Voices from Russia

Monday, 20 October 2014

20 October 2014. Some Sanity on Russia’s Role in the Present Crisis… Good Link

00 Vitaly Podvitsky. It's much ado about nothing! 2014

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I don’t have the time to translate this entire article. I urge you to click on this link (machine-translate it, if you must); please, read it through, it’s one of the best analyses that I’ve read on the whole situation. Time isn’t in the junta’s favour… V V Putin knows it… P A Poroshenko knows it… as do B H Obama and John Kerry… so do all the other leaders in Eurasia. This whole affair was a botched American attempt to railroad through the TTIP… the Ukrainian Crisis was only a catalyst to buffalo the EU into becoming a political, military, and economic appendage of the USA. The recent sanctions against some Magyar politicos proves it, even for the slow learners. It incensed the USA that the Magyars dared to indict American businessmen for tax evasion… what ungrateful bastards! Don’t they realise who they’re biting… hmm, I’d say that the Happy Hunkies have brains and they realise who’s their real friend and who’s their real enemy (despite having a fellow with the name “Goodfriend” (I shit you NOT) as head of the US Embassy). Besides, VVP would be happy to right a small part of Trianon for them (that is, smile at their rule over Podkarpatskaya, as long as local minorities had their rights enshrined in the Magyar Constitution)… whilst the Americans wouldn’t… need we guess where Budapest would go?

The present game isn’t over the Ukraine… the EU doesn’t want it… NATO doesn’t want it… it’s over the EU and its trade and energy ties. Washington’s gambit is now clear… unfortunately for Foggy Bottom, Chilly Hilly (Kerry is only a figurehead… Obama doesn’t know or care much about foreign affairs) met her match in Vladimir Vladimirovich. The American game was to scare the EU out of its energy ties with Russia… but offered it no real alternatives in either the near- or long-term. Ergo, it ginned up the crisis, sanctions were part of the game… but no one in Europe wants to go to war or even help the Ukraine (most view it as being in the Russian sphere, save for a small English-speaking minority… which is the only group that counts for boneheaded ignorant Anglo Americans).

VVP sits at the chessboard… he IS the Grandmaster. Obama isn’t in his league… Cameron and Harper certainly aren’t. Merkel is the only Western pol remotely close to him in ability. In any case, the USA doesn’t have any real levers against Russia… it has a negative trade balance and the trade isn’t overly large… Russia imports about 5 billion USD (205 billion Roubles. 30.7 billion Renminbi. 306 billion INR. 5.65 billion CAD. 5.7 AUD. 3.9 billion Euros. billion 3.1 UK Pounds) worth of American goods, whilst the USA buys about 17 billion USD (698 billion Roubles. 104 billion Renminbi. 1.04 trillion INR. 19.2 billion CAD. 19.4 billion AUD. 13.3 billion Euros. 10.6 billion UK Pounds) worth of goods from Russia. That is, the American ability to harm Russia is next to nil… it doesn’t have any economic levers, the EU is sluggish over further sanctions (the only real victims of sanctions were European businesses and farmers), and the USA really doesn’t have the ability to project ANY of its conventional military forces into the Russian heartland… it can only strike Russia with its strategic nuclear forces (don’t forget, the RVSN can strike the American heartland, too).

The USA can’t keep up the charade longer. It has no money or forces to commit to a ground war in Eastern Europe against a peer force (which it hasn’t faced since the end of the Korean War in 1953… the PLA and VVS did well against the boastful Anglo Americans). The US forces have the strength to deal with one major and one minor war at a time. At present, the US forces are overextended… a war in Afghanistan… a warlet against ISIS in Iraq… continuing insurgencies in Yemen, Libya, and Colombia… aiding rebels in Syria… keeping up an occupation force in Kosovo. There’s nothing left… the USA isn’t the “sole superpower”… that exists only in the fevered imaginations of neocons and Yahoo teabaggers. The USA IS a Major Power… but so are Russia and China… the USA can NOT invade either of these countries without risking Nuclear Ragnarok. Iran has Russian and Chinese guarantees… everyone knows it. Ergo, the USA isn’t going to attack it… no matter bow much John McCain or Ben Cardin fulminate.

Shall it all be over by December? I’d hope so… but the Kiev fascists could still throw a spanner into the works. Don’t forget the Uniate UPA massacres… they did it before… that means that they could do it again. There’ll be no real peace until the fictive state known as the Ukraine is dead, buried, and gone. Until then, Satan walks the earth and laughs…

BMD

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

US Senators Call For “Magnitsky List” Expansion

00 same ol' shit. 29.05.12

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On Friday, a group of senior US Senators asked the Obama administration to expand a blacklist of alleged Russian human rights abusers, inflaming tensions between Washington and Moscow. US Senators Robert Menendez (DNJ), Bob Corker (RTN), Benjamin Cardin (D-MD), and John McCain (R-AZ) said in a statement that they’re disappointed that no one suffered sanctions since April under the Magnitsky Act, an American law punishing alleged Russian human rights violations. According to a published statement, the senators requested US Secretary of State John Kerry and US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, “We look forward to your response to our request and hope you’ll also clarify when we can expect additional names to be added to the Magnitsky list”.

