Voices from Russia

Saturday, 10 July 2010

An Afghan “Bag” for NATO

Filed under: Barack Obama,EU,military,NATO,politics,USA — 01varvara @ 00.00

Funeral service for Bundeswehr soldiers killed in Afghanistan to further American Corporatist ambitions… such is the cost! Even one is too many… how many sons of the oligarchs serve at the front? Don’t forget… they all had faces… they all had names… and they all have grieving families!

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The Afghan War grows ever more expensive for NATO… and the alliance doesn’t know how it can get out of the morass…

Relatives of Bundeswehr soldiers caught in the Afghan inferno steel themselves to prepare for the worst. Dire predictions sounded directly from Minister of Defence Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg in an interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. During the summer months, it will be especially hot in the spur of the Hindu Kush, therefore, you should expect “an increase in the number of dead and wounded”, he declared. To make such a statement, you don’t have to be clairvoyant. According to figures from the French news agency AFP, June 2010 was the bloodiest month since the beginning of the NATO operation in Afghanistan in 2001. Coalition forces lost exactly 100 soldiers. July started the same way as previous month ended, with rebel incursions across the country and more casualties on both sides.

Herr zu Guttenberg, unlike many of his colleagues in the coalition government, avoiding pronouncing the word “war”, but was not afraid to give a realistic assessment of what’s happening. He called on politicians to abandon their illusions, stating, “Absolute stabilisation in Afghanistan is impossible”. Why then continue a decade-long war that has seen massive casualties? Such pessimism recently claimed the job of the commander of the NATO contingent in Afghanistan, American General Stanley McChrystal. Contrary to US media reports, the general didn’t show any disrespect to his Commander-in-chief. He only tried to convince the political élite of the futility of the current strategy for the pacification of Afghanistan. His former chief of operations, Bill Mayview, was less diplomatic, “There’s nothing like victory; it doesn’t smell like a victory, and it doesn’t taste like one”.

However, the announced phased withdrawal has a hitch… there is no one to pass the baton on to. The Taliban is everywhere, and it refuses to sit down at the negotiating table. Caution is tantamount to surrender. “The upcoming course of events in Afghanistan will affect how the world perceives the credibility of NATO”, Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel said. She’s not alone… it’s the prevailing view of those responsible for Euro-Atlantic policy. Nevertheless, one sees that this monolith is showing distinct cracks. Those who have announced the forthcoming withdrawal of their troops already include Canada, Netherlands, Poland, and even Britain, which previously was ready to follow the USA anywhere, even to the graveyard.

Former German Bundeskanzler Helmut Schmidt explained that Article 6 of the North Atlantic Treaty strictly defines and governs the conditions under which NATO can commit its forces beyond its geographical limits. The original intent of the alliance was to protect Europe, “not to rebuild the world. Don’t even imagine that it somehow commits us to a supergovernment”. However, Herr Schmidt is convinced that, since 1991, NATO has become a “strategic tool of the Americans, who intervene anywhere where they believe they will not meet a particularly strong resistance. Iraq, Afghanistan, or the bombing of Belgrade are textbook examples. The UN Security Council mandated action against Al-Qaeda, and they have been expelled from Afghanistan. The UN authorisation does not apply to the present war against the Afghan insurgents. However, the war goes on, kept alive by guerrillas and terrorists”. What’s the verdict of Helmut Schmidt on the motives [of the Americans]? “It’s only imperial ambitions”.

6 July 2010

Sergei Guk

Voice of Russia World Service

http://rus.ruvr.ru/2010/07/06/11575017.html

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The Exchange Rate on the Spy Market

Filed under: Barack Obama,diplomacy,Dmitri Medvedev,legal,politics,Russian,USA — 01varvara @ 00.00

Why did the USA agree to exchange ten Russia detainees in exchange for only four people?

