In order to understand why Ukraine’s President Voldomyr Zelensky doesn’t want the dirt about Joe Biden to become public, one needs to know that Hunter Biden’s boss and benefactor at Burisma Holdings was, at least partly, Zelensky’s boss and benefactor until Zelensky became Ukraine’s President, and that revealing this would open up a can of worms which could place that former boss and benefactor of both men into prison at lots of places.
First, the falsehoods in the press have to be documented here, since this article will go up against virtually all U.S.-and-allied reporting on these events. And, in order to do such a thing, the bona fides of my main sources need to be presented:
Naked Capitalism is, as the article about it at Wikipedia, says, the blog of Susan Webber, pen-named “Yves Smith,” who “graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Business School. She had 20 years of experience in the financial services industry with Goldman Sachs, McKinsey & Co., and Sumitomo Bank. She has written articles for the New York Times, Bloomberg, and the Roosevelt Institute.” “The site has had over 60 million visitors since 2007, and was cited as among CNBC’s 2012 top 25 ‘Best Alternative Financial Blogs’, calling Smith ‘a harsh critic of Wall Street who believes that fraud was at the center of the financial crisis’.” “The New York Times financial reporter Gretchen Morgenson cited Naked Capitalism as one of the ‘must-read financial blogs’ she reads regularly.”
Her blog is widely respected amongst both scholars and experts in the field of finance, and is among the top go-to sites for trustworthy investigative news reporting in their highly complex field. So as to be able to achieve this high degree of respect, day in and day out, for decades, she carefully selects and relies upon the expertise of a small team of investigators, one of whom is Richard Smith, who has done around 200 articles for her site. One of these was dated 21 May 2014 and headlined “R. Hunter Biden Should Declare Who Really Owns His New Ukrainian Employer, Burisma Holdings”, and it reported that the U.S. Vice President’s son had become “a new member of the board” and that this “Ukrainian energy company has retained the counsel of the vice president’s son and the Secretary of State’s close family friend and top campaign bundler.” Since these men were being paid by the corporation’s owner, Mr. Smith researched extensively to find out who that was, or they were. He reported “what one careful Ukrainian journalist dug up in 2012”:
“Burisma changed owners last year
: instead of Zlochevsky and Lisin, the company was taken over by a Cypriot off-shore enterprise called Brociti Investments Ltd. Pari and Esko-Pivnich” and a “third company was already waiting for them in the same building – the above-mentioned Ukrnaftoburinnya,” and “The Privat Group is the immediate owner. This company was founded by Mykola Zlochevsky some time ago, but he later sold his shares to the Privat Group,” which “is a conglomerate controlled by the ferocious Ukrainian oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky,” who “is one of the oligarchs charged with holding down the Eastern provinces of Ukraine,” and who “is far too ebulliently Jewish to look like a neo-Nazi. A US connection with Kolomoisky might play well in circles keen to counter Russian complaints that the interim Kiev regime is dominated by ‘fascists’.” Those quotations are from Mr. Smith’s article, but the following is not. Examining the documents myself, I note especially that at their end is the conclusion: “Thus, Ihor Kolomoisky managed to seize the largest reserves of natural gas in Ukraine.” This was the conclusion of the “careful Ukrainian journalist,” which was actually not one but a team of three, who were employed at a Ukrainian non-profit, the Anticorruption Action Centre, which specialized in tracking down the actual persons who controlled corporations and which had a particular focus on finding “Offshore fronts for Yanukovych.” Yanukovych was the democratically elected Ukrainian President, who took office on 25 February 2010. So: this non-profit was an anti-Yanukovych organization, writing more than two years into his Presidency, on 28 August 2012.
A certain historical background is essential here; and this, too, goes up against American ‘news’-reporting and will therefore be linked to articles that, in turn, link to ultimate sources that are of unquestioned reliability on each of the particulars that are in question: There was a coup in Ukraine in February 2014, which is portrayed in the West as being a democratic revolution (but was actually a coup hidden behind anticorruption demonstrations, and that was entirely illegal), and it replaced the democratically elected President by a ruler who was selected by Victoria Nuland, whose boss was Secretary of State John Kerry, whose boss was Barack Obama. Nuland had been originally a protégé of Vice President Dick Cheney, and then of Kerry’s immediate predecessor Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Obama assigned Nuland to carry out his plan for Ukraine, which plan was to turn its government away from being friendly toward its next-door neighbor Russia to becoming instead a satellite of the United States against Ukraine’s next-door neighbor. Consequently, fascists, and even outright racist-fascists (nazis), people who came from the groups that had supported Hitler against Stalin during World War II, were installed into this new government, such as the co-founder of the Social Nationalist Party of Ukraine, Andriy Parubiy. (The CIA instructed that Party, which was Ukraine’s main nazi party, to change its name to “Freedom Party” — Svoboda — so as to become acceptable to Americans; and Paribuy and his colleagues did it, in order to help the U.S. Government to fool the American people about what the U.S. was doing in Ukraine.)
On 12 May 2014, Burisma Holdings announced, “Hunter Biden Joins the Team of Burisma Holdings,” and reported that, “Burisma Holdings, Ukraine’s largest private gas producer, has expanded its Board of Directors by bringing on Mr. R Hunter Biden as a new director. R. Hunter Biden will be in charge of the Holdings’ legal unit and will provide support for the Company among international organizations.”
Promptly, Burisma’s website started presenting Burisma as if if were a Ukrainian-American if not outright American corporation. Devon Archer, shown there, was a business-partner of Hunter Biden. As the Washington Examiner reported, on 27 August 2019:
At the time, Hunter Biden, now 49, and Christopher Heinz, the stepson of then-Secretary of State John Kerry, co-owned Rosemont Seneca Partners, a $2.4 billion private equity firm. Heinz’s college roommate, Devon Archer, was managing partner in the firm. In the spring of 2014, Biden and Archer joined the board of Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian gas company that was at the center of a U.K. money laundering probe. Over the next year, Burisma reportedly paid Biden and Archer’s companies over $3 million.
