All posts filed under: Russia

Mass Arrests of Protesters: Outrageous in Russia, Barely Worth Mentioning in US

by Adam Johnson, July 13, 2017, FAIR Major media’s relative lack of interest in the mass arrests by Metro DC police on Inauguration Day is a fact noted by activists and journalists since the incident almost six months ago. One way to measure the dearth of coverage is to compare the attention paid to comparable protester arrests in Russia last month. On June 12, over 1,700 Russians throughout the country were arrested for “unauthorized protests” in opposition to President Vladimir Putin and government corruption. “Dozens”—including opposition leader Alexei Navalny—were kept in jail longer than a day, but the vast majority were let go immediately. (Navalny, as well as some others, got between 15–30 days in jail.) More than 200 Americans were arrested on January 20 after “rioting” broke out in downtown Washington, DC, in the hours leading up to and after President Donald Trump’s inauguration. Some were let go over the next few weeks, but the bulk of the 200+ still face 10–80 years in federal prison for “felony rioting.” It’s important to note at least two major differences …

Russia: a target, not a superpower

by Sara Flounders, via Workers.org The corporate media’s constant use of Cold War terminology to describe the meeting of the U.S. and Russian presidents as a meeting of the “two superpowers” masks the present relationship of forces. U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir V. Putin met at the Group of 20 summit on July 7 in Hamburg, Germany. Old preconceptions and terms must be challenged in order to have an accurate view of the present international situation. Russia today, as a capitalist country, is not even a fifth-rate economic power. The Russian economy is smaller than the economy of Brazil, south Korea or Canada. According to World Bank and International Monetary Fund measurements, Russia now ranks 12th globally in its gross domestic product. This measurement is the market value of goods and services. Today’s Russian Federation is a vastly different state — socially, politically, economically and militarily — from the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics of even 27 years ago. It is important to understand what Russia is today in order to understand …

The Syrian Test of Trump-Putin Accord

By Ray McGovern via Information Clearing House The U.S. mainstream media remains obsessed over Russia’s alleged “meddling” in last fall’s election, but the real test of bilateral cooperation may come on the cease-fire in Syria, writes ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern. July 09, 2017 “Information Clearing House” – The immediate prospect for significant improvement in U.S.-Russia relations now depends on something tangible: Will the forces that sabotaged previous ceasefire agreements in Syria succeed in doing so again, all the better to keep alive the “regime change” dreams of the neoconservatives and liberal interventionists? Or will President Trump succeed where President Obama failed by bringing the U.S. military and intelligence bureaucracies into line behind a cease-fire rather than allowing insubordination to win out? These are truly life-or-death questions for the Syrian people and could have profound repercussions across Europe, which has been destabilized by the flood of refugees fleeing the horrific violence in the six-year proxy war that has ripped Syria apart. But you would have little inkling of this important priority from the large page-one headlines …

Our media are not fit for purpose

by Philip Roddis This morning, just after eight, BBC Radio 4’s John Humphrys interviewed an American ‘expert’ – didn’t catch the name – on the first meeting, today, of Trump and Putin. In the time between my reaching for the bread bin, and two slices of the moderately browned popping from the toaster, said expert had presented as incontestable truth – no need to back up such a claim – Russia’s ‘aggression’ as against America’s ‘caution’. People buy this crap, you know, if only subliminally. Why? Because the west, anglo saxon west in particular, long ago traded independence of foreign policy for favoured status in Washington, so framing the boundaries for mainstream discourse on global affairs. And because, thanks to English as world lingua franca, most of us grew up on a cultural diet of the US as force for good: the orientalist corollary being the inscrutable asiatic; untrustworthy and capable of unspeakable acts. (Nowadays no one says such things out loud of course. An age that’s given rise to so many new and useful …

Why the West Will Not and Cannot Let Syria Live in Peace

For all those who have become awake and conscious or have escaped the Western media pit of lies and brainwashing, the six-year-long resistance of the Syrian people in the face of the Anglo-Zionist empire and its terrorist proxy troops ISIS, Al Qaeda et al has been a deeply tragic but historically heroic inspiration. They survived four years almost totally alone until Russia entered to fight the US, EU, and Israeli proxy terrorist fighters that were gaining ground on government held territory in Syria.

