Tag Archive: Vladimir Putin


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People Over Profits

Putin Has a Massive Corruption-Fighting Record You’ve Never Heard Of

Mr. Putin is tackling corruption, whereas his predecessor embodied it. But you wouldn’t know it from the Western press

I love Russia, but let’s not sugarcoat things.

After the widespread sociopathy of the 1990s—when people had to break all rules just to feed their families, and it was not unknown even for priests to steal from their flocks—a too-high proportion of the Russian population remains in a state of going through each day with little thought other than how to cheat and defraud its fellow man. Yet it is also a fact that you cannot lock up everyone (Всех не посадишь, as the Russians say) or you would have no country left.

The Kremlin’s solution has been to make conspicuous examples of some, while creating parallel structures to work around corrupt or incompetent state bodies and officials.

Probably the most prominent example of such a structure is the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation, commonly known by its Russian initials, SK or SK RF, or less commonly by the acronym, Sledkom.

The SK traces its history to 2007—when authority to make criminal charges was taken away from Russia’s Prosecutor General—and has existed in its current form since early 2011.

Today, the Office of the Prosecutor General is responsible for prosecutions only.  It is the SK that investigates crimes and decides whom to bring to trial and on what charges.

Since it was brought out from under the Prosecutor General and made into an independent body reporting only to the President, the SK has been at the very center of the Kremlin’s anticorruption drive.

 

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The Russian plane crash in Sinai, Egypt, was caused by a terrorist attack as traces of explosives have been found in the wreckage of the plane, Federal Security Service director Aleksandr Bortnikov told President Vladimir Putin.

“We can say that that [Sinai plane crash] was a terror act,” Bortnikov told Putin. According to the FSB chief, experts analyzed passengers’ belongings as well as the parts of the plane. “After the examination on all these objects, we have found traces of a foreign-made explosive substance,” Bortnikov said.

“During the flight, a homemade device with the power of 1.5 kilograms of TNT was detonated. As a result, the plane fell apart in the air, which can be explained by the huge scattering of the fuselage parts of the plane,” he added.

Russia will act in accordance with Article 51 of the UN Charter, which provides for countries’ right to self-defense, Putin said. “Those who attempt to assist criminals should be aware that the consequences of such attempts will be entirely their responsibility,” he added.

 

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Another photograph showed passports said to belong to Russian passengers killed in the bombing, with the documents allegedly obtained by Islamic fighters.

The authenticity of the images has not been verified.

 

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Reports Egypt detained 2 airport workers suspected of aiding bomb plant on Russian plane denied

Security officers check passengers' belongings at the airport of the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, November 6, 2015. © Asmaa Waguih
A report that Egypt is holding two employees of Sharm el-Sheikh Airport on suspicion of assisting those who planted the explosive device on the Russian jet that crashed in Sinai have been denied by Egyptian authorities and other airport officials.

“Seventeen people are being held, two of them are suspected of helping whoever planted the bomb on the plane at Sharm al-Sheikh Airport,” one of the officials apparently told Reuters.

The reports, however, were promptly denied first by Egyptian authorities, and later by one of the airport employees, who spoke with RIA Novosti.

“I have been here [in the airport] during these days, so I can say that no one was detained. In the first days after the tragedy, many people were questioned, but no one was arrested,” he said.

 

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ISIS releases video claiming revenge ‘downing’ of Russian passenger jet over Sinai

A screenshot from an ISIS video cached by archive.org
A new Islamic State video shows a Russian-speaking jihadist praising his “Sinai brothers” for “taking down” a Russian passenger jet and threatening more attacks, while both Russia and Egypt say the group doesn’t possess the means to shoot down a plane.

Follow RT’s LIVE UPDATES on Russian A321 jet crash over Sinai

In the newly-released video, five Islamic State (IS, formely ISIS/ISIL) jihadists are seen sitting outside as one of them praises militants in the Sinai Peninsula for allegedly bringing down the Russian A321 passenger jet with 224 people on board.

Surrounded by four fellow jihadists, a Slavic-looking man speaking both in Russian and Arabic, addresses President Vladimir Putin, warning the Russian leader that he would regret targeting ISIS in Syria.

