NATO Ukraine arms convoys are legitimate targets – Russia
Russia will perceive convoys delivering arms from NATO states to Ukraine as legitimate targets for its military once they reach Kiev controlled territory, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov warned in an interview published on Wednesday.
Regular contact with the US is impossible for Russia, considering “Washington’s unabashed support for militaristic intentions of the Kiev regime [and] the pouring of modern weapons” into the country by NATO members, the diplomat explained Moscow’s goal now is to make it abundantly clear for the US and its allies that Russia will use harsh methods in response to attempts to stymie its military in Ukraine.
“We are warning that American-NATO transports carrying weapons across the Ukrainian territory are considered legitimate military targets,” he stressed.
Moscow has maintained this position from the early days of hostilities in Ukraine. This week, the Russian defense ministry reported destroying four launchers from a battery of the S-300 air defense system delivered to Ukraine by an unnamed European nation.
The weapons in question was believed to be from Slovakia, which announced donating an S-300 battery to Ukraine last week. Slovak Prime Minister Eduard Heger called the Russian claim “propaganda,”citing Kiev’s denial of the report.
In an interview with TASS news agency, Ryabkov said Washington de facto refused to give straight answers about Pentagon-funded biolabs in Ukraine. Moscow and China said they were concerned that the labs were used for bioweapons research, an allegation that US officials have denied. The lack of a proper answer to legitimate questions “confirms that our concerns have grounding,”the Russian diplomat said.
Ryabkov said that all talks between Russia and the US on strategic stability and nuclear deterrence have been frozen. New START, the last treaty on nuclear arms reduction binding the two nations, which has survived since the Cold War, will remain in force until February 2026, he said.
The official added that American attempts to damage Russia through economic sanctions failed to achieve their goal, contrary to the “expectations that the Russians would surrender, as the West convinced itself.” The restrictions are hurting Western nations and businesses too, he pointed out. And while they may slow down Russia’s development, in the long run they won’t stop it, Ryabkov assured.
Washington “is irritated by our calm focus on the tasks of stabilizing the economy and ensuring its sustained functioning in the environment of unprecedented foreign pressure,”he said.
Moscow attacked the neighboring state in late February, following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements signed in 2014, and Russia’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German and French brokered Minsk Protocol was designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.
Russia has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two republics by force.
As The Gateway Pundit reported last night — Russia called to convene the United Nations Security Council this morning to present evidence of military biological activities by the United States in Ukraine.
US officials offered varying responses to Russia’s claims on the Biolabs in Ukraine. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland, for example, told lawmakers on Tuesday that Ukraine does, in fact, have “biological research facilities” in the country.
Russian officials released a preliminary report before the hearing today.
The documents included one study that listed CDC official Andres Velasco-Villa listed by name.
The study shows US and Ukrainian officials studying insectivorous bats in Ukraine and detection of emerging viral and baterial pathogens including coronavirus.
So it wasn’t just Wuhan.
The US was also funding bat research on coronavirus in Ukraine too!
You can find more documents in the link provided by Russian officials.
Of course, at this time it is not clear if this is Russian propaganda or actual captured documents.
Briefing on the results of the analysis of documents related to the military biological activities of the United States on the territory of Ukraine ➡️ https://t.co/J3AgoSVu9T
Meta changes policy, says Facebook and Instagram users may call for violence against Russians, Putin’s assassination: Report
March 10, 2022
Users of Facebook and Instagram in certain countries will be temporarily allowed to call for and threaten violence against Russian citizens and Russian troops, according to a new report.
In a change to Meta‘s hate speech policy, users in these countries will be able to make such posts only in the context of Russia’s war in Ukraine, according to Reuters, citing internal emails.
“The social media company is also temporarily allowing some posts that call for death to Russian President Vladimir Putin or Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko in countries including Russia, Ukraine and Poland,” the report from Reuters says. “These calls for the leaders’ deaths will be allowed unless they contain other targets or have two indicators of credibility, such as the location or method.”
