Tag Archive for: Russia

Biden’s handlers claim Iranian soldiers are on the ground in Ukraine aiding the Russians

Biden’s handlers cannot necessarily be believed, but as there has been close cooperation between Russia and Iran for years, there is nothing inherently implausible about this. If it is true, there must be some quid pro quo, with Russia in some way aiding the Islamic Republic in putting down the freedom uprising inside Iran.

Iranian soldiers on ground in Ukraine aiding Russians, White House confirms

by Michael Starr, Jerusalem Post, October 20, 2022:

Iranian military personnel are on the ground in occupied Ukrainian territories providing aid to the Russian military in their ongoing invasion, the White House confirmed on Thursday night.

“We can confirm that Russian military personnel based in Crimea have been piloting Iranian UAVs and using them to conduct kinetic strikes across Ukraine in strikes against Kyiv, and in recent days we assess that Iranian personnel — Iranian military personnel — were on the ground in Crimea and assisted Russia in these operations,” said US State Department Spokesperson Ned Price….

“In spite of all this we’ve seen Russia and Iran continue to lie…continue to claim that they are not providing this material,” said Price on Thursday night.

The denials continued last weekend when Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdullahian told his Portuguese counterpart that Iran did not sell drones or any weapons to either party to the conflict.

“We believe that arming either side will prolong the war, and we do not think that war is the right way,” Abdullahian said according to Maariv.

Price said that “indisputable proof” had emerged of Irain’s [sic] involvement in the Russia-Ukraine War and had been presented to the  UN Security Council on Wednesday.

Images of Iranian-Russian drones have emerged in recent days on social and mainstream media platforms. CNN was shown a largely intact reconnaissance drone by the Ukrainian military, which claimed that there had been efforts to cover up its Iranian origin….

AUTHOR

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

OPEC Ignores Biden’s Pleas, Decides To Cut Oil Production

UPDATE: Green Biden scrambles to boost American oil production after OPEC cuts


OPEC+, which includes the 15 OPEC members and the consortium’s Russian-led allies, voted Wednesday to cut oil production by 2 million barrels per day even though the White House urged the group to pump more oil, according to Bloomberg.

OPEC and its Russian-led allies will reduce crude oil production as they are concerned that oil demand will fall as the world enters a recession, Bloomberg reported. President Joe Biden’s senior officials have been attempting to pressure OPEC into voting against a production cut as the White House would consider this to be a “hostile act,” CNN reported on Wednesday.

The administration was “panicking” over OPEC’s potential to cut production as it is concerned that gas prices may continue to rise and hurt the Democrats’ chances in the November midterm elections, according to CNN. The White House aggressively lobbied Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other OPEC members to vote against cutting oil production; however, its efforts failed as OPEC+ wants to keep oil prices steady by reducing global supply ahead of winter, according to Bloomberg.

The Brent crude oil benchmark sits at $93 a barrel on Wednesday after peaking at over $120 a barrel in March. An oil price hike could further exacerbate the West’s fuel shortages which are causing household electricity bills and gas prices to skyrocket.

OPEC+ agreed to a small production boost in August after Biden visited Saudi Arabia and asked the OPEC member to pump more oil during a visit to the nation, according to The Washington Post. Biden was also rebuffed by OPEC after he asked its Middle Eastern members to produce more oil in May.

OPEC and the White House did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

AUTHOR

JACK MCEVOY

Energy & environment reporter.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved. Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

REPORT: Congress Stuffs $12 Billion In Ukraine Aid Into Government Funding Bill

Congress has complied with the Biden administration’s request to include $12 billion for Ukraine in its stopgap funding bill, Reuters reported Monday.

GOP senators remained divided over whether to support the funding request in the continuing resolution, a funding bill that needs to be passed by Sept. 30 to avert a government shutdown, CNN reported on Sept. 19. However, a source familiar with the ongoing negotiations said Congress had agreed to $12 billion in aid on top of the $4o billion authorized in May, Reuters reported.

Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas told CNN the funding package would contain a combination of military, humanitarian and economic assistance.

“I think whatever we do on Ukraine, we ought to be doing it separately from the CR,” Republican Florida Sen. Rick Scott previously said to CNN, referring to the continuing resolution. “I think we’ve gotta have a clean CR that goes through Congress.”

Some Republican lawmakers accused Biden of attempting to stuff a massive amount of aid in the funding package to boost Democrats’ prospects ahead of the midterms, Fox News reported. If Republicans vote against the bill in protest against the lack of accountability measures available to monitor the aid, the Biden administration could construe GOP opposition as tacit support for or apathy toward Russian President Vladimir Putin and his war in Ukraine.

“This newest call from President Biden is simply a superficial midterm election gimmick that will only damage our country in both the short and long term,” said Republican Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona told Fox News earlier in September.

However, the administration asked for funding in accord with the Ukrainian army’s needs and capabilities on the battlefield, a spokesperson for the National Security Council told Fox News.

Ukraine’s recent success in taking back territory Russia occupied early in the war has bolstered the administration’s confidence that Western equipment and support is playing a decisive role in fueling the advance of the overmatched Ukrainian military.

So far, the Biden administration has distributed roughly $15 billion in aid to Ukraine since January 2021, with most of that coming after the Russian invasion in February 2022.

“Roughly three-quarters of the direct military and budgetary support that Congress previously provided for Ukraine has been disbursed or committed, with even more expected by the end of the fiscal year,” the White House’s budget director said on Aug. 30.

In May, 57 GOP senators and 11 representatives had opposed the larger funding bill over the potential for corruption, facing backlash from Democratic congressmembers for being “soft on Putin,” Fox News reported.

