Russia has developed an unmanned underwater vehicle capable of crossing distances between continents at large depths and at large speeds. The vehicle is also capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, President Putin said during his annual Address to the Federal Assembly. "These vehicles are capable of moving at a speed that exceed the speed of submarines, state-of-the-art torpedoes and all kinds of fastest surface ships. This is fantastic," the president said.According to him, the new vehicles are highly maneuverable and are practically invulnerable to the enemy."There is simply no weapon in the world today that can intercept them," Putin said noting that the unmanned vehicles outfitted with either conventional or nuclear warheads may strike "a wide range of targets" including aircraft carrier groups and coastal fortifications.The President said that the long-term test cycle for an innovative nuclear facility for the new devices was completed in December 2017.
During Putin's Address to the Federal Assembly, a video was shown on screens to demonstrate the possibilities of hypersonic weapons. President Putin said that Russia has already started the serial production of this weapon. The new weapon is called "Avangard.""This system differs from existing models of weapons for its ability to fly in dense layers of the atmosphere to intercontinental distances at a hypersonic speed exceeding the Mach number by more than 20 times," the president said.The winged unit of the system is capable of maneuvering, deviating from the flight trajectory for a distance of up to a thousand kilometers. Such maneuvers make the system "virtually invulnerable" to any type of missile defense, the president said. The flight of the impact unit can be controlled even though it gets heated up to plasma formation temperatures when entering the atmosphere - 1600-2000 degrees Celsius. "It goes to the target like a meteorite, like a burning ball," Putin said. The weapon was made possible thanks to the use of new composite materials.The video of the simulated flight of the new weapon showed the takeoff of the system, its flight into space, where it a stage separates from the block before it proceeds to sharp maneuvering to bypass air defense systems. To reach the target, the impact unit enters the atmosphere and strikes a destructive blow. Pravda.Ru
On March 1, Russian President Vladimir Putin started his traditional message to the Federal Assembly. As it could be seen in the beginning of the speech, Putin has not recovered from cold that he caught in the middle of February: he would often wipe his nose with a handkerchief, clear his throat and his voice is husky. This year's Address to the Federal Assembly has become the 14th for Putin and the 24th in the modern history of Russia. In 2018, the format of the event underwent a number of important changes in connection with the presidential election in Russia, which will be held two weeks after today's speech.This year's speech is addressed to all citizens of the country, rather than to the political elite.Secondly, most of the speech is devoted to how, according to the Kremlin, the next six-year rule of the current president will or should look like. Thus, Putin's Address to the Federal Assembly becomes his pre-election message. Thirdly, screens with infographics, diagrams and other visual presentations will be used for the first time to better visualise Putin's words for the population of Russia. Finally, this years's address has been relocated from the Kremlin's St. George Hall to the Central Exhibition Hall "Manege" outside the Kremlin walls that many associate with the inaccessibility and remoteness of power from the people. "It was at such turning points when Russia has repeatedly proved its ability to develop, upgrade, develop lands, build cities, conquer outer space, make grandiose discoveries," Putin said. "This constant aspiration for the future, the fusion of traditions and values, has ensured the continuity of our thousand-year history. We have also been through large-scale complex transformations, we have been able to cope with completely new and very complex economic, social challenges, and we have preserved the unity of the country and established ourselves as a democratic society on a free, independent path. ""Stability is the basis, but not a guarantee for further development. We have no right to let the achieved stability lead to complacency, given that we still have to work a lot to solve many problems," he said. Russia is one of the leading powers with a defence and economic potential, but from the point of view of people's well-being, there is still a lot to be done. The welfare of citizens is the main and the key factor of Russia's development. "Our priority is the well-being of the people, we must give decent work to people," the president said, adding that as many as 20 million Russian citizens face poverty.The President set the task to reduce poverty twice in Russia within the upcoming six years. "We must solve one of the key tasks for the coming decade - to ensure a confident, long-term growth of real incomes of citizens, and halve the level of poverty in six years," Putin said. "Today we are obliged to set ourselves a goal of a fundamentally new level: by the end of the next decade, Russia must confidently enter the 80+ club of countries where life expectancy exceeds 80 years. They are such counties as Japan, France and Germany," said Putin. In today's Russia, life expectancy has increased and currently makes up 73 years. "This is not enough, of course," Putin said. For the dynamic development Russia should expand space of freedom in all spheres and strengthen institutions of democracy."To move forward, to develop dynamically, we must expand space of freedom in all areas. We must also strengthen institutions of democracy, local government, the structure of civil society and courts," he said adding that Russia should be open to the world, to new ideas and initiatives.Russia needs to ensure the dynamic development, in which no obstacles can stop the nation from moving forward confidently. The coming years will be decisive for the future of the country, Putin said. It goes about the development of technology. Lagging behind in the field of technology is unacceptable, the head of state said, because technological backlog entails risks of the loss of sovereignty. "They are waiting for a strong response from us, and we are ready to give such a response," Putin said.Those who can not take advantage and use the technological wave will drown, the Russian president said. The Russian president ordered regional authorities to improve the condition of roads."We need to double the spending on building roads," Putin said adding that eleven trip ion rubles are to be assigned to finance road construction in Russia. Pensions should be regularly indexed to exceed the level of inflation, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in his annual Address to the Federal Assembly.He also pointed to the need to improve the quality of medical and social services for older people, to help those who was left alone and found themselves in a difficult situation.Putin set the goal to increase healthcare expenditure to five percent of GDP using sources of financing that would not restrain economic growth."In 2019-2024, the development of the healthcare system from all sources will require an annual average of more than 4% of GDP, but we must certainly strive for 5% of GDP," Putin said.The Russian authorities will support initiatives that will allow cities to reveal themselves in a new way. Special attention will be paid to social and infrastructure projects, Putin said.The Russian Federation should become one of the world centers for processing and storing informationRussia should become one of the world leaders for processing and storing large amounts of information, said Russian President Vladimir Putin."With the help of advanced communications, we will open all possibilities of the digital world to our citizens, and this is not only about modern services of on-line education or telemedicine, which in itself is extremely important," the Russian leader said.Russia needs to improve the quality of drinking water. There are settlements in Russia, where water is available only according to a schedule, Putin noted. The implementation of various projects connected with the ecology of Lake Baikal will improve the quality of life for a half of the population, he said.
