Perilous Gulf Widens Between Russia & US at the UN

The seemingly unbridgeable gap between the major powers was on full display at the Security Council as they sparred over Ukraine and Russia’s security concerns, reports Joe Lauria.

By Joe Lauria
Special to Consortium News

Tensions in U.S.-Russia relations soared yet higher on Monday as the two powers voiced polar opposite positions on events surrounding Ukraine and European security at the U.N. Security Council. 

The U.S. and its allies on the council painted a stark picture of an outlaw Russia threatening to invade Ukraine, while Russia sought to zoom out to the larger picture of Western threats to Russia’s security.

Russia attempted to have the “provocative proposal” by the U.S. to hold the meeting stopped by calling for a procedural vote on the agenda, arguing that Washington was engaging in “megaphone diplomacy” and wanted to “whip up” the same “hysteria” about “so-called Russian aggression” in the Security Council that it had been whipping up through the media.

Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia pointed out that even Ukraine’s president had asked the U.S. not to stir up panic. “Ukraine talked of the lack of a threat from Russia,” Nebenzia said. “We should not use the rostrum of the Security Council to push forward the propaganda of our colleague,” meaning the American ambassador.

U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield answered Nebenzia by saying the meeting was “not about antics and not about rhetoric,” and also “not about the U.S. and Russia, but peace and security about one of our member states.” She said the U.S. had spent $5 billion since 2014 so that Ukraine would be “prepared” for a Russian invasion. 

Russia lost the vote to stop the meeting from going ahead. 

The US Speaks

Thomas-Greenfield at Security Council debate on Ukraine Monday. (UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe)

Thomas-Greenfield told the council that “Russia’s actions strike at the very heart of the U.N. Charter. This is as clear and consequential a threat to peace and security as anyone can imagine.”  She said, “Russia’s aggression today not only threatens Ukraine. It also threatens Europe. It threatens the international order.”   

The U.S. ambassador said if the Security Council “stands for anything, [it] stands for the principle that one country cannot simply redraw another country’s borders by force, or make another country’s people live under a government they did not choose.” 

As any student of recent history or any astute newspaper reader understands, the United States, with its long history of coups, including by military invasions and occupations, has made many “country’s people live under a government they did not choose.”

Thomas-Greenfield portrayed Russia’s proposed treaties with the U.S. and NATO to create a new “security architecture” for Europe as being “extensive new demands and aggressive rhetoric” paired with “Russia’s military buildup.” 

“Russia has threatened to take military action should its demands not be met,” she said, though Russia has said nothing of the kind. Moscow declared that should its treaty proposals be rejected, and so far they have, it would have no choice but to answer with “appropriate military-technical reciprocal measures.” 

These have been falsely portrayed by U.S. officials as an invasion of Ukraine, but could instead be deployments of new missiles in Europe, or even in Venezuela or Cuba, which could reach the U.S. the way U.S. missiles can now reach Russia from Europe (with greater speed than an ICBM from the U.S.)

Russia has not engaged in the kind of rhetoric about Ukraine that the U.S. did, for instance, in the lead up to the invasions of Iraq in 1991 and 2003 in which Baghdad was threatened on a daily basis by U.S. leaders.

“This is an escalation in a pattern of aggression that we’ve seen from Russia again and again,” Thomas-Greenfield said. “In 2014, Russia illegally invaded and seized Crimea.”  This is a statement widely believed, but it ignores that Russian troops never invaded Crimea from Russia, it had troops legally stationed at its base there; not one shot was fired; and the Crimean people voted in a referendum to rejoin Russia.   

Thomas-Greenfield then accused Russia of shunning diplomacy, when it was Russia who asked for diplomatic meetings with the U.S. in Geneva and NATO in Brussels. Russia called those meetings to discuss their security concerns, while U.S. leaders and their media mistakenly frame it as a last-ditch initiative by the U.S. to stop Russia from invading.

“Russia could, of course, choose a different path: the path of diplomacy,” she said. “In recent weeks, the United States, along with our European allies and partners, and other nations around the globe concerned by Russia’s threat to Ukraine, have continued to do everything we can to resolve this crisis peacefully,” as Washington and its loyal media beat the drums of war. 

