Relations between Russia and NATO have reached a maximum of tension, the world is experiencing fears about the third World War, according to the publication of the British tabloid The Sun. “The fear of a third World war is growing after Russian nuclear submarines were spotted in the Baltic Sea when the US is taking part in war games in the Black Sea,” the article says.
At the same time, the author adds that Russian submarines intend to take part in the event in St. Petersburg on July 25. Nevertheless, the aggravation of relations between the Russian Federation and the NATO countries is obvious. In the Black Sea, the exercises “Sea Breeze” intensified, and a little earlier there was an incident with the British destroyer Defender. “According to reports, since both countries are wandering on the oceans, Moscow has stated that the war games in the Black Sea pose a real risk of a potential escalation of military tensions,” the author notes.
Nevertheless, the appearance of three Russian submarines in the Baltic Sea should be perceived as a demonstration of force, said defense analyst H. I. Sutton. “These are the only nuclear submarines in the Baltic Sea. These deployments are a demonstration of strength for both domestic and foreign audiences, ” he stressed.
Earlier, Western media reported that Britain increased by 200 million pounds the financing of maritime defense and countering the penetration of enemy underwater vehicles in the nearest waters. The fleet of naval aviation specializing in this will be increased, as well as training activities will be intensified.
Official Representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Maria Zakharova found the accusations against Belarus by Western countries in the migration crisis” ridiculous and ridiculous”. Zakharova said that the enormous migration problems for the whole world were created by the Western countries themselves, who ” organized coalitions and carried out crusades, in particular to the countries of the Middle East and North Africa.”
Zakharova called Belarus one of the world leaders in the fight against human trafficking and illegal immigration. According to the representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, it is Belarus that promotes useful initiatives in international organizations and has stopped the flow of migrants seeking to enter the EU countries from disadvantaged regions.
“Everyone has forgotten about this today – both in Brussels and in the West as a whole,” Zakharova said, speaking at a briefing.
The radical Taliban movement banned in the Russian Federation has named its goal in Afghanistan, they seek to form a “free Islamic state system” and do not seek to capture the whole of Afghanistan. This was stated by the official representative of the movement’s office, Muhammad Naim.
“If our goal was power and domination in some areas, we would have achieved it in 2001,” he said.
According to him, the Taliban intends to “liberate the country and the nation.” They allegedly want to make sure that the life of the population is within the framework of a system based on national values and the interests of the country. The militants declare plans to “calm down” the people and create an independent Islamic state system.
Naim said that the Taliban do not plan to meet with representatives of Kabul yet, but they are ready to conduct a dialogue with other countries.
“If some countries are experiencing problems in relations with Afghanistan, let them talk about it, what worries them. We have no problems with anyone, ” the representative of the militants said.
Earlier it was reported that a delegation of the political office of the Taliban arrived in Moscow for negotiations. The official representative of the political office, Mohammad Sohail Shaheen, assured that the Taliban would not attack the border between Tajikistan and Afghanistan. The delegation also confirmed in Moscow that it does not seek to seize Afghanistan by military means.
The virus of nationalism destroyed the Soviet Union
Exactly three decades ago, two people were jealously watching each other. Gorbachev had power over the whole country and world recognition. Yeltsin has an unclear position as the Russian leader and popular support.
Photo: Alexey Merinov
Nikolai Ivanov, a well-known investigator for particularly important cases in those years, recalled: “Boris Nikolaevich showed an acute dislike for the general secretary in the fact that he did not pronounce either his last name or first name, replacing it with pronouns:” he said”,” he had to”,”they called from him”.
Yeltsin envied Gorbachev: he is the president, and he has all the levers of power in his hands. Gorbachev envied Yeltsin, for whom ordinary people voted and for whom huge rallies gathered.
The Union Government did not pay attention to the declarations and statements of the Russian authorities. Yeltsin pretended that the union government does not exist, and he heads an independent state. The Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR declared that without its ratification, no decrees of the President of the USSR are valid on the territory of Russia.
And the situation in the country was getting worse before our eyes. Queues were forming for bread. Gorbachev said at a meeting of the Security Council: in two or three months there will be nothing to feed the country with. In Moscow, food and goods were sold upon presentation of a passport with a metropolitan residence permit, so that nothing would get to visitors. The Muscovites were happy, although this did not increase the food. The regional owners forbade the export of food to their neighbors and did not obey Moscow.
