By Walid & Theodore Shoebat & Andrew Bieszad
“Nation will rise against nation” (Matthew 24:7)
Russia recently sent a team of over 100 soldiers, including experts in biological warfare, into Italy to supposedly investigate coronavirus. While there is nothing wrong with this, officials in Italy have said that the majority of the equipment given by Russia is old and outdated technology, leaving some to suspect that Russia has another motive, and that is to gather intelligence on the Italian government. This would not be surprising, given the fact that the Kremlin has been working to boost nationalism in Europe, a turbulent force that could split up the EU, or make it fascistic. In the midst of the coronavirus crises, the EU’s divisions are being accentuated even more (like what the 2008 crash did), revealing the division between northern and southern Europe, and foreshadowing another European conflict. The Two World Wars happened to the shock of the masses who failed to examine the underpinnings and plots leading up to global conflict. This is the reason why Shoebat.com is continuously monitoring current events to explain the underlying activities that reveal the path to a world war.
A Possible Russian Intelligence Mission Into Italy Under the Guise Of Fighting Covid-19
The Russian government sent a team of over 100 soldiers, including specialists in chemical and biological warfare, to Italy to combat coronavirus. The Russians are there for another reason: to gather intelligence, according to Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, former commanding officer of the UK’s Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Regiment. This is also the suspicion within Italian political and military circles. Sources within the Italian government told the Italian media that “80 per cent” of the equipment the Russians flew in on massive transport planes was “useless” and was being used as a pretext for intervention.
Bretton-Gordon believes that the group the Russians sent consisted of military intelligence officers from the GRU (Main Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation). According to Bretton-Gordon, the Russians used the coronavirus crises as an opportunity to gain intelligence on the Italian military and transportation systems.“It’s like all their Christmases have come at once … It would be naïve to think that they are not collecting intelligence. This is an open goal for them.” To further prove that the Russian mission is not about combating Covid-19 and everything to do with intelligence gathering, Bretton-Gordon observes that Italy doesn’t “need a batch of ageing Russian equipment”. And the fact that the Russian group is being led by a general, Sergei Kikot, is also suspicious. As Breton-Gordon explains:
“Usually, for a mission of 100 soldiers or so you would expect a major to be in charge, or at most a colonel. To have a two-star general commanding them seems like overkill.”
But according to Luigi Di Maio, Italy’s foreign minister, Italy needs all of the help it can get, regardless if it is from Russia. Germano Dottori, professor of strategic studies at LUISS University in Rome, states that Russia may just be pursuing knowledge on Covid-19 and this is simply an investigation for the unit. “This is a fact-finding mission by Russia,” he said.
Russia’s Backing For Italian Nationalism
But there are two things happening that are intertwined with Russian interests. One, is the increase of nationalism and the rise of anti-EU sentiment. Italy is of central concern, and that is not to our surprise given that Italy was a major center point for battles over political influence between NATO and the Soviet Union during the Cold War’s Gladio days, especially from the 60s to the 80s. Currently, we know for a fact that anti-EU, nationalist, separatist and pro-Eurosceptic propaganda has been decimated online through Kremlin backed websites. So, it makes one wonder if Russia is working behind the curtains to utilize the coronavirus crises as a way to promote euroscepticism. The main face of euroscepticism in Italy is Matteo Salvini and, relevant to the topic at hand, he has ties to the Russian government. Salvini is part of a conspiracy to form a nationalist Europe with ties to Russia. A leaked audio recording from 2018 obtained by BuzzFeed shows Gianluca Savoini — a close aide of Salvini — discussing with three Russians and two other Italians in the Metropol Hotel in Moscow the terms for a deal to secretly funnel millions (around $65 million) of Russian oil money to Salvini’s Lega Nord (Northern League) party, a nationalist and separatist party that wants to sever the north from the rest of Italy. According to France24: “The deal under discussion was to covertly divert $65 million (58 million euros) to the League by means of discounted Russian oil transactions through intermediaries.”