Projecting its own propaganda onto Russia, the U.S. representative said: “Russian military and intelligence services are spreading disinformation through state-owned media and proxy sites. And they are attempting, without any factual basis, to paint Ukraine and Western countries as the aggressors to fabricate a pretext for attack.”

Russia Answers

Nebenzia at Security Council on Monday. (UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe)

Nebenzia responded by saying that Russia is witness to a “very unusual situation” even in “these crazy times.”

“Relocation of troops within our own national territory, which happened many times before on a larger or smaller scale and was never regarded hysterically,” he said, “as well as the relocation of military personnel … stationed in their garrisons rather than at the Ukrainian-Russian border, is considered by our American and Western colleagues as a confirmation of [an] allegedly planned military campaign … of Russia against Ukraine that is about to start in the next couple of weeks if not days.”

Nebenzia added: “At the same time, they provide no proof to back such grave allegations.” The U.S. has released satellite photographs of Russian military installations on Russian soil, with no indication of how close to Ukraine they are.  Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told the press on Friday that Ukrainian intelligence interpreted the satellite images differently than the U.S. and saw no readiness for invasion.

Nebenzia said: “Our Western colleagues say that de-escalation is needed, but they are the first to build up tension, enhance rhetoric and escalate the situation. Talks about an imminent war are provocative per se. It might seem you call for it, want it and wait for it to come, as if you wanted your allegations to come true.” 

He refuted Thomas-Greenfield’s assertion that Russia has threatened an invasion. “No Russian politician or public figure has uttered any threat about a planned invasion of Ukraine,” Nebenzia said.  And then the Russian ambassador pointed out what no one else in the chamber would, least of all Thomas-Greenfield.

“Had it not been for our Western colleagues who provoked and supported a deadly unconstitutional coup in Ukraine in 2014 that gave power to nationalists, radicals, Russophobes and Nazis, Russia and Ukraine would have lived as good neighbors engaged in mutually beneficial cooperation up until this day,” he said.

“Someone in the West, however, seems to hate such a scenario. What happens today is another attempt to drive a wedge between Russia and Ukraine,” Nebenzia said.  He then described post-coup Ukraine:

“Ukrainians are brainwashed to cultivate Russophobic and radical sentiments. They are taught to believe that Ukraine’s radiant future depends on whether it seeks EU and NATO membership rather than whether it tries to improve relations with neighbors. The Russian language, which is native to a significant (if not major) part of Ukrainians is banned, a division of church is being provoked, and those who sided with Hitler during WW2 killing Jews, Poles, Ukrainians, and Russians, are worshipped as heroes.”

He said Russia’s “Western colleagues” didn’t care about Ukrainians but only to divide Ukraine from Russia in order to weaken Russia. The U.S. had falsely linked cries about a Russian invasion to Russia’s treaty proposals to the U.S. and NATO, he said.

“As for our security-related demands, they are much broader,” Nebenzia went on. “Ukraine’s non-accession to NATO and non-deployment of foreign troops at Ukraine’s territory constitute only a small portion of much-needed arrangements that could considerably improve the military and political situation in Europe, and in the whole world.” 

Turning the tables on the U.S., the Russian ambassador asked the council which country was the real threat to international peace and security:

“The maneuvers that the United States undertook to convene this meeting look especially inadequate and hypocritical against the fact that it is Americans who have record rates of military presence outside their national territory. American military officers, advisers, and weapons (including nuclear) are often located thousands of kilometers away from Washington. To say nothing of the fact that American military [ad]ventures claimed dozens and hundreds [of thousands] of  lives of people in the countries to which they were bringing peace and democracy.

The United States repeatedly (i.a. in the recent years) used force against other states without Security Council consent. Their toolkit includes unilateral sanctions and coercive measures, as well as threats that they regard as a verdict of some sort of Supreme Court and try to make everyone deliver on them.

As reported by American experts, 84 out of 193 UN member states have been subjected to US occupation or aggression to some degree. In the course of 20th and 21st centuries, American troops have been deployed in one way or another in 191 states.

According to open-sourced data from the Internet, the United States maintains approximately 750 military bases in more than 80 states of the world. The total number of US military servicemen abroad amounts to 175 thousand, more than 60 thousand of them are deployed in Europe. The US military budget in 2020 stood at 778 billion dollars, whereas the Russian – at only 61 billion dollars, which is 12 times less. All these examples are clear and concrete threats to the international peace and security.”

