RUSSIA/BELARUS/UKRAINE | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

RUSSIA/BELARUS/UKRAINE

Apr 28 12:13

Putin confirms ‘successful’ test of new rocket ‘designed to blast space missiles to bits’

Apr 28 10:36

Russia Claims Its Struna-1 Radar Can ‘Kill’ the F-35 Fighter

Here's What You Need to Remember: In tandem with other modern “stealth-defeating” radar systems, the Struna-1 could provide critical information to an adversary on the position and movement of stealth aircraft.

Ever since the development of stealth technology for aircraft, many different systems have been advertised as “stealth killing.” One of the more innovative solutions is the Russian Struna-1/Barrier-E bistatic radar system developed by NNIIRT, a division of the Almaz-Antey Joint Stock Company. Almaz-Antey is the premier air-defense and radar manufacturer in Russia; they make the Tor, Buk and S-400 anti-aircraft systems, as well as their respective search radars. The Struna-1 was originally developed in 1999. A further evolution of Struna-1, the Barrier-E system was later showcased for export at MAKS 2007. While it is not part of Almaz-Antey’s online catalog, it was shown alongside other radars at MAKS 2017. The system is rumored to be deployed around Moscow.

Apr 28 10:21

Could Iran Shoot Down a U.S. F-22, F-35 or Stealth B-2 Bomber?

Doubts continue about the F-35 stealth fighter jet program. The questions go to more than the usual array of new system challenges of maintenance, sustainment, cost growth and program delays. In those areas the F-35 jet is no different from virtually every other defense procurement project, most far less complex than the F-35 fighter. The private sector has similar challenges, as seen by the travails of the 737 MAX 8 aircraft. The heart of the worries goes to the role of manned aviation in this age of breathtaking technical change.

For quite some time now it has been obvious that we collect far more data than we can analyze in any relevant decision-making time. This challenge becomes more daunting as new systems are brought online. Military and naval commanders, indeed anybody occupying a supervisory position, can suffer paralysis by analysis. The other danger is acting based on what we want to hear, our “gut.” We knew this back in 1995 when the F-35 fighter program began.

Apr 28 05:56

Lavrov Warns Reversing Minsk Agreements Could Lead to Massacre in Donbass

In an interview with Sputnik, the Russian Foreign Minister has touched upon a wide range of issues, including the recent escalation around Ukraine, the West's attempts to take advantage of it, as well as the deterioration of relations between Russia and the West.

Ukraine should not count on military assistance from the United States, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told Sputnik, weighing in on the recent Donbass escalation.

"...there is no point in relying on military assistance from the US. Everyone always knew that. If someone had an illusion that such help would come, well, such 'advisers' would be worthless in any government, including the government of [Ukrainian President Volodymyr] Zelenskyy".

Apr 28 05:53

Overwhelming majority of Russians believe Crimea is legally part of country, including those who don’t support Putin, poll reveals

The vast majority of Russians (86%) support Moscow’s reabsorption of Crimea, with most convinced that the country did not violate international obligations and agreements when it gained control of the Black Sea peninsula in 2014.

That’s according to a new poll from the Levada Center, which has revealed that the events of seven years ago enjoy support even from those who disapprove of President Vladimir Putin. The Levada Center is registered as a foreign agent by the country’s Ministry of Justice.

Crimea was re-absorbed into Russia in March 2014 following a referendum. The vote is not recognized by most of the world, which views it as an illegally occupied Ukrainian peninsula. Crimea had been part of Russia until 1954, when it was transferred to Kiev’s control by former Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, himself a native of Ukraine’s Donbass region.

Apr 28 05:44

Russia Holds Live-Fire Naval Drills Just As US Coast Guard Vessel Enters Black Sea

At a time of still heightened tensions following this month's Russian military build-up near Ukraine and subsequent draw down last week, the Kremlin says it is tracking a US Coast Guard ship's movements after it entered the Black Sea on Tuesday.

The US Navy's Sixth Fleet confirmed the entrance, saying "The Legend-class national security cutter USCGC Hamilton (WMSL 753) transited into the Black Sea in support of NATO Allies and partners."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Ummmmm .... just what part of the Black Sea constitutes the US coast?!?

Apr 28 05:37

Kremlin says Zelensky’s remarks about changes to Minsk Accords 'alarming sign'

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s remarks about amendments to the Minsk Accords and expanding the list of negotiators on the Normandy platform are an alarming sign, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said following the Ukrainian leader’s interview to The Financial Times.

"I take this opportunity to say that it makes sense to pay attention to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s interview to the Financial Times. In that interview the Ukrainian president said he would like to see changes made to the Minsk format, some other countries join in and so on and so forth," Peskov said. "This is an alarming sign. We have said more than once that it is a no easy situation. This is one more indication at the summit level of Ukraine’s wish to change the Minsk process, but there is no way of changing it without in fact terminating it."

Apr 28 05:19

RUSSIAN SPECIAL OPERATIONS FORCES ARE GETTING HIGH-TECH MINI SUBS

The Russian Special Operations Forces (SOF) will be receiving an advanced infiltration capability in the form of futuristic mini subs.

According to a source from the Russian government, “the Main Directorate of Deep-Water Research of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation showed interest in the apparatus, and it considers these bathyscaphes [which is a manned submersible vehicle] as a means for conducting special underwater operations.” He added that the Russian Navy intends to allocate at least two mini subs to each of its three battle fleets (Black Sea, Northern, and Pacific).

Apr 28 00:55

Breaking News! US Ship Entered The Black Sea! Ukraine, US Still Here But Not Superior Without Turkey

Apr 27 11:43

Russia Puts U.S. Top of 'Unfriendly Countries' List

The U.S. has been placed on a list of countries Russia considers to be "unfriendly" despite optimism of a summit between Presidents Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin taking place this summer.

Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova announced over the weekend that the U.S. would be on the list following a presidential decree on April 23.

In a graphic on Russia's Channel 1 headlined "List of countries unfriendly to Russia," the U.S. was at the top.

Apr 27 11:42

Breaking News! Russia Accuses Ukraine of Stealing S-300! Tried a Space Missile! Threatened the USA!

Apr 27 07:41

NATO Adds Ukraine and Georgia to Its Eastern Flank

Late last week Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba traveled to Bucharest, Romania to join a meeting of what he called NATO’s Eastern flank: Poland, Romania and Turkey.

The Ukrainian foreign minister posted this on his Facebook page: “Greetings from Bucharest. Today, for the first time, Ukraine is taking part in the negotiations of the Romania, Poland, and Turkey triangle – NATO’s Eastern flank.”

The trilateral format was created at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization summit in Chicago in 2012.

This year Georgia as well as Ukraine participated. In Kuleba’s words: “Today, for the first time, they invited guests – Ukraine and Georgia – to join their format. And this isn’t just an invitation. It’s a political signal and concrete action to support Ukraine in a difficult moment.”

Apr 27 07:12

Video: War Is Over before It Begins and Kiev Is Left to Play by Itself

On April 23rd, the US and NATO’s biggest concern in regard to Ukraine is dissolving.

The troops from the Russian Southern and Western military districts began returning to their permanent positions of deployment.

A day earlier, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu arrived in Crimea, where a large-scale exercise was taking place.

It involved more than 10 thousand servicemen; 1,200 units of weapons and military equipment of the Southern Military District, the Black Sea Fleet, the Caspian Flotilla and Airborne Forces.

Shoigu said that every aspect of the defense of the region had been tested, including coastal and air defense systems.

He claimed that the purposes of his sudden inspections were satisfactory, and the concentration of forces needed no longer remain.

Apr 27 07:05

Putin, Macron express concern over escalation in southeastern Ukraine

The conflict in southeastern Ukraine was among the key topics of a telephone conversation between Presidents Vladimir Putin of Russia and Emmanuel Macron of France. The leaders expressed concern over escalation in Donbass, the Kremlin press service said on Monday.

