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by John Helmer, Moscow 

The electric war, which in its first phase commenced in September 2022,  has now entered its second and final phase – final, that is, for the Ukraine.

This is strategic; war has never been fought like this in Europe. The US and NATO general staffs and politicians have been taken by complete surprise. “The Ukrainians are building Maginot and Siegfried lines according to the instructions of their foreign advisers,” according to a Moscow analyst, “as if the Russian offensive will be men, artillery and tanks running across the landscape towards Kiev. But they won’t have to. The offensive against Ukrainian electricity cannot be stopped at these lines.”

Without effective defence for its power generating plants, distribution hubs, and grid lines, the Kiev regime’s power is being stopped across the country;  the major Novorussian cities in the east – Odessa, Kharkov, Dniepropetrovsk – are being blacked out and their populations forced to evacuate; the warmaking resupplies of the NATO allies are being cut off at borders which are now exposed to reversal of electricity surges threatening the plants and grids of southern Poland, Romania and Moldova. Even European and American money for President Vladimir Zelensky’s regime needs electricity to move.  

“The Russian General Staff is thinking electrically,” comments a NATO veteran and expert in applying electrical engineering to war. “The way the strikes are unfolding causes the Ukrainians to perform at lot of switching. Anyone who knows anything about high-voltage switching understands that the more it’s done, the greater the likelihood there is of some kind of fault occurring, including surges or transients,  occurring. So, leaving enough power on today so the Ukrainians can throw switches tomorrow may be part of the plan.”

“Even if the French/NATO plan a deployment in the Ukraine, what will they be deploying to?” the military engineer adds. “If the current Russian plan of attack is causing swings of 300+ volts, it’s not even safe to plug in a cell phone. We can safely assume that all manner of appliances and other expensive electrical or electronic equipment has been destroyed in the affected areas. Indeed, even if the power engineers manage to get the power back on, millions of light fixtures, especially the electronic/LED variety, are burned out. Diagnostic equipment (medical and technical), process instruments, programmable logic controllers, power supplies, inverters, frequency drives, bank machines, computerized checkout, refrigeration equipment, are burned up”

“Who knows what’s happening there. It must be chaos, and if it isn’t, it will be soon.”


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by John Helmer, Moscow 

For the first time in six years,  the British Government has officially told Moscow that Russian citizen Yulia Skripal, one of the victims of a nerve spray attack in Salisbury on March 4, 2018, has “rejected the offer of consular assistance” from the Russian Embassy in London. A British diplomatic note, delivered to the Foreign Ministry in Moscow this week and made public by the Ministry spokesman, also claimed “the Russian woman has the contact details of the consular department of the Russian Embassy in London in case of need.”  

Omitted from the document is that the British have not allowed Yulia Skripal to sign a document, send an email, or make a telephone call since 2020.

The new Foreign Office paper failed to identify the whereabouts or wishes of Yulia’s father, Sergei Skripal, a dual Russian and British citizen who was also the target of the 2018 attack.   The calculated omissions, and the record of subterfuge and faking which British officials, coroners, and judges have been making since 2018, indicate that, in fact, Yulia Skripal is imprisoned and incommunicado, and that Sergei Skripal is dead.

“The British authorities,” said Maria Zakharova at her ministry briefing on March 27, “do not say a word about the fate of Sergei Skripal. It is completely unclear why. I would like to ask the British if he is alive? Can you at least tell me that?”  

After years of stonewalling in London, the new lie appears to indicate that Sergei Skripal has died in British captivity.


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by John Helmer, Moscow 

Grief, anger, recriminations, media moneymaking, and political ambition make a highly  inflammable combination whose smoke and heat —  on both sides of the war against Russia —  distort what caused the Crocus City Hall attack – and what will happen next.

Methodical analysis of cause of death and of culpability in conspiracy to kill doesn’t persuade as quickly and profitably as incendiary propaganda.

This, said the Orthodox Church’s Patriarch Kirill on Wednesday, is aimed “to use internal problems with the migration situation, to aggravate interethnic relations in our country, including with the help of a radical Islamist factor. In particular, we are talking about the enemy’s intention to clash two traditional religions and divide people according to religious principle. Of course, we cannot allow anything like this in Russia.”   

The Church warning, during the celebration of Ramadan until April 9 and ahead of Orthodox Easter on May 3, follows President Vladimir Putin’s remarks to security officials on Monday, and the subsequent clarifications by security chiefs Alexander Bortnikov of the Federal Security Service (FSB) and Nikolai Patrushev of the Security Council. Click for details and context.  

If there is an operational military objective for the March 23 attack on the part of the mercenaries, their command and controllers, and the US and other intelligence services engaged, triggering inter-communal violence in Russia is it. “Sow panic in our society while demonstrating to their own people that not all hope is lost for the Kiev regime,” Putin said on Monday.    “All they need to do is follow the orders of their Western patrons, fight until the last Ukrainian, obey Washington’s commands, endorse the new mobilization law, and form something resembling a new version of the Hitler Youth. To comply with all of this, they will seek new weapons and additional funds, much of which will likely be embezzled and, as is customary in Ukraine today, put into their own pockets.”  

