RUSSIA/BELARUS/UKRAINE | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

RUSSIA/BELARUS/UKRAINE

Jul 23 10:04

Russia Averts Possible Disaster as New Space Station Module Finally Reaches Proper Orbit

Russia’s new space station module, dubbed Nauka, is currently en route to the ISS, but the spacecraft initially failed to complete its first orbit-raising burn, leading to concerns that it might not complete the trip. Thankfully, the Nauka team on Earth was able to perform a course correction, and the module is now in the proper orbit to continue its journey.

Nauka, it would appear, is taking its bad luck along with it into space.

The Russian Multipurpose Laboratory, as its formally known, has been in the works since the late 1990s, and it was supposed to launch back in 2007, but an array of technical problems—from dirty fuel tanks through to aging components—prevented this from happening. Two components of the module, the airlock and a radiator, were launched to the ISS 11 years ago, where they’ve been lying in wait ever since.

Jul 23 08:31

New ‘Diplomacy’: Why Are Ambassadors of NATO Countries Inspecting Ukrainian Armed Forces at the Front Line?

Interfax-Ukraine reported that the Danish ambassador to Ukraine paid a two-day visit to the front line of his host country’s war in the Donbass region. The press report phrased its account of the event like this: “On July 19-20, a delegation of the Kingdom of Denmark, led by Ambassador Ole Egberg Mikkelsen, visited the area of the Joint Forces Operation (JFO), and also met with representatives of Luhansk Regional Military-Civil Administration.” On the latter score, that is the part of Lugansk still under control of the Ukrainian government.

The Danish delegation, for all the world as though its members were military attachés, or military advisors, met with Deputy Commander of the Joint Forces Eduard Moskaliov and toured an observation post of a Ukrainian armed forces unit that is assigned to the Joint Forces Operation, until recently the Anti-Terrorist Operation. (National Anti-Terrorist Operation would have provided a more accurate acronym.)

Jul 23 07:04

US, Germany's Nord Stream 2 Deal Shows Kiev 'Absolutely Out of Play': Ex-Ukrainian Foreign Minister

On Wednesday, the US and Germany published a joint statement on the completion of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project, supporting the idea to continue the transit of Russian gas through Ukraine after 2024.

A US-German deal on Nord Stream 2 indicates that Kiev has lost status in terms of its involvement in discussing issues related to the project, former Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavel Klimkin has suggested.

In remarks written on his Facebook page on Thursday, he described "the latest agreement" on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project as "just the tip of the iceberg", adding that "many [things] remain behind the scenes".
Referring to Nord Stream 2, Klimkin argued that "the United States […] will keep its leverages, and not only open ones".

Jul 23 07:03

Russian troops arrive in Belarus in preparation for Zapad-2021 strategic drills

The first Russian military train carrying troops and equipment arrived in Brest in preparation for the Zapad-2021 (West-2021) Russia-Belarus strategic maneuvers, the press office of the Belarusian Defense Ministry reported on Thursday.

"The first military train carrying Russian troops and hardware has arrived in Brest. The troops will take part in the Zapad-2021 joint strategic exercise of the armed forces of Belarus and the Russian Federation," the press office said in a statement.

"We have arrived in a good mood and traveled less than 24 hours. There have been no problems during the transit. We have been assisted in unloading our equipment. I am glad that I have arrived on the soil of the Republic of Belarus with my personnel to participate in the drills," the press office quoted Russian Military Contingent Deputy Commander Sergey Kobrov as saying.

Jul 23 07:01

Lukashenko: European politicians are taking the world closer to WWIII

By creating a hotbed of tension around Belarus, European politicians are setting off World War III, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said in an interview with the Arab-speaking TV channel Sky News Arabia on 19 July, BelTA has learned.

“By creating here, in the center of Europe, a hotbed of monstrous tension, by launching a hybrid war against us and against Russia and China, the Europeans are creating not just a hotbed of tension in the very center of Europe. They are all taking us closer to World War III,” the Belarusian leader is convinced. According to him, this is already obvious not only for experts, but also for ordinary citizens.

Jul 23 06:05

Russia and US Schedule Arms Control Talks in the Nick of Time as Missiles Continue To Be Deployed

Russian newspaper Kommersant reported on Tuesday that Kremlin and White House officials have scheduled arms control talks in Geneva for the 28th of July.

Putin and Biden agreed to discuss the nuclear buildup going on across the world during their first summit together last month, which by all accounts, public and private, was an amicable one. Despite Biden telling Putin face to face that he didn’t believe he had a soul, and saying to reporters earlier this year that he was a “killer,” spokesmen from the White House said the meeting went well.

Putin himself commented later that Biden “doesn’t’ miss anything, I can assure you,” referring to what he described as an inaccurate portrayal by “our press, and even the American press” that Biden is perhaps suffering dementia of a sort.

Jul 23 06:02

Russia disconnected from global internet in tests - RBC daily

Russia managed to disconnect from the global internet during tests in June and July, the RBC daily reported on Thursday, citing documents from the working group tasked with improving Russia's internet security.

Russia adopted legislation, known as the "sovereign internet" law, in late 2019 that seeks to shield the country from being cut off from foreign infrastructure, in answer to what Russia called the "aggressive nature" of the United States' national cyber security strategy.

The legislation tightened Moscow's control over the global network and caused consternation among free speech activists, who feared the move would strengthen government oversight of the country's cyberspace.

Tests involving all Russia's major telecoms firms were held from June 15 to July 15 and were successful, according to preliminary results, RBC cited a source in the working group as saying.

Jul 23 05:31

Biden's belief that Putin is conspiring with China to take down democracy betrays his complete ignorance of Russia's own politics

Russia and China are betting that autocracy will beat democracy. That’s according to US President Joe Biden. But apart from generating headlines, his explosive claim seems to have little to do with the reality in either country.

Not only is lumping the two states together a mistake, so too is the act of contrasting the two ideologies. The language of political philosophy is, sadly, unsuited to the task of describing political realities. We bandy about words such as “liberalism,” “socialism,” and “fascism,” as if we know what they mean. In fact, they are horribly loose categories that even the brightest political philosopher struggles to define, and confuse more often than they help.

Biden fits neatly within an American tradition that regards the United States as the natural leader of the “free” world, splitting countries neatly into two – democracies on the one hand, and everybody else on the other.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I get ill when his fraudulency talks about how great democracy is.

Jul 22 11:43

Western campaign against Belarus runs risk of sparking ‘THIRD WORLD WAR’ says embattled leader Lukashenko, branding EU ‘crazy’

Sanctions & support for opposition movements from abroad is driving Europe down a dangerous path, Belarus' long-time leader Alexander Lukashenko has claimed, in an explosive new broadside against the EU and its politicians.

In an interview with Sky News Arabia published on Wednesday, the embattled president said that “the Europeans [are] directing a hybrid war against us, Russia, and even China.”

Calling the leaders of EU states “crazy politicians” who are dependent on the US, Lukashenko argued that their approach to Moscow, Minsk and Beijing “isn’t just creating a hotbed of tension – they are pushing for a third world war.”

Jul 22 08:03

Biden Admin Tells Ukraine to Please Shut Up About Nord Stream 2 for the Love of God Already

In the midst of tense negotiations with Berlin over a controversial Russia-to-Germany pipeline, the Biden administration is asking a friendly country to stay quiet about its vociferous opposition. And Ukraine is not happy.

U.S. officials have signaled that they’ve given up on stopping the project, known as the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, and are now scrambling to contain the damage by striking a grand bargain with Germany.

At the same time, administration officials have quietly urged their Ukrainian counterparts to withhold criticism of a forthcoming agreement with Germany involving the pipeline, according to four people with knowledge of the conversations.