In a right of reply, Thomas-Greenfield said she was “disappointed” by Nebenzia’s “false equivalency” — the stock line from the Cold War, which says it is false to equate U.S. behavior with the aggression of others. “There are no plans to weaken Russia,” she said. “Welcome Russia as a responsible member of the international community,” which means, of course, following the Washington Consensus.

Nebenzia then replied that he had not heard one word from Thomas-Greenfield about the Minsk agreements “and that is very indicative.”

Ukraine Speaks

Kyslytsya at Security Council on Monday. (UN Photo/Evan Schneider)

Eyes were on Ukraine’s U.N. ambassador, Sergiy Kyslytsya, in light of Zelensky and other Ukrainian officials’ statements last week rebuffing America’s war propaganda that a Russian invasion of their country was “imminent.” Would he make similar statements in front of the U.S. ambassador on a world stage?

He would not make his remarks before Nebenzia, who moments before the Ukrainian was to speak said he had an appointment with the U.N. secretary general and left the chamber.  The snub clearly ruffled Kyslytsya.

His remarks were more aggressive towards Russia than Thomas-Greenfield’s with no hint of his president’s position. It was as if Zelensky had not made the remarks he just had three days earlier.  In fact Kyslytsya tried to say that the Russian ambassador had made it all up.

“It’s important that Ukraine’s voice is heard today in the Security Council and is not lost in translation when [the] position of my country has been ‘delivered’ by a foreign ambassador in Russian,” he said. “My leadership speaks its own language, has its own ambassadors, and spokespersons. Hence there is no need to interpret the words of Ukrainian officials.” 

Except that is precisely what Kyslytsya did. He said nothing of what Zelenksy and other Ukrainian officials had made clear:  that Ukraine has no fear of imminent invasion and that the U.S. and its allies had essentially made it all up.

Breaking with his president, Kyslytsya raised the alarm: “The fact is that nowadays about 112 thousand Russian troops have been amassed around Ukraine’s borders and in Crimea, and together with the maritime and aviation components their number reaches about 130 thousand troops.”

He went on:

“On 26 January, the Russian fleet started another military drill in the Black Sea with involvement of frigates, patrol ships, missile ships, assault landing ships and minesweepers. This reminds us of the ongoing heavy militarization of the temporarily occupied Crimea, the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov by Russia, which poses a serious threat to Ukraine, all littoral states and the wider region. … The question is why all these Russian forces are there? …

Today we have heard from the Russian side that they do not intend to launch a war against my country, although one should rather speak about launching a new phase of the Russian aggression.

It is very important message as we still lack credible explanations by Russia of its actions and military movements. Based on experience we cannot believe Russian declarations but only practical moves on withdrawal of troops from the border.”

Why did Kyslytsya totally ignore what Zelensky had said? U.N. ambassadors directly report to their foreign ministers, not their presidents. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba is a hardliner. Last month he condemned Germany for refusing to send weapons to Ukraine. “The German partners must stop undermining unity with such words and actions and encouraging Vladimir Putin to launch a new attack on Ukraine,” he tweeted.

And Kubela protested “the categorical unacceptability” of the now former chief of the German navy’s remarks that the idea of a Russian invasion was “nonsense.” 

There may well be a power struggle going on between Kuleba and Zelensky, causing the foreign minister to go rogue.  There is also the possibility that the U.S. has put enormous pressure on Zelensky to retreat from his remarks. The blogger Moon of Alabama has speculated that the Americans could soon “replace” Zelensky as president. 

Thomas-Greenfield was interviewed on National Public Radio on Tuesday:

QUESTION:  But I’ve got to ask you, you know Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has also complained about U.S. warnings saying it has needlessly caused a panic that puts Ukraine’s economy at risk. What do you make of that? 

AMBASSADOR THOMAS-GREENFIELD:  Well, you know, the Permanent Representative, the Ambassador from Ukraine, was at the meeting yesterday, and he reaffirmed our concerns and Ukraine’s concerns about the situation on their border. And we have met with the President, we’ve met with the Foreign Minister, and I think you had the foreign minister on your line this morning –

QUESTION: – Mary Louise Kelly spoke with him yesterday on “All Things Considered.” 

