Point in the Tsar’s business. Experts proved the authenticity of the remains of Nicholas II

On January 30, Channel One will premiere the documentary “The Romanov Case. The investigation established…» about the circumstances of the death of the family of the last Russian Emperor Nicholas II and the investigation of this complicated case, which eventually dragged on for more than 100 years.

About how the investigation was conducted almost a century ago and how investigators work now, about the attempts of the “firing squad” hide the evidence and how much work it took to establish the truth, says artistic director of the television project “The Case of the Romanovs. The investigation established…», Vice-President of the Union of Criminalists and Criminologists of Russia, Deputy Director of the Institute of State and Law of the Russian Academy of Sciences, member of the Public Council under the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation Alexander Zvyagintsev

On the approaches

Alexander Grigorievich, how did you get acquainted with this case?

– At the end of 1989, I received a call from the Chief Military Prosecutor of the USSR Alexander Katusev: “Come to me, there are unique documents. I think you, as a former investigative officer, and especially as a writer, should be interested in this. At that time, I was the head of the Public Relations Center of the USSR Prosecutor General's Office. You can imagine my feelings when I saw the covers of 4 volumes, which read: “Preliminary investigation into the murder of the Sovereign Emperor, who abdicated the Throne of the Russian State…” These were the originals of the case investigated by Nikolai Sokolovbrought after the Great Patriotic War from Berlin. I plunged into their study, in the same year I went to Sverdlovsk to understand the actions of my old colleague on the spot, who almost succeeded in discovering the remains of the royal family. But the autumn thaw brought all my plans to naught – to Ganina Yama (where, as Sokolov suggested in his book, the remains were cut into pieces and completely destroyed with the help of fire and sulfuric acid), then it did not work out. Then I went there several times. 

The Ipatiev House, where the communists shot Nicholas 2 and his family. Photo: Commons.wikimedia.org

– It turns out that you were one of the first prosecutors who got access to this case. Why did you not participate in the discussion about the origin of the remains that were discovered back in 1991?

– I'll say more – they were discovered even earlier, in 1979. Then the screenwriter and director Geliy Ryabov– by the way, also a former investigative officer of the prosecutor's office – together with local historian Alexander Avdoninat their own peril and risk, they opened a burial place on the Old Koptyakovskaya road, in the Piglet Log. They found the remains of 9 people, assumed that this was the royal family, took 3 skulls, made a handicraft plaster cast from them and returned them to their place. It is there and then that we must look for the beginning of the discussion. Ryabov and Avdonin found the remains of 9 people. But it is known for certain that on the night of July 16-17, 1918, 11 people were killed. Seven members of the imperial family – Nicholas II himself, his wife Alexandra, their four daughters – Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatyana, Mariaand Anastasiaand Tsarevich Alexey. And four of their approximate – doctor Evgeny Botkin, chef Ivan Kharitonov, footman Aloysius Truppand maid Anna Demidova. Where did the remains of the other two dead go? Why does Nikolai ­Sokolov in his book point to the destruction of bodies near Ganina Yama, and the remains were found in Porosyonkov Log, on the other side of the railway? 

Ganina Yama, where in 1918 the communists destroyed the remains of the royal family. According to investigator Sokolov, the bodies were completely destroyed. Today there is a monastery of the Holy Royal Passion-Bearers. Photo: RIA Novosti/Pavel Lisitsyn.

The investigation was and is being conducted

Studying the materials of Sokolov, I was surprised how competently he conducted the case, how scrupulous the investigator was, how he recorded the interrogations of witnesses, how he worked with material evidence… But there was one moment that made one doubt his conclusions, which were voiced in the book. Sokolov was forced to leave the place of investigation without completing the work, – the Reds were advancing on Yekaterinburg. The conclusion that the remains of the royal family were destroyed in the area of ​​​​the Chetyrekhbratsky tract, that is, Ganina Yama, he made already in exile, based on circumstantial evidence.

That is why I have not yet entered into discussions. I lacked a complete investigation that would restore the full picture of the crime committed, the concealment by the criminals of the traces of the crime… After all, this includes not only the memories of the direct participants in the events, members of the firing squad and the funeral team, – I had the opportunity to get acquainted with these data. But, say, archaeological research required time and the participation of specialists. There was a lack of expert data that would absolutely accurately identify the discovered remains, and many other studies. In a word, there was not enough evidence. 

Moscow Bureau of Forensic Medical Examination. Russian forensic expert, specialist in forensic medicine and anthropological reconstruction Sergei Nikitin and sculptural portraits of members of the Romanov family, reconstructed from skulls from a secret burial near Yekaterinburg. 1995 Photo: RIA Novosti/Sergey Subbotin.

– Are they here now?

– Yes. Research has been conducted since 1993, as soon as a criminal case was initiated on the murder of Nicholas II, members of his family and close associates. Little by little, the material accumulated. But the real breakthrough came on September 22, 2015, when the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation resumed the investigation into this criminal case. 40 forensic examinations were appointed and conducted, including anthropological, molecular genetic, traceological, handwriting… To resolve the issues raised in the framework of the historical and archival expertise, we systematized 2 thousand historical sources (including multi-volume ones) both in Russia and abroad. Honored scientists, academicians of the Russian Academy of Sciences, doctors, prominent historians and archivists, world-famous scientists collaborated with the investigation. Thanks to their work, we are now able to restore the true picture of what happened in those July days.

“As if alive, red-cheeked”

Is it very different from Nikolai Sokolov's version?

– I would say that the present investigation continued the work begun by Sokolov. After all, then he did everything he could. Unfortunately, he did not have at his disposal modern scientific potential and documents that became available to our investigators. And most importantly, there was no time. I am sure that if he had at least a month left, he would definitely find out that the notorious Ganina Yama – just a “dummy” left by the head of the firing squad Yakov Yurovsky. And the «dummy» unintentional – Yurovsky had to improvise on the go.   

Initially, it was assumed that there would be two teams. One – firing squad led by Yurovsky. Other – funeral service headed by Pyotr Ermakov. But Ermakov got drunk drunk and was unsuitable for conscious actions. Yurovsky got down to business. Under his command, the bodies were taken to Ganina Pit, stripped to exclude identification by things, and thrown into the mine, which was considered deep. However, here they were let down by ignorance of the materiel – in such mines, even in summer, an ice lens can be hidden under a layer of water. She did not let the bodies go deep. Yurovsky, faced with this fact, began frantically looking for other options. At first it seemed that bodies could be dissolved in acid or cremated. Japanese sulfuric acid and kerosene were urgently brought from the city. According to the memoirs of a member of the funeral team Isai Radzinsky, the bodies thrown into the mine with water could indeed be identified by anyone who has ever seen the image of Nicholas II: “There is such cold, icy water. We pulled out like living people – red-cheeked…» However, the attempt to combine acid and fire was unsuccessful – in the course of an investigative experiment conducted today, it turned out that acid interferes with the combustion process. & nbsp;

Sweeping tracks

All that remains near Ganina Yama, – this is a fire pit in which fragments of burnt clothes, jewelry, precious stones and other small items were found. Pieces of greasy masses mixed with earth were found in a small well of the mine, where the equipment for lifting ore from a large well had previously stood. Fat, apparently, was used to lubricate the mechanisms – this is what Sokolov discovered here. And, not being able to return to Yekaterinburg to complete the search, he made his preliminary conclusion, which turned out to be erroneous.

Because Yurovsky then continued to cover his tracks. Having collected partially charred bodies, the funeral team set off towards the Moscow tract – there seemed to be some really deep mines. But they didn't. The driver of the House of Special Purpose Lyukhanovbefore, apparently, he drove only cars. He was unable to handle the truck – on the night of July 18-19, 1918, the car got stuck in the lowland of the Koptyakovskaya road in Porosyonkov Log. & nbsp;

They came up with the idea to hide the corpses right in this quagmire. The idea is not new – so did many before and after. The pit was deepened after a truck was pushed out of it. From the old sleepers taken from the gatehouse near the railway crossing, a pavement was built over the burial ground. Perhaps then some of the passersby even thanked those who laid the hollow. Here Radzinsky proposed to additionally confuse the traces: “They laid out some of these very duckies and began to pour sulfuric acid, disfigured everyone” And the rest at some distance began to burn. It is important for us that the number 11 does not remain, because by this sign it was possible to recognize the burial.

That's why in 1979 and 1991. here, under the bridge of sleepers, only 9 people were found. The bodies of the other two still managed to be cremated nearby – their remains were discovered only in 2007. But, what is important, during the excavations, bullets of that time and fragments of vessels from acid, similar to those found in the burial of 9 people, were found next to them. 

Proved a century later

– How did you manage to figure out who is who?

– The experts have their say here. Anthropologists have confirmed that the cremated remains belonged to a very young girl and a teenage boy. Apparently, these were Grand Duchess Maria and Tsarevich Alexei – there was no complete combustion. Sufficient areas of bone fragments have been preserved that did not have time to be damaged by fire. So, an abnormal structure of the vascular tissue of the femur of a boy was discovered – such deformities are most likely associated with hemophilia, and it is known that the Tsarevich suffered from this disease.

