Friday, February 27, 2015

Murdered opposition leader Boris Nemtsov feared Putin would have him killed

Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov was murdered near Kremlin today

Boris Nemtsov, prominent Russian opposition leader, was murdered in Moscow late Friday night near the Kremlin. Nemtsov was walking on the Bolshoi Kamenny Most, as a white vehicle approached him. Nemtsov was killed with four shots to the chest. This murder has all the indications of a contract killing.

Garry Kasparov commented, “Devastated to hear of the brutal murder of my long-time opposition colleague Boris Nemtsov. Shot 4 times, once for each child he leaves.” He added, “Dictators do not ask why when it comes to taking human life, only why not. Putin has oceans of blood on his hands already and is still there.”

Earlier this month, Nemtsov voiced his fears that Putin would have him killed. Another mass rally against Putin, headed by Nemtsov and the People’s Freedom Party, is scheduled for March 1, 2015. Organizers of the rally publicly denounced Putin for Russia’s devastating economic woes and the covert invasion of Ukraine. Nemtsov openly criticized Putin’s imperialistic incursions, theft and corruption permeating Russia’s ruling elites.

Russian media admits that regular Russian troops took Debaltseve


President of Russia Vladimir Putin arrogantly scoffed at the defeat of the Ukrainian military in Debaltseve, gloating at their “shame” of losing the battle “to yesterday’s coal miners and tractor drivers.” In reality, Ukraine is fighting against Russian military that is hiding behind the fraying veil of local “separatists.” Much like Russia’s “little green men” in Crimea, Ukraine is crawling with regular Russian troops and armaments. Russia is using its most sophisticated weaponry in eastern Ukraine, including the truck-mounted SA-22 surface-to-air missile system (Pantsir-S1). Ukraine does not possess these types of weapon systems, which immediately dispels ludicrous claims of separatists about “capturing” weaponry from the Ukrainian armed forces.

Russian media dropped the pretense of tractor-driving local separatists with the recent report published by Ilya Barabanov in Russia’s newspaper “Kommersant.” It confirms longstanding reports by Ukrainian soldiers that they were fighting Russian regular troops, and not local militants, in Debaltseve. Barabanov writes: “20-year-old Misha was born in Yekaterinburg, 21-year-old Alex – in Mozdok, Artem is 22 years old, he is from the Slavyansk-on-Kuban, Dima is 23, he is from Vladikavkaz. Other guys are from Chita, Norilsk, Ulan-Ude. At the first glance, they have nothing in common. And yet, they do: the city of N, military unit *****, separate motorized infantry brigade 'N'.”

Anna Netrebko ends up in Vogue, Iosif Kobzon lands on EU sanctions list

Arts against Aggression protests against Anna Netrebko and Valery Gergiev

A wave of protests accompanied Russian opera singer Anna Netrebko and conductor Valery Gergiev throughout the string of their North American performances. Both of them earned the ire of Western audiences for openly endorsing Vladimir Putin’s forcible annexation of Crimea and covert invasion of Ukraine. Gergiev signed the controversial “letter of support” for Putin’s aggression, while Netrebko fraternized with terrorist leader Oleg Tsarov, who was sanctioned by both the U.S. and the EU. Tsarov was sanctioned by the United States as a person who poses a threat to national security.

Executive order signed by President Barack Obama with respect to the sanctions stated that “the actions and policies of persons including persons who have asserted governmental authority in the Crimean region without the authorization of the Government of Ukraine that undermine democratic processes and institutions in Ukraine; threaten its peace, security, stability, sovereignty, and territorial integrity; and contribute to the misappropriation of its assets, constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States.” Netrebko could face U.S. sanctions for providing material support to Tsarov as a sanctioned individual, since the Presidential order specifically prohibits “the making of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services by, to, or for the benefit of any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order.” The opera star owns residential properties and spends extensive time periods living in the United States.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Russia’s latest disinformation campaign attempts to justify ceasefire violations

Russia’s latest disinformation campaign attempts to justify ceasefire violations

While the West enjoyed the celebration of love on Valentine’s Day, events in Eastern Ukraine were far removed from the lovefest. In spite of the ceasefire, fierce fighting continued in the area of Debaltseve, where several thousand Ukrainian troops are cut off from the only road to Ukrainian-held territory. Continually arriving shipments of sophisticated weaponry by the regular Russian army allow the militants the ability to maintain a protracted standoff.

