Tag: Russian

Turkey Retaliates Against Russia’s Detainment Of 8 Turkish Ships By Detaining 27 Russian Vessels

Turkey Detains 27 Russian Ships In Retaliation For Russia’s Detaining 8 Turkish Vessels – Jewish Press

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Turkey has tightened its inspections of Russian ships docked in its harbors in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, and has so far detained 27 Russian ships which failed to meet sailing criteria. This move is in retaliation for the Russian authorities detaining Eight Turkish ships in Russian ports, denying them permission to travel since Nov. 24, the day when Turkey downed a Russian military jet. The Turks said the Russian ships were too old to sail.

According to Turkish daily Habertürk, citing shipping officials in Ankara, Turkish and Russian authorities contacted each other via email, with the Russian side agreeing to a meeting to resolve the crisis, although how and when the parties will meet is yet unclear.

According to Daily Sabah, as soon as the Russian Su-24 fighter was downed over Turkey’s airspace, Russia implemented non-reciprocal trade ties and customs practices. It detained Turkish business travelers, blocked Turkish trucks from crossing the border into Russia, and denied Turkish civilian vessels entry into Russian ports, forcing them to wait in open waters.

Daily Sabah claims that while Turkish officials have been attempting to ease the tensions, declaring they never considered Russia an enemy of Turkey, Russia remained hostile, and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev issued a list of sanctions against Turkey. The list, published on the government’s official website on Tuesday, includes agricultural products that Russia would no longer import from Turkey beginning Jan. 1, and retroactively approved a ban on charter flights to Turkey which has been in effect since Dec. 1.

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Putin Threatens ‘Serious Consequences’ After Turkey Shoots Down Russian Jet (Pictures/Video)

Putin Warns Turkey There Will Be ‘Serious Consequences’ For ‘Stabbing Russia In The Back’ By Shooting Down One Of Its Jets… As Video Emerges Of Rebels Chanting ‘Allahu Akbar’ Over The Body Of Dead Pilot – Daily Mail

Turkey’s military have today shot down a Russian war plane near its border with Syria after the jet violated Turkish air space.

The Russian Sukhoi Su-24 jet was shot down by Turkish F-16 fighter planes after ignoring nearly a dozen warnings, Turkish army officials said.

President Vladimir Putin called Turkey’s decision to shoot down the plane a ‘stab in the back by the terrorists’ accomplices’, as his Defence Ministry still claims the jet was in Syrian airspace

Footage reportedly filmed by rebels in Syria’s Turkomen Mountains, an area which has been the cause of recent tensions between Turkey and Russia, shows local fighters cheer as they discover the body of one of the Russian pilots.

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The video, posted on Twitter by a man believed to be a Syrian-Turkmen rebel soldier, shows at least a dozen men surrounding the corpse of the pilot, dressed in Russian military fatigues, and some are heard shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ – ‘God is great’.

Local rebels said the pilot, who can be seen covered in bruises and burns in the video, was already deceased when he landed, and that none of the Russian pilots had been killed by Syrian fighters.

The area is mainly populated by Turkmens – Syrians citizens, but ethnic Turks – and is the target of a current Syrian government offensive, where President Bashar al-Assad’s ground troops are supported by Russian airstrikes.

The Turkish army said the pilots of the Russian jet had been warned ‘ten times in the space of five minutes’ before the plane was shot down.

Both pilots ejected themselves from the jet and could be seen parachuting down to the ground, where one has been reported dead and the other captured by Syrian Turkmen rebels.

The Turkomen Mountains is controlled by several insurgent groups, who are not allied with ISIS, including al-Qaida’s branch in Syria, the Nusra Front, and the 2nd Coastal Division that consists of local Turkmen fighters.

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Just hours before the Russian jet was shot down, Ankara called for a U.N Security Council meeting to discuss attacks on Turkmen areas in Syria, which have forced some 1,700 civilians to flee their homes in the last three days, according to Turkish officials.

It followed a summoning of Moscow’s ambassador on Friday, when Ankara demanded an immediate end to the Russian military operation near the Syrian border saying the Russian actions did not ‘constitute a fight against terrorism’ but the bombing of civilians.

Ambassador Andrey Karlov was warned during the meeting that the Russian operations could lead to serious consequences, the ministry said.

Turkish officials said the Russian plane was first warned that it was within ten miles of the Turkish border, and the aircraft then crossed over Turkish territory, adding that a second plane had also approached the border and been warned.

‘The data we have is very clear. There were two planes approaching our border, we warned them as they were getting too close,’ a senior Turkish official said.

‘We warned them to avoid entering Turkish airspace before they did, and we warned them many times. Our findings show clearly that Turkish airspace was violated multiple times. And they violated it knowingly,’ the official said.

NATO allies will hold an ‘extraordinary’ meeting later today at Ankara’s request to discuss Tuesday morning’s incident, an alliance official said.

‘At the request of Turkey, the North Atlantic Council will hold an extraordinary meeting at 4pm. The aim of this extraordinary NAC is for Turkey to inform Allies about the downing of a Russian airplane,’ the official said.

