PravdaReport: Russian news and analysis
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Trump and the gun issue
It is common practise to ridicule all Trump says; he does not often help his cause. The US is facing a severe social dilemma so a proposal is worth considering
The United States of America is facing a severe social crisis. Eighteen gun attacks at schools alone in the first two months of 2018 is not a healthy situation. At times of severe challenges, it is the role of the media to take an objective and sensible look at the issues and to promote discussion among the parts involved.
British Defense Secretary: A Study in insolence
Perhaps insolence is not the right word, perhaps belligerence, incompetence and self-interest, pandering to the lobbies which pull strings may be more accurate?
It has not been a very good week for common sense but conversely, it has been an excellent one for puerile and nonsensical soundbites, what with the latest Trumpism about gun teachers in schools, or was it janitors with flame throwers? Now we have the British version of Donald Trump, one Craig Williamson, saying that Russia poses more of a threat to the United Kingdom than terrorism.
Russian clubs triumph in Europa League Second Leg
Three out of the four Russian clubs in the Round of 32 in the UEFA Europa League have qualified for the following Round of 16.
Identity policies constitute a major form of perception management practiced to manage and steer populations by making use of certain identifiers and a sense of belonging. These policies, which are among the most frequently and commonly used as well as the most effective social engineering mechanisms in the world, have also introduced many terms into our daily life such as sub-identity, supra-identity, collective identity, identity crisis, etc.
While identity politics may aim to give a certain identity prominence or make it superior and dominant in a certain country or region, they may also seek to present certain identities as a target or an enemy, as well as marginalize and suppress them. Rhetoric may be produced over aggrieved or dominant identities. Ethnic, religious and sectarian differences are the most fundamental elements of identity politics. Not only states, but also political parties, groups, organizations, even terrorist movements, might make use of certain identities in order to pull more votes or followers.
Throughout the Cold War period, various ideological policies based on class differences reigned supreme across the globe. As it is known, the two most essential among them were the capitalist system, which prioritizes private property and the owners of capital and generally promotes a free market economy, and the socialist (communist) system, which is based on the working class and promotes public property and a centrally planned economy. These two ideologies essentially polarized the world into two opposing and hostile blocs. With the official dissolution of the Soviet Union in December 26, 1991, the Cold War era came to an end.
Shooting down the new Su-57 fighter aircraft from MANPADS is impossible. Pravda.Ru spoke about advantages and export capacity of Russia's state-of-the-art Su-57 (formerly known as PAK FA T-50) in an interview with Victor Murakhovsky, editor-in-chief of Arsenal of the Fatherland magazine. According to the specialist, the Sukhoi Su-57 has a number of advantages over previous aircraft models. It is barely noticeable on radar screens and armed the latest aviation weapons housed inside the fuselage. "This peculiarity reduces fuel consumption at cruising speeds, increases the flight range by reducing air resistance and provides very low visibility on radars," Viktor Murakhovsky told Pravda.Ru. The aircraft is stuffed with radio electronic equipment integrated into the automated control system for troops and weapons, the expert said. According to him, in all likelihood, the Su-57 will only be used at medium altitudes - five kilometres or a little higher to exclude attacks with the use of anti-aircraft artillery and portable anti-aircraft missile systems. The Su-25 was designed for lower altitudes, so it could be downed from a MANPAD, the expert noted. Russia's Defence Ministry is now going to order a first squadron of Su-57 fighters for test operations, Victor Murakhovsky added noting that the new aircraft will be tested in combat conditions in Syria."This aircraft is now the pinnacle of military technology, and Russia should not sell it to foreign partners. There is another fifth-generation aircraft that Russia is developing with India, and this version can be made available for exports," the expert said. Pravda.Ru Read article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru
There are many young men in Russia, who do not want to serve in the army. Some traditionally see army service as the worst experience of all that a man may have in his life. Others fear army hazing and coercive service in hotspots. Yet, all Russian men are happy to receive gifts and congratulations on February 23, which is celebrated in Russia nationwide as the Army Day, or Men's Day. According to the Russian Defence Ministry, the number of conflict situations and criminal offence against conscripts has been decreasing by 5-15 percent every year. At the same time, it is hard to either to confirm or disprove this information, because a decree from 2015 classifies army losses in peacetime.Needless to say that such secrecy gives ground for rumours and speculation. Not that long ago, the head of the Public Chamber Commission for National Security Affairs, Alexander Kanshin, requested the Main Military Prosecutor's Office to reinstate the practice of providing information about crimes, accidents and corruption in the army, including the data on non-combat personnel losses. Last time, such data was published on the website of the Defence Ministry in 2008: 471 people. In the next two years, one could talk about casualty rate in the Russian army on the basis of reports from Military Prosecutor Sergei Fridinsky and Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika. In 2009, 470 people died in the army, and 478 lost their lives during army service in 2010. Most of the deaths of servicemen of all ranks take place as a result of road accidents and violations of safety regulations.Chairman of the All-Russian Trade Union of Military Men, Oleg Shvedkov, says that the number of deaths among military personnel has significantly decreased during the recent years. "Roughly speaking, there were about 100 deaths for 800,000 people in the past. Presently, the number has dropped to 20 deaths per 400-500 thousand. The reduction is obvious," Mr. Shvedkov said. Ella Polyakova, member of the Presidential Council for Human Rights, believes that the Defence Ministry deliberately conceals the data on deaths and injuries among conscript soldiers. According to her, up to 500 servicemen die in the army every year. This figure nearly coincides with those mentioned above, and it is dramatically high. However, let's step outside a military unit to see how blissful civilian life can be for many Russian young men. Russia is ranked first in the world in terms of the number of suicides that occur among conscription age citizens. The head of the department of the Federal Medical Centre of Psychiatry named after Serbsky, Boris Polozhy, said that the number of teenage suicides in the Russian Federation nearly halved over the past five years. Still, Russia ranks high in terms of the "frequency" of teenage suicides per 100,000 citizens of the corresponding age group. Russian teenagers commit suicide 1.5 times more frequently than their peers in most European countries. This terrifying figure is much lower among girls aged 15-19. Fires in Russia kills about 20,000 people every year. In other words, fires destroy the population of a small town every year. As many as 50,000 students get crippled at Russian schools annually.Last year, Alexander Bastrykin, the head of the Investigation Committee, published statistics according to which, a year earlier, 888 Russians were recognised as victims of medical errors and negligence, and 712 of those people lost their lives. Counterfeit alcohol kills about 60,000 people every year. Heavy drugs claim the lives of 40,000 Russians. Once again: it goes about civilian people, not military personnel. The mortality rate on Russian roads is terrifying. In Russia, car accidents with lethal outcomes occur three or four times more frequently than in developed countries of Europe and Asia. The number of victims of car accidents reaches 30,000 people a year; a quarter of a million receive maiming injuries of varying degrees. For comparison, a decade-long war in Afghanistan claimed the lives of 15,000 Soviet soldiers. It is hard not to agree that such a massive scale of human destruction is reminiscent to genocide. However, no Russian parent has ever destroyed, burned or eaten the driving license of their adult children. Still, those parents will try to do their best not to let their sons go to serve in the army. In today's Russia, conscript soldiers serve for 12 months and, as a rule, not far from their home towns. They communicate with their families on the phone and Skype daily. They do not work on farms, nor do they peel potatoes at night. Representatives of the Chief Military Prosecutor's Office say that the number of draft dodgers decreases by 20 percent every year. This could be an optimistic number, if it wasn't for some others. Russian schools produce about 750,000 graduates every year, and about a half of them are young men. The autumn draft of 2017 conscripted 134,000 young Russians, 152,000 joined the army in 2016. Where are all others? Did they become parents, entered higher education institutions or were born physically challenged? According to public data, only 40 percent of conscripts are called up for military service, which is less than a half. For some strange reason, there are many individuals in Russia, who think of themselves as real men, but who fear the army subculture. Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said that Russia works to reform its armed forces into a fully professional army. Some others say, though, that Russia is doomed to have the mixed contractual and recruitment conscription. Mixed conscription is common practice in 18 countries of the world, such as Norway, Sweden, Finland, Germany, Greece, Turkey, Malta and Cyprus. Stanislav VarykhanovPravda.Ru Read article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru
American diplomats and employees of US foreign missions in Russia will not be able to observe the course of the presidential election in Russia, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said.According to the diplomat, this is a normal situation, given that during the 2016 elections in the US, the Americans denied such an opportunity to employees of Russian institutions overseas. At the same time, all US citizens included in the OSCE Election Observation Mission's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) will be able to fulfil all respective functions at the Russian elections.The United States is working on an unprecedented attack on the 2018 elections in Russia. Chairman of the Federation Council Committee for Foreign Affairs, Konstantin Kosachev, said that "judging by the bellicose rhetoric on the topic of the Russian intervention, the US has set off preparations to "strike" the presidential election in Russia, where the scale of pressure on the part of the United States is to be unprecedented."Pravda.Ru Read article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru
On February 21, first photos of Su-57 fighter aircraft in Syria were posted on the Internet. The photos of the Russian state-of-the-art fighter jet were made not far from Russia's air base in Hmeymim. The photos come as a confirmation to the appearance of the fifth-generation multifunctional fighter formerly known as T-50 in Syria. The aircraft was developed by Sukhoi Design Bureau as part of the PAK FA project.It is possible that the fighters were redeployed to Syria for a test operation. The Su-57 went for its maiden flight on January, 29th, 2010. The small-scale production of the Su-57 commenced in 2013. Serial supplies of the latest fighter aircraft are to start in 2018-2019.The photos show two aircraft with their gear extended, while Su-35 and Su-25 are manoeuvring nearby. The Su-57 is armed with ten air-to-air missiles for long-range air combat and ten air-to-surface missiles to strike ground targets. For close combat operations, the Su-57 is armed with 30-mm air guns.Pravda.Ru Read article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru
Russian curlers Alexander Krushelnitsky and Anastasia Bryzgalova have been deprived of their bronze medals because of the doping. On February 22, it became known that the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) canceled the hearings on the case of Russian curler Alexander Krushelnytsky, whose sample B confirmed the presence on meldonium in the athlete's body. Court representatives said that all parties to the dispute, including the Russian athlete himself, requested to cancel the hearings. The hope for a positive decision of the sports court on the fact of two positive doping tests was infinitely minuscule. To be more precise, there was no hope at all. And yet again, we have given up the struggle and demonstrated admirable humility and humbleness instead. Although, when the athletes were making the decision to go to the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, (not all of them decided to go), they were apparently expecting honest sports competitions. It is obvious now that it was naive of them, to say the least, to hope for honesty and objectivity. In this particular case, no one, of course, expected the court to take into account the pointless use of the drug in curling, let alone its single intake. Moreover, there was no chance to hope that the court would find that someone wanted Krushelnytsky to take a dose of meldonium unbeknownst to the athlete. Why don't we fight for the truth? Why don't the athletes fight for their medals and their victories as long as they decided to take part in the Olympics during the times of major attacks on Russian sports? They shouldn't have hid their heads. Every crime has a motive, apart from, of course, crimes committed by negligence. Does the world really believe that Russian athletes always think of ways to stuff themselves with doping drugs? Russian athletes were attacked brutally, they were humiliated during Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio, strongest Russian athletes were not allowed to go to the Games in South Korea, and those who went there were forced to wear humiliating uniforms, as if they went to a Nazi camp. Still, the Western world was led to believe that even those Russians who went for the 2018 Winter Games, still wanted to take at least a little bit of doping to finally see if they can get away with it or not. Why did they go to the Olympics? Did they go there to win? I think they went there to check the vigilance of sports officials for the 1001st time.An American journalist wrote that the Russians performed in Pyeongchang a lot worse than they did in Sochi in 2014 suggesting that many Russian athletes had used doping during the 2014 Winter Games. Therefore, the journalists concluded, the non-admission of Russia's best athletes to South Korea was the punishment that they deserved. Well, did the Russian athletes have any chance to struggle for their truth? Are they not fighters? How about judicial precedents from the past? On October 7, 2017, officials with Athletics Canada Federation announced that world champion in pole vaulting Sean Barber had the right to perform at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro despite his positive doping test for cocaine.The good old BBC, a pioneer of modern journalism, said the athlete explained the presence of cocaine in his doping sample with a sexual intercourse. The 22-year-old athlete posted an ad on a dating site on the eve of the national qualifying tournament for the 2016 Games. The woman, who responded to the athlete's advertisement, said that she took the cocaine before meeting the athlete, but did not inform the latter about it. Barber claimed that he could not even imagine that it would be possible to find traces of cocaine in the body of a person, who kissed someone who had taken the drug a while ago. As a result, specialists came to conclusion that the athlete could not take such a small amount of cocaine. The BBC noted that the athlete was facing a two-year disqualification, but the Canadian Ethics Commission concluded that there were no reasons for such a severe punishment. In Rio, Barber took the tenth place.In 2009, a similar case occurred to French tennis player Richard Gasquet. The French tennis star also managed to prove that a banned substance found itself in his body through a kiss.I understand that there is a special approach to athletes from Russia. This is not news, and those who went to Pyeongchang accepted those rules by default. It means, though, that they should now go to the mat. It's all about the will to win. It was like that in the past. Has anything changed when sports income came to replace country's prestige?Inna Novikova Pravda.Ru Read article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru
Champions League Round of 16: Shakhtar and United with slight advantage
Shakhtar Donetsk needs to draw away at Roma to pass through to the last eight of the Champions League, while Manchester United has to beat Sevilla FC at home. Not easy for either sides.
Wednesday February 21
By Paul Craig Roberts
Gun bans are no more effective than banning drugs.
What explains school shootings and other mass shootings-the ones that are real?
Top-secret US nuclear base Century, built in 1959, was found under the 35-meter layer of ice in Greenland. The base was found as glaciers continue melting, The Daily Star said. There are toxic objects in the camp, and the camp may thaw out completely in several years, scientists said. At the time of its construction, the base was eight meters below the ice level. The base was built to counter the power of USSR, when the Americans were preparing for a possible nuclear war. The base was located only a few hundred miles from the territory of the enemy.On the territory of the base, there were military facilities, a shop, a cinema and even a church, as well as apartment houses that could accommodate up to 200 soldiers.The base was closed in 1967 because of the unstable condition of ice. All equipment was removed from the base, but biological and radioactive waste was left there intact.Pravda.Ru Read article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru
American diplomat Victoria Nuland said that she could understand Russian culture better after she had worked with Russian fishermen for six months.The reason for the story was a video posted by Aleksei Navalny, in which Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Prikhodkov said to businessman Oleg Deripaska that he considered Victoria Nuland a friend, even though she had an aversion to Russia for living with Russian seamen on a fishing boat for six years in her 20s. Nuland, who served as an official State Department spokesperson in 2011-2013, confirmed that she had lived on the Soviet fishing trawler in 1984, adding that it was not a whaling boat, as Prikhodko said. Nuland also said that living with 80 Russian seamen was a very interesting experience for her, because she could learn Russian culture straight from the source, so to speak. The American diplomat noted that she had showed interest in the Russian culture during her studies. when she studied the Russian language, but there were no relations between the USSR and the USA in 1983. Having become an assistant to a congressman, Nuland took responsibility to work with Soviet sailors. According to Nuland, a joint US-Soviet enterprise allowed American sailors to fish in the 20-mile zone and deliver the catch to Soviet sailors, who were not allowed to fish in that part of the sea," the diplomat said.There were American observers on every Soviet fishing vessel to prevent the catching of rare fish species, Victoria Nuland said in an interview for DW with journalist Zhanna Nemtsova. "We were all young people looking for adventures," she said. The diplomat said that she was responsible for radio communication between the fish processing vessel and the Americans to ensure the delivery of fish to the deck. Pravda.Ru Read article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru
The USA has been obsessed with the idea to punish Russia lately. Targeted actions to retaliate for the "new Pearl Harbor" or the "new 9/11" may get out of control one day, and the world will fall into chaos of another war.
