Here I want to thank Eugenia for a truly heroic effort.  Not only did she translate, subtitle and upload the video, she did that on her so-called ‘free’ time (without going into details, I will say that Eugenia is a top-level professional with a prestigious career and an extremely busy life).  Eugenia – you are truly to be thanked by our Community for your immense dedication and work!

Second, we had to upload this video to because YouTube immediately blocks such video.  No, not because of political censorship in the USA, but because Russian news organizations apparently hire western firms to make darn sure that their content is not reproduced without authorization.  Apparently, these folks couldn’t care less about the fact that their country is the object of an information war.  Like so many others, they are far more busy protecting their supposed “rights” than to get the word out.  This is sad, disgusting and discouraging.  Anyway, the technical record of RuTube is “so so”, works better some days that others.  But, friends, that’s the best we have right now (and the Russian government is busy preparing laws to prevent Russian video hosting providers from participating in “piracy” as if airing a crucial video of Maria Zakharova was tantamount to the murder, robbery and kidnapping of people on the high seas; sigh; don’t even get me started on this one.  Besides, this hero of mine does a much better job explaining that I ever could).

If anybody could suggest a good video hosting solution for us which The Almighty Dollar could not force into compliance, I would be most interested.  Email me.

Anyway, I hope that this video will give you a sense of what the tone in Russia really is, of how people see the current hysterical russophobic campaign, and the kind of feelings this elicits in them.


The Saker

Direct link:

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Olga Skobeeva. 60 minutes about the most important things.

We begin with the most sensational news: the first victims of the “Russian” investigation appeared. The first official charge in the investigation of the “Russian interference in American elections” was filed in Washington.

Our special guest today is Maria Vladimirovna Zakharova. She will explain everything.

The former head of Trump’s election campaign was offered an opportunity to surrender himself to the officials voluntarily, and he agreed. You will see this footage: Paul Manafort accompanied by his lawyer next to the FBI building. The charges consist of as many as 12 items. The first one – conspiracy against the US.

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Evgenii Popov. Essentially, high treason.

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Voice in the video. We see Manafort walking with his lawyer. He is entering via front door.

Mister Manafort, do you plead guilty? Just a few words. Did you conspire with the Russians?


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EP. This is the key question for obvious reasons. Naturally, Manafort did not answer. However, the US President seemed to have heard this question.

“There was no conspiracy” – Trump wrote in his Twitter. Trump said that Manafort is accused of things he’d done before he was part of the Trump campaign, and it’s not about the elections”. However, it is impossible to stop the blaming juggernaut.

It was just reported that the former advisor of Trump campaign acknowledged that he lied under oath in his testimony to FBI about communications with the Russians. Journalists are understandably ironic, but Trump and his team can’t joke any more.

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Voice in the video. Long live Russia and America! For the friendship of the peoples!

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EP. This is the general mood in Washington.

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OS. We can joke for a long time, but it isn’t funny any more. It is expected that today, even as we run our program, the indictment of Paul Manafort and his long-standing business partner Rick Gates will be made.

After that – just think about it, this isn’t funny – they will be brought to the Federal District Court in Washington, where their photos and fingerprints will be taken.

It was all nonsensical, and we could’ve laughed at it, but … they looked for a Russian link in the US election interference, but found a Ukrainian one instead, and this IS serious. Among the charges brought against Manafort was lobbying in the US for the interests of Yanukovich. Manafort was an advisor to Yanukovich, mind you, what else was he expected to lobby for?

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Voice in the video. This is it, these are the indictments against Paul Manafort and Richard Gates. Both are accused within the same investigation. The charges they were indicted on are related to financial schemes.

As the prosecutor stated, the indictments relate to the work of Manafort and Gates in the interests of the Ukrainian authorities, who paid them for their services.

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EP. If they ever learned any logic, the US should have blamed Kiev and introduced sanctions against Ukraine. None of this happened. Ukraine is near Russia, so this juggernaut is aimed at us, via Trump and his team.

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OS. Thanks again to Maria Vladimirovena Zakharova, an official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, who agreed to come to our studio on a very short notice and attempt to explain it all to us live, if that’s at all possible.


To begin with, let’s show a schematic, where we understand all connections. At long last this dawned on CNN.

