RUSSIA/UKRAINE | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


RUSSIA/UKRAINE

Jan 16 12:35

Russia’s trade with China surges to more than $107 billion

Trade turnover between Russia and China soared by nearly 30 percent in 2018, reaching a record number of $107.06 billion, according to the latest report released by China’s General Administration of Customs (GAC).

The agency noted that last year Russian imports of Chinese goods increased by 12 percent to $47.98 billion. At the same time, China’s imports from Russia grew by 42.7 percent, reaching $59.08 billion. In December alone, the volume of trade between the neighboring countries reportedly totaled $9.8 billion.

Russia-China trade turnover has grown significantly over recent years. In 2017, mutual trade amounted to $84.07 billion demonstrating a growth of 20.8 percent. In 2016, the trade turnover grew by 2.2 percent in annual terms to $69.52 billion.

Jan 16 12:34

SearchSearchUS Plans Expansion to Arctic in Bid to Challenge Russia, but Can It?

Washington will send a Navy warship to sail through the Arctic in a demonstration of its growing ambitions in the far North, the US Navy secretary said. But will it be enough to challenge Russia?

The US has long since set its sights upon the Arctic, which it openly sees as a potential new arena for a geopolitical standoff. As the planet's changing climate gradually turns ice-bound wastes into passable waterways, Washington is clearly intending to get its piece of the economic action in a region that might well become a major sea trade lane one day.

Jan 16 11:39

Ukrainian Hackers Broke Into The SEC's EDGAR Database, Made $4.1 Million From Insider Trades

On Tuesday, United States authorities charged numerous mostly Ukrainian hackers for a scheme to trade on press releases that had not yet been released. The Ukrainians breached the SEC's EDGAR database to receive access to the nonpublic information.

The scheme netted over $4 million for fraudsters from the U.S., Russia and Ukraine. Using 157 corporate earnings announcements, the group was able to execute trades on material nonpublic information. Most of those filings were "test filings," which corporations upload to the SEC's website.

Jan 16 11:24

US 'fully' responsible if INF collapses, Russia says

Moscow has blamed Washington for the looming collapse of a key nuclear arms control deal after consultations between the two sides made no progress to reach an accord to save the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF).

Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said in Geneva on Tuesday that fresh talks with his American counterpart had made no headway in resolving the United States’ intention to withdraw from the INF. He held the US responsible for the failure of the bilateral negotiations.

"Responsibility for this fully and completely rests with the American side," the Russian diplomat said after the talks in Geneva.

Jan 16 11:19

Russian security chief warns Ukraine could lose statehood

The article highlights that the Secretary of Russia’s Security Council Nikolai Patrushev warns of Ukraine's schism and that "The continuation of such policy by the Kiev authorities can contribute to the loss of Ukraine’s statehood," in an interview with Rossiyskaya Gazeta. Patrushev continues, that "the Kiev authorities are doing everything to split Ukraine, implementing the West’s scenario to break Ukraine away from Russia, while ignoring the interests of its own people."

"As a result, the country was de facto split. The population of the western regions does not trust natives of southeast considering them to be supporters of the ‘Russian world." In southern and eastern regions, Kiev’s power is ensured, to a large extent, at the expense of moral and physical pressure exerted on the local population by radical nationalists," Patrushev stressed.

Jan 16 11:13

Russia ready for serious conversation with US on entire strategic agenda — Putin

"Despite the United States’ declared intention to withdraw from the [INF] Treaty, we are open for a dialogue," Putin said

Jan 16 11:12

Putin sees alleviation of poverty in Russia as his top priority — spokesman

Russian President Vladimir Putin sees the alleviation of poverty in Russia as his main priority, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in an interview with the Argumenty i Fakty newspaper published on Wednesday.

"Yes, our economic growth is still insufficient, too many people still live below the poverty line, and this is absolutely inadmissible. Solving this problem is the president’s main priority for the time being," he said.

At the same time, the Kremlin spokesman said that a certain degree of financial and macroeconomic stability in Russia cannot be questioned.

Jan 16 11:12

Video: The EU Votes for the Installation of New US Missiles in Europe

Near the United Nations Glass Palace in New York, there is a metallic sculpture entitled “Evil Defeated by Good”, representing Saint George transfixing a dragon with his lance. It was donated by the USSR in 1990 to celebrate the INF Treaty concluded with the USA in 1987, which banned land-based short- and mid-range nuclear missiles (a reach of between 500 and 5,000 km). Symbolically, the body of the dragon is in fact made with pieces of US Pershing-2 ballistic missiles (originally based in West Germany) and Soviet SS-20 missiles (originally based in the USSR).

But the nuclear dragon, which in the sculpture is shown as dying, is now being reborn. Thanks to Italy and other countries of the European Union, which, at the United Nations General Assembly, voted against the resolution presented by Russia on the “Preservation and Implementation of the INF Treaty”, rejected by 46 to 43 with 78 abstentions.

Jan 16 10:43

RUSSIAN DOMINANCE: NATO Ships Cannot Enter The Sea Of ??Azov Without Permission From Russia

Without Russia’s permission, the passage of NATO ships across the Kerch Strait to the Sea of ??Azov is excluded, Crimean authorities say.

Such an assertion was made by Deputy Prime Minister of the Crimean regional government, Permanent Representative of Crimea to the presidency of Russia, Georgy Muradov.

“According to the Russian-Ukrainian agreement of 2003, military vessels from foreign countries can only enter the sea area of ??Azov with the consent of both parties, Russia and Ukraine,” said the politician.

At the same time, he considered the entry of foreign warships into the Azov Sea unacceptable, underlining that Moscow will not give such approval.

Jan 16 09:33

Conspiracy in Kiev! Poroshenko’s Cabal of Globalist Oligarchs Tried to Corrupt US Election!

Jan 15 12:05

Scott Adams: Putin Puppets CNN and Max Boot Doing Russia’s Bidding

CNN’s reaction to President Trump denying he’s a Russian asset
First CNN pushes, promotes Russian asset story
Now they are gasping in horror he has to deny their BS?
Max Boot’s article, 18 reasons President might be Russian asset
Laundry list of unrelated stuff other people did or said
CNN seems to have given up on Mueller
CNN is creating the news they’re reporting

Comments at: https://twitter.com/ScottAdamsSays/status/1085191025302237187

Jan 14 15:29

Russia Prepares To Buy Up To $10 Billion In Bitcoin To Evade US Sanctions

While the market has been increasingly focused on the rising headwinds in the global economy in general, and China's economic slowdown in particular, while the media is obsessing over daily revelations that Trump may or may not have colluded with Russia to get elected, a far more critical, if underreported, shift has been taking place over the past year.

As we reported in June, whether due to concerns over draconian western sanctions and asset confiscations following the poisoning of former Russian military officer Sergei Skripal, or simply because it wanted to diversify away from the dollar, Russia liquidated virtually all of its Treasury holdings in the late spring and early summer, in the process sparking a major repricing of the 10Y US Treasury, whose yield jumped from 2.70% at the start of April to a high of 3.10% in May, a move which economists were struggling to explain at the time.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

You've got to hand this to him: Russian President Putin appears to have handled this brilliantly.

I would be willing to bet you that Trump's team never saw this coming.

Jan 14 14:48

BEX ALERT - Morgan Freeman: We are at war

Jan 14 12:43

In Western Media, Publishing Fake News About Russia Is A Good Career Move... With No Consequences

Fighting "Russian disinformation" in the West has become a lucrative business. But, in reality, you're far more likely to encounter deceitful agitprop directed at Russia.

CP Scott remains a towering figure in the annals of British journalism. Editor of the then "Manchester Guardian" for an astonishing 57 years, he celebrated his paper's centenary by laying down a set of legendary principles.

"Comment is free, but facts are sacred," Scott intoned in the missive. Sadly, almost a hundred years later, facts are free and the right to spread disinformation is becoming sacred, as far as his successors are concerned. Particularly when it comes to coverage of Russia.

Yet another example came over the New Year break. Following a few weeks out of the spotlight after peddling an obviously fake story about Julian Assange/Paul Manafort meetings in London, Luke Harding reappeared. And he came armed with his particular brand of bulls*** and sloppiness.

Jan 14 12:37

House Foreign Affairs chairman says committee will hold hearings on Trump-Putin relationship

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) announced that the panel will hold hearings on President Trump’s relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In a statement Saturday night that was repeated on Twitter Sunday morning, Engel made reference to what he called Trump’s “dark dealings” with “Putin and his cronies.”

