Category Archives: International

MEP Couso Condems Russophobia in Parliament, Manipulative Role of NATO

Originally Appeared at RT Deutsch. Translated from the German by Kay Olms


There was a debate in the European Parliament about the information war that Moscow allegedly wages against the West. The Vice-President for the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the European Parliament, Javier Couso, took part in this discussion. In an interview with RT he said that accusations addressed at Russia are baseless, and he explained what steps the West will try to implement against the 'Russian propaganda'.

Distinct Russophobia is a characteristic feature of the Sub-Committee for Security and Defense in the European Parliament, according to EU parliamentary Javier Couso. During the course of the debate on the information war, Russia was directly accused of leading a media campaign against the West. "We were presented with a report in which Moscow and the Russian media were accused of lying and misleading EU citizens. For my part, I can only confirm that such verbal attacks on Russia are systematic", says the Vice-President for the Committee on Foreign Affairs to the EU Parliament.

Javier Couso doesn’t want to accept the administration's requirement, in which EU citizens would be advised what channels they are allowed to see. The EU-official adds that, "In addition, the western media turns their own journalists into targets for criticism when they express hostility towards their Russian counterparts, creating more tension in turn." According to Couso, the West wants to enable a number of mechanisms in order to counteract the alleged 'Russian propaganda'.

"Alongside the European Council there exists another assembly, which is lead by the high representative for EU foreign policy. In addition, there is a 9-member committee whose goal it is to repel the so-called 'Russian propaganda', or Moscow's 'information war'. For that purpose, they consult freelance collaborators, who reveal 'false' information. Moreover, as a counter-weight for this alleged propaganda, various Russian-speaking and European media are to be established. Their job will be to unmask journalists in certain media. (Among other things, the TV channel 'RT' and the news agency 'Sputnik' were mentioned at the meeting.) Couso noted that their task will be to accuse Russian journalists of disinformation“.

According to Javier Couso, such undertakings are connected with the fact that NATO has made the strategic decision to not only encircle Russia, but to do everything to exclude Moscow from the system of collective security in Europe, and to destroy the good-neighborly relations between Russia and other countries.

"That's why all actions of NATO, as well as the EU member states who are in support of the alliance, have been directed at keeping us away from maintaining a good relationship with Russia. Should this maxim fail, the USA would be at disadvantage. Therefore, their main goal it is to prevent the EU from keeping good relations with its neighbor Russia", summarizes the Vice-President of the Committee on Foreign Affairs for the European Parliament.

Hide photo: 
1
Show/Hide video: 
1
Hide right sitebar: 
0

'…all actions of NATO, as well as the EU member states who are in support of the alliance, have been directed at keeping us away from maintaining a good relationship with Russia'

RT Deutsch

Not excerpt

RT Deutsch

German MSM Endlessly Parrots: The Russians Are to Blame!

Originally Appeared at RT Deutsch. Translated from the German by Susan Neumann


Over the past week, the German media has gone way overboard with the propaganda again. As if they can’t remember anything, the editorial boards of international politics were all unanimous: THE RUSSIANS ARE TO BLAME!

The situation of the civil war in Syria has fundamentally changed over the past six months. According to recent reports, the Syrian army is closing in on Rakka, the unofficial capital of the "Islamic State." Sunni extremists, mercenaries from all over the world, as well as alleged "moderate rebels" have built their arbitrary regimes at Aleppo, and the noose is tightening around Aleppo, fast.

Not everyone is happy about that. Turkey is starting to support their mercenaries with cross-border artillery fire. Saudi Arabia has threatened with yet another war, and this time it’s Syria that should be invaded. Even US Secretary of State Kerry — whose country has, along with Saudi Arabia, been supplying the armed hordes with weapons since the spring of 2012 — is now demanding that the Russian Air Force stand down. It’s apparently Russia’s fault that the war hasn't stopped yet.

