Tag Archive for: Russia

Senior Ukrainian Military Officer Behind Nord Stream Pipeline Attack: REPORT

A Ukrainian military officer involved with the country’s intelligence services allegedly played a leading role in the bombing of the Nord Stream pipelines in 2022, sources familiar with the matter told The Washington Post.

Roman Chervinsky, a 48-year-old colonel who served in Ukrainian Special Forces, was the “coordinator” of the operation to blow up the pipeline, according to the Post. Chervinsky’s role allegedly involved managing logistics for the team that rented a sailboat and used diving equipment to plant explosives on the pipelines.

Chervinsky allegedly took orders from senior Ukrainian officials who reported to the Ukrainian Gen. Valery Zaluzhny, sources familiar with the matter told the Post. Chervinsky denied being involved in sabotaging the pipeline.

“All speculations about my involvement in the attack on Nord Stream are being spread by Russian propaganda without any basis,” Chervinsky told the Post.

Chervinsky served in a unit of the Ukrainian Special Forces focused on resistance in Russian-occupied areas earlier in the conflict, sources familiar with the matter told the Post. He reported to Maj. Gen. Viktor Hanushchak who communicated with Zaluzhny.

Chervinsky previously served in the Ukraine’s military intelligence agency as well as Ukraine’s Security Service, the SBU, according to the Post.

Authorities allege that Chervinsky, who was arrested in April, acted without permission and that the operation gave away the coordinates of a Ukrainian airfield, prompting a Russian rocket attack that killed a soldier and injured 17 others. Chervinsky is being held in a Kyiv jail on charges that he abused his power stemming from a plot to lure a Russian pilot to defect to Ukraine in July 2022.

“All of those involved in planning and execution reported directly to [chief of defense] Zaluzhnyy, so Zelensky wouldn’t have known about it,” according to intelligence obtained by the CIA allegedly shared by Jack Teixeira, a member of the Massachusetts Air National Guard. Officials in multiple countries privately said they did not believe Zelensky approved the Nord Stream attack, according to the Post.

Accusations flew following the pipeline explosion, with world leaders blaming a multitude of different actors. Former President Donald Trump hinted that it might have been done by the U.S. and European Parliament representative for Poland Radek Sikorski appeared to cheer on the pipeline explosion. Some pointed to Russia and Vladimir Putin for the bombings, according to The Hill.

Chervinsky could not be reached for comment.

AUTHOR

BRANDON POULTER

Contributor.

RELATED ARTICLE: Kirby Says US Not Investigating Nord Stream Pipeline After Report Shows Biden Admin Knew Months In Advance

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The Killing of Western Civilization

The Hamas terrorist attack on Israel was just a recent atrocious assault against Western civilization, a war that started a hundred years ago. In fact, I have been writing about that global cabal, which was waging WWIII against Western civilization for forty-two years.  “This global cabal is capable of anything. They are already responsible for the deaths of millions. They use lies as easily as they breathe. Everywhere they have gone, there is death and destruction.” If you read my column: Putin’s Socialist Revolution in America published October 6, 2023, one day prior to the Hamas attack, you will learn about this global cabal—I called them a new “Axis of Evil” under the Russian umbrella.

Yes, this global cabal is the new” Axis of Evil,” under the Russian umbrella: Cuba, China, North Korea, Syria, Iran and Venezuela. But only people who read my columns or books know that. Iran is a Russian proxy and to know Iran you have to know Russia and its Intel. Because there are the patterns of Soviet Socialism, Russia implements into all its proxies, including the terror groups, especially in the Mideast: ISIS, Taliban, al-Qaeda, Hezb’allah, Hamas, and others. That was the essence of Stalin’s legacy: brainwashing Muslims groups, and marring Islam with Communist ideology. That way we got a Fascist-Jihad of Stalinist era in the 20th century. A misleading system of disinformation, an instrument designed by Stalin was executed by all his devoted disciples after his death. To educate America, I have been writing about that system of Stalinist Soviet Socialism, which I called Soviet Fascism, for the last forty-two years…

The new “Axis of Evil—the Evil Doer” has not been known to the vast majority of Americans. Yes, all mentioned above terror groups have the same parents–the Russian Intel. The KGB Chairman Yuri Andropov 1967-1982 has designed two-states solution in the Mideast, when the KGB has begun controlling Hamas—anti-Semitism has united them. The same unity had been achieved for all terror groups in the 20th century. We have dealt with strategic partnerships against Western civilization. Russian expansion of Soviet Socialism, which I called Soviet fascism was the goal for the Mideast region. I have been writing this story of the people’s suffering, griefs, and killings to make you familiar with the KGB’s Mafia/Army—the Evil Doer for forty-two years. You can find the details in my columns…

Forty-two years is a pretty long-time and I am tired, very tired of being alone writing to educate and convince the American people with my poor English. Nobody helped me. I was writing about terrorist Russia and its expansion of terrorism throughout the globe. A devoted disciple of Stalin/Andropov Vladimir Putin was doing that for the last thirty years… I couldn’t believe a word, listening from the actively-destructive Biden’s team, I don’t trust them… Can you imagine how excited I’ve become reading the column with the warning, I was yelling for forty-two years:

“People living in modern civilization—especially in the West—play by the rules, live within their means, love their families, and cherish their children’s future. We get up in the morning, go to our jobs, or to our tasks, not thinking about any threats that may be formulating to destroy our lives. And yet, the threats are there, and they persist. For those of us who do our research and read what these enemies are plotting against us—and we do have enemies—we start to understand how dangerous they really are, these globalist elites. They have told us numerous times, both in print and in speech, what they are planning. And yet they are ignored when all we have to do is take them seriously and act accordingly.” War Is Upon You, By Ray DiLorenzo, Canada Free Press, October 8, 2023 

The author described the current events in the world, as if he came from the society of Soviet Socialism. But he didn’t indicate any specific country, only a new foreign predicament in America. He loves America, and is suffering watching how America loses its moral compass. I felt an alarm and pain in his every word. I believe, he read my columns or books and now expressing his sincere warning to Americans and the world:

“Anyone can see that society is changing, and not for the better. The Greatest Generation is long gone. The self-image and desire generation of fifty years ago, especially in government, is hanging on by threads, unwilling to give in to time and poor decisions. We are now witnesses to a society and a generation no longer American, heavily influenced by social media, with narcissism transformed into amorality, hysteria, self-indulgence, and violence.” By Ray DiLorenzo– Friday, October 6, 2023

Meanwhile the killing in Israel is going on… I’d like to remind you of the Vietnam war, because the Russian military Doctrine is active here in the Hamas assaults of Israel. Do you remember the Vietnam War? The North Vietnamese used the tunnels for unexpected access and assaults against the South Vietnamese. You can see exact the same Russian Doctrine used against Israel by Hamas. History is the mother of all sciences and I know who helped the North Vietnamese. I had a client, a Soviet pilot, who participated in the Vietnam War. You can find this story in my books and articles. There is another Stalinist Doctrine: “No lives matter.” Have you heard Hamas tell Palestinians to stay in Gaza and not evacuate: for Hamas “No lives matter,” Stalinist Doctrine is alive and well in the 21st century Mideast. The Russian tentacles are all over the region and the globe.

“No lives matter” under Soviet Fascism!

The picture of Stalin, the greatest mass murderer of the 20th century is here.

The Republican Ignorance

“Those who don’t know Stalinist legacy of the 20th century will pay a dear price for their ignorance. “I wrote that one day prior to the Hamas invasion: Putin’s Socialist Revolution in America: The Stalinist Mexican Cartels, October 6, 2023. I had in mind Fox News and the firing of two talented men: Dan Bongino and Tucker Carlson. I knew that Putin was preparing something bad. I wrote it purposely to alert the ignorant and remind them about Holocaust of Jews by German-Nazis. It is for a reason I have been writing about Soviet Fascism for decades. Russia is a terrorist, anti-Semitic country with close and long-term relations to all Middle Eastern countries through its KGB, which was implementing Soviet Fascism there, while the FBI didn’t know Russia and the KGB’s Mafia/Army—the Evil Doer, I’ve been writing about for decades. I had to write it–the FBI has not protected us!