“Every time Trump meets with Putin, the country is told nothing,” Engel said. “America deserves the truth and the Foreign Affairs Committee will seek to get to the bottom of it.”

Jan 14 12:12

Scott Adams: Russia, DeBlaisio, Gabbard, Jeff Bozo, FBI

Jeff Bozo and the President’s tweets
NYC Mayor De Blazio instituting universal health care
Gavin Newsome working on it also for California
Important, whether it works out or not
Russian collusion outcome seems obvious
Both sides will claim they were right all along
Eric Swalwell on taking interpreters notes
Destroying evidence indicates guilt
Hmm…Hillary destroyed evidence
Eric Swalwell requesting someone prove a negative
Is he assuming his followers are stupid?
FBI motivation, investigating President Trump…was vengeance
Is there evidence of that, or is it mind reading?
Will Tulsi Gabbard be the 2020 Democrat candidate?
Simple answer, how is CNN framing her?
Watch for who CNN coverage anoints
President Trump taking interpreters Putin meeting notes
Any chance Mueller hasn’t already talked to interpreter?
Big news if he has or hasn’t talked to him

Jan 14 12:10

Lindsey Graham: ‘Astonishing’ Trump Investigated as Russian Agent — ‘How Could the FBI Do That?’

On this weekend’s broadcast of “Fox News Sunday,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) commented on a New York Times report that the FBI opened an investigation into President Donald Trump after he fired FBI Director James Comey.

Graham said, “Number one, that story came from somebody who leaked it with an agenda, so I’d like to know who leaked it because they have an agenda not very friendly to President Trump, and I, for one, don’t trust what I read in The New York Times.”

He added, “I’m going to ask the FBI director, ‘Was there a counterintelligence investigation opened up regarding the president as being a potential agent of the Russians?’ I find it astonishing, and to me, it tells me a lot about the people running the FBI, McCabe and that crowd. I don’t trust them as far as I can throw them. If this really did happen, Congress needs to know about it. And what I want to do is make sure, how could the FBI do that? What kind of checks and balances are there?”

Jan 14 12:07

US Ambassador Richard Grenell threatens German firms over Russian pipeline

The US ambassador to Berlin, Richard Grenell, has sent threatening letters to German companies working on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, according to a German newspaper. Grenell reportedly warns of possible sanctions.

Jan 14 11:20

Why Israel’s Airstrikes in Syria Are a Sign of Weakness, Not Strength

I will proceed from what seems to be an established fact (SANA confirmed) that on the night of January 11th Israel hit one depot at Damascus international airport. I.e., material damage. 12 projectiles were fired in total. Syrian air defences worked, and by all accounts they were as effective as they were in the previous Israeli bombing run (80% accuracy approx.).

Even if Israel had hit two warehouses or a local farm in addition, then it changes absolutely nothing. What the Syrian Army lost can be replaced with little risk; Iran has seemingly supplied the Syrian Army very well and continues to do so at will.

Jan 14 09:47

OSCE spots 22 Grad rocket launchers south-west of Russian-occupied Luhansk

Many units of heavy weaponry were missing at a permanent storage site in a non-government controlled area in Luhansk region.

Jan 14 09:46

JFO HQ: Russian-led forces fire on OSCE monitors' drone northeast of Mariupol

The Joint Forces Operation (JFO) headquarters has reported that Russian-led forces used small arms to fire at a drone of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine near the village of Chermalyk, northeast of Mariupol, Donetsk region.

"According to an observer from a unit of the Joint Forces said fighters of the armed forces of the Russian Federation yesterday, January 12, tried to shoot down an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) of the OSCE SMM during a planned flight near Chermalyk to the northeast of Mariupol, using small arms," the JFO HQ said on Facebook on January 13 citing Ukrainian members of the Joint Control and Coordination Center (JCCC).

Jan 14 09:45

Worst-case scenario for Europe: Chief of Lithuania's army on possible escalation of Donbas war

Chief of Defence of the Armed Forces of Lithuania Jonas Vytautas Žukas says possible escalation of the war in Donbas, eastern Ukraine, will be the worst-case scenario for Europe. "Such a scenario is the worst scenario. If it happens, then we will not return to the discussion of the political situation. It will be important to everyone, not only to us, but also to Latvia, Estonia and to the entire Europe," he said during the Ukrainian-Lithuanian telethon "Together for Victory" ("Kartu Iki Pergales"), broadcast by Ukraine's TV Channel Pryamiy on January 12.

Jan 14 09:45

DW: U.S. Ambassador Richard Grenell threatens German firms over Russian pipeline

German companies building the Nord Stream 2 pipeline between Germany and Russia received letters from U.S. Ambassador Richard Grenell warning them of "a significant risk of sanctions" if they did not pull out of the project, Germany's mass-circulation Bild am Sonntag has reported.

In the letter cited by Bild am Sonntag, Grenell wrote that the pipeline would make Europe dependent on Moscow and increase the threat of Russian interventions, Deutsche Welle (DW) reported.

"We emphasize that companies involved in Russian energy exports are taking part in something that could prompt a significant risk of sanctions," the ambassador wrote.

Jan 14 08:54

Schumer to force vote on U.S. decision to lift sanctions on Russia firms

U.S. Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said on Saturday he will force a vote soon on a resolution to disapprove the Trump administration’s decision to relax sanctions on three Russian companies connected to oligarch Oleg Deripaska.

Jan 13 12:53

Russia vows retaliation to threats from possible UK bases

Russia has warned Britain that it will retaliate any threat against its interests in the Caribbean and Southeast Asia, the two regions London is expected to establish permanent military bases in after leaving the European Union.

British Defense Minister Gavin Williamson said in late December that the UK military was working on plans to build at least two new overseas bases “within the next couple of years.”

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Friday that while the UK had the right to consider such plans, Moscow would not hesitate to react against any threats posed by London's military expansion.

“In the event of any measures that pose a threat to Russia’s security or that of its allies our country reserves the right to take appropriate retaliatory measures,” she warned.

Jan 13 11:40

THE TRUMP-RUSSIA SCAM - HOW OBAMA ENABLED THE FBI TO SPY ON TRUMP

Despite the loss of major narratives, the war of the deep state against U.S. President Trump continues unabated. The main of tool in this war are allegations of relations between Trump and anything Russia. The war runs along several parallel paths.

Jan 13 10:21

MAJOR: Russia READY To Take ‘Retaliatory Action’ Against UK If Allies Are Threatened

Russia has condemned British plans to open military bases in Southeast Asia and the Caribbean on Friday, saying it stands ready to take retaliatory action if its own or its allies’ interests are threatened.

British Defense Minister Gavin Williamson told the Sunday Telegraph newspaper last month that London is working on plans to build two new foreign bases “in the next two years” after the country leaves the European Union.

Williamson did not specify where the bases could be built, but the newspaper reported that options included Singapore or Brunei, near the South China Sea, and Montserrat or Guyana, in the Caribbean.

Jan 12 11:50

Turkish, Russian defense ministers discuss situation in Syria's Idlib

Turkey's Defense Minister Hulusi Akar has held a telephone conversation with his Russian counterpart Sergey Shoigu ahead of the possible visit of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Russia, the Turkish Defense Ministry said in a statement posted on its official Twitter account on Wednesday.

Jan 12 10:11

SearchSearchThe Eternal Anglo: First Concentration Camps in Russia Were Created By Enterprising Brits! (Russian TV)

This segment unveils how British military forces, invited by Trotsky, ended up occupying Russian territory and pillaging it to export valuables back to Britain. The occupiers used concentration camps against Russians who resisted them.

This barbaric behavior is typical of British imperialism. Hitler himself once tried to justify the use of concentration camps by citing the British use against Boers in Africa. But this is the first known use of concentration camps against Russians.

Jan 12 09:55

Russia Vows Response as UK Defence Chief Issues 'Warning to Putin'

Earlier, UK Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson boasted that Britain's new fleet of F-35s served as a message to the country's "enemies", including Russia, not to "mess with" Britain.

Moscow is perplexed by the militaristic tone taken by the UK Ministry of Defence, and will respond appropriately if Russia's security is threatened, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has said.

