Tag Archives: Russia

Rubio “gravely worried” that we’ll forget he exists if he doesn’t occasionally break into hawkish screeching

Source: Fox News

“Florida Sen. Marco Rubio told Fox News he’s ‘gravely concerned’ about the Iran’s [sic] role in helping Syria develop its chemical welfare program that ended up killing dozens of people weeks ago. Rubio, a Republican, said he was troubled by reports that both Iran and Russia were complicit in Bashar Assad’s chemical weapons program. While the Trump administration accused Moscow of covering up the Syrian regime’s chemical weapons attack, the U.S government has not mentioned Iran’s possible role. ‘Congress and the White House should work together to hold the Assad regime accountable for its war crimes and impose harsh sanctions against its enablers,’ Rubio told Fox News. [Mostly unsubstantiated claims and jingoistic propaganda follow]” (04/20/17)


Russia: Google to open up Android devices, pay $7.8 million bribe

Source: TechCrunch

“Google has reached a settlement with Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) agency in the antitrust case the Russian search rival Yandex had originally filed, claiming Google had violated local competition rules. The case revolved around how Google had required handset makers to pre-load their devices with Google apps and services in order to also gain access the Google Play Store application. FAS had imposed a fine of 438M RUB (~$7.8M) on Google …. Per the terms of the agreement, Google will no longer demand exclusivity of its applications on Android devices in Russia, and it will not restrict the pre-installation of any competing search engines and applications — including on the Android home screen, FAS states.” (04/17/17)


At a “low point,” US and Russia back opposing visions on Syria’s Assad

Source: Deutsche Welle [Germany]

“US State Secretary Rex Tillerson on Wednesday said US-Russia relations are at a ‘low point’ after meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Tensions between Moscow and Washington have been exacerbated by US President Donald Trump’s order to launch cruise missiles against a Syrian military facility believed to be the launch pad for a chemical weapons attack that killed 87 civilians, including 31 children. … Meanwhile in New York, Russia voted against a US-backed resolution to investigate a suspected chemical weapons attack in the Syrian province of Idlib. Vladimir Safronkov, Russia’s deputy ambassador to the UN, said the resolution did ‘not serve a useful purpose,’ minutes after Lavrov had called for an ‘independent’ probe into the attack.” (04/12/17)


UK: Anti-Brexit pols ape US “maybe Putin did it” propaganda

Source: Newsweek

“Foreign hackers may have targeted the British government’s voter registration site before the Brexit referendum last June, a committee of MPs has said. On June 7, 2016, the ‘register to vote’ website was temporarily inaccessible due to technical problems. This was the last day people could register to have a vote in the June 23 referendum and authorities blamed a surge in demand as Brits scrambled to sign up. But on Wednesday, a report from a committee of MPs will say that they cannot rule out that the website went down due to intervention by foreign hackers. … In December, the British Labour MP Ben Bradshaw said that it is ‘highly probable’ Russia sought to influence the result of the Brexit referendum and called on the government to investigate interference from Moscow. Many believe Brexit was the desired outcome of Russian President Vladimir Putin, particularly given the Russian support for anti-EU politicians such as Marine Le Pen.” (04/12/17)


Trump regime accuses Russians of trying to “cover up” Syria chemical attack; Putin recalls past US WMD lies

Source: NBC News

“The White House is accusing Russia of trying to ‘cover up’ Syrian president Bashar al-Assad’s [alleged] role in a[n alleged] chemical weapons attack that left dozens, including children, dead and [was used as an excuse for] U.S. military strikes. Senior administration officials briefed reporters Tuesday on declassified [alleged] intelligence that [allegedly] knocks down the Russian-pushed narrative that last week’s deadly chemical weapons attack could have been carried out by non-state or terrorist actors. … As Secretary of State Rex Tillerson traveled to Moscow for a meeting with his counterpart Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s foreign ministry spoke of ‘a long list of irritants created by Washington.’ Vladimir Putin went further, comparing America’s accusations of a chemical attack in Syria to its justification of the Iraq invasion. ‘We saw this before,’ Russia’s president told reporters. ‘It reminds me the events of 2003.'”


Russia: Regime releases opposition leader Alexei Navalny from jail

Source: Deutsche Welle

“Russian authorities on Monday released opposition leader Alexei Navalny after [he finished] serving a 15-day sentence for his involvement in anti-corruption protests that shook the country last month. After members of the press waited for his release at the jail where he was being detained, Navalny’s campaign manager announced that he had been transferred to another detention center and released there, away from media. … Despite a ban on running for the presidency, Navalny’s campaign organizers have sought to reverse the restriction by showing the damage caused by not allowing him to participate is a greater risk than allowing him to do so.” (04/10/17)


Russia: Regime bans picture of Putin in makeup

Source: Guardian [UK]

“A picture depicting Vladimir Putin in full makeup has been banned in Russia. The picture is cited on the Russian justice ministry’s list of banned ‘extremist’ materials — a list that is 4,074 entries long. No 4,071 states that the poster, depicting Putin with painted eyes and lips, implies ‘the supposed nonstandard sexual orientation of the president of the Russian Federation.’ … Earlier this week, Putin defended China’s censorship of the internet. He said: ‘Callous quasi-freedom on the internet does not exist anywhere any more.'” (04/06/17)


Haley, Trump threaten Syria escalation on dubious attribution of chemical attack to Assad regime

Source: ABC News

“The United States and Russia were trading conflicting assertions Wednesday about who launched a chemical weapons attack in Syria that killed 72 people, as world leaders grasped for a response to the latest atrocity in Syria’s intractable civil war. As Trump stood by his charge that [Syrian president Bashar al-]Assad’s forces were responsible, Russia disagreed. The staunch Assad ally insisted that the chemicals were dispersed when Syrian warplanes bombed a facility where rebels were building chemical weapons. … At the United Nations, Trump’s envoy threatened unilateral U.S. action if the world body failed to act. ‘When the United Nations consistently fails in its duty to act collectively, there are times in the life of states that we are compelled to take our own action,’ [Nikki] Haley declared.” (04/05/17)


Russia: Officials identify St. Petersburg bomber as a Kyrgyz-born Russian citizen; death toll rises to 14

Source: Los Angeles Times

“The intelligence agency in the former Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan on Tuesday identified a suspect behind Monday’s deadly bombing on the St. Petersburg subway as a Kyrgyz-born Russian citizen. Russia’s health minister has raised the death toll from the blast to 14. Officials previously said 11 been killed and more than 40 wounded. … In the past two decades, Russian trains and planes have been frequent targets of attack, usually blamed on Islamic militants. Neither authorities in Russia nor in Kyrgyzstan have specified whether the attack was a suicide bombing or whether the bomber got away.” (04/04/17)


Iran: Regime says Russia can use its military bases “on case by case basis”

Source: Reuters

“Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told Reuters on Tuesday that Russia could use Iranian military bases to launch air strikes against militants in Syria on a ‘case by case basis.’ Russia and Iran are both key allies of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and have played decisive roles in the past 18 months to turn the tide of the Syrian conflict in his favor. Russian jets used an air base in Iran to launch attacks against militant targets in Syria last summer, the first time a foreign power had used an Iranian base since World War Two.” (03/28/17)