RUSSIA/UKRAINE | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


RUSSIA/UKRAINE

Dec 18 11:14

Russia cuts military flights in Syria to 4 a week – defense minister

Russia has cut its military flights in Syria from more than 100 per day to fewer than four a week, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said on Tuesday. Moscow launched airstrikes in Syria in September 2015 and formally ceased its military operation in Syria a year ago after helping to clear it of militants. Shoigu told an annual meeting of top brass that Russia’s Air Force had seen a drastic reduction in the number of sorties in Syria, TASS reports. “Flights have been reduced from 100-110 per day to two to four sorties per week, mainly for additional reconnaissance,” he said.

Dec 18 11:01

Russian cargo ship runs aground off SW England – coastguard

Rescue vessels were heading to assist a Russian bulk cargo ship after it ran aground off beaches in southwest England, Britain’s coastguard said on Tuesday. The 180-meter long ship ‘Kuzma Minin,’ with 18 Russian crew on board, dragged its anchor in strong winds and grounded between the Swanpool and Gyllyngvase beaches near Falmouth in Cornwall, Reuters reports. “There is no cargo on board… There is no report of any pollution,” the coastguard said.

Dec 18 11:00

Italian Prime Minister Reiterates Need to Lift Russia Sanctions - Moscow

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte reaffirmed his commitment to the idea that sanctions against Russia should not be tightened, but lifted, Russian Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov told Sputnik on Monday.

"Our Italian colleagues, in particular the Italian Prime Minister, are principally stand for lifting sanctions [against Russia] as soon as possible," Manturov said after his meeting with the Italian official.

Manturov added that he had thanked Conte for such a firm position, which he had repeatedly demonstrated, including at the meeting of the European Council.

Dec 18 10:50

History of Ukraine Told by Assassinated Ukrainian Writer Oles Buzina

Can you imagine what would happened if, in Russia, three opposition figures, a well-known writer and two politicians, were killed in the span of two days? We have a vague of idea of what that would look like, after the Western hysteria about Nemtsov.

Oles' assassination was the third in a row of political killings in the last four days: Sergey Sukhobok (April 13); Oleg Kalashnikov (April 15); and Oles Buzina (April 16).

Why are the Western media silent about these political assassinations? And all of this happened after 9 "mysterious suicides" in Ukraine in the last 2 months.

Dec 18 10:29

Russia Calls On The US To Reconsider Strategy In Syria

Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has sharply criticized US policy in Syria and offered direct talks on the framework of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), which has been in force between the two countries since 1987.

The situation in parts of eastern Syria, controlled by the US-supported Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), remains “deeply disturbing,” Shoigu wrote in a letter to Pentagon chief James Mattis earlier this week.

Washington does little or nothing to restore peace and help the devastated region recover from the long war as its air strikes continue to murder civilians, the Defense Ministry said. He noted that at least 1,500 civilians were killed in recent months, while the SDF wiped out the last remaining pockets of ISIS resistance.

Dec 18 10:21

UK psyops bigwig pushed plan to 'mine Sevastopol Bay' during 2014 Crimea crisis – leaked documents

In the midst of the Crimean crisis, a special adviser to the UK House of Commons Defence Committee had a suggestion for Kiev – to lay mines in Sevastopol Bay, leaked documents have revealed.
“I am trying to get this message across” to Kiev, reads a leaked document purporting to show the strategy that Christopher Donnelly, who was a Special Adviser to the UK House of Commons Defence Committee, recommends.

The documents, leaked by a group which claims to be associated with the Anonymous hackers, purport to indicate that Donnelly had drafted “military measures” that he would implement if he, personally was “in charge.” The documents are allegedly dated March 01, 2014, when the Crimean crisis was in full swing.

Dec 18 10:20

UNGA Approves Ukraine Resolution on Navigation in Azov, Black Seas

The United Nations General Assembly passed by a 2/3 majority vote Ukraine's draft resolution calling on Russia to stop restricting international navigation in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.

"The result of the vote is as follows: in favor — 66, against — 19, abstention — 72. Draft resolution [titled Militarization of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol (Ukraine), as well as parts of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov] is adopted," a UN official presiding over the plenary meeting announced on Monday.

Dec 18 06:11

Faced with tough choices, Turkey may play by Russia’s rules

A deal on the Syrian Constitutional Committee is expected to be signed in Geneva on December 18. Russian, Turkish and Iranian top diplomats are due to hold a meeting as well. Ahead of the talks, officials in Ankara made an important statement. They do not rule out a change in Tukey‘s stance on Syrian President Bashar Assad, if he is reelected in transparent and democratic elections, Nezavisimaya Gazeta writes. The biggest problem was the formation of a civil group, which will account for one-third of the Constitutional Committee, Yuri Barmin, an expert with the Russian International Affairs Council, explained to the paper. "There is the government delegation, the opposition delegation, and one delegation should consist of representatives from civil society. There were some problems with that, because the parties were unable to come to terms on specific individuals.

Dec 18 06:06

Russia’s Defense Ministry refutes media reports on GRU chief’s death in Lebanon

Russia’s Defense Ministry refuted media reports about the death of Director of Russia’s GRU military intelligence service Igor Sergun in January 2016 in Lebanon, calling this "conspiracy nonsense." "The rumors, disseminated at the suggestion of the US Justice Department, that Hero of Russia Col. Gen. Igor Dmitrievich Sergun died on January 3, 2016 while in Lebanon are conspiracy nonsense. Igor Dmitrievich was in Russia in January 2016," the ministry said. Sergun died on January 3, 2016 at the age of 58. The Defense Ministry earlier reported that the general died at the FSB health resort Mosckvich near Moscow after a heart attack. The BBC Russian Service reported that the GRU chief died in Lebanon. According to the report, Donald Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn revealed this during the questioning by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on Russia’s alleged meddling in the US election. The BBC did not provide any data confirming Flynn’s words.

Dec 18 06:01

Kremlin slams conclusions in 'Russia report' for US Senate committee as unfounded

On Monday, the Senate Intelligence Committee released a report by New Knowledge, a Texas cybersecurity company, which monitors disinformation in the Internet. It says that the so-called Russian Internet trolls, allegedly linked to the Internet Research Agency, posted disinformation in US social networks with the goal of discrediting special counsel Robert Mueller and the investigation into Russia’s alleged meddling in the 2016 US election, which he leads. The report notes that the Russian ‘trolls’ paid special attention to cooperation with African-Americans, who traditionally vote for Democrats. The authors claimed that the Russian ‘troll factory’ tried to discourage them from voting. "What I read about this report in public access can arouse nothing but misunderstanding," Peskov said. "It voices some general claims and accusations, and some of them are absolutely unclear for us," he explained.

Dec 18 05:54

UN General Assembly adopts Russia’s resolution on countering cybercrime

The UN General Assembly adopted Russia’s resolution on "Countering the use of information and communication technologies for criminal purposes, official representative of the Russian mission to the United Nations Fedor Strzhizhovsky told reporters. "The resolution gives rise to searching and forming a response to one of the pressing global threats - the problem of cybercrime," the diplomat explained. "At the first stage, this decision envisages the launch of a broad political and legal discussion on this topic in the UN General Assembly with the involvement of the UN Secretary General," he added. Another 36 states became co-authors of the resolution. The Russian initiative has received wide inter-regional support, including BRICS, CSTO and SCO countries, and many states in Africa, Latin America and Asia.

Dec 18 05:52

US wants to impose more anti-Russian sanctions following Kerch Strait incident

The United States calls on Europe to look at a possibility of imposing additional anti-Russian sanction following the recent incident in the Kerch Strait, US Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker said at a briefing in Brussels on Monday. He said he had arrived in Brussels for talks with European allies to elaborate "a well-coordinated Western response, Western position" on the Kerch Strait incident. "It’s not in Ukraine’s interest or anyone’s interest to bilateralize a response to Russia’s attack on Ukraine into a U.S.-Russia dynamic," he said. "Within that then, I think we have to look at the basket of sanctions, look at the basket of monitoring [the situation in the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea, and the Kerch Strait] or some kind of deployment, for instance of a ship visit or two to the Black Sea to show presence," he noted.