Subsequently, both Hunter Biden and Devon Archer were removed from Burisma’s board and replaced by a four-person board, which mysteriously had included ever since May 2013 (which still was after Zlochevsky no longer controlled the company) Alan Apter, of Sullivan & Cromwell, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, and Renaissance Capital. Apter now became the “Chairman of the Board of Directors”. Here are the other three Directors: Aleksander Kwaśniewski was the President of the Republic of Poland from 1995 to 2005 when it was being taken over by America, and when Kwaśniewski was also a member of the Atlantic Council (NATO’s PR arm), and of the Bilderberg Group. Joseph Cofer Black was the Director of the CIA’s Counterterrorist Center (1999-2002) and Ambassador at Large for counter-terrorism (2002-2004), while President George W. Bush was lying America into invading Iraq, and Black subsequently became the Vice Chairman at Blackwater Worldwide (now Academi), which the Bush Government hired to train and arm mercenaries to help conquer Iraq. (Blackwater/Academi is owned by Erik Prince, the brother of Betsy DeVos of the Amway fortune, who is the Trump Secretary of Education, and Prince also is a personal friend of Trump. Obama’s Government also hired Blackwater/Academi to kill independence fighters in the Dnieper Donets Basin, where Burisma owns the drilling rights for gas.) And the fourth Director is Karina Zlochevska, whom the site identifies hardly at all, but is actually the daughter of Mykola Zlochevsky. In other words: Zlochevsky probably does remain as a minority owner of the company, and she represents his interests there.
Virtually all of the Western press simply alleges that Mykola Zlochevsky owns Burisma Holdings and brought Biden on board and was his boss; however, I have never seen from any of those ‘news’-reports any evidence or documentation that it’s true — nothing like the sources that Richard Smith relied upon and linked to documenting that this was Kolomoysky’s company. Nothing, at all.
This is important — is it Zlochevsky or Kolomoysky? — because Zlochevsky was associated with the prior Government of Ukraine and its President Viktor Yanukovych, whom the U.S. Government had overthrown in an operation that started in 2011 and that ended very successfully in February 2014 with the American Government’s Victoria Nuland on 27 January 2014 telling the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine to get “Yats” Yatsenyuk appointed to run the country as soon as Yanukovych becomes successfully overthrown — which happened less than a month later, during February 20-22 — and Yatsenyuk then received the appointment on February 26th to run the country, just as Obama’s agent Nuland had instructed. Zlochevsky fled the country, because he had been politically allied with Yanukovych, who also fled the country. Obama’s Government constantly tried to get Zlochevsky prosecuted for alleged corruption, but Zlochevsky had sold the company to Kolomoysky even before Obama took over Ukraine. It’s not at all clear that Hunter Biden had ever so much as just met Zlochevsky.
Joseph Biden, as is well reported in the press, instructed the new Ukrainian Government to fire and replace the General Prosecutor of Ukraine, Viktor Shokin, who had failed to prosecute Zlochevsky, and this action by Joe is reported as indicating that the senior Biden granted his son’s employer no favor but instead the opposite — that Joe insisted upon Hunter’s boss’s prosecution.
For example, James Risen, of The Intercept, which is owned by one of the financial backers of the overthrow of Yanukovych, Pierre Omidyar (see this and this and this and this and this and this), headlined on September 25th, “I Wrote About the Bidens and Ukraine Years Ago. Then the Right-Wing Spin Machine Turned the Story Upside Down.”, and Risen reported that:
The then-vice president issued his demands for greater anti-corruption measures by the Ukrainian government despite the possibility that those demands would actually increase – not lessen — the chances that Hunter Biden and Burisma would face legal trouble in Ukraine.
Risen reported there that V.P. Biden’s “anti-corruption message might be undermined by the association of his son Hunter with one of Ukraine’s largest natural gas companies, Burisma Holdings, and with its owner, Mykola Zlochevsky.”
However, none of that press says Kolomoysky owned the company and was its boss. The presumption there is always that Zlochevsky needed to be prosecuted — not that Kolomoysky did. Kolomoysky is simply being written out of the picture altogether — whited-out from it
Also as is typical, the New York Times reported, on 1 May 2019, that Mykola Zlochevsky is the “owner of Burisma Holdings” and that “Mr. Lutsenko initially continued investigating Mr. Zlochevsky and Burisma, but cleared him of all charges within 10 months of taking office. The prosecutor general reversed himself and reopened an investigation into Burisma this year. Some see his decision as an effort to curry favor with the Trump administration.” For some mysterious reason, that article not only says that the replacement Prosecutor tried and failed and now tried again to prosecute Zlochevsky but that “Some see his decision as an effort to curry favor with the Trump administration,” though, actually, it was the Obama Administration that had been pressing Ukraine’s Government to prosecute Zlochevsky, who wasn’t Hunter Biden’s boss and didn’t control Burisma and was associated not with the 2014 Obama-installed Government of Ukraine but instead with the Government that had preceded it and was the last of all Ukraine’s democratic Governments, having been democratically elected by all of Ukraine including the two regions (Crimea and Donbass) that broke away from Ukraine when Obama in February 2014 overthrew the Government that those two now-breakaway regions had voted for, by over 75% in that 2010 election.
Since 2012, the Ukrainian prosecutor general had been investigating oligarch Mykola Zlochevsky, owner of the oil and natural gas company Burisma Holdings, over allegations of money laundering, tax evasion, and corruption. In 2014, then-U.S. Vice President Joe Biden‘s son, Hunter Biden, joined the board of directors of Burisma Holdings. In 2015, Shokin became the prosecutor general, inheriting the investigation. The Obama administration and other governments and non-governmental organizations soon became concerned that Shokin was not adequately pursuing corruption in Ukraine, was protecting the political elite, and was regarded as “an obstacle to anti-corruption efforts”. Among other issues, he was slow-walking the investigation into Zlochevsky and Burisma – to the extent that Obama officials were considering launching their own criminal investigation into the company for possible money laundering.
In March 2016, Joe Biden threatened Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko that if he did not fire Shokin, that the US would hold back its $1 billion in loan guarantees. “I looked at them and said, “I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money.” Well, son of a bitch. He got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time.” Shokin was dismissed by Parliament later that month.