On March 8, women of Turkmenistan will receive 40 manats ($11) from President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov in honour of the International Women's Day.The present will be given to employed women of Turkmenistan who work at enterprises, institutions and organisations regardless of the form of ownership.The document prescribes cash gifts should be given to women in a solemn atmosphere.The presidential decree also covers female students, schoolgirls and children of preschool institutions.The tradition to give women 40 manats for the holiday of March 8 on behalf of the head of state started in the era of the first president of Turkmenistan, Saparmurat Niyazov.Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov took office as President of Turkmenistan in 2007.In September 2016, a new constitution was adopted in the country, which abolished the 70-year age limit for participation in the presidential election and extended the presidential term from five to seven years.Pravda.Ru Read article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru
President Putin decorated Russian Olympic athletes with orders of Friendship and medals of orders "For Merits for the Fatherland." The award ceremony took place in the Moscow Kremlin. The Order of Friendship was awarded to figure skaters Alina Zagitova, the Olympic champion, and Evgeniya Medvedeva, who won the silver medal in Pyeongchang. "We won these medals for our homeland," Medvedeva said.President Putin also decorated hockey players, who also received the Order of Friendship. "The Olympic Games, the historical Games for our country are over. We have defended the honour of our country thanks to the Russian temper, support and faith in our great Russia," hockey player Pavel Datsyuk said.Hockey player Ilya Kovalchuk, when receiving the award, said that the goal of the athletes was "to return the flag and anthem." "A couple of hours ago we learned that the Russian Olympic Committee had been reinstated," he added.Skier Yulia Belorukova was awarded the medal of the Order of Merit for the Fatherland of the 1st degree. She thanked the president on behalf of the team for the chance to perform at the Olympics. "One can take away any symbols, but one cannot take away the temper. We were proud to watch you perform," Putin told the Olympians. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev presented car keys to the winners of the Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang. Gold medalists received the keys to BMW X6, silver medalists - X5 and bronze - X4. Pravda.Ru
Russia will not be endlessly tolerating militants' attacks from Eastern Ghouta, which they conduct even on the territory of the Russian Embassy and trade mission, President Putin said at a press conference on the results of the talks with Austrian Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurtz."As it is known, at least we know it well in Russia, bombs strike even the territory of the embassy of the Russian Federation, and the trade mission. Are we going to tolerate this endlessly? No, of course we are not!" Putin said.The Russian president said that there are many extremist forces and representatives of terrorist organisations in the region, and the latest UN Security Council resolution says that the struggle against those organisations has not been stopped. "The shelling from there never stops, and rocket and mortar attacks occur up to 80 times a day," Putin added. Putin also said that during his last conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron, they agreed to arrange a humanitarian corridor to evacuate children, the wounded and those in need of help from the conflict zone.Over 300 people tried to leave the region along the humanitarian corridor during the second attempt to hold a humanitarian pause in Eastern Ghouta, Syria. However, Islamist terrorists do not let civilians leave and threaten to kill them for even trying to leave the region. Local residents are not allowed to use cars, radio, television and cellular communication, the chief of the Centre for the Reconciliation of Warring Parties, Major-General Yuri Yevtushenko said.
By Paul Craig Roberts
We continue to hear from a variety of uninformed or corrupt people that there is "clear evidence" that Russia interfered in the US presidential election. We hear it from the Atlantic Council, a mouthpiece for the military/security complex.
We hear it from a nutcase in the British Labour Party.
