Russia wasn’t bluffing when it said that Turkish Stream would be the only route for Ukrainian-diverted gas shipments after 2019 , and after dillydallying in disbelief for over six critical months, the EU has only now come to its senses and is desperately trying to market a geopolitical alternative. Understanding that its need for gas must absolutely continue to be met by Russia for the foreseeable decades (regardless of trans-Atlantic rhetoric), the EU wants to mitigate the multipolar consequences of Russia’s pipeline plans as much as it feasibly can. Russia wants to extend the Turkish Stream through Greece, Macedonia, and Serbia, in a project that the author has previously labelled as “ Balkan Stream ”, while the EU wants to scrap the Central Balkan route and replace it with one along the Eastern Balkans via Bulgaria and Romania, the so-called “Eastring” line.
Although Eastring could theoretically transit Caspian gas being shipped through the TAP pipeline, the proposal being thrown around most lately is for it to link to Turkish Stream instead, likely because the possibly projected 10-20 bcm a year from the former (Azerbaijan’s reserves may not be capable of meeting the demand without Turkmen assistance, which is far from assured at this point) is dwarfed by the guaranteed 49 bcm from the latter. If Europe does intend for Eastring to connect to Turkish Stream, then Russian gas supplies would reach the continent regardless of the route involved (Central Balkans or Eastern Balkans), meaning that it’s a win-win for Russia…supposedly. The strategic differences between Eastring and Balkan Stream are actually quite acute, and coupled with the implied motivational impetus revealed by the EU’s Eastring-Turkish Stream connective proposal in the first place, it means that they must be analyzed more in-depth before anyone jumps to a predetermined conclusion about Eastring’s ‘mutually beneficial’ nature.
Lieutenant General Reshetnikov of the Russian Institute of Strategic Research gives a wide-ranging interview on threats Russia faces from the West, to militant Islamic groups, to the conflict in Ukraine
The last year has been the year when Russia’s spy chiefs came out of the shadows.
A few weeks ago Colonel General Igor Sergun, the Head of the Main Military Intelligence Directorate (GRU) of the General Staff of the Russian armed forces, gave a brief interview in which he publicly linked the U.S. to jihadi terrorism.
Now it is the turn of Lieutenant General Leonid Reshetnikov, Director of the Russian Institute of Strategic Research (RISR), the Russian government’s chief centre for foreign policy analysis.
That Russia possesses a centre that undertakes foreign policy analysis for the Russian government and that this is connected to the country’s chief foreign intelligence agency, the SVR, will come as a surprise to no one.
Both the U.S. and Britain have such centres. In the U.S. it is the RAND Corporation. In Britain it is the Royal Institute of International Affairs (“Chatham House”).
There is a common misconception in the West that there is only one war in Ukraine: a war between the anti-Kiev rebels of the East, and the US-backed government in Kiev. While this conflict, with all its attendant geopolitical and strategic implications has stolen the majority of the headlines, there is another war raging in the country – a war to crush all dissent and opposition to the fascist-oligarch consensus. For while in the West many so called analysts and leftists debate whether there is really fascism in Ukraine or whether it’s all just “Russian propaganda,” a brutal war of political repression is taking place.
The authorities and their fascist thug auxiliaries have carried out everything from physical intimidation, to politically motivated arrests, kidnappings, torture, and targeted assassinations. All of this has been done under the auspices of “national unity,” the convenient pretext that every oppressive regime from time immemorial has used to justify its actions. Were one to read the Western narrative on Ukraine, one could be forgiven for believing that the country’s discontent and outrage is restricted solely to the area collectively known as Donbass – the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics as they have declared themselves. Indeed, there is good reason for the media to portray such a distorted picture; it legitimizes the false claim that all Ukraine’s problems are due to Russian meddling and covert militarization.
Instead, the reality is that anger and opposition to the US-backed oligarch-fascist coalition government in Kiev is deeply rooted and permeates much of Ukraine. In politically, economically, and culturally important cities such as Kharkov, Dnepropetrovsk, and Kherson, ghastly forms of political persecution are ongoing. However, nowhere is this repression more apparent than in the Black Sea port city of Odessa. And this is no accident.
Seventy years after the end of World War II, and twenty-five years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Germany is once again under the grip of ‘sturm und drang’, but this time barely registered in either East or West.
