The Syrian Playbook
Please note: I have made this episode of Kremlin File available to everyone. The information shared by Mouaz and Michael was simply too important to keep behind a paywall. I must thank EuroFile subscribers for your patience, understanding and loyality. It is sincerely appreciated.
Olga and I are joined by Syrian activist Mouaz Moustafa and Ukrainian activist Michael Sawkiw to discuss Russian war crimes.
Mouaz Moustafa is currently the Executive Director for the Syrian Emergency Task Force (SETF), Political Director of United for a Free Syria (UFS), and serves on the Government Relations Committee of the Coalition for a Democratic Syria (CDS).
Mouaz on Twitter: @SoccerMouaz
Michael Sawkiw, Vice President of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America and the Director of the Ukrainian National Information Service - the UCCA’s public affairs bureau in Washington DC. The UCCA is the formal representative body of Ukrainians in America following the efforts of generations of immigrants, with an estimated 1.5 million Americans having roots in Ukraine.
UNIS Twitter: @UNISdirect
UCCA Twitter: @UkrCongComAm
My note: Brothers in arms
This is probably the most important episode Olga and I have done together. Russian-made terrorism started first in Russia, when it is widely suspected the Russian intelligence services bombed apartment buildings and set off a terror campaign across Russia.
What Putin did at home to his own people was exported abroad because this is how Putin and his war party govern: Russia is a state sponsor of terrorism across the globe, and a terrorist state itself.
That’s what we talked about. Terror in Syria and Ukraine, and what is being done to address this from various angles.
Mouaz tells us that they’ve stopped counting the dead in Syria. The last count was at 500,000 souls but that doesn’t even come close to the real number of Syrians and Russians and other ethnic groups that were murdered. That’s the population of Florence. They were butchered by the Russian and Assad forces.
We have forgotten that the war in Syria is still on-going but Syrian activists, who are just trying to establish a democratic state, have not. Not in Syria and not in Ukraine.
Syrian activists stepped in quickly to aid their Ukrainian brothers: they were the first. They know where all this violence will lead, and after the horrors of Bucha, we have seen where this will go if we don’t help Ukraine’s defence now.
We hope you listen to the entire podcast: Michael and Mouaz offer us advice and something to hold onto as we move into the next stage of Russia’s war of aggression and genocide in Ukraine.
Volodymyr Yermolenko- Ukraine World
War is when your friends die. When you see this breathless cruelty of death. You remember talks with this brave young man, a talented scientist, now he's gone. Or a woman who cares about her rose garden, and you thought of her as the kindest person on earth. She's gone too.
When we say that this war gets the best people, it's not a metaphor. [The] best people, the kindest, the bravest, the most empathetic, go to the frontline as volunteers and do not come back.
You sometimes ask yourself whether you are worth their sacrifice. Of course not.
Whether this earth is worth their sacrifice.
Not sure the truth of this war: this a necrophilic sadist force that swallows life, destroys it, smashes all biophilia it sees on its way. The war is the abyss that makes life a rare species. Life is a baby. Your country is a baby. You are a baby. Fragility is the law of everything.
Amnesty blind to the evident
Decades ago, Russia taught Hamas to fire unguided missiles at Jewish residential areas from a middle of civilian infrastructure like schools/playgrounds. Now RU does the same in occupied Ukraine, because it truly believes in killing civilians while hiding behind a human shield.
Ukrainian strikes vs Russian shelling
Rt Gen Ben Hodges: Here's the difference...Ukrainian strike on Russian airbase in Crimea hits the airbase precisely, only scaring the Russian tourists away. Russian strikes hit beaches, resorts, apartment buildings, and shopping centers, murdering innocent Ukrainian citizens.
The Amnesty report demonstrates a weak understanding of the laws of armed conflict, no understanding of military operations, and indulges in insinuations without supplying supporting evidence.
It is not a violation of IHL for Ukrainian military personnel to situate themselves in the terrain they are tasked to defend rather than in some random piece of adjacent woodland where they can be bypassed.
The Ukrainian military has regularly urged civilians to leave areas of fighting and facilitated them doing so. Forcing displacement is itself a violation of IHL and throughout history many civilians have chosen to remain in areas where there are ongoing military operations.
In setting unattainable expectations of civilian protection Amnesty trivialises an important issue.
The infowar is an integral part of the Russian offensive
This account is a trusted source for investigations into disinformation, misinformation and malinformation. Understanding the differences between these 3 terms will help interpret information coming from various sources.
Ukraine World Thread- Russian propaganda narrative
Russian propaganda is now blaming Ukraine not only for "nazism" but also for "satanism" (sic!) Recent article by Kirill Frolov, a Russian Orthodox fundamentalist close to patriarch Kirill, calls Zelensky a "globalist-satanist", Ukraine an "anti-Orthodox, anti-human project".
Russia, it says, has a mission of "saving the world from evil" and its army is not only denazifying Ukraine but also "fulfilling its religious duty to save its historical lands from satanism". In this way, Russian invasion of Ukraine is presented as a war against "satanism".
NB: RIA Fan is a "federal news agency", a part of "media factory" set up by Mr Prigozhyn, Putin's close ally - a "godfather" of both notorious St-Petersburg "troll factory" and "Wagner" private army.
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