Events in Russia

Russia Insider
Russians Are Happier, Healthier, Wealthier and More Moral Than You Think - From an American Eyewitness
Wed, Jun 27, 2018 Hal Freeman (Bold and Front Size, articles emphasis)
An American Christian presents statistics and gives his take on why Russians are actually satisfied with Putin's rule, confidently countering the belief nurtured so carefully by the Western media that Russians are miserable and dissatisfied

According to my calendar June 20 is the last day of spring. It has been a good one in Russia! When I was a kid growing up in South Carolina, I never understood the “solstice” explanation. I had no idea why they said summer started the third week in June. Most years, I had been playing outside barefoot, dressed in tee shirts and shorts for two months. Not every year was like that, but by June it was always HOT.


Spring is not nearly as dependable here in the northwest section of Russia. Last year I thought the winter would not end. We even had a couple of significant snowfalls in May. This year, however, May was beautiful and warm. We had to get out our fans to cool our apartment. June is usually quite wet where we live in Russia, but this year we’ve had only a few rains, and the weather is actually cooler than in May. This morning it is 62 degrees (F). That is what it is most mornings when I walk. I love it.

Russians really appreciate good weather. You can almost sense the better mood in the streets. This year the World Cup is in Russia, and that has added to the excitement.

I’ve read a few reports from journalists on how surprised they have been at the way things are here. Thus far the games are turning out to be the positive exercise of what some call Russian “soft-power,” or showing the world that things here are quite different than what they have been told.

Despite the fact no American team is participating I saw a report that there are huge crowds of American tourists who came to Russia despite Homeland Security’s baseless travel warnings. I am quite sure there are those at work in the West trying to undermine this very positive view of the events. Many of us fear some kind of international incident designed to make Russia look bad.

Apparently, the optimism of the Russian people is not totally (or mostly) generated by the weather.

According to a recent TASS poll 83% of Russians have a positive view of life here.

Most consider themselves “lucky.” (See More than 80% of Russians say they are happy — poll) The main factors are family, parenthood and work. I was surprised that even among the over 60 age group and those in the lower income categories a majority of respondents feel good about things here. Health was also a factor. Russians are drinking and smoking less and also watching TV fewer hours since the last poll they did.

Since 2000 the average lifespan in Russia has gone up by six years to 72.6. Obviously there are still unhappy and unfortunate people in Russia, but things are looking up.

I realize this is not the picture most people get of Russia. I somehow unintentionally got linked to a site called Quora. I was doing some research and ended up on the site. It is a site where people ask questions on pretty much anything. I saw that in response to a question about life in Russia, someone had posted a link to my blog.

After that I immediately started getting feeds letting me see questions about Russia. The questions are sometimes ridiculous and betray a complete ignorance of Russia. Most of the answers, however, are quite insightful and thorough.

One question from May 29 caught my attention: “Why do Russians still overwhelmingly support Putin even though their living standards did not get any better under his rule?”

Fortunately the responder was able to show things have gotten much better. I will give my “take” on the increasingly positive atttitude among Russians. Whether one wants to give Putin no credit, partial credit, or most of the credit is not my purpose. Also, my list is partly based on a few statistics and partly a “worm’s eye view” from my life here, meaning life here on the ground.

1 “The economy, stupid.”

That is a phrase James Carville, who was a leader in Bill Clinton’s campaign, came up with when Clinton successfully challenged George H.W. Bush for the presidency in 1992. (Usually stated, “It’s the economy, stupid.”) In early 1991 after the invasion of Iraq, Bush’s popularity soared. Clinton was able to direct people’s attention back to the rather bleak economic situation and win the election.

I have stated before I’m no economist. But I look at numbers that are easy for people like me–like the stock market. The Russian stock market has blossomed of late. It is up around 2,300 most days.

Back in April it took a nose dive when another round of sanctions were announced. Apparently the “oligarchs” were going to be hit hard. It quickly rebounded, however, to breaking the “highest ever” notch.

Now, I’m not one who believes the stock market is the best or most reliable indicator of a nation’s economy. But it is relevant. In 1998 Russian stock stood at 18. That’s eighteen, not 1,800. Poverty in Russia has been reduced by over half since then, and the GDP has grown by leaps and bounds. Pensions in Russia have risen by 10 times since 2000.

Observations from the eye of the worm. My wife has been going to a masseuse lately. This lady says she works over 12 hours a day. It is her own private business and has more clients than she can handle. Oksana asked her how does she do it physically. She says she is also a manicurist and she alternates times of doing the heavy work of massages with doing pedicures and manicures. She said she is amazed how many ladies in Luga now can afford to come weekly for those. Her description of her small business demonstrates how different things are from when I came here in 2002.

It’s not just small businesses, however. We’ve got a new grocery store right next to our apartment! “Spar” has opened a nice new store with a wide variety of foods and other items. I personally know of at least four new large grocery stores and one small mall that have opened in this little town in the two years we’ve been here. That does not include the numerous other businesses that have opened.

Who or what is responsible? As I read Western reports which actually admit things are better, they most often somehow weirdly blame (not credit) Putin. He’s corrupt; his government is a bunch of oligarchs; he got lucky with oil prices.

Michael McFaul, Obama’s ambassador to Russia, tries to make Russia look more pitiful and evil today. In his recent debate with Stephen Cohen, I even heard him praise the 90s again (although he tried to quickly qualify his remark).

The 90s was good for “master America” and the oligarchs they were funding. Oddly I hear a lot of bad things about “Putin’s oligarchs” these days. Do people not realize the U.S. help create those oligarchs?

And when Putin fights them, he’s called a dictator. If he works with them, it’s “Putins’ oligarchs.” If he reins in on them, he’s a dictator. Makes for easy reporting.

