BREAKING: Comey confirms US intelligence assessment of a Trump-Putin collusion

Two of the nation’s top counter-intelligence officials stood by the U.S. intelligence assessment in January that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s government sought to help Donald Trump win the 2016 election.

Under questioning from Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas), FBI Director James Comey and Adm. Mike Rogers, director of the National Security Agency, said nothing has changed since they issued their Jan. 6 report on Russian interference in the election.

The report found that senior Russian officials, including Putin, wanted to undermine the U.S. democratic process, hurt Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and help Trump’s campaign.

Comey and Rogers declined to provide details on how the intelligence community reached that assessment.

“They wanted to hurt our democracy, hurt her and help him,” Comey said, adding that officials had reached that conclusion by December.

In part, the FBI and intelligence agencies came to believe that Putin wanted Trump to win because he very much disliked Clinton, Comey said.

“Putin hated Secretary Clinton so much that the flip side of that coin was that he had a clear preference for the person running against the person he hated so much,” Comey said.

Conaway interjected with an anecdote about his wife cheering for the Texas Tech Red Raiders on the football gridiron and wondering whether such an analysis may be too simplistic.

“That might work on Saturday afternoon when my wife’s Red Raiders are playing the Texas Longhorns,” he said. “She really likes the Red Raiders … The logic is because he didn’t like candidate Clinton that he automatically liked Trump. That assessment is based on what?”

“Well, it’s based on more than that,” Comey said. “But part of it is the logic. Whoever the Red Raiders are playing you want the Red Raiders to win; by definition you want their opponent to lose.”

“I know, but you wanted her to lose and him to win,” Conaway said.

“They are inseparable,” Comey replied. “It’s a two-person event.”

“When did you decide you wanted him to win?”

“Logically, when he wanted her to lose,” Comey said to laughter.


Source: LA Times

Russia demands apology from Fox News for labeling President Vladimir Putin “a killer”

The Kremlin on Monday urged US network Fox News to apologise after its presenter called Russian President Vladimir Putin “a killer” while interviewing US President Donald Trump.

“We consider such words from a Fox News correspondent unacceptable and offensive,” Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists in a conference call.

“To be honest we would prefer to receive an apology addressed to the president from such a respected television company,” the Kremlin spokesman added.

Trump answered: “We’ve got a lot of killers. You think our country’s so innocent?”

“Take a look at what we’ve done too. We’ve made a lot of mistakes,” Trump added.

Asked to react to Trump’s response, Peskov said “in this case I would prefer to leave this without comment.”

Trump has prompted a political firestorm with his remarks on Putin in the interview broadcast ahead of the Super Bowl.

“I do respect him. Well, I respect a lot of people, but that doesn’t mean I’ll get along with them,” Trump said.

Senate leader Mitch McConnell, speaking on CNN, said of Putin, “He is a former KGB agent (and) a thug.”

But Vice President Mike Pence told NBC that Trump would not “let semantics or the arguments of the past get in the way of exploring the ability to work together with Russia.”

Trump and Putin had their first call since the US president took office on January 28, which the White House called “a significant start to improving the relationship between the United States and Russia.”

BREAKING: ‘I think it was Russia’ behind election hacks – Donald Trump

US President-elect Donald Trump said Wednesday he believed that Russia was behind cyber attacks that rock the 2016 American presidential election but said it would be an “asset, not a liability” if he gets along with Russian President Vladimir Putin.


Trump, however, admitted it was not a given that the pair would be allies.


“If Putin likes Donald Trump, I consider that an asset, not a liability, because we have a horrible relationship with Russia,” Trump told a press conference — his first since winning the November presidential election.

“I don’t know that I’m going to get along with Vladimir Putin. I hope I do. But there’s a good chance I won’t,” he added, in the wake of explosive allegations about his dealings with Russia and purported intelligence gathered by Moscow about him.

Plane carrying 35 expelled Russian diplomats departs Washington for Moscow.

A plane carrying 35 Russian diplomats, expelled from the United States over Moscow’s alleged interference in the presidential election, took off from Washington on Sunday, Russian news agencies reported.

“The plane has taken off, everyone is on board,” said the Russian embassy in Washington, quoted by the state-owned Ria Novosti agency.

Relatives of the diplomats are also onboard, making 96 in all.

The expulsions were part of a package of sanctions ordered by President Barack Obama on Thursday in the final weeks of his administration.US intelligence says the Kremlin ordered a hack-and-release of Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton campaign staff emails in a bid to put Donald Trump in the Oval Office.

Thirty-five Russians, described as intelligence operatives based at the Russian embassy in Washington and the consulate in San Francisco, were given 72 hours to leave the country.

Obama also ordered the closure of two Russian compounds in New York and Maryland that the United States says are used “for intelligence-related purposes.”

Economic sanctions were also announced against Russia’s FSB and GRU intelligence agencies. Four GRU officers including agency chief Igor Korobov also face sanctions.

Moscow has repeatedly denied the allegations.

President Vladimir Putin has ruled out sending home US diplomats in retaliation — a move interpreted as a sign he is looking to Trump to rebuild US-Russian ties after the US inauguration on January 20.

Putin Reacts To The Assassination Of His Ambassador’s In Ankara (WATCH VIDEO)

Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin has reacted to the murder of his Ambassador to Turkey, Andrey Karlov who was killed on Monday in the capital, Ankara.

Karlov was giving a speech at an art exhibition when he was shot in the back by a gunman who shouted Islamist slogans and spoke about the situation in the war-torn Syrian city of Aleppo.

However, Putin’s reaction is what many have waited for. Watch video below:

BREAKING: Russian ambassador to Turkey shot, injured in Ankara – Report

The Russian Ambassador to Turkey, Andrey Karlov, has been shot and badly injured in Ankara while attending an art exhibition on Monday, state-broadcaster TRT reported.


The ambassador was attacked shortly after giving an opening speech at the event, TRT said, adding that three shots were fired.


Police have launched an operation in the area.


Russia and Turkey patched up rocky relations over the summer and have recently been working together on the evacuations from Aleppo, despite supporting opposite sides in the Syrian civil war.

Forbes Names Dangote, Putin, Others Most Powerful Persons In The World

Foremost entrepreneur and President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, was at the weekend named along other world leaders including Russian President, Vladimir Putin, American President-elect, Donald Trump and German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, as the most powerful persons in the world.
These personalities were ranked along with 70 others, with Dangote ranked as the second most powerful on the African continent.
The Nigerian business mogul has constantly featured in the list since 2013, when he was listed as the only black African so rated by the U.S.-based Forbes magazine on the list of 100 most powerful persons in the world.
Listed as the 71st most powerful last year ahead of the American President-elect, Dangote, Africa’s richest man, moved up the ladder of influential people to come in as the 68th most powerful in the world at the weekend, after only Egyptian President, Abdel el-Sisi, who was adjudged the most powerful in Africa and ranked 44th in the world.
Forbes in the latest edition of its 74 World Most Powerful People ranking list, indicated that the 64-year-old Putin was the most powerful in the world, ahead of Trump who was second on the list.  
Ms. Merkel was ranked the third most powerful person in the world while outgoing U.S. President, Barack Obama placed 48th on the list.
The Catholic pontiff, Pope Francis was in fifth place; the world’s richest man, Bill Gates, come in seventh; Chinese President Xi Jinping came before the Pope in number four while the Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, was the 10th most powerful person in the world.
Forbes reported that there are nearly 7.4 billion people on planet earth but the listed men and women as the most powerful make the world turn.
The magazine is well known for its lists and rankings, including its list of the richest Americans (the Forbes 400) and rankings of the world’s top companies (the Forbes Global 2000).
Another well-known list by the magazine is the The World’s Billionaires list.
Read More: thisdaylive

President Obama vows to send ‘clear message’ to Putin, warns Trump.

President Barack Obama vowed Friday to send a “clear message” to Russia for trying to sway the US election, while calling on Donald Trump and Republicans to put national security before politics.

Obama all-but-accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of personally ordering an audacious cyber hack that many Democrats believe gravely wounded Hillary Clinton in a closely fought election.

The US intelligence community has concluded that a hack-and-release of the Democratic Party emails was designed to put Trump — a political neophyte who has praised Putin — into the Oval Office.

But with tensions rising between the world’s two preeminent nuclear powers and US political anger near boiling point after Trump’s shock election, Obama sought to exude calm while promising a measured response.

Assuring Americans that the ballot itself was not rigged, he promised to “send a clear message to Russia or others not to do this to us, because we can do stuff to you.”

Noting that “not much happens in Russia without Vladimir Putin,” Obama said he had personally told the former KGB officer when they met in September to “cut it out.”

“In fact we did not see further tampering of the election process,” he told journalists before heading for his Christmas vacation in Hawaii.

Obama’s comments come as Putin registered a major propaganda victory in Syria and became a focal point of American political debate.

Despite those coups, Obama belittled Russia as a second-rate power with little going for it, using language that is sure to infuriate the status-conscious Russian leader.

“The Russians can’t change us or significantly weaken us. They are a smaller country, they are a weaker country, their economy doesn’t produce anything that anybody wants to buy except oil and gas and arms. They don’t innovate.”

– Ronnie’s grave –

But Obama’s sternest message may have been for Trump and other Republicans who have played down the cyber attack.

“Over a third of Republican voters approve of Vladimir Putin,” Obama said citing a recent poll. “Ronald Reagan would roll over in his grave. How did that happen?”

Obama urged the president-elect — who has repeatedly questioned Russia’s involvement — to accept an independent nonpartisan investigation.

“My hope is that the president-elect is going to similarly be concerned with making sure that we don’t have potential foreign influence in our election process.”

“One way I do believe the president-elect can approach this that would be unifying is to say that we welcome a bipartisan, independent process,” Obama said.

The outgoing president rejected suggestions that he had been slow to respond to the claims of Russian interference.

“My primary concern was making sure that the integrity of the election process was not in any way damaged, at a time when anything that was said by me or anybody in the White House would immediately be seen through a partisan lens,” he said.

Obama also issued his fiercest warning shot for President-elect Trump about embracing illiberal politics.

“Mr Putin can weaken us just like he’s trying to weaken Europe if we start buying into notions that it’s okay to intimidate the press. Or lock up dissidents. Or discriminate against people because of their faith or what they look like,” he said.

Republicans were unimpressed by Obama’s efforts to dial back tensions, with Senator Ben Sasse accusing Obama of a “mere scolding of dictators.”

