Putin design to rebuild Russian Empire: blatanter and blatanter
Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia reacted with outrage after China's ambassador in Paris appeared to question the sovereignty not only of Ukraine, but all the former Soviet republics. Interviewed on French television April 21, Lu Shaye was asked whether Crimea (unilaterally annexed by Russia in 2014) was part of Ukraine under international law. He replied that Crimea was historically Russian and had been handed over to Ukraine; and then added: "Even these countries of the former Soviet Union do not have an effective status in international law, since there is no international agreement that would specify their status as sovereign countries." Fearing diplomatic censure, Beijing's Foreign Ministry backpedalled, releasing a statement saying: "China respects the sovereign status of former Soviet republics after the Soviet Union's dissolution." (The Guardian, NYT)
But such annexationist sentiments are fast gaining an alarming currency in Russian political circles. Dmitry Steshin, a commentator for the ostensibly privatized but still Kremlin-adjacent newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda, was asked in an interview on the outlet's own radio station April 24 about possible comparisons between Ukraine and Kazakhstan. "The situation in Ukraine is being mirrored clearly in Kazakhstan. There are enormous regions populated by Russian speakers there too," replied Steshin in a clip noted on Twitter by a reporter for BBC Monitoring. He added: "[A]ccording to the Ukrainian scenario, we have an historical right to those lands." (Newsweek)
Former president Dmitry Medvedev, now deputy chairman of Russia's Security Council, continues to issue genocidal rhetoric and barely veiled nuclear threats against Ukraine. In an April 8 tweet, he wrote: "WHY WILL UKRAINE DISAPPEAR? BECAUSE NOBODY NEEDS IT." The tweet went on to call Ukraine a "Nazi regime" inhabited by "blood-sucking parasites" and "a threadbare quilt, torn, shaggy, and greasy." The post won more than 7,000 re-tweets and 11,000 likes. (NPR) (Another example of fascist pseudo-anti-fascism.)
The tweet also refered to Ukraine as "Malorossiya" (Little Russia), "made up of the artificially cut territories, many of which are indigenously Russian, separated by accident in the 20th century." Malorossiya is a term from the empire of the czars for territories outside Great Russia (Russia proper). A related term from the czarist era, Novorossiya (New Russia), has been adopted by the Donbas separatists in eastern Ukraine—who have now acquiesced in Moscow's unilateral annexation of the region.
Amid all this, video footage emerged of China's Defense Minister Li Shangfu congratulating the "extraordinary" Vladimir Putin for "promoting world peace." The clip, posted on the video platform of Chinese tech company NetEase Inc, appears to show Li reading a prepared statement in a meeting with the Russian president and defense minister Sergei Shoigu in Moscow on April 16. (Independent)
Another one to file under #OrwellWouldShit.