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Yalta Forum: propaganda instead of economics

Tue, 2018-04-17 05:25
On April 19-21, 2018, Crimea will host the Forth Yalta International Economic Forum (YIEF-2018). The forthcoming event was preceded by extensive agitational promotional campaign both in Russian and foreign political and business circles. This event is actively boosted by the Russian and Crimean authorities. Russian media diligently report increased interest to the discussion of topical political and economic problems of the international importance within this platform, growing audience of a forum from year to year which is evidenced by the positive statistics: the first forum was visited by 600 delegates, the second hosted 1100, and the third was allegedly visited by more than 2200 people, including 250 foreign participants from 46 countries of the world. Today Russian and Crimea media triumphantly announce more than 3000 participants including more than 500 foreign guests from 60 countries to visit forum this year. Among them politicians, representatives of business and expert community from all around the world are expected. Fancy that! The Yalta Forum is represented as ‘one of the largest business events in the economic life among the four similar events, organized in Russia’. Well, what are the results of previous forums? As a matter of a fact, there is nothing. Majority of previously approved projects have not even started, many investors folded their activity in Crimea on the whole. Hardly any representative of big business visited last year Yalta Forum. However, following the forum outcomes, it was declared that the authorities succeeded to sign series of the documents ‘with very significant and influential investors’, for example: - agreement between the "Council of Ministers of the Republic of Crimea" and the "Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Abkhazia" on trade and economic, scientific, technical and humanitarian cooperation; - agreement between the "Ministry of Economic Development of the Republic of Crimea" and the "Ministry of Economic Development of Abkhazia"; - agreement between the cities of Gagra and Yalta; - agreement between the KSK Group and administration of Yalta city for the implementation of "the investment project"(!) on construction of an apartment complex; - agreement between the KSK Group and administration of Alushta city for the implementation of the "Construction of Apartment Complex ‘Sea Quarter’ in Alushta" project; - agreement with the Russian investors on development of the Simferopol airport. For sure, entering into "investment agreements" with Abkhazia breakaway region confirms "high" interest of foreign business to invest in Crimea. And signing of the "agreements" on construction of high-rise building looks like an attempt of the Forum promoters to cover the investment nudity with ‘a fig leaf’ in the form of "grand" construction plans of "Sea Quarter" apartment complex. Indeed, the mountain has brought forth a mouse! Well, following the outcomes of previous "economic" forums held in Yalta it may be concluded that this event is rather political than economic. Its organizers pursue the only goal - to prove that Europe has recognized the Russian status of Crimea. By holding such events on the territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea Russia expects that involvement of foreigners and massive information campaign will show to European community, international organizations and primarily United Nations General Assembly the need of lifting sanctions and resolutions condemning Russia’s actions on Crimea. According to Moscow’s intention, it should promote legalization of illegal actions of Russian Federation on the peninsula and blenching their image. Generally, the message is as follows - legality of Crimea annexation by Russian Federation. In this regard pro-Russian media actively promote ‘fearlessness’ of some deputies of the European parliament and representatives of marginal parties receiving financial sops from Moscow, parliaments of some European states (Germany and Austria in particular) which are going to participate in "forum" despite of the sanctions with regard to Crimea. However, this is the case of greed and foolishness rather than fearlessness. Only well motivated persons can hazard their reputation attending such event and breaking the laws of other state. It is common known that entrance and departure of foreign citizens as a part of official delegations or in their private capacity on the temporarily occupied territory of Crimea are gross violations of international law. Such actions contravene the United Nations General Assembly Resolution No. 68/262 confirming territorial integrity of Ukraine as well as the Law of Ukraine "On ensuring the rights and freedoms of citizens and a legal regime within the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine", the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine No. 68/262 of June 4, 2015 No. 367 "On the approval of the procedure for entering and exit from the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine". Ukraine has repeatedly declared that they treat such violations as unfriendly gesture from politicians, officials and citizens of the foreign states which thus not only support violation of territorial integrity of Ukraine by Russian Federation but also encourage Moscow to the further aggressive and hostile actions contradicting international law and destroying the international security system. Ukraine declares intention to deliver international assignments to the states, which nationals participated in the illegal forum. As for the intention of some businessmen to arrange business in occupied Crimea attending the forum in Yalta it is possible to speak about the highest manifestation of foolishness from their side. The European Union and the USA forbade implementation of new joint projects, investment, granting loans, acquisition of infrastructure facilities in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea in telecommunication, energy, transport and tourism areas. Regulation authorities of the EU Member States perform continuous monitoring of execution of restrictive instructions by European entities. Those who violate sanction regime may be subjects to criminal sanctions in the form of real term of imprisonment and imposition of a heavy financial penalty.

‘Novichok’ – all the roads lead to… the Crimea?

