Tag Archives: Russia

Putin said the era of unipolar world order has come to an end and dismisses “stupid” Western “blitzkrieg” sanctions

President of Russia Vladimir Putin had a major speech at the 25th St Petersburg International Economic Forum on Friday. This speech is a long speech, but a speech we should pay attention to. Read the transcript below (some of it) and make up your mind:

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Thank you very much. President Tokayev, friends and colleagues,

I welcome all participants and guests of the 25th St Petersburg International Economic Forum.

It is taking place at a difficult time for the international community when the economy, markets, and the very principles of the global economic system have taken a blow. Many trades, industrial, and logistics chains, which were dislocated by the pandemic, have been subjected to new tests. Moreover, such fundamental business notions as business reputation, the inviolability of property, and trust in global currencies have been seriously damaged. Regrettably, they have been undermined by our Western partners, who have done this deliberately, for the sake of their ambitions and in order to preserve obsolete geopolitical illusions.

Today, our – when I say “our,” I mean the Russian leadership – our own view of the global economic situation. I would like to speak in greater depth about the actions Russia is taking in these conditions and how it plans to develop in these dynamically changing circumstances.

When I spoke at the Davos Forum a year and a half ago, I also stressed that the era of unipolar world order has come to an end. I want to start with this, as there is no way around it. This era has ended despite all the attempts to maintain and preserve it at all costs. Change is a natural process of history, as it is difficult to reconcile the diversity of civilizations and the richness of cultures on the planet with political, economic, or other stereotypes – these do not work here, they are imposed by one center in a rough and no-compromise manner.

The flaw is in the concept itself, as the concept says there is one, albeit strong, power with a limited circle of close allies, or, as they say, countries with granted access, and all business practices and international relations, when it is convenient, are interpreted solely in the interests of this power. They essentially work in one direction in a zero-sum game. A world built on a doctrine of this kind is definitely unstable.

After declaring victory in the Cold War, the United States proclaimed itself to be God’s messenger on Earth, without any obligations and only interests which were declared sacred. They seem to ignore the fact that in the past decades, new powerful and increasingly assertive centers have been formed. Each of them develops its own political system and public institutions according to its own model of economic growth and, naturally, has the right to protect them and secure national sovereignty.

These are objective processes and genuinely revolutionary tectonic shifts in geopolitics, the global economy, and technology, in the entire system of international relations, where the role of dynamic and potentially strong countries and regions is substantially growing. It is no longer possible to ignore their interests.

To reiterate, these changes are fundamental, groundbreaking, and rigorous. It would be a mistake to assume that at a time of turbulent change, one can simply sit it out or wait it out until everything gets back on track and becomes what it was before. It will not.

However, the ruling elite of some Western states seems to be harboring this kind of illusion. They refuse to notice obvious things, stubbornly clinging to the shadows of the past. For example, they seem to believe that the dominance of the West in global politics and the economy is an unchanging, eternal value. Nothing lasts forever.

Our colleagues are not just denying reality. More than that; they are trying to reverse the course of history. They seem to think in terms of the past century. They are still influenced by their own misconceptions about countries outside the so-called “golden billion”: they consider everything a backwater, or their backyard. They still treat them like colonies, and the people living there, like second-class people, because they consider themselves exceptional. If they are exceptional, that means everyone else is second-rate.

Thereby, the irrepressible urge to punish, to economically crush anyone who does not fit with the mainstream, does not want to blindly obey. Moreover, they crudely and shamelessly impose their ethics, their views on culture, and ideas about history, sometimes questioning the sovereignty and integrity of states, and threatening their very existence. Suffice it to recall what happened in Yugoslavia, Syria, Libya, and Iraq.

If some “rebel” state cannot be suppressed or pacified, they try to isolate that state, or “cancel” it, to use their modern term. Everything goes, even sports, the Olympics, bans on culture, and art masterpieces just because their creators come from the “wrong” country.

This is the nature of the current round of Russophobia in the West, and the insane sanctions against Russia. They are crazy and, I would say, thoughtless. They are unprecedented in the number of them or the pace the West churns them out at.

The idea was clear as day – they expected to suddenly and violently crush the Russian economy, to hit Russia’s industry, finance, and people’s living standards by destroying business chains, forcibly recalling Western companies from the Russian market, and freezing Russian assets.

This did not work. Obviously, it did not work out; it did not happen. Russian entrepreneurs and authorities have acted in a collected and professional manner, and Russians have shown solidarity and responsibility.

Step by step, we will normalize the economic situation. We have stabilized the financial markets, the banking system, and the trade network. Now we are busy saturating the economy with liquidity and working capital to maintain the stable operation of enterprises and companies, employment, and jobs.

The dire forecasts for the prospects of the Russian economy, which were made in early spring, have not materialized. It is clear why this propaganda campaign was fuelled and all the predictions of the dollar at 200 rubles and the collapse of our economy were made. This was and remains an instrument in an information struggle and a factor of psychological influence on Russian society and domestic business circles.

Incidentally, some of our analysts gave in to this external pressure and based their forecasts on the inevitable collapse of the Russian economy and a critical weakening of the national currency – the ruble.

Real-life has belied these predictions. However, I would like to emphasize that to continue being successful, we must be explicitly honest and realistic in assessing the situation, be independent in reaching conclusions, and of course, have a can-do spirit, which is very important. We are strong people and can deal with any challenge. Like our predecessors, we can resolve any task. The entire thousand-year history of our country bears this out.

Within just three months of the massive package of sanctions, we have suppressed inflation rate spikes. As you know, after peaking at 17.8 percent, inflation now stands at 16.7 percent and continues to drop. This economic dynamic is being stabilized, and state finances are now sustainable. I will compare this to other regions further on. Yes, even this figure is too much for us – 16.7 percent is high inflation. We must and will work on this and, I am sure, we will achieve a positive result.

After the first five months of this year, the federal budget has a surplus of 1.5 trillion rubles, and the consolidated budget – has a surplus of 3.3 trillion rubles. In May alone, the federal budget surplus reached almost half a trillion rubles, surpassing the figure for May 2021 more than four times over.

Today, our job is to create conditions for building up production and increasing supply in the domestic market, as well as restoring demand and bank financing in the economy commensurately with the growth in supply.

I mentioned that we have taken measures to reestablish the floating assets of companies. In most sectors, businesses have received the right to suspend insurance premiums for the second quarter of the year. Industrial companies have even more opportunities – they will be able to delay them through the third quarter as well. In effect, this is like getting an interest-free loan from the state.

In the future, companies will not have to pay delayed insurance premiums in a single payment. They will be able to pay them in equal installments over 12 months, starting in June next year.

Next. As of May, the subsidized mortgage rate has been reduced. It is now 9 percent, while the program has been extended till the end of the year. As I have mentioned, the program is aimed at helping Russians improve their housing situation, while supporting the home building industry and related industries that employ millions of people.