With a knife in hand, he threatens to continue taking down planes, invading countries, and killing people in retaliation for Russia’s military operation in Syria.

READ MORE: Flight 7K9268: What we do and don’t know about Russia’s deadliest-ever air crash

Islamic State first attempted to claim responsibility for bringing down the Airbus 321 shortly after the plane crashed en route from Egypt’s Sharm-el-Sheikh to St. Petersburg on October 31.

However, the claim was quickly rejected by both Russian and Egyptian officials as “unlikely.”

 

 

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‘Bogus bomb detectors’ used in Sharm el-Sheikh hotels before Sinai plane crash

© Bogdan Cristel
Bomb detectors used in Sharm el-Sheikh hotels as part of security procedures introduced to tackle terrorism have been exposed as “fake” by experts, it has emerged.

Hundreds of Britons are still stranded in the Egyptian resort after a plane carrying 224 people crashed in Sinai last week.

Foreign Secretary Phillip Hammond announced on Monday it is “highly likely” a bomb planted by Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) supporters caused the disaster.

A number of hotels in the resort have been using a wand-like aerial attached to a box to screen luggage.

Guards have been using the devices to sweep hotel guests, cars and luggage to ensure no explosive devices are kept in rooms or taken on to planes.

Experts, however, have revealed the supposed bomb detectors offer “no protection” whatsoever against terrorism.

This revelation means a bomb could have easily been smuggled into a hotel and planted in a passenger’s luggage before the Russian jet crashed last week.

According to the Mail Online, the devices were being used to protect at least five top hotels in Egypt catering for Britons.

 

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Putin: US missile defense aimed at neutralizing Russia nukes, N. Korea & Iran just a cover

Russian President Vladimir Putin. © Alexei Druzhinin
Vladimir Putin said the US is trying to “neutralize Russia’s nuclear potential” with its on-going deployment of a missile defense shield in Europe. The Russian president has promised a response.

“References to Iran and North Korea nuclear threats are just a cover for the true purpose [of NATO missile defense]. That is to neutralize the potential of other nuclear states not the US or its allies – primarily Russia,” Putin said during a meeting in Sochi dedicated to national military development. “The US is attempting to achieve strategic military superiority, with all the consequences that entails.”

Vladimir Putin has reminded that Iran reached a landmark nuclear deal with world powers in July. The agreement would remove sanctions that have crippled its economy, in exchange for severe restrictions on Tehran’s nuclear program.

Russia has been repeatedly told Iran is the main threat.

“Now, the Iranian problem is off the table – treaties have been signed and ratified. Yet, the work on missile defense continues, as before,” Putin said.

The Russian leader promised Russia would take the “necessary measures to respond by strengthening its own missile defense.”

“And at the first stage we are also going to develop strike weapons that can penetrate any missile defense shield.”

 

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the guardian

 

Vladimir Putin orders halt to all flights to Egyptian airports as evidence mounts that flight 9268 was brought down rather than suffering mechanical failure

Russian tourists
Russian tourists queue at the airport in Sharm El-Sheikh. Photograph: Mohamed El-Shahed/AFP/Getty

The sound of an apparent explosion can be heard on the flight recorder of the Russian-operated plane that came down over the Sinai peninsula, killing all 224 people on board, adding to mounting evidence that a bomb was smuggled aboard, French media sources said on Friday. Giving further credence to the idea that the plane crash was a terrorist act rather than because of structural failure, Russia, which for a week has been resistant to speculation about a bomb, suspended flights to all Egyptian airports.

An Egyptian-led international team of aviation experts, including some from France, successfully recovered the black box, the flight recorder, from the crash site. Several French media outlets, including the television station France 2, reported that the investigators had listened to it and concluded that a bomb had detonated, which would seem to rule out structural failure or pilot error. The pilots can be heard chatting normally, including contact with airport controllers, up until the apparent explosion.

The reports about the black box contents came as British attempts to bring passengers home from Sharm el-Sheikh descended into chaos on Friday.

While Russia had earlier suggested that the UK was acting prematurely in halting flights to the Red Sea resort over terrorism fears, Vladimir Putin ordered even wider restrictions on Friday, including halting all flights from Cairo. The head of his federal security services said it would be “expedient” to suspend flights until they had discovered why the Airbus 321 had crashed last Saturday.