Reuters (@Reuters) Tweeted: Exclusive: Meta will allow Facebook and Instagram users in some countries to call for violence against Russians and Russian soldiers in the context of the Ukraine invasion, according to internal emails, in a temporary change to its hate speech policy https://t.co/5jajrSea2lhttps://t.co/I2GVxPcneN
Kakistocracy: noun, government by the worst persons; a form of government in which the worst persons are in power.
The old saying goes that even a blind squirrel finds a nut occasionally. So you might think that during a 50-year political career, the odds would dictate that Joe Biden would, once in a blue moon, make a correct decision — just based on the odds. But you’d be mistaken. Biden has stumbled and bumbled from one disastrous decision to the next. Disastrous, that is, for America. Biden himself has prospered handsomely in spite of his glaring incompetence and corruption.
Biden’s long Senate career was based on being the credit card companies’ man in Washington. While crowing endlessly about the working class being “his people,” Biden sponsored bills allowing bank issuers to charge egregious interest rates and to make it harder for working men to escape the credit trap through bankruptcy.
When Biden chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee, he turned the confirmation of Clarence Thomas into a political smear campaign that descended into a degenerate three-ring circus. In his first campaign for president, he failed to garner a single percentage point before having to withdraw when confronted with his past lies and blatant plagiarism. He literally stole a speech detailing a British politician’s life story. He ran again in 2008 but again failed to reach even one percent of the vote.
By the time he ran for president again in 2020 he was a spent husk of his former corrupt and incompetent self, delivering asinine performances in the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary. When the Democrat establishment propped him up to once again stop Bernie Sanders, Biden was set up for the strangest presidential campaign in modern history. While Donald Trump barnstormed the nation with packed, enthusiastic rallies, Biden cowered in his basement, occasionally venturing out to speak with a few dozen voters sitting in circles drawn on the floor.
For his vice presidential pick, he chose — if you can believe it — an even more buffoonish candidate than himself.
Had it not been for Mark Zuckerberg buying and staffing government election offices in swing states, and the media and Big Tech’s censorship of the Biden family’s corruption, Biden would now be enjoying his dotage in Delaware, creeping on unsuspecting children with yarns of Corn Pop and South African arrests.
Instead, the man with one of the most astonishing records of abject failure in Washington was installed in the White House, and he has remained true to form. As one of a hundred senators and then as vice president, there was a limit to how much damage he could do. But as president, the shackles have been removed.
His first agenda item was to throttle our oil and gas sector, offshoring tens of thousands of good paying jobs to Russia and the Middle East — along with our energy independence. He threw open our southern border and encouraged virtually unlimited illegal immigration — during a global pandemic.
Biden’s “defund the police” rhetoric delivered us soaring violent crime in Democrat-run cities, while he sicced federal law enforcement on parents who object too strenuously to their children being indoctrinated with anti-White racism and LGBTQIA+ ideology.
It can truly be said that as president, Biden’s record of failure remains unblemished.
But now comes what may be the capstone on Biden’s long history of buffoonery and corruption. In Ukraine, we have an armed conflict that threatens to plunge the world into an economic depression and raises the specter of nuclear war. Not only did Biden set the stage for this calamity when, as vice president, he was in charge of Ukraine policy and led Kiev to believe that NATO membership was in Ukraine’s future, but on the eve of the Russian invasion, he refused to admit that it was not. Then Biden all but admitted to Vladimir Putin — on live TV, no less — that NATO would not defend Ukraine if Russia chose to invade.
In the aftermath of Russia’s invasion, Biden and his administration have crafted sanctions that seem almost designed to boomerang on America’s and Europe’s fragile post-pandemic economies, while forcing Russia into a deeper alliance with China.
With the U.S. over $31 trillion in debt, Biden seems totally oblivious to the perilous position of the U.S. dollar as the world’s reserve currency and the consequences should that privileged position end.
Economists predict that food and gasoline will cost the average U.S. household an additional $3,000 this year, and inflation threatens to push millions of lower-middle income-earners into abject poverty.
And bumbling, corrupt Joe Biden isn’t yet halfway through his first — and please God, last — term.
