March 11, 2023

Excerpt from statement by Russian Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Maria Zakharaova on March 9

On March 5, Ukraine marked another anniversary of the death of Nazi collaborator Roman Shukhevich. To mark the occasion, a group of nationalists got together in the village of Belogorshcha outside Lvov where Shukhevich was killed by Soviet security forces. They chanted under the flag of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) and even held a prayer service.

Thus, the Ukrainian heirs to Nazi organisations have once again demonstrated their desire to continue the cause of their “heroes,” who are knee deep in the blood of thousands of Ukrainians, Russians, Jews, Poles and people of other ethnicities. Clearly, they fully agree with the punitive methods professed by Shukhevich who called for the mass extermination of people and cynically declared the following: “We should not be afraid of the people cursing us for being cruel. Even if only half of the 40 million Ukrainians remain alive, there is nothing terrible about that.” It appears that the Zelensky-led regime is guided by this cannibalistic “message” as it continues to sacrifice the lives of tens of thousands of Ukrainians in pursuit of its selfish interests.

We found out that the relatives of some Russian POWs have of late been receiving calls from unidentified callers in Ukraine who demand that they commit acts of sabotage or terrorist attacks in Russia. In case they refuse to comply, the callers threatened to use violence against the POWs.

How should this be qualified? Certainly, it’s a crime. We strongly condemn these egregious criminal methods used by Kiev. We call on the relevant international organisations to not just acknowledge this, but to give a principled assessment of it. We keep hearing about them collecting information about crimes and endlessly attributing all kinds of things to us. We are now sharing facts that international specialised bodies can take advantage of, since they are keeping this record.

We note the creeping development of Ukraine’s territory by Poland in several ways. According to the Ukrainian media, the Polish company Lubawa, which specialises in building hangars, will build a military field training centre in the Volyn region supposedly for 600 servicemen of the Ukrainian forces. The construction site will be handed over to the Polish embassy in Ukraine with all the ensuing legal implications. All of that is being done with the knowledge of the Kiev regime.

Clearly, in reality, we are talking about Warsaw’s plans to deploy its infrastructure in order to increase the number of Polish military, previously announced as the Polish Volunteer Legion, at the above centre. If and when you hear someone say that Zelensky has “everything under control,” and “has nothing against it,” and has “approved” it, be mindful that he has not been representing Ukraine’s interests for a long time now. He is acting to achieve the opposite goals. Everything that is good, beneficial and necessary for that country has been thrown into the furnace of his personal morbid ambitions or instructions coming from the West. It’s the same with this. In fact, this legion is being created to form commandant units to control the government bodies and law enforcement agencies in western Ukraine. No one in Warsaw, much less in Kiev, seems to be worried by the fact that this is fraught with Poland’s direct involvement in the Ukraine conflict. As a reminder, military sites in Ukraine are legitimate targets for our Armed Forces.

But this is not enough for Poland. Videos on the internet show the Kiev regime’s Polish allies moving Ukrainian chernozem (fertile black soil) by trucks. Does this remind you of anything? The only difference is that before, Poland was on the other side of history while chernozem was taken out by fascists and Nazi criminals during World War II and the Great Patriotic War. The Hitlerites were doing the same thing. I don’t know how this happens, but we are seeing the events of those years being repeated, and not only with nationalist logos, literature and ritual gestures but even with looting on a grand scale. It is hard to believe that this is happening. I am convinced that just a year ago this would have been dubbed “Russian propaganda.” They would have claimed that this could never have happened. But this is happening before our eyes now. There is only one goal – to take as much profit from the conflict as possible. Vladimir Zelensky, with his Western patrons, is pursuing the same goal. They are using residents of Ukraine as cannon fodder and are staging Ukraine’s global clearance sale. This is not even a clearance sale because someone must be reimbursed for a sale; this is just marauding and pillaging.

Figures graphically prove that the West is striving to make as much money as possible from the conflict in Ukraine. This week, Prime Minister of Ukraine Denis Shmygal admitted that Ukraine is receiving most its aid from the West in the form of loans. Last year, its national debt increased by $13 billion to $111 billion. This is bestiality. Ukrainian citizens have been told all along that the West was helping them and upholding their statehood. So much was said about gratis aid that is a “manifestation of love and caring” for their future, democracy and freedom in Ukraine. What kind of freedom is this? This is real slavery. This is hopeless servitude.

