

          Tatyana – it’s been known for decades that Reuters has depth and breadth of CIA infiltration. Anything you read from Reuters you should start from the assumption that it is a CIA Press Release. It might not be, but that’s where you should start….

  • Piotr+Berman

    “So where do the CIA come in? They don’t. They were trying to groom a banned opposition leader …”

    Craig claims that CIA had the will, but not the means to foment strife of January 5-th. But the most convincing paymasters of the operation (armed groups, some coming in buses) are members of Nazarbayev clique, because that requires a grip over security services that Tokayev did not have, and Nazarbayev and his followers did.

    In turn, Nazarbayev clan was heavily bribed by the “collective West”, with 300 million dollars in London real estate alone (I suspect even more in off shore investments), so those who were supervising or watching those bribes had access to the top echelons of security services. So CIA/MI5 had the means, if not of the best quality — having stooges only in security apparatus is too little for a full color revolution scenario. But the self-appraised intellectuals in CIA/MI5 could well think that even a failed revolution would be useful (even if it does not seem to be the case in retrospect.). Thus I would avoid categorical denial of the the Anglo-American participation.

  • Tatyana

    Ms. Toregozhina, a human rights activist, works to help the detained in Kazakhstan. She confirms the existence of clandestine groups. Her interview to the Dozhd TV channel (which definitely is not pro-Kremlin), at 30:50
    https://youtu.be/8EWKLl_co6k?t=1849

    “…We observed similar events in 1986, 2001, 2011 In Kazakhstan. There’s a strong opinion that there exists a “death squadron”, that is, an informal group of people who, under the roof of the KNB, were trained to create chaos and unrest, by this they discredit the right to peaceful gatherings.
    We were unable to prove their participation in Zhanaozen in 2011, but now there’s more information and their presence is more evident. They were prepared and informed, they robbed the ‘right’ warehouses they needed, they knew the location of weapons stores, police departments, they knew that they needed to capture: the airport, the TV tower, the KNB. All this indicates that this is an informed, equipped combat group of people. They were joined by criminals, who have the support of law enforcement agencies, we have corrupt authorities. And the actions of these people have discredited the right of civilians to protest.”

  • Rhisiart Gwilym

    Bullsarse, Craig! That being the diametric opposite of a bullseye: The usual Western suspects weren’t in Kazakhstan trying their usual trick of taking over legitimate local protests to turn them into violent colour revolutions? Really?

    Maybe hearing Pepe Escobar – who I believe has been in Kazakhstan more recently and more extensively than your good self – discuss this with Max Blumenthal, will help some of this truly naive analysis of yours to be modified a little?

    https://thesaker.is/pepe-escobar-and-the-grayzone-kazakhstan-coup-fails-us-russia-talks-go-nowhere-is-war-on-horizon/

    Max Blumenthal and geopolitical analyst Pepe Escobar discuss the violent coup attempt in Kazakhstan, and its crucial importance as an ally of Russia and the center of China’s Belt and Road Initiative. Pepe addresses US and Turkish meddling, and why this massive and misunderstood country is suddenly at the heart of the new cold war. They also talk about the failure of the US-Russia talks in Geneva and if war could be on the horizon.

    I rate you highly as a commentator, Craig, and as very clearly an honest and good man – despite all the shallow chatter about you being an MI6 disinformation plant which this post of yours has occasioned. What I would say though, is that – at your age (not much less than mine) and with all your experience, you really need to do something about your – still-persisting, FFS! – over-broad streak of naivety.

    Cheers, respect anyway, and keep slugging, good brother! 🙂

    • Baron

      Excellent post, Rhisiart, agreed on Craig, but keep in mind he has to be careful, he got only released recently.

      And thanks for the interview, informative and revealing.

  • Goose

    Be interesting to know Craig’s view on the incredible, media-wide sudden determination to force Johnson’s resignation. There is far more behind this effort, than the normal cut and thrust of politics imho.

    The BBC’s coverage has been almost frenzied. There’s a certain viciousness to it too, an urgency. As if he needs to go to meet someone’s deadline? While bad, the near two-year old ‘partygate’ story doesn’t explain the intensity of the coverage and the resignation demands. As Jonathan Cook pointed out , journalists suppress/omit stories all the time that dwarf this in terms of seriousness. It’s also difficult to believe that the Westminster press pack’ rumour mill fuelled journalists simply didn’t know for nearly two years. Why now?

    Starmer today demanded Johnson resign in the ‘National Interest’, a choice of words typically use in a security context.

    Could the pressure be coming from the US and Israel? Hear me out… Johnson is associated with Trump & Brexit in the US, called a ‘British Trump’ he’s the last person Biden or the Democrats want to associate with or buddy-up with. At the same time efforts to salvage the JCPOA are apparently running into trouble. Biden’s room for manoeuvre is limited due to hardening opinion on Iran in the Congress and Senate. That leaves the very real prospect of military action against Iran by the US. The US would never allow Israel to act alone for fear Israel could use its own nuclear arsenal in the event of escalation i.e. should Iran hit back, which they undoubtedly would feel compelled to do. Biden will want the UK on board, but they’d need a different PM, not the ‘British Trump.’

    Just conjecture and I accept it could be way off beam and completely wrong.

    Apologies for being off-topic.

    • Squeeth

      It’s an interesting thought. I don’t really care which oligarch is PM of Airstrip One and take the view that it’s internal. Liarbour has undergone Gleichschaltung and become a formally antisemitic partei so a Liarbour PM will be indistinguishable from a tory and with the fake tory Commons majority so big, partei games and musical chairs are the only things to look forward to. For American Caesar to want Johnson to be as gone as Secretary Green means that Johnson must either have rejected another war or committed some other act of lese majeste. Doesn’t seem likely to me. Still, you make a good point.

      • Goose

        @Squeeth

        I guess all will be revealed if Johnson’s forced out.

        I personally think unless Johnson decides to quit of his own volition, he’s safe. There aren’t enough Tory MPs willing to be bullied by the press and BBC into getting rid of him. Doubt there’s even enough MPs to trigger a party confidence vote.

          • Goose

            The idea that a war boosts a leader’s popularity only holds true if the public believe it’s a just war. Former British PM Tony Blair did much to persuade the US public the war on Iraq was fully justified; acting as President George W. Bush’s more eloquent spokesman, lending his full authority and persuasive credibility.

            I really don’t see an already unpopular Joe Biden, possibly facing disastrous party Midterms if the polls are correct, will want to be pictured standing ‘shoulder to shoulder’ with the likes of ineloquent, sputtering, Boris Johnson. Jeremy Hunt or Liz Truss, perhaps; Boris Johnson, no.

            As absurd as it seems, Boris Johnson’s unsuitability for the role of war leader, may the best hope of preventing a war with Iran.

          • Giyane

            Wikikettle

            What his fatuosity did was pure , satanic, public school, ” we’re all here in same boat, stuck in the bunker , key working for England. May as well get drunk, ring home and say we’re doing emergency keyworking bollocks, and shag each other , OK?”.

            Bring a bottle , obviously doesn’t mean go out and buy a bottle of alcohol from Turl Street off licence. It means , this is a party get drunk on the house and unstop the wine corks ( a classical Greek Delphic Oracle metaphor for having sex ).

            How long is Bullingdon mentality going to seduce the public with awe and envy? Presumably as long as it takes for the next world war, about three weeks away the way Joe Biden and the sensible side of America , as opposed to Trump, are going at the moment.

            Looking at the map Joe Biden can see what Xi has already seen, and I have only just seen, that apart from a small bit of Russia in the way, if you control Ukraine and Kazakhstan , next stop is China. Or looked at from the other end of the telescope, Europe.

