RUSSIA/UKRAINE | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


RUSSIA/UKRAINE

Jun 28 13:06

US Dems, NATO Allies Express Fear Over Putin-Trump Summit

Update: It did not take long for the Democrats to start jumping up and down about this and who else but Rep. Adam Schiff to lead the charge:

“I fear that this summit will prove to be another blow to NATO and our allies, and a gift to the Kremlin,” Schiff says in emailed statement, adding that Trump should use the summit to confront Putin “on Russia’s interference in our elections.”

Trump should also confront Putin on “the invasion of Ukraine, Russian and Syrian war crimes in Syria, and the chemical weapons attack in the U.K.'”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The Democrats have absolutely become the party of "NO!", when it comes to any activities that might advance peace prospects, by ratcheting down tensions between the US and Russia.

And Representative Schiff, are you suffering from an astonishingly horrific case of SMD (selective memory disorder), when you state that "Russia invaded Ukraine", as though it is something which... actually happened?!?

This is a narrative which is absolutely not backed by reality; and Sir, if you cannot remember Spring of 2014 in Ukraine, you may well be in need of a quick visit to your local neurologist, because your brain has popped a gasket, you should immediately resign from your Congressional seat, and have someone who has the capacity of remembering what really happened here, replace you.

In 2014, the putsch in Kiev threw the duly elected President of Ukraine, Yanukovych, under the proverbial bus, and "annointed" Petro Poroshenko as its president, in an election which was about as crooked as is a dog's hind leg.

Oh, and let's remember; Obama was up to his neck in this, because Poroshenko was considered more western-centric than was Yanukovych, and even admitted US complicity in brokering the deal.

Washington Was Behind Ukraine Coup: Obama admits that US “Brokered a Deal” in Support of “Regime Change”

So understanding, post-coup, that there was no legitimate government in Kiev, Crimean politicians did two things. First, they held a free and fair referendum, asking the Crimean people if they wanted to remain with Ukraine, or petition Russia to become part of the Russian Federation. The Crimean people, voted overwhelmingly, to request attachment to the Russian Federation
Status:
Crimean referendum, 2014
, and then Crimean petitioned the Russian Federation to become a member, and Russia accepted the petition.

The Crimean people were absolutely allowed to do this, under the UN Charter, which holds the principal of "peaceful self-determination" as a highly respected notion, and is clearly articulated in the UN Charter; but the US government, even though allegedly a signatory to the UN Charter, refused to acknowledge this, and accused Russia of having "annexed Crimea", which never actually happened, and power-squeezed Europe into singing the same, tone-deaf,fact-free, and sanction-studded song.

Punishing a country for something it absolutely didn't do, as is the case with Crimea having chosen to become part of the Russian Federation, rather than Russia having annexed it, seems to have become a US norm in the geopolitics of the 21st century.

This is precisely the same song Europe is singing today, demonstrating in the immortal words of the America commedian Ron White, that "you can't fix stupid"; and unfortunately, you can't fix stupid lies, if they are spun to suppport a war-centric agenda which has no basis in actual fact.

Jun 28 12:49

Iranian President Reopens Nuclear Plant: "We Will Bring The US To Its Knees"

Iranian president Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday: “We will bring the US to its knees in this battle of wills.” The Iranian government is continuing to warn of harsh retaliation against the United States after the Trump administration pulled out of the 2015 nuclear agreement.

According to PressTV, the threat comes as Washington continues to attempt to bully its allies into halting imports of Iranian oil after Donald Trump unilaterally quit the cornerstone international nuclear agreement instituted by his predecessor, Barack Obama. Iran has previously said there would be consequences should the US decide to withdraw from the agreement.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This withdrawal from the P5+1 deal, is going to wind up costing President Trump very dearly, and will give the appearance that the US government cannot be trusted when it signs an agreement, and then renigs, on another Presiden't watch.

There was much about which I critized President Obama, but this agreement was not an area of disagreement between us; it worked, to the point where the IAEA has consistently reported that Iran has been complying will all the terms of the agreement since 2015.

To simply attempt to wreck it, both to destroy President Obama's legacy, and to appease one of his two BBFs in the Middle East, Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu, was a seismic geopolitical blunder on his part, and may well insure that the US will ultimately be going to war with Iran, a war which Netanyahu wants to see happen, but only at the costs of American blood, and American money.

But there is one factor here, which I am hoping President Trump will take into account in this issue, and that is the presence of Russia, whose politicians and military personnel have consistently promised to defend Iran, should it be attacked militarily.

Mr. President, I hope that you are, soberly, and clearly, taking into account of the ramifications of those promises; do you really want to see the US go to war against Russia over Iran?!?

This, sir, would be a war that the US military might well not win, because we are lagging far behind Russia in terms of troop strength, weaponry, and manufacturing.

Jun 28 12:36

Russia and Turkey Diversifying Into Gold As The U.S. Borrows Faster Than Entire World Saves

The Russian reduction of Treasury holdings, to $48.7 billion in April 2018 from $102.2 billion in December 2017, has been nothing short of dramatic, though it wasn’t a huge blow to the U.S. Russia’s holdings of American government bonds have long been dwarfed by those of China and Japan, as well as Brazil and some European countries. The U.S., with a debt of almost $21.2 trillion, can afford not to notice fluctuations in the tens of billions of dollars by an authoritarian state’s damage-control efforts and attempts to get away from the dollar.

U.S. Borrowing Faster Than the World Saves

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This impending insolvency is going to hit this country like a ton of bricks, and nothing can be done to stop it, except for its potential confiscation of corporate, and private financial accounts; but even that won't be able to duck this insolvency completely.

Jun 28 11:25

Italy pushes for de-escalation as EU moves to renew Russia sanctions

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said on Wednesday the renewal of European Union economic sanctions against Russia should not be automatic, as Rome seeks to resume EU funding to small Russian firms to ease tensions with Moscow.

Jun 28 11:06

DNR: Two attacks by the Ukrainian army near Gorlovka were repelled

According to him, the first attack by the Ukrainian security forces took place in the area of the hamlet of South-East with the goal of taking over one of the plains. The attack was led with mortar fire and artillery fire.

A representative of the DNR Command stated that "the enemy suffered significant losses".

Later on, Ukrainian security forces opened fire again in the direction of Gagarin village, using tanks and artillery.

He said that the Ukrainian army had planned to insert a diversion-intelligence group into the DNR territory.

"This special operation of the Armed Forces of Ukraine has failed again. Thanks to the vigilance of our soldiers, we spotted it on time and caught them in a fire trap. Two Ukrainian soldiers were injured and the group withdrew. Since the firing of Ukrainian artillery and tanks into the residential area of Gagarin, three houses have been damaged, "said the representative of the DNR Command.

Jun 28 11:04

1,000 Surrender to Syrian Army in Southern Amnesty Offer

Syrian state media is reporting that an estimated 1,000 wanted men in southern Syria’s Daraa Province surrendered to the army on Wednesday. This included members of rebel groups, as well as draft dodgers and others.

This was part of an attempted reconciliation effort. The Syrian government promised amnesty, saying they’d clear the records of everyone who reached out to the army for a surrender instead of waiting to be captured.

The Syrian government is planning a large offensive in Daraa, one of the last rebel-held areas in the country’s south. There are some moderate rebel groups in the area, along with al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Looks as though the Syrian government and Russia, are about to win this one!!

Jun 28 10:57

Syria’s Idlib Residents Warn of Potential Provocation by White Helmets

Residents of the Syrian province of Idlib have warned the Russian Center for Syrian reconciliation about potential provocation by the White Helmets group that may involve the use of chemical agents, head of the Center Maj. Gen. Alexei Tsygankov said Wednesday.