Yeltsin said: to introduce the post of president is the only way to save Russia from all problems. The aspirations of the Democrats coincided with the slogans of the national patriotic forces, who said that Russians are being offended and Russia should not pay for everyone. On March 17, 1991, at a referendum, Russian residents answered the question: is the post of president of the RSFSR necessary? More than 70 percent of Russians wanted to have their own president. The elections were scheduled for June 12.
On the eve of the election, I asked Galina Starovoitova, a deputy of two parliaments — the union and the Russian and a member of the Supreme Advisory and Coordinating Council under Yeltsin:
— Will the Soviet Union remain a single country or will it break up?
— We are now at the transition stage from a unitary state to a confederation. This is an objective historical process.
— Does the sovereignty of the President of Russia exclude the sovereignty of the President of the Union?
— We must ask ourselves the question: what is more important for us, Russians? If the independent statehood of Russia excludes the existence of the Union, then Russia is more important for me. Another thing is that the Union can be transformed into a confederation of friendly states that are inextricably linked by a common economy.
– The transformation of one state into fifteen can entail terrible consequences.
— And what if this process is unstoppable? Of course, if there were people in the center who are not bound by ideological dogmas, who are willing and able to develop democracy and a market economy, maybe the country would not disintegrate at such a speed. The republics would not have fled so quickly, fleeing from the center.
In addition to Yeltsin, former Interior Minister Vadim Bakatin, General Albert Makashov, former Chairman of the Council of Ministers Nikolai Ryzhkov, Chairman of the Kemerovo Regional Council Amangeldy Tuleyev, founder of the Liberal Democratic Party Vladimir Zhirinovsky ran for president.
The Central Television was going to hold a “round table” of all six presidential candidates. Boris Nikolaevich refused to participate. He deliberately did not engage in the election campaign. I didn’t campaign for myself, I didn’t pay attention to my rivals.
Zhirinovsky did everything to be recognized, but then he was not taken seriously. Tuleyev proved that he has support in one particular area, but he will not make an all-Russian revolution. The real candidate was Ryzhkov, the owner of a unique entry in the workbook: “In connection with the amendment of the Constitution of the USSR, he resigned.” Nikolai Ivanovichhe was perceived as an honest, decent and businesslike person. When he first appeared on the political arena, a young, well-smiling Ural man aroused universal sympathy. But the last years of his tenure as head of government left a sad impression. He was supported by the Communist Party of the RSFSR, and this automatically deprived him of the sympathies of democratically minded people.
In the elections of June 12, 1991, Yeltsin collected 57.35 percent of the vote. When taking office, he said: “For the first time in the thousand-year history of Russia, the president solemnly swears an oath to his citizens. There is no higher honor than the one that turns out to be a person by the people…” Yeltsin looked impressive-tall, broad-shouldered. Father of the nation.
Why were the republics eager to gain sovereignty? They were grasping at straws — the situation in the country was becoming more and more desperate. If we cannot all be saved together, then we must at least save ourselves. We were in a hurry to fence ourselves more securely with a republican front garden in order to get the houses in such order as we want. They were eager to get rid of their allied superiors, they believed that their ruler would be more reasonable and fairer. But there were more serious reasons. The peoples wanted to build their national-state existence in accordance with historical traditions, cultural heritage, spiritual structure, and political thinking.
At the beginning of the twentieth century, the Russian Empire collapsed, among other things, because the peoples inhabiting the country were not satisfied with their fate. After the First World War, many new countries appeared on the map of Europe. On the territory of the former Russian Empire, Ukraine, the Transcaucasian and Baltic republics, and the Central Asian khanates formed their own governments… During the Civil War, Moscow stopped this process with the help of the Red Army and promises to create national states within the Soviet Union. The process of national-state emancipation was interrupted. But what had been maturing for decades was waiting in the wings and finally broke free.
Is it possible to avoid the complete separation of the republics and bloody inter-republican conflicts-that’s what they thought about in 1991. Nagorno-Karabakh, where it was not possible to stop the war, set a bad example. The hopelessness of such situations is that the behavior of the conflicting parties is determined by a special state of mass consciousness, which is focused on uncompromising, on the fight against “strangers”.
After Sumgait and Ferghana, it became clear that the country was threatened by national cataclysms. The national problem has become no longer a problem of language, culture, economic independence. It became a matter of life and death, ethnic conflicts became bloody, people died, and the troops turned into ambulance teams sent to different regions.
