RUSSIA/UKRAINE | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


RUSSIA/UKRAINE

Feb 04 08:06

EU states’ recognition of Guaido is ‘direct interference’ in Venezuela’s affairs – Kremlin

Moscow slammed EU states for trying to legitimize “an attempt to usurp power” in Venezuela after a number of key European countries recognized opposition figure Juan Guaido as interim president.

“Imposing some decisions or trying to legitimize an attempt to usurp power, in our view, is both direct and indirect interference in the internal affairs of Venezuela,” Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, told the media on Monday, while commenting on the recognition of Guaido.

Feb 03 21:34

Russian efforts for disarmament unsupported by ‘partners’ for years – Putin

Moscow tried to arrange “substantial” disarmament talks for years, but ‘partners’ didn’t support this initiative, the Russian president said while announcing the suspension of the INF Treaty in a ‘mirror’ response to US steps.

“Over many years we suggested frequently and regularly conducting substantial talks on almost all aspects of disarmament,” Vladimir Putin said. “ But recently we have seen that our initiatives are not supported by our partners. On the contrary new pretexts for dismantling the existing system of international security are being created.”

Feb 03 12:23

Russian Navy gets new weapon to induce ‘hallucinations’ and ‘blind’ the enemy

A new weapon installed on Russian warships can make enemy soldiers miss targets by blinding them, while also causing hallucinations and making them want to vomit.

Two Russian frigates were fitted with the new non-lethal dazzler-type weapon, the 5P-42 Filin (eagle-owl), the manufacturer’s representative told RIA Novosti. The weapon is designed to temporarily blind the enemy.

Feb 03 10:25

Russia Suspends INF Deal With US, Putin Directs Ministers Not to Start New Talks

Earlier, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated that the United States would suspend its obligations under the INF Treaty on Saturday and begin a six-month withdrawal process.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced that, as a retaliatory measure, Moscow is also suspending the INF nuclear treaty following the US decision to halt the deal.

"We will proceed as follows. Our response will be reciprocal. US partners have announced that they were suspending their participation in the [INF] Treaty, and we are suspending it as well. They have announced that they are engaged in research and development, and we will do the same thing," Putin said at a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu.

Feb 03 10:08

Russian ‘anti-fake news’ bill rushed through parliament despite vocal opposition

The Russian State Duma is considering multiple bills of law that would further stifle free speech in Russia's already heavily restricted internet environment.

One targets expressions of “willful disregard” towards the state. Another targets disinformation. All of them echo increasingly global concerns among governments about the political implications of disinformation — and unbridled criticism — on the internet. And all have been heavily criticized by Russian civil society groups, experts, users and even the government’s own ministers. Yet these bills promoting possible further crackdown on free speech still trudge on through the legislative system.

The first bill, a “sovereign internet” initiative, which is yet to reach the floor of the lower chamber of Russia’s bicameral parliament, seeks to establish state-regulated internet exchange points that would allow for increased monitoring and control over internet traffic moving into and out of the country.

Feb 03 08:57

MUTINY BREAKS OUT AT VENEZUELA'S CENTRAL BANK

the ongoing "soft coup" is also playing out within the halls of the central bank, where in addition to a lot of currency printing in recent years, Bloomberg reports that staffers are waging a small mutiny and refusing to sign-off on key bank transactions.

According to "four people with direct knowledge of the matter", some central bank employees received "early retirement offers" Friday after disregarding orders from upper management. The mini mutiny took place as staffers fret about potential consequences and repercussions of signing off on financial operations that have been barred by US sanctions, and as discontent bubbles over as Venezuela’s economic and political outlook deteriorates.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

President Maduro, a word, please: when the banks and the military desert you, it truly may be time to seriously re-evaluate your options.

And sir, I would suggest, in the most sang-froid way, that your best possible help might come from Russia and China, neither of which want to see their investments in your country go "mammary glands up."

And, on a personal note, if this coup starts going successfully "full-tilt boogie", expect no better, in terms of your treatment, and ultimate disposal, by US-led mercs, than did Saddam Hussein or President Gaddafi got, at the hands of the invaders of their countries.

The US government so loves, almost maniacally, to prattle on about democracy, human rights, and human dignity; but when it comes to their much loved "regime change specials", particularly when a country has an embarrassment of riches, as does Venezuela, with its oil reserves, those values are absolutely practiced in the breach, rather than the observation of them.

Unless the Russians and Chines are willing to come to your aid, militarily, Were I you, I would begin a search on countries which have no extradition treaties with the US, and decide on a permanent vacation somewhere else.

Feb 02 10:59

Chinese Missiles Are Behind US Pullout From INF - Russian Ex-Security Official

The real reason for the US withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) is China deploying 1,000 medium and short-range missiles preventing a US presence in neighbouring seas, former Russian Security Council Secretary Andrey Kokoshin told Sputnik in an interview Friday.

"Evidently, the main target of the United States in connection with their withdrawal from this treaty is China. China, according to US estimates, set up a system of medium and short-range missiles of more than a thousand units aimed at the waters of the South China Sea and the East China Sea. It does not allow the United States to enter these waters with impunity using aircraft-carrier strike groups… Accordingly, the Chinese army set up a significant group of high-precision weapons, primarily ballistic missiles, which are capable of hitting US aircraft carriers and US military bases in the region", Kokoshin said.

Feb 02 10:57

Pompeo’s statement confirms US decided to quit INF long ago, says legislator

The statement by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who said Washington was suspending its obligations under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty and would withdraw from it in six months was no sensation. He only conveyed a decision that had been made a long time ago, Head of the Russian Federation Council (upper house of parliament) Foreign Affairs Committee Konstantin Kosachev said on Friday.

US suspends INF Treaty obligations — Pompeo
"Unfortunately, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s statement didn't stir up any sensation. The US confirmed its intention to put the final nail into the coffin of another important arms control pillar," Kosachev told reporters. "We can only say that Pompeo voiced that decision, which had been made a long time ago, before putting forward an ultimatum to Russia, so no action whatsoever by Moscow could have influenced that."

Feb 02 10:56

Russia vows response to US’ withdrawal from INF Treaty — diplomat

Moscow reserves the right to take measures to respond to Washington’s suspension of its obligations under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty) from February 2, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Friday.

Feb 02 10:55

Norwegian Firm Mulls Suing Government Over Pressure to Spy on Russia – Reports

Norwegian cement maker Olen Betong plans to sue the government over hundreds of millions of kroner in losses from secret service attempts to recruit its staff in Russia, the NRK news channel said.

"They tried to recruit or contact us on about a dozen different occasions", the company’s Murmansk office CEO Atle Berge told the NRK news channel.

Berge and another employee, Kurt Sto, said they had refused to spy for Norway when they worked at the factory in the northwestern Russian city, but Russia found out and expelled them anyway.

Feb 02 10:54

Ex-German Chancellor Says Europe Needs Russia to Withstand US, China

Europe needs Russia's potential and most importantly the country's market and natural resources in order to withstand such superpowers as China and the United States, former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder told the Spiegel outlet.

"If we, as Europeans, want to survive politically and economically between [such] superpowers [as] the United States and China, we cannot do this without Russia's potential. We need the country's market and, first of all, its resources", Schroeder told the outlet in an interview released on Friday.

According to the former German chancellor, Russian President Vladimir Putin has been trying to build the kind of relations with Western countries that would be based on equality and respect, but he has been repeatedly rejected when trying to reach out to Europe.

Feb 02 09:41

Washington Resurrected the Arms Race

The meetings in Beijing during January 30-31 between Washington, Russia, China, France and the UK apparently failed to preserve the commitment to prohibit intermediate range nuclear weapons. Washington stuck to its determination to withdraw from the historic agreement of Reagan and Gorbachev to destroy all land-based intermediate range nuclear missiles. This US withdrawal from a nuclear weapons reduction agreement follows the George W. Bush/Cheney regime’s withdrawal from the anti-ballistic missile treaty. Indeed, since the Clinton regime, every US president has produced worsening trust between the two major nuclear powers.

No good can come of this as Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said at the Beijing meeting.

Feb 02 09:37

Attack of the Sofa Samurais

President Donald Trump and the neocon sofa samurais who surround him seem determined to pick a fight with China or Russia, or both at the same time. -- Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev just denounced the Trump administration’s nuclear policies as a gigantic mistake and threat to mankind. NATO, showing its subservience to Washington, bleated its support for US plans to deploy new medium-ranged missiles in Europe. But, in truth, Europeans are aghast at the prospect of a nuclear war fought in their backyards.

Feb 02 08:26

US Revives Cold War "Arms Race" With Russia And China After Abandoning INF Treaty

Update: As we previewed below, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has announced that the US will withdraw from the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces treaty immediately, prompting threats of a Russian "response" from Moscow.

According to RT, Pompeo said the US could return to compliance with the treaty if Moscow meets Washington's demands within the next 180 days. To convince the US to back down, Washington has insisted that Russia cease development of a new cruise missile. Moscow has repeatedly denied claims that it's in violation of the treaty.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This may well not turn out as those in the Bowels of Power in DC believe.

And why the 180 day deadline?!? That's a good 6 months out.

One has to wonder just what "death ray" the US government believes it's going to be able to add to its arsenal by that point in time, which would cause Russia and China to "blink" on the issue!?!

Feb 02 08:11

Resurrecting the Arms Race (Thanks, DC) — Paul Craig Roberts

Washington might be setting up America for a first strike with the extraordinary stream of accusations and provocations issuing from people too stupid to be in possession of nuclear weapons. In the nuclear era, it is reckless for a government to replace diplomacy with threats and coercion. Washington’s recklessness is the most dangerous threat that the world faces.

