|This article appears in the December 19, 2014 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
EIR FACT SHEET
Who Is Behind the Drive
To Dismember Russia?
by an EIR Intelligence Team
[PDF version of this article]
Dec. 11—Contrary to the line in the orchestrated international media, the current increasing tensions between the NATO nations and Russia, have nothing to do with the “Ukraine conflict,” and the fact that Crimea has rejoined Russia. The conflict stems from the fact, openly identified by numerous Russian government spokesmen, as well as by certain British and U.S. war-party strategists, that the United States and NATO have adopted a policy of strategic confrontation against Russia, including “regime change,” which is intended to force the world’s second greatest nuclear power into subservience to the West. If this policy is not rejected in the West, it will be rejected by Russia, and therefore can only lead to a Third World War, a war of annihilation.
President Vladimir Putin said in his Dec. 4, 2014 annual message to the Russian Federal Assembly:
“I’m sure that if these events [the coup in Ukraine and so-called Crimean Spring—ed.] had never happened, ... they would have come up with some other excuse to try to contain Russia’s growing capabilities, affect our country, or even take advantage of it.”
Putin also identified the Western origins of the current, as well as previous, threats against the Russian republic, specifically the terror attacks carried out by Chechen separatists that very day in Grozny, the capital of Chechnya in the Russian North Caucasus. Referring to the period of the 1990s and the early 2000s, Putin stated:
“We remember well how and who back then almost openly supported separatism and even outright terrorism against us, while referring to murderers, whose hands were stained with blood, as none other than ‘rebels,’ and organizing high-level receptions for them.... Despite the fact that we considered ... our former adversaries as close friends and even allies, the support for separatism in Russia from abroad, including information, political and financial support, and support provided by the special services—was absolutely obvious and left no doubt that they would gladly let Russia follow the Yugoslav scenario of disintegration and dismemberment.... It didn’t work.... Just as it did not work for Hitler with his misanthropic ideas, who set out to destroy Russia and push us back beyond the Urals. Everyone should remember how it ended.”
On that occasion, Putin did not name the names, when he made this charge. EIR, however, has done so over the past 20 years. From the mid-1990s on, we have identified the nexus of assets deployed by the British Empire, and extending into Saudi Arabia, and both the liberal imperialist and neo-con apparatuses in the United States, which have used financial, political, and outright guerrilla warfare to try to destroy Russia as a nation. Particularly prescient was EIR founder Lyndon LaRouche’s 1999 feature documentary which pointed to the Saudi-Chechen nexus as the spearhead of irregular warfare against Russia.
Complementary to outright separatist and terrorist insurgencies, has been the British tactic known as “color revolutions,” devised at Oxford University, most prominently, and carried out to great fanfare in places such as Ukraine. At a conference in May 2014, Putin and top Russian military commanders documented at length how such “democratic revolutions” are yet another form of warfare against the targeted nations.
From the time Putin began his current term as President (May 2012), it has been the clear intention of the British Empire to create conditions in which he would be removed, by upheaval or even assassination, as a review of one of the Empire’s brashest mouthpieces, The Economist, makes clear, as a means of getting Russia to capitulate their global financial dictatorship.
In the pages that follow, we present the leading documentary evidence of this international open conspiracy.
Post-Cold War Geopolitics: No Rival To Be Allowed
When the Berlin Wall came down in November 1989, there were intense discussions between the NATO nations and the Soviet Union as to future relations. Former U.S. Secretary of State James Baker III and former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachov have both confirmed that there was a 1990 understanding between the Soviet Union and NATO that, in return for Moscow’s acceptance of the reunification of Germany, NATO would not expand eastward, even into the former German Democratic Republic, never mind the other members of the Soviet-led Warsaw Treaty Organization.
That agreement was immediately abrogated when the former East Germany was brought into NATO as part of the reunified country. (After 1999, of course, NATO expansion brought it right up to Russia’s borders, with the consequent threat to Russia’s security.)
By the time the Soviet Union itself collapsed, in December 1991, the George H.W. Bush-Margaret Thatcher alliance had already determined on a course toward the destruction of Russia. The U.S. Defense Department, then run by Dick Cheney, commissioned Paul Wolfowitz to devise a new defense doctrine, in light of the collapse of the United States’ former rival. As it was revealed in 1992, that so-called “Wolfowitz Doctrine” declared: “Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere, that poses a threat on the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union. This is a dominant consideration underlying the new regional defense strategy and requires that we endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power. These regions include Western Europe, East Asia, the territory of the former Soviet Union, and Southwest Asia.”
