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UK nerve agent case against Russia collapses (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 107.

Alex Christoforou

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Prosecutors in the UK last week claimed that Russian tourists, Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, were responsible for poisoning Sergei and Yulia Skripal in March.

UK authorities stated that the two men were using aliases during their travels to the UK.

In a stunning twist of events, during an Eastern Economic Forum event, Russian President Russian Vladimir Putin said that Russian authorities had located the two men, confirmed that they are civilians, with no ties to Russian intelligence, and that their real names are in fact Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov…not aliases.

Days after Putin’s forum announcement, Petrov and Boshirov, whom Theresa May claims are professional Russia assassins, gave an exclusive interview with RT.

Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov said they visited London to “cut loose and have some fun” and that they were in Wiltshire to see two well-known tourist attractions, Salisbury Cathedral and Stonehenge.

If these two guys are Russian GRU, super assassins, then John McCain was indeed a peace maker and Hillary Clinton is a champion for human rights.

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the RT interview with Petrov and Boshirov, and how RT’s Editor-in-Chief, Margarita Simonyan, may have hinted (through her line of questioning) the real reason behind the men’s visit to London and Salisbury…of which had noting to do with the alleged Novichok poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal.

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Via Zerohedge

The same day the US announced it plans a second round of “very severe” sanctions on Russia over the use of a nerve agent in connection to the West’s allegations surrounding the Skripal poisoning, the alleged perpetrators of the poison attack have appeared on RT News for an exclusive interview with RT’s Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan.

Suffice it to say the whole strange Skripal saga just got a lot more bizarre. The pair told Simonyan in the televised interview that they had nothing to do with it, but were very excited to visit the famous Salisbury cathedral as mere sightseers and were in the Salisbury town briefly on two consecutive days, but that they are not GRU agents or Russian spies.

“Our friends had been suggesting for a long time that we visit this wonderful town,” they said, and explained that after the short visit, their “whole lives were turned upside down” as they suddenly became “framed tourists” caught up in the Skripal cause after being falsely accused by UK authorities.

The pair sat stone-faced throughout the interview and delivered brief, concise answers to RT’s questions, while consistently claiming to have been visiting Britain as tourists, but while also acknowledging it was indeed them that appeared in CCTV footage published by the UK authorities.

“Salisbury? A wonderful town?” RT’s Margarita Simonyan asked. “Yes,” Petrov answered tersely. “It is a tourist town,” Boshirov offered. “There’s a famous cathedral there… It is famous not just in Europe, but in the whole world. It’s famous for its 123-metre spire, it’s famous for its clock, the first one [of its kind] ever created in the world, which is still working.”

Upon the start of the interview wherein the two confirm their true identities as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov to RT’s Simonyan, the interview proceeds:

SIMONYAN: The guys we all saw in those videos from London and Salisbury, wearing those jackets and trainers, it’s you?

PETROV: Yes, it’s us.

SIMONYAN: What were you doing there?

PETROV: Our friends have been suggesting for quite a long time that we visit this wonderful city.

SIMONYAN: Salisbury? A wonderful city?

PETROV:  Yes.

SIMONYAN: What makes it so wonderful?

BOSHIROV:  It’s a tourist city. They have a famous cathedral there, Salisbury Cathedral. It’s famous throughout Europe and, in fact, throughout the world, I think. It’s famous for its 123-meter spire. It’s famous for its clock. It’s one of the oldest working clocks in the world.

Petrov then explains that the pair planned to visit famous tourist sites in London and in and around Salisbury, but parts of their trip were cut short because of heavy snowfall and inclement weather.

The pair say they only spent three days total in England, due their decision to cut it short, but were in Salisbury for some of that time, on two consecutive days:

SIMONYAN: So, you travelled to Salisbury to see the clock?

PETROV: No, initially we planned to go to London and have some fun there. This time, it wasn’t a business trip. Our plan was to spend some time in London and then to visit Salisbury. Of course, we wanted to do it all in one day. But when we got there, our plane couldn’t land on its first approach. That’s because of all the havoc they had with transport in the UK on March 2 and 3. There was heavy snowfall, nearly all the cities were paralyzed. We were unable to go anywhere.