One very interesting detail in the transcript is how Gianluca Meranda, the Lega Nord’s lawyer, said that they (the party) has connections to one Thomas Moskoviks, a former Talmud teacher and owner of Winter Bank in Austria, and how they could use his bank as a conduit to funnel the money to the Lega Nord.
“If it is Austria,” said Meranda, “we have very good links with Mr. Moscovic, that is the owner of Winter Bank, there we can ask him to open a bank account for Eni, a bank account for the seller and do good rates. So it’s also easy. But the best would be just to give a so-called irrevocable order to the bank by which once the payment is received, the pace is made.”
When the transcript of this leaked, it forced the schemers to cease their operation. But, the statement of Meranda reveals a dark connection between the Winter Bank — an obscure bank in Austria that is not known too well outside of the Jewish community —, the fascist Lega Nord and Russia.
In February of 2017 a lawsuit was filed in Vienna accusing Bank Winter of helping to launder $175 million out of Russia’s National Bank Trust and into numerous offshore holding companies. According to the lawsuit, Bank Winter was trying to steal the money on behalf of Trust’s former management who were accused by the Russian government of fraud. When auditors began to investigate Trust’s accounts, what they discovered was that Bank Winter was one of its largest counterparties. Marcus Klug, a director for Austria’s Pension Fund, said that the audit was never completed and that “essential documents were missing” when investigating Trust. The history of the bank seems fitting for the subject. Bank Winter goes back to 1892 when a wealthy Jewish merchent named Alfred Winter got into the world of finance. The bank flourished in the 20th century, but in 1938 was “Aryanized” under the Third Reich.
After the war, the Winter family was able to reclaim their banking license, but the problem was that they had no money, so they turned to Simon Moskowics who made his fortune trading in postwar Vienna. Simon had been persuaded by influential people within Zurich’s world of finance to open up his own lender, and they were prepared to give him credit to accomplish this. Bank Winter would be a perfect operation for him. In the 1950s and 1960s, Bank Winter was in the forefront as a pioneer for a system of trading credit notes and thus allowing products from countries under the Soviet Union to be sold in Western Europe, regardless of sanctions and regulations. But, while Simon was making tremendous wealth, European governments were suspicious, seeing Vienna as a conduit for the Soviet Union to increase its finances. After Simon’s death his son, Thomas Moskowics, took over the empire.
In 2011, during the height of the financial crises, Moskowitz returned Bank Winter to its roots in the east. The bank’s agents in Moscow introduced an Englishman, Ben Worsley, an employee of the owners of Trust Bank, Ilya Yurov, Sergei Belyaev and Nikolai Fetisov. In September of 2011 Trust deposited $175 million of Russian government bonds with Bank Winter in Vienna which then put out a statement documenting the deposit. Unknown to Trust, Bank Winter loaned those bonds to an entity in Cyprus called “Black Coast” which was under the control of Worsley.
While Bank Winter claimed to have believed that Black Coast was a Trust-controlled entity created for the Russian bank to invest in a Black Sea resort project called “Stivilon” (which was never created), Trust begged to differ. According to Trust’s new owner, Bank Winter did almost zero due diligence for the transaction and was a deliberate accomplice to a scheme that allowed Trust’s owners to siphon huge amounts of cash from the bank. In fact, the resort that Bank Winter claimed to have believed the money was for was never built. Photographs from 2014, according to the Financial Times, “reveal weed-covered plots and half-finished breeze block constructions along an undeveloped strip of scrub close to a beach.”
