RUSSIA/BELARUS/UKRAINE | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN

RUSSIA/BELARUS/UKRAINE

Sep 23 07:22

Eurasia Takes Shape: How the SCO Just Flipped the World Order

The two defining moments of the historic 20th anniversary Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Dushanbe, Tajikistan had to come from the keynote speeches of – who else – the leaders of the Russia-China strategic partnership.

Xi Jinping: “Today we will launch procedures to admit Iran as a full member of the SCO.”

Vladimir Putin: “I would like to highlight the Memorandum of Understanding that was signed today between the SCO Secretariat and the Eurasian Economic Commission. It is clearly designed to further Russia’s idea of establishing a Greater Eurasia Partnership covering the SCO, the EAEU (Eurasian Economic Union), ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) and China’s Belt and Road initiative (BRI).”

In short, over the weekend, Iran was enshrined in its rightful, prime Eurasian role, and all Eurasian integration paths converged toward a new global geopolitical – and geoeconomic – paradigm, with a sonic boom bound to echo for the rest of the century.

Sep 23 07:00

Isn't It Ironic? Biden Going After Putin For This Hypocrisy

The Biden administration released a statement Monday condemning the Russian elections that saw Vladimir Putin's regime retain their hold on power.

A surveillance video emerged showing ballot box stuffing occurring in the Russian election. Multiple videos and photos allegedly showing ballot fraud have made their way out of Russia since Friday.

The State Department issued a statement; "September 17-19 Duma elections in the Russian Federation took place under conditions not conducive to free and fair proceedings."

Opponents of Putin's United Russia party insisted that there was "mass fraud" during Monday's election, Reuters reported. United Russia won a parliamentary by a margin much bigger than anticipated.

Sep 23 06:34

Russian and US general staff chiefs hold meeting in Finland

Russian Armed Forces’ Chief of the General Staff, First Deputy Defense Minister Valery Gerasimov and Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army General Mark Milley discussed some issues of mutual interest, in particular, mitigating the risk of incidents during military activities at a meeting in Finland, the Russian Defense Ministry stated on Wednesday.

"During the meeting, the top brass addressed issues of mutual interest, including reducing the risk of incidents during military activities. The meeting was constructive," the ministry noted.

According to the defense ministry, the meeting took place today at the Finnish government’s Koningstedt residence in Vantaa, 40 kilometers north of the Finnish capital.

Sep 23 06:33

Russia not to join NATO, Sergey Lavrov says during meeting with Jens Stoltenberg

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey began his participation in the UN General Assembly session with a meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

During the protocol photoshoot, Lavrov addressed the reporters: "Don’t try your luck. Russia does not intend to join NATO."

The meeting then proceeded behind closed doors.

According to the Russian Foreign Ministry website, the sides discussed the current state of Russia-NATO relations.

"The Russian side firmly drew attention to our concrete proposals on de-escalation of tensions and reduction of tensions at the contact line," the Ministry says.

Sep 23 06:29

In Full: Boris Johnson talks COVID-19, gas disruption and Russia, in New York

Sep 23 06:06

Joe Biden nuclear sorcerer’s apprentice

resident Biden announced the birth of the AUKUS, a strategic-military partnership between the United States, Great Britain and Australia, with “the imperative of ensuring long-term peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific", the region that in Washington’s geopolitics extends from the west coast of the United States to that of India. The purpose of this "strategic mission" is "to take on the threats of the 21st century just as we did in the 20th century: together ". Clear reference to China and Russia.

To "defend against rapidly evolving threats," the AUKUS launches a "key project": the United States and Britain will help Australia acquire "nuclear-powered, conventionally armed submarines."

Sep 22 06:26

Congress wants to put even more troops in Russia’s backyard

The “Sustaining Deterrence in Europe” amendment inserted with bipartisan support into the Defense Authorization Act 2022, represents the very worst of congressional intervention in foreign and security policy.

The key passage of the amendment, which was introduced by Rep Mike Rogers (R-Ala.), ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, reads as follows:

“The [House Armed Services] Committee directs the Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the service secretaries, to submit a report to the congressional defense committees not later than March 15, 2022, on the Department’s strategy for enhancing the United States forward presence on NATO’s eastern periphery, to include assessments of possibilities for potential force structure enhancements at a minimum in Romania, Poland, and the Baltic states, along with options for enhanced deterrent posture in Ukraine.”

Sep 22 05:09

Zelensky meets with European Commission President, U.S. investors

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky met with the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, as well as with a group of American investors.

The meeting took place at Ukraine’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations, according to Ukrinform’s own correspondent in New York.

Zelensky thanked von der Leyen for supporting Ukraine's independence in the face of Russian aggression and supporting the Crimea Platform initiative.

Sep 22 05:09

Ukrainian, British defense officials discuss prospects for bilateral cooperation

Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces Valeriy Zaluzhny has met with British Defense Attaché in Ukraine, Commodore Tim Woods and invited him to the active phase of the Strategic Command and Staff Exercise Joint Endeavour 2021, the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces has reported on Facebook.

According to the report, Zaluzhny expressed his respect for and deep gratitude to the United Kingdom for its principled position, political, diplomatic, financial and economic support, advisory and logistical assistance the British side is providing to Ukraine and its armed forces.

Zaluzhny stressed that "deterring Russia's armed aggression, continuing comprehensive reform of the Ukrainian army in order to increase the defense capabilities of our state and achieving the required level of interoperability with the armed forces of our partners remains the main task of the Ukrainian Armed Forces."

Sep 22 05:08

Poland obliged to defend EU, NATO borders from Belarus: security chief

Statement by Stanis?aw ?aryn, spokesman for Poland’s security services chief:

“…We are dealing with an attempt to use an artificial migration route to destabilize first the Belarusian-Lithuanian, Belarusian-Latvian and now mainly Belarusian-Polish border. Belarusian state structures are involved in bringing migrants to their territory, mainly from the Middle East. More and more often they come to Belarus also from Russia….”

“Poland is obliged to secure the Polish-Belarusian border, which is also the external border of the European Union and NATO. The Polish government makes decisions aimed at neutralizing the actions of Belarus and Russia against the European Union.”

Sep 21 10:25

EXCLUSIVE: Durham Indictment Shows Clinton Likely Worked With Top Google Exec To Fabricate Russia Hoax, Says Google Whistleblower

In the bombshell felony indictment made public this week, Special Prosecutor John Durham alleged that agents of the 2016 Clinton campaign knowingly concocted false allegations that President Donald Trump was receiving secret hi-tech communications from the Kremlin-linked Alfa Bank. The Durham indictment further alleged that Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann intentionally spread that hoax to the FBI, Democrat-friendly media and another undisclosed federal agency under false pretenses.

Moreover, the Durham indictment identifies the mastermind of the operation to create spread and spread the Alfa Bank Hoax as a Big Tech executive, who allegedly “exploited” privately-held data of several large tech companies to create a false “narrative” about Trump-Russia collusion. This person may be Eric Schmidt, the former Executive Chairman of Alphabet, the parent company of Google.

Sep 21 08:19

Russia Aware Of Kiev's Military Preparations, Hopes It Won't Turn To Hostilities

Russia knows about Kiev’s military preparations, hopes that reason will prevail and that it will not come to hostilities, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Rudenko told reporters.

The conference of the Valdai Club “Russia and Uzbekistan facing the challenges of development and security at a new historical stage of interaction” is being held in Tashkent on September 20th, organized in partnership with the Institute for Strategic and Interregional Studies under the President of Uzbekistan.

“We know about these military preparations (of Kiev), we know about the assistance that Kiev receives from the United States and other countries,” Rudenko said.

According to him, “it is difficult to predict something with the current leadership in Kiev, nothing can be ruled out.”

Sep 21 07:44

U.S. Does Not Recognize Russian Duma Elections on Ukraine Territory -State Dept

Russia prevented citizens from exercising their civil and political rights in recent elections and the United States does not recognize the Russian Duma elections on sovereign Ukrainian territory, the State Department said on Monday.