            The stakea are high, but don’t worry , Winston Chuchill is in his bumker sorting it all out 1930s fashion. A very carefully crafted publicity stunt.

          • Piotr+Berman

            A just cause for war is easier than some people think. Crimean war was just, even though no one can explain why Britain, France and Sardinia (?!) started it. However, war failure is not a route to popularity, just or unjust.

            Concerning Iran, the Gulf is in actuality not Gulf of Guinea or Gulf of Mexico but Persian Gulf. There are two reasonable strategies for Anglo-American forces: swift withdrawal of naval assets, avoiding ramming tankers on the way (and loosing ships in THAT fashion), or creating a parade of targets for Iranian missiles. Neither provides good photo-ops. With evacuation complete, there are still American bases that can be targeted, and with those damaged, especially with fatalities, tales of even larger damage in Iran will not improve the popular standing of the war.

            Without going to details of hypothetical scenarios, it is clear that missiles would be flying in all direction, any Western escalation would get symmetric retaliation, e.g. destruction of ports after a destruction of ports.s

      • Laguerre

        Labour has “become a formally antisemitic partei” under hyper-zionist Starmer who keeps a MOSSAD agent in his private office. Bit difficult to believe that one.

      • Bruce_H

        “Liarbour has undergone Gleichschaltung and become a formally antisemitic partei ”

        I don’t know where you get that from, especially with Starmer in charge.

    • Vivian O'Blivion

      I believe “National Interest” is a much more domestic reference. With Plaid Cymru polling at an unprecedented 26% (YouGov, field work 11 – 12 Jan), and Scottish polls due in the Sunday papers, Johnson is a threat to the “precious union”.

    • DunGroanin

      Due to Corbyn the tweedle Dee/Dum panto hasn’t changed guards as was supposed to happen in 2020 as scheduled by the fixed term Parliament act set up by the coalition i. 2010.
      The final nail in the coffin of the iconic NHS having been planned for Labour to deliver. To show the populace vat it isn’t just Tories who dismantled the post war social contract.
      Blair did his part hothoused as he was like the Clintons by the DS praetorians who shepherded us through the last 75 years to this edge of darkness.

      Hence why the Narrative has been launched to change the Government.

      Just like Back to Basics was done under Major to get the thick as mince British voters to flip from Thatcherism to Blairism – the two cheeks of the same arsehole.

      We are back to that point and war is two weeks away too!

  • Tatyana

    I don’t mind being taken as a stupid woman talking about intuition, but still.
    There are people, one glance at them gives you goosebumps, because the expression in their eyes is inhuman, and the meaning of their words only reinforces this impression.
    Such is Christo Grozev. I expect his name to come up soon in connection with some terrible events.
    I googled a bit, he is connected to Novichok, Bellingcat and a business partner to Karl Habsburg-Lothringen, the son of Regina von Sachsen-Meiningen of house of Wettin, who is a cousin of Beatrix Wilhelmina Armgard the queen of the Netherlands.

    • Humbert Humbert

      As a Bulgarian of similar age to this motherf-cker, I can tell you Tatiana that he is a cynical opportunist with, obviously, connections to the security organizations such as MI6. Looking at his CV, he went to a high-school before the Berlin Wall fell and that was mostly accepting the sons/daughters of 1st/2nd level communist apparatchiks, the security apparatus, etc., which means that most likely his parents/grandparents were probably willing servants of the USSR resident operatives in Bulgaria – we were the 16th republic after all. He’s now, basically, an MI6 “diversant”, but in different times he would have licked the soviet “sapogi”.

      • Giyane

        Humbert Humbert
        Oh I see, the uniting thread of USUKIS ‘ new push to the Pacific is going to be deep and justified historical grudges in the region against the former Soviet Union.

        Like this one Askar Umarov new , anti Russian PM of Kazakhstan featured in news from voltairenet.org ?

        • Tatyana

          For my generation, it looks something like this:
          I grew up in a country in which there was chaos, total poverty and lack of state support and legal protection. What stuck in my head from the school history program are a couple of the most significant events.
          The first, a hundred years ago, my people were in an even worse situation; severely oppresssed by the tsar, the rich and clerics. Clever grandfather Lenin and his comrades with the support of the people put an end to this injustice.
          The second event is the Great Patriotic War, where my people suffered and died, but won.
          By the time I became an adult, we had chosen a good leader. Life began to improve, many conflicts within the country ended, and we were able to get out of poverty.
          Now, when I hear that Russia is responsible for something that the USSR did, it looks to me like blaming the Holocaust on a 5 year old German child. This causes even more confusion among the younger generations, they are not at all interested in history, rather a new video card to play Tarkov.
          This anti-USSR stance today looks like a purely racist anti-Russian.

          • Akos Horvath

            You are right. The Western world is clearly anti-Russian. But it’s more than that. It’s deeply racist towards anything and anybody non-Western in general. It’s a spectrum, the less Western you are the more racist and intolerant they are.

            Hungary and Poland are both EU and NATO members, yet the rhetoric from Brussels is a patronizing my way or the highway. And this is irrespective of what one thinks of Orban’s antics. A ‘union’ for the West is not a partnership of equals, who might have different opinions on things. It’s like a 19th century marriage, with a subordinated wife (Eastern Europe) following every whim of the noble all-knowing husband (the West). They are not used to uppity non-Westerners talking back.

            Their attitude towards Russia, and China too, is even more openly racist. It has always been like that. How many times did they invade your country? Napoleon Bonaparte, the Crimean War (another Napoleon and the Brits), WW1, the intervention after the Bolshevik revolution, and WW2. The latter one had the explicit goal of exterminating the Russians.

            Western capitalism is the most violent and intolerant system historically. They have been practicing colonialism since Columbus, trashing the planet and leaving behind mountains of corpses in faraway lands. They are perfectly incapable of peaceful coexistence with the rest of the planet. Things are heating up because this Western 5% of mankind, led by their Don the US, which is losing control. The world economy has shifted to Asia and they are being replaced by China as the top dog with Russia as an ally.

            The West seems so spiteful that it would rather burn the planet in a nuclear apocalypse than share it with the other 95%.

            Think about it. The EU has its headquarters in a country, that still keeps the two golden teeth yanked from Patrice Lumumba’s skull as trophy. Western civilization, would be a great idea, as Gandhi allegedly said.

          • Courtenay Barnett

            Tatyana,
            You might find a clue to your wondering in the quotation below.

            George Kennan had been American Ambassador in Moscow. The Americans were asked to recall him for reason of him spying. He also was the US architect of the ‘cold war’. All to say that his experience and practical insights can shed light on much in American/Russian relations. This is what he said:-

            “Were the Soviet Union to sink tomorrow under the waters of the ocean, the American military-industrial establishment would have to go on, substantially unchanged, until some other adversary could be invented. Anything else would be an unacceptable shock to the American economy.”

            So, even if the ‘Russian enemy’ has to be revived then this still serves the best interests of the American military-industrial complex.

          • Giyane

            Tatyana

            “For my generation it looks something like this.”

            That’s what it looks like as well to be on the receiving end of hate from the descendants of those who survived the oppression by the British in India. We ordinary British people hate that whole snobbish ruling class nearly as much as their victims children and grand children. But we get the blame, whereas the crimes of the Empire were nothing whatsoever to do with us.

            The narrative of hate is very hurtful. But we have a phrase for it: ‘The sins of the fathers are visited upon the sons.’ In a good sense the word visited means confronted with our national history, but there is a more Biblical meaning of Visited , which is punished.

            I consider part of my role in the South Asian Muslim community is to disprove the racism that all British people are oppressors or mad. One has to have broad shoulders to create societal change. Also a broad vocabulary of insulting metaphors and swearwords helps when it’s time to defend one’s innocence of the crimes of the past.

