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Crimean Tatars bemoan fate as Ukraine hosts Summit | World news

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By YURAS KARMANAU, Associated Press

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) – Erfan Kudusov fled Crimea with his wife and four children after Russia annexed Ukraine’s Black Sea Peninsula in 2014, along with many other Crimean Tatars who resented the Moscow regime.

For Kudusov and others in Crimea, the Russian takeover evoked tragic family memories of the mass deportation of Crimean Tatars in 1944 on the orders of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin, raising fears of discrimination and persecution.

Their fears materialized.

A few of Kudusov’s friends who remained in Crimea have since been convicted of extremism, separatism and membership in banned organizations and have been sentenced to prison terms ranging from eight to 19 years.

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The fate of the Crimean Tatars is one of the main topics discussed on Monday at the inaugural meeting of the Crimean Platform, an international summit convened by Ukraine to pressure Russia over the annexation which has been denounced as illegal by most countries in the world.

“Fear for my children and the memory of the crackdowns against my people forced us to pack all our things in two suitcases and leave our beloved Yalta literally in one day,” Kudusov told The Associated Press in his little one. restaurant in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev. . “Most of those who left were well educated and energetic people who actively opposed the occupation of Crimea.”

Only an ancestral cover for their Koran, a few paintings of Crimean rocky landscapes and some ceramics now remind Kudusov of his native land. Letters from prison and conversations with relatives on messaging apps paint a grim picture of the life of the Crimean Tatars now under Russian control.

“Russia has a concentration camp there behind a beautiful facade,” Kudusov said. “People in Crimea are very scared and afraid to speak out loud.”

In August 2018, Vatan Karbash set himself on fire in the Crimean regional capital, Simferopol, to protest against measures taken by the authorities to raze the homes of Crimean Tatars. He survived with severe burns.

Ethnic Russians, who form the majority of Crimea’s 2.3 million inhabitants, largely supported Russian annexation, but the Crimean Tatars, who made up nearly 15 percent, opposed the takeover of Moscow. It is estimated that 30,000 Crimean Tatars have fled Crimea since 2014.

Some of those who remained faced a relentless crackdown from the Russian authorities, who banned the main representative body of the Crimean Tatars and some religious groups. About 80 Crimean Tatars have been sentenced and 15 activists are missing, according to Amnesty International.

“The Russian Federation continues its policy of intimidation, systematic pressure and criminal prosecution against the Crimean Tatars, who disagree with the occupation or refuse to cooperate with the de facto authorities,” said Kateryna Mitieva, member from the rights group. “The homes of Crimean Tatar militants are systematically searched by the FSB (the Russian internal security agency).

Just last week, four Crimean Tatar activists were sentenced to prison terms ranging from 12 to 18 years for affiliation with Hizb ut-Tahrir, an international Islamist group that Russia banned as a terrorist organization in 2003 The group has been banned in most Arab countries, China, Turkey and Germany.

“Russia has brought imperialism, fear, its own vision of freedom and its understanding of who is friend and who is enemy,” Mufti Ayder Rustamov said at a Kiev mosque frequented by Crimean Tatars.

Moscow strongly rejected accusations of discrimination against the Crimean Tatars. The Russian Foreign Ministry highlighted the construction of new mosques in Crimea, the allocation of 100,000 land to the Crimean Tatars and its growing support for their cultural and educational projects.

At the same time, Russian officials accused the leaders of the Crimean Tatars who protested against annexation of serving Ukrainian interests, and Russian law punishes those who demand the return of Crimea to Ukraine.

Refat Chubarov, the leader of Crimean Tatar Mejlis, a representative body of the ethnic group, was sentenced in absentia to six years in prison by a Russian court in June for inciting mass unrest for protesting the annexation in 2014 .

“Moscow continues its policy of crushing the Crimean Tatars, and all these repressions, including arrests and long prison terms, are aimed at suppressing the will of the people and forcing them to leave Crimea out of fear for the future of their children, ”said Chubarov, who was forced to leave the Black Sea Peninsula in 2014.

Chubarov accused Moscow of encouraging people from other regions to settle in Crimea, with more than 500,000 Russians who have settled there since annexation.

“Before our eyes, the Russian authorities have artificially altered the ethnic makeup of Crimea,” he said.

In 2016, Russian authorities banned Mejlis as an extremist organization. In 2017, an international tribunal asked Russia to revoke the ruling, but it ignored the ruling.

“Moscow has totally ignored all decisions, appeals, recommendations and decisions of international organizations and tribunals,” Chubarov said.

In an effort to draw international attention to the plight of Crimea, Ukraine established the Crimean Platform, which holds its first meeting in Kiev on Monday, bringing together senior officials from 44 countries and blocs, including United States, European Union and Turkey.

“(This) is a platform for constant dialogue which aims to consolidate the international and Ukrainian effort to unoccupy Crimea,” Ukrainian First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Emine Dzhaparova, told the PA.

Ukrainian authorities claim that the massive construction projects launched by Russia in Crimea are aimed at militarizing the peninsula.

“Crimea is a military base with Ukrainian citizens held hostage,” Dzhaparova said.

“To be a Crimean Tatar is to keep a genetic memory of the pain my people have suffered,” said Susana Jamaladinova, a singer who, under the stage name Jamala, won the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest with a song sad deploring the Soviet deportation of 1944.

“An ethnocide is underway in Crimea – even memorial gatherings are prohibited for Crimean Tatars,” said the 37-year-old singer, born in the Central Asian nation of Kyrgyzstan.

In May 1944, nearly 200,000 Crimean Tatars, who then represented about a third of the Crimean population, were deported to the steppes of Central Asia, 3,200 kilometers to the east by Stalin. The Soviet dictator accused them of collaborating with the Nazis – a claim widely dismissed by historians as a sham. It is estimated that half of them died in the next 18 months from hunger and harsh conditions.