In fact, once the $175 million had went into “Black Coast,” within hours it was moved to a third entity, a company called “TIBI”, and from there it was then recycled to repay a 2007 $118 million loan from the Luxembourg-based East-West United Bank. “Where the original loan money from that 2007 transaction went,” writes Sam Jones, “remains a mystery.” According to Clemens Trauttenberg, the Viennese lawyer representing Trust’s new owners, Bank Winter did customer checks only after the deal had gone through. It is no wonder that, email exchanged show, other banks were wary of working with Bank Winter’s Mr. Worsley, the Englishman who acted as a conduit between the Russian and Western businessmen. While Bank Winter denied any wrongdoing, the shady reputation that it has, alongside questionable activities, and the fact that the Lega Nord was willing to use Bank Winter to funnel millions into its possession, with the party’s lawyer stating that the party has connections with Mr. Moskowitz himself, reveal a dark and hidden reality in the bridge between financial powerhouses and the rise of fascism.
In the recording Savoini with the Russians can be heard saying: “We want to change Europe … A new Europe has to be close to Russia as before because we want to have our sovereignty … Not depending on decision of illuminates [the enlightened] of Brussels, of USA.” Savoini tells the group of his alliance with “Freiheitliche Partei Österreichs [Freedom Party] in Austria, German Alternative für Deutschland, France Madame Le Pen, and other countries the same, Hungaria with Orban, in Sweden Sverigedemokraterna [Sweden Democrats]. We have our allies. We really want to begin to have a great alliance with these parties that are pro Russia, but not pro Russia for Russia but for our countries.”
During the discussion, the Italian and Russian schemers talked about using the Russian branch of the Italian bank Intesa because, as they said, there is a director in the bank who is also in the Lega Nord. One of the Russians in the meeting said, with broken English:
“It’s ideal, of course, when both parties open an account in the same bank. If we are talking about [INAUDIBLE], then it is easier to work with Intesa. They can give recommendations to a trader without an account, so it can open it [accounts] quickly. There are also European banks they can help with. We need to think about this carefully.”
One of the Italians affirms a contact in the bank who is with the Lega Nord:
“Lega they have already in the steering committee a man in there is called Mascetti and so we can talk to him. But if it’s another bank, if it’s another bank, European bank maybe, Switzerland or Austrian, then don’t worry, we do have the contacts in both in Switzerland and in Austria.”
According to BuzzFeed: “One of the board directors of Intesa Russia is named Andrea Mascetti. He is a former senior member of the Lega party.”
This further shows the overlap between major financial establishments and the rise of nationalism in Europe, where intense sentiments are intensifying in a political atmosphere of ethnocentric pride.
Coronavirus Crises, Anger Against The EU, And Another European War
Anger against the EU is quite already present and it has greatly increased due to the lack of help from the EU towards Italy during its Covid-19 crises. Italy’s Premier, Giuseppe Conte, recently warned in an interview with Bild that “Europe is currently unable to calibrate, launch, adopt a strong, solid and common reaction.”
In an interview on NBC’s Meet the Press, the show’s host Chuck Todd asked the Italian Premier:
“Before this pandemic, you had expressed concerns about the future of the European Union. A lot of rise of nationalistic leaders within Europe. In the midst of this pandemic, there are people even more concerned about the future of the EU. Are you worried that more borders are going to go up and more — every country looking out for themselves, more so than Europe? Are you worried about a future for Europe like that?”
To this Conte replied:
“We are facing an unprecedented challenge. This year will be a watershed for the future of the European Union. We are not writing — I said to my colleagues, the other leaders of the European Union, ‘We are not writing a handbook of economics. We are writing a book of history.’”
Giuseppe Conte knows that the coronavirus crises is a threat to the cohesiveness of the EU, hence why he told Vatican News that what is needed is “a united, strong and supportive Europe” if we want to “preserve our common home” and affirmed “that all parties involved in conflicts” join forces “against this invisible enemy that claims victims all over the world”. Conte also said that the European Union needs to “think like a team” instead of having a lax response to the crises. “If we want to preserve our common home,” said Conti, “it is time to think like a team”. Conte’s exhortation for a “team” that is “united” in order to “preserve” the EU, implies a lack of these things, which means that the crises of the virus is revealing a greater polarization of the Bloc.