The North Atlantic Council consists of ambassadors from the 28 NATO member states.

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A Turkish military statement, issued before it was confirmed that the jet was Russian, said the plane entered Turkish airspace over the town of Yayladagi, in Hatay province.

‘On Nov. 24, 2015 at around 09.20am, a plane whose nationality is not known violated the Turkish airspace despite several warnings (ten times within five minutes) in the area of Yayladagi, Hatary.

‘Two F-16 planes on aerial patrol duty in the area intervened against the plane in question in accordance with the rules of engagement at 09.24am.’

The Turkish Army later released a radar analysis image which they say tracks the movement of the Russian Sukhoi Su-24 jet, showing where it entered Turkish air space, and where it went down.

‘This isn’t an action against any specific country. Our F-16s took the necessary steps to defend Turkey’s sovereign territory,’ a Turkish official told news agencies on condition of anonymity.

Russia’s Defence Ministry said in a statement that they are looking into the circumstances of the crash of the Russian jet.

‘The Ministry of Defence would like to stress that the plane was over the Syrian territory throughout the flight.’

The statement also claimed that the Sukhoi-24 had been shot down from the ground at the altitude of 6,000 metres (3.73m).

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Vladimir Putin’s spokesman called the downing of the Su-24 warplane a ‘very serious incident’ but declined to comment further until more facts emerged.

‘It is just impossible to say something without having full information,’ said Dmitry Peskov.

Russia’s government-run TV Zvezda claimed the warplane had been in Syrian airspace the entire time, which allegedly could be proven by ‘control systems’, a ministry spokesman said.

‘It’s the kind of thing we’re been warning about,’ said Ian Kearns, director of the European Leadership Network think-tank in London.

‘And it’s a direct military engagement between a NATO country and Russia, so I think it’s a serious incident in anybody’s book.’

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has spoken with the chief of military staff and the foreign minister about the developments on the Syrian border, the prime minister’s office said in a statement, without mentioning the downed jet.

He has ordered the foreign ministry to consult with NATO, the United Nations and related countries on the latest developments, his office said.

Last month, Turkish jets shot down an unidentified drone that had also violated Turkey’s airspace.

Turkey and Russia have long been at loggerheads over the Syrian conflict, with Ankara seeking Assad’s overthrow while Moscow does everything to keep him in power.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is due to visit Turkey on Wednesday to discuss Syria, in a trip arranged before this incident.Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan is meanwhile expected to visit Russia for talks with Putin in late December.

Russia’s participation in the Syrian peace process talks in Vienna, the co-operation on the UN Security Council resolution and meetings between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Nato leaders provided signs of a renewed diplomatic engagement between Moscow and the West in recent weeks.

French President Francois Hollande will meet Mr Putin on Thursday and Russia has offered co-operation in the fight against IS following the atrocities in Paris and the downing of a Russian passenger jet in Egypt.
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Russian Intelligence: ISIS-Affiliated Terrorists Massing On Afghan Border For Invasion Of Central Asia

ISIS Jihadis Massing For Huge Invasion Of Central Asia: Russia Spies Discover Terror Plan – Daily Express

Russian intelligence officers claim Islamic State (ISIS) is preparing to take on Central Asia in its latest battle to take on the world in a frightening discovery.

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Huge numbers of Islamist fighters are massing on Afghanistan’s northern border ready to march into neighbouring states, Russian intelligence officials have revealed.

Moscow’s spy chief Alexander Bortnikov warned fighters from the Taliban, many of whom have pledged allegiance to ISIS, were heavily armed and prepared to pass through porous border controls.

Speaking at a meeting of special services from the Commonwealth of Independent States, he warned: “The international community has now hit a new geopolitical challenge, an international criminal group in the name of the Islamic State.

“This project, which grew out of the ‘Arab Spring,’ has gained momentum thanks to the double standards of certain world regional powers by using ‘a terrorist battering ram’ to reach their own strategic goals in Asia and Africa.

“According to our estimates, citizens from more than 100 countries are currently fighting in the ranks of terrorist structures and the recruits constitute up to 40 percent of their forces.

“The escalation in tensions in Afghanistan has brought on serious dangers. There are numerous criminal groups included in the Taliban movement on the northern borders of this country right now. Some of them have also began operating under the Islamic State flag, which has led to a sharp rise in the threat of terrorists invading Central Asia.”

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The jihadi hate group could be trying to open up a new front to the north of its territories after being pegged back in Syria by Russian airstrikes.

The invasion would be a swipe at Vladimir Puitin as it would take them into the former Soviet states of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, which are still beholden to Moscow.

They would also secure control of lucrative drug trafficking routes taking raw opium from Afghanistan to be sold as heroin on the streets of Russia and Europe.

ISIS has been looking to grow its presence in Asia and has active cells in India, Pakistan and Malaysia.

Putin earlier this month called the situation in Afghanistan “close to critical” and called on other ex-Soviet nations to be prepared to act together to repel a possible attack by ISIS.