Shokin claimed in May 2019 that he had been investigating Burisma Holdings. However, Vitaliy Kasko, who had been Shokin’s deputy overseeing international cooperation before resigning in February 2016 citing corruption in the office, provided documents to Bloomberg News indicating that under Shokin, the investigation into Burisma had been dormant. Hunter Biden’s ties to Burisma Holdings was criticized as a conflict of interest in a New York Times editorial, though Amos Hochstein has claimed to have never seen coordination between Joe Biden and his son on the matter.
And here is from Wikipedia’s Article on “Burisma Holdings”: History Burisma Group was founded in 2002 by Ukrainian businessman Mykola Zlochevsky and Nikolay Lysin [uk]. Now it is owned by Mykola Zlochevskyi [uk], who was minister of natural resources under Viktor Yanukovych. Zlochevsky returned to Ukraine in February 2018 after the corruption investigations into his Burisma Holdings had been completed in December 2017 with no charges filed against him.
So, the myth that Zlochevsky was Hunter Biden’s boss and benefactor at Burisma isn’t only in the ‘news’-media that are controlled by U.S. Deep State that controls the CIA, which controls America’s major ‘news’-media, but it is also in the Web’s main encyclopedia, Wikipedia, which is not only edited by the CIA, but also, to some extent, written by the CIA.
Furthermore, the CIA was the ‘whistleblower’ that made the impeachment-charge to the Democratic Party head of the United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Adam Schiff, who is the lead proponent of impeaching Donald Trump so that Trump can then become tried in the U.S. Senate, which then would possess the power to replace Trump and make President the current Vice President, Mike Pence, which Democrats, for some unexplained reason, seem to hope will happen. As Reuters reported on September 26th, “The whistleblower is a CIA officer and was assigned at one point to work at the White House, two sources familiar with the probe into his complaint said. The New York Times first identified the whistleblower as a CIA officer, which Reuters confirmed.” That report also asserted:
The call occurred after Trump had ordered a freeze of nearly $400 million in American aid to Ukraine, which was only later released. Before the call, Ukraine’s government was told that interaction between Zelenskiy and Trump depended on whether the Ukrainian leader would “play ball,” the whistleblower said.
The report said Trump acted to advance his personal political interests, risking national security.
“I am deeply concerned that the actions described below constitute ‘a serious or flagrant problem, abuse, or violation of law or executive order,’” the whistleblower complaint, dated Aug. 12, said.
The same CIA whose lies had ‘justified’ America’s invading Iraq in 2003, and invading Libya in 2011, and invading Syria starting in 2012 (and extending there up till at least 2018), is now ‘justifying’ congressional Democrats to replace Trump by Pence if they possibly can.
And Kolomoysky might be one of the world’s biggest thieves. On 19 April 2019, Graham Stack reported for OCCRP, a U.S.-and-allied-funded nonprofit anti-corruption investigatory organization that
“‘Large-scale coordinated fraudulent actions of the bank [PrivatBank] shareholders and management caused a loss to the state of at least $5.5 billion,’ [Valeria] Hontareva [former chair of Ukranie’s central bank] said in March 2018. ‘This is 33 percent of the population’s deposits … [and] 40 percent of our country’s monetary base.’ … By the time regulators took over PrivatBank, the $5.5 billion had already been transferred to banks in Austria, Luxembourg, and Latvia. From there, the trail goes cold. … This account is based on a forensic audit by Kroll, the U.S.-based corporate investigation and risk consulting firm. The report … is based on PrivatBank’s own records and was obtained exclusively by OCCRP. … Ukraine nationalized PrivatBank in December 2016, saddling taxpayers with a $5.9 billion bailout.”
There’s nothing that Zlochevsky was even accused of which exceeded tens of millions of dollars in losses. In Ukraine, that’s tiny.
Furthermore, the estimable and reliably accurate Moscow investigative journalist John Helmer reported on 19 February 2015 that “In March 2014, days after the ouster of Yanukovich in Kiev and the installation of a new regime, the UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO) started investigating Zlochevsky. According to the evidence it presented to the Central Criminal Court between March and December of 2014, and according to Justice Blake, who assessed the evidence, there is no mention of Lisin, Deripon, Burrard or Kolomoisky.” Obama’s people (there via the U.S. regime’s lap-dog UK) were targeting Zlochevsky, certainly not Kolomoysky, who was instead on their team.
Zelensky, prior to becoming Ukraine’s President, had been the star of a popular comedy series on Ukrainian television that was telecast by Ihor Kolomoysky’s 1+1 Media group. On 19 May 2014, Forbes published a shockingly honest article, by Vladimir Golstein, “Why Everything You’ve Read About Ukraine Is Wrong”, which mentioned, about Kolomoysky, that,
His business holdings include the largest Ukrainian media group, “1+1 Media,” the news agency “Unian,” as well as various internet sites, which enable him to whip public opinion into an anti-Putin frenzy. Andrew Higgins of The New York Times published a story with the headline, “Among Ukraine’s Jews, the Bigger Worry is Putin, Not Pogroms,” which praises Kolomoisky for adorning Dnepropetrovsk with “the world’s biggest Jewish community center” along with “a high tech Holocaust museum.” Higgins notes, however, that the museum “skirts the delicate issue of how some Ukrainian nationalists collaborated with Nazis.
Kolomoysky himself had become installed by the Obama Administration’s Ukrainian agents as the Governor of the Dnipropetrovsk region of Ukraine where his approximately $5 billion financial empire was based, and which in its north extends into the Dnieper Donets Basin where Burisma owns the drilling rights for gas. As this last link indicates, that Basin “is the major oil and gas producing region of Ukraine accounting for approximately 90 per cent of Ukrainian production and according to EIA may have 42 tcf of shale gas resources technically recoverable from 197 tcf of risked shale gas in place.” That article, from the investment-oriented website Zero Hedge, sums up:
In a nutshell, Ukraine (or rather its puppetmasters) has decided to let no crisis (staged or otherwise) or rather civil war, go to waste, and while the fighting rages all around, Ukrainian troopers are helping to install shale gas production equipment near the east Ukrainian town of Slavyansk, which was bombed and shelled [by the Obama-installed Government] for the three preceding months, according to local residents cited by Itar Tass. The reason for the scramble? Under peacetime, the process was expected to take many years, during which Europe would be under the energy dictatorship of Putin. But throw in some civil war and few will notice let alone care that a process which was expected to take nearly a decade if not longer while dealing with broad popular objections to fracking, may instead be completed in months!