Dec 18 05:50

UN General Assembly adopts resolution on ‘militarization problem’ of Crimea

The United Nations General Assembly adopted the resolution proposed by Ukraine on "militarization problem" of Crimea and the waters of the Azov and Black Sea. 66 countries supported the document, 19 were against it, 72 - abstained. The resolution stated that presence of the Russian military in Crimea contradicts the national sovereignty, political independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine. The document also condemns Russia because of constructing a bridge across the Kerch Strait. At the same time, the General Assembly rejected amendments proposed by Iran and Syria, aimed at balancing the document and containing references to the Minsk agreements. In particular, they called for a thorough and transparent investigation of the incident in the Kerch Strait and bringing those responsible to justice.

Dec 17 12:23

Americans recruited online for secret missions in Ukraine — Russia’s OSCE envoy

Russia noticed that US citizens were being recruited for special missions in Ukraine via the MissionEssential company, Russia’s OSCE envoy, Alexander Lukashevich, told a session of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s permanent council in Vienna. "We noted that an advertisement posted on the LinkedIn portal announces that US citizens with the knowledge of the Ukrainian language are being recruited via the MissionEssential company for covert US operations in Ukraine," Lukashevich said. He said the candidates are required to have skills of secret contact with the local population, to be trained for operations in a zone of hostilities and have the ability to operate as part of a team of professionals ensuring safety of high-ranking US and foreign citizens. "Canada follows suit as well - 200 Canadian military instructors deployed near Lvov have already trained over 10,000 servicemen of the Ukrainian armed forces.

Dec 17 12:07

Record-breaking number of journalists accredited to Putin’s annual news conference

A record-breaking number of journalists - 1,702 - have been accredited to highlight Russian President Vladimir Putin’s traditional annual news conference due to take place on December 20, according to the Kremlin website which posted the list of accredited journalists on Friday. Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov said earlier this year’s news conference had attracted increased interest, with the number of applications for accreditation being much bigger than in pervious years. Applications were received from Russian journalists registered with the national mass media watchdog Roscomnadzor and from foreign journalists having the Russian foreign ministry’s accreditation. Putin’s question-and-answer sessions traditionally start at noon. As a rule, they lasts for several hours. That is why they are often referred to as a ‘big’ news conferences. It is up to the president to decide when to stop. In 2008 Putin answered questions for four hours and 40 minutes.

Dec 17 11:55

Russia Is Ahead Of NASA In The Development Of Spacesuits – German Media

The American spacesuits used on the ISS no longer meet technical requirements and are not completely safe, Der Standard writes. The new generation of spacesuits from Russia Orlan-ISS, which have already been tested and are being used in space, can solve the problem. Space technologies are associated with the future, but in fact are largely stuck in the past, Der Standard writes. By the end of their era, American shuttles flew with hopelessly outdated and insufficiently powerful on-board computers, and the Russian program of the Soyuz ships was based on constantly updated technologies developed back in the Soviet era. The spacesuits, which are still used by astronauts of the ISS for work in outer space, are also not the last word of technology. “The spacesuits used on the ISS were developed more than 40 years ago, and their 15-year-old design is very outdated,” a group of experts from NASA said recently.

Dec 17 11:28

Ukraine intel says Russia deploys in Crimea 100 new type combat aircraft

Ukrainian military intelligence official, Vadym Skibitsky, has said Russia additionally deployed in Crimea a hundred of new type combat aircraft in Crimea.

Dec 17 11:27

US Soldiers Holiday Leave Cancelled in Europe

In Germany 100's of US soldiers have their leave canceled amid the Ukraine Russian Crises. The Ukrainian military has begun a major offensive with battle tanks against the Donetsk Airport, or whats left of it. At the same time Ukraine has claimed that Russia has moved in 100 SU-27 and 30's to Crimea and has 5 subs of the coast. Now we hear that Ukraine and Russian forces have shelled each other near the Russian border of Mariupol Ukraine.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Note the claim they are Russian forces, rather than the soldiers of Donbass.

Dec 17 11:26

Video: Russian Forces Start Siege of “US Controlled Zone” (Military Base) in At-Tanf, Southeastern Syria. Unconfirmed Report

Russian forces have established several military positions near the US-controlled zone of at-Tanf, pro-government media activists reported on December 12.

A source familiar with the situation, told SouthFront that several air-defense systems and other military equipment were deployed at the Russian positions. More weapons, including heavy rocket launchers, are reportedly expected to arrive there in the upcoming few days.

The Saudi London-based newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat even claimed that Russia is going to deploy an S-300 system to the province of Deir Ezzor. However, this type of rumors is common for the Saudi outlet, which has been actively working to fuel tensions between the Syrian-Iranian-Russian alliance and the US-Israeli-led bloc as well as between Russia and Iran.

Dec 17 11:03

70% Chance Of NATO-Russia Combat: "US Ready To Fight To The Last Brit"

An Interview with George Szamuely
George Szamuely is a Hungarian-born scholar and Senior Research Fellow at London’s Global Policy Institute. He lives in New York City. I spoke to him about escalating hostilities on Russia’s Ukrainian and Black Sea borders and about Exercise Trident Juncture, NATO’s massive military exercise on Russian borders which ended just as the latest hostilities began.

Ann Garrison: George, the hostilities between Ukraine, NATO, and Russia continue to escalate in the Sea of Azov, the Kerch Strait, and the Black Sea. What do you think the latest odds of a shooting war between NATO and Russia are, if one hasn’t started by the time this is published?

Webmaster's Commentary: 

These are, indeed, grim prospects.

Dec 17 10:53

Video: America Is Preparing for Confrontation with Russia and China

The strategic vision which emerges from the Congressional report – even more worrying when we note that the Commission is composed of equal numbers of Republicans and Democrats – leaves no room for doubt. The United States – which, since 1945, has provoked wars causing between 20 and 30 million deaths (plus the hundreds of millions caused by the indirect effects of these wars) to “guide the construction of a world of unusual prosperity, freedom and security, from which it has benefited enormously” is now preparing to do anything necessary to maintain its “unequaled military power” upon which their empire is founded, but which is now beginning to crumble with the emergence of a multipolar world.

For this purpose, the Congressional Commission is examining scenarios of aggression against the United States, which are no more than the mirror image of their own aggressive strategy, which runs the risk of dragging the world into catastrophe.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Folks, as Mike and I have been trying to point out at this site for years, it is not a question of "if" such horrendous circumstances will arrive; it is only a question of when, and what will be used to "justify" war on either country.

Please, brush up on your prepping. Have some plans, either hunkering down, or bugging out. Please make sure you fully understand your child's school policies on taking them out of school early, if you truly feel that the excrement is about to hit the ventilation system.

Dec 17 10:41

This time, Russia deploys troops toward Ukraine border not for training purpose – Poroshenko

Today, the threat of Russian invasion prevails, the president believes. “If we had any reason to talk about de-escalation, I would cancel martial law,” Poroshenko told a press conference in Kyiv Sunday, according to an UNIAN correspondent. Russian troops were this time deployed toward the borders with Ukraine not for some exercises – Russia did this without any explanation, Petro Poroshenko says.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The little boy who cried Russian wolf!

Poroshenko has been screaming about an imminent invasion ever since the coup that put him in power. Right now, Poroshenko is not expected to win re-election and he may be grasping for an enemy to bring the Ukrainian people back to his side.

Or he may simply feel like starting a real shooting war.

Dec 17 10:39

How to stop Nord Stream 2 and destroy Russian-German alliance bound with gas and corruption

The European Parliament this week adopted a resolution condemning the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline bypassing Ukraine. The document recognizes that the pipeline poses a threat to European energy security, and also calls for the halt to the Nord Stream 2 construction. It is important that this resolution coincided in time with that of the U.S. House of Representatives, also opposing the construction. It is also worth recalling that U.S. legislators in both chambers of Congress are considering bills related to sanctions over Nord Stream 2.