AMBASSADOR THOMAS-GREENFIELD:  Yes. And he said that they absolutely agree. He confirmed there were more than 100,000 troops on the border. Their messaging is different from ours, as he noted, but the goals are the same. 

Video of the full council meeting.

French Restraint 

France was in a similar position to Ukraine: its president had called last month in a speech to the European Parliament for a new security arrangement in Europe that would include Russia. That was reiterated in two phone calls Emmanuel Macron made to Vladimir Putin over the past five days.  At the same time, France has agreed to send its forces to Eastern Europe in the midst of the crisis.  Would French ambassador Nicolas de Rivière make reference to Macron’s position? Non.

He characterized the Russian deployment inside its own territory as “threatening” and called for “the non-use or threat of use of force; and the freedom of States to choose or change their own security arrangements. They are neither negotiable nor subject to revision or reinterpretation.”  That is the U.S. and NATO line that rejects Russia’s security demand that Ukraine not join NATO and that NATO membership near Russia be rolled back. 

Rivière then said what several U.S. allies on the council repeated: “The notion of a sphere of influence has no place in the 21st century.” This is a rejection of Russia’s desire for a security buffer from what it sees as an aggressive West. It also flies in the face of the U.S. Monroe Doctrine, which is still alive and well in Latin America, and even of France’s continual involvement, both politically and militarily, in their former African colonies. 

Between NATO and Russia 

Martin Kimani, Kenya’s U.N. envoy, said what is clear to anyone who is not under the spell of the U.S.: that “the main issue in this crisis is between NATO and Russia.” 

Kimani said: “Where there are disputes we support patient diplomacy as the first, second and third options.”  He said “when it involves major powers there  must be comprise. NATO and Russia have an opportunity to resolve their differences.” 

The Kenyan envoy warned about a “new age” of “containment, provocation and proxy action.”

“We experienced that,” he said. “The Cold War deeply damaged our Africa. When elephants fight it is the grass that suffers.”   

Gabon’s ambassador, Michel Xavier Biang, denounced the “alarming rhetoric of war” and pointed out what the Ukrainian ambassador would not, namely that the “Ukrainian president said to refrain from whipping up panic.”

Brazil’s permanent representative, Ambassador Ronaldo Costa Filho, said: “Brazil … highlights the need for good-faith in order to address legitimate security concerns of all parties, including Russia’s and Ukraine’s.” 

Mexico was skeptical of Russia, saying, “It was encouraging to hear from the Russian representative that he reiterated there is no planned invasion. Well how good it would be if that is the case. But that is a unilateral declaration.”

China Asks, ‘What War?’ 

As Russia’s most important ally, China’s U.N. ambassador, Zhang Jun, said: “Some countries led by the U.S. have claimed that there is a looming war in Ukraine. Russia has repeatedly stated that it has no plans to launch any military action. And Ukraine has made it clear that it does not need a war. Under such circumstances, what is the basis for the countries concerned to insist that there would be a war?”

Zhang said that “at a time when dialogue and negotiations are underway, and concrete progress has yet to be made, the holding of such an open meeting by the council is clearly not conducive to creating a favorable environment for dialogue and negotiations, nor is it conducive to defusing the tensions.”

Zhang also called for Russia’s concerns about NATO to be respected:

“The expansion of NATO is a problem difficult to circumvent in handling the current tension. NATO is the product of the Cold War, and NATO expansion epitomizes bloc politics. We believe that the security of one country should not be achieved at the expense of the security of other countries. Still less should regional security rely on strengthening or even expanding military blocs. Today in the 21st century, all parties should completely abandon the Cold War mentality and come up with a balanced, effective and sustainable European security mechanism through negotiations, with Russia’s legitimate security concerns being taken seriously and addressed.”

Britain and Norway Back US to the Max

Norway’s ambassador Mona Juul at the council on Monday. (UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe)

On mop up duty, NATO members Norway and Britain reinforced what the U.S. had said. Mona Juul, Norway’s envoy, perhaps went even further, calling Russia’s proposals on NATO “unrealistic demands that threaten European security.” She said: “Russia has accused NATO of creating tensions. NATO is a defensive and voluntary organization.”