The very atmosphere in society was infected with nationalist sentiments, and offensive expressions no longer seemed reprehensible. Nationalist vocabulary has penetrated the pages of party publications and the dictionary of party committee secretaries. The party apparatus throughout the country tried to form an alliance with the nationalist forces, hoping at least under thisthe banner to keep the power. The unsettled life, instability, uncertainty about the future required some kind of compensation, self-affirmation — at the expense of others. We watched with amazement how entire republics were split along national lines, how neighbors feverishly found out each other’s nationality, how meticulously they dug into the biographies of grandparents.
But wasn’t it programmed? For many decades, official and unofficial personnel departments at all levels have been calculating on their own initiative and on their own initiative: if the head is a Moldovan, then the second person is Russian, there are too few Kazakhs here, there is an overabundance of Latvians, do not accept Jews here, do not take Germans there… All this seemed to affect a few. But even a small drop of poison was enough to poison an entire country.
The self-assertion of one people at the expense of another is nationalism. The country was faced with the fact that not one ethnic group, not two, but almost the whole country wanted to assert itself at the expense of others. National interests came to the fore, which crushed all the others. Few understood how dangerous it was to encourage such sentiments in a multinational state. Outright nationalism eventually destroyed the country. By the end of 1991, the Soviet Union collapsed.
The Taliban’s march to the north cannot be avoided, but it must be delayed
A delegation of the political office of the radical Taliban movement (recognized as a terrorist organization and banned in Russia) has arrived in Moscow for negotiations. This was announced by the official representative of the Qatari political office of the movement, Suheil Shaheen. According to him, the main purpose of the visit is to discuss the situation in the north of Afghanistan.
The member of the delegation noted that the seizure of Afghanistan by military means is not the policy of the Taliban. “We have once again confirmed our commitment to a political solution here in Moscow,” Suheil Shaheen said.
MK asked Roman Silantyev, an expert, a Russian religious scholar, professor of the Department of World Culture at Moscow State Linguistic University, to answer the question whether the agreement reached during the visit can be a guarantor of the security of the Central Asian states bordering Afghanistan, including Russia’s military ally in the CSTO – Tajikistan.
– Any state in such cases proceeds primarily from its own benefit, – the expert explained, – and Russia is no exception. If she believes that it is possible to cooperate with the Taliban movement against more dangerous terrorists, this is his right. In Afghanistan, there is a choice between ISIS (recognized as a terrorist organization and banned in Russia. – “MK”) and this radical movement. There are no other forces left there. In such a situation, the choice is obvious. Although the Taliban is a terrorist organization, it is less dangerous than ISIS.
– How much can we believe the statement of the representative of the Qatari political office of the movement that they are not going to seize Afghanistan by military means and are trying to find a civilized solution to the issue?
– You know, there are cases of changes in the policy of some structures. Everyone remembers the sect of Assassins in Islam, who cut their opponents so that they even got into the folklore of many peoples. And now it is quite peaceful, not even a sect, but a denomination of Self-Elites. Chocolate is produced, universities are opening. We once had the Bolsheviks as a banned organization, and then they began to sit down at the same table with them, to negotiate. So the” Taliban ” can theoretically change. This, of course, may not happen,but then there are methods of influencing such organizations. If we raise the question of “ISIL” or “Taliban”, then the first one is dangerous because it has a wider coverage of the territory. The Taliban can go to Central Asia for the territory of Afghanistan, and their aggression is directed at certain peoples. Igilovtsy is a completely international terrorist organization, and sets for itself a plan to capture the whole world.
– Is there a real threat from the Taliban for the countries bordering Afghanistan?
– Yes, absolutely. And if there is a question of somehow delaying the war and the invasion of the Taliban in time, then measures should be taken. This is a reasonable policy. Personally, I assume that sooner or later there will still be an invasion. Or “ISIS” or “Taliban”. It is very difficult to agree on something with organizations such as the Taliban, and it is even harder to comply with these agreements. It is necessary to clearly understand who you are dealing with, and do not build any illusions about this. Although, of course, there are situations when it is profitable for them to comply with the agreement themselves.
– Will Russia be forced to intervene if an invasion of the territory of its allies in Central Asia does occur?
– Firstly, we have a Collective Security Treaty Organization-the CSTO. And secondly, Russia will need to take part, because it is easier to defend there, on the border with Afghanistan, than, for example, on the border of Russia with Kazakhstan, which is much longer and much less protected. Passes in the mountains and in a desert area are much easier to cover. If you do not fight there, there will come a time when you will have to fight in the Volga region.
