The world we live in is full of negativity and unpleasant news, on which we are forced to focus every day in order to shine the light of truth on grave problems and injustices. However, today I want to focus on something, perhaps tragic, but still inspiring and rather positive in a very profound way.
Lieutenant Alexander Prokhorenko (left) with dad
This is a very touching story of Lieutenant Alexander Prokhorenko and his heroic death in Syria. Facing imminent capture, he called the Russian fire upon his own hidden position after being surrounded by ISIS jihadists, thus taking many islamists with him to the grave. He was posthumously awarded the Gold Star of the Hero of Russia. Lieutenant Prokhorenko has left behind his pregnant wife.
Alexander Prokhorenko and wife Ekaterina
Incidentally, Prokhorenko is a typical Ukrainian name. You’ve probably heard me say before that there are millions of Ukrainians living in Russia, since essentially ‘Ukrainians’ are, simply put, Southern Russians, and most of the normal ones don’t consider themselves separate from the Great Russians in any way.
With great dismay, I often talk on this blog about the embarrassment that today’s Kiev junta-ruled Ukraine has turned itself into. This young man proves that there are good Ukrainians left in the world.
But the story of the Russian hero doesn’t end there. A French couple, in protest against the French media and government’s silence about Prokhorenko’s act of heroism and Russia’s role in Syria, decided to donate their cherished WWII medals to his family.
I’ve said that today’s Ukraine is an embarrassment. However, in truth, today’s collective West’s behavior and manipulation is an even bigger embarrassment, especially that of the US and EU.
But while the West is silent, trying to ignore facts and twist the truth to suit its agenda, ordinary people do speak up. It’s people’s diplomacy at work: Prokhorenko family has been getting letters and donations from all over, through Russian embassies and organizations. These tokens of support won’t replace their beloved husband and son, but they do confirm the family isn’t alone, as many grieve with them.
Touching video with details of Lieutenant Prokhorenko’s Syria act and the French couple’s gift:
Putin Announces Troops Withdrawal from Syria.
Russia’s Accomplishments and Withdrawal Reasons Revealed!
Putin is the most unpredictable politician in the world: he always tells the truth.
As many times before, Putin openly pre-announced Russian objectives in Syria and said that once they have been achieved, Russia will withdraw. It appears the West was under a complete impression Putin was lying. No wonder: that’s how they themselves behave, and they expect the same behavior from others. Their feeble minds can’t fathom that there are few out there who actually tell the truth.
What were Russia’s main objectives? Let’s hear it directly from the horse’s mouth.
This special talk show Evening with Vladimir Soloviev of March 15, 2016, dedicated to Russian withdrawal from Syria (Вечер с Владимиром Соловьевым. Спецвыпуск от 15.03.16), includes an excerpt from the televised October 2015 interview with President Putin. Incidentally, Evening with Vladimir Soloviev is my top recommended Russian political talk show.
I have translated the interview snippet. Soloviev (S), President Putin (P).
On this video, the October 2015 Putin interview recording starts at 23:12 and ends at 24:50:
S: What are our real goals in Syria and what are the criteria of our success?
P: First, let me re-confirm what is already a well-known fact: we have advised in advance our American and many other partners, as well as the countries in the region, of our plans and intentions. Some say we did it too late, but let me remind everyone that no one ever advises us of their plans or actions in operations of this kind. Yet, we did it.
S: Show of good will?
P: Yes, out of good will, together with common sense. But also to show that we are open to cooperation.
S: Syrian army began advancing. What are their chances of success?
P: This primarily depends on the Syrian army and Syrian leadership. We can’t assume any excessive responsibility upon ourselves, and we never did. I said from the start that the active phase of our Syrian operation will be limited in time by the term of the advancement of this same Syrian army. To return to your first question: our goal is specifically to stabilize the legitimate power in Syria and to create the conditions for the political dialogue and compromise.
That was said in October 2015. The whole Russian plan, timeframe and intentions were laid out clearly, for all world to hear.
Video (Putin at 23:12 – 24:50 – RUS):
LR: To add to the above, Putin and Russian Army command announced from the start that Syrian op would last 5-6 months. There were tons of doom-and-gloomers everywhere, including Russian opposition from Zhirinovsky’s LDPR to pro-West anti-Putin liberals. These predicted that Russia would get stuck in Syria, like US did in Iraq and Afghanistan, that it will be Afghanistan 2.0 for Russia, that casualties would mount…
The active phase of Russian Syrian op actually ended in 5 months! There were only two operation-related military casualties, due to Turkey’s downing of the Russian jet and rescue helicopter. Unfortunately, there were civilian casualties: terrorist act against Russian plane over Sinai, Egypt, with 224 people dead.