The Islamic maniacs have been heavily battered by Western and Russian airstrikes, with some experts warning its economy is ailing and its command structure close to collapse.

The brutal jihadis have previously announced their intentions to take over the world and subject everyone to their warped ideology of Sharia Law.

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Russian Opposition Leader Boris Nemtsov Murdered One Day Before Major Anti-Putin Protest

Shot In The Kremlin’s Shadow: Russian Opposition Leader Killed In ‘Politically Motivated’ Attack A Day Before Major Anti-Putin Protest – Daily Mail

A leading Russian opposition politician and vocal critic of Vladimir Putin was gunned down in a ‘politically motivated’ drive-by shooting on the streets of Moscow last night.

Former deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov, 55, was under surveillance by his killers before they fatally shot him down in the shadow of the Kremlin the day before a major anti-Putin protest.

He had been working on a report presenting evidence he believed proved Russia’s direct involvement in the separatist rebellion that erupted in eastern Ukraine last year.

The father-of-four was shot four times by assailants in a white car as he walked across a bridge over the Moskva River with 23-year-old Ukrainian model Anna Duritskaya, who was unhurt.

‘The murderers knew Nemtsov’s route, he was spied on,’ said a police source.

Just hours before his death, Nemtsov told Ekho Moskvy radio that Putin had pushed Russia into an economic crisis through his ‘mad, aggressive and deadly policy of war against Ukraine.’

President Putin has condemned the murder and assumed ‘personal control’ of the investigation into the killing, said his spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

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Mr Peskov, said the shooting could also be a ‘provocation’ as the opposition has planned a big protest in Moscow on Sunday.

He said Putin had been quickly informed of the killing and that the president had expressed his condolences and ordered the security agencies to investigate.

Nemtsov was one of the organisers of the Spring March opposition protest set for Sunday, which comes amid a severe economic downturn in Russia caused by low oil prices and Western sanctions.

He leaves behind his wife Raisa Akhmetovna and four children.

Opposition activist Ilya Yashin told Ekho Moskvy radio he had no doubt that Mr Nemtsov’s murder was politically motivated.

He said: ‘Boris Nemtsov was a stark opposition leader who criticised the most important state officials in our country, including President Vladimir Putin.

‘As we have seen, such criticism in Russia is dangerous for one’s life. He got lots of threats, mostly via social networks, anonymously.

‘I have no doubt this was a political killing. The only threat to his life came from his political activity. He had no foes other than political ones.’

Nemtsov’s death came one year after the Russian annexation of Crimea in a special operation by Russian special forces. The politician was a strong and outspoken critic of Putin’s policy on Ukraine.

Just hours earlier, Putin had declared 27 February a new ‘professional holiday’ for special operation soldiers in his armed forces and secret services.

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Political analyst Sergey Parkhomenko alluding to this new holiday said that Nemtsov’s killing was carefully planned and a ‘present’ for someone.

‘There is a war going on here. If someone thinks otherwise… we’re now living in a country that is fully-fledged in a war.’

‘Nemtsov’s murder is a terrible tragedy for Russia,’ said ex-finance minister Alexei Kudrin, a Putin ally.

Britain has said it will follow closely investigations into the killing.

A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: ‘We are shocked and saddened by news that former Russian deputy prime minister Boris Nemtsov has been shot and killed in Moscow.

‘Our thoughts are with his family and we offer our condolences to them. We deplore this criminal act. Those responsible must be brought to justice. We will continue to follow the situation closely.’

US President Barack Obama has also condemned the ‘brutal murder’, the White House National Security Council said tonight on Twitter.

The White House called on the Russian government to conduct a ‘prompt, impartial and transparent investigation’ and to ‘ensure those responsible are brought to justice.’

Obama said he met Nemtsov in Moscow in 2009 when the Russian was willing to ‘share his candid views with me’.

‘We offer our sincere condolences to his family and to the Russian people, who have lost one of the most dedicated and eloquent defenders of their rights,’ he said.

Police cars blocked the street where Nemtsov was shot, and an ambulance was also nearby.

‘Nemtsov B.E. died at 2340 hours as a result of four shots in the back,’ an Interior Ministry spokeswoman said.

Nemtsov, 55, first gained an international profile after being spotted by former British premier Margaret Thatcher as a future leader of Russia, and she praised his market reforms after visiting Nizhny Novgorod where as governor in the early 1990s he led spearheaded reforms.

Later he rose to become deputy prime minister under Boris Yeltsin, but he was always opposed as too Western and liberal by hardliners.

He had angered the government two years ago when he charged that billions of dollars had been stolen from funds designated for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, his home town.

He blamed ‘Putin’s friends’ for the alleged embezzlement, which he described as ‘a real threat to Russia’s national security.’

Putin’s former premier Mikhail Kasyanov, now an opposition leader, said: ‘The comments are very easy: the bastards.

‘They killed my friend in Moscow city centre, near the Kremlin wall.’

He warned: ‘This is a demonstration for all of us, for all open-minded people of Russia. How freedom of speech is finished in today’s Russia.

