Ukraine may be on track to declare neutrality and offer security guarantees to Russia “without delay,” President Volodymyr Zelensky said Monday, ahead of another day of negotiations to the weeks-long Russian invasion of his country.
Ukraine’s priority, Zelensky also said, is continuing to ensure sovereignty and “territorial integrity,” in the face of a Russian government seeking to potentially divide up the nation.
Russia continues to demand that Ukraine drop aspirations of joining NATO, which Moscow sees as a threat to its own standing. Zelensky says the question of maintaining neutrality, which would keep Ukraine out of NATO, should be put to a vote by Ukrainians following a Russian withdrawal.
In an interview that, according to the Associated Press, has been banned from being published in Russia, Zelensky said, “We must come to an agreement with the president of the Russian Federation, and in order to reach an agreement, he needs to get out of there on his own feet … and come to meet me.”
Zelensky also emphasized Ukraine’s need for security guarantees of its own.
Russia Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that President Vladimir Putin and Zelensky could meet, but only after key tenets of a potential deal are worked out.
“The meeting is necessary once we have clarity regarding solutions on all key issue,” he said.
Talks between the neighboring countries have been going on for days now, failing to yield a deal that could end the more than month-old war.
In his nightly video address to his people, Zelensky told Ukrainians that he is seeking peace “without delay” in talks that are scheduled to begin in Istanbul, Turkey.
Moscow says its focus is now on take control of Ukraine’s entire eastern Donbas region, which has been partially controlled by Russia-backed separatists since 2014. A Russian military official said Friday that troops were being redirected to the east from other parts of the country, according to the Associated Press.
The legal team for indicted Democratic cybersecurity lawyer Michael Sussmann doesn’t like special counsel John Durham’s proposal to ask potential jurors in an upcoming trial if they have any links to groups that looked into what he describes as the Hillary Clinton campaign’s promotion of “the Trump/Russia collusion narrative.”
A filing in federal court Friday said both Durham’s team and Sussmann’s lawyers were in agreement about a questionnaire asking potential jurors if “you, any family member, or close personal friend participated or had any connection with any other government agency, group, organization, committee or subcommittee, public or private group or organization, including any media group or organization that has investigated or made inquiry into” either “Russian interference with the 2016 election” or “the federal government’s investigation of Donald Trump’s relationship with Russia.”
But Sussmann’s team said it objected to the Durham prosecution request to ask the jury pool the same question related to any links to groups that have looked at or been tied to “the Clinton Campaign and/or the Democratic National Committee’s promotion of the Trump/Russia collusion narrative.”
“In the run-up to the 2016 Presidential Election, Hillary Clinton and her cohorts orchestrated an unthinkable plot — one that shocks the conscience and is an affront to this nation’s democracy,” Trump’s lawyers argued. “Acting in concert, the Defendants maliciously conspired to weave a false narrative that their Republican opponent, Donald J. Trump, was colluding with a hostile foreign sovereignty.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned that the ‘New World Order’ are deliberately creating economic hardships around the globe in order to push the ‘Great Reset’ on humanity.
During a speech that was broadcast live on Russian television, Putin also slammed Russian oligarchs fleeing to Israel as a “fifth column” of “national traitors” who view themselves as a “superior race” and “cannot make do without foie gras, oysters or gender freedom as they call it.”
“Any nation, and even more so the Russian people, will always be able to distinguish true patriots from scum and traitors and will simply spit them out like an insect in their mouth, spit them onto the pavement,” Putin said.
“I am convinced that a natural and necessary self-detoxification of society like this would strengthen our country, our solidarity and cohesion and our readiness to respond to any challenge,” he added.
Summit.news reports: The Russian president also directly addressed westerners who are being told by the legacy media that skyrocketing gas prices and other economic hardships are purely to blame on Putin.
“I want ordinary Western people to hear me, too,” Putin said. “You are being persistently told that your current difficulties are the result of Russia’s hostile actions and that you have to pay for the efforts to counter the alleged Russian threat from your own pockets. All of that is a lie.”
“The truth is that the problems faced by millions of people in the West are the result of many years of actions by the ruling elite of your respective countries, their mistakes, and short-sighted policies and ambitions. This elite is not thinking about how to improve the lives of their citizens in Western countries. They are obsessed with their own self-serving interests and super-profits.”
