RUSSIA/BELARUS/UKRAINE | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

RUSSIA/BELARUS/UKRAINE

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.

Advanced Certification for IoT Cloud…
AdGreatLearning

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.

Apr 19 05:19

Russian Navy tests ‘all-seeing’ camera in Arctic

The Russian Navy’s specialists tested the latest SWIR (short-wave infrared) camera capable of ‘seeing’ through the snow and camouflage during the recent ‘Umka’ Arctic drills, the press office of the Shvabe Group (within the state tech corporation Rostec) announced on Friday.

"The spectrum of 0.9 to 1.7 micrometers, in which the camera operates, allows seeing camouflage coatings and camouflaged objects. It is also capable of locating laser sources and any thermal flashes, for example, gunshots, salvos and signals," the press office said.

The participation in the 18-day expedition to the Novaya Zemlya archipelago in the Arctic allowed Russian military specialists "to fully assess and confirm its advantages, in particular, its ability to detect and identify objects in complex weather conditions," it said.

Apr 19 05:18

Russian aviation authority sets up crisis center to return Russians from Turkey

Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency has set up a crisis center for return of Russian nationals from Turkey, the authority said on Saturday.

"The crisis center of Rosaviatsiya [acronym for the Federal Air Transport Agency - TASS] will be regularly informing the Russian Transport Ministry about the number of performed flights from Turkey to Russia, the number of transported citizens as well as the number of Russian citizens with issued flight tickets, who are waiting to return to their homeland," the statement says.

The meeting on April 17 was attended by representatives of Russia’s Foreign Ministry, Transport Ministry, Economic Development Ministry, Federal Tourism Agency, State Air Traffic Management Corporation and Russian airlines tasked to fly citizens back from Turkey.

Apr 19 05:17

Russian FSB detains two individuals plotting coup in Belarus, assassination of Lukashenko

Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) has detained two individuals who plotted a military coup in Belarus and an assassination attack on President Alexander Lukashenko, the FSB Public Relations Center said on Saturday.

"In a special operation conducted by the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation alongside the State Security Committee of the Republic of Belarus (KGB), the illegal activities of Yuri Leonidovich Zyankovich, a dual citizen of the United States and the Republic of Belarus, and Belarusian citizen Alexander Feduta were prevented, as those had been scheming to stage a military coup in Belarus in accordance with the tried and tested ‘color revolution’ scenario with the involvement of local and Ukrainian nationalists, as well as the physical removal of President Alexander Lukashenko," the FSB said.

Apr 19 05:16

Expulsion of Russian diplomats to distract attention from Belarus, lawmaker says

Decision of authorities of the Czech Republic to expel 18 Russian diplomats aims to distract attention from activities of an organized group plotting against Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, head of the Russian State Duma Committee on Foreign Affairs Leonid Slutsky said on YouTube channel Solovyev Live.

According to the lawmaker, "as soon as accusations directed towards the US president were voiced" then, "as if by command," the Czech authorities announced expulsion of the Russian diplomats.

"It is obvious that it was absolutely clearly staged. Belarusians attack the United States and we will distract [attention] both in the political and the information sphere and will attack Russia," the lawmaker said. According to him, European politicians, controlled by Washington, "will in every way pull the attention away from the situation in Belarus." "They haven’t even tried to come up at short notice with something new and intelligible," he said.

Apr 19 05:11

World miniwar: coordinated conflicts may be ignited in Caucasus, Donbass, elsewhere – analyst

Analyst: West may launch dual proxy wars in Caucasus, Donbass this spring

Over the weekend a penetrating analysis by Lebanese scholar Yeghia Tashjian appeared on the Armenian Weekly website under the title Aliyev, once again, threatens Armenia with war, referring to the president of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev.

Less than three months after the end of the 44-day war waged by Azerbaijan and Turkey against minuscule Nagorno-Karabakh last year, the two countries – whose joint motto is “one nation, two states” – conducted military exercises in Turkish city of Kars, near the border with Armenia.