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Maria Zakharova. Now we understand who is the most important personage here.

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OS. Naturally, the most important one is Vladimir Putin. However, it’s not fun any more for Donald Trump. We pity him.

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MZ. You know, what we see today suggests to me that the American system is destroying itself. This is paradoxical, but true.

Politically, this system is based on lobbyism, not just theoretically, but in practice. Everything boils down to lobbyism. The internal lobbyism, but also external, international lobbyism, is the cornerstone of the American political system. Nobody even bothers to hide this.

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EP. We call this legalized corruption.

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MZ. No, I wouldn’t say that. I think the American system is unique, in terms of the scale and history. Look at any country in the world, be it the Middle East, North Africa, Arabian countries, or it could be Asia, Africa. If there are countries that have interests, which they are prepared to push together with the US, on the US soil, using US lobbyists, they do just that. Or if there are politicians or political groups that are willing, able, and have the money to do this, they are welcomed.

The first question asked of any serious company, or political group, or civic organization that begins working with the Americans is: are you already working with lobbyists? Who is your lobbyist? You send contact info: phone numbers, email addresses. Next step is a meeting with lobbyist groups or individual lobbyists working in a particular area.

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EP. Price lists?

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MZ. Of course, there are price lists – you are given a menu. From that menu you choose what you’d like to have, e.g., a draft law, or repeated discussions in Congress, or a more expensive option, in the Senate, or organizing a protest movement, etc.

Just now you showed the footage of, I don’t know what to call it, a circus that is going on before our eyes, all these schematics, clips, attention of the media…

I have a question to those who discusses these schematics that allegedly were revealed today, what about Saakashvili? He was not just a rep of a group or a company, he was a president of a country, which has been running out of money for a decade. Who in the States will tell us at some point about the schemes that were behind that particular person. There is an important difference: this person and his lobbyists first brought his country to collapse, second, started an aggressive war against his own populace, and all this was financed.

So, all today’s so-called investigations negate the very system, which the existing political establishment is based on.

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EP. Wait a minute, we know that Manafort was lobbying the Yanukovich’s interests, but it looks like he was lobbying Putin’s interests, if we believe this schematic.

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MZ. If we take this schematic at face value, it means that there was thievery in Ukraine, but Russia is to blame.

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EP. As usual.

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MZ. This is a strike of genius, a fantastic know-how. By the same token, as we are talking about post-Soviet countries, we can get at Russia starting anywhere. If we follow this kind of logic, which is, of course, horrific.

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EP. But they’ve made the schemes like this for everyone to explain where is the path to Russia.

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OS. Do we understand correctly – I want to emphasize this again – that Manafort at that time, in 2007-2012, was legally employed and doing his job?


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MZ. This is not a question that should be addressed to us. This question has nothing to do with Russia, with the Russian Federation. This is the question for the US . . .

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OS. But they imply that if you are for Yanukovich, you are for Putin, in a roundabout way, don’t they? Is that the logic? Where does Putin come from here?

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EP. How did they insert Putin in this scheme?

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MZ. It doesn’t matter. No one cares. This is intended for the mass consumption by the populace representing the electorate and is aimed and the next elections.

You understand, if just a month ago CNN told a story that Russia hacked computer games and influenced the choice of the African-American via Pokemons, what do you expect? This is for the elites. Pokemons, apparently were intended for the lower and middle layers on the intellectual scale, i.e. the majority, but this is crème de la crème for the elites that, apparently, does not buy the Pokemon story. I believe so. Otherwise, all this defies explanation.

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OS. Is this serious crème de la crème? Are they doing this in earnest? Are they trying to get at Trump through this?


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MZ. This is a classic PR campaign aimed at influencing the audience via audio-visual stimuli. This schematic is expected to brand itself onto the consciousness by virtue of bright colors, by virtue of simplicity of the connections.

Look here: KGB, which every American knows of, because KGB has been used as a bogeyman since he was little; KGB plus the image of the President of Russia, the word “Russia” and the Russian flag.

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EP. The smiling Russian President!

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MZ. All of this is designed exclusively to brainwash people and to have this schematics imprinted in visual memory, so people would keep returning to it. This is a pure informational and PR campaign.

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EP. But nevertheless . . .

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MZ. This is also lobbyism.

