RUSSIA/UKRAINE | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

RUSSIA/UKRAINE

Aug 11 09:44

Moscow’s Sheremetyevo rated world’s best airport; New York’s JFK, one of the worst

The Russian capital's main air hub – Sheremetyevo International Airport – has been voted world’s best in a rating by UK-based luggage service provider Stasher, beating London’s Heathrow, Amsterdam’s Schiphol, and New York’s JFK.

Aug 10 11:34

Russia invents self-destroying satellite to solve burgeoning ‘space junk’ problem

Russia’s Roscosmos space agency has invented a satellite with the ability to destroy itself at the end of its life, offering a solution to the significant problem of space debris.

The materials used in the satellite means it would “evaporate” when it is no longer useful, preventing it from adding to the increasing volume of defunct man-made objects that are floating around in space.

A patent filed with the Federal Service for Intellectual Property (Rospatent) shows that this would involve constructing the satellite out of materials that sublimate, meaning they transition directly from solid to gas without becoming liquid.

This clever construction would allow the satellites to self-decompose when they get a signal from Earth.

Aug 09 16:14

Tokyo ‘ignores reality’ when it puts the Russian Kuril Islands on its 2020 Olympics map – Moscow

Moscow said Tokyo is ignoring the outcome of World War II, after Japan’s official map for its upcoming 2020 Olympic Games marked the Russia-controlled Kuril Islands as its own territory.

From time to time, the Japanese government “is trying to ignore reality, namely, Russia’s unquestionable sovereignty over the Southern Kurils,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Friday. Tokyo has consistently been protesting against “our legitimate activity” on the islands, which doesn’t help bilateral ties, she added.

Zakharova was referring to a map of Japan published on the official website of the 2020 Summer Olympics. It represented not only the five main Japanese islands of Honshu, Kyushu, Shikoku, Hokkaido and Okinawa, but also the Kurils and a group of disputed islands known as Dokdo in Korea and Takeshima in Japan.

The territorial dispute over the Kuril Islands has been poisoning relations between Russia and Japan for several decades.

Aug 09 11:21

Radiation Spike Detected After Russian Rocket Explodes At Testing Facility

A "short-term increase in radiation" was detected in the port city of Severodvinsk at 11:50 a.m., falling back to normal range around 2 p.m. according to the Straits Times, which added that the incident happened in close proximity to shipyards where nuclear submarines are produced.

"During the test of a liquid propellant jet engine, an explosion occurred and the equipment caught fire," said a Russian spokesman. "As a result of the accident, six defence ministry employees and a developer were injured. Two specialists died of their wounds."

The blast occurred in the town of Nyonoksa, about 40km from the port city of Severodvinsk, Interfax reported. The area in Russia's northern Arkhangelsk region is home to a weapons testing range for the navy.

"There's no radioactive contamination," a spokeswoman for the Arkhangelsk region, told AFP. -Straits Times

Aug 09 10:21

The Citadels Of America's Elites: Fractured And At Odds With Each Other

A significant shift is underway in US policy circles, it seems. Luce’s final ‘take’ is that “it is very hard to see what, or who, is going to prevent this great power rivalry from dominating the 21st century”. It is clear that there is indeed now a clear bi-partisan consensus in the US on China. Luce is surely right. But that is far from being the end of it. A collective psychology of belligerence seems to be taking shape, and, as one commentator noted, it has become not just a great-power rivalry, but a rivalry amongst ‘Beltway’ policy wonks to show “who has the bigger dick”.

Aug 09 09:45

US Embassy meddled in Moscow anti-govt unrest by mapping protest locations online – FM

The American diplomatic mission in Russia is meddling in domestic affairs, Moscow claims. The US had posted the locations and routes of recent massive opposition rallies in the capital, which saw scuffles with police and arrests.
The US Embassy had published a map of downtown Moscow that flagged sites where anti-government rallies were about to happen on August 3. The map went public a day before the protests, which led the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to believe that the US mission had known beforehand where the unrest would take place.

Aug 09 07:54

Who Turned off Moscow’s Internet During Recent Protests?

By Maxim Edwards

The situation in Moscow remains tense after renewed protests; thousands have taken to the Russian capital’s streets and squares in recent months to oppose the electoral commission’s refusal to register opposition candidates for local elections this September. The latest demonstration on 3 August saw over 1,000 people detained and police violence towards demonstrators. Over the following week, the Russian authorities launched a money laundering case against opposition politician Alexey Navalny and froze bank accounts associated with his Anti-Corruption Foundation (workplace of several of the most prominent opposition candidates.) The kid gloves are off, if they were ever on to begin with.

There are many indications that this crackdown has reached cyberspace...

Aug 08 11:17

Russian Tu-95 Bombers Shadowed by US Jets During Routine Flight Over Bering Sea - Russian MoD

Earlier North American Aerospace Defense (NORAD) Command said in a statement that four US fighter jets intercepted two Russian Tu-95 bombers flying near Alaska and Canada in international airspace.

Two Russian Tu-95MS strategic bombers carried out on Thursday a 10-hour patrol flight over the neutral waters of the Bering Sea as part of the Ocean Shield-2019 large-scale naval exercise, the Russian Defense Ministry said.

“Two Tu-95MS strategic bombers of the Russian Aerospace Forces, performed flights over the neutral waters of the Bering Sea in the framework of the Ocean Shield-2019 operational exercise,” the ministry said in statement.

Aug 08 11:09

Bolton says sanctions will cut off Maduro financially, warns Russia

U.S. national security adviser John Bolton said on Tuesday that tough new U.S. sanctions against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro would choke off his international financing and warned Russia not to provide Venezuela with further support.

“The time to act is now. The United States is acting assertively to cut off Maduro financially, and accelerate a peaceful democratic transition,” Bolton said in prepared remarks to a conference in Lima, Peru.

“We say again to Russia, and especially to those who control its finances: “Do not double down on a bad bet!”

Aug 08 10:58

PAKISTAN TO DOWNGRADE DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS, SUSPEND BILATERAL TRADE WITH INDIA

SOURCE: RT
Pakistan says it’s going to downgrade diplomatic relations with India and suspend trade with the neighbor state. The move comes after New Delhi revoked the autonomous status of the disputed Kashmir region.
The statement by the Pakistani government vowed that the country will take the Kashmir issue to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

It also said that Prime Minister, Imran Khan, told the Pakistani military to “continue vigilance.”

On Tuesday, India’s lower house of parliament has voted to downgrades the status of Kashmir from a state to a union territory, which will prevent the Muslim-majority region from making its own legislation.

Islamabad also announced that India's envoy to Pakistan, Ajay Bisaria, will be expelled from the country as part of the response measures.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

As I input this, there are already reports of fiercely heavy fighting, in some areas, along the Line of Control; this situation could go from bad to worse, in less than a heartbeat, for the following reasons:

2015: India and US seal nuclear deal as Modi hosts Obama

From March of this year: China backs ‘iron brother’ Pakistan with primary weapons and complex exercises

And from May of this year: Russia's looming arms sale to Pakistan sets up a dangerous game

Unfortunately, it will not take much for a real shooting conflict to take shape between a nuclear-armed Pakistan, and a nuclear-armed India over Kashmir.

And unfortunately, India has been deaf, dumb, and blind, to an early promise by its leadership, to allow the Kashmiris to determine if they want to stay with India, join Pakistan, or become an entity unto itself.

In 2016, the following op ed appeared in the Express Tribune Blog section: When Nehru Promised Kashmir Freedom, why is India still in denial?!?

So now, what we have in this already volatile area, are US "defense assurances" to India, based on Obama's 2015 trip here, countered by Russian and Chinese defense assurances, (and practical actions by the Chinese government and military) to Pakistan.

War with Pakistan, China, and Russia, with the US supporting India against them?!?

Please, Lord, NO!!

Because unless someone sane in the Bowels of Power in governments around the world is "working the phones", and is creating as direct a communication with both countries' leadership as is humanly possibly, and right the hell now, a shooting war, courtesy of the US and India, and also courtesy of Pakistan, Russia, and China, could well be on its way to this already troubled part of the planet.

Russian President Vlad (the NON-Impaler) Putin, and Sergei Lavrov, white courtesy telephone, please!! And yes we know that you, and your weapons developers love selling Russian military gear around the world (as does the US military industrial complex, and its President, love to sell their military hardware).

And President Trump, we know that you met with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan last week; please, let us get both parties on this to "Contain the Rage and Engage", at a meaningful level, so that a true, shooting war does not break out here; it is the absolutely last thing this world needs right now.

President Trump, we both know, that in the Chinese language, the ideogram for "Crisis" and "Opportunity", are one in the same; please see if we can turn this into an opportunity for peaceful engagement, and a furthering of ties recommences between India and Pakistan.