"Special attention was focused on the Ukrainian conflict. The leaders expressed concern over the escalation of tension in southeastern Ukraine. Vladimir Putin drew attention to Kiev’s provocative actions, saying that Kiev is deliberately seeking to aggravate the situation along the contact line and ignoring the Minsk agreements. It was stressed that the Kiev authorities must strictly obey by the existing agreements, first of all, concerning the establishment of dialogue with Donetsk and Lugansk and incorporating Donbass’ special status in laws. Emmanuel Macron, in turn, informed Putin about his recent talks with the Ukrainian president in Paris," it said.

Apr 27 06:56

Is conflict between the US & its allies v Russia & China inevitable? (Ex-UK ambassador to Russia) E1006

On this episode of Going Underground, we first speak to Sir Tony Brenton, the former UK ambassador to Russia. He discusses Boris Johnson’s decision to send UK warships to the Black Sea, Russia’s recent military build-up near the Ukrainian border for military exercises which have since concluded, Alexey Navalny’s imprisonment in Russia and his history of racist comments in the past, whether conflict between the US, NATO and its allies v Russia and China can be avoided, and much more! Finally, we speak to Farah Nabulsi, director of the Oscar-nominated film ‘The Present’, which focusses on a Palestinian family’s struggle living near an IDF checkpoint.

Apr 27 06:07

Brazil rejects Russia’s Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine, citing ‘uncertain’ data – creator says decision is political & driven by US

The maker of Russia’s Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine believes the US has pressured Brazil into refusing approval of its formula for political reasons. Brazil’s health regulator says there are “inherent risks” and defects with the jab.

The South American country is in desperate need of Covid-19 vaccine doses, and has been one of the hardest-hit nations throughout the pandemic. However, despite requests from Brazilian politicians, regulator Anvisa believes there is a lack of documentation to guarantee its safety, and data about its efficacy is “uncertain.”

Apr 27 06:05

MI6 head reveals that Russophrenia-stricken UK defense chiefs think Russia is both a ‘declining power’ AND their number one rival

The head of Britain’s MI6 foreign intelligence service has said that Russia is getting weaker and weaker as a country, while simultaneously warning that it poses a significant military threat to the UK’s allies in Eastern Europe.

Richard Moore, the chief of London’s top spy agency, world famous as the fictional home of James Bond, told an interview with the Sunday Times that “Russia is an objectively declining power economically and demographically.”

According to him, the world’s largest country is “an extremely challenged place,” arguing that recent protests in support of jailed opposition figure Alexey Navalny “show that there is a deal of disaffection with [Russian President Vladimir] Putin.” Rallies held last week drew smaller crowds than organizers had anticipated, and were largely peaceful.

Apr 26 07:36

What Just Happened in the Ukraine?

Before we look into what just happened in the Ukraine, we need to first recall the sequence of events which lead to the current situation. I will try to make a short summary (skipping a lot of details) in the bullet-point style:

Apr 26 07:34

The "Russian Threat"

During 2016 CIA director John Brennan and FBI director James Comey, together with the corrupt Democrat party, began orchestrating Russiagate in order to prevent Trump from reducing the risk of nuclear war by normalizing relations with Russia. President Trump tried to nip a New Cold War in the bud, but that was not in the interest of the power and profit of the military/security complex which desperately needs the “Russian threat” as its raison d’etre.

Stephen Cohen, myself and a few others expressed concern that the tensions between the two nuclear powers were being driven to more dangerous highs than ever existed during the 20th century Cold War. Many websites joined in debunking the orchestrated Russiagate fabrication.

Apr 25 04:18

Breaking News! Is Russia Really Attracting Troops? Did They Come For Ukraine? Shelling Continues!

Apr 25 04:03

Escobar: Putin Rewrites The Law Of The Geopolitical Jungle

Putin’s address to the Russian Federal Assembly – a de facto State of the Nation – was a judo move that left Atlanticist sphere hawks particularly stunned...

The “West” was not even mentioned by name. Only indirectly, or via a delightful metaphor, Kipling’s Jungle Book. Foreign policy was addressed only at the end, almost as an afterthought.

For the best part of an hour and a half, Putin concentrated on domestic issues, detailing a series of policies that amount to the Russian state helping those in need – low income families, children, single mothers, young professionals, the underprivileged – with, for instance, free health checks all the way to the possibility of an universal income in the near future.

Of course he would also need to address the current, highly volatile state of international relations. The concise manner he chose to do it, counter-acting the prevailing Russophobia in the Atlanticist sphere, was quite striking.

Apr 24 06:53

Russian Military Reportedly Creates ‘Dead Zones’ for Enemy Drones and Cruise Missiles

The significance of cruise missiles and drone warfare has become all too apparent in the 21st century, with the United States and its allies in the Middle East regularly using state of the art weapons to launch attacks across Africa, the Middle East and West Asia over the past two decades, mostly against nations without developed air defences.

The Russian military is training to create ‘dead zones’ completely inaccessible to enemy drones, cruise missiles and other precision weapons, Russian media reports, citing military sources.

Sources indicate that the dead zone concept has already been worked out and adopted, and that Electronic Warfare Troops units in several military districts have been practising the concept’s employment through drills. Large-scale exercises at the national level are expected to begin next year.

Apr 24 06:45

Russian troops depart Crimea for home bases after exercises, potentially signaling end to border standoff with Ukraine

A number of Russian military units which were deployed near the tense Ukrainian frontier over recent weeks have now started to return to their regular deployments elsewhere in the country, Moscow’s army chiefs revealed on Friday.

Footage released by the Ministry of Defense showed tanks being loaded onto amphibious landing ships after taking part in exercises on the Crimean coast. Other shots featured soldiers loading armored vehicles for transport.

On Thursday, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu announced that personnel deployed in the west and south of the country had passed a series of readiness checks after being deployed. According to him, “the goals of the sudden inspection have been fully achieved. The troops demonstrated their ability to ensure reliable defense of the country.”

Apr 24 05:59

RUSSIA: NO WAR NOW

Apr 23 10:29

Breaking News! Russia Jets Stopped US Air Force Plane! Distracting Ukraine? Hunted 2 Spy in Crimea!

Apr 23 08:39

CRAZE! Russian HYPERSONIC PRS-1M Is UNSTOPPABLE! It Reaches Mach 15 During Test Launch!

Apr 23 07:44

The Strategic Hour with Matt Ehret: Ukraine as Flashpoint of WW3 or Crossroads of Civilization?

This week, Matt Ehret, V and CJ discuss Ukraine as a flashpoint of WW3 or bridge in the New Silk Road with a focus on the role of Anglo American Intelligence in manufacturing a rise of Nazism and absorbing the leading Nazi intelligence officers in both Germany and Ukraine into post-war anti-Soviet operations. Other topics include Zelensky’s strange relationship to MI6, Putin’s recent State of the Nation, the strategic importance of space exploration and the delusional mindset of Cold Warriors incapable of accepting the reality that the rules of the New World Order have forever changed under the new dynamic created by the Greater Eurasian Partnership.

Apr 23 05:13

Hilarious: Czechia Issues an Ultimatum to the Russian Federation

The Czech government on Wednesday warned Moscow it might expel more Russian diplomats unless the 20 Czech nationals ejected from Russia were allowed to return to work with a day.

Moscow responded by saying the ultimatum was “unacceptable.”

On Saturday, Prague expelled 18 Russian embassy staff in a row over Russia’s alleged role in an explosion that killed two people in the Czech Republic in 2014. Moscow sent back the Czech diplomats in retaliation on Monday.

“The Russian Federation has until 12:00 tomorrow (10:00 GMT) to allow the return of all expelled diplomats back to the Czech embassy in Moscow,” Jakub Kulhanek, the new Czech foreign minister, told reporters.

“If they cannot return, I will cut the number of Russian embassy staff in Prague so it would correspond to the current situation at the Czech embassy in Moscow,” he added.

Apr 23 05:01

With Germany low on Covid-19 jabs, local politician reveals country negotiating with Russia for 30 million Sputnik V doses

The premier of Germany's Saxony region has revealed that the country wants to buy 30 million doses of the Russian-made Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine, assuming that the EU's European Medicines Agency approves the jab.

