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Russia’s scathing response to ‘Trumpleak’ story

Russians pour ridicule on ‘Trumpleak’ allegation. Say it is an attempt to pressure Trump.

Alexander Mercouris

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Russian officials have given a withering response over the course of the day to the Washington Post’s story that US President Donald Trump leaked “highly classified information” to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov during their recent meeting in the Oval Office.

I have discussed this story and explained why it is a cynical attempt to spin a standard diplomatic exchange into something sinister here.

First off was Russian President Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov, who is reported to have said this

This is not a theme for us. It’s nonsense.  We do not want to have anything to do with this nonsense. This is utter nonsense. It is not something to either confirm or deny.

The more cogent comment was however made by the Russian Foreign Ministry’s redoubtable spokeswoman Maria Zakharova in an interview with the Kommersant FM radio station

It is part of the campaign which began before the US presidential election and has been going on since then.  This is another attempt to exert pressure on the new US administration and make deals related to various political appointments and lobbying.

We can’t even say now that the media are biased because they are openly fulfilling a political order. The article mentions no evidence, it is based on information received from some sources. Actually, there is a typical pattern concerning the way that such articles come out and the response that they get

(bold italics added)

In saying that this is an attempt to put pressure on the new administration Zakharova is absolutely right.  However – as she surely knows – the purpose is not “to make deals related to various political appointments and lobbying”.  It is the much more sinister purpose of discrediting Donald Trump personally and of pressuring him into ending his attempts to forge a better relationship with Russia.  Here is what I have written about that

the real agenda behind this story: to discredit Trump in any way possible, and to make impossible any meaningful dialogue between the US and Russian governments which might lead to a possible rapprochement between the US and Russia.

Those who give credence to this story or pretend to are either being manipulated or share this agenda.

I have no doubt the Russians understand this perfectly.

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Ukraine bans Russian men from entering country

Ukraine is hard pressed to show the world anything real about a “Russian threat” but leadership optics show it as preparing for an invasion.

Seraphim Hanisch

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Ukraine is the location of some of the greatest attempts at generating Russian paranoia anywhere. According to the press, since 2014, Ukraine has been invaded probably 25 times by Russia. We all saw the nation on TV, invaded by empty box trucks and food supply trucks.

We were told repeatedly of massing activities of Russian troops in locations relatively near to the Ukrainian border, and lied to about the presence of Russian military hardware on Ukrainian soil through the use of various faked press photographic evidence and repetition.

This is what the Western press wants you to believe: Russia is a hostile, brutal nation led by a brutal KGB thug turned president. Poor innocent Ukraine will be swallowed up by Big, Bad Russia.

Here is what the Western media does NOT want you to know:

Ukraine’s economy is a wreck. The country is a cesspool. Americans are involved in running Ukraine from posts within the government, and it is essentially being used as a proxy to try to intimidate the Russian Federation into toeing the anti-Christian, globalist line, a proposition which Russian leadership have repeatedly and utterly rejected.

The latest move in Ukraine became known to the press world at 10:41am Moscow time (2:41am New York Time) on 30 November. That is that now, Russian men between the ages of 16 and 60 are no longer allowed in Ukraine. This was reported by TASS:

The Ukrainian State Border Guard Service has prohibited Russian men, aged 16-60, from entering the country, its head Pyotr Tsigikal said on Friday.

Control measures at checkpoints have been enhanced. As of today, foreigners, primarily Russians, have been restricted entry. Russian men, aged 16-60, have been prohibited from entering [Ukraine],” he stated at a council with Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko.

On November 25, three Ukrainian navy ships illegally crossed Russia’s border and tried to carry out some illegal actions in Russian territorial waters later in the day. They ignored legitimate demands to stop issued by vessels belonging to the FSB Border Service and the Black Sea Fleet and continued maneuvering dangerously. In order to stop the Ukrainian ships, weapons had to be used. The three vessels were detained in Russian territorial waters.