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‘Could we have imagined an opposition leader killed by the Kremlin wall yesterday? We couldn’t. The country is rolling to the abyss. It is terrible.’

His death was ‘payback for the fact that Boris consistently, for many, many years fought for Russia to be a free democratic country.’

Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev warned against jumping to conclusions.

‘Certain forces will try to use the killing to their own advantage. They are thinking how to get rid of Putin,’ he said.

Another key opposition figure Vladimir Ryzhkov said: ‘I’m absolutely shocked. It’s the first case of political murder in many years, a slaying of a politician of federal level.’

The killing was an ‘extraordinary, shocking event.’

He said that ‘political responsibility for what happened is with the authorities.’

Nemtsov had publicly expressed concerns for his life earlier this month and was outspoken in his opposition to Putin.

He was highly critical of the government’s inefficiency, rampant corruption and the Kremlin’s policy on Ukraine, which has strained Russia-West ties to a degree unseen since Cold War times.

He helped organise street protests and wrote extensively about official corruption. He had been due to take part on Sunday in the first big opposition protest in months in the Russian capital.

Ironically, hours earlier, Putin had declared 27 Febrary a new ‘professional holiday’ for special operation soldiers in his armed forces and secret services.

Political analyst Sergey Parkhomenko alluding to this new holiday said that Nemtsov’s killing was carefully planned and a ‘present’ for someone.

‘There is a war going on here. If someone thinks otherwise… we’re now living in a country that is fully-fledged in a war.’

‘Nemtsov’s murder is a terrible tragedy for Russia,’ said ex-finance minister Alexei Kudrin, a Putin ally.

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Nemtsov’s 87 year old mother Dina had had a premonition that her son would be killed.

He told earlier this month how his mother warned him: ‘When will you stop cursing Putin? He’ll kill you for that.’

‘She was completely serious,’ said Nemtsov, who admitted he was ‘somewhat worried’.

The assassination also comes after Nemtsov criticised Putin in the Financial Times on Thursday.

The politician had said residents he met in a town northeast of Moscow had complained about the country’s economic problems.

He added: ‘They believed that the embargo on imported foods is America’s fault, and they were surprised when I told them no, that was not Obama, it was Putin.

‘This is what we need to make people aware of: the crisis, that’s Putin.’

Mikhail Kasyanov, a former Russian prime minister now also in opposition, said he was shocked by the murder.

‘In the 21st century, a leader of the opposition is being demonstratively shot just outside the walls of the Kremlin!’ Kasyanov told reporters as Nemtsov’s body was placed in a plastic bag.

‘The country is rolling into the abyss.’

Kasyanov said the rally organisers decided that instead of the planned demonstration on Moscow’s southeastern outskirts, they will stage a demonstration in the centre of the capital to commemorate Nemtsov.

The murdered politician was known as an economic reformer during his time as governor of one of Russia’s biggest cities, Nizhny Novgorod.

Political analyst Stanislav Belkovsky told the radio station that he did not believe that Mr Nemtsov’s death would in any way serve Mr Putin’s interests.

‘But the atmosphere of hatred towards alternative thinkers that has formed over the past year, since the annexation of Crimea, may have played its role,’ he said, referring to the surge of intense and officially endorsed nationalist discourse increasingly prevalent in Russia since it annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula.

Nemtsov, who was Deputy Prime Minister of Russia from 1997 to 1998 during Boris Yeltsin’s presidency, was sentenced to 15 days in jail in January 2011 after being arrested at a New Year’s Eve protest rally for ‘disobedience towards police’.

One of Russia’s most prominent opposition leaders, he was among 68 people arrested at an unsanctioned rally at a central Moscow square.

Nemtsov and other protesters had gathered on the opposite side of the square from an authorised protest.

He was sentenced for failure to follow police orders, the state news agency RIA Novosti reported at the time.

A year ago, Putin had predicted a high profile opposition killing, claiming his deeply divided foes would kill on of their own number.

‘They are looking for a so-called sacrificial victim among some prominent figures,’ said Putin. ‘They will knock him off, I beg your pardon, and then blame the authorities for that.’

Nemtsov hit back at Putin for the statement, declaring:

‘If the head of the federal government, who controls all intelligence agencies, makes a public statement that he has information about such a provocation and such a crime, he must do everything to prevent it and not just publicly scare Russians.’

He warned: ‘If the authorities fail to do everything to prevent such a scenario,’ Nemtsov said then, ‘they will become accomplices in this grave crime being plotted.’

Nemtsov had accused Putin of turning Russia back to the Cold War.

‘He believes that everything he did was absolutely right… he is not critical about himself at all. He says that he is right and the world is wrong. Sometimes I believe that he is mad,’ he said.

When he died he was allegedly preparing to reveal evidence in a report entitled ‘Putin, War’ of Russia’s direct involvement in the Ukrainian crisis.

Sergei Mitrokhin, leader of the opposition Yabloko party, called the killing an ‘act of political terrorism’.

