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Military Officials Angered Over UK Dispatch Of “Survey Ship” To Black Sea; Calls For Destroyer

Deployment of the Type 45 would likely put Russian forces on high alert that a potential confrontation with the West in the Black Sea could be on the horizon.

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Via Zerohedge…


The national security monitor and publication Strategic Sentinel confirms that Britain is to dispatch the HMS Echo, a UK Royal Navy survey vessel and monitoring ship to the Black Sea following the Russia-Ukraine incident near the Kerch Strait.

But crucially there are already calls from top British commanders to send a much more powerful and capable Type 45 destroyer, or guided missile warship, into the Black Sea amid escalating tensions and after the UK condemned Russia for seizing Ukrainian ships and their crew off the coast of Crimea, which the Russian Navy said were “maneuvering dangerously”.

There’s concern that should the situation escalate between Russia and Ukraine, the Royal Navy would need more serious military hardware in the vicinity.

Plymouth-based Royal Navy survey ship HMS Echo out in action

The growing calls from the top echelons of the military establishment means we could soon witness a major build-up of forces in the Black Sea, and greater potential for outbreak of war.

According to the UK Plymouth Live newspaper:

Britain’s former top sailor has raised concerns over the decision to send a Plymouth Royal Navy ship out to the Black Sea as tensions escalate between Russia and Ukraine.

Admiral Lord West warned that sending HMS Echo – a vessel that specialises in survey exercises – and not a more advanced Type 45 destroyer that can ‘look after itself’ is not a good idea following troublesome sea clashes.

The criticism comes as Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson announced he would send the hydrographic survey ship HMS to the area, and perhaps more significantly would commit more troops to Ukraine following Sunday’s incident. It’s hugely significant that the former commander of the UK Navy would issue such strong and biting criticism of the decision to send a less muscular, less aggressive ship.

In a formal statement the UK Ministry of Defence said the monitory vessel’s mission is to “demonstrate the UK’s support to ensuring freedom of navigation”.

Admiral Lord West said after the Russia-Ukraine flare up in the Kerch Strait: “The minister will be aware that it has been stated that we are sending a warship to Black Sea. That warship as I understand it is actually a survey ship.”

Type 45 Destroyer in the foreground, which Admiral Lord West wants to see deployed to the Black Sea

And West made the call for more advanced warships to be deployed: “If things are hotting up in the Black Sea to send a ship in harm’s way that is not really capable of looking after itself is not a clever idea,” he said.

“Should this reviewed and perhaps we should send a ship like the (Type) 45 that is able to look after itself in these circumstances,” he concluded.

The former highest ranking Naval commander is further likely voicing the sentiment of active high ranking members of the UK military.

The Royal Navy touts its Type 45 destroyers as “the most advanced warships the nation has ever built” — of which there are six in operation. They are designed for anti-aircraft and anti-missile warfare and are equipped with long-range radars.

Deployment of the Type 45 would likely put Russian forces on high alert that a potential confrontation with the West in the Black Sea could be on the horizon, but it appears for now the Ministry of Defence is resisting such calls and cooler minds are prevailing.

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macColin SmithrucawigginsWalter Dublanica Recent comment authors
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ruca
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ruca

How pathetic. Does Britain only choose village idiots for leadership roles? As if porkosheckle’s provocation wasn’t enough. Somebody needs a war to cover their impossible debt.

Shaun Ramewe
Guest
Shaun Ramewe

Pig-ratShenko needs baked beans on toast!! What a sad joke. Russia must be wetting itself laughing.

Sally Snyder
Guest
Sally Snyder

Here is an interesting look at recent comments from Vladimir Putin about the eventuality of nuclear war:

https://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2018/10/nuclear-brinkmanship-and-march-toward.html

One can’t help but be concerned that one wrong move by either Russia and the United States could create an end of the world scenario in this period of nuclear brinksmanship.

FlorianGeyer
Guest
FlorianGeyer

Russian people have fought many wars against belligerent and aggressive foes and won.
Tis better to fight and die rather than spend the remainder of your life in chains.

