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Thinly veiled message to NATO: Vladimir Putin announces hypersonic ICBM testing

Hypersonic weapon system capable of Mach 20 already deployed in Russia, system cannot be stopped by any known anti-aircraft or anti-missile system, this one of five radically advanced weapons systems announced by Russian President

Seraphim Hanisch

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President Vladimir Putin gave his countrymen and the listening West a very tough talk today. During his yearly “State of the Russian Federation” speech, modeled roughly after the United States’ own “State of the Union” address, President Putin announced the deployment of six extremely advanced weapons systems and technologies.

One is a hypersonic, in-atmosphere device that can fly at Mach 20 and steer itself to evade radar and detection systems. Called the Avangard, this system was said by President Putin to already be in production and deployed. Here is a video showing the characteristics of this system. Captions are not automatic so turn them on in the video settings to see the translation in English. We have provided a brief synopsis taken from the translation of President Putin’s own words:

This system is characterized by the ability to fly in dense layers of the atmosphere at hypersonic speed to intercontinental distances and range, at speeds in excess of Mach 20. It’s ability to maneuver in flight make it absolutely invulnerable to any means of anti-aircraft or anti-missile systems, and its use of new composite materials which have been developed have solved the problem of long term flight control in the conditions of being in plasma [due to the high atmospheric speeds]. It goes to its target as though it were a meteorite, with a surface temperature ranging from 1600 to 2000 degrees Celsius.

“For obvious reasons, we cannot today show the true appearance of this system, but I want to assure you that all of this is in stock and it works very well.”

This alone is a massive development, unknown in the West.  While a few things about this system remain unclear, such as how the projectile is powered, and what kind of warhead it carries or if it is being used as a kinetic weapon (like a meteorite), this is not where the President stopped. In fact, the next system he announced was probably a revelation of how Avangard is kept flying at Mach 20.

An extremely compelling statement Mr. Putin made is about the Russians’ development of a nuclear reactor small enough to provide propulsion for a cruise missile. This gives the missile virtually unlimited range, and allows it to steer around any detection networks on its way to the target. By unlimited he really means it, too, as an onboard nuclear reactor can provide power for a a very long time. This video shows the concept:

As one can hear from the sound accompanying the video, this innovation was well-received by the Russian Parliament and the guests who were present.

The development of such a reactor was started by the United States in the 1960’s, as Project Pluto, but it was abandoned because chemically-propelled missiles were more viable at that time. Russia, with this system, is reporting a breakthrough.

This news was a shock because there was no information or hint that the Russian Federation was developing such a system.

The third major piece of news concerned the new Sarmat, or RS-28 ICBM (codenamed Satan-2 by the West). This missile and its development has been known of in the West for some time, but in President Putin’s discussion and video, he showed that this system is very long-range, and is able to approach any target around the world from any direction. In the case of the United States, most antiballistic missile systems are stationed in Alaska and the north, because the distance from Russian silos to American targets is shorter that way. Sarmat puts its payload into low earth orbit, and this allows the warheads to come from any direction at all. Here was the clip for this system:

Although most of the imagery shown of the “Earth” in this video is a fictionalized surface, the last few seconds show the warheads approaching the Florida peninsula.

There were two more announcements, both related to the nuclear propulsion technology. One was a Mach-10 hypersonic nuclear missile system called the Kinzhai (Dagger), and the other was an unmanned submersible vehicle that can “move at extreme depths, intercontinentally, at a speed multiple times higher than the speed of submarines, cutting edge torpedoes and all kind of surface vessels…” and this vehicle is powered by the new innovative nuclear power unit that is 1/100th as large as the units that power present-day subs. As a drone, this vehicle can deliver a superweapon capable of creating a massive tsunami, according to reports.

All in all, this news was huge.

Now, no doubt the mainstream media and some politicians in the West will start crying “aggressor!” about this. But is this really the case?

Patriarch Kirill I, Dmitry Medvedev and his wife, Svetlana, and others listen to President Putin’s address to the Federal Assembly March 1, 2018.