The following is an account of the Munich Security Conference, as told by the self-proclaimed, quality media:

"Russian Prime Minister Medvedev rails against the West and his foreign minister does the same. At this rate, Syria has no chance for peace. " (Die Zeit, Carsten Luther)

"Europe is confronted with an increasingly aggressive Russia which starts fires in Eastern Ukraine and challenges the European security order. This is currently causing a new influx of Syrian refugees in the South that will soon arrive in Europe. In Munich it could be heard over and over again, how Russia has weaponized migration to destabilize the continent. "  (Die Welt, Clemens Wergin, US correspondent)

"The politicians of foreign policy and security who were gathered at the Munich Security Conference saw a Russian Premier, who embodied the spirit of President Putin:  the way he talked in rapid bursts that drove the translator to the point of desperation, the barrage of accusations, firing off sentences like gunfire — the manner in which Medvedev delivered his speech, with its harsh rhetoric and its short-winded, inarticulate allegations, was very reminiscent of the Kremlin leader." (Der Spiegel, Christiane Hoffmann)

Was there anything more? Oh, you bet. Amnesty International Secretary General, Salil Shetty, claims that many violations of human rights were being committed "using arms provided by western powers." The Wirtschaftsblatt and the Wiener Zeitung are two Austrian newspapers that reported this.  Are they allowed to?  Okay, Austria doesn’t belong to NATO.

Anything else? The former chairman of Germany's Leftist Party, Oskar Lafontaine, reminded everybody on his Facebook page, that “the CIA is guiding the pen of many German journalists.”  He contintues:

However, if the decades of carnage in the Middle East can be reduced to nothing but Assad's barrel bomb and Putin and Russia’s bombing of Aleppo, then it shows that the propagandists of the ‘Western community of values’ have once again done a great job.”

It starts with Kerry and ends with Kerry. Oskar Lafontaine found a Kerry-quote:

“If I am President, we will embark on a historic effort to create alternative fuels and the vehicles of the future – to make this country energy independent of Mideast oil within ten years. So our sons and daughters will never have to fight and die for it.” (John F. Kerry, February 27, 2004)

That’s a monstrous assertion that the man put forth there. But why should journalists be interested in such bygone chitchat? Hey, maybe the quote didn't come from Kerry at all, but from a Russian foreign minister? THE RUSSIANS ARE TO BLAME!

Hide photo: 
1
Show/Hide video: 
1
Hide right sitebar: 
0

German mainstream media is a shameless servant of the Euro-Atlantic establishment

RT Deutsch

Not excerpt

RT Deutsch

Willy Wimmer: Germans Are Easy Targets for Anglo-American Propaganda

Originally Appeared at RT Deutsch. Translated from the German by Susan Neumann


Florian Hauschild: For a member of the CDU [Christian Democratic Union,] you express yourself quite rebelliously, both in your publications and your public speeches. What's happened domestically in the last few years that you, a 72-year-old who once worked alongside Helmut Kohl, can beat out the younger ones in terms of critical thinking and criticism of the system?

Willy Wimmer: You’re never too old to learn. Somehow I’ve got the impression that you can talk more openly among so-called average citizens than you can in left-wing circles. I’m in an environment in which one is more tolerant and liberal when it comes to dealing with different positions. This has been my experience as the number of friends as gotten significantly bigger.

The problems we’re dealing with have expanded our horizons. By this I mean the personal experiences we’ve had with personalities who have spent their lives in other political groups. I want to deliberately reference  Mr Lafontaine, who demonstrated great personal courage by rejecting the [ethnic] wars against Yugoslavians. He also represented a fiscal course of action that could have kept us free of the devastating effects of maximizing shareholder value.

There never would have been a "lean government" under Lafontaine. There never would have been the distortions that are now set up to kill us. [As a Eurosceptic], Peter Gauweiler was a parliamentary exception, because he was among the few who knew what keeps the country "together at its core." His resignation [as Deputy Chairman of the CSU] is a loss that can’t be compensated.

