Tag Archives: putin

Report: Russian Black Sea Fleet on “High Level” Alert

Washington, D.C.— The Russian Black Sea Fleet has reportedly been placed on high level combat alert after a U.S. ship left Cyprus for Syrian waters, according to the Russian Ministry of Defense as reported by Al-Masdar News of Beirut. Additionally, NBC News is reporting that the Russian military is jamming U.S. military drones operating over Syria, which is affecting American military operations, according to several U.S. officials. These moves by Russia likely come in anticipation of a possible U.S.-led coalition military strike.

A U.S. military strike— a decision yet to be made by President Trump, but one which he has strongly suggested— would be the result of an alleged chemical weapons attack in the in the city of Douma that was blamed on the Syrian Army by “rebels” as well as the White Helmets. In response, Russia claimed that their investigators found no traces of chemicals being used at the alleged attack site. An investigation team from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) will be traveling to Syria to conduct their own research following a request from Russia and Syria.

While Washington was quick to report that the Assad government was behind the alleged chemical attack, Russia warned weeks ago of false flag chemical weapons attacks by Islamist rebels intent on blaming the Assad government, as Truth in Media previously reported:

Russia’s Chief of the General Staff of Armed Forces, Valery Gerasimov, warned on Tuesday that Syrian rebels are preparing to utilize chemical weapons— to be blamed on the Syrian government— as a justification for U.S. strikes on Damascus, and cautioned that “in the event of a threat to our military servicemen’s lives, Russia’s Armed Forces will take retaliatory measures to target both the missiles and their delivery vehicles.”

“This has been confirmed by the discovery of a laboratory for the production of chemical weapons in the village of Aftris, which was liberated from terrorists,” Gerasimov stressed.

“As a countermeasure, Washington plans to deliver a missile and bomb strike against Damascus’ government districts,” Gerasimov continued.

The increased defensive alertness of Russian forces could raise concern, given Gerasimov’s warning of “retaliatory measures to target both missiles and their delivery vehicles.”

[Watch: Reality Check: No Sarin Gas Used by Assad in Syria?]

According to NBC News’ report:

The Russians began jamming some smaller U.S. drones several weeks ago, the officials said, after a series of suspected chemical weapons attacks on civilians in rebel-held eastern Ghouta. The Russian military was concerned the U.S. military would retaliate for the attacks and began jamming the GPS systems of drones operating in the area, the officials explained.

Dr. Todd Humphreys, an expert on GPS spoofing and jamming and director of the Radionavigation Laboratory at the University of Texas at Austin, warned that the Russian GPS jamming could be powerful, potentially causing them to malfunction.

“GPS receivers in most drones can be fairly easily jammed,” Humphreys said. “At the very least it could cause some serious confusion.”

NBC News reports that the Pentagon refused to say whether the jamming is causing drones to crash over concerns of operational security, but one official speaking off the record said the Russian jamming is sophisticated and has made a tactical impact on U.S. military operations in Syria.

“The U.S. military maintains sufficient countermeasures and protections to ensure the safety of our manned and unmanned aircraft, our forces and the missions they support,” Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon told NBC.

An unnamed U.S. official told NBC that the tactic is having an operational impact on U.S. military operations in Syria, and said “the equipment being used was developed by the Russian military and is very sophisticated, proving effective even against some encrypted signals and anti-jamming receivers.”

Investigative journalist Ben Swann’s most recent Reality Check fully summarizes the most recent chemical attack and the much larger conflict surrounding the incident:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcOxFAp-nx4

Putin Unveils New Series of Nuclear Weapons Including Hypersonic Missile

Moscow— Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his State of the Nation Address before the Russian Federal Assembly, announced that the Russian military has developed a new series of nuclear weapons; among those revealed are reported hypersonic weapons, a potential geopolitical game-changer.

Putin discussed the Russian development of hypersonic weapons while stating that the country “is in possession of such weapons” and added, “As an important stage of armament development, a precision hypersonic aviation and missile complex has been created.”

According to a Wired report on hypersonic missile capabilities:

The missiles are designed to travel at approximately 5,000 to 25,000 kilometres per hour , or one to five miles per second, a report for the RAND Corporation explains. In other words, the missiles fly more than 25-times faster than modern airplanes.

