Friday, August 26, 2016


War On Earth Or World War III? Medvedev Interview Stirs Translation Tempest

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev speaks to Handelsblatt during an interview at the Gorki state residence outside Moscow on February 11.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev speaks to Handelsblatt during an interview at the Gorki state residence outside Moscow on February 11.
By Carl Schreck

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev grabbed global headlines this week with his interview in the German newspaper Handelsblatt in which he was quoted as warning that the Syria conflict could lead to a “new world war.”

But did Medvedev actually utter a phrase suggesting World War III is potentially nigh?

That question is the center of a kerfuffle that drew critical remarks from the U.S. State Department ahead of the annual Munich Security Conference, which kicked off February 12.

In the interview, published February 11, Medvedev was asked his opinion about the prospect of Arab countries sending fighters to Syria, where President Bashar al-Assad, Moscow’s staunch ally, is battling both the extremist Islamic State group and more moderate opposition groups. Some of those moderate groups have received backing from the United States and its allies.

Handelsblatt’s German translation quoted Medvedev as saying that such a move could spark “einen neuen Weltkrieg,” or “a new world war.”

The word “Weltkrieg” and its English translation was, in journalistic parlance, sexy enough to earn a spot in the headlines of the Handelsblatt story. Global news agencies like Reuters, the Associated Press, and AFP also used the word. 

The “world war” quote even made its way into the daily State Department press briefing in Washington the same day, in a question posed to spokesman Mark Toner. He said the specter of a “broader conflict” was “concerning” but accused Russia of exacerbating the Syria conflict with its support for Assad.

But the accuracy of the Handelsblatt translation was called into question on social media after Medvedev’s office released a Russian-language transcript of the interview that quoted him uttering a notably softer phrasing.

Medvedev, who spoke Russian during the interview, was quoted as saying that world powers must force all sides to sit down at the negotiating table and “not start yet another war on Earth.” (In Russian: “не начинать очередную войну на Земле.”)

Russia’s state-funded global news network RT, meanwhile, accused Reuters of misquoting Medvedev by reprinting Handelsblatt’s “incorrect” translation.

“The [Reuters] report referred to a German translation of his words, which is incorrect and implies that Russia is warning that a full-scale war between leading world powers may be ignited from the Syrian conflict,” RT wrote in a February 12 post on its website that did not include a byline.

Massaged Transcripts

The translation tempest ultimately prompted Handelsblatt to issue a clarification and defend its use of the phrase “world war.”

In a note on the English-language version of the newspaper’s website, Kevin O’Brien, editor in chief of Handelsblatt Global Edition, wrote that “the Kremlin…approved a German-language version of the interview.”

“The German quote approved by the Kremlin contained the term ‘einen neuen Weltkrieg,’ or a new world war,” O’Brien wrote. 

The Kremlin and Medvedev’s office operate in separate bureaucratic structures, and it was not immediately clear whether O’Brien intended to refer to the prime minister’s office as “the Kremlin.” Typically, Medvedev’s staff would manage such an interview.

O’Brien did not respond immediately to an e-mail seeking clarification about the Kremlin’s potential role in approving the German translation. In an earlier e-mail, he referred questions about Medvedev’s verbatim quote in Russian to correspondent Mathias Brueggmann, who spoke Russian to the prime minister during the interview.

Brueggmann, head of Handelsblatt’s foreign affairs desk, did not respond to an e-mail seeking comment. He interviewed Medvedev together with the newspaper’s editor in chief, Sven Afhueppe, who spoke in German during the meeting.

The Russian government has previously massaged or omitted contentious comments by foreign and domestic officials in official records of public statements.

Standing next to Putin at a May 2015 news conference in Moscow, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, speaking in German, called Moscow’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula the previous year “verbrecherisch,” or “criminal.”

The official Russian-language interpreter at the press conference, however, omitted the word “criminal” during the event, and the official Kremlin transcript left out the word as well.

It is, however, included in the transcript published by Merkel’s office.

At last year’s Munich Security Conference -- an influential gathering that draws diplomats, foreign ministers, business leaders, and academics -- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov responded to hoots of derision from the audience at his defense of the Crimea takeover being in line with international law by saying, in Russian: “I guess it’s funny.”

He suggested that he found things said earlier “funny as well, but I controlled myself.”

These comments were not included in the Foreign Ministry’s official transcript of the event. 

Whether Medvedev’s office took similar liberties in transcribing his interview with Handelsblatt was not immediately clear.

Of course, publicly releasing the audio recording of the interview would certainly settle the matter once and for all.