The United States will be able to strike blows from space already in a few years, the Chief of Staff of the US Air Force David Goldfein said. According to him, the US needs to achieve predominance in space just as much as it needs to achieve leadership in airspace.The agreement on principles of activities of states for the exploration and the use of outer space was signed in 1967. The document does not allow the deployment of nuclear weapons in space, but it does not ban the deployment of other types of weapons there either.In 2008, at the Conference on Disarmament, China and Russia introduced a draft treaty that would prohibit the deployment of any kind of weapons in space of and exclude the use of force against space objects. However, the document has not been adopted yet. Pravda.Ru asked an expert opinion from military expert of Arsenal of the Fatherland magazine, Alexei Leonkov, to find out what threat the new initiative of the United States poses to the world. "The Americans have been seriously dealing with issues of the militarisation of space. They have a number of programs on their completion stage. As soon as they launch weapons into space, another arms race will kick off. Russia proposed signing the treaty on the demilitarisation of outer space in 2011, but the Americans rejected the initiative, because many of its regulations did not leave them any loopholes to deploy any weapons into space save for reconnaissance vehicles."The militarisation of space is a component of the concept, which the US has been following to rebuild their armed forces. They plan to strike instant blows within an hour and develop several programs to create hypersonic aerial vehicles," the expert said.In addition, the United States has a project known as HTV Falcon. As part of this project, the Americans will put into orbit a spacecraft carrying assault elements made of solid alloys.If such a block descends from orbit at a speed of five to seven kilometres per second, one will not be able to shoot it down. In addition, upon touchdown, the object will strike the so-called kinetic impact that will cause destruction, but exclude contamination of the territory and other consequences. Moreover, it will be possible to retrieve the block and use it again. In addition, the disc can then be removed and used again. Nowadays, one can track and monitor any launch of any missile. In case of threat, the missile can be destroyed. The aerospace system allows to launch such vehicles from an airplane that ascends to an altitude of 15-20 kilometres and launches a second or a third stage. Tracking such a launch is practically impossible. "Russia has been working a lot lately to upgrade its air defences. We are all waiting for S-500 systems to arrive. Russian space engineers develop a new engine that will enable spacecraft to manoeuvre in space. They will be able to approach a satellite, and they identify it as dangerous, they will be able to destroy it. Unfortunately, however, Russia responds when it is too late, as it was the case with the import substitution. We could not support our producers until they imposed sanctions on Russia. Pravda.Ru Read article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru
by Guy Somerset
So closes another Olympic Winter Games and hopefully all the mouths of those who claim "you can see it better on television" as well. Like most things in this world, while there may be an element of accuracy in this oft-repeated statement it misses the essential truth of the matter. For those who doubt it, ask yourself how many individuals prefer the dull antiseptic paper of pornography to the warm and comforting company of a passionately live partner? (Hint: The answer is exactly no one.) In other words, there is nothing like the real thing in person.
Be that as it may, now comes the time when an approximately 2,922 participants pack their bags and say their Das Vedanyas. (That is, assuming we are allowed to speak Russian in the Olympic village? Take no offense President Bach, I jest, I jest.) Throughout the past two weeks have been all the usual atypical examples of human heights and lows though in the event some may have been inadvertently overlooked below is a review of the best, the worst and the Western media...a category which speaks for itself.
Inhibitory brakes fall. Disturbing symptom.
A few days ago, President Trump proposed, as a solution to the ongoing school massacres in the US, to arm teachers with public funds. This has been variously commented on.
by Maurizio Blondet
The Olympic Winter Games are over, and we believe that the balance is quite positive for Korea. North and South have marched together in both the opening and closing ceremonies, they have trained and competed united, they have shown the Reunification flag, they have met at the highest level.
There have been, however, hostile and irresponsible attitudes on the part of some South Korean and US media and political parties that warned of a possible "communist propaganda invasion" by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea... As if it wasn't clear enough where the ideological, psychological and cultural invasion in the entire planet comes from! We only have to see the performances of the South Korean "boy bands".
