Monday 25th of September 2023

tipping point......


Since February 24, 2022, the eyes of the world have been on the Ukrainian conflict. The West is supporting Kiev financially, delivering incredible quantities of arms and ammunition, but is careful not to get directly involved in the theater of operations. Moscow remains patient and pretends not to see the foreign military advisors present on the ground. We are reaching a tipping point where the West could be precipitated into war by a deliberate use of their weapons against Russia on its pre-2014 territory. This is why six EU states are suddenly recommending peace negotiations and two good offices missions are being set up by China and the African Union.


The moment of truth in Ukraine

by Thierry Meyssan


Since September 2022, that is to say for 7 months, Kiev’s troops have been fighting only in Karkiv and in Bakhmut/Artemivsk. The first city is not part of the Donbass. It is not claimed by the Donetsk Republic, which is a member of the Russian Federation. The confrontation was therefore quick. The Russian army withdrew from it. Bakhmut/Artemivsk, on the other hand, is located in the Russian cultural zone. The Russian army resisted. During the winter, the battle turned into a trench warfare, as deadly as the one in Verdun. So that from now on, everyone is waiting, at least in the West, for the weather to allow Kiev to lead a counter-offensive.

Note that nobody is waiting for Russia to continue its offensive towards Kiev. Indeed, everyone has understood that Moscow never wanted to invade Ukraine and take its capital, but only the Donbass and now Novorossia; two areas of Russian culture whose inhabitants are demanding to stop being Ukrainian and become Russian. Yet Western politicians and media continue to denounce the Russian "invasion" of Ukraine.




The famous counter-offensive was supposed to start in April. There is now talk of the end of May. Kiev assures us that this delay is due to the difficulty of receiving Western weapons. Operations should be launched only when all the equipment is in place in order to minimize human losses. However, never in history has a state been given so many weapons to wage war.

Unless what we denounced at the beginning of the war continues: during the first months, three quarters of the material sent from the West was diverted to Kosovo and Albania to supply other theaters of operation, in the Middle East and the Sahel. Another hypothesis is that today the Russian army methodically destroys the equipment upon delivery, before it is distributed to the fighting units.

In any case, the rhetoric of the counter-offensive applies only to the Ukrainian army, not to the population. The Nato media have stopped talking about the "valiant resistance of the Ukrainian people": there is no significant action that has been taken in this sense either in Crimea, Donbass or Novorossia. There is talk of sabotage actions by Ukrainian Special Forces in the Russian territories before 2014, but not of Resistance actions in those that have joined the Federation since.




Weapons are not like other goods. A company that manufactures weapons cannot sell or give them away without authorization from its state. The state requires a written commitment from the recipient as to how the weapons will be used. This is not simply a matter of ensuring that the weapons will not end up in the hands of an enemy of the nation, nor that they will not violate a UN embargo, but that they will not be used to attack a third party in violation of the UN Charter.

Any other transfer is called "trafficking". It is punishable by national and international laws.

Since the beginning of the conflict in Ukraine, the West has refused to deliver weapons that could be used not by Kiev to defend its territory, but by the "integral nationalists" against Russia at home. Indeed, since the First World War, they proclaim that their raison d’être is to eradicate the "Muscovites" from the face of the earth. Their struggle has nothing to do with the current Russian special military operation. For them it is an apocalyptic struggle of Good (them) against Evil (Russians).

If the "integral nationalists" gain the upper hand over the Ukrainian civilian authorities, there is a serious danger that they will attack targets inside Russia. In that case, the states that supplied them with the weapons they would use would automatically be involved in the war. They would become co-belligerents. Russia would be entitled to retaliate against them on their territory.

This is a very serious risk. According to the Washington Post [1], based on documents revealed by Jack Teixeira (Discords Leaks), President Volodymyr Zelensky proposed to the Pentagon a few months ago to conquer Russian border villages, to sabotage the pipeline connecting Russia to Hungary (an EU member, as France and the Netherlands are owners of Nord Stream) and to point long-range missiles at Russia.