But you will need to convince the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, that promises, once made by its government, need to be fulfilled, and not repudiated.

If there was ever a critical time for a Kashmiri referendum, is right now, Mr. President: and you're welcome.

Aug 08 09:39

AUTHORITIES JAMMED MOSCOW’S MOBILE INTERNET DURING OPPOSITION PROTESTS – NGO

SOURCE: THEMOSCOWTIMES.COM
Russian authorities ordered mobile operators to cut access to mobile data services during last weekend's opposition protests in Moscow, marking the first documented case in Moscow's history, Russia’s Internet Protection Society NGO has said.

Russia's first documented instance of authorities ordering to stifle mobile internet access took place in the country's republic of Ingushetia in October, when thousands gathered against a border deal with neighboring Chechnya. Last Saturday, 1,001 people were detained along Moscow’s central Boulevard Ring during marches in support of opposition candidates rejected from running for city council.

Mobile internet access was restricted in an area of 13 square kilometers in Russia’s capital between 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Aug. 3, the Internet Protection Society said Monday.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

And the US government has never, ever done anything like this, right?!?

And there are no plans to do this here in the US by the US government, right?!? I would like to submit the following article, dated 2013, as a reasonable explanation for what might happen, courtesy of the US government, if it ever feels that it is about to go through a severe lack of public trust, or dealing with a "false flag" which does not go as expected:

The Government’s Secret Plan to Shut Off Cellphones and the Internet, Explained

The article goes on to state:

'The Government’s Secret Plan to Shut Off Cellphones and the Internet, Explained
November 27, 2013
by Dana Liebelson
submit to redditShare304
This post first appeared at Mother Jones.

Update: The Electronic Privacy Information Center reports that the court just granted the government more time to decide whether to release the kill switch plan. It now has until January 13.

Shutterstock.com

This month, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that the Department of Homeland Security must make its plan to shut off the Internet and cellphone communications available to the American public. You, of course, may now be thinking: What plan?! Though President Barack Obama swiftly disapproved of ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak turning off the Internet in his country (to quell widespread civil disobedience) in 2011, the US government has the authority to do the same sort of thing, under a plan that was devised during the George W. Bush administration. Many details of the government’s controversial “kill switch” authority have been classified, such as the conditions under which it can be implemented and how the switch can be used. But thanks to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), DHS has to reveal those details by December 12 — or mount an appeal. (The smart betting is on an appeal, since DHS has fought to release this information so far.) Yet here’s what we do know about the government’s “kill switch” plan:

What is a kill switch? A kill switch refers to the government’s authority to disconnect commercial and private wireless networks — affecting both cellphones and the Internet — in the event of an emergency, such as a viable threat of a terrorist attack.'

And just in case you have decided that you need not worry, because such legislation appears to have gone away, is the following story, dated 2018:

US government still has the kill switch option for the net, and cellular communications

Aug 07 10:02

WATCH Russia’s secretive ‘Okhotnik’ stealth drone during maiden flight

The Russian military has released spectacular footage of its stealthy drone performing her maiden flight. Designed by Sukhoi, the secretive aircraft is said to be able to collect intelligence and to strike enemy targets.

Released on Tuesday, the video opens with ‘Okhotnik’ (Hunter in English) taxiing towards a runway at an undisclosed military airfield. Painted light-gray, the one-engine, 20-ton aircraft then takes off for the skies to perform a series of in-flight tests.

Aug 07 09:54

Russia, Turkey, Iran: Adversaries Of The West's NATO Alliance

Germany's point-blank refusal to support Washington's proposal for a maritime protection force in the Arabian Gulf to protect shipping from attacks by Iran is yet another example of Berlin's diplomatic and economic sabotage of the Western alliance.

Following the recent upsurge in Iranian aggression in the all-important Strait of Hormuz, the Gulf shipping artery through which flows one-fifth of the world's energy needs, Washington has sought international backing for Operation Sentinel, its naval operation to protect shipping in the region.

This search follows a series of Iranian attacks, including the shooting down of a US Navy drone operating in international waters in the Strait of Hormuz, as well as a number of attacks against merchant shipping, such as last month's seizure of the British-registered oil tanker Stena Impero.

Aug 06 10:59

China approves wheat, soy imports from Russia

China has approved wheat imports from the Russian region of Kurgan, the Chinese customs office said on Friday, bringing Russia a step closer to its goal of dramatically increasing grain exports.

It also approved soybean imports from all parts of Russia, the General Administration of Customs said in a separate statement on its website, having all but halted U.S. soy imports as the trade dispute between Beijing and Washington deepened.

China was the top buyer of U.S. soybeans until Beijing slapped a 25% tariff on shipments last year in response to U.S. tariffs on a range of Chinese products.

Aug 06 10:15

The Declining Empire Of Chaos Is Going Nuts Over Iran

The transition in recent years from a unipolar to a multipolar world order has created international tensions that seem to threaten to escalate into clashes between regional and global powers.

Aug 06 10:13

Attack on Iran would be an attack on Russia

Ten days ago, via a document officially approved by the United Nations, the Russian Foreign Ministry advanced a new concept of collective security for the Persian Gulf.

Moscow stresses that “practical work on launching the process of creating a security system in the Persian Gulf” should start with “bilateral and multilateral consultations between interested parties, including countries both within the region and outside of it,” as well as organizations such as the UN Security Council, League of Arab States, Organization of Islamic Cooperation and Gulf Cooperation Council.

The next step should be an international conference on security and cooperation in the Persian Gulf, followed by the establishment of a dedicated organization – certainly not something resembling the incompetent Arab League.

Aug 06 10:11

Russia’s delivery of electronic warfare material to Syria is unstoppable

Russia is following through with the decisions it took after the Russian Il-20 plane was destroyed on 17 September 2018 during a joint British- French – Israeli attack. The Russian Minister for Defense is supplying the Syrian army not just with S-300 (superior system of anti-air defence), but also with all material for electronic warfare. At the same time, the Pentagon is withdrawing its Patriots from several countries in the region. The balance of forces is profoundly modified.

Aug 06 09:09

Moscow Views Blockade of Venezuela's State Assets by the US as Economic Terrorism

On 5 August, US President Donald Trump signed an executive order to block all property and interests of the Venezuelan government in the United States.

Moscow views Washington's freezing of Venezuelan assets as economic terrorism, a statement by the Russian Foreign Ministry says.

Aug 06 09:08

Moscow Summons Japan's Ambassador to Russia Over Kuril Islands-Related Protests by Tokyo

Earlier, Tokyo lodged a protest over Russian military drills in the southern Kuril Islands, saying the exercises ran "counter to our position on these islands."

The Russian Foreign Ministry summoned Japanese Ambassador Toyohisa Kozuki on Tuesday, drawing attention to Japan's 'unacceptable' interference in Russia's internal affairs through its earlier protest to Russia over its activities in the southern Kuril Islands.

"The Russian side emphasised that Tokyo's comments regarding the visits of Russian officials to this part of the Sakhalin region, as well as various activitis carried out there, including of a socio-economic and military nature, border on an attempt to interfere in Russia's internal affairs," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Aug 06 09:04

UK Foreign Secretary Raab Vows to ‘Build a Stronger Alliance’ Against Russia, Iran After Brexit

Earlier, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who entered office last month after Cabinet reshuffle initiated by incoming Prime Minister Boris Johnson, confirmed that the UK will be ready to leave the EU with or without a deal on 31 October.

The UK’s new Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has announced London’s plans to “fire up economic relationships with non-European partners” and create a new alliance to confront Iran and Russia after his country’s withdrawal from the EU.

“That means working with them now to ensure a smooth transition of our trading arrangements after Brexit and means quickly moving to wide-ranging trade deals that boost business, lower prices for consumers and respect our high standards,” Raab told a London news conference on Monday ahead of his working visit to North America.

Aug 06 09:03

US Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman submits resignation

US Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman is resigning from his post effective October 3 and returning home to Utah, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. Huntsman has been ambassador since 2017.

The former Utah governor reportedly plans to attempt another gubernatorial run.

Aug 06 08:16

Putin: US quitting INF created ‘fundamental’ risks for all, paved way to ‘unrestrained’ arms race

Russia won’t be the first to deploy INF-banned munitions and will act only in response to potential US actions, President Vladimir Putin has said, warning that the US decision to withdraw risks an “unrestricted” arms race.

“The unilateral withdrawal from the INF treaty by the US, destruction of one of the basic documents on arms control, based on an imaginary pretext, has seriously complicated the situation in the world, [and] created fundamental risks for everyone,” Putin cautioned on Monday.

