Saturday, April 4, 2015

Novorossiya Will Never Be Part of Ukraine Again, Kremlin Advisor Says | FSB’s Continuing Conflict with Kadyrov Reflects and Highlights Putin’s Weakened Position, Piontkovsky Says | Kamchatka, Home to Russian Version of Alaska Iditarod, Frets Over Growth - New York Times | China proposes economic corridor with Russia and Mongolia - RT | Russia Threatens Nuclear War To Drive NATO Out Of Baltics - ValueWalk



Used in the sled race, Siberian dogs are known for their strength and resilience, said Alexei Sitnikov, the owner of the Siberian Fang Kennel. CreditSergey Ponomarev for The New York Times

Kamchatka, Home to Russian Version of Alaska Iditarod, Frets Over Growth


"It has been said that Kamchatka is so far east of Moscow that it is practically west. The nine-hour flight from Moscow lasts almost three times longer than flights from Anchorage (those run only in the summer)."



________________________________

Russia Threatens Nuclear War To Drive NATO Out Of Baltics - ValueWalk


FSB’s Continuing Conflict with Kadyrov Reflects and Highlights Putin’s Weakened Position, Piontkovsky Says


Novorossiya Will Never Be Part of Ukraine Again, Kremlin Advisor Says



Russia Plans to Send Tajikistan Military Aid to Combat ISIS - Newsweek

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Newsweek

Russia Plans to Send Tajikistan Military Aid to Combat ISIS
Newsweek
Russia is preparing to deliver $1.23 billion in military aid and equipment to Tajikistan, a Russiangeneral staff member told the newspaper Kommersant, according to reports in several Western publications. The news comes after a meeting of the ...
Russia Readying Up To $1.2 Billion For Tajikistan To Fight Against ISIS: ReportInternational Business Times
Russia Ready to Give Tajikistan $1.2 Billion Military Aid to Fight ISISThe Moscow Times
As Russia Raises Alarm On Afghan "Spillover," Tajikistan Complains It's...EurasiaNet
Russia Beyond the Headlines
all 23 news articles »

«Немцов мост» – рок-фестиваль, ставший телемарафоном

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Московские площадки боятся принять концерт памяти убитого политика Originally published at - http://www.golos-ameriki.ru/media/video/rock...
Views: 10
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Time: 03:15More in News & Politics

The world in terms of Russian and US arms exports - Business Insider

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Business Insider

The world in terms of Russian and US arms exports
Business Insider 
Russia largely supplied weaponry to the BRIC nations, as well as to select countries in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia that have spottier human-rights records such as Sudan, Belarus, and Iran. Moscow's largest export market in 2014 was Vietnam
 ...


and more »

Russia Watched as American Bombers Showed Off Over the Arctic - War is Boring

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War is Boring

Russia Watched as American Bombers Showed Off Over the Arctic
War is Boring
The United States and Russia are currently engaged in a prolonged battle of military theatrics. Both countries are spending time and money to train with their allies and show off fancy equipment … and they're making damn sure each other can see it. On ...

and more »

Russia Threatens Nuclear War To Drive NATO Out Of Baltics - ValueWalk

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ValueWalk

Russia Threatens Nuclear War To Drive NATO Out Of Baltics
ValueWalk
According to the notes, it would most likely be “destabilizing actions that would be even harder to trace back to Russia than those of eastern Ukraine,” and added that “the same conditions that existed in Ukraine and caused Russia to take action there ...
Russia reportedly issues new threat to NATO over forces in BalticsFox News
Lithuania Raises Defense Spending Amid Russia FearsThe Moscow Times

all 38 news articles »

Дэвид Саттер - о «ритуальных» высказываниях российского руководства 

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Originally published at - http://www.golos-ameriki.ru/media/video/satter-on-russia/2706090.html.
Views:
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Один из осужденных по делу об убийстве украинского журналиста Георгия Гонгадзе скончался в колонии. - Радиостанция ЭХО МОСКВЫ

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Один из осужденных по делу об убийстве украинского журналиста Георгия Гонгадзе скончался в колонии.
Радиостанция ЭХО МОСКВЫ
Один из осужденных по делу об убийстве украинского журналиста Георгия Гонгадзе скончался в колонии. О смерти экс-полковника МВД Николая Протасова сообщил его адвокат Виктор Чевгуз. По его словам, месяц назад он общался с Протасовым, и тот не раскаялся в своем участии в ...
Скончался один из фигурантов дела об убийстве журналиста Георгия ГонгадзеКоммерсантъ
Один из осужденных по делу Гонгадзе умер в колонии для милиционеров на УкраинеГазета.Ru
В колонии для экс-милиционеров умер похититель ГонгадзеРакурс
Свежие новости сегодня. Последние новости интернет издания "Fresh-News"
Все похожие статьи: 7 »

Украина должна отдать Румынии Южную Бессарабию и Северную Буковину - ИА Архангельские новости

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Информационный портал

Украина должна отдать Румынии Южную Бессарабию и Северную Буковину
ИА Архангельские новости
Экс-президент Румынии Траян Бэсеску считает, что в случае подачи Молдавией заявки на вступление в ЕС она получит отказ, и предлагает Кишиневу задуматься об «альтернативе» в виде «быстрого объединения с Румынией». Как передает корреспондент ИА REGNUM, об этом ... 
Николае Тимофти вручил орден „Ștefan cel Mare” бывшему президенту Румынии Траяну БэсескуИнформационный портал 
Экс-президент Румынии хочет получить гражданство МолдавииИА "Репортер"

Траян Бэсеску намерен просить молдавское гражданствоMail.Ru 
NewsMaker-ФБА «Экономика сегодня»

Все похожие статьи: 28 »

Сотрудников МИД Приднестровья задержали в Кишиневе после поездки в Россию - Коммерсантъ

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Официальное информационное агентство ПМР "Новости Приднестровья"

Сотрудников МИД Приднестровья задержали в Кишиневе после поездки в Россию
Коммерсантъ
Сотрудниками полиции Молдавии 3 апреля были задержаны шестеро представителей внешнеполитического ведомства Приднестровья, которые возвращались из служебной командировки в Москву, сообщает официальный сайт МИД ПМР. «У дипломатов были изъяты ...
Сотрудников МИД Приднестровья задержали в аэропорту КишиневаВзгляд
В аэропорту Кишинева задержали нескольких сотрудников МИД ПриднестровьяГазета.Ru
В аэропорту Кишинева задержали сотрудников МИД ПриднестровьяИнтерфакс
Русская планета -Диалог.UA - Всегда два мнения -Официальное информационное агентство ПМР "Новости Приднестровья"
Все похожие статьи: 9 »

Тимошенко считает, что "Нафтогаз" нужно ликвидировать - РИА Новости

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РИА Новости

Тимошенко считает, что "Нафтогаз" нужно ликвидировать
РИА Новости
По словам депутата Верховной Рады, большую часть украинского газа добывает компания "Укргаздобыча", а "Нафтогаз" создает "мегакоррупцию", и его нужно ликвидировать. Вывеска нефтегазового холдинга Нафтогаз Украины в Киеве. © РИА Новости. Виталий Белоусов | Купить ...
Юлия Тимошенко призвала к ликвидации "Нафтогаза Украины"Вести.Ru
Юлия Тимошенко высказалась за упразднение «Нафтогаза»Коммерсантъ
Тимошенко намерена расследовать тройной рост тарифов на газ для населения УкраиныНТВ.ru
Комсомольская правда -Взгляд -Полит.ру
Все похожие статьи: 63 »