No doubt that very same elite will now cite Putin’s criticism of them as reason to assert they have the moral high ground.
Putin is now so roundly vilified, he is turning into some kind of mythical Emmanuel Goldstein figure onto which every crisis and catastrophe can be pinned by the regime.
Former President Donald Trump has filed a lawsuit against Hillary Clinton and other Democrats.
He is suing them, claiming that they attempted to rig the 2016 presidential election by tying his campaign to Russia, Reuters reported.
“Acting in concert, the Defendants maliciously conspired to weave a false narrative that their Republican opponent, Donald J. Trump, was colluding with a hostile foreign sovereignty,” the 45th President of the United States alleged in a lawsuit filed in federal court in Florida.
It just adds to the tough news that Clinton has had recently related to the 2016 presidential election.
The Department of Justice is set to produce a “large volume” of classified materials and documents this week pertaining to the ‘Russiagate’ case involving the main source for former British spy Christopher Steele’s dossier that attempted to sabotage then-GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump’s candidacy and subsequent presidency.
That’s according to special counsel John Durham, who made the revelation in a Tuesday filing in which he also asked a federal judge to extend a deadline for the production of classified discovery, in compliance with the Classified Information Procedures Act, a statute outlining the manner in which classified documents must be protected in criminal cases.
Durham said he needs more time due to agency personnel currently being involved in issues that relate to Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine.
“To date, the government has produced over 60,000 documents in unclassified discovery. A portion of these documents were originally marked ‘classified’ and the government has worked with the appropriate declassification authorities to produce the documents in an unclassified format,” Durham said in the filing submitted to the federal court in the Eastern District of Virginia.
“However, recent world events in Ukraine have contributed to delays in the production of classified discovery. The officials preparing and reviewing the documents at the FBI and intelligence agencies are heavily engaged in matters related to Ukraine,” Durham added.
“Nevertheless, the government will produce a large volume of classified discovery this week and will continue its efforts to produce documents in classified discovery on a rolling basis, and no later than the proposed deadlines set forth below,” Durham wrote.
The case revolves around Igor Danchenko, a Russian researcher based in the United States, who was charged in November with five counts of making false statements to the FBI in 2017 about the information he provided to Steele for his discredited dossier during the 2016 election.
Danchenko, who has pleaded not guilty, signed a waiver in December agreeing to be defended by the same law firm representing members of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign despite a conflict of interest concerns raised by Durham.
Steele was working for Oleg Deripaska, an oligarch linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin, before, during, and after his time targeting then-candidate Donald Trump. The former MI6 agent was hired to put his anti-Trump dossier together by an opposition research firm, Fusion GPS, which was simultaneously working for Kremlin-linked lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya of the now-infamous June 2016 Trump Tower meeting. His research received funding from the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
Danchenko allegedly relied on a network of Russian contacts, undermined key Trump-Russia collusion claims when interviewed by the FBI, and had previously been investigated as a possible threat to national security due to potential Russian intelligence contacts.
According to Durham’s false statements charges, he anonymously sourced a claim about Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort to longtime Clinton ally Chuck Dolan, who spent many years, including 2016, doing work for Russian businesses and the Russian government.
In a report released in December 2019, Justice Dept. Inspector General Michael Horowitz concluded that the Steele dossier played a “central and essential” role in the FBI’s decision to launch a counterintelligence operation against the 2016 Trump campaign.
That included efforts to obtain wiretap orders against former Trump campaign associate Carter Page — efforts that were ultimately successful, but only after “serious missteps and errors” which included concealing “potentially exculpatory information from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court,” the Washington Examiner reported.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has called for a worldwide boost in support for Kyiv as NATO leaders take part in an emergency summit in Brussels on Thursday to discuss the war in Ukraine.
In his nightly video address to his nation and the world on Wednesday, Zelenskyy said, “Come to your squares, your streets. Make yourselves visible and heard. Say that people matter. Freedom matters. Peace matters. Ukraine matters.”
Russia unprovoked invasion of Ukraine has been meet by unexpectedly strong pushback from Ukrainian forces – though it is unclear for how long the Ukrainian military, far outmatched in size and resources by Russia, will be able to hold the attackers off.
