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British accusations against Russia not only unproven, but absurd! Part 2

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Part 2

Russia had long been hoping that the EU may gradually put to an end its sanctions policy. It is still very dependent on trade with the block. It would be insane for Russia to do anything that could threaten the current Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project, especially given that the US, with the support of a number of EU countries mainly from Eastern Europe, has been putting pressure on the EU to abandon the project. But Germany, determined to ensure its supply of cheap gas, has so far resisted such calls.

Predictably, the EU has sided with the UK and is officially demanding explanations from Russia concerning its novichok programme – which only makes any sense if Russia was in some way involved in the Salisbury attack, definitely not if it genuinely ceased the production and storage of the nerve agent in the 1990s, as documented by the OPCW!

Could other agents of the Russian state be responsible?

It is also entirely unrealistic to imagine that leading members of the Russian secret service agencies may have acted autonomously and ordered the Salisbury attack without consulting their superiors and not realizing how much damage it would have on Russia’s and Putin’s international reputation. They live in the world of the Russian state elite, continually exposed to its way of thinking, and not cocooned in some fantasy world of their own – unlike many Western politicians and journalists who apparently still live with the image of James Bond-like characters fighting against evil Russian agents!

Any significant agent of the Russian state would be fully aware of the displeasure that a Salisbury-type attack would trigger among the leadership. Supposing players within the Russian state did carry out the attack, it could only be construed as a hostile act towards President Putin and his team.

No sense for Russia to kill Skripal abroad rather than in Russia

This is not a simple case of a former spy-turned-traitor being “executed”. The attack leaves a deliberate Russian “signature” (there is no other reason for using novichok rather than a more discreet or classical weapon) and was carried out on the soil of a foreign country, the United Kingdom, which in spite of the Brexit process remains a highly significant player on the international stage. Whoever the perpetrators may be, they would have foreseen that any improvement in relations between Russia and its Western neighbours would be seriously jeopardized as a consequence.

But what makes Russian involvement even more absurd is the fact that Alexander Skripal was officially released and allowed to emigrate as part of a spy swap. Why would the Russians have waited another eight years before killing him in another country, with the terrible diplomatic consequences that would ensue, when he could have been much more easily liquidated while still in Russia, in a manner that would give would-be defectors an even clearer warning that there is “no way out for traitors”.

Would Russia give up the chance of other spy swaps?

Furthermore, a spy-swap deal implies that the parties involved agree to give up all claims pertaining to the released individuals. In other words they will not try to recapture or kill them, which would amount to a breach of the agreement. A country reneging on such a deal would no longer be trusted for any similar arrangements in the future. Is it reasonable to believe that the Russian government, or any top secret service official in Russia, would be prepared to sacrifice Russia’s chances of making any new spy-swap deals with its Western partners in the future? This is not just unlikely, it is the pinnacle of absurdity! Sadly, Western political leaders and mainstream media are quite happy to believe and propagate such nonsense.

Goal of attack: outrage against Russia

The attack itself does not seem to bear the mark of professional Russian agents. The daughter of the former double agent suffered the same fate as her father. It is only a matter of circumstances that many others were not seriously injured. It is like using a sledgehammer to crack a nut! And the main target, Sergei Skripal, is – weeks later – still reported to be alive! Either it was some very sloppy attack carried out by non-professionals, or the attack was deliberately not confined to Mr Skripal in order to provoke even greater outrage against Russia.

Boris Johnson has apparently recently adapted his interpretation of Russian intentions to take account of these facts. He now claims it was probably specially timed just before the presidential election, “to conjure up in the public imagination the notion of an enemy”. So the Russian president supposedly deliberately provoked British outrage to help him win the election! The Foreign Secretary seems to be completely out of touch with reality. It has long been common knowledge that Vladimir Putin would win with a landslide anyway. Would he wish to cause himself and his country enormous trouble for absolutely no gain at all?

What is Russia’s past record?

We are told there is “a pattern” of state-sponsored assassinations or deaths in unusual circumstances of political opponents, critical journalists and secret service defectors. Deaths attributed to President Putin have included the journalist Politskaya, the political opponent Nemtsov, the accountant and lawyer Magnitsky, the former agent Litvinenko and even the oligarch Berezovsky. In all these cases, the incrimination of the Russian state is based on rather flimsy evidence. The argumentation here is circular: in each case the belief in the Russian government’s responsibility is strengthened by the existence of the other stories. But if none of the stories are true, then the whole argument collapses.