Following a spike this spring, interest rates have been gradually coming down, as the Central Bank lowers the key rate. I believe that this allows the subsidized mortgage rate to be further cut to 7 percent.

What is important here? The program will last until the end of the year without change. It means that our fellow Russians seeking to improve their living conditions should take advantage of the subsidy before the end of the year.

The lending cap will not change either, at 12 million roubles for Moscow and St Petersburg and 6 million for the rest of Russia.

I should add that we must make long-term loans for businesses more accessible. The focus must shift from budget subsidies for businesses to bank lending as a means to spur business activity.

We need to support this. We will allocate 120 billion rubles from the National Wealth Fund to build up the capacity of the VEB Project Financing Factory. This will provide for additional lending to much-needed initiatives and projects worth around half a trillion roubles.

Colleagues,

Once again, the economic blitzkrieg against Russia was doomed to fail from the beginning. Sanctions as a weapon have proved in recent years to be a double-edged sword damaging their advocates and architects just as much, if not more.

I am not talking about the repercussions we see clearly today. We know that European leaders informally, so to say, furtively, discuss the very concerning possibility of sanctions being leveled not at Russia, but at any undesirable nation, and ultimately anyone including the EU and European companies.

So far this is not the case, but European politicians have already dealt their economies a serious blow all by themselves. We see social and economic problems worsening in Europe, and in the US as well, food, electricity, and fuel prices rising, with quality of life in Europe falling and companies losing their market edge.

According to experts, the EU’s direct, calculable losses from the sanctions fever could exceed $400 billion this year. This is the price of the decisions that are far removed from reality and contradict common sense.

This outlay falls directly on the shoulders of people and companies in the EU. The inflation rate in some Eurozone countries has exceeded 20 percent. I mentioned inflation in Russia, but the Eurozone countries are not conducting special military operations, yet the inflation rate in some of them has reached 20 percent. Inflation in the United States is also unacceptable, the highest in the past 40 years.

Of course, inflation in Russia is also in the double digits so far. However, we have adjusted social benefits and pensions to inflation, and increased the minimum and subsistence wages, thereby protecting the most vulnerable groups of the population. At the same time, high-interest rates have helped people keep their savings in the Russian banking system.

Businesspeople know, of course, that a high key rate clearly slows economic development. But it is a boon for the people in most cases. They have reinvested a substantial amount of money in banks due to higher interest rates.

This is our main difference from the EU countries, where rising inflation is directly reducing the real incomes of the people and eating up their savings, and the current manifestations of the crisis are affecting, above all, low-income groups.

The growing outlays of European companies and the loss of the Russian market will have lasting negative effects. The obvious result of this will be the loss of global competitiveness and a system-wide decline in the European economies’ pace of growth for years to come.

Taken together, this will aggravate the deep-seated problems of European societies. Yes, we have many problems as well, yet I have to speak about Europe now because they are pointing the finger at us although they have enough of their own problems. I mentioned this at Davos. A direct result of the European politicians’ actions and events this year will be the further growth of inequality in these countries, which will, in turn, split their societies still more, and the point at issue is not only the well-being but also the value orientation of various groups in these societies.

Indeed, these differences are being suppressed and swept under the rug. Frankly, the democratic procedures and elections in Europe and the forces that come to power look like a front, because almost identical political parties come and go, while deep down things remain the same. The real interests of people and national businesses are being pushed further and further to the periphery.

Such a disconnect from reality and the demands of society will inevitably lead to a surge in populism and extremist and radical movements, major socioeconomic changes, degradation, and a change of elites in the short term. As you can see, traditional parties lose all the time. New entities are coming to the surface, but they have little chance for survival if they are not much different from the existing ones.

The attempts to keep up appearances and the talk about allegedly acceptable costs in the name of pseudo-unity cannot hide the main thing: the European Union has lost its political sovereignty, and its bureaucratic elites are dancing to someone else’s tune, doing everything they are told from on high and hurting their own people, economies, and businesses.

There are other critically important matters here. The worsening of the global economic situation is not a recent development. I will now go over things that I believe are extremely important. What is happening now does not stem from what happened during recent months, of course not. Moreover, it is not the result of the special military operation carried out by Russia in Donbas. Saying so is an unconcealed, deliberate distortion of the facts.

Surging inflation in product and commodity markets had become a fact of life long before the events of this year. The world has been driven into this situation, little by little, by many years of irresponsible macroeconomic policies pursued by the G7 countries, including uncontrolled emission and accumulation of unsecured debt. These processes intensified with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 when supply and demand for goods and services drastically fell on a global scale.

This begs the question: what does our military operation in Donbas have to do with this? Nothing whatsoever.

Because they could not or would not devise any other recipes, the governments of the leading Western economies simply accelerated their money-printing machines. Such a simple way to make up for unprecedented budget deficits.

I have already cited this figure: over the past two years, the money supply in the United States has grown by more than 38 percent. Previously, a similar rise took decades, but now it grew by 38 percent or 5.9 trillion dollars in two years. By comparison, only a few countries have a bigger gross domestic product.

The EU’s money supply has also increased dramatically over this period. It grew by about 20 percent or 2.5 trillion euros.

Lately, I have been hearing more and more about the so-called – please excuse me, I really would not like to do this here, even mention my own name in this regard, but I cannot help it – we all hear about the so-called ‘Putin inflation’ in the West. When I see this, I wonder who they expect would buy this nonsense – people who cannot read or write, maybe. Anyone literate enough to read would understand what is actually happening.

Russia, our actions to liberate Donbas have absolutely nothing to do with this. The rising prices, accelerating inflation, shortages of food and fuel, petrol, and problems in the energy sector are the result of system-wide errors the current US administration and European bureaucracy have made in their economic policies. That is where the reasons are, and only there.

I will mention our operation, too: yes, it could have contributed to the trend, but the root cause is precisely this – their erroneous economic policies. In fact, the operation we launched in Donbas is a lifeline they are grabbing at to be able to blame their own miscalculations on others, in this case, on Russia. But everyone who has at least completed primary school would understand the true reasons for today’s situation.

So, they printed more money, and then what? Where did all that money go? It was obviously used to pay for goods and services outside Western countries – this is where the newly-printed money flowed. They literally began to clean out, to wipe out global markets. Naturally, no one thought about the interests of other states, including the poorest ones. They were left with scraps, as they say, and even that at exorbitant prices.

While at the end of 2019, imports of goods to the United States amounted to about 250 billion dollars a month, by now, it has grown to 350 billion. It is noteworthy that the growth was 40 percent – exactly in proportion to the unsecured money supply printed in recent years. They printed and distributed money, and used it to wipe out goods from third countries’ markets.

