RUSSIA/BELARUS/UKRAINE | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

RUSSIA/BELARUS/UKRAINE

Apr 17 07:04

US state-run RFERL ‘knowingly violated’ Russia’s laws, now tries to block fines in European court, FM spokeswoman tells RT

The US state-funded outlet RFERL deliberately ignored Russia “foreign agents” law, turning its own violations into a political campaign after it was subjected to fines, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told RT.

The US state-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFERL) lodged a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) earlier this week, asking it to block Russia from enforcing fines on the outlet. RFERL has accumulated dozens of unpaid fines, stemming from its refusal to be properly labeled as a “foreign agent” under Russian law.

The outlet alleges that the actions of the Russian authorities are violating “freedom of speech” principles. It also claims that if the fines are enforced, the outlet may suffer “irreversible harms” and, ultimately, other “independent media” in Russia may face the same fate.

Apr 17 06:53

Russian warplanes launch missiles and drop bombs over the Black Sea in major military exercise - as US 'warns commercial pilots against overflying hot zone amid fears another MH17'

Russia is conducting major aerial exercises including missile launches and bombings over the Black Sea amid warnings from the US of 'another MH17'.

New videos indicate Moscow is continuing to mass its military might close to the Ukrainian frontier.

One video showed a detachment of warships moved by the Russian navy from the Caspian Sea to the Black Sea, the first such switch since Soviet times, according to reports.

Apr 17 06:43

Joe Biden bans US banks from buying or underwriting Russian debt sales

The Biden administration is punishing Russia for its interference in the 2020 US election and cyberattacks by hitting Moscow where it hurts the most: the ruble.

The Treasury Department announced Thursday that starting June 14, US banks will generally be banned from participating in all bond sales by Russia's central bank, ministry of finance and sovereign wealth fund. That means these Wall Street firms won't be able to buy or underwrite these crucial transactions by Russia's central government.

This marks a significant escalation of US sanctions on Russia and will make it more difficult for Moscow to raise capital. The Russian ruble declined nearly 1% against the US dollar Thursday and the country's stock market retreated modestly.

Apr 17 06:07

US To Add Two More Anti-Submarine, Anti-Missile Destroyers to Mediterranean, Black, Barents Seas

In recent testimony before the House Armed Services Committee, General Tod Wolters, commander of U.S. European Command and NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe, confirmed an earlier statement by him that two additional Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers are to be based at the Naval Station Rota in Spain in the next few years. The new warships will raise the total to six. Rota is immediately to the northwest of the Strait of Gibraltar and is ideally located for American naval vessels conducting operations in the Mediterranean Sea and from there to the Black Sea, and northward to the North, Norwegian and Barents Seas.

Apr 17 06:06

Ukraine: President Pushes Shortcut to NATO as Government Publishes Map of Bomb Shelters

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in a newspaper interview has called insistently for his country being admitted to NATO even before all necessary internal reforms are completed, citing for the pressing nature of his demand what he called Russian aggression. He didn’t describe any incidents of intrusions into or attacks against Ukraine in his statement. An Interfax-Ukraine account of the interview characterized his rationale as, although it was necessary for Ukraine to match NATO’s expectations, “everything cannot be reduced to only reforms, and especially now, when clearly not reforms are able to prevent the expansion of Russian aggression.”

In short, full NATO membership with Article 5 collective military guarantees – including nuclear guarantees – must be expedited, indeed accelerated.

Apr 17 06:03

Russia to close parts of Black Sea near Crimea for six months

Russia will restrict the navigation of foreign military and official ships in parts of the Black Sea until October, according to a Russian news agency, prompting swift condemnation by Ukraine and the European Union.

The announcement on Friday comes amid tensions between Moscow and Kyiv that have escalated in recent weeks after an uptick in fighting between Ukraine’s army and pro-Russia separatists in eastern Ukraine.

Apr 17 06:01

Ukraine pushes for four-way talks including Russia to restore ceasefire in east

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Friday pressed for four-way peace negotiations that included Russian President Vladimir Putin to ease tensions following the build-up of Russian troops along their shared border.

Zelenskiy spoke during a visit to Paris, where he held talks with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel as part of a diplomatic push to pressure Russia to pull back its forces and restore a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine.

Kyiv and Moscow have traded blame for rising clashes in the eastern Donbass region, where Ukrainian troops have battled Russian-backed forces in a conflict that Kyiv says has killed 14,000 people since 2014.

The standoff has fuelled tensions between Moscow and U.S. President Joe Biden's administration, which imposed a new round of sanctions on Russia this week that prompted Moscow to retaliate with its own measures on Friday.

Apr 17 05:14

Russia to expel five Polish diplomats in response to Warsaw’s actions

Russia will expel five Polish diplomats in response to Warsaw’s actions, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement published on Friday.

"By the way, we noted how quick Warsaw was to chime in with the US administration, demanding that three Russian diplomats leave Poland. In turn, five Polish diplomats will be expelled from Russia," the ministry said.

On April 15, Poland declared three Russian diplomats personae non gratae.

Apr 17 05:14

US May Consider Deploying More Troops in Ukraine if Needed, Deputy Ambassador Says

The diplomat's remarks come as tensions threaten to boil over in Eastern Ukraine between the government forces and Donbass militia. Moscow has blamed most of the provocations along the demilitarised zone on Kiev, and slammed Ukraine’s unwillingness to abide by the Minsk Accords, which were created to prevent any conflict.

Washington will review the possibility of increasing its military presence in Ukraine if required, Acting US Ambassador to Ukraine Kristina Kvien stated, following a ceremony for greeting the eighth rotation of American military instructors arriving in the country to train its troops. She further stressed that the Biden administration recently announced a new $125 million security assistance package for Ukraine, which includes funds to train, equip, and advise Ukraine’s military.

Apr 17 05:13

Ukrainian President: Proposed Nord Stream 2 Pipeline Is War, ‘Occupied Territories’ Are Worse Than Chernobyl

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky recently granted a lengthy interview to the French newspaper Le Figaro, in which he lobbies for his country to be taken into NATO and the European Union, fulsomely fawns over French President Emmanuel Macron (they have a special affinity; they both like the theater – but apparently not Beaumarchais) and offers him commiseration and common cause with, in what appears to be a reference to last year’s strikes over pension changes and perhaps also to the Yellow Vest protest movement, the words “I do not know one hundred percent whether Russia was involved in these conflicts, strikes in France, or not.” The last comment was printed in one of France’s leading newspapers.

He dwelt, as would be expected, on the status of the republics of Donetsk and Lugansk in the Donbass and Crimea, which he referred to as occupied territories. (That is the translation of his words on his presidential website.)

Apr 17 05:11

Biden Declares 'National Emergency' - Blindsides Russia With Sanctions, Economic Warfare

Apr 17 05:11

Kiev: American envoy says U.S. supports Ukraine against “Russian aggression”

Today’s Interfax Ukraine reports American chargé d’affaires to Ukraine Kristina Kvien adjuring Russia to cease “aggressive actions” against Ukraine – though she didn’t cite any specific examples of such actions – or it would face consequences. What in diplomatic language is called diktat. It’s not for nothing that Kvien has a master’s degree from the U.S. Army War College.

Also presuming to speak on behalf of America’s military cohorts – that is, fellow NATO members and partners – she asserted, “The United States and our NATO Allies and partners in Europe are deeply concerned about this escalation.” The latter is a reference to her claim that Russian troops are being reinforced to the east of the Donbass and in Crimea; which is to say in Russian territory. How such measures constitute aggression is best left to Kvien to explain.

Apr 17 05:00

How Putin's "Saber-Rattling" Forced A Biden Summit, Bypassing Kiev To Decide Ukraine's Fate

As the leaders of France, Germany, and Ukraine hold an urgent meeting on Friday to discussing soaring tensions in eastern Ukraine and Russia's largescale military build-up near the border, Kiev continues to charge Moscow with aggressively stoking conflict:

Addressing a news conference on Thursday, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba condemned the Kremlin’s "aggravation of the security situation" and accused Russian pundits and officials of "openly threatening Ukraine with war and the destruction of Ukrainian statehood".