Without a serious attempt at myth busting, it’s impossible to discern what could be interpreted as a new, discreet German attempt at hegemony.
Contrary to a myth currently propagated by US ‘Think Tankland’, political Berlin under Chancellor Merkel is not a mediator between a still hegemonic US and an “aggressive” Russia.
The reality is Berlin, at least for the moment, would rather give the impression of singing Washington’s tune – with minor variations – while chastising Russia. That’s the case even when we consider the solid energy/trade/business ties with Moscow, as in Germany importing a third of its natural gas, and German industry/companies/corporations hugely invested in Russia.
Contrary to a second myth, political Berlin does not seek “stability” in Europe’s eastern borderlands, but rather outright vassalage. The relentless Eastern European integration to the EU, led by Berlin, was as much a strategy to open new markets for German exports as to erect a buffer between Germany and Russia. As for the Baltic States, they are already vassals; Germany is the largest trading partner for all three.
As officers who were in responsible positions in GDR we turn towards the German public in deep sorrow for the preservation of peace and the continuation of civilization in Europe.
In the years of the Cold War, when we experienced a long period of militarisation and confrontation below the threshold of an open conflict, we used our military knowledge and abilities to preserve peace and protect our socialist state, the GDR. The National People´s Army (NVA) didn´t participate in military combats for a single day, and it even played an important part that no weapons were used during the events in 1989/90. Peace was allways the central maxim of our actions. Therefore we decidedly take position against the military factor becoming the decisive instrument of politics again. It´s a confirmed experience that our time´s most urgent questions can´t be solved by military means.
It is needful to remind that the soviet army shouldered the heaviest part of the burden to wrestle down fascism in WW II. 27 million cititzens of the sovjet union gave their lives for this historic victory. They, as their allies, earned our gratitude on the 70th anniversary of liberation.
Now we state that war has reached Europe again. Obviously the US strategy is aimed at eliminating Russia as a competitor and weakening the European Union. During the last years NATO approached ever closer to Russia´s borders. The attempt to include Ukraine into EU and NATO should close the „cordon sanitaire“ from the baltic states down to the black sea, to isolate Russia from the rest of Europe. The American calculation was that this would prevent or impede a German-Russian connection.
To influence public opinion towards this, a media campaign was started that knows no precursor, and incorrigible politicians and corrupted journalists beat the drums of war. In this heated-up atmosphere the role of the Federal Republic of Germany should be to promote peace. This is demanded by it´s geopolitical position as much as by Germany´s historical experiences and the objecitve interests of it´s people. But the demands of the federal president for more military responsibility and the war hysteria and russophobia created by the media contradict that.
The forced militarisation of Eastern Europe isn´t playing with fire – it´s playing with war!
Knowing about the destructive powers of modern wars, and assuming our responsibilities as citizens we declare clearly: Here a crime against humanity has already started.
Have the many dead of WWII, the enourmous destruction all over Europe, the streams of refugees and the endless suffering of the people already forgotten? Haven´t the recent wars of the USA and NATO brought more than enough misery, claimed more than enough human lives?
Don´t they realize what a military confrontation would mean in the densely inhabited European continent?
Hundreds of fighter jets and armed drones, stuffed with bombs and rockets, thousands of tanks and armed vehicles and systems of artillery would be deployed. In the North, the Baltic and the Black Sea modern battle ships would meet, and in the rear nuclear weapons would be prepared. The border between front and rear would vanish. Millions of mothers and children would shed tears for their husbands, fathers and brothers. Millions of victims would be the consequence. Europe would turn into a desert of destruction.
Shall it get to that point? No, and no again!
Therefore we appeal to the German public:
Such a scenario must be prevented.
We don´t need a rhetoric of war, we need a polemic of peace.
We don´t need any deployment of Bundeswehr abroad, or an army of the European Union.
We don´t need more means for military aims, but more means for humanitarian and social needs.
We need no war propaganda against Russia, but we need more reciprocal understanding and a peaceful existence besides and with each other.
We need no military dependency on the US, but our own responsibility for peace. Instead of a „fast deployment force“ of NATO on it´s eastern borders we need more tourism, youth exchange and meetings for peace with our eastern neighbours.
