Russia just proved that its hypersonic missiles can pierce NATO’s defenses with ease, thus representing a military game-changer and possibly even soon a diplomatic one too if the West realizes that it’s better to agree to a ceasefire after the end of Kiev’s upcoming counteroffensive than escalate their proxy war on Russia to a conventional one in pursuit of that targeted Great Power’s “Balkanization”.
The fake news that circulated earlier this month alleging that Kiev’s Patriots shot down one of Russia’s Kinzhal hypersonic missiles has become even more ridiculous in the days after since they’re now claiming that another six were supposedly downed during a recent strike. The Mainstream Media’s (MSM) laundering of these lies isn’t just due to them taking everything their Ukrainian proxies say at face value, but even includes their own military experts actively contributing to this disinformation campaign.
The US’ Patriots lack the technical capabilities to track and intercept hypersonic projectiles, but that isn’t anything for them to be embarrassed about since there doesn’t presently exist any air defense system in the world that could do this. The West’s problem is therefore one of perceptions, however, since the MSM hyped up their deployment to Ukraine to the point where the public expected that former Soviet Republic to become invulnerable to any Russian strikes.
The Kremlin was aware of the West’s soft power interests in transferring this equipment there, hence why it cleverly decided to include several hypersonic missiles in its latest spree of strikes against military targets, knowing that there was no way that they’d be intercepted and thus discrediting their opponents. Not only that, but they even managed to destroy five launchers and a multifunctional radar on 16 May according to the Russian Ministry of Defense’s report that was shared the day after.
Footage of that night’s strikes subsequently appeared on social media, after which those who shared such were detained by the Ukrainian secret police on the pretext that this could have helped Russia’s military-intelligence services. In reality, Kiev was left flustered after that same footage showed how many millions of dollars’ worth of air defense missiles were wasted in trying to shoot down the Kinzhals. The US also confirmed that the Patriots were indeed damaged but denied that any of them were destroyed.
Nevertheless, the public was able to see for themselves just how desperate Kiev was to intercept those hypersonic projectiles, and many interpreted America’s confirmation that the Patriots were damaged as a limited hangout to deflect from their suspicions that they were actually destroyed. 16 May will therefore be seen in hindsight as a pivotal turning point in popular perceptions since Russia’s claim that its Kinzhals smashed the Patriots is believed by a growing number of people after watching that footage.
On Tuesday Russia’s military announced it destroyedUS-supplied Patriot anti-air battery in Ukraine during a hypersonic missile strike on Kiev. Widely circulating video appeared to confirm the destruction of a Patriot battery, but still there was much speculation over the event, given it was a significant first on the Ukrainian battlefield.
US defense officials are now confirming that US Patriots were hit by Russia, however, they downplayed the degree of devastation of the strike. CNN reports:
The damage to a Patriot air defense system following a Russian missile attack near Kyiv on Tuesday morning is minimal, three US officials tell CNN, with one official describing it as “minor” damage.
The US sent inspectors to examine the system on Tuesday after being told by Ukrainian forces that the system appeared to have been damaged, one official said.
CNN writes further based on the statement from US officials: “It is not clear what part of the Patriot was damaged or if it was damaged by an actual missile strike or falling debris. The Ukrainians said they successfully intercepted all six Russian Kinzhal missiles on Tuesday morning.”
Despite claiming the Patriot wasn’t utterly “destroyed” in the attack, CNN’s reporting seems to confirm the narrative from the Russian Defense Ministry, which said in a Tuesday Telegram post: “a high-precision strike by the Kinzhal hypersonic missile system in the city of Kyiv hit a US-made Patriot anti-aircraft missile system.” Ukraine had publicly denied Moscow’s assertion.
The Pentagon on Wednesday said that Russia is currently attempting to overwhelm Ukraine’s anti-air system with large-scale barrages in various places, including with missiles and drones. Previously The National Interest described how the Patriots are vulnerable:
Patriot systems are limited to pinpoint defense of major assets and are designed to operate in tandem with air defenses engaging targets at higher and lower altitudes. Without these additions, Patriot will have too many threats to engage and the result will either be porous coverage that doesn’t protect its defended assets, or coverage that quickly subsides when Patriot runs out of interceptors.