This depends on who one asks of course, but consider this point: The US and NATO have been decrying Russia as an “aggressor nation” since at least 2014 when the strife in Ukraine began. However that strife was fueled by the Americans, such as Senator John McCain who with others tempted the Kyiv government to try to follow the allure of the West and maybe even join NATO, which is untenable for Russia, since Ukraine borders Russia directly, and further since there had been a promise that NATO would not expand in this way.

It happened, and it was not Russia that did the expansion move, and that is a fact. The second matter concerns increasing NATO pressure all along the frontier of the former Soviet Union, where to all appearances, NATO is apparently fencing Russia off from the world with all manner of weapons and missiles. To put it succinctly, Russia is being treated as an aggressor nation, which it is not, and as time has gone by the US has backed out of agreement after agreement. Today’s statements by Putin were in response to this, noting particularly that the United States backed out of the Antiballistic Missile Treaty in the year 2000. Although Russia repeatedly tried to re-engage with the West, for most part, Putin said, these attempts were unsuccesful. In the absence of agreements to work together, and with the repeated occurrences of the West reneging on their promises, Russia felt the need to develop its defense systems.

And here we are.

While it was very clear in the speech that President Putin means no aggression towards the United States, it was also very clear that the situation has become untenable without this response being made. Russia is resurgent as a great power, and as such she has the right to be heard and respected as a great power. It would seem that the United States and NATO, in the rush to seize and maintain hegemony, has committed a gross miscalculation and this is going to be something we likely hear a lot of talk about in the coming weeks and months. It remains to be seen if the US is going to admit that their tack on this matter needs to change. I would not look for any obvious signs of it, though. Pride is a big investment in the American foreign policy culture, and this news is going to sting that pride no matter which way the foreign policy decisions go.

Let us pray that the wisdom to do what is right is what wins the day for both our nations, and the world.

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Macron cuts ski holiday short, vowing crack down on Yellow Vests (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 109.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the 18th consecutive week of Yellow Vests protests in Paris. Following last weeks lower participation, Saturday’s Yellow Vests in Paris gathered larger crowds, with various outbreaks of violence and rioting that has been blamed on extreme elements, who French authorities claim have infiltrated the movement.

“Act XVIII” of the protests has shown that the Yellow Vests have not given up. France’s Champs-Élysées boulevard was where most of the violence occurred, with the street being left in a pile of broken glass and flames.

One day after Paris was set ablaze, French President Emmanuel Macron cut his ski holiday short, returning to Paris and vowing to take “strong decisions” to prevent more violence.

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Via Zerohedge


Paris awoke on Sunday to smouldering fires, broken windows and looted stores following the 18th consecutive Saturday of Yellow Vest protests.

Around 200 people were arrested according to BFM TV, while about 80 shops near the iconic Champs Elysees had been damaged and/or looted according to AFP, citing Champs Elysees committee president Jean-Noel Reinhardt.

The 373-year-old Saint Sulpice Roman Catholic church was set on fire while people were inside, however nobody was injured. The cause of the fire remains unknown.

The riots were so severe that French President Emmanuel Macron cut short a vacation at the La Mongie ski resort in the Hautes-Pyrénées following a three-day tour of East Africa which took him to Djibouti, Ethiopia and Kenya.

Macron skied on Friday, telling La Depeche du Midi “I’m going to spend two-three days here to relax, to find landscapes and friendly faces,” adding “I’m happy to see the Pyrenees like that, radiant, although I know it was more difficult at Christmas” referring to the lack of snow in December.

In response to Saturday’s violence, Macron said over Twitter that “strong decisions” were coming to prevent more violence.

Macron said some individuals — dubbed “black blocs” by French police forces — were taking advantage of the protests by the Yellow Vest grassroots movement to “damage the Republic, to break, to destroy.” Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said on Twitter that those who excused or encouraged such violence were complicit in it. –Bloomberg

The French President has family ties in the Hautes-Pyrénées, including Bagnères de Bigorre where his grandmother lived. He is a regular visitor to the region.

