Tuesday, March 10, 2015

What is the degree of bluff in Putin's nuclear threat? - GS | Selected Comments on "Military analysis of what Russia really wants...": Posted by Niegol:"The author refers to Churchil in one of the last paragraphs. He however proposes a strategy more closely associated with Neville Chamberlain. This strategy was directly responsible for emboldening Hitler to start the second world war, and will do the same for Putin."

Selected Comments on 

Military analysis of what Russia really wants reveals nuclear dangers




Tosh.
Read Anna Politkovskaya for what Putin wants.
The summary of the article is Putin pushes and the West must give in.





                                               Posted by IanCa





One can ponder how many forces and how much momentum there is in the USA for developing confrontation with Russia. There is not much “buffer” left between Russia and NATO, so they tend to “contain” each other with “red lines”, with the obvious exception in Ukraine and maybe Moldova.
But most days, the US is more occupied with the Middle East … Israel, Iran, Islamic State, Saudi, Iraq, Egypt, … and things can go from bad to worse and worser.
In the wider sense, China is more of a competitor than Russia, in many aspects including basic research, patents, advanced manufacturing technology, …
So as before, the British can worry about developments in Europe, but also where the Americans are at. Not many “better dead than Red” cold warriors left.
Posted by Neurochuck






















This is just Russia trying to remain relevant in a world that does not really need them any more. Russia has had open markets for 25 years now, and their chief exports are orphans and herpes.
Now the investors are pulling out and Russia is left playing Putin chest-thump at the Chernobyl waste site. It’s sad and silly.
Posted by AlkalineState











There is excessive acquiescence here to Russia’s interests and Russia’s needs. The vantage point is entirely that of what Russia and Putin want, what is in Russia’s interests, as if every other state in the region has to placate the aggression coming out of the Kremlin – and serve as a “buffer”. And as if those “buffer” states which experienced terror and mass killing at the hands of both the Soviets and the Nazis – the Baltic States, Ukraine, Poland – have no legitimate rights or interests of their own. But they do and that should be recognized. And understandably most have joined NATO for collective security.
Posted by Cassiopian

















The author refers to Churchil in one of the last paragraphs. He however proposes a strategy more closely associated with Neville Chamberlain. This strategy was directly responsible for emboldening Hitler to start the second world war, and will do the same for Putin.
The author assumes Putin is a powerpolitician in control of his actions, and able to be measured by western standards. These are both false assumptions. Seceding Crimea to Putin will encourage him to attack a NATO state (or more accurately, the popular sentiment that this will encourage will force his hand as looking weak is something he cannot afford or survive). This will force NATO into a military confrotation with Russia. Therefore the strategy proposed by the author is one of the most assured ways to a nuclear war.
Posted by Niegol



















____________________________________________

See also: 

bluff - GS

Putin's nuclear bluff - GS

What is the degree of bluff in Putin's nuclear threat? - GS


M.N.: My estimate is: between 50% and 75%. It is too risky to call it. However, I think that if push comes to shove, his own generals will stop him and he will be thrown out, just like Khrushchev. But I think we all are very reluctant even to consider or imagine this apocalyptic scenario, as the normal people should. He is not, he is mad: enraged and paranoid, beneath the facade of calmness and calculating cool. His greatest fear is to appear weak in front of his people, this was his main motivation for the Ukrainian war: to escape the damning accusations that he "lost Ukraine", along with conceptually predetermined strategic response to the contagion of "color revolutions", initiated by Primakov after the humiliation of last Balkan wars and later developed into full fledged strategy by him and intelligence-military communities. 
This response, curiously, is very close to Russian mafia and business principle and practice of "отщипка": biting off a piece when you are exploiting or loosing a whole. Apparently, they could not come up with something smarter. 
Mr. Tefft put it well: "We all know the history [of Crimea] but it should not be done this way.


Philip Hammond: Russia’s “increasingly aggressive” stance showed that attempts to draw the nation into the international fold since the Cold War had failed. “We are now faced with a Russian leader bent not on joining the international rules-based system which which keeps the peace between nations, but on subverting it.”

Britain’s Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond, said Russia under Mr Putin represented the “single greatest threat” to UK security, in some of the strongest comments yet made by a minister for the Government since the start of the Ukraine crisis.
He said Russia’s “increasingly aggressive” stance showed that attempts to draw the nation into the international fold since the Cold War had failed.
“We are now faced with a Russian leader bent not on joining the international rules-based system which which keeps the peace between nations, but on subverting it,” he said. 

Vladimir Putin says he only ordered the annexation of Crimea to Russia because an 'unofficial survey' told him to do so

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Vladimir Putin has claimed that the decision to annex Crimea to the Russian Federation was only made after officials carried out an “unofficial survey” of the people living there.

Letter War Breaks Out Between U.S. Senators, Iranian Leaders

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After a group of U.S. Congressmen wrote a letter schooling Iran over the particulars of the U.S. political system, Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif shot back with a cheeky epistle of his own.

Russia 'completely ending' activities under Conventional Armed Forces in ... - RT

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RT

Russia 'completely ending' activities under Conventional Armed Forces in ...
RT
"The Russian Federation has taken the decision to halt its participation in meetings of the [consulting group] from March 11, 2015. Therefore, Russia is ending its actions in the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe, announced in 2007 ...
Russia Suspends Participation In Conventional Arms Consulting GroupRadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty
Russia Completely Withdraws From Conventional Armed Forces in Europe TreatySputnik International

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EU To Host Iran Nuclear Talks Next Week

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The European Union is to host talks in Brussels next week with the British, French, German, and Iranian foreign ministers on Tehran's nuclear program.

Russia Suspends Participation In Conventional Arms Consulting Group

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Russia has announced it will suspend its participation in the Joint Consultative Group on the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe as of March 11

Белый дом: Обама не принял решения по поставкам оружия Украине - РИА Новости

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Белый дом: Обама не принял решения по поставкам оружия Украине
РИА Новости
Представитель Белого дома Эрик Шульц заявил, что не располагает новой информацией о том, когда президент США рассматривал этот вопрос. Ранее администрация США заявляла, что президент Барак Обама пока не принял решение о поставках оружия Украине, несмотря на ...

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ОБСЕ и МККК зафиксировали обстрел аэропорта Донецка во вторник - РИА Новости

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РИА Новости

ОБСЕ и МККК зафиксировали обстрел аэропорта Донецка во вторник
РИА Новости
Заместитель командующего штабом ополчения Донецкой народной республики (ДНР) Эдуард Басурин заявил, что всего за сутки в районе Донецкого аэропорта зафиксировано 18 обстрелов. Автомашины миссии ОБСЕ у аэропорта города Донецка. Архивное фото. © РИА Новости.
ОБСЕ и Красный Крест зафиксировали обстрел донецкого аэропорта со стороны украинских военныхПервый канал
ОБСЕ и Красный крест зафиксировали 18 обстрелов силовиками аэропорта ДонецкаМосковский комсомолец
Красный Крест передал украинской стороне останки 16 "киборгов"УНИАН
Российский Диалог -Фонд стратегической культуры -ДеПо
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Американская дилемма: что делать с «ревизионистcкой» Россией 

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В Вашингтоне не верят, что Немцова убили из-за «Шарли Эбдо» Originally published at - http://www.golos-ameriki.ru/media/video/new-russian-policy-us-...
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Россия полностью отказалась от Договора об обычных вооружениях в Европе - РБК

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РБК

Россия полностью отказалась от Договора об обычных вооружениях в Европе
РБК
Россия отказалась от участия в совместной консультативной группе по Договору об обычных вооруженных силах в Европе. Москва объявила о приостановке действия этого договора в 2007 году, однако консультации продолжались. Фото: РИА Новости. Накануне очередного заседания ...
Россия полностью приостанавливает участие в комиссии по ДОВСЕРосбалт.RU
Эксперты оценили приостановку участия России в ДОВСЕ: «Договор уже мёртв»Московский комсомолец
Россия ответила НАТО выходом из ДОВСЕДни.Ру
Вести.Ru -НТВ.ru
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Botched Law Could Close Hundreds of Foreign Companies' Rep Offices in Russia 

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Representative and branch offices of foreign companies working in Russia are in a race against time to re-register with the authorities or lose their license to operate in the country.

Architect of Moscow's Face-Lift Sergei Kapkov Quits His Post

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Sergei Kapkov, Moscow's culture head who changed the face of the Russian capital during the past four years, resigned from his post Tuesday.