Following a meeting with Russian Minister of Health Mikhail Murashko, Michael Kretschmer tweeted on Thursday that Germany is negotiating to receive three batches of 10 million doses in June, July and August. Kretschmer, a member of the ruling Christian Democratic Union, is currently in Moscow.

Apr 22 15:05

As America Focuses On Internal Strife, A War Between Israel And Iran Could Literally Start At Any MomentAs America Focuses On Internal Strife, A War Between Israel And Iran Could Literally Start At Any Moment

I don’t know why the warmongers in the Biden administration have decided that it is a good idea to provoke Russia and China simultaneously.  They are not intimidated by us, and they are not going to back down as a result of our threats. -- Foreign policy takes a great deal of finesse, but unfortunately the guy in the White House is a hothead in an advanced state of cognitive decline, and he is surrounded by an all-star team of warmongers.

Apr 22 13:38

The Endless War With Russia

Of course, there is the madness of it all. Why is the American empire trying to start a war with Russia? One reason is money, of course. The usual suspects would like to raid Russia for natural resources. The parasitic financial system of the West is running out of domestic capital to burn, so Russia is seen as a new opportunity for plunder. There is also the grudge they have with Putin, who put an end to the looting. No one holds a grudge like the people running the American financial system.

Apr 22 10:44

Russia to Withdraw Troops From Ukraine Border, Crimea

Russia will begin withdrawing its military forces from the Ukrainian border starting Friday, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced Thursday, after the buildup had raised alarms in the West of renewed clashes.

Speaking during snap readiness exercises in annexed Crimea, Shoigu ordered the general staff of the armed forces, military chiefs and the airborne troops to begin returning to their home bases from the Russian-Ukrainian border and Crimea starting April 23.

“I believe that the goals of the snap inspection have been fully achieved,” Interfax quoted Shoigu as saying. “The troops demonstrated the ability to reliably defend the country.”

“In this regard, I have decided to complete the Southern and Western military district reviews,” he added.

Apr 22 10:40

Should Russian Banks Be Scared of SWIFT Disconnection?

Ukraine has joined the chorus of voices calling for Russia to be disconnected from SWIFT — the financial messaging network that underpins the global banking system.

In a meeting with EU foreign ministers, Ukraine’s top diplomat Dmytro Kuleba said he had called for a tough new package of sanctions, including the expulsion of Russian banks from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT) network, which currently links more than 11,000 banks operating in at least 200 countries and territories around the world.

The proposal — long popular among those who favor slapping hard-hitting sanctions on Russia — has picked up new supporters since last year’s poisoning of Alexei Navalny. Talk of a possible embargo reached fever pitch in Moscow in the days leading up to U.S. President Joe Biden’s announcement of a new round of sanctions against Russia mid-April, with top Russian officials and banking figures talking up the dangers of being disconnected.

Apr 22 10:22

This Is Our First Ever Look At A Top Secret Soviet Space 'Missile'

The Russian Ministry of Defense's official television station, TV Zvezda, has given the world the first-ever public look at the Shchit-2, or at least a mockup thereof. This was a Soviet-era missile-like space weapon primarily intended to protect Almaz military space stations from incoming threats. The Shchit-2 was a follow-on project to the Shchit-1 self-defense system, which featured a 23mm cannon and is the only gun to have been fired in space, at least that we know about.

Apr 22 09:56

Three New York City men allegedly stole more than $30 million in cash and other valuables as part of an elaborate money-laundering scheme that involved using spy cameras to break into safe deposit boxes around the world. The Department of Justice on Tues

Three New York City men allegedly stole more than $30 million in cash and other valuables as part of an elaborate money-laundering scheme that involved using spy cameras to break into safe deposit boxes around the world.

The Department of Justice on Tuesday charged Val Cooper, 56, Alex Levin, 52, and Gari Smith, 49, with money laundering and conspiracy, as well as conspiracy to violate the Travel Act after they allegedly stole the massive sum from banks’ safe deposit boxes between March 2015 and October 2019. Some of the banks were in Ukraine, Russia, North Macedonia, Moldova, Latvia, Uzbekistan, and Azerbaijan—businesses that “appeared to lack security features, including video surveillance cameras in certain areas,” prosecutors said.

Apr 22 08:13

Russia thinks Joe Biden is 'too weak' to stop them

Apr 22 08:00

Russia Plans To Quit International Space Station By 2025

As tensions increase between Russia and the US, the Russian space agency has announced it will withdraw from the International Space Station (ISS) in 2025 and has already begun work on a space station of its own, according to BBC News.

The US and Russia jointly launched the ISS in 1998 and was hailed as significant steps to reconstruct souring relations between the cold war adversaries. But Russian officials have indicated they will pull out of the ISS by 2025.

The ISS is 23 years old and is rapidly aging, posing a danger for astronauts. ISS crew recently had to hunt for a mystery air leak.

"We can't risk the lives [of our cosmonauts]. The situation that today is connected to the structure and the metal getting old, it can lead to irreversible consequences - to catastrophe. We mustn't let that happen," Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov told state television this week.

Apr 22 07:54

Russia's Foreign Ministry Summons Deputy Head of U.S. Embassy -RIA

Russia's foreign ministry on Wednesday summoned the deputy head of the U.S. embassy in Moscow, the RIA news agency reported.

On Tuesday, U.S. ambassador to Moscow John Sullivan said he would travel to the United States this week for consultations, four days after the Kremlin suggested that Washington recall him amid a diplomatic crisis between the two countries.

Apr 22 07:53

Ukraine Security Service Says It Has Detained 60 Pro-Russian Protesters

Ukraine's state security service said on Wednesday it had detained around 60 people that pro-Russian political forces had sent to stage protests in the eastern city of Kharkiv as a way to "justify possible acts of Russian aggression against Ukraine."

Ukraine, its Western allies and NATO have accused Russia of a provocative build-up of troops on Ukraine's eastern border and in Crimea, while Russia has accused the United States and NATO of provocative activity in the Black Sea region.

The SBU security service said those detained had been dispatched to stir up public anger in Kharkiv, one of the largest cities in Ukraine, located 300 km (186 miles) from territory seized by pro-Russian separatists in 2014. It did not elaborate or provide evidence.

Apr 22 07:45

US Strategic Command Chief Calls for Nuclear Upgrade Aimed at China and Russia

On April 20 Admiral Charles Richard, commander of U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM), appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee alongside his colleague General James Dickinson, commander of U.S. Space Command SPACECOM), in both open and closed hearings.

Richard described his command, which consists of 150,000 service members from all branches of the armed forces, as a “global warfighting command.” The ultimate global warfighting command as it is in charge of all U.S. nuclear weapons and their delivery systems.

His sales pitch to the Senate committee, as that of other top commanders appearing lately before the Senate and the House Armed Services Committees, is to secure funding for the expansion and upgrading of military programs and weapons. The weapons he’s promoting are capable of ending life on earth if employed broadly.

Apr 22 07:44

New US Ambassador to Belarus Meets With Exiled Opposition Leader

The new US ambassador to Belarus met with the country’s exiled opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya on Wednesday in a provocative message to Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.

The meeting took place in Lithuania, where Tsikhanouskaya has been living since she fled Belarus after losing the controversial presidential election last August. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko won the vote by a wide margin according to official numbers, but fraud was alleged, and the US and EU have slapped sanctions on Belarusian officials since.

“Today’s action sends a clear signal that the US stands with the Belarusian people,” US Ambassador Julie Fisher said of her meeting with Tsikhanouskaya. “As US Ambassador to Belarus, my priority is to embody that support.”

Apr 22 07:39

Russia Threatens Ukraine? Biden Has Transformed Russia’s Border with Ukraine into A Dangerous Hot Spot

Throughout its 30 year history, the Russian Federation never attacked or threatened another country.

In sharp contrast to US-dominated NATO, Moscow prioritizes peace, stability, cooperative relations with other nations and compliance with international law — a reality I’ve stressed many times before.