‘This is a challenge not just to the opposition but to the leadership of the country.’

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Russian Hackers Steal Over $1 Billion In Largest Bank Heist Ever

Russian Hackers Commit Largest Bank Heist In Human History; $1 Billion Gone – Gateway Pundit

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Using malware, Russian hackers steal more than $1 Billion in what’s being described as the biggest bank heist in human history.

As much as £650 million is thought to have gone missing after the gang used computer viruses to infect networks in more than 100 financial institutions worldwide.

The hackers managed to infiltrate the bank’s internal computer systems using malware, which lurked in the networks for months, gathering information and feeding it back to the gang.

The illegal software was so sophisticated that it allowed the criminals to view video feeds from within supposedly secure offices as they gathered the data they needed to steal.

Once they were ready to strike they were able to impersonate bank staff online in order to transfer millions of pounds into dummy accounts.

The hackers were also able to cause ATMs to dispense cash on demand without the use of a card.

The sophistication of this attack is reminiscent of the Sony hack, and while that was blamed on North Korea, maybe it’s time to take another look. After all, Sony did have another less noticed picture at the same time The Interview was released titled Red Army.

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Russian Ruble Collapses

Russian Currency Collapses – Conservative Daily News

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The Russian Ruble has taken a turn for the worst as an overnight move by the Russian central bank increased mistrust of the entity and the buying power of the Russian currency. America may feel the pinch before long.

At 1:00am in Moscow, the Russian Central Bank increased interest rates from 10.5% to 17% – a 650 basis point move in moments. That move sent the Ruble into free-fall.

Upon the banking move, the currency went from about $58 dollars per ruble to a low of $79.66 per Ruble.

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The Ruble has been steadily declining in value since late summer due to the crude oil glut and ensuing price decreases engineered by OPEC.

Russia is not a heavy manufacturing or intellectual property production nation. It’s gross domestic product comes almost entirely from commodities – oil and precious metals making up a huge part.

As oil declines, so does the ability of the Russian economy to grow. For each $10 drop in the price of crude, Russia loses approximately .8% of GDP. The price of oil has dropped from a high of about $110 to a current value of about $56 which could equate to an almost 5% loss of GDP.

Adding to headwinds, Vladimir Putin’s incursions into Ukraine have brought on international sanctions that make it nearly impossible for Russian businesses to roll-over their Euro and Dollar-denominated debt which could cause a huge number of defaults over the next 12-18 months.

The effects on the American economy may be soon to follow.

Russian oil drillers earn dollars for the oil exports, but spend locally in the Russian currency. That hedges their production budgets against falling crude prices. Unlike America, where producers earn and pay in the same currency.

Because of the currency move, it could be advantageous for Russia to increase production to enhance revenues and tax receipts. This would increase the supply of cheap oil and push crude prices below $45. American shale oil producers will feel the brunt of cheap oil.

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48 hours After Obama Vows To “Defend Estonia,” Russian Goons Kidnap Estonian Security Service Officer

Russia’s Putin One-Ups Obama In Estonia – Investors Business Daily

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Less than 48 hours after President Obama vowed to “defend Estonia,” Russian goons kidnapped an Estonian cop to demonstrate just what U.S. red lines are worth. Any questions as to the nature of the threat?

The abduction of Internal Security Service officer Eston Kohver from Estonia was no ordinary criminal act.

The Russians who took him jammed police radios, tossed a smoke grenade, seized Kohver and marched him into Russia at gunpoint. They then falsely claimed that he was caught spying on Russian soil.

It was nonsense. Estonia’s leaders have said it was clearly a targeted attack and very serious, coming as it did two days after Obama made his strongest-worded speech ever on U.S. commitment to the NATO alliance.

“The defense of Tallinn and Riga and Vilnius is just as important as the defense of Berlin and Paris and London,” Obama said. “Article Five is crystal clear. An attack on one is an attack on all.

“So if, in such a moment, you ever ask again, who will come to help, you’ll know the answer: the NATO alliance, including the armed forces of the United States of America, right here, present, now.”

Well, it’s into the “right here, present, now” that Vladimir Putin has stuck his face.

His swift effort to nullify Obama’s words is no different from his immediate neutralization of Obama’s red line in Syria, a chess move that left Putin the dominant player in that country.

With this latest provocation, on the heels of his invasion of Ukraine, as well as new airspace incursions over the Baltics and even Finland, Putin has again made the promises of the leader of the Free World sound hollow.

The message here is that Russia can do whatever it likes in the region that it considers its near abroad, and no NATO alliance is going to be effective in stopping it.

The Kohver abduction will have a terrible effect on Eastern Europe, which has just seen a bullied Ukraine sign a “peace” treaty with Russia. Ukraine had no choice, since the U.S. and EU failed to do much to help it defend itself.

Putin picked on Estonia because it had the gall to host an American president and to forge an alliance with NATO. No doubt, he wants to see if NATO is a real mutual defense alliance – or a paper tiger.