"Residents of the Syrian province of Idlib called the Russian Center for Reconciliation of Opposing Sides in Syria warning about upcoming provocation by the White Helmets organization. According to the residents, a convoy of six cars with White Helmets emblems and a truck, loaded with individual protection equipment, visual equipment and seven rockets, as well as with canisters filled with liquids, arrived in the city of Idlib on Sunday," Tsygankov said.

White Helmets uniform found during the search of terrorists’ headquarters in Eastern Ghouta.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Translation: get ready for yet another false flag attack in Syria.

Jun 28 09:45

EU’S SANCTIONS AGAINST CRIMEA EXTENDED FOR ANOTHER YEAR

The European Union is committing to its policy of perceiving revolutionary determination as its course of legitimacy. Apparently, a referendum gaining nearly 100% popular support isn’t sufficient to qualify for the self determination of a region. Therefore, the EU will continue to consider the Crimea as politically a part of the Ukraine. This, of course, means that the EU has reason for its sanctions regime against Crimea, which it will be extending for yet another year.

Deutsche Welle reports:

The European Union extended economic sanctions on Crimea and its port city of Sevastopol on Monday. The 28-member bloc imposed the measures after Russia annexed the Black Sea peninsula four years ago.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Deutsche Welle chooses collectively to continue to lie through its teeth in this report, and obviously must well and truly believe that its readers suffer greatly from SMD (selective memory disorder).

So let me correct the record here, again, still, yet; and Deutsche Welle, when will you realise that lying to your readership cannot change the actual facts on the ground?!?

In 2014, the putsch in Kiev threw the duly elected President of Ukraine, Yanukovych, under the proverbial bus, and "annointed" Petro Poroshenko as its president, in an election which was about as crooked as is a dog's hind leg.

Oh, and let's remember; Obama was up to his neck in this, because Poroshenko was considered more western-centric than was Yanukovych, and even admitted US complicity in brokering the deal.

Washington Was Behind Ukraine Coup: Obama admits that US “Brokered a Deal” in Support of “Regime Change”

So understanding, post-coup, that there was no legitimate government in Kiev, Crimean politicians did two things. First, they held a free and fair referendum, asking the Crimean people if they wanted to remain with Ukraine, or petition Russia to become part of the Russian Federation. The Crimean people, voted overwhelmingly, to request attachment to the Russian Federation
Status:
Crimean referendum, 2014
, and then Crimean petitioned the Russian Federation to become a member, and Russia accepted the petition.

The Crimean people were absolutely allowed to do this, under the UN Charter, which holds the principal of "peaceful self-determination" as a highly respected notion, and is clearly articulated in the UN Charter; but the US government, even though allegedly a signatory to the UN Charter, refused to acknowledge this, and accused Russia of having "annexed Crimea", which never actually happened, and power-squeezed Europe into singing the same, tone-deaf,fact-free, and sanction-studded song.

Punishing a country for something it absolutely didn't do, as is the case with Crimea having chosen to become part of the Russian Federation, rather than Russia having annexed it, seems to have become a US norm in the geopolitics of the 21st century.

This is precisely the same song Europe is singing today, demonstrating in the immortal words of the America commedian Ron White, that "you can't fix stupid"; and unfortunately, you can't fix stupid lies, if they are spun to suppport a war-centric agenda which has no basis in actual fact.

Jun 28 09:18

Inside Look Into the Death Squads Used by Ukrainian Counterintelligence

In an exclusive, in-depth interview with Sputnik, Sergei Sanovsky, a former training instructor for one of Ukraine's most notorious far-right volunteer militias, shared his story about how he went from being hailed a "hero of Maidan" to getting kidnapped and tortured by Ukraine's Security Service for refusing to run an extrajudicial death squad.

Jun 28 09:04

Russia: UK Bribed OPCW Members

Russia considers the decision to expand the mandate of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) illegitimate, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.

"As a result of political manipulation, as well as, as has became known, the direct bribery of a number of delegations and outright blackmail, the UK and other states that are in favor of strengthening the chemical convention have managed to squeeze out its odious draft decision, which has conferred on the OPCW Technical Secretariat the powers to identify those responsible for the use of chemical weapons in Syria," Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova stated.

According to Zakharova, Moscow considers the "odious draft decision" to be "illegitimate."

"We consider this decision illegitimate. We have to point out that the conference of the participating states went beyond the scope of its mandate while adopting this decision," Zakharova said at a weekly briefing.

Jun 28 09:03

Russia extends free land giveaway program beyond Far East

Russia’s northwestern Vologda region will give out unused land to Russian citizens. The program, which started in the country’s Far East, has proven to be popular.

The bill on free land in Vologda will be introduced in the regional parliament in September and is likely to be introduced starting January. According to the program launched in Russia’s Far East, free land can be used for any lawful purpose, but the new owners cannot rent, sell, or give the land away for five years.

Foreigners are also eligible to use the land, but the registration of full property rights is only possible after the recipient becomes a naturalized citizen. The program started in June 2016 for the local populations of the Far East, and from February 2017 it became available for all

Jun 28 08:37

Fears grow over prospect of Trump ‘peace deal’ with Putin

Britain fears that President Trump will undermine Nato by striking a “peace deal” with President Putin when the pair meet next month.

Cabinet ministers are worried that Mr Trump may be persuaded to downgrade US military commitments in Europe, compromising Nato countries’ defence against Russian aggression.

Officials are also concerned that he could hand Mr Putin a propaganda victory by cancelling or changing the alliance’s planned military exercises.

Jun 28 08:32

Why did this Iraqi army brigade swap its American Abrams tanks for Russian ones?

An Iraqi armored brigade is trading its American M1A1 Abrams tanks for the Russian T-90S main battle tank — possibly for geopolitical reasons.

The swap comes after U.S. officials complained that Abrams tanks ended up in the hands of Iranian-backed militias, and may be an avenue through which Russia is attempting to gain more influence in the region.

"I think the move was at least partly motivated by smoothing over that issue,” said James Phillips, a senior research fellow for Middle Eastern affairs at the Heritage Foundation.

“But also it was a pointed reminder that the [United States] does not have a monopoly on tanks, and that Iraq can get them from Russia, as well,” he added. “This diminishes U.S. leverage and increases Baghdad’s options in the future."

Jun 28 08:28

US tries to stop S-400 deal with India

In much the same manner as the US attempted to kill the S-400 deal with Turkey, they are now setting out to end India’s defense relationship with Russia, especially if they can manage to undermine this SAM deal. The idea is to utilize sanctions to get the job done. If the US can manage to dissuade India from buying their SAM systems from India over fear that they might contravene some sanction issued by Washington, then that’s what they aim to do, while simultaneously offering America’s THAAD system to New Delhi as a replacement.

Jun 28 08:28

Who’s Afraid of a Trump-Putin Summit?

If it actually occurs, never in the 75-year history of such US-Russian meetings will an American president have had so much opposition and so little support at home.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The promoters of a new cold war are panicking!

Jun 28 08:22

Putin Benefits From Trump’s Anti-Iran Sanctions

Russia is the one country that has arguably benefited the most from the Trump administration’s insistence that other countries (including America’s Western allies) reduce their petroleum imports from Iran to zero or face U.S. sanctions.

Both during Soviet times and under Putin, Moscow has long sought to drive a wedge between the U.S. and its European allies, thereby weakening the Western alliance. Trump’s actions regarding Iran (as well as other issues) have done just this. Not only do most of America’s allies in Europe and outside the Middle East continue to support the Iranian nuclear accord, but they are angered that Trump is threatening them with sanctions unless they comply with what they regard as Trump’s wrong-headed and illegal withdrawal from an agreement that Iran is continuing to observe.