"The September 17-19 Duma elections in the Russian Federation took place under conditions not conducive to free and fair proceedings," State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement. "We do not recognize holding elections for the Russian Duma on sovereign Ukrainian territory and reaffirm our unwavering support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The United States does not have the moral right to judge anyone else's elections until it cleans up the elections mess at home!

Sep 21 07:43

Poland sending 500 more troops to protect Belarus border

Poland is sending 500 additional army troops and special vehicles to its border with Belarus to strengthen it against increasing migrant pressures which the government says is orchestrated by Belarus and Russia to destabilize the European Union.

“We are dealing with a well-organized action directed from Minsk and Moscow,” Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told a news conference Monday.

“We will defend Poland’s border with full determination,” and prevent migrants from crossing in, Morawiecki said after a meeting with Poland’s interior minister and the head of the Border Guards.

Interior Minister Mariusz Kaminski said 500 more troops and eight specialized vehicles will be sent to the border this week.

Sep 21 07:25

Ukraine Launches Military Drills With NATO

Ukraine on Monday launched joint military exercises with the United States and other NATO countries as tensions with Russia remain high over the Kremlin-backed insurgency in the country’s east.

The annual Rapid Trident military exercises, taking place in western Ukrainian until October 1, involve some 6,000 soldiers from 15 countries, Ukraine’s defense ministry said in a statement.

The head of the exercises, Brigadier General Vladyslav Klochkov, said the drills were “an important step towards Ukraine’s European integration.”

“The Ukrainian military, which has been holding back Russian aggression for eight years, will share its unique combat experience with its international colleagues,” he added.

Sep 21 07:24

Georgia: U.S. leads special operations drills to train for war in Caucasus

The Western Battalion of the Special Operations Forces of the Georgian Defense Forces and the US Army Operational Unit “Alpha” group have completed the Joint Joint Exercise (JCET). [?] The culmination exercise was held in the vicinity of Kobuleti with the support of the 3rd Infantry Brigade of the Defense Forces, the servicemen of the 10th Cadre Brigade of the National Guard and the “General Mazniashvili Legion”.

The 10-week training was focused on producing unconventional and asymmetric fights….In the culminating phase…an offensive operation, a raid, was carried out on the conventional opponent.

Sep 21 05:53

How do you deal with the Taliban? With West still reeling from militants’ victory in Afghanistan, Russia & China are taking charge

When history speeds up, it plays havoc with our sense of time. It may seem longer, but it has only been around a month since the world was shaken by a geopolitical earthquake, with its epicenter in the Afghan capital of Kabul.

The lasting effects of the Taliban’s rapid re-conquest of Afghanistan, ending with their seizure of the city in the middle of August, are still unfolding. What comes next for the country, and for its place in the world, is still to be decided.

One piece of wishful thinking already debunked by the facts is the idea that, after 20 years of war, the Taliban 2.0 is more liberal and less inclined to brutality than it was when its predecessors ruled Afghanistan between 1996 and 2001. Cunningly, the group has tried to foster this illusion of moderation. Yet the militants’ actions speak louder than words. In reality, they have installed a government that reveals the lie behind their promises of inclusivity.

Sep 17 05:55

FLASHBACK - All Aboard Russia's Nuclear Weapon Apocalypse Train

A new rail-mounted intercontinental ballistic missile is due to hit Russian railroads in 2020. Russian state media has announced the BZhRK "Barguzin" rail-mounted nuclear missile will begin testing in 2019 and enter service the following year. The scheme is designed to make the country's nuclear arsenal more mobile and thus more difficult to locate in wartime.

One of the many problems with ICBMs is they are high-priority targets in the event of nuclear war. That is, each belligerent would want to destroy the other's nuclear weapons, and those weapons are sitting ducks if they're stuck in missile silos and the enemy knows where they are. To get around this problem, Russia has chosen to put many of its ICBMs on gigantic wheeled, mobile launchers.

Sep 17 05:53

FLASHBACK - Russia successfully tests missiles that fire from 'nuclear trains'

Russia has successfully tested intercontinental ballistic missiles intended for its "nuclear trains" program.

Tests on missiles for the Barguzin "railway-based combat rocket system" were carried out at the Plesetsk cosmodrome two weeks ago, the state-owned Interfax news agency reports.

Sep 16 07:36

U.S., Britain, Norway and Finland Came to Monitor Russia's Arctic Exercises - Interfax

Russia's military said on Wednesday that the United States, Britain, Norway and Finland had sent vessels and aircraft to monitor military exercises involving the Russian Navy's Northern Fleet in the Arctic, the Interfax news agency reported.

The manoeuvres this month involved 8,500 people and 50 vessels, and the Northern Fleet is now beginning to return those forces to base as they draw to a close, Russia's military was quoted as saying.

Sep 16 07:35

The U.S. Army’s Iron Dome could be headed to Ukraine

Since taking office, the Biden administration has kept up Washington’s shipments of weapons and training to the Ukrainian military, including $275 million worth of equipment and support packages since March.

But some in Congress are looking to do more and have included an amendment attached to the 2022 defense bill that would pressure the Biden administration to sell or transfer new air and missile defense systems to Ukraine, including potentially sending an Iron Dome battery currently being operated by the U.S. Army.

Included in the House Armed Services Committee’s version of the fiscal 2022 defense policy bill is an amendment requiring the Pentagon to submit a report to Congress outlining options for potentially selling or transferring “existing systems” to Ukraine that are likely not going to be deployed in the near-term.

Sep 15 06:56

Russia demands answers from US ambassador over ‘election interference,’ as Moscow says it has proof of ‘serious’ sabotage efforts

Russian officials are waiting for an answer after presenting the American ambassador with a dossier on purported examples of US attempts to interfere in the country's upcoming elections, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, the top diplomat claimed that the evidence was compelling, and had been presented to Ambassador John Sullivan, who was summoned for a meeting on Friday. "The evidence was given to him," Lavrov said. "It is quite serious, really. We are still waiting for an answer from our American colleagues why this is happening."

The charges, he said, relate to the refusal of US tech companies to block access to prohibited content. Last week, Russia's digital watchdog, Roskomnadzor, issued a sternly worded warning to companies like Apple and Google, as well as VPN service providers Cloudflare and Cisco, in which it said the firms were violating the country's election laws.

Sep 15 05:31

Ukraine Expects Next IMF Tranche of $750 Million in December, PM Says

Ukraine expects to receive the next tranche of assistance worth $750 million from the International Monetary Fund in December, and 600 million euros from the European Union in November, Prime Minister Denys Shmygal told a news conference on Tuesday.

Shmygal said Ukraine had fulfilled all the IMF's conditions under the current assistance programme, adding that an IMF mission is expected in Ukraine from Saturday for talks. Ukraine signed a $5 billion IMF programme last year but the loans were effectively frozen over concerns about reforms.

"This mission will actually be the final one in preparation for the issuance of the next tranche - we have fulfilled all the conditions, all the benchmarks that were spelled out in the memorandum with the IMF," Shmygal said.

"Therefore, we expect a positive completion of this mission and expect that approximately in December, late November - early December - this is the date when the IMF tranche is possible," he added.

Sep 15 05:22

Russia Releases Footage Of Armed 'Robot Tanks' In Action During Zapad-2021 Exercises

Russia's military has put its cutting edge robot armored fighting vehicles on display during the ongoing massive Zapad-2021 exercises with Belarus and other allied countries.

The Ministry of Defense (MoD) released brief footage of the robots being battle-tested during the exercise, with Russian state media describing that "Robotic Russian fighting machines fired anti-armor missiles and let rip with mounted flamethrowers on Monday, while their operators sat in safety away from the battlefield, in colossal drills attended by President Vladimir Putin."

One of the two models in the exercise was the Uran-9 armored fighting vehicle, which looks like a small conventional tank, and utilizes laser sensors to hone in on targets, and can be outfitted with rockets or large guns, and even a flame-thrower.