“We all want to help, we’re all appalled by what Russia has done in Ukraine,” Pennsylvania Republican Rep. Scott Perry told Fox news.  “But we also have to stand up for accountability for the American taxpayer and how their money is being spent and where.”

The continuing resolution will also include humanitarian assistance for Afghanistan, the source told Reuters.

AUTHOR

MICAELA BURROW

Reporter. 

RELATED ARTICLE: Democrats To Lard Up Must-Pass Funding Bill With Partisan Provisions

EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved. Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

Afghanistan: Taliban Eyes Future in China and Russia

Al Jazeera reports about a “non-Western approach” being pursued by the Taliban. The global shift brought about by American weakness should be a primary concern of the Western media, but of course it isn’t. Only the woke agenda is prioritized in news cycles, hastening America’s trend toward economic and cultural destruction.

America has already handed over $7,000,000,000 dollars of military equipment to the Taliban, but the worst is yet to come if trends in the great global realignment are to continue. The Taliban, which has created the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), is doing what it needs to do for its survival and long-term goals. The Taliban, along with China, Russia, and Iran, all seek to survive and expand, while America under Joe Biden and his woke supporters are working to destroy America’s free society from within.

The International Energy Agency has reported an economic windfall for Russia since its invasion of Ukraine, noting that Russia’s oil revenue jumped to $20,000,000,000 in May alone. Russia has also been building a massive new pipeline with China. And it is expanding the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) — “a 7,200-kilometre (4,474-mile) network of railroads, highways and maritime routes that connects Russia and India through Iran.” Allying with Russia and China would be a further boon for the Taliban.

The worst enemies of America are realigning to strengthen their economies, while Joe Biden compounds his failures and “progressives” remain fixated on transgender issues and how to sink Donald Trump. The headlines are now saturated with anything and everything Democrats and their Left-leaning mainstream media cronies can conjure up to try to justify the Mar-a-Lago raid, which was obviously meant to stymie Trump’s 2024 efforts and divert attention away from Biden’s gross failures. The raid was little more than an extension of the Russian Collusion scam against Trump.

America will suffer further economically, and continue to lose more freedom, as will the EU and UK under the weight of the Red-Green axis about which Jihad Watch and others have been warning for years.

As West puts Taliban on hold, Kabul eyes future in China, Russia

by Giorgio Cafiero, Al Jazeera, August 15, 2022:

Monday marks a year since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan after almost 20 years of US occupation.

But the Taliban rulers have much work left to do as they struggle to revive the country’s lifeless economy and address the dire humanitarian situation.

Meanwhile, the Taliban’s international isolation has not helped its cause.

Despite repeated appeals and efforts by Taliban leaders, no country in the world has recognised the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), as the country is officially known under Taliban rule.

The West has demanded that the Taliban ease curbs on women’s rights and make the government more representative as a condition for recognition. The Taliban says the United States is violating the 2020 Doha Agreement by not recognising its government………

Non-Western countries’ approach

It is important to examine how non-Western countries approach the Taliban government. Several of Afghanistan’s neighbours, including China, Pakistan, and Iran, have accepted Taliban diplomats, along with Malaysia, Qatar (which hosts the Taliban office in Doha), Saudi Arabia, Russia, and Turkmenistan. In fact, Ashgabat, Beijing, Islamabad, and Moscow have even formally accredited Taliban-appointed diplomats, underscoring how the Taliban’s international isolation is relative….

AUTHOR

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Biden to Free Al Qaeda/Marxist/Hezbollah Arms Dealer for WNBA Player

The worst administration ever keeps working hard to earn the name.

The U.S. has offered a deal to Russia aimed at bringing home WNBA star Brittney Griner and another jailed American, Paul Whelan, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Wednesday.

Blinken said Washington would like a response from Moscow. Russia has for years expressed interest in the release of Viktor Bout, a Russian arms dealer once labeled the “Merchant of Death,” who was sentenced to 25 years in prison in 2012 on charges that he schemed to illegally sell millions of dollars in weapons.

Just so we’re clear, Biden is trading a WNBA player in trouble for drugs for a major Russian arms dealer.

And Biden isn’t even responding to a Russian offer, in the same style as his Iran negotiations, he’s just initiating the offer, all but encouraging the Russians to do demand more.

Viktor Bout isn’t just some arms dealer. Here’s why he’s in prison.

Bout was convicted of conspiracy to kill US citizens and officials, deliver anti-aircraft missiles and provide aid to a terrorist organisation.

During Bout’s trial, which began on 12 October, prosecutors said the weapons had been intended to arm the group against what Bout had called a common enemy: US forces supporting the Colombian government.

In the opening statements of his trial the prosecution alleged that Bout had agreed to deliver 100 surface-to-air missiles, 20,000 high-powered rifles and 10m rounds of ammunition to rebels in Colombia in 2008.

They told the jury that Bout had been told the weapons would be used to target US pilots working with Colombian officials.

Prosecutors say Bout replied: “We have the same enemy.”

Bout was providing weapons to the Marxist terror group FARC. A group that some lefties in the Obama and Biden administrations support.

And then there are the alleged Hezbollah ties.

That changed, he said, by the time Bout met with Hezbollah guerrilla leaders in Lebanon in 2006. That meeting apparently led to the delivery of late Soviet-era anti-tank weapons and rocket propelled grenades. Hezbollah immediately used these weapons in the summer 2006 war with Israel.

And then there’s Al Qaeda.