BOSHIROV: It was in all the news. Railroads didn’t work on March 2 and 3. Motorways were closed. Police cars and ambulances blocked off highways. There was no traffic at all – no trains, nothing. Why is it that nobody talks about any of this?

SIMONYAN: Can you give a time line? Minute-by-minute, or at least hour-by-hour, or as much as you can remember. You arrived in the UK – like you said, to have some fun and to see the cathedral, to see some clock in Salisbury. Can you tell us what you did in the UK? You spent two days there, right?

PETROV: Actually, three.

SIMONYAN: OK, three. What did you do for those three days?

PETROV: We arrived on March 2. We went to the train station to check the schedule, to see where we could go.

BOSHIROV: The initial plan was to go there for a day. Just take a look and return the same day.

PETROV: To Salisbury, that is. One day in Salisbury is enough. There’s not much you can do there.

BOSHIROV: It’s a regular city. A regular tourist city.

SIMONYAN: OK, I get that. That was your plan. But what did you actually do? You arrived. There was heavy snowfall. No trains, nothing. So, what did you do?

PETROV: No, we arrived in Salisbury on March 3. We wanted to walk around the city but since the whole city was covered with snow, we spent only 30 minutes there. We were all wet.

In comments that will likely be able to be easily proven or disproven, he followed with: “There are no pictures. The media, television – nobody talks about the fact that the transport system was paralyzed that day. It was impossible to get anywhere because of the snow. We were drenched up to our knees.

In Salisbury, Petrov continued, the two intended “to see Stonehenge, Old Sarum, and the Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary. But it didn’t work out because of the slush.” But they blame the harsh conditions for quickly canceling their plans and “transport collapse”, and they returned the train station after their initial arrival in the town via train from London.

SIMONYAN: All right. You went for a walk for 30 minutes, you got wet. What next?

PETROV: We travelled there to see Stonehenge, Old Sarum, and the Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary. But it didn’t work out because of the slush. The whole city was covered with slush. We got wet, so we went back to the train station and took the first train to go back. We spent about 40 minutes in a coffee shop at the train station.

BOSHIROV: Drinking coffee. A hot drink because we were drenched.

PETROV: Maybe a little over an hour. That’s because of large intervals between trains. I think this was because of the snowfall. We went back to London and continued with our journey.

BOSHIROV: We walked around London…

SIMONYAN: So, you only spent an hour in Salisbury?

PETROV: On March 3? Yes. That’s because it was impossible to get anywhere.

SIMONYAN: What about the next day?

PETROV: On March 4, we went back there, because the snow melted in London, it was warm.

BOSHIROV: It was sunny.

PETROV: And we thought – we really wanted to see Old Sarum and the cathedral. So we decided to give it another try on March 4.

SIMONYAN: Another try to do what?

PETROV: To go sightseeing.

BOSHIROV: To see this famous cathedral. To visit Old Sarum.

SIMONYAN: So, did you see it?

BOSHIROV: Yes, we did.

PETROV: On March 4, we did. But again, by lunchtime, there was heavy sleet.

BOSHIROV: For some reason, nobody talks about this.

PETROV: So we left early.

In total, the pair say they spent only an hour on their first day in Salisbury “because it was impossible to get anywhere,” before taking a train back to London. The men say this all happened on March 3rd, the day before the alleged poisoning of Sergei Skripal, a former Russian military officer and double agent for the UK’s intelligence services, and his daughter Yulia Skripal, in the same town.

However, they say they returned to sightsee in Salisbury the next day, March 4, on the day of the Skripal attack.

A handout picture allegedly taken in Salisbury, on March 4, 2018, and released by the British Metropolitan Police purportedly shows Alexander Petrov (R) and Ruslan Boshirov, September 5, 2018 © AFP

And continuing, RT’s Simonyan asked them to divulge proof that they took photographs of the sites. The pair agreed they would provide their tourist photographs to the media as proof of their story.

SIMONYAN: Is it beautiful?

BOSHIROV: The cathedral is very beautiful. There are lots of tourists, lots of Russian tourists, lots of Russian-speaking tourists.