“Instead of President Obama’s vague ‘we can do stuff,’ Congress should debate upending Putin’s calculus with a full menu of diplomatic, economic, military, and cyber responses,” Sasse said.

Putin gave clear response to U.S. hacking allegations – Kremlin

The Kremlin said on Friday that President Vladimir Putin had given President Barack Obama “a really clear response” to U.S. allegations that Moscow had interfered in the U.S. presidential election by hacking Democratic Party organisations.


Russia’s TASS news agency cited Kremlin aide Yuri Ushakov as telling newsmen in Tokyo that Putin had explained Russia’s stance on the issue to Obama on the sidelines of the G20 summit in September.


“There was a tete-a-tete conversation and different themes were discussed.


“This theme was touched upon, a really clear reply was given by our side which perhaps did not fit with what Obama was trying to explain to us,’’ Ushakov was cited as saying.


Three U.S. officials said that Putin had supervised his intelligence agencies’ hacking of the U.S. presidential election and turned it from a general attempt to discredit American democracy to an effort to help Donald Trump.

Putin Calls For Syria Ceasefire As #Aleppo Evacuations Continue

A nationwide ceasefire is the next step to restore peace in Syria after the recapture of Aleppo in the country’s north, Russian President Vladimir Putin told reporters at press conference in Japan on Friday.

As he spoke, thousands of civilians and rebel soldiers continued to flee Aleppo in convoys as the second day of evacuations within an agreed ceasefire began on Friday.
Up to 9,000 people have already been taken out of the besieged city in nine convoys since Thursday, including 108 wounded, according to Russian and Syrian state media.
For many of those leaving, their destination will be the rebel-controlled Syrian province of Idlib — likely the Bashar al-Assad regime’s next target.
An activist working inside the city broke down talking to CNN reporters on Friday, saying he wasn’t sure if his children would ever return to Aleppo.
“We waited for the international community and the United Nations to punish the criminal and not the victims (the people). Unfortunately the punishment was for the people. They have displaced us from our land,” he said.
“Honestly I don’t know if we can return back someday to our land or if it is going to be like the fate of the Palestinians.”
Read More: CNN

Trump Will Soon Understand Weighty Role – Putin

President Vladimir Putin in an interview aired Sunday called US President-elect Donald

Trump intelligent and predicted he would quickly grasp his new level of responsibility and act accordingly.

“Since he managed to achieve success in business, that shows he is a clever person,” the Russian strongman said in an interview with NTV television that has already aired in the country’s far east, quoted by TASS news agency.

“If he’s clever, that means he will fully and quite quickly grasp a different level of responsibility.”

Putin said that Russia “expects that he will act precisely on this basis.”

The Kremlin said last month that the two men agreed, in their first phone call after Trump’s election win in November, on the need to “normalise” Russia-US relations.

Putin on Thursday reiterated Moscow’s readiness to work with Trump’s administration once the president-elect takes office in January.

“It is important to normalise and start to develop bilateral relations on an equal and mutually-beneficial basis,” Putin said in his annual state of the nation address.

Trump has praised Putin’s leadership and said he looks forward to “a strong and enduring relationship with Russia.”

During the US election campaign, Putin praised him for appealing effectively to disenchanted American electors.

“He represents the views of a significant part of society in the United States that is tired of those elites who have been in power for decades,” he said in October.

“He just represents the interests of such ordinary people, and he presents himself as an ordinary guy who criticises those who have already been in power for decades.”

Russia withdraws from International Criminal Court

President Vladimir Putin signed an executive order on Wednesday removing Russia’s signature from the International Criminal Court’s founding treaty, piling pressure on a court that is already reeling from withdrawals by some African countries.

Moscow never ratified the treaty, which it signed in 2000, meaning it never became a member subject to its jurisdiction. But the symbolic move coincided with the opening day of the general assembly of member states.

On Monday, the ICC angered Moscow by referring to Russia’s 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea as an armed conflict. It is also examining allegations of war crimes committed by Russian and Georgian forces during a brief 2008 war.

“Unfortunately, the court has not justified the hopes attached to it and has not become a genuinely independent authoritative organ of international justice,” the Foreign Ministry said.

“It is revealing that in its 14 years of work the ICC has pronounced just four verdicts and spent over $1 billion.”

Russia is under international pressure over its campaign of air strikes in Syria, with some human rights activists and U.S. officials accusing it of bombing civilians and civilian targets. Russia has denied those allegations.

Russia’s announcement may be welcomed by African states like South Africa and Gambia, which have recently announced their withdrawals, but critics said the move was yet another example of Moscow flouting international norms.

“It confirms Russia’s retreat from its international commitments,” said Human Rights Watch activist Liz Evenson. “It’s closing the door for people within Russia to this important judicial institution.”

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters the decision to withdraw Russia’s signature had been taken “in the national interest” and was a formality as it didn’t change anything as far as jurisdiction was concerned.

Most African and European countries continue to support the court, the first permanent international war crimes tribunal. But many expect it to face increased diplomatic pressure from the United States under President-elect Donald Trump, who has promised a less internationalist foreign policy stance.

The ICC, based in The Hague, Netherlands, was founded when 120 countries adopted its founding treaty in 1998. It is seen as a successor to the Nuremburg trials after World War II and ad-hoc U.N. war crimes tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda.

Ukraine’s Poroshenko appeals to Trump for support in phone call.

Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko asked Donald Trump for support against “Russian aggression” during a congratulatory telephone conversation with the US president-elect on Tuesday.


Trump’s shock election victory has been met with trepidation in Kiev because of the outspoken reality TV star’s praise of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and his apparent indifference to the Western coalition against Moscow.


The billionaire businessman suggested earlier this year the US could accept Russia’s annexation of Crimea if it led to improved relations between the two nations, which are bitterly at odds over Syria.


Poroshenko congratulated Trump on his victory and said he wished “to work together with his administration to further strengthen the strategic partnership between Ukraine and the United States”, according to a statement by the Ukrainian presidency.


He also “underlined the necessity of strong support from Washington in the fight against Russian aggression and the implementation of crucial reforms” in Ukraine.


The two men agreed to organise “a bilateral meeting”, the statement said, without giving further details.


The US election outcome had sparked fears in the ex-Soviet republic after Trump was accused several times by his Democratic presidential rival Hillary Clinton of being Putin’s “puppet”.


Earlier this week, Poroshenko said he had “no doubt” that Trump would refuse to recognise Russia’s annexation of Crimea.


Putin and Trump spoke on the phone on Monday evening for the first time since the US vote, agreeing on the need to normalise ties between Washington and Moscow, the Kremlin said.


After Moscow’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula in March 2014, which saw US-Russia relations dip to their worst since the Cold War, Washington imposed heavy economic sanctions on Russia.


Russia also has been accused by Washington of supporting pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine, which the Kremlin denies.

Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump discuss mending ties.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and US president-elect Donald Trump have spoken over the phone to discuss efforts to improve US-Russian ties, the Kremlin and Trump’s office said.


“President-elect Trump noted to President Putin that he is very much looking forward to having a strong and enduring relationship with Russia and the people of Russia,” Trump’s office said in a statement on Monday.


The Kremlin, in a far more specific and longer statement, said that Putin congratulated Trump on his victory and expressed Russia’s readiness to “establish a partner-like dialogue with the new administration on the basis of equality, mutual respect and non-interference in domestic relations”.


“During the call, the two leaders discussed a range of issues including the threats and challenges facing the United States and Russia, strategic economic issues and the historical US-Russia relationship that dates back over 200 years,” Trump’s office said.


In its statement, the Kremlin said Putin and Trump agreed that US-Russian ties were in “extremely unsatisfactory” condition.


Syria’s civil war


The two also agreed on the need to combine efforts in the fight against “international terrorism and extremism” and discussed settling the Syrian war in that context, according to the Kremlin.


How to fight side-by-side in Syria, where Russia supports President Bashar al-Assad and the US supports rebels fighting against him, and also against the Islamic State of the Iraq and the Levant group (ISIL, also known as ISIS), has been one of the key sticking points between US President Barack Obama and Putin.

The Kremlin said that Putin and Trump agreed to continue phone contact and to plan a personal meeting in the future.


Obama began his presidency with a goal to “reset” ties with Russia, but they eventually plunged to the lowest point since the Cold War over the conflicts in Ukraine and Syria.


Separately, vouching for the successor he never imagined having, Obama on Monday sought to reassure an anxious nation and world that Trump would maintain US alliances and influence.


“There is enormous continuity … that makes us that indispensable nation when it comes to maintaining order around the world,” Obama said.


Relationships and policies go beyond presidents, he said, adding that military officials, diplomats and intelligence officers would cooperate with their foreign counterparts as before.


In a White House meeting with Trump last week, Obama said the Republican “expressed a great interest in maintaining our core strategic relationships”, including “strong and robust NATO” partnerships.


It was a sharp change in tone for Obama, who regularly mocked Trump’s candidacy in the last days before the election, even accusing the billionaire businessman and former reality television star of helping ISIL with his rhetoric about Muslims and undermining US democracy through his claims of a “rigged” election.


At the time, almost all polls showed Democrat Hillary Clinton leading Trump.

Buhari, Zuma, Putin, other world leaders react to Donald Trump’s victory

President Muhammadu Buhari and other world leaders have reacted to the surprise election of Donald Trump as the 45th U.S. president.

President Buhari in a statement by a media aide, Femi Adesina, congratulated Mr. Trump, saying he “looks forward to working together with President-elect Trump to strengthen the already established friendly relations between both countries, including cooperation on many shared foreign policy priorities, such as the fight against terrorism, peace and security, economic growth, democracy and good governance.”

Mr. Trump had, in his victory speech, sent conciliatory signals, pledging to seek common ground with America’s partners.

In his congratulatory message, Russian leader, Vladimir Putin, talked about his country’s sour relations with the U.S.

“It is not an easy path but we are ready to ready to do our part and do everything to return Russian and American relations to a stable path of development,” Mr. Putin, for whom Trump expressed admiration during the election campaign, said.

British Prime Minister, Theresa May, congratulated Mr. Trump and said Britain and the U.S. would remain “strong and close partners on trade, security and defence.”

During the election campaign, Ms. May had criticized Mr. Trump’s call for a ban on Muslims from entering the United States, saying it was divisive, unhelpful and wrong.

Egypt’s president congratulated Donald Trump, saying Cairo wants to see more “cooperation and coordination” between the two nations to bolster stability and peace in the Middle East.