Jul 22 06:26

US Admiral Says Russia Is ‘Increasing Aggression’ in the Black Sea

The US and NATO have significantly stepped up military activity in the Black Sea in recent years, ratcheting up tensions with Russia. Despite the fact that this is a clear provocation aimed at Moscow, Western leaders act surprised when Russia reacts to their presence in the waters.

On Tuesday, US Navy Adm. Robert P. Burke, the commander of US Naval Forces Europe-Africa and Allied Joint Force Command Naples, said Russia was “increasing aggression” in the Black Sea. He accused Moscow of trying to “bully” its neighbors into believing that other nations don’t have the right to be in the Black Sea.

Burke’s framing makes it sound like the US and NATO are simply passing through the Black Sea. But the US and Ukraine just finished leading a 32-nation exercise in the waters, known as Sea Breeze 2021. The drills were much larger this year than previous ones. The last time they were held, 19 nations participated.

Jul 22 06:20

What’s the harm in visiting Russia?

“Travel is fatal to prejudice,” Mark Twain trenchantly observed after a lifetime of wandering. The US State Department seems to fear he was right.

Last month it issued a scary warning to Americans: “Do not travel to Russia.” The official reason is that American tourists could be victims of terrorist attacks or “harassment by Russian government security officials.” That’s hard to swallow. This warning is the latest blow in a campaign to discourage Americans from learning about life in other countries.

As the Biden administration warns Americans against traveling to Russia, it is also making it comically difficult for Russians to visit the United States. In April the State Department announced that it will no longer process visa applications from Russians anywhere inside Russia; applicants now must travel abroad to file them. This will naturally lead many Russians to spend their vacations elsewhere.

Jul 22 06:11

Russia to Reinforce Military Base in Tajikistan - Report

Russia will reinforce its military base in Tajikistan with 17 infantry fighting vehicles, Interfax news agency reported on Wednesday citing the military, amid conflict in neighbouring Afghanistan.

The base will receive new BMP-2 vehicles this month, Interfax quoted Alexander Lapin, commander of Russia's Central Military District, which will "significantly boost the combat capacity" of its units.

Taliban fighters have made major advances in Afghanistan as U.S. forces pull out after 20 years of war, a security headache for Moscow.

Russian tanks deployed near the Afghan-Tajik border on Tuesday ahead of military exercises next month and Moscow announced more drills in neighbouring Uzbekistan as regional tensions over the Taliban's territorial gains remained high.

Jul 22 06:08

Many Interesting Developments in Russia

The past week has been quite intense in Russia – lots of interesting developments took place, and today I will mention three:

Putin wrote a very interesting essay on the history of Russia and the Ukraine, which he followed up with a very interesting interview.

Russia just concluded final tests for truly formidable weapons systems like the S-500 and the Mach 8 hypersonic missile Zircon.

In its yearly aviation salon MAKS, Russia has just presented a 5th generation, single engine light multi-functional fighter the Su-75 “Checkmate”

These are all truly huge developments for Russia which we need to look into separately.

Jul 22 05:20

Russia files first ever ECHR complaint against Ukraine, over Maidan massacre, censorship, discrimination & Crimea water blockade

The Russian General Prosecutor's Office has announced that it intends to bring a case against the Ukrainian government in Europe's top rights court, over a range of issues stemming from the 2014 Maidan and the country's civil war.

In a statement released on Thursday, officials in Moscow revealed that they had applied to the European Court of Human Rights with an inter-state complaint for the first time. According to the release, they are requesting that justices look into “the responsibility of the Ukrainian authorities for the death of civilians, illegal imprisonment and cruel treatment of people,” in both the Maidan and in the subsequent conflict in the Donbass.

Jul 22 05:13

Russia launches ‘Nauka’ multifunctional scientific lab module to International Space Station from Baikonur Cosmodrome (VIDEO)

Russia has launched a rocket carrying a multifunctional laboratory module, due to arrive at the International Space Station next week. Named ‘Nauka,’ it'll be attached to the satellite and become Russia’s main scientific segment.

The launch, which took place at Baikonur Cosmodrome on Wednesday afternoon, fired a Proton-M rocket into the sky, carrying the laboratory. Less than ten minutes after takeoff, Proton-M detached from the module, putting it into orbit. It is due to be docked to the Russian section of the ISS on July 29.

Jul 21 09:13

Russia using CLIMATE ENGINEERING to fight forest fires, sowing silver iodine into clouds from airplane to make it rain over blaze

Emergency workers responding to vast forest fires in a remote region of Russia have revealed they've been using climate engineering technology to trigger rainclouds and help fight the inferno spreading over thousands of hectares.

The regional emergency services headquarters in Yakutia, a Far Eastern region larger in size than countries like Argentina or Mexico, said on Wednesday that they were doing everything possible to tackle the blazes from the air. "For almost a month, 800 rescuers equipped with parachutes... have been providing assistance in extinguishing the fires," officials said.

According to the authorities, these operations have also involved the use of an Antonov An-26 transport plane, kitted out with a fan to disperse cartridges of silver iodide into the clouds. 'Seeding' the air with the chemical is understood to cause rain to fall, with rescue workers hoping precipitation will make it easier to fight the fires on the ground.

Jul 21 08:15

Zelensky Called Russians and Ukrainians One People in 2014

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who, commenting on the direct line with Vladimir Putin, did not agree with his thesis that Ukrainians and Russians are one people, back in 2014, he had a different opinion.

In April 2014, Zelensky with the Kvartal 95 studio was on tour in Donetsk, during which he gave an interview to the Donetsk Municipal Gazette. Answering a journalist’s question about the anti-Russian nature of many of the artists’ numbers, Zelensky said that he considers Ukrainians and Russians to be one people.

Jul 21 07:39

Ukraine Calls for Further NATO Buildup in Black Sea

Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, Olha Stefanishyna, reaffirmed the commitment that the very title of her position mandates: to prepare her nation – that is, to transform it beyond recognition – to qualify for a Membership Action Plan, the final step before full NATO accession. The military bloc’s preconditions are extensive and they are onerous: no part of a candidate nation’s internal affairs are left untampered with. The armed forces must be “professionalized,” meaning the concept of a conscript citizen army used for territorial defense must be replaced with an all-volunteer expeditionary force that can – and will – be deployed around the world on NATO missions.

Jul 21 07:15

Mosquito tornadoes in Russia

Jul 21 06:45

UK RAF Considers Reviving Cold War Drills to Tackle Alleged Russian Missile Threat

Earlier this year, the UK's new foreign policy review called Russia the "most acute threat" to Britain's security in the Euro-Atlantic region. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov responded by stressing that Russia "has never been anyone's enemy, and it does not pose a threat to anyone".

Britain's Royal Air Force (RAF) plans to reinstate Cold War-era drills due to the threat over a potential deployment of cruise missiles in the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad, Air Chief Marshal (ACM) Mike Wigston told The Telegraph.

"We'll be re-learning how to disperse", he said, adding that if "the arsenal [of advanced cruise missiles Russian President Vladimir] Putin has been bragging about" was moved to Kaliningrad "we'd be in range".

Jul 21 06:45

Photos: Meet ‘Checkmate’, Sukhoi’s Sleek New Fifth-Gen Fighter Jet for Half the Cost of an F-35

On Tuesday, Russia’s Sukhoi aircraft design bureau unveiled a sleek new fighter jet intended to rival Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Based on technology from its Su-57 fighter, Sukhoi has dubbed the new fighter “Checkmate.”

A prototype of the Checkmate fighter was the opening act for the MAKS-2021 air show at Zhukovsky Airport southeast of Moscow, which runs from July 20-25 and of which Sputnik is the official media partner. Russian President Vladimir Putin visited the exhibit on its opening day.

The Checkmate is intended for export, and the promotional video released a day before the expo included interested figures from the United Arab Emirates, India, Vietnam, and Argentina.

