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Operating as usual

03/03/2022
03/03/2022

Happy Writer's Day!

Какой русский писатель ваш любимый?
What is your favourite Russian writer?

https://havefunwithrussian.ru/

03/03/2022
03/03/2022

Russian language is key in understanding world politics as it broadens your news sources and reduces misinformation.

Referendum Day in Crimea. On March 16, 2014, an all-Crimean referendum was held on the status of the Crimean peninsula a...
03/03/2022

Referendum Day in Crimea. On March 16, 2014, an all-Crimean referendum was held on the status of the Crimean peninsula and the city of Sevastopol. During the referendum, Crimea returned to the Russian Federation.

#otd Emperor Alexander II signed a manifesto on the abolition of serfdomA large amount of preparatory material for the p...
03/03/2022

#otd
Emperor Alexander II signed a manifesto on the abolition of serfdom

A large amount of preparatory material for the peasant reform in Russia was collected during the reign of Nicholas I, although serfdom remained unshakable. On the other hand, significant experience was accumulated in solving the peasant issue, on which his son Alexander II was able to rely on in the future.

02/03/2022

📌 #Statement by the Friends of Crimea International Association on the Situation around Ukraine.

We, representatives of the Friends of Crimea International Association, in connection with Russia’s decision to conduct a special military operation for Ukraine’s demilitarisation and denazification in accordance with Russia’s treaties of friendship and mutual assistance with the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics, affirm the following.

🌏 All sensible people on Earth realise that #Russia cannot feel safe against the backdrop of anti-Russia actions by the nationalist regime in Kiev, the deployment of NATO military facilities in Ukraine, Ukrainian leaders stating their intention to start developing nuclear weapons as blackmail, and the US and NATO refusing to guarantee that the alliance will not expand further. The last straw for Russia’s patience was the shelling of Donbass cities and the resulting death toll, which continued to mount even after Moscow’s recognition of the #DPR and the #LPR, as well as Kiev’s refusal to back down from its plans to “clear out” their territories by force of arms.

Since the founding of our association in 2017, we have issued repeated public calls to stop the blockade of Crimea and the flagrant violations of the rights of its residents, to consider the Russian position and resume constructive dialogue between the West and the Russian Federation, and to respect the principles of equal and indivisible security for both sides.

✅ We share the view expressed by the Russian leadership that Ukrainian nationalists will never forgive the residents of Crimea for the free choice they made in 2014. We agree that the current Kiev regime is prepared to stage armed provocations against the peninsula. Ukraine’s adventurist project, known as the International Platform for Crimea’s De-occupation, or the Crimean Platform, which the West supported in 2021 and signed as an official document, was bound to sharply exacerbate tensions around the peninsula and the rest of the Black Sea region because its goal was to question and threaten Russia’s territorial integrity.

☝ All friends of #Crimea who organised in their respective countries demanded that their governments abstain from this provocative venture. Unfortunately, our appeal to stop the world’s unmistakable slide toward armed conflict was not heard either in the United States or in Europe.

As such, we join all peace-loving people on Earth in calling for the elimination of this neo-Nazi hotbed in Europe, in Ukraine, and urging the ruling circles of the #UnitedStates and other #NATO countries to stop the pointless and dangerous actions taken against the people of Crimea and start a constructive dialogue with Russia on ensuring mutual security on an equal basis.

❗ We stand for peace in Europe and the rest of the world and for friendly and equitable relations between all nations.

02/03/2022
☝️ Everything that happened in Ukraine after the bloody coup of 2014 can only be described as endless political chaos, l...
02/03/2022

☝️ Everything that happened in Ukraine after the bloody coup of 2014 can only be described as endless political chaos, lawlessness and rampant ultra-nationalism.

▪️ The scale and frequency of neo-Nazi acts in the country are growing and becoming more aggressive in nature. The followers of the Nazi ideology feel total impunity and even support from the authorities.

▪️ An integral part of the official Kiev’s policy regarding ethnic minorities, their forceful Ukrainisation, is how they discriminate against a considerable part of the population in terms of language, including the gross violation of the Russian-speaking community’s rights.

🕯 According to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights report ~14'000 people were killed during the conflict in Donbass, including 152 children...