Feb 02 06:54

Trump's Withdrawals From Afghanistan & Syria Are Hardly "A Gift To Putin"

Manichaean Cold War myopia and ludicrous Russiagate allegations have produced one of the worst periods of American “geopolitical” thinking in recent decades. Consider President Trump’s recently announced withdrawals of US forces from Syria and Afghanistan. Instead of applauding these long-overdue steps, the bipartisan US political-media establishment has denounced them as “Trump’s gifts to Putin.”

But why would Russian President Putin want to be without the United States as an ally in the fight against terrorists in these two countries, which Moscow has long regarded as its geopolitical backyard?

In Syria, where, as Putin has repeatedly warned, thousands of jihadists with Russian passports have appeared and vowed, if they take Damascus, to return to Russia and wage the same war there?

Feb 02 06:52

New Images Appear Of Russian Autonomous, Unmanned "Hunter" Drone

The world first got wind of Russia's massive, 20-ton stealth drone fighter last summer when Russian defense industry sources told TASS, a Russian state-owned media outlet:

According to the defense official, the sixth generation jet program “has not yet taken full shape, its main features are already known.”

“First of all, it should be unmanned and capable of performing any combat task in an autonomous regime. In this sense, the stealth drone will become the prototype of the sixth generation fighter jet,’ the source said, adding that the drone will be able to “take off, fulfill its objectives and return to the airfield.”

“However, it will not receive the function of decision-making regarding the use of weapons – this will be decided by a human,” he said.

Well, as LiveJournal now reports, new images of the first prototype of the unmanned recon-strike drone - nicknamed "Hunter" - have been taken at the airdrome of the Novosibirsk Aviation Plant.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

For me, the problem is not that the Russians have this; the problem is, the US weaponry community has not created something not only like it, but far ahead of this, for our men and women in uniform.

Feb 01 14:02

The “Russia collusion” debacle was REAL, and it was run by Democrats

In a told-you-so turn of events, a major cybersecurity firm that’s been peddling the “Russian collusion” conspiracy theory every chance it gets has now been exposed for colluding with the Russians itself. -- New Knowledge, owned and run by Ryan Fox and Jonathan Morgan, was recently caught hiring an “army of fake Russian bots” to spread misinformation online – even after the company had repeatedly been warning about “Russian efforts” to meddle in American elections.

Feb 01 13:19

Russian Pilot Releases New Footage Of Aggressive Maneuver Against US F-15 Jet

On Monday Russia’s Defense Ministry published video showing a dangerous aerial encounter between US and Russian aircraft that took place in the skies above the Baltic Sea. The incident involved a Sukhoi Su-27 fighter jet intercepting a US P-8A Poseidon reconnaissance aircraft after — as Russian statements claimed — the US Air Force spy plane was picked up on radar rapidly approaching approaching the Russian maritime border in the Baltic Sea.

But more video has surfaced late this week showing spectacular footage in what a appears to be a separate and previously unknown incident, also over the Baltic Sea. It was put online by a purported retired Russian pilot and appears to be a separate video taken from a Russian fighter jet on an unknown date. The new video shows a Russian Air Force Su-27 Flanker aggressively banking into a U.S. Air Force F-15.

Feb 01 10:56

Senate Vote Opposes Ending US Wars in Syria, Afghanistan: Non-binding vote declares withdrawing troops a serious risk

In a surprising vote Thursday, the Senate voted 68-23 to pass a resolution from Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) expressing opposition to President Trump’s plan to withdraw US troops from Syria, and expressing opposition to any theoretical pullout from Afghanistan that might result from a negotiated deal to end that war.

The non-binding resolution was passed with overwhelming support from the Republican majority, setting them squarely against parts of President Trump’s foreign policy. A number of Democrats who voted against it expressed concern that it was tantamount to a vote advocating a state of permanent war.

Which it realistically is. The 2001 authorization for the Afghan War was built around 9/11 and the defeat of al-Qaeda. Neither are hugely relevant issues in 2019 Afghanistan, and a peace treaty being negotiated centers heavily around the Taliban promising to keep al-Qaeda and ISIS out of the country in the future.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

As I have stipulated many times before on this blog, just because something is the most ham-fistedly, pig-headedly stupid thing the US government and military can do, is no bet they won't do it.

Staying on in Syria, and continuing the occupation of Afghanistan, are both exceptionally bad choices

Staying in Syria means more than a measure of concern about the US and Russia getting into a military engagement here, as the US presence was neither asked for nor recognised by the Syrian government.

The Iranians are here, but in very small numbers, and have been working with the government to get rid of the US/Western-backed, trained, and funded jihadists.

So at the end of the day, Syrians should be able to make their own self-determination about who stays in power as Syria's government, or who does not.

Feb 01 10:42

Moscow: Russian Hypersonic Weapons Eliminate Threat From US Exit From INF Treaty

On 4 December, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gave Russia two months to "return to compliance" with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty or Washington would leave the accord on February 2.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov stated Friday that Russia's military capabilities guarantee the country's security irrespective of the US moves on the INF Treaty.

"I think this [US withdrawing from the INF] is an inevitable prospect, and there will be no deviations from the path stated by President Trump and his national security assistant John Bolton when he was in Moscow. This game is played, the Americans will eventually reject the contract", he added.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Leaving this treaty, as the US government has done, will generate an intense weapons race between the US, Russia, China, and other assorted nations, and private entities from around the world.

I am reminded of a line from one of Tom Leher's comedy bits, more profoundly real than he could have known over his lifetime, called "Who's Next"?!?, about just this sort of thing happening:

Who's Next?!? a satirical lyric about countries vying for better WMDs

Feb 01 10:25

 YOUR COMPLETE GUIDE TO THE NY TIMES’ SUPPORT OF US-BACKED COUPS IN LATIN AMERICA

On Friday, The New York Times continued its long, predictable tradition of backing U.S. coups in Latin America by publishing an editorial praising Donald Trump’s attempt to overthrow Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. This will be the 10th such coup the paper has backed since the creation of the CIA over 70 years ago.

A survey of The New York Times archives shows the Times editorial board has supported 10 out of 12 American-backed coups in Latin America, with two editorials—those involving the 1983 Grenada invasion and the 2009 Honduras coup—ranging from ambiguous to reluctant opposition. The survey can be viewed here.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I have to wonder just how many of the op-ed writers for the NY Times are invested in the military/industrial complex.

This pathetic attempt to overthrow the legitimately elected President of Venezuela, to date, has proven itself to be an epic fail, to date, with Venezuela's military still standing strong behind Maduro.

Unless and until that changes, Venezuela's "regime change" will just be another pipe-dream for the American Deep State, which will respond by sulking off into a corner, and nursing its geopolitical wounds; that is, of course, until it thinks it has the strength to fight another day, with another coup somewhere on the planet.

Feb 01 10:07

Moscow vows to put global spotlight on Germany’s crusade to demonize Russian media

Moscow intends to solicit international structures, responsible for protecting freedom of the press in order to shed light on the crusade launched by Germany to smear Russian and Russian-language mass media, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Thursday.

"We highlight the massive campaign in the German press to discredit Russian and Russian-language mass media," she said, noting the groundless criticism and accusation of propaganda pinned on the RT Deutsch TV channel, which broadcasts in German and is widely popular among the local audience. "There were attempts to demonize various associations of our compatriots and the Russian-language press in Germany recently."

Feb 01 10:06

NUKES OF HAZARD Donald Trump could move nuclear missiles to Europe for first time in 30 years this weekend as US accuses Vladimir Putin of breaking Cold War pact

DONALD Trump could move nuclear missiles to Europe for the first time in 30 years this weekend after Washington accused Russia of breaking a Cold War pact.

The US has threatened to pull out of the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which bans long-range nukes and their deployment in Europe, after accusing Vladimir Putin of breaking the 1987 agreement.

Feb 01 09:57

Till debt do us part: Russia and China continue dumping US Treasuries

The latest US Treasury Department data shows that foreign investors slashed their holdings of American debt in November by $105 billion, from a year earlier, to $6.2 trillion.

China, the largest foreign holder of US debt, slashed its holdings for a sixth straight month in November. Beijing had $1.12 trillion in US Treasuries, down from $1.138 trillion in October. The decline brought China’s Treasury holdings to the lowest level since May 2017, the data showed.

Feb 01 09:09

U.S. COURT FINDS SYRIA RESPONSIBLE FOR KILLING AMERICAN JOURNALIST MARIE COLVIN

A FEDERAL JUDGE in Washington, D.C. has ordered the Syrian government to pay $302 million in damages for the murders of journalists Marie Colvin and Remi Ochlik in a 2012 artillery strike. The decision, issued on Wednesday, marks the first time in the seven-year conflict that a court has declared Syrian forces loyal to the government of President Bashar al-Assad responsible for deliberately attacking civilians.

“A targeted murder of an American citizen, whose courageous work was not only important, but vital to our understanding of warzones and of wars generally, is outrageous, and therefore a punitive damages award that [multiplies] the impact on the responsible state is warranted,” wrote Judge Amy Berman Jackson.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

That same bit in that last sentence, should hold just as true for US journalists and bloggers here at home, as it is for reporters abroad.

And she, and the photo journalist with her, had to know that they were operating in a war zone; made the choice to be there; and unfortunately, suffered the consequences.