Moreover, Patriot systems are themselves vulnerable. Operating a Patriot radar system gives away its location, making it an open target for Russian attacks. This means that Patriot is not a one-stop-shop for defending Ukraine’s military assets or its people.
Confirmation of the strike on one or more Patriot systems is not something the Ukrainians or Americans want to own up to, given it would show them to be deficient.
The White House when asked refused to confirm, but Kirby’s words suggested the accuracy of the CNN report:
“First of all, I can’t confirm these reports,” said Kirby.
“It would depend on the scope of the damage if it could be repaired by Ukrainians on site. Obviously, if there was damage done to a Patriot system that needed to be repaired outside Ukraine, we would certainly assist with that.”
Earlier, CNN reported that a U.S.-made Patriot missile defense system was likely damaged, but not destroyed, during a Russian missile attack on Kyiv on May 16. Two Patriot systems are currently located in Ukraine, one provided by the United States and the other by Germany and the Netherlands.
Commenting on the video of the purported Russian direct hit on the Patriot battery, Kim Dotcom wrote on Twitter, “30 US Patriot PAC-3 MSE launch at a cost of $5 million per missile. That’s $150 million gone within 2 mins. At the end the Patriot launch platforms were destroyed by Russian missiles. Why would any military still want to buy Patriot after this failure?”
The West and Russia will eventually sit down to discuss their differences, but this dialogue should be held not with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky but with those using him as a stooge, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday.
Speaking to reporters after a meeting of the foreign ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Goa, India, Lavrov reiterated that Moscow had “never refused to settle issues arising from the actions of the US and their satellites to pump Ukraine with weapons” so that it could fight Russia.
The minister noted that many countries around the world are growing increasingly aware that these tensions cannot be defused solely by freezing the Ukraine conflict. “Everyone understands that the ongoing events are geopolitical in nature,” he said.
“Without solving the main geopolitical problem – that of the West aspiring to hold onto its hegemony and impose its own will on all the others, – it is impossible to resolve crises in Ukraine and elsewhere in the world,” Lavrov added.
The Russian diplomat pointed to China’s 12-point plan for a political settlement in Ukraine, which was released in late February. Lavrov said that while the plan does seek to settle the conflict itself, it also focuses on much more global and comprehensive issues.
“All this has to be discussed, of course, not with Zelensky, who is a puppet in the hands of the West, but directly with his masters,” Lavrov said, noting that such talks would take place “sooner or later.”
In early April, amid speculation about an imminent Ukrainian spring counteroffensive, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken ruled out any peace negotiations between Kiev and Moscow, suggesting that such talks would only help Russia to “ratify” its territorial gains.
Moscow has repeatedly said it is open to talks with Kiev if the latter recognizes “the reality on the ground,” including the new status of four former Ukrainian regions that overwhelmingly voted to join Russia last autumn. However, around the same time as the referendums, Zelensky signed a decree prohibiting negotiations with the current Russian leadership.
Imagine President Xi Jinping mustering undiluted Taoist patience to suffer through a phone call with that warmongering actor in a sweaty T-shirt in Kiev while attempting to teach him a few facts of life – complete with the promise of sending a high-level Chinese delegation to Ukraine to discuss “peace”.
There’s way more than meets the discerning eye obscured by this spun-to-death diplomatic “victory” – at least from the point of view of NATOstan.
The question is inevitable: what’s the point of this phone call? Very simple: just business.
The Beijing leadership is fully aware the NATO proxy war against Russia in Ukraine is the un-dissociable double of an American direct war against the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
Until recently, and since 2019, Beijing was the top trade partner for Kiev (14.4% of imports, 15.3% of exports). China essentially exported machinery, equipment, cars and chemical products, importing food products, metals and also some machinery.
Very few in the West know that Ukraine joined BRI way back in 2014, and a BRI trade and investment center was operating in Kiev since 2018. BRI projects include a 2017 drive to build the fourth line of the Kiev metro system as well as 4G installed by Huawei. Everything is stalled since 2022.