Moreover, “According to a White House pool report, President Biden told the two dozen who were in attendance why he decided to run for president in 2020. He mentioned Charlottesville and the events that transpired there in 2017 as his reason for running.” Joe Biden has a meltdown that leaves Democrats sick with worry, The Federalist Wire, September 26, 2023. Reading this information my antenna went up. As a matter of fact, I was writing about Charlottesville in many columns: like Jan.6, on Capitol Hill, Charlottesville was the KGB’s Mafia/Army—Evil Doer operation to build a fascist movement in America.    

A Controlled Opposition  

Charlottesville happened in August 2017, in Unite the Right, the violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. In fact, it was the KGB operation in cahoots with the Democrat Party to establish and built a fascist movement in America. The designers and organizers were the Governor of Virginia Terry McAuliffe and the FBI deputy Director Andrew McCabe. I wrote this in my column: Origin of the Washington Spy Ring and the Swamp, March 31, 2018:

“Yes, firing Andrew McCabe was the beginning of a huge international case of conspiracy against the U.S.A, because those two are the accomplices of the crime or even crimes. To investigate the case, you have to know the KGB well and I’ll try to give you some tips. It was Andropov’s idea to invent a “controlled opposition.” The KGB had practiced it in Russia for many years. It is very simple to achieve, just infiltrate the opposition with a couple of people, promote them to the leadership and act in a way that is beneficial for your initial design. That exact move was realized and implanted in America. The result you see in August 2017, in Unite the Right, the violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.’’

It was the time for the FBI to do their job. But as we found out today the FBI didn’t want to do the job and the Democrat Party had been left not being exposed… I don’t want to impose my opinion and conclusion, I rely on each of you to make your own decision, watching Biden/Obama and their team for many years. We are living in the predicament of global disinformation where truth is hard to find. By the way, the House of Representatives, the only Republican power, has no Speaker for 12 days, because of the same dysfunctional FBI. I hope, sooner or later the truth will shine to disinfect the globe, I hope…You can read my columns for free now.

Don’t be surprised by the large-scale rally at the U.S. Colleges and Universities in defense of Hamas. Just watch TV. Have you heard about the group Students for Justice in Palestine? They are sponsored by Hamas and Iran.  And they are not alone, there are a hundred of these organizations around the world. Please, read about one of them:

National Students for JUSTICE IN PALESTINE

Supporting over hundred Palestine solidarity organizations across occupied Turtle Island, we aim to develop a student movement that is connected, disciplined, and equipped with the tools necessary achieve Palestinian liberation

Please, pay attention to the last two words—Palestinian liberation. These words should bring your memory back to Yasser Arafat, President of Palestinian Liberation Organization–PLO. Arafat’s lieutenant Abbas is still there. To make a long story short, read my columns and learn that Yasser Arafat was recruited by the KGB’s Mafia/Army in 1957. The cycle of War Crimes committed by the Russian Government and its KGB’s Mafia/Army—the Evil Doer is in front of the world. Now, as usual I rely on people’s imagination and knowledge…

Today I receive an email from Rep. Chip Roy–This is existential.

The Biden administration is allowing over 10,000+ illegal crossings a day – mostly adult males from 150+ countries, including these latest numbers from CBP:

  • Syria: 538
  • Yemen: 139
  • Iran: 659
  • Iraq: 123
  • Afghanistan: 6,386
  • Lebanon: 164
  • Egypt: 3,153
  • Pakistan: 1,613
  • Mauritania: 15,594
  • Uzbekistan: 13,624
  • Turkey: 30,830

As we watch what is going on in Israel right now, how can we be safe in America without securing our border?

My fellow Americans!

The U.S.A. is under an existential threat—we have Hamas and the KGB’s Mafia/Army—the Evil Doer with their deadly activities on our soil! The Killing of Western Civilization is on a progress, before your eyes!

Equip yourselves with knowledge and act decisively! Save the American Constitutional Republic for our children, grandchildren, and the world!

To be continued www.simonapipko.com and atwww.drrichswier.com/author/spipko/

©2023. Simona Pipko. All rights reserved.

America’s Adversaries Are All Connected

A day after murderous terrorists invaded Israel, critical infrastructure connecting frontline NATO allies was shut down as a “result of external activity” — possibly foreign sabotage — according to Finnish President Sauli Niinisto. “Russia sympathizes with us,” senior Hamas official Ali Baraka said in a Sunday interview on the government-controlled Russia Today TV. “One war eases the pressure in another war.”

While Finnish and Estonian officials are still investigating the disruption of a pipeline and communication cable, the timing is likely no coincidence. If it resulted from foreign action, then the foreign agents took advantage of the fact that world attention was focused elsewhere to carry out an operation they had likely already planned. Did Russia have prior knowledge of Hamas’s invasion plan?

Russia has long weaponized its monopolistic position as Europe’s oil supplier to extract political concessions from dependent neighbors by cutting off energy supplies. The Balticonnector Pipeline began operations in 2020, connecting Finland to the rest of Europe via Estonia and reducing Russia’s oil leverage over both countries.

Russia would clearly benefit from disabling the pipeline. Both countries are pro-western states on Russia’s border and view the USSR’s primary successor state as their greatest threat. In April, in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Finland officially joined the anti-Russian NATO alliance, which Estonia joined in 2004.

Yet, according to Baraka’s interview in a Russian propaganda outlet, Russia was notified prior to the assault. “In order to keep the attack secret and successful, the different factions and our allies did not know the zero hour,” he said. But Hamas did update Russia after they inquired about the Hamas attack and its intention. If Russia is responsible for the Balticonnector sabotage, they implemented the plan opportunistically.

Russia was not the only ally Hamas informed of its plans on Saturday. “After half an hour [of commencing the attack], all the Palestinian resistance factions were contacted, as were our allies in Hezbollah and Iran,” said Baraka. He added that they even notified Turkey — an increasingly rogue member of NATO — and met with them only three hours into the operation.

“Our allies are those that support us with weapons and money,” explained Baraka. “First and foremost, it is Iran that is giving us money and weapons.” For years, Western intelligence officials have known that Iran was providing military training and logistical help. Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said last year that Iran had provided the group with $70 million in military assistance. On Thursday, the U.S. government and Qatar agreed to block Iran from accessing $6 billion in funds the U.S. had unfrozen as an appeasement measure.

Baraka also pointed to Hamas’s close affinity with Hezbollah, another radical Islamic terror organization funded by Iran, but which is based in Lebanon instead of Gaza. Hezbollah fired rockets at northern Israel on Tuesday, in an effort to divide Israel’s forces and limit the safe places where refugees from southern Israel could be temporarily relocated. Baraka also boasted that “the Arab and Islamic people … are standing by us.” Even if he presumes too much when speaking for all people who identify as Muslims, these are not idle words; on Sunday, Palestinian sympathizers staged demonstrations in support of Hamas’ barbarous tactics across the West.

“Even Russia sympathizes with us,” added Baraka. “Russia is happy that America is getting embroiled in Palestine. It alleviates the pressure on the Russians in Ukraine. One war eases the pressure in another war. So, we are not alone on the battlefield.” He said that Russia, a major exporter of weapons, even gave “a Russian license to produce Kalashnikov bullets in Gaza,” allowing Hamas to procure additional ammunition for Russian-made machine guns despite international sanctions.

That’s quite the international coalition supporting a terror group, but it features the usual suspects. Nations like Iran and Russia are not friendly toward the U.S. and would jump at any opportunity to knock the U.S. down a peg.

Consequently, Hamas’ attack did not happen in isolation. “We have been preparing for this for two years,” Baraka said. In other words, Hamas began preparing to launch a major assault against Israel in the immediate aftermath of America’s disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan. Some unconfirmed reports have even suggested that Hamas used weapons U.S. forces left behind in Afghanistan, which evidently made their way across the Middle East through illicit arms trading. When America’s foes see us as weak, they calculate that it is time to strike.

The same actors — and even more of them — are aligned on Russia’s side of the conflict in Ukraine. After Ukraine stalled Russia’s first assault and ground down its war machine with Western aid, Russia turned to other bad actors to restock its supplies. There have been reports that Iran, China, Cuba, North Korea, and even South Africa are supplying Moscow with military equipment and personnel.