The bottom line is despite sanctions and despite so-called corruption, the people here are doing better economically. Still, it seems America will continue to level more and more sanctions because…well, if you can’t think of a good policy, issue more sanctions. Maybe the “oligarchs” are hurting. But from the worm’s eye view, sanctions have not impacted regular folks’ lives.

Another factor is worth considering is the fact Russia’s sovereign debt is $575 BILLION. By comparison Britain’s is $7.5 TRILLION; France–$5 trillion, and the U.S. debt is 21 trillion dollars. Since Russia has $450 billion in foreign reserves, this makes the picture even more positive for Russia.

2 People feel safer.

Despite the fact that NATO continues to flex its military muscle and inch closer and closer to Russia, people here feel more secure. The reason Russia had to suck up to America in the 90s is because it had no options. The military was in shambles.

The Rand Corporation is a think tank started by Douglas Aircraft Co. to offer research and analysis on armed forces, among other things, for the U.S. Government. In 2014 at the time of the Ukrainian crisis, they reported on the Russian military and, in essence, said Russia was more bark than bite. While stating advances had been made by Russia, the overall gist of the report was the U.S. had little to fear if there were a direct confrontation.

The 2017 report read quite differently, however. Based on its observations of the Russian military activities in Syria they concluded, “Starkly, assessments in this report will show US forces could, under plausible assumptions, lose the next war they are called on to fight.” They also cautioned this was simply based on what they had observed in Syria and believed Russia had other superior armaments that they had not displayed.

In his speech back in March of 2018, Vladimir Putin showed a video of new long-range missiles (among other things) with startling capacities. While the immediate reaction from many in the States was that he was bluffing, some older “grey beards” from the Reagan era cautioned he was not. No evidence had been produced indicating his claims are not valid. Several have confirmed they are. Space does not allow me to discuss each of the points of his presentation, but the overall gist was that there are valid reasons Russians do not feel like an inferior opponent as they did in the 90s.

Donald Trump immediately said we don’t need another arms race. Putin’s response (to the Russian people) was that Russia does not want or need to escalate defense spending. He announced further REDUCTIONS in military spending and said the money is being redirected to pensions and other needs in domestic affairs.

While well over half the Russian people say they are glad for the military strength of Russia, almost 45% said they believed Putin should spend more on help for average Russians. There are still people struggling here. He has responded and agreed with them.

The reason Russia can do so well militarily is because it rarely goes outside its own borders. Putin sent military help to Syria because he was invited, and because the West, specifically Donald Trump, had said earlier that Russia should join in and fight terrorism.

Oddly, Putin was criticized by the West for fighting terrorists in Syria. Until 1947 the name was “War Department” in America. It eventually became, “The Department of Defense.” It really still is a war department. America has not had to defend itself since the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Thus, the U.S. spends over 10 times what Russia does on its military and now, by its own research, has an inferior military to Russia.

3 “Family Values.”

The main factor Russians listed for their positive feelings about life was the family, not the economy or military.

For 70 years Russians were taught that the family was not the focus of life. Socialism shifted the attention to labor in the name of “the bright future.” The traditional Christian values of Russia’s long heritage could no longer be taught. Children were the responsibility of the state.

A recent Levada poll indicated that on most family issues the trend in Russia is back to more traditional values. (POLL: Christian Values on Sodomy, Abortion, Surge In Russia - 83% Reject Homosexuality | A Russian Orthodox Church Website)

Since this includes negative views on homosexuality, trans-gender issues, as well as abortions, many in the West use this as a point of attack. Again, it does not mean homosexuality or abortion are illegal here.

It means the trend in public evaluations are toward a stronger family unit and more disapprove of these practices. Of course, there is far more involved in “family” than the values I mentioned, so one ought not to miss that basic point in the discussion of specific values or morals.

Problems remain, of course, but in general, Russians feel better about life here. They believe their society is becoming a better place for work, family, and one’s health.

Whether deserved or not, Vladimir Putin received 77% of the vote in the March election so many Russians must give him credit. When I turned on the first reviews of the election from America I heard Howard Kurtz from FoxNews ask a guest to talk about “the Russian election” (eye-roll), “the so-called election,” he clarified.

I like some of Kurtz’ reports on the media. Nevertheless, he has no idea what goes on in Russian elections, but obviously, he felt obliged to act like it was fraudulent. The evidence is not important when you bash Russia, and more of your media buddies will approve of you. I switched to other outlets and the descriptions were worse, e.g., “sham election.” It wasn’t a sham election. There were plenty of international observers here. (For an analysis from a true Russian expert who was a part of an international team of observers see Gilbert Doctorow, What I Saw As an Official Observer to the Russian Elections.)

On the other hand, I saw a report yesterday that a Federal judge in Kansas had blocked a new Kansas law that stated one had to be able to prove one is an American citizen before voting in an election. Judge Julie Robinson said the concern for non-citizens voting did not “outweigh the burden of proof of citizenship.” I find it sadly ironic that America condemns Russian elections while it believes no one in America should have the “burden” of having to prove they are legal before they vote.

I saw another headline on the Fox this morning: “Americans’ satisfaction with direction of country at a 12 year high!” I clicked on for more information. It said 38% of Americans are content with the way America is headed—and that’s a 12 year high. Ironically, the number is the inverse of the 83% of Russians who are pleased with the direction their country is headed. Perhaps it is time for America to get the plank out of its own economic/political/military eye before seeing clearly enough to remove any specks from Russia’s cultural corneas.

A video introducing Russian Faith

About the author: Hal Freeman is an American-born Christian academic and blogger who made the ultimate statement by moving his entire family to the Russian provinces from the US a few years ago. His move became imminent after he realized that anti-family direction and propaganda rampant in the West, and which he feared would impair the moral development of his children.

For more on his story visit his blog, which offers a fascinating window into life in Russia and describes how Christianity is transforming the country's culture and politics.

