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Vesti News outdoes US propagandists by its own scare tactics [Video]

Vesti overplays its fear-mongering, even to the disgust of the Russian people who saw the latest piece by elitist Dmitry Kiselyov.

Seraphim Hanisch

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The Russian news program Vesti Nedeliy launched a propaganda nuke at the Russian nation and at the West on 25 February with a broadcast narrated by Dmitry Kiselyov about the capabilities of Russia’s new hypersonic Zircon missile. The report made waves with its bellicose graphic and discussion of the missile being used against specific US targets. The video segment is shown here below:

Naturally, the Western media went into an uproar, castigating the Russian President as a warmonger, while at the same time conveniently ignoring the fact that the Russian President’s statements were in response to the US withdrawal from the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty.

President Trump announced the US’ plan to withdraw from this treaty, and the American government cites Russia as being in violation of the treaty, though the truth is that the Americans have at the very least also, and perhaps unilaterally violated the treaty as well.

However, there are multiple problems with VESTI as a news service that this report exposes. In discussions with people in Moscow, we were able to get some perspective on this network and what it does.

Vesti is a state-run propaganda arm of the news media, and of the most virulent type.

Vesti is to the Russian people something like a mix of “You Are All Going to Die Now News” plus the National Enquirer in the US. The network regularly operates its broadcasts as incendiary propaganda, so much so that the aggregate of Russian citizens view the network as conservative Americans view CNN – a bunch of nonsense, putting it politely (and it ought to be said here that Russians do not put things politely – they relish calling things what they are. We just cannot print that language here.)

The anchors of Vesti, like Dmitry Kiselyov, know they are disseminating nonsense.

How do we know this? By looking at the people themselves and examining what is known about them. Dmitry Kiselyov is actually highly notorious in this regard. He is often referred to as the “Russian Goebbels” after the infamous Nazi propagandist who is famous for the line “if you keep telling the same lie often enough, it becomes accepted as the truth.”

Kiselyov makes his paycheck doing his rather morbid entertainment TV, but his talk about threats of nuclear war actually go against his own personal interests. He as well as others among some of the wealthy Russian elites, have properties in Europe, and in the United States. They have children attending schools in these places. They have money kept in accounts outside Russia.

This was alluded to, actually on another Vesti program, in an interview with the LDPR firebrand Vladimir Zhirinovsky who said as much. We can see this here:

Our source maintains that Mr. Kiselyov is one of this number.

The Russian people themselves do not buy it.

So, what about the report itself? How is this received by the Russian people?

In almost – if not every – situation in which Vesti has arisen for discussion with various people in Moscow, Vesti is considered “extremely fake news.” However, it does have a strong sensationalist aspect that can be used to frighten the Russian people. Since the network is slick in its production values, it easily gets attention, both in Russia and outside the country, and it is easy to look like it represents the thought of the government and the people of Russia.

This is not usually so. It appears that Russian people have had their fill of state run news, so they do not carry the tendency to trust the news media the way Americans seem to. In order for a Russian person to really understand what is going on, he or she watches these things, and then reads or watches other broadcasts to “read between the lines.”

The notion of news networks in the country being trustworthy seems to be heartily and constantly denied, at least in those we spoke with.

What does this mean about this report?

Perhaps about one year ago, Glenn Beck reported in the US that in Moscow, the city was absolutely quiet because everyone was afraid of war breaking out. This was around the time that the US, France and Great Britain launched the missile strike against mostly empty buildings in Syria as a show of strength against what appears to have been a false-flag attack. Nevertheless at that time, according to Beck, the war drums were beating in Russia. How did he know this?

He watched or was made aware of a Vesti broadcast in which the network was telling anyone who cared to listen how to store food against the probability of a nuclear conflict. We did a quick bit of communication with contacts in Russia with the question “is there a panic going on there? Is there a war scare going on right now? That is what the news here in the States is saying.”

The response, from an American living in Moscow, was, “no, everything is normal. One person talked about seeing this Vesti report on TV a little bit, but everyone is fine.”

And that is how it is in Russia now. Vesti conducted its business and got some attention, but no one in Russia, including its president, is looking for or is eager for war. And although President Putin spoke strongly about the INF situation and Russia’s exceptionally astute program of weapons development, the charge Mr. Putin laid was that the Americans are acting unpredictably and Russia must protect itself. However, no one wants war, and there is no threat of it, but rather a wish that the foreign policy wonks in the US would come to their senses.

The upshot of this latest media kerfluffle is that some people in Russia and in the West probably collected their paychecks for the week.