In October 2022, the Pentagon said they knew that Russia was using Iranian drones in Ukraine, and they believed Iranians were on-site to help the Russians operate them. In February, the Biden administration considered releasing intelligence that showed China was supplying arms to Russia. Customs records obtained by Politico this summer show that China has shipped body armor and other military munitions to Russia. In May, the U.S. ambassador to South Africa accused the allegedly neutral country with supplying weapons and ammunition to Russia, via a sanctioned cargo ship it allowed to dock at a naval base near Cape Town in December. In September, the White House said North Korea and Russia were “actively advancing” arms negotiations, and satellite photos last week detected a near-quadrupling in rail traffic along the North Korea-Russia border. Even distant Cuba has gotten involved, smuggling hundreds of soldiers to fight in Russia’s war.

In addition to military assistance, American rivals on the world stage also cooperate economically. An organization of second-tier economic powers, known as BRICS (for Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) will more than double its membership in January 2024 when it officially admits Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the U.A.E. The organization, which includes some of the largest economies in Africa, Asia, and South America, is actively discussing ways to move international trade away from the U.S. dollar and towards other national currencies. BRICS expansion is significant because it indicates that even U.S. military allies, like India, or economic partners, like Saudi Arabia, are increasingly willing to cooperate with adversaries the U.S. has tried to isolate.

Such interconnection in foreign policy is not a new development. Independent powers have combined into military coalitions since at least the time of Abraham (see Genesis 14:1-2). In the century between Napoleon and World War I (1814-1919), international politics particularly focused on the alliances between five to nine so-called “great powers,” which were ever-changing to maintain a precarious balance of power. This provoked a string of conflicts, culminating in two devastating world wars.

After World War II, only two great powers remained (the U.S. and the Soviet Union), which spearheaded two worldwide coalitions (countries not aligned with either side were dubbed the “third world”). Due to the invention of nuclear weapons, the two great powers did not risk an all-out war, but they still struggled together in an economic Cold War and a series of proxy wars over influence in other countries — Korea, Vietnam, Cuba, Nicaragua, Afghanistan.

When the Soviet Union collapsed after four decades, the U.S. found itself in the rare position of a global hegemon — a world power with no equal. The conflicts of this period — two Iraq wars, Afghanistan, Serbia — reflect America’s ability to go anywhere in the world and do whatever we wanted, always dealing with asymmetric opponents. In the early 2000s, President Bush could call out by name an “axis of evil,” consisting of three countries, for the whole world to shun.

But shifting alliances and changing power balances have changed the global situation once again. China’s decades-long buildup and Russia’s resurgence have placed the U.S. on the defensive in far-flung zones of influence. Part of this is from not recognizing the threat. America has largely let China’s military buildup and global friend-buying projects go unanswered, and the U.S. has become consumed with internal divisions, which other nations may have played a role in aggravating. We stopped playing the game, while everyone else was playing harder than ever.

Whatever the reason why a growing coalition of global adversaries is arrayed against America, a world in which the U.S. is not the all-dominant power is actually just a return to equilibrium, from a historical aberration. Most Americans today can’t remember anything different, but for most of history geopolitics has been a delicate balancing act, or very bloody. American ingenuity and freedoms can go a long way, at least with good leadership. But we can’t count on always being the unchallenged champion in an adversarial arena that incentivizes the rise of challengers — especially when those challengers can combine together.

The takeaway is that America cannot afford to view one hostile power or one national crisis in isolation. What is currently happening in Israel will affect the war in Ukraine, the security of Taiwan, and even the possibility of major terror strikes against American targets.

AUTHOR

Joshua Arnold

Joshua Arnold is a senior writer at The Washington Stand.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Vladimir Putin, Man of Faith?

At an Orthodox Easter service in April, a “somber looking” Vladimir Putin joined with other worshippers in saying, “Christ is truly risen.”

He probably believes this. Mark Hollingsworth has detailed how Putin’s religious allegiance has infused his life. He concludes that his Russian Orthodoxy is an essential part of his intense nationalism. For Putin, he writes, “promoting the mystical belief that Russia is the Third Rome, the next ruling empire of the earth, has been part of his appeal to the masses.”

This mystical belief has caused Putin to believe he, himself, is imbued with the spirit of his nation. Shortly before Lent, one of his business associates asked Putin about asking forgiveness before a priest. Putin responded, “‘I am the President of Russia. Why should I ask for forgiveness?’”

When a leader believes he is the personification of the state itself, specially chosen by God to lead his country to conquest and triumph, trouble looms — as the people of Ukraine have learned with great pain.

The German philosopher G.F. Hegel claimed that the state — a centralized government with power over every institution and person within the borders it controls — “is the march of God on earth.” This is precisely the approach taken by the Nazis concerning Adolf Hitler. The so-called “Fuhrer (leader) principle” was made clear by one of Hitler’s lapdog apologists, Rudolf Hess: “Hitler is Germany and Germany is Hitler. Whatever he does is necessary. Whatever he does is successful. Clearly the Führer has divine blessing.”

This is why negotiating with Putin has proven so difficult. If he is filled with the spirit of his nation, and if Russia is uniquely a Christian space, then how can he be held accountable for anything he does? Using his reasoning, his purity of vision and action is axiomatic. He is incapable of error, a secular pope speaking from a place of political ex cathedra.

How does this factor into the invasion of Ukraine? That nation, Putin said in a speech last year, is “an inalienable part of our own history, culture, and spiritual space.” It is true that the leader of Kyiv “accepted Christianity in 988 and established a devout kingdom that became the predecessor to the modern states of Ukraine and Russia.” But it is not true that Ukraine has always been part of Russia, nor does it follow that Russia’s affirmation of Eastern Orthodoxy for 1,000 years justifies the violent and vicious assault on Ukraine today. This last proposition is so illogical it does merit lengthy refutation.

Putin gets heavy political backing from the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill I. Kirill, reportedly once a KGB agent under the guise of his priest’s habit, has done quite well for himself for a man of the cloth. In 2006, prior to his accession to his church’s highest position, the Moscow News estimated he had a personal fortune of about $4 billion. As journalist Jason Horowitz reports, “Kirill has in recent years aspired to expand his church’s influence, pursuing an ideology consistent with Moscow being a ‘Third Rome,’ a reference to a 15th-century idea of Manifest Destiny for the Orthodox Church, in which Mr. Putin’s Russia would become the spiritual center of the true church after Rome and Constantinople.”

Late last year, Kirill said in a sermon of those Russian soldiers dying in Ukraine: “sacrifice in the course of carrying out your military duty washes away all sins.” This is not unlike the Islamic promise that to die for Allah gets you into the Muslim heaven, a promise used to induce terrorists to tie bombs to their bodies and fly planes into buildings.

A “third Rome?” Putin’s enablers in his church benefit right along with the Russian president. “Putin has allowed the (Russian Orthodox) Church to return to prominence and supported it in a way unheard of since the Revolution,” writes religion scholar Ben Ryan. “The Church has, in turn, provided some of the intellectual and cultural backing for Putin’s Statist vision for Russia and the wider Russian sphere of influence.”

Putin could well believe in essential Christian teachings and even practice the rites of his church. He speaks fondly of his mother. “Mama gave me my baptismal cross to get it blessed at the Lord’s Tomb,” he once reported. Yet his faith is not the faith of the New Testament. It’s a perverse version of what Scripture teaches, one that “has a form of Godliness but denies the power thereof” (II Timothy 2:6).

Putin’s affirmations of certain biblical truths do not mean he has ever personally come to repentance and trust in a Savior Who alone can redeem. Until he does, he can, like the Pharisees of old, perform all the rituals and recite all the creeds of his tradition, but “neglect the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness” (Matthew 23:23-34). The suffering people of Ukraine can speak potently of this truth.

AUTHOR

Rob Schwarzwalder

Rob Schwarzwalder is Senior Lecturer in Regent University’s Honors College.

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Russian, Chinese Warships Operating In Alaskan Waters, U.S. Dispatches Destroyers In Response

In an unusual move, four U.S. warships were dispatched to the Aleutian Islands after a group of 11 Russian and Chinese warships was discovered operating in Alaskan waters. Republican Alaska Senators Dan Sullivan and Lisa Murkowski confirmed the presence of the foreign vessels and highlighted the significance of the situation.