On its Instagram account, McDonald’s Russia doesn’t peddle celebrity menu collaborations, clever cultural memes or corporate-branded swag, as does its counterpart in the United States. Mickey D’s in Russia takes a different approach to cultivating customer relationships: It gives them video walking tours of Moscow and St. Petersburg, inviting locals to better appreciate the architecture of the cities they call home. The tour guide will, with his preferred McCafe drink in hand, traverse the snow-
— Read on finance.yahoo.com/news/mcdonalds-didnt-just-close-850-200542820.html
MOSCOW, RUSSIA – 2022/03/09: The logo of the McDonald’s fast food chain seen on the roof of the restaurant. (Photo by Alexander Sayganov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images) (SOPA Images via Getty Images)
On its Instagram account, McDonald’s Russia doesn’t peddle celebrity menu collaborations, clever cultural memes or corporate-branded swag, as does its counterpart in the United States. Mickey D’s in Russia takes a different approach to cultivating customer relationships: It gives them video walking tours of Moscow and St. Petersburg, inviting locals to better appreciate the architecture of the cities they call home.
The tour guide will, with his preferred McCafe drink in hand, traverse the snow-covered streets of the city to point out, say, the St. Petersburg Mutual Credit Society building, the first building specifically constructed in Russia for a commercial bank. “The building resembles the palace buildings of the Renaissance era,” according to a translation of the video post.
The relationship McDonald’s has with its Russian customers is unusual: It is part hustler, part history professor, part corporate benefactor, part Stuart Smalley. “Let’s write to each other sincere wishes and congratulations for the coming year in the comments and go into 2022 with a great mood,” reads a translated Instagram post from Dec. 30.
Nearly two weeks after Russian troops invaded Ukraine, and after activists and investors pressed the company, McDonald’s announced Tuesday that it would temporarily close 850 restaurants in Russia. In the announcement, Chris Kempczinski, chief executive of McDonald’s, said, “Our values mean we cannot ignore the needless human suffering unfolding in Ukraine.” He also acknowledged the tight relationship that the chain has developed with Russians in the 32 years since the Golden Arches opened its first restaurant in 1990, when the country was still under Soviet control.
“In Russia, we employ 62,000 people who have poured their heart and soul into our McDonald’s brand to serve their communities,” Kempczinski said in an email to employees and franchisees. “We work with hundreds of local, Russian suppliers and partners who produce the food for our menu and support our brand. And we serve millions of Russian customers each day who count on McDonald’s.
Trump not only successfully deterred Russia from acting against Ukraine, he effectively deterred a lot of bad behavior across the planet.
JOHN RATCLIFFE AND CLIFF SIMS
A recent Harvard-Harris poll found that 62 percent of Americans believe that Russia would not have invaded Ukraine if Donald Trump were still in the Oval Office. As former senior intelligence officials under President Trump, we agree with that view.
Russia invaded Georgia in 2008 when George W. Bush was president. Russia took Crimea in 2014 when Barack Obama was president. Russia has now invaded Ukraine with Joe Biden as president. However, when Donald Trump was president, Russia did not seize territory from any of its neighbors.
During his four years in office, Trump not only successfully deterred Russia from acting against Ukraine, he effectively deterred a lot of bad behavior across the planet. He focused on ending America’s foreign wars rather than launching new ones. At the same time, he brokered the Abraham Accords to expand peace in the Middle East.
The exercise of American power to deter adversaries is a complicated business. It involves a mix of military, economic, political, and diplomatic strategies and actions that together communicate the costs of threatening U.S. national interests.
Ultimately, the art of statecraft boils down to whether a president projects American strength that deters adversaries, or projects American weakness that emboldens our adversaries.