Russia declares war on the USA: Rhetoric or countermeasures?
After the publication of the report from Democratic senators about "Russia's attacks on democracy," and after the indictment of 13 Russian citizens, who had allegedly created an army of bots to interfere in US elections, American officials say that Russia's actions against the USA appear to be an act of war, the aggression of which is comparable to Pearl Harbour and 9/11 attacks. This is stated explicitly in the above-mentioned documents, as well as in public statements from Hillary Clinton at the presentation of her book, journalist Thomas Friedman, Republican and Democratic senators at congressional meetings and on television. If all of the things that US policy-makers and public figures say are true, why doesn't America respond accordingly? After Pearl Harbour, the USA dropped two nuclear bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima; after 9/11, the Americans launched the Arab Spring. If it's just the rhetoric, then it clearly comes contrary to the actual state of affairs. Indeed, as Russian President Putin once said, the United States is not a banana republic, and "Putin's 13" are unlikely to be a formidable destructive force. The most important question is as follows: what if US actions come in line with the rhetoric, and the world will plunge into chaos of another global war? Third time's a charm?
The purpose of responsive measures is to intervene in the Russian elections
Bellicose statements from US officials come as part of the "game of all-in against Trump," chief researcher at the Institute of the USA and Canada, Vladimir Vasiliev, told Pravda.Ru. Donald Trump's opponents want to stoke the investigation of his cooperation with Russia to obtain leverage on him and solve the issue of further financing for the Muller commission that has failed to find any serious evidence against Trump. The existence of "Putin's 13 friends", on the contrary, means that Trump is not involved in all that, the expert told Pravda.Ru. In addition, Donald Trump's opponents believe that this is the last opportunity to push him to impose new sanctions against Russia. "If we look at Pearl Harbour in a historical perspective, the Americans struck a nuclear blow on Japan after the Japanese bombed their fleet. Therefore, the Americans believe that as long as Russia intervened in the US elections, the US should intervene in the Russian elections too," the expert said in an interview with Pravda.Ru. According to Vladimir Vasilyev, the Trump administration is to make additional steps that will not let Putin come to power again. The Americans hope that new sanctions imposed on Russian oligarchs will trigger a palace coup. In this case, the Americans would be satisfied with their interference in the Russian elections. Yet, Donald Trump, in the opinion of Vladimir Vasilyev, "is sending a clear signal to the Kremlin that he is not going to interfere in the Russian elections." We would like to hope that our expert is right, and the words about the "punishment" of Russia are nothing but words. Nevertheless, Russian military aircraft do not fly near US borders, and Russian destroyers do not travel in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico either. It is American warplanes and warships that persistently appear very close to Russian borders, particularly in the area of the Black Sea. Plus, Russia does not spend 867 billion dollars on defence. Russia does not have puppet rulers anywhere, but the USA has quite a few, and one of them is in Ukraine. When one recollects Saakashvili, who "misunderstood Obama" and attacked South Ossetia in 2008, one do not feel calm about Poroshenko's intentions. America's stakes on inadequate politicians, like in 1933 in Germany, cost the world a lot to say the least.Lyuba Lulko (Stepushova)Pravda.Ru Read article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru
Egypt has become the largest buyer of Russian food products, having left China behind for the first time, RBC reports with reference to the Russian Export Centre. In 2017, Egypt's food imports from Russia made up $1.73 billion, which was almost 44 percent more than in 2016.For comparison, China's food imports from Russia amounted to $1.71 billion having increased by eleven percent vs. the previous year.Eighty-two percent of all of Egypt's food imports from Russia accounts for wheat. Russia has shipped 7.8 million tons of wheat to Egypt, which accounts for approximately a quarter of wheat exports from the Russian Federation. Total wheat imports to Egypt made up 11.2 million tons.In the near future, Egypt may become a profitable market for the Russian poultry, as Russia already suffers from overproduction of poultry, experts said. Total food exports from Russia in 2017 increased by almost a quarter and amounted to 19 billion dollars.On February 16, Bloomberg reported that Russia's grain imports in 2017-2018 would make up 36.6 million tons. If the forecast is true, it will be the largest number for any country in the world over the past 25 years.Pravda.Ru
Terrorists stationed on the territory of Afghanistan may arrange subversive activities on the territory of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS, former Soviet republics). According to Andrei Novikov, the head of the CIS Antiterrorist Centre (ATC), ISIL* has already urged its followers to start such attacks. The calls disseminated through media space were made in languages of the peoples of the CIS."So-called "attacks of inspiration" conducted by international terrorist organisations in other states from Afghanistan pose a serious danger for the CIS. These attacks are meant to ensure the tactics of "lone wolves," the official said at the meeting of the heads of national antiterrorist centres of the CIS countries.According to him, ISIL* has been forming a new cell in Afghanistan and Pakistan as a replacement for the positions that the terrorist organisation lost in Syria and Iraq. "ISIL is rebranding itself to preserve both its global religious and political project, as well as the military and political model," Novikov noted.The terrorist organisation has been upgrading its combat core recruiting Afghan youth and representatives of other ethnic groups to subsequently train them in training camps for militants.The transit of militants to Afghanistan from Central Asia, the North Caucasus and the Middle East is visible already, Novikov added. "ISIL* fighters do not arrive in Central Asian states in large groups. Instead, they enter the countries of the CIS covertly, often under the guise of so-called returnees," the head of the ATC added.According to intelligence services of CIS countries, ISIL* fighters will try to intercept control over the traffic heroine in connection with the growing activity of terrorists in AfghanistanIn late December 2017, FSB chief Alexander Bortnikov said that the terrorists who leave Syria and Iraq pose a threat to the countries of the CIS. Holding counterfeit or forged documents, they try to penetrate into the CIS countries under the guise of refugees and immigrants, using a visa-free or simplified border control regime. The influence of the Islamic State* terrorist organisation in Afghanistan remains insignificant at the time when the Taliban movement has been expanding its control in the country. To date, the Taliban holds 70 percent of Afghanistan under control. Interestingly, in early February 2017, German weekly publication Die Zeit published an article titled "Putin's Mercenaries," in which it was said that that Russia was preparing for military operations in Afghanistan and was actively recruiting mercenaries in social networks for the purpose. In particular, the article said that the Russians were recruited for service in private military company Wagner. PMC Wagner became known this year after reports of the killings of its fighters in Syria.Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, speaking at a press conference in Moscow after the talks with his Pakistani counterpart Khawaja Muhammad Asif, said that there was a fairly serious number of militants from Syria and Iraq in the north and in the east of Afghanistan. "There are thousands of them already," Lavrov said."Their presence has been growing, including literally on the borders with our Central Asian neighbours, which increases the risk for terrorists to enter Central Asia, from where they can easily penetrate into Russia and beyond," Lavrov said. "We believe that we should intensify efforts to prevent such a development of events," he added.According to the Russian Foreign Minister, US and NATO officials try to deny the presence of terrorists in Afghanistan. "We are concerned that, unfortunately, US and NATO military present in Afghanistan are trying to keep silent and deny this," Lavrov added. "Unfortunately, many years of USA and NATO's military presence in Afghanistan have not reduced the terrorist threat, and the drug threat has increased many times," he also noted.*Islamic State (also ISIS, ISIL) is a terrorist organisation banned in RussiaPravda.Ru
Champions League Round of 16: Bayern thrash Besiktas, Barça get a point at Chelsea
As FC Porto found out last week, there is a two-tier reality forming in European soccer and Besiktas had the same lesson today with the same result at Bayern. Millionaire clubs Chelsea and Barcelona shared the spoils in London.
Tuesday February 20
The US military, fearing Russian and Chinese missiles, will abandon reconnaissance aircraft and costly satellites to create a unified information network, reports SpaceNews.
The US Air Force wants to make its data collection system more tech-intensive and compact. The new information system is supposed to integrate data from both ground and air sensors - both unmanned and manned light vehicles, as well as cheap satellites outfitted with smart equipment.
The cost of the program, which is being implemented now, is estimated at $7 billion. The new program will cost less and will reduce risks of losing expensive spacecraft.
Russian curling player Alexander Krushelnytsky, who won Russia's first-ever Olympic medal in curling with his wife Anastasia Bryzgalova, stated that he was very sorry about the fact that their "historic victory" was thrown into the center of the doping scandal, which continues causing great harm to the Russian sport.
Earlier on Tuesday, representatives of the delegation of Olympic Athletes from Russia said that the analysis of Krushelnitsky's B sample test showed the presence of meldonium in it.
"I am openly stating that I have never ever used illegal drugs, nor have I resorted to any other dishonest ways of performance in sports," Krushelnitsky said in an official statement published on the website of the Curling Federation of Russia.
The United States has been increasing its presence in the Black Sea. USS Carney entered the water area of the Black Sea on February 17. According to representatives of the US Department of Defense, the purpose of the naval build up in the Black Sea is to reduce Moscow's sensitivity to the activity of US forces in the region.
The method that the USA resorts to to "reduce sensitivity" is rather strange, because it will most likely bring the opposite result, given that deputy head of the State Duma Committee for Defense and Security, Yury Shvytkin, said that the arrival of another US Navy destroyer in the Black Sea was a provocation.
Nevertheless, Washington believes that Russia will view the naval buildup in the Black Sea as a normal activity. Moreover, the neighborly presence of the military fleets of the two countries will help elaborate a better strategy of mutual behavior.
A man was killed in a bar of the town of Kolomna near Moscow. The man was killed on February 17. The perpetrator is believed to be a car employee, who worked there as a bartender, MK.ru reports.
The woman killed the man without using any weapon. She had been tried in the past for assaulting a person, although a lethal outcome did not occur back then.
A criminal case was filed into "deliberate infliction of serious bodily harm, which resulted in death by negligence". The bartender was detained and interrogated.
The scandal around the "Flaming Gothic" performance that sparked on Saturday, February 17, in Nikola-Lenivets Art Park in the Kaluga region of Russia, is gathering pace.
Nikolai Polissky, an architect, burned a 30-meter-high model of a Catholic church on Maslenitsa holiday. The creation made of branches did look like a Catholic cathedral, and architect found himself in the center of a major scandal after he was accused of blasphemous acts committed against Christian shrines.
Traditionally, Russians celebrate Maslenitsa by burning a dummy. However, burning a Gothic cathedral made of branches can only cause confusion among believers, a representative of the Russian Orthodox Church said.
Scientists from Australia believe that periodic masturbation is very good for men healthwise. An act of masturbation helps men relieve their body of toxins, a recent study said, The Sherbrooke Times reports. In addition, masturbation is an effective prophylactic measure for prostatitis and urogenital diseases.
It improves blood circulation in the small pelvis. Therefore, if a man does not have an opportunity to have regular sex, he should consider masturbation as a way of taking care of his own health. Three or five episodes of masturbation a week is absolutely normal, the scientists said.
Earlier, it was established that men and women masturbate for different reasons. Men usually pleasure themselves due to the lack of sex, whereas women do it in an effort to receive additional pleasure.
Australian Ambassador to Moscow Peter Tesch asked Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin to remove piles of snow from Kropotkinsky Lane, where the ambassador's residence in Moscow is located.
The ambassador tweeted on February 19 that piles of snow were obstructing the street for 17 days and wondered how long local residents and school children would have to wait for the snow to be removed.
The Moscow Mayor did not respond to the "undiplomatic" question from the Australian ambassador, but the press service of the Moscow Central District thanked Mr. Tesch for the "signal."
Russia as a party to the military conflict with a high-tech enemy will conduct combat operations in at least two new spaces.
Colonel-General Sergei Rudskoy, the Chief of the Main Operations Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, said that the "approach to the organization of military operations has changed, as new forms and methods of creating and deploying troops and forces have emerged."
Now Russia will be able to wage war in five elements - on land, in the air, at sea, in space and in cyberspace. Rudskoy also said that the scope of such objectives has significantly expanded, since the nature of modern wars has become diverse.
New UN Women report uncovers significant gaps for women's empowerment and puts forth robust agenda to shift gears
Spotlights inequalities and challenges faced by women; identifies gaps and opportunities for gender equality in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
New York-UN Women today launched its flagship report, "Turning promises into action: Gender equality in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development". The report demonstrates through concrete evidence and data the pervasive nature of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere, and puts forth actionable recommendations on how to fulfill the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
In 2018, Germany is to triple the quantity of troops to be sent for NATO exercises to contain Russia, Spiegel Online wrote. The manoeuvres are to send a clear message to Vladimir Putin that interference in NATO's actions will lead to serious consequences for him.As many as 12,000 German soldiers are to take part in exercises on the eastern and northern flanks of NATO. Last year, the number of German soldiers participating in the drills was three times less.In 2018, NATO is going to hold one of its largest exercises with up to 40,000 military personnel participating. The drills will cost Germany 90 million euros.Earlier, it was reported that Bundeswehr tanks were too old to intimidate Russia. Germany plans to introduce new Puma army vehicles for NATO's rapid reaction forces. However, it appears that Puma vehicles have obsolete weapons, additional equipment is expensive, and there is no time to do anything about it. Germany needs an extra €500 million is required to have 40 tanks prepared for the "mission."Pravda.Ru Read article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru
Turkey has been a staunch NATO member for almost 70 years. As it appears, though, Turkey no longer wants to keep its membership in the alliance. This is evidenced by the recent inconclusive visit of US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to Ankara. Is NATO going to let Turkey go?
Turkey is de facto no longer at NATO
Having visited a number of countries in the Persian Gulf, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had a four-hour conversation with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara. Contrary to everyone's expectations, no joint press conference was given afterwards.One may assume that Ankara and Washington are de facto in opposite geopolitical camps largely because of the attempted coup d'etat in 2016, which Washington supported and hid instigators. Erdogan considers the policy of the USA's support for the Kurds in Syria a gross insult. Ankara makes no distinction between the Syrian Kurdish militia (YPG) and the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) - a terrorist organisation, which the Turks have been struggling against since the 1980s accusing the organisation of attempts to undermine Turkey's integrity. This confrontation has claimed the lives of nearly 40,000 people.
The Ottoman slap
The relations between NATO's nominal allies exacerbated after Turkey launched a military offensive on the city of Afrin in northern Syria, trying to stop the Syrian Kurds from gaining a foothold in the region. On February 14, Erdogan threatened the United States with an "Ottoman slap" (a deadly blow of Turkish soldiers), if the US-supported Kurds refused to leave the city of Manbij.Turkish Defence Minister Nurettin Kanikli demanded Washington should exclude YPG from the alliance of the armed opposition forces in Syria, the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), supported by the United States. It is unclear, however, how this can be achievable, because YPG is the basis of the SDF. It is not clear either how they can leave Manbij as long as American advisers are staying there, so such a move would mean the direct surrender of their positions in Syria. To crown it all, Washington does not have other ground forces on Syrian territory.In a nutshell, all of Turkey's demands on the United States are impracticable.
