‘Russia could invade any moment’ – Blinken

An offensive on Ukraine could come at any point, Washington’s top diplomat warns

Russian soldiers, tanks, and military hardware could begin pouring over the shared border with Ukraine with little or no warning, Washington’s top diplomat has told American embassy staff in Kiev as part of a whistle-stop diplomatic tour of Europe.

Speaking to officials in the Ukrainian capital on Wednesday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said “as you all know very, very well, we have been engaged in the past couple of months in an intense focus on Ukraine because of the significant buildup we’ve seen of Russian forces we’ve seen near the Ukrainian border.”

He claimed that Russia is amassing troops and weapons systems near the frontier “with no provocation, no reason.”

“We know that there are plans in place to increase that force even more on very short notice, and that gives Russian President [Vladimir] Putin the capacity, also on very short notice, to take further aggressive action against Ukraine,” Blinken claimed.

Source: RT International

Background image via Moscovery.com, modified by me.

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Russia is right: The West promised not to enlarge NATO & these promises were broken

The events of three decades ago are haunting the politics of the present

By Tarik Cyril Amar

With Russia challenging Western unilateralism in a way not seen since the end of the Soviet Union, two major issues keep coming to the fore. Both, it seems, are centered on America’s flagship military bloc, NATO.

First, there is Moscow’s claim that there was a Western promise not to expand NATO beyond its Cold War area. Second, there is a Western claim that NATO cannot, let alone will not, put an end to admitting new member states.

This is no mere rhetoric; these are crucial points. Russia’s insistence on a thorough review and comprehensive, bindingly codified reset of post-Cold War security relations with the West hinges on its claim that prior Western assurances were broken. Talk and informal promises, the Kremlin says, are not enough anymore because they have turned out to be unreliable. On the other side of the quarrel, the West is rejecting a Russian key demand – to stop NATO expansion – by entrenching itself behind its claim that NATO simply must keep the door open to new members.

Both claims can be verified. Let’s take a look at the facts. Moscow is right in its assertion that the West has broken its promises.

Such pledges were made twice to Russia, as a matter of fact. In 1990, during the negotiations over the unification of West and East Germany, and then, again, in 1993, when NATO was extending its Partnership for Peace policy eastward. In both cases, the assurances were given by US secretaries of state, James Baker and Warren Christopher, respectively. And in both cases, they took it upon themselves to speak, in effect, for NATO as a whole.

Read the full article at: RT International

A historic photo depicting President Ronald Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev at the first Summit in Geneva, Switzerland on November 19, 1985. Image via WikiMedia, modified by me.

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COVID-1984, the ‘Wonderful’ New Normal

Image is courtesy of Associated Press, cropped and slightly enhanced by me.

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Antony Blinken’s ‘Baby Babble’

On Friday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken suggested that Moscow might have some ulterior motives in leading the peacekeeping effort by the CSTO alliance in Kazakhstan. “I think one lesson in recent history is that once Russians are in your house, it’s sometimes very difficult to get them to leave,” he said.

The Russian Foreign Ministry has already slammed Blinken for his controversial claims. “When Americans are in your house, it can be difficult to stay alive, and not to be robbed or raped,” and North American Indians, Koreans, Vietnamese, Iraqis, Syrians, and others can confirm that, it pointed out.

Source: RT International

Map of European NATO member states via NATO.int, modified by me.

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Colour Revolution in Kazakhstan?

By Pepe Escobar

Kazakhstan was rocked into chaos virtually overnight, in principle, because of the doubling of prices for liquefied gas, which reached the (Russian) equivalent of 20 rubles per liter (compare it to an average of 30 rubles in Russia itself).

That was the spark for nationwide protests spanning every latitude from top business hub Almaty to the Caspian Sea ports of Aktau and Atyrau and even the capital Nur-Sultan, formerly Astana.