Meanwhile, the US announced new security measures – including tighter screening – for flights from some airports in the Middle East. Jeh Johnson, the homeland security secretary, said that the move was motivated by “an abundance of caution”. Russia initially dismissed claims by Islamic State (Isis) of responsibility for downing the Metrojet flight, which came weeks after threats of retaliation for Russian planes bombing Syria, and Moscow reacted angrily after David Cameron said it was “more likely than not” a bomb.

 

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the guardian

Mounting suspicions over Sinai plane crash force Russian response

Russia warned UK against jumping to premature conclusions but has now suspended flights as clues increasingly point to bomb attack

Pulkovo airport in St Petersburg
A makeshift memorial outside Pulkovo airport in St Petersburg, the plane’s intended destination. Photograph: Reuters

 

Clues about the fate of Airbus A321 have mounted quickly over the last few days, pointing to the conclusion that the Russian plane was brought down by a bomb.

The balance tipped towards terrorist action when Russia, which had urged the UK against jumping to premature judgments, finally bowed and suspended all Russian flights to and from Egypt.

The move was in response to a series of developments since Tuesday, when it was revealed that US satellite imagery had picked up a heat flash before the plane went down.

British government sources reported “chatter” picked up by surveillance agencies, hinting that a bomb may have been involved. There was alarm over the extent of lax security at Sharm el-Sheikh airport and on Friday, French media reported that sources close to the investigation were saying evidence on the black boxes pointed towards an attack.

The “chatter” was picked up by one of the most important of the overseas listening stations run by Britain’s surveillance agency GCHQ at Mount Troodos, in Cyprus. From that listening post, the British can pick up communications as far away as Beijing but the interest this time was nearer at hand, information heard linking the crash to Islamic State and a bomb.

 

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the guardian

The UK government’s attempt to evacuate thousands of stranded British holidaymakers from the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh descended into angry scenes as tourists berated the UK ambassador to Cairo over further delays, with only eight out of 29 planned flights cleared to fly.

The first two repatriation flights from Sharm to the UK touched down on Friday afternoon after a day of conflicting information from airlines, embassy staff and Egyptian officials over the timetable for flights, during which the ambassador, John Casson, was heckled by furious tourists.

Sharm el-Sheikh airport is at the centre of security fearsafter a Russian airliner crashed last weekend in Sinai, killing all 224 people on board. British officials fear the plane was brought down by a bomb.

The angry exchanges came as more countries, including Russia, moved to introduce new flight restrictions.

In a crowded terminal of the resort’s airport hundreds of Britons were hoping to return home after they were ferried to the airport in buses, only for easyJet to tell them that Egypt was blocking the arrival of extra flights.

 

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Collective-EvolutionCollective Evolution

HANOVER, GERMANY - APRIL 08:  Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel (not pictured) speak to the media after touring the Hannover Messe 2013 industrial trade fair on April 8, 2013 in Hanover, Germany. Merkel and Putin toured the fair, which is the world's largest industry trade fair and has partnered this year with Russia.  (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

“Since I entered politics, I have chiefly had men’s views confided to me privately. Some of the biggest men in the United States, in the field of commerce and manufacture, are afraid of somebody, are afraid of something. They know that there is a power somewhere so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive, that they had better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it.” – Woodrow Wilson, American academic, politician and the 28th president of the United States (source)

 

 

What are politics today, and how do they relate to what’s happening on the planet? On the surface, it seems to be nothing more than the ‘political leaders’ of one country using their media outlets to ‘bash’ the ‘political leaders’ of another country.

A great example right now is the ongoing situation between the United States and Russia. Here in Canada, newly elected Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently called Putin, Russia’s President since May of 2012, a bully, and the United States did the same. HERE is what Putin had to say after Russia was accused of being a bully.

On the other side of the pond, you have millions of people listening to Russian and Chinese media outlets saying something completely different.

Apart from mass propaganda that’s dished out to us regarding political issues via the mainstream media, where are we to turn to get more information on this subject when global media outlets are basically supporting the interests of their own country? On some issues it seems a little clearer, for example, what is the United States doing with regards to their infiltration of so many countries across the world? Why have they established so many military bases? What is going on here?