Ukraine’s bombing of that region (for examples, this and this and this) was in order to clear the land for a massive fracking operation. However, it turned out that not only Kolomoysky’s operation with Shell in the Dnieper Donets Basin in Ukraine’s far east, but also the Ukrainian Government’s own gas-exploration operation with Chevron in western Ukraine’s Olesska field, were uneconomic; or, as I headlined about them on 16 December 2014, “Ukraine’s Two Big Gas Deals Are Now Both Dry”. It seems that if Hunter Biden is to become a billionaire, it won’t come from Ukrainian gas. (Nor, of course will it have come from Zlochevsky, which the news-media would have it to be.)
As was reported on 20 May 2014 by Israel Shamir at the website of Paul Craig Roberts, under the headline “The Ukraine in Turmoil” (and his article there was the first comprehensive and accurate summary of what had recently happened to Ukraine):
These people had brought Ukraine to its present abject state. In 1991, the Ukraine was richer than Russia, today it is three times poorer because of these people’s mismanagement and theft. Now they plan an old trick: to take loans in Ukraine’s name, pocket the cash and leave the country indebted. They sell state assets to Western companies and ask for NATO to come in and protect the investment.
They play a hard game, brass knuckles and all. The Black Guard, a new SS-like armed force of the neo-nazi Right Sector, prowls the land. They arrest or kill dissidents, activists, journalists. Hundreds of American soldiers, belonging to the “private” company Academi (formerly Blackwater) are spread out in Novorossia [Donbass, the far-eastern region that became independent after Obama’s coup], the pro-Russian provinces in the East and South-East. IMF–dictated reforms slashed pensions by half and doubled the housing rents. In the market, US Army rations took the place of local food.
The new Kiev regime had dropped the last pretence of democracy by expelling the Communists from the parliament. This should endear them to the US even more. Expel Communists, apply for NATO, condemn Russia, arrange a gay parade and you may do anything at all, even fry dozens of citizens alive. And so they did.
The harshest repressions were unleashed on industrial Novorossia, as its working class loathes the whole lot of oligarchs and ultra-nationalists. After the blazing inferno of Odessa and a wanton shooting on the streets of Melitopol the two rebellious provinces of Donetsk and Lugansk took up arms and declared their independence from the Kiev regime.
And then, to top it off, there is the brilliant pewreport blogger, who, on 27 July 2014, headlined “USAID to Help Young Biden: The Burisma File”, and that anonymous person succinctly laid out the use of the U.S. Government to enable the families of some of its top officials to join America’s aristocracy, the billionaire class. It’s something that Trump himself is intimately involved with and exploits, but if America’s national and international police-agencies such as the FBI and CIA are trying (first with Russiagate, and now with Ukrainegate) to replace him by Pence in order to enable another friend of Obama to become installed (like Hillary was supposed to have been) as President and Commander-in-Chief, then this struggle between the agents of America’s Democratic Party billionaires versus those of its Republican Party billionaires could end up having consequences that no one is predicting.
Furthermore, the superb investigative journalist for The Hill (which I consider to be America’s least-biased national news-medium), John Solomon, headlined on September 26th, “These once-secret memos cast doubt on Joe Biden’s Ukraine story”, and he reported that, “Hundreds of pages of never-released memos and documents — many from inside the American team helping Burisma to stave off its legal troubles — conflict with Biden’s narrative.” Clearly, Joe Biden as a public official was nothing at all like the objective and purely public-serving, non-partisan, and above-board, person that he claims to have been, and he was instead extremely partisan in his blatantly imperialistic demands upon what he and the rest of the Obama team pretend had not become a U.S. satellite-state on Russia’s border.
It’s also important to point out here that Zelensky’s predecessor, Poroshenko, was not Obama’s first choice to win the 25 May 2014 Ukrainian election that followed the February 2014 coup and installation of Yatsenyuk to run the country on an interim basis. Yatsenyuk was supposed to run it until that election (after which Yatsenyuk still continued long in office, and Obama pushed as hard as possible for President Poroshenko to continue Prime Minister Yatsenyuk’s policies). Obama’s first choice — and the planned winner — in the 25 May 2014 election, was an intense hater of Russia, Yulia Tymoshenko. Yatsenyuk had actually been her agent. Kolomoysky was perhaps her main financial backer. But she lost the election to Obama’s second choice, Poroshenko. Kolomoysky was enough of a supporter of Tymoshenko so that even after he returned to Ukraine on 16 May 2019 just prior to the latest Presidential election, he backed her even above Zelensky. But above all, he opposed Poroshenko, because Poroshenko had been forced by the main lenders to his Government to fire Kolomoysky as governor of Dnipropetrovsk and to nationalize his bankrupt PrivatBank due to Kolomoysky’s having been looting from Ukraine’s Government too much money via his bank and via his minority ownership of the Government’s gas company. Obama had wanted that money to go toward the war against Donbass, not into Kolomoysky’s pockets. (However, America’s Democratic-Party propaganda ‘non-profit’ Public Radio International gave a positive spin to Obama-team-member Kolomoysky even at the time of his firing by Poroshenko on 28 March 2015, saying of him, “He offered $10,000 bounties for captured pro-Russian insurgents. ‘People understand that this person came here to ensure stability,’ said Stanislav Zholudev, a local political analyst.” The euphemism “captured pro-Russian insurgents” was actually referring to their corpses — Kolomoysky was paying only for their corpses. Maybe for Obama-ites that’s “stability.” Kolomoysky was already paying the nazi Azov Battalion more than that per pro-Russian corpse, and now the Trump Administration wants Kolomoysky to be prosecuted for financial crimes instead of Zlochevsky to be prosecuted, and so Zelensky is being pushed one way by Democrats, and the opposite way by Republicans.) Kolomoysky has many enemies. The main holders of Ukraine’s debt are unknown, but besides Russia which had lent to the pre-coup Government (and were thus trying to get their senior money that’s owing from Ukraine to be paid to Russia before the newer creditors get theirs), the major creditors were said to be the IMF, America’s Franklin Templeton Fund, and Blackstone Group, the World Bank, and a group of mainly American billionaires “and private Eurobond holders” who are represented by the law firm of Weil Gotshal & Manges. The U.S. Government and EU countries were also said to be indirectly such holders via their ownership shares in the IMF and World Bank, but also perhaps more directly. (If Trump were a decent President, he’d be publicly pressing for the exact numbers on all of this.) Kolomoysky’s siphonings from Ukraine’s Government were at the expense of all of them. The pressures upon Poroshenko to halt it were mounting. And, so, Kolomoysky was fired; and, now, to the extent that Zelensky has to satisfy Kolomoysky, Zelensky (who publicly said of Kolomoysky “He is my business partner”) needs to resist some of the demands of the U.S. regime and of many other billionaires. Without their continued support, Ukraine’s Government will collapse in the short term instead of only (which is inevitable) in the long term. It’s no longer just a question of the Ukrainian regime’s war against Donbass. The change that Obama wrought is permanent, and Trump dithers back and forth about how to deal with it. He apparently has no strategy on that.