The Bush, Sr. Administration, and especially Larry Summers’ Treasury Department and Vice President Al Gore’s circles in the Clinton Administration, followed the lead of London in imposing a murderous austerity regime on Russia—one described in great detail by current advisor to President Putin, economist Sergei Glazyev, in his book Genocide, Russia and the New World Order. The destruction of Russian society by that “shock therapy”—which reduced industrial production by 50%, and led to a skyrocketing suicide rate among men, among other results—was a policy “imposed from the outside by deception and graft,” Glazyev asserted. And it was not until the aftermath of the 1998 GKO crisis, which forced Russia to default on its sovereign debt, that Russian nationalists, such as Prime Minister Yevgeni Primakov (1998-99) and President Putin (who took office in 2000) took the necessary actions to reverse the process—thus winning them special enmity from London and neo-con circles in Washington.
Concurrently, the British geopoliticians launched the terrorist/separatist flank against Russia. The focal point for this assault was Chechnya.
The Chechen Wars: Made in Britain and Saudi Arabia
When ex-Soviet General Jokhar Dudayev proclaimed the independence of the Russian North Caucasus republic of Chechnya in 1991, it was clear from the outset that he was a pawn in a British geopolitical game, played out on the same terrain as the prolonged North Caucasus agitation against Russia in the 19th Century (the western end of what British imperialists like Rudyard Kipling called “the Great Game”). For years, analysts and profilers orbiting around British Intelligence had predicted a Caucasus revolt that would destroy the Soviet Union.
The first Chechen War erupted in earnest in 1994, and ran to 1996.
A leading propagandist for this was Prof. Alexandre Bennigsen of the Sorbonne in Paris. His daughter, Marie Bennigsen Broxup (1944-2012), followed in his footsteps, becoming editor of the British quarterly Central Asian Survey. In 1996, the year of an interim truce in Chechnya, Marie Broxup undertook what was advertised as a fact-finding mission to the North Caucasus. The message she brought back was: Dagestan is next.
In 1998-99, as North Caucasus irregular warfare shifted, as predicted, to Dagestan, the largest North Caucasus republic, Broxup conducted interviews with more than a dozen Chechen field commanders. The London Economist, ever the mouthpiece of the most aggressive British geopolitical circles, editorialized at that time: “Add Dagestan to the list of unruly statelets that threaten to tear up Russia’s southern rim” (July 18, 1998).
Dudayev was encouraged and patronized by then-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, her ally Lord McAlpine (1942-2014), and the Minority Rights Group of Britain, chaired by Sir John Thomson, former British ambassador to India and to the United Nations. Thatcher also patronized Gen. Aslan Maskhadov, the successor to Dudayev when the latter was killed in 1996.
After the 1996 Chechen truce, a more radical wing of the Chechen insurgency became its main operational force. It was led by Shamil Basayev (1965-2006) and the Saudi-born Commander Khattab (1969-2002), real name Samir Al-Suweilem—both of them operatives of the British- and Saudi-sponsored international “Afghansi” terrorist capability, dating from Western support for the mujaheddin in the war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan (1979-89).
From 1996 to 1999, Basayev prepared for an invasion of Dagestan, which took place in Summer 1999. In the same years, Lord McAlpine built business projects, and cultivated political assets in the North Caucasus. McAlpine (who was instrumental in bringing Tony Blair to power in 1997, by defecting from the Tory Party to financier Jimmy Goldsmith’s third party, the previous year) had, as his business partner, in the Caucasus Common Market Closed Share Society, none other than Hojahmed Nukhayev, a Chechen organized crime figure, who was simultaneously financing the separatist movement.
In 1997, they sought the franchise to operate the Chechen segment of the Baku-Novorossiysk pipeline. Nukhayev and McAlpine also launched the Caucasus Investment Fund and Caucasus Common Market scheme with billionaire Saudi arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi.
The 1999 Dagestan incursion brought British- and Saudi-sponsored Wahhabism to the fore, although the fanatic Wahhabite sect had next to no base in multi-ethnic Dagestan. Basayev’s first major terror attack had come in 1995, when his men seized a hospital in Budyonnovsk, signaling the first expansion of the Chechen war into the rest of Russia.
Basayev wore his “British pawn” credentials on full display. He trained for his jihad in the Afghansi camps, as he said in July 1995: “I was preparing for war with Russia a long time before the aggression against Chechnya began. Together with fighters from my Abkhazian [separatists within Georgia] battalion, I paid three visits to Afghan mujahedeen camps, where I learned the tactics of guerrilla warfare.”