PETROV: By the way, they should have a lot of pictures from the cathedral.

SIMONYAN: Your pictures, you mean?

PETROV: They should show them.

SIMONYAN: I assume you took some pictures while at the cathedral?

PETROV: Of course.

BOSHIROV: Sure, we did. We went to a park, we had some coffee. We went to a coffee shop. We walked around, enjoying those beautiful English Gothic buildings.

PETROV: For some reason, they don’t show this. They only show how we went to the train station.

SIMONYAN: If you give us your pictures, we can show them. So, while you were in Salisbury, did you go anywhere near the Skripals home?

PETROV: Maybe. We don’t know.

BOSHIROV: What about you? Do you know where their house is?

SIMONYAN: I don’t. Do you?

BOSHIROV: We don’t either.

PETROV: I wish somebody told us where it was.

And Boshirov added after the series of questions concerning the Skripal residence: “Maybe we passed it, or maybe we didn’t. I’d never heard about them before this nightmare started. I’d never heard this name before. I didn’t know anything about them.”

On the issue of the alleged “perfume bottle” the UK police claim to have identified as used for delivery of the nerve agent, the two accused men said the prospect is “absurd”.

SIMONYAN: When you arrived in the UK, when you were in London or in Salisbury, throughout your whole trip, did you have any Novichok or some other poisonous agent or dangerous substance with you?

BOSHIROV: No.

PETROV: It’s absurd.

SIMONYAN: Did you have that bottle of Nina Ricci perfume which the UK presents as evidence of your alleged crime?

BOSHIROV: Don’t you think that it’s kind of stupid for two straight men to be carrying perfume for ladies? When you go through customs, they check all your belongings. So, if we had anything suspicious, they would definitely have questions. Why would a man have women’s perfume in his bag?

PETROV: Even an ordinary person would have questions. Why would a man need perfume for women?

And on the issue of the widely circulated and somewhat mysterious (considering the same exact time stamp for each) security camera photographs at Gatwick airport…

SIMONYAN: Right. Here’s the photo that’s got the whole world puzzled. Gatwick. You’re going through the gate at the same time, even at the same second. How do you explain that?

BOSHIROV: I think it’s for them to explain.

PETROV: How can we explain it.

CCTV images of Petrov and Boshirov at Gatwick airport on 2 March 2018.

BOSHIROV: We always go through the gate together. Through the same gate, with the same customs officer. One after another. We walked through that corridor together. We’re always together. As to how it happened – us walking there at the same second and then separately – I think it’s a question that should be put to them.

PETROV: Yeah, on the point of us always going through it together – my English is a bit better, so if any problem crops up, I’m there to help Ruslan out.

SIMONYAN: So you went through together? You didn’t take different corridors?

PETROV: No, we never go through separately.

BOSHIROV: No, never.

SIMONYAN: So what about these photos then? You say it never happened? Or were they doctored?

BOSHIROV: Well, I don’t really know…

PETROV: It’d be a good thing if we could actually remember it…

BOSHIROV: … how they do these things over there. When you arrive at an airport, or leave one, when you go somewhere or other, you never think about the cameras… There’s nothing interesting about them. How they film, or what, or where – I’m not interested in any of that and so I never took any notice. Given that it was them who published these photos with this time on them and all, I think the best thing to do would be to ask them.

Near the end of the interview, the two men explicitly denied working for GRU and demanded a formal apology from the UK government over the whole gambit of accusations.

But when pressed further about how they know each other and their past, said they preferred not give too many public details about their lives, but explained they worked as part of a fitness nutrition supplements business.

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A.F.
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A.F.

Authorities in the Netherlands detained two Russian nationals earlier this year who were suspected of planning a break-in at a Swiss lab that is investigating the poison attack on Sergei Skripal in the English town of Salisbury, according to Dutch and Swiss reports.

The Russians were detained in the Hague, NRC Handelsblad said Friday, citing the results of joint reporting with Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger. The suspects were planning to travel to the Spiez Laboratory, a government-run facility in central Switzerland that investigates nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, and had in their possession equipment to break in,

AM Hants
Member
AM Hants

Prefer the story the Netherlands media was reporting, concerning why the Government were financing terrorists in Syria?