President Obama signed the Magnitsky Act in December 2012; it introduced visa and financial sanctions on those Washington deemed complicit in the 2009 death of Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky in a Moscow jail, as well as other purported abuses {using no evidence whatsoever but hearsay from hostile parties: editor}. In April, Washington released the names of 18 officials targeted by the Magnitsky Act sanctions and said that a handful of other Russians were on a classified sanctions list in the interests of US national security. The law requires the President to give an annual report to Congress explaining why it added or removed names from the blacklist. The report is also required to include details of the administration’s efforts to encourage other countries to enact similar legislation.

The four senators, all members of the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, said in their request Friday that the inaugural report submitted by the administration on 20 December dissatisfied them, saying, “Disappointingly and contrary to repeated assurances and expectations, this report indicates that no persons have been added to the Magnitsky list since April 2013 and doesn’t provide adequate details on the administration’s efforts to encourage other governments to impose similar targeted sanctions”. On Wednesday, US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland told a Senate Committee on Foreign Relations hearing that the administration is examining possible additions to the list, saying, “We’re continuing to look at names that could be added to the list, and we’ll continue that process in the weeks ahead”. The Magnitsky Act incensed Russia, which responded in part by banning US citizens from adopting Russian children. In response, Moscow issued its own blacklist of 18 American officials it linked to the infamous Guantánamo Bay detention camp, or to alleged rights violations against Russians abroad.

18 January 2014

RIA-Novosti

http://en.ria.ru/world/20140118/186648078/US-Senators-Call-For-Magnitsky-List-Expansion.html

Editor’s Note:

McCain acted as a lobbyist for the Georgian government (as did his foreign policy wonk Scheunemann) and is a general supporter of American warmongering throughout the world… that explains that one. Menendez is of Cuban background, described as “close with Republicans on several foreign policy issues”, a warmonger, and supporter of the PATRIOT Act… sounds much like McCain, doesn’t he? Corker is anti-union, anti-arms control, against financial regulation, a gun nutter, and another warmonger… hmm… they all seem the same despite seeming political differences, aren’t they (they’re all cut from the same piece of mouldy neoliberal cloth).

Cardin’s more difficult to pigeonhole. He’s left of centre on almost all issues. However, he’s a vociferous member of the Israel Lobby, and they tend to Russophobia. Why he’d join forces with the Terrible Trio above is beyond me. Can’t he see that he’s joining himself with an evil ideology? Sadly, facts and logic won’t move him (and those like him). He believes the fairy tales about Cossacks constantly abusing Jews… one can’t fight that, only oppose it (it’s one of those bigoted emotional illogical hatreds). In fact, I’d say that one of the reasons that Russia gets “bad press” is that many American Jews are Russophobic. That doesn’t mean that one “retaliates”… it means that one’s aware of it and takes reasonable precautions to protect oneself against any possible fallout. Do be aware that the more feral Russophobes don’t “fight fair”… do cover your back if you interact with them, either online or in person. I’d say to leave them be… the risks far outnumber the positives. Pass the truth to those who’ll listen… trust me; that DOES do good.

BMD

 

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Thursday, 19 July 2012

US Senate Committee Approves Jackson-Vanik Repeal and Magnitsky Bill

“Freedom, American-style…”

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On Wednesday, the US Senate Finance Committee approved a bill combining a repeal of the Jackson-Vanik Amendment and a measure aiming to punish Russian officials involved in the death of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky. Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) said, “By enacting PNTR (permanent normal trade relations), together with the Magnitsky bill, we’re replacing Jackson-Vanik with legislation that addresses the corruption and accountability issues that Russia confronts today”. The new bill is a response to the demands of a majority of lawmakers for a review of legislation affecting trade and human rights issues, including some laws affecting trade with Russia.

Baucus said that the proposal to add the Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act to the PNTR legislation “will help fight human rights abuses in Russia”. He said that Russia would formally be a member of the WTO next month, and “that’s our deadline for passing PNTR. There’s no time to waste, America risks being left behind. If we miss that deadline, American farmers, ranchers, workers, and businesses will lose out to the other 154 members of the WTO that already have PNTR with Russia. American workers will lose the jobs created to China, Canada, and Europe when Russia, the world’s seventh largest economy, joins the WTO and opens its market to the world”.

The Senate began studying the issue in mid-March, along with amendments from Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), including proposals for visa sanctions against Russians allegedly involved in the death of Sergei Magnitsky, a tax lawyer working for the Hermitage Capital investment company, who died in custody in Russia in 2009. Cops arrested Magnitsky on tax evasion charges in November 2008, days after accusing police investigators of involvement in a 230 million USD (7.37 billion Roubles. 188 million Euros. 147 million UK Pounds) tax refund fraud, and died after almost a year in Matrosskaya Tishina pre-trial detention centre in Moscow.