This article originally appeared on a new site about the Christian renaissance in Russia, called Russian Faith. Their introductory video is at end of this article.

SouthFront News
27 Aircraft, 1,140 Personnel Withdrawn From Syria Over Past Days: Putin
Over the past few days 24 aircraft and 1,140 personnel have been withdrawn from Syria, Russian President Vladimir Putin told the alumni of military academies at a reception on June 28.

“This withdrawal is continuing now. Only over the past several days, 13 planes, 14 helicopters and 1,140 personnel have been pulled out,” Putin said adding that the pullout of Russian forces from Syria began in December 2017. “You and your fellow servicemen together with them will fully use this experience of the personnel’s combat training here in Russia to perform the most difficult and outstanding tasks during snap checks, strategic and tactical exercises, and learn how to use the unique new generation equipment, which the forces start receiving.”

The president said that the expirience gained in Syria must be used in training Russian military personnel.

“The Russian army clearly demonstrated its growing potential and better coordination among military units in the struggle with terrorists in Syria,” he said. “All of you and your fellow servicemen are now to use the experience of that operation in combat training.”

The Russian military kicked off its anti-terrorist operation in Syria in late September 2015. Since then, the Russian military involvement has changed the crouse of the war and has allowed the Damascus government to retake large areas from terrorist groups

Putin: South Korea Becomes Russia's 2nd Important Trade Partner in Asia-Pacific
Russia Insight Published on Jun 27, 2018
Russia 4-3 Spain (pens) - Heroic hosts snatch improbable shootout victory to stun Spain in Moscow
Russia pulled off a spectacular and improbable victory to stun Spain after extra time and penalties at Luzhniki Stadium to keep their home World Cup hopes alive and send one of the pre-tournament favorites packing.

In the end, it was a dramatic 4-3 penalty shootout that decided the game, scoring the winner after a Sergei Ignashevich goal and Artem Dzyuba penalty in normal time meant the two sides could not be separated after 120 minutes of football.

With the result, Russia booked a quarterfinal date in Sochi on July 7 against either Croatia or Denmark in the day’s other last 16 tie.


Russia through to 2018 FIFA World Cup quarterfinals on penalties win over Spain
July 01, 19:46 updated at: July 01, 20:08 UTC+3
Team Russia have defeated Spain 4-3


Players of Russian team © Mikhail Tereshchenko/TASS

MOSCOW, July 1. /TASS/. The Russian national football team advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2018 FIFA World Cup after edging Spain on 3-4 penalties' win following 1-1 draw in the main time as well as overtime periods of the spectacular match at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on Sunday night.

Spain kicked off the ball to start the match at Russia’s historical Luzhniki Stadium, which saw an attendance of over 78,000 tonight amid the sunny weather with temperatures hovering around 25 degrees Centigrade (almost 78 Fahrenheit).

The Spanish squad was clearly in possession of the ball since the start of the match. Twelve minutes into the game Spain’s captain Sergio Rames tried sending the ball into the Russian net and it bounced off the calf of Russia’s Sergei Ignashevich reaching the initial target to unpack the score in the match at 1-0.

The Russian team played deep in the defense throughout the opening 45 minutes of the match with sporadic offences on the opponent’s net bringing no success to the hosts, while Spain maintained the dominance of the ball possession venturing on occasional attacks on the Russian goal from time to time.

Less than five minutes remaining in the first half Dutch referee Bjorn Kuipers flashed a yellow card to Spain’s Gerard Pique for a foul in the Russian box ordering a penalty kick, which was flawlessly executed by Russian striker Artyom Dzyuba to tie the score at 1-1.

Despite the added time of two minutes, both times retreated for the 15-minute break with the scoreboard flashing 1-1.
Dzyuba’s goal in the first half marked a page in the history of the Russian football, as he was the first to score in the knockout stage of FIFA World Cups since 1986, when Igor Belanov enjoyed a hat-trick against Belgium in Mexico in the round of Last 16.

Statistics showed that the Spanish team obviously dominated in terms of the ball possession hitting the indicator of 71% against Russia’s 29%
Almost 20 minutes into the second half, Russian Head Coach Stanislav Cherchesov opted for a reshuffle in the squad sending in midfielder Denis Cheryshev in place of Alexander Samedov. Several minutes later Dzyuba went on the bench and Fyodor Smolov was sent in to replace him.

Russian midfielder Roman Zobnin was booked by the Dutch coach on the 71st minute of the game for slashing down one of his Spanish opponents.

As the clock was ticking away the remaining minutes of the match, both teams upped their attacks on each other, however, the final whistle signaled the 1-1 draw, sending the teams into the overtime period.

Both 15-minute halves of the overtime period also ended with the draw although Spain was aggressive on the Russian side in the first half of the added time, while Russia answered with a solid defense and counterattacks in the 2nd half.

The following penalty shootout proved that that hosts Russia was stronger scoring all five shots, while goalkeeper Igor Akenfeyev saved one of the strikes from Spain.

Russia will be now playing in the quarterfinals on July 7 at the Fisht Stadium in the resort city of Sochi against the winner of Croatia-Denmark match, which will be played later in the day.

A total of 32 national football teams entered the 2018 FIFA Word Cup and only 16 of them proceeded to the knockout phase after the group stage, which kicked off on June 14 and ended on June 28.

According to FIFA’s official statistics, the total number of fans at all stadiums during 48 matches of the group stage came to 2,178,894 people, which carries an average of 45,394 at each match.

The 48 already played matches out of all scheduled 64 games at this World Cup saw 122 scored goals (2.54 per match on the average), with the national team of Belgium scoring the most in its three group stage matches (nine goals).