"The statements of the Minister of Defence of Great Britain in favour of the further militarisation of British politics bring forth, at the very least, bewilderment," Zakharova said, speaking at a press conference on Friday.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Great Britain may, without knowing it, be bluffing if the F-35 doesn't live up to the hype.

Jan 12 09:19

The Absolute State of "Russia Studies" in America

As I have pointed out, the jokers who dominate today’s “Russia debate” such as Molly McKew have much less Russia expertise even than La Russophobe, the old bete noire of the Russia bloggers.

Suffice to say that her entire shtick consists of inventing ever more and more deranged Russiagate conspiracy theories is something that even Masha Gessen recognizes it.

Jan 11 09:27

Russian security service finishes 60-km-long fence on the Crimea-Ukraine border

Webmaster's Commentary: 

They seem to feel walls can work!

Jan 10 12:35

Russian to Conclusions? NYT Misreports Manafort’s Ukraine Ties as Russian

The New York Times is so eager to find proof that Paul Manafort was the definitive go-between for the 2016 Donald Trump presidential campaign and Russian actors that it tweeted out a claim a court filing unsealed Tuesday proved the connection, when the connections named were Ukrainians, not Russians.

Jan 10 11:46

U.S. AND CHINA TUSSLE IN SOUTH CHINA SEA, CHINA ORDERS MILITARY "TO BE READY" TEST MOAB, RUSSIA AND IRAN PLAN DRILLS IN ATLANTIC

Tensions are continuing to rise between world superpowers. China has ordered its military to “enhance combat readiness” following a test of a MOAB (mother of all bombs); Russia and Iran are planning drills in the Atlantic; and the U.S. just sailed a Navy destroyer through the contested South China waters.

Last week, China’s President Xi Jinping Friday ordered the Chinese armed forces People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to enhance their combat readiness to safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests after the U.S. had issued a travel warning to China stating Americans were at risk to arbitrary and indefinite detention.

Jan 10 09:34

Russia denies plans to interfere in Israel elections

Russia yesterday categorically denied reports that it plans to intervene and influence the election of any foreign country including the upcoming Israeli general elections.

Russian presidential spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said: “Russia did not intervene, does not interfere, and does not intend to interfere in the elections of any country in the world.”

On Monday, the head of Israel’s Shin Bet security service, Nadav Argaman, warned that a foreign state plans to intervene in the Knesset elections using cyber-technology.

Jan 09 18:48

Reporters nonprofit calls for court to unveil filings in mystery grand jury subpoena

A nonprofit that fights on behalf of journalists has asked the federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., to make public filings in the fight over a mystery grand jury subpoena thought to be tied to special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

In a 33-page motion filed Wednesday, The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press argued that the First Amendment and common law require at least some documents to be made available to the public.

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals last month upheld a lower court order that found a foreign government-owned company in contempt and imposed a $50,000 fine per day for its failure to comply with a federal grand jury subpoena for information.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Good; I hope this group gets a positive nod on this motion; It is high time the American people know what is really going on, in terms of Mueller's investigations.

Jan 09 13:15

U.S. And China Tussle In South China Sea, China Orders Military “To Be Ready” Test MOAB, Russia and Iran Plan Drills In Atlantic

By Aaron Kesel

Tensions are continuing to rise between world superpowers. China has ordered its military to “enhance combat readiness” following a test of a MOAB (mother of all bombs); Russia and Iran are planning drills in the Atlantic; and the U.S. just sailed a Navy destroyer through the contested South China waters...

Jan 09 12:26

Sanctions Lose Power: Russia’s Economy Continues To Expand, Sanctions Irrelevant

The United States is experiencing the problem of their sanctions no longer working as nations increasingly disobey what is declared by those in government. Despite sanctions, the Russian economy continues to grow at a steady pace and expand.

Inflation in Russia remained low while the expansion of the economy occurred last year according to a World Bank report. “Although economic sanctions tightened, Russia experienced relatively low and stable inflation and increased oil production. As a result of robust domestic activity, the Russian economy expanded at a 1.6 percent pace in the year just ended,” said the report.

Jan 09 12:23

Russia Launches Flying Jet Lab For Next-Generation Supersonic Bomber Upgrades

In late December 2018, a highly modified Russian commercial aircraft acted as a flying laboratory, completed its first test flight after an upgrade to perform flight test of new avionics, cameras, and sensors for the next-generation strategic bomber.

State-run Russian news media reported that a heavily modified Tu-214LMK (tail number 64507) aircraft completed its first test flight at the Gorbunov Kazan Aviation Plant on 29 December, said the Defense Blog.

According to the official statement from the Tupolev aerospace company, “the purpose of the upgrade of the Tu-214LMK testbed is to create a flying lab for testing in-flight onboard equipment complexes of the Tu-160."

The Tu-214LMK flying lab has been retrofitted to perform flight-test with highly advanced avionics developed for the next-generation strategic bombers.

Jan 09 11:57

Iran turns to traditional partners as EU tarries on bypassing US sanctions

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says Iran is working with its traditional partners such as China, Russia and India to circumvent the US sanctions.

Zarif told reporters in New Delhi Tuesday that the European Union is moving more slowly than expected to facilitate non-dollar trade with Tehran through a mechanism called the special purpose vehicle (SPV).

"We continue to work with the Europeans for the special purpose vehicle but we will not wait for them [to act]," said Zarif who arrived in the Indian capital late Monday for a three-day visit.

"We are working with our traditional partners like India, China and Russia so that we continue to serve the interests of our people," he added.

Jan 09 11:52

EXCLUSIVE: First pictures of wealthy Russian businessman who was held by the FBI a day after Moscow detained former US Marine Paul Whelan on suspicion of spying in speculated 'eye for an eye' move

These are the first pictures of the wealthy Russian businessman reported to have been held by the FBI in a case that has been linked to a US-British security expert detained in Moscow.

Dmitry Makarenko was detained in the Northern Mariana Islands, a US commonwealth in the Pacific Ocean, the day after American Paul Nicholas Whelan was arrested by the Russians.

Makarenko is believed to be a graduate from Vladivostok State Naval Academy.

Jan 09 11:10

BEX? Report: North Korea Flooding YouTube with Communist Propaganda Videos

The South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo identified in a report Tuesday a flood of North Korean propaganda videos appearing on YouTube, over a year since the site censored the country’s official channels.

The YouTube channel RedStar TV has reportedly uploaded over 1,600 videos to its 12,300 subscribers, including live broadcasts from the state propaganda channel Korean Central TV and ten-minute highlights of their coverage. The channel allegedly takes donations via a web service known as WebMoney, believed to have been developed in Russia, with payments available in Russian rubles, Euros, U.S. dollars, and Bitcoin.

Jan 09 09:20

Pentagon: Military Logistics System Not Ready for War With China or Russia

The strategic American military system for moving troops, weapons, and supplies over long distances has decayed significantly and needs rapid upgrading to be ready for any future war with China or Russia, according to a report by the Pentagon's Defense Science Board.

A special task force on survivable logistics evaluated the military's current airlift, sealift, and prepositioned equipment and supplies and found major problems with supporting forces during a "high-end" conflict.

"Since the end of the Cold War, the United States has not fought an adversary capable of the catastrophic disruption of military supply chains and deployment of personnel and materiel," an unclassified summary of the report states.

Jan 09 07:09

US threatens sanctions against Nord Stream 2 contractors as construction goes at full drive

The US may slap penalties on two European contractors laying the pipeline for the Russian-led Nord Stream 2. The political pressure is still extremely high over the project, which Moscow defines as purely economic.

Jan 08 16:51

Ukraine Delivers US Radar of the Kind Used on Russia's S-300 Air Defenses

A Ukranian Air Force Il-76 'Candid' cargo plane has appeared at an Air National Guard facility attached to Salt Lake City International Airport. We now know that it has delivered an unspecified mobile radar system as part of a U.S. Air Force contract.

Online plane trackers first noticed the Il-76, of which the Ukrainian Air Force has around five in service in total, traveling westward from Ottawa/Macdonald–Cartier International Airport in eastern Canada on the morning of Dec. 3, 2019. The Candid was on the ground in Salt Lake City before 12:00 PM Eastern Standard Time.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Told ya.

Jan 08 10:50

FAKE NEWS OF TRUMP’S VOLTE-FACE ON SYRIA EXIT STRATEGY

Quoting Donald Trump’s National Security Advisor John Bolton, who was recently on a visit to Israel and told reporters in Jerusalem that American forces would remain in Syria until the last remnants of the Islamic State were defeated and Turkey provided guarantees that it would not strike Kurdish forces allied with the United States, fake news have been circulating on the mainstream media that Trump has made a turnaround by delaying his planned Syria withdrawal.

