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Forgetting World War II, Germany joins in the frenzy of hostility to Russia

SCOTT RITTER: The Nightmare of NATO Equipment Being Sent to Ukraine

In a turn of events which must have Vasily Chuikov and the Soviet heroes to whom the Tiergarten war memorial was dedicated turning in their graves, the forces of fascism have once again reared their odious heads, this time manifested in a Ukrainian government motivated by the neo-Nazi ultra-nationalistic ideology of Stepan Bandera and his ilk.

The West’s recent approval of more military assistance for Kiev risks nuclear nightmare, fails Ukrainian expectations and rebukes the World War II history enshrined in a prominent Soviet war memorial in Berlin.

On Tuesday the White House decided that it would send about 30 M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine, which was seen as political cover for Germany, which decided to ship 14 Leopard 2 tanks to Kiev. 

By Scott Ritter, Consortium News 24 Jan 23

Early on the morning of May 2, 1945, General Vasily Chuikov, the commander of the Soviet 8thGuards Army, accepted the surrender of the German garrison of Berlin.

Two days prior, soldiers from the 150th Rifle Division, part of the Soviet 5th Shock Army, had raised the victory banner of the Red Army over the Reichstag. An hour after the banner went up, Adolf Hitler and his mistress, Eva Braun, committed suicide in his study inside the Furhrerbunker.

Chuikov, the hero of Stalingrad whose battered 62nd Army was renamed the 8th Guards Army in honor of their victory in holding that city in the face of a massive German onslaught, had led his troops into the heart of the Nazi capital, battling stubborn Nazi resistance in the Tiergarten district of Berlin, where the den of the Nazi beast was located. The Soviet general was rewarded for the courage and sacrifice of his soldiers by being in position to accept the German surrender.

In honor of this accomplishment, and the sacrifice it entailed, the Soviet Army inaugurated, in November 1945, a commemorative monument along the Tiergarten. Constructed from red marble and granite stripped away from the ruins of Adolf Hitler’s Neue Reichskanzlei (New Imperial Chancellery), the monument, consisting of a concave colonnade of six joined axes flanked by Red Army artillery and a pair of T-34 tanks, with a giant bronze statue of a victorious Red Army soldier standing watch from the center pylon.

From 1945 until 1993, when the Russian Army withdrew from Berlin, Soviet guards stood guard over the monument. Since that time, the monument has been maintained according to the terms of the German Reunification Treaty of 1990, which brought West and East Germany together in the aftermath of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Carved into the granite of the monument, in Cyrillic letters, is an inscription that reads “Eternal glory to the heroes who fell in battle with the German fascist occupiers for the freedom and independence of the Soviet Union.”

In a turn of events which must have Vasily Chuikov and the Soviet heroes to whom the Tiergarten war memorial was dedicated turning in their graves, the forces of fascism have once again reared their odious heads, this time manifested in a Ukrainian government motivated by the neo-Nazi ultra-nationalistic ideology of Stepan Bandera and his ilk.

Bandera and his murderous movement had been physically defeated by Soviet forces in the decade following the end of the Second World War. However, its ideology survived in a western Ukrainian diaspora formed from the survivors of that movement who found safe haven in West Germany (where Bandera himself settled until assassinated by the Soviet KGB in 1959); Canada (where Chrystia Freeland, the granddaughter of a former publisher of pro-Bandera propaganda, currently serves as deputy prime minister), and the United States (where the followers of Stepan Bandera have constructed a “heroes park” outside Ellenville, New York, including a bust of Bandera and other neo-Nazi Ukrainian ultra-nationalists.)

The ideology also survived in the shadows of the western Ukrainian districts that had been absorbed by the Soviet Union following the dismemberment of Poland in 1939, and later, after the reoccupation of these territories by Soviet forces in 1945.

CIA-Funded Political Underground

Here, beginning in 1956, (following the de-Stalinization policies instituted by Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev in the aftermath of his “secret speech” to members of the Communist Party), thousands of members of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA)/Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists-Bandera (OUN-B), who had been arrested and convicted by Soviet authorities, were released from the Gulag and returned to their homes, ostensibly to be reintegrated into Soviet society. This reintegration never materialized, however.