So how did Trump succeed in containing Putin while the Russian autocrat has run wild with others in the White House? Why was he so successful at spreading peace elsewhere? We believe the long answer begins with these ten ways that Donald Trump projected American strength and kept the bad guys in check:
Rebuilt the American Military
Crusaded for American Energy Dominance
Set the Tone by Launching Surgical Missile Strikes in Syria in Early 2017
Developed Strong Relationships with Middle Eastern Nations Based on Mutual Interests
Was Ruthless with the Taliban While Winding Down the Afghanistan War
Crushed the ISIS Caliphate
Demonstrated a Consistent Willingness to Take out the Bad Guys
Stood Up to China
Strategically Used Unpredictability as an Asset in Foreign Affairs
Advanced Tough Russia Policies and Provided Lethal Aid to Ukraine while Maintaining an Open Dialogue
Each of these points are worthy of unpacking in-depth, but there are several that illustrate the dramatic difference in approach between Trump and Biden, starting with Afghanistan.
When President Trump initiated the process of ending America’s longest war, senior officials huddled in the Situation Room to discuss tactical challenges on the ground. The president reminded the group of America’s humiliating withdrawal from Saigon at the end of the Vietnam War, and said we must do whatever it takes to leave in a safe, orderly, and dignified way. When military leaders bemoaned the costs and logistical challenges of bringing home our equipment, the president said that he did not care if it was a helicopter or a styrofoam cooler. If it had an American flag on it, it was either coming home or getting destroyed to keep it from falling into the hands of our enemies. He vowed that we would leave on our terms, or we would not leave at all.
Tragically, President Biden’s approach – which included the decision to abandon the strategically important Bagram Air Base prior to the evacuation – cost the lives of 13 American servicemembers and led to the Taliban parading victoriously through Kabul with billions of dollars of American combat equipment. The administration’s stunning incompetence – detailed in an official U.S. Army report – made the United States look weak and vulnerable on the world stage, and Putin was watching.
The world took notice when Trump ordered the killing of Iranian terrorist general Qassem Soleimani, who had operated with impunity throughout the Middle East until the U.S. military sent two Hellfire missiles through his vehicle. As a candidate for president, Biden released a statement condemning the righteous attack as a “hugely escalatory move” that brought us to “the brink of a major conflict across the Middle East.” This, of course, proved to not be the case, but it illustrated Biden’s unwillingness to do what it takes to establish credible deterrence.
This principle of deterrence applies across the globe, which explains why the Chinese military has sent a record number of airplanes into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone since Biden took office.
To the specific case at hand, Trump was much tougher on Russia than the media have led people to believe, while Biden has been far softer.
Trump deployed such aggressive sanctions against Russia that President Obama’s Secretary of Defense Robert Gates called them the toughest in history, and he withdrew from one-sided treaties that hamstrung the U.S. while Russia violated the terms.
Biden has taken the opposite approach, appeasing Putin by handing him his top two geopolitical priorities on a silver platter. He unconditionally extended the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, allowing Russia to continue building tactical nuclear weapons while constraining our ability to modernize. And while Trump imposed sanctions to stop Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline in its tracks, construction was allowed to resume when Biden took office.
President Trump understood the power of building American energy dominance. By slashing onerous regulations, Trump sparked an American energy boom that ensured we would never be reliant on any other nation to meet our energy needs. Geopolitically, America’s increased export capacity reduced Putin’s leverage over our European allies, who depend on Russia for 40 percent of their gas and more than a quarter of their oil.
Trump approved the Keystone XL oil pipeline at home and shut down Russia’s Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline in Eastern Europe. Biden reversed both decisions, meaning he has been harder on America’s energy producers than he has been on Russia’s. To add insult to injury, as the Russian army pushed into Ukraine, Biden’s climate envoy John Kerry hoped aloud that “President Putin will help us to stay on track with respect to what we need to do for the climate.”
Vladimir Putin’s appetite for expansion did not wane during the four years Trump was in office, and the world was not just miraculously a safer place. Bad actors like Putin simply knew that they had to restrain themselves or deal with the consequences. In nearly every way possible, President Biden has weakened the United States and our allies and empowered Putin. As a result, Russia is on the march, even as the Ukrainian people have inspired the world with their courage and resilience. And in the wings, America’s greatest threat – Xi Jinping’s China – waits, and watches.