Abby Martin remarks on the recent air tragedy in Eastern Ukraine, calling out the insensitivity by international media outlets to politicize the downing of Malaysian passenger airliner and also the state sponsorship of militias worldwide.
Tag Archives | Russia
Labeling them as “Putin’s secret weapon,” Foreign Policy magazine describes Russia’s highly effective GRU Military Intelligence unit as “assassins, arms dealers, and bandits”:
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There are two ways an espionage agency can prove its worth to the government it serves. Either it can be truly useful (think: locatinga most-wanted terrorist), or it can engender fear, dislike, and vilification from its rivals (think: being named a major threat in congressional testimony). But when a spy agency does both, its worth is beyond question.
Since the Ukraine crisis began, the Kremlin has few doubts about the importance of the GRU, Russia’s military intelligence apparatus. The agency has not only demonstrated how the Kremlin can employ it as an important foreign-policy tool, by ripping a country apart with just a handful of agents and a lot of guns. The GRU has also shown the rest of the world how Russia expects to fight its future wars: with a mix of stealth, deniability, subversion, and surgical violence.
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People found guilty of financing extremist activities or expressing supporting for them online now face prison terms under a bill signed into law by President Vladimir Putin.
Once the law takes effect, the dissemination of online material deemed extremist will be a criminal offense, meaning that even “liking” or reposting content on a social network could land users in hot water with the authorities.
In January, Vyacheslav Dmitriyev, a member of Moscow State University’s philosophy department, was briefly detained and questioned by the Federal Security Service for reposting an article about a theoretical coup d’etat on a social network, Slon.ru reported at the time.
The bill was approved by the State Duma, the lower house of parliament, on June 20 and by the Federation Council, the upper chamber, on June 25. It was published with Putin’s signature on the government’s legal information portal Monday.
The law also entails the addition of a new article — “financing of extremist activities” — to the Criminal Code.
Those found guilty of providing or collecting funds for an organization known to be preparing an extremist crime will face up to three years in prison, as well as up to 500,000 rubles ($14,700) in fines and being barred from holding certain positions.
As if America’s right wing doesn’t want to tongue-kiss Putin already, now he’s signed a law banning profanity in the arts.
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Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a law banning all swearing in films, television broadcasts, theatres and the media.
Offenders will face fines – as much as 50,000 roubles (£829; $1,400) for organisations, or up to 2,500 roubles (£41; $70) for individuals.
Where disputes arise a panel of experts will decide exactly what counts as a swear word.
Books containing swear words will have to carry warnings on the cover.
Russia’s Vesti news website says that, according to sociologists’ research, swearing is common in two-thirds of Russian companies.
The law will take effect from 1 July and will not apply to cases of swearing at performances before that date.
A leading pro-Putin film director and now MP, Stanislav Govorukhin, was one of the new law’s architects.
German media reports that American intelligence and law enforcement assets are “advising” (make air quotes when you read that) the Ukrainian government. Advising. For freedom.
Berlin (AFP) – Dozens of specialists from the US Central Intelligence Agency and Federal Bureau of Investigation are advising the Ukrainian government, a German newspaper reported Sunday.
Citing unnamed German security sources, Bild am Sonntag said the CIA and FBI agents were helping Kiev end the rebellion in the east of Ukraine and set up a functioning security structure.
It said the agents were not directly involved in fighting with pro-Russian militants. “Their activity is limited to the capital Kiev,” the paper said.
Jon Queally writes at Common Dreams:
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Ukraine’s interim Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk did not mince words on Friday as he invoked the possibility that the crisis in Ukraine could quickly spiral out of control and spark a Third World War.
“The world has not yet forgotten World War Two, but Russia already wants to start World War Three,” Yatseniuk told his cabinet in remarks broadcast live from Kiev. “Attempts at military conflict in Ukraine will lead to a military conflict in Europe.”
Tensions in the former Soviet-bloc country returned to high levels on Thursday following assaults on outposts manned by pro-Russian Ukrainians in the east by special forces sent by the Kiev government. At least five people were reported killed in one clash.
That incident and other movements by Ukraine soldiers against those in the east demanding referendums to decide their future political affiliations spurred Russian President Vladimir Putin to say that further violence would result in unspecified “consequences.”
At the diplomatic level, the situation continues to deteriooriate as Russian, U.S., and Ukraine officials trade threats as the detente reached in Geneva last weeks begins to rapidly fade.
This seems really convenient, and considering recent events. What’s your input Disinfonauts?
via THE DAILY BEAST
… Read the restA plane crash at Smolensk in Russia four years ago wiped out the Warsaw leadership. It used to be seen as an accident. Now, after Putin’s games in Ukraine, people aren’t so sure.
Four years ago this week, Polish President Lech Kaczynski was killed in a plane crash near the Katyn Forest in Russia where he was flying to honor the 22,000 Polish officers, lawyers, priests and professors slaughtered there by the Soviets 70 years before. Ninety-five other military, political and public figures including his wife died on that plane. One of the more heartbreaking details to emerge was that First Lady Maria Kaczynska’s body could be identified only by her nail polish and the inscription inside her wedding ring.
Yes. It’s true. Steven Seagal said that he may consider moving to Russia. The action movie star is a big fan of Vladimir Putin, apparently. As soon as you wipe your eyes clean of the tears you’ve undoubtedly shed at the thought of losing national treasure Seagal to Russia, you can read the more at Raw Story.
Do svidaniya, Steven!
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Action movie star Steven Seagal said in an interview with the Moscow Times that he is in favor of Russia’s military action in Crimea and that he may someday emigrate to the former Soviet Union.
According to Atlantic magazine’s The Wire blog, Seagal called Putin “one of the great world leaders” and said he “would like to consider him as a brother.”
While the action star’s fortunes have faded somewhat in this hemisphere, in Russia, Seagal is still a huge star. Of late, he has befriended wealthy Russian oligarchs who have convinced him to support Putin’s aggression against Ukraine.
I. Actual Jubilation in Crimea The first three videos embedded below are coverage of the celebrations in Crimea regarding the referendum to join Russia. The first is news and footage from western mainstream media sources and the next two contain raw footage provided by RT, the Russian-based television network. I thought it was prudent to supply the news from the western sources so there would be no doubt as to the authenticity of the footage, just in case anyone thought that the jubilation in Crimea and Russia were orchestrated. We can now move onto Iraq, since there is nothing more to say about Ukraine and Crimea that hasn’t already been said HERE, HERE, and HERE. Russia Won Crimea Vote - Celebrates Victory over Joining Russia