Three Ukrainian military servicemen suffered light wounds and were provided with medical assistance. A criminal investigation has been opened into the border incident.

Moscow slammed the incident as a provocation. The European Union and NATO called for de-escalation, while Kiev declared a 30-day martial law starting from November 28.

The Kerch Strait incident is getting pushed by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko as “proof” of Russian aggression, ostensibly to bolster his abysmally low ratings in the final months preceding a Presidential election in Ukraine. However, it may also have been conveniently arranged to interfere with President Trump’s planned talks with President Putin in Argentina, which notably, were canceled late Thursday afternoon with Trump citing Kerch as the reason.

Ukraine’s importance in the geopolitical globalism game cannot be overstated. In terms of military strategy, having a NATO / Western presence that abuts Russian borders is indeed part of the plan to isolate Russia by surrounding it with Western-aligned nations. Once the ring is complete, more and more pressure can theoretically be placed on Russia.

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Ukrainian martial law declaration may be preparation for war with Russia

Imposition of martial law is likely part of the plan, as Ukraine has been increasingly provocative on several fronts recently.

Seraphim Hanisch

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Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is imposing martial law after his country’s ships faced off with Russian ships near Crimea. The Ukrainian parliament, the Verkhovnaya Rada, has at this time not yet signed off on this order, but they are expected to do so.

The martial law status will be in effect from November 26 to January 26, about sixty days.

This happened because Ukrainian ships ventured deliberately into Russian territorial waters near the Crimean Peninsula, apparently not notifying Russian authorities before doing so, though the Ukrainians claim they did warn of their crossing.

RT chronicled the events from the Russian point of view, which we provide here with emphases added:

The waters near the Crimean peninsula were the site of a tense standoff between Russian and Ukrainian ships that involved a chase, some gunfire, and fighter jets, followed by strong statements from Moscow and Kiev.

The Ukranian vessels were sailing between two Ukrainian ports: from Odessa in the Black Sea to Mariupol in the Azov Sea. The only waterway that connects these is the Kerch Strait between Crimea and mainland Russia. Kiev says it notified Moscow in advance that its navy ships would be sailing through the area. Moscow denies that it was given warning.

While both Russia and Ukraine have freedom of navigation in the Kerch Strait under a 2003 treaty, there are detailed technical rules on how vessels should pass through the narrow, complex waterway. All traffic in the area is controlled by the Crimean sea port of Kerch, and every ship should contact the facility, report her route and destination, and receive permission to sail through the Strait.

Schematic of Ukrainian ships’ pathway through the Kerch Strait. Courtesy RT.com and Google Maps

At around 7am Moscow time (4am GMT) on Sunday, two artillery boats and a tugboat belonging to the Ukrainian Navy crossed the Russian maritime border in the Black Sea and headed to the Kerch Strait.

These ships had not followed the procedure, said the Russian Federal Security Service responsible for maintaining order at the border.

The Russian officers repeatedly asked the Ukrainian vessels to leave Russia’s territorial waters, but they ignored those requests. The ships also entered waters that had been temporarily closed to navigation.

Meanwhile, around 11:30am Moscow time (08:30am GMT), two more Ukrainian vessels departed the Azov Sea port of Berdyansk and approached the Kerch Strait from the other side, but then turned back and returned to port.

A giant bulk freighter accompanied by several Russian military vessels blocked the only passage through the Kerch strait for security reasons. The Russian military also scrambled aircraft, while the situation remained tense. Videos from the site showed Russian Ka-52 gunships cruising under the Crimea Bridge. Later, they were joined by several Su-25 strike fighters.

Ukrainian vessels continued their journey despite warnings from the Russian authorities. The Ukrainian Navy said the military vessels were sailing from the port city of Odessa to the Azov port of Mariupol as part of a scheduled routine transfer and claimed that it warned the Russian authorities about the trip in advance.

The FSB denounced the actions of the Ukrainian vessels as “provocation.” A video released by Russian authorities shows the Ukrainian vessels maneuvering in close proximity to the Russian ones.

