The second Russia-Africa Summit For Peace, Security, and Development concluded in the Russian city of St. Petersburg on July 28. The two-day meet was attended by official delegations from 49 African countries and included 17 heads of state. The summit yielded various agreements and a joint declaration for cooperation on issues including security, trade, energy, and climate change. “All our states confirmed their commitment to the formation of a fair and democratic multipolar world order based on the universally recognized principles of international law and the UN Charter,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a press statement after the conclusion of the summit.
The problem with the war in Ukraine is that it has been all smoke and mirrors. The Russian objectives of “demilitarization” and “de-Nazification” of Ukraine wore a surreal look. The Western narrative that the war is between Russia and Ukraine, where central issue is the Westphalian principle of national sovereignty, wore thin progressively leaving a void. There is a realization today that the war is actually between Russia and NATO and that Ukraine had ceased to be a sovereign country since 2014 when the CIA and sister Western agencies — Germany, the UK, France, Sweden, etc.— installed a puppet regime in Kiev.
On March 17, the International Criminal Court (ICC) indicted and issued arrest warrants for Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian Commissioner for Children's Rights Maria Lvova-Belova. They are the first and only white people to be indicted by the court. All 44 of those previously indicted have been Africans. Neither Russia, China, nor the US have accepted the court’s jurisdiction. The US Congress even passed what’s colloquially known as the Hague Invasion Act , which makes it lawful—not internationally, but lawful according to US statute—for the US to invade the Netherlands to save any US official, service member, or citizen, or those of any of its allies, should they ever be brought before the International Criminal Court in The Hague, no matter how heinous or well-documented the crime.
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky and US President Joe Biden met on the sidelines of the G7 Summit at Hiroshima within hours of the statement from the Kremlin at 1 am last Sunday, transmitting President Vladimir Putin’s greetings to the Russian forces for the “completion of the operation to liberate Artemovsk” (known as Bakhmut in Ukraine). The operation lasted 224 days and turned into an epic battle. Ukraine paid a heavy price in blood in trying to hold onto Bakhmut, which came to be called a “Meat Grinder.” US analysts have listed 25 Ukrainian brigades and at least nine battalions and five regiments—an estimated deployment of 120,000 troops at the very least—thrown into the battle by Kiev.
Ukraine attacked the Kremlin with drones early this Wednesday, May 3, in an action that is being considered an assassination attempt against Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to Russian authorities, who described the attack as a planned terrorist action. The president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, arrived by surprise in Helsinki, the capital of Finland, for a summit of Nordic heads of government, together with the leaders of Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Iceland. He was received this Wednesday at the presidential palace in Helsinki by his Finnish counterpart, Sauli Niinistö, in the first visit of the Ukrainian head of state to the Nordic country that recently joined NATO.
On March 17, the Prosecutor General of the International Criminal Court, Karim Khan, introduced an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Commissioner for Children’s Rights, Maria Llova-Belova. The warrant, which accused Putin and Lolva-Belova of conducting the “unlawful deportation” of Ukrainian children to a “network of camps” across the Russian Federation, inspired a wave of incendiary commentary in the West. US Sen. Lindsey Graham, perhaps the most aggressive cheerleader in Congress for war with Russia, proclaimed: “The ICC has an arrest warrant for Putin because he has organized the kidnapping of at least 16,000 Ukrainian children from their families and sent them to Russia.
Many countries in the Global South have denounced the International Criminal Court as a neocolonial institution, biased in favor of the West. Its leadership has been dominated by Europeans, and as of 2016, only Africans had been brought to trial at the court. In a rare point of agreement, the United States has also opposed the International Criminal Court (ICC) since its inception. The US is not a member of the ICC, and Washington has even imposed sanctions on its top officials and threatened to arrest judges and prosecutors. In fact, when the court first opened in the Netherlands in 2002, the United States passed a law known as the “Hague Invasion Act.”
On March 17, a little more than one year after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Karim Khan, chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), announced that the Pre-Trial Chamber (PTC) had issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin for the commission of war crimes in Ukraine. The PTC also issued an arrest warrant for Maria Lvova-Belova, commissioner for children’s rights in the Office of the President of the Russian Federation, for the same war crimes. While the U.S. celebrates the arrest warrant against Putin, it has pressured the ICC to refrain from prosecuting Israelis and Americans. There is a double standard in the ICC’s treatment of the situations in Ukraine and Palestine.