Other ethnic groups who faced similar massive deportations on Stalin’s orders were allowed to return to their native lands soon after the death of the Soviet dictator in 1953, but the Crimean Tatars were only allowed to return. shortly before the Soviet collapse of 1991.

Kudusov said his father was 2 during the Stalinist deportation and his own twins were that age when he and his family fled Crimea in 2014.

“It looks horrible and surreal,” he said. “But my family experience shows that Crimean Tatars always come back to Crimea.”

Vladimir Isachenkov in Moscow contributed to this report.

Copyright 2021 The Associated press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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Russian defense giant Kalashnikov unveils new guided missile for combat drones at ARMY-2021

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Russian defense giant Kalashnikov has presented for the first time a new S-8L guided missile compatible with combat drones, the company’s deputy general manager of production, Andrey Semenov said on Sunday.

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“Today, our group of companies are working with research and production company Strela to adapt the new S-8L guided missile to a helicopter-type unmanned aerial vehicle,” Semenov told reporters.

According to Semenov, the use of this missile can destroy both individual and collective moving and fixed targets. The missile has a semi-active laser homing head, a highly explosive fragmentation warhead, a range of up to 6 kilometers (3.7 miles).

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It is also intended for use with helicopters and airplanes that previously used the unguided version of the C-8 missile. Another novelty unveiled at the ARMY-2021 forum was the KUB kamikaze drone from ZALA Aero (which is part of Kalashnikov).

A 2019 Russian stamp dedicated to the 100th anniversary of Kalashnikov’s birth – Wikipedia

“On our own initiative, we have started the development of a completely new modification of the KUB complex intended for deployment at sea. The system installed on high-speed transport and disembarkation vessels and special-purpose vessels significantly increases their capabilities. combat, ”Nikita Khamitov, head of the company’s special projects, told reporters.

Kalashnikov also presented the PPK-20 submachine gun for pilots of the Russian aerospace forces at the ARMY-2021 military forum, Denis Fesenko, deputy director general of concern for special projects, said on Sunday.

Russian military force 2021 |  Armed Forces of Russia |  How powerful is Russia 2021 |  Military Russia - YouTube
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“The PPK-20 has a telescopic butt for shooting left and right shoulders, a collimating sight, a Picatinny rail and an infrared beam,” Fesenko told reporters.

The gun has a strong export potential and will be of interest to special forces units.

The ARMY-2021 defense industry forum kicked off on Sunday and will run through August 28 at the Patriot Congress and Exposition Center near Moscow, as well as at Kubinka Airfield and Kubinka Training Ground. Alabino.

More @ EurAsian Times


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Naryan-Mar: Why you should visit this remote Arctic city

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Local experts share tips on what to see and do in their hometown, as well as which dishes to try and what to take home as a souvenir.

“I spent only five days in Naryan-Mar. But I managed to pack a lot into those five days. I attended a rehearsal of the Veselye Sani (“Fun Sledge”) competition, tasted the products of the Naryan-Mar meat-packing plant, cooked deer chips, visited Malozemelskaya tundra, stayed with a family that has ten children! I made a salty pie on shortbread dough in the Timan museum and restaurant, met a tipi worker, and drank onion tea, ”wrote John Warren, a traveler, a cook, and a TV presenter, in the preface to the book, Naryan-Mar. It’s My Land.

Warren said that here he understood and saw with his own eyes that the harsher the living conditions and the climate, the more optimistic the people and with more gratitude and fun they rejoice at little things that people living in big cities would hardly notice.

In an ethnic society in Naryan-Mar

Naryan-Mar is the center of and the only city in the Nenets Autonomous Area. This remote region is located within the Arctic Circle, practically on the Arctic Ocean. Its indigenous population are the Nenets, a nation of nomads and reindeer herders. Translated from Nenets, the name Naryan-Mar means “Red City”.

We asked the authors of the literary competition It’s My Land to answer some key questions about Naryan-Mar.

Why should a foreigner visit your city?

Naryan-Mar post office

Yuri Tyulyubaev, a reviewer of Naryan Mar. It’s My Land and head of the Red City travel company: “The Nenets Autonomous Area is the only place in Europe where a local indigenous nomadic people have preserved their centuries’ old way of life. Here foreigners will be able to see the real – not reconstructed or “digitized” – life of nomads and visit the most sparsely populated part of Russia. ”

Andrey Suleikov, author and producer of Naryan Mar. It’s My Land: “In Naryan-Mar, many houses have their own names – Titanic, Bastille, Little Red Riding Hood – and each has its own legend. The city also has its own Great Wall of China, the local nickname for joined apartment blocks No 12 and 14 on Vyucheyskiy Street, whose location, they say, was chosen according to the Chinese practice of feng shui.

'The Great Wall of China' building

Legend has it that during construction of these apartment blocks the “tree and mountain” principle of Chinese architecture was used whereby columns symbolize trees and towers symbolize mountains. The conjoined apartment blocks have towers, while trees are symbolically represented by red rectangular bay windows protruding beyond the facade line.

The Naryan-Mar Museum of Local Lore

This can also be seen from above. For example, particularly observant residents of Naryan-Mar say they have more than once noticed how flocks of migratory birds turn in the sky over the local Great Wall of China. That is, birds adjust their course using this building as a guide. ”

The Epiphany Cathedral in Naryan-Mar

Things to see / do / taste?

Yuri Tyulyubaev: “You must definitely visit a tipi, take a ride in a reindeer sleigh for at least a kilometer and try ayburdat ‘- fresh reindeer meat with blood. Maybe it will seem savage at first, but it will help you feel as if you have briefly returned to your roots because this is how all our ancestors lived and ate. ”

Canned venison

Andrey Suleikov: “Beyond the Arctic Circle, flowers bloom not in bouquets, but in mountains. Here is a mountain all covered in white – these are cloudberries and blueberries. Here is a mountain all covered in pink – these are rosebay willowherb, mountain ash, mesembryanthemum, wild rosemary, geranium! And just think, every flower here has two, three times more nectar than ordinary flowers, and every flower is waiting for a bee, “Soviet author Mikhail Prishvin wrote in his essay, Polar Honey.”