Apr 19 05:02

Flashpoint Ukraine: Don't Poke the Bear

Question 1— For the last 4 years, Democrat leaders have blamed Russia for allegedly meddling in the 2016 elections. Now the Democrats– who control all three branches of government — have the power to reset US foreign policy and take a more hostile approach to Moscow. But will they?

At present, there are roughly 40,000 US-NATO troops massed along the Russian border conducting military exercises while scores of Russian tanks, artillery and an estimated 85,000 Russian troops are now located about 25 miles from Ukraine’s eastern border. Both armies are on hair-trigger alert and prepared for any sudden provocation. If the Ukrainian Army invades the Russian-speaking region of Ukraine (Donbas), Moscow will likely respond.

So, will there be a conflagration in the Ukraine this spring and, if so, how will Putin respond? Will he limit the scope of his campaign to the Donbas or push onward to Kiev?

Apr 18 13:16

NATO Nations Train, Arm Ukrainian Military for War With Russia

As the Ukrainian government and pro-government press is busily and dutifully terrorizing the domestic populace, and equally attempting to stampede the Western public into a “humanitarian intervention” moral panic, with headlines like Over 103,000 Russian troops currently stationed near border with Ukraine and Russia deploys attack aircraft in occupied Crimea, it is also reporting on assistance from NATO nations in preparation for an armed conflict with Russia.

Yesterday NATO Spokesperson Oana Lungescu tweeted in response to Russia’s announcement it will bar U.S. and NATO warships from parts of the Black Sea near its coast, including American anti-ballistic missile destroyers which have established permanent residence there. To repeat, near Russia’s own coast. American guided-missile destroyers near Russia’s coast. Without any pretense of balance or restraint, she wrote:

Apr 18 13:13

Russia tells 20 Czech diplomats to leave by Monday night in response to Prague’s expulsions

Twenty Czech diplomats have been declared personae non-gratae and must now leave Russia before the end of April 19, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Sunday, a day after Czech officials expelled 18 diplomats to Moscow.

Apr 18 13:12

Biden determined to ruin any chance of peace with Russia: Journalist

US President Joe Biden is apparently determined to wipe out any chance of improving diplomatic relations with Russia through sanctions and the expulsion of diplomats, says an American journalist.

Max Parry told Press TV on Sunday that what the new US president is “determined to do is to wipe out whatever was left of any good quality relations under the Trump administration and even under the Obama administration.”

“How come the present US administration is somehow trying to wipe out the remnants of goodwill in financial diplomatic relations with Russia? “Parry asked.

"While it's dubious what the actual reason for this is, they definitely seem to want to alienate the US from other countries, and there's a lot of other countries out there that are feeling rather strongly against the US at this point," he noted.

Apr 18 13:12

President Biden warns Putin 'there will be consequences' if Alexei Navalny dies in prison following two-week hunger strike as doctors warn the Russian opposition leader 'could die any minute'

Joe Biden has warned Putin there will be consequences if critic Alexei Navalny is allowed to die in jail as doctors warn his health is failing amid hunger strike.

US national security adviser Jake Sullivan said on Sunday that Biden is weighing up a range of responses if Navalny dies, and that Moscow is aware of the threat.

Meanwhile EU leaders said sanctions placed on Russia earlier this year could be increased if Navalny perishes, with a summit to discuss the issue on Monday.

It comes after Yaroslav Ashikhmin, a doctor acting on behalf of Navalny's family, said test results received from the Russian penal colony where the activist is being held show dangerous levels of potassium in his blood along with signs of kidney failure.

'Our patient could die at any moment,' Ashikhmin warned.

Apr 18 10:51

Body Armor Doesn't Matter: Russia's VSS Vintorez Is Silent But Deadly

These rifles have been Both issued to various Russian special forces, intelligence units, and some security services.

Here's What You Need to Remember: Despite being designed and issued in the late 1980s, The VSS Vintorez and AS Val rifles filled an interesting niche in Soviet armories and remain in service with the Russian Federation today. Both rifles have seen action outside of Russia, notably in Georgia, Syria, Ukraine’s Donbass region, and Crimea.