One of Bout’s first known missions on behalf of an al Qaeda-related entity occurred during the Bosnian War. In 1992, Sudan, which was then a hotbed for jihadism, helped arrange shipments of weapons to the Third World Relief Agency (TWRA), which was arming jihadists in Bosnia.

The TWRA is one of those organizations that defies common myths about al Qaeda and how it has operated. On TWRA’s board sat Wael Julaidan, a co-founder of al Qaeda, and Hassan Cengic, a Bosnian official who served as an Iranian intelligence agent and organized arms shipments from Tehran. Meanwhile, the TWRA received tens of millions of dollars from Saudi sources, including the royal family.

In any event, Bout supplied the TWRA with arms. Farah and Braun quote from a detailed European intelligence assessment that reads:

The TWRA agency had their first big operation in September 1992. They hired a Russian transport plane, from well-known sanctions buster and arms trafficker Victor Bout, out of Khartoum, the Sudanese capital, to transport equipment over to the Maribor Airport marked as humanitarian aid. However, instead of humanitarian assistance, the plane carried over 120 tons of Soviet manufactured rifles, RPG’s, mines and ammunition.

Blinken has to know that this is a terrible deal, but the Biden administration is focused on its core constituencies, the Congressional Black Caucus and the Woke Left, and isn’t even pretending to give a damn about minor matters like national security and interests anymore.

Brittney Griner, an idiot who apparently doesn’t understand that Russia doesn’t work like the United States, became a social justice cause, accompanied by the usual clamor about systemic racism, and Biden is rushing to service the only people he cares about his, his activist base.

If Bout is released, people around the world will die. And the Free Brittney 2 idiots will have blood on their hands.

Meanwhile, the message will have been sent once more that any American abroad is a potential hostage.

AUTHOR

RELATED ARTICLE: Why Won’t Western Journalists Cover Nepotism and Corruption in the Palestinian Authority?

EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Biden’s Weakness on the Ukraine-Russia War is a Threat to America

Like Obama, Biden has dragged us through international humiliations to weaken us.

Putin invaded Ukraine under Obama in Feb 2014 and Biden in Feb 2022.

The invasions eight years apart to the month are not a coincidence. Both times Vladimir Putin was facing a lame duck Democrat who had just flinched away from a military engagement.

Each time Putin smelled weakness and he struck.

Obama, after declaring a red line in Syria, had panicked and backed away in 2013. He then cheered on Ukrainian protests against a pro-Russian regime in Kiev and Moscow responded by calling his bluff and seizing Crimea. Afterward, Obama called Putin to warn him that Russia’s actions were in “violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty” and that “in coordination with our European partners, we are prepared to impose additional costs on Russia for its actions.”

Those “sanctions” consisted of buying twice as much Russian oil in Jan 2015 as in Feb 2014.

The latest Russian invasion followed the Fall of Kabul and the pathetic spectacle of American forces abandoning their own citizens to Taliban terror which helped make Biden a lame duck.

Would we be watching a war in Ukraine if not for Biden’s disgrace in Afghanistan?

Apart from the questions of what we should have done in Afghanistan or Syria is the issue of basic national credibility. Nations can do smart or stupid things abroad, but the one thing they can’t afford is not to be taken seriously. When the president of the United States says something, the world should sit up and take notice, instead of yawn and change the channel.

Putin is, despite the claims from the administration and its media, a rational actor. Like every tyrant he sees no value in rhetoric except as assertions of strength or admissions of weakness.

Biden, like his former boss, keeps insulting and threatening Putin not from a position of strength, but as an admission of weakness. Biden calls for regime change and war crimes trials for Putin, and then slow walks shipments of weapons and refuses to transfer planes to Ukraine.

The message is the same as when Obama condemned Putin’s invasion of Crimea and then refused to provide meaningful armaments to Ukraine while slow walking shipments of boots.

Putin understands the message the same way a big dog understands when a little dog yaps.

Moscow isn’t paying attention to what Washington D.C. says, but what it does. And the real message from Biden is that he’s afraid of Putin, but looking to cover it up with tough talk.

Biden wants all the political benefits of siding with Ukraine, with none of the military risks. Like Obama, he’s trying to prop up an international order centered around the United States while pretending that it can be done through diplomacy and sanctions without the use of force.

The real world doesn’t work that way.

The false choice between globalism and isolationism is just that. Foreign policy is not an ideology, it’s a balance. When nations embrace ideological foreign policies, they court disaster. Putin’s disaster in Ukraine put ideology ahead of strategy, embracing wishful thinking that ignored the realities of the battlefield and the cost of war. That’s something we know about.

But whatever damage Putin inflicts on Russia in Ukraine, Biden has inflicted more on us.

Beyond the economic pain, Biden has once again wrecked America’s credibility, making public commitments and private disavowals, putting our honor on the line for a war he has no intention of winning or even getting involved in. Putin understands that even a partial victory in Ukraine means not just a defeat for that country, but for the United States and Europe as paper tigers.

And Moscow may be willing to sacrifice ten or twenty thousand men for that strategic objective.

Biden has put America in the terrible position of having committed to a war that only a third party can win. And he has no intention of properly arming that third party to win on the battlefield.

What that really means is that Biden and his administration have set up America to lose.

Like Obama, the Biden administration has dragged us through a series of international humiliations that appear calculated to weaken us as a world power and wipe out our credibility.

Biden has clumsily deployed sanctions and weapons shipments behind Putin’s strategic schedule, playing catch up with the pace of events while letting Russia take the lead. That hasn’t made the war any better or safer, instead it’s become more agonizing for everyone.

If Russia is defeated after all, Biden will claim all the credit and deserve none of it.