They’re made of two components: Hypersonic Glide Vehicles (HGVs) and hypersonic cruise missiles (HCMs). HGVs are unpowered vehicles that glide to their target at the top of the atmosphere, reaching between 40km to 100km in altitude.

HGVs are launched on an Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles, or ICBM. Once released they glide along the upper edge of the atmosphere, maneuvering toward their target, says Richard Moore, senior engineer and director of RAND’s Washington office.

It’s possible to keep the target a secret until the last few seconds of their flight because of the uniquely low trajectory they take in the atmosphere. It is then that missile makes its final dive.

Putin said that Russia warned the United States and European NATO member states numerous times that reciprocal measures would be taken by Moscow in response to the continued deployment of the U.S. global missile defense system in close proximity to the Russian border.

A report by Russian news agency TASS notes that in 2004, following U.S. strategic nuclear forces’ drills which for the first time involved missile defense systems, the Russian president told reporters that “given the qualitative and quantitative increase in the military capabilities of other countries, Russia needs to make a breakthrough and develop new generation weapons and military equipment.”

During the address, Putin noted, “In this regard, I am pleased to inform you that tests conducted during military exercises have produced positive results, confirming that in the near future Russia’s Strategic Missile Forces will receive the newest technical complexes capable of achieving hypersonic speed and hitting targets at intercontinental distances with high accuracy, at the same time being able to fully maneuver, changing altitude and course,” adding that “no other country currently has such weapons.”

According to Putin, “the unique flight and technical characteristics of the high-speed aircraft-type carrier make it possible to deliver missiles to a discharge point within just minutes.”

Reports: Russian Mercenaries Killed by US Air Strikes in Syria

Deir ez-Zor, Syria— Numerous Russian mercenaries were reportedly killed last week in U.S. attack that has the potential to destabilize an already tumultuous situation. A U.S. official and three Russians “familiar with the matter” told Bloomberg that the incident may be the deadliest interaction between Russia and the United States since the Cold War.

According to the exclusive report by Bloomberg:

“More than 200 contract soldiers, mostly Russians fighting on behalf of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, died in a failed attack on a base held by U.S. and mainly Kurdish forces in the oil-rich Deir Ezzor region, two of the Russians said. The U.S. official put the death toll in the fighting at about 100, with 200 to 300 injured, but was unable to say how many were Russians.

The Russian assault may have been a rogue operation, underscoring the complexity of a conflict that started as a domestic crackdown only to morph into a proxy war involving Islamic extremists, stateless Kurds and regional powers Iran, Turkey and now Israel.”

The incident reportedly took place in the Deir ez-Zor province, on the eastern banks of the Euphrates river, which is currently held by Kurdish forces working alongside U.S. coalition forces, ostensibly to fight against Islamic State. The Russian contractors had no air cover or mobile air defense to protect them during the fighting, according to two Russian sources, as reported by Bloomberg.

Reports indicate that on Wednesday, a pro-Syrian ground force of 500-600, which included T-55 and T-72 tanks, howitzers, and mobile rocket launchers, engaged in an attack on the rebel held base. The Syrian advance was rebuffed by an immediate and intense U.S. response, which included a three-hour assault by AC-130 Hercules gunships, F-15 strike fighters, F-22 stealth fighters, Apache helicopters and US Marine artillery. The intense response by the U.S. is, in part, thought be due to U.S. military “advisors” being embedded with the Kurdish rebel forces.

“The Russians may have allowed the attack to take place simply to make it clear to Assad that you can’t do things without coordination with Moscow,” Yury Barmin, a Middle East analyst at the Russian International Affairs Council, a research group set up by the Kremlin, told Bloomberg.

It’s important to note that the U.S. is operating in Syria as an occupying force without any international mandate, whereas the Russian military is operating in Syria at the behest of the Syrian government, as recognized by the United Nations.

The response by the United States was in part due to the “presence of a detachment of U.S. military ‘advisers’ within the largely Kurdish rebel stronghold” according to the Fraser Coast Chronicle; the publication added that the Pentagon “states this was a well-known fact to Russian and Syrian forces. Therefore the attack was not likely to have been a ‘mistake’.”

