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NATO Expansion to Russian Frontier

by Oui Wed Apr 21st, 2021 at 08:32:33 PM EST

France's Macron says 'clear red lines' should be drawn with Russia -CBS | Reuters - Apr. 18, 2021 |

Well ... thank goodness... two leaders in agreement with one another 😄 I can imagine Macron checked first with NATO commanders or the White House. 💪🏼


Air Force Reveals B-1Bs Were Practicing Decapitating Russia's Black Sea Fleet - June 2020

The U.S. Air Force says that the B-1B Bones that flew to and from the Black Sea region last week practiced procedures for employing the AGM-158C Long-Range Anti-Ship Missile, or LRASM, during that training mission. The service has focused heavily on the future employment of these bombers against maritime threats as they enter the twilight of their career, but with a heavy emphasis on operations during a potential crisis in the Pacific. This flight shows that there is interest in how those capabilities might support contingencies in Europe, and in the Black Sea where they could present a particularly serious challenge to the Russian Navy, and the Kremlin is taking notice.

The Black Sea region: a critical intersection

What is happening in and around the Black Sea and how does it affect NATO?

The Black Sea region is of crucial significance for Europe, being a major crossroads and critical intersection of east-west and south-north corridors. Many experts believe that whoever controls or dominates the Black Sea can easily project power to the European continent, mainly in the Balkans and Central Europe, but also in the Eastern Mediterranean as well as the South Caucasus and the northern Middle East.

Over the past few years, Russia has steadily upgraded its military posture and matched it with an uncompromising and assertive information campaign. Most Russia experts consider that Moscow is doing this primarily in pursuit of its strategic objective of great power status and the establishment of zones of privileged influence.

Hard facts support this claim. The latest and probably most serious threats to the European security architecture, openly challenging the established world order, have occurred in the Black Sea region: Russia's conflict with Georgia in 2008, its illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014 and its continuing destabilising activities in eastern Ukraine. Beyond using conventional military force, Russia is applying asymmetrical means of warfare in this region, aimed at disturbing and incapacitating the nations' sovereign decisions and their processes of democratisation and Euro-Atlantic integration.

Russia's Intention To Restrict Navigation in Parts of the Black Sea | Statement U.S. State Department |

Photos show Russia's military buildup near Ukraine as Putin claims dominion over more of the region's sea and air | CBS News |

    Russia also announced that it was closing the airspace over parts of Crimea and the Black Sea, saying the areas had been "declared temporarily dangerous for aircraft flights," Russia's Interfax news agency reported on Tuesday, citing an official notice sent to pilots.

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by Oui on Wed Apr 21st, 2021 at 08:58:31 PM EST

by Oui on Thu Apr 22nd, 2021 at 10:32:30 PM EST
Euro 2020 venue of Dublin changed to St. Petersburg and London ... twin cities 😊 quid pro quo ... pull=back Russian Army from border with Donbas as prerequisite?

Dublin Euro 2020 games moved to Saint Petersburg and London

by Oui on Fri Apr 23rd, 2021 at 08:00:29 PM EST
by Oui on Fri Apr 23rd, 2021 at 08:08:10 PM EST
by Oui on Wed Apr 28th, 2021 at 08:17:43 PM EST
by Oui on Mon May 3rd, 2021 at 05:02:02 PM EST
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by Oui on Mon May 3rd, 2021 at 07:40:30 PM EST
Given Lithuania'a recent experience with Russian domination that isn't surprising.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Tue May 4th, 2021 at 05:37:26 PM EST
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by Oui on Tue May 4th, 2021 at 07:19:29 PM EST
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Hundreds in Ukraine attend marches celebrating Nazi SS soldiers, including in Kyiv for the 1st time | JTA |

The so-called Embroidery March took place in the capital on April 28, the 78th anniversary of the establishment of the 14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS, also known as the 1st Galician. It was a force set up under German occupation auspices comprised of ethnic Ukrainian and German volunteers and conscripts. The marchers held banners displaying the unit's symbol.

The Kyiv march by about 300 people was an import from the western city of Lviv, which for several years has hosted such events. A day earlier, hundreds attended a larger Embroidery March there.

From the diaries ...

by Oui on Tue May 4th, 2021 at 07:33:55 PM EST
With 'Smart Voting' Strategy, Russian Opposition Takes Aim At Putin's 'Party Of Crooks And Thieves' | RFERL - Sept. 8, 2019 |

As results started coming in from across Russia on September 8, accompanied by widespread allegations of voter fraud and ballot-stuffing, the opposition claimed a first victory for smart voting. Navalny spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh tweeted figures indicating that United Russia had lost its near-total control over the city council in the Far Eastern city of Khabarovsk, and suggested that Smart Voting had played a key role.

Navalny's Tactical Voting Campaign Upsets Kremlin | Wilson Center - Sept. 2019 |

Russia Declares Independent News Site Meduza a 'Foreign Agent' | RFERL |

EU rejects Russian decision to label media outlet Meduza as 'foreign agent' | Reuters |

Meduza was formed in 2014 by the former chief editor of Lenta.ru, Galina Timchenko, after she and most of Lenta.ru's editorial staff left following an ownership change.

by Oui on Fri May 7th, 2021 at 05:53:27 AM EST
Meduza's "foreign agent" status may have something to do with the fact that Meduza is located outside of Russia. Or with the leaked documents that showed Meduza was funded and "educated in editorial decisions" by UK Foreign Office.

"Smart voting" didn't change a thing, no matter how much Navalniks tweet about it. Which is apparent to anyone who looked at the results. The main opposition party is the Communists, and their support has bigger variation from election to election than Navalnyi has supporters at all.

Nobody in Russia who lived trough the 90's is buying what Navalnyi is selling. And never will.

by pelgus on Fri May 7th, 2021 at 06:22:30 AM EST
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Moscow says UK secretly finances media to weaken Russia | Anadolu Agency - Feb. 28, 2021 |

On Feb. 18, a group of hackers, called Anonymous, published documents, claiming Thomson Reuters and BBC Media Action foundations are involved in a secret information war against Russia.

According to the leaked papers, the program is called Counter Disinformation & Media Development and is supervised by the British Foreign Office.

[Tass]

There are no opposition voices inside Europe to counter this sh*t.

by Oui on Fri May 7th, 2021 at 08:01:47 AM EST
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Unsurprisingly, leaked files confirm the Foreign Office coordinates multi-agency propaganda programmes | The Canary |

    A tranche of leaked files shows that the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) is coordinating multi-agency propaganda programmes. These files show that the programmes mainly target the authoritarian regimes in Russia and Syria. This is not unexpected. More significantly, perhaps, documents also show that these programmes are not confined to just foreign targets.

Conflict Stability and Security Fund CSSF

Farewell Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Welcome Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

    On 3rd April, Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) minister Alan Duncan revealed his department's `Counter Disinformation and Media Development Programme' - which bankrolls the Institute for Statecraft and its Integrity Initiative subsidiary - was funding a new endeavour, Open Information Partnership (OIP). 

From the diaries ...

Hybrid Warfare: Statecraft Integrity Initiative

by Oui on Fri May 7th, 2021 at 08:03:19 AM EST
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