    • M.J.

      According to wiki, Grozev “authored investigations identifying, among others, two senior Russian officers linked to the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight in 2014, GRU officers involved with the 2016 Montenegrin coup plot, the three Poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal suspects in 2018 and Poisoning of Alexei Navalny in 2020.”
      No wonder supporters of the Russian State don’t like him.

      • Tatyana

        My Russian Wiki says that he is “investigating state crimes, in particular, working on the far right in Ukraine; reporting against NATO, which illegally sold weapons to Saudi Arabia for the civil war in Yemen; analyzing Turkish and Greek crimes during the migrant crisis” . Does your version of the Wiki mention this?
        I think that then he must not be liked by those who support the Greek, Turkish, Ukrainian, Saudi states and those who support all the 30 NATO states, right?

        • M.J.

          That is a reasonable conclusion – anyone guilty of the abuse of state power. But of those, Greece is a democracy and part of the EU, which acts as a constraint. NATO is liable to mean mainly America under Trump, who is still a liability to America’s reputation as a democracy.

          • Tatyana

            well, I see that Grozev is free and his stories are being promoted, unlike Snowden or Assange. It makes me think about the quality of his stories, which didn’t get the CIA’s attention. Grozev is longtime media guy, according to Wiki. Radio, TV and the like

          • Tatyana

            Emotional impression of this Grozev guy is Grima Wormtongue. Someone should try holy water on him, and I won’t be surprised if he shows a violent reaction.

          • johnny conspiranoid

            “America’s reputation as a democracy.”

            Its reputation amongst which group of people?

      • Akos Horvath

        Has he identified the murderer(s) of JFK yet? Grozev is a Bellingcat guy, aka NATO propagandist. He cannot be taken seriously.

    • Courtenay Barnett

      Tatyana,

      There is actual concrete proof that there is calculated US aggressive intent being directed against Russia. Simply consider the writings and prescriptions of the Rand Corporation, which is the think-tank of the US military-industrial complex. In May 2019 there were six options listed with regard to weakening Russia:-

      1. Arming Ukraine;
      2. Increase support for jihadists in Syria;
      3. Promoting regime change in Belarus;
      4. Exploiting tensions in the South Caucasus;
      5. Reducing Russian influence in Central Asia;
      6. Rivaling the Russian presence in Transnistria.

      If one takes a deep breath and reflects on the macro objective – then the answer comes. It is to push and/or entice Russia into over-reach so as to compel military expenditures thus overall weakening Russian financial viability. Just as with oil and gas sales to Europe being opposed by the US – since such sales imply financial earnings for Russia – the pressure will be applied both diplomatically and via NATO to weaken Russia’s economy wherever the US can achieve that goal. .

  • Fwl

    Tricky to defend Boris but Bloomberg suggesting a replacement such as Liz Truss might be a positive for defence expenditure….has Boris actually shown some backbone and said no to something more important than booze in the garden and a breach of Lockdown guidance?

    • Fwl

      Rather than resign he can (soon’ish) end Covid restrictions, call a general election and ask for a new mandate. LA elections are a misleading indicator as to whether he has a mandate. Of course people will quite rightly take the piss and vote against in the LA elections. He needs to ask for a new mandate in a general election and in doing so he had better confront, everything that needs facing up to. If he’s not up to testing it, then resign.

      • nevermind

        All of Johnson’s options amount to buying time, but why? He has nothing more to give than deep public distrust and more despondency from his wretched party.
        Nobody in the media, locally or nationally, is challenging MPs such as Brendan Lewis and or Richard Bacon, or Chloe Smith about their support, still, of this lying excuse of a PM, but they are the first to declare their ‘impartiallity’ whilst swaying in the gathering storm of public opinion. It’s the media who tacitly approves of his infantile jibes whilst also undermining him with amplified comments from ministers.

        Liz Truss is an overflyer who never was good at any job due to her strict following of the USUKIS code. Her NATO antics and tough talking, sounds as if she is Nuland’s sister, but her expertise is not in foreign affairs, hers are more localised to the HoC.
        To see her as PM would be bad news all round as her naive rhetoric vis-à-vis Russia and China would make war more likely.
        A flight to war would end all election talk, something an unpopular party would relish.
        In short, we have no options left but to bend over, as we are doing at present, or resist all ideas and policies that emanate from puppets on a string.

        • Goose

          Notice Rishi Sunak’s star has waned. Assuming it isn’t simply a confirmation vote, can’t envisage the largely elderly, white Tory membership electing a person of Asian heritage tbh.

          It’ll likely be Jeremy Hunt or Liz Truss, but both were Remain campaigners and Truss was an ardent Remain supporter. Truss’ public favourability ratings are on a par with Gove’s, that is to say nothing short of terrible.

          • Laguerre

            Truss must be like Johnson, entirely flexible in her political views, to suit the opportunity. If a Remainer, she was of course an author of Britannia Unchained, which rather suggests the opposite.

          • Rhys Jaggar

            It’s nothing to do with his skin colour, more the economic armageddon he has preside over. £400bn spaffed on a fake pandemic? He’d be great for the bankers, useless for the people.

            If he’d resigned in 2020 saying he refused to preside over an economic policy so disastrous that the Captain of the Titanic would have been regarded a model pilot, he’d be a shoo in right now. With dark skin.

            He has been judged on the content of his political character and performance, not on the colour of his skin.

    • Stevie boy

      Better the devil you know ?
      We know bozo is an incompetent, corrupt, liar. Always has been and well known by everyone. The alternatives are grey people whose agendas are not known. People need to be careful what they wish for. The only democratic choice we currently have in the UK is which crook do you want in charge.

    • M.J.

      Imaginary Conversation in the Ministry of Truth

      Journalist: PM, a drinks party was held in your back garden, when meetings were forbidden except for essential work purposes. Did you not break the law?

      PM Piffle: It was a work meeting, absolutely essential!

      J:   But PM, a few weeks earlier, when you were away, and social meetings were still forbidden, two other drinks parties were held at night, before the funeral of the consort of the head of State.

      P:   What, they actually did that? Tell me who they are. Believe me, heads will roll! I will have to apologise to the head of State. We must be seen to be doing the right thing.

    • Goose

      Safe to assume interference against all western adversaries?

      Here in the UK, MPs are expressing their outrage over alleged Chinese ‘interference’.

      Interference? The post below was made in an open comment forum, even if broadly accurate is paints
      quite a different picture of who is interfering:

      The US is funding two groups that are not favoured by the Uyghurs and other tribes in Xinjiang. Both are based in the US.

      The first group is the World Uyghur Congress whose members are separatist Uyghurs. They come up with all sorts of propaganda, with help from the US, in an effort to influence world view in their favour, and against China, this is where the actors mainly come from.

      The second group is the East Turkistan Government in Exile that was formally declared on September 14, 2004 in the US Capitol Building in Washington DC(this says a lot about US support for them).

      Recently, the US has shown support for ETIM, the terrorist group mentioned above as having caused death and injury to thousands of Uyghurs, Kazaks, Kyrgyzs, Tajiks, Mongols, Hans and other tribes in Xinjiang.
      The United Nations consider ETIM to be as terrorist organisation, and with good cause (see EASTERN TURKISTAN ISLAMIC MOVEMENT) However, the US has now removed ETIM from their list of terrorist groups.

      Some what is the US planning to do? They support the separatist World Uyghur Congress, they support the East Turkistan Government in Exile and now support the ETIM terrorists. Is the US planning to invade Xinjiang using ETIM and get the separatists to govern the province? Is this the reason for all the fake accusations against China concerning the Uyghurs and Xinjiang?

      • Goose

        The lack of intellectual flexibility among western commentators entrapped in the confines of their own culture wars is a well-established feature of modern political society.

