From Fort Russ and RT
“If they take Serbia in, they get a trojan horse. If they don’t get Serbia in, they have another force along with the English and Brexit ripping the EU apart,” Bosnitch concluded.
From Fort Russ and RT
David Cameron has announced that at least one billion pounds from UK taxpayers will go to fund the ‘reconstruction’ of Syria after it has been pummeled by British bombs. The lunacy of pledging to rob the public purse to repair the damage Cameron is so hell-bent on creating is breathtaking. That is until you examine who the plan makes sense for: Cameron’s much loved British companies.
The House is rightly also asking more questions about whether there will be a proper post conflict reconstruction effort to support a new Syrian government when it emerges, and Britain’s answer to that qusetion is absolutely yes. I can tell the House that Britain will be prepared to contribute at least another billion pounds for this task.
This is, of course, a direct insult to the British population, who have been forced to endure a crippling amount of cuts to public services in the name of ‘essential’ austerity. However, it is glaringly obvious by now that the Tory party’s austerity program is nothing more than an ideological instrument to re-order society.
Part of this ideology resides in bringing about a British business boom, and Cameron is willing to do whatever it takes to ensure that happens. It is why corporation tax has been consistently lowered by his government – leading to companies loving these little isles as they pay next to nothing to trade here.
It’s also why Cameron sees opportunity in the tragedy of Syria. For all his fire and brimstone talk of destroying jihadi “monsters”, he is counting on benefits for the British contractors carrying out the extensive work necessary to rebuild Syria after RAF bombers, and those of numerous other countries, have decimated it.
There is a precedent for this: the Iraq war. Multiple companies profited from the illegal invasion of Iraq, many of them British. An article in Business Pundit details the most vicious of these profiteers, here’s a selection of the UK’s beneficiaries:
A security and risk management company who landed a £250 million contract to coordinate all of Iraq’s private security operations, which led to them being rejected for membership of trade organisation International Peace Operations Association.
The bank bought a 70% controlling stake in Dar es Salaam Investment Bank, which had gathered $91 million worth of assets by 2008. Daesh (ISIS) is already known to have seized control of banks in the areas they maintain, which would open up a lucrative opportunity for western banks should they be defeated.
A London-based private security company who landed a $90 million contract to secure Iraq’s oil fields. Daesh has huge reserves of oil that power it financially, and which would need protecting once wrestled from its control.
Not a UK-based company, but it was acquired by BAE Systems in 2007 – a subsidiary of BAE Systems plc, based in the UK. Armor Holdings provided military and personnel safety equipment for the Iraq war, and saw its profits increase by over 2,000% between 2001 and 2008.
Aside from the businesses set to reap the benefits of a Syria in ashes, there are those who will benefit from creating those ashes – namely defence companies. BAE Systems is one of the military manufacturers that will see a rise in profits from any decision to continue along the western warpath. In fact, BAE announced this year that its profits were up £500 million in 2013, having gained contracts worth over £10bn from the US and UK governments for three consecutive years, according to the BBC.
That corporate behemoths like BAE Systems benefit from the ‘war on terror’ is no accident, and it’s a result Cameron is banking on. As investigative reporter James Risen lays out so well in his book Pay Any Price, many have recognised the opportunities this never-ending war has created, both in the battles abroad, and the enhanced security measures we find on our own doorsteps:
As trillions of dollars have poured into the nation’s new homeland security-industrial complex, the corporate leaders at its vanguard can rightly be considered the true winners of the war on terror.
The first step in tackling this, is to recognise it. If we face the true motivation of our government’s actions, we are able to challenge it.
Cameron’s claims about why he wants to bomb Syria have already been widely debunked, even by members of his own party. His position on who he is doing it for should also be challenged. It is not the Syrian people. They will undoubtedly suffer from further bombing. It is not UK citizens, who will see the threat of terrorism at home further increase. Is it these giant industries, with their lobbyists and political donations, that Cameron actually holds closest to his heart?
From Fort Russ
November 22, 2015
Verkhovna Rada Deputy: Crimea will be Ukrainian or depopulated
Translated from Russian by Tom Winter
The electrical blackout in Crimea should be followed up with blockage of their water and gas, declared Igor Mosiychuk, deputy of the Verkhovna Rada.