MSM headlines ignore heightened tensions in Syria conflict

The US shot down a Syrian warplane a few days ago, the pilot is currently being “held” by Kurdish forces on the ground. The plane was targeting moderate fighters under American protection, according to the Americans, and bombing terrorists according to the Syrian government. As a result of this, Russia has ceased cooperation with the US on air-missions over Syrian air-space, and issued several statements which amount to, essentially, an ultimatum. The Syrian government has written letters to the UNSC and intends to address them soon. Australia, in what appears to be a panicked “well, this is none of our business” move, has ceased all missions over Syria with immediate effect. You’d be forgiven for not knowing any of this was happening, given the front pages of Britain’s five major papers all chose to focus a on a collection of non-events and nothing issues: Considering that media-complicity in spreading anti-Assad and anti-Russian propaganda is a big reason the US-Russia tensions have been allowed to get this bad, that they should stick their heads in the …

Russia Announces No-Fly Zone in Syria

Late on Monday the 19th, was reported by Russia’s Sputnik: “In areas where Russian aviation is conducting combat missions in the Syrian skies, any flying ojects, including jets and unmanned aerial vehicles of the international coalition discovered west of the Euphrates River, will be followed by Russian air and ground defenses as air targets” — meaning ordered out, or else immediately shot down.

Sauron Rules in Washington

by Paul Craig Roberts “The problem is that the world has listened to Americans for far too bloody long.” Dr. Julian Osborne, from the 2000 film version of Nevil Shute’s 1957 book, On the Beach A reader asked why neoconservatives push toward nuclear war when there can be no winners. If all die, what is the point? The answer is that the neoconservatives believe that the US can win at minimum and perhaps zero damage. Their insane plan is as follows: Washington will ring Russia and China with anti-ballistic missile bases in order to provide a shield against a retaliatory strike from Russia and China. Moreover, these US anti-ABM bases also can deploy nuclear attack missiles unknown to Russia and China, thus reducing the warning time to five minutes, leaving Washington’s victims little or no time in which to make a decision. The neoconservatives think that Washington’s first strike will so badly damage the Russian and Chinese retaliatory capabilities that both governments will surrender rather than launch a response. The Russian and Chinese leaderships would …

Is Putin Incorruptible?

first published in 2014, this alternative analysis by Sharon Tennison, who recounts her personal experience of Putin, is still more than relevant As the Ukraine situation has worsened, unconscionable misinformation and hype is being poured on Russia and Vladimir Putin. Journalists and pundits must scour the Internet and thesauruses to come up with fiendish new epithets to describe both. Wherever I make presentations across America, the first question ominously asked during Q&A is always, “What about Putin?” It’s time to share my thoughts which follow: Putin obviously has his faults and makes mistakes. Based on my earlier experience with him, and the experiences of trusted people, including U.S. officials who have worked closely with him over a period of years, Putin most likely is a straight, reliable and exceptionally inventive man. He is obviously a long-term thinker and planner and has proven to be an excellent analyst and strategist. He is a leader who can quietly work toward his goals under mounds of accusations and myths that have been steadily leveled at him since he …

A multi-level analysis of the US cruise missile attack on Syria and its consequences

by The Saker, 11 April 2017 The latest US cruise missile attack on the Syrian airbase is an extremely important event in so many ways that it is important to examine it in some detail.  I will try to do this today with the hope to be able to shed some light on a rather bizarre attack which will nevertheless have profound consequences.  But first, let’s begin by looking at what actually happened. The pretext: I don’t think that anybody seriously believes that Assad or anybody else in the Syrian government really ordered a chemical weapons attack on anybody.  To believe that it would require you to find the following sequence logical: first, Assad pretty much wins the war against Daesh which is in full retreat.  Then, the US declares that overthrowing Assad is not a priority anymore (up to here this is all factual and true).  Then, Assad decides to use weapons he does not have.  He decides to bomb a location with no military value, but with lots of kids and cameras.  Then, …

The Impending Clash Between the U.S. and Russia

by Mike Whitney, 7 April 2017, UNZ Review President Donald Trump’s missile attack on the Shayrat Airfield in Western Syria was a poorly planned display of imperial muscle-flexing that had the exact opposite effect of what was intended. While the attack undoubtedly lifted the morale of the jihadists who have been rampaging across the country for the last six years, it had no military or strategic value at all. The damage to the airfield was very slight and there is no reason to believe it will impact the Syrian Army’s progress on the ground. The attack did however kill four Syrian servicemen which means the US troops in Syria can no longer be considered part of an international coalition fighting terrorism. The US is now a hostile force that represents an existential threat to the sovereign government. Is that the change that Trump wanted? As of Friday, Russia has frozen all military cooperation with the United States. According to the New York Times: In addition to suspending the pact to coordinate air operations over Syria, …