Even the most advanced country with a prosperous economy and industry and rapid growth rates would not be able to pay off $111 billion. For today’s Ukraine this amount is an excuse to take everything that remains of the Zelensky rule, and it will be done on a large scale. This year, Ukraine must repay loans for $18 billion. What do you think will happen? The answer is clear. The only free cheese is in a mousetrap. Those who prepared it must be given credit. It took them a long time to prepare this mousetrap. It looked beautiful like a wallpaper photo of the sea, sun and mountains, and led by Zelensky, many people in Ukraine rushed towards it. But it turned out to be a concrete wall rather than wallpaper and they crashed their heads into it. Ukrainians will have to pay for the policy of the West and the current Ukrainian authorities.

The Anglo-Saxons continue to demand increasingly active offensive operations from Ukraine to let the Kiev regime claim Western weapons (based on loans) despite tremendous losses. In this context, we noted one of Zelensky’s recent news conferences where he said the United States would have to send its sons and daughters to the zone of hostility. These words caused an uproar in American society. It only leaked out recently. Everything he said before this was thoroughly prepared for the US establishment and society to be presented in the best possible light and not to awaken wild irritation with some monstrous logic. We see what filters the US media has for its own people. Not a single word can reach an American without very strict censorship (self-censorship) in the US media.

What do Zelensky’s words mean? The Kiev regime has gone from begging to outright blackmail. Not just money and weapons but human lives are at stake now. It is interesting that he spoke about a zone of hostilities. This was well done in terms of the Kiev regime’s logic. Zelensky didn’t specify where this zone was and where, in his opinion, the sons and daughters of US citizens will die. I will explain why. This is terrorist logic. Militants, terrorists and extremists launch hostilities where they see fit, where they can get the biggest number of bloody dividends and not in a zone of hostility between armed forces. This is what terrorist logic is all about.

Pro-Ukrainian influence groups in the West are trying their best to maintain interest in the events in Ukraine. In this regard, a recent article in the British newspaper The Guardian is indicative. It reported that US lobbying firms had made millions in fees from local defence industry manufacturers for promoting their interests to the US leadership. The arms business in Washington is also counting on a lavish “piece of the pie” in the Ukrainian conflict.

In addition, Western countries continue to send their mercenaries to Ukraine under the guise of humanitarian missions. Not only are they taking part in the hostilities alongside Ukrainian armed groups, but they have also been caught committing atrocities against civilians. It is noteworthy that in many countries supplying “soldiers of fortune” mercenarism is a criminal offence. But who cares? There is big money and geopolitical gain at stake. Apparently, when it comes to the military development of Ukrainian territory, they can turn a blind eye to violations of their own legal rules. They do it best when they cover their eyes with banknotes.

It is telling that against the backdrop of confident statements by the Ukrainian military and political leadership declaring a victorious end to the war inevitable in 2023, Zelensky’s Western masters think differently. US Under Secretary of Defence for Policy Colin Kahl recently admitted that the conflict in Ukraine could drag on for another two or three years.

All these facts show who is really in charge of the ongoing hostilities in Ukraine and who is the true master. There is no disputing what we say about how the Kiev regime has moved to direct blackmail. The United States and other Western NATO-centric countries have a large number of political forces, people and civilians who do not support their regimes in this adventure. For them, these facts are obvious. You can see what protests are taking place all over Europe, how carefully experts with a different point of view are being weeded out of the information space. Their articles do not appear in newspapers and are blocked on the internet. It shows the growing number of those who see the destructiveness of the West’s global adventure in the context of Ukraine. There is no disputing the fact that certain forces are pressuring Vladimir Zelensky, including to blackmail their own fellow citizens into continuing the tragedy.

Wild statements and aggressive rhetoric continue to be released by representatives of the Kiev regime. The other day, the Head of the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine Alexey Danilov, said on Ukrainian television Channel 24 that Crimea can be returned only through military means. He also admitted that Kiev started preparing for war with Russia back in December 2019. As a reminder, that all the statements, promises and assurances made at the Normandy Four summit in Paris then, pointed to implementing the Minsk agreements and to a political solution to the crisis in Ukraine.

Now it turns out that military preparations had begun even before that summit. Apparently, those in the West responsible for the implementation of the Minsk agreements were well aware of the path they would take. That path involved not only a failure to implement the agreements, but also an armed conflict. The Ukrainian authorities have once again confirmed that they fraudulently deceived the world community and were not really going to fulfil their obligations under the Minsk Package of Measures as endorsed by UN Security Council Resolution 2202.