At midnight, the FSB released a statement, saying that Russian warships had to open fire after the three Ukrainian ships ignored “legal demands to stop” and continued “performing dangerous maneuvers.”

Three Ukrainian sailors were wounded and given medical assistance, while the ships were seized. The group of ships that were heading to the strait from the Azov Sea turned back to their port.

Kiev uses “bandit methods” to achieve its goals, the Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, said following the incident near the Kerch Strait. Ukraine “first stages a provocation, then plays power games, and [eventually] accuses [another side] of aggression,” she continued.

Companion news pieces by RT and Sputnik News reported on President Poroshenko’s initiative to ask his Parliament for a martial law declaration for Ukraine.

However, this is a very strange response. Placing the entire country of Ukraine under martial law because of a naval incident with Russia makes absolutely no sense.

However, this is how things operate in Ukraine, and there is of course a bigger motive. Sputnik News gives some indication as to what that might be by describing what martial law in Ukraine would actually accomplish (again, we add emphasis):

Election Ban

One of the key aspects of Ukrainian citizens lives that will be affected by martial law is their right to participate in elections and referendums. The proposed martial law will last for 60 days, meaning that it will at least affect the presidential election campaign that is due to start in 2019, and, considering the law can be prolonged, may even affect the elections themselves, which are scheduled for 31 March 2019. In other words, President Petro Poroshenko will be able to keep his post as long as martial law lasts.

[The] same goes for the parliament, which can’t be re-elected while martial law is in effect. If it lasts for little over a year, the elections to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, which are to take place on 27 October 2019, will also be postponed. Furthermore, both the parliament and the president won’t be able to amend the Ukrainian Constitution, including the clauses regarding martial law.

Limitations of Citizens’ Rights

Although certain fundamental rights can’t be alienated even during martial law, Ukrainians will still be stripped of some of their rights, apart from the right to vote. Namely, the government will be able to ban any gatherings, strikes, and protests if it considers them ‘threatening’. Kiev will also be able to impose a curfew and limit citizens’ movements across the country, if it deems it necessary.

Additional Powers for the Government

In addition to all that, the government gains the right to expropriate any private property for military needs, although owners are eligible for compensation in such cases. Plus any person eligible for military service can be immediately mobilised if the government demands it.

Also, Kiev will be able to command any plant or factory to switch production to a military footing for the duration of martial law. At the same time, working hours and conditions can also be altered by a government decree, although workers retain their right to rest and minimal pay.

Failure to abide by any of these demands and limitations is punishable just like as any violation of the regular law. The government can prolong martial law as long as it finds that the threat to the state’s sovereignty or intergrity continues.

Ukraine’s activity has been most ominous over the last several months. The country’s leader worked with US assistance to get the Ecumenical Patriarch to “restore” clerical status to anathematized Filaret Denisenko, and plans are continuing at a furious pace to try to get Ukraine to have its own “autocephalous” “Orthodox” Church, which, judging from the statements of Denisenko, Poroshenko and others, is not focused on Jesus Christ and salvation at all, but only on hardcore nationalist “Ukrainianism.”

Imposing martial law on his own people is an indication that Poroshenko may be concerned about two things:

1. He is preparing for war with Russia.

2. He is afraid of his own population rejecting his actions, hence the quick move to martial law following an incident that, while serious, does not match the specifications of some national disaster or crisis that would make such a move necessary.

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Europe to become battlefield: Vladimir Putin warns US over INF treaty [VIDEO]

Russian leader gives his point of view clearly and explains American violations of the INF while being hopeful about November 11th summit.

Seraphim Hanisch

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Rossiya 24 News featured a question and answer session with Russian President Vladimir Putin, in which he gives his thoughts about the US decision to withdraw from the INF (Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces) treaty. We bring you that in this video clip:

Looks like this will be on the agenda for the November 11th summit in Paris.

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