From this warfighting point of view of the Ukrainians and the Biden Administration, however, the Crocus Hall operation has turned out to be a triple failure.

The effectiveness of the Russian security forces in pursuing the getaway car; monitoring in real time the social media and telephone communications of the gunmen in the vehicle, and then capturing them alive minutes after they had proved their destination was the Ukraine is a major  operational success – and a deterrent for follow-up enemy operations in planning.  

The failure of the Ukrainians to provide the gang with either safe haven or execution to hide the command and control is also a deterrent for the planned sequels. It’s also a negative for the case the Zelensky regime has been making to the US Congress and NATO allies for more money, weapons, and men to take their war deep into Russian territory.  

Finally, there has been no intercommunal violence in Moscow, religiously motivated protests, or  pogroms of Tajiks. The Russians have proved they are not the Germans towards Jews, the English towards Irish, the Israelis towards Palestinians, or American Trump voters towards  Mexicans.  

Yet to be acknowledged, though, there has been an operational failure for the Kremlin and the Moscow city and Moscow region governments, but it is neither military nor ideological. This is that the casualty toll is at least twice the number it might have been if not for the maladministration  of the Crocus building construction permits and the failure to enforce fire security and evacuation codes. “The building went up much too fast and we still have no video evidence of fire suppression, let alone a functioning alarm system,” comments a US engineer. “I’ve looked at the walls and ceilings. There were no pull stations, sprinkler heads, smoke or heat detectors visible. When people were being led out, there were no strobe lights, bells, klaxons, or any other emergency signage.”

The majority of Russians are well aware that shoddy engineering and corrupt administration can cause mass loss of life;  for example from methane explosions in the coalmines of the Kemerovo region,  and in the slow poisoning of air and water in the steelmaking cities of the Urals.  But in the most recent public opinion polling across the country, optimism for the future has never been higher.   

This public sentiment isn’t going to be damaged or distracted by the propaganda following the Crocus City Hall attack. The priority in public opinion remains to take the war to the enemy before he exploits another chance; and for that,  Russian confidence in the military has not been higher since 1945.  


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by John Helmer, Moscow 

In just thirteen minutes, four Kalashnikov rifles, knives, and plastic bottles of gasoline,   discharged by four men,  were not enough to kill and injure so many people as have been accounted for to date in the Crocus City Hall attack in Moscow.

More than half those examined so far in post-mortems “died as a result of the fire from exposure to high temperature and combustion products”, according to Alexander Bastrykin, the chief investigator in his public report to President Vladimir Putin on Monday night.  Post-mortems have yet to be reported for one-third of the 139 dead counted by Bastrykin; no analysis of the cause of injuries to 182 of the surviving casualties has been reported yet; 93 of them remain in hospital.  

Bastrykin also reported “two AK-74 assault rifles, over 500 rounds of ammunition, 28 magazines with ammunition, and bottles with remaining gasoline were found and seized at the scene.” A NATO military expert explains: “They didn’t strike me as well-trained, so they lost time changing magazines and their fire wasn’t all that accurate. These data tell me the majority of victims died from some other cause than gunshot.”

Yevgeny Krutikov, a writer with military intelligence sources, reported in Vzglyad: “It can be assumed that the weapons were stored in the terrorists’ cache for a long time and not too carefully – the machine guns sparkled during the shooting. This indicates damage to the barrel or breech (dirt got inside the barrel).”

Recruitment of the shooters; pre-placement of weapons and ammunition; accommodation and advance payment to the gunmen;  purchase of the car they used; communications and coordination; exit undetected in the crowds escaping the building;  and the escape route to the Ukraine border through Bryansk region – the evidence of these details prepared over weeks and months indicate a much larger organization than the four shooters formed with seven others  already arrested and under interrogation.

What they know and will tell is likely to reveal a sophisticated command-and-control system which knew how vulnerable the target was, how to maximize the killing in the shortest possible duration, and at the same time allow escape for the attackers – which is almost unprecedented in the recent history of mass terrorist attacks in Russia. .

That’s to say, the command knew — the shooters and their accomplices didn’t. There was advance reconnoiter of the Crocus City Hall so that the shooters knew the route they followed inside the building and then out under cover of fire and smoke, which erupted faster than they were able to shoot almost half of their ammunition which they left behind.   

Did the command also know that Crocus City Hall and the surrounding mall were operating without adequate fire alarms, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, sprinklers, and emergency ventilation, none of which has been reported by eyewitnesses?  Was the building targeted because the command knew it was constructed without fire-resistant structural supports, allowing ceilings and roof to cave in, choking or crushing those beneath to death?