Khebidya Ten (Sacred Memory) Carved Wooden Statues In Naryan-Mar

What you should definitely do in Naryan-Mar is try local honey, as well as the local gingerbread made with this honey. Both are unique and cannot be found anywhere else, no matter how hard you look. There is also a tradition of buying gingerbreads in a special Gingerbread House and offering them to passers-by. You make a wish and treat a stranger to a delicious gingerbread – and the wish will certainly come true!

What are the best memories?

The local fish delicatessen

Yuri Tyulyubaev: “The best memories are warm memories of things you have seen, the strong people you have met and beautiful places you have explored. As for material souvenirs, the Nenets Autonomous Area has a large variety of hand-made items made from natural materials: both traditional (such as the ukko doll) and modern ones, for example, fridge magnets made of deer horns. ”

Deer antlers

Andrey Suleikov: “Square bread. Bringing hand-kneaded bread back from one’s travels is a good tradition because that way you take not just food, but also the warmth of the hands of the people who made it. But it’s not only that. There is a legend in Naryan-Mar: if you are a good person, you may find jewelry in bread. This bread is baked on square sheets and is cut not with a knife, but with reindeer sinews. ”

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Iranian President denounces disrespectful behavior of British and Russian envoys

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Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf took to Twitter to condemn the photo taken at the Russian embassy, ​​adding that Iran’s foreign ministry should quickly tackle the “diplomatically disrespectful and inappropriate behavior” of the ambassadors.

He stressed that the two ambassadors must immediately apologize for their behavior, otherwise a decisive diplomatic response would be imperative.

The Russian Embassy in Iran Twitter account on Wednesday posted a photo of the new British Ambassador to Tehran, Simon Shercliff, sitting upstairs under the porch of the Russian Embassy building with Russian Ambassador Levan. Dzhagaryan.

The frame and location of the photo is reminiscent of the Tehran summit in 1943, where then British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, then US President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Union leader Soviet then Joseph Stalin sat together for a photo op.

The 1943 conference is widely known among Iranians and is seen as an aggression and humiliation of Iranian identity and sovereignty.

The photo has been widely criticized by all walks of life in Iranian media and social networks.

In the face of anger in Iran, the Russian Embassy attempted to justify the meeting at the specific site with two more tweets on Thursday and said, “We would like to note that it has no anti-Iranian background. We were not going to offend the feelings of the friendly Iranian people. “

“The only meaning this photo has to pay tribute to the joint efforts of Allied states against Nazism during World War II. Iran is our friend and neighbor, and we will continue to strengthen relations based on mutual respect, ”he added.

Tehran maintains friendly and strategic relations with Moscow since the two parties share similar positions on many regional and international issues; however, post-Islamic Iran has proven time and again that it does not tolerate any attack or insult to its sovereignty and independence – a red line for the nation – neither by Westerners nor by Orientals.


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United Russia wants big Duma election victory

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From September 17 to 19, the Russians will go to the polls to elect their parliament: the State Duma. The Russian parliament, although still less powerful than the presidency, has acquired expanded responsibilities under the new constitution, especially with regard to economic affairs. The institution also serves as a vital means of communication between various segments of the population and the government, relaying grievances and concerns upwards and distributing patronage and largesse downwards.

United Russia, the ruling party, defends its 336-seat super majority, but faces growing challenges due to its own unpopularity and growing grievances. While United Russia is highly unlikely to lose control, maintaining a large majority is essential both to ensure its own cohesion and to strengthen the legitimacy of the Putin government.

From September 17 to 19, the Russians will go to the polls to elect their parliament: the State Duma. The Russian parliament, although still less powerful than the presidency, has acquired expanded responsibilities under the new constitution, especially with regard to economic affairs. The institution also serves as a vital means of communication between various segments of the population and the government, relaying grievances and concerns upwards and distributing patronage and largesse downwards.

United Russia, the ruling party, defends its 336-seat super majority, but faces growing challenges due to its own unpopularity and growing grievances. While United Russia is highly unlikely to lose control, maintaining a large majority is essential both to ensure its own cohesion and to strengthen the legitimacy of the Putin government.

Russian elections are not entirely free and fair, but the vote itself has become more secure over the years. This effort to secure the vote stems from the government’s need for credibility in the form of a popular seal of approval and in reaction to backlash on past cases and allegations of tampering. Although voting irregularities still occur on some scale, particularly at regional levels less controlled at the central level, United Russia has mainly focused on limiting the ability of opposition groups to compete on a strong footing. equality by making it difficult to get to the ballot box, limiting access to the media, and adding layers of bureaucratic restrictions.

United Russia exercises strong political control over the Russian Federation; although over the years the electoral legitimacy on which his power rests has started to wane. One of the problems is its inability to fully deliver on its economic promises after a series of crises following the 2008 recession. ruble made the government appear weaker. United Russia also faces increasing pressure due to its authoritarianism and its association with corruption (or “kleptocracy,” as the opposition calls it). Russian leaders have increasingly become unpopular, and United Russia suffered electoral setbacks, such as losing nearly a third of its seats in the Moscow City Council Elections 2019.

The party’s goals go beyond simply trying to maintain its majority. United Russia currently holds just under three-quarters of the Duma’s seats, and seeing its share reduced could have significant consequences. To begin with, the ability of United Russia to change the constitution of the Russian Federation, which it skillfully applied in 2020 well before the next Duma elections, could be severely hampered if its majority drops below two-thirds.

