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The Kremlin List is without the most famous man in the Kremlin

Alex Christoforou

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It seems that anyone in Russia who is, or is reputed to be a billionaire is automatically on the list.  This seems to be the case irrespective of whether they are pro-Putin or not.

Putin himself – much to his chagrin – is not on the list.  It is not clear why.

To say that publication of the list has been an anti-climax would be an understatement.  After months of speculation about what new ferocious sanctions the US was about to impose on Russia and on the people named in the list, it is not an exaggeration to say that a mountain has moved and produced a mouse.

Some Democratic Congressmen were unable to hide their anger, and in testimony before the Senate Banking Committee US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin tried to appease them by assuring them that more sanctions against Russia were indeed on the way.  Whether however they will ever come and how severe they will be if they do is however another matter.

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Understanding the Holodomor and why Russia says nothing

A descendant of Holodomor victims takes the rest of us to school as to whether or not Russia needs to shoulder the blame.

Seraphim Hanisch

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One of the charges that nationalist Ukrainians often lodge against their Russian neighbors is that the Russian government has never acknowledged or formally apologized to Ukraine for the “Holodomor” that took place in Ukraine in 1932-1933. This was a man-made famine that killed an estimated seven to 10 million Ukrainians , though higher estimates claim 12.5 million and lower ones now claim 3.3 million.

No matter what the total was, it amounts to a lot of people that starved to death. The charge that modern-day Russia ought to apologize for this event is usually met with silence, which further enrages those Ukrainians that believe that this issue must be resolved by the Russian acknowledgement of responsibility for it. Indeed, the prime charge of these Ukrainians is that the Russians committed a genocide against the Ukrainian people. This is a claim Russia denies.

To the outside observer who does not know this history of Russia and Ukraine’s relationship, and who does not know or understand the characteristics of the Soviet Union, this charge seems as simple and laid out as that of the Native Americans or the blacks demanding some sort of recompense or restitution for the damages inflicted on these societies through conquest and / or slavery. But we discovered someone who had family connections involved in the Holodomor, and who offers her own perspective, which is instructive in why perhaps the Russian Federation does not say anything about this situation.

Scene in Kharkiv with dead from the famine 1932-33 lying along the street.

The speaker is Anna Vinogradova, a Russian Israeli-American, who answered the question through Quora of “Why doesn’t Russia recognize the Holodomor as a genocide?” She openly admits that she speaks only for herself, but her answer is still instructive. We offer it here, with some corrections for the sake of smooth and understandable English:

I can’t speak for Russia and what it does and doesn’t recognize. I can speak for myself.

I am a great-granddaughter of a “Kulak” (кулак), or well-to-do peasant, who lived close to the Russia/Ukraine border.

The word “кулак” means “fist” in Russian, and it wasn’t a good thing for a person to be called by this label. A кулак was an exploiter of peasants and a class enemy of the new state of workers and poor peasants. In other words, while under Communism, to be called a кулак was to bring a death sentence upon yourself.

At some point, every rural class enemy, every peasant who wasn’t a member of a collective farm was eliminated one way or another.

Because Ukraine has very fertile land and the Ukrainian style of agriculture often favors individual farms as opposed to villages, there is no question that many, many Ukrainian peasants were considered class enemies like my great grandfather, and eliminated in class warfare.

I have no doubt that class warfare included starvation, among other things.

The catch? My great grandfather was an ethnic Russian living in Russia. What nationality were the communists who persecuted and eventually shot him? They were of every nationality there was (in the Soviet Union), and they were led by a Ukrainian, who was taking orders from a Georgian.

Now, tell me, why I, a descendant of an unjustly killed Russian peasant, need to apologize to the descendants of the Ukrainians who killed him on the orders of a Georgian?

What about the Russian, Kazakh golodomor (Russian rendering of the same famine)? What about the butchers, who came from all ethnicities? Can someone explain why it’s only okay to talk about Ukrainian victims and Russian persecutors? Why do we need to rewrite history decades later to convert that brutal class war into an ethnic war that it wasn’t?

Ethnic warfare did not start in Russia until after WWII, when some ethnicities were accused of collaboration with the Nazis and brutal group punishments were implemented. It was all based on class up to that time.

The communists of those years were fanatically internationalist. “Working people of all countries, unite!” was their slogan and they were fanatical about it.

As for the crimes of Communism, Russia has been healing this wound for decades, and Russia’s government has made its anticommunist position very clear.

This testimony is most instructive. First, it points out information that the charge of the Holodomor as “genocide!” neatly leaves out. In identifying the internationalist aspects of the Soviet Union, Ukraine further was not a country identified as somehow worthy of genocidal actions. Such a thought makes no sense, especially given the great importance of Ukraine as the “breadbasket” of the Soviet Union, which it was.