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Bill Webb from: Phoenix Arizona USA
February 13, 2016 01:57
Merkel and Putin both speak German and Russian and both are well aware what World War is, and would have never let this slip of the translation tongue happen. None of us can allow the islamic psychotic murderers to even suggest that they will drag us into a WWIII. They are not worth it.
In Response

by: sis from: die welt
February 13, 2016 20:09
the isla. are incitement and coach from the russian misfits..
In Response

by: NM Remote from: NM USA
February 14, 2016 05:04
Putin's aggression has "zero" relationship to "Islam psychotic murderers," but rather it is Putin and his military who are murderers, and they represent the Kremlin Mafia and Russian people. Get out of Ukraine and let the people in Syria decide - rather than your "dumb" bombs dropped from "defenseless" Russian bombers.
In Response

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
February 15, 2016 08:12
Russia rely mainly on three things,
accompanied by evil details of all times canning,
brutality and intimidation, like 12 SS, (now GRU),
lead 1-2 Thousand prisoners of war to place of mass executions, killing for example "violators" and lying
about "Red Cross" humane prison camps ahead.
Through all history Varag lure strongest World powers into
"imperial" kinship", for all too long using Brits too and lie.
For instance, at the time they marry one of their princesses to "Karl" the Great, King of Franks, white Tatars, they unleashed genocide against white Tatars in Volga region.
For instance, at the time they lied to Brits and Germanics about their kinship, they unleashed genocide against Ukrainians, Baltic, Finland and Caucasians, where ancestry of Saxons came from, and betrayed Georgia the same, where ancestry, first settlements and Civilizations of Europe and Britain came from.
For instance, as Russian invaded Afghanistan and unleashed total genocide, pro-red USA movie makers hypnotized Americans by a phrase "Afghanistan-Bananistan" and exhibited in the West brilliant "Eggs of Faberge"
of Romanovs...
Russia corrupt the West and rotate millions of intellectual
and best to exploit slaves with the West, mainly USA.
It started age of Antichrist in Spring of 1947, sentencing my mother and me to death, because I refused be plagiarized slave of Russia, and put Stalin, who was against it, under house arrest, inviting British and USA diplomats with offer
to plagiarize even children like me and our nations.
They also requested reverse of restoration of CIS - to create Russian colonial empire. Since than they moving around the World human slaves, only in 1956 they moved from Hungary to USA 200,000 best Hungarians, intellectuals and specialists.
It is how Russia stay at the top.
USA slaves plagiarized, exploited, create technologies, and than Russia is helped to implement last tested models,
as USA move to markets the next one.
This corruption is so strong, that USA elite making President out of KGB-Gan'ka or his twin-brother, which burglarized with his army "Logic Arrays (PAL)" from me, concepts and
solutions, move it to USA with whole army of plagiarists
and Intellectual slaves, killed my mother and tried kill me - while USA elite know he will kill USA, World democracy,
kill and enslave all, starting with Caucasian race and
Human Civilization.
They still doing it!
My apartment surrounded by armies of Russian imperio-spies, plagiarists and telepaths - they squeeze any thought or idea, even as small as rotating and mirrors for gardening, sailing it
to World elites and claim gratitude to Great Russia, as "Giver to World nations".
In Response

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
February 15, 2016 08:17

USA is part of it, they keep us immobile, using infections, poisons, telepaths, let us not have resources or rent different apartments. My leg is still black from "Bulgarian pin" hit in 2008,
it is also in pain from tortures in Russian KGB prisons, recalled by Russian telepaths. I can't go away for long, Russians and their USA partners using "NLW" and telepaths hit my bladder and shrink vanes and arteries, following me on roads and public places...
Russia in 1954 offered restore, also, Brit-Germ-Vienna colonial empires, it is why they since Brezhnev invading CIS nations.
British getting worry about such development lately, Germans not sure, but waiting, Vienna still on it, being once also "empire" of parasites, not unlike Russia, "strana rabov, strana skotov".
All of the above allows Russia pull strings all over the World,
even against the obvious threat that Europe and USA will fall,
if Ukraine, largest country in Central Europe, will fall to Russia.

(My posts on Facebook, under name Konstantin Benidze).

by: Greg from: Canada
February 13, 2016 16:18
A major war is what Putin wants, but on his timing. He does not believe the West will stand up to him. and if they do Russia would win. Like all bullies he talks a tough talk, but I doubt Russia will be successful when war does break out. This is the only way he can hide his mismanagement.

by: Rob from: UK
February 13, 2016 16:36
Looks to me like the USA is looking to start a war with Russia, boy the war machine must be rubbing the hands in anticipation of the profits that could be made with that scale of war.

