Thursday, Feb 25, 2021 - 05:44:31
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Russia’s long:

    RUSSIA is set to sign a memorandum of understanding with China to collaborate on an international lunar base, seeing the U.S snubbed again. The countries are set to join forces to create China's brain child, the International Lunar Research Stations (ILRS), the latest build in the space-race-saga that brings another blow to America's aspirations. 5The lunar research station will provide a long-term base for a robotic presence and eventually humans 5Russia are set to sign a memorandum of understanding with China to seal the space dealCredit: AP:Associated Press The purpose of the ILRS is to create a long-term robotic presence on the Moon by the start of the next decade, before eventually establishing a sustained human presence. An Order of the Government of the Russian Federation detailing the scheme was published on February 11, but the "date to sign the above mentioned MoU has not been determined yet and is currently discussed...
    MOSCOW (Reuters) - Yuri Dmitriev, a Russian historian who exposed Stalin-era crimes, is due on Tuesday to appeal against a 13-year jail term that his supporters say was based on fabricated charges. Dmitriev, 65, was found guilty in July of sexually abusing his adopted daughter, a charge he denied. He was due to be freed in November due to time served. But a court in Russia's northwestern Karelia region in September abruptly added a decade to his sentence and said he would be held in a high-security penal colony. His lawyer and supporters say the case against him is retribution for him helping expose Stalin's 1937-38 Great Terror, in which nearly 700,000 people were executed, according to conservative official estimates. Dmitriev found a mass grave after the Soviet breakup containing thousands of bodies of people held in Stalin's Gulag network of prison camps. Memorial, a rights group where Dmitriev works,...
    Having broadly endorsed the insurrection at the Capitol as a “peaceful protest,” Kremlin-controlled propagandists found themselves in quite a predicament trying to condemn massive demonstrations that rocked Russia last weekend to protest the jailing of opposition activist Alexei Navalny. After being poisoned with a nerve agent by Russian intelligence operatives, Navalny was treated in Germany. Immediately upon his return to Russia, he was arrested. After Navalny’s apprehension at the airport, his team released a damning video alleging that an enormous seaside palace was built for Putin to the tune of $1.37 billion, reportedly funded by the Russian president’s associates and described in Navalny’s video as “the biggest bribe in history.” Tens of thousands of people across Russia marched to express their deep dissatisfaction with Putin's leadership and their outrage was palpable. Protesters demanded Navalny’s release, chanting “Putin is a thief” and “Freedom to Navalny.” More than 3,000 people were detained...
    The Russian Grand Duke George Romanov has announced his engagement to his long term girlfriend Rebecca Bettarini after a Christmas proposal. The 39-year-old son of Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna of Russia proposed to Italian lobbyist and writer Rebecca, 35, in December, after asking her parents for their blessing. Rebecca, who is the daughter of Italian Ambassador Roberto Bettarini, went on to share the news on her own Instagram page, writing: 'A new chapter of our life book together is starting. As a writer I hope that the journey ahead will be full of love, suspense and adventure as the first part of our life book was.'  According to Hola! the couple are set to marry in the autumn 2021 in Saint Petersburg. with guests set to include members of other royal families as well as a number of statesmen and public figures.  The Russian Grand Duke George Romanov, 39, has...
    A long and tedious job is waiting for U.S. government researchers to try to understand the depth and veracity of the suspected Russian cyber-attack on several government institutions. Dan Hoffman, a former CIA chief of station at three agency outposts, described the incident as a "massive intelligence failure" for U.S. explaining the nature of spying business. "We are still doing the forensics. We don’t even know how bad this is," he said. "We are supposed to detect these threats… and preempt them before they cause harm." The Russian Embassy in Washington blamed U.S. media on the reports, calling them "unfounded attempts… to blame Russia for hacker attacks on U.S. governmental bodies." Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers his New Year address to members of the government, via teleconference call, at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Dec. 24, 2020. (Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP) ...
    MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia on Monday successfully test launched its heavy lift Angara A5 space rocket after a six-year hiatus in a project President Vladimir Putin describes as having huge significance for national security. First test-launched in 2014, it is being developed to replace the Proton M as Russia's heavy lift rocket, capable of carrying payloads bigger than 20 tonnes into orbit. A launch pad for the new rocket is due to open in 2021. The Angara has however been dogged by manufacturing delays and technical issues, including the discovery last year of a defect in its engines that scientists said could destroy it in flight. The defence ministry and space agency Roscosmos said Monday's launch, from the Plesetsk cosmodrome in the country's northwest, had been successful however. Roscosmos has suffered a series of setbacks and corruption scandals in recent years, including during the construction of the Vostochny Cosmodrome in...
    Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert blasted the delay of a report that he thinks could have helped Trump's reelection chances. Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert (TX) over the weekend lamented that the delay of special counsel John Durham's report on the Russia probe had somehow prevented the Nov. 3 election from being a "free and fair one." "Justice delayed is justice denied, and in this case, it's an election that has been denied, a free and fair one anyway," Gohmert told the conservative-leaning Newsmax TV on Saturday, adding that "what concerns me most is the Justice Department has not been handling it in a way that has brought people to justice." Attorney General William Barr first tasked Durham, a former U.S. attorney, to investigate the origins of the nearly two-year long Russia probe in May 2019, with a particular focus on agents...
    VIDEO2:3602:36OPEC+ meeting is 'really coming down to crunch time': S&P Global PlattsCapital Connection It is "striking" that Iraq has made strong negative comments about OPEC+ production quotas ahead of the alliance's meeting this week, one oil watcher said. The group is expected to consider delaying its output increase, scheduled for January 2021, at its two-day meeting starting Monday. "A couple of weeks ago, we were all thinking this was going to be a pretty routine meeting, it seemed like all the ducks were lined up in a row for a rollover of these … cuts," said Herman Wang, S&P Global Platts' Middle East and OPEC managing editor. "But now, we're seeing some cracks in the foundation," he said.A lot of dissatisfaction, a lot of fatigue among a lot of members with having put in these cuts for so long because of Covid.Herman WangS&P Global Platts"We know that Iraq has long...
    The Washington Post published an op-ed Saturday advising readers: “We must treat the Hunter Biden leaks as if they were a foreign intelligence operation — even if they probably aren’t.” The rationale for this argument, by Johns Hopkins Professor Thomas Rid, was that Russian interference in 2016 — through the hacking of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) email server, blamed by intelligence agencies on Russia — provided damaging information about the inner workings of the party (specifically, how it prevented socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont from winning the nomination.) Therefore any unexpected information — even if true — that could affect voters’ choice in 2020 must be treated with suspicion. Rid may have revealed more than he intended about how the hivemind of the Beltway sprang into action to suppress the story: [O]n Oct. 14, files purportedly from the mysterious laptop spilled into public view in the New York Post....
    The media has long missed the boat on Russias election meddling goal: Russia does not care who wins, as long as the results are doubted, according to former National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster on Newsmax TV. "This is really important for Americans to realize: I dont think the Russians care who wins the election," McMaster told Mondays "Spicer & Co." "They dont care, as long as we doubt the results. "They didnt care in 2016." McMaster told host Sean Spicer, who was the White House press secretary during McMasters time as national security adviser, the Russian election meddling was designed to discredit whoever won the election. After releasing his book "Battlegrounds: The Fight to Defend the Free World," McMaster, who was ousted as NSA for John Bolton, did praise his former boss, President Donald Trump, for dramatically improving election security after 2016. "The trump administration – I wish President Trump...
    Senate Republican leaders on Tuesday slammed FBI Director Christopher Wray for a “simply unacceptable” delay in providing access to text messages sent by former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe. Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Ron Johnson and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley wrote to Wray that they have received just 24 pages of texts, despite the FBI making available to the Justice Department more than 300 pages. “It is simply unacceptable that we have waited so long to receive so little,” Johnson (R-Wis.) and Grassley (R-Iowa) wrote. The letter says Johnson’s committee “subpoenaed the FBI for all records related to” a probe of possible Trump campaign links to Russia and “[w]e have waited nearly 70 days to receive these text messages, and when records were actually produced, we received only eight percent of what we know exists.” The first 24 pages of McCabe texts were provided to the committee...
    Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images President Donald Trump went on a tweetstorm Tuesday night over the “Russia hoax” and shared a meme with a message for Attorney General Bill Barr. Trump railed against “Scum” he’s had to “constantly fight off” during his presidency and added “Media is in on it”: I have fully authorized the total Declassification of any & all documents pertaining to the single greatest political CRIME in American History, the Russia Hoax. Likewise, the Hillary Clinton Email Scandal. No redactions! https://t.co/GgnHh9GOiq — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 7, 2020 Because Mueller and his 18 Angry Democrats were illegally in on the SCAM? https://t.co/ynEAchAWPA — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 7, 2020 Can’t believe these con men are not yet being PROSECUTED. Pathetic! https://t.co/FXn48qMHdE — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 7, 2020 All Russia Hoax Scandal information was Declassified by me long ago. Unfortunately...
    Former FBI Director James Comey makes a long-awaited appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday to answer questions regarding the FBI’s actions in the early stages of the Russia investigation. The committee, under Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., has long scrutinized the FBI's decisionmaking in the early days of the probe, including inaccuracies in court filings used to obtain warrants to monitor former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page and the FBI’s reliance on British ex-spy Christopher Steele’s dossier, which had been debunked by Steele’s own sub-source during an FBI interview. Comey, for his part, has claimed his bureau "did not intentionally commit wrongdoing" but did admit "real sloppiness" from some FBI employees. Follow below for the latest updates on the hearing. Mobile users click here:
    MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian security forces detained a prominent mystic and other leaders of the "Church of the Last Testament" sect in a remote part of Siberia on Tuesday over allegations they had damaged followers' health, police said. The Investigative Committee, Russia's equivalent of the U.S. FBI, said in a statement that the religious group had used psychological pressure to extract money from its followers and caused serious harm to their health. Sergei Torop, a former traffic policeman known to his followers as Vissarion, set up the Church of the Last Testament sect in a remote part of Siberia's Krasnoyarsk region in 1991, the year the Soviet Union broke up. The bearded mystic with long hair attracted thousands of followers, some of whom believe he is the reincarnation of Christ. The operation to detain him, as well as group leaders Vadim Redkin and Vladimir Vedernikov, involved the police as well...
    Reuters September 17, 2020 0 Comments FBI Director Christopher Wray on Thursday warned that Russia is interfering in the 2020 U.S. presidential elections with a steady stream of misinformation aimed at Democrat Joe Biden as well as sapping Americans’ confidence in the election process. Moscow is also attempting to undercut what it sees as an anti-Russian U.S. establishment, the head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation told the Democratic-led House of Representatives’ Homeland Security committee. He said his biggest concern is a “steady drumbeat of misinformation” that he said he feared could undermine confidence in the result of the 2020 election. Wray’s testimony follows an Aug. 7 warning by the director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center that Russia, China and Iran were all trying to interfere in the Nov. 3 election. Multiple reviews by U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that Russia acted to boost now-President Donald Trump’s...
    By Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber and Katya Golubkova MOSCOW (Reuters) - A $1.5 billion loan from Russia will shore up Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko for the time being as he tries to face down mass protests, but not for long. Lukashenko, whose security forces have arrested thousands of opposition supporters demanding his resignation, secured the financial lifeline from Russian President Vladimir Putin at a Black Sea summit on Monday. But the actual cash available to him - for example, to pay his police force or raise salaries to lure back striking workers - will be much smaller than the headline figure. According to Artyom Shraibman, a political analyst at the Carnegie Moscow Center, only a fraction of the funds will actually make it to Minsk, given it needs to refinance another $1 billion in loans, including from Russia, and pay $300 million of debt to Russian energy giant Gazprom by the end...
    Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko acknowledged that he may have remained in power “for a bit too long” following weeks of mass protests against his regime. "Yes, perhaps I’ve sat [in the presidential chair] for a bit too long, maybe. I’m shown not only on TV, but on irons and kettles as well,” Lukashenko told Russian journalists, according to state-run media. That unusual acknowledgment of domestic dissatisfaction with his rule comes almost exactly one month since Lukashenko claimed to have received 80% of the vote in the Aug. 9 presidential elections, which were widely perceived as fraudulent. The strongman, who has ruled the former Soviet vassal state since 1994 and has blamed the outrage over the elections on Western powers, maintained that he must remain in power in Minsk, Belarus's capital. Despite the admission, Lukashenko claimed if he were to fall now, then "the entire system will fall,...
    WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland’s government welcomes signals that Germany might stop a controversial gas pipeline project over the poisoning of Russian dissident Alexei Navalny, a Polish deputy foreign minister said Tuesday. In an interview with The Associated Press, Paweł Jabłoński said it was good that some German politicians seem to have had a “wake-up call,” adding that it was regrettable that “it required such a dreadful incident to take place.” Navalny, a high-profile critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, was flown to Germany last month after falling ill in Russia. German experts say tests show he was poisoned with a Soviet-era nerve agent, prompting the German government last week to demand that Russia investigate the case. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on the weekend that the Russian reaction could determine whether Germany changes its long-standing backing for the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which will bring Russian gas to...
    By GEIR MOULSON BERLIN (AP) — The Berlin hospital treating Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny says he remains in a serious condition though the symptoms of his poisoning are declining. Navalny was admitted to the Charite hospital on Aug. 22. The hospital said Wednesday that Navalny is still in intensive care and on a respirator. It said that it expects a long illness, and it still can’t rule out long-term consequences from the poisoning. The Charite statement came shortly after the German government said testing has shown that Navalny was poisoned with the Soviet-era nerve agent Novichok. THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below. BERLIN (AP) — Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was poisoned with the same type of Soviet-era nerve agent that British authorities identified in a 2018 attack on a former Russian spy, the German government said Wednesday, citing new test results. Chancellor Angela...
    PODGORICA, Montenegro (AP) — Voters in Montenegro on Sunday cast ballots in a tense election that is pitting the long-ruling pro-Western party against the opposition seeking closer ties with Serbia and Russia. The parliamentary vote is marked by a dispute over a law on religious rights that is staunchly opposed by the influential Serbian Orthodox Church. The issue has fueled divisions in the nation of 620,000 people that has defied traditional Slavic allies Belgrade and Moscow to become independent in 2006 and join NATO in 2017. Months of church-led protests against the property bill have raised tensions and fears of potential incidents during and after the election on Sunday. In October 2016, the authorities said they thwarted a planned election-day coup orchestrated by two Russia military intelligence officers. Some 540,000 voters are choosing whether to keep in power the Democratic Party of Socialists, which has governed Montenegro for some 30...
    MOSCOW — The most prominent opposition figure in Vladimir Putin’s Russia is fighting for his life. But who is Alexei Navalny and why does it matter that he is now in a coma in a Siberian hospital? Navalny has led nationwide protests against the authorities, repeatedly challenged members of the president’s United Russia party and set up a network of campaign offices across the country. His anti-corruption investigations and slickly produced videos and social media sites about them have attracted millions of readers and viewers. Thousands have attended his protest rallies. But his uncompromising politics have come at a cost for Navalny, 44, a lawyer, blogger and politician, who has frequently been detained by the law enforcement and harassed by pro-Kremlin groups. Now he is being treated at a hospital in the Siberian city of Omsk after he fell ill on a flight back to Moscow from Tomsk, another city...