Emmanuel Macron (2ndL), head of the political movement In Marche! (Onwards!) And candidate for the 2017 presidential election, and his wife Brigitte Trogneux (L) have lunch April 12, 2017 (Reuters)

 

 

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Vesti calls out Pompeo on lying about Russia invading Ukraine [Video]

Secretary Pompeo displayed either stunning ignorance or a mass-attack of propaganda about what must be the most invisible war in history.

Seraphim Hanisch

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After the 2014 Maidan revolution and the subsequent secessions of Lugansk and Donetsk in Ukraine, and after the rejoining of Crimea with its original nation of Russia, the Western media went on a campaign to prove the Russia is (/ was / was about to / had already / might / was thinking about / was planning to … etc.) invade Ukraine. For the next year or so, about every two weeks, internet news sources like Yahoo! News showed viewers pictures of tanks, box trucks and convoys to “prove” that the invasion was underway (or any of the other statuses confirming the possibilities above stated.) This information was doubtless provided to US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo.

Apparently, Secretary Pompeo believed this ruse, or is being paid to believe this ruse because in a speech recently, he talked about it as fact:

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called Russia’s annexation of Crimea and aggression in eastern Ukraine an attempt to gain access to Ukraine’s oil and gas reserves.

He stated this at IHS Markit’s CERAWeek conference in Houston, the USA, Reuters reports.

Pompeo urged the oil industry to work with the Trump administration to promote U.S. foreign policy interests, especially in Asia and in Europe, and to punish what he called “bad actors” on the world stage.

The United States has imposed harsh sanctions in the past several months on two major world oil producers, Venezuela and Iran.

Pompeo said the U.S. oil-and-gas export boom had given the United States the ability to meet energy demand once satisfied by its geopolitical rivals.

“We don’t want our European allies hooked on Russian gas through the Nord Stream 2 project, any more than we ourselves want to be dependent on Venezuelan oil supplies,” Pompeo said, referring to a natural gas pipeline expansion from Russia to Central Europe.

Pompeo called Russia’s invasion of Ukraine an attempt to gain access to the country’s oil and gas reserves.

Although the state-run news agency Vesti News often comes under criticism for rather reckless, or at least, extremely sarcastic propaganda at times, here they rightly nailed Mr. Pompeo’s lies to the wall and billboarded it on their program:

The news anchors even made a wisecrack about one of the political figures, Konstantin Zatulin saying as a joke that Russia plans to invade the United States to get its oil. They further noted that Secretary Pompeo is uneducated about the region and situation, but they offered him the chance to come to Russia and learn the correct information about what is going on.

To wit, Russia has not invaded Ukraine at all. There is no evidence to support such a claim, while there IS evidence to show that the West is actively interfering with Russia through the use of Ukraine as a proxyWhile this runs counter to the American narrative, it is simply the truth. Ukraine appears to be the victim of its own ambitions at this point, for while the US tantalizes the leadership of the country and even interferes with the Orthodox Church in the region, the country lurches towards a presidential election with three very poor candidates, most notably the one who is president there now, Petro Poroshenko.

However, the oil and gas side of the anti-Russian propaganda operation by the US is significant. The US wishes for Europe to buy gas from American suppliers, even though this is woefully inconvenient and expensive when Russia is literally at Europe’s doorstep with easy supplies. However, the Cold War Party in the United States, which still has a significant hold on US policy making categorizes the sale of Russia gas to powers like NATO ally Germany as a “threat” to European security.

It is interesting that Angela Merkel herself does not hold this line of thinking. It is also interesting and worthy of note, that this is not the only NATO member that is dealing more and more with Russia in terms of business. It underscores the loss of purpose that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization suffers now since there is no Soviet Union to fight.

However, the US remains undaunted. If there is no enemy to fight, the Americans feel that they must create one, and Russia has been the main scapegoat for American power ambitions. More than ever now, this tactic appears to be the one in use for determining the US stance towards other powers in the world.