Noble Agri, a subsidiary of COFCO (China National Cereals, Oils and Foodstuffs Corporation), invested in a sunflower seed processing complex in Mariupol and the recently built Mykolaiv grain port terminal. The next step will necessarily feature cooperation between Donbass authorities and the Chinese when it comes to rebuilding their assets that may have been damaged during the war.
Beijing also tried to become heavily involved in the Ukraine defense sector and even buy Motor Sich; that was blocked by Kiev.
Watch that neon
So what we have in Ukraine, from the Chinese point of view, is a trade/investment cocktail of BRI, railways, military supplies, 4G and construction jobs. And then, the key vector: neon.
Roughly half of neon used in the production of semiconductors was supplied, until recently, by two Ukrainian companies; Ingas in Mariupol, and Cryoin, in Odessa. There’s no business going on since the start of the Special Military Operation (SMO). That directly affects the Chinese production of semiconductors. Bets can be made that the Hegemon is not exactly losing sleep over this predicament.
Ukraine does represent value for China as a BRI crossroads. The war is interrupting not only business but, in the bigger picture, one of the trade and connectivity corridors linking Western China to Eastern Europe. BRI conditions all key decisions in Beijing – as it is the overarching concept of Chinese foreign policy way into mid-century.
And that explains Xi’s phone call, debunking any NATOstan nonsense on China finally paying attention to the warmongering actor.
As relevant as BRI is the overarching bilateral relationship dictating Beijing’s geopolitics: the Russia-China comprehensive strategic partnership.
So let’s transition to the meeting of Defense Ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) earlier this week in Delhi.
The key meeting in India was between Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and his Chinese colleague Li Shangfu. Li was recently in Moscow, and was received by Putin in person for a special conversation. This time he invited Shoigu to visit Beijing, and that was promptly accepted.
Needless to add that every single player in the SCO and beyond, including nations that are for the moment just observers or dialogue partners as well as others itching to become full members, such as Saudi Arabia, paid very close attention to the Shoigu-Shangfu camaraderie.
When it comes to the profoundly strategic Central Asian “stans”, that represents the six feet under treatment for the Hegemon wishful thinking of using them in a Divide and Rule scheme pitting Russia against China.
Shoigu-Shangfu also sent a subtle message to SCO members India and Pakistan – stop bickering and in the case of Delhi, hedging your bets – and to full member (in 2023) Iran and near future member Saudi Arabia: here’s where’s it at, this the table that matters.
All of the above also points to the increasing interconnection between BRI and SCO, both under Russia-China leadership.
BRICS is essentially an economic club – complete with its own bank, the NDB – and focused on trade. It’s mostly about soft power. The SCO is focused on security. It’s about hard power. Together, these are the two key organizations that will be paving the multilateral way.
As for what will be left of Ukraine, it is already being bought by Western mega-players such as BlackRock, Cargill and Monsanto. Yet Beijing certainly does not count on being left high and dry. Stranger things have happened than a future rump Ukraine positioned as a functioning trade and connectivity BRI partner.
Note to readers: Please click the share button above. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter and subscribe to our Telegram Channel. Feel free to repost and share widely Global Research articles.
Pepe Escobar, born in Brazil, is a correspondent and editor-at-large at Asia Times and columnist for Consortium News and Strategic Culture. Since the mid-1980s he’s lived and worked as a foreign correspondent in London, Paris, Milan, Los Angeles, Singapore, Bangkok. He has extensively covered Pakistan, Afghanistan and Central Asia to China, Iran, Iraq and the wider Middle East. Pepe is the author of Globalistan – How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War; Red Zone Blues: A Snapshot of Baghdad during the Surge. He was contributing editor to The Empire and The Crescent and Tutto in Vendita in Italy. His last two books are Empire of Chaos and 2030. Pepe is also associated with the Paris-based European Academy of Geopolitics. When not on the road he lives between Paris and Bangkok.
He is a regular contributor to Global Research.
