Voices from Russia

Friday, 18 July 2014

Russia “Gets Back at Americans” by Reopening Soviet Intelligence Centre in Cuba

03l A Walk Through Cuba

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Tom Wheeler, an independent political expert and former South African ambassador in Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Turkey, told us that the agreement between Russia and Cuba to reopen a Soviet-era intelligence facility in Lourdes near Havana is a way for Russia to “get back at the Americans” in light of Moscow’s strained relations with Washington. He said, “The reached agreement indicates that Russia is intent on extending and increasing its interests and influence in the USA’s backyard… in Latin America. In the context of American sanctions over the Ukraine, this is a way of ‘getting back at the Americans’”. On Wednesday, Kommersant reported that President V V Putin signed the deal during his visit to Cuba last week. Putin denied the information. The USSR’s largest facility of this kind opened in 1967 and allowed it to control monitor radio and telephone communications. The facility shut down in 2001 due to financial problems and a request by the USA.

Wheeler observed, “The tense relations between Russia and the USA over the Ukraine make such an agreement with Cuba as a near neighbour of the US unsurprising. [The fact that] the USA hasn’t restored normal relations with Cuba after nearly 60 years makes such an agreement even more likely”. Stories of nations spying on each other have become commonplace since the case of the NSA contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden, who published secret US government documents last year, gained publicity. Wheeler added, “If anything, this could raise the temperature between the USA and Russia even more. Everybody’s doing it. Why should anyone be surprised?”

Cuba remains one of Russia’s key allies in the region, with trade between the two nations topping 200 million USD (7 billion Roubles. 215 million CAD. 213 million AUD. 148 million Euros. 117 million UK Pounds) last year. Last week, Putin also signed a law writing off 90 percent of Cuba’s unpaid Soviet-era debt.

17 July 2014

Rossiya Segodnya

http://en.ria.ru/analysis/20140717/190982067/Russia-Gets-Back-at-Americans-by-Reopening-Soviet.html

GOAA Priest Accused of Stealing from Church Makes First Appearance in Milwaukee Court

MONEY

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Fr James Dokos was a no-show for his first two scheduled court appearances on theft charges. However, he was there for his initial appearance on Friday, 18 July. Prosecutors say Dokos took more than 100,000 USD (3.5 million Roubles. 107,400 CAD. 106,500 AUD. 74,000 Euros. 58,600 UK Pounds) from Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church when he was a priest there. He’s due back in court on 30 July for his preliminary hearing. If convicted, Dokos faces up to ten years in prison. Dokos claims that he missed his first two appearances due to car problems and an illness.

18 July 2014

Cary Docter

Fox6Now.com

http://fox6now.com/2014/07/18/priest-accused-of-stealing-from-church-makes-his-first-appearance-in-court/

Too Early to Jump to Conclusions About Malaysia Airlines Crash in Novorossiya

0 777 crash site in Donetsk NR 02. 18.07.14

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Tony Cable, who was an investigator with the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch for 32 years and worked on the Lockerbie/Pan Am 103 bombing and the Paris Concorde disaster spoke to us about the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 in Novorossiya. “It’s too early to make any definitive conclusions on what caused the crash of this aircraft. There’s a lot of apparent evidence pointing towards it being caused by a fairly sophisticated ground-to-air-missile. However, as with any disaster like this, it requires some very close study to finish up with definitive conclusions. The previous cases I know of where aircraft were shot down were mostly the result of air-to-air and not ground-to-air missiles. It’d need to be a fairly sophisticated ground-to-air missile. There are a lot of MANPADS around the world and you can pretty easily get hold of them, but they tend to have a height limit of 10,000 feet (3,000 metres). MANPADS don’t have a very good guidance system and there’s no way one of them could get to 33,000 feet (10,000 metres) [the height MH17 was flying when it came down]. So, if it’s a missile that brought down this flight, it’d be something considerably more sophisticated. I was surprised that aircraft were being allowed to fly over that area. As far as I can see, the responsibility for that would be government to government, like the Malaysian equivalent of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office giving advice to airlines. I don’t think you can expect the airlines themselves to work out that sort of detail on all the territories they cover.”

Cable worked directly on the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, and despite the largest criminal investigation ever conducted in the UK and subsequent conviction of Libyan Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, speculation still continues to this day over who was actually behind the attack. Cable told us that a similar scenario could play out with Flight MH17, saying, “I could see a possibility of debate continuing over the causes of this disaster going on for years, as it’s done with Lockerbie. That’s very much in the security and political field and way outside pure accident investigation, which can just say what happened. It’s up to other folks to figure out why it happened. In most circumstances it would be essential that the flight recorders, the so-called Black Boxes, remain near the location of the disaster until international investigators are able to retrieve them, but we’re dealing with a part of the world that’s probably going look after its own interests”.

18 July 2014

Mark Hirst

Rossiya Segodnya

http://en.ria.ru/world/20140718/191020397/OPINION-Too-Early-Jump-to-Conclusions-About-Malaysian-Plane-Crash.html

18 July 2014. Rossiya-Segodnya Infographics. Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 Crash Near Donetsk

00 Rossiya-Segodnya Infographics. Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 Crash Near Donetsk. 2014

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On Thursday, a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 crashed in Novorossiya. According to preliminary data, the plane crash killed 298 people.

18 July 2014

Rossiya Segodnya

http://ria.ru/infografika/20140717/1016436167.html

http://en.ria.ru/infographics/20140718/191021281/Malaysia-Airlines-MH17-crash-near-Donetsk.html

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