Saturday, March 5, 2016

Syria’s Shaky Respite - The New York Times

Review: Immigration and the Western Civilization: History and concepts of mass migration as a weapon: "At the heart of the migration crisis, explained General Philip Breedlove, Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, is a ‘resurgent, aggressive Russia’ that has ‘chosen to be an adversary and poses a long-term existential threat to the United States and to our European allies and partners’. Putin’s chosen weapon, according to the General, is the migration crisis itself. As he put it: ‘Russia and the Assad regime are deliberately weaponising migration in an attempt to overwhelm European structures and break European resolve.’" - Vladimir Putin is stoking the migrant crisis in Syria to tear Europe apart

"And at the heart of it, lurking like a spider at the centre of his web, is Russia’s President Putin, aided by his Syrian henchman Bashar al-Assad.

On the face of it, that might sound unduly paranoid. Yet it is precisely what Nato’s top commander in Europe, a man of stern and sober realism, told a U.S. Senate committee on Wednesday.

At the heart of the migration crisis, explained General Philip Breedlove, Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, is a ‘resurgent, aggressive Russia’ that has ‘chosen to be an adversary and poses a long-term existential threat to the United States and to our European allies and partners’.

Putin’s chosen weapon, according to the General, is the migration crisis itself.

As he put it: ‘Russia and the Assad regime are deliberately weaponising migration in an attempt to overwhelm European structures and break European resolve.’

As evidence, General Breedlove pointed to Russia’s indiscriminate use of unguided barrel bombs, which have killed at least 20,000 Syrians since the conflict began. Their purpose, he explained, is to terrify Syrian civilians and ‘get them on the road’, pushing them north through Turkey and into Europe.

Among the thousands of migrants pouring into Europe, he added, are ‘criminals, terrorists and foreign fighters’.

And in all this toxic mix, Islamic Fundamentalism is ‘spreading like a cancer, taking advantage of paths of least resistance and threatening European nations, and our own, with terrorist attacks’."

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Story image for Immigration and the Western Civilization from The Federalist

Review 

Immigration and the Western Civilization 

Demographic dimension of "Hybrid war"

History and concepts of mass migration as a weapon

Breedlove on migration as weapon - Google Search
Vladimir Putin is stoking the migrant crisis in Syria to tear Europe apart | Daily Mail Online
Shocking, hidden agenda behind border crisis
Strategic Engineered Migration as Weapon of War
Putin’s groupmate, a former KGB spy: You seriously think that Putin, who is making a facelift, will unleash a nuclear war? His botox will melt from the fear / Гордон

History of forced mass migrations

Does Immigration Mean The End Of Western Civilization?
forced mass migrations - Google Search
Weapons of Mass Migration: Forced Displacement, Coercion, and Foreign Policy (Cornell Studies in Security Affairs): Kelly M. Greenhill: 9780801448713: Amazon.com: Books
Weapons of Mass Migration, Forced Displacement, Coercion, and Foreign Policy
Weapons of Mass Migration: Forced Displacement as an Instrument of Coercion - Kelly M. Greenhill
History of human migration - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Mass migration - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Forced migration - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Deportation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Immigration - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
history of forced mass migrations - Google Search
history of mass migrations as weapon - Google Search
history of mass migrations - Google Search

Stalinist Deportations

stalinist deportations - Google Search
Population transfer in the Soviet Union - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Soviet Massive Deportations - A Chronology - Online Encyclopedia of Mass Violence
population transfer examples - Google Search
migration as stalin kgb weapon - Google Search
mass migration as stalin kgb weapon - Google Search
mass forced migration as stalin kgb weapon - Google Search
stalin ethnic deportations - Google Search
stalin deportations - Google Search

Emigration from ussr to usa as kgb weapon

emigration from ussr to usa as kgb weapon - Google Search
migration from ussr to usa as kgb weapon - Google Search
migration as kgb weapon - Google Search
In Ordinary Lives, U.S. Sees the Work of Russian Agents - The New York Times
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Vladimir Putin is stoking the migrant crisis in Syria to tear Europe apart