Featured image is licensed under the Public Domain
The original source of this article is Global Research
Any effort by Ukraine to recover its former territories which have been absorbed by Russia would, by definition, constitute a threat against the “very existence of the Russian State,” to quote Medvedev. “If you have a weapon in your hands,” Medvedev declared recently, referring to nuclear weapons, “and I, as a former president, know what it is, you must be prepared that your hand will not tremble in a certain situation to use it, no matter how monstrous and cruel it sounds.”“Therefore, all these stories that ‘the Russians will never do it,’ or vice versa, ‘the Russians keep scaring us with the use of nuclear weapons,’ are not worth a penny,” Medvedev said.
Two US Congressmen who sit on a bureaucratic relic of the Cold War have introduced the “Ukraine Victory Resolution” in the House of Representatives calling for the United States to support an outright victory for Ukraine in its conflict with Russia.
After the presentation of the resolution, it must then be approved by the Foreign Affairs Committee and then put to a vote in Congress, both at the House of Representatives and the Senate level, before becoming law.
While the “Ukraine Victory Resolution” faces an uncertain future in a Congress where enthusiasm for the ongoing conflict in Ukraine is waning, one should not count out the potential for the resolution becoming law, especially given the track record of its sponsors. Wilson, Cohen and McCaul last collaborated on the “Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act”, which was signed into law on May 9, 2022, by President Joe Biden. That law enhanced Biden’s authority to simplify bureaucratic barriers with regards to military equipment for Ukraine or other Eastern European countries affected by the Russian Special Military Operation in Ukraine.
Since the start of Russia’s Special Military Operation, the Helsinki Commission has worked closely with the Ukrainian government to craft legislation that supports Ukrainian goals and objectives when it comes to its conflict with Russia.
To call the Helsinki Commission a de facto adjunct of the Ukrainian government would not be an exaggeration. Indeed, the Ukrainian Ambassador to the US, Oksana Markarova, was the person chosen to make the official announcement regarding the presentation of the “Ukraine Victory Resolution” to the House of Representatives.
The text of the draft resolution “affirms that it is the policy of the United States to see Ukraine victorious against the invasion and restored to its internationally recognized 1991 borders.”
Wilson and Cohen both have stated that the territorial integrity of Ukraine must be preserved, meaning that the conflict in Ukraine could not be ended until the territories of Kherson, Zaporozhye, Donetsk, Lugansk, and Crimea are returned to Ukrainian sovereignty.
While the resolution introduced by Wilson and Cohen accurately reflects both current US policy objectives and Ukrainian government desires, it ignores two critical realities. First, it is Russia that is winning the conflict, not Ukraine, and as such any termination of the current conflict will reflect this hard truth.
Moreover, to tie both the US and Ukraine to unrealistic expectations creates obstacles to any possible negotiated end to the conflict, meaning that the conflict will drag on to its inevitable conclusion—a strategic Russian victory—in a manner which will only increase the human, material, and financial cost to Ukraine.
Indeed, as senior Russian officials such as former President Dmitri Medvedev have noted, if the crisis does not reach a negotiated end, Ukraine itself may cease to exist as a sovereign entity. The irony of a piece of US legislation purporting to defend Ukrainian sovereignty serving as the foundation of the death of Ukraine as a nation seems to have escaped the sponsors of the resolution.
But the resolution also lays the groundwork for the possibility—indeed, if the resolution accomplished its goal, probability—of a general nuclear war between the United States and Russia. Former Russian President Medvedev recently noted that, according to Russian policy regarding the use of nuclear weapons, such weapons “can be used in case of aggression against Russia with the use of other types of weapons that threaten the very existence of the state. This is, in essence, the use of nuclear weapons in response to such actions.”
Any effort by Ukraine to recover its former territories which have been absorbed by Russia would, by definition, constitute a threat against the “very existence of the Russian State,” to quote Medvedev. “If you have a weapon in your hands,” Medvedev declared recently, referring to nuclear weapons, “and I, as a former president, know what it is, you must be prepared that your hand will not tremble in a certain situation to use it, no matter how monstrous and cruel it sounds.”