In Russia, the country’s government and economy continue to suffer under the weight of sanctions pouring in from nearly every corner of the globe.
Zelenskyy, in his most recent video address, said he would ask NATO countries to issue “effective and unrestricted” support to Ukraine, including any weapons that may be needed by Kyiv.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg spoke prior to the start of the emergency summit on Thursday and said that the Russian invasion has effectively established a “new security reality in Europe” and that it will be “necessary to respond” in ways that match and counter the precedent seet by Russia last month.
President Joe Biden released a statement Monday warning of potential Russian cyberattacks amid Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
“I have previously warned about the potential that Russia could conduct malicious cyber activity against the United States, including as a response to the unprecedented economic costs we’ve imposed on Russia alongside our allies and partners. It’s part of Russia’s playbook,” Biden said in a White House press release.
“Today, my Administration is reiterating those warnings based on evolving intelligence that the Russian Government is exploring options for potential cyberattacks,” Biden wrote.
It is unclear if a specific event prompted Biden’s warning, but earlier this month, Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines warned that Russia presents a “serious cyber threat” to the United States.
U.S. officials have confirmed several Russian cyberattacks against Ukraine thus far in the war.
Biden urged private businesses to be vigilant against digital aggression in his statement Monday.
“My Administration will continue to use every tool to deter, disrupt, and if necessary, respond to cyberattacks against critical infrastructure. But the Federal Government can’t defend against this threat alone,” he said. “Most of America’s critical infrastructure is owned and operated by the private sector and critical infrastructure owners and operators must accelerate efforts to lock their digital doors.”
The US Senate passed a bipartisan $1.5 trillion bill on March 10th that included $13.6 billion in aid to Ukraine.
Chuck Schumer touted the aid to Ukraine and pointed to it as a pressing reason for the Senate to quickly pass the massive $1.5 trillion spending bill. This was the same week that inflation hit 7.9% in the US — the highest inflation rate in 40 years.
So where is the money going? Does anyone know? Does anyone care?
Here’s one answer.
And she’s not the only one.
Another Ukrainian diplomat tried to flee Ukraine with 68,000€, $140,000, 12kg gold, 13.8kg gold jewelry and a large number of cigarettes.
Aaron Mate of the Grayzone asks Col Douglas Macgregor his take on the dominant narrative in the US that militarily this is a disaster for Russia. Colonel Macgregor believes that in the West there is no truth and there is only wishful thinking. Max Blumenthal follows up with a question on the military situation.
Col Macgregor’s take is the entire Russian Operation is focused on the Military Destruction of the Ukrainian Army. The Russian Army is largely successful in this goal, but it is going slow, because of the Russian intent to maintain critical infrastructure.
The Azov Battalion’s operations Mariupol also comes up as point of discussion as one of the dynamics of the conflict.
On Friday, March 18, the Russian Permanent Representative at to the United States Security Council Vassily Nebenzia presented what the Russian government claims is proof of a US bioweapon program in Ukraine and Georiga (Gateway Pundit reported). Nebenzia claims that the program has been running since 2005, and that “American colleagues were not assisting the Ministry of Health as they claimed, but rather the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.”
According to Nebenzia, the US Department of Defense “delegated broad authorities to its affiliated contractor Black & Veatch in cooperation with Ukrainian state authorities.” The experiments on deadly pathogens in Ukraine were not conducted by Ukrainians, but by Pentagon personnel and foreign researchers, Nebenzia claims.
“The Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) competitively awarded Black & Veatch Special Projects Corp. (Black & Veatch) one of its Biological Threat Reduction Integrating Contracts (BTRIC) in 2008 (in Ukraine). The 5-year IDIQ contract (with a 5-year option) has a collective ceiling of $4B among the five selected contractors”, the Black & Veatch website acknowledges.
“Simply speaking, Ukrainian authorities gave Pentagon a carte blanche and let them carry out dangerous biological experiments on the territory of Ukraine. Thereby, the American contractor was exempt from any taxes under Ukrainian legislation”, Nebenzia said. He called the programs “a cynical use of Ukraine’s territory and population for dangerous research that Washington does not want to have at home so that to not put its own population at risk.”