Убийство Немцова: верить ли следствию? 

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Следствие предъявляет группу исполнителей убийства Немцова - наблюдатели высказывают сомнения, что найден...
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Startfor predicts loose nukes in Russia will be 'the greatest crisis of the ... - Business Insider

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Business Insider

Startfor predicts loose nukes in Russia will be 'the greatest crisis of the ...
Business Insider
russia nuclear danger warning sign REUTERS/Yuri MaltsevAn employee looks at equipment in a new facility at a nuclear waste disposal plant in the town of Fokino in Russia's far-eastern Primorsky region June 24, 2014.

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Russia downturn takes toll on car sales

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38% fall is worst monthly drop since 2009

Nagorno-Karabakh Court Rejects Jailed Azerbaijanis' Appeal

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A de-facto court of appeals in self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh region has rejected appeals by two Azerbaijani men jailed in December on charges of murder, espionage, illegal border crossing, and illegal weapons possession

Russia quits arms pact forum with Nato

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Decision closes another channel of communication with the west

На видео ИГ предполагаемого израильского шпиона казнил ребенок - РИА Новости

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НТВ.ru

На видео ИГ предполагаемого израильского шпиона казнил ребенок
РИА Новости
Мальчику, который направляет пистолет в затылок предполагаемого израильского шпиона, предположительно, не более 12 лет. Также на видео изображен боевик ИГ, говорящий по-французски. Он выдвигает угрозы евреям, живущим во Франции. Затем мальчик производит выстрел.
«Исламское государство» распространило видео, на котором ребенок убивает шпионаКоммерсантъ
Боевики ИГ распространили видео, на котором ребенок убивает заложникаНТВ.ru
ИГ опубликовало видео казни ребенком предполагаемого сотрудника «Моссада»Взгляд
Газета.Ru -NEWSru.com -Mail.Ru
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Обвиняемый в убийстве Немцова отказался от признательных показаний - РБК

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РБК

Обвиняемый в убийстве Немцова отказался от признательных показаний
РБК
Обвиняемый по делу об убийстве Немцова Заур Дадаев рассказал, что согласился на признание, чтобы спасти друга. На суде он собирался рассказать «всю правду», но ему не дали слова. Заур Дадаев, подозреваемый в убийстве политика Б.Немцова, во время рассмотрения ...
Заур Дадаев отказывается от признательных показанийВести.Ru
Заур Дадаев заявил, что не убивал НемцоваКомсомольская правда
Обвиняемый Заур Дадаев заявил правозащитникам, что не убивал Бориса НемцоваКоммерсантъ
Газета.Ru -Радиостанция ЭХО МОСКВЫ -Lenta.ru
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US Envoy: Eastern Ukraine, Crimea Under 'Reign of Terror'

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A top U.S. diplomat for Europe says citizens in large parts of war-torn eastern Ukraine and Crimea are living under "a reign of terror" spawned by a new influx of Russian military hardware. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, speaking Tuesday, told the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee that Russian tanks, armored vehicles and Russian artillery have poured across the border in recent days. "Russia and its separatist puppets have unleashed unspeakable violence and pillage," she said. "This is a manufactured conflict controlled by the Kremlin, fueled by Russian tanks and heavy weapons and financed at Russian taxpayers' expense." Nuland also told the panel the Obama administration has not yet decided whether to supply the Kyiv government with defensive weaponry in its fight against Moscow-backed separatists near the Russian border.  She said talks on such aid are ongoing as administration officials monitor a cease-fire deal reached February 15. In a related development, Germany's ambassador to the United States Peter Wittig said Monday that President Barack Obama has decided not to supply lethal weapons to Kyiv at this time, after recent talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Wittig told the Associated Press that any such move needs to be weighed carefully against the possibility that supplying such weaponry to Ukraine - a non-NATO country - could trigger a military escalation by Russia. "We have to be fully prepared, I mean the West, to go into that military logic [possibility] over eastern Ukraine." Opponents of such aid also have argued that no amount of Western weaponry in Ukraine would stop a concerted military push by a Russian military, which analysts say is at least four times larger than Ukraine's, with twice as many tanks and more than six times as many combat aircraft. Elsewhere Monday, Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko said rebels had withdrawn a "significant" amount of heavy weaponry from the front lines in the east, as called for in the internationally brokered truce.  He also said his government had pulled back the "lion's share" of its weaponry as well. But Poroshenko, in televised comments, did not discuss the buildup of Russian military hardware described by Nuland and reported separately in recent days by European monitors and Western analysts.

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Eurosceptics playing into Vladimir Putin's hands, says Labour

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Shadow Europe minister Pat McFadden says it is incoherent for David Cameron to call for tougher European action against Putin and then threaten to leave EU
The willingness of Vladimir Putin to test European resolve has exposed the weakness of the Eurosceptic case and it requires a reinvigorated British membership of the European Union, according to the shadow Europe minister Pat McFadden.
In a speech to the Fabian Society on Wednesday, McFadden will attempt to widen the case for the EU from trade to security and shared European values saying: “The changing geopolitical security situation is leaving Euroscepticism behind.”
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Chechnya's leader pledges loyalty to Putin amid controversy surrounding Nemtsov murder probe

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  • f18c6c83cb4f2d0a700f6a7067007bfe.jpg
    Zaur Dadaev, one of five suspects in the killing of Boris Nemtsov stands in a court room in Moscow, Russia, Sunday, March 8, 2015. Russian news agencies said Sunday one of the suspects in the killing of leading opposition figure Boris Nemtsov has admitted involvement in the crime. Judge Nataliya Mushnikova said that Zaur Dadaev made a statement confirming his guilt, according to the reports. They did not specify his alleged actions. Dadaev is among five suspects detained in the Feb. 27 killing, when Nemtsov was shot while walking on a bridge near the Kremlin. Another man, Anzor Gubashev, was charged in the killing, and a hearing for three other unnamed suspects was under way, court spokeswoman Anna Fadeeva said earlier Sunday. Dadaev and Gubashev were identified as suspects by Federal Security Service director Alexander Bortnikov a day earlier. Bortnikov gave no details of how the men were detained or specifics on how they were connected to the killings. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev) (The Associated Press)
  • Europe and Africa Week in Pictures - March 2 - March 8, 2015-2.jpg
    FILE - In this Tuesday, March 3, 2015 file photo, relatives and friends pay their last respects at the coffin of Boris Nemtsov, a charismatic Russian opposition leader and sharp critic of President Vladimir Putin, during a farewell ceremony inside the Sakharov's center in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, March 3, 2015. Mourners are lining up outside the Moscow human rights center for the funeral of murdered Nemtsov. Western officials have called for Russia to conduct a prompt, thorough, transparent and credible investigation into the slaying. Putin has ordered law enforcement chiefs to personally oversee the probe. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin, File) (The Associated Press)
MOSCOW –  Chechnya's strongman on Tuesday reaffirmed an unwavering loyalty to President Vladimir Putin after receiving a medal seen by some as a move to assuage the feisty Chechen leader after one of his officers was arrested as a suspect in the slaying of a Russian opposition figure.
Ramzan Kadyrov thanked Putin for awarding him the Order of Honor, one of Russia's highest decorations, saying that it would be "the lightest task" for him to sacrifice his life for the Russian leader. "We are infantrymen of the president of Russia!" he added.
Some observers say the arrest of five suspects accused of involvement in the Feb. 27 slaying of Putin's prominent critic, Boris Nemtsov, could strain Kremlin's relations with Kadyrov, who has run Chechnya like his own fiefdom while relying on federal subsidies.
One of the suspects, Zaur Dadaev, was a senior officer in Chechnya's police force. A judge said during Saturday's hearing that he confessed to the crime, but Dadaev said in comments carried by the daily Moskovsky Komsomolets Tuesday that he was not guilty. The newspaper quoted him as telling rights activists who visited him in prison that he hadn't been given a chance to plead innocent.
Following his arrest, Kadyrov praised Dadaev as a brave soldier and a deeply religious man. The Chechen leader also hailed another suspect, who blew himself up with a grenade when police came to arrest him at his apartment in Chechnya's regional capital, Grozny.
Kadyrov's comments reflected a degree of defiance following the arrests, a rare occasion when federal law-enforcement agencies dared to prosecute those loyal to the Chechen strongman.
Oleg Orlov, the head of Memorial, a respected Russian human rights group, said the arrests and the subsequent award were a message to Kadyrov.
"They show Kadyrov that he's not quite his own boss, and some members of his entourage will be punished," Orlov told The Associated Press. "It's a signal: we will clean the field around you so that you know your place, but you are personally not in trouble yet."
Alexei Malashenko, a Caucasus expert with the Carnegie Endowment's Moscow office, said that by awarding Kadyrov with a medal Putin assured him of his personal trust despite strong anti-Kadyrov sentiments in the Russian law-enforcement agencies.
"Some people in security services of the Russian Federation don't like Ramzan Kadyrov because it's permitted to him to do everything he wants," Malashenko said.
But Putin, Malashenko added, apparently "understands that at the moment it's necessary to use Islam as a political instrument for Ramzan Kadyrov."
"They are like Siamese twins: Kadyrov will certainly not survive without Putin, and it would be difficult for Putin to do without Kadyrov," Malashenko told the AP.
Kadyrov has used generous Kremlin funding to rebuild Chechnya after two separatist wars and has relied on his feared security force of former rebels like himself to stabilize the North Caucasus province. International human rights groups have accused Kadyrov of rampant abuses, including arbitrary arrest, torture and extrajudicial killings.
The Kremlin has counted on Kadyrov to pacify Chechnya, turning a blind eye to his campaign to enforce Islamic rules, including mandatory headscarves for women. In the wake of the attack on Charlie Hebdo in Paris, which published cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, Kadyrov called those who defended the French satirical magazine his "personal enemies." He also staged a massive rally in Grozny to press the point.
Russia's top investigative agency has said that Nemtsov's criticism of the Charlie Hebdo attackers could have been a motive behind his killing. Echoing the claim, Kadyrov said on his Instagram account Saturday that Dadaev was shocked by the magazine's cartoons and commentaries in their support.
Malashenko said he didn't believe that Nemtsov was targeted for his comments related to Charlie Hebdo because he was far less outspoken than others.
His view was shared by many other observers, who have remained skeptical about the official version, saying that while Nemtsov criticized the Charlie Hebdo attackers, he made no comments against Islam. Many continued to insist that his killing just outside the Kremlin was likely rooted in his criticism of Putin.
___
Olga Tregubova in Moscow contributed to this report.
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· · · · · ·