But what I am seeing here is more demonization of Syria, whether or not this event actually happened, and regardless of whether it can be proven true. It may well be, but that is not the point.

I think that those in foggy bottom are waiting to see what the overnights looked like on this issue, in their quest to martial support for yet another Syrian engagement, even though that may mean fighting Russians on the ground, or in the air, neither choice being a wise one, right now.

We understand by now, that demonization, plus sanctions, are the tell-tale preludes to.... the US military's attempting to kick another country's military right in the proverbial shins.

This would be one of the most vulnerable of all moments to attempt to even be contemplating a US war with Russia on the ground in Syria, and I say this as someone who cares deeply about the current trajectory of the US's foreign and domestic policies.

And the reasons I am saying this are pretty self-evident; our military does not have the weaponry; the troop strength; the money, or the manufacturing to ensure a positive outcome for a US war against Russia in Syria, or anywhere else, for that matter.

Jan 31 15:52

THEY ARE INVESTING MILLIONS to separate Belarus from Russia

The European Union will allocate around four million euros "for the development of democracy" this year in Belarus. Russian and Belarusian experts say that the West is trying to fund similar projects not only in that country, but also in other post-Soviet countries. All of them, in one way or another, are directed against Russia.

The European Union, like the West as a whole, is trying to expand its area of influence and this is not the first measure of its kind.

According to the tender of the European Commission, which the editorial board had insight, the funds will be used for "promoting civil society" in Belarus, strengthening the "transparency" of the public administration system, expanding citizen participation in political life, implementing "democratic reforms" and protecting human rights. In addition, the project includes "support for democratic forces" in that country.

Jan 31 15:11

A Lawless Government (Paul Craig Roberts)

Washington is blocking Trump’s order to withdraw US troops, because Israel wants the US to renew the attack on Syria and to carry it into Iran. Israel and its American vassals must think that Russia is going to stand down and permit the destabilization of the Islamic world to proceed into the Russian Federation. Once upon a time the media and the foreign policy community would have publicly examined these issues. Now the media reads out the script handed to them.

Jan 31 11:38

Moscow Will Do "Whatever It Takes" To Defend Its Interests In Venezuela

After decrying US sanctions against Venezuela's state-run oil company PDVSA as "illegal" and enforcing "unfair competition", a Kremlin spokesman has reiterated that Russia is prepared to use "all mechanisms available to us" to defend its economic interests in Venezuela - interests that are closely tied to the Maduro regime.

According to RT, Russia has extended billions of dollars of loans to PDVSA, mostly via oil firm Rosneft. The company has extended $6 billion of loans which must be repaid in crude by the end of the year. Data from S&P Global Platts shows that as of November 2018, Venezuela had a $3.1 billion outstanding loan to repay to Rosneft.

Rosneft also has five joint upstream projects with PDVSA in Venezuela. Peskov said that Russia is still assessing the potential impact of the PDVSA sanctions for Moscow.

Jan 31 11:25

Level of Potential Conflict Worldwide Reaches Dangerous Point - Moscow

Representatives of five major nuclear powers – China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States or "nuclear five" met in Beijing on Wednesday.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said at the meeting that the level of potential conflict in the world has reached a dangerous point.

"The situation in the sphere of international security has not stabilized and even continued to deteriorate. The level of conflict potential has reached a very dangerous point", Ryabkov said.

Jan 31 09:59

1919-2019: UK still involved in anti-Russian campaign after 100 years

The Western powers have Russia in their sights. Propaganda is at fever pitch. Sounds familiar? No, I’m not talking about 2019, but 1919, when Churchill was supporting military intervention against the Russian government.

One hundred years ago, World War I may have ended but the world was hardly at peace.

Then, as now, Russia was a target. Bolshevik rule, only established in late 1917, was threatened by a Western-backed foreign intervention to help the anti-Bolshevik White Army regain power.

Today, the biggest hawk on the scene in Britain is Gavin Williamson, the defense secretary. In 1919, it was one Winston Churchill, secretary of state for war. At least the titles they gave government ministers were more honest in those days.

In March 1919, Churchill went over to Paris, where the Versailles Peace Conference was taking place, to push for more war.

Jan 31 09:54

US Intelligence Chief Claims Russia, China Will Meddle in 2020 Elections

According to allegations by the US intelligence director, Russia will implement more tools and methods to interfere in upcoming elections, but this time, it will have friends: China and, possibly, Iran.

Russia will seek to meddle in the US presidential election again — this time, with China, claims Dan Coats, the US Director of National Intelligence. According to the director's allegations, Russia has "learned from its operation in 2016," and will use a wider array of methods in the upcoming 2020 elections.

"We assess that foreign actors will view the 2020 US elections as an opportunity to advance their interests", Coats told the Senate intelligence committee, according to NBC News.

Jan 31 09:43

China Stresses Its Cooperation With Russia Is Not Directed Against Others, Washington Thinks Otherwise

The Chinese government defended relations with Russia and stressed that they do not target third countries.

“[China and Russia] stick to a new kind of interstate relations… that are not directed against third countries,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Gen Shuang.

Beijing’s official statement comes a day after US intelligence director Daniel Coats claimed that China and Russia are collaborating to confront Washington’s policy.

Geng stressed that Sino-Russian relations are at their best in their history.

Jan 31 09:43

BOOGA BOOGA! China, Russia Preparing For "Blackout Warfare" With "Super-EMP" Bombs

Russia, China and several other nations are developing powerful high-altitude nuclear bombs that can produce super-electromagnetic pulse (EMP) waves capable of knocking out critical electronic infrastructure, according to several declassified 2017 reports from the now-defunct Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from EMP Attack (see below).

"Foreign adversaries may aptly consider nuclear EMP attack a weapon that can gravely damage the U.S. by striking at its technological Achilles Heel, without having to confront the U.S. military," reads the report, which notes how foreign actors could use EMP attacks virtually anywhere in the world.

Jan 31 09:33

I'm not even joking. I have so much work to do and I can't stop watching this. MSNBC often removes its most embarrassing debacles from the internet. Someone please do that here so I can get to work

Jan 30 12:13

In First Phone Call, Trump Congratulates Guaido On Becoming President Of Venezuela

President Trump started a Tuesday morning twitter storm with a tweet warning that Maduro will be "willing to negotiate" after the US starves his teetering regime of badly needed funding via the sanctions that were levied earlier this week.

Donald J. Trump
?
@realDonaldTrump

"Maduro willing to negotiate with opposition in Venezuela following U.S. sanctions and the cutting off of oil revenues. Guaido is being targeted by Venezuelan Supreme Court. Massive protest expected today. Americans should not travel to Venezuela until further notice.

But tweeting isn't all the president did. According to Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, Trump spoke with Guaido for what appears to be the first time on Wednesday. A readout of the call revealed that Trump "congratulated" Guaido on his "historic assumption of the presidency of Venezuela," and promised to keep in regular contact to "support Venezuela's path back to stability."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

OK, I'm getting intellectual whiplash from this; it sounds as though "negotiations" were what President Trump wanted here all along, and not regime change, which is absolutely the polar opposite from this morning's tweat.

Russia has already pledged to protect its "financial investments" in Venezuela, by whatever legal means is necessary.

Has our President gone completely, barking mad here?!?

Jan 30 11:02

Integrating Donbass Into Russia Now Accelerating

On January 28th 2019, the leader of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), Denis Pushilin, announced that the process of integration of the Republic with the Russian Federation had entered an intensive and accelerated phase.

” The integration of the Donbass with Russia has entered an intensive phase. But it is too early to say that it will be completed tomorrow, ” Denis Pushilin told reporters.

The intensification of the integration process is reflected in the signing of an interparliamentary cooperation agreement between the Republic of Crimea and the Donetsk and Lugansk Popular Republics (DPR and LPR) earlier this month.

Jan 30 11:02

ADMITTING DEFEAT: Poroshenko Calls For Peace With Russia

The Ukrainian president, Pyotr Poroshenko, said on Tuesday that Ukraine needed peace with Russia.

“Of course we need peace with Russia, a cold peace, but peace. People are tired of the war and Russian propaganda is playing with this painful emotion,” Poroshenko said.

He added that “war and peace will be one of the main issues in the elections, because the population will elect not only the president, but the Supreme Commander.”

The Ukrainian president also emphasized that Kiev will continue to seek a solution to the conflict in the Donbass region by political and diplomatic means.

Jan 30 10:29

Russia vows to defend its Venezuelan oil assets

Russia will defend its interests in Venezuela within the international law using “all mechanisms available to us,” Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, told Russian media on Tuesday.

Russia has kept close ties with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and has extended loans to Venezuela, including oil firm Rosneft lending money to Venezuela’s state-held firm PDVSA. Rosneft has extended $6 billion of loans to PDVSA, which needs to be fully redeemed in crude oil supplies by the end of this year.

Jan 30 08:30

RUSSIA VOWS TO DEFEND ITS VENEZUELAN OIL ASSETS | OILPRICE.COM

Russia, which stands by Nicolas Maduro in the ongoing Venezuelan political crisis, will use “all available legal mechanisms” to defend its interests in the Latin American country, in which Russian oil giant Rosneft has invested and extended loans to Venezuela’s state oil firm in exchange for crude oil deliveries.

Russia will defend its interests in Venezuela within the international law using “all mechanisms available to us,” Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, told Russian media on Tuesday.