Geneticists examined the entire male DNA line, obtaining samples directly from its carriers – from the hood of Emperor Alexander II, which was on it at the time of the assassination attempt in 1881, and from the remains of Alexander III. The results obtained were compared with the remains found in the Piglet Log, – skeleton No. 4, which allegedly belonged to Nicholas II, and parts of the skeleton of a teenage boy discovered in 2007. It turned out that both Alexander II and Alexander III are close biological relatives. & nbsp;

The skull of skeleton No. 4 was examined especially carefully. In the process of a new investigation, traces of a traumatic effect were found on him. Experts in forensic medicine studied the “Conclusion of the Three Doctors”, drawn up by physicians immediately after the assassination attempt on Nikolai in Japan in 1891. And the information about the place of the wound coincided with the results of the research… 

To date, all studies aimed at identifying the people whose remains were found in the Piglet Log have been completed. The results of complex multi-stage examinations, many of which were carried out for the first time during the criminal case, allow us to draw a final and unambiguous conclusion that the remains of Nicholas II, his family and relatives were in the burials.

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What kind of new generation anti-ship missile is being developed in Russia?

Corporation "Tactical Missiles" (KTRV) is developing a new generation anti-ship missile. AiF. ru find out what kind of weapons in question.


According to the director of Boris Obnosovcorporation, a new generation high-speed anti-ship missile is being developed with increased range and flight speed, and also with increased noise immunity. It is interesting that back in the summer the same speaker reported that the corporation was working on the creation of a new generation of high-speed anti-ship missile (ASM). This promising model will complement the existing range of aviation weapons created by the corporation.

Oh what same rocket in question?

Since there is practically no information about rocket represented, it remains only to speculate on this account. Let's start with the fact that the X-31 anti-ship supersonic missiles were created in the 1980s. Obviously they need a replacement. Earlier it was reported that a hypersonic weapon system is being created in Russia as part of the experimental design work (R&D) “Lichinka-MD”. The new missile is designed to equip fighter jets — “invisible” Su-57. Presumably, it will fly at speeds of five and more times faster than sound and will become virtually invulnerable to modern air and missile defense systems. It is quite possible that this is the very anti-ship missile reported in the interview.

The lead developer on this topic is JSC "Corporation "Tactical Missiles". The so-called product 70 is used as an engine in the rocket. It is being developed by the Soyuz Turaev Machine-Building Design Bureau, which specializes in power plants for high-speed rockets.

High speed, development company — everything converges. According to sources, the missile will be placed in the internal compartments of a Russian stealth fighter. Thus, it can be assumed that “Larva-MD” & nbsp; & mdash; this is a replacement for anti-ship ammunition for operational-tactical aviation. It should be a hypersonic missile, probably with a range of several hundred kilometers.

About company

Very remarkable is the corporation that develops this missile, KTRV was formed in  March 2003 on the basis of the decree of the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putindated January 24, 2002 . The corporation became the first integrated structure of the defense industry of the Russian Federation, concentrating scientific and production resources to create advanced guided missiles and complexes of tactical guided missile weapons.


A video about the new rocket with voicing of part of the interview was posted online. It is interesting that the robot voices the text. The commentators were divided in their attitude to the posted information. Some are happy for Russian engineers and their inventions, reacting rather negatively to the remarks of opponents. Others express doubts about the competence of the Russian military. However, nothing new.

Naval weapons of the Russian Federation at development stage

Russia is also developing a new generation of sea-based missiles, it was previously reported that the small-sized anti-submarine complex “Packet-NK-E” is being modernized as part of this program. The complex can be installed on  ships of small displacement.

The APR-3ME “Vulture” anti-submarine missile is at the stage of serial production: the first batch of weapons has already been delivered. In the  perspective, it will be replaced by a small-sized anti-submarine missile, which will significantly exceed existing models in terms of cruising range.

How protected are the coasts of the Russian Federation?

Russia is surrounded by seas, and the protection of the coast — one of the most important tasks and it is impossible to do without modern weapons, experts say. Therefore, various defensive systems are constantly being developed in Russia, in work is underway to create new means of combating sea targets. And, apparently, there are some successes, it is no coincidence that in November 2021, the United States noted that modern Russian missiles exclude the possibility of the US Navy aircraft carrier groups approaching target areas.

The same Boris Obnosov at the beginning of the year stated that due to the appearance of coastal missile divisions with  Bastion complexes and "Ball" practically the entire sea coast of Russia is covered by anti-ship missile systems.

https://tass. ru/armiya-i-opk/13503501

https://www. youtube. com/watch? v=iukIJTlbWrE

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Blinken assessed the impact of the Olympics on Russia’s plans for Ukraine

Blinken: The Beijing Olympics will not affect Russia's plans for Ukraine Russia will rely on its own interests, according to the US State Department. Bloomberg reported that the head of China could ask Putin to “not attack” Ukraine during the Olympics, Moscow and Beijing denied this

Anthony Blinken

Holding the Winter Olympic Games, which will be held in Beijing from February 4 to 20 , will not affect Russia's plans for a possible “invasion”; to Ukraine, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said in an interview with CBS.

“I don't think so”, — he said in response to a related question. According to Blinken, Russia will make decisions “based on President [Vladimir] Putin's assessments of what is in its interests.” The Secretary of State reiterated that the Russian side would face “tremendous consequences” in case of aggression against Ukraine.

On Jan. 22, Bloomberg, citing an unnamed diplomat in Beijing, reported that Chinese leader Xi Jinping may have asked Putin to “not invade” to Ukraine during the Olympics. As the agency wrote, the head of the PRC seeks to strengthen his authority within the country on the eve of a possible third term in office and avoid a crisis in Europe, in this regard, the Chinese Foreign Ministry reminded countries of observing the UN resolution on the Olympic Truce.


Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova stated that the Bloomberg article was published as part of an “information special operation by the relevant American services.” According to her, the American media will not wait for Russia to “attack”, but this does not happen.

The Chinese Embassy in Russia called Bloomberg data a fake.

Russia does not once stated that the country does not threaten anyone and is not going to attack anyone, and the movement of troops on its own territory— her internal affairs. The Kremlin pointed out that against the background of the “unfriendly atmosphere” due to NATO exercises and the advance of its infrastructure to the east, Moscow is “forced to take precautionary measures”: Russian troops are near the Ukrainian border, which is necessary “in the face of a very tense situation.”

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Kadyrov called the ex-judge who left Russia “the embodiment of betrayal”

Kadyrov accused the ex-judge of betrayal and called human rights activists terrorists The head of Chechnya published a new post about the family of former judge Yangulbaev, in which he called human rights activist Igor Kalyapin and journalist Yelena Milashina terrorists

Ramzan Kadyrov

The head of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, in his Telegram called the former judge of the Supreme Court of the republic, Saidi Yangulbaev, “the embodiment of betrayal.”

According to Kadyrov, Yangulbaev “could not educate intelligent children, and instead of convicting them for extremist statements, he betrayed the judiciary, supported them and fled, hiding behind the status of a judge.

The head of Chechnya said that the family of the former judge “with their provocations and intrigues nullified” the efforts of the authorities of the republic to destroy the terrorists and their accomplices and again promised that “wherever the Yangulbaevs fled, wherever they are, we, for our part, will do everything to find them in accordance with the law, and if they resist, they will be destroyed.” He had already made a similar statement earlier, accusing Saidi Yangulbaev's family of involvement in terrorist activities.

“For me, terrorists are also [human rights activist, member of the Human Rights Council Igor] Kalyapin with [a journalist from Novaya Gazeta]. Elena] Milashina, who make money on the theme of the Chechen Republic and Chechens, developing scripts and whispering texts and behavior into the ears of their characters, — continued the head of Chechnya. He appealed to Russian law enforcement agencies with a call to detain “these accomplices of terrorists.” According to Kadyrov, evidence of this “is in the materials of journalistic investigations on independent channels”— He did not specify which ones. RBC turned to Ramzan Kadyrov's press secretary for comment.


Igor Kalyapin— founder of the organization “Committee against Torture” (In 2015, she was included in the register of NPOs-foreign agents, began work under the name “Committee for the Prevention of Torture”, which was then also included in the register of foreign agents). In 2016, he was attacked in Grozny: unknown persons attacked him near the hotel and threw eggs at him. Kalyapin came to the capital of Chechnya because of the attack on the organization's employees and journalists near the Chechen-Ingush border.

Elena Milashina— the author of publications about Chechnya in Novaya Gazeta, including articles on extrajudicial executions in the republic, she was also attacked in Grozny. After the material was released in March 2021, the publication’s employees reported that a chemical was sprayed near the building where the editorial office is located. Kadyrov called the journalists of Novaya Gazeta “by agents of well-known Western services unbelted from impunity.” The authorities of Chechnya accused the publication of publishing fakes.

Saydi Yangulbaev— the father of human rights activist Ibragim Yangulbaev, whom the Chechen authorities suspect of administering the opposition Telegram channel 1ADAT. In December last year, he was recognized as an extremist in the republic. Ibragim Yangulbaev spent about a year and a half in a pre-trial detention center on a case of extremism, complained to the ECHR about beatings and torture in the Grozny police. Yangulbaev Sr. also has a son, Abubakar, who worked in the “Committee against Torture” (the legal entity of the organization was recognized by foreign agents, now it works without registration) and daughter Aliya, in January they left Russia. According to Abubakar Yangulbaev, there is no contact with his relatives who remained in Grozny.

