Events in Russia

Russia to treat further US sanctions as an open declaration of economic war – PM
10 Aug, 2018 04:42
Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has warned the US that any sanctions targeting Russian banking operations and currency trade will be treated as a declaration of economic war and retaliated against by any means necessary.

“If they introduce something like a ban on banking operations or the use of any currency, we will treat it as a declaration of economic war. And we’ll have to respond to it accordingly – economically, politically, or in any other way, if required,”

"Our American friends should make no mistake about it,” Medvedev emphasized during a trip to the Kamchatka region

Russia slams US demands for lifting sanctions as ‘unacceptable’
August 09, 16:14 UTC+3
MOSCOW, August 9. /TASS/. By introducing new sanctions against Moscow, Washington is intentionally seeking a further deterioration of bilateral relations and Russia won’t accept the US demands for lifting the restrictions, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters on Thursday.

"As a condition for lifting sanctions the United States is making the demands, which are unacceptable for us, and this is the first stage. They threaten us with further increasing the sanctions pressure," the diplomat said.

"So, the US is intentionally choosing the path of a further deterioration of bilateral relations, which have been nearly reduced to zero thanks to its efforts," Zakharova said.

"Instead of engaging in search for the ways to improve bilateral ties, as was discussed at the Russian-US summit in Helsinki on July 16, the US Administration has hurled all effort into aggravating the situation," the diplomat said.

"The intention of those behind a new round of hyping up the Skripal case is obvious: they seek to keep afloat this advantageous for them anti-Russian topic by hook or by crook as an instrument for demonizing Russia," she added.

"US statements about readiness to continue working towards improving relations with Russia sound strange against this background," she said. "This is barefaced hypocrisy. Washington’s deeds testify to the contrary," Zakharova stressed.

Russia will consider tit-for-tat action to new sanctions of the US, she said. "These will be retaliatory measures rather than the Russian side’s phantasy," Zakharova said, noting that Moscow is not planning to whip up tensions or complicate even further the situation in Russian-US relations.

Moscow’s retaliatory measures will depend on the US restrictions against Russia, the diplomat said. "The measures will be worked out given the steps taken by the US side."

"This time, the Skripal poisoning saga (poisoning of former GRU Colonel Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury) was chosen as a far-fetched pretext," the diplomat said. "The Russian side has repeatedly warned that talking [to Russia] from the position of strength and ultimatums is useless and hopeless," she stressed. "The Russian side will engage in working out retaliation measures to a new unfriendly move by Washington," she said.

New sanctions

Earlier, Washington declared that on August 22 it would impose sanctions against Russia for alleged complicity in the poisoning of former GRU Colonel Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Britain’s Salisbury on March 4. A US Department of State official said earlier that within 90 days the US authorities would make a decision regarding a second package of sanctions against Moscow depending on whether it would comply with a number of conditions. Russia strongly denies its involvement in the Skripals affair.

Sanctioning Russia for false link to UK poisonings ‘unacceptable & unlawful’ – Kremlin
: 9 Aug, 2018 12:22
Dmitry Peskov, the press secretary of Russian President Vladimir Putin, says the use of a Russian link to recent UK poisoning incidents to justify fresh US sanctions against the Kremlin is a violation of international law.

In general, of course it’s necessary to say that we consider it categorically unacceptable that the new restrictions, that we continue to consider unlawful, are associated with the Salisbury case,” Peskov said in his Thursday interview with reporters.
The association with these events is unacceptable for us. And we are convinced that such restrictions, together with the ones that the American side has imposed preemptively, are totally unlawful and contradict international law.”

Russia does not have, and it has never had, anything to do with chemical weapons’ use, this is out of question. Moreover, we cannot confidently discuss what was used in Great Britain and how it was used because we have no information whatsoever. We have received no answers to our proposal to the British side to hold joint investigation into this incident that causes serious concern on our part,” the Kremlin official added.

Peskov told reporters that he considered any speculation about the effect of sanctions on the Russian financial system unwarranted, because this financial system was very stable. He noted that this stability had been proven in previous standoffs and that the Russian authorities had taken deliberate measures to make the country’s finances capable of withstanding the unpredictable behavior of “partners across the ocean.”

