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The not-so-secret US meeting of THREE Russian intel chiefs

The heads of Russia’s FSB, SVR and GRU were recently in Washington, demonstrating some ‘collusion’ is needed and required




Now this was a bit unprecedented, and hopefully, a good sign; the heads of three of Russia’s top security services were reportedly in Washington in late January.

According to Sputnik, The Head of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) Sergei Naryshkin, along with the Federal Security Service (FSB) director Alexander Bortnikov met with CIA director Pompeo.

Sputnik also said General Igor Korobov, head of Military Intelligence (GRU) was in Washington, though Sputnik did not say whether or not he attended the same meetings, the Journal of Strategic Culture suggested he did, which would be logical.

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Bortnikov to Putin and Naryshkin’s left

This is a very exciting event to hear about, certainly not a common occurrence, this would be the equivalent of the heads of the CIA, FBI, and DIA all met in Moscow. It’s quite amazing it hasn’t gotten more coverage. According to the Russian news agency TASS, the Russian Ambassador Anatoly Antonov, himself a military man, confirmed the meeting, saying:

“Sergey Naryshkin was here [in the United States]. He held consultations with his counterparts. Joint struggle against terrorism was discussed. We maintained contact in 2014 during the Sochi Olympics. Of course, we consider joint work this year, during the FIFA World Cup finals,” Antonov said.

He pointed out that joint work by Russian and US special services “is not visible to the readers and viewers,” but it will continue further on.

“Contacts between special services continued even at the most difficult times. Politics will be politics, but everyday work will be everyday work. There are political slogans, but there is also some real work to do,” Antonov added.

Image result for Anatoly Antonov

Anatoly Antonov

Unsurprisingly, rather than seeing the positive aspects that can come out of dialog between the Intel chiefs of the world’s two greatest superpowers, the corporate media immediately rushed to criticize the meeting. The way the Washington Post wrote was very patronizing, and in poor spirit, referencing the words of “current and former U.S. intelligence officials” (of course, these officials are always anonymous).

According to the WaPo, the anonymous officials said ominously:

[They are] worried the Kremlin could conclude the United States is open to forgiving Russia for its actions and was not resolved to forcefully prevent future meddling”, as the description of the meeting apparently “portrayed Russia as a partner willing to work with the United States and said the countries should look for ways to cooperate on counterterrorism issues.”

It seems they would hate to give Russia the idea that the US is willing to “forgive” them, as if Russia needs foreign forgiveness – she didn’t do anything wrong!

May we take a moment to marvel at the Orwellian arrogance, the idea that forgiveness, one of the principal human virtues is a bad thing. The last time three great leaders met at the end of the Great Patriotic War, it was considered a crowning moment of international diplomacy; no matter how different they were, they understand dialog and diplomatic relations was more important. That is called statesmanship, something missing in modern western politics more than ever. The ability to lay aside petty squabbles for the greater good of all.

Image result for churchill roosevelt and stalin smiling

Foreignness is in fact, one of the greatest values humans can have, and a core pillar of Russian Orthodoxy. It’s outrageous that people would frame it in such a light, or talk of forgiveness that way. In the same way, it’s a great shame if people cast a negative light on the meeting of Russian and US officials, when forgiveness and peace, and at the very least dialog is what the world needs the most right now.

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Svyatopolk of Kiev forgiven

No one should speak disgracefully of the work of the Russian officials, in their efforts to maintain to rise above the bad relations and maintain diplomacy. In the words of King Edward III, which became the motto English order of the garter:

Honi soit qui mal y pense – shame on those who think ill of it

The same could be said to anyone who disgraces or wishes to sabotage US-Russian efforts to mend relationships.

In any event, they needn’t worry, as CIA chief Pompeo has already continued to warn of “Russian meddling, and one can only hope the actual meeting was based in realpolitik, which it likely was.

The analysis of the event provided by the Journal of Strategic Culture was very interesting, drawing parallels between these meetings and the ones involving Ukraine between Kurt Volker and Vladislav Surkov, saying:

There was a particular context for this event. It’s important to note that Kurt Volker, the US Special Representative for Ukraine, and Vladislav Surkov, the Russian president’s top aide, also met in late January in Dubai. The American official is known for his stints at the CIA.

While the meeting we are discussing was primarily about counter-terrorism, it’s possible they discussed Ukraine as well. While the meeting was officially between the Russian directors and the CIA chief, the strategic culture article states that Trump must have had a major role in making it happen, saying:

At least one of the Russian visitors is affected by the sanctions constraints. Obviously, President Donald Trump permitted the visit, as he is the only one who is authorized to temporarily waive those restrictions.

The article ended on a positive note, saying:

We may never know what the officials talked about, but the very fact of the meeting speaks for itself. It really is impossible to underestimate its importance. Looks like there might well be a light at the end of the tunnel.