“Most of the victims in Crocus died not at the hands of terrorists, but from the criminal negligence of the owners and regulatory authorities,” reported Mikhail Delyagin, chairman of the State Duma Committee on Economic Policy, on Sunday evening.  “It is known that many people suffocated with carbon monoxide inside the building. There are already more victims of this kind than those killed by terrorist shooting. Nothing like this could happen in a certified building built according to modern standards for such objects. Why? Because all such buildings are equipped with an automatic ventilation system. These are windows or hatches that fire off automatically if the detector detects an increased level of carbon monoxide inside. Holes open in the roof – and the life-threatening gas goes into the sky. This system works, by the way, without electricity, on compressed air.”

“The way the Crocus burned down shows that cheap Chinese materials (glass wool, plastics, cable braid, etc.) were used in its decoration, which are prohibited for use in public buildings. The reason for the ban? Combustibility. In Europe, non-burning glass wool, plastics, etc. have been used for a long time. They are, of course, twice or three times more expensive than the Chinese equivalent. But they have one advantage: they do not burn in case of fire. And they don’t kill those who are inside.”

Delyagin has publicly accused Aras Agalarov, the wealthy founder of the Crocus shopping and development group, and his son Emin of failing “to formally commission this particular concert hall. As it became known, it is not listed as a properly designed capital construction object on the cadastral map of the Federal Register. Apparently, the amount of bribes needed to receive such a dangerous object exceeded all reasonable limits, and for Agalarov, taking into account the above-mentioned monstrous violations of standards, it was cheaper to extend the status of a building under construction than to put it into operation.”  

Bastrykin has announced “the investigation is checking the possibility of violation of safety requirements and the fire extinguishing system in the Crocus City Hall concert hall.  For this purpose, remote controls, electronic components and control devices for the fire protection system of the concert hall were seized. They are aimed at researching and extracting information about the operating mode of fire safety systems at the time of the terrorist attack. The contents of the fire protection system server are being studied with the participation of experts. To establish the operability and timely operation of all fire safety systems, a fire technical examination has been appointed.”  

Emin Agalarov has issued a press statement claiming he arrived shortly after the gunmen had left. He said he “entered the building 40 minutes after the first shots were fired. He noted that the fire safety system was working and the doors were unlocked…The sprinkler fire extinguishing system was also operating normally. The building collapsed only six hours after the start of the terrible fire. Some rooms remained intact and did not burn down.”  


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by John Helmer, Moscow 

In his election victory speech on Sunday night,  President Vladimir Putin has accepted the 87% Russian voter mandate to finish the war by securing the Novorussian territories east of the Dnieper River, and converting western Ukraine into “a certain sanitary zone in today’s territories subordinated to the Kiev regime.”

In military terms, this zone extends westward from the Dnieper to the full 500-kilometre range of NATO missiles supplied to the Ukrainian forces;  and to the 900-km range of the drones in the current Ukrainian inventory.  With direct flight distance from Odessa to Lvov at 630 kms, and between Kharkov and Lvov of 975 kms, this means that all of the “territories subordinated to the Kiev regime” will become a sanitary zone, demilitarized to the Polish border.

Referring to the HIMARS rocket attacks in the Belgorod region and the proposed evacuation of nine thousand schoolchildren out of range, Putin announced at his campaign headquarters, “I do not exclude that, bearing in mind the tragic events taking place today, we will be forced at some point – when we deem it appropriate — to create a certain sanitary zone in today’s territories subordinated to the Kiev regime.” The president did not specify how soon is “appropriate”,  or  how deep the demilitarized or sanitary zone will be, except that in calculating the depth and taking Russian control of it, the range of weapons includes “first of all, of course, [weapons] of foreign production.” Listen to the press conference here;  read the text.   

Demilitarization of the Ukraine has been the strategic objective of the Special Military Operation from the start in February 2022. In several Kremlin meetings last June, Putin foreshadowed a zone variously called a DMZ, buffer zone, or cordon sanitaire.  In a meeting with military correspondents on June 13, 2023, Putin  explained operationally. “Here are several solutions: first, bolstering the effectiveness of the counter-battery struggle. But this does not mean that there won’t be missile strikes against our territory. And so if this continues then we will apparently have to consider the issue – and I’m saying this very carefully – of creating a buffer zone on Ukraine’s territory at such a distance from where it could be impossible to reach our territory.”  

Mapping the DMZ has been discussed in detail as senior civilian and military officials in Moscow and in the Donbass have publicly discussed the range-of-defence requirement. Follow the archive of maps and operations here.   

Now, with the conclusion of the election, Russian military bloggers have begun to voice open criticism of the performance of the military in preventing drone and missile attacks from striking civilians in Belgorod, as well as oil refinery targets up to 900 kms from the border. According to Boris Rozhin (Colonel Cassad), Russian early warning and detection of Ukrainian HIMARS units are effective, but counter-battery and interception firing is delayed. “The reason is organizational issues that prevent timely fire damage to the exposed priority targets.  The issue of their elimination is extremely relevant now: This will not only significantly increase the effectiveness of counter-battery warfare, but also reduce the intensity of enemy strikes on Belgorod and other settlements.”  “Organizational issues” is a code term for the chain of command Rozhin avoids explaining.  