He stressed that it was difficult to reconcile the latest unfriendly actions by the US with the atmosphere established during the recent summit between US President Donald Trump and Putin in Helsinki.
When reporters asked Peskov about a possible Russian response to new US measures, he insisted it was too early to discuss the issue because the official US statement and quotes in the media from certain high-ranking sources did not make clear Washington’s official position.

Earlier, the US State Department announced the plans to impose new sanctions on Russia over its alleged role in the poisoning of double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the UK in March. The first package of sanctions is scheduled to come into effect on or around August 22 and will reportedly include a ban on exports of sensitive national security goods to Russia.

The second round of sanctions, which includes downgrading diplomatic relations, banning the Russian airline Aeroflot from flying to the US and cutting off nearly all exports and imports, will reportedly be imposed three months after the first one, unless Russian authorities provide “reliable assurances” that they won’t use chemical weapons in the future and agree to “on-site inspections” by independent monitors.

Earlier today senior Russian lawmakers called the planned restrictions unfounded and likened Washington’s behavior to actions of a police investigator who attempts to extract evidence from an innocent suspect using torture and threats.

Additional Details About Death Of Three Russian Citizens In Central African Republic

Data due as early as Friday will show gross domestic product added 1.9 percent last quarter from a year earlier, compared with 1.3 percent in the first three months, according to the median of 20 forecasts in a Bloomberg survey. That compares with the Bank of Russia’s estimate of between 1.8 percent and 2.2 percent.

Facing a long-term drag as sanctions limit access to foreign technology and capital, Russia has countered by revamping its fiscal and monetary policy, channeling extra income into a sovereign wealth fund and unloading most of its holdings of U.S. Treasuries. While domestic assets have suffered as sanctions damage sentiment, Russia is less vulnerable to outflows of foreign capital than its embattled peers such as Turkey.

“Russia is more prepared,” said Charles Robertson, global chief economist at Renaissance Capital. “They are trying to say that however bad it gets, the government isn’t going to be borrowing much money, it will not be requiring financing from abroad.”

Putin appoints Lavrov as head of Russian delegation to 73rd Session of UN General Assembly
MOSCOW, August 9./TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has appointed Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov as head of the Russian delegation to the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly.

The document was posted on the official internet portal of legal information on Thursday. The same document approved the lineup of the delegation, which includes representatives from the Foreign Ministry, the Federation Council upper house of the Russian parliament, and the State Duma lower house of parliament. The Foreign Ministry was instructed to approve the lineup of councilors, experts and technical personnel.

The 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly opens on September 18. Its first major forum, the high-level Nelson Mandela Peace Summit will he held on September 24, timed to mark his centennial. On the following day, yearly general debate will begin with the participation of heads of state and government as well as foreign ministers of the UN member countries.

President of Russia on Twitter
[B]President of Russia[/B]‏Verified account @[B]KremlinRussia_E[/B]
The President held a meeting on space sector development
Does Trump actually think he can handle Russia the same way he handled North Korea and get the same result?
Russian Icebreaking LNG Carrier Sets Record Gas Delivery to China: 7 Days and Change
August 3, 2018
First vessel in a series of 15 icebreaking LNG carriers on order can sail independently through ice of up to 2.1 meters thick

Christophe de Margerie, the icebreaking LNG carrier owned and operated by Russia’s Sovcomflot (SCF Group), has crossed the Northern Sea Route (NSR) in a new record time for a merchant ship without icebreaker support, during the month of July.

Sovcomflot says that the vessel covered the distance of 2,360 nautical miles eastward, from the port of Sabetta (Yamal Peninsula) to Cape Dezhnev (the Bering Strait), in just seven days and 17 hours. Throughout the NSR passage, the vessel navigated independently without any icebreaker support. Her average speed during the NSR crossing was an impressive 12.8 knots.