“Coalition officials were in regular communication with Russian counterparts before, during and after the thwarted, unprovoked attack,” U.S. Colonel Thomas F. Veale, a military spokesman, said in a statement. “Russian officials assured coalition officials they would not engage coalition forces in the vicinity.”

Interestingly, the Russian Defense Ministry said it had nothing to do with the attack and the U.S. accepted the claim— with U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis calling the entire episode “perplexing,” but not elaborating further.

“The Russians told us they had no forces there initially. I think that’s still the case but we don’t have full clarity on what the regime forces are doing there,” Mattis said. “The Russians professed that they were not aware when we called them about that force that had crossed the Euphrates. As it came closer they were notified when the firing began.”

In fact, in a strange twist, not only did the Russian military claim to not have been involved, but oddly, they did not demand an explanation from the U.S. for the reported Russian deaths.

Chairman of the Russian State Duma (lower house of parliament) Defense Committee Vladimir Shamanov told reporters on Wednesday that media reports about a large number of Russians killed in a US attack on February 7 are deliberate misinformation.

“Judging by the intelligence agencies’ assessments, there are many signs showing that someone is deliberately overstating the actual situation,” Shamanov said. “The information is being verified. However, there is no true and reliable information, unfortunately.”

Reports in Russian media indicate that a number of the Russians killed in the U.S. attack are private military contractors working for the Moscow-based firm Wagner, Russia’s answer to the U.S.’s Blackwater. Unconfirmed Russian social media sources claim that two units of private military contractors were “massacred,” with one reportedly being completely wiped out, while the other was “cut to pieces” by the U.S. onslaught. It is believed that Assad may have hired Wagner to recapture and guard Syrian energy assets in return for lucrative oil concessions, according to Russian media reports.

The Russian government denies any official involvement in the incident. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters during a conference call Wednesday that while there may have been Russian citizens in Syria involved, “they don’t belong to the Russian armed forces.”

Realistically, the aspect appearing to prevent this from becoming a dangerous international incident is the apparent understanding on both sides that Russia admitting to a massacre of its troops could necessitate a powerful response. Thus, the only thing preventing a full-blown diplomatic crisis that pits the U.S. and Russia directly and firmly against one another, is the use of labels such as “contractor” and “adviser.”

Fact Check: Hillary Clinton Claims Russia Has ‘Not Gone After ISIS’

During the latest Democratic Debate Thursday, Hillary Clinton defended her reservations towards Russia by claiming that the Russians “have not gone after ISIS or any of the other terrorist groups.”

Clinton’s statement was in response to comments made by rival Bernie Sanders when he was asked if he was prepared to “move militarily” against Russia, or to “institute further economic sanctions.”

Sanders called the United States’ relationship with Russia “complicated,” and said that although he believes the U.S. should “do our best in developing positive relations with Russia,” he also stands by President Obama in believing that Russian President Vladimir Putin needs to be shown that his “aggressiveness is not going to go unmatched.”

Clinton replied that she believes an agreement on a cease-fire is “something that has to be implemented more quickly than the schedule that the Russians agreed to.”

[pull_quote_center]You know, the Russians wanted to buy time. Are they buying time to continue their bombardment on behalf of the Assad regime to further decimate what’s left of the opposition, which would be a grave disservice to any kind of eventual cease-fire?[/pull_quote_center]

Clinton also said she is worried that the Russians are doing “everything they can to destroy what’s left of the opposition,” and she claimed that “the Russians have not gone after ISIS or any of the other terrorist groups.”

[pull_quote_center]So let’s support what Secretary Kerry and the president are doing, but let’s hope that we can accelerate the cease-fire, because I fear that the Russians will continue their bombing, try to do everything they can to destroy what’s left of the opposition. And remember, the Russians have not gone after ISIS or any of the other terrorist groups.[/pull_quote_center]

Russia began launching airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria in Sept. 2015. Syrian State media claimed the airstrikes began after Syrian President Bashar al-Assad requested help, and that the move was criticized by the U.S.