Dec 17 10:38

Week's balance: Ukraine awaiting IMF tranche, Firtash's regional gas companies accused of "sabotage," and Ukrzaliznytsia seeing ticket chaos

Ukraine took another step toward receiving a bailout tranche from the IMF; Naftogaz called actions of Dmytro Firtash’s gas distribution firms "sabotage"; while Ukrzaliznytsia experienced a ticketing chaos

Dec 17 10:31

WE WILL NOT WANT TO WAR WITH UKRAINE, But they will regret it if they attack Crimea

- We will not fight with Ukraine, I promise you - Lavrov said, adding:
- We are not fighting against the Ukrainian regime, these are Ukrainian citizens living in Donbas, who are fighting against the Ukrainian regime, which has all the characteristics of the Nazis and neo-Nazis.
Asked why the Moscow official did not break his relations with Kiev, Lavrov said that he had relations with Ukraine as a state, which, he said, was "much more important than the regime there".

Lavrov also said he had information that Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko planned an armed provocation on the border with Crimea in the last ten days of December, and said he would respond to Ukraine if provocation occurred.

- It's going to sulk it. This is our country, our border. We will not allow him to defend his interests in any way in an obvious way and violate these rights - Lavrov said.

Dec 17 10:30

General Karakayev: All US missile defense systems are in our reach

US MILITARY ACKNOWLEDGMENTS OF THE MIDDLE AND SMALL RANGE AGREEMENT - WITH THE CONSEQUENCES TO DEVELOP - WE ARE TREATED IN THE PLANNING OF THE FIGHTING USE OF THE ROCKET STRATEGIC NUCLEAR POWER FOR RUSSIA.

This was stated by their commander, General Sergei Karakayev, stressing that Moscow is counting on the deployment of medium-range US missiles in Europe.

In an interview with the RF Ministry of Defense's list, "Krasnaja Zvezda" specifically pointed out:

"The United States is seeking modes to neutralize the potential of our strategic nuclear forces. With conviction, I can claim that the United States will not give up trying to level the possibilities of Russia's strategic nuclear forces in due time, and it will also seek new ways to solve that task. "

Dec 17 10:22

FLASHBACK - After Dispute With Russia, Ukraine to Impose Martial Law

Ukraine's parliament voted Monday to impose martial law in parts of the country to fight what its president called "growing aggression" from Moscow after a weekend naval confrontation off the disputed Crimean Peninsula in which Russia fired on and seized three Ukrainian vessels amid renewed tensions between the neighbors.

Western leaders and diplomats urged both sides to de-escalate the conflict, and the U.S. blamed Russia for what it called "unlawful conduct" over Sunday's incident in the Black Sea.

Russia and Ukraine blamed each other in the dispute that further ratcheted up tensions ever since Moscow annexed Crimea in 2014 and threw its weight behind separatists in eastern Ukraine with clandestine support, including troops and weapons.

Dec 17 10:21

LOCAL ELECTIONS CANCELLED IN UKRAINE UNDER NEW MARTIAL LAW PROVISIONS

The Central Election Commission of Ukraine decided to cancel the elections of deputies of local councils and mayors of cities planned for December 23rd in 10 regions of the country where martial law was imposed.

This was reported by the Ukrainian media, and confirmed by FRN. As we have covered, numerous critics and analysts have concluded that one of the aims of Poroshenko’s drive for martial law was precisely to prevent electoral processes from taking place. Analyst Sergey Mirkin also wrote in an op-ed published by FRN in recent days, that even while the martial law is limited to 30 days, Poroshenko has nevertheless strategically set the stage to seize dictatorial powers in the future.

Dec 17 10:17

Putin calendar sales surpassing those of Japanese stars in Japan

The current leader in 2019 calendar sales at a popular chain store in Japan is not a fresh-faced young idol, nor is it a sexy heart-throb actor. Rather, Vladimir Putin, the 66-year-old president of Russia, takes the cake in that category. That’s right, the very same exercise buff that also has claim to a fragrance in his home country and a manga in Japan is currently contributing to an unprecedented number of calendar sales in a foreign country.

Dec 17 09:55

The Coast Guard turned down a request for an Arctic exercise out of concern the US's only heavy icebreaker would break down and Russia would have to rescue it

Countries are jockeying for position as the changing climate makes the Arctic more amenable to shipping and natural-resource extraction.

Conditions in the high north are still formidable, requiring specialized ships. That's felt acutely in the US, mainly because of the paucity of its ice-breaking capability compared with Arctic countries — particularly Russia.

Moscow, which has the world's largest Arctic coastline, has dozens of icebreakers, some of which are heavy models for polar duty, and others that are designed to operate elsewhere, like the Baltic.

The US has just two, only one of which is a heavy icebreaker that can operate in the Arctic and Antarctica.

Dec 17 09:50

PUTIN: Life is not eternal and it is not given to us only to obsess over the money

RF President Vladimir Putin told the "Projektori" forum that young people should not engage in business because of the accumulation of money, but because of higher goals.
Business needs to be dealt with for a man to leave a deep trail behind him, says Putin.

"You'll be happy only if you create a product or get a result that will remain forever or for long. Just so you will realize that you have not lived a life meaningless, that you have not only "thrown money" with which you do not know what to do, "Putin said.
The "business = fraud" equation must be replaced by a different business philosophy, he says. Putin also reminded that there are businessmen who are ready to earn money at all costs.

Dec 17 09:47

Russia, Iran prevented Western interference in Syrian conflict settlement - Assad

President of Syria Bashar Assad praised efforts of Russia and Iran to restrain the Western interference in the process of the political settlement of the Syrian conflict, SANA news agency reported on Monday.

According to the agency, during a meeting in Damascus on Sunday with Senior Adviser to the Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Jaberi Ansari, President Assad "stressed the importance of efforts exerted by the friendly and allied countries of Syria, particularly Iran and Russia."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Sounds great, right?!?

But it is pain fully obvious, Al Assad, Putin, and Rouhani haven't QUITE gotten the memo yet, as indicated by the following article, posted at the Wa Po on Friday, 14 December:

US troops are to stay in Syria Indefinitely

I would like to suggest that if there is a way to negotiate this with President Trump, after he greenlit an indefinite stay of US troops in Syria, that would be great; but in the last two years, watching this man attempt to govern, what I have seen here is a complete, and total, surrender of US Middle Eastern policy to Israel's Netanyahu.

The potential for an incendiary explosion in the region, is most probably higher than it has ever been before.

You have Syria's, Russia's and Iran's collaborative, and winning, work to get the US funded, trained, and armed jihadis out of the country, butting heads the Israeli and US government's attitude that they can invade and occupy, any foreign government they want, with utter impunity.

I cannot see a good way out of this situation; it will only be a matter of time before we have Russian, and Iranian military action against the US troops, who have illegally invaded a foreign country, and refuses to leave, somewhat like a petulant house guest, who was never invited in, in the first place.

And forgive me, but I have to ask the question; are the troops presently stationed in Syria there, as "the sacrificial lambs", allowing US and Israel to create a "false flag happening as the "justification" for open warfare against both Syria and Iran?!?

Dec 17 09:09

DAVOS U-TURN: WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM WELCOMES ALL RUSSIAN BUSINESSMEN AFTER BOYCOTT THREAT

The World Economic Forum (WEF) has backtracked on its decision to bar three Russian businessmen from next year’s meeting in Davos. The turnabout comes after Moscow threatened to boycott the year's biggest business event.

Russia will participate in January’s prestigious business and political meeting in Switzerland, the WEF announced on Sunday. Managing director and head of compliance at the organization, Alois Zwinggi, said he is pleased to learn that Moscow would be sending “a high-level governmental delegation to Davos,” his statement reads as cited by media.

“I am pleased that after discussions with all relevant parties, careful consideration of international legal frameworks and strong support from the Swiss government, we are able to host business and political leaders from all G20 countries,” Zwinggi said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The WEF just blinked!!

Dec 17 09:03

Latest Odds of a Shooting War Between NATO and Russia

Hungarian scholar George Szamuely tells Ann Garrison that he sees a 70 percent chance of combat between NATO and Russia following the incident in the Kerch Strait and that it is being fueled by Russia-gate.

