Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Putin Slams Junta… Junta Pulls Raid in Gorlovka… Opolchenie Capture APCs from Junta Forces

00 Donetsk Peoples Republic. 16.04.14


On Wednesday, the Kremlin press service reported that President Vladimir Putin stated in a telephone conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that the sharp aggravation of the Ukrainian crisis was the outcome of the irresponsible policy pursued by Kiev, which ignores the legitimate rights and interests of the country’s Russian-speaking population, saying, “The use of armed forces by the present régime to suppress protest actions by civilians in the southeast Ukraine is inadmissible”. Putin gave his analysis of the current Ukrainian situation at Netanyahu’s request. During the conversation, held on the initiative of the Israeli side, Putin and Netanyahu discussed matters of current importance on bilateral coöperation and the international agenda, including the course of talks on Iran’s nuclear programme. Putin and Netanyahu agreed to hold regular exchanges of views on matters of mutual interest.


The Gorlovka Gorsoviet reported that unidentified pro-junta attackers struck the town, saying that the incident happened “on 15 April after 21.00 local time (11.00 PDT. 14.00 EDT. 19.00 BST. 22.00 MSK. 08.00 16 April AEST). Five masked men forced their way into the social maintenance office building. Eyewitnesses said that the men had guns. They broke down the doors and smashed all the phone sets. Supposedly, the attackers were looking for weapons. The person on duty in the building wasn’t hurt, but she’s stressed”. Cops came to the scene. On 14 April, patriot elements took over the Gorsoviet building, appointed Aleksandr Sapunov as People’s Mayor, and hoisted the flag of the Donetsk People’s Republic.


On Wednesday, patriots continue to control government offices in eight cities of Donetsk Oblast. The flag of the Donetsk People’s Republic waved over the Zhdanovka Gorsoviet building. Patriots stated that local authorities “are on their side.” The Makeyevka Gorsoviet, the Mariupol mayor’s office, the Kramatorsk Gorsoviet, an office in Khartsyzsk, a police building in Gorlovka, and the Gorsoviet and police building in Yenakiyevo remain in patriot hands. Police and SBU buildings remain occupied by patriots in Slavyansk. The Donetsk People’s Republic Opolchenie placed seven checkpoints in the city.


On Wednesday, patriot Opolchenie seized six Ukrainian Army armoured vehicles that entered Kramatorsk in Donetsk Oblast as part of a task force to conduct an “anti-terrorist operation” (sic). The Opolchenie surrounded the vehicles and blocked their movement. Then, they disarmed the troops and drove the APCs towards Ivanovka.

16 April 2014






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Monday, 2 December 2013

A Russian POV: Deal with Iran could Create New Balance of Power in the Middle East

00 Iran nuclear programme. political cartoon. 02.12.13


At a meeting in Genève, the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany (known as the P5+1) reached a deal with Iran. It stipulates that the Islamic Republic would halt enrichment of uranium above 5 percent purity and dispose of its stockpile of 20-percent-enriched uranium by diluting it to less than 5 percent. In addition, Iranian nuclear facilities in Fordow and Natanz would be under IAEA control, whilst it’d halt the construction of a heavy-water reactor at Arak, capable of producing plutonium. In return, the P5+1 group, or… to be more precise… the USA and the EU, agreed to ease some of the sanctions against Iran. This would allow Iran to resume limited trade relations with the USA in the oil and gas, petrochemical, and automotive sectors, as well as trading in gold and precious metals. The resulting benefit for Iran would amount to 5-7 billion USD (166.1-232.6 billion Roubles. 5.32-7.45 billion CAD. 5.48-7.68 billion AUD. 3.7-5.2 billion Euros. 3.1-4.3 billion UK Pounds).

However, this deal isn’t just about money. The P5+1 group tabled their demand that Iran shut down and dismantle its already operating centrifuges. This and other provisions of the deal allowed Iran to claim that its key demand… recognition of its right to enrich uranium… was met. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov offered the following clear summary of the essence of the compromise, “This deal means that we agree that it’s necessary to recognise Iran’s right to peaceful atoms, including the right to enrichment, provided that the questions that remain to the Iranian nuclear programme and the programme itself come under strict control of the IAEA. This is the final goal, but it’s already been set in today’s document”.

The opponents of the deal insist that Iran retained the potential to create a nuclear weapon. The whole of its uranium enrichment infrastructure remains intact. A disappointed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “I emphasise… the deal doesn’t envisage the elimination of a single centrifuge”. Already, many experts pointed up that such a large nuclear infrastructure as Iran’s, which consists of some 17,000 enrichment centrifuges, is necessary if a country has 12-15 operating nuclear plants that require fuel rods. However, so far, Iran has only one nuclear power plant, in Bushehr, which receives fuel from Russia. The Iranians have a hard time trying to explain why they need so many centrifuges, but they’re ready for any form of control, including video cameras, meters, and snap inspections.

The willingness of the USA to agree to the deal also requires some explanation. Why has its attitude to the Iranian nuclear programme undergone such a sudden change? Why were American diplomats engaged in secret talks with Iran for nearly a year? After more than 30 years of hostility, why did Washington decide to relent on some of its demands? Granted, Hassan Rouhani replaced Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, but the President of Iran is no more than the head of government. Ayatollah Ali Hosseini Khamenei, Iran’s spiritual and supreme leader, decides all matters of principle… nothing has changed.

