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Putin says his army strongest, U.S. disagrees. Putin needs a new cold war to stave off the end of the empire, just like Soviet leaders, Karelian says.  Vladimir Putin asked to release Roman Sushchenko.  Putin explains why he does not agree to prisoner swap with Ukraine.  Sooner or later: Putin hopes to normalize relations with Ukraine.  Putin's aide preparing "DPR-LPR"'s accession to Russia – Tymchuk. More than 280 people convicted for corruption in Ukraine for 11 months. Death toll from 'Boyaryshnik' intoxication reaches 74 in Russia.

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Obama signed a law limiting military cooperation with Russia

No funds allocated to the Ministry of Defense in 2017 fiscal year, can not be focused on bilateral military cooperation between the governments of the US and Russia

President Barack Obama on Friday signed into law the appropriations for the defense needs of the country, providing for restrictions on military cooperation with Russia.

"No funds allocated to the Ministry of Defense in 2017 fiscal year, can not be focused on bilateral military cooperation between the governments of the US and Russia as long as Defence Minister in collaboration with the Secretary of State did not inform the appropriate committees of Congress that Russia stopped the occupation of Ukrainian territory and acts of aggression that threaten the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine and NATO" , - the document says.

In addition, there are states that Russia must fulfill Minsk agreements on Ukraine.

A separate section specifically refuse the allocation of funds to " any action that recognize the sovereignty of Russia over the Crimea" . Exceptions can only be cases where the Secretary of Defense and Secretary of State determines that it is a US national security, and timely inform relevant committees of Congress. , In Ukrainian / на українській мові
Obama extended the action "Magnitsky Act" in all countries

Under the bill, individuals who fall under the sanctions will be denied entry to the US

President Barack Obama signed the law on annual defense policy, including within the scope of "Magnitsky Act" in all countries. This follows from the document, which was published on the website of the US Congress.

News by topic: The US Congress voted to global status "Magnitsky Act"
According to the document, the president can impose sanctions against any foreign citizen who "is responsible for extrajudicial killings, torture and other gross violations of internationally recognized human rights." In addition, the sanctions fall under the officials engaged in illegal activity. "

The sanctions also apply to persons involved in corruption, embezzlement "and actions aimed at extracting personal gain" at the conclusion of public contracts.

Under the bill, individuals who fall under the sanctions will be denied entry to the US. They will be denied a US visa. If the visa was issued earlier, its effect will be canceled. There will also be blocked property and assets, if they are on or under US control.

Recall, the Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky died in Russia, under arrest after exposing corruption offenses senior State. US in 2012 imposed sanctions against Russian officials suspected of human rights violations. After a similar law passed the European Parliament. , In Ukrainian / на українській мові
Trump is on collision course with international law over Crimea

If, as US intelligence believes, Russia interfered in the US elections to get Donald Trump elected, it is certainly being rewarded for its efforts and expense.  At least two of Trump’s men have been in Moscow this month making all the noises the Kremlin wants to hear on sanctions and Crimea.  In the meanwhile, a Republican congressman has openly suggested that Ukraine should ‘trade’ Crimea for support against Russian aggression in Donbas.

While Carter Page is still officially dubbed a former Trump adviser, and Jack Kingston also has no official status at present, Duncan Hunter is a current Republican congressman, one of the first to have publicly endorsed Trump.  As a person who has supported lethal military aid to Ukraine, it is telling that in an interview in December he all but suggested that such aid could come with a condition – that Ukraine ‘accept’ the Russian-imposed status quo on Crimea.

It is also indicative how closely Hunter’s style of speaking echoes Trump’s.  “"What we want to do is we want to arm the Ukrainians not with just night-vision goggles and uniforms," Hunter said. "We want to give them anti-tank weapons. We want to give them anti-air weaponry, anti-drone, counterartillery stuff”. "Do the Ukrainians want the United States to invade Crimea?” Hunter said. “It is not a possibility. So, what`s the answer? If Russians are not willing to leave Crimea but they are willing to leave the east of Ukraine, is that a bad thing? What do the Ukrainian people want?”