As to claims the Russian charges were merely “disinfomation”, Nebenzia pointed out the Russian government published documents “signed by real US officials. Many of them were signed by head of the DTRA office at the US Embassy in Kiev Joanna Wintrol,” whom he called “well-known in non-proliferation circles.” Prior to Ukraine, Winstrol addressed elimination of chemical weapons in Libya, Nebenzia stated. “If journalists have doubts as to the authenticity of documents that we shared, I suggest they ask her directly whether this is really her signature on them.”
Wintrol left Kiev in August 2020, according to Russia Today: “In her parting interview, she insisted no US scientists worked in Ukrainian biolabs and accused Russia of spreading “false information” about the program. “
On Thursday, March 17, the head of Russian Radiation, Chemical and Biological Protection Igor Kirillov presented the documents in Moscow that were allegedly seized during Russia’s special operation in Ukraine, purportedly of Ukrainian and US origin. According to the documents, the US had been “carrying out experiments in Ukraine with viruses within the framework of projects P-382, P-444 and P-568 and one of the supervisors of this research was the head of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) office at the US embassy in Kyiv, Joanna Wintrol”, Turkish news agency AA reports. “During the experiments, six families of viruses were chosen, including coronaviruses and three kinds of pathogenic bacteria — pathogens of plague, brucellosis and leptospirosis,” said Kirillov, citing the documents.
Ukrainian Defense Ministry laboratories in Kiev, Odessa, Lvov and Kharkov received $32 million funding from the US, Kirillov claimed: “I draw your attention to the fact that the agreement on joint biological activity was signed between the US military ministry and the Health Ministry of Ukraine. However, the true recipients of the funds were laboratories of Ukrainian Ministry of Defense located in Kiev, Odessa, Lvov and Kharkov. The total funding amount was $32 million,” he said. According to Kirillov, these laboratories were selected by US Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) and its contractor Black & Veatch for the implementation of Project UP-8, aimed at studying the Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF), leptospirosis and hantaviruses, TASS reported.
“The United Nations is not aware of any biological weapons programmes” in Ukraine, the UN High Representative of Disarmament Affairs Izumi Nakamitsu told the Security Council. “There are no Ukrainian biological weapons laboratories supported by the United States — not near Russia’s border or anywhere”, stated U.S. Representative to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield.
As we said earlier, during the special military operation in Ukraine we discovered facts that Ukrainian authorities, supported and directly sponsored by the US Department of Defense, were implementing dangerous projects in the framework of a military biological program. This activity was carried out on the Ukrainian territory, in the middle of Eastern Europe and close to Russia’s western borders, which posed a real threat to biological security of our country and the region.
A week ago upon our request UNSC held its first meeting on this issue, where we asked some questions to our Western colleagues, but did not receive any answers.
US officials claim that there are no US-controlled biolabs in Ukraine, however the Permanent Representative of the United States could not explain how these statements reconcile with the fact that there are documents proving this sort of “cooperation” between Kiev and Washington. I am referring to 2005 Agreement between the US Department of Defense and Ukrainian Health Ministry which stipulates Pentagon’s support for “cooperative biological research” with regard to “dangerous pathogens located at the facilities in Ukraine”.
Though the American delegation is not able or willing to answer our questions, the answers come to light as our Defense Ministry studies the materials received from personnel of Ukrainian biolabs that address US and NATO military biological programs in Ukraine.
Over the past week, we have discovered new details indicating that components of biological weapons were being developed in Ukraine.
The 2005 US-Ukraine Agreement that I mentioned and that we still expect the US representative to comment on was up and running all those years. As we take it from the documents, American colleagues were not assisting the Ministry of Health as they claimed, but rather the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine. This morning we circulated as UNSC document a set of materials, where you can find “Plan of technical assistance to certain recipients of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine”. I suggest that you should study it carefully. It confirms that Pentagon’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) directly funded and supervised military biological projects in Ukraine. The total funding amounted to 32 million USD, and the recipients of those funds were the following labs of the Defense Ministry of Ukraine:
– In Kiev – 10th regional sanitation and epidemiological branch of the Central Sanitation and Epidemiological Department of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.
– in Odessa – 27th regional sanitation and epidemiological branch of the Central Sanitation and Epidemiological Department of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.