So the West first delivered weapons that can only be used on the Ukrainian battlefield: handguns and assault rifles. Then they moved on to guns and armour. Now the question arises of aircraft. The Mig-29s donated by Poland and Slovakia date from the 1970s. Half a century old, they are no longer used by the Russian army and have no chance in combat with modern aircraft such as the Sukhoi-35. But they can be used on Ukrainian territory provided they are protected from Russian aircraft by an effective anti-aircraft defense.

President Zelensky came to the UK to beg for F-16s. The British and Dutch Prime Ministers, Rishi Sunak and Mark Rutte, have announced that they are working on this. The F-16s are much more modern aircraft, dating from the 1990s. The question is whether they can fly into Russian territory or not. To tell the truth, no one can answer this question with certainty until they have tried. Russian anti-aircraft defenses have made considerable progress and may be able to shoot them down.

Last week, Mig-29s armed with Franco-British SCALP/Storm Shadow missiles managed to destroy an Su-34, an Su-35 and two Mi-8 helicopters at a military airfield in Russia. It seems that the Russian army did not know that these cruise missiles had already been delivered to Ukraine. They did not think that the Ukrainian Mig-29s could reach them and did not shoot them down. They will not be caught again. To begin with, the Russian army severely damaged a Ukrainian Patriot anti-aircraft battery. This is to ensure that Moscow’s own planes will be able to intercept Ukrainian planes without risk of damage.
In this example, Russia is legally entitled to retaliate against the United Kingdom, which delivered the Storm Shadow missiles. It is unlikely that London had been warned of this attack. It could have found itself in a state of war without wanting to.
The escalation continued, with President Joe Biden announcing at the G7 that he was allowing U.S. customers to give or deliver F-16s to Ukraine. Cautiously, Washington will not transfer them itself, thus not risking being plunged into war itself. Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Poland or Norway could do so at their own risk.



So we have reached the tipping point: one more Western effort and the Ukrainian "integral nationalists" will generalize the war, with or without the consent of their sponsors.

According to Seymour Hersh [2], Poland has taken the initiative to ask Ukraine to accept a cease-fire and negotiate peace. His initiative was supported by five other members of the European Union: the Czech Republic, Hungary, and the three Baltic States.

The American journalist has not followed the Syrian war. He is not aware of the Russian military superiority and interprets this initiative as a reaction to the bloodbath in Bakhmut/Artemivsk. The Poles know that the Russian Kinjal hypersonic missiles do not miss their target and that, for the time being, they can never be stopped. Over the past few months, they have methodically destroyed numerous command centers and ammunition depots. They are the ones who have just damaged a Patriot battery. In the current state of forces, the war is lost for Ukraine. If it is generalized, it will be lost for the West. The Poles, until now eager to fight, immediately understood that the point of no return had been reached, beyond which they would be pulverized.




Two good offices missions are currently underway: one from the People’s Republic of China and one from the African Union.

On 24 February, Beijing published a twelve-point plan for peace in Ukraine [3]. Both sides agreed that it could serve as a basis for a solution to the conflict. President Xi Jinping has appointed Li Hui to shuttle between the capitals of both sides, including allies. He has already met with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, then with President Zelensky and probably with German officials.

Li Hui is a seasoned diplomat. He was for a decade the Chinese ambassador to Moscow. He was careful to begin his meetings with the Ukrainian side by noting that the Ukrainian side "would not accept any proposal that would involve the loss of its territories or the freezing of the conflict. He knows that the notion of "loss of territory" can change if one considers that the Ukrainian population is multi-ethnic and that one recognizes the right of each of its components to self-determination.

The other good offices mission is that of the African Union. Led by South Africa, it is expected to include the Congo, Egypt, Uganda, Senegal and Zambia. It is very important for Africans to show that they can play a peaceful role internationally and are no longer underdeveloped begging for emergency aid. In 2012, they had similarly designed a peace mission for Libya, but Nato had forbidden them to go to Tripoli on pain of destroying their plane in flight and killing any heads of state who ventured there.

