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Leading US Military Magazine Says Russia Years Ahead in Missile Technology (Russian TV News)


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Russian TV regularly reports on the whole array of cutting edge weapons announced by Russia last year which have rendered much of the US arsenal irrelevant. An interesting report.

Transcript:

“The probability of interception remains close to zero.” The US Military Watch magazine which reviews the defense industries of the biggest countries has actually admitted the absolute vulnerability of the US missile defenses against Russia’s cutting-edge missiles. The huge article mentions the Avangard systems, expressing respect and concern over the fact that these missiles not only freely fall from space, but also have a maneuverable re-entry vehicle with an engine.

That’s too much for Washington. The Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile was referred to in the same way. Actually, the analysis is very interesting and thorough. Although, it’s unclear why its mood is such as if Russia was about to attack the United States. It has been repeatedly stated that these arms are intended to protect Russia. It’s also the case for the new anti-missile defense component, which was tested today at a testing field in Kazakhstan. It’s rather impressive and, most importantly, it has no equals in the whole world.

Evgeny Tishkovets is going to tell us why it is so unique.

– Hello, Evgeny.

– Hello.

– What are the targets?

– All potential threats to objects on Russian territory.

The Defense Ministry doesn’t reveal the name of the missile, but experts claim it’s the 53T6M. This is an upgraded 53T6 interceptor missile, which was designed back in the Soviet Union. But in fact, it’s a brand-new type of weapon. This test isn’t the first. At least six launches have been carried out over the past years. During the upgrade, almost all of the missile systems were updated. The new version is equipped with new digital control and target information management systems. The new composition of solid fuel enables the missile to reach hypervelocity faster. In fact, the short-range missile has changed its specifications. Its range increased to about 1,250 miles. But the missile’s main advantage is the new warhead. Interceptor missiles used to be equipped with nuclear warheads. Now, it’s a high-explosive fragmentation warhead, which enhances the efficiency of the missiles.

Viktor Murakhovsky, editor-in-chief of a military magazine: “The high-explosive fragmentation warhead directs the flow of fragments, heavy components of the fragment cloud it’s equipped with, which enables the interception of any existing or potential warheads. The fragment cloud has both prepared components and the products of the stipulated fragmentation, which creates a continuous impact zone that no target can cross, even if the missile didn’t hit the target.”

In the future, the upgraded missile can be used in the A-135 anti-missile system. It became operational in 1995 and is designed to protect Moscow and the central industrial area from ballistic missiles. But experts say that the new missile can also be part of the A-235 missile defense system that is currently being developed. It’s supposed to have mobile launch systems, too.

Viktor Murakhovsky: “To create a mobile system implies creating a mobile computer and command center, a multichannel data communication system, a safe combat direction system, and a missile-guidance radar for the interceptors. The existing interceptor missile itself can be used both in stationary and mobile missile defense systems.”

Do other countries have anything of the sort? It has no complete equals. The American GBI missile has similar specifications. But it differs a great deal, too. Firstly, the USA’s interceptor missiles are exclusively silo-based. To date, as many as 44 missiles are operational in California and Alaska. Secondly, these interceptor missiles are kinetic. At first, it failed some launches. The guidance system failed, and the missiles didn’t hit the targets. Today, these problems have been solved, but the efficiency of such interceptor missiles is lower than that of the Russian ones.

Viktor Murakhovsky: “They thought that 25 missiles could intercept 5-6 warheads, meaning 4-5 interceptor missiles per warhead. As I said, our approach is a bit different. Now we can rely on the “one missile, one target” principle.”

And this missile can’t miss the target.

 

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Russian Foreign and Defense Ministers on US Treaty Breaches


NOVANEWS
 

On February 2, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Defense Minuster Sergey Shoigu briefed Vladimir Putin on the history of US Treaty breaches – since the Clinton co-presidency.

It’s nothing new, ongoing for the past 20 years or longer. In 1987, the treaty was agreed on by Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan, a landmark agreement.

According to Lavrov, the US has been violating the treaty at least since 1999 – by “testing combat unmanned aerial vehicles that have the same characteristics as land-based cruise missiles banned by the treaty,” adding:

Since then or perhaps earlier, the US has been “us(ing) ballistic target missiles for testing their missile defense system, and in 2014 they began (deploying) their missile defense system in Europe” close to Russia’s borders – capable of carrying nuclear warheads for offense.

“(T)his is an outright violation of the treaty,” Putin stressed. Russia has been aware of US treaty breaches at least for the past 20 year. Moscow is in full compliance. No evidence suggests otherwise, none cited by the Trump regime in its pullout announcement.

According to Lavrov, the US deployed illegal missiles in Romania. Preparations are underway to position them in Poland, Japan, and elsewhere, including in US territory.

The Trump regime’s 2018 Nuclear Posture Review calls for developing low-yield mini-nukes, capable of being mounted on INF Treaty banned intermediate-range missiles. They’re being produced in America, Lavrov explained.

Last October, the Trump regime declared its intention to withdraw from the INF Treaty.

“We did everything we could to save the treaty, considering its importance in terms of sustaining strategic stability in Europe, as well as globally,” said Lavrov – its efforts in vain based on Friday’s US pullout announcement.

Russia’s Defense Ministry “proposed unprecedented transparency measures that went far beyond our obligations under the INF Treaty in order to persuade the US that Russia was not in violation of this essential instrument.”

“However, the US torpedoed these proposals. Instead, the US presented yet another ultimatum. It is obvious that we cannot accept it since it contradicts the INF Treaty in both letter and spirit.”

Trump’s selection of neocon extremists Pompeo at State and Bolton as national security advisor doomed the treaty, along with any possibility for improved relations with Russia – all the moreso because of overwhelming congressional hostility.

Only five congressional lawmakers (3 House members and 2 senators) opposed the Orwellian July 2017 Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA – imposing stiff illegal sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea besides others in place. Only Security Council members can legally impose sanctions on UN member states.

The Trump regime’s INF Treaty pullout increases the risk of nuclear confrontation by accident or design.

Despite Russia’s best efforts, the Bush/Cheney regime withdrew from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty between the Soviet Union and US in 2002.

It limited the number of anti-ballistic missile systems in defending against ballistic missiles able to carry nuclear warheads.

The treaty dissolved because of “the unwillingness of the United States to take up Russia’s concerns in earnest,” Lavrov explained, adding:

“In 2007, we made another gesture of good will at your instructions by coming forward with an initiative that consisted of working together to resolve the problems related to US missile defense system’s third positioning area in Europe. Once again, the US” rejected the proposal.

In 2010, Russia urged the US and Europe to work cooperatively on a continental missile defense system. The Obama regime rejected the idea.

The US demands all other countries “come to terms with its missile defense approach,” said Lavrov – despite “the obvious risks and threats to our security posed by this approach” – by positioning its missile defense systems for offense close to Russia’s borders for a preemptive first strike advantage with nuclear weapons.

Further Russian outreach to the US on this issue achieved nothing. In 2014, US dialogue on missile defense ended when the Obama regime declared its intention to deploy its missile-defense systems for offense in Eastern Europe, East Asia, Alaska, and on America’s east coast.

Time and again, the US breaches its treaty obligations, including the landmark 1970 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty – agreed to by all nations except Israel, India, Pakistan, North Korea, and South Sudan.