“In addition to the food blockade of the Crimea, Ukraine and Ukrainians must implement three primary steps for the speedy release of Crimea from the Moscovian invaders:
1) Continue the energy blockade of the Crimea with all available means;
2) Stop the water supply to the occupied peninsula;
3) Stop the supply and transit of gas to the territory of temporarily occupied Crimea.
If the governing regime does not implement these measures to liberate the peninsula occupied by Moscow invaders, then the Ukrainians have a right to fight for the liberation of the Crimea without any warrant to do so from the authorities. And remember, that Crimea can be either Ukrainian or deserted! declared Mosiychuk in a prepared statement.
*No exact equivalent for bezlyudniy in English. Literally, “without people,” without any people.” Quite the euphemism. For the application of this “Ukraine or Desert” principle generally, see this from 2014.
Posted on Fort Russ
Arseny Yatsenyuk, Prime Minister of Ukraine (in the middle)
July 14, 2015
Posted by Kristina Rus
“It wasn’t about the Right Sector. This is about corruption and smuggling and arms on the street,” Yatsenyuk said. “They supported smugglers and contraband, and everyone will be brought to justice for the crimes that have been committed.”
End of the life cycle of the project “Ukraine is not Russia”
Конец жизненного цикла проекта «Украина не Россия»
by Oleg Tsarev, Chairman of Novorossiya Parliament, for vz.ru
December 19, 2014
It has been a year since many Ukrainians came out on the Maidan, wishing to “improve life” in their own understanding, namely by integrating Ukraine into Europe. One can already make an assessment of the consequences but, to put it mildly, they are not encouraging.
First Conclusion: Maidan was very well prepared
The preparations did not begin with Victoria Nuland’s cookies but much earlier, with Kravchuk and Kuchma who generously handed out national properties to “their own people”, with Yushchenko who delivered the coup de grace both to the economy and the military, and with Yanukovych, who placed his “overseers” in all regions of the country.
Only in the last 15 years infrastructure wear and tear increased from 40% to over 80%. As a result by early 2014 Ukraine reached a pre-default stage. Gold and hard currency reserves shrank to 15 billion dollars, the country’s inability to fulfill its financial obligations increased to 65%, reaching an almost absolute record.
By comparison, the media is reporting that Russia is considered to be at 17% risk of default. Yet Ukraine’s total debt to all creditors is, by Ukrainian standards, astronomically high at $65 billion.
What did Ukrainians receive in return? The budget started delaying even the most important payments to the regions and to the population, the hryvnia already lost almost half of its value against the dollar and 42% against the euro.
The fall of Ukrainian currency is accompanied by growth of retail prices. Inflation already reached 20%.
Second Conclusion: Ukraine was subsidized by Russia during its entire independence period
This took mainly the form of lowering the price of energy.
The total level of subsidies exceeded $100 billion, and when Tymoshenko signed her “prison contract” forcing Ukraine to genuinely pay for gas, Ukraine’s budget instantly developed a “black hole” under the name of “Naftogaz” which amounts to 4-5% of the country’s GDP.
Of course, the national treasury did not empty itself out overnight, Yanukovych also made a contribution to that. However, right now the treasury is being filled by a massive currency emission by the National Bank of Ukraine which, according to Tymoshenko itself, is nearly equivalent to the entire national budget, exceeding $300 billion. Which spells a financial doom for the country.
Third Conclusion: The Plunder Continues
And it is continued by the followers of the kolomoyskiys, the poroshenkos, the yatsenyuks who came to power in the aftermath of the Maidan.
It all began with the transferring out of the country of Ukrainian gold reserves, and is continuing through profiteering on supplies to the combat zone, pumping out of petroleum needed to maintain the “Ukrnafta” oil pumping machinery, and by theft of 5 billion cubic meters of natural gas belonging to Firtash (originally purchased by a $1.4 billion credit from Gazprombank in order to preserve Ukraine’s chemical industry).
They do not shy away from direct seizure of factories belonging to their competitors. The most recent major seizure took place in Odessa, at an oil refinery.
Fourth Conclusion: “Western partners” are strenuously pretending that everything is all right
Unlimited currency emission and the de-facto freeze of hard currency markets, the banks’ inability to return deposits, the inability to fulfill budget obligations, all of that is being ignored. The International Monetary Fund does not even have, by its own mandate, the right to give money to a country in the middle of a war.