“Therefore, all these stories that ‘the Russians will never do it,’ or vice versa, ‘the Russians keep scaring us with the use of nuclear weapons,’ are not worth a penny,” Medvedev said.
This is something Russia’s potential adversaries, including Congressmen Wilson, Cohen, and McCaul—and indeed every member of Congress who will be called upon to vote in support of the “Ukraine Victory Resolution” — should keep first and foremost in their mind.
A vote for the resolution is a vote for nuclear war with Russia. The resolution is a literal suicide pact with Ukraine. Hopefully the American people will wake up to this reality before it is too late, and let their representatives know that they chose life over death.
Ukraine has lost its NATO-driven conflict with Russia. There is no need for the entire world to die as a result.
Former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev has claimed that Poland would cease to exist if a direct war were to occur between Russia and NATO, regardless of the outcome. He was responding to remarks by Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, who expressed confidence that the Western alliance would win such a conflict.
Morawiecki, who is currently visiting the US, commented on the Ukrainian conflict in an interview with NBC News on Friday. Host Kristen Welker asked whether he was concerned that Ukrainian strikes outside its territory risked “a wider war, drawing Poland… into the conflict.”
The prime minister replied that he was not concerned, as it would be “a war between Russia and NATO, and Russia would lose this war very quickly.”
“They believe that fighting with Ukraine they are fighting with the West and fighting with NATO, whereas the fact of the matter is that we are only supporting a brutally invaded country”, Morawiecki said.
Medvedev, who serves as deputy chair of Russia’s National Security Council, tweeted in response that he was not so certain about which side would win, “but considering Poland’s role as a NATO outpost in Europe, this country is sure to disappear together with its stupid prime minister.”
The Russian official has previously warned against a possible escalation of the Ukraine conflict, which Moscow perceives as a proxy war against it by the US and its allies. If that were to happen, hostilities could go nuclear, Medvedev believes, and all sides would be catastrophically harmed. The former president has branded European leaders who underestimate this risk as incompetent.
Morawiecki is one of the most outspoken critics of Russia and its involvement in Ukraine. He has claimed the country is similar to Nazi Germany in its goals and methods, and accused nations in the EU that do not fully support Ukraine, of appeasing Moscow.
During his visit to the US, the Polish leader delivered a speech to the Atlantic Council, a pro-NATO think-tank, in which he reiterated his case for investing in Ukraine. If Kiev loses, he claimed, the West’s “golden age” may end.
Western political leaders will no longer have the power to dictate terms to Russia, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday. Speaking with the heads of the ministry’s regional offices, the diplomat stressed that Russia will now determine its own needs for development.
“Until recently, a couple of years ago, the external conditions that we needed for development were determined not by us, but by the Western minority,” said Lavrov. He added that all the foreign policy initiatives promoted by the so-called “golden billion” group serve the sole purpose of making sure that the world lives by rules that allow Western elites to continue their colonial policies and live at the expense of others.
“Therefore, we will no longer rely on someone when it comes to creating the external conditions for the development that we need,” Lavrov stressed, also pledging that Russia will not follow in the footsteps of the “selfish” West, and will take into account the interests of other independent states.
According to the diplomat, Moscow aims to create external conditions that are as favorable as possible for the development of the country, but stressed that these conditions must also reflect “the consensus of all independent states” and fully comply with the principles of the UN Charter, which have been “repeatedly violated by our former Western colleagues.”
During the meeting, Lavrov also noted that the number of countries wishing to join BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) economic blocs had increased to almost two dozen by the end of 2022. The diplomat noted that the countries wishing to join the alliances, such as Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Indonesia, Argentina, Mexico and several African nations, “play a very prominent role in their regions.”
“Just listing the names of these states already shows the failure of attempts [of the West] to isolate our country,” Lavrov observed, adding that the opposite has happened, with independent countries now uniting with other like-minded states.
“Our citizens should know the urgent facts…but they don’t because our media serves imperial, not popular interests. They lie, deceive, connive and suppress what everyone needs to know, substituting managed news misinformation and rubbish for hard truths…”—Oliver Stone