Perhaps more importantly, a reduced reserve of votes in the State Duma could complicate the cohesion of United Russia as a political party or its ability to take advantage of the so-called systemic opposition parties in the State Duma. As the electoral vehicle of a diverse Russian elite, United Russia is constantly challenged by divergent political demands. The weaker the United Russia majority in the Duma, the greater the risk of factionalization, as individual Duma delegates seek to exploit thinner margins for their own agendas. Such factionalism could also provide opportunities for Russia’s systemic opposition parties (the Communist Party, for example) to forge their own path, providing support as a swing voting bloc. Currently, the systemic opposition acts more like a pressure group for its members and voters than a unified opposition. The perception of an electoral weakening of United Russia in general is also likely to signal these parties to pull away from the ruling party to strengthen their own positions in future elections.

To counter the various challenges it faces, United Russia has taken a carrot and stick approach. For the carrot, he sought to show himself as a reactive government, dragging or even stopping corrupt local politicians while sidelining increasingly unpopular personalities and promoting those with wider appeal. The slow downfall of former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is one of them. The former president and longtime prime minister stepped down as prime minister in 2020 to be replaced by technocrat Mikhail Mishustin. Although Medvedev remains President of United Russia, he was removed from office party electoral list.

Instead, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shogyu and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov top the party’s list. Both men are unlikely to sit in the Duma. Both are very popular because they are seen to defend Russia’s interests abroad and to be much less corrupt than Medvedev, who has long been exposed as having expensive tastes. Medvedev has remained silent on his own sidelining, remaining in favor of United Russia and noting in a recent interview the risk of political instability that comes without a dominant party.

United Russia has also tried to strengthen its economic image. Recent constitutional amendments contained a long list of populist economic measures, including guarantees for more generous pensions and social benefits. The government has also sought to show itself invested in a more prosperous Russia with bold development plans and a transition to more effective governance under Mishustin’s leadership.

The Stick in the United Russia Approach uses various means of prosecution and harassment to prevent the new generation of opposition, who do not belong to the managed opposition parties and have long been present in parliament, from mounting campaigns consistent. Most notable of these is the decision to classify imprisoned dissident Alexei Navalny and his supporters as members of a extremist organization, preventing them from standing for election.

Other major obstacles also exist for challenging opposition figures. First, any political party competing on the party list must first be considered legal, which can be difficult given that the electoral commission is far from impartial. After being approved, a party must then receive 5 percent of the national vote to qualify for a seat in parliament or to compete in one of the single-member constituencies. Independents can run in a single-member constituency, but to do so, they must meet 15,000 signatures voters registered in the region within 45 days, then have those signatures verified. This is a difficult task, especially since many voters are wary of such petitions or fear that their support for an opposition figure will lead to retaliation.

However, the opposition’s biggest challenge by far is its fragmented nature. The only thing that unites the opposition is that it is against United Russia – beyond that, their policies, political ideals and views vary widely. One of the reasons Navalny was targeted was that he, like previous opposition figures, such as Andrei Sakharov or Boris Yeltsin, was able to serve as a unifying figure for the disparate opposition groups behind which they stand. rally.

Now that the open association with Navalny is illegal, the opposition remains fragmented but still active; and increasingly, independents and young members of established opposition parties are making isolated incursions against United Russia. It is plausible that at least a few seats will be lost to the opposition in this election. The opposition will continue to make inroads into regional and local politics, focusing on the bread and butter issues. Yet the opposition remains deeply divided and unable to offer a coherent alternative vision for Russia other than being outside the established power structure.

Ultimately, United Russia remains in a strong electoral position and is likely to dominate the political life of the Russian Federation for some time to come. As the challenges increase, however, the party’s focus will shift more and more towards maintaining this position at the national level. It could represent a break from the past, when United Russia enjoyed the freedom, conferred by its electoral security, to focus on politics rather than politics. The party itself may also need to evolve in the way it structures itself for this new role and how it manages the internal tensions that may arise from it.


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US, Russia ‘suspect’ Arctic ‘war games’ as tensions between rivals reach ‘unprecedented’ level

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The United States and Russia are increasingly suspicious of their military activities in the Arctic as tensions between Moscow and Washington reach an “unprecedented” level, according to an expert.

The Arctic is a critical part of Moscow’s plans to remain a great power while Alaska’s oil and gas supplies benefit the United States immensely.

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Suspicions among officials rise as tensions between Moscow and US in the Arctic reach ‘unprecedented levels’Credit: Getty
Washington considers the region vital for its economic interests

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Washington considers the region vital for its economic interestsCredit: Rex

But, mistrust among officials of the two countries “grows” as each side conducts “war games” in the region.

Pavel Devyatkin, of The Arctic Institute, told The Sun: “2020 has been an unprecedented year in US-Russian tensions in the Arctic.

“For the first time since the Cold War, NATO warships entered the Barents Sea just off Russia’s Arctic coast.

“And, a few months later, the Russian Navy conducted military exercises near Alaska, surprising an American fisherman.”

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The expert warned that the so-called war games are alarming because the arctic region has not experienced interstate conflict since World War II.

Tensions could further escalate as satellite images obtained by CNN show Russia’s military might.

It is reported that Russia is planning to deploy the Poseidon 2M39 missile to the region next summer and there are concerns that the missile could trigger a radioactive tsunami.

Further testing is expected to take place throughout the year.

Russia's military presence in the Arctic is essential as part of Moscow's efforts to remain a great power

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Russia’s military presence in the Arctic is essential as part of Moscow’s efforts to remain a great powerCredit: AP

Meanwhile, American B-1 bombers are stationed in Norway after having carried out missions around the “sensitive” region of Barents.

Moscow is very protective of the region as it was invaded twice by the West during the 20th century – once during the Russian Civil War and later by the Nazis.

Vice Admiral Andrew Lewis, commander of the US 2nd Fleet, said the Arctic would be “contested” if Washington was not present, according to the Navy Times.

He warned America could “cede space to the Russians or someone else.”

“GREAT TENSIONS”

It was reported that more Russian planes flew near US airspace off Alaska last year than at the end of the Cold War.

