Stephen Lendman is a writer, syndicated columnist, activist, News TV personality, and radio show host. He currently writes for and and hosts, since 2007, a progressive radio show at The Progressive Radio News Hour on The Progressive Radio Network.

Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA, raised in a modest middle income family, attended public schools, received a Harvard BA in 1956 and a Wharton MBA in 1960. After six years as a marketing research analyst, Lendman became part of a new small family business in 1967, remaining there until retiring in 1999.

Since then, he has devoted his time to progressive causes, extensive reading, and since summer 2005 writing on vital world and national topics, including war and peace, American imperialism, corporate dominance, political persecutions, and a range of other social, economic and political issues.

He is also author of the celebrated books "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity" and "How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War".

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Putin Speaks

by Stephen LendmanVladimir Putin


On April 17, Putin held his annual televised Q & A session. He did it with ordinary Russians nationwide. He did it for the 12th time. Doing so connects with them.

He responded to questions forthrightly. Most concerned Ukraine and Crimea. He covered lots of ground.

Trust lost is hard to regain, he said. It’s been “undermined to a great degree, but why is this happening?

“We believe in this situation we are not at fault.” Restoring trust requires Washington abandoning its “double standards.”

“We are not trying to undermine the relations between Russia and Europe, and I hope that this is not a part of our European partners’ plans.”

More on his comments below. Separately, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said NATO exceeded the worst of Cold War rhetoric.

“The North Atlantic Treaty Organization made a series of publications lately, including ‘Russia’s accusations – setting the record straight,’ in which NATO in its usual biased manner called Russia responsible for the recent crisis (in Ukraine).”

“Moreover, NATO’s recent anti-Russian political rhetoric has surpassed the propaganda during the aggression against Yugoslavia.”

Moscow continues going all-out to change things. On April 17, Sergei Lavrov participated in four-party summit talks.

So did his US, EU and Ukrainian counterparts. They met in Geneva. They addressed Ukraine’s crisis.

Ahead of discussions, Lavrov said “deescalation, disarmament of illegal formations, constitutional reform and elections must be prioritized.

Most important is real constitutional reform, he said. Legitimate elections can’t be held without it. Putin stressed it, saying:

“If the constitution is not changed, new elections cannot be held as President Viktor Yanukovych still remains the legitimate president.”

Illegitimate putschists rule. Putin referred to presidential aspirant Oleh Tsarev’s brutal beating saying:

“How can elections be legitimate if candidates from the east are always being beaten, poured with some kind of ink, and are not allowed to meet with the voters.”

“The presidential race is proceeding in absolutely unacceptable forms. If it continues like this, we certainly will be unable to recognize the events that will follow May 25 as legitimate.”

“The beginning of the preparation of a real constitutional reform, which would take into account the interests of all Ukrainian regions without exception is a key to the crisis settlement,” Lavrov added.

“It must be real, and not cosmetic,” he stressed. At the same time, he knows the futility of negotiating with Washington.

Its agenda is hardline. Hegemons operate this way. Expect nothing positive following Geneva. A deal was reached, Lavrov said after talks concluded.

It’s not worth the paper it’s written on. US history reflects promises made. Promises broken. The pattern repeats with disturbing regularity. Don’t expect this time to be different.

According to Ukraine’s illegitimate putschist UN envoy Yuriy Klinenko before talks began:

Kiev “does not intend to discuss at this meeting Ukrainian internal issues, so we will not discuss matters relating to Ukraine’s federalization.”

Lavrov took sharp issue, saying:

“Don’t believe the statements suggesting that this meeting is not going to discuss the internal Ukrainian crisis. It’s a blatant lie.”

“We gather to discuss exactly the Ukrainian internal crisis.” Focus will stress steps Russia and other parties must take.

Ukrainians must be involved, Lavrov said. “Because the crisis originates from a deep malfunction of Ukrainian statehood, and without the beginning of a dialogue with equal participation of all political forces and all regions, it is impossible to overcome this crisis.”

Putin called allegations of Russian forces in Ukraine “nonsense. There are no Russian units in eastern Ukraine.”

“There are no Special Forces. There are no instructors. These are all local residents, and the best proof of this is that the people have literally removed their masks.”

He hopes no military forces will be needed to protect the safety and security of Russian nationals.

“I remind you that the Russian Federation Council has given the president the right to use the armed forces in Ukraine,” he said. It did so unanimously.

It did it without hostile intent. It focused solely on protecting fundamental civil and human rights.

“I hope that I won’t have to use this right and that we will be able to solve all the pressing problems in Ukraine today by political and diplomatic means,” Putin stressed.

At the same time, he’s realistic. He knows Washington’s dark side. Permanent war is official policy. So is eliminating Russia as a major military rival.

Putin addressed sending military forces against peaceful Eastern Ukrainian protesters. “Have they lost their minds,” he said.

“They are deploying tanks, armored vehicles and weaponry. Against whom? Are they nuts?” Crisis conditions can only be resolved diplomatically through dialogue, he stressed.