Я не уверен в правильности размещения, однако статья стоящая внимания, на мой взгляд. Упоминание в статье недавней встречи Путина с Болтоном дает некоторый повод привести ее здесь, хотя это и не событие, а скорее аналитическое мнение.

I am not sure of the correctness of the placement, but the article is worth attention, in my opinion. The mention in the article of Putin's recent meeting with Bolton gives some reason to bring it here, although this is not an event, but rather an analytical opinion.
In the United States, a discussion is unfolding, which is more characteristic of Russian reflection.

Only if Russian patriots, liberals, Communists, monarchists and other adherents of universal ideologies discuss who has lost (loses) the Baltic States (Ukraine/Belarus/Kazakhstan/Armenia — all the post-Soviet space as a whole), in America argue about who has lost Russia.

Trumpety accuse you do, those, in turn, clintonized and bosisto. The culprits are called different, but there is no doubt that at some point the US lost Russia and now they feel bad about it, no one.

Moreover, we see attempts to re - "gain Russia". In the EU, there was talk about leaving the sanctions regime. However, the EU can talk for a long time, if trump finally does not quarrel with Europe in the framework of the trade war, the Europeans will always prefer the familiar (though brazen) Washington affectionate, but frightening its unusual Moscow.

Therefore, trump's attempts to negotiate with Putin in the framework of bilateral summits at the expense of the EU and the rest of the world are theoretically more promising, although at this stage it is absolutely unproductive.

The US has already understood that it is necessary to agree, but it has not yet understood that the time when it was possible to expect concessions on key issues from Russia within the framework of reaching a compromise has passed.

Russia, which has sharply increased and continues to grow, now has a different perception of compromise. Moscow, for example, realized that the absence of a Russian representation in PACE or in the Group of eight may be not only painless, but even useful.

Sanctions are felt more painful — they cause real harm, but Russia has learned to benefit from them. Moreover, the main argument of Western opponents of sanctions, requiring their lifting, is that in another three to five years, Russia will be forced, without much desire, to close the last problems caused by sanctions, seriously spent on it.

But then there will be nothing to talk about. Despite the fact that the West, no matter how to limit Russian exports, will still depend on a wide range of goods of Russian exports (and not only raw materials and food, but quite industrial), Russia can really become self-sufficient (more self-sufficient than the USSR was).

And then, even if all restrictions are lifted, Western goods and services in the Russian market will be needed no more than Turkish tomatoes (which can be delivered to Russia for a long time, but they are no longer sold here — the market is occupied by competitors).

It's the little things overlapping and not very well marked from Russia (from the inside). But Western business, and behind it, and politicians all these changes are fixed, sensibly assess the situation and are well aware that the threat posed by Russia is non-military.

No matter how its potential grows, Russia will for a long time (one or two generations) be morally and psychologically not ready to conduct a real aggressive foreign policy based on the military component, and not on diplomatic capabilities.

In the West, they know very well (those who are supposed to know) that not only military doctrine, but also Russian military preparations are defensive in nature.

This does not mean that Moscow is not ready to defeat on the battlefield any army and even the army of any Alliance, it means that Russia is unable and will not soon be able to long-term occupation and reconstruction of occupied territories.

Moscow wins faster, better and more effectively in the diplomatic struggle and economic competition, so always to the last seeks to avoid a war that requires unproductive resources.

This can be denied, it can not be believed, but the us desire to agree on the actual division of the world, and yet Bolton voiced trump's proposals are exactly this nature (the division of all crisis points on the sphere of interests without fixing the clear victory of any of the parties to the conflict — the world at the expense of Russia's allies, as the us is already thrown off the Board), convincingly shows that Washington understood — the power to transfer Russia will not work.

It is necessary to try to win back at the negotiating table at least part of what is lost on the battlefields.

Correspondence of the United States proposal to return Russia to the club of Supreme arbiter of the world (which as such already is not, but still seemed to be those of the West) are trying the new acquisition of Russia.

It failed to subdue the West in the second role. Now outstanding Western experts suffer about the fact that Moscow at the time did not accept the EU and NATO. And now Washington is carefully making Moscow a tempting proposal to resolve all bilateral contradictions at the expense of the rest of the world.

It's a crafty Danai gift. New Russia, is attractive not so much their strength as the fairness and impartiality of their tribunals and the moderate (sensible) value of his disinterested aid, trying to persuade you to become same US, only smaller.

Moscow's agreement would mean an immediate victory for the West. Yes, first of all, we would have to share our spheres of influence with Moscow.

But when it got stuck in establishing its hegemony in the allocated territories of concern, when it would have been as compromised as the United States by refusing to take into account the national interests of its partners, it would have immediately lost most of the international sympathy, allies would have turned away from it and with this would have ended the power of the new Russia. And then the West could change its mind to share.

In terms of cooperation, Western Europe (Western, not all) is much more promising than the US. Europeans, being only a Junior partner of hegemon, who received a share of production for exclusive services, are not so connected financially and economically with global domination.

They are more open to reforming political and economic relations. Moreover, the state of the EU makes such reform (voluntary, preserving the EU, or forced, after its collapse) inevitable.

A multipolar world for the EU, which is not an independent center of power in the current world without the US, means an increase in status, albeit a complication of life.

The United States is the time for reform is missed. They can either stay to the end, turning the whole world into economic and political ruins before their collapse, or collapse before others under the weight of contradictions, creating for the rest of the world heavy, but solvable problems (especially solved, that the world has long started to prepare for the inevitable collapse of the United States).

Independently (due to internal resources) to overcome the current crisis, the United States can no longer (it was necessary to begin not later than 2000, the maximum can be 2005, the year, and in the good still — in the early 90s).

They can hold over the precipice and save the rest of the world from collapse, for which the collapse of the United States is also not a gift. But such help will not be unconditional. The US will have to abandon the concept of military domination, the concept of its exclusivity and become just one of many States.