This is what I would like to add. For a long time, the United States was a big food supplier in the world market. It was proud, and with good reason, of its achievements, its agriculture, and farming traditions. By the way, this is an example for many of us, too. But today, America’s role has changed drastically. It has turned from a net exporter of food into a net importer. Loosely speaking, it is printing money and pulling commodity flows its way, buying food products all over the world.

The European Union is building up imports even faster. Obviously, such a sharp increase in demand that is not covered by the supply of goods has triggered a wave of shortages and global inflation. This is where this global inflation originates. In the past couple of years, practically everything – raw materials, consumer goods, and particularly food products – has become more expensive all over the world.

Yes, of course, these countries, including the United States continue importing goods, but the balance between exports and imports has been reversed. I believe imports exceed exports by some 17 billion. This is the whole problem.

According to the UN, in February 2022, the food price index was 50 percent higher than in May 2020, while the composite raw materials index doubled over this period.

Under the cloud of inflation, many developing nations are asking a good question: why exchange goods for dollars and euros that are losing value right before our eyes? The conclusion suggests itself: the economy of mythical entities is inevitably being replaced by the economy of real values and assets.

According to the IMF, global currency reserves are at $7.1 trillion and 2.5 trillion euros now. These reserves are devalued at an annual rate of about 8 percent. Moreover, they can be confiscated or stolen at any time if the United States dislikes something in the policy of the states involved. I think this has become a very real threat for many countries that keep their gold and foreign exchange reserves in these currencies.

According to analyst estimates, and this is an objective analysis, conversion of global reserves will begin just because there is no room for them with such shortages. They will be converted from weakening currencies into real resources like food, energy commodities, and other raw materials. Other countries will be doing this, of course. Obviously, this process will further fuel global dollar inflation.

As for Europe, their failed energy policy, blindly staking everything on renewables and spot supplies of natural gas, which have caused energy price increases since the third quarter of last year – again, long before the operation in Donbas – have also exacerbated price hikes. We have absolutely nothing to do with this. It was due to their own actions that prices have gone through the roof, and now they are once again looking for somebody to blame.

Not only did the West’s miscalculations affect the net cost of goods and services but they also resulted in decreased fertilizer production, mainly nitrogen fertilizers made from natural gas. Overall, global fertilizer prices have jumped by over 70 percent from mid-2021 through February 2022.

Unfortunately, there are currently no conditions that can overcome these pricing trends. On the contrary, aggravated by obstacles to the operation of Russian and Belarusian fertilizer producers and disrupted supply logistics, this situation is approaching a deadlock.

It is not difficult to foresee coming developments. A shortage of fertilizer means a lower harvest and a higher risk of an undersupplied global food market. Prices will go even higher, which could lead to hunger in the poorest countries. And it will be fully on the conscience of the US administration and the European bureaucracy.

I want to emphasize once again: that this problem did not arise today or in the past three or four months. And certainly, it is not Russia’s fault as some demagogues try to declare, shifting the responsibility for the current state of affairs in the world economy to our country.

Maybe it would even be nice to hear that we are so powerful and omnipotent that we can blow up inflation in the West, in the United States, and Europe, or that we can do things to throw everything into disorder. Maybe it would be nice to feel this power, if only there were truth in it. This situation has been brewing for years, spurred by the short-sighted actions of those who are used to solving their problems at somebody else’s expense and who have relied and still rely on the mechanism of financial emission to outbid and draw trade flows, thus escalating deficits and provoking humanitarian disasters in certain regions of the world. I will add that this is essentially the same predatory colonial policy as in the past, but of course in a new iteration, a more subtle and sophisticated edition. You might not even recognize it at first.

The current priority of the international community is to increase food deliveries to the global market, notably, to satisfy the requirements of the countries that need food most of all.

While ensuring its domestic food security and supplying the domestic market, Russia is also able to scale up its food and fertilizer exports. For example, our grain exports in the next season can be increased to 50 million tonnes.

As a priority, we will supply the countries that need food most of all, where the number of starving people could increase, first of all, African countries and the Middle East.

At the same time, there will be problems there, and not through our fault either. Yes, on paper Russian grain, food, and fertilizers… Incidentally, the Americans have adopted sanctions on our fertilizers, and the Europeans followed suit. Later, the Americans lifted them because they saw what this could lead to. But the Europeans have not backed off. Their bureaucracy is as slow as a flour mill in the 18th century. In other words, everyone knows that they have done a stupid thing, but they find it difficult to retrace their steps for bureaucratic reasons.

As I have said, Russia is ready to contribute to balancing global markets of agricultural products, and we see that our UN colleagues, who are aware of the scale of the global food problem, are ready for dialogue. We could talk about creating normal logistical, financial, and transport conditions for increasing Russian food and fertilizer exports.

As for Ukrainian food supplies to global markets – I have to mention this because of numerous speculations – we are not hindering them. They can do it. We did not mine the Black Sea ports of Ukraine. They can clear the mines and resume food exports. We will ensure the safe navigation of civilian vessels. No problem.

But what are we talking about? According to the US Department of Agriculture, the matter concerns 6 million tonnes of wheat (we estimate it at 5 million tonnes) and 7 million tonnes of maize. This is it, altogether. Since global production of wheat stands at 800 million tonnes, 5 million tonnes make little difference for the global market, as you can see.

Anyway, Ukrainian grain can be exported, and not only via Black Sea ports. Another route is via Belarus, which is, incidentally, the cheapest way. Or via Poland or Romania, whichever you prefer. In fact, there are five or six export routes.

The problem is not with us, the problem is with the adequacy of the people in control in Kyiv. They can decide what to do, and, at least in this particular case, they should not take their lead from their foreign bosses, their masters across the ocean.

But there is also the risk that grain will be used as payment for arms deliveries. This would be regrettable.

Friends,

Once again, the world is going through an era of drastic change. International institutions are breaking down and faltering. Security guarantees are being devalued. The West has made a point of refusing to honor its earlier commitments. It has simply been impossible to reach any new agreements with them.

Given these circumstances and against the backdrop of mounting risks and threats, Russia was forced to go ahead with the special military operation. It was a difficult but necessary decision, and we were forced to make it.

This was the decision of a sovereign country, which has еру unconditional right to uphold its security, which is based on the UN Charter. This decision was aimed at protecting our people and the residents of the people’s republics of Donbas who for eight long years were subjected to genocide by the Kyiv regime and the neo-Nazis who enjoyed the full protection of the West.

The West not only sought to implement an “anti-Russia” scenario but also engaged in the active military development of Ukrainian territory, flooding Ukraine with weapons and military advisers. And it continues to do so now. Frankly, no one is paying any attention to the economy or well-being of the people living there, they just do not care about it at all, but they have never spared money to create a NATO foothold in the east that is directed against Russia and to cultivate aggression, hatred, and Russophobia.