“The coup-appointed government in Kiev needs to come to its senses before we can negotiate.”

Outside party intervention is unacceptable, he stressed. “Compromise must be reached between various political forces” internally, “not between third parties.”

“This is of paramount importance. This is a keynote issue. All we can do from the outside is to support it in some way and go along with it.”

Kiev must respect Crimeans’ rights. International law affirms self-determination inviolability.

“If we treat each other with respect, we will have to recognize each other’s right of choice. People who live in Ukraine have to respect the choice of those who live in Crimea,” said Putin.

They reject Kiev putschists. They acted legitimately against them. They did so to protect their sovereign rights. They acted independently.

“Nothing was prepared beforehand. Everything was done on the fly, so to speak, to accommodate the situation. But it was executed flawlessly and professionally,” Putin added.

Independent monitors agreed. Everything went smoothly. Things were open, free and fair. Not a single irregularity was reported. Claims otherwise were false.

Kiev putschists usurped power lawlessly. They killed over 100 civilians and police doing so. Their rampaging continues unabated.

“Instead of realizing that something has gone wrong in the Ukrainian state and making attempts to start dialogue, they have intensified their threats to use force and have even decided to send tanks and aircraft against the civilian population,” said Putin.

“It is another very serious crime on the part of the current Kiev authorities.”

He said NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen secretly recorded a conversation they had when he was Danish prime minister.

He leaked it to the press. “I couldn’t believe my ears and eyes,” said Putin. “What nonsense. How can you trust someone after an incident like that?”

He stressed the importance of “transparency, stability and partnership” in interpersonal relations.

Energy wars with Russia will harm European countries most, he said. “Can Europe stop buying Russian gas?”

“I think it’s impossible. Will they make themselves bleed? That’s hard to imagine,” he added.

He ruled out anything on Russia’s part to erect a post-Soviet iron curtain. “We are not going to close our country and our people, and our public from anyone,” he stressed.

He doesn’t fear NATO expansion, he said. At the same time, “we have to bear the realities in mind.”

He called for assessing things pragmatically. “We will choke them all,” he said. “What are you afraid of,” he asked?

At the same time, Moscow strongly opposes further NATO expansion east. Encroaching near Russia’s borders is unacceptable.

Putin remains open to cooperative relations. Suspending them helps neither side’s interests or security.

His press secretary Dmitry Peskov he’s well informed on major domestic and geopolitical issues. He reviewed many questions asked. He’s mindful about public concerns.

A successful Q & A “is one that people watch, listen to, discuss, and the one that results in a range of the president’s commissions,” said Peskov.

Russians asked them by phone, text messages, emails and video services. Crimean and Sevastopol residents participated for the first time.

Moscow provided special toll free numbers to do it. Doing so encouraged calls. Edward Snowden participated. He spoke in English. He did so by prerecorded video.

“I’d like to ask you: does Russia intercept, store or analyze in any way the communications of millions of individuals,” he asked?

“And do you believe that simply increasing the effectiveness of intelligence or law enforcement investigations can justify our placing societies rather than subjects under surveillance?”

“Mass eavesdropping” like in America is “impossible,” said Putin. “Russia’s special services are under strict control.”

“Mr Snowden, you’re a former agent, I also had something to do with this, so we’ll talk in a professional language.”

“We have strict legal regulation of the use of special surveillance by special services, including tapping phone conversations, surveillance on the Internet and so on.”

“Nevertheless, special services do use ‘appropriate modern means’ (to surveille) criminals and terrorists.”

“Of course we do not allow ourselves to do it in a mass scale, on an uncontrolled scale. And I hope, I very much hope, we never will.”

“We don’t have the technological means and money the United States has, and most importantly, thank God, in our country, special services are under the control of the state and society and their activities are regulated by the law.”

Putin said US/Moscow reset relations ended when Obama waged war on Libya. In 2011, he called Security Council Resolution 1973 “deficient and flawed.”

“It allows everything, and is reminiscent of a medieval call for a crusade. It effectively allows intervention in a sovereign state.”

It’s becoming a “trend,” he added. “Now it’s Libya’s turn – under the pretext of protecting civilians.

Where is the logic and conscience? There is neither. The ongoing events in Libya confirm that Russia is right to strengthen her defense capabilities.”

He warned against direct foreign intervention against Syria. “Moscow won’t allow anyone to repeat the Libyan scenario,” he added.

He forthrightly opposes attacking Iran. He drew a red line. He highlighted it against Ukraine. He’ll defend Russia’s vital issues responsibly. He’s not rolling over for Washington.

Separately, Kiev putschists banned Russian males aged 16 – 60 from entering Ukraine. Crimeans and Sevastopol residents are included. Police states operate this way.

Ukrainian State Border Guard Service authorities said “these temporary measures apply primarily to healthy males who could somehow influence the situation in Eastern Ukraine.”