Russia has kept close ties with Maduro and has extended loans to Venezuela, including oil firm Rosneft lending money to Venezuela’s state-held firm PDVSA. Rosneft has extended US$6 billion of loans to PDVSA, which needs to be fully redeemed in crude oil supplies by the end of this year.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Unless President Trump is willing to go head to head with Russia in Venezuela to create a "Trumpian Spring" here, I think he has blinked and lost this one.

President Trump, how, please, do you think you are going to make sanctions stick against PDVSA?!? A military blockade?!? An invasion of mercs, courtesy of Erik Prince's current outfit, Academi?!?

I have to confess, this is one of the most painfully, blatantly idiotic attempts at "regime change" I have ever seen this lifetime, and trust me, that would be a lot of attempts in almost 70 years.

If the US government is unable to "turn" the Venezuelan military to its objectives, this was over far before it started.

That someone in the bowels of power in DC could ever think that this coup attempt would be a "slam-dunk", with the Venezuelan people throwing roses at our Mercs' feet, should be fired, immediately, and shown the door.

Mr. President, you are in dire need of someone you can trust to give you the real info, because to date, your attempt to regime change in Venezuela has been an epic, abominable fail.

Unless the US can manufacture a civil war here, any legitimacy left to Juan Guaidó's attempted power grab will most likely start to fail like a house of cards, blown over by a light gust of wind, and we may well see him locked up indefinitely, courtesy of this stupidity, or tried as a traitor to his country.

Oh, and Mr. President, in case you haven't been apprised of this little development:

All travel banned for Venezuelan Opposition

You're welcome, sir.

Jan 29 14:47

MAJOR: ISIS Preparing Terrorist ATTACK Near Russia’s Southern Border

Russian Interior Deputy Interior Minister Igor Zubov said that the transfer of local combatants from the Pakistani-based Daesh [ISIS] to Tajikistan may be linked to the preparation of a provocation against Russia.

Daesh fighters are being transferred on unidentified airplanes from Pakistan to the border of Tajikistan, near the southern Russian border, said Interior Deputy Interior Minister Igor Zubov.

According to Zubov, it could be the preparation of a massive provocation that could affect Russia.

Jan 29 14:43

SYRIAN WAR REPORT – JAN. 29, 2019: HUNDREDS KILLED IN CLASHES BETWEEN PRO-IRANIAN, PRO-RUSSIAN FORCES

A fake-news story about large-scale clashes between pro-Russian and pro-Iranian factions in Syria is making jitters in English- and Russian-language mainstream media outlets. According to these reports citing anonymous sources and each other, “the pro-Russian Tiger Forces and 5th Assault Corps” clashed with “the pro-Iranian 4th Division” near the villages of “Shahta, Bredidg, Innab and Haydariye” in northern Hama.

Most of the reports claimed that there were casualties among the sides providing “precise” numbers varying from a dozen to 200 fighters from the both sides. No source was able to provide details into how clashes had started but the versions are varying from “some differences” to “a campaign to limit Iranian influence”.

Jan 28 11:25

Africa Shifts to Putin, Not The Other Way Around

This afternoon I sat in dazed disbelief at a “news” story from Financial Timesproclaiming Vladimir Putin’s “shift” to Africa. With a couple of centuries of imperialist mayhem behind the Anglo-European cohort, any photo op with Vladimir Putin and a desperate leader ends up a headline. Here’s the truth of the matter of Africa. With nowhere else to turn except to face ravaging tigers, Africa’s leaders look to the best alternatives.

Jan 28 11:20

IRAN ANGRILY BLAMES RUSSIA FOR DISRUPTING S-300 SYSTEM

Official news sources in Iran publicly attacked the Russian government, blaming them for deliberately disrupting the S-300 air defense systems during the recent flare-up between their forces in Syria and Israel.

Meanwhile, Russia announced that the S-300 air defense systems in Syria are not ready for operation.

Jan 28 11:01

NATO, Russia Again Fail to Agree on Nuclear Treaty Dispute

A meeting of the NATO-Russia Council in Brussels ended Friday failing to agree on the continued dispute surrounding the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, leaving the matter unresolved. US officials indicate they’ll withdraw from INF in the next two weeks.

The entire issue surrounding the INF is a claimed Russian violation based on a new missile system and US speculation about the missile’s hypothetical maximum range. NATO backed the US claims of a violation, and there’s really been no progress since.

Russia has offered some access to the missiles, including putting one on display publicly in Moscow for foreign military attaches and foreign journalists to review. The US insisted that this wouldn’t be enough.

The US says they will ditch the treaty if Russia doesn’t end the violation, and at this point that’s only doable by totally disarming their short-range ballistic missiles in the next week, something they clearly won’t do.

Jan 28 11:00

Belgian Elites Supine Before Anti-Russian Political Forces

Two weeks ago, I wrote about the surprising pro-détente feelings of Belgium’s French-speaking social elite who openly criticize the anti-Russian policies being pursued by the government here, in line with the EU consensus. My comments were based on conversations I had with a good many participants in a Russia-themed gala dinner at the country’s most prestigious gentlemen’s club in downtown Brussels. The fact that such a dinner could be held and that its more than 160 seats were sold out speaks for itself.

For the record, my interlocutors were retired senior officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, administrators working for the royal family, successful entrepreneurs in the financial services industry and a number of barons and lesser members of Belgian noble families.

Jan 28 09:33

Troops parade in St. Petersburg to mark 75yrs since end of Leningrad Siege in WWII (PHOTO, VIDEO)

Troops and heavy armor paraded through the iconic Palace Square in St. Petersburg to mark 75 years since the end of the Nazi siege of Leningrad, which lasted 872 days and claimed hundreds of thousands of lives.

Despite the chilling cold that has hit St. Petersburg, people flocked to Palace Square to commemorate the end of the Siege of Leningrad. Sunday morning’s parade marks the historic event and pays tribute to the victims.

“The Siege of Leningrad is one of the most tragic and heroic parts of [World War II],” General Aleksandr Zhuravlev, a commanding officer in charge of the parade, said before observing a minute of silence.

Jan 28 09:06

Russian Ambassador Lays Into United States At Emergency U.N. Security Council Meeting On Venezuela

Jan 27 08:42

Senior Iranian MP Slams Russia for Keeping Syria S-300s Air Defenses Inactive During Israeli Strikes

A senior Iranian lawmaker has strongly criticized Russia for deactivating its S-300 missile defence system deployed in Syria during the recent Israeli airstrikes on what Tel Aviv claims were Iranian positions in the Arab country.

Chairman of the Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Heshmatollah Falahatpishe says that had the systems operated properly, Israel could not easily carry out its airstrikes on Syria.

Jan 26 18:53

Russian Long-Range Bombers Intercepted In Canadian Air Identification Zone By NORAD Jets

At a tense moment of a number of heightened geopolitical standoffs in hot spots where Russia and the west have competing aims, Russian bombers are reportedly cruising over skies near Canada. This comes just as UN Security Council talks are underway over Venezuela at UN headquarters in New York, and at a time when NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg is in Washington DC for talks with US leaders.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

OK, folks, just a little later in the story, we have the following announcement:

"An E-3 AWACS, 2x F-22, 2x CF-18 fighter jets from NORAD positively identified 2x Russian Tu-160 Blackjack strategic bombers entering the Canadian Air Defense Identification Zone on January 26, 2019. Bombers remained in international airspace and did not enter sovereign territory."

This is the time to really put the skids to any hype; to think critically; and to try to ratchet down hostilities at this moment.

Mr. President, I am politely sharing a thought with you right now; any attack against Venezuela, could potentially lead to hot conflicts with both Russia and China, and create a global war.

Jan 26 13:27

Russia blames 'shameless and aggressive' U.S for crisis in Venezuela while Trump's Secretary of State says country was run like an 'illegitimate mafia state' at fiery U.N Security council meeting

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on allies to 'pick a side' on Venezuela, and described its President Nicolas Maduro as part of an 'illegitimate mafia state' responsible for the country's economic collapse.

Pompeo was addressing the 15-member U.N. Security Council on Saturday, which met at his request after Washington and a string of countries in the region recognized Venezuela's opposition leader Juan Guaido as head of state.

Pompeo urging the U.N council to back Guaido and called for free and fair elections as soon as possible, adding that Maduro must step down.

'Now it is time for every other nation to pick a side. No more delays, no more games. Either you stand with the forces of freedom, or you're in league with Maduro and his mayhem,' Pompeo told the council.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Every time Secretary of State Pompeo spews this kind of codswallop - particularly in public - I am very painfully reminded that citizens of the US are no longer citizens of a democratic republic,but are now the victims of a kleptocracy, masquerading as legitimate country.

Every single action this country does, in regard to international relations, is engineered to return even higher profits to the already monied, while the rest of us are forced to make do with less, just to survive.

Jan 26 13:02

CIA WAS AIDING JIHADISTS BEFORE SOVIETS INVADED AFGHANISTAN

Originally, there were four parties involved in the Afghan conflict which are mainly responsible for the debacle in the Af-Pak region. Firstly, the former Soviet Union which invaded Afghanistan in December 1979. Secondly, Pakistan’s security agencies which nurtured the Afghan so-called “mujahideen” (freedom fighters) on the behest of Washington.

Jan 26 12:16

US FOLLOWS UKRAINE, SYRIA ROADMAP IN VENEZUELA REGIME CHANGE PUSH

Since the decision of the Trump administration on Wednesday to recognize a member of the Venezuelan opposition, Juan Guaidó, as an unelected “interim president,” the situation in the South American country has become increasingly tense, with efforts to force the current government of Venezuela — led by Nicolás Maduro — out of power having grown in intensity over the past few days.