– in Lvov – 28th regional sanitation and epidemiological branch of the Central Sanitation and Epidemiological Department of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.
– in Kharkov – 108th regional sanitation and epidemiological branch of the Central Sanitation and Epidemiological Department of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.
Let me flag another critical aspect. Representatives of the US Department of State still get confused when asked about it and assure that the United States allegedly takes no part in running any biolabs in Ukraine. Facts, however, speak of the opposite.
Under the technical assistance plan that I mentioned, the “donor” (US Department of Defense) set out goals, determined the scope of Ukraine-based projects, endorsed lists of equipment required, and delegated broad authorities to its affiliated contractor “Black & Veatch” in cooperation with Ukrainian state authorities. The recipient of American assistance (Defense Ministry of Ukraine) had to grant “timely access of personnel” of the Pentagon and its contractor to the labs on the territory of Ukraine “for the purpose of conducting works” as part of the projects. Apart from the Pentagon personnel, they also had to grant access to the facilities to some “foreign researchers”. The projects were not supposed to be implemented by, but rather “with participation of” Ukrainian researchers.
Simply speaking, Ukrainian authorities gave Pentagon a carte blanche and let them carry out dangerous biological experiments on the territory of Ukraine. Thereby, the American contractor was exempt from any taxes under Ukrainian legislation.
What did Ukrainian scientists and people of the country get in return? Free travel to international conferences “based on the tariffs for meals and lodging endorsed for official travel of US governmental officials”. A nice “compensation” for having most hazardous research conducted right on their doorstep.
This is not the “noble” assistance to Ukraine that American representatives are ranting about. This is cynical use of Ukraine’s territory and population for dangerous research that Washington does not want to have at home so that to not put its own population at risk.
We would not be surprised should similar facts come to light regarding the activity of US-sponsored labs in other parts of the globe. We call on states who provide their areas to Pentagon for such experiments to read carefully contract documents regarding their cooperation with the United States in the biological area. We fully support China’s demand to the United States to disclose information about activities of 360 US-controlled labs in the world.
Back to Ukraine. It is no coincidence that the US Defense Threat Reduction Agency chose the biolabs in Kiev, Odessa, Lvov, and Kharkov. They were the executors of the UP-8 project aimed at studying the pathogens of the Congo-Crimean hemorrhagic fever, leptospirosis and hantaviruses. From our point of view, the interest of US military biologists in these pathogens is related to the fact that they have natural foci both on the territory of Ukraine and in Russia, and their use can be disguised as natural outbreaks of diseases.
The Kharkov laboratory was also home to project P-781 on the study of ways of transmitting diseases to humans through bats. This work was done jointly with the infamous R. Lugar Center in Tbilisi.
In this context, we should make a special mention of the company “Black & Veatch” that the Pentagon chose as a contractor for Ukraine. This is not an ordinary business. For over 100 years, it has been working for the US armed forces, building military bases and facilities, including the labs in Los Alamos, where nuclear weapons were developed.
Research in the area of transmitting diseases to humans through bats is systematic and has been conducted in Ukrainian labs since at least 2009 under the direct supervision of specialists from the United States. During the implementation of these projects, six families of viruses (including coronaviruses) and three types of pathogenic bacteria (pathogens of plague, brucellosis and leptospirosis) were identified. Those pathogens are most favorable for the purposes of infection, as they are characterized by resistance to drugs and rapid speed of spread from animals to humans.
Within the framework of the FLU-FLYWAY project, the Kharkov Institute of Veterinary Medicine studied wild birds as vectors for the spread of avian influenza. At the same time, the conditions under which spread processes can become unmanageable, cause economic damage and pose risks to food security were assessed. Documents were discovered that confirm the involvement of the Kharkov Institute in the collection of avian influenza virus strains with high epidemic potential and capable of overcoming the interspecific barrier.
Defense Ministry of Russia keeps receiving more documents that prove the fact of transfer of blood serum samples of Ukrainian citizens to third countries, including Great Britain, Georgia, Germany. Having analyzed that data, we can say that Ukrainian experts were not aware of potential risks of transferring biological samples. They had to act blindly and did not realize the real goals of research conducted. This does not seem surprising if we recall that under the contract documents that I mentioned, they had a secondary role to play.