More Russian tanks, equipment cross Ukraine border: U.S. official

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WASHINGTON Tue Mar 10, 2015 4:46pm EDT
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Russian tanks and heavy military equipment have crossed the Ukrainian border in the last few days in breach of a European-brokered ceasefire agreed on Feb. 12, a senior U.S. State Department official said on Tuesday.
The comments by U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Europe, Victoria Nuland, follow accusations by Ukraine and Western governments that Russia continues to send troops and weapons to support separatists in eastern Ukraine despite the Minsk ceasefire deal, a charge the Kremlin has denied.
Eastern Ukraine and Crimea, the Black Sea peninsula annexed by Russia a year ago, was "suffering a reign of terror," Nuland told a congressional hearing on Ukraine, adding that the White House was still considering whether to arm Ukraine's military.
The last few days have seen new transfers of Russian tanks, armored vehicles, heavy artillery and rocket equipment over the border to the separatists, Nuland told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
She said "hundreds and hundreds" of Russian troops had been killed during the conflict in eastern Ukraine.
"In the coming days, days not weeks, we need to see a complete ceasefire," Nuland said. "Pressure is going to have to increase if Minsk is not implemented."
She said there was a "spirited" debate within the administration on whether to send arms to Ukraine.
Brian McKeon, the U.S. principal deputy under secretary of defense, told lawmakers 11 Russian battalion tactical teams were in Russia's Rostov region across the Ukrainian border.
The United States pledged $118 million in non-lethal assistance to Ukraine but has delivered only about half of that, he said. "It's a case of finding it in the stocks of the United States military, and in the case of some equipment we're purchasing it off the production line."
The Senate and House of Representatives unanimously passed legislation in December that authorized sending arms to Kiev. Obama signed the measure into law but it gave him leeway over whether or when to send the arms.
In a letter to U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday, senators Bob Corker, a Republican from Tennessee and Robert Menendez, a Democrat from New Jersey, called on Obama to immediately submit a report to Congress on plans for providing arms to Ukraine.
The lawmakers said the report, required under the Ukraine Freedom Support Act, had been due on Feb. 15. It was unclear when the report would be submitted.
(Reporting by Lesley Wroughton; Editing by Richard Chang)
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Chechen Leader Kadyrov Shoots His Mouth (And Then His Gun) Off

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One day after calling the chief suspect in the Nemtsov murder a "Russian patriot," Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov posted a video of himself shooting "virtual" men.

Убийство Немцова: верить ли следствию? 

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Следствие предъявляяет группу исполнителей убийства Немцова - наблюдатели высказывают сомнения, что найде...
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Нацбанк "опустил" доллар до 21,7 - Украинское национальное информагентство

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Нацбанк "опустил" доллар до 21,7
Украинское национальное информагентство
Национальный банк Украины в понедельник повысил официальный курс гривни относительно доллара на 1,16 грн до 21,7357 по сравнению с 22,8970 в пятницу. Об этом говорится в сообщении на веб-сайте регулятора. Официальный курс гривни к евро составил 23,6049 по сравнению ...

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Russian Court Clears Director Accused Of 'Desecration'

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A Russian court has cleared two theater leaders of any wrongdoing in a high-profile case in which they were accused of desecrating the image of Jesus Christ.

Russian Tycoon Fridman Should Make U.K. Feel Nervous

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A week-long window for Soviet-born billionaire Mikhail Fridman to persuade the British government to sell him North Sea energy assets closes on Wednesday.

Russian honour for Andrei Lugovoi is provocation, Litvinineko inquiry told 

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Widow’s QC says award of medal is ‘clearest possible message’ that Vladimir Putin stands with man suspected of poisoning dissident
Vladimir Putin’s decision to give a state honour to Andrei Lugovoi, the man accused of murdering the Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko, is a deliberate provocation apparently aimed at the UK, the inquiry into Litvinenko’s death has heard.
On Monday, the Russian president granted Lugovoi a medal for “services to the motherland”. Over the past three weeks the inquiry has heard damning evidence which suggests Lugovoi smuggled polonium to Britain three times, poisoning Litvinenko in November 2006 during a meeting with him at a Mayfair hotel.
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Study Shows Britain Attracting Billions in Hidden Russian Capital 

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Britain is attracting around a billion pounds ($1.5 billion) of capital inflows a month not recorded by official statistics, up to 40 percent probably from Russia, according to a Deutsche Bank study on Tuesday.

Iranian President To Visit Turkmenistan

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Iranian President Hassan Rohani is due to arrive in Ashgabat on March 10 at the start of a two-day state visit to Turkmenistan.
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Page 6

Helicopters Crash in Argentina; 10 Are Killed

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Eight of the victims were from France, including three prominent athletes, and they were on their way to work on a reality television show.






U.S. Army Heads to Baltics to 'Reassure NATO Allies'

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About 750 U.S. Army tanks, fighting vehicles and other pieces of military equipment arrived in Latvia on Monday as a part of a training mission to reassure NATO allies, the Pentagon said.

Fighting in Eastern Ukraine Dies Down, But For How Long?

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Uneasy calm and domesticity have settled over rebel positions in the ruins of front-line towns in east Ukraine.

Песков: награждение Кадырова орденом Почета совпало с арестами по убийству Немцова - Южный Федеральный

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Южный Федеральный

Песков: награждение Кадырова орденом Почета совпало с арестами по убийству Немцова
Южный Федеральный
Награждение Рамзана Кадырова орденом Почета и задержание лиц, подозреваемых в убийстве Немцова, по заявлению пресс-секретаря Путина Дмитрия Пескова, не связанные события, они совпали. Со слов представителя главы государства, награждение главы Чечни готовилось ...

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Freed POW from Battle of Krasny Partizan Tells His Story

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On March 6, the Ukrainian news site 24tv.ua published an interview of Sergei Stepanov, a recently-released Ukrainian POW, with journalist Yevgeniya Mazur. The account was also published by the Krivoy Rog city site.
Stepanov, who was severely wounded, was released to be treated in a hospital 15 days after being taken prisoner at the Krasny Partizan checkpoint.
We first reported on January 25, 2015, about the captured men of the 20th Motorized Infantry Battalion, most from Krivoy Rog or other towns in Dnepropetrovsk Region, on January 25. A video was uploaded by Russian-backed separatists showing the men being interrogated. 



