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Here’s how Russia and the U.S. are trading punches

Russia responds to ceaseless US provocations intended to divert it from its chosen course by refusing to be provoked by them into overreaction. This makes the US appear dangerous and provocative.

Scott Humour

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Three years ago someone’s video parody of a “Russian guy’s reaction” to a meteor falling over Chelyabinsk went viral. “Russia Today” (RT) even included it into its reportage of how the Russian dashcam videos become internet sensations.

This 10 second video had done more to project the toughness of Russians than all the fireworks of Vitaly Churkin’s diplomatic rhetoric.  

Hands down, Churkin is brilliant, and his speeches should be included into  high school curriculum.  However, due to peculiarities of the Western supranational media, his oratorical talent remains largely unrecognised by a wider audience. Yet, everyone remembers a video of a guy in a knitted cap, who just lowered a sun visor  driving directly onto a collision path with a rapidly approaching celestial body.

Readers and commentators of The Saker blog often express their frustration with the “lack of immediate” response to the Western provocations from the Russian government and society .

“Why don’t Russia’s government respond by hitting them back hard and in kind?” ask our readers.  

Whereas we, Russians, consider this to be our national character trait. Rather than jumping nervously every time the West says “Boo!” we keep steadfastly and resolutely moving forward despite adversities.

There is also a well calculated geopolitical dimension to this “wait and observe” stance chosen by the Russian government every time Washington comes up with a newly staged provocation: which is every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, if I am not mistaken, “Washington” being a working term to include Pentagon, CIA and also a slew of companies like:

Valbin Corporation – Bethesda, MD

CACI International Inc – Suitland, MD

Leidos – Vienna, VA

Varen Technologies –  Fort Meade, MD

Sagent Partners – Linthicum, MD

Webhead –  Augusta, GA

Chenega Corporation –  Anchorage, AK

Pluribus International – Fort Meade, MD

Assured Information Security, Inc – Fort Meade, MD

AECOM –  Chantilly, VA

ProObject – Annapolis Junction, MD

Delex –  Suitland, MD

Bluehawk, LLC – Washington, DC

Mission Essential –  Reston, VA 

Razor Technology LLC – Washington, DC

Engility Corporation — Fort Meade, MD

Goldbelt Inc – Herndon, VA

CWU, Inc. – Hunter Army Airfield, GA 

Belay Technologies, Inc — Annapolis Junction, MD

Applied Technology Group – Annapolis Junction, MD

Booz Allen Hamilton –  McLean, VA

Pluribus International  – Fort Meade, MD

Advantage SCI  – United States

This is just a short snippet of a long list of willing participants in a division of the US military budget pie, which has now turned into a thriving and mushrooming industry of private constructors specialising in recognisance, intelligence gathering, intelligence analysis of SIGINT & FININT in support of operations CONUS or OCONUS.

We, of course, are mostly interested in “operations” that are being conducted OCONUS, which is outside of the continental US, also known as the rest of the world.

In case you are wondering about the location of your country in relation to the US intelligence community, take the US military, plus the entirety of NATO, some crafty old spy masters from Britain, France, and Germany, add to it hundreds of private and public enterprises, and you will understand where the plethora of false flag attacks, provocations, terror acts, civilian sabotage on the media, sports, kidnapping of Russian citizens and other violations of the human rights of Russians are coming from.    

In the last two weeks of October we watched a Ukrainian civil airline dispatcher threaten to take down a civil aircraft from Belarus.

Russia got pushed out of the UN Human Rights Council, after the generally proven-to-be-fake campaign of the White Helmets, which are another of these private intelligence companies financed by NATO members. 

We also were presented with the gruesome murder of one of the originators of so called “Russian Spring” in Ukraine, known to the Western audience as “Motorola.”

Keep in mind, of course, that the so-called “Russian Spring” started with the Bolotnaya Square protests,  just like its predecessor the “Arab Spring” was engineered by Western intelligence and military complexes. Let’s give credit where credit is due. 

All of these provocations, from big to small, from violent to ridiculous, all of them have one common goal: to draw the reaction of the Russian government, to take its precious time, resources, and to disrupt its work.

Here comes the catch: the more willing participants are being involved in designing and staging this torrid stream of provocations against Russia, the less professional, less coordinated, and less convincing they are becoming.