On March 14-15, 2016 Putin Announced Russian Troops Withdrawal from Syria. The West is in shock. They are so used to their own lies, as well as the world around them based solely on lies, that they can’t fathom how Putin can actually promise something and keep his word. As we know, the White House, Pentagon, US State Dept and NATO were completely unprepared and didn’t know what to say or how to react to the news.
I will talk much more in-depth about Putin’s strategy and style, which – I predict – will continue to surprise and stomp his adversaries, in the upcoming EARTH SHIFT REPORT FEATURE: THE PUTIN ENIGMA. You can always check the main EARTH SHIFT REPORT page on LadaRay.info for release dates of each report.
In my bestselling Earth Shift Report 5: SYRIA GAME CHANGER, released in October 2015, and in a number of other pieces, I said time and again that Putin would outplay them all. He will make his next move when no one expects it, and he will always be one, two, three moves ahead of the next guy.
Main reasons for Russian troops withdrawal from Syria revealed!
I didn’t call Earth Shift Report 5 SYRIA GAME CHANGER by accident. What Russia did in Syria in the mere five months truly was a total game changer and a complete turnaround.
Below is a long list of objectives of the Russian Syria campaign that have been achieved in five months. (I challenge you to compare this list of things promised and delivered to what the multi-year US invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq have done to those countries; what NATO bombings have done to Libya; what the US/EU 2-year+ interference in Ukraine has turned the country into!)
Important things to remember:
Let’s recall that Russia announced from the start that there will be no ground operation. It was clear that Russia doesn’t want to repeat Soviet and US mistakes in the Middle East.
Also, let’s remember that this withdrawal is partial. This is a gesture designed to send a specific message to all parties involved, and to the global community in general. What this message is – we’ll discuss below.
Russia merely announced the end to the active phase of Syria operations. There are two bases and sufficient number of troops/crews left. Russia still controls the Syrian sky. S-400 systems remain there, which means that any flights over Syria have to be coordinated with Russia.
Additionally, it has been hinted that Russian jets, troops and ships can be returned back within hours, should necessity arise. In fact, Vladimir Putin announced that starting March 22 Russia may re-start operations against those who attempt to break the truce. This remark had a fabulous response. Those groups who thought they could begin fighting with Assad troops again once Russia left, got back to negotiations table.
Russia spent on Syrian operation $450 million. That’s all. This constitutes less than 1 percent of the Russian defence budget.
I don’t have handy the Pentagon or NATO budget numbers, but isn’t it something like their weekly allowance? Incidentally, let’s compare this to how much US spent in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Russian accomplishments in Syria and associated withdrawal reasons:
1. ISIS oil infrastructure – destroyed or weakened; ISIS military and terrorist infrastructure – destroyed or weakened. Multi-billion investments of ISIS/Al Nusra/ Muslim Brotherhood’s sponsors Qatar, Saudis and Turkey – destroyed. ISIS, Turkey, Saudi and Qatar oil – synthetic drug – slave – artifact smuggling ring broken, which means that the financing of terrorist activities has been dealt a major blow.
2. What really goes on in Syria has been exposed for the whole world to see. Before, the Western propaganda had a monopoly on Syria stories, presenting its usual false narrative. Now, with Russian direct footage and access given for the Western press to Russian bases and battle ships patrolling Mediterranean much of the false narrative changed dramatically. Having seen the truth, US and EU became unable to accuse Russia or Assad of various actions they didn’t commit. The Western propaganda ring has been broken and the tide has been reversed.
3. Some of the potential new recruits have been scared away from joining ISIS-Daesh and other terrorist organizations by Russian Syria campaign. The idea that they would be bombed by Russian jets, should they join, stopped many. Therefore, the lives of some of the young, lost people residing on the territory of the Russian Federation, EU and various Muslim counties, have been saved.
Per Russian statistics, about 5,000 Russian citizens joined ISIS, mostly Muslims from Caucasus, Siberia, Volga Tatars and Crimean Tatars. Also thousands joined from Muslim ex-Soviet Central Asia and Azerbaijan. These were recruited through mosques and infiltrated propagandists. The flow of ‘fresh cannon fodder’ has been at least slowed down, if not stopped.