Military sources in Moscow have been discreetly acknowledging that the decisions on how far the Russian military operation should extend westwards were postponed during the election campaign. During this time, the sources have also been warning, the Ukrainians were able to construct extensive surface fortifications and command-and-control bunkers north of Chernigov facing an expected offensive drive of Russian forces toward Kiev; and around Odessa to block a Russian offensive in the south.  These lines are reportedly manned by fresh and well-supplied  Ukrainian reserves, who are being held out of the meat-grinder battles along the line of contact, like Bakhmut and Avdeyevka.

Threats to reinforce these new fortified lines with a French-led “coalition” have come from President Emmanuel Macron. In parallel, detailed planning by the German Luftwaffe, backed by Defense Minister Boris Pistorius, of long-range Taurus missile attacks, launched from aircraft based outside the Ukraine, has become public knowledge.   In response, a well-informed Moscow source believes the parameters of Russian strategy are becoming clearer “now that Putin is waving the green flag. It’s clear, for example, that although there will not be battles inside cities like Odessa, Kharkov, and Kiev, there cannot be a military outcome for the General Staff and the Kremlin which will allow terrorism against Russia forever from inside those cities,  or from whatever remains of the Ukraine. So there must be regime change in Kiev– and a form of Russian occupation that will be surprising.”

“I am not ready to talk about what, how, and when,” Putin said on Sunday. Likewise, no Russian military source is ready. There is, however, frustration at the delay in the operational decision-making. “It’s not General Patience we’re talking about,” comments a military observer. “It’s General Bullshit. Let’s see if [Chief of the General Staff General Valery] Gerasimov calls it.”


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by John Helmer, Moscow 

Mazal u’ Bracha has been the Hebrew expression for sealing transactions in the international  diamond trade for hundreds of years – in Amsterdam until World War II, and Antwerp since then. Literally, it means “luck and blessing”. Sociologically, it means that if you default, the community of Jewish diamantaires will impose the sanction of religious law,  redline your credit, and you will be unable to take goods on approval, buy, borrow, trade, or continue in the business.

In the major Jewish diamond business centres – Antwerp, Ramat Gan (Tel Aviv), New York – the potency of this  blessing has been waning under pressure of falling consumer demand, rising borrowing costs, company bankruptcies, government sanctions, and sanctions-busting.    And that was before the Palestine war began.

On March 1, after heavy lobbying by Israeli and American diamantaires  – and despite resistance from the Belgian businesses  – new restrictions were imposed with the aim of driving Russian diamonds – rough and polished – out of the major jewellery markets of Europe and the US.  The new scheme has a catch, however.  It is now the US Customs Service with whom diamond buyers and traders must shake hands.

In a rule issued on March 1, the US Government requires importers to sign a statement declaring: “I certify that the non-industrial diamonds in this shipment were not mined, extracted, produced, or manufactured wholly or in part in the Russian Federation, notwithstanding whether such diamonds have been substantially transformed into other products outside of the Russian Federation.”  

The US Customs Service doesn’t speak Hebrew and it lacks Talmudic authority. Even if it did, there is increasing doubt among trade lawyers that there is anything equivalent to the traditional Jewish community sanction to support the blessing. Israel’s engagement in what the International Court of Justice (ICJ) has ruled to be “plausible genocide”  also exposes the Tel Aviv-New York trade to the charge of aiding and abetting war crimes and crimes against humanity.  

This is more than a case of the pot calling the kettle black. It’s a case of the Israeli diamantaires financing the genocide of Gaza and the war against the Arabs at the same time as they attempt to drive competing diamond producers and rival diamond traders out of the market. The so-called blood diamond sanction of the Kimberley Process, which was first intended to curtail central and west African diamond supply since 2003,    is now being applied to Russian diamonds by the Israelis, the Jewish communities engaged in the diamond trade, and the US Government.

Martin Rapaport, a Tel Aviv-New York diamond trader and publisher of an industry bible called Rapaport.com,   has published a warning that the new system is not only an unenforceable mazal-bracha system, but it is also a devious scheme to channel diamond certification through loopholes in Antwerp, at the expense of alternative, stricter channels in Tel Aviv and New York; and also to favour the Anglo-South African De Beers diamond group over the Russian rival miner Alrosa and other diamond miners in Africa.

“Previously, goods ‘substantially transformed’ (i.e., manufactured) in countries such as India were technically legal in the US,” Joshua Freedman of the Rapaport group reported on March 11. “The US and other member countries have released information on how enforcement will work, but many questions remain. The industry is still unsure how the ban will work in both the short and the long term. Dealers have begun sending goods to the US with self-declaration statements, but there is uncertainty about what will happen if customs authorities ask for evidence about a particular shipment and whether the US will add more complex requirements later…[there are] allegations that Belgium is using the sanctions to benefit its own diamond sector…Those importing diamonds into the EU [European Union] between March 1 and August 31 may choose between doing so via the Diamond Office [DO]  in Antwerp, ‘leading to the issuance of a G7 certificate,’ or by providing documentary evidence with detailed information about the diamond and its origin. Single-origin Kimberley Process (KP) certificates — or mixed origin for De Beers DTC [Diamond Trading Company] goods — qualify as acceptable proof of origin, according to question 12 of the EU’s FAQs. However, there is an important caveat: documentary evidence is accepted only ‘provided that goods of CN codes 7102 31 00 and 7102 10 00 with a weight equal to or above 1 carat are submitted without delay’ to the Antwerp Diamond Office. These codes are for rough diamonds. In other words, all 1-carat or larger rough diamonds entering the EU must go to this Belgian entry point.”  