“(D)espite numerous reminders on our part, the United States commits serious violations of the Treaty in its actions within NATO. The Treaty commits nuclear powers to refrain from transferring the corresponding nuclear technologies,” Lavrov explained.

US-led NATO engages in so-called joint nuclear drills with non-nuclear states, a flagrant NPT violation. The Obama regime failed to ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), breaking a campaign promise.

Russia is a CTBT signatory. Its entry into force requires US participation, what it refuses to do. Notably it’s “completely off the radar,” now, said Lavrov – given the Trump regime’s rage to increase the power and destructiveness of its nuclear arsenal.

Strategic Arms Reduction Treaties I and II remain in force. START I expired in 2009. The US and Russia agreed to continue observing its terms. For how much longer remains uncertain.

New START agreed on by Obama and Russian President Medvedev in 2010 expires in 2021 if not renewed. Given extreme US hostility toward Russia, renewal is highly unlikely.

According to Lavrov, talks with the US to assure it complies with its treaty obligations have achieved no results since 2015, adding:

“(R)epeated proposals by Russia to launch talks on extending the Strategic Offensive Arms Treaty beyond 2021, when its first term is set to expire, have fallen on deaf ears in the United States. All we hear is that the decision on the New START has yet to be taken.”

“(T)he situation is quite alarming. (T)he decision taken by the United States on the INF Treaty is of course a matter of serious concern for the entire world, especially for Europe.”

“Nevertheless, the Europeans followed in the footsteps of the United States with all NATO members, speaking out in explicit support of the position adopted by the United States to refrain from any discussions on mutual concerns.”

“All we hear are groundless ultimatums requiring us to take unilateral measures without any evidence to support unfounded accusations.”

Defense Minister Shoigu explained that US treaty violations have been going on for years, including development and production of short-and-intermediate-range ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads, serious INF Treaty breaches before Friday’s announcement.

Shoigu proposed the following retaliatory measures:

1. Undertaking R & D efforts to “creat(e) land-based modifications of the sea-based Kalibr launching systems.”

2. R & D “followed by development and engineering to create land-based launchers for hypersonic intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles.”

Putin agreed, saying

“(t)his is what we will do. Our response will be symmetrical,” including by “suspending” Russia’s participation in the INF Treaty in response to the US pullout.

At the same time, Putin wants to avoid an expensive arms race, asking if the above proposals can be accomplished through existing budget allocations.

Shoigu believes so in 2019.

Putin: “This should not entail any increases in the Defense Ministry’s budget.”

Shoigu: “Yes.”

Putin: “Good,” adding he proposes modifying the format of meeting every six months “to discuss the implementation of the state defense order with the commanders of the armed forces and the defense sector representatives.”

He wishes to stay current on how defense initiatives are progressing, including for Russia’s most advanced weapons systems.

The US announced plans to weaponize space. Putin wants to know what’s being done to neutralize them.

He asked Lavrov and Shoigu not to initiate talks with the US on arms control issues unless and until the US is “ready to engage in equal and meaningful dialogue on this subject that is essential for us,” Russia’s allies, “and the entire world, adding:

Moscow will develop and produce but not deploy weapons violating the INF Treaty unless the US takes this step first.

If this occurs, which is highly likely, he asked Lavrov and Shoigu to “closely monitor developments and promptly submit proposals on ways to respond.”

*

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Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

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Russian Military Fumes Over Zionist ‘Deliberate Provocation,’ as Putin Sighs Over ‘Tragic Circumstances’ in IL-20 Downing


NOVANEWS

Russian Military Fumes Over Israel’s ‘Deliberate Provocation,’ as Putin Sighs Over ‘Tragic Circumstances’ in IL-20 Downing

Russian MoD: “Israeli pilots used the Russian plane as cover and set it up to be targeted by the Syrian air defense forces.”

Russia Syria

A Russian MP officer stands guard at the Russian air base in Hemeimeem, Syria, with an Il-20 electronic intelligence plane of the Russian air force is in the background. An Il-20 aircraft was shot down Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018, by a Syrian missile over the Mediterranean Sea, killing all 15 people on board, as the Syrian military fired on Israeli fighter jets attacking targets in northwestern Syria. Photo | AP

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Russia’s Naval Strategy in the Indian Ocean


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Russia is pursuing a remarkably balanced naval strategy in the Afro-Bengal Ocean (Indian Ocean) that strives to maintain equal relations with its Pakistani and Indian counterparts, being drawn to the region not just because of its desire to maintain strategic stability between these two rivals through “military diplomacy”, but also to protect forthcoming offshore energy investments and participate in the game of prestige that all Great Powers are presently playing in this crucial body of water.

The Russian Navy isn’t usually the first branch of the Armed Forces that comes to mind when thinking about the country’s military, but it nevertheless has taken on a heightened strategic importance over the past few years following its participation in the anti-terrorist campaign in Syria, most notably through the launching of its Kalibr cruise missiles from positions in the Caspian and Eastern Mediterranean Seas. President Putin also announced over the weekend during the Navy Day celebrations in Saint Petersburg that his country’s flotilla will receive 26 new ships by the end of the year, further emphasizing the significance of naval assets for Russia’s grand strategy.

There are plenty of uses that Russia’s five existing fleets (Baltic, Black, Caspian, Northern, and Pacific) can have in advancing Moscow’s defensive designs across the 21st century, but this piece proposes that the country’s navy might begin expanding its scope of operations to the Afro-Bengal Ocean (still popularly known by its colonial-era name as the “Indian Ocean”). There was already a very minor presence here during the last decade in the Gulf of Aden in order to support the international mission against piracy in the region, but two recent developments point to a more pronounced shift towards this highly strategic southern body of water.

“Military Diplomacy”

The first is that Pakistan’s Vice Chief of Naval Staff visited Saint Petersburg last weekend and signed a Memorandum of Understand (MoU) with the Russian Navy, which coincided not just with Russia’s Navy Day celebrations, but also the first-ever visit of the Pakistani Navy to the Baltic Sea. Shortly afterwards, news reports circulated that Russia had earlier proposed a LEMOA-like logistics agreementwith India, though one that supposedly has to do more with servicing equipment than using the host country’s facilities for de-facto forward-operating purposes like the Americans have in mind. Taken together, it’s clear that Russia is trying to “balance” Pakistan and India in the Afro-Bengal Ocean.

At this point, it’s important to comment on Russia’s strategy of “military diplomacy”, which seeks to maintain the balance of power between multiple pairs of rival states through arms shipments and other forms of military cooperation with both. In the relevant context, this explains why Russia continues to export billions of dollars of weaponry to India while expanding its anti-terrorist military cooperation with Pakistan to the naval realm. Keeping this nuanced policy in mind, it wouldn’t be surprising if Russia’s offer to sell its Kalibr-armed Karakurt corvettes to India, Vietnam, and China was broadened to also include Pakistan one day in order to maintain the greatest degree of “balance” in the Afro-Pacific.

After all, the India-China and Vietnam-China pairs of rivaling states form the basis of Russia’s “balancing act” in Asia, especially its military component, but relentless American and “Israeli” inroads into India’s military-industrial complex in recent years have chipped away at Moscow’s former dominance of this sphere and compelled it to diversify its Asian arms portfolio. This is one of the many reasons why Russia is engaging in unprecedented levels of military cooperation with Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Azerbaijan, and Pakistan as part of its “Ummah Pivot”, so it would follow that naval sales to Pakistan might eventually become a part of this larger strategy, especially if India rebuffs Russia’s LEMOA-like proposal because of American pressure.