In his Telegram, Kadyrov published several entries, which he calls the correspondence of the Yangulbaev brothers. He also referred to an audio recording in the Telegram channel “Alternative 95”, in which, according to the head of Chechnya, “you can listen to what the Yangulbaev brothers want to do with the Chechens.” Recorded in Chechen. According to Alternative 95, on it Ibragim Yangulbaev “declares that he is going to kill all supporters of the Head of the Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov, all civil servants, all law enforcement officers, as well as their wives, mothers and other family members.”

Who owns this Telegram channel, Kadyrov did not specify. In January, it was reposted by ChGTRK Grozny.

January 20 “Committee against Torture” reported that armed men in civilian clothes and masks broke into an apartment in Nizhny Novgorod, where Saydi Yangulbaev lived with his wife Zarema Musayeva. They presented the decision of the Chechen investigation to forcibly bring them in for interrogation, after which they forcibly took Musaeva, who suffers from diabetes, to Grozny without taking the necessary medicines. The former judge recorded a video message to Dmitry Peskov, press secretary of the President of Russia, in which he announced the kidnapping of his wife.

Chechen authorities claim that “there was no kidnapping”, and Musaeva is a witness in the fraud case. According to Minister Akhmed Dudayev, she was sent a summons for interrogation several times. Now, he says, Musayeva is in the special detention center of the Ministry of Internal Affairs for insulting a security official. Kadyrov previously accused the woman of “attacking a police officer and almost depriving him of his eye.”

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Times learned about London’s fears because of Russia’s gas supplies to Europe

Times: Britain fears restrictions on Russian gas supplies to Europe due to sanctions British officials believe that sanctions against Russia over Ukraine will lead to a reduction in Russian gas supplies to Europe, which, in turn, will negatively affect prices

The Times learned of London's fears about Russian gas supplies to Europe

British government officials fear that possible Western sanctions against Russia over the situation around Ukraine will lead to a reduction in Russian gas supplies to Europe, The Times reports, citing sources.

According to the newspaper, the British Cabinet expects that in the event of the introduction of sanctions, Russia will be able to use its natural resources as a “weapon” and will limit supplies.

According to the sources of the publication, members of the government previously participated in a meeting at which they assessed how the reduction in supplies would affect the United Kingdom. There is no direct risk of gas shortages, they said, but the conflict will push fuel prices to new record levels.

“Unlike some countries, the UK practically does not import Russian gas, — said one of the interlocutors.— But, like all countries, we are at risk of rising wholesale prices, which will become a serious problem if Russia further restricts supplies.

About half of the gas entering the British market is produced offshore the North Sea, about a third is exported from Norway, the Times notes. The rest— supplies of liquefied natural gas (LNG), Britain's fears are that they will rise in price.

In 2020, the UK received less than 3% of gas from Russia, a government spokesman told the newspaper. Other European countries are much more dependent on Russian fuel, the newspaper writes: the share of deliveries to Germany is about 40%, and countries such as Sweden and Finland are “almost completely dependent on it.”

The EU has previously warned that due to the geopolitical situation, Europe will soon face “unusually high energy prices.” invade” to Ukraine (the Russian authorities have repeatedly denied this). Among the restrictions being considered in the US are — measures against the Russian Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.

However, the sanctions that Europe will impose in the event of Russian “aggression” will not affect the pipeline, Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg said. “We in Europe are to a certain extent dependent on energy from Russia. <…> We can't change that overnight if we suddenly need heat and electricity,” — he explained.

The US Ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, is sure that Russia will not be able to cut off gas to Europe in response to sanctions, since this is not in the interests of Moscow itself. The Kremlin has repeatedly said that Russia does not use gas as a weapon.

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The United States allowed the restriction of the export of smartphones to Russia because of Ukraine

WP: US is considering limiting exports of microelectronics to Russia because of Ukraine Washington is exploring the possibility of applying a rule that would control the export to Russia of goods that use microelectronics, created or developed using components or software related to the United States

The United States allowed restrictions on the export of smartphones to Russia because of Ukraine

The United States may increase export controls on supplies to Russia in the event of its “invasion” to Ukraine, according to The Washington Post, citing representatives of the presidential administration. This can harm both some strategic industries, from artificial intelligence to civil aviation, and ordinary citizens, for example, deprive them of some models of smartphones, tablets and game consoles, they added. The information was confirmed by the source of The Hill.

In this case, Washington will invoke the foreign direct goods rule, which controls the export of microelectronics made with something related to the United States. According to WP, almost all electronics now includes semiconductors and “it's hard to find a semiconductor on the planet that wasn't made using American tools or designed using American software.” The newspaper also notes that Washington may try to force foreign companies to stop exporting such goods to Russia.

The Washington Post's interlocutors say the administration is working with European and Asian partners to create a version of the rule that would hurt exports to Russia in the industries it is most interested in: civil aviation, maritime shipping and high technology.

One of the newspaper's sources explained that in this way the United States could undermine the ability of these sectors to become growth drivers for the Russian economy.

At the same time, The Hill's source emphasized that the final decision had not yet been made and the possibility of such actions was being discussed with allies of the United States.

The WP clarified that these are “export weapons”; previously used only once and not against the whole state, but against the company— Huawei. This led to the first in the history of a Chinese company, a collapse in annual revenue of almost 30%.

On Sunday, Washington allowed some of the American employees of the embassy in Kiev and their families to leave Ukraine “due to the continuing threat of military action from Russia.” ;. US citizens were also advised not to travel to Ukraine.

The State Department assured that the US Embassy in Ukraine will continue to work after the departure of civil servants.

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Russia and Syria begin joint air patrols near the Golan Heights

Military pilots of Russia and Syria conducted the first joint air patrol along the Golan Heights and the Euphrates, TASS reports with reference to the Russian Ministry of Defense.

The ministry clarified that the patrol route ran along the Golan heights, then along the southern border, up along the Euphrates and over the northern territory of the SAR.  

The Russian military took off from the Khmeimim air base, the Syrian pilots – from the Seikal and Dumayr airfields.

The Russian Aerospace Forces were represented by the crews of the Su-34, Su-35 and early warning radar A -50, MiG-23 and MiG-29 took part in the patrol from the SAR.

During the patrol, training missile launches were carried out at air targets, ground targets were hit at one of the training grounds located in the central part of the republic.

“Pilots of the two friendly countries have gained skills in interaction in various situations,” summed up the Defense Ministry. The military department added that such joint flights will now become regular.

Meanwhile, in December it became known that the restoration of the triumphal arch destroyed by terrorists in Syrian Palmyra will begin in 2022. At the same time, the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation will take over air transportation, transport support, as well as a number of logistics and security measures.

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A year after Navalny’s return, Putin remains atop a changed Russia

class=”MuiTypography-root-222 MuiTypography-h1-227″>A year after Navalny’s return, Putin remains atop a changed RussiaThe ConversationJanuary 21, 2022 · 11:45 AM EST

Russian President Vladimir Putin stands alone. 

Alexey Druzhinin/AFP via Getty Images

In early 2021, Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny flew back to Moscow after recovering in Germany from an assassination attempt carried out by Russian security services. His return prompted an authoritarian turn that transformed Russia – again.

I have studied the emergence of Navalny’s strategy and organization from the mid-2000s, documenting his threat to the regime led by Vladimir Putin.

Given the loyalty that Putin commands among military and security officials, governmental leaders and economic elites, I was not surprised when security authorities diverted Navalny’s plane to avoid the supporters gathered in Moscow to welcome him back. Nor was I shocked when border patrol forces arrested him before he passed through passport control. The charge: failing to meet parole requirements while recovering in Germany.

Navalny’s arrest in 2021 prompted some of the largest protests since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Street actions extended across the nation’s 11 time zones. The Kremlin responded with police violence and arrests by the specialized anti-protest force, Rosgvardia. The level of coercion was unprecedented in post-Soviet Russia.

After popular backlash against the violence, the state used facial recognition software to track down participants beyond Navalny’s core team of opposition activists. Public-sector workers were fired for participation and support. Security services made nighttime visits to protesters in their homes. Journalists were arrested. The regime used new laws to punish TikTok, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram users who supported the protests.

New tools of state surveillance continue to erase the barriers between public and private lives and violate social and political rights. Navalny remains in prison but has continued to speak out. In January 2022, one year after his return and the massive protests that followed, 53% of Russians say that they fear the authorities’ abuse of power.

Just the beginning

By February 2021, these tactics ended the protests. Yet repression intensified.

In June 2021, a Moscow city court designated Navalny’s organization, the Anti-Corruption Foundation, known by its Russian initials as the FBK, as an “extremist” group, using a recently revised law. The designation lumped the FBK together with terrorist groups such as al-Qaida. Officials from the Ministry of Justice also used the law to dismantle the national network Navalny had organized to support opposition candidates running for regional and city councils.

In late December 2021, more regional leaders and activists were arrested, some charged with treason. These new-generation leaders face long sentences in Russia’s notorious penal colonies.

If threats against the activists fail to intimidate them, then the government jails family members, as it did with Navalny’s brother, Oleg, and the 67-year-old father of FBK Director Igor Zhdanov.

Alexei Navalny speaks from prison to a court hearing in Russia.


Denis Kaminev/AP

A focus on the media

The protests highlighted vibrant patches in Russia’s government-controlled media landscape, placing these outlets under state scrutiny. Relying on new amendments to the 2012 foreign agent law, the state extended its scope to cover politically active news outlets working inside and outside of Russia, nongovernmental organizations and individuals. All organizations and individuals declared foreign agents must label every story and event with a warning. The tactic scares investors and subscribers, and subjects organizations to audits that impede daily operation. By the end of 2021, 111 news organizations and journalists were placed on the list, and prominent news outlets were driven out of business.

