Possible False Flag on Iran in Near Future?

As many of you are, no doubt, aware, there have been anti-government protests going on in Iran in response to a hike in gas prices. Given that the Iranian people have been being squeezed by the effect of western sanctions, it is no surprise that something like this might push some people over the edge into protests – most of which have remained peaceful but there have been some episodes of violence and vandalism. However, we know from other examples (e.g. various Arab Spring uprisings and the Maidan protest movement-cum-coup) that western governments – namely Washington – will take advantage of the native discontent to foment a regime change operation if it involves a government that is perceived as not sufficiently acquiescent to Washington’s interests.

Washington has recently moved thousands of troops to Saudi Arabia and the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group arrived in the Persian Gulf last week. In recent days, a top U.S. general’s prediction of more Iranian “attacks” and a visit by the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to Israel, should alert people to the possibility of a false flag attack to blame on Iran, which can then be used as a pretext for direct military intervention. Antiwar.com reported this past Sunday:

Gen. [Kenneth] McKenzie is making a point to predict Iran attacking “again” while reiterating the US blaming Iran for Yemeni drone strikes on Saudi Arabia, which Iran has denied any involvement with. This same putative Iran attack was the justification for a lot of the US buildup, particularly US ground troops being sent to Saudi oil-producing regions.

McKenzie’s prediction of more things like that, which again is to say Yemeni attacks on Saudi Arabia that the US can blame on Iran, is particularly concerning both in that Iran has no control over that, and because the US has put 3,000 ground troops in Saudi Arabia, effectively human shields…

… McKenzie’s statement was followed by a visit to Israel by Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley, who was also emphasizing meetings with Israeli officials on the idea of an imminent Iran conflict.

The fact that a major holiday is coming up in which Americans will be distracted also does not bode well. I hope nothing major comes of this – perhaps it is just intended as more bluff to try to intimidate Iran, but all of these things taken together make it worth keeping a skeptical eye on this situation.

For its part, the Iranian government sent representatives from the IRGC to a huge pro-government rally in Tehran where it was announced:

We have shown patience towards the hostile moves of America, the Zionist regime [Israel] and Saudi Arabia against the Islamic Republic of Iran… but we will destroy them if they cross our red lines.

Furthermore, a representative of the Iranian Foreign Ministry, Abbas Mousavi said:

the [pro-government] demonstration allows the foreign states “to see who the real people in Iran are and what they are saying.”

Below is Kim Iversen discussing this situation more.

Here is a follow-up video Iversen did in which she discusses feedback she received from Iranians about what is going on in Iran.

NYT Gaslights Readers About Ukraine Helping Clinton in 2016; Polls Reflect that Impeachment Could Alienate Potential Independent Voters, Americans’ Belief in Exceptionalism Declining

The New York Times (and other establishment media outlets) has been recently reporting that the assertion that Ukraine meddled in the 2016 election on behalf of the Clinton campaign is a “conspiracy theory” fostered by…wait for it….Russian disinformation. This position conveniently supports the establishment Democrats’ (and the U.S intelligence community) position as summarized in impeachment hearing testimony this past week by Russia hawk Fiona Hill who called such assertions a “fictional narrative.”

Granted, some of Trump’s references to Ukrainian help to Clinton/DNC contain his typical errors of detail within what sometimes sounds like verbal vomit. Just when you think he might be making some kind of sense, he’ll start spouting some hodgepodge of thoughts that ricochet off the walls. However, this “conspiracy theory” dismissal by the establishment media – led by the NYT – ignores in depth reporting done by Politico in January of 2017 which found that:

Ukrainian government officials tried to help Hillary Clinton and undermine Trump by publicly questioning his fitness for office. They also disseminated documents implicating a top Trump aide in corruption and suggested they were investigating the matter, only to back away after the election. And they helped Clinton’s allies research damaging information on Trump and his advisers, a Politico investigation found.

A Ukrainian-American operative [Alexandra Chalupa] who was consulting for the Democratic National Committee met with top officials in the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington in an effort to expose ties between Trump, top campaign aide Paul Manafort and Russia, according to people with direct knowledge of the situation.

The Ukrainian efforts had an impact in the race, helping to force Manafort’s resignation and advancing the narrative that Trump’s campaign was deeply connected to Ukraine’s foe to the east, Russia.