Aug 05 10:31

US Imposes New Sanctions on Russia Over March 2018 Skripal Poisoning

The White House has announced that President Trump has imposed a new round of sanctions against Russia on Friday. The sanctions are nominally about the March 2018 Skripal poisoning in Britain, which the US has already issued sanctions over.

According to spokesman Hogan Gidley, the new sanctions are being imposed because of the last round of sanctions. In the previous sanctions the US demanded Russia offer them assurances that they’d stop poisoning people.

Russia never made any such assurances, since they denied poisoning Skripal in the first place. But not admitting guilt and offering the US promises, the US felt the need to impose another round of sanctions, which are probably going to set the stage for more future sanctions for the same reason.

Aug 05 10:18

Fears of 'Chernobyl on ice' as Russia prepares floating nuclear plant

“I feel like I’m one of the first cosmonauts going into space,” said Vladimir Irminku, one of the chief engineers of the Akademik Lomonosov, as he stood on the deck of the giant, box-like platform on a chilly summer morning at Kola Bay in the Barents Sea.

Russia is planning to dispatch the vessel, its first floating nuclear power station, on a 4,000-mile journey along the Northern Sea Route, in a milestone for the country’s growing use of nuclear power in its plans for Arctic expansion.

If all goes to plan, the Akademik Lomonosov will be towed to the Arctic port of Pevek this month, where it will use its twin nuclear reactors to provide heat and energy to homes and support mining and drilling operations in Russia’s mineral-rich Chukotka region.

Aug 05 10:15

A $32mn nothingburger: Justice Dept bill comes due for Russiagate costs

Nearly two years of fruitlessly hunting for collusion between US President Donald Trump’s campaign and the Russian government cost the country $31.7 million, the Justice Department has revealed.

The cost of special counsel Robert Mueller’s 22-month probe was released in a Justice Department accounting report on Friday. While the last six months of the investigation, which concluded in May with Mueller’s resignation, cost “only” $6.5 million as he began sending prosecutors home and writing up the 448-page report, turning the full force of the country’s investigative apparatus against a president and his campaign isn’t cheap. From May 2017 to September 2018, the special counsel’s office spent $25 million digging for Russian infiltrators in the White House.

Aug 05 08:34

US seeks to deny Russia imports & intl loans with new round of Skripal-inspired sanctions

The US has announced a second round of financial sanctions on Moscow based on claims that Russian intelligence operatives attempted to assassinate former double-agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia last year in London using the banned and extremely deadly poison Novichok.

The sanctions prohibit US banks from some types of participation in the Russian sovereign debt market and impose export licensing restrictions on goods controlled by the Department of Commerce. The US will also oppose loans and assistance to Russia by international financial institutions.

Moscow doubts the sanctions have anything to do with the Skripal affair or bilateral ties at all, instead suggesting they are political theater stemming from the 2020 presidential campaign and an effort to pander to incoming British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Aug 05 06:57

ERDOGAN PUBLICLY ANNOUNCES TURKEY INVASION EAST OF THE EUPHRATES

SOURCE: MIDDLE EAST MONITOR
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has publicly announced the decision to launch a long-awaited military operation in Syria, east of the Euphrates River, and said that the United States (US) and Russia have been warned and provided with the information necessary.

Speaking at an inauguration ceremony in the north-western city of Bursa yesterday, Erdogan stated that “We entered Afrin, Jarabulus, and Al-Bab, and now we’re going to enter east of the Euphrates,” adding that “We shared this with the US and Russia.”

The military operation has been highly speculated on in recent weeks following talks between Turkish military figures such as Minister of Defence Hulusi Akar and US Envoy to Syria James Jeffreys regarding a proposed safe zone in northern Syria. At the start of the talks in July, Turkey warned that it would conduct the operation if an agreement was not reached for the establishment of the zone.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

My big question here is, what will Russia do, if this incursion goes ahead, as planned?!?

There had to be some kind of quid pro quo, at least with Russia, for them to allow this Turkish military operation to move forward; I am having a hard time believing that Russia would go along with this, without getting something back for Al Assad, but only time will reveal what that was.

Aug 03 11:11

How Can Russia Undermine US Plans for Iran?

Russia hasn’t ruled out the possibility of joining Instex, while participants are considering including oil in this European mechanism for trade with Iran. Sputnik has discussed the future of Instex with Nazanin Armanian, an Iranian political scientist and author based in Spain.

Aug 03 10:26

Hybrid War On Russia Keeps Rolling On

The latest demonstrations in Moscow are part of a crude hybrid war US strategy against Russia. But Russia is not easily pliable Brazil. Russians on the scene, sent me their impressions. Example: "It was a farce. Incidents were created right before my eyes with one eye on the newsreels and the other on the police to be sure they were being filmed. There was nothing spontaneous. One demonstrator struck the police and then the cameras were turned on. This happened all over."

Crude hybrid war will be back. And sanctions remain. The ultimate target of sanctions - a neocon wet dream - would be to undermine the government of Russia for good, and replace it with a new Yeltsin mob to restart mass looting. You'll never read this in the WSJ or the FT, of course. The ultimate objective would be to break up Russia into twenty countries, as the Baltic states, and then loot one after another.

Aug 03 10:01

‘Leningrad Lindsey’: Russia-baiting senator gets taste of own medicine as xenophobic hashtag trends

A trending Twitter hashtag, created to shame Lindsey Graham for his alleged un-American ways, has brought Russia-baiting full circle, with the senator now on the receiving end of the mass paranoia he helped foment.

#LeningradLindsey began trending after the South Carolina lawmaker helped push a controversial asylum bill through the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday. The hashtag, featuring the Soviet-era name of Russia’s St. Petersburg, has been used by critics accusing Graham of unbecoming conduct. This is after he waived protocol to help ensure the legislation would pass committee and receive a vote in the Senate. His alleged foul play apparently makes him Russian (or Soviet)… or so the logic goes.

Aug 03 09:49

Additional US Sanctions Against Russia Negatively Impact Bilateral Ties – Finance Minister

US President Donald Trump has approved a second round of sanctions against Russia over the alleged poisoning of former intelligence officer Sergei Skripal in Salisbury in 2018 under the US Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act.

The US decision to introduce additional restrictive measures against Russia is harmful to the bilateral ties between Moscow and Washington, according to Russia's Minister of Finance and First Deputy Prime Minister Anton Siluanov. Siluanov told journalists that the Russian economy has proven to be resilient in the face of external restrictions.

Aug 02 11:08

Houthi Attacks in South Yemen Kill at Least 51, Saudis Blame Iran

Attacks by the Shi’ite Houthi movement against pro-Saudi and pro-UAE targets in southern Yemen have killed at least 51 people, most of them military forces loyal to the UAE, and a high-ranking UAE official.

The largest incident was a missile fired by the Houthis, which hit a military parade in the southern capital of Aden. The casualties included a number of military commanders, and parading fighters.

Despite drone and missile attacks being launched by the Houthis, and the Houthis being very clear about that fact, Saudi Arabia wasn’t going to miss a chance to use anything bad happening to blame Iran.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

What are the Saudis going to do, blame their own Butcher of Yemen, Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and the US government and military for these deaths?!?

The Saudi government may well feel that they are getting very close to some actionable traction on their mantra, "Something needs to be done to Iran to teach it a Lesson!!"

That being said, however, I would very much like the "Adults in the Room", in Riyadh, Tel Aviv, and DC, to consider the following statement, made late June of this year by a top Russian official:

Iran ‘Won’t Be Alone’ If U.S. Attacks, Russian Official Says

The article goes on to state:

"“Iran will withstand this type of fight and Iran is not alone,” Zamir Kabulov, the Foreign Ministry’s special envoy for Asian countries including Iran, said at a Russian-Iranian policy forum in Moscow."

I would gently, and politely, suggest that the rest of the world take Russia at its word; Russian government officials hardly fart, without Putin's permission, so when a policy commitment like this is stated, Putin means it.

And who, please, was the ignoble, brainless miscreant of a leader, who thought that a military parade in a country that has been occupied, but not completely controlled, was a "swell idea"?!?

Since I don't believe in capital punishment (largely, because of how badly the chain of evidence is handled in the US, leading to unjust convictions), were I high up in the Saudi and/or UAE governments, I would have this guy shoveling camel excrement, for the rest of his miserable life!!

Aug 02 11:00

Trump Inks Order to Introduce Additional Sanctions on Russia Over 'Skripal Case'

US President Donald Trump has signed an executive order introducing a second round of sanctions against Russia in relation to the poisoning of former intelligence officer Sergei Skripal in the United Kingdom in 2018, which Moscow has denied, Politico reported on Friday, citing two US officials.