The government also used newly revised laws and technology to control new media platforms that facilitate collective action. For instance, when Navalny’s team endorsed viable opposition candidates in 2021 elections with an app called Smart Vote, the Russian government blocked the effort by shutting down Russia-based websites. Under pressure from Russia’s internet regulator, Roskomnadzor, Western social media giants Facebook, TikTok and Instagram also blocked the Smart Vote app.

Toward coercion, control and apathy

Protest quickly gave way to election victories for the Putin regime. Candidates from Putin’s party, United Russia, dominated highly manipulated parliamentary elections in September 2021, winning 70% of seats in the national legislature. Putin’s personal popularity appears strong but remains below all-time highs.

Polls show little support for Navalny and his organization. Popular expectations of protest potential fell by mid-2021 from an all time high in January of that year.

The prospect of protest

The high percentage of support for the regime obscures the threat from Putin’s substantial opposition. In his 20 years in power, Putin brought domestic and international influence but failed to address economic modernization and inequality. Economic stagnation, hardship in everyday life, inflation and time have increased popular frustrations.

Evidence from the protests shows that the 2021 protests were about Putin, not Navalny. Popular opposition to Putin is concentrated in younger, urban populations fed by the repressed alternative media. They support calls for decreased corruption and more government responsiveness to citizens’ demands.

It is difficult to anticipate the spark that can launch protest. As unexpected citizen protests in Russia’s neighbors Armenia, Belarus and Kazakhstan demonstrate, frustration with longtime dictators can spill over into the streets even when those dictators maintain significant support.

Even in Russia the possibility of renewed mass protest remains. Some scholars argue that Putin may be falling into a self-reinforcing repression trap. The idea is that repression replaces positive policies to win support, increasing the need to repress or to link domestic challenges to real and imagined external threats.

Remixing strategies

While popular enthusiasm over Russian annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region in 2014 has waned, Putin’s popularity remains tied to his success in foreign policy.

To shore up support, Putin increasingly peddles anti-Western conspiracy theories. These repeat charges that the West is poised to undermine Russia’s sovereignty — by supporting protest, brainwashing young people and threatening national security.

In addition to threats against alleged foreign agents and extremists at home, Putin deployed his military in neighboring countries, blaming Western aggression. He has amassed troops on the Ukrainian border and led Collective Security Treaty Organization troops in a mission to Kazakhstan to fight alleged foreign meddling.

These military actions hark back to Soviet-era claims to a buffer zone around Russia’s border. In contemporary terms, military threats by Russia reveal conflicts and weaknesses within NATO and hinder opportunities for democratic reform in Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova and other post-Soviet states.

At home, the Kremlin’s decision to increase confrontation and repression illustrates the consolidation of Russia’s authoritarian system.

Navalny, who was harassed for more than a decade before being jailed, will not be surprised by these changes. It remains unclear how ordinary Russians will respond as repression and international conflict limit internet communication, travel, trade, educational opportunities and daily freedoms.

Regina Smyth is a professor of political science at Indiana University. This article is republished from The Conversation, a nonprofit, independent news organization dedicated to unlocking the knowledge of experts for the public good.

Draft recognition by Russia of the DPR and LPR submitted to the State Duma with errors

And the last paragraph of the Communists' appeal was copied from the document on the recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia

Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said that it would “be right” to hold consultations with the leaders of the Duma factions next week, and based on the results, “consider” at the Council of the Duma an appeal to President Putin with a request to recognize the independence of the DPR and LPR. “MK” tried to figure out whether such appeals are a necessary condition for the recognition of a state.


Draft resolution on the adoption of the Appeal “To the President of the Russian Federation V.V. Putin on the need to recognize the Donetsk People's Republic and the Lugansk People's Republic” was submitted to the State Duma on the evening of January 19, 2022, signed by an impressive group of communists headed by Gennady Zyuganov. Apparently, the authors were in a hurry, and therefore the text of the document contains, to put it mildly, clumsy and not quite literate phrases like “The new authorities of Ukraine, now glorifying the Nazis Bandera, Shukhevych and their followers, have become intolerant of historically established norms, life, as well as the will and the religion of the inhabitants of these regions” (deputy punctuation retained -“MK”).

Briefly, the essence of the grounds set out on more than three pages for President Putin to take an important foreign policy step is as follows: not a single point of the “Minsk agreements” has yet been implemented, Ukraine is trying to revise them or bury them altogether, has established a “complete economic blockade” of the territories of the republics, whose population back in May 2014 voted in referendums for self-determination. Recognition, the Communist Party is convinced, will protect the population of the DPR and LPR from genocide and “strengthen international peace and regional stability.” The authors appeal to “dear Vladimir Vladimirovich”: after recognition, it is necessary to conduct negotiations with the self-proclaimed republics as soon as possible “on the creation of a legal basis for interstate relations” on all issues, “including security issues.”

“Sergey Mironov has already stated that the Just Russia – For Truth faction is ready to support the project”, and “LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky spoke on a larger scale”, without specifying whether it was “for” or “against,” recalled speaker Vyacheslav in his telegram channel early on January 22 Volodin. (The leader of the Liberal Democratic Party really spoke on a very “large scale”: he is against conversion, because recognition will not give anything, and it’s better to just hit Ukraine hard).

The ER deputies, the speaker believes, “are also concerned about the issue of protecting the lives of Russian citizens and compatriots living on the territory of the DPR and LPR” … In general, the issue is important, responsible, and “it would be right to hold consultations with the leaders of the factions next week, to discuss this initiative. Then, based on the results, to consider the issue at the Council of the State Duma,” concludes Mr. Volodin. And he adds: Vladimir Zelensky really ignores the Minsk agreements, and NATO “wants to occupy Ukraine”, and “we must not allow this”, we must somehow protect our compatriots …

Does the speaker's statement mean that the State Duma in the near future will definitely turn to President Putin with a request to recognize the independence of the DPR and LPR by voting for the initiative of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation?

No, it doesn’t mean.

The next Council of the Duma is on Monday, January 24th. If “next week” consultations only begin, and the Kremlin and the Foreign Ministry consider public discussion of the issue harmful, its consideration in the meeting room can be postponed to February. Or even for an indefinite time.

It is worth recalling that in 2018, another draft statement on Ukraine was submitted to the State Duma – moreover, on behalf of representatives of all, without exception, the Duma factions included in the Committee on CIS Affairs. This much less concrete and binding document on the President of the country stated: “The deputies believe that the Russian Federation should provide additional assistance to the suffering population of Donbass, all necessary measures, including legislative ones, have been taken to provide asylum in Russian Federation to citizens of Ukraine who are threatened and politically persecuted in Ukraine. Do you think they accepted it? No. Until now, it lies quietly in the Duma legislative portfolio … In it, in this portfolio, a lot of things have been lying for years and even decades.

Assessing the prospects for the adoption by the State Duma of any document on foreign policy issues, one must always remember: without agreement with the Kremlin and the Foreign Ministry, this is impossible in principle. This means that if an appeal to the president with a request to recognize the independence of any territory is supported by the Duma majority, this will mean that the decision to recognize independence has already been made at the very top. And here a lot depends on the development of the situation, on the course of negotiations with the West, on whether or not provocations happen on the line of contact between Ukrainian troops and self-defense units of the DPR and LPR.

If we approach the issue legally, then the recognition or non-recognition of any state is the power of the head of state, no appeal from the deputies is necessary for its registration. In addition, in principle, all appeals and statements of the Russian parliament to anyone else have no binding force for the executive branch, and even more so for the head of state. But in order to make the Kremlin's decision more colorful and politically convincing, it may well be preceded by a parliamentary decree: they say, the representatives of the people asked, and unanimously …

This is how Russia's recognition of the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia was formalized in 2008.

On August 21-22, 2008, these parts of Georgia, which declared themselves independent back in 1992, turned to the leadership of the Russian Federation with a corresponding request. On the same day, on August 25, both chambers of the Russian parliament, both the Council of the Federation and the State Duma, which gathered urgently, almost unanimously adopted the same appeals to the then head of state, Dmitry Medvedev. Moreover, the draft appeal of the State Duma was signed by members of the Committee on CIS Affairs from all factions without exception.

It is curious that the last paragraph of their current appeal to President Putin regarding the DPR and LPR was written off by the communists from that old decree: then it was also said on the need to recognize and “promptly conduct negotiations in order to create a legal basis for interstate relations that regulates all aspects of cooperation and mutual assistance, including security issues” …

The President of Abkhazia Sergei Bagapsh and South Ossetia Eduard Kokoity took part in the meeting of the State Duma on August 25, 2008 and spoke from the Duma rostrum. And the next day, by decree of President Dmitry Medvedev, the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia was recognized by Russia. And immediately began the very negotiations that ended with the signing of the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance.

Here it was already impossible to do without the State Duma and the Federation Council: international treaties required ratification by the parliament. At the end of October 2008, this ratification took place. Russia and the two newly recognized states, in accordance with the treaties, pledged to provide each other with all kinds of assistance, including military. Russian troops received the right to be (and are still) on the territory of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and the right to build military bases there …

The development of events may look something like this in the case of Russia’s hypothetical recognition of the independence of the DPR and LPR: the self-proclaimed republics turn to the authorities of the Russian Federation, President Putin makes a decision, securing the political support of the parliament, and then agreements are concluded with these republics, even if not recognized by the rest of the world, according to which Russian troops and Russian military bases end up on the territory of Eastern Ukraine.