“For those who hold dear the EU,” warned Conte, “for those who believe in a united, strong and solidarity-based Europe, it is time to take resolute steps, promoting all the means for the reconstruction.” The words are symptomatic of an EU that is falling apart. The divisions, though, do not begin with covid-19, but can be traced back to the economic domination of the northern European countries over the southern European nations. This is seen in the argument over corona bonds in which the poor southern European countries are asking for financial relief, much like how they have been asking for debt reduction since the bailouts of Greece that began in 2010. Europe suffered a great rift when the German and French banks flooded southern European countries like Greece and Italy with loans, knowing full well that they would not be able to pay it back. While the covid-19 crises will have a global effect — as the New York Times reported:
“The problem is particularly acute in Europe because many banks there never really recovered from the last financial crisis, which began in 2008 with toxic real estate debt, spread to eurozone government debt and took at least seven years to tame.”
European companies are more dependent on banks than American companies. The former gets two-thirds of their credit from banks, while the latter only one-third while getting much of its credit from selling corporate bonds and shares. As of now there are not indications of bank failure because the European Central Bank (ECB) flooded the EU with cash by purchasing 750 billion euros in government and corporate bonds and other assets. The ECB affirmed that it is willing to buy even more if necessary, showing a commitment to preserve the euro. “Extraordinary times require extraordinary action,” Christine Lagarde, the president of the European Central Bank, said on Twitter. “There are no limits to our commitment to the euro.”
The announcement to flood the EU’s financial apparatus came after an unusual late-night conference call between members of the bank’s Governing Council, which came about as a result of bond investors losing confidence in Italy’s ability to repay its huge government debt. Unlike the Federal Reserve and the Bank of England, the Governing Council decided not to cut interest rates, since the ECB had already cut interest rates almost as low as they could in order to increase inflation to the degree esteemed as optimal for growth (although this was unsuccessful).
Nonetheless, the decision not to reduce interest rates was to the disappointment of those who expected those cuts to happen. Italy’s debt crises is already immense, and if it gets to the point where the Italians become so insolvent that they can’t keep up with the enslaving costs of debt, then there will be a very volatile future for the eurozone. But the ECB alone cannot protect the eurozone, for as Christine Lagarde observed, the coronavirus outbreak “has been a major shock to the growth prospects of the global and euro area economies … I’ll tell you what I am particularly worried about … It would be the complacency and slow-motion process that would be demonstrated by the fiscal authorities of the euro area in particular.”
Economists are no longer debating on whether or not Europe will have a recession, but on how long it will last. “Dramatic declines in global growth have to be expected,” reported the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, an influential German research organization. Marcel Fratzscher, president of the German Institute for Economic Research in Berlin, stated of the covid-19 crises that “In a worst-case scenario, it could trigger another financial crisis … The banking system in Europe and in Germany is not as robust and resilient as one would wish.”
Europe could have to endure a situation worse than 2008, and if so the Bloc will be more diminished than the Americans. During the 2008 financial crises, American financial establishments like JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs jumped back up faster than their European rivals. Even before Covid-19, restaurants in southern European countries like Spain and Italy would stay closed until tourist season.
We saw this ourselves in our trip to Spain in 2015 and in our stay in Italy in late 2019. Now under quarantine, restaurant closing is imposed by government policy. This is going to further shed light on the already existing decay of European economies. “As European citizens retreat indoors,” writes Jack Ewing for the New York Times, “and restaurants, hair salons and airport lobbies stand empty, the sudden halt of economic activity will expose banks’ hidden weaknesses.” The type of economic diminishment that we saw in Spain’s closed restaurants was also viewed by geopolitical analyst George Friedman in 2013, when he described Spain’s conditions as “pre-apocalyptic”. He observed that it is the younger generations, exhausted by poor economies, that will follow more radical political parties and take part in wars:`
“Sometimes the disaffected youth turn to crime, sometimes they turn to political crime and sometimes they become a political party. In Europe, it was a generation that felt betrayed by World War I, then an older generation crushed by unemployment and inflation and finally a younger generation with nothing left to lose. Then came World War II and the stunned realization that there were indeed things left to lose.