Putin’s New Nationalities Chief Says His Job Is To ‘Prevent Pogroms In Biryulevo’ 

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Staunton, April 3 — Vladimir Putin has chosen a Duma deputy from Sverdlovsk with an FSB background and service in the notorious Alpha Group during his Chechen wars to be the head of the new Federal Agency for Nationality Affairs, an indication of how the Kremlin leader intends to use this new tool and why Igor Barinov may be just the man to do it.
When Putin called for the creation of the new agency last month, many were skeptical it would amount to more than a new arrangement of bureaucratic chairs, especially given that Putin disbanded the nationalities ministry more than a decade ago and that for such an agency to deal with ethnic issues generally would require more power than he would be willing to cede.
But now, far more than listing the new agency’s duties in his decree, Putin has given a clear indication of what he expects the agency to do by his appointment of the former FSB officer, one that Barinov himself has reinforced in his first interview since his appointment.
Barinov, a native of the North Caucasus, will be working with other North Caucasians now in Moscow on ethnic issues, including Magomedsalam Magomedov, the former Dagestani president who serves as a nationalities advisor to Putin, Gadzhimet Safraliyev, who chairs the Duma’s nationalities committee, and Ilyas Umakhanov, vice speaker of the Federation Council.
But Barinov, an ethnic Russian (something many Russian commentators argued was an absolute necessity for this position), denied that he would be spending “80 percent” of his time on the North Caucasus. Instead, he said, his focus will be “above all” on not allowing pogroms like those whichbroke out in Moscow’s Biryulevo district.
To do that, Barinov said, he will “monitor inter-ethnic conflicts” in order to be in a position to intervene in a timely fashion and prevent them from becoming explosive.
He added that it is still too soon to say exactly how that will be done given that as yet “there is no agency, no building and no staff.”
Asked by URA.ru whether he had taken his views on nationality policy arose from his service in Chechnya, Barinov replied “not only then. Let us begin with the fact that I was born in the North Caucasus, in Novocherkassk.” Moreover, during various jobs, he said he had gotten to know the local population in many places of the country.
“We [in Russia],” he argued, “have many centuries of experience with a successful nationality policy.”
If that is what he believes and if he sees himself more as a policeman than anything else, the future of nationalities policy under Putin is likely to prove even more repressive and thus dangerously explosive than the present.
Read the whole story
 
· ·

Горбачёв попал в ДТП - ИД Алтапресс

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ИД Алтапресс

Горбачёв попал в ДТП
ИД Алтапресс
Пресс-служба столичного главка МВД подтвердила информацию о том, что бывший президент СССР Михаил Горбачёв попал в ДТП на севере Москвы в пятницу, 3 апреля. Сообщается, что ДТП произошло 3 апреля примерно в 14:40 на улице Куусинина в Москве. Сам Горбачёв никак не ...

и другие »
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Ukraine's Children Of War

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The conflict in eastern Ukraine has displaced hundreds of thousands of people from their homes. Many of them are traumatized by what they have experienced. In a forest near Kyiv, a camp has been set up to help children and teenagers. Volunteers renovated a 1950s sanotorium, and psychologists work with the kids over a three-week period. Serhii Korovainyi of RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service asked them about their dreams for the future.

Михаил Горбачев попал в аварию на севере Москвы - Уралинформбюро

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Уралинформбюро

Михаил Горбачев попал в аварию на севере Москвы
Уралинформбюро
Автомобиль первого президента СССР Михаила Горбачева попал в ДТП на севере Москвы. Сам политик не пострадал, пишут федеральные СМИ. Авария произошла 3 апреля 2015 года на улице Куусинена. "Мерседес", в котором находился М.Горбачев, столкнулся с автомобилем ... 
Горбачёв
 
Mercedes Михаила Горбачева с мигалкой устроил ДТП на встречной полосеГазета.Ru
Автомобиль Михаила Горбачева попал в ДТП ИД Алтапресс
Горбачев не собирается покидать РФ ни при каких условияхИнвесткафе
Экс-президент СССР Михаил Горбачев попал в ДТПДейта.RU
Радиостанция ЭХО МОСКВЫ-Актуальные новости - периодическое издание о событиях в мире-
 
Комсомольская Правда в Украине 

Все похожие статьи: 182 »

За вечер боевики 14 раз обстреляли позиции сил АТО - Украинское национальное информагентство

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ДОНБАСС

За вечер боевики 14 раз обстреляли позиции сил АТО
Украинское национальное информагентство
"Наибольшая активность противника и далее сохранялась вблизи Донецка. Здесь с 19.06 до 19.45 боевики из 122 - миллиметровой артиллерии обстреляли Авдеевку. А в 19.45 по этому же городу преступники открыли огонь из танка. Кроме того, под огонь из минометов, гранатометов и ...
Ночью ситуация в зоне АТО обострилась – штабГлавред
Силовики заявили об обострении ситуации в зоне АТОКорреспондент.net
АТЦ: ситуация в зоне АТО обострилась, противник начал применять артиллериюДиалог.UA - Всегда два мнения
НОВОСТИ.dn.ua
Все похожие статьи: 304 »

Начальник ГАИ Украины отправлен в отставку - Газета.Ru

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УНИАН

Начальник ГАИ Украины отправлен в отставку
Газета.Ru
Начальник украинской Госавтоинспекции Анатолий Сиренко отправлен в отставку после коррупционного скандала, исполняющим обязанности главы ведомства назначен Александр Ершов, передает УНИАН. «Генерал Сиренко подал мне соответствующий рапорт. Понимая, что он ...
Аваков отправил в отставку главу ГАИ УкраиныКомсомольская правда
Украинским коррупционерам в ГАИ пообещали массовую зачисткуНТВ.ru
Аваков отправил в отставку начальника украинского ГАИРБК
Аргументы и факты -РИА Новости -СЕГОДНЯ
Все похожие статьи: 67 »

Kamchatka, Home to Russian Version of Alaska Iditarod, Frets Over Growth 

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The remote Russian peninsula is caught between ambitious plans to develop untapped resources like gold and oil, and efforts to preserve its natural splendor.






Read the whole story
 
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Kamchatka, Home to Russian Version of Alaska Iditarod, Frets Over Growth - New York Times

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New York Times

Kamchatka, Home to Russian Version of Alaska Iditarod, Frets Over Growth
New York Times
PETROPAVLOVSK-KAMCHATSKY, Russia — When Vladislav Revenok, an Orthodox priest, first participated in the obscure Russian version of Alaska's Iditarod, he found himself in places so isolated that he was mobbed by villagers demanding to be ...