And for Ukraine's part, President Volodymyr Zelensky has been using the crisis to push hard for rapid NATO membership. In his latest statements on Thursday, he tweeted, "I fully agree with [President of Georgia] Salome Zourabichvili that it is time for concrete proposals for Ukraine and Georgia to obtain a NATO MAP and a plan to join the EU."

Apr 16 14:21

Russia to expel ten US diplomats — Lavrov

Russia will give a tit-for-tat response to the expulsion of ten Russian diplomats from the United States, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday.

"Ten diplomats were on a list the US side handed over to us asking to ensure their leaving the United States. We will give a tit-for-tat response to that. We will also ask ten US diplomats to leave our country," he told a news conference.

US President Joe Biden on Thursday signed an executive order imposing anti-Russian sanctions. Thus, US companies cannot buy Russian debt securities issues by the Central Bank, the National Welfare Fund or the finance ministry after June 14, 2021. Apart from that, the United States is expelling ten Russian diplomats from the Russian embassy in Washington, with "representatives of Russian intelligence services" among them, as the US side claims.

Apr 16 14:20

Putin blocks ALL foreign warships from reaching Ukraine

President Joe Biden cancelled the deployment of two US warships from the Black Sea despite warning Vladimir Putin there would be ‘repercussions’ for the troop build-up in Ukraine.

Last week, Turkey said Washington was sending two warships to the Black Sea, in a decision Russia called an unfriendly provocation.

But the Biden administration reversed the decision after the Kremlin warned them to ‘stay away for their own good’, and gave Putin the chance to ramp up his military presence in Crimea and near the Ukrainian border.

White House officials decided not to send the ships to avoid needlessly escalating the situation with Russia over the Ukraine, a US defense official told Politico.

Hours later, Putin took advantage of Biden’s U-turn back by closing off the Kerch Strait between Crimea and Russia, blocking all foreign warships from getting to Ukraine until October 2021.

Apr 16 13:30

Breaking News, Russia sanctions on USA

Apr 16 13:29

Biden Drops Afghan Mess to Target China, Russia

President Joe Biden’s administration is the sixth one to have presided over the 20-year US war in Afghanistan. And he is the fourth president to have overseen America’s “longest war”.

Two previous presidents, Obama and Trump, promised to end the “forever war” and both left office without fulfilling that aspiration.

So there is fair reason to view with skepticism Biden’s vow this week to withdraw all US troops from the Central Asian war-torn country – known as the “graveyard of empires” – by September.

Currently, there are 2,500 US troops in Afghanistan along with 9,600 other NATO soldiers. That’s a fraction of the numbers a decade ago when the war was at its height. Washington and its NATO allies agreed this week to all pull out residual forces by September in an “orderly” exit.

Apr 16 10:19

Biden Declares National Emergency: US and NATO Brand Russia an International Pariah

The thirty-member North Atlantic Council, the political decision-making body of NATO consisting of the ambassadors of all member states, posted a statement supporting the Joe Biden administration’s declaration of a national emergency attributed to Russian actions, real or fancied.

Biden began a letter accompanying an executive order sent to the U.S. Congress today with this announcement:

“Pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.) (IEEPA), I hereby report that I have issued an Executive Order declaring a national emergency with respect to the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States posed by specified harmful foreign activities of the Government of the Russian Federation.”

In a writ of indictment that includes no fewer than seven grave – in some instances the gravest of – accusations, the letter continued:

Apr 16 10:18

Ukrainian Envoy: NATO or Nuclear Weapons

Today Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky seconded a statement by Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili that “it is time for concrete proposals for Ukraine and Georgia to obtain a NATO MAP and a plan to join the EU.” The two countries have been paired as partners for future NATO membership, with both being promised membership in the global military bloc at the NATO summit in Bucharest, Romania in 2008.

Apr 16 10:18

With New Backing From the West, Ukrainian President Says ‘The Army Is Ready’

The same day that U.S. President Joe Biden issued an executive order leveling new sanctions against Russia and expelling ten of its diplomats, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky participated in a session of the National Security and Defense Council and afterward said concerning its deliberations: “I can’t reveal the details. The situation in Donbas is now under control. Indeed, there are certain issues. We are ready to address these issues. The Army is ready – that’s the most important thing.”

His foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, at a press conference following a meeting with his counterparts from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, spoke in a comparably intransigent tone, asserting the “state border is Ukraine’s ‘red line,’” and should Russia cross the border “there must be consequences.”

Apr 16 07:00

U.S. Puts Fresh Sanctions on Russia Over Hacking, Election Interference

President Biden on Thursday announced retaliatory measures against Russia over election interference, the SolarWinds cyberattack and other malign activity, saying he isn’t seeking to kick off “a cycle of escalation” but would take more drastic action if necessary.

The sanctions, diplomatic expulsions and other actions, while among the most punitive steps taken against Moscow in years, stopped short of the most drastic and potentially disruptive economic measures the U.S. could have imposed, according to analysts and investors.

Mr. Biden, in remarks at the White House Thursday afternoon, appealed to Russian President Vladimir Putin to de-escalate and called again for a summit later this year in Europe while defending the punitive U.S. measures. He noted that he spoke with Mr. Putin on Tuesday.

Apr 16 06:42

Six key takeaways from Biden's Russia sanctions announcement

The Biden administration slapped sweeping sanctions on Russia Thursday over Moscow's alleged interference in the 2020 election, the massive SolarWinds hack and the ongoing occupation of Crimea, signaling it is adopting a tougher posture toward the Kremlin and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The sanctions announcement also showed that the Biden administration is more willing to directly call out Russia's meddling in US affairs after Trump administration officials had to dance around former President Donald Trump's frequent unwillingness to criticize Moscow.

Here are the key takeaways from Thursday's sanctions:

Sanctions now align with the President's rhetoric

The Trump administration was more than willing to issue sanctions against Russia, and did so on multiple occasions, including over the occupation of Crimea, the poisoning of an ex-spy in the United Kingdom, and even election interference.

Apr 16 06:09

Fake News Specialists at Daily Beast Finally Admit “Russian Bounties” Hit Piece Was as Fake as the Russia Pee-Pee Tapes

The fake New York Times continues its efforts at disinformation and trying to overthrow the elected government of the USA: Last week Soros-backed „reporter“ Eric Schmitt tried to spark hostility with Russia over alleged “Bounties“ for US soldiers in Afghanistan.

Apr 16 05:49

Tech firm unveils Russia’s first quadcopter invulnerable to electronic warfare systems

Russia’s ZALA Aero (part of the Kalashnikov Group within the state tech corporation Rostec) has developed the country’s first quadcopter ZALA 421-24 invulnerable to electronic warfare systems, ZALA Aero Special Projects Head Nikita Khamitov told TASS during the new drone’s presentation on Thursday.

"We have integrated a solution on this copter that allows conducting a flight in a complete radio silence mode. We give it a point on the map, fully switch off the communications channel and GPS and send it to the coordinate. The onboard computer creates a cloud of points on the ground and makes a flight already relative to the ground. It can return from absolutely any point of its flight, if our communications or GPS are cut off," Khamitov explained.

Apr 16 05:36

FLASHBACK - Putin: Whenever West Saw Russia As Strong And Serious Rival, They Imposed Various Restrictions On Us

Apr 16 05:34

US Imposes Sanctions On Moscow, Expels Russian Diplomats

The United States announced sanctions and the expulsion of 10 Russian diplomats Thursday in retaliation for what Washington says is the Kremlin's US election interference, a massive cyberattack and other hostile activity.

President Joe Biden's broadside against Russia came the same week as he offered to meet President Vladimir Putin for their first summit -- an idea he reiterated in a speech Thursday, explaining that despite the sanctions it was now "time to deescalate."