Besides oil deals, such as those of Nukhayev, McAlpine, and Khashoggi, another source of funding for North Caucasus separatism was the Chechen kidnapping industry, which interfaced with drug- and gun-running in the region. Barbaric North Caucasus kidnappings foreshadowed the atrocities of the Islamic State today, as in the cases of the detention, rape, and release of British citizens Jon James and Camilla Carr in 1997-98, and the capture and beheading of five British and New Zealand communications technicians, accused by Chechen gangs of being spies.
The late Boris Berezovsky, the Russian financial operator who was close to the Yeltsin regime and was a major factor in Russian policy in the North Caucasus in the late 1990s, made a business of arranging for kidnap victims in Chechnya to be freed, often behind the back of a federal government policy of not paying ransoms.
Shamil Basayev also threatened China. In July 1998, as acting Prime Minister of Chechnya, he issued a threat to Chinese Prime Minister Zhu Rongji, that if China once more referred to Chechnya as part of Russia, Chechnya would launch support actions for the Uighur population in Xinjiang Province to split off as an independent state.
When Russian forces drove Basayev out of Dagestan in 1999, he threatened to hit Russia with new acts of terrorism, “such as the world has not seen.” What followed in the years ahead included the horrific Nord-Ost Theater hostage-taking in Moscow, 2002; two major subway bombings in Moscow, two domestic airline flights downed by suicide bombers, and the bloody first-day-of-school hostage-taking in Beslan, North Ossetia (Russia), all in 2004; another Moscow subway bombing and the spread of terrorist bombings into the Volga River basin in 2010, continuing to the present; and the Domodedovo Airport bombing in Moscow, 2011.
Throughout the first decade of the new century, Russia officially protested that the U.K. and the U.S.A. were providing “political asylum to terrorists.” As of 2004, two Chechen separatist leaders, Ilyas Akhmadov and Akhmed Zakayev, were living under protection, respectively, in Washington and London. Both had been officials of the separatist regime set up under Maskhadov and Basayev. Moscow also unsuccessfully sought the extradition of Berezovsky, who ran afoul of Putin’s new leadership, and lived in London from 2000 until his death in 2013. Interviewed by the Times of London in 2008, then-Prime Minister Putin warned that Anglo-Russian relations would never improve, as long as London remained a base for anti-Russian operations, citing Berezovsky and Zakayev in particular.
The Chechens and ‘Islamic Terrorism’
Guerrillas who fought in the North Caucasus insurgencies now form the backbone of the Islamic State.
A number of Islamic terrorist groups functioning from Britain, and containing an important Chechen factor, were already instrumental in shaping predecessors to IS. The most important of these is the Saudi-funded Hizb ut-Tahrir (HuT). Many HuT members are well-trained Chechens who migrated to Jordan more than 100 years ago.
An estimated 1,000 Chechen fighters—veterans of the Caucasus wars, the Afghan War, the Iraq Wars, the Libyan “color revolution” backed by NATO and the United States, and the four-year war in Syria—are among the top IS commanders in both Iraq and Syria.
One such commander, known as Abu Omar al-Shishani (“Abu Omar the Chechen”) is a former Georgian Army sergeant who fought against Russia in the 2008 South Ossetia War, and then joined the Islamic State, commanding all its operations in northern Syria. His actual name is Tarkhan Batirashvili; he is from the Pankisi Gorge region of northern Georgia, which has been a major recruiting hub for jihadists. Saudi Arabia has provided vast quantities of money, and has flooded the region with Wahhabi clerics since no later than the Balkan Wars of the 1990s.
Not surprisingly, given its London “mother,” the IS has been vocal about targeting President Putin and Russia, in its drive for a universal Caliphate. A case in point was a YouTube video posting on Sept. 2, in which purported IS militants delivered the following message, along with a picture of Russian jets delivered to the Syrian government: “This is a message to you, oh Vladimir Putin; these are the jets you have sent to [Syrian President] Bashar [al-Assad], we will send them to you.... And we will liberate Chechnya and the entire Caucasus, God willing.”
ISIS and its ideological, if not literal, partner al-Qaeda, has also declared war against Russia’s strategic ally China. The Ramadan message on July 1, 2014 from putative ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi put China first, among a long list of nations accused of forcibly violating the rights of Muslims, and concluded “So by Allah, we will take revenge! By Allah, we will take revenge!” Al-Qaeda’s English-language magazine Resurgence on Oct. 22 also featured an implicit call for jihad against China, declaring that al-Qaeda’s “victory” would be a “deathblow” against that nation.
The Chechen/Ukraine Connection
The Ukrainian “color revolution” against Russia also relies on strong links that exist between the neo-Nazi Banderite terrorists in Ukraine and the Chechen terrorists. This collaboration underscores the fact that terrorism and “color revolutions” carried out under the banner of “democracy,” are two dimensions of the same strategy.