Just for starters, they want the USA to remember that Russia carried out the first annexation since Adolf Hitler’s annexation of Austria in 1938, an act of aggression which has seriously rattled Russia’s NATO neighbours, especially the small Baltic Republics and posed the greatest threat to European stability since WWII.  The USA is committed as are other countries to abide by the UN General Assembly Resolution of March 27, 2014 which called on all countries to not recognize Russia’s occupation.  America is, in fact, much more committed via the 1994 Budapest Memorandum which guaranteed respect for Ukraine’s territorial integrity in exchange for giving up one of the largest nuclear arsenals in the world.  Russia may have trampled upon its commitments through its military aggression in 2014.  There is no reason for the USA to follow suit.

Hunter, echoing earlier statements from Trump, is proposing a deal.  “We can arm Ukrainians so that they’re ready for the worst scenario but at the same time make certain concessions to Russia and be friendly with them”.  Hunter also told Voice of America that the USA would be ready to give up Syria in exchange for a cessation of Russian aggression in Europe.

Hunter does not clarify how the USA should “give up” Syria when Russia, together with the regime of Bashar al-Assad, is accused, and with cause, of bombing civilians and other war crimes.    

The noises made by Trump himself and by his people in Moscow in early December make the ‘deal’ on Ukraine clear enough, albeit lacking in any transparency.  The USA is given carte blanche to remove sanctions and improve relations with Russia because Ukraine falls silent over Russia’s occupation of Crimea in exchange for help in fighting Russian aggression in Eastern Ukraine.

What a ‘deal’ allowing the removal of sanctions would personally give Trump’s choice for Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and quite possibly Trump himself is calculable.  What it will give America is not.

There is no reason to believe that Russian President Vladimir Putin would hold to his agreement and no realistic way for America to hold him to it.  Probably the contrary.  The zeal with which certain Republicans and Trump’s people are seeking to please Putin suggest behind-the-scene dealings that would make them highly vulnerable to exposure.

Mustafa Dzhemiliev, the veteran Crimean Tatar leader, banned from his native Crimea shortly after Russia’s invasion, was scathing in his response to the proposed ‘deal’.  With respect to Hunter’s attempt to claim justification for ‘giving up’ Crimea because there are a lot of Russians there, Dzhemiliev suggested asking the congressman why they don’t cede California to Mexico.

“Accepting annexation and occupation on the grounds that somebody took a fancy to the land, and reconciling oneself with this would be a catastrophe for world order”.

Dzhemiliev is right that Ukraine could not, under any circumstances, accept such a deal.

Judging by Trump’s responses when challenged on the murders of journalists and opponents under Putin and Russia’s invasion of other countries’ territory, moral considerations are not a major factor for him.  This is not a position that the USA should be emulating...............

Access complete text of the editorial: In English
Poroshenko called on Russia to ensure the ceasefire in the holidays

President Petro Poroshenko urged Russia to ensure the ceasefire in the Donbass in the holidays, and perform other "Minsk duties." This Poroshenko said on Facebook .

"I call on Russia to ensure strict observance of the ceasefire and the implementation of other agreements, including the immediate release of the hostages and illegally detained persons, including on Russian territory," - said Poroshenko.

As reported, 21 December Trilateral Contact Group on settlement of the situation in eastern Ukraine called for a complete ceasefire from 00:00 on December 24 at the Donbas., In Ukrainian / на українській мові
Alec Baldwin volunteered to sing the hit AC / DC on inauguration Trump

Inauguration of US President-elect will be held January 20, 2017

American actor Alec Baldwin has expressed readiness to perform the song Highway to Hell Australian rock band AC / DC concert in honor of the inauguration of US President-elect Donald Trump. He said to Twitter his charitable foundation Alec Baldwin Foundation.

Actor Tweet attached to the video, which rockers perform this hit.

Recall, the presidential elections in the US on 8 November. The victory in the elections won Republican Donald Trump, he will be the 45th US president. His inauguration will take place on 20 January 2017.

As previously reported, Alec Baldwin has been awarded the Critics' Choice for parody Trump . Later, the actor revealed the amount of the fee for the role of US President-elect Donald Trump in a humorous program Saturday Night Live, saying that for every appearance in the show he paid 1.4 thousand. Dollars., In Ukrainian / на українській мові
Trump said that the UN will change after his inauguration

Trump responded to the US decision not to veto the UN Security Council resolution

US President-elect Donald Trump in his Twitter wrote that after his inauguration, "it will change with regard to the United Nations."

"With regard to the United Nations, the changes come after 20 January," - he said.