Kiev outrageously holds Russia responsible for spontaneous grassroots resistance. Moscow isn’t involved.

Ordinary people want their rights respected. They want local autonomy. They reject putschist rule. They’re Ukraine’s best and bravest. They deserve worldwide support.

Note: A separate article will discuss four-party so-called Geneva agreement on deescalating Ukrainian crisis conditions.

About the Author: Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] He writes for and

He is also author of the celebrated books “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity” and “How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War“.

Lendman also hosts his own blog at

He is host of a progressive radio show with cutting-edge discussions and distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening. It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

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Posted by on April 18, 2014, With 3995 Reads Filed under Russia, World. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

9 Responses to "Putin Speaks"

  1. stephanaugust  April 20, 2014 at 2:33 pm

    Putin is the Illuminati initiator for WWIII.

    • ani  April 20, 2014 at 2:45 pm

      That is what I have been wondering, all the while hoping that Putin is the benevolent dictator our world sorely needs.

      I was told yesterday that Russia wrote off 90% of North Korea’s debt.

      Please forgive my naiveté, but does that mean ‘debt forgiveness’ like I have been positing for the western debts to the Zionistasi?

      Or does it just mean what I think it means and that you are unequivocally saying-the right arm reaches round the populations in fiscal nightmare and the left arm reaches round to crush to death?

    • stephanaugust  April 21, 2014 at 2:52 am

      I think that the whole debt thing is staged. When I was a follower of (Rothschild front) Mises, I wondered why with all the bail out money blown out in the last ten years there is no sign of hyperinflation as in 1929. Now I believe that it was/is their toy and that they control every crisis. It is like a sadistic child “playing” with an animal.

    • ani  April 21, 2014 at 3:24 am

      I don’t know what age group you are but I have grown up with the horror stories of WWll, especially Rotterdam where my grandmother lived.
      But I was brainwashed by the Anglo-Saxon ‘royal’ stories, until some years ago I started to overturn the crap I was being sold.
      I read Kurt Vonnegut’s books and lots lots more, always with a view to never again allowing such catastrophic events to slaughter massive numbers of innocents.

      Are we all feeling powerless in the face of another ‘act’ to this never-ending story?

    • stephanaugust  April 21, 2014 at 8:31 am

      I grew up with set theory and sex education and Jews-turned-to-soap-horror-stories being taught at a 1970 West Germany school. In my school leaving examination for history I never understood why I had four observers, I did NOT read books back then.

  2. ProtectUSA1st  April 19, 2014 at 11:05 pm

    —-USA & EU are jealous of Russia & China who will be the Primary Benefactors along the other BRICKS countries of The New Silk Road project. If you could night them, be smart and join them. If you could not fight them, be smart and join them.

    —-Thanks to China USA has money to survive, and thanks to President Putin single handily along with China are preventing WW3.

    —-How soon do we forget, USA President Nixon’s 1972 visit to China along with USA Top Diplomat Henry Kissinger, the Nobel Peace Prize Winner was an important step in formally normalizing relations between the China & USA.

    —-“Kissinger warned against demonizing Russian President Vladimir Putin. Doing so is no basis for policy but a sign of the absence of a policy.”

    —-“Kissinger said, Conflicts Across the Globe and an International Respect for Barack Obama have created the perfect setting for establishment of a “New World Order.”

    • Chandler  April 20, 2014 at 2:03 pm

      “…created the perfect setting for the establishment of the new world order.” ???? If so they did so knowing perfectly well what they were, or are, doing. The order now is “We the People…” Maybe this is the change Oblunder was talking about when he was elected on ’08.

  3. Chandler  April 18, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    If this man speaks the truth to the world about America, about what he is doing to better the people of Russia and those under his leadership, he will gain much support for just that–the truth.
    The game of “find the pea” is over and America cannot continue to carry on their war machine as long as it is being exposed by truth speak.
    I hope he knows the quickest way to expose them and stop the mayhem of war-war-war mentality is to talk openly to the people of the world about objective facts, past behavior of America, and documented rhetoric of intent. America trying to start war, Putin trying to avoid it.
    Right now America has lost credibility, and ripe for an attack. Reduction of military troops, and weak, wavering and ambiguous rhetoric does not deter predator countries. Under Putin, I do not believe Russia is a predator. America is not a lamb but it will, and has, laid down when it needed to stand up. It sounds Putin is simply telling some truth. Breath of fresh air? Good article…

    • Chandler  April 20, 2014 at 1:59 pm

      i remember when JFK stood before Germany, Ireland, smaller places like Puerto Rico, and many others, telling the people how great and important they were. The cheers, the smiles and everything else that scared the holy hell out of those pathetic leaders then and today. His intent was world peace. He was unifying the world and the weak, the distraught and threatened cowardice elite at that time wanted war as long as their children did not have to fight it. They cared not then and still to this day couldn’t care less about us common citizens. We alla re being led by some pretty sorry people we elect to this positions of authority over us.

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