“Energy Diplomacy” And Prestige

Looking beyond the indirect regional presence established through “military diplomacy”, Russia will soon have other reasons to directly involve itself in the Afro-Bengal Ocean if its prospective offshore Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) pipeline is ever built. All Great Powers have an interest in defending such multibillion-dollar investments, and Russia is no different. It could also be drawn closer to this body of water through any forthcoming energy cooperation with India and Myanmar, and especially if it acquires a foothold in the LNG-rich countries of Tanzania and Mozambique as part of its plan to become one of Africa’s main energy partners. Through these means, Russia’s “energy diplomacy” could actually drive its “military diplomacy”.

Fielding a flotilla in the Afro-Bengal Ocean isn’t just about simple pragmatism and the tangible defense of one’s national interests, but is also increasingly taking on a very influential prestige component whereby all emerging and established powers are feeling compelled to have a presence in this region simply by inertia of everyone else seemingly doing so too. This dynamic was first put on full display during the pre-“Scramble for Africa” of the 21st century that saw many countries dispatching naval forces to the Gulf of Aden to combat piracy, where most of them continued to remain in one capacity or another following the climax of that crisis.

From Sudan To Pakistan

Great Powers such as Italy and Japan, who aren’t normally associated with the Afro-Bengal Ocean, actually have bases in Djibouti that allow them to maintain a position in this strategic region, and even landlocked Ethiopia has plans to build a navy, proving just how far the prestige game is going in this part of the world. To that end, Russia might seriously consider taking Sudan up on its offer to build a naval facility in the Red Sea city of Port Sudan, from where it could simultaneously exert influence along the Sahelian-Saharan Silk Road inside the African hinterland through its terminal port and also into the Afro-Bengal Ocean beyond the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden.

Bearing in mind that Pakistan also has a developing interest in expanding its all-around connectivity with Africa in order to benefit from China’s increasing trade with the continent through CPEC, it would make sense for its navy to conceptualize a strategy for the Arabian Sea-Gulf of Aden (ASGA) region as a first step to advancing this vision. The overlap of naval interests between Russia and Pakistan could possibly even see the pairing of their proposed naval facilities in Port Sudan with Gwadar through a LEMOA-like logistics agreement between these two Great Powers, thereby facilitating the Russian Navy’s defensive patrols of the IPI pipeline and the Pakistani ones of CPEC’s Sea Lines Of Communication (SLOC).

Concluding Thoughts

It shouldn’t be forgotten that none of these possible long-term plans are aimed against any country, especially India and the US vis-à-vis Russia and Pakistan’s motivations respectively, but that the abovementioned ideas are intended to epitomize win-win cooperation in the emerging Multipolar World Order. Russia’s recently reported efforts to clinch a LEMOA-like deal with India are proof of its desire to preemptively quash any externally manipulated “security dilemma” between these two historic partners and signal that its fast-moving “military diplomacy” with Pakistan isn’t meant to disrupt the regional balance like the US’ moves with India are.

Given the enormity of energy investments that Russia is making in the Mideast, South Asia, and Southeast Asia (with reference off the Myanmar coast), and the plans that it has to expand its extraction operations into Africa (with a particular focus on Mozambique), it only makes sense that Moscow would begin preparing well in advance to field its navy in the Afro-Bengal Ocean just like it did during the Soviet period, albeit for entirely different reasons during the present era.  The game of Great Power prestige also has something to do with it as well, so be that as it may, Russia has plenty of reasons to resume its naval activity in this strategic space.

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Is Russia About to Abandon the OPEC Deal?


NOVANEWS

OPEC and Russia are meeting in a little more than a month to discuss the progress of their oil production deal and what’s next. On the face of things, there will be no surprises: every country taking part in the deal is still committed to the cuts until the end of the year.

But Russia pumped more than its quota in both March and April. But Energy Minister Alexander Novak hinted that Russia might like to see a gradual easing of the cuts following the June meeting. But Iran sanctions will remove a certain amount of Iranian crude from international markets, making space for more from other producers, and Russia may just surprise its partners in the deal.

Citigroup commodity analysts this week estimated that Russia has 408,000 bpd in idled capacity, which constitutes 4 percent of its total, which stands at 11.3 million bpd. That’s a lot less than Saudi Arabia’s idle capacity, which stands at 2.12 million bpd, but is apparently still a significant enough portion of the total.

Some of Russia’s biggest oil players made it clear long ago that they have ambitious production plans for the future, which the production cuts are restraining. Even with this restraint, however, some are actually expanding production, including Gazprom Neft, which last year produced 4.1 percent more oil than in 2016 despite the cuts. The increase came on the back of new fields in the Arctic and the company’s Iraqi ventures.

Rosneft pumped 7.6 percent more oil last year despite the cuts. For the first quarter of this year it reported a 1.2-percent decline in production because of the cuts, but it has also said that it could return to pre-cut production levels within two months. An advisor to the company’s president told Russian media this week the cuts were implemented with a view to a quick return to production when cutting was no longer necessary, so Rosneft had taken care to ensure the return to pre-cut levels is indeed quick.

Now, this might just be a general statement, or it could suggest that both Rosneft and Gazprom Neft—along with the other companies taking part in the cuts—are chomping at the bit, eager to expand into new fields.

Gazprom Neft, for example, had a very ambitious production plan for the period until 2020, aiming to hit annual production of 100 million tons of crude by 2020. Because of the cuts, the company will now move this target rate by one or two years, it said today.

Rosneft, meanwhile, is drilling new wells in Vietnam and western Siberia. Lukoil is expanding in the Gulf of Mexico and Iraq. Gazprom Neft is boosting production at its three Arctic fields, among others. Russia’s Big Oil is expanding, letting natural depletion take care of some of the production cuts. But they have made it clear that they would rather not curb existing production or stall new projects for much longer.

“The agreement lasts until the end of the year. In June, we can discuss, among other issues, a question about reduction of some quotas during this time, if it is expedient from the market’s point of view,” Alexander Novak said in April.

Now, with Brent close to US$80 and pretty likely to actually hit this price in the coming days, it may have become expedient to discuss some quota reductions. After all, why let Saudi Arabia be the only one to take advantage of the fall in Iranian crude supply after sanctions kick in?

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Will Russia Destroy the West’s Self-Delusion?


NOVANEWS

Vladimir Putin has to call out the Israeli regime. The United States, France and the UK would not have been in Syria had the Israeli regime and the Neoconservatives in America diabolically persuaded Trump to attack.

…by Jonas E. Alexis and Henry Makow

Henry Makow has a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Toronto in 1982 and is the author of the best-selling book Cruel Hoax: Feminism & the New World Order. Makow grew up in a Jewish family.

Jonas E. Alexis: Vladimir Putin has recently declared that the current attack in Syria by the United States is a violation of international law. It is also “an aggression against a sovereign state which is at the forefront of the fight against terrorism.”[1]

Putin also believes that history will triumph, for “it has already found Washington responsible for massacres in Yugoslavia. In fact, by using force, Washington is only prompting a new wave of asylum-seekers from Syria and the whole region.”[2]

Putin has appealed to the UN Charter which conclusively would that the United States, France and the UK are committing war crimes in the region. I would say that Putin is wise here because to quickly rush through a counterattack without serious thought and consideration would be unwise.