Today, our soldiers and officers, as well as the Donbas militia, are fighting to protect their people. They are fighting for Russia’s future as a large, free, and secure multiethnic country that makes its own decisions, determines its own future, relies on its history, culture, and traditions, and rejects any and all outside attempts to impose pseudo-values steeped in dehumanization and moral degradation.

No doubt, our special military operation goals will be fulfilled. The key to this is the courage and heroism of our soldiers, consolidated Russian society, whose support gives strength and confidence to the Russian Army and Navy, and a deep understanding of the truth and historical justice of our cause which is to build and strengthen Russia as a strong sovereign power.

My point is that sovereignty cannot be segmented or fragmented in the 21st century. The components of sovereignty are equally important, and they reinvigorate and complement each other.

So, what matters to us is not only the defense of our political sovereignty and national identity, but also strengthening everything that determines our country’s economic, financial, professional, and technological independence.

The very structure of Western sanctions rested on the false premise that economically Russia is not sovereign and is critically vulnerable. They got so carried away spreading the myth of Russia’s backwardness and its weak positions in the global economy and trade that apparently, they started believing it themselves.

While planning their economic blitzkrieg, they did not notice, and simply ignored the real facts of how much our country had changed in the past few years.

These changes are the result of our planned efforts to create a sustainable macroeconomic structure, ensure food security, implement import substitution programs and create our own payment system, to name a few.

Of course, sanction restrictions created many challenges for the country. Some companies continue having problems with spare parts. Our companies have lost access to many technological solutions. Logistics are in disarray.

But, on the other hand, all this opens up new opportunities for us – we often talk about this but it really is so. All this is an impetus to build an economy with full rather than partial technological, production, human and scientific potential, and sovereignty.

Naturally, it is impossible to resolve such a comprehensive challenge instantly. It is necessary to continue working systematically with an eye to the future. This is exactly what Russia is doing by implementing its long-term plans for the development of branches of the economy and strengthening the social sphere. The current trials are merely resulting in adjustments and modifications of the plans without changing their strategic orientation.

Today, I would like to talk about the key principles on which our country and our economy will develop.

The first principle is openness. Genuinely sovereign states are always interested in equal partnership and in contributing to global development. On the contrary, weak and dependent countries are usually looking for enemies, fuelling xenophobia or losing the last remnants of their identity and independence, blindly following in the wake of their suzerain.

Russia will never follow the road of self-isolation and autarky although our so-called Western friends are literally dreaming about this. Moreover, we are expanding cooperation with all those who are interested in it, who want to work with us, and will continue to do so. There are many of them. I will not list them at this point. They make up the overwhelming majority of people on Earth. I will not list all these countries now. It is common knowledge.

I will say nothing new when I remind you that everyone who wants to continue working or is working with Russia is subjected to blatant pressure from the United States and Europe; it goes as far as direct threats. However, this kind of blackmail means little when it comes to countries headed by true leaders who know the difference between their own national interests, the interests of their people – and someone else’s.

Russia will build up economic cooperation with these states and promote joint projects. At the same time, we will certainly continue to cooperate with Western companies that have remained in the Russian market despite the unprecedented arm-twisting – such companies exist, too.

We believe the development of convenient and independent payment infrastructure in national currencies is a solid and predictable basis for deepening international cooperation. To help companies from other countries develop logistical and cooperation ties, we are working to improve transport corridors, increase the capacity of railways, transshipment capacity at ports in the Arctic, and in the eastern, southern, and other parts of the country, including in the Azov-Black Sea and Caspian basins – they will become the most important section of the North-South Corridor, which will provide stable connectivity with the Middle East and Southern Asia. We expect freight traffic along this route to begin growing steadily in the near future.

But foreign trade is not our only priority. Russia intends to increase scientific, technological, cultural, humanitarian, and sports cooperation based on equality and mutual respect between partners. At the same time, our country will strive for responsible leadership in all these areas.

The second principle of our long-term development is a reliance on entrepreneurial freedom. Every private initiative aimed at benefiting Russia should receive maximum support and space for implementation.

The pandemic and the more recent events have confirmed how important flexibility and freedom are in the economy. Russian private businesses – in tough conditions, amid attempts to restrain our development by any means – have proved they can compete in global markets. Private businesses should also be credited for Russia’s adaptation to rapidly changing external conditions. Russia needs to ensure the dynamic development of the economy – naturally, relying on private business.

We will continue to reduce administrative hurdles. For example, in 2016–2018, we imposed a moratorium on routine audits of small businesses. Subsequently, it was extended through 2022. In 2020, this moratorium was extended to cover mid-sized companies. Also, the number of unscheduled audits decreased approximately fourfold.

We did not stop at that, and last March, we canceled routine audits for all entrepreneurs, regardless of the size of their businesses, provided their activities do not put people or the environment at high risk. As a result, the number of routine audits has declined sixfold compared to last year.

Why am I giving so many details? The point is that after the moratorium on audits was imposed, the number of violations by entrepreneurs – this was the result – has not increased, but rather it has gone down. This testifies to the maturity and responsibility of Russian businesses. Of course, they should be offered motivation rather than being forced to observe regulations and requirements.

So, there is every reason to take another radical step forward, that is, to abandon, for good and on a permanent basis, the majority of audits for all Russian businesses, except on risky or potentially dangerous activities. Everyone has long since understood that there was no need to check on everyone without exception. A risk-oriented approach should be at work. I ask the Government to develop the specific parameters of such a reform in the next few months.

There is another very sensitive topic for business, which has also become important today for our national security and economic resilience. To reduce and bring to a minimum all sorts of abuse and loopholes to exert pressure on entrepreneurs, we are consistently removing loose regulations from criminal law that are applied to economic crimes.

Last March, a law was signed, under which tax-related criminal cases against entrepreneurs shall only be brought before a court by the tax service – there is no other way. Soon a draft law will be passed on reducing the statute of limitations for tax-related crimes and on rejecting lawsuits to initiate criminal proceedings after-tax arrears have been paid off.

Working comprehensively, although prudently, we need to decriminalize a wide range of economic offenses, for instance, those that punish businesses without a license or accreditation. This is a controversial practice today because our Western partners illegitimately refuse to provide such licenses.

Our own agencies must not single-handedly make our businesses criminally liable for actually doing nothing wrong. The problem is this, and small businesses understand it very well – if a license has expired, and Western partners refuse to extend it, what are businesses to do, wrap up operations? By no means, let them work. State oversight should continue, but there should be no undue interference in business.

It also makes sense to think about raising the threshold of criminal liability for unpaid customs duties and other such taxes. Additionally, we have not for a long time reconsidered the parameters of the terms ‘large’ and ‘very large’ economic loss for the purposes of economic offenses despite inflation accruing 50 percent since 2016. The law now fails to reflect the current realities and needs to be corrected.

We need to reconsider the conditions for detaining entrepreneurs and for extending preliminary investigations. It is no secret that these practices have long been used inappropriately.