[RELATED: Russian-Backed Syrian Army Defeats ISIS at Aleppo]

A report from Reuters on Jan. 20 claimed that Russian airstrikes in Syria are gradually weakening both ISIS militants and the Free Syrian Army, allowing Assad to gain more power and to make one of its most significant gains since the start of the Russian intervention,” by capturing the town of Salma in Latakia province.

The report noted that out of the “3,000 people killed by Russian air strikes in Syria since they began in September, nearly 900 were members” of ISIS. The group lost control of the city of Ramadi in December, and has cut fighters’ pay since its “oil-smuggling operations are hit by plunging prices.”

However, the report also noted that Russia’s operation has harmed rebel groups in the area, who are “reporting intensified air strikes and ground assaults in areas of western Syria that are of greatest importance to Assad.”

[RELATED: Reality Check: Proof U.S. Government Wanted ISIS To Emerge In Syria]

Investigative journalist Ben Swann reported on the origin of ISIS in March 2015, and he noted that ISIS grew out of a group of U.S.-backed rebels who were attempting to defeat Assad.

However, Swann said that even when the U.S. government became aware that ISIS was capturing U.S. equipment, it did nothing, “because ISIS fighters were taking the equipment back into Syria to continue fighting Assad, which was what the U.S. government wanted.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6kdi1UXxhY

For more election coverage, click here.

Turkey Shoots Down Russian Warplane

ISTANBUL, November 24, 2015– On Tuesday, Turkey brought down a Russian warplane near the Syrian-Turkey border after the Russian jet reportedly entered Turkey’s airspace after 10 warnings not to do so. According to the White House, the intrusion lasted only a matter of seconds.

Russian President Vladimir Putin called the act a “stab in the back that will have serious consequences for Russia’s relationship with Turkey.”

Meanwhile, Turkey’s ambassador to the United States, Sedar Kilic, shot back at Putin in a tweet.

“Understand this: Turkey is a country whose warnings should be taken seriously and listened to. Don’t test Turkey’s patience. Try to win its friendship,” wrote Kilic.

President Obama has called upon Turkey and Russia to deescalate the situation and said that Russia should refocus its mission.

“The problem has been Russia’s focus on propping up Assad rather than concentrating on ISIL,” said Obama.

A deputy commander of rebel Turkmen forces in Syria that claimed responsibility for shooting down the Russian jet says the pilots ejected before he shot down the warplane.

Initial reports were that the two pilots of the jet were dead. However, a Turkish government official told Reuters otherwise.

“Our units, who received the information that the two pilots were alive, are working to get them from opposition rebels safely,” the official said.

Meanwhile, Russia is contradicting Turkey’s claim that both Russian pilots are alive. The RIA news agency reports that Russian military staff say one of the pilots is dead.

NATO’s North Atlantic Council is currently holding an emergency meeting in Brussels. Thus far, some NATO officials are quoted as saying that Turkey should have used more restraint.

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Putin Claims ISIS is Financed by 40 Countries Including G20 Members

During a press conference at the G20 Leaders Summit in Antalya, Turkey, on Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is being funded by 40 countries, including G20 members.

Putin was asked if “fighting terrorism was one of the summit’s main subjects of discussion” and if measures have been planned to “prevent the financing of terrorism.” 

[RELATED: France Declares State of Emergency, Military Enacts Full Control]

Putin told reporters that fighting terrorism was one of the key issues discussed, “especially after the tragic events with the hostage taking and loss of life in Paris,” and he said, “Yes, of course we are well aware that we must cut off the channels used to finance terrorism, and we discussed this.”

[pull_quote_center]I gave examples based on our information about individuals financing various Islamic State subgroups in different countries. We have established that financing is coming from 40 countries, including G20 countries. We discussed this issue.[/pull_quote_center]

The “Group of Twenty” includes Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, the European Union, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States.

[RELATED: Russia Begins Airstrikes Against ISIS in Syria]

While Putin did not give the specifics as to how many members of the “Group of Twenty” were financing ISIS or which members were involved, he said that the implementation of Russia’s initiative “on preventing financing of terrorism, unlawful trade in objects of art after terrorists pillage museums in the territories they seize, and unlawful sale of oil and petroleum products and earnings from this sale” was discussed.