The administration’s fearful dithering gave Putin the impression that he could quickly take Ukraine and win. After giving Putin permission for a “minor incursion” as his version of Obama’s red line, Biden was confronted with a full invasion and after a month still hasn’t made it clear to either Russia or Ukraine, or any of our allies, what they can expect America to do about it.

These mixed signals convinced both sides that they can still win and have prolonged the war.

If Biden believes that it’s in our national interest that Russia be defeated, then he should say it and act like it, instead of empty babble about who should run Moscow, something he has no say in, or even more hollow threats of war crimes trials. If he wants to arm Ukraine, then he should do it properly or stop altogether because a halfway approach will just kill more people.

Washington D.C. can reduce Ukraine, like Boko Haram and ISIS, to a hashtag war, but China and Iran are watching and drawing their lessons from what is happening. And if we treat Taiwan and the Middle East, our tech and energy regional lifelines, as disposable, there will come a war that we will have to fight. And heaven help us if we try to fight it with hashtags and sanctions.

Strong nations make it clear what they will and won’t fight for. And they don’t send mixed signals that only communicate weakness. Nor do they talk about how fearful they are of a fight.

That doesn’t mean that foreign wars are a good idea or should be embraced as a policy.

But the best way to avoid foreign wars is by having meaningful red lines and doctrines that clearly lay out national interests, and by viewing war as a choice made from a position of strength, not the catastrophic conclusion to a series of inept entanglements that alternately convince our enemies we won’t fight and that they have nothing to worry about even if we do.

Instead Biden has continued the failed policy of ambiguous global commitments under the guise of international law and the even more implausible values of the international community that have no clear red lines for engagement or disengagement. In Ukraine, Biden, like Obama, is hiding behind the Europeans, who are hiding behind us, for a global show of cowardice.

Vladimir Putin understands that wars are something you win, while the D.C. establishment doesn’t fight wars, but commits American forces to implementing multilateral values.

That’s why we never win. If you don’t fight a war, how can you possibly win one?

Putin understands why he’s in Ukraine. Do we? What are our national interests there or anywhere? How does our employment of military force make us safer, stronger, or wealthier? Are we involved to keep energy and bread prices low, or to avoid a future war on worse terms?

These are basic questions and the failure to answer them sets us up for defeat every time.

Two Democrat administrations have sent a message to our allies, enemies, and countries wondering which of these they might want to be that the American era has come to an end.

AUTHOR

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

TRUMP RISING: Coming to ‘Joe Rogan’ show, 5M views in 24-hours on ‘Nelk Boys’ interview & Russia banning Facebook as ‘Extremist Organization’

What do they say about Karma? It seems that efforts to deplatform, defund, censor, malign, criticize, label and destroy President Donald J. Trump, the TRUTHsocial app and Trumpsters in general is going downhill fast.

There’s a growing thirst to hear from President Trump and groups like Canada’s Nelk Boys and Joe Rogan are getting huge benefits from having President Trump on their shows to talk about Biden and his Build Back Worse agenda.

The Nelk Boys interview with President Trump had 5 million views within 24-hours on YouTube, before Google took the video down.

The people of tired of Biden’s America last policies and want to hear what President Trump thinks about what is happening in America, the economy, the invasion of Ukraine, China and Taiwan, Iran nuclear deal and many other global issues impacting the United States.

Here’s some news that Trump is scheduled to appear on Joe Rogan’s podcast.

YouTube deleted the wildly popular Nelk Boys interview with Donald Trump after it got 5 Million views in 24 Hours.

Not to worry, the Nelk Boys uploaded it to Rumble.

The NELK Boys are a YouTube group from Canada that makes videos centered around pranks, college culture, and lifestyle vlogs. Their main channel currently has over 7 million subscribers.

Watch Trump’s full interview with the Nelk Boys:

The Epoch Times, in a March 11, 2022 article titled “Russia to Brand Facebook Parent Company an ‘Extremist Organization’ Jack Phillips reports:

Russia’s Prosecutor General asked a court to formally designate Facebook and Instagram owner Meta as an extremist organization.

“Consistent with the Federal Law on Countering Extremist Activities, the Russian Prosecutor General’s office has lodged a motion with a court for designating Meta Platforms Inc. as an extremist organization and banning its operations in the territory of the Russian Federation,” said the office on Friday, according to the Interfax news agency.

At the same time, the Russian Investigative Committee said it was probing the social media company “in light of unlawful calls for violence against citizens of the Russian Federation by employees of the U.S. company Meta.”

Finally, remember when German Delegation at the UN laughed at Trump when he warned them about dependence on Russia’s natural gas and oil?

Watch:

We’re guessing that the Germans aren’t laughing now that they are getting 50% of their oil and natural gas from Putin.

President Trump warned,

Reliance on a single foreign supplier can leave a nation vulnerable to extortion and intimidation. That is why we congratulate European states such as Poland for leading the construction of a Baltic pipeline, so that nations are not dependent on Russia to meet their energy needs…Germany will become totally dependent on Russian energy if it does not immediately change course.

The Western Journal noted,

Trump chose not to give hostile actors power over the U.S., especially when he was the president of an energy rich country. Understanding how essential energy independence is to national security, he wisely set out to achieve it.

One again, Trump was right!

It appears that despite efforts by Democrats, Biden, the Biden administration, the legacy and social media and TV hosts President is more popular and more sought after than ever.

Go figure.

To answer the question we asked at the beginning of this column – “Karma is a bitch.”

©Dr. Rich Swier. All rights reserved.

Saint Olga of Kyiv: Defiance and Vengeance

The memory of a fierce regent of old can inspire Ukrainians today in the face of war.


