Thursday 9th of February 2023

the flow of history explained......

Russian President Vladimir Putin honored the country's National Unity Day by meeting with historians and dignitaries – including leaders of religious communities – and discussing the role of history in protecting national sovereignty, identity, and culture. Here are some key points from his speech and the subsequent discussion.


The Russian president marked National Unity Day by speaking at a gathering of historians...


Conflict in Ukraine was “inevitable” 
“Russia’s clash with the neo-Nazi regime that arose in Ukraine was inevitable, and had our country not undertaken the actions it did in February, nothing would have changed, only our position would have been far worse,” Putin said. 

“Our so-called friends brought the situation in Ukraine to the stage where it was a mortal threat to Russia.” 
Putin compared the situation with what happened in 1941, when the USSR had ample warning about the upcoming Nazi invasion but did not take steps to defend itself, suggesting that this was one of the reasons millions of Soviet citizens died before victory over Nazism was achieved.

The West twisted Ukraine’s history
Western countries meddled in Ukraine’s internal affairs after the fall of the Soviet Union and “managed to instill such pseudo-values ​​into the minds of millions of people, which led to the fact that an anti-Russia was created on this territory, sowing hatred, violating the minds of people, depriving them of true history,” Putin said. 

Ukraine has been turned into a grave danger for Russia, but also something suicidal for the Ukrainians themselves, he explained. “It is Ukraine, the Ukrainian people, that is the first and main victim of the deliberate sublimation of hatred towards the Russians and Russia. In Russia, everything is exactly the opposite – you know this very well: we have always treated the Ukrainian people with respect and warmth. It remains so, despite today's tragic confrontation.”

A civil war, just like 1917 Speaking further about the current conflict in Ukraine, Putin drew parallels with the Russian Revolution over a hundred years ago. “In fact, the confrontation is going on within one people – just like it was after the upheavals of 1917.” Back then, “foreign powers warmed their hands on the tragedy of our people. They did not care about either the Whites or the Reds, they pursued their own interests, weakened and tore historical Russia to pieces.” 

The West is doing the same in Ukraine today, Putin said, sacrificing the Ukrainian people to achieve their geopolitical goals, which he described as “weakening, disintegrating and destroying Russia.”

Weaponizing the distortion of history
Russians need to know the full past of their country, the president argued, without repeating the “mistakes of the Soviet period,” where academia worked to fit ideological patterns. “Something similar is happening now in some countries in the West, where much is determined by the current radical-liberal establishment. To please it, key historical events are presented in a completely distorted, inverted form, and the truth is canceled,” Putin said. 

“When someone wishes to deprive the state of sovereignty and turn its citizens into vassals, they begin by twisting the country’s history, in order to deprive people of their roots, doom them to unconsciousness,” the Russian president explained, condemning this as a “deliberately perverted attitude to history.”

Pointing to Ukraine as an example of this, Putin said that “there have been similar attempts against Russia, and they do not stop, but we firmly and in time put up a solid barrier against them. “

The colonial era is over 
While Russia is absolutely a part of European civilization, there is no denying that many major colonial empires in the West are now “medium-sized or small countries,” Putin said, comparing the population of Portugal with its former colony Brazil, the UK with India, and how China’s Guangdong province alone has 1.5 times the population of Germany. “European capitals were [once] the center of the universe – but this is already in the past,” the Russian president said.

Batman, or historical heroes? 
Putin also opted to broach a slightly less political issue. During the question-and-answer session, he noted that academic work won’t be enough without teaming up with popular culture and merchandising. 

Russian children “know of Batman but not of our own heroes,” Putin said, noting that historical education starts from an early age. “There should be cartoons, films, children's literature… All of these things are needed. That’s why we’re here today, to nudge this process forward.”





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By Max Blumenthal / The Grayzone



The Grayzone was disinvited from Web Summit, a tech industry mega-event in Lisbon, Portugal this November, following a personal lobbying campaign spearheaded by Ukrainian First Lady Olena Zelenska. Zelenska was the surprise keynote speaker at Web Summit, addressing conference attendees on November 1.