Jun 28 08:12

Pompeo: Trump Wants Russia in Global Foreign Policy Discussions

In the course of testifying before a Senate Appropriations committee, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo discussed the upcoming summit between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump. He sought to assure that Trump would tell Putin that meddling in US elections is ‘unacceptable.”

Pompeo also indicated that President Trump believes it is important for Russia to be part of the discussion on matters affecting global foreign policy issues. He added that Trump believes Russian involvement is inevitable.

Earlier this month, Trump made something of a stir at a G7 meeting, saying he believed Russia should be at the table, and calling for them to be reinstated as members of the international body. Russia was suspended in 2014 in protest of Crimea’s ascension into the Russian Federation.

Jun 28 08:07

U.S. pulls funding for U.N. counterterrorism office headed by Russian

The United States cut a $2 million pledge for the United Nations Counterterrorism Office on Wednesday and downgraded its presence at a conference on the issue, the Trump administration’s latest move to use funding to push for reform of the world body.

The funding cut was made over a decision by the U.N. counterterrorism chief, a former Russian diplomat with more than 30 years service, to close part of an inaugural conference to nongovernmental interest groups, a U.S. official speaking on condition of anonymity said.

When asked if the decision had anything to do with counterterrorism chief Vladimir Voronkov being Russian, the U.S. official said “it matters” and that Voronkov had come under “tremendous pressure by his home country” on the conference.

Jun 28 07:52

NATO Allies Express Fear Over Trump-Putin Summit

Key US allies in NATO, including some long-time advocates of President Trump, are expressing severe opposition to Wednesday’s announcement of an upcoming summit between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Polish Sen. Anna Maria Anders said everyone needs to be worried, saying that Putin is “extremely charming” and it would be impossible to predict how Trump would react to this. She expressed concern Putin would talk Trump into withdrawing from Poland.

Other European officials offered similar concerns that Trump might make “spontaneous promises” to Putin on myriad important issues. They said the worst-case scenario would be Trump embracing Putin after a tense meeting with NATO.

This has been a recurring issue since Trump took office. Trump’s campaign talk of improving US-Russia ties was rejected by most other NATO members, and since then every hint of Trump meeting Putin or having talks with Russia has been followed by panic from those nations.

Jun 28 07:51

Kremlin aide comments on Bolton’s visit to Russia

The visit by US presidential national security adviser John Bolton to Russia yielded the results, which both sides had expected, Kremlin aide Yuri Ushakov said on Wednesday.

The Russian presidential aide made this statement following the results of a meeting between Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and Bolton.

"We are satisfied with the exchange [of opinions] that took place. It was especially useful precisely in the context of preparing a summit meeting," Ushakov said.

"This is actually what John Bolton’s visit was planned for and it yielded the results we had expected," the Kremlin aide said.

Jun 28 07:50

Theresa May to DEMAND EU nations continue Russia CRACKDOWN at Brussels summit

Since 2014 the EU has imposed a series of economic sanctions and other measures against Russia, including asset freezes and travel restrictions, over its illegal occupation of Crimea and destabilisation of Ukraine.

The Prime Minister is hoping to convince the leaders of the 27 other EU members states to back the continuation of sanctions.

Today, at the first working session of the summit she is expected to tell her counterparts: "Russia and other actors seem to be trying to sow disunity, destabilise our democracies and test our resolve.

"We must adapt our current defences to the 'new normal' and take responsibility for protecting international norms and institutions."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Theresa May is facing problems with BREXIT ... so, distract with Russia!

Jun 28 07:39

World Cup exposes England not Russia as the country with a racism problem

Exposed as baseless during this World Cup has been the anti-Russia propaganda peddled by Western ideologues, particularly in the UK, when it comes to the security and safety of travelling fans.

In the lead up to the tournament the contents of a House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee report was made public by the BBC. Consider the following paragraph: “Fans from BAME (Black, Asian, and minority ethnic) backgrounds and those who identify as LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) face additional risks of attack and persecution [in Russia].”

Jun 28 07:37

Trump says likely to meet Putin in Helsinki after NATO summit

The expected meeting between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin will happen in the Finnish capital sometime after the upcoming NATO summit, the US president announced. Their talks will focus on Syria and Ukraine, he said. The two countries agreed that a bilateral meeting will take place earlier on Wednesday during a visit to Russia by Trump’s National Security Advisor, John Bolton. Official statements on the time and place of the event are expected on Thursday.

Jun 28 07:36

Trump to meet Putin regardless of ‘noise’ at home as it’s in US national interest

Donald Trump will hold talks with Vladimir Putin, despite criticism in the US, as such a meeting is in America’s national interest, the utterly diplomatic US National Security Adviser John Bolton told reporters in Moscow.
Bolton, who arrived in Russia to prepare the summit and met with President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday, said that both the US and Russian presidents shared a belief that their face-to-face meeting will improve relations between the two nations.

“Despite the political noise in the US,” direct communications between Trump and Putin are in the “best interest of our country,” he said, during a press-conference in the Russian capital.

Jun 27 15:00

Trump Is Working on an Israel-Palestine 'Deal of the Century' and Needs Putin's Cooperation

If Presidents Trump and Putin do meet sometime in July in Europe (a July 15 meeting in Austria is under negotiation), one certain topic for discussion and negotiation will be Syria and the ongoing threat of a war between Israel and Iran.

While I am told that there is no agreement at present between the US and Russia, the elements of a deal are clearly being pursued. Consider the following developments over the past several days: Over the weekend of 23-24 June, Russian planes began providing air support to Syrian Arab Army forces moving to take back territory south of Damascus. Russia has been pressing Iran and Hezbollah to stay out of southern Syria, to avert continuing Israeli air strikes there.

Jun 27 13:30

Date & venue of Putin-Trump meeting agreed – presidential adviser

Russia and US have agreed the date and time of the much anticipated talks between Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump, Russian president’s adviser Yury Ushakov said, adding that details of the meeting will be revealed on Thursday.

Jun 27 10:31

Mysterious case handled by FBI still unsolved

We all know the United States of America is the best Superpower country in the world.
In the order, we all know about the world’s popular famous agency FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation), formerly the Bureau of Investigation. FBI is the domestic intelligence and security service of the United States of America.

Jun 27 08:33

RUSSIA MILITARY SAYS U.S. CEASEFIRE IS OVER IN SYRIA AS ISRAEL REPORTEDLY ATTACKS IRAN WEAPONS IN DAMASCUS

The apparent ceasefire collapse also occurred as airstrikes reportedly struck Damascus International Airport on Tuesday. While the attack remains unclaimed, it has been widely blamed on Israel, who rarely takes responsibility for strikes against Iranian and pro-Iran targets in neighboring Syria. The U.K.-based, pro-opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that Israeli warplanes struck "a shipment of Iranian weapons" that had arrived at the airport, while Russia's state-run Sputnik News highlighted reports claiming an Iranian cargo plane may have been the target.

Jun 27 08:00

Medvedev orders to prepare anti-US sanctions similar to Europe and China’s

PM Dmitry Medvedev has ordered the Russian Economy Ministry to prepare an answer to “openly discriminative” steel and aluminum duties introduced by the United States, noting that Europe and China had already made their moves.

Jun 27 07:41

John Bolton meets Vladimir Putin during Moscow visit

US national security adviser’s Russia trip seen as prelude to possible Trump-Putin summit

Jun 26 15:31

Is The EU Closer To Recognizing Crimea As Russia?

The ECHR’s admission of 60 claimants as Russian nationals raises the spectre of Europe’s final recognition of the Crimea as an integral part of Russia.