Mon, 2018-04-16 04:44
The situation around Sergey and Yulia Skripal’s poisoning with the use of ‘Novichok’ nerve gas gather new steam. No sooner had the Great Britain accused Russia of poisoning and deported their diplomats from the state than the messages ensued that the agent’s origin still remains unknown. Meanwhile Russia brought the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to account. It is worth to figure out how this chemical agent could appear in today’s Russia. As we know, on September 27, 2017 Director-general of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons Ahmet Üzümcü declared all the stockpiles of chemical weapons available in the Russian Federation were eliminated. Nevertheless currently there are evidences that ‘Novichok’ was produced in Russia in the city of Shikhany, Saratov region. However, it can turn out that toxic agents in Russia may be found not only in Saratov. At least, a number of very interesting facts testify that this issue is quite tricky. The Center for Strategic and International Studies reported that a large shipment of a nerve-gas precursor from Russia to Syria in 1992, while in 1993 the FSB reported that a group of persons including Lt-Gen Anatoliy Kuntsevich shipped 800 kg of substance which could be used for production of toxic agents. That was A. Kuntsevich who was one of the originators of ‘Novichok’ warfare agent which was tested in Shikhany lately. In 2016 information got leaked to the media that Nadalina cargoship delivered confidential freight from Syria to the port of Feodosiya. That was evidenced by the fact that cargo was discharged under strict secrecy by military men: the unloading point was cleared from strangers and secured by the reinforced police squads and plainclothes, small khaki boxes (8-10 containers only) were unloaded at a slow pace, with particular care. These strengthened precautionary measures, as well as a small quantity of cargo delivered to the peninsula in the vessel which was freshly repaired attract special consideration. The choice of discharge port was also not for nothing as ‘Feodosia-13’, designed for storage of extremely dangerous cargo and located not far from Feodosia. Analysis of this information leads to the assumption that Russia could take out components of chemical weapon from Syria to the Crimea. Following annexation, the peninsula turned into a gray area where observance of the international agreements, including the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction of 13 January 1993, is not monitored in any way, therefore, lack of the international control made the fertile field for abuses. That is particularly Russia case as Russia and the present Crimean authorities made it clear time after time that rules of international law are not an imperative for them. Current scandal related to the use of ‘Novichok’ warfare agent in the Great Britain induces looking at information stated above with a fresh pair of eyes. May this cargo delivered from Syria to Feodosiya in October, 2016 be the part of the chemical weapon arsenal owned by the Syrian dictator al-Assad, and being subject to destruction after the international scandal flared up following its use by the Syrian government troops against insurgents and acute US and NATO response to this? Let us remember that Putin managed to persuade the US President Obama not to apply drastic measures to al-Assad provided that the last would destroy the components of chemical weapon at his disposal, and Putin would act as the intermediary and the controller in this agreement. However, probably Russia instead of monitoring destruction process under the achieved agreements has taken out a part of ammunition or components of chemical weapon on the territory of the annexed Crimea which became for Russia the convenient place for illegal placement and storage of weapons of mass destruction. It is well known that since 2014 (after annexation by Russia) the peninsula came out of the scrupulous monitoring and control of relevant international organizations. Therefore, the secret Nadalina’s voyage in October, 2016 could be not the only one. In this regard that is an evident need to establish a special working group to conduct relevant investigation and check facilities of critical importance in the territory of the Crimea where the prohibited weapon and dangerous substances can be stored. Such commission within OPCW could also establish the facts of delivery of dangerous freights from Syria to the Crimea, and possible storage of combat chemical agents within the territory of the peninsula as far as they may unexpectedly come up in different corners of the world.

The Achilles’ heel of the European Union

Tue, 2018-04-10 08:51
The flagrant violation of the international law by Russia and its aggressive policy towards neighboring countries have led to the sharp reaction of international community and sanctions imposition. In particular, it has greatly affected the military-technical cooperation. However, some countries from Eastern Europe, even being the NATO members, continue to suffer the syndrome of ‘big brother’ to the detriment of own defense capability, keeping ties with Russian military-industrial complex. Particularly Bulgaria, which became NATO member in 2004, and then that of EU in 2007, continues its military partnership with Russia. The situation with update and maintenance of MiG-29, which are which are in service with the Bulgarian Air Force, proves it. This issue is still in the competence of Russian aircraft corporation MIG. This situation exists even though Bulgarian pilots refuse to fly at MiG-29 because of its extreme breakdown rate even after the capital repair in Russia. But Bulgarian authority keeps using Russian industry to repair its military aviation. And the tender on replacement and further maintenance of engines for MiG-29 has proved it. Earlier it was envisaged that such contract would be signed with Poland and a corresponding preliminary agreement was reached with Warsaw. In addition, such contract could allow Bulgaria to save a great sum of budget money. But after victory of pro-russian Rumen Radev at presidential election, the new MoD’s authority refused to sign a contract with Poland and decided to continue its cooperation with MIG corporation. Moreover, the pro-Russian Bulgarian leadership deliberately delays the terms of contract fulfillment for purchase of new Swedish fighters Saab JAS 39 Gripen, having its own vision of modernization of Bulgarian Air forces. And this situation is taking place notwithstanding Bulgarian NATO membership. Hungary is also committed to military cooperation with Russia. In 2016, Hungarian Ministry of defense negotiated with Russia to purchase 30 Mi-8/17 helicopters with approximate cost $490 million. The only reason to cancel the deal was the lack of budget money. Later, Budapest came to agreement to repair 4 Mi-17 helicopters for Hungarian Air Forces and in spring 2017 the repaired helicopters were returned to Kecskemet air base. At the same time, Hungarian government believes that signing contract with Russia for helicopters repair does not contradict with sanctions imposed against Russia, though the repair of military equipment is covered by a concept of military cooperation. In this case it is quite remarkable not only the fact of military cooperation with Russia, but also the decision of investment in military helicopters, which would remain the equipment of last century even after their repair. Many military experts believe that the best decision for Hungary would be total replacement of current aircrafts with modern types produced by NATO members. These aircrafts have better characteristics than Mi-17 or Mi-24 adopted by Hungarian Armed Forces. It is obvious that friendship between Orban and Putin obliges Hungarian leader to be loyal to Russian military industry. It is absolutely clear that repair of old military equipment is much more expensive for the state budget. It is also a hard blow for defense capability of a country. Croatia also has some aspects of cooperation with Russian military industry, though it became the EU member in 2009. In August 2017, Ministry of Defense of Croatia signed a contract with Russia for complete overhaul of 10 helicopters of М1–171Sh for Air Force and air defense. These examples show that Russia, obtaining contracts for delivery and service of military equipment, tries not only to find the markets for sale of outdated equipment, uncompetitive products, but also weakens the defense capabilities of NATO members, undermines the unity of the European community and creates new challenges for the EU security in general.