It’s exactly like with the famed musical “Cats” which was perfectly choreographed on Broadway, but watching it on a community theatre stage would hurt your eyes in shame for the production crew and actors. 

By the fall of 2016, the saturation of provocative actions against Russia has reached it’s critical stage. In other words, we had ceased reacting emotionally to them and have started analyzing them rationally. 

This explains the Russian government’s reaction to the multitude of recent provocative actions,  a reaction that can be generally described as “muted,” “low-key,” “hushed,” and at least in one instance “absent.” 

Knowing who or what is behind a provocation should warrant a type of response, if any. 

Let’s say, the Justice Department backtracks it’s perfidious demands for billions of dollars in fines arbitrarily imposed on Deutsche Bank, only after Germany agrees to deploy its troops and tanks to the Russian border. Understandably, their move puts an adult population of Russians into a sentimental mood summarised in “let’s finish the job our grandfather died doing.”

Russia’s Foreign Ministry issues a warning statement, and the Defence Ministry moves a few troops closer to the Western border, mirroring NATO moves.

The Pentagon and CIA responds by issuing memos to all Western media outlets  calling it “Russian aggression.”

The Western media copies these memos verbatim and propagates them in every nook and cranny of the “free” world. 

After that, the Russian Defence Ministry releases information on successful testing of a new “Sarmat” missile with some of its technical characteristics.

YouTube hosts several videos with detailed explanations of how it takes only two Sarmats to destroy the East and West coasts of the US. They also specifically explain why Sarmat is invincible to the Western anti-missile systems.  

If you wonder how we got to this point, see the aforementioned information.  

Everyone privy to the latest Russian military upgrades, which includes every YouTube viewer, can see the Russian government response to the attacks of the US banking system and Wall Street and the Department of Justice.

We are witnessing a situation when hundreds of companies employing well over a million people are trying to make themselves relevant in a crowded industry of war making, by producing torrents of “events” around the globe.

They are the Americans with “gas cans” setting fires around the globe, according to the memorable comparison made by Rostislav Ishchenko in his April 2015 article “What does Putin want?”

He wrote:

“One can only guess who will be more effective – the Americans with their gas can or the Russians with their fire extinguisher?”

Fire, however, dies quickly in the absence of oxygen.

Most of the anti-Russian actions go unnoticed and just turn into white noise.   Some manage to stand out in the news for a day or so longer. In essence, they all vie for the Russian government’s attention.

Maybe that gets them a yearend bonus and an annual contract renewal?

Scott Humor is a Director of Research and Development for thesaker.is blog. His articles have been published by Pravda. His new book, The Enemy of the State, is currently available on Amazon.

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Maria Butina, her crime: A love of the NRA and being Russian (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 61.

Alex Christoforou

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has communicated to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that Russian national Maria Butina must be set free and allowed to return to Russia, after she was arrested by US officials on dubious spy charges.

Lavrov said that the US should immediately release the Russian gun activist, who is being held in the US on espionage charges, after a phone conversation with his US counterpart.

Lavrov called the charges levied against Butina “fabricated.”

In his conversation with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday, “Lavrov stressed that the actions of the US authorities that arrested Russian citizen Butina on fabricated charges are unacceptable.”

In an official statement the Russian Foreign Ministry called for her “immediate release.”

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris examine the oddly timed, out of the blue arrest of Maria Butina, who is being held by US authorities for what they claim to be a violation of the FARA act.

In reality Maria Butina’s crime is much more troubling than simply failing to register as a foreign agent.

Maria made the double mistake of being in the United States of America as a Russian citizens who loves guns, at a time when racism and bigotry against Russians and NRA supporters is surpassing McCarthyite levels.

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Via RT

The Foreign minister raised the issue during phone conversations that were made at the request of the US and aimed at “further normalization of the US-Russian relations” following the summit between the US President Donald Trump and Russia’s Vladimir Putin in Helsinki. Lavrov and Pompeo also discussed the process of denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula, as well as the situation in Syria.

The 29-year-old Russian student and a gun activist was arrested in the US about a week ago and charged with acting as a foreign agent without registering her activities with the authorities. Butina has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

On July 16, a DC Federal Court rejected Butina’s bail plea and ordered her to be placed in custody pending trial over fears that she could flee or contact Russian intelligence officials. Her lawyer says the trial is being politicized and Russian embassy staff were only allowed to visit her in jail on Thursday.