In the joint statement, Senator Sullivan expressed his concern over the Chinese and Russian naval operations, noting that such cooperation is an unprecedented occurrence.

“First, this is unprecedented, not just for Alaska, but for America to have 11 warships jointly being operated by the Chinese and Russians — who are increasingly working together — essentially doing freedom of navigation and navigation operations incursions into Alaska’s area,” Sullivan said according to Alaska News Source. 

The incident marks an improvement in the U.S. response compared to a similar event the previous summer in which the Chinese and Russian navies maneuvered off the Alaskan coast. Senator Sullivan voiced his satisfaction with the more robust reaction this time, as opposed to the “tepid” previous response from the U.S. government, emphasizing the importance of protecting vital national interests. (RELATED: Two Navy Sailors Charged with Funneling Defense Secrets to Chineses Agents)

“I was heartened to see that this latest incursion was met with four U.S. Navy destroyers, which sends a strong message to Xi Jinping and Putin that the United States will not hesitate to protect and defend our vital national interests in Alaska.”

Senator Murkowski joined in emphasizing the strategic location of Alaska near foreign adversaries China and Russia. She stressed the pivotal role Alaska plays in national defense and territorial sovereignty, calling for increased investment in the military’s capacity and capabilities within the state.

“This is a stark reminder of Alaska’s proximity to both China and Russia, as well as the essential role our state plays in our national defense and territorial sovereignty. Incursions like this are why we are working so hard to secure funding and resources to expand our military’s capacity and capabilities in Alaska, and why our colleagues must join us in supporting those investments.”

AUTHOR

ALYSSA RINELLI

Contributor.

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

Attempted Russian Coup Shakes Moscow Politics, Ukraine War

A crack unit of Russian mercenaries marched on Moscow Friday, the boldest challenge yet to the leadership of Vladimir Putin, which has already been tarnished by the nation’s failure to conquer Ukraine. The armed column turned around only hours from Moscow, after Belorussian strongman Victor Lukashenko negotiated an agreement between Putin and the mutineers’ leader Yevgeny Prigozhin. While the immediate crisis has passed, the aftershocks will likely continue.

Prigozhin leads a private military outfit called the Wagner Group, which National Review’s Noah Rothman described as “something like Blackwater private contractors, but far more cultish and ideologically nationalist.” The 25,000-strong organization controls its own tanks and other heavy weaponry and has seen heavy fighting on the frontlines in Ukraine. “They are very well trained for the atmosphere that they are in,” said Lt. General (Ret.) Jerry Boykin on Monday’s “Washington Watch.” “Putin’s regime has relied heavily on this group of mercenaries as a key allied fighting force in their unprovoked invasion of neighboring Ukraine,” agreed Family Research Council President Tony Perkins.

For years, Russia has employed the Wagner Group to do dirty work it wanted to keep at arm’s length. They have deployed to Syria and Libya, among other places, and Prigozhin also oversaw troll farms that sought to intervene in the U.S. election in 2016. The Wagner Group, which recruits hardened criminals out of prison, is also known for glorifying cruelty and brutality, such as performing executions by sledgehammer. “They are the most brutal. They are the ones that have killed more people, have slaughtered innocent people. They are not good guys,” said Boykin. “And that’s what we need to remember: there are no good guys here.”

In recent months, the Wagner Group has grown increasingly frustrated with the Russian military’s conduct in the war. Prigozhin “decided that his troops were not being taken care of. He decided that he was not getting the ammo, the material, the food, or any kind of priority,” Boykin explained. He also suspected that Military Chief of Staff Valery Gerasimov and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu were setting Wagner Group up to take the blame for the invasion’s failure. Apparently, the final straw came when Russian bombs hit Wagner Group’s positions — a move they saw as deliberate.

In response, Prigozhin declared a “March of Justice” Friday evening and urged his soldiers to travel directly to Moscow. He demanded the ouster of Gerasimov and Shoigu. “If anyone gets in our way, we will destroy everything,” the mercenary chief declared. From there the details get murky, with Western onlookers peeping at the internal Russian struggle through a veil of censorship and state-controlled media, or grainy, unconfirmed videos posted to sites like Telegram.

From what we have ascertained, it seems that, within hours, the Wagner Group had marched without resistance into Rostov-on-Don, a city of over one million inhabitants to the southeast of Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region, and which has served as a key logistics hub for Russia’s war effort. The insurgent column then turned north for Moscow, travelling nearly 500 miles overnight and circumventing most of the Russian army which remains tied down in Ukraine. They encountered light air resistance — Putin said Monday the Wagner Group had killed Russian pilots — but no other opposition on their march.

But then, only 125 miles from Moscow, the column of troops turned around. In a video message release Monday, Prigozhin denied attempting a coup, saying instead, “We didn’t march to overthrow Russia’s leadership and turned around to avoid spilling the blood of Russian soldiers. … Our march aimed to prevent the destruction of Wagner.” Boykin remarked, “I don’t think that it was a serious effort to bring down Putin. I think it was a serious effort to bring down those two people,” referring to Gerasimov and Shoigu.

Yet before the march was called off, Putin’s plane left the capital as the Moscow mayor declared Monday a “non-working day” and the city deployed troops and strengthened checkpoints.

Apparently, Putin and Prigozhin came to an understanding with Lukashenko acting as a middleman in the negotiations. Progozhin agreed to call off the armed march on Moscow, while Putin promised no prosecutions for the mutineers. Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), the successor to the infamous KGB, declared the criminal investigations closed on Tuesday. Prigozhin departed for Russian-allied Belarus, while the rank and file of the Wagner Group was given a choice between joining the regular Russian army, laying down their arms, or joining their chief in Belarus.

While individual members could choose different options, Boykin said he couldn’t see why any members of the Wagner Group would join the regular Russian army. “They don’t fight for a cause. They fight for money,” he explained. “I don’t see why any of them would do that, because they’re not going to get paid what they’re getting paid now. They’re going to be at the bottom of the totem pole. Everybody is really angry with them.” As to laying down their arms, these veteran soldiers for hire could face retribution for their war crimes from international tribunals, Boykin pointed out, and that might be made easier if they laid down their arms. However, the group was preparing to hand over their heavy weaponry, Russia’s Defense Ministry said Tuesday. On Monday, independent Russian media reported that Belarus was constructing camps for members of the Wagner Group.

That doesn’t mean the issue is settled, however. Such an anti-climactic settlement between such ruthless and ambitious figures only indicates mutual weakness. Until Putin can reassert his strength, he only makes himself a target for other unscrupulous and ambitious subordinates. Boykin said the weekend’s events would “really rock Putin. They’re going to rock him back on his heels.” He cannot afford to let “the biggest challenge to his power in decades,” as Perkins put it, go unpunished.

But Prigozhin may not accept an uneasy exile, still within Putin’s reach. “He may not even know what he’s going to do, but I don’t think he’s going to stay in Belarus,” said Boykin. “He’d better wind up buying the very best taster that he can find.”

Count on Putin to at least try to manage a quiet assassination for Prigozhin if he remains in Belarus. And if he doesn’t succeed, count on Putin to face more insurgency among his high-ranking officials.

“Most assuredly, this shows the factions” within the Kremlin, said Boykin. “This shows a couple of them. There are others too.” He suggested other mercenary outfits may step into the void left by Wagner because of the money to be made.

U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken suggested that Moscow’s disarray could give Ukrainians an advantage in their efforts to push Russian invaders out of their territory. “To the extent that Russia is now distracted — that Putin has to worry about what’s going on inside of Russia as much as he has to worry about what he has to do not successfully inside Ukraine, I think that creates an additional advantage for the Ukrainians,” Blinken said Sunday. Ukraine’s counteroffensive is attempting to take advantage of the confusion.

However, Russia’s internal turmoil is unlikely to entice Moscow to end the war, either under Putin’s hand or under any government that might replace him. Putin remains as committed as ever, and the potential replacements are also unscrupulous strongman-types. “The men who rise to the top of the Russian system tend to be like Putin and Prigozhin — egomaniacal, ruthless, brutal, paranoid, shameless — an odious combination of cold-blooded ambition and wicked comfort with violence,” remarked National Review’s Jim Geraghty.