This outlet learned of Zelenska’s role in our cancellation from several sources close to Web Summit CEO Paddy Cosgrave. Their accounts were confirmed in a November 3 report by the Irish Examiner, which noted that The Grayzone’s Max Blumenthal and Aaron Mate “had been cancelled from the event at the insistence of the first lady of Ukraine Olena Zelenska…”

According to a source privy to internal communications among Web Summit organizers, Zelenska “and the highest levels of the Ukrainian government” threatened to “apply significant influence on sponsors” if the summit did not cancel The Grayzone and academic Noam Chomsky, who had also been invited to speak.

“She basically said she was gonna yank the whole tablecloth off of the table and break everything,” the source said.

The source explained that in order to prevent the possible sabotage of his event, Web Summit chief executive Paddy Cosgrave decided to “give up” Blumenthal and Mate in exchange for “keeping” Chomsky.

Additionally, The Grayzone’s Anya Parampil was unable to access her Web Summit ticket upon arriving in Lisbon despite having been granted a press credential for the event.

A second source close to Web Summit organizing discussions emphasized the Ukrainian First Lady’s influence over the event, explaining Zelenska “would have been able to get quite a number of people to pull out, big companies or whatever, I would say that was a strong possibility.”

“The bottom line is you were dropped because that’s what she [Zelenska] wanted,” the source stated.

Yet Zelenska demands did not end with her call to cancel The Grayzone.


Zelenska cancels nuclear button memes

At previous Web Summit opening events, the headline speaker kicked off the summit by hitting a large red button. This year, however, a Web Summit source revealed the Ukrainian First Lady refused to participate in the ceremonial gesture, insisting the red button too closely resembled a trigger for nuclear war.

“She knew that there’d be lots of memes generated because of that,” the organizer said. “You can imagine it would just go viral, the picture of her pressing a red button. It would be too good. And they know it’s just not the look that they’d want.”

When Zelenska appeared by surprise on the evening of November 1, the button had been removed. Several summit attendees described her address as akin to “a corporate elevator pitch.”

During the Web Summit, Zelenska said she hoped Elon Musk’s call for peace between Ukraine and Russia “was a chance mistake.” In other words, she pleaded for listeners to give war a chance.

The Ukrainian first lady is due to remain in Lisbon throughout the week to lobby government officials and tech bigwigs to support the Ukrainian war effort.

A Web Summit source said their colleagues were well aware that “a small group of Atlantic Council people and Bellingcat people” helped coordinate the social media campaign to disinvite The Grayzone.

The Atlantic Council and Bellingcat are NATO-related lobbying groups which rely on funding from the US and British governments, as well as assorted pro-NATO oligarchs. The former organization, a DC-based think tank which has hosted Bellingcat founder Elliot Higgins as a resident fellow, has also received funding from the corruption-stained Ukrainian gas company, Burisma.



I said, I’m telling you, you’re not getting the billion dollars. I said, you’re not getting the billion. I’m going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor [of corrupt Burisma, where Hunter Biden was a "director"] is not fired, you’re not getting the money. Well, son of a bitch. (Laughter.) He got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid [corrupt] at the time."

                           Joe Biden]


The Ukrainian Ministry of Digital Transformation and Ukrainian embassy in Portugal also participated in the censorship blitzkreig, delivering a letter to Web Summit organizers which demanded The Grayzone’s staff be banished from the conference.

Since the US-backed Maidan coup in 2014, Kiev has maintained an iron grip on the flow of information. All opposition media has been effectively banned under the watch of Zelensky, and of the 400-some journalists listed on the Ukrainian government’s semi-official “hit list,” known as Myrotvorets, at least a dozen have been murdered. Now, Zelensky and his wife have brought their government’s war on the press and free exchange of ideas well into the heart of Western Europe.


The Grayzone attends private dinner with Web Summit organizers

On the evening of November 2, The Grayzone’s Max Blumenthal, Aaron Mate, and Anya Parampil attended a private dinner in Lisbon organized by Web Summit chief executive Paddy Cosgrave. There, they and other guests discussed the proxy war in Ukraine, the dangers of NATO expansion, and the upcoming US midterm elections.

The Grayzone’s presence at the private dinner generated headlines the following day in the Irish Examiner and the Business Post, the latter of which tasked two reporters with covering the story.

Asked during a November 3 press conference about our invitation to the dinner, Cosgrave stated, “Web Summit should remain a big tent. People should disagree with each other and they should disagree fiercely.”