Jul 21 06:42

Russia using CLIMATE ENGINEERING to fight forest fires, sowing silver iodine into clouds from airplane to make it rain over blaze

Emergency workers responding to vast forest fires in a remote region of Russia have revealed they've been using climate engineering technology to trigger rainclouds and help fight the inferno spreading over thousands of hectares.

The regional emergency services headquarters in Yakutia, a Far Eastern region larger in size than countries like Argentina or Mexico, said on Wednesday that they were doing everything possible to tackle the blazes from the air. "For almost a month, 800 rescuers equipped with parachutes... have been providing assistance in extinguishing the fires," officials said.

According to the authorities, these operations have also involved the use of an Antonov An-26 transport plane, kitted out with a fan to disperse cartridges of silver iodide into the clouds. 'Seeding' the air with the chemical is understood to cause rain to fall, with rescue workers hoping precipitation will make it easier to fight the fires on the ground.

Jul 21 05:30

NATO conducts 14-nation naval war games in Black Sea

NATO conducts 14-nation naval war games in Black Sea

Two days after completing the two-week, 32-nation Sea Breeze 2021 war games in the Black Sea, on July 12 the U.S. and its NATO allies launched the similarly-named Breeze 2021 exercise in the Black Sea, hosted by Bulgaria.

This year’s iteration of the regular military exercise included over 2,000 military personnel and 30 ships from 14 NATO nations and NATO Enhanced Opportunities Partners: Albania, Belgium, Britain, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine and the U.S..

Jul 21 05:15

US, Germany Reach Deal Allowing Completion of Nord Stream 2, WSJ Reports

Ukraine and Poland have claimed construction of a new gas pipeline from Russia to Germany that doesn't go through their territory is a threat to their security. Berlin has largely dismissed their fears, noting gas will continue to flow through existing pipelines on their lands and that sanctions can counter Russia potentially "turning off the tap."

Citing "officials from Berlin and Washington," the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday that the US and Germany had reached an agreement to allow completion of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. According to the report, the two NATO allies could announced the deal as soon as Wednesday.

"Germany under the agreement will agree to assist Ukraine in energy-related projects and diplomacy," the New York paper noted.

Jul 20 10:55

50 Years Later, the Soviet Union’s Luna Program Might Get a Reboot

On August 23, 1976, a small probe streaked through Earth’s atmosphere, crash-landing in a remote region of Siberia, 124 miles southeast of Surgut. On board was precious cargo—soil from our planet’s only natural satellite. It had been scooped up by a robotic lander and launched homeward three days earlier. Now, with its priceless payload successfully delivered, Luna 24’s mission was over. It would prove to be the Soviet Union’s final trip to the moon.

Jul 20 10:53

The Strategic Bomber Race Is On: U.S. B-21 Raider VS Russian PAK DA

Jul 20 05:21

Washington Post's branding of Russians & Chinese as 'uncivilized' betrays the latent xenophobia fueling America's New Cold War

Who is truly civilized? Well, according to a column in the Jeff Bezos-owned Washington Post over the weekend, it certainly isn't Russia or China. While the content is unoriginal, its Neo-Cold War attitude sparked outrage online.

The piece, by George F. Will, argued that the efforts of “civilized nations to deter” Beijing and Moscow “are starting to add up.” The headline is striking, even by today’s low, post-Russiagate standards. It clearly implies that – to paraphrase Sergio Leone’s Western masterpiece ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’ – there are two kinds of countries in this world: the civilized and the uncivilized.

Jul 20 05:16

Russia successfully tests Zircon ship-based hypersonic cruise missile

Russia has successfully tested another Tsirkon (Zircon) hypersonic cruise missile, a new addition to a series of Russian weapons called “invincible” by President Vladimir Putin.

Launched from the Admiral Gorshkov warship located in the White Sea, the missile hit a surface target off the coast of the Barents Sea directly at a range of over 350 km and the flight speed of 7 Mach, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement on Monday.

“During the test, the tactical and technical characteristics were confirmed. The flight speed reached nearly 7 Mach,” the statement said.

The ministry said that the Russian government is planning to equip submarines and surface vessels of the Russian Navy with the Tsirkon system.

Jul 20 04:59

Russia shows off new high-tech S-500 rocket system designed to take down enemy SPACE WEAPONS high above planet Earth

A cutting-edge anti-aircraft system capable of taking out high-speed fighter and bomber jets has been tested by Russian forces ahead of its deployment to units protecting the country’s airspace, defense chiefs said on Wednesday.

The Ministry of Defense in Moscow released a video of the launch, saying that “after completing all the assessments, there are plans to deliver the first of the S-500 systems to air defense-missile brigades near Moscow.” It added that the test was a success, with the rocket striking a high-speed projectile as it moved through the skies.

Earlier this month, Chief Commander of the Aerospace Forces Sergei Surovikin said the S-500 will be capable of destroying enemy warplanes and even hypersonic weapons in near-Earth space, hundreds of kilometers away. Therefore, he said, it is the first generation of anti-space defense weapons, and no other such systems exist.

Jul 19 09:10

Britain plans to launch covert special forces operations against Russia & China, military chief tells media

The UK Special Forces are about to concentrate on some new covert counter-state tasks with a focus on Russia and China, Royal Marines Brigadier Mark Totten revealed to the Times.

The British Royal Marines are to take over some of the “traditional” roles of the nation’s special forces units – the Special Air Service (SAS) and Special Boat Service (SBS) – as they are preparing for some new “higher risk” counter-state tasks, Totten said.

The brigadier himself is in command of a 4,000-strong “future commando force” that is about to share the burden of the special forces such as in maritime counterterrorist missions or some “partnered operations” that involve some “higher risks.”

Jul 19 06:35

China cheers Russia’s move away from US dollar in favor of yuan

Beijing has welcomed Russia’s decision to cut the US currency from its National Wealth Fund and give the yuan a bigger role, China’s Foreign Ministry has announced.

Last week, Russia fully eliminated the US dollar from its National Wealth Fund, reducing its share from 35% to zero. Meanwhile, it raised the amount of Chinese yuan in the fund to 30.4%, which put it in second place after the euro with 39.7%.

Jul 19 05:59

MAKS Air show in Moscow acrobatic team

Jul 19 05:58

Pentagon’s Top General Warns of ‘Great Power War’ as NATO Launches New Anti-Russia Atlantic Command

Biden's administration has continued his predecessors’ strategy of pushing Russia and China closer together via a hostile US sanctions policy and military manoeuvres near the two countries’ borders.

Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley has warned of the dangers of a new global conflagration between the great powers while touting the Western alliance’s ability to stop such a scenario from becoming a reality.

Speaking at the inauguration of the new NATO Joint Force Command Norfolk, a joint operational command tasked with tackling a ‘Resurgent Russia’ in the Atlantic, on Thursday, Milley warned that JFC-NF’s mission in the event of war would be to “fight the Battle of the Atlantic.”

Jul 16 13:53

Russian AN-28 crash found UPDATE

Jul 16 05:23

MH17 Trial Judge Reveals US Intelligence Switch — From Satellite Images Which Don’t Exist in Washington to Tapes and Videos Fabricated in Kiev

In a new ruling read out in a Dutch courtroom yesterday, the judge presiding in the trial of allegations against the Russian state, military command and four named soldiers for shooting down Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 revealed new details of the US evidence allegedly proving that a Russian missile caused the crash. The judge, Hendrik Steenhuis, then refused to allow the lawyers representing the Russian defence to cross-examine the man from the US Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) who, Steenhuis now says, signed his name to the evidence and has been sought for questioning. According to Steenhuis, questioning him would be “pointless”.

Jul 16 05:14

Think hard before you test us again: Russia on UK naval provocation

Russia’s second most important security official strongly warns the UK against testing Moscow again by risking another naval provocation such as the one that was staged by a British warship near Crimea last month.

"Similar actions will be thwarted with the harshest methods in future by Russia regardless of the violator's state allegiance,” Mikhail Popov, deputy secretary of Russia's state Security Council, said on Wednesday.