The Sinclair Broadcast Group and Democrats crocodile tears.

Mon, 2018-04-09 15:30
The din is so palpable you can almost touch it. The sorrow is so clear you can feel it, and the outrage is so real that you can’t help but be drawn into joining it, except you’ll be joining a fake outrage movement. You’ll be joining a fake movement because all the noise you’ve heard from […]

Defence secretary shunts IFV RFP

Thu, 2018-04-05 09:33
Gavin Williamson, in recent developments, is said to be considering doing away with standard procedure for the replacement of the aging fleet of British infantry fighting vehicles, and simply buying the German-Dutch Boxer of the shelf.

The CNIL, a symbol of France’s arrogance and toothlessness

Thu, 2018-04-05 09:06
The commission nationale de l’informatique et des libertés, otherwise known as the CNIL, was born with great publicity in the 1970s. It has now achieved the metamorphosis which all State agencies go through: initially created to protect citizens from data-gathering entities, it is now little more than a rigid and cumbersome speed bump. This rigidity is heftily decried by French health professionals, who see how easily their foreign competition circumvent the French regulations and fully exploit the modern Web’s potential, using the data to better public health.

Attempt to legitimate Russian presidential elections in the Crimea through involvement of quasi-international observers

Thu, 2018-03-29 03:32
It was initially known that elections of the President of Russia in the Crimea amid determination of a great part of the world not to recognize its annexation was quite a problematic and painful point for the Russian government in the context of recognition of legitimacy of these elections. Considering neither of these states and acknowledged international public organizations will officially send their observers to the Crimea, Russia resorted to hybrid alternative with the invitation of pseudo-observers in the Crimea to monitor this event. Such observers were persons hand picked by the competent Russian authorities and entrusted to play a role of the international observers to monitor the elections of the President of the Russian Federation in the Crimea. Thus, for the purpose of monitoring the elections Russia has organized the visit of "the international delegation" to the Crimea, which united the citizens of more than 20 countries of the world - France, Finland, Sweden, Spain, Israel, Ukraine, Germany, Norway, Cyprus, Greece, Denmark, Great Britain, Pakistan, Venezuela, Italy, Lebanon, Austria, Malaysia, Latvia, Afghanistan. "The international observers" were accompanied by representatives of the Russian Federation who showed them designed and prepared in advance election districts. Foreign guests visited 10 districts in Simferopol, Sevastopol, Yalta, Alushta, Bakhchisarai. At the same time in order to avoid abnormal situations the so-called observers were not admitted to the districts in sore points of the state where Crimean Tatars reside. Those above-mentioned foreign citizens who feel sympathy for Kremlin policy and played a role of the international observers were: Johan Bäckman – a citizen of Finland, a member of the Association of Friendship between Russia and Finland, the head of the "Antifascist Committee of Finland", the representative of the so-called "DNR" in Finland; Daria Skippari-Smirnova – a citizen of Finland, head of the Association of Friendship between Russia and Finland; Thierry Mariani – a citizen of France, a deputy of the National Assembly of France, a representative of the Association Dialogue Franco-Russe; Andreas Maurer – a citizen of Germany, head of the organization "People's Diplomacy" in Germany; Hendrik Weber – a citizen of Norway, head of the organization "People's Diplomacy" in Norway; Mette Rosenlund – a citizen of Norway, the wife of Hendrik Weber. Journalist; Marco Marsili - a citizen of Italy, an associate of the Portuguese Center for International Studies; Skue Kutra-Kukuma - a citizen of Cyprus, a member of the Cyprus Parliament; Kline Preston - a citizen of the USA, head of the NGO Institute for Progress Through Law; Elhas Tamim Mohammad - a citizen of Afghanistan, leader of the Afghan youth movement; Ulf Grönlund - a citizen of Sweden, former head of the parish of St. Catherine in St. Petersburg; Hollender Lars Bjoerndau – a citizen of Denmark, a former member of the OSCE missions; Jacques Miyar - a citizen of France, mayor of the city of Meson-Laffitte; Jerome Lambert - a citizen of France, a member of the Socialist Party, nephew of former French President François Mitterrand; Vanya Dobreva - a citizen of Bulgaria, former Deputy Minister of Education and Science of Bulgaria; Alexander Grönlund - a citizen of Sweden; Maria Olshanskaya - a citizen of Israel; Tatyana Mele - a citizen of Ukraine; Elias Demetriou - a citizen of Cyprus; Valdemgaberi Stefano - a citizen of Italy; Selvarezh Neskhan - a citizen of Malaysia; Daniel Christopher Valander - a citizen of Sweden; Eyme Bernard Ulrich - a citizen of Germany; Roma Monfa Narcissus - a citizen of Spain; Diego Gulen Perez - a citizen of Spain; Muhamed Al-Hamali - a citizen of Great Britain; Diana Lutsker - a citizen of Israel; Sophocles Jani Sophocli - a citizen of Cyprus; Eero Hult - a citizen of Finland; Gilbert Doktorov - a citizen of the USA; Dragan Gifkovich - a citizen of Serbia; Alexander Gaponenko - a citizen of Latvia. Peculiar attention should be paid to the fact that the visit of representatives of the German pro-Russian party "Alternative for Germany" (AfD) took place separately being organized by the Deputy Committee for Interethnic Relations the so-called "The State Council of Crimea", the leader of the German diaspora of Crimea Mr. Hempel. The following AfD representatives visited the Crimea as "international observers" for the presidential elections in the Russian Federation: Garold Latch - deputy of the Landtag of the federal state of Berlin; Roger Bekamp - deputy of the Landtag of the federal state of Nord-Rhine-Westphalia; Eugen Schmidt - a deputy of the Landtag of the federal state of Nord-Rhine-Westphalia, head of the organization "Russian Germans for AfD"; Nick Fogel - a deputy of the Landtag of the federal state of Nord-Rhine-Westphalia; Helmut Seifer - a deputy of the Landtag of the federal state of Nord-Rhine-Westphalia; Georg Pazdersky - a deputy of the Landtag of the federal state of Nord-Berlin, a member of the AfD Presidium; Güner Lindeman - a deputy of the Landtag of the federal state of Nord-Berlin; Hoog Bronson – a deputy of the Landtag of the federal state of Nord-Berlin; Rainer Balzer - a deputy of the Landtag of the federal state of Nord-Baden-Württemberg; Thomas Rekemann - a deputy of the Landtag of the federal state of Nord-Rhine-Westphalia; Markus Fronmaier - a deputy of the Landtag of the federal state of Nord-Baden-Württemberg, leader of the youth wing of AfD; Sven Tritschler - a deputy of the Landtag of the federal state of Nord-Rhine-Westphalia.