It is an organization that has ventured far outside its European theater of operations to launch aggressive actions against Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Libya, as well as conducting drills simulating attack near Russia’s borders.

As America’s most loyal ally, British Ambassador James Kariuki said: “In the best case scenario, the scale of the Russian forces assembled on three sides of Ukraine is deeply destabilizing. In the worst case, it is preparation for a military invasion of a sovereign country.”   

He said: “Russia denies that its forces are posing a threat to Ukraine. But yet again we see disinformation, cyber-attacks and destabilizing plots directed against an independent, democratic country.”

India, trying to balance its relations with the U.S. and Russia, in a brief address simply called for a diplomatic solution, backing the Minsk accords. The council also heard from Albania, Lithuania and Poland, whose remarks were dismissive of Russia having interests of its own in the matter. 

Joe Lauria is editor-in-chief of Consortium News and a former U.N. correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, and numerous other newspapers. He was an investigative reporter for the Sunday Times of London and began his professional work as a 19-year old stringer for The New York Times.  He can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @unjoe  

30 comments for “Perilous Gulf Widens Between Russia & US at the UN

  1. C. Parker
    February 2, 2022 at 08:32

    Thank you Joe Lauria for this article, and, also for posting the UN Security Council for your readers to view.

    This UN Security Council was somewhat similar to watching the one leading up to the 2003 Iraq war. Thomas-Greenfield tried to play a role similar to that of Colin Powell.

    It appears the US has been manipulating the narrative hoping to start a war with Russia by using Ukraine for several years. Biden/Nuland’s part in the 2014 Ukraine coup, Clinton’s phony charges of Russia hacking the DNC, Russia-gate throughout the Trump years…has brainwashed most Americans.

    I wonder if Adam Schiff would explain his statement towards the end of his opening argument at the Impeachment of President Trump, “The United States aids Ukraine and her people so that they can fight Russia over there, and we don’t have to fight Russia here.” What did Schiff know in 2019?

  2. Ole
    February 2, 2022 at 05:23

    Norway’s position is unfortunate. As a country that borders Russia it would be wise to have a more conciliatory tone towards Russia. We now depend almost entirely on our relations to the US/NATO for our defense but this arrangement may not stand up to an actual crisis situation if one were to occur. And at that point it would be too late to attempt to engage in good faith diplomacy.

  3. rosemerry
    February 2, 2022 at 01:37

    It is interesting to read Joe’s interpretation, and to compare it with Alexander Mercouris . He explains that every one of the non-aligned members of the UNSC gave a version which understood the security demands of the Russian Federation and rejected the “megaphone diplomacy” of the US/UK . Aggression by Russia was not proven, and Russia’s “massing on the borders” of troops was not a reason for the Western arming of Ukrainian forces while the Russians (and all the non-aligned members here) wanted implementation of the Minsk agreements to lead to a settling of the issues of “independence and territorial integrity” (so beloved of the USA!).
    Alexander found the meeting to have been a real disaster for the USA?UK, but that is not how it is presented in the MSM of course. The two virtual meetings of Putin and Macron (one replacing the BoJo cancellation of his meeting!) since Friday could, perhaps, signal a positive move as Macron apparently was courteous and open and the talks went well. Italy is also speaking with Russia.
    No Russian invasion has occurred despite Biden’s angry insistence to Zelensky!! Russia has no desire to take over country 404!!

      February 2, 2022 at 02:23

      Our article says nothing different about the non-aligned members on the council.

  4. Realist
    February 1, 2022 at 23:36

    As others have said here, this article represents great reportage by Joe Lauria of a complex unwieldy topic deliberately embellished by the debate participants with a surfeit of hazy rhetoric which makes it clear that Washington really has no desire to offer calm and order to this ethnic tiff and bring peace to the land in question. What Washington really wants is to stoke the chaos, keep the animosities burning and even bring war to the region, all in an effort to destabilize not just Ukraine, which they’ve done doggedly if not masterfully, but also Russia, ultimately toppling its government so it can add the resulting pieces to its bloated American quasi-empire which is itself listing under chaos.