Stepanov is the 8th man  in the line-up, lying on his side, wounded.
Then as we reported later that day, Nikolai Kolesnik of Krivoy Rog, advisor to Dnepropetrovsk Governor Ihor Kolomoyskyi and patron of the 40th Battalion of Territorial Defense of the Ukrainian forces, reported on his Facebook page  the list of the names of the men of the 20th Battalion were taken prisoner near Krasny Partizan, and those killed in battle. He noted that the battalion’s chaplainFather Dmitry himself came to negotiate with the separatists to pick up the dead at the scene and bring some medical assistance to the wounded.
Then in February, there were reports that several more wounded men from the 20th battalion POWs were released for medical treatment. Currently, four reportedly remain, awaiting exchange under the terms of the second Minsk agreement of February 12.
Stepanov, still undergoing treatment in the hospital, sent greetings to his fellow battalion members.
The following is a translation of Stepanov’s account.
Mazur: I’m a journalist, we’ve already been introduced, now let’s get acquainted.
My name is Sergei, my last name is Stepanov. I am from Western Ukraine, Ternopol Region, the village of Pochayev, where I lived 21 years before the army. Afterward, I moved to Krivoy Rog. There I got a job, a family, and a child…
In 2014, when this outrage began with the Crimea, and with the Donbass, I signed up as a volunteer, after which I was called up and was told to come to the military commission with my things, they sent me a notice — and starting May 3, I began service in the army. We went through training for about two weeks. After that, we went out to the first checkpoint that is beyond the city of Pokrovskoye in Dnepropetrovsk Region on the border of Donetsk Region. From that moment, my service took off.
Mazur: Were you mustered out as a battalion for territorial defense?
Stepanov: Yes. A month later we were removed from Pokrovka and we transferred to a location outside of Krasnoarmeysk, already within the ATO [Anti-Terrorist Operation] zone. Then we realized that we were no longer a territorial defense, but were just going to where they sent us.
Our battalion started out from Mariupol, where three of our guys were killed, including the deputy battalion commander. Then we went to Krasnoarmeysk, further on I will not name the locations, I don’t want to bring trouble on myself and my guys — where we were and what we did. On the whole, the job consisted of observing, monitoring the population, the flow of transport, and accordingly, the flow of armaments — so as not to allow all that crap to be smuggled into peaceful territory.

Mazur: Were there attempts to smuggle arms?
Stepanov: There were. We also intercepted attempts to smuggle valuables and large sums of money. In general, these were either Roma or police officers, as a rule, Donetsk people. There were gold items with tags, it was evident that this jewelry was still new; it was in a box, packed, with a seal, the price tag and so on. Upon the simplest questions — where did you get this — the person would begin to get flustered, he couldn’t answer, and then would think up some story, like “It’s from my aunt and uncle, they asked me to bring it out, I didn’t see what was in there.” In fact, the jewelry would be stuffed all throughout the car. That was the way they tried to take out large sums of money, too, whose origin people couldn’t explain.
We would turn over such people to the SBU [Ukrainian Security Service] right away. There were rumors that we took all this ourselves and then put it in our pockets. No. All the incidents were recorded, so as to keep ourselves out of harm’s way later.
Mazur: Then what happened?
Stepanov: Then — baptism by battle. Then Pisky. I wasn’t long there with the guys, I was wounded on the second day. I was sent to the hospital. The guys from Pisky were taken to Maryinka, and I came to them after the hospital.
Mazur: How did you get on with the local population?
Stepanov: I will say this: after Krasnogorovka, we ended up in rotation. And a letter came addressed to the battalion commander in which the people from Krasnogorovka begged us in tears to return. They had something to compare it to. They saw that order had begun to appear in the city, that the stores were open, that some kind of respectful attitude toward the residents appeared, although 95% of the population, probably were against you.
Mazur: Against you from the start?
Stepanov: Yes. Well, maybe not from the start. You know, it’s like the movie Svad’ba v Malinovke(Wedding in Malinovka) — “the government is changing again.” The population there is the kind that could care less  who they live under. Just so that they’re left alone.
Mazur: Is all the population like that?
Stepanov: No. There were people who really changed their opinion. There were those who lived there, but remained patriots of Ukraine. And there were those like that grandfather from Malinovka who constantly changed his hat when the government changed. There were a lot like that.
Mazur: So what happened with the letter?
Stepanov: So this letter came. It was, it turned out, in A4 format, a page and a half — a request for us to return, and then probably seven or eight pages with the signatures of the local people.
Mazur: What happened after the rotation?
Stepanov: After the rotation we ended up in Krasny Partizan, where we didn’t even last a month. To the extent of our capabilities, we helped the local population, in principle, as we always had. With groceries, medicines, and warm things, the guys would hand them out…
On January 22, we were taken, let’s put it that way. I will not explain the details. It happened that the offensive began, they had the advantage in numbers and in armor. Afterwards, I saw a video after the battles for Krasny Partizan, how their battalion commander said that we had four BMPs and three tanks and about 80 soldiers. That’s all a lie.
Mazur: What was there?
Stepanov: One BMP-kopeyka and 22 men.
Mazur: What was on their side?
Stepanov: On their side was about 70-80 men and three tanks. There are some further nuances that I don’t want to mention.
Some of the guys fled. Fourteen of us remained. Of these, 4 were killed, there were wounded men, and I was among them. I ended up in captivity, where I spent 15 days. Then there was an exchange. And I had to go around Ukraine to different hospitals.
Mazur: Now are some of your guys still in captivity?
Stepanov: Yes. I am maintaining communication with my battalion, I constantly ask, I try to pull out some information about them, I ask who has been exchanged, when they exchanged them. I have been constantly looking for my buddies. When there was an exchange not long ago, they exchanged about 130 or 140 people, I read the lists over several times, I didn’t see my guys, but it turned out that two of our guys ended up on it anyway. They’re already home. Four people are still there.
Mazur: Let’s hope that everything will be alright with them…