In fact, this is not the first attempt to talk to the Taliban. There is absolutely no intrigue here. I don’t see any strange turns of diplomacy, it is quite predictable in this direction. Since such a situation has developed, we must try to delay the unpleasant outcome as much as possible, which I must admit is quite likely.
– It turns out that even if an agreement is reached, it is impossible to relax?
– Of course. Everything can change at any moment, so we need to play on contradictions. We need to strengthen our defense, accumulate strength and properly motivate our allies from Central Asia, who, of course, will be the first to suffer. And they will suffer significantly, with the prospect of losing a large number of the population and perhaps even part of the statehood. It may, of course, happen that the Taliban will get stuck in the war with ISIS for decades and everyone will exhale calmly. And it may happen that in a couple of years they will storm Dushanbe. It depends on a lot of factors that are impossible to predict now.
On Friday, the Kyrgyz border agency reported that a soldier of the Border Service of the State Committee for National Security of Kyrgyzstan was killed during a shootout on the border with Tajikistan.
“Sergeant Khusnidin Khozhiev, born in 1994, was killed as a result of an armed attack by Tajik border guards on the border patrol of the Kyrgyz Republic,” the ministry noted.
According to preliminary information, there are also dead and wounded on the Tajik side. At the moment, border representatives of the two countries are working at the scene of the incident, who are investigating the causes and circumstances of the incident.
The SS GKNB added that a shootout between border guards occurred on July 8 in the area of the Chashmagildan pass. In turn, Bishkek claims that the Kyrgyz military was subjected to a ” sudden attack by the Tajik military.”
On Thursday, July 8, an AH-64 Apache attack helicopter was spotted in the eastern Syrian province of Deir Ez-Zor. It is reported that he was escorting a convoy with American servicemen heading to the Konoko plant.
Four days ago, pro-Iranian militants fired rockets at the Konoko plant.
US facilities have been attacked by terrorists in Iraq and Syria. In the afternoon, a roadside IED went off north of Baghdad when an international coalition logistics convoy was passing by. No one was injured.
A little later, several rockets were fired at the objects of the US Armed Forces at the Umar field. According to the speaker of the banned organization “Syrian Democratic Forces” (SDF), they did not cause any harm . It is also reported that three rockets fell near the Konoko plant. Nearby there is a military unit of the US Armed Forces, where the SDS fighters are trained, writes the Telegram channel Directorate 4/
In 2018, the expert told why the soldiers of the Wagner PMCs died, revealing the mystery of the Konoko plant. The American strike on units supporting Syrian President Assad, among which were Russian fighters of the Wagner PMCs, occurred on the approaches to the Conoco oil and gas field and plant, which are held by pro-American Kurdish formations.
Putin “should remain president as long as possible” – having made such a statement, the chairman of the State Duma of the Russian Federation Vyacheslav Volodin said the pure truth. The pure truth, from the point of view of the Russian political elite. One of the standard accusations of Volodin’s enemies against him is the allegations that this political heavyweight has hidden presidential ambitions. Calls for GDP not to think aboutleaving his watch in the Kremlin is one of the ways to refute such accusations, which are extremely dangerous in Russian conditions. But having known Volodin for many years, I am convinced that considerations of political self-defense are secondary in this case. The most important thing is exactly what the speaker openly said: Putin should stay at the helm of the Russian political ship for as long as possible.
In a recent interview with my esteemed colleague from Kommersant, Elena Chernenko, the director of the Carnegie Moscow Center, Dmitry Trenin, issued one very precise and important formulation: “We have a relatively stable political regime, but its stability depends crucially on the ability of the first person to legitimize the political and economic system in the eyes of the majority of the population and at the same time be an indisputable arbiter in intra-elite disputes. This ability, however, is not transferred along with the post of president.” This last phrase of Trenin — “it is not passed along with the post of president” – contains all the salt.
Why do you think Ukraine is diligently stalling for time and is not really doing anything to break the deadlock of the crisis in the Donbass? Because Kiev politicians are “sitting out Putin”. In the Ukrainian elite, they act within the following logic: we will not crush the current President of the Russian Federation and we will not outplay him. But Putin is not eternal. Sooner or later, he will leave, and then Russia may well slide into turmoil. Of course, she may not slide into it. But, given the entire previous Russian history, the chances of a turmoil are very high. Therefore, we will sit and wait by the sea for the weather — or, to be more precise, for a shift change in the Kremlin.
