Voices from Russia

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

US Senate to Ban US Weapon Supplies to Turkey Over Potential Purchase of Russian S-400 System

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On Monday, the US Senate adopted the National Defence Authorisation Act for Fiscal Year 2019, which obliges the Secretary of Defense to present a special report regarding the potential purchase by Turkey of the S-400 air/missile defence system from Russia. The document stated:

Not later than 60 days after the date of the enactment of the Act, the Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the Secretary of State, shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report on the status of the US relationship with the Republic of Turkey. The Secretary of Defense may not take any action to execute the delivery of a foreign military sale for major defence equipment to Turkey until the report is submitted.

The document stipulates:

The required report should include an assessment of the potential purchase by the Government of Turkey of the S-400 air and missile defence system from the Russian Federation and the potential effects of such purchase on the USA-Turkey bilateral relationship, including an assessment of impacts on other US weapon systems and platforms operated jointly with Turkey to include the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike aircraft, the Patriot surface-to-air missile system, the CH-47 Chinook heavy-lift helicopter, the AH-1 Attack helicopter, the UH-60 Black Hawk utility helicopter, and the F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft. The Secretary of Defense isn’t allowed to take any action to execute the delivery of a foreign military sale for major defence equipment subject to congressional notification to the Republic of Turkey until the Secretary submits to the appropriate congressional committees the report.

Earlier reports said that Ankara intends to purchase over 100 F-35 warplanes. The proposed measure may hinder the execution of the contract.

The S-400 Triumf is an advanced long-range antiaircraft missile system that went into service in 2007. It is designed to destroy aircraft, cruise and ballistic missiles, including medium-range missiles, and surface targets. The S-400 can engage targets at a distance of 400 kilometres and at an altitude of up to 30 kilometres. In November 2016, Turkey and Russia were negotiating a contract for the supply of S-400 air defence systems. Russia confirmed the conclusion of the contract on 12 September 2017.

19 June 2018

TASS

http://tass.com/world/1010065

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Perhaps You Missed It: We’re at War with Russia

00 evil uncle sam. 28.05.14

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The USA is waging economic, financial, trade, and political war against Russia and even kinetic war-by-proxy in the Ukraine. Worryingly, nobody in power in the USA or Europe really seems willing to tell us exactly why. From the Russian point of view, everything from its plunging rouble to bitter sanctions to the falling price of oil is the USA’s fault, either directly or indirectly. Whether that’s fair is irrelevant; that’s the Russian POV now. Therefore, no surprise, it doesn’t dispose them toward goodwill negotiations with the West generally and the USA specifically. Until the arrest Monday of an alleged Russian spy in the Bronx, the anti-Russian stance in the American media had quieted down significantly, presumably, as the political leadership moved its attention on to other things, leaving Russia largely out of the American news cycle. Throughout, though, there continued to be plenty of serious action taking place in Russia and the Ukraine… including what one could describe as a re-escalation of the conflict in Novorossiya… as well as related activity in the USA deserving of our careful attention.

The USA (via John Kerry) and NATO steadily accused Russia of having funnelled hundreds of tanks, APCs, and other heavy equipment to the Novorossiyan forces. These assertions bring to mind the Sherlock Holmes case of the dog that didn’t bark, where the absence of a piece of evidence leads us to a very different conclusion than the one the American political establishment would like us to believe. The sorts of weaponry that NATO and the USA charged Russia with providing are virtually impossible to hide from the air. Snapping high-resolution photos of such war machinery is child’s play for today’s military satellites, and even civilian ones too. If the assertions were true, we should’ve seen a flood of photographs of Russian heavy equipment every step of the way as it passed into the Ukraine. However, no one offered such, not even one so far. Moreover, the simplest explanation for this is that none exists. If they did, you can be 100 percent certain that the US government would’ve released them and had them replayed repeatedly on CNN until everybody and their uncle could distinguish a T-72 tank from a T-64.