Stepanov: I very much hope so, too. I talked with the guys who returned home not long ago, they told me about this situation. One of the fighters on duty guarding the POWs  went into the building where I was, where the guys are sitting now, and wanted to execute them simply point blank. Because somewhere a rumor had gone around that they  were going to take Donetsk. Therefore they wanted to execute the guys, but fortunately, not all of them are so “lost” there. They just took away that person’s weapon and took him out of there. They say they took away those ones on duty and put in others. They seem to be normal. But how the guys are doing there in reality…Understandably, they are tired, exhausted, and everyone wants to get home.
Mazur: What happened in captivity?
Stepanov: Knowing how they treat other POWs, we landed in presidential apartments. We lived in a building which was heated, we slept on mattresses. Since I was wounded, I got the VIP spot — I was on the bed.
Mazur: Did they give you medical treatment?
Stepanov: Yes. Once every two or three days. They fed us morning and evening. That is, the conditions were more than sufficient.
Mazur: Do you know anything about the conditions in which others were detained?
Stepanov: As far as I know, the guys who end up with the “Cossacks” and the Chechens are kept in a regular pit outdoors, they give them a loaf of bread for 10 people a day. Plus, they abuse them physically and mentally. We had only mental abuse. Each one would come up to us and say there “Ukropy, ukri [lit. "dill weeds," pejorative name for Ukrainians—The Interpreter]…I won’t continue with what other interesting words were said about what we were, and what they thought about us.
Mazur: Did they threaten you?
Stepanov: Well, they didn’t threaten us that badly, but they did mock us. Like, “we’re come to your house, if you do the same thing.” That sort of thing. That is, they psychologically pressured us.
Mazur: Who was there?
Stepanov: I won’t say. They were all dressed essentially almost alike. They didn’t have written on their foreheads whether they were Russian or not Russian. I didn’t look at their faces in particular and I didn’t particularly listen to their conversation. It wasn’t the place or the conditions to do so.
I know one medic came to visit me who was totally in a Russian uniform. And his accent was far from Ukrainian. Even the Ukrainian Russian language was very different from his accent. It was obvious that the man was from Russia. I won’t be surprised if it turns out that he is from somewhere outside of Moscow, because his speech was very similar.
I didn’t see Buryats, for example. Understandably, information gets around. I had a friend who was laying in the next ward, he told me: they were ambushed, they took fire, and lost some men. But in fact, they took a small number, 20 Russian soldiers, into captivity.
Mazur: Who did you encounter?
Stepanov: We encountered the “militia,” the Vostok Battalion. We were told that they were all locals, all Donetsk people. But in the final analysis, as it turned out, not only were there Donetsk people there, there were people from Zaporozhe and my fellow countrymen from Krivoy Rog. There are people there from all over Ukraine. I don’t know how they justify their switch to that side. Of course they beat their chests that it is only for the sake of an idea, that no one pays them. But as for people from Krivoy Rog who possibly live with me in the same district, and we might have even crossed paths, they’re fighting there — and I don’t understand what idea they have. If a person is from the Donbass — that’s understandable that he has an idea. But what kind of idea can you have if you’re from Krivoy Rog — and you’re in Donetsk Region? I don’t think a normal person will go just like that under fire to another city. What interest he has — I don’t understand. Most likely they pay them pretty well there, but they’re silent about it.
By the way, that guy from Krivoy Rog came in to visit, he really wanted to take a look at us, because a large number of the POWs were from Krivoy Rog. He came to take a look at us, and he looked at us…Well, I don’t know, they look at bums nicer than he looked at us.
Mazur: How were you exchanged? On what principle do they let people out, in general?
Stepanov: I don’t know on what principle. The volunteer guys said that no one publicizes the mechanism for exchange. They don’t even publicize the approximate list and the dates. Because, for example, they’ll say: tomorrow we will exchange people, and somebody will get up in the morning on the wrong foot, and everything will go upside down. But for a POWs, the news that he will be exchanged is like news about the birth of a baby. You wait for that day like manna from heaven. You want to see your family, hug your family members, and forget about all of this.
This is how it was for us. Somewhere after lunch, their zampolit” as I understood it came and said: “You two, get dressed, get your things, today you’re going to the exchange.” We were loaded up into a vehicle and they drove a bunch of us away.
There were eight of us driven, there were three ambulances and two minibuses. Our guys came to pick us up and had one ambulance and one Bogdan [a kind of Ukrainian car--The Interpreter]. The guys who had the Ilizarov frames, without legs, were simply traveling in the bus. I, as non-ambulatory, with broken, gun-shot legs, traveled on a stretcher on the back seats for four or five hours until Kramatorsk. Let’s say the conditions for exchange that the seps provided us were much better than ours. That’s how it was, somehow.
Mazur: What functions does their “zampolit” perform?
Stepanov: At first he came to visit us, he was just interested in how we felt, whether we were abused mentally or physically. We ourselves began to ask him what news there were, so as to somehow orient ourselves in space. Because you’re sitting inside the four walls. Yes, you seem to have your own guys with you, but each one is thinking to himself how he acted, correctly or incorrectly, well, you understand.
So we began to ask him, and he began to bring some information. Usually, the news was just from one side — just theirs. The only important thing that he said — it was possible that soon there would be an exchange, that only the wounded would be exchanged, but he warned us that he didn’t want us to get our hopes up yet.
Mazur: Maybe you can recall what he said at the very end, when he left?
Stepanov: Usually, they just kept pulling him away. That is, he would come visit us, bring some sort of news, tell some sort of stories of his own, that he was a civilian or something, that he couldn’t stand the outrage of the Ukrainian junta, and that he went and became a fighter. Like, he would tell us his life story. At the end of each visit someone would call him and he would supposedly have to get somewhere right away.
Mazur: That is, it was purely informational influence — he would come, he would ask how you were, then he would say, I’m so-and-so, how are you, and then load up on information?
Stepanov: Yes, yes, yes!
There were manipulations of sorts. “Look who you’re fighting against, everyone here are civilians, there are no fighters here.” He would say things like, “When you get out of captivity, the SBU will work you over.” the hint was, “Guys, it’s not worth fighting any more.”
All of those who came to visit us would ask the standard questions, and say the standard slogans. I don’t know how to say it correctly — whether it was an incubator or not, where he was a clown or not.
Mazur: What questions? What slogans?
Stepanov: I can’t reproduce them exactly. It was like, “Why did you come here, who are you fighting against? This is the civilian population here, women, children. You’re shooting at Donetsk.” It was like we were the first to take up arms, and we were the first to start killing people.
Mazur: How did you answer these questions?
Stepanov: Well, how could we answer? We were mobilized, we were given a command, and we are military people — they gave us a command and we moved out.
Mazur: How did they react?
Stepanov: Each one in a different way. Some of them started to get mad. Some of them were understanding, because a soldier is a soldier.
I can say that they have expressed aggression toward such battalions as Right Sector and Aidar.
Mazur: That is, to the volunteers?
Stepanov: Yes. They tried to push this information on us ,that the guys from there had started to rape girls, to cut off their nipples, to blow foam…I don’t believe it.
There were foul balls, that we shelled Donetsk…I personally saw, when we were at Maryinka, how they shelled the center of Donetsk from Petrovsky District. I personally saw how two separatist Grads fired a whole cassette in the direction of the city. Their location was not visible — it was behind the slag heaps, but I saw how a Grad was firing at the center of Donetsk. And then the news would go out that Ukrainian forces were shelling the city, and civilians and so on.
Mazur: Can you already analyze now to what extent the news that the zampolit was bringing you was true?
Stepanov: I didn’t gotten involved in analysis yet. For now, I’m trying to forget everything that happened in Krasny Partizan, in captivity.
But it was apparent that they were all working “from a textbook”. That was what really made me sick — the same questions over and over, sometimes you didn’t even feel like answering. This was in order to convince a person that he really was wrong, that he was fighting for some sort of incomprehensible junta, for fascism, for America…And convince him once again that really he was killing the civilian population. If a person was mentally weak, then it would eat away at him inside, and fester, and finally it would turn out that he would get home and he would start fooling around with alcohol or something even worse — he would start abusing his wife or his kid. That is, they work a person over so that when he gets out to civilian life, he will no longer be functional.
Mazur: What can you do? How can you resist this?
Stepanov: I don’t know. I’m the kind of person, for example, that doesn’t absorb a lot. I saw it, I was there. I will work all this over inside and then forget it. I discard excess information. Yes, for some people it is hard to talk about this, it is hard to remember. I can remember it and talk about it. At this point, I am dealing with it easily.
War is of course awful, but when you have to defend your family, your country your city — whether you like it or not, you have to. I am an opponent of war, an opponent of deciding issues by fists. It is easier for me to just talk with a person. You can punch somebody in the face at any time, but to talk with a person, understand why something is going on — that’s more interesting.
Mazur: Was it scary? Perhaps your hands shook…
Stepanov: The first time my hands shook was when I was standing at the first checkpoint. At that time the guys were going on trips, taking the “radishes,” the bad people, and the news came that somewhere they had taken one of the Chechens. Then there was a rumor that the Chechens had set put a large sum on our heads. Then you realized that you were at war. This went away after a few weeks, you simply forgot it, somehow. I was afraid in Pisky. After I was wounded, my instinct for self-preservation kicked in with each mortal shell, even when our guys were shelling, when it fell, I would try to crouch down in a pit so that if there was an explosion, it wouldn’t catch me.
Later on, it wasn’t so frightening. There wasn’t any fear in Krasny Partizan. There was an understanding of what was going on: a shoot-out, mortars were being thrown at you, tanks, and then the moment of capture. When there was only four of us, I saw how the guys one after another did not fall — there was no fear. I understood everything, I realized it. They asked questions — I answered, and saw what was happening around me. I realized that the line was coming closer and closer to me.  I  realized that they could shoot me now. Well, let’s put it this way, it is a hopeless situation and a situation in which you are helpless. But there wasn’t the desire to beg for something. You know, how they show in movies, where a person begins to sob hot tears and beg, “just let me live, I will kiss your feet.” There was nothing like that. I thought, well, what will be will be. It was like that, somehow.
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Moscow Using Russian Organizations to Destabilize Latvia, Riga Officials Say 