Sep 15 04:48

War with Russia & China would 'destroy world' & America must find ways to make peace with its Eastern rivals, top US general warns

With global nuclear stockpiles growing and countries upgrading their warheads and rockets, there is an almost unprecedented need to de-escalate tensions and avert atomic armageddon, one of America's most senior officers has said.

Speaking at a meeting hosted by Washington think-tank The Brookings Institution on Monday, Vice Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff General John E. Hyten warned of the risks if conflicts spiral out of control, and expressed hope that cooler heads can prevail. "We never fought the Soviet Union," he said. "As for the great powers, our goal is to never go to war with China and Russia."

Sep 14 06:53

Ukraine, USA, Russia, and Spheres of Influence

On September 1, 2021, President Biden met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the White House and continued the American push into Russia’s sphere of influence that has made Russia feel so threatened.

Zelensky has been frustrated because he has been pushing for this meeting since his election in May 2019. Despite the delay, Biden clearly meant to make a bold statement to Russia since Zelensky is only the second European leader to be invited to the White House since Biden’s election. In July, German Chancellor Angela Merkel met with Biden at the White House.

Sep 14 06:03

Are Russia & Belarus gearing up for conflict with the West? Hysterical pundits are sounding alarms while ignoring NATO war games

Since 2009, the quadrennial Zapad military drills have become a rotational autumn fixture for troops from Russia, Belarus and some other friendly states. Just as reliable, however, is the hysteria they elict in Western media.

Bringing together tens of thousands of both Moscow's and Minsk's soldiers, as well as others from Mongolia and Kazakhstan, this year's installation of the wargames is one of the largest seen across the world for nearly 40 years. Three hundred tanks, thousands of armoured vehicles, numerous artillery and MLRS systems as well as 15 naval vessels have all been deployed to take part. The Russian and Belarusian Air Forces are also fielding warplanes and front-line fighter squadrons with the aim of stepping up their existing co-operation.

Sep 14 06:01

Single shot of Sputnik V effective against Covid hospitalization & deaths among elderly – Argentine study published by The Lancet

A single dose of the pioneering Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine better protects the elderly against serious Covid-19 infections than a similar regime of certain other leading vaccines, a major new study from Argentina has shown.

The findings were published online by the EClinicalMedicine, which is run by the British peer-reviewed medical journal The Lancet.

Sep 13 09:42

Russia Completes Nord Stream 2 Gas Pipeline in Latest Humiliation for DC Regime

The era of US hegemony is over thanks to the incompetence of our managerial elite.

Sep 13 07:36

Russia Sends Armoured Vehicles, Military Equipment to Tajikistan

Russia sent Tajikistan 12 armoured vehicles and an array of military equipment, its defence ministry said on Saturday, as Moscow looks to shore up its Central Asian ally that neighbours Afghanistan.

Moscow has held military exercises in Tajikistan and expanded hardware at its military base there, its biggest in a foreign country, since the U.S. withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan and the Taliban's lightning takeover.

Russia is worried about the potential for fallout in the wider region and the possibility of Islamist militants infiltrating Central Asia, which Moscow sees as its southern defensive buffer.

"Against the backdrop of growing instability near Tajikistan's southern border, we are working together to ensure the security of our states," said Major General Yevgeny Tsindyaikin in a defence ministry statement.

Sep 11 07:46

Russia Summons US Ambassador Over Election "Meddling" - Embassy Downplays Meeting

On Friday Russia’s Foreign Ministry summoned the US ambassador to Moscow, John Sullivan, over what's being widely reported as allegations of American "meddling" in upcoming Russian elections.

According to Reuters, "Russia summoned U.S. Ambassador John Sullivan on Friday over alleged interference by the United States in an election, Russian agencies TASS and RIA reported, quoting a diplomatic source."

While few details have been initially revealed of the accusations, Russia is holding parliamentary elections on the weekend of Sept.17 through 19th.

Reuters added based on local reports that "Russian news agencies reported earlier that Sullivan had been summoned over an issue with accreditations for Russian journalists working in the United States."

Sullivan was during the day seen arriving at the Russian foreign ministry building, and reportedly left after 20 minutes.

Sep 11 06:44

Shelling in Eastern Ukraine Wounds Troops and Civilians

Ukraine said on Thursday that shelling from rebel-held areas in the east had wounded at least six troops and disrupted railway services, while the Russian-backed separatists said two civilians had been wounded in shelling from the Ukrainian side.

It was the second reported flareup in since late August in the conflict which began in 2014 and has continued despite an official ceasefire in 2015.

The shelling began at 8 a.m. (0500 GMT) near Skotuvata station, around 20 km (12 miles) north of the city of Donetsk, Ukraine's state railway said. The mainly Russian-speaking city is under the control of the separatists but areas to the north are controlled by the Ukrainian government.

"The shells are falling at a distance of 2 km from the station. There is no infrastructure damage for now. For the safety of the station workers and passengers, they were promptly evacuated to shelters," the railway, Ukrzaliznytsya, said.

The movement of suburban trains was restricted, it said.

Sep 10 11:13

Ukraine Parliament Passes Law To Legalize And Regulate Cryptocurrency

Ukraine has become the latest country to legalize cryptocurrency, just days after El Salvador adopted Bitcoin as legal tender.

In an almost unanimous vote on Sept. 8, the Ukrainian Parliament adopted a virtual asset bill making cryptocurrency and other digital assets legal in the country.

Known as Bill No. 3637 On Virtual Assets, the draft bill provides clarification on how individuals and businesses utilizing digital currency can be properly protected and also determines how Ukraine will regulate the cryptocurrency market going forward.

A total of 276 Ukrainian lawmakers voted for the bill, which now heads to the desk of President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Sep 10 10:50

Russian & Belarusian troops practice fighting side-by-side in huge war-games, with rockets & tanks deployed across Eastern Europe

Close to 100,000 Russian and Belarusian soldiers, sailors and airmen are taking part in massive military exercises spanning half the width of Europe and involving hundreds of aircraft, armored vehicles and even missile systems.

In a statement issued on Friday, Moscow's Ministry of Defense confirmed that the Zapad-2021 drills had begun in earnest, across 14 separate training grounds from the Baltic Sea to Central Russian cities like Voronezh and Nizhny Novgorod.

Troops from former Soviet republics, including Armenia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, as well as personnel from India and Mongolia are taking part. Delegations of officers from China, Pakistan, Vietnam and Myanmar are also understood to be in attendance.

Sep 10 10:28

Yandex is battling the largest DDoS in Russian Internet history

Russian internet giant Yandex has been targeted in a massive distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack that started last week and reportedly continues this week.

A report in Russian media says that the assault is the largest in the short history of the Russian internet, the RuNet, and that it was confirmed by a U.S.-based company.

RuNet is the Russian segment of the internet, created to function independently of the worldwide web. Its purpose is to maintain the unified country-wide communication infrastructure running in case of a cyber attack from a foreign adversary.

Sep 10 08:31

Nord Stream 2 has finally been completed, Russia's Gazprom announces, despite US efforts to block major European gas pipeline

The final sections of the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline have now been welded into place, Moscow’s state energy giant Gazprom has revealed, bringing construction of the underwater link between Russia and Germany to an end.

In a statement issued on Friday, Alexey Miller, Chairman of the Saint Petersburg-based energy giant, said that "at 8.45am this morning Moscow time, work on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline has been completed."

Earlier this week, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov revealed that the laying of pipes under the Baltic Sea would be "completed in a few days and (it) will begin working." Bloomberg reports that gas is expected to begin flowing through its network from the start of next month, and that final testing and preparations are underway.

Sep 09 09:45

LIVE: Cosmonauts head outside International Space Station for spacewalk

Russian cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov will conduct their second spacewalk in less than a week as they continue configurations for the new Nauka module for operations on the International Space Station. Learn more about their spacewalk here.