A photograph has been circulated on the internet showing a “memo” of Ukraine’s “defender,” drawn up by the schismatic church. In particular, it contains calls to fight the Russian world and states that “killing Russians is not a sin.” Such calls by Ukrainian schismatics, who enjoy the patronage of the Kiev regime and its Western curators, once again prove that they are a political project that has nothing to do with religion and profess not Christian values, but Nazi misanthropic attitude. There are many examples of this in history, including collaboration with Hitlerites, Nazis and fascists during the Second World War by representatives of one of the world’s religions. Everyone has seen this. One can look at and read the relevant documents. So, we cannot say this is some kind of true, religious, spiritual life. No. It is part of a political plan and project to turn Ukraine into an “anti-Russia.”

As the leadership of the Russian Federation has repeatedly said, despite the efforts of the “collective West” to harm our country at any cost, no one will retreat from the intended course. We are talking about vitally important issues.

The West’s double standards on Ukraine and Kosovo

We hear many accusations that we are not observing international law. We are being blamed for being on the wrong side of history, unlike the West that is on the right side.

Hypocrisy and duplicity are part of Western diplomacy. We have not forgotten the unilateral declaration of “independence” of Kosovo in 2008, when the US and the EU unanimously claimed that the creation of the Republic of Kosovo, without Belgrade’s consent, did not contradict the standards of international law. Let me recall that nobody asked Serbia about this. Belgrade clearly explained its position – it was against this action and could not support it. There were no referendums in 2008 (either formal or staged). At that time, the West provided a questionable explanation for this action and insisted on it.

Now, 15 years after, the Western countries are refusing to follow their own much publicised standards as regards the situation in Ukraine. They are rejecting as illegal the results of the referendums on accession to Russia, which were held in Crimea and Sevastopol, and in the DPR, the LPR, and the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions. There was not a single referendum on Kosovo in 2008. The Western countries – the US and the EU (including Britain then) – announced that this was how it needed to be and that it was normal. So, what has changed since then? Why was this considered normal without a referendum then but abnormal with a referendum now?

I’d like to recall once again because this is part of speculation in the information space. Self-proclaimed “deputies” in Pristina simply announced February 17, 2008 Independence Day in the territory without prior arrangement and contrary to UN Security Council Resolution 1244, which is a fundamental international legal instrument in the Kosovo settlement. This is all about an expression of will, international law, legality, etc.

Today, the West is using its favourite method once again. The Belgrade-Pristina dialogue under EU aegis has every likelihood of following the destiny of the Normandy format. I urge all experts, political scientists, journalists and the public to think about the role of agreements with the West. After all, there were signatures of global significance under those documents as well. They were signed by people that did not just represent certain political forces but had absolute power in verifying these legal documents. I am referring to Western countries. I would like to mention that the UN Security Council legalised the Minsk agreements. What did the Western countries do with them? They didn’t even sever them. They didn’t even talk about a revision of the Minsk agreements or adjusting them in some way. One day, they simply admitted that they never intended to fulfil them. Isn’t this a good lesson of the NATO-centric countries for other states, especially for Serbia?

The 2013 and 2015 agreements that offered a path to a compromise solution were also buttressed by European guarantees. Do you remember what happened in 2013, 2014 and 2015? Everything followed the same scenario and was done on the record with representatives from the foreign ministries of the EU countries. The presidents of several NATO states approved and applauded all this. Everything was on camera and can be watched now. But it was all tossed aside in just one day. However, the problem is that they never intended to fulfil the Minsk agreements when they were signing them.

Thus, the signature of the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy has been present under a commitment to create a Community of Serb Municipalities of Kosovo for ten years now. This structure was designed to ensure the survival of the Serbs in Kosovo. But the Kosovo authorities are subverting it in every possible way with the connivance of Brussels and Washington even though the signature is there and the documents are valid. Years later, the US and the EU decided to impose a retailored plan of settlement on Belgrade where similar mechanisms for protecting the interests of Kosovo’s Serb population are not mentioned at all.  

Earlier, we asked our foreign “non-partners” (as it turns out) at which point they were sincere. Were they sincere when they signed this document, or later, when they renounced their signatures? Now it is pointless to ask this question because the answer is common knowledge – they were never sincere in either case. This suggests only one conclusion: there is no trust and there will be no trust as long as they stick to this approach.