Washington is "not looking to kick off a cycle of escalation and conflict with Russia," Biden said, calling the sanctions "proportionate."

Apr 15 14:28

One Question Before Us Is: Will We Be Destroyed in War Before We Lose Our Civil Liberty to the Establishment’s Orchestrated ‘Covid Pandemic’?

Washington is so confident of its intimidating military power that it has sent two warships into the Russian Black Sea as a warning to Russia in the event Ukraine renews its attacks on Donbass.  Washington miscalculated the Russian response, which was not passive. Russia said Washington should remove its warships “for their own protection.”

Apr 15 10:27

Russia Is Still Testing Its Terrifying Apocalypse Torpedo

Russia’s intimidating nuclear-powered torpedo is running toward new key tests this year, with a planned deployment for later this decade. The “tsunami apocalypse torpedo,” the first of its kind, is designed to travel across the world’s oceans to deliver a knockout thermonuclear blow against a coastal target or city.

Russian state television accidentally leaked the existence of the Poseidon 2M39 torpedo, originally named Status-6, in 2015. A Russian Ministry of Defense document showed the weapon and described it as achieving:

“[T]he defeat of the important economic facilities of the enemy in the vicinity of the coast and causing assured unacceptable damage to the country through the establishment of zones of extensive radioactive contamination, unsuitable for implementation in these areas of military, economic, business or other activity for a long time.”

Apr 15 07:44

Top Belarus Commander Warns of NATO Build-Up Near Belarusian, Russian Borders

The Belarusian Telegraph Agency reported today on a statement by the nation’s top commander concerning the build-up of NATO military infrastructure on the borders of both his nation and Russia.

Speaking at a meeting of the six-nation Collective Security Treaty Organization’s (CSTO) Military Committee in Moscow, the head of the Belarusian armed forces general staff and First Deputy Defense Minister Viktor Gulevich spoke in depth about recent developments in Eastern Europe, where a third of the organization’s members – Belarus and Russia – are. (The remaining members being in the South Caucasus and Central Asia: Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.)

Apr 15 04:51

Erdogan, Zelensky Confirm 'Strategic Partnership' Between Turkey and Ukraine After Istanbul Meeting

President Erdogan praised cooperation between the two countries, especially regarding the defence industry.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced following talks with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky that Ankara and Kiev have agreed to continue their "strategic partnership." Erdogan added that ensuring security and peace in the Black Sea region is Turkey's priority.

The Turkish president further praised the existing defence cooperation between the two nations, stressing that it's not aimed at any specific third country.

"Bearing in mind the matters on national defence and security, we began working in the 2+2 format [defence and foreign ministers of both states]. We will therefore enhance the cooperation between our countries," the Turkish president added.

Apr 15 04:47

Italy Expels Russian Diplomats Over "Extremely Serious" NATO Spy Case

What's being described as an "extremely serious incident" and fast escalating spy case has resulted in the Italian government expelling two Russian diplomats from the country on Wednesday. Russian Ambassador Sergei Razov had been immediately summoned and informed of the drastic punitive action.

The case reportedly involves an Italian navy captain who was caught passing secret documents belonging to the NATO member state to a Russian military official on Tuesday night. The Italian navy officer is alleged to have received money in return.

Apr 15 04:29

Now Russia Amassing Troops on Border as Well to Preclude Ukraine From Getting Ideas

U.S. watching “escalation of armed confrontation” near Ukraine’s border with Russia
The U.S. military believes a buildup of Russian forces near the border with Ukraine, seen as “concerning” on Tuesday, is likely a training exercise. But the gathering of troops comes amid heightened tension in the region, and Ukraine’s Commander-In-Chief Ruslan Khomchack told his country’s parliament this week that Russian forces from different regions had been assembling near the border.

Russia’s president has acknowledged an “escalation of armed confrontation” in the region.

Training exercises were always a possible explanation for the buildup, but a U.S. defense official told CBS News that the locations and types of units seen on the ground didn’t line up with what the Russian Ministry of Defense had announced last month.

Apr 15 04:27

NATO Says Its Jets Intercepted Russian Aircraft 10 Times In One Day 

NATO officials announced that the day prior its jets were scrambled 10 times in a mere six-hour time period in response to a "rare peak" in Russian aircraft activity across "several areas".

"NATO aircraft intercepted six different groups of Russian military aircraft near alliance airspace in less than six hours," the Brussels-based military alliance said in a statement of the intense period of Monday, which appears to have been confirmed in at least one photograph.

Apr 15 04:25

Biden blinked first! Putin gloating Russia has upper hand over US - bitter showdown looms

VLADIMIR PUTIN will be gloating as key Moscow figures argue the strongman has the upper hand over the US following Joe Biden's invitation.

During a call yesterday with the Russian President, Mr Biden offered to hold the summit on neutral ground amid growing tensions between Moscow and Washington over border conflicts with Ukraine.

But during his call with Mr Putin, the US President reaffirmed Washington's support for Kiev's pro-Western government.

He urged Russia to "de-escalate tensions" but also offered to hold his first face-to-face talk with Mr Putin on "the full range of issues facing the US and Russia".

Konstantin Kosachev, the chairman of the foreign affairs committee of the Russian parliament's upper house, said the conversation was a "very important step forward".

Apr 15 04:24

US Committed to 'Assisting Ukraine With Its Self-Defense Needs', Pentagon Chief Says

The United States is committed to assisting Ukraine with its defense needs, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said on Wednesday.

Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken attended a NATO ministerial meeting in Brussels this week to discuss matters on Afghanistan and Russian troop movements near eastern Ukraine's border.

"We are committed to assisting Ukraine with its self-defense needs," Austin said during a press conference in Brussels.

Apr 15 04:22

Pentagon Refuses to Discuss Reported Cancellation of Two US Warships Passage to Black Sea

The US Department of Defense told Sputnik it was not discussing the reports about the cancellation of the passage of its two warships through the Bosphorus to the Black Sea.

Last week, a source in the Turkish Foreign Ministry told Sputnik that Washington had notified Ankara about the passage of its two warships through the Bosphorus to the Black Sea, where they would be from April 14-15 to May 4-5. However, on Wednesday, a representative of the Turkish Foreign Ministry told Sputnik that the United States had canceled the vessels' passage.

“We continue to monitor the situation in the region very carefully. We are aware of the reporting about the ships but, for security reasons, we do not discuss these types of operational details. We operate in the Black Sea and many other areas across the entire region on a regular basis, which is all part of our ongoing commitment and reassurance to our NATO Allies and partners,” the Pentagon said on late Wednesday.

Apr 15 04:21

US to Impose Sanctions on 12 Russians, 20 Entities, Expel 10 Russian Diplomats - Report

Earlier, US Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan was invited to hold talks with Russia's presidential aide Yuri Ushakov, and he was told that Moscow would resolutely react to potential new sanctions. Tensions have grown as Moscow recently recalled its ambassador in Washington following controversial remarks made by US President Joe Biden.

The Biden administration intends to impose sanctions against 12 Russian individuals, including government and intelligence officials, and against 20 entities, over allegations of election interference and the SolarWinds hack, a White House correspondent for Bloomberg News reported on Wednesday.

In addition, Washington is also set to expel 10 Russian diplomats.

Apr 15 04:06

Tulsi Gabbard issues warning about potential war with Russia

Apr 14 16:09

US Notifies Turkey of Cancellation of Passage of 2 Warships Through Bosphorus, Turkish Source Says

n accordance with the Montreux Convention, the Turkish Foreign Ministry was previously alerted via diplomatic channels that two US warships would be passing through the Bosphorus Strait in order to reach the Black Sea. The warships were originally slated to begin travel on April 14 and remain in the Black Sea until May 4.

"Yes, the US embassy has notified our ministry about this," a Turkish foreign ministry source told Sputnik on Wednesday, regarding reports of the cancellation.