Zelensky might fear that if he complies with Trump’s request, then his own major benefactor, Kolomoysky, could end up in prison somewhere; and Trump might fear that if he presses Zelensky on that (as he did not do but Democrats say he did), then the entire Deep State — not only Democratic Party billionaires, but also now Republican ones — will become Trump’s enemies, and his 2020 re-election chances will therefore go to zero. Consequently: Trump will probably abandon the matter, and the till-now-unsupported and maybe unsupportable mere assumption, that Hunter Biden’s Ukrainian benefactor was Zlochevsky instead of Kolomoysky, will continue to be asserted virtually everywhere throughout the U.S. empire, for as long a time as the matter continues to remain in the ‘news’. Of course, if that turns out to be the case, then Joe Biden will continue to be portrayed in this matter as having been a crusader against corruption in Ukraine, instead of as having been the aspiring founder of yet another billionaire American dynasty.
Basically, the new Russiagate charges to replace Trump by Pence, Ukrainegate (as those charges were presented by the CIA ‘whistleblower’ on August 12th and published on September 26th), represent all of the Democratic Party’s billionaires, and many of the Republican Party’s ones, as well. It’s the pinnacle of the Obama-versus-Trump feud, because it represents the Democratic Party’s position on what was Obama’s top international achievement — his conquest (via a coup) against Ukraine. Trump refuses to condemn Obama’s coup against Ukraine, but if he cared about the truth, he would, and the worst that could happen to him then would be that, for once in his life, he’d be fighting for truth, and not just for himself. Apparently, that’s too big a leap for him to take.
What’s especially pathetic in all of this is that whenever the U.S. Government overthrows and destroys a country, it’s trumpeted as reflecting America’s standing-up for rule-of-law and opposition to corruption, and for support of democracy and protection of human rights; but whenever Russia or a nation that’s friendly toward Russia resists control by the U.S. and its allies, it’s portrayed as being a dictatorship and an opponent of democracy and of human rights. So, go figure.
Author’s note: first posted at The Saker
The Way Out of the Impasse Between Iran & U.S.
On June 18th, Iran will hold its Presidential election. The current Government is led by Iran’s moderates, who are the people that aren’t closed-minded to the possibility of America’s being less than 100% determined to take back Iran as America had grabbed that country in the 1953 U.S. coup there, which ended Iran’s democracy and installed the brutal and much-hated fascist Shah Reza Pahlevi. The non-moderates in Iran will not negotiate with the United States, and never did. Restoration of the Iran deal will be impossible if the non-moderates again win power there. But we have only until before that June 18th election to restore it, if it is to be done at all.
There is a superb explanation of this situation, by Alexander Mercouris, in a 38-minute talk by him at The Duran on 2 May 2021, and it is a preface to everything that I shall here be adding to it, which will be only my policy-conclusions which follow, I believe, quite logically, from the facts that he so clearly and accurately presents there. That video (which I recommend everyone to listen to) can be seen here:
He concludes by saying (and I add my comments [in non-italics and in-between brackets]), starting at 31:50-
We will see, over the next few weeks, whether the U.S. and Iran are able to overcome their common mistrust [which has resulted from Trump’s having cancelled the Iran deal, which had taken years to negotiate] and find a way forward, or whether opponents of the JCPOA [the Iran deal] in the United States, in Saudi Arabia and Israel, and in Iran itself, will instead prevail. I should say that I think that this is going to be a key moment in the Middle East. If the United States is able to re-enter the JCPOA, after having made various steps to walk away from it [Biden’s having promised that he wouldn’t return to it unless Iran would first agree, in advance, to making concessions, beyond those it had made in the JCPOA, which — if Iran, which had adhered to the deal, which the U.S. did not, were to do that — would outrage the Iranian public and thus guarantee the current Iranian Government’s fall and replacement by the non-moderates; so, that demand by Biden was stupid in the extreme], but if it re-enters it on Iranian terms [that is, unconditionally, which is the only way for the deal’s violator to be able to return to the deal], then it would be very difficult for people in the Middle East to see it [because Biden had promised not to do that] as anything other than a major concession and a signal that the United States is, indeed retreating from the Middle East. Iran will, at that point, be in the ascendant, and it will probably increase its influence in places like Iraq, and possibly Syria and Lebanon also. The Saudis and Israelis, by contrast, will be dismayed, and no doubt they will consider what steps they should take, possibly distancing themselves, to some extent, not perhaps from the United States, but from this Administration [meaning that many mega-donors to the Democratic Party while Biden or Harris are leading the Party will quit or greatly reduce their donations to it, and that Republicans will probably then easily retake the U.S. White House in 2024]. The alternative, however, it seems to me, is worse [for the United States and everyone]. If the United States and Iran cannot agree a way forward, and the JCPOA [restoration] fails, then the situation is set up for a showdown, at some point, between the United States and Iran, with Iran, almost certainly in that case, pushing forward [under rule by its non-moderates] with its nuclear enrichment program, and forging, at the same time, ever-closer ties with the new Eurasian powers, Russia and China, which are increasingly working together. At that point, some kind of military hostilities, in the Middle East, become more likely.