What concerns me even more than these undocumented charges are two especially ill-conceived, if not overtly confrontational, pieces of legislation passed by Congress in December. The first is H.Res 758, passed on 4 December, which, amongst other charges, accused Russia of having invaded the Ukraine, again without providing or referring to any sort of evidence photographic or otherwise. Entitled “Strongly condemning the actions of the Russian Federation, under President Vladimir Putin, which has carried out a policy of aggression against neighbouring countries aimed at political and economic domination” the resolution has a variety of one-sided assertions and leaves no diplomatic wiggle room for the possibility that Russia sees what’s transpired in the Ukraine differently. According to Ron Paul, these sorts of resolutions are dangerous because they politically commit the American political structure to rigid stances that’re politically difficult to back down from; historically, they’ve been a stepping stone on the path to war.

On 11 December, the Senate passed the Ukraine Freedom Support Act of 2014, or S.2828. This goes even further than merely condemning Russia; it authorises distributing both lethal and non-lethal military aid to Kiev, including sniper and assault rifles, mortars and shells, stinger missiles, anti-tank missiles, night vision goggles, radar systems, and a host of other hardware items. If we turned the tables around, if it were Russian lawmakers passing a resolution condemning the USA for a variety of international crimes for which they offered exactly zero proof, then, actively armed a dangerous conflict right on the American border, I think we all know just how ablaze with indignity the American political leadership would be, and rightly so.

Therefore, it isn’t surprising that Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Aleksandr Lukashevich said in response, “Both houses of the US Congress approved the Ukraine Freedom Support Act bypassing debates and proper voting. The overtly confrontational message of the new law can’t but evoke profound regret. Once again, Washington levels baseless sweeping accusations against Russia and threatens more sanctions”. The bizarre part of this story is that I can’t yet find any credible analysis or commentary explaining exactly what American interests in the Ukraine are so compelling as to risk increasing confrontation with Russia. Moreover, it bothers a great many analysts that the USA is on an increasingly combative course with yet another country without providing any evidence in support of its accusations and actions… again.

In response, Russia is rapidly withdrawing from additional dialogue with the USA and Europe, drawing ever closer to China, Turkey, and India. Russians feel that they’re already under siege from the USA, and that the USA has already committed acts of war. Despite being almost completely out of the American news cycle, events are in and around the Ukraine situation are actually picking up pace. On 15 January, junta strongman Poroshenko signed a decree mobilising 50,000 new servicemen to the front lines, whilst Russia announced that Europe would have to accept gas via Turkey, it’s shutting down the route through the Ukraine. This situation remains much more fluid and nuanced than the Western media is telling us, with much more to this story than a short column allows, those interested in delving deeper can read our latest report here.

In short, the situation is getting more strained, not less, and it has the very real chance of blossoming into something far larger and more deadly than the sparse coverage in the Western press might imply. If it looks like a war, acts like a war and smells like a war, it may just be a war. These events should concern everyone greatly, but especially European readers.

20 January 2015

Chris Martenson

MarketWatch

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/perhaps-you-missed-it-were-at-war-with-russia-2015-01-20

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

14 October 2014. THIS is Why the GOP May NOT Win the Senate… DO Think on It…

00 David Horsey. That's Not Far Enough. 2011

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Remember how Willy Romney was going to win in 2012? All the rightwing pundits said so… Fox News said so… the rightwing blogosphere said so. Barack Obama handed Romney a resounding defeat. This year… the GOP is going to win the Senate… all the rightwing pundits say so… Fox News says so… the rightwing blogosphere says so… in fact, their verbiage appears to be a rehash and regurgitation of what they wrote two years ago. Too bad Andrew Breitbart kicked the bucket… at least, he was interesting, and he never repeated himself… he wasn’t a Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, or Glenn Beck. He’ll be missed. There’s such a thing as a worthy foe… he was that. He gave no quarter, but he asked for none, either. That’s not seen much these days. That’s why I don’t sweat Ukie and konvertsy trolls… they say what they say… my stats haven’t gone down. (Hoisting a glass to all Ukie and konvertsy trolls:) “Here’s to you, guys… I don’t know how many readers that I picked up due to enemies… do watch the Law of Unintended Consequence… it’s a MOTHER”.

As I say, I loved Breitbart’s attitude… he was a HAPPY WARRIOR. His positions were shitty and his methods slimy, but he wasn’t a crybaby, and that goes far in my book. I think that there’s gonna be some surprises on Election Day…

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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