This will strike not only for the most part of the American elite, whose incomes are provided by unequal trade and economic relations with the rest of the world, but, at the first stage, and the us population, whose living standards will inevitably fall sharply.

International donors simply will not provide the American people with a higher standard of living than their own.
In theory, the dollar may remain a global reserve currency for some time, but it will need to be controlled internationally. That is, taking help from the outside world to overcome the crisis, the US will lose all the levers of influence on global politics.

Since the current American elites do not know how to live, work and earn in a world in which their hegemony is not provided, the change of inefficient elites becomes inevitable, to those that will meet the new requirements of the time.

It is ridiculous to assume that the ruling class of the United States, just consisting of the current elites, to agree to itself politically and economically multiply by zero, turning into simple poor inhabitants.

At the same time, we should not forget that many American politicians are also subject to war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Only American hegemony protects them from prison (and even from the loop — the Americans themselves have created precedents).

In the new multipolar world, neither Russia, nor China, nor the EU, nor anyone else, will be able to stop the prosecution brought by Serbia or Iraq, Syria or Libya, Afghanistan or Ukraine (if it lives) against American politicians, American military, American officials, employees of American intelligence agencies, who are personally responsible for the return and/or execution of criminal orders that led to the death of tens of thousands, if not millions of people, as well as the destruction of the habitat of tens or even hundreds of millions.

The funny thing about history is that the United States can avoid a devastating collapse either by transferring responsibility for the global world to a new hegemon or by agreeing to de — hegemonize international politics-building a multipolar world.

But both of these options are unacceptable for the American elites who control the policy, as they do not guarantee their security. They themselves were hegemon elites and know that the promises made to the vassal elites are not being fulfilled.

In the end, they always pass, pre-robbed, because it requires a real political benefit (nothing personal — only business, "Bolivar exhausted. He can't stand two.")

They understand that in a multipolar world, in principle, there is no guarantee against prosecution for their crimes.

A multipolar world is based on consensus and compromise, and not all countries and peoples will be inclined to forgive their misfortunes to the American elites.

They have to fight to the end, hoping that the world will be afraid of the abyss that opens up behind the American collapse, stop and accept the American hegemony, if only it was not worse.

Perhaps the world would have done so, but the fact that the us financial, economic and military-political systems are still not able to exist without a constant flow of external resources, and growing exponentially (this is a good illustration of the growth of the us external debt, after the introduction of "Reaganomics", which became the basis of the current system).

Therefore, even the surrender of the terrified world does not free him from the horror of the collapse of the American system. The collapse is only postponed by the absorption and destruction of the resources of the rest of the world.

Thus, it becomes much more powerful, terrible, the global community is deprived of the resource base for its prevention or minimization of its consequences.

The US lost not Russia. Or rather they lost Russia long ago, and now they are worried because they lost the whole world. The interests of Washington's ruling elites are diametrically opposed to the interests of the rest of the world.

Everyone: the poor and the rich, oligarchs and Democrats, the left and right, monarchists and anarchists are objectively enemies of the American elite. Moreover, the saddest and irreparable thing is that the enemy of the American elite, with which it is impossible to reach a compromise, is even the American people.

Because the people are interested to survive and preserve the state, even at the cost of temporary significant losses. The elites have to live. The US state must survive and preserve global hegemony for the period of their life, and then at least the flood.

As you can see, even the American elite play a fun game called"pyramid". In order to ensure good starting positions and a high standard of living, young representatives of the elite must accept the rules of the game that suit their senior comrades.

But if the latter can still expect to "die on the throne", then, as for the former, as the literary d'artagnan used to say:"the Obligation given to you, Mr. Aramis, generally turns into almost nothing."

To delay the inevitable is possible only with reliance on Russia. Everyone else is too vulnerable. For the US, "finding Russia" is a matter of survival. And this acquisition must necessarily pass the American scenario.

For Russia, "finding the United States" is desirable from the point of view of reducing the risks of building a new world, but on American terms it makes no sense, because American conditions just mean entering Russia into the already obsolete American world to prolong its agony at the expense of the vital interests of Russian elites and people.

Sometimes miracles happen and even such an agonizing irresponsible elite as the American one puts forward a leader who can rise above the interests of the social country that put forward it, over the momentary circumstances and, risking everything, take steps that can save the elite, the people and the state.

In Russia in 2000, this mission took over and so far successfully embodies Putin. Trump declares sympathy personally to Putin and his political practice.

During the election campaign, trump said many correct words about the gross mistakes of the American government, which put the country on the brink of social, political, economic and financial disaster.

But trump has not yet shown the ability and intention to take reasonable risks, defending his concept of development of the country.

The peculiarity of the American political model is that the first two years of his reign, he was largely associated with the legacy of the previous administration, the next two years he will be linked to the interests of his next election campaign.

If he is reelected, he will have to make sure that the last two years of his term are won by the new Republican candidate. On real political activity he will have only two years of the second term (which still will have to be obtained).

Remember how Barack Obama said to the then President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev (during a conversation overheard by journalists): "After the elections, I will be more free in my actions and will be able to solve this issue."

I think that the conversation for that and lit that" more free " Obama did not solve "this question" (if I am not mistaken, it was about the MISSILE defense).

The chances of a coordinated overall work on the conclusion of the world from a systemic crisis, in which he was immersed, the system of us global dominance, not so much.

But they are, and hope dies last. At least today, the lost Russia not only offers an alternative to the us proposed path of development of international relations (in contrast to the us having a perspective), but also was able to rally around it an ever-growing group of States.

The larger this group becomes, the more powerful its attraction and the more difficult it is for the old global elites to resist.

Maybe the smartest and most unsullied of them will decide to throw a criminal ballast into the river of history and start negotiations on the conditions of their surrender (there is still time to avoid unconditional).
Rostislav Ishchenko

Что потеряли Штаты: Россию или весь мир?
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Must watch video.