“Experts” reveal their “evidence” of Russian “hacking”

The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence convened today, hearing testimony from three “star witnesses”. If you have a spare three hours, and a strong stomach, feel free to watch the whole sordid ordeal here. Not surprisingly there was no mention of that fact the that the FBI didn’t analyse the DNC servers – they were not allowed to. Likewise, there was no talk of CrowdStrike, the private firm that did get to do analysis, and then had to backtrack on their own findings. None of that was deemed important. Instead we got three hours of speeches from people who had nothing to say. The three expert witnesses have startlingly similar backgrounds, all hailing from the intelligence community in some way or other. They are all very long on exposition…and very short on actual evidence. Rather than citing statistics, or bringing up evidence of any kind, the Senators are more than happy to just let the three men ramble along twisting narrative pathways. Two of them had the good-grace to be non-committal, or at least vague, …

“Global Laundromat” has the Guardian in a Spin

by Kit The latest “breaking” story from the Guardian and Luke Harding is hitting the headlines. Almost exactly 1 year after the explosive anti-climax that was “The Panama Papers”, Harding and the coterie of NGOs for which he acts as de-facto spokesperson have a big announcement to make: Banks launder money, and some of it is Russian. We are nearing the anniversary of the release of the Panama Papers, a “big story” involving years of work, hundreds of leaked documents, a team of exceptional journalists (and Luke Harding) and a dramatic reveal: “Sometimes, very rich people use legal loopholes to avoid paying their taxes.” The list of implicated parties included heads of state, celebrities, athletes, David Cameron’s dad and a cellist that knows Vladimir Putin. We all remember who the Guardian decided to focus on, and we all know why. Today the same crack-team (and Luke Harding) are releasing the long-awaited sequel to their original hit. “The global Laundromat”, it’s called. It’s a product of a years-long investigation into money laundering in ex-Soviet states, using …

Canadian Newspapers Shield Foreign Minister From Her Nazi Past

by John Helmer This is a follow up to Mr Helmer’s previous article on this subject. This is not a story about the past, nor about blaming the crimes of the fathers and grandfathers on their sons and daughters, or granddaughters. This is a story of the moment when the crimes of the past and the criminal intent today turn out to be the same thing: Russian-hating today is a race crime, just as Jew-hating and Pole-hating were crimes, and still are. No Canadian foreign minister or member of parliament, no Canadian Mountie, no Dudley Do-Right should be culpable of such crimes. Chrystia Freeland (lead image, left), Canada’s Foreign Minister, stands for the same race hatred as her grandfather, Michael Chomiak (centre) stood for. He profited from his crimes by the theft of property belonging to Jews in Cracow and Chelm, the two towns where Chomiak ran newspapers on behalf of Emil Gassner, head of press for the German administration of occupied Poland known as the Generalgouvernement (German) and Generalne Gubernatorstwo (Polish), with headquarters in …

Guardian flagrantly lying about Western policy in ME, trashing its own comments to silence dissent

For five years the US and other western powers worked to unite Syria’s disparate rebel factions, combat Islamic State and broker a peace deal with Bashar al-Assad’s regime. Prospects of such a deal have all but evaporated after Russian air power crushed rebels in their stronghold of Aleppo. Above is the Graun’s debased re-writing of recent history in its latest piece of Pentagon/Langley/GCHQ propaganda. The article itself tries to whip some sort of moral outrage out of Russia “doing a Syria” in Libya – viz Russian companies daring to make deals with Libyan oil companies, and possibly even funding the “anti-Western” forces currently battling for control of the oil fields. The tone is, of course, that Russia has no business trying to protect its own interests in the ME or anywhere, since only Western colonialists are empowered to do that. Capturing the glittering prize of the Oil Crescent has become the focus of a bitter civil war now in its third year and US officials fear that Russia has now entered the conflict, with Haftar …