They are goading Russia and China sitting on their borders with nuclear missiles. Trying to goad Turkey into starting a war with Russia. Now sending Saudi and Turkish army into Syria supposedly 'to fight' ISIS, when we know it's actually to support ISIS against the official Syrian govt. And maybe create a false flag attack to start war with Russia. US war machine needs to go home!
In Response

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
February 15, 2016 09:27
1. "Situation in Syria can be solved only by peaceful means...
...or it is a long war"

2. "Russia support legitimate government in Syria... ...not Bashar Assad, but... ...friendly relation with that country... ...or it will be chaos."

3. "Future of Crimea is not for discussion... ...Crimea is part of Russian territory, it was "lead-through" referendum there."

4. Russia wants "move further-through" relation with USA an d EU... ...we tied by European identity, history, values."

5. "Crises make healthier Russian economy... ...activated agriculture... ...huge amount of grain exported...".

6. "Social Security - government priority... ...government employees and entitlements paid same."

7. "No-one interested in Russian opposition... is why it is not allowed on Federal channels.

8. "Report on Litvinenko death worthless... retired judge."

9. "Killing of Nemtcov must be fully investigated... is question of reputation of Russian Justice and Government system."

10. It is possible to defeat terrorists only together... West don't collaborate with Russia fight terrorists in Syria... ...we must think about future generations, about price of one human life,
say not... ...Russia behave wrongly, it is why our agencies do not collaborate with Russia... ...terrorists will say it will be better for them if West don't collaborate with Russia."

by: sis from: free world
February 13, 2016 20:01
if their behavior has not been so cruel and selfish, so you could say that Russky ^% * act as opinionated ill-mannered children. Among others, still threatens and inflates like a turkey. justified criticism they punish serious threats and/or murder.
Thats how the russki have always ben, how they are end when we not sop them...

by: Aaron from: Toronto
February 13, 2016 23:42
Recalls Putin's speech of April 25, 2005, where a "softened" English translation was "Above all, we should acknowledge that the collapse of the Soviet Union was a major geopolitical disaster of the century."

However, the Russian original translated more like ...the greatest geopolitical disaster... [крушение Советского Союза было крупнейшей геополитической катастрофой века]:

English version:

by: Mehdi from: UK
February 14, 2016 14:40
ISIL was created after the war in Libya funded, trained and armed by USA/NATO and other terrorist states in the Middle East to topple the legitimate Assad government, while Russia was watching closely and decided to intervene in last October, while creators of terrorist groups called their 'moderate jihadists' to overthrow Assad. These groups are the same as Al Qaeda.

The US is the country of terrorist, and it must not be trusted. They are in Syria for destabilizing the situation in the country in favor of terrorists, and want Russia not to succeed in the fight against terrorist groups. It's simple.

by: James from: US
February 14, 2016 15:06
Liberation of Syria's Aleppo - the Western media tries to hide the reality from public. Commenting on the situation in Syria's Aleppo, veteran French journalist and geopolitical analyst Jean-Michel Vernochet says that it took Russia's air operation in the conflict for the duplicity of the Western-Arab coalition against Daesh to come to light.

In an op-ed analysis for the independent French news and analysis website Boulevard Voltaire, Vernochet commented on the Syrian Army's efforts to liberate Aleppo, Syria's second city, slamming European and American media and officials for what he said was a highly 'duplicitous' position.

"On February 1," the journalist recalled, the Syrian Army, with the support of Russian aviation, launched a large-scale operation to liberate Aleppo, the former economic capital of Syria," a part of which "has been in the hands of the rebellion since 2012."

"As always, the media began effusively writing about the crowds of people fleeing from the fighting and the advance of government forces. The only thing missing in the picture being painted were the images of the residents of the city's Western neighborhoods, who welcomed the government troops as liberators."

"Deeply moved" by the pictures appearing in Western media, "US Secretary of State John Kerry immediately demanded that Russia halt the bombing of civilians."

But "the truth," Vernochet noted, "is far more prosaic, because if the city of Aleppo is completely surrounded by government forces, the rebel supply corridor with Turkey will be cut. Specifically, [it is about] two roads, between Mayer-Azaz and Andan-Aleppo, through which the Salafist- Wahhabists receive reinforcements, weapons, and ammunition from the Turkish deep state...

by: peter from: ottawa
February 15, 2016 17:53
I didn't know Putin's lapdog could talk. I thought all he could do is lick.

by: John from: Toronto
February 16, 2016 22:24
Recalls Putin's speech of April 25, 2005, with softened English translation: "Above all, we should acknowledge that the collapse of the Soviet Union was a major geopolitical disaster of the century." However, Russian original translated as ...the greatest geopolitical disaster... [крушение Советского Союза было крупнейшей геополитической катастрофой века]:
English version:

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