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Man who may get Russia banned from OIympics says he wants to ‘destroy Russian sport for 5 years’

The World Anti-Doping Agency’s recommendation to ban Russian athletes from the Olympics is based on Grigory Rodchenkov’s testimony

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(RT) – The WADA informant who accused Russia of state-sanctioned athletic doping said that he “does not care about the fight against doping” in a video released by a Russian TV channel. The fate of Team Russia’s participation in the 2018 Olympics is to be decided on Tuesday.

On December 2, Russia’s NTV aired extracts from three different videos purportedly showing the former Moscow anti-doping lab chief, Grigory Rodchenkov, making a series of shocking statements. In one video, a man who strongly resembles Rodchenkov admits that he “does not care about the fight against doping.”

In another clip, the same man says that he’s a “terrible person” who has “sold his soul” – although he was quick to point out that his “price had risen.” He goes on to boast that his “expensive” apartment in Los Angeles and latest-model Infiniti “are paid for” in full.

“I’ll make sure you have one positive sample of 20,000. I’ll make sure I have 100 samples, and I will destroy all Olympic sports of Russia for the next five years!” the person believed to be Rodchenkov declares in one of the videos obtained by NTV. The channel did not elaborate on the details of the videos’ origins.

Rodchenkov fled Russia for the US in November 2015. His testimony about alleged misconduct by Russian authorities during the 2014 Sochi Olympics formed the basis for a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) report authored by Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren. The report, released in July 2016, claims that Russian athletes participated in systematic doping with the full knowledge of the Kremlin.

Acting on McLaren’s recommendations, the IOC banned Russian track-and-field athletes from participating in the 2016 Rio Olympics and excluded the entire Russian team from the Paralympics.

In September of this year, a Moscow court ordered Rodchenkov’s arrest in absentia. He is wanted on charges of abuse of authority, and Russia is currently seeking his extradition from the US.

Rodchenkov doesn’t seem to dispute that he is guilty of serious wrongdoing. “I have [committed] all sins except pedophilia, homosexuality and drug trafficking,” Rodchenkov confesses in one of the videos.

The language of the man in the videos is quite offensive, apparently induced by alcohol, as he suggests himself. At one point he breaks into a tirade against a “fat Negro.” He continues: “What an idiot… [She] walks and drops a bin full of dog sh*t – what a country this is!” the man in the video says, adding that he’s not surprised “all Americans are so rude.

Rodchenkov has previously taken credit for developing a three-drug cocktail of banned substances that he mixed with liquor. He claims he provided the elixir to Russian athletes during the 2014 Sochi Winter games.

However, in one of the videos released by the NTV, Rodchenkov insists that the recipe for “Duchess,” the name of his now-infamous cocktail, actually has American origins. He says the idea came to him after he was inspired by the works of prohormones-industry researcher William Llewellyn.

The person in the video also reveals he “almost killed himself,” committing a hara-kiri, and admits he used to be a patient at the Kashchenko psychiatric hospital.

Moscow has repeatedly disputed Rodchenkov’s whistleblower status, pointing out that he was actively involved in the crimes he now accuses others of committing. Russia’s Investigative Committee said in November that they gathered enough evidence showing that Rodchenkov destroyed the doping tests of athletes in violation of the requirements of the International Standard for Laboratories of the World Anti-Doping Agency, as well as the agency’s letters regarding the whereabouts of the samples.

READ MORE: Russia against doping allegations: From claims to facts & WADA-admitted ‘non-sufficient evidence’

Rodchenkov is enrolled in a witness protection program in the US, according to both Russian and Western media reports.

Pressurized by anti-doping organizations that take Rodchenkov’s claims at face value, the IOC will meet on December 5 to decide whether Russian athletes will be allowed to participate in the 2018 Winter Olympics.

The International Paralympics Committee (IPC) has already decided to uphold its blanket ban on Russian athletes in the upcoming Winter Paralympics.

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Photos of swastika on Ukrainian mall stairway creates a stir [Video]

Ukrainian nationalist press in damage-control mode to explain away the Nazi sign, but they forgot the name of the street the mall is on.