The evening of December 24 United States refused to veto the resolution, and it was adopted by the Security Council. Permanent Representative of the United States Samantha Power explained the decision by saying that further settlement construction "undermines the security of Israel." , In Ukrainian / на українській мові
UN Secretary-General welcomed the agreement on a truce in Donbas

"Silence mode" to begin on December 24 at 00.00

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the agreement on a ceasefire parties to the conflict in eastern Ukraine on December 24, said his spokesman Stephane Dyuzharrik, RIA "News".

"The Secretary-General welcomes this development and hopes that this will end the deadly violence along the contact line in the east of Ukraine", - he said.

He also said that the secretary-general expects all parties to the conflict will adhere to its commitments to restore peace.

As reported, December 21 tripartite contact group to resolve the situation in eastern Ukraine called for a complete ceasefire from 00:00 on December 24 at the Donbas. , In Ukrainian / на українській мові
USA 23 Russian companies added to sanction's list

Earlier, the US imposed sanctions against Russian bank and ministers of Syria

US Ministry of Trade has included 23 companies from Russia to Ukraine sanctions list, the official site office.

"Twenty-three bodies added to the list by the US government as acting in US interests in the field of national security and foreign policy" - said in a statement.

In the hit list, including ports and railways Crimea factory "Red Banner" (Ryazan), SRI "Screen" (Moscow), NPP "ElTom" (Moscow), Nizhny Novgorod Research Institute of Radio Engineering Institute "BUDPROEKT" (St. Petersburg), Obukhov plant (St. Petersburg), Novosibirsk plant Comintern, JSC "research Institute of aircraft equipment" (Moscow), OJSC «Kaluga research Radio Engineering Institute", LLC "Karst" (St. Petersburg), LLC "RosHimTreyd "JSC" VNDIRA "(St. Petersburg), JSC SPC" Vector "(Ekaterinburg), Ship Repair company" Solid "(Novorossiysk), NPO" Quantum "(Veliky Novgorod), JSC NNPO Frunze (Nizhny Novgorod), State Ryazan instrument plant, Lianozovo electromechanical plant (Moscow), CB "Contact" (Rostov-on-Don), shipping company "Trans-Fleet" (Samara) and OOO «Transpetrochart" (St. Petersburg). , In Ukrainian / на українській мові
Ambassador explained why Israel has not recognized the Holodomor as genocide

Famine - a terrible tragedy. I do not think that there are reasonable people who can say that it was not - Eliab Byelotserkovski

Ambassador of Israel to Ukraine Eliab Byelotserkovski noted that during the Holodomor in Ukraine affected millions of citizens among them, including Jews. He said the process of recognition of Israel on Holodomor in Ukraine as genocide - it is not in one day. This ambassador said in an interview with " Commander."

"This process has already begun, it should promote. And it's not just a matter parliaments. It is much broader. This question society, history, education, education. Thus, it can not be resolved today or tomorrow. But the process continues. Holodomor - a historical fact, a terrible tragedy. I do not think that there are reasonable people who can say that this was not"- said Eliab Byelotserkovski.

"The problem is that often a mix of different things, which, in principle, have any common base. Holocaust - a tragedy of huge proportions, the tragedy of the Jewish people. Famine - is also a terrible tragedy, the tragedy of the Ukrainian people and other peoples who lived here. I shown the book, which indicated Holodomor victims. There were areas and villages, where the majority of inhabitants were Jews, and these people died during the famine too. On this tragedy and to say, "- said the ambassador of Israel in Ukraine.

Recall Holodomor genocide in Ukraine today recognized 13 countries, which do not include Israel. , In Ukrainian / на українській мові
Militants demand to release 700 their accomplices in exchange for 50 Ukrainians

The list of those, whom the militants demand to release, includes murderers and other high-level criminals.

First Vice Speaker of the Ukrainian parliament, Ukraine's representative to the humanitarian subgroup of the Trilateral Contact Group Iryna Herashchenko wrote on Facebook, Censor.NET reports.

"While Putin was holding a press conference, at which he confirmed what we keep telling mothers and relatives of the hostages every day: the keys to the prisons both in the Russian Federation and occupied territory it is not in Donetsk and Luhansk, but in the Kremlin. The decisions to give someone back to Ukraine are made there.

"The conference of the humanitarian subgroup was held via Skype at that very moment on the initiative of the Ukrainian side... I'm not a wide-eyed girl, and I clearly understand, where the decisions on hostages' release are made. But I and my colleagues are diligently struggling for every hostage making every effort to liberate them as early as this year, in spite of the fact that we often understand delusiveness of all our efforts," she wrote.