Excellent Keit! Very entusastic fans providing myths 1 through 8. Sounds like great hospitality has been the theme, and this is one to pass around.

Wonder if Boris Johnson would watch this. ;-D
That's of course "Very entusastic enthusiastic fans providing myths 1 through 8"[/QUOTE]
Partners No More? It's Official - Putin Calls West 'Opponents' - Fort Russ
July 9th, 2015
It was bound to happen eventually, with both US presidential candidates locked in a contest to prove who can be ‘tougher’ on Russia. Remember it was quite recently that Hillary Clinton referred to Putin as an “adversary” and referred to Russia as a “threat”. We already know that Jeb Bush will bring John ‘Bomb Iran’ McCain in to … do exactly as he’s done under Obama.

From the July 3rd public publication of the notes of Putin’s Russian Security Council meeting, it is clear in the transcript – reprinted below – that Putin has changed the use of language.

But at any rate, for a long time after it was clear that the US was going to want to destroy Russia whatever its incarnation – socialist, monarchist, capitalist, or whatever – but Russia kept on referring to the US as its ”partner”. The problem is as much geostrategic as it was ideological; one can reasonably say that the two are intrinsically linked.

In the context of this war in Ukraine, many sympathetic to both Russia’s aim of building a multi-polar world with BRICS nations, and to the revolution in Novorossiya, have at the very least been scratching their heads whenever Putin would continue to refer to these obvious opponents as “partners”.

But it happened, Putin now calls the west ‘geopolitical opponents’. It will remain to be seen if the term ‘partners’ will still be used, as in ‘trade partners’ – certainly one can be a trade partner and a geopolitical opponent at the same time. The history of international relations informs us of as much.

We have to keep in mind a few things. The first is that the Russians use their words very carefully. They never engage in saber rattling, and they do not make threats. They have policies, and they make promises. Russia, strangely – at least for those of us in the west – makes use of its double-speak in a highly consistent way. They aren’t all over the place with it, and they are almost never reactive.

The other is that the words match their policy. Again, that doesn’t mean they aren’t capable of double-speak – referring to clear “opponents” as “partners” is one giant and obvious example. But so long as they consistently referred to these powers in the west as “partners” it was clear what kind of relationship they wanted to build, or maintain.

This “taking the high road” and keeping to their commitments, and within the context of international law, precedent, and established norms, has earned them a high level of respect and trust all around the world.

Yes, Russia isn’t trying to save the world, and they have their own national interests. Confusing the world for national interests is the US’s neurosis, not Russia’s. It just so happens that Russia realizes a few things. Sometimes friends of Russia who are overly critical of a perceived ‘lack’ of Russian engagement, forget this point.

The first is that in this historical epoch, given the distribution of resources, the present technologies as well as the foreseeable ones, there isn’t going to be a single global hegemon. The ‘auto-destruct’ mode of the US in its attempts to build and maintain unipolar domination is a very good piece of corroborating evidence to that point.

The second is that it needs to maintain and rebuild its historic sphere of influence. This works against the way the US understands the world in the way they’ve come to define and understand it. Folks like Mackinder were big in shaping this view. He said that Eurasia was the heartland that had to be contained and kept weak. Whole bureaucracies were built around this, including the military industrial complex.

Bureaucracies and their policies seem to have their own inertia and survival instinct. They take on a life of their own. They will shape the world so that they can continue to exist in it.

Against this, the other corners of the world will build, rebuild, and maintain their own respective spheres. This multipolar balancing act is going to be critical moving forward. An east Asian bloc, a Eurasian bloc, a sub-Saharan African bloc, an Oceania bloc, a North American bloc, and a Latin-American bloc are all reasonable. Not only that, they are emerging.

What’s missing here is a Middle-Eastern bloc, because the US has succeeded most here in keeping that from cohering. Pan-Arabism as a coherent movement was probably dying in slow motion ever since the Arab-Israel war in 1967.

Still, that defeat is not the trend everywhere. In fact, the trend is opposite. It’s important to be able to recognize trends and position oneself within that scheme.

What we’ve described here also happens to be the operating paradigm of the Russian Security Council.

All of that said, this change in the discourse – from partners to opponents – tells us a lot.

Russia doesn’t shift its words around on a daily basis like the US, and they do not suffer from a bi-polar condition in expressing their foreign policy.

Russia wants the West to know that its days of working towards collaboration in general terms, have officially come to an end.

Transcript of Putin’s address, from, to the Russian Security Council:

President of Russia Vladimir Putin:
“Good afternoon, colleagues,

Our agenda today includes a range of issues concerning protection of our national interests in the face of the restrictive measures that some countries have imposed on Russia.

We know the reasons for the pressure being put on Russia. We follow an independent domestic and foreign policy and our sovereignty is not up for sale. This does not go down well in some quarters, but this is inevitable.

It is clear today that attempts to split and divide our society, play on our problems, and seek out our vulnerable spots and weak links have not produced the results hoped for by those who imposed these restrictive measures on our country and continue to support them.

Our people, our key political forces, and our business community understand what is happening and know what to do. The timely measures we took have stabilised the economic and financial situation and the labour market and ensured the stable functioning of all strategically important economic sectors. We continue implementing our most important state programmes, including in the social sector.

Furthermore, our companies, Russia’s producers, have proven that they are capable of developing in tough conditions, finding new partners, and entering new markets at home and abroad. This can be seen in the rapid growth of our agriculture sector.

Colleagues, recent events show that we cannot hope that some of our geopolitical opponents will change their hostile course anytime in the foreseeable future. The EU countries recently extended the sanctions they have imposed on us, and discussions continue in the United States on toughening sanctions against us.