Seraphim Hanisch

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One of the aspects of news about Ukraine that does not make it past the gatekeepers of the American and Western news media is how a significant contingent of Ukrainian nationalists have espoused a sense of reverence for Nazis. The idea that this could even happen anywhere in the world in an open manner makes the claim seem too absurd to be taken seriously. Gone are the days when the Nazi swastika adorned streets and buildings in Europe. Right?

Well, maybe, wrong.

This was seen in Kyiv’s Gorodok (or Horodok, if you insist) Gallery, a shopping center in that city, located on Bandera Avenue.

The pro-nationalist news service UNIAN wasted no time going to press with their explanation of this incident, which admittedly may be accurate:

Children and teenagers who participated in the All-Ukrainian break dance festival held in the Kyiv-based Gorodok Gallery shopping mall were shocked to see a swastika image projected onto an LED staircase.

The mall administration apologized to visitors, explaining saying that their computer system had apparently been hacked.

“The administration and staff have no relation to whatever was projected onto the LED-staircase, and in no way does it support such [an] act. Now we are actively searching for those involved in the attack,” it said in a statement.

According to Gorodok Gallery’s administrative office, it was not the first time a cyber breach took place.

As reported earlier, Ukraine is believed to be a testing ground for cyberattacks, many of which are launched from Russia. Hackers have earlier targeted critical energy infrastructure, state institutions, banks, and large businesses.

This time, it appears, hackers aimed to feed the Kremlin’s narrative of “Nazis in power in Ukraine” and create a relevant hype-driving viral story for Russian media to spread it worldwide.

The Gorodok Gallery also apologized on its Facebook page and said that this was a result of hacking.

But what about the street that the mall is on? From the self-same Facebook page, this is what we see:


To translate, for those who do not read Ukrainian or Russian, the address says the following:

23 Steven Bandera Prospekt, Kyiv, Ukraine 04073

This street was formerly called “Moscow Avenue.” Big change, as we shall see.

Steven Bandera got his birthday designated as a national holiday in Ukraine last December. He is known in Ukraine’s history for one thing. According to the Jerusalem Post:

The street where the shopping mall is located is named for Stepan Bandera, a Ukrainian nationalist who briefly collaborated with Nazi Germany in its fight against Russia.

His troops are believed to have killed thousands of Jews.

Several Israeli papers picked this bit of news up, and of course, the reasons are understandable. However, for the West, it appears possible that this news event will largely go unnoticed, even by that great nation that is often called “Israel’s proxy”, the United States.

This is probably because for certain people in the US, there is a sense of desperation to mask the nature of events that are happening in Ukraine.

The usual fare of mainstream news for the West probably consists of things like “Putin’s military seizes innocent Ukrainian sailors in Kerch incident” or, “Ukraine’s Orthodox Church declared fully independent by Patriarch of Constantinople” (not that too many Americans know what a Constantinople even is, anyway), but the overriding narrative for the American people about this country is “Ukraine are the good guys, and Russia are the bad guys,” and this will not be pushed aside, even to accommodate the logical grievance of Israel to this incident.

If this article gets to Western papers at all, it will be the UNIAN line they adhere to, that evil pro-Russia hackers caused this stairway to have a swastika to provoke the idea that Ukraine somehow supports Naziism.

But UNIAN neglected to mention that the street name was recently changed to Stephan Bandera (in 2016), and no one appears to have hacked this. Nor does UNIAN talk about the Azov fighters that openly espoused much of the Nazi ideology. For nationalist Ukrainians, this is all for the greater good of getting rid of all things Russia.

A further sad fact about this is the near impossibility of getting assuredly honest and neutral information about this and other similar happenings. Both Ukrainian nationalists and Russian media agencies have dogs in the race, so to speak. They are both personally connected to these events. However, the Russian media cannot be discounted here, because they do offer a witness and perspective, probably the closest to any objective look at what is going on in Ukraine. We include a video of a “torchlight march” that took place in 2017 that featured such hypernationalist activity, which is not reported in the West.