One of pre-announced Russian goals was to prevent the already trained ISIS militants from being able to return back home, which they could do with their Russian passports. The official Russian statistics is that out of 5,000 ISIS militants with Russian passports 2,000 have been killed as a result of Russian raids.
4. Another Russian goal was to keep Syria secular and inclusive of other religions, in other words, prevent Syria from turning into another Muslim fundamentalist state. There are many Christians (both Orthodox and Catholics) that lived in Syria in peace for millennia; Assad government was always respectful of other religions. These Christians and their cities received one of the biggest blows during the invasion by ISIS. Result of Russian campaign: secular Syrian state re-affirmed, made stronger and more consolidated. Assad has been re-affirmed as national leader, at least in the interim.
5. Syrian army was able to advance and take back a number of territories, which they were unable to re-take on their own. Now the Syrian government controls about 1/2 of Syria. Just six months ago it was only about 20% of Syrian territory.
7. The trend of Syrian opposition (dubbed by US ‘moderate’) fighting Assad government troops has been decidedly reversed. Truce achieved and holding; moderate opposition has been taken out of the fight mode with Assad and is now working with Assad against ISIS. Moreover, the number of groups and bands in truce with the government continues growing daily. Altogether, there are thousands of such groups and they are all trying to secure a place for themselves in the future of Syria. All this, thanks to the skilled combined effort of the Russian military and diplomacy.
Russia opened a Center for the Syrian dialogue in Moscow, where different Syrian opposition groups can register and speak up.
Russia also put together a list of those opposition groups that want to be taken out of harms ways. If you are on the list, then you agree to the truce and to stop fighting against Assad troops. Everyone on the list agrees to fight only against ISIS. In exchange, they are guaranteed not to be bombed by Russian jets and to be included in Syrian political process.
All the above has been achieved within five months. It’s in stark contrast to the destruction and chaos US/EU and their ME allies achieved through years of inciting wars, hatred and violence.
In fact, Russia reversed the trend of US and allies encouraging ISIS and other terrorist organizations to grow like a tumor. Certainly, it’s too early to talk about ISIS/Al Nusra/Muslim Brotherhood being dealt a deathly blow. We are still very far from a true resolution of the Middle East problems and crises. If you recall, my prediction last year was that the Middle East would suffer from violence and various conflicts for a long time due to many millennial issues that have remained unresolved. Resolution will take a very long time.
But what Russia has shown in Syria is that resolution is possible; that a very discerning and targeted surgical intervention, aiming at stabilizing the country, while isolating and taking out of the equation the destructive forces, can lead to hope of a better future. The smart leaders and countries will heed this and follow the example.
8. In the eyes of various groups in Syria, and in the eyes of the entire Middle East, Russia is now the main peacemaker and the go-to country for all grievances and deals.
A pilgrimage of various Syria opposition groups to Moscow doesn’t cease. Similarly, every week and month there are leaders of various Middle Eastern countries visiting Moscow for negotiations. Russia received leaders of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan UAE, and everyone in between, including those, like Qatar, who just recently tried to undermine Russia, and who were implicated in the Russian passenger plane downing over Sinai, Egypt. Not that Qatar or SA would stop their undermining activities, but at least for now they have to negotiate.
Leaders of the Kurds from Syria, Iraq and Turkey have been visiting Moscow and meeting with Russians. Kurdistan’s first representative office has opened in Moscow.
Incidentally, as described in SYRIA GAME CHANGER, Israeli PM Netanyahu was one of the first to visit Moscow before the start of the Russian Syria incursion in 2015. Back then I said that Israel, with the usual Jewish shrewdness, knew who to ‘call.’ Let’s say that Israel knew ‘the right phone number’ and understood how to position itself before Syria events. This is why Israel was first to sign a Syria cooperation and intel sharing deal with Russia. I said back then that Israel knows where the wind is blowing and is re-orienting itself towards Russia, Eurasia and SCO. Also read ESR6: NEW KHAZARIAN KHAGANATE? for a perspective on the true Israeli spread and future direction.
For those who want to hear me out: I said many times before that we are going through a massive Earth Shift in all areas of life on the planet. I am your guide in this tectonic Earth Shift. Those who read my FREE articles, Earth Shift Reports and materials on LadaRay.info, especially LADA RAY OMNIVERSE section, will be well prepared for the Shift to come.