[pull_quote_center]I also showed our colleagues satellite images and aerial photographs that show very clearly the scale of this illegal trade in oil and petroleum products. You see columns of refueling vehicles stretching for dozens of kilometers in lines so long that from a height of 4,000–5,000 meters they vanish over the horizon. It really looks more like an oil pipeline system.[/pull_quote_center]

Investigative journalist Ben Swann reported on the origin of ISIS in March, and he noted that the group grew drastically after it seized Humvees, tanks and weaponry left behind by the U.S. and that even when the U.S. government “became aware that ISIS fighters were capturing U.S. equipment, it did nothing.” 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6kdi1UXxhY

DONEGAN: U.S. Should Sit Back And Let Putin Destroy ISIS in Syria

The rise of ISIS in the destabilized areas connecting Syria, Libya, and Iraq, much of the territory of which once made up the meat of a historical region referred to as the Levant, unfolded largely due to U.S. foreign policy blunders. Secular strong men Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi, and Bashar al-Assad had kept radical Islamist forces in check in Iraq, Libya, and Syria respectively before they found themselves on American neoconservatives’ somewhat-arbitrary and clearly ill-advised hit list.

With Hussein and Gaddafi gone and Assad struggling, ISIS emerged as professional terrorists from around the world have flooded into the region, tapped into the anger of once-marginalized Sunni minorities, and obtained advanced U.S. weaponry and military hardware through misguided American intelligence programs aimed at strengthening unverifiable “moderate rebels” against the secular strong men that had previously prevented terrorist uprisings.

Meanwhile, ISIS has become an enemy to nearly all of its neighbors, which, unfortunately for the U.S., consists largely of military forces that American leaders also consider enemies, making it impossible for the U.S. to create a local and regional coalition to take out ISIS. America’s main military ally against ISIS in the region is the weak Iraqi government that it has attempted to prop up and duct-tape back together after a prolonged military occupation that created mistrust among locals.

Putin’s Russia, on the other hand, which was reportedly victimized by what ISIS claims was a terror attack on a Russian airliner, started an air assault on ISIS on September 30 to support the terror group’s regional enemies. Consequently, a coalition of Syrian government forces—Hezbollah, Iran, and Russia, a list of groups that U.S. politicians consider enemies and thus can not assist—won the first major victory against ISIS earlier this week by liberating a once-besieged key air base in Syria’s Aleppo province, lending credibility to the notion that Putin’s strikes have turned the tides against ISIS in Syria.

[RELATED: Russian-Backed Syrian Army Defeats ISIS at Aleppo]

U.S. media jumped all over the story of only one high profile terrorist possibly being targeted by U.S. drone strike while completely ignoring that Russian forces helped to end, this week, an ISIS siege of a key air base in Aleppo,” wrote Ben Swann in a Friday report on the U.S. effort to target ISIS propagandist “Jihadi John.

Swann also noted in a CBS 46 Reality Check video, seen below, that the convoluted and “insane” foreign policy of most leading Republican presidential candidates aside from Donald Trump and Senator Rand Paul can be described as, “[Neoconservative-leaning GOP candidates] want to fight ISIS while also fighting Assad in Syria. Even though ISIS is fighting against Assad in Syria, and the Russians are helping Syria fight ISIS so [the U.S.] may have to fight Russia to stop them from fighting with Syria against ISIS.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6uisj3_A94c

Neocons have floated the idea of ordering a no-fly zone over Syria, where Russian bombers are currently running sorties successfully targeting ISIS, which would put the brakes on Putin’s assault on ISIS and replace it with World War III style tensions between the U.S. and Russia.

Presidential candidate Donald Trump, however, said, “If Putin wants to beat the hell out of ISIS I’m all for it 100 percent. I can’t understand how anyone would be against it.

According to Breitbart, Trump explained earlier this year, “Let Syria and ISIS fight. Why are we — why do we care? Let ISIS and Syria fight. And let Russia, they’re in Syria already, let them fight ISIS. Look, I don’t want ISIS. ISIS is bad. They’re evil. When they start doing with the head-chopping, and drowning of — these are really bad dues, so I don’t want them. But let them fight it out. Let Russia take care of ISIS. How many places can we be?