Skripal case needs appropriate reaction

Thu, 2018-03-22 09:09
The attempted murder of former officer of Main Intelligence Directorate of Russia in Salisbury, UK, still causes a lot of questions. It is obvious that poisoning attack using military toxic agents, which injured UK citizens, will have long-live consequences for Russia. British officials made accent on the fact it was the first time chemical weapon has been used since World War II and their reaction was tough. Russia still rejects all the accusations of its involvement in Skripal case. However, undiplomatic reply of Russian Foreign Ministry as well as the refusal to send British government the information about Soviet chemical weapon program “Novichok”, which was used to poison Skripal and his daughter are another evidence of Russian involvement in this case. Russian intelligence agencies have carried out many operations of assassinations of Putin’s enemies abroad. The investigation of “polonium murder” of former FSB agent A.Litvinenko established that this assault was planned and done after direct Putin’s order. There are some reasonable doubts about the nature of “suicide” of Boris Berezovskiy, who was one of the most influent Putin’s opponents. It is worth to mention that political assassination in the territory of sovereign countries has become the usual instrument for Russia to get rid of opponents. We have to admit that Russian origin of nerve agent used to kill S. Skripal was absolutely clearly identified according to statements of V. Mirzayanov, one of the authors of “Novichok” and Soviet chemical weapons in general. The version of Russian media that attempted murder of Skripal was just the provocation against Russia ahead of the Presidential elections or just an attempt to dismiss Russia as host of the 2018 World Cup or the excuse for strengthening sanctions does not stand up to the criticism. It is highly likely that attempt to kill Skripal had couple of aims. The first one was to show the political opposition in Russia and in other countries that any contradiction with Kremlin will be ended in similar way. The second aim was to show the world community that any strengthening of sanctions against Russia can provoke not only political respond, but also brutal terror attacks against these countries and their citizens. Putin continues to aggravate international situation, trying to provoke world leaders, and Skripal case attests to this fact. It is high time to use another measures to stop Russian aggression and to prevent another attacks as we could see in Salisbury.

Tariffs on cheap imported steel is a vote for the American worker and economy.

Mon, 2018-03-05 16:53
It’s ironic that Americans complain about having no jobs, and, or, that the jobs we have not paying enough, but we will readily side with the establishment and rail against any moves that are made to remedy that situation, be it getting tougher on illegal immigration, or placing tariffs on cheap products imported from countries […]

DubaiAirshow 2017: Will Russian aircrafts “Be-200 Altair” reach Baku?