A.F.
Guest
A.F.

The GRU-officers were showing pretending to be ‘tourists……………..total failure by Russia. Their passportnumbers were at one digid the same. The GRU gave them these passports.

Patrick Armstrong
Guest
Patrick Armstrong

That’s because GRU assassins like to be observed and when they are exposed, they show up to be interviewed with a story that can be seen through immediately. It’s Chapt 1 on the GRU Wet Job Handbook: the Anonymity of Being Obvious. Chap 2, by the way, is the bit where you’re told to check the assassination weapon before using it — if it’s an Incredibly Deadly Nerve Agent Securely Packed in an Extra Strengthened Fake Perfume Bottle, be sure to open it up and have a sniff before using it.

A.F.
Guest
A.F.

comment image

The GRU-stamp in their GRU-passports……………

Raymond Comeau
Guest
Raymond Comeau

The UK Nerve agent False Flag scenario was probably formulated by M16 and the plan given to the UK Prime Minister. The goal was to add the faked crime to the chemical weapons false flag which was concocted to cover the posterior Dorsal Fins of the Ba$tards who want to attack Syria yet again. This time the USA is trying to save the hired ter4rorists in Idlib. United Nations and the World Court should indict the UK PM and the USA President for fomenting wars, and trying to frame Russia for doing so. If these two world bodies do nothing… Read more »

RobertX5
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RobertX5

I was not as comfortable as A.M. and A.C. were with the interview by Ms. Simonyan. It struck me as perhaps good enough if you are looking to present it to an audience with a limited understanding of the issues involved, but I suspect someone from ‘The Blogmire’ or ‘Off Guardian’ would be less than impressed. Her knowledge of the minutiae of the affair appeared limited (now to me that is not her fault, as head of R.T. the vast bulk of her time would be dealing with other things) which restricted her ability to clarify exactly where they were,when… Read more »

AM Hants
Member
AM Hants

She did not have long to prepare for the interview. If you were a state funded assassin, would you take ‘Southern Rail’ Sunday service, when the UK was virtually shut down, owing to the weather? If they went to the house, then surely they would have used protective clothing, owing to the toxicity of the military grade nerve agent? How many people does it take to close a door?

Tjoe
Guest
Tjoe

I noticed their many claims of heavy snow and sleet but so far the photo’s I have seen of them, there is no snow or even heavy rain.

dennis
Guest
dennis

The photos are clear evidence that the two men passed through different channels. Simple surveillance cameras are fixed in place. One channel’s camera was about 10 degrees tilted. Also close examination shows differences within the channels. Note the small automatic swing gates through which the men are passing. The gate to Mr. Boshirov’s right side swings more than 90 degrees. The gate to Mr. Petrov’s left side swings more than 90 degrees. Thus the time stamps being identical is actually evidence that the pictures are undoctored. For if the men had passed through the same channel at different times, and… Read more »

dennis
Guest
dennis

There was a Pushkin. There was a Tolstoi. There was a Chekhov. There was a Solzhenitsyn. Russia’s cultural depths were not plowed by shallow men. A half-competent administrator cannot maintain Russian greatness. If Putin fumbled the Petrov and Boshirov case, by publically declaring in a summit meeting “of course they are civilians” when they aren’t, this will make the world less trustful of all things Russian. Forensic evidence that the men are not civilians is not the main trouble. Sleuth-versus-sleuth is an insiders’ game, and evidence can be faked. Rather it will be the Russian people’s failure to stand up… Read more »

dvrr
Guest
dvrr

LOL moron

PhoriAlamaine
Guest
PhoriAlamaine

One thing that another correspondent mentioned was the timeline, comparing the time that the Skripals left their house and the time that the fellows were actually arriving in Salisbury, some two hours apart and later. What becomes a matter of speculation is whether the Russian intelligence forces have developed a form of time travel in order to allow their “agents” to arrive somewhere, go back in time, then return to a form of “present,” all the while doing so without detection. One wonders what vehicle might have been used, available somewhere between Gatwick and Salisbury, before attaching the wiring to… Read more »

AM Hants
Member
AM Hants

The hysteria, concerning the two Russian tourists. Yet, they say nought about the US investing $70 million in Porton Down, just down the road. Or why they need so many bio-chemical weapon labs in Eastern Europe, with full diplomatic immunity.

