So what should we expect from the sanctions? Western pundits and commentators have little doubt: the sanctions will hamstring the Russian economy, sow discontent among the Russian people and elites alike, and possibly even cause the downfall of the Putin regime. At the very least, we’re told, they will hinder Russia’s war efforts. But history suggests otherwise: see Iraq, or more recently Iran. Far more likely is that this turns out to be the latest Western strategic miscalculation in a long list of strategic blunders, of which the United States’ inglorious withdrawal from Afghanistan is just the most recent example.
After all, Russia has been preparing for this moment for quite some time. Following the first wave of Western sanctions, in 2014, and partly in retaliation against them, Putin embarked on what analysts have dubbed a “Fortress Russia” strategy, building up the country’s international reserves and diversifying them away from US dollars and British pounds, reducing its foreign exposure, boosting its economic cooperation with China, and pursuing import substitution strategies in several industries, including food, medicine and technology, in an effort to insulate Russia as much as possible from external shocks.
Nine executives from Moderna, BioNTech, ROVI and CanSino Biologics have all become billionaires throughout the pandemic
Together they are now worth $19.3 billion – a combined net wealth greater than what it would cost to vaccinate the world’s poorest nations
The list was compiled by the People’s Vaccine Alliance, a campaign group that includes Oxfam, UNAIDS, Global Justice Now and Amnesty International
Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel is now worth a whopping $4.3 billion after his company was granted emergency use authorization in the US in December
CEO and co-founder of BioNTech Ugur Sahin is close behind with a wealth of $4 billion, following its collaboration on a vaccine with Pfizer
Senior executives from CanSino Biologics have also become billionaires after it developed a one-shot vaccine that was approved for use in China this February
It comes as world leaders will discuss at the G20 Global Health Summit whether to waive patent protections for COVID-19 vaccines
Supporters say it will allow more manufacturers to produce life-saving vaccines and increase their supply to poorer countries
Political decisions during the Corona crisis did not come out of the blue. The “war on viruses” began back in the 1990s as the “war on bioterror.” Research shows: For more than twenty years since then, pandemic scenarios have been repeatedly rehearsed in simulation exercises, first in the U.S., later coordinated internationally. The titles of these exercises are reminiscent of Hollywood productions: “Dark Winter” (2001), “Global Mercury” (2003), “Atlantic Storm” (2005) or “Clade X” (2018). High-ranking government representatives as well as well-known journalists were involved, most recently, at “Event 201” in October 2019, also board members of large global corporations. After the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a coronavirus pandemic in 2020, many of the measures that had been rehearsed and discussed for years were implemented globally.
Passages like the following appeared in scripts as early as 20 years ago: “The sight of an armed military presence in US cities has provoked protests about curtailment of civil liberties (…) The question is, however, how do we enforce it and to what degree? How much force do you use to keep people in their homes?” In the event of a pandemic, “basic civil liberties such as freedom of assembly or travel” could no longer „taken for granted”. Restrictions on liberty, as well as mass vaccinations, were regular features of the planning games.
This lecture will chronologically trace how these exercises came about, who organized them, and what parallels the scripts have to the current situation. Is the virus just a pretext for a longer-planned global transformation? And was a severe stock market quake in September 2019 perhaps the real trigger for the global lockdown?
Table of contents:
0:00:00 Pandemic exercisces – Preparation for a new era?
0:02:23 Era of the Cold War 1945 – 1990
0:05:05 The USA without an enemy
0:17:05 Bioterror exercises 1990 – 2005
0:23:51 The Exercise “Dark Winter”
0:30:44 Emergency plans for bioterror and flu pandemics
0:35:40 Interim conclusion
0:38:40 “Lock Step-Scenario” 2010
0:44:38 “MARS” and the G20 Health Minister meeting in Berlin
0:50:35 Why the Corona Pandemic startet in 2020
0:58:19 “Event 201“ – Training with a Corona pandemic