According to a statement by his office on Wednesday, President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi telephoned Mr. Trump to offer his congratulations and invited him to visit Egypt.

Also, Chinese state media said President Xi Jinping had called Mr. Trump to congratulate him on his victory.

“I place great importance on the China-US relationship, and look forward to working with you to uphold the principles of non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation,” Mr. Xi was reported to have told Trump.

In his statement, President Jacob Zuma conveyed his best wishes on behalf of the Government and the people of South Africa.

Mr. Zuma said he “looked forward to working with President-elect Trump to build on the strong relations that exists between the two countries”.

The Prime Minister of Iraq, Haider al-Abadi, also congratulated Mr. Trump and said he was looking forward to continued support in his country’s fight against Islamic State.

In a statement on his website, Mr. al-Abadi said he hopes the “world and the United States will continue to support Iraq in fighting terrorism.”

Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu said he hoped to reach “new heights” in bilateral ties under Mr. Trump.

Also, the Philippine government said it was looking forward to working with Mr. Trump to enhance bilateral ties.

President Rodrigo Duterte congratulated Mr. Trump and hailed the U.S. two-party system that gave the country’s voters freedom of choice based on party platform, not just personalities.

“I wish Trump success in the next four years as Chief Executive and commander-in chief of the U.S. military.

Mr. Duterte said he was looking forward to working with the incoming administration for enhanced Philippines-US relations anchored on mutual respect, mutual benefit and shared commitment to democratic ideals and the rule of law.

Mr. Duterte, who has been compared to Mr. Trump, has criticised the U.S. in recent statements and vowed to “separate” the Philippines from the U.S., vowing to chart a foreign policy that does not mimic that of Washington’s.

Some world leaders have, however, expressed worry with Mr. Trump’s election.

“Trump is the pioneer of a new authoritarian and chauvinist international movement. He is also a warning for us,” German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said in an interview with the Funke newspaper group.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said the result was “different from what most people in Germany desired. But of course, we have to accept it”.

Though French President Francois Hollande congratulated Mr. Trump on his victory, he warned that the election result opened a period of uncertainty.

Mr. Trump’s opponent, Hillary Clinton, and President Barack Obama have also congratulated him via telephone conversations.

Mr. Obama also phoned Mrs. Clinton, “and expressed admiration for the strong campaign she waged throughout the country,” the White House said.

Mr. Trump’s victory represents a huge shift in American politics because of his stand on immigration, foreign policy and minority rights.

Saudi King Hopes Trump Brings ‘Stability’ To Middle East

Saudi King Salman expressed hope on Wednesday that US president-elect Donald Trump would bring stability to the Middle East.

“We wish your excellency success in your mission to achieve security and stability in the Middle East and worldwide,” Salman said in a message of congratulations reported by the official Saudi Press Agency.

He praised the relations which are “historic and tight between the two friendly countries, that all parties aspire to develop and reinforce”.

The United States and Saudi Arabia have a decades-old relationship based on the exchange of American security for Saudi oil.

But ties between Riyadh and Washington became increasingly frayed during the eight-year Democratic administration of President Barack Obama.Saudi leaders felt Obama was reluctant to get involved in the civil war in Syria and other regional conflicts.

They also worried that he was tilting towards their regional rival, Shiite Iran, which is on the opposing side to Sunni-dominated Saudi Arabia in the wars in Syria and Yemen.

Washington and other major powers reached an agreement, which took effect in January, to lift international sanctions on Iran in exchange for guarantees that it would not pursue a nuclear weapons capability.

Russia celebrates as Trump takes White House on Election Day.

How many Electoral votes does Russia have?

Social media began asking the question as poll watchers in the Kremlin — and presumably Russian president Vladimir Putin — took delight in Donald Trump’s impressive Election Night showing.

Putin pinged Trump a congratulatory telegram following his White House win, adding that he hopes relations between the two countries benefit as a result.

Popular Front, a political movement founded by Putin in 2011, also took note of Trump’s victory and Putin’s alleged hand in the election.

“They say that Putin once again beat all,” the group tweeted.


NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpi

Trump had been widely criticized over what had appeared to be a cozy relationship with Putin.

Election coverage was so intense in Russia that at least one news commentator joked that voters in Moscow were looking for places to cast ballots for Trump.

The night-and-day coverage in Russia led many to complain that the Kremlin-managed news media was devoting more attention to the American elections than it gave to a Russia’s national parliamentary vote less than two months ago.

“Correct me if I am wrong, but this has not happened for any elections in Russia,” Dmitry Gudkov, an opposition politician, wrote on Facebook.


Gudkov lost his seat in part because nongovernment candidates got virtually zero television coverage.

The Russian news media has generally been kinder to Trump. Clinton, on the other hand, is regarded as an old adversary who would tighten the screws on the Kremlin.

“Clinton will surround us with nuclear rockets,” one Russian newspaper warned.

Vadim Tyulpanov, member of the Russian Senate, told Moscow’s Life News that Americans were tired of overly aggressive leaders, and that a Trump victory could lead to collaboration between the former Cold War foes.


NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpi

He said he was dismayed that the American elite tried to paint Trump as a puppet of Russia.

China was watching the election closely, as well.

Commentators signaled Beijing’s preference for the billionaire, saying that like Russia, China was rooting for Trump because he appears less willing to confront China’s newly robust foreign

“From a comprehensive view, it would make it easier for China to cope if Trump is elected,” scholar Mei Xinyu wrote in the Communist Party newspaper Global Times.


Not Released (NR)

“This is because under the policy line advocated by Obama and Clinton, the political and military frictions between China and the U.S. will be more frequent.”

Not all of Russia rejoiced over the prospect of a Trump presidency. Margarita Simonyan, the editor of an English-language news outlet, tweeted a simple message.

“Democracy. R.I.P.”

Just In: Putin congratulates Donald Trump

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday became the first world leader to congratulate President-elect of the United States Donald Trump.


According to a statement from the Kremlin, Putin “expressed hope for mutual work on bringing US-Russia relations out of their critical condition” and said that “building constructive dialogue” would be in the interest of both countries and the world community.

REVEALED: The real story behind Hillary Clinton’s feud with Vladimir Putin.

In one of her last acts as secretary of state in early 2013, Hillary Clinton wrote a confidential memo to the White House on how to handle Vladimir Putin, Russia’s newly installed and increasingly aggressive fourth president. Her bluntly worded advice: Snub him.

“Don’t appear too eager to work together,” Clinton urged President Obama, according to her recollection of the note in her 2014 memoir. “Don’t flatter Putin with high-level attention. Decline his invitation for a presidential summit.”

It was harsh advice coming from the administration’s top diplomat, and Obama would ignore key parts of it. But the memo succinctly captured a personal view about Putin on the part of the future Democratic presidential nominee: a deep skepticism, informed by bitter experience, that would be likely to define U.S.-Russian relations if Clinton is elected. Her lasting conclusion, as she would acknowledge, was that “strength and resolve were the only language Putin would understand.”

Putin has been thrust unexpectedly onto the center stage in the U.S. presidential race, with Republican contender Donald Trump expressing admiration for the Kremlin strongman even as intelligence officials investigate apparent Russian attempts to interfere in the campaign. Clinton, by contrast, has used tough talk about Russia to burnish her credentials as an experienced diplomat who can stand up to the United States’ adversaries.

For Clinton, the rhetoric reflects genuine disappointment and frustration from a tumultuous term as secretary of state during which cooperation between Moscow and Washington briefly soared, only to come crashing to Earth after Putin’s reelection as president in 2012, following a four-year hiatus, according to current and former U.S. officials involved in Russian policymaking at the time. Clinton, who began her tenure by famously offering a “reset” of Russian relations, would end it by publicly blasting Putin’s government on issues including alleged vote-rigging in Russia and Putin’s support for authoritarian Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Putin would fire back with repeated attacks against her, often injecting an unusually personal tone into the growing diplomatic rift. The exchanges helped cement an adversarial view of Clinton on the Russian side that may explain, more than any other single factor, the apparent efforts by Russian operatives to influence the election by hacking email accounts of senior Clinton staff members, longtime Kremlin observers say.

“She has policies and a history that the Russians don’t like,” said Michael McFaul, who became the U.S. ambassador to Moscow during Clinton’s final year as secretary of state. “It’s frequently forgotten because there’s so much noise about Trump and Putin. But this history is real, and Putin doesn’t forget these things.”

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov press a red button marked “reset” in English that Clinton handed to Lavrov during a meeting on March 6, 2009, in Geneva. © Fabrice Coffrini/Agence France-Presse via Getty Images Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov press a red button marked “reset” in English that Clinton handed to Lavrov during a meeting on March 6, 2009…

The ‘reset’ button

Clinton’s strong views about Putin predated her arrival at Foggy Bottom in 2009 as Obama’s first secretary of state. As a U.S. senator, she condemned Russia’s military incursion in August 2008 in the Georgian republic and suggested that Putin, a former Soviet KGB officer who was then Russia’s prime minister, was a throwback to the country’s hegemonic past.

President George W. Bush had famously vouched for Putin’s character in 2001 by saying that he’d looked into the Russian’s eyes and gotten “a sense of his soul.” But Clinton, during her own first presidential campaign in early 2008, insisted that Bush had seen no such thing.

“He was a KGB agent — by definition he doesn’t have a soul,” Clinton said.

Just over a year later, Obama’s surprise choice as secretary of state was tasked with managing the administration’s “Russian reset” policy, which sought to take advantage of the leadership change in both Washington and Moscow to inaugurate a new era of cooperation. The new White House believed Russia’s new president, Dmitry Medvedev — a St. Petersburg politician 13 younger than Putin and lacking his predecessor’s experience in the Soviet bureaucracy — might be more open to a real partnership.

Former State Department and White House officials who attended early strategy meetings said that Clinton ultimately agreed with the approach. But she remained broadly skeptical that the relationship with Russia would ever extend beyond specific issues where Moscow saw an advantage in cooperation.

“The reset was the president’s idea — it was something he wanted to do,” said Philip Gordon, the assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs during Clinton’s tenure. “But there was this logic that we were in a terrible place with Russia, and we should give it a shot to see if we could get some concrete things done, in our own interest.”