However, their mission is less well prepared than that of the Chinese, as they have not drafted a text outlining their vision of the conflict and of peace. In addition, the United States is making every effort to undermine South Africa’s credibility. Pretoria is a member of the BRICS along with Russia. It will host the summit of the organization from August 22 to 24. But it is a member of the International Criminal Court, which has just issued an arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin. He will obviously not arrest the Russian president during his official trip and will therefore be in default. In addition, the US ambassador, Reuben Brigety II, is accusing Pretoria of not being neutral and of having secretly delivered arms to Russia. He claims that a Russian cargo ship, the Lady R., came to pick them up. These antics mask the real conflict: South Africa is trying to demonstrate that a multipolar world is possible. It is not taking a position in the Ukrainian conflict, but its army is collaborating with the Russian army to train its soldiers. Thus, it asserts that it is possible to work together militarily while being politically independent.


Thierry Meyssan



Roger Lagassé
















past controls present.....

By Jeffrey D. Sachs / Common Dreams

George Orwell wrote in 1984 that “Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.” Governments work relentlessly to distort public perceptions of the past. Regarding the Ukraine War, the Biden administration has repeatedly and falsely claimed that the Ukraine War started with an unprovoked attack by Russia on Ukraine on February 24, 2022. In fact, the war was provoked by the U.S. in ways that leading U.S. diplomats anticipated for decades in the lead-up to the war, meaning that the war could have been avoided and should now be stopped through negotiations.

Recognizing that the war was provoked helps us to understand how to stop it. It doesn’t justify Russia’s invasion. A far better approach for Russia might have been to step up diplomacy with Europe and with the non-Western world to explain and oppose U.S. militarism and unilateralism. In fact, the relentless U.S. push to expand NATO is widely opposed throughout the world, so Russian diplomacy rather than war would likely have been effective.

The Biden team uses the word “unprovoked” incessantly, most recently in Biden’s major speech on the first-year anniversary of the war, in a recent NATO statement, and in the most recent G7 statement. Mainstream media friendly to Biden simply parrot the White House. The New York Times is the lead culprit, describing the invasion as “unprovoked” no fewer than 26 times, in five editorials, 14 opinion columns by NYT writers, and seven guest op-eds!

There were in fact two main U.S. provocations. The first was the U.S. intention to expand NATO to Ukraine and Georgia in order to surround Russia in the Black Sea region by NATO countries (Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, and Georgia, in counterclockwise order). The second was the U.S. role in installing a Russophobic regime in Ukraine by the violent overthrow of Ukraine’s pro-Russian President, Viktor Yanukovych, in February 2014. The shooting war in Ukraine began with Yanukovych’s overthrow nine years ago, not in February 2022 as the U.S. government, NATO, and the G7 leaders would have us believe.

Biden and his foreign policy team refuse to discuss these roots of the war. To recognize them would undermine the administration in three ways. First, it would expose the fact that the war could have been avoided, or stopped early, sparing Ukraine its current devastation and the U.S. more than $100 billion in outlays to date. Second, it would expose President Biden’s personal role in the war as a participant in the overthrow of Yanukovych, and before that as a staunch backer of the military-industrial complex and very early advocate of NATO enlargement. Third, it would push Biden to the negotiating table, undermining the administration’s continued push for NATO expansion.

The archives show irrefutably that the U.S. and German governments repeatedly promised to Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev that NATO would not move “one inch eastward” when the Soviet Union disbanded the Warsaw Pact military alliance. Nonetheless, U.S. planning for NATO expansion began early in the 1990s, well before Vladimir Putin was Russia’s president. In 1997, national security expert Zbigniew Brzezinski spelled out the NATO expansion timeline with remarkable precision.

U.S. diplomats and Ukraine’s own leaders knew well that NATO enlargement could lead to war. The great US scholar-statesman George Kennan called NATO enlargement a “fateful error,” writing in the New York Times that, “Such a decision may be expected to inflame the nationalistic, anti-Western and militaristic tendencies in Russian opinion; to have an adverse effect on the development of Russian democracy; to restore the atmosphere of the cold war to East-West relations, and to impel Russian foreign policy in directions decidedly not to our liking.”