The answer may have more to do with American domestic politics than Iran itself. In the early 1970s, the USA suffered a devastating defeat in Vietnam. Then, the Watergate scandal forced US President Richard Nixon to resign under threat of impeachment. It was at that moment, putting all sentiments aside, that the USA resorted to an unprecedented rapprochement in relations with the People’s Republic of China. Today, the USA is coping with failures in Iraq and Afghanistan, the challenges of the Arab Spring, and allies that would like to drag it into military operations in Libya and Syria… the goals of which would be difficult to communicate to ordinary Americans. The time may be right for the USA to engage with Iran, which is ready to fight for leadership in the Middle East with the oil monarchies of the Gulf. Such a move could restore the balance of power in the Middle East to the situation that existed prior to the 1979 revolution, when Iran served as a counterbalance to Saudi Arabia.

 26 November 2013

Andrei Ilyashenko

Russia Behind the Headlines


Editor’s Note:

The most important takeaway from this is that the USA vexed Israel. There’s going to be no attack on Iran anytime soon or anytime later. To put it mildly, the minor Gulf States are shitting bricks, whilst the Saudis are apprehensive. If the USA makes nice to Iran… what’ll happen to OPEC and its highway robbery tactics? There’s much more to this than is immediately apparent… and we don’t know the full import of it yet. Is this a step-back from the neocon opium dreams of world hegemony? One can hope that it is…


Sunday, 16 December 2012

Vandals Spray Hate Graffiti on Jerusalem Church

00 Monastery of the Holy Cross. Jerusalem. 16.12.12


Vandals spray-painted “Death to Christianity” and “Jesus, son of a whore” on a Greek Orthodox monastery in Jerusalem. The overnight attack on the Monastery of the Cross was the latest in a series of vandalisms of Christian holy sites. Extremist Jews sympathetic to Israel’s settlement movement are suspected. On Wednesday, Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said that the vandals also sprayed “price tag” on the monastery’s outer wall… a form of retribution settlers and their sympathisers use in retaliation for acts they consider pro-Palestinian. Extremists carried out similar “price tag” attacks on other churches, mosques, and Israeli military bases. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denounced the defacing of the church. Israel has 155,000 Christian citizens, less than 2 percent of its nearly 8 million people {according to friends who know the region that’s an undercount… they say that the actual figure is closer to 400,000 (5 percent of the population), mostly concentrated amongst immigrants from the former Soviet Union: editor}.

12 December 2012

Washington Examiner


Thursday, 1 November 2012

Israel Downgrades Iranian Nuclear Threat


On Wednesday, Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak said in an interview with the Daily Telegraph that Tehran put its nuclear arms plans on hold. He based his conclusion on reports that Iran reoriented about one-third of its 20 percent-enriched uranium towards civilian uses. By downgrading the Iranian military threat, Israel actually acknowledged what Tehran stated repeatedly, namely, that it enriches uranium to a 20 percent level for medical purposes.

In Barak’s opinion, Iran was forced to reverse its plans, fearing that Israel and the USA might launch a military operation that would completely dash its hopes of ever making a nuclear bomb. Ehud Barak advocates preventive strikes on Iranian nuclear facilities, a view shared by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but opposed by Washington. Differences between the two allies sharpened to such an extent that US President Barack Obama didn’t find time to receive the Israeli premier in the White House during his visit to the UN General Assembly.

Sergei Demidenko of the Institute for Strategic Assessments and Analysis in Moscow, said, “The latter circumstance could’ve prompted the Israeli leadership to soften its stance. This explains Mr Barak’s statement. The USA has no intension of bombing Iran. It burnt itself on Iraq. However, Iran is not Iraq. Quite evidently, Israel won’t use force against Iran unless the USA supports it. Nevertheless, bombing the Iraqi nuclear reactor at Osirak in 1981, using just one fighter squadron is one thing, whilst attempting to suppress powerful infrastructure well-protected from the air and from the ground, and to suppress Iran’s retaliatory capabilities, is quite a different thing. It’s a big and complicated operation that Israel’s hardly able to launch on its own”.

In the same interview, Barak said, however, that Iran is 8-10 months from making a nuclear bomb. Commenting on the latter statement, Russian analyst Sergei Druzhilovsky said, “Fuelling the myth about the Iranian threat is in Israel’s interests. Firstly, it wants to divert attention from its own nuclear programme… a well-known trick, a thief shouts, ‘Catch the thief’. Secondly, passions over Iran will help it to forge an anti-Iranian coalition in the West. Iran is an orthodox Muslim country where one can always find something one doesn’t like”.

Recently, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov confirmed Moscow’s position on the issue. He said that there’s no evidence whatsoever of Iran developing nuclear weapons. There are questions pertaining to its past nuclear activity and they must clarify them in close cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency.

31 October 2012

Konstantin Garibov

Voice of Russia World Service


Editor’s Note:

Here’s another sign that Romney’s ship is sinking fast and irretrievably. Even the Likudniks are retreating from a confrontation with Iran. Willy’s out on a limb, all alone. He’ll get support from his gibbering ignorant Evangelical/Mormon base, but few others. His defeat may galvanise the Republican Party to repudiate its present slavery to Radical Evangelical interests. If they don’t, they’re doomed to be a perpetual minority in most of the country outside of the holier-than-thou South.



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