In an international marketplace in which weak demand for diamonds is already squeezing the profitability of the trade in key jewellery manufacturing centres in India and China (Hong Kong),  the Russian strategy is to bust the sanctions, defeat De Beers and the hostile Israeli-American  operations, and create alternative businesses structures, Of course,  the details are now secret.  

There are diamantaires in the market who express confidence that Alrosa, Russia’s dominant diamond miner, will be as successful as the Russian oil, gas, and coal exporters who have been under sanctions for longer. “The market will be in a state of shock for the first few months,” comments a Russian diamantaire now based in Dubai.   “Most likely, the cost of stones may increase by 10% to 20%, but after the first shock, a correction will occur. Eventually, workarounds will be found for the export of Russian diamonds. To establish parallel imports — from Russia to the outside — will not be so difficult.”

There are also sources who claim Alrosa will fail. Says a diamantaire in Europe, “even before Putin’s invasion, the Russian share of rough production was under 30% in value and volume. Since then of course, all production and sales figures coming out of Alrosa have been pure make-believe and are up for the next Nobel prize for fiction. It could be said there will be more incentive to prospect for future rough in Africa or Canada, or for De Beers and others to lengthen the life of some of their mines – as they are already doing at Venetia [South Africa]. I don’t see any real change in the trading and polishing centres, in the diamond jewellery-consuming countries, and in the structure of the pipeline  generally. Just less legal Russian rough.”

In outcome, these two diamond industry sources may be predicting the same thing. The reason is what in the Russian diamond business is called submarining.


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by John Helmer, Moscow 

A little bird has materialized to sing that the record of the German generals discussing their plan to attack Russian targets with the Taurus missile was intercepted and leaked to the Russians by the Americans.

A big bird, actually. The telephone conference of German Luftwaffe chief General Ingo Gerhartz (lead image, left), one of his staff generals,  and two Luftwaffe lieutenant-colonels on February 19 was listened to by  US signals intelligence after the first meeting the Germans had with a new regional US Air Force (USAF) commander, General Kevin Schneider;  Schneider took command of the USAF Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) on February 9 after two and a half years in a senior staff post at the Pentagon under General Charles Brown Jr. Brown was promoted from USAF chief to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs on October 1, 2023.  When Schneider left Brown’s staff, he took a promotion from lieutenant general to four-star general.

Schneider has never flown or staffed USAF operations against Russia. He was in Singapore for the bi-annual Singapore Air Show to demonstrate what the USAF press office called “the opportunity to sharpen ties with Singapore, demonstrate flexible aircraft capability, enable engagement with foreign partners, and expand power projection.”    His agenda of meetings with other country airforce officers is classified.

Intelligence coverage of the airshow proceedings by the US, Russia, and China was especially intense because of the participation in the show of aircraft from the warfighting states.  Russia, which has participated actively in past Singapore airshows, did not participate officially this time.  

The allegation that the Gerhartz teleconference was intercepted by the Russians originated from the Germans and British, and has been amplified in US and NATO media. The first Russian report that it was US intelligence which picked up the call and then leaked it, appeared in Moscow on March 4; click to read.  

What has now surfaced is the audio record and transcript of the first minutes of the teleconference, before Gerhartz came on the line.  In these five minutes, much more has been revealed by the three German officers than has been published by RT in Moscow on March 1, when the audio record and transcript began with Gerhartz’s appearance.   

The full audio record in German, produced and published by RT Deutschland can be heard here.   The publication date is March 1. The voices recorded at the beginning are those of Captain Hergang, who introduced and managed the teleconference from Germany; Luftwaffe Brigadier General Frank Graefe, speaking in his Singapore hotel room and describing what he could see out his hotel window; Luftwaffe Lieutenant Colonel Udo Fenske and Lieutenant Colonel Sebastian Florstedt, who are speaking from Germany.  

A report and transcript in German, auto-translated into English, was published by Tobias Augenbraun in Dirk Pohlmann’s internet platform Free21 on March 8.   

The interpretation of the additional evidence by Augenbraun and Pohlmann is that “apparently, the plans were already presented to [USAF] General [Kenneth] Wilsbach [lead image, right] in October 2023, which are also the subject of further discussion… This is astonishing for the following reason: All the rest of the conversation is about how to bring Taurus closer to the Minister of Defense, Boris Pistorius… How can it be that top German generals have already presented these plans to a US general, a full 4 months… before talking about how to discuss these plans with Boris Pistorius (Minister of Defense). Something seems to have gone badly wrong with the order here. Is it normal to first talk to generals from other countries before initiating your own defense minister? Who is in charge in Germany? Is the military out of control?”