Another senior U.S. official present during the discussions attributed Clinton’s reluctance to lingering suspicions about Putin. The former KGB operative who served as president in the early 2000s had accepted the prime minister’s job under Medvedev, but many Kremlin watchers believed that Putin was still Russia’s de facto leader, and that Obama’s attempts to woo Medvedev misunderstoodthe real power structure in the Kremlin. These observers watched Putin’s hardening view toward the United States with increasing concern.

“It was right to be skeptical that you could translate that [reset] into a durable, strategic partnership,” said the official, who helped guide Russian diplomacy during Republican and Democratic administrations and who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal policy debates freely. “Structurally, we still faced a lot of problems dealing with Russia,” including a “fundamental difference in worldview.”

The policy’s official launch was a flub: At a Geneva news conference in March 2009, Clinton presented Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov with a mounted red button emblazoned with the word “reset” in English, and the Russian word “peregruzka” — a translation error by the U.S. team that left the bewildered Lavrov puzzling over a term meaning “overload.”

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton meets with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on June 29, 2012, in St. Petersburg. © Haraz N. Ghanbari/Associated Press Secretary of State Hillary Clinton meets with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on June 29, 2012, in St. Petersburg.

Years later, Lavrov would dismiss the reset as “the invention of Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration.” He noted pointedly in a Bloomberg News interview that he had a very good relationship with Condoleezza Rice, Clinton’s immediate predecessor as secretary of state.

Despite doubts, the new approach seemed initially to bear fruit.

Within a little more than a year, the two governments had notched historic agreements, including a new treaty on reducing nuclear stockpiles and a pact allowing U.S. military planes to use Russian airspace in delivering supplies to troops in Afghanistan.

Americans and Russians, working in unusual accord, achieved striking progress on some of the thorniest disputes before the United Nations. In 2010, Washington and Moscow cooperated on a package of unprecedented U.N. economic sanctions that ultimately drove Iran to negotiations about limiting its nuclear program. The administration worked with Moscow to overcome U.S. objections to Russia’s long-standing effort to join the World Trade Organization.

In 2011, Russia withheld its veto on the U.S.-led effort to authorize the international military campaign to stop Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi from slaughtering thousands of his own citizens — an act of diplomatic restraint that many U.S. officials regard as the “reset” era’s high-water mark.

“With the reset, we were never seeking goodwill with Russia; we were seeking a new strategy,” said McFaul, the former U.S. ambassador. “It was most productive in terms of concrete outcomes — not holding hands and singing Kumbaya, but real stuff, including some of our biggest security and economic priorities.”

But beneath a more placid surface, old conflicts continued both at home and abroad, and new ones would emerge.

In Washington, many of the administration’s Russian initiatives were drawing skepticism from Congress. In 2010, Obama had announced that he was discontinuing a Bush-era Eastern European missile defense shield that Russia viewed as a military threat, in favor of a new program designed to combat potential strikes from Iranian short- and medium-range missiles. But many Republicans criticized the change — which had been recommended by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, a Bush holdover — as an unwarranted and unwise favor to Russia, granted by a naive young administration.

Russian officials began publicly ruing their tacit support for U.N.-approved military action in Libya, after the intervention expanded from a simple civilian-protection mission to a sustained bombing campaign that led to the overthrow and assassination of Gaddafi. The Kremlin now believed it had been tricked into allowing the U.N. resolution to move forward.

Putin, according to U.S. officials who met with him at the time, concluded that the Americans were most interested in pursuing regime change for governments they disliked, first in Baghdad and Tripoli, and later in Damascus. Eventually he became convinced that it was the Kremlin that the United States most wanted to change. Logically, Clinton, a strong proponent of U.S. military action in Libya and Syria, would be on the side of those seeking new leadership in Moscow, he believed.

Suddenly, the Russians were casting skeptical looks at joint programs that had received strong support in both capitals. One casualty was the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program, which funded the dismantling of Soviet-era nuclear, chemical and biological weapons systems to prevent them from being stolen by terrorists or purchased by rogue states.

The program’s co-founder, Sen. Richard G. Lugar (Ind.), who served as the ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during Clinton’s tenure, began noticing a change in tone during his many visits to meet with the initiative’s Russian partners. Powerful Russian military officials, some of them close allies of Putin, were beginning to perceive such ventures as part of the American plan to weaken the country. The military’s political champion was Putin, who decided in 2011 to run for president again, replacing his protege Medvedev after a single term in office.

“Putin had come to the point where he felt it was no longer necessary to cooperate,” Lugar said, “and it might even be demeaning to Russia.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin meets Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on her arrival at the APEC summit in Vladivostok, Russia. © Mikhail Metzel/Associated Press Russian President Vladimir Putin meets Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on her arrival at the APEC summit in Vladivostok, Russia.


In December 2011, despite a deepening economic crisis, Putin’s United Russia party retained control of the Duma in parliamentary elections that independent monitoring groups described as fraudulent.

Thousands of Russians took to the streets in protest, and Clinton — with the White House’s explicit blessing — spoke publicly in their defense, condemning Russian officials for manipulating the vote and systematically harassing election observers.

“The Russian people, like people everywhere, deserve the right to have their voices heard and their votes counted,” Clinton said during a speech that month in Lithuania. “And that means they deserve fair, free, transparent elections and leaders who are accountable to them.”

After her speech, when demonstrations in Moscow grew still larger, Putin suggested that his political opponents were following marching orders from Clinton and her team.

Opposition parties “heard the signal, and with the support of the U.S. State Department began active work,” Putin said. Kremlin officials repeated the charge in private meetings with U.S. diplomats, expressing a vehemence that surprised some Obama administration officials.

Even before the protests — and his own reelection as president in March 2012 — Putin had begun signaling the return of a more authoritarian and aggressive Russia. Beginning in late 2011, the Russian government would adopt policies stifling political dissent at home and increasing pressure on the former Soviet republics, from the Baltic to the Caucasus to Ukraine.

Clinton began privately warning the White House on how Putin’s return could affect a wide range of U.S. foreign policy priorities, such as promoting democracy in Eastern Europe and containing a Syrian civil war that was beginning to ignite sectarian violence and jihadist fervor throughout the Middle East.

She “argued that we were in for a rougher patch and needed to be clear-eyed about that,” said the senior U.S. official who worked for Republican and Democratic administrations. “It was a very honest analysis of the fact that, whatever hopes some people had early on for a more durable partnership, it just wasn’t going to happen.”

In fact, things fell apart with surprising speed. In 2012, Putin abruptly halted Russia’s participation in the Nunn-Lugar program. That same year, he expelled the U.S. Agency for International Development from Russia, charging interference in domestic affairs and ending USAID’s multimillion-dollar support for Russian civil society organizations.

Putin then repeatedly blocked U.S.-led efforts to resolve Syria’s civil war, insisting on preserving the presidency of Assad, a close Russian ally. Two years later — well after Clinton had left office — Putin stunned the world by snatching the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine, something he had first threatened to do nearly a decade earlier.

Yet, while each of those actions was consistent with Putin’s combative style, Russia’s disputes with the Obama administration took on a more personal tone after 2011, several current and former U.S. officials and Russian policy experts said.

Today, with Clinton now aiming for the White House, it’s not surprising that Putin might support clandestine efforts to undermine her candidacy — regardless of his views of her chief political opponent, the officials and experts said.

“Putin has kind of got it in for Hillary,” said Clifford Kupchan, chairman of the consulting firm Eurasia Group and a Russia expert who attended private meetings with Putin during the Clinton years. “The statements after the Duma riots were like kerosene on a fire, and it really made Putin angry.”

Putin last week denied taking sides in the U.S. presidential race and he scoffed at allegations of Russian involvement in the hacking of Democratic officials’ email accounts, a crime that U.S. intelligence agencies believe was instigated at the highest levels of the Russian government.

Kupchan said he thinks that Russia’s role in the hacking, if verified, was “more about sowing some chaos in the U.S. system than about any real hope of Trump winning.” But he said it also reflects a shot across Clinton’s bow, as her record suggests that she would be both tougher and more outspoken on Russia compared to her predecessor.

“It may well be useful that she has a tough image,” he said. “Mrs. Clinton has been through the same journey that a lot of us have gone through on Russia, which is dashed hopes.”

When it comes to Putin’s Russia, he said, “she doesn’t wear deeply tinted sunglasses of any kind.”

FBI Sees No Ties Between Trump, Putin- Report

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has found no clear links between Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Russia, officials say, proving false allegations by the candidate’s Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

The FBI spent most of the summer to verify claims by the Clinton campaign that Trump was linked to President Vladimir Putin, and Moscow was trying to influence the November 8 vote in his favor.

However, the bureau failed to find any indications of the alleged ties after scrutinizing advisors close to Trump, investigating the real estate mogul’s financial ties and even his emails, the New York Times reported Tuesday, citing law enforcement officials.

Clinton’s campaign voiced concerns about Moscow’s intervention after a series of emails belonging to various ranks of the Democratic Party were released by the anti-secrecy website Wikileaks.

American intelligence officials blamed the hacks on Russia and even threatened to come up with countermeasures of the same nature. President Barack Obama and high-ranking officials in his administration also blamed Russia for the breaches.

Under immense pressure from Clinton’s supporters, who were mad at Trump for calling Putin a great leader, the FBI started its investigation into the claims.

The Clinton campaign has called on the FBI to publicly discuss their findings about the case, as they did with their new investigation into Clinton’s new emails.

FBI chief James Comey told Congress on Friday that he was reopening investigations into Clinton’s emails after finding a trove of new emails on a laptop belonging to former representative Anthony Weiner, who was once married to Clinton’s top aide Huma Abedin.

At some point during its investigation, the FBI questioned Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign boss, who has reportedly had extensive business ties in Russia and other former Soviet states, especially Ukraine, the Times noted.

The bureau’s agents also investigated an email channel between Trump and the Alfa Bank, one of Russia’s biggest banks.

After weeks of detailed investigation, the FBI concluded that the connection was nothing more than marketing emails or spam

Trump has rejected Clinton’s allegations against Russia, and has pledged to work with Moscow and earn Putin’s respect.

Credit: presstv

BREAKING: War? Russia ‘orders all officials to fly home any relatives living abroad’.

Russia is ordering all of its officials to fly home any relatives living abroad amid heightened tensions over the prospect of global war, it has been claimed.

Politicians and high-ranking figures are said to have received a warning from president Vladimir Putin to bring their loved-ones home to the ‘Motherland’, according to local media.

It comes after Putin cancelled a planned visit to France amid a furious row over Moscow’s role in the Syrian conflict and just days after it emerged the Kremlin had moved nuclear-capable missiles near to the Polish border.

Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev has also warned that the world is at a ‘dangerous point’ due to rising tensions between Russia and the US.


Politicians and high-ranking figures are said to have received a warning from president Vladimir Putin (pictured) to bring their loved-ones home to the 'Fatherland', according to local media

Politicians and high-ranking figures are said to have received a warning from president Vladimir Putin (pictured) to bring their loved-ones home to the ‘Fatherland’, according to local media.

Russia is ordering all of its officials to fly home any relatives living abroad amid heightened tensions over the prospect of global war, it has been claimed

Russia is ordering all of its officials to fly home any relatives living abroad amid heightened tensions over the prospect of global war, it has been claimed

According to the Russian site, administration staff, regional administrators, lawmakers of all levels and employees of public corporations have been ordered to take their children out of foreign schools immediately.

Failure to act will see officials jeopardising their chances of promotion, local media has reported.

“I Don’t Love, I Don’t Hate”, Trump On Putin

US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has backed off from praising Vladimir Putin, saying he was unsure of his relationship with the Russian president who he has described as a better leader than President Barack Obama.

On Wednesday, just one day after his running mate Mike Pence appeared to break ranks during a vice presidential debate and called Putin “a small and bullying leader”, Trump adjusted his own previously warm rhetoric towards the Russian leader.

“I don’t love [Putin], I don’t hate. We’ll see how it works. We’ll see,” Trump told supporters during a campaign stop in the swing state of Nevada. “Maybe we’ll have a good relationship. Maybe we’ll have a horrible relationship. Maybe we’ll have a relationship right in the middle.”

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has appealed to anti-Russian sentiments in the US by criticising Trump, who often praises Putin, as being too cozy with the Kremlin leader and questioned the Republican’s business interests in Russia.

Read More: aljazeera

Putin Signs Decree To Draft 152,000 Men Into Army By Year-end

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree to draft 152,000 young Russians into the Russian army before the end of the year.

Government spokesman said on Friday in Kremlin that the military draft would be carried out from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31 concerning Russian citizens aged 18-27 who are not in reserve and are subject to the military draft under the law.

He said that in accordance with the law, Putin also ordered to carry out a dismissal of current conscripts from the military service.

The spokesman said further that “On military duty and military service,” the decree includes soldiers, sailors, sergeants and sergeant majors, whose term of service had expired.

Credit: dailytrust

Kerry Tells UN that Russia Must Ground Syrian Air Force

US Secretary of State John Kerry demanded on Wednesday that Russia force Bashar al-Assad’s regime to ground its air force in order to revive hopes of a ceasefire in Syria’s civil war.

Addressing the UN Security Council, including his Russian opposite number Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Kerry said efforts to find peace could yet be salvaged but only if Moscow takes responsibility for recent air strikes.

Kerry said that only Russian and Syrian war planes had been active in areas of northern Syria where on Monday a United Nations aid convoy had been destroyed from the air and on Tuesday a field clinic was bombed.

“I believe that to restore credibility to the process we must move forward to try to immediately ground all air craft flying in those key areas in order to de-escalate the situation and to give a chance for humanitarian assistance to flow unimpeded,” he said.

“And if that happens there’s a chance of giving credibility back to this process,” he said, referring to an agreement he reached with Lavrov in Geneva earlier this month to broker a cessation of hostilities.

“In Geneva, Russia related that Assad was prepared to live by the cessation of hostilities and would accept the idea of not flying over agreed upon areas,” Kerry said.

“But because of what’s happened in the past few days my friends we have no choice but to do that sooner rather than later, move immediately to restore confidence and implement a genuine ceasefire now.”

Moscow has rejected the idea that Russian or Syrian planes carried out Monday’s strike on the UN aid convoy, and Lavrov told the council that there would be “no more unilateral pauses” by Assad’s government forces.

He said that previous breaks in bombing by the government side had only allowed the rebels to re-arm and strengthen their positions and urged UN members to revisit the list of banned terrorist groups excluded from the ceasefire.

“If we can agree on this kind of comprehensive approach, and integrated multi-faced approach, the chances of a cessation of hostilities surviving and being successful will be better,” he argued.

Top Military Expert Warns That Britain is ‘Totally ill-Equipped’ to Deal with Russian Nuclear Threat and Could be ‘Wiped Out’

A top military expert has warned that the UK is ill equipped and not prepared for a nuclear war if Russia decides to engage them, hence the region will be wiped out if Putin decides at any point in time to go on the offensive against them…

Britain and Russia don’t have the best of International relationships right now and reports indicate that Russia’s military have the capacity and strength to walk over NATO’s forces in the event of an agression.
 Dr Andrew Foxall, director of Russian studies at influential think-tank The Henry Jackson Society told Daily Star Online: “As things stand, the UK is ill-equipped to deal with Russia.



“There is an urgent need to strengthen not only the UK’s defences, but those of NATO members as a whole.
“The alliance simply isn’t doing enough to build up the range of capabilities necessary to deter an aggressive and resurgent Russia.”
Dr Foxall believes that the West’s shift to focus on terrorism and conflicts in the Middle East over recent years has meant our traditional military capabilities have suffered.
He added: “For almost two decades, the UK, with its NATO partners, has focused on counterinsurgency warfare.
“The military has been up against lightly armed insurgent forces, rather than conventional state-on-state warfare.
“This very different form of war has introduced logistics systems, training, exercises, equipment, and priorities quite different from those required to respond to a Russian threat.”
Russian forays in Georgia, Ukraine and now Syria have proved that they could decide to provocate UK by foraying into British territory too, Dr Foxall says.
“Russia’s Air Force bombers are frequently intercepted by RAF jets in close proximity of UK airspace.
“Russia’s warships often sail near British waters.
“And Russia’s submarines have attempted to record the ‘acoustic signature’ made by the Vanguard submarines that carry Trident nuclear missiles.”
“More alarmingly, in 2008, a Russian Tu-160 “Blackjack” bomber carried out a dummy nuclear attack on northern England”, he said.
“Flying towards Hull, the bomber came within 20 miles of British airspace before turning away.

“While the chances of war between Russia and the UK seem rather low, it remains a possibility Russia will prepare for it – and Moscow has been doing so for some time.”

Putin, Erdogan Discuss #Aleppo Over Phone

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan have discussed the Syria conflict in a phone conversation, the Kremlin says.

They agreed to continue coordinating efforts to achieve a resolution in Syria, it said in a statement on Friday.

Turkey’s Anadolu news agency said Erdogan told Putin that it was essential to agree to a ceasefire in Aleppo “as soon as possible.”

The Syrian army has put foreign-backed militants under siege in Aleppo and now hopes to capture the whole city in what would be a devastating blow to the country’s enemies.

Turkey and other countries opposed to the Syrian government have intensified their parleys, putting forth a proposal through the “opposition” which they support, for Assad to step down.

Anadolu said Ankara is hoping a ceasefire will be implemented in Aleppo for the Feast of the Sacrifice (Eid al-Adha) Islamic holiday which in Turkey begins around September 12.

Erdogan had met separately with Putin and US President Barack Obama on the sidelines of the recent G20 meeting in China, telling them both that it was essential to agree to a truce for Aleppo.

Read More: presstv

Putin a Better Leader Than Obama – Trump

Donald Trump has showered Vladimir Putin with praise as he and rival Hillary Clinton took pointed questions from military veterans.

The Republican presidential nominee told the forum the Russian president “has been a leader far more than our president [Obama] has been”.

It came on the same day the chief of the Pentagon accused Russia of sowing the seeds of global instability.

Mrs Clinton, meanwhile, defended her judgment despite her email scandal.

The White House candidates appeared back to back on stage in half-hour segments in New York on Wednesday night.

Quizzed by ‘NBC’ host Matt Lauer on his previous complimentary remarks about Putin, Trump responded: “He does have an 82% approval rating.”

“I think when he calls me brilliant I’ll take the compliment, ok?” added the businessman.

He said Putin had “great control over his country”.

Trump also predicted that if elected in November, “I think that I’ll be able to get along with him.”

The property magnate recently drew sharp criticism when he urged Russia to dig up the emails that Mrs Clinton deleted from her email server.

It is not the first time Trump has made admiring comments about the Russian leader.

Last December he said it was “a great honour” when Putin called him “a talented person”.

Trump’s latest remarks came hours after US Defence Secretary Ash Carter said Russia “has clear ambition to erode the principled international order”.

In a speech at Oxford University, Carter also appeared to allude to suspected Russian involvement in hacking of Democratic National Committee computers in the US.

“We will not ignore attempts to interfere with our democratic processes,” he said.

On Tuesday night, Trump also courted controversy over sex abuse in the military, reports the BBC.

He stood by a comment he made three years ago when he appeared to blame such assaults on the decision to allow women in the forces.

“It is a correct tweet,” Trump said of the 2013 Twitter post in which he remarked: “What did these geniuses expect when they put men & women together?”

Mrs Clinton, who appeared first on stage by virtue of a coin toss, found herself once again on the defensive over her private email server.

A US naval flight officer told the former secretary of state he would have been jailed if he had handled classified information as she had done.

The Democratic nominee replied: “I did exactly what I should have done and I take it very seriously. Always have, always will.”

Mrs Clinton also said her 2002 Senate vote in favour of the Iraq War was “a mistake”.

Both candidates talked about the ongoing conflict in Syria

But she said it meant she was in “the best possible position” to ensure it never happened again.

Mrs Clinton also pointed out that Trump had once supported the invasion.

The former secretary of state vowed to defeat the Islamic State group, though she emphasised: “We are not putting ground troops into Iraq ever again.”

Unusually for a US presidential candidate, Trump made unflattering remarks about America’s military leaders.

He said the generals had been “reduced to rubble” during President Barack Obama’s administration.

Trump and Mrs Clinton’s forum offered a preview of the questions they will face in their three forthcoming presidential debates.

Vladimir Putin’s official car involved in fatal accident, driver killed.

Russian media has revealed that a head-on crash in which a man was killed involved Vladimir Putin’s official black BMW.

However the Russian President was not in the car at the time when it was struck head-on by another vehicle which crossed over from the opposite side of the road.