It was reported late last week that Washington would be deploying the USS Theodore Roosevelt and USS Donald Cook to the region, shortly after the USS Monterey and USS Dwight D. Eisenhower transited the Bosphorus Strait and conducted "multi-domain" NATO operations in the Black Sea.

Apr 14 14:50

Setting the Scene for Global Destruction. Now It’s the Arctic

The U.S. is preparing for war in the Arctic, and the “boiling point” referred to by the Air Force Times might not be far away. It’s entirely up to Washington to decide on how long the military manoeuvres will continue and what level they will reach. If the provocations are so relentless as to result in local exchanges of fire, there is every possibility that escalation will be rapid — and it could be final. The solution is for Washington to calm down, and President Joe Biden would be well advised to extend his domestic policy to international affairs, in which “Debate is welcome. Compromise is inevitable. Changes are certain.”

Apr 14 08:48

Russia announces snap live-fire drills in the Black Sea today as first US warship is expected to arrive and pro-Kremlin mouthpiece warns war is 'inevitable' amid soaring tensions on Ukraine border

The Russian navy is holding snap live-fire drills in the Black Sea today as the first of two US warships is expected to arrive amid soaring tensions in the region, the country's military has said.

Two missile ships - the Graivoron and Vyshny Volochek - are taking part in sea-level and aerial target practice alongside the missile hovercraft Samum while accompanied by frigate Admiral Makarov and mine-sweeping ship Ivan Golubets, the Russian navy's Black Sea fleet command said.

The drill comes as the first of two US warships - thought to be destroyers USS Donald Cook and USS Roosevelt - is expected to arrive in the Black Sea today, despite Russian warnings to keep them away 'for their own good'.

Meanwhile Ukraine announced it was also holding its own land-based drills with infantry and tank units rehearsing their defence against an tank and troop attack along the border with annexed Ukraine.

Apr 14 08:09

Top Kremlin Mouthpiece Warns of ‘Inevitable’ War With U.S. Over Another Ukraine Land Grab

All-out cyberwarfare, nation-wide forced blackouts, and the targeted disruption of internet services—for one of the Kremlin’s top propagandists, all of those tactics are fair game in what she describes as a fated war-to-come against the U.S.

“War [with the U.S.] is inevitable,” declared Margarita Simonyan, editor in chief of the state-funded Russian media outlets RT and Sputnik, who believes the conflict will break out when, not if, Vladimir Putin moves to seize more territory from Ukraine.

As Russia’s military buildup on Ukraine’s doorstep mounts, Kremlin loyalists have been urging for even more overt aggression and bloodshed in the campaign to annex Ukraine’s Donbas region. The only thing standing in the way, they say, is U.S. support for their beleaguered neighbor.

Apr 14 07:09

CNN - Ukrainian Trains With Heavy Weapons Going East Are 'Russian Aggression'

Today CNN continued its long stint of publishing anti-Russian propaganda. But this video 'report' falls on several levels.

Unprecedented footage shows front line of Ukrainian conflict with Russia

As tensions with Russia continue to rise in eastern Europe, CNN gains unprecedented access to the Ukrainian president on the front line in Donbas, eastern Ukraine. Ukrainian military officials tell CNN they estimate more than 50,000 Russian troops are massing near the border. CNN's Matthew Chance reports.

First - this isn't news. Zelensky visited the troops at the frontline on Thursday. Second - the tensions are not 'on the rise' but have moved down a tack or two since Friday when Zelensky gave up and filed for peace.

In the video Zelensky and the CNN correspondent and camera team enter a helicopter. The voice over says: "CNN has gained this unprecedented access to the Ukrainian president on a carefully planned troop visit flying with him fast and low to avoid ground fire."

Apr 14 07:07

Western Media Eager To See Ukraine Use US-Supplied Weapons Against Russia

With tensions simmering in eastern Ukraine, US media outlets are happy to push the narrative that Russia is the aggressor and is preparing to invade its neighbor. These reports ignore the fact that the Donetsk and Lugansk republics in the eastern Donbas region declared independence from Ukraine back in 2014 in response to a US-backed coup.

Since 2014, the US has provided Ukraine with about $2 billion in military equipment and supported its fight against the Donetsk and Lugansk separatists. Supporting a war on Russia’s border is an incredible provocation, but these facts are lost on the Western press, and some outlets seem eager to see the situation escalate. On Monday, Politico published a report that asked if it was time for Ukraine to deploy weapons provided by the US to face Moscow.

Apr 14 06:52

Pentagon denies reports US sailors en route to south coast of Russia, as Moscow orders ships to conduct Black Sea naval exercises

Russian sailors will carry out a series of exercises in the Black Sea, including practicing the sinking of enemy vessels, just days after reports claimed two US warships were headed to the region – something Washington now denies.

In a statement seen by local media on Wednesday, defense chiefs said that the frigate Admiral Makarov had been dispatched to the waters, along with ships Grayvoron and Vyshny Volochek, which will be supported by a missile-wielding hovercraft and a minesweeper. Large landing vessels, used for amphibious invasions, will also take part in the process, along with warplanes and helicopters.

Apr 14 06:40

Russia announces snap live-fire drills in the Black Sea today as first US warship is expected to arrive and pro-Kremlin mouthpiece warns war is 'inevitable' amid soaring tensions on Ukraine border

The Russian navy is holding snap live-fire drills in the Black Sea today as the first of two US warships is expected to arrive amid soaring tensions in the region, the country's military has said.

Two missile ships - the Graivoron and Vyshny Volochek - are taking part in sea-level and aerial target practice alongside the missile hovercraft Samum while accompanied by frigate Admiral Makarov and mine-sweeping ship Ivan Golubets, the Russian navy's Black Sea fleet command said.

The drill comes as the first of two US warships - thought to be destroyers USS Donald Cook and USS Roosevelt - is expected to arrive in the Black Sea today, despite Russian warnings to keep them away 'for their own good'.

Apr 14 06:16

NATO, US vow support for Ukraine, warn Russia on troops

The United States and NATO on Tuesday expressed strong support for Ukraine and warned Russia against pressing ahead with a major troop buildup along the former Soviet republic’s eastern border.

In separate meetings with Ukraine’s foreign minister, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg expressed serious concern about Russia deploying the largest concentration of troops near the Ukraine border since 2014.

Blinken accused Russia of taking “very provocative” actions that have alarmed Ukraine and the West. Stoltenberg, meanwhile, called the Russian movements “unjustified, unexplained and deeply concerning.” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said Kyiv welcomed the support and urged Western countries to make clear to Moscow that it would pay a price for its “aggression.”

Apr 14 06:16

NATO, not Russia, will decide if Ukraine joins, Stoltenberg says

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Tuesday that the Western alliance, and not Moscow, would decide whether Ukraine joins in the future.

“It is for the 30 NATO allies to decide when Ukraine is ready for membership. No one else has any right to try to meddle or to interfere in that process,” Stoltenberg told a news conference alongside Kyiv’s top diplomat.

“Russia is now trying to reestablish some kind of sphere of influence where they try to decide what neighbours can do,” Stoltenberg said.

Apr 14 06:14

Former Pentagon chief says U.S. should deploy troops along Black Sea

Former Secretary of Defense Mark Esper says the United States should deploy more troops along the Black Sea in Bulgaria and Romania to deter potential aggression from Russia as tensions between Moscow and Washington heat up.

Esper, now a fellow at the McCain Institute for International Leadership at Arizona State University, said "I think we need to continue to stand up to Russia and trying to deter their bad behavior."

Washington should look to reassure European allies and boost the NATO alliance by deploying more forces in Poland, "into the Baltics, if it makes sense, and places like Romania and Bulgaria, if not on a permanent - on a rotational basis," Esper said in an interview with Reuters on Tuesday.

President Joe Biden called on Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday to reduce tensions stirred by a Russian military build-up on Ukraine's border and proposed a summit of the estranged leaders to tackle a raft of disputes.