Even aside from his incentives to punish Prigozhin, “Putin doesn’t seem to forgive very easily,” Perkins said. Most of his domestic political opponents over his long rule have spent years or decades in prison and penal colonies — and that was while Moscow was trying to win international legitimacy. Putin has even attempted to assassinate former Western spies living in Western countries as recently as 2018. On Saturday, he described the Wagner Group’s march on Moscow as an “armed rebellion” and “a stab in the back of our country and our people” that he would meet with “decisive actions.” So far, Putin has made no decisive move against Prigozhin.

The Wagner group mutiny has been brewing for some time. Ever since Putin’s first blitz in February 2022 failed to decapitate the Ukrainian government, Russia’s underperformance on the battlefield has generated pressure on the aged leader as his strongman image faced increasing contrary evidence. Combined with the semi-independent Wagner Group’s perception of mistreatment by top Russian brass, an eventual revolt seemed inevitable. Now, it has happened, and the uncharacteristically (by Russian standards) bloodless resolution strongly suggests there are more dominoes yet to fall.

AUTHOR

Joshua Arnold

Joshua Arnold is a staff writer at The Washington Stand.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

 

Knock, knock? We’re on a path to extinction! Anyone interested?

South Korea just broke its own grim record, reporting the world’s lowest fertility rate at 0.78 children per woman. An unprecedented birth dearth.

South Korea is supposedly a “wealthy” country, but it will not be wealthy without children. The disappearance of East Asia and their ancient cultures proceeds apace. Japan and China are already shrinking with no end in sight. So many young people are not even interested in dating. What for? They have smartphones, video games and social media.

The same situation plagues the West. In what was once known as Christendom – Europe, Russia, the Anglosphere, Latin America – Christianity is being supplanted by thoroughly modern secularism. “Go forth and multiply” does not apply.

Fertility is falling everywhere. Why?

In prehistoric times, natural selection prevailed. Those best able to adapt survived and produced more offspring. Charles Darwin is credited with the discovery of this principle, though he simply rendered reality into writing. Natural selection became the basis for his theory of evolution.

For people at the mercy of the elements, death was a constant companion. The bearing of children just came naturally to perpetuate family and tribe. The survival instinct was strong. Five-star restaurants, two-car garages and family planning were unknown.

Then came civilization. Sustained commerce between small settlements and the rise of agriculture spawned economies and social stability. Between 4000 and 3000 BC full-fledged civilizations arose. Finding food, clothing and shelter was no longer a do-or-die proposition. Large-scale cooperation emerged. Natural selection gave way to social selection. Civilization presented diversions such as art, science, education, politics, wealth, leisure, and power.

Fast forward to the 19th century. In 1800 no transportation system rivaled the old Roman roads. Nor was there a postal service as proficient as Caesar’s. That changed with the Industrial Revolution. The Idea of Progress, the belief that history ineluctably proceeds towards material well-being and a better life, took hold and superseded religious faith. This belief emerged from Enlightenment empiricism. Mankind had come to believe in itself: Master of the Universe. Modernism was born.

Modernism was inextricably linked with progress. What great things humanity can do! How could anyone possibly argue with that? Modernism is defined by the Oxford dictionary:

A tendency in theology to accommodate traditional religious teaching to contemporary thought and especially to devalue supernatural elements.

According to Merriam-Webster it is:

a movement toward modifying traditional beliefs in accordance with modern ideas, especially in the Roman Catholic Church in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Note the words “accommodate” and “modifying.” It’s not rocket science – religious faith, traditional values and common sense were subordinated to “modern” notions of “liberty, equality and fraternity.” In the West that eventually morphed into “diversity, equity and inclusion” (DEI).

Where is the family in all this? Good question. Modernism continually moves the goal posts. In the West the very definitions of marriage, family and morality are up for debate. Moral relativism destroys social cohesion, a form of “social security” money can’t buy. That is gone in the West and fading fast in the East.

The West’s Industrial Revolution, along with the utopian Idea of Progress, eventually took hold worldwide. The prevailing wisdom was that humanity was improving. The New Soviet Man concept is just one example.

But humanity was not improving. It was the same old humanity thriving under improved conditions – e.g., rising living standards, a critical distinction. Are we really more intelligent or somehow cognitively superior to the ancient Greeks or Persians? Will we ever learn that all the DEI social engineering in the world does not change human nature?

Modernism’s materialism, consumerism and convenience are secular values. How can God, faith, or belief in the transcendent help me get ahead in this world? Well, there’s the Prosperity Gospel. But I digress.

With the advent of Modernism, civilization’s diversions – art, science, politics, wealth, leisure and power – became preoccupations, ends in themselves, at the expense of family. We slipped our spiritual moorings.

Modernism’s mammon mania means that nothing should impede the pursuit of prosperity. We have creature comforts and high-tech gadgets galore. The old “bread and circuses for the masses” has long been surpassed. Materially things are better. What could go wrong?

But are we homo sapiens getting ahead of ourselves?

Has the complexity of civilization exceeded the human capacity to maintain and manage it, akin to a structural overload in engineering? Gleaming civilization with all its baubles and accoutrements has blinded us to certain eternal truths. Losing faith means losing our moral compass and survival instinct. Christianity is wilting in the West. The fatalistic Oswald Spengler said that when the continuation of your kind on earth becomes a matter of debate, it’s over. (To give you a taste of Spengler, he’s the guy who said, “Optimism is cowardice”.)

Absent religious faith or a common Zeitgeist larger than ourselves, civilization can mutate from benefit to burden.

Burden? Progress is a double-edge sword. The environment is fouled for economic gain. Institutions master rather than serve humanity. Perpetual mortgage and credit card debt must be serviced. Unfettered by faith, moral constraints or a common ethos, misery abounds. Artificial intelligence is amazing, but it is also a dehumanizing job-killer.

Modernism prioritizes economic growth, imperialism, and affluence. Everything, including people, is valued solely for economic utility. Mammon mania undermines the family. People choose between family and career as if there is a moral equivalency. For humanity at large, that is choosing between life or death. The produce-and-consume treadmill holds us captive to the lust/need for lucre. No creature breeds well in captivity.

Governments are devising all manner of schemes to reverse falling fertility. Hungary and Scandinavia are leading the way with subsidized childcare, affordable housing and expanded parental leave. It is too early to assess the impact. China is crafting the world’s most comprehensive fertility initiative to date. This includes mapping data on unmarried youth.

Japan has initiated a government-sponsored dating service. The Japanese call it konkatsu, or “marriage hunting.

Russia propagandizes for larger families. President Vladimir Putin has revived Josef Stalin’s Mother Heroine award of US$16,000 for mothers who bear ten children or more.

ChinaRussiaHungary, and other countries are restricting abortion. With shrinking populations many are becoming aware of the critical necessity to choose life.

There is talk of taxing the childless. Renowned demographer Dr Paul Morland floated the idea in his Sunday Times op-ed “Should We Tax the Childless?” His reasoning: “We are approaching a population emergency, and if well-informed people cannot discuss these matters, the field is left to cranks and fanatics.” The idea was not well received; one magazine described it as a “rage-inducing viral masterclass”.

There is already overseas “bride-hunting” to compensate for gender deficits. The Faroe Islands is an example. There is even chatter about importing women from higher-fertility countries for breeding purposes, akin to livestock management.

Here’s an idea. Redefine prosperity in terms of intact families and children, rather than in fungible fiat currency per household.

Family life is being sacrificed on the altar of modernity. Shouldn’t government be doing some of the sacrificing? Multiple military bases, ginormous stadiums and over-the-top infrastructure projects are not as important as survival. Fund family-friendly initiatives instead.

How about meaningful tax relief for the middle class? In the US, real wages (those adjusted for inflation) have not risen since the 1970s. With everyone busy working, homes become dormitories. Living to work is unhealthy.

Reconfigure national economies and pay (bribe) people to have children. With our very survival at stake, just do it. But what does that say about our values?

As Henry David Thoreau observed, “There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.” Tight money is merely a symptom contributing to the family’s decline. The root cause is spiritual.

The world is ageing because we are not replacing ourselves. Why? The family is no longer the center of life. Children are a bother. They’re too expensive. It doesn’t matter if we die out. The survival instinct is gone. Is a brave new dystopian world ahead?

