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Russian presidential candidate is offended RT questioned her outrageous phone behavior

Kseniya Sobchak angrily interrupted the interviewer when asked about a rude phone call which has become public

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Presidential hopeful Ksenia Sobchak slams RT Journalists, for criticizing her very offensive behavior which she didn’t even deny doing!

During an interview, RT’S Oksana Boyko discussed Sobchak’s platform in a fair and balanced way, but when the journalist wanted to discuss Sobcak’s own actions, the “candidate against all” felt she was above scrutiny.

RT reports:

Boyko suggested that a certain part of the Russian public sees Sobchak as quite a snobbish person, because of past public statements and some leaked telephone conversations. In particular, she referred to a 2013 leaked phone conversation between Sobchak and her house manager, in which she complained about noise caused by repairs in the building and about noise restrictions that would allow children to have a short nap during the day.

After the leak initially appeared on the internet, it drew some attention from the press and the public – mostly because of Sobchak’s extremely rude language and manners, along with statements like: “If you plan to have some sort of ‘quiet hours’ for these little bastards, I will be having rave parties at exactly this time,” as quoted in a report by Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper.

The election hopeful interrupted the interviewer and began shouting that she would not answer the question because the leak had resulted from eavesdropping by Russia’s federal security service, the FSB. Sobchak also noted that she has a right to say anything during her private conversations, or write anything in her private correspondence, adding that it was unethical for reporters to bring up such things in interviews.

Apparently, it’s unacceptable to criticize someone’s poor behavior, if they didn’t want said behavior to become public. Apparently, people cannot be scrutinized for poor behavior, or expected to answer for it, so long as that behavior was in private.

Sobchak’s line of defense in the story is not new. Back in 2013, she first claimed that the recording of the conversation had been heavily doctored, and the comment about the “little bastards” was taken out of context. A short time later, she switched to portraying herself as the victim of unnamed pranksters with alleged connections to the Kremlin.

He excuse and blatant evasion of responsibility reminds me of a story on the 29th of January, when a youtuber, Ayra Mosallah, threw water in the face of London pedestrians in a “prank” video. His actions caused outrage, as London is suffering an acid attack epidemic, and his water “prank” terrified several people initially. He defended his vastly inappropriate behavior as the typical “it’s just a prank”.

He claimed he was being “slandered”, because the media drew attention to the actions which generated outrage, the very actions that he didn’t deny doing. This brings up a really good point that must be hammered home, as we have seen this pandemic – a failure to talk responsibility for ones own actions – happen all to often lately.

Thanks to the internet, something you say, write, or do, can be immortalized for potentially centuries to come. A Public figure is slammed for doing something inappropriate, and instead of denying the actions due to the existence of proof, they begin to say they are being slandered by the media.

News Flash: When journalists, critics, or the general populace calls you out for something you don’t deny doing, something which makes you look like a complete moron, unimaginably cruel, or profoundly insane, that’s not slander!

People who criticize you for massively offensive (and possibly criminal) actions are not “haters”, they may or may not hate you, but it’s not hateful to point out when someone is doing something deplorable or otherwise unethical.

In the case of Miss Sobchak, we have seen another defense, that her statements were “taken out of context” as RT reports.

If that is true, then that is a valid argument. President Putin’s comments are constantly taken out of context. Take for example when he speaks about the tragedy of the fall of the Soviet Union (he wasn’t talking about communism or political power, he was talking about a humanitarian tragedy), or when he spoke about Lenin’s body being similar to the idea of venerating Orthodox relics, (he wasn’t saying he believes Lenin is a Saint, he is saying the Bolsheviks stole the idea from Orthodox people). We discussed how the west misunderstands him in great detail here.

In our day and age, it is all too common for overly sensitive people to become offended at everything, and for journalists to rush to publish any statement before fact-checking or clarifying.

In the case of Miss Sobchak, if her arguments are truly taken out of context, and we can only truly know if we were there, then she may have a valid argument, however, it seems as if she isn’t denying saying the actual words.

It’s like if someone says “Those children are hideously ugly” and then says “That was out of context! I was referring to their outfits, not to their faces!”. The defense falls flat.

It seems like Miss Sobchak did indeed say what she said, but her argument seems to actually be the media has no right to report on it, (you can tell she is embracing western democracy there) along with the infamous “that isn’t me, that’s not who I am as a person”, that we hear ad nauseum.