I admire Putin’s patience here. What I would like to see is that he has to call out the Israeli regime. The United States, France and the UK would not have been in Syria had the Israeli regime and the Neoconservatives in America diabolically persuaded Trump to attack.

The Israeli regime will do it again if Russia continues to stay silent on these issues. Russia needs to complete the job by challenging the Israeli regime. Until they do that, then Israel will continue to play dice with the United States and the UK and use them as puppets. Henry Makow, your thoughts on these issues.

Henry Makow: The airstrike on Syria today had nothing to do with chemical weapons. It’s more in the nature of a bitchslap, bullying, an assertion of Western dominance, a punishment for Russia’s interference in Zionist expansion. The US, UK, Israel and France are all factotums of the Rothschild banking cartel. This attack and the coming world war is about the shape of the New World Order, unipolar Zionist or multipolar Western & Eurasian.

Watching the TV News Friday, I was struck that the US political elite actually believed the chemical attacks took place, as implausible as that is. The Western mass media is an extension of the Deep State. The Deep State is the network that serves the Rothschild central banking racket.

Politicians like Trump, May, Macron and Nikki Haley are chosen for their lack of moral compunction, and ability to lie convincingly. They impose the Rothschild agenda on the people. That’s their job.

DELUSIONAL

The Rothschilds and their minions are all Freemasons. Cabalists. The distinctive feature of Cabalism is the belief that there is no objective truth or morality. They think they can create reality to serve their interests and perversions. Saying is believing for them, not seeing. Jet fuel fires caused the World Trade Center to disintegrate into a fine dust. A Boeing 757 disappeared into the Pentagon. Sadaam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. Countless mass shootings just happen to coincide with drills etc.  Reality? No problem. We make it up.

Karl Rove repeated this Cabalist formula:

“We’re an empire now, and when we act we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality…we’ll act again, creating other new realities… We’re history’s actors and all of you will be left to just study what we do.”[3]

This is the essence of Satanism: the denial of objective truth and morality. At its heart, the NWO is about being delusional; this is Satanic possession.

This self-delusion was on display recently in the two phony gas attacks. Saying makes it so. Who needs proof? It’s just a stupid excuse anyway. Don’t insult our intelligence while we’re insulting yours.

So the $60,000 question is, will Russia follow through on its threat to attack the attackers? Or will they indulge the lunatic West one more time because they are the only adults in the room? Russia is like Rodney Dangerfield. It can’t get any respect unless it sinks a US battleship and kills 1000 sailors.

But the fact that Russia declined to attack any planes or ships suggests they will eat crow one more time. (They may have been informed that the attack will be merely face-saving.)

Inevitably Russia will have to burst the Cabalists’ smug solipsistic bubble or succumb to domination and exploitation. Until then Russia is enabling some very dangerous behavior.


  • [1] “US-led strikes in Syria without UNSC mandate a violation of international law – Putin,” Russia Today, April 14, 2018.
  • [2] Ibid.
  • [3] Ron Suskind, “Faith, Certainty and the Presidency of George W. Bush,” NY Times, October 17, 2004.

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Putin says Russia will decrease military spending


NOVANEWS

Russian President Vladimir Putin says he will reduce its military spending during his new term as the leader of the country, a day after he was re-elected in a presidential election with a landslide.

“We have plans to decrease our defense spending both this year and next. But this will not lead to any decline in the country’s defense capacity,” said Putin during a meeting with other presidential candidates in capital Moscow on Monday.

He added that “We will not allow for any sort of arms race.”

Putin’s comments come as ties between Moscow and Washington have plummeted to levels not seen since the Cold War due to the two countries’ disputes over the crises in Ukraine and Syria and after US officials accused Russia of meddling in the 2016 US presidential election.

Since September 2015, Russia has been carrying out airstrikes in support of Syria’s ground troops and has helped them recapture swathes of territory from Takfiri terrorists.

In his best election performance ever, Putin, 65, secured nearly 77 percent of the ballots cast in Sunday’s presidential election, according to the official results released earlier today.

Putin, whose new election win will extend his total time in office to nearly a quarter of a century, until 2024, said elsewhere in his remarks that he aims to focus his new term on “domestic policy issues” and strengthening the country’s “defense capabilities.”

“The main thing that we are going to do is of course, first of all the internal agenda, it is first of all ensuring the growth of the Russian Federation economy, and making it innovative, this is development in the sphere of healthcare, education, industrial output and as I’ve said before of infrastructure and other areas crucial for moving the country forward and lifting the standard of living for our citizens” the Russian leader further said.

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It’s Okay to Constructively Criticize Russia, Even President Putin Does It!


The Alt-Media’s “politically correct” “glorification” of all things Russia-related is a “well-intended” but knee-jerk response to the rampant Russophobia of the Mainstream Media, but it nevertheless results in the generation of an overly “perfect” and therefore inaccurate version of the country that’s at odds with reality and was just debunked by none other than President Putin himself.

Misreading Russia

President Putin’s keynote speech to the nation last week naturally captured the attention of the global media, with the Mainstream Media (MSM) intensifying their relentless fear mongering campaign by over exaggerating decontextualized statements about Russia’s hypersonic weapons program while the Alt-Media was swooning over the President’s announcement and framed it as another “5D chess move” that forever put a stop to America’s aggression abroad as per their hero’s “master plan”. Both reactions are hyperbolic in their own way and predicated on appealing to each of their respective audiences. The MSM has an interest in pushing the “Russia threat” narrative because it reinforces the “Russiagate” paranoia and “justifies” Trump’s gargantuan military budget that he earlier unveiled as part of his Pentagon-centric “America First” foreign policy. As for the Alt-Media Community, many of its casual members, “formal” figures, and outlets (which does not refer to its publicly financed ones) have all but “deified” President Putin already, with the latter two doing so in order to appeal to the “wishful thinking” fantasies of the desperate masses in order to remain relevant by reinforcing their “flock’s” groupthink.

Neither MSM nor Alt-Media, however, tended to pay much attention to the bulk of the President’s speech focusing on domestic issues, as they each seem to have independently arrived at the same conclusion that such topics aren’t “sexy” enough for their audience and isn’t what the general public outside of Russia is interested in. In a sense, Russia might have proverbially dodged a bullet because there’s a lot in its leader’s speech that could be exploited by the MSM in the same way as the hypersonic weapons announcement was. At the same time, however, the argument can also be made that Alt-Media inadvertently deprived its audience of hearing about key facts, quotes, and strategies that they wouldn’t otherwise be aware of had they not read the transcript of President Putin’s extensive speech but which could have given them a more accurate view of the country that many of them have hitherto placed on par with “paradise”.  It’s in the interests of reporting on and analyzing objective facts, whatever the consequences may be on one’s own perception of Russia, that the present analysis was written.

Why Alt-Media Gets Russia Wrong

Russia, like any country in the world, isn’t “perfect”, but just like the object of anyone’s desire, its devotees have a tendency of seeing it that way regardless, especially if they’re not from there themselves but are attracted to it for geopolitical reasons or simply as a statement of principled opposition against the policies of their home country. Whatever the reason may be, and it’s irrelevant in this context to conduct a psychoanalysis of this trend, the end result is that many people across the world who truly appreciate Russia’s efforts to forge a Multipolar World Order that’s fairer and more just than the unipolar one that it seeks to replace often overlook some of the country’s unpleasant realities. This is more often than not due to both a combination of cognitive dissonance in refusing to accept that their “deified” “role model” doesn’t rule over “paradise” and a deliberate move to avoid unintentionally playing into the runaway Russophobia that’s come to dominate the general discussion. For however “noble” this may or may not be, it nevertheless has fed into a growing online cottage industry that wrongly portrays Russia as having no problems at all.