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OS. This is also not for free.

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MZ. Naturally.

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EP. The former FBI Director is involved in this.

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MZ. Whomever you look at in that crowd – they all were involved. People providing the lobbying services act as intermediaries between the government and different organizations, including foreign.

Many stories have been told in the USA about this, for example, about the lobbyism of the Arab countries; the Middle Easter lobbyism in general has a long history in the USA.

For example, the Clinton Foundation does precisely that. It is useless to look for any sort of truth in this: all methods are to influence the audience – that is precisely what was paid for, what is being pushed.

To push why? Perfectly understandable: the next elections; the hot topic of the Russian interference; the fighting among the political elites, one of which is not prepared to except its defeat or the fact that it was its own fault – they need an external factor. They always require an external enemy. And here it is!

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EP. But you are being optimistic just now when you mentioned the next elections for Trump. We as reporters think that the situation is moving in a different direction for him. Manafort has been indicted; we could easily imaging Flynn to be next; then Kushner – these are not lobbyists; the Senate Committee is doing this.


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MZ. Importantly, when we consider the quality of these materials – this is a part of the political game. That is why there is no analysis; that’s why all is so false, and not just false but obviously organized as an informational PR campaign.

Look – the part that I liked best (I haven’t read all but most of it) is a fragment that, apparently,

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EP. Point 22, I think.

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MZ. according to the latest materials from the American intelligence services . . .

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OS. Page 16.

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MZ. Yulia Timoshenko was the President of Ukraine before Yanukovich. We didn’t know that, did we? This is a discovery.

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OS. If you look at page 16 of this impressive document.

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EP. Why? Is there a reason?

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MZ. If I had to guess, I’d say that, perhaps, somewhere in the internal paperwork in some office she was listed as the President.

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OS. In the price-list?

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MZ. Perhaps. Possibly, the going rates for Presidents of Ukraine are higher.

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OS. So, corruption – corruption here as well.

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MZ. One important remark. This detail shows how this document was cooked up, how sloppily it was put together. When a serious investigation is conducted, such mistakes aren’s made. This is indicative of the preparation of an offensive, brash, brazen material intended to shock everyone by the horror of the events.

One important fact. Now they presented information about what supposedly took place before 2015.

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OS. From 2010 to 2014.

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MZ. I want to point out that the amount of money pumped into Ukraine today is incommensurable with any lobbying payments – it is way above. We are talking hundreds of millions of dollars, well, many hundreds – you remember full well all the IMF tranches given to Ukraine.

We also know, and the entire international community knows, that how quickly, after a week or two, this money starts to make appearances in the banks outside of Ukraine. Anyone has ever asked what is happening? Who is behind all this? All Western non-governmental organizations and even the Western establishment admitted that the level of corruption in the today’s Ukraine is way above it has ever been, in any preceding year, anywhere in the post-Soviet region.

Is anyone making those “revelations” interested in this? No one.

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OS. Apparently, the right people are getting lobbied, whereas at that time the undesirable people got lobbied.

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MZ. Speaking about lobbyism. Do you remember those sensational photos of how the White House hosted Osama bin Laden? This is classical lobbyism in the purest sense of the word.

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OS. We were recently told about Klimkin (Ukrainian Foreign Minister) who had a paid for photo session in Oval Cabinet of the White House

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MZ. I believe equating Klimkin and bin Laden is a bit too much, Olga.

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OS. But this was the latest, and all about the money.

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MZ. You remember the same pattern: pumping money into a specific personage (like bin Laden), a meeting and talks in the White House; promotion and propaganda all over the world as the new democratic force that should come to power (in this case, in Afghanistan) and start a new era for the country.

Was anyone interested in who was behind that lobbying effort for this “brilliant” idea? How much money was invested in this? Which internal American mechanisms were utilized to lobby bin Laden? And how much money, American as well as that of the entire world, was spent later to neutralize him?

Let us move on in long strides. The invasion of Iraq. The lobbying effort around the world was super-intense. Every means was employed. They almost recruited even the UN Security Council. Thanks God that didn’t work out due to a clear firm position of the members. Remember, non-governmental organizations, the civil society, so-called Iraqi political refugees, and so on, which had a continuous access to the American TV channels. The invasions took place, and it took place precisely thanks to these lobbying waive, which explained to the population why invading Iraq is so absolutely necessary.