Amidst all of this, no one is even trying to analyse the reasons for what is now happening in southeast Ukraine, which was what started all of this fuss in the first place. What I mean here is that those who are imposing these restrictive measures and so-called sanctions on Russia are in fact responsible for the events that we are now witnessing in southeast Ukraine.

We must respond accordingly to this situation, of course, and take additional systemic measures in all key areas.

Firstly, we must make a rapid analysis of all the potential challenges and risks we face – political, economic, information risks and others. Based on this analysis, we then need to make adjustments to our National Security Strategy.

Once the National Security Strategy is updated, we will also need to update strategic planning documents currently in force or in the process of drafting. Furthermore, if needed, we will need to make clarifications to the Foreign Policy Concept and the Foundations of Russia’s Comprehensive Policy in the CIS Area.

At the same time, our strategic course in the foreign policy area remains unchanged. We are open for equal cooperation and collective work on key issues on the international agenda. We will continue to build relations with our partners based on the principles of respect and mutual consideration of each other’s interests, so long as this does not harm our own sovereignty and national security of course.

As before, we support active development of economic integration in the CIS area. We support expanding political, business and humanitarian ties with the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and the BRICS group.

Economic security issues are a crucial matter. Our strategic planning documents must define the main threats in each area in clearer and more detailed fashion. These documents must define the criteria and set the threshold indicators for the economic situation at which national security risks would start to emerge. They must also put into concrete terms the measures and mechanisms that would enable us to reduce our economy’s dependence on negative external factors.

At the practical level, the Government and the Central Bank must pay particular attention to ensuring the financial system’s stable operation. They must also put in place measures to achieve more balanced budgets and reduce the debt burden on regional budgets.

Overall, we must ensure very close coordination between everyone taking part in this work.

We must develop and present new proposals for the conceptual basis of strategic planning and forecasting of our country’s sustainable socioeconomic development and for risk management. We need to analyse the socioeconomic situation in the regions and conduct on-going monitoring using the regional situation centres. This is especially important for the border regions.

As I said, the restrictive measures we will discuss today have created problems for our economy, but they have also opened new opportunities. Above all, our producers have been able to significantly bolster their positions on the domestic market.

We continue our support for import replacement projects, especially in the agriculture sector, defence sector, engineering, pharmaceuticals, and the chemicals industry. If need be, our companies will receive additional support in these areas.

But let me draw one very important matter to your attention. The Prosecutor General’s Office, Rospotrebnadzor (national consumer protection service), the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service and other agencies must protect our people and companies from fake and poor quality goods. No matter whether goods are produced in Russia or abroad, they must meet modern requirements and standards and their origin and price setting must be transparent and clear.

In conclusion, our direct responsibility is to ensure reliable protection of Russia’s security in all areas and preserve our country’s social, political and economic stability.

Much here will depend on consolidating the efforts of our state institutions and civil society and on concentrating our resources on the priority areas. I am sure that you all understand this well and will do everything possible to resolve the tasks before us effectively.

Thank you very much for your attention.”

PressTV-Russia raids space research lab over 'spying for West'
Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) has reportedly raided a top space research facility over the suspected leaking of secrets about the country’s new hypersonic weapons to the West.

Citing anonymous sources in law enforcement agencies on Friday, the Russian Kommersant daily newspaper said, “This morning, the FSB raided offices of staff at the Central Research Institute of Machine Building (TsNIImash),” which develops rockets and space technology for Roskosmos, Russia’s space agency.

The paper reported that the security forces carried out the search operations in the town of Korolyov outside Moscow after finding out that Western security services had information on “secret hypersonic developments by Russian industry.”

Sources told Kommersant that the investigation was over "high treason," with some 10 people suspected of "cooperation with Western secret services."

It remained unclear what data may have been leaked but Russian media said the suspects were being investigated over passing secrets on the development of classified hypersonic technology — involving missiles able to travel at more than five times the speed of sound — to western intelligence agencies.

“It’s been established that TsNIImash employees are responsible for the leak,” one of the sources familiar with the FSB case materials was cited as saying by Kommersant. “Many heads will roll, and the case will not end with mere dismissals."

Meanwhile, the Roskosmos space agency confirmed that a probe was taking place and its chief, Dmitry Rogozin, had been informed, without providing further details.

"Dmitry Rogozin is informed on this case and gave an order to give the investigative group every assistance," a spokesman for the space agency told Russia's RIA Novosti.

The raids came just a day after the Russian Defense Ministry published several videos of new weapons systems - two of which were about the country's publicly acknowledged hypersonic missile projects.

The general features of these weapons, known as Avangard and Burevestnik, had been lauded as "invincible" during a speech by Russian President Vladimir Putin in March.

There is a Russian Navy Parade going on right now, for anyone who wants to watch it.
Parade in St. Petersburg as Russia marks Navy Day
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The cause of the death of actor Sergei Shekhovtsov became known
Jan Bratsky19:48 07/30/2018
The actor from 1986 to 1989 served in the theater-studio "Contemporary-2", then moved to the Moscow Art Theater. Chekhov.

The cause of the death of actor Sergei Shekhovtsov was heart failure. Everything happened suddenly, while walking with a dog, - said in the message of the theater "Contemporary", with which the actor has not ceased to cooperate for many years. Sergei Shekhovtsov passed away at the age of 57. The actor had a wife and two sons.

The actor is known not only for his roles in the theater, but also starred in the cinema. The audience is familiar with his characters in the films "Lily of the Valley Silver" and "Cargo 200". Shekhovtsov starred in the series "Truckers" and "March of Turkish". Farewell to the actor will be held on July 31, on the Other Stage of the Moscow Theater "Contemporary" at 16.00. Buried Sergey Shekhovtsov will be at home, in the Kuban village of Tranquil. ■

Germany hands over to Russia suspected mastermind of Argentine cocaine smuggling — lawyer
July 30, 15:17 UTC+3
At the moment Andrei Kovalchuk is in the Matrosskaya Tishina pre-trial detention center, he has been charged with smuggling drugs, the lawyer said


© Argentine Security Minister via AP

MOSCOW, July 30. /TASS/. Germany has handed over to Russia suspected mastermind of smuggling cocaine from Argentina to Russia Andrei Kovalchuk, lawyer Vladimir Zherebenkov told TASS on Monday.