George Szamuely is a Hungarian-born scholar and Senior Research Fellow at London’s Global Policy Institute. He lives in New York City. I spoke to him about escalating hostilities on Russia’s Ukrainian and Black Sea borders and about Exercise Trident Juncture, NATO’s massive military exercise on Russian borders which ended just as the latest hostilities began.

Dec 17 08:38

Psychoanalysing NATO: Schizophrenia

Suffice it to say that this statement would have a closer relationship with reality if the words "NATO's borders" were replaced with "inside Russia". And I would be interested to hear the details of "violating Allied airspace". Why even the Daily Telegraph in 2015 with its suggestive headline of Mapped: Just how many incursions into Nato airspace has Russian military made? had to admit "The Ministry of Defence says the Russian bombers have never violated Britain’s sovereign airspace, which extends 12 nautical miles from the coast." Likewise Violated US Airspace 16 Times In Last 10 Days turns out to be Air Defence Identification Zones which is not the same thing at all. Or Most Russian Plane Intercepts over Baltics Due to Error: NATO General. So NATO's statement needs a further calibration so that "violating Allied airspace" becomes "flying in international airspace close to Allied countries' airspace".

Dec 17 08:35

Bolton: No Trump-Putin Meeting While Russia Holds Ukrainian Ships, Sailors

>>>Bolton says there will be no meeting between President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin while Moscow still holds the Ukrainian ships and sailors it seized near Crimea.

"I don’t see circumstances in the foreseeable future where such a meeting could take place until the ships and the crews are released," Bolton told reporters on December 13.

Russia seized three Ukrainian Navy ships on November 25 and arrested 24 sailors in the Kerch Strait that links the Black Sea with the Sea of Azov.

Moscow alleged that the vessels had illegally entered Russian territorial waters near the Crimea region, which Russia occupied and annexed from Ukraine in 2014.

Ukraine and most UN member states do not recognize the annexation.

NATO has pledged support for Ukraine's navy>>>

Dec 17 08:15

Davos U-turn: World Economic Forum welcomes all Russian businessmen after boycott threat

The World Economic Forum (WEF) has backtracked on its decision to bar three Russian businessmen from next year’s meeting in Davos. The turnabout comes after Moscow threatened to boycott the year's biggest business event.

Russia will participate in January’s prestigious business and political meeting in Switzerland, the WEF announced on Sunday. Managing director and head of compliance at the organization, Alois Zwinggi, said he is pleased to learn that Moscow would be sending “a high-level governmental delegation to Davos,” his statement reads as cited by media.

Dec 17 08:14

Ukrainian far-right MP declares ‘hunt’ for Moscow-loyal priests after split

A Ukrainian MP and ex-head of ultra-nationalist Right Sector has called for all priests loyal to the Russian Orthodox Church to ‘hunted down’ and ousted. It came after Kiev proclaimed its church to be independent from Moscow.
Until last weekend there were three Orthodox Christian churches in Ukraine. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church is an internationally-recognized autonomous part of the Russian Orthodox Church. The two others were self-proclaimed and universally considered schismatic.

Dec 17 08:13

DPR Militia Repulses Ukrainian Forces

Two groups of scouts of the Armed Forces of Ukraine attempted to approach the positions of the DPR in the Gorlovka area, but were rebuffed. This was stated by the head of the press service of the people’s militia, Daniel Bezsonov.

The incident occurred on the night of December 16th in the area of ??the settlement of Verkhnetoretsk and Svetlodarsk.

“Our observers promptly identified an approaching enemy, dragged them into a trap and fired with small arms, forcing him not only to abandon the task, but also forced him to run away” Bezsonov said, Donetsk News Agency quoted him as saying .

Dec 17 08:13

BBC Looks For Russian Interference In French Protests! Zakharova Hits Back With OSCE Suit

The correspondence of the journalist of the BBC Russian Service, Olga Ivshina, in which she asked to find any evidence of “Moscow’s interference” in the mass protests of the yellow vests in France, is an example of propaganda in which the Western media are “most closely” involved. This was announced by the official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, on Sunday, December 16.

Dec 17 08:11

Russian Foreign Minister Believes US Policy on Russia Was Delegated to Bolton

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday that US Foreign Secretary Mike Pompeo appeared to not be involved in the US policy on Russia anymore with such functions delegated to US National Security Adviser John Bolton.

"As for Pompeo, you know, I have not spoken to him for a long time. I have a feeling that he is no longer engaged in foreign policy course on Russia … So far, the policy on Russia has been clearly delegated to John Bolton," Lavrov told the Komsomolskaya Pravda radio station.

Dec 17 08:00

France Found No Signs of Russia's Alleged Involvement in Protests - Media

French intelligence services have not found any signs of Russia's alleged involvement in the dissemination of false information related to the protests that are currently taking place in the country, local media reported on Sunday, citing an intelligence source.

According to the Journal du Dimanche newspaper, as of the end of this week, neither the French Directorate-General for External Security (DGSE) nor the General Directorate for Internal Security (DGSI) managed to establish any facts proving Russia's direct involvement in the spread of fake news or conspiracy rumours within the framework of the "yellow vest" movement.

Dec 16 11:09

THE 'INTEGRITY INITIATIVE' - A MILITARY INTELLIGENCE OPERATION, DISGUISED AS CHARITY, TO CREATE THE "RUSSIAN THREAT"

The initiative claims to be an independent Non-Government Organization, but in reality is financed by the British government, NATO and other state donors.

Dec 16 10:01

German Media Suggests Venezuela Might Become Russia's 'New Cuba in US Backyard'

The arrival of Russian Tu-160 strategic bombers to Venezuela has spurred negative reactions from some US officials, although the planes didn't carry nuclear armaments and had already visited the country in the past.

German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine has alleged that the disturbance in US government circles, which was incited by the visit of Russian Tu-160s to Venezuela, is caused by the fact that while the US grip on the region weakens, especially on Venezuela itself, Russia is continuing to cement its positions in the Latin American country. The newspaper even suggested that Venezuela might become a "new Cuba in the US backyard" for Russia.

Dec 16 10:00

Russia's New Rules Of Engagement In Syria

Syria will adopt a new rule of engagement with Israel now that Russia has taken a tougher and clearer stance on the conflict between Israel and the “Axis of the Resistance”. Henceforth, Damascus will be responding to any Israeli strike. If it damages a specific military target it will reply with a strike against a similar objective in Israel. Decision makers in Damascus said, “Syria will not hesitate to hit an Israeli airport if Damascus airport is targeted and hit by Israel. This will be with the consent of the Russian military based in the Levant.”

Dec 16 09:59

US Demands Europe Join Its War Against Russia

In recent decades, the US Constitution’s clause that requires a congressional declaration of war before invading any country, has been ignored. Furthermore, ever since 2012 and the passage by Congress of the Magnitsky Act sanctions against Russia, economic sanctions by the US Government have been imposed against any company that fails to comply with a US-imposed economic sanction; a company can even be fined over a billion dollars for violating a US economic sanction.

And, so, sanctions are now the way that the US Congress actually does authorize a war — the new way, no longer the way that’s described in the US Constitution. However, in the economic-sanctions phase of a war — this initial phase — the war is being imposed directly against any company that violates a US-ordered economic sanction, against Russia, Iran, or whatever target-country the US Congress has, by means of such sanctions, actually authorized a war by the US to exist — a ‘state of war’ to exist.

Dec 16 09:51

‘American System is Desperate for an Enemy’ - Scholar on Bolton's Accusations

US National Security Advisor John Bolton in a speech unveiled the US strategy to counter Chinese and Russian influence in Africa. He accused Moscow and Beijing of deliberately and aggressively targeting their investments in the region to gain a competitive advantage over the US.

The American official claimed that China was using bribes, opaque agreements and the strategic use of debt to hold states in Africa captive to Beijing's wishes and demands. In addition, Bolton announced a new program, "Prosper Africa", to support American investment across the continent and provide alternatives to Chinese projects.