Read the full article here. Note that in a May 2016 email to a DNC official, Chalupa discussed her ongoing attempts to dig up dirt on Manafort in Ukraine and also mentioned, “there is a big Trump component you and Lauren need to be aware of that will hit in next few weeks.” This undermines any suggestions that she was doing this investigation for “personal” reasons and not to benefit the DNC and its interests.

Additionally, reporting from Yahoo.com also detailed some of Chalupa’s efforts to use Ukrainian connections to undermine Manafort and the Trump campaign on behalf of the DNC. Lev Golinkin also reported on this for The Nation. The NYT itself had reported on the Manafort allegations based on information it had knowingly received from Ukrainian sources – both within the Ukrainian government and outside of it. See here and here.

So, does this mean that the reporters and editors of Politico, Yahoo, and even the NYT were taken in by Russian disinformation? If so, how did it happen? Did the Russians beam the disinformation into their heads while they were sleeping? Did these fearless guardians of truth get hypnotized by Russian agents posing as news sources? Has the Kremlin managed to slip subliminal messages from RT into their smart phones? How can we ever trust what Politico, Yahoo or even the NYT reports ever again? Will Politico and the NYT be removed from Facebook? This demands answers!

But seriously, the “newspaper of record” has degenerated so much in the past two decades that it no longer makes any pretense of objectivity or even seriousness. The bullshit it peddles is so obvious to anyone who has an ounce of independent and critical thought left. As a follower on Twitter recently said, the NYT has now become such a rag, that “a bird would be ashamed to take a dump on it.”

Let’s move on to another aspect of the impeachment debacle that has just come out. As reported by Vanity Fair late last week, a new Politico/Morning Consult poll, focused on independents – who make up roughly 40% of the electorate according to Gallup – have now said they oppose impeachment. Several questions were asked by the pollsters, which enabled the reporters to take a deeper dive into how and why those polled came to oppose impeachment:

Three important factors are driving the views of Independents. The first is that, in their view, impeachment distracts from issues they care about. Twenty-seven percent of Independents described impeachment as a top priority, and another 10% agreed that it is a priority, just not a top one. In the abstract, 37% saying that an issue is a priority doesn’t sound too bad, but among the 11 issues that Politico and Morning Consult tested, impeachment ranked last, well below the deficit at 74%, health care at 72%, and infrastructure at 70%. Even Trump’s absurd border wall scored as a higher priority for Independents. Fundamentally, most Independents want Congress to focus on the issues that impact their lives. They have not been convinced that curtailing the bad acts of Donald Trump would have any tangible effect.

The second factor is the view among Independents that impeachment reflects the agenda of the political establishment and the media. Regardless of what they think about Trump’s behavior, Independents see impeachment as a continuation of the partisan bickering and media excess that began even before his inauguration. By massive margins, Independents say that the impeachment issue is “more important to politicians than it is to me” (62% to 22%) and “more important to the media than it is to me” (61% to 23%). It is hard to read this as anything but a warning to the Democratic leadership and candidates: Stop talking about issues that matter to you, not to me. Impeachment proceedings are viewed as bread and circuses for the anti-Trump crowd in Washington and the media—or, as Stanford political science professor Morris Fiorina described it to me, “entertainment and confirmation.” That’s a dangerous perception as Democrats approach one of the most consequential and fraught elections of our times.

Third, as other reporting has suggested, Independents suffer from scandal fatigue and overall confusion. They agreed with the statement “[It is] difficult to tell all the investigations in Washington apart” by a roughly two-to-one margin. (Even Democrats concur by a substantial, if somewhat smaller, margin). This no doubt reflects a successful Trump strategy to sow confusion and spread blame. By constantly charging others with acting badly and by creating such a long litany of disputable acts, Trump has in effect led many voters to dismiss the whole mess as the type of bad thing that all politicians do. Confusion has been aggravated by a rating-seeking media, whose credibility has been undermined by the fact that some cable hosts and their guests have consistently predicated, with astonishing stubbornness and inaccuracy, that the next scandal will be the one that topples Trump. It may be that the Democrats finally have the best facts against Trump, and the clearest story line of all. But they face a segment of the public that is jaundiced by what has gone on before.

