Russian Military Expert: ‘Russia Is Creating Three Strong Army Groups On The Border With Ukraine… Capable… Of Launching A Quick Strike In The Direction Of Kiev’

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Russia- Ukraine border with potential directions of Russian attacks (source: Royal United Services Institute)

 

On July 15, the Russian daily Vedomosti published an article by a Russian military expert, Ruslan Pukhov, about Russian military planning objectives.[1] In his article, Pukhov explains that the concern exhibited by NATO members about the Baltic States’ security is misplaced, as Russia did not take any significant measure to bolster its military presence in the Kaliningrad region bordering on the Baltics. On the contrary, Russian forces were radically reduced in the area. 

Pukhov stressed that Russia avoids being drawn into a direct military rivalry with the West, but concentrates its forces around its main and fundamental security issue: Ukraine. Pukhov wrote that Russia is creating three strong army groups on its border with Ukraine, which are capable, if necessary, of launching a quick strike in the direction of Kiev. Therefore, Pukhov explained, current Russian military planning is divorced from any ‘threat from NATO’ or ‘threat to NATO’, but is geared towards creating a powerful force on the Ukrainian border, “which will allow the Kremlin to expand the range of possible [military] force options to the Ukrainian situation.” Continue reading

Russia under Vladimir Putin ‘like Nazi Germany or Rwanda’, warns daughter of Boris Nemtsov

The daughter of murdered opposition leader Boris Nemtsov has compared the Russian state under Vladimir Putin to “Nazi Germany or Rwanda” and announced she has left the country for the West.

Zhanna Nemtsova, a TV journalist with a Moscow news station, said she had quit her job to go into exile after the fatal shooting of her father outside the walls of the Kremlin in February.

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Russia’s National System of Payment Cards (NSPC) starts operations in mid-December; eight Russian banks sanctioned by the West will be the first to make use of the new electronic funds transfer service.

MOSCOW, December 8 (Sputnik) – Russia’s National System of Payment Cards (NSPC), which has been created to rival existing international operations such as Visa and Mastercard, will start test operations in mid-December, Russia’s business newspaper “Vedomosti” reported on Monday.

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Kremlin to consider plans which could remove Russia from global Internet ‘in an emergency’

In this article we see Putin shielding Russia from any Western cyber retaliation. The question here is: Is preparing for a likely retaliation after his next move? This isn’t only about an oppressive government reaching for more control over its citizens. Meanwhile, what has the United States done to shield itself from cyber attacks or other vulnerabilities? Next to nothing. Matter of fact, Barack Obama in a power grab forced the internet in America to be under government control by declaring it a ‘public utility.’

 

Russia may remove itself from the global Internet to protect itself against perceived threats from the West, a Kremlin spokesman suggested on Friday.

The Krelmin dismissed accusations it aims to isolate the Russian Internet, and insists it is merely concerned with protecting its national security – particularly as relations with the West have reached their lowest since the Cold War.

However, the country has recently passed several laws targeting Internet use, which include making popular bloggers register as media outlets, and forcing websites to store the personal data of Russian users.

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Russia plans state controls in case of internet crisis

Russia is making plans to ensure state control over the country’s internet traffic in a national emergency, Russian media report.

War or an Arab Spring-style uprising would class as such an emergency.

Plans for boosting cyber security are reported to be under discussion in Russia’s Security Council. They include a back-up in case Russia is cut off from the internet, Vedomosti news says.

Russia currently relies heavily on foreign hosting of websites. Continue reading

Moscow may force European airlines to fly around Russia

(Reuters) – Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev threatened on Tuesday to retaliate for the grounding of a subsidiary of national airline Aeroflot because of EU sanctions, with one newspaper reporting that European flights to Asia over Siberia could be banned.

Low-cost carrier Dobrolyot, operated by Aeroflot, suspended all flights last week after its airline leasing agreement was cancelled under European Union sanctions because it flies to Crimea, a region Russia annexed from Ukraine in March.

“We should discuss possible retaliation,” Medvedev said at a meeting with the Russian transport minister and a deputy chief executive of Aeroflot. Continue reading

U.S. Sanctions Push Putin Toward His Dream of A New Financial System

Although Monday’s sanctions will hurt Russia in the short term, they will also force Putin to step up his efforts to weaken U.S. influence over the global economy, which so far has been “little more than wishful thinking because of the difficult reforms it would require”

A little over a year ago, in early March 2013, the Russian state energy czar Igor Sechin made his American debut at an oil summit in Houston, Texas, reportedly accompanied by armed guards equipped with a K-9 unit. The speech he gave that day at the СERAWeek conference, an annual gathering of energy titans from around the world, was part of a pit stop for Sechin. He was on his way to a more high profile event, the funeral of his old friend Hugo Chavez, the truculently anti-American President of oil-rich Venezuela. But since he was passing through the Western hemisphere anyway, Sechin clearly felt it was worthwhile to court some American investors. “I call for us to work together,” he told the audience that day, according to Russia’s Vedomosti daily, “to drive our business for mutual benefit.” Continue reading

EU ‘to Extend’ Southern Gas Corridor from Azerbaijan

The EU would extend the route for supplies through the Southern Gas Corridor and its pipes will make their way further into Europe’s mainland, according to reports.

Russia’s Vedomosti, which cites sources from the European Commission, suggests that pipes could lead into France and Spain and this could increase the amount of Azerbaijani gas received from the Union.

According to the same EC representative, the prospects of importing from Turkmenistan and Iran are also on the agenda. Continue reading

Russia-China oil deals may change global energy run

RUSSIA, the world’s largest crude producer, is shying away from Europe – as far as crude supplies are concerned – ramping up instead supplies to China. And as the process gains pace, new alliances are springing up on the global energy chessboard while the old ones are being discarded. The small, yet, strategic shift in target markets is providing Moscow not only with an opportunity to end its reliance on weak, saturated and somewhat fragmented European markets, but is also a major source of instant, handy cash at a time of great need. And the swap ensures Beijing long-term supply security. A win-win situation on more than one count!

Russian state-controlled oil company Rosneft will supply China with 365 million tons of oil over 25 years under a $270 billion deal, Igor Sechin, its chief executive said on Friday. A day earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Rosneft planned to sign a deal to provide China with oil worth $60 billion. Russian business daily Vedomosti later said Putin was referring to an advance payment that Rosneft would receive. Continue reading