Businesses have been forced to cease operations or go bankrupt even before the investigation is over. The reputation of the owners and of the brand name suffers, as a result, not to mention the direct financial loss, loss of market share, and jobs.

I want to ask law enforcement to put an end to these practices. I also ask the Government and the Supreme Court to draft appropriate legislation before October 1 of this year.

In addition, at the Security Council, special instruction was given to look into criminal cases being opened without later proceeding to court. The number of such cases has grown in recent years. We know the reasons. A case is often opened without sufficient grounds or to put pressure on individuals. We will discuss this in autumn to take legislative action and change the way our law enforcement agencies work.

It goes without saying that regional governments play a major role in creating a modern business environment. As is customary during the St Petersburg Forum, I highlight the regions that have made significant progress in the National Investment Climate Rankings compiled by the Agency for Strategic Initiatives.

There have been changes in the top three. Moscow and Tatarstan have remained at the top and were joined by the Moscow Region which, in a span of one year, went from eighth place to the top three. The leaders of the rankings also include the Tula, Nizhny Novgorod, Tyumen, Novgorod, and Sakhalin regions, St Petersburg and Bashkortostan.

Separately, I would like to highlight the regions that have made the greatest strides such as the Kurgan Region, which moved up 36 spots; the Perm Territory and the Altai Territory, up 26 spots; Ingushetia, up 24 spots; and the Ivanovo Region which moved up 17 spots.

I want to thank and congratulate our colleagues in the regions for their good work.

The federal government and regional and municipal governments should focus on supporting individual business initiatives in small towns and remote rural communities. We are aware of such stories of success. That includes developing popular software and marketing locally produced organic food and environmentally friendly products nationwide using domestic websites.

It is important to create new opportunities, to introduce modern retail formats, including e-commerce platforms, as I mentioned above, and to cut the logistics, transportation, and other costs, including by using upgraded Russian Post offices.

It is also important to help small business employees, self-employed individuals, and start-up entrepreneurs acquire additional skills and competencies. Please include corresponding measures tailored specifically to small towns and rural and remote areas as a separate line in the national project for promoting small and medium-sized businesses.

Today I would like to address our officials, owners of large companies, business leaders, and executives.

Colleagues, friends,

Real, stable success and a sense of dignity and self-respect only come when you link your future and the future of your children with your Fatherland. We have maintained ties with many people for a long time, and I am aware of the sentiments of many of the heads and owners of our companies. You have told me many times that business is much more than just making a profit, and I fully agree. It is about changing life around you, and contributing to the development of your home cities, regions, and the country as a whole, which is extremely important for self-fulfillment. There is nothing like serving the people and society. This is the meaning of your life and work.

Recent events have reaffirmed what I have always said: it is much better at home. Those who refused to hear that clear message have lost hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars in the West, in what looked like a safe haven for their assets.

I would like to once again say the following to our colleagues, those who are both in this audience and those who are not here: please, do not fall into the same trap again. Our country has huge potential, and there are more than enough tasks that need your contribution. Invest here, in the creation of new enterprises and jobs, in the development of the tourism infrastructure, and support schools, universities, healthcare, and the social sphere, culture, and sport. I know that many of you are doing this. I know this, but I wanted to say it again.

This is how the Bakhrushin, Morozov, Shchukin, Ryabushinsky, Akchurin, Galeyev, Apanayev, Matsiyev, Mamontov, Tretyakov, Arsanov, Dadashev, and Gadzhiyev families understood their noble mission. Many Russian, Tatar, Buryat, Chechen, Daghestani, Yakutian, Ossetian, Jewish, Armenian, and other merchant, and entrepreneurial families did not deprive their heirs of their due share, and at the same time, they etched their names in the history of our country.

Incidentally, I would like to note once again that it remains to be seen what is more important for potential heirs: money and property or their forefathers’ good name and service to the country. The latter is something that cannot be squandered or, pardon my language, wasted on drink.

A good name is something that will always belong to your descendants, to future generations. It will always be part of their lives, going from one generation to another, helping them and making them stronger than the money or property they might inherit can make them.

Colleagues,

A responsible and well-balanced macroeconomic policy is the third guiding principle of our long-term development. In fact, this policy has largely enabled us to withstand the unprecedented pressure brought on by sanctions. Let me reiterate that this is an essential policy in the long term, not just for responding to the current challenges. We will not follow in the footsteps of our Western colleagues by replicating their bitter experience setting off an inflation spiral and disrupting their finances.

Our goal is to ensure robust economic growth for years to come, reducing the inflation burden on our people and businesses and achieving the mid-and long-term target inflation rate of four percent. Inflation was one of the first things I mentioned during my remarks, so let me tell you this: we remain committed to this target of a four-percent inflation rate.

I have already instructed the Government to draft proposals regarding the new budget guidelines. They must ensure that our budget policy is predictable and enables us to make the best use of the external economic conditions. Why do we need all this? To put economic growth on a more stable footing, while also delivering on our infrastructure and technological objectives, which provide a foundation for improving the wellbeing of our people.

True, some international reserve currencies have set themselves on a suicidal path lately, which is an obvious fact. In any case, they clearly have suicidal intentions. Of course, using them to ‘sterilize’ our money supply does not make any sense. Still, the principle of planning one’s spending based on how much you earn remains relevant. This is how it works, and we understand this.

Social justice is the fourth principle underpinning our development. There must be a powerful social dimension when it comes to promoting economic growth and business initiatives. This development model must reduce inequality instead of deepening it, unlike what is happening in other countries. To be honest, we have not been at the forefront when it comes to delivering on these objectives. We have yet to resolve any issues and problems in this regard.

Reducing poverty and inequality is all about creating demand for Russian-made products across the country, bridging the gap between regions in terms of their capabilities, and creating new jobs where they are needed the most. These are the core economic development drivers.

Let me emphasize that generating positive momentum in terms of household income growth and poverty reduction are the main performance indicators for government agencies and the state in general. We need to achieve tangible results in this sphere already this year, despite all the objective challenges we face. I have already assigned this task to the Government.

Again, we provide targeted support to the most vulnerable groups – pensioners, families with children, and people in difficult life situations.

Pensions are indexed annually at a rate higher than inflation. This year, they have been raised twice, including by another 10 percent on June 1.

The minimum wage was also increased by 10 percent at the same time, and so was the subsistence minimum – a reference figure used to calculate many social benefits and payments – accordingly, these benefits should also grow, increasing the incomes of about 15 million people.

In recent years, we have built a holistic system to support low-income families with children. Women are entitled to state support from the early stages of pregnancy until the child reaches the age of 17.

People’s living standards and prosperity are the most important demographic factors; the current situation is quite challenging due to several negative demographic waves that have recently overlapped. In April, less than a hundred thousand children were born in Russia, almost 13 percent less than in April 2020.