EIR has documented at length the way the current Ukrainian regime was installed in the February 2014 coup, which occurred under pressure of neo-Nazi groupings, whose roots trace back to the pro-Nazi Banderite Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN). Current Ukrainian movements, including the Right Sector and the Svoboda Party, openly boast of their Banderite roots, and played a key role in the Maidan Square violence that led to the overthrow of the legitimately elected Yanukovych government.
At the close of World War II, Stefan Bandera and his closest collaborators, who had facilitated Hitler’s occupation of Soviet Ukraine in 1941 and had joined in the Nazi murder of Jews and Poles, were shielded from war crimes prosecutions. Instead, they were recruited by Britain’s MI6 and by U.S. intelligence agencies to form a core part of the anti-Communist terrorist underground inside the Soviet Union. The U.S. and British intelligence patronage of the wartime Nazi collaborators carried forward all the way to the breakup of the Soviet Union, and beyond. Many of the current leaders of the Right Sector and other Banderite parties in Ukraine today are second- and third-generation leaders of the original OUN network.
From that early period, under MI6 and CIA supervision, the Banderite Ukrainian neo-Nazis were linked up with Islamist networks in the Caucasus that also traced their roots to World War II-era Nazi collaboration. The Islamist networks were affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, which had its roots in the British occupation of the Suez Canal Zone in the late 1920s. British intelligence operative Dr. Bernard Lewis labeled the destabilization program against the Caucasus and Central Asian regions of the Soviet Union the “Arc of Crisis.” Lewis came to the United States in 1975, and became a mentor of many of the U.S. political figures engaged in the post-Cold War targeting of Russia, including Zbigniew Brzezinski and Dick Cheney.
As early as 1995, Ukraine fascists from the Bandera OUN stable joined forces directly with Caucasus jihadist terrorists, starting with the First Chechen War.
One of the components of the Right Sector, the violent Banderite group that was instrumental in scotching the French-German-Polish-sponsored agreement of Feb. 21, 2014 and in the overthrow of elected President Victor Yanukovych the next day, was the Ukrainian National Assembly-Ukrainian National Self-Defense (UNA-UNSO). Originating as paramilitary units of an alliance of right-wing grouplets in 1991, UNA-UNSO chose as its leader Yuri Shukhevych, son of Banderite military commander Roman Shukhevych from the World War II era.
The younger Shukhevych remained committed to a guerrilla war to defeat Russia once and for all. Some UNA-UNSO units and individual volunteers from the UNSO joined the Chechen insurgents against Russia, under Jokhar Dudayev in 1994-95. One of them, Alexander Muzychko (“Sashko Bily”) a prominent Right Sector figure killed under mysterious circumstances in Spring 2014, for a time headed up Dudayev’s security detail. The investigative journalist Tetyana Chornovol, initially, the Authorized Representative for Anti-Corruption Investigations in the post-coup Kiev regime, had handled UNA-UNSO liaison with Chechen insurgents in the 1990s.
The late Vasyl Ivanyshyn, co-founder of Tryzub Bandery (the Bandera Trident), another Right Sector component, also had Caucasus connections, appearing in Chechen separatist media to boost a joint struggle against “the Muscovites.” In May 2007, Tryzub set up an International Anti-Imperialist Front, which was joined by the International Movement for Decolonization of the Caucasus (IMDC), headed by Ahmad Sardali, who, in 1999, had been part of terrorist Shamil Basayev’s Islamic Shura of Dagestan—the project to invade Russia’s North Caucasus republic of Dagestan from Chechnya, which touched off the Second Chechen War (1999-2009).
The involvement of these Banderite groups—all of them enjoying the sponsorship of U.S., British, and NATO agencies both before and after the breakup of the Soviet Union—along with Chechen separatism, should be seen in the context of the radical nationalists’ belief that Ukrainian lands should extend eastward to the Don River. In other words, all of southern Russia north of the Caucasus, including the breadbasket Stavropol and Krasnodar Territories, along with the Belgorod and Bryansk Regions, should become Ukrainian.
The activation of the Banderite and Chechen terrorists inside Russian and Ukrainian territory has been run, top-down, from an Anglo-Saudi intelligence infrastructure associated with the “Al Yamamah” project (started in 1985), under which oil-for-weapons barter agreements between the British and Saudi monarchies created off-shore black funds to bankroll the terrorist networks. Thus, in July 2013, the then-head of Saudi Arabia’s intelligence service, Prince Bandar bin-Sultan, met with President Putin and delivered direct threats of jihadist terrorism against the upcoming Sochi Winter Olympics—unless Russia abandoned its support for the Assad government in Syria.