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FSB’s Continuing Conflict with Kadyrov Reflects and Highlights Putin’s Weakened Position, Piontkovsky Says

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Paul Goble

 

            Staunton, April 4 – The conflict between the FSB and Ramzan Kadyrov over who is to be held responsible for the murder of Boris Nemtsov is intensifying and increasingly affects Vladimir Putin, Andrey Piontkovsky says, because “any attack on Kadyrov indirectly or directly is an attack” on the Kremlin leader. At a minimum, it calls attention to his weakened position.

 

            Many analysts had concluded, after Putin returned from his “unexpected disappearance” from public view, that the FSB and the Chechen leader had somehow agreed on a “compromise” in which the Chechen Dadayev would take the fall and everyone would agree that he acted alone and from Islamic motives (gordonua.com/news/politics/Piontkovskiy-Obostryaetsya-konflikt-mezhdu-FSB-i-Kadyrovym-vnutri-Kremlya-na-temu-Kogo-naznachit-ubiycey-Nemcova-74279.html).

 

            But, Piontkovsky says, “the FSB had continued the pressure” on Kadyrov. “From those leaks which are appearing in the press from the FSB, it is clear that [the leaders of the security service] are demanding that more senior people around Kadyrov such as Germeyev and Delimkhanov be brought to justice or at a minimum questioned.”

 

            And at the same time, the Russian analyst continues, “the Kadyrov camp has launched a counter-attack,” with Dadayev disowning his confessions and insisting that he “has no relationship to the murder” and made his earlier statements as a result of torture.

 

            “Such a scandalous dead end on the question of naming the murderer of Nemsov is obvious and testifies to the fact that the power of the dictator has weakened. A dictator fully in charge would never allow such a conflict in his entourage or such a challenge to himself,” Piontkovsky continues. But “when and how the conflict will end” is beyond the power of anyone now to predict.

 

            “But it must end somehow,” he suggests, “because the situation is becoming ever more scandalous: someone must be named as the murder of Nemtsov. Any real dictator be he Putin in full control undoubtedly would remove the entire leadership of the FSB as a result of this challenge to hiself. But apparently he cannot do that.”

 

            Piontkovsky is absolutely right to suggest that the conflict between the FSB and the Chechen leader must end sometime, and he is right also to indicate that the longer it continues, the more it becomes a problem for Putin.  But there are two possibilities about how this might “end” that the Russian analyst does not consider in his Gordonua.com interview.

 

            On the one hand, in the new media environment in which all the players including Putin, the onrushing flood of events is so great that it is possible that Nemtsov’s murder however much it riled the Moscow political landscape at the time is going to fade as an issue. Everyone will remember it, and all sides will continue to believe in their versions of the truth, but it will be less central for each of them.

 

            And on the other, like other dictators before him, Putin may use conflicts among his subordinates, in this case between the FSB and the Chechens to his own advantage, using the attacks on each to weaken the other and thus boost his own standing.  Only if the FSB or Kadyrov goes public with the suggestion that Putin was directly involved would the Kremlin leader have to take action.

 
Read the whole story
 
· · ·

Germanwings plane makes unscheduled stop in Venice after passenger suffers 'apprehension'

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A Germanwings plane was forced to make an unscheduled landing in Venice after a passenger and crew member suddenly became unwell.

Kremlin’s Nepotism ‘No Anomaly’ and a Problem for Regime, Baranov Says 

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Paul Goble

 

            Staunton, April 4 – When a leader or his spokesman has to deny the obvious, that is a good indication that the obvious has become a problem.  And that appears to be what is happening now that Vladimir Putin’s press aide has denied that the appointment of the sons and relatives of powerful people to posts is in any way an anomaly.

 

            Reacting to questions about the appointment of Andrey Patrushev, the son of the Security Council secretary, to be deputy general director of Gazprom Nefti, Dmitry Peskov said that he “would not agree with the notion that this was some kind of anomalous situation” that is in any way a problem.

 

            There are far more people in such positions whose relatives do not occupy high posts, the press aide continued, and there are many sons and daughters of those whose relatives do who don’t have senior jobs in government, non-government, or mixed businesses. Consequently, those with relatives who do get such jobs are doing so because of their qualifications and talent.

 

            But Anatoly Baranov, chief editor of Forum-MSK.org, says that the increasing number of people with family connections who are getting top jobs in Russia is something no one can credibly deny and that for Russians, traditionally concerned about justice, “the Kremlin’s nepotism is more annoying than sodomy” (forum-msk.org/material/news/10768362.html).

 

            As Baranov points out, there are numerous cases where sons, daughters, brothers, sisters and other relatives of senior people have gotten other top jobs without any particular qualifications except for those links. And if one extends this to the old friends of top leaders, the situation is even worse.

 

            Among the examples he offers is the fact that of the 13 members of the board of directors of Gazprom Nefti, three are relatives of more senior people and ten are Leningraders like Putin. Isn’t this exactly “an anomaly” Baranov asks. And he suggests another reason why senior people are now installing their children and friends in such positions.

 

            As a result of a recent Russian government decision, these people are being allowed to keep their incomes secret even though they are supposed to be “’effective managers’” for the people and government of Russia.  That hides some of this corruption, he says, but it can’t hide the problem from Russians.

 

            Why? Because the older declarations when such officials were still required to declare their incomes remain, and anyone who thinks about it will recognize that these people are still doing very, very well, even though the average Russian has seen his income decline precipitously over the last year.

 

            And such reflections, he suggests, are likely to prove more corrosive of the Kremlin’s authority than any of those in power may want to believe and undermine that authority even as the Putin regime tries to distract attention from the increasingly corrupt way in which it is behaving.

 
Read the whole story
 
· · ·

"Неделя вместе" 

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В Петербурге проходит фестиваль «Неделя вместе!», цель которого – показать, что ЛГБТ-сообщество включает...
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Time: 01:38More in News & Politics

China proposes economic corridor with Russia and Mongolia - RT

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RT

China proposes economic corridor with Russia and Mongolia
RT
The revival of the 'Great Silk Road' that once linked China, Central Asia, and Europe won't stop at transport, but will build a “new platform” for economic development between China, Russiaand Mongolia, according to Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

and more »

Three Ukrainian Servicemen Killed By Land Mine

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Three Ukrainian servicemen have been killed and two wounded in a land-mine explosion in separatist eastern territories.
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Сын бывшего украинского премьера Николая Азарова объявлен в международный розыск - Коммерсантъ

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РИА Новости

Сын бывшего украинского премьера Николая Азарова объявлен в международный розыск
Коммерсантъ
Бывший депутат украинского парламента, сын бывшего премьер-министра страны Николая Азарова, Алексей Азаров объявлен в розыск, сообщает ТАСС со ссылкой на пресс-службу МВД Украины. Алексей Азаров подозревается в совершении преступления, предусмотренного ч. 3 ст.
МВД Украины объявило в розыск сына экс-премьера АзароваРИА Новости
МВД Украины объявило в розыск сына экс-премьераИнтерфакс
МВД Украины объявило сына экс-премьера Азарова в розыскГазета.Ru
Полит.ру -НТВ.ru -Украинское национальное информагентство
Все похожие статьи: 60 »

Pope condemns 'complicit silence' over murder and persecution of Christians around the world

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Pope Francis has decried the “complicit silence” over the killing of Christians the day after at least 147 students were gunned down by Somali militants at a university in Kenya.