RENAT KUZMIN: AMERICA PREPARES DEADLY VIRUSES IN 15 LABORATORIES IN UKRAINE… http://www.stalkerzone.org/renat-kuzmin-america-prepares-deadly-viruses-in-15-laboratories-in-ukraine/

A.F.
Guest
A.F.

Tourists hahahaha, just GRU-terrorists………

A.F.
Guest
A.F.

“Last time Russian military claimed to be on holiday was when they invaded Ukraine in 2014,” – British FM on interview with Russians suspected of Salisbury poisoning

voza0db
Guest
voza0db

“Russia invaded Ukraine”… That’s a new one!

Now we all know that you’re just a dumb pro-terrorists slave!

A.F.
Guest
A.F.

You support the Russian-Ukrainian War…………………5000 Russian Army soldiers killed since 2014 in Donbass.

voza0db
Guest
voza0db

Only 5000?!

A.F.
Guest
A.F.

comment image

The booking data of the GRU-officers few hours before their LONDON-flight.

SSS
Guest
SSS

There is no booking data in your picture. It starts with their online registration the day before they travelled to England. Don’t believe everything Bellingcat sells you.

Jane Karlsson
Guest
Jane Karlsson

The two men have mentioned in relation to their nutrition enterprise that they are interested in ‘microelements’ and ‘fat burning’. This could conceivably mean they have heard about copper being necessary for fat burning. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/06/160606200439.htm The UK Department of Health once told me in a letter that ‘copper deficiency is rare’. Actually it’s so common that most of us have it. The obesity epidemic is arguably caused in large part by copper deficiency, and so are the epidemics of heart disease and dementia. You can get into a lot of trouble if you try to inform people about copper deficiency.… Read more »

voza0db
Guest
voza0db

“UK nerve agent case against Russia collapses”

The problem is that THIS WILL NEVER COLLAPSE. The UK and the USofT will use this MI6/CIA/MOSSAD operation to fulfill their actual purpose. Impose sanctions and more sanctions on Russia and all of its allies!

A.F.
Guest
A.F.

No, Because Russian agents poisoned the Skripals as proven by all evidence.

voza0db
Guest
voza0db

ZERO EVIDENCE… It just like the mutTRUMP/RUSSIA collusion! ZERO EVIDENCE!

The only REAL evidence clear to everyone is that you are a dumb pro-terrorists slave…

Tjoe
Guest
Tjoe

Voza….Duran did good dumping the troll infested Disqus, but will they curtail/control them on the new format?

strav
Guest
strav

You would think as double agents the skiprals would have cctv at there front door showing who sprayed the front door? And footage also showed unmasked un protected police in front yar with such deadly toxic nerve agent near by!

A.F.
Guest
A.F.

Swiss Confirm Russians Tried To Hack Lab Analyzing Skripal Samples September 15, 2018 12:33 GMT RFE/RL British military personnel work to remove vehicles from a cordoned off area behind a police station in Salisbury near the place where the Skripals were poisoned in March 2018. British military personnel work to remove vehicles from a cordoned off area behind a police station in Salisbury near the place where the Skripals were poisoned in March 2018. Share 16 The Swiss government has confirmed reports that Dutch authorities had arrested and expelled two suspected Russian spies earlier this year after the two allegedly… Read more »

Tjoe
Guest
Tjoe

Duran did good to change their Disqus format, unfortunately the infestation of troll fleas like AF here, has started in the new format.

Wayne Blow
Guest
Wayne Blow

Britain is nothing, but a “pile of SHIT” on the Eastern shore of Atlantic Ocean !!!!!!!!!

xyz
Guest
xyz
A.F.
Guest
A.F.

