Russia finalises S-400 missile system deal with Turkey

 

Russia said Thursday that it had completed negotiations with Turkey for the sale of an S-400 air defence missile system, with delivery scheduled for late 2019.

“Practically speaking, the contract is entering the phase of realisation,” said Vladimir Kozhin, a presidential aide who oversees matters of military cooperation. “All parameters, all technologies, the entire deal has been agreed.” Continue reading

Trump’s national strategy speech puts China, Russia on the defensive

U.S. President Donald Trump labeled China and Russia ‘rival powers’ to the United States in a Dec. 18 speech. / AP

 

U.S. major media gave secondary play to President Donald Trump’s national security strategy address Monday, but certain world leaders were all ears.

Russia said the U.S. strategic plan has an “imperial character,” while China decried what it called a “Cold War mentality.”

Trump’s strategy, which he unveiled in a Dec. 18 speech, says that China and Russia “challenge American power, influence, and interests, attempting to erode American security and prosperity.” Continue reading

How Russia Expedited Syria’s Victory

 

On Monday, Vladimir Putin unexpectedly interrupted his journey to Egypt, stopping off at Russia’s Hmeymim airbase in Syria and announcing the windup of Russia’s most successful military campaign abroad. Thousands of combat sorties have been flown, tens of thousands of terrorists and their infrastructure have been destroyed, and hundreds of Syrian cities and towns have been liberated. We have previously published accounts of how Russian pilots, special ops, marines, doctors, and diplomats spent two years helping the lawful president of Syria, Bashar al-Assad, hold his country together and rid it of terrorists.

Russia enters the conflict

By the fall of 2015, the war in Syria had already dragged on for four long years. The mass anti-government demonstrations that began in March 2011 had quickly escalated into skirmishes with the military. And terrorist factions immediately “hijacked” these popular protests. Soon, the leading role in the battle against the ruling regime was being played by extremists from the Islamic State, Jabhat Al Nusra, Al-Qaeda, and many factions within what has been called the “moderate opposition” – mainly in the Free Syrian Army that has been so championed by the West. Continue reading

Russia Sharply Expanding Nuclear Arsenal, Upgrading Underground Facilities

Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin / Getty Images

 

Pentagon to boost U.S. weapons under nuclear posture review

Russia is aggressively building up its nuclear forces and is expected to deploy a total force of 8,000 warheads by 2026 along with modernizing deep underground bunkers, according to Pentagon officials.

The 8,000 warheads will include both large strategic warheads and thousands of new low-yield and very low-yield warheads to circumvent arms treaty limits and support Moscow’s new doctrine of using nuclear arms early in any conflict.

In addition to expanding its warheads, Russia also is fortifying underground facilities for command and control during a nuclear conflict. Continue reading

Thousands of Russian private contractors fighting in Syria

Visitors and Russian military police officers walk toward the Citadel, Aleppo’s famed fortress. Russian news outlets say thousands of Russians have been deployed in Syria by a shadowy, private military contractor since 2015. When President Vladimir Putin announced Monday Dec. 11, 2017, that Russia’s campaign in Syria was drawing to a close, he did not mention this secret force.

 

MOSCOW (AP) — Before he was killed by a sniper in Syria at age 23, Ivan Slyshkin wrote a poignant message on social media to his fiancee: “We will see each other soon — and I will hold you as tight as I possibly can.”

But Slyshkin’s name won’t be found among the Russian Defense Ministry’s official casualties in the fight against Islamic State extremists. That’s because the young man who left his hometown of Ozyorsk in the Ural mountains was one of thousands of Russians deployed to Syria by a shadowy, private military contractor known as Wagner, which the government doesn’t talk about.

Slyshkin’s gravestone depicts him holding a machine gun, according to a local news website Znak.com that sent a reporter to his March 2 funeral in Ozyorsk, where friends said he joined Wagner to earn money to pay for his wedding. Continue reading

Putin lands in Syria on announced visit to create false impression war is over

 

The Russian President Vladimir Putin’s airplane made a surprise landing Monday. Dec. 11, at the Russian Hmeimim air base in Latakia and announced he had ordered Russian troops to start withdrawing from Syria. Continue reading

Putin Running for Fourth Term

Putin Running for Fourth Term

Russian Presiden Vladimir Putin announced Tuesday he will seek a fourth term in office.

 

For weeks, Russians and Western observers alike have speculated that perhaps Vladimir Putin would quietly step aside at the conclusion of his current term in office when it ends next May. Continue reading

De-Dollarization Continues: China, Iran To Eliminate Greenback From Bilateral Trade

 

The more Washington lashes out in anger at those who will not bow to the unipolar world order, the more the rest of the world fights back. As the launch of its Yuan/Gold-settled oil futures loomsChina is escalating its de-dollarization scheme further by seeking a bilateral rial-yuan agreement with Iran.

As a reminder, nothing lasts forever… Continue reading

Russia plans to create an ‘independent internet’ by 2018 to protect it from ‘global internet malfunctions’ – but critics say the plan could make it easier to launch its own attacks

The Russian government has revealed plans to develop an ‘independent internet’ that operates separately from the Domain Name System used worldwide. According to Russian news site RT, Russian President Vladimir Putin (pictured) is targeting August 1, 2018 for its completion

 

  • Russian Security Council met in October to discuss an ‘independent internet’
  • Would cover Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa with alternative DNS
  • Currently, a global Domain Name System (DNS) is used to connect to internet
  • While they cited security concerns, others suggest it could be used maliciously

The Russian government has revealed plans to develop an ‘independent internet’ that operates separately from the Domain Name System used worldwide.