Apr 14 05:59

Watch: Russian Warships Deploy to Black Sea Amid US Destroyers' Arrival as Ukraine Tensions Grow

Last week, a Turkish Foreign Ministry source confirmed to Sputnik that Washington had notified Ankara about plans to sail a pair of Arleigh Burke-class missile destroyers through the Bosporus into the Black Sea, where they are expected to be stationed between mid-April and early May for “routine” “freedom of navigation” operations.

A detachment of warships from the Russian Black Sea Fleet has gone to sea to conduct artillery fire exercises, the Defence Ministry announced on Wednesday.

The artillery drills will involve the Admiral Makarov, an Admiral Grigorovich-class frigate, as well as the Grayvoron and Vyshny Volochek Buyan-class corvettes. All three are capable of carrying Kalibr or Oniks anti-ship cruise missiles.

Apr 14 05:58

Kremlin Reveals Details About Putin-Biden Phone Call

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Joe Biden held a telephone conversation on Tuesday. According to the White House account of the discussion, issues raised included strategic stability, Russia's alleged 'cyber intrusions' and election meddling, and America's "unwavering commitment" to Ukraine. A summit meeting was proposed.

Tuesday's phone call between Presidents Putin and Biden was "businesslike" and of considerable duration, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov indicated.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Peskov said the two men had agreed that the possibility of their meeting would be discussed through diplomatic channels. Moscow, he said, is only now starting to receive information about organisational and other aspects related to a possible summit.

Apr 14 05:54

Facing the Facts of War with Russia

Conflict with Russia may be inevitable. Kiev’s strident threats to resolve the crisis in Eastern Ukraine with force of arms, combined with Washington’s refusal to acknowledge that Moscow actually has legitimate national security interests in Eastern Ukraine, makes it so. Equally troubling, the president sees no particular reason why he should explain to the American people why Washington’s readiness to support Kiev’s use of force against Russia makes strategic sense for America.

In 1937, when the Imperial Japanese government expressed sincere regret for attacking and sinking the U.S.S. Panay, an American gunboat that had been patrolling China’s Yangtze River, U.S. Ambassador to Japan Joseph Grew was not satisfied. He warned the Japanese Foreign Ministry that “Facts mean more than Statements.”

Apr 14 05:37

Russia Deploys Two Armies, Three Airborne Units to Counter Threat From 40,000 NATO Troops on Its Border

Major Russian officials today have warned of military threats posed by the U.S.-led thirty-nation North Atlantic Treaty Organization to its western border: its entire western border. And its northern one as well.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced that Russia has redeployed two armies and three Airborne Forces units to its western border as part of what he termed an ongoing readiness inspection.

In one of the sternest warnings issued by a Russian official in the post-Cold War era, Shoigu added, “We’ve taken proper measures in response to the alliance’s military activities which threaten Russia.” Regarding the ground and airborne forces, the defense minister said: “The troops have manifested complete preparedness and the ability to perform their duties to guarantee the country’s military security. At the present time, these units are involved in exercises.”

Apr 14 05:36

Top US/NATO Commander Prepared to Use ‘Full Weight of the Transatlantic Alliance’ Against Russia and China

General Tod Wolters, the dual-hatted top commander of U.S. European Command and NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe, testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee on April 13 as part of a review of the 2022 Pentagon authorization request and the Future Years Defense Program. He appeared primarily in his first capacity, though the two roles are coterminous. As top NATO commander he can requisition the military assets of thirty nations with a combined population of over one billion people.

Next year’s National Defense Authorization Act will include a base budget of $715 billion and a total allotment of $753 billion, in nominal dollars the largest military expenditure in the history of the world and in real dollars the most the Pentagon has been granted since the end of World War II.

Apr 14 05:33

Keep Ukraine Out of NATO

The Biden administration risks creating a crisis with Russia with its ill-considered shows of support for the Ukrainian government. President Biden expressed his "unwavering support" for Ukraine in a phone call with Ukrainian President Zelenskiy, and there are reports that U.S. ships may be sent into the Black Sea to "send a message" to Russia. Zelenskiy has also started calling on the US and NATO to expedite Ukraine’s membership in the alliance in a "signal" to Moscow in response to a buildup of Russian forces along the border. "NATO is the only way to end the war in Donbass," Zelensky has said. It would be more accurate to say that talk of NATO membership is a good way to ensure that the war in the Donbass escalates and spreads.

Apr 14 04:49

US Attache Showed 'Incredibly Bad Judgment' Wearing Death's Head, Military Analysts Say

US Defense Attache to Kiev Colonel Brittany Stewart showed "incredibly bad judgment" publicly wearing a Ukrainian skull insignia on April 9, a former Pentagon analyst and combat veteran-turned-historian told Sputnik on Monday.

Stewart on Friday traveled to the Donbas war zone in the eastern part of Ukraine. In photos taken during her visit, Stewart was shown wearing on her shoulder a "Ukraine or Death" skull insignia, which is the patch of the 72nd Mechanized Infantry Brigade.

Stewart's action displayed amazingly bad judgment at a time of serious and escalating tensions between the United States and Russia, retired veteran Pentagon analyst Chuck Spinney said.

"Displaying a foreign military organizational insignia on her uniform is a provocation that shows incredibly bad judgment, given the states of Russia-US tensions and the Russia-Ukrainian tensions," he said.

Apr 14 04:41

Two Front War? Three Fronts? What's Biden's Game in Taiwan, Iran, and Ukraine?

Apr 14 04:36

Vienna ready to host possible Russian-US summit — Austrian foreign ministry

Austria is always ready to provide a venue for a possible meeting between Russian and US Presidents, Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden, if the sides opt to organize their summit on its territory, an Austrian foreign ministry official told TASS on Tuesday.

The While House and the Kremlin reported after a telephone call between Biden and Putin earlier on Tuesday that the two leaders had discussed a possibility of a personal meeting in the coming months.

"It is up to the sides to decide whether to organize such summit or not, where and when to hold it. Naturally, Austria will always be at the service of participants in the high-level talks of all types," the official said when asked whether Austria was ready to provide a venue for such a summit bearing in mind that it had hosted a lot of such talks.

Apr 14 04:35

Russian troops on Ukraine border ‘ready to defend country’ in event of war says Defense Minister Shoigu, warning of NATO buildup

Two detachments of the Russian Army, along with three airborne units, are ready to act in the event tensions with the West escalate into full-blown fighting, Moscow announced on Tuesday following a surprise inspection of troops.

After paying a visit to the soldiers, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu told journalists that the personnel met the standards required for the situation. “The troops have shown full readiness and ability to fulfill the tasks of ensuring the country’s military security,” he said. “Currently, these associations and formations are engaged in drills and exercises.”

Shoigu said that the redeployments had taken place “in response to the military activity of the alliance that threatens Russia.” The move comes amid escalating tension with the US-led NATO bloc and after bloody fighting in eastern Ukraine between Kiev’s forces and two breakaway republics.

Apr 13 15:30

Biden raises stakes in Ukraine stand-off as he phones Putin personally to tell him to back down: President warns Russian leader to 'de-escalate tensions' after Moscow told America to keep warships away 'for their own good'

Russian President Vladimir Putin gave the cold shoulder to Joe Biden on Tuesday, playing coy on whether or not he would accept the proposal from the American president for a summit on the Ukraine.

Biden dramatically raised the stakes with Russia when he called Putin and asked him to de-escalate its military situation in the Crimea and requested a peace summit amid rising tensions between the two nations.

He made it 'clear that the United States will act firmly in defense of its national interests in response to Russia's actions,' the White House said in a readout of the call as Moscow demanded Washington stay out of the Crimea.

Apr 13 14:31

Kremlin does not rule out Russia’s disconnection from Western payment systems

Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov does not rule out the risk of Russia’s disconnection from Western payment systems, given the unfriendly attitude towards the country from a number of states, he told reporters on Tuesday.