Andrei Troshev, who is believed to be the chief of PMC Wagner, was spotted in St. Petersburg on February 15.On the basis of open data, we found that Mr. Troshev serves as the chairman of the League of Veterans of Military Conflicts. We called the contact phone of the organisation and managed to find out a few details of the events that took place on February 7-8 in Syria's Deir ez-Zor. When asked to comment on how many people were killed as a result of the attack conducted by the US-led coalition and what really happened there, we received a rather straightforward answer that we quote here as it is: "Write it on your forehead: 14 volunteers were killed in Syria. I'm fed up with you chewing snot and telling fairy tales in your petty articles. As for your speculations there, what you write about those f****** investigations - no one has abandoned anyone."On February 15, an official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry commented on the air strike, which the US-led international coalition struck on the supporters of Bashar Assad in Syria saying that there were PMV Wagner military men among the victims. Pravda.Ru Read article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru
The gunner, who attacked parishioners of an Orthodox church in the town of Kizlyar, Dagestan, was identified as 22-year-old resident of the village of Kidero, Khalil Khalilov, RBC reports. Last year, Khalilov joined the Islamic State* terrorist organisation (banned in Russia) and became a member of the so-called sleeping cell of the organisation, a source said. "The shooting occurred on the day of a Christian holiday. Special services search the house of Khalilov's parents in the village of Kidero, operatives look into Khalilov's connections," law-enforcement officials said. It was also reported that Khalilov was not included in the database of special services as a member of illegal armed groups.Khalilov opened fire on parishioners on Sunday, February 18, at 16:15 near the church of St. George on Sovetskaya Street in Kizlyar. Four women were killed on the scene, three others were wounded. They were hospitalised in serious condition, one of the wounded died at hospital. The gunner wounded two law-enforcers - a police officer and a Russian Guards officer - when they were attempting to neutralise and arrest him.
The shooting occurred after the church service in honour of Shrove Sunday. "Today, at about 4 p.m., we finished the service, and people began to go out. An unknown bearded man was approaching the church running and shouting "Allahu Akbar!" He mortally wounded four women, injuring three others, as well as two police officers. When we heard the gunshots, we quickly closed the doors so that he could not go inside. He had a gun and a knife," Father Pavel told RBC.Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia said that the crime in Kizlyar was a provocation against the peaceful coexistence of representatives of different religions in the Caucasus. The Patriarch added that the goal of the attacker was to cause confrontation between Orthodox and Muslim believers who have lived in peace in the Caucasus for centuries. *Islamic State, or ISIS, ISIL, is a terrorist organisation banned in Russia Pravda.Ru
The mother of Russian theatre director Kirill Serebrennikov has died because of a serious illness. Earlier, director Alexei German Jr. asked President Putin to show mercy on Serebrennikov, because he may not see his parents again. The mother of artistic director of the Gogol Centre, director Kirill Serebrennikov, died in Rostov-on-Don, RBC reports. It was said that the woman had been bed-ridden for a long time. Kirill Serebrennikov is suspected of organising the embezzlement of 68 million rubles allocated by the Ministry of Culture in 2011-2014 for the implementation of a theatrical project. Serebrennikov has been staying under house arrest since August 23, 2017. In December 2017, director Alexei German Jr. asked President Vladimir Putin to show mercy on Serebrennikov. In January, it was reported that the amount of damages on the case of Kirill Serebrennikov was increased to 133 million rubles."I'm very much afraid that he just may not see his father or mother alive. I know, Vladimir Vladimirovich, that family is very important for you, and I hope that the investigation can be a little more merciful, because it will be a tragedy if he loses everyone," German said at a meeting of the Council for Culture and Art, noting that Sergei Serebrennikov's father was 84 and his mother had Alzheimer's.Pravda.Ru
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The doping scandal surrounding Russian curler Alexander Krushelnytsky continues. Experts opened his doping sample on Monday, February 19, in Seoul, and the sample proved to be positive, British publication Inside the Games reports.The day before, it was reported that there was meldonium found in Krushelnytsky's doping test. IOC Communications Director Mark Adams said earlier that the IOC Watch Team will consider Krushelnytsky's case at the end of the Games should his second doping test proves positive as well. The anti-doping department of the Court for Arbitration for Sports has opened a case into the positive test of the Russian bronze medalist. Earlier, Alexander Krushelnytsky was surprised at the report about the presence of meldonium in his doping test. The athlete's coach, Dmitry Melnikov, assured that Krushelnytsky stopped using meldonium in 2016 when the drug was banned.Alexander Krushelnytsky and his wife Anastasia Bryzgalova became bronze medalists at the Olympics in Pyeongchang in mixed doubles.Pravda.Ru
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Russia calls on the United States not to play with fire in Syria and carefully prepare its moves, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at the International Conference of the Valdai Club for the Middle East.According to Lavrov, Moscow fears that by its actions in Syria, the US is trying to dismember the country. The Americans must prove that they came to Syria with one goal - to destroy the Islamic State terrorist group.*Also, Sergey Lavrov called on the United States to observe an agreement about the inadmissibility for non-Syrian forces to be present in the southwestern zone of de-escalation in Syria.Sergei Lavrov said that the move to create de-escalation zones in Syria were not meant to divide the country into several enclaves. The zones were created in an effort to end violence in the country. *ISIL or Islamic State, ISIS is a terrorist organisation, the activities of which are prohibited on the territory of the Russian Federation.Pravda.RuRead article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru
Olympic athletes from Russia (OAR), who have finished performing at 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, were allowed to use their national symbols, officials at the International Olympic Committee said. The IOC report says that OAR athletes will be allowed to wear clothes with national symbols in training camps or competitions held outside the Olympic Games, when they can not be physically present at the Pyeongchang Games. The closing ceremony of the Olympic Games in Pyeongchang will be held on February 25. For the time being, it remains unknown whether the Russians can carry the Russian flag at the ceremony - the decision on the subject is to be made on February 24. Pravda.Ru Read article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru
A curmudgeon is a common person, someone you might find lying around the house, or the Senate for that matter. Could they be the reason why it is so difficult for all sides of our ideologically divided nation to fathom why our US Legislature has devolved into a Congress of Curmudgeons?
Democrats and Republicans alike, when speaking all too often haughtily before their constituency are in turn perceived as self-righteous, bellicose, and bellyaching. The average American Joe and Jane can be heard musing that their congressional representatives no longer work for them or that their elected officials consider themselves above their oaths of office and no longer do what is in the best interest of the nation.
Tariq Ramadan: We Choose Justice and the Presumption of Innocence
We the undersigned feminists, academics, professionals and human rights activists, today turn our attention to the manner in which media, victims or purveyors of disinformation have accused and harassed Tariq Ramadan in a campaign that amounts to no less than a public lynching.
We stand for parity between women and men, and we are definitely in no hurry to hang a man, evidence free. To be a feminist does not mean being against but rather together with; no better and no worse than any other person.
Disagree (s) with the conclusions of the preparatory commission on March 8
After attending the meeting called by "El Salto", to report on the conclusions of the feminist strike called for March 8, after a year of work by these working groups, I can say that the feminists are against the conclusions made by this commission, and, as a consequence, they will not find even one of my mothers, grandmothers, companions and comrades on their side.
Rubén González Martínez
UN Women flagship report: Turning promises into action: gender equality in the 2030 Agenda
Two years after the adoption of Agenda 2030, this first-of-its-kind report examines through a gender lens the progress and challenges in the implementation of all the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted by world leaders in 2015 - from ending poverty and hunger to tackling climate change. It highlights how women are affected by each of them and looks at both the ends (goals and targets) and the means (policies and processes) that are needed to make the achievement of the ambitious agenda for sustainable development a reality.
The "Turning promises into action: Gender equality in the 2030 Agenda" report also shows through data how progress for women is a pre-requisite if we are to achieve progress for all.
Europa League: Mixed fortunes for Russian clubs
An away draw for CSKA in Serbia, a win for Lokomotiv in France, a defeat by one goal for Zenit in Scotland and a home defeat for Spartak against Spain's Athletic Bilbao.
Astana (Kazakhstan) 1 v. Sporting CP (Portugal) 3
by Guy SomersetIn this vein are collected some of the more heartfelt gestures of adoration and commitment which resound down the ages in the mediums of poetry, painting and drama.Mary ShelleyPercy Shelley published his first work in 1810 while a student at Eton in England; commencing a career of more than a dozen volumes in total. That modernity has this inheritance at all is largely due to the undaunted efforts of his second wife Mary.An heir to a fortune as well as a title, throughout his youth Shelley behaved in every way as l'enfant terrible. He was a spendthrift, libertine and avowed atheist. It should come as no surprise the last of these traits saw his eventual expulsion from Oxford University. Offered readmission on condition of renouncing such beliefs the youth demonstrated the courage of his convictions and flatly refused.The next several years witnessed Percy marry Harriett Westbrook and move to Scotland where he continued to compose. Yet it was during this juncture he became entranced by the sixteen-year-old daughter of his friend philosopher David Godwin. Mary evidently felt as bewitched for in 1814 the two eloped to Europe together, absent the seemingly requisite need for Percy to be divorced from his first wife. Nonetheless, while on a revisit later to England each of the women would become pregnant by him in the coming year.Out of wanderlust or mere necessity Percy and Mary soon returned to Europe together, specifically Lake Geneva where they spent many of their days in the company of Lord Byron and his cadre of admirers. Interestingly, it was Byron who one night suggested as entertainment each member of the party create a ghost story with the contribution of Mary later becoming known as Frankenstein.When in 1816 Harriett committed suicide the two lovers were able to officially wed, though Percy was denied custodial relations of any children by his first wife due to the heretical nature of his beliefs. Even so, thus commenced the most prolific period of his career.This abruptly ended on July 8, 1822, when Percy Shelley perished at sea in Lerici, Italy attempting to sail his schooner Don Juan as a sudden storm alighted. He was less than thirty years of age.In the years that followed the works of this great poet were slowly forgotten. To forestall such a calamity in 1824 his widow painstakingly began to collect these texts, some of which had become quite scarce, and collate them into a coherent volume eventually titled Posthumous Poems.Yet the difficulties which plagued the paramours in life appeared determined to thwart them even in death. Learning of the publication of the work, Percy's father Sir Timothy Shelley demanded it be withdrawn from circulation to avoid scandal owing to the social views of his son. He accomplished this by threatening to withhold the meager pension by which Mary fed and clothed herself and her children. At the time less than three hundred copies of the book had been sold.Only when Sir Timothy Shelley passed away twenty years later was Mary able to reintroduce these works to the world. By promoting her husband throughout another nearly three decades it was Mary who turned passing notoriety into an enduring fame.Johanna van Gogh-BongerMost of the world is familiar with the art of Vincent van Gogh. Of these acolytes many of them are also aware that it was his brother Theo van Gogh who provided the support, both emotional and economic, which enabled this talent to flourish. Yet relatively few know that it was Theo's wife Johanna van Gogh who ensured that the genius was enshrined for generations.Over the course of his life Vincent van Gogh created more than 2,000 works though he famously sold but a single one during his lifetime. In fact, the final months of his existence were so prolific that at the time of his demise several of his canvases were not yet dry. Even so, when Vincent passed on July 29, 1890, it was less than six months that his brother Theo followed him on January 25, 1891, leaving Johanna their legacy.While her husband had made nominal plans for a showing of the work of his brother and publishing his letters these were preliminary at best. Nonetheless, Theo had left one clear instruction to his wife before departing which was never to sell the paintings for mere lucre and never to anyone less than he who would be deserving of ownership of a masterpiece.Coming from a wealthy family in Amsterdam with connections to the avant-garde Johanna had the good sense to follow these instructions and expand upon them. A clever and resourceful person in her right, who later was co-founder of an organization to improve the lives of working-class women, she was a meticulous custodian.In fact, as late as 1906 it was possible for Johanna to show a complete retrospective of the entire works of Vincent van Gogh. She herself prepared his private letters for publication in 1914. By these means Johanna steadily increased the esteem to which the artist was entitled from the small cadre of collectors to encompass the entire world. When she passed away on September 2, 1925, the reputation of Vincent was secure.Anna DostoevskyTheodore Dostoevsky had been a force in Russian literature for a generation prior to encountering his second wife. Indeed, he was a literal generation older being her elder by twenty-five years. Despite this minor inconvenience, it is accurate to say that much of his later product was directly due to her influence in his life.Personal relations for Dostoevsky had always been dramatic. He met his first wife, married with a child at the time, shortly after being released from a work-camp in Siberia. Only when the premiere man in her life died was Dostoevsky given his chance, and a poor one at that since Isaeva proved a flirt and irritant upon his affections.Next the writer came upon Appolinaria at one of his readings. In retrospect he probably ought to have kept his mouth shut. While undoubtedly physically attractive the girl was emotionally abusive to say the least. Throughout their secretive affair she nonetheless took on other men given that Dostoevsky was then still wed. By the time this complication had remedied itself two years later, Appolinaria returned yet Theodore no longer wanted the wretched woman who replaced the fresh girl he had known before.Only with Anna Snitkina did Dostoevsky find a mate worthy of his soul. More than two decades younger, they began their courtship when she was a stenographer on his novel The Gambler. By the time the work was published in 1867 the two were married.Initially it is said the author saw only practicality in their match. Whether accurate or not, as so often happens a great need became a genuine passion. During the four years abroad which the couple considered as an extended honeymoon Dostoevsky began to increasingly rely upon this young woman. At times when in Baden the groom would resort to allowing her to choose his clothing and remind him to take money to the casino, which he often then lost.In truth, their life together was not always a happy one. The pair lost two children after birth, though blessed with two more. The writer was frequently irascible and often jealous. An addiction to gambling caused further dismay in their economics situation.A lifetime of intellectual toil had taken its toll and it was Anna who made his final fourteen years on earth bearable. Throughout she was the great protector of Dostoevsky and proved herself by remaining entirely faithful during many trying circumstances and refusing to remarry despite the fact she was but thirty-five years old at his death.Her acceptance of greatness with its attendance faults makes Anna the ideal prototype of the partner for an artist. Indeed, with her by his side Dostoevsky wrote The Brothers Karamazov.All too frequently a passing loneliness leads to a lasting mistake and weakness of the flesh extinguishes that spirit which might have survived.A more chilling thought is that of what hidden greatness lies undiscovered in the annals of history. To be sure there must have been minds or talents equal and even superior to those discussed herein which but for the want of a great abiding curator have been lost to posterity.Perhaps the most which can be said of such vicissitudes is one must choose wisely when selecting a partner as the most significant pairings are often those which outlast death - the only thing more mysterious than love being the enigma of romance.
Guy SomersetGuy Somerset writes from somewhere in America.