The Litvinenko case does bare a similarity to the current one. Instead of the nerve agent novichok, Litvinenko was poisoned by radioactive polonium, a substance very difficult to obtain and produced only by a few countries – such as Russia – with a nuclear weapons industry. In both cases, it is highly unlikely that the Russian state would choose to leave a “made in Russia” signature on the poison used, with only one major outcome – the poisoning of Britain’s relationship with Russia.

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Trump and Putin meet anyway, but future meeting plans on hold

Ukraine largely seen at fault even by US media for provocation that was successful at preventing the planned meeting between the two leaders.

Seraphim Hanisch

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US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin did meet after all, speaking informally for a period of time during the G20 meeting held in Buenos Aires, Argentina over the weekend of Nov 30-Dec 1. However, at the present time, prospects for a more substantive policy meeting between the two leaders look dim, with the Kremlin’s Dmitry Peskov categorically saying that there is no possibility of President Putin going to Washington, D.C. for a meeting, at least not at this time.

In a report by Newsweek, it was learned that the two leaders actually did get a chance to talk:

President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin held what the White House described as “informal” conversations at the G20 summit in Argentina.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed Saturday that the two spoke at a cultural dinner for leaders and their wives and husbands at the famed Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires Friday night. .

GettyImages-1066780454

US President Donald Trump (R), looks at Russia’s President Vladimir Putin as they take place for a family photo, during the G20 Leaders’ Summit in Buenos Aires, on November 30, 2018. Getty Images

“As is typical at multilateral events, President Trump and the first lady had a number of informal conversations with world leaders at the dinner last night, including President Putin,” Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.

Kremlin aide Yuri Ushakov said that Trump and Putin had a brief meeting on the sidelines of the summit Friday, reported Reuters.

Ushakov said he met with U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton. Russia and the United States were ready to continue contact, he said.

Huckabee Sanders did not disclose the content of their conversation, but in a press conference later Saturday Putin revealed that Trump had questioned him about Russia’s seizure of Ukrainian ships in the Black Sea.

“I answered his questions about the incident in the Black Sea. He has his position. I have my own. We stayed in our own positions,” Putin told reporters, according to the Associated Press.

Trump had canceled a formal one-on-one meeting with Putin ahead of the summit over the situation in Ukraine, citing Russian aggression as the reason. He had avoided greeting Putin when leaders posed for a picture ahead of the summit on Friday.

For his own part, President Putin was disappointed not to have held the formal meeting, as Newsweek continues:

“It is unfortunate that we can’t hold a full-format meeting,” Putin was quoted as saying. “I think it is very much needed, in connection with issues of strategic stability, especially after [Trump] announced that the United States plans to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. (The INF)”

For the Russians, the main topic of concern as reported by TASS is indeed the US withdrawal from the INF, because they see the Americans as already having broken the treaty over the years through deployments from various NATO countries. The American point of view, as expressed by John Bolton in an earlier meeting with the Russian leadership, takes what appears to be a longer view, noting that several other nations have intermediate range nuclear missiles but are not bound by any limitations treaty, making only the United States the party in need of compliance to an antiquated agreement. However, TASS said a lot more (slight editing and emphasis added):

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s meeting with his US counterpart, Donald Trump, in Buenos Aires that was called off by the US leader was geared to outline ways of dialogue on the United States’ possible withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov said on Monday.

“We expected this meeting between Putin and Trump, who could have discussed the process and outline ways to a potential dialogue on that topic. But, regrettably, as you know, the meeting never took place,” he said.

The Kremlin spokesman expressed concern over possible impacts of the United States’ withdrawal from that treaty. In his words, “consequences can be very bad” from the point of view of both European and global security. “If the Americans ultimately withdraw from that treaty, there is a high risk, although now they deny it, that they will deploy these missiles in Europe. It means NATO’s expansion towards our borders. If missiles are deployed in Europe, Russia will be forces to take steps to ensure parity,” Peskov said, adding that such “steps” would mean “targeting these missiles.”

“That is, European territories will be in cross-hairs of our missiles. So, here we are back in the glorious 1970s,” he said. “It is illogical. It is dangerous as instead of discussing development goals, we will find ourselves back in a situation of armed confrontation. It is very bad and that is why we are trying to initiate negotiations with the Americans, sending these or those signal to see no reciprocity, due to various reasons.”

It is impossible to create an alternative to the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty in the current political conditions, he said.

“There is room for improving the document. But is can be improved only on the basis of something concrete because in the current political situation it is next to impossible to produce such a complicated document if it is leveled to the ground,” he said. “It is possible to use it as a basis but it is absolutely impossible to start from scratch.”