But even if events develop according to this scenario, fraught with serious consequences, and the Kremlin decides that preliminary approval of the parliament will not hurt, it is unlikely the appeal proposed by the communists will be accepted. “I would like to note that now, when the situation is so tense and so sensitive, it is very important to avoid any steps that could provoke an increase in this tension,” presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on January 21. And he added that “for those who are the authors of this initiative, it would be important in the first place not to try to earn some political points on such a thin and fragile matter” …

Источник www.mk.ru

The President of Moldova said that Russia sent “their people” to the country

Maia Sandu: Russia tried to prevent Moldova's exit from the USSR by sending “their people” The Russian authorities sent their troops to Transnistria in order to prevent Moldova from leaving the USSR and becoming independent, Sandu said. Now Chisinau is in dialogue with Moscow on the withdrawal of troops from the region

Russia has sent “its people” in Transnistria to prevent Moldova from becoming independent from the USSR, said Moldovan President Maia Sandu in an interview with Pro TV. Now Chisinau is trying to negotiate with Moscow on the withdrawal of troops from Transnistria.

“The war in Transnistria was an attempt to interfere with the independence of Moldova. Forces that did not want us to become independent tried to stop this process. <…> It is quite clear to everyone that Russia sent its people for these actions against Moldova,»,— said Sandu.

According to her, the presence of this conflict in Transnistria is a serious obstacle to the development of Moldova and an obstacle on its European path.

The President also said that Moldova is conducting with Russia a “difficult but necessary” dialogue on the withdrawal of Russian troops from Transnistria. “We are discussing the problem of the withdrawal of the Russian military, there is the problem of the elimination of weapons from warehouses in Kolbasna. We would like to speed up the solution of this issue, there are also problems of an economic nature,— added Sandu.

In the summer of 2021, Dmitry Kozak, Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration of Russia, said that Chisinau asked Moscow to help dispose of the ammunition that is located on the territory of Pridnestrovie. He stated that the elimination of expired ammunition that cannot be transported is in the interests of Russia.

The shells in question are in an ammunition depot near the village of Kolbasna, which is located in the region of the Moldovan-Ukrainian border . A task force of Russian troops is stationed in the region.

The conflict in Transnistria escalated after Moldova left the USSR. Local residents, most of whom were Russians and Ukrainians, demanded the separation of the region from Moldova. In 1992, in connection with this, clashes began, which lasted several months. Then the presidents of Moldova and Russia signed an agreement on a peaceful settlement of the conflict, after which Russian peacekeepers entered Pridnestrovie.

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NATO ruled out the withdrawal of troops from Bulgaria and Romania at the request of Russia

NATO considered unacceptable Russia's demand for the withdrawal of troops from Romania and Bulgaria The alliance said that this would lead to the division of countries into first and second grade. Moscow demands the withdrawal of NATO forces from the territory of countries that were not members of the alliance in 1997. Bulgaria and Romania joined it only in 2004

NATO rejected Russia's demand for the withdrawal of troops from Romania and Bulgaria, Oana Lungescu, the official representative of the alliance, said on Twitter.

“Russia's demands will divide the NATO countries into first and second grade, which is unacceptable. We reject any idea of ​​spheres of influence in Europe,” — she wrote.

Moscow demands the withdrawal of NATO military forces and equipment from the territory of countries that were not members of the alliance in 1997. These are, in particular, Bulgaria and Romania, which joined NATO only in 2004.

In the spring of 1997, Russia and the North Atlantic Alliance signed the Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security, which stated that the parties did not consider each other as adversaries. By 1997, NATO did not include the states of Eastern Europe. Several waves of bloc expansion followed. In 1999, the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary joined it, in 2004— Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Romania, Bulgaria, Slovenia and Slovakia, in 2009— Croatia and Albania, and in 2020— North Macedonia.

Russia is trying to obtain security guarantees from the West, primarily regarding the refusal to advance NATO to the east and accept the former USSR countries, including Ukraine and Georgia, into its ranks . In January, Moscow held talks with the United States and its allies in the alliance and the OSCE. However, the parties failed to reach a compromise. After failed negotiations, Russia requested a written response to its proposals. Washington promised to hand it over next week.

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WP learns of US request to Russia not to release safeguards response

WP: The US asked Russia not to make public the answer on the guarantees after Lavrov's statement At the same time, the State Department did not rule out that Moscow would make the document public. According to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, this “would be right”

The United States asks Russia not to publicize the response to Moscow's proposals on security guarantees, writes The Washington Post. At the same time, a senior State Department official admitted that the Russian side could release the document as soon as Washington hands it over.

The interlocutor noted that while the United States response still does not satisfy Russia's demand that NATO refuse to move east and accept Ukraine into its ranks, the administration of President Joe Biden believes that Russian leader Vladimir Putin will familiarize himself with it,— in the interests of the United States.

“There is one person in Russia who makes decisions, and this person— President Putin»,— said an administration official.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said “it was right” publicize the United States response. According to him, he will ask Secretary of State Anthony Blinken about it. Lavrov and Blinken held talks in Geneva on January 21.

Putin has repeatedly said that Moscow needs “precisely legal, legal guarantees,” since the West has not fulfilled its verbal obligations. In particular, that NATO will not move east.

On December 17 last year, the Foreign Ministry released drafts of a treaty with the United States on security guarantees and an agreement on security arrangements with NATO. They focus on guarantees that the alliance will not move further to the east, concentrate offensive strike weapons systems near the borders, join the states formerly part of the USSR, including Ukraine, conduct any military activity on the territory of this country, as well as other states. Eastern Europe, Transcaucasia and Central Asia.

On 10, 12 and 13 January, Russia held talks with the US and its NATO and UN allies. Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). However, it was not possible to reach a compromise in the negotiations.

Russia asked for a written response to its proposals. The Secretary of State promised to hand it over next week. According to White House press secretary Jen Psaki, the United States will set out its proposals for strengthening arms control and building confidence in it.

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New conflicts in 2022: the main risks for Russia are named

Expert: we are not allowed to relax literally for a single day

What conflicts are possible in the world in the coming year? What threats do they pose to Russia? How to respond to them? President of the Russian section of the International Police Association, Lieutenant-General, Doctor of Law, Professor, Honored Lawyer of Russia Yuri Zhdanov analyzed the risks that our country may face.

Photo: kremlin.ru

– I propose to first look at the conflicts that the Americans attach importance to. In my opinion, it will be clearer comparison of risk assessments by them and us. It is known that the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) – a private American organization in the field of international relations – published the next, fourteenth, annual Preventive Priorities Survey, dedicated to the likelihood and impact of thirty potential conflicts that may arise or intensify during this year. The compilers interviewed American foreign policy experts, asking them to assess the likelihood and impact on American interests of these thirty conflicts, a list of which was compiled back in October 2021 using social networks. In November, the questionnaire was sent to more than 11,300 government officials, foreign policy experts and academics.

– No, only about 400 sent the completed questionnaire to the authors.

– Conflicts were divided into three groups according to their impact on US interests (high, moderate, low) and likelihood (high, moderate, low). True, the groups themselves were formed according to some arbitrary and even strange logic.

For example, the worsening humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, the growing level of unrest and instability in Haiti, the military conflict between Iran and Israel over Tehran's nuclear program, the escalation of clashes in eastern Ukraine, or large-scale military operations in contested areas have somehow fallen into one group. Here are Taiwan and China, and Mexico, and Lebanon, and Venezuela. And the same hodgepodge in the other groups, which brought together three dozen conflicts of various colors. Again, it is not clear why exactly three tens, and not two or, say, five.

“None of the potential and actual conflicts was rated this year as both highly probable and having a high impact on American interests. The most likely event, according to experts, is a humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.

– In the first place of them, of course, we put the conflict in Ukraine. It is around him that a particularly fierce debate is being waged. But one gets the impression that many political forces in the United States are simply eager for a military development of the conflict. Thus, on January 10, a group of Republican congressmen announced that they intended to introduce a bill declaring Ukraine a NATO-plus country and initiating a review of the advisability of declaring Russia a state sponsor of terrorism.

“Diplomacy has little chance of success unless it is approached from a position of strength,” said Michael McCall, a leading Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, who is the bill's main sponsor. “Vladimir Putin should take note that Congress will not tolerate the restoration of a Russian sphere of influence and will not allow Ukraine and our other allies and partners in Central and Eastern Europe to be abandoned,” he added.

“The bill will provide Ukraine with the military and diplomatic support it needs in the face of an alleged Russian military buildup along its borders. The bill also designates Ukraine as a “NATO-plus” country to provide expedited consideration for the sale of certain US defense goods and services. As Congressman Rogers said, “This bill will significantly increase funding for the supply of lethal aid to Ukraine, in particular anti-aircraft and anti-ship weapons, which the Ukrainians need to contain Russia. He also makes it clear that Putin's demands, such as a veto on countries joining NATO and a moratorium on the deployment of medium-range missiles in Europe, are unacceptable and contrary to US national security interests.

In addition, the bill provides for the allocation of $155 million to combat “Russian disinformation” and information operations in the countries of the former USSR for 2022. That is, the information war against Russia.