The LNGC set the new record while delivering a cargo of liquefied natural gas from the Yamal LNG plant at Sabetta to the port of Tangshan, China. On July 31, the vessel successfully berthed at her destination port. In total, it took her 18.5 days to travel from Sabetta to China.

Igor Tonkovidov, Executive Vice President and COO/CTO of SCF Group, said, “This remarkable, safe passage across the NSR has required the crew’s utmost attention and concentration. Ice conditions along the route were severe, especially in the East Siberian Sea, and the vessel experienced navigation in extended periods of limited visibility. The navigational and hydrographic situation within Arctic regions remains as challenging as ever.

“The crew of Christophe de Margerie was able to maintain a rapid yet safe speed for the tanker through effective organisation of bridge watch-keeping, highly skilled navigation, slowing the ship when approaching challenging ice fields and passing them at a safe speed, and moving reasonably quicker in areas of reduced ice cover.”

The vessel can sail independently through ice of up to 2.1 m thick. Her propulsion system has a power capacity of 45 MW, which is comparable to that of a nuclear-powered icebreaker.

She can sail unassisted along the NSR westward from Yamal all year-round, and eastward for six months of the year (from July to December). Previously, the summer navigation window in the eastern area of the Northern Sea Route was limited to only four months with icebreaker support.

The ship’s all-Russian crew numbers 29, including 13 officers. Each officer has significant Arctic shipping experience and has undergone extensive additional training at the SCF training center in St. Petersburg.

The ship was designed to transport LNG year-round in the challenging ice conditions of the Kara Sea and Gulf of Ob. Her cargo capacity is 172,600 cubic metres.

Christophe de Margerie

Kremlin mum on possible tit-for-tat measures in response to recent US sanctions
August 13, 14:03 UTC+3
MOSCOW, August 13. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has not yet given instructions to prepare a new package of measure in response to the expected new sanctions from Washington for Russia’s alleged involvement in Skripal poisoning case, Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday.

"As for instructions, of course it was not yet given, because there was an announcement of some new sanctions, information about a package being prepared or that it was already prepared, but it has not been introduced yet," Peskov said.

Peskov noted, "Having no precise information about the next restrictions invented by Washington, it would be incorrect to talk about any response." At the same time, he recalled that most often in such matters "the principle of reciprocity" is fundamental.

The Washington administration earlier said it was imposing sanctions on Russia as of August 22 over Moscow’s alleged involvement in the poisoning of former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in British Salisbury, on March 4. According to the US Department of State, the US authorities are going to decide on unveiling the second package of sanctions against Moscow in 90 days’ time depending on whether it fulfills a number of conditions. Russia has repeatedly refuted allegations concerning its involvement in the case.

‘Product of chemical synthesis’: Russian lawmaker targets artificial food additives in new bill
13 Aug, 2018 09:57
A Russian lawmaker has proposed banning the naming of foodstuffs made with excessive artificial components after traditional products such as “sausage” or “lemonade.”

MP Vitaly Milonov of the majority United Russia party addressed the Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov in an open letter, insisting the state must toughen rules on product naming in the food industry to prevent false advertising and cheating of customers by dishonest producers. Milonov said the situation involving processed meats and soft drinks was especially serious.

The MP claimed that Russian stores were offering customers “processed meat products” that have no relation to actual meat and suggested that producers and retailers were deliberately cheating customers through product naming. Another sector where the situation is especially serious is the soft drink and fruit juice industry with “stores overstocked with various imported brands of drinks that are pure chemically-synthesized products that inflict heavy damage to human health at any age,” Milonov wrote.

To rectify the situation, the government must introduce new, stricter rules on product naming, the lawmaker said. “It would be logical to impose a ban on names of foodstuffs that can potentially mislead customers. If some so-called sausage has less than 50 percent of meat in it, this product cannot be named sausage and must be called ‘imitation of a sausage product,’ he wrote.

It is not correct when a cocktail of harmful chemicals is called lemonade. This product should also be named in line with its composition – a chemically synthesized drink – and we must mention the possible harmful effects of such drinks on their labels.” Milonov stated.