Another poll, reported on by Axios, shows that, while a slight majority of Americans still think the U.S. is an exceptional nation, that number has declined from last year. Furthermore, Americans are generally inclined to be non-interventionist in terms of foreign policy. A breakdown of the demographics reveals a significant generation gap within the findings. Here are the details on attitudes toward intervention.

1. In response to humanitarian abuses overseas, most would opt for restraint (47.1%) or a UN-led response (33.5%) rather than U.S. military action (19.4%).

2. More Americans think the U.S. should decrease (57.6%) rather than increase (42.4%) its military presence in Asia in response to a rising China.

Many favor an argument often made by President Trump — that countries like Japan and South Korea can afford to defend themselves.

3. Americans are split over what to do about Afghanistan.

38.8% say the U.S. should withdraw within the year, 31.4% say the U.S. should negotiate with the Taliban but remain until a deal is reached, and 29.8% say the U.S. should remain until all enemies are defeated.

Normandy Four to Meet in Paris on December 9th; MSM: Americans Lack Interest in Impeachment Circus Because They’re Dumb and Apathetic

French President Macron in Paris/AP Photo/Michael Euler

After successful disengagement of forces in both major areas of the Donbas in recent weeks, French President Emmanuel Macron has announced he will be hosting Normandy Four talks with Germany, Ukraine and Russia on December 9th. According to the AP:

Macron’s office says that the meeting will allow implementation of the Minsk accords, the 2015 agreement sponsored by France and Germany that envisages broad autonomy for the separatist regions in eastern Ukraine and an amnesty for the rebels.

A couple of folks in the media have apparently had some criticism thrown their way for acknowledging what everyone has already figured out – that the impeachment hearings last week have been about as stimulating as a shot of Nyquil or a hit of Benadryl. Listening to career National Security State bureaucrats relay Brzezinski’s talking points from the grave on Russia and Ukraine and the provision of a lot of second and third-hand hearsay that would not be permitted in a court of law, it turns out, is rather boring.

But, of course, it’s not enough to be subjected to this snoozefest as we slug rotgut coffee in between two crappy service jobs and wondering how we’re going to pay our medical bills. Now the average American also has to be condescended to by the political class and their media mouthpieces with implications that we’re too thick to understand the finer points of corruption being discussed by our intellectual superiors in Congress. Translation: Us plebes aren’t sufficiently waving our pompoms for impeachment because we’re morons.

In one of her famous daily “radar” rants at The Hill’s morning show, Krystal Ball explains to the whine and cheese crowd that average Americans understand quite a bit – including how the Democratic Party establishment has no moral leg to stand on when it comes to taking on Republican malfeasance because they’re all up to their botox-enhanced foreheads in the muck, parlaying their political positions into money-making enterprises on a regular basis.

Does anyone think that Obama would be making millions of dollars giving speeches to billionaires on Wall Street if he’d tried to govern like FDR? Does anyone imagine that he’s chiding these billionaires that they should temper their greed or “quickly get over” their sense of entitlement so that average Americans could have a fighting chance at a better standard of living and a more peaceful and sustainable world? Of course not. He knows he wouldn’t be invited back for more lucrative speeches if he did. The most he’ll do is ask these billionaires during a mutual admiration society meeting to give him a “thank you” for what he did for them while in office. With unmitigated gall, he reserves his finger-wagging for the little people who are finally making some demands for justice by supporting candidates like Bernie Sanders after decades of de-industrialization, stagnant wages, skyrocketing housing and health care costs, and endless wars that waste money and lives.

Moreover, Ball points out that even some Democrats are admitting in private that these hearings are not moving the needle to get more people to support impeachment and Trump’s removal from office. It’s a foregone conclusion that the Senate will not vote to remove Trump. But 6-8 weeks of a Senate trial will take several Democratic primary candidates – e.g. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren – off the campaign trail during a crucial time. If one didn’t know better, it might look like Pelosi and the Dem Party leadership would rather have 4 more years of Trump than a left populist reformer like Sanders as president. And why not? They’d do just fine under a second Trump administration, just like they’re doing fine under the current one, getting to play the role of the loyal opposition for the cameras and laughing all the way to the bank, while not actually doing a damned thing to improve things for the rest of us.