Radio Sputnik has discussed this new plan with Ian Taylor, a professor in International Relations and African Political Economy at the School of International Relations at the University of St. Andrews in Fife, Scotland.

Dec 16 08:59

BBC Stringer Admits Channel Craving Any Proof of Russian "Role" in Paris Rallies

A BBC stringer has admitted that the broadcaster is in the search of any proof of Russia’s alleged role in the "Yellow Vests" protests in Paris, demanding that its journalists seek any leads that would point to Moscow, a correspondence obtained by Sputnik showed.

Sputnik has obtained the correspondence of the BBC journalist, who wrote a message to one of the stringers covering Yellow Vest demonstrations in Paris, trying to find out whether Russia had something to do with the protests in the French capital. The stringer, in turn, explained that she had not seen any Russians at the protests.

Dec 16 08:43

US Vows to Work With EU States Against 'Russian Aggression' After Kerch Row

"The United States welcomes recent steps by the EU and its Member States to hold Russia accountable for its aggression against Ukraine. The European Parliament’s December 12 resolution reiterates the importance of Ukraine’s role in the European energy supply network and condemns the construction of the Kremlin-backed Nord Stream 2 pipeline as a political project. We urge Germany to heed the concerns of the many neighbours whose security will be damaged by this pipeline," the Saturday statement reads.

Dec 15 11:55

PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS: WASHINGTON IS CHANGING THE WORLD ORDER AGAINST ITS OWN INTERESTS

The world order has already changed. China has a larger and more powerful industrial and manufacturing based economy than the US, and China’s potential domestic consumer market is four times larger than that of the US. As economies are consumer based, China’s potential is an economy four times larger than that of the US.

Russia has a far more capable military with weapon systems unmatched by the US. The US is drowning in debt, and the illegal and irresponsible sanctions that Washington tries to impose on others are driving the world’s largest countries away from the use of the US dollar as world reserve currency and away from Western clearance systems such as SWIFT. The United States already has one foot in the grave. Any country sufficiently stupid to ally with the US is allied with a dead man walking.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

As grim as Paul Craig Robert's assessment is of the world situation, I must grudgingly concur.

The possibilities here, are either a complete collapse of the US economy, or a world war which will probably leave no nation standing, as we see them today.

Rather, we will see a new international alliance which will be ignoring what is left of the US, because of its long history of international aggression, as though it were Kryptonite.

Dec 15 11:46

The Americans wet their pants because of the Russian Tu-160 in Venezuela.

Dec 15 11:39

UK Elite 'Horrified' "Russian Aggression" Fairytale Starts to Crumble - Journo

UK media and parliamentarians have voiced concern over the fact that the UK's largest online pharmacy, which has links to the NHS, has been 'caught' advertising with Russia's RT television network. Sputnik has discussed another anti-Russia campaign spread in the UK media with political commentator and journalist Ollie Richardson.

Dec 15 11:13

Poroshenko Has Nothing Left to Lose – The Worse It Is for Him, the More Dangerous He Is For Others

In recent days, in connection with the frank violation by Poroshenko’s regime of all international norms, and also of the articles of the Constitution and laws of Ukraine regulating relations between the church and state, experts and politicians often ask a question (not always having a rhetorical character): is he really not afraid of the consequences?

After all, any competent lawyer can prove a whole bouquet of criminal offences, among which the smallest one is the abuse of power and his own official authority.

Dec 15 11:13

McCain's Senate Seat Has Been Rented Out to a Pro-Nukes Lobbyist Howling About Russia

LATE LAST MONTH, two former policymakers and lobbyists teamed up for an op-ed in the Washington Post. It was, as the genre goes, fairly mundane: a description of a problem or a threat, and a prescription that just happens to benefit a particular corporate sector that the lobbyists just might have an interest in benefiting.

In a piece titled “Why America needs low-yield nuclear warheads now,” Michael Morell and Jon Kyl argued that Russian and Chinese nuclear modernization programs demanded a response. “Russia is intent on exploiting what it perceives as a U.S. nuclear capability gap,” they write. “We must change that calculation” by adding submarine and sea-launched missiles with nuclear warheads. This would increase deterrence and prevent nuclear war, they claim; otherwise Russia will strike first.

Dec 15 11:04

President Putin is Adamant: “You Are Crazy If You Think I Will Ever Surrender Crimea”

Dec 15 10:50

Merkel: There is no Basis for Cancelling or Easing Anti-Russia Sanctions

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has held a press conference on the sidelines of the EU leaders' summit in Brussels.

The EU heads of state had two subjects on the table at their Thursday meeting — the EU long-term budget for 2021-2027 and mainly Brexit. On Friday, the summit has been dealing with immigration, "fighting disinformation," single market and external relations.

The eurozone difficulties, notably with the Italian and now French budgets out of pace, has also been on the agenda.

The EU summit has come to the conclusion that there is no basis for cancellation or easing of sanctions against Russia, German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters.

Dec 14 23:51

Russia introduces draft UNGA resolution to save INF Treaty

In an attempt to salvage the cornerstone treaty limiting the deployment of nuclear missiles, which the US has decided to unilaterally suspend, Moscow has introduced a draft resolution to the United Nations General Assembly.

The US decision to leave the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty could seriously undermine international non-proliferation as well as arms control mechanisms, and would jeopardize world security, the Russian delegation said, presenting the draft to the UNGA.

The resolution urges the parties to engage in consultations on strategic issues and key points of concern, in the hope that constructive dialogue will not only lead to compliance with the treaty but pave the way for further efforts in global arms reduction. The document also calls for additional ‘confidence-building’ measures, and urges the international community to safeguard the INF treaty.

Dec 14 23:49

Israel’s ambassador to Kiev ‘shocked’ after Ukrainian region honors Nazi collaborator Bandera

The Israeli ambassador to Kiev has expressed outrage, after a region in Ukraine dedicated the year 2019 to the prominent nationalist leader and Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera.

Joel Lion took to Twitter on Thursday to say he was “shocked” after the Lviv region honored Bandera in this manner. The move was to mark the 110th anniversary of Bandera’s birth.

Dec 14 12:30

"Top Secret" Intel Report Claims Russia, China Continue To Help North Korea Evade Sanctions

With US markets going into full-fledged convulsions thanks to disheartening economic data out of China, a looming government shutdown, renewed fears about a "no deal" Brexit and Dow component JNJ's worst day in 16 years, strategists can add one more disconcerting development to their list of woes. Citing a "top secret" intelligence report, NBC News said Friday that the US suspects that North Korea is still evading US sanctions by secretly transferring oil at sea.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Note: what do I hear in this rant?!? More demonizing, without real proof.

Dec 14 12:20

A World of Multiple Detonators of Global Wars. Wars by Proxy

China moves forward with its global infrastructure program;and the trade war has had little impact in isolating Bejing from its principal markets. Moreover, the US policy has increased China’s role as a leading advocate of ‘open trade’ against President Trump’s protectionism.

Likewise, the tactics of encircling and sanctioning Russia has deepened ties between Moscow and Beijing. The US has increased its nominal ‘proxies’ in Latin America and Africa but they all depend on trade and investments from China. This is especially true of agro-mineral exports to China.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is the very scenario Mike and I have seen unfolding for years, and have been trying to stop, in the US government's drive to force the world back to a unipolar world which makes the US dollar the only instrument of payment.

But right now, particularly for Russia and China, that answer neither works, nor respects the reality of how much the fundamentals have changed, with national trade-building happening for the countries in national currencies, which are not the US dollar.

I would strongly expect this trend to continue, unless, of course, the US government is planning to blow Russia, China, and Iran to smithereens.

Dec 14 12:12

BEX ALERT - Bomb threat at Sault Michigan hospital linked to Russia

Emailed bomb threat to War Memorial Hospital 'not deemed as credible' and the hospital said in a social media post that the email originated in Russia

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The one I received originated from Women's Touch Gardening. This is just more gratuitous Russia bashing.