8. As a result of years of USA’s failures, especially compared to Russia’s success, US influence in the Middle East is waning fast. Russian influence is growing just as fast.
Non-ISIS/non-Al Nusra opposition is now much less likely to look to the US and much more likely to go to Russia for advice and direction.
US clout in the Middle East is extremely low, even in the countries fully dependent in them. Saudis consider themselves betrayed by the US and continue giving signals to Russia that they want closer cooperation (frankly, I wouldn’t trust them for a moment, but a situational alliance might be useful). Iraq and Afghanistan continue attempting to ask Russia for assistance in fighting ISIS on their territory, while US continues blocking these requests. Russians signaled they would help Afghanistan and Iraq, if asked formally by their governments. One of the big reasons to help is that terrorists and smugglers from those two could potentially infiltrate Central Asia and south Caucasus, from where they can get into Russia proper through porous ex-Soviet republics’ borders.
The latest on that: Russian military signaled that they have secured the Central Asian borders in Tajikistan through the newly expanded base and that infiltration isn’t possible any more.
9. Russia achieved its goal of securing bases in Syria / on the Mediterranean coast. Russia now has two bases, which will continue being maintained. All this will be secured by diplomatic documents that will hold under international scrutiny regardless of what government comes after Assad.
10. Russia got US to take off the table its demand that ‘Assad must go’ – a MAJOR win for Russia and a major show of US weakness.
11. Syria elections – another achievement. This means that Assad has been legitimized in the eyes of the West and Syrian opposition. They all now have to work with Assad, whether they want it or not.
If Assad is reconfirmed as the national leader by elections, they will have no choice but to recognize him. If he isn’t reconfirmed, then there will be new government, which, unlike Libya, destroyed by the US and EU interference, will have to be secular and inclusive, under Russian and international supervision.
12. I wrote about this in SYRIA GAME CHANGER. Federalization of Syria and the Kurds is possible. I consider this a good outcome, if done correctly. Kurds announced they are forming a federation (aka, autonomy) within Syria. At the very minimum, this means they are not trying to secede, further destabilizing the region. This announcement, so far not recognized by Assad or internationally, puts a lot of pressure on Erdogan and Turkey, who are bombing and killing Kurds on their own territory. For the Turkish Kurds now there is an inspiring example in Syria. This weakens Erdogan. I have talked at length in ESR5 and ESR7 about Erdogan, Davutoglu, ans the issue of the Kurds.
In ESR5 I said that Syria needs to move to federalization. Russia, the world’s largest federation, can help Syria like no other.
Assad is afraid to recognize Kurdish autonomy as well, fearing this will lead to further destabilization of the country. He is partially right: US/West/Saudi/Qatar/Turkey’s interference in the affairs of decentralized, autonomous regions will be that much easier. But Assad may have no choice. In the end it all depends on how skilled his diplomats and politicians are. Russia will lend a hand in negotiations.
As a matter of fact, it has been recognized by various opposition and pro-government forces that Russia is the one and only power to talk to. As one Assad’s opponent said, ‘now Russia is again seen as the only peacemaker in the region by all forces in Syria.’
13. Withdrawing at the time when Kerry and Lavrov have decided on the framework on Syria negotiations and when the main list of Syrian ‘moderate’ opposition’ groups has been compiled underscores Russia’s commitment to peaceful, diplomatic solution of Syrian conflict.
Since Geneva negotiations between government and opposition began, the withdrawal and cessation of Russian bombings sent all the right kinds of signals to the parties involved: Russian Army has done its job. Now it’s time for Russian diplomacy to do theirs.
Putin reconfirmed this signal when he met on March 14th with both Russian FM Sergey Lavrov and Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu. The message was very strong and unmistakable: the army has done what was needed to stabilize Syria, now let’s pass the baton to our diplomats, who will deepen and solidify this success.
Video (ENG translation):
Putin, Lavrov and Shoigu 3/14/16
14. Last, but not least, by announcing partial withdrawal, Russia sent a message to Assad. The message is that Assad shouldn’t rest on laurels; that he can’t think that Russia was there to support him personally.
Russia sent a message, understood fully by all political and military groups in Syria and beyond: we won’t always be in Syria to bail out Assad. He needs to find his own stride for reconciliation. We are here to establish pre-conditions for political process by stabilizing the country and allowing the fair and equal voice to the people. What does this kind of message do? It puts the fire under Assad, making him agree to elections and national dialogue. It also restrains honest opposition from further armed clashes with government forces, making them see the light in the end of the tunnel – the light of possible peaceful resolution and political change in the interests of the country.