"Putin has again mentioned the "all for all" swap today... That is, to exchange the civilians detained in the occupied territories for their pro-Ukrainian views (who continue being detained every single day) and our soldiers who defended our land for all those who committed grave crimes against Ukraine, including felony murders. The "DPR"/"LPR" representatives repeated this mantra word-for-word today.

"They deny that they hold 110 hostages, whose release was requested by the SBU and the working group in Minsk, but say that they have only half of them. Moreover, they demand that Ukraine immediately release 700 their accomplices in exchange for less than 50 [Ukrainians]," the MP said.

"The list of those, whom the militants demand to release, includes murderers and other high-level criminals. The list of hostages confirmed to be held in the "DPR"/"LPR" lacks many of those Ukrainians, whose fate is known to us. The militants just hide them providing no information to initiate their liberation. That's what is actually going on. We were seeking a compromise during today's video conference to release hostages before the Christmas holidays, recalled a promise to release teenagers made by the "DPR"/"LPR", raised the issue of immediate release of a wounded Ukrainian soldier captured by the militants a few days ago during a clash.

"There was no response. As a matter of fact, the whole world heard a response of the Russian authorities today saying that they care little about all those filmmakers and journalists, saboteurs and terrorists - the Ukrainian government must pardon everyone, the amnesty act must be adopted. The "DPR" and "LPR" were also mumbling about the amnesty today. How should we work with this? It's hard.

"Unfortunately, Russia is not willing to release the hostages. The Kremlin takes a break until the new Trump administration is appointed, until the Normandy format diminishes, makes efforts to discredit the Minsk working groups, promotes other destabilizing activities inside Ukraine," the politician emphasized.

"I get chocked up with tears, because we have done our best to set the guys free now, not tomorrow. The mothers and relatives do not always hear the arguments, which makes it very hard for us because they live in hope and faith. We continue working with the volunteers and priests looking for every opportunity to liberate our men.

"We ask the international community not to keep quiet, to make efforts for hostages' release, to make the militants stop bullying Ukrainians illegally held in the "DPR" and "LPR". Unfortunately, today's video conference delivered no good news because such a decision was made in Moscow," the MP summed up., In Ukrainian / на українській мові
UN tribunal to consider Ukraine’s complaint against Russia in early 2017

The United Nations have established a tribunal on Dec. 22 that will begin hearings on Ukraine’s complaint against Russia, Pres Poroshenko writes in Facebook Dec. 23.

 “Pursuant to my instructions, the foreign ministry initiated a complaint for the violation by Russia of the UN maritime law,” the president wrote.

“Ukraine can convincingly prove that the aggressor is flagrantly violating Ukraine’s rights in areas of the Black Sea and on its shelf adjacent to Crimea,” Poroshenko said.
Trump’s election victory was obvious, says Putin

Russian leader denies meddling in contest and blames Democrats for Clinton’s defeat

Vladimir Putin believed Donald Trump would win the US election, the Russian president said as he brushed off accusations of interference and heaped blame for Hillary Clinton’s defeat on her own Democratic party.

Mr Trump “had a keen sense for the mood in society and worked in that paradigm right up to the end,” Mr Putin said at an end-of-year news conference in Moscow. “Nobody except you and me thought that he would win.”

The televised conference has become a ritual of his presidency but took on greater significance after a year when Moscow has been accused of meddling in the US election and has intervened in Syria to support Bashar al-Assad’s forces. It came days after Andrei Karlov, Russia’s ambassador to Turkey, was shot dead in Ankara.

Mr Putin hailed Syrian government forces’ capture of rebel-held Aleppo last week, backed by weeks of Russian air strikes, and said the evacuation of civilians was the “largest humanitarian operation in history”.

He suggested that “forces wishing to set Ankara against Moscow that have penetrated the Turkish government” were behind the assassination of Mr Karlov.

Asked about the US, Mr Putin poured scorn on Barack Obama’s outgoing administration and the Democrats, which he said were unfairly blaming Russia for Mrs Clinton’s defeat...............

Access complete text of the editorial: In English
on Fri Dec 23, 2016 10:19 amAdmin
Ukraine already has its Marshall plan – expert

“The Marshall plan exists in Ukraine despite Germany’s Ambassador Ernst Reichel‘s statement that Kyiv doesn’t need the plan, international expert Andry Buzarov says, Obozrevatel reports Dec. 23.