During a recent meeting of the Russian Security Council, officials discussed an initiative to create an alternative to the DNS, claiming the move could protect Russia and a handful of other nations in the event of a large-scale cyberattack. Continue reading

Report: Israel Vows to Destroy Iranian Positions within 40 KM of Syrian Border

Israeli soldiers stand atop tanks overlooking the border between Israel and Syria. (photo credit:RONEN ZVULUN / REUTERS)

 

Syrian President Bashar Assad reportedly offered Netanyahu a comprehensive deal that would include a demilitarized zone stretching 40 kilometers from the border.

Kuwaiti newspaper Al Jarida revealed on Sunday that an Israeli source disclosed a promise from Jerusalem to destroy all Iranian facilities within 40 kilometers (25 miles) of Israel’s Golan Heights.

Continue reading

Russian general reveals INF violation

Russia’s Kalibr cruise missile, used recently in Syria, appears to violate the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty prohibiting ground-based nuclear and conventional missiles with ranges from 310 miles to 3,420 miles. (Associated Press/File)

 

Any doubts about Russia’s militarily significant violation of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty were largely dispelled by Moscow’s military chief this month.

Gen. Valery Gerasimov, chief of the general staff, told Russian state media that units with precision-guided missiles with ranges of up to 2,485 miles are in place.

We have formed command bodies and special units to plan the use of long-range precision-guided munitions and prepare flight assignments for all types of cruise missiles,” Gen. Gerasimov said during a meeting of Defense Ministry officials on Nov. 6. Continue reading

US diplomats in Russia to be guarded by firm with ties to senior ex-KGB official

US embassy in Russia

 

Several American diplomatic facilities in Russia, including the United States embassy in Moscow, as well as consulates in other major Russian cities, will be guarded by a firm with ties to a former senior KGB official. The New York Times reported on Tuesday that the company, Elite Security Holdings, is headquartered in Moscow but has offices throughout Europe and the former Soviet republics. The firm has its roots in an earlier venture co-founded by former KGB official Viktor G. Budanov. The 82-year-old Budanov served as director of the KGB’s K Directorate, also known as Second Chief Directorate, which was responsible for counterintelligence. Budanov no longer owns any part of Elite Security Holdings. But his son, Dimitri Budanov, is believed to be in charge of the firm’s headquarters in the Russian capital. The family is known to be politically close to Vladimir Putin, who served together in the KGB with Viktor Budanov in East Germany in the 1980s. Continue reading

Rep. Gaetz: “We Are at Risk of a Coup d’Etat in This Country” Unless Mueller Resigns or is Fired

 

House Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) called on Special Counsel Robert Mueller — who is investigating alleged Russian collusion with the Trump 2016 campaign — to resign because there is an apparent conflict of interest involving Mueller and an alleged campaign to undermine the president and force him from office.

Rep. Gaetz also called for a special prosecutor to investigate the Uranium One scandal, the Clinton Foundation, and the Fusion GPS firm, which produced the “Russian dossier” alleging Trump-Russia collusion and which was paid by Obama for America’s law firm, the Democratic National Committee (DNC), and the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign.

Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation is, in part, based on the Fusion GPS-provided “dossier.”  Continue reading

Uranium One and New START

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov finalized the New START treaty in February 2011. Last month, the Uranium One case resurfaced when news reports revealed that the FBI apparently covered up information about illegal Russian attempts to lobby Mrs. Clinton. (Associated Press/File) Photo by: Jens Meyer

 

Some U.S. national security officials are urging an investigation of the burgeoning Uranium One scandal to focus on whether the New START arms treaty with Russia was compromised by Moscow payoffs and not just by Obama administration policies that sought to curry favor with the Kremlin.

The Obama team, through the Treasury Department-led Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), approved the 2010 sale of 51 percent of Canada-based Uranium One to JSC Atomredmetzoloto, or ARMZ, the mining arm of Rosatom, the Russian state nuclear energy agency. The merger gave Russia control of some 20 percent of U.S. uranium extraction capability.

In 2015, it was revealed that nine lobbyists for Uranium One paid the Clinton Foundation, Bill and Hillary Clinton’s charitable organization, $145 million before, during and after the deal was approved. Bill Clinton also traveled to Moscow, where he was paid $500,000 by a Russian government-linked bank for a speech. Continue reading

Russia Starts Construction on New Iranian Nuke Plant

The reactor building at the Russian-built Bushehr nuclear power plant / Getty Images

 

Russia to build two new nuke plants for Iran

A Russian atomic energy corporation announced late Monday that it has formally begun construction on a new $10 billion nuclear plant in Iran amid global efforts by the Trump administration to crack down on the Islamic Republic’s nuclear endeavors.

The deal, which has been in the works since the Obama administration negotiated the landmark nuclear agreement with Iran, is aimed at further cementing ties between Moscow and Tehran and is being handled by Russia’s state Rosatom corporation. Continue reading