Turkey and the United States agreed to create a mechanism to normalise relations, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said.During the visit of US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to Turkey, Turkish and American officials intend to take measures to normalise relations between Turkey and the United States, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said at a joint press conference with the US Secretary of State."At our common will, we agreed to normalise the relations, but the US has repeatedly given us promises that they have not kept. We talked about the ways to bring decisions to life, we have decided to create a mechanism for solve these problems," the Turkish official said. The US recognises Turkey's legitimate right to ensure the security of its borders, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said during the visit to Turkey.The head of the US State Department urged Ankara to "show restraint" during the operation in Syria's Afrin to minimise casualties among civilians. He also called on Turkey to avoid actions that could escalate tensions in the region.Pravda.Ru Read article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said recently that the notorious "Kremlin report" materialised as a result of the undercover struggle of the American establishment with US President Donald Trump and the overall confrontation of the Washington elite, which has nothing to do with Russia's reality. Official spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, warned the US not to interfere in the presidential election in Russia in March, adding that the USA was already taking efforts in this direction. The "Kremlin report" controversy is essentially much ado about nothing. The expectation of the publication of the list was a lot more intriguing than the actual exposure of the copied and pasted list of Russian names from web pages of the presidential administration and Forbes magazine. Moreover, a warning from the US Treasury saying that new sanctions against Russia may potentially lead to negative side effects for the global financial markets has clarified the situation.Given that US officials are bad at observing their own "instructions" with respect to sanctioned individuals, it brings up one simple question: whom is this circus for? It goes about the recent visit of Russian security officials to the USA. Not only did they receive visas to the United States, but also demonstratively entered the buildings where they intended to hold meetings with US colleagues.One shall assume that it was Washington that wanted Russian security officials to come to the USA. CIA chief Mike Pompeo stated afterwards that such meetings were to ensure the safety of US citizens in the first place. Representatives of the US State Department said that such contacts were an exception for the sake of benefit. In my opinion, one can give a small ovation to the CIA director in his approach to public security. Everyone in this world knows who is standing behind the procedure for creating a world-wide terrorist threat, and Washington is well aware of further unpredictable consequences for the Americans themselves.The Americans understand that effective anti-terrorist work without Russia is impossible. I am sure that the Americans took great care of their own image when they invited Russian security officials. It seems to me that the nonsensical "Kremlin report" and the "progress" in the Surkov-Volker format on the Ukrainian issue came as a result of the analysis of the current state off affairs in the world and Washington's realisation of the fact hat America no longer holds the initiative in the struggle for global domination.At the same time, such an approach can be based on the interests of the United States in the first place, because the forthcoming elections to the US Congress this year can change the balance of forces. Neither Trump himself, nor his team need any surprises at this point. The Americans were forced to invite top Russian security officials to come to the States, because if meetings of such level had been held in Moscow, they would not have been allowed to take advantage of the game. One may assume that the West and the USA could be interested in the strong Russia and the strong Russian leader against the background of the global terrorist threat. After all, ensuring security is much more important than following illusions of geopolitical domination in the world. The West understands that attempts to interfere in the Russian presidential election may lead to unpredictable and lethal consequences for both politicians and global elites. Both Western politicians and "globalists" realise that it is only Putin who can handle all the sore points on the geopolitical map. The Americans have not been able to take successful pinpoint measures to ensure their own safety, because their strategy was always to create hotbeds of tensions and provocation. To crown it all, the West and the US have not learned to effectively counter the effects of their "colour revolutions." Many authors and bloggers in the West claim that it is too difficult for Putin to create a new image for himself to be able to surprise people on the eve of elections. Why would Putin need a new image taking into consideration the fact that he already has the reputation of one of the most influential politicians in the world?The image of Putin has been stable for long already, and Russia's recent successes in the field of defence and foreign policy are based on Putin's verified and pragmatic policy. Never before has the world respected Russia like this; never before have we been so proud of our own army and our arms. In my opinion, the March elections in Russia will be relatively smooth and quiet, because all measures to ensure the citizens' safety have been prepared very carefully. One may, of course, expect provocations, but they will mostly be informational in nature.If the West runs the risk of putting pressure on Russia, that Russians will stand up for their president and they will unite around him. This is what the phenomenon of the Russian people is about. Vladimir GromovPravda.Ru Read article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru
A Canadian journalist was struck by Russia's hospitality after he paid a visit to the Russian Sports House in South Korea.Yves Boisvert, a reporter from Canada, who came to the Olympics in South Korea, visited the Russian Sports House in Pyeongchang. In his article for La Presse, he wrote that the slogan "Russia in my heart" immediately caught his eye at the entrance door. The same was written on a badge that someone pinned on his clothes without asking permission for it. Boisvert noted that the Russians were happy to welcome all guests without asking questions. "What a contrast with the Sports House of Canada!" Boisvert wrote. The Russians always show their hospitality and cheerfulness against the backdrop of sports glory and patriotism.According to him, "this very very touching." In the Sports House, one can see photos of Soviet and Russian Olympic champions, starting with the 1968 Olympics in Grenoble.At the same time, Yves Boisvert wrote, the Russians do not really believe in the story of the state-run doping system, nor do they attach any importance to Grigory Rodchenkov's testimony. Instead, they think of him as a man with rich imagination.Pravda.RuRead article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru
The administration of MiG Corporation intends to modernise the state-of-the-art MiG-35 fighter to the level of a fifth generation aircraft.MiG representatives said that the corporation can modernise the aircraft, including to the level of a next-generation aerial vehicle as new systems and technology emerge. The modernisation of the on-board equipment if the warplane is possible due to the principle of "open architecture" of the MiG-35.To date, the MiG-35 is the most advanced aircraft in the family of MiG fighter aircraft. The aircraft is equipped with radio electronic equipment which enables the use of all air-to-surface weapons. Earlier, it was reported that the MiG-35 will be able to use advanced military technology, including laser weapons.Pravda.Ru Read article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru
The Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation has started reorganising the 58th Army in the south of Russia. The army will be fortified with two motorised rifle divisions, BMP-3 and state-of-the-art T-72B3 tanks, Izvestia reports.A part of the army is to be redeployed to the Krasnodar and Stavropol regions, and new military townships will be built in Mozdok and Vladikavkaz. Thus, Russia is building up general-purpose forces to contain the threat from NATO.The 19th separate motorised rifle brigade, which was cut in 2008, will again become a full-fledged division.The 136th motorised rifle brigade stationed in Dagestan's Buinaksk will be transformed into a full-fledged division. Existing and newly created units will be equipped with new military equipment and hardware: motorised rifle divisions will receive the most powerful serial BMP-3 vehicles, whereas tank units will be armed with latest modification of the upgraded T-72B3 tank. Pravda.Ru Read article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg urged Russia to show more transparency when deploying Iskander-M cruise missile complexes in the Kaliningrad enclave. Commenting on Stoltenberg's remarks, Yury Shvytkin, deputy chairman of the Duma Defence Committee, said that "it is up to Russia to decide where to deploy Iskander systems and in which quantities based on national interests of our state, but with strict observance of the norms of international law.""I'm in Romania now, and I could personally see the 2,000-strong NATO contingent being deployed at two NATO military bases 180 kilometres from Bucharest. There are up to 200 people from Poland there at the moment," the MP told Pravda.Ru. According to Shvytkin, these are clear manifestations of the fact that the US and its allies violate the norms of international law, while US military bases bring an obviously offensive and aggressive component to the situation, taking into account the military hardware and equipment that they bring with them. The United States, the MP added, will continue doing everything possible to force Russia to inform Washington about all military components of Russia's defence, especially when it comes to Iskander missile systems, because "this is a state-of-the-art weapon that poses a serious threat to Western countries."In October 2017, Russia permanently deployed Iskander-M tactical missile systems in the Kaliningrad region.The Iskander-M missile system is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead and strike targets at a distance of up to 500 km. The complexes are mobile, unobtrusive and remain constantly aimed at the probable enemy. The complex, deployed in the Kaliningrad enclave, embraces the territory of Poland, part of Germany, as well as significant parts of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.The deployment of Russian cruise missiles near Kaliningrad comes as an asymmetric response to the deployment of US missile defence systems in Europe and the approach of NATO's infrastructure to Russian borders, including ships in Barents, Baltic and Black and in the Mediterranean seas. Pravda.Ru Read article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru
Russian Olympic bronze medalist Anastasia Bryzgalova has won the hearts of foreign fans of curling. Many compare the Russian curling player to Hollywood stars Angelina Jolie and Megan Fox, while British journalists joke that Bryzgalova has stolen the Olympics, because many fans watch curling just because of the beautiful Russian athlete, Vesti reports.After the successful performance of the Russian curling team at the Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, the number of Bryzgalova's subscribers on Instagram has been growing from 35,000 on February 13 to about 70,000 on February 14.Earlier, the Russian athlete and her husband and partner in the game, Alexander Krushelnytsky, won the bronze in double-mix. In the match for the third place, the Russian couple defeated Norway with 8:4.After the match, the Russian admitted that she was not thinking about her popularity, but rather about the popularity of curling in Russia. "We knew that Russia did not have an Olympic medal in curling, and to make this game popular in Russia, we have to bring the medal, and this is what we came here for," Anastasia Bryzgalova said.The most beautiful couple of world curling registered their relationship in the summer of 2017. The wedding was held in St. Petersburg, where the athletes live.
Round and round in circles: Gun violence in the USA
To make one mistake is human. To make the same mistake twice is normal, to repeat the same mistake eighteen times is what exactly? Round and round in circles.
And so another school shooting in the United States of America, another suspect youth showing outward signs of instability destroying seventeen families in the eighteenth such incident in 2018, an average of one incident every sixty hours. Another scene of terrified teenagers running screaming for their lives from a school building, another psychopathic sociopath having access to automatic weapons. Another massacre, another tragedy.
Nikolas Cruz, 19-year-old student, who opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas School in Florida, and who had been excluded for disciplinary offences, was armed with an AR-15 semi-automatic 5,56-mm caliber rifle. This rifle is used by US police and is available as a civilian weapon, intended for self-defense and hunting.Cruz had a significant stock of ammunition with him and managed to kill 17 people. The same rifle was used during previous mass shootings in the United States, such as the Orlando nightclub shooting, in a cinema in Aurora, Colorado, in a church in Texas, and at Sandy Hook school. According to CNN, Cruz bought the rifle last year and successfully passed the test, which a natural person has to take in the USA before buying firearms.Nikolas Cruz is believed to be an orphaned teenager, whose father died of a serious illness 12 years ago, and his adoptive mother died from pneumonia last year.The US-made semi-automatic assault rifle AR-15 is a descendant of the famous M-16 rifle. The AR-15 uses a smaller caliber of rounds - 5.56 (45 mm) instead of M-16's 7.62.The AR-15 assault rifle, the first modification of which was first released in 1958, is capable of breaking through a standard army helmet. The semi-automatic rifle releases one bullet each time the trigger is pulled.In the US, the AR-15 is a regular police weapon. This is also the most common version of weapons allowed for sales to the public. In accordance with the federal law, a US citizen is eligible to acquiring an AR-15 once they turn 18 years of age. As of 2016, Americans citizens own up to 10 million AR-15. In total, US citizens hold up to 300 million privately-owned weapons. Another bloodbath at yet another American school has raised the issue of the need to take measures to control the circulation of weapons in the United States. Barack Obama tried to do something about the problem, although to no avail. Interestingly, one of the slogans that incumbent President Donald Trump used in his campaign was about the protection of the second amendment to the Constitution that guarantees the Americans the right to own weapons. Trump has earlier reproached the Democrats for their attempts to deprive US citizens of the right. His opponents say that one should strengthen control over the sale of weapons and thereby prevent risks of future tragedies.President Trump sent his prayers and condolences to victims of the terrible tragedy in Florida. Yet, many Americans believe that instead of sending prayers, the president should do something about gun control. Meanwhile, Florida Senator Marco Rubio expressed doubts that establishing gun control could have prevented the Florida school shooting. "I think that we can always have that debate but if you're going to have the debate about this particular incident, you should know the facts of that incident before you run out and prescribe some law you claim could have prevented it," Rubio said.Not that long ago, Donald Trump said that there would have been a smaller number of victims in Paris during the attacks in in November 2015 if ordinary French citizens had had the right to carry arms. Responding to a counter-comment about the number of mass shootings in the United States over the past two years, Trump said that if criminals could not have guns, they would have bombs. Since 2016, the United States has seen at least three major massacres, in which criminals used firearms. After each incident, a fierce discussion would spark in the country about the need to learn lessons from tragedies and ban free weapons-bearing. However, such discussions traditionally fade quickly. Those opposed to the second amendment to the US Constitution blame arms lobbyists that have legislative initiatives under control. Florida Governor Rick Scott called the tragedy "pure evil." He said that the State of Florida would not tolerate violence. At the same time, Scott said that the school tragedy in Florida was not a reason to discuss gun control. According to the Florida Governor, security is not a question of restrictions. One should prevent such tragedies with the help of law-enforcers and special programs for mentally unstable individuals. Pravda.Ru
Specialists of the Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC) have recovered first data from the flight recorder of the An-148 passenger aircraft that crashed near Moscow on Feb. 11 soon after takeoff from Domodedovo airport. According to recordings of conversations in the cockpit, the pilots immediately noticed discrepancies of speed indicators. Speed sensors of the electronic equipment of the An-148 failed to function properly because of the icing. The pilots forgot to turn on their heating systems. They could not understand why they could see different speed numbers, they turned off the autopilot and began to descend, which was a mistake to make. There was panic in the cockpit moments before the crash, and the pilots could no longer control the situation.According to the IAC, the state of emergency on board the aircraft occurred about 2 minutes 30 seconds after the aircraft took off from the runway. The An-148 had gained altitude of about 1,300 meters by that moment. The speed of the aircraft was about 465-470 kilometres per hour.Discrepancies in the speed readings were recorded between the air parameters module (MVP1) and the full pressure receiver (PPD1) of the left pilot and the MVP3 (PDD3, standby)."A preliminary analysis of the recorded information, as well as an analysis of similar cases that occurred in the past, suggests that the development of a state of emergency during the flight could be caused by incorrect speed readings, which was most likely caused by the icing of the full pressure receiver while the systems of their heating were off," a representative of the committee said. Rescuers recovered as many as 663 elements of the aircraft, as well as more than 1,400 fragments of bodies on the crash site. Pravda.Ru Read article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru
Another tragedy in the US has claimed the lives of at least 17 people, and the death toll may climb as some of the wounded remain in serious condition after a school student in Florida opened fire on his classmates.On Wednesday afternoon, a gunman, wearing a gas mask, opened fire on students at a Parkland high school in Florida. The attacker, who was later identified as Nikolas Cruz, killed 12 inside the school, and then three others outside. Two others died of fatal wounds at hospital. According to local authorities, a total of 50 people were affected as a result of the shooting. The police detained the gunner. The moment of the shooting was captured on video that was uploaded on the Internet. Cruz was armed with an assault rifle. The tragedy occurred in Parkland, 60 kilometres from Miami - the city, which in 2017 received the honorary title of "the safest city in the state."The shooter studied at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, but was excluded from it for discipline problems. An acquaintance of his said that he and other students joked that if someone was ever going to arrange the shooting in their school, it would be Cruz. The gunner was described as a calm, shy and secluded young man, who loved guns.
Also read: Americans, never give up your gunsPravda.Ru Read article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru
The Russian authorities intend to cease production at the largest natural gas field in the Crimean shelf zone known as the Odessa natural gas deposit.The reason for the move is the interstate dispute with Ukraine at international arbitration. Russia will cease economic activities at the Odessa gas field, which provides the Crimea with almost a half of its own gas production.Ukraine's claims in this dispute relate to a wide range of issues related to Russia's activities in the Black Sea after the accession of the Crimea. In particular, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said that Russia extracts gas at the Odessa and other fields off the coast of the Crimea thereby using the natural resources "on the Ukrainian the sea shelf."The cessation of production is a formal way to remove the claim, experts say. There is no dispute about the affiliation of the field, there is a dispute about economic activity in Ukraine's maritime borders.It is worthy of note that the administration of the Ukrainian Naftogaz company said earlier that the cessation of transit of Russian gas may cost Kiev three billion dollars annually. According to Naftogaz CEO Andrey Kobolev, this is the amount that the country received this year from the transit of the Russian fuel. Kobolev reminded that the current contract with Russia is expiring in 2019 and the possible loss of transit "will have critical negative consequences for all of us," he said. Pravda.Ru Read article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru
Champions: Liverpool and Real, Soccer bites the dust
It is getting more and more obvious that European soccer is becoming the feud of the high and mighty. Liverpool's 5-0 drubbing of FC Porto in Portugal and the unsurprising 3-1 win of Real against PSG prove that there is a two-tier system forming based on cash.
Soccer bites the dust.