Augenbraun and Pohlmann believe the German operational plan discussed with Wilsbach last October was the Gerhartz missile attack on Russia, and that the German Defense Ministry and the Chancellery were unaware of it at the time.  This interpretation has been amplified in a report by a Brazilian who claims “here apparently we have a clear cut case of top German military officers taking direct orders regarding an attack on Crimea – part of the Russian Federation – directly from American officers in the Pacific Air Forces.”  

There is no evidence of this in the record of what the Germans actually said and meant.

According to Graefe, “he’s [General Schneider] only been in office for 2 weeks and he didn’t even know what I was talking about. And that’s why I said, I’d better come by again, because that was October, when we presented all this to Wilsbach.” This is Graefe’s acknowledgement that Schneider, who was director of the USAF staff at the Pentagon from September 2021  – five months before the Russian Special Military Operation began – and then for two and a half years of the war, knew nothing at all about the German air attack plan for Russia. In Russian, that’s spelled вообще ничего.

Instead, there is evidence that Gerhartz and Graefe have been concealing their Russia-attack plan, not from their German political superiors, but from the Americans; and misrepresenting what they have been doing in Berlin in discussions with the two USAF generals, Wilsbach and Schneider. These two USAF generals are focused on China as their enemy; they have never held a staff or operational command in Germany and against Russia; their current commands are limited to the Asia-Pacific region targeting China.

Wilsbach was at his PACAF headquarters in Hawaii concentrating on Chinese targets, when Graefe says on the tape that “we presented all this to Wilsbach.” “All this” was Luftwaffe planning against China, not Russia – reason for Chinese military intelligence to have been keeping the Germans under close surveillance in Singapore, along with the Russians.  

The German reporters are unaware of the Russian press report identifying the US as the source of the leak. They haven’t realized that the first five minutes of conversation reveal the special interest which the USAF had in keeping Graefe under surveillance in Singapore. Also revealed now is the USAF motive in making the Gerhartz war plan against Russia public before – not after — it had been agreed with Washington.

The timing of the newly disclosed Luftwaffe briefing of USAF General Wilsbach last October is also revealing. It was then that the Pentagon was considering what to do next in the Ukraine – and the forward budget required — after the Zelensky-Zaluzhny counteroffensive had collapsed into the rout which the Pentagon had been anticipating since the Teixeira leaks of early 2023.  

In short, on display here is evidence that after the Kiev regime capitulates, the Germans are the enemy the Russian General Staff know they must defeat as the American generals look for a way of their own to retreat.


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by John Helmer, Moscow 

It’s near-certain that no Russian general, nor member of the Stavka,  nor President Vladimir Putin has read Biggles.* If one of them had, he would accept that now, after a long time of forgetfulness, the Germans are again the enemy who can and must be defeated by Biggles or his successors — if civilization is to be saved in Europe.

They are the original Germans, with their headquarters in Berlin. Not the new Germans – they are the Americans who occupy Germany, and direct it from their headquarters in Ramstein, Mons, Brussels, and Washington.

“Look out, there is a Hun” – this is the first line of a warning Biggles sang to alert his partner to a guard on patrol at a castle operated as headquarters and prison by the German Secret Service.  Biggles was singing to the tune of the British national anthem, God Save the King. “Look out, there is a Hun/Quite near you with a gun.”

The war that is now accelerating to its climax on the Ukrainian battlefield requires the same alert and wit; the words are the same, the tune is now the Russian national anthem. And the Huns are not the only ones approaching with a gun. So are the Frogs, Limeys, and Doughboys.  When Biggles was fighting his war, it was his clear understanding that the Germans were the principal enemy in Europe and worldwide. He regarded the French and the Americans as necessary but weak, unsteady, and incompetent allies.

What is an intrepid mind like Biggles to think and to do now?

At the moment the approval ratings and voter preference polls show that the alliance against Russia is ruled by the weakest governments in their post-war histories: German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s government is down to 17% preference, Scholz to 20% approval; French President  Emmanuel Macron is down to 30% approval, and his successor would lose to the Rassemblement National (“National Rally”); Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s approval is 9%, and his Conservative Party is trailing the Labour Party by 23%; President Joseph Biden is at 39.5% approval, losing to candidate Donald Trump by 2% nationally, more in the key states.

These politicians are threatening to escalate their war against Russia with long-range, nuclear-capable missiles and more forces on the ground in the Ukraine; as Macron has suggested, the plan is to reinforce Ukrainian defences either west of Kiev, along the Belarus, Polish, and Romanian borders, or in a line for the defence of Odessa and Kiev.    If the calculation of these politicians is that their talk will trigger a rally-round-the incumbent effect in the electorate, they already know from their polls this will fail.  