The first round of sanctions, imposed under the 1991 Chemical and Biological Weapons and Warfare Elimination Act, went into effect on 27 August 2018. Washington claims that Moscow has violated the norms stipulated by the legislation.

On Monday, US Congressmen Eliot Engel and Michael McCaul wrote in a letter to Trump that new economic sanctions must be imposed on Russia in retaliation for the poisoning of Skripal.

Aug 02 10:41

Survey: Both West and East Germans want rapprochement with Russia 

According to the German daily newspaper Der Tagesspiegel, a new survey has revealed that the majority of Germans want relations with Russia to normalize.

A recent survey has suggested that about 72 percent of German’s living in the East of the country and 54 percent of West Germans wish for a new rapprochement with Moscow, according to data gathered by the Tagesspiegel.

Aug 01 10:55

Russia Ignores Neocon Regime-Change Losers, Plans Major Investments in Venezuela

Venezuela has faded from the news since Guaido's [read: the US'] failed coup.

But although Venezuela is out of the limelight, Russia has not forgotten her ally...

Aug 01 10:54

GAME CHANGER: WHAT’S BEHIND US-TURKISH CONFLICT OVER S-400 DEAL

According to the Turkish National Defense Ministry, receipt of the first batch of Russian S-400 missile defense systems was completed on July 25th. Besides making headlines all around the world and causing a harsh response from the US, the delivery demonstrated Turkey’s readiness to provide independent defense and foreign policies in its own interests despite all the difficulties that it may face on this path.

The Russian S-400 missile defense system, according to Stratfor, is the “best all-around.” It is approximately 30 years in the making, as development began in the late 1980s, and it was officially announced in 1993.

Aug 01 08:47

NORTH KOREAN MISSILE TEST: OBSERVERS SCRAMBLE TO IDENTIFY MYSTERY WEAPONS THAT MAY BE MODELED ON RUSSIAN TECHNOLOGY

North Korea conducted a fresh short-range missile tests on Wednesday, its second such launch in less than a week as Pyongyang tries to exert pressure on Washington and Seoul before major military exercises commence and nuclear talks resume.

Two short-range ballistic missiles of an unknown type were fired from a site close to the eastern city of Wonsan, where such tests are often conducted.

South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said the projectiles flew around 155 miles at a maximum altitude of 19 miles before landing off the country's east coast, The Associated Press reported.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Oh yes, another excuse to demonize the Russians!

Aug 01 08:30

As Tensions Flare Between US & Iran, More Oil Tankers Are 'Going Dark' In The Strait Of Hormuz

Given the rising tension in the Strait of Hormuz, and the mysterious spate of seemingly random attacks on tankers that some have blamed on Iran, it's no surprise that more captains transporting shipments of crude and LNG through one of the busiest corridors for the global energy trade feel the need to keep a low profile, according to Bloomberg.

Which is apparently why more ships are turning off their transponders - "going dark", in industry jargon - a technique that is typically used by smugglers and those hoping to avoid American sanctions.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It will only be a matter of time before the US interdicts one of these ships, and claims that it was carrying Iranian oil, and that they went dark to evade the sanctions.

I would like those preciously few "adults in the bowels of DC", to be very careful about what the US does, in such a circumstance, given that Russia has promised that should Iran be attacked, Russia will come to its aid.
Iran ‘Won’t Be Alone’ If U.S. Attacks, Russian Official Says

The article went on to state: "“Iran will withstand this type of fight and Iran is not alone,” Zamir Kabulov, the Foreign Ministry’s special envoy for Asian countries including Iran, said at a Russian-Iranian policy forum in Moscow.

When asked if Russia was ready to provide material support to Iran if the U.S. attacks it, Kabulov said that “specific actions are a question for the Russian president.”

Folks, the US government is playing with fire, if they have swallowed their own moonshine Koolade, about the superiority of US weapons over those of Russia or China; the capabilities of US weapons is still, unfortunately, very much lagging behind those of their Russian and Chinese counterparts.

The more President Trump presses his sanctions, the more unpredictable the responses from Iran may become.

There are two "toys" not currently in this President's toy arsenal, and those "toys" are "caution" and "restraint."

I would like to hope that someone in this administration is willing mention them to the President.

Jul 31 12:06

US-Russian New START Treaty Unlikely to Be Extended - Bolton

The New START treaty was signed in 2010 and is currently the only Russia-US arms control treaty.

The treaty expires in 2021 and the administration of US President Donald Trump reportedly remains undecided on whether to extend it, while Russia has repeatedly stressed that it is ready for dialogue.

The agreement limits the number of deployed intercontinental ballistic missiles, submarine-launched ballistic missiles, nuclear-armed bombers and nuclear warheads.

Jul 31 12:06

Ukraine arrests Russian tanker it stopped & searched last week

Kiev has sanctioned the arrest of a Russian-flagged tanker that had already been arrested by Ukraine’s Security Service last week, for allegedly blocking its ships in the Kerch Strait back in 2018.

Ukrainian judges have approved seizing the ‘Nika Spirit’ (also known as the ‘Neyma’), as well as its logbooks and other documents, Anatoly Matios, Ukraine’s chief military prosecutor, announced in a Facebook post.

Jul 31 12:04

UK Fighters Scramble to Intercept Russian Military Air Transport Near Estonia

UK fighter jets based in Estonia were scrambled over the weekend to intercept a Russian IL-76 military transport plane flying close to the Baltic nation’s airspace, the UK Defense Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

“We continued to escort the transport aircraft as it transited in a north direction, away from Estonian airspace”, a Typhoon pilot from the squadron involved was quoted as saying in the statement.

The ministry said this was a routine mission for Typhoon fighters from the Amari Air Base, meant to provide “reassurance that the UK is here to work in partnership with Estonia.”

Jul 30 09:33

Johnstone: What Progressives Hopefully Learned From Russiagate

The Robert Mueller hearing on Tuesday was widely regarded as a humiliating disaster, not just by critics of the establishment Russia narrative, but by mainstream Democratic pundits. We haven’t seen a US official look so befuddled and disorganized during a congressional hearing since that time John McCain started babbling gibberish at James Comey, and he had a tumor eating his brain.

Jul 30 09:32

Iran, Russia Planning Joint Naval Drill In Contested Gulf Waters

Russia and Iran are planning a joint naval exercise scheduled within the next year, commander of Iran's Navy Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi announced Monday, according to state media. Semi-official Fars has reported it will take place by March 2020 in the Indian Ocean, and will be staged as far north as the strategic and increasingly tense Strait of Hormuz.

“A coordination meeting will be held between the two sides in this regard,” he said while on a three day visit to Russia. “When we speak of the Indian Ocean, perhaps the most important part of which is the northern region where it’s linked to the Sea of Oman, the Strait of Hormuz and also the Persian Gulf,” Khanzadi said from Saint Petersburg.

Jul 30 08:07

There’s No Real Reason To Sanction Russia Anymore

Other than just hating Russia because it’s, well, run by super Bond villain Vlad Putin, there is no reason to sanction Russia anymore.

Market rumors of Senate hawks like Marco Rubio hitting Russian government and quasi-sovereign bonds with sanctions have been around ever since Trump took the oath of office. But now that the Special Counsel investigation is over and the only thing Robert Mueller could find involving Russians that was worth punishing were these 13 “troll farms” that had no impact on the election outcome, and whose participants will never see a U.S. court or prison, Russia, for Wall Street anyway, has been exonerated.

The Mueller testimony was—as one hedge fund manger put it—a total face plant for the Democrats and anyone looking to link Trump to a villainous Russia. This story is officially over as a market mover.

Jul 26 08:32

Russian space agency Roscosmos to initiate talks on banning anti-satellite weapon tests

Russia’s state space corporation plans to initiate international negotiations on banning full-scale tests of anti-satellite weapons, Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin said on Friday.

Roscosmos plans to initiate such talks “with the aim of banning full-scale anti-satellite weapon tests held by way of destroying spacecraft and littering low orbits,” Rogozin said in Korolyov, Moscow Region. He said he was concerned about these tests as satellite fragments “may destroy the station,” TASS reports.

Jul 25 09:09

Young cancer victim’s idea for kindness lives on as people leave coins for needy at bus stops

Some 49 cities in Russia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine have joined a flash mob in memory of a 10-year-old girl who died of cancer. They left coins stuck to notes at bus stops for those who don’t have money to get home.

Sonya Rybina succumbed to cancer in January. She wasn’t thinking about herself in her final months, however, and instead was focused on others who find themselves in difficult situations.

Sonya’s idea of leaving coins for the needy at bus stops and train stations was shared by a St. Petersburg charity on social media, and it touched the hearts of many people.