Channel One has postponed the broadcast of the fourth episode of Oliver Stone's "The Putin Interviews" documentary. The decision was made in connection with recommendations from the Russian Central Electoral Commission, the press service of the channel said. "Channel One has taken note of the remarks made by the CEC and regrets that such a comment was made, since the airing of the film does not contradict to the current election law that allows TV channels to broadcast programs with the participation of registered candidates for information purposes," the statement from the channel said. It was also said that due to broadcasting in different time zones, the channel has either aired or was airing the third episode of the documentary. However, the broadcast of the fourth episode will be delayed accordingly.Earlier, the head of the Central Electoral Commission Ella Pamfilova suggested Channel One should postpone airing Oliver Stone's documentary about Russian President Vladimir Putin before the end of the election campaign.Pravda.Ru
In the federal land of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania (Mecklenburg-Vorpommern) in the north of Germany, a large section of A20 autobahn collapsed almost completely.The first hole appeared on the road near the city of Triebes in September 2017. Several weeks later, the section of the road was closed for traffic. The hole continued to expand, and the second half of the road had collapsed by February 12. The section of about 100 meters of the highway in the marshland was affected.According to preliminary data, the road collapsed because of the layer of peat underneath the highway, although specialists need to confirm this. It is expected that the road will be completely repaired only by 2021, which will seriously affect the tourist infrastructure.Pravda.Ru
The Kremlin does not exclude the presence of Russian citizens in Syria, who are not affiliated with the Russian Armed Forces. During a meeting with journalists on Wednesday, February 14, press secretary of the Russian president, Dmitry Peskov, was asked questions about the status of those people for the Kremlin, who fight in Syria."We in the Kremlin do not have detailed information that would allow us to draw any conclusions. It can not be ruled out that citizens of the Russian Federation can be in Syria. They are not affiliated with the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation," Peskov said, adding that the citizens of the Russian Federation "remain citizens of the Russian Federation, whatever it takes."Peskov was also asked whether the Russian government was going to declare mourning "in connection with the death of a large number of citizens" in Syria. Putin's spokesman said that the Kremlin did not know anything about the number of victims. "Once again, we urge you not to be guided by erroneous information - deliberately or inadvertently erroneous information - and approach the description of such potentially important episodes seriously, so as not to be misled by distorted data," Peskov said.For the time being, the information about the number of Russians, who were killed as a result of the drone attack of the US-led coalition, remains highly contradictory. According to Bloomberg, for instance, over 200 Russian mercenaries were killed in the Syrian province of Deir ez-Zor in the area of the former oil refinery El Isba. Reuters reported the killings of more than 100 "pro-Assad fighters," including Russians. According to a Russian military source of the Kommersant newspaper, the number of Russian citizens, who were killed on February 7 in Syria was eleven people. In turn, spokespeople for the Russian Foreign Ministry said that reports about "hundreds of killed Russians were examples of "classic misinformation, which Western media are engaged into."Pravda.Ru
The hearings of the case the former president of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych continued in Kiev on February 14. This time, the main newsmaker is former State Duma deputy Ilya Ponomarev, who spoke about the background of Maidan riots and the coup in Ukraine in late winter and early spring of 2014. Ponomaryov, formerly a Russian MP, said exactly what the sitting Ukrainian authorities wanted to hear from him. Ilya Ponomarev now lives in Kiev, which means that there were no doubts about the content of his speech in the courtroom. Judging from the speech, it appears that Mr. Ponomaryov is a very informed person, who allegedly knows everything about every decision that Russia had made in 2013-2014. For example, according to Ponomaryov, prior to Viktor Yanukovych's escape from Ukraine, a helicopter crashed, in which the Russian president was allegedly flying. "Putin nearly got into an air crash in Sochi with a helicopter, he had a hard landing, and he took it as an attempted assassination, in which foreign special services were involved. The same day, Yanukovych fled, and he was in such a mood that conspiracy was everywhere," the former MP said. Ponomaryov himself was not anywhere near, when all that was happening. He said that he learned the information from an officer of the Federal Security Service.That's not all. Ilya Ponomaryov told how the Russian president made the decision about the "annexation of the Crimea". "On February 22, 2014 overnight, a meeting was held with Putin's participation and four other people, all from the top leadership of Russia. They gathered to discuss what to do in connection with such an unfavourable for the Kremlin development in Ukraine. It was at that meeting when Putin put the question of the annexation of Crimea, but my interlocutor told me that the majority at this meeting was against it," the former State Duma deputy said.Of course, Mr. Ponomaryov is familiar with representatives of the top Russian administration. However, it seems very doubtful that someone from the country's top leadership - only five people - could retell the conversation to him. Roughly speaking, who is Ilya Ponomarev to be informed about this? It is more likely that the former MP simply fed a rumour to the Ukrainian court.Ponomaryov also confirmed the prosecution's version, according to which Russia bribed Yanukovych with one billion dollars, although the lawyers of the former Ukrainian president asked the court to dismiss prosecutors' question on the subject, pointing out that "the current Ukrainian administration has been disseminating this fake news through the media for years."Ponomaryov was asked a reformulated question. The ex-deputy did not let the prosecutors down: "I completely confirm that this was bribery in the literal sense, lawyers should be given a textbook on economics," Ponomarev said."According to the information that I received from informants, including Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov, the goal was to engage the financial interest of the Yanukovych family, because in Russia everyone understood that Ukraine was governed through family ties and interests," he said.Ponomaryov noted that the so-called sale of bonds was a "classic insider deal" that enriched the eldest son of President Yanukovych - Alexander Yanukovych.Recall, in late 2013, Russia gave Ukraine a loan of $15 billion. Before the coup, Russia managed to buy Ukrainian bonds worth $3 billion, which Kiev refused to return. In March last year, the High Court of London sustained Russia's demand for the return of three billion. Ukraine, of course, appealed the decision, and the litigation continues. It is worthy of note that the Russian Investigative Committee suspects Ilya Ponomaryov of aiding the embezzlement of $750,000 of the Skolkovo Innovation Fund. In 2015, then-MP Ponomaryov left Russia and since then he has not expressed a desire to return. He said that he received permission for temporary residence in Ukraine, where he moved. In June 2016, he was deprived of his mandate due to the failure to execute his duties.In an interview in the summer of 2017, the former MP suggested the Ukrainian authorities should arm the Russian opposition and send it to the Kremlin. The man depends now on the mercy of the Kiev authorities, so he keeps on spinning his record. Anton Kulikov Pravda.Ru Read article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru
Putin's official spokesman Dmitry Peskov unveiled a few details about the recent telephone conversation between President Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko.Putin and Poroshenko talked on the phone on February 12. The conversation was reportedly devoted to "efforts to exchange captive border guards and release Ukrainian soldiers in the occupied territories," Ukrainian media said. The conversation took place on the third anniversary of the conclusion of Minsk-2 agreements."Indeed, the day before yesterday [February 12], there was a telephone conversation between Poroshenko and Putin," said Peskov. The conversation, he said, took place on the initiative of the Ukrainian side. "Poroshenko expressed his condolences in connection with the Russian air crash (the crash of the An-148 passenger airliner near Moscow, which killed 71 people. - ed.)," Peskov added noting that during the talks, the president of Ukraine expressed the wish to help Russia investigate the tragedy on the line of the Ukrainian manufacturer.The An-148 passenger aircraft is developed by Antonov Design Bureau. Last year, Russia decided to withdraw from the joint project with Ukraine.In addition, Poroshenko offered to continue the subject of exchange of prisoners of war between the parties to the conflict in the Donbass, Peskov said, stressing that the parties "once again emphasised the need to strictly implement the Minsk agreements."Putin and Poroshenko last spoke on the phone in late July 2017. The conversation was held within the framework of the Norman Quartet. During those talks, Poroshenko said that "the last days of July  became one of the bloodiest days for Ukraine." He demanded Moscow should "immediately stop aggressive actions and cease arms supplies" to the territory of the self-proclaimed People's Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk.Pravda.RuRead article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru
The American press unveiled a video of the drone attack of the US-led international coalition in northern Syria.According to Twitter user GerardScw, Russian military men from PMC Wagner were killed on February 7 in the area of the village of Hsham, in the province of Deir ez-Zor. The killed Russians took part in a mission conducted by a Russian private military company. Circumstances of the conflict have not been established so far.According to various reports, including in social media, from 200 to 600 PMC Wagner men could be killed in the attack. It was also said that the conflict sparked after local businessmen attempted to seize oil and gas fields controlled by US allies.Putin's official spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the Kremlin could only account for servicemen of the Russian Armed Forces who take part in military operations in support of the Syrian army. "We have no data about other Russians that may stay in Syria, I recommend addressing the defence department," Peskov told reporters. On Tuesday, it was reported that activist of The Other Russia party, Kirill Ananyev was killed as a result of the US-led attack in the north of Syria, RIA Novosti said with reference to coordinator of the party, Alexander Averin. He added that Ananyev had fought as a volunteer in the Donbass before he left for Syria. Officially, he was not a serviceman. Kirill Ananyev was survived by his wife and children. Pravda.RuRead article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru
In Yekaterinburg, a woman, who removed her breasts, was deprived of her children on the basis of a court decision. A local court found that the woman, Yulia Savinovskikh, was in the process of a sex-change surgery. In a nutshell, the court ruled that the woman became a man. As long as same-sex marriage in Russia is prohibited, the court ruled that she no longer had parental rights for her children, because marriage in Russia is a union between a man and a woman. "Savinovskikh's self-identification as a male individual, given her state of marriage with a man, and her aspiration to take the social role inherent in the male sex essentially contradicts to principles of the family law of our country and comes contrary to traditions and mentality of our society," the verdict reads. Yulia Savinovskikh and her husband have four children - two of their own and two adopted ones. In addition, Yulia has an older daughter from her first marriage, who lives separately. Custody services took the children away from the woman after Savinovskikh had a mastectomy (breast removal surgery).The woman believes that she has no intention to identify herself by gender. "I don't want to label myself. I am a person, an individual. Male or female? This is what they cannot live without, but not me. The authorities have no complaints about our parental duties - they have complaints about my gender," Savinovskikh said, RIA Novosti reports. Pravda.Ru
A one-eyed goatling was born on a farm in the Malaysian State of Sabah.The baby goat was born on Sunday, February 11. The owner named it Tuah Jabang. The owner of the animal, farmer Awang Rosli Mat Taib, said that the whole village came to see the newborn Cyclops goatling. The man showed the baby goat to veterinarians, and they said that apart from the anomaly, the animal was healthy. Nevertheless, the farmer has to feed the goat with a tube because the mouth of the animal is too small to feed on its mother's milk. This anomaly is called Cyclopia. It is a rare form of holoprosencephaly and is a congenital disorder (birth defect) characterized by the failure of the embryonic prosencephalon to properly divide the orbits of the eye into two cavities. Its incidence is 1 in 16,000 in born animals and 1 in 200 in miscarried fetuses. Most often those born with this mutation do not live long.Pravda.Ru
UEFA Football kicks off again
This week the first games of the Champions League Last Sixteen and the Europa League Round of 32 kick off for 2018. Tonight England duo City and Spurs left their mark away from home
Tuesday February 13
The joke about the Dutch FM who met Putin
By Lin Housman
Do you know that joke about the Dutch FM who met Putin? Guess what. He didn't.
Not one of us (men) in the streets
Appeal to the men to support the Feminist Strike called for March 8, 2018.
We call not to go to productive jobs
The European Union signed agreements with Switzerland, Liechtenstein, San Marino, Andorra and Monaco on the abolition of "bank secrecy." Russia joined the agreement, which made it possible to find accounts of Russian presidential candidate Pavel Grudinin in Switzerland. Why is the US in no hurry to join the trend?
Europe is closing the "tax haven"
There no more bank secrecy in Europe. If someone owns a bank account in Switzerland, the information about it will be exchanged automatically, European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation, and Customs, Pierre Moscovici, said on February 12.Swiss and other banks were supposed to change their bank secrecy policy under the Common Reporting Standard (CRS) - an agreement on automatic exchange of financial and tax data, which 47 countries signed on May 6, 2016. Their number is now nearing 80. According to CRS, banks send information about their customers' accounts to local tax authorities, which subsequently exchange information with tax authorities of other countries.Russia joined the CRS from the beginning of 2018, which means that European accounts of Russian citizens shall also be verified by EU supervisory authorities and the tax service of Russia starting from January 1.It is worthy of note that in Switzerland, unlike in other countries, the income received from percentage of deposits and trust operations is exempt from taxation (10-50% in other countries). Plus, a bank depositor in Switzerland does not have to pay income tax and other taxes in their country of residence by withdrawing capital through rogue firms. It would often be "dirty money," which would then be laundered through official operations. Now, the interested country is entitled to request details of the detected account should a financial crime be suspected. In addition, the European Union is concerned about huge losses in the collection of taxes, and EU authorities have been taking swift decisions at this point. In December 2017, EU finance ministers officially approved a black list of 17 offshore companies, which may face sanctions in the near future. It goes about such territories as Samoa, Bahrain, Barbados, Grenada, Guam, the Republic of Korea, Macao, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates and other countries. Another 47 countries and territories were included in the so-called "gray list" - Turkey, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Armenia, Thailand, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Uruguay, Peru, Morocco, Jordan and others.The EU is ready to force everyone to join the CRS by the end of 2018. Some are given a postponement until the end of 2019.