I ask the Government to continue to keep the development of additional support measures for families with children under review. They must be far-reaching and commensurate with the magnitude of the extraordinary demographic challenge we are facing.

Russia’s future is ensured by families with two, three, and more children. Therefore, we need to do more than provide direct financial support – we need to target and direct the healthcare system, education, and all areas that determine the quality of people’s lives towards the needs of families with children.

This problem is addressed, among other approaches, by the national social initiatives, which regional teams and the Agency for Strategic Initiatives are implementing together. This autumn, we will assess the results of their work, and review and rank the Russian regions by the quality of life in order to apply the best experiences and practices as widely as possible throughout the country.

To be continued.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Shinybull.com. The author has made every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information provided; however, neither Shinybull.com nor the author can guarantee such accuracy. This article is strictly for informational purposes only. It is not a solicitation to make any exchange in precious metal products, commodities, securities, or other financial instruments. Shinybull.com and the author of this article do not accept culpability for losses and/ or damages arising from the use of this publication.

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US and EU boycotted SPIEF, but Putin will talk about it in a major speech on Friday

Russian Davos started yesterday, and Ushakov said high-level delegations from more than 40 nations were expected to come. 1,244 Russian and 265 foreign companies had confirmed they would be there, including China. Companies from US and EU were not on the list for the SPIEF.

The St.Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) is an annual Russian business event for the economic sector, which has been held in St.Petersburg since 1997, and under the auspices of the Russian President since 2005. They celebrate their 25th anniversary this year.

Each year, more than 10,000 people from over 120 different countries take part. The Forum brings together the chief executives of major Russian and international companies, heads of state, political leaders, prime ministers, deputy prime ministers, departmental ministers, and governors.

The key purpose of the Forum is to provide a practical tool for business, helping to overcome geographical and informational barriers dividing Russia and other countries. But the global financial elite has boycotted Russia and SPIEF, and isolated Moscow with sanctions over Russia`s actions in Ukraine.

The head of the American Chamber of Commerce in Russia along with French and Italian counterparts will speak at a session on Thursday called «Western Investors in Russia: New Reality.»

President Vladimir Putin will give a major speech on Friday. This is a speech we should pay attention to. He will be focusing on the international economic situation and Russia`s tasks in the near future, Yuri Ushakov said.

McDonald`s is out of business in Russia, and other Western companies are doing the same, while domestic corporations are rushing to take over businesses that are left behind in Russia. As we can see; globalization, as we know it, has ended.

New world order is on the way, with new opportunities in a new world.

I bet Putin will talk about that in his speech on Friday. A new way for Russia to make growth. The war seems to make the relationship with China better, but also the relationship with BRIC countries.

SWIFT banned Russia, but the Central Bank of Russia made its own, called SPFS (System for Transfer of Financial Messages). Russian equivalent of the SWIFT financial transfer system.

China did the same. They developed CIPS (Cros-Border Interbank Payment System), which processes payments in Chinese yuan. It has the potential to replace SWIFT.

The SWIFT ban on Russia has boosted the development of the non-US dollar and non-SWIFT transactions, including CIPS. It has also stimulated the e-yuan, which is China`s official digital currency. The development of the e-yuan is also a catalyst for CHIPS, and both will play an important role in the internationalization of the Chinese currency.

As we can see, Russia, China, and BRIC countries are on the way to developing their own system. If this continues, we will probably end up with two blocs; The West, and the rest.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Shinybull.com. The author has made every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information provided; however, neither Shinybull.com nor the author can guarantee such accuracy. This article is strictly for informational purposes only. It is not a solicitation to make any exchange in precious metal products, commodities, securities, or other financial instruments. Shinybull.com and the author of this article do not accept culpability for losses and/ or damages arising from the use of this publication.

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McDonald`s new name is Vkusno & Tochka

Historians do not fully agree on the starting and end of the «cold war», but the period is generally considered to span from the announcement of the Truman Doctrine on 12 March 1947 to the dissolution of the Soviet Union on 26 December 1991.

At the end of the cold war, corporations rushed into Russia and opened their businesses, and one of them was McDonald`s. They opened their first restaurant in Pushkin Square in Moscow on January 31, 1990. The same day they opened, thousands were lined up to try the new tasty burgers. And that ladies and gentlemen were synonymous with Capitalism, and its arrival symbolized Soviet Union`s impending demise. On May 16, 2022, McDonald`s announced that it was leaving Russia.

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Now, McDonald`s is selling all of its 850 restaurants in Russia after Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine. After 80 years of socialism, people in Russia rushed to McDonald`s and the American culture. The new Western way of eating. But now people in Russia rush to the new Russian burgers at the new Russian fast-food chain called Vkusno & Tochka, which means «tasty and that`s it».

Founded by businessman Alexander Govor, who acquired all the restaurants for an undisclosed sum. But he said he paid «far lower than market price.» Govor has been a McDonald`s franchisee since 2015 when he agreed to open 20 restaurants through his business GiD LLC.

Govor also made a lot of money in mining and oil refining in Siberia. He made his wealth in the coal business as co-owner of the coal mining company Yuzhkuzbassugol, in his hometown of Novokuznetsk. He bought the mine together with Evraz during liberalization in the 1990s under President Boris Yeltsin.

Evraz bought out Govor from the company, and one of the owners is Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich (Chelsea FC).

When McDonald`s opened their first restaurant in Russia, it had this slogan: «If you can`t go to America, come to McDonald`s in Moscow.» That slogan is over and out, and in comes Vkusno & Tochka`s new slogan; «The name changes – love stays».

Most of the things in the restaurants are similar to McDonald`s. The same quality, and taste. The same equipment and the same double cheeseburgers. The difference is that most of the money goes to Russia. Not America anymore.

Many people in Russia wanted to take part in the opening of the new fast-food chain, and the rebranding marked a new era in Russia on Sunday last week. The last big mac has finally left Russia.

Govor will pay about 60,000 Russian McDonald`s employees for the next two years, according to the agreement with McDonald`s. In the same agreement, he also agreed to pay suppliers and landlords.

Govor`s company will invest 7 billion rubles ($125 million) into the new business in 2022.

By the way: McDonald`s has the right to buy back its restaurants within 15 years, but «they made it clear to me that they would not buy back», Govor said. Really?

The S&P 500 plummeted -by 3,88% on Monday, but shares of Mcdonald’s outperformed the market, jumped +0,39% and closed «only» $32 below its 52-week high at $271,15.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Shinybull.com. The author has made every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information provided; however, neither Shinybull.com nor the author can guarantee such accuracy. This article is strictly for informational purposes only. It is not a solicitation to make any exchange in precious metal products, commodities, securities, or other financial instruments. Shinybull.com and the author of this article do not accept culpability for losses and/ or damages arising from the use of this publication.