Notes containing messages with loose change attached have since been popping up in many cities and towns, just as the little girl had envisaged.

Jul 25 06:52

Russia Urges "Independence" From "Imposed World Order" Of US Financial System

Following Russia signalling last week, its willingness to join the controversial payments channel Instex - designed to circumvent both SWIFT as well as US sanctions banning trade with Iran - new statements from Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov called on the international community to free itself from a purely US-controlled international financial system and US dollar dominance.

"We must protect ourselves from political abuses made with the help of the US dollar and the American banking system," he said while addressing a ministerial meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement held in Venezuela, according to TASS. "We must turn our dependence in this sphere into independence," he added.

"Let us be multipolar in the spheres of finance and currency," he said.

Jul 23 11:18

South Korea claims ‘warning shots’ fired after Russian military aircraft ‘violated airspace’

The Republic of Korea's Air Force fired warning shots after Russian military aircraft allegedly violated the country's airspace twice on Tuesday, Yonhap news agency reports, citing officers from the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
South Korean F-15K and KF-16 fighter jets were scrambled after two Chinese and three Russian aircraft approached the ROK air defense identification zone (KADIZ) over the Sea of Japan on Tuesday morning, the JCS said.

While the Chinese only entered KADIZ, one of the Russian aircraft allegedly flew too close to the islets of Dokdo and actually breached the S. Korean airspace twice for about three minutes, forcing the South Korean forces to fire “warning shots.”

Jul 23 11:16

S. Korean pilots ‘acted unprofessionally’, Russian bombers did not violate airspace – Moscow

The Russian Defense Ministry accused South Korean pilots of acting “unprofessionally” while dangerously crossing the path of Russian bombers, which were on a routine mission over “international waters.”

Two Russian Air Force Tu-95MS bombers were flying over the Sea of Japan when they encountered a pair of South Korean F-15 and F-16 fighter jets. The respective planes “performed unprofessional maneuvers while crossing the course of the bombers, thus putting their safety at risk,” the Russian MoD said in a statement. The fighters also did not attempt to communicate with the Russian crews.

Earlier in the day, Seoul’s Joint Chiefs of Staff committee claimed their jets were scrambled to intercept the intruding Russian aircraft which violated South Korean airspace twice. Moscow insists the encounter took place over 25km from the isles of Dokdo (known as Takeshima in Japan), and that they recorded no violation of aerial borders by Russian planes.

Jul 23 11:08

Army training, weapons money aimed at countering Russia in North Macedonia

As North Macedonia inches closer to joining NATO, the U.S. Army is already training with their military in a large-scale exercise known as Decisive Strike.

Soldiers with the 56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 28th Infantry Division were part of a two-month exercise at Krivolak Military Training Centre in Krivolak, North Macedonia, according to an Army release.

The partner forces saw urban training, live fires, special reconnaissance missions and simulated medical evacuations, according to the release.

Jul 23 11:06

Russian Duma speaks in favor of restarting inter-parliamentary dialogue with Ukraine

Russian lawmaker Leonid Slutsky said that establishing inter-parliamentary dialogue with the Verkhovna Rada will help put an end to antagonisms in relations between Moscow and Kiev

Jul 23 11:06

Tsarev: Ukrainian Nazis Expect “The Night Of Long Knives”

Tsarev notes that Zelensky is not going to share his power with anyone, including with the Ukrainian Nazis. The former parliamentarian does not exclude that in the near future the radicals are waiting for the “night of long knives.”

Jul 23 09:51

Russia-China joint bomber patrol meets Japanese & S. Korean fighters, but missions will go on

Russian and Chinese strategic bombers have flown their first mission together over the Sea of Japan and the East China Sea. Tokyo and Seoul are up in arms, but Moscow points out it's all within international rules and regulations.

Two Russian Tu-95ms and two Chinese Xian H-6 bombers patrolled a pre-planned route above the Sea of Japan and the East China Sea, “strictly in accordance with international law,” the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement.

Seoul claims the bombers breached its air defense identification zone (KADIZ), but Moscow insists this designation is not supported by any international rules and that no third country's airspace was violated.

Jul 22 18:10

India to buy Russian rocket engines for its space program

New Delhi has plans to purchase rocket engines from Moscow for its growing national space program, Russia’s deputy prime minister said. The announcement follows the successful launch of a new Indian expedition to the Moon.

Jul 22 15:46

Russia alarmed by large fall in bee populations

Large areas of central and southern Russia have seen a major decline in their bee populations in recent months.

The head of the Russian beekeepers' union, Arnold Butov, said 20 regions had reported mass bee deaths.

The affected regions include Bryansk and Kursk, south of Moscow, and Saratov and Ulyanovsk on the Volga River.

Mr Butov, quoted by Russian media, said the crisis might mean 20% less honey being harvested. Some officials blamed poorly regulated pesticide use.

Jul 22 15:37

Nice try, wrong missile: US botches propaganda video accusing Russia of INF violation

The US mission to NATO sought to blame Russia for the expiration of an arms control treaty by posting a Twitter cartoon claiming Moscow had developed a forbidden missile – but didn’t help its own argument by showing the wrong one.

In a surprisingly poor-quality video, narrated by a female AI voice, the US accused Russia of developing a missile that was banned under the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, and said there was still time for Moscow to “come back into full and verifiable compliance” before the deal expires on August 2.

Not only is this not true, but the missile system shown in the cartoon was the perfectly legal and completely different Iskander-M.

Jul 22 09:56

“Try The ‘Croatian Scenario’, Just Shoot The Russians And Then Throw Them Into The Cauldrons”, Kiev Politicians Call On Ukraine To Take “Decisive Action”

“The Ukrainian side should stop talking about the fact that Donbass cannot be taken by force,” said the former employee of the Center for Operational and Strategic Research of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the director of the Institute for Foreign Policy Studies, an international expert on conflict studies, Mr. Perepelitsa.

Jul 21 11:44

Turkey considering ‘alternatives’ to US fighter jet amid Russian offer

A defiant Turkey said it was considering “alternatives” to US fighter jets, including Russian models or making its own, a day after Washington suspended it from a programme to build and deploy advanced warplanes.

The US punished Turkey for its purchase of a Russian air defence system by pushing it out of a long-term programme to upgrade Nato forces with F-35 advanced fighter jets.

The Kremlin quickly attempted to exploit the disagreement, which has already drawn Ankara closer to Moscow, offering to sell Turkey Russian fighter planes.

Ismail Demir, head of Turkey’s defence industries, responded that “all kinds of options are on the table,” according to the official Anadolu news agency.

“Turkey will continue to evaluate alternatives,” he said.

Jul 21 10:33

HACKERS BREACH FSB CONTRACTOR, EXPOSE TOR DEANONYMIZATION PROJECT AND MORE

SOURCE: ZDNET.COM
Hackers have breached SyTech, a contractor for FSB, Russia's national intelligence service, from where they stole information about internal projects the company was working on behalf of the agency -- including one for deanonymizing Tor traffic.

The breach took place last weekend, on July 13, when a group of hackers going by the name of 0v1ru$ hacked into SyTech's Active Directory server from where they gained access to the company's entire IT network, including a JIRA instance.

Hackers stole 7.5TB of data from the contractor's network, and they defaced the company's website with a "yoba face," an emoji popular with Russian users that stands for "trolling."

Hackers posted screenshots of the company's servers on Twitter and later shared the stolen data with Digital Revolution, another hacking group who last year breached Quantum, another FSB contractor.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The larger question is, to what country is this hacker's group going to sell or share this data?!?

Jul 21 10:24

US TO LAUNCH PLAN FOR 'FREE PASSAGE' OF SHIPS IN IRAN'S WATERWAY

SOURCE: ALJAZEERA.COM

Aspen, Colorado - The United States is concerned that a "miscalculation" by Iran could cause an "unintended conflict" in the Gulf, as it prepares to launch a new surveillance and intelligence initiative with its allies to ensure "free and open passage" for ships.

"We are starting a concept called Sentinel in which we will have a series of countries engaged to preserve the free and open passage of commerce in the Strait of Hormuz and in the Persian Gulf," US Under Secretary of Defense for Policy John Rood said at the Aspen Security Forum on Saturday.

The US has had discussions with NATO allies, some "partners in the Gulf" and others to join the effort to keep the "vital waterway" open, said Rood, adding that the new operation would "come into being over the coming days and weeks".

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Please excuse me, US Under Secretary of Defense for Policy John Rood; but which of our "partners" have stepped forward to create "a coalition of the willing" here?!?

Back in May of this year, Europe told the US to "count them out" as tensions between the US and Iran started to simmer.

