Most of Putin’s foreign policies remain the same a year+ Medvedev has taken over as President.
After President Dmitry Medvedev was elected last year, then-President Vladimir Putin made a rather telling promise about his chosen successor.
“Medvedev is no less a Russian nationalist than I am, in the positive sense of the word, and I do not think that our partners will have it any easier with him.” - Putin
Many intelligent westerners have alwayed known (beleived) that Russia is a “Directed Democracy”. Meaning a few elite people direct how the Democracy is run. In the Russian Directed Democracy it would be difficult for a unkwon long shot to rise to the top of government like President Barack Obama did in the United Satates. Most Westerners say this as some what of a put down to Russia. I do not think this is fair or correct. Russia has there own unique way of running a Democracy which is equal or perhaps better than the USA.
Popularity: 14% [?] May 7, 2009
By Tom Forrest –
A NATO diplomat claims the Russians were expelled over the case of Herman Simm, who was jailed for treason for handing over over 1,900 pages of information to Russia’s Intelligence Service.
Two Russian diplomats Victor Kochukov and Vasily Chizhov have lost their accreditation to NATO”S headquarters in Brussels. It is not clear how much this will impact relations with Russia. Since Barack Obama has taken office things seemed to be improving however as we have stated in previous articles the long unresolved conflict over proposed missile defense systems remains a major issue and concern of bothe the USA and Russia.
Russia has complained bitterly about NATO’s plan to hold a peacekeeping exercise next month in Georgia. But NATO says Russian officers were invited to take part in the two-week event and Russia is aware the exercise presents no threat.
NATO spokesman James Apparthurai said Thursday he could not confirm whether any diplomat’s accreditation had been withdrawn because he could not comment on intelligence matters.
Popularity: 20% [?] May 3, 2009
Latvia is a former Soviet republic, and has calculated the damage that Latvia suffered from the Soviet occupation after WWII. It has been 48 years and Latvia claims Russia owes Latvia $200 billion. The amount includes Latvia’s costs for the loss of its independence, the export of the population, the environmental damages and even the Afghan war and the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Latvia plans on collecting from Russia with the help of the European Union. This will be a very interesting case to watch and see what the results are.
The amount was calculated by a governmental committee, which the nation supposedly suffered as a result of the Soviet occupation. Latvia currently is very close to bankruptcy and desperately has decided to solve its financial problems at Russia’s expense.
The members of the committee said that they based their calculations on the assumption of how the Latvian economy could have developed if the nation had not become a member of the Soviet Union.
This seems like it would be a difficult case to prove.
Latvia would have at least become a country like Finland if it had not been “occupied” by the Soviet Union. Its GDP would have grown by at least $246 billion from the 1950s to the 1990s, Latvian officials claim.
The most curious thing about it is as follows. As it turns out, Soviet “occupants” plundered Latvia ’s national endowment – its mineral resources, namely two million cubic meters of sand and, more importantly, 32,038,127 cubic meters of dolomite rocks totaling $319 million.
The authors of the report believe that all those “treasures” were used to satisfy the needs of “the army of occupants.” What the army do with so much sand and dolomite rocks?
As a matter of fact, “the Soviet aggressors” were building industrial enterprises and apartment buildings for the Latvian citizens. It may seem at first sight that such activities can not do any harm to anyone, but Latvian official say that “the occupants” were destroying the nation’s ecology. The ecological damage was evaluated at $706 million.
Latvia did not forget the Chernobyl disaster, Latvia barely suffered from the explosion of the nuclear power plant, but Riga considers the catastrophe as an attempt to cause damage to the health of the Latvian nation. The damage was evaluated at $283 million.
Popularity: 15% [?] April 30, 2009
Robert Mocny the Director of the US Visit program stated that all foreign nationals departing from two airports in the United States will have have their finger prints and pictures taken. The pilot program will be launched in Atlanta Georgia and Detroit Michigan.
The procedure will become mandatory for everyone including USA citizens and foreigners from 2010 onward. American authorities say that the procedure will not make passengers stay at the airports any longer than normal.
The screening process will take up to 1.6 minutes US officials claim.
Until recently, fingerprints were taken only from foreigners holding US entry visas. They received special passport inlays indicating the dates of their stay in the country as a result of the procedure. Now the question is this BIG Brother going to far? It almost sounds like a science fiction movie.
“Once a visa is issued and tied with a biometric, and once a passport is issued and tied to a biometric, that passport or visa cannot be used by anybody else,” Mocny said. “There are tens of millions of lost or stolen passports that circulate the globe on the black market used by international criminals and terrorists. This (biometric verification) puts a stop to that,” Mocny said.
