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Russian opposition leader Zhirinovsky urges country to move to a simplified left-right two party democracy

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Russian opposition leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky who founded the Liberal Democratic Party of the Soviet Union (now the LDPR), the second legally registered political party in Soviet history, has repeated calls for Russia to move to a simplified two-party democracy which would feature a large Conservative Party and large Social Democratic Party.

Zhirinovsky’s views have remained incredibly consistent over the years. His LDPR continues to call for a democratic reunification of Russian peoples living in post-Soviet states (Crimean re-unification has been an example of such a policy in action), advocates for a Russian geo-strategy that favours a pro-Asian and Eurasian trajectory, favours a mixed economic system that combines state managing of large companies with a less bureaucratic market economic for small and medium sized businesses, is notoriously anti-communist in terms of Leninist ideology and has called for a redrawing of the internal Russian map to reflect the Guberniyas (governorates) of pre-1917 Russia rather than the model of republics and oblasts instated by the USSR which is still largely reflected in the federative model of modern Russia.

Zhirinovsky has recently argued that the current democratic system of Russia is overly cumbersome with four main parties and several smaller parties. Zhirinovsky has pointed to the US and western Europe as examples of countries that lecture Russia on diversifying its democracy while in reality, the elections in the west are more often than not, two horse races between main parties of the left and right.

Remarking on Donald Trump’s election victory, Zhirinovsky said that by the 2024 Russian Presidential elections, things will be more similar to a straight forward left-right race whose outcome will likely be as tight as the 2016 US election.

Today Zhirinovsky has said the following,

“Only two powerful parties can save the country from stagnation and allow a constant, stable situation”.

RT further reports on his proposal in the following way,

“To achieve this, the LDPR proposes that United Russia rename itself the ‘Conservative Party,’ and all opposition parties, including those without parliamentary representation, unite into a single ‘Social Democratic Party of Russia.”

Realistically, this would mean that the governing United Russia party (generally described as centrist) would combine with Zhirinovsky’s LDPR (generally described as centre-right or populist) to form a broad based Conservative Party of Russia.

Likewise, the leading left wing parties including the Communist Party of the Russian Federation and the Fair Russia (centre left) party would form a left-wing Social Democratic Party of Russia.

Alternatively, existing parties could run as part of a broader left versus right coalition as is the case in many world democracies.

The idea would be to make Russian elections both more stable and more clear cut.

Due to Zhirinovsky’s advanced age, some have begun worrying that the LDPR might be increasingly perceived as a party too heavily reliant on its scholarly and charismatic leader. Because of this Zhirinovsky has handed over some of his duties to his deputies while still being fully active in authoring party policy documents as well as his current Presidential campaign (his 6th Presidential race over all). By aggregating the traditional LDPR vote with that of United Russia, Zhirinovsky might be able to insure that his long political legacy continues to receive support for decades to come.

In last years’s Duma elections, Zhirinovsky’s party finished in a strong third place, while Zhirinovsky stated that his party will soon take over from the Communists as the second most powerful party in Russia.

Zhirinovsky has always focused a great deal on foreign affairs and in particular, Russia’s geo-strategic orientation. With America engaging in what many call a ‘new Cold War’, much of Zhirinovsky’s ideas have been vindicated by recent events, thus catapulting his population to levels last seen in the 1990s. That being said, the LDPR has always been a consistently popular party among the Russian electorate.

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I certainly hope Russia doesn’t fall into the two party trap. If Russia does go with the two part system it will end of with a disastrously fractured, and hostile political climate equaled only by the United States.

rosewood11
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rosewood11

Mr. Zhirinovsky has undoubtedly come to this conclusion by watching how well the two-party system works in the US!!! Sounds like a lose-lose situation to me.

Constantine
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Constantine

Zhirinovsky’s views reveal his idiocy plainly for all to see. Not only would his nationalist belief – should be implemented – in the Tsarist guberniya system undermine the loyalty of the various non-Russian minorities to the Russian state (a most positive heritage from the Soviet era), his support for a copy of the failed and evidently undemocratic political system of the US would also spell disaster for Russia.

All in all, Zhirinovsky should be resundly defeated in a few political contests (elections at various levels) to get the message.

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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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