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Vladimir Putin’s chosen weapon, according to one General, is the migration crisis itself
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Vladimir Putin’s chosen weapon, according to one General, is the migration crisis itself
For a moment, imagine you were one of Vladimir Putin’s advisers, seething with envy and resentment against the Western world, and you were summoned by your master to a meeting in the gilded sanctum of the Kremlin.
Imagine he asked you to devise a scheme that would send shockwaves through the European Union, plunge the Balkans into chaos, push Greece to the brink of anarchy, shove millions of voters into the arms of the xenophobic Far Right and even drive a wedge between Britain and France.
What would you come up with?
Well, here’s a clue: just take a look at the past few days’ headlines.
In Calais, desperate migrants fight pitched battles with armed riot policemen trying to clear the notorious ‘Jungle’ camp. In Macedonia, security forces fire tear gas at thousands of migrants using a home-made battering ram to smash the fences along the Greek border.
In Hungary, the nationalist prime minister announces plans to build a 280-mile razor-wire barrier to seal his country off from its southern neighbours. In Greece, where more than 100,000 refugees have arrived in two months, government ministers thunder against the ‘lies’ and ‘hypocrisy’ of their European partners.
And there is more. Only yesterday, as the president of the European Council pleaded with migrants not to come to Europe, relations between Britain and France sank to a perilous new low.
If Britain pulls out of the EU, warned French economics minister Emmanuel Macron, then Paris will scrap the British border controls in Calais, allowing thousands of migrants to cross the Channel and thereby transferring the Jungle camp to Kent.
Not surprisingly, Mr Macron’s threats drew a blistering reaction from Leave campaigners. But it is the wider picture that is really disturbing.
Even now, I think, we have not yet grasped the colossal scale and toxic repercussions of Europe’s migration crisis. It has become a cliché that this is the crisis that defines our age. But it is, of course, only a cliché because it is so obviously true.
The humanitarian impact is bad enough, from the horrifying conditions in camps such as the Jungle, plagued by rats, crime and disease, to the terrible plight of tens of thousands of migrants stranded in southern Europe without food, water or shelter.
But the political implications are, if possible, even more alarming. Every day, almost every hour, the alliances that bind the West together are coming closer to snapping, from the latest spat between Britain and France to the simmering mistrust that has almost destroyed relations between Athens and the EU.
Even now, I think, we have not yet grasped the colossal scale and toxic repercussions of Europe’s migration crisis. Above, hundreds of migrants arrive on the Hungarian-Austrian border in September last year
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Even now, I think, we have not yet grasped the colossal scale and toxic repercussions of Europe’s migration crisis. Above, hundreds of migrants arrive on the Hungarian-Austrian border in September last year
In Calais, desperate migrants are fighting pitched battles with armed riot policemen trying to clear the notorious ‘Jungle’ camp
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In Calais, desperate migrants are fighting pitched battles with armed riot policemen trying to clear the notorious ‘Jungle’ camp
Anti-riot police are forced to stand near makeshift shelters in the southern half of the 'Jungle' following a desperate week
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Anti-riot police are forced to stand near makeshift shelters in the southern half of the 'Jungle' following a desperate week