The Empire Strikes Back

by Brad Benson On the surface, the resignation of General Michael Flynn is being sold as a cut-and-dried case of the General getting ahead of his skis by calling the Russian Ambassador to discuss the lifting of sanctions. This was ostensibly then complicated by the General not being honest about his discussions, when queried about it by Vice President Mike Pence. However, as is always the case in these types of affairs, the real story will go untold and General Flynn’s “resignation” will have ramifications far beyond these first headlines. In reality, the General’s early fall is a signal that the Deep State is not about to permit rapprochement with Russia. This is because any moves to defuse the New Cold War could threaten to undercut Obama’s $1 Trillion, 30 year nuclear arms rearmament program, which has been quietly moving forward for several years. Flynn, the former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), which is the military’s counterpart to the CIA, was originally fired by Obama for an intelligence assessment, which disputed information that …

Negotiations in Astana are a timid ray of hope to stop the Syrian conflict

by John Leslie A new format of negotiations to be held in Kazakhstan’s capital Astana on January 23 is set to take into account the interests of all actors of the Syrian conflict. At the same time, we should understand that it is impossible to save Syria in the way it was. The system is to be changed. Nevertheless, now it is difficult to say which of the negotiating sides can get more benefits. It can be seen by the results of the meeting. However, Syrian people are to win at any case. They are tired of poverty, misery and deaths. It is time to say stop and make real moves to save people’s lives. Negotiations in Astana is a first step to regulate military actions and to put an end to the clash between Syrian troops and Syrian opposition. Bashar Assad told he is open for any dialog with opposition that represents the interests of Syria and Syrian people, but not Saudi Arabia, France and Britain. On January 8, the Syrian government announced the …

CIA, FBI and NSA produce joint report, jointly prove nothing

by Ricardo Vaz, originally published at Invesig’Action The recent hysteria surrounding Russia’s alleged interference with the November presidential elections saw another episode after an intelligence report, jointly elaborated by the CIA, FBI and NSA, was released on Friday, January 6th. After weeks of bombshell headlines based on statements from anonymous intelligence officials, western media finally had an official intelligence report to support their bombshell headlines. Unsurprisingly, all headlines look very similar, with the Guardian even changing the title of their main story after realising it was not menacing enough. The problem is that, much like the old stories, the new ones do not contain any evidence to support the claims, because the report itself does not have anything in that regard. The report says that the “evidence” remains highly classified. These outlets are just being fed the same (non-)information in a new package, and reporting it as “remarkably blunt” (WaPo) and “damning and surprisingly detailed” (NYT) does not change the fact that there are no facts to back this thesis that there was a campaign …

Did a Ukrainian University Student Create Grizzly Steppe?

by Petri Krohn 1) U.S. Department of Homeland Security claims that the DNC was hacked by Russian intelligence services using a Russian malware tool they have named Grizzly Steppe or “PAS tool PHP web kit”. They have published a YARA signature file that allows anyone to identify it. https://www.us-cert.gov/security-publications/GRIZZLY-STEPPE-Russian-Malicious-Cyber-Activity 2) Security company Wordefence says Grizzly Steppe is actually P.A.S. web shell, a common malware tool on WordPress sites. They have identified its origin to an Ukrainian download site Profexer.name https://www.wordfence.com/blog/2016/12/russia-malware-ip-hack/ 3) The profexer site presents a SSL certificate that identifies it as pro-os.ru and gives an email address aazzz@ro.ru. https://profexer.name 4) pro-os.ru is offline with the domain registration expired, but Internet Archive has copies from April and May 2015. The photo on the page indicates that they are experts in “deadly” computer viruses. https://web.archive.org/web/20150405005032/http://pro-os.ru/ The contacts given on the pro-os.ru site link to the VK account of Roman Alexeev and the email address roman@pro-os.ru. The VK account has been suspended because of “suspicious activity”. (You need to be logged in to VK to see the …

Obama’s New Year Lame Duck Soup

by Tutisicecream Grizzly Steppe the Crazy Russian Hack according to the DHS/FBI reportage ordered by a failed president. As anyone working in the IT business knows phishing attacks happen on a regular basis from servers all over the world and are commonplace on the internet. It is also well known that phishing, when taking place is always done from a slave computer, so it is impossible to know the original source. All you can do is block the compromised slave computer from accessing your network. They do not amount to a cyber attacks in the vague parameters laid out in this New Year Grizzly Steppe squib. However in keeping with the hallmarks of Obama’s foreign policy failures this reportage, as that is all it is, is being used to bolster the false Russian Hacker narrative. To act as a smoke screen for other more pressing issues on the cyber front for the US homeland security, namely in this case those of the Hillary Clinton e-mails, kept by her on an unofficial unsecured server, which exposed …