CCTV images of the footage taken on Kutuzovsky Avenue in the Russian capital Moscow show how the Mercedes collided head-on with the presidential BMW

Russian media has revealed that a head-on crash in which a man was killed involved Vladimir Putin's official black BMW

Russian media has revealed that a head-on crash in which a man was killed involved Vladimir Putin’s official black BMW

CCTV images of the footage taken on Kutuzovsky Avenue in the Russian capital Moscow show how the Mercedes collided head-on with the presidential BMW

CCTV images of the footage taken on Kutuzovsky Avenue in the Russian capital Moscow show how the Mercedes collided head-on with the presidential BMW

Russian media said that the car was being driven by Putin’s favourite official driver, and that he was killed instantly, but that the President was not in the vehicle at the time. The car is officially registered as belonging to the Federation Council, also known as the Russian Senate or Upper Chamber of Parliament.

Medics arrived at the scene and said that the presidential driver had been killed on the spot, while the Mercedes driver who was travelling alone has been taken to hospital in a critical condition.

Russian media said that the car was being driven by Putin's favourite official driver, and that he was killed instantly

Russian media said that the car was being driven by Putin’s favourite official driver, and that he was killed instantly

The driver who was killed was not named, although it was reported that he had notched up more than 40 years of driving experience as an official driver

The driver who was killed was not named, although it was reported that he had notched up more than 40 years of driving experience as an official driver

The driver who was killed was not named, although it was reported that he had notched up more than 40 years of driving experience as an official driver.

Police have only confirmed that they are investigating, without giving any further details.

The clean-up operation took several hours and a huge traffic jam formed when Kutuzovsky Avenue was closed after the crash.

US, Russia Fail to Reach Syria Deal

Top diplomats from the United States and Russia on Monday failed to reach a deal to ease fighting in Syria, US officials said, after government troops encircled rebel-held parts of Aleppo.

A senior State Department official said a fresh round of crisis talks between Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on the margins of the G20 summit in China had ended without agreement.

Washington and Moscow support opposing sides in the five-year conflict, which has killed around 300,000 people and forced millions to flee.

A deal to provide aid to Aleppo’s ravaged civilians and at least partially halt Russian and Syrian bombardments had looked likely on Sunday, before talks collapsed.

US officials accused Russia of backtracking on already agreed issues which Washington refused to revisit, but the talks seemed to have been overtaken by developments on the ground.

Syrian government troops renewed their siege of Aleppo on Sunday, with state media saying they had taken an area south of the city, severing the last opposition-held route into its eastern neighbourhoods.

Once Syria’s economic powerhouse, Aleppo has been ravaged by the war that began with protests against President Bashar al-Assad’s government in March 2011.

– Presidents meet –

Presidents Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin also met Monday on the sidelines of the G20 summit in the Chinese city of Hangzhou, but it was far from clear that they would try to revive the talks.

The White House has been reluctant to tether Obama personally to a deal that could well fail.

Earlier truces in Syria have rapidly deteriorated, and Obama warned Sunday that the US was approaching the talks “with some scepticism”.

“Our conversations with the Russians are key because if it were not for the Russians, then Assad and the regime would not be able to sustain its offensive,” he said, an acknowledgement that Putin, by sending troops and air assets to Syria, has made himself an indispensible player.

“But it is worth trying,” Obama went on. “To the extent that there are children and women and innocent civilians who can get food and medical supplies and get some relief from the constant terror of bombings, that’s worth the effort.”

The White House is also highly reluctant to offer Putin a high-profile stage to gain international legitimacy after his backing for a regime that has used chemical weapons on civilians.

Obama has steadfastly refused to meet Putin for official talks, instead talking with him in “pull-asides” at closed multilateral meetings.

That was again the case at the G20.

“The President is taking part in a pull-aside with President Putin of Russia,” said National Security Council spokesman Ned Price. “We expect to provide additional details of their discussion later today.”

US officials had hoped to build pressure on Moscow over its support for Assad’s government during the Hangzhou summit and upcoming UN General Assembly.

Washington has repeatedly said that Assad must step down in order for a lasting peace deal.

Turning up the heat in recent weeks, the White House has gone as far as to suggest Moscow is complicit in war crimes.

“You have the Assad regime which has been killing its own citizens with impunity, supported by the Russians and the Iranians,” Obama said on Sunday.

Both Putin and Obama are expected to give press conferences later Monday.

The failure to reach a deal is likely to heap pressure on Obama over his handling of the war in Syria.
Obama came to office vowing not to repeat the mistakes of his predecessor George W. Bush, who launched disastrous wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

But as he prepares to leave office, critics say Obama’s failure to intervene in Syria has had similarly bloody results, allowing the conflict to fester for years.

Putin Denies Democrat email Hack But Praises Leak

Russia’s president on Friday denied Moscow was behind an email hack that embarrassed White House hopeful Hillary Clinton but said it was important the information got into the public domain.

“I don’t know anything about it, and on a state level Russia has never done this,” Vladimir Putin told Bloomberg News in an interview aired Friday.

Hacked emails leaked by WikiLeaks in July revealed that party leaders had sought to undermine the primary campaign of Clinton’s rival Bernie Sanders and US officials said Russia was behind the release.

Putin slammed the accusations as attempts to “distract the public’s attention from the essence of the problem by raising some minor issues connected with the search for who did it.”

“The important thing is the content that was given to the public,” he said.

Clinton’s rival Donald Trump has made no secret of his admiration for Putin, leading some to conjecture the Kremlin strongman was working to put the real estate billionaire in the White House.


‘Russian President Putin Wants All of My Country, He Wants a Less Secure World’ – Ukraine’s President Alleges

On a day when Ukraine celebrated it’s 25th anniversary of independence from the Soviet union, Ukraine’s president Petro Poroshenko has alleged that Russia’s president Vladmir Putin wants to take over ‘all of his country’

According to Petro Poroshenko, 50, Putin, the world’s most powerful man according to Forbes wants “the whole Ukraine” to be part of the “Russian Empire.”

Russia recently conducted military drills in Crimea, the peninsula it annexed from Ukraine in 2014 — but this military move is regarded by a lot of Nations as illegal and unwarranted.
“It is absolutely the same situation like Russian bombardment in Aleppo,” he told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour in an exclusive interview on Wednesday night.
“They have only one purpose — [the] world should be less stable, less secured.”
Had you asked him in 2013, Poroshenko said, if it would have been possible for Russia to “occupy the Crimea,” he would have said “no, this is not possible — there is some red line, and Putin [will] not cross this line.”
“If you asked me in January, year 2014,” he went on, if it was possible that “thousands of Russian regular troops will penetrate on Ukrainian territory in the east of my country in July and August,” I would have said, “no, this is not possible.”
With those moves, he said, the world “is completely changed.”
“Russian aggression completely destroyed the post-war global security system,”

” 25 years after independence, the fight goes on, fighting for freedom, fighting for democracy, fighting for sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

Putin Sacks Chief Of Staff

Russian President Vladimir Putin has unexpectedly dismissed his chief of staff, Sergei Ivanov.

Mr. Ivanov has been part of Mr. Putin’s trusted inner circle for many years, the BBC reports.

The 63-year-old has now been made a special representative for environmental and transport issues.

A statement from the Kremlin said Mr. Putin had “decreed to relieve Ivanov of his duties as head of the Russian presidential administration,” but gave no reason for the decision.

Mr. Ivanov’s deputy since 2012, Anton Vaino, has been appointed as his successor.

Credit: AFP

Finally, Russia’s Putin and Turkey’s Erdogan Set To Meet After Damaging Rift

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is traveling to the Russian city of St Petersburg for a face-to-face meeting with his counterpart, Vladimir Putin.

It will be the first time the two strongmen leaders have met since Turkish interceptors blasted a Russian warplane out of the skies over Syria in November. The incident, in which one of the air crew was killed as he parachuted from the aircraft, provoked a diplomatic firestorm, with a furious Kremlin vowing retribution. A second Russian serviceman was killed trying to rescue the other crew member on the ground.
Today’s loss for us was like a stab in back delivered by the accomplices of terrorists,” President Putin said on state television at the time.
It will have serious consequences for Russia’s relations with Turkey, ” he promised.


As well as blocking trade ties with Ankara, banning the import of food stuffs from Turkey, Putin also struck at the Turkish tourism industry, halting charter flights that carried millions of Russians to Turkish resorts. Visa-free travel to Russia was canceled for Turks, and Turkish workers were asked to leave, their visas revoked. The Kremlin’s retribution also got personal. Russian defense officials called an unprecedented news conference to reveal satellite and spy plane video of what they said were oil shipments to Turkey from ISIS controlled areas of Iraq and Syria.
Defense officials told journalists they believed the family of President Erdogan were intimately involved in the illegal trade and were profiting from it. President Erdogan strenuously denied the allegations. For months it seemed the bitterness between Putin and Erdogan would never heal: a battle of wills between two autocratic hardliners at odds over Syria.
But then, suddenly, something changed.
The Turkish leader unexpectedly moved to heal the rift with the Kremlin, writing a letter expressing “regret” to the family of the pilot who was killed in the shoot-down.
Turkey’s attempt to restore ties to Russia was driven by desperation,” said Fadi Hakura, Turkey specialist at the Chatham House think tank in London.
Turkey needed to restore economic and trade ties to Russia. Turkey needs Russian tourists to flow back to the Turkish resorts. Turkey also needs Russia to try to restore some of the lost influence it once had in Syria,” he told CNN.

Within days of the Erdogan letter, the foreign ministers of the two rivals were meeting in the Black Sea resort of Sochi and Putin was lifting sanctions, beginning what he said was the process of normalizing trade ties. Then the situation took a dramatic turn, with events in Turkey giving Erdogan’s rekindled ties with Putin unexpected significance.

A failed coup in Turkey gave way to a widespread crackdown by Erdogan on his opponents. Many Turks believed their allies in the West had failed to condemn to coup attempt in harshly enough, and were too critical of the mass arrests.
For Turkey, the détente with Russia was now an opportunity display its strategic options.
Turkish officials deny they are turning their backs on the West. But Erdogan’s cordial trip to Russia, a nation at odds with the West on a host of issues from Syria to Ukraine, may give Turkey’s allies pause for thought. And amid Ankara’s strained relations with the West, the Kremlin also senses an opportunity to win over a NATO member, said Alexander Shimulin, of the US-Canada Institute in Moscow.
To increase divisions within the Western community and in NATO is one of the purposes and one of the goals designed by Russia,” he added.

President Assad Assures Putin Of Readiness For Syria Ceasefire

Russian said on Wednesday that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has confirmed his support for Syrian ceasefire.