The same is true about China, Iran, and other nations free from the scourge of US imperial control.

What establishment media should explain, they suppress — instead featuring fabricated official narrative talking points.

Examples appear daily.

Citing and quoting EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell’s reinvention of reality, AP News reported the following:

On Monday, Borrell claimed that Russian forces in their own territory — conducting regularly scheduled military exercises and protecting the nation’s borders, their UN Charter right — risk confrontation with Ukraine, a falsified assessment.

Apr 22 07:03

Putin's warning to the West: Russia releases video of huge military drills in Crimea with 10,000 troops, 200 fighter jets and 40 warships amid soaring tensions with Ukraine

Russia staged huge military drills involving 10,000 troops, 40 warships, over 200 warplanes, and about 1,200 vehicles in Crimea today after Vladimir Putin warned the West not to 'dare cross any red lines' amid soaring tensions with Ukraine.

Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu personally travelled to the peninsula on Thursday to oversee the colossal war games involving Russia's southern military district and paratroopers close to Ukraine.

Shoigu flew by helicopter over the Opuk firing range, where troops and military equipment are deployed, and checked the readiness of the naval and ground forces.

Apr 22 06:43

Act of war? Ukraine asks EU to consider cutting off Russia from SWIFT payment system as Kiev seeks more sanctions against Moscow

Ukraine has requested that the European Union consider the possibility of disconnecting Russia from SWIFT, the international system of transfers between banks, suggesting that the measure be added to a new package of sanctions.

Moscow has previously warned it would consider the move “a declaration of war.” Former Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, who now serves as the deputy chairman of the Security Council of Russia, has also dubbed it a “punch in the gut.”

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba told Reuters on Wednesday that he personally brought up the idea with his counterparts from the EU. Kuleba believes this measure could be used to deter Moscow in event of the situation in eastern Ukraine escalating.

“If Russia decides to launch another wave of its open military aggression against Ukraine, a new round of sectoral sanctions – including for example banning Russia from SWIFT and these kind of things – should be immediately imposed on it,” he told Reuters.

Apr 22 06:25

Why Was It OK for Ukraine to Break Away from the USSR, but Not for Crimea to Break Away from Ukraine?

All right, I admit it, it’s not that brief. I didn’t have time to shorten it. But what follows is a condensed history of the argument about who should control Crimea, one which still rages and which (as usual) is not as simple as politicians like to claim it is.

I’ll begin with a question:

What do you reckon is the date of the following Reuters News Agency dispatch? I’ve slightly doctored one or two things in it, but only to conceal the date.

‘Elected officials in the Crimea voted on Monday to hold a referendum to resolve heated debates on the future status of the region.

‘A Moscow news agency said the regional council voted to issue a declaration restoring the Crimea’s “statehood” and also to hold a vote to determine the future of the attractive peninsula on the shores of the Black Sea.

Apr 22 06:23

Putin Isn’t Bluffing on Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s stern warning earlier today not to cross what he called Russia’s "red line" needs to be taken seriously. The more so, as Russia builds up its military capability to respond to any provocations from hotheads in Ukraine and from those in Washington telling them they can give Russia a bloody nose and escape retaliation.

Putin prefaced his his unusually pointed remarks by saying Russia wants "good relations … including, by the way, those with whom we have not been getting along lately, to put it mildly. We really do not want to burn bridges." In a clear effort to caution provocateurs not only in Kiev, but also in Washington and other NATO capitals, Putin added this warning:

Apr 22 06:12

Senate Committee Passes Bill To Ramp Up Lethal Aid To Ukraine

Russia hawks in Congress just escalated already soaring tensions along the Ukraine-Russia border, on Wednesday passing a bill which boosts "lethal assistance" in the form of additional military hardware as well as training for Ukrainian troops.

The vote in the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee was unanimous in support of authorization of $300 million in annual military aid to Ukraine. "The committee passed the Ukraine Security Partnership Act sponsored by a bipartisan group of senators including Democrat Bob Menendez and Republican Jim Risch," according to The National.

"The bill authorizes up to $300m per year of foreign military financing to Ukraine, subject to certifications, including the authority to provide it with lethal military assistance and $4m per year to train its military officers," the report notes.

Apr 22 06:09

Ukrainian President Says Nation Ready for War, Signs Bill To Call Up Reservists as US and Britain Boost Military Training and Assistance

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who recently donned combat gear to join his government’s troops on the battle line with the Donbass, today addressed the nation in a televised address in which he conjured up the specter of Russian troops on his nation’s eastern border. He asked and answered a number of rhetorical questions, among them: “Do Ukraine and its international partners demand that troops be withdrawn from our borders? Yes.” The international partners in question are the U.S. and its NATO allies and partners.

The keynote of his address was this: “Does Ukraine want a war? No. Is it ready for it? Yes. Will Ukraine stop fighting for peace through diplomacy? Never. Will Ukraine defend itself if it needs to? Always.”

Apr 22 05:50

Putin Isn’t Bluffing on Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s stern warning earlier today not to cross what he called Russia’s "red line" needs to be taken seriously. The more so, as Russia builds up its military capability to respond to any provocations from hotheads in Ukraine and from those in Washington telling them they can give Russia a bloody nose and escape retaliation.

Putin prefaced his his unusually pointed remarks by saying Russia wants "good relations … including, by the way, those with whom we have not been getting along lately, to put it mildly. We really do not want to burn bridges." In a clear effort to caution provocateurs not only in Kiev, but also in Washington and other NATO capitals, Putin added this warning:

Apr 22 05:43

'Red Lines,' Coup Attempts and Zircon Missiles: Highlights of Putin’s Address to Federal Assembly

On Foreign and Defence Policy

Commenting on the series of “unfriendly actions” he said have been taken against Russia, Putin said that while Russia has so far acted with “utter restraint." He added, however, that "if someone perceives our goodwill as indifference or weakness, and is prepared to completely burn, or even blow up…bridges, Russia’s response will be asymmetrical, speedy and tough,” he warned.

Without naming any country specifically, Putin denounced nations attempting to impose “unlawful, politically motivated economic sanctions” and making “crude attempts to enforce their will on others.”

Apr 22 05:41

Putin says Russia developing high-tech nuclear & laser weapons, warning ‘provocateurs’ will regret crossing country’s red lines

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that the vast majority of the country’s Soviet-era atomic stockpile will soon be replaced by modern weapons, warning that Moscow is intent on defending itself against foreign aggression.

Speaking as part of his annual address to the Federal Assembly in Moscow on Wednesday, Putin said that his government “wants to have positive relationships with everyone on the international stage, including those with whom relations have broken down recently. We really don’t want to burn bridges.”

At the same time, however, he cautioned that “those who mistake this stance for weakness need to know that Russia’s response [to any aggression] will be asymmetrical, swift and harsh.” Those planning provocations, he said, “will regret their deeds in a way they have not regretted anything else for a long time.”

Apr 22 05:37

UK hosts head of Ukrainian armed forces as tensions mount on Russia-Ukraine border

As tensions continue to mount on the Russian-Ukrainian border, the UK has undertaken yet another escalatory step by hosting the head of the Ukrainian armed forces.

The commander in chief of the Ukrainian armed forces, General Ruslan Khomchak, arrived in the UK today (April 20) where he was met by Chief of the Defense Staff General Sir Nick Carter.

The Ministry of Defense tweeted that the UK remains “firmly committed” to Ukrainian "independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity"

Today Chief of the Defence Staff General Sir Nick Carter welcomed his Ukrainian counterpart to @DefenceHQ for the first time for discussions on our ongoing defence cooperation.

The UK remains firmly committed to Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity. pic.twitter.com/strvRGR60a

— Ministry of Defence ???????? (@DefenceHQ) April 20, 2021

Apr 22 05:31

Brits Push Russia War

The United States backed off sending two warships to the Black Sea last week after Russia warned of a naval showdown. Days later, however, Britain is reportedly stepping in with plans to send warships.