The US does not want to join the CRS
However, the EU list does not include the United States. The Americans have refused to participate in the CRS. Instead, Washington introduced its own financial data exchange during the time of Obama's presidency - the so-called FATCA (the Foreign Accounts Tax Compliance Act, the law on the fulfilment of tax claims on foreign accounts). The law stipulates the imposition of financial sanctions against foreign banks that refuse to transfer information about US taxpayers. In a nutshell, while other countries of the world must provide their reports to Washington unconditionally, FATCA works selectively in the opposite direction. Meanwhile, Switzerland, the United States and the Cayman Islands (Great Britain) were identified as the largest refuge for capital flight in accordance with TJN 2018 Financial Secrets Index - an independent international study. Over the past three years, the share of the United States on the offshore financial market has increased from 19.6 to 22.3 percent, the report says.The US government refuses to participate in international initiatives to exchange tax information with other countries and has not been able to put an end to the use of anonymous companies and trusts aggressively sold by certain US states.Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, noted at the Senate Judicial Committee that if the US does not follow the example of the Europeans in the very near future, America may lose the title of the stronghold of justice around the world. Yet, the Trump administration is in dire need of assets to secure its exorbitant debts.Many say in Europe that the United States has been going on the way of unfair competition. It's clear where capitals from Swiss banks will go depriving Europe of billions in revenues. Is Europe ready to impose sanctions on US banks like on banks of other countries? Hardly.Fortunately, the reorientation to US and British banks does not relate to Russian fans of tax evasion: the "Kremlin list" may trigger arrests of accounts of all top Russian businessmen. Putin's prophecy to oligarchs has come true. "You'll get tired of swallowing dust removing money from offshore," he once said. Lyuba Lulko (Stepushova)Pravda.RuRead article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru
According to numerous reports, Russian citizens from private military company Wagner were killed on February 7 as a result of Washington's revenge for the attack of the Syrian troops on headquarters of pro-American Kurdish formations. Can this information be trusted? The attack on the headquarters of the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) occurred near the Omar oil field (in the area of the former CONOCO refinery) in the province of Deir ez-Zor. As long as there were soldiers of the coalition staying in the area, the Pentagon ordered to strike a powerful retaliatory blow with the participation of aviation.This is how so-called ISIS Hunters ("Syrian militia fighters") described the events in their official statement. Interestingly, the "Hunters" admit that in pursuit of a group of terrorists from the Islamic State* terrorist organisation, they went to the western bank of the Euphrates River, which remains under the control of the Kurds and the Americans. The latter announced the destruction of up to 100 militiamen. At the same time, it was originally stated that there were Russian servicemen among the killed. Officials with the Russian Defence Ministry denied the participation of Russian military men and said that the incident occurred because Syrian forces had not coordinated their reconnaissance operation with Russia. Pentagon's chief James Mattis made an indirect confirmation to the above: "The deconfliction communication line with Russia is constantly used," Mattis told reporters on February 11. "We keep each other informed. The Russians profess that they were not aware when we called about that force that had crossed, and it came closer. They were notified when the firing began. That's when we heard there were no Russians there. And we go out of our way to ensure that we do not endanger the Russians, as you know."However, certain "sources" continued to insist that Russia lost its men as a result of the coalition attack, adding that those were not the losses of the Russian Army, but of a private military company Wagner, the troops of which were "hunting" ISIS* terrorists that day in the area. The variability of data about the losses incurred ranges from 15-20 to 215 people. For example, social network user under the moniker "Soldier of Fortune" said that there were more than a hundred men killed. "As a result of the attack, the 5th detachment of PMC Wagner was practically destroyed; Syrian ISIS Hunters suffered heavy losses as well. About ten armoured vehicles were destroyed and the losses exceeded 100," the user wrote on VK. Shamil Sultanov, president of the Center for Strategic Studies "Russia-the Islamic World", told Pravda.Ru that the main reason for the clash was about the different interpretation of the conflict in Syria by the parties. From the Syrian point of view, Deir ez-Zor is the territory of sovereign Syria, "the Syrians have not signed anything on de-escalation zones, nor have they invited either the Kurds or the Americans to Syria," the expert said. From Washington's point of view, "it is the Kurds and the US-led coalition that remains responsible for the area in accordance with an agreement with Russia." Moscow believes that one should maintain balance: to take into account the power of the United States and the international structure of the coalition of 60 countries on the one hand, but on the other hand, "Moscow can not help protecting the Syrians, because they are Russia's allies."As for victims on the Russian side, "there may have been losses, although the Defence Ministry does not confirm it, and it does not have to," Shamil Sultanov said. "Private military companies (Wagner, for example) primarily protect facilities of strategic importance for Russia. They include Hmeymim airbase, port of Tartus, certain oil refineries, which, among other things, supply our forces with oil products," the expert told Pravda.Ru. In his view, these are insignificant forces, therefore "it is impossible to speak about major losses of Russian citizens, even from those volunteer units - this is an element of information warfare," he added. According to Shamil Sultanov, this is exactly the reason why the Ukrainian media evinced interest in the news. "This is an important moment of the Ukrainian propaganda - to emphasise the vulnerability of the Russian armed forces and private military formations in all possible ways. This propaganda is meant to maintain an appropriate tone of both the public opinion and the morale of the armed forces of Ukraine," Shamil Sultanov told Pravda.Ru.Let us, dear reader, think about what the losses of 100-200 Russian military men in Syria would allegedly mean. This would stipulate for least four or five flights for IL-76 of the Russian EMERCOM, taking into account the transportation of the wounded (their number should be about twice as large), overcrowded hospitals, photos from those hospitals posted on the Internet, funerals in small towns where one cannot hide anything, and so on. Nothing like this has been unfolding lately. Secondly, ISIS Hunters say that they lost 20 fighters, whereas the Kurds lost more. Hence, there was no "one-sided massacre" because of the advantage in the air. Why would the losses among PMC servicemen should be larger than those among the Syrians? Finally, if there were Russian servicemen in the area where the attack was conducted, Russia should have either supported them or acted accordingly to stop the attack of the US-led coalition. Nothing like this was done, which suggests that it was fake news as well. According to Shamil Sultanov, PMC Wagner protects oil refineries. What if the CONOCO plant was the target of the "mission"to the west bank of the Euphrates? Apparently, it was a personal initiative.One may conclude that there is no de-escalation in the north of Syria, and this is certainly a hopeless variant of reconciliation.It is worthy of note that PMC Wagner is an unofficial name for a Russian private military company that was allegedly hired to protect facilities in Syria. The company consists of retired officers of various Russian law enforcement agencies. The Russian Parliament, the Duma, currently develops a law to legalise the work of private military companies PMCs is being drafted, which is designed to legalise their work. Reportedly, it is Russian businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin who supports the group. *Islamic State (ISIS) is a terrorist organisation banned in RussiaLyuba Lulko (Stepushova)Pravda.Ru Read article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru
A number of Russian publications have reported the full-scale formation of the mobilization reserve.According to the Defense Ministry of the Russian Federation, servicemen in reserve who expressed a desire to conclude a contract with the Defense Ministry, will be required to attend training sessions every month and participate in military training once a year. The state will pay benefits and compensations for this activity.It was clarified that the decree about the need to create the professional mobilization reserve was signed in 2015, but they started implementing it only now. This may mean a step toward a professional contract army with a professional contractual mobilization reserve, which allows to promptly enlist pre-qualified and prepared reservists who regularly attend training camps. The move comes at the time when foreign publications continue trumpeting about the imminent war with Russia. In the spring of this year, Russia, according to the Global Military Power Index, entered the top three of most powerful armies, having taken the lead on the number of tanks. At the same time, the Russian land army was recognized as the strongest in the world. However, in the global ranking, Russia took the second place following the United States.The list starts with the USA, and continues with Russia, China, India, France, Great Britain, Japan, Turkey, Germany and Italy. The weakest armies in the world are the armies of Madagascar, Gabon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as Bosnia and Herzegovina. Pravda.Ru Read article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru
Russian President Vladimir Putin has canceled all of his public events, including a trip to Sochi. According to Kremlin's representative Dmitry Peskov, Putin has caught cold, although others believe that there are other reasons for such major changes in the schedule. For the time being, Vladimir Putin has canceled at least two of his upcoming public events. On Tuesday, Feb. 13, he was to hold a meeting on civilian microelectronics. The meeting, which was supposed to take place in the Kremlin, is not going to take place, a source close to the organization of the event says. On Wednesday, Putin was to participate in a forum of the Agency for Strategic Initiatives. In early February, Putin publicly promised to come to the forum. However, the visit to the event has been allegedly canceled. President Putin earlier canceled his trip to Sochi, where he was supposed to go on Monday. The next day, Putin was in Moscow, where he had a meeting with the head of Palestine, Mahmoud Abbas and with winners of "Leaders of Russia" contest. Putin had a husky voice and apologized for speaking quietly. Indeed, a video from the meeting clearly shows Putin not feeling well. A source close to the Kremlin, who participated in the organization of one of the canceled events with Putin's participation, said that they did not receive any official explanations from the Kremlin. It was said that Putin could change his schedule because of certain events in Syria. Putin's press secretary later confirmed that the president caught cold. "He has common cold, there's nothing serious there. All's ok, he continues working," Peskov told reporters. Pravda.Ru
Former Shell CEO Jeroen van der Veer stated that it was him, who told the story of Dutch Foreign Minister Halbe Zijlstra about the meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.According to him, the minister could misinterpret the words of the Russian leader. Dutch Foreign Minister Halbe Zijlstra earlier admitted that he lied about his presence at a meeting with Putin at his summer residence in 2006. After the meeting, Zijlstra had repeatedly stated that during that meeting he personally heard Putin calling Belarus, Ukraine, the Baltic States and Kazakhstan parts of "the Great Russia." Not that long ago, however, Zijlstra said that there was no such meeting, and he was trying to protect the real participant of history, from whom he had heard the information.In turn, Jeroen van der Veer said that "the Great Russia was greater than today's Russia historically" so it was logical that the minister interpreted Putin's words as a desire to influence the country's territory.Representatives of the Dutch authorities said that the Foreign Minister would remain in office, although he committed an "unreasonable" act. Representatives of the opposition demanded the incident should be discussed at the parliament before the meeting of the minister with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov.Dutch Foreign Minister Halbe Zijlstra explained his lies by saying that he found the information about the meeting with Putin part of an important geopolitical story that, in his opinion, could have potentially serious consequences. Halbe Zijlstra is expected to have a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow this week. Pravda.Ru Read article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru
IOC officials have decided to ban the use of the name "Red Machine" for the Russian ice hockey team during the Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang. Thus, the Russians are ordered to use only the title "Olympic athletes from Russia" for all official media resources of the Russian Hockey Federation.It was said that the Russian Hockey Federation respects the principles of the Olympic Movement and strictly observes both the previously received and all the new instructions and requirements from the IOC.In accordance with most recent instructions, the International Olympic Committee recommends to use the term "Olympic athletes from Russia" for all official media of the Russian Hockey Federation. Previously, there were no IOC requirements to restrict the use of national symbols, as well as names of national teams on media resources of sports federations. Adhering to the requirements from the IOC and fulfilling contractual obligations of the IIHF, the players and the coaching staff use the equipment of the partners of the International Ice Hockey Federation during the training process, and there are no elements of national identity on it.Pravda.Ru Read article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru
Water: Countdown to Day Zero
The day the taps run dry, Day Zero. Setting: South Africa, Cape Town. Drought has seen the reservoirs run almost dry, our collective future on Planet Dearth?
Day Zero. You turn on your tap (faucet), nothing comes out. You flush the toilet. Once, it does not refill the cistern. You blink three times, then ask, Now what? If you have not stocked up with drinking water, you do not have any. You cannot take a shower, you cannot wash the baby, water the plants or keep the greenhouse going. A few hours later, your bathroom stinks. Your entire life collapses into a quagmire that you were never expecting. Welcome to Planet Dearth 2018.
The air show in Singapore is held every two years with the support of the civil aviation organisation of the country. In 2018, more than 1,000 companies from approximately 70 countries announced their wish to take part in the exhibition.This is a landmark event for all enterprises of the Russian aerospace industry without exception. Russia's aviation equipment finds no demand at other major shows in France (Le Bourget) and in the UK (Farnborough), because the location of these professional events does not correspond to the geography of sales of the products of the Russian aviation industry. Russia's commercial zone traditionally covers developing countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America, even though it is hard to call China and India as 'developing' states. Western European countries can only look at Russian aviation for the purpose to draw adequate comparisons with their own products.Singapore, no less than Abu Dhabi (where the arms show is held regularly as well), comes in line with Russian business interests. Over the past ten years, Russia has sold at least 400 combat helicopters and airplanes in this zone. The after sale support system has significantly improved; the fast delivery of spare parts (fast tracking) has been developed as well, which also fuels the growth of interest in the products of the Russian defence industry.This year, more than 70 companies of the aviation cluster have arrived in Singapore. Russia showcases such models as Yak-152, Yak-130, Su-35, Ka-52 and Ansat helicopters, as well as MC-21 and SuperJet-100 aircraft.Noteworthy, it is at the Singapore Air Show 2018, where Sukhoi Superjet-100 demonstrated its wing tips. The refinement will allow to reduce up to five percent of expenses on aviation kerosene.The multi-purpose Tatar helicopter Ansat (translates from the Tatar as "simple") is very interesting as well. This helicopter can be used in many areas. The Ansat is a light two-engine gas turbine multipurpose helicopter that has up to nine seats. The Ansat helicopter can carry up to 1,300 kilograms of payload in the cockpit.Unfortunately, the future of the new Russian airliner MC-21 is not clear. Of course, neither Boeing not Airbus are going to give any of their markets to the Russian competitor. At the same time, it remains unclear whether Russian air carriers are going to place orders for the new passenger jetliner. The MC-21 needs to overcome the threshold of 100 aircraft to enter serial production. Alexander ArtamonovPravda.Ru Read article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru
Chinese authorities intend to play a big role in the post-war reconstruction and development of Syria.Chinese Ambassador to Damascus Qi Qianjin said that it was time to focus all efforts on the development and reconstruction of Syria. "I think that China will play a big role in this process by providing more assistance to the Syrian people and the Syrian government," the official said. In February 2017, Beijing and Damascus signed two agreements on the provision of humanitarian aid to Syria in the amount of $16 million. The parties concluded a number of agreements on cooperation in the field of water resources, agriculture, health, tourism, oil and gas.Earlier, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said at a meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov that China shared Russia's point of view on the state of affairs in Syria and North Korea.Pravda.Ru Read article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru
The work group of the Committee for Naming Objects in Moscow will soon consider the question of conferring the following postal address to the building of the US Embassy in Russia: North American Dead End, Building 1.In January, Mikhail Degtyarev, chairman of the State Duma Committee for Physical Culture, Sport, Tourism and Youth Affairs, sent a letter to the mayor's office in Moscow with a proposal to name the nameless inner-city passage to the building as "the North American Dead End."This name was chosen in honor of the intrusive foreign policy of the United States. "Moscow is an ancient historical city, unlike Washington with its teenage complexes, so we will not be renaming streets and alleys for some momentary political ambitions or disputes, but we could easily change the postal address of the nameless deadlock," explained then Degtyarev.The American diplomatic mission is located in Moscow on Bolshoy Devyatinsky Lane 8.Pravda.Ru Read article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru
Russian athlete Nikita Tregubov, skeleton, said that athletes from the United States and the UK do not shake hands with him in Pyeongchang."They do not shake hands with me, and I don't shake hands with them either. That's ok. I don't know why they do it, and frankly I don't care," the Sport-Express newspaper quoted Tregubov as saying. He also said that he did not have any conflicts with Western athletes. "They are politically opposed to us," the Russian athlete said adding that there are no such problems with Canadian and Latvian athletes. Pravda.Ru Read article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru
In Ukraine, bloggers discuss the new "rejuvenated" look of Yulia Tymoshenko, the leader of Fatherland Party. Many assume that Tymoshenko has fallen a victim to plastic surgery. The discussions sparked after the publication of Tymoshenko's photos made during her recent visit to the United States, where she held a number of meetings with influential officials. In particular, Tymoshenko discussed corruption in Ukraine with assistant to the US Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Wess Mitchell. Yulia Tymoshenko also met Special Representative of the US Department of State for Ukraine Kurt Volker, with whom she discussed prospects for the settlement of the conflict in the Donbass and the possibility of deploying a UN peacekeeping mission to the region.Tymoshenko, the Ukrainian ex-prime minister, also had a meeting with a high-ranking member of the Republican Party of the United States, Senator Marco Rubio, to discuss questions of the complicated social and economic situation in Ukraine.The photos of the 57-year-old Ukrainian politician generated many questions on social media. Many wondered whether it was Yulia Tymoshenko on the photos indeed, because she did not look like herself. Pravda.Ru Read article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru
Russian Su-25SM3 assault planes were equipped with Vitebsk self-defence systems, which makes them invulnerable to MANPADS attacks. In particular, the system protects against missiles with thermal homing heads such as Stinger or Igla missiles, the Rossiyskaya Gazeta wrote. This complex is installed on all Ka-52 helicopters, as well as on Mi-8 choppers in Syria. On October 8, 2016, one of those helicopters remained intact after it was attacked from a man-portable air defence system. The new modification of the Su-25SM3 is to go into service very soon.On February 3, 2018, a Russian Su-25 was shot down in Syria. The pilot ejected, but was killed in a combat action with terrorists on the ground. The Su-25 was attacked from a portable air defence missile system (MANPADS).In addition to the Vitebsk system, the updated version of the Su-25SM3 is outfitted with electronic warfare systems, which will make it more difficult for radar-guided missiles to attack the aircraft. To crown it all, the assault aircraft will be able to strike all types of ground-based targets and conduct air battle. Pravda.Ru
On February 12, the Russian military conducted a successful test launch of a modernised ABM missile. According to Colonel Andrei Prikhodko, "we have successfully conducted another test launch of a new upgraded missile defence system, the tactical and technical characteristics of which concerning the range, accuracy and terms of operation, significantly exceed the already in use firearms." The missile is capable to reflect both single and group missile strikes, including the use of intercontinental ballistic missiles of a new generation equipped with various missile defence systems.The new anti-missile system was designed to protect Moscow from air and space attacks. Reports about the test of the new anti-missile appeared in November 2017. The new missile is fully automatic. Earlier, it was up to equipment to detect the target, whereas an operator was supposed to give the command to launch it, but now the target detection, identification and launch of the anti-missile is carried out automatically.Pravda.Ru Read article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru
The list of most probable causes of Saratov Airlines An-148 plane crash in the Moscow region includes ignition in the engine, speed sensor malfunction, possible icing, and piloting error. The version of the terrorist attack has not been excluded yet. Originally, it was believed that the airplane crashed as a result of refuelling with poor-quality fuel. However, it was later said that the same fuel was used for tens of other aircraft the same day and none of them reported any problems whatsoever. In addition, EMERCOM employees have not found the wreckage of another aircraft on the site of the tragedy, although it was reported soon after the crash that the An-148 could collide with a postal helicopter. Specialists said that the An-148 was equipped with the TCAS collision avoidance system, which means that the crew would have warned flight control officers of the approaching danger. It was noted that the crashed aircraft was not old - it was made less than eight years ago.One of the priority versions is the instantaneous destruction of the engine in midair. In this case, engine blades may destroy the fuselage in seconds. The footage from the site of the tragedy, where rescuers found the destroyed An-148 engine, serve as an indirect confirmation of this version. Aviation experts also believe that one should not exclude the version of the icing of the aircraft during the flight. Law enforcers established that all necessary preflight measures had been conducted, but the commander refused to carry out the anti-icing work due to the favourable weather forecast. Yet, the weather was unstable that day and could make unexpected adjustments.Finally, specialists say that the version of the malfunctioned speed indicator of the aircraft may also be one of the causes of the crash. This particular technical malfunction led to the crash of another An-148 in 2011, when a crew of six was killed. Being guided by understated speed readings, the pilot was increasing the speed of the aircraft until its engines caught fire causing the aircraft to collapse in the air. Flight 6W 703 Moscow-Orsk was scheduled to depart from Domodedovo Airport at 14:00, but the permission for take off was delayed for 24 minutes. The flight lasted only for a few minutes, with the crew showing no concerns at all. The audio recording of the pilot's conversation with flight dispatchers did not reveal any problems with the aircraft. At some point, the plane simply stopped responding to air traffic controllers' queries.Radars recorded strange behaviour of the aircraft moments before the crash. Having gained altitude of about 1,800 meters and a speed of about 600 km/h, the airliner abruptly "dove" down to 1,500 meters, then regained the same altitude and crashed. On board the An-148, there were six crew members and 65 passengers, including three minors. No one had chances to survive due to the impact with the ground. Eyewitnesses said that the plane left a hole about 2 meters deep and 17 meters in diameter.Pravda.Ru
Antonov Disaster: 71 fatalities
Saratov Airlines An-148-200 crashed near Moscow Domodedovo airport this Sunday February 11 at 14.27 local time. 71 fatalities confirmed among the 71 people on board.