On Monday Chair of the Russian National Union of Meat Processing Enterprises Tatiana Larina, told the news site that she would like to thank Milonov for attracting the public’s attention to an important problem, but added that Russian law already contained restrictions similar to the ones proposed. She added that producers who named and marked their goods in accordance with the law were perfectly honest with customers.

Russian lawmakers have previously proposed to restrict the sales of potentially-harmful foods, especially the so-called junk food promoted by major international corporations. In mid-2015 United Russia MPs said that they had prepared amendments to the Laws on Advertising that would designate fast food and alcohol ads as equal. This in turn, it was suggested, would make it easier to promote the apparently healthy “national foods.” At about the same time, Russian Communist MPs sought the introduction of an additional tax on sugary drinks, citing concerns over national health.

Russia to modernize Tu-95MS strategic missile-carrying bomber
August 13, 12:08 UTC+3©
The defense contractor would repair eight strategic Tu-160 and Tu-95MS missile-carrying bombers by the end of 2018


MOSCOW, August 13. /TASS/. The Tupolev Aircraft Company will develop the modernized Tu-95MSM strategic missile-carrying bomber for Russia’s Defense Ministry, the company’s press office told TASS on Monday.

"The contract for creating the heavily-modernized Tu-95MSM aircraft has already been concluded," the company’s press office said.

The details and the timeframe of the bomber’s heavy upgrade have not yet been disclosed. As the company’s press office said, the state trials of the operational Tu-95MS plane with the modernized engines are expected to be completed by the end of the year.

The Tu-95MS strategic missile-carrying bomber is designated to accomplish strike missions to destroy major targets in remote military and geographical regions and deep in the rear of the continental theaters of operations with the employment of nuclear missile weapons.

Russian Defense Minister Army General Sergei Shoigu earlier said that extending the service life of the strategic Tu-160 and Tu-95MS missile-carrying bombers and raising their combat efficiency were among priority tasks for Russia’s Defense Ministry.
The Russian defense minister also said that the Tupolev would repair eight strategic Tu-160 and Tu-95MS missile-carrying bombers by the end of 2018.
23.08.2018 - 2 Policemen Attacked Near Diplomatic Properties in Moscow: One Wounded - Police
2 Policemen Attacked Near Diplomatic Properties in Moscow: One Wounded - Police

According to police, an identified person carrying a gun attacked police officers next to the Cabodian embassy in Russia, near the Foreign Ministry building in central Moscow.

According to the representative of the Russian Investigative Committee Yulia Ivanova, the attacker baselessly opened fire at the policemen, who were on duty, wounding one of the officers. The Interior Ministry stated, that the perpetrator survived and was detained and sent taken to a hospital, as he remains in critical condition.

At 8:00 p.m. Moscow time an unknown person opened fire using unidentified weapons on two police officers of the regiment guarding the diplomatic facilities in Moscow; one of the policemen was wounded," a police source told the local media, adding that the investigators had started the probe into the incident.

The police told Sputnik that the wounded officer was shot in the leg, and his life is out of danger.

24.08.2018 - WATCH Gun Attack on Moscow Police Near Russian Foreign Ministry
WATCH Gun Attack on Moscow Police Near Russian Foreign Ministry

The Russian Investigative Committee has published a video of an attack on two policemen in the center of Moscow that occurred on August 23.

A man opened fire on two policemen without any reason in the small side street Sivtsev Vrazhek in the center of Moscow and wounded one police officer.

In the beginning of the clip, the attacker randomly shoots at law enforcement representatives.

The video that was published on the Investigative Committee's Youtube channel, then shows non-targeted shots by security officials toward the gunman's legs. After that, the assailant tried to escape but fell to the ground after another shot by law enforcement officers.

Published on Aug 23, 2018 (0:49 min.)

The attacker was wounded in return fire, disarmed and has been taken to a hospital, where he later died of his wounds.

Published on Aug 24, 2018 (0:39 min.)

24.08.2018 - Russian Central Bank Ablaze in Moscow (Photo - video)
Russian Central Bank Ablaze in Moscow (PHOTO, VIDEO)

Moscow emergency services told Sputnik that the Russian Central Bank was on fire in the center of the city. The firefighters noted that the fire started on the fourth floor of the facility and covered at least 30 square meters within the building.