    If Washington really wanted peace and prosperity for the people of Ukraine it would never have even started arming them to the teeth and endlessly instigating them to fight to “defend” themselves against their age-old “antagonists,” who also happen to be their thousand-year old closest relatives and historical allies. That sort of “Pax Americana” is truly the Devil’s work, not a real peace. Rather, Washington would have done what was best for Ukraine (not for the DC despots) and encouraged them to ratify the Minsk 2 Accords which their leaders had agreed to several years ago and then reneged upon, again under the bad advice and terrible example of the US government which repeatedly breaks its word and signed treaties itself. Some day, and it might be very soon, Washington is going to finally learn the lesson that others may fear you but they will never respect you for repeatedly breaking your word and dispensing lies when the truth is critically needed. They will stop appeasing you and make any sacrifice to defeat you. America’s last run of 5 or 6 presidents has proven over and again that its leaders are inveterate liars never to be trusted. I’d say the lesson is overdue.

  5. Sam F
    February 1, 2022 at 20:19

    A very good report, for which thanks.
    Thomas-Greenfield is clearly a trained scammer, not at all surprising, as US high office is reserved for mercenary opportunists.
    Not likely that anyone present or watching was fooled, nor that anyone actually believes US propaganda on its purposes.

  6. Lois Gagnon
    February 1, 2022 at 18:11

    Watching US officials and corporate media stooges pontificate about evil Russia’s aggression is surreal. We are truly living in Orwell’s dystopia. It’s so frustrating watching them and their “hostages” as someone so aptly put it, continue to get away with this charade. What will it take to break the spell before these nitwits get us all killed?

    • February 2, 2022 at 14:11

      Problem is the gerrymandering of the states and the electoral process here in the States. No matter how low the congress approval rating is, 90% of the congress members get re-elected. There are no consequences. Also the barrier t entry for a 3rd party due the the way the eletion is managed. When both your political parties report to the same master, the opinions of the “electorate” matters not.

  7. Hide Behind
    February 1, 2022 at 17:55

    There is only a truly sovereign Russia today because of Putin and a rather large Cadre who arebnot all yes men but of hard nosed pragmatic and yet remain Nationalistic
    When Putin goes Russia will go as well.
    US absolutely knows that they can stop on Russia and Russia knows it as well.
    A war in Ukrain will remain relatively low yield so called battlefield nukes, unless the US NATO forces enter Russian territory.
    Ukraine military now being and with battlefield weaponry and being trained by best Euro, Great Britain, US specialist was no easy pushover before build up, it after all was where almost all Russiqn weaponry was built.
    A conventional war would be a meat grinder and be costly to both especially to Russia.
    Here is scary thought, a nuclear armed Ukraine, for after USSR FELL uS helped Ukraine dispose of hundreds of nuclear waeheads; it is way they disposed of them that’s scary r y as none were permanently destroyed.
    They were placed and concrete seal caves and wells, buried in deep open pits, more as if stored not destroyed.
    Russia is very dependent upon its armor tanks and personally carriers but as Hezbollah showed Israeli armor was easily destroyed back then,with today’s anti tank weaponry Russias armor may fail completely.
    About only reasons I can think of for war is for Agricultural food crops.
    As of now there are but two nations that have enough foods and grains on hand and stored to ride out and be able to distribute for 3three (3) years of upcoming massive worldwide food shortages, China and Russia.
    I threshing times ahead, and when lies are only info available , look only towards ones own needs.

  8. lizzie dw
    February 1, 2022 at 16:33

    When you look at what the Russians have said and done then look at the caterwauling being done by the collective west, well….you just have to laugh.

  9. Yolanda G. BIrdwell
    February 1, 2022 at 16:14

    I believe Russian position is more credible. I have seen how the West has promoted wars to keep its status. Those who don’t want war have my support. Definitely.

  10. Mickey Winfield
    February 1, 2022 at 16:08

    Excellent reporting

  11. Matt Bivens
    February 1, 2022 at 15:57

    Joe, thanks for doing some excellent, old-school reporting.

  12. Working class Brit
    February 1, 2022 at 15:52

    Great reporting Joe .