Talk about “Mad Dogs and Englishmen”, the proposed British military intervention is a reckless provocation in a situation that is already spiralling out of control.

Violence is exploding in Ukraine’s seven-year civil war between the NATO-backed Kiev regime and ethnic Russians in the eastern Donbas region; Russia has mobilized its army for defence drills, and the US and European Union are expelling Russian diplomats, and vice versa.

Then the British announce they are sending warships to the Black Sea in the coming weeks to “defend” Ukraine against alleged Russian aggression, according to media reports.

Apr 22 05:30

Over 20 Russian Black Sea Fleet warships hold joint drills with aircraft in Crimea

Over 20 Black Sea Fleet warships held a joint exercise with the crews of Su-25SM3 attack aircraft of the Southern Military District’s Air Force and Air Defense Army in a final inspection of the Fleet’s forces after the winter training period, the Fleet’s press office reported on Tuesday.

"A naval group comprising the frigates Admiral Makarov and Admiral Essen, the missile corvettes Graivoron and Vyshny Volochyok and also missile boats, small anti-submarine warfare ships and large amphibious assault ships held an exercise to repel a notional enemy’s air attack weapons, using active radio-electronic interference and notionally employing air defense capabilities," the press office said in a statement.

As the statement says, "three squadrons of the Southern Military District’s attack aircraft held drills to attain positions for an attack, notionally employ missile weapons against a detachment and dodge a retaliatory strike of shipborne air defense systems."

Apr 21 12:11

WAR BEGIN: Ukraine threatens To Shoot and Sink Russian Ships in Black Sea | Russia Ukraine Conflict

Apr 21 07:35

Ukrainian president calls on Putin to meet amid tensions

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky pressed Russian President Vladimir Putin to meet with him amid mounting tensions between their two countries.

Zelensky and Putin have exchanged blame over who is behind rising clashes with pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine and a military buildup by Moscow on its side of the border. But Zelensky said he was still willing to meet with his Russian counterpart in the Donbass region, where fighting is ongoing.

"Mr. Putin, I am ready to go even further and invite you to meet anywhere in the Ukrainian Donbass, where there is a war," Zelensky said in a Tuesday video, warning that his country is "ready for war."

The comments marked the most direct outreach from either of the two leaders amid the recent spike in tensions.

Apr 21 05:54

WORLD WAR SHOWDOWN: NATO WARSHIPS TO CHALLENGE BLACK SEA BLOCKADE

Today on TRUNEWS, host Edward Szall discusses the face-off with Russia by NATO, as the head of the US Strategic Command tweets that nuclear war is an option. Meanwhile, UK and US warships plan to attempt to re-enter the Black Sea and test the resolve of Vladimir Putin.

Apr 21 05:52

Russia restricts flights over Black Sea, Crimea, as Ukraine tensions mount

Russia has restricted civilian flights over the Black Sea and the Crimean Peninsula, amid rising tensions with Ukraine and its Western supporters.

"The area has been declared temporarily dangerous for aircraft flights," Interfax news agency reported on Tuesday, citing an alert to pilots.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov called the flight restrictions an "absolutely normal world practice" in a press briefing on the same day.

But the alert raised the specter of war in a region fraught with military tensions.

Russia's Defense Ministry previously said it had closed off navigation in parts of the Black Sea to foreign military and commercial ships from mid-April until the end of October for naval and aviation drills.

The flight restrictions come amid an escalation of tensions between Russia and the United States and NATO over Ukraine.

Apr 21 05:51

Ukraine in their sights: 15 Russian supersonic strike jets await Putin's orders just 100 miles from the border

Lined up on a runway just 100 miles from Ukraine, 15 supersonic Russian fighter- bombers await their orders from the Kremlin.

This and other satellite images have revealed the aerial power Vladimir Putin has amassed in the tense border region.

Seen for the first time, the pictures show the aircraft which experts fear could spearhead a Russian invasion of its Nato-supporting neighbour.

Apr 21 05:18

Ukraine's Zelenskiy to Putin: Meet me for peace talks in conflict zone

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Tuesday challenged his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to meet him in eastern Ukraine's Donbass region for talks on ending the conflict there and easing tensions between the two states.

Issuing the invitation in a video address in the late evening, Zelenskiy also urged Kyiv's Western backers to give "clear signals" that they were willing to support the country in its standoff with Russia.

Kyiv and Moscow have traded blame for rising clashes in the Donbass, where Ukrainian troops have battled Russian-backed forces in a conflict that Ukraine says has killed 14,000 people since 2014.

Ukraine, its Western allies and NATO have accused Russia of a "provocative" build-up of troops on Ukraine's eastern border and in Crimea. Russia in turn accused the United States and NATO of "provocative activity" in the Black Sea region.

Apr 21 05:11

Zero Mainstream Coverage Today of the Foiled, U.S. Backed Plot to Assassinate Belarus President Lukashenko

In his last book “War with Russia?” my friend and colleague Steve Cohen wrote about the flagrant censorship of news being carried on by The New York Times in support of its Russia-bashing editorial policies. Said Cohen, the newspaper’s century old slogan of “All the News That’s Fit to Print” has been turned into “All the News that Fits” when it comes to coverage of Russia.

But the problem goes far deeper than the professional malpractice of one leading newspaper in America. The censorship of news carried by mainstream media by U.S. authorities covers not only the domestic press but also the mainstream of Allied countries. News blackouts are imposed when something ugly arises implicating the United States in violation of international norms of state behavior for which the State Department has no ready explanation or white wash.

Apr 21 05:08

Live Updates: Russian President Vladimir Putin's Annual Address to the Federal Assembly

The event, broadcast live by Russia’s main TV channels, is traditionally attended by lawmakers from both houses of the Federal Assembly, cabinet members, regional governors as well as distinguished guests.

Vladimir Putin is delivering his annual address to the nation's parliament in Moscow on Wednesday; this will be his 17th time doing so during his presidency.

Due to the pandemic, only 435 journalists were accredited to attend the event this year, down from 885 in 2020.

The speech is set to outline national priorities for the year ahead, setting objectives to restart the economy and raise living standards as the country emerges from the pandemic crisis.

Apr 21 05:07

Russia Will Find a Way to Protect Its Interests If Other Countries Refuse Dialogue, Putin Says

The president's remarks come amid a new round of tensions between Russia and the West, including fresh sanctions against Moscow by Washington, claims about cyberattacks and election meddling, and mutual recriminations over the escalating civil conflict in Ukraine.

Moscow will find "asymmetrical" ways to defend its national interests if other nations refuse dialogue, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said.

"The practice of organizing coups and attempts to organize assassinations of heads of state is just too much. All boundaries have been crossed," Putin said, speaking during his annual address to lawmakers from both houses of Russia's parliament on Wednesday, and referring to the recent discovery of a plot to assassinate Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and members of his family and to carry out a coup d'etat in Belarus.

Apr 21 05:05

America's domestic political turmoil is making world unstable & fueling conflicts with its main adversaries – Iran, China & Russia

America's internal political battles have smothered consensus and led to Washington being asleep at the wheel in foreign affairs for many years now. The lack of US strategic clarity only fuels uncertainty and instability globally.

The Afghanistan Papers, published by the Washington Post in 2019, revealed that the US has for many years been aware that it cannot win the war in Afghanistan, yet it has been reluctant to accept defeat and withdraw.

US policy has been defined in indecisiveness, as neither victory or defeat has been an option. The continued waste of money and blood has merely resulted in a corrupt government in Kabul dependent on the influx of US funding, a hardened and militarized opposition, and neighbouring states frustrated with the unpredictability of the enduring US presence.

A similar lack of strategic direction is also setting the US on the path to a possible war with its three major adversaries in Eurasia – Iran, China and Russia.

Apr 21 05:05

Moscow Calls on Kiev, NATO to Refrain From Actions That Could Lead to Further Escalation in Donbass

Earlier, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said that Ukraine's military and political leadership keeps trying to destabilise the situation in Donbass, while the United States and NATO continue their provocations in the Black Sea and its airspace.