Instead, Ukrainian fascists, funded by the C.I.A., operated as a political underground, running sabotage operations and fomenting anti-Soviet/anti-Russian ideology amongst a population where the precepts of Ukrainian nationalist ideology ran strong.

[Related: JOE LAURIA: On the Influence of Neo-Nazism in Ukraine]

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, at the end of 1991, these Ukrainian nationalists emerged from the shadows and began organizing into political parties backed by gangs of violence-prone extremists who promulgated, through physical intimidation, a cult of personality built around the person of Stepan Bandera………………………………………………………………………… more https://consortiumnews.com/2023/01/24/scott-ritter-the-nightmare-of-nato-equipment-being-sent-to-ukraine/

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January 27, 2023 Posted by | Germany, history | Leave a comment

Germany aims for faster expansion of wind energy, not nuclear

Germany Targets Three New Windmills a Day for Energy Reboot. Chancellor
Scholz says faster expansion of renewables needed. He rules out further
nuclear power extension to ease crunch.

Bloomberg 14th Jan 2023

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2023-01-14/germany-wants-fast-windmill-expansion-to-hit-climate-goals

January 16, 2023 Posted by | Germany, renewable | Leave a comment

John LaForge Set to Be First US Activist Jailed in Germany for Anti-Nuke Protests

More than a dozen German anti-nuclear activists and one Dutch campaigner have also been jailed in Germany for protesting U.S. hydrogen bombs housed at Büchel Air Base.

BRETT WILKINS, Common Dreams, Jan 03, 2023

As Russia’s invasion and NATO’s support of Ukraine have heightened nuclear tensions in Europe to their highest level since the Cold War, a Wisconsin peace activist is set to become the first American jailed in Germany for an anti-nuclear protest.

John LaForge, the 66-year-old co-director of Nukewatch, was convicted in December 2021 by the Regional Court in Koblenz, Germany on two charges of trespassing in connection with two 2018 protests against U.S. nuclear weapons at Büchel Air Base near Cochem. LaForge has been ordered to serve 50 days behind bars at JVA Billwerder prison in Hamburg and was also fined €600 ($633).

During one of the demonstrations, LaForge and other activists entered the base, and climbed a bunker likely housing B61 thermonuclear gravity bombs.

LaForge has refused to pay the fine and has appealed his convictions to the Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe.

In an opinion piece published last month by Common Dreams, LaForge noted that the $28 billion-per-bomb, variable-yield B61—whose military value U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Vice Chair Gen. James Cartwright admitted is “practically nil”—”has 24 to 40 times the destructive power of the U.S. bomb that killed 170,000 people at Hiroshima in 1945.”

As Beyond Nuclear International points out, Büchel Air Base and six other facilities in Europe each house at least 20 B61s “under a controversial U.S./NATO program known as ‘nuclear sharing.’ The U.S. Air Force’s 702nd Munitions Support Squadron maintains the U.S. bombs in readiness for German PA 200 Tornado jet fighter/bomber crews.”

Writing for Counterpunch last year, LaForge asserted that “NATO’s cold-blooded ‘strategic’ preparation for meaningless, genocidal atomic violence is cosmetically presented in defensive, sanctimonious, antiseptic language depicting hydrogen bombs as reasonable, measured, protective security blankets. This is a childishly naïve mindset that the wargamers promote but do not share.”

The Nuclear Register reports:……………….

More than a dozen German activists and Dutch anti-nuclear campaigner Frits ter Kuile have been jailed for Büchel protests.

At the peak of the anti-nuclear movement during the Cold War’s perilous closing decade, hundreds of thousands and even over a million demonstrators would turn out to protests in then-West Germany.

Nukewatch will host a “jail sendoff” for LaForge via Zoom on Thursday, January 5 at 7:00 pm Central European Time, which is 1:00 pm U.S. Eastern Standard Time.  https://www.commondreams.org/news/activists-buchel

January 5, 2023 Posted by | Germany, Legal | Leave a comment

German minister reignites coalition row with call to review nuclear exit

BERLIN, Jan 2 (Reuters)   https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/german-minister-reignites-coalition-row-with-call-review-nuclear-exit-2023-01-02/ – Germany’s transport minister called for an expert committee to examine whether the lifespan of the country’s nuclear plants should be extended, reopening a row within Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s coalition.