A statement from Moscow said Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has confirmed support for the planned ceasefire in his country during a telephone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

It said further that Al-Assad described the ceasefire as an “important step toward a political resolution” for Syria’s civil war.

The statement said further that both leaders emphasized the necessity of continuing an “uncompromised fight” against UN-designated terrorist groups, such as Islamic State and al-Nusra Front.

The ceasefire would come into force on Saturday at midnight (2200 GMT Friday).

Credit: NAN

Turkish President ‘Erdogan’ Says Turkey Has Proof Of Russian Involvement In IS Oil Trade

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday said Turkey had proof Russia was involved in illegal oil trade with the Islamic State (IS) group in Syria, countering “immoral” Russian allegations that his own family was importing oil from the jihadists. “We have the proof in our hands. We will reveal it to the world,” Erdogan said in a televised address in Ankara.

The Russian defence ministry on Wednesday accused Erdogan and his family of involvement in the illegal oil trade with IS jihadists after Ankara’s downing of one of Moscow’s warplanes last month which plunged the two countries’ relations into a crisis. “In recent days a fashion led by Russia has emerged. Actually, Russia does not believe this either,” said Erdogan, referring to the alleged oil trade with IS group.

“Look, Russia has to prove that the Turkish republic buys oil from Daesh, otherwise this is a slander,” he added, using an Arabic acronym for IS extremists. “The immoral side of this issue is involving my family in the affair,” Erdogan added.  Erdogan repeated that he would resign if Moscow proved the allegation and said it was actually Russians who were involved in oil dealings.

“Who is buying oil (from IS)? Let me say it. George Haswani, holder of a Russian passport and a Syrian national, is one of the biggest merchants in this business,” Erdogan said.   In November, the US Treasury imposed sanctions on Haswani, who was also placed on an European Union sanctions list, for serving as a middleman for oil purchases by the Syrian regime from the IS group.

Erdogan said Thursday “a famous Russian chess player” was also involved in the oil business with IS, without giving a name. “He’s also in this race,” he said.  The new US sanctions also apply to Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, a wealthy Russian businessman and long-standing president of the World Chess Federation (FIDE) who was formerly president of the southern Russian region of Kalmykia.

Terrorism Is Our Common Enemy – Hollande, Putin

Russian President, Vladimir Putin on Thursday praised efforts by his French counterpart, Francois Hollande to set up a coalition to fight the Islamic State terrorist militia.

“You’re putting a great deal of attention and effort into the creation of a broad anti-terrorist coalition.

“What’s more, we think this coalition is absolutely necessary and that’s where our positions coincide”, Putin said in a meeting with Hollande.

The meeting became imperative owing to Nov. 13 terrorist attacks in Paris, Oct. 31 downing of the Russian A321 passenger jet in Egypt, both attacks claimed by the Islmaic State.

“All of this prompt us to pool efforts in the struggle with this common evil, as we are mourning together with you over the losses France has suffered’’, he added.

For his part, Hollande thanked all Russians for their reaction to the Paris terrorist attacks.

“I have come here so that we could find a solution and move together on this path, effectively fighting the common enemy and searching for political solutions to settle the situation in Syria”, Hollande said.

Hollande travelled to Moscow for a meeting and working dinner with Putin as part of a week long campaign by Hollande to push for a more aggressive approach to fighting the Islamic State.

Prior to Hollande’s arrival, Putin made calls on Thursday for a unified, powerful force to combat terrorists in Syria, indicating a willingness to work jointly with France.



ISIS Funded By 40 Countries Including G20 Members- Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin yesterday dropped a bombshell when he alleged that the dreaded Islamic State (ISIS) is being funded by 40 countries including some members of the G20 countries.

Putin who spoke at the ongoing G20 meeting in Turkey said he had shared intelligence with the other G20 member states, which reveals that ISIS finances the majority of its terrorist activities with support from these countries and that, surprisingly, the countries include a number of G20 countries.

He said, “I provided examples based on our data on the financing of different Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) units by private individuals. This money, as we have established, comes from 40 countries and there are some of the G20 members among them.”

In addition to discussing the need to stop the flow of donor money to ISIS, Putin also reiterated the need to stop the illegal oil trade by ISIS.

“I’ve shown our colleagues photos taken from space and from aircraft which clearly demonstrate the scale of the illegal trade in oil and petroleum products. The motorcade of refuelling vehicles stretched for dozens of kilometres, so that from a height of 4,000 to 5,000 metres they stretch beyond the horizon,” Putin added.

Credit: AgencyReport

ISIS Terrorist That Auctioned Off Young Christian Girls Killed In Russian Airstrike

According to Villi Wilson, this ISIS guy that was pictured auctioning off Christian girls in a slave market – laughing and happy (pic above) – was killed in the Russian airstrike recently. Villi wrote:

“You remember the son of a bitch ISIS guy that was auctioning off christian girls…Yep…Putin got him!!” See a pic of his corpse below…

Russia Changed Forever By Nemtsov’s Murder

Russia has been changed forever by the murder of opposition politician Boris Nemtsov a day after thousands marched through central Moscow in his memory. “The reaction to the murder of Boris Nemtsov turned out to be as extraordinary as the politician himself,” wrote the Kommersant business daily in a front page article that ran alongside a photo of Nemtsov carried at Sunday’s memorial march.

nemstovOrganisers said that 70,000 people marched through central Moscow, crossing the bridge where Nemtsov was shot, a turnout that Kommersant said had not been reached since the mass opposition rallies of 2011 against President Vladimir Putin’s return to the Kremlin.

Nemtsov’s murder within sight of the Kremlin walls “crossed a psychological boundary, after which Russia will inevitably be different,” wrote the business daily Vedomosti in a front-page editorial.

“After Nemtsov’s shocking murder, a lot of people have said that we woke up in a different country,” wrote website, calling the march in memory of Nemtsov “a march against fear.” “In fact we have for at least a year lived in a country where thinking differently was equated with treachery, and some were ready to kill for this. It’s just that yesterday they were killing with words, and today they have started with bullets,” wrote.

Opposition newspaper Novaya Gazeta wrote that Nemtsov regularly received death threats but did not take them seriously. “In recent years I have seen a huge number of provocations, threats and acts of meanness. And I’ve developed a certain immunity to this,” it quoted Nemtsov as saying last April. Commenting on pressure from Russia’s authorities, Nemtsov said: “Well maybe they could kill me, I don’t know, but it’s more likely they would put me in prison.”

Popular pro-Kremlin tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravada, however, dismissed the possibility that Nemtsov was killed for his political beliefs. “Who has ever been killed in our country for purely political reasons?” it asked in an editorial.  “This isn’t Ukraine after all… Here a lot of people are killed for money but you don’t find people killed for politics.”

Novaya Gazeta however described Nemtsov’s murder as a “point of no return, of radical destabilisation of Russia’s domestic politics, whose consequences cannot yet be predicted.” Kommersant pointed out that the repercussions of Nemtsov’s murder will affect Russia’s image globally and if it is not adequately investigated, “could be a serious argument for supporters of a hard approach towards Moscow.”

West Supplying Kiev with Arms- Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin says Ukrainian forces are being supplied with Western weaponry, while expressing optimism about the potential success of a truce pact for eastern Ukraine.

“According to our data, weapons are already being supplied [to Kiev],” Putin said at a Tuesday press conference in the Hungarian capital, Budapest, after a meeting with the country’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

The Russian president warned that the supply of Western arms to Kiev would only contribute to higher casualty figures. “This is not surprising. I am convinced that whoever is supplying the weapons, the number of victims may grow, but the outcome will not change,” Putin noted as quoted in an RT report.

Read More:


17 Things You Didn’t Know About Vladimir Putin

1. Putin, 62, is divorced from his wife, Lyudmila Putin, 57, a linguist and former flight attendant whom he married in July 1983. “We practically never saw each other. To each his own life,” Putin saidwhen the couple announced their split in 2014.

2. Putin has two daughters, Maria (born in 1985) and Katerina (born in 1986), both rarely seen in public. They reportedly attended German-language secondary schools and St. Petersburg State University. Maria studied biology; Katerina, Asian studies. No official family portrait has ever been published. Putin’s personal life gets almost no attention in Russia. “Average Russians believe in the privacy of their leader,” said Katusa.

3. Then again, many journalists in Putin’s Russia have died horrible, excruciating deaths. “A free press seems to mean pitifully little to [Putin]. You investigate? You report? You die, unavenged,” wrote Peter Preston in The Guardian.

4. Putin was born October 7, 1952, in St. Petersburg, or Leningrad as it was then known. “I come from an ordinary family,” Putin himself has written. “I lived as an average, normal person.” Putin’s mother, Maria, was a factory worker and his father, Vladimir, wounded in World War II, worked a laborer on train cars. Putin’s older brother died as a child.

5. In the years following the Siege of Leningrad, which nearly killed his mother, the family was forced to move to a vermin-infested communal building. Putin spent hours chasing rats with a stick in the stairwell. Four adults and two children squeezed into a single 200-square-foot room on the fifth floor with no hot water, bathtub or toilet.

6. In the 1930s Putin’s father was drafted into the Soviet Navy, serving on a submarine fleet and later, the front lines against Germany in World War II. Putin himself has said, “My father had been assigned to a demolitions battalion [and was] engaged in sabotage behind German lines.” In one operation, Putin’s father blew up a munitions depot before the group ran out of food. The Germans ultimately cornered them.

7. “They had almost no chance of surviving,” said Putin. “Only a few people, including my father, managed to break out. Then the chase was on.” Putin said his father jumped into a swamp and “breathed through a hollow reed until the dogs passed by. Only four of 28 men survived.” Returning to combat, Putin’s father nearly had his legs blown off by a German grenade. He was disabled the rest of his life.

8. Putin was greatly influenced by his paternal grandfather, Spiridon Ivanovich Putin, a skilled cook who worked for Lenin, then Stalin. “[Putin’s grandfather] managed to outlive the tyrants he fed so well,” writes Katusa in The Colder War. “It required sensitive political instincts and nimble balancing… He passed what he learned to [his] grandson.” Spiridon, reportedly trained by the NKVD (the KGB’s predecessor), died when Putin was 13.

9. Putin grew up a troublemaker. “He was a schoolyard punk prone to violence,” says Katusa. A poor student, Putin was even hauled before a neighborhood “comrades’ court” for acts of petty delinquency.

10. At age 12 he started boxing and moved on to judo, karate and sambo, a Soviet martial art. Sports gave Putin a focus and helped him compensate for his slight 5’7” frame.