 “We have a Marshall plan: a program of cooperation with the IMF. If the IMF continues funding Ukraine, other countries, based on the IMF policy, will render help to Ukraine,” the expert says.

The Marshall plan initiated by the United States after WWII was aimed at rebuilding Europe’s economy with big financial funding and credits.
French artists call to free Oleg Sentsov and imprisoned Russian artists

Multiple filmmakers and cultural actors around the world (including Pussy Riot’s Maria Alyokhina) are mobilizing for the Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov. The latter was arrested in May 2014, a few days after the annexation of the Crimea, under the charge of “preparing terrorist acts” and sentenced in August 2015 to 20 years of imprisonment under a strongly contested trial. This is an English translation of their appeal, originally published on

I spent two years in prison for a song about Putin. Oleg Sentsov never sang a song, but he received a 20-year sentence from the court. Oleg Sentsov is a Ukrainian film director, whom the [Russian] government has accused of terrorism for allegedly attempting to detonate a Lenin’s monument in the Crimea. Oleg is 40 years old and has two children left without a father.

20 years in prison in Russia means death! It is obvious that Sentsov did not detonate the monument, his ‘fault’ is simply to be a Crimean citizen who openly denounced the situation of the annexation. I am convinced that the release of Sentsov is a common cause. This artist should be free. And as I said on the occasion of the European Film Awards: A united community can make a difference. That’s why I ask you to stand up and defend Oleg.”

– Maria Alyokhina (Pussy Riot), on the occasion of the 29th European Film Awards in Wroclaw, Poland on 10 December 2016................

Access complete text of the editorial: In English
Berlin attack suspect killed Europe-wide manhunt ends in killing of Berlin attack suspect in Italy

Anis Amri, the prime suspect in the Berlin Christmas market attack, was killed in a shootout during an early morning traffic stop in Milan Friday, Italy’s Interior Minister has confirmed.

Marco Minniti told a press conference that the 24-year-old Tunisian, wanted on suspicion of having killed 12 people in Monday’s truck attack, was stopped during a routine patrol shortly after 3 a.m. in Sesto San Giovanni, a suburb of northern Milan.

He said that when asked for his ID papers, the suspect pulled a gun from his backpack and fired. Police returned fire, killing the suspect. One of the officers, Cristian Movio, was shot, but his wounds are not fatal and he is recovering in hospital, Minniti said.

He said that the person shot in Milan was “without a shadow of doubt” the Berlin market attacker, praising the police for their response.

“He was the most wanted man in Europe and we immediately identified him and neutralized him. This means our security is working really well.”..............

Putin explains why he does not agree to prisoner swap with Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin has explained why the "representatives of Donbas" are not satisfied with the negotiations with Ukraine on the exchange of prisoners, according to an UNIAN correspondent from Russia.

"Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has once expressed the idea of an "all for all" exchange. I totally agree with that, but later it turned out that this formula contains concealed details that don't satisfy representatives of Donbas," Putin said at an annual press conference in Moscow. "If it's an all-for-all swap, then it is necessary to decide on pardon and release them all," he said. According to Putin, Ukraine is not willing to include into the swap list certain individuals who have been detained on its territory, claiming they are detainees "under the law."............

Death toll from 'Boyaryshnik' intoxication reaches 74 in Russia

The number people that have died after being poisoned with surrogate alcohol in the Russian city of Irkutsk has reached 74, the UNIAN agency reports.

"We have reached 74 deaths from poisoning since December 17, with the total number of infected reaching 122. 31 persons have been hospitalised in Irkutsk," the Irkutsk region health department reported.

All victims died from alcohol poisoning after drinking a bath product containing alcohol, a product called 'Boyaryshnik', according to the latest reports from Russian media. A state of emergency has been announced in the whole Irkutsk region with a population of about 2.5 million.............
US expects Donbas cease-fire to last after holidays

The United States welcomes the trilateral contact group’s announcement of an agreement for a holiday cease-fire in eastern Ukraine set to begin on Dec. 24 at midnight.

Censor.NET reports citing the U.S. Department of State's press office.

"The United States welcomes the trilateral contact group's announcement of an agreement for a holiday cease-fire in eastern Ukraine set to begin on Christmas Eve at midnight. We hope that the cease-fire will mark the beginning of sustained quiet at the line of contact to allow Ukrainians on both sides of the line to live in peace and security," Kirby said.

The spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State reiterated deep concern over the recent spike in violence in eastern Ukraine in which combined Russian-separatist forces have launched daily attacks on Ukrainian positions using heavy weaponry prohibited by the Minsk agreements.

"Once again, we urge Russia to use its influence with the separatists to turn down the violence, as it has done successfully numerous times in the past, and allow access for OSCE monitors. This will relieve the humanitarian suffering in eastern Ukraine, and it will create space for further progress on the implementation of the Minsk agreements," Kirby summed up on Ukraine.

As reported, Trilateral Group of Donbas conflict settlement agreed on cease-fire effective midnight of Dec. 24. , In Russian / На русском
Putin's aide preparing "DPR-LPR"'s accession to Russia – Tymchuk

Russian presidential aide Vladislav Surkov has pledged integration of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk "People's Republics" into the Russian Federation within 1.5 years, head of Information Resistance Group, military analyst and MP Dmytro Tymchuk wrote on Facebook.

According to Tymchuk, "DPR" representatives held a meeting with Surkov, where he asked the self-proclaimed "authorities" to communicate more with the locals and disseminate information about "Russia's significant contribution to the development of the "republic."............
More than 280 people convicted for corruption in Ukraine for 11 months

Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) for the period 11 months of 2016 started 665 pretrial investigations on suspicion of committing corruption crimes, compiled 438 reports on administrative offenses related to corruption, according to a certain direction of the service for a specified period.

Thus, according to its figures, during 2016, 665 pretrial investigations were started, in which it was notified of the suspicion of having committed acts of corruption. Some 281 people were convicted by different types of punishments and their duration.......
Sooner or later: Putin hopes to normalize relations with Ukraine

There will be a normalization of relations between Russia and Ukraine "sooner or later", Russian President Vladimir Putin said during his big presser in Moscow.

"I hope and I am sure that sooner or later there will be normalization of relations with Ukraine. It will be very useful for the development of Russian-Ukrainian commercial and humanitarian spheres," Putin said.....
Putin explains why he does not agree to prisoner swap with Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin at his annual press conference was asked to release a Ukrainian correspondent of Ukrinform Roman Sushchenko.

"We are doing everything so that the individuals held by both sides were released. The fuller the exchange, the better," Putin said, answering the question of an UNIAN correspondent. Commenting on the detention of Sushchenko and Ukrainian film director Oleh Sentsov, Putin said that "they should be dealing with journalism and film directing."

"Of course, no one has a desire to keep film directors and journalists [under arrest]. But what should we do if the film director -- and this has been proven in court – had been preparing to commit terrorist acts? Release him just because he is a fil director? How does he differ from a military intelligence officer? At first we let the film director go, and then - intelligence officers? So we release these ones, and tomorrow the others will come, right? We need to agree that be stopped, and then it will be possible to consider amnesty acts, I have nothing against this," Putin said..............

Putin needs a new cold war to stave off the end of the empire, just like Soviet leaders, Karelian says

The Soviet leaders in the 1940s initiated the first cold war to delay the disintegration of their empire; today, Vladimir Putin needs a second such war to prevent the further disintegration of that entity, a requirement that severely restricts his ability to change course and open up Russia once again, according to Andrey Tuomi.

In a new commentary for a Karelian portal entitled The Empire of Chaos, the analyst argues that “the cold war was provoked only in order to preserve the Soviet empire in its borders so that the existing status quo in the USSR would last as long as possible.”

Soviet leaders then fully understood that they couldn’t absorb the countries of the Warsaw Pact into the USSR because that would create tensions within it just as the occupied Baltic countries did and that only tensions with the West could keep it all together. (On Stalin’s views, see here).

“Unlike present-day Russian politicians,” he continues, Soviet leaders as long ago as the 1940s and 1950s understood that “the Soviet Union as an empire had achieved its limits” and that expanding it would cause its demise, although most of them appear to have been less aware that the internal empire was moving in that direction as well.................

Access complete text of the editorial: In English
on Fri Dec 23, 2016 8:47 amAdmin
Putin says his army strongest, U.S. disagrees

World has never seen a better army than what America has today, the U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby told journalists, after being asked to comment on Russian President's boasting about his troops.

‘Considering many factors, not only military, but our history, geography, the state of our Russian society, we can firmly say: today our army is stronger than any potential aggressor', Putin alleged, according to Russian media agencies.

In recent years Moscow has had quite a few opportunities to show off its troops, while invading Georgia and Crimea, as well as practicing its tactics by waging a proxy war in Donbas.............
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