“We suggest our opponents think hard about whether it's worth organizing such provocations given the capabilities of Russia's armed forces," he added in remarks to Russia’s Rossiiyskaya Gazeta newspaper.

The incident saw British warship HMS Defender entering the waters off Crimea, a former Ukrainian peninsula that has joined Russia in a referendum. The trespassing prompted warning shots by a Russian coastguard vessel, and had Moscow summon the British ambassador for an explanation.

Jul 16 04:58

An-28 Passenger Plane With 17 People On Board Goes Missing Over Siberia

The plane disappeared from radar in the Bakcharsky district of the Tomsk region, according to emergency services.

An An-28 plane carrying 17 passengers has gone missing over central Russia, a source in local emergency services told RIA on Friday.

According to the source, the emergency services are carrying out a search for the SiLa Airlines plane. The circumstances of the incident remain unclear.

The aircraft disappeared in the Bakcharsky district of the Tomsk region, the source added.

Jul 15 07:29

Dramatic moment Russian fighter jets intercept US spy plane over Black Sea as tensions rise and experts fear escalation

A US spy plane was dramatically intercepted by Russian fighter jets over the Black Sea on Tuesday as experts fear violent escalation amid rising tensions between the US and Russia.

The ground crew of the Southern Military District in Russia reported the US reconnaissance aircraft after it was detected on their radar system and a Sukhoi Su-30 fighter plane was sent to prevent it from crossing over the border.

Jul 15 06:57

Biden-Putin meeting: no to nuclear war, yes to wars that can lead to nuclear war

The Russian delegation hoped that “the United States does not intend to engage in a conflict with Russia using conventional weapons”

Russia intended to declare [the] inadmissibility of any war with the US, not just a nuclear one, in a statement following the Putin-Biden summit in Geneva. This position was expressed by the Russian side at a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Council of Foreign Ministers in Dushanbe on Wednesday, according to sources in the Russian delegation.

[T]he Russian delegation said that Moscow wanted “to state the inadmissibility of any war with the US, not only a nuclear one, considering the risks of it descending into a nuclear conflict between Russia and the US,” but the parties “so far agreed that it is precisely a nuclear war that was inadmissible.”

Jul 15 06:57

NATO’s activities near border pose nuclear threat to Russia – official

NATO’s activities near border pose nuclear threat to Russia – official

“All that shows that the West has actually set a course for military, strategic, political and psychological pressure on the Russian Federation, as well as the deliberate escalation of military tensions near the borders with Russia, which does not contribute to strategic stability.”

The Russian government news agency TASS reported on July 14 on stern warnings issued by the deputy secretary of the Russian Security Council, Mikhail Popov, in regard to NATO’s threat to his country. In an interview with the daily Rossiyskaya Gazeta, he said that recent Western activities demonstrate that the U.S. and its NATO allies have launched a campaign of military, political and psychological pressure against Russia and are escalating a dangerous military buildup on and near its borders.

Jul 14 07:26

European Court of Human Rights rules Russia MUST allow gay marriage, as Kremlin says move would be ‘impossible’ under constitution

Moscow has rejected a new order from Europe's top civil liberties court that would require it to recognize LGBT+ marriages, after a joint complaint from three same-sex Russian couples was upheld by judges in Strasbourg on Tuesday.

In the ruling, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) determined that Russian law, which defines marriage as only between a man and a woman, breached the right to private and family life enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights in respect to the claimants. As a result, the decision, issued by a panel of seven judges drawn from nations across the continent, obliges the country to legislate for recognition of LGBT+ marriages. The Court also awarded €2,200 in costs to the claimants.

Jul 13 09:38

U.S. Deploys F-16s to Bulgaria for Yet Another Black Sea Exercise

Eight U.S. F-16 multirole combat aircraft arrived at the Graf Ignatievo Air Base in Bulgaria on July 9 for this year’s iteration of the Thracian Star military exercise.

The joint American-Bulgarian air force exercise is being conducted to, according to U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Force Africa, “enhance the ability to rapidly deploy to remote locations and provide credible force to assure stability for the region.”

The region is the Black Sea, where what the U.S. and NATO consider “temporarily-occupied territory,” Crimea, and the Russian Black Sea Fleet are located. Not far beyond are the South Caucasus, the Donbass and the Middle East (for example, Syria and Iran).

Jul 13 07:20

Ukraine Reprised: Victoria Nuland Eyes Belarus In Talks With Ukrainian Official

Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland held a phone conversation with the Head of the Ukrainian President’s Office Andriy Yermak to discuss what the National News Agency of Ukraine reported was the situation in Belarus. The two were described as having "expressed concern" over developments in Ukraine’s northern neighbor. A nation doesn’t want Nuland to be concerned, much less gravely concerned over its internal affairs given her political track record.

Unlike her telephone conversation with then US ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt in 2014 in which she dictated the composition of a post-coup government in that nation weeks before the event, the above conversation has not been recorded and placed on YouTube yet, so its exact contents remain unknown.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Here we go again!

Jul 13 06:57

Derailing relations? American embassy employee accused of STEALING Russian train station sign & ‘endangering lives of passengers’

The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has revealed it believes a staff member from the US Embassy in Moscow was behind the disappearance of a railway sign earlier this year, saying the theft could have had deadly consequences.

Speaking on Monday, diplomatic spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that the incident took place in spring earlier this year, and saw an arrow pointer sign disappear from a junction near the Ostashkov train station near the city of Tver, outside of Moscow.

“The police, as expected, carried out pre-investigation measures and found on CCTV cameras that an unknown 30-year-old man had abducted the arrow and put it in the trunk of his car,” she said. According to her, the vehicle stood out because it carried red diplomatic plates.

“On the same day, the exact same car with exactly the same registration was stopped by traffic police officers in the Tver region for violating traffic rules. An employee of the American embassy was driving,” Zakharova went on.

Jul 13 06:54

Putin Sees 'Wall' in Relations Between Russia and Ukraine as 'Great Common Misfortune, Tragedy'

Relations between Russia and Ukraine deteriorated to a historic low in the aftermath of the February 2014 Maidan coup d'etat, during which Ukraine's democratically elected government was toppled by pro-EU and pro-US forces. The coup led Crimea to break off from Kiev and rejoin Russia, and sparked a civil war in eastern Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has indicated that he sees the current "wall" in relations between the Russian and Ukrainian peoples as a "great common misfortune and tragedy."

In an essay published on the president's official website on Monday entitled "On the Historical Unity of Russians and Ukrainians," Putin accused the West of directly interfering in Ukraine's domestic affairs in 2014, and suggested that aggressive Russophobia peddled by ultra nationalists began to form the country's state politics since that time.

Jul 12 09:45

Russia Not Concerned about China’s Growth Because It Seeks No Global Hegemony — Kremlin

China’s growth does not trigger Russia’s concern, that can only worry those who seek global hegemony, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Russia’s Channel One on Thursday.

“You rightly pointed out that, yes, America is concerned about China’s growth. But who can be concerned about China’s growth? Only one who seeks global hegemony,” he said.

Peskov added that Russia did not seek that role, that is why it is not concerned and will not be concerned with China’s rapid development. “On the contrary, Russia sees additional opportunities for bilateral relations in the fact that China is growing so rapidly. This is very important,” he stressed.

“We would like our neighbor — such a great neighbor — to be really stable, prosperous, fast-developing and friendly,” the Kremlin spokesman concluded.

Jul 09 08:29

US orders amphibious assault ship into Black Sea after Moscow warns tensions escalating dangerously in waters off coast of Russia

American sailors at the helm of a naval landing vessel have charted course for the Black Sea to take part in wargames alongside other NATO forces, the US Sixth Fleet has announced on Thursday, amid fears of conflict in the region.