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Staunton, March 9 — Solvita Āboltiņa, chairman of the Latvian parliament’s security committee, says that the 100 NGOs in Latvia receiving money from Moscow are not “organizations concerned with the development of the culture and traditions of national minorities in Latvia.”
Instead, the 100 Moscow-backed organizations the Security Police have identified are those which “are carrying out actions hostile to official policy of the state, including those connected with Latvia’s status as an independent state” and such actions must be considered “interference in [Latvia’s] internal affairs.”
The situation in Latvia is less secure than it was a year ago, the deputy says, given Moscow’s actions in Ukraine, its declarations of regret about the demise of the USSR and suggestions that “Latvia is in general not a country but a territory belonging to Russia, Russian overflights of Latvian territory, and Russian military maneuvers near the Latvian border.
What makes all these things especially worrisome, Āboltiņa says, is that they are quite similar to the actions Moscow took before invading Ukraine and Georgia.
Latvians can feel secure because Latvia is a member of NATO and protected by the provisions of Article 5, “but its own security is the greatest task of each country.” And consequently, she adds, Riga is boosting defense spending, although that alone will not be sufficient.
She agrees with her interviewer that “even the strongest army cannot resolve all the problems of the security of the country.” Security is not just blocking invasions; it is about ensuring domestic security, fighting international terrorism, and ensuring that its media freedom is not exploited by those who want to destabilize Latvia.
Āboltiņa says that Latvia devoted too little attention to the impact of Russian television in the past, but it is now correcting this. On the one hand, she says, people should be free to choose what they watch. But on the other, the government has an interest in ensuring that channels which seek to destabilize the situation as RTR does in Latgale are countered.
In her view, Latvia does not have the possibility of creating a Russian-language channel of its own that could satisfy all the entertainment needs of the population, even with European support. But it does need to work to create a series of news and information programming for Russian speakers.
Despite some criticism, Āboltiņa says she always speaks Russian with those journalists and others who speak it. Her “position,” she says is that “Latvian is our single state language and speaking it we show respect to it. But if a politician wants to be heard, then it is important to speak on that language in which he wants to be heard.”
Translators, she continues, do not always “catch important nuances,” noting that she often has to correct them. And she “always stresses: in Latvia at all times have lived people of various nationalities and it is important to have a dialogue with them.”
Several upcoming holidays, on March 6 and May 9, are likely to be more explosive this year than in the past, Āboltiņa says, because of the geopolitical situation, Latvia’s current status as chairman in office of the EU Council, and the dangers of terrorism. But precisely because of those dangers, Latvian politicians must be careful.
And she calls on all of them and everyone else as well to attend to the words of Riga Archbishop Jānis Vanags who has pointed out that “Latvia has a very complicated history, that Latvia did not start World War II” – Hitler and Stalin did that – and “that residents of Latvia fought on various sides of the front, but each fought for Latvia.”
Consequently, the Lutheran leader says, “each of them has the right to remember his fallen comrades.” But Āboltiņa says it is imperative and especially in this year of heightened tensions for politicians avoiding making a political issue out of how they do.
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US Ambassador Released From Seoul Hospital

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The U.S. ambassador to South Korea, who was slashed in a knife attack last week, has been released from a Seoul hospital. Ambassador Mark Lippert told reporters Tuesday he feels "pretty darn good, all things considered" and expects to make a full recovery. "It was obviously a scary incident. But I'm walking, talking, holding my baby, hugging my wife, so I just feel really good," Lippert said. "I've got a little rehab left to do on the arm. The face feels really good, but thanks to the great medical professionals, I feel ... pretty darn good," he said. Lippert needed 80 stitches to close a wound on the right side of his face following the attack, which was carried out by a North Korea sympathizer. The ambassador said his "love and affection" for South Korea was strengthened by the outpouring of support following the knife attack. He said he will return to work "very soon." Looking at security policies The 42-year-old stressed that he felt "very, very safe" in Seoul, but added U.S. officials will "take a hard look" at security policies following the incident. A South Korean activist who was opposed to U.S.-South Korea military drills slashed Lippert on the face and left wrist last Thursday as the ambassador prepared to give a speech at a lecture hall in Seoul. Authorities said Sunday that the suspect, Kim Ki-jong, 55, faces possible attempted murder charges.  Pyongyang's official Korean Central News Agency responded to the attack by calling it "just punishment" and a valid "expression of resistance" to ongoing U.S.-South Korea military exercises. Seoul police said the suspect had visited North Korea about seven times between 1999 and 2007. Kim has denied receiving any direction from North Korea.

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Murderers of Opposition Figures in Russia Rarely Caught and Those Behind Them Almost Never, Vishnevsky Says

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Staunton, March 9 — In the increasingly Orwellian world that is Vladimir Putin’s Russia, one in which the lie is the truth, it is important to remember that “with rare exceptions,” the murders of those the authorities don’t like are “not solved. Sometimes, those who carried the out are found, but those who ordered them almost never,” Boris Vishnevsky says.
While one would like to believe that those who killed Boris Nemtsov have now been arrested and that they will name those who ordered them to do so, the Yabloko deputy in St. Petersburg’s legislative assembly says, one can do so only with difficulty given the record.
He enumerates some of these cases and concludes that the current one is unlikely to be different:
“For 20 years,” the murder of investigative journalist Dmitry Kholodov has not been solved.
“For 16 years,” the murders of ethnographer and activist Galina Starovoitova and investigative journalist Larisa Yudina have not been solved. “In both cases,” Vishnevsky writes, “those who carried out the murders have been convicted, but those who ordered the killings have not been named.”
“For 12 years,” the murder of lawmaker and journalist Yuri Shchekhochikin has not been solved.
“For 10 years,” Vishnevsky continues, “the murder of Paul Khlebnikov,” the American journalist who worked on corruption in Moscow, “has not been solved.”
“For nine years,” the murder of journalist Anna Politkovskaya has remained unsolved, with the triggermen convicted but those who ordered them to kill not named. Moreover, Vishnevsky says, as in the case of Nemtsov’s murder, pro-Kremlin types described her murder as “a provocation” against the regime.”
And “for five years,” the murder of human rights activist Natalya Estemirova has not been solved either.
That record does not inspire confidence about the current “investigation,” Vishnevsky says. Moreover, the situation now is even worse than it was at the time of some of these earlier cases. That is because the Putin regime has created an institution which means that it is “impermissible not to remember” even more long ago history.
In 1905, the Black Hundreds Union of the Russian People was set up with the support of the Russian regime and even the blessings of the tsar. “Besides Jewish pogroms,” that group was responsible “at a minimum” for three political murders of opposition deputies of the State Duma, Mikhail Gertsenshtein, Grigory Iollos, and Aleksandr Karavayev.
Now, 110 years later, and again “with the support of the authorities,” another Black Hundreds-type organization has been set up, the Anti-Maidan, whose leaders have declared that they will use any means necessary including “the fear of death” to block those who oppose the regime.
Government investigators and the procurator’s office, Vishnevsky continues, “will not turn the slightest attention” to this group, one can be sure. And their failure to do so has further emboldened the Anti-Maidan groups who are now trying to further divide society by talking about provocations of one kind or another.
Another Moscow commentator, Igor Eidman, makes many of the same points with particular regard to the Russian government’s new charges against Chechens for supposedly killing Nemtsov, charges that may blow up in Moscow’s face if Russians and others are paying attention.
Kadyrov “had no particular reasons to kill Nemtsov,” Eidman points out. “Boris [Nemtsov] wasn’t involved in the investigation of the crimes of the Kadyrov regime as were the late Piontkovskaya or Estemirov.” Moreover, Nemtsov “did not denounce Kadyrov or become his blood enemy.”
And given everything, “Kadyrov could organize the murder of Nemtsov only if he were directly ordered to do so by Putin,” the Moscow commentator said.
Moscow will likely try to lay all the blame for the Nemtsov murder on the Chechens, invoking the always useful argument that these Chechens are motivated by Islamic extremism and were “angry” about the support Nemtsov and other Russian liberals had given to the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists.
That may be enough for many in Russia and the West, but clearly, Eidman says, the Putin regime is putting most of its hopes that it will again evade being held responsible for murder in something else: “the short attention span” of Russians and others, who will soon forget this and turn to other news.
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ЕС определился с датой, когда будет решаться вопрос о создании общеевропейской армии - Правда.Ру

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Правда.Ру

ЕС определился с датой, когда будет решаться вопрос о создании общеевропейской армии
Правда.Ру
Выдвинутая председателем Европейской комиссии Жан-Клодом Юнкером в интервью германскому изданию Welt am Sontad идея о создании европейской армии будет обсуждаться на июньском саммите ЕС, заявил официальный представитель ЕК Маргаритис Схинас. "Сегодня я еще не ...