The past few days have seen a spate of videos showing Ukrainians and their president defying an onslaught of Russian aggression. Who could fail to be moved by the video of a Ukrainian woman confronting an armed and jackbooted soldier, telling him to put sunflower seeds in his pockets so at least sunflowers will grow where he dies.

Or President Zelensky’s heroic selfies from Kyiv’s front line, which inspire far more widely than just among his countrymen?

Stalwart Princess

Ukrainians are used to adversity, and they have a special medieval role model who personifies their bravery in the face of hardship. The Mongol horde destroyed her tomb in Kyiv in 1240, but a Ukrainian Orthodox cathedral dedicated to her was consecrated there as recently as 2010.

Olga of Kyiv, consort of Igor, second ruler of the Rurikid dynasty, is today recognised as one of Eastern Orthodoxy’s greatest saints. A fierce and proud woman who protected her young son and avenged her husband’s death, she was a crucial figure in the consolidation of the medieval kingdom of Kyivan Rus’ as a political entity and in its peoples’ conversion to Christianity.

Olga was born to Viking parents in Pskov, northern Russia, around the turn of the 10th century. She married Prince Igor young and may have been only 20 when the Drevlians, a neighbouring tribe, rose up against his rule and murdered him.

The Byzantine chronicler Leo the Deacon gives gruesome details of Igor’s killing: he was tied to two tree trunks which were then released so his body was split in two. Leo’s account may have been embellished (the ancient historian Diodorus of Sicily in fact tells a similar tale), but Igor’s death still left his wife and three-year-old son alone and potentially helpless in a particularly dangerous and brutal corner of the medieval world.

Burying her enemies

Olga’s legend was born of her actions in the weeks and months that followed. The Drevlians sent her emissaries to suggest she marry their leader Prince Mal. The Primary Chronicle, an 11th-century manuscript which is our main source for what follows, records Olga as greeting them deceptively, apparently to bide for time.

The account may be part-fictitious or at least exaggerated. Yet that is not the point: in medieval hagiography, it is the morality of the tale that matters most.

“Your proposal is pleasing to me”, Olga told her interlocutors. “Indeed, my husband cannot rise again from the dead. But I desire to honour you tomorrow in the presence of my people. Return now to your boat, and remain there… I shall send for you on the morrow.”

The hubristic Drevlian delegation took her at her word gleefully. But what they did not know was that she had arranged for a trench to be dug, into which they and their boat were flung.

They were buried alive.

Olga summoned a second Drevlian embassy before the rest of the tribe had had time to learn of the first one’s fate. When they arrived, she commanded her people to draw a bath for them.

The Drevlians then entered the bathhouse, but Olga ordered the doors to be bolted and the building set ablaze.

For a third reprisal, Olga went to the place where the Drevlians had killed her husband, telling those present she wished to hold a funeral feast to commemorate him. Once the Drevlians were drunk and incapacitated, she had her men massacre them.

Finally, she laid siege to the Drevlians’ base at Iskorosten (the modern-day Ukraine city of Korosten). She tricked those inside the city with an offer of peace: all they had to give up were three pigeons and three sparrows from each house.

But when Olga had the birds in her possession, she had her men tie a sulphurous cloth to one of each one’s legs. The birds flew back to their nests for the night and the sulphur set every building on fire simultaneously.

Olga ordered her soldiers to catch everyone who fled the burning city so they could be extirpated or taken into slavery.

Her revenge for her husband’s death was at last complete.

Channelling Saint Olga’s spirit

Olga lived a further 25 years, residing in her son’s capital of Kyiv. She was instrumental in persuading him not to abandon the Ukrainian lands for “better prospects” further south on the Danube’s bank. Her grandson, Volodymyr the Great (c. 958-1015), then expanded the kingdom into what is now seen as the first Russian principality (which Vladimir Putin now views as the forerunner of the imperial Russian state).

Volodymyr too is acknowledged as a saint for his role in completing the Christianisation which Olga had started.

Olga’s Mad Max-style ventures ought to grate with us a bit today: the modern world really shouldn’t be a site of such bloodshed. That is why Russia’s sudden large-scale invasion into a peaceful country strike us as so shocking.

Yet Olga’s memory can clearly still provide an important focal point for Ukrainian resolve.

The Eastern Orthodox and Greek Catholic Churches recognise her with the venerable and extraordinary title “Isapóstolos”: Equal to the Apostles. She and Kyiv’s patron saint, St Michael the Archangel, remain key figures of intercession among those who need comfort in an hour of greatest need.

And Olga’s Christian faith, acquired during a visit to Byzantium late in life, can sustain others now just as it sustained her after her own tribulations.This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

COLUMN BY

Miles Pattenden

Miles Pattenden is Senior Research Fellow in Medieval and Early Modern Studies at the Australian Catholic University, and the Co-Editor of The Journal of Religious History. He specialises in the history… More by Miles Pattenden

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EDITORS NOTE: This MercatorNet column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Russia Bombs Nuclear Power Plant, Threatening Disaster ’10 Times Larger Than Chernobyl’

President Joe Biden took a late-night call from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Thursday to discuss reported fighting between military forces near a nuclear power plant in Ukraine.

Ukraine’s state emergency service said Friday that a fire erupted at a training facility outside a nuclear power plant amid heavy fighting between Russian and Ukrainian forces, Reuters reported. Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba had claimed on Twitter that the Zaporizhzhia plant could cause a disaster “10 times larger than Chernobyl,” though other reports have suggested the threat is less severe.