Quoting the corporate media’s preferred, though highly partisan and dubious source of information on Syria, The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), Al-Jazeera’s sister news outlet The New Arab in particular is reporting [1] the Syrian Observatory’s purportedly “extensive network of on-ground activists and reporters” has seen American military convoys of hundreds of trucks and vehicles headed to the US military bases in Raqqa in eastern Syria, and Manbij and Tal Abyad in northern Syria from the Iraq border.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Bolton has just created two situations on the ground, from which the US military will never be able to extricate itself; the first is, that the Turks will "protect" the Kurdish troops who are there, a condition to which the Turks will never agree, and and second, that ISIS has been completely eliminated in Syria.

And the question for me is, who, actually, is running US foreign policy?!? Is it really President Trump, or is it Netanyahu, and his minions in DC, Bolton and Pompeo?!?

Very hard to tell at that moment.

Jan 08 10:43

TYPHOID JOHN SPREADS NEOCON INFECTION AT THE WHITE HOUSE

While the corporate media doubled down on the prospect of Trump’s wall emergency, the neocon infection inside the floundering Trump administration spread. John Bolton appointed one of his buddies from the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) to a key post.

Richard Goldberg is an ideal selection for a neocon-ized National Security Council, a forum created in 1947 as then President Truman went about building the national security state. The NSC drives US foreign policy—and with Bolton stomping around the White House unbound, that foreign policy is primarily about Israel and its enemies, although emphasis is shifting ominously toward confrontation with China and Russia.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Right after the inauguration, I was somewhat hopeful that Trump would actually "drain the swamp"; unfortunately, as his term of office grinds into its third year of destruction of the US economy, through wildly punitive tariffs on Russia, Iran, and China, and threatening war against any country he doesn't particularly like, I am forced to realize that this hope was hope was an utter and complete delusion.

It is now clear to me, that President Trump is getting ready to start a major war in the Middle East, on Israel's behalf, and as to whether it will be against Iran; Syria, Lebanon, I cannot say at the moment.

The other large unknown will be, that it is very possible that should such a war come about, that Russia and China will join these countries in fighting the US and Israel.

Should this happen, and I think it will be well before Israel's election on 9 April, so that Netanyahu will have something "positive" to share with the Israel people going to the polls. It will most likely be well before the Israel's AG decides to prosecute Netanyahu for corruption. Israel's AG will announce decision on whether to indict Netanyahu next month

Counting from today, that gives Netanyahu and the US government a total of 50 days between now and the end of February, to "do something butch" in the Middle East, in order to push the impending announcement of the indictment off the top of news.

And It also pushes this action against these Middle East countries sooner, if the announcement is to be made in February; we on have 23 days left in January.

But the heavy pre-positioning of military assets in the region, in terms of Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine troops, should be enough to concern any thinking American.

I don't know how the bookies in Vegas are placing odds of the resurrection of the draft in this country might be, but if I were a betting woman, I would bet them to be very high right now, as our troop force strength is relatively low, and our military recruitment from volunteers is dwindling.

Jan 08 08:18

Take Note Trump, Russia puts up ‘the Wall’ on Crimea-Ukraine Border

While certain politicians are still having difficulties getting their walls built, Russia has announced it had finished a border barrier between Ukraine and Crimea. Construction took just over a year and less than $3 million.

Bids for building the two-meter tall, 60-kilometer long fence separating the peninsula from Ukraine opened in September 2017. The Federal Security Service (FSB) announced the project’s completion on Thursday. The contract was estimated at approximately 200 million rubles, or $2.87 million at current exchange rates.

Jan 07 12:20

Two Russians killed in coalition’s airstrike in Syria

An international coalition’s airstrike targeting the militants of the Islamic State terrorist group (outlawed in Russia) has killed a resident of Chechnya’s Nadterechny District Khava Akhyadova, 35, and a four-year-old boy in the Syrian province of Deir ez-Zor, Kheda Saratova from the civil society and human rights council under the Chechen president told TASS on Friday.

"Women and children die there," she said, naming Khava Akhyadova who "died today," leaving "five girls without parents." Saratova added that a four-year-old boy, a grandson of a woman from Dagestan, was also killed. According to the activists’ data, those killed by the airstrike were Russian nationals.

Jan 07 12:19

Turkey Rejects New US Offer to Cancel Purchase of Russian S-400 Systems - Report

According to the Yeni Safak newspaper, a US delegation has tried to convince Turkey to give up on purchasing the Russian missile systems during the visit to Ankara earlier this week. However, the Turkish authorities reportedly rejected the offer since it did not include a discount on the price set or a transfer of technology.

The Anadolu news agency reported on Thursday that the United States had submitted a proposal to sell Patriot missile systems to Ankara. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency said on December 18 the US State Department had approved a possible sale to Turkey of 80 Patriot MIM-104E Guidance Enhanced Missiles (GEM-T), 60 PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) missiles and other related equipment for an estimated cost of $3.5 billion.

Jan 07 11:45

Exculpatory Russia evidence about Mike Flynn that US intel kept secret

Rather than a diplomatic embarrassment bordering on treason, Flynn’s conduct at the RT event provided some modest benefit to the U.S. intelligence community, something that many former military and intelligence officers continue to offer their country after retirement when they keep security clearances.

It’s important to wind back many months to where the Russia collusion narrative started and the media frenzy–driven suggestion that Flynn may have been on a mission to compromise America’s security and endanger this great republic when he visited Moscow.

Would the central character in a Russian election hijack plot actually self-disclose his trip in advance? And then sit through a briefing on how to avoid being compromised by his foreign hosts? And then come back to America and be debriefed by U.S. intelligence officers about who and what he saw?

Jan 07 11:44

Japan to Push for WWII-Era Peace Treaty with Russia

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Friday he intends to move towards a World War II peace treaty with Russia during a summit in Russia later this month. The treaty has been hindered for decades by a territorial dispute.

Abe is due to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in the 25th summit where they are expected to end a disagreement over a collection of islands seized by Soviet troops in the final days of the war.

“I’ll visit Russia later this month and intend to push forward with discussions towards a peace treaty,” he said, adding that there had been “absolutely no progress” on the issue for more than 70 years.

Jan 07 11:15

US Navy landing ship arrives to Black Sea to ‘advance security and stability in Europe’

One more US Navy vessel, landing ship USS Fort McHenry, has entered the Black Sea where tensions are running high after three Ukrainian ships violated Russian territorial waters in late November and were arrested.

USS Fort McHenry’s arrival “reaffirms our collective resolve to Black Sea security and enhances our strong relationships with our NATO allies and partners in the region,” Vice Adm. Lisa M. Franchetti, 6th Fleet commander, said.

Florida-based Fort McHenry is on a regularly scheduled deployment with the US 6th Fleet to “conduct operations with allies and partners to advance security and stability in Europe,” the US 6th Fleet said in a statement on Sunday.

Jan 07 10:31

US Navy Sends First Ship Into Black Sea Since Kerch Strait Incident

The US Navy has confirmed the dock-landing vessel USS Fort McHenry has entered the Black Sea at moment tensions with Russia remain high following the Kremlin's seizure of three Ukrainian vessels in November in the Kerch Strait. This marks the first US vessel to enter the region since the Nov. 25th incident, which Russia said was an illegal and provocative violation of its territorial waters, and which as a result Ukraine has called on NATO powers, including the US and UK, to beef up its presence in the area to counter Russian aggression.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The US is doing a pretty good job of behaving like a toreador does in a bullfight, with this deployment.

Jan 07 08:51

No Syria withdrawal without Turkish pledge not to attack Kurds, Bolton says

President Donald Trump will not withdraw American troops from northern Syria until the Turkish government guarantees it won’t then attack Syrian Kurdish forces that have been critical allies in the fight against ISIS, national security adviser John Bolton said Sunday.

Bolton said a commitment from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that protects the Kurds after American forces exit is something Trump is demanding, and that it’s just one of several conditions that have to be met before U.S. troops leave.

“There are objectives that we want to accomplish that condition the withdrawal,” Bolton said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Wow, Bolton can back-peddle with the best of them!!