Within days of Putin’s stern rebuke of Bandar’s blackmail effort, Doku Umarov issued a statement vowing that the Sochi Olympics “must not be allowed to happen by any means possible.” He called on Chechen fighters in Syria to return to the Caucasus in preparation for the planned terrorist onslaught against the Sochi Games. Umarov boasted that his “Riyad-us-Saliheen Brigade is now replenished with the best among the best of the mujahedeen, and if the Russians do not understand that the war will come to their streets, that the war will come to their homes, so it is worse for them.”
A Common Mother in London
While the Saudi role in the promotion of jihadist terrorism against Russia has been well-documented and is known within the U.S. diplomatic community in detail, the role of the British in fostering the same networks is less understood and largely covered up. The British Empire has cultivated and used Islamic radicalism for centuries, and played a key role in bringing the Wahhabite kingdom to power. In the 20th Century, one of the leading British “Islamists,” later transferred to the U.S., was Bernard Lewis, who developed the Brzezinski strategy of using the “Islamic card” in the so-called “Arc of Crisis” around the Soviet Union.
As early as 1999, the Russian government had filed two formal diplomatic protests with the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, detailing the widespread recruitment of Islamist fighters in mosques throughout the United Kingdom. During this period, Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda maintained public offices in the London suburbs, and scores of terrorist groups from around the world enjoyed protection, funding, and logistical support from British intelligence services. The details of the British protection racket were provided in January 2000 by EIR’s editors to Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, proposing that Great Britain be placed on the Department’s list of state sponsors of terrorism.
Victoria Nuland was typical of an extensive network of U.S.-based neo-conservatives and “humanitarian interventionists” who form part of the same apparatus represented by the British protection of terrorist cells on British soil.
Nuland’s husband, Robert Kagan, a leading American neo-con, was a founding member in 1999 of the American Committee for Peace in Chechnya, an organization created by Freedom House, which fostered support for the destabilization of Russia’s Caucasus region. The group was launched by Brzezinski, Gen. Alexander Haig, and former Congressman Stephen Solarz to provide public backing to the terrorist-separatists operating in Chechnya. When the Second Chechen War ended, the American Committee simply changed its name to the American Committee for Peace in the Caucasus, and broadened its targeting. It was still active as late as 2013.
President Obama has given strong personal support to the “color revolution” warfare against Russia, the Middle East, North Africa, and China, actively promoting the idea of Responsibility To Protect (R2P). R2P claims that national sovereignty is trumped by the “responsibility” to intervene preemptively against potential future human rights violations. It is a broad license for regime change. In August 2011, President Obama signed Presidential Study Directive 10, establishing the Atrocities Prevention Board within the National Security Council. Its first head was Samantha Power, now the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.
While there has been strong pushback against the Board and the adoption of the R2P rationale for regime change from within the U.S. military and diplomatic circles, the Obama White House has fully embraced the doctrine of “post-Westphalian” end of national sovereignty, promoted in 1999 by then-British Prime Minister Tony Blair. As long as Obama is permitted to pursue that policy, the world is on a course toward World War III.
For Further Documentation
“Storm over Asia” video.
Muriel Mirak-Weissbach, “Brzezinski Plays Britain’s ‘Great Game’ in Central Asia,” EIR, Sept. 10, 1999.
“Put Britain on the List of States Sponsoring Terrorism,” EIR, Jan. 21, 2000.
Jeffrey Steinberg, “Neo-Cons Knee Deep in Caucasus Provocations,” EIR, Sept. 17, 2004.
“Look to British Intelligence Behind the Moscow Bombings,” March 29, 2010.
Rachel Douglas, “Bankrupt British Empire Keeps Pushing To Overthrow Putin,” EIR, Jan. 20, 2012.
Rachel Douglas, “Destabilizing Russia: The ‘Democracy’ Agenda of McFaul and His Oxford Masters,” EIR, Feb. 3, 2012.
Jeffrey Steinberg, “The Empire Deploys Wahhabi Terror Against Russia,” EIR, Jan. 10, 2014.
“British Imperial Project in Ukraine: Violent Coup, Fascist Axioms, Neo-Nazis,” EIR, May 16, 2014.
William F. Wertz, “‘Color Revolutions’: Obama’s Unconstitutional Wars,” EIR, June 13, 2014.
Ramtanu Maitra, “Under London’s Wing: ISIS: Saudi-Qatari-Funded Wahhabi Terrorists Worldwide,” EIR, Aug. 29, 2014.