– The second place is occupied by the conflict in Afghanistan. The recent rebellion in Kazakhstan showed the reality and involvement of the Afghan situation in the processes taking place in the post-Soviet space.

The ongoing conflicts over Taiwan and the Iranian nuclear program will also always be among the most significant for Russia. Every year, the danger that they will flare up and involve the whole world in their funnel only increases.

As for the new Karabakh conflict in 2022, here, most likely, the least likelihood. Especially due to the consequences of the events in Kazakhstan.

By the way, the authors of the forecast did not indicate other areas of potential conflicts. After the events in Kazakhstan, the report of the RAND Corporation, made back in 2019, is now often recalled.

Rand Corporation is, in fact, the “thought factory” of the US military-industrial complex. In 2019, the corporation developed a plan to involve the Russian armed forces in conflicts. Their goal is to weaken Russia economically by forcing it to go to excessive spending on the deployment of troops and their use in the next “hot spots”.

Six options for action in this direction have been proposed: arming Ukraine; increased support for jihadists in Syria; regime change in Belarus; maintenance of tension in the South Caucasus; reduction of Russian influence in Central Asia; rivalry with the Russian presence in Transnistria.

So, it has been noticed that the events in Kazakhstan over the past week correspond to the fifth chapter of the RAND Corporation plan. And the sixth chapter of this plan will be implemented in Pridnestrovie. The previous four episodes have already taken place over the past two years in Ukraine, Syria, Belarus and Nagorno-Karabakh. At the same time, the US National Security Council initiated a series of actions against Russia. This is not about overthrowing governments or starting new wars, but about throwing Moscow into conflicts beyond its borders and thereby exhausting it.

– Yes, especially since it borders on Ukraine. The United States, together with the European Union, organized an economic blockade of this unrecognized state, whose population seceded from Moldova in a referendum during the collapse of the USSR. The staff of the European Union Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine (EUBAM), led by Stefano Sannino (former OSCE Representative to Serbia), has been monitoring the work of the Moldovan and Ukrainian customs to implement the blockade of this country since January 1, 2022. Although, mind you, Ukraine and Moldova are not members of the EU. Russia is forced to create an air bridge to supply food to the 500,000 inhabitants of this enclave.

– Yes, NATO promises that Georgia will join the North Atlantic Alliance and that a third country will not solve the issue of Georgia's Atlantic integration. According to a report released by the Georgian Foreign Ministry, NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoane stated this on January 10 in a telephone conversation with Georgian Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani.

Earlier, on January 5, US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and Georgian Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani discussed the right of sovereign states to determine their own security mechanisms in a telephone conversation. The State Department said in a statement that the parties discussed the situation in the region and the threat of aggression from Russia. The US Diplomatic Office reports that in a conversation with a Georgian diplomat, Sherman reaffirmed the US's strong support for Georgia's independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity.

“The Deputy Secretary of State noted that the United States will continue to urge Russia to withdraw its troops to the positions that existed before the war and respect the 2008 ceasefire,” the State Department said in a statement.

However, in parallel with the statements of Western partners about supporting the freedom of choice of Georgia and Ukraine, Russia continues to insist on “reinforced concrete” guarantees that these countries will never be able to join the North Atlantic Alliance. “We emphasize that it is absolutely imperative for us to make sure that Ukraine never becomes a member of NATO. We would like the formula adopted by the Bucharest summit in 2008 to be withdrawn and replaced at the Madrid summit of NATO with the following: “Ukraine and Georgia will never become members of the North Atlantic Alliance.” We are tired of empty talk, we are tired of half-promises, of We don't trust the other side We need concrete, legal guarantees, not promises, but guarantees, with the words “should”, “should”, never become NATO members. the issue of Russia's national security,” Ryabkov told the media after a closed-door meeting that lasted about eight hours.

– Alas, in turn, during the briefing following the talks, Wendy Sherman ruled out such a guarantee for Russia : “We will not allow anyone to close the door to NATO for another country.”

– What to do, this is our usual state.The list of existing, smoldering or still only possible con conflicts does not allow you to relax literally for one day. And the events in Kazakhstan have shown that the post-Soviet space, with the help of our “partners” in negotiations from the United States and NATO, remains a “zone of special attention.”

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Durov appreciated the idea of ​​the Central Bank to ban cryptocurrency in Russia

The ban of the Central Bank of Russia on the issuance, mining and circulation of cryptocurrency in the country will entail an outflow of IT specialists from the Russian Federation and the destruction of some sectors of the high-tech economy. This opinion was expressed by Telegram founder Pavel Durov in his messenger channel.

In his opinion, no developed country prohibits cryptocurrencies. Such a ban inevitably slows down the development of blockchain technologies in general, which increase the efficiency and safety of many types of human activity, Durov emphasized. will balance the distribution of forces in the international financial system. Durov believes that a total ban on cryptocurrencies “will hardly stop unscrupulous players, but will put an end to legal Russian projects in this area.”

Recall that on January 20, the Central Bank of Russia proposed mining and circulation of cryptocurrencies. According to the regulator, cryptocurrencies are in many ways similar to financial pyramids.

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US questioned Russia’s ability to shut off gas to Europe

US Ambassador to the UN Thomas-Greenfield does not believe that Russia can cut off gas to Europe US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield does not believe that Moscow can take this step in response to sanctions, as this would equally harm her

The US does not believe that Russia can shut off gas to Europe in response to sanctions. This was stated by the American Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield in an interview with the Rai 1 TV channel, her words are given on the website of the diplomatic mission.

“I believe that this would equally harm Russia, so it would not be in [the country's] interest to cut off the Europeans' access to the gas pipeline,” — she said, when asked if the Joe Biden administration had a plan in place in case diplomatic efforts failed and sanctions had to be imposed, which Russia could respond by cutting off gas supplies.

Bloomberg, in turn, citing sources familiar with this issue, reports that the Joe Biden administration is negotiating with Qatar about the possibility of supplying liquefied natural gas to Europe in the event of “aggression” Russia against Ukraine and sanctions against it. According to two interlocutors, the president plans to invite Emir Tamim bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani to visit the United States, possibly as early as late January. As Bloomberg notes, some European countries fear that tough sanctions against Russia, which the West has threatened in the event of an escalation, could hurt their economies and prompt President Vladimir Putin to stop or reduce gas supplies in the winter.

In response to possible aggression against Ukraine, the West threatened Moscow with unprecedented sanctions. CNN, citing sources, reported that the White House is discussing several options for restrictions. Persons from Putin's inner circle, energy companies and banks can fall under them. Sanctions can also be applied against public debt. Among the radical measures were the disconnection of Russia from the international interbank system for transmitting information about payments made SWIFT and limiting the conversion of the ruble.

Democrats and Republicans in the US Congress have already presented their options for restrictive measures against Russia in the event of an “invasion” to Ukraine, they affect, among other things, Putin and his entourage, Russian banks and public debt.

In autumn, gas futures prices in Europe reached record levels. In early October, the price of fuel for the first time in history exceeded $1.9 thousand. Another jump took place in December. Then the exchange price for the first time in history rose above $2,000 per 1,000 cubic meters. m.

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Biden compared the possible “invasion” of Russia to Ukraine with the Second World War

Biden: Russia's invasion of Ukraine will be the most serious event since World War II Biden is concerned that the situation around Ukraine could “get out of control”

If Russia “invades” Ukraine to Ukraine, this step will have serious consequences for the world, US President Joe Biden said at a press conference.

According to Biden, if Russian President Vladimir Putin makes such a decision, it will be “the most serious event that has happened in the world in terms of war and peace since the Second World War.” (quote from CBS).

The US leader said he was concerned that the situation on the Russian-Ukrainian border “may get out of control”, including due to the fact that Ukraine borders on several NATO countries. “The only war worse than planned,” this is an unintentional war,— he said.

Biden warned Russia of tough economic measures, including a ban on banks from dealing in dollars, in the event of an escalation in Ukraine. At the same time, he said that the Russian authorities have not yet made a final decision on actions against the neighboring country, and expressed confidence that Putin does not want a full-scale war with the West.

On January 18, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that the United States believes Russia may launch an “attack” on to a neighboring country at any time. However, she stressed, in response to this, the strictest sanctions from the West will follow.

Moscow has repeatedly rejected reports of a planned “aggression”; regarding Kiev. The Russian Foreign Ministry emphasized that the actions of the Russian armed forces on the territory of the country — “legitimate right of a sovereign state”. Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov called the “outrageous measure” imposition of likely restrictions on the country's leadership and warned that they could lead to a complete cessation of relations between the United States and Russia.

The day before, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky delivered a video message to the nation in which he said that “Ukraine does not want war, but must always be ready for it,” and urged citizens not to panic about the news of a possible Russian invasion. According to him, the war with the participation of Ukraine has been going on for the eighth year already.

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Joint naval exercises of Russia, Iran and China will begin on January 21

Joint naval exercises of Russia, Iran and China and in the Indian Ocean will begin on Friday, January 21, ISNA, citing the press service of the Iranian army.

According to reports According to data, various types of maneuvers will be practiced during military events, in particular, rescuing a burning ship, freeing a captured ship and target shooting. 

The purpose of the exercises – strengthening the security of international trade routes, combating piracy and maritime terrorism, as well as exchanging experience. Joint exercises “Marine Security Belt 2022” will be the third joint naval exercise of the three countries.