Information continues to be received about attempts to destroy biomaterials and documentation in laboratories in Ukraine in order to “cover up the tracks” of a military biological program.
We know that during the liquidation measures in the laboratory of veterinary medicine in Khlebodarskoye, the employees (citizens of Ukraine) were not even allowed into the building. This laboratory cooperates with Anti-Plague Research Institute named after Mechnikov in Odessa, which conducts research with pathogens of plague, anthrax, cholera, tularemia.
In an attempt to cover the tracks, biological waste from the laboratory in Khlebodarskoye was taken 120 km away towards the western border of Ukraine to the area of Tarutino and Berezino settlements. Defense Ministry of Russia keeps record of all these facts in order to have them legally assessed at a later stage.
We also must mention the emergency destruction of documents in Kherson biological laboratory. One of the reasons for such a rush may be the need to conceal from Russian experts the information about an outbreak of dirofilariasis, a disease transmitted by mosquitoes, that occurred in Kherson in 2019. Four cases of infection were detected in February, which is unusual for the life cycle of these insects, even taking into account the incubation period of the disease. We are also aware that in April 2018, representatives of the Pentagon visited local healthcare institutions, where they got acquainted with the results of the epidemiological investigation and copied medical documentation.
Western media, who readily perceive any fakes presented by Ukrainian authorities with the support of their Western sponsors, doubt the authenticity of the materials published by our Ministry of Defense. In this regard, let me draw your attention to the following fact. All documents we published had been signed by real US officials. Many of them were signed by head of the DTRA office at the US Embassy in Kiev Joanna Wintrall. This representative of the Pentagon is well known in the non-proliferation circles. Prior to Ukraine, she addressed elimination of chemical weapons in Libya. If journalists have doubts as to the authenticity of documents that we shared, I suggest they ask her directly whether this is really her signature on them.
I repeat that it is not just about Ukraine and the United States violating the BTWC. It is about evidence of high-risk military biological activity that has been underway in the middle of Eastern Europe until recently. Its implications could have “spilled” beyond the borders of Ukraine and even the entire region at any point. It is hard to imagine what toll it would have taken, i.a. on the European states. Perhaps it would have outmatched even the COVID-19 pandemic.
We already see alarming signs of such threat. For example, a sharp increase in cases of tuberculosis caused by new multi-resistant strains was detected among citizens living in Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republics in 2018. During a mass outbreak recorded in the area of Peski settlement, more than 70 cases of the disease were detected, which ended in a rapid fatal outcome. This does not look like a coincidence.
In conclusion, let me comment on the words of UN Secretariat representatives who claim to have no proofs of military-purpose biological programs being carried out in Ukraine.
Under the BTWC, member states submit to the United Nations data regarding biological facilities and related activity. I mean confidence-building measures that are published for the purposes of monitoring the implementation of the Convention. Since 2016, the moment Ukraine embarked on the mentioned projects, including UP-4, UP-8, and Р-781, both the United States and Ukraine have knowingly omitted those projects from their reviews, even despite their clear military biological orientation.
That is why Russia for many years has been calling to strengthen the BTWC regime, adopt a legally binding protocol to the Convention that would allow to create an effective verification mechanism and bind member states to report on their military biological activity abroad. The United States has been opposed to this work for almost 20 years now and refused to provide such data. By the way, this is yet another question that US representatives evade answering.
The facts that we shared today and on 11 March are only the tip of the iceberg. Our Defense Ministry continues to receive and analyze new materials. We will keep the global community updated on the issue of Pentagon’s illegal activity in Ukraine.
Right of reply:
Propaganda, disinformation, amateurism, baseless allegations, false flag operation – that’s what we heard today. Some statements repeated what was said on 11 March almost word-by-word. If you found nothing new in our today’s statement, you either were not listening or did not hear what we were saying. What we presented were not the conspiracy theories that we pried out of the deep abyss of the Internet. Those were new materials and documents that we had circulated among UNSC members. These documents elaborate on biological cooperation between Ukraine and the United States. I ask you to read those materials. If you can refute them, please do it. But do it by answering our questions rather than by spouting baseless allegations about Russian propaganda. You refuse to do this because you have nothing to say. Instead, you try accusing us of plans to use biological and chemical weapons in Ukraine. This is the height of cynicism. We already warned you that we had information that Ukrainian nationalists had delivered toxic chemical agents to some areas of Ukraine in order to carry out a provocation and blame Russia. This is what you call a false flag operation.