This artificial narrative has gone viral to the point where an increasing number of people in the Alt-Media Community adhere it as though it’s a “secular religion”, complete with its own “churches” (certain websites and forums), “priests” (narrative writers and promoters), “congregation” (their fellow “believers”), and “heathens” (those who “sacrilegiously” question the “sanctity” of Russia’s “infallibility”). There’s nothing innately “wrong” with this so long as the “cult members” keep their beliefs to themselves and don’t “proselytize”, but the issue arises once they attempt to aggressively enforce their views onto others and/or disseminate them as indisputable “truths” that axiomatically form the basis of International Relations. The warped perception of Russia that’s beginning to take shape in the Alt-Media Community as a result of this “secular religion’s” growing popularity (provoked to a large degree as a response to the MSM’s Russophobia) must urgently be corrected before it gets out of control and creates an Alternative Reality fully detached from real life. If those who want to truly understand and help Russia don’t have an accurate idea of what it even is, then their plans and efforts will inevitably be for naught.

Take It From The Man Himself

Personal testimonies from Russians and foreigners living within the country about some of state’s shortcomings are no longer effective in conveying the truth of the situation, as they’re merely dismissed as “Soros propaganda”, “fake news”, or “someone with an axe to grind”, nor are factual news reports from Russia’s publicly financed media outlets like TASS sufficient in this task either. The only way to destroy the dogmatic and ultimately dangerous thinking about Russia’s “infallibility” that’s taken hold of the Alt-Media Community is to use President Putin’s own words to debunk this fake narrative once and for all, since it follows that “believers” will be forced to accept whatever their “deity” says no matter how much they’d otherwise resist doing so if the message came from anyone else. Accordingly, given the wealth of material presented in President Putin’s recent landmark speech to the nation and the global attention that this event produced, it’s fitting to quote from the man himself in drawing attention to some of the country’s problems that are utterly ignored by the Alt-Media Community.

It should be prefaced that the following will intentionally focus on the constructive criticisms that President Putin made about his country in order to raise awareness about the true state of affairs in Russia, but that the country’s leader impressively listed off a staggering amount of facts and strategies in proving that much progress that has already been made since the turn of the century. So as not to “preach to the choir”, and understanding that the MSM audience will probably never read this analysis, the decision was made to engage in “shock therapy” by quoting the parts of President Putin’s speech that will probably come off as “surprising” and “unbelievable” to the Alt-Media masses who have “deified” the man and proclaimed his country “perfect”. Again, the intention in doing so is to set the record straight about Russia so that those who follow its affairs can have the most accurate picture in their minds about the reality in which it operates. Accepting its shortcomings is key to understanding its limitations in the present day and accordingly forecasting its most likely actions in the future.

Having gotten the “caveats” out of the way, here are the most “politically incorrect” and “sacrilegious” messages that President Putin conveyed in his latest speech that powerfully shatter the Alt-Media delusions about Russia’s ”infallibility”:

No More Procrastinating

Quote:

“We have no right to allow a situation when the stability that has been achieved would lead to complacency, all the more so as many problems remain unresolved…It is high time we take a number of tough decisions that are long overdue. We need to get rid of anything that stands in the way of our development and prevents people from fully unleashing their potential.”

Interpretation:

Russia has been holding off on doing what’s needed for far too long, and it can’t afford another moment to needlessly waste. The days of procrastinating because of perceived complacency (apathy, which is sometimes linked to the Russian cultural trait of “avos’”) are over, and the country must recognize this before it’s too late.

Source: Kremlin.ru

Russia Is “Falling Behind”

Quote:

“It is not a question of someone conquering or devastating our land. No, that is not the danger. The main threat and our main enemy is the fact that we are falling behind. If we are unable to reverse this trend, we will fall even further behind. This is like a serious chronic disease that steadily saps the energy from the body and destroys it from within step by step. Quite often, this destructive process goes unnoticed by the body.”

Interpretation

External enemies are no longer Russia’s main threat because they’ll be kept at bay by the nation’s military and its recently unveiled hypersonic weaponry that restored the global strategic balance. Instead, the chief threat to the country is its lack of development. Russia hasn’t risen to the occasion in capitalizing off of new trends and therefore it’s falling behind. If it doesn’t correct its course, it’ll be destroyed before it even knows what happened to it.

The Employment Structure Is Broken

Quote:

“We need to upgrade the employment structure that has become inefficient and archaic, provide good jobs that motivate people, improve their well-being and help them uncover their talents. We need to create decent well-paid jobs.

Interpretation:

Russia has amazingly lifted millions of people out of poverty and slashed unemployment, but the jobs that its citizens have aren’t inspiring them enough to fulfill their potential, both personally and economically. The whole structure is broken and must be reformed.

Pensioners Are Just As Poor As They’re Made Out To Be

Quote:

“We will also strive to reduce the gap between the size of pensions and pre-retirement wages.”

Interpretation:

Pensioners live in poverty and struggle to maintain respectable living standards.

Life Expectancy In Russia Is Still Less Than In The G7

Quote:

“Life expectancy levels have increased by over seven years and now total 73 years. But, of course, this is not enough either. Today, we must set an entirely new goal. By the end of the next decade, Russia must confidently join the club of countries posting a life expectancy of 80-plus years, which includes Japan, France and Germany.”

Interpretation:

Russians shouldn’t be satisfied that they now live longer than they did during the chaotic 1990s when life expectancy was “just over 65 years, with men’s life expectancy falling below 60 years”, but should aspire to match and even surpass the length of life that their G7 peers enjoy if they’re serious about giving the new generation a better future.

Housing Is Too Expensive And Corrupt

Quote:

“Urban renovation should be supported by the introduction of state-of-the-art construction technology and materials, modern architectural solutions, digital technology for social services, transport and utilities sectors. Among other things, this would make the housing and utilities sector more transparent and efficient, so that people receive quality services at a reasonable cost.”

Interpretation:

It’s not just enough to build new and better homes for Russians, but this process must be more “transparent” (a euphemism for “free from corruption”), and people mustn’t be charged a proverbial “arm and a leg” for buying a home or paying for utilities. Moreover, everything must be efficient, which evidently isn’t the case right now otherwise the President wouldn’t stress this point.

Local Bureaucrats Ignore The People’s Will And Must Be Held To Account By Their Constituents

Quote:

“Of course, a lot will depend on municipal and local authorities and whether they will be receptive to new ideas. The ability to respond to the diverse needs of various generations, including families with children, retirees and people with disabilities, will also be instrumental. People must have a decisive say in the future of their cities and villages. We have discussed this many times, including at meetings with heads of municipalities. Today, I am not saying it just to check the box. I ask you to bring it to the attention of decision-makers at all levels.

Interpretation:

President Putin knows that he’s only one man and his words can only do so much in a country that inherited millions of lackadaisical bureaucrats from the communist era, many of whom are still working within state structures and may have even entrenched their outdated and counterproductive mentalities into their “workplace culture”. Russia will not develop and catch up to the West (and increasingly, Asia as well) at the pace that’s urgently needed unless the population holds these figures to account by doing more than just voting. They need to resort to “bottom-up” pressure when needed.