According to commanders, the US Naval Ship Yuma, a Spearhead-class expeditionary fast transport craft, “began its northbound transit into the Black Sea to operate with our NATO allies and partners.” The twin-hulled catamaran is able to transit a whole company of US Marines and is equipped with both a flight deck and a ramp to allow armored vehicles to rapidly roll into battle.

The Yuma will take part in the colossal ‘Sea Breeze’ exercises along with personnel from 32 separate nations, including Ukraine, the UK, France, Poland, Georgia, Senegal, South Korea, Pakistan, Japan and Morocco, among others.

Jul 09 08:29

Russian Fleet Monitoring US Navy Ship Yuma in Black Sea

The US Sixth Fleet said earlier in the day that its expeditionary fast transport the USNS Yuma had been sent to the Black Sea.

The Russian Black Sea Fleet is monitoring US Navy vessel the Yuma, which has entered the Black Sea, the National Defence Management Centre announced on Thursday.

Western countries are currently conducting the Sea Breeze-2021 military exercise in the Black Sea, which includes 5,000 servicemen, 40 aircraft, and 32 vessels from 32 countries.

Jul 09 08:28

US Threatens to Act If Russia Fails to Deal With Ransomware Hackers on Its Territory

The message follows a bilateral summit between the presidents of the US and Russia, during which they agreed to start a dialogue on security in the cybersphere. The Russian Foreign Ministry said that since the meeting, there has been no meaningful response from Washington to Russian proposals on the matter.

If Russia fails to act against actors responsible for ransomware attacks conducted from its territory, then the US will, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki assured. She declined to go into detail regarding how Washington is planning to act against the hackers.

Jul 09 08:25

Putin flexes military might as he sends nuclear subs to Baltic Sea after UK navy clash

Following the skirmishes with the UK Navy last month, a Russian Oscar-II Class nuclear-powered cruise missile submarine has been seen entering the Baltic Sea. Two other nuclear-powered submarines were also identified in the waters with one thought to have nuclear missiles. HI Sutton, a defence analyst said the manoeuvres had been intended as a show of force by the Russian government.

The analyst also revealed this is the first time three nuclear submarines have been sent.

He told The Daily Telegraph: "Russia has been sending nuclear submarines to the naval parade in St Petersburg for several years, but this is the first time three submarines have been sent.

"They are the only nuclear submarines in the Baltic.

Jul 09 08:08

Ukrainian President Wants ‘US Power’ to Drive Russia Out of Crimea, Donbass

While visiting Lithuania, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky held a joint press conference with his host, President Gitanas Nauseda, in Vilnius, the capital, in which he advocated bringing the U.S. into the Normandy Format.

The latter was established in 2014 after the U.S.-supported coup in Ukraine and the start of the ongoing war in the Donbass. Its members are Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany. Bringing Washington into the process is analogous to Mexico inviting Russia to mediate border and immigration issues with the U.S.

Jul 09 08:01

Turkish F-16s Deployed to Poland for NATO Operations near Russian Border

NATO announced that four Turkish F-16s fighter jets have flown from the 6th Main Jet Base (Bandirma Base Command) to Malbork, Poland as part of NATO’s permanent patrols conducted by rotating multinational combat aircraft.

Air policing as NATO delicately phrases it. Somehow one suspects that if Russia were to fly Sukhoi Su-57s continuously near the U.S. Atlantic seaboard or over the Great Lakes the Pentagon’s concerns would not be assuaged by being assured the deployments were merely a matter of policing.

The patrols began at the Šiauliai Air Base in Lithuania immediately after the nation was inducted into NATO in 2004. A decade latter NATO also deployed them to the Ämari Air Base in Estonia. Now Poland has been added to the growing list of NATO bases in nations bordering Russia’s northwest.

Jul 09 08:00

New York Times Pushing the Envelope on Russia

If Wednesday morning’s passive-voice ("Russian hackers are accused of"), evidence-free New York Times article titled "Attempted Hack of R.N.C. and Russian Ransomware Attack Test Biden" has a familiar ring, look who wrote it. The senior author is David Sanger, the NYT’s chief Washington correspondent. Based on Sanger’s unenviable record, the story he wrote with Nicole Perlroth can be dismissed as a proverbial nothingburger with Sanger sauce.

Jul 09 07:59

Watch: NATO Press Conference Interrupted As Jets Scrambled Over Inbound Russian Fighter 'Alert'

Dramatic video shows the moment a press conference at a NATO airbase in Lithuania was cut short over an emergency alert due to reportedly inbound Russian jets. Lithuania's president Gitanas Nauseda and Spain's prime minister Pedro Sánchez had been speaking at a high level briefing when the very NATO jets that served as their backdrop had to be scrambled in order to monitor the Russian jets' movements in the area.

The Associated Press described of the unusual interruption: "Nauseda and Sánchez were speaking with two Eurofighter Typhoons behind them at the base in the town of Siauliai when security officials suddenly interrupted the leaders as crews scrambled to get on the fighter jets, live footage from the press c

Jul 09 07:11

Ukraine Accuses Russia of Storing Nukes in Crimea

Ukrainian First Deputy Foreign Minister Emine Dzhaparova on Wednesday claimed the Russian military is deploying nuclear weapons and their related infrastructure to the occupied Crimean Peninsula.

“Russia is actively expanding its military infrastructure for nuclear arms and reconstructing the infrastructure of Soviet-era nuclear warheads. Potential nuclear weapons carriers are already stationed on the peninsula,” she said, according to the Kyiv Post.

Jul 08 13:36

Russian bomber jets practice taking out targets with cruise missiles in Arctic, just weeks after warning US to steer clear (VIDEO)

The Ministry of Defense in Moscow confirmed on Thursday that two of its bomber jets had conducted a series of staged drills in the Arctic region of the country, practicing firing off rockets and unleashing volleys from their guns.

The two long-range warplanes, a Tupolev Tu-160 hypersonic jet and a Tu-95ms missile platform, took off from an airfield near the central Russian city of Saratov, flying 4,000 kilometers north for the exercises.

Jul 08 09:24

Russia vows support for Tajikistan in case of attack from Afghan border

Moscow and Dushanbe are allies under the Collective Security Treaty, the Russian foreign minister noted. "If Tajikistan is attacked, this will, of course, be a subject of an immediate discussion in the CSTO," Sergey Lavrov said

Jul 08 06:30

FSB smokes out four Hizb ut-Tahrir terror cells in three major Russian cities

Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) has taken down four cells of the Hizb ut-Tahrir terrorist organization in the cities of Penza, Ufa, and Chelyabinsk, the FSB said in a statement on Wednesday.

"The Federal Security Service, acting together with the Interior Ministry and the Russian Investigative Committee, took down four cells of the Hizb ut-Tahrir al-Islami terrorist organization (outlawed by the Russian Supreme Court) in Penza, Ufa, and Chelyabinsk in late June and early July. Four ringleaders and 11 active members, including Russian nationals and citizens of Central Asian countries, were detained," the statement reads.

According to the FSB, the detained followed the instructions of the international terrorist organization’s foreign emissaries, carrying out activities aimed at disseminating terrorist ideas in Russia. "They recruited Russia’s Muslim citizens and labor migrants to their ranks at clandestine meetings," the FSB added.

Jul 08 06:23

Everything You Know About The Last Russian Tsar Is a Massive Lie. Here’s The Truth

"These members of the upper classes (and not all were traitors) were sponsored from the beginning by the West. The West considered that once its values of parliamentary democracy, republicanism or constitutional monarchy were introduced into Russia, it would become just another bourgeois Western country."

Jul 07 08:54

Russia’s sovereign wealth fund cuts US dollar reserves to ZERO

Russia has eliminated US currency from its National Wealth Fund while boosting the share of the euro, the Chinese yuan and gold, the country’s Finance Ministry announced on Tuesday.