The United States, once more, finds itself in a difficult position. It does so because of the way in which it has inserted itself, to such a degree, in the affairs of the Middle East, which, in some ways, it does not fully understand, and which it is certainly unable to control.
Trying to build long-term policy in the Middle East by an outside power, like the United States has done, is like trying to build a castle on a foundation of sand. The edifice might look imposing for a while, but eventually it crumbles.
It seems to me that, whatever happens, over the next few weeks, we are going to see, with these negotiations, the beginning of that long retreat, or, rather, a further step in that long retreat, of the United States, from the Middle East, and [from] that era, which began in the 1970s, when the United States managed to establish itself as the prevailing overwhelmingly dominant power across the Middle East and the country that essentially decided the course of decisions and events there.
So, this will be a step towards the end of an era. If so, however — if the United States manages to withdraw in an orderly way by agreeing to the JCPOA, despite the embarrassment and, to some extent, the humiliation [because Biden has promised not to do this] that it will suffer — that will at least provide a route for a dignified farewell.
If, on the other hand, the negotiations fail, and the JCPOA dies, then the eventual outcome of an American retreat from the Middle East will probably happen still, but the sequence of events will be disorderly, chaotic, and, perhaps, violent.
Biden chose, when he entered office in January, to commit his Administration to Trump’s foreign policies. He accepted the relocation of the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, which was a slap in the face to the Palestinians. He accepted Trump’s acceptance of Obama’s policy that Crimea and Donbas — which had separated themselves from Ukraine after Obama’s coup which had seized Ukraine’s government in February 2014, as a result of a plan by Obama which had started forming in Obama’s Administration in 2011 — must be seized back by Ukraine, and Biden promised that the United States would help Ukraine to do that. And he accepted Trump’s continuation of Obama’s plan to oust Bashar al-Assad from power in Syria and replace him with leaders who would be selected by the Saud family. He also accepted Obama’s and Trump’s change in American policy on Taiwan, toward switching away from the decades-long “one-China” policy of refusing to grant separate-nation status to Taiwan, toward now sending officials to Taiwan in violation of that policy and toward sending warships to the Taiwan Strait (internationally recognized by every nation except America to be Chinese territory) as a threat and preparation for publicly demanding that Taiwan be recognized by the United Nations as being a separate nation and no longer a province of China. All of these policies were build-ups toward some hoped-for surrender by Russia, and by China, and by Iran, to Biden, which would supposedly happen in some way without direct military conflict between the United States and Russia, and/or China, and/or Iran.
Furthermore: Biden continues Trump’s — who continued Obama’s — policy to get the UK Government to transfer Julian Assange from a British super-max prison in solitary confinement to a U.S. Supermax prison in solitary confinement so that the U.S. can permanently remove Assange from access to the public and perhaps execute him on totally bogus charges. Assange has never been convicted of anything and has been imprisoned by the UK Government for over a decade, awaiting a court ruling that he can be extradited to the U.S. for elimination. Here was the first day of his only trial, which ended in no conviction and in what was expected to be his release from that super-max prison, and both on that first day and on the last day of his trial (as can be seen there), British ‘justice’ was clearly outrageous and suitable only for a dictatorship. Furthermore, instead of that regime releasing him, the U.S. regime under Trump and now continuing under Biden appealed UK’s ruling that had declined to extradite him, and both the UK and the U.S. Governments are keeping him in that UK supermax solitary confinement until UK either announces that he is dead or else extradites him to a U.S. prison to await his death in some American prison — regardless of whether or not he ever becomes convicted of anything.
Biden chose this astoundingly stupid and arrogant policy of the U.S.&UK imperium, instead of criticized and renounced his immediate predecessors’ policies on these matters.
It is vastly more difficult for him to reverse those stupid and dangerous policies now, after he had announced them, and to back America down from them peaceably, than it would have been if he had not entered the White House in the way that he did, as a continuation of George W. Bush and of Barack Obama and of Donald Trump’s policies on these matters. He has been continuing down their road to World War III.
His immediate predecessors were building toward World War III, and he chose to build more toward that War, but Mercouris seems to me to be expecting that Biden will discontinue that road now, after Biden’s having committed himself toward building that way even more than his immediate predecessors did.
The road to WW III is long, and Biden, by now, should recognize that we are nearing the end of that road, which would be the inevitable annihilationist destination of the road that the U.S. has been taking.
At this point, either Iran will, yet again, have to yield-up its sovereignty (basically return to being an American colony, as it was between 1953 and 1979), or Russia will have to yield-up its sovereignty (which it never did yield), or China will have to yield-up its sovereignty (which it formerly had done when Britain grabbed it), or else the United States will have to stop demanding them to yield up their sovereignty.
Why has Biden chosen this dead-end? The reason (besides his stupidity) is obvious: The only alternative for him has been and is for the U.S. Government to face courageously and honestly in front of the entire world, that its existing policies on each one of these matters is imperialistic and alien to what had been the plan and the intent of U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, his plan to end all imperialisms and replace them by the first global democratic federation of nations, by means of the sole possessor of strategic weaponry being the United Nations, the organization which FDR himself invented, created and named, but which his immediate successor, Harry S. Truman, catastrophically weakened in order to prepare for the U.S. Government itself to take over control of the entire world and dictate to it as the world’s first all-encompassing global empire. In 1991 when the Soviet Union and its communism and its Warsaw Pact military alliance all ended, it seemed as if Truman’s goal of a global U.S. dictatorship would finally be fulfilled, and that was supposed to be “the end of history.” But it was, instead, only America’s intensified war for global dictatorship, and the end of that war will come now, but definitely not on America’s terms.
Either Biden will, now, proudly take up and continue, the vision of FDR — to end all empires, meaning especially its own, and to transform the U.N. into what FDR had planned it to become, the democratic federation of all nations — or else, there will be global nuclear annihilation.
Clearly, Biden, throughout his life, has been stupid and arrogant, but the question facing him now is whether to continue this, right up to its ugly end, or else to announce, proudly, that he is a decent person and will return America, and the world, to what had been FDR’s vision for it.