But the markets cannot be fooled. The interest rates on Ukraine’s Credit Default Swaps (CDS), Eurobond interest rates and internal currency obligations are beating all records, indicating that a default is inevitable. Business publications (The Economist, Der Welt, and others) are beginning to prepare investors for the inevitable: if Ukraine is not given, say, another 20-25 billion dollars in the nearest future (and this in addition to the IMF and EU assistance to the tune of $37 billion), Ukraine will declare bankruptcy.
The interest of a one-year Ukrainian bond increased from 10% at the beginning of 2014 to the unheard of 27% today. Analysts cannot recall another such massive jump.
The same is true for Ukraine’s default risk assessments. At the beginning it was rated at 49%, which is high enough, but during the period of greatest tensions with Russia the indicator jumped to 60%.
Fifth Conclusion: Ukraine has no money
The currency reserves of the National Bank of Ukraine are microscopic, and almost entirely consist of securities which nobody else wants (there are rumors that $6 billion of currency reserves were traded for shares in Lehman Brothers which went bankrupt in 2008), the exporters are not selling their hard currency since they themselves are struggling, and importers cannot obtain hard currency even for critical purchases.
At the same time Kolomoyskiy is supplying substandard body armor at their weight in gold and is increasing the capital of his own Privat Bank, while at the same time reducing tax obligations to the state.
Ukraine is bragging that it increased exports this year, forgetting to add that it accomplished that feat by exporting the last of its grain reserves. As to what will happen in the spring and how the people of Ukraine will be fed, it does not seem to concern the government.
No Coal for Power Plants and None in Sight
The Donbass coal cannot be purchased for ideological reasons since, according to Yatsenyuk himself, that would be “financing terrorists.” The entire energy sector of Ukraine is sustained by supplies of nuclear fuel from Russian Rosatom (which represents nearly 50% of energy production in Ukraine).
The winter is coming, yet ‘the provision of heating of the population’ (as Klitchko famously said before) is still under question.
The efforts of the new Ukrainian ruling elite include not only the attempts to hurt Russia and the owners of Ukrainian Eurobonds (half of the total of $17.5 billion is owned by the US-based Templeton Fund), but also their own citizens, otherwise the Ukrainian “bust-out” might fail.
They are even attempting to cut off the untamed Donbass from the Ukrainian financial system and close government offices and banks in the Donetsk and Lugansk Republics. That is to say, to abandon to their fate more than 4 million of our citizens by claiming that Donbass is not making budget contributions. And those are the policies which, in their view, are supposed to revive Ukraine’s economy.
Kiev is accelerating its own collapse
Donetsk alone fulfilled 89.2% of its budget contributions in 10 months. Yet now the retirees are being told that their pensions are not being paid by Kiev since June because allegedly Donbass has not been making transfers to the national budget. This despite the fact that since January Donetsk alone transferred 5.519 billion hryvnia, of which 4.746 billion went into the national pension fund.
One should also add that Donbass represents almost a third of Ukraine’s industry, nearly all of its coal, and a fourth of its exports.
Only one conclusion can be made on the basis of the above: a crisis is coming, and it will take many forms.
But the key element of the process of the collapse of the economy is the default by the state before its own people, which can take place not only in the form of direct failure to fulfill social obligations but also through hyperinflation. This would represent a total war, aimed against one’s own country.
Right now Ukraine needs an injection of at least 100-120 billion dollars, which could prevent a sharp economic collapse. In the absence of such an injection the country’s GDP is likely to drop by 50%, implying the collapse of the country’s whole economy.
The final destination on this path is a catastrophe and complete bankruptcy, which would be an unprecedented trial not only for the people of Ukraine, but also for Russia, Europe, and the entire world. But the crisis can no longer be stopped; one could still try to switch course to a pro-Russian, Anti-Maidan one, but that is out of the question for those who have inspired the Maidan.
And therefore a collapse is not to be avoided.
Translated for FortRuss.blogspot.com
http://fortruss.blogspot.com/2014/12/ukraine-plunder-continues.html — translation — Ukraine: The Plunder Continues