        Given how Xinjiang province borders Kazakhstan and many members of ETIM fled , due to China’s anti-terror ‘Strike Hard Campaign’, is it really safe to assume these people played no role in Kazakhstan’s violent uprisings?

  • DunGroanin

    Plenty of analysis on Ukraine on the web now, lots of links at MoA. When a bluff has been called and your losing cards have to be revealed many a bluffer doesn’t like having been caught out. There s NOTHING in the MSM about it except the stenography of the dumb hubristic Imperial Gamers sending out their daily messages through the propaganda.

    But hey there is a light at the end of the tunnel!

    “It’s over for the BBC as they know it.”
    The source added that “the days of state-run TV are over” and praised the growth of US-run private sector companies such as Netflix and YouTube.

    Although the BBC will continue to receive £3.2bn a year in licence fee income, the costs of making its programmes are increasing rapidly due to rising inflation and competition from the likes of Netflix.

    Lots to quibble with even in that short quote from The Groaniad. It will be good to finally get a propaganda channel directly & admittedly funded by the government – I doubt anyone will notice.

    The BBC IS and has been a commercial enterprise for years and has massive assets built by the license payers over its lifetime – it earn plenty from that. Along with the BBC World income that’s pretty much £5 billion a year at least! Even I could guarantee you a much better and independent news and entertainment free to air for well under half that amount.

    Who is going to get the ‘Assets’?

    • Tatyana

      Who needs a broadcast today? We threw away our old TV with an antenna more than 10 years ago. Just cannot stand their commercial ads, and the choice of programs.
      Today everyone has Internet and can choose what they like. TV device is only used as a big screen to play games or to spend family evenings with some great films.
      We prefer mobile device to listen to news when doing daily activities, also it’s a perfect means to comment, share or communicate in other ways.

      • DunGroanin

        T,
        We are not allowed to watch live TV on any channel including subscription channels or through the INTERNET if we don’t pay the bbc licence fee.

      • ET

        Also Tatyana had mentioned Christo Grozev. The wiki about him mentions he managed as a director the Irish company Communicorp and Supervised the integration of Metromedia’s European radio group into Communicorp. From the wiki on Communicorp in February 2021, Bauer Media Group announced it was to acquire Communicorp Group subject to regulatory approval. The acquisition was completed on 1 June 2021 and the company was renamed to Bauer Media Audio Ireland.

        From the report in my previous post:

        “Bauer now controls nearly two-fifths of the UK’s local commercial analogue radio stations, and together with Global Radio these two companies hold almost 70% of the entire market—an increase in concentration of more than 20% since 2018.”

        Tatyana also mentioned Clare Daly, who on her twitter refers to this article from the Guardian:

        Poland angers US by rushing through media law amid concerns over press freedom – (The Guardian, 18 Dec 2021)

        I’ve been trying to see if there was a link between all of them but as yet haven’t found one. That report on UK media ownership is revealing to say the least. Does anyone have similar reports or links to websites that are as comprehensive about media ownership elsewhere? Perhaps between us all we could piece it together in a discussion forum thread?

        • Tatyana

          there’s no link between all of them, ET. They are mentioned in different comments. It’s I’m trying to find out trustable speackers, whom I could listen to.

          • ET

            I was thinking along the lines of media ownership Tatyana rather than links between the individuals. Clare Daly I (mostly) respect, Christo Grozev I’d never heard of until you mentioned him. Bauer media group have UK as well as east european assets. Concentration of media ownership is a problem.

            One of the arguments against CM was that he wasn’t/isn’t a “real” journalist. If that means one can only be a “real” journalist if you work for one of a very concentrated group of owners of media then we are all in deep trouble. Not to mention the filtering of news/views such concentration of ownership allows. I am preaching to the converted here on these forums. Now just to let the rest of the world know………………….

    • Goose

      Had enough of the propaganda-heavy BBC and their smug news presenters.

      They’re constantly running promotional ads, drawing on their comforting ‘Auntie Beeb’ image and nostalgia. That may have been true in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s… when they were all that was available as a ‘public’ service understood their role balancing out the privately owned press. Not now.

      Labour, under Starmer, are unsurprisingly rushing to their defence. This despite the fact their Corbyn derangement syndrome(CDS) was on a par with the hysterics seen among the ‘Liberal’ US media during Trump’s term.

      Then BBC’s role in the Scottish referendum was probably decisive too, given how close the final result was, and how few would’ve needed to switch and vote the other way.

      • Goose

        The BBC still hammering away at Johnson. This ‘partygate’ story is really being wrung out for every last drop, isn’t it.

        Dominic Cummings, …he of ‘dodgy eyesight’ driving tests to Barnard Castle, has gone from the hate figure of centrists, to a paragon of truthfulness. Who would employ Cummings and rely on his discretion at this point? His vendetta against his former boss is borderline obsessional. . He’s not some whistleblower with a just grievance in any sense, he seems to be just intent on stirring shit up and trying to damage Johnson.

        The extraordinary treatment Johnson is being subjected to by the BBC and wider MSM is a reminder of what awaits another Scottish referendum campaign.

  • Alyson

    My analysis based on reports from Kazakhstan and the US, and old news, is that West has mistakenly identified a power vacuum, because the country is under new management. In old news Nursultan held British and European democracy in high esteem because it married capitalism and socialism through progressive taxation and government funded infrastructure. In old news the International Space Station is located there. When Prince Harry was dating Chelsy they went for a ‘skiing holiday’ but Chelsy got to stay with the president’s family, while an international team of 3 cosmonauts went for a jolly up to the ISS. Lucky Harry. News footage showed the 3 cosmonauts with pixilated faces. One of them had a familiar gait….. Chelsy dumped him straight after.
    In new news, twenty thousand protesters were arrested once the rioting was under control, of whom 5,000 came from outside the country. Head choppers if they were present, are a KSA speciality. In news footage which I posted above police officers were filmed being badly beaten and their shields and riot gear confiscated. Government buildings were damaged, trashed and set on fire. Civilians were injured and killed. Russia was invited in.
    NATO has forces along its borders. Russia has forces on the other side. Perhaps they will net some of the ‘protesters’ on their way back to the border? Reports stated that the protests started because fuel prices had been raised. The protests were successful and prices came back down. State owned oil has been delegated to Exxon and others, who wished to raise prices. This attempt to destabilise the country has been a very great shock to the people who live there.
    Oil is the usual suspect. As usual Western oil interests and dollar hegemony are intrinsically linked to KSA interests. We underestimate our KSA allies at our peril. Handing over Afghanistan to them has set human rights and women’s rights back by a millennium. Biden is still playing by the Bush playbook. Trump engaged in face to face dialogue with world leaders and his assessments are worth taking into consideration. He held dialogue with Putin. China has world domination in its sights. Do not underestimate China. Russia under Putin keeps its word in agreements it makes. The old agreements between Kissinger and Putin determined the peace between Israel and Iran but these have been called into question by Netanyahu and Biden. Netanyahu sought to push Biden to act unilaterally in support of Israel’s expansionist ambitions. Biden just wants to have control over oil, just like Bush and his Saudi counterparts.
    Kazakhstan is a stable country which stands between East and West. Best if we keep it that way.

    • Tatyana

      Alyson
      With your kind permission, just to keep it crystal clear I’d like to suggest a clarification.
      You say ‘Russia is invited in’. That is a good generalisation, only it doesn’t reflect the complexity. It is CSTO who is invited, it was not a Russia’s decision. Of course, every CSTO country contributes its share according to its ‘size’. So, it would be silly thing to expect a 140 million population Russia contribute as few troops as 9 million of Belarus, or 3 million Armenia.
      I just want to emphasize that Russia acts within terms of the CSTO rules, it wasn’t a “Putin’s whim” to send troops there.
      Also, I see people tend to believe Russian troops were deployed in the streets to shoot protesters. It’s a lie. All CSTO military were deployed to guard airports, electric power objects and the like. This helped to free Kasakhstan’s police force to do what their government ordered them to do.