Of course, this kind of “evolution” does not promote trust because it emasculates the very idea that is vital to the Serbs and to Belgrade. As for trust in the Western “peacekeepers,” I made that clear at the beginning of my comment.

New EU sanctions for violating women’s rights

This is the first time the European Union has agreed on sanctions for violating women’s rights. Citizens of Russia – a non-EU member state – are on the list of sanctioned persons.

This adds to the questions about the new sanctions. We have had a lot of questions sent in by various media outlets. Summing up all the questions, I can say that this is happening for the first time. This is not the first time we have seen this approach from the West, in particular from the European Union. However, this time, they have managed to invent a new pretext.

By imposing new unilateral restrictions that undermine the international legal prerogatives of the UN Security Council, the European Union has once again demonstrated double standards, ignored the presumption of innocence principle and presented no evidence, while hypocritically hushing up the obvious offences committed by Ukrainian militants in Donbass and in the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions of the Russian Federation.

They make many of their decisions relying solely on the information provided by the Kiev regime. Everyone is perfectly aware of their ability to falsify and distort facts. Therefore, these illegitimate verdicts aren’t worth the paper they’re written on, and neither is the entire human rights policy of the EU.

It is noteworthy that EU officials decided to mark International Women’s Day by imposing sanctions against men, instead of providing any tangible support to women. By the way, in Russia, women are protected much better than in EU member states. I can cite an example, and few people in the EU probably even know about this. Women in Russia can take advantage of a three-year paid maternity leave.

It would be better if the European Union spent more time studying our positive experience in protecting women’s rights, rather than doing what they are doing – dismantling international law, mocking legal norms and writing their far-fetched reports, stop lists or restrictions. They have much to work on to even get close to such standards. Such decisions are absolutely anti-legal in their nature.

Tatyana Andriets’ arrest in Latvia

We have already spoken about the situation around Latvian citizen Tatyana Andriets. I would like to return to this topic again.

A St Petersburg University student known for her public activity to support Russian-language education in Latvia and protect the Soviet memorial heritage, she was arrested in Riga on February 6, 2023, on politically motivated charges of “violating the sanctions regime” and “providing assistance to a foreign state”). On February 28, a court in Riga rejected the appeal for her release from custody. The European Union does not consider this a violation of women’s rights by Latvia, does it? But Latvia is an EU member state. That’s what Brussels should have taken care of long ago. Riga certainly needs to fix some things.

We continue to provide assistance to Tatyana Andriets. She is not a Russian citizen, but we are doing everything we can for her as our compatriot. There is little hope that relevant international organisations will step in, but let’s not lose all hope anyway. Double standards have become a common practice in multilateral diplomacy. Nevertheless, I believe that they cannot remain so deaf and blind to such high-profile cases. We call for giving a principled assessment of police oppression in Latvia. This is especially relevant in the context of how women are “taken care of” in the European Union.

The National Consensus promoted by the Ariel Henry provisional government in Haiti 

I would like to draw your attention to domestic political developments in Haiti. We regard the signing, on December 21, 2022, of an agreement entitled “National consensus for an inclusive transition and transparent elections” and the establishment of a High Council for the Transition as a limited step in the right direction, which, given the due approach on the part of Port-au-Prince and the international community, can facilitate a return to normality in the country.

What is worrying us is that a considerable part of the local political forces has refused to sign the said agreements. At the same time, the government, instead of seeking points of contact with the opposition, is actually easing the recalcitrants out of the political process under the cover of unilateral sanctions introduced by Western countries.

Keeping in mind the absolutely unseemly history of outside interference in that country’s internal affairs, which took the form of both direct interventions and political engineering, one has the impression that the current spiral of unilateral restrictive measures imposed by a number of countries in circumvention of Committee 2653 on Haiti sanctions and a possible military operation in the country planned by the United States and its allies are aimed not so much at stabilising – as declared – the security situation in Haiti as at mopping up the political landscape in the interests of certain leaders who have received a “wholesale indulgence” and a “right to power” from their western patrons.   

Russia does not give preference to either party. Neither is it introducing a conflict potential in relations between the current authorities and the opposition. In our view, it is patently clear that there is no way to achieve peace and stability, streamline the socioeconomic situation and bring the country back to the institutional path of development unless a truly broad-based consensus is reached on how to emerge from the crisis.