I would not hold my breath that Erdogan will spare the Kurds in any way;but of course, that was Bolton's strategy here all along, as the "excuse" for keeping American military in Syria, permanently, and not leaving.

But this statement leaves me wondering: who precisely is in control of American foreign policy?!?

If you said "Israel's Netanyahu"(among other parties) you would be, of course, completely correct.

Netanyahu is unsure whether the Israeli AG is going to press charges of corruption against him, so he dissolved the Knesset, and set elections for 9 April; just about the time that President Trump has stated, vaguely, that the drawdown in Syria was supposed to start.

Without any oversight by the Knesset, which he dissolved last month, and with him holding two positions in government, Prime Minister, and Minister of Defense, he has from today to the 9th of April (about 90 days) to do anything he wants that the IDF leadership believes is "do-able" in that time frame.

I think he has given Trump, Bolton, and Pompeo their "marching orders" as to just what they will do in the Middle East that will cause him to be thought of very positively, by the time Israeli elections happen.

I don't know whether the madness will be against Gaza; Lebanon; Syria; or Iran; but this is when I expect Netanyahu, who is now a geopolitically wounded animal, to either lash out; or have his American proxies in the Middle East, do the same.

Jan 07 07:55

‘Russia to fulfill S-400 sale to Turkey despite Patriot deal’

The Kremlin says there is no link between Turkey’s possible purchase of US Patriot surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems and that of the advanced Russian-built S-400 air defense missile system, saying Moscow is in the process of fulfilling the terms of the deal with Ankara.

“These are not connected processes. In this case, we are fulfilling agreements that we have with our Turkish colleagues. You know that the contract is being fulfilled. This will be continued,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday.

Peskov's remarks came a day after the Pentagon announced that the US State Department had approved a possible $3.5 billion sale of Patriot missile systems to its NATO-ally Turkey, after notifying Congress of the certification.

Jan 07 07:53

SYRIAN WAR REPORT – JAN. 7, 2019: RUSSIAN WARPLANES STRIKE TERRORISTS IN IDLIB DE-ESCALATION ZONE

Starting from January 4th, the Russian Aerospace Forces carried out a series of airstrikes on terrorists’ positions in the Idlib de-escalation zone. The airstrikes targeted Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) forces in the towns of Darat Izza, Kafrnaha, Jamiat al-Rahal, Urum al-Kubra and the 111th Regiment base in the western Aleppo countryside.

HTS’ news network Iba’a said that the group responded by shelling positions of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) in the district of al-Rashidin in the outskirt of the city of Aleppo, claiming that 7 service members were killed, but pro-government sources doubted the claim.

Jan 07 07:20

‘GLOBAL ZERO’ DOUBLE STANDARD FOR NUCLEAR WEAPONS

In the coming clash between President Trump’s $750 billion defense budget and House Democrats’ desire to cut Pentagon spending, especially on nuclear weapons, there will be tremendous fiscal pressure to shortchange the almost $30 billion annual cost to modernize America’s strategic deterrent. The ideological cover for such penny-wise, pound-foolish cuts is the so-called Global Zero movement to eliminate all nuclear weapons.

But in reality, the global-zero idealists practice a dangerous double standard: They push the US to unilaterally cut its nuclear arsenal even as they ignore or excuse nuclear buildups by Russia, China, North Korea, and (under the table) Iran. Even if they were consistent, their pursue of zero nuclear weapons would still make no sense when none of the nine existing nuclear powers has any interest in completely disarming.

Jan 06 14:45

It Begins: Russia, China, and India Are Now All Dumping the US Dollar

(RT) — The past year was full of events that inevitably split the global geopolitical space into two camps: those who still support using US currency as a universal financial tool, and those who are turning their back on the greenback.

Global tensions caused by economic sanctions and trade conflicts triggered by Washington have forced targeted countries to take a fresh look at alternative payment systems currently dominated by the US dollar.

RT has taken a deeper look into the recent phenomena of de-dollarization, summing up which countries have taken steps towards eliminating their reliance on the greenback, and the reasons behind their decision.

Jan 06 14:05

The new Great Game on the Roof of the World

On top of the graceful Baltit Fort, overlooking the Hunza Valley’s Shangri-La-style splendor, it’s impossible not to feel dizzy at the view: an overwhelming collision of millennia of geology and centuries of history.

We are at the heart of Gilgit-Baltistan, in Pakistan’s Northern Areas, or – as legend rules, the Roof of the World. This is an area about 70,000 square kilometers (27,000 square miles) crammed with spectacular mountain ranges and amidst them, secluded pristine valleys and the largest glaciers outside of the Polar region.

The location feels like vertigo. To the north, beyond the Batura Glacier, is the tiny northeast arm of Afghanistan, the legendary Wakhan corridor. A crest of the Hindu Kush separates Wakhan from the regional capital Gilgit. Xinjiang starts on Wakhan’s uppermost tip. Via the upgraded Karakoram highway, it’s only 240 km from Gilgit to the Khunjerab Pass, 4,934 meters high on the official China-Pakistan border.

Jan 06 10:05

Russia to Deploy Precision Strike Missiles in Western Atlantic

Russia is deploying long-range, precision cruise missiles to the western Atlantic that American defense officials say will allow Moscow to target Washington and other East Coast cities with conventional or nuclear attacks.

Moscow is adding Kalibr land attack cruise missiles to both warships and missile submarines that Moscow plans to use in Atlantic patrols near the United States, sorties that were once routine during the Cold War.

Jan 06 09:51

Russia Demands US Justify Arrest Of Suspected Arms Dealer

When the news broke earlier this week that the US had arrested a Russian national in the Northern Mariana Islands, it largely flew under the radar, registering mostly in local media like the Saipan Times. But on Saturday, the story of the arrest of Dmitry Makarenko, a resident of Vladivostok who was arrested a few days after Russia took Paul Whelan - a suspected US spy who had been traveling in Moscow - into custody, reached a broader audience when Russia's Foreign Ministry acknowledged the arrest in a statement.

The arrest has raised questions about whether the US intends to use Makarenko as a bargaining chip for Whelan, whose cover story has been called into question amid speculation that his arrest wasn't simply retaliation for the US's arrest and the subsequent guilty plea of Maria Butina.

Butina famously admitted to infiltrating the NRA at the direction of Kremlin insiders with the intention of establishing a communication back channel between Moscow and the US.

Jan 06 09:43

American charged with spying by Russia 'cultivated' contacts in Moscow for years, is a citizen of at least THREE other countries and is 'most likely' being held as leverage to secure the return of Maria Butina, espionage experts claim

A U.S. corporate security executive and former Marine who has been jailed in Moscow on spying charges has spent more than a decade cultivating friends and contacts in Russia - though experts say his unusual background makes it highly unlikely that he is a CIA asset.

Paul Whelan, 48, has been traveling to Russia for more than a decade, and had a profile on the Russian social media site VKontakte, where many of his friends had connections to the military.

Whelan was arrested December 28 while on a two-week visit to the country and has been charged with espionage.

Jan 06 09:41

Ukrainian army violates ceasefire in DPR six times in 24 hours, republic says

The Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF) have violated the ceasefire agreement, shelling the regions of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) six times over the past 24 hours, head of the DPR group in the Joint Center for Control and Coordination of the Ceasefire (JCCC) Ruslan Yakubov said on Saturday.

"The total number of violations made by the Ukrainian Armed Forces over the past day is six," the Donetsk News Agency quoted Yakubov as saying.

The shelling targeted several regions of Gorlovka, the settlement of Krutaya Balka, Dokuchayevsk, the villages of Zhabichevo and Staromikhailovka, as well as the area around the Donetsk airport, the JCCC said.

Jan 06 09:17

‘Hunt for our people goes on’: Moscow warns there’s no ‘safe place’ after US nabs Russian national

The Russian Foreign Ministry has issued a warning about what it describes as a “hunt on our citizens,” urging travelers to be cautious. The message follows the detention of a Russian citizen by the FBI in Saipan.

Russians should take every precaution when traveling abroad and ensure there’s nothing in their records that might interest the US, the Foreign Ministry warned after the 39-year-old citizen was arrested.

Jan 06 09:15

Skripal spin doctors: Documents link UK govt-funded Integrity Initiative to anti-Russia narrative

The Integrity Initiative, a UK-funded group exposed in leaked files as psyop network, played a key role in monitoring and molding media narratives after the poisoning of double agent Sergei Skripal, newly-dumped documents reveal.