Secondly, it shows a very western-style of “divide to conquer” with a conveniently incendiary single-word propaganda tool that is no doubt able to excite any Ukrainian who may be neutral to slightly disaffected about Russia, and then after that, all Ukrainians are now victims of the mighty evil overlords in Moscow.

How convenient is this when the evil overlords in Kyiv don’t want their citizens to know what they are doing?

We saw this on Saturday – taken to a very high peak when President Petro Poroshenko announced the new leading “Hierarch” of the “Ukrainian National Church” and said not one single word about Christ, but only:

“This day will go down in history as the day of the creation of an autocephalous Orthodox church in Ukraine… This is the day of the creation of the church as an independent structure… What is this church? It is a church without Putin. It is a church without Kirill, without prayer for the Russian authorities and the Russian army.”

But as long as Russia is made the “problem”, millions of scandalized Ukrainians will not care what this new Church actually does or teaches, which means it is likely to teach just about anything.

Russia had its own Holodomor. The history of the event shows that this was a result of several factors – imposed socialist economics on a deeply individualized form of agrarian capitalism (bad for morale and worse for food production), really inane centralized planning of cropland use, and a governmental structure that really did not exist to serve the governed, but to impose an ideology on people who really were not all that interested in it.

Personal blame might well lay with Stalin, a Georgian, but the biggest source of the famine lay in the structures imposed under communism as a way of economic strategy. This is not Russia’s fault. It is the economic model that failed.

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Trump and Putin meet anyway, but future meeting plans on hold

Ukraine largely seen at fault even by US media for provocation that was successful at preventing the planned meeting between the two leaders.

Seraphim Hanisch

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US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin did meet after all, speaking informally for a period of time during the G20 meeting held in Buenos Aires, Argentina over the weekend of Nov 30-Dec 1. However, at the present time, prospects for a more substantive policy meeting between the two leaders look dim, with the Kremlin’s Dmitry Peskov categorically saying that there is no possibility of President Putin going to Washington, D.C. for a meeting, at least not at this time.

In a report by Newsweek, it was learned that the two leaders actually did get a chance to talk:

President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin held what the White House described as “informal” conversations at the G20 summit in Argentina.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed Saturday that the two spoke at a cultural dinner for leaders and their wives and husbands at the famed Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires Friday night. .

GettyImages-1066780454

US President Donald Trump (R), looks at Russia’s President Vladimir Putin as they take place for a family photo, during the G20 Leaders’ Summit in Buenos Aires, on November 30, 2018. Getty Images

“As is typical at multilateral events, President Trump and the first lady had a number of informal conversations with world leaders at the dinner last night, including President Putin,” Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.

Kremlin aide Yuri Ushakov said that Trump and Putin had a brief meeting on the sidelines of the summit Friday, reported Reuters.

Ushakov said he met with U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton. Russia and the United States were ready to continue contact, he said.

Huckabee Sanders did not disclose the content of their conversation, but in a press conference later Saturday Putin revealed that Trump had questioned him about Russia’s seizure of Ukrainian ships in the Black Sea.

“I answered his questions about the incident in the Black Sea. He has his position. I have my own. We stayed in our own positions,” Putin told reporters, according to the Associated Press.

Trump had canceled a formal one-on-one meeting with Putin ahead of the summit over the situation in Ukraine, citing Russian aggression as the reason. He had avoided greeting Putin when leaders posed for a picture ahead of the summit on Friday.

For his own part, President Putin was disappointed not to have held the formal meeting, as Newsweek continues:

“It is unfortunate that we can’t hold a full-format meeting,” Putin was quoted as saying. “I think it is very much needed, in connection with issues of strategic stability, especially after [Trump] announced that the United States plans to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. (The INF)”

For the Russians, the main topic of concern as reported by TASS is indeed the US withdrawal from the INF, because they see the Americans as already having broken the treaty over the years through deployments from various NATO countries. The American point of view, as expressed by John Bolton in an earlier meeting with the Russian leadership, takes what appears to be a longer view, noting that several other nations have intermediate range nuclear missiles but are not bound by any limitations treaty, making only the United States the party in need of compliance to an antiquated agreement. However, TASS said a lot more (slight editing and emphasis added):

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s meeting with his US counterpart, Donald Trump, in Buenos Aires that was called off by the US leader was geared to outline ways of dialogue on the United States’ possible withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov said on Monday.

“We expected this meeting between Putin and Trump, who could have discussed the process and outline ways to a potential dialogue on that topic. But, regrettably, as you know, the meeting never took place,” he said.

The Kremlin spokesman expressed concern over possible impacts of the United States’ withdrawal from that treaty. In his words, “consequences can be very bad” from the point of view of both European and global security. “If the Americans ultimately withdraw from that treaty, there is a high risk, although now they deny it, that they will deploy these missiles in Europe. It means NATO’s expansion towards our borders. If missiles are deployed in Europe, Russia will be forces to take steps to ensure parity,” Peskov said, adding that such “steps” would mean “targeting these missiles.”