Renouncing a constructive and inclusive dialogue in favour of confrontation scenarios promoted under plausible pretexts is yet another criminal manifestation of double standards fraught with a new surge of violence and suffering for the local people.

US cybersecurity strategy

We have taken note of the US National Cybersecurity Strategy released by the White House last week.  It is an odious document that includes a package of hackneyed and unsubstantiated accusations against Russia. Russia is not the only country it is spearheaded against. Several other countries have been accused of allegedly using ICT for interfering in the internal affairs of “democratic” states. Of course, these “democratic” states do not interfere anywhere, as if there are no examples of the United States and NATO countries interfering in the affairs of other states around the world, as if it is only Russia and a few other “authoritarian” states, as they are referred to in the documents of the US foreign policy service, that are doing this.

We have issued many comments on such allegations regarding cybersecurity and other areas. Hard facts are necessary to hold any country accountable for malicious activities in the information space. This is what I mean. Did anyone in the United States bother to provide any proof or facts over the past years? They sent Colin Powell with a tiny vial of white substance to the UN Security Council and put on an act of having some “proof.”  And nobody deemed it necessary to apologise to the international community, let alone Iraq, for their hoax.

It appears that this encouraged them to forget about presenting any proof as unnecessary and ineffective, possibly to avoid landing themselves in a mess again. In other words, they have no proof, and this also concerns the new US strategy.

Accusations of violating the cyberlaw must be backed with hard facts. Meanwhile, we have offered the United States on numerous occasions to make use of the bilateral channels, which had been created for this purpose, to clear up concerns and exchange information about potential threats. That is, we offered them to save time by using the bilateral channels we created rather than the relevant committees at international platforms, which would take more time. But they preferred to make public accusations instead, without providing any proof to anyone.

A notable part of the recent developments is that the US National Cybersecurity Strategy has attempted to steal the credit for formulating the UN norms of responsible state behaviour in cyberspace. Moreover, they have declared the intention to punish the countries that, according to Washington, violate these norms. In other words, the White House has laid claim, as it infers in its cybersecurity strategy, to the roles of the “judge” and “policeman” in cyberspace.

In this context, I would like to remind our “non-partners” that it was not the US but Russia who initiated the discussion of the norms of responsible state behaviour in cyberspace at the UN. It was at our initiative that fundamental discussion formats, including the Open-ended Working Group on security of and in the use of information and communications technologies, have been launched at the UN and relevant resolutions have been adopted at the UN General Assembly. I would like to emphasise that assigning police functions in cyberspace to any one state, let alone the United States, has never been on the agenda. In short, we would like to recommend the United States to scale down its ambitions, in particular in this area, and to check what they write for domestic consumption against facts. Because there are facts.

We have taken note of the traditional deliberations by the authors of the strategy about human rights in the context of the Biden administration’s efforts to renew Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). This notorious document gives US intelligence agencies almost unlimited wiretapping powers around the world, including in the United States itself, that is against its own citizens.

It is revealing that White House officials have openly said that they not so much need the law to fight terrorism as to counter their geopolitical rivals. They claim that gathering intelligence about Russia, North Korea, Iran and China can help, among other things, to prevent cyberattacks on infrastructure in the United States and allied countries.

I would like to repeat that Russia and the United States have an operational bilateral channel for exchanging communication on questionable cyberspace issues. However, the United States is not using it, but it claims that it needs FISA to prevent problems in cyberspace. This is illogical, foolish and imprudent.

In essence, the US authorities continue unashamedly the misguided practice of total surveillance and interception of personal data of people using cyber forms of communication. Edward Snowden revealed the truth about it. In fact, this is a gross violation of fundamental human rights, which highlights the hypocrisy of Washington’s moralising on human rights and internet freedom.

Offensive remarks by US Ambassador to Norway

We have taken note of the annual Kirkenes Conference, held on March 1-2, an event that had provided a useful and interesting platform for years, including in the context of Russian-Norwegian cooperation in neighbouring regions. But in 2023, its original meaning was hollowed out and replaced by the aggressive Western anti-Russia agenda. The Kirkenes Conference used to focus on socioeconomic and industrial development of the Far North; this time, these matters were last on their list. This discussion was replaced by the “Russian threat” rhetoric. The organisers refused to send official invitations to Russia. At the same time, the overseas “non-partner” has become increasingly active on this platform.