    Russian politician Alexei Navalny is fighting for his life Thursday afternoon, hooked up to a ventilator and in a coma after collapsing in an airplane bathroom. His supporters immediately accused the Kremlin of poisoning the outspoken critic's tea and the allegation, while wild, isn't new. In fact, there have been multiple cases over the years of prominent opponents of Russian President Vladimir Putin claiming they have been victims of poisoning or suspected poisoning at the hands of Russian agents. The country's shadowy spy agencies have found ways over the decades to off their enemies. Some have had their faces melted off while others like Alexander Litvinenko paid with their lives. Litvinenko, a former spy for the KGB and post-Soviet successor agency FSB, defected from Russia in 2000. He fled to London and became violently ill after drinking tea laced with radioactive polonium-210. He spent the last three weeks of his life in agony...
    VLADIMIR Putin is one of the most powerful politicians in the world as the President of Russia. Here's everything we know about the 67-year-old and his personal life? 3 Vladimir Putin has been President of Russia twiceCredit: AP:Associated Press How long has Vladimir Putin been in power for? Vladimir Putin has been President of Russia twice - previously from  2000 to 2008, before being re-elected in 2012. Between the two terms, he served as Russia's Prime Minister. Technically, the 67-year-old has been in power at the top of the Russian government for 20 years. His first stint in a position of power came in  1999, after the then-Russian president Boris Yeltsin dismissed his Prime Minister and promoted former KGB officer Vladimir Putin in his place. In December 1999, Yeltsin resigned, appointing Putin president until official elections were held in March 2000. He was elected to his first term with 53...
    MOSCOW (Reuters) - A Russian court sentenced a U.S. student to nine years in jail on Thursday after finding him guilty of endangering the lives of two police officers who detained him last August after a party in Moscow, the RIA news agency reported. Trevor Reed, 28, a student at the University of North Texas and a former U.S. Marine, said he could not remember the events because he was drunk when he was detained, but he denied the charge after hearing the evidence in his trial. (Reporting by Maxim Rodionov; writing by Tom Balmforth; editing by Andrew Osborn) Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.
    BRITAIN is locked in a second Cold War – and it’s been slowly going on under our noses for years. This time we are facing off against two formidable opponents, Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping. 7Britain is locked in a second Cold War facing Vladimir Putin and Xi JinpingCredit: Alamy Live News Both are effectively leaders for life of freedom-crushing, totalitarian regimes, determined not only to reject the western way of life but to challenge and destroy it, too. And unless we act with steely determination, Cold War Two could prove as long and costly as the last one. Millions of lives and billions of pounds were lost during the brutal 45-year stand-off between Communism and the West. But today there are no tanks and missiles assembled either side of the Iron Curtain which once divided Europe. That’s because the twin empires of Russia and China have already invaded our...
    London (CNN)The UK took its "eye off the ball" in relation to Russia's attempts to influence British politics and allowed illicit finance to swirl around London unchecked, a long-awaited report says.British intelligence services were distracted by the post 9/11 terrorist threat and didn't give enough priority to Russia's attempts to gain influence in the UK, which Moscow regarded as one of its top targets, the UK parliament's cross-party Intelligence and Security Committee said. The British government failed to conduct a proper inquiry into allegations of a Kremlin-sponsored influence campaign during the Brexit referendum, the report concluded. One of the members of the committee said the government was afraid of what such an investigation might show. British intelligence agencies didn't see the security of UK elections as part of their role because they feared the issue was a "hot potato," the report said.The findings are the result of an 18-month investigation...
    Trump has a script he uses when he wants to tweet an endorsement for a Republican congressional candidate. He always says: “Candidate X fights for your Second Amendment, defends our Borders, strengthens our Military and loves our Vets!” For those of us who have gone in search of an agenda the president promotes, that pretty much sums up what he’d like us to believe are his priorities. At his campaign rallies, Trump brags about how he’s rebuilt our military and passed the Veteran’s Choice Act, both of which have been rated lies by the Washington Post fact-checkers. So in the midst of the news that Russia offered bounties to extremists in Afghanistan for killing U.S. soldiers, perhaps it’s time to review what the president has actually done to our military. He said John McCain wasn’t a “war hero” because he was a POW (“I like people who weren’t captured”) He belittled the Gold Star parents of a Muslim soldier...
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