Three ships of the Pacific Fleet have already arrived in the Iranian port of Chahbahar to participate in the maneuvers. A detachment of ships set off on a long voyage from Vladivostok a few days before the onset of 2022.

Earlier, the Russian Ministry of Defense told details about the joint exercises with Belarus, which are scheduled from February 10 to 20. 


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Axios learned about Zelensky’s call for immediate US sanctions against Russia

Axios: Zelensky called on US senators for immediate sanctions against Nord Stream 2 Kiev believes that any conditional measures will be useless

Volodymyr Zelensky

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told US senators who visited Kiev this week that sanctions against Russia should be introduced now, and not wait possible “invasion” to Ukraine. This is reported by Axios, citing four sources.

“The President made it very clear: the sanctions against Nord Stream 2 must be entered now»,— an interlocutor close to Zelensky told the publication. According to him, any conditional measures against the Russian gas pipeline or other potential restrictions will be useless.


Kyiv believes that sanctions due to further escalation “will be neutral at best , and at worst— actually spur on [Russian President Vladimir] Putin,” the Axios source added. According to him, Putin “does not understand vague threats, the word” if ” not in his vocabulary, there is “yes” and «no».

A Democratic source told the publication that the meeting between the senators and Zelensky was positive, despite disagreements over when sanctions should be imposed on Russia.

On January 12, the US Senate released a bill prepared by the Democrats that would impose restrictions on the Russian leadership, including Putin, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and others in the event of a Russian invasion of Ukraine. The document also implies restrictions against at least three organizations from the following list: Sberbank, VTB, Gazprombank, VEB, RDIF, MKB, Alfa-Bank, Rosselkhozbank, Otkritie, Promsvyazbank, Sovcombank, Transcapitalbank.

A few days later, Republican Marco Rubio proposed a bill that provides for tough personal sanctions against Putin and other leaders of the country in the event of a further escalation in Ukraine, while the decision on restrictions, according to the senator, should not depend on US President Joe Biden.

January 20, Biden said that in the event of an invasion of Ukraine, Russia would face “tough economic consequences”, in particular, its banks would not be able to conduct transactions with dollars. According to White House press secretary Jen Psaki, under the “invasion” The United States will understand any crossing of the Ukrainian border by Russian military personnel.

The readiness to impose sanctions against Russia in the event of military aggression was also announced in the European Union. However, the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, stressed that there is no talk of preventive measures.

Russia has repeatedly denied its intention to invade Ukraine. Russia does not and cannot have any plans to attack Ukraine, said Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov. The Kremlin warned that US sanctions against the Russian leadership would lead to a breakdown in relations between the countries.

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Borrell rules out preventive sanctions against Russia over Ukraine

Borrell: everyone could benefit from the revision of the European security architecture The EU is ready to take measures in case of “aggression” against Ukraine, but there is no talk of preventive restrictions, the diplomat said. He also did not rule out a revision of the European security architecture, which would be beneficial for everyone

On preventive restrictions against Russia in the event of an “invasion” is not going to Ukraine, said EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell.

“Nobody is talking about preventive sanctions, there can be no preventive sanctions. We discuss what to do if something happens. <…> If it is necessary to act, we will have to act,— said Borrell.

At the same time, he noted that the European Union is ready in the event of “aggression” take action against Ukraine.

The European Union agrees that the architecture of European security needs to be revised, this could benefit everyone, the head of European diplomacy pointed out. “Revisiting the European Security Architecture Could Benefit Everyone,” — he thinks. At the same time, the diplomat pointed out that it is impossible to discuss the security of Europe without Europe itself. “No decisions can be made without the participation of Europeans”, — he noticed.

Western media and politicians have repeatedly reported on the concentration of Russian troops to the border with Ukraine and a possible “invasion” to a neighboring country.

US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, in particular, recently said, citing intelligence, that Russia is looking for a pretext for “aggression” against Ukraine. “Russia is working to create a reason for the invasion, including through sabotage, accusing Ukraine of preparing an attack on Russian forces in eastern Ukraine,” — he said. CNN reported that Moscow is preparing “a task force to carry out a false flag operation in eastern Ukraine.” Later, this information was confirmed by White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki. According to her, “attack” should happen between mid-January and mid-February.

The West is threatening to take drastic measures if this happens. Among them, Russia's disconnection from SWIFT and the restriction of the ruble's conversion.

The New York Times wrote that the United States could effectively ban the export of any consumer goods to Russia— from mobile phones and laptops to refrigerators and washing machines,— designed in the USA or which contain parts of American production.

Preventive measures were insisted, in particular, by the former Special Representative of the US State Department for Ukraine, Kurt Volker, who asked not to wait until « too late.” They also called for it in Ukraine.

Russia has repeatedly stated that the movement of troops on its own territory— her internal affairs. At the same time, the Kremlin assured that the country did not threaten anyone and was not going to attack anyone.

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In Britain, they announced the threatening behavior of Russia and gave Ukraine tanks

British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace made a statement in Parliament on January 17.

According to him, on Today, there are allegedly tens of thousands of Russian servicemen near the border with Ukraine. “Their deployment is not routine, and they are equipped with tanks, armored fighting vehicles, rocket artillery and short-range ballistic missiles,” the representative of the kingdom believes.

“Today, I can confirm to the House of Commons that in light of increasingly Russia's threatening behavior and in addition to our ongoing support, the UK is providing a new security assistance package to boost Ukraine's defense capabilities,” Wallace said.

In this regard, Britain will supply Ukraine with light, anti-tank, defensive weapons systems. A small number of British personnel will also conduct initial training over a short period of time as part of Operation ORBITAL

“The weapons supplied are purely defensive, non-strategic and do not pose a threat to Russia,” Wallace assured.

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Epidemic thresholds for influenza and SARS exceeded in 46 regions of Russia

The press service of Rospotrebnadzor reported that the epidemic thresholds for the incidence of acute respiratory viral infections (ARVI) and influenza viruses have been exceeded in 46 regions of the country, Interfax reports.

“On the territory of the Russian Federation, compared with the previous two weeks, an increase in the incidence of influenza and acute respiratory viral infections among all age groups is recorded, — The message says.

In total, more than 68.5 million people have been vaccinated against the flu, which is 46.9% of the country's population.

Formerly, Alexander Gamalei Center Director Gintsburg said that the simultaneous use of vaccines against influenza and coronavirus increases the effectiveness of the drugs.

The head of Rospotrebnadzor Anna Popova said that the incidence of influenza in Russia has decreased by 51 times compared to 2019.

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NYT learned about Russia’s plans to evacuate diplomats from Ukraine

NYT: Russia is going to evacuate 30 diplomats from Ukraine According to the source of the publication, the children and wives of diplomats left Ukraine in early January. In the coming days, he added, it is expected that 30 employees of consulates in Kiev and Lvov will leave the country

The building of the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Ukraine

Diplomats at two Russian consulates in Ukraine have been ordered to prepare to leave the country. This was reported by The New York Times newspaper with reference to a high-ranking official of the Ukrainian security service.

At the same time, the source of the publication specified that 18 people— mostly children and wives of Russian diplomats— left Ukraine on 5 January. About 30 more people will soon leave the consulates in Kiev and Lvov, he added.

A US official said that Washington was aware of the impending evacuation. “We have information indicating that the Russian government was preparing to evacuate their family members from the Russian embassy in Ukraine in late December and early January,” The statement notes.

They also clarified that Russian President Vladimir Putin still has not made a final decision on the “invasion”; to Ukraine.

RBC sent a request to the Russian Embassy in Ukraine.

The situation on the borders of Ukraine escalated last fall, when several foreign media reported that Russia was preparing an “invasion”. The Kremlin has repeatedly denied all accusations and noted that the movement of troops across the territory of Russia— it is her internal affair. President Vladimir Putin, in turn, spoke about increased NATO activity near the Russian borders.

In mid-December, the Russian Foreign Ministry sent proposals on security guarantees to the US and NATO. They contained a clause on the non-expansion of the alliance to the east, in particular on the obligation not to accept Ukraine and Georgia into the bloc. Negotiations on them with Washington and NATO took place on January 10 and 12. The press secretary of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov, following the results of the talks, said that they were unsuccessful.

After that, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that Russia was laying the foundation to fabricate a pretext for “invasion” to Ukraine, which, according to her, should take place between mid-January and mid-February. US Deputy Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, in turn, warned that the US had prepared 18 scenarios for sanctions in the event of an “invasion” Russia against Ukraine.

Peskov responded by saying that the sanctions under consideration, including those against the country’s leadership, could lead to a complete cessation of relations between the countries, “which would not be in the interests of either Moscow or Washington.” Peskov invited the US authorities to “remember at least some example of a situation where sanctions helped solve their problem.”

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Russia did not notify the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry about the evacuation of diplomats

The speaker of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Nikolenko said that Russia did not report the evacuation of diplomats alt=”Russia did not notify the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry about the evacuation of diplomats” />

Russia did not notify the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry about plans to evacuate diplomats from the country. This was stated by the speaker of the department Oleg Nikolenko in an interview with the InterfaxUkraine agency.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not receive information from the Russian side about the evacuation of employees of the diplomatic institutions of the Russian Federation from Ukraine”,— the speaker said. According to him, the embassies of other states also did not report their intentions to evacuate their employees.

Nikolenko added that the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry is also not going to evacuate its diplomats from the territory of Russia.