The most advanced civilization can’t fool Mother Nature. Is this natural selection coming back?

Humans, those self-aware bipeds with prominent prefrontal cortexes, emerged about 300,000 years ago. Civilization has been around only 6,000 years. Is civilization an aberration? Are we regressing to barbarism?

Modernism has failed. We’re on the path to extinction. The world’s most productive populations are the fastest declining.

The future of the family depends on individual and societal priorities. Priorities reside in hearts and minds. Only spiritual rebirth can turn things around.

How can we help that happen?

AUTHOR

Louis T. March

Louis T. March has a background in government, business and philanthropy. A former talk show host, author and public speaker, he is a dedicated student of history and genealogy. Louis lives with his family… More by Louis T. March.

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

Yes, Biden And The Left Are Coming For Your Gas Stove One Way Or Another

Remember when worries about the government coming for your gas stove were dismissed as just another conservative fever dream? At least that was the canned response from everyone from the Biden White House to the party loyalists in the corporate media.

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm even chimed in, saying: “That is so ridiculous, that story. Because, it sounds like the government’s coming in to take your stuff. That is so not true. That is just not true.”

That’s a relief! Well, not really.

Less than two weeks after dismissing the gas stove furor as little more than tinfoil hat conspiracies, Granholm’s own agency proposed energy efficiency standards that ignited opposition from the gas appliance industry.

“We are concerned that this is another attempt by the federal government to use regulations to remove viable and efficient natural gas products from the market,” American Gas Association President Karen Harbert told Bloomberg.

“This approach by DOE could effectively ban gas appliances,” echoed Jill Notini with the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers. “We are concerned this approach could eliminate fully featured gas products.”

National Propane Gas Association President and CEO Steve Kaminski indicated that “[o]ne area clearly in [the Energy Department’s] crosshairs is pilot light usage.” Indeed, in its current form, the Energy Department admits its proposal would effectively take half of gas stove models off the market.

The reality may be worse, according to Notini, who told Bloomberg “‘it appears’ that 95% of the market would not meet the proposed levels.”

“This is what I would consider a more serious threat because the Department of Energy has greater authority than the [Consumer Product Safety Commission],” Kaminski went on to tell another outlet.

He’s right. The Energy Department has sweeping authority to squeeze your favorite household appliances out of existence should it so choose. In fact, the Biden Energy Department has issued over 100 energy efficiency rules on appliances and household equipment, which they claim will fight climate change and save you money.

But ask yourself this question: if this is so great, why is the government forcing it on us?

If history is any guide, every appliance the Energy Department touches will end up performing worse and costing way more. That, combined with state and local efforts to ban natural gas hook-ups in new homes and buildings, is how the left can take your gas stove from you without ever having to set foot inside your home.

It was never very believable that the president who promised to “end fossil fuels” would simply leave your gas stoves alone. Sure, the White House says they don’t support a ban, but they sure as heck aren’t working to make gas stoves more affordable or widely available.

Except gas stoves to die by 1,000 regulatory cuts. The Energy Department’s proposal is only one slash of the knife. The aforementioned state and local attacks on gas appliances and infrastructure will also cause the gas stove industry to bleed out.

The Biden Interior Department’s restrictions on drilling will cause more pain, as will the Inflation Reduction Act’s tax on methane emissions from natural gas operations.

Likewise, the Consumer Product Safety Commission could still take a swipe at your stoves. Even as the commission walked back a commissioner’s initial claim that a gas stove ban was “on the table,” its chairman said the group was “researching gas emissions in stoves and exploring new ways to address health risks.”

In other words, keep an eye on them.

And don’t forget to keep an eye on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which was petitioned by a coalition of environmental groups in August to crack down on gas stoves and other gas appliances.

The environmentalists’ petition even makes the ludicrous claim that gas appliances carry “significant health impacts, from increasing the rates of asthma to causing thousands of premature deaths each year.”

Junk science claims like that defy logic and commonsense. And as journalist and author Robert Bryce recently noted, this distinctly anti-working class campaign is being funded by billionaires who probably use gas stoves in at least one of their many mansions.

If gas stoves get more expensive, the Mike Bloombergs and Jeff Bezoses of the world wouldn’t blink. They can afford to buy a gas stove at any price. If electricity rates skyrocket because everyone is forced to “go electric,” you think they would even notice?

Probably not, but middle class Americans sure would.

AUTHOR

MICHAEL BASTASCH

DCNF Managing Editor. Follow Michael on Twitter

RELATED ARTICLE: SANDS: Banning Gas Stoves? That’s Too Many Government Cooks In Your Kitchen

EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved. All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

EMAIL BOMBSHELL: Hunter Biden Offered to Sell Intelligence on Russia To Alcoa Inc. for $55,000

This is not a political issue. This is matter of national security.

Hunter Biden Alcoa email promising Russian oligarch info raises fresh concern about Joe’s access

By Caitlin Doornbos, The NY Post, January 30, 2023:

Hunter Biden converted Delaware home with classified documents into second office

WASHINGTON –A Hunter Biden email sent to an American aluminum company and promising information on Russian oligarchs is raising fresh concerns about the first son’s access to classified documents recently discovered in his father’s Wilmington, Del., home as lawmakers prepare to investigate allegations of influence peddling.

Documents dating back to 2011 on his notorious “laptop from hell” showed Hunter offered to sell intelligence on Russian oligarchs to the US aluminum firm Alcoa Inc. for $55,000, according to The Post’s exclusive October 2021 report.

As his father served as former President Barack Obama’s second-in-command, Hunter Biden offered to provide a “statistical analysis of political and corporate risks, elite networks associated with Oleg Deripaska, the Russian CEO of Basic Element company and United company RUSAL,” which had just signed a metal supply agreement with Alcoa.

Hunter Biden also offered the company a “list of elites of similar rank in Russia, map of [Deripaska’s] networks based on frequency of interaction with selected elites and countries.”

The deeply detailed proposal has come under sharp scrutiny given recent revelations that Hunter Biden had access to the Delaware lake-front home where secret papers from his father’s time as vice president were discovered in a garage, basement and library — combined with Republicans taking control of the House of Representatives.

Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.), the high-profile former chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee, told The Post that the Alcoa solicitation fits within a broader picture.

“The Biden family is the most corrupt family in the history of American politics,” he said. “The biggest question facing Republican investigators: Where to begin?”

Banks is not alone. Others, such as Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), have raised suspicions that Hunter Biden, who has previously listed the 6,850-square-foot mansion as his home, may have used the classified documents in business dealings.

Johnson said an April 12, 2014 Hunter Biden email to his business partner about Ukraine from 2014 looked “suspiciously” like it could have come from classified information.

“It reads like one of those scene-setters — highly detailed information in terms of Ukraine,” Johnson told Fox News Tuesday.

Hunter Biden has access to the Wilmington mansion where classified documents were found in several locations.

The email from Hunter to Devon Archer included a 22-point memo he described as “thoughts after doing some research” included prescient predictions that Petro Poroshenko would be elected Ukraine’s president and “some sort of decentralization will likely occur in the East.”

“If it doesn’t the Russians will continue to escalate there [sic] destabilization campaign, which could lead to a full scale take over of the eastern region most critically Donetsk,” Hunter Biden wrote. “The strategic value is to create a land bridge for RU[ssia] to Crimea.”

In hearings to start next week, the House Oversight Committee will investigate Hunter Biden’s alleged influence peddling, cashing in on ties to his then-vice president father to rake in millions from foreign companies, its chairman, Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.), told the National Press Club on Monday.

With suspicions that first son Hunter Biden had detailed insider info from his dad – some of it evidenced on emails found on his notorious laptop – alongside curious foreign business dealings and transactions, Comer is vowing to shine a light on the matters.

“We have evidence that … we’ll continue to be transparent with as we start our hearings next week, where this family is taking in millions of millions of dollars from our adversaries,” he said. “And I think we need to determine what was that money for [and] who supplied that money?”

Keep reading.

AUTHOR

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

Facebook Welcomes Ukraine’s Neo-Nazi Azov Regiment Back on its Platform

“What the Zuck?” is a valid question asked in the title of the Breitbart article below, “What the Zuck: Facebook Welcomes Ukraine’s Neo-Nazi Azov Regiment Back on Platform.”


