Moscow brands US war games in Estonia ‘extremely dangerous,’ denies NATO claims Russian fighter jet violated Danish border


01-09-20 11:08:00,

Russia has accused the US of “escalating tensions in Europe” by holding live-fire exercises “in the immediate vicinity” of its borders. The Defence Ministry also denied a NATO accusation that a Russian jet entered Danish airspace.

In a statement the Russian embassy in Washington said it considers the use of multiple launch rocket systems by US armed forces during the exercises in Estonia to be provocative and extremely dangerous for regional stability, “Russia has repeatedly proposed to the United States and its allies to limit training activities and to divert the exercise zones from the Russia-NATO contact line,” the text reads. “Why do this demonstrative saber-rattling? What signal do the NATO members want to send us? Who is actually escalating tensions in Europe? And this is all happening in the context of an aggravated political situation in that region of Europe [in Belarus].”

“A rhetorical question is – how would the Americans react in the event of such shooting by our military at the US border?” the embassy added.

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From September 1 to 10, joint war games by an infantry brigade of the Baltic Armed Forces and the 41st Field Artillery Brigade of the US Army will take place in Estonia. This is the first live firing exercise by US artillery outside their permanent bases in Europe.

On Tuesday morning, the Defence Ministry explained that an Su-27, scrambled to identify a US Air Force strategic bomber, flew over the neutral waters of the Baltic Sea, without violating the Danish border. The comments came in response to a NATO charge that the Russian fighter followed the B52 well into Danish airspace over the island, committing a significant violation of the airspace of a NATO member.

“The Defense Ministry has denied the statement of the North Atlantic Alliance about the violation of the Danish state border by the Russian Su-27 fighter,” an official said. They added that the flight was carried out in strict accordance with international airspace regulations.

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Moscow DENIES US general’s claim of ‘Russian mercenary jets in Libya’. Is this AFRICOM’s new ‘worse than ISIS’ moment?


27-05-20 06:09:00,

Reports of repainted Russian fighter jets being sent to bomb Libya have nothing to do with reality, Moscow said in response to the latest sensational claims by US Africa Command about alleged Russian involvement in the region.

The accusation that Russia sent combat aircraft to Libya “does not correspond to reality,” Andrey Krasov, first deputy chairman of the State Duma Defense Committee, told Interfax on Tuesday.

“Russia’s position is well known: we are in favor of ending the bloodshed in Libya, we urge all parties to the conflict to refrain from using weapons and sit at the negotiating table,” Krasov added. 

Krasov was addressing the claims by AFRICOM earlier in the day, featuring a series of grainy photos of MiG and Sukhoi fighters and a claim by General Charles Townsend that they “watched as Russia flew fourth generation jet fighters to Libya – every step of the way.”

The AFRICOM press release that quoted Townsend, however, was far more cautious about the claim, saying instead that they “assessed” the planes were recently deployed to Libya in support of Wagner Group private military contractors, and are “likely” to provide close air support. Likewise, “it is assessed” that the planes came from Russia via Syria, where they were “repainted to camouflage their Russian origin.”

Townsend’s own follow-up to the “we watched” claim is likewise a qualification, as he says neither the Libyan National Army nor private companies “can arm, operate and sustain these fighters without state support – support they are getting from Russia.”

AFRICOM did not specify how allegedly repainting very distinctive planes would camouflage their origin, or offer any evidence for their assessments. 

Fathi Bashagha, a minister in the Tripoli-based government of national accord (GNA) – which is fighting the LNA for control of Libya – claimed last week in an interview with Bloomberg that “at least six MiG 29s and two Sukhoi Su-24s” arrived in Libya from the Khmeimim air base in Syria, where the Russian expeditionary force is based.

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Cold War talk: Pentagon says Moscow tested ‘anti-satellite’ weaponry & accuses it of hypocrisy… while having same toys for years


18-04-20 07:58:00,

Russia has tested an “anti-satellite” weapon – at least Pentagon said so, branding Moscow’s calls against militarization of space “hypocritical.” The US itself has had such weaponry for years already, however.