Mon, 2018-02-26 03:51
On Nov. 2017, one of the largest international expositions, Dubai Airshow took place in United Arab Emirates, and more than 60 countries-participants were presented there. The delegation of Russian federation taking part in the event has immediately reported about its success in selling of air defense systems and the latest developments of aircraft industry. Russia declares one of such successes the arrangement with several countries, including Azerbaijan to sell them aircraft Be-200 Altair equipped with power generators D-436TP of Ukrainian producer “Ivchenko-Progress”. At the same time Russians are going to replace Ukrainian models with the ones of their own analogues, f.e PD-9 produced by “Perm motors” or SaM-146 produced by research industrial center “Saturn” in city of Rybinsk. Based upon the statements of Russian experts who have been highly criticizing the quality of Ukrainian power generators, it is clear that the aim is to soil the reputation of the competitors and to breach their commitments. If the replacement happens, the foreign partners of Russia will buy nothing but a pig in a poke because they saw by the exhibition the aircrafts equipped with Ukrainian power generators. Such activity is nothing but dirty game in the business world. Unfortunately it’s everyday rule for Russian military-industrial complex. Azerbaijan president and politicians are familiar with such immorality of Moscow and we have to hope that Mr. Aliev is not going to be a scapegoat in relation with Be-200 Altair. To warn possible Azerbaijan partners of Russia, who can become the friends in misfortune of honorable Mr. Aliev, we are going to share information how Russia follows (or better to say – skip to follow) its obligations in regard to current contracts with Azerbaijan. The sense of claims, which Azerbaijan addressed to Russian partners, is that: Power generators for AH-2 Sabre (МИ-35) helicopters produced by Russia come out of action regularly, the onboard equipment for this helicopter does not function in a proper way. Likewise the automatic launch system of “AT-9 Spiral-2” (Атака-М) and “AT-6 Spiral” is also not absolutely stable. The technical features of T-90C tank and its components, BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicle, BTR-82A armored personnel carrier, M1990 Farm (2С19 Мста-С) self-propelled howitzer, TOS-1A heavy flamethrower system, SA-15 Gauntlet (TOP-M23) surface-to-air missile system, AT-15 Springer (Khrizantema-C) anti-tank missile do not correlate with the contract information. Also, the clients did not get the technical documentation for these military vehicles. The rockets of rocket launch system «Smerch» does not explode and the large-caliber cartridges do not follow the ballistic table. As we can see, the list is quite large and it is going to be continued with Russian aircraft Be-200 Altair equipped with PD-9 or SaM-146 Russian power generators.

Herujito visit the traditional city market Tegal

Sat, 2018-02-24 12:26
herujito visit the traditional city market tegal

Mueller’s Russians’ Indictment: Another Step In The Establishment’s Ploy to Disenfranchise Citizens.

Sun, 2018-02-18 12:53
When the hacks on the mainstream media tell you that Russia forced you not to like Hillary Clinton, and to sit home, or give your vote to the other candidates, what do you read into that? Do you read into it what I do which is that the establishment think they have dumbed down the […]

Defeat of the PMC Wagner on February 7th: Yankees started with artillery, and then four copters joined in turnaround

Fri, 2018-02-16 06:56
MBH media received WhatsApp audio records of calls made by alleged pals of the militants of Wagner Private Military Company dislocated in Syria. They tell details of US aviation attack as of February 7. According to them, instead of Syrian troops there was an attack on Russian contractors who suffered great losses – approximately 200 persons. Indifference of the Ministry of Defence caused tellers’ peculiar fury as it appears that they decided to conceal the deaths of hundreds Russians in Syria. Record No. 1 Hi, Ilya. Here is what you may watch on TV news, 25 Syrian military men are injured in Syria and so on, well, actually we were those defeated. 200 murdered in one company, what a f***, 200 dead, 10 in another, I don’t know about the third but they also suffered seriously. That is, three companies got losses. Yankees started with artillery, and then four copters joined in turnaround, shot one and all from heavy-caliber machine guns. We had nothing at all besides machine guns, no man-portable air defense system or something else. That was truly hell! Yankees definitely knew that we, the Russians, were there. Our guys set sights on the plant, and they were there. In short, we were pressed severely. I have just had a talk with guys, they are sitting there and hitting the bottle. Too many went missing. That’s bullshit. F***, another humiliation. They disregard us, treat us as devilry. I think, we will tuck tail, our government, nothing will be done in retort, no one will be f**** for this. That’s our losses. Record No. 2 – the same voice reports the new details on the action and precise casualty state - Look, the lad has just called. They formed a column, some 300-700 meters to the positions, one column went ahead, another stayed in a column in 300 meters, those raised the American flag and artillery started hitting them hard, then helicopters arrived and shot everyone, people run…. 215 dead totally. We were put under press. F***, they laid down a marker. What were ours expectations? That they might escape on their own? That they would get afraid? Too many guys – was it difficult to identify? They shot static column by artillery, no infantry came forward anymore, they shot by artillery, f****** disaster. Record No. 3 - another man quotes casualty status - Look, bro, 177 killed – that is from 5th company only, the second was almost unaffected, well, the 5th one was all destroyed. They were attacked by aviation, helicopters, artillery, the Kurds engaged along with Americans – the guys had no chances, and the 5th almost totally fell. Those who survived are bad. This night we are waiting for Tyulpan (heavy aircraft to carry murdered – MBH media). Ok, stay in touch. Viktorovich, it seems all our guys are also gone (died – MBH media). According to our source that provided us with audio records, along with Wagner Private Military Company the special forces of the Ministry of Defence, i.e. professional soldiers, were also thrown into the battle with Syrian democratic forces near Deir Ezzor. They suffered from US attack as well. MBH media has no other evidence of professional soldiers’ disposition in detachments attacked by US soldiers. The source states that US aviation has ‘worked over the targets’ for ‘almost four hours’, wiped out a lot machines, moreover, Lockheed AC-130 Spectre plane (flying artillery battery for the support of land arms at the battlefield) along with helicopters was involved in digesting the Russian group. On February 7, US military command officially stated the US-led forces of international coalition delivered a blow over military forces tolerable to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The shot was delivered following the attack of pro-Assad forces on the positions of Syrian Democratic Forces supported by the US. On February 8, the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation stated that no Russian soldiers in Syria suffered as a result of coalition attack. The military department stated ‘there are no Russian soldiers in this area of Syrian province Deir Ezzor’. However, the next day former defence minister of the Donetsk Peoples’ Republic Igor Strelkov who maintains ties with a number of Donbas war veterans, presently involved in Syrian warfare as part of Wagner, reported the Russia’s losses: ‘two Wagner tactical units were attacked by the US aviation. One of them was almost wiped off, another was not left a rag on.’ A bit later Strelkov gave some details: 5th assault detachment, armoured and artillery units were wiped off, near Hisham settlement. Information provided by Strelkov overlaps with that from the records. One of the talker reported heavy losses in the 5th detachment, which was almost totally wiped off. It is basically clear why Wagners attacked the Syrian Democratic Forces (the coalition of Kurds and Arab opposition secular groups). The plant which was their target is by all appearances is an oil refinery got under control of SDF and US militants behind them. The fight for oil deposits and oil refining is main Wagner’s profile which operates in behalf of “Euro Police” company. Euro Police is actively involved into oil business in Syria and is tied to Putin’s cook Eugen Prigozhin along with Wagner. Upon the agreement with the Damask regime Euro Police should control the significant part of Syrian oil refinery, though the SDF does not coordinate their activities with Assad’s dictatorial regime. However, that is a well known fact that SDF is under US patronage, there are a lot of US soldiers in their detachments, US aviation also provides SDS with air support. Attacking SDF in the name of any business interests is a self-destructive action. I must admit that the attacks on the Syrian Democratic Forces are far from what is meant as ‘fight with terrorism’: SDF are long-time uncompromising IS enemy. That is by their forces a significant part of eastern Syria was released from IS along with seizure of the Syrian caliphate capital Rakka. The Ministry of Defence does not comment appearing information about Russian losses from US attacks. Recent information from the Ministry – that related to February 8th: there are no Russian soldiers in this area of Syrian province Deir Ezzor. Formula ‘Russians do not left their friends’ is still used in thrilling Russian films. The military men get used to denial of losses. This trick is well used since the war in Ukraine, and became even easier to employ – instead of deathly scared boys from the hard-core unit the real contractors go into action, who know the risk and do not have military card in their pocket. In no way we would like Kremlin to initiate the Third World War over Syria. However, the question is Russian citizens and their fate and protection fall in the scope of obligation of at least the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, if not the Ministry of Defence.