As they specified, at least 26 fire teams, which included 92 firefighters, were deployed to the site, which is located in the very center of the Russian capital.

Later a representative of the Russian Central Bank told local media that nobody had been harmed. In the meantime, emergency services stated that the fire was put out, adding that there had been no injuries.

(Note: I don't know - if there is a possible connection to this Russian Central Bank fire - and "a proposal" in lieu of another round of US Sanctions? It might be only a coincidence in timing ... or Jewish lightning?)

23 Aug, 2018 - Goldman, JPMorgan object to Russian proposal to limit their ability to move money out of the country
Goldman, JPMorgan object to Russian proposal to limit their ability to move money out of the country

A total of 15 foreign lenders are protesting against a new plan proposed by the Russian central bank to reduce the amount of cash they can move abroad from their units located in Russia.

Russian subsidiaries of banking majors, including Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Raiffeisen, JPMorgan, Deutsche Bank and HSBC Holdings, have voiced their objections to plans that would limit the Russian units to depositing just 20 percent of their capital abroad at their parent companies. Under the current regulations, there is no limit for banking operations of this kind.

The Central Bank of Russia proposed the rationing measures in response to fresh anti-Russia sanctions from the US and Europe that could allow foreign lenders to block access to the funds for its units based in Russia, two sources close to the issue told Bloomberg. The targeted lenders say they will have to reduce their loan services in Russia, according to unnamed people quoted by the agency.

If the new rules enter force, most of the local units run by foreign banks will inevitably be in violation of the mandated capital ratios. Some of the lenders, including Nordea Bank and Commerzbank, say the measure will create “unequal” conditions for local banks and foreign-owned subsidiaries.

Ahead of the US mid-term elections in November, the US Congress is actively discussing potential punitive measures against Russia over its alleged meddling in US elections. Among the penalties is a ban on using US dollars for some of Russia’s biggest banks. In August, local banking bonds brought investors a loss of 5.1 percent in dollar terms, the worst of any sector domestically, according to a Bloomberg Barclays index.

According to the Central Bank of Russia, the final version of the rule is still being discussed. The regulator didn’t elaborate on the goal of the restrictions or on the fate of the proposal.
Today I heard in the Russian news that CIA has trouble contacting its agents in Russia. They are not communicating for some reason. Russian sources say that it is probably due to excellent efforts by FSB and such to close the leak. Including expelling a lot of American diplomats earlier this year.

But of course the presstitutes have other theories, including the one that FSB is busy with their assassinations, like they allegedly tried with Skripal. :-D

Zero hedge also has this take on the matter:

September 8, 2018 - Google pulls Russian opposition leader's YouTube advert ahead of vote
Google pulls Russian opposition leader's YouTube advert ahead of vote

Google removed a YouTube advert by Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny after authorities complained that the videos would violate an election silence law before Sunday’s vote for regional governors, an aide to Navalny said on Saturday.

The series of YouTube videos featured Navalny inviting Russians to join demonstrations on Sunday, when polls suggest President Vladimir Putin’s former chief-of-staff Sergei Sobyanin will be comfortably re-elected as the capital’s mayor.

Navalny’s aide, Leonid Volkov, said in a social media post that Google deleted the videos after the Central Election Commission had sent a letter of complaint to Google about the advertisement — a demand Volkov called illegal.

Google’s Russian office said in an emailed comment: “We consider all justified appeals from state bodies. We also require advertisers to act in accordance with the local law and our advertising policies.”

Navalny, who ran against Sobyanin in 2013 and had planned to lead a protest against proposed pension changes on Sunday, will spend election day behind bars after being convicted of violating protest laws. His supporters plan to demonstrate across Russia.

While Sobyanin appears on track for an easy win, public anger over the planned increases to the nationwide pension age means many voters may stay away, which would tarnish his victory, some political analysts have said.