      • Tatyana

        I wrote it because Russia is getting criticism now, from some Armenian opinion-makers. They blame CSTO for not taking the Armenian’s side in recent Karabakh conflict.
        Russia’s point is that Armenia themselves do not recognise Karabakh as their territory, so why? One cannot use Russia as fire service.

  • DunGroanin

    Just gotta share this on Lavrov’s response to the response…

    — GEROMAN —
    – Retweeted
    Pepe Escobar
    @RealPepeEscobar
    ·

    1h
    Lavrov:
    “As we can see, the multi-page text was too difficult for our partners. The following demands for the USA will be issued in the form of comics.”

    😂😂😂
    I think Lavrov just broke the Internet. And whatever was before it.

    • Wikikettle

      NATO Expansion. Now they are saying Sweden and Finland also should join the military alliance against Russia. Finland having just ordered sixty F35 fifth generation jets. In perspective, Russia can just about afford to order seventy of its SU 57’s. Together with Iceland and Norway, Sweden and Finland would complete the encirclment from Scandinavia. NATO was formed to counter the Soviet block. Now its purpose is to control its own members, sell US weapons to them and do US bidding. The EU Council feels left out of the talks having severed links with Russia. France is sore because of AUKUS. Germany at least had the temerity to cancel its F35 order. Will its political class ever seek independence from US dictat ? It’s very difficult for Russia to hold talks with individual NATO countries on “security” matters. Biting its lip and not taking the bait/provocations was an uncomfortable reality based on its own vulnerabilities. Having China helps but free trade with Europe and especially Germany, its biggest economic partner historically, is threatened if it acts militarily. Yes, as Scott Ritter said, it can easily take over the remaining Russian speaking areas of Ukraine, but that’s exactly what US and NATO want, a new Cold War, blockades and isolation of Russia and China from world trade. Like Iran, both China’s and Russia’s hopes for development, growth and coexistence won’t be allowed till they succumb to Their “Rules Based Order”. Of the three (not forgetting the Latin American countries) China is the most emotionally invested in its efforts to get Taiwan to accept its One China policy and retain autonomy. Russia and Iran still don’t have the ability to take the bait and face the consequences. China will, whatever the cost.

    • Tatyana

      The problem with the USA is that they are liars, not idiots.
      Nuland speaks about 100,000 Russian troops on Ukrainian border and about sabotage. She says it from tribune at press-conference. She was asked for proofs. She answers she has none, but she believes it.
      The same Russian aggression story is repeated by another Blinken’s employee, Wendy Sherman. This time at the negotiations on Russia-Nato draft treaty.
      They are not idiots, they are liars. I see nobody in the US who is adult and honest and able to make decisions.

      • Tatyana

        Another lie Nuland says is that Nato is alliance to defend its members. She says it with straight face and even makes a very honest expression in her eyes, you may know this manner as if she talks to retarded children, a mixture of consolation and persuasion. She says she cannot understand why Russia is concerned about Nato at our borders! As if Nato is flower delivery service, as if Nato people are fairy elfs spreading love and joy, peeing rainbow and pooing marshmallows.

        • Tatyana

          not only liars, but also hypocrites!
          When Russia proposed a draft treaty, Stoltenberg said: “NATO has an open door policy … it is for Ukraine as a sovereign nation to decide its own path.”
          https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/opinions_190292.htm

          Now, look here:

          “Ryabkov said he could “neither confirm nor exclude” the possibility of Russia sending military assets to Latin America if the U.S. and its allies don’t curtail their military activities on Russia’s doorstep…
          Asked about Ryabkov keeping the door open to basing troops and equipment in Latin America, Sullivan responded: “I’m not going to respond to bluster in the public commentary.”… and added that “if Russia were to move in that direction, we would deal with it decisively.”

          https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/kremlin-deplores-lack-progress-talks-west-82240819

          What about open doors? Are Cuba or Venezuela not sovereign nations? Don’t they have a right to make decisions on their own path?

          • Goose

            Their argument is that NATO is purely a defensive alliance.

            They argue that air defence systems a NATO-joining Ukraine would acquire represent no strike threat to Moscow. But they are demanding a level of trust the US themselves have never and would never permit say Cuba or Mexico were either in military alliance talks with Russia/China. Can only imagine Nancy Pelosi (California) and Senator Ted Cruz (Texas) reaction to ‘defensive’ Chinese military exercises + installations along the US-Mexico border. Purely a sovereign decision for Ukraine they say?

          • jrkrideau

            Are Cuba or Venezuela not sovereign nations?

            From a US view, NO! They are rebellious colonies in American eyes.

            There was talk in the USA in the 1850s, before the US Civil War, of annexing Cuba. I believe the Spanish-American War in 1898 had, as a major objective, annexing Cuba. The US simply underestimated the strength of the Cuban Independence forces. They had to settle for making grabbing Puerto Rico and the Phillipines.

          • Goose

            jrkrideau-

            Yes, they assert it’s their ‘right’ to interfere under The Monroe Doctrine, United States foreign policy originally developed to oppose European colonialism in the Western Hemisphere, including Central and S.America.

          • Tatyana

            defensive alliance, my ass!
            Back in 2019, in their official military strategy, they called Russia the main threat to NATO!
            Aegis Ashore is already equipped for Tomahawks, stands in Romania and is being prepared in Poland. They move their nuclear things from the Turkish Incirlik to Deveselu. Withdraw out of every agreement about missiles. They rehearse nuclear strikes in their exercises!!!
            And Nuland is trying to convince someone that this is a defense alliance? That this does not threaten Russia?
            I wonder why we are trying to somehow solve this diplomatically. There is no one there to talk to.

          • Goose

            I agree, it’s nonsense.

            For once these anti-aircraft/missile systems are in place, even if backed by written agreements and verified as purely defensive systems. What’s to stop something else(some event eg. a falsely attributed cyber-attack) being used as a pretext to change the defensive position to offensive strike-capability. Russia would be left talking to itself, as now, with the US able to control the narrative in Europe (EU) by presenting Russia as the aggressor, the wolf at Europe’s door.

          • Goose

            I believe Russia felt compelled to prop Lukashenko up, not out of love for this obnoxious, authoritarian dictator; a man who has frequently clashed with Moscow, but because Belarusian opposition leader, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, much feted in the West and media, would almost certainly have the country on a fast track path to NATO membership.
            What’s in this NATO expansionism for the US? At a guess, the rationale driving it, will be the idea If they can put in place nuclear strike capability in the East, ‘minutes from Moscow’. They can blackmail Russia and contain Russia’s growing confidence in asserting its interests around the world. Europe, the EU and Eastern Europe are being used to cement US hegemony. But our leaders either don’t see this, or simply don’t care.

        • Rhys Jaggar

          Tatyana – NATO is now an organisation organised to extort all non-US members to buy weapons from US arms manufacturers.

          I actually want the UK to leave NATO now, because I think that NATO no longer represents either UK interests nor European ones.

          The USA needs a global warmongering alliance to extort future arms sales. That’s why it’s talking about an Asian/Pacific equivalent.

          All of the European NATO members should resign en masse in my view.

          But to do that they would need cast iron assurance from Putin of three things:

          1. He will never invade any Eastern European territories.
          2, He will not leave office in under 5 years.
          3. The Duma will ensure that his guarantee of non-invasion is enshrined in Russian law so that no successor can betray that guarantee.

          Not very easy to achieve that, is it?