In 2021, before the Azov battalion became accepted as a key element of Ukraine’s defense against Russia, Time magazine did an exposé on the group. Some key points that are relevant to the US and other Western countries about the Azov movement, which has denied its neo-Nazi activities for years: Time points out that in October 2019:

40 members of Congress signed a letter calling—unsuccessfully—for the U.S. State Department to designate Azov a foreign terrorist organization. “Azov has been recruiting, radicalizing, and training American citizens for years,” the letter said.

Time conducted its own investigations:

TIME, in more than a dozen interviews with Azov’s leaders and recruits, found that the key to its international growth has been its pervasive use of social media, especially Facebook, which has struggled to keep the group off its platform. “Facebook is the main channel.”

The Azov Regiment doesn’t aim to only protect Ukraine, but to spread its National Socialist ideology. There could even be violence in America itself:

In their letter to the State Department in 2019, U.S. lawmakers noted that “the link between Azov and acts of terror in America is clear.”

Azov’s main recruitment center in Kyiv disseminates Nazi propaganda. “On the ground floor is a shop called Militant Zone, which sells clothes and key chains with stylized swastikas and other neo-Nazi merchandise.”

Haaretz has previously reported:

The Azov movement insists it is not neo-Nazi, yet its members have been captured giving Hitler salutes and being virulently anti-Semitic….

Members even muse that some Jews would not be allowed to stay in Ukraine if they ever seized power.

At a time when antisemitism is on the rise, why is the Azov Regiment being welcomed back on Facebook? Mark Zuckerberg has weaponized the Facebook platform as a political tool, employing bold and unapologetic censorship tactics to target users with views that oppose those of the establishment Left. Meanwhile, Hamas and Islamic Jihad were allowed on Facebook, and now the Azov Regiment. Facebook, of course, banned Donald Trump. The reasoning that governs Facebook  (Meta) concerning the Azov battalion is that as the group is “under the command and control of the Ukrainian government,” it is benign and has shed its Nazi elements.

But that line of reasoning is irrational. The neo-Nazi Azov Regiment was formally incorporated into the Ukraine National Guard since November 11, 2014. Its character hasn’t changed just because Ukraine has now been invaded. The change from “Battalion” to “Regiment” was cosmetic — an attempt to rebrand in the face of the war with Russia. As that war goes on, the Doomsday Clock has now moved closer to midnight.

The decision to provide a forum for neo-Nazis will likely backfire on “Zuck.”

What the Zuck: Facebook Welcomes Ukraine’s Neo-Nazi Azov Regiment Back on Platform

by Lucas Nolan, Breitbart, January 21, 2023:

Facebook (now known as Meta) has removed Ukraine’s Azov Regiment — members of which regularly display Nazi symbols and signs on their uniforms — from its list of dangerous individuals and organizations. With this change, Mark Zuckerberg is welcoming members of the Azov Regiment who were once blacklisted to utilize his massive platform.

The Washington Post reports that as the conflict between Russia and Ukraine continues, Facebook has modified its approach to content moderation. The neo-Nazi Ukrainian military group Azov Regiment was recently removed from the social media behemoth’s list of potentially harmful people and groups. With this modification, members of the Azov Regiment will be able to sign up for Facebook and Instagram accounts and post content without worrying about it being taken down unless it violates the platforms’ content policies. Other users will be able to openly laud and support the group’s work due to the change.

This policy change comes after months of criticism of how the social media juggernaut is handling the conflict, with many questioning where it draws the line between promoting free speech about the conflict and containing rhetoric that could have violent or dangerous offline repercussions. The company has been criticized by its Oversight Board, an independent group of primarily leftist activists, academics, and experts who oversee Facebook’s content moderation decisions, for going too far in removing content that challenges authoritarian governments or leaders.

Historically, there has been controversy surrounding the Azov Regiment. It is one of Ukraine’s most skilled military units and has engaged in combat with Russian forces in strategic locations like the besieged city of Mariupol and close to Kiev. However, there were worries that the group was drawing extremists because of its ties to its neo-Nazi ideology. The Azov forces were partially referred to when Russian President Vladimir Putin described his invasion of Ukraine as an effort to “de-Nazify” the nation.

According to Facebook, the neo-Nazi Azov Movement and the Azov Regiment are no longer affiliated. It mentions that the unit is formally under the command and control of the Ukrainian government. According to Facebook, there are still “elements of the Azov Movement, including the National Corp., and its founder Andriy Biletsky” on its list of potentially harmful people and groups. “Hate speech, hate symbols, calls for violence, and any other content which violates our Community Standards are still banned, and we will remove this content if we find it,” the company said.

Ukraine’s minister for digital transformation, Mykhailo Fedorov, praised Facebook’s choice and singled out former British deputy prime minister Nick Clegg, Fakebook’s president for international affairs. “Means a lot for every Ukrainian. New approach enters the force gradually,” Fedorov tweeted. “Big contribution @nickclegg & his team in sharing truthful content about war.”…..

AUTHOR

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

An Arrest and FBI Corruption

Trump wasn’t working for Russia, but it’s hard to find anyone in D.C. who isn’t.


On Saturday, the FBI arrested one of its own. Charles McGonigal, who used to head counterintel for the Bureau in New York and investigated Trump over Russiagate, was busted at JFK Airport and has been charged with violating the sanctions placed on Oleg Deripaska.

Deripaska, a Russian oligarch allied with Putin, has his name scrawled on parts of Russiagate. Before Christopher Steele was brought on board to produce the infamous dossier aimed at Trump, the British ex-agent had been working on a project for Deripaska to go after Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign manager, who would also prove to be an FBI target.

In the tangled relationship that is an apt metaphor for Russiagate, the Russian billionaire appeared at times to be an FBI asset and at other times employed FBI personnel.

McGonigal is reportedly one of a number of ex-FBI agents who became freelance consultants, like American versions of Steele, under investigation. And connections between ex-FBI officials and the Russians have gone even higher than McGonigal. Louis Freeh, Bill Clinton’s former FBI director, represented a number of Russian oligarchs and his deceased predecessor, Director William Sessions worked for a top Russian mafia figure linked to Putin.

We may very well find that the retired FBI officials who haven’t gotten contracts as commentators for cable news have gone to work for the Russians. And McGonigal may be the first of a number of FBI figures who were tasked with fighting Russian influence who instead learned enough to go to work for the Russians.

If McGonigal is guilty, it’s because he was following in the footsteps of retired FBI directors and top elected officials. Deripaska had previously managed to purchase the services of former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole to “persuade U.S. officials his client isn’t a criminal” and of a firm linked to Hillary’s communications director and Bill Clinton’s deputy press secretary. When you can buy both sides of the 1996 presidential election, why quibble at a mere FBI official? Russia may be a mafia state, but unfortunately we’ve become one too.

A long list of American political elites had taken Deripaska’s money. And the FBI had been corrupted into serving the political interests of that elite rather than protecting the homeland.

When it came to Deripaska, the FBI’s priorities were helping Hillary Clinton win an election.

Even while Deripaska was suspected of, according to the New York Times, “extortion, bribery and even murder”, he was able to spend time in New York while the FBI tried to solicit information from him about Trump’s Russian connections. Instead of ‘flipping’ Deripaska, the Russian oligarch allegedly flipped the head of FBI counterintelligence operations in New York who would have likely led efforts to gain information from him on Trump.

Deripaska had apparently employed quite a few former government officials like Jonathan Winer, a former top Kerry aide, who lobbied for the Russian oligarch and who also promoted the Steele dossier. The Russian oligarch claims to be the victim in all this. As does Igor Danchenko: the alleged source for much of the Steele dossier and the subject of a failed prosecution effort by Special Counsel Durham. And yet even defenders of the Steele dossier have been forced to argue that it was ‘tainted’ by Russian intelligence. And that means the FBI was tainted too.

But the FBI was tainted as a secondary effect of being politicized by tainted figures.