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If the US continues to go down the wrong path, there will be irretrievable consequences for the China-US relations and the US will have to pay an unbearable price

The Russia-Ukraine conflict is very similar to the Chinese-Taiwan conflict. NATO and the EU in Ukraine are a big threat to Russia. The same can be said about Taiwan. NATO in Taiwan will be a threat to China. So, this is the next big problem for the United States.

The tension is rising, and China is building up its military bases and have 14 warplanes in Taiwan`s air-defense zone.

President Biden said yesterday in a speech in Tokyo that he vows to intervene militarily if China invades Taiwan. «We have a commitment to do that,» Biden said. But that is not an official U.S policy. Is Biden trying to change U.S policy?

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The U.S officials walked back Biden`s comments quite quickly and said this after his speech: «As the President said, our policy has not changed. He reiterated our One China policy and our commitment to peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. He also reiterated our commitment under the Taiwan Relations Act to provide Taiwan with the military means to defend itself.»

The Taiwan Relations Act obligates the U.S to enable Taiwan to maintain a sufficient self-defense capability, and maintain the capacity of the U.S to resist any resort to force. But despite U.S weapons sales to Taiwan, the U.S has been ambiguous about whether it would intervene militarily, and the U.S acknowledges that all Chinese on both sides of the Taiwan Strait maintain that there is one China, and Taiwan is a part of China, as Biden reiterated yesterday.

In a speech in Japan yesterday, president Biden said; «We agree with the one-China policy. We have signed on to it and all the attendant agreements are made from there. But the idea that it can be taken by force, will dislocate the entire region and be another action similar to what happened in Ukraine. And so it`s a burden that is even stronger.»

China`s reaction to President Biden`s comments on Taiwan came very quickly: «China will take firm actions to safeguard its sovereignty and security interests. We mean what we say.»

What China wants is reunification. So, China is right now threatening Taiwan militarily.

The U.S policy dates back to December 15, 1978, when Jimmy Carter restored relations with Beijing and ended formal ties with Taipei (capital of Taiwan). Taiwan is a big chip-maker, and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said intense economic talks with Taiwan will take place in the weeks to come.

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman, Wang Wenbin said this yesterday:

«The US has been racking its brains to play with words when it comes to the one-China principle. I want to remind the US side that no forces, the US included, can hold back the Chinese people’s endeavor to reunify the nation. Also, no forces, the US included, can change the fate of the “Taiwan independence” forces who are doomed to fail. 

Reneging on its promise on the Taiwan question, the US has obscured and hollowed out the one-China principle, and publicly or stealthily incited and endorsed “Taiwan independence” separatist activities. If the US continues to go down the wrong path, there will be irretrievable consequences for the China-US relations and the US will have to pay unbearable price.

Our stern warning to the US: There is but one China in the world, Taiwan is part of China’s territory and the government of the People’s Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the whole of China. This is a consensus of the international community and a commitment made by the US to China.

The one-China principle is unshakable, China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity cannot be violated and the red line of avoiding creating “two Chinas” and “one China, one Taiwan” must not be crossed. 

China has full confidence and capability and is fully prepared to firmly stem the “Taiwan independence” separatist activities, foil all external interference and resolutely uphold its sovereignty and territorial integrity. I’d like to advise the US to listen to a well-known Chinese song with these lyrics: “For our friends, we have fine wine. For jackals or wolves, we welcome with shotguns.”

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Shinybull.com. The author has made every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information provided; however, neither Shinybull.com nor the author can guarantee such accuracy. This article is strictly for informational purposes only. It is not a solicitation to make any exchange in precious metal products, commodities, securities, or other financial instruments. Shinybull.com and the author of this article do not accept culpability for losses and/ or damages arising from the use of this publication.

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Zelenskyy: Eternal honor to all who fought against Nazism! No evil can avoid responsibility!

Not only President Vladimir Putin had a speech on the annual Victory Day. So did President Zelenskyy. He made a video and talked about Ukraine and the Nazis. Just like Putin. He also spoke about the Nazis.

Zelenskyy said darkness returned to Ukraine and became black again. Evil has returned. Again! But this time, in a different uniform, under different slogans, but for the same purpose.

A bloody reconstruction of Nazism was organized in Ukraine. A fanatical repetition of this regime. All this, after World War II.

Zelenskyy spoke about the Nazis who occupied Ukraine 80 years ago, and now, they see the occupier again. Mariupol got the third date of occupation in their history. A place where the Nazis killed 10,000 civilians. In two months, Russia killed 20,000.

Never again! It was an ode of a wise man! Anthem of the civilized world! But someone sang out of tune. Distorted “Never again” with notes of doubt. Silenced, beginning his deadly aria of evil. And this is clear to all countries that have seen the horrors of Nazism with their own eyes. And today they are experiencing a terrible deja vu. See it again!

All nations who have been branded “third-class”, slaves without the right to their own state or to exist at all hear statements that exalt one nation and erase others with ease. They claim that you don’t really exist, you are artificially created, and therefore you have no rights. Everyone hears the language of evil. Again!

Today, on the Day of Remembrance and Reconciliation, we pay homage to all those who defended their homeland and the world from Nazism.

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Below is the full transcript of President Zelenskyy`s Victory Day speech;

Can spring be black and white? Is there eternal February? Are golden words devalued? Unfortunately, Ukraine knows the answers to all these questions. Unfortunately, the answers are “yes”.

Every year on May 8, together with the entire civilized world, we honor everyone who defended the planet from Nazism during World War II. Millions of lost lives, crippled destinies, tortured souls, and millions of reasons to say to evil: never again!

We knew the price our ancestors paid for this wisdom. We knew how important it is to preserve it and pass it on to posterity. But we had no idea that our generation would witness the desecration of the words, which, as it turned out, are not the truth for everyone.

This year we say “Never again” differently. We hear “Never again” differently. It sounds painful, cruel. Without an exclamation, but with a question mark. You say: never again? Tell Ukraine about it.

On February 24, the word “never” was erased. Shot and bombed. By hundreds of missiles at 4 am, which woke up entire Ukraine. We heard terrible explosions. We heard: again!

The city of Borodyanka is one of the many victims of this crime! Behind me is one of many witnesses! Not a military facility, not a secret base, but a simple nine-story building. Can it pose a security threat to Russia, to 1/8 of the land, the world’s second army, and a nuclear state? Can anything be more absurd than this question? It can.

250kg high explosive bombs, with which the superpower shelled this small town. And it went numb. It cannot say today: never again! It cannot say anything today. But here everything is clear without words.

Just look at this house. There used to be walls here. They once had photos on them. And in the photos, there were those who once went through the hell of war. Fifty men were sent to Germany for forced labor. Those who were burned alive when the Nazis burned more than 100 houses here.

250 soldiers who died on the fronts of World War II, and a total of almost 1000 residents of Borodyanka who fought and defeated Nazism. To ensure: never again. They fought for the future of children, for the life that was here until February 24.