In Russia, the Struggle to Un-Recruit ISIS Followers - Daily Beast

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Daily Beast

In Russia, the Struggle to Un-Recruit ISIS Followers
Daily Beast
DERBENT, Daghestan, Russia — Sevil Navruzova, a young woman with long shiny black hair who boldly wears a leopard print dress and high heels (no hint of hijab of niqab), spends her working hours on Skype interviewing Russian citizens who are fighting ...

Russian Trolls' Vast Library Of Insulting Images

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When the army of pro-Kremlin Internet trolls needs a crude photograph to smear Western and Ukrainian officials, they can turn to a website hosting an enormous library of such inflammatory images that was allegedly set up just for this purpose.

Russia's Lavrov calls for pull-back of more weapons in Ukraine - Reuters

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Reuters

Russia's Lavrov calls for pull-back of more weapons in Ukraine
Reuters
BRATISLAVA (Reuters) - Both sides in the conflict in Ukraine could pull back weapons under 100mm caliber from the front line in a bid to boost confidence in a ceasefire, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Saturday. Lavrov said there was a ...
Russia: Pull Back More Weapons In UkraineRadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty
Restored Russia-EU Ties Would Help Solve Global Issues – LavrovSputnik International
Slovaks protest Russia's 'imperial and aggressive foreign policy' in UkraineUkraine Today

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Novorossiya Will Never Be Part of Ukraine Again, Kremlin Advisor Says 

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Paul Goble

 

            Staunton, April 4 – Leonid Reshetnikov, a retired SVR general, director of the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies (RISI), and an advisor to Vladimir Putin, says that there is no possibility that Novorossiya will be part of Ukraine ever again because “the people of the south-east do not want to be Ukrainians.”

 

            He also rules out the likelihood that the territories of the Donetsk Peoples Republic and Luhansk Peoples Republic, with their “millions of people,” could become something like a Transdniestria, a partially recognized country within the borders of another country recognized by most.

 

            And thus he suggests that the immediate future is more war and the longer term future is the annexation of these areas and ultimately the rest of Ukraine and much of the former Soviet space into a new Russian state that will combine “the best features” of the pre-1917 Russian Empire and the USSR.

 

          These are just some of the views that Reshetnikov offers in the course of a wide-ranging interview he gave to Aleksandr Chuikov, a journalist for “Argumenty Nedeli” (rgumenti.ru/toptheme/n481/394395).

 

            Reshetnikov says that his institute which began as a secret part of the SVR has long specialized on “the analysis of available information on the far and near abroad,” information “which is needed not only for intelligence but for the structures which define the foreign policy of the country.”

 

            “However strange it may seem,” until very recently, “there were no such serious analytic centers in the Presidential Administration of Russia,” the former SVR general says. Instead, what the Kremlin had too many of were “’institutions’” which consisted of “a director, a secretary, and the wife of the director” but without the staff that could make them effective.

 

            RISI is different, he continues. It was created by Vladimir Putin, “and all government assignments for its investigations are signed off by Sergey Ivanov, the head of the Presidential Administration.”

 

            When RISI was set up as a separate institution in 2009, Reshetnikov says he thought then that if Moscow would finance it the way Stratfor or RAND are financed, he would be in a position to leave Western analytic centers in the dust because “Russian analysts are the very strongest in the world.”

 

            “I can say this with confidence,” he adds, “on the basis of 33 years of analytic work initially in the First Chief Directorate of the KGB of the USSR and then in the SVR.”

 

            Reshetnikov says that his institute was one of two that has been working most intensively on Ukraine. (The other is the Institute of CIS Countries.) “From the very beginning of our activity, we wrote analytic reports about the growth of anti-Russian attitudes in central Ukraine and the intensification of pro-Russian ones in Crimea.”

 

            He says that RISI was not alarmist about this but rather urged that Moscow take steps to use NGOs in both places to promote pro-Moscow feelings, something the Russian embassy in Kyiv did not do as much as it should have and as Russian embassies are now doing thanks to the intervention of President Putin.

 

            The probability that there will be more war in Ukraine in the coming months is “very high,” Reshetnikov says, because the idea of the federalization of Ukraine has been rejected by Kyiv which is operating under pressure from the United States which wants a united Ukraine so that it can put cruise missiles there to be directed at Russia.

 

            That is so important to Washington, the RISI director says, that “the US will fight for the Donbas down to the last Ukrainian.”

 

            When Yanukovich was ousted by the Maidan, Moscow lost its “SOB” in Ukraine, even as the US installed its “SOB,” he says. But both Russia and the US received “compensation.”  Russia got Crimea and the resistance of Ukraine’s south-east, even though “the enemy also received an enormous territory which was part of the Soviet Union and the Russian Empire.”

 

            At the same time, Reshetnikov says that it is “too early” for Moscow to go for broke and attempt to seize all of Ukraine. That is because Putin understands that “in Europe there are taking place certain processes which are hidden for outsiders,” processes which “give hope that we will be able to defend our interests by other methods and means.”

 

            Putin understands as many do not, Reshetnikov says, that the US has organized a plan to dismember Russia – something he says is “not propagandistic but real” -- even as it keeps its dominance over Europe. Washington is acting in Central Asia as well as Ukraine. Indeed, the US may strike first at Turkmenistan using various proxies, as some in Moscow have suggested.

 

            According to Reshetnikov, Russian-American cooperation in the struggle with terrorism is “a fiction,” because the US “creates, feeds, provides for and then gives orders” to groups like ISIS for its own purposes. “Perhaps,” it will shoot attack one group of terrorists but only to be in a position to better control the others.

 

            But all these American actions, the RISI director says, are part of a general plan and thus they must be countered as a whole rather than responded to piecemeal.  That affects how Putin acts in Ukraine, even if many do not recognize the reasons that he does one thing or another, Reshetnikov adds.

 

            According to the RISI director, what is occurring in Ukraine is not a fight between Ukrainians and Russians, “but a war of world systems. Some consider they are ‘all Europe’ but others that they are Russia. For our country is not simply a territory; it is a separate and enormous civilization which has brought to the attention of the entire world its views on world organization.”

 

            The next year is going to be difficult for Russia, he continues, but “in the course of the next five or six years, we will see” the restoration of “a Russian empire as a model of eastern Slavic civilization. The Bolsheviks destroyed it,” but they brought “a new civilization idea.” Now, Reshetnikov says, Russia is moving toward “a good symbiosis” of its two predecessors.

 

            The West understands that and consequently, “an attack has begun” on Russia “from all sides,” he says. That attack is being made by American presidents, but the real power lies with “secret forces,” including “transnational financial corporations” which want to define the new rules of the game.

 

            But both the attractiveness of what Russia is offering and the ugliness of what the West is doing is leading to “an explosive growth of anti-American attitudes,” in Hungary, Greece, Italy, Austria, France and so on.  “If Russia holds out now,” he says, “then processes will occur in Europe that will not be helpful to those now seeking world domination.”

 

            At the end of his interview, Reshetnikov says that he is “extremely” opposed to the idea of uniting the SVR and the KGB. Were that to happen, he argues, the number of sources of information available to the president would be reduce to one, and thus he would be subject to distortions that that one would almost inevitably introduce.