Created by the NATO-affiliated, UK-funded Institute for Statecraft in 2015, the Integrity Initiative was unmasked in November after hackers released documents detailing a web of politicians, journalists, military personnel, scientists and academics involved in purportedly fighting "Russian disinformation." The secretive, government-bankrolled "network of networks" has found itself under scrutiny for smearing UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn as a Kremlin stooge – ostensibly as part of its noble crusade against anti-Russian disinformation.

Jan 06 08:31

BEX ALERT - Moscow spinning new web of spies in Britain after UK 'dismantles' unit behind Salisbury attack

Russia’s foreign intelligence service is trying to set up a new spy network in Britain after the military unit behind the Salisbury nerve agent attack was dismantled in the UK, according to well placed sources.

Authorities are increasingly concerned by attempts by the SVR, Russia’s foreign intelligence agency, to re-establish a foothold in Britain. Officials are confident that the GRU, the agency responsible for the attempted assassination of Colonel Sergei Skripal, has been effectively neutralised.

Jan 05 10:46

US Arrests Russian in Guam on Defense Export Violation Charges

The FBI arrested a Russian citizen on the US island territory of Guam over allegations of illegally exporting defense materials, a court document revealed.

"Defendant Dimitrii Makarenko… was arrested on December 29," the document, dated December 31 but publicly released on Friday, said. "Court, after hearing from the parties, granted the Government’s Petition for Transfer… and ordered Defendant be brought to the Southern District of Florida."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

We are getting into a dangerous game of "You arrest one of ours and we will arrest one of yours" here!

Jan 05 10:45

US tensions with China, Russia rise

China has warned that it is not afraid to protect itself when necessary as tensions with the United States continue unabated.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said Beijing will prioritize developing cooperation between its armed forces and those of other countries.

“Also — looking at the bigger picture for our countries — if what we mutually seek is a partner, then we will likely get a partner. But if what we seek is an adversary, then we will certainly get an adversary,” Lu said on Thursday.

His remarks came after acting Pentagon chief Patrick Shanahan said his top priority is to counter China.

Jan 05 10:20

RUSSIAN ARRESTED BY FBI FOR EXPORTING RIFLE SCOPES & AMMO PRIMERS TO RUSSIA – COURT DOCUMENTS

A 39-year-old Russian citizen has been arrested in Saipan for attempting to export military-grade equipment, such as night-vision rifle scopes and ammunition primers, to Russia without obtaining a proper permit.
Dmitrii Makarenko was arrested by an FBI agent on Saturday, December 29 in the Northern Mariana Islands, a US territory in the northwestern Pacific Ocean. The Russian national was taken into custody on an indictment filed in the Southern District of Florida Court back in June 2017.

The indictment alleges that Makarenko, reportedly a resident of the Russian Far East city of Vladivostok, and his 'co-conspirator' Vladimir Nevidomy, a resident of Florida, acted in concert to transfer military-grade equipment to Russia between April and November 2013.

Overall, Makarenko has been indicted on eight counts and is facing 45 years behind bars if found guilty.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

One has to wonder if these guys were "bargaining chips", to be used by the US government when the time was right, to catch up with a "higher grade" Russian operatives.

Jan 05 08:48

Netanyahu tells Putin: Israel will continue fight against Iran in Syria

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Russian President Vladimir Putin that Israel will continue working against “Iranian military repositioning in Syria”.

Netanyahu’s comments were made in a phone call between the two leaders, Anadolu Agency reported, with Netanyahu’s office also sending a written statement about the issue to its Russian counterpart.

The statement – a copy of which reached Anadolu – said that both leaders discussed the latest developments in Syria, while “Netanyahu agreed with [Putin] to continue cooperation between the armies of the two countries [in Syria]”.

“Israel insists on continuing its efforts aimed at undermining the Iranian military’s repositioning in Syria,” Netanyahu said, according to the statement.

Jan 05 08:47

Ukrainian Il-76 Airlifter That Was Tracked Across U.S. Delivered Radar Asset To Utah Air Base

A Ukranian Air Force Il-76 'Candid' cargo plane has appeared at an Air National Guard facility attached to Salt Lake City International Airport. We now know that it has delivered an unspecified mobile radar system as part of a U.S. Air Force contract.

Online plane trackers first noticed the Il-76, of which the Ukrainian Air Force has around five in service in total, traveling westward from Ottawa/Macdonald–Cartier International Airport in eastern Canada on the morning of Dec. 3, 2019. The Candid was on the ground in Salt Lake City before 12:00 PM Eastern Standard Time.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I am going to take a wild guess that Ukraine captured a Russian radar system which will be used to test if the F-35 is really stealthy enough to survive.

Jan 04 18:49

Netanyahu says he discussed military ‘coordination’ in Syria with Putin

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday to discuss Syria, and said the two leaders agreed to “continue security coordination” there. The Kremlin confirmed that the call happened and that Putin and Netanyahu discussed the situation in Syria in light of the announced pullout of US troops. The emphasis was on fully defeating terrorism in Syria and speeding up the process of political settlement, the Russian government said.

Jan 04 14:04

Israel acts at 'military level' amid US sanctions on Iran: Netanyahu

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu says he had “insisted” that the US reimpose sanctions on Iran, adding Tel Aviv complements economic pressures with its own actions "at the military level.”

US President Donald Trump “is acting against Iran at the economic level and we here in Israel are acting against Iran at the military level,” Netanyahu said in an address to Israeli military cadets on Thursday.

By military actions, Netanyahu apparently meant airstrikes against what Israel calls Iranian positions in Syria. Damascus says the attacks are part of Israel's efforts to prop up terrorists in the face of army advances.

Last week, an Israeli intelligence website refuted Tel Aviv's claims that a recent aerial raid in Syria had targeted Iranian military advisers and Hezbollah fighters, saying the attack actually hit Syrian army positions.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

And here is the one thing which could make this really sticky; it's Russia, Russia's military position in Syria, and Putin's relationship with Syria's al Assad.

One must wonder; what happens when and Israeli and Russian fighter jets start attacking each other?!? Because should this happen, it would involve the US's presence in behalf of Israel, undoubtedly.

I hope that Russia's President Putin and Israel's Prime Minister, Netanyahu, have been having some conversations about preventing such a situation, which could evolve into a world war.

Jan 04 11:46

DEVELOPER LEAKS IMAGE OF NEW SELF-PROPELLED CANNON FOR RUSSIAN FORCES

TsNIITochMash, the Russian industrial design bureau tasked with designing and manufacturing new weapons for the modernization of Russian Armed Forces, has just leaked out new schematics of its next-generation air droppable artillery piece, slated for testing by the Airborne Forces and the Naval Infantry later this year.

The image of the new "Lotus," a self-propelled, tracked artillery system, appeared in the design bureau's 2019 corporate calendar, was leaked on social media via the bureau's Instagram account, and was first reported by Sputnik.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Again, the problem is not that the Russian will have this weaponry by the end of the year; the problem here, is that their Americans counterparts in the weapons business, will most likely not have anything anywhere near it.

Jan 04 08:55

‘Jealous’ US Upping Military Activity in Latin America to Counter Russia, China

The US has been stepping up its involvement in military exercises in Latin America in recent years, partly in response to growing regional influence by Russia and China. The US has long supported right-wing governments in the region to protect its interests and block Soviet influence; more recently, they’ve been a bulwark against the Pink Tide.

Almost since the country's inception, the United States has viewed Latin America as its own backyard, with US President James Monroe articulating that view in 1823 in a doctrine that came to be named after him. Ironically, that, too, was provoked by Russian expansion into the Americas, when it claimed land along North America's northwestern Pacific coast.

Jan 04 08:23

Developer Leaks Image Of New Self-Propelled Cannon For Russian Forces

TsNIITochMash, the Russian industrial design bureau tasked with designing and manufacturing new weapons for the modernization of Russian Armed Forces, has just leaked out new schematics of its next-generation airdroppable artillery piece, slated for testing by the Airborne Forces and the Naval Infantry later this year.

The image of the new "Lotus," a self-propelled, tracked artillery system, appeared in the design bureau's 2019 corporate calendar, was leaked on social media via the bureau's Instagram account, and was first reported by Sputnik.