Scenes of destruction and conflict shook Calais camp
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And at the heart of it, lurking like a spider at the centre of his web, is Russia’s President Putin, aided by his Syrian henchman Bashar al-Assad.
On the face of it, that might sound unduly paranoid. Yet it is precisely what Nato’s top commander in Europe, a man of stern and sober realism, told a U.S. Senate committee on Wednesday.
At the heart of the migration crisis, explained General Philip Breedlove, Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, is a ‘resurgent, aggressive Russia’ that has ‘chosen to be an adversary and poses a long-term existential threat to the United States and to our European allies and partners’.
Putin’s chosen weapon, according to the General, is the migration crisis itself.
As he put it: ‘Russia and the Assad regime are deliberately weaponising migration in an attempt to overwhelm European structures and break European resolve.’
As evidence, General Breedlove pointed to Russia’s indiscriminate use of unguided barrel bombs, which have killed at least 20,000 Syrians since the conflict began. Their purpose, he explained, is to terrify Syrian civilians and ‘get them on the road’, pushing them north through Turkey and into Europe.
Among the thousands of migrants pouring into Europe, he added, are ‘criminals, terrorists and foreign fighters’.
And in all this toxic mix, Islamic Fundamentalism is ‘spreading like a cancer, taking advantage of paths of least resistance and threatening European nations, and our own, with terrorist attacks’.
Not surprisingly, Russian sources were quick to ridicule General Breedlove’s claims. But they would, wouldn’t they?
Whether or not you believe that Putin is behind the migration crisis, there is no doubt that his bloody bombing campaign in Syria — which is aimed not at Isis, but at other anti-Assad rebels — has made matters far, far worse. The key point, though, is that the migration crisis plays directly into Putin’s hands.
As a former KGB man who yearns to rebuild Russia into a global superpower, President Putin sees the world in terms of ruthless, hard-headed realpolitik — in stark contrast, I have to say, with our own pusillanimous leaders.
'Please open the border!' Child refugees plead in Greece
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Migrants and refugees stand behind a barbed wire fence at the border between Greece and Macedonia near the town of Gevgelija
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Migrants and refugees stand behind a barbed wire fence at the border between Greece and Macedonia near the town of Gevgelija
In Hungary, the nationalist prime minister announces plans to build a 280-mile razor-wire barrier to seal his country off from its southern neighbours. Above, refugees walk to registration and transit camps after they cross the border between Greece and Macedonia
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In Hungary, the nationalist prime minister announces plans to build a 280-mile razor-wire barrier to seal his country off from its southern neighbours. Above, refugees walk to registration and transit camps after they cross the border between Greece and Macedonia
He has not forgiven the West for imposing sanctions in response to his brutal land-grab in Crimea and dirty war in eastern Ukraine. Every day, his propaganda machine pumps out anti-Western diatribes.
And in his coldly merciless world-view, every defeat for the West is a victory for Russia — no matter how high the cost for millions of Syrian families.
Putin, remember, sees the fall of the Soviet Empire as the greatest catastrophe of the 20th century. He sees the EU as a threat to Russian security, and would like nothing better than to drive a stake deep into the heart of the continent, dividing west from east as Stalin did with such brutal effectiveness in the late 1940s.
In that context, Putin could hardly have wished for a more potent weapon to expose the incoherence, instability and mealy-mouthed weakness of the EU, the baffling passivity of the Obama administration and the simmering tensions at the heart of the Western alliance.
But while the Kremlin has approached the Syrian crisis with brutally hard-nosed self-interest, the West’s response has been nothing short of pathetic.
The migration crisis has been festering for more than a year now. Its principal victims are some of the most vulnerable people imaginable, fleeing the appalling wreckage of their native lands.
Even now, however, the ruling EU elite wastes time on infantile bickering, unable to devise a coherent response that fufils our moral obligation to those in need while also reassuring European citizens anxious at the prospect of admitting hundreds of thousands of undocumented migrants.
In Germany, the continent’s most powerful politician, Angela Merkel — once feted for her unsentimental thinking and robust pragmatism — appears to have lost her marbles. Feeling sorry for the migrants is one thing. Inviting hundreds of thousands of people to roam freely across Europe is quite another.
Yet such is Mrs Merkel’s obsessive attachment to the EU’s border-free Schengen agreement (from which Britain is mercifully exempt) that she seems completely blind to political reality.
Polls show that millions of German voters have already deserted her. More worryingly, though, her ludicrously impractical devotion to the principle of open borders is pushing Germany’s neighbours into the hands of the xenophobic Far Right, who are using the migrant crisis to whip up their own nationalist supporters.
Putin: 'We will deliver weapons to Syria.'
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At the heart of it, lurking like a spider at the centre of his web, is Russia’s President Putin, aided by his Syrian henchman Bashar al-Assad. Above, a young migrant cries on the Greek-Macedonia border
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At the heart of it, lurking like a spider at the centre of his web, is Russia’s President Putin, aided by his Syrian henchman Bashar al-Assad. Above, a young migrant cries on the Greek-Macedonia border