New chemical leaks reported in Crimea’s north because of local emergency service’s “recklessness” 16:59, 16 September 2018 UKRAINE 20 0 A possibly repeat release of sulfuric acid in the town of Armyansk was reported on September 13. REUTERS New chemical leaks have been reported in the north of Russian-occupied Crimea because of the local emergency service’s mistake. The cause behind the deterioration in the environmental situation in the town of Armyansk could be “recklessness of the local officials from the occupying administration and emergency service workers of the Russian Federation” in addressing a chemical disaster at the Crimean Titan plant,… Read more »

A.F.
Guest
A.F.

After the meeting with the U.S. national security adviser, John Bolton, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg assured that NATO will continue to support Georgia’s and Ukraine’s efforts to join the Alliance, reports Voice of America.

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Clinton-Yeltsin docs shine a light on why Deep State hates Putin (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 114.

Alex Christoforou

Published

on

Bill Clinton and America ruled over Russia and Boris Yeltsin during the 1990s. Yeltsin showed little love for Russia and more interest in keeping power, and pleasing the oligarchs around him.

Then came Vladimir Putin, and everything changed.

Nearly 600 pages of memos and transcripts, documenting personal exchanges and telephone conversations between Bill Clinton and Boris Yeltsin, were made public by the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Dating from January 1993 to December 1999, the documents provide a historical account of a time when US relations with Russia were at their best, as Russia was at its weakest.

On September 8, 1999, weeks after promoting the head of the Russia’s top intelligence agency to the post of prime minister, Russian President Boris Yeltsin took a phone call from U.S. President Bill Clinton.

The new prime minister was unknown, rising to the top of the Federal Security Service only a year earlier.

Yeltsin wanted to reassure Clinton that Vladimir Putin was a “solid man.”

Yeltsin told Clinton….

“I would like to tell you about him so you will know what kind of man he is.”

“I found out he is a solid man who is kept well abreast of various subjects under his purview. At the same time, he is thorough and strong, very sociable. And he can easily have good relations and contact with people who are his partners. I am sure you will find him to be a highly qualified partner.”

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the nearly 600 pages of transcripts documenting the calls and personal conversations between then U.S. President Bill Clinton and Russian President Boris Yeltsin, released last month. A strong Clinton and a very weak Yeltsin underscore a warm and friendly relationship between the U.S. and Russia.

Then Vladimir Putin came along and decided to lift Russia out of the abyss, and things changed.

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Here are five must-read Clinton-Yeltsin exchanges from with the 600 pages released by the Clinton Library.

Via RT

Clinton sends ‘his people’ to get Yeltsin elected

Amid unceasing allegations of nefarious Russian influence in the 2016 presidential election, the Clinton-Yeltsin exchanges reveal how the US government threw its full weight behind Boris – in Russian parliamentary elections as well as for the 1996 reelection campaign, which he approached with 1-digit ratings.

For example, a transcript from 1993 details how Clinton offered to help Yeltsin in upcoming parliamentary elections by selectively using US foreign aid to shore up support for the Russian leader’s political allies.

“What is the prevailing attitude among the regional leaders? Can we do something through our aid package to send support out to the regions?” a concerned Clinton asked.

Yeltsin liked the idea, replying that “this kind of regional support would be very useful.” Clinton then promised to have “his people” follow up on the plan.

In another exchange, Yeltsin asks his US counterpart for a bit of financial help ahead of the 1996 presidential election: “Bill, for my election campaign, I urgently need for Russia a loan of $2.5 billion,” he said. Yeltsin added that he needed the money in order to pay pensions and government wages – obligations which, if left unfulfilled, would have likely led to his political ruin. Yeltsin also asks Clinton if he could “use his influence” to increase the size of an IMF loan to assist him during his re-election campaign.

Yeltsin questions NATO expansion

The future of NATO was still an open question in the years following the collapse of the Soviet Union, and conversations between Clinton and Yeltsin provide an illuminating backdrop to the current state of the curiously offensive ‘defensive alliance’ (spoiler alert: it expanded right up to Russia’s border).

In 1995, Yeltsin told Clinton that NATO expansion would lead to “humiliation” for Russia, noting that many Russians were fearful of the possibility that the alliance could encircle their country.