 

            He says that when he was a captain in the KGB in Soviet times, he was aware of “such manipulations with information” by his employer.

 

            Chuikov appends a biographical sketch of Reshetnikov.  The RISI director was born in Potsdam in East Germany in 1947. He graduated from the Kharkiv State University and did graduate work at the University of Sofia in Bulgaria. From 1974 to 1976, he worked at the Moscow Institute of the Economics of the World Socialist System.

 

            Then, from 1976 to 2009, when he became RISI director, Reshetnikov served in the analytic sections of Soviet and then Russian foreign intelligence. His last post was as chief of the SVR’s Information and Analysis Administration. In addition to his native Russian, he speaks Serbian and Bulgarian and can communicate in Greek.
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Page 6

Kamchatka, Home to Russian Version of Alaska Iditarod, Frets Over Growth

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PETROPAVLOVSK-KAMCHATSKY, Russia — When Vladislav Revenok, an Orthodox priest, first participated in the obscure Russian version of Alaska’s Iditarod, he found himself in places so isolated that he was mobbed by villagers demanding to be baptized. They told him he was the first priest to visit the outback of the already remote Kamchatka peninsula in about 50 years.
“Only a few small villages see us,” Mr. Revenok, a veteran musher, said by telephone after finishing the arduous, 17-day race in late March. “When I arrive at the finish line, and see all those people waiting — journalists, the crowd, so many cars — I feel like I am arriving back on a different planet.”
Kamchatka’s very isolation once afforded a measure of protection for its astounding beauty: a crown of 300 volcanoes including around 25 that are still active; a central valley of erupting geysers; rivers so red and so thick with spawning salmon that walking on water seems distinctly possible; oceans inhabited by crabs the size of turkeys.
Even many locals do not know the peninsula that well. About 80 percent of the population lives in three southern cities. But isolation no longer provides the same insurance. Kamchatka is caught between ambitious plans to develop untapped resources like gold and oil, and efforts to preserve its natural splendor.
Oil exploration has started in the Sea of Okhotsk, which separates the peninsula from mainlandRussia, and the first natural gas wells now operate onshore. Two gold mines are already working, and another 10 are in the planning stages.
Local officials want Petropavlovsk to become the main transit harbor for hulking container ships that can deflect ice as they ply the Arctic route between China and Europe. In addition, the government is trying to raise the number of tourists to 300,000 from 40,000 annually.
Skeptics worry that the development plans threaten to overwhelm what amounts to a giant nature preserve about 750 miles long and 300 miles across at its widest point.
“The territory is not as big as Alaska,” said Sergey Rafanov, the director of the World Wildlife Fund’s local branch. “Everything is compact here, and the interests of these various industries conflict. If you want to dog sled or to see volcanoes, will you come if there is a huge iron processing plant on the Pacific shore with two smokestacks?”
The problem, he said, is the lack of a master plan. Since the local government depends solely on federal funds, it is never sure which projects might be funded and hence plans each in isolation.
Senior government officials vow to reconcile the competing demands.
“The quality of life of our population depends on the caliber of the protection measures. Why would we cut off the branch on which we are sitting?” said Vladimir M. Galitsin, the minister of fisheries and the deputy chairman of the Kamchatka government. “A sensible balance can be reached that both safeguards the natural resources and allows for the exploitation of various deposits.”
Environmentalists have doubts. Populations of the largest bears and big-horned sheep have already been decimated, they said, because trophy hunters from the United States and Europe were unleashed without regulations. A black market for Kamchatka falcons fetches $50,000 per bird in the Persian Gulf nations, Mr. Rafanov said.
In Soviet times, Kamchatka was a naval base closed to foreigners. After the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, the population gradually ebbed, dropping by around a third, to 300,000.
To stem that flow, Kamchatka needs jobs and critical infrastructure, like an independent energy source. Volcanic steam powers a rare geothermal electric plant, but that supplies only 30 percent of local needs. The largest development schemes are likely to be shelved because of federal budgetproblems following a collapse in global oil prices.
Fish, salmon roe and crabs constitute Kamchatka’s most famous exports. Strained relations with the West and Japan meant foreign sales were down by one-third, to 200,000 metric tons, out of nearly 900,000 metric tons produced last year, Mr. Galitsin said. Kamchatkans hope that the Kremlin’s retaliatory economic sanctions banning salmon and other fish from places like Norway will increase demand for their products in western Russia.
The problem is distance. In the time before planes and trains, it could take a year to reach Kamchatka from Moscow. These days, logistical and bureaucratic hurdles still make it impossible to move fresh fish to western Russia on a regular basis.
It has been said that Kamchatka is so far east of Moscow that it is practically west. The nine-hour flight from Moscow lasts almost three times longer than flights from Anchorage (those run only in the summer).
It is little wonder, then, that Kamchatkans look to Alaska for inspiration for everything from building a tourism industry to making protective bootees for their sled dogs.
“The land, the nature, the traditions, the dogs, it is all so close, they share the same roots, and you know that Alaska used to be Russia,” said Alexei Sitnikov, the owner of the Siberian Fang Kennel and an ecotourism company. An eight-foot, arched whale rib leaning against the front of the kennel came from a northern beach littered with them, he said.
The annual Beringia dog sled race was conceived 25 years ago as Russia’s answer to the Iditarod, but it has never attracted the same international following. The red tape and cost involved in transporting sled dogs to Kamchatka through Moscow is prohibitive, organizers said, and until last year first prize was only a Russian off-road vehicle.
The race was named after a legendary land mass said to have once linked the region to Alaska, allowing indigenous people to transit freely. Kamchatka’s indigenous population currently numbers about 15,000.
During the Klondike gold rush in the late 19th century, Siberian dogs were cherished for their strength and resilience, despite their small stature, Mr. Sitnikov said. Now, the most valued dogs come the other way.
The Soviet Union turned native villages into collective farms and banned their dogs as backward — appalled not least that the canines were fed salmon, a hard-to-find delicacy in Moscow.
In addition, people here long valued dogs for their skills. “Once I had a dog who could even catch fish,” said Mr. Sitnikov, who now breeds dogs for speed, like those from Alaska.
Probably more Americans know Kamchatka as a territory in Risk, the board game, than an actual place. Kamchatka’s effort to attract more foreigners despite the current Cold War-like chill includes a slick new English guidebook brimming with useful information like how to survive a surprise encounter with a bear. “Stay calm,” is point one.
The Beringia starts with a one-day exhibition event held on a groomed racetrack near the capital because the starting point of the main 590-mile race can be difficult to reach.
Few roads cross the northern part of the peninsula, and helicopter charters cost more than $5,000 a day. Kamchatka also produces savage, unpredictable weather. After a particularly snowy February, the city manager was fired for not clearing the streets fast enough. Colossal snow banks lined every road.
“We prefer not to mention and not even to think about the weather,” quipped Mr. Sitnikov when asked for a forecast.
The exhibition event included a children’s race. One contestant, Ksenia Kasatkina, 16, is raising four sizable dogs in a three-room apartment and dreams of competing in the Beringia after she turns 18.
“It is a good sport in a place where we have snow for about nine months of the year,” said her mother, Julya Daoudrich. “Even when it melts in town, in July we can take the dogs and the sleds to the slopes of the volcano.”
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Новости - Скончался один из фигурантов дела об убийстве журналиста Георгия Гонгадзе

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В Менской колонии скончался бывший полковник МВД Украины Николай Протасов, который являлся одним из похитителей украинского журналиста Георгия Гонгадзе, убитого в 2000 году. Об этом изданию «Вести» сообщил его адвокат Виктор Чевгуз.
Николай Протасов — бывший начальник дежурной части главного управления криминального поиска департамента поисково-розыскной деятельности МВД Украины, полковник (лишен звания в марте 2008 года). В начале 2005 года обвинен в причастности к убийству журналиста Георгия Гонгадзе. В марте 2008 года приговорен к 12 годам тюремного заключения.
Подробнее об уголовном деле об убийстве украинского журналиста Георгия Гонгадзе читайте в материале «Ъ» «Заказчиком убийства Георгия Гонгадзе признан экс-глава МВД Украины».