Moscow currently has no plans to convene an urgent meeting of the United Nations Security Council on Donbass, it will further focus on developments on the ground, and keeps calling on Kiev and its partners in NATO to abstain from any steps leading to regional escalation, Russian Foreign Ministry's Department of International Organizations Director Pyotr Ilyichev said.

"We have no such plans at this stage. In the future, we will be guided by the development of the situation on the ground," Ilyichev said.

Apr 21 04:57

Ukraine's Zelensky Invites Putin To Meet In War-Torn East: "Million Lives At Stake"

Following on the heels of last week's Joe Biden invitation to Vladimir Putin for a bilateral summit proposed for the summer to tackle a range of still simmering contentious issues, Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky has issued a surprised invitation late Tuesday for Putin to meet him in the war-torn east of Ukraine.

In making the announcement Zelensky told Putin that such a direct high states meeting where the two leaders can talk de-escalation is essential as there are a "million lives at stake" in any potential outbreak of major conflict, according to AFP:

Zelensky told the Russian leader that he was ready "to invite you to meet anywhere in the Ukrainian Donbass where the war is going on", adding that "million of lives at stake" in the conflict between government forces and pro-Kremlin separatists in the east of the country.

Apr 21 04:37

US and Russia Won’t Have Ambassadors in Each Other’s Capitals as Tensions Simmer

Due to the hostile policies of the Biden administration, tensions between the US and Russia are soaring. Now, amid the souring relations, the two countries won’t have ambassadors in each other’s capitals, making diplomatic communications even more difficult.

US Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan announced on Tuesday that he is returning to Washington for “consultations.” His announcement came after Russia’s foreign minister suggested Sullivan return to the US for the time being in response to new US sanctions against Moscow and the White House’s decision to expel 10 Russian diplomats.

Last month, Russia recalled its ambassador to the US after President Biden agreed in an interview that Russian President Vladimir Putin is a “killer” who has “no soul.” Since his comments, Biden has called Putin and proposed an in-person meeting, which US and Russian officials are discussing setting up.

Apr 21 04:29

US Should Reject Ukrainian Nuclear Blackmail

Ukraine responded to Russia’s troop buildup on its border by demanding membership in NATO. However, neither the U.S. nor the Europeans, especially, are inclined to open the alliance door.

Ukraine might pocket the resulting defense guarantee and launch an offensive against the Donbass, now controlled by ethnic Russian separatists. If that led to war with nuclear-armed Russia, Kiev would then call on its new allies, most importantly America, to deal with the problem.

However, Ukraine has upped the ante. Give us what we want or we might build nuclear weapons, said one of its top diplomats. Then you’d really be sorry!

The US and Europe should call Kiev’s bluff. America has no reason to defend Ukraine.

Kiev deserves America’s sympathy. It’s in a bad neighborhood. To paraphrase the old quip about Mexico, Ukraine is so close to Russia, so far from the rest of the world.

Apr 21 04:10

Proposal to ban ALL Russians from EU would hurt bloc’s economy, Moscow warns, after ex-Estonian president pitches radical policy20 Apr, 2021 13:47

An iron curtain has descended across Europe. Or at least it will if Estonia’s former president is able to convince Brussels to completely close its borders to Russian students, workers and tourists amid growing political tensions.

Toomas Hendrik Ilves, who led the Baltic nation for a decade until 2016, proposed the policy on Saturday. “Maybe there should be a ‘time out’ for any and I mean any visits from Russia,” he said. “Just freeze visas except for family emergencies. It is Europe’s security at stake.”

Ilves, who was raised and educated in the US, served as the head of the Estonian desk for Washington’s state-run overseas media service Radio Free Europe during the final years of the Cold War. He was later appointed as Tallinn’s ambassador in Washington. Since stepping down from his country’s top job, he has taken a number of roles with prestigious think tanks and as a co-chair of the World Economic Forum.

Apr 20 23:57

Nuclear weapons: Top military official warns China and Russia are modernizing faster than US

The top US military official who runs the American nuclear arsenal warned that China and Russia are modernizing their nuclear weapons and capabilities faster than the US, saying during a congressional hearing on Tuesday that if it does not start investing more in nuclear defense and infrastructure, the US will be "at risk of losing credibility in the eyes of our adversaries."

Russia is "aggressively engaged" in "conventional nuclear capability development and modernization, and are now roughly 80% complete while we are at zero," saId Adm. Charles Richard, the head of US Strategic Command, which oversees the US nuclear arsenal.

"It is easier to describe what they are not modernizing -- nothing -- than what they are, which is pretty much everything," Richard said.

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Apr 20 10:14

The Ukraine Famine of 1933 was a Government-Made Disaster

By Vincent Geloso

No market economy with a liberal democracy suffered through a famine during the 20th century. However, famines produced out of human design increased considerably. The ten worst famines of the 20th century could all be attributed directly (e.g. the Holodomor) or indirectly (e.g. wars) to government policies. And these ten worst famines are amongst the worst famines in all of humanity’s history...

Apr 20 09:58

More than 20 Russian warships stage military exercises in the Black Sea as US condemns Kremlin plan to block the Kerch Strait as 'yet another unprovoked escalation'

More than 20 Russian warships today staged naval exercises in the Black Sea after the US condemned its plans to blockade the Crimea as 'yet another unprovoked escalation.'

Video showed frigate Admiral Essen launching cruise missiles after Vladimir Putin defied Western demands to ease tensions in Ukraine, where more than 100,000 Russian troops have deployed on the border.

The warships were joined by 50 Su-25SM3 fighter jets flying low across the water, which Russia claimed was routine defensive drilling, despite the presence of landing craft used for offensive amphibious action.

Apr 20 07:06

Russia Plans ‘Flying Minefield’ To Counter Drone Attacks

The Russian military has released new details of its use in Syria of small kamikaze drones, known as loitering munitions, made by a Kalashnikov subsidiary. The drone makers are also working on deploying a drone ‘aerial minefield’ which could intercept enemy drones which have recently proven troublesome for Russian air defenses.

Russia has lagged conspicuously behind the U.S., China, Israel and others in the field of unmanned aviation. Even Turkey has recently enjoyed more success in developing and exporting new military drones, and has been hailed as a new ‘drone superpower,’ while Russian exports tend to be confined to client states like Myanmar. However, Russia is now embarking on an ambitious modernization program, which ranges from full-size stealth combat drones to portable tactical devices.

Apr 20 06:38

U.S. ambassador to Russia to fly back amid worsening tensions

U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan said on Tuesday he would travel to the United States this week for consultations, four days after the Kremlin suggested that Washington recall him amid a diplomatic crisis between the two countries.

Russia recalled its own ambassador to Washington last month after President Joe Biden said he thought his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin was a "killer," and the two countries imposed new sanctions on each other last week.

Apr 20 05:22

Eastern Ukraine and the Balance of Power in the Black Sea

The current deterioration of any hopes of a lasting “ceasefire” in the eastern Ukraine, have brought not only the long smoldering conflict back into the forefront of global media attention, but have also presented an opportunity for several geopolitical rivals to take advantage of the situation for their own perceived benefit. Russia responded rapidly to immediate signals from the Kiev government that it fully intended to explore yet another military campaign to resolve the long-standing stalemate in the Donbass and a possible invasion of the Crimean Peninsula.

Apr 20 05:02

Russia Tells Illegal Migrants from Post-Soviet Countries to Leave By June 15

Russia has asked migrants from post-Soviet states living there illegally to leave the country by June 15, the state-run RIA Novosti news agency reported Friday.

In mid-December, President Vladimir Putin extended the residence status of foreign citizens living in Russia until June 15, 2021, due to the coronavirus pandemic. This covered migrants from Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries living in Russia without proper documentation.

“These people will be punished by expulsion and closure of borders” if they don’t leave by the June 15 deadline, RIA Novosti quoted Deputy Interior Minister Alexander Gorovoy as saying at an Interparliamentary Assembly of the Commonwealth meeting.