FUKUS nations will be dealt a blow that is likely to totally destroy the fantasy that they are all powerful if they attack Russia.

The US would also be a wasteland after a nuclear exchange, so that’s a bonus 🙂

Stunned_at_Sunset
Guest
Stunned_at_Sunset

They’re just going to the Black Sea to “survey” the situation and determine yet another way to provoke the Russians by not minding their own business.

JPH
Guest
JPH

So UK wants a Tonkin of its own, but fails to realize that its sailors are at real serious risk.

ruca
Guest
ruca

They don’t care about even their own sailors. As soon as you sign up, you’re worm food.

dennis morrisseau
Guest

Sea of AZOV. BRITANNIA NO LONGER RULES THE WAVES–nor anything else of significance.
SIT DOWN AND SHUT UP YOU LITTLE LIMEY BAST…..s

regolo gellini
Guest

Well spoken m8 !

Tom Welsh
Guest
Tom Welsh

Lord West’s remarks are foolish in the extreme.

There is no naval vessel in existence that could “look after itself” in the Black Sea, should Russia wish to destroy it. Even if a whole US carrier task group could get into the Black Sea, it could not defend itself.

Guy
Member
Guy

Just the military beating it’s chest again and being extremely childish at that.You are correct of course.The bigger the ships the bigger the targets.

regolo gellini
Guest

Senility and alcoholism at work in ols blighty 🙂

ruca
Guest
ruca

Why bother calling him lord?

Tom Welsh
Guest
Tom Welsh

I think it’s about time that Russia, China and Iran should send a joint naval task force to the English Channel to investigate the UK’s strange and abhorrent annexation of the “Channel Islands”. By their geographical position they are clearly part of France, yet the UK claims them.

Also, of course, the Islas Malvinas (which the British obnoxiously call “the Falkland Islands”). They obviously belong to Argentina, by far the closest nation, while they are 8,000 miles away from the UK. That’s a whole third of the Earth’s circumference!

Smokingeagle
Guest
Smokingeagle

The Islas Malvinas were so named because French fishermen from St. Malo had established a small colony there. The French called the islands the Malouines (from St. Malo), which translated to the Spanish “Malvinas”. The islands changed hands between the Spanish and British, ending with the British claiming ownership. At the time, Argentina as a country did not exist so the islands cannot possibly “belong to Argentina”. Not only that, but the islands were uninhabited when first the French, and then the Spaniards and British arrived, so no “Argentinians” were displaced. “The islands were uninhabited when discovered by Europeans. France… Read more »

Tom Welsh
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Tom Welsh

‘The Royal Navy touts its Type 45 destroyers as “the most advanced warships the nation has ever built”…’

That depends on what they mean by “advanced”, doesn’t it? Like the F-35, I am sure they are very expensive and contain all kinds of fancy gadgets.

On the other hand, I don’t think it makes the slightest difference to a Bastion or Kindzhal how advanced the little tin and plastic boat it hits might be. They will just go up in flames, break in half, and sink without trace.

ruca
Guest
ruca

Type 45, meet Onyx, or Granat! Not even a need to fire a Zircon.

Doug Brown
Guest
Doug Brown

It’s been downhill since Henry VIII for poor old England. What wimps. What cowards. What a pathetic excuse for what once was.

Guy
Member
Guy

I think it would be a good idea to re-enact the Donald Cook event should the UK want to flex it’s flabby muscle.

Walter Dublanica
Member

There used to be a song ” rule Britania ,Britania rules the waves tra la la” Never heard this song in decades. I guess that Britania ain’t much any more.

wiggins
Guest
wiggins

Try Last Night Of The Proms…. 🙂

Colin Smith
Guest
Colin Smith

West is off his rocker. The U.K. is no longer in the big navy league. One warship would be blown out of the water. West ran the Falklands fiasco, which was against a quite minor regional military. And they only just pulled it off with US. help. West should go back to golf or whatever and enjoy his retirement. I also doubt he’s any kind of seaman. Probably decades since he ran a watch at sea.

mac
Guest
mac

I notice so many grammatical errors in these articles, I wonder if The Duran has heard of proof reading yet.

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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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