11. But “even that was not enough for maintaining my status, so to speak, for very long,” Putin has said. “I realized I also needed to study well.” When he – interested by now in the spying life – learned law school was a key entry path for the KGB, his life took a decisive turn.

12. Putin enrolled at Leningrad State University in 1970, earning his law degree five years later. At age 22 he was recruited into the KGB – and for the next 16 years worked as a self-described “specialist in human relations.”

13. Fluent in German and able to pass for Nordic, Putin was posted to Dresden in the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) in 1985 and spent five years undercover. He was promoted several times. “He was expert at reading and manipulating people and was unfazed by violence,” writes Katusa. “These were indispensable qualities for anyone out to make his way to the top of the Russian political pile.”

14. When the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, Putin’s undercover days were over. He returned to university, and in his doctoral thesis argued that Russia’s economic success would ultimately depend on exploiting its energy resources. He then entered politics and rose meteorically.

15. In 1999 Boris Yeltsin selected Putin to be prime minister “with prospects.” Putin himself has said, “I thought, If I can do something to help save Russia from falling apart, this would be something to be proud of.” He served two terms as president, returned to the prime minister role but still pulled the levers of power — and is now serving a third term as president despite protests in Moscow. He has said he might want a fourth term.

16. Putin almost always acts militarily from calculation, not reaction. “He carefully weighs the costs and risks of acting against the likely benefit to the homeland… Nevertheless,” warns Katusa ominously, “it is best not to poke him in the eye.”

17. Putin likes The Beatles. His favorite Beatle is Paul McCartney – and his favorite Beatles tune is “Yesterday.”


I Am A Lover And I Am Loved In Return – President Vladimir Putin

President Vladimir Putin let slip during his annual news conference Thursday that he “loves” and is loved in return, but refused to reveal the identity of his mystery partner.

Asked by a journalist whether he loved someone, Putin said “I do, I tell you”. When asked whether someone loved him back, he said briefly that the person “loves me”.

He refused to give any more details, saying: “Everything is in order. Don’t worry.”

The 62-year-old president is sometimes referred to as Russia’s most eligible bachelor after he announced a divorce from his wife of 30 years, Lyudmila, who shared his years as a spy in East Germany.

Putin said on Thursday that he maintains “good, friendly relations” Lyudmila.

In 2008, a Moscow newspaper reported that he was to marry Alina Kabayeva, a former Olympic rhythmic gymnast 31 years his junior, who was then an MP in the ruling party.

Putin angrily denied the report and the intrusion into his personal life.

The newspaper shut down shortly afterwards.

Vladmir Putin Tells Russian Citizens : “Brace Up Hard Times Are Coming”

President Vladimir Putin of Russia has warned his citizens of hard times ahead and urged self-reliance. He said this in his annual state-of-the nation address to parliament. BBCcovered the event:

Russia has been hit hard by falling oil prices and by Western sanctions imposed in response to its interventions in the crisis in neighbouring Ukraine.

The rouble, once a symbol of stability under Mr Putin, suffered its biggest one-day decline since 1998 on Monday.

The government has warned that Russia will fall into recession next year.

Speaking to both chambers in the Kremlin, Mr Putin also accused Western governments of seeking to raise a new “iron curtain” around Russia.

He expressed no regrets for annexing Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula, saying the territory had a “sacred meaning” for Russia.

He insisted the “tragedy” in Ukraine’s south-east had proved that Russian policy had been right but said Russia would respect its neighbour as a brotherly country.


Source – BBC

New Russian Stealth Jet Fighter Called ‘Super Weapon’ Gives Russia Edge Over U.S. In Skies

A new Russian jet fighter, using stealth technology designed to conceal the plane from radar, is being called a “super weapon” by military experts who say that the fifth-generation Russian fighter jet actually surpasses United States fighters and could give Russia an advantage in the skies.

 Known as the TA-50 PAK FA, the new Russian stealth fighter is developed by the Russian aeronautic giant Sukhoi and is set to go into action in 2016. Russia is developing the new super fighter together with India, which is kicking in 25 percent of the T-50 program’s $20 billion projected cost.

Each T-50 PAK FA stealth jet fighter costs about $50 million to build. Russia is India’s second-biggest supplier of weapons, behind only the United States.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has called the new fifth-generation stealth fighter “superior to our main competitor, the F-22, in terms of maneuverability, weaponry and range.”

The Lockheed F-22 Raptor is one of the two most sophisticated stealth fighters in the U.S. arsenal, matched only by another fifth-generation Lockheed plane, the F-35 Lightning II. And according to U.S. military aviation experts, Putin’s claim was not just an empty boast.

“The analysis that I have seen on the PAK-FA indicates a pretty sophisticated design that is at least equal to, and some have said even superior to, U.S. fifth-generation aircraft,” said former U.S. Air Force intelligence head Lt. Gen. Dave Deptula, in an interview with the National Interest magazine. “It certainly has greater agility with its combination of thrust vectoring, all moving tail surfaces, and excellent aerodynamic design, than does the F-35.”

A top U.S. military aviation official, who spoke anonymously to the National Interest, seconded Deptula’s opinion. “Performance-wise it certainly looks to compete with the Raptor,” the official told the magazine.

While the new Russian stealth fighter is said to be less “stealthy,” that is, able to evade radar detection, than its U.S. counterparts, it makes up for that slight disadvantage with its incredible maneuverability in the skies that experts say is at least on par with the Raptor and far exceeds the Lightning II.

But the U.S. fighters still hold one advantage — data technology. The U.S. fighter jets still have better “sensor and data fusion,” in other words, technology for processing information about the jet fighter’s surroundings and feeding it to the pilot in a way that lets him make quick decisions. “In the future — while aerodynamic performance will continue to be important — [planes require] speed, range and payload to a greater degree than maneuverability,” Deptula said. “Even more important will be the ability to ubiquitously share knowledge to the point that we have faster decision advantage than any adversary.”

The Russians, however, are already at work on their sixth-generation jet fighters, which could solve the data problems and are scheduled to be ready for action by 2025.


Russia to G-20: We’re Here. So are our Warships.

Vladimir Putin is underlining his presence at a major summit of world leaders in Australia by stationing warships in waters off the country’s northeastern coast, prompting the Australian prime minister to angrily accuse Russia of trying to reclaim the “lost glories” of the Soviet Union.

The diplomatic drama, which has been simmering since a Malaysia Airlines plane was shot down over an area of Ukraine controlled by Russian-backed separatists in July, threatened to overshadow Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s goal of keeping this weekend’s G-20 summit focused on economic growth.

But Abbott, who had previously said he would physically confront the Russian president over the Flight 17 disaster that killed 298 people, including 38 Australian citizens and residents, did little to dampen tensions with his latest critique of Putin’s Russia.

Read More: Yahoo News

The World’s Most Powerful People

No one would call Vladimir Putin, the most powerful man in the world for the second year running, a good guy. In 2014 he strong-armed his way into possession of the Crimea and waged an ugly proxy war in neighboring Ukraine, during which an almost certainly Russian-supplied surface-to-air missile downed a civilian jetliner. But as the undisputed, unpredictable head of an energy-rich, nuclear-tipped state, no one would ever call him weak.

 Our annual ranking of the World’s 72 Most Powerful People (one for every 100 million people on the planet) is based on voting by a panel of FORBES editors, who consider things like financial resources, scope of action and the number of people they impact.

This year there are 12 newcomers, including Narendra Modi, the new Indian prime minister, at No. 15; Alibiba founder—and China’s richest man—Jack Ma (No. 30); and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the self-proclaimed caliph of the bloodthirsty Islamic State (No. 54). The top five positions are unchanged from last year, with Barack Obama remaining in second place ahead of China’s Xi Jinping.

This year’s list features 17 heads of state who run nations with a combined GDP of some $48 trillion — including the three most powerful people, Putin, Obama and Xi, the general secretary of the Communist Party of China. The 39 CEOs and chairs here control over $3.6 trillion in annual revenues. Among them are 14 founders, including the newest billionaires on the list, Alibaba’s Ma and  Tencent’s Ma Huateng (No. 53). Speaking of, this year’s class has 28 billionaires with a cumulative personal net worth valued in excess of $790 billion.

Here, a quick peek at the Most Powerful People in the World 2014:

Newcomers: Among the 12 newcomers are Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi  (No. 15), Wal-Mart CEO Doug McMillon (No. 29), Egypt President Abdel el-Sisi (No. 51) and Mary Barra, GM CEO (No. 62). Alexey Miller, CEO of Russian gas giant Gazprom, makes a return appearance at No. 47, after dropping of the list in years past. Miller is one of a few of Putin’s inner circle who was not placed on the U.S. and Western economic sanctions list.

Credit: Yahoo News/ Forbes

Ukraine Ceasefire Talks/ West Plans Russia Sanctions


Talks regarding restoring peace and ceasefire among conflicting sides, is ongoing in Belarus. Ukraine, Russia and pro-Russia rebels form the oppositions that are considering agreements to end the crisis in eastern Ukraine. However, there are new reports of shelling near the town of Mariupol.

Meanwhile, Western countries are preparing to announce a tightening of sanctions on Russia. They are attending the second day of a NATO summit in Newport, Wales.

The West accuses Russia of sending arms and troops to back the rebels in eastern Ukraine, even though Moscow denies the accusation. The enhanced sanctions are expected to target Russian banking, energy and defence, as well as what British sources call “Putin cronies”.

The UK however says the sanctions will probably go ahead whether or not a ceasefire is agreed at the talks in the Belarus capital, Minsk.

Breaking: Putin’s Spokesman Denies Ukraine/ Russia Ceasefire

Kiev says that leaders of aggrieved nations, Ukraine and Russia have agreed to a ceasefire, but Putin’s spokesman is denying claim.

Ukrainian presidency’s statement said on Wednesday after Poroshenko and Putin spoke by telephone that, “The conversation resulted in an agreement on a lasting ceasefire in Donbas. Mutual understanding was achieved regarding steps that would promote the establishment of peace.”

The office of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said that he and his Russian counterpart have reached agreement on a “permanent ceasefire” in eastern Ukraine, however Vladimir Putin’s spokesman said the leaders had only discussed “steps” towards a truce.

Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told the Russian news agency Ria-Novosti that the two leaders had not agreed on a ceasefire because Moscow is not party to the conflict, adding: “They only discussed how to settle the conflict.”