Thank you, Hillary Clinton, for Helping Tulsi Surge; OSCE Confirms Successful Withdrawal of Forces Near DPR in Donbas

As many of you are likely aware, Hillary Clinton made some comments during a podcast interview a few weeks back suggesting that a female Democratic Party primary contender was being “groomed” by the evil Rooskies to run as a third party candidate, presumably to serve as a spoiler and split the vote. Clinton didn’t mention Tulsi Gabbard by name, but it was easy to figure out who she meant and all subsequent media coverage of Clinton’s comments ran with the assumption that it was Gabbard. Gabbard responded on Twitter with sharp criticism of Clinton’s record of “war-mongering” and dirty political tricks.

The controversy has helped put Gabbard on the media map as many have been sympathetic to Gabbard being targeted in such a defamatory way by the deeply disliked diva of the corporate wing of the Democratic Party. Earlier this week, lawyers for Gabbard’s campaign sent a letter to Hillary Clinton’s legal team demanding that Clinton publicly retract her baseless accusations against Gabbard, with the implied risk a defamation suit. It is unlikely that Gabbard would actually win such a suit given the fact that she is a public figure and the criteria for winning such a suit is more difficult to meet than for a person who is not in the public eye. But this keeps the controversy front and center for a bit longer.

And why not? The controversy – which Gabbard has expertly parlayed to her advantage by contrasting herself with the hated Hillary – has created a surge in support for Gabbard as reflected in a newly released poll showing Gabbard at 6% in New Hampshire – ahead of Andrew Yang and Kamala Harris who continues her death spiral in popularity. Gabbard has met the criteria for the debate coming up later this month and is on the cusp of qualifying for the December debate as well. This gives her more opportunities to make her case to the American public and to perhaps land a karate chop to another establishment/corporate toady candidate. Pete Buttigieg or Amy Krowbarjaw are on my wish list. Below is Rising‘s Krystal Ball giving a summary of Tulsi’s surge and how she might actually satisfy the search for that highly sought after, but elusive “most electable” candidate against Trump.

So, it would appear that Hillary’s strategy of trying to torpedo Gabbard’s candidacy has backfired in typical Wiley Coyote fashion. In fact, Clinton has a history of bad strategic moves that have come back to bite her hard in the butt (Pied Piper, anyone?). But she seems unable to learn from her failures. Rather than keeping her pie-hole shut for a while after this, she has continued on by either implying publicly that she knows who the Democratic nominee is likely to be or that it might even be her since she hasn’t ruled out running again.

From my perspective, Hillary Clinton has shown since her loss in 2016 that she has serious mental health issues as manifested by the obsession with her loss and refusing to take any responsibility for it, instead blaming it on a laundry list of excuses: sexism, James Comey, the Russians, the man in the moon. She is now doing psyops on the American public in a desperate attempt to stay relevant. This is the same woman who thought she had it so in the bag in 2016 that she could offer the American electorate nothing substantive, insult half of them as “deplorables,” and not bother campaigning in rust belt states that were important in terms of the electoral college. She also practically anointed Kamala Harris as her successor at the outset of the primary campaign by handing over her foreign policy and other contacts to her. How’s that judgment call working for you, Hillary? Why anyone would give Hillary’s opinions and prognostications – much less her chances of success in another presidential run – any credibility at this point is beyond me. The country would be better off ignoring her.

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On November 13th, the OSCE reported the following developments in the Donbas:

On 12 November, the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM) received a letter from the armed formations in non-government-controlled areas of Donetsk region, notifying that they had completed the withdrawal of forces and hardware in the agreed disengagement area near Petrivske.

On 13 November, the SMM received two Notes Verbales from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, one notifying that the Ukrainian Armed Forces had completed the withdrawal of forces and hardware in the agreed disengagement area near Petrivske….

…The second Note Verbale from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine and the above-mentioned letter from the armed formations also contained notifications of readiness to begin the removal of fortifications and other installations of military value from the disengagement area, together with baseline information and geographical co-ordinates of these fortifications, and other installations of military value.
These notifications were provided to the SMM in accordance with a timeline, endorsed by the Trilateral Contact Group on 1 October 2019, regulating activities in the disengagement areas concerning the withdrawal of forces and hardware, the removal of fortifications and demining.