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Russian Driver Set Upon By Viscious Cartoon Characters (Video)

The Funniest Dashcam Video You’ll Ever See – WorldNetDaily

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Cases of road rage are usually no laughing matter, but an incident captured on video over the weekend in Russia is leaving millions of people howling with delight, as four people dressed as cartoon characters are seen pummeling a man.

It took place at 2:40 a.m. Saturday morning in the Siberian city of Chelyabinsk, when a vehicle suddenly pulls in front of a minivan on a highway and then stops.

When the driver gets out and approaches the other driver, that’s when the surreal scene begins.

As the Moscow Times reported, “The victim must have thought he was dreaming as Spongebob Squarepants, Mickey Mouse, a squirrel that looks like Scrat from ‘Ice Age,’ and an unidentified rabbit, kicked and punched him as he lay defenselessly on the floor.”

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The rabbit character even lost his furry head in the scuffle, and had to pick it up off the street and replace it atop his noggin.

Once the characters had enough of smacking the man around, they got back in their minivan to make a quick getaway.

The whole incident was caught on camera by men in a third vehicle, who up until the incident had been complaining about their long trip and being sleepy, but then burst out laughing when the cartoon beat-down commenced in front of their eyes.

“Thank you for waking me up!” one of the witnesses shouted out in Russian as he was leaving.

The witnesses who recorded the event on their dashboard camera uploaded it to YouTube with the title “Rough Chelyabinsk Disney.” The clip has been viewed more than 3 million times as of Wednesday afternoon.

The Times noted some people have questioned the authenticity of the event, as it may have been an elaborate prank.

“At the start of the video, the passengers can be heard discussing municipal elections, which take place in Chelyabinsk next Friday. The clip may have been produced by spin doctors to generate publicity ahead of the vote, news site Znak.ru reported.”

The comic scene is getting plenty of comments on YouTube, including:

* “In Soviet Russia, Disney make laugh of you.”

* “Everything about this is fantastic.”

* “Never piss off a bunch of furries.”

* “Video of the year.”

* “Easily one of the best Russian dashcam vids you will ever see.”

* “There is justice. the guy who got beat up does seem to have caused the accident, and then went on to be mouthy about it. Let that be a lesson. Sometimes they are bigger and furrier than you are.”

* Can you imagine reporting this to the police? Lol. ‘Yeah and then [bleeping] Mickey and Spongebob came out of the van and kicked me to the ground. No, officer, I haven’t been drinking.’”

* “I don’t care whether it was real or fake. It made me laugh like an idiot for a full minute, and that’s all that matters to me.”

* “Apparently, a Russian patriot has been attacked by some Western characters. What is Putin waiting for?”

* “If there was ever a use for the phrase, ‘I don’t even…,’ this would be it.

* “What the [bleep] is going on over there in Russia?”

* “These guys have nukes.”

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Uh Oh, Pooty-Poot Is Not Going To Be Happy About This

Tensions Soar As Ukraine Says Destroys Russian Armour – Yahoo News

Ukraine said on Friday it had destroyed part of a Russian military convoy that entered onto its territory in an incursion that has sent cross-border tensions rocketing.

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NATO accused Russia of active involvement in the “destabilisation” of eastern Ukraine, where pro-Kremlin separatists have been fighting against Kiev for four months.

The two countries have also been wrangling for days over a Russian convoy that Moscow says is carrying humanitarian aid for besieged rebel-held cities but which Kiev suspects could be a “Trojan horse” to provide military help to the insurgents.

Fears that the border clash could spill into all-out war between Kiev and Moscow sent major share markets tumbling across Europe and the United States.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko told British Prime Minister David Cameron that government artillery had destroyed a “considerable part” of a small military convoy that entered the country, the presidency said in a statement.

The European Union demanded that Russia “put an immediate stop to any form of border hostilities, in particular to the flow of arms, military advisers and armed personnel into the conflict region, and to withdraw its forces from the border.”

French President Francois Hollande called on Russia to respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity and for both sides to try to de-escalate the “very high tensions,” while Britain summoned Moscow’s ambassador to “clarify” the situation and a Cameron spokesman said Russia needs to show “a willingness to find a peaceful solution to the conflict”.

Moscow’s defence ministry dismissed the alleged convoy as a “phantom”, its latest denial of Western accusations that it is funnelling weapons to the pro-Russia separatists who launched an insurgency against Kiev in April.

“Such statements, based on fantasies… should not be a subject of serious discussion for leaders of any country,” spokesman Igor Konashenkov told Russian news agencies.

But NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen backed reports of the “Russian incursion” after British media said it had seen the convoy of some 20 vehicles cross the border.

“It just confirms the fact that we see a continued flow of weapons and fighters from Russia into the eastern Ukraine,” he said.

“It is a clear demonstration of continued Russian involvement in the destabilisation of eastern Ukraine.”

As the fallout snowballed, Ukraine’s foreign minister announced he will meet his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Berlin on Sunday for talks alongside the top diplomats from France and Germany.

“Be it a square table or a round one, we need to talk,” minister Pavlo Klimkin wrote on Twitter.