The Russian Foreign Ministry has called Butina’s arrest politically motivated, adding that it could have been aimed at disrupting the Helsinki summit between Putin and Trump. On Thursday, the ministry also launched a campaign hashtagged #FreeMariaButina on Twitter to raise awareness of her case.

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Ugly breakup at FBI: Lisa Page throws ex-lover, Peter Strzok, under the bus (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 60.

Alex Christoforou

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While Peter Strzok’s testimony put a face on the deceptive and secretive Deep State, GOP lawmakers who were present at Lisa Page’s closed-door deposition said they learned a lot of new information from the ex-FBI lawyer, and ex-lover of Peter Strzok.

Lisa Page confirmed to GOP lawmakers that the text messages sent between her and her lover Strzok “meant exactly what they said,” contrary to Strzok’s testimony.

According to The Gateway Pundit, one damning text message in particular sent from Strzok on May 19th, 2017, just two days after Robert Mueller was appointed Special Counsel, intrigued investigators and the public alike.

“There’s no big there there,” Strzok texted.

According to investigative reporter, John Solomon, Lisa Page confirmed that text from Peter Strzok did indeed refer to the Trump-Russia case.

Strzok knew it was a nothing-burger yet he forged ahead.

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou, RT CrossTalk host Peter Lavelle, and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss how Peter Strzok’s testimony has undoubtedly contradicted Lisa Page’s cooperative deposition, as the ex-FBI lawyer is preparing to save herself, while throwing her ex-lover under the bus.

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Via The Epoch Times

Representatives John Ratcliffe and Louie Gohmert of Texas recently shared their observations of the closed-door testimony of former high-ranking FBI lawyer Lisa Page, which concluded on July 16.

One of the major questions regarding the testimony was whether it would match the one given by FBI Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok.

But while Ratcliffe said he found a mismatch, Gohmert wouldn’t go so far.

Page and Strzok played major roles in the investigations on both 2016 presidential candidates: former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server and the Trump campaign’s alleged ties to Russia. During the same period, Page and Strzok had an affair and exchanged thousands of text messages expressing a strong bias against Trump and in favor of Clinton.

“When I questioned Lisa Page on Friday about the anti-Trump text messages that were sent between herself and Peter Strzok, there were significant differences in her testimony and Strzok’s as it relates to what she thought some of these text messages meant,” Ratcliffe said in a July 16 tweet, shortly before the second round of questioning.

“Page gave us new information that Strzok either wouldn’t or couldn’t, confirming some of the concerns we had about these investigations and the people involved in running them,” he wrote.

On July 17, Ratcliffe expanded on his further statements about Page’s testimony. Radcliffe told Fox News…

“There are differences in their testimony.”

“In many cases, she admits that the text messages mean exactly what they say, as opposed to agent Strzok, who thinks that we’ve all misinterpreted his own words on any text message that might be negative.”

Via The Epoch Times

In one of the texts, Strzok vowed to “stop” Trump from becoming president. In another, the two discussed having an “insurance policy” in the “unlikely” event that Trump would win the election.

Strzok, who gave a closed-door testimony on June 27 and a public one on July 12, said the first message meant he and the American people would stop Trump. The second, he said previously, meant he wanted to pursue the Russia investigation aggressively, in case Trump won.

GOP lawmakers were furious with Strzok’s attitude and unwillingness to answer questions. In a scathing monologue, Gohmert even linked Strzok’s credibility to the fact that he was unfaithful to his wife.

President Donald Trump repeatedly called Strzok’s testimony a “disgrace.”

The lawmakers said Page was comparatively more cooperative.

“There were times the FBI lawyers would be reaching to the button to mute her comment, and she would answer before they could mute her comment,” Gohmert told Fox News.

He said Page didn’t contradict Strzok “so much,” but “has given us insights into who was involved in what.”

“I think she’ll be a good witness,” he said.

Page ditched her first testimony appointment on July 11, prompting GOP lawmakers to threaten her with contempt of Congress. She then agreed to appear on July 13, which gave her the opportunity to review Strzok’s public testimony before giving hers.

The lawmakers are probing the FBI’s and Justice Department’s decisions before the election, suspecting they were influenced by political considerations.