Ukrainian officials reportedly said the Zaporizhzhia plant had been secured after the fighting broke out.

The White House confirmed Biden discussed the situation in his call with Zelenskyy. The two leaders urged Russia to stop “military activities” near the plant and allow local firefighters to contain the flames.

Fox News reporter Trey Yingst stated the threat of a Chernobyl-style disaster has been overblown, however.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) announced late Thursday that it was aware of reports of shelling at the plant and is in contact with Ukrainian authorities.

Ukraine officials later told the IAEA that the fire “has not affected ‘essential’ equipment” and that “plant personnel” were “taking mitigatory actions,” according to a tweet.

Ukraine’s nuclear regulator informed IAEA that there is “no change reported in radiation levels at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant site,” the organization tweeted early Friday.

This is a developing story. Check back soon for updates.

COLUMN BY

ANDERS HAGSTROM

White House correspondent.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Even after Russia invades Ukraine, Biden’s handlers rely on Russia to solidify new Iran nuke deal

“There is absolutely no chance that Russia has U.S. national security interests in mind when it comes to Iran’s nuclear program.”

Right. Nor is there any chance that Iran has U.S. national security interests in mind when it comes to Iran’s nuclear program, except as a target to destroy. There should be no new nuke deal. But it isn’t at all clear that Biden’s handlers have U.S. national security interests in mind, either.

Nuclear Deal as Putin Invades Ukraine

by Adam Kredo, Washington Free Beacon, February 28, 2022:

Even as Moscow invades Ukraine, the Biden administration is relying on Russia to solidify a revamped nuclear agreement with Iran, a deal that senior Republican foreign policy leaders say will be approved in the coming days without any input from Congress.

As Russian forces press further into Ukraine, threatening to spark a world war, the Biden administration is rushing to finalize a Russia-brokered nuclear deal with Iran, Rep. Michael McCaul (R., Texas), the lead Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told the Washington Free Beacon.

“Russia’s further invasion of Ukraine is reprehensible, but we can’t lose sight of the next national security crisis as it forms before our eyes: The Biden administration is reportedly rushing to finalize a deal with Iran, brokered by Russia, that it does not want Congress to review, in violation of U.S. law,” McCaul said.

Throughout the conflict, the Biden administration has kept diplomatic channels with Moscow open in the hopes it can push Iran into accepting a deal that will provide the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism with billions of dollars in cash windfalls….

While President Joe Biden has vowed to break relations with Russia as a result of its Ukraine invasion, the reliance on Moscow in Iran talks signals that these promises will not be enforced.

“It’s obvious that Russia should no longer serve as one of the key intermediaries brokering an Iran deal,” said one senior congressional official who works on foreign policy matters. “We need to be isolating Russia not just economically, but also diplomatically. There is absolutely no chance that Russia has U.S. national security interests in mind when it comes to Iran’s nuclear program.”…

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

U.S. Embassy In Ukraine Evacuates To Poland

The U.S. State Department has ordered its personnel at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine to evacuate to Poland under threat of a Russian invasion, the U.S. announced Monday.

The U.S. had already evacuated most of its diplomats from the embassy in the capital city of Kyiv, and the few diplomats who remained moved to the city of Lviv in western Ukraine. The small contingent of diplomats still in Kyiv is now evacuating fully.

“For security reasons, Department of State personnel currently in Lviv will spend the night in Poland,” The State Department said in a statement, according to Bloomberg.

The move comes just hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered a fiery speech in which he officially recognized two separatist groups in eastern Ukraine as independent states. The separatist groups currently lay claim to land under the control of the Ukrainian government, leading some to believe Putin’s speech was a prelude to war.

Ukraine is “an inherent part of our history, culture, spiritual space. They are our comrades, relatives, not only colleagues, friends, but also our family, people we have blood and family ties with,” Putin said. He went on to argue that the Ukrainian government is a puppet of the U.S. Putin also painted Ukraine as a security threat to Russia, so long as it remained close allies with NATO and the U.S.

Russia has amassed roughly 150,000 troops along Ukraine’s borders in recent months, according to U.S. intelligence. President Joe Biden’s administration has repeatedly argued that Putin will rely on a “false flag” or some other pretense to invade Ukraine. Some observers have argued that Putin’s complaints about Kyiv’s alleged “military action” are just such a pretense.

The U.S. and NATO have vowed aggressive economic consequences for Russia should Putin decide to invade.

COLUMN BY

ANDERS HAGSTROM

White House correspondent.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Cruz: ‘Joe Biden Becoming President Is The Best Thing That Ever Happened…For Vladimir Putin’

‘That’s why we’re on the brink of war in Europe’


Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz blamed President Joe Biden for bringing Europe to the “brink of war” Sunday, telling “Fox News Sunday” host Bill Hemmer that Biden’s presidency was the “best thing that ever happened” for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“If you look at what the Ukrainians want, they’ve been very explicit…they’ve asked the United States explicitly, put sanctions on Nord Stream 2, right now, today. Joe Biden could do that this morning. He refuses to do it,” Cruz argued.

Cruz pointed out that in 2019, sanctions against the Nordstream 2 pipeline passed in Congress with “overwhelming bipartisan support”, essentially preventing Putin from completing the pipeline.

“That pipeline was dead for over a year until Joe Biden became president and Putin began building that pipeline again on January 24, 2021, four days after Biden was sworn into office. Why? Because he knew what was going to happen…which was that Joe Biden formally waived sanctions on Russia, on Putin, and gave the green light to build Nord Stream 2,” Cruz explained.