Letting Putin take out ISIS would not be an abdication of American leadership. There is no American leadership in the region to abdicate. We have worn out our welcome with schizophrenic efforts to arm non-vetted “moderate rebels” who repeatedly turn out to be recruitment centers for ISIS fighters that are beheading everyone in sight in the region. We have decapitated the leadership of the few forces in the region that previously kept radical Islamists at bay. Now, the groups that have the ability to do it are U.S. enemies with whom we can not cooperate without a diplomatic re-alignment that hawkish American politicos will not support.

Russia, on the other hand, has built a coalition with Syria’s government, Iran, and Hezbollah that is making serious progress against ISIS in just a few short weeks. Let’s leave Syria alone and let Putin finish what he has started. Not only will it result in the decimation of ISIS, but it will do so without forcing the U.S. to borrow more from China to pay for it.

Russia Launches Military Exercises Around Nation

The Russian military is conducting military exercises involving more than 45,000 troops, war planes and submarines. The exercises come after the United States and other  North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) nations conducted similar exercises near Russia’s borders. 

Reuters reports that President Vladimir Putin made his first public appearance since March 5 on Monday morning as he met with Kyrgyz Republic President Almazbek Atambayev at the Constantine Palace outside Russia’s second city of St. Petersburg. Monday marks the first anniversary of Crimea’s secession from Ukraine and annexation by the Russian Federation.

Putin ordered the Russian Navy’s Northern Fleet to full combat readiness during exercises in the Arctic North. The exercises are aimed at challenging recent drills by Norway. Five thousands troops in Russia’s eastern military district participated in drills, as did five hundred troops from Chechnya. Russian authorities stated that the drills were also meant to focus on fighting Islamic extremists.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told RIA news,  “New challenges and threats to military security require the armed forces to further boost their military capabilities. Special attention must be paid to newly created strategic formations in the north.” Shoigu said Putin plans to spend more than $340 billion rebuilding Russia’s military.

The Russian military exercises follow a warning from former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. Kissinger told the United States and Russia to consider diplomatic resolutions to the conflict in Ukraine or a return to Cold War conditions is imminent. Speaking to the BBC’s World this Weekend, Kissinger also stated that limits on North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) nations should be lifted if they are to develop an adequate defense against Russia.

“NATO has to develop military  capacities that are relevant to dangers that they foresee. If they are determined to resist further Russian military moves it means that defense limitations should be lifted. It is inevitable that we are in a cold war strategy with Russia.”

He blamed less than cordial diplomacy between NATO and Russia for the current state of Ukraine. “I think it is essential that both Russia and NATO take a serious look at their diplomatic solutions because if they fail then I think a return to Cold war conditions is very likely.”

Just last week the United States sent tanks and armored vehicles to Latvia as part of NATO military exercises known as Operation Atlantic Resolve.  RT reported that more than 120 armored tanks and vehicles were sent to Latvia. Latvian Minister of Defense Raymond Vejonis called the exercise and equipment, “a confirmation of solidarity and security in the region.”

Operation Atlantic Resolve involved Canadian and American soldiers working with Latvian soldiers.

Russian Deputy defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said NATO is using the situation in Ukraine as cover for getting closer to Russia’s border.

“Instead of uniting forces to fight evil, the worst of which is terrorism, Western nations are drawing new divisive lines, trying to realize containment schemes against unwelcome states. Today, Russia has been chosen as the target,”
– Russian Deputy defense Minister Anatoly Antonov

In late 2014, I asked Is America Preparing for War with Russia?I suggest a reading of that article to understand the build up between the two nations. The United States continues to push Russia with sanctions yet Russia seems undeterred.

One of the most troubling actions from either country came in the last days of 2014.  On December 26 President Putin approved an updated war doctrine for Russia. The doctrine makes it clear that Russia will use military force to protect its citizens. The doctrine also stated that the US and NATO allied countries pose a military threat to the existence of Russia as a sovereign free nation.

Putin said Washington is to blame for the changes, with it’s own war doctrine of pre-emptive attacks, deployment of anti-ballistic missiles, and buildup of NATO forces on Russia’s border. Russia also acknowledged attempts at regime change through “actions aimed at violent change of the Russian constitutional order, destabilization of the political and social environment, and disorganization of the functioning of governmental bodies, crucial civilian and military facilities and informational infrastructure of Russia.”