The military calculation has been rejected by reserve or retired French and German generals who point out that additions to the command, technical,  and special forces they have already deployed in the Ukraine would survive for less than a week because they have no effective air cover;  no ground-to-air defence;  no survivable ground weapon of any kind;  and no fortification or bunker that cannot be penetrated and destroyed by the Russian Kinzhal and Iskander missiles and the heavy FAB-1500 bunker-busting bomb.

“The enemy [of France] is not Vladimir Putin but Emmanuel Macron,” retired General André Coustou  said on March 7. “He is the liquidator, the destroyer of France. He’s the one who should go!” Coustou, who has been at war with Macron since 2018,    added that “our weakness, our vulnerability” makes for “a concrete impossibility for the time today.”  

This is not the German generals’ view. That was revealed by Ingo Gerhartz, chief of the Luftwaffe, when he thought he was speaking in secret with his deputies, one of them a general on the airforce plans and operations staff.  “I will be grateful to you if you tell me not only what problems we have, but how we can solve them,” Gerhartz said.   “We are now fighting a war that uses much more modern technology than our good old Luftwaffe. This all suggests that when we are planning deadlines, we should not overestimate them…There are certain concerns if we have direct communication with the Ukrainian armed forces. Therefore, the question arises: can we use such a trick and second our people to MBDA [German arms maker]? Thus, direct communication with Ukraine will only be through MBDA, this is much better than if such a connection exists with our Air Force…I think that our people will find an option. We just need to be allowed to try first, so that we can give better political advice. We need to be better prepared so we don’t fail because the KSA [Kommando Strategische Aufklärung, “Strategic Reconnaissance Command”, a German intelligence organization] may have no idea where the [Russian] air defence systems actually are.”

Trick and try first — this is what the German generals are doing.  They and the Berlin ministers supporting Gerhartz have been contradicted in public by Scholz who claims: “I am the chancellor and that is why it is like this.” A scheme to implement the Gerhartz plan and preserve Scholz in his camouflage is in discussion with the Sunak government.  

Moscow sources are divided. There are those who believe the political and military calculation of these allies is cynical: they realize their war is lost to Russia – the Ukrainian battlefield as a territory and also the weapons, intelligence, command and control they have supplied – and they are preparing to avoid taking the blame at the next election and defence budget votes.  

Other Moscow sources caution the war in the east has been won, and lost by NATO, but not the war in the west and north. One close to the Defense Ministry warns that “too much is being read into battles won and troops defeated.” This source believes “the best trained Ukrainian reserves and battle groups are west of the Dnieper and in the north. The reserves on the eastern front are fodder, disposable. It’s been clear to the US and the others for some time that the eastern part will be lost. The real battle will be when the main offensive begins for Odessa and Kiev – if it does.” According to this source, the real meaning of the Macron remarks and of the public reaction to the Gerhartz plan is the coming Battle of WoD. “The West of Dnieper [WoD] is where the war will be fought. That’s where the Russian offensive will be met with the best-trained troops and equipment; they are still uncommitted, much still outside the Ukraine. They will be moved in large numbers, but only to defend WoD.”

In the Biggles stories, von Stalhein is far cleverer than any German in command or in power for a generation.  “Do you think you are in a position to dictate terms to me?” Von Stalhein says to Biggles inside the castle. “Whether I am or not, I’m doing it”, Biggles returned. “It’s time you knew me well enough to know that I’ll do what I say. I’m not given to threatening; but go your own way and you sign your death-warrant. I’ll see to that; I’ll hunt you down and kill you like a mangy wolf, if I have to spend the rest of my life doing it.”

The Russian president and the Stavka don’t need to read Biggles to say this. They have already  said it. What remains to be revealed — not said in advance — are their intrepid methods for defeating the Hun.


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by John Helmer, Moscow 

Last week it happened that God and the United States Treasury managed to underwrite a record issue of Israel Government bonds to continue the war against the Arabs in Gaza, West Bank,  Lebanon, Syria, Iraq – and Iran if necessary.  

The war financing comprised $2 billion of five-year bonds, and $3 billion each of 10 and 30-year bonds.

The US Treasury guarantees bond holders that if Israel defaults on repayment of its obligations,  the US will pay instead. Notwithstanding this, the Israelis were obliged to offer an extra 1.35%, 1.45%, and 1.75% more in interest over the going rate for US Treasury bonds for the same length of term.

The Reuters news agency headline on March 6 celebrated “Israel sells record $8 billion in bonds despite Oct 7 attacks, downgrade”.   The propaganda agency based in New York quoted Israel’s Accountant-General as claiming the bond placement “results showed an “unprecedented expression of confidence in Israel’s economy by the world’s largest international investors”.*

In fact, according to well-informed bond trade sources in Europe, with the higher interest rates the market has just demanded from the Israelis, the spread between the Israel bonds and US Treasuries has never been wider, and the worse this spread will become for Israel. This is a vote of no-confidence from the market which the Israelis, the Americans, and their media are trying to keep secret.  