Sep 09 05:37

HAS BIDEN NOW LOST SAUDI ARABIA?

The ignominious US withdrawal from Afghanistan has blown a global hole in the post-1945 American Century system of elaborate world domination, a power vacuum that likely will lead to irreversible consequences. The immediate case in point is whether Biden’s Washington strategists—as he clearly makes no policy—have already managed to lose the support of its largest arms buyer and regional strategic ally, The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Since the first days of Biden’s inauguration in late January, US policies are driving the Saudi monarchy to pursue a dramatic shift in foreign policy. The longer-term consequences could be enormous.

Sep 08 10:04

Moscow’s Farcical Descent Into Compulsory Vaccination: A Triumph of Russian Bookkeeping

On October 14, 2019 – just a few months before governments around the world began using health statistics as sacred writ to determine the permissibility of life’s most ordinary activities – Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev issued an epoch-defining order to his country’s regional governors: please stop manipulating health statistics.

“This is a lie in the truest sense of the word,” Medvedev said, referring to Russia’s phony mortality rates.

By the prime minister’s own admission, the encouraging results of a years-long public health initiative had been falsified under the watchful eye of the Russian government. How could this have happened?

Sep 07 09:01

Massive Expansion Underway At Russia's Northernmost Arctic Air Base (Updated)

Russia is continuing to expand its aviation facilities at Nagurskoye Air Base, which sits adjacent to its large Arctic Trefoil outpost. A year ago nearly to the day, we reported on Russia's work to expand the base's runway from 8,200 feet to 11,500 feet before winter, as well as prepping other areas for improvement. Now it appears that not only was the runway extension successfully executed last winter, as predicted, but a new, massive parking apron is now under construction that can support far larger aircraft deployments of aircraft than in the past. This fits with Russia's strategy to militarily dominate the increasingly strategic Arctic region, which will see new shipping routes emerge due to climate change and is high in energy reserves. In fact, satellite imagery also shows that a small deployment of cargo aircraft, A-50 Mainstay airborne early warning aircraft, and MiG-31 Foxhound interceptors already occurred last winter.

Sep 07 08:55

With its plan to unite Eurasia from sea to sea, Russia is betting the days of total US economic supremacy are now coming to an end

The centre of the world is moving. While once it sat somewhere within the Atlantic, balanced between Europe and the US, it is now moving east. With Asia on the rise, Russia is now planning its role at the heart of two continents.

The annual Eastern Economic Forum, held in Vladivostok, has just come to an end. Focusing on the development of Russia’s Far East and enhancing interconnectivity between Russia and Asia, it has become a key arena for the promotion of Russia’s Greater Eurasian Partnership.

Sep 07 08:45

Erdogan's Plans For The Future Of Afghanistan: China, Russia, & Terrorists

The US and the EU should not buy Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's fake pro-Western posture (such as when he offered to run the Kabul airport, then fled) or his fake anti-radicalism (such as when he is courting the Afghan terrorists). Erdogan's strategy, as a member of NATO, is clearly to bolster Russia's and China's plans for the future of Afghanistan.

When the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in December 1979 in support of the communist Afghan government, then in conflict with radical Muslim fighters, Turkey was having its own civil war between ultra-left and ultra-right factions. In September 1980, the Turkish military staged a coup d'état and banned all political parties, including Islamist ones.

Sep 07 05:11

Putin rejects mandatory Covid jabs as Russia sees record deaths

President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday said he was opposed to mandatory coronavirus vaccinations for Russians but urged the jab-sceptic population to get inoculated, as his country battles a deadly third wave.

His comments came as Russia earlier Wednesday reported 669 coronavirus deaths over the past 24 hours, a pandemic high of fatalities for the second day in a row, according to a government tally.

Russia in mid-June saw infections spike in a third wave driven by the highly transmissible Delta variant first identified in India, authorities have said, and worsened by a sluggish inoculation drive.

Although free jabs have been available since early December, only around 15 percent of Russia's population had received at least one dose as of Wednesday according to the Gogov website, which tallies Covid figures from the regions.

Sep 05 04:54

Russia Blocks VPN Providers in Ongoing Internet Crackdown

Russia has blocked access to six VPN services which authorities say allow access to illegal online content in violation of Russian law.

The country’s communications regulator Roskomnadzor said Friday it had blocked access to some of the world’s largest VPN providers, including Nord VPN and Express VPN, following an investigation.

“The use of such services leads to the preservation of access to prohibited information and resources and creates the conditions for illegal activities, including those related to the distribution of drugs, child pornography, extremism and suicide,” Roskomnadzor said in a statement.

Virtual private networks (VPNs) allow internet users a greater level of anonymity online and can provide access to material which has been blocked by internet service providers.

Sep 03 08:08

Russia Sending Huge Arms Shipment, & "Maybe Even S-400s", To Belarus: Lukashenko

Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko on Wednesday announced that Russia will soon deliver a major shipment of military hardware badly needed by the isolated country, which will include helicopters, aircraft and air defense systems.

"Russia in the near future … will supply us – I won’t say how much money or what – with dozens of planes, dozens of helicopters, the most important air defense weapons,” Lukashenko was quoted as saying in Belarusian state-run Belta news agency.

But the claim that's sure to catch the attention of the West is what he said about the potential anti-air defense system. "Maybe even S-400s (surface-to-air missiles). We need them very much as I’ve said in the past," he added.

Sep 03 07:25

Ukraine’s drive to join US-led NATO bloc & bring Western forces closer to Russian border presents serious security risks – Kremlin

The Kremlin has warned that the publicly stated aspiration of Ukraine to join the American-led NATO military bloc poses a danger to Russia, which is completely opposed to the build-up of Western armed forces near its borders.

Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov claimed on Thursday that Washington is encouraging Kiev to continue its attempts to join both the Cold War-era analogue to the long-disbanded Warsaw Pact and the European Union – measures which he said would put the two Western organizations directly on Kiev’s long border with Russia.

“This is potentially very dangerous for us because NATO will thus continue to move its military infrastructure closer towards our borders,” Peskov said.

Sep 03 06:45

Major deal on developing Russia’s Big Northern Sea Route sealed at Eastern Economic Forum

A broad agreement aimed at providing stable growth of exports, cabotage and transit traffic along Russia’s Arctic sea route has been signed at the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) in Vladivostok on Friday.

Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom and the Ministry for Development of the Far East and the Arctic agreed to closely cooperate on projects aimed at developing the transport artery stretching along Russia’s Arctic coast.

“The Big Northern Sea Route from Murmansk to Vladivostok plays an important role in transport security, and connects by sea the European part of Russia with the Far East,” Rosatom’s director general, Aleksey Likhachev, told the media on the sidelines of the EEF.

Sep 03 05:07

Russia Sending Huge Arms Shipment, & "Maybe Even S-400s", To Belarus: Lukashenko

Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko on Wednesday announced that Russia will soon deliver a major shipment of military hardware badly needed by the isolated country, which will include helicopters, aircraft and air defense systems.

"Russia in the near future … will supply us – I won’t say how much money or what – with dozens of planes, dozens of helicopters, the most important air defense weapons,” Lukashenko was quoted as saying in Belarusian state-run Belta news agency.

But the claim that's sure to catch the attention of the West is what he said about the potential anti-air defense system. "Maybe even S-400s (surface-to-air missiles). We need them very much as I’ve said in the past," he added.

Sep 03 04:52

Poland Says It Is Taking Steps to Counter Any Threat From Military Drills in Belarus

Poland is taking all steps necessary to counter any threats that could take place during military exercises in Belarus organised by the Russian army that will start on Sept. 10, the defence ministry said on Thursday.

Poland is expected to announce a state of emergency on Thursday in regions bordering Belarus after a sharp increase in migrants from countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan trying to cross the border, and the "West-2021" exercises have added to tensions.