"We can say one thing with certainty, that in one form or another, restrictions against Russia are being used by a number of states that pursue the goal of illegally, from the standpoint of international law, containing Russia," he said. "These restrictions are manifested in various forms, and this is a rather unpredictable process. So, within the framework of this process and given such unfriendly, and at times even hostile behavior towards us, nothing can be ruled out," Peskov elaborated.

Apr 13 12:24

Facing The Facts Of War With Russia

It is worth remembering that when the Trump administration’s hawkish advisors and secretaries of State and Defense urged military action that threatened conflict with Iran in 2019, President Trump just said, “No.” Today, it appears that strategy sessions in the White House are little more than a façade behind which wish-based, “woke” ideology dominates discussions. The implication is there is no adult present in the Oval Office capable of just saying “No.”

Apr 13 11:56

Could The U.S. Could Soon Be Involved In Wars In Taiwan, Ukraine And The Middle East Simultaneously?

Warmongers are now firmly in control in Washington, and they are pushing us toward war a little bit more each day.  A military conflict with Russia, China or Iran would be a nightmare scenario, but there is also a possibility that we could end up fighting all three of them simultaneously.  Such an outcome would have been unthinkable under the Trump administration, but times have changed.  Biden administration officials have been boldly declaring that “America is back”, and they have been trying to aggressively exert U.S. influence all over the globe.  Unfortunately, the rest of the world is not as intimidated by the U.S. military as it once was.

Apr 13 11:51

Biden invites Putin to crunch summit amid deteriorating ties between Russia & US, as American warships chart course for Black Sea

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart, Joe Biden, have discussed tensions in Ukraine, security issues, and the need for nuclear arms control, with the White House proposing a formal meeting in “a third country.”

In a statement published on Tuesday, American officials confirmed that the two leaders had spoken about “a number of regional and global issues.” As part of the talks, Biden was said to have “voiced concerns over the sudden Russia military build-up” on the Crimean Peninsula and along the border with Ukraine, calling upon Moscow “to de-escalate tensions.”

The exchange comes amid widespread fears that fighting in the Donbass region between Kiev’s forces and fighters from Moscow-backed self-declared republics could spill over into a full-blown conflict. The new standoff follows a large-scale mobilisation of troops and materiel by Kiev, which prompted Russia to beef up its own military presence near its Western frontier.

Apr 13 10:54

Aircraft Trackers Show Two US Air Force Transports Arriving in Kiev, Contents Unknown

The reported aerial activity comes amid the continued escalation of tensions in the civil war-torn country as well as growing fears that the authorities in Kiev may try to take back the breakaway regions of eastern Ukraine by force.

Two US Air Force C-130 J Hercules military transports– one flying out of Riga, Latvia, and the other out of Stuttgart Army Airfield in Germany, have arrived in Kiev over the past twenty-four hours, data from flight tracking services harvested by open-source intelligence observers indicates.

Apr 13 10:38

NATO concentrating over 40,000 troops near Russian border

NATO will concentrate 40,000 troops and 15,000 items of armament and military hardware near Russian borders, basically in the Black Sea and Baltic regions, Russia’s Defense Minister Army General Sergei Shoigu said on Tuesday.

Overall, "40,000 troops and 15,000 items of armament and military hardware, including strategic aircraft, will be concentrated" near the Russian borders, the defense chief said.

The American troops are now redeploying from continental North America to Europe through the Atlantic, Shoigu said.

"The troops in Europe are moving towards Russian borders. The basic forces are being amassed in the Black Sea area and in the Baltic region," the defense chief said.

Apr 13 10:36

Russia Has Moved Missiles That Can Carry Nuclear Warheads Into The Conflict Zone With Ukraine

How close can Russia and Ukraine come to war without actually going over the precipice? Over the weekend, more forces on both sides continued to pour into the conflict zone. And on the line of separation in eastern Ukraine, there are regular reports of gunfire and shelling. At this point, there are no negotiations on the horizon, and one false move could easily spark an all-out war. In fact, a Kremlin spokesperson is warning that we could soon see “full-scale combat operations”…

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov on Thursday said the situation in eastern Ukraine was ‘very unstable’ and warned it risked leading to ‘full-scale combat operations.’

As Kiev warned it could be ‘provoked’ by Russia’s aggression, several Western nations have voiced fears that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s move could trigger an all-out war, which could drag Nato allies, including Britain, into the conflict.

Apr 13 10:12

Ukraine claims Russia ignoring call for crunch talks to avert all-out war in Donbass, but Moscow says it never received an invite

The Kremlin has denied ignoring requests from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to hold a crisis summit after days of bloody escalations in the war-torn Donbass region, insisting it hasn’t actually been invited to take part.

On Monday morning, a government spokeswoman in Kiev claimed that an appeal for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin had gone unacknowledged. Yulia Mendel told journalists from Reuters that “we have not received an answer yet and we very much hope that this is not a refusal of dialogue.”

However, later that day, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that he was unaware of the request, and had not seen any such contact from Ukrainian officials in recent days.

Mendel has since aimed to dispel any confusion, claiming that “the request for negotiations came immediately after the death of four servicemen of the Armed Forces of Ukraine – on March 26,” in an answer given to Interfax-Ukraine.

Apr 13 07:13

Aircraft Trackers Show Two US Air Force Transports Arriving in Kiev, Contents Unknown

The reported aerial activity comes amid the continued escalation of tensions in the civil war-torn country as well as growing fears that the authorities in Kiev may try to take back the breakaway regions of eastern Ukraine by force.

Two US Air Force C-130 J Hercules military transports– one flying out of Riga, Latvia, and the other out of Stuttgart Army Airfield in Germany, have arrived in Kiev over the past twenty-four hours, data from flight tracking services harvested by open-source intelligence observers indicates.

The flights’ missions and cargo are unknown, with the Pentagon giving no indication as to their purpose.

Apr 13 07:09

Biden looks to appoint special envoy to kill Russia-Germany energy pipeline

The White House is in talks to appoint a special envoy to lead negotiations on halting the construction of Russia-to-Germany gas pipeline Nord Stream 2, current and former U.S. officials said, as the Biden administration grapples with how to stymie a nearly completed energy project that would serve as a major financial and geopolitical boon to Moscow.

Amos Hochstein, who served as the special envoy and coordinator for international energy affairs under President Barack Obama and was a close adviser and confidant to then-Vice President Joe Biden, was informally offered the role by National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan late last month and is being vetted, the officials said, but he has not yet accepted the job.

Apr 13 07:07

Russia Warns U.S. Warships to steer clear Of Crimea ,For Their Own Good.

Apr 13 06:26

Ukraine's President heads to the trenches as Russia masses its troops

Ankle-deep in thick black sludge, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky moves stealthily with his troops in single file through the warren of trenches and tunnels that form the tense front lines in the east of his country.

It feels more like the early 20th century than a modern conflict, with tired, nervous soldiers gripping their rifles around him as they reach open ground, scanning the area for movement across no-mans-land.

They know snipers, likely trained by Russians, say Ukrainian officials are looking for a chance to fire. More than 20 of their comrades have been gunned down already this year.

It's eerily quiet with an occasional crack of a gunshot in the distance shattering the calm, keeping everybody on edge.

Apr 13 06:20

Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov and His Iranian Counterpart Zarif Hold Press Conference in Tehran

On Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov arrived in Iran for talks with his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif hold a joint press conference following bilateral talks in Tehran.

The top diplomats are expected to discuss prospects for bilateral cooperation in political, trade, economic, humanitarian and other areas, focusing on joint projects in the energy transport sectors.

Earlier, Lavrov said that to a large extent, due to the consistent implementation of the bilateral Treaty on the Basis for Mutual Relations and the Principles of Cooperation, which saw its 20-year anniversary in March, the two countries "have reached such an unprecedentedly high level of interaction".

Apr 13 06:19

Biden Appoints Ukraine Connected Gas Lobbyist to Kill Nord Stream 2; Iraq Wants US Soldiers to Leave

President Biden has humiliated Germany by placing a former gas lobbyist and board member of a Ukrainian state gas company in charge of thwarting the Nord Stream 2 project.