Despite the enormous pressure his government faces from both local and international sources, Maduro has managed to maintain his position thanks to a combination of factors. These include the loyalty of the country’s well-armed military, in addition to popular support from Venezuelans who recently voted for Maduro, as well as Venezuelans who may not like Maduro but prefer him to a politician hand-picked and foisted upon them by the United States.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

On that last statement, you can bet your sweet bippy it will happen, if this regime change attempt does not go as planned!

China and Russia have extensive investments in, and in co-sponsorship of, many projects in Venezuela.

Do you believe that they won't protect those assets, if they see a move toward regime change in Venezuela? I'm afraid that the short answer here, is "HELL yes!"

Jan 26 12:10

WHILE THE MEDIA ACCUSES TRUMP OF COLLUSION W/RUSSIA, HE'S FIGHTING RUSSIA IN VENEZUELA

Obama colluded with Venezuela's regime, the way that he had with Putin.

Nine years before the Socialist tyranny became a nightmare of mass murder, repression and hunger, he was pressing its tyrant's flesh.

Jan 26 11:46

US MAY BE PLOTTING TO SOW DISCORD BETWEEN RUSSIA AND TURKEY IN SYRIA: RUSSIAN TOP DIPLOMAT

Washington’s troop pullout from Syria may well be an attempt to pit Russia and Turkey against each other in the region, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said in an interview with the International Affairs magazine issued on Thursday.

“Something like that is quite plausible,” he said when asked whether he believes that the US is likely not to remove all of its troops in the end, but rather just clear enough space for Russia and Turkey to lock horns with each other. “We, as well as our colleagues in Ankara and others – we all understand perfectly well that this aspect is also possible. This is also part of the equation that we will have to solve,” the diplomat specified.

Jan 26 11:42

SearchSearch'Brother, We Are With You': NATO Turkey Emerges as Staunches Defender of Maduro Against Trump

Turkey, Russia, and China came to the aid of Venezuela's leader on Thursday after the United States declared Nicolas Maduro was no longer its president.

The pledges of support came after opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself interim president of Venezuela in an address to tens of thousands of people on the streets of the capital, Caracas.

Jan 26 11:27

 CONFIRMING US ORCHESTRATION, REPORT DETAILS PENCE'S KEY PHONE CALL TO VENEZUELAN OPPOSITION LEADER

"The U.S. had been planning this coup in Venezuela. It was the Trump administration that told the little-known opposition leader Juan Guaidó to declare himself (unelected) 'president.'"

As U.S. lawmakers, civil society leaders, and Latin America experts continue to warn against American intervention in Venezuela's internal political affairs, the Wall Street Journal on Friday confirmed suspicions that opposition leader Juan Guaido's move to declare himself "interim president" of Venezuela this week was highly coordinated with the Trump White House and Republican lawmakers.

"The U.S. is not just 'behind' this coup; the U.S. is openly leading the coup."
—Ben Norton, The Real News

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I am watching the Faux crawl as I type this, and what is the most critically important, attention grabbing story they choose to go with at 6:50 AM my time?
Lawsuit Filed to have the ending of the Rams/Saints replayed, after missed call.

No wonder so many people are so incapable of having a critical thought, as to what their government does behind their backs.

But no, wait a minute; this is being done right in front of the public's face; they just need to want to see it.

And THAT, my friends, is why we, as a country, are slouching toward more and more wars, because those who are supposed to be taking care of We the People, are taking care of the governments and corporations which have acquired them, like some kind of assets, to be certain that the "geopolitical game" gets played precisely to bring more profit to the already monied.

Every war, or regime change the US has started over the past 17 years has resulted in a massive, epic, fail. Afghanistan is a mess; Libya is a mess; Iraq is a mess; Somalia is a mess; Syria is a mess; Ukraine is a mess; and Yemen, where the US is complicit in ongoing Saudi war crimes against the Yemeni people?!? Please don't flipping get me started.

It would be very pleasant to live in an America whose painfully honest, slogan would not be be "War Crimes R Us!!"

Unfortunately, however, we have seen the consistent, brutish behaviour of this government, against people who have the gall to live over, or around, resources the US wants to expropriate.

The methodology here is simple, and we can see it in every one of the US government's military misadventures of the last 17 years; demonization; the piling on of sanctions (which frequently have zero basis in fact); destabilization; regime change; making sure that the companies handling those resources are US centric; and that those resources will only be sold in the American dollar.

Stir; rinse; repeat.

And rather than have the maturity to analyze where the country has gone wrong, to prevent these atrocities from ever happening again, it is doubling down on thinking that DC can create regime change in Venezuela, about which they know less than nothing, except for the massive oil reserves the country has.

Venezuelans are a very smart people, with a real understanding of their very rich, and complex, history.

Therefore, I would like to politely, but strongly, caution DC about jumping in here with any kind of "invasion force", as that force will not only be met with the fury of the Venezuelan people, but also by China and Russia, which have intense financial interests here, and will probably react very forcefully, should the US invade Venezuela.

And President Trump, please; a word, here.

As a Christian pacifist activist, I have always hoped that the US could manage to "engage rather than enrage" regimes with which we differ.

But sir, what I am seeing is that we have very little with which to engage.

Our GMO agriculture is a fright, and other countries have learned to manufacture products which are both cost effective, and work amazingly well; if you have an iphone, remember; this clever little gadget, which can do so much for us, is manufactured in China.

Our manufacturing has been offshored and outsourced, and that critical issue has to get fixed; but educating people as to how things are manufactured in the 21st century, and particularly with the integration of AI now, takes time.

The only thing left, in which the world is interested, is our weaponry, and that is already getting shown up by some incredible work in Moscow (brilliantly field tested in Syria, as you know) and Beijing.

So I can see why you, and the people surrounding you, are playing the "enrage" card against countries around the world; that is because it is the only card the US has to play right now.

Military actions against countries on the US government's "to regime change list", may well unleash a world war of epic magnitude, the likes of which have never been seen before, with a devastation potential for destroying most of the life left on earth, including humankind. Talk to the scientists who are privy to this information; I am very sure they will tell you much the same.

I remember a quote from the great genius, Albert Einstein. When queried about what weapons would be used in the next "great war", his response was the following "I don't know about the weapons for the next war; but I do know about the weapons which will be used in the war after that. The questioner pressed, "And what will those be, Dr. Einstein?!? At which point, Einstein shot the guy a look, and said, "Sticks... and stones"

Jan 26 11:21

Anonymous Hackers Reveal: Ukraine Is Preparing For A 100 Year War With Russia

The Ukrainian military have been ostensibly preparing for a hundred-year war with the Russian Federation, according to the documents published by Anonymous hackers. The hackers were able to get into the database of the British state project, Integrity Initiative, which opposes Russia.

In a new batch of papers published on Friday, January 25th. The published files contain data that five employees of the intelligence reserve of Ukraine, who at that time were between 45 and 53 years old, visited the UK from July 6 to July 13, and the year of the trip was not known.

Four of the visitors were “ethnically Russian” and spoke English. Two had previously served in the KGB, and had the rank of colonel, two more led brigades, and the latter “almost certainly” served in the GRU. One of these citizens told about preparations for a long “hundred years war” with Russia.

Jan 26 11:15

‘US should look for its problems at home’ – Russian minister on Soros rant about ‘dangerous’ China

Washington should focus on actually fixing its domestic problems instead of searching for external enemies to blame them on, Russia's Minister for Economic Development Maksim Oreshkin said.

The remarks were in response to the words of liberal billionaire George Soros, who lashed out at China speaking at the Davos economic forum in Switzerland.

“China is not the only authoritarian regime in the world but it is the wealthiest, strongest and technologically most advanced,” Soros said. “This makes Xi Jinping the most dangerous opponent of open societies.”

Jan 26 11:14

Russia Urges US to Drop Plans to Deploy Missile Defense Systems in Space

Russia’s Foreign Ministry has issued a statement on Friday calling on the United States to drop its latest missile defense system plans, which involves deploying interceptor systems into space. They warn the effort will fuel an arms race.

The statement warned that the plans give the impression that the US is trying to revive the scrapped Star Wars program from the 1980s. It also appears to be evidence the US plans to use space for military purposes in the near future.

Trump unveiled the new space-based missile defense a week ago, playing up the idea of making space a “warfighting domain,” and wanting a system that could intercept any missile anywhere on the planet at any time.

Jan 26 10:16

Exclusive: Kremlin-linked contractors help guard Venezuela's Maduro - sources

Private military contractors who do secret missions for Russia flew into Venezuela in the past few days to beef up security for President Nicolas Maduro in the face of U.S.-backed opposition protests, according to two people close to them.

Jan 25 12:32

Coincidence? Venezuela Green Lights Russia to Mine Gold, Days Later US Attempts Overthrow

The decades-long US infatuation with Venezuela came to a head on Wednesday as the United States, Canada, Brazil, and others all declared a man who never even ran for the office of presidency, much less got elected to the office, as the president of Venezuela.

On Wednesday, Juan Gerardo Guaidó Márquez took a public oath of office and swore himself in as the President of Venezuela. He assumed this office with zero democratic process—essentially making himself a dictator—and was immediately declared legitimate by Washington.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"WE need that gold! We need to replace all the gold that the NY FED depository let out that back door!!!" -- Official White Horse Souse

Jan 25 11:14

RUSSIA SENDS "SECURITY CONTRACTORS" TO VENEZUELA TO PROTECT MADURO

As the international community splits along governments who continue to back embattled Venezuelan ruler Nicolas Maduro and governments, led by the US, who have officially recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country's legitimate head of state, Reuters reported that a group of Russian mercenaries with ties to the Kremlin have been sent to Venezuela to provide security for Maduro as he struggles with the biggest threat to his rule in his six years in power.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Whatever else you might think about Putin, he generally is one hundred chess moves ahead of the US government.

