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By John Helmer, Moscow

For the first time in the century of US warfare against Russia, a sitting US president has requested and received a formal ceasefire and  safe conduct  pledge (propusk) from the Kremlin in order for him to visit a third country.

President Vladimir Putin signed his authorization for the pass before it was transmitted to the Oval Office in Washington last Friday morning,  according to the New York Times, “when the president gathered with a handful of top advisers in the Oval Office and consulted with others by phone.”    

The newspaper also reported the Russian terms required Biden’s signed undertaking in advance that no US military or civilian aircraft would enter Ukrainian airspace during the 24-hour duration of the safe conduct pass. The New York Times confirmed this detail, claiming “American military planes were spotted hovering in eastern Poland near the border during the trip, but officials said they never entered Ukrainian airspace out of concern that it would be taken as the sort of direct American intervention that Mr. Biden has avoided.” 

CBS News has reported the National Security Adviser, Jake Sullivan, as confirming the application to the Kremlin and the receipt of the reply several hours before Biden agreed to make his trip to the Ukraine. “’We did notify the Russians that President Biden would be traveling to Kyiv,’ Sullivan told CBS News chief White House correspondent Nancy Cordes. ‘We did so some hours before his departure for deconfliction purposes. And because of the sensitive nature of those communications, I won’t get into how they responded or what the precise nature of our message was, but I can confirm that we provided that notification.’”  

This is the first time White House officials have publicly confirmed accepting Putin’s word on a diplomatic, military, or security issue.

Biden responded in Kiev with a personal attack on Putin: “Putin thought Ukraine was weak and the West was divided,” Biden said. “He thought he could outlast us.  I don’t think he’s thinking that right now.  God knows what he’s thinking, but I don’t think he’s thinking that.  But he’s just been plain wrong.  Plain wrong. And one year later, the evidence is right here in this room.  We stand here together.”  

The record of the White House-Kremlin exchange for Biden’s propusk also reveals Putin’s willingness to accept Biden’s word. But four days later on February 21, in his speech to the Federal Assembly, Putin declared:  “The concepts of honour, trust, and decency are not for them…[nor] of [their] total, unprincipled lies.”  

The Russian press has not reported the Putin propusk. But there is speculation in Moscow the clash of public statements and the contradiction between them and the private safe conduct agreement are a sign of secret negotiations on armistice terms  between the Americans and Russians, which Biden also promised Putin to put to Ukrainian officials in Kiev.  

Last Friday, February 17, Putin was busy in meetings with the Belarus President, Alexander Lukashenko, which were held at the Novo-Ogarevo residence outside Moscow. The Kremlin communiqué, issued at 15:15 – that was 07:15 Washington time – did not refer to the war.  

The Kremlin record is silent on whether Putin’s safe conduct pass for Biden is included among the papers visible on the table between Lukashenko and Putin.  Source: http://en.kremlin.ru/ 

Until CBS broadcast Sullivan’s admissions on the evening of February 20, the White House had successfully deceived the New York Times, Washington Post and the mainstream Anglo-American media into reporting Biden’s trip to Kiev as a surprise — “a show of defiance of Moscow quickly beamed around the world”,  and “an audacious move meant to demonstrate American resolve to help Ukraine defeat the Russian forces”.  

Peter Baker, one of the New York Times reporters Seymour Hersh endorsed last week as “bright”,   published  the claim that “for much of the past year, in fact, most of the people around the president resisted any urge to go, on the assumption that it was too risky. But nearly a year after the Russian invasion, with Ukrainian troops faring far better than anyone expected at the start and other American and European leaders having made the trip, Mr. Biden and his team gambled that he could get in and out safely.”   

Baker and his newspaper had missed the fact, and also the significance, that Biden had asked, Putin had agreed, to assure the US president’s security, removing thereby what Baker and his newspaper called their gamble.

The New York Times published this photograph of the empty blue sky above Biden and Zelensky in Kiev, claiming in the text: “The White House was so intent on keeping the secret that it lied to reporters back in Washington. About four hours after Mr. Biden crossed the border into Ukraine, his office back in Washington issued a public schedule falsely stating that the president was still in the nation’s capital and not planning to leave for Europe until Monday evening.”   Baker’s report concluded with the newspaper’s notice on how it had verified his reporting of the secret Biden had asked Putin to keep. And he still has.

Also fooled into publishing false propaganda of Biden’s trip to Kiev were The Times of London, owned by Rupert Murdoch, and the Financial Times, owned by the Nikkei Corporation of Tokyo.

The London Times has not retracted or clarified its surprise: https://www.thetimes.co.uk

According to Financial Times reporters in Kiev, Warsaw and Riga, Latvia, “US President Joe Biden made a surprise visit to Kyiv on Monday in a show of American commitment… On a trip shrouded by secrecy for security reasons…the visit resembled previous US presidents’ clandestine wartime trips to Iraq and Afghanistan — but was more daring since US troops were not on the ground to help provide support.” Source: https://www.ft.com/

The Washington Post ignored the Kiev trip except to claim that during Biden’s visit, he and Zelensky “walked the city streets as an air raid siren blared.”  

The Post omitted to republish the video clip of the two men walking, Biden displaying a neurologically symptomatic foot shuffle and Zelensky warning him against tripping as they approached a low curb step:

Source: https://www.ft.com/

A week earlier, according to the Post on February 16, the president’s doctor, former US Army colonel  and long-time Biden physician  Kevin O’Connor, announced that following his clinical examination of the president: “O’Connor said Biden underwent an ‘extremely detailed neurologic exam’ that did not find any signs of neurological disorders such as stroke, multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease.” 

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