I would like to refer to the article “UK Advises Duterte vs Russia Policy” by Ms. Sara Susanne D. Fabunan. It came out in your esteemed newspaper on November 25, 2016. I cannot help commenting on a number of groundless and outrageous accusations towards Russia.
First of all, H.E. Ambassador Asif Ahmad says, that “Afghanistan was invaded by Russia, and al-Qaeda was born out of that conflict.” May I remind that the rise of radical groups in Afghanistan and Islamism in the region was fueled throughout 1980s by the US and its allies to confront the USSR forces. That is for the Western countries, who gave full support to Mujahideens. The far-reaching consequences have been truly devastating for the whole world, including the Philippines as well, which among others turned to be victims of the terrorist groups bred by the Western sponsors.
The Soviet troops, on the other hand, entered Afghanistan in December 1979 upon the official request of the country’s only government. That was certainly a tragic mistake, as the USSR eventually got involved into the civil war under the slogans of socialist revolution (which in fact had no preconditions to happen). The mistake had to be corrected 10 years later – in February 1989 after it cost over 13,000 lives of Soviet troops, and billions of dollars spent on industrial and agricultural infrastructure, later on ruined by the Taliban Movement. The subsequent NATO engagement gave boost to one single sector – heroin production, which skyrocketed in the middle 2000s according to UNODC official statistics. Artificial export of socialist model is same useless and dangerous as attempts to export democracy into the countries with no proper preconditions. Our country has learnt this lesson, but the Western states do not seem. However, there is still one important lesson, they managed to learn: democracy cannot be exported to the countries possessing advanced anti-aircraft defense systems. Al-Qaeda’s emergence was no immaculate conception, as it is frequently portrayed in the West. It first appeared in 1988 with Osama bin Laden being its top second personality. The actual parents are the US and its allies including the UK, who armed and trained al-Qaeda as a tool against USSR. After the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, then President Mohammad Najubullah had been able to run the country for 3 more years, and could have stayed in power even longer, unless Moscow cut its supplies following Western advice, which gave Taliban green light to take over the country’s capital Kabul in 1992. Non-socialist and ideology-free secular state fell down at the feet of medieval-style radicals. The West created Al-Qaeda, no longer needed by its former masters, then bloodily came out in 1993 with the bombing of the New York World Trade Center.
Let’s also remember that as soon as the conflict began in Syria, and it began long before we became involved, terrorists appeared there and began receiving arms supplies. Attempts were made to train these terrorists and set them against the Government of al-Assad. This continues today because these groups are the most effective fighting units and some think that it is possible to make use of them and then sort them out later. But this is an illusion. It won’t work, and this is the problem.”
Ambassador Asif Ahmad says, “what is spawned by Russian aggression in Afghanistan, we are paying the price for it today in Mindanao, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Manila”, he directly points at Russia as the source of the terrorist threat to the Philippines. This is a ridiculous, ungrounded libel statement. He must have forgotten the role of Britain in 2003 invasion of Iraq, whereas Mr. Tony Blair, then UK Prime Minister, was one of the key proponents of toppling Bagdad’s legitimate Government, allegedly for stockpiling weapons of mass destruction. At the end, US led troops found no trace of WMD, and the very reason to start the war was simply buried in oblivion. Apparently, the British Prime Minister was lying about the WMD. In addition to the inhuman tragedy of a regional scale, loss of hundreds of thousands lives; a terrific precedent of severe violation of the international law was created, undermining the global security system as a whole. This appeared to be the Western-style alternative to the Middle East “dictators”, while none of them, even the West-friendly regimes, current or previous, can be called to any extent democratic. This has been the way ISIS was born – radicalism filled the vacuum of power in Iraq as the sovereign state was completely destroyed. Following the logic of Ambassador Asif Ahmad, this is indeed rather clear signal to those, who build relationship with the UK. The US and UK led invasion of Iraq resulted in the unprecedented surge of international terrorism, and this is the price the world has been paying for thirteen years.
Ambassador Ahmad says, ‘the bombings in Aleppo are entirely Russian”. These are pure lies. There is a lot of speculation* around the situation in Eastern Aleppo, but no actual evidence against Russia has ever been provided.