The proportion of US dollars in the fund was reduced from 35% to zero, while the share of the British pound was lowered to 5%. The shares of the euro and the Chinese yuan were increased to 39.7% and to 30.4%, respectively. The share of the Japanese yen stands at 4.7% and the share of non-cash gold is 20.2%, the official statement by the Finance Ministry reads.

Jul 07 08:01

Belarusian President Says The 'Whole World Bows' To The Jews Because Of The Holocaust

During a recent memorial service for Soviet soldiers who fell during World War II, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko claimed that the “whole world bows” to the Jews because of the Holocaust:

“Jews were able to make the world remember [the Holocaust], and the whole world bows to them, being afraid of saying one wrong word to them,” said Lukashenko. “On our part, we, being tolerant and kind, did not want to hurt anyone’s feelings and let the things down to the point when they have have started to hurt us.”

The speech focused on the role of Belarussians in fighting the Nazis alongside Soviet forces, with the Belarussian president stressing that more work was needed to ensure that people remember Belarus’s part in World War II. “This work has already begun with the investigation into the crimes of Nazism on the Belarusian soil. This is akin to the Holocaust of the Belarusian people,” said Lukashenko.

Jul 07 07:24

French & Germans are to blame for Ukraine & Georgia losing control over swaths of territory, claims top Kiev security official

France and Germany bear moral responsibility for Ukraine and Georgia losing territory. That’s according to the secretary of Kiev’s National Security and Defense Council, who pointed the finger at the EU’s two strongest powers.

Speaking to Forbes, Aleksey Danilov focused his accusations on Paris, saying that France’s actions led to Kiev losing control over Crimea, as well parts of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, and contributed to Tbilisi’s loss of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

“Our international partners reproach us and say that we haven’t defeated corruption,” Danilov said. “But there is corruption in other countries too. The French, for example, were engaged in negotiations between Georgia and Russia in 2008. As a result, the Georgians lost some territory.”

Jul 06 13:54

Russia is ready to respond 'harshly & decisively' to any future US power plays, country's foreign minister Lavrov warns Washington

Moscow’s most senior diplomat has said that his country will not allow the US to dictate negotiations and relations from an unequal position of power, insisting that it would view any such attempts as an escalation of hostilities.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Russian President Vladimir Putin “has made it clear, including publicly, that achieving results is only possible through finding a mutually acceptable balance of interests on a strictly equal basis.”

Despite constructive talks between Putin and his American counterpart, Joe Biden, in Geneva last month, Lavrov said that Washington’s officials had made a return to “lecturing” the Kremlin. This included a warning that the country could soon face more sanctions if it does not accept “the rules of the game” set out by US envoys in Geneva, he said.

Jul 06 06:36

Top Belarusian opposition figure Babariko, once tipped as successor to Lukashenko, handed 14 years in prison over fraud claims

Viktor Babariko, a veteran Belarusian opposition figurehead barred from standing in last year’s presidential election, has been sentenced to 14 years behind bars after officials in the country accused him of fraud and corruption.

His supporters believe the charges, launched after he attempted to run against incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko in the 2020 contest, are politically motivated.

On Tuesday, state news agency BelTA reported that a court in Minsk had announced the verdict against the former chairman of Belgazprombank, a financial institution owned by Russian investors with links to the country’s Gazprom oil giant, and based in Belarus. “According to the scale of these crimes and the combination of punishments, Babariko will serve 14 years in a high-security prison colony,” judge Igor Lyubovitsky said.

Jul 06 05:41

Russia Calls on UK to Stop Provocations in Black Sea

Russia calls on the United Kingdom to stop provocations after the incident with the warship HMS Defender, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said, adding that the Black Sea is not a place for "such games".

"You need to speak as directly as possible with provocateurs, substantively explaining on your fingers that next time they should leave their provocations aside and not meddle in here … And the risks of conflict as a result of this may increase even more. The Black Sea is not the place where such games are permissible", Ryabkov said in an interview with the magazine Mezhdunarodnaya Zhizn, published on Tuesday.

Jul 05 08:56

Secretive Submarines Are Cropping Up All Over The Place

A new model of Chinese attack submarine appears in Shanghai. The Russian navy launches a huge new special-mission sub armed with a radiological doomsday weapon. Meanwhile the U.S. Navy signals to the world that its own submarines, including its most heavily-armed attack boats, are everywhere all the time.

It’s been a busy few days for the world’s undersea powers. Recent submarine sightings are a reminder that, despite the greater visibility of aircraft carriers and other surface ships, the leading navies are spending more and more of their money under the waves.

Jul 05 08:52

Russia's parliament votes to unplug internet from world

Russian Duma deputies on Tuesday overwhelmingly supported a bill allowing Russia to create its own autonomous internet. The law will create an independent infrastructure for the Russian internet, or "Runet," which will essentially allow Russia to pull up its virtual drawbridges in case of attack.

A total of 307 lawmakers voted in favor of the law, while only 68 voted against it. In the coming days it will likely be approved by the upper house of parliament — the Federation Council — and signed into law by Russian President Vladimir Putin. It will then come into force on November 1, 2019.

The law has consistently received near unanimous backing from Duma deputies. Its authors say Russia's national security is at stake. The project will allow the domestic internet to continue working even when it is disconnected from non-Russian root servers. That means that the country would be prepared should other countries attempt to cut Russia off from the internet.

Jul 05 08:41

BELARUS SEALS OFF BORDER WITH UKRAINE AS PRESIDENT WARNS OF REPEAT OF 1941

The government of Belarus announced today that it is completely closing its border with Ukraine, which for months have been targeting Belarus with accusations of plotting military aggression against it. Ukraine has a population of almost 45 million and a military trained and armed by the US. and NATO. Belarus has a population of 9 million and doesn’t belong to a military bloc; NATO is the only one in the world.

President Alexander Lukashenko has ordered the State Border Committee to close the 675-mile border separating the two former Soviet republics with this explanation: "I am astounded by the amount of weapons being smuggled from Ukraine to Belarus. I mentioned it last year. Many didn’t believe me. This is why I’ve instructed the border guard to fully close off the border with Ukraine."

Jul 05 08:38

Black Sea: NATO Drill Practiced Strafing Russian Ships

NATO reports that it conducted what is described as air defense exercises in the Black Sea on July 2. Evidently the maneuvers were independent of the 32-nation Sea Breeze naval and air exercises occurring simultaneously. And of the recent port visits and participation in exercises by the HMS Defender guided-missile destroyer and the HNLMS Evertsen frigate in the same sea, the first almost triggering an international incident if not a war on June 23.

U.S. and NATO warships, military aircraft, missiles and troops are so consistently in the Black Sea region in overlapping military exercises that it’s a wonder any commercial vessels can find room to maneuver or that the sun ever breaks through on the sea’s waves.

Jul 03 05:45

Putin's 'City-Killer': Russia Launches World's Largest Nuclear-Armed Submarine

It's being popularly dubbed "Putin's city-killer" - and is also being widely acknowledged as the largest submarine in the world to be built for 30 years: Russian Navy's 'Special Mission' K-329 Belgorod has been put to see for the first time within the past days, undergoing sea trials.

Estimated at 178 meters (584 feet) long and about 15 meters (49 feet) across, it's twice the size of the UK Royal Navy's largest submarines, but more impressively is equipped with AI-guided nuclear tipped underwater drones which according to one prominent Western source are capable of hitting coastal targets lying 6,000 miles away.

The Belgorod has been known about and teased by the Kremlin for years, but is now being hailed in Russian media as a "game changer".

One military expert with the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), Dr. Sidharth Kaushal, explained to The Mail on Sunday:

Jul 02 08:15

RUSSIA WILL BLOCK KERCH STRAIT

Jul 02 05:47

Russia Now Requires Foreign Social Media Companies To Open In-Country Offices

In the continuing saga and standoff between US tech giants and the Russian state, the Kremlin just took a bold, creative step in its long-running efforts to reign in foreign "propagandistic" attempts to both censor official Russian sources and at the same time promote "obscene" content, as its officials have long complained.