Today we have confirmed reports that the European Court for Human Rights has finally admitted the status of 60 claimants regarding land issues, as Russian nationals. Natalia Poklonskaya, deputy of the State Duma of the Russian Federation, in fact told journalists this very same thing today during a reception in Sevastopol.

Jun 26 11:56

RUSSIA DUMPS $47 BILLION OF US SECURITIES, MASSIVELY BUYING GOLD

In a further sign the US is losing the dominance of the world’s economic system which it has enjoyed since the end of World War 2, Russia is massively divesting from US securities.

In April, Russia dumped $47 billion in US bonds – roughly half of the US debt it holds.

US President Trump’s escalating tariff war, plus ever-expanding US sanctions on Russia, could also be contributing factors to Moscow’s decision to increasingly ditch dollars.

In exchange, Russia is turning to an ancient and time-tested store of value: gold.

The question is, as the US trade war with China escalates, will Beijing follow suit?

Here’s more from RT:

US sanctions have forced Russia to look at ways of securing its foreign reserves. In recent years, Moscow has increased purchases of physical gold and dramatically reduced its share of US debt bonds.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This could very badly impact the value of the US debt bonds for other countries looking to get away from the dollar as well.

Jun 26 11:56

RUSSIA DUMPS $47 BILLION OF US SECURITIES, MASSIVELY BUYING GOLD

In a further sign the US is losing the dominance of the world’s economic system which it has enjoyed since the end of World War 2, Russia is massively divesting from US securities.

In April, Russia dumped $47 billion in US bonds – roughly half of the US debt it holds.

US President Trump’s escalating tariff war, plus ever-expanding US sanctions on Russia, could also be contributing factors to Moscow’s decision to increasingly ditch dollars.

In exchange, Russia is turning to an ancient and time-tested store of value: gold.

The question is, as the US trade war with China escalates, will Beijing follow suit?

Here’s more from RT:

US sanctions have forced Russia to look at ways of securing its foreign reserves. In recent years, Moscow has increased purchases of physical gold and dramatically reduced its share of US debt bonds.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This could very badly impact the value of the US debt bonds for other countries looking to get away from the dollar as well.

Jun 26 11:29

50,000 CIVILIANS FLEE HOMES AS SYRIAN GOV’T ATTACK ON REBEL-HELD AREA INTENSIFIES

With the first skirmishes of the Syrian southwestern offensive starting to grow into outright fighting, reports out of the area say that over 50,000 civilians have fled their homes in just the past week. This is overwhelmingly from the areas in the de-escalation zone expected to be major targets in the fighting.

Journalists in the area say that at least 27 civilians were killed. The displaced are scattering in all directions, some going deeper into rebel territory along the border, others heading north out of the likely contested areas.

The de-escalation zone in Daraa was, for quite some time, totally calm, and a lot of the people living in this area were much safer than people in most of the rest of war-torn Syria. That zone is rapidly collapsing, however.

Jun 26 11:14

WHISTLEBLOWER REALITY WINNER, CHARGED UNDER THE ESPIONAGE ACT FOR HELPING TO INFORM PUBLIC OF RUSSIAN ELECTION MEDDLING, PLEADS GUILTY

WHISTLEBLOWER REALITY WINNER entered into a plea deal with the Justice Department on Tuesday, ostensibly putting an end to her case that has seen her held in jail for over a year without trial. Her indictment was the Trump administration’s first prosecution in its crackdown on leaks, which now includes many others. As part of the plea agreement, Winner will consent to serving over five years behind bars.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I find myself very uneasy about this case; was the Trump administration trying to punish her for allegedly revealing problems in th US electoral system, or were they simply embarrassed to have had to come to grips with it, and let the public know if this had actually happened, if in fact it did happen?

Jun 26 09:59

Atlantic Council finally admits Ukraine’s Nazi problem, and seems upset RT reported it earlier

For the uninitiated, the Atlantic Council is NATO’s propaganda wing. And whenever its lobbyists, or guest writers, publish opinions which digress from the standard Washington foreign policy establishment position, it usually suggests a change in attitude is on the cards.

Last week, the “think tank” sent Ukraine a clear message: get your extremists & neo-Nazis under control promptly and start taking the threat they pose seriously.

In doing so, the Atlantic Council also finally acknowledged the problem exists. Something readers and viewers of RT have been aware of since the first Euromaidan protests back in 2013. However, for years, this reportage was dismissed by pro-NATO activists as “Kremlin propaganda.”

So what has changed? Well, Ukraine’s far right has become so emboldened that even the countries’ biggest defenders are beginning to realize the threat they pose to the narrative established since the 2014 change of power in Kiev.

Jun 26 07:42

South Korea Is Massively Overpaying for Its Energy. Trump, Russia and Kim Could Change That

At the core of the Vladivostok-Seoul gas pipeline is South Korea’s almost unprecedented dependence on imports to cover its energy needs – the rate stands at 98-99 percent for quite some time already. South Korea’s traditional means of generating energy largely boiled down to nuclear power and LNG, yet after the 2011 Fukushima catastrophe nuclear is about to be gradually removed from the national energy matrix. Korea’s LNG import capacities are undoubtedly spectacular, as the nation’s 4 LNG terminals can process up to 120 BCm per annum, double of South Korea’s actual natural gas needs. Yet if one is to compare LNG imports to South Korea and Gazprom’s exports to Europe, it becomes evident that Seoul has been overpaying massively. Since LNG supplies in Asia-Pacific are exposed to seasonal volatility, the average price Korean buyers pay for liquefied gas is often double of that European consumers pay ($344 vs $172 per MCm in January 2017, $390 vs $215 per MCm in January 2018).

Jun 26 07:00

Kremlin declassifies Kim Jong-un's letter to Putin

20.06.2018. DPRK leader Kim Jong-un wrote a letter to President Putin. In the letter, Kim wrote about productive cooperation at the highest state level, Putin's aide Yuri Ushakov said. According to him, Kim Jong-un did not write anything about arranging a possible meeting with President Putin. The news about Kim Jong-un's letter to Putin was made public on June 14, when Putin had a meeting with chairman of the supreme legislative and executive body of the DPRK Kim Yong Nam. Putin invited Kim Jong-un to come for the Eastern Economic Forum, which is to take place this autumn, although the Russian president said that he would be glad to see the DPRK leader in Russia any time. Earlier, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, when on an official visit to North Korea, invited Kim Jong-un to come to Moscow, and the leader of the DPRK said that he would like to talk to Vladimir Putin in person.

Jun 26 06:58

Russia introduces additional duties on imports of US goods

19 Jun 2018. The Russian government has decided to introduce "balancing measures" for goods imported from the United States. Russia will impose additional import duties on a number of goods that have an alternative on the Russian market, Maxim Oreshkin, the Minister of Economic Development said. "As long as the United States continues applying protective measures in the form of additional import duties on steel and aluminum and refuses to compensate losses to Russia, the Russian Federation will use its WTO right and introduce balancing measures against imports from the United States," said the minister. Additional duties are to be introduced "in the near future," the minister said. "They will be applied only to the products that have alternatives on the Russian market and will not show a negative influence on macroeconomic indicators," Oreshkin said. The minister did not specify which products would be affected.

Jun 26 06:42

Netanyahu gets Putin’s invitation to attend final match of World Cup 2018

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has received an invitation from Russian President Vladimir Putin to attend the final match of FIFA World Cup 2018 that will be played at Moscow’s Luzhniki stadium on July 15, Israeli Channel 7 tv said on Monday. A well-informed source told the channel Netanyahu was satisfied by receiving the invitation but there was no final decision on his part yet. The president of the Palestine Football Association, Jibril Rajoub, told WAFA news agency earlier the President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, planned attending the final match at Luzhniki stadium, too.