Banknotes, the last bastion of privacy?

Wed, 2018-02-14 03:58
It may come as a surprise, but many don’t care whether the government stores or analyses personal information. “I have nothing to hide, they would say. You have to worry only if you did something wrong, in which case you have no right to keep it a secret.” The “Nothing to hide” argument is a […]

Jagland’s hybrid vision of the dialog with Russia

Thu, 2018-02-08 09:04
When three weeks ago the Russian parliament has declared its refusal to take part in the work of PACE session, it was understood by majority as self-imposition of sanctions in order to avoid annual execution by condemnation of illegal actions of the Russian Federation in Crimea and Donbas and subsequent approval of introduced political restrictions in respect of the participation of the Russian delegation in its work. However, that was not the case. PACE opening has shown that Kremlin has not left its attempts to bypass sanctions and is going to mobilise all the attempts for diplomatic and financial pressure in order to get back to PACE in 2018. The means towards this end include the use of prepaid influence agents accompanied by the so-called ‘useful idiots’ which either through depraved feeling or through incomprehension facilitate promotion of Kremlin’s revanchist plans. I may suppose with regret that one of the above mentioned instruments is the Secretary General of the Council of Europe Mr. Jagland. Since before current PACE session during his tour to the capitals of the world he persuaded his high-ranking partners in advisability of supporting dialog with Russia and its recall to the PACE conference room, undermining thereby the West world’s line in the issues of the Russian aggression, violation of territorial integrity and military acquisition of the territory of other state. This line was supported during current PACE session as well. In his Assembly report he proceeded further stating that annexation and occupation of the territories should not be the reason for imposition of sanctions. “The Organisation’s fundamental mission was to protect the individual against the arbitrary use of power by their own state, and conflicts such as the one between Ukraine and Russia over the annexation of Crimea should not prevent both parties being held responsible for protecting their people’s rights”. He advanced an opinion that Russia should get back to the PACE even before its summit scheduled for the next year. Moreover, the official proposes not only excuse Russia, but to change the regulations in such a way to make impossible revocation of authority of delegations from different states. The question is the amendments of the rules for the Assembly. According to Mr. Jagland, only direct infringements of Arts 2, 3, 4 and 7 of the European Convention on Human Rights, namely capital punishment, tortures, forced labour or slavery and no punishment without law instead of annexation and occupation of alien territories may be the reason for sanctions. One may feel as if the chimeras of the past rose from the chasm of the previous century and speak from the mouth of PACE Secretary General: there is no way to divide Europe, the only true solution is living friendly and conflicts may not prevent it. That was such highly humanist considerations about the “people’s interest” which accompanied former jaglands’ attempts to appease an aggressor after the USSR occupied Central and South European states in 1944-1948, crushed the Hungarian revolution of 1956 in the blood, intruded into Czechoslovakia in 1968, occupied Afghanistan, shot down South Korean Boing 747… Does Mr. Jagland really have gaps in knowledge of history? Or probably the fact that Soviet Criminal Code which stipulates capital punishment is resumed within the territories occupied by the Russian Federation, that pro-Russian separatists have shot Ukrainian servicemen and military hostages were forced to slave labour, subjected to tortures and abuse, are still unknown for him? Ukrainian political prisoners in the Russian Federation, relatives of many Russians who disappeared without a trace after their conflicts with the authorities (particularly in Kadyrov’s Chechnya), Crimean Tatars might tell Mr. Jagland a lot in response to his statement of no formal causes to deprive Russian delegation the vote, such as tortures or capital punishment. Perhaps, everything is quite simple and Mr. Jagland grinds his own axe, as Organisation faces difficulties following Russia’s refuse to make contributions in CoE budget in response to sanctions? And the price of it is €33 m. It turns out that in view of income support and for ‘thirty pieces of silver’ Mr. Jagland and his pro-Russian colleagues-deputies, hiding behind the parade of words about human rights and Common Europe, are about to trade European values. Jagland & Co.’s scenario following the return of the Russian delegation to PACE is becoming known. After the negotiations in the special committee (an ad-hoc Committee on ‘The role and mission of the Parliamentary Assembly’) late in June at the PACE session the decision on the amendment of the Assembly procedures, i.e. on liquidation of sanction instrument, may be supported. In case of success of the adherents of Russia’s return, the voting will be held in the Committee of Ministers and the Statute of the Council of Europe will be amended. If these requirements are satisfied, we may anticipate Russia’s triumphal entry into the PACE conference hall. Today the only legal and proper prerequisite to lift sanctions from Russia is Moscow’s recognition of the violations (the issue is Crimea in Donbas) and taking at least first steps to implement PACE resolutions. Instead of this, Mr. Jagland initiates the hybrid direction of return of Russian delegation to the PACE conference hall through revision and removal of several provisions from the Rules of Procedure of the Assembly. European values as the basis for CoE operation is substituted by political gaming. The next meeting of the PACE special committee shall be held on 16 March in Paris. Initiators of the mechanism which may result in lifting sanctions from Russia and involving it back in the PACE work lay high hopes on this meeting. Still the question is, may it cause a split within PACE?