The longer the war is protracted, the more obvious the costs of Israel Defence Forces’ (IDF) failure will become – and the deeper the negative bond sentiment will grow. By converting secrecy into money, the market is signalling that it has begun to turn against Israel – and profit at Israel’s expense.    

Also unprecedented is the secrecy in which the “expression of confidence” has been managed by the US, French, and German banks acting as managers of the Israeli bond issue;  and of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which has had regulatory oversight of the process. The debt financing has been reported as a “private placement”; this has removed the requirement that the Israelis produce a public prospectus explaining how they think their war – plausibly genocide, according to the International Court of Justice in its ruling of January 26, 2024  – is going, and how long the IDF claim it will last.

This does not remove the legal requirement on the two US banks engaged in marketing the bonds to US investors, Bank of America and Goldman Sachs, to submit a formal application for SEC approval of what is called a letter of consent. However, asked to confirm the contents of the letter of consent application for the sale of the Israeli bonds, and its official approval, the SEC has refused to give any answer.

Goldman Sachs was asked the same questions. The bank also refuses to say.

Last October the chief executive of Goldman Sachs, David Solomon,*  issued a personal letter to the bank’s employees claiming the Hamas operation was a “violation of fundamental human values”:   Solomon then proposed a $2 million gift of bank funds “to organizations providing critical support and humanitarian relief in Israel”; plus additional bank money, three bank dollars for every one contributed by bank staff making donations under $25, and one for one if the staff contribution was over $25. Asked how much money has been raised for Solomon’s gift to the Israelis, the bank is refusing to reply.

In other words, Israel’s public genocide is a private secret among Americans who are paying for it, and among US government officials responsible for regulating the scheme according to US law.

According to well-informed bond traders, this deal-making is worth in fees to the dealmakers, led by Goldman Sachs, about $100 million.


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by John Helmer, Moscow 

As enemies go, Victoria Nuland (lead image), the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, was as threatening for Russia as the Thane of Cawdor was for Scotland and Macbeth in Shakespeare’s play about multiple homicide to capture state power.   

Cawdor repented for his treason in the moment before he died on the scaffold. His execution  then allowed Macbeth to take Cawdor’s title and assets for himself, then move on to murder the Scottish king, and replace him until Macbeth was killed himself.

The murdering Nuland has committed was foretold by many more sources than the three witches in Shakespeare’s plot.  

But if Nuland has witchly premonitions, she lacks Macbeth’s and Lady Macbeth’s sleepwalking guilt. In Nuland’s case, it is plain that as her murdering has accelerated, she has been gorging herself with food. In the play Lady Macbeth succumbed and then killed herself offstage. Nuland has just left the stage one hundred pounds heavier than when she entered it. Not auspicious, according to the Heart Foundation.

The script of Nuland’s exit is also not Shakespearian in quality. There is not a single Washington journalist or analyst whose job it has been for years to follow the scheming inside the State Department to report what those in a position to know believe is the reason for Nuland’s hasty “resignation”, as it is being called by the Washington Post,  the New York Times,  and the Secretary of State, Antony Blinken. His public obituary started with the idea that he had been taken by surprise when Nuland “has let me know that she intends to step down in the coming weeks”; it ended with the immediate naming of Nuland’s replacement,  and her tombstone inscribed with “the lasting mark she’s made on this institution and the world.”  

For the haste of her exit; for its timing late in the US presidential election campaign and as the Ukrainian military collapses, no one in a position to know believes Nuland’s reasons as they have been leaked by reporters close to her – that her ambition had been offended by her failure to be promoted from Number-3 to Number-2 at State; that her feminism was violated by the non-promotion; and that her Russia warmaking had been subordinated by the higher priority of the White House to fight China.

Nor is her departure a case of avoiding blame for the failure of US policy in the Ukraine and in Europe, as the Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Maria Zakharova,  declared yesterday. Nuland is responsible for “the fiasco of American foreign policy”, Zakharova said. “The bet was a huge one. Everything was staked by the liberal Democrats starting with Barack Obama. That bet has now been lost. An absolute fiasco — the rush by V.A. Zelensky begging for at least something more — the White House rejecting his requests — discord everywhere in NATO… No one has a clear idea what to do…A complete fiasco.”  

Zakharova didn’t claim that the US and NATO leaders, their military staffs, and political advisors lack clarity on what they don’t want to risk – that’s to continue the war which Nuland has been promoting, and to escalate it with new weapons on the Ukrainian battlefield, and by attacks deep into Russia itself with nuclear-capable missiles like the German Taurus and US F-16s.  

If that is what the Russians think is happening and if they are correct – re-read the double negative — then the reason for Nuland’s exit is either that she was forced out, principally by the Joint Chiefs of Staff  before she could do more damage to US military assets in Europe; or that she decided not to be in office when the Articles of Capitulation are signed between Kiev, Lvov, and Moscow.

Unlike Lady Macbeth, Nuland has not gone offstage to expire. The Fat Lady isn’t singing the only song Nuland thinks she can still sing.