Russian President Vladimir Putin has selected Anatoly Antonov, a career diplomat specializing in defense and security issues, to replace former spymaster Sergey Kislyak as his chief representative to the U.S.
Antonov still technically is a general in the Russian Army, holding the equivalent of the U.S. military’s five-star rank, but has worked in Putin’s government for the past six years. From 2011 until late last year, the former Soviet military leader was deputy defense minister.
He oversaw the invasion and annexation of Crimea, and also coordinated a number of military maneuvers the U.S. and its allies have deemed to be “aggressive” in nature. These include numerous violations of U.S. airspace by Tu-95 “Bear H” bombers during the Obama administration.
Antonov was originally considered for ambassador to the United Nations when it was assumed former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would win the U.S. presidency, but instead became deputy foreign minister. In Russia’s convoluted civilian rank system, he was the third-ranking diplomat behind Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Kislyak.
He holds distinct “hardliner” anti-West sentiments, prompting a number of analysts to note his succeeding Kislyak signals a definite cooling of relations with the U.S. He currently remains under UN sanctions for his involvement in the Crimea annexation.
Full article: Who is Russia’s New U.S. Ambassador? (TruNews)