👉 The Truth Behind Events in Ukraine and Donbass (2014 - 2022): https://prezi.com/i/view/9cYE7fncaVS2HoP69I8U

#See4Yourself #donbasstragedy

Photos from Russian Foreign Ministry - МИД России's post
02/03/2022

Photos from Russian Foreign Ministry - МИД России's post

⚡️ Maria #Zakharova:The #EuropeanUnion has not gone as far as barring the Foreign Minister of Russia Sergey Lavrov from ...
02/03/2022

⚡️ Maria #Zakharova:

The #EuropeanUnion has not gone as far as barring the Foreign Minister of Russia Sergey Lavrov from travelling as a diplomat; there can be exemptions from EU sanctions. This is what the head of EU diplomacy, Josep Borrell, said on Monday in response to a question from a journalist on whether the EU sanctions prevent the Russian Minister from travelling to Geneva.

❗️ But they did go too far. They are lying and scrambling to get away with it.

Russia prepared two routes which Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his delegation could take to attend meetings of the Conference on Disarmament and the UN Human Rights Council at the United Nations Office at Geneva.

👉 #Poland and #Estonia denied them passage, and the UN Secretariat knew this. Both countries cited EU sanctions.

Mr Borrell, what betrays the doublespeak in your position is that when Sergey Lavrov asked countries in their national capacity to express their positions on security matters, which are critical to us, you answered for all EU member states, although no one asked you or the EU as an organisation to do so. You even provided a lengthy explanation to demonstrate that the EU has a “collective position” based on the majority opinion.

But when the same countries denied the delegation passage for attending UN events in Geneva on the basis of the EU restrictions that you have announced, you said that it is their sovereign right 🤷‍♂️

Doublespeak from a doublespeaker.

02/03/2022

A thorough and unbiased take on the situation in Ukraine back in 2014. Still hasn't lost its relevance.

Obviously, there are people out there who don't throw temper tantrums, asking the right questions instead.

Back in 2014 John J. Mearsheimer wrote:

There is a solution to the crisis in Ukraine, however — although it would require the West to think about the country in a fundamentally new way. The United States and its allies should abandon their plan to westernize Ukraine and instead aim to make it a neutral buffer between NATO and Russia, akin to Austria’s position during the Cold War. Western leaders should acknowledge that Ukraine matters so much to Putin that they cannot support an anti-Russian regime there. This would not mean that a future Ukrainian government would have to be pro-Russian or anti-NATO. On the contrary, the goal should be a sovereign Ukraine that falls in neither the Russian nor the Western camp.

To achieve this end, the United States and its allies should publicly rule out NATO’s expansion into both Georgia and Ukraine. The West should also help fashion an economic rescue plan for Ukraine funded jointly by the EU, the International Monetary Fund, Russia, and the United States — a proposal that Moscow should welcome, given its interest in having a prosperous and stable Ukraine on its western flank. And the West should considerably limit its social-engineering efforts inside Ukraine. It is time to put an end to Western support for another Orange Revolution. Nevertheless, U.S. and European leaders should encourage Ukraine to respect minority rights, especially the language rights of its Russian speakers.

Some may argue that changing policy toward Ukraine at this late date would seriously damage U.S. credibility around the world. There would undoubtedly be certain costs, but the costs of continuing a misguided strategy would be much greater. Furthermore, other countries are likely to respect a state that learns from its mistakes and ultimately devises a policy that deals effectively with the problem at hand. That option is clearly open to the United States.

One also hears the claim that Ukraine has the right to determine whom it wants to ally with and the Russians have no right to prevent Kiev from joining the West. This is a dangerous way for Ukraine to think about its foreign policy choices. The sad truth is that might often makes right when great-power politics are at play. Abstract rights such as self-determination are largely meaningless when powerful states get into brawls with weaker states. Did Cuba have the right to form a military alliance with the Soviet Union during the Cold War? The United States certainly did not think so, and the Russians think the same way about Ukraine joining the West. It is in Ukraine’s interest to understand these facts of life and tread carefully when dealing with its more powerful neighbor.

Even if one rejects this analysis, however, and believes that Ukraine has the right to petition to join the EU and NATO, the fact remains that the United States and its European allies have the right to reject these requests. There is no reason that the West has to accommodate Ukraine if it is bent on pursuing a wrong-headed foreign policy, especially if its defense is not a vital interest. Indulging the dreams of some Ukrainians is not worth the animosity and strife it will cause, especially for the Ukrainian people.

Of course, some analysts might concede that NATO handled relations with Ukraine poorly and yet still maintain that Russia constitutes an enemy that will only grow more formidable over time — and that the West therefore has no choice but to continue its present policy. But this viewpoint is badly mistaken. Russia is a declining power, and it will only get weaker with time. Even if Russia were a rising power, moreover, it would still make no sense to incorporate Ukraine into NATO. The reason is simple: the United States and its European allies do not consider Ukraine to be a core strategic interest, as their unwillingness to use military force to come to its aid has proved. It would therefore be the height of folly to create a new NATO member that the other members have no intention of defending. NATO has expanded in the past because liberals assumed the alliance would never have to honor its new security guarantees, but Russia’s recent power play shows that granting Ukraine NATO membership could put Russia and the West on a collision course.