Dec 14 11:36

Bolton: China and Russia ‘Interfere with U.S. Military’ in Africa

U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton, unveiling President Donald Trump’s Africa strategy on Thursday, accused Russia and China of “predatory practices” that interfere with American military operations on the continent and pose a significant threat to America’s homeland security interests.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"And by golly, if there is anyone who is going to interfere in Africa it will be the USA!!!!!!!!" -- Official White Horse Souse

Dec 14 11:21

Up to 15,000 Syrian rebels ready to back Turkish operation in northeast

Up to 15,000 Syrian rebels are ready to join a Turkish military offensive against U.S.-backed Kurdish forces in northeast Syria, but no date has been set for the operation, a spokesman for the main Turkish-backed Syrian rebel group said on Thursday.

President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday that Turkey would launch the offensive in a few days, targeting a border region east of the Euphrates river which is held by the YPG Kurdish militia.

The announcement prompted a sharp rebuke from the Pentagon, which said any unilateral military action into northeast Syria would be unacceptable.

The United States has been supporting the YPG in the fight against Islamic State insurgents since 2015. Following cross-border shelling from Turkey into Kurdish-controlled territory two months ago, U.S. forces have set up three military observation posts near the border.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

OK, let me get my head around this; the US government is supporting the Kurds in Syria, but Edrogan wants the Kurds completely out of Syria; so are we now looking at a war with a sister NATO member, if things don't go in the direction the US wants?!?

How in heaven's name, did we get here in Syria, a country which did not ask for our assistance, but has reached out to to Russia and Iran for military aid, which was granted?!?

What happens if we tick off the Russians, or attempt to break into Russian air space?!?

There are a myriad of bad scenarios possible, with this announced raid, that I have to wonder about Erdogan's sanity; is he looking at claiming that this area where the the fighting will happen, as part of Turkey?!? YIKES!!!

Dec 14 11:03

BREAKING: UKRAINE BEGINS SHELLING NEAR MARIUPOL

As heightened tensions mark an already dangerous situation, Ukrainian troops have just opened mortar fire near Mariupol. This was just announced by the DPR representative in the Joint Center for Control and Coordination of the Ceasefire Regime. 120mm and 82mm mortar shells were reportedly used. AGS, RPGs and large-caliber machine guns were also used during the shelling. In addition, it is reported that last night from a position near Gnutovo, the BSU attacked Kominternovo: 29 grenades were fired from automatic grenade launchers (AGS), large-caliber machine guns and small arms were also used.

Dec 14 11:02

Ukraine Wants Nuclear Weapons: Will The West Bow To The Regime In Kiev?

The former Ukrainian envoy to NATO, Major General Petro Garashchuk, recently stated in an interview with Obozrevatel TV:

“I'll say it once more. We have the ability to develop and produce our own nuclear weapons, currently available in the world, such as the one that was built in the former USSR and which is now in independent Ukraine, located in the city of Dnipro (former Dnipropetrovsk) that can produce these kinds of intercontinental ballistic missiles. Neither the United States, nor Russia, nor China have produced a missile named Satan … At the same time, Ukraine does not have to worry about international sanctions when creating these nuclear weapons."

Dec 14 10:57

I AIN’T GOT NO QUARREL WITH THEM RUSSIANS

The entire anti-Russia brouhaha has reminded me of what Mohammad Ali stated after receiving notice from his local draft board that he was being forced to serve in the U.S. military during the Vietnam War. Ali declared. “I ain’t got no quarrel with them Vietcong.”

Ali had a point. After all, what had the Vietcong done to him or any other American? No Vietcong had ever come to the United States and attacked civilians, soldiers, or CIA or NSA agents. No Viet Cong had ever expressed any interest in invading and conquering the United States and taking over the federal government and the nation’s public-school systems. All that they were doing was trying to win a civil war that would put the entire country under the rule of Ho Chi Minh, a declared communist.

Dec 14 10:32

Russia Slams Illegal US Occupation of Southwest Syria

On Tuesday a top Russian military official slammed the United States for “illegally occupying” a massive zone in southwest Syria surrounding the American garrison of al-Tanf, effectively protecting some 6,000 armed militants that Russia has designated terrorists.

The Head of Russia’s National Defense Control Center, Colonel-General Mikhail Mizintsev, called the US-occupied area “the last stronghold of evil” which continues to fester with militants “on the territory of the independent state.” He identified a 55 km zone surrounding the base in a desert region along the Syrian-Iraq border, which American special forces and US-backed FSA groups have held since 2016 after taking the key crossing from ISIS.

Dec 14 10:28

SYRIAN WAR REPORT – DEC. 14, 2018: RUSSIAN FORCES START SIEGE OF US BASE IN AT-TANF

Russian forces have established several military positions near the US-controlled zone of at-Tanf, pro-government media activists reported on December 12.

A source familiar with the situation, told SouthFront that several air-defense systems and other military equipment were deployed at the Russian positions. More weapons, including heavy rocket launchers, are reportedly expected to arrive there in the upcoming few days.

The Saudi London-based newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat even claimed that Russia is going to deploy an S-300 system to the province of Deir Ezzor. However, this type of rumors is common for the Saudi outlet, which has been actively working to fuel tensions between the Syrian-Iranian-Russian alliance and the US-Israeli-led bloc as well as between Russia and Iran.

Dec 14 10:25

RESOURCE WARS: TRUMP’S NEW AFRICA STRATEGY TAKES SHARP AIM AT CHINA, RUSSIA

THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION ON THURSDAY ANNOUNCED A SHARP REFOCUS OF ITS AFRICA STRATEGY TO COUNTER WHAT IT CALLED THE “PREDATORY” PRACTICES OF CHINA AND RUSSIA, WHICH ARE “DELIBERATELY AND AGGRESSIVELY TARGETING THEIR INVESTMENTS IN THE REGION TO GAIN A COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE.”

National security adviser John Bolton laid out the new strategy in remarks at the Heritage Foundation, saying the U.S. will now choose its African partners more carefully. He took special aim at China, accusing it of wielding “bribes, opaque agreements, and the strategic use of debt to hold states in Africa captive to Beijing’s wishes and demands.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

When Karl Marx made the observation that "all wars are economic in their nature", the guy was absolutely correct.

The US government is just mad that it appears like China and Russia are trying to take an economic "bite" out of Africa before it can.

Pot...kettle.... black.

Dec 14 10:14

NATO to Provide Secure Comms Equipment to Kiev Before 2019 – Stoltenberg

NATO is going to deliver secure communications equipment for the Ukrainian army before the end of this year, the alliance’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has stated.

"NATO provides Ukraine with strong political and strong practical support. This includes around 40 million euros pledged by allies for NATO-Ukraine trust funds. One such trust fund is helping Ukraine improve command, control and communications. And today I told president Poroshenko that we will deliver secure communications equipment for the Ukrainian Armed Forces by the end of this year," Stoltenberg said after the talks with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

The secretary-general pointed out that NATO had stepped up its presence in the Black Sea because of alleged Russian aggression against Ukraine and would continue to assess its activities in the area.

Dec 14 10:14

Top Russian, NATO generals discuss global, European security at meeting in Baku

The head of the Russian General Staff, General Valery Gerasimov and NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander in Europe General Curtis Scaparrotti met in Baku, Azerbaijan on Wednesday. Gerasimov raised an issue of the strengthening of NATO’s advanced military presence near Russia’s borders, “which does not contribute to reducing tensions,” the Russian Defense Ministry said.

Dec 14 10:13

Head Of Ukraine’s Orthodox Church Thanks CIA’s Covert Ops Chief

Rather a first: CIA beneficiaries thank their benefactor. Neither the Shah of Iran, nor Augusto Pinochet, nor Sese Mobutu ever publicly thanked the CIA, but the chief of the schismatic Ukrainian Orthodox Church gives thanks to the covert ops operator. This leads to another question: What is the guy who gave Stinger missiles to the mujahedin doing in Ukraine? There will obviously be more that the priest could thank him for.