There is nothing to see here, but there are plenty of real events far more deserving of attention by the press.

The problem here is the press, not the governments

In the United States, the issue of falsified news has dominated the conversation of conservative America. We see more and more crazy examples of pure and deliberate dishonesty in reporting by the day. We have seen that the same practice is happening in Russia and presumably many other countries.

More and more the press is trying to become the driver of policy in the United States. In Russia the role of the press is as yet unclear, though speculation abounds that it is trying to distract people from their own problems by scapegoating other places and people. This is true everywhere.

But one of the key factors stoking this may be the presence of the 24-hour news cycle, the ease of access to the Internet, and the fact that most of the time in the world there is very little happening that is of interest to the whole world. If you do not have a story, why not embellish one to make it sensational, and draw some views or clicks? This appears to be the model that many networks and providers are following.

However, it is damaging. Vesti appears to have overstepped its bounds by speculating on the things President Putin spoke about and taking his words way out of context. This kind of thing can be very dangerous, especially when there is a warmongering faction in the West that would love an excuse to call Russia an aggressor nation.

President Putin is not an agressor. But Dmitry Kiselyov is certainly playing this very role.

 

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Thomas Malthaus
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Thomas Malthaus

I watch excerpts from Vesti’s YouTube channel and I mostly ignore the political discussions. Otherwise, I like some of their in-depth discussions or reportage of Russia’s manufacturing, tourism, and environment.

President Putin has said in past interviews with journalists that, and I’m paraphrasing, they don’t get it. One particular interview can be found on YouTube for those searching to confirm my account.

Regula
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Regula

Mr Hanisch doesn’t appear to have watched this particular broadcast by Vesti News, or he would have realized that it was no more than a more visual explanation of what Putin said in his state of the union speech: a warning that the US should do the math first, before withdrawing unilaterally from the INF. Precisely because Russia will for its own security have to respond if the US installs intermediate range nukes on Russia’s border. What Vesti News explained graphically is what Putin said, that they would hit not only the missile installations, but the command centers. And yes,… Read more »

fred
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fred

he was pointing out that the russians know that the orders to launch the missiles would come from the US and that would not go unpunished

Tom Welsh
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Tom Welsh

Is Herr Hanisch another CIA asset, then? I have watched the video clip carefully and all the presenter did was to illustrate graphically what Mr Putin said in his speech.

Which is worse, pray? For the US government secretly to plot a first strike against Russia – which would inevitably lead to the deaths of all human beings, everywhere – or for the Russian government and media openly to explain, as one would to a very young child, exactly what the consequences would be?

Olivia Kroth
Guest

Vesti Nedeli is a very bad and boring programme of Russian news. Mr. Kisselev is the wrong man at the wrong place: a sensationalist, very biased, and not all too well informed about what is generally going on in the world. I stopped watching this stupid show a long time ago. Thankfully, it is only once a week, on Sunday night, to be avoided!

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US continues to try to corner Russia with silence on Nukes

Moscow continues to be patient in what appears to be an ever more lopsided, intentional stonewalling situation provoked by the Americans.

Seraphim Hanisch

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TASS reported on March 17th that despite Russian readiness to discuss the present problem of strategic weapons deployments and disarmament with its counterparts in the United States, the Americans have not offered Russia any proposals to conduct such talks.

The Kremlin has not yet received any particular proposals on the talks over issues of strategic stability and disarmament from Washington, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told TASS on Sunday when commenting on the statement made by US National Security Adviser John Bolton who did not rule out that such talks could be held with Russia and China.

“No intelligible proposals has been received [from the US] so far,” Peskov said.

Earlier Bolton said in an interview with radio host John Catsimatidis aired on Sunday that he considers it reasonable to include China in the negotiation on those issues with Russia as well.

“China is building up its nuclear capacity now. It’s one of the reasons why we’re looking at strengthening our national missile defense system here in the United States. And it’s one reason why, if we’re going to have another arms control negotiation, for example, with the Russians, it may make sense to include China in that discussion as well,” he said.

Mr. Bolton’s sense about this particular aspect of any arms discussions is correct, as China was not formerly a player in geopolitical affairs the way it is now. The now all-but-scrapped Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, or INF, was a treaty concluded by the US and the USSR leaders Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, back in 1987. However, for in succeeding decades, most notably since the fall of the Soviet Union, the US has been gradually building up weaponry in what appears to be an attempt to create a ring around the Russian Federation, a situation which is understandably increasingly untenable to the Russian government.