Russia initiates trials against Ukrainians in Crimea

Mon, 2018-02-05 04:45
Strange though it may seem, Russia, which quite recently has attempted to present itself as civilized state and furthermore pretends to be one of the international leaders, may be capable of blatant violations of international arrangements and provisions of international law (unlawful Crimea annexation), and may even neglect inconditional human right for freedom of speech and belief both on their territory and within grabbed Ukrainian Crimea. Though last century Russia abode horror of Stalin’s purges, it comes back to totalitarian regime today which persecutes people for political beliefs. The brightest example is the fate of Crimean resident Vladimir Balukh. In 2014, after Crimea occupation, the life of an ordinary farmer has drastically changed. Overt condemnation of aggression by him and support of Ukraine got on nervous of the new authorities. Initially Vladimir Balukh refused flatly from changing the Ukrainian ID for the Russian one. Though Russia enshrined the criminal responsibility for declarations of Crimea as non-Russian territory at legislative level, Balukh claimed he disregarded present authorities and still considered Crimean peninsula Ukrainian. In support of his citizenship he hoisted the Ukrainian flag in front of his house and denied any request of the local authorities to remove it. Policemen repeatedly interviewed him and strongly encouraged the neighbours to suspend their relations with Balukh, in the face of becoming ‘politically unreliable’. Agents of the security services threatened Balukh with reprisals to force him to change his position or leave Crimea. He received a clear message that he would face a prison sentence in Crimea for his pro-Ukrainian position. However, the Crimean was not broken down neither by convictions, nor by threats, therefore, the authorities have been seeking more and more causes for his arrest and accusation in nonexistent crimes. After the meeting of the speaker of the Crimean parliament with public where Vladimir Balukh attempted to put some questions to the official, the Ukrainian was arrested and a criminal case was initiated against him under Art. 19.3 of the Code of Administrative Violations of the Russian Federation for ‘disobedience to the legitimate order of the police officer’, followed by the 3-days arrest and a fine. Since this measure produced no proper effect on Balukh, another, more serious accusation, was not long in coming: in theft (…of tractor repair parts) (Art. 157 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). Balukh’s home was searched and policemen managed to remove the Ukrainian flag. However, his involvement into the theft of tractor repair parts was not proved. To this end, police intentionally paid a night visit. As Balukh expressed the investigator his resentment, the new proceeding under Art. 319 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation was initiated for the ‘offence against the public authority’, followed by the arrest for 40 days. After a while, in December 2016, Balukh hanged on Ukrainian flag on his house over again and attached a sign with an inscription “Heroes of Divine Sotnia Street” (in commemoration of the heroes fell during the Dignity Revolution in 2014 in Kiev). Requirements of the authorities to remove the sign and the flag were met by a peremptory refusal. Therefore, on December 8, 2016 Vladimir Balukh was newly arrested on a contrived accusation in illegal keeping of weapon (Arts. 222-222.1 of the CC RF) and placed in Razdolnenskyi detention facility. Officers of the FSS (FSB) reported 90 cartridges and several trotyl block found in his house. Balukh’s neighbours also share the opinion about contrivedness of the accusations and explosive planted in the Ukrainian’s house, as they have seen unknowns who entered it few hours prior to search. Actually, no fingerprints of the accused were detected on the cartridges and explosive. In August, 2017 the court passed a sentence upon the Ukrainian activist – 3 years 7 months in standard regime penal colony and a fine amounting to RUB 10 thousand. After Balukh filed an appeal, the case was submitted to the new trial. The guilt of Vladimir Balukh was not proved, however, he has spent a year in detention centre (SIZO), though attorneys insisted on arrest in quarters due to severe health deterioration of their client. Nevertheless the court refused in changing the measure of restraint even after Balukh was taken from the court room by the ambulance. Only on December 1, 2017 Razdolnenskiy district court changed the measure of restraint to arrest in quarters for 2 months. However, on December 6, 2017 Ukrainian activist was brought a new charge. This time Russian security officials incriminated him ‘disorganization of operation of detention centres’ for asserted blow of the SIZO official in the cell during Balukh’s examination. Balukh’s case was submitted for the new trial. Prosecution claimed 5 years and 1 month of penal colony settlement for him with a money penalty amounting to RUB 20 thousand. The court satisfied it in part: on January 16, 2018 Razdolnenskiy district court convicted Ukrainian activist Vladimir Balukh to 3 years and 7 months of penal colony settlement and a money penalty amounting to RUB 10 thousand on a charge of ammunition storage. In his final speech, Ukrainian activist stated that a case against him is framed up due to his political position, however, even such imposed sentence could not force him to love ‘the new Motherland’, as according to him, ‘living on the knees is far worse than dying standing upright.’ As long as such patriots, as Vladimir Balukh, live in Crimea, Russia has no chances to appropriate the stolen peninsula. Still there are a lot of them. Despite of the cruelest pressure, Balukh has not renounced Ukrainian citizenship and defends his principled civil position by all available peaceful means, making a clear statement that Crimea is a territory of Ukraine under international law. For many Crimeans Vladimir Balukh became an example of dignity, courage and dedication to his Motherland. That is why Russian authorities are afraid of and eliminate them. Today Balukh’s home folks and civil activists help his old mother, raise funds for penalty payment and fight for his release.