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What middle-aged men can learn from Vladimir Putin

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Growing old shouldn't mean slowing down, taking up sedate hobbies or neglecting one's appearance, as the Russian leader demonstrates. Bill Borrows is impressed, sort of








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Conservative To Head Powerful Iranian Assembly

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Iran's Assembly of Experts, the body that appoints and can dismiss the country's supreme leader, has picked an ultraconservative as its new head in a surprise move.

ДНР: Ситуация в Донбассе ухудшилась,...

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ДНР: Ситуация в Донбассе ухудшилась, Киев может готовить наступление

Российская Газета - ‎50 мин. назад‎
Власти Донецкой народной республики заявили об ухудшении ситуации на линии соприкосновения. "Ситуация в последние дни резко ухудшилась. Количество боестолкновений, уменьшившись сначала со 107 до 4-6, вчера вновь выросло до 22", - цитирует "Интерфакс" спикера ...

Пушилин: Киев остановил отвод вооружений и может готовиться к атаке

Regions.ru - ‎1 час назад‎
Киев может готовиться к новому наступлению, сообщил «Русской службе новостей» вице-спикер Народного совета самопровозглашенной Донецкой народной республики Денис Пушилин. «Сейчас важный переход должен произойти непосредственно к выполнению ...

Пушилин: Украина может пойти в новое наступление на Донбасс

Газета Труд - ‎4 ч. назад‎
Украинская армия может вести подготовку к новому наступлению на самопровозглашенные республики Донбасса. Такое мнение высказал в эфире «Русской службы новостей» вице-спикер Народного совета Донецкой народной республики Денис Пушилин. «Самый плохой вариант ...

В ДНР не исключают военной провокации Киева и готовы к ней

Правда.Ру - ‎5 ч. назад‎
Сегодня вице-спикер народного совета ДНР Денис Пушилин прокомментировал ситуацию между официальным Киевом и Донбассом после истечения срока, данного на отвод тяжелой техники от линии соприкосновения. Политик считает, что украинская армия вновь может начать ...

Пушилин обвинил Киев в подготовке нового наступления

Аргументы и факты - ‎5 ч. назад‎
Украина приостановила отвод вооружений и может готовиться к новому наступлению на востоке страны, заявил в эфире РСН вице-спикер Народного совета самопровозглашенной ДНР Денис Пушилин. Статья по теме. Чей Донбасс? Федор Лукьянов. По его словам, сейчас должен ...

В ДНР заподозрили украинских военных в подготовке к наступлению

Интерфакс - ‎6 ч. назад‎
Москва. 10 марта. INTERFAX.RU - Вице-спикер Народного совета самопровозглашённой Донецкой народной республики Денис Пушилин считает, что Украина может готовиться к новому наступлению. "Сейчас важный переход должен произойти непосредственно к выполнению ...

Пушилин: Киев готовится к новому наступлению в Донбассе

Новости Украины | Новостное агентство ХАРЬКОВ - ‎2 ч. назад‎
Заместитель главы Народного совета ДНР Денис Пушилин заявил, что украинская армия готовится к новому наступлению в Донбассе. Он подчеркнул, что ополченцы в состоянии отразить любую атаку украинских силовиков. «По факту мы видим затягивание со стороны Украины, видим ...

Пушилин: Украина остановила отвод вооружений и может готовиться к атаке

Русская Служба Новостей - ‎6 ч. назад‎
Украина может готовиться к новому наступлению, сообщил в эфире «Русской службы новостей» вице-спикер Народного совета ДНР Денис Пушилин. «Сейчас важный переход должен произойти непосредственно к выполнению политическо-экономической части: работа подгрупп по ...

Пушилин проспался и решил, что на него скоро нападут

Интернет-обозрение Главное - ‎5 ч. назад‎
Один из номинальных главарей ДНР Денис Пушилин считает, что Украина может готовиться к новому наступлению. "Сейчас важный переход должен произойти непосредственно к выполнению политическо-экономической части: работа подгрупп по конституционной реформе, выборам, ...

Пушилин: Киев готовит новое наступление

Аналитическое агентство "Русь Православная" - ‎4 ч. назад‎
Украина приостановила отвод вооружений и может готовиться к новому наступлению на востоке страны, заявил в эфире РСН вице-спикер Народного совета ДНР Денис Пушилин. По его словам, сейчас должен произойти важный переход к выполнению политическо-экономической ...

В ДНР подозревают, что Киев готовится к новому наступлению

ИА 0-50.ru - ‎5 ч. назад‎
В Донецке подозревают, что киевские силовики готовятся к новому наступлению. Об этом заявил вице-спикер Народного совета ДНР Денис Пушилин. "По факту мы видим затягивание со стороны Украины, видим различные вариации интерпретировать по-своему минские ...

Ополченцы призвали Киев поспешить с определением статуса Донбасса

РЕН ТВ - ‎7 ч. назад‎
14 марта истекает срок, когда Верховная Рада определит перечень районов Донбасса с особым статусом. Но до сих пор проект документа так и не подготовлен. По словам Пушилина, заминки с выполнением этого требования замедляют мирный процесс. Ранее представители ЛНР и ...

Сепаратисты призвали Киев поторопиться с определением статуса Донбасса

<a href="http://NEWSru.com" rel="nofollow">NEWSru.com</a> - ‎9 марта 2015 г.‎
Представители "народных республик" на востоке Украине призвали киевские власти поспешить с определением особого статуса сепаратистских территорий. В то же время представители Киева и самопровозглашенной Донецкой народной республики обменялись обвинениями в ...

Донбасс готовится к переходу на рубли - Пушилин

Свежие новости сегодня. Последние новости интернет издания "Fresh-News" - ‎18 ч. назад‎
В связи с беспрецедентным обвалом курса гривны на территории европеизировавшейся Украины, в Донецкой Народной Республике все чаще выносится на повестку дня возможность использования в торговых предприятиях рублевых ценников. Об этом сегодня в эфире телеканала ...

ДНР предостерегает Киев от повторения ошибок Минска-1

33LIVE.RU - ‎20 ч. назад‎
Подходит басист к гитаpисту и говоpит: - Вот ты там на гитаpе игpаешь, тебя все знают и от тебя все тащатся, а я на заднем плане только на басухе бумкаю... А я тоже хочу чтоб меня все замечали и всё такое... Как это сделать? - Да очень пpосто! Покупаешь себе гитаpу навоpоченную, ...

ополченцы сообщили об обстреле армией Украины шахты "Первомайская"

TOP News.RU - ‎9 марта 2015 г.‎
Последние новости Новороссии 9 марта 2015: финский журналист избит на Украине. Между тем ополченцы призвали Киев поторопиться с определением статуса Донбасса. Глава МЧС ЛНР: силовики обстреляли шахту "Первомайская". Утром в понедельник киевские силовики ...

ДНР перейдет на рубли

Аналитическое агентство "Русь Православная" - ‎5 ч. назад‎
Официальный представитель ДНР в Контактной группе, вице-спикер Народного Совета Денис Пушилин сегодня заявил, что в связи с обвалом курса гривны в Донецкой Народной Республике все чаще обсуждается возможность использования в торговых предприятиях рублевых ...

Пушилин: Все зависит от готовности Киева соблюдать минские договоренности

РЕН ТВ - ‎9 марта 2015 г.‎
В Донецке прошла пресс-конференция, посвященная исполнению минских договоренностей, в которой приняли участие представители самопровозглашенных народных республик - Денис Пушилин и Вячеслав Дайнеко. По словам представителя ДНР Дениса Пушилина, необходимо ...

Пушилин: Необходимо приложить обоюдные усилия для соблюдения минских договоренностей

РЕН ТВ - ‎9 марта 2015 г.‎
В Донецке сегодня проходит пресс-конференция, посвященная исполнению минских договоренностей, сообщают "Вести.ru". В ней принимают участие представители самопровозглашенных народных республик - Денис Пушилин и Вячеслав Дайнеко. По словам представителя ДНР ...

УКРАИНА: ДОНБАСС-УРЕГУЛИРОВАНИЕ-ПУШИЛИН

euronews - ‎9 марта 2015 г.‎
МОСКВА, 9 февраля. /ТАСС/. Перевод вооруженного конфликта на Украине в плоскость политического урегулирования и выход из него во много зависит от готовности Киева в установленные сроки определить районы Донбасса, которые будут обладать особым статусом. Об этом ...