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stated that the US military work to prepare armed forces of European countries to apply tactical nuclear weapons against Russia.Lavrov, speaking at the conference on disarmament in Geneva, said that the preservation of US non-strategic nuclear weapons in Europe hampers nuclear disarmament.According to him, the practice of joint nuclear missions is destabilising. Within the framework of these missions, Lavrov believes, "non-nuclear NATO members participate in the plans to use US non-strategic nuclear weapons."Earlier, reports on the analysis of consequences of nuclear strikes on Russia and China stirred quite a controversy in the world. Soon after the publication of the results of the analysis conducted by US defence agencies, Russian officials spoke about the guaranteed retaliatory strike of the Strategic Missile Forces on the aggressor.It goes about the system of automated control over the launch of missiles in the event of a nuclear war and the silence of the command. The system is known as "Perimeter." The system was put on alert duty in 1985 in the USSR and was dubbed as "Dead Hand" in the West. In a nutshell, the system ensures the launch of nuclear missiles in the event of a nuclear attack on Russia, if there is no one left to give an appropriate order.As for China, the nuclear potential of the country is classified. According to experts, it does not exceed a quarter of a thousand warheads compared to Russia's and the USA's 2,000. In addition, Chinese missiles operate on solid fuel and are outdated for a massive breakthrough in the US missile defence system. Therefore, the issue of the Chinese retaliatory strike against the United States does not look relevant.According to a recent article in The Bulletin of Atomic Science, the modernisation of nuclear forces has given America an opportunity to strike a powerful preventive nuclear blow, which undermines the strategic stability in the world.Pravda.Ru Read article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru
Russian Ambassador to Argentina Victor Koronelli revealed a few details about the joint special operation conducted by Russian and Argentine special services to suppress supplies of a large batch of cocaine to Russia. According to him, "we received information saying that certain things belonging to third parties were stored at the school building at the embassy. The building is located ten blocks away from the embassy. That was suspicious, so I was instructed to inspect all premises of the school building."Coronelli said that 12 suitcases filled with drugs were found in one of the rooms. The Federal Security Service of Russia and the Ministry of Security and the National Gendarmerie of Argentina were involved in the operation to detain perpetrators. The "cocaine scandal" sparked on February 22, when Argentina's Security Minister Patricia Bullrich reported the finding of 389 kilos of drugs on the territory of the Russian Embassy in Buenos Aires.It was said that the criminal group consisted of at least six people under the leadership of entrepreneur Andrei Kovalchuk. The entrepreneur, who resides in Germany, is engaged in alcohol, caviar, coffee and cigar sales. Reportedly, two of his accomplices - Ali Abyanov and Ivan Bliznyuk - helped him hide the drugs at school. As part of the special operation, two Russian citizens came to pick up the suitcases in Moscow - both of them were detained red-handed.On February 22, the Argentine police released a photo of the airplane, in which the suitcases were loaded. The suitcases, as the criminals believed, were containing almost 400 kg of cocaine. In fact, before sending those suitcases to Russia, law enforcement officers replaced cocaine with flour and sent the cargo to Moscow to find out who would come to collect the suitcases. One of the photographs shows the side number of the airplane - 96023. The airliner with the same number is ascribed to "Special Flight Detachment "Russia" of the Department of Presidential Affairs of the Russian Federation. This detachment specialises in the transportation of top officials of the state. On Tuesday, February 27, law enforcement agencies of Argentina exposed more evidence to confirm that the criminals were loading the drugs on board the IL-96 of Special Flight Detachment "Russia" of the Department for Presidential Affairs. Pravda.Ru
One of the bloodiest and longest conflicts on the territory of the USSR started 30 years ago. On February 20, 1988, the extraordinary session of People's Deputies of the Nagorno Karabakh Autonomous Region appealed to the Supreme Soviet Councils of Armenian and Azerbaijani Soviet Socialist Republics to consider the issue of transferring the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast (Region) from Azerbaijan to Armenia. Thus began the armed Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict, which claimed the lives of about 20,000 people from 1988 to 1994. In February 1988, Baku rejected the request from Stepanakert (Khankendi) to deliver the region to Armenia. Yerevan, on the contrary, supported the idea. The hostility of the two Soviet republics within the united USSR - Armenia and Azerbaijan - started. The Karabakh conflict triggered other interethnic conflicts between Georgia and Abkhazia, Ossetia and Ingushetia and the conflict in Transnistria. The myth about the "indestructible friendship of peoples" in the Soviet Union collapsed very quickly.First armed clashes between Azerbaijanis and Armenians started in the fall of 1988, when mass expulsions of Azerbaijanis and Armenians from Armenia and Azerbaijan started. Some time later, armed Armenian detachments were formed in the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region. The fighters were struggling against OMON and Azerbaijani army servicemen. In May 1992, military operations moved outside the borders of Nagorno-Karabakh. Armenian troops occupied seven regions adjacent to the former NKAR: Kelbadjar, Lachin, Zangelan, Kubatly, Jebrail, Fizuli and Agdam.In February 1988, Armenia accused Azerbaijan of the "genocide" of Sumgayit Armenians, where, according to the USSR Office of the Prosecutor General, 26 Armenians were killed. Yerevan claims, though, that at least a hundred people were killed. Azerbaijan, in turn, demands the international community should bring Armenia to account for the "genocide" of Azerbaijanis committed in February 1992, when hundreds of Azerbaijani civilians were killed as a result of attacks committed by Armenian armed formations.In May 1994, with the mediation of Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement, and the acute phase of the armed conflict was frozen. From 1988 to 1994, at least 20,000 people were killed in the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict. Presently, the ceasefire on the front line continues to stay in effect, but the two sides to the conflict do not exclude the resumption of hostilities. In April 2016, the fighting in the conflict zone resumed, but after a few days, the parties declared a truce. Nevertheless, the situation remains explosive: both Baku and Yerevan build up their military potential and prepare for war.Neither Azerbaijan nor Armenia want to make concessions. Armenia says that the withdrawal of Armenian troops from Azerbaijani regions can be possible only after Azerbaijan recognises the independence of Nagorno-Karabakh. Azerbaijan demands the opposite: the discussion of the future status of Nagorno-Karabakh is possible only after the Armenian troops are pulled out. Experts in Baku and Yerevan believe that both the United States and the European Union are interested in preserving the simmering conflict in order to use the Karabakh factor as a lever of pressure on both sides.According to observers, the Minsk Group of the OSCE, created in 1992 for the peaceful settlement of this conflict, is to blame for the explosive situation in the conflict zone. Over the past 26 years, the Minsk Group has not been able to deploy a permanent OSCE monitoring mission in the region of the Armenian-Azerbaijani confrontation, as it was done in the Donbas. There are currently no mechanisms on the front line to monitor compliance with the Bishkek protocol on armistice, which has been in force since March 1994.According to military experts, one needs to create a neutral zone several kilometers wide in order to maintain peace in the region before OSCE missions can be deployed there at the first stage. Afterwards, mixed peacekeeping forces from among the countries that do not border Armenia and Azerbaijan could be introduced into the sanitary zone.At the third stage, it is necessary to begin full-scale negotiations with a view to sign a framework peace treaty between Armenia and Azerbaijan to encourage the parties to make compromises to resolve the conflict.The most complicated question of the forthcoming settlement is the status of Nagorno-Karabakh. At present, even the government of Armenia does not recognise its independence, since this former autonomy is not a party to the talks. Yerevan openly states that the Armenian troops will leave seven regions of Azerbaijan adjacent to the former NKAR only after Baku recognises the independence of Nagorno-Karabakh. Naturally, Ilham Aliyev will never agree to the recognition of Nagorno-Karabakh, because this would lead to a political crisis in Baku.Thus, the process of negotiation on Karabakh has come to a deadlock. Russia, the European Union, the United States, whose attention is focused on Syria, Ukraine and North Korea, show little interest in the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The explosive situation in the Karabakh region will remain. Aidyn MehtiyevPravda.Ru Read article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) decided that Russia will not be able to host international competitions in any type of sport starting from April.The document adopted in November 2017 says that the decision was made in connection with the new international standard of compliance with the WADA code, which RUSADA (the Russian Anti-Doping Agency) had signed.Thus, the activity of the RUSADA has been considered inconsistent with the anti-doping code from November 2015. Accordingly, it is only the countries whose national anti-doping organisations are recognised by the WADA code can apply for the right to host world championships and other international sports competitions. From April 1, 2018, all international federations will lose the legal opportunity to give international tournaments to Russia. Interestingly, the new regulations have not affected previously approved events, such as, for example, the 2018 World Cup.Pravda.Ru Read article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru
UEFA: One week to go
Champions League Round of 16
Vltchek's Black Agenda Report Interview
Hate and Retrocession in Brazil's Educational System
There has been in Brazil a conservative political movement (which falsely claims itself non-partisan) called School without a Party (Escola sem Partido), which has been passed in several states limiting teachers to only transmit the respective contents of their didactic materials.
As many School without a Party (SwP) followers do not publicly assume it, some leaders have spoken out the essence of this new "project": "Teachers' role is not forming citizens; they are expected to only say what their didactic book dictates". But teachers, much more than teach the respective subjects, are expected to develop critical sense and creativity in their pupils.
Russian silver medalist of the Pyeongchang Olympic Games, Andrey Larkov, spoke about Norwegian asthmatic skiers. According to the athlete, he did not come across any. It was reported that the Norwegians brought more than 6,000 doses of medications against asthma to South Korea. A German journalist later wrote that asthma drugs were accelerating the growth of the muscle tissue. The journalist was later accused of the lack of specific knowledge about how the drugs work. However, no one has ever bothered to explain why Norway had to send so many sick skiers to the Olympics.Larkov noted that he was not ready to draw any conclusions about his Norwegian rivals. During the Winter Olympic Games in South Korea, Team Norway won 39 medals (14 gold, 14 silver, 11 bronze). The skiers collected 14 of 39 medals - seven gold, four silver and three bronze.Pravda.Ru Read article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru
The United States has urged Turkey not to purchase S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems from Russia. Otherwise, Washington may impose sanctions on Ankara, Turkish publication Haberturk reported citing a source in Washington.The US, the newspaper wrote, is concerned about the situation assuming that the purchase of S-400 systems from Russia may affect NATO's interoperability. At the same time, American officials noted that the US would be willing to help Turkey find a better alternative to meet the country's need in air defence.Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said earlier that threats against Ankara would be unacceptable, noting that originally Ankara planned to purchase air defence systems from NATO allies, but eventually refused from the idea because "they always have some problems" as the minister put it. In this regard, Turkey began negotiations with other countries and signed an agreement with Russia in December 2017.Technical servicing for the acquired systems will be provided by local personnel. At the same time, Turkey insists on an opportunity to launch its own production of the renowned system. The S-400 is designed to destroy aircraft, cruise and ballistic missiles at a distance of up to 400 kilometres and at an altitude of 30 kilometres.
The lowest minimum salary in the European Union can be found in Bulgaria - 261 euros.Luxembourg has been the leader in terms of the largest minimum salary in the EU with 1,999 euros. In Russia, the minimum salary will make up 160 euros from May 1. EU's absolute outsider in terms of minimum salary is Bulgaria with €261 as of January 2018. Next comes Lithuania (€400), Romania (€408), Latvia (€430), Hungary (€445), Croatia (€462), the Czech Republic (€478), Slovakia (€480), Estonia (€500) and Poland (€503).Next comes the group, which includes Portugal (€677), Greece (€684), Malta (€748), Slovenia (€843) and Spain (€859).In western countries of the continent salaries are completely different: €1,401 in the UK, €1,498 in Germany and France, €1,563 in Belgium, €1,578 in the Netherlands, €1,614 in Ireland. The absolute leader is Luxembourg, where one receives the minimum salary of 1,999 euros per month.It is worth noting that the minimum salary in the United States makes up €1,048 euros per month as of January 2018.Pravda.Ru Read article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru
The authorities of Taiwan said that there was no reason to panic about toilet paper.Taiwanese Prime Minister Lai Qingde urged the islanders to remain calm and not to panic after reports of an imminent rise in prices on toilet paper caused an uproar in shops.According to the Financial Times, the Taiwanese have swept toilet paper off the shelves over the weekend over expectations of a sharp rise in prices on the essential product due to the rising cost of paper worldwide.According to China News Agency, a local e-commerce site sold 5 million toilet paper rolls within three days, which marked an increase in the demand on toilet paper by 22 times.As a result, the Taiwan Fair Trade Commission reported that it was monitoring the situation and pledged to take necessary measures to preserve market competition and protect consumer rights.Experts said that Taiwan lags behind other countries in terms of the share of recycled paper used for the production of toilet paper and disposable tissues. Pravda.Ru Read article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru
Germany intends to play the leading role in confronting Russia along eastern borders of NATO states. The Americans manipulate the Germans accordingly through the UN Charter, a US army base on the German territory, and the German gold stored at the Federal Reserve. How will Russia respond?The Bundeswehr plans to increase the number of troops participating in exercises on the eastern borders of the alliance to 12,000 men, German publication Focus reports. The operation will cost Germany 90 million euros, which is twice the amount used last year. This will send "a clear signal of intimidation to Vladimir Putin."For the time being, however, there is nothing Germany can do to intimidate Russia, because the Bundeswehr needs to improve a lot in the Germany Army. German planes "do not fly, submarines do not submerge, tanks do not roll," the publication wrote. The modernisation program will work fully from 2023. All shortcomings in material and technical supplies of the German army are to be eliminated before 2020. The reforms will last for ten years; there is a contract for the comprehensive upgrade of Leopard 2 tanks (about 100 vehicles).The Bundeswehr will also create a NATO planning and management centre, which will be responsible for rapid transportation of troops and weapons - the so-called Very High Readiness Joint Task Force to counteract Russia. Years of savings have ended, the German press says. Sergei Ermakov, the head of the regional security sector at the Centre for Defence Studies at RISI, told Pravda.Ru that the number of NATO exercises near Russia's borders tripled over the past three years and amounted to about 250 drills a year. These are exercises of different intensity, including full combat manoeuvres, in which Germany intends to increase its participation. The expert does not see anything strange about it, because Germany is a consistent member of the alliance, which the USA has been criticising for making insignificant contributions to deter Russia - less than two percent of GDP."NATO as a foreign policy instrument of influence remains under the control of the United States. Naturally, it will continue to fulfil its role to speak to Russia from the position of force," the expert said. "When a country joins NATO, it loses a part of its sovereignty by giving it to the US, and we see it on the example of such a great and large country as Germany," Sergei Ermakov said in an interview with Pravda.Ru.Is Germany a great country indeed? Germany's colonial status is established by the UN Charter, the presence of a US military base on German land and by the "privatisation" of German gold on the territory of the United States. German historian Josef Foschepoth said in an interview with the ZDF channel that former occupation authorities have the right to spy on German citizens to this day. Modern-day Germany, the historian believes, is not a sovereign state."Occupation treaties of the past are still in effect, although they have different names, and any federal government is bound to observe them," Foschepoth said.German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen faces criticism in her home country for the collapse of the army, even though US officials refer to her as a successor to Angela Merkel. Apparently, the Americans believe that Frau Leyen is ready to sign secret protocols on the "Atlantic brotherhood."Moscow does not have political levers of influence on Berlin, since the USSR withdrew its military bases from the GDR. Therefore, Russia is unable to implement provisions of the UN Charter to retrieve the pre-1955 form of government in the country should Germany's "aggression" grows. Lyuba Lulko (Stepushova)Pravda.RuRead article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru
US Ambassador to Russia John Huntsman and representatives of the Russian authorities continue the discussion about the interference of the United States in the upcoming elections in Russia. According to Huntsman, an exchange of harsh statements on the subject may escalate the relations between the two countries. His concerns are understandable, although Moscow has a lot to catch up with Washington at this point. Not that long ago, official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, stated that the United States was trying to interfere in the Russian elections because of the internal political situation in the USA. "They are interested in our elections for two reasons. First off, they need it to continue the domestic political rhetoric, which as you can see, does not reduce tensions," she said on NTV. The US is to hold intermediate elections to the Congress in November 2018. The question is whether the Democrats can intercept majority from the Republicans. Therefore, the widely advertised subject of the "Russian intervention" will, beyond any doubt, remain in high demand.Secondly, the USA needs to be traditionally involved in all internal processes in all regions of the world. "There is no region where Washington does not want to play. The rule of no interference in domestic politics and lives of other states works and should work from their point of view for all, except for one exceptional country - the United States of America," added Zakharova.The American Ambassador to Russia stated when visiting Kazan that he was concerned about accusations of USA's interference in the Russian elections and said that it was impossible. "We are often accused that we interfere in elections, but it seems to me meaningless, as we very much value our relations. Sometimes I worry that such an exchange of statements would lead to unnecessary escalation," the diplomat said. Perhaps, the US ambassador to Russia remains the only American official who tries to observe proprieties. It is hard to imagine someone else in Washington could say things like "we value our relations" and "unnecessary escalation."As for facts, one can only recall the statement from the US State Department in connection with the refusal of the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation to register blogger Alexei Navalny as a presidential candidate in late December of 2017. US officials said back then that such actions indicated the inability of the Russian authorities to ensure the implementation of basic freedoms and human rights in the country. They urged the Russian government to hold fair, transparent and free elections to guarantee "the free expression of the will of the people."President Putin reacted to the statement from the US State Department. "The persona that you mentioned (Navalny) - he is not the only one who was not admitted to the elections. For some reason, they do not name others," Russian President Vladimir Putin said during the meeting with the leaders of Russian media in January. "This, as it seems, indicates certain preferences of the US administration," he added. "This is the person, whom they would like to promote into the political sphere of Russia and see as the country's leader," Putin said noting that the Americans should have kept silence on the subject because they fouled up. Obviously, Moscow intends to serve the subject of elections with the same sauce for Washington. John Huntsman's remarks about "unnecessary escalation" if it was not for two aspects. Mr. Huntsman should send this message to the US administration. Last but not least, the escalation in the US-Russian relationship has gone too far primarily because of Washington's actions. To make matters worse, Washington is not going to stop. Oleg Artyukov Pravda.Ru Read article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru
The West likes to come across as squeaky clean, holier and more righteous than the rest. The reality is that the more the veneer cracks, the worse the stench.
That the West interferes in sovereign countries is an undeniable fact. From the times of imperialism and colonialism we have seen countries invaded, entire populations massacred, sold into slavery, their societies turned upside down as one group was elevated into a false position of power to create a divide and rule mechanism, millions carted off in deplorable conditions to be forced to work as slaves on Western farms in the Americas or to serve in the kitchens of Western palaces..
Numerous attempts were tried before and after Westphalia to establish frontiers and create conditions for sustainable development, first inside Europe then in the territories overseas which it had contaminated through the Bible and the Bullet approach to shooting when you see the whites of their eyes. None of these policies worked because the West behaves like a slippery fry of eels, slithering in all directions spreading its slime far and wide. In recent history, we have seen the example of Afghanistan, where Mujaheddin fighters were trained and armed to destroy the progressive governments building schools and protecting women's rights, we saw what happened then they interfered in the Balkans, when they carved off a narco-quasi-state in Kosovo, when they invaded Afghanistan, when they destroyed Iraq, and Libya, two countries totally out of control, crawling with terrorists.
The main intrigue of the Winter Olympics was the participation of Russian hockey players, whereas the main result is the emergence of young athletes who "fought to the end," Olympic champion in speed skating, first deputy chairperson of the State Duma Committee for International Affairs, Svetlana Zhurova told Pravda.Ru"It is not the 13th place that Russia took at the Games - it is the number of medals that is important. The IOC barred practically all of Russia's strongest athletes from these Games, so one did not have much hope about gold," Zhurova said. "We knew that hockey players and figure skaters could really take gold medals, and that other medals would be absolutely incidental, because all leading athletes, who could win them in bobsleigh, skeleton, speed skating and skiing, were excluded from the Olympics," Svetlana Zhurova told Pravda.Ru. The main outcome of the competition, Svetlana Zhurova noted, was the appearance of young athletes who "fought to the end." Russian skiers won nine medals even though no one expected it from them. In Finland, she said, a whole generation of skiers used to be eliminated as part of the anti-doping struggle. "That was not the struggle for the purity of sport - it was the struggle against sport, and I was very glad that there were Finnish and Russian skiers on the pedestal in Pyeongchang - this is an indicative phenomenon," Svetlana Zhurova said. For Russia, the main intrigue of the 2018 Winter Games was the participation of Russian hockey players and their triumphant victory. It was them, who made it clear to all Russian athletes that they had to go to South Korea. "If we hadn't won in ice hockey, it would have looked very unpleasant for everyone. It was a very symbolic victory," the MP told Pravda.Ru. At the same time, Svetlana Zhurova pointed out the "unworthy behaviour" of Russian fans in social media with regard to German hockey players. "The pictures that appeared in social media - images of the Reichstag after the Victory - they showed disrespect for German players, who were struggling and playing very well. There are things that should not be politicised, because in sports, one must respect the rival. Our rival has lost, but we must show some respect," she added. Team Russia has collected 17 medals in Pyeongchang: two gold, six silver and nine bronze ones. Russia was ranked 13th in the unofficial classification and sixth - in overall number of medals.Pravda.Ru Read article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru
In the city of Kostroma, a 16-year-old female customer at McDonald's restaurant lost consciousness and died.The young woman came to McDonald's on Oktyabrskaya Square with a company of her friends. All of a sudden, the woman did not feel well and collapsed. Paramedics could only pronounce the young woman dead. Reportedly, she had complained of paints in the heart, although it remains unknown whether she had consulted doctors in the past. The incident occurred on February 23. The cause of the woman's death is yet to be established. Pravda.Ru Read article in Russian
The Russian Defence Ministry released a video of military drills at Pogonovo training ground near the city of Voronezh. The exercises showed a new tactic of shock-fire contours at large distances.The essence of the new tactics is about the technique to unite different types and branches of troops under one command for accomplishing combat missions. The task at Pogonovo training ground was to attack enemy artillery with an elusive bait.Tanks opened fire from closed positions and moved forward. The conventional enemy responded with an artillery attack, but projectiles fell into tank trenches that were already empty. The responsive attack made it possible to find out the locations of enemy guns. Their whereabouts were detected with the help of drones and artillery reconnaissance radars. A new volley of howitzers and self-propelled guns followed the revealed positions.Deputy Commander of the Army, Major-General Timur Trubienko, told the Rossiiskaya Gazeta that the a peculiarity of the exercises was a unique method to strike targets at a distance of up to 12 km.Pravda.Ru Read article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru
The Russian Air Force struck the positions of radical Islamists in Syria's Eastern Ghouta, Syrian news agencies report. Journalists described the attack as an act of revenge for the military men of private military company Wagner, who were killed as a result of the recent air strike conducted by the US-led coalition. It was said that Russian state-of-the-art Su-57 fighter aircraft were involved in the operation to strike terrorists in Eastern Ghouta. Several groups of illegal armed gangs were destroyed as a result of the air strike with the use of precision weapons. Local sources said that the Russian Air Force also managed to eliminate dozens of US military instructors involved in the training of extremist fighters. It is believed that they were training radical Islamists from the so-called "New Syrian Army" in field camps in the vicinity of Damascus.The use of Su-57 warplanes against pro-American forces has come as a response to the actions of the Western coalition in Deir ez-Zor. On February 7, pro-Syrian forces clashed with Kurdish armed groups from the Democratic Forces of Syria. During the clash near the village of Hisham, the Kurds called the US Air Force for help. The Americans struck the pro-government forces killing Russian mercenaries from PMC Wagner. Pravda.Ru Read article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru
The Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) is likely to be reinstated before February 28, Shamil Tarpischev, a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said. He noted that the process to reinstate the ROC was hampered on account of two cases of positive doping tests found with Russian athletes Alexander Krushelnytsky and Nadezhda Sergeyeva at the 2018 Winter Olympics."I hope that on Tuesday or Wednesday we will be reinstated, now we are waiting for last doping checks to be finished. I think that soon we will become full-fledged members of the Olympic movement again, and our state symbols and the national flag will be returned," Tarpishchev told TASS. According to him, the speeches made at IOC sessions at the beginning and at the end of the Olympics showed support for the ROC. If it was not for two doping incidents, the Russian Olympic Committee could have been reinstated before the Games ended."There is no doubt that when we are reinstated, we will turn over the page and start from scratch," Tarpishchev said.The IOC Executive Board unanimously voted against the restoration of the status of the Russian Olympic Committee on the last day of the Olympics in PyeongChang.The head of the IOC work group to monitor athletes' behaviour, Nicole Hoverz, noted that there were no complaints against Russian athlete; all necessary requirements had been met. Pravda.Ru Read article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru
French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to come to a ceasefire agreement with the Syrian leadership for Eastern Ghouta, a message posted on the website of the Kremlin said. The three leaders also discussed issues about humanitarian access to Eastern Ghouta and other regions of Syria. Putin informed Macron and Merkel about practical steps that the Russian side has taken to evacuate civilians and provide humanitarian and medical assistance to the affected population in Syria.Putin, Macron and Merkel agreed to intensify the exchange of information on the state of affairs in Syria.Pravda.Ru Read article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru
Russia deployed Su-57 fifth-generation fighter aircraft in Syria to test the new warplanes in combat conditions. Several Su-57 jets will test radar and radio electronic security systems during operations that the Russian Air Force conducts in Syria. It was also said that state-of-the-art Sukhoi fighters were sent to Syria to demonstrate their capabilities to potential customers. First videos of Su-57 in Syria appeared on the Internet on February 21-22.According to editor-in-chief of Arsenal of the Fatherland magazine, Colonel Viktor Murakhovsky, the fifth-generation fighter has several advantages over previous models. The Su-57 is barely visible on radar screens and is armed with latest aviation weapons housed inside the fuselage. Pravda.Ru Read article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru
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