"Kovalchuk has been extradited from Germany to Russia. At the moment he is in the Matrosskaya Tishina pre-trial detention center, he has been charged with smuggling drugs," the lawyer said.

The lawyer gave no details on when Kovalchuk had arrived in Russia. His lawyers in Germany appealed against this decision saying they had not been notified about the extradition.

In late February, Russia’s Foreign Ministry reported that the law enforcement agencies from Russia and Argentina had conducted a joint sting operation to bust a delivery channel of a large batch of narcotics to the European market. The drugs (362 kg), found in a building of Russia’s Embassy in Buenos Aires, belonged to a member of the diplomatic mission, who had wrapped up his business trip.

Law enforcement officials from both countries detained citizens of Russia and Argentina on suspicion of being involved in drug trafficking. Three were detained in Russia (Vladimir Kalmykov, Ishtimir Khudzhamov and Ali Abyanov), two in Argentina and one in Germany (suspected mastermind Andrei Kovalchuk).

Moscow City court prolongs custody for 3 men suspected of smuggling cocaine
July 30, 21:44 UTC+3
The investigators admit, however, that they have not identified all those involved in the scheme

MOSCOW, July 30. /TASS/. Moscow City court on Monday reaffirmed legitimacy of prolongation of custody to three suspects in a case over the supplies of a large batch of cocaine from Argentine to Russia, a TASS reporter said in a dispatch from the courtroom.

The suspects are Ishtimir Khudzhamov, Vladimir Kalmykov and Ali Abyanov. Somewhat earlier, Moscow’s Tverskoi district court prolonged the term in custody for the three them through to October 13.

"The July 11 resolution of the Tverskoi court will be left unchanged and the defenders’ appeal will not be entertained," the presiding judge said.

At the end of February, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Russia and Argentina’s law enforcement agencies had conducted a joint operation to plug a channel for supplies of a large consignment of drugs to the European market.

The ministry said the consignment with the total weight of 362 km had been found in one of the buildings occupied by the Russian Embassy in Buenos Aires. It belonged to a technical worker of the Embassy who had rounded up his mission to Argentina by that time.

Testimony in Russian-Argentine cocaine case confirms defendants engaged in drug smuggling

A total of three persons - Kalmykov, Khudzhamov and Abyanov - were detained in the course of investigation in Russia, another two in Argentina and one more - the organizer of the criminal grouping, Andrei Kovalchuk - was detained in Germany.
The investigators admit, however, that they have not identified all the involved in the scheme.

Kovalchuk’s lawyer Vladimir Zherebenkov told TASS earlier on Monday Germany had extradited Kovalchuk to Russia and he was kept at Matrosskaya Tishina pretrial detention center following the issuance of charges with drugs contraband to him.

Kovalchuk refused to give evidence citing Article 51 of Russian Constitution.

The suspects’ defenders asked the city court to call off the resolution of the district court and to mitigate the pretrial measure against them to house arrest or bail.

Also, Kalmykov, Khudzhamov and Abyanov said once again in the courtroom they were not guilty and they apportioned all the responsibility for the supply of coke to Kovalchuk.

Abyanov’s lawyer also recalled the results of expert tests done earlier, which showed the suitcases with the drug did not contain the trades or finger prints of either his defendant or Kalmykov or Khudzhamov.

The public prosecutor asked the Moscow City court to leave the resolution of the district court unchanged, saying it was legitimate and grounded.

Almost 40% of Russians believe vegetarian diet bad for your health, poll shows
Published time: 3 Aug, 2018 11:59
Less than one percent of Russians admitted to following a vegetarian diet in a recent poll and well over a third of respondents stated that, in their opinion, a vegetarian diet is harmful to your health.

According to the poll conducted by the Russian state-run public opinion research center VTSIOM at the very end of July, 39 percent of Russians think that a vegetarian diet is harmful for their health. Some 20 percent of respondents described the vegetarian diet as good for health and 27 percent think it has no effect on the human body.

It should be noted that when researchers asked the public to describe vegetarianism, half of respondents said that it must be a way of life for those who never eat meat and fish. The other half said that true vegetarians only eat plant-based food.

Of those who thought that vegetarianism was bad for health, 33 percent explained this by the fact that plant-based foods lacked certain vitamins and other nourishing properties that meat has in abundance. Some 28 percent said that humans need animal protein for development, 13 percent said that healthy food should be “balanced” and 11 percent simply said that people should eat meat and dairy.

Some 34 percent of Russians who think that the vegetarian diet is good for them said that it helps to “cleanse the body.” About 15 percent said that vegetarian foods were good because they were “light,” while 14 percent mentioned the absence of allegedly hazardous cholesterol-causing ingredients and 12 percent said food producers put more harmful additives in non-vegetarian products. Some of the respondents said that there were more vitamins in vegetarian food.

Only one percent of all Russians who claimed to know what vegetarianism is, said that they personally follow this diet.

Some Russian netizens on Saturday captured the fascinating sight of a fleet of meteors entering the atmosphere in the Russian city of Khanty-Mansiysk.

The intriguing footage was claimed to have been made by drivers on the Nefteugansk-Surgut highway in far eastern Russia. The video depicts a small group of UFO-like lights entering the sunset sky above Russia, while eyewitnesses express amusement and guess whether they have just spotted some natural process or a "real alien invasion."

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