In Greece — already suffering from the strict austerity policies imposed to save the euro — the situation is close to breaking point. Above, a child falls while walking with a man on the railway tracks near the Greek border
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In Greece — already suffering from the strict austerity policies imposed to save the euro — the situation is close to breaking point. Above, a child falls while walking with a man on the railway tracks near the Greek border
Meanwhile, in Greece — already suffering from the strict austerity policies imposed to save the euro — the situation is close to breaking point. With almost 25,000 refugees now stranded on the northern border, and 3,000 more arriving across the Aegean Sea daily, the country’s cash-strapped infrastructure is close to breaking point.
In a poll this week, a staggering 92 per cent of Greeks said they felt ‘abandoned’ by the EU. As one of the nation’s leading pollsters put it, ‘this is an explosive mix which could blow up at any time’.
An even more glaring example is Hungary, whose nationalist prime minister, Viktor Orban, never ceases to tell his people that the migrants are Muslim terrorists, imported by the EU to undermine Hungary’s national integrity. This is nonsense, of course, and nonsense of a peculiarly noxious kind.
Yet is it any wonder that, watching the appalling reports of sexual abuse by crowds of North Africans at the New Year celebrations in Cologne, so many people believe it? Indeed, given the headlines, perhaps it is little wonder that the Hungarians are working on a vast razor-wire barrier to run along their Balkan borders, explicitly designed to keep out Middle Eastern migrants.
There is an echo here, I think, of Donald Trump’s much-mocked plan to build a colossal wall along the border between the U.S. and Mexico. We can, I think, all agree that the Hungarian PM and Mr Trump are shamelessly cynical and exploitative demagogues, and are utterly unfit to govern their respective countries.
Both of them, by the way, happen to be keen admirers of Putin — as are their Right-wing equivalents in France and Britain, Marine le Pen (leader of the anti-migrant Front National party) and Nigel Farage. That, I think, tells you all you need to know about their democratic credentials.
But there is, alas, a reason why they are so popular, and why their talk of barriers has struck such a chord. By whipping up nationalism, they prey on the anxieties of millions of ordinary people. And by pointing to the costs of mass migration, they profit from the folly and inaction of the mainstream political elite.
If Putin continues to bombard Syria with impunity, sending millions of people on the road north, then I fear the crisis will drive a deep and definitive wedge between the two halves of the continent, alienating west from east for a generation 
The irony is that the EU was designed to bind the people of Europe together in solidarity and friendship. But its response to the migration crisis has been so naïve, so spineless and so blind to the realities of international affairs and domestic politics that it threatens to tear Europe apart. Mr Putin must scarcely be able to believe his luck.
At the very least, the EU should have the gumption to suspend Schengen in the medium term, whatever Mrs Merkel might think.
Instead of inviting thousands of migrants to settle wherever they please, the West should spend serious money — by which I mean billions of euros — to establish clean, safe and secure refugee camps along the Turkish-Syrian border, guarded by Nato troops.
Dramatic footage of Russia 'dropping white phosphorous on ISIS'
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The Turks wouldn’t be best pleased, of course. But Turkey is a Nato member and a key Western ally, and the crisis is right on its doorstep.
To put it bluntly, the Turks would have to lump it, although the EU should have the brains to throw in several billions in aid to sweeten the pill.
Of course no one fancies spending years in a refugee camp. And yes, I understand why so many migrants dream of a better life in the West.
But wouldn’t it be better for Nato and the EU to fund accommodation in Turkey for these desperate, downtrodden people, instead of pushing them into the hands of people-smugglers and condemning them to the disease-ridden anarchy of camps like Calais, where the only law is the survival of the fittest? I can’t help wondering, too, why the Arab world has been so lamentably slow to do its bit.
Saudi Arabia, which is supposed to be a Western ally, is sitting on an oil fortune of unimaginable proportions. Isn’t it time the Americans demanded that the Saudis spend that money housing and resettling Syrian families, instead of spending it sponsoring terrorism?
Deep down, though, I am not optimistic. It is not just a question of the money, though goodness knows there is little of it around. It is the political will involved, the determination, the old-fashioned realpolitik — all of which have been completely lacking in the past few years.
But the truth is that unless Mrs Merkel and her colleagues get a grip, then Europe is heading for anarchy.
For if Putin continues to bombard Syria with impunity, sending millions of people on the road north, then I fear the crisis will drive a deep and definitive wedge between the two halves of the continent, alienating west from east for a generation.
The result would be everything Mr Putin has dreamed of since the fall of the Berlin Wall three decades ago: a Europe of borders and watchtowers, divisions and demagoguery, resentments and razor wire.
Most of us thought that divided, haunted Europe — a land of fear and hatred — had gone for good.
But now it is back. And as tempting as it is to point to Vladimir Putin’s ruthless machinations, we really have only our own utopianism, our own naivete and, above all, our own weak politicians to blame.
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Turkish guards 'attacking' Syrian refugees and 'pushing them into the arms of smugglers' 