Cut back to the late 1980s. NATO troops are increasingly issued more and better body armor. Flack jackets and helmets are designed to defeat the AK-74’s standard-issue 5.45x39mm cartridge, giving NATO countries a distinct advantage on the battlefield. Soviet designers realize their ammunition needs to play catch-up. They hit the drawing board and improve the AK-74 round by adding a hardened steel core.

Apr 18 09:08

Russia Slaps Flight Restrictions on Turkey After Erdogan Backs Ukraine

Russia has announced that it is to restrict flights to and from Turkey from April 15 to June 1, citing climbing COVID-19 cases in the country. Although Turkey’s coronavirus outbreak—which threatens to spiral entirely out of control—will be seen by many experts as an excellent reason to prevent Russians from taking Turkish holidays, the suspicion will be that the restriction, announced on April 12 by Russian Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova, is actually a response to Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s weekend expression of his readiness to support Ukraine amid a flare-up of tensions in its breakaway pro-Moscow eastern regions and a stark build-up of Russian forces on the Ukrainian border.

In a sign of worsening relations between Moscow and Ankara, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told Turkey and other “responsible” nations not to feed what he described as “belligerent sentiment” in Ukraine.

Apr 18 08:42

Video Shows Russian Fighter Escort U.S. Military Plane Over the Pacific

A Russian fighter plane escorted a U.S military aircraft over Russia's far eastern border this week, amid growing tensions between Moscow and Washington, D.C. and international concern over a military build-up at the border with Ukraine.

Footage released by the Kremlin's Defense Ministry on Friday shows its MiG-31 fighter accompanying the U.S. Air Force RC-135 strategic reconnaissance aircraft along the south-eastern coast of Kamchatka, reported the news agency Tass.

The ministry said in a statement that its fighter took off from an airfield in the Kamchatka territory "to identify and accompany" the U.S. aircraft.

"The crew of the fighter identified the air target as a strategic reconnaissance aircraft RC-135 of the U.S. Air Force," it said in a statement, adding that the American plane did not cross into Russian territory.

Apr 18 07:54

Tucker Carlson with Col Douglas Macgregor on Russian Bounty Story and Our Hostility Against Russia

Apr 18 07:52

NATO Nations Train, Arm Ukrainian Military for War With Russia

As the Ukrainian government and pro-government press is busily and dutifully terrorizing the domestic populace, and equally attempting to stampede the Western public into a “humanitarian intervention” moral panic, with headlines like Over 103,000 Russian troops currently stationed near border with Ukraine and Russia deploys attack aircraft in occupied Crimea, it is also reporting on assistance from NATO nations in preparation for an armed conflict with Russia.

Yesterday NATO Spokesperson Oana Lungescu tweeted in response to Russia’s announcement it will bar U.S. and NATO warships from parts of the Black Sea near its coast, including American anti-ballistic missile destroyers which have established permanent residence there. To repeat, near Russia’s own coast. American guided-missile destroyers near Russia’s coast. Without any pretense of balance or restraint, she wrote:

Apr 18 07:43

Canada on alert as Russia military moves into Arctic

Apr 18 07:37

RUSSIAN NAVY TO GUARD IRANIAN OIL SUPPLIES TO SYRIA UNDER STRATEGIC AGREEMENT – REPORT

Russia, Iran and Syria have established a joint operation room that would work to guarantee the security and stability of oil and wheat supplies to Syrian ports through the Mediterranean Sea, Sputnik reported on April 17.

According to the agency, a series of intensive meetings between Russian, Iranian and Syrian officials was held recently with the aim of breaking the siege imposed by the US and European Union on Syria.

“The room’s work is to provide multi-sided coordination to secure the arrival of oil supplies, in the first place, to Syrian ports,” Sputnik quoted sources familiar with the matter as saying.

Syria has been facing an unprecedented economic crisis as a result the sanctions imposed by the US and the EU. The country’s natural resources in the northeastern region are also under control of US proxies. Furthermore, ships heading to Syrian ports face sanctions as well as the threat of direct attacks on some occasions.

