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

US Air Force Admits To Harvesting Russian Tissue

An update from yesterday’s post “Why is Russian DNA Being Collected?

 

 

A day after Russian President Vladimir Putin surprised members of Russia’s human rights council by informing them that some shadowy entity – possibly with ties to the United States – had been collecting biological tissues from Russians from different ethnic groups, the group responsible for harvesting the tissue has revealed itself.

While some initially discounted Putin’s remars as another loony conspiracy theory, as it turns out, he was right: The group responsible for the tissue collection was none other than the US Air Force, proving that yet another conspiracy theory has become a conspiracy fact. Continue reading

Why is Russian DNA Being Collected?

Why is Russian DNA Being Collected?

Russian President Vladimir Putin said the DNA of Russians is being collected by foreign agents, perhaps for the purpose of developing “ethnic bioweapons.”

 

In a recent speech to a human rights gathering, Russian President Vladimir Putin made the claim that “U.S. special services agents” were collecting DNA samples from Russians of different ethnic groups as part of the development of a possible ethno-biological weapon.

“Do you know that the biological material is collected all over the country for different ethnic groups and peoples living in different geographical area of the Russian Federation? The question is why they are doing it, and they are doing it purposefully and professionally,” he said. “We are an object of great interest. Of course, we do not need to have any fear about it. Let them do whatever they want, and we must do what we have to do.” Continue reading

Report: Chinese intel backed Russia-Trump collusion narrative

 

“Chinese intelligence money and influence is promoting the idea that Russia is the enemy [of the U.S.] and that it attempted to influence the U.S. elections,” a source said, according to an Oct. 24 reportby Geostrategy-Direct.com: “Japan-Russia rapprochement? Beijing fights entente linking Europe, Northeast Asia Continue reading

Germany’s Delegation To Russia Signals That Merkel Is Looking For New Allies

A delegation of executives from major German corporations recently met with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Such delegations are not unusual. Sometimes it is routine, sometimes a courtesy. But occasionally, it has significance. In the case of Russia-Germany relations, such meetings are always potentially significant. Continue reading

Ignoring empty threats, Iran tightens its military noose around Israel

Hamas’ Saleh Arouri in Tehran.

 

Iran pressed ahead with its plans this week, regardless of the loud scorn and threats poured on Tehran from Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Cairo and Washington.

On Friday, Oct. 20, less than two weeks after Saleh Arouri, Deputy Chief of the Hamas political bureau, approved an Egyptian-sponsored reconciliation agreement between his party and the rival Fatah, he was leading a large Hamas delegation to Tehran. Continue reading

Anti-establishment billionaire vying to become Czech Republic’s next prime minister

 

The last time an anti-establishment billionaire made waves in pre-election polls, the major media scoffed and wrote it off and it became fodder for late-night talk show hosts.

We all know how that turned out. Continue reading

Saudi Arabia says to buy Russia S-400 defence systems, other arms

 

Saudi Arabia signed on Thursday preliminary agreements to buy S-400 air defence systems and receive “cutting edge technologies” from Russia during King Salman’s landmark visit to Moscow, the Saudi military industries firm said.

The agreement was announced as King Salman, who is on the first official trip to Russia by a Saudi monarch, and Russian President Vladimir Putin held talks at the Kremlin. Continue reading

Russia’s on the Way Back

Yellen and Nabiullina

 

Russia is poised to break out of its oil-related slump and become one of the best performing emerging markets economies in the years ahead. This sleeping giant is breaking its dependence on oil prices and embraces diversified growth.

When you hear the name “Russia” you probably run for cover. Russia has been the subject of nearly continuous media coverage bordering on frenzy since the election of Donald Trump last November. Continue reading

De-Dollarization & Disintermediation – Russian Mobile Phone Operator Issues First Blockchain-Backed Bond

 

For months now Russia has been moving into the blockchain space in a serious way. I’ve talked about these moves in previous articles(herehere and yes, even here)

But, the latest news is one that should have every one stand up and take notice.

Russian Mobile phone operator, Megafon, issued RUB500 million in zero-coupon blockchain-based bonds recently. This was purely a proof of concept issuance. Continue reading

Cyprus helping Russia to counter US sanctions

Cypriot president Nicos Anastasiades with Putin in Moscow in 2015 (Photo: kremlin.ru)

 

Cyprus is helping Russia to attack US sanctions against human rights abusers, a leading activist has warned.

The accusation, by Bill Browder, a British campaigner, comes after Cypriot authorities honoured Russia’s request to question Browder’s law firm, Georgiades & Pelides, in Nicosia, for a second time.

Browder told EUobserver that the Russian investigation was designed to smear his name. Continue reading