Eric Edelman, military planning expert and former Under Secretary of Defense, told CNN: “The military modernization of Russia and China creates serious potential operational challenges for the United States.”

Russia’s military presence in the Arctic region consists of three main objectives, according to the expert.

Moscow is determined to protect its sovereignty, protect its economic interests and prove to its rivals that it can still be considered a great power.

Devyatkin said: “Compared to the Cold War era, Russia’s military posture in the Arctic is not focused on NATO’s overwhelming military presence in the region.

“Russia is not threatening the United States in the Arctic.

This despite Moscow’s claims that it has successfully tested a hypersonic missile that is apparently capable of evading all Western defenses.

Authorities launched the Zircon missile from a frigate stationed in the White Sea off Russia’s northwest coast.

‘RUSSIAN WAR GAMES’

Vladimir Putin would have identified the weapon to wipe out American coastal cities in the event of a nuclear conflict.

The strongman declared the weapon “unstoppable” as officials boasted that it was “truly unprecedented in the world”.

And Putin has set up a remote sub-zero military base to further demonstrate Moscow’s military might.

The Nagurskoye military airbase is packed with missiles and radars while its extended runway is ready to accommodate nuclear-capable strategic bombers.

It was built amid growing tensions with the West following the annexation of Crimea in 2014.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said: “We hear whining about Russia’s expansion of military activities in the Arctic.

“But everyone knows that this is our territory, our land. We take responsibility for the security of the Arctic coast and everything our country does there is fully legitimate. “

Despite the growing militarization in the region, Devyatkin does not believe that a war between Russia and the United States can break out.

He said: “Conflict is unlikely to break out in the Arctic.”

The expert also said that a future conflict would not be caused by changes in the arctic region such as thawing permafrost and melting ice.

He said Washington and Moscow can cooperate on climate change as the United States and Russia appear ready to work on oil extraction projects before Ukraine-related sanctions are imposed.

Devyatkin said: “Washington’s focus on climate can bring together rather than divide Arctic nations – especially after Putin and Biden agreed to work together to address the climate crisis.”

Moscow continues to test intercontinental ballistic missiles as Putin sends warning signals to the West

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Moscow continues to test intercontinental ballistic missiles as Putin sends warning signals to the WestCredit: EPA
Troops stationed near a radar installation in Nagurskoye, Russia

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Troops stationed near a radar installation in Nagurskoye, RussiaCredit: AP
Russia’s “unstoppable” hypersonic missile at 6,100 mph capable of wiping out American cities within weeks of final testing


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Why are we still building nuclear weapons? Follow the money

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This month marks the 76e anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, events which resulted in the immediate deaths of more than 100,000 people and underlined the devastating consequences of the construction, deployment and use of nuclear weapons. These attacks should have served as a wake-up call to the need to control and eliminate these potentially deadly weapons, but the determined efforts of scientists, political leaders, policy advocates and grassroots advocates around the world have yet to abolish them.

The risks and potential consequences of a nuclear conflagration are even greater than they were during the Cold War arms race between the United States and the Soviet Union, which not only resulted in a build-up massive nuclear weapons, but a number of occasions when nuclear war by intent or accident was dangerously close to occurring. The highly respected Bulletin of Atomic Scientists has set its “doomsday clock” to 100 seconds before midnight, an indication of humanity’s proximity to nuclear conflict. And a study by the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War and Physicians for Social Responsibility showed that using a fraction of the world’s current nuclear arsenals could trigger a global famine that would put billions of lives at risk. With this in mind, the international community, under the leadership of the International Campaign for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), created and brought into force the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which was signed by 86 countries and ratified by 55 of them. This is a historic achievement, but the real culprits – the major nuclear-weapon states that possess the vast majority of the world’s nuclear weapons – have yet to sign the measure.

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The United States maintains an active nuclear stockpile of approximately 4,000 nuclear weapons, including more than 1,500 warheads deployed. Russia’s stock is comparable at around 4,400, while China follows with around 300 strategic nuclear warheads. Despite its drastically reduced arsenal, recent revelations about China’s construction of new silos for long-range nuclear missiles are a real concern as they raise the risk of accelerating the nuclear arms race at the risk of the future of the United States. planet. These developments require dialogue to roll back the production of new nuclear weapon systems, leading to reductions in the size of global arsenals and the ultimate elimination of this existential threat.

Of particular concern is the continued development and deployment of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). As former Secretary of Defense William Perry noted, ICBMs are “some of the most dangerous weapons in the world” because a president would only have a few minutes to decide whether to throw them in the event of a warning. nuclear attack, thus increasing the possibility of accidental nuclear war based on false alarm.

Considering all of the above, why is the United States still manufacturing nuclear weapons, more than seven decades after the devastation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki? The United States is not alone in building a new generation of nuclear weapons – Russia and China are too. But the Pentagon’s 30-year plan to build new nuclear bombers, missiles and submarines – as well as new nuclear warheads to accompany them at a cost of up to $ 2,000 billion – is the height of insanity and a risk. unnecessary and serious for the lives of present and future generations. One of the main reasons for this flawed policy can be summed up in one sentence: there is money to be made by continuing the nuclear arms race.

The Pentagon’s budget proposal for fiscal year 2022 includes billions of dollars for new nuclear delivery vehicles, with a handful of prime contractors as primary beneficiaries. For example, Northrop Grumman’s

CNO
twelve largest contractors for its new ICBM include some of the country’s largest defense companies, including Lockheed Martin

LMT
, General Dynamics

DG
, L3Harris, Aerojet Rocketdyne

AJRD
, Honeywell, Bechtel and Collins Aerospace division of Raytheon

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Technologies. Other recipients of funding for new nuclear delivery vehicles include Raytheon (a nuclear-weapon cruise missile), General Dynamics (ballistic missile-launching submarines), Lockheed Martin (submarine-launched ballistic missiles) and Northrop Grumman – again – for the new nuclear-armed bomber.