As I said, you, in particular the United States, did not listen carefully to us. We did not say (as the US representative would interpret it) that Ukraine had a military biological program of its own. We said the United States had such program, where Ukraine was used blindly. We cited facts about the growing incidence of dangerous diseases in Ukraine that could not be explained by simpler factors, but could be related to this sort of activity.
We heard again that the best argument you have to prove that no military biological activity was carried out in Ukraine is the opinion of the UN Secretariat. But as mentioned already, the United Nations cannot be aware of secret military biological programs. Those who implement them do not report it to the UN or whoever.
We do not lift this issue from the agenda. More facts will surely arrive soon, and we will keep the Security Council and the global community posted.
Following his announcement, Fox News White House correspondent Jacqui Heinrich asked Biden if Putin is a war criminal, given everything the president has seen. Zelenskyy’s presentation to Congress had included a powerful video highlighting the devastation of the war.
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Biden first responded, “No.”
He then continued making his way through the room, but soon thereafter returned to the journalist, asked for clarification and answered, “Oh, I think he is a war criminal.”
Later in the day, Psaki was asked during a news briefing what accounted for the change. The administration had previously said only that Putin was under investigation for potential war crimes.
Psaki replied that it was the news coverage Biden watched on TV that informed his answer.
“The president’s remarks speak for themselves,” she said. “He was speaking from his heart and speaking from what he’s seen on television, which is barbaric actions by a brutal dictator through his invasion of a foreign country.”
“There is a legal process that continues to … be underway at the State Department. That’s a process that they would have any updates on,” the press secretary said.
Later in the briefing, a reporter circled back to the issue, noting that Biden had declined to call Putin a war criminal during the first three weeks of the conflict.
“As you note, there is an ongoing … formal process before you can use this term. So something must have changed for the president to feel like he can take this additional step today. What? What else is he seeing?” she asked.
Psaki again referenced media coverage of the invasion.
“The president was answering a direct question that was asked and responding to what he has seen on television,” she said.
“We have all seen barbaric acts, horrific acts by a foreign dictator in a country that is threatening and taking the lives of civilians, impacting hospitals, women who are pregnant, journalists, others,” Psaki continued. “I think he was answering a direct question.”
Biden likely isn’t watching Fox News, so our foreign policy is being informed by what commentators on MSNBC and CNN are saying? God help us.
Doesn’t the commander in chief have a multibillion-dollar intelligence apparatus to provide him with the most accurate information available?
Conservative commentator Ed Morrissey offered an interesting theory as to why Psaki walked back Biden’s remarks about Putin, and it centers on Iran.
Moscow responded forcefully Wednesday to Biden’s war criminal characterization, calling it “unacceptable and unforgivable” rhetoric, the BBC reported.
Morrissey wrote that Psaki’s official “walk-back at the White House of it being just Biden’s personal view looks like a retreat in the face of Russian complaints. And that might be precisely what it is, because Biden’s still relying on Russia to accommodate Biden’s desperate ambition to re-enter the Iran [nuclear] deal.”
Russia is playing a central role in the talks currently underway in Vienna.
“Rather than recognize the insanity of that foreign policy, Biden and his White House have decided that it makes more sense to accommodate Putin and walk back the obvious,” Morrissey wrote.
We already went through all of this during the Obama administration, with the U.S. bending over backward to accommodate Russia and Iran. Both interpreted America’s conduct as weakness and pressed forward with their mal-behavior, including Russia’s invasion of Crimea in 2014 and Iran’s ongoing support of terrorism.
You would think that Biden and his team — primarily made up of Obama alums like Psaki — would have learned their lesson, but apparently they have not.
“As far as I'm concerned, it's a damned shame that a field as potentially dynamic and vital as journalism should be overrun with dullards, bums, and hacks, hag-ridden with myopia, apathy, and complacence, and generally stuck in a bog of stagnant mediocrity.” -Hunter Thompson