Articles Tagués ‘Moscow’

Wed Feb 25, 2015 6:49AM
US combat vehicles parade near Russia's border in Narva, Estonia on February 24, 2015.

US combat vehicles parade near Russia’s border in Narva, Estonia on February 24, 2015.

The United States has sent a number of combat vehicles to an Estonian city near the Russian border for military maneuvers in a move to show muscles to Moscow.

Amid the escalating tensions between the two powers, the armored personnel carriers and other US Army vehicles rolled through the streets of Narva on Tuesday, the Washington Post reported.

A group of American soldiers participated in the parade with 1,300 Estonian soldiers to mark the country’s Independence Day.

The border city of Narva that is separated by a river from Russia has a majority of ethnic Russian residents.

The relations between Washington and Moscow have been strained over the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.

Ukraine’s mainly Russian-speaking regions of Donetsk and Lugansk in the east have witnessed deadly clashes between pro-Russian forces and the Ukrainian army since Kiev launched military operations to silence pro-Moscow protests in mid-April 2014.

The United States accuses Russia of sending troops into eastern Ukraine in support of the pro-Russian forces. Moscow, however, denies any involvement.

In November, US tanks paraded through the streets of Riga for Latvia’s Independence Day.

The US military has sent hundreds of troops to countries in the Baltics since the conflict began in Ukraine.

In an article over the weekend, former US congressman Ron Paul said last year’s incidents that overthrew the legally-elected government of Ukraine’s former president Viktor Yanukovych “was not only supported by US and EU governments — much of it was actually planned by them.”

Pentagon chief warns President Putin

US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter has accused Russia of violating the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, threatening Russian President Vladimir Putin with responses.

During his confirmation hearing, Carter told senators that the Pentagon has many options against Russia, including active defenses to counter intermediate-range ground-launched cruise missiles; counter-force capabilities to prevent intermediate-range ground-launched cruise missile attacks; and countervailing strike capabilities to enhance US or allied forces.

“US responses must make clear to Russia that if it does not return to compliance, our responses will make them less secure than they are today,” he said.

Washington says Moscow violated the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty and the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe.

However, Russia denied the allegation and said the testing of a ground-launched cruise missile in July 2014 was in compliance with the INF treaty.

Russia says the US missile plans across the globe are a real threat not only to Russia but also to the whole world, adding the missile systems harm the strategic balance of forces across the globe.




Khodorkovsky spent 10 years in prison for fraud and tax evasion until he was pardoned in December 2013.

© RIA Novosti. Ramil Sitdikov

20:48 17.10.2014(updated 16:51 05.11.2014)
Alexander Mercouris

There is a certain type of Russian liberal who holds to particular beliefs with the same stubborn commitment as followers of a religious sect do. For these liberals, three of such beliefs are paramount and to question them is heresy.

LONDON, October 17 (RIA Novosti) — There is a certain type of Russian liberal who holds to particular beliefs with the same stubborn commitment as followers of a religious sect do. For these liberals, three of such beliefs are paramount and to question them is heresy. The liberal catechism is as follows:”:

1. Vladimir Putin is Lucifer’s Viceroy on Earth. Everything he does is evil. Everyone who opposes him, almost by definition, is therefore good.

2. The United States is God. Its actions are wise and good especially when targeting Putin, the embodiment of evil.

3. Mikhail Khodorkovsky is God’s representative in Russia and is a saintly figure, martyred for his beliefs.

Of these three it is the third that is the strangest.

Khodorkovsky is an unlikely hero. Through a series of ruthless manipulations he managed to capture control of a large part of the Russian oil industry becoming Russia’s richest man.  His methods included setting up an intricate web of companies through which, according to the Russian courts, he defrauded his investors and minority shareholders and by which, according to both the Russian courts and the European Court of Human Rights, he systematically cheated the Russian state of billions in unpaid taxes. There have been darker rumours as well – of methodical bribery and intimidation of officials and parliamentary deputies and even of contract killings, though since these have never been proved in court, it is perhaps better to avoid placing weight on them.  After all, what has already been proved is bad enough.

That Russian liberals ever rallied to the cause of this man is in itself a sign of their blindness to reality. That they have persisted in doing this, whilst the European Court of Human Rights has opposed him is testimony both to the fanaticism of their beliefs and to the extent of their blindness.
Given the extent to which liberal belief in Khodorkovsky stands reality on its head, it was however inevitable following his release at the end of last year that his actions would test this belief system to the breaking point.

Khodorkovsky first dismayed his liberal followers by saying that he did not intend to engage in politics.  However, he then appeared to contradict himself when in March he turned up at Kiev’s Maidan Square and made a vitriolic speech supporting the seizure of power that had just happened there.