The other recipients of nuclear weapons funding are the companies that manage the nuclear warhead complex. The main subcontractors are Honeywell and Bechtel, which operate key facilities for the development and production of nuclear warheads.

Nuclear weapons entrepreneurs spend millions of dollars each year in campaign contributions and lobbying efforts in their efforts to shape nuclear weapons policy and spending. While not all of this spending goes to lobbying nuclear weapons programs, this spending is indicative of the political clout it can exert on Congress if necessary to maintain and increase budgets for their nuclear-related programs. Major suppliers of nuclear weapons made a total of more than $ 119 million in campaign contributions from 2012 to 2020, including more than $ 31 million in 2020 alone. Companies spent $ 57.9 million in lobbying in 2020 and employed 380 lobbyists among them.

PUBLICITY

The only way to be truly safe from nuclear weapons is to eliminate them completely, as called for in the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. As noted above, the major nuclear powers have yet to sign the treaty, but urging them to do so should be a central part of efforts to bring nuclear dangers under control.

It is time we stopped letting vested interests lobbying and corporate profits stand in the way of smarter nuclear policy. The future of humanity depends on it.


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Op-Ed: The assassination is only the last chapter in the tortured history of Haiti

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“Haiti seems to be cursed”, wrote The world, in an editorial two days after the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse. “It is a failed state,” added the august Parisian daily. It doesn’t surprise me. Haiti only attracts the world’s attention in times of major disasters, such as the earthquake which, on January 12, 2010, destroyed 80% of the capital, Port-au-Prince, and some communities up to 35 miles.

At that time, no less a figure than the Evangelical Protestant pastor, the Reverend Pat Robertson, said the catastrophe was God’s “punishment” of Haitians for “the pact that was signed with the devil to gain their independence.” Apparently he was referring to the voodoo ceremony that started our struggle for independence. Never mind that the scriptures say that God only visits the transgressions of parents in the third and fourth generations. And that our cause was just.

More than two centuries after our epic victory over Napoleon’s French army by the motley army of former slaves, Haiti is still seeking to redeem its heroic bet. The first black republic to declare independence, on January 1, 1804, Haiti was the second independent nation in the Western Hemisphere, after only the United States. Yet Haiti had to wait for President Lincoln to be recognized by Washington.

On the left, a bronze memorial in Port-au-Prince commemorates the abolition of slavery. Right, aerial view of La Citadelle, a 19th century fortress in northern Haiti. (Photos by Larry Luxner)

Historians have yet to fully address the plot to destroy Haiti that began shortly after independence. The world powers of the time declared an embargo on the new nation, cutting it off from international trade. In 1806, at the request of Napoleon’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Charles-Maurice Périgord, the United States went further by declaring the blockade of Haiti. The letter from Périgord to his envoy in Washington relates the perfidy.

“The federal government should adopt severe measures to prevent all kinds of communication between a civilized nation and savage peoples who, by their ferocious, no less barbaric ways, are alien to the system of civilization,” Perigord wrote. Moreover, he writes, “they do not only threaten the security of France, but also the security of all European colonies and those of the United States.”

And this: “The existence of armed Negro peoples, defiling the places they occupy with their most criminal acts, is a horrible spectacle for the white nations. The campaign intensified in 1825, when, by order of the King of France, Charles X, an armada moored in the port of Port-au-Prince ready to reduce the Haitian capital to ashes if President Jean-Pierre Boyer refused to sign. that Haiti owed France 150 million francs, or about $ 21 billion in current dollars.

Haiti’s presidential palace in Port-au-Prince after the devastating earthquake of January 2010. (Photo by Larry Luxner)

This debt was for the loss of property, including slaves. It was eventually bought by a precursor of Citibank. It was then that the Americans invaded Haiti in 1915. The debt was finally paid in 1947. Thus, the Haitian economy was mortgaged from the start of its existence as a nation. The Americans invaded after the assassination of President Sam, who was dragged out of the French embassy, ​​where he took refuge after ordering a massacre of political prisoners.

Sam suffered a worse fate than that of Jovenel Moïse. His body was torn to pieces and marched through the capital. The American occupation lasted 19 years and, in general, American troops humiliated Haitians. Most of these soldiers came from the southern states, where the negroes were kept in what the southerners saw as “their place.” America’s role in Haiti was not a pretty picture, even including relatively recent events.

In 1994, President Clinton sent 20,000 troops to Haiti to bring back to power its democratically elected president, Jean Bertrand Aristide, who had been overthrown in a coup, fled to Venezuela and eventually landed in Washington. Aristide finally got Washington to support his return. As a dividend in the United States, rice farmers in Arkansas conquered the Haitian market, destroying local rice production.

Raymond Joseph, former Haitian Ambassador to the United States, and his wife, Lola Poisson. (Photo by Larry Luxner)

I maintain that Haiti’s underdevelopment is due, first and foremost, to France and other European powers, in agreement with the United States. They were determined to make the country an example, especially, at least in the early years, to deter the copier revolts of those who were enslaved in this hemisphere and elsewhere in the world, including Africa. They succeeded, making Haiti the outcast state it is today.

Not that this tragedy is without Haitian accomplices, traitors who have embraced corruption for their personal gain. Haitian leaders of this ilk included François “Papa Doc” Duvalier and Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier, who posed as anti-Communists and precipitated a brain drain from Haiti during a dictatorship that lasted. 29 years. This too has contributed to the situation in which Haiti finds itself today.

Yet the Haitian revolution allowed the United States to double its sovereign territory. This happened in 1803, when France sold the territory of Louisiana to the United States for the equivalent of $ 15 million. Compare that with what the French imposed on Haiti as reparations for lost property. The French capital of the New World was Cap-Français, today Cap-Haitien. The French went so far as to force the Americans to backdate the Louisiana purchase to April 30 to avoid giving credit to the slave revolt.