In turn, Russian investigators accused Magnitsky and Hermitage of tax evasion. Last week, a group of Russian senators went to the USA to present what they claimed was new evidence of Magnitsky and Hermitage’s guilt. A probe into his death revealed that the lawyer, who was suffering from untreated pancreatitis and a heart condition, didn’t receive proper medical treatment. Human rights activists pointed to multiple violations of his rights during his arrest and in detention, including signs that prison guards beat him hours before his death. Russia warned it’d respond to the adoption of the Magnitsky bill in kind, imposing restrictions on US officials. In July 2011, the US State Department issued visa bans on several dozen Russian officials in connection to the Magnitsky case. In response, Russia imposed travel bans on several US officials.

In mid-March, a group of influential US senators, including former Republican presidential candidate John McCain, proposed cancelling the Jackson-Vanik Amendment, but simultaneously adopting the Magnitsky bill. The Jackson-Vanik Amendment, passed in 1974, barred favourable trade relations with the USSR because it wouldn’t let Jews freely emigrate. Often, waivers override the restrictions imposed by Jackson-Vanik, but they remain in place, and are a thorn in the side of Russia-US trade relations.

The Magnitsky case, along with the Jackson-Vanik Amendment, and the rift over the Syrian crisis, are major stumbling blocks in the “reset” of US-Russian relations. The Obama administration, which was evasive about the proposed legislation, said on 18 June that it considers it necessary to distinguish between the adoption of the Magnitsky blacklist and the repeal of the Jackson-Vanik Amendment.

18 July 2012

RIA-Novosti

http://en.rian.ru/world/20120718/174669701.html

Editor’s Note:

Americans (especially Anglo-Saxon Proddies) have a lotta damned gall. They think that they’re moral paragons and exemplars for the entire world to imitate. If they don’t receive total and obsequious adulation, they go off and pout; they’re violent and nasty, if their interlocutor’s weak enough. In the case of Russia and China, which are strong enough to deter American violence and aggression, the Americans issue threats and do their best to blacken their reputation (or, at least, attempt to do so).

Hermitage Capital is incorporated in Guernsey (it also has offices in the Cayman Islands, another stronghold of laissez-faire corporate non-regulation (which makes it one of Willard Romney‘s fave locations)), which has notoriously lax incorporation laws. In short, it’s a crank organisation run by crooks. For them to complain of fraud on the part of Russian officials is downright laughable. Ben Cardin’s a joke, too… he’s part of the notoriously corrupt Balto area Democratic machine, which makes Yuri Luzhkov look like a piker (in other words, they’re the General Motors of corruption as compared to Luzhkov’s Acme Products operation).

All in all, it’s a perfect illustration of the hypocrisy and overweening hubris of the American Anglo-Saxon Proddie. If the USSR ceased to exist in 1991, why did the USA keep Jackson-Vanik in place after its demise? In the same vein, the Americans tightened the screws on Cuba after 1991… in the hopes of overthrowing Fidel (who make them look like fools in Latin America). These naked efforts to export the American “system” failed, and all that they did was nourish hatred and resentment of the USA and the American people. We have much to answer for as a people, I’m afraid… and the fact that we didn’t personally support it doesn’t matter. It was done in our name, and we didn’t stop it. God do help us…

BMD  

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Russia might Blacklist Magnitsky Act’s Sponsor

THIS is what Magnitsky was… a shyster lawyer working for a Langley front… he’s NO hero; he’s a traitor.

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On Monday, Izvestiya reported that Russia might deny entry to US Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), the sponsor of the contentious Magnitsky Act. The newspaper said that the Gosduma is considering doing likewise to a large group of individuals, including US Consul General in Vladivostok Douglas Kent, as well as Drug Enforcement Agency officers Scott Hacker and Derek Odney, who are involved in the case of Russian businessman Viktor Bout. The government would deny them entry under the draft law “On Measures against Individuals Involved in Violation of Russian Citizens’ Rights Abroad”, discussion on which would soon resume in the Gosduma. The Gosduma received the first draft in June 2011 and it may adopt it if the USA passes the Magnitsky Act. Some deputies don’t consider it an appropriate response to Washington. Deputy Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Leonid Kalashnikov thinks that a more radical step is required.

Last week, the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations unanimously approved a bill that would impose sanctions on Russian officials allegedly linked to Hermitage Capital consultant Sergei Magnitsky‘s death in 2009. The Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act seeks to impose visa bans and freeze assets of Russian officials allegedly involved in the death of the 37-year-old Russian lawyer, as well as in other serious human rights abuses in Russia. Magnitsky faced charges of involvement in large-scale corporate tax evasion. He died in a Moscow pretrial detention centre on 16 November 2009, after spending nearly a year behind bars. According to investigators, Magnitsky and his accomplices stole hundreds of millions of roubles from the state by manipulating tax returns between September and October 2007. Hermitage Capital maintained that it had paid 5.4 billion roubles (186.5 million USD) in taxes, but the money was stolen, abetted by law enforcement officials. Magnitsky’s prosecution was attributed to this theft. Russia warned that it’d respond to the adoption of the bill in kind, imposing restrictions on US officials.

2 July 2012

RAPSI: Russian Legal Information Agency

http://www.rapsinews.com/news/20120702/263647667.html

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