China’s President Xi Jinping traveled to Russia to meet Vladimir Putin on March 20. While in Moscow, Xi said, “Right now there are changes the likes of which we haven’t seen for 100 years, and we are the ones driving these changes together”. Putin replied, “I agree”. The two leaders discussed plans to deepen economic integration. Both took aim at the hegemony of the US dollar, in particular. “It is important that our national currencies are increasingly used in bilateral trade”, Putin said on March 21. “We should continue promoting settlements in national currencies, and expand the reciprocal presence of financial and banking structures in our countries’ markets”.
A new four-part investigation for the Columbia Journalism Review by Jeff Gertz examines the role of the media in pushing the “Russiagate” narrative that dominated headlines during the Trump administration. Doubts about the veracity of claims of Russian interference from the FBI and even the CIA were repeatedly ignored and pushed aside by mainstream media outlets in their push to hold the narrative together. Jeff Gertz joins The Chris Hedges Report for a deep dive into the role of the Hillary Clinton campaign and individual press outlets in the media show we’ve come to know as “Russiagate.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday announced that Moscow is suspending its participation in New START, the last remaining nuclear arms control treaty between the US and Russia. “In this regard, I am forced to announce today that Russia is suspending its participation in the strategic offensive arms treaty,” Putin said in a state of the nation address delivered to Russia’s Federal Assembly. New START was first signed in 2010 by then-President Obama and former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who now serves as the deputy chair of the Russian Security Council, and replaced the START I Treaty that was signed in 1991.
The defining moment in US President Joe Biden’s press conference at the White House last Wednesday, December 21, during President Zelensky’s visit, was his virtual admission that he is constrained in the proxy war in Ukraine, as European allies don’t want a war with Russia. To quote Biden, “Now, you say, ‘Why don’t we just give Ukraine everything there is to give?’ Well, for two reasons. One, there’s an entire Alliance that is critical to stay with Ukraine. And the idea that we would give Ukraine material that is fundamentally different than is already going there would have a prospect of breaking up NATO and breaking up the European Union and the rest of the world… I’ve spent several hundred hours face-to-face with our European allies and the heads of state of those countries, and making the case as to why it was overwhelmingly in their interest that they continue to support Ukraine… They understand it fully, but they’re not looking to go to war with Russia.
Speaking on Oct. 27 at the Valdai International Discussion Club, Russian President Vladimir Putin questioned the sanity of those who would "spoil relations with China at the same time they are supplying billions-worth of weapons to Ukraine in a fight against Russia." In answer to a question on "the growing tensions between China and the United States over Taiwan," Putin labeled visits by top U.S. officials to Taiwan a "provocation." Putin added: Frankly, I do not know why they are doing this. … Are they sane? It seems that this runs completely counter to common sense and logic … This is simply crazy. It may seem that there is a subtle, profound plot behind this. But I think there is nothing there, no subtle thought. It is just nonsense and arrogance, nothing else. … Such irrational actions are rooted in arrogance and a sense of impunity.
Dear citizens of Russia, citizens of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, residents of the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions, deputies of the State Duma, and senators of the Russian Federation! You know, referendums were held in the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, Zaporozhye and Kherson regions. Their results have been summed up, the results are known. People made their choice, a clear choice. Today we are signing agreements on the admission of the Donetsk People’s Republic, the Luhansk People’s Republic, the Zaporizhia Region and the Kherson Region to Russia. I am sure that the Federal Assembly will support the constitutional laws on the adoption and formation in Russia of four new regions, four new subjects of the Russian Federation, because this is the will of millions of people.
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s Aug. 16 speech to foreign dignitaries at the Moscow Conference on International Security, an annual affair that Russia has hosted for the past decade, articulates a new idea of our world, a veritable Weltanschauung, of great consequence. Putin said: “The situation in the world is changing dynamically and the outlines of a multipolar world order are taking shape. An increasing number of countries and peoples are choosing a path of free and sovereign development based on their own distinct identity, traditions and values.” That a multipolar world is emerging has been evident to many people for a long time — since, at least November 1989 when Germans dismantled the Berlin Wall. I’ve long been convinced that in the years following the 1945 victories scores of Asian and African nations in the “independence era” broke colonial bonds and most of humanity aspired to and set out to build the very world order that Putin describes.