Buildings in downtown Port-au-Prince, Haiti, ravaged by the January 2010 earthquake. (Photo by Larry Luxner)

Despite all the attempts to stifle the Haitian revolution, it caught the attention of Simón Bolívar. It was from Haiti that in April 1816, Bolívar launched his liberation expedition, with men, arms and money provided by then Haitian President Alexandre Pétion. When Bolivar offered to recognize that the liberation of Venezuela was due to Haiti, Pétion reportedly said, “No. But wherever you are successful, free the slaves.

The ties between Venezuela and Haiti were historic and strong for many years thereafter, until 2019, when Moses turned his back on Nicolás Maduro and embraced President Trump’s efforts to isolate the Venezuelan tyrant. Maduro, for his part, flaunted democratic principles and aligned himself with Cuba, China, Russia and even Iran. And then things took another tragic turn.

On June 2, Moïse received the credentials of the first Russian diplomat in Haiti, Sergey Melik-Bogdasarov. On June 17, Moïse, accompanied by his wife Martine and a large delegation, went to a two-day conference in Turkey. This tilted his ideological preference and led the European Union to distance itself from its anti-democratic measures. This included a referendum to empower himself and absolve him and his close associates from wrongs committed during his tenure.

Haitian schoolchildren gather for an event in the town of Croix des Bouquets, near the Dominican border. With 11.4 million inhabitants, Haiti is now the most populous nation in the Caribbean, even surpassing Cuba. (Photo by Larry Luxner)

So here we are at a turning point, in a drama spanning more than 200 years that Shakespeare himself could not have imagined. It’s a time when Haiti once again faces an uncertain future, with power-hungry individuals arguing over who will legitimately assume leadership. Right now, Haiti is yearning for something better than what history has given us.

Now is the time for civil society, politicians and religious organizations from all sides to organize an inclusive conference that will pave the way for a caretaker government to set the stage for democratic elections. Before that, Haiti will need a plan to deal with the heavily armed gangs that have imposed their rule across the country, including in the capital. Government sovereignty must be restored.

Only then will attention be able to turn to a public works program and a renewal of agriculture, and a decentralization program to make the country “The Republic of Haiti” instead of “The Republic”. of Port-au-Prince ”. France’s reparations for the billions it forced Haiti to pay over 122 years would go a long way in lifting the curse and stopping our plunge into a “failed state”. And it is only then, hopefully, that Haiti will be able to recover its old nickname of “Pearl of the Antilles”.

Raymond Joseph, former Haitian ambassador to the United States, is one of the editors of the New York Sun, where this article first appeared.


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An exclusive look at how Space Force defends America

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I’ve been incorporated into every branch of the US military on several occasions – in war zones and on bases – but nothing quite resembles an inside look at the new US space force. The Space Force “Guardians”, as they are called, do their jobs hundreds – if not thousands of kilometers – from the front lines of the conflicts they fight.

And yet every Guardian we spoke to described their fight as just as hostile as any other front today.

“Space is a combat domain,” said Col. Matthew Holston, commander of Space Delta 8. “That’s why we created the United States Space Force as a separate service. every day we train our operators to prevent conflict, but if deterrence fails, to compete and win in space. “

My team and I visited Mission Control at Buckley Space Force Base in Aurora, Colorado, where the Guardians fly the nation’s missile warning satellites. Using infrared sensors, these satellites, orbiting 22,000 miles above Earth, roam the planet 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, looking for missile launches and nuclear detonations.

“Always vigilant”

“We never stop, always vigilant and we have never failed,” Lt. Col. Michael Mariner, commander of 2 Space Warning Squadron, told me. “And there’s a reason for that. And that’s because that’s how important this mission is to our nation. We are providing decision-quality data to tactical fighters on the ground to save their lives.”

In January 2020, these satellites went into action – detecting several Iranian missiles targeting the Al-Asad air base in Iraq where US troops were stationed. Before these missiles rained down, within minutes, the Space Force had issued a life-saving warning to American units on the ground.

“It’s lightning fast,” Space Force 4 specialist Sally Stephens, who was on duty that day, told me. “We don’t get reminded very often of where our data is arriving, and that night was a shocking reality. “

Missile warning satellites are just a fraction of the hundreds of US government and commercial satellites monitored and defended by the Space Force Guardians today.

The problem is that space – once considered largely friendly territory – has become a potential war zone.

China is launching “kidnapper” satellites, with grapple arms capable of removing the satellites from their orbit.

Russia is deploying “suicide bombers” capable of striking and destroying US space assets.

And Russia has a new weapon that the Space Force is dubbing the “Nesting Doll”

General John “Jay” Raymond, chief of space operations for the US Space Force, told us about one of the most alarming episodes of a growing arms race in space.

“In 2017, Russia launched a satellite, and you can imagine it kind of like this doll,” he said. “It opened and another satellite came out. And it opened and a projectile came out. This projectile is designed to kill American satellites. So in 2019 they did the same thing, but this time around. they put it next to one of our satellites. It opened, the second doll came out, and we started talking about it. “

“Talking about it” meant, in effect, warning Russia.

As General Raymond told me, “we described what safe and professional behavior [is] — it is important. Today there are no rules in space. It’s the wild Wild West. “

A potential front

Russia and China also have directed energy weapons, which can damage or disable US satellites from a distance. The era of lasers in space has already arrived.

Space Force is now an independent branch of the US military due to this alarming new reality: Space – once relatively peaceful territory – is now seen as a potential front in any modern warfare.

The United States has many more satellites than any other country: some 2,500, compared to 431 for China and 168 for Russia, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists.

And a whole range of military technologies depend on it: Satellites help warships and planes navigate and communicate … help smart bombs and guided missiles hit their targets … help fighters monitor threats on land, at sea and in the air.