Sticking with the current policy would also complicate Western relations with Moscow on other issues. The United States needs Russia’s assistance to withdraw U.S. equipment from Afghanistan through Russian territory, reach a nuclear agreement with Iran, and stabilize the situation in Syria. In fact, Moscow has helped Washington on all three of these issues in the past; in the summer of 2013, it was Putin who pulled Obama’s chestnuts out of the fire by forging the deal under which Syria agreed to relinquish its chemical weapons, thereby avoiding the U.S. military strike that Obama had threatened. The United States will also someday need Russia’s help containing a rising China. Current U.S. policy, however, is only driving Moscow and Beijing closer together.

The United States and its European allies now face a choice on Ukraine. They can continue their current policy, which will exacerbate hostilities with Russia and devastate Ukraine in the process — a scenario in which everyone would come out a loser. Or they can switch gears and work to create a prosperous but neutral Ukraine, one that does not threaten Russia and allows the West to repair its relations with Moscow. With that approach, all sides would win.

******
It's clear now what the Western choice was.
******

#Russia #USA #Ukraine

02/03/2022

⚡️⚡️ Foreign Minister Sergey #Lavrov’s remarks at the High-Level Segment of the UN Human Rights Council’s 49th session, via videoconference, March 1, 2022.

💬 Sergey Lavrov: However, I have been forced to address you via videoconference.

❗ The reason for this lies in the outrageous measures taken by the #EuropeanUnion, which has refused to respect one of the fundamental human rights – the right to freedom of movement.

❗ Members of the European Union chose the path of unilateral illegitimate sanctions and used them to avoid having to engage in direct honest dialogue, face to face. This is something that they are clearly afraid of.

The situation around the world is becoming increasingly complex. It is deteriorating right in front of our eyes. This is because the #UnitedStates and its allies persist with their aggressive efforts to impose the so-called “rules-based order” on other members of the international community. How has this “order” affected human rights? Ukraine is a telling example in this regard.

It is the policy of the Washington-led “collective West” which is to blame for the fact that the Kiev regime has been at war with its own people since 2014. It has been at war with everyone who does not agree with the neo-Nazi “Maidan values,” with the criminal policy of the Ukrainian authorities, which have been systematically violating human rights and the rights of ethnic minorities, as well as the commitments Kiev has within the UN and the OSCE, and even the Constitution of their own country.

❗ The radical nationalists and neo-Nazis who seized power in #Kiev following a government coup, supported by the West, unleashed terror on the country. The very recollection of the tragedy in Odessa, on May 2, 2014, makes us shiver.

❗ Peaceful demonstrators were burnt alive in the trade union building. We know the criminals who perpetrated this horrendous act. In fact, they posed for cameras, but have yet to be punished.

❗❗ The mass graves discovered in Donbass serve as irrefutable evidence of the criminal consequences from the massive shelling of civilian infrastructure❗ Forensics experts identified most victims as women and elderly people❗ Our Western colleagues have been ignoring the multiple facts relating to these outrageous violations of the most basic of human rights, the right to life. The attempts to draw the HRC’s attention to the violence and atrocities perpetrated over the past 8 years have been met with indifference.

For all these years, the Ukrainian regime has been carrying out an aggressive policy to get rid of everything Russian and promote forced assimilation. People who identify as Russian and would like to preserve their identity, language, and culture, are told in all clarity that they are not welcome in Ukraine.

👉 Vladimir Zelensky referred to them as “species” and suggested that they go to Russia. He initiated a law on indigenous people, where there was no place for Russians who have been living on these lands for centuries. This is quite reminiscent of the laws Nazi Germany used to have.

The Russian language is being purged from schools and universities, from the public space and even from everyday life. Quite frequently, people who speak their native language can pay for it not only with the loss of their jobs and health, but with their lives. Just imagine Ireland banning the English language, or Belgium the French language, or Italy the German language. This is unthinkable. Not only did the West fail to reject the frontal attack which has been launched against the Russian language in Ukraine, but some even encouraged it.

☝ Any sign of dissent leads to harsh consequences. “Cleansing” the government of objectionable and disloyal employees has become a routine process, the main tool of which is the law on lustration adopted by the Verkhovna Rada. There are many other legislative acts enabling the regime's security forces to harshly suppress dissent and persecute the opposition. The authorities impose bans on TV channels and other media, and carry out reprisals against their own citizens, including members of parliament. Isn't this a violation of the freedom of speech and the right to express one's opinion?