  • nevermind

    Everybody in NATO seem to think that they can just take their cloth off and pretend to be vulnerable, and that past assurances, a whole raft of them, were not applicable and can be ignored at will.
    Just as we can’t trust our excuse of a PM, its seems that the NATO cloth-ears are devoid of any conviction in their own words and promised aims.
    Afghanistan is not a NATO country and for the UK to send over 400 young soldiers to their death, not to speak of the thousands of civilians killed there, and now left on their own, confiscating their assets, billions, while Afghani children are dying of hunger and freezing to death, is down to supporting this rats’ arse organisation of arms-wielding/dealing crooks.

    NATO Expansion: What Gorbachev HeardNational Security Archive

  • remember kronstadt

    once, the usa skimmed a stone right across the atlantic to its great pride and admiration but makes a great error in failing to repeat it in front of the crowds on the beach and doesn’t know how to smile, shrug its shoulders and walk away.

  • Tatyana

    I just can’t pass by without sharing this amazing news with you! Poroshenko returned to Ukraine!
    He ran away a month ago, as he was suspected of treason. His appeal to supporters at the airport is worthy of special attention.

    “…Who blames us? When the little green men seized the Crimea, these people made films in Moscow, filmed *entertainment* videos on Red Square. They played the piano with their penis…”

    Friends, meet Mr. Zelensky, the president of Ukraine.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lpJjgvXKjic

    One may wonder how it’s possible for Putin to talk about Ukraine’s membership in Nato, when Ukraine has this for president. Are they serious?

    • nevermind

      He should be arrested for instigating insurrection and war. Not once was he challenged to provide proof for his fake assertions.
      People as brave as him should be reserved for the frontline to up the morale of the next young men and women dying for his foolish talk.

    • Jockanese Wind Talker

      Was Ellwood asked by Ch4 if he was speaking as an MP or as a Lt Col with 77th Brigade?

      https://mobile.twitter.com/tobias_ellwood/status/1046379902122029056?lang=en-GB

      77th Brigade uses social media such as Twitter and Facebook as well as psyop techniques to influence populations and behaviour.

      David Miller, a professor of political sociology at the University of Bristol who studies British government propaganda and public relations, said that it is “involved in manipulation of the media including using fake online profiles”

        • Vivian O'Blivion

          State Department asset Ruth Smeeth becomes chief exec. of Index on Censorship 6 months after losing her Westminster seat in Boris’ 2019 “get Brexit done” GE.
          Says it all. We’re truly fucked.
          These people know no shame.

      • DunGroanin

        Oh look integrity initiative on trial ! Well more a Punch and Judy show at the court, over the strawman BrexShittery.

        “In her written evidence statement, she said she had obtained two intelligence files from an organisation contracted to undertake work countering Russian disinformation in Europe on behalf of a government agency, one file of which raised concerns about Banks’s Russian wife.

        Cadwalladr said the file claimed Katya Banks had entered Britain on a passport sequentially numbered to the passport of Katia Zatuliveter, a woman MI5 had claimed was a Russian spy and who had had an affair with the Portsmouth MP, Mike Hancock. Katya Banks was also alleged to have had a relationship with Hancock.

        The significance of the sequential numbers, according to Cadwalladr, was that the open-source intelligence organisation Bellingcat, while examining the 2018 novichok poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury, had identified two suspects in CCTV photos as Russian intelligence officers partly through evidence that the men’s passport numbers were only separated by three digits and had therefore been issued at nearly the same time.

        Cadwalladr said in her witness statement: “I found the suggestion that Katya Banks was linked in some way to Russian intelligence potentially credible. I also knew that the Kremlin had a track record in channelling money and influence operations via the wives of oligarchs. A specialist Russian investigator told me that they ‘always look at the wives’.” “

        If there is no jury. There will be no truth.

    • T

      Channel 4 News uses Elwood, Tugenhat and Rory Stewart even more remorselessly than the BBC. It’s a key player, along with the MoD-Guardian, in ensuring liberal support for war and imperialism.

  • Beast

    IMHO, recently publicised cyber attack on Ukrainian governmental websites is likely to be a false flag operation, which MSM are trying to pin on Russia.

    The text embedded on websites is in three languages – Ukrainian, Russian and Polish. There is no need to publish anything in Polish for Ukrainian populace, as all understand/speak Ukrainian/Russian pretty well. It is highly unlikely that any “Russian hackers” would translate anything into Polish (an analogy may be a message in French or Dutch on a hacked UK website).

    The fact that someone has made an effort to publish threats in Polish, speaks volumes of their (mis)understanding of the reality on the ground and their intentions.

  • Goose

    I think everyone in Europe should be increasingly concerned where this is heading. We simply don’t have the great statesmen in Europe (or EU), to pull this back from the brink. And the thought of people like Nuland driving this thing is downright scary.

    Germany’s new Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock today, showing how inflexible she is; intent on lecturing Russia, no understanding of their interests and happy to take the world to the brink.

    Through her words and deeds to date, Baerbock has behaved more like a US agent of influence, in the manner of fmr Swedish PM Carl Bildt (Bildt remember, gave confidential government papers to his handler in the US embassy). Baerbock has visted Washington , kyiv and now Russia, …the order speaks volumes. She’s very hawkish, very anti-Russia/China and very pro-Israel, criticising the number of resolutions against the country. She expressed support for their most recent excessive bombing campaign in Gaza. This is not the typical dovish Green, and worryingly she coveted the role of Germany’s Foreign Minister.

    She needs to take a history lesson from Hans-Dietrich Genscher – he was Germany’s foreign Minister under Helmut Kohl. According to Genscher, when in conversations with then Soviet Foreign Minister Shevardnadze the German federal government made clear they were quote: “aware that the membership of a united Germany in NATO raises complicated questions”. For them, however, one thing is certain: NATO will not expand to the east.

    • Tatyana

      Nuland is talking head. Military men must better understand the level of tension, and where we are heading to.
      Today Russian delegation is inspecting some ‘military object’ in the UK, under Vienna 2011 treaty. Also, your Defence Ministry invites our Shoigu to visit London in near future.
      I put much hope into these steps and I believe that the UK doesn’t want war with Russia and understands our security concerns.

      • Goose

        German chancellor Olaf Scholz seems much more level-headed. Putin and Scholz really need to talk.

        Wouldn’t trust Annalena Baerbock at all. Her media coverage before the German election was flattering to the point of being suspicious. At one point it looked like she may end up as chancellor. We know who owns the media and their connections.

        • nevermind

          Baerbrock reminds me of Liz Truss, Goose, all mouth and no understanding of the wider issues, an over flyer trying to get to the top.

        • Tatyana

          Frau Baerbock spoke about the Minsk agreement in Kiev and in Moscow; she said she is trying to find a way to revive it. So, I believe she understands the core of the Ukrainian conflict. That she has no real power to make Ukraine cease fire, is another question. Amongst many obligatory diplomatic bows and curtsies expressed, Germany is still not supplying weapons to Ukraine.
          Meanwhile Canada deploys its special forces in Ukraine

          Canada deploys special forces to Ukraine amid rising tensions with Russia – by Alex Boutilier, Mercedes Stephenson & David Baxter (Global News, 17-18 Jan 2022)

          CIA is training in USA special forces for Ukraine

          CIA-trained Ukrainian paramilitaries may take central role if Russia invades – by Zach Dorfman, National Security Correspondent (Yahoo News, 13 Jan 2022)

          Turkey gives them Bairakrar drones, and yesterday two British C-17A Globemaster III arrived in Kiev – apparently with anti-tank systems, which your Ben Wallace promised.

          • DunGroanin

            More anti tank missiles, what did they do with the hundreds Trump sold them only a couple years ago?