В украинской колонии умер один из соучастников похищения и убийства Гонгадзе // KP.RU

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В колонии для осужденных милиционеров скончался экс-полковник МВД Украины Николай Протасов, приговоренный к 13 годам лишения свободы за соучастие в похищении и убийстве журналиста Георгия Гонгадзе.
О его смерти сообщил украинскому изданию «Вести» адвокат экс-полковника Виктор Чевгуз. По словам юриста, месяц назад он общался с Протасовым, тот не раскаивался в своем участии в этом громком преступлении.
Напомним, оппозиционный журналист Георгий Гонгадзе исчез 16 сентября 2000 года в Киеве. Спустя два месяца его обезглавленное тело нашли в лесу неподалеку от города Тараща Киевской области.
В 2008 году Киевский суд признал виновными в убийстве журналиста трех бывших сотрудников Департамента внешнего наблюдения и криминальной разведки МВД Украины - Валерия Костенко, Николая Протасова и Александра Поповича. Все получили сроки от 12 до 13 лет.
Главный подозреваемый в убийстве журналиста - их начальник Алексей Пукач - несколько лет находился в розыске и был задержан только летом 2009 года.

Генерал США назвал причину замалчивания болезни Путина

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Американский военный, ссылаясь на коллегу из российских спецслужб, подтвердил правдивость слухов о болезни главы РФ.
Об этом стало известно 3 апреля после встречи неформальной группы «Эльба», состоящей из отставных представителей высшего командного состава разведывательных и военных ведомств США и России. Отставной американский генерал на правах анонимности сообщил британским СМИ, что в начале марта президент РФ Владимир Путин действительно испытывал проблемы со здоровьем, чем и объясняется его исчезновение.
По словам генерала США, один из членов «Эльбы» заверил его, что Владимир Путин крепко держит власть в своих руках. При этом россиянин якобы посетовал на низкий уровень политической культуры в России, при которой нельзя упоминать о болезни или слабости президента. «Отчасти это объясняется тем, в каком унизительном виде западная пресса изображала Бориса Ельцина», — заявил анонимный генерал.
Напомним, в начале марта Владимир Путин исчез из публичного пространства на 11 дней, в течение которых общественность гадала, что же случилось с национальным лидером. 16 марта пресс-секретарь президента Дмитрий Песков заявил, что Кремль больше ни слова не скажет о здоровье Путина: «Мы десять раз уже говорили, невозможно больше говорить. Чем больше мы говорим, тем больше слухов появляется».

Rumours of Putin illness were true

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  • London Max 6C
  • Weather
Welcome to your preview of The Times
Vladimir Putin was ill but could not admit it because of the damage that it would do to his public persona
Alexei Druzhinin/AP
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    Vladimir Putin was ill but could not admit it because of the damage that it would do to his public personaAlexei Druzhinin/AP
Published at 12:01AM, April 2 2015
President Putin had fallen ill when he disappeared from public view for 11 days last month, Russian military and intelligence figures have told their US counterparts.
The Kremlin drew a veil over his illness to avoid allowing Mr Putin to appear weak or comparisons in the western media with Boris Yeltsin and his chaotic loss of control as president.
The explanation, delivered without reference to a specific ailment, calms the storm of speculation that greeted Mr Putin’s absence.
He was rumoured to have suffered a stroke or even died, to have been recovering from Botox injections or rushing to the
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Times назвала правдой слухи о болезни Путина - Газета.Ru

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Британская газета The Times назвала правдой слухи о болезни президента России Владимира Путина. Издание ссылается на анонимных отставных генералов из США, которым информацию о состоянии здоровья Путина якобы сообщили их коллеги из российских военных кругов и спецслужб.
Как рассказал анонимный участник встречи группы «Эльба», в которую входят высокопоставленные отставные военнослужащие из России и США, один из членов группы признал, что российский президент болел и что именно болезнью объяснялось «короткое исчезновение» Путина в начале марта. «Он настаивал, что Путин все надежно контролирует, и посетовал, что российская политическая и лидерская культура недостаточно развита, чтобы быть способной признать какую-нибудь болезнь или слабость со стороны лидера России», — цитирует газета анонимного участника встречи. Также якобы было заявлено, что это частично связано и с тем, как в западных СМИ представляли экс-президента России Бориса Ельцина.
Газета отмечает, что такая версия соответствует тому, что говорили нынешние и бывшие кремлевские инсайдеры в Москве в последние недели: по их словам, Путин болел, но «не мог этого признать» из-за возможного ущерба для своего «публичного образа». Какая именно болезнь постигла Путина, газета не уточняет.
Ранее сообщалось, что пресс-секретарь Владимира Путина Дмитрий Песков посмеялся над слухами о причинах «исчезновения» российского лидера.
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Page 7

Review: ‘Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo in Detroit’