War With Iran? Count Us Out, Europe Says

Apparently, you "did not get the memo", from a story breaking just this last Friday, about the US's allies not wanting to create a naval force against Iran, because it might well worsen tensions: Allies resist US call for anti-Iran naval force, fearing it would worsen tensions.

And just one day ago, we had the following story break: A War with Iran Would Wreck the American Energy Market.

The Trump administration needs to do some serious soul-searching as it relates to how it thinks about energy as a whole.
by Connor Sutherland

What seems to be happening here, is that the US has become pathologically incapable, in large part due to Israel's continued (false) accusations of Iran being an existential threat, rather than an economic threat, of making credible, sensible long-term commitments to the energy sector of its economy.

And unless, and until that happens, President Trump is very contentedly putting the US on the keening edge of a war against Iran.

I mean, whatever Israel wants, Israel gets, right, Mr. President?!?

Even if this means a war with Russia, right, Mr. President?!?

And I do not know if any of your aides told you this, but back last month, toward the end of June, a top Russian diplomat made the following statement.
Iran ‘Won’t Be Alone’ If U.S. Attacks, Russian Official Says

The guy's name, just in case no one happened to mention it, is Zamir Kabulov, the Foreign Ministry’s special envoy for Asian countries including Iran, and he said this, at a Russian-Iranian policy forum in Moscow.

You're welcome, Mr. President.

And please, for the zillionth time: the US military does not have the weaponry; the troop strength; the manufacturing, or the money, to create a positive outcome to a war against Iran.

You need some people around you, who do not say, "Yes, Mr. President" when you happen, or any of your advisors, like Bolton, or Pompeo, go off half-cocked, in declaring which countries we are going to fight next, or decide that a war against this or that entity, would be "a good thing", because you have been prevailed upon to not think of the costs of war, even if the US does prevail, which, in most cases, would be both difficult and financially costly, to a nation already drowning in $+/- 23 trillion in debt.

Mr. President, you really need some people around you who will tell you the dark, ugly truth about new potential wars in the Middle East and beyond; and I will guarantee you, that two of those people are NOT your "BFFs in the Middle East, Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, the Butcher of Yemen or Israel's Netanyahu, the Butcher of Gaza, who desperately needs to distract Israel's voters from the corruption charges via a massive US/Saudi invasion of Iran,due to a snap election in September.

I would politely suggest, that you need to contact some Veterans, who have participated in the US wars against Afghanistan, and Iraq; And sir, what I am thinking, is that you will better be able to separate "the grain from the chaff", after these private, one-on- one conversations are held.

And again, you are welcome. Mr. President.

Jul 20 19:23

‘Something fishy here’: Putin doesn’t believe UK poisoned Skripals

Russian President Vladimir Putin doesn’t believe in conspiracy theories that say the British government poisoned former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury.

The Skripal affair, which turned relations between the UK and Russia from bad to worse, was brought up by filmmaker Oliver Stone during an interview with Vladimir Putin. Stone asked the Russian leader if he believes in the theory that Sergei Skripal wanted to return to Russia and divulge some secrets but was stopped by the British government.

“Honestly, I don’t really believe it. I don’t believe it,” Putin replied.

The Russian president said if British intelligence wanted Skripal poisoned, they certainly had the ability to do so. "There is something fishy here," he noted, alleging that whoever was behind the attempted murder was more interested in the "scandal" that it triggered.

Jul 20 19:17

Russia's Spy Agency Hit In Massive Hack; 7.5 TB Of Data Stolen In 'Largest Data Breach In History'

Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB, formerly the KGB) was hit by a massive hack - after 7.5 terabytes of data was extracted from a major contractor.

The breach exposed several secret FSB projects, including efforts to de-anonymize the Tor browser, scrape social media, and help Russia to sever its internet from the rest of the world, according to Forbes.

Jul 19 12:23

Russia’s Rostec says ready to sell Su-35 fighters to Turkey

Russia is ready to discuss supplying Su-35 fighter jets to Turkey, the head of the state-owned Rostec corporation said in a statement yesterday.

“If our Turkish colleagues express a desire, we are ready to work out deliveries of Su-35 fighter jets,” Sergei Chemezov said, according to the statement.

He added that Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov had told the Intrafax news agency that there is a possibility for Moscow and Ankara to begin negotiations over the sale of Russian fighter jets.

This comes after Washington said on Wednesday that Ankara’s decision to purchase Russian S-400 missile defence systems “renders its continued involvement with the F-35 impossible”.

“Our military-to-military relationship is strong, and we will continue to cooperate with Turkey extensively, mindful of constraints due to the presence of the S-400 system in Turkey,” the US press secretary added.

Jul 19 09:50

Ukraine’s president says he backs prisoner swap with Russia

Ukraine’s president on Friday outlined the details of an impending prisoner swap with Russia, saying that Kiev is willing to release a jailed Russian journalist in exchange for a Ukrainian film director.

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s statement comes at the end of the week of shuttle diplomacy, with the Russian and Ukrainian human rights ombudswomen holding talks both in Moscow and in Kiev. The flurry of activity around imprisoned Russians and Ukrainians follows last week’s first telephone call between Zelenskiy and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Jul 18 11:25

Pentagon Confirms Removing Turkey From F-35 Fighter Jet Program

Pentagon officials confirmed on Wednesday that Turkey has been removed from the F-35 fighter jet program, despite President Trump complaining about how “unfair” it was to America to have to do so just the day before.

US law established a mechanism for punishing other nations who buy weapons from Russia, and threatened Turkey time and against for buying the S-400. Turkey began taking delivery of the S-400, and that set the US move to ban them from accessing the F-35 jets.

Trump didn’t like this, because the F-35 isn’t exactly flying off the shelves and Turkey was a potential customer. Undersecretary of Defense Ellen Lord argued that all the nations partnered on the F-35 are “aligned in this decision to suspend Turkey.”

Jul 18 10:38

INSIDE LOOK AT CLASSIFIED ELEMENTS OF RUSSIAN TASK FORCES’ TRAINING

This is a very interesting video released by a retired officer of Russian special forces known under the nickname “Razvedos”. He does have a video blog on YouTube in Russian (LINK). In his video blog, he being a high professional provides overviews and analysis of various equipment, and methods and tactics of modern warfare.

The video above was released by Razvedos in Russian on July 13, 2019. The video demonstrates fragments of the training methods and training elements of Russian task forces.

Jul 18 09:25

China to boost imports of Russian soybeans, cutting out US crop exports

China’s Commerce Ministry said on Thursday that Beijing and Moscow are discussing ways to increase bilateral trade, particularly by increasing imports of Russian soybeans and other agricultural products.

Commerce Minister Zhong Shan met with Russian Minister for Economic Development Maxim Oreshkin this week. They agreed to “deepen trade in soybeans” as China looks to diversify supplies away from the United States.

Jul 17 22:10

Flashback: Boris Johnson compares Russia’s World Cup to Hitler’s Olympics

Is this guy really suitable for PM...

Jul 17 09:04

Mueller, Dems Scramble as Russiagate Falls Apart

by Ray McGovern Posted on July 17, 2019

Friday’s surprising report that Robert Mueller had successfully sought an extra week to prepare for his House testimony on Russiagate (now set for July 24) must have come as scary news to those of his fans who can put two and two together. Over the past few weeks, it has become clearer that each of the two frayed findings of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election has now come apart at the seams.

How to Avoid Eating Crow

As the truth seeps out, there will be plenty of crow to go around. To avoid eating it, the Democrats on the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees, the stenographers who pass for journalists at the Times and Post, and the “Mueller team” will need all the time they can muster to come up with imaginative responses to two recent bombshell revelations from the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

These revelations are also going to hit hard, against current Democratic contenders for the white House.

Jul 17 08:54

US, Iran Send Conflicting Signals on Possible Missile Talks

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has claimed that Iran has signaled a willingness to negotiate on the matter of ballistic missiles. Other US officials aren’t so sure, and Iranian officials are also telling conflicting stories on the matter.

“Iran’s missiles are absolutely and under no condition negotiable with anyone or any country,” insisted Alireza Miryousefi, the spokesman for Iran’s UN Mission. That is certainly the position Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has long taken.

Yet Pompeo’s belief that talks are possible didn’t come out of thin air. Rather, Foreign Minister Javad Zarif suggested in the US was willing to cut off arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, Iran’s missiles might also be up for negotiation.

That’s probably a non-starter,with President Trump so obsessed with growing arms sales, but does point to a grand bargain potentially being on the table, if both sides want it. The problem is, neither side is being very clear if they want it or not.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Any possibility of a real deal, will most likely be scotched by Pompeo and Bolton, who both would rather see the US at war with Iran for Israel, than any move toward accommodation and threat-reduction.

