Ukrainians responded to realpolitik veteran: Digest of Russian propaganda of May 24

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The Centre for Strategic Communication and Information Security has collected the main fakes and narratives of the Russian propaganda of May 24.

  1. Shoigu’s fables about “humanitarian considerations”
  2. The United States opens a “Tajik Front” against Russia
  3. Ukrainian response to Kissinger
  4. A tanker war: the whole world vs. Russia

Shoigu’s fables about “humanitarian considerations”

On May 24, Russian Defence Minister Shoigu explained the low rate of attack by the occupying forces during the invasion of Ukraine by “humanitarian” considerations.

IN REALITY, the amount of damage caused to Ukraine’s infrastructure during the war unleashed by Russia as of May 18 reached $97.4 billion. This is indicated in the KSE Institute’s research, Russia Will Pay.

Among other things, the Russian aggression in Ukraine destroyed or damaged 591 kindergartens, 108 religious buildings, 179 cultural buildings, 1,067 educational and 574 health care facilities, as well as 38.6 million square meters of housing.   

The total losses of Ukraine’s economy due to the war, including indirect ones such as declining GDP, cessation of investment, outflow of labour, additional defence and social support spending, etc., have consistently ranged from $564 billion to $600 billion. 

Over the past week, these losses and, consequently, the money that Russia has to pay for the destruction of Ukraine, of course, have increased further.

United States opens a “Tajik Front” against Russia

Russia’s head of military made another rather curious statement. It was about the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), the last (according to Moscow) stronghold of security in the post-Soviet space.

IN REALITY, Moscow’s concern is understandable. Now, all the “ally relations” are being undermined. A U.S. government delegation including representatives from the Pentagon, the White House National Security Council, the International Development Finance Corporation, the United States Agency for International Development, and the State Department is currently on an official visit to Central Asia.

Namely, they are visiting Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. The three latter are members of the CSTO, also known as the Tashkent Treaty. However, official Tashkent actually withdrew from the agreement in 2012. That is why all this is now more and more reminiscent of a communist “Warsaw Pact”, which Warsaw couldn’t leave fast enough.

It seems that Tajikistan will become a new “Trojan horse” in the CSTO. Here are just some indications:

– US Ambassador to this country John Mark Pomersheim has already stated that in 2022, Washington will become the “number one donor” for Dushanbe and intends to “allocate more than $60 million for security in Tajikistan in the next two years.”

– As part of this assistance, the United States will build a border post on the Tajik-Afghan border and provide reconnaissance UAVs Puma.

– Interestingly, on the territory of Tajikistan, there is an optoelectronic complex “Window”, which operates in the interests of the Russian Air and Space Forces.

– All this is happening against the background of the Taliban closing the border with Tajikistan. They also seized dozens of Tajik trucks.

– In January, President Emomali Rahmon called on the CSTO to create a “security belt” around Afghanistan, saying that there are more than 40 terrorist camps in the northeast of the country, which house about 6,000 militants.

– The Collective Security Treaty Organization (i.e.: Russia) did not provide any “safety belt”. In January, she was busy preparing for war with Ukraine, instead of helping its “ally” from the CSTO.

– In October last year, the Taliban came to Moscow, and Foreign Minister Lavrov called these Islamists a “respected delegation.” All this led to the United States taking the Tajik problem into its own hands.

Prior to that, the CSTO did not help Armenia in any way when Azerbaijani troops crossed its borders. And this despite the fact that Russia has its largest military facility in the South Caucasus (102nd base) in Armenia.

Therefore, official Dushanbe has no illusions that the 201st base, the largest Russian military facility in Central Asia, located in Tajikistan, will help in the hitherto hypothetical direct conflict with the Taliban.

For Russia’s “geopolitical chessboard,” Tajikistan is the same “pawn” that Armenia is in the smouldering conflict with Azerbaijan after the Karabakh war. Instead of allied, documented aid to Yerevan and Dushanbe, Moscow is choosing a war of aggression with Kyiv. That is why Dushanbe chooses Washington, no matter how “treacherous” it might seem to Moscow.

Ukrainian response to Kissinger

Henry Kissinger, 98, is a veteran of the so-called Realpolitik, a political course based on strength and ability to influence other countries’ decisions rather than ideals, morals, or principles. Back in 1973-1977, Henry headed the US State Department.

At the World Economic Forum in Davos (where the Russians were not invited for the first time in many years), Kissinger called on the West to stop trying to inflict a crushing defeat on Russian troops in Ukraine and threatened that it would have catastrophic consequences for long-term stability in Europe.

According to The Telegraph, Kissinger said that the conflict in Ukraine should not be dragged out. He “practically called on the West to force Ukraine to enter into negotiations on terms that are far from the current military goals.”

IN REALITY, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy emphasized that as long as the Russian army is not removed from the territories it captured after February 24, there can be no negotiations with Moscow.

If the Realpolitik veteran does not believe Zelenskyy, he can believe Ukrainians, of which 82% are not ready to make territorial concessions to end the war.

The most interesting results for Mr. Kissinger and Moscow are in the east of Ukraine, where the most intense fighting is currently underway. 68% of respondents there opposed any concessions to the aggressor. In the south of Ukraine, this figure reaches 83%. 

As for Realpolitik lately, here is just a small chronicle of where it all began and what it led to. 

By 2008, Russia had subjugated South Ossetia, Abkhazia and Transnistria.

2008: Putin attacks Georgia. 

2014: He illegally annexes the Ukrainian Crimea, orchestrates a war in the Donbass, shoots down a Malaysian Boeing. 

2015: Putin saves Syrian dictator Assad from his own people. 

2022: Putin is already attacking the whole of Ukraine, bombing civilians, seizing nuclear power plants, and threatening a nuclear apocalypse.

All of this time, Realpolitik has been saying: we don’t want to provoke a big war.

If Kissinger had determined the foreign policy of the most influential country in the world not in the 1970s but in the 1940s, his fellows would now have to defend Hitler’s Reich instead of Putin’s Russia in Davos.

Tanker war: the whole world vs. Russia

On May 24, the Russian Defence Ministry spread the news about the joint flight of Chinese and Russian air forces in the Asia-Pacific region. The air forces of Japan and South Korea lifted their military aircraft as the Russians and the Chinese approached their airspace.

All this took place against the background of US President Joe Biden’s visit to Tokyo, where he met with the leaders of Australia, India and Japan.

The joint flight was designed to show who is the boss of the house. But Biden didn’t even seem to notice. And Moscow, of course, really wanted him to.

IN REALITY, the Chinese flew with the Russians in the sky, but on land their relationship leaves something to be desired. The EU’s requirements to ban the supply of technologies for gas projects to Russia should come into effect in three days. Chinese companies have received an instruction to stop working with Russia’s Arctic LNG-2 by May 27.

There are at least five such companies. They are the ones producing gas liquefaction equipment for the plant, which was to become the largest in Russia next year.

On May 24, we also learned that the South Korean Daewoo Shipbuilding refused to build tankers for the same Arctic LNG-2. The contract amount is $300 million.

All because the Russians could not pay for the order on time. And they failed to do it because SWIFT is not available to them.

And the existing tanker fleet is also not at its best. Currently, a record amount of crude oil from Russia is at sea, which cannot be unloaded in seaports due to the announced sanctions. In total, about 62 million barrels of Russian oil Urals is currently stuck on sea routes, which is three times the pre-war average.

This is what Realpolitik looks like today. We would like to believe that there will be no condoning of fascism like it was before the war. At least, Ukrainians will do everything to avoid this. 

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