            Did they fall into ‘wrong hands’? 😂

            ‘They’ve had symbolic and psychological impact’ apparently.

            “The Trump administration first approved the sale of Javelins to Ukraine in December 2017. The sale was competed in March 2018, when the State Department announced it would sell Ukraine 210 Javelin anti-tank missiles and 37 launchers worth $47 million. The State Department approved an additional sale of the anti-tank missiles to Ukraine in October. 

            The Obama administration provided assistance to Ukraine as well, but would only offer non-lethal aid for fear of exacerbating the conflict and tensions with the Kremlin. There were also concerns that the anti-tank missiles could fall into the wrong hands.

            Mutti has only been gone a couple of months and the mice are stinking the house out already. That is the main reason why these events have been planned to happen now. It is pretty clear it will be in about 2 weeks just as Putin and Xi meet personally.

            There’s a huge loophole in the GOP’s claim that Trump’s sale of Javelin missiles to Ukraine shows his support for the country – by John Haltiwanger (Insider, 13 Jan 2022)

          • Tatyana

            I’m afraid Putin may cancel his visit to Beijing Olympics, because Ms. Psaki has already announced invasion of Ukraine in the beginning of February. She hasn’t disclosed her source, but she clarified – they expect cold whether and the frozen ground allows tanks to easier reach Kiev.
            So, sorry Olympics and many apologies to Mr. Xi. President Putin is booked and scheduled already.

          • Goose

            Tatyana

            Yes, FM AB appears to have toned it down from what I’ve read. Less strident rhetoric than she’s used recently elsewhere. Maybe she realised the growing seriousness of the situation?

            On the wider point. What Moscow can do to make Kyiv uphold their end of the Minsk Agreement idk? The ultra-nationalists in Kyiv see any moves to implement it as treason now, don’t they. As rewarding Russia.

            As Adam Tooze put it in his thorough piece:

            “Minsk envisioned a high degree of autonomy for the Eastern regions. The most Kiev is willing to agree to is the incorporation of Donbass into general structure of federation.”

            The Ukrainian nationalists have tied Zelensky’s hands from even modest concessions.

            Many in the UK and US probably don’t realise Ukraine hasn’t fulfilled their obligations.

          • Tom Welsh

            “More anti tank missiles, what did they do with the hundreds Trump sold them only a couple years ago?”

            Sold them, of course. What do you think, they’re going to fight the Russian armed forces??

      • Rhys Jaggar

        The UK people certainly don’t want war with Russia, Tatyana.

        The problem is that the idiots in Parliament, the unprincipled boffins in the FCO and the troublemakers in the Security Services can see political advantage in such a move.

        And the truth is that none of them ever die for their non-beliefs.

        My view is that every MP that votes for war, every civil servant drafting advice promoting war and the top 500 members of the Security services will all don uniforms and go to Donbass and fight with rifles.

        They won’t sit in Whitehall bunkers, they’ll be on the front line.

        See how they all enjoy it….

    • laguerre

      Goose
      I would have thought that if Putin doesn’t lose his head, and if he is not tempted into an actual attack, very unlikely in my view, there won’t be a problem. The point of this crisis, as I understand it, is to provide a justification to admit Ukraine into NATO, and get the EU to admit Ukraine into the EU, and thus provide squillions of EU taxpayers money to put right Ukraine’s wreck of economy. Putin has only to sit tight, and these moves will be difficult to execute. EU countries are unlikely to be hustled into admitting Ukraine without some kind of emergency. More likely that Ukraine will turn into an Iran-style situation – the US constantly wants to attack, constantly threatens to, but never actually does it, because militarily foolish.

      • Wikikettle

        Iaguerre. There is No Leadership, No Chief in US. Just camps of chaos, each doing their own thing. Selling weapons, Sending “trainers”, one camp wanting to isolate Russia from China, nutters, neo cons, a few adults and media. Then you have La Clinton lot and the Obama boys and Gals. Oh yeah, I forgot: The Chief Joe and his Carer’s. Under these machinations, Rome burns, leaving events to be instigated by clever little gits, who get others to throw stone, light fires as they did in Syria and watch from afar.

        • Tatyana

          To a large extent I agree. Many of my classmates went to the US because they wanted to live freely and with dignity. This is no longer the case. The US has created a pleasant image and significant weight for itself, and now they are monetizing it.
          A big marketplace, as colorful as an oriental bazaar, and everyone is trying to sell you something. For money, you can take a photo with the American president; for money, American senators put forward initiatives. No principles, just trade.

      • Squeeth

        If the EU admits Ukraine, the subsidies will fly out of the country into US oligarchs’s pockets. I find the prospect of the EU being ripped off like this rather amusing.

        • Wikikettle

          The EU citizenry pay, while their bought and sold politicians play musical chairs, swapping lucrative briefs through revolving theatrical doors to charities, NGO’s, EU Council prostitution.

        • Tatyana

          In 1991, Ukraine left the USSR as the richest republic, after Russia and Kazakhstan. By 2000, their GDP had fallen by 40%. They boosted the economy a little because of gas discounts and gas transit fees. The problems began with the theft of gas, continued with discrimination against the Russian population, and now only Moldova is poorer than Ukraine.
          There is a fear in Russia that Nuland will announce tomorrow that we attacked and conquered Ukraine, and from now on it is our country and it is our duty to feed and revive it. I’m serious, this is not a joke.

          • TonyT12

            Dear Tatyana,
            Have you read this?

            Moscow’s Compellence Strategy – by Rob Lee (Foreign Policy Research Institute, 18 Jan 2022)

            Mr. Lee appears at first sight to be some kind of mouthpiece for Langley. His name has popped up a lot on the radar and has come up in the past with a lot of detail including pictures of Russian military activity.

          • TonyT12

            If you want to see pics, follow this link:
            https://twitter.com/RALee85

            Shocking that the US wants another war so soon after the disaster of Afghanistan and the tragic mayhem of starvation and chaos their hasty departure has burdened the Afghans with. I suppose Washington believes it can minimise damage to its own forces in a Ukraine confrontation by dragging third parties into the battlefield, and staying at home watching it on FOX News and CNN. It is a form of franchise strategy.

          • Rhys Jaggar

            Tony12

            It’s not surprising at all that the US MIC wants another war. They don’t care about the outcome, only that their weapons get used and more sales get procured. War is a racket and the racketeers want perpetual war, somewhere on earth.

            The USA would cease to have meaning if it weren’t warmongering everywhere.

            The Balkans, Iraq and Libya could sue it into the 25th century for covering their lands with depleted uranium. Forget the environmental clean up, think about the teratogenic outcomes.

            The only way that they can stave off law suit after law suit is to keep warmongering.

          • Tatyana

            Want to know Ukrainian position?

            “What the Biden administration is trying to impose on the Ukrainian authorities is to accept the political part of the Minsk agreements and make a number of drawbacks in domestic politics under the pretext of the need for de-escalation.
            The Ukrainian authorities do not believe in the likelihood of a large-scale invasion, a possible escalation in Donbass is not considered such a big problem, because of which it is worth making drawbacks to the Russian Federation.
            The West forced Poroshenko to sign the second Minsk agreements, although he did not want to do this. Zelensky does not want to go for it either.”

            “Zelensky is shocked by Biden’s duplicity.” What is expected on Bankova from Blinken’s visitStrana (18 Jan 2022) [translated]

            Problem is in Ukraine. Encouraged by the EU and US, they feel they can do whatever. Obligations? Haha.

          • Fat Jon

            Well, Russia seems to be having fun winding up the West’s right wing war mongering propaganda machines.