Sep 02 14:22

Out of Afghan frying pan & into Ukrainian fire? America’s empire builders have another pawn to fuel their apocalyptic chess game

The Ukrainian President's trip to Washington has drawn out the West’s “Russia-watchers” in force. Among them is Michael McFaul, a former US ambassador to Moscow who has since morphed into a prolific, if unreliable, commentator.

In a new op-ed in the Washington Post, McFaul makes it clear he sees Volodymyr Zelensky’s meeting with President Joe Biden as in need of a loud battle cry, appealing to the American government and the public to rally behind Ukraine’s calls for support. But, as is customary in the Stanford professor’s output, Kiev is really just an excuse, almost reduced to a mere pretext.

In reality, McFaul has a much larger (and very old) ax to grind, namely with Russia (and Belarus and China thrown in, too, for good measure). In his best Cold War-reenactor fashion, the former – and somewhat hapless and gaffe-prone – diplomat wants us to believe in three main things: dominos, good “sons of b**ches,” and strategic silence.

Sep 02 11:29

'Divorce is not possible' with US over space station, says Russian space chief who threatened to pull out

Despite threatening to pull Russia out of the International Space Station prematurely, the head of the country's space agency is now promising to remain NASA's partner at least until the orbiting outpost is eventually retired.

"This is a family, where a divorce within a station is not possible," Dmitry Rogozin told CNN in his first interview with western media since becoming Roscosmos' director general.

Divorce certainly seemed possible in June when Rogozin made headlines for threatening to withdraw from the station unless US sanctions on Russia's space sector were lifted. Rogozin is also under personal US sanctions for his role as Russia's deputy prime minister of defense during his country's 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.

Sep 02 05:06

The Russian Covid Vaccines

There are four Russian Vaccines. None use the experimental mRNA technology.

There is Sputnik V, Sputnik Lite (the first of the 2 Sputnik V injections), EpiVacCorona, and CopyVac.

The first two are vector vaccines based on two strains of live human adenoviruses. DNA virus vector technology is used to introduce genetic information into the cells, similar to the Oxford vaccine. Experts I consulted expect these vaccines to have similar adverse events as the Oxford vaccine.

The third vaccine uses short protein sequences and no genetic information.

The fourth vaccine is traditional or classic vaccine technology using inactivated virus.

The last two would be much safer than the mRNA “vaccines.”

Sep 01 06:16

Biden Pledges $60 Million in Military Aid to Ukraine

The Biden administration has pledged to provide Ukraine with an additional $60 million in military aid ahead of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s first face-to-face meeting with Biden, which is scheduled for Wednesday.

The weapons package includes Javelin anti-tank missiles, small arms, ammunition, and first aid kits. Earlier this year, the Pentagon approved a $125 million aid package for Ukraine that included two armed Mark VI patrol boats.

Congress approved a total of $275 million in lethal aid for Ukraine for the 2021 fiscal year, so more packages could be approved this year. Since the US-backed coup in Ukraine in 2014, the US has provided Kyiv with over $2 billion in military aid, stoking tensions with Moscow.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Mr. Resident. The US is bankrupt from all these wars. Uncontrolled war spending helped bring down the USSR. Why are you making the same mistake? Joe? Joe? WAKE UP!!!

Sep 01 06:06

Russia, U.S. to Hold Talks on Nuclear Strategic Stability Next Month - Ifax

Russia will hold a new round of talks with the United States on nuclear strategic stability next month, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday.

The Interfax news agency quoted Lavrov as saying the two sides could reach some agreements in the field in the future.

Sep 01 06:05

Russia to Hold Naval Drills With Iran, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan

Russia's defence ministry said on Tuesday it would hold naval drills in the Caspian Sea with small missile and artillery ships from Iran, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan in early September.

Sep 01 06:01

Far-Right Ideology Has Cemented Itself in Ukraine Under Zelensky

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky was believed to be a reformer and a liberal when he took over the presidency from Petro Poroshenko. The billionaire former president is part of the corrupt oligarchy who from 2014 relied on neo-Nazis to fight and kill Russian-speaking Ukrainian citizens in Donbass (Eastern Ukraine). Zelensky, a comedian and actor before becoming president, promised to bring peace to Donbass when he won the 2019 presidential election. Due to Zelensky’s public detachment from the oligarchs, he was hailed in the West as someone that could bring Western liberalism to Ukraine.

Sep 01 05:56

Ukraine should change name to ‘Rus-Ukraine’ in order to take ‘brand’ of ‘Russians’ away from Moscow, suggests top Zelensky advisor

The heritage of the old Rus civilization belongs to Kiev, not Moscow, and Ukraine should therefore change its name to 'Rus-Ukraine' and reclaim the branding of being Russians, an advisor to President Volodymyr Zelensky has said.

Speaking to a journalist on YouTube, Alexey Arestovich, who works as the spokesman for Kiev's delegation to the contact group on Donbass, claimed that Ukrainians are actually the real Russians.

The word Rus goes back to the Kievan Rus, a former East Slavic Monarchy that is considered to be the progenitor of the modern states of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. This federation of various peoples had its capital in Kiev until it disintegrated in the 13th century.

Sep 01 05:53

Is the defeat in Afghanistan aimed at embarrassing Russia and China?

The mainstream media are divided between two ways of interpreting the fall of Kabul. For some, the Democrats are cowards and the departure from Afghanistan discourages the allies. For others, they have played well and placed a thorn in the side of the Russians and the Chinese. These two views correspond to the traditional paradigm of the American Empire. But for Thierry Meyssan, Washington is, since September 11, 2001, in the hands of the followers of the Rumsfeld/Cebrowski doctrine. The United States is now behaving like a racketeer. The chaos will continue in Afghanistan for a long time. Russian, Chinese and European companies who wish to do so will be able to mine in Afghanistan, but only if they entrust their security to the US forces. Those who refuse this protection will be eliminated.

Sep 01 05:48

‘Dystopian nightmare’: Russian tech billionaire Durov slams America's Apple & Google for ‘censoring’ information on the internet

Two of the world’s largest corporations, American tech giants Apple and Google, are actively censoring information disseminated to the public. That’s according to Pavel Durov, the Russian founder of the Telegram Messenger app.

Durov is a long-time critic of both companies, as well as some of their competitors, such as Facebook’s WhatsApp. He believes they are responsible for the erosion of privacy.

“20 years ago, we had decentralized Internet and a relatively unrestricted banking system,” he wrote on his Telegram channel. “Today, Apple and Google censor information and apps on our phones while Visa and Mastercard limit what goods and services we can pay for.”

“Every year, we give up more power and control over our lives to a handful of unaccountable corporate executives we didn’t elect.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Wow! Russia lecturing us on freedom of speech! Who woulda thunk it?!?

Sep 01 05:11

Biden Cites ‘Serious Competition With China’ as a Reason to Leave Afghanistan

Defending his decision to withdraw from Afghanistan on Tuesday, President Biden said the “world is changing” and that the US is now “engaged in a serious competition with China.”

Since coming into office, President Biden has frequently framed China as an ideological competitor, and his Pentagon has identified Beijing as the top “pacing threat” facing the US military.

While the priority appears to be China, the US is also focused on confronting Russia. This reflects the 2018 National Defense Strategy, which outlined the shift away from “counterterrorism” towards so-called “great power competition” with China and Russia. Biden said the US was facing “challenges” from Russia on “multiple fronts.”

“There’s nothing China or Russia would rather have, would want more in this competition than the United States to be bogged down another decade in Afghanistan,” Biden said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Here's your rifle, Joe...

Aug 30 09:52

Despite American objections, Turkey has ‘no hesitations’ about buying second batch of Russian-made S-400 missile systems – Erdogan

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said he has no doubts about Turkey buying another batch of S-400 anti-aircraft systems from Moscow. Earlier, the Russian exporter said a new contract will likely be signed by the end of the year.

Speaking to reporters on board his plane as he returned from a visit to Bosnia-Herzegovina on Sunday, Erdogan said defense cooperation with Russia is expanding, with the procurement of S-400 missile systems expected to go smoothly.