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Families fleeing the carnage in Aleppo are being greeted at the border with bullets and beatings. Laura Pitel reports from Kilis on Ankara's increasingly inhumane efforts to put up the barricades

10 Shots Across the Border 360 Video | The New York Times

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From: TheNewYorkTimes
Duration: 07:46

The killing of a Mexican 16-year-old raises troubling questions about the United States Border Patrol.
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Opposition slams Russia, casts doubt on Syria peace talks - Deutsche Welle

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Deutsche Welle



Opposition slams Russia, casts doubt on Syria peace talks
Deutsche Welle
"As Russia has provided greater levels of military support for President Bashar al-Assad - including bombing moderate opposition groups, and driving tens of thousands of civilians from Aleppo and other cities - it has made it even more difficult to ...
France, Britain urge Syria, Russia to respect Syria ceasefireJerusalem Post Israel News
Britain, France, Russia, Germany Pledge Work Toward Syria PeaceRadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty
How Russia used the war in Syria to reassert its global mightMacleans.ca
American Free Press -euronews
all 985 news articles »

Russia ruled by ex-spies with impunity says historian - Toronto Star

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Toronto Star



Russia ruled by ex-spies with impunity says historian
Toronto Star
Felshtinsky, who was in Toronto on Monday, also blames Putin – and the cadre of former security officials around him – for Litvinenko's killing, and for playing a role in the assassination one year ago of Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, a ...
Vladimir Putin's financial wisdom keeps Russia looking strongWashington Times
Persecution of Russia's Opposition CriticizedVoice of America

all 63 news articles »