“That is why we have over 100,000 troops and Russian tanks on the border of Ukraine preparing to invade. That’s why we’re on the brink of war in Europe,” Cruz stated.

When asked why Congress hasn’t been able to agree on sanctions against Russia, Cruz asserted, “Joe Biden came to Capitol Hill and personally lobbied Democratic senators to vote against Russian sanctions. That’s why we’re facing this invasion. Joe Biden becoming president is the best thing that ever happened, tragically, for Vladimir Putin.”

WATCH: 

Cruz’s comments followed those of Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby who reiterated to Hemmer that the U.S. would impose “crippling” sanctions on Russia when and if Putin invades Ukraine.

“If you pull the trigger on that deterrent, well then, it doesn’t exist anymore as a deterrent. He has not conducted another invasion in Ukraine yet and we want to get — we still think there’s time to prevent that. So it’s supposed to be a deterrent,” Kirby argued.

“If you…punish somebody for something they haven’t done yet, then they might as well just go ahead and do it. So we’re holding that in advance and we’re hoping that that could affect the calculus of Mr. Putin,” he concluded.

Cruz disagreed, stating that the U.S. has not come “remotely close” to doing all that it can to prevent an invasion of Ukraine, arguing that the “disastrous retreat from Afghanistan” not only increased the chances of Russia invading Ukraine “tenfold” but also increased the chances of China invading Taiwan.

COLUMN BY

GRETCHEN CLAYSON

Contributor.

RELATED TWEET:

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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

GOV. MIKE DUNLEAVY: Time For A Reset On Biden’s Disastrous Energy Policies

As tensions increase between the West and Russia over Ukraine, the risks to our national security from the Biden administration’s energy policies are coming into focus.

President Biden is attempting to discourage aggression by President Vladimir Putin by positioning thousands of U.S. troops across Eastern Europe, and his Secretary of State Antony Blinken is threatening to reimpose sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline that Biden waived  just a few months after taking office.

Russia’s goals for Nord Stream 2 have always been clear: increase European dependence on Russian gas, bypass and weaken Ukraine and strengthen Putin’s hand in the event of any conflict.

So here we are. Nord Stream 2 was completed this past September, European natural gas prices are soaring, Ukraine remains under threat, U.S. troops have been deployed as deterrents and Putin is demanding that NATO reduce its military footprint to post-World War II levels.

Here at home during Biden’s first year, Russia surpassed Saudi Arabia as a supplier of crude oil and crude products to the U.S. with a record average of more than 700,000 barrels per day.

Nearly all that volume is going to U.S. Gulf Coast refiners that once relied on imports from Venezuela that are similar in weight and sulfur content to Russia’s.

Some Gulf refiners previously invested billions to take another kind of heavy, higher-sulfur crude from a slightly friendlier source: Canada.

That crude would have flowed to the Gulf via the Keystone XL Pipeline at a rate of 830,000 barrels per day, or enough to replace every barrel of Russian imports.

After it was resurrected under President Trump, Keystone was killed on day one by Biden. With a stroke of a pen to appease his extremist environmental base, Biden destroyed American jobs, betrayed our ally, strengthened our rivals and weakened our energy independence.

Now Americans are paying the price, and quite literally. As the situation at the Ukraine border has escalated, one grade of Russian crude exports jumped 30% in a month to $88 per barrel as of Jan. 20 according to Platts.

In sum, Russia’s treasury is benefiting from the very tensions it is creating, and Americans are funding it at the pump.

Another action Biden took on his first day in office was to suspend all lease activity in the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, or ANWR, here in Alaska.

The first of two lease sales mandated by Congress in 2017 – with a footprint limited to only 2,000 acres within the 1.5 million-acre coastal plan – was held just two weeks earlier.

The State of Alaska acquired several tracts through our development bank and we are now suing the Biden administration over this unilateral and illegal action violating duly passed legislation.

The potential at ANWR is massive. Just 60 miles west of the coastal plain, Prudhoe Bay accounted for as much as 20% of domestic production at its peak in the 1980s.

Estimates for ANWR are limited, but the U.S. Geological Survey has consistently pegged the resource at more than 10 billion barrels. Potential peak production at ANWR is up to 1.2 million barrels per day, according to the independent Energy Information Administration. That’s more than 10% of current domestic production.

Farther west, the Pikka and Willow prospects each have production estimates in the range of 160,000 barrels per day.

As shale production flattens with drillers slowing growth in basins like the Permian, the importance of conventional fields like Pikka and Willow only grows.

ANWR, Pikka and Willow represent up to 1.52 million or more barrels of potential daily production that would refill the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System, ensure energy independence, protect national security, create jobs and keep our wealth in the U.S.

Nord Stream 2, Keystone and ANWR were bad enough, but Biden wasn’t done.

Willow is in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, and Biden compounded his foolish policies last month by announcing his administration will revert to the outdated 2013 management plan that closed half of its 23.5 million acres to development.

The tests from Willow indicate a light, sweet grade of crude nearly identical to the West Texas Intermediate benchmark. WTI has risen rapidly in price because of supply strain and its lower cost to refine.

Yet Biden is attempting to close off half of the NPR-A where the highly prospective Nanushuk and other well-known oil-bearing formations lie.

Ironically, federal courts continue to strike down environmental analysis for resource permits such as Willow or the 2021 Gulf of Mexico lease sale because judges don’t agree with the conclusion that downstream CO2 impacts are minimal because oil will be produced elsewhere if it isn’t produced here.

In fact, this is exactly what is happening now. Lower U.S. production has only led to increases by our energy rivals who have less regard for the environment or human rights.