Trump has openly, sensibly, and wisely stated that “Putin is important”, and while his actions seem to be at times unpredictable, and not always in line with his words, generally speaking, he has generally shown to take his meetings with the Russian president seriously. Who can forget the hilarious time when he failed to meet Ukrainian President Poroshenko at Davos due to lack of time, yet he managed to find the time for his good “friend”, the Rwandan President.

Overall, awaiting the legendary, mythical, détente between the US and Russia that Trump was prophecied to bring (both to the horror of the mentally insane, and the joy of sensible people) has been a bit like the idea of waiting for World Peace – theoretically, it’s possible, its what humanity needs, but whether or not it will happen anytime soon is separate matter. Whatever the problem, dialog is the best solution.

Image result for churchil roosevelt and stalin

In any event, it’s comforting to know, that even as western politicians find new and impressive ways to break through to another low, that actual serious meetings are still occurring. The Russian ambassador said it best:

Contacts between special services continued even at the most difficult times. Politics will be politics, but everyday work will be everyday work. There are political slogans, but there is also some real work to do.

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And to those who still believe in Russia-gate, still believe that dialog with Russia is a bad thing, I leave you with the words of King Edward III:

Shame on those who think ill of it!


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Russia Lures International Arms Buyers With Half-Priced, More Effective Missile System

The Russian S-400 mobile long-range surface-to-air missile system costs around $500 million, vs. the $1 billion price tag for a US-made Raytheon Patriot Pac-2 battery.



Via Zerohedge

Russia has been pitching a rival missile platform that costs half of those made by US companies, reports CNBC, which has resulted in several countries dealing with the Kremlin “despite the potential for blowback.”

Sefa Karacan | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

The Russian S-400 mobile long-range surface-to-air missile system costs around $500 million, vs. the $1 billion price tag for a US-made Raytheon Patriot Pac-2 battery, while a THAAD battery made by Lockheed Martin costs just about $3 billion, according to people with first-hand knowledge of a US intelligence assessment.

Nearly 13 countries have expressed interest in buying Russia’s S-400, a move that could trigger potential U.S. sanctions under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, which President Donald Trump signed in August 2017. In September, the U.S. slapped sanctions on China  for buying fighter jets and missiles from Russia. However, the U.S. could grant sanction waivers. –CNBC

Turkey, meanwhile, may be hit with US sanctions over their decision to purchase the S-400 defense system, which the United States says poses a risk to its F-35 fifth generation stealth fighter platform.

Meanwhile, India called the United States’ bluff over sanctions in late Ocotber, standing its ground in its decision to buy the S-400.

One of the reasons Russian systems are generally considered less expensive than their American counterparts is because they don’t include pricey ongoing maintenance.

“When foreign militaries buy American, above and beyond the purchase, they are buying a partnership with the U.S. military,” Andrew Hunter, director of the Defense-Industrial Initiatives Group at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told CNBC. “And that plus the maintenance and technical assistance is a big part of the cost difference.

The S-400 system made its debut in 2007, succeeding the S-200 and S-300 missile systems. According to CNBC, “the Russian-made S-400 is capable of engaging a wider array of targets, at longer ranges and against multiple threats simultaneously,” vs. US-made systems.

In terms of capability, one source noted that while there is no perfect weapon, the S-400 eclipses even THAAD, America’s missile defense crown jewel.

When asked why nations seek to buy the S-400 instead of America’s Patriot or THAAD systems, one of the people with knowledge of the intelligence report explained that foreign militaries aren’t willing to stick with the cumbersome process of buying weapons from the U.S. government. –CNBC

“Many of these countries do not want to wait for U.S. regulatory hurdles,” said a CNBC source with first hand knowledge of the assessment. “The S-400 has less export restrictions and the Kremlin is willing to expedite sales by skipping over any regulatory hurdles.

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Britain’s Enemy Is Not Russia But It’s Own Ruling Class, UN Report Confirms

In austerity Britain, who the enemy is has never been more clear.

The Duran



Authored by John Wright. op-ed via

As the UK political establishment rips itself to pieces over Brexit, a far greater crisis continues to afflict millions of victims of Tory austerity…

A devastating UN report into poverty in the UK provides incontrovertible evidence that the enemy of the British people is the very ruling class that has gone out of its way these past few years to convince them it is Russia.

Professor Philip Alston, in his capacity as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, spent two weeks touring the United Kingdom. He did so investigating the impact of eight years of one of the most extreme austerity programs among advanced G20 economies in response to the 2008 financial crash and subsequent global recession.

What he found was evidence of a systematic, wilful, concerted and brutal economic war unleashed by the country’s right-wing Tory establishment against the poorest and most vulnerable section of British society– upending the lives of millions of people who were not responsible for the aforementioned financial crash and recession but who have been forced to pay the price.