Russia-sponsored terrorists say they do not consider Debaltseve to be covered by the ceasefire and will not allow Ukrainian troops to leave, unless they surrender. “I’m not a bloodthirsty person, but a hungry death awaits them, in all likelihood,” said Eduard Basurin on behalf of the self-proclaimed ‘Donetsk People’s Republic’. Basurin ludicrously asserts that Ukrainian troops on Ukrainian territory are “an enemy who has come to our land.” President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko vowed that Ukrainian troops would return fire if attacked by the unlawful combatants.

Knowing that the fragile ceasefire could be violated by the illegal factions at any point in time, the Russian media cooked up a story meant to blame Ukraine for the anticipated confrontations. Russia’s disinformation campaign started with the hacking of the website that belongs to the National Guard of Ukraine.

Worldwide campaign to free Nadiya Savchenko: why it matters

Worldwide campaign to free Nadiya Savchenko: why it matters

Brave Ukrainian pilot, MP Nadiya Savchenko, was kidnapped in Ukraine, illegally transported to Russia and unjustly imprisoned there. She has been on a hunger strike since Dec. 13, 2014, protesting her unlawful imprisonment by Russian authorities, based on bogus charges. Putin’s lawless regime refused to release Nadiya (in spite of her international diplomatic immunity), as well as numerous other Ukrainian POW’s languishing in Russian prisons. Savchenko is imprisoned in the same jail where Sergei Magnitsky was brutally murdered.

Nadiya’s big heart and unbreakable spirit has made her a symbol of Ukraine’s strength and independence. Even as her life hangs in the balance, this fearless young woman is determined to continue her hunger strike – until her release, or until her death. “A person who was born free and not a slave in captivity cannot live in prison, especially if he or she is innocent,” Savchenko wrote in a Jan. 12 open letter. “I have given my word: ‘Until the day I return to Ukraine, or until the last day of my life in Russia!’ and I will not back down.” In a video of her interrogation, Nadiya said that she does not expect to return home alive, but is not afraid. She said that her strength comes from her faith in God, as well as the energy of every person who thinks of her at least once a day.

Newsweek falls prey to Russian propaganda

Newsweek falls prey to Russian propaganda

On Feb. 6, 2015, the crooked horse of Russian propaganda advanced by leaps and bounds. RT (formerly Russia Today) managed to ensnare Newsweek, a respectable publication, into re-publishing intentionally bogus claims. On Feb. 5, 2015, RT released an article with the following headline: “Ukrainian parliament passes law allowing army deserters to be shot.” The next day, Newsweek took the bait and published an article, entitled: “Ukraine Passes Law to Shoot Deserters.”

Newsweek parrots RT’s false narrative, exclaiming: “The Ukrainian parliament has approved a motion to allow commanders in the armed forces to fire at army deserters and use force against servicemen for “negligence” or “drinking alcohol” while on duty … The act will allow commanders to “utilise drastic measures” - defined by the UN as the use of force and firearms - towards officers caught acting “negligently” or in violation to the code of conduct during combat duty or while they are on border patrol. The new act adds “drinking alcoholic or low-alcoholic beverages” while on duty as an offence punishable by force.”

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Bill Browder’s “Red Notice” exposes Putin’s Russia as a mafia state

Bill Browder’s “Red Notice” exposes Putin’s Russia as a mafia state

The timing of Bill Browder's new book, “Red Notice,” is quite impeccable. After years of craven appeasement, the West finally realized the failure of its “reset” policies with Russia. “Red Notice” provides a powerful glimpse of what’s been taking place in Putin’s Russia, while the world looked the other way.

As the hedge fund manager, Browder was hugely successful with Hermitage Capital Management, a company he founded in Russia in 1996. It became the largest investment fund in the country. Browder was the prime example of succeeding the right way – without chicanery, fraud or embezzlement. This was the surefire way of irritating corrupt Russian elites. Big business and big government in Russia are intrinsically intertwined, brazenly operating as organized crime. Vladimir Putin is the Godfather of this far-reaching mafia family. He empowered the group of his cronies to enrich themselves at the expense of Russian economy, on the backs of the country’s longsuffering people. Resounding success of Bill Browder’s company, combined with his efforts to expose and uproot corruption, brought on the ire of the Kremlin gangsters.