President Bill Clinton’s Secretary of Defense William Perry considered resigning in protest against NATO enlargement. In reminiscing about this crucial moment in the mid-1990s, Perry said the following in 2016: “Our first action that really set us off in a bad direction was when NATO started to expand, bringing in eastern European nations, some of them bordering Russia. At that time, we were working closely with Russia and they were beginning to get used to the idea that NATO could be a friend rather than an enemy … but they were very uncomfortable about having NATO right up on their border and they made a strong appeal for us not to go ahead with that.”

In 2008, then U.S. Ambassador to Russia, and now CIA Director, William Burns, sent cable to Washington warning at length of grave risks of NATO enlargement: “Ukraine and Georgia’s NATO aspirations not only touch a raw nerve in Russia, they engender serious concerns about the consequences for stability in the region. Not only does Russia perceive encirclement, and efforts to undermine Russia’s influence in the region, but it also fears unpredictable and uncontrolled consequences which would seriously affect Russian security interests. Experts tell us that Russia is particularly worried that the strong divisions in Ukraine over NATO membership, with much of the ethnic-Russian community against membership, could lead to a major split, involving violence or at worst, civil war. In that eventuality, Russia would have to decide whether to intervene; a decision Russia does not want to have to face.”

Ukraine’s leaders knew clearly that pressing for NATO enlargement to Ukraine would mean war. Former Zelensky advisor Oleksiy Arestovych declared in a 2019 interview “that our price for joining NATO is a big war with Russia.”

During 2010-2013, Yanukovych pushed neutrality, in line with Ukrainian public opinion. The U.S. worked covertly to overthrow Yanukovych, as captured vividly in the tape of then U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt planning the post-Yanukovych government weeks before the violent overthrow of Yanukovych. Nuland makes clear on the call that she was coordinating closely with then Vice President Biden and his national security advisor Jake Sullivan, the same Biden-Nuland-Sullivan team now at the center of U.S. policy vis-à-vis Ukraine.

After Yanukovych’s overthrow, the war broke out in the Donbas, while Russia claimed Crimea. The new Ukrainian government appealed for NATO membership, and the U.S. armed and helped restructure the Ukrainian army to make it interoperable with NATO. In 2021, NATO and the Biden Administration strongly recommitted to Ukraine’s future in NATO.

In the immediate lead-up to Russia’s invasion, NATO enlargement was center stage. Putin’s draft US-Russia Treaty (December 17, 2021) called for a halt to NATO enlargement. Russia’s leaders put NATO enlargement as the cause of war in Russia’s National Security Council meeting on February 21, 2022. In his address to the nation that day, Putin declared NATO enlargement to be a central reason for the invasion.

Historian Geoffrey Roberts recently wrote: “Could war have been prevented by a Russian-Western deal that halted NATO expansion and neutralised Ukraine in return for solid guarantees of Ukrainian independence and sovereignty? Quite possibly.” In March 2022, Russia and Ukraine reported progress towards a quick negotiated end to the war based on Ukraine’s neutrality. According to Naftali Bennett, former Prime Minister of Israel, who was a mediator, an agreement was close to being reached before the U.S., U.K., and France blocked it.

While the Biden administration declares Russia’s invasion to be unprovoked, Russia pursued diplomatic options in 2021 to avoid war, while Biden rejected diplomacy, insisting that Russia had no say whatsoever on the question of NATO enlargement. And Russia pushed diplomacy in March 2022, while the Biden team again blocked a diplomatic end to the war.

By recognizing that the question of NATO enlargement is at the center of this war, we understand why U.S. weaponry will not end this war. Russia will escalate as necessary to prevent NATO enlargement to Ukraine. The key to peace in Ukraine is through negotiations based on Ukraine’s neutrality and NATO non-enlargement. The Biden administration’s insistence on NATO enlargement to Ukraine has made Ukraine a victim of misconceived and unachievable U.S. military aspirations. It’s time for the provocations to stop, and for negotiations to restore peace to Ukraine.