Not Enough Russians Have Their Own Home

Quote:

“I understand how important it is for everyone, for every family, to have their own house, their own home. I know this is the problem of problems in Russia. It lingers from decade to decade. How many times governments promised and tried, sincerely tried to resolve it. But we can and must do it now…I see three key factors for increasing the affordability of housing. The first is the growth of people’s incomes. I have spoken about this in the past, and we must ensure this. Next, a decrease in mortgage interest rates and, of course, an increased supply in the housing market.”

Interpretation :

Russians, just like anyone else in the world, dream of having their own homes and moving away from their families once they reach a certain age or get married. This is unfortunately very difficult to do, especially in Moscow and other big cities due to the excessive costs involved, inadequate compensation from their jobs, dysfunctional financial system, and endemic corruption that makes everything worse.

The Financial System Must Be Fixed

Quote:

“In December, the average interest rate on ruble loans for the first time decreased to below 10 percent. We know, of course, that loan terms are individual and may differ from one borrower to another. But we must continue to lower the average interest rate to 7–8 percent. We held long discussions on the figure I should say here. I am sure that the target figure should be 7 percent. In the next six years, mortgage loans must become accessible to the majority of Russian families, working people and young professionals.”

Interpretation:

Interest rates are prohibitively high for the majority of Russians, thus making it difficult for them to take out loans, which in turn negatively impacts on their spending habits in boosting the economy through consumer purchases and real estate, for example. The financial system must therefore be fixed in order to make loans more accessible to the populace and stimulate steady economic growth within the country, as this could help remedy some of the problems that Russia is presently experiencing in housing and other spheres.

The Property Tax Is Unfair And Unaffordable

Quote:

“I also propose revising the personal property tax. It must be fair and affordable. Some people, including those in this hall, tried to convince me that this tax should be based on the market value of property. They told me that using obsolete valuation by the Technical Inventory Bureau is an anachronism. But it turned out in reality that cadastral value, which should be comparable to market value, often exceeded it by far. This was not the agreement. And the people did not expect this from us. We must revise the mechanism for calculating the tax and also the calculation of the cadastral value of property. One way or another, it must not exceed the real market value. All decisions regarding this must be taken without delay in the first six months of this year.”

Interpretation:

Be it through corruption, inept bureaucratic inertia, inefficiency, misunderstandings of complex bureaucratic law, or whatever else, the property tax that citizens are required to pay is evidently excessive and doesn’t correlate with the market value of the property. This has caused a lot of frustration among the people and resentment towards the authorities, undermining the public’s trust in the state. If Russia is to develop and expand its housing market by making it more accessible to the average person, then it also has to correspondingly improve upon this issue as well.

The Condition With Local Roads Is “Completely Unacceptable”

Quote:

“We have overhauled federal roads. Now we must modernise regional and local routes. I am not going to talk about the figures now, but I know them. It is a fact that federal roads have mostly been renovated. The situation is somewhat worse with regional roads, and it is completely unacceptable with local roads.”

Interpretation:

Connectivity is one of the buzzwords of the 21st century, and while Russia’s overhaul of federal roads will enable it to more efficiently link Western Europe with East Asia, the situation with regional and local routes remains lacking. The latter, in fact, leave a lot to be desired, which President Putin believes is “completely unacceptable” and must be addressed as soon as possible.

Domestic Air Connectivity Must Be Improved

Quote:

“We will renovate and expand the network of regional airports across Russia. In six years, half of the regions will be connected between each other by direct flights. The situation where you had to make a connection in Moscow when flying to a neighbouring region will become a thing of the past. We are already working on this.

Interpretation:

As surprising as it may sound, President Putin is correct – sometimes Russians have to first fly far away to Moscow en route to a neighboring region, which might sound absurd but reflects the reality of the contemporary situation. The government is making progress on improving this, but it still remains a time-consuming annoyance.

Public Wages Risk Stagnating

Quote

“We must not lose the positions we have already attained. I am referring to the level of wages. Wages in the public sector must continue growing, as well as the quality of work and skills of the people working in healthcare, education and other areas that define people’s wellbeing.”

Interpretation:

President Putin is worried that public wages might stagnate, thus inhibiting the country’s growth by depriving its public employees of the incentive that most people need to improve the quality of their work and skills. Although unstated, the solution is for the state to commit more money to this sphere.

Some Administrative Hospital Changes Have Been Disastrous

Quote:

“In recent years, we have optimised the hospital network in the country. This was done in order to build an effective healthcare system. However, in some case, I have to say this today, too many administrative changes were introduced: hospitals in small towns and villages have been closed. No one proposed an alternative, and people were left with practically no medical aid. The only advice they were given was, “Go to the city to get treatment there.” I must say that this is unacceptable. They forgot about the main thing: the people, their interests and needs, equal opportunities and justice.”

Interpretation:

Almost as unbelievable as having to sometimes fly halfway across the country to Moscow in order to reach a neighboring Russian region is the fact that some small towns and villages don’t have any hospitals. The locals are instead forced to travel elsewhere in order to receive healthcare services, and the local officials contemptuously don’t care about their plight. Like President Putin said, “this is unacceptable”, and it goes along with his call for people to hold bureaucrats to account beyond election season.

Environmental Challenges Still Persist

Quote:

“We have tightened environmental requirements for companies, which should reduce industrial pollution. Starting in 2019, 300 industrial enterprises with a negative impact on the environment must convert to the best available environmentally friendly technology, and all enterprises in the high environmental risk group must do this starting in 2021. We had a go at this problem many times, and every time our companies complained about the difficulties involved. There is no going back now. I want everyone to know that we will not delay this programme any longer.”

Interpretation:

Pollution is a problem in Russia, and the government seems to have previously caved in to corporate pressure in delaying the enforcement of various requirements. That’s not going to happen anymore, and President Putin made it clear that he’s serious about enforcing new standards and ensuring that they’re complied with on time. This might even be an oblique message to the “oligarchy” that wields enormous influence in this sphere.

Not Everyone Has Reliable Access To Drinking Water

Quote:

“We must seriously improve the quality of drinking water. In some small towns, water is only available for several hours a day. We must use defence industry technologies to settle these problems.”

Interpretation:

This might strike some people as shocking, but the fact is that a (presumably small) portion of Russians don’t have reliable access to drinking water, a problem stereotypically associated with countries of the “Global South”.

Citizenship Must Be Easier To Attain:

Quote:

“I also propose creating the most convenient and attractive conditions for talented young people from other countries to enroll at our universities. They already come to study here. But we also need to create conditions for the best foreign graduates of our universities to work in Russia. This fully applies to foreign scientists and qualified specialists. I think we need to seriously improve the procedure for granting Russian citizenship. The focus should be on the foreign nationals Russia needs: on young, healthy and well-educated people. For them, we need to create a simplified system for obtaining Russian citizenship.”

Interpretation:

Russia has one of the strictest migration policies in the world, which has unfortunately prevented it from capitalizing on the enormous foreign talent that arrives in the country every year to learn. Once these students graduate, they mostly leave Russia and never have any opportunity to return unless it’s on a tourist visa, which is a pity for those who sincerely love the country and want to settle down there. One of the reasons why the West was so successful in the past is that it was able to flexibly incorporate foreign experts into its framework by offering them citizenship, something that Russia has finally realized that it needs to do as well.