More such reports are available, but this one seemed the best one to summarize the character of what is going on in the country.

While we do not know the motive and identities of whoever programmed the swastika, it cannot really be stated that this was just a random publicity stunt in a country that has no relationship with Nazi veneration.

The street the mall is on bears witness to that.

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Putin: If mid-range missiles deployed in Europe, Russia will station arms to strike decision centers

Putin: If US deploys mid-range missiles in Europe, Russia will be forced to respond.

RT

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Via RT…


If the US deploys intermediate-range missiles in Europe, Moscow will respond by stationing weapons aimed not only against missiles themselves, but also at command and control centers, from which a launch order would come.

The warning came from President Vladimir Putin, who announced Russia’s planned actions after the US withdraws from the INF Treaty – a Cold War-era agreement between Washington and Moscow which banned both sides form having ground-based cruise and ballistic missiles and developing relevant technology.

The US is set to unilaterally withdraw from the treaty in six months, which opens the possibility of once again deploying these missiles in Europe. Russia would see that as a major threat and respond with its own deployments, Putin said.

Intermediate-range missiles were banned and removed from Europe because they would leave a very short window of opportunity for the other side to decide whether to fire in retaliation after detecting a launch – mere minutes. This poses the threat of an accidental nuclear exchange triggered by a false launch warning, with the officer in charge having no time to double check.

“Russia will be forced to create and deploy weapon systems, which can be used not only against the territories from which this direct threat would be projected, but also against those territories where decision centers are located, from which an order to use those weapons against us may come.” The Russian president, who was delivering a keynote address to the Russian parliament on Wednesday, did not elaborate on whether any counter-deployment would only target US command-and-control sites in Europe or would also include targets on American soil.

He did say the Russian weapon system in terms of flight times and other specifications would “correspond” to those targeting Russia.

“We know how to do it and we will implement those plans without a delay once the relevant threats against us materialize,”he said.

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Russia’s Lukoil Halts Oil Swaps In Venezuela After U.S. Sanctions

Under the new wide-ranging U.S. sanctions, Venezuela will not be able to import U.S. naphtha which it has typically used to dilute its heavy crude grades.

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Via Oilprice.com


Litasco, the international trading arm of Russia’s second-biggest oil producer Lukoil, stopped its oil swaps deals with Venezuela immediately after the U.S. imposed sanctions on Venezuela’s oil industry and state oil firm PDVSA, Lukoil’s chief executive Vagit Alekperov said at an investment forum in Russia.

Russia, which stands by Nicolas Maduro in the ongoing Venezuelan political crisis, has vowed to defend its interests in Venezuela—including oil interests—within the international law using “all mechanisms available to us.”

Because of Moscow’s support for Maduro, the international community and market analysts are closely watching the relationship of Russian oil companies with Venezuela.

“Litasco does not work with Venezuela. Before the restrictions were imposed, Litasco had operations to deliver oil products and to sell oil. There were swap operations. Today there are none, since the sanctions were imposed,” Lukoil’s Alekperov said at the Russian Investment Forum in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.

Another Russian oil producer, Gazprom Neft, however, does not see major risks for its oil business in Venezuela, the company’s chief executive officer Alexander Dyukov said at the same event.

Gazprom Neft has not supplied and does not supply oil products to Venezuela needed to dilute the thick heavy Venezuelan oil, Dyukov said, noting that the Latin American country hadn’t approached Gazprom Neft for possible supply of oil products for diluents.

Under the new wide-ranging U.S. sanctions, Venezuela will not be able to import U.S. naphtha which it has typically used to dilute its heavy crude grades. Analysts expect that a shortage of diluents could accelerate beginning this month the already steadily declining Venezuelan oil production and exports.

Venezuela’s crude oil production plunged by another 59,000 bpd from December 2018 to stand at just 1.106 million bpd in January 2019, OPEC’s secondary sources figures showed in the cartel’s closely watched Monthly Oil Market Report (MOMR) this week.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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