Is America Preparing for War with Russia in 2015?

As America sanctions Russia for treaty violations Russian President Vladimir Putin adjusts his country’s War Doctrine. 

Relations between the United States and Russia continue to falter as the two nations go head-to-head in an attempt to see who will blink first. The US has sought to punish Russia for allegedly commandeering rule in Eastern Ukraine.

In mid-December President Obama signed the Ukraine Freedom and Support Act of 2014 which initiated sanctions on Russia. The Act was only the latest in sanctions that the US and the EU have enforced on President Putin and his people. It also gives President Obama the power to increase defense services, training and equipment to the Ukrainian “rebels”. 

The US recently imposed a new set of sanctions against Russia in response to what they say are violations of the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. The INF was signed by President Ronald Reagan with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987. The treaty removed an entire class of nuclear weapons from legal use by banning the possession, production or test-flying of a ground-launched cruise missile with a range of 300 to 3,400 miles. The US accuses Russia of having banned intermediate and advanced-range ballistic missiles (IRBMs).

In addition, the State Department announced on Monday that they were imposing sanctions on four Russian officials for human rights abuses under the Magnitsky Act. Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said the sanctions were endangering ” prospects for bilateral cooperation on solving the situation around the Iranian nuclear program, the Syrian crisis and other acute international problems.”

One of the most troubling actions from either country came in the last days of 2014.  On December 26 President Putin approved an updated war doctrine for Russia. The doctrine makes it clear that Russia will use military force to protect its citizens. The doctrine also stated that the US and NATO allied countries pose a military threat to the existence of Russia as a sovereign free nation.

Putin said Washington is to blame for the changes, with it’s own war doctrine of pre-emptive attacks, deployment of anti-ballistic missiles, and buildup of NATO forces on Russia’s border. Russia also acknowledged attempts at regime change through “actions aimed at violent change of the Russian constitutional order, destabilization of the political and social environment, and disorganization of the functioning of governmental bodies, crucial civilian and military facilities and informational infrastructure of Russia.”

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal, outlined his view of how the changes in Russia’s war doctrine and unfolding economic conditions will affect the geopolitical chess board.

“The financial markets are based on manipulation, not on fundamentals. The manipulation is untenable. With debt exploding, negative real interest rates make no sense. With real consumer incomes, real consumer credit, and real retail sales stagnant or falling, the stock market is a bubble. With Russia, China, and other countries moving away from the use of the dollar to settle international accounts, with Russia developing an alternative to the SWIFT financial network, the BRICS developing alternatives to the IMF and World Bank, and with other parts of the world developing their own credit card and Internet systems, the US dollar, along with the Japanese and European currencies that are being printed in order to support the dollar’s exchange value, could experience a dramatic drop in exchange value, which would make the import-dependent Western world dysfunctional.”

The Security Council of the Russian Federation stated that the threats to their nation include, “typical “indirect actions” observed during the struggle of the leading countries for the spheres of their influence: the use of protest potential of the population, radical and extremist organizations, private military companies; built up of NATO offensive potential directly at the Russian border, swift actions are taken to deploy global missile defense systems.”

Indeed, Russia’s leadership are not alone in their belief that western governments are interfering in the Ukraine-Russia conflict. Earlier this week director and film-maker Oliver Stone commented on the situation. He discussed a recent interview he conducted with Viktor Yanukovich, the former Ukrainian president who was removed from power in 2014.

“Details to follow in the documentary, but it seems clear that the so-called ‘shooters’ who killed 14 police men, wounded some 85, and killed 45 protesting civilians, were outside third party agitators. Many witnesses, including Yanukovych and police officials, believe these foreign elements were introduced by pro-Western factions– with CIA fingerprints on it.”

As RT reports, Stone believes there is “ample evidence of pro-Western, third-party interference” in Ukraine. He specifically mentioned Victoria Nuland and Senator John McCain. Stone also mentioned organizations such as USAID who have been accused of training protesters or outright creating conflicts in other nations.