One of such representatives is the US Ambassador to Norway, Marc Nathanson. He made absolutely abominable and insulting remarks about Russia and the leadership of our country on the sidelines of the Kirkenes Conference, comparing Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine with (I understand that it is impossible to believe, but he did it) “Hitler’s invasion of Norway in 1940.” Can you imagine that? It was done by a representative of Washington. This was an example of more than just political arrogance, extreme ignorance and blasphemy. Unfortunately, all of these things are becoming the new normal in Western diplomacy, with the United States setting the tone.

But I would like to highlight the abominable thing he said. His words, spoken on Northern Norwegian soil, were an insult to the memory of Soviet soldiers. In fact, they were also and insult to Norway as a country, to that country’s citizens, its public and naturally, historians.

But more on that later. I would like to remind you that on October 18, 1944, parts of the Karelian Front and the Northern Fleet crossed the Norwegian border during the Petsamo-Kirkenes operation, and on October 25, they liberated Kirkenes. On November 1, they drove the enemy out of Vardø, completing the liberation of the eastern part of the northern Norwegian province of Finnmark. The losses among the Soviet troops amounted to 6,048 people. During WWII, there were 212 Soviet POW camps (212 camps, not 212 people) in Norway. Most of them were in the north of the country. They held (just think about this figure) 100,000 people. During the war, 12,678 Soviet prisoners of war died and were buried in Norway.

When he insults our country, US ambassador Nathanson also insults every Norwegian who honours the feat of Soviet soldiers, and every Norwegian who contributed to the Great Victory along with the Red Army soldiers, who were part of the Norwegian resistance movement and risked their lives to help Soviet prisoners of war, or who were prisoners of German concentration camps themselves. Norwegian Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt’s grandfather was among them. He was a prisoner in a camp with Soviet soldiers, where he learned to speak Russian and remembered quotes from Russian poetry until the end of his days. She talked about it herself. It is important that Anniken Huitfeldt has distanced herself from the odious statements made by the American ambassador, saying that such parallels should not be drawn.

In general, the conference clearly demonstrated Oslo’s policy to abandon multifaceted ties and mutually beneficial cooperation with our country, including in the Far North. Due to Norway’s political leadership, this stage will go down in the history of bilateral relations as a period of regression and direct damage to the neighbourly traditions and mutual understanding.

Desecration of Russian and Soviet monuments in Bulgaria

New acts of vandalism have been committed in Bulgaria against the monuments commemorating our common history.

In the early hours of February 23, the monument to the Soviet Army in Sofia was seriously damaged. Confident that this outrageous savagery was certain to go unpunished, as it had happened many times in the past, the perpetrator ostentatiously surrendered to the police.

In the early hours of March 4, after the 145th anniversary of Bulgaria’s liberation from the Ottoman Oppression following the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878, a monument in Varna to Count Nikolay Ignatyev, Ambassador of the Russian Empire to Constantinople in 1864-1877, a statesman honoured for his tremendous contribution to protecting the Bulgarian people and restoring Bulgaria’s statehood, was desecrated.          

It is regrettable that this barbaric behaviour is becoming (or has already become) systemic in some European countries, a part of war against Russian monuments seeking to inflate Russophobia and falsify history while the perpetrators remain unpunished.

In the same context, I must also mention that during the anniversary events, there were attempts to bury Russia’s decisive role in liberating Bulgaria from foreign oppression. We consider this to be neglect of the country’s own past and its citizens, descendants of the heroic fighters who fought shoulder to shoulder with the Russian troops at Shipka and Pleven.

We believe that this path will never be accepted by Bulgarian patriots who genuinely value and cherish their history and the traditions of friendship between our nations. Our belief was confirmed by the abundance of flowers at the memorials to the heroes of the 1877-1878 Russo-Turkish War all over Bulgaria and the multiple messages of gratitude that the Russian Embassy received from the people of Bulgaria.

The anniversary of the bombing of Tokyo

At a recent briefing, we talked about the long-standing strategy used by the Anglo-Saxons which is to suppress the enemy with carpet bombing and cited the anniversary of the annihilation of Dresden and the air raid on Prague in 1945. Today, we will talk about the most devastating air raid in the history of World War II.

In the early hours of March 10, 1945, 78 years ago, 325 American B-29 heavy bombers took off from air bases in the Marianas and headed for Tokyo.