That being said, are these matters really in the hands of these politicians, or are they governed by a hidden hand that’s rocking the cradle mixed with corporate influence?

 

 

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Published on Oct 18, 2015

Another certified moron bites the dust
JOHN SIMPSON, BBC: Western countries almost universally now believe that there’s a new Cold War and that you, frankly, have decided to create that. We see, almost daily, Russian aircraft taking sometimes quite dangerous manoeuvres towards western airspace. That must be done on your orders; you’re the Commander-in-Chief. It must have been your orders that sent Russian troops into the territory of a sovereign country – Crimea first, and then whatever it is that’s going on in Eastern Ukraine. Now you’ve got a big problem with the currency of Russia, and you’re going to need help and support and understanding from outside countries, particularly from the West. So can I say to you, can I ask you now, would you care to take this opportunity to say to people from the West that you have no desire to carry on with the new Cold War, and that you will do whatever you can to sort out the problems in Ukraine? Thank you!

Translation courtesy of Inessa S https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCeix…
Link to the RI article http://russia-insider.com/en/2014/12/…
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Why Assad Visited Moscow

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Moscow has struck a devastating political blow against the West yet again, especially against its Middle Eastern policy, with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad visit to Moscow on October 20 to meet his Russian counterpart – Vladimir Putin. Spokesman for the Russian President, Dmitry Peskov said talks were held in both narrow and expanded format with the participation of key figures of Russia’s government. “The talks were held for a long while, and their subject is quite clear,” – said Peskov. Assad relayed to Putin about the situation in Syria and upcoming operations Syrian government troops. The two leaders have also discussed topics related to the participation of Russian Air Force warplanes in those operation. “The most pressing topics were the fight against terrorist groups and the extension of Russian operations to support the offensive of the Syrian armed forces, “- said Peskov. Peskov did not specify whether the political future of Bashar al-Assad himself was discussed or not. Moreover, Russia is willing to assist Syria in the search for a political solution to the crisis in the country. “On the basis of positive dynamics in combat, in the end, a long-term settlement will be achieved with the participation of all political forces, as well as ethnic and religious groups. The Syrian people certainly must have the final say. – Vladimir Putin said after the meeting was over.

 

It is clear that such an unexpected visit does not pursue the goal of detailed discussion of specific aspects of bilateral cooperation. Those are usually carried out by experts and heads of government bodies, in this case they were held by Russia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov and the Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu. The main goal of the Russian-Syrian talks was a demonstration of the determination that both Moscow and Damascus both have to put an end to ISIL or any other illegal armed group, created at the expense of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar with an extensive amount of support from the US, Turkey and Jordan.

 

For the last three weeks, while Russian warplanes have been obliterating extremist groups in Syria, Russia has been repeatedly offering the White House broad cooperation at the highest level in the fight against ISIL, starting from the coordination of air strikes and ending with intelligence data sharing. Washington and Barack Obama personally have continuously turned down these calls. Moreover, last week the US president, after consulting the Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland, refused to receive a high-level Russian delegation led by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev that sought to discuss a wide range of topics related to the situation in Syria. At the same time Moscow has openly stated that it’s critical at this stage to preserve the government of Bashar Al-Assad, while the Syrian Arab Republic is caught in a middle of a brutal war with hordes of foreign mercenaries. Once this war is over, an internal political settlement can be pursued, but only on the condition that Syrians themselves decide the fate of their country, leaving foreign and regional forces with no say in this matter.

 


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Mon Oct 12, 2015 10:18AM
Obama says the Russian leader is acting out of weakness in Syria. (CBS 60 Minutes' image grab)

Obama says the Russian leader is acting out of weakness in Syria. (CBS 60 Minutes’ image grab)

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s military campaign in Syria is an act of weakness and Moscow is spending resources “it doesn’t have” to keep his Syrian ally in power, says US President Barack Obama.

“The fact that they [Russians] had to do this is not an indication of strength, it’s an indication that their strategy did not work,” Obama told CBS’s 60 Minutes, on Sunday.

He added that Putin is running his “economy into the ground” in a bid to “prop up” Syrian President Bashar al-Assad who, he said, was on the brink of an “imminent collapse.”