Apr 20 04:19

Did the US Just Try to Murder Lukashenko?

Amazing news over the week-end: President Lukashenko has declared that Biden gave the order to kill him in a coup organized by the CIA. Now, we all know that Lukashenko says all sorts of things, many of them false or plain silly. Except that the Russian FSB has confirmed it all! According to the Russians, a joint operation of the (Bielorussian) KGB and the Russian FSB has uncovered the plot early on and the Russians monitored the full operation until they had enough evidence to arrest all the plotters.

So far so good. But it gets better!

Apr 20 03:59

EU Walks Back Claim of 150,000 Russian Troops Near Ukraine Border

The European Union had to correct a claim made by its foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, concerning Russian troops near the Ukrainian border. Borrell told reporters on Monday that there were “over 150,000” Russian troops near the border. The number was corrected in a transcript of his briefing on the EU’s website to “over 100,000.”

Despite the change, it’s still unclear how the EU determined that there are over 100,000 Russian troops near the border. Russia has announced the deployment of additional forces near Ukraine in recent weeks, but nothing has indicated it sent over 100,000 troops to the region. Last week, a spokesperson for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky claimed there were 80,000 troops stationed along the border of Ukraine, with 40,000 of them in Crimea.

Apr 20 03:53

US ambassador to Russia announces plans to return to Washington for consultations

US Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan will return to Washington for consultations, as he himself told TASS on Tuesday.

"I believe it is important for me to speak directly with my new colleagues in the Biden administration in Washington about the current state of bilateral relations between the United States and Russia. Also, I have not seen my family in well over a year, and that is another important reason for me to return home for a visit. I will return to Moscow in the coming weeks before any meeting between Presidents Biden and Putin," the ambassador pointed out.

According to the US embassy, "Ambassador Sullivan is returning to the United States for consultations this week."

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a press conference on April 16 that Presidential Aide Yuri Ushakov at a meeting with Sullivan had recommended that the US ambassador return to Washington for consultations.

Apr 19 11:52

BLOCKDOWN Vladimir Putin blocks foreign warships from reaching Ukraine flashpoint after Joe Biden’s Black Sea U-turn

VLADIMIR Putin has blocked ALL foreign warships from reaching Ukraine after Joe Biden's Black Sea U-Turn.

The Russian leader has amassed tens of thousands of troops and weaponry on the Ukrainian border in a terrifying escalation of tensions.

Russian tanks have been gathering at the border with UkraineCredit: Reuters
This comes seven years after Russia ruthlessly annexed Crimea in the east of the country using militia groups.

Moscow has now closed part of the Kerch Strait - which separates Crimea in the west from Russia in the east - after US President Biden threatened to send two Navy battleships to the region but then called them off.

The Kremlin had earlier warned US warships to stay well away from the region “for their own good”, calling their potential deployment in the Black Sea a provocation.

White House officials decided not to send the ships to avoid needlessly escalating the situation with Russia, a US defence official told Politico.

Apr 19 11:43

Russian nuke bombers & fighter jets ‘blitz Ukraine’ in massive military drills as war fears grow

Apr 19 11:37

15 WARSHIPS READY! Russia beefs up warship presence in Black Sea as Ukraine tensions simmer.

Apr 19 11:36

Russian fighter jet intercepts US, Norwegian patrol aircraft over Barents Sea: report

A Russian fighter jet on Monday reportedly intercepted and escorted U.S. and Norwegian patrol aircraft over the Barents Sea.

The Russian Defense Ministry said the incident over the body of water north of Sweden, Norway, Finland and Russia involved a MiG-31 fighter jet, Reuters reported, citing Russia's state-run RIA news agency.

A Pentagon official told The Hill that the Defense Department was "aware of the reports."

"Intercept activity is not unusual. The majority of these are considered safe. However, we don't get into details of the interactions themselves," the official said.

A Russian MiG-31 last week escorted a U.S. reconnaissance aircraft along the country's far northeast Kamchatka Peninsula over the Pacific Ocean, according to Russian news agency Tass. Moscow in the past month has heightened its military presence in the region, particularly at its border with Ukraine and in the Black Sea, with Russian jets and bombers frequently flying near allied airspace.

Apr 19 11:33

EU estimates 150,000 Russian troops near Ukraine’s borders

The European Union’s foreign policy chief has estimated that more than 150,000 Russian troops have already amassed for the biggest military buildup ever near Ukraine’s borders and that it will only take “a spark” to set off a confrontation.

Josep Borrell also said Monday that the condition of imprisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was “critical” and that the 27-nation group would hold the Kremlin accountable for his health and safety.

Despite the developments, Borrell said after a virtual meeting of the EU foreign ministers that, “for the time being, there is no move in the field of more sanctions” to be imposed on Russia.

He also said there wasn’t a request for a synchronized EU diplomatic move of expulsions in the standoff between Czech Republic, an EU member state, and Russia following Prague’s accusation that Moscow was involved in a 2014 ammunition depot explosion.

Apr 19 08:08

Russia to Send One Female Cosmonaut Next Year as Country Quits the ISS

Russia will launch the country's only female cosmonaut into space in 2022.

This comes as Russia announces its intention of leaving the International Space Station (ISS) to construct its own national next-generation orbital service station.

According to Sputnik News, Roscosmos General Director Dmitry Rogozin has instructed the cosmonaut training center to include Anna Kikina in one of the upcoming Soyuz crews scheduled to travel to the International Space Station in 2022.

"A decision will be made soon on whether she will be included in a spring or fall crew of next year," sources told Sputnik News.

The International Space Station and the docked space shuttle Endeavour orbit Earth during Endeavour's final sortie in Space
Kikina told Sputnik in March that she was attending preliminary training while waiting to be assigned to a special ISS crew. Roscosmos announced in June of last year that Kikina would join a Russian crew on the ISS within two years.

Apr 19 07:20

Video: Biden’s Phone Call To Putin. US Policy Changes Faster than the Weather

Hopes and expectations for a partial normalization between Moscow, Washington and Kiev stepping off the warpath were brief and flickered only for a moment before being entirely extinguished.

On April 13, U.S. President Joe Biden held a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The White House statement on the matter was positive, optimistic even, saying that the two discussed a number of regional and global issues.

They agreed to pursue a strategic stability dialogue on a range of arms control and emerging security issues.

They spoke about Ukraine, and how Russia needs to put forward effort to de-escalate the situation.

In response, Putin outlined approaches to a political settlement based on the Minsk Package of Measures.

The counterparts agreed to meet for talks a month after the diplomatic crisis sparked by Biden’s claims that Putin was a “killer.”

Apr 19 07:05

Here We Go Again: Boris Johnson May Announce Bill on Countering 'Hostile States' Like Russia, China

The UK's new foreign policy review dubbed Russia the "most acute threat" to Britain's security in the Euro-Atlantic region. Russia has, in turn, repeatedly rejected allegations of meddling in the internal affairs of other countries, stressing that they do not hold water.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will use Queen Elizabeth II's speech scheduled for 11 May to announce a bill on countering hostile states, such as Russia and China, The Times reports.

During the speech, which will coincide with the state opening of parliament this year, the Queen is due to set out the government's agenda for the next session and confirm the continuation of a number of bills, including the Police, Crime, Sentencing, and Courts Bill.

Apr 19 06:41

Russia & Belarus Say US-Backed "Assassination" & "Coup" Attempt Against Lukashenko Thwarted

Russian and Belarusian state sources are alleging that a major assassination and "coup" attempt of Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko has been thwarted by security services, which has further been dubbed in state media as an "armed insurrection" attempt which may have had the backing of the United States.

However, details surrounding the alleged 'plot' remain murky and it doesn't appear that anything actually close to an 'insurrection' ever got off the ground. Instead, multiple Belarussian officials were reportedly arrested on vague suspicions of treasonous plotting. Russia's FSB is also widely reported to have detained two conspirators in Moscow for their association with the plot.

"Several people, including two in Russia, have been arrested for allegedly plotting an armed insurrection against the Belarusian president," RT describes of the Belarusian media reports. "He claims that the US may have sanctioned the assassination attempt."