Texts between Strzok and Page suggest that the FBI initiated an offensive counterintelligence operation against the Trump campaign as early as December 2015.

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Russia makes MASSIVE progress on its ‘super-weapons’

Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle moves into serial production, nuclear-engine powered cruise missile tests continue, and more as Russia continues to outdo all Western military tech

Seraphim Hanisch

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On July 19th and 20th, The Russian Defense Ministry announced several milestones of progress in its advanced weapons systems programs. These programs were revealed to the world in March of this year, when Russian President Vladimir Putin gave the State of the Russian Federation speech.

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While at first the Western onlookers did not believe the amazing announcements of hypersonic weapons and nuclear-powered cruise missiles with unlimited range, subsequent releases and concurrent observation by the American military experts has shown these developments to be as real as Mr. Putin claimed they are.

TASS, the Russian News Agency, released information on these weapons systems in separate reports:

Kinzhal

The Kinzhal hypersonic missile:

Squadrons of MiG-31 fighter jets armed with Kinzhal hypersonic missiles should enter combat duty in the Black Sea region and at other Russian fleets and flotillas, said Russian military expert Viktor Murakhovsky, the editor-in-chief of the Arsenal Otechestva magazine.

Besides, a squadron (between 12 and 16 aircraft) of MiG-31 fighter jets armed with Kinzhal hypersonic missiles entered combat duty in the Caspian Sea region in April.

“I think at least one squadron of those complexes should be deployed at any fleet, in other words – at all regions where we have fleets and flotillas. We need to deploy them in the regions of the Black Sea, the Baltic Sea, the Northern Fleet. The Pacific region also should not be forgotten,” Murakhovsky said.

He said that such systems can become a “good instrument” against not only vessels equipped with high-precision weapons, but also for countering carrier attack groups.

“We know how expensive a carrier attack group can be. By employing this asymmetric method, which is unbelievably cheap in comparison with building a carrier attack group, we can neutralize this threat almost completely,” the expert said.

Burevestnik nuclear-powered cruise missile trials:

The Burevestnik is an entirely new cruise missile, powered by a nuclear engine. This gives the missile unlimited range. In theory, such a missile could be launched at a target and spend days or weeks in hidden flight using advanced guidance systems, and then close on its target at the optimal time to assure destruction of that target with maximum surprise. The TASS piece goes on to say:

The Russian Defense Ministry announced that Russia was preparing to test upgraded test prototypes of the nuclear-powered Burevestnik cruise missile with an unlimited range.

According to the expert, it is highly likely that the prototype of the missile “has already made a flight.”

“Clearly, it was something like the pop-up trials of Sarmat – a launch without the nuclear-powered engine, in other words, with an ordinary missile booster, conducted in order to assess the possibility of a launch, aerodynamics and the operability of the entire system in general,” [Murakhovsky] said.

Further reporting from TASS had this to add about the Burevestnik program:

Russia is getting ready for flight tests of the Burevestnik nuclear powered cruise missile, an official at the Defense Ministry told reporters on Thursday.

“The missile’s component makeup is being improved based on clarified requirements, while ground tests continue and preparations are being made for experimental flight tests of the improved missile,” the official said.

According to the Defense Ministry, “work on an unlimited-range missile is going according to plan.”

“In the meantime, launching systems are also being designed, while technological processes to manufacture, assemble and test the missile are being improved. This range of work will make it possible to start designing a totally new sort of weapon – a strategic nuclear complex armed with a nuclear powered missile,” the ministry official noted.

[The head] of the 12th Central Research Institute at Russia’s Defense Ministry Sergey Pertsev, in turn, said that the tests of the new cruise missile equipped with a small nuclear power unit had confirmed the accuracy of the technical decisions that Russian researchers, engineers and designers had made. In addition, the tests enabled the researchers “to receive valuable experimental data necessary for specifying a number of requirements.”

“A low-flying and low-observable cruise missile carrying a nuclear warhead, with an almost unlimited range, an unpredictable trajectory and capability to bypass interception lines is invincible to all the existing and advanced air and missile defense systems,” the Russian Defense Ministry stressed.

A further use of the nuclear engine technology is also expected in the Poseidon underwater drone, Mr. Murakhovsky stated that separate systems for the craft have been successfully tested. He further noted that the next task is to design the entire layout, build a test model and begin testing the whole platform.