Just these two examples show that we can’t expect the younger generation to bear the burden [of problems] of such dimension. For the first time in modern German history, we are in a position to pass on our experience. This is an absolute imperative for all those that know the world. The others are just now getting to know the world. I am thinking of the images in the old Bonner Chamber, how the young visitors gathered around an almost grandfatherly- looking former Chancellor Kohl.

Florian Hauschild: You mentioned the strong transatlantic influence on German politics. What role does the media play in all this?

Willy Wimmer: At one time, the German press set the standard, and one can almost name the date on which they degenerated into a "moral cudgel press." This is in connection with the name of one NATO official, Jamie Shea, who thrashed all NATO countries in the vulgar war of aggression against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and was able to thrash them through his use of the media.

As if one hadn’t already experienced this kind of thing in Germany, as if freedom of speech had never before deteriorated under a new seizure of power in Germany. Those in the German press were practically foaming at the mouth. This is the impression one gets with the drooling sweet talk over the illegal war against Iraq and that which followed as a coup in Ukraine. When you look at the number of distributions for the once major newspapers or magazines in Germany, or if you pay attention to the furious reactions from customers of public radio and talk shows, it doesn’t help.

The German Federal Government, who insults the people by calling them “vermin” or “dimwits,” can at any time use the media to raise the inclination to go to war and let it escalate.  This of course makes it clear to what extent the formerly respectable German press has deteriorated. If you can have the laws of a country repealed, like in the case of a coup, and you no longer know where the terror resides in your own country, then you don’t need much more in order to come to a withering conclusion.

According to George Friedman (Stratfor), we Germans became an early target for every form of British and American propaganda. This propaganda now in German newspapers and electronic media has poisoned the relationship with our Russian neighbor. One can hardly grasp the dimension of it, when one considers the extent to which the Russian people and the Soviet government made it possible for Germany to unite itself.

At least since the bombing of Belgrade, our country has again joined in on trying to remove a great nation and its government from its position of power, all for the selfish reasons of a third party. You just can’t see it any other way, when you see what is printed in the hate publications against the Russian Federation and its top statesmen. It is no consolation that they’re able to draw their own conclusions about the political disposition of Germany and the West. What’s happening in the German moral cudgel press is simply irresponsible. Unfortunately there’s only one way to look at it: it's just slobbering opinions rather than factual information.

Florian Hauschild: We at RT could say a thing or two about all this. As a media company financed from Russian taxpayers' money we allow the Russian side of things to be told. We also see ourselves under attack from, as you say, “hate publications.” But through RT there is also a vibrant alternative media scene that has developed in Germany. What is your forecast for 2016? If the alternative media continue to grow in scope and impact, do you believe that this can lead to a sort of “self-cleansing" in German mainstream journalism?

Willy Wimmer: We are witnessing a radical change, as we have never before seen in the press. I could speculate on how it all got to this point. I can spare myself the conjecture if I look at the number of the printed distributions sold. The people are having their say in the fact that they’re canceling their subscriptions. The drop in revenue would be much more dramatic if it were not for the obligatory tax-like fees [that Germans pay] for radio and television. The loss of credibility in both sectors has already been developing due to the fact that the German press had campaigned vehemently for the NATO war.

The mainstream media can only dream of the kind of growth that the alternative media is now experiencing. Basically, the mainstream media can’t take it anymore. Much worse for them is that the believability ratings have moved over to alternative media sources. Whoever chooses to be careless with the truth and is not accurate disappears. In German mainstream media, they go to the appropriate television or radio broadcasting board of governors.

RT came at the best possible time, as long as one sees freedom of the press as a basic element of a democratic state. RT represents the necessary correcting mechanism at a time in which opinions are purposefully manipulated. The high priest of the mainstream has to suddenly begin dealing with facts and reality. We can see every day how the mainstream ignores facts.