Caleb Maupin, journalist and political analyst, joins us to talk about this week's important stories. The Amazon union vote in Bessemer, Alabama seems to be going in favor of the company, but union officials are crying foul. Iran is signaling that the nuclear agreement negotiations in Vienna are going well, but they will hold their ground on reasonable demands. Also, the US agreement to leave Iraq has no timetable which many observers interpret as a neocon stalling tactic.

John Burris, civil rights attorney, joins us to discuss the Derek Chauvin trial. Medical experts have testified that the death of George Floyd was caused directly by the pressure of a knee placed on his neck for over nine minutes. Also, an array of police personnel in Chauvin's department testified on behalf of the prosecution.

Apr 13 06:14

China v Russia v America: is 2021 the year Orwell’s 1984 comes true?

It may just be coincidence that Russia was piling military pressure on Ukraine last week at the same time as China noisily rattled sabres around Taiwan. Spring, to mangle Tennyson, is when a young man’s fancy turns to war – and that twisted maxim may even apply to ageing thugs such as Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping.

Russia and China are moving into ever closer alliance. While there is no evidence of direct collusion over Ukraine and Taiwan, presidents Putin and Xi are doubtless fully aware of each other’s actions, which have an identical, mutually reinforcing effect: putting the wind up Joe Biden’s untested US administration.

What’s now unfolding could be portrayed as the ultimate fulfilment of George Orwell’s nightmarish vision, in his dystopian novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, of a world divided geographically, politically and militarily into three rival super-states: Oceania (North America plus Britain), Eurasia (Russia and Europe), and Eastasia (China).

Apr 13 06:10

‘May there be peace’: WATCH Yuri Gagarin's iconic speech on 1st anniversary of his space flight, now IN COLOR

On the 60th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s landmark trip around Earth, RT publishes unique footage of his speech from the first anniversary of this flight – renewed and colored using modern neural-network technologies.

“I am grateful to those who invested their hearts, souls, skills, and hard work to fulfill this great mission,” Gagarin said in a speech that was first broadcast by Soviet television back in 1962, exactly one year after he became the first human ever to fly in space.

Apr 13 06:07

G7 countries call on Russia to ‘cease provocations’ as Western media fuels hysteria over troop movements near border with Ukraine

Foreign ministers of the G7 countries have issued a joint statement calling the movement of Russian troops near the border with Ukraine “threatening and destabilizing,” and asking Moscow to be transparent with military movements.

Published late Monday evening, the text expresses concern about the increased presence of Russian soldiers on the western border, demanding that the Kremlin “cease its provocations” and “immediately de-escalate tensions.”
The statement, however, makes no mention of Ukraine’s own military build-up, which began first.

In the past fortnight, the Western media has reported a build-up of both manpower and equipment, particularly on the Crimean Peninsula and by the eastern Ukrainian border. While some have suggested that Moscow is preparing for war, and others have dubbed it ‘saber-rattling’, the Kremlin itself has called the movement of Russian troops across its own territory an internal matter.

Apr 13 06:07

CNN Raises Eyebrows After Using Images of Ukrainian Tanks While Bashing Russia's 'War Preparations'

Zakharova also suggested that perhaps CNN correspondents in Moscow should devote more time to their professional duties instead of meddling in Russia’s public life.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has delivered a sharp rebuke to CNN after the media outlet used a picture of Ukrainian tanks to illustrate an article about Russia’s purported war preparations.

"Dear CNN TV channel and its staff. We realize that you have no time for fact-checking, since you’re so immersed in ideological struggle for the triumph of liberalism," she wrote in a Facebook post. "But to present Ukrainian tanks at a Ukrainian train station, with Ukrainian train carriages in the background, as Russia’s preparations for war is a bit too much."

Apr 13 06:06

Kiev Urges US to Put Patriot Missile Systems in Ukraine Instead of Poland

The Biden administration ramped up the delivery of military aid to Ukraine in early March, committing $125 million for patrol boats, counter-artillery radar, and satellite intelligence assistance. Weeks after the aid was announced, militia forces in Ukraine’s breakaway eastern regions sounded the alarm about a possible new offensive by Kiev.

Andriy Yermak, chief of staff of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s administration, has urged the US to deploy its Patriot missile systems in Ukraine, instead of Poland, to ‘defend the West’ against Russia.

“Ukraine is holding the line against Russia, not just for us, but for the West,” Yermak said, speaking to Time magazine. “And where does the US deploy its Patriot missiles? The closest ones are in Poland. They should be here,” he added.

Apr 13 06:06

Kiev, Its Western Sponsors Will Be to Blame for Any Worsening of Situation in Ukraine, Moscow Says

The security situation in eastern Ukraine has deteriorated considerably in recent weeks, with officials from the breakaway Donbass republics accusing Kiev of preparing a new military offensive. Moscow has urged both sides to stick to the Minsk ceasefire. Washington has threatened Russia with "consequences" if it acts "aggressively" toward Ukraine.

Moscow will hold authorities in Kiev and their Western backers responsible for any worsening of the security situation in Ukraine, and believes the United States and NATO are deliberately destabilizing the situation with its weapons deliveries, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov has said.

"The deliveries were made, they continue to be made, the volume of such assistance is increasing. The United States and other NATO countries are deliberately turning Ukraine into a powder keg," Ryabkov said, speaking to reporters on Tuesday.

Apr 13 06:00

Russian embassy castigates US State Department for erasing memory of Gagarin

The Russian Embassy in the United States has reproached the US State Department for distorting the memory of the first Earth cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin.

"Regrettably, the US State Department has again demonstrated memory loss regarding the history of space exploration. We wish to remind that the UN General Assembly declared April 12 the International Day of Human Space Flight in memory of the Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin. On this day 60 years ago, in 1961, he was the first in the history of mankind to complete a space flight around the Earth," the Embassy said in a comment on its Facebook page.

Earlier, the US State Department posted on its Russian-language Facebook page a statement on occasion of the 60th anniversary of the first human space flight, without mentioning Gagarin’s name. The State Department also published a statement on its Twitter account, congratulating all US astronauts and not saying a word about the first Soviet cosmonaut.

Apr 13 05:59

Russia restricts air service with Turkey from April 15 to June 1

Russia imposes restrictions on regular and chartered air service with Turkey for a period from April 15 to June 1 to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus infection, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova said on Monday.

"We have taken a decision to restrict regular and chartered air service from Russian international airports to Turkish airports and back from April 15 to June 1, except flights necessary for the participation of Concern Titan-2 Joint-Stock Company in the construction of a nuclear power plant <…>, bringing Russian nationals vacationing in Turkey home," she said, adding that two flights, from Moscow to Istanbul and from Istanbul to Moscow would only be allowed per week on a reciprocal basis.

Apr 13 05:53

Diplomat slams CNN for palming off TV clip of Ukrainian tanks as Russia ‘readying’ for war

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has castigated CNN’s ploy to spread disinformation about Russia’s alleged preparations for war with Ukraine by pointing to the footage featuring Ukrainian tanks in the TV channel’s report which was purported to be 'Russian'.

"Dear CNN TV channel and its friendly staff, we understand that you have no time for fact-checking. You are so deeply absorbed in the ideological struggle in the name of the triumph of liberalism, but not to the same extent when you palm off Ukrainian tanks at a Ukrainian railway station against the background of Ukrainian rail cars as Russia’s preparations for war," she wrote on her Facebook page.

In her post, the diplomat provided a snippet from CNN’s video footage of allegedly Russian armored vehicles being pulled up to the Ukrainian border.

Apr 13 05:46

Russian Ground Troop Units and Iskander ballistic missiles identified at Ukrainian border by Janes

Janes has identified at least fourteen Russian Ground Troop units that have moved or are moving to the Ukrainian area of operations since late March through open-source intelligence.