Russian liberals seem to contend that the Euromaidan movement was therefore good, despite what the facts might say, just like they contended that Mikheil Saakashvili, the pathologically Russophobic former President of Georgia who launched the US-backed 2008 South Ossetia war, was also good for the same reason.

In March and September Russian liberals marched through Moscow waving Ukrainian flags and chanting their support for the present Ukrainian regime.  Of course for such people it is Putin, not the Maidan movement, who must be blamed for Ukraine’s problems despite what the facts might say; after all, the United States says he is.

Having pleased his Russian liberal followers by supporting the Maidan movement, Khodorkovksy then pleased them further by announcing that he was going to involve himself in Russian politics after all.

The subsequent horror for these same Russian liberals when Khodorkovsky, in a series of tweets, that first avoided giving a straight answer and then categorically confirmed that he would not hand over Crimea to Ukraine, is easy to imagine.  God’s representative in Russia, the martyred Khodorkovsky, is contradicting God, i.e., the United States, and appears to be siding with Putin and evil against Maidan and good.

Khodorkovsky’s refusal to return Crimea makes perfect sense. Crimea is a historic Russian land that only found itself part of an independent Ukraine as a result of an accident. Its people overwhelmingly consider themselves Russians and overwhelmingly want to be in Russia. The vast majority of Russians agree and support Crimea’s reunification with Russia.  No political figure, not even Khodorkovsky, who wants Russia to be taken seriously, can argue otherwise.

If one thing has however become abundantly clear, it is that Russian liberals simply do not think in a serious political way. In order to remain firm in their beliefs, however factually wrong or even absurd they may be, and however much this distances them from the Russian people, is always more important.  More important still, is retaining the favour of the United States, whose good opinion is of immeasurably greater value to them than is that of their own people, whom they hold in contempt.

What this bizarre episode therefore shows is the difficulty even Khodorkovsky will have if he tries to reach out beyond his liberal core supporters by challenging their beliefs. Since Khodorkovsky’s actual chances of attracting widespread support are in fact non-existent, the probability is that he will fall back onto his liberal supporters and that this “lapse” will be forgotten. That Russian liberals cannot accept reality even as it stares at them in the face, even when someone like Khodorkovsky tries to point this out to them, shows why they are doomed to remain a politically isolated, marginal force.

This episode also teaches an important lesson for the United States and for the West. If even someone like Khodorkovsky realizes that the handover of Crimea to Ukraine is an impossibility, then it is never going to happen. That is the simple truth, and the sooner the United States, the West and Kiev accept it, the better.

Alexander Mercouris is a London-based lawyer. The views expressed in this article are the author’s and may not necessarily represent those of RIA Novosti.



00 Vitaly Podvitsky. A Crimean Salute. 2014




Reuters Philippe Wojazer

Le PDG de Total, Christophe de Margerie, est mort ce lundi 20 octobre, dans le crash de son avion privé à l’aéroport de Moscou. Il était âgé de 63 ans.

Selon le site d’informations russe Life News, ce tragique accident aurait eu lieu lors du décollage du Falcon 50 du PDG de Total aux alentours de 00H10 (Heure de Moscou) sur l’aéroport de Vnukovo. Immédiatement après le décollage, un signal de détresse aurait été déclenché par le pilote.

En raison des dommages, le pilote aurait alors décidé de faire demi-tour mais ne maîtrisant plus l’avion, le jet se serait violemment écrasé sur la piste avant de s’enflammer, tuant tout le monde à bord. Signe de la violence de l’impact, les débris du Falcon seraient éparpillés sur plus de 200 mètres.

“Un esprit libre et volontiers provocateur”

Issu d’une famille d’ambassadeurs et d’entrepreneurs, celui qui était surnommé “Big moustache” était une personnalité à part dans le monde de l’industrie. Ce libéral authentique n’hésitait pas à déclarer que “le vrai problème qu’on a en France, c’est l’Etat”. Dans un portrait publié en 2009,  Libération raconte que de Margerie avait proposé au service de communication de son groupe de “lancer une grande campagne avec distribution gratuite de paillassons siglés Total sur lesquels les Français pourraient s’essuyer les pieds à loisir et décharger ainsi leur agressivité contre le groupe pétrolier” encore marqué par le naufrage de l’Erika ou la dramatique catastrophe d’AZF.


CEO of French oil giant Total dies in jet crash at Moscow’s Vnukovo Airport

Published time: October 20, 2014 21:14
Edited time: October 21, 2014 05:00

The CEO of France’s oil and gas giant Total, Christophe de Margerie, was among four people killed in a business jet crash at Vnukovo Airport in Moscow after the aircraft hit a snowplow on take-off.

Total’s chairman and CEO was the only passenger in the Falcon 50 business jet besides three crewmembers who were also French citizens.