“You don’t think that Mr. Putin would’ve preferred having Mr. Assad be able to solve this problem without him having to send a bunch of pilots and money that they don’t have,” he asked.

“Mr. Putin now is devoting his own troops, his own military, just to barely hold together by a thread his sole ally,” Obama further noted.

A video grab from the footage made available on the Russian Defense Ministry’s official website, shows a Russian airstrike in Syria, September 30, 2015. (AFP Photo)

 

‘US failed in Syria’

On his own strategies in Syria, namely the $500 million “train-and-equip” program aimed to produce the so-called “moderate” militants, Obama admitted that Washington had failed to create a proxy force in the Arab country.

 

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Tue Oct 13, 2015 1:34PM
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during the 7th annual VTB Capital "Russia Calling!" Investment Forum in Moscow, Russia, October 13, 2015. (AFP photo)

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during the 7th annual VTB Capital “Russia Calling!” Investment Forum in Moscow, Russia, October 13, 2015. (AFP photo)

Russian President Vladimir Putin has censured as mindless the United States policies vis-à-vis Syria and Washington’s refusal to cooperate with Moscow on ending the crisis in the Arab country.

“I believe some of our partners simply have mush for brains,” Putin said at an investment forum in the Russian capital, Moscow, on Tuesday, adding that Washington has declined to share intelligence on Syria.

“How is it possible to work together?” the Russian president said.

He added that his country has offered US authorities to have talks at a high military-political level on the resolution of the conflict in Syria.

“We proposed a meeting at the high military-political level in Moscow. I said that we can send a major delegation to Washington to primarily discuss the issues of Syrian settlement, but there is no response so far. We believe that it would be a serious authoritative delegation headed by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Anatolyevich Medvedev,” Putin said.

‘Contributing to the fight against terror’

Putin also said Russia is fighting terrorism in Syria, and not striving for leadership there.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) speaks during an investment forum in Moscow, Russia, October 13, 2015. (AFP)

 

“We are not in pursuit of any leadership in Syria. There is only one leader that can be in Syria, it is the Syrian people. We are striving for contribution to the fight against terrorism, something that is dangerous for both US and Russia, for European countries, as well as for the rest of the world, without any kind of exaggeration,” the Russian president stated.

 

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Consortium News

Exclusive: President Obama’s Syrian strategy is getting roundly denounced as incoherent, which – while true – is really a reflection of his failure to fully break with neocon-style interventionism even when he realizes the futility of the strategy, writes Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

The mystery of the Obama administration’s foreign policy has always been whether President Barack Obama has two separate strategies: one “above the table” waving his arms and talking tough like Official Washington’s arm-chair warriors do – and another “below the table” where he behaves as a pragmatic realist, playing footsy with foreign adversaries.

From the start, Obama surrounded himself with many hawkish advisers – such as Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Gen. David Petraeus, National Security Council aide Samantha Power, etc. – and mostly read the scripts that they wrote for him. But then he tended to drag his feet or fold his arms when it came to acting on their warmongering ideas.

President Barack Obama, with Vice President Joe Biden, attends a meeting in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Dec. 12, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Friday’s decision to tank the hapless $500 million training program for “moderate” Syrian rebels is a case in point. Obama joined in the hyperbolic rhetoric against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, lining up with the neocons and liberal interventionists demanding “Assad must go,” but Obama has remained unenthusiastic about their various wacky schemes for overthrowing Assad.

 

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MEMO

A member of the Aleppo Es Samiyye FrontDespite stating otherwise, the Russian airstrikes so far has targetted non-Daesh targets, including several bases of anit-regime rebel groups [file photo of a member of the Aleppo Es Samiyye Front]

Israel will provide Russia with intelligence information about opposition sites in Syria to facilitate Moscow’s military operations, Channel 2TV has reported. The Israeli network said that a senior delegation of Russian army officials will arrive in Israel on Tuesday to coordinate the military cooperation.The delegation will be led by First Deputy Chief of General Staff General Nikolai Bogdanovsky, who will meet his Israeli counterpart, Major-General Yair Golan as well as senior officials in Israeli military intelligence, the air force and the Mossad. Channel 2 noted that the visit follows the meeting between Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow three weeks ago.

 

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