❗❗ Lies about the #SecondWorldWar are being shamelessly inculcated. Hitler's local henchmen are proclaimed heroes, and actual anti-fascist heroes are forgotten. Monuments to those who defeated Nazism are being demolished. War criminals who fought in the ranks of the Third Reich are being glorified. The most recent step came in the form of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine sending a draft law about Ukraine's withdrawal from the CIS Agreement on Perpetuating the Memory of the Courage and Heroism of the Peoples in the 1941-1945 Great Patriotic War to the Verkhovna Rada on February 23. And so it was utterly blasphemous for Vladimir Zelensky to declare, on the very same day, that he honours the memory of his grandfather who fought in the Red Army to liberate the Soviet Union and Europe from Nazism.

The Kiev regime even violated something as sensitive and personal as people’s spirituality. Religious discrimination is on the rise. The former authorities headed by President Poroshenko, with the support of Washington, effected a church schism and created what is now known as the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. Laws have been adopted against the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate. Its churches are being seized, and millions of its parishioners and clergy are being persecuted. What is this other than a violation of religious freedom?

ℹ These large-scale, systematic attacks on rights and freedoms, as well as the consistent effort to inculcate neo-Nazism, are being carried out with the express consent of the United States, Canada, and the EU who arrogantly proclaim themselves exemplars of democracy. They have also brought unceremonious pressure to bear on international human rights mechanisms of the UN, the Council of Europe and the OSCE, which were unable to muster the courage to respond accordingly to the egregious lawlessness in Ukraine during all these years.

The #West began to turn a blind eye to what was happening back in February 2014, when the radicals carried out an unconstitutional coup and tore up the agreement, backed by EU guarantees, with the then President of Ukraine. The putschists who came to power declared their intention of seeking alliance with the West and immediately launched an offensive against the Russian language, resolved to expel everything that is Russian from Crimea, and sent gunmen there. The eastern regions of Ukraine that opposed the coup were accused of terrorism, although they had not attacked anyone. On the contrary, punitive battalions were used against them; their cities were bombed from the air and fired at from artillery and multiple launch rocket systems. They destroyed civilian sites, schools, and hospitals. They killed civilians. An inhuman economic, transport and food blockade was imposed on Donbass. The Kiev regime got away with all of that. International organisations, at best, were limited to impotently calling on “both sides.”

📍 Clearly, in these circumstances, the people of #Crimea and Donbass simply had no other choice. In March 2014, the vast majority of Crimeans, acting entirely in accordance with international law, supported the peninsula becoming part of Russia. Exercising the right of peoples to self-determination that is enshrined in the UN Charter allowed them to defend their right to life and to freely use their native language, their traditions, their history and culture. Kiev retaliated by blocking the North Crimean Canal which is the main source of fresh water for Crimeans. Again, no one said a word in response, despite the five international conventions that enshrine the right to safe drinking water.

With regard to the residents of #Donbass, after an agreement was reached in February 2015 on the UNSC-approved Minsk Package of Measures, they hoped that their voice would be heard and justice would prevail. They hoped that Kiev would start a dialogue with its citizens in Donetsk and Lugansk and begin to act on other obligations under the Minsk agreements, which, however, it has openly sabotaged with the direct support of the West while continuing its armed provocations.

* * *

❗❗ Recently, the Ukrainian regime’s criminal actions went into overdrive. As a result, since mid-February alone, more than 100,000 refugees from Donbass have found shelter in Russia. We have collected a massive base of evidence of flagrant mass violations of human rights committed by the Kiev authorities.

ℹℹ The website of the Permanent Mission of Russia in Geneva posted an online exhibition (https://bit.ly/3swrxOa) of documents and photographs exposing the atrocities of the Ukrainian military and neo-Nazi “volunteer” battalions. I urge everyone who cares about human rights to visit this exhibition in order to find out the truth that the Kiev regime, its sponsors and most of the Western media are doing their best to conceal.

* * *

In the face of gross violation of the rights of Russian and Russian-speaking citizens of Ukraine, an eight-year war against them that bears every sign of genocide, the stubborn refusal of the West to get the Ukrainian authorities to fall in line and the absence of any response from UN human rights bodies, the OSCE or the Council of Europe, Russia could not remain indifferent to the fate of Donbass and its 4 million people.