  13. renate
    February 1, 2022 at 15:50

    So true, the US has no allies on the continent, the UK and Norway are on the fringes. The US appears to want to destroy the EU by destroying the German economy. The US would always use energy to extort Germany and the EU. The EU and China are big markets, they must go, just like Russia. The UK, USA, and Norway would only stand by and watch how Europeans beat each other over the head. What would they gain by a Europe in ashes?
    Talking about evil people, Hitler has lots of company.

  14. Robert Emmett
    February 1, 2022 at 15:14

    Some darn good reporting. I too was struck by the thought: can these people really believe what they are saying? Or are they just well practiced in obscuring their own intentions with projection onto the other? Too bad it’s such a tired & boring & predictable old story, let alone false. So I thought I’d try to put a little zip into it.

    Subtext: Say, what the hell is the matter with you damn people? This is Bidnez with a capital B. This is our goddamned investment so do as we say by god! for by hook or by damned crook we will take our goddamned return!!

    Just you look, we’re committed to do every possible thing we can to help our friends. Why, we even baked cookies for the storm troopers. Let’s not lose sight of who we say is the enemy around here. And if you disagree, you’re either a liar or a traitor or both! So stay the hell out of our goddamned way! And do as we say!

    (not as we do)

  15. Peter Loeb
    February 1, 2022 at 14:05

    I appreciate the excellent summary of the so-called “debate” at the UN Security Council.

    It should be noted that US President Harry Truman nowhere mentions the UN in his speech
    laying out The Truman Doctrine in 1947. In drafts for this address advisors to Truman
    referenced the UN but all such references were cut by Truman in the message presented
    to Congress. Such policies —and the Ukraine situation are definitely following the script—- place
    the US as the sole judge, jury and (if and when necessary) executioner. The UN was considered by
    Truman to be irrelevant to US policy.

    The discussion as described does not, therefore, add significantly to articles by others
    which have recently appeared in CN (eg Joe Lauria, Scott Ritter and others.)

  16. Carolyn L Zaremba
    February 1, 2022 at 13:46

    Linda Thomas-Greenfield lying through her teeth in good old-fashioned American style. Pot calling kettle black doesn’t even begin to describe the hypocrisy on display here.

    • Mickey Winfield
      February 1, 2022 at 16:07


    • Mickey Winfield
      February 1, 2022 at 16:10


  17. jaycee
    February 1, 2022 at 12:31

    The meeting was a damp squib, as the diminished attention from the corporate media demonstrates. The bellicosity and hypocrisy of the U.S. is more than obvious, as is the fact the self-proclaimed hegemon has more bark than bite these days. The non-vassal consensus that the Minsk Accords are the way forward – a UN Security Council mandated process, as the Russians pointed out – was publicly repudiated the same day by Ukraine’s own security chief, who articulated the open secret: the radical far-right faction cultivated by the US and its anglo-followers (Canada / UK) rejects the compromise, rejects a federation, and will resume a violent civil war rather than participate in a democratic process.

  18. Guy
    February 1, 2022 at 12:28

    Thank you for this informational report on what transpired at the Security Council ,yesterday ,Monday Jan. 31 .
    Not exactly exemplary diplomacy , more lies ,insinuations and propaganda promotion. I would have expected much better from the Ukraine and US ambassadors , but then again I should know better ,given where the rhetoric was coming from ,especially from Greenfield-Thomas .Quite the circus clown ,she outdid herself at obfuscating facts .
    Do these people really believe what they are saying or are they just putting on a show ?

  19. mgr
    February 1, 2022 at 12:12

    Thank you Joe. Great summary. I watched part of the proceedings. Russia’s ambassador was clear and factual. In contrast, America’s ambassador determinedly, almost comically, steered clear of anything factual in order to support her claims of unmitigated Russian aggression. Not surprising when there are no facts to support her case. Her entire posture was simply that the US owns the United Nations and will do what it wants.

    To note at home, the US has spent over 5 billion on Ukraine since fomenting a coup against its democratically elected leader in 2014 so it could lead Ukraine to its present crisis as a Washington pawn against Russia. I’m sure that HRC so much wanted to be a part of that in 2016. Thank goodness she lost that opportunity but do not doubt that she is still pulling strings. Meanwhile the US Congress is even now hard at work, led by the Democratic controlled House, on legislation to send 200 billion more in arms and support for a war that should it come will devastate the Ukrainian people. 700 billion for destruction? It’s simply hard to comprehend. I guess all this money, for war at least, has just been lying around waiting for Ms. Nuland to give the word.