The preliminary report of the airplane disaster on Sunday February 11 confirms that of the 71 persons on board the Antonov an-148-100 Saratov Airlines flight, all were killed (64 passengers and 6 crew). The aircraft crashed near Stepanovskoye, Ramenskoye District, Russia shortly after take-off from Moskva Domodedovo Airport destined for Orsk Airport, Flight Number 6W703.
An-148 passenger jetliner crashed near Moscow, in the Ramensky district. There were more than 70 people on board the airliner. Rescuers have already found the crash site. The Antonov 148 jetliner of Saratov Airlines crashed in the vicinity of the village of Argunovo near Moscow. The crashed aircraft was found during the search and rescue operation from the air, RIA Novosti reports. The wreckage of aircraft was found in a field near the village. There were 65 passengers and six members of the crew on board. The An-148, Flight 6W703 of Saratov Airlines stopped transmitting signals about its whereabouts in the area of Argunovo village, where the crash presumably occurred. It was said that the aircraft crashed after it took off from Moscow's Domodedovo Airport. A source at Russia's EMERCOM told Interfax that there were no chances for anyone to survive the crash. Pravda.Ru
When the call came during the NFL's 2017 preseason to boycott the league for its failure to hire Colin Kaepernick, it wasn't difficult for me to sign on. I had already boycotted the NFL the previous season, primarily for its dubious officiating and allegations that the success of some teams was due to cheating.
Still, I'll admit, I did check the scores and standings throughout that season, as well as listen to commentary from sports analysts.
But the Kaepernick boycott was different. Not only were supporters supposed to avoid watching or attending NFL games, they were also supposed to ignore all news about the season. This, for me, was initially difficult to do. The NFL, after all, like many enterprises, thrives on addiction; therefore, the temptation to read about how certain teams and players were doing was omnipresent.
Another African Holocaust: Female Genital Mutilation
200 million women and girls have undergone forced genital surgery to remove sexual pleasure, 125 million girls have been forced to marry before they were 18
The end to their education, unwanted sex, rape, beatings. Genital mutilation, scarring three million girls a year each and every year, in Africa, in London, in New York where this tradition is carried on and carried out. Frequently the girls become infected and die.
One should not cooperate with the Anglo-Saxons in the struggle against world terrorism - one should defeat them as sponsors of this terrorism, political scientist Yevgeny Nikitenko told Pravda.Ru.UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stated that terrorist organisations such as the Islamic State (ISIS)* and Al-Qaeda* (banned in Russia) may unite.The report from the UN Secretary General said that the position of terrorist groups has deteriorated significantly lately. ISIS* has lost 90% of its financial sources, but has been able to "adapt to new circumstances." At the same time, against the backdrop of the reduction of financial resources, the two terrorist groups, which have gone into the shadows about a decade ago, may unite.Guterres explained that it goes about the merger of the units that can conduct subversive activities together. The jihadists, the report says, have refused from the intention to seize and retain territory and focused on underground terrorist activities.Professor of the National Security Department of the Russian Academy of Science and Technology, Major General Yevgeny Nikitenko told Pravda.Ru that the terrorist groups will only work harder to look for other ways of effective terrorist activities. According to the political scientist, it is the Anglo-Saxons that rule the Taliban* in Afghanistan, Al-Qaeda* and ISIS* in Iraq and Syria. Before every war, the Anglo-Saxons created conditions for terrorism to manifest, and these days history repeats itself, said Nikitenko.However, Russia interfered into their plans and did not let ISIS* establish its own separate state. According to Nikitenko, it does not make any sense for Russia to unite with the Anglo-Saxons in the fight against world terrorism, because it is "the weapons of the Americans and the British against us, and this is evidenced by recent developments." "Hardly had we declared victory over the Islamic State* in Syria, the Americans immediately declared that it was their victory, and then they struck the Russian Su-25 aircraft and the Syrian armed forces. Israel joined in afterwards to attack laboratories, scientific centres near Damascus - all these are links of one chain. Therefore, we should not cooperate with them, we should defeat them on the platform of the UN Security Council," the political scientist said. "Those terrorists feed not only on the Anglo-Saxons, but also on all interested parties that are involved in this massacre in the Middle East," he added.*terrorist organisations banned in the Russian FederationPravda.Ru Read article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru
The Russian tricolour appeared in the hands of a Korean couple in the stands during the short program of men's singles.Earlier, it was reported that Russian athletes could buy and wear hats of white-blue-red colours that are sold as official Olympic merchandise. The Russian national team may march at the Olympics in South Korea carrying the national flag at the closing ceremony, the head of the organising committee of the 2018 Olympics, Lee Hi-bom said."Russian athletes will participate in the Games from the very beginning, and although the athletes will not be allowed to compete under their flag, they will be able to raise it at the closing ceremony," the official said. He also noted that by the end of the Olympics, sanctions from the Russian Olympic Committee can be withdrawn in full or in part. Such a development is possible if representatives of the Russian Olympic Committee, as well as Russian athletes, fully comply with decisions of the IOC.Pravda.Ru
In Krasnoyarsk, a woman won 20,000 rubles in a court action for false accusations and criminal responsibility for "insulting the feelings of believers." In April of 2017, a criminal case was filed against the woman after complaints were received in connection with a post that the woman made on her social media page. The woman posted a picture of an Easter cake with two eggs on its side. Prosecutors saw a phallic symbol in the picture. They consulted experts in the field of Orthodoxy, who said that "the attitude to the intimate side of human nature in Christianity was negative and was perceived as sinful." Accordingly, depicting Easter attributes as a phallic symbol is viewed as desecration of objects of religious veneration. A priest of the Temple of the Archangel Michael and his parishioners appeared as the aggrieved. The woman claimed that the photo was taken in April 2011 on Kharkov's Victory Square during the celebration of Holy Easter. The case against the woman was closed for lack of offence in May 2017.In response, the woman filed a civil claim. On Thursday, February 8, the Sovetsky District Court of Krasnoyarsk ordered to recover 22,780 rubles from the Ministry of Finance of Russia in favour of the woman "in compensation for moral harm and legal costs incurred for the illegal imposition of administrative sanctions" against her. The woman's lawyer, Vladimir Vasin, told reporters that the decision of the court was absolutely correct, because the reposted photo depicted only the Easter cake and two eggs. "It was the priest who associated the photo with the penis, even though there were no insulting captions made underneath the photo," the lawyer said. It just so happens that the court confirmed that the photo in question depicted the Easter cake and the eggs, whereas the Orthodox should think more about Christ, rather than penises. Pravda.Ru Read article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru
The miracle did not happen. In the morning of February 9, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) announced that it was dismissing the appeals from 47 Russian athletes against the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The athletes were in a dispute regarding the decision of the IOC not to invite them to participate in the Games in Pyeongchang. The judges decided that there was nothing to abolish because the IOC did not apply sanctions against the Russians, but distributed gifts in the form of invitations instead. A nice game of words, behind which both the IOC and WADA with their dirty deeds could hide comfortably. The IOC firmly believed that only clean Russian athletes would be able to take part in the winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. However, we will see plenty of "unclean" athletes in South Korea, albeit from other countries. Suffice it to recall German biathlonist Denise Herrmann and Polish skier Poland Justyna Kowalczyk. Both of them had been caught in doping. Christopher Del Bosco of Canada will perform in ski-cross, even though his doping test showed traces of marijuana. The position of the IOC is two-faced and cynical, and its slogans about the purity of sports are needed for something else.Elite sports have been corrupt with doping for many years, and WADA would have been set up otherwise. Big sport events always mean big money involved. How easier is it for IOC and WADA officials to make champions of the people, who had their medals supported with a nice and special thank you from sponsors? Suspending competitors appears to be a great favour to do.
Russia a convenient target for WADA and IOC
Russia turned out to be a very convenient target. First off, Russian athletes would always win whole baskets of medals at all Olympic competitions. Secondly, Russia remains under the sanctions of Western countries, which means that no one will stand up for Russia, and we can see it with our own eyes. This is not conspiracy - this is plain business.Most importantly, one can never find the one who bears the blame. When WADA president Craig Reedie was asked whether he would like to leave his cozy office after CAS proved the innocence of the Russians, implying that WADA had soiled itself, Reedie simply said that WADA had nothing to do with it and shifted the blame for the IOC. Why is WADA so obsessed with Russian athletes only? Why not check athletes from other countries, the Norwegians, for example?
Norwegians breaking doping rules
The Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK), announced without any hesitation that the national team of Norway took bags of different medications for asthma to South Korea. In particular, it goes about more than 6,000 doses! There are sick athletes in other teams, but the Swedes, the Finns and the Germans hope to get by with a considerably lower amount of doses. Interestingly, journalists of Swedish SVT television channel established that since 1992, Norwegian asthmatic athletes had won every seven out of ten Olympic medals since 1992. In Russia, children with asthma are not allowed to sports training on the level of youth sports schools. It is hard to make champions out of sick children, whose lives depend on medications. One may assume that Norway has a different approach to children's sports, implicating that the Norwegians are good at bypassing anti-doping rules.At the end of last summer, Norwegian TV channel T2 aired a report, in which former skiers of the national team said that doctors had over-medicalised them with asthma medications for prophylactic purposes. It is an open secret that regular intake of such drugs contributes to muscle growth. Famous skier Martin Sundby will apparently be the first one, who will need many doses of asthma drugs in Pyeongchang. The Olympic medalist was taking the medicine for anabolic and fat burning effects.It has been 1.5 years since January 2015 till the time when Sundby was "punished" for his rampant craving for drugs. Yet, Sundby was taking medications, collecting the money and winning the medals and that his is probably proud of. He had to return some afterwards, but the most ridiculous part of the whole story is that it took CAS a whole winter to study Sundby's addiction, but the Court of Arbitration for Sport eventually suspended the Norwegian skier for two summer (!) months. How absurd is that?
An activist of the infamous Femen Movement tried to make Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko leave the Vienna Ball.According to the message posted on the website of the movement, Femen activist Alisa Vinogradova appeared semi-naked on the red carpet displaying a message saying "Poroshenko get the f*** out!" before the police dragged her out of the way as Poroshenko and his wife were ascending the stairs. The purpose of the attack was to inform the higher society that the presence of Ukrainian President Poroshenko, a "primitive huckster and swindler," at an aristocratic event was inadmissible, the message on the webpage of the movement said. Poroshenko attended the ball at the invitation from Austrian President Alexander van der Bellen, who has the right to invite the leader of any state as his personal guest to the annual event. Reportedly, Poroshenko was accommodated in a loge of the first row.The Vienna Ball is a traditional event held in Austria during the ball season. The ball takes place at the Vienna State Opera and appears on UNESCO's list of intangible cultural heritage.Pravda.Ru
"Democracy is talking itself to death. The people do not know what they want; they do not know what is best for them. There is too much foolishness, too much lost motion. I have stopped the talk and the nonsense. I am a man of action. Democracy is beautiful in theory; in practice it is a fallacy. You in America will see that someday. Fascist education is moral, physical, social, and military: it aims to create a complete and harmoniously developed human, a fascist one according to our views." Benito Mussolini
Back in January 2017, I wrote that President Donald Trump should not be too hastily compared to Benito Mussolini, the fascist dictator of Italy who would come to an ignominious end. Well, I was dead wrong about that. America's reasonable facsimile for Mussolini is Donald Trump. His mannerisms, posture and facial expressions, all call to mind the Italian dictator. Trump's call for a military parade, being dutifully carried out by the Pentagon, closes the case for Trump-as-Mussolini.
You think that's too harsh. Take a look at the clips from Mussolini and two of his fabulous, Make Italy Great Again military parades from the 20th Century.
The opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang is to begin on Friday, February 9, at 14:00 MSK. One hundred and sixty-eight athletes from Russia will take part in the Games for sure, but their quantity may increase. The second hearing of the panel of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) was held on Feb. 8. For the time of the Olympics, judges stay in Pyeongchang. Today, they looked into the cases of 45 athletes and two coaches from Russia, who still have a chance to perform at the Games.They received such an opportunity after the first meeting, at which the CAS issued a decision that came contrary to the position of the IOC, but the decision was consistent with common sense. Having not heard any evidence to establish the guilt of several Russian athletes, the CAS sustained their appeals. Afterwards, the Russian athletes appealed against the non-admission to the Olympics.During the second hearing, CAS arbitrators considered the cases of 13 athletes and two coaches who had been acquitted. They also looked into the cases of 32 athletes who had never been suspected of violating anti-doping rules. None of them have received invitations from the IOC. They are stars of Russian sports - Anton Shipulin (biathlon), Victor An (speed skating) and Sergei Ustyugov (skier).
Which abbreviation is worse: CAS, WADA, or IOC?