Jan 03 11:02

US Demands Access To Former Marine Held On Spying Charges In Moscow

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday said that the US wants immediate access to a former Marine who was arrested in Russia in December on espionage charges, and that "if the detention is not appropriate we will demand his immediate return," reports AP.

Paul Whelan, who is head of global security for a Michigan-based auto parts supplier, was arrested on Friday. In announcing the arrest three days later, the Russian Federal Security Service said he was caught “during an espionage operation,” but it gave no details.

Whelan, 48, was in Moscow to attend a wedding when he suddenly disappeared, his brother David Whelan said Tuesday.

Pompeo, speaking in Brazil, said the U.S. is “hopeful within the next hours we’ll get consular access to see him and get a chance to learn more.” -AP

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I am sure that Russia will allow access to Whelan ... just as soon as Russia is allowed access to the Skripals!

Jan 03 10:46

Russia Charges US Citizen With Espionage

After he was purportedly arrested while "carrying out an act of espionage", Russia has formally indicted US citizen Paul Whelan, a 48-year-old US Marine and security contractor, for being a spy, according to a report in Russian news agency Interfax being cited by US media.

Whelan was arrested by Russia’s security services Dec. 28 while in Moscow on a personal trip. Whelan's Russian lawyer Vladimir Zherebenkov, who was appointed to represent him, said earlier Thursday that the American will remain in custody in Moscow until the end of February.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I sense that this guy is the "bargaining chip" Moscow is using to press the US into releasing Maria Butina, who was arrested and charged with infiltration; apparently, While not confirmed, there is a very interesting story, reported by rawstory.com on 31 December:

American "spy" captured by the Russians may be "payback" for the arrest and incarceration of Maria Butina

Jan 03 10:37

"Secret" Evidence Vindicates Michael Flynn's "Treasonous" Dinner With Putin

Over the last month we have learned much more about the circumstances surrounding the departure of former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Flynn pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI about a conversation with then-Russian ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak; one on December 29, 2016 in which Flynn urged the Russians to "refrain from escalating the situation in response to sanctions that the US had imposed against Russia," and another conversation in which Kislyak told Flynn that Russia had decided to moderate its response following the request.

Nothing earth shattering, illegal, or collusive in the "witch hunt" sense - but Flynn was not forthcoming with the Justice Department, or Vice President Mike Pence. He was fired from his post and subsequently pleaded guilty in December 2017 to making false statements to the FBI.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

To the Dementocrats, power means everything... no matter what the cost to the nation, and to the individuals they are sliming, courtesy of Robert Mueller.

Jan 03 10:29

'He shunned pretty women': How Marine vet 'spy' aroused suspicion of Russian intelligence and was 'caught red-handed in Moscow hotel room with flash drive containing names of Russian secret agents'

Retired US Marine Paul Whelan was detained by Vladimir Putin's secret services because he received an electronic database with a list of 'secret' employees of a Russian agency, it was reported in Moscow.

The 48-year-old had fallen under suspicion on frequent visits to Russia because while saying he went to have 'fun' he shunned 'pretty women' and instead made contacts with males who might have access to confidential information.

Minutes after receiving a flash drive in his five-star hotel room in Moscow, armed Federal Security Service (FSB) operatives moved in and detained him, reported Rosbalt news service, which has close links to the security services.

'The American received an electronic carrier in the room with a list of all employees of one of the secret Russian departments,' said the first of several reports.

'Five minutes after the transfer, FSB officers broke into the room and detained a suspect of espionage.

Jan 03 10:20

Russia to expand Iskander arsenal in 2019, test 200 new weapons

The Russian military is slated to expand its arsenal of Iskander-M nuclear-capable missiles in 2019, one of the nearly 200 new weapons that Moscow continues to develop under its new state armament program.

"In 2019, the process of reequipping the missile troops of the Russian Ground Forces with the Iskander-M missile systems will be completed. In accordance with the state defense order, the manufacturer will hand a unit of the Iskander-M systems over to the Western Military District," the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

Capable of hitting targets 500 kilometers away, the precision-guided missile can be used against multiple-launch rocket systems, long-range artillery guns, command posts and communications centers.

The Iskander-M missiles are designed to perform special maneuvers at extreme speeds and release decoys to bypass all existing missile defense systems, according to the Russian defense ministry.

Jan 02 16:13

Exculpatory Russia evidence about Mike Flynn that US intel kept secret - By John Solomon,

Sometimes public silence can be deafening or, for that matter, misleading.

For nearly two years now, the intelligence community has kept secret evidence in the Russia collusion case that directly undercuts the portrayal of retired Army general and former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn as a Russian stooge.

Jan 02 12:27

Russian Physicists Come Closer to Plasma Engine for Superfast Space Travel

Scientists from Russia and around the world see plasma rocket technology as a crucial possible ingredient for speedy missions to Mars and beyond.

Physicists from the Budker Institute of Nuclear Physics of the Siberian branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Novosibirsk are preparing another round of experiments aimed at successfully harnessing the power of thermonuclear plasma for use in a rocket engine, institute deputy director Alexander Ivanov has told journalists.

The experiments, which will begin later this month, will follow up on earlier successful tests which confirmed the feasibility of confining plasma in an experimental setup using parameters suitable for a rocket engine, Ivanov said.

Jan 02 07:34

MH17 Turnabout: Ukraine's Guilt Now Proven

Finally, a clear and convincing - and unrefuted - case can now be presented to the public, as to precisely whom the guilty party was, that downed the MH17 Malaysian airliner over Ukraine on 17 July 2014, and why it was done. The complete case, which will be fully documented here, displays unequivocally who needed the MH17 murders (of 298 persons) to be perpetrated. This mass-murder was done for one leader’s very pressing obsession. For him, it simply had to be done, and done at that precise time.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

A long read but worth it. There are also videos.

Jan 01 11:45

The ONLY Meddling ‘Russian Bots’ Were Actually Democrat-Led ‘Experts’

Cybersecurity “experts” in the United States have long alleged that “Russian bots” were used to meddle in the 2016 elections. But, as it turns out, the authors of a Senate report on “Russian election meddling” actually ran the false flag meddling operation themselves.

A week before Christmas, the Senate Intelligence Committee released a report accusing Russia of depressing Democrat voter turnout by targeting African-Americans on social media. Its authors, New Knowledge, quickly became a household name. Described by the New York Times as a group of “tech specialists who lean Democratic,” New Knowledge has ties to both the U.S. military and the intelligence agencies.

Jan 01 11:40

Powerful U.S. forces work against pullout of troops from Syria

President Donald Trump’s announcement on Dec. 20 that his administration would quickly pull some 2,000 troops from Syria and 7,000 of the 14,000 in Afghanistan seemed to have caught many high-ranking U.S. as well and U.S. allies around the globe off guard.

It is unclear, however, to what extent the pullout will be able to be implemented. Trump is under a lot of pressure from even his supporters to back off or slow down the plan.

This often happens throughout history, when the core beliefs of a country promulgated by elites are challenged — and in the case of the U.S., it is both Republican and Democratic elites. The dismay at the retirement of Secretary of Defense James Mattis indicates the many battles ahead for a rebalancing of U.S. foreign policy.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The writer of this op-ed misses one very critical fact; the "winner" from this draw-down of US forces in Syria, is Israel's Benyamin Netanyahu, now fighting for his political life because he is on the keening edge of potentially being indicted for corruption by Israel's Attorney General.

Netanyahu has recently dissolved the Knesset, and set the date of 9 April for the next round of elections.

As now both Prime Minister and Minister of Defence, he can now wreak whatever havoc he wants in Syria (or Lebanon, or Iran), for these next 4 months until the election, with US collusion and cooperation from the commanders and their troops still on the ground.

And I would like to politely mention to the writer of this op-ed, that there will be utterly zero "rebalancing' of US Foreign Policy, particularly in the Middle East, as long as Trump is outsourcing his Middle East Policy to Prime Minister Netanyahu.

There are moments where there are goals to be achieved with which we should be aligned with Israel; but a regional war against Syria, Iran, and Lebanon, (with Russia most likely to take the side of these countries)at the enormous costs, which Tel Aviv fully expects to be expended in American blood, and American money?!?

So President Trump, I feel the need to strongly caution you, that the use of US troops, fighting and dying for what can only be characterized as a wretchedly apartheid, rogue theocracy with nuclear weapons, is not the highest and best use of US troops right now.