ДНР: Киев специально затягивает переговоры, готовясь к наступлению

Новости Украины | Новостное агентство ХАРЬКОВ - ‎9 марта 2015 г.‎
В Донецкой народной республике опасаются, что Киев намеренно имитирует переговорный процесс с представителями ДНР и ЛНР для того, чтобы подготовить ВСУ к очередному акту военной оперы. Об этом заявил вице-спикер Народного совета республики Денис Пушилин.

Донецк и Луганск. Главные события 9 марта

ABSOLUT TV - ‎2 ч. назад‎
В Новороссии создан бразильский артиллерийский отряд им. Эрнесто Че Гевары. Об этом сообщает ополчение в социальных сетях. По информации ополченцев, бразильцам придана пушка «Рапира». Басурин: Украинские силовики за сутки 34 раза нарушили «режим тишины».
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ДНР: Ситуация в Донбассе ухудшилась, Киев может готовить наступление - Российская Газета

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ДНР: Ситуация в Донбассе ухудшилась, Киев может готовить наступление
Российская Газета
Власти Донецкой народной республики заявили об ухудшении ситуации на линии соприкосновения. "Ситуация в последние дни резко ухудшилась. Количество боестолкновений, уменьшившись сначала со 107 до 4-6, вчера вновь выросло до 22", - цитирует "Интерфакс" спикера ...
Пургин: в Донбасс возвращается войнаВести.Ru
В ДНР сообщили о резком ухудшении военно-политической обстановкиВзгляд
В ДНР заявили о резком ухудшении ситуации в ДонбассеПолит.ру
НТВ.ru -Версии.сом -Газета.Ru
Все похожие статьи: 99 »

US Congressional Letter to Iran Stirs Controversy

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An open letter to the leaders of Iran by 47 U.S. Senators warns any nuclear agreement reached could be modified or revoked once President Obama leaves office in early 2017. Obama said the letter aligns the lawmakers with Iranian hardliners. But a prominent political scientist pointed out that while the letter is extraordinary and unusual, it is legitimate for the lawmakers to write it. The open letter, authored by new Republican Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton and co-signed by 46 other Republican lawmakers, seeks to inform Iran’s leaders that any nuclear agreement involving the United States could face constitutional hurdles.  It states that, while the president can negotiate international agreements, Congress plays “a significant role” in ratifying them.  It says a so-called congressional-executive agreement requires a majority vote in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, where a three-fifths majority of 100 Senators is needed. The letter also warns that any agreement regarding Iran’s nuclear weapons program that is not approved by the Congress will be viewed as nothing more than an executive agreement that could be revoked by a future president or modified by Congress. Asked about the letter Monday, President Obama said the U.S. lawmakers have aligned themselves with those in Iran opposed to the negotiations: "I think it’s somewhat ironic to see some members of Congress wanting to make common cause with the hardliners in Iran. It’s an unusual coalition. I think what we’re going to focus on now is actually seeing whether we can get a deal or not and, if we do, then we will be able to make the case to the American people, and I’m confident we’ll be able to implement," said Obama. Sunday, Obama acknowledged gaps in the negotiating positions remain with less than a month to go before a self-imposed deadline to reach a framework agreement.  He warned that he would walk away from the talks without proper transparency and verification Iran is not pursuing a nuclear weapon. White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the letter represents “a partisan strategy to undermine the president’s ability to conduct foreign policy” and advance U.S. national security interests. "We have heard Republicans now, for quite some time, including the principal author of this letter, make clear that their goal is to undermine these negotiations. That is not a position I am ascribing to Senator Cotton. That is a position that he has strongly advocated. He described it as a feature of his strategy, not a bug," said Earnest. Earnest said the letter interferes with the effort to negotiate an agreement that seeks Tehran’s commitment not to develop nuclear weapons. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the letter is designed “to score political points” and that Congress doesn’t have the power to alter the terms of international arrangements negotiated by the executive. She said any agreement reached would not be a treaty requiring Senate ratification: "The Constitution assigns the authority to the executive to negotiate these deals with foreign partners. And so, implying that Congress has a role that was implied in this letter is inaccurate. It’s also a negotiation, it’s important for us to send this message to our partners around the world that is with not just the United States and Iran, but with France, Germany, the United Kingdom, the European Union, China and Russia," said Psaki. Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammed Javad Zarif, denounced the letter as having “no legal value” and dismissed it as “mostly a propaganda ploy.” He said “the conduct of inter-state relations is governed by international law and not by U.S. domestic law.” He warned future revocation of any agreement “would be a blatant violation of international law.” Larry Sabato, a political science professor at the University of Virginia, said the letter by U.S. lawmakers to a foreign government is both extraordinary and unusual, and represents an escalation of the political battle started last November when Republicans took control of both houses of Congress following elections. "They can’t pass much because they don’t control Congress. They don’t have sufficient numbers in either the House or the Senate to be able to overcome their factionalism or the Senate rules. But, what they do have is the ability to send a letter like this and affect negotiations on a major treaty or executive agreement," said Sabato. Sabato said the letter can be criticized on the basis of judgment, but it is not outside the boundaries of the Constitution. "In fact, because the legislature is a co-equal branch of government, it is completely legitimate for them to do this.  Whether it is wise is another question," said Sabato. Sabato added that if any agreement reached with Iran is not submitted to the Senate as a treaty, it will be treated as an executive agreement, which can be revoked by a succeeding president.  He said he has no doubt Iran's leaders are making that part of their calculus.  Sabato said that if President Obama wishes any nuclear agreement with Tehran to last, he would have to submit it to the Senate for ratification.

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Key Iranian Clerical Body Chooses New Hardline Chairman

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The council of clerics in charge of selecting and supervising Iran's supreme leader chose Tuesday to make a hardline conservative its new chairman. The Assembly of Experts elected 83-year-old Mohammad Yazdi to a term that will last until early next year, when the entire assembly will be up for election along with another vote for chairman.  He succeeds Ayatollah Mohammadreza Mahdavi Kani, who died in October. Yazdi won 47 votes in the 86-member assembly, beating out former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani's 24 votes. The cleric is also a member of Iran's influential Guardian Council that approves candidates to run in elections and can veto laws passed by the parliament. Since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, the Assembly of Experts has had to choose one supreme leader, choosing Ayatollah Ali Khamenei following the death of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

Ukraine's military says eastern rebels using truce to amass arms

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KIEV Tue Mar 10, 2015 9:27am EDT
KIEV (Reuters) - Ukraine's military said on Tuesday pro-Russian rebels were amassing heavy weapons in depots around separatist-held Donetsk city despite a ceasefire deal.
Attacks have fallen in the past week, but accusations from both sides of violations show the fragility of the peace deal agreed in Minsk last month, which calls for the withdrawal of heavy weapons from the frontline.
"(Rebels) are continuing to transport equipment and artillery ammunition intensively via the Debaltseve railway junction and build weapons storages around Donetsk," military spokesman Andriy Lysenko said in a televised briefing.
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which monitors the pull-back of weapons, has said it cannot fully confirm withdrawal on both sides as it has not been given access to all the locations where some weapons have been moved.
Lysenko said Ukrainian positions had come under attack from separatists 31 times on Monday, including five instances of artillery fire, and reported nine servicemen had been wounded in the past 24 hours.
"The most troubled areas are Shyrokyne and around Donetsk airport ... yesterday there was fighting almost all day in Shyrokyne," Lysenko said, referring to a village on the outskirts of government-held Mariupol, a strategic port city Kiev fears could be the focus of the next rebel offensive.
On the rebel side, officials said Ukrainian forces had violated the ceasefire 17 times in the past 24 hours, but reported no casualties, separatist press service DAN said.
(Reporting by Natalia Zinets; Writing by Alessandra Prentice; editing by Ralph Boulton)

Russia Wants Explanation Of Call For EU Army

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Russia has asked European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker to explain his recent proposal to establish a European Union army.

Military analysis of what Russia really wants reveals nuclear dangers

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Russian amphibious vehicles drive in formation during celebrations to mark Navy Day in the far eastern Russian port of Vladivostok
Russian amphibious vehicles drive in formation during celebrations to mark Navy Day in the far eastern Russian port of Vladivostok, July 27, 2014. REUTERS/Yuri Maltsev