“It’s a new form of encirclement if the one surviving Cold War bloc expands right up to the borders of Russia. Many Russians have a sense of fear. What do you want to achieve with this if Russia is your partner? They ask. I ask it too: Why do you want to do this?” Yeltsin asked Clinton.

As the documents show, Yeltsin insisted that Russia had “no claims on other countries,” adding that it was “unacceptable” that the US was conducting naval drills near Crimea.

“It is as if we were training people in Cuba. How would you feel?” Yeltsin asked. The Russian leader then proposed a “gentleman’s agreement” that no former Soviet republics would join NATO.

Clinton refused the offer, saying: “I can’t make the specific commitment you are asking for. It would violate the whole spirit of NATO. I’ve always tried to build you up and never undermine you.”

NATO bombing of Yugoslavia turns Russia against the West

Although Clinton and Yeltsin enjoyed friendly relations, NATO’s bombing of Yugoslavia tempered Moscow’s enthusiastic partnership with the West.

“Our people will certainly from now have a bad attitude with regard to America and with NATO,” the Russian president told Clinton in March 1999. “I remember how difficult it was for me to try and turn the heads of our people, the heads of the politicians towards the West, towards the United States, but I succeeded in doing that, and now to lose all that.”

Yeltsin urged Clinton to renounce the strikes, for the sake of “our relationship” and “peace in Europe.”

“It is not known who will come after us and it is not known what will be the road of future developments in strategic nuclear weapons,” Yeltsin reminded his US counterpart.

But Clinton wouldn’t cede ground.

“Milosevic is still a communist dictator and he would like to destroy the alliance that Russia has built up with the US and Europe and essentially destroy the whole movement of your region toward democracy and go back to ethnic alliances. We cannot allow him to dictate our future,” Clinton told Yeltsin.

Yeltsin asks US to ‘give Europe to Russia’

One exchange that has been making the rounds on Twitter appears to show Yeltsin requesting that Europe be “given” to Russia during a meeting in Istanbul in 1999. However, it’s not quite what it seems.

“I ask you one thing,” Yeltsin says, addressing Clinton. “Just give Europe to Russia. The US is not in Europe. Europe should be in the business of Europeans.”

However, the request is slightly less sinister than it sounds when put into context: The two leaders were discussing missile defense, and Yeltsin was arguing that Russia – not the US – would be a more suitable guarantor of Europe’s security.

“We have the power in Russia to protect all of Europe, including those with missiles,” Yeltsin told Clinton.

Clinton on Putin: ‘He’s very smart’

Perhaps one of the most interesting exchanges takes place when Yeltsin announces to Clinton his successor, Vladimir Putin.

In a conversation with Clinton from September 1999, Yeltsin describes Putin as “a solid man,” adding: “I am sure you will find him to be a highly qualified partner.”

A month later, Clinton asks Yeltsin who will win the Russian presidential election.

“Putin, of course. He will be the successor to Boris Yeltsin. He’s a democrat, and he knows the West.”

“He’s very smart,” Clinton remarks.

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New Satellite Images Reveal Aftermath Of Israeli Strikes On Syria; Putin Accepts Offer to Probe Downed Jet

The images reveal the extent of destruction in the port city of Latakia, as well as the aftermath of a prior strike on Damascus International Airport.

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Via Zerohedge


An Israeli satellite imaging company has released satellite photographs that reveal the extent of Monday night’s attack on multiple locations inside Syria.

ImageSat International released them as part of an intelligence report on a series of Israeli air strikes which lasted for over an hour and resulted in Syrian missile defense accidentally downing a Russian surveillance plane that had 15 personnel on board.

The images reveal the extent of destruction on one location struck early in attack in the port city of Latakia, as well as the aftermath of a prior strike on Damascus International Airport. On Tuesday Israel owned up to carrying out the attack in a rare admission.

Syrian official SANA news agency reported ten people injured in the attacks carried out of military targets near three major cities in Syria’s north.

The Times of Israel, which first reported the release of the new satellite images, underscores the rarity of Israeli strikes happening that far north and along the coast, dangerously near Russian positions:

The attack near Latakia was especially unusual because the port city is located near a Russian military base, the Khmeimim Air Force base. The base is home to Russian jet planes and an S-400 aerial defense system. According to Arab media reports, Israel has rarely struck that area since the Russians arrived there.