We have no hesitations about the purchase of a second batch of S-400s from Russia. Turkey and Russia are taking a lot of steps, whether it be with S-400s or other areas in the defense industry.

Aug 30 08:02

Putin Opposes Mandatory Jabs, Says People Should Get Vaccinated Without Coercion

Russian President Vladimir Putin says that while people need to get vaccinated to "overcome this pandemic," nobody's job should be on the line if they refuse.

Speaking last weekend during a meeting with the governing United Russia party ahead of next month's parliamentary elections, Putin said "We need to do everything we can to overcome this pandemic," adding "and the best tool we have in this fight is vaccination."

Aug 30 06:19

Ukraine Shuts Down Independent Media

Since the start of this year, the Ukraine has mounted an accelerating campaign to shut down all “pro-Russia” (apostrophes because more often than not they’re not so much explicitly pro-Russian, as merely less anti-Russian and more oppositionist than the mainstream) media. Examples include:

This February saw the shutdown of three TV channels (112 Ukraine, NewsOne and ZIK) linked to Viktor Medvedchuk, an opposition leader, in a move that was praised by the US Embassy in Kiev. He is now under house arrest under treason charges based on undisclosed evidence from the security agencies.

Popular anti-Maidan blogger Anatoly Shariy was charges with treason and hate speech and now has political asylum in the EU.

Aug 30 05:55

Russia doesn’t consider Ukraine as threat, says defense minister

Russia doesn’t consider Ukraine as a threat and thinks that Ukrainians are a brotherly people, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Sunday.

"I would not speak about Ukraine as a threat. I think that Ukraine and the Ukrainian people is a brotherly nation. They are not just our neighbors, we are a single people. I wouldn’t even dwell on this topic further," he said in an interview with the Solovyov Live YouTube channel, episodes of which were shown on the Rossiya-1 television channel.

He expressed the hope that the situation in Ukraine would ultimately change and the "nationalist mayhem" would be stopped.

When asked why he was ignoring the ruling of a Ukrainian court and was skipping hearings, the minister said jokingly: "My fault, it won’t happen again."

Aug 29 05:29

Russia, Belarus Plan Massive Anti-NATO Military Exercise In Wake Of Afghan Defeat

Vladimir Putin has emerged as a major beneficiary of President Joe Biden’s surrender in Afghanistan and his backing off sanctions against the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

Russia and Belarus have announced plans to conduct a joint military exercise from Sept. 10 to 16 called Zapad 2021 that takes on added significance due to NATO’s humiliation in Afghanistan and the lack of confidence in the alliance among its easternmost members. They say it will point out the “futility” of NATO reinforcing Poland and the Baltics in the first major show of force since Biden’s reckless withdrawal.

Over 200,000 troops, 80 aircraft, 760 military vehicles, and 15 ships will be involved in the exercise, the Russian news site Gazeta.ru reported.

Aug 27 13:00

With Russia & China cooperating militarily, America must deal with 'two peer opponents' for first time – US Strategic Command head

The close military cooperation between Russia and China is cause for great concern, and the authorities in Washington must seriously reconsider its current strategy of "containment" towards the two large Eurasian superpowers.

That's according to Admiral Charles Richard, the commander of United States Strategic Command, who spoke in an online forum discussion with the Hudson Institute.

According to Richard, the US has never before "faced two peer opponents" with nuclear weapons and high-technology systems, noting that China's rapid progression in nuclear, space, and cyber technologies means that Washington must think carefully about its next steps. In particular, Richard stated that China, unlike the US and Russia, is not constrained by treaties regarding its nuclear forces.

"Russia still remains the near-term pacing threat," Richard said, suggesting that Beijing would soon overtake Moscow as Washington's most capable foe.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

If the US couldn't beat Afghanistan, they sure as hell can't take on Russia and China!

Aug 27 07:51

WATCH Russian military planes evacuate hundreds from Afghanistan

Russia's Defense Ministry has launched its operation to evacuate over 500 people from Afghanistan in the wake of the Taliban takeover. Footage shows dozens of men, women and children disembarking from planes at safe destinations.

The Russian Defense Ministry's military transport Il-76 planes arrived at the Kabul airport on Wednesday to take citizens of Russia and other former Soviet republics home.

Videos obtained by RT show people, many of them families with children, getting on board the giant Russian transport aircraft that were turned into double-deck passenger planes to accommodate as many people as possible.

Aug 27 07:30

Kiev Attempts to Cut Water to Crimea

A complaint against Ukraine was submitted to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) by the General Prosecutor’s Office of Russia because of Kiev’s decision to block the flow of water to Crimea from the Dnieper River in April 2014.

As the Dnieper flows through Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, Kiev violated the provisions of the 1992 Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes in response to Crimea’s reunification with Russia. Reacting to Crimea’s decision to reunite with Russia, Ukraine unilaterally cut off this source of fresh water without warning.

Ukraine’s decision to cut the supply of water to Crimea affected the living conditions of the entire population, especially the most vulnerable, such as the disabled, the elderly, children and pregnant women. Russia’s Prosecutor General’s Office noted that the blocking of water flows was “revenge” for the “political position of hundreds of thousands of residents.”

Aug 27 06:59

Ahead of next month’s Russian elections, Western ‘regime change’ activists are laying the groundwork for a new East-West stand-off

In recent years, the media has become obsessed with purported Russian interference in US elections. While the claims turned out to be entirely unsubstantiated, the West itself openly engages in efforts to influence votes abroad.

The difference is that when America or its allies do it, it’s called “promoting democracy.” Now, a campaign to undermine the legitimacy of Russia’s parliamentary elections, due to be held next month, is explicitly linked to power politics. Any criticism of that approach, however, is denounced as an attack on democratic values themselves, in the wordplay used to legitimise the meddling.

Aug 27 06:00

Putin Reportedly Rebuffed Biden’s Push to Put US Troops in Central Asia Amid Afghan Withdrawal

After announcing plans to withdraw all US troops from Afghanistan by September this spring, the Biden administration sent out diplomatic feelers to the nations of Central Asia to discuss whether the latter might be interested in hosting American soldiers.

Russian President Vladimir Putin told US President Joe Biden flat out at their Geneva summit in June that Moscow would be opposed to the deployment of US forces in Central Asia, the Wall Street Journal has reported, citing senior US and Russian officials said to be familiar with the matter.

According to the paper’s sources, Putin told Biden at their 16 June meeting that Russia would reject "any US military role" in Central Asia and that China would also oppose any such plans. One official said that Putin "emphasised the point" of keeping US forces out of the region even though Biden "didn’t seek Mr. Putin’s support" on the matter.

Aug 26 06:03

Vladimir Putin Rejects Military Mission into Afghanistan: ‘We Learned Our Lesson’

Russia will not attempt a military intervention in Afghanistan, as the country has “learned the lesson” from its previous failed attempts to invade it, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday.

“You know how difficult and alarming the situation in Afghanistan currently is,” President Putin said at a congress of the ruling United Russia party on August 24. He referred to the Taliban terror group’s takeover of the country August 15, when it deposed Kabul’s U.S.-backed government.

“We are keeping a close eye on this situation, actively cooperating with our allies in the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO),” Putin assured. The CSTO is a regional military alliance of former Soviet republics led by Moscow.

Aug 25 06:26

LUKASHENKO OUT! Germany Flexes Its Imperial Muscle In Calls For Belarus Government To Step Down

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas announced his readiness to introduce new sanctions against Belarus and personally threatened President Alexander Lukashenko with further tightening of punitive measures, as a consequence for his alleged handling and response to post-election protests. These protests have been financed by NGOs backed by the Open Societies foundations.

Regarding the demands of Heiko Maas, these were reported on September 5 by the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung , citing an interview with the head of German diplomacy in the Bild am Sonntag newspaper.

Aug 25 06:24

Russia, Saudi Arabia Sign Military Pact amid Biden Chaos in Afghanistan

Saudi and Russian officials Tuesday announced the signing of military cooperation pact between the two countries.