The second Note Verbale and the letter also notified that the removal of fortifications and other installations of military value would begin in line with the agreed timeline.

Putin’s Remarks on Climate Change as Effects are Increasingly Seen in Russia and Youths Express Concern

Although it’s been very slow to emerge, there is increasing concern expressed in Russia about the environment, from pollution related to industry and unregulated landfills to climate change. The Russian government has finally been forced to recognize the problem – at least in terms of rhetoric, with 2017 having been officially declared “The Year of the Environment in Russia.”

This past September, Russia – the fourth biggest emitter of carbon in the world – finally ratified the Paris Climate Accord. However, Russia could remain within its commitments to the accord by increasing its current emissions because of the major drop that came after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. There has been talk for several years that Putin even supports the formation of a Green Party, though some wonder if it would just be another small rather ineffectual party with a green “flavor.”

Over the past year, Russia has experienced major storms, floods and wildfires on an unprecedented scale – of which the aftermath prompted a personal visit by Putin in which he scolded the poor emergency response by local officials. But there is much more damage happening that hasn’t received such a dramatic treatment by the media. A recent article from Asia Times reports:

The Kremlin has now been forced to acknowledge that Russia is being hit hardest by climate change. According to state agency Rosgydromet, global warming is taking place 2.5 times faster in Russia than on average in the rest of the world, because of its geographical position.

Some effects of climate change became evident this summer, when surging wildfires devastated millions of hectares of Siberian taiga and floods ravaged the Irkutsk region.

But these are minor developments compared to a far, far greater peril.

If temperatures continue rising, there will be catastrophic consequences for Russia’s permanently frozen landmass – a vast geographic region which makes up 60% of the country’s territory.

Melting of permafrost poses threats to “the structural stability and functional capacities” of key infrastructure, as pointed out in a recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

According to separate estimates by the Russian Academy of Science, at current rates, the area covered by permafrost will shrink by a staggering 25% by 2080. That shrinkage threatens $250 billion worth of physical infrastructure, including energy pipelines, transportation networks and residences.

Additional reporting by Moscow correspondent Fred Weir for CSM revealed more concerns:

Arctic ice, receding at a record pace, revealed five new islands in the Russian far north this year that had been hidden under the ice sheets for all of recorded human history.

Russian scientists aboard a research ship near the northern coast of Siberia last week were amazed to discover a massive eruption of methane bubbles from the ocean floor. The huge clouds of the super-greenhouse gas suggest that the underlying permafrost is melting faster than anyone could have anticipated.

This all begs the question of whether any short-term benefits that Russia might gain from more comfortable temperatures in populated areas or the opening up of formerly unreachable resources might be seriously outweighed by the longer-term liabilities.

According to polls administered by the Russian government, over half of Russians think environmental problems are worsening and two-thirds don’t think the government is doing enough about it. More importantly, a recent Russian poll to ascertain the attitude of youths (aged 10 – 18, living in 52 Russian regions) toward several issues, showed that almost half were concerned about the environment and 90 percent thought that updated laws were needed to better protect the environment.

With this context in mind, I will share comments that Putin made at the recent Valdai conference with respect to climate change in response to a question about Russia’s ratification of the Paris accord and how to resolve the conflict between protection of the environment and economic imperatives:

Vladimir Putin: As for the uniformity of approaches and evaluations, we will probably never reach this. Indeed, experts in various fields who somehow try to answer the question about the causes of climate change do not give unambiguous answers to the causes of climate change.

There are different opinions, I have heard them. Some say there is some global change in space that affects the Earth, so from time to time huge changes like this take place on our planet. I sailed along the Lena River in our country and saw high banks with deposits containing the remains of obviously ancient tropical mammals, which lived in tropical seas. I am talking about the Lena River, its stretch north of the Arctic Circle. It means back then the climate there was like this. Well, were there any anthropogenic emissions at the time? Of course, not. You see, there is no answer.

Just the same, my position is that if the human race is responsible for climate change, even in the slightest degree, and this climate change has grave implications, and if we can do something to, at least, slow down this process and avoid its negative consequences, we must spare no effort. This is our position. Despite all disagreements, we will support the international efforts to combat climate change.