Dec 14 10:12

Russia Could Destroy the Ukrainian Government with This Political Gambit

In chess there is a move called “the gambit”. This consists of sacrificing a piece on the board with the hope of achieving a resulting advantageous position and winning the match. If Putin were to sacrifice Novorossiya and convince the leaders there to end their separatist campaign swearing loyalty to the government in Kiev, he would defeat Poroshenko. A risky move no doubt, but if successful it would destroy the current Ukrainian government. Putin could then offer an olive branch to Kiev with promises of gas and oil deliveries at a reduced price.

Dec 14 09:58

‘CLEANSE THEM’: TURKEY THREATENS TO SEND TROOPS TO SYRIA’S MANBIJ UNLESS US REMOVES KURDISH MILITIAS

The US must have Kurdish militias withdraw from the Syrian town of Manbij, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Friday, otherwise he will order his troops to take the key settlement.

The threat, delivered during a speech in Istanbul, ramps up Erdogan’s rhetoric targeting the YPG militias. Earlier on Wednesday, he publicly complained that the US, which support the Kurds in northeastern Syria, is failing to deliver on its promise to clear Manbij of Kurdish fighters. Ankara considers Syrian Kurdish paramilitaries as an extension of the Turkey-based anti-government guerrillas and brands the YPG as terrorists.

“Manbij is a place where Arabs live, but they have surrendered the area to the terror organization,” the Turkish president told a judiciary conference. “Now we are saying that you should cleanse, remove them, or else we will enter Manbij. I am speaking very clearly.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

US in a war with Turkey, a NATO ally, over Syrian territory?!?

Were I a betting woman, I would not necessarily bet against it.

Dec 14 09:56

USC hopes for international cooperation in building sub for exploring Mariana Trench

Russia’s United Shipbuilding Corporation counts on international cooperation in creating a deep-diving research bathyscaphe capable of exploring the Mariana Trench, USC CEO Alexei Rakhmanov told the media during a trip to Severodvinsk. "The design bureaus Malakhit and Rubin will be involved in the project to a certain extent," Rakhmanov said, when asked who would design the bathyscaphe. "In contrast to our purely military projects this one, we hope, will rely heavily on international cooperation, because it is going to be a truly global-level undertaking. As it has turned out, nobody has managed to properly measure the depth of the Mariana Trench so far." Discussing specific deadlines when the project might materialize is still premature, though, he said. "When we realize that we have put everything together, including cooperation and financing - and we hope for assistance from our oil and gas monopolies - then the schedule will get more or less clear.

Dec 14 09:51

Over 100 defense chiefs invited to 2019 Moscow security conference

The Russian Defense Ministry has sent invitations to the Moscow Conference on International Security to defense chiefs in 101 countries and heads of eight international organizations, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Colonel General Alexander Fomin said on Friday. "The next, eighth conference will be held next year. Invitations have been sent to defense chiefs in 101 countries and heads of eight international organizations," he said at a meeting with defense attaches, summing up the results of the ministry’s performance in 2018. According to Fomin, the Russian Defense Ministry plans to increase both dialogue platforms and the range of discussed issues at the upcoming conference. He added that round tables, where security experts would be able to express their opinion on modern threats and challenges, would be added to traditional formats of plenary meetings and discussion sections.

Dec 14 09:45

Russian Defense Detects More Than 3,000 Spy Planes Near Its Borders In 2018

In 2018, anti-air defense forces detected and escorted about 3,000 foreign fighter aircraft, of which more than 1,000 were reconnaissance aircraft, reported the Russian Aerospace Force. The exact number of foreign military aircraft was announced by the commander of the Russian Aerospace Forces Radiotechnical Troops, Major General Andrei Koban, in an interview with the Krasnaya Zvezda newspaper. “The intensity of air traffic within the limits of responsibility of the Radiotechnical Troops is what mainly hampers military service. In 2018, the units in service of the Radiotechnical Troops detected and monitored more than 980,000 aerial targets, among which there were about three thousand foreign airplanes including more than 1,000 reconnaissance aircraft,” he said. At the same time, the Russian major general underlined that the air defense units were put in combat readiness more than four thousand times.

Dec 14 09:42

Kosovo’s Parliament Votes To Create Army – Russia Firmly Opposes

The head of the committee of the Federation Council on International Affairs Konstantin Kosachev has just condemned the illegal decision of Kosovo to create its own army and pointed out the role of the United States in supporting Kosovo in this matter, as TASS reported on Friday, December 14th. “Those who are behind Kosovo’s daring and illegal act do not even need to guess: the only ones who supported the Kosovars are the United States,” Kosachev said. At the same time, Serbia as a state enjoys particular support – irrespective of its government per se – from several power vectors in the Russian Federation. Putin and Lavrov have both expressed Russia’s position on the question of Kosovo – Russia opposes Kosovo’s move to separate from Serbia, as well as the pressure from NATO countries to recognize it. The EU also is at odds with Serbia on this question.

Dec 14 09:29

BBC CLAIMS CHEMICAL WEAPONS HELPED ASSAD BUT FAILS TO EXPLAIN HOW | NEW EASTERN OUTLOOK

The BBC published an article in October titled, "How chemical weapons have helped bring Assad close to victory" in which it claims chemical weapons have been "crucial" to Syrian President Bashar Al Assad's "war-winning strategy."

Superficially - the article appears impressive - loaded from top to bottom with colorful charts, graphs, and photographs of supposed victims in gas masks, expended munitions, and craters.

However, never once does the BBC provide an actual explanation as to how chemical weapons brought Damascus closer to victory. Even at face value, the article's entire premise is challenged in each paragraph by the statistics and events the article itself presents.

Alleged Chemical Weapon Casualties are a Drop in the Ocean

The article begins by claiming (emphasis added):

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It is consistently my observation, that demonization in the (alleged) press, totally fact-free, is generally a prelude toward another war against Syria by the West.

But I have to wonder at this point; does the West (AKA the US and UK) really believe that Russia will just walk away from the victory which Al Assad enjoyed after Russian involvement getting rid of the jihadists responsible for the attempted overthrow?!?

I seriously doubt this.

Dec 14 06:55

Russia & Syria to dump dollar in mutual trade, agree joint energy projects

The Moscow-Damascus Intergovernmental panel has reached a series of agreements, including switching to national currencies in mutual settlements and commercial energy exploration in Syria.

Dec 14 04:22

Russia Slams Illegal US Occupation of Southwest Syria

“The United States has built a dozen or more bases from Manbij to Al-Hasakah, including four airfields, and American-backed forces now control all of Syria east of the Euphrates, an area about the size of Croatia.”
>>>

(*Right Or Wrong; A Republican POTUS Will Always 'Stay The Course' !
even if 'the course' was laid out by his Democrat predecessors)

Dec 14 02:52

US Supports Terrorists in Syria

Russian Experts: US Supports Terrorists in Syria by Taking 50,000 Civilians Hostage in Al-Tanf
Russian experts said that the US is supporting the terrorists by incarcerating thousands of civilians in Homs province, referring to Washington's occupation of al-Tanf base in Eastern Syria

The Arabic-language website of SANA news agency quoted the experts as saying on Thursday that over 5,000 US military men are deployed in Northeastern Syria and al-Tanf region.

They added that the US troops are occupying al-Rukban camp in al-Tanf region as a cover to support the remaining ISIL terrorists in the region, while keeping 50,000 civilians in the camp as they face shortage of humanitarian aid.

The experts also said that presence of the US forces and their allies in Syria and their military measures in Syrian territories without any permission from Damascus is clear violation of the international laws, which should be prosecuted through the international court of justice as a war crime.

Other reports also said that human trafficking has increased in al-Tanf region and the terrorists plunder civilians' properties.

>>>

Dec 13 11:12

Germany Has No Interest In New Anti-Russia Sanctions

Incident at the Kerch Bridge: The US Congress has condemned Russia for “aggression” and demands that Russia return the ships; many a European politician has called for “More Sanctions!” after the Kerch Bridge incident. But it’s not going to happen. On this subject, Ukraine and Lithuania are all alone.

In Berlin, they consider it impractical to introduce new anti-Russian restrictive measures in connection with the incident in the Black Sea.

Germany opposes the introduction of new sanctions against the Russian Federation for the incident between Russian and Ukrainian warships near the Kerch Strait. This was announced on Friday by the head of the German Foreign Ministry, Heiko Maas.