We see today’s Iraq and the difficulties the country is facing. We see a huge terrorism problem, an enormous political divisions, national, religious, which had not existed before. They did have problems but not like that. We know about hundreds of thousands civilians killed in that war. Anybody in the US answered for lobbying the Iraq invasion?

Anyone took an interest in this subject? No one. Not a single person.

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EP. You yourself said it is a lawful practice.

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Not a single report was prepared about who was behind this and how much money was injected into the organizations that lobbied for the invasion of Iraq.

Here we go. The today’s story, however, is entirely superficial. It is needed as a powerful instrument for the internal political struggle.

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EP. What if the impeachment takes place? Are we ready for that? As I understand, we are often told about the bottom in our relations that we reached, and so on.

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MZ. I believe we should direct such question to the American establishment and not to the Russian Federation. What is happening here is . . .

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EP. OK, do you have any contacts these days? With the Department of State, something routine? Do tell they still exist, at least.

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OS. A next victim, perhaps?

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MZ. Another connection that was not represented in that schematics of theirs: <u>Obama – Kerry – Lavrov – and, yes, again Putin. One more connection they could’ve depicted.

I will tell you why I started by mentioning a factor, or a process, of the system’s self-negation. I gave you a few examples. But there is another example of this, a very telling one – a recent scandal around Twitter, which announced hat it will no longer publish ads of the TV company Russia Today and the new agency Sputnik.

It might seem that a private company has the right to make such a decision based on its own ideology and internal editorial policy. However, the company clearly explained that it based its decision on the repost by the American intelligence agencies. What do we have here? They also said that this decision and the decision to transfer $2 million to charities by the way of atonement, sort of, was difficult for the company to make. That was a difficult decision for them. So, on the one hand, we see deep involvement of the American intelligence services in the decision making process as well as their strong influence on that process in a private business.

On the other hand, any company, Russian or not, that does business with Twitter by placing ads with its service becomes an object of interest for the American intelligence. Not many people know this but Russia Today recently published the information. . .

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EP. A commercial offer from Twitter?


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MZ. I want to tell about this here on this show. This is absurd: the story was presented as if RT influenced the audience, and those sneaky Russians warmed their way to the pages of Twitter and from there started to spread their influence. I want to draw your attention to the truth, which is out there in the open.

It was Twitter that came to Russia Today and offered a commercial contract. They offered RT to buy ad space and place ads on Twitter. As far as I know, RT looked at the offer, selected what it liked and accepted the proposals that it was interested in. That’s how it happened and not the other way around.

So, an American private company came to the Russians and offered to buy advertising services. Later it would be twisted in a usual way. However, any company could be caught in this kind of trap. Any company that does, for example, business with Twitter. Not just a Russian one, but from any country. They would be visited and offered advantageous conditions by a private American company like Twitter; they would sign a contract and pay the money. But before they know it, they would be visited by American intelligence services, or the American intelligence keeps an eye on that foreign company, which will soon suffer the image problems.

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OS. One more question, the last one. Do you understand, I mean the Russian Foreign Ministry, who is now in really charge in the United States?

Who do we talk to?

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MZ. Judging by that schematics, we know who is the boss – we have seen him – Vladimir Putin.

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EP. Cool. The only things that works without fail is the list of sanctions – they keep coming. The State Department already presented new ones.

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OS. Trump still has any power to decide anything? Just for our own understanding.

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MZ. Olga, I understand we are under the impression of their propaganda, but I still believe this question should be addressed to the American side and not the Russian Foreign Ministry: who is in change and who is responsible for what.

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EP. Forgive me, Maria, but we are the ones who elected Trump, as they insist. However, this is not a joking matter. Thank you very much for coming to our show.

Maria Zakharova, The Director of the Information and Press Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.

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OS. Here I have in my hands that same report that caused the first American heads to fall, figuratively speaking.

We counted: Russia is mentioned 4 times, only 4 times, although we have elected the President Trump for them! Ukraine is mentioned 32 times, though. And here we are together again, Russia and Ukraine, even in this fabulous report.

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EP. We will be back soon. This is 60 MINUTES.

The Essential Saker: from the trenches of the emerging multipolar world