Indeed, we have practically ratified the Paris Agreement and are committed to implementing it. You said we hesitated or argued about it. There will always be room for doubt or disputes. But look at the obligations that we undertook and those undertaken by our partners. We are committed to cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 70 or 75 percent by 2050.

By the way, the European Union has undertaken to cut the same type of gas emissions by 60 percent. We have approved a national environmental programme. It sets forth in detail what we must do and how we must do it complete with the deadlines. We have approved 12 federal programmes under the national project to work to change the situation regarding the environment. Gas emissions in 12 of the largest metropolises in our country, where they affect people’s lives and have a negative impact on the environment, must be reduced by 20 percent.

We have adopted a programme to deal with waste dumps – not only with primitive rubbish dumps but with hazardous waste as well. We have adopted a programme to extend protected nature areas by five million square kilometres. We have a whole set of measures that we are not just intending to carry out but we have already started to implement and they have already been made law in our country. So, we are determined to move, together with our partners, along this path that is laid down in the Paris Agreement.

As for the hydrocarbons, I think it was yesterday that I said the structure of the Russian energy sector is one of the world’s greenest. The nuclear power and hydropower industries in our country account for a third of the energy sector and gas accounts for 50 percent of the remaining two-thirds.

We have one of the greenest energy sectors in the world plus the capacity of our forests to absorb [waste carbon dioxide]. So, we understand the threats that everyone, including us, are exposed to. The warming rate in Russia exceeds that in the rest of the world by 2.5 percent. We are aware of this.

And one more thing: there are forests ablaze in one part of our country while close to it there is flooding and there is also drought and so on. We are well aware of this and we will do, jointly with the whole world, with the humankind, whatever it takes to preserve nature and the environment.

Withdrawal of Forces Completed Successfully at First Location in Donbas; Lavrov Says No Military Alliance with China is Forthcoming; Russian Government Says Time is Running Out to Renew START Treaty; Putin: NATO is Washington’s Foreign Policy “Tool”

The OSCE reported over the weekend that both the Kiev forces and the Donbas rebels have successfully completed the withdrawal of troops and weaponry from the line of contact at Zolote, near the LPR.

On 1 November, the SMM received a letter from the armed formations in non-government-controlled areas of Luhansk region, notifying that they had completed the withdrawal of forces and hardware in the agreed disengagement area near Zolote.

On 2 November, the SMM received two Notes Verbales from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, notifying that the Ukrainian Armed Forces had completed the withdrawal of forces and hardware in the agreed disengagement area near Zolote.

Withdrawal of forces near the DPR in Petrovskoye are scheduled to begin today.

As analyst Tom Luongo has written, with the last approval permit having finally been granted by Denmark for Nordstream 2 to proceed, if significant progress can be made toward resolving the Donbas war, then a detente between Russia and Europe is likely to follow. This would mean a relaxation or even rescinding of the sanctions.

I agree with this assessment and believe that Washington is likely to find itself isolated within the next couple of years if it persists with its anti-Russia hysteria. If Jeremy Corbyn were to become Prime Minister of Britain, there is also a chance for decreased hostility from the UK, which will leave only Poland and the Baltic states as out-of-tune players in the “we can’t get beyond our animus toward Russia” band.

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In an interview last week with a Russian TV news channel, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stated that, while Russian-Chinese relations are the best they’ve ever been, neither country is contemplating the establishment of a formal military alliance.

It appears that the Russian government is prepared for Washington to not renew the New START Treaty, which expires in February of 2021. Since there is no active diplomatic work being done on behalf of a possible extension, it would be difficult to get the necessary logistics done in order to extend the treaty before the deadline. Antiwar.com reports:

An expected replacement treaty would be what everyone was hoping for, but with no work active on it, there is no real chance of getting everything done, and indeed no sign that things will even start, with the US showing little interest in arms limitation talks.

Though Russian Foreign Ministry office’s Vladimir Leontyev says it might be possible to rush through a blanket extension of New START under existing terms, even that would take at least six months to implement, and is made even more complicated by President Trump wanting China to also be limited by any new deal.

In a recent interview conducted jointly by Al Arabiya, Sky News, and RT Arabic, Putin answered a question about how Russia will respond to NATO’s continual march toward Russia’s borders. Watch the 3 minute exchange below.