– ‘Attempts to derail aid’ –

Russia’s foreign ministry ominously accused Ukraine of “attempts to derail the supply of humanitarian aid” as doubts swirled over what will happen next to almost 300 Russian trucks parked up some 30 kilometres (20 miles) from Ukraine’s border.

Moscow accused Kiev of stepping up military operations with the “obvious goal” of blocking the agreed route.

It had appeared earlier that the two countries might reach a deal to allow the convoy into Ukraine to help people in the east who are without water, food or power.

But the International Committee of the Red Cross said they were still ironing out details over the shipment.

“People are struggling to cope with limited access to basic services such as water and electricity, so speed is of the essence,” said Laurent Corbaz, ICRC head of operations for Europe and Central Asia.

The head of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, Alexander Zakharchenko, said Friday that the inhabitants were in “a very bad humanitarian situation” and desperately needing Russian aid.

“We just need it like air,” he said, accusing Kiev of deliberately stalling its arrival.

Ukraine fears the convoy could be used as a pretext to invade, as a pro-Moscow rebellion shows signs of unravelling after four months of fighting that has left more than 2,000 people dead including children and sent around 285,000 fleeing their homes.

Moscow has insisted the white-tarpaulin trucks are hauling aid and officials tried to prove that by showing off the contents of 10 lorries with baby formula, rations and bottled water to journalists.

“We’ve shown you everything. You see that we have nothing to hide – these trucks are carrying nothing but humanitarian aid,” said Sergei Karavaytsev, from Russia’s emergency situations ministry.

– Kiev pushes on offensive –

Meanwhile Ukraine said it was forging on with an offensive that has sent rebel forces reeling, retaking three small towns overnight.

Top rebel military chief Igor Strelkov and another key commander announced Thursday they were quitting after Ukraine’s military said it had completely surrounded Lugansk, cutting all links to the border with Russia.

An AFP journalist in the main rebel-held city of Donetsk in the industrial heartland of eastern Ukraine heard sporadic shelling from a suburb and saw rebels driving howitzer cannons into the city centre.

The death toll continues to climb, with mortar fire in Donetsk killing 11 civilians over the past 24 hours, local authorities said. Five soldiers were also killed in fighting over the same period.

As the Russian aid sat at the border, Ukrainian officials said their own aid convoys – some 75 lorries with 800 tonnes of supplies – had arrived at a government-held town about 100 kilometres north of Lugansk.

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Russian Nuclear Bombers Conduct At Least 16 Incursions Into U.S. Air Defense Zones Over Past 10 Days

Russian Strategic Bombers Conduct More Than 16 Incursions Of U.S. Air Defense Zones – Washington Free Beacon

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Russian strategic nuclear bombers conducted at least 16 incursions into northwestern U.S. air defense identification zones over the past 10 days, an unusually sharp increase in aerial penetrations, according to U.S. defense officials.

The numerous flight encounters by Tu-95 Russian Bear H bombers prompted the scrambling of U.S. jet fighters on several occasions, and come amid heightened U.S.-Russia tensions over Ukraine.

Also, during one bomber incursion near Alaska, a Russian intelligence-gathering jet was detected along with the bombers.

“Over the past week, NORAD has visually identified Russian aircraft operating in and around the U.S. air defense identification zones,” said Maj. Beth Smith, spokeswoman for U.S. Northern Command and the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).

Smith called the Russian flights “a spike in activity” but sought to play down the threat, stating the flights were assessed as routine training missions and exercises.

The bomber flights took place mainly along the Alaskan air defense identification zone that covers the Aleutian Islands and the continental part of the state, and one incursion involved entry into Canada’s air defense zone, Smith said.

The Russian strategic aircraft included a mix of Tu-95 Bear H heavy bombers and Tu-142 Bear F maritime reconnaissance aircraft, she said, adding that one IL-20 intelligence collection aircraft was detected during the flight incursions over the past week to 10 days.

The bomber flights are the latest case of nuclear saber rattling by the Russians.

However, other defense officials said the large number of aerial incursions is very unusual and harkens back to the Cold War, when Soviet bombers frequently sought to trigger air defenses along the periphery of U.S. territory as preparation for a nuclear conflict.

Moscow, under strongman President Vladimir Putin, is engaged in a major buildup of its strategic nuclear forces. The modernization includes new missiles of several ranges, new strategic missile submarines, and new long-range bombers.

As for its long-range aviation flights near U.S. coasts, Russia has been sharply increasing the activities, especially in the Pacific Northwest near Alaska, Canada, and the West Coast.

The Washington Free Beacon first reported that two Bear bombers flew within 50 miles of the California coast on June 9 – the closest the Russians have flown their nuclear-capable bombers since the days of the Cold War. A U.S. F-15 intercepted the bombers.

A defense official disagreed with the spokeswoman on the increased bomber forays. Russian strategic nuclear forces appear to be “trying to test our air defense reactions, or our command and control systems,” said an official familiar with reports of the incursions.

“These are not just training missions,” the official added.