Elections will also be held for the governorships of another 25 of Russia’s 85 regions.
Kalashnikov have created a new prototype model... ... of an electric car!!!:scared:
Новое?! Посмотрите на эту красоту. Я разбил такой автомобиль в 1976 году. Модель называлась Москвич 427, и конечно он не был электрическим.:lol:

New?! Look at this beauty. I crashed such a car in 1976. The model was called Moskvich 427, and of course it was not electric.:lol:
September 10, 2018 - Russia's Putin says Sunday Regional Elections went Well
Russia's Putin says Sunday regional elections went well

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday that regional elections held in some Russian regions on Sunday in general went well.

He told a televised meeting with government and regional officials in the Russian far eastern city of Vladivostok that there were no major violations during the elections while second rounds of voting, due to be held in some places, was ‘normal practice’.

September 10, 2018 - U.S. MMA Fighter Jeff Monson Elected to Local Council in Russia
U.S. MMA fighter Jeff Monson elected to local council in Russia

U.S. mixed martial arts fighter Jeffrey Monson, granted Russian citizenship by President Vladimir Putin in May, was elected on Sunday to the council of deputies of a small city just outside Moscow, official election results showed on Monday.

Monson, 47, a tattooed cage fighter known as The Snowman, registered in June to run for a seat on the council of Krasnogorsk, northwest of Moscow, where election documents say he now works as a coach in a sports club.

On the website of Moscow region’s election commission, Monson is listed as fourth on the ruling United Russia party’s list of candidates for the Krasnogorsk city council.

United Russia won 47.9 percent of this vote, automatically securing a seat for the MMA fighter, who was born in the U.S. state of Minnesota.

Writing on social media, Monson, who has previously cultivated ties to the Russian Communist Party, said he ran as an independent.

“I was invited by United Russia party to run but I am independent. Unfortunately I learned there are no communists in Communist party in Russia,” Monson said on Monday.

Monson, a vocal critic of U.S. foreign policy, said in January 2016 he was applying for Russian citizenship because he had felt a solidarity with the Russian people since he first visited their country in 2011.

“I have big plans for work with children, am preparing various projects, including projects focused on promoting healthy lifestyles,” Monson was cited as saying on election day by the local division of the United Russia party.

“Everything I do in Krasnogorsk - it’s because I love Russia,” Monson was cited as saying.

Videos shared on Monson’s official Instagram page showed the sportsman in a Russia hockey team sweater, casting a ballot at a Krasnogorsk polling station with the help of a translator.
September 24, 2018 - Russian Court sentences Opposition Leader Navalny to 20 days in jail
Russian court sentences opposition leader Navalny to 20 days in jail | Reuters

A Russian court sentenced opposition leader Alexei Navalny to another 20 days in jail after he was freed and immediately detained again in the morning, his spokeswoman tweeted late on Monday.

Navalny was charged with breaching legislation on protests.
The International Space Station (ISS) will help Moscow participate in the ALL-Russian Festival of Science, Nauka 0+. A live ISS transmission, organized by Russia's Roscosmos space agency, will allow people from around the world to pose questions to the cosmonauts.

14.10.2018 - Moscow Holds Live Video Broadcast with International Space Station
Moscow Holds Live Video Broadcast With International Space Station

Running October 12-14, the 13th annual All-Russian Festival of Science, Nauka 0+, is expected to become the largest popular science event of its kind in the world, focusing on themes including the science of the future, and Russia's role in global scientific exploration. The festival promises to bring together the most eminent scientists and academics from around the world and attract close to 900,000 visitors.

The title of the festival, Nauka 0+, comes from the Russian word for science and an indication that it is good for people from 'zero up', i.e. that scientific discovery is something that people of all ages should be able to take part in, and from every walk of life.
Blast at Kerch Polytechnic College

On October 17, a polytechnic college in the Crimean city of Kerch was attacked and hit by an explosion caused by the detonation of an unidentified explosive device. At least 18 people were killed and up to 50 injured.