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Ariel Cohen explains Washington’s latest foreign policy strategy [Video]

Excellent interview Ariel Cohen and Vladimir Solovyov reveals the forces at work in and behind American foreign policy.

Seraphim Hanisch

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While the American people and press are pretty much complicit in reassuring the masses that America is the only “right” superpower on earth, and that Russia and China represent “enemy threats” for doing nothing more than existing and being successfully competitive in world markets, Russia Channel One got a stunner of a video interview with Ariel Cohen.

Who is Ariel Cohen? Wikipedia offers this information about him:

Ariel Cohen (born April 3, 1959 in Crimea in YaltaUSSR) is a political scientist focusing on political risk, international security and energy policy, and the rule of law.[1] Cohen currently serves as the Director of The Center for Energy, Natural Resources and Geopolitics (CENRG) at the Institute for Analysis of Global Security (IAGS). CENRG focuses on the nexus between energy, geopolitics and security, and natural resources and growth. He is also a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, within the Global Energy Center and the Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center.[2] Until July 2014, Dr. Cohen was a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. He specializes in Russia/Eurasia, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East.

Cohen has testified before committees of the U.S. Congress, including the Senate and House Foreign Relations Committees, the House Armed Services Committee, the House Judiciary Committee and the Helsinki Commission.[4] He also served as a Policy Adviser with the National Institute for Public Policy’s Center for Deterrence Analysis.[5] In addition, Cohen has consulted for USAID, the World Bank and the Pentagon.[6][7]

Cohen is a frequent writer and commentator in the American and international media. He has appeared on CNN, NBC, CBS, FOX, C-SPAN, BBC-TV and Al Jazeera English, as well as Russian and Ukrainian national TV networks. He was a commentator on a Voice of America weekly radio and TV show for eight years. Currently, he is a Contributing Editor to the National Interest and a blogger for Voice of America. He has written guest columns for the New York TimesInternational Herald TribuneChristian Science Monitor, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Times, EurasiaNet, Valdai Discussion Club,[8] and National Review Online. In Europe, Cohen’s analyses have appeared in Kommersant, Izvestiya, Hurriyet, the popular Russian website Ezhenedelny Zhurnal, and many others.[9][10]

Mr. Cohen came on Russian TV for a lengthy interview running about 17 minutes. This interview, shown in full below, is extremely instructive in illustrating the nature of the American foreign policy directives such as they are at this time.

We have seen evidence of this in recent statements by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo regarding Russia’s “invasion” of Ukraine, and an honestly unabashed bit of fear mongering about China’s company Huawei and its forthcoming 5G networks, which we will investigate in more detail in another piece. Both bits of rhetoric reflect a re-polished narrative that, paraphrased, says to the other world powers,

Either you do as we tell you, or you are our enemy. You are not even permitted to out-compete with us in business, let alone foreign relations. The world is ours and if you try to step out of place, you will be dealt with as an enemy power.

This is probably justified paranoia, because it is losing its place. Where the United Stated used to stand for opposition against tyranny in the world, it now acts as the tyrant, and even as a bully. Russia and China’s reaction might be seen as ignoring the bully and his bluster and just going about doing their own thing. It isn’t a fight, but it is treating the bully with contempt, as bullies indeed deserve.

Ariel Cohen rightly points out that there is a great deal of political inertia in the matter of allowing Russia and China to just do their own thing. The US appears to be acting paranoid about losing its place. His explanations appear very sound and very reasonable and factual. Far from some of the snark Vesti is often infamous for, this interview is so clear it is tragic that most Americans will never see it.

The tragedy for the US leadership that buys this strategy is that they appear to be blinded so much by their own passion that they cannot break free of it to save themselves.

This is not the first time that such events have happened to an empire. It happened in Rome; it happened for England; and it happened for the shorter-lived empires of Nazi Germany and ISIS. It happens every time that someone in power becomes afraid to lose it, and when the forces that propelled that rise to power no longer are present. The US is a superpower without a reason to be a superpower.

That can be very dangerous.

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