Both sides have accused one another of violating this treaty, and the mutual violations and recriminations on top of a host of other (largely fabricated) allegations against the Russian government’s activities led US President Donald Trump to announce his nation’s withdrawal from the treaty, formally suspending it on 1 February. Russian President Vladimir Putin followed suit by suspending it the very next day.

The INF eliminated all of both nations’ land based ballistic and cruise missiles that had a range between 500 and 1000 kilometers (310-620 miles) and also those that had ranges between 1000 and 5500 km (620-3420 miles) and their launchers.

This meant that basically all the missiles on both sides were withdrawn from Europe’s eastern regions – in fact, much, if not most, of Europe was missile-free as the result of this treaty. That is no longer the case today, and both nations’ accusations have provoked re-development of much more advanced systems than ever before, especially true considering the Russian progress into hypersonic and nuclear powered weapons that offer unlimited range.

This situation generates great concern in Europe, such that the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres called on both Moscow and Washington to salvage the INF and extend the Treaty on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms, or the New START as it is known.

“I call on the parties to the INF Treaty to use the time remaining to engage in sincere dialogue on the various issues that have been raised. It is very important that this treaty is preserved,” Guterres said at a session of the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva on Monday.

He stressed that the demise of that accord would make the world more insecure and unstable, which “will be keenly felt in Europe.” “We simply cannot afford to return to the unrestrained nuclear competition of the darkest days of the Cold War,” he said.

Guterres also urged the US and Russia to extend the START Treaty, which expires in 2021, and explore the possibility of further reducing their nuclear arsenals. “I also call on the United States and the Russian Federation to extend the so-called New START Treaty before it expires in 2021,” he said.

The UN chief recalled that the treaty “is the only international legal instrument limiting the size of the world’s two largest nuclear arsenals” and that its inspection provisions “represent important confidence-building measures that benefit the entire world.”

Guterres recalled that the bilateral arms control process between Russia and the US “has been one of the hallmarks of international security for fifty years.”

“Thanks to their efforts, global stockpiles of nuclear weapons are now less than one-sixth of what they were in 1985,” the UN secretary-general pointed out.

The Treaty between the United States of America and the Russian Federation on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (the New START Treaty) entered into force on February 5, 2011. The document stipulates that seven years after its entry into effect each party should have no more than a total of 700 deployed intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM), submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM) and strategic bombers, as well as no more than 1,550 warheads on deployed ICBMs, deployed SLBMs and strategic bombers, and a total of 800 deployed and non-deployed ICBM launchers, SLBM launchers and strategic bombers. The new START Treaty obliges the parties to exchange information on the number of warheads and carriers twice a year.

The new START Treaty will remain in force during 10 years until 2021, unless superseded by a subsequent agreement. It may be extended for a period of no more than five years (that is, until 2026) upon the parties’ mutual consent. Moscow has repeatedly called on Washington not to delay the issue of extending the Treaty.

 

 

 

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Trump witch hunt dots connected: CNN to Steele to John McCain (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 110.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss documents released which show that Christopher Steele admitted to using posts by ‘random individuals’ on the CNN community website ‘iReport’ in order to back up his fabricated Trump dossier.

President Trump took note of Steele’s use of CNN citizen journalist posts, in a twitter tirade that blasted the British ex-spy for running with unverified community generated content from a now now-defunct ‘iReports’ website as part of his research.

Trump the proceeded to rip into late neocon Arizona Senator John McCain, tweeting that it was “just proven in court papers” that “last in his class” McCain sent the Steele’s dossier to media outlets in the hopes that they would print it prior to the 2016 US election.

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Via The Daily Caller

A federal court unsealed 43 pages Thursday of a deposition that former British spy Christopher Steele gave as part of a lawsuit over his infamous anti-Trump dossier.

To the disappointment of many observers, the full deposition was not unsealed in Thursday’s motion. Instead, portions of Steele’s interview, which he gave in London on July 13, 2018, were unsealed in separate court filings submitted in the lawsuit.

Steele’s full deposition totaled 145 pages. The portions published Thursday focus mainly on questions about the dossier’s claims about Aleksej Gubarev, a tech executive who Steele alleges took part in the hacking of Democrats’ computer systems.

Gubarev has vehemently denied the claim and sued Steele and BuzzFeed News, which published the dossier on Jan. 10, 2017.

U.S. District Court Judge Ursula Ungaro, who handled the lawsuit, ordered a slew of previously sealed documents to be made public Thursday. Ungaro dismissed the lawsuit on Dec. 19 but did not weigh in on whether the dossier’s claims about Gubarev were accurate.