And there is is something both gentlemen are really good at not seeing; this is The "Russian Option", and made very clear through the announcement of one top Russian official a couple of weeks ago: Zamir Kabulov: the Foreign Ministry’s special envoy for Asian countries including Iran, has said that Iran will not be alone, if the US attacks it.

Jul 17 08:35

India Says It's Working with Russia on De-Dollarisation of Bilateral Trade

New Delhi (Sputnik): India says it is working with Russia to overcome payment issues for its strategic imports from that country. Deputy National Security Advisor of India, Ambassador Pankaj Saran said both sides are working on rupee-rouble trade to overcome a crisis caused by US financial sanctions.

Addressing the Second India-Russia Strategic Economic Dialogue in New Delhi on Wednesday, Ambassador Saran said this would help overcome India’s adverse balance of trade with Russia.

“As part of the trading environment, there have been talks about trade in national currencies. This again is still a work in progress and we need to see how we can operationalise and move forward on this idea, because increasingly we see many countries in the world are taking recourse to trading in their own respective currencies", said Ambassador Saran.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

One has to wonder if President Trump understands, to any possible degree, how much these sanctions are hurting - and will hurt - US businesses?!?

Jul 17 08:27

Russia solving America's debt problem... by dumping US Treasury securities

Once a top investor with over $170 billion in US Treasury bills, Russia continued reducing its holdings of US debt in May to almost $12 billion, according to recent data published by the US Treasury Department.

Russia’s stockpile of Treasury bills fell by more than $100 million in one month to $12.024 billion, $5.25 bn of which is in long-term securities.

Moscow accelerated dumping US debt last year, when it reduced its holdings by more than 85 percent, from $96.9 billion in January to $13.2 billion in December. The biggest reduction came it April and May, when the country reduced its stockpile by around $81 billion.

The selloff is even more dramatic since 2010, when Russia held US Treasury bonds worth over $170 billion.

Jul 17 06:22

TRUMP MAY APPOINT FRINGE NEOCON TO HEAD INTELLIGENCE

It keeps getting worse. The neocons have burrowed termite-deep inside the Trump administration and rumor has it the president will add yet another one to an important cabinet position.

If there is any substance to the latest rumors, DNI Dan Coats will be replaced by Fred Fleitz, former NSC executive secretary, CIA analyst, Trump Chief of Staff, Bolton enforcer, and CEO of the Center for Security Policy.

This last one should send up a huge red flag. CSP is a project launched by Frank Gaffney Jr., an Islamophobe way out on the neocon fringe. During the Trump presidential campaign, I wrote a short ebook (Donald Trump and the War on Islam) about Gaffney, among other neocons and rabid Israel-firsters exacting a corrosive influence on the Trump campaign.
I wrote:

Webmaster's Commentary: 

What is terrifying about so many of these Presidential appointments, is that President Trump is so surrounded by ultra-Rightists, who pathologically cannot distinguish between what is good for the US, and what may be good for Israel, that they may push this country into an absolutely wrong decision regarding Iran.

War with Iran?!? I am sure that Gaffney believes that this will be good for Israel, so he will be very motivated to encourage President Trump to engage in such a war.

There is, of course, one tiny problem with that stance; if the US invades Iran, what will Russia do?!?

The hard, real truth, is that Russia will continue its friendship with Iran, and will not be deterred by US military action taken.

The US has seen what Russian equipment and troops can do, in their getting the US-trained and funded jihadis out of Syria. By attempting to invade Iran, the US will have the opportunity to get clobbered again, as the US military does not have the weaponry; the troop strength; the money; or the manufacturing to insure a positive outcome to such a conflict with Russia right now.

Mr. President, were I you right now, I would hedge my bets in terms of taking any actions against Iran, other than what you have already done, economically. And please remember the following, stated by a Russian Diplomat on 26 June, 2019: Zamir Kabulov says Iran will not stand alone, if attacked by the US

Mr. President, I do no believe that Kabulov was "bluffing" when he made that statement; I would, therefore, strongly encourage you to please take that into account.

Jul 16 07:20

New CNN Assange Smear Piece Is Amazingly Dishonest, Even For CNN

By Caitlin Johnstone

CNN has published an unbelievably brazen and dishonest smear piece on Julian Assange, easily the most egregious article of its kind since the notoriously bogus Assange-Manafort report by The Guardian last year. It contains none of the “exclusive” documents which it claims substantiate its smears, relying solely on vague unsubstantiated assertions and easily debunked lies to paint the WikiLeaks founder in a negative light.

And let’s be clear right off the bat, it is most certainly a smear piece...

Jul 16 06:45

Erdogan hails Russian S-400 delivery, wants to ‘go much further’ and make weapons with Russia

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has celebrated the arrival in Turkey of the Russian S-400 air defense system, despite the threat of US sanctions, and stated that he wishes to co-produce weapons with Russia in the future.

Jul 15 16:57

India & Russia will use their national currencies for defense deals to bypass US sanctions – report

Russia and one of the biggest importers of its weapons, India, have decided to use their national currencies to transfer payments for massive defense deals in order to skirt possible US sanctions, according to Bloomberg.

Jul 15 12:25

Ukrainian TV station hit by rocket-propelled grenade ahead of broadcast of Putin documentary

An unidentified assailant has fired a rocket-propelled grenade at a Ukrainian television station in the capital of Kiev.

No one was hurt in the attack on Saturday, and Kiev police have initiated a search for suspects.

Authorities have classified the attack as an act of terrorism.

The target was the Ukraine 112 television station, a network considered by some to be pro-Russian.

On Thursday, Ukraine's prosecutor general threatened legal action if the network airs a new Oliver Stone documentary that features an interview with Russia's president Vladimir Putin.

Ukraine 112, a 24-hour news network, is owned Taras Kozak, who is running for parliament for the Opposition Bloc Party, organised by Viktor Medvedchuk.

Jul 15 12:22

Erdogan: S-400 Deal With Russia Among 'Most Important Agreements' in Modern Turkish History

The first batch of S-400 missile system components arrived in Turkey on Friday, with at least five plane-loads of equipment making its way into the country by Sunday morning, and two more expected later in the day.

The S-400 deal with Russia is one of the most significant contracts in modern Turkish history, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced.

"The most important agreement in our history right now is the S-400 agreement," Erdogan said, speaking to reporters at the presidential palace in Istanbul on Sunday, Turkish outlet Haberler has reported.

Jul 15 09:40

Turkey Calls Trump's Bluff

Turkey has just called Donald Trump’s bluff by going ahead with the purchase of Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missiles. The outrage in Washington is volcanic. Trump is vowing to rain fire and brimstone sanctions down on the disobedient Turks.

The S-400 is Russia’s premier anti-air missile. It is believed highly effective against all forms of aircraft – including stealth planes – cruise missiles, medium range ballistic missiles, drones, and some other types of missiles. It offers the choice of a self-directing version with its own radar seeker, or a less expensive, ‘semi-active’ version that is guided by its launch-battery radar.

What makes this AA missile (SS-21 in NATO terminology) particularly deadly is its remarkable 400 km range. The S-400 is said by Russia to be able to unmask stealth aircraft. I’ve been told by Soviet security officials as far back as 1990 that their radars could detect US stealth aircraft.

Jul 15 09:35

Shifting Alliances: Is Turkey Now “Officially” an Ally of Russia? Acquires Russia’s S-400. Exit from NATO Imminent?

Turkey is taking delivery of Russia’s S 400 missile defence system. What this signifies is that Turkey and Russia are now “officially” allies. The first shipment of the S-400 landed in Ankara on July 12, according to Turkey’s Ministry of Defense. (see image below)

Two more shipments are due, with the third delivery of “over 120 anti-aircraft missiles of various types… [scheduled] tentatively at the end of the summer, by sea.”

Reports confirm that the “Turkish S-400 operators will travel to Russia for training in July and August. About 20 Turkish servicemen underwent training at a Russian training center in May and June, …” (CNN, July 12, 2019)

Jul 13 18:24

‘We have nothing to quarrel about’: Russians & Ukrainians speak for unity at televised conference

As politicians in Russia and Ukraine take the first steps to renew talks after years of strained relations, people in both countries have come forward in a televised “bridge” show to call for unity between the two nations.

Jul 13 12:24

Russia calls for withdrawal of foreign troops from Syria

Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko yesterday stressed that any prospective political reconciliation in Syria should include the withdrawal of foreign troops from the country.

In a press release, Grushko said that the Russian military is the only foreign force based in Syria by invitation, which is in keeping with international law, Al-Sharq Al-Awsat reported yesterday citing Russia Today (RT).

This came after US news reports that France and Britain have agreed to send troops to replace US troops, which plan to leave Syria after US President Donald Trump in December announced he would withdraw his forces from the country.