Following the announcement,Chechnya’s President Ramzan Kadyrov announced the creation of a special military regiment in support of Russia. Kadyrov said his country would be willing to defend Russia against Western “aggression.” Mr Kadyrov also stated that Chechen army recruits were free to serve in the Russian naval base in Sevastopol.

Konstantin Sivkov, President of the Academy of Geopolitical Problems told  Pravda.Ru that the U.S. is aiming to destroy Russia’s nuclear potential and the country itself. Sivkov went on to state that American elite will not be held accountable unless they are militarily destroyed.

Deciphering whether the back and forth between nations is genuine or more trickery on the grand global stage is a difficult task. Both nations and leaders seek to appear strong and up for the challenge but is the world ready? The possibility of a nuclear war has been a looming threat for decades. The media and authorities often trumpet these conflicts to stoke nationalistic fires and support from the masses. It is up to each of us as free individuals to sift through the surface layers and establish an understanding of geopolitical events and how they affect our lives.

We must ask ourselves why gas prices are low (see this and this), and whether America engaging in another Cold War is the best path forward. In the end the rulers of both nations will likely continue to wage proxy wars in hopes of chipping away at the opposing empire.

Islamic Militants to Putin: We are Coming to Russia

In a recent video released by Islamic State militants, they changed from sending threats to United States President Barack Obama, to threatening the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin.

The video featured Russian subtitles, translating the militants’ spoken Arabic. They posed around Russian military equipment, including a fighter jet, which was captured from the President of Syria, Bashar al-Assad.

According to the Washington Post, Russia is an old ally of the Assad regime, and it remains Assad’s “primary source for military hardware.

Yahoo News reported that the General Prosecutor’s Office of Russia requested that investigators conduct a criminal examination regarding the video, and “demanded that access to the address, which was posted on YouTube on Tuesday and features what jihadists say is a Russian-supplied fighter jet, be blocked.

This is a message to you, oh Vladimir Putin, these are the jets that you have sent to Bashar, we will send them to you, God willing, remember that,” one militant warned.

The militants went on to state that they would “liberate Chechnya and the entire Caucasus.” 

The Washington Post reported that this threat was to be expected, due to the fact that the “Chechen insurgency has gone deep underground,” and the fact that Russia’s “heavy-handed rule over the North Caucasus has radicalized some in this Muslim-majority borderland.

According to International Business Times, Russia’s security services stated that they believe “hundreds of militants from the Caucasus regions have fled to the Middle East to fight with the group.”

“The Islamic State is and will be and it is expanding God willing,” The militants warned Putin. “Your throne has already teetered, it is under threat and will fall when we come to you because Allah is truly on our side. We are already on our way God willing.”

Watch the video released by the Islamic militants:

LEAKED VIDEO: Obama working out– It’s tragic

WARSAW, Poland, June 8, 2014– A leaked video of President Obama working out in his Marriot hotel gym in Warsaw has gone viral. According to the video description, Obama was visiting Europe to reaffirm American support against Russia. The video features Obama pumping iron– of the five pound version. As he struggles to lift the two five pound weights, cringes fly from his face.

It was only a matter of hours before the late night circuit caught wind of the video. “This is how I dance at weddings,” Kimmel said.

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DEVELOPING: Russian Troops Storm Ukrainian Airbase in Crimea

Armed Russian forces backed by armored vehicles broke into a Ukrainian airbase Saturday in Crimea.  The three armored vehicles reportedly rammed through a gate of the Belbek airbase after Russian forces had given word to troops inside to either surrender or prepare to be stormed.

Reports from the scene indicate that the armored vehicles smashed through the gates of the compound while other Russian soldiers broke through the walls in other sections of the facility.

According to a correspondent with AFP, armed men wearing camouflage and sunglasses fired automatic weapons into the air and dismantled a camera providing a live feed of the front gate of the base.  Russian soldiers were also seen pointing guns at Ukrainian soldiers.
According to a Ukrainian defense ministry official, at least two soldiers were shot during the raid of the base, though there are no reports of any deaths.

Here, you can watch video from the video camera feed at the airbase:

There are in total only about three Ukrainian strongholds in the region of Crimea.  With the Belbek base now under Russian control, the number of remaining Ukrainian strongholds has now fallen by one.