It is unclear whether Steele’s entire deposition will be released. A source familiar with Steele’s interview tempered expectations of any bombshells in the document, saying that Steele avoided going into detail about his efforts to create the dossier and his sources.

A deposition given by former State Department official David Kramer was perhaps the most enlightening document contained in the dump.

Kramer, a longtime associate of late Arizona Sen. John McCain, was BuzzFeed’s source for the dossier. Kramer shared the dossier with at least 11 other reporters, including CNN’s Carl Bernstein. (RELATED: John McCain Associate Gave Dossier To A Dozen Reporters)

Kramer obtained the dossier in late November 2016 after visiting Steele in London. Steele acknowledged that Kramer and McCain were picked as conduits to pass the dossier to then-FBI Director James Comey. McCain met with Comey on Dec. 9, 2016 and provided all of the dossier’s memos that had been written up to that point.

“I think they felt a senior Republican was better to be the recipient of this rather than a Democrat because if it were a Democrat, I think that the view was that it would have been dismissed as a political attack,” Kramer said in the deposition when asked why Steele and his business partners at Fusion GPS wanted McCain to meet with Comey.

Via Washington Examiner

Former British spy Christopher Steele admitted that he relied on an unverified report on a CNN website for part of the “Trump dossier,” which was used as a basis for the FBI’s investigation into Trump.

According to deposition transcripts released this week, Steele said last year he used a 2009 report he found on CNN’s iReport website and said he wasn’t aware that submissions to that site are posted by members of the public and are not checked for accuracy.

web archive from July 29, 2009 shows that CNN described the site in this manner: “iReport.com is a user-generated site. That means the stories submitted by users are not edited, fact-checked, or screened before they post.”

In the dossier, Steele, a Cambridge-educated former MI6 officer, wrote about extensive allegations against Donald Trump, associates of his campaign, various Russians and other foreign nationals, and a variety of companies — including one called Webzilla. Those allegations would become part of an FBI investigation and would be used to apply for warrants under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

During his deposition, Steele was pressed on the methods he used to verify allegations made about Webzilla, which was thought to be used by Russia to hack into Democratic emails.

When asked if he discovered “anything of relevance concerning Webzilla” during the verification process, Steele replied: “We did. It was an article I have got here which was posted on July 28, 2009, on something called CNN iReport.”

“I do not have any particular knowledge of that,” Steele said when asked what was his understanding of how the iReport website worked.

When asked if he understood that content on the site was not generated by CNN reporters, he said, “I do not.” He was then asked: “Do you understand that they have no connection to any CNN reporters?” Steele replied, “I do not.”

He was pressed on this further: “Do you understand that CNN iReports are or were nothing more than any random individuals’ assertions on the Internet?” Steele replied: “No, I obviously presume that if it is on a CNN site that it may has some kind of CNN status. Albeit that it may be an independent person posting on the site.”

When asked about his methodology for searching for this information, Steele described it as “what we could call an open source search,” which he defined as “where you go into the Internet and you access material that is available on the Internet that is of relevance or reference to the issue at hand or the person under consideration.”

Steele said his dossier contained “raw intelligence” that he admitted could contain untrue or even “deliberately false information.”

Steele was hired by the opposition research firm Fusion GPS to investigate then-candidate Donald Trump in 2016. Fusion GPS was receiving funding at the time from the Clinton campaign and the DNC through the Perkins Coie law firm.

The series of memos that Steele would eventually compile became known as the “Trump Dossier.” The dossier was used in FISA applications to surveil Trump campaign associate Carter Page.

When asked whether he warned Fusion GPS that the information in the dossier might be “Russian disinformation,” Steele admitted that “a general understanding existed between us and Fusion … that all material contained this risk.”

Steele also described his interactions with Sen. John McCain’s aide, David Kramer, whose own deposition showed that he provided BuzzFeed with a copy of the dossier and had spoken with more than a dozen journalists about it.

“I provided copies of the December memo to Fusion GPS for onward passage to David Kramer at the request of Sen. John McCain,” Steele said. “Sen. McCain nominated him as the intermediary. I did not choose him as the intermediary.”

When asked if he told Kramer that he couldn’t “vouch for everything that was produced in the memos,” Steele replied, “Yes, with an emphasis on ‘everything.'”

When asked why he believed it was so important to provide the dossier to Sen. McCain, Steele said: “Because I judged it had national security implications for the United States and the West as a whole.”