And at its point in its history, the US military doesn't have the weaponry; the troop strength; the money, or the manufacturing to insure a victory in this kind of war.

you are welcome, President Trump

Jan 01 11:39

Russian Military Reveals New Tank Capable of Firing Depleted Uranium Rounds

The modernisation of the tank, last upgraded in 1985, has allowed it to be armed with kinetic energy anti-tank rounds made of depleted uranium. The latter increases the density of the round's material, making it more effective against steel armour.

The Russian Defence Ministry has published specifications for the latest model of Russia's T-80 tank (named T-80BVM) developed in 2017. It turned out that the tank has received a new auto-loader, allowing it to use new anti-tank ammo: Svinets-1 and Svinets-2 740 mm rounds. Although little is known about these rounds, reports suggest that one of them is made of an alloy, based on depleted uranium.

Jan 01 11:27

New Studies Show Pundits Are Wrong About Russian Social-Media Involvement in US Politics

The release of two Senate-commissioned reports has sparked a new round of panic about Russia manipulating a vulnerable American public on social media. Headlines warn that Russian trolls have tried to suppress the African-American vote, promote Green Party candidate Jill Stein, recruit “assets,” and “sow discord” or “hack the 2016 election” via sex-toy ads and Pokémon Go. “The studies,” writes David Ignatius of The Washington Post, “describe a sophisticated, multilevel Russian effort to use every available tool of our open society to create resentment, mistrust and social disorder,” demonstrating that the Russians, “thanks to the Internet…seem to be perfecting these dark arts.” According to Michelle Goldberg of The New York Times, “it looks increasingly as though” Russian disinformation “changed the direction of American history” in the narrowly decided 2016 election, when “Russian trolling easily could have made the difference.”

Jan 01 11:00

Blessed Are The Warmongers

As life on planet Earth enters its recorded year of 2019 the world has only one leader. He is Vladimir Putin, President of Russia. There are in office nowhere in the West any real leaders, only servants of the Oligarchy and vassals of the servants. Donald Trump intended to be otherwise and might yet break out of the orchestrated existence the military/security complex, Democratic Party and presstitute media have created for him.

Putin’s humanity and self-control, has maintained peace despite Washington’s aggression and provocative actions against Russia. It is Putin who has accepted insults that in the past would have resulted in war.

Putin has paid a price for his self-control. He has maintained peace at the expense of his standing in Russia, if a poll published on fort-russ.com is valid. According to the poll, Russians have “a lost sense of belonging to a great power.” https://www.fort-russ.com/2018/12/new-poll-66-of-russians-feel-nostalg...

Jan 01 10:32

‘CAUGHT IN THE ACT OF SPYING’: US CITIZEN DETAINED IN MOSCOW AHEAD OF NEW YEAR’S EVE CELEBRATIONS

An American citizen was apprehended during a “spying action” in Moscow, the Federal Security Service (FSB) said. He is currently being detained on suspicion of espionage.

FSB agents detained a US national named Paul Whelan on Friday during “a spying action,” the agency’s press office told TASS.

Criminal proceedings were launched against the man under Article 276 of the Russian Criminal Code, which covers the crime of espionage.

No details of the suspect’s identity or facts surrounding the operation were immediately disclosed.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said that the US Embassy in Moscow was notified of Whelan’s detention.

News of the American citizen’s arrest comes at a time of heightened tensions between the US and Russia. Washington has accused Moscow of meddling in its domestic affairs and of various spy activities.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I have to wonder if this guy is the "bargaining chip" the Russians want to trade for Maria Butina?!?

Russian woman charged with spying in the US

Dec 31 09:49

Russia to provide tit-for-tat response to placement of US missiles in Europe - Lavrov

Russia will provide a tit-for-tat response in case of placement of US missiles banned by the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty) in Europe, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated in an interview with the Rossiya-1 channel, published on the Russian Foreign Ministry’s website.

"Unfortunately, our European colleagues, whose independence we wish to be reflected in their actions, are not very ready for it and follow the US even when it goes directly against their interests," Lavrov said. "An example: voting against the Russian resolution in support of maintaining the INF treaty."

"We have heard the largest amount of concerns over the US’ unilateral exit from this Treaty in Europe," the minister noted. "However, the entire EU has voted against our offer, that is, basically, in favor of the INF Treaty ceasing to exist and in favor of the recurring threat of placement of US missiles in Europe banned under this Treaty".

Dec 31 09:49

Poroshenko signs law extending Ukraine’s belt of coastal waters to 24 nautical miles

Ukraine’s President Pyotr Poroshenko has signed a law on legal status of the territorial sea extending it to 24 nautical miles, Poroshenko’s press service said on Saturday.

On December 6, Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada (parliament) passed a law on Ukraine’s territorial sea, which extends the coastal waters to 24 nautical miles from 12. The parliament said the law would help strengthen border controls and protection of the littoral area. Besides, the law stipulates that border guards have more authority to inspect fishing boats and to control Ukrainian and foreign commercial and naval ships there.

After the bill was approved on December 8, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova stressed that its norms are unenforceable in the Kerch Strait and the Sea of Azov.

Dec 31 09:45

Putin Tells Trump That Russia Is Open For Dialogue On An "Extensive Agenda"

In the latest attempt by Russia to offer an olive branch to the US, on Sunday Russian President Vladimir Putin told his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump in a New Year letter that Moscow was ready for dialogue on "the most extensive agenda”, the Kremlin said following a series of failed attempts to hold a new summit, most recently in November, when Trump abruptly canceled a planned meeting with Putin on the sidelines of a G20 summit in Argentina, citing tensions about Russian forces opening fire on Ukrainian navy boats and then seizing them.

Trump and Putin also failed to hold a full-fledged meeting in Paris on the sidelines of the centenary commemoration of the Armistice. The two leaders held their one and only summit in Helsinki in July.

Dec 31 09:32

IS A 'LAND SWAP' BETWEEN TURKEY AND SYRIA BEING BROKERED BY RUSSIA?

According to a report by RT: [1] “A high-ranking Turkish delegation arrived in Moscow on Saturday, only a day after international media broke news on Kurdish militias inviting Syrian forces to enter Manbij before the Turks do. Syria’s military proclaimed they ‘raised the flag’ over Manbij, but there have been no independent reports confirming the moving of troops into the city.”

The report notes: “The Saturday Moscow meeting was key to preventing all actors of the Syrian war from locking horns over the Kurdish enclave, Middle East experts believe.”

“Obviously, Turkey will insist that it is their forces that should enter Manbij, Russia will of course insist the city should be handed over to Assad’s forces,” Kirill Semenov, an Islamic studies expert with Russia’s Institute for Innovative Development, told RT.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I have hopes (and prayers) that this can be intelligently accomplished, so there is no more loss of life on any side; and IF Russia has actually brought Turkey and Syria to the bargaining table on this issue, my hat is off to them.

Dec 31 08:52

NATO Partisans Started a New Cold War With Russia

When historians examine the first few decades of the so-called post-Cold War era, they are likely to marvel at the clumsy and provocative policies that the United States and its NATO allies pursued toward Russia. Perceptive historians will conclude that a multitude of insensitive actions by those governments poisoned relations with Moscow, and by the latter years of the Obama administration, led to the onset of a new cold war. During the Trump administration, matters grew even worse, and that cold war threatened to turn hot.

Since the history of our era is still being written, we have an opportunity to avoid such a cataclysmic outcome. However, the behavior of America’s political, policy, and media elites in response to the latest parochial quarrel between Russia and Ukraine regarding the Kerch Strait suggests that they learned nothing from their previous blunders. Worse, they seem determined to intensify an already counterproductive, hardline policy toward Moscow.

Dec 31 08:38

BBC office fails to confirm data from its own publication - Russian diplomat

The British broadcaster BBC’s Moscow office has once again failed to confirm that it filed a complaint with the Russian foreign ministry following publication of the list of its 44 employees, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Sunday.

"On Sunday morning, we contacted the BBC office where we ran into a very strange situation because the office said it could not confirm data from its own publication. We asked to tell us when the complaint was lodged and by whom to, at least, figure out what the whole thing was about. As a result, correspondents from the office, or, to be more precise, not correspondents but office employees, were unable to say when and where the complaint was filed," she said in an interview with the Ekho Moskvy radio station.

According to the Russian diplomat, the office’s employees only "passed the buck to London saying that the entire information originates from there." What is now going on there is paradox and absurd, she stressed.

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