Germany’s rush to free itself from imported Russian fuels after Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine spurred calls for the country’s three remaining nuclear plants to be kept open rather than shut at the end of 2022.

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Late last year, Social Democrat Scholz attempted to suppress a row between the environmentalist Greens, strong proponents of an exit from nuclear power, and the liberal Free Democrats by ordering that all three be kept running until April.

But Free Democrat Transport Minister Volker Wissing reignited the argument, telling the Frankfurter Allgemeine that the environmental benefits of electric cars would be reduced unless they were charged using nuclear energy, which is emissions-free.

“We need an expert answer to the question of how we can ensure we have stable and affordable energy supplies while also achieving our climate protection goals,” he told the newspaper in an interview published on Monday evening.

Critics of the nuclear exit say it could force Germany to rely more than planned on coal, which is more polluting than gas, during the transition to renewable energy.

The pro-business liberals, lonely centre-right figures in a coalition dominated by two centre-left parties, are languishing in the polls and have suffered setbacks in regional elections. They hope a January party conference will offer the chance of a relaunch.

January 3, 2023 Posted by | Germany, politics | Leave a comment

German residents told to prepare for nuclear emergencies

German Residents must make preparations for nuclear emergencies, the
President of the Federal Office for Radiation Protection, Inge Paulini,
warned on Wednesday. In an interview with Funke media group newspapers,
Paulini pointed out that “radiation does not stop at the borders,” and
claimed that the ongoing military conflict between Moscow and Kiev has
“made it clear to the German residents that we have to be and remain
prepared for a wide variety of nuclear emergencies.”

Russia has repeatedly insisted that it does not intend to use atomic weapons in
Ukraine and has referred to its nuclear doctrine which only allows the use
of such munitions in a retaliatory fashion or in the case the country is
faced with an existential threat from conventional warfare.

 Global Village Space 29th Dec 2022

January 1, 2023 Posted by | Germany, safety | Leave a comment

Merkel explains why she wasn’t surprised by Russia’s offensive in Ukraine

https://www.rt.com/news/567189-merkel-ukraine-russia-conflict-surprise/ 26 Nov 22

The Minsk Agreements became “eroded” and the EU was reluctant to talk to Moscow, the former German chancellor told Der Spiegel

Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel says she was not surprised when the conflict between Russia and Ukraine broke out in late February. The retired leader was speaking to Der Spiegel in a lengthy interview published on Thursday.

“It did not come as a surprise,” Merkel told the outlet. By then, “the Minsk Agreements were eroded,” the former chancellor stated, referring to the 2014 ceasefire deal brokered by Germany and France, which were designed to give the eastern regions special status within Ukraine.

She also said her efforts to establish another dialogue platform for Russia and the EU in 2021 had come to nothing.

I wanted, together with [French President] Emmanuel Macron, to create an independent European discussion format with Putin through the European Council,” Merkel said, explaining that she faced opposition from other members of the EU’s top body.

“I no longer had the strength to assert myself,” she noted, as everyone knew she was about to step down. She faced the same problem on her farewell visit to Moscow, sensing she no longer had the ability to influence Putin, for whom she said “only power counts.”

The former German leader said she “wished for a more peaceful time” after her departure and would have “pushed for [her initiative] further” had she decided to lead her party into the 2021 parliamentary elections and won.

The former chancellor also acknowledged that she had not moved forward “even a millimeter” in resolving not only the Ukraine crisis, but the tensions between “Transnistria and Moldova, Georgia and Abkhazia,” as well as the crises in Syria and Libya. “It was time for a new approach,” she said.

Merkel, however, defended her opposition to admitting Georgia and Ukraine into NATO, arguing that she “bought time” for Kiev to better prepare for the Russian offensive.

However, Merkel still believes that Berlin should not be “the first nation to send state-of-the-art tanks” to Kiev, warning that it would only damage Berlin’s relations with Moscow. “Russia would then be only further set against Germany,” she said.