Western media try to imply that that the main damage to civilian population and infrastructure is caused by air strikes. That is deliberate disinformation: much more damage is incurred by the shelling coming from the side of terrorists occupying Eastern Aleppo with bombs of indiscriminate destructive power. Hundreds of people die from “hell fire” and mortar fire of terrorists every day in Western Aleppo. The strikes by the Russian Aerospace Forces have been carried out onto the targets away from the residential areas – mainly on convoys with terrorists and ammunition that try to fight their way into the city. Furthermore, the airstrikes have been so far suspended for about a month and a half.
Aleppo is no single integrated city. Its two thirds remain under the government forces control, while its one third is still in the hands of terrorists. Western media mourn over the terrorists, whereas hundreds of civilians, who could flee the city via humanitarian corridors, keep dying every day, being used as human shield.
Moreover, Western Aleppo seems completely forgotten, as if there is no war at all. The terrorists are moderately called “rebels’ by the Western media. This is a favorite strategy of the Western media: alarming on certain facts, and concealing others, introducing fake news with exaggerations, and forgetting it after a while having no proof to show. What is believed in the West to be unquestionable and indisputable is a one-room flat in London where a certain UK subject of Syrian descent lives and single-handedly runs an organization called the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Let me reiterate, he is based in London but is cited most frequently of all. There are only Russian journalists on the frontline between the Western and the Eastern parts of Aleppo. Western reporters never appear there; they prefer to quote the aforementioned Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and various anonymous witnesses, who deserve zero credibility.
On September 19, a UN aid convoy came under attack near Aleppo, Russia demanded an investigation while US Secretary of State John Kerry stated that an investigation could probably be conducted but they knew who had done it—the Syrian army or Russia, and in any case, Russia is to blame. The anti-Russian media hysteria stopped on October 12, 2016 when Russian President Vladimir Putin addressed the VTB forum “Russia is calling”, claiming that one of the terrorists groups had been responsible for the attack. “We see what’s happening, – he said. – It’s just baseless accusation that Russia is the cause of all mortal sins. But we know who attacked this humanitarian convoy. This was one of the terrorist groups. And we know that the US is well aware of this. But they prefer to blame Russia. This won’t help”.
Bells are tolling for those who have been killed in Aleppo. Bells should also be tolling for those now losing their lives in Mosul and its vicinity with around 1 million of civilians. The operation in Mosul is getting underway now. As far as I know, the terrorists have already shot more than 200 people in the hope of stopping the offensive on the town. Let’s not forget this. And in Afghanistan? Whole wedding parties of 120 people were wiped out with a single airstrike. A single strike! Have we forgotten this? And what about what’s happening in Yemen? And what about children and elderly people, murdered under fire of Ukrainian artillery, in the Southeast of Ukraine? Weren’t they human beings? Didn’t they have human rights? Let the bells toll for all of these innocent victims.
We keep hearing Aleppo, Aleppo, Aleppo. But what is the issue here? Do we leave the nest of terrorists in place there, or do we squeeze them out, doing our best to minimize and avoid civilian casualties? If it is better to not go in at all, then the offensive against Mosul shouldn’t go ahead at all either. Let’s just leave everything as it is. Let’s leave Raqqa alone too. Our Western partners keep saying, “We need to take back Raqqa and eliminate the nest of terrorists there”. But there are civilians in Raqqa too. So, should we not fight the terrorists at all? And when they take hostages in towns, should we just leave them be?
The more victorious are the forces of the legitimate Syrian Government, the more lies come out in media. Russian Aerospace Forces only hit terrorists’ bases. All the targets are thoroughly verified. Western countries possess enough satellites to track the airstrikes, and prove, or disapprove official statements of the Ministry of Defense of Russia. However, they just resort to hysteria in social networks. Whereas, Russia’s requests to conduct an impartial investigation remain unanswered.
Finally, the statement contain a sort of advice to the Philippine government how to develop its relations with Russia. What is the UK’s business within the Russian- Philippine bilateral relations? Our country will never tolerate if a third state
interferes into our relations with our partners. It is highly doubtful that anyone needs British instructions or advice of a kind. These statements have gone far beyond diplomatic etiquette, and only look as a reflex of mentorship.
Embassy of the Russian Federation