News of the Russian test of a missile, allegedly capable of destroying satellites in low Earth orbit (LEO), was broken by the chief of US Space Command General John Raymond.

The test is yet “another example that the threats to US and allied space systems are real, serious, and growing,” the Space Force chief of operations said.

What is it that Russia tested?

The test itself remains a mystery. No satellites, target or otherwise, were destroyed to back Raymond’s assertion. The missile system in question, known as Nudol (pronounced like ‘noodle’), has been in development for decades and was tested at least five times over the past few years.

While little to no official information on it exists, the weapon is believed to be a potential successor to the A-135 system, the core of the ballistic missile defense deployed in the Moscow region.

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Such a role makes the new system a purely defensive one. It is not known whether Nudol is even able of hitting satellites in space. That has not stopped the US military to repeatedly attribute such a capability to it.

Even if Raymond’s claim is true, that does not make Nudol any less of a defensive system, given the US Space Force’s publicly stated plans to put weaponized satellites into space, believes Alexey Leonkov, editor of the Russian weapons and military magazine Arsenal Otechestva.

“It might have an ‘additional option’ of targeting military satellites. The Americans are seeking to put more military satellites into space,” Leonkov told RT. The US military satellite program includes anti-satellite interceptors, laser anti-missile systems, and even space-based kinetic weapons capable of hitting ground targets, he added.

Crying wolf

According to Gen. Raymond, however, it’s Moscow’s repeated calls for keeping space weapons-free that are “hypocritical.”

“This test is further proof of Russia’s hypocritical advocacy of outer space arms control proposals designed to restrict the capabilities of the United States while clearly having no intention of halting their counterspace weapons programs,”

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Former Moscow Police officers arrested over framing of Russian journalist Ivan Golunov


29-01-20 12:30:00,

Last summer, his detention on bogus drug charges rocked the world of Russian media, leading to an unprecedented show of journalistic unity.

Now, investigators have detained five ex-police officers who are accused of fabricating the case against Ivan Golunov, a reporter for Riga-based online publication Meduza.

The former members of the Moscow Police’s drug trafficking control department are currently being interrogated, according to Svetlana Petrenko, the official representative of Russia’s Investigative Committee. The detainees were removed from their posts last July in the immediate fallout from the controversial incident. President Vladimir Putin also dismissed two high-ranking Interior Ministry officials over the case.

Golunov was arrested in June 2019 after police officers claimed to have found the drug mephedrone in his backpack. The reporter claimed the narcotics were planted on him. Five days later, following a national outcry, all charges were dropped.

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Earlier this month, Golunov’s lawyer Sergey Badamshin revealed that police officially recognized him as a “victim,” and on January 20 he was summoned for questioning. Badamshin added that Golunov refused to sign a non-disclosure agreement.

Golunov told newspaper RBK that he was satisfied with the decision to detain the suspects and said he is looking forward to the start of the criminal case. He also explained that he learned about the arrests from media coverage and had no additional information about the identities of the police officers.

Today’s detentions were flagged in December, when Putin disclosed during a live press conference that five law enforcement officers were under suspicion.

The five detainees have been named as former Moscow drug cops Denis Konovalov, Akbar Sergaliev, Roman Feofanov, and Maxim Umetbaev, as well as the former head of the department Igor Lyakhovets.

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Moscow calls for collective security ‘like OSCE for Europe’ to be implemented in Persian Gulf region – Lavrov


15-01-20 09:20:00,

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has urged Persian Gulf nations to work toward the creation of a joint security mechanism, noting that Moscow was concerned about the tense standoff in the region.

Lavrov said Russia was troubled by tensions in the Persian Gulf, and encouraged regional states to cooperate to ensure regional stability.

“We have been suggesting to the Gulf countries to think about collective security mechanisms, something like OSCE for Europe”, Lavrov told the international Raisina Dialogue conference in New Delhi on Wednesday.

“It´s not just ‘let´s not fight with each other’”, Lavrov said, adding that the initiative is about transparency and cooperation, and suggesting that more international players should be involved.

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