            Six Russian landing ships sail past Britain sparking speculation they are bound for impending ‘full-scale invasion’ of Ukraine as Kiev warns Putin has ‘nearly completed’ troop build-up – by Will Stewart and Lauren Lewis (Daily Mail, 19 Jan 2022)

            I wonder who will blink (or should that be wink?) first?

            I’m sure they both know exactly what they are doing, and the arms dealers will make their required billions.

      • nevermind

        Laguerre, why should the voters, nevermind the hotheads who have strings attached and are dancing Dixie to keep their jobs, be following this flight forward into war agenda, to divert from societal collapse in many western countries, by supporting Nazi worshippers in Ukraine, Lithiania and Estonia? EU/ NATO countries. Where is the Simon Wiesenthal centre when its crucial to stamp out anti Semitism and fashist’s?

        • Laguerre

          Well, I quite agree with the tendency of responses to the theme I brought up at 18.01. The US is of course a morass of multiple power centres. Obama, Trump, and Biden all veered from originally peaceful stated policies into increasingly hair-trigger warmongering, no doubt under behind-the-scenes pressures. It’s happening again right now. My general point was that even if this is the case, it is not going to work in the case of Ukraine, if Putin sits tight, because not only would war against Russia be an unsuccessful move, like the threats against Iran, but in fact the US public has had enough of foreign wars where American sons come back in boxes. Iraq 2003 was the last case where US feet on the ground were tolerated, now it’s local cannon fodder.. Basically the US can’t win its aims, if Putin sits tight, and can’t be lured into action.

          • Giyane

            Laguerre

            Psychopaths, you mentioned a few, only want to destroy the peace and enjoyment of their fellow human beings not to be winners. Why do they want to reach the Pacific? For the same reason they ended up in England, they couldn’t attack any further.

            When they found the nears to cross the Atlantic, they carried on killing till they got to the Pacific. If they ever reach the
            Pacific , the other way round , after chewing their way through Eastern Europe , the Turkic Stans and China, they will be able to bite their own bums and chew their own wormy tails.

          • Giyane

            Laguerre

            Or, as the electrician from Stoke once said to me: ” When I was your age , 45, I could outfuck, outdrink and outright any man I came across.”

            These anglo- saxon fxxkers can always justify their behaviour in fine words about peace and humble apologies about stuff happening on their watch.

            No , they enjoy breaking the rules of social behaviour, and getting away with it Why has this Old Etonian motherfxxxxr not resigned or been excorted out of No 10 in a straitjacket and handcuffs? The .revokving door will surely open for him in higher echelons of Anglo-saxon hypocrisy, like NATO or the UN, as it has done for Sir Blair.

  • DunGroanin

    Some issues while CM cogitates on the next article.

    uke countdown stands at 14 days. It is quite simple really – Russia won’t attack. But it WILL defend.
    Shock and Awe? Ain’t seen nothing. This will incinerate these attackers and their command and control posts – did the U.K. ‘just send’ 100 actual servicemen? Or is that some cover for the PMC’s?
    Just like the new Russian light fighter aircraft its ‘Checkmate’ for the Atlantic Council cheerleaders and gangsters. It costs half of the F35 and took only 5 years to develop! It reminds me of the lines of a spitfire.

    Anyway these strange beasts of the Atlantic Council really are mad dogs who have had their day. Some have had more like Rutte and his sugar daddies.
    Maybe they will feel the wrath of god! strange sinkings of superyachts and gas explosions in their mansions or even a skiing accidents on the piste. Some unknown hoodlums may suddenly meet accidents far far away from Ukraine. I am not an astrologer.
    ————

    Totally pissed off with Israeli Zionist expulsion of Palestinian family in the middle of a freezing night. Terrorising and beating up the mother and children in the process.
    If this was happening in Russia, China, or Europe the U.K. there would be mass demonstrations.
    It’s happening in fascist Zionist racist apartheid jackbooted Israel – that’s ok then!
    If some ‘dodgy terrorist’ – I.e one who appears to have never terrorised anyone or knows how to handle a gun (failed to shoot any afaik) a few days before all the way across the ocean in the US – then the whole world hears about it for days.
    I still don’t know if the guy was born and raised in the U.K. and what his life was let alone whether he had brains and funds to decide to do anything let alone across the ocean during Covid restrictions!
    But hey it did provide a lot of smoke ‘over there’ whilst the real fire happened in Jerusalem. As Craig suggests on Twitter – it stinks.
    ——-
    The BBC’s so called demise – I would like a full set of management accounts to be produced for the last decade of the beastly Beebs costs and revenues.
    I’d like it compared to any of independent broadcaster and compare and contrast why it takes the beeb £5billion and they still claim that it needs a poll tax from every household in the country, whether they consume any of their content or not.
    ————
    Bozo and Randy Andy – yes there is a major link and why the Downing Street ‘parties’ have been drip-dripping for the last few weeks. It would have been very difficult to arrange Bozo’s election victory with Randy grabbing the airwaves mid-election when the Labour manifesto was resonating with the voters.
    The Beeb and one of its Barbies were deployed to hog the airwaves with that sudden interview – what reason was there to broadcast it in that 4-week period? None but diversion.
    The Beeb can go hang with all the other media pirates, the sooner the better.

    The government can fund a public service broadcast through direct spending just like happens in many other countries if it really believes one is needed. I do – for local and cultural purposes. Certainly not News and Cultural hegemony.

    Bozo is willingly strapped into his ejector seat. He wants to go live his billionaire lifestyle with his school bum chums.

  • Tatyana

    Kazakhstan today reports:
    Secret graves of militants who died during the riots have been discovered in Almaty, said the official representative of the police department of the city of Saltanat Azirbek.
    Earlier, the head of the city police department, Kanat Taimerdenov, reported that during the riots, there were about seven attacks on the mortuaries, from which unknown persons stole 41 bodies.

    Berik Abilbekov, deputy head of AlmaAta police department reports that 3 young men aged 19-20 have been detained. The suspects took weapons out of the weapons stores and began distributing them to those gathered in Republic Square. The suspects say that they were forced to do that by unknown people armed with machine guns, who took half of the stolen weapons for themselves.

    • Alyson

      Returning to the origin of this situation – fuel companies such as Exxon and others wished to float their assets and increase prices. The people demonstrated against raising prices. The government put prices back down. A lot of people from outside of the country took part in a violent insurrection, alongside internal parties intent on destabilising the country. Damage to property and violence towards police was shown on public media and of the 20,000 protesters arrested, 5000 had come from other countries to participate. The immediate and coordinated escalation from legitimate protest to anarchy shocked the country.

      We are reminded of Egypt and the Arab Spring, which so many Egyptians came to regret as they realised that an alliance of US and Saudi and Israel had funded the election which gave them a Muslim Brotherhood government which removed secular legislation, freedom of worship and religious tolerance and women’s rights to education and employment.

      This is not the same, but Egypt saw long queues at petrol stations and new drilling for oil off the coast of Alexandria under the new government, which was eventually overthrown by the military, to the relief of many, who remain cowed and regretting their hopes for British style democracy which didn’t materialise

      • Tatyana

        The latest news reported 7,939 arrested. Many of them are foreign citizens.
        I think 20,000 figure comes from the Tokaev’s statements in the early hours, he said ‘20,000 fighters attacked our country’.

  • DunGroanin

    Today’s latest Blinken bullshit excuse for still not submitting the written answer to the question posed has been met with yet another great zinger by Lavrov, who must be the most humorous Titan of our times – did the dog eat your homework? Again?? No grades until it is submitted. Or as the Groan reports it:

    “I can’t say whether we are on the right track or not,” the Russian foreign minister told reporters. “We will understand that when we receive the US written response to all of our proposals.”

    This is what happens when an honest broker insists legal agreements and treaties must be observed by ALL signatories. No Exceptions.

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