The Meaning of Russia’s Naval Deployments in the Mediterranean

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Russian ships equipped with the advanced sea-launched Kalibr cruise missile will now be perpetually present in the Mediterranean Sea as part of Moscow’s naval operations connected to the mission in Syria. This is according to Admiral Aleksandr Vitko, the commander of the Russian Black Sea Fleet (BSF) (RIA Novosti, February 19).
Russia’s growing presence in the Mediterranean dates back to 2013—i.e., well before the annexation of Crimea or Moscow’s intervention in Syria—with the decision to create a permanent Mediterranean Squadron out of the BSF forces (RIA Novosti, March 11, 2013; see EDM, March 7, 2013). Since then, Russia has steadily augmented both that squadron’s capability and that of its navy in general, including the BSF. This overall strengthening of the navy in critical areas like the Mediterranean is a general principle of Russian defense policy. For example, in the Pacific, one can observe not just the increase in conventional and nuclear naval capabilities, but also a level of activities that approaches that of the Cold War (Sputnik News, April 16, 2015). This steady expansion of capabilities pertains to both surface vessels and to submarines, the latter of which particularly raise concerns in the United States.
In February 2014, just prior to the invasion of Ukraine, Russia announced its intention to strengthen the Mediterranean Squadron by adding stealthy Varshavyanka-class submarines. The stated purpose of those deployments was to “thwart any threat to Russia’s borders or security” (RIA Novosti, February 20, 2014). Given the mission and the situation in the theater at that time, this explanation could only mean thwarting “threats” from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Accordingly, since then, Moscow has built what Admiral Mark Ferguson, the commander-in-chief of NATO’s Allied Joint Force command, calls an “Arc of Steel,” which includes advanced air defenses, cruise missiles, new platforms, space, cyber and “hybrid warfare” systems, as well as submarines (Defense.gov, October 6, 2015). Notably, Russia has signed agreements with Cyprus about entering its waters and using its territory as a base. And Moscow also seeks similar access to Egyptian and Libyan ports (Russia-direct.org, March 4, 2015).
More recently, Russia has announced that its Kirov-class battle cruisers, the Pyotr Velikii and theAdmiral Nakhimov, will receive hypersonic anti-ship 3M22 Zircon missiles as well as longer-range land-attack Kalibr cruise missiles, upgraded air defenses, and a naval variant of the S-400 anti-air missile by 2022 (The National Interest, February 19). And these are not the only ships receiving these capabilities. As noted above, Moscow also revealed last month that Buryan-M small missile corvettes equipped with the Kalibr cruise missile will be permanently deployed in the Mediterranean. The sea-launched Kalibr, which Russia fired in combat for the first time last October (see EDM, October 8, 2015), can penetrate complex air defenses and hit targets at supersonic speed from some 2,000 kilometers away. The Buryan-M cruise missile–armed corvettes will reportedly be tasked with supporting Russian anti-terrorist operations in Syria (RIA Novosti, February 19, 25; RT, February 20).
What can be concluded from these and similar announcements pertaining to Russian forces in the wider Mediterranean region? It is already well known that Moscow operates four naval and air bases in Syria and has been given free rein by the Syrian authorities to enlarge and upgrade the naval base at Tartus. Moreover, Russian ground forces, though their exact number is not known, are operating in Syria, along with naval and air forces (see EDM, October 6, 2015October 22, 2015November 10, 2015). Thus, Moscow has constructed the foundation—if not something more—for a long-term presence of combined-arms forces. And these units and command structure, while based in Syria, possess formidable capabilities, especially when added to Russian forces already present in the Caucasus and Black Sea, to strike throughout the Middle East and put NATO member Turkey in a vise.
Furthermore, it is also clear that Moscow wants to have regular access to, if not permanent bases throughout the Middle East, as the Soviet Union’s Mediterranean Eskadra did in its heyday, in 1967–1971, when it had a base in Alexandria as well as in Syria. Thus, a major mission of the Russian Navy in the Middle East and the Mediterranean is power projection and the use of the fleet on behalf of state interests. More crudely stated, Russia is building a capability for permanent gunboat diplomacy missions in the region; indeed, it has already deployed its fleet for that purpose in 2011, to deter Turkish threats to Cyprus (see EDM, December 12, 2011).
Finally, and in line with the evidence presented above, it also seems quite clear that while Russia’s new Mediterranean Squadron will have major missions in the Middle East and off the coast of the Levant, it is primarily configured to keep NATO forces out of the region. In effect, given the construction of anti-air and anti-ship missile systems, air defenses at air bases, as well as shore-based artillery, Moscow is unmistakably building anti-access, area denial (A2/AD) capabilities in Syria that will be used to keep the North Atlantic Alliance at bay and outside of firing range of Russian assets. Presumably, over the long term, Moscow will seek to expand its military influence beyond the Eastern Mediterranean, perhaps in the direction of the Aegean Sea or even further westwards to deny NATO forces access there as well. This would emulate the classic pattern of Moscow’s sea-denial capabilities and missions familiar to students of Soviet naval practice and literature.
If Russia is successful in this endeavor, it would represent a strong challenge to the US and its regional and NATO allies in the Mediterranean—not least Israel and Turkey—as well as to the Balkans, and the Caucasus. Thus, an irresolute and reticent US posture in Syria and the Middle East could give rise, in tandem with intensifying Russian defense programs, to a much more far-reaching strategic transformation to the entire region.
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Kadyrov at Loggerheads With Chechen Diaspora in Europe