Russian President Putin on Thursday signed a law that seeks to force major social media companies to open offices on Russian soil if they continue to want their platforms unrestricted inside Russia.

Jul 01 12:22

NATO Practices Sinking Russian Submarines in the Arctic

NATO began its annual Dynamic Mongoose anti-submarine warfare exercise on June 28 off the coast of Norway in what the military bloc deems the High North: the Arctic region, which it has identified as its domain since 2009. (As it has the Mediterranean Sea, Baltic Sea and Black Sea.)

The code name for the war games may seem puzzling; there’s a noticeable incongruity with the name of an animal primarily associated with South Asia and Africa used for maneuvers on the top of the world. It’s less baffling when one recalls the mongoose is used to kill snakes. Russian submarines are the snakes.

This year’s iteration includes warships, warplanes and submarines from NATO member states Britain, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Iceland, Norway and the U.S. Five of those states – Canada, Denmark, Iceland, Norway and the U.S. – are Arctic coastal nations. The others are Finland and Sweden, both NATO Enhanced Opportunities Partners, and Russia. Isolated Russia. Targeted Russia.

Jul 01 12:21

NATO Tests Integration of Fourth and Fifth Generation Combat Aircraft Over Baltic

On June 29-30 NATO members and partners conducted air exercises over the Baltic Sea and the Baltic states. Twenty aircraft from NATO members Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain, Turkey and NATO Enhanced Opportunities Partner Finland participated in second iteration of the Ramstein Alloy exercise. The alliance gave its account of the event the headline of Allies and Partners Test 4th and 5th Generation Interoperability in Baltic Region.

The fifth-generation aircraft involved was an Italian F-35 stealth multirole combat aircraft, the first time a fifth-generation aircraft has been deployed for NATO Air Policing. Italy, the U.S., Britain and Israel recently conducted joint F-35 maneuvers in Italy.

Jul 01 12:16

US and Its Allies Turning Black Sea Into Confrontation Zone, Moscow Says

Earlier in the day, the Italian Defence Ministry confirmed its Virginio Fasan CGN frigate was participating in Sea Breeze drills, which are taking place in the Black Sea. The ministry added the vessel participated in the exercises as part of routine activity. Russian warships were tracking the vessel when it entered the sea.

The Russian Foreign Ministry stated on 1 July that the US and NATO countries are turning the Black Sea into a confrontation zone, adding that the recent movement by the Dutch navy frigate Evertsen in this area was a dangerous provocation.

"The Black Sea area is consistently being turned by Washington and its allies from the area of cooperation that had been established there, into a zone of military confrontation. This is done deliberately so that another region of the world under the lead of the United States would become unstable," the Russian Foreign Ministry press secretary, Maria Zakharova, said at a briefing on 1 July.

Jul 01 12:03

Russia, China could launch Pearl Harbor-style attack on Hawaii: Senior Japanese defence official

“We have to show the deterrence towards China, and not just China but also the Russians, because, as I told you, that they are doing their exercises together,” Japanese deputy Yasuhide Nakayama told the Hudson Institute this week, according to Washington Examiner.

“Seventy years ago, we attacked Pearl Harbor, but now the U.S. and Japan [are] very good allies, one of the best allies all over the world,” he said, noting that Russia is conducting naval drills in the Pacific this week. “I don’t want to remind [us of the attack] 70 years ago, but we have to be careful of the exercising of the Russians. They are taking place [off] the western side of that, Honolulu, I mean, in Hawaii.”

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Jul 01 09:36

The Pacific Is Crowded With Unprecedented Number Of War Games

By Ann Wright

Each week the Pacific is getting even more crowded with military ships, submarines and aircraft from countries in the region and from outside. NATO countries — United Kingdom, France, Germany and the Netherlands — are sending military vessels and aircraft. The Russian navy conducted military maneuvers off Hawaii. The US is on the verge of creating a permanent Pacific naval task force as a part of its aggressive response to China’s naval presence in the Pacific. The largest land exercise in Asia and the Pacific is taking place in Australia with 17,000 U.S. and Australian military.

Jul 01 05:45

The NATO-Ukraine Sea Breeze exercise could ultimately help create the circumstances for real conflict with Russia in the Black Sea

NATO and Ukraine have carried out joint naval exercises for 24 years, but the current drill comes at a time when NATO expansion and Russian pushback looks like it might escalate.

The question is: do some elements within the military alliance want it?

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is upholding a 24-year tradition by engaging in a joint naval exercise with Ukraine. The exercise, known as Sea Breeze 21, runs from June 28 through July and will be conducted exclusively in the Black Sea region. It consists of various amphibious warfare, land maneuver warfare, diving operations, maritime interdiction operations, air defense, special operations integration, anti-submarine warfare, and search and rescue operations.

Jul 01 05:44

Russia’s economic growth speeds up to nearly 11% in May

Russia’s gross domestic product (GDP) saw a year-on-year growth of 10.9% in May as the country gradually recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic, the economy ministry announced on Thursday.

According to the ministry, May’s growth rate is mainly attributed to the low acceleration recorded during the same period a year ago, when tight Covid-related restriction were in force.

Thus, the growth rate is not regarded as a useful indicator. The ministry instead opted to compare the current growth to the fourth quarter of the pre-pandemic year 2019.

“Seasonally adjusted gap with the pre-pandemic level in May narrowed to 0.3%,” the report said.

Jul 01 05:35

Western focus on Russian political dead-enders exposes failure to grasp that real change in Moscow will come from system insiders

For outsiders, Russia's politics can be confusing and elusive. Who are the liberals, and who are the conservatives? Who wants change and who wants things to stay the same? Recent events show Western politicians are none the wiser.

Former US presidential candidate Senator Mitt Romney was making news again this week, meeting with Russian opposition activist Leonid Volkov, best known for his close association with jailed activist Alexey Navalny.

The head-to-head has drawn flak from a range of commenters. Prominent American "Russia-watcher" Kevin Rothrock took to Twitter to ask why Volkov would want to be photographed with American politicians, given the images would likely only further undermine his credibility inside Russia. It’s as if “Volkov and others in his boat have given up on political ambitions back home,” he tweeted.

Jul 01 05:35

Ukraine has surrendered itself to control from West, no point in meeting Zelensky when decisions are made in Washington – Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said he is unlikely to meet with his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky, because the country’s policies are set not by lawmakers in Kiev, but overseas in America and the European Union.

Speaking as part of his traditional televised ‘Direct Line’ question-and-answer session with the public on Wednesday, Putin dismissed the idea of a summit.

“Why should I meet Zelensky?” the Russian leader asked. “If he has given up his country to full external control, the key issues about life in Ukraine are resolved not in Kiev but in Washington, and, to some extent, in Berlin and Paris. What then would we talk about?"

He added that he would not “refuse a meeting of this kind,” but said he would have to first “understand what we could talk about.”

Jul 01 05:17

A Sea Painted NATO Black

Welcome to the latest NATO show: Sea Breeze starts today and goes all the way to July 23. The co-hosts are the US Sixth Fleet and the Ukrainian Navy. The main protagonist is Standing NATO Maritime Group 2.

The show, in NATOspeak, is just an innocent display of “strenghtening deterrence and defense”. NATO spin tells us the exercise is “growing in popularity” and now features more than 30 nations “from six continents” deploying 5,000 troops, 32 ships, 40 aircraft and “18 special operations and dive teams”. All committed to implement and improve that magical NATO concept: “interoperability”.

Jun 30 12:39

US Spy Plane Was Involved In Warning Shot Incident With UK: Putin

The details of last week's Royal Navy HMS Defender incident near Crimea in the Black Sea which saw "warning shots" fired by the Russian side continue to be shrouded in mystery and accusations and counter-accusations between the Kremlin and the West.