“That is, European territories will be in cross-hairs of our missiles. So, here we are back in the glorious 1970s,” he said. “It is illogical. It is dangerous as instead of discussing development goals, we will find ourselves back in a situation of armed confrontation. It is very bad and that is why we are trying to initiate negotiations with the Americans, sending these or those signal to see no reciprocity, due to various reasons.”

It is impossible to create an alternative to the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty in the current political conditions, he said.

“There is room for improving the document. But is can be improved only on the basis of something concrete because in the current political situation it is next to impossible to produce such a complicated document if it is leveled to the ground,” he said. “It is possible to use it as a basis but it is absolutely impossible to start from scratch.”

“The best option is the US’ non-withdrawal from the treaty,” the Kremlin spokesman stressed. “We can agree, so to say, with certain criticism of the US side that Russia and the United States are not the only countries to have such missiles. Moreover, there is a range of countries where these missiles constitute the core of their arsenals. Naturally, it turns out in such conditions that Russia and the United States are bound by liabilities under this treaty while others continue to develop their arsenals.”

But Russia, in his words, categorically denies allegations that it violates the INF Treaty. More to it, the Kremlin insists that in is the United States “that directly or indirectly has not been restricted by this treaty for quite a time,” developing heavy unmanned aerial vehicles, systems for anti-missiles in regions that can be used to launch small-and intermediate-range missiles.

“It is a difficult problem and there is no alternative to dialogue between the two countries’ experts and political will from their leaders. You know about our leader’s political will. And the US leader is yet to announce his,” Peskov added.

The Kerch Strait Incident received more and more attention from the West as well as Russia, though in a different way than is usually the pattern. The West typically berates Russia for intimidating Ukraine. However this situation was tacitly acknowledged even by US news media as being a timed Ukrainian provocation, designed among other things to make the American president cancel his meeting with President Putin. Stephen F. Cohen acknowledged this in his interview with Tucker Carlson on Fox News, broadcast on the evening of 3 December, here:

As we have covered here, the powers-that-be seem intent on preventing any progress at all between the two greatest world powers. One must question why this is so.

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Duran Community

Powered Exoskeletons Development: Which Country Has Greater Success

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Powered exoskeletons have been a feature of science fiction for decades. They were perhaps most memorable in Aliens, where Ripley made use of a large industrial exoskeleton to battle one of the aliens. However,what was once a work of pure fiction is now becoming a reality. This technology has been in development for some time, and today a number of regions are investing in the future possibilities, including:

Many Companies Are Working on the Technology

Today there are around thirty-six or so companies working on the technology. Many of them are based in the USA and have shifted from the early ideas of something matching Ripley’s suit, and headed more towards a lighter, more manoeuvrable suit. High-quality metal and carbon fibre frames are being used to put these suits together, making use of their lightweight properties to users with a convenient but strong design. The exoskeletons currently have a pretty hefty price on them, running well into the thousands of dollars. However, their capacity for making real changes to many people cannot be denied, and figures such as Max Polyakov have shown interest in extending the range of applications.

Much of the investment in powered exoskeletons has come from Japan, another major region for their development. Here, a lot of the investment is driven by a very specific concern. Japan has an evergrowing aging population. This means that they are having to develop specific solutions that will allow them to provide care for this evergrowing population. Powered exoskeletons offer a few major innovations to the care industry. For nurses who need to carry people upstairs, or possibly manoeuvre them around, the benefits of an exoskeleton are evident. Powered exoskeletons allow you to lift and move objects that would otherwise be impossible. This makes them valuable to nurses.

Suits Provide Valuable Rehabilitation Qualities

The other area in which exoskeletons have come into their own is in providing rehabilitation and physiotherapy to people who have suffered a stroke or spinal cord injuries. The powered suits mean that people who are not yet fully capable of independent movement can nevertheless take a step in that direction with the aid of a powered suit that will prevent them from hurting themselves. The benefits are already being realised, and it’s clear that this is set to continue becoming a bigger and bigger focus on the available technology.

The technology is also finding a certain amount of interest from the military, and from first responders. These are people who often find themselves confronted by dangerous situations that could be potentially hazardous in a number of ways. The ability for a soldier to be assisted in carrying a weight over a distance, especially if that soldier is badly fatigued, could make a real difference.Similarly, for emergency responders to something like a fire or earthquake, the ability to manoeuvre significant weights could play a big role in terms of rescuing survivors.

the USA and Japan have been leading the innovations so far, but interest is picking up in other parts of the world. MaxPolyakov as the Founder of Association Noosphere told how this sphere is developed in Ukraine, and he seems keen to continue pushing the technology to find out where it leads. With a range of useful applications on offer, it seems certain that we will be seeing more from powered exoskeletons in the near future.

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