“There is nothing we do as a joint force, be it humanitarian aid, disaster relief or combat that is not made possible by space,” Raymond said.

More than many Americans realize, civilian technologies also depend on space.

The nation’s GPS satellite constellation, flown by the 2nd Space Operations Squadron at Space Force Base Schriever in Colorado Springs, is the backbone of several critical infrastructures.

“The standard American people will probably use space 20 to 30 times between waking up and having breakfast,” said Col. Miguel Cruz, commander of Space Delta 4.

In what way precisely? Holston, the commander of Space Delta 8, explained.

“If you just look at everyday life, the financial industries rely on positioning and timing information for accurate banking transactions and transactions, with financial markets synchronizing all of these operations, our transportation industry for positioning. and timing, air, land, sea, and rail all depend on the Global Positioning System to be able to run our critical infrastructure, ”he said.

Raymond described the importance of space to American life saying, “The United States is a space nation. We have long understood that space constitutes the basis of all our instruments and of our national power.

This dependence on space is one of the reasons Space Force was established as a separate branch of the military in December 2019. This step, in practice, makes “a significant difference,” Raymond said.

“The target is on your back”

“It has allowed us to attract more talent, to develop that talent in a way that we haven’t been able to do in the past,” said Raymond. “It has helped us to strengthen our demands. It makes me a member of the Joint Chiefs. It allows me to integrate space into joint combat constructions. It also puts me on par with the international leaders I deal with. , allowing us to strengthen our partnerships. “

The task of defending the nearly three dozen GPS satellites falls on a remarkably small team: ten Guardians on duty at any given time, almost three times the number of the half-billion-dollar satellites they fly.

Schriever Space Force Base controls multiple constellations of US satellites, each constellation with dozens of satellites, each providing capabilities, such as GPS, secure military communications, and – increasingly – situational awareness in space, that is, surveillance for adversaries and weapons targeting US space assets.

The danger for the United States is that greater dependence on space equates to greater vulnerability.

“Our biggest challenge is to stay on top, isn’t it? Said Mariner, the commanding officer of 2 Space Warning Squadron. “When you’re at the top, when you’re at the top, the target is on your back, everyone’s shooting for you. So they’re developing better technology.”

New satellites are designed with greater maneuverability, armor to block directed energy weapons, and resilience so that the loss of one or a few does not disable the system.

Space Force commanders welcome the entry of the private sector into space, as it creates more and cheaper options for entering orbit. In June of this year, the last GPS satellite was mounted on a SpaceX rocket.

“I would bet on the American industry any day,” Raymond said. “It’s a huge advantage that we have.”

As for the militarization of the United States, Space Force wants to avoid an arms race in space.

“We would prefer the domain to remain conflict-free,” Raymond said. “But as in any other field, air, land, sea and now space, we will be ready to protect and defend.”

Opponents have already attempted to use space weapons to temporarily deactivate US satellites, using lasers and directed energy weapons to blind or “dazzle” them.

Space warfare is not science fiction, but a battle already underway today.

The-CNN-Wire
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Sergei Kovalev, dissident who faced Yeltsin and Putin, dies at the age of 91 | Russia

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A pioneering Soviet dissident who was sent to a prison camp for his human rights campaign and clashed with Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin over Russia’s democratic setback has died at the age of 91 years old.

Soviet abuse of power columnist Sergei Kovalev co-founded the Soviet Union’s first independent public human rights group in 1969 and then spent seven years in the infamous Perm camp 36, before returning in Moscow in 1986 only on the orders of Mikhail Gorbachev. .

After the fall of the Soviet Union, he became the first Russian commissioner for human rights, blasted Yeltsin for the carpet bombing of Grozny during the First Chechen War and later found himself in opposition to Putin.

In a dramatic episode, he conducted direct negotiations with Chechen militants led by Shamil Basayev during the hostage crisis at the Budyonnovsk hospital in 1995 in Russia’s North Caucasus. Ultimately, at least 129 people were killed in the incident after a botched commando raid.

His son wrote in a social media post that Kovalev died early Monday morning “in his sleep”.

“Sergei will be missed in every way: as a beloved old friend, a fearless ally, an intellectual and an advisor, faithful to the idea of ​​human rights always and in all, in war and in the days of work, in politics and in everyday life, “Memorial, the human rights organization Kovalev helped found in 1990, wrote in a statement.

Sergei Kovalev, center, at a demonstration against the Chechen war in Moscow in 1995. Photograph: Georges DeKeerle / Sygma / Getty Images

Memorial, Russia’s oldest human rights organization, was named a “foreign agent” in 2013 as Russia exerted greater pressure on independent human rights defenders such as Kovalev.

A biologist by training, Kovalev came under the wrath of the KGB in 1956 by rejecting the theory of genetics officially recognized by the Soviet government in an open letter. He became a public dissident in the late 1960s, co-founding the Human Rights Action Group in 1969. He was also editor-in-chief of Chronicle of Current Events, a major samizdat publication that has disseminated powerful essays and reports on mock trials. and other human rights violations in the Soviet Union.

In 1974 he was sentenced to seven years in Perm 36 for “anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda” and was subsequently exiled to Kolyma, in far eastern Russia, for another three years. Exiled permanently from Moscow, his return required an official decree from Gorbachev in 1986 when he introduced the period of glasnost.

After the fall of the Soviet Union, Kovalev helped found Memorial and became a senior official, both as Russia’s human rights commissioner and as a deputy in the Duma. He notably clashed with Yeltsin over the bombardment of Grozny, saying that “only you are able to stop this senseless war”.

He was also very critical of Putin, wisely predicting the democratic setback that would take place in Russia in the days following his promotion to the presidency.

“I believe Vladimir Putin is the most sinister figure in contemporary Russian history,” he wrote in a 2007 essay for the New York Review of Books. “From the start of his reign, he led – and almost completed – a broad undemocratic counterrevolution in Russia. “


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