And please, Lord, may President Putin and President Trump NEVER have a "death-grudge chess match" between them; I would be concerned that President Trump could, literally, loose his shirt!!!:-)

Jan 24 14:16

Mike Pence Calls for Coup d’Etat in Venezuela

Venezuela is a prime target because of its world’s largest oil reserves. US dark forces want Big Oil controlling them.

They want fascist tyranny replacing Bolivarian social democracy. They’re waging longstanding political, economic, financial, and sanctions war on the country – military intervention an option if current tactics fail.

Previous US coup d’etat attempts failed. Another slow-motion one is underway. On Tuesday, Mike Pence encouraged the toppling of democratically reelected Maduro.

He turned truth on its head calling him a “usurper,” a “dictator with no legitimate claim to power,” falsely adding “(h)e has never won the presidency in a free and fair election, and has maintained his grip of power by imprisoning anyone who dares to oppose him.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Translation: if Pence is making this announcement, the US and allied countries already have boots on the ground, to kick this thing into motion.

Jan 24 13:58

China Joins Russia In Slamming US Interference In Venezuela

Back in March, we asked a simple question: Can Russia & China Rescue Venezuela?

Realistically, and in retrospect, the answer was always no, but the reason we asked the question was simple: both China and Russia have extended massive credits to Caracas, and Maduro's regime in particular. As such, letting the country “die” was never an option that either Beijing or Moscow would gladly accept; neither was it an option to allow a transition in Venezuela's top power echelons, one which replaces the pro-Russia and China Maduro regime, with another regime which would, supposedly, be supported and endorsed by the US, and thus jeopardize Venezuela's obligations to the two nations.

And, as we also said last March, "chances are that Washington is aware of the role that China and Russia play there. Otherwise [Washington] would have already gone ahead with the broad oil sanctions, despite potential headaches for U.S. refineries."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I hope the folks at the White House, Pentagon, and State Department are "reading the tea leaves correctly" here, watching what is happening on the ground here; one, maladroit reading of the teal leaves, and we may well be off an running into another idiotic, headlong invasion of Venezuela, buffeted by China and Russia coming in on Venezuela's side.

This would be pure insanity, on the part of the US. But unfortunately, just because something is so hamfistedly, pigheadedly stupid as to be immediately disregarded, is no guarantee that the US government won't do it.

Apparently, when it comes to idiocy, when it comes to US government decision making, we have a brilliant new example:

And just like clockwork, we have the following article, also from www.zerohedge.com

Poppeo Promises $20 million dollars to Venezuela oppositionGood, People!!

Jan 24 10:57

Russia, Turkey agree to take steps to 'stabilise' Syria's Idlib

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recept Tayyip Erdogan say they have discussed steps needed to stabilise the situation in Syria's Idlib province where the joint battle against "terrorist" organisations will continue.

Erdogan arrived in Moscow on Wednesday with several of his cabinet members for a day-long visit.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Russian foreign ministry said the situation in the region, where Moscow and Ankara have tried to create a de-escalation zone, was rapidly deteriorating and that it was almost under the full control of Hay'et Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) - a rebel group that was previously linked to al-Qaeda.

"Unfortunately there are many problems there and we see them," said Putin, standing alongside Erdogan at a joint press conference following the meeting.

Jan 24 10:28

Pentagon Admits Russian Air Defenses "Changing U.S. Calculus" Abroad

As the West has for the past two years distracted itself and obsessed over claimed Russian election meddling and those sinister online "disinformation campaigns," the Kremlin has been busy establishing air superiority in places US aircraft could at one time operate with impunity.

According to a new lengthy report in the Wall Street Journal Russia's S-400 antiaircraft missile system, which much of the western public has recently begun to hear about in the context of Syria, is now "changing the calculus of the U.S. and its allies in potential hot spots" as Russia is erecting a "new Iron Curtain" in the form of a series of effective and far reaching anti-air defenses stretching from the Arctic to the Middle East.

Jan 24 10:19

Russia Warns US Against Military Interference in Venezuela's Affairs

Russia warns the United States against military interference in Venezuela's affairs, it would be a disaster, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Thursday, noting that Moscow stands for the principle of non-interference in internal affairs.

"We warn against this. We believe that this would be a catastrophic scenario that would shake the foundations of the development model we see in the Latin American region", Ryabkov said in an interview with the International Affairs magazine.

Jan 24 10:19

Iran, Turkey, Russia warn US against meddling in domestic affairs of Venezuela

Iran, Turkey and Russia throw their weight behind the Venezuelan government against a bizarre move by the US-backed opposition leader to proclaim himself “president,” warning Washington against interfering in domestic affairs of the South American state.

On Thursday, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said the Islamic Republic “backs Venezuela’s nation and legitimate government in the face of any foreign meddling in the country’s domestic affairs or any illegitimate and illegal measure such as attempts for a coup or moves against the people.”

“We hope that any disagreement and political problem in Venezuela will be resolved by the country’s own people and government as soon as possible via legal and peaceful solutions,” he added.

Jan 24 10:18

Russia takes wraps off new missile to try to save U.S. nuclear pact

Washington has threatened to pull out of the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), alleging that the new Russian missile, the Novator 9M729 (called SSC-8 by NATO), violates the pact, which bans either side from stationing short and intermediate-range, land-based missiles in Europe.

Russia denies that. It says the missile’s range puts it outside the treaty and has accused the United States of inventing a false pretext to exit a treaty it wants to leave anyway so as to develop new missiles.

The Russian lobbying effort comes as the clock ticks down towards Feb. 2, the date when Washington has said it will begin the process of pulling out of the pact unless Russia verifiably destroys the new missile system altogether, something it has refused to do.

Jan 24 09:28

‘Putin – tsar of disinfo’: French TV teaches children about ‘Russian fake news’

A France 4 game show for teenagers has tried to take on the elusive – yet fearsome – Russian “fake news,” teaching children that all the media in Russia is either suppressed or controlled directly by Vladimir Putin.

The show, dubbed Escape News, was launched last year as an escape room-type game for teenagers. The program has quite a sounding motto – ‘Avoid the traps of the info’ – yet the way it does so, unfortunately, appears to be quite questionable.

The recent issue of the show was dubbed ‘Vladimir Putin – the tsar of disinfo?’ and focused on the president personally, as well as on Russia in general – including RT. Despite the proclaimed goal of the show, the whole issue was borderline fake news itself.

Jan 24 09:27

Russia tells Israel: No more 'arbitrary' airstrikes in Syria

"The practice of arbitrary strikes on the territory of a sovereign state, in this case, we are talking about Syria, should be ruled out," Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said, in answer to a question from Russian news agency TASS about recent Israeli air strikes on Syria.

She said such strikes added to tensions in the region, which she said was not in the long-term interests of any country there, including Israel.

"We should never allow Syria, which has suffered years of armed conflict, to be turned into an arena where geopolitical scores are settled," TASS cited her as saying.

Jan 24 09:26

China DEFENDS Russia, Blasts US Cold War Mentality

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying has spoken out against the publication of the new US National Intelligence Strategy, in which China and Russia are referred to as “adversary” countries against the US.

“We have taken note of the wording that [the United States] mentioned in the updated version of the US National Intelligence Strategy, which has just been published in the United States. The United States has issued a series of reports, which present unfounded accusations against Russia and China,” said Hua Chunying, a ministry spokesman in a statement.

Chunying urged the United States to make further efforts to strengthen mutual trust between the two countries and maintain international peace and stability, as well as urging Washington to abandon the Cold War mentality.

Jan 24 09:25

Trying To Tighten ‘Anaconda Knot’: US Surround’ Maritime Borders, But Russia Is Ready To Respond

US destroyers have just entered the southern part of the Baltic Sea, near Russian territorial waters. In this connection, an expert ensures that Russia is able to counteract any threat, “if need be.”

American warships USS Gravely and USS Porter recently entered the Baltic Sea. The Boiky and Soobrazitelny corvettes of the Russian Navy began to monitor the actions of these ships.

Russian military expert Andrei Koshkin expressed his opinion on the situation.

“The situation worsens mainly because of US President Donald Trump’s declaration that the start of a new stage of ‘Star Wars’. The missile defense systems installed aboard ships are a kind of priority for the US,” he said.

Jan 24 09:25

Russia STANDS With Venezuela Against U.S. Imperialism, But Who Else Does?

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova criticized the West’s interference in Venezuela’s internal affairs. Earlier, Nicolas Maduro announced the breakup of diplomatic relations with the United States in retaliation for the recognition of Juan Guaidó as interim Venezuelan president.

“The events in Venezuela show how the progressive Western community is actually dealing with international law, sovereignty and non-interference in the internal affairs of states, deliberately changing power there,” Zakharova wrote on his Facebook page.

The situation in Venezuela worsened considerably after the inauguration of Nicolás Maduro, who was re-elected on January 10. Member countries of the Lima Group decided not to recognize the new mandate. Subsequently, Brazil, Paraguay, Colombia, Canada, the United States and other Latin American countries decided to recognize the president of the deported National Assembly, Juan Guaidó as the interim president of the country.