Imagine people going to bed in each of these apartments. They wish good night to each other. Turn off the light. Hug their loved ones. Close their eyes. They dream of something. There is complete silence. They all fall asleep, not knowing that not everyone will wake up. They sleep soundly. They have a dream of something pleasant. But in a few hours, they will be awakened by missile explosions. And someone will never wake up again. Never again.

The word “never” was dropped from this slogan. Amputated during the so-called special operation. They stabbed a knife in the heart and, looking into the eyes, said: “It’s not us!” Tortured with the words “not everything is so unambiguous.” Killed “Never again”, saying: “We can repeat.”

And so it happened. And the monsters began to repeat. And our cities, which survived such a heinous occupation that 80 years are not enough to forget about it, saw the occupier again. And got the second date of occupation in their history. And some cities, such as Mariupol, got the third. During the two years of occupation, the Nazis killed 10,000 civilians there. In two months of occupation, Russia killed 20,000.

Decades after World War II, the darkness returned to Ukraine. And it became black and white again. Again! Evil has returned. Again! In a different uniform, under different slogans, but for the same purpose. A bloody reconstruction of Nazism was organized in Ukraine. A fanatical repetition of this regime. Its ideas, actions, words, and symbols. Maniacal detailed reproduction of its atrocities and “alibi”, which allegedly give an evil sacred purpose.

Repetition of its crimes and even attempts to surpass the “teacher” and move him from the pedestal of the greatest evil in human history. Set a new world record for xenophobia, hatred, racism, and the number of victims they can cause.

Never again! It was an ode of a wise man! Anthem of the civilized world! But someone sang out of tune. Distorted “Never again” with notes of doubt. Silenced, beginning his deadly aria of evil. And this is clear to all countries that have seen the horrors of Nazism with their own eyes. And today they are experiencing a terrible deja vu. See it again!

All nations who have been branded “third-class”, slaves without the right to their own state or to exist at all hear statements that exalt one nation and erase others with ease. They claim that you don’t really exist, you are artificially created, and therefore you have no rights. Everyone hears the language of evil. Again!

And together they acknowledge the painful truth: we have not withstood even a century. Our Never again was enough for 77 years. We missed the evil. It was reborn. Again and now!

This is understood by all countries and nations that support Ukraine today. And despite the new mask of the beast, they recognized him. Because, unlike some, they remember what our ancestors fought for and against. They did not confuse the first with the second, did not change their places, and did not forget.

The Poles didn’t forget, on whose land the Nazis began their march and fired the first shot of World War II. Didn’t forget how evil first accuses you, provokes you, calls you an aggressor, and then attacks at 4:45 am saying it’s self-defense. And they saw how it repeated on our land. They remember the Nazi-destroyed Warsaw. And they see what was done to Mariupol.

The British people did not forget how the Nazis wiped out Coventry, which was bombed 41 times. How the “Moonlight Sonata” from the Luftwaffe sounded when the city was continuously bombed for 11 hours. How its historic center, factories, and St. Michael’s Cathedral were destroyed. And they saw missiles hit Kharkiv. How its historic center, factories, and the Assumption Cathedral were damaged. They remember London being bombed for 57 nights in a row. Remember how V-2 hit Belfast, Portsmouth, and Liverpool. And they see cruise missiles hit Mykolaiv, Kramatorsk, and Chernihiv. They remember how Birmingham was bombed. And they see its sister city Zaporizhzhia being damaged.

The Dutch remember this. How Rotterdam became the first city to be completely destroyed when the Nazis dropped 97 tons of bombs on it.

The French remember this. Remember Oradour-Sur-Glane, where the SS burned half a thousand women and children alive. Mass hangings in Tulle, the massacre in the village of Ascq. Thousands of people at a resistance rally in occupied Lille. They saw what was done in Bucha, Irpin, Borodyanka, Volnovakha, and Trostyanets. They see the occupation of Kherson, Melitopol, Berdyansk, and other cities where people do not give up. And thousands of them go to peaceful rallies, which are beyond the power of the occupiers, and all they can do is shoot at civilians.

The Czechs have not forgotten this. How in less than a day, the Nazis destroyed Lidice, leaving only ashes from the village. They saw Popasna destroyed. There are not even ashes left from it. The Greeks, who survived massacres and executions throughout the territory, the blockade, and the Great Famine, have not been forgotten.

This is remembered by Americans who fought evil on two fronts. Who passed Pearl Harbor and Dunkirk with the Allies. And together we are going through new, no less difficult battles.

This is remembered by all Holocaust survivors – how one nation can hate another.

Lithuanians, Latvians, Estonians, Danes, Georgians, Armenians, Belgians, Norwegians, and many others have not forgotten this – all those who suffered from Nazism on their land and all those who defeated it in the anti-Hitler coalition.

Unfortunately, there are those who, having survived all these crimes, having lost millions of people who fought for victory and gained it, have desecrated the memory of them and their feat today.

The one who allowed the shelling of the cities of Ukraine from his land. The cities that, along with our ancestors, were liberated by his ancestors.

The one who spat in the face of his “Immortal Regiment”, placing torturers from Bucha next to it.

And challenged all mankind. But forgot the main thing: any evil always ends the same – it ends.

Fellow Ukrainians!

Today, on the Day of Remembrance and Reconciliation, we pay homage to all those who defended their homeland and the world from Nazism. We note the feat of the Ukrainian people and their contribution to the victory of the anti-Hitler coalition.

Explosions, shots, trenches, wounds, famine, bombing, blockades, mass executions, punitive operations, occupation, concentration camps, gas chambers, yellow stars, ghettos, Babyn Yar, Khatyn, captivity, forced labor. They died so that each of us knows what these words mean from books, not from our own experience. But it happened differently. This is unfair to them all. But the truth will win. And we will overcome everything!

And the proof of this is called “Werewolf”. This is Hitler’s former headquarters and bunker near Vinnytsia. And all that is left of it is a few stones. Ruins. The ruins of a person who considered himself great and invincible. This is a guide for all of us and future generations. What our ancestors fought for. And proved that no evil can avoid responsibility. Will not be able to hide in the bunker. There will be no stone left of it. So we will overcome everything. And we know this for sure because our military and all our people are descendants of those who overcame Nazism. So they will win again.

And there will be peace again. Finally again!

We will overcome the winter, which began on February 24, and lasted on May 8, but will definitely end, and the Ukrainian sun will melt it! And we will meet our dawn together with the whole country. And family and loved ones, friends, and relatives will be together again! Finally again! And over the temporarily occupied cities and villages, our flag will fly again. Finally again! And we will get together. And there will be peace! Finally again! And no more black and white dreams, only a blue and yellow dream. Finally again! Our ancestors fought for this.

Eternal honor to all who fought against Nazism!

Eternal memory to all those killed during World War II!

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