Oct. 17, 2018 - Nineteen People Dead, up to 50 Injured due to incident in Kerch, Russia (Video)
Nineteen People Dead, Up to 50 Injured Due to Incident in Kerch, Russia (VIDEO)

“We are clarifying the information at the moment. Preliminary figures are 50 injured and 10 dead. Eight ambulance crews are working at the site and air medical services are involved,” the press-service for the Crimean Ministry of Health stated.

Medics announced that at least 50 people were injured in the explosion in Kerch and 25 have already been taken to local hospital with moderate wounds.

Published on Oct 17, 2018 (1:05 min.)

Local news outlets reported that earlier in the day, students at the college heard a blast and windows of the building were shattered.

Published on Oct 17, 2018 (0:16 min.)

Russian Health Minister Says Three of Wounded in Kerch College Attack in Coma, 10 in Intensive Care
17/10/2018 - Explosive device kills 10, injures dozens at Crimean College
Explosive device kills 10, injures dozens at Crimean college

MOSCOW — An explosive device killed 10 people and injured at least 50 others at a vocational college in Crimea Wednesday in what Russian officials called a possible terrorist attack.

The National Anti-Terrorism Committee said in a statement that the blast at the college, in the city of Kerch in eastern Crimea, was caused by an unidentified explosive device.

The committee's spokesman Andrei Przhezdomsky said sappers are inspecting the building for other explosive devices.

The Tass news agency reported that most of the victims were students, quoting local ombudswoman Lyudmila Lubina.

Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told reporters that officials are looking into a possible terrorist attack. He did not elaborate.

Peskov said Putin has instructed investigators and intelligence agencies to conduct a thorough probe and offered condolences to the families of the victims.

Emergency officials have earlier said that the blast was caused by a gas canister explosion.

The head of Crimea, Sergei Aksyonov, and Russia's Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova haded to the area to coordinate assistance to those injured.

Russia has annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, a move that triggered Western sanctions.

17/10/2018 - Crimea: Student ‘shoots himself’ after deadly bomb and gun rampage at college
Crimea: Student ‘shoots himself’ after deadly bomb and gun rampage at college

At least 19 people were killed and dozens more wounded in an attack on a college in Crimea on Wednesday by a student who then killed himself, officials said.

Eighteen-year-old Vladislav Roslyakov has been identified by Russian investigators as the attacker.

Officials say he turned up at the technical college in the city of Kerch carrying a firearm and then began shooting. His body was later found in the college with "self-inflicted gunshot wounds."

Crimea's Russian-backed prime minister Sergei Aksyonov told Russian news agency TASS that the attacker was a fourth year student at the college who "acted alone".

"It's a colossal tragedy," he said on television.

Investigators said most of the victims were teenagers.

They added in a statement on their website: "According to preliminary information, today in the dining room of the Kerch Polytechnic College an unidentified explosive device filled with metal objects exploded."

Officials cited by RIA news agency said a second explosive device was found at the scene and had been disarmed.

Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, initially said officials were looking into the possibility that the shooting and blast was a terrorist attack. But federal investigators later ruled this out.

“I would like to express my condolences to the relatives of the deceased, and also to express my hopes that the wounded will recover as soon as possible,” said Putin, speaking at a joint news conference with his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

“The motives and the exact version of events of this tragedy are being studied really carefully and we will inform the public about the result of the investigation by the security and special services," he said.

Olga Grebennikova, the headmistress of the college, was filmed on her mobile phone talking about the attack.

Published on Oct 17, 2018 (1:15 min.)

17/10/2018 - Teenager kills 19 in Crimea College shooting: Russian Officials
Teenager kills 19 in Crimea college shooting: Russian officials | Reuters

A woman places a candle to commemorate the victims of a fatal attack on a college in the Crimean port city of Kerch, at a memorial by the Kremlin walls in Moscow, Russia October 17, 2018. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin

At least 19 people were killed and dozens injured at a college in the Black Sea region of Crimea on Wednesday when a student went through the building shooting at fellow pupils before killing himself, Russian law enforcement officials said.

Eighteen-year-old Vladislav Roslyakov turned up at the college in the city of Kerch on Wednesday afternoon carrying a firearm and then began shooting, investigators said. His body was later found in the college with what they said were self-inflicted gunshot wounds.