President Vladimir #Putin resolved to recognise the Donetsk and Lugansk people's republics and, at the urging of the leaders of the DPR and LPR, to launch a special military operation to protect their residents in accordance with the treaties of friendship and mutual assistance with these republics.

👉 The goal of our actions is to save lives by fulfilling our allied obligations, as well as to demilitarise and denazify Ukraine so that this never happens again. This is particularly relevant as that country continues to be drawn into NATO and the current regime – which has openly made territorial claims against the Russian Federation, threatened to use force and to obtain military nuclear capabilities – is flooded with attack weapons.

With regard to the recently launched campaign about the alleged violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, whose masterminds show total indifference and contempt for the violation of human rights, I would like to draw attention to the 1970 Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations. This document was adopted by unanimous resolution of the UN General Assembly and states that the principle of respect for territorial integrity is applicable to “states that observe in their actions the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples (...) and, as a result, “possessed of a government representing the whole people belonging to the territory without distinction as to race, creed or colour.” Clearly, the neo-Nazi government in Kiev continues to fail to meet that definition with regard to the peoples of Ukraine.

❗❗❗ The #UnitedStates and its allies, which are directly responsible for numerous violations of human rights and international humanitarian law and are guilty of crimes that killed hundreds of thousands of people in Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya, and Afghanistan, once again apply double standards. The current Kiev regime is a vivid example of the fact that when you are a loyal vassal of the hegemon and participate with particular zeal in serving his policy of containing Russia, you can do anything you like. You can trample upon human rights and freedoms, kill people, and cultivate neo-Nazi traditions and practices. In exchange for your absolute fealty and obedience, the “civilised” West will turn a blind eye to everything.

❗ Moreover, the other day, the European Union, in a fit of Russophobic frenzy, decided to supply lethal weapons to Kiev. For us, the life of every Russian and Ukrainian, every resident of Donetsk and Lugansk, is as valuable as the life of a European or an American.

* * *

As #President Vladimir Putin repeatedly stated, we have invariably been respectful of the Ukrainian people, their language and traditions. We have no intention of encroaching in any way on the interests of the citizens of Ukraine, with whom we are bound not only by a common history as well as civilisational, spiritual and cultural affinity, but also by bonds of blood and kinship. Today, Russia is home to millions of people who were born in Ukraine. We consider them one of us. Together, we always have been, and always will be, so much stronger and more successful than apart.

☝ The main thing is to stop the time-servers who have illegally seized power from betraying the core interests of the Ukrainian people by pursuing the policy, favoured by the West, of turning their country into an “anti-Russia,” a policy that has become their raison d’etre. The true hysteria we are witnessing in NATO and the EU is further confirmation that creating an “anti-Russia” has been the goal of the United States and all the allies that Washington lined up behind it.

As you may know, negotiations between Russia’s representatives and Kiev’s delegation have got under way at Vladimir Zelensky’s request. I hope that the Ukrainian side is aware of the seriousness of the situation and its responsibility, and grasps the need to display independence and a real willingness to negotiate, and to avoid a repeat of the Minsk accords record.

* * *

I would like to conclude my remarks by reminding you that human rights are a universal constant. They cannot be dependent on the self-serving ambitions of a narrow “select circle” seeking to rewrite the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (https://bit.ly/3C5kJtP), distort it to their liking, and replace the current consensus underlying all our work with their “rules.”

☝ The role of the UN Human Rights Council is to ensure adherence to our common values, not someone else’s narrow values; to promote mutually respectful discussion without any politicisation or double standards; and not to allow the human rights agenda to be used to interfere in internal matters.

We should be guided only by this approach as we strive to achieve justice on all issues affecting people’s vital interests, be it the institution of statelessness, which brings disgrace on Europe, the rising Nazi revival movement, or the West’s obsession with unlawful unilateral sanctions, whose impact on ordinary people no one tries to hide. These illegal restrictions are no longer confined to financial and economic prohibitions. They are being extended to culture, sports, tourism, education, information, and generally all contacts between people.

❗❗ The West has clearly lost control of itself and, in an attempt to take it out on Russia, has taken to destroying all the institutions and rules it has itself created, including the inviolability of property.

❗❗❗ The West’s arrogant philosophy based on a sense of its own superiority, exceptionalism, and licence must come to an end.

The sovereign equality of states is a key principle of the #UNCharter. It fully applies to the #UNHRC’s work. Russia has always been open to equitable and mutually respectful discussions of all matters and is ready to seek a fair balance of interests.

🔗 https://mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/1802169/

#MFA #RussiaUN Постоянное представительство Российской Федерации при ООН в Нью-Йорке

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