Merkel faced criticism at home over the conflict for supposedly making the German economy too reliant on Russian gas. The ex-chancellor defended her decisions, saying that buying gas from Moscow was the best way towards a green future and the move away from coal.

November 28, 2022 Posted by | Germany, politics international | Leave a comment

Germany refuses to build nuclear Uniper plant in Sweden

By Charles Szumski | EURACTIV.com, Nov 11, 2022  Nikolaus Kurmayer contributed to reporting

Energy giant Uniper will not build any power plants in Sweden, the company that will be wholly owned by the German state from next year announced Thursday, flouting plans of its Swedish subsidiary Barsebäck Kraft to build a Clean Energy Park.

No new nuclear power plant will be built in Sweden by the German energy company Uniper, Sveriges Radios Ekot reported on Thursday.

“Neither in Sweden nor elsewhere does Uniper have any plans to build a new nuclear power plant, that’s a fact”, spokesman George Oppermann told the radio.

Uniper is part owner of all three active nuclear power plants in Sweden, Oskarshamn, Ringhals and Forsmark. It is also the owner of the Barsebäck powerplant, which is being dismantled…….

From the start of next year, Uniper will be taken over by the German state, who decided to close all remaining nuclear power plants in the country from April next year……….. https://www.euractiv.com/section/politics/news/germany-refuses-to-build-nuclear-uniper-plant-in-sweden/

The three parties making up Sweden’s new ruling right-wing coalition, as well as the supporting far-right Democrats of Sweden, signed a pro-nuclear coalition accord, promising 400 billion SEK (€36 billion) for new nuclear power, with Vattenfall to immediately start planning new nuclear power at Ringhals and other sites.

November 11, 2022 Posted by | Germany, politics international | Leave a comment

German Parliament advised not to extend nuclear power beyond springtime 2023

Yesterday Claudia Kemfert, Professor of Energy Economics and Energy Policy
at the German Institute for Economic Research delivered an expert statement
to the German Parliament on why it is neither necessary, nor economical,
nor advisable, to extend German nuclear power beyond next spring. The focus
has to be squarely on renewables.

 Radiation Free Lakeland 10th Nov 2022

November 11, 2022 Posted by | business and costs, Germany | Leave a comment

Germany will still end nuclear power by April 2023

German chancellor Olaf Scholz has announced that his government would pave
the way for prolonging the runtime of all three of Germany’s remaining
reactors until April 2023, reports online news agency Clean Energy Wire.

The country’s leader has intervened to settle a dispute about the delayed
end of nuclear power in Germany which has kept his coalition government in
conflict for several months. The decision was made in light of the European
energy crisis and went further than an earlier proposal by the country’s
economy ministry for just two of the plants.

However, the chancellor’s decision means that the foreshadowed nuclear exit will not be changed in
principle and no new fuel rods will be purchased, thus ending nuclear power
in Germany by April next year. The limited runtime extension – which
still needs approval by parliament – is seen as a compromise for his
coalition partners, the Green Party and the pro-business FDP, made ahead of
what is expected to become a difficult winter for Germany’s and Europe’s
energy supply.

 Modern Power Systems 18th Oct 2022

https://www.modernpowersystems.com/news/newsgerman-government-confirms-short-life-extension-of-three-nukes-10094620

October 19, 2022 Posted by | Germany, politics | Leave a comment

Ukraine gets highly anticipated arms from Germany – Spiegel

 https://www.rt.com/russia/564488-ukraine-germany-iris-system 13 Oct 22,

Kiev has received the IRIS-T air defense system even before Berlin’s own military.

Ukraine has received the first of four IRIS-T SLM air defense systems from Germany, Der Spiegel reported on Tuesday. With its own weapons stockpiles seriously depleted, Germany is gifting this ultra-modern system to Kiev before its own forces.

The system – which comprises a command vehicle, a radar vehicle, and a truck-mounted launcher capable of firing eight missiles – was handed over to the Ukrainian military next to the Polish-Ukrainian border on Tuesday, the German magazine reported.