The Clintons, who had initiated Russiagate, as usual had led the way. In 2009, Hillary Clinton arrived bearing a ‘Reset Button’. The button, pilfered from a hotel swimming pool, was meant to symbolize the desire of the Obama administration for a new relationship with Russia. All it really symbolized was that the Clintons, like the Russians, would steal anything that wasn’t nailed down. And the real relationship launched with that button was between Russia and the Clintons.

This was the same year that Deripaska hired a firm tied to the Clintons. The head of that firm, who would also work for the Russian foreign ministry, would later show up working with Steele and a Justice Department official involved in Russiagate to help the Russian oligarch.

In 2010, a Russian investment bank paid Bill Clinton $500,000 to deliver a speech and Putin called to offer his personal appreciation. Meanwhile the Russians were slowly swallowing Uranium One while investors wrote their checks to the Clinton Foundation. Hillary Clinton, who would later reinvent herself as a hawk, conveniently opposed sanctions on Russia.

In 2015, McGonigal was CC’d on a briefing given by the FBI to the Clinton campaign warning that the Bureau had information that a foreign government was “attempting to influence Hillary Clinton through lobbying and campaign contributions”. Rather than investigating potential criminal activity and national security violations by the Clintons, the FBI instead gave them a ‘heads up’ that there was suspicious behavior taking place.

McGonigal had been working on Russian counterintelligence matters since at least the 90s. He had close ties to former FBI Director James Comey. When Trump fired Comey, McGonigal, speaking in an official capacity, called him “one of the most loved leaders that we’ve had” and stated that “many of us who were nominated for leadership positions by him will forever hold him in esteem as we progress through our FBI careers.”

Comey, along with other FBI figures, had signed off on Hillary Clinton’s actions. And there was every reason to believe that the Clintons were the ones who were actually tied to Russia.

Russiagate was a masterstroke that took one of Hillary’s greatest legal vulnerabilities and turned it around so that the country has spent the last six years debating Trump’s ties to Russia while at the same time justifying illegal surveillance and prosecution of her opponent’s associates.

But that victory was ultimately pyrrhic. Hillary still lost the election and her corruption, like that of the Biden family, provided an opening for foreign countries looking to buy influence in America. Beginning with the Clinton era, a generation of FBI officials have alternated between working for the Clintons and the Russians while compromising our national security and domestic politics.

A corrupted FBI leadership did the dirty work of the Clintons, who were looking to redirect the blame for their Russian ties, and then in some cases decided to cut out the middleman by working directly for the Russian oligarchs.

In Washington D.C., retired generals go to work for defense contractors, retired IRS officials teach corporations how to avoid paying taxes and retired FBI officials go to work for the Russians. And aspiring presidents, like Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden, open nonprofits that allow them to legally take cash from foreign countries while prepping their future administrations.

FBI officials are just copying what they’ve seen top elected officials get away with doing.

Russiagate and what happened to the FBI can’t be understood apart from the routine corruption of a city whose public servants work for the government in order to trade on that knowledge. The grand hypocrisy of Russiagate was that this corrupt political class used its Russian and international connections to smear Trump with their own crimes. Trump wasn’t working for Moscow, but sometimes it seems as if it’s hard to find anyone in Washington D.C. who isn’t.

AUTHOR

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

Why Russia’s war in Ukraine today is so different from a year ago

Vladimir Putin’s “special military operation” in Ukraine is approaching its first anniversary. The war being fought by Russian forces today is, however, very different from that being fought when Russia first invaded Ukraine.

In February 2022, the Russian attack on Kyiv — seemingly aimed at bringing about regime change in Ukraine — soon faltered. It quickly became apparent that the current Ukrainian regime would not simply collapse.

Putin appeared to have ignored or not been told about improvements in the Ukrainian armed forces that separatist and Russian forces fighting in the Donbas region since 2014 experienced first-hand. Nonetheless, during the first weeks of the war, Russian forces secured significant territory in eastern Ukraine.

Russia’s war of movement, however, soon degenerated into the sort of fighting that it’s engaged in today. Ukrainian forces also recaptured territory relatively quickly in the fall of 2022, but their war of movement has also come to an end for the time being.

Neither side has been able to gain a decisive advantage on the battlefield. Russia’s army in Ukraine has not collapsed — despite the predictions of many western observers — and shows no signs of doing so. Here’s why.

Redeploying forces

Russia’s attack north of Kyiv was undoubtedly a debacle and it was halted, resulting in a redeployment of Russian forces to the east. That move both greatly simplified Russian supply lines and meant more troops in the east. The Russian pullout from territory near Kherson, in southern Ukraine, had the same effect.

Russia invaded Ukraine with an army far too small to wage a major war there.

Although Putin for many months wouldn’t acknowledge that his so-called special military operation in Ukraine was in fact a full-fledged war, he has certainly now done so — both in words and actions.

His change of tack has been accompanied by a considerable strengthening of Russia’s army in Ukraine. The partial mobilization of reservists has given the Russian army far greater human resources than it started with.

The Russian reservists are concentrated in the east of Ukraine, and they are on the defensive across most of the front lines. This defensive posture means fewer lives lost and more resources than the offensive operations across a wider front nearly a year ago.

Russian offensive operations are now largely focused on trying to secure the remaining territory of Donetsk and LuhanskSecuring that territory was a core justification for the invasion.

‘Grinding advance’

Russia’s current operations in the region of Bakhmut in Donbas are not making rapid progress, but constitute the sort of grinding advance that in many ways better suits the Russian army.

The types of problems with the “command and control” of Russian troops at the beginning of the war have been reduced for operations of more limited scope. Typically less experienced and lacking extensive training, Russian reservists are better suited to the more limited and methodical operations of today.

Russian forces also have considerable experience fighting the sort of artillery-heavy war now being fought.

Russian forces attempted to rush the Chechen capital of Grozny back in late 1994 in a manner not dissimilar to the attack on Kyiv in 2022. In the light of that failure, they adopted the sort of tried-and-tested, artillery-centred approach honed during the Second World War to reduce the city before capturing it. That approach was applied to Mariupol.

As an historian of the Russian and Soviet military, I am well aware of what might be regarded as a Russian cultural disposition towards rash initial offensive operations that make way to a more methodical and measured follow-up. In addition to the case of the seizure of Grozny during the Chechen wars, the Soviet Union’s great Patriotic War is littered with examples of this phenomenon.

This has often been accompanied by a psychological doubling-down and a deeper commitment to the task in hand. There are plenty of signs that this has been the situation for the Russian army since the fall.

Distrust of the West and NATO

Despite Russian losses and setbacks, public opinion polls suggest Russia’s population still supports the war effort in Ukraine. That support is crucial for the army fighting in Ukraine.

Western support of Ukrainian efforts to recapture all territory lost since 2014 is the sort of no-compromise stance that feeds acceptance of the Russian government’s argument that the West has been out to get Russia for some time, and that NATO’s expansion to Russia’s borders is part of a process that justifies Russia drawing a line in the sand.

Many Russians consider Crimea a core part of Russia, and western support for Ukraine’s attempts to recapture it is a particular affront.

Both sides will suffer shortages in manpower and material as the war drags on. Russia has large reserves, along with a handful of overt allies like Iran and North Korea — whereas Ukraine is backed by the weight of the NATO alliance.

Long war is likely

Both sides therefore have the capacity to keep fighting for the foreseeable future. More western equipment, including some of the latest western tanks and other armoured vehicles, will undoubtedly strengthen the Ukrainian military in the short term. But more vehicle types complicate training, maintenance and supply issues.

If Germany eventually supplies Ukraine with tanks, it will represent a considerable propaganda victory for Putin. Parallels are already being drawn in the Russian media between the German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941 and the prospect of German tanks on the battlefield in Ukraine today.

If the war continues along its current trajectory, neither side is likely to gain a decisive advantage. One side or the other may gain temporary advantage as they escalate and counter-escalate, but any advantage for either Russia or Ukraine is unlikely to be sustained.

Sadly, in the absence of any negotiations — and certainly meaningful talks in which both sides will have to give as well as take — the bloodshed is likely to continue for some time yet.

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

AUTHOR

Alexander Hill

Professor Alexander Hill has taught history at the University of Calgary since 2004. He has PhD in Social and Political Sciences from the University of Cambridge and specializes in Soviet military and… More by Alexander Hill

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

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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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. 

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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.