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Ramzan Kadyrov has repeatedly voiced discontent with the actions of Chechens who reside in Europe. During the first years of his rule in Chechnya, he managed to convince many of the former leaders of Ichkeria to switch sides and move back to Grozny. This guaranteed that they would not work against him in the future (Lenta.ru, August 15, 2008). Those who did not return to Chechnya soon learned that the republic’s pro-Moscow ruler could reach them even in Europe: Kadyrov’s own former commander, Umar Israilov, was assassinated in Vienna in 2008 (Novayagazeta.ru, June 3, 2011). Kadyrov even managed to open Chechen Republic representative offices to various European countries (Gazeta.ru, September 11, 2009).
However, the Chechen authorities did not succeed in enticing all the supporters of Chechen independence back to the republic. For example, Ahmed Zakaev, the former minister of culture in the government of Aslan Maskhadov, is one of the most active pro-independence Chechen politicians in Europe. Zakaev’s activities caused a recent rise in tensions between Kadyrov and the Chechen diaspora in Europe. Kadyrov has been trying to lure Zakaev back to Chechnya for the past ten years. Last month, Chechnya’s governor paid an unexpected visit to Ahmed Zakaev’s brothers and sisters in the Chechen town of Urus-Martan (Onkavkaz.com, February 6). The intention of the visit was to show that members of Zakaev’s family live in Chechnya and no one persecutes them. Zakaev’s relatives themselves spoke before cameras about their life in Chechnya and invited him back to the republic. Zakaev, however, rejected the offer and called the televised appeal of his relatives a piece of propaganda. Zakaev said the government had put pressure on his family to condemn his political views (Regnum, February 8).
In response to Zakaev’s refusal to return, Chechen TV prepared and broadcast a 47-minute-long program that featured the members of his Chinkhoi clan. The clan members read excerpts from Zakaev’s statements at a mosque and expressed their “indignation” over his behavior and attitude toward Kadyrov’s policies in Chechnya. The clan members practically cursed him and expressed regret that he is a member of their community (YouTube, February 8).
Zakaev’s activities were not the only cause of contention between the Chechen diaspora in Europe and Kadyrov. Last December, Chechens in multiple European countries unexpectedly staged small-scale protests against Kadyrov’s policies in Chechnya. The protests were unusually critical of Chechnya’s governor: in particular, the protesters condemned Kadyrov’s practice of humiliating individuals who criticize the republican government via social media (Kavkazsky Uzel, December 23, 2015). The Chechen protesters in Europe did not hide their faces out of fear of retribution by the Chechen authorities, but criticized Kadyrov openly.
This was a new development for the Chechen diaspora in Europe. Demonstrations were held in Austria, Norway, and Finland. The authorities in Grozny found no better response to the critics than to threaten their relatives who live in Chechnya. Kadyrov personally spoke on Chechen TV, asking the republican Ministry of Interior to find all the relatives of those who protested in Vienna, Oslo and Helsinki (Kavkazsky Uzel, January 2). Kadyrov’s threats produced another wave of protests, which strongly condemned his actions (Openrussia.org, January 25). Some Chechen protesters even published their own personal messages criticizing Kadyrov (YouTube, February 25).
In response to the protests in Europe, Kadyrov said he would not allow the European Chechens who fled Chechnya to disrupt peace in the republic. Kadyrov asserted that Chechens in Europe were trying to conduct subversive activities against their homeland (Rg.ru, March 1). On March 1, Kadyrov held a meeting with the Chechen police and explained his position regarding the Chechen diaspora in Europe more extensively. According to Kadyrov, “they fled in the first days of the war, and now, sitting in Vienna, Paris or London, are trying to please their masters, expressing some kind of threats against Chechnya, shouting at rallies with their miserable donkey voices something about Chechnya and its people. There will be no return to Ichkerian lawlessness. Chechnya has begun a new life in union with Russia. And we will not allow anyone, especially those buffoons, to interfere with this life” (Grozny-inform.ru, March 1).
The level of influence of the Chechen pro-independence politicians in Europe is negligible in Chechnya, yet Grozny is quite sensitive to what they say because the Chechen authorities cannot become accustomed to the fact that Chechens somewhere could say something publicly against Ramzan Kadyrov. The outflow of migrants from Chechnya and Russia to Europe shows that the situation in the republic is far from acceptable, and people continue to leave. The Chechen Republic was the only territory of the Russian Federation that issued more Russian foreign travel passports in 2015 than in the previous year: the Chechen authorities issued 18 percent more passports than in 2014, while the issuance of passports in the rest of the country fell by 50–70 percent (Rbc.ru, February 26).
It appears that a new generation of young pro-independence Chechen activists is forming in Europe, and evidently they are prepared to engage in public protests despite pressure by Kadyrov’s government in Chechnya and his henchmen in Europe. This means that the idea of Ichkeria has been revived and there will be fresh standoffs between Grozny and the Chechens in Europe.
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US Republican Carson ends campaign

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US Republican Ben Carson officially ends his campaign for the presidential nomination

Germany Tells France: Shut Old Nuclear Plant

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An incident at the Fessenheim facility in 2014 has now been reported in Germany as more serious than previously thought.

VIDEO: Background to the OJ Simpson case

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Los Angeles police test a knife said to have been found at a former home of OJ Simpson, whose acquittal at his 1995 murder trial captivated the US.

Anlysis: One Clear Loser In Thursday's Debate: The GOP – The ... 