Apr 18 07:10

One Man Stands in the Way of NATO’s Run Onward to Moscow

A foreign military bloc of nations is inching closer to Moscow, Vladimir Putin reacts in kind, and somehow Russia is the aggressor. And learned Ph.D.’s scribble on, defying pure logic from Washington’s Think Tank Row. Here’s the latest sensational proof that the world will never, ever be at peace.

Dr. Mamuka Tsereteli and James Carafano have a new plan for defeating Russia for good. Now get this, in America, we have institutions like The Heritage Foundation that fund supposed research to perpetuate wars. No, really. The latest report of the foundation “Putin Threatens Ukraine—Here’s the Danger and What US, Allies Should Do About It” is a blueprint for continuing friction between west and east. Let’s examine the three takeaways Heritage Foundation puts forward.

Apr 18 06:15

Russia Tosses 10 US Diplomats After Biden Pokes Putin Once More

Russia expelled 10 American diplomats and imposed sanctions on eight officials in retaliation for new U.S. punitive measures.

The Russian government could take steps that harm the interests of U.S. businesses but will hold those in reserve for the moment, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stated during a press conference on Friday.

The moves follow the Thursday announcement of U.S. sanctions on 32 entities and individuals and six Russian companies over allegations that Moscow was behind a hack on SolarWinds Corp. and interfered with last year’s presidential election. The Kremlin denies any role in those attacks.

Apr 17 07:46

Joe Biden’s Demonic Phase

Three weeks ago, Ol’ White Joe called Vladimir Putin “a killer.”  This week, Ol’ Joe called Vlad on the phone and suggested a friendly in-person meet-up in some “third country.” In the meantime, Ol’ Joe essayed to send a couple of US warships into the Black Sea to assert America’s interest in Ukraine, the failed state whose American-sponsored failure was engineered in 2014 by Barack Obama’s State Department. Turkey, which controls the narrow entrance to the Black Sea, was notified that two US destroyers would be steaming through its territory. Hours after the announcement, the US called off the ships. Then, hours after Ol’ Joe proffered that summit meeting, his State Department imposed new economic sanctions on Russia and tossed out a dozen or so Russian embassy staff. How’s that for a coherent foreign policy?

Apr 17 07:35

Ukraine President Makes NUCLEAR THREAT Against Russian Crimea: ". . . Will be like Chernobyl; a Dead Area, WORSE than Chernobyl"

President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine made an explicit nuclear threat against Russian Crimea today, during an interview with LeFigaro Magazine.

Asked by the interviewer what he thought the future would be for the two breakaway oblasts (states) of Luhansk and Donetsk (collectively referred to as "The Donbas") and of Crimea, Zelensky said Donbass and Crimea would face a future comparable to the exclusion zone in Chernobyl. "It will be a dead territory. It will be worse than Chernobyl"

That, ladies and Gentlemen, is an explicit nuclear threat. As the entire world recalls, Chernobyl was the site of a nuclear reactor meltdown and explosion which spread such heavy radiation in the area, the region had to be permanently evacuated and the reactor sealed in a cement casing. No one can go into that zone or they will die from the level of radiation there.

Apr 17 07:20

"No De-escalation": Moscow Expels 10 US Diplomats In Sanctions Retaliation

The expected Russia reaction to Biden's Thursday sanctions rollout for the alleged SolarWinds hack and general election 'interference' charges has come: ten US diplomats have been expelled from Russia on order of the foreign ministry. This is the precise number that the US ordered booted from the Russian embassy in Washington.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in a Friday press briefing announced, "Ten diplomats were on a list the US side handed over to us asking to ensure their leaving the United States. We will give a tit-for-tat response to that. We will also ask ten US diplomats to leave our country." He added further that "the Americans will be asked to bring the number of employees in Russia in line with the number of Russians in the United States."

Apr 17 07:13

UKRAINE DEMANDS “MORE WEAPONS, MORE MONEY, MORE SUPPORT TO JOIN NATO” FROM BIDEN

Naturally, a CNN camera crew was in tow for last week’s visit of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to an area near Mariupol in Donetsk where he “walked the front line with the troops” amid renewed fighting with Russian-backed separatists in the eastern Donbass region.