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DETROIT — “Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo in Detroit” is the story of two artists, two countries and one city. Filling several galleries at the Detroit Institute of Arts, it is also a serendipitous celebration of this exemplary museum’s hard-won independence.
While the show was conceived nearly a decade ago, its opening closely followed the happy conclusion of a tense 20 months during which the city, which owned the museum’s art collection and was facing bankruptcy, explored the possibility of selling valuable masterpieces for quick cash.
Last November, a judge approved the City of Detroit’s plan of adjustment, which included an agreement called the Grand Bargain. Under this, the museum pledged to contribute $100 million over 20 years to the city’s pension costs, while state, local and national foundations pledged an additional $715 million combined. In return, the collection’s ownership was transferred from the city to the museum. Thousands in Detroit and elsewhere breathed a huge sigh of relief.
The Rivera-Kahlo exhibition revisits the creation of a masterpiece made in Detroit, for Detroit, that would have been hard to sell because it is an intrinsic part of the Detroit Institute’s building. “Detroit Industry” is an idealized ode to the city in 27 frescoes. These formed the project that brought Diego Rivera, best known of the Mexican muralists, to Detroit in April 1932, accompanied by his much younger wife, Frida Kahlo, also an artist. Over the next 11 months, Rivera researched, designed and painted the frescoes that cover the four vaulting walls of the museum’s courtyard, now known as the Rivera Court. It features heroic scenes of muscular workers and even more idealized earth mothers grasping sheaths of wheat or armloads of fruit. All told, the “Detroit Industry” frescoes are probably as close as this country gets to the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.
This is to say that they are both monumental and awe-inspiring and, given that they were made four centuries after Michelangelo’s ceiling, something of an anachronism from the start. Still, they form an unusually explicit, site-specific expression of the reciprocal bond between an art museum and its urban setting, and Rivera considered them one of the pinnacles of his career.
Kahlo’s time in Detroit was perhaps even more important, even though she did not enjoy her stay. When she arrived, she was well along in synthesizing the influences of Mexican folk art and Surrealism into a mature vision. But in many ways, the miscarriage she suffered while in Detroit spurred the searing form of self-representation that is her contribution to art history. This miscarriage was the second physical trauma of her fraught, intensely creative life, the first being a near-fatal traffic accident in Mexico City in 1925, which caused her continual pain for the remainder of her life and severely reduced her chances of having children. (Kahlo depicted the colliding buses in a 1926 drawing on view in the show’s opening gallery.)
The show, which includes nearly 70 works executed by both artists before, during and after their Detroit sojourn, is a kind of contest between a hefty hare and a tiny tortoise. Rivera takes up most of the room — as, tall and bulky, he did in real life — but Kahlo emerges in the final galleries as the stronger, more personal and more original artist.
“Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo in Detroit” has been organized by Mark Rosenthal, now an independent curator and scholar with decades of museum work on his résumé. It is studded with key loans, rarely seen works and surprises. It contains, for example, four of the immense actual-size charcoal drawings that Rivera made for individual fresco panels — fragile works that the museum is displaying for the first time in 30 years. Also on hand: four of the five paintings Kahlo made while in the city, starting with “Henry Ford Hospital” (1932), her reprise of the miscarriage, which shows her lying naked on a bloody bed set in an arid landscape with Ford’s River Rouge plant shimmering in the distance like an early Renaissance city. And there are three superb little exquisite corpse drawings that Kahlo made with her friend Lucienne Bloch when they escaped Detroit for a visit to New York City.
Yet in any other context, this exhibition might seem rather piecemeal, and it is riven with dumbed-down labels that emphasize the artists’ relationship, presenting a much simpler view of their artistic efforts than Mr. Rosenthal does in the catalog. But with “Detroit Industry” just down the hall, the show functions as a giant frame that illuminates Rivera’s frescoes to stunning effect.
A mesmerizing if slightly bombastic combination of heroic reality and nebulous idealism, and of friezes of figures alternating with deep vistas, the frescoes depicted Ford Motor Company blast furnaces and assembly lines; research scientists in their laboratories at Parke-Davis (later Pfizer) and workers trudging to and from factories. Nature is conjured not only by the robust female nudes but also in geological strata showing iron-ore formation and, in one of the best small panels, as black chunks of disease destroying crepuscular living cells. In a trompe l’oeil tour de force, Rivera renders a tanker carrying South American rubber as if it were a bronze relief.
There were hints of Rivera’s ambivalent Communist proclivities: a villainous-looking line foreman, visibly passive bourgeois visitors touring a plant, and a lone worker wearing leather gloves emblazoned with a red star. But as with any Renaissance work, there were also portraits of patrons: William R. Valentiner, the German-born director of the Detroit Institute of Arts, and Edsel Ford, the scion of one of the nation’s wealthiest families, who underwrote the project.
Perhaps the most arresting expressions of Rivera’s subversive instinct are the narrow panels at the top of the courtyard’s longer walls. Each features two large figures; the four represent what Rivera saw as the world’s four races. Rising between each pair is a jagged mound of deep red earth from which protrude sturdy hands of various colors. Many hold clumps of dirt or rocks, suggesting an angry mob working its way to the surface.
Within the frame this exhibition sets around Rivera’s frescoes, Kahlo’s development is a small vivid sidebar of more than equal weight. Her work is everything Rivera’s art is not: small in size and suffused with personal emotion and existential torment. If Rivera’s frescoes are a kind of cathedral and also a colossal period piece, Kahlo’s small paintings are portable altarpieces for private devotion and a high point of Surrealism that speaks to us still.
No surprise, among the ephemera reproduced here is an article about Kahlo that appeared in The Detroit News. In it she said of her husband, “Of course, he does pretty well for a little boy, but it is I who am the big artist.”
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A Foreign Policy Gamble by Obama at a Moment of Truth