From the report’s introduction:

“It…seems patently unjust and contrary to British values that so many people are living in poverty. This is obvious to anyone who opens their eyes to see the immense growth in foodbanks and the queues waiting outside them, the people sleeping rough in the streets, the growth of homelessness, the sense of deep despair that leads even the Government to appoint a Minister for Suicide Prevention and civil society to report in depth on unheard of levels of loneliness and isolation.”

Though as a citizen of the UK I respectfully beg to differ with the professor’s claim that such social and economic carnage seems “contrary to British values,” (on the contrary it is entirely in keeping with the values of the country’s Tory establishment, an establishment for whom the dehumanization of the poor and working class is central to its ideology), the point he makes about it being “obvious to anyone who opens their eyes,” is well made.

For it is now the case that in every town and city centre in Britain, it is impossible to walk in any direction for more than a minute before coming across homeless people begging in the street. And the fact that some 13,000 of them are former soldiers, casualties of the country’s various military adventures in recent years, undertaken in service to Washington, exposes the pious platitudes peddled by politicians and the government as reverence for the troops and their ‘sacrifice,’ as insincere garbage.

Overall, 14 million people in the UK are now living in poverty, a figure which translates into an entire fifth of the population. Four million of them are children, while, according to Professor Alston, 1.5 million people are destitute – that is, unable to afford the basic necessities of life.

And this is what the ruling class of the fifth largest economy in the world, a country that parades itself on the world stage as a pillar of democracy and human rights, considers progress.

The values responsible for creating such a grim social landscape are compatible with the 18th not 21st century. They are proof positive that the network of elite private schools – Eton, Harrow, Fettes College et al. – where those responsible for this human carnage are inculcated with the sense of entitlement and born to rule ethos that defines them, are Britain’s hotbeds of extremism.

Professor Alston:

“British compassion for those who are suffering has been replaced by a punitive, mean-spirited, and often callous approach apparently designed to instill discipline where it is least useful, to impose a rigid order on the lives of those least capable of coping with today’s world, and elevating the goal of enforcing blind compliance over a genuine concern to improve the well-being of those at the lowest levels of British society.”

Here, set out above in bold relief, is the barbarism that walks hand in hand with free market capitalism. It is the same barbarism that was responsible for pushing post-Soviet Russia into a decade-long economic and social abyss in the 1990s, and the values that have pushed 14 million people in the UK into the same economic and social abyss in our time.

Austerity, it bears emphasizing, is not and never has been a viable economic response to recession in a given economy.

Instead, it is an ideological club, wielded on behalf of the rich and big business to ensure that the price paid for said economic recession is borne exclusively by those least able to bear it – namely, the poor and working people. It is class war by any other name, packaged and presented as legitimate government policy.

However, in Britain’s case in 2018, this is a war like no other because, as Professor Philip Alston’s report lays bare, only one side in this war has been throwing all the punches and only one side has been taking them.

With Christmas season upon us, the scale of human suffering across the UK ensures that the elaborate ad campaigns inviting us to shop and indulge to our heart’s content – ads depicting the middle class dream of affluence and material comfort – take on the character of a provocation. In fact, they call to mind the truism that wars take place when the government tells you who the enemy is, while revolutions take place when you work it out for yourself.

In austerity Britain, who the enemy is has never been more clear.


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‘Iron’ Mike Pence Stares-Down Putin In APEC Showdown

Vice President Mike Pence and National Security Advisor John Bolton were seen shaking hands and chatting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit in Singapore.



Via Zerohedge

Forget the All-Blacks ‘Haka’, ignore Foreman-Frasier, Drago-Balboa, and Ortiz-Liddell, the honor of the greatest (or perhaps most awkward) staredown in history now goes to US Vice President Mike Pence…

Having been blamed for everything from Trump’s election victory to USA soccer team’s loss to England last week, Russia faced accusations all weekend and was reportedly confronted by the US contingent over “meddling.”

As The Sun reports, Pence and Putin “discussed the upcoming G20 Summit and touched on the issues that will be discussed when President Trump and President Putin are both in Argentina for the summit,” according to the vice president’s press secretary, Alyssa Farah.

An NBC reporter tweeted: “New per the @VP’s Office—> The VP’s office says Vice President Pence directly addressed Russian meddling in the 2016 election in a conversation with Vladimir Putin on Thursday in Singapore.

“The conversation took place following the plenary session this afternoon at ASEAN.”

But, it was the following clash of the titans that caught most people’s attention.

As the Russian president joined the that Pence shook Putin’s ‘deadly’ hand, met his ‘steely KGB-trained’ gaze, and desperately tried not to smile or blink for 20 seconds as Putin appeared to chat amicably with the US VP…

While Putin has (if his accusers are to be believed) grappled his opponents to death with his bare hands (remember he is a sinister KGB agent and jiu-jitsu expert); we suspect the only thing VP Pence has gripped tightly in his hands is his bible.

Sadly, John Bolton then blew the tough guy act (or is he Mike Pence’s ‘good cop’) as he does his best impression of a teenage girl meeting their popstar idol for the first time…

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