The Russian S-400 system was reportedly active during the attack, but it’s difficult to confirm or assess the extent to which Russian missiles responded during the strikes.

Three of the released satellite images show what’s described as an “ammunition warehouse” that appears to have been completely destroyed.

The IDF has stated their airstrikes targeted a Syrian army facility “from which weapons-manufacturing systems were supposed to be transferred to Iran and Hezbollah.” This statement came after the IDF expressed “sorrow” for the deaths of Russian airmen, but also said responsibility lies with the “Assad regime.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also phoned Russian President Vladimir Putin to express regret over the incident while offering to send his air force chief to Russia with a detailed report — something which Putin agreed to.

According to Russia’s RT News, “Major-General Amikam Norkin will arrive in Moscow on Thursday, and will present the situation report on the incident, including the findings of the IDF inquiry regarding the event and the pre-mission information the Israeli military was so reluctant to share in advance.”

Russia’s Defense Ministry condemned the “provocative actions by Israel as hostile” and said Russia reserves “the right to an adequate response” while Putin has described the downing of the Il-20 recon plane as likely the result of a “chain of tragic accidental circumstances” and downplayed the idea of a deliberate provocation, in contradiction of the initial statement issued by his own defense ministry.

Pro-government Syrians have reportedly expressed frustration this week that Russia hasn’t done more to respond militarily to Israeli aggression; however, it appears Putin may be sidestepping yet another trap as it’s looking increasingly likely that Israel’s aims are precisely geared toward provoking a response in order to allow its western allies to join a broader attack on Damascus that could result in regime change.

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“Transphobic” Swedish Professor May Lose Job After Noting Biological Differences Between Sexes

A university professor in Sweden is under investigation after he said that there are fundamental differences between men and women which are “biologically founded”

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Via Zerohedge


A university professor in Sweden is under investigation for “anti-feminism” and “transphobia” after he said that there are fundamental differences between men and women which are “biologically founded” and that genders cannot be regarded as “social constructs alone,” reports Academic Rights Watch.

For his transgression, Germund Hesslow – a professor of neuroscience at Lund University – who holds dual PhDs in philosophy and neurophysiology, may lose his job – telling RT that a “full investigation” has been ordered, and that there “have been discussions about trying to stop the lecture or get rid of me, or have someone else give the lecture or not give the lecture at all.”

“If you answer such a question you are under severe time pressure, you have to be extremely brief — and I used wording which I think was completely innocuous, and that apparently the student didn’t,” Hesslow said.

Hesslow was ordered to attend a meeting by Christer Larsson, chairman of the program board for medical education, after a female student complained that Hesslow had a “personal anti-feminist agenda.” He was asked to distance himself from two specific comments; that gay women have a “male sexual orientation” and that the sexual orientation of transsexuals is “a matter of definition.”

The student’s complaint reads in part (translated):

I have also heard from senior lecturers that Germund Hesslow at the last lecture expressed himself transfobically. In response to a question of transexuallism, he said something like “sex change is a fly”. Secondly, it is outrageous because there may be students during the lecture who are themselves exposed to transfobin, but also because it may affect how later students in their professional lives meet transgender people. Transpersonals already have a high level of overrepresentation in suicide statistics and there are already major shortcomings in the treatment of transgender in care, should not it be countered? How does this kind of statement coincide with the university’s equal treatment plan? What has this statement given for consequences? What has been done for this to not be repeated? –Academic Rights Watch

After being admonished, Hesslow refused to distance himself from his comments, saying that he had “done enough” already and didn’t have to explain and defend his choice of words.

At some point, one must ask for a sense of proportion among those involved. If it were to become acceptable for students to record lectures in order to find compromising formulations and then involve faculty staff with meetings and long letters, we should let go of the medical education altogether,” Hesslow said in a written reply to Larsson.

He also rejected the accusation that he had a political agenda – stating that his only agenda was to let scientific factnot new social conventions, dictate how he teaches his courses.

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