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Trudeau’s Top Bureaucrat Unexpectedly Quits Amid Growing Corruption Scandal

In a scathing letter to Trudeau, Wernick said that “recent events” led him to conclude he couldn’t hold his post during the election campaign this fall.

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Via Zerohedge


Since it was exposed by a report in Canada’s Globe and Mail newspaper earlier this month, the scandal that’s become known as the SNC-Lavalin affair has already led to the firing of several of Trudeau’s close advisors and raised serious questions about whether the prime minister was complicit in pressuring the attorney general to offer a deferred prosecution agreement with a large, Quebec-based engineering firm.

And according to the first round of polls released since the affair exploded into public view…

…it could cost Trudeau his position as prime minister and return control to the conservatives, according to the CBC.

Campaign Research showed the Conservatives ahead with 37% to 32% for the Liberals, while both Ipsos and Léger put the margin at 36% to 34% in the Conservatives’ favour.Since December, when both polling firms were last in the field, the Liberals have lost one point in Campaign Research’s polling and four percentage points in the Ipsos poll, while the party is down five points since November in the Léger poll.

Meanwhile, as the noose tightens around Trudeau, on Monday another of the key Canadian government officials at the center of the SNC-Lavalin scandal has quit his post.

Michael Wernick, clerk of the privy council, the highest-ranking position in Canada’s civil service and a key aide to Justin Trudeau, announced his retirement Monday. Trudeau named Ian Shugart, currently deputy minister of foreign affairs, to replace him.

In a scathing letter to Trudeau, Wernick said that “recent events” led him to conclude he couldn’t hold his post during the election campaign this fall.

“It is now apparent that there is no path for me to have a relationship of mutual trust and respect with the leaders of the opposition parties,” he said, citing the need for impartiality on the issue of potential foreign interference. According to Bloomberg, the exact date of his departure is unclear.

As we reported in February, Canada’s former justice minister and attorney general, Jody Wilson-Raybould, quit following allegations that several key Trudeau government figures pressured her to intervene to end a criminal prosecution against Montreal-based construction giant SNC. Wernick was among those she named in saying the prime minister’s office wanted her to pursue a negotiated settlement.

Wernick has since twice spoken to a committee of lawmakers investigating the case, and during that testimony both defended his actions on the SNC file and warned about the risk of foreign election interference, as “blame Putin” has become traditional Plan B plan for most politicians seeing their careers go up in flames.

“I’m deeply concerned about my country right now, its politics and where it’s headed. I worry about foreign interference in the upcoming election,” he said in his first appearance before the House of Commons justice committee, before repeating the warning a second time this month. “If that was seen as alarmist, so be it. I was pulling the alarm. We need a public debate about foreign interference.”

Because somehow foreign interference has something to do with Wenick’s alleged corruption.

Incidentally, as we wonder what the real reason is behind Wernick’s swift departure, we are confident we will know soon enough.

Anyway, back to the now former clerk, who is meant to be non-partisan in service of the government of the day, also criticized comments by a Conservative senator and praised one of Trudeau’s cabinet ministers.

Wernick’s testimony was criticized as overly cozy with the ruling Liberals. Murray Rankin, a New Democratic Party lawmaker, asked the clerk how lawmakers could “do anything but conclude that you have in fact crossed the line into partisan activity?” Green Party Leader Elizabeth May said he seemed “willing to interfere in partisan fashion for whoever is in power.”

Whatever Wernick’s true motives, he is the latest but not last in what will be a long line of cabinet departures as the SNC scandal exposes even more corruption in Trudeau’s cabinet (some have ironically pointed out that Canada’s “beloved” prime minister could be gone for actual corruption long before Trump). Trudeau had already lost a top political aide, Gerald Butts, to the scandal. A second minister, Jane Philpott, followed Wilson-Raybould in quitting cabinet.

Separately, on Monday, Trudeau appointed a former deputy prime minister in a Liberal government, Anne McLellan, as a special adviser to investigate some of the legal questions raised by the controversy. They include how governments should interact with the attorney general and whether that role should continue to be held by the justice minister.

As Bloomberg notes, the increasingly shaky Liberal government hasn’t ruled out helping SNC by ordering a deferred prosecution agreement in the corruption and bribery case, which centers around the company’s work in Moammar Qaddafi’s Libya. Doing so would allow the company to pay a fine and avoid any ban on receiving government contracts. That decision is up to the current attorney general, David Lametti; of course, such an action would only raise tensions amid speculation that the government is pushing for a specific political, and favorable for Trudeau, outcome.

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