Jun 26 06:35

Russia says OPCW report on military facilities in Syria passed under pressure from US

"We took notice of the report by Director General of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Ahmet Uzumcu on the implementation of the resolution of the 83rd session of the OPCW Executive Council," the ministry said. "We have repeatedly said that the reports demands to Syria are beyond the framework of the Chemical Weapons Convention. Attempts to obtain unimpeded and unconditional access for OPCW inspector to any (meaning secret) military and civil infrastructure facilities go far beyond the framework of international law," the ministry stressed. "Obviously, such a document was passed under the strongest pressure from the United States and its closest allies.

Jun 26 06:26

Erdogan's re-election to test Kremlin’s Middle East ambitions

Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s landslide victory in Turkey’s presidential election might pose serious problems for Russia’s leadership, Nezavisimaya Gazeta wrote. Speaking to his supporters in Ankara, Erdogan promised to continue the ‘liberation’ of Syrian lands. Experts told the newspaper they do not rule out that Moscow might have to brace for a rocky road ahead in its relations with Ankara. The Kremlin’s geopolitical and economic projects in the Middle East may face risks from Ankara’s unpredictable policy. The Turkish expert community believes that changes in the country’s foreign policy are indeed possible, and can trouble Russia. "Turkey's foreign policy will certainly undergo some changes.

Jun 26 06:21

Gazprom resumes construction of second line of Turkish Stream pipeline

Russia’s state-run gas giant Gazprom has resumed the laying of the second line of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline on Tuesday, the project’s operator reported. On Tuesday, the Pioneering Spirit vessel resumed the laying of the second line of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline, moving towards the city of Kiyykoy in Turkey, the project’s operator said. After entering the Black Sea on June 20, Pioneering Spirit completed the preparatory work, including launching the stinger and inspecting the pipe laying equipment. In April, the construction of the first line of the sea part of the pipeline was completed. To date 1,161 km of pipes have been laid, which is 62% of the pipeline’s length...

Jun 26 06:16

Efforts to create isolated NATO, EU 'security islands' doomed to failure

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko at an annual security review conference of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on Tuesday: "Today, NATO and EU countries need to answer one question: what security architecture they perceive: divided, in confrontation with Russia, or united, in joint work with it on common threats. The attempts to build security islands either around NATO or the European Union in the current condition will fail. Unfortunately, multilateral formats are so far used not to restore confidence but to exert pressure on Russia, including by restricting dialogue. These days, only a lazy person does not speak about the need of de-escalation, the prevention of dangerous military incidents and the prevention of ‘the wrong perception’ of the parties’ intentions.

Jun 25 14:54

Russian Su-57 v US F-35: Which is better?

Su-57 retains a considerable advantage over the F-35 in the air, according to Military Watch. But there is a big question: is the comparison legitimate in the absence of real data?

Military Watch says the two fighters are significantly different. Lockheed Martin F-35 is a light aircraft with lower than average maneuverability. It was designed as a lighter and less costly complement to the elite F-22 Raptor air superiority fighter, a platform no longer in production.

The Su-57 by contrast was designed as a heavy air superiority platform and is more capable in an air-to-air combat role, adds Military Watch. The analysis gives advantage to the Sukhoi Su-57 in its speed, altitude, sensors, missile carriage, engagement range, and maneuverability.

Jun 25 07:59

Russia, US may discuss Syria when Bolton visits Moscow

Moscow and Washington may hold consultations on the situation in southern Syria when US presidential national security adviser John Bolton visits Moscow, Russia’s special representative for the Middle East and African countries, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said on Monday.

Jun 24 09:39

Saudi Arabia invites Russia to join OPEC as observer, Moscow says it’s ‘an option’

Riyadh has invited Moscow to join OPEC as an observer, the Saudi energy minister says. The announcement follows an agreement between OPEC and non-members led by Russia to increase crude oil output by a million barrels per day.

The announcement was made on Saturday during the 4th OPEC and non-OPEC ministerial meeting in Vienna.

“We’ve invited Russia to join [OPEC] as an observer, an associated member. We believe they are considering it,” Khalid Al-Falih said at a press conference. “I can assure that the entire membership of OPEC would welcome Russia.”

Russian Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak confirmed that there was “such an option,” and Moscow was “studying it closely.”

Jun 24 09:39

Fans Share Their Impressions Of World Cup in Russia

Jun 24 08:09

GULAG Fears Proven Wrong: Foreign World Cup Fans Share Impressions of Russia

Ahead of the 2018 World Cup, media and politicians warned their fans traveling to Russia of what they called anti-Western sentiment and harassment. Sputnik has come up with a selection of comments made by foreign fans spotted on Moscow's streets, which may prove all the stereotypes wrong.

Jun 24 08:06

Trump Riding High and Set to Roll the Dice for a Summit with Putin

If the Trump White House had let it be known a couple of months ago that it was working with the Kremlin to schedule a summit meeting between the two presidents, all hell would have broken loose in the Washington Beltway. But that isn’t happening. There is an eerie calm in Washington, as if Trump’s detractors have run out of ammunition.

What explains it? First, the fizz seems to have gone out of the Russia collusion theory. Robert Mueller could keep uncovering crimes in American public life (of which there is no dearth) forever but he has not been able to say he has actually substantiated the Russia collusion theory. The latest Pew Research Center analysis on June 20 reveals that only 28% Americans remain any longer “very confident” of the fairness of Mueller’s investigation, while four-in-10 say they are not too sure (19%) or are at all confident (21%) in his ability to do this.

Jun 23 11:15

U.S. Double Standards in the Middle East. Washington Backs Terrorists and Extremists

of the USA.

This statement hasn’t appeared recently. In 2002, the Joint Resolution to authorize U.S. military actions against Iraq cited:

“Iraq continuing to possess and develop a significant chemical and biological weapons capability posed a threat to the national security of the United States.”

Before carrying out air strikes on Syria, 14 April, 2018, the White House used the same justifications. The American president acted within his legal authority as commander-in-chief “to protect vital national interests – stopping the spread of chemical weapons and preventing a humanitarian catastrophe.” However, if in 2002, the Iraq Resolution was passed by the U.S. Congress as public law No: 107-243, this time President Trump didn’t seek any authorization from other government institutions.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The ultimate goal here, by the US government, is quite simple, no matter how much carnage it creates to reach the following goals; control all oil, and other resources in the Middle East, and insure that these resources, are only sold in US dollars.

Jun 23 11:11

The Diseased, Lying, Condition of America’s ‘News’ Media

Both President Trump and former President Obama are commonly said in America’s ‘news’ media to be or to have been “ceding Syria to Russia” or “ceding Syria to Russia and Iran,” or similar allegations. They imply that ‘we’ own (or have some right to control) Syria.

Jun 23 08:44

Clinton Slams Putin as "Leader of Movement That Wants to Break Up EU"

Former Democratic US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton slammed Russian President Vladimir Putin as a leader of a movement that seeks to break up the EU. The comment comes despite Moscow’s numerous statements that Russia wants to see the EU become a strong and independent partner.

Clinton gave a speech at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, as she received a honorary degree from the institution Friday.

Speaking to an audience of mostly Irish students, she slammed both US President Donald Trump and Putin.

"Vladimir Putin has positioned himself as the leader of an authoritarian, white supremacist and xenophobic movement that wants to break up the EU, weaken America's traditional alliances and undermine democracy," Clinton said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Yep; she's gonna run again in 2020.

Jun 23 08:36

All Disquiet on Western Front

The US-led NATO military alliance earlier this month committed to a major escalation in force buildup on Russia's western flank. The development underscores Russia's long-held concern that the 29-member alliance is inevitably moving dangerously on a war footing.