Anytime a poor innocent girl is sexually assaulted, or a mother leaves her children unattended and they get injured, or someone spouts a racial slur that goes viral, we constantly hear from the criminal about how that’s not really them. How they are actually a devout feminist, or a dedicated mother, or we get a long list of how many friends of X race that person has, and how they love “those people”.

This happens especially when alcohol is involved, apparently drinking turns you magically into a different person, and whatever you do while intoxicated can’t be blamed on you. People make mistakes, but some mistakes can’t be washed away by claiming you just weren’t feeling like yourself, or your incredibly vile behavior was just misunderstood.

In this situation, Miss Sobchak was rude to RT’s Oksana Boyko, when being interviewed about her actions, switching the subject, and threatening to contact the authorities if reporters continue to criticize her outrageous behavior.

According to RT:

Oksana Boyko said she did not consider the issue to be Sobchak’s private affairs, and it should not be protected from scrutiny by the press. Instead, it was an insight into how someone who is seeking a top public post communicates and negotiates with her neighbors.

That is the issue at hand: Sobchak claims she is against corruption, for an open and fair media (so long as they criticize her opponents), but seemingly becomes infuriated when the media criticizes her.

Anyone with aspirations to become a Head of State must understand they are no longer a private figure, they forfeited that right the moment they expected people to grant them the senior executive post.

Such a person would do well to understand that their actions have real consequences, especially know when anything you say can be remembered forever.

In all, it is this failure to take responsibility for one’s own actions that is plaguing the world today.

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Russia’s Lukoil Halts Oil Swaps In Venezuela After U.S. Sanctions

Under the new wide-ranging U.S. sanctions, Venezuela will not be able to import U.S. naphtha which it has typically used to dilute its heavy crude grades.

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Via Oilprice.com


Litasco, the international trading arm of Russia’s second-biggest oil producer Lukoil, stopped its oil swaps deals with Venezuela immediately after the U.S. imposed sanctions on Venezuela’s oil industry and state oil firm PDVSA, Lukoil’s chief executive Vagit Alekperov said at an investment forum in Russia.

Russia, which stands by Nicolas Maduro in the ongoing Venezuelan political crisis, has vowed to defend its interests in Venezuela—including oil interests—within the international law using “all mechanisms available to us.”

Because of Moscow’s support for Maduro, the international community and market analysts are closely watching the relationship of Russian oil companies with Venezuela.

“Litasco does not work with Venezuela. Before the restrictions were imposed, Litasco had operations to deliver oil products and to sell oil. There were swap operations. Today there are none, since the sanctions were imposed,” Lukoil’s Alekperov said at the Russian Investment Forum in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.

Another Russian oil producer, Gazprom Neft, however, does not see major risks for its oil business in Venezuela, the company’s chief executive officer Alexander Dyukov said at the same event.

Gazprom Neft has not supplied and does not supply oil products to Venezuela needed to dilute the thick heavy Venezuelan oil, Dyukov said, noting that the Latin American country hadn’t approached Gazprom Neft for possible supply of oil products for diluents.

Under the new wide-ranging U.S. sanctions, Venezuela will not be able to import U.S. naphtha which it has typically used to dilute its heavy crude grades. Analysts expect that a shortage of diluents could accelerate beginning this month the already steadily declining Venezuelan oil production and exports.

Venezuela’s crude oil production plunged by another 59,000 bpd from December 2018 to stand at just 1.106 million bpd in January 2019, OPEC’s secondary sources figures showed in the cartel’s closely watched Monthly Oil Market Report (MOMR) this week.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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Germany Pulls Rank on Macron and American Energy Blackmail

Why France’s Macron, at the last minute, attempted to undermine the project by placing stiffer regulations is a curious question.

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Authored by Finian Cunningham via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


It was billed politely as a Franco-German “compromise” when the EU balked at adopting a Gas Directive which would have undermined the Nord Stream 2 project with Russia.

Nevertheless, diplomatic rhetoric aside, Berlin’s blocking last week of a bid by French President Emmanuel Macron to impose tougher regulations on the Nord Stream 2 gas project was without doubt a firm rebuff to Paris.

Macron wanted to give the EU administration in Brussels greater control over the new pipeline running from Russia to Germany. But in the end the so-called “compromise” was a rejection of Macron’s proposal, reaffirming Germany in the lead role of implementing the Nord Stream 2 route, along with Russia.