On Wednesday Russian President Vladimir Putin inserted a new bombshell allegation regarding the dangerous June 23 encounter which could have sparked open conflict. During a live call-in news show, an annual tradition where the Russian leader fields ordinary citizens' direct questions, Putin said that a US reconnaissance aircraft was present during the incident.

Jun 30 07:27

Russia Calls America a ‘Liberal Totalitarian State’ with a ‘Monopoly on the Media’ and ‘Irremovability of Oligarchic Elites’

Russian authorities have issued a blistering critique of the failing U.S. regime under President-imposed Joe Biden, suggesting that America is guilty of all the sins they try to project on their opposing regimes abroad.

“It is astonishing to see how the West is trying to divide our diverse world into two completely artificial camps – a supposedly democratic one and a supposedly authoritarian one,” Russian Director of the Foreign Intelligence Service Sergey Naryshkin said.

“The US and other so-called models of liberal democracy seem not to notice that they themselves are rapidly turning into a liberal-totalitarian regime,” he added.

Jun 29 12:33

Warmongering British Actions in the Black Sea

The pre-positioning of the BBC correspondent on HMS Defender shatters the pretence that the BBC is something different to a state propaganda broadcaster. It also makes plain that this propaganda exercise to provoke the Russian military was calculated and deliberate. Indeed that was confirmed by that BBC correspondent’s TV news report last night when he broadcast that the Defender’s route “had been approved at the very highest levels of the British government.”

Jun 29 08:54

Russia-China the Endgame

The consolidation of the Russia-China alliance this week spells the endgame for Western imperialism and the never-ending wars that it spawns.

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and China’s leader Xi Jinping celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Sino-Russian Treaty of Friendship, first signed in July 2001. The hallmark of that historic accord is a mutual commitment to peace, prosperity and global stability.

As Putin commented, the alliance between Russia and China is a vital source of “stability at a time of increasing geopolitical turbulence”. The latter remark is an oblique reference to the US-led Western states which are driven by ratcheting up antagonism and tensions with Moscow and Beijing using all sorts of spurious complaints.

Jun 29 08:42

Top Ukrainian magazine names US ambassador as country’s ‘most influential woman,’ highlighting extent of American leverage in Kiev

Influential Ukrainian political magazine Focus has named Kristina Kvien, the acting US ambassador to Kiev, as the country’s most influential woman, in what the publication’s editor called “an unexpected and surprising choice.”

Kvien, who has been charge d’affaires since January 2020, beat out Ukrainian First Lady Elena Zelenskaya and Prosecutor General Irina Venediktova in the 2021 list of the top 100 women. In fifth place came Melinda Simmons, the British ambassador to Kiev.

Ukraine’s Ambassador to the US Oksana Markarova was also selected in the top 10.

The chosen women are ranked by their ability to independently make key decisions for the country and their impact on public opinion, as well as their business influence, personal popularity, and influence on the internet.

Jun 29 07:07

Warmongering British Actions in the Black Sea

The pre-positioning of the BBC correspondent on HMS Defender shatters the pretense that the BBC is something different to a state propaganda broadcaster. It also makes plain that this propaganda exercise to provoke the Russian military was calculated and deliberate. Indeed that was confirmed by that BBC correspondent’s TV news report last night when he broadcast that the Defender’s route “had been approved at the very highest levels of the British government.”

The Prime Minister does not normally look at the precise positions of British ships. This was a deliberate act of dangerous belligerence.

Jun 29 07:05

HMS Defender Versus the Russian Military: The Danger of Believing Your Own Propaganda

Less than two weeks after NATO members reaffirmed allegiance to Article 5 – that an attack on one member was an attack on all members – the UK nearly put that pledge to the test. In a shockingly provocative move, the UK’s HMS Defender purposely sailed into Crimean territorial waters on its way to Georgia.

Press reports suggest that there was a dispute between the UK defense and foreign ministries over whether to violate Russia’s claimed territorial waters with a heavily armed warship. According to reports, Prime Minister Boris Johnson himself jumped in to overrule the more cautious Foreign Office in favor of confrontation.

As Johnson later claimed, because the UK (and the US) does not recognize Russian sovereignty over Crimea, the UK was actually sailing through Ukrainian waters. It was an in-your-face move toward Russia just weeks after the US and NATO were forced to back down from a major clash with Russia in eastern Ukraine

Jun 29 07:02

Boris Johnson Defies Vladimir Putin’s Claim to Crimea

About that clash between a British destroyer and Russian warplanes and warships in the Black Sea last week there are conflicting versions.

The Kremlin version is the more dramatic.

HMS Defender, says Moscow, entered the Black Sea, made port in Odessa, Ukraine, and then sailed for Batumi on the coast of Georgia.

However, the British warship traversed Russia’s territorial waters at the tip of the Crimean peninsula, near Sevastopol, Russia’s principal naval base on the Black Sea.

The destroyer, say the Russians, had to be diverted by shellfire from a patrol boat and bombs dropped in its path by Sukhoi fighters.

London’s version: Defender sailed through waters off Crimea that belong to Ukraine. Russian gunfire was far off and unthreatening. No dropped bombs impeded the destroyer’s passage.

Jun 29 07:02

F-35B From British Carrier Flies Over Russian Forces Training To Sink Enemy Warships

The Russian naval task force deployed to Syria in recent days appears to have stepped up its drills in the eastern Mediterranean. At the same time, a recent video shows that at least some of the Russian participants have been shadowed by F-35B stealth jets operating from the U.K. Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth that’s conducting combat operations in the region, against ISIS targets. The latest Russian maneuvers come as tensions between Moscow and the United Kingdom remain high, after a Royal Navy destroyer sailed in waters close to Russian-occupied Crimea last week, and as large-scale, U.S.-led maneuvers in the Black Sea kick off today.

Jun 29 07:00

Ukraine, US launch Black Sea drills despite Russian protest

Ukraine and the United States have launched a military exercise involving more than 30 countries in the Black Sea and southern Ukraine, despite Russian calls to cancel the drills.

The Sea Breeze 2021 manoeuvres that began on Monday and will last for two weeks are set to involve about 30 warships and 40 aircraft from US and its NATO allies and Ukraine. US destroyer Ross has arrived in the Ukrainian port of Odessa for the drills.

Jun 29 06:58

Boris Johnson, the Pyromaniac Prime Minister

The incident of 23 June off the coast of Crimea when the British destroyer HMS Defender intentionally crossed into the territorial waters of the Russian Federation and was shooed away by Russian coast guard vessels and fighter jets has received a modicum of coverage in Western Europe, much more coverage in the U.K., itself, where the fissures within Boris Johnson’s cabinet in advance of the adventure came to light, exposing the remarkable fact that the go/no-go dispute between the Defense and the Foreign Ministry was settled by decision of the Prime Minister himself.

Jun 29 06:39

RAND Corporation Once Again Spreading Anti-Russia Propaganda in Its Reports

Once again, Western think tanks are disrupting international harmony and spreading fear and panic in order to serve the globalist agenda. In a recent report, RAND Corporation, one of the largest American think tanks, stated that NATO nations would be vulnerable to Russian nuclear power in an eventual armed conflict against Russia on European soil. The text approaches the topic with unfounded alarmism about the possibility of a nuclear conflict, which only tends to increase anti-Russian hysteria in the West.

Jun 29 06:32

Will the Russians Sink a British Ship the Next Time Around?

To begin, let’s recap what just happened in the Crimean waters. First, the HMS Defender deliberately entered the Russian waters under the pretext that the Brits don’t recognize what they call the “annexation” of Crimea. The Brits deny it, but after seeing 4 bombs explode ahead of the HMS Defender, they altered their course as the Russians demanded.

Next, before looking into this deeper, let’s also keep in mind the following fact: the entire Black Sea is a de facto “Russian lake” meaning that Russia has the full military control of the Black Sea. For those alternatively gifted, let me explain what this means:

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