The exchange of detainees between the USA and Russia was equivalent according to American Vice President Joe Biden on a live broadcast on NBC TV. Negotiations between the two countries have found a way out of the “spyware scandal” that satisfies both sides. Washington agreed to send ten Russian detainees to Moscow under the condition that Russia release four people serving sentences in Russian prisons who mined secret information for the United States. The exchange took place on Friday at the airport in the Austrian capital and the US Department of Justice announced the operation had been carried out successfully. However, the public wondered at this situation, and asked the question, “How could such an exchange be of equal value? Why did the US agree to exchange ten Russia detainees in exchange for only four people?”

Aleksei Rozuvan, a member of the RF Gosduma Committee on Safety of the State told us, “When it comes to intelligence, an exchange rate of one-to-one isn’t always applicable. You can’t tell whether it was an exchange of equal value or not by just evaluating the number of people in the exchange, it’s impossible. That’s because every employee is has their own valuable qualities, they have their own abilities. However, I think that no one lost out”.

Apparently, someone in the Russian “Quartet” is still very interesting to American intelligence, or, maybe not just the Americans. We learned that after the exchange in Vienna, a CIA plane landed at a RAF base in Oxfordshire. Only two passengers deplaned, then, the jet took off again for Washington. Scientist Igor Sutyagin, convicted in Russia as a traitor to the state, caught in the act transferring information on submarines and missile warning systems to a British company, remained in England. Everyone assumes that the company was a cover operated by the CIA. The other Russian who left the plane in the UK was Sergei Skripal, a former colonel in the GRU. His reward was for “donating” to the British secret intelligence service MI-6 the names of Russian agents secretly operating in Europe. Probably, the British and American intelligence services believe that the Russians are likely to be useful. At the airport, MI-6 and CIA operatives met them and took them to a debriefing.

Incidentally, on Friday, the Voice of America, referring to an anonymous official source in the US government, reported that the Obama administration began discussing the possibility of a spy exchange long before the arrest of the ten suspected of spying for Russia. In February, US law enforcement authorities notified the White House that they were watching them, and the president himself was told about this last month. We assume that they had already compiled a list of persons whom they wished sprung from Russian prisons.

10 July 2010

Natalia Kovalenko

Voice of Russia World Service

http://rus.ruvr.ru/2010/07/10/11954089.html

Editor’s Note:

The Western Corporate Media has finally tumbled on to the fact that Leon Panetta was the “Godfather” of all this. Hill the Shill was left out of this completely… she did not even play a “walk-on” role in this production. That’s why she made such idiotic statements in Georgia. She’s playing to the neocon “house”… one wonders why. She is the BIG loser in this game. DCI Panetta takes the pot… Obama doesn’t lose (and, therefore, wins)… Medvedev looks good (and is a winner too)… Putin, the Éminence Grise in all of this, looks good too. Hill… isn’t worth a hill of beans. Is her political life on life support? I don’t know… don’t ask me… but… perspiring minds do wanna know.

BMD

Medvedev Pardoned 16 Other Citizens of the RF In Addition to the Four “American Spies”

Filed under: Dmitri Medvedev,legal,politics,Russian — 01varvara @ 00.00

Anna Stavitskaya, the lawyer for convicted spy Igor Sutyagin

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President Dmitri Medvedev signed a decree to pardon 16 other people in addition to the three former employees of the Russian special services Aleksandr Zaporizhya, Gennady Vasilenko, and Sergei Skripal, and the scientist Igor Sutyagin, who were exchanged for Russian citizens detained in the USA…

A press release stated, “President Dmitri Medvedev, guided by humanitarian principles, signed a decree to pardon S Z Ananyev, I E Belikhov, A N Vankov, G S Vasilenko, I A Vinogradov, D I Dubrovsky, A A Krivodanov, A I Zaporozhya, V A Kuznetsov VA, A N Lastovo, V S Lomakin, D B Malin, O A Mikhailov, OA, Ya N Moiseyev , V Yu Prisnukhin, S S Selivanov, S V Skripal, S G Subbotin, F F Suyetin, and I V Sutyagin, freeing them from further punishment by deprivation of liberty”. In all, the President pardoned twenty people, freeing them from further imprisonment, according to RIA-Novosti quoting the Kremlin Press Service.