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In an extended exchange with Fox News anchor and his one-time nemesis Megyn Kelly, he tried to talk away a class-action lawsuit brought against Trump University, dismissing it as minor and predicting that after a few more ...

Trump doubles down on hand size - The Hill

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The Hill



Trump doubles down on hand size
The Hill
Donald Trump is doubling down on his defense of the size of his hands, saying they're both “good-sized” and “very beautiful.” “Look at these hands,” the GOP presidential front-runner boasted to “Extra” host A.J. Calloway in an interview following ...
AP FACT CHECK: Claims from a Trumpish debateNewsOK.com
A Desperate Fox News Ambushes Trump During Republican Debate DebaclePoliticusUSA

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Republican candidate Trump reverses stance on torture: WSJ - Reuters

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Reuters



Republican candidate Trump reverses stance on torture: WSJ
Reuters
WASHINGTON Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump softened his stance on torture on Friday, saying he would not order the U.S. military to break international laws on how to treat terrorism suspects, the Wall Street Journal reported.

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Turkey needs to stop or significantly cut migrant flow: EU envoy

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ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkey needs to stop or significantly reduce the number of illegal migrants crossing into Europe and a readmission agreement between Ankara and Brussels must go into full effect by June 1, an EU envoy said on Friday.

  

Cyprus’ first public gay wedding takes aim at prejudices

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The newlyweds wanted to go all-out with their wedding celebrations. All the trappings of a traditional Cypriot wedding were on display; the huge line of well-wishers with cash-filled envelopes in hand, a band playing the latest Greek pop hits and the mandatory roasted pork.















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U.S. urges Russia to pressure Ukraine rebels over attacks

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PARIS (Reuters) - Russia needs to use its influence on separatists in eastern Ukraine to halt attacks by pro-Russian rebels, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken told Reuters on Friday.










  

Thousands of Puerto Rico inmates vote in Republican primary

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Thousands of inmates lined up in prisons across Puerto Rico on Friday to cast early ballots in the U.S. territory’s Republican primary, some saying they hoped the elections can help lift the island out of an economic crisis.









Frenchman arrives in Dominican Republic for 'air cocaine' trial

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SANTO DOMINGO (Reuters) - A Frenchman wanted in the Dominican Republic for helping to orchestrate a dramatic speedboat escape of two pilots convicted of cocaine trafficking arrived in the capital early on Friday to face trial in the Caribbean nation.










  
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Think Trump was crude? The Founding Fathers were just as bad 

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NEW YORK (AP) -- You could say politics has reached a new low with the "small hands" remarks from the Republican debate....

Turkish-Russian tensions not felt in village near border

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AL-ISSAWIYAH, Syria (AP) -- In this Syrian mountain village perched above the Mediterranean, residents say they have enjoyed a measure of peace, even though they live near a border that has seen escalating tensions in recent months between Turkey and Russia....

VIDEO: Brazil ex-president quizzed by police

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Brazil's former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has vowed to fight allegations that he was involved in a huge bribery scheme run by oil giant Petrobras.

Zika response in focus with new evidence of birth defect link - Reuters

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Reuters



Zika response in focus with new evidence of birth defect link
Reuters
GENEVA/WASHINGTON Evidence mounted on Friday linking Zika to the birth defect microcephaly, and the U.N. health agency set a review of travel advice related to the outbreak of the virus while U.S. officials planned strategy to control the mosquitoes ...
Small Study Strengthens Link Between Zika and Serious Birth DefectsNew York Times
Zika causes more pregnancy complications, birth defects than anyone realized, researchers sayWashington Post
Pregnant Women With Zika Have Fetal AbnormalitiesMedPage Today
ABC News -WFAA.com -Yahoo News
all 364 news articles »

Turkish-Russian tensions not felt in village near border

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In this Syrian mountain village perched above the Mediterranean, residents say they have enjoyed a measure of peace, even though they live near a border that has seen escalating tensions in recent months between Turkey and Russia.















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John Hopkins neurology professor on Zika virus microcephaly link – video 

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Guo Li-Ming, neurology professor at John Hopkins Institute for cell engineering discusses how scientists have found a potential link between the Zika virus and microcephaly. Research published on Friday reveals that Zika can infect cells similar to those involved in brain development and disrupt cell growth
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