Jan 24 09:07

Here Are 50 Major Russia Hoax Stories That Had to Be Retracted Since 2016

Are we now over 50 major news stories that have had to be reracted or seriously corrected, all in the same direction, wrt Russia since 2016?

Jan 23 10:28

Israel must stop 'spontaneous' Syria strikes: Russia

Russia has urged Israel to stop its "spontaneous" airstrikes on Syria, days after the Israeli military carried out fresh strikes against targets near the Syrian capital, Damascus.

Israel has repeatedly attacked Syrian government positions under the pretext that its attacking Iranian military advisers, who are in the country on a request from President Bashar al-Assad to assist the Syrian Army in their fight against foreign-backed terrorists.

"The practice of spontaneous strikes on the territory of a sovereign state, in this case Syria, must end," Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Wednesday, according to Russia's TASS state news agency.

Zakharova (pictured below) said such moves by Tel Aviv only fueled tensions in the region and harmed the long-term interests of all regional players, including Israel itself.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Zakharova can repeat that request ad infinitum, but it not going to make any change in Netanyahu's behaviour, and it appears that anything President Trump says, regarding creating a wider war in the region, is going in one ear, and out the other. Hubristic, imperious leaders cannot learn from their mistakes, so keep on making them ... until they are stopped.

History will not judge Netanyahu kindly, for all the foul-ups, bleeps, and blunders he has created for the Israeli people, and the future may not be kind in its recollection of him, or his tenure as Prime Minister.

Jan 23 09:20

Is a Land Swap Between Turkey and Syria Being Brokered by Russia?

The regions currently being administered by the Kurds in Syria include the Kurdish-majority Qamishli and al-Hasakah in northeastern Syria along the border with Iraq, and the Arab-majority towns of Manbij to the west of the Euphrates River in northern Syria and Kobani to the east of the Euphrates River along the Turkish border.

The oil- and natural gas-rich Deir al-Zor governorate in eastern Syria has been contested between the Syrian government and the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, and it also contains a few pockets of the remnants of the Islamic State militants alongside both eastern and western banks of the Euphrates River.

Jan 23 02:09

Trump Successfully Erodes Russia-Turkey Axis in Syria

Graham used to be the best buddy of late Sen. John McCain (an inveterate Russophobe) and a maverick who broke party stereotypes and was among the loudest Republican critics of the president, but today he’s perceived as a leading Trump ally.

Most certainly, Graham undertook the mission to Ankara on behalf of Trump. The Turks understood this and he was well received by President Recep Erdogan. He also had meetings with Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, Defence Minister Hulusi Akar and intelligence chief Hakan Fidan. Only last week, Turks had cold-shouldered US National Security Advisor John Bolton. (Erdogan refused to receive Bolton.)

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Syria seems to be still much in play, and it appears that there is still a great deal which will have to be done to get and keep things stable here.

Jan 23 01:52

ISRAEL DESTROYED EIGHT SYRIAN MILITARY TARGETS, KILLED AT LEAST 11 TROOPS

Despite claiming that their Sunday night airstrikes against Syria were exclusively targeting Iran’s Quds Force, Israeli airstrikes against Syria appear to have almost exclusively hit Syrian military targets, particularly the nation’s air defenses around Damascus airport.

Israeli strikes destroyed eight Syrian air defense batteries, and killed at least 11 troops in the strikes. The batteries were mostly aging Soviet designs, the sort Syria has traditionally favored for targeting incoming Israeli missiles.

The Syrian systems had some success, too, with Russia reporting that the Syrians had successfully intercepted more than 30 Israeli missiles during the attack. Conspicuously absent from the engagement, however, were the Russian S-300 systems recently provided to Syria.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I am holding my breath, waiting to see how Russia's President Putin, ultimate responds to this.

Jan 22 14:40

Ex-US Marine Paul Whelan charged with spying was in possession of Russian ‘state secrets’ – lawyer

Paul Whelan, the ex-US Marine suspected of espionage in Russia, had documents containing state secrets at the time of his arrest in Moscow, his lawyer said. Whelan may not have been aware he had sensitive information, he added.

“I can confirm that at the time of his detention, Whelan had some documents containing state secrets, but I cannot go into details,” Vladimir Zherebenkov, who represents Whelan, told reports on Tuesday.

Zherebenkov, however, suggested that his client may have been unaware that he was in possession of the secrets. “How he got it, what he was supposed to do with it, and whether Whelan knew that he had secret information is unknown,” he said.

The former US Marine was seeking information on Russia of an “open” and “cultural” kind, the lawyer said, suggesting that his efforts were inspired only by his keen interest in Russian heritage.

Jan 22 13:07

US Blunders Have Made Russia The Global Trade Pivot

The year 2019 had barely begun before news emerged that six Russian sailors were kidnapped by pirates off the coast of Benin. It was perhaps a foretaste of risks to come. As nations reel from deteriorating economic conditions, instances of piracy and other forms of supply chain disruptions are bound to increase.

According to the International Maritime Bureau (IMB), 107 cases of piracy were noted during the first half of 2018 vis-à-vis 87 throughout 2017. The 2018 tally included 32 cases in Southeast Asian waters and 48 along African shores – representing 75% of the total. To put this figure into perspective, Asian behemoths India and China – despite their vast shorelines – recorded only 2 cases of piracy each during the study period. Russia had none. In terms of hostages taken, the IMB tally read 102 in H1 2018 vs 63 in H1 2017.

Jan 22 09:36

Trump accuses the FBI of relying on 'illegal' means to spy on campaign adviser after report reveals 'unusual' steps the bureau took to obtain a warrant

President Trump accused the FBI on Tuesday of relying on 'illegal' methods to obtain evidence to spy on campaign adviser Carter Page.

A Fox News report revealed the that 'unusual steps' were taken in the process to the secure the FISA warrant that the FBI used to spy on Page in the Russian collusion and election meddling investigation.

The report was based on closed-door testimony that former top FBI attorney James Baker provided to Congress, in which he said he was personally involved in the application process.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Sometimes I think this government couldn't possibly be more crooked, they surprise me yet again!!

This is so appallingly awful, that I do not know where to begin.

This is "gotcha!/win, no matter what it takes!" politics, writ large.

Anyone involved with the cobbling together of this warrant, must have had their consciences surgically removed before joining the US government.

Jan 22 09:08

Iran not invited, Russia snubs intl conference on Middle East – Warsaw

Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz says that Iran has not been invited to an international conference on the Middle East in Warsaw next month. Czaputowicz said in remarks published on Monday that Iran’s presence would have hampered talks because the language that Tehran uses is “hard to accept.” Iran has protested over the February 13-14 conference, calling it a hostile move. Poland and the US are co-hosting the event, which has also been met with a lukewarm reaction from the European Union, whose foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini will not be attending. Czaputowicz also said Russia has advised that it will not participate either, AP reports.

Jan 22 08:18

Bombs Over Damascus: Has Israel Crossed a Russian Red Line in Syria?

Friday, citing Russian sources the Palestinian-run, London-based, pan-Arabic newspaper Al-Quds Al-Arabi reported that Russia has told Israel it will not tolerate further air strikes near the Damascus International Airport:

According to the report, which cited Russian sources, Moscow has told Jerusalem that it intends to renovate the Damascus International Airport, and that further attacks by Israel will not be welcomed.

Jan 22 08:14

Anti-Trump frenzy threatens to end superpower diplomacy (By Stephen Cohen)

The New Year has brought a torrent of ever-more-frenzied allegations that President Donald Trump has long had a conspiratorial relationship - why mince words and call it “collusion”? - with Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin.

Why the frenzy now? Perhaps because Russiagate promoters in high places are concerned that special counsel Robert Mueller will not produce the hoped-for “bombshell” to end Trump’s presidency. Certainly, New York Times columnist David Leonhardt seems worried, demanding, “The president must go,” his drop line exhorting, “What are we waiting for?” (In some countries, articles like his, and there are very many, would be read as calling for a coup.) Perhaps to incite Democrats who have now taken control of House investigative committees. Perhaps simply because Russiagate has become a political-media cult that no facts, or any lack of evidence, can dissuade or diminish.

Jan 22 08:11

Rescuers Begin Extinguishing Kerch Strait Tanker Fire - Marine Rescue Service

A rescue vessel has begun the process of extinguishing a fire that broke out on board two Tanzania-flagged tankers in the Kerch Strait, a spokesperson for the local department of the Russian Marine Rescue Service told Sputnik.

"Our vessel 'Spasatel Demidov' is extinguishing the fire," the spokesperson said.

As many as eight people have been reported missing following a fire that broke out on board two Tanzania-flagged tankers in the Kerch Strait, the Russian Federal Agency of Maritime and River Transportation (Rosmorrechflot) told Sputnik, amid a search and rescue operation.

Jan 22 05:50

Russia cuts foreign debt to decade low while boosting national reserves

Russia’s external debt has fallen by $64.4 billion or 12.4 percent from the beginning of last year, amounting to $453.7 billion as of January 1, 2019 – the lowest level since April 2009, according to Central Bank of Russia data.
All institutional sectors dropped their debts last year, the Central Bank of Russia announced on Monday, adding that other sectors contributed “the most to the country’s external debt contraction,” reducing their indebtedness by $32.3 billion.

The foreign debt has been dropping since mid-2014, when it reached its peak of around $733 billion in the wake US and EU sanctions. Since then, Russia managed to reduce debt by nearly $280 billion to reach the ten year minimum. In the fourth quarter of 2018 alone, the external debt was reportedly reduced by more than $16 billion or some 3.5 percent.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This.. is what a an intelligently managed country wants to see happen.