Driving in Spain, things look quiet, neat and empty. But in that emptiness there is something ominous, perhaps not so much post-apocalyptic as pre-apocalyptic.”
Friedman’s observation — even though it was made in 2013 — is worthy of attention, especially today, because the unemployment rate in southern Europe is going to be even worse, and thus the appeal to nationalism even greater. Conte recently warned about this saying:
“The risk that the coronavirus emergency will give anti-Europeanism life in countries like in Italy is evident. Nationalist instincts, in Italy but also in other countries, will be very strong if the EU is not up to par … The number of unemployed people we will have after this tsunami will be very high. We need to be able to restart and rebuild before it happens.”
The economic servitude that the south has to the north is seen in the southern European states desperately asking for corona bonds and the Germans and Dutch giving them an emphatic nein. It is like when the German banks refused to restructure the debt of the Greeks. Unlike the US, where surplus states will bailout poorer states, in the EU the surplus countries will enslave poorer countries. Now there are disagreements between north and south over a coronavirus bailout worth 476 billion euros. During the all-night conference between Governing Counsel members of the ECB, negotiations over the bailout were suspended. Mário Centeno, Portugal’s finance minister and president of the Eurogroup, said that after 16 hours of talks that the ministers “came close to a deal”.
Negotiations have been impeded by a dispute between the Dutch and the Italians, with the latter asking for corona bonds and the former rejecting the idea. “This is a crucial issue on which the European Union’s future is at stake,” warned Spain’s agriculture minister, Luis Planas. The divide between the north and the south is over mutualized debt, with the Germanic nations — Germans, Dutch and Austrians, who are considered frugal — not wanting to burden themselves with the debt of Mediterranean countries like Spain and Italy. The Germans have said that they are willing to loan money. Olaf Scholz and Heiko Maas, the two most senior Social Democrats in Angela Merkel’s coalition government, have said that Germany is willing to allow countries to borrow money from the EU’s bailout fund, the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), with no “unnecessary” strings attached.
According to German estimates, the ESM can loan €39 billion to Italy and €28 billion to Spain. The Germanic countries do not mind putting the southern countries deeper into debt, as they have been doing for many years now; what they are resisting is mutualized or shared debt. Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte told the Dutch parliament that “we will never come to an agreement” on eurobonds (another way of saying corona bonds). “If it looks like eurobonds, smells like, tastes like – it probably is eurobonds,” one EU diplomat said.
The political atmosphere is slowly accumulating into a violent torrent. One can feel it quite presently if one simply looks at the current situation in light of very recent history. This storm consists of an economic explosion of travails and angst, with shrapnel that has the piercing edges of nationalism and radical ideology — both Right and Left. It is not difficult to anticipate such a violent storm if one simply looks at the political outrage of the European economic crises. When Greece was under recession in 2011, tens of thousands protested at the Syntagma Square (at its highest point, one hundred thousand people gathered there), and eventually fascists of the Golden Dawn also joined the demonstrations. (See Varoufakis, Adults in the Room, ch. 2, pp. 42-43) With the German and French banks indebting (and thus enslaving) the Greeks, the Germans, French, Slovaks and Finns, in the words of Yanis Varoufakis, “believed that they were having to shoulder another country’s debts. Thus, in the name of solidarity with the insufferable Greeks, the Franco-German axis planted the seeds of loathing between proud peoples.” (Ibid, p. 27)
While tensions between Europeans may not concern Americans, the US will eventually get pulled into a conflict. A vicious and sanguinary tornado is spiraling within the souls of men, and in such horror will we remember the words of the Savior: “Nation will rise against nation“ (Matthew 24:7)
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