As the Historical Materials section on our website says, the US Air Force dropped 1,665 tonnes of bombs and napalm on the Japanese capital, killing 83,000 people and wounding another 41,000. According to other sources, the death toll exceeded 100,000 people. As a result, 16.5 square miles of the city, or more than 40 percent of the housing stock, were burned down, and 180,000 families were left homeless. From a military point of view, the rationale for bombing Tokyo is debatable. It was an act of intimidation and retribution. Napalm destroyed the predominantly wooden city and led to a fire tornado.

The Soviet correspondent Nikolai Bogdanov was in Japan to cover the surrender of Japan on August 31, 1945. He had the following to say: “What does Tokyo look like after the war? It turned out that we had been driving through the city for several kilometres without seeing the city. Our car was running on asphalt and we could see rusty tram rails. There were no other signs that would tell us it was a city street. All we could see on both sides of the road was a brown wasteland strewn with ashes. Then there was a wide asphalted square amid a barren area with a police officer directing traffic. The square and the traffic were there, but there were no traces of buildings. It was as if we were driving across the bottom of an invisible city that had been washed away by an otherworldly flood.”

… No more than 15 percent of buildings survived in Tokyo, mostly European-style buildings such as ministries, embassies and banks… The Americans dropped incendiary bombs using a special technique to create fire rings. Wherever the Japanese ran, they ran into a wall of fire. To get away from the fire, the people jumped into the water. There are many canals and even community swimming pools in Tokyo. But the heat was so strong that the water was boiling in the small water bodies, and people died from stuffy heat in larger ones. The Japanese were thus reminded of their barbaric bombardment of defenceless Chinese cities.”

The atrocities committed by the Japanese military in China and other Asian countries, as well as the military-biological crimes directed against our country, among others, are known well. There is no doubt that the Japanese regime shed rivers, if not seas, of blood. But I have a different point to make. These crimes must be punished on the basis of law. Back then, there were no more terrible people than the ones on the dock in the city of Nuremberg. Those people were the embodiment of absolute evil on planet Earth, but they were on trial according to the law. Those monsters were treated as required by law. What I said above, quoting the Soviet journalist who saw Tokyo after the American bombing, affected mostly the civilians. Which aspect of this bombing was in line with international law? The people and forces implicated in crimes must be held accountable. Later, this happened at the Tokyo and Khabarovsk trials, and the true culprits from among the Japanese leadership were there. But before that, the civilians were made a target of the retribution attacks. Isn’t that blasphemous?

The Soviet journalist was surprised to note that “the Mitsui aircraft factories and the Mitsubishi cannon factories sitting on the outskirts of the city remained unaffected by the bombing.”

Of the 206 Japanese cities, 98 were air bombed and shelled by naval artillery. As a result of the raids, 2,210,000 buildings, about a quarter of Japan’s housing stock, were turned into rubble or burned. Civilian losses from aerial bombardments and artillery shelling vary among sources and stand at anywhere from 500,000 to 900,000 people.

However, as we know from history, the cold-blooded devastation caused by the carpet bombing and the US nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki did not make the Japanese government surrender. The decision to stop resistance was made only after the Red Army joined the war.

The bombings of Tokyo, Dresden, and other peaceful cities are part and parcel of the American historical traditions of warfare. The mass killings of civilians in the enemy country are considered acceptable if they pay off in military terms and intimidate the enemy. Then, they came up with a name for it: collateral damage. They have such a special term. In the same way, the Germans did not consider their atrocities to be war crimes, in fact the genocide of the Soviet people.

Unfortunately, Japan, the official Tokyo, has not yet fully realised or admitted its responsibility for unleashing World War II, which, as you know, began not on September 1, 1939, but on July 7, 1937, the date of the Japanese aggression in Manchuria. Just like in the case of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the current leadership of Japan is cautious not to hurt its ally’s feelings by mentioning the Tokyo bombing in March 1945. The official statement by the Cabinet of Ministers dated May 7, 2013, shyly stated that “although it did not comply with the principle of humanism, it did not contradict the norms of international law of that time, either.” What is there to say? The country is occupied by the United States. The US troops and the US bases are deployed there. I don’t think I should even mention the hidden American hand in ongoing manipulations within Japan’s political establishment. It is being micromanaged. Is there any need for more comments? I think that would be superfluous.

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