Apr 19 06:40

Balance Of Power In The Black Sea: Will The Montreux Convention Prevail?

The current deterioration of any hopes of a lasting “ceasefire” in the eastern Ukraine, have brought not only the long smoldering conflict back into the forefront of global media attention, but have also presented an opportunity for several geopolitical rivals to take advantage of the situation for their own perceived benefit. Russia responded rapidly to immediate signals from the Kiev government that it fully intended to explore yet another military campaign to resolve the long-standing stalemate in the Donbass and a possible invasion of the Crimean Peninsula.

Apr 19 06:39

Escobar: So Who Wants A Hot War?

It’s a scorpion battle inside a vortex of distorted mirrors inside a circus. So let’s start with the mirrors in the circus.

The non-entity that passes for Ukrainian Foreign Minister traveled to Brussels to be courted by US Secretary of State Blinken and NATO secretary-general Stoltenberg.

At best, that’s circus shadowplay. Much more than NATO advisers in a frantic revolving door in Kiev, the real shadowplay is MI6 actually working very close with President Zelensky.

Zelensky’s warmongering script comes directly from MI6’s Richard Moore. Russian intel is very much aware of all the fine print. Glimpses were even carefully leaked to a TV special on the Rossiya 1 channel.

I confirmed it with diplomatic sources in Brussels. British media also got wind of it – but obviously was told to further distort the mirrors, blaming everything on, what else, “Russian aggression”.

Apr 19 06:32

Biden Blames Russia For The Exact Same "Interference" That US Corporate Media Is Guilty Of

Deliberately vague weasel-word terms like “election interference” and/or “influence” gained such purchase in the past four-to-five years for a simple reason: the deliberate vagueness allowed people in power — elected officials, pundits, Intelligence Community functionaries — to claim unspecified expertise on a supposedly emerging range of threats.

Apr 19 06:26

Sunday Times: Britain To Deploy Two Warships to the Black Sea in Show of Force to Russia

The Sunday Times cites a Royal Navy source stating two British warships will enter the Black Sea next month as the newspaper put it, “tensions continue to rise between Ukrainian and Russian forces.” As always with the Western press it is not indicated where and in what manner there have been tensions between Ukrainian and Russian – presumably armed – forces until now.

The account states a Type 45 destroyer armed with anti-aircraft missiles and an anti-submarine Type 23 frigate are the ships in question. The two ships, unnamed in the report, are currently attached to the Royal Navy carrier task group on its way to the Mediterranean. The Times indicates that Royal Air Force F-35B Lightning stealth jets and Merlin submarine-hunting helicopters will be on stand-by aboard the task group’s flagship, HMS Queen Elizabeth, “to support the warships in the Black Sea should they be threatened by Russian warships, submarines or aircraft.”

Apr 19 05:39

Confronting Russia in the High North: Pentagon Acquires Four New Air, Naval Bases in Norway

The U.S. and Norway have signed an updated military cooperation agreement that permits the American military to construct new facilities at three Norwegian airfields and a naval base. In the words of the Stars and Stripes report that related the development, the move “comes amid continuing concerns of Russian military activities along NATO’s borders, including in the Arctic region.”

The locations marked for U.S. military deployments are the Evenes Military Air Station, Rygge Military Air Station, Sola Military Air Station and Ramsund Naval Station. The Evenes and Ramsund bases are in the Arctic. In the words of Norwegian Foreign Minister (before that defense minister) Ine Eriksen Soreide, the new agreement, which provides the Pentagon unimpeded access to the bases, “confirms Norway’s key position on the northern flank of NATO.”

Apr 19 05:39

Norway: 40,000 Troops in Arctic To Train for ‘Larger Global Conflict Involving Russia in the North-Atlantic

The Barents Observer reports that next year’s Cold Response war games in northern Norway will include the participation of 40,000 troops. The biennial exercise has been conducted since 2006 when 10,000 military personnel were involved. The last iteration in 2020 included 15,000 service members but was cancelled after two weeks because of the coronavirus outbreak. So next year’s Cold Response will feature a qualitative increase in the number of soldiers involved. In fact that number will be the largest in any Arctic exercise since the Cold War.

Cold Response 2020’s 15,000 participants came from NATO members Norway, the U.S., Belgium, Britain, Denmark, France, Germany and the Netherlands and NATO Enhanced Opportunities Partner Finland and Sweden. Traditionally invitations have been extended to all NATO members and partners to participate.

Apr 19 05:38

Macron says Sputnik V cannot be used in EU to accelerate vaccination

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Sunday he doesn’t think the Russian Sputnik V coronavirus vaccines can now be used in the European Union to accelerate vaccination because it has not yet been certified by the European sanitary regulator.

"Because of the fact that we accelerated production in Europe, we are definitely catching up and we will be in the situation to meet our targets with what we have now," he said in an interview with CBS.

According to the French leader, a number of EU member states have decided to begin discussions about Sputnik. "But we have a-very few simple principles. First, if there is no recognition of a vaccine by our European sanitary authorities, there is no way to use this vaccine on our soil. And at this stage, the Russian vaccine is not recognized by our authorities," he said.

Apr 19 05:33

Russia Could Leave PACE in Light of Recent Anti-Russia Events, Senior Lawmaker Says

Russia could soon withdraw from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) amid the hostile western stance, particularly in what concerns Russian vlogger Alexey Navalny, Leonid Slutsky, the chairman of the international affairs committee of the Russian State Duma, said.

"We can talk about a possible withdrawal from the Council of Europe, from its Parliamentary Assembly. You can only withdraw from the Council of Europe as a whole. I think that the Russian leadership will take ... an adequate decision, corresponding to the fact that ... the Council of Europe, and first of all PACE, is used ... to inflict all sorts of attacks on Russia," Slutsky said on the Soloviev Live YouTube show.

He added that within the next few days, a harsh anti-Russian resolution was going to be adopted in relation to the Navalny case.

Apr 19 05:30

Wave of ridicule on Russian social media as alleged Salisbury poisoning suspects linked to explosion at Czech ammo depot

A wave of ridicule was unleashed on Russian social media after the Czech police identified two suspects, who appeared to be related to a 2014 blast. They are the same people the UK accused of the high-profile Skripal poisoning.

A diplomatic scandal rocked Russian-Czech relations this weekend just before a scheduled visit to Moscow by Czech Foreign Minister Jan Hamacek. Prague expelled 18 Russian diplomats and accused Moscow of sending intelligence agents to blow up a munitions depot a few years ago.

Apr 19 05:29

Ukraine’s envoy urges Berlin to help Kiev join NATO

Ukraine’s Ambassador to Germany Andrey Melnyk believes that it’s up to Berlin to help Kiev become part of NATO, the diplomat stated on Sunday in an interview with the Welt am Sontag newspaper.

According to the Ukrainian diplomat, Germany has to "take a leading role so that Ukraine becomes a NATO member." "And as soon as possible, without any reservations," he stressed. The ambassador attributed this to the fact that Germany "bore special historical responsibility for Nazi crimes against the Ukrainian people."

Deputy Chairman of the Christian Democratic Union’s parliamentary faction Johann Wadephul opposed the idea, noting that "de-escalation was currently required. Therefore, it is clear that Ukraine's accession to NATO is obviously not on the agenda," he said.

Apr 19 05:21

US sanctions against Russia rejected by int'l community, says Chinese Foreign Ministry

Unilateral US sanctions against Russia should be considered "hegemonic bullying," and the international community rejects such policies more and more, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian stated during a briefing on Friday.

"To wantonly resort to unilateral sanctions or the threat of sanctions in international relations constitute power politics and hegemonic bullying. Such behavior is being rejected more and more by the international community," he said when asked to comment on the recent US sanctions against Russia.

"Russia and the US are both permanent members of the UN Security Council and major powers with important global influence. Both shoulder important responsibilities for international peace and security. We hope relevant parties will resolve differences through consultation and dialogue," he pointed out.

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