Labor Productivity Is Still Lagging

Quote:

“First of all, it is important to increase labour productivity on a new technological, managerial and personnel basis. We are still lagging noticeably behind in terms of this indicator. It is necessary to ensure that labour productivity in medium-sized and large enterprises of basic industries, such as manufacturing, construction, transport, agriculture and trade, grows at a rate of at least 5 percent per year, which will allow us to reach the level of the leading world economies by the end of the next decade.”

Interpretation:

Russia’s transition away from its erstwhile energy exporting-dependency and towards a more sustainable real-sector economy has already made phenomenal progress but its full development will still take some time. It’s absolutely imperative that the country improve its labor productivity in order to become competitive with the world’s leading economies and then ultimately remain so, otherwise it will continue to lag behind them and undermine President Putin’s comprehensive vision of Trump-like socio-economic reform in Russia.

Post-Soviet Russia’s Economy Is Still Too State-Controlled

Quote:

”The state must gradually reduce its share in the economy. In this connection, it has to be noted that the state has taken over a number of financial assets in an effort to revive the banking sector. These initiatives are headed in the right direction and have my support. That said, these assets should be put on the market and sold without delay.”

Interpretation:

Russia must open up its economy to private investment and allow businessmen to exert more influence over the country’s overall dynamics. The state has previously provided support to the financial sector, but it’s now time for the government to give up its control over these said assets and sell them on the open market as soon as possible. To be succinct, Russia’s economy has to liberalize sooner than later.

Corrupt Officials And Cops Are Intimidating Businesses

Quote:

“We need to get rid of everything that enables corrupt officials and law enforcement officers to pressure businesses. The Criminal Code should not serve as a tool for settling corporate disputes. These should be referred to administrative and arbitration courts.

Interpretation:

Under no circumstances should corrupt officials and cops abuse the law, especially when this holds back economic development. It sets a terrible precedent and is completely contrary to everything that President Putin stands for. Russia cannot improve its international position unless this changes.

Legal Double Standards Must Be Done Away With

Quote:

“At the same time, criminal law should be strictly enforced in the case of offences infringing upon the interests of citizens or society or violating economic freedoms. I am referring to offences against property and assets held by citizens, illegal takeovers, competition law violations, tax evasion and embezzlement of public funds.”

Interpretation:

Corruption is eating away at Russia’s efficiency and also costing it untold sums of money that could otherwise be invested into the economy for everyone’s benefit. Nobody should ever be above the law, but unfortunately some people have been for quite a while now and it’s such a widespread problem that President Putin used his national podium to address it.

The Government Could Do “A Lot” More To Help Businesses

Quote:

“Now I would like to address all representatives of Russian business, those who run their own small business, a family enterprise or a farm, an innovative company or a large industrial enterprise. I know, I know we still have a lot to do.”

Interpretation:

One of President Putin’s main themes in his speech was to emphasize that the government has finally heard the complaints of the citizenry and will be responding to their problems. The structural shortcomings that have held Russia back since independence won’t be allowed to persist.

Some Government Officials Are Unfocused And Inefficient

Quote:

“Government officials of all levels should be interested in improving their efficiency and be strictly focused on obtaining concrete results…This line of thinking should be used to rebuild the public service system, where appropriate, and to introduce project work methods.”

Interpretation :

President Putin boldly said what no other official would previously dare to say in public, and it’s that part of the public service system must be “rebuilt” because it’s broken beyond repair. To that end, like the Russian leader suggested, officials absolutely have to become more focused and efficient.

Concluding Thoughts

All of the abovementioned messages, quotes, and interpretations provide raw insight into the real situation in Russia today, which is that of a rising Great Power that has nevertheless been held back by many serious domestic difficulties – some of them systemic – but which finally recognizes what needs to urgently change in order for it to catch up with its competitors and succeed. None of the points that were made should ever be abused to denigrate Russia, nor should anyone exaggerate them in order to fit a decontextualized narrative about its level of socio-economic, institutional, and infrastructural development, but these “inconvenient facts” also shouldn’t be omitted from any objective analysis about the country and its capabilities because their absence prevents people from devising the appropriate solutions to fixing them.

Russia has come a long way since 1991, but it still has a ways to go too, as President Putin emphasized, and it’s precisely because of his “political incorrectness” in calling out his country’s problems that he’s the best suited for tackling them. His striking example in fearlessly addressing Russia’s problems should serve as the perfect example to all of its international friends that it’s absolutely okay to constructively criticize the country so long as one’s intentions are to identify what’s wrong in order to fix it. Overemphasizing various shortcomings in order to advance a hostile narrative is unacceptable and manipulative, but if Alt-Media sincerely aspires to accurately reflect the true state of affairs in Russia today, then it must inevitably broach this topic in a measured and respectful way.

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Russia not going to engage in Arms Race – Kremlin


NOVANEWS

… from Russia Today, Moscow

Western media has had a field day trying to demonize Putin. Only the Koolaid drinkers bought into it

[ Editor’s Note: Peskov had to come out today to give round two on Putin’s Russian Parliament speech, which Western media had launched a coordinated presentation for its being an offensive act.

Anyone who has been following geopolitics knows how the US decided to trash the US START treaty, and Mr. Nobel Peace Prize had no problem jumping aboard, as he did with NATO moving toward the Russian border, with the violent Ukraine coup as the cherry on top, putting Obama in a special one man category for the Peace Prize trashers.

There was not much new in Putin’s speech. We all knew these weapons have been in development for some time, and why. He was in a position to announce their testing and some deployment dates – all routine stuff.

But when you are in the bogeyman business, and when no one ever gets fired for overdoing it, the silly responses we saw were expected. Western government folks have lost any natural embarrassment of saying totally silly things. It is a herd mentality.

Trump has lowered the bar. Compared to him, even our idiots look like polished statesmen. But I do see signs from the Congressional Republicans that payback day may be coming. Trump will be the most dangerous at that point.

Who will be the last man standing? I have placed my bet.

With Mueller closing in on him and his family of hoodlums, which I predicted could easily happen, as they would view the White House as a looting orgy on a scale they would never have again, Trump’s last card to save the day will be to get a war going.

One call to Bibi and that would be taken care of in a jiffy, with an Israeli provocation, the target’s response, and then even a bigger response by Israel; and we would be off to the races.

But as Gordon wrote today, Putin’s response to the new US hair-trigger nuclear policy was to trump it with mutually assured destruction, a term which no media used to describe it.

Putin’s red line was that having an ally attacked with nuclear weapons would generate a full Russian nuclear response on the attacker. I grew up with this as a kid, and it worked. No one ever pulled the trigger.

This includes the Russian cmdr who delayed a retaliation strike when a mishap with the Russian radar system showed a general incoming missile attack. On his authority alone, he held off giving the order to fire so the tech people could validate it was a false alarm.

With these supersonic weapons flying at Mach 20, we are going to be in a more dangerous position if a similar mishap occur. There will be no time to find the glitch. With an incoming preemptive strike, you have to launch your retaliation as fast as you can. You are damned if you do, and damned if you don’t… Jim W. Dean ]

The claim that Moscow is an aggressive threat, with less than one tenth the military power of the US and NATO, is a fairy tale

– First published … March 02, 2018 –

Russia’s development of new weapons was nothing but a response to the US withdrawal from the ABM treaty, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Friday.