    Now, compare that to how much the US government both under Trump and now Biden have supported the US public during the covid pandemic. If you said, “What support?”, you get a cookie. See a contrast..? Note the priorities. Does anyone still think that the US government gives a shit about its own citizens, or even for something as fundamental as infrastructure? Apparently anything that may be of any help whatsoever in supporting ordinary people is taboo. No money for that! The disdain by the US government for the American public is a truly bipartisan affair. Note that it’s the Democrats that killed “build back better” and also balked on monetary relief for covid. But OMG, they both want your vote…

    On the bright side though, with a looming GOP victory in the mid-terms, normally a cause for fear and loathing, perhaps a GOP congress will carry through and impeach Biden. Personally, that is something that I can hold my nose and vote for.

  20. February 1, 2022 at 12:02

    We must take note that since dozen and dozen of years, the Russians aggressively approaches Moscow closer and closer to the defensive, alone and isolated US bases, all 750 alone in the world.

    A cruel and unjust world who relentlessly assault those peaceful and benevolent US bases liberally offering their loads of bombs and clips of bullets to help the indigenous people who meanly replied by fiercely cultivating their plants of bananas or hatefully extracting their oil or their lithium nearby. Eeeeh, sorry, not “their oil or lithium” but “OUR oil and lithium” God gives us through “our manifest destiny” (beware of foreign copy).
    /sarcasm inside (and a little blood also, alas)

  21. Gerald
    February 1, 2022 at 09:58

    I’m sure the US feels ‘super confident’ that those two towering superpowers, er .. Norway and UK … are backing them to the hilt. Especially since the UK has already admitted it will send no troops to fight in Ukraine (apart from the special forces it already has there presumeably) US is really in a weak position, all it has is more sanctions which will not be effective in the long run, again. Biden is taking hits from all sides. Dead man walking just like Johnson?

  22. Jeff Harrison
    February 1, 2022 at 09:46

    Thank you, Joe. I don’t think you’ll see this kind of reportage from NYT or WaPo. Frankly, my first thought was “The US doesn’t have allies, it has hostages”.

    • MistyAnn
      February 1, 2022 at 12:00


      • February 1, 2022 at 15:34

        Everyone on Earth (the Moon, Venus, Mars or wherever else in the Universe) with a (dime’s worth of) brain knows who is right and who is wrong here, by any measure, weather they admit it or not! Do they think we (around the globe) are all stupid or they just don’t give a ‘D’ what we think? Judging by their contempt for our intelligence, it is ‘both’ my friends!

        • HIDE BEHIND
          February 1, 2022 at 18:19

          The PTB, Powers That Be, have legions of little “Eichmans”to administer their policies.
          Would the death and destruction caused by conflict in Ukraine change those policies?
          It would not.
          In all likelihood the US and its people will remain isolated from wars horror let the dead be over there not over here.
          With Europe in shambles and Russian military might destroyed as well, who will be winners?
          It is very very doubt that China would military intervene.
          Oh they, as long as war is limited no nukes and eastward they will supply Russia with massive amounts of hardware and logistics.
          Only if US decides to physicly attack China China will claim neutrality.
          If war goes nuke NATO AND US FIRST USE ASSUREDLY, THEN China knowing g just how far the East will go and for future Survival will enter full bore all out on Russias side.
          I am writing of so called Low Yield Battle field nukes that US and Euro along with Israel having possibly by this date 1500 or more.
          Not the great big RCBM missle and bomber types, they are last suicidal act no matter who goes first.
          And yes we are stupid because we are going to sit on butts texting and let them have their ways.

    • Carolyn M. Grassi
      February 1, 2022 at 15:48

      thanks Jeff, and all commentators to Joe Lauria’s intelligent, comprehensive article, “a voice in the wilderness” but some understand, even if outsiders in terms of main-stream media….No memory today, among many Americans and Western Europeans, in terms of the great sacrifice of Russian lives to defeat Hitler during WW II. The Marshall Plan should have helped them after that war . . . May peace prevail.

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