Power supply to the Crimea at all costs: Siemens – Moscow the second half …

Fri, 2018-01-12 07:45
On December, 18th German Siemens signed a contract, totaling €380 million, with TAIF Group under which it undertakes to deliver to Tatarstan SGT5-2000Е gas turbines, SST-600 steam turbine and the power distribution equipment for the 495-MW combined cycle power plant. It is expected, that the new object, working on synthetic gas – by-product of “Nizhnekamskneftekhim”, – will be started in May, 2021. Within this project the German company will act as the general contractor, and Turkish company ENKA – as the subcontractor. After contract signing Siemens focused attention that the company would carry out the strict control over deliveries and equipment installation. Probably thus the company’s management hopes to secure itself against the situations similar to recent juicy scandal, connected with delivery to the annexed Crimea of the German equipment bypassing the European sanctions. After media reported information on illegal import to Crimea of four turbines Siemens for power stations under construction in Crimea, representatives of the company stated that this equipment intended absolutely for other purposes. Because of the stirred up conflict Siemens declared a time suspension of equipment deliveries to the Russian companies, and went to law with the claim to terminate installation of turbines in Crimea and to return to the original destination – in Taman'. The Russian officials were clumsily to justify Russian actions, saying, turbines had been manufactured in Russia and purchased in the secondary market, therefore there were no infringements. As a result, on December, 14th, 2017 the Arbitration court of Moscow rejected Siemens’s claim and in Crimea builders reported on installation of the first turbines on power stations. It is necessary to note, that the Russian private business in every possible way avoids working in Crimea in connection with high risk of sectoral sanctions imposition. The interdiction concerns the export to the peninsula of goods and technologies intended for use in the field of transport, telecommunications, power etc. As a result Russia simply is not able to provide the transport connection with the illegally annexed peninsula, and also to provide power supply, to solve a problem of the fresh water, the food stuffs etc. The necessity to resolve these pressing problems in the conditions of the international sanctions from which the Russian economy has seriously suffered, forces the Kremlin to search for the support of foreign investors and to use any loopholes for attraction the foreign companies in projects on the annexed peninsula. Thereby the Kremlin aspires to kill two birds with one stone: bypassing economic sanctions to solve problems of the peninsula life sustenance and to attract foreign business in realization of projects in Crimea, to achieve step by step legitimization of annexation. The situation with the known German company caught with the international sanctions infringement, confirms once again that the Kremlin’s stake on prevalence at management of some companies of business interests over values and democracy priorities – has proved to be true. It confirms, in particular, the fact that despite public scandal around Siemens and the following judicial proceedings with all came to nothing, Siemens’s management declared, that it wouldn’t suspend its business in Russia. Actually all statements by Siemens as far as suspension of cooperation with the Russian companies under the government management have been made to calm public opinion and to hush up the scandal. In practice Siemens also was not going to leave the Russian market. Signing of the new contract on delivery for Russian “Nizhnekamskneftekhim” of gas turbines of the same model being the cause of inflamed scandal became an acknowledgement of that. Today still there is no confidence that the equipment manufactured by Siemens will not appear again on the annexed peninsula. But in such a case the German company hardly will manage to avoid sanctions. At the same time the foreign companies, continuing to work in Russia, should realise that infringement of sanctions and continuation of cooperation with an aggressor is toxic for their business reputation. Certainly, business is business, but it is also obvious that observance of international law norms, adherence to democratic values, all-European solidarity should prevail over reception of momentary benefits.

From Biden to Oprah in two weeks: Is the establishment confused?

Mon, 2018-01-08 16:26
So, the next person chosen by the mainstream media, so called progressives, and the Democratic party to be our next president is Oprah Winfrey. That’s rather interesting considering that she will be the third person they have chosen and presented to the sheep, or as you call them, party faithfuls, since the advent of the […]