The handover took place four days after German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht made an unannounced visit to Ukraine, where she promised her Ukrainian counterpart, Aleksey Reznikov, that his country would receive the IRIS-T “in a few days.” German Chancellor Olaf Scholz pledged to provide this system to Ukraine back in June, with delivery initially slated for November.

In an update on Monday, Lambrecht said that Russia’s devastating missile strikes on Ukrainian military and infrastructure targets that morning showed “how important it is to supply Ukraine with air defense systems quickly.”

Berlin has promised Ukraine at least four IRIS-T systems, each of which can supposedly strike incoming missiles up to 40 kilometers (25 miles) away. Ukraine has reportedly asked Germany for at least a dozen of these systems, and offered to purchase them directly from the manufacturer, Diehl Defense.

Germany’s own military has yet to field a single ground-based IRIS-T system, with the remaining three pledged to Ukraine yet to be manufactured, Der Spiegel reported. Germany has faced persistent criticism from Kiev for its supposed hesitance in donating sufficiently heavy weaponry, but the arms it has sent have left its own stocks depleted. 

Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock warned of “absolute deficits” in Germany’s weapons stocks in August, and a report by Business Insider on Saturday revealed that the Bundeswehr (German Army) has only enough ammunition for two days of warfare.

October 14, 2022 Posted by | Germany, weapons and war | Leave a comment

German Greens lay out nuclear power extension position amid coalition infighting

DW 15 Oct 22, The Green Party decided to support reserve operation of nuclear power plants in Germany, but rejected procurement of new fuel rods. Their party conference coincides with a conflict in the coalition on the issue.

…………………………………………. No to new nuclear fuel

The issue has also put Habeck in a difficult position with the party grassroots, given the Green Party’s longstanding objection to German nuclear power and the pride it took in being part of the first government to declare that the country would stop using it altogether.

The Greens said their red line on any nuclear extension would be the procurement of new nuclear fuel elements. The Greens would not agree to any legal regulation in the Bundestag that would procure new nuclear fuel.

Party co-leader Ricarda Lang said in the debate that new fuel rods or a return to nuclear power “will not happen with us.” Renewable energies need to be expanded, and “nuclear power is not the future,” Lang said.

Habeck also described a return to nuclear power as “wrong”, adding: “There’s no way that’s going to happen to us.”

As for the reserve operation of the two nuclear power plants, he said that “we shouldn’t rule out this contribution from the outset” because of the emerging gap in the energy supply…………………………….. more https://www.dw.com/en/german-greens-lay-out-nuclear-power-extension-position-amid-coalition-infighting/a-63449846

October 14, 2022 Posted by | Germany, politics | Leave a comment

Lasting peace in Europe only possible with Russia’s input – Angela Merkel

Rt.com 7 Oct 22,

The Cold War won’t really be over until Russia has contributed to European security architecture, the former German Chancellor said.

Sustainable peace in Europe may only be achieved if Russia is part of it, former German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday.

Speaking during the 77th anniversary of the German newspaper ‘Suddeutsche Zeitung,’ Merkel explained that while the West has been adamant in its support for Ukraine as the nation remains locked in conflict with Russia, it should also keep its mind open about what might seem as “unthinkable” now – Moscow’s future role in Europe’s affairs.

She stressed that “a future European security architecture within international law will meet the requirements” only if it involves Russia. “As long as we haven’t achieved that, the Cold War is not really over either,” she added.

Merkel described February 24 – the day Russia launched its military campaign in Ukraine – as a “turning point,” adding that statements made by various parties to the conflict should be taken “seriously and not to be classified as a bluff from the start.”………………………..

She also noted that former German chancellor Helmut Kohl, who before his death, was widely regarded as her political mentor, would have kept an open mind about “how relations to and with Russia could one day be redeveloped” after hostilities in Ukraine end.