Northern Command and NORAD in the past frequently sought to dismiss the Russian bomber incursions as non-threatening as part of the Obama administration’s conciliatory “reset” policy of seeking closer ties with Moscow.

The Pentagon and other commands, however, have toughened rhetoric toward Russia and its activities after the Russian military annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea in June.

Relations between Washington and Moscow have soured. The State Department last month accused Moscow of violating the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces treaty by developing a new cruise missile.

Moscow dismissed the charges as untrue.

Adm. Cecil Haney, commander of the U.S. Strategic Command, expressed concerns about the increase in Russian strategic nuclear activities during a speech in Washington June 18.

Haney said Russian nuclear activities coincided with recent tensions over Ukraine and included the test launch of six air-launched cruise missiles in a show of force.

A Russian Defense Ministry statement on the cruise missile test launches said a Tu-95 bomber “is capable of destroying the critical stationary assets of an enemy with cruise missiles, in daytime and nighttime, in any weather and in any part of the globe.”

Moscow also conducted several large-scale nuclear war games in May, Haney said.

“Additionally, we have seen significant Russian strategic aircraft deployments in the vicinity of places like Japan, Korea, and even our West Coast,” Haney said at a defense industry breakfast.

“Russia continues to modernize its strategic capabilities across all legs of its triad, and open source [reporting] has recently cited the sea trials of its latest [missile submarine], testing of its newest air-launched cruise missile and modernization of its intercontinental ballistic force to include its mobile capability in that area,” he said.

Russia’s recent Cold War-level aerial encounters over the Pacific near Alaska followed an earlier U.S.-Russian aerial duel in Europe.

U.S. officials confirmed that an RC-135 Rivet Joint electronic intelligence gathering aircraft was forced into violating Swedish airspace by a Russian fighter jet July 18. The U.S. jet was seeking to evade the Russian interceptor jet at the time.

That encounter took place a day after Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 was shot down by a missile over eastern Ukraine.

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Vlad Putin Eyes Estonia; Signals Concern For Russian Minority

As Ted Cruz Predicted: Putin Eyes Estonia; Signals Concern Of Russian Minority – Gateway Pundit

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Today Russia signaled concerns of the large Russian minority in Estonia.

Reuters reported:

Russia signaled concern on Wednesday at Estonia’s treatment of its large ethnic Russian minority, comparing language policy in the Baltic state with what it said was a call in Ukraine to prevent the use of Russian.

Russia has defended its annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula by arguing it has the right to protect Russian-speakers outside its borders, so the reference to linguistic tensions in another former Soviet republic comes at a highly sensitive moment.

Russia fully supported the protection of the rights of linguistic minorities, a Moscow diplomat told the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, according to a summary of the session issued by the U.N.’s information department.

“Language should not be used to segregate and isolate groups,” the diplomat was reported as saying. Russia was “concerned by steps taken in this regard in Estonia as well as in Ukraine,” the Moscow envoy was said to have added.

Ted Cruz warned about this earlier today.

Today his sights are set on Ukraine, but if he continues undeterred tomorrow it could be Estonia, Latvia, Moldova, Romania, the Czech Republic, or Poland. Meeting his challenge now with strength, not appeasement, would be the best way to ensure that this does not happen, and that we do not squander our hard-won Cold War victory over the Soviets.

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Russian Chick Kicks The Crap Out Of A Would-Be Phone Thief (Video)

Kick To The Face: Russian Woman Kicks Some Russian A** – Girls Just Wanna Have Guns

The following is security footage of a woman dealing an epic butt kicking to a phone thief.

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Captured in a Russian underground subway station, this unsuspecting woman seemed like an easy target for this thief.

Snatching her phone away with no urgency to run, he probably thought what could this tiny woman do to a man of his stature?

Well my friends, this pea-brain should have thought again.

Prepare for awesomeness.

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Ladies, learn how to fight.

Although no material object is worth your life, I love to see someone standup for their property and not be taken advantage of by the scum that walk this terra firma.

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Russian Bus Driver Refuses To Yield To People Who Cut Him Off In Traffic… Has Had Over 100 “Accidents” (Video)

‘The Punisher’ Takes Vengeance On Russia’s Bad Drivers – NBC News

Dubbed “The Punisher,” Alexei Volkov takes a zero-tolerance approach to being cut off while driving his bus on Russia’s roads.

Day or night, rain, snow or shine, whenever an errant driver gets in his way, Volkov rams his bus into the offending vehicle without apology – and records it all on his dashboard camera.

The bus driver then documents the collisions by posting the video footage on YouTube.

In a recent interview which appeared on the Red Hot Russia website, Volkov claimed he’s had more than 100 accidents.

“The situation is gradually improving… due to my educational work,” he said.

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Volkov says his passengers have nothing to complain about because none have been injured.

And what does the bus company he works for in Zelenograd, Russia, think about his vigilante antics?

“If there is no fault of mine, the management doesn’t care,” he said. “The bus usually gets only minor damage. If the damage is more serious, they just wait for the insurance payments and then repair [it].”

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