At a summit in Brussels, June 7, defense ministers from NATO countries gave the go-ahead for a new, vast mobilization of troops, navy and air forces which would spearhead through eastern Europe up to Russia's western borders. The initiative encompasses two new NATO command centers, one based in Norfolk, Virginia, on the US eastern seaboard, and the other at Ulm, in Germany.

The stated purpose is to expedite transatlantic coordination of NATO forces of up to 30,000 troops, 30 aircraft squadrons and 30 large warships, deployable within 30 days.

Jun 23 08:18

An EU Army to face Russia? Who do you think you are kidding, Mr Juncker? - Nigel Farage

Jun 23 08:17

Putin-Trump meeting unconfirmed, media talk of dismay, alarm already

Jun 22 14:36

As NATO Chief Pleads For Alliance Unity, MoD Ministers Warn ‘Russia Is Preparing For War’

Ahead of next month’s NATO meeting, Jens Stoltenberg used Thursday’s London speech to appeal for unity despite disagreements. Meanwhile, Tory ministers warned “Russia is preparing for war” amid a funding row with Downing Street.

Speaking at Lancaster House ahead of a meeting with Prime Minister Theresa May at No.10, the Secretary-General Stoltenberg said the bond between Europe and the United States would survive tensions and disagreements over issues such as trade and the Iran nuclear deal.

Jun 22 08:51

Russian Envoy to US: Moscow Mulls Organizing Reciprocal Senators' Visit to US

A delegation of US lawmakers will go next month on a trip to Moscow, which Russian Ambassador Anatoly Antonov said he hoped would be reciprocated in a bid to improve bilateral ties between the legislatures.

"A group of Senators will come to Moscow. We welcome this decision. We think it will give an impulse to renewed parliamentary ties between the two countries… I hope the visit will be returned," he told reporters in Washington, DC.

Jun 22 08:51

New UK Army Chief Lists Russia Among 'Imminent' Threats to Country

General Mark Carleton-Smith has given his inauguration speech, becoming the new army chief shortly after replacing General Sir Nick Carter, who has moved on to become chief of the defense staff.

The new British chief of the general staff, General Mark Carleton-Smith, has stated that the UK faces imminent threats from multiple states that he described as "rogue," including Russia, during a speech at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI). He also noticed that Russia is currently in "revisionist mode" and that it possesses a "growing arsenal of long-range precision capabilities."

"The misplaced perception that there is no imminent or existential threat to the UK, and that even if there was, it could only arise with long notice, is wrong," he said.

Jun 21 19:27

The Entire Western World Lives In Cognitive Dissonance

Millions of people have been separated from families by death inflicted by Washington, and for almost two decades protests have been almost nonexistent. No public outcry stopped George W. Bush, Obama, and Trump from clear and indisputable illegal acts defined in international law established by the US itself as war crimes against the inhabitants of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Syria, Yemen, and Somalia. We can add to this an eighth example: The military attacks by the US armed and supported neo-Nazi puppet state of Ukraine against the breakaway Russian provinces.

The massive deaths, destruction of towns, cities, infrastructure, the maiming, physical and mental, the dislocation that has sent millions of refugees fleeing Washington’s wars to overrun Europe, where governments consist of a collection of idiot stooges who supported Washington’s massive war crimes in the Middle East and North Africa, produced no outcry comparable to Trump’s immigration policy.

Jun 21 17:15

As NATO chief pleads for alliance unity, MoD ministers warn ‘Russia is preparing for war’ (VIDEO)

Ahead of next month’s NATO meeting, Jens Stoltenberg used Thursday’s London speech to appeal for unity despite disagreements. Meanwhile, Tory ministers warned "Russia is preparing for war” amid a funding row with Downing Street.

Jun 21 13:21

NATO Has No Chance To Take Crimea, Warns Russian Defense Minister

The Russian troops in the Crimea will give “no chance” to opponents who dare to attack the peninsula, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Wednesday.

“A unique interdisciplinary group has been created and strengthened on the peninsula. Its modern state-of-the-art weapons systems do not give a chance to a potential adversary who dares to invade what is intrinsically Russian territory,” he said.

According to him, for Russia this peninsula “always played a role of special importance”. The minister also stressed that, over two and a half centuries, events in the Crimea have been vital to the country’s fate.
“The glorious victories of the Black Sea Fleet have made international history and became our pride,” he added.

Jun 21 11:21

The National Interest: American aircraft carriers have no chance against the Russians in the Baltic

RENOMATED and influential US newspaper The National Interest published a warning-warning that US aircraft carriers will be helpless in the Baltic Sea ahead of Russia's airborne and anti-aircraft defense in the event of war.

The text explicitly emphasizes:

" Nimitz and Ford aircraft carriers are too big and vulnerable to be able to function successfully in a limited area of the Baltic Sea. In addition, Russian anti-ship missile systems - both land and sea - are a real threat to our aircraft carriers. "

The National Interest further indicates that the Russian anti-ship missile "Oniks" is capable of hitting "every boat in the Baltic Sea from Kaliningrad to the Swedish coast".

The export version of the rocket P-800 "Oniks" - also known as "Jahont" - has a range of 300 kilometers.

However, those that are only for the Russian army can have several times the range.

Jun 21 09:46

NATO-Funded Blogger Eliot Higgins Hurls Obscenities at Critics Instead of Facts

Valiantly fighting on the front lines in the information war with Russia, Higgins has already shown himself to be a persuasive wordsmith with razor-sharp wit.

By their fruits ye shall know them. Why does it come as no surprise that Higgins is a potty-mouth?

Jun 21 09:30

Trump plots meeting with Putin as head of the British Army warns Russia is 'preparing troops for war'

Donald Trump is making plans for a summit with Vladimir Putin during the US President's trip to Europe next month, it has been claimed – as the head of the British Army warns the Russian leader is preparing his troops for war.

US officials are hoping the meeting will take place either before the NATO summit in Brussels on July 11 or after Trump's visit to Britain, which follows immediately after, senior UK government sources told The Times.

Vienna is the likely location, sources said.

The news has raised concerns over Trump's commitment to NATO and his visit to the UK.

Jun 21 09:22

Trump May Meet Putin During July Trip to Europe – Reports

US officials are looking at a July timeframe for US President Donald Trump’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, British media reported Thursday.

Trump is expected to travel to Brussels for a NATO summit on July 11 and from there on to London. A meeting with Putin may be arranged either before that time or after he wraps up the UK trip, The Times newspaper said, citing senior sources in the British government.

Jun 21 09:07

Russia Has a Scary New Way to Sink a US Navy Ship

Russia’s military spending cannot match the Kremlin’s ambitions. Western sanctions and low gas prices forced a big cut to the Russian military budget in 2017, bedeviling a host of military projects. However, Russia is looking at cheap and easy ways to equip its forces — particularly the navy — with sophisticated weapons.

Specifically, modular weapons that can easily swap in and out of different ships — with the most well-known example being Club-K anti-ship missiles hidden inside shipping containers, which Russia offers for sale to export customers. Any coastal defense force on a budget can have a well-camouflaged warship killer hidden in a civilian port.

Jun 21 08:53

Russia Buys 600,000 oz Of Gold In May After Dumping Half Of US Treasuries In April

Russia adds another 600,000 oz to it’s gold reserves in May
Holdings of U.S. government debt slashed in half to $48.7 billion in April

‘Keeping money safe’ from U.S. and Trump – Danske Bank

Trump increasing the national debt by another 6% to $21.1 trillion in less than 18 months

Asian nations accumulating gold as shield against dollar devaluation and trade wars

Russia dumps Treasuries for gold and in a Trade war China and others may do the same …

Jun 21 08:52

Russia says to respond equally to NATO's bolstering combat forces

The Russian Defense Ministry on Wednesday accused the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) of strengthening combat forces near Russia's border and warned that Moscow will take mirror-like actions against NATO's moves.