Of all the disasters Biden has presided over since taking office, his reversal of policies that led to our energy dominance may be the worst now that thousands of U.S. troops are being put in harm’s way because Biden gave up much of our economic leverage to appease the environmental movement.

The results are in, and it is time for a reset.

COLUMN BY

GOVERNOR MIKE DUNLEAVY

Mike Dunleavy is the 12th governor of Alaska.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. All rights reserved.

Blinken: U.S. Not Imposing Sanctions Despite Continued Russian Buildup On Ukrainian Border

Despite urging from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Sec. of State Antony Blinken has pushed back against calls to impose sanctions on Russia as they continue to buildup a military presence along the Ukrainian border.

“When it comes to sanctions, the purpose of those sanctions is to deter Russian aggression. If they are triggered, now you lose the deterrent effect,” Blinken explained to CNN’s Dana Bash Sunday. Blinken maintained that everything the U.S. is doing now, including working with Europe in a “united way” is designed to “deter and dissuade” Russia from taking aggressive action while the West pursues diplomacy.

WATCH: 

Republican Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst appeared later in the broadcast refuting Blinken’s stance on sanctions, stating, “When it comes to pushing back against Russia, we need to show strength and not be in a position of doctrine of appeasement, which seems to be how President Biden has worked his administration.”

“So, we do need to go ahead and impose sanctions on Russia now.” Ernst continued. “We need to show them that we mean business and we will be there for Ukraine should they invade. Once an invasion happens, lives are lost. You can’t go back from that. So those sanctions need to be put in place now,” she concluded.

Russia has amassed an estimated 100,000 troops along the eastern border of Ukraine following that country’s pursuit of membership in NATO, something Russian President Vladimir Putin has called “unacceptable.” Putin has also voiced concern over the placement of U.S. missile sites close to Russia’s borders.

“We are doing a lot right now,” Blinken maintained. “Besides the United States taking the lead in bringing countries throughout Europe and even beyond together, in putting together massive consequences for Russia if it takes renewed aggressive action, in Ukraine, as I mentioned, we’re providing and last year alone provided more military assistance to Ukraine than at any year in the past. We have been going against those inside Ukraine trying to destabilize the government. So we’re taking concrete action,” he concluded.

COLUMN BY

GRETCHEN CLAYSON

Contributor.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Biden’s press conference panned by critics: ‘TOTAL DISASTER’

One doesn’t know were to start. A total train wreck of a press conference. We saw exactly why President Biden is not allowed to do many press conferences. Watch below. Pray for America, and for the stability of the free world.

Biden’s press conference gets panned by critics: ‘Total disaster’

One commentator quipped, ‘Joe Biden didn’t do a press conference for months. We all understand the reason why.’

By Fox News, January 20, 2022

President Biden spent most of 2021 avoiding press conferences, but he held one on Wednesday, which was panned as being a “total disaster.”

The White House had high hopes for Biden’s press conference on Wednesday — hoping to paint the administration as a less-cloistered outfit that embraces the public and transparency. With Biden’s strikingly low popularity numbers, the president was expected to cast himself as a competent leader, who is in touch with the problems of everyday American voters.

But the debacle that took place behind the podium from the East Room of the White House on Wednesday did little to support that persona according to reaction to the press conference.

The president was criticized throughout his long remarks on issues related to Russian aggression towards Ukraine, his claim that he outperformed expectations, his outburst toward a reporter and more.

1. Russia-Ukraine ‘minor incursion’

Perhaps the most startling comment of the evening was Biden’s response to a question about the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Biden said that while he believes an invasion is imminent, the United States is prepared to impose significant economic consequences should Russia move forward. But, he clarified, a “minor incursion” by the Russians would elicit a softer response from the U.S. than that of a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

“Biden is attacking the legitimacy of American elections while signaling Putin to try a ‘minor incursion’ in Ukraine. None of this is normal. None of this is OK,” National Review senior writer Dan McLaughlin responded.

“Biden just appeared to okay a ‘minor’ Russian incursion of Ukraine. So, invasion of an independent neighbor nation is bad. An incursion is OK with this president,” conservative commentator Andrew Malcolm agreed.

“Biden’s comments suggesting that a ‘minor incursion’ of Ukraine might not draw as vigorous a response as a full-scale invasion will trigger a lot of angst in the region, particularly in Kyiv,” New York Times chief White House correspondent Peter Baker wrote.

“Why was there no pushback to Biden saying ‘it’s one thing if it’s a minor incursion’ re Russia going into Ukraine?” former White House press secretary and Fox News host Kayleigh McEnany weighed in.

“What kind of answer was that? No incursion is ok,” Fox News contributor Ari Fleischer echoed.

Where are the follow-ups from reporters?

Why was there no pushback to Biden saying “it’s one thing if it’s a minor incursion” re Russia going into Ukraine?

Where is the pushback on Biden claiming he “outperformed” expectations?

The list goes on

All pleasantries, no pushback!

— Kayleigh McEnany (@kayleighmcenany) January 19, 2022

2.  Overpromise or Outperform?

Social media quickly circulated a clip of Biden where he appeared to tell reporters that he did not overpromise what he could get done in his first year in office, but that he has, on the contrary, “outperformed” what people thought he was capable of.

“I’m not sure what planet he’s inhabiting but on planet earth his record is a record of failure,” Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson responded.

“Biden just claimed he has ‘outperformed what anybody thought would happen’ Sheer lunacy,” Buck Sexton said.

“Joe Biden says he’s outperformed what anyone thought was possible in his first year in office. Really. He just said this,” Outkick’s Clay Travis reacted.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report column is republished with permission. All rights reserved.

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