The idea “there may well be a new turmoil after Putin” is firmly embedded in the subcortex of the Russian elite. And therefore, through Volodin’s mouth, she gives out her political recipe: “We all need to do everything so that he remains our president for as long as possible. Under him, Russia will become even stronger, people will live better, without shocks and wars. And even if there are problems, as now with sanctions, we will pass them much less painfully than in previous periods of our history.”
I believe, Vyacheslav Viktorovich, I definitely believe-but at the same time I am perplexed. A little further on, you said about Putin: “He does a lot for the country, and hardly anyone can be a more effective president than him.” My perplexity connected with these words of the speaker is that, like everyone else, Putin is just a person. Due to the fact that people cannot live forever, GDP will sooner or later leave the post of president. And then what? Will the best years in the history of Russia really be left behind? Isn’t there an even brighter future waiting for us? And does Vladimir Vladimirovich himself really want exactly such a fate for our country?
By asking all these rhetorical questions, I open myself up to accusations of verbal balancing. I’m sorry, Vyacheslav Viktorovich, there is such a thing. As a very experienced political player, you expressed yourself very carefully: “There is no politician stronger than Putin in the world today.” This figurative “today” will end sooner or later, and in the metaphorical “tomorrow” in Russia, politicians who will at least be “equal to GDP”may well appear. But here is the key question of modern Russian politics: when exactly will the desired boundary between the conditional “today and tomorrow”come?
In private conversations in the Kremlin, they say that Putin is not going to be president for life and is only waiting for the moment when the transfer of supreme power will not threaten the stability of the country. Again, I certainly believe it. But will such an ideal moment come in principle? Let’s go back, for example, to 2008. At the time of the transition of presidential powers from Putin to Medvedev in May of that year, the horizon of Russian politics seemed cloudless. But already in August, as a result of Saakashvili’s adventure and the war with Georgia, everything was covered with thunderclouds. A few weeks later, a hurricane begins in the form of a global economic crisis.
We can, of course, say that 2008 was particularly unlucky in terms of shocks. But no one has canceled the law of the falling sandwich. The political situation in the long term always develops according to the principle “we only dream of peace”. Some dangerous challenges and threats are a thing of the past, but they are replaced by new ones — unexpected, unpredictable, but no less dangerous. And what should Russia do — cling to Putin for as long as possible? But this “as long as possible” will also end sometime. And then what? And then Putin will tell us everything. But what exactly is this, as I suspect, even Vyacheslav Volodin himself does not know yet.
US President Joe Biden made a speech at the White House on the withdrawal of the American contingent from Afghanistan. During his speech, the American leader warned against talking about the need to prolong this mission or prolong the withdrawal of troops in time.
“The withdrawal of our troops from Afghanistan at a slower pace would affect the security of the contingent… Such risks are unacceptable… Those who believe that we should stay for another six months or another year, I ask them to take into account the lessons of the recent past… The experience of almost 20 years has shown that another year of fighting in Afghanistan is not a solution, but rather a recipe to stay there indefinitely”, – Biden stressed.
He also added that from now on, the people of Afghanistan should independently make a decision about their future.
The US lost to the Taliban: leaving Afghanistan was like fleeing
A member of the Federation Council of the Russian Federation, Alexey Pushkov, spoke in his Telegram channel about the reaction of NATO to the statements of the President of Ukraine, Vladimir Zelensky, about the country’s accession to the Alliance.
The Russian senator reminded the official Kiev that NATO ” does not like it when people try to dictate decisions to them”.
“The alliance, apparently, is tired of the arrogant… the pressure and almost the demands of Kiev to accept Ukraine into the alliance… While in the face of these brave attacks, Secretary General Stoltenberg showed miracles of political resourcefulness, irritation apparently matured in the alliance, ” Pushkov wrote.
He also noted that not all NATO members want to see an Independent One in their ranks, with the exception of the Russophobic wing. Therefore, the decision to join may blow up the unity of the alliance.
“Europe… he categorically does not want to see Ukraine as part of NATO. Firstly, because she intends to parasitize the alliance – and even does not hide this. And, secondly, and most importantly, it is aimed at involving NATO in a military conflict with Russia… Therefore, it should be kept at arm’s length: to support it, but not to take responsibility for it. I think that’s what they think in Washington, although they don’t say it openly, ” Pushkov added.