Jul 13 12:11

US Silent as Turkey Begins Taking Delivery of Russian Missiles

After months of angrily condemning Turkey for buying the S-400 missile system from Russia over American alternatives, the Trump Administration broadly refused comment on Friday, as Turkey started taking the delivery of the first missiles in the system.

Acting Defense Secretary Mark Esper declined comment, but report are suggesting that US officials are in generally discussing possible ways to “punish” Turkey for buying Russian, even though Turkey was under no obligation to buy American arms.

Jul 12 11:34

Russia Spotted 18 Foreign Spy Aircraft Near Airspace Over Past Week

Eighteen foreign aerial vehicles have been detected while conducting reconnaissance activities near Russia’s airspace, a weekly infographic published by the Russian Armed Forces’ official newspaper Krasnaya Zvezda showed on Friday.

Over the past week, Russian jets have been scrambled three times to prevent foreign aircraft from crossing into the Russian airspace, according to the material.

Jul 12 10:10

TRUMP, BRITS TIRELESS IN ATTEMPT TO GET WAR ON IRAN GOING

SOURCE: KURT NIMMO
On Thursday evening, social media posts claimed the UK flagged and Japanese owned crude oil tanker Atlantic Pioneer had crossed over into Iranian territorial waters. According to the Marine Traffic website, on Friday morning the tanker was in the Gulf of Oman.

BREAKING: #UK flagged ship, #AtlanticPioneer, has officially entered recognized #Iran|ian waters. Time to see what Iran does, if anything. pic.twitter.com/gn05YCtUAe

— Evan McLean (@TheEvanMcLean) July 12, 2019

I don’t know if these social media reports are accurate, but considering the recent behavior of the US and Britain, I cannot discount it. The US, with the help of the UK, is attempting to goad the Iranians into taking action and thus providing a pretext to get the next neocon war going.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I have this image in my head, of President Trump, meeting with his cabinet, and saying,"Damn! We can't lie the American people into another war; so what the hell do we do to get this party started, with some kind of false flag that the Americans might actually believe, as a justification for this war against Iran?!?"

Google reminds us with the following statement regarding Israel's next elections, as to just how critical they are in developing, and shaping, both national, and international Israeli policies:

"Snap legislative elections are due to be held in Israel on 17 September 2019 to elect the 120 members of the 22nd Knesset. Following the prior elections in April, incumbent and Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu failed to form a governing coalition, the first such failure in Israeli history."f

So am quite certain, looking at today's date (12 July), that Israel's Netanyahu, is burning up the phone lines from Tel Aviv to DC, impressing on Trump how damned short the time frame is, for getting such a war going, as to make Netanyahu look "butch" in anticipation of September's snap election in Israel.

I am equally as certain, that Russia's President Putin, and Iran's President Rouhani, are talking to each other about how to calm the situation down, and for Iran not to lash out, if there is an attempt at a false flag.

I'm looking at timing here. The last major summer holiday in the US, at the end of August, is Labor Day weekend, which this year, starts on Friday, 31 August, and lasts through Monday, 2 September. IF the US, the UK, and Israel cannot get a war on or before that point in time, so that the US media can fully indoctrinate the public with it; have it soak into the consciousness of both the American (and British) people before the first full week in September, it may well be too late for such an attack to begin to influence Netanyahu's re-election bid.

Jul 11 17:47

Putin discusses Ukrainian conflict, prisoner exchange, in first direct phone call with Zelensky

Russian President Vladimir Putin has spoken to the new Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky for the first time since his election victory. The two discussed the situation in eastern Ukraine and potential further contact.

The call was initiated by Kiev, a statement issued by the Kremlin says. The two presidents talked about ways to resolve the ongoing conflict that has been gripping the eastern regions of Ukraine for some five years as well as about potential cooperation in facilitating prisoner exchange between the parties to the conflict. Moscow and Kiev agreed that such consultations would continue at expert level, the statement said.

Jul 11 08:39

Done Deal: Russian S-400s Begin Arriving In Turkey

reportedly in the eastern Anatolian city of Malatya as well as the capital of Ankara.

Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov announced of the provocative transfer which has for the past year been met with condemnation by the United States - including the threat of sanctions and blockage of F-35s to Turkey - that “Deliveries of Russian S-400 complexes to Turkey are carried out as planned.”

Jul 11 08:08

Government That Tortures Journalists Bans RT From Media Conference

The British Foreign Office has banned Russian outlets RT and Sputnik from attending the upcoming Global Conference on Media Freedom in London, citing their predilection for “disinformation”.

“We have not accredited RT or Sputnik because of their active role in spreading disinformation,” said a Foreign Office spokeswoman.

“It takes a particular brand of hypocrisy to advocate for freedom of press while banning inconvenient voices and slandering alternative media; sadly, the world has learned to expect just that from the UK Foreign Office,” RT said in a statement in response.

Jul 10 12:44

New Silk Road: Russia to build 2,000km highway linking Europe and China

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has approved the construction of a new tolled motorway across Russia designed to significantly shorten cargo routes, local media reported. The project is expected to cost around $9.5 billion.

The massive infrastructure project, the Meridian highway, has won the support of the Russian government, Vedomosti business daily said, citing government officials. The highway is set to stretch over 2,000km from the Belarus border to the frontier with Kazakhstan, and it is expected to become part of the fastest trucking route between China and Europe.

Jul 10 11:16

US Upgrades Ukrainian Ports To Fit American Warships

As tensions rise between Russia and Ukraine on the Black Sea, the US is upgrading several Ukrainian naval bases to give American and NATO warships the ability to dock just miles from Russia-controlled Crimea.

Centered at the Ochakiv Naval Base and the military facility at Mykolaiv — 40 miles east of Odessa and less than 100 northwest of Crimea — the American-funded effort includes reinforcing and upgrading existing piers and adding a new floating dock, security fencing around the bases, ship repair facilities, and a pair of brand-new Maritime Operations Centers from which Ukrainian and NATO forces can direct exercises and coordinate activities.

The upgrades come after last November’s incident where Russian warships fired on and seized three Ukrainian navy vessels in the Kerch Strait between Russia and Ukraine. Russia is still holding the crews.

Jul 10 08:22

From stealth jets to killer subs: Russia pitches massive arms deals to India

Russia is offering an array of cutting-edge arms to be produced locally by India, including an advanced killer sub and a fifth-generation fighter jet. The Indian military is also about to take delivery of other weapons.

Jul 10 05:22

NETANYAHU THREATENS IRAN WITH ISRAELI PLANES THAT CAN ‘REACH EVERYWHERE’ IN THE MIDDLE EAST

SOURCE: RT

As tension mounts over Iran’s nuclear program, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned Tehran that Israeli warplanes can strike anywhere in the Middle East, “including Iran and Syria.”

“Iran has threatened recently to destroy Israel,” Netanyahu said in a video clip posted on Tuesday. “It is worthwhile for them to remember that these planes can reach everywhere in the Middle East, including Iran and Syria.”

Netanyahu delivered his stern lecture while standing in front of an F-35 fighter jet at Nevatim Airbase in central Israel. The Israeli Air Force has used its warplanes to strike supposed Iranian and Hezbollah targets in Syria numerous times, most recently pounding the cities of Damascus and Homs at the beginning of July – attacks that left multiple civilians dead. Last year, Israel became the world’s first military power to use the next-generation F-35 in a combat operation, reportedly against Iranian targets in Syria.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

These threats, and counter-threats, are absolutely the last thing this region needs.

Netanyahu is pushing, and hyping, the Iranian threat, as though war was something Iran wants, or needs, militarily, which is absolutely not the case here.

Netanyahu understands this, but has been using the "fear card" against his own people for so long, that his behaviour has simply become pathological, at this point.

But faced with a snap election mid-September, his hope is that he can persuade/trick the US and possibly Saudi Arabia, to attack Iran, without personally, or nationally, having to pay either a political, or financial "price", and that he will appear to have "done something" to get him re-elected, no matter the costs to American and Saudi troops in blood and money spent.

We ran a story yesterday, from zerohedge.com, titled UAE's Yemen Exit is a Preparation for Confronting Iran Closer To Home

The fact that this repositioning is happening at all, telegraphs that the the Ziohawkonoids are attempting to move heaven and earth to start this war with Iran just as soon as possible.

There is, however, one 6,000 lb gorilla, napping, draped across the Bosendorfer Grand in this scenario, and that is the presence of Russia.

On 26 June, Foreign Ministry Diplomat, Zamir Kabulov, made the following statement: Iran won't be alone, if the US attacks

Were I any member of President Trump's Cabinet, or Advisory staff, I would definitely take this man at his word.

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