The Russian Syria withdrawal timing is genius:
All in all, Russia took away from the West and their Middle East vassals the possibility of escalation of anti-Assad rhetoric and, therefore, escalation of Syria conflict, leading to further destabilization of the country and region.
1. UK is now in a difficult position. Its attempt to build a new army and invade Syria through Libya now makes it look like a bully and invader in the eyes of own citizens.
2. Turkey was preparing its own invasion of Syria. Russian withdrawal announcement was a cold shower to Erdogan. Now US/NATO are forced to restrain Turkey from rash actions. In fact, the entire Russian op put a huge harness on Turkey’s ambitions to chop off a chunk of Syria, promised to him by US/Qatar and Saudis in late 2000s. It also dampened Erdogan’s ambition to resurrect Ottoman Khalifate. Read all about that in ESR7: TURKISH CONUNDRUM.
3. This move by Russia also restrains US actions in Syria, together with those of Saudis and Qatar. Now their hands are tied and they can’t continue trying to unseat Assad, otherwise they look like bullies. Of course, to make this happen Lavrov and Russia first made US admit that negotiations were the way to go, remove from the agenda ‘Assad must go’ mantra and compose a list of opposition forces ready to negotiate. Being tied into the negotiations framework makes it impossible for US to start invading Syria willy-nilly.
4. Besides that, Russia ingeniously timed Syria op, negotiations and withdrawal to the US presidential elections year. Obama and democrats desperately need to show some kind of international successes. This is why they suddenly began playing nice with Cuba, sat down with Iran last year and this is why they are ready to negotiate in Syria.
5. Another reason Russia announced partial withdrawal: sand storm season has begun, which makes flights difficult to impossible for a couple of months. Again – good timing.
6. US has recently gone into Syria, while Russia is already out. This again demonstrates that US continues scrambling to catch up to Russia. Read: Why Is Obama Scrambling to Catch Up to Putin? In ESR5 I said that Syria 2015-16 reminds me of WWII and 1944. It was in 1944 that US/UK suddenly saw the light and opened second front against Hitler, but only after they realized that USSR could take Berlin and liberate Europe all by themselves.
As I said, Putin is always several steps ahead. This is especially true after the devious US game in Ukraine.
Let me tell you something: the fact that Russia was not playing devious games in Ukraine was perceived by US and EU as a weakness and an opening to go in. As usual, they are unable to conceive that there are some who don’t play devious games not because they can’t, but because they are above it.
It’s not dangerous, but actually good – not for the US, but for Russia and the rest of the world – that US is stuck on the ground in yet another conflict in the Middle East. US troops are on the ground in Syria – Russian are not; US has already given a commitment they will fight ISIS, after they were shamed by Russia into doing so (as explained in ESR5). Good, let them finally live up to their promises and do something useful for a change!
Meanwhile, Russian reputation and clout in the Middle East is growing, while US is waning. US is playing a humiliating catch-up, while Russia continues leading.
In fact, I think that in part this Russian withdrawal has been timed so to demonstrate how slow and ill-equipped US and EU are for the modern strategic operations. Sort of: ‘see, we’ve accomplished everything we said we would, and are already out, while these dinosaurs are only getting in.’ The world isn’t blind and can see what’s going on.
When US showed to the whole world that it was absolutely unwilling to respect Russian interests, Russia and Putin began showing that in fact they are very capable of playing games, and much better than the West – if they want to.
Finally, here are two other good reasons for the timing of this withdrawal:
7. March 15th was one day before the 2nd anniversary of the Crimean referendum, which returned Crimea to Russia. This was part of the holiday present for March 16-19, the dates when Crimea and Sevastopol were officially accepted as two new subjects of the Russian Federation. Russia is clean and out of any conflicts on foreign soil – was the loud and clear message.
8. Now, being out of Syria, Russia can deal without any distractions with Ukraine and other problems close to home, such as Central Asia and Caucasus. This also includes Turkey and all of Black Sea.
(Read most recent related article: Breaking! Suspicious #Flydubai Boeing-737 Crash in Rostov-on-Don Raises Red Flags.)
The above, brand new material is being added to the updated and expanded original
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This brings us full circle back to the upcoming Earth Shift Reports!
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