There were no immediate clues as to his motive in mounting such an attack, which recalled similar shooting sprees carried out by students in U.S. schools.

Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 , prompting international condemnation and Western sanctions, but since then there have been no major outbreaks of violence on the peninsula.

Many of the victims from Wednesday’s attacks were teenage students who suffered shrapnel and bullet wounds.

Pupils and staff described scenes of mayhem as panicked pupils tried to flee the building. They said the attack had started with an explosion, followed by more blasts, and a hail of gunfire.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, at a meeting in the southern Russian resort of Sochi with his Egyptian counterpart, declared a moment’s silence for the victims. “This is a clearly a crime,” he said. “The motives will be carefully investigated.”

The director of the school, Olga Grebennikova, described the scene that she encountered when she entered the college building after the attack.

“There are bodies everywhere, children’s bodies everywhere. It was a real act of terrorism. They burst in five or 10 minutes after I’d left. They blew up everything in the hall, glass was flying,” Grebennikova told Crimean media outlets.

“They then ran about throwing some kind of explosives around, and then ran around the second floor with guns, opened the office doors, and killed anyone they could find.”

Soon after the attack, Russian officials said they were investigating the possibility that it was terrorism. Troops with armored personnel carriers were sent to the scene. Local parents were told to collect their children from the city’s schools and kindergartens for their safety.

However, the Investigative Committee, the state body that investigates major crimes, said later that it was re-classifying the case from terrorism to mass murder.

An employee at Kerch’s hospital said dozens of people were being treated for their injuries in the emergency room and in the operating theater.

Anastasia Yenshina, a 15-year-old student at the college, said she was in a toilet on the ground floor of the building with some friends when she heard the sound of an explosion.

Officials said an explosive device had gone off in the school’s cafeteria during the attack and that a second device had been found among Roslyakov’s belongings and defused.

“I came out and there was dust and smoke, I couldn’t understand, I’d been deafened,” Yenshina told Reuters. “Everyone started running. I did not know what to do. Then they told us to leave the building through the gymnasium.”

“Everyone ran there... I saw a girl lying there. There was a child who was being helped to walk because he could not move on his own. The wall was covered in blood. Then everyone started to climb over the fence, and we could still hear explosions. Everyone was scared. People were crying.”

Photographs from the scene of the blast showed that the ground floor windows of the two-story building had been blown out, and that debris was lying on the floor outside.

Emergency services teams could be seen in the photographs carrying wounded people from the building on makeshift stretchers and loading them on to buses and ambulances.

A second pupil at the college, who gave his name as Sergei, said he had taken a few steps out of the building into the street when the first blast went off. He was hit by debris from the blast and injured in the leg.

Sergei, 15, told Reuters he ran to another building, but said he could hear more explosions going off every few seconds. He took cover and after the attack was over, he was taken to hospital in an ambulance.

“I arrived at the hospital, the scene there was awful. They’re bringing in people all covered in blood, some with arms missing, some with legs missing.”

Slideshow (18 Images)
Teenager kills 19 in Crimea college shooting: Russian officials | Reuters

17/10/2018 - Second explosive device found at Crimea attack scene disarmed: RIA
Second explosive device found at Crimea attack scene disarmed: RIA | Reuters

Law enforcement officers gather at the scene of a fatal attack on a college in the port city of Kerch, Crimea October 17, 2018. Ekaterina Kejzo/Courtesy of Kerch.FM/Handout via REUTERS

A second explosive device found among the personal possessions of the chief suspect in a deadly attack on a college in Crimea that left at least 17 dead on Wednesday has been disarmed, the RIA news agency cited officials as saying.

Vladislav Roslyakov, 18, turned up at the college in the city of Kerch and went through the building shooting at fellow pupils before killing himself.

Officials said earlier on Wednesday that an explosive device had gone off in the school’s cafeteria during the attack.
Even when reporting on this tragic situation, the media can't help themselves and have to add a bit of propaganda about the "annexation" of Crimea, the sanctions... Well, at least they aren't blaming it on the Russian government for now.
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