Putin has stressed that his speech could not be considered a beginning of the arms race as it is a retaliatory response to the US withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM Treaty), as well as to the process of creating a global system of missile defense, according to the spokesman.

“This is nothing else than Russia’s response to the scrapping of the ABM Treaty, the US withdrawal from the ABM Treaty and to the highly active process of creating a global missile defense system, which in the long term was able to break strategic parity, nuclear parity and, in fact, neutralize the strategic forces of Russia,” Peskov added.

“The deterrent element of the nuclear triad, in terms of international stability and security, is well known and accepted by all,” the spokesman noted.

On Cooperation Between Russia and International Community

Russia has been and still is a country that is seeking mutually favorable cooperation with all other states, based on mutual respect and trust, Peskov noted.

“It is incorrect to comprehend [Putin’s Thursday’s address to the parliament] as some militarist statements … I am calling on you to draw attention to the main thought in the address. It is the idea, which the president had voiced at the very beginning [of the address]. In this case, Russia’s aim is to make this push before it is late. We have everything, which is needed for this,” Peskov stated.

According to Peskov, the statements, made by Russian President Vladimir Putin in his address are not going to increase the isolation of Russia on the international arena.

“It is a wrong and exaggerated perception of the president’s point of view, which he outlined in his address. He also in fact gave an explanation of this point of view in a night interview, which he gave to NBC [broadcaster],” Peskov said while answering the question on whether Putin’s address to the upper house and possible contacts with North Korea may increase Moscow’s isolation in the world arena.

The day before, Russian President Vladimir Putin presented new weapons systems during his annual address to the parliament. Particularly, Putin said that Russia had created and started mass production of the hypersonic weapon Avangard, which is able of carrying out intercontinental flights at the hypersonic speed of Mach 20 and higher.

READ MORE: Pentagon to Pour Extra Money in Hypersonic Weapons as Putin Reveals New Arms

Putin also provided the details about a state-of-art Russian missile system with the heavy intercontinental missile Sarmat, which can be equipped with nuclear warheads, including the hypersonic ones.

Russia Not Going to Attack Anyone

According to Peskov, Russia is not going to attack anyone, its new weapons do not threaten those who do not plan to attack it.

“I have not seen, frankly, the map of Florida, so I do not see any reason to say that there really were some US maps used there. No maps were used there, just some outlines, there is no link to any particular country,” Peskov told reporters.

“And once again I repeat, and the president said this: Russia is not going to attack anyone, and these weapons do not pose a threat to those who do not have plans to attack our country,” he said.

During Putin’s speech, a video animation showed the newest SARMAT missile system hitting its target. Following Putin’s speech, several Twitter users noticed that the land the missile was targeting in the video appeared to be the US state of Florida, making the US concerned about the alleged use of the US map in the animation.

Commenting on the issue, Peskov said that he “didn’t see any Florida map on the video. No map was used and these were just some sets, depicting no country.”

Posted in RussiaComments Off on Russia not going to engage in Arms Race – Kremlin

Russians Spooked by Nukes-Against-Cyber-Attack Policy


NOVANEWS

Image result for ussr flag

By Ray McGovern and William Binney | Consortium News 

Moscow is showing understandable concern over the lowering of the threshold for employing nuclear weapons to include retaliation for cyber-attacks, a change announced on Feb. 2 in the U.S. Nuclear Posture Review (NPR).

Explaining the shift in U.S. doctrine on first-use, the NPR cites the efforts of potential adversaries “to design and use cyber weapons” and explains the change as a “hedge” against non-nuclear threats. In response, Russia described the move as an “attempt to shift onto others one’s own responsibility” for the deteriorating security situation.

Moscow’s concern goes beyond rhetoric. Cyber-attacks are notoriously difficult to trace to the actual perpetrator and can be pinned easily on others in what we call “false-flag” operations. These can be highly destabilizing – not only in the strategic context, but in the political arena as well.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has good reason to believe he has been the target of a false-flag attack of the political genre. We judged this to be the case a year and a half ago, and said so. Our judgment was fortified last summer – thanks to forensic evidence challenging accusations that the Russians hacked into the Democratic National Committee and provided emails to WikiLeaks. (Curiously, the FBI declined to do forensics, even though the “Russian hack” was being described as an “act of war.”)

Our conclusions were based on work conducted over several months by highly experienced technical specialists, including another former NSA technical director (besides co-author Binney) and experts from outside the circle of intelligence analysts.

On August 9, 2017, investigative reporter Patrick Lawrence summed up our findings in The Nation. “They have all argued that the hack theory is wrong and that a locally executed leak is the far more likely explanation,” he explained.

As we wrote in an open letter to Barack Obama dated January 17, three days before he left office, the NSA’s programs are fully capable of capturing all electronic transfers of data. “We strongly suggest that you ask NSA for any evidence it may have indicating that the results of Russian hacking were given to WikiLeaks,” our letter said. “If NSA cannot produce such evidence – and quickly – this would probably mean it does not have any.”

A ‘Dot’ Pointing to a False Flag?

In his article, Lawrence included mention of one key, previously unknown “dot” revealed by WikiLeaks on March 31, 2017. When connected with other dots, it puts a huge dent in the dominant narrative about Russian hacking. Small wonder that the mainstream media immediately applied white-out to the offending dot.

Lawrence, however, let the dot out of the bag, so to speak: “The list of the CIA’s cyber-tools WikiLeaks began to release in March and labeled Vault 7 includes one called Marble Framework that is capable of obfuscating the origin of documents in false-flag operations and leaving markings that point to whatever the CIA wants to point to.”

If congressional oversight committees summon the courage to look into “Obfus-Gate” and Marble, they are likely to find this line of inquiry as lucrative as the Steele “dossier.” In fact, they are likely to find the same dramatis personae playing leading roles in both productions.

Two Surprising Visits

Last October CIA Director Mike Pompeo invited one of us (Binney) into his office to discuss Russian hacking. Binney told Pompeo his analysts had lied and that he could prove it.

In retrospect, the Pompeo-Binney meeting appears to have been a shot across the bow of those cyber warriors in the CIA, FBI, and NSA with the means and incentive to adduce “just discovered” evidence of Russian hacking. That Pompeo could promptly invite Binney back to evaluate any such “evidence” would be seen as a strong deterrent to that kind of operation.

Pompeo’s closeness to President Donald Trump is probably why the heads of Russia’s three top intelligence agencies paid Pompeo an unprecedented visit in late January. We think it likely that the proximate cause was the strategic danger Moscow sees in the nuclear-hedge-against-cyber-attack provision of the Nuclear Posture Statement (a draft of which had been leaked a few weeks before).

If so, the discussion presumably focused on enhancing hot-line and other fail-safe arrangements to reduce the possibility of false-flag attacks in the strategic arena — by anyone – given the extremely high stakes.

Putin may have told his intelligence chiefs to pick up on President Donald Trump’s suggestion, after the two met last July, to establish a U.S.-Russian cyber security unit. That proposal was widely ridiculed at the time. It may make good sense now.

Ray McGovern, a CIA analyst for 27 years, was chief of the Soviet Foreign Policy Branch and briefed the President’s Daily Brief one-on-one from 1981-1985. William Binney worked for NSA for 36 years, retiring in 2001 as the technical director of world military and geopolitical analysis and reporting; he created many of the collection systems still used by NSA.

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