"Since the beginning of the year, NATO countries have conducted thirteen large-scale exercises in the South-West Strategic Area with over 40,000 troops and 2,000 units of military equipment," Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said at a meeting of the Defense Ministry's senior officials in the city of Sevastopol in the Crimean peninsula.

"This forces us to take symmetrical measures to neutralize the emerging threats and combine strategic deterrence with increasing combat readiness," he said.

This came at a time when the hysteria over the alleged Russian aggression has become increasingly intensified among the Baltic States and Poland.

Jun 21 08:12

Crimea's lifeline to Syria: Damascus gets grain supplies from Russia’s Black Sea peninsula

Russia has begun deliveries of wheat from Crimea to Syria. The move solves the dual problems of grain overproduction in Crimea and Syria’s desperate need for bread.

Jun 20 07:50

Fans Dismiss Mythology About Dangers At The Russian World Cup

The World Cup has just started, but fans around the world have already had the opportunity to feel the hospitality and kindness of the Russians.

Russians hooligans, lack of security, uncontrolled police … These and many others have been myths imposed by Western media over the past year. These, it seems, were intended to prevent the 2018 World Cup success in Russia through this strange form of intimidation. Well, the best way to find out the truth is to talk to the real fans who had the “courage” to travel to Mother Russia. That’s what happened – check it out!

Jun 20 07:27

Lavrov: NATO’s military build-up near Russia's borders requires special attention

NATO’s military build-up and growing military activities near the Russian and Belarusian borders require special attention, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a meeting of the Supreme State Council of the Union State of Russia and Belarus.

"The United States and its allies are not reluctant to interfere in the domestic affairs of sovereign states and even use military force," he said. "The deployment of the US global missile defenses causes particular concern as the US doctrines reduce the threshold for the use of nuclear arms. NATO’s military build-up and growing military activities near the Russian and Belarusian borders require special attention," the Russian top diplomat added.

Jun 20 07:19

Sorry Russophobes and Neocons, the World Cup in Russia is Off to a Flyer

The World Cup in Russia is off to a flyer, serving up a feast of football amid the special and unique atmosphere generated by this quadrennial event. Fans from every corner of the globe having been packing the stadiums, some of them custom-built, reminding us that despite our differences we are one human family.

However not everyone is happy. For Russophobes and neocons the success of the World Cup in Russia is something to mourn rather than celebrate, interfering as it does with their relentless demonisation of a country, in Russia, which refuses to know its place as a subaltern power, home to retrograde cultural values, relative to the West.

Jun 19 11:08

How will Russia and Iran respond to the US challenge in the Caspian Sea?

On May 5 2018 Kazakhstan ratified an agreement with the US for the transit of US military cargo and possibly even troops (under the euphemism of ‘advisors’ or ‘engineers’) to Afghanistan via the Caspian Sea route.

The ostensible reason is that the US’s long established supply lines to Afghanistan via Pakistan are now ‘under threat’. However, as is often the case nowadays, the reality is rather more complicated.

Just five months before the agreement was reached, in December 2017, purportedly at the instigation of the businessman Anatolie Stati who is involved in a longstanding legal dispute with the Kazakh authorities, the Bank of New York Mellon froze $22.6 billion of funds belonging to Kazakhstan’s sovereign wealth fund.

Jun 19 10:52

Russia And India Ditch Dollar In Military Deals

With the US increasingly willing to use the dollar, and SWIFT, as a strategic weapon against the country's sovereign enemies (as Iran learned every 5 or so years), Russia and India are preparing to bypass US sanctions on Moscow by using the rupee and the ruble in bilateral trade involving military deals, the Economic Times reported.

Some $2 billion in weapons deals between India and Russia have been hit as a result of the recent US sanctions, as payments get stuck. The countries are seeking to bypass such monetary bottlenecks this by switching to settlements in domestic currencies and ditching the greenback.

Senior officials told ET that after several rounds of consultations, it has become clear that a rupee-rouble transfer, pegged to the exchange rate of an international currency, is the solution. A top official said that a foreign currency, such as the Singapore dollar, could be used as the benchmark.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

So what is the US government going to do, invade every country ditching the US dollar?!?

That... is going to be one heck of a lot of invasions, given the tempo at which the US dollar is being abandoned.

Jun 19 10:38

Soldiers Attack A Celebration Of The Palestinian Russian Friendship Society In Jerusalem

A large police force and intelligence officers invaded, on Monday evening, a hall of a hotel in occupied East Jerusalem, attacked a celebration held by the Palestinian Russian Friendship Society, and detained several Palestinians.

The participants were celebrating the Russian National Day, before the officers stormed the hotel and attacked the celebration which was attended by many Palestinian officials and intellectuals, including the deputy governor of East Jerusalem Abdullah Siyam, the Greek Orthodox Archbishop Atallah Hanna, the head of the Joint Arab List Ayman Odah, and various other figures and leaders, including Palestinian author, journalist and intellectual Rassem Obeidat.

Jun 19 09:45

Unprecedented Israeli Strikes Target Iraqi Shia Militias In Syria

A day after a mysterious airstrike close to the Iraq-Syria border reportedly killed over 30 Syrian government soldiers and Iraqi paramilitary forces backed by Iran, a US official has told CNN the attack was carried out by Israel and not by the US coalition.

Syrian state media blamed the strike on the US-led coalition — though in the immediate aftermath any level of confirmation or evidence was hard to come by. The claims prompted the US coalition spokesman to issue a formal denial, calling Syria's accusation "misinformation" as US-backed SDF forces are only operating east of the Euphrates, and not near Abu Kamal, which lies west, according to the statement.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It appears that Israel is, once again, playing picador with Al Assad and Putin, in essence, daring them to go after an Israeli strike plane, to "justify" a massive attack against Syrian, Iraqi, and Iranian forces there, as their way of accomplishing regime change in Damascus.

Fortunately, Al Assad and Putin have had the horse-sense not to respond to these attacks.

Jun 19 09:39

News FeedWashington committed to Syrian southwest ceasefire arrangement, Pompeo tells LavrovMore:http://tass.com/world/1010062

The United States is committed to maintaining a de-escalation zone in southeast Syria, warning Moscow and Damascus against unilateral activity in the area, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov over the phone on Monday.

According to US State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert, Lavrov and Pompeo had discussed "issues and concerns related to Syria and the bilateral relationship." "Secretary Pompeo reemphasized the US commitment to the (Syrian) southwest ceasefire arrangement that was approved by President (Donald) Trump and President (Vladimir) Putin one year ago," Nauert said.

US Secretary of State noted that "it was critical for Russia and the Syrian regime to adhere to these arrangements and ensure no unilateral activity in this area," she added.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Now, let me get my head around these statements.

Syria is, allegedly a sovereign nation, the leadership of which the US government wants to regime change in Damascus.

The Russian military is there at the behest of the Syrian government, to throw out the US backed, trained, and funded Jihadists.

And now, neither Russia, nor the Syrian government are "being allowed" by the US government, to operate within the sovereign state of Syria, but the US government and military is supposed to be moving with utterly no restrictions here?!?

Do Pompeo and Nauart understand just how utterly stupid these statements must have sounded to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov yesterday?!?

The US military is digging in, militarily, in Syria, and has established a "beachhead" at Deir Ezzor. As reported at themilliniumreport.com by South Front in April of this year:

Why did the Trump Admnistration put a military base near the largest oil field in Syria?!?

The article goes on to state:

"The US is building a large military base in the vicinity of Syria’s largest oil field – the Omar oil field, Mehdi Kobani, a press secretary of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in Deir Ezzor confirmed to Sputnik Turkiye.