The $11-billion, 1,200 kilometer pipeline is due to become operational at the end of this year. Stretching from Russian mainland under the Baltic Sea, it will double the natural gas supply from Russia to Germany. The Berlin government and German industry view the project as a vital boost to the country’s ever-robust economy. Gas supplies will also be distributed from Germany to other European states. Consumers stand to gain from lower prices for heating homes and businesses.

Thus Macron’s belated bizarre meddling was rebuffed by Berlin. A rebuff was given too to the stepped-up pressure from Washington for the Nord Stream 2 project to be cancelled. Last week, US ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell and two other American envoys wrote an op-ed for Deutsche Welle in which they accused Russia of trying to use “energy blackmail” over Europe’s geopolitics.

Why France’s Macron, at the last minute, attempted to undermine the project by placing stiffer regulations is a curious question. Those extra regulations if they had been imposed would have potentially made the Russian gas supply more expensive. As it turns out, the project will now go-ahead without onerous restrictions.

In short, Macron and the spoiling tactics of Washington, along with EU states hostile to Russia, Poland and the Baltic countries, have been put in their place by Germany and its assertion of national interests of securing economical and abundant gas supply from Russia. Other EU member states that backed Berlin over Nord Stream 2 were Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Greece and the Netherlands.

Washington’s claims that Nord Stream 2 would give Russia leverage of Europe’s security have been echoed by Poland and the Baltic states. Poland, and non-EU Ukraine, stand to lose out billions of dollars-worth of transit fees. Such a move, however, is the prerogative of Germany and Russia to find a more economical mode of supply. Besides, what right has Ukraine to make demands on a bilateral matter that is none of its business? Kiev’s previous bad faith over not paying gas bills to Russia disbars it from reasonable opinion.

Another factor is the inherent Russophobia of Polish and Baltic politicians who view everything concerning Russia through a prism of paranoia.

For the Americans, it is obviously a blatant case of seeking to sell their own much more expensive natural gas to Europe’s giant energy market – in place of Russia’s product. Based on objective market figures, Russia is the most competitive supplier to Europe. The Americans are therefore trying to snatch a strategic business through foul means of propaganda and political pressure. Ironically, the US German ambassador Richard Grenell and the other American envoys wrote in their recent oped: “Europe must retain control of its energy security.”

Last month, Grenell threatened German and European firms involved in the construction of Nord Stream 2 that they could face punitive American sanctions in the future. Evidently, it is the US side that is using “blackmail” to coerce others into submission, not Russia.

Back to Macron. What was he up to in his belated spoiling tactics over Nord Stream 2 and in particular the attempted problems being leveled for Germany if the extra regulations had been imposed?

It seems implausible that Macron was suddenly finding a concern for Poland and the Baltic states in their paranoia over alleged Russian invasion.

Was Macron trying to garner favors from the Trump administration? His initial obsequious rapport with Trump has since faded from the early days of Macron’s presidency in 2017. By doing Washington’s bidding to undermine the Nord Stream 2 project was Macron trying to ingratiate himself again?

The contradictions regarding Macron are replete. He is supposed to be a champion of “ecological causes”. A major factor in Germany’s desire for the Nord Stream 2 project is that the increased gas supply will reduce the European powerhouse’s dependence on dirty fuels of coal, oil and nuclear power. By throwing up regulatory barriers, Macron is making it harder for Germany and Europe to move to cleaner sources of energy that the Russian natural gas represents.

Also, if Macron had succeeded in imposing tougher regulations on the Nord Stream 2 project it would have inevitably increased the costs to consumers for gas bills. This is at a time when his government is being assailed by nationwide Yellow Vest protests over soaring living costs, in particular fuel-price hikes.

A possible factor in Macron’s sabotage bid in Germany’s Nord Stream 2 plans was his chagrin over Berlin’s rejection of his much-vaunted reform agenda for the Eurozone bloc within the EU. Despite Macron’s very public amity with Chancellor Angela Merkel, Berlin has continually knocked back the French leader’s ambitions for reform.

It’s hard to discern what are the real objectives of Macron’s reforms. But they seem to constitute a “banker’s charter”. Many eminent German economists have lambasted his plans, which they say will give more taxpayer-funded bailouts to insolvent banks. They say Macron is trying to move the EU further away from the social-market economy than the bloc already has moved.