Days later CNN’s homepage dramatically hyped the story with a recent headline of “Ukraine’s President runs for cover on the front line against Russia”. The story kicks off with: “Ankle-deep in thick black sludge, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky moves stealthily with his troops in single file through the warren of trenches and tunnels that form the tense front lines in the east of his country.”

Apr 17 07:10

Washington Sees Russian Response Measures as 'Escalatory,' Reserves Right to Retaliate

Moscow took retaliatory measures in response to sanctions Washington slapped against it over accusations of alleged election meddling and Russia's purported part in the SolarWinds cyber hack. Moscow has repeatedly dismissed these allegations as lacking any proof and harmful for bilateral relations.

The United States sees Russia's announcement of response actions as "escalatory" and reserves the right to retaliate, a State Department spokesperson told Sputnik.

"Today's announcement by the Russian government was escalatory and regrettable," the spokesperson said on Friday. "It is not in our interest to get into an escalatory cycle, but we reserve the right to respond to any Russian retaliation against the United States."

Apr 17 07:05

US laments ‘unwanted escalation’ & warns it reserves right to retaliate after Russia’s tit-for-tat response to Biden's sanctions

As Russia blacklisted eight current and former American officials and sent ten diplomats packing in retaliation for US sanctions, the State Department has lamented the “escalatory” response and said that Washington might respond.

“Our recent actions were proportionate and appropriate to Russia's harmful activities. Today's announcement by the Russian government was escalatory and regrettable,” a State Department spokesman said in a statement on Friday evening. “It is not in our interest to get into an escalatory cycle, but we reserve the right to respond to any Russian retaliation against the United States.”

Foggy Bottom was responding to the announcement that Moscow will expel 10 US diplomats, restricting the number of short-term visas for State Department staff to 10 per year, and ban the US embassy from hiring citizens of Russia and third countries as administrative staff.

Apr 17 07:04

US state-run RFERL ‘knowingly violated’ Russia’s laws, now tries to block fines in European court, FM spokeswoman tells RT

The US state-funded outlet RFERL deliberately ignored Russia “foreign agents” law, turning its own violations into a political campaign after it was subjected to fines, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told RT.

The US state-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFERL) lodged a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) earlier this week, asking it to block Russia from enforcing fines on the outlet. RFERL has accumulated dozens of unpaid fines, stemming from its refusal to be properly labeled as a “foreign agent” under Russian law.

The outlet alleges that the actions of the Russian authorities are violating “freedom of speech” principles. It also claims that if the fines are enforced, the outlet may suffer “irreversible harms” and, ultimately, other “independent media” in Russia may face the same fate.

Apr 17 06:53

Russian warplanes launch missiles and drop bombs over the Black Sea in major military exercise - as US 'warns commercial pilots against overflying hot zone amid fears another MH17'

Russia is conducting major aerial exercises including missile launches and bombings over the Black Sea amid warnings from the US of 'another MH17'.

New videos indicate Moscow is continuing to mass its military might close to the Ukrainian frontier.

One video showed a detachment of warships moved by the Russian navy from the Caspian Sea to the Black Sea, the first such switch since Soviet times, according to reports.

Apr 17 06:43

Joe Biden bans US banks from buying or underwriting Russian debt sales

The Biden administration is punishing Russia for its interference in the 2020 US election and cyberattacks by hitting Moscow where it hurts the most: the ruble.

The Treasury Department announced Thursday that starting June 14, US banks will generally be banned from participating in all bond sales by Russia's central bank, ministry of finance and sovereign wealth fund. That means these Wall Street firms won't be able to buy or underwrite these crucial transactions by Russia's central government.

This marks a significant escalation of US sanctions on Russia and will make it more difficult for Moscow to raise capital. The Russian ruble declined nearly 1% against the US dollar Thursday and the country's stock market retreated modestly.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE WITH YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA