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IRONY: NATO warship breaks down, Russia’s ridiculed Kuznetsov powers on

After weeks of stories of the Admiral Kuznetsov’s engine problems, it is the engines of one of Britain’s top of the line Type 45 destroyers which have broken down, causing the ship to be towed back to port.

Alexander Mercouris




As Russia’s fleet has deployed to the eastern Mediterranean the well-known engine problems of its aircraft carrier the Admiral Kuznetsov have received an inordinate amount of attention.

I have previously discussed the reasons for these problems.  Briefly, the Admiral Kuznetsov when it was built in the 1980s was not only by an order of magnitude the biggest warship the Soviet/Russian navy had ever commissioned, but at 60,000 tons it was more than twice as heavy as the USSR’s/Russia’s next largest warships – the missile battlecruisers of the Kirov class – which use a combination of nuclear reactors and gas turbines.

The Russians had not previously had to develop engines – whether nuclear or conventional – for warship as large and heavy ship, and the arrangement they came up with involving a complicated arrangement of steam turbines and turbo-pressurised boilers is unreliable and comes under strain in heavy seas. 

The follow on ship to Kuznetsov and her intended sister Varyag was to be the planned aircraft carrier Ulyanovsk (which was never finished), which would have had a more suitable engine mix of four nuclear reactors.  Note however that this would still have been twice as many nuclear reactors as the two much more powerful Westinghouse nuclear reactors used by the much bigger and heavier US Nimitz class carriers – a further sign of the USSR’s/Russia’s lack of fully suitable and sufficiently powerful engines, whether nuclear or conventional, for warships of this size.

As I have also previously said, the Russians are aware of the problems with the Kuznetsov’s engines, and they would almost certainly have fixed them had the Kuznetsov not been commissioned at a time of extreme political and economic crisis in Russia in the mid 1990s.  As it is, the Kuznetsov is due to undertake a comprehensive refit after 2018 during which the present unreliable engines are due to be replaced.

The over-emphasis on the problems of the Kuznetsov’s engines – which are not affecting the carrier’s conduct of its current mission in Syria – has however given the impression that its engine problems are somehow unique.  This is very far from being the case as I was reminded when I was  reading the British House of Commons’ Defence Committee report on the state of Britain’s Royal Navy, which was published four days ago.

The most advanced warships of the Royal Navy are its Type 45 Daring class destroyers, described by some as the most advanced naval destroyers in the world.  Since 2009 when the first entered service with the Royal Navy they have been plagued by engine reliability problems.  Here is house the Defence Committee report describes them

“75. The Type 45 destroyer is the most modern ship in the British Fleet and a key part of its innovative design was its propulsion system. However, shortly after its introduction into service, the propulsion system developed serious problems. Between the launch of the first of class (HMS Daring) in February 2006 and the final Type 45 launch (HMS Duncan) in October 2010, approximately 50 design changes were necessary. Despite that remedial work the Type 45s continue to suffer from reliability issues including major power failures.  There have been improvements and the current failure rates are now one-third of those experienced in 2010.  However, as Sir Mark Stanhope noted, there remains a “risk inherent” in using the Type 45.”

However perhaps the most extraordinary revelation is that the engines do not work properly in warm waters such as those of the Mediterranean and the Persian Gulf.  Here is what the Defence Committee report has to say about that:

“84. A second issue with the engine was a loss of reliability when the Type 45s operated in areas with high ambient air and sea temperature. When we questioned Tomas Leahy, Rolls Royce, on how this came to be, he told us that the engine “met the specification for the Type 45 class [set by the MoD] and that the system met that specification”.  However, he added:

“Are the conditions experienced in the Gulf in line with that specification? No, they are not. The equipment is having to operate in far more arduous conditions than were initially required by that specification.”

Given that the Royal Navy has undertaken significant operations in the Gulf for decades, this appears to be a startling error.

85. John Hudson, BAES, said that industry had highlighted to the MoD that there would be an upper limit for environmental temperatures and they had sought to produce a design that would have “graceful (sic) degradation beyond those temperatures”.  In other words, the engine would have the ability to carry on and operate, albeit sub-optimally, which would result in “a bit of drop-off” in terms of top speed.  However, that was not the outcome. Admiral Jones acknowledged that a key failing in the specification was that the WR-21 was unable to operate effectively in hot temperatures and that, instead of a “graceful degradation”, the engines were “degrading catastrophically”.

86. It is astonishing that the specification for the Type 45 did not include the requirement for the ships to operate at full capacity—and for sustained periods—in hot regions such as the Gulf. The UK’s enduring presence in the Gulf should have made it a key requirement for the engines. The fact that it was not was an inexcusable failing and one which must not be repeated in the Type 26 and GPFF programmes. Failure to guarantee this would put the personnel and ships of the Royal Navy in danger, with potentially dangerous consequences.”

(bold highlighting in the original)

In light of all this it comes as no surprise that there are now reports that instead of the Admiral Kuznetsov having to be towed into combat by its accompanying tug, it is HMS Duncan, one of the Britain’s Type 45 destroyers which were shadowing the Kuznetsov, which recently broke down and which has had to be towed back to port by a tug.   Needless to say the Western media,which has been awash with stories about the Admiral Kuznetsov’s engine problems, has given minimal coverage to this incident.

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Russia’s economy continues to outperform as gold takes center stage (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 118.

Alex Christoforou



The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris examine how US and EU sanctions have continued to provide a huge boost to Russia’s economy. Russia’s food sovereignty has practically been achieved, as the Russian central bank continues to buy gold and lower its exposure to western financial markets.

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Outside pressure in the form of sanctions has become an incentive to resolve various issues of Russia’s economy, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev stated in an interview with the Izvestiya daily.

He noted that through introducing sanctions against Russia, “the West aims to destabilize Russia’s economy and to create social and political tensions in society.”

“But during the difficult times, Russians have always stuck together and mobilized their resources in order to ensure the country’s sovereignty. This is what is happening now – the outside pressure has become an incentive to resolve many problems in Russia’s economy,” he said.

“Before the sanctions, it seemed that we would never be able to feed ourselves and that we are doomed to be dependent on Western import. However, right now, Russia’s food sovereignty in crucial sectors has practically been achieved, and in some areas, Russia has become the leading exporter,” Patrushev noted.

Those who apply the sanctions “can see that they (the sanctions – TASS) are ineffective and often achieve the opposite goal,” the Russian security chief concluded.

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US Neocon Foreign Policy and the War Waged Against Serbia

The Serbian assault began first by a ‘financial war’; by sanctions and finished off by an aggressive unprovoked incessant NATO bombing campaign.

Richard Galustian



The ‘witch-hunt’ against President Trump over Russian collusion has officially ended, following the submission of the Mueller Report, enabling us to now focus on the real problems of America that effects the whole world.

In the hope of a waining of the Russophobia in America, let’s look at the US’s recent war history by starting with the 20th anniversary this month of the NATO war on Serbia in 1999 which amounted to almost 100 days of bombing of historic cities and infrastructure.

Firstly, these problems are, in the main caused by the Neocons, or Deep State, whatever you wish to call them, and the continuing promotion, by the US Military-Security Industrial Complex, of wars and regime change and secondly, Trump’s unreserved support for Israel, regardless of war crimes they may continue to commit against the Palestinians.

Incredibly after that one sided unjust and illegal war that NATO executed, NATO has the audacity to invite Serbia to join it! Something that will never happen. What do they smoke in DC, in the Pentagon and Brussels based NATO?

To compound these overall problems, the US Military and Israeli Defence Forces collaborate on these US regime change policies on all continents evidenced most recently by the arrival of crack Israeli troops last month in Brazil, prepared to support an attack potentially by Brazil and Columbia on Venezuela.

As, has now come to be expected, America pursues its Venezuelan regime change with full main stream media (MSM) cooperation, using well proven sophisticated propaganda techniques along with a variety of pretexts.

From Serbia to Iraq to Libya, where does it end? Observe that Trump is now seeking a ‘NATO alliance’ offering NATO status, to President Bolsonaro of Brazil to back the invasion of Venezuela.

So it is important to remember, as an example, that after a long war of economic and financial destabilization ended with the bombing of Serbia.

Serbia was previously a part of Yugoslavia, a country which had successfully evolved after 1945 to solve the old rivalries of the 19th and early 20th Century Balkan ethnic animosities which was, prior to the advent of power of President Tito, its past history.

The United Nations, instead of supporting, in effect, so called ‘humanitarian wars’ and ‘regime change wars’ by the US, using NATO, helped and relentlessly driven home by MSM outlets like CNN and FOX NEWS into people’s heads, must finally take a stand.

So too, Yugoslavia, once the envy of many in the world, given its then ‘non-aligned’ status under President Tito, was destroyed and broken up; ‘Balkanized’ in the early 1990s.

The Serbian assault began first by a ‘financial war’; by sanctions and finished off by an aggressive unprovoked incessant NATO bombing campaign. That’s what we can expect in Venezuela next.

This ‘Balkanization’ strategy similarly applies to Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria et al. It serves US Neocon interests to dismember States in the world and create smaller more ‘manageable’ countries.

‘Regime change’ runs against the intent, the very words contained in the US Constitution. No one in MSM ever reminds us of that fact. Nevertheless America’s ambition to overthrow other States continues, which they arrogantly now make no secret of. The next States will probably be Nicaragua then Iran to name but two.

A very noteworthy most recent outrageous unilateral declaration was made by President Trump, not yet formally agreed by US institutions, ‘giving’ something he has no authority to give; Syrian territory, the Golan Heights to be precise, to Israel. Something that one day could trigger a full scale Arab-Israeli War.

This is of extreme importance yet no real outcry comes from world leaders; well not so far.

The main reason for that decision given by senior US Administration figures is that “God anointed Trump to save the Jews”.

Not forgetting Trump’s need (which we the people don’t understand exactly why) to support Prime Minister Netanyahu in his difficult upcoming elections in Israel – in part because both countries failed to ‘regime change’ Syria – but more importantly to help the ‘financial terrorists’ who formed a company jointly that has already started drilling for oil in the Golan Heights. You might like to know who owns such oil drilling company which should answer a plethora of questions in one go that you must be asking yourselves.

The shareholder’s names tells us everything; Dick Cheney; Baron Rothschild and Rupert Murdoch. The titular heads of neocons, bankers and media on the planet.

In ending there is no more evidence required for us, the people of the world, to rise up against the globalist dark forces wherever they exist, be it in Brussels, London, France or Washington. We must demand democratic elections or start revolutions, the latter has already begun in France in the form of ‘the yellow vests’. And Brexit, by definition, is a rejection by the British people of globalism and American Hegemony.

The pattern of US destabilization and destruction of States to loot them of their sovereign resources is the unseen history of the last 100 years, not taught in any university, anywhere in the West.

As far as Ukraine is concerned, its government was taken down by the CIA and replaced by an ultra fascist regime that has full backing from America. This is no secret. But the MSM simple don’t report it.

US led NATO is ‘the transnational war machine’ of the world, devouring almost all free countries wealth. It can extort to terrorize all into conformity to the global ‘carcinogenic’ US Neocon imperialistic strategy.

A total estimated 20m people around the world have died since the end of WW11 at the hands of US Forces. Think about that for a moment.

One of the most famous sayings attributed to America’s great President Abraham Lincoln is about deception: “You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”

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‘Dark day for internet freedom’: EU approves controversial copyright reform

Julia Reda, a German MEP with the Pirate Party, described it as a “dark day for internet freedom.”





Via RT

The European Parliament has voted to adopt the highly controversial Article 13 provision which would govern the production and distribution of content online under the auspices of increasing copyright protections.

Tuesday’s move will update the EU’s 20-year-old copyright rules and will govern everything from audiovisual content to memes, much to the dismay of many social media users who have already begun outpouring their grief online.

MEPs passed the legislation by 348 votes to 274 Tuesday. Opponents had hoped for last-minute amendments to be made but their efforts were in vain.

Julia Reda, a German MEP with the Pirate Party, described it as a “dark day for internet freedom.”

Article 13 or ‘The Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market’ makes all platforms legally responsible for the content hosted and shared on their platforms.

The process of updating the bloc’s copyright laws began in the European Commission two years ago, ostensibly to protect Europe’s publishers, broadcasters and artists and guarantee fair compensation from big tech companies.

By essentially forcing companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter to pay artists and publishers for the reproduction of their work online, include in meme format, the EU is effectively clamping down on online memery.

The onus will now be on tech companies to clamp down on content-sharing on their platforms, which will likely ensure yet more draconian policing of speech and content.

EU member states now have two years to pass their own laws putting Article 13 into effect.

Tens of thousands marched in protest across Germany ahead of the vote, decrying what they viewed as severe online censorship.

Tech giant Google said that while the directive is “improved” it will still lead to legal uncertainty and will damage Europe’s creative and digital economies.

Critics have argued that the only way for Article 13 to be effectively enforced would be through the use of upload filters which automatically check content to see if it’s copyrighted or not, at least in theory. However, the exact mechanics of such a system have yet to be fully debated and the potential for abuse is immediately clear.

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