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WASHINGTON — On the day he took office, President Obama reached out to America’s enemies, offering in his first inaugural address to “extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.” More than six years later, he has arrived at a moment of truth in testing that proposition with one of the nation’s most intransigent adversaries.
The framework nuclear agreement he reached with Iran on Thursday did not provide the definitive answer to whether Mr. Obama’s audacious gamble will pay off. The fist Iran has shaken at the so-called Great Satan since 1979 has not completely relaxed. But the fingers are loosening, and the agreement, while still incomplete, held out the prospect that it might yet become a handshake.
For a president whose ambitions to remake the world have been repeatedly frustrated, the possibility of a reconciliation after 36 years of hostility between Washington and Tehran now seems tantalizingly within reach, a way to be worthy of the Nobel Peace Prize that even he believed was awarded prematurely. Yet the deal remains unfinished and unsigned, and critics worry that he is giving up too much while grasping for the illusion of peace.
“Right now, he has no foreign policy legacy,” said Cliff Kupchan, an Iran specialist who has been tracking the talks as chairman of the Eurasia Group, a consulting firm. “He’s got a list of foreign policy failures. A deal with Iran and the ensuing transformation of politics in the Middle East would provide one of the more robust foreign policy legacies of any recent presidencies. It’s kind of all in for Obama. He has nothing else. So for him, it’s all or nothing.”
As Mr. Obama stepped into the Rose Garden to announce what he called a historic understanding, he seemed both relieved that it had come together and combative with those in Congress who would tear it apart. While its provisions must be translated into writing by June 30, he presented it as a breakthrough that would, if made final, make the world a safer place, the kind of legacy any president would like to leave. “This has been a long time coming,” he said.
Mr. Obama cited the same John F. Kennedy quote he referenced earlier in the week when visiting a new institute dedicated to the former president’s brother, Senator Edward M. Kennedy: “Let us never negotiate out of fear, but let us never fear to negotiate.” The sense of celebration was captured by aides standing nearby in the Colonnade who exchanged fist bumps at the end of the president’s remarks.
But Mr. Obama will have a hard time convincing a skeptical Congress, where Republicans and many Democrats are deeply concerned that he has grown so desperate to reach a deal that he is trading away American and Israeli security. As he tries to reach finality with Iran, he will have to fend off legislative efforts, joined even by some of his friends, to force a tougher posture.
A guide to help you navigate the talks between Western powers and Tehran.
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House Speaker John A. Boehner, who has been traveling in the Middle East in recent days, repeated his insistence that Congress review any deal before sanctions are eased. “My concerns about Iran’s efforts to foment unrest, brutal violence and terror have only grown,” Mr. Boehner said in a statement. “It would be naïve to suggest the Iranian regime will not continue to use its nuclear program, and any economic relief, to further destabilize the region.”
Mr. Obama tried to reverse that argument on Thursday, framing the choice as either accepting his deal or risking war, a binary formulation his critics reject. “Do you really think that this verifiable deal, if fully implemented, backed by the world’s major powers, is a worse option than the risk of another war in the Middle East?” Mr. Obama asked. If Congress kills the deal, he said, “then it’s the United States that will be blamed for the failure of diplomacy.”
An agreement with Iran remains the most promising goal left in a foreign policy agenda that has unraveled since Mr. Obama took office. Rather than building a new partnership with Russia, he faces a new cold war. Rather than ending the war in Iraq, he has sent American forces back to fight the Islamic State, though primarily from the air. Rather than defeating Al Qaeda, he finds himself chasing its offshoots. Rather than forging peace in the Middle East, he said recently that is beyond his reach.
Mr. Obama still aspires to reorient American foreign policy more toward Asia, and a pending Pacific trade pact could have a lasting impact if he can seal the deal and push it through Congress. He has nudged the world, particularly China, toward more action on climate change. He will count the restoration of diplomatic relations with Cuba after a half-century of estrangement as a major achievement.
Whether Iran is racing toward nuclear weapon capabilities is one of the most contentious foreign-policy issues challenging the West.
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But with so many disappointments, Iran has become something of a holy grail of foreign policy to Mr. Obama, one that could hold the key to a broader reordering of a region that has bedeviled American presidents for generations. Aides say he has spent more time on Iran than any other foreign policy issue except Afghanistan and terrorism.
Since the 1979 Iranian revolution that swept out the Washington-supported shah and brought to power an anti-American Islamic leadership, the country has been the most sustained destabilizing force in the Middle East — a sponsor of the terrorist groups Hezbollah and Hamas, a supporter of Shiite militias that killed American soldiers in Iraq, a patron of Syria’s government in its bloody civil war, and now a backer of the rebels who pushed out the president of Yemen.
A nuclear agreement will not change all of that, or perhaps any of that, a point Mr. Obama’s critics have made repeatedly. But Mr. Obama hopes it can be the start of a new era. An Iran that would “rejoin the community of nations,” as he put it Thursday, may have incentive to stop fomenting so much trouble. Failure as Mr. Obama sees it means more war, more instability. He has been willing to gamble America’s relationship with Israel and his own presidency on that premise.
“Obama always saw the Iranian nuclear threat as a major security challenge that would lead to war if not controlled, and further proliferation if not prevented,” said Gary Samore, a former top arms control adviser to Mr. Obama who is now president of the advocacy group United Against Nuclear Iran.
“If we get a nuclear deal, it won’t solve the problem, because the current government in Iran will still be committed to acquiring a nuclear weapons capability,” he added. “But it would give the next president a much stronger basis to manage and delay the threat.”
Reuel Marc Gerecht, a former C.I.A. analyst who is now a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, said a nuclear accord with Iran was all that remained of Mr. Obama’s dream of transformation. But Mr. Obama, he said, has misjudged Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and its president, Hassan Rouhani.
“A reading of the supreme leader or of Hassan Rouhani in their own words ought to tell you that there is a near-zero chance that an accord will diminish the revolutionary, religious hostility that these two men, the revolutionary elite, have for the United States,” he said.
If Mr. Obama does turn out to be right, Mr. Gerecht added, history will reward him. “If he is wrong, however, and this diplomatic process accelerates the nuclearization of the region, throws jet fuel on the war between the Sunnis and the Shia, and puts America into a much worse strategic position in the Middle East,” he said, “then history is likely to be harsh to Mr. Obama.”
R. Nicholas Burns, who was President George W. Bush’s lead negotiator on Iran, said Mr. Obama had embraced and enhanced a strategy his predecessor began. “We’ll have to judge him by the final result, but so far, this has been a successful effort,” he said. “A good deal could prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. A bad deal could end up empowering Iran, a defeat for him and the country.”
“In terms of legacy,” Mr. Burns added, “this is one of the two or three things that will determine it, for good or bad.”
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Study abroad students could be espionage targets, FBI says

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Earlier this week, Special Agent Vicki Anderson of the Cleveland FBI issued a statement warning study abroad students about being approached while studying abroad to spy on their home country.
“You might not have information that you think is valuable to someone but they may see you as a valuable person, someone that they can control, someone that they can get into a business or they can get in to the government to get them some information,” Anderson told ABC 5 in Cleveland.
In 2010, a former study abroad student, Glenn Duffie Shriver, was arrested and later convicted of espionage. He had been recruited while studying abroad at East China Normal University in Shanghai, China. His story is told in the FBI video called Game of Pawns.
Shriver was initially a study abroad student who loved living in China. While there, he accepted a job opportunity writing papers about U.S.-China relations for large sums of cash.
His relationship with his employer continued to grow and eventually Shriver took the Foreign Service examination, required for individuals applying to work in the U.S. Department of State. After failing the examination, Shriver’s employers encouraged him to apply to work for the CIA. Upon agreeing to apply, Shriver accepted $40,000 from his employers, which he then smuggled into the United States.
After pleading guilty for conspiring to commit espionage, Shriver has a message for current and future study abroad students:
“They say everyone has their price, and you know, when you’re being told ‘Hey, you don’t have to do anything about it. We just want to be your friend. Here’s $10,000, no big deal.’ That’s hard to say no to. Recruitment’s going on. Don’t fool yourself. The recruitment is active, and the target is young people. Throw lots of money at them, see what happens,” Shriver says in Game of Pawns.
The FBI warns that, “by establishing relationships with students before they have this access, the foreign services seek to create future opportunities to obtain information and contacts of intelligence value. Foreign intelligence services are often willing to wait a long time, even years, to exploit these relationships” and “while some countries’ intelligence services tend to target students more aggressively than others, no single country is responsible for the entirety of this targeting. Students are advised to be aware of this threat no matter what country they travel to.”
While foreign intelligence services actively target U.S. study abroad students, the U.S. government doesn’t discourage students from learning about foreign countries, their customs, cultures and language that are derived from overseas experiences.
The FBI issues these warnings to better inform students about foreign intelligence issues they might confront while abroad, ensuring students “can maximize the career-related benefits of study abroad while minimizing any potential of inadvertently compromising future employability through unwitting action or association”.
How foreign governments target study abroad students can vary.
The FBI’s website says that, “In many cases, foreign intelligence officers do not openly affiliate with their intelligence services when developing relationships with students,” using seemingly innocuous social, academic, or work-related interactions — paid paper-writing engagements, like in Shriver’s case, language exchanges, and cultural immersion programs –to meet and engage with U.S. students.
In many cases, intelligence officers provide students with payments and offer the students opportunities, such as a job, internship, visa or residence permit while appearing to receive little or nothing in return.
To report any suspicious activity, students should contact their closest U.S. Embassy or Consulate’s regional security office while abroad and their local FBI field office upon returning to the U.S.
The FBI reminds students that, “there are no negative repercussions for reporting suspicious activity — the FBI’s primary goal and interest is to protect U.S. students and to ensure that they do not become involved unwittingly with individuals or activities that might create problems for them in the future.”
Kylee Borger
is a student at New York University and a spring 2015 USA TODAY Collegiate Correspondent.
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