Generally one can say that a discernable international presence of the Russian Federation has the power to decide the degree of our own freedom of movement in the Western system that has increasingly become more colonial in character. That’s why work is being done on behalf of the US in the Baltic States and in Poland, to create an imaginary wall between us and our Russian neighbor.

Hide photo: 
1
Show/Hide video: 
1
Hide right sitebar: 
0

An interview with the former State Secretary of the German Defense Ministry and leading politcian of the CDU party

Publication name: 

RT Deutsch

German MSM Blacks Out Evidence of Turkey’s Ties to ISIS Oil

Originally Appeared at RT Deutsch. Translated from the German by Susan Neumann


On December 2nd, the Russian Ministry of Defense gave a comprehensive briefing and provided proof related to the allegations that Turkey has been involved in the oil smuggling operation of the “Islamic State.” There's both photographic and video evidence of this, plus maps. In the main German newscasts of ARD and ZDF, there was no mention of this press conference. It was also not mentioned in the national newspapers. Reader comments making reference to the press conference in Moscow were deleted.

The press conference of the Russian Ministry of Defense regarding the oil smuggling trade involvement of the Erdogan government was the same day on which the German Federal Parliament discussed whether the German army should initiate a military operation with Turkey and in Turkish territory.

Anticipating this connection, the scissors of self-censorship of obedient editors and program managers suddenly became active. It would be difficult to calculate the risk of public opinion if you had to explain to readers and viewers that the military operation of the Federal Republic was to be carried out with a “partner” who was previously found guilty of collaboration with the “Islamic State” and that this was supported by photographic and video evidence.  Oh, then maybe it would be better to play it safe and simply ignore the unpleasant parts.

This tactic might partially work for the fifty-plus age group, who comprise the readership and viewership of most “senior journalists,” but this doesn’t work for a whole generation of digital natives:

Screenshot Stern - Zugeschickt von einem RT Deutsch Leser

Reader:  Hello Stern team, could you please report on the press conference of the Russian Defense Ministry?

Stern: No, there are (other) websites that specialize in that. Best regards.

It’s worth noting that reader comments under the “incomplete” reports, as well as links provided by readers and viewers to the  press conference of the Russian Ministry of Defense, were deleted in the forums of the public broadcasters and the national print media, or they were never approved to begin with.

A prime example of this kind of “fraudulent journalism” is die Zeit magazine in its article, “Türkei wirft Russland “Lügen” wie zu Sowjetzeiten vor” (Turkey Accuses Russia of Soviet-Era Lies). The article manages to cover Erdogan’s accusations against Moscow, but they neglect to mention or show any of the findings presented by the Russian Ministry of Defense. Several reader comments under the article pointed out that the references to the press conference in Moscow were deleted.

Screenshot ZEIT

Reader comment: It’s an admission of weakness and partisanship if a newspaper deletes a link. Being partisan is not bad – but not by pushing away unpleasant arguments – rather by countering with one's own.

Hide photo: 
1
Show/Hide video: 
1
Hide right sitebar: 
0

Western media constructs a totally separate reality for its audience

Publication name: 

RT Deutsch

German Farmers Demand End to Sanctions Against Russia

Originally Appeared at RT Deutsch. Translated from the German by Werner Schrimpf


Mr. Joachim Rukwied, President of the German Farmers Association (DBV), is urging an immediate repeal of EU sanctions against the Russian Federation. The German Farmers Association represents the associated membership of more than 90 percent of approximately 380,000 German farmers and is therefore regarded as a quite influential organization within Germany. During a press conference held in Berlin, DBV President Rukwied warned of dramatically eroding profits, declining prices for agricultural products, and the loss of important markets for German goods. The agricultural branch of animal husbandry is especially hurt by EU sanctions.

During the last fiscal year running from July 1st to June 30, 2015, average profits of German farmers declined by one third, according to Mr Rukwied.

The main reason for the decline are the sinking agricultural producer prices; i.e., prices for meat or grain per kilogram, or price of milk per liter. The producer price per liter of milk at just 25 to 27 euro cent forces dairy farmers into subsistence farming, because they are unable to generate any profits at this price level. The only exceptions to this trend are winegrowers who have benefitted from a mild climate. The organic farmers have profited from subsidies and the rising consumer trend towards eco-certified agricultural products.

According to data from the Farmers Association, the average gross income per farmer family amounts to approximately 2,500 euros per month. After deducting dues, taxes, social security contributions, and necessary capital expenditures, the financial leeway of native farmers is shrinking steadily. Dairy farmers suffered a tremendous decline of profits of 44 percent, Mr Rukwied explained. It is highly unlikely that this trend will be reversed soon.  

In the course of the last fiscal year, 5.6 percent of all pig farmers abandoned their farms, according to Mr. Rukwied. In his home region in Southwest Germany, one-third of the farmers have been forced to abandon their farms. In total, the number of active and operating farms went down by 1.7 per cent compared to the previous fiscal year; and in Eastern Germany, there was a decline of 0.2 per cent.

German farmers are heavily hit by the loss of their markets in Eastern Europe, and especially the loss caused by Russia’s ban of EU agricultural products. The ban on imports was Russia’s counter measure to U.S. and EU economic and financial sanctions which were imposed under the framework of the Ukraine crisis. Mr. Rukwied is pushing hard for reestablishing normal and constructive trade relationships with Russia. “Therefore, political initiatives to repeal sanctions against Russia are now called for,” stated Mr. Rukwied.

Besides his criticism of the politics and politicians, Rukwied also criticized the food industry and food traders as well. The food processing industry and discounter chains are the only profiteers of falling prices for agricultural products and enjoy an ever-increasing offer for these products from the global markets.

Farmers are hit by the declining prices under the current system and consumers do not get any benefit from the falling prices. The improved margins are absorbed by discounter chains and the food processing industry. Cartel authorities and cartel legislation have to be urgently improved in this matter, according to Mr Rukwied.

Hide photo: 
1
Show/Hide video: 
1
Hide right sitebar: 
0

According to data from the German Farmers Association the sanctions are hitting German agriculture hard 

Publication name: 

RT Deutsch

Poroshenko Will Remain President Only as Long as Washington Needs Him

German historian Michael Pesek wrote an open letter to the Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and explained to him what it means to be an American ‘partner’. The examples of Saddam Hussein, Gaddafi, Mobutu Sese Seko and many others are described to help the Ukrainian President appreciate how Washington treats its ‘friends’. This article originally appeared at RT Deutsch. Translated for RI by Anita Zalaldinova


German historian Michael Pesek, whose research focuses on the history of Africa and the Middle East and who was a visiting professor at the Humboldt University of Berlin until 2012, in an open letter warned the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko against being too confident about the continuous support by the United States and pointed to the fates of several former long-time allies. In the program ‘The Missing Part [E85]’ the historian discussed the reasons for such opinion of his.

‘Now that you are simultaneously a close ally of the US and a dictator’, Pesek wrote, ‘you should be warned that this is not necessarily a beginning of a long-lasting love relationship resulting in accounts full of dollars, one of the best equipped army inevitably killing your enemies, the cozy feeling of security under the American advisers, or a standing ovation at the UN Security when you again let rip Russia or other enemies’.

His letter, says Pesek, was ‘a little history lesson for you to remember that the weather in Washington is less predictable than the continental climate of Eurasia’.

The ‘Saddam Hussein’ lesson

Although the US won the Cold War, that was not necessarily the case for its allies. An example of the long-standing Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, who was one of America’s closest allies in the Middle East during the 1980s, should be remembered here. In 1963 he organized a coup against the Qasim government, which was too Soviet-friendly from the perspective of the US administration, it was so to say an Iraqi ‘Maidan’, which led to deaths of hundreds of members of the Iraqi Communist Party and left the oilfields to the US companies.

In 1979, after the Islamic revolution in Iran, he was then exploited only as ‘our son of a bitch’. He had to be representative of the United States to take revenge for the biggest bust of Washington’s foreign policy during the Cold War. For the war against Iran Saddam was provided by the US with everything he needed, and even chemical weapons.

In the next series Pesek did not forget to point out that Saddam Hussein was dropped after the end of the Cold War like a hot potato. For the ‘New World Order’, as George H. W. Bush named it, and the task of rebuilding the Middle East Hussein was more useful as an enemy than as a friend. Then followed the invasion of Kuwait, used as a pretext for the 1991 Gulf War, the sanctions and the introduction of no-fly zone, by then the invasion and another Gulf War happened in 2003, and Saddam Hussein was executed in a rather undignified controversial way.

‘Have you learned the lesson?’ asks Pesek in his open letter. ‘You can kill as many enemies of the United States, as you can, you can sell your natural resources – all of this will not help you when the wind changes in Washington’.

More lessons from the CIA screenplay

Moreover Pesek also named Mobutu Sese Seko in Congo, who became the most complacent to the US allies in the whole Africa after the same CIA directed coup in 1965, and to whom Washington also lost its interest after the end of the Cold War, when there was no more civil war to lead in Angola and Mozambique. Mobutu died early enough so as not to suffer the same fate as Saddam Hussein – but Ukraine is anyway knowledgeable about the legacy of chaos that erupted after his death when Kiev took part in the peacekeeping mission.

Also Noriega and Gaddafi, who were exploited in the 1980s and then later in the 1990s by the US, and Afghan Mujahideen and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad – Pesek called the names as deterrent examples.

His warning to Poroshenko ends up with the statement that even in his best days he remains a useful idiot in the eyes of Washington,– but he could also become a burden immediately when the US change their priorities or lose their interest in him.

Special status for volunteer battalions – EU to finance right-wing battalions

‘I hope you sleep well’, Pesek finished his letter. His words can be proved true even sooner than the Ukrainian president would like to. Since even if he has 60% of the votes behind him, as of May 2014, the ultra-nationalists like Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk are more beneficial for the US administration, to whom just the participation of Poroshenko in the peace talks in Minsk was a thorn in the eye. Each pat on the shoulder of these people can simply be a search for the soft spot to stab the knife in.

RT Deutsch

Monsanto and Military Set to Benefit from IMF Loans to Ukraine

This article originally appeared at RT Deutsch. Translated for RI by Anita Zalaldinova


The Ukrainian Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko has stated that the 17.5 billion US dollars extended rescue package from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is not to flow into the real economy of the country as previously promised. RT spoke with the writer Ernst Wolf (World power IMF– Chronicles of a raid) about the real beneficiaries of IMF loans to Ukraine, such as the seed company Monsanto and US defence companies.

Mr. Wolf, did the Ukrainian Premier Arseny Yatsenyuk know before receiving the loan that the funds would not flow into the economy?

It was clear from the beginning. In the case of Ukraine it is particularly dramatic. Ukraine, as a state, is completely bankrupt. Funds which go to Ukraine, whether these are the funds from the IMF or funds from other organizations, serve only the government in Kiev to retain their power and to make it possible to service loans, i.e. to pay off interests and compound interests. But no part of this money will be invested into the real economy. But this is true everywhere, not only in Ukraine. We see this in Greece, Spain, everywhere. These countries are completely bankrupt and are kept alive only in order to service loans of the big foreign investors, and of course this is particularly cynical, when just a few days ago the Finance Minister stated this openly.

What does Ukraine still have to do to prove reform efforts to the IMF?

The program in Ukraine, as Yatsenyuk announced, includes the raising of the retirement age by ten years for women and by five years for men, a reduction of the school period for two years, a complete privatization of the entire education sector, a freeze on pensions, cuts in the medical and health services, and mass layoffs in the public service.