Saudi Defense Minister Khalid bin Salman announced the agreement via Twitter, stating it would aid in “developing joint military cooperation between the two countries.” In a second tweet, he elaborated on his meeting with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Shoygu, in which the pair explored ways to “strengthen the military and defense cooperation between our two countries.”

Aug 24 07:00

Ukraine’s leader vows to do all he can to bring back Crimea

Ukraine’s president on Monday vowed to do all he can to bring back the peninsula of Crimea, annexed by Russia seven years ago, and urged international allies to support the effort.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy spoke at the Crimean Platform summit, called by Ukraine to build up pressure on Russia over the 2014 annexation that has been denounced as illegal by most of the world. Russia’s relations with the West have sunk to post-Cold War lows as a result.

In his opening remarks, Zelenskyy promised to “do everything possible to return Crimea, so that Crimea, together with Ukraine, becomes part of Europe.”

“For this we will use all possible political, legal and first and foremost diplomatic means,” Zelenskyy said, adding that Kyiv needs “effective support at the international level.”

Aug 24 06:34

As Pentagon's Afghan Debacle Unfolds, Russia Announces Joint War Drills With China & Iran In Gulf

At a moment much of the world sees the US in 'retreat' from central Asia amid the ongoing Afghan evacuation debacle, it increasingly looks like Russia and China are stepping in as the next great power influencers in the region. The timing of a Russian announcement detailing upcoming joint military exercises appears geared toward sending just such a message.

"Russia, Iran and China will hold joint maritime exercises in the Persian Gulf around late 2021 or early 2022, Russia's ambassador to Tehran said, the RIA news agency reported on Monday," according to Reuters.

It's been no secret that the Russian and Chinese militaries have grown closer over the past years, but rarer still are major drills involving the superpowers plus Iran, and centered in the Persian Gulf - site of recent soaring tensions which lately included Iranian commandos briefly seizing a foreign tanker, as well as the drone attack of the Israeli-managed 'Mercer Street' tanker off the coast of Oman on July 30.

Aug 24 06:06

Iran, Russia and China to hold joint drills in Gulf in late 2021, early 2022

Iran, Russia and China will hold joint maritime exercises in the Gulf around late 2021 or early 2022, Levan Jagaryan, Russia's ambassador to Tehran, said on Monday.

The RIA news agency reported on Monday that the Marine Security Belt drills - also known as CHIRU - are intended to be an annual event. The drills were first held in 2019 and again in February 2021.

The drills, involving naval vessels from Iran, Russia, China and other nations, will be focused on shipping security and combating piracy, Jagaryan said.

“Along with Russia and India, China, Iran, Syria and Venezuela will take part in the drills. There are plans to hold a contest between the dive teams of these countries’ armed forces. Representatives of the Russian Navy command will arrive at the opening and closing ceremonies of this contest," he told another Russian state-owned news agency, Sputnik.

Aug 24 06:05

UK Minister for European Neighbourhood: We believe Crimea Platform to become important tool that will bring Russia to justice

British Minister for European Neighbourhood and the Americas Wendy Morton expressed hope that the Crimea Platform will become an important tool that will bring Russia to justice.

Morton said at the inaugural summit of the Crimea Platform in Kyiv on Monday that they believe that Russia's behavior in Crimea remains hostile and irresponsible. This is the same as what it is doing in eastern Ukraine with absolute disrespect for international law, and they believe that the Crimea Platform will become an important tool that will bring Russia to justice.

She stressed that the UK is ready to ensure the success of the Crimea Platform.

We declare our solidarity with all Ukrainians: from West to East of the country, to the last piece of land in the very south of the Crimean peninsula. Crimea is Ukraine, Morton said.

Aug 24 06:04

German Economic Affairs Minister Altmaier: We will not allow Crimea to be turned into blind spot on map

German Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier said that Germany will not allow Crimea to be turned into a blind spot on the map.

Altmaier said at the inaugural summit of the Crimea Platform in Kyiv on Monday that Germany did not and will not recognize the illegal annexation of Crimea by Russia. Germany is based on territorial integrity and sovereignty. They understand that the annexation has created a big problem in the region, which is why the EU imposed sanctions and extended them many times. It is the continuation of these actions that is the justification for the continuation of sanctions.

He stressed that the annexation of Crimea is an outrage against the rule of law.

Aug 24 06:04

U.S. Secretary of Energy: We hope Crimea Platform to convey idea that Crimea is Ukraine, Russia should be held accountable for its aggression

U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm expressed hope that the Crimea Platform will convey to everyone the idea that Crimea is Ukraine and that Russia should be held accountable for its aggression.

Granholm said at the inaugural summit of the Crimea Platform in Kyiv on Monday that they will continue their diplomatic efforts, which they use together with their allies and partners to resolve the conflict in eastern Ukraine. They want to put Russia in its place and they want to achieve an end to its intervention in eastern Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea. They are absolutely committed to helping resolve this conflict. They believe that the Crimea Platform will really convey to everyone the long-awaited idea that Crimea is Ukraine and that Russia should be held accountable for its aggression.

She stressed that the United States is proud of the opportunity to be in Ukraine and support the Crimea Platform.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"War with Russia? Yeah, that'll make them forget Afghanistan!" -- Official White Horse Souse

Aug 24 05:32

Ukrainian plane sent to evacuate citizens from Afghanistan following Taliban offensive HIJACKED in Kabul, deputy minister claims

A Ukrainian plane that was supposed to evacuate the country's citizens from Afghanistan following the Taliban's takeover of Kabul was hijacked by unknown assailants and, instead, took a different load of passengers to Iran.

The incident, which happened last week, was revealed by Ukraine's Deputy Foreign Minister Yevgeny Yenin, speaking to the Western-funded Hromadske TV on Monday.

"Our plane was hijacked," Yenin explained. "Last Tuesday, we actually had our plane stolen – it flew to Iran with an unknown group of passengers on board, instead of taking Ukrainians out."

Aug 23 10:55

Russia "Ready" To Ship Weapons To Central Asian Allies To Prevent Terrorists From Flooding Region

update (10:03ET): Days ago one particularly apt NY Times headline captured the growing concern and view from Washington: "With Afghan Collapse, Moscow Takes Charge in Central Asia."

Over the weekend Putin announced Russia has shut its borders to Afghans now pouring out of the country amid the US exit and ongoing evacuation debacle, further castigating US and European leaders for placing refugees in neighboring central Asian countries - but which according to Putin is a potential threat to Russia as "We don't want militants showing up here under cover of refugees."

It now appears Russia will take its security concerns a big step further, in what will be seen as a defiant thumb in the eye to Washington. Russia's RIA news agency is reporting that the Kremlin stands "ready to deliver weapons and equipment to central Asian allies that border Afghanistan." Further RIA cited top officials who said these large deliveries would be done "at special low prices".

Aug 23 09:26

After catastrophic US retreat from Afghanistan, Britain will have to turn to Russia & China for 'influence' over Taliban, UK says

As American troops continue their withdrawal from Kabul, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has admitted that London will now have to depend on Moscow and Beijing for support if it wants to do deals with the Taliban in future.

Speaking as part of an interview with the Sunday Telegraph published over the weekend, the UK's top diplomat acknowledged that his country and its allies have limited sway with Afghanistan and would have to turn to other nations when it comes to forming ties with the new government.

"We're going to have to bring in countries with a potentially moderating influence like Russia and China, however uncomfortable that is," Raab said. Working in partnership with a broader range of partners, he said, was the only way that Britain could exert a "moderating influence" on the Taliban.

Aug 23 08:20

Russian Military Hails Syria’s Successful Intercepts Of 22 Of 24 Missiles In Latest Israeli Attack

Following Thursday’s night’s largescale airstrikes by Israeli fighter jets on areas in and around Damascus and in Homs province, Russia’s military leadership in Syria told international news agencies that six total Israeli jets conducted the aggression using Lebanon’s airspace.