Head coach of the Russian national luge team, Albert Demchenko, Tatyana Ivanova (sleigh) and Elena Nikitina (skeleton) had an opportunity to speak at the hearings. They told reporters later that they could not say anything about the hearings, and expressed a hope that common sense would prevail. According to Albert Demchenko, CAS arbitrators have listened to all arguments of the Russians.Earlier, skeletonist Elena Nikitina expressed the general idea of the outcast athletes. In an interview with R-Sport, she said that CAS made an independent and fair decision at first hearings contrary to that of the IOC, which gave the Russian athletes more confidence. The athlete also said that she would not mind moving into the Olympic Village even on the opening day of the Games.The head of the Russian Bobsleigh Federation, Sergei Parkhomenko, said that Russian bobsleighers would fly to South Korea as soon as they are allowed to do so. Nick Butler of Inside The Games shared insider information on Twitter. A reliable source, he wrote, informed him that the lawsuits from the Russian athletes would be sustained partially - some would be allowed to take part in the Games, but some others would not. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the IOC remain dissatisfied with the decision that CAS made during the first hearing. WADA officials said that the CAS verdict may cause anxiety and disappointment among athletes.However, it was only the Germans, who publicly supported the decision of the International Olympic Committee not to admit even acquitted Russian athletes. The head of the German delegation, Dirk Schimmelpfennig, told Munchner Merkur that the IOC rightly sticks to its original opinion, and this comes as "an important signal about the equality of all athletes - a signal about the ongoing struggle against doping."IOC President Thomas Bach stated that one needs to reform the CAS. All of a sudden, it turned out that the court in Lausanne makes the decisions that the IOC does not like, because the attacks against the Russian athletes were unfounded. Vice president of the Curling Federation of Russia, Andrei Sozin, said that the IOC behaves like a feudal lord who chooses whom of his slaves can be admitted to the Olympics. Yet, the Russians do not agree with that role that someone wants them to play. Evgeny ShurshakovPravda.Ru Read article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru
Olympic champion in cross-country skiing Nikita Kryukov said that the Olympic Games stop being as such when strongest athletes are absent. According to the decision that the International Olympic Committee made on December 5, 2017, only "clean" Russian athletes would be allowed to perform at the Olympics in Pyeongchang in the status of "Olympic athletes from Russia.""When there are no best athletes at the Olympics, it's not the Olympics anymore - it's just a big party, to which we were not invited." I will personally boycott the Games - I will hardly watch any of them, I will only watch my sports, such as sprint, relay race, and maybe a couple of other ski disciplines," Nikita Kryukov said. Noteworthy, during the Olympics in Pyeongchang, Russian athletes will be able to win only nine medals of different denominations. Gold medals are likely to be won by Russian skiers and figure skaters, whereas silver and bronze medals may go to curling players and skiathlon. Pravda.Ru Read article in Russian
The USA will stop attempting to clash pro-government forces and the Kurds when the enemy in the Idlib area is destroyed, military expert Ivan Konovalov said.The US-led international coalition struck the positions of militia units in Syria on February 7. Representatives of the headquarters of Operation Unshakable Determination said that the attack was carried out "in response to an unprovoked attack on the headquarters of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)" which enjoys the support of the Americans. It was also said that servicemen of coalition member countries were with SDF partners. The militia lost about 100 fighters as a result of the attack, the source said.Director of the Center for Strategic Studies, Ivan Konovalov, told Pravda.Ru, that the SDF mostly comprises of Kurdish formations, against which Turkey is fighting.The Americans, the expert believes, intend to clash the Kurds with the troops of the legitimate government of Syria. "The Americans provoke the conflict to trigger serious confrontation between the SDF and the government troops. This is purely an American game, a provocative and very dangerous game in order to prevent Assad from finishing off Jabhat an-Nusra* in Idlib," the political scientist told Pravda.Ru. The official Damascus, the expert added, could respond accordingly, "but they do not want a full-scale war and the collapse of the entire security system in the Middle East to occur." There is another way to stop provocations - "to destroy terrorists in the area of Idlib." The Kurds are not hostile to Russia. They are in a situation where they are supported by the Americans, and they are playing their game, Ivan Konovalov explained to Pravda.Ru. *terrorist organisation banned in Russia Pravda.Ru Read article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru
A Moldavian woman, the heir to Vladimir Putin's teacher Mina Yuditskaya, found herself in the center of a property scandal. The Moldavian woman, named only as Olga, is accused of not fulfilling the will of Putin's deceased teacher, Bloknot Moldova wrote. Mina Yuditskaya moved to Israel in 1973. Prior to that, she had taught German at School No. 281 of St. Petersburg, where Vladimir Putin, the future president of Russia, was studying at that time. The knowledge that Putin acquired with Mina Yuditskaya's help subsequently became of vital importance for him when he started working in the German Democratic Republic. Many years later, Putin, when serving as President, met with his teacher in 2005 during a visit to Israel. The teacher shared her very warm memories of the meeting afterwards: "Vladimir came up to me and said: "Mina Moiseevna, we'll have some tea together." They showed me somewhere along a corridor. Vladimir was walking beside me, and then he suddenly said: "Mina Moiseevna, I'm bald." I said: "I can see it." We talked privately for about 40 minutes, and then I asked him: "Volodya, (this is a short form for Vladimir - ed.) what do you remember me like?" As a woman, I thought that he would say something like "you were a dolly." Yet, he bluntly stated: "honest, fair, kind," the teacher told reporters. Mina Yuditskaya died at the age of 96 in December of 2017. Mina Yuditskaya left her apartment to the Russian Embassy in the country, and devised her money and property to her nurse, Olga. The teacher had to hire the woman to be looked after because of her illness. However, Marina Kamelman, a friend of Mina Yuditskaya's, believes that the nurse was a crook. "After the meeting with Putin, journalists from different countries would come to visit Mina. During her meetings with employees of the Russian embassy, Mina was complaining of her greedy nurse Olga. She wanted more money from Mina, even though she was paid good money let alone the fact that she had everything. Olga was making good money, her children were studying in Switzerland. Yet, she would always ask for more from Mina," Kamelman said.When making her will, Putin's teacher requested Olga should pay her funeral and install a fine monument on her grave. However, the nurse hasn't done anything. Olga, Kamelman said, claimed that she was short of money and refused to execute the will of the deceased. The Russian Embassy in Israel covered funeral expenses instead. To crown it all, the embassy allowed the nurse to live in her landlady's apartment for a month. "Olga refused to donate personal belongings of the deceased - books and photographs - to the Russian diplomatic mission in Israel. The money in the bank is enough not only for a decent funeral and monument, but for a few apartments," Kamelman said. The woman is sure that Mina Yuditskaya's will can be revised to find a much better application for the money of the teacher, who had a special place in Putin's heart. Pravda.Ru Read article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru
The video of a man saving two little children from a snow tube speeding down a snowy hill has gone viral in Russia. The footage shows the man running up the hill to grab two children into his arms and then jumping over the snow tube to avoid collision. The man looks like an action movie hero - he even lands without hurting anyone. Pravda.Ru
In a suburban town near Moscow, a client knocked out a car wash worker killing him with one punch. The attack was caught on CCTV cameras. The footage shows two young and strong men entering the building of the car wash. At first, they are seen talking to workers. A few minutes later, a quarrel breaks out between them, and one of the visitors suddenly punches his opponent and knocks him down. The next moment, he punches another worker causing both to collapse on the floor. The man who took the second punch stayed alive, but the first victim was killed; paramedics failed to save his life. The attacker, a 24-year-old Muscovite of non-Slavic appearance, who has a criminal record, will go to jail for at least eight years. Supposedly, he killed the car wash worker after the latter refused to wash his BMW.Pravda.Ru
Brussels is launching a new wave of EU expansion. The initiative should, however, exclude Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova, even though the countries have been waiting for their "hour of triumph" for years and years. Instead, however, Brussels is going to invite fragments of the former Yugoslavia, including Kosovo, to join the EU. There are six contenders: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia. Formal difficulties already exist for Kosovo and Metohija, which EU old-timers - Spain, Cyprus, Greece, Romania and Slovakia - do not recognise as an independent state.Will Macedonia change its name in favour of Greece? What will Cyprus say that has an unresolved problem with the "independence" of Northern Cyprus? Most importantly, will Serbia recognise Kosovo's independence? Brussels suggests it will by 2025.There are many questions as far as the popular sentiment is concerned. According to Eurobarometer, 68% of the population of Germany spoke against further expansion in 2014, 67% - in Austria and Luxembourg, 65% - in France, and 60% - in Belgium.There are many skeptics in candidate countries as well. According to the monitoring of the Regional Cooperation Council, only 26% of respondents in Serbia believe that being a member of the European Union would be good. The number of EU supporters in Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina is 44 and 31 percent respectively, which is not large at all. Why does the EU need to expand? The draft strategy of the association, quoted by Eurobserver, says that the reliable prospect of expansion is a key factor in the transformation of the region that has geostrategic significance.That is, in case of success, Germany and France will receive sales markets of the above-mentioned countries, as well as cheap skilled labor force, plus a part of natural resources of the Western Balkans.In addition, Serbia and other Orthodox countries of the Western Balkans will be withdrawn from Russia's influence. "The European Union will not leave abandoned the countries that Brussels does not control, especially against the background of Russia's growing influence," Director of the Center for Comprehensive European and International Studies, Timofei Bardachev, told Pravda.Ru. The strategy of Brussels is as follows: more countries - more money. The West has the political elites of the Western Balkans under control for a long time already. They willingly dance to the tune of Washington and Brussels, but the state of economic affairs in those countries leaves much to be desired. The European Union project is in crisis, and the crisis may trigger its disintegration, Igor Shatrov, deputy director of the National Institute for the Development of Modern Ideology, told Pravda.Ru. "Even if Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro, Albania are admitted to the European Union, they will not have full-fledged membership, but a special status with limited rights, without participation in the euro zone," said Timofei Bardachev. By 2025, the European Union will have two camps with the center and the periphery. Indeed, the Netherlands and Denmark, where eurosceptics won elections, may revise their presence in the EU, while nationalist governments of Hungary, Poland and Slovenia may suspend their membership.Lyuba Lulko (Stepushova)Pravda.Ru Read article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru
A Russian belly dancer was arrested in Egypt for performing a "sexy dance," which the local authorities found too raunchy for Egypt.Reportedly, the woman, named only as Ekaterina, was arrested after she performed a dance routine in front of a group of people, presumably in a restaurant. However, the video, which attracted the attention of Egyptian law-enforcers, was filmed outside Egypt, the Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper said. It was noted that the woman was working in Egypt on legal grounds. Shortly after her detention, the woman was released on bail."She texted me that the police had taken her," her husband Artem said. ] "Then, apparently, they took her phone, and we could not reach her anymore." Artem said that his wife was a professional belly dancer who had a work contract in Egypt. She was invited to work in a network of Egyptian clubs and restaurants. On the night of February 6, she was detained in a nightclub in the suburbs of Cairo, where she performed."The rules require the performer not to wear flesh-coloured underwear, but Johara (Ekaterina's stage name) had no underwear at all, which was provocative," Egyptian prosecutor Hatim Fadl told the Al-Watan newspaper.Pravda.Ru
US President Donald Trump has ordered to hold a large-scale military parade in Washington on Independence Day on July 4 this year. Trump made a decision to hold a military parade in the USA after he witnessed a similar event on the Day of the Bastille in Paris. Is the USA trying to demonstrate its military power or is Trump trying to copy Russia's tradition of military parades? Pravda.Ru asked this question to Andrei Manoilo, Doctor of Political Sciences, an expert in the field of security. "This is an unusual step for Trump to make, because America does not have the tradition to hold military parades. At least, the Americans have never had any in the last 30-40 years. Military marches are mainly the prerogative of the Soviet Union and Russia. It must be the "Russians" who came up with an idea of how to improve his ratings. There is no Red Square in the US capital, so they can hold it on the street that goes from the Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial.""What is the practical benefit of this undertaking for Washington? What does businessman Trump need a military parade for?""All of his actions are aimed at seeking support within the American society. In this regard, Trump, organising the parade, can solve several tactical tasks at once."First off, he wants to show that he is not just the president of a great nation, but also a military leader. He will review the troops personally, and this is a direct allusion to the events of the past, when great presidents Lincoln and Washington had the support of the army. Apparently, Trump misses that. "Secondly, a military parade is a demonstration of state-of-the-art weapons, so Donald Trump is running a promotional campaign at this point. He creates jobs, including in the defence sector, he needs to convince the Congress to ensure large defence orders, because they are vital for the American economy. The United States needs to go at war with someone once in every seven years, to ensure those orders. "Trump is going to showcase the goods to congressmen who do not really know what modern weapons can do, and why one needs to spend so much money on them. Thirdly, one needs to understand that the prestige of the US army plummeted during Obama's presidency because of failed campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq.The American society is tired of wars, and this affects the prestige of the modern army of the United States. Donald Trump will try to raise it with the help of military parades. The move will come in handy for him, because the parade will be held on the eve of midterm elections in the US Congress, which will be held in November of this year. It very much looks like it was some Russian "advisers" who put forward the idea for him, and he liked it." Pravda.Ru Read article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru
In 2018, the Russian army will receive state-of-the-art RPK-16 machine guns. The contract for their supplies has been signed with the Kalashnikov Concern, TASS reports.The design of the new machine gun provides for the replacement of the barrel - this peculiarity will allow using the machine gun as an assault rifle or as a hand-held machine gun. The replacement of the barrel does not require any special tools and devices. The gun butt is foldable and telescopic. It weighs 4.5 kilograms.The RPK-16 has already been presented to the public. As it was noted at the presentation, this is a project to upgrade the RPK-74 machine gun. The Russian Defence Ministry has ordered an experimental batch of this weapon, which the Kalashnikov Concern will have to supply in 2018.The magazine case of the new machine gun will be able to hold 95 rounds and can be also be used for Kalashnikov assault rifles. The regular AK magazine case can also be used with the new development. The shooting rate of the RPK-16 machine gun is 700 rounds per minute.Pravda.Ru Read article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru
On February 6, Elon Musk made "one giant leap for mankind" when he launched the super rocket Falcon Heavy with a Tesla Roadster on board. Two of the boosters returned to Earth and made a spectacular synchronised landing. However, the central booster crashed into the ocean upon its return as only one of the three engines was activated.After the launch, President of the United States Donald Trump congratulated SpaceX and its leader Elon Musk on the successful launch of the ultra-heavy carrier rocket. The launch of the Falcon Heavy was conducted as a test flight, so the only payload on board the rocket was an electric Tesla Roadster car with a mannequin dressed in a spacesuit manufactured by SpaceX. During the launch, the car audio system was playing David Bowie's classic "Space Oddity."In Russia, many were impressed with the launch of the Falcon Heavy rocket. Specialists acknowledged that it was a beautiful show, which also marked a very important step in the development of the modern space industry. Skeptics joke, however, that Elon Musk has buried the Russian space industry because he can sell. In fact, Musk, with the help of a very wealthy state, is exploiting man's dream about the bright technological future. At the same time, many noted that it had not been even 50 years since the moment when the same state had sent a man to the Moon. The rocket was more powerful and more advanced, but these days, for some reason, the States has no manned space projects. Pravda.Ru requested an expert opinion on the subject from Ivan Moiseyev, the Scientific Director of the Institute for Space Policy in an attempt to find out whether the launch of the Falcon Heavy was a beautiful show of a lonesome genius or a serious step in space exploration for all mankind. "This is a serious step indeed. This rocket is twice the size of any other rocket that the world has today. On the basis of this rocket, Musk can increase the payload and use it for the purposes that other modern rockets are unable to do.""What does this mean for the development of the space industry in practical terms?""Satellites in the first place. The military will certainly be interested in it. Elon Musk will be able to launch several satellites into orbit at a time. His rockets are more reliable than Russia's Proton space rockets." "Do you think that SpaceX is now a competitor to Roscosmos?""During the last several years, Russia's Roscosmos has been losing the game to SpaceX in terms of launching commercial cargo into orbit. SpaceX has been increasing the pace of its launches steadily. Russia has a limited number of commercial launches, so one can say that we are losing the competition.""How do you assess the potential of the Russian space industry?""There is a potential, of course. Russia's space rockets are cheaper, so it is up to the marketing group of Roscosmos to find new clients and make new deals. Of course, Russia should pay a lot of attention to the technical part of its space projects, because we have had many accidents. One should look for new clients and improve reliability at the same time, but this is routine work that they have to do." Pravda.Ru Read article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru