Tag Archives: Russia

Russia launches Oniks missile

Oniks missile was launched the Chukotka Peninsula, Russian TASS news agency reported. It’s 350 km trajectory included 200 km over land, which is an achievement for this type of missiles, military experts said.

In the statement Russian Defense Ministry announced that “for the first time in history, the crew of a Bastion coastal defense system of the Pacific Fleet launched an Oniks cruise missile from the territory of the Chukotka Autonomous Region.”

According to the ministry’s data, the missile struck a target vessel at a distance of over 200 km in the Sea.

The Oniks missile was fired in accordance with the combat training plan. About 10 warships and support vessels of the Pacific Fleet and naval aviation provided for the safe missile launch.

The P-800 Oniks supersonic missile has a maximum range of about 500 km. Therefore, Bastion coastal defense systems deployed on the Chukotka Peninsula are capable of striking targets along the entire eastern part of the Northern Sea Route, from the De Long to the Bering Straits.

Duma accuses DW of extremist content

Russian lower house of parliament Duma Commission on Foreign Interference in Russia’s Internal Affairs has announced that the Deutsche Welle news company violated Russian law, lawmaker Vasily Piskarev said.

Today, the commission has finished its inquiry regarding Deutsche Welle. Earlier, we said that we have certain information, which was unfortunately confirmed. While acting on the territory of Russia, Deutsche Welle has violated laws, many laws. Today, we decided that the designated bodies must provide a response to these violations,” the Piskarev pointed out.

The commission has concluded that the Deutsche Welle published content justifying extremism.As example they referred to the case of blogger Vladislav Sinitsa sentenced under Article 282 of the Russian Criminal Code (Incitement of hatred and humiliation of human dignity) as an example.

Sinitsa urged to kidnap and kill the children of law enforcement officers,” Piskarev said. “This horrifying cynical statement has been deemed extremism by law enforcement bodies, and he was charged under Article 282 of the Criminal Code,” he continued . “The sentence is in force, we all think that he is a criminal, an extremist <…> however, Deutsche Welle thinks that he is not an extremist, but a regular member of the opposition,” the lawmaker said.

“However, we think that if an opposition member commits a crime – and this is definitely a crime – then he is not an opposition member, but a criminal,” the commission head noted. “This confirms the attributes of justifying extremism, and not just this. Here, we have all facts confirming that Deutsche Welle has violated the law,” he confirmed, showing the reporters several folders with documents.

The commission has also found out that Deutsche Welle has all the signs of a foreign agent.

The Russian State Duma Commission on Foreign Interference in Russia’s Internal Affairs began its work in August after reports of unlawful actions by several foreign diplomats and media outlets in the course of unsanctioned protests that took place in the run-up to the Moscow State Duma election.

New global arms race

Pierre-Emmanuel Thomann, geopolitician OPINION  The United States, less than a month after its effective retreat on 02 August from the INF intermediate-range missile treaty signed in 1987 (from 500 to 5.500 km), fired an intermediate-range missile off California on August 19 to test this new weapon previously prohibited by the treaty. This new conventional missile is also likely to carry a nuclear warhead. Russia has also permanently withdrawn from the INF Treaty as a reaction to the US decision.

This missile fire reveals the following reality: To be able to launch a new missile, a month after the treaty was released, the United States had begun research on the development of a new intermediate missile, at a time when this type of missile was still banned.

It is surprising that no European member of the EU or NATO has ever stressed this aspect of the INF withdrawal. This way of proceeding reinforces the thesis of those who accuse the United States of having used the pretext of a supposed non respect of the INF treaty by Russia to develop their own missile. Moreover, by unilaterally leaving the treaty, the United States loses a means of pressure against Russia. China, which has not signed any treaty on intermediate-range missiles, is also the target of the United States seeking to maintain its strategic supremacy in Eurasia, from Lisbon to Beijing. China has so far refused to enter into negotiations on a new, larger treaty promoted by the United States that uses escalation as a means of pressure.

As a maritime power unparalleled in the world, the United States is already capable of firing medium-range missiles at Russian and Chinese territories from the sea, while Russia and China, primarily continental powers whose priority is the safety of their terrestrial environment, have so far developed less maritime capacity since their priority is the safety of their terrestrial environment as mainly continental powers. Since maritime capabilities (missiles aboard surface ships, submarines or aircraft) have never been incorporated into the INF Treaty dealing with ground-to-ground and ground-to-air missiles, an asymmetry has always existed in favor of the United States.

It should also be noted that the security environments of the United States and Russia are not comparable. The question of the geographical position of the territories of the United States and Russia is a central element to understand that we can not simply reason in terms of equivalence of armaments. Russia is surrounded in its geographical environment close to many states with increased ballistic capacity.

The territory of Russia is therefore located in a difficult strategic environment in contact with nuclear powers like China and geopolitical rivalries such as the Caucasus, Central Asia, the Far East, while the United States have for neighbors Canada and Mexico. The production by the United States of new missiles in response to the alleged non respect of the agreements by the Russians and the deployment of Chinese missiles does not bring a gain of security to the United States, surrounded by the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. It has no deterrent effect on either Russia or China which must position themselves against other threats from the Eurasian continent. This decision even provides an incentive for the Russians and Chinese to strengthen their own arsenal.

After unilaterally withdrawing from the ABM Treaty in 2002, the US INF Treaty in 2019, the United States also stressed that the 2021 renewal of a nuclear arms reduction treaty, Start II (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty signed in 2012) would not be automatically renewed.

Russia had proposed before the US withdrawal a “moratorium on the deployment of intermediate range weapons”, rejected by NATO. NATO, however, has said it does not want to embark on an arms race and so far refuses the prospect of installing new missiles on European soil.

However, this position is precarious by the risk of escalation between the United States, Russia and China that would make Europeans the losers of a new arms race. The idea of ​​a new European security architecture from Lisbon to Vladivostok becomes even more relevant. Indeed, only a continental negotiation including Russia is likely to restore confidence and more control on this new arms race on intermediate-range missiles that makes no sense for the geopolitical interests of European nations.

EU Crimea sanctions prolongation

The Council has extended the restrictive measures over actions undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine for a further six months, until 15 March 2020.”

 

The measures consist of an asset freeze and travel restrictions. They currently apply to 170 persons and 44 entities. The relevant information and statement of reasons for the listing of these persons and entities have been updated as necessary.

 

 

“Other EU measures in place in response to the crisis in Ukraine include:

  • Economic sanctions targeting specific sectors of the Russian economy, currently in place until 31 January 2020.
  • Restrictive measures in response to the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol, limited to the territory of Crimea and Sevastopol, currently in place until 23 June 2020.

The decision was adopted by the Council by written procedure. The legal acts will be published in the Official Journal on 13 September 2019.”

 

 

 

Russians diplomats demand apology

Italian Corriere Della Sera newspaper mistakenly pointed at a Russian diplomat among persons involved in the case of alleged Russian financing of the Lega party, the Russian embassy in Rome said. (Image: illustration St.Petersburg, Russia).

“The Embassy indeed employs first secretary Andrei Nikolayevich KharchenkoBu (born in 1987), who has no relation whatsoever to the individual with whom your journalists are trying to relate him,” the Embassy informed. “We would like to request an official refutation of information in the above-mentioned article (which is slanderous in essence) and to apologize to the Russian diplomat, who, just like all of us here at the embassy, is working for the benefit of Russian-Italian relations.” 
In July, US news emitter BuzzFeed published a readout of a conversation between the head of the Lombardy-Russia Association and a senior member of the Lega party, Gianluca Savoini, and purported Russian businessmen about the party’s financing. The portal identified Russian participants in the talks as Andrei Kharchenko and Ilya Yakunin.

The First secretary Anrei Kharchenko has a different patronymic and is younger than the person identified by BuzzFeed. 

Based on the publication and the audio record released by BuzzFeed, Milan’s prosecution have launched a case against Savoini on international corruption charges. Other suspects in the case are lawyer Gianluca Meranda and financial consultant Francesco Vannucci. All suspects denied any wrongdoing.

Russian Ambassador Yakovenko left London

Russian Ambassador to the UK Alexander Yakovenko (65) has relinquished his duties in London and left for Moscow, the Embassy in the UK informed on August 24.