The holders of green cards and the US citizens holding biometric passports will have their prints taken too.
Many people from around the world feel this will bring more problems and harm the image of the USA. Are Americans simply misunderstood around the world?
Critics of the USA claim that Americans are militaristic arrogent bullies. What do you think?
Please email us you feedback and we may publish your comments.
Popularity: 13% [?] January 29, 2009
Russian Defense spending will increase to 1.1 trillion rubles, or 8% said Sergey Ivanov - Vice Prime-Minister.
That is $365 billion USD, the United States of America spends $685 billion or 53% more per year than Russia does.
Russia is also starting to purchase military equipment from other countries, like France, and Israel. This will eliminate a monopoly that the Russian manufacturers have had for a very long time.
The Russian president Medvedev said “Russia would listen to the USA once the USA listened to Russia and he recently met with President Obama in New York city. I think the new missile defense plans will also be considered a threat by Russian leaders, the recent joy by Russian leaders may indeed be very short lived.
The following is from US Defense Secretary Robert Gates:
“In the first phase, to be completed by 2011, we will deploy proven, sea-based SM-3 interceptor missiles - weapons that are growing in capability - in the areas where we see the greatest threat to Europe,” Gates wrote in his essay.
“The second phase, which will become operational around 2015, will involve putting upgraded SM-3s on the ground in Southern and Central Europe. All told, every phase of this plan will include scores of SM-3 missiles, as opposed to the old plan of just 10 ground-based interceptors. This will be a far more effective defense should an enemy fire many missiles simultaneously - the kind of attack most likely to occur as Iran continues to build and deploy numerous short- and medium-range weapons,” he continued.
So we will see how this new plan plays out and how Russian leaders recact to it of the next several months. I think this will be a never ending story that will go on for a very long time.
Popularity: 12% [?] January 27, 2009
The President of Ingushetia, Yunus-Bek Yevkurov has been hit by the suicide bomber who is riding in a Toyota Camry, packed with explosives, veer off his car and set a colossal blast. It killed one assistant and the president was sent to the hospital with critical condition but already stable. People who saw the incident said the bomber evaded his car around the president’s police escort and barged into the convoy before setting off his bang. The persons wounded include the president’s younger brother.
Since coming to the office last October, Yevkurov, 45, had tried to fill down anger in the region, said Alexander Cherkasov, who has worked considerably in Ingushetia for the human rights group Memorial. The president extended forgiveness to militants, met with human rights groups and insisted upon the participation of local police in military operations.
“He tried to limit violence against the civilian population and to put back together the split between society and authorities, to show that the authorities in Ingushetia are not against the society,” Cherkasov said. “In this sense, he was much more dangerous for the underground fighters than his ancestor.”
The incident has been considered a terrorist attack by Russian president Dmitry Medvedev
According to him, “The president has done much recently to bring order and ensure peace in the republic. Bandits do not like these efforts.” Fresh backups would be sent to Caucasus according to the Russian security services.
Federal Security Service Director Alexander Bortnikov said during his meeting with Medvedev that: “Today’s incident was an attempt to destabilize the situation. The militants threatened Yevkurov many times. This is their response.”
Moscow has appeared ready to downplay violence in the disgracefully twitchy republics along its southern border, which lie close to Sochi, host city to the 2014 Winter Olympic Games. The government confirmed an official end to counter-terrorism operations in Chechnya two months ago, where Russia bled through two brutal wars in the last two decades.
However, the solid drop of violence in Ingushetia, where about half a million people live caught up in poverty, corruption and prejudice, remains to challenge Moscow’s control of the region. Today’s attempt on Yevkurov’s life was the latest in the increasing run of attacks on government officials in Ingushetia, which has edged out Chechnya as the epicenter of separatist Muslim militias in the Russian Caucasus.
Analysts say a Kremlin-backed crackdown on Chechnya itself has fueled an overflow of fighters into neighboring republics, especially Ingushetia. Ramzan Kadyrov, a onetime rebel fighter who rose to become a Kremlin-backed strongman president in Chechnya, taunted Yevkurov’s killers.
He told reporters in Chechnya that: “They have shown their true colors, and they want to start chaos in Ingushetia, to set free an endless armed conflict and to seed fear and ambiguity in the souls of civilians.”
Earlier this month, a judge and a former prime minister were gunned down in separate attacks. A senior Ingush investigator also lost his leg in a bombing attack in a separate attack today.