What Macron, an ex-Rothschild banker, appears to be striving for is a replication of his pro-rich, anti-worker policies that he is imposing on France, and for these policies to be extended across the Eurozone. Berlin is not buying it, realizing such policies will further erode the social fabric. This could be the main reason why Macron tried to use the Nord Stream 2 project as leverage over Berlin.

In the end, Macron and Washington – albeit working for different objectives – were defeated in their attempts to sabotage the emerging energy trade between Germany, Europe and Russia. Nord Stream 2, as with Russia’s Turk Stream to the south of Europe, seems inevitable by sheer force of natural partnership.

On this note, the Hungarian government’s comments this week were apt. Budapest accused some European leaders and the US of “huge hypocrisy” in decrying association with Russia over energy trade. Macron has previously attended an economics forum in St Petersburg, and yet lately has sought to “blackmail” and disrupt Germany over its trade plans with Russia.

As for the Americans, their arrant hypocrisy is beyond words. As well as trying to dictate to Europe about “market principles” and “energy security”, it was reported this week that Washington is similarly demanding Iraq to end its import of natural gas from neighboring Iran.

Iraq is crippled by electricity and power shortages because of the criminal war that the US waged on that country from 2003-2011 which destroyed much of the country’s infrastructure. Iraq critically needs Iranian gas supplies to keep the lights and fans running. Yet, here we have the US now dictating to Iraq to end its lifeline import of Iranian fuel in order to comply with the Trump administration’s sanctions against Tehran. Iraq is furious at the latest bullying interference by Washington in its sovereign affairs.

The hypocrisy of Washington and elitist politicians like Emmanuel Macron has become too much to stomach. Maybe Germany and others are finally realizing who the charlatans are.

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Russia Readies Own Web To Survive Global Internet Shutdown

Russia is simultaneously building a mass censorship system similar to that seen in China.

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Via Zerohedge


Russian authorities and major telecom operators are preparing to disconnect the country from the world wide web as part of an exercise to prepare for future cyber attacks, Russian news agency RosBiznesKonsalting (RBK) reported last week.

The purpose of the exercise is to develop a threat analysis and provide feedback to a proposed law introduced in the Russian Parliament last December.

The draft law, called the Digital Economy National Program, requires Russian internet service providers (ISP) to guarantee the independence of the Russian Internet (Runet) in the event of a foreign attack to sever the country’s internet from the world wide web.

Telecom operators (MegaFon, VimpelCom (Beeline brand), MTS, Rostelecom and others) will have to introduce the “technical means” to re-route all Russian internet traffic to exchange points approved by the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media (Roskomnadzor), Russia’s federal executive body responsible for censorship in media and telecommunications.

Roskomnazor will observe all internet traffic and make sure data between Russian users stays within the country’s borders, and is not re-routed abroad.

The exercise is expected to occur before April 1, as Russian authorities have not given exact dates.

The measures described in the law include Russia constructing its internet system, known as Domain Name System (DNS), so it can operate independently from the rest of the world.

Across the world, 12 companies oversee the root servers for DNS and none are located in Russia. However, there are copies of Russia’s core internet address book inside the country suggesting its internet could keep operating if the US cut it off.

Ultimately, the Russian government will require all domestic traffic to pass through government-controlled routing points. These hubs will filter traffic so that data sent between Russians internet users work seamlessly, but any data to foreign computers would be rejected.

Besides protecting its internet, Russia is simultaneously building a mass censorship system similar to that seen in China.

“What Russia wants to do is to bring those router points that handle data entering or exiting the country within its borders and under its control- so that it can then pull up the drawbridge, as it were, to external traffic if it’s under threat – or if it decides to censor what outside information people can access.

China’s firewall is probably the world’s best known censorship tool and it has become a sophisticated operation. It also polices its router points, using filters and blocks on keywords and certain websites and redirecting web traffic so that computers cannot connect to sites the state does not wish Chinese citizens to see,” said BBC.

The Russian government started preparations for creating its internet several years ago. Russian officials expect 95% of all internet traffic locally by next year.

As for Russia unplugging its internet from the rest of the world for an upcoming training exercise, well, this could potentially anger Washington because it is one less sanction that can keep Moscow contained.

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