24 August 2019 Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Mr Alexander Yakovenko relinquished his duties and departed to Russia,” the embassy stated.” Ivan Volodin, minister-counsellor, will act as chargé daffaires a.i.”

Mr.Yakovenko was appointed ambassador to the UK in 2011.

25/08/2019 AMENDED

According to Novaya Gazeta Andrei Kelin, former Russian Permanent Representative to the OSCE, will be appointed as Moscow envoy to London.

Putin approves crossbow hunting

This month Russians have received permission to hunt in an archaic way with crossbows and bows. The “licence to kill” was signed by President Vladimir Putin, who is a hunter himself, explaining it as a part of “national tradition“. The proponents of archery method of hunting underlined that it will allow many more people to join  two million strong ranks of Russian hunters. Among critics of the bow hunting are not only animal welfare defenders, veterinarians, ecologists, and humanists, who denounce it as barbarism, but also economists, who underline that the permission of archaic forms of hunting indicates profound malaise of government, unable to ensure modern urban lifestyle for majority of Russians, providing them with affordable, safe, sanitary controlled food, replacing it by game meats, representing health risks.

Allowing primitive methods of hunting, and engaging broader public into providing themselves with game meat,  is an indirect recognition of food shortage, especially in Siberia, where lately a problem of hungry children falling unconscious in schools occurred. “..And if you are not lucky in hunting with bows, you have to eat grass” Russian social networks react.

This year children’s ombudsman of Kuzbass said that pupils in schools in Kemerovo (West Siberia) region suffered hungry faints, because parents do not have means for breakfast at home, and even less so to give them 50 rubles (EUR 0,7) to pay for school meals.

Allowing hunting with crossbows and bows upon the licence and a permit and registration of weapons, the new law will  have “the most positive impact on the development of the entire hunting industry in Russia, as well as on the image of Russia as a great hunting power”, according to opinion of Russian  State Duma.

Earlier, Vladimir Lebedev, deputy chairman of the Committee of the Federation Council on Agriculture and Food Policy, said that Russians have tens of thousands of such weapons, so its legalization for hunting will be useful for amateur hunters. 

The number of hunters in Russia has almost doubled in recent years, but unfortunately the scale of action of the poachers has also multiplied. Local residents in Siberia complain, that poaching have reached a level of organised industry: some shoot, others transport, skin killed animals to deliver of skilled salesman of game meat. (Tweet below: ad of Siberian bear meat).

Siberian  veterinarians warn of the danger of infection of people from game meats that have not passed sanitary control: the consequences can be devastating for human health, even lethal if not timely diagnosed. A significant proportion of bear meat is unsuitable for consumption, since the animals are  vehicles of a number of diseases dangerous for humans, namely Trichinosisa parasitic disease caused by roundworms. Wild bore, moose, and especially reindeer are the most frequent vehicles of Cysticercosis, fatal to human brain as a frequent site of localization, among other consequences is liver failure.

In Siberia game meat is delivered, in particular, to cafes on the highways, where sanitary inspections are rare. In most places it is unclear if meat has passed sanitary control and the procedures required by food safety standard.

Among exotic meats wolf  flesh is among most expensive in Russia, amounting to 30 euro/kg (RUB2000). Next to bear consumption, it gains popularity under Chinese influences in Siberia, where lately more cases of dog consumption have been reported. There is also a rapidly growing black market of exporting parts of wild life to China for transitional medicine.

Across the European Union the crossbows for hunting is prohibited as barbarism. Having an impact of more than 40 kg, in case of a hunting accident, the damages to human body are incompatible with life, causing internal bleeding. Even in countries where bows are allowed for hunting, crossbows are strictly prohibited.

The bow hunting however is allowed locally in some countries as Denmark, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Hungary, Finland, Bulgaria and Slovenia practice restricted archery,  Estonia also allows bow hunting, but for a small game.

Bear with cub

Russian animal rights group VITA launched a champagne to veto the law, insisting that archery as hunting method is degrading to human beings, reversing the development of humankind, devastating to nature, and atrocious to animals.

 

 

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