Janes has identified an influx of Central Military District troops from the 74th and 35th Motorised Brigades, 120th Artillery Brigade and the 6th Tank Regiment, equipped with tanks, infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs), and long-range artillery including 2S19 MSTA-S 152 mm self-propelled guns, TOS-1A thermobaric multiple rocket launchers (MRLs), and BM-27 Uragan 220 mm MRLs entering Voronezh by train.

Janes has also identified the deployment of Iskander short-range ballistic missile systems, likely belonging to the 119 Missile Brigade, to Voronezh from the Sverdlovsk region.

Apr 13 05:45

Russia's New Nukes Check-Mate a War-Happy US, Make the World Safer

A lot of people seem to have lost the thread when it comes to nuclear weapons. They think that nuclear weapons are like other weapons, and are designed to be used in war. But this is pure mental inertia. According to all the evidence available, nuclear weapons are anti-weapons, designed to prevent weapons, nuclear or otherwise, from being used. In essence, if used correctly, nuclear weapons are war suppression devices. Of course, if used incorrectly, they pose a grave risk to all life on Earth. There are other risks to all life on Earth as well, such as runaway global warming from unconstrained burning of hydrocarbons; perhaps we need to invent a weapon or two to prevent that as well.

Apr 13 05:43

Arsonist US Plays With Fire

You would think riling up one nuclear power is bad enough, but the United States seems intent on doubling the risk of starting a world war by gratuitously aggressing Russia and China simultaneously.

Throwing around personal insults against the leaders of those two countries is one thing. But actually winding up military tensions is quite another which shows how reckless the Biden administration is.

Since Joe Biden became the 46th president, there has been an alarming increase in hostile rhetoric and conduct by the US toward Russia and China.

Ludicrously, the Biden administration is accusing Moscow and Beijing of aggression towards European and Asian allies when it is the United States that is building up warships, warplanes, missiles and troops in sensitive regions that threaten Russia and China.

Apr 13 00:31

International Crisis Looms as NATO To Hold Emergency Meeting With Ukraine

The government of Ukraine announced today that Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba will visit NATO Headquarters tomorrow for an emergency session of the Ukraine-NATO Commission. Kuleba will meet with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and possibly with the North Atlantic Council (consisting of the ambassadors of all thirty NATO member states) as well.

This comes as U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken yesterday lambasted Russia for a litany of offenses on a nationwide television program, in threatening tones stating, “If Russia acts recklessly, or aggressively, there will be costs, there will be consequences.”

The upcoming NATO-Ukraine meeting will occur a week after the head of NATO’s Military Committee completed a two-day visit to Ukraine where he met with the president, Volodymyr Zelensky, and the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces, Colonel-General Ruslan Khomchak, as well as inspecting the National Land Forces Academy.

Apr 12 13:16

WORLD GONE MAD : Russia deploying real-deal “doomsday” weapon that can flood U.S. coastal cities with nuclear tsunamis

Because our ‘president’ is geriatric and unable to fully function because he’s obviously suffering from dementia, Putin is going to push early and often, making moves he never would have under the real president, Donald Trump.

Apr 12 07:27

US Warships to Enter Black Sea in ‘Significant Signal’ to Russia

Turkey has confirmed an earlier CNN report that the U.S. will send warships to the Black Sea in what a Pentagon official cited by CNN said was a demonstration of support to the government of Ukraine in response to claims of increased Russian military presence on Ukraine’s eastern border. The Black Sea is nowhere near the current conflict zone in the Donbass, further east of which the alleged Russian build-up is occurring.

Apr 12 07:26

Zelensky lodges request to talk with Putin about escalation in Donbas

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has lodged a request to speak with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, about the escalating conflict in eastern Ukraine.

Zelensky's spokeswoman Yulia Mendel told Reuters about this.

"The president's office, of course, made a request to speak with Vladimir Putin. We have not received an answer yet and we very much hope that this is not a refusal of dialogue," she said.

Mendel said Russia had massed more than 40,000 troops on Ukraine's eastern border and more than 40,000 troops in Crimea.

Read alsoU.S., UK say Russia must deescalate situation around UkraineU.S., UK say Russia must deescalate situation around UkraineIn turn, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said he had not seen such a request for talks "in recent days" and was unaware one had been recently made.

Apr 12 07:10

Ukrainian soldier is killed and another seriously wounded in artillery strike as tensions rise and Russian troops mass on border amid fear of all-out war

The Ukrainian military today said a soldier has been killed and another seriously wounded in artillery fire from Russia-backed separatist rebels, as hostilities rise sharply on the country's eastern border.

Tensions have soared in eastern Ukraine in recent weeks after Russian President Vladimir Putin dispatched tanks, helicopters and tens of thousands of troops to the Ukrainian border.

Ukraine says 27 soldiers have now been killed in the region this year, more than half the number who died in all of 2020.

Apr 12 07:09

Putin could spark war in Europe by invading Ukraine, ex-US ambassador warns

Vladimir Putin is risking open warfare in Europe as he checks Joe Biden by massing troops alongside the border with Ukraine, a former US ambassador has warned.

Michael McFaul, who was America’s man in Moscow between 2012 and 2014 when Putin annexed Crimea, stated the Russian president was ‘undoubtedly’ testing his US counterpart with a present of power that has jangled nerves in Europe.

But he added the posturing could simply spill over into battle and {that a} ‘worst case’ state of affairs could be the Russian navy invading Ukraine beneath the guise of ‘liberating’ Russian-speakers in the east of the nation who it considers residents.

‘If that occurred the Ukrainian authorities and the Ukrainian military would reply, I’ve little doubt that they might, and you then would have a war in Europe between two very formidable armies,’ he stated.

Apr 12 06:30

Turkey Demands Return of Crimea, Suppression of Donbass, NATO Membership for Ukraine

Two days after donning combat gear while visiting government troops at the Donbass battle line, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky flew to the Turkish capital of Ankara to join the nation’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdo?an, in a tête-à-tête and a meeting of the Strategic Ukrainian-Turkish Council that produced a twenty-point statement. In that document Turkey fully backs the position of Ukraine and its backers in the U.S., NATO and European Union in regard to forcing the Donetsk and Lugansk republics to return to Ukraine, forcing Russia out of Crimea and granting NATO membership to Kiev.

Apr 12 06:14

Obama ‘deterred Russia from doing even more’ in Ukraine, Blinken claims, as he’s grilled on ‘costs and consequences'

Joe Biden’s secretary of state had to defend the response of the previous Democratic administration to the 2014 crisis in Ukraine, suggesting that Barack Obama prevented Russia from “doing even more” to the country.

Over the past week, Washington has been sending strongly-worded warnings to Moscow over the movements of troops on its western border. From the US point of view, Russia is acting aggressively and may be preparing for military action in neighboring Ukraine, a country that counts the US as its patron. Russia’s position is quite the opposite: first of all, Moscow is moving its troops within the country’s borders. Secondly, the political instability in Ukraine may prompt the government in Kiev to launch a new attack on the rebellious eastern region of Donbass and Russia says it is making sure it’s ready to respond to it.

Apr 12 06:04

Secretary of State Blinken Throws Down the Gauntlet to China and Russia… Again

America began a new week with Secretary of State Anthony Blinken appearing on NBC’s Meet the Press with Chuck Todd. One might forgive a traveler from another land or time forming the impression that almost all U.S. television news, cable and network alike, consisted of different channels of Voice of the White House. (Or the Pentagon Broadcasting Service.) Being the foreign policy chief of the Biden-Harris administration, Todd was treated with the utmost deference except when he appeared to be slipping away from saber-rattling and toward some facsimile of diplomacy, as will be seen below. In return Blinken endearingly addressed Todd as Chuck. The direct address with the personal touch didn’t prevent Todd from goading Blinken on to new heights of obloquy and hostility toward Russia and China, though. Asking the tough questions is how the likes of Todd would phrase it, no doubt.

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