According to the speaker of the department, the embassy and consulates of Ukraine in Russia work as usual and protect the interests of the country's citizens, “despite the difficult conditions.”

Earlier, The New York Times, citing a high-ranking official The Security Service of Ukraine wrote that the Russian authorities instructed 30 employees of the embassy in Kiev and the consulate in Lvov to prepare for the evacuation. At the same time, the source of the publication claimed that the wives and children of diplomats left Ukraine on January 5.

In response, the Russian Foreign Ministry stated that the embassy in Kiev was operating normally.

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How columns of military equipment travel around Belarus before exercises with Russia

Military equipment appeared on the roads of Belarus. From February 10 to February 20, the military exercises “Allied Resolve – 2022” will be held in the country. The Russian military has already begun to arrive in Belarus for this, the country's Ministry of Defense reported


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“Veterans of Russia” demanded to punish Shenderovich for “rehabilitation of Nazism”

Photo: Mikhail Kovalev

Public Movement "Veterans of Russia" reported that she had applied to the Prosecutor General's Office and the Investigative Committee with a demand to initiate a criminal case on the rehabilitation of Nazism against the writer and journalist Viktor Shenderovich, who was previously included in the register of foreign media agents.

In a statement addressed to Prosecutor General Igor Krasnov and the head of the Investigative Committee Alexandra Bastrykina, members of the organization indicate that, in their opinion, the crime was committed by a foreign agent Shenderovich during the broadcast of “Echo of Moscow” May 6 last year. Then he spoke about “victory-madness”, talking about the festive events on May 9th. Shenderovich also criticized the slogan “We can repeat”, recalling those who died in the war and inhuman, in his opinion, individual orders of military leaders.

“Veterans of Russia” considered the statements of the publicist “depreciation of the inscriptions” that Soviet soldiers left “in May 1945 on the defeated Reichstag.” Shenderovich's statements about Georgy Zhukov's orders to “clear the fields with infantry” the veterans called “false opinion” propaganda.

Shenderovich's statements “have all the signs of spreading knowingly false information” the organization concluded about the role of the USSR in World War II and about its actions.

In addition, the organization cited reviews of “liberal associates”; Shenderovich regarding his departure from Russia, saying that by supporting the writer, they are also engaged in the “rehabilitation of Nazism”.

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Named two allies of Russia, whom the United States wants to destroy

The Chinese edition of NetEase called Venezuela and Cuba countries that it could be very beneficial for Russia to restore close military ties with The United States of America.

The authors of the publication write that Latin America is sometimes called the “backyard of the United States”, and American intelligence agencies have repeatedly tried to overthrow the Venezuelan and Cuban regimes.

According to the version voiced in the publication , Cuba and Venezuela could ask Russia to place weapons on their territory.

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Antonov said the situation in Ukraine is not on the agenda of Russia and the United States

Ambassador Antonov: Russia and the United States did not discuss the situation in Ukraine at the talks in Geneva It was only mentioned during the Russia-NATO Council meeting in Brussels as a secondary issue, Ambassador said

Russia and the United States did not discuss the situation in Ukraine during the talks in Geneva, Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov said, his words are quoted on the page of the Russian diplomatic mission on Facebook.

“This issue was not on the agenda of Russian-American negotiations in Geneva, but was only mentioned as a secondary topic in consultations with NATO in Brussels»— he said.

Russia is trying to obtain security guarantees from NATO, primarily concerning the refusal to move the alliance to the east. On January 10, 12 and 13, Russia held talks with the United States and its allies in NATO and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). However, no compromise was reached.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that Russia cannot veto Ukraine's entry into the alliance.

President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly said that Russia needs “precisely legal, legal guarantees,” since the West has not fulfilled its verbal obligations: NATO will not move east.

December 17, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced the draft treaties with the United States on security assurances; and agreements on security arrangements with NATO. They relate, in particular, to guarantees that the alliance will not move further to the east, the concentration of strike offensive weapons systems near the borders, the accession to the alliance of states that were previously part of the USSR, including Ukraine, the conduct of any military activity on the territory of Ukraine, as well as other states of Eastern Europe. , Transcaucasia and Central Asia.

After unsuccessful negotiations with the US and NATO, Russia requested a written response to its proposals.

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Antonov said that the situation in Ukraine is not on the agenda of Russia and the United States

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Peskov denied Russia’s involvement in cyberattacks on Ukrainian sites

Photo: Natalia Gubernatorova

Russian presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov said in an interview with CNN that Russia is not involved in cyber attacks on Ukrainian state websites .

Peskov added that the Kremlin is aware of the accusations against Russia, but there are no grounds for them. Earlier, law enforcement agencies of Ukraine stated that Moscow was involved in the incident.

On Friday, press secretary of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry Oleg Nikolenko spoke about cyber attacks on state websites of Ukraine. He pointed out that the websites of the ministry and other government agencies were inaccessible due to a hacker attack. Later it became known that personal data was not stolen, despite the assurances of the attackers.

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Peskov, in response to Russia’s accusations, recalled “life in a world of fakes and lies”

Peskov: Russia has nothing to do with the cyberattack in Ukraine Earlier, Washington did not rule out that Russia is preparing a provocation in Ukraine as a pretext for “aggression”

Responding to US accusations that Moscow is preparing a provocation in Ukraine, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov recalled the world of lies and fake news. He stated this in an interview, his fragment was published on Twitter by The Hill.

The host asked him to assure that Russia was not planning an escalation in the neighboring state in the near future. The Kremlin spokesman categorically denied such intentions.

He quoted US national security adviser Jake Sullivan as promising to release the evidence within 24 hours. Russia, as Peskov pointed out, is still waiting for these confirmations.

“We live in a world of false accusations, fake news, and a world of lies. While this [accusations] somehow— clear and understandable— will not be proven, we will continue to believe that these are fakes, & mdash; he said.

Speaking of talks with the United States and NATO, Peskov said in an interview with CNN that, despite having “some understanding”, the parties are “completely different tracks”, which “causes concern”, Bloomberg quoted him as saying.

The Kremlin spokesman also denied allegations that Russia was involved in a cyberattack on the websites of Ukrainian state structures. “We are almost used to the fact that Ukrainians blame Russia for everything, even bad weather in their country,” — he pointed out. In particular, US Deputy Secretary of State Victoria Nuland stated that the attacks were carried out according to the “time-tested Russian scheme”.

Earlier, Sullivan, referring to intelligence data, said that Russia was looking for a pretext for an “invasion”; to Ukraine. “Our intelligence community is processing data that Russia is working to create a pretext for an invasion, including through sabotage, accusing Ukraine of preparing an attack on Russian forces in eastern Ukraine,” — he said, promising to provide information within a day.

According to CNN, the United States has information that Moscow is preparing a “task force to carry out a false flag operation in eastern Ukraine.” The Joe Biden administration believes that Russia may drop saboteurs weeks before the alleged “aggression”, the channel reported. The New York Times noted that the provocation “could provide Russian President Vladimir Putin with a pretext to order an invasion of some regions of Ukraine or the entire country.”

According to a spokeswoman White House Jen Psaki, “assault” should occur between mid-January and mid-February. According to her, “Russian agents of influence” began to fabricate provocations in the state media and the Internet in order to “justify Russian intervention and sow division in Ukraine.” Psaki confirmed that Russia is preparing a “false flag” operation in Ukraine. The Kremlin called these statements unfounded.

Regular accusations of Russia in the upcoming “invasion” to Ukraine were voiced after negotiations on security guarantees, which Moscow insists on, primarily the non-advancement of NATO to the east.

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Trump says lying about Russia made his job difficult

Donald Trump says Russia fakes made his job difficult during his presidency Trump called the reason “fakes about Russia”

Donald Trump

Donald Trump said lying about Russia made his job difficult when he was President of the United States. His speech at a supporter rally in Arizona was broadcast by C-SPAN.

“People often ask me, <…> which country was the most difficult. With Russia? Or maybe with China or North Korea? With Iran? I answer: “No.” The most difficult country— this is the United States of America. We have crazy people here who create fakes about “Russia, Russia, Russia”— everything invented, everything fabricated, & mdash; said the ex-president.

During his presidency, Trump's opponents repeatedly accused him of colluding with Russia. In particular, it was about an attempt by Russia to interfere in the US presidential election in 2016 in order to influence the result of the vote and achieve a Republican victory.

In 2017, American intelligence published a report on this topic. Exploration “with a high degree of certainty” believes that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a campaign to interfere in the US presidential election, the document says. The Kremlin dismissed the allegations contained in the report as unsubstantiated.

After that, Buzzfeed published a dossier about the contacts of members of the Trump campaign and the Russian special services and about Russia's compromising evidence on the president. Document Author— Christopher Steele, former British intelligence officer MI6. The Kremlin has denied data on compromising evidence on Trump.

The ex-US President himself has repeatedly called such reports “fake news”. and “witch hunts”. Putin also said that one of the purposes of the accusations against Trump is to impose sanctions to contain Russia.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who led the investigation into collusion and interference, found no evidence of Trump administration collusion with Russia. However, the special counsel's report said that Russia interfered in the election to help Trump and escalate tensions in society. Russia denied involvement in the interference and put forward counterclaims.

In the fall of 2021, Trump demanded to deprive The New York Post and Washington Post of Pulitzer Perms, which the publications received in 2018 for articles investigating Russian interference in the elections. The former president once again denied information about collusion with Moscow.

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