If he chooses the latter path, then — and this is the only way to do it — America will again take up the banner of freedom and democracy, to the entire world: including nations that it (for whatever reasons, valid or not) disapproves of. And, then, he will win the Nobel Peace Prize, which Obama had won but did only one thing ever to have deserved, which was the JCPOA (which he hadn’t yet even envisioned when he was accepting that entirely unearned Prize).
Whereas Mercouris seemed to me to be optimistic that Biden would do the sane thing, I am not, because Biden has given no indication that he is willing to renounce his, and his immediate predecessors’, extremely ugly record, of reaching to grab the entire world.
Author’s note: first posted at Strategic Culture
Trump Lost, Biden Won. Is Joe Biden’s presidency a signal towards Obama’s America?
Greek statesmen, Pericles once said, “Just because you don’t take an interest in politics doesn’t mean the politics won’t take interest in you”. The same is the case of United States politics which knowingly or unknowingly has an impact on world politics. That is why the result of the US elections are of great interest to states across the world. Although, for the United States, the goal is to maintain American primacy, to see a world in which the United States can use its predominant power to get its way, regardless of what others want. However, it is a fact that the political landscape of the United States has mostly been dominated by two parties, Republicans and Democrats, who not only differ in their ideas, policies, priorities but also in their approaches towards addressing the key issues facing the country.
Comparing the two, we see the Republicans are more conservative in their approach as compared to the liberal Democrats. Therefore, the recent election in the US (2020), with Biden (Democrat) won and trump (Republican) lost is also a signal towards a changed approach in many issue areas The focus is to see, whether the new President, Joe Biden who remained the 47th vice president during Obama’s administration for eight long years is going to follow the same lines as Barack Obama and whether he going to reverse the policies of Donald Trump?
Looking at first the climate change issues, President Joe Biden’s plans to tackle it seems more ambitious than any of the US presidential candidates so far. Biden during his presidential campaign proposed $2trillion over four years to significantly escalate the use of clean energy in transportation, electricity and building sectors. His public health and environment platform planned the establishment of a climate and environmental justice division. He further intends to make the US electricity production carbon-free by 2035 with achieving net-zero emissions by middle of the century. Apart from all these, the most noticeable is President Joe Biden’s promise to reverse Trump’s plan to exit from the Paris climate agreement that was signed back in 2016 under Obama’s administration.
As Joe Biden in response to the former President, Donald Trump’s unilateral withdrawal from the agreement on 4th-Nov 2020, tweeted “Today, the Trump Administration officially left the Paris Climate Agreement. And in exactly 77 days, a Biden Administration will rejoin it.” He further stated“Reversing the decision would be one of my first acts as president”. This is exactly what happened as Joe Biden’s first act in the Oval Office was his signing an executive order to have the United States rejoin the Paris climate agreement. Thus, while Trump has taken a strident anti-climate approach, President Joe Biden decision shows his intentions to bring back the policies of Obama towards climate change.
Considering the health sector, we again find difference in approaches of Joe Biden and Donald Trump, yet similarity between Biden and Obama. As, President Joe Biden in his presidential campaign speech in Lancaster on June 25, 2020 defended the first American healthcare law also known as the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare that was initiated by Obama’s administration. He stated, “I’m proud of the Affordable Care Act. In addition to helping people with pre-existing conditions, it delivered vital coverage for 20 million Americans who did not have health insurance”. This depicts President Joe Biden’s plans to restore Obama’s health care policies.
America is known as the land for all, a land of cultural diversity, but we have seen with Donald Trump coming to power, the immigration rules became very strict as he imposed restrictions on foreigner’s visits to the US. An example of this is Trump’s first Muslim travel ban announced on January 27, 2017, whereby five Muslim-majority countries, including Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen, were banned from traveling to the United States. Trump stated, the act is needed for national security and to save the country from terrorism. However, this discriminatory act was opposed by ex-President Obama, who in 2016, stated: “America was a country founded on religious freedom. We don’t have religious tests here”.
This is what President Joe Biden also believes in, as he called Trump’s actions on immigration a pitiless assault on American values. On November 8, 2020 during the presidential campaign, he said,“My administration will look like America with Muslim Americans serving at every level,” and “on my first day in office I’ll end Trump’s unconstitutional Muslim ban.”So, President Joe Biden did what he said, as on his first day in office he signed 17 executive orders, memorandums and proclamations, including orders to rejoin the Paris Climate Accord and end the Muslim ban.
Then racism that increased in the US under former President Donald Trump is now challenged by President Joe Biden as he came up with a very different idea just like Barack Obama’s notion of “A more perfect Union”. Example of which is Kamala Harris, who became the first black Asian America woman vice-president in American history. More can be seen by Joe Biden giving credit to African Americans for helping him win the election. So, his presidency is seen as a sign of hope to end racism in the country.
Moving further, we know globalization has cut the long-distance short, it has made countries more interconnected in all aspects, especially economic. To name a champion of globalization, obviously no other than the USA comes into the mind of every single person. Under the administration of Obama, we have seen the US convening the G-20 summit, introduced macro-economic policies, signed Trans pacific partnership, and much more. However, the question is, whether the US is going to retain this all under Joe Biden’s presidency? What would be his approach towards the ongoing US-China trade war?
President Joe Biden from the very start has focused on rebuilding the domestic economy, as the slogan ‘Build Back Better’. Therefore, he clearly stated that the US will not enter any international trade deals unless the domestic concerns of labor and the environment are fully addressed. Moreover, looking at the US-China trade war, which started back in 2018 when the Trump administration imposed tariffs on Chinese goods worth more than $360bn, we don’t find much difference except the tactics. As Joe Biden too in his presidential campaign accused China of violating international trade rules, subsidizing its companies, and stealing U.S. intellectual property. He promised to continue with Trump’s heavy tariffs on Chinese imports, but while Trump did this all unilaterally, Biden would continue it together with the allies.