The Omar oil field was captured by the US-backed SDF during its anti-ISIS campaign in eastern Syria. According to Syrian sources, the military installation in the area is aimed to allow the US to consolidate control of the oil resources in the eastern part of the country setting ground for further occupation of the area. These oil resources will also be used to strengthen the influence of the US proxies – the SDF – in the area."

Jun 18 09:27

Mattis: Putin Is Trying To "Undermine America's Moral Authority"

At a graduation ceremony for the US Naval War College (barf), US Secretary of Defense James Mattis asserted that Russian President Vladimir Putin “aims to diminish the appeal of the western democratic model and attempts to undermine America’s moral authority,” and that “his actions are designed not to challenge our arms at this point but to undercut and compromise our belief in our ideals.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

After 18 years of war on nations which have not attacked us, America doesn't have any moral authority left for Putin to undermine!

Jun 18 09:13

US To Double Number Of Marines In Norway To Counter Russia, Before Massive Military Exercise

The Norwegian government intends to add another 400 U.S. Marines to Norway before the most significant military exercise since the Cold War this fall, according to the country’s Ministry of Defense.

Jun 18 08:27

EU Extends Sanctions Against Crimea Another 12 Months

The EU sanctions were introduced in 2014 amid a sharp deterioration in relations between Moscow and the West after Crimea rejoined Russia as a result of a referendum which had not been recognized by the EU member states.

The European Union has prolonged its territorial sanctions on Crimea and Sevastpol by one year, until June 23, 2019, the EU Council said in a statement on Monday.

Jun 18 08:19

Trump to meet with Putin in Europe in July — media

US President Donald Trump is expected to hold a meeting with Russian leader Vladimir Putin in Europe in July, The Washington Post said, citing "a senior administration official and two diplomats familiar with his schedule."

"President Trump is expected to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin next month while he is in Europe for a NATO summit," the newspaper wrote. "In a nod to those plans, Trump told reporters on Friday that ‘it’s possible’ he would meet with Putin this summer," The Washington Post added. NATO is expected to hold a summit in Brussels on July 11-12.

Jun 18 06:56

Russian corporations ditching London for Moscow amid expanding sanctions

After the London Stock Exchange (LSE) suspended share trading of sanctioned energy conglomerate EN+Group, other Russian firms are thinking of scrapping their stock listings in the UK in favor of the Moscow Stock Exchange (MOEX).

Jun 18 06:49

Russia holds less US debt than Bermuda after dumping half its holdings

Moscow will continue dumping US debt, according to analysts who spoke to RT. Latest US Treasury Department data shows Russia cut its holdings by half in April.

That month, Russia sold $47.4 billion out of the $96.1 billion held in March. The latest statistics released by the US Treasury on Friday showed that, Russia had only $48.7 billion investment in American debt, dropping from 16th to the 22nd place of major foreign holders of US T-bills. Russia now holds less US debt than the small island nation of Bermuda.

Jun 17 21:14

Trump to Europoodles: “Roll Over. Bark. Beg…Crawl.: With a Korean Preface

I don’t get it. I know, I know, I’m just some mutt in Mexico with a computer, and easily puzzled. But…huh? Trump, we are told, pulled off a master stroke in Singapore. All the world reels at this astonishment. We see Talleyrand and Metternich rolled into one gorgeous taco. But…but….

Who did the doing, and who got done?

Jun 17 09:05

Fury at the World Cup's vuvuzela playing bear: Russian fans parade musical grizzly through the streets of Moscow after 5-0 trashing of Saudi Arabia

Disturbing footage of an abused bear being forced to play the vuvuzela has caused outrage.

Video has emerged online of a bear blowing the horn in the back of a jeep being driven through Moscow.

The clip is believed to have been captured after Russia's thrashing against Saudi Arabia in the opening match of the World Cup.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

More anti-Russia spin from the corporate media.

Jun 17 09:03

Viking Thunderclap mesmerises Moscow: Dedicated Iceland supporters perform signature ritual against Argentina as a TENTH of the island's 330,000 population travel to Russia

Iceland supporters have won over their fellow football fans in Russia at the Moscow World Cup by performing their signature Viking thunderclap in their debut against Argentina.

Fans formed a sea of blue t-shirts and novelty viking hats as they waved and cheers in the stands for the Group D match at the Spartak Stadium this evening.

In a witty meeting with international media on Friday, Iceland coach Heimir Hallgrimsson began by welcoming the room in Russian, praised his team's hosts and its first opponent, then disarmed his inquisitors by heading off the usual question about his day job.

Jun 17 08:53

‘Thank God for Russia!’ Remembering when London & Moscow were allies

In the present geopolitical climate, the idea of a pact between the UK and Russia seems far-fetched to say the least. But in the summer of 1941 the two did come together against a common foe.

What lessons can be learned from the ‘Anglo-Russian agreement’ which played a key part in the defeat of Nazi Germany?

Jun 17 08:48

ARE YOU REALLY THE PRESIDENT!? Putin Meets "The Most Interesting Human Being In The World!"

Jun 16 11:28

US Threatens ‘Measures’ Against Syria for Offensive in Southwest

With the Syrian government saying that any more failures to take back the country’s southwest diplomatically would lead them to launch an offensive, the US State Department is threatening “firm and appropriate measures” to punish Syria for any such attempt.

Syria has been expected to launch such an offensive for awhile. Russia negotiated with Israel to get them to agree to keep out of the fighting, in return for Russia urging Iran and Hezbollah to remain out of the border region. The assumption has been for some time this cleared room for the push.

US officials, however, say that Syria would be violating the previous de-escalation deal made between the US, Russia, and Turkey, as some of the offensive would take place in that area. Other de-escalation zones have effectively been erased by government gains, or the wiping out of certain rebels by others.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Notice that this alleged "de-escalation deal", for some bizzare reason, does not seem to involve the sovereign state of Syria; only Russia, Turkey, and the US appear to be named.

But we all understand the simple translation of these Washingtonese statements; the US government is looking for any excuse with which to justify a full-scale invasion of Syria, and to affect regime change in Damascus.

However, there is a 600 lb gorilla, draped across the Bosendorfer grand in the living room here, and that is is Russia; the possibility of a misunderstanding, leading to a "hot confrontation" between Russia and the US military in Syria, excalates exponentially, every day the US forces stay on Syrian soil.

Jun 16 09:47

Russia dumps half of its US Treasury bonds

Russia has held a major selloff of US Treasury bonds, dumping some $47bn-worth of papers and momentarily dropping six places on a list of major foreign holders of US securities, recently released statistics for April have shown.
In just one month, Russia proceeded to sell $47.4 billion out of the $96.1 billion the country had in US treasury bonds in March. The latest statistics released by the US Treasury Department on Friday showed that, in April, Russia had only $48.7bn in American assets, occupying 22nd place on the list of “major foreign holders of Treasury securities.”

Jun 16 09:05

Pentagon Admits Afghanistan's New Black Hawks Can't Match Its Older Russian Choppers

A report from a top U.S. military watchdog has finally acknowledged that the UH-60A+ Black Hawks that the United States is supplying to the Afghan Air Force are less capable and harder to maintain than the Russian-made Mi-17 Hip helicopters they have now. The review raises concerns that this could limit Afghanistan’s ability to conduct operations across the country unless steps are taking to mitigate the loss of capability, something we at The War Zone have long warned could easily be the case.

The Pentagon’s own Office of the Inspector General included these frank admissions in a routine, periodic update on U.S. military operations in Afghanistan, nicknamed Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, and assistance to the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF), which it released in May 2018. The Department of Defense leads this oversight effort, which also includes representatives from the U.S. State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development.

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