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Interview: Three Senior U.S. Senators Take Hard Line On Russia.  "In the Crimea and Donbas": in Putin revealed the trick on the issue of sanctions.  Trump card