“The best option is the US’ non-withdrawal from the treaty,” the Kremlin spokesman stressed. “We can agree, so to say, with certain criticism of the US side that Russia and the United States are not the only countries to have such missiles. Moreover, there is a range of countries where these missiles constitute the core of their arsenals. Naturally, it turns out in such conditions that Russia and the United States are bound by liabilities under this treaty while others continue to develop their arsenals.”

But Russia, in his words, categorically denies allegations that it violates the INF Treaty. More to it, the Kremlin insists that in is the United States “that directly or indirectly has not been restricted by this treaty for quite a time,” developing heavy unmanned aerial vehicles, systems for anti-missiles in regions that can be used to launch small-and intermediate-range missiles.

“It is a difficult problem and there is no alternative to dialogue between the two countries’ experts and political will from their leaders. You know about our leader’s political will. And the US leader is yet to announce his,” Peskov added.

The Kerch Strait Incident received more and more attention from the West as well as Russia, though in a different way than is usually the pattern. The West typically berates Russia for intimidating Ukraine. However this situation was tacitly acknowledged even by US news media as being a timed Ukrainian provocation, designed among other things to make the American president cancel his meeting with President Putin. Stephen F. Cohen acknowledged this in his interview with Tucker Carlson on Fox News, broadcast on the evening of 3 December, here:

As we have covered here, the powers-that-be seem intent on preventing any progress at all between the two greatest world powers. One must question why this is so.

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Powered Exoskeletons Development: Which Country Has Greater Success

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Powered exoskeletons have been a feature of science fiction for decades. They were perhaps most memorable in Aliens, where Ripley made use of a large industrial exoskeleton to battle one of the aliens. However,what was once a work of pure fiction is now becoming a reality. This technology has been in development for some time, and today a number of regions are investing in the future possibilities, including:

Many Companies Are Working on the Technology

Today there are around thirty-six or so companies working on the technology. Many of them are based in the USA and have shifted from the early ideas of something matching Ripley’s suit, and headed more towards a lighter, more manoeuvrable suit. High-quality metal and carbon fibre frames are being used to put these suits together, making use of their lightweight properties to users with a convenient but strong design. The exoskeletons currently have a pretty hefty price on them, running well into the thousands of dollars. However, their capacity for making real changes to many people cannot be denied, and figures such as Max Polyakov have shown interest in extending the range of applications.

Much of the investment in powered exoskeletons has come from Japan, another major region for their development. Here, a lot of the investment is driven by a very specific concern. Japan has an evergrowing aging population. This means that they are having to develop specific solutions that will allow them to provide care for this evergrowing population. Powered exoskeletons offer a few major innovations to the care industry. For nurses who need to carry people upstairs, or possibly manoeuvre them around, the benefits of an exoskeleton are evident. Powered exoskeletons allow you to lift and move objects that would otherwise be impossible. This makes them valuable to nurses.

Suits Provide Valuable Rehabilitation Qualities

The other area in which exoskeletons have come into their own is in providing rehabilitation and physiotherapy to people who have suffered a stroke or spinal cord injuries. The powered suits mean that people who are not yet fully capable of independent movement can nevertheless take a step in that direction with the aid of a powered suit that will prevent them from hurting themselves. The benefits are already being realised, and it’s clear that this is set to continue becoming a bigger and bigger focus on the available technology.

The technology is also finding a certain amount of interest from the military, and from first responders. These are people who often find themselves confronted by dangerous situations that could be potentially hazardous in a number of ways. The ability for a soldier to be assisted in carrying a weight over a distance, especially if that soldier is badly fatigued, could make a real difference.Similarly, for emergency responders to something like a fire or earthquake, the ability to manoeuvre significant weights could play a big role in terms of rescuing survivors.

the USA and Japan have been leading the innovations so far, but interest is picking up in other parts of the world. MaxPolyakov as the Founder of Association Noosphere told how this sphere is developed in Ukraine, and he seems keen to continue pushing the technology to find out where it leads. With a range of useful applications on offer, it seems certain that we will be seeing more from powered exoskeletons in the near future.

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«Hang in there!» – The Citizens of St. Petersburg Greet The NATO A Happy Birthday

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On April 4, 1949 the North Atlantic Treaty Organization was founded. This year the NATO celebrates its 69th birthday.

The alliance was created as a counterbalance for the communistic system of values, literally to defend the European countries from the Soviet invasion.

For more than a quarter of a century we have been watching a paradox: the Soviet Union can be found only in history books, while the NATO goes on existing, expands and increases its military presence in Europe.

But today we will not hold political discussions. The citizens of Russian Saint-Petersburg greet the alliance a happy birthday with all their heart and wish it luck and sound health.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UxVXBDITLlo

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