Such a stance, however, did not sit well with Ukrainian officials. Last week, Andrey Melnik, Kiev’s outgoing ambassador to Berlin, called Merkel’s attitude towards Russia and its role in European security “almost perverse.”  https://www.rt.com/news/564203-merkel-peace-europe-ukraine-russia/;/

October 9, 2022 Posted by | Germany, politics international | Leave a comment

State ministry reports leak at German nuclear plant, experts investigating

  State ministry reports leak at German nuclear plant, experts investigating | Reuters

BERLIN, Oct 5 (Reuters) – A leak occurred during flushing measures on a discharge line at the nuclear power plant in Brunsbuettel, northern Germany, on Sept. 28, the energy ministry of Schleswig-Holstein said on Wednesday.

The defective line is part of the concentrate treatment system and is located in the restricted area of the reactor building of the nuclear power plant, a statement said, adding that a small radioactive contamination was detected.

The reactor safety authority has tasked experts with conducting further supervisory reviews in the matter.

The Brunsbuettel nuclear power plant has already been permanently shut down since 2007. The decommissioning permit was issued at the end of 2018 and dismantling of the plant has begun.

Writing by Rachel More, Editing by Miranda Murray

October 5, 2022 Posted by | Germany, incidents | Leave a comment

Germany’s Environment Minister reaffirms the phaseout of nuclear power.

Speech by Federal Environment Minister Steffi Lemke on the draft of a
nineteenth law amending the Atomic Energy Act.

The phasing out of nuclear power, decided by a broad consensus in 2011, is coming.

Be proud, dear colleagues from the CDU / CSU , that you decided this with the FDP at the
time . That was responsible politics! Together we have settled a
decades-long social conflict. That is why this is not about Mr Trittin’s
life’s work, but about the fact that Mrs Merkel, as the responsible Federal
Chancellor at the time, implemented this nuclear phase-out in our country
with our support.

And you cannot hide the fact that you are now concerned
with reversing this decision with your draft law. With your draft law, you
not only want to enable an extension of the term until 2024, but beyond.

They want to turn back the wheel of nuclear history and that’s not going to
happen. It is irresponsible to treat this high-risk technology as if it
were a coffee maker that you turn on and off every once in a while, refill
with water, put in a new filter, and then turn it on again.

The valve leakage at the Isar 2 nuclear power plant is not a safety problem, but a
technical problem. Now we have to decide how to deal with it. In addition,
it is a mechanical problem that has been foreseeable for a long time, but
which means that the nuclear power plant will now have to be taken off the
grid in autumn, when we already have a problematic electricity situation
due to the lack of nuclear power plants in France.

The fact that this
information was not communicated to us in good time by the Bavarian nuclear
supervisory authority is something I will leave here without comment. We
will provide the necessary answers to the current energy situation. We are
driving the energy transition forward by massively expanding renewable
energies, focusing on energy efficiency and savings, and by using old
energy supply sources again this winter, thereby also enabling reserve
operation for two of the three nuclear power plants that are still in
operation if it becomes necessary.

German Environment Ministry 22nd Sept 2022

https://www.bmuv.de/rede/rede-bundesumweltministerin-steffi-lemke-zum-entwurf-eines-neunzehnten-gesetzes-zur-aenderung-des-atomgesetzes

September 22, 2022 Posted by | Germany, politics | Leave a comment

Operator doubts German plan to keep nuclear plants on standby

Germany plans to delay closure of two nuclear power plants amid disruption to Russian gas deliveries to Europe.

Germany’s plans to delay the closure of two nuclear plants were thrown into confusion on Wednesday, with the operator of one saying the request to keep it on standby was not technically possible as the government said it had been misunderstood.

Berlin announced on Monday that it plans to keep two out of three remaining nuclear power stations on standby to have enough electricity through the winter.

The operator of one of the plants, E.ON, said on Wednesday that it believed it is not possible to put its Isar 2 facility in reserve mode beyond its scheduled closure at the end of 2022.

“We communicated on Monday evening that nuclear power plants are not suitable for reserve power plant operation for technical reasons,” said E.ON, adding it was in contact with the government on the issue………………………………

In January, the government called nuclear energy dangerous, objecting to EU proposals that would let the technology remain part of the bloc’s plans for a climate-friendly future. Its energy plan before was to switch off its remaining three nuclear power plants at the end of this year and phase out coal by 2030.

September 8, 2022 Posted by | business and costs, Germany, politics | Leave a comment