On issues related to national security, we again find President Joe Biden’s approach a bit different from that of Donald Trump. Considering the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) or p5+1 deal that was signed between Islamic Republic of Iran and 5 permanent members of UNSC along with Germany. It imposed several restrictions on Iran in exchange for sanction reliefs and was achieved by Obama’s administration under his “constructive engagement policy“in 2015 But Trump smashed it by calling it a historical blunder and in 2018 under his “Maximum pressure policy” pulled the USA out of the deal and reinstated sanctions. Iran too after the withdrawal of US from JCPOA and upon Iran Revolutionary Guard Corp (IRGC) commander Qasim Sulemani killing by the US airstrike announced that it no longer adheres to the 2015 Nuclear Deal.
Now, the hope is President Joe Biden, as he stated in his presidential campaign that the “maximum pressure” policy has failed, emphasizing that it led to a significant escalation in tensions, and that Iran is now closer to a nuclear weapon than it was when Trump came to office. Therefore, he pledged to rejoin the nuclear accord if Iran returns to strict compliance. Here again it shows President Joe Biden’s intention to follow Obama’s approach of constructive engagement towards Iran.
When it comes to Afghanistan, Trump decided to end the endless war in Afghanistan by having a peace agreement with the Afghan Taliban, according to which the US will withdraw all its troops from Afghanistan. However, Joe Biden has not taken any clear decision on it yet. But he is under pressure as the Taliban wants the new president to follow the same peace accord achieved by the Trump administration. Yet, the Afghan president, Ashraf Ghani has requested President Joe Biden to rethink the Afghan peace deal. Therefore, it is too early to say what Biden would do.
To sum up, the 78 years old Joe Biden who has smashed the election records by securing more votes than any presidential candidate in the history of United States elections, he has not only raised high expectations, but there are numerous challenges on his way as well. This is because his policies would now be a center of focus for many. In most of the issue areas, we see President Joe Biden reversing the policies of Donald Trump and following the path of Obama’s Administration. Something which he promised during his presidential campaign as he said to take the country on a very different path from what it has been in the past four years under former President Donald Trump’s administration. However, it’s just the start of a new journey for America and the future decisions by President Joe Biden will uncover a lot more
How Uncle Sam views the world by 2040
How the US is seeing the future world is revealed in a recent report, Global Trends 2040: A More Contested World, published by the National Intelligence Council of the US. This report of political, social and economic estimates is prepared through an integrated process for every incoming President of the USA. For Biden, the report was published in March this year. The world, its politics, economics and societies, is going to change under the forces stemmed in changes in demographic modalities, environmental fluctuations, economic preferences and technological transformations. These together are going to impact on societies, states and international systems which would end in sketching five different futures of the world. Uncle Sam seems to be shaking the world, and this time even more intensely.
Starting off how the forces will interact and intersect, it all begins with the changes in demographics. The developed economies are aging bringing a global slow economic growth whereas the contracting working age will weigh on the economies of these developed countries as Japan and South Korea will reach the median age of 53 and Europe the median age of 47 by 2040. On the other side, in developing countries the converse will be happening as Sub Saharan Africa will reach median age of less than 15 years whereas Pakistan, Egypt and Afghanistan will reach the median age of 30 years. This seems opportunity but these economies will be challenged to meet the demands of the growing working age populace in their economies with the slow global economic growth remaining constant dragging the societies into social volatilities while testing the performances of states too.
The forces of environment will leave no country unaffected especially the developing countries that lack in adaptations skills and technologies. The occurrence of heat waves, melting of Arctic, land degradation, water misuses, food insecurity, loss of biodiversity, rising sea levels and pollution will erode the ‘human security’ while affecting states and societies, politics and economics coequally. For curtailing environmental threats, countries may apply geoengineering by interacting with the natural system of earth to counteract threats of climate change like releasing the sun’s energy back into space through Solar Radiations Management or Stratospheric Aerosol Injection spraying to cause global dimming. The developed countries especially US and China will see suspicions on sincerely working on environmental threats as this would require economic sacrifices.
In the sphere of Economics, the national debt management will push countries to avoid funding on the issues of environment as they will already be pressed hard for matching the needs of the growing demands of their elderly and younger populations alike. Covid 19 has already left indelible imprints on the economies of the world especially the developing countries two fifths of which, according to 2019 IMF assessment, were at debt distress. Automation and rapidly growing AI will reduce 9 percent global jobs and transform one third by 2040 while at the same time creating massive new technology and automation stemmed jobs which will test the states adaptability to manoeuvring technology. This will have disproportionate effect across the countries and regions. The element of Superstar firms, the new multinationals, will critically affect world economies and make definitive inroads in the affairs of politics.
The technological forces will surpass all other forces in intensity especially with the significant rise of AI and Biotechnology. The US-China rivalry in this sphere will be rampant. AI will disrupt global current workforce while also creating new dimensions of labor compelling the countries to remodel their working force structures. The application of AI in warfare will be on the rise and will be adding a new element to the geopolitical dynamics. AI is well positioned to fly and reach space which will turn the space diplomacy in new form and bring the two global rivals face to face. AI will siphon out the human element of emotions in making decisions having social effects.
As these forces interact, world will see five possible scenarios in which the first three are the prominent.
In the first scenario, it will the US and allies led democracy which will manipulate the world. Being democratic, there will be more space for innovation and the rise of technology with robust public private partnerships will prosperously affect economic growth of the countries. This will enable the states to be responsive to their people’s needs while the same time making adaptations unlike in the repressive regimes of Russian and China whose policies will let them on steady decline.
In the second scenario, it will be China which will be mastering the world arena but not exactly acting like leading it due to its inherent repressive dynamics. This will happen on account of failure of international organizations with least interest paid to them by the major powers. The factors of high national debt, the costs of caring for aging populations, and hazardous environmental occurrences will havoc states’ budgets and keep them away from spending on education, infrastructure, and scientific research. In these circumstances due to the integrally centralist and controlled Chinese centralism will help China gain global attention through its global infrastructure packages and other initiatives. Many countries will thus tilt to the Chinese sidelines.
In the third effectual scenario, it will be a contested coexistence of US and China which will emerge. This will be based on shared economic and growth preferences and agreements.
Much of what is stated in the report must be happening in the world ahead but much of what is left unstated is more critical. Summed up, there will be more instability, pandemics, economic recessions, state conflicts and disorders in the five different worlds that lay ahead.
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