Rear Adm. Vadim Kulit, head of the Russian military’s Reconciliation Center in Syria, further detailed that Syrian anti-air defenses successfully shot down a total of 22 out of 24 of the inbound missiles launched by the Israeli warplanes.

Aug 23 05:21

U.S. trains Georgian armed forces for new war in Caucasus

As part of the 9th rotation of the Georgian Defense Readiness Program (GDRP), the 12th Infantry Battalion of the 1st Infantry Brigade of the Eastern Command of the Defense Forces conducted a final combat shooting exercise….

The 12th Infantry Battalion of the 1st Infantry Brigade underwent training at the Combat Training Center base for 13 weeks….The battalion was trained by Georgian and American instructors.

Aug 23 05:21

Georgian PM in Kyiv: ‘Russian actions in Ukraine, Georgia alarming’

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili has stated during his official visit to Ukraine that Russian actions in both Ukraine and Georgia ‘are alarming and are the issue of an international concern.’

After the meeting with Ukrainian PM Denys Shmyhal earlier today, Garibashvili said that at a Crimea Platform Forum tomorrow, which was initiated by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, the current situation in Ukrainian and Georgian occupied territories will be ‘once again evaluated’.

Aug 23 05:20

Zelensky on weapons for Ukraine: We know how Germany could help

Ukraine still hopes that Germany will provide weapons and knows in which areas assistance is possible.

"We also appealed to the German government with a request of arms supplies and were indeed denied, in one form or another," President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky said at a joint briefing with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Kyiv, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.

Europe, including Germany, supports Ukraine within the framework of the exercises, he added.

"But we need very substantive things. And we know in which areas Germany could support us. And we are still very much relying on it and waiting for it," the President added.

Pursuant to the agreements and within the framework of cooperation with NATO, the Ukrainian side expects to get sniper rifles, "many other things, apart from the navy and military boats, which we would like to receive from our partners," Zelensky said.

Aug 23 05:20

Moscow Says NATO Destroyed All Cooperation Formats With Russia, Including on Afghanistan

NATO has destroyed all possible formats of cooperation with Russia, including on Afghanistan, and will most likely only increase its anti-Russian rhetoric after the Afghan disaster, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko said Sunday.

"Yes, the alliance has destroyed all formats of cooperation, including on Afghanistan. The price for this geopolitical game, which has nothing to do with security interests, ultimately had to be paid by the Afghans," Grushko said in an interview with the Kommersant newspaper.

The end of NATO's decade-long mission in Afghanistan may lead to further warmongering and revival of the "Russian threat" rhetoric since "searching for the evidence of its own relevance" has always been part of the bloc's history, the diplomat noted. As examples of such behavior, Grushko named operations in former Yugoslavia, as well as in Afghanistan and Libya.

Aug 23 05:19

Live Updates: Taliban Extends Amnesty to Runaway President Ghani, Says He Can Return to Afghanistan

Moscow is not in a hurry to recognise the new leadership in Afghanistan and does not plan to remove the Taliban* from its terror list, according to Russian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Oleg Syromolotov.

Russian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Oleg Syromolotov has told Sputnik that sending troops to Afghanistan, recently seized by the Taliban, is not in Moscow's interests, adding that the terrorist organisation does not need anybody's military support.

Earlier, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that negotiations between the Taliban and former Afghan President Hamid Karzai had begun. Lavrov also noted the security situation in Russia depended on the developments in Central Asia.

Aug 23 05:07

Western activists still blame Putin for turning his back on liberal dreams for Russia, but their promises led to nothing but chaos

Where did Russia go wrong? That’s the question that plagues foreign analysts who decry the country’s current trajectory, and wish Moscow had used the fall of the Soviet Union as an opportunity to turn Westwards once and for all.

Anders Aslund, a former senior fellow at NATO’s Atlantic Council adjunct, has argued recently that Russians need to reconsider the achievements of the 1990s to set the country on the right path. The veteran lobbyist believes that the almost uniform condemnation of Boris Yeltsin and the liberalising, pro-market policies of his government during the 1990s by Russians has resulted in a failure to recognize the benefits of being pulled into the West’s sphere of influence.

In turn, his argument goes, focusing only on the ensuing chaos Yeltsin brought about means the country fails to recognise why current President Vladimir Putin has been, unbeknownst to Russians, such a disaster.

Aug 21 07:10

Syria Shot Down 22 Israeli Missiles, Russian Military Claims

Syria’s air defense forces have shot down 22 missiles launched by Israeli warplanes during an airstrike against targets in Syria, the Russian military said Friday.

Rear Adm. Vadim Kulit, head of the Russian military’s Reconciliation Center in Syria, said six Israeli fighter jets targeted facilities in the provinces of Damascus and Homs from Lebanon’s airspace late Thursday.

Kulit said Syrian air defense units downed 22 of the 24 missiles launched by the Israeli warplanes with Russia-supplied air defense systems Pantsyr-S and Buk-M2.

There was no immediate reaction from Israel, which rarely comments on its military operations in Syria.

Aug 21 07:08

Putin, Merkel hold talks in Moscow

Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel held talks in the Kremlin. This is their last summit meeting as heads of state because Merkel will not participate in the upcoming parliamentary elections in Germany.

Aug 21 06:18

Russia’s talks with Taliban are latest proof Moscow’s foreign policy is non-ideological. The West could learn a lesson from that

Both Russia and China are pursuing a strategy of engaging with the Taliban. While some politicians and commentators insist this is a global threat, the reality is that constructive talks are now more likely to bring stability.

Winston Churchill famously defined Russia as “a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.” Its unique history and geography have obviously produced a distinctive political culture, but Western efforts to mystify Russia also have the effect of drawing a dividing line between the rational and predictable ‘us’ versus the irrational and unpredictable ‘other’ – Moscow.

As a result, common sense often does not get in the way of outlandish claims, like insisting Russia is on an ideological crusade against democracy or attempting to restore the Soviet Union.

Aug 21 06:17

Ukraine shuts down leading independent news site Strana as part of new crackdown on journalists, judges & opposition politicians

One of Ukraine’s most prominent news outlets has been taken offline after the country’s National Security and Defense Council marked it out as a threat, thus adding the title to the growing list of banned opposition media groups.

Strana.ua, one of the country’s best-known mainstream news sites, was unavailable on Friday after officials included both its parent company and its editor, Igor Guzhva, in a new tranche of restrictions. Network service providers began blocking access to its domains. However, in a statement posted online, its journalists said that they would continue to work, having relocated their content to a new web address, and slammed the decision to hit “the largest opposition publication in Ukraine with sanctions.”

The Russian-language outlet has been strongly critical of the increasingly authoritarian nature of pro-Western President Volodymyr Zelensky’s administration in Kiev.

Aug 21 06:16

With the Taliban in control of Afghanistan, world must focus on preventing collapse of state & cross-border terrorism, Putin warns

The world has to accept the realities of the situation in Afghanistan and come together to prevent the collapse of the entire state, Vladimir Putin said during a joint press conference with Angela Merkel on Friday.

The Russian president and the German chancellor were speaking to journalists during the latter’s state visit to Moscow.

“The Taliban control virtually the entire country, including the capital,” Putin said, saying that other countries should react to the situation on the ground. “This is reality.”

He also called on the world to turn its efforts to prevent terrorists from infiltrating Afghanistan’s neighboring countries in the guise of refugees.

Aug 21 06:16

Ukraine looks set to unilaterally abandon Minsk agreements, Putin says, urging Merkel to ‘put pressure’ on Kiev authorities

The Ukrainian authorities seem set to leave the agreements that once managed to halt the conflict in the country's east, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said, urging Germany to “put pressure” on them to prevent it.

Speaking during a joint press conference following Kremlin talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday, Putin raised alarm over the actions of Kiev.

“It is enough to look at the statements of the top officials of the state: they show that [Kiev] is not seeking to fulfill the Minsk agreements,” the president said.

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