Ms. Lagarde stated before that Ukraine had already met several demands of the IMF. Do you know what these were exactly? Since nothing had been met. But Ms. Lagarde and the IMF are nothing more than an extension of Wall Street, and Wall Street is very much interested in fomenting the conflict between the EU, on the one hand, and Russia on the other, and that’s why they push it to be carried out in Ukraine.

Who benefits from these loans in the end?

The money, granted to Ukraine, now flows increasingly into the military operation, and if previously the budget spending on military was 1.25 percent, now it has suddenly been raised to more than five percent. These are huge sums of money spent on the military. And beyond that, of course, there are large defence companies and banks in the US that make a lot of money on these companies. In addition, in the background there is the large corporation Monsanto, so the small farmers in Ukraine have become so impoverished that they have to sell their land. And who is the major investor standing there and buying their land? This is Monsanto, the largest grain and seed producer in the world.

What goal is then pursued by giving loans?

The goal is to destabilize Ukraine completely, to foment the conflict in the long run. The US is keen to get rid of the big competitors on the world market, i.e. the EU, and now the US leads a very aggressive policy towards Russia, which started after Russia and China completed an energy deal, which is not in dollars, but yuan and ruble. You could actually see it as an affront to the US currency, because the dollar is virtually the last support, in addition to the military, on which US power is resting.

The United States currently uses any conflict to push the EU into the corner. An equally aggressive policy the US leads indeed with China, but now, as the country established its own bank and as the Europeans joined immediately, so the English, the Germans, the French have already agreed on everything that is contrary to what the Americans want from them.

The interview was conducted by RT editor Anna Shalimova

RT Deutsch

The Clintons Received Millions of USD from Ukrainian Oligarch Pinchuk

The article originally appeared at RT Deutsch. Translated for RI by Thomas Beavitt


During Hilary Clinton’s tenure as US Secretary [of State] up to 2013, grants to the tune of tens of millions of dollars flowed from Viktor Pinchuk, one of the richest Ukrainian oligarchs, to the Clinton Global Initiative. The goal of the fundraising was to make the Ukraine a “successful, free and modern country on the basis of European values”. Shortly thereafter, the country broke apart.

Viktor Pinchuk has excellent contacts. Not only is the Ukrainian steel magnate number 54 on the Forbes list of the richest people in the world, the Pinchuks’ family connections are also in evidence. Thus in 2002 the multi-billionaire married Elena Kuchma, daughter of the second Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma, who held office from 1994 to 2005. Among the areas of responsibility of Kuchma included the privatisation of Kryvorizhstals, the largest steel plant in Ukraine. The buyer of the company was the Interpipe Group, which in turn is part owned by Kuchma’s son-in-law Pinchuk. The purchase price was about one-sixth of the company’s actual value.

Various other start-ups and the acquisition of four Ukrainian TV channels characterised Pinchuk’s business activity over the following years. The empire was ultimately rounded off with the establishment of the “Pinchuk Foundation”, which claims to be the largest “philanthropic foundation” of Ukraine. No charitable activities on the part of the Foundation, however, have ever been documented.

The Pinchuk Foundation made up for it by being more active in the international arena. Already in 2007 the first payments of around 5 million dollars flowed to Hillary and Bill Clinton’s Global Initiative, which picturesquely describes their foundation’s purpose as “gathering global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to the most pressing challenges facing the world”. De facto, however, the Foundation can be considered in terms of an international support network for the political career of Hillary Clinton. 

From 2008, Pinchuk committed to a further 29 million US dollar donation to the Clinton Global Initiative, split over five years. In this way, funds from the Ukrainian steel magnate flowed directly across the Atlantic to the accounts of the Clintons during Hillary Clinton’s tenure as US Secretary of State during the Obama Administration of 2009-2013, as a report in the Wall Street Journal has recently lain bare.