Jan 22 05:21

NATO, Russian ambassadors to meet Friday

NATO and Russian ambassadors will meet in Brussels Friday, the Western military alliance said, with discussions likely to focus on the standoff over Ukraine and on nuclear weapons.

This would be the ninth such NATO-Russia Council since the start of 2016.

"Following consultations with Russia, we have agreed to hold a meeting of the NATO-Russia Council at ambassadorial level on Jan. 25, 2019 at NATO headquarters in Brussels," a NATO official said Monday.

NATO has criticized Russia over its seizure of three Ukrainian naval vessels and their crews in November. A court in Moscow ruled last week that 24 Ukrainian sailors seized off the coast of Crimea should be kept in pre-trial detention until April.

Russia has meanwhile warned that a new U.S. missile defense strategy would unleash a dangerous arms race in space and amount to a relaunch of the Cold War-era "Star Wars" program.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

With so much ill will and animosity between NATO, the US government, and Russia, it will be a miracle if anything of substance is achieved at all in this Brussels meeting.

But let's hope something positive can come out of this.

Jan 22 04:45

Moscow says Skripal case aimed at diverting attention from Brexit

The campaign launched by the British government in the wake of the Skripal incident pursues domestic policy goals in the context of Brexit negotiations, the Russian Foreign Ministry stated on Monday in response to the Council of Europe’s decision to introduce sanctions against several Russian citizens due to their involvement in the Salisbury incident.

"The information campaign launched by the British government with regards to this case pursues, first and foremost, domestic policy goals. It is telling that its new splash has coincided with another wave of the Brexit negotiations crisis," the Russian Foreign Ministry stated.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The problem for Prime Minister May was, the alleged "diversion" was so flimsy, it only lasted the 5 minutes of an egg timer!!

Jan 22 04:30

Anti-Trump Frenzy Threatens To End Superpower Diplomacy

Perhaps we should have guessed that the democracy-promotion genes of J. Edgar Hoover were still alive and breeding in the FBI, though for the Times, in its exploitation of the hapless and legally endangered Page, it seems not to matter.

Which brings us, or rather Russiagate zealots, to the heightened “threat” represented by “Putin’s Russia.” If true, we would expect the US president to negotiate with the Kremlin leader, including at summit meetings, as every president since Dwight Eisenhower has done. But, we are told, we cannot trust Trump to do so, because, according to The Washington Post, he has repeatedly met with Putin alone, with only translators present, and concealed the records of their private talks, sure signs of “treasonous” behavior, as the Russiagate media first insisted following the Trump-Putin summit in Helsinki in July 2018.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This growing "frenzy" against Russia, coupled with new NATO deployments right at its borders; the placing of weapons ringing Russia, plus the growing concern that the US government feels it needs to teach Russia "a lesson" about its having assisted Syria in kicking out most of the jihadis, the stage is set for something to go horrifically wrong here, and we may find both countries at each other's necks, in a shooting war.

Jan 22 01:58

Israel admits to hitting Iranian military sites in Syria

The Israeli military announced its jets struck Iranian targets in Syria, leading Tehran officials saying the want to 'eliminate' Israel.

Israeli jets struck a series of Iranian military targets in Syria early on Monday, the military said, leading Iranian officials announce they want to "eliminate it (Israel) from the Earth".

The Israeli military said the targets included munition storage facilities, an intelligence site, and a military training camp.

The strikes were in response to a surface-to-surface rocket that Iranian forces fired toward Israel on Sunday that was intercepted by Israel's Iron Dome missile defence system over a ski resort in the Golan Heights, following an Israeli daylight air raid near the Damascus International Airport.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

There are a number of very dramatic ways in which the Israeli/Western-backed media are playing this.

WW3: Iran is prepared to eliminate Israel from the Earth

Syria has written a letter of complaint to the UN as Israel Strikes alleged "terrorists"( read: Iranian military)

World War3: Iran vs/ Israel in Syrian bombing raids

This article goes on to state: "Speaking today, the head of Iran's air force said on Monday the country was impatient to fight Israel and destroy it, a state-linked news website said. Brigadier General Aziz Nasirzadeh was quoted as saying by the Young Journalist Club, a website supervised by state television: ”The young people in the air force are fully ready and impatient to confront the Zionist regime and eliminate it from the Earth."

But if the Iranian military and civilian leadership are going to aggressively strike Israel, why would they tip their hand, by making such a public threat?!?

The short answer is, they wouldn't, particularly if they have already complained to the UN to get the Israeli bombings to stop, which they have done.

You have to remember that Israel's Netanyahu is in a very difficult spot right now. It appears, and has been leaked on a couple of Israeli blogs, that the Attorney General of Israel is preparing to indict him on a corruption charge, and that will happen in, most probably, just a couple of weeks. So now he is like a geopolitically wounded animal right now; All wounded animals, particularly politicians, are very dangerous.

My guess, at this point in time, that the Israeli military have been tasked to make it look as though an Iranian military unit did horrific damage to a large American base in Syria; he has got to do this both before the indictment, and way before the election in April.

Whether he will have the courtesy to alert President Trump or not to such an action, I am not sure; my gut is telling me that he will only let him know who actually "did the deed" far after getting the US to declare war against Iran, and we are off and running.

We've only got a little time left before that indictment pops, so looking at how far we are toward the end of the month, if he wants this to happen, it has to happen very quickly; there are only 9 more days left in January.

And the big question then becomes, what is Russia willing - and capable -of doing to prevent this madness before it starts in earnest?!?

I do consider Lavrov and Putin to be "the adults in the room" on the issue of Syria, and hopefully they will have enough "pull" with Netanyahu to prevent this from happening.

Unfortunately for them, Netanyahu's manic, hubristic, clinging to power, by any means necessary, even starting a war, just might look to him to be the right thing to do right now.

Jan 21 13:52

Moscow offered to the Americans a demonstration of the 'controversial' 9M729 rocket

MOSCOW, on the occasion of its 9M729 rocket - used by the Americans to step down from the Middle and Small-Type Missile Rockets Agreement - withdrew a move that probably was not expected in Washington.

She proposed the White House and the Pentagon to hold a "special briefing" on their 9M729 complaints.

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, on the occasion, revealed and emphasized:

"We're ready for the 9M729 unprecedented open missile. We have proposed a rocket demonstration and a briefing on its characteristics. All that we have offered is not our obligation under the Medium and Small Rocket Agreement. "

According to Rybakov, Russia - in return - insists that the US military and diplomatic leadership will remove its concerns about the Aegis Ashore system installed in Romania, and should be the backbone of the US PRO in Poland.

Jan 21 13:48

Russia rejects US demand to destroy new missile system

(*another example of submission refusal to America's art of the deal maneuver)

Jan 21 12:14

The World's Most Geopolitically Charged Pipeline

Russia’s proposed pipeline to bring more gas from Russian fields into Europe via an undersea pipeline to Germany seems unable to shake both geopolitical maneuvering as well as headline-grabbing quotes from both sides of the divide.

On Thursday, Wolfgang Ischinger, chairman of the Munich Security Conference, and a seasoned diplomat said Germany should finish the Russian-backed Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline despite U.S. opposition and growing domestic concerns, but future energy projects should be coordinated by the EU.

Jan 21 12:07

Several killed after 2 ships catch fire in Kerch Strait, one ‘rocked by blast’

Between eight and ten ships have been sent to the rescue and are picking up the sailors, the emergency services said. The explosion might have been caused by a safety rules violation during the fuel transfer, according to some reports.

Jan 21 09:38

The longstanding NASA-Russian partnership in space may be unraveling

After an American Apollo and Soviet Soyuz spacecraft docked in orbit during the height of the Cold War, in 1975, the two leading space powers gradually worked more and more together on civil space activities. Over time, they forged a successful and, among astronauts and engineers at least, even a comfortable bond. But of late, that bond is fraying, and long-term it may unravel entirely.

The most immediate issue involves Dmitry Rogozin, appointed to lead the Russian space corporation Roscosmos in May 2018. Overtly political, Rogozin shares Vladimir Putin's antipathy toward the West. Following the Crimean crisis in 2014, Rogozin was one of seven Russian officials sanctioned by the Obama administration. In response, he taunted NASA, which relied then (and still does) on Russian Soyuz spacecraft to reach the International Space Station.

Jan 20 10:33

Is The Violent Dismemberment Of Russia Official US Policy?

If there’s one thing everyone in today’s Washington can agree on, it’s that whenever an official or someone being paid by the government says something truly outrageous or dangerous, there should be consequences, if only a fleeting moment of media fury.

With one notable exception: Arguing that the US should be quietly working to promote the violent disintegration and carving up of the largest country on Earth.

Jan 19 11:06

TOP OBAMA WHITE HOUSE LAWYER MADE FALSE STATEMENTS TO DOJ ABOUT MANAFORT-RELATED WORK

The former general counsel for President Obama made “false and misleading statements” to the Justice Department regarding work he did for the Ukrainian government that has come under scrutiny in the special counsel’s probe.

Greg Craig’s allegedly false statements were revealed in a settlement announced Thursday by the Justice Department. The agency announced it was settling with Craig’s former firm, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, which worked with former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort on behalf of Ukraine beginning in 2012.

Skadden Arps agreed to register retroactively with the Justice Department as a foreign agent of Ukraine and to pay a $4.6 million fine, the same amount that the firm was paid for its consulting work.

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