Dec 13 09:44

British Government Runs Secret Anti-Russian Smear Campaigns

In 2015 the government of Britain launched a secret operation to insert anti-Russia propaganda into the western media stream.

We have already seen many consequences of this and similar programs which are designed to smear anyone who does not follow the anti-Russian government lines. The 'Russian collusion' smear campaign against Donald Trump based on the Steele dossier was also a largely British operation but seems to be part of a different project.

The 'Integrity Initiative' builds 'cluster' or contact groups of trusted journalists, military personal, academics and lobbyists within foreign countries. These people get alerts via social media to take action when the British center perceives a need.

Dec 13 09:15

European MPs who oppose Nord Stream-2 possibly pin hopes on firewood, says Moscow

"Opposing energy cooperation and its diversification and measures to adjust it to modern trends is madness for Europe," Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said

Dec 13 08:56

Kiev may start major offensive in rebellious east ‘within days’ – Moscow

The Ukrainian government is reportedly preparing a provocation in the east, which will be used to launch a major offensive operation against rebel forces, Moscow said. It may happen in days and would affect the presidential poll.

The Ukrainian military has amassed troops in Kiev-controlled eastern parts of the country, the spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry said Thursday citing reports from international monitors. Moscow believes it to be a sign of a looming escalation between the Ukrainian government and rebel forces.

“There are reports that within several days Kiev will stage an armed provocation on the contact line,” Maria Zakharova said, referring to the border, which separates rebel-held parts of Ukraine from the rest of the country.

Dec 13 08:55

The Enmity Between Ukrainians and Russians Is Artificial, Manufactured by the West

The authorities who forced Ukraine to become a part of the Soviet Union had no regard for the will of the people or the right to self-determination. Stalin was hell-bent on incorporating Ukraine – a pesky and independent-minded nation with a proud history – into the nascent Socialist empire. Many Ukrainians resented the process of Russification that followed feeling that it threatened to greatly diminish their rich culture and heritage. Ukrainians, after all, have their own language, literature, music, art, food and traditions.

They can boast of dozens of world famous artists such as the writers Taras Shevchenko, Lesya Ukrainka, and Gogol as well as the painters Repin, Bogomazov, Levitsky, Murasko and Marchuk.

Dec 13 08:53

Don't Let Ukraine Drag America Into War

Uraine’s behavior in the Kerch Strait is another example of a U.S. ally (or security dependent) trying to gain American military backing for its own parochial agenda. Georgia sought to do that in 2008 regarding its territorial dispute with Russia over two secessionist regions, Abkhazia and South Ossetia. A European Union-sponsored report subsequently concluded that Georgia started the fighting that broke out in August of that year. And there is little doubt that Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili expected to get much stronger support from the United States and NATO than he ultimately received.

There are other examples of such self-serving behavior. Saudi Arabia routinely attempts to entangle the United States in Riyadh’s regional power struggle with Tehran. Washington’s shameful support for the Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen suggests that the effort has not been in vain.

Dec 13 08:19

Germany Supports Sanctions Extension Against Russia Over Kerch Incident - Merkel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in parliament that Germany would support the extension of sanctions against Russia at the upcoming EU summit.

"If we call things as they are, we will support the extension of sanctions [against Russia]," Merkel said in her speech broadcast by the Bundestag website.

The chancellor has also expressed concern about the actions of Russia and said that Germany had not accepted Russia's claims to the Sea of Azov.

Dec 12 21:00

Russian military moved S-300 system near US forces in east Syria – report

BEIRUT, LEBANON (10:50 P.M.) – The Russian military allegedly moved their S-300 air defense system near the front-lines of the U.S. Coalition forces in eastern Syria, Saudi-based Asharq Al-Aswat claimed, citing diplomatic sources.

Dec 12 15:08

‘FULL EXTENT’ OF RUSSIAN MEDDLING ON GOOGLE IN 2016? $4,700 SPENT ON ADS

Google CEO Sundar Pichai revealed that the “full extent” of so-called Russian meddling activity that took place on the platform during all of 2016 was $4,700 spent on some digital advertisements.

Dec 12 12:28

Kremlin To Release US-Russia Communications On Election Meddling If Trump Agrees

Russia will declassify all correspondence with the United States regarding election meddling in the 2016 US election if the US agrees to it, according to state owned RT, citing a senior official of the Cyber Threats Response Center.

"We are ready to make public all correspondence if the US side gives its consent to it," said deputy director of the FSB-run CTRC, Nikolai Murashov, in a Tuesday statement to reporters. He added that the files are currently classified.

Washington’s cooperation in probing the Democratic National Committee (DNC) hacking attacks was limited, the official said. Moscow had only received a number of messages “containing technical information about the hack,” Murashov explained.

Russian cyber security experts examined it even before Donald Trump’s inauguration. “An exhaustive response was then sent to the American side.”

Dec 12 12:26

Kremlin Enters War Of Words With Pompeo After Nuke-Capable Bombers Deployed To Venezuela

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo slammed Russia for sending a pair of long-range nuclear capable Tu-160 bombers "halfway around the world" to Venezuela in comments posted to Twitter late Monday. The Kremlin confirmed the jets touched down at Venezuela's Simon Bolivar International Airport in the capital of Caracas previously that day.

“The Russian and Venezuelan people should see this for what it is: two corrupt governments squandering public funds, and squelching liberty and freedom while their people suffer,” Pompeo stated.

Two Russian Air Force Tupolev Tu-160 heavy strategic bombers arrived to Venezuela after 10,000-kilometer flight from Russia.
The Kremlin, which has described the flights as training exercises and part of Russia’s right to make "regular flights over the international waters," responded by describing Pompeo's statement as "an utterly inappropriate comment" and his weighing in as "indeed very undiplomatic," according to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

Dec 12 12:16

Spot on: Russia to track future US missiles with upgraded over-the-horizon radar

In response to US plans to pull out of the INF Treaty and the active development of its hypersonic technology, Russia is building a network of radar stations best suited to detect missile launches from afar.

Russia is seeking to install Container-type over-the-horizon (OTH) radar stations along its borders. The move will substantially boost Moscow's capabilities to monitor airspace and detect missile launches, particularly in case of hypersonic projectiles.

Dec 12 12:11

Trump Regime Arming and Training Ukrainian Forces for War. Should Donbass Join Russia?

The Ukraine Freedom Support Act (UFSA) of 2014 authorized US lethal and non-lethal aid to Kiev.

The US and other NATO countries supply its forces with heavy and other weapons, along with training to use them. The only external threats its regime faces are invented one. No real ones exist.

A state of war initiated by Ukraine exists between the US-installed puppet regime and Donbass freedom fighters – breaking away from Kiev over wanting democratic governance, rejecting illegitimate fascist rule.

In April 2014, less than two months after the Obama regime’s coup, replacing democratic governance with Nazi-infested putschists, Ukrainian forces attacked the People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk (DPR and LPR) in Donbass.

US orchestrated war continues intermittently. Washington and Kiev willfully undermined Minsk I and II conflict resolution agreements, wanting war, not peace, near Russia’s border.

Dec 12 12:10

Trump Nominates U.S. Army General Mark Milley for the Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Who Previously Said That Russia Is the No.1 Threat to the U.S.

U.S. President Donald Trump has nominated U.S. Army General Mark Milley who is currently Chief of the Army to succeed Marine General, Joseph Dunford as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The Associated Press (AP) has described Milley as a “battle-hardened commander who oversaw troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Milley has also served in other deployments in Latin America and the Caribbean including Operation Just Cause in Panama in 1989 under U.S. President George H.W. Bush to oust Panama’s military leader, Manual Noriega and Operation Uphold Democracy in Haiti in 1994 to reinstate ousted Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide after he made assurances to President Bill Clinton to allow Washington and Haiti’s elite to dominate the country politically and economically. As a pre-condition, Aristide also had to leave office in 1996 and not seek re-election. “Operation Uphold Democracy” should have been named “Operation Restore American Dominance.”

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