We need a peaceful Germany in a peaceful Europe.
May our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren remember our generation in this sense.
Because we know very well the meaning of war, we raise our voice against war, for peace.
Army General (ret.). Heinz Keßler
Admiral (ret.) Theodor Hoffmann
Colonel General (ret) Horst Stechbarth; Fritz Streletz; Fritz Peter
Lieutenant General (ret.) Klaus Baarß; Ulrich Bethmann; Max Butzlaff; Manfred Gehmert; Manfred Grätz; Wolfgang Kaiser; Gerhard Kunze; Gerhard Link; Wolfgang Neidhardt; Walter Paduch; Werner Rothe; Artur Seefeldt; Horst Skerra; Wolfgang Steger; Horst Sylla; Ehrenfried Ullmann; Alfred Vogel; Manfred Volland; Horst Zander
Viceadmiral (ret.) Hans Hofmann
Major General (ret.) Olivier Anders; Heinz Bilan; Bernhard Beyer; Günter Brodowsky; Kurt Brunner; Heinz Calvelage; Sebald Daum; Willi Dörnbrack; Alfred Dziewulski; Johannes Fritzsche; Egon Gleau; Otto Gereit; Roland Großer; Peter Herrich; Karl-Heinz Hess; Günter Hiemann; Lothar Hübner; Siegmund Jähn; Günter Jahr; Manfred Jonischkies; Günter Kaekow; Johannes Kaden; Helmut Klabunde; Klaus Klenner; Raimund Kokott; Kurt Kronig; Manfred Lange; Bernd Leistner; Hans Leopold; Klaus Listemann; Heinz Lipski; Hans Georg Löffler; Rudi Mädler; Manfred Merkel; Günter Möckel; Dieter Nagler; Johannes Oreschko; Rolf Pitschel; Hans Christian Reiche; Fritz Rothe; Günter Sarge; Dieter Schmidt; Horst Schmieder; Gerhard Schönherr; Gerhard Seifert; Kurt Sommer; Erich Stach; Manfred Thieme; Wolfgang Thonke; Henry Thunemann; Walter Tzschoppe; Günter Voigt; Gerd Weber; Dieter Wendt; Klaus Wiegand; Heinrich Winkler; Heinz-Günther Wittek; Erich Wöllner; Werner Zaroba; Manfred Zeh; Alois Zieris
Counter Admiral (ret.) Herbert Bernig; Eberhard Grießbach; Hans Heß; Werner Henniger; Klaus Kahnt; Werner Kotte; Helmut Milzow; Gerhard Müller; Joachim Münch
In the name of a great number of ret. Colonels and Captains: Volker Bednara; Frithjof Banisch; Bernd Biedermann; Karl Dlugosch; Thomas Förster; Günter Gnauck; Günter Leo; Friedemann Munkelt; Werner Murzynowski; Gerhard Matthes; Lothar Matthäus; Friedrich Peters; Helmut Schmidt; Fritz Schneider; Heinz Schubert; Helmar Tietze; Wilfried Wernecke; Rolf Zander; Oberstleutnant a.D. Günter Ganßauge
Further soldiers of NVA, officers, ensigns, corporals and privys document their consent.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Oceania Saker.
Note: following Desecrated Shrines, this is the second eyewitness report about daily life in Novorussia sent to my by the Saker Community representative in Novorussia, Dagmar Henn, Team Leader German Saker Blog who has found the time to write this text while reorganizing the German blog.
A place in between
by Dagmar Henn
It´s a cold, but sunny morning when we start for Oktiaborskii, another one of the prominently shelled quarters, like many others built around a mine of the same name. We drive to the last row of houses; just a few trees separate them from open fields, and just 500 m from the Ukrainian lines. Here we meet a delivery of food by the Vostok battalion. Planned or accidental? It´s not quite sure; here everything happens in a hurry, a few minutes on the spot, then it´s time to leave again.
No gas., no electricity.. in front of the second house we visit there’s an improvised stove, just a metal plate on a few stones under a tiny shed; there’s no lack of firewood, they collect the branches the shelling breaks off the trees. The facades are pockmarked from shrapnel. I remember those marks, in my childhood many buildings in Munich still wore them, dark dirty holes, but these are fresh, and the stone under the grey skin shines in a virgin white.