Popularity: 13% [?] January 24, 2009
President Obama said the following:
“My task was not to negotiate with the Russians,” President Obama “The Russians don’t make determinations about what our defense posture is.”
Why is President Obama making such a big deal about making this point? Why not cooporate with the Russian’s if possible?
President Obama said it is merely a bonus if the Russians are less paraniod about the USA. A new system will rely on a network of senors and interceptor missiles based on land, at sea and in the air. Many experts have stated that Obama’s decision may have in part been made in order to appease Russia and to gain Russian support on other important issues.
In the CBS interview taped Friday, Obama was pressed on why he did not seek anything in exchange from Russia.
President Obama’s reply:
“If the byproduct of it is that the Russians feel a little less paranoid and are now willing to work more effectively with us to deal with threats like ballistic missiles from Iran or nuclear development in Iran, you know, then that’s a bonus.”
Russia has already stated they will cancel a plan to deploy missiles near Poland since Obama decided to cancel the planned missle shield in Eastern Europe.
Russia’s Deputy Defense Minister Vladimir Popovkin said Obama’s move made the deployment of short-range missiles in the Kaliningrad region unnecessary, and he called the U.S. president’s decision a “victory of reason over ambitions.”
“Russia’s attitude and possible reaction played no part in my recommendation to the president on this issue,” Gates wrote in an essay in The New York Times. He said he would be surprised if Russia likes the replacement European missile defense plan much better than the old plan.
Russian President Dmitri Medvedev said Israeli officials have assured him that they are not planning a military strike against Iran.
The Russian leader says that an attack on Iran would create a humanitarian disaster, a vast number of refugees, and a desire by Iran to take its revenge on Israel and several other countries.
He says that although Russia does not have a defense agreement with Iran, it would not be indifferent to such an attack.
President Obama’s decision to cancel an antimissile defense system in Eastern Europe earned strong support from Russian leaders on Saturday. The question is whether Russia will do more to help prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.
Prime Minister Vladimir V. Putin, who had repeatedly attacked the antimissile system as a grave danger to Russia’s security, called Mr. Obama’s decision “correct and brave.”
However neither Russian leader offered any immediate indication that Russia would make any specific concessions, especially on Iran, which has become a huge stumbling block in relations between the Russia and the USA. If Russia does not toughen its opposition to Iran’s nuclear program, President Obama may receive criticism that he yielded to Russian complaints on the antimissile plan but received little or nothing in return.
Popularity: 12% [?] January 20, 2009
Link to Michael Jackson Video
Will Michael Jackson’s Doctor be charged with any crime?
Many Attorney’s we ask about this say that the case may be weak and difficult to prove or formal charges would have been filed already. Also what about a civil case against Michael Jackson’s Doctor?
The fact that the officail report from the coroner states that the cause of death is homicide, would lead one to beleive someone needs to be charged for this homicide. Someone it seems must be responsible?
Even Pravda has an article about this.
From 1912 until 1991 Pravda was a publication of the Communist Party, and was a state owned newspaper. Today PRAVDA On-line takes a pro-Russian approach to forming its policy. It is also ranked #1 by Google for “Russian News” so many people read it world wide including us. The following is an article from Pravda that we think you will find interesting.
Other legal experts say the decision to bring formal charges against Dr. Conrad Murry may still be months away. Dr. Murray is the target of what the police state is a manslaughter investigation, also many other doctors who have treated Jackson in the past are also being investigated.
“There’s no reason for anyone to jump the gun on this,” said Greg D. Lee, a retired supervising DEA agent. “Time is on their side. There’s no imminent danger to the public from Dr. Murray.”
Dr. Murray has not spoken publicly except for a short YouTube video he made, Dr. Murray claims to have told the truth and hope that the truth will prevail.
In American a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty. However if Dr. Murray is not responsable for this homicide than who is?
Popularity: 4% [?] January 4, 2009
The Russia - USA presidential meeting will take place on April 6th in the city of Sochi, on the Black Sea coast of Russia, after the NATO Summit and after George Bushâ€™s visit to Croatia. This story just keeps lingering on and on.
President Bush pointed out only one issue which he said he would discuss with Putin in April … the deployment of the US missile defense system in Europe.
George Bush declined to comment on what he thinks democracy will be like in Russia under Medvedev, Putin’s protÃ©gÃ© and hand-picked successor.
The United States and Russia have been deadlocked on missile defense in Europe for many months and we see no quick solution, with the US defense secretary saying the US has gone as far as it can to make Russia happy.
US Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ comments came after Moscow rejected US concessions on its plans for missile interceptors in Poland and a radar in the Czech Republic.
“I guess my view is I think we’ve leaned about as far forward as we can. We’ve offered a lot. And my view is, now I want to see some movement on their part,” Gates told reporters as he flew back from Europe today.
Robert Gates said the USA proposals “represent a very forward-leaning posture in terms of partnering with the Russians.”
“And I think the question is whether the Russians are serious about partnering with us, or whether this is merely a pose to try and stop us from going forward with the Czech Republic and Poland,” he said.
Earlier today Russian Defense Minister Viktor Serdyukov said the US proposals were not enough to satisfy the Russian concerns.
“All that has been proposed to us does not satisfy us, our position remains the same,” the ITAR-TASS and Interfax news agency quoted Serdyukov as saying at a meeting of NATO defense ministers in the Netherlands.
The tougher position by Gates came amid rising US tensions with Iran and a warning by President Bush on Wednesday that missile defenses were urgently needed to defend Europe.
“The need for missile defense in Europe is real, and I believe it is urgent,” Bush said, in a speech at the National Defense University that was interpreted as being at odds with Gates’ softer approach to the Russians.
During a visit to Moscow earlier this month, Gates and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice presented the Russians with ideas for a regional missile defense scheme that would include Russia as well as NATO.
They proposed posting Russian liaison officers at US missile defense sites as well as at the radar site in the Czech Republic if Prague agreed. The Czech leader said: “No comment” when asked if it would be okay to have Russian soldiers in the Czech Republic. There are old tensions between Russia and the Czech Republic.
Gates stated during a trip to Prague, the United States would delay making the European site fully operational until there was “definitive proof of the threat.”
He said Russian leaders have made clear that they recognize that Iran poses a security threat, but differ with Washington on how long it will take the Iranians to develop progressively longer range missiles. Russian thinks this time period is much longer than the the US does.
A US defense official, said the US had offered to tie the activation of the system to a agreed upon understanding with the Russians of what would constitute a proven and real Iranian threat.
“What we are saying is we’re prepared to sit down with Russia and discuss what we would both regard as indications of increasing capability” of Iran’s missiles, the official said.
Gates and US defense officials have said Russian President Vladimir Putin was intrigued enough by the proposals to agree to experts meetings and a follow-on round of talks at the level of defense and foreign ministers.
Russia is concerned about the possibility that the missile defense system could be used against Russia at some point in the future.
The United States, which is still negotiating with Poland and the Czech Republic for access to their territory, insists that the planned missile defense system is no match for Russia’s nuclear arsenal and are aimed at a looming Iranian missile threat. This is a difficult concern for Russia to accept and agree to.
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Popularity: 16% [?] October 26, 2007
Vladimir Kuznetsov a former Russian UN official, who was sentenced to 4.25 years in prison for money laundering said his lawyers have launched an appeal.
“My lawyers, in line with U.S. procedures, have given official notice of the appeal. The appeal will be presented over a period of one month, as the defense will be putting forward new arguments,” said Vladimir Kuznetsov, who has been under house arrest in New York for the past two years.
Vladimir Kuznetsov was a Russian diplomat who was the head of the United Nations Committee for Administrative and Budgetary Issues.
In March 2007, he was convicted in New York City of one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. Kuznetsov was indicted in September 2005 following a guilty plea and immediate cooperation by the former UN official Alexander Yakovlev, who is facing 19 years in jail on a conspiracy to commit money laundering charge and has not yet been sentenced. Yakovlev’s lawyer, Arkady Bukh, has stated that he expects Mr. Yakovlev’s sentence to be reduced in exchange for Yakovlev’s testimony at trial. There is no official agreement on his sentence yet.
Kuznetsov, 49, was sentenced earlier this month by a district court and ordered to pay a total of $73,000 in fines. He denies the charges against him.
“The defense team’s additional arguments will relate to infringements of my constitutional rights, including the right to diplomatic immunity,” he said.
The ex-diplomat, who worked as a Russian expert in the United Nations Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, was arrested in September 2005 after borrowing $300,000 from a Russian colleague, knowing that the funds had been acquired by criminal efforts.
He was found guilty by a jury of his peers in March.
Kuznetsov previously held diplomatic immunity as a UN employee, but after former secretary general Kofi Annan revoked the status, the FBI was allowed to arrest and have him prosecuted.
Popularity: 14% [?] October 20, 2007