The Avangard Hypersonic Missile

While the Kinzhal is a Mach-10 capable hypersonic system that can be launched from a fighter, the Avangard is a Mach-20 capable system that has intercontinental reach. There is almost no footage of this system released to the public, but the concept videos show how the system works. TASS reports this status:

Russia’s Strategic Missile Force is preparing a position area for accepting the Avangard hypersonic missile system for service as part of the efforts to strengthen the country’s military security, the Defense Ministry announced on Thursday.

“The Russian defense industry has completed developing the Avangard missile system with the principally new armament – the gliding cruise warhead. Industrial enterprises have switched to its serial production,” the Defense Ministry said.

“A set of organizational and technical measures is underway in the position area of the Dombarovsky large unit of the Strategic Missile Force to accept the Avangard missile system for operation,” it added.

The development of new strategic weapon systems “is aimed at increasing Russia’s defense capability and preventing any aggression against our country and its allies,” the Defense Ministry stressed.

The infrastructural facilities of the large unit’s position area have already been prepared for the missile system’s operation, the ministry said.

“The position area has been prepared in geodesic and engineering terms to accommodate the missile system. Work is underway to build new and reconstruct old facilities to provide for the operation and the combat use of the system. Technical and utility supply lines are being modernized and electric power, communications and command and control cables are being laid. Work has been arranged to train personnel and prepare armament, military and special hardware,” Russia’s Defense Ministry said.

Deputy Commander of Russia’s Strategic Missile Force for Armament Sergei Poroskun has said that the Avangard hypersonic missile system features combat capabilities that “make it possible to reliably breach any anti-missile defenses.”

The Okhotnik attack drone

The Okhotnik (“Hunter”) attack drone is now being viewed as a prototype for Russia’s “sixth-generation” fighter plane. TASS describes this in more detail:

According to [a defense industry] official, although the sixth generation fighter jet project “has not yet taken full shape, its main features are already known.”

“First of all, it should be unmanned and capable of performing any combat task in an autonomous regime. In this sense, Okhotnik will become the prototype of the sixth generation fighter jet,’ the source said, adding that the drone will be able to “take off, fulfill its objectives and return to the airfield.”

“However, it will not receive the function of decision-making regarding the use of weapons – this will be decided by a human,” he said.

TASS was unable to officially confirm the information at the time of the publication.

Another defense industry source earlier told TASS that the prototype of Okhotnik (Hunter) was ready and would start test flights this year.

The Russian Defense Ministry and the Sukhoi Company signed a contract for developing the 20-ton Okhotnik (Hunter) heavy unmanned strike aircraft in 2011. The drone’s mock-up model was made in 2014. According to unconfirmed reports, composite materials and anti-radar coating were used to create the Okhotnik. The drone is equipped with a reaction-jet propulsion and is supposed to develop a speed of 1000 kilometers per hour.

Peresvet laser weapons systems

TASS reported that the Russian military forces are now training for the use of the Peresvet combat laser system:

Russian Aerospace Force has accepted for service the laser complexes Peresvet and the military are now taking drills that involve the novel combat technologies, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Thursday.

“The Peresvet laser complexes have been placed at sites of permanent deployment,” the report said. “Active efforts to make them fully operational are underway.”

“To ensure their proper functioning, the necessary infrastructures and specialized facilities for housing the complexes and duty crews have been built,” the ministry said.

The crews assigned to the Peresvets have taken upgrader courses at the Alexander Mozhaisky Military-Space Academy in St Petersburg.

The Russian military strategy of “asymmetric response.”

The overall defense strategy is termed an “asymmetric response”, and Mr. Murakhovsky explained the principle in this way:

“This is an asymmetric response, in which new classes of weapons are created, instead of new types within the framework of the existing systems. Other states are not expected to have anything of this kind [in the near future],” he said.

The expert described this response as “quite an efficient one, all the more so because it requires no additional investment – all the works are being carried out within the framework of the state procurement program.”

He added that unlike the Soviet Union, Russia avoids being dragged into a direct arms race and searches for cutting-edge solutions instead of simply increasing the number of weapons.

“The development of counter-weapons to those arms [may be possible] in distant future, but it does not mean that they can be created at all,” Murakhovsky added.

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