While the Clintion Foundation officially accepts no funds from foreign governments, during the period in which Hillary Clinton led the US State Department, the doors to financial benefits were on the rebound, as in the Pinchuks case, obviously always wide open. This also raises the question of direct influence over the US government through interest groups from Ukrainian big capital circles in the immediate vicinity of the EU.

The stated aim of the donation in the order of tens of millions of dollars may have been, as the Pinchuk Foundation claims, to “establish a successful, free and modern country, based on European values.” It’s a choice of words that may carry a pleasant connotation; however, a seasoned observer of transatlantic geopolitics is unlikely to expect any good to come of it.

In November 2013, Ukraine entered a phase of domestic instability, which eventually led to the overthrow of the Ukrainian President Yanukovych following his refusal to sign the EU Association Agreement. As a result, the country was plunged into civil war.

Viktor Pinchuk continues to run successful businesses in Ukraine and Hillary Clinton is on course to run for the highest office in the 2016 US Presidential elections. She can be assured of the strong financial support of the Pinchuk Group.

RT Deutsch

Ukrainian Martial Law Bill Could Pave the Way for Internment Camps to Detain “Anti-Ukrainians”

The article originally appeared at RT Deutsch. Translated for RI by Kristina Aleshnikova

 

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has spoken in parliament (Verkhovna Rada) in favor of Bill 2451 “On the Legal Regime of Martial Law.” This paves the way for comprehensive curfews as well as the construction of internment camps for “citizens whose native country threatens or is already actively participating in aggression against Ukraine.”

The Ukrainian head of state submitted the document regarding an update to the legal regulation of martial law to parliament on April 3.

The draft, faithful to the Western orientation of its responsible legislative body, stipulates among other things the establishment of internment camps for those “citizens” living in Ukraine whose country of origin threatens or is already actively participating in “aggression against Ukraine.”

A further point that would be covered by the revised martial law would be the introduction of mandatory community service for all able-bodied persons.

In addition, martial law would include expropriation of private or communal property for the needs of the state in defense operations.

Even peaceful gatherings, rallies, marches, and demonstrations could be banned under the reformed martial law.

The bill is also directed against political parties and social organizations that are focused on the “destruction of the independence of Ukraine, the change of the constitutional order by force,” or that “violate the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, undermine its security, and endanger public health.”

The law also allows for an extension of the curfew and restrictions on entry to and exit from Ukraine as well as a restriction on the right of temporary and permanent residence.

The confiscation of private housing, removal of heads of companies for “dereliction of duty,” and special rules for the manufacture and sale of certain medicines would also be possible if the bill becomes law.

 

 

 

RT Deutsch

Russia-Hating John McCain Disappointed that Germany Wants Cooperation with Moscow

The article originally appeared at RT Deutsch. Translated for RI by Anita Zalaldinova.


Washington needs Europe to bring distress to Russia on the Eurasian Continent. According to US Senator John McCain, the EU is desperately looking for a way to relax the sanctions against Russia. Germany also hopes for the restoration of constructive relations with Moscow.

Speaking to the news agency Sputnik, Republican John McCain, who is considered to be a hardliner in foreign policy, said that the countries of the European Union were not really planning to maintain the US sanctions policy. He admitted:

“The EU has never kept to the transatlantic sanctions regime and will never do so as long as Europe remains dependent on Russian energy resources.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, however, voiced the opinion in Copenhagen follows the sanctions regime in order to respond to the conflict in Ukraine, although, given the difficult economic circumstances, they hope to restore reasonable co-operation with Russia.

The chancellor then acknowledged that the supposedly unanimous decision of Ukraine to seek to join the European community of shared values ​​and to sign the association agreement has been at great cost to the government in Kiev.

So, while Europe still follows the US sanctions regime, it simultaneously tries as hard as it can to reach an agreement with Moscow. Merkel said that it would continuously take steps – unlike the United States, which advocates comprehensive arms supplies to Kiev – to bring about a diplomatic solution to the conflict in Ukraine.

RT Deutsch