The central government was forced to roll back the gas price to the equivalent of 8 rubles a liter. Yet that only prompted the next stage of the protests, demanding lower food prices, an end of the vaccination campaign, a lower retirement age for mothers with many children and – last but not least – regime change, complete with its own slogan: Shal, ket! (“Down with the old man.”)

The “old man” is none other than national leader Nursultan Nazarbayev, 81, who even as he stepped down from the presidency after 29 years in power, in 2019, for all practical purposes remains the Kazakh gray eminence as head of the Security Council and the arbiter of domestic and foreign policy.

The prospect of yet another color revolution inevitably comes to mind: perhaps Turquoise-Yellow – reflecting the colors of the Kazakh national flag. Especially because right on cue, sharp observers found out that the usual suspects – the American embassy – was already “warning” about mass protests as early as in December 16, 2021.

Maidan in Almaty? Oh yeah. But it’s complicated.

Read the full article at: Strategic Culture.

Related articles: Dr. Marcus Papadopoulos on recent events (attempted colour revolution) in Kazakhstan | Fyodor Lukyanov: Kazakhstan intervention sees Russia set a new precedent

Map of Kazakhstan via The Astana Times.

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Sir Tony Blair – the War Criminal!

Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair received a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II last week. Blair received the Most Noble Order of the Garter and will now be able to use the title ‘Sir’. In an official statement, the royal family said it was “graciously pleased” to knight Blair.

Sign the Petition to have this honour removed!

Background image courtesy of Renegade Tribune, modified by me.

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WHO Blasts Additional Jabs

The World Health Organization criticized the rollout of booster programs as many poor nations haven’t even gotten first doses yet and warned that more variants have the potential to develop under these conditions.

“Blanket booster programs are likely to prolong the pandemic, rather than ending it, by diverting supply to countries that already have high levels of vaccination coverage, giving the virus more opportunity to spread and mutate,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “No country can boost its way out of the pandemic.”

Source: Townhall.com

Background image via Allure.com, modified by me.

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Malta Comes Next…

First EU country moves to legalize cannabis for personal use

Malta has approved recreational cannabis use, as well as the limited cultivation and possession of the drug for personal use, beating Luxembourg in becoming the first EU country to drastically relax legislation on the substance.

New legislation further decriminalizing the use and cultivation of cannabis was approved by Malta’s parliament on Tuesday. The bill was passed by 36 votes to 27, and now needs to be signed into law by the country’s president.

Under the new rules, adults will be able to legally carry up to 7g of cannabis without fear of arrest or having the substance confiscated. Those caught with a bigger stash on them, between 7g and 28g, will have to appear before an administrative tribunal rather than a criminal court.

Home cultivation of up to four cannabis plants per household will now be legal as well. The plants, however, must not be publicly visible. Moreover, people will be able to keep up to 50g of dried product in their homes without fear of facing any consequences.

Source: RT International

My own photo, converted into Tungsten colour space.

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Orban: It’ll Be ‘Jab or Death’ for Anti-Vaxxers

Vaccination of all Hungarian citizens against Covid-19 is inevitable, PM Viktor Orban has said, stating that even the most hardline anti-vaxxers will ultimately face a choice between dying with the virus and getting a jab.

Speaking to Kossuth radio on Friday, the Hungarian leader lashed out at those reluctant to get vaccinated against coronavirus, branding them a threat “not only to themselves but to all others.”

“In the end, everyone will have to be vaccinated; even the anti-vaxxers will realize that they will either get vaccinated or die.”

Source: RT International

Related: The Road to Fascism: Paved with Vaccine Mandates and Corporate Collusion

Image via flipboard.com, slightly modified by me.

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Nuclear Power – the New Green and Clean Energy

With the 26th UN Climate Change Conference over, nations are making plans to move to green energy in a bid to tackle global warming.

But nuclear energy is a particular sticking point. While it is the largest source of low-carbon electricity in OECD countries, some nations have spoken out against the categorisation of nuclear energy as climate-friendly. What do you think?

Read the full article: The World Nuclear Club

Infographic via Al Jazeera, modified by me.

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