9 July 2010

Voice of Russia World Service

http://rus.ruvr.ru/2010/07/09/11927999.html

Spying with a Happy Ending

Filed under: Barack Obama,Dmitri Medvedev,legal,politics,Russian,USA — 01varvara @ 00.00

Moscow and Washington agreed to exchange agents…

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Moscow and Washington chose the traditional route of exchanging agents, as they obviously decided not to spoil their just “rebooted” bilateral relations. Ten people arrested in the USA on 27 June, who faced charges of money laundering and undertaking clandestine activities for Russia, admitted their guilt in court in New York and agreed to deportation. The most notorious of the lot, thanks to newspaper and television coverage, Anna Chapman, decided to live in London, for she has dual Russian and British citizenship. The only non-Russian amongst those arrested, journalist Vicky Pelaez, is going to go to her home in Peru.

We asked an expert, International lawyer Sergei Maksimov, to give us a clue to the intricacies of the American justice system. He said, “Section 18 of the Laws of the United States of America and the United States Criminal Code provides for a tool called ‘Plea Bargaining’. Its essence is that a person who pleads guilty to committing a lesser offence shall be exempt from liability for a more serious crime. In this case, it may lead to non-custodial punishment and allows, in particular, for the transfer of a convict to another jurisdiction to serve his sentence. For example, a Russian citizen can petition to serve his sentence in the Russian Federation”.

On his part, President Medvedev issued a decree to pardon four Russians who were already serving prison terms. They included scientist Igor Sutyagin, who was caught passing secret information to the Americans, as well as two former intelligence officers. Both the Kremlin and the White House were interested that this exchange would quickly turn the page on the scandal. According to political expert Dmitri Suslov, “Both parties made every effort to depoliticise this most unpleasant situation. Moscow and Washington were interested to see that there was a prompt exchange between the sides to stop the spy scandal. Today, neither the Russian nor the American side is interested in a deterioration of relations. This scandal would adversely affect these relationships. To prevent this, the parties resorted to a fast-track scheme. After all, a constructive relationship with Russia is essential for the USA if it’s to deal effectively with its most important international problems, such as Iran, Afghanistan, and the reduction of nuclear weapons”. The high level of trust between the two presidents and the “reboot” of relations between the two countries enabled a quick return of the Russians detained in the USA without any major complications.

Aleksandr Konovalov, the President of the Institute for Strategic Assessments, emphasised, “Moscow must carefully analyse what happened, for what occurred is certainly a demonstration of both the competence of the SVR, whilst being a very large failure at the same time. I can’t come up with any other reason for it other than betrayal. Such undercover agents are very expensive, and it’s a more complicated operation. However, it can give you tremendous benefits if it all ends well. In the end, you have a completely ‘clean’ person, with full documentation, who’s perceived by everyone as a local resident, because they don’t engage in espionage… for the time being, at least. If the operation was successful, we would’ve had a lot of, well, at least a dozen, people who would be perceived by Americans as Americans, who could, within three to five years, apply for employment in the Pentagon or the State Department”.

The modern history of spy exchanges spans over half a century. On 1 May 1960, near Sverdlovsk, an American U-2 spy plane was shot down. Its pilot, Francis Gary Powers, received a sentence of ten years in a Soviet prison, but on 10 February 1962, the first year he was exchanged for Soviet spy Rudolf Abel (AKA William Genrikhovich Fisher). The exchange took place at the Glienicke Bridge on the border between the then-DDR and the American sector of Berlin in the district of Potsdam. 1976 was memorable for the first political exchange between the USSR and the West, when Soviet dissident Vladimir Bukovsky was exchanged for Luis Corvalán, the Secretary General of the Chilean Communist Party. In 1985, 23 who were arrested in the Eastern Bloc as CIA agents were switched for four KGB agents who were arrested in the West. However, there are exceptions. For example, take ex-CIA officer Aldrich Ames, convicted in 1994 to life imprisonment, or, former NSA employee Robert Lipka, who received 18 years in prison in 1996. With respect to them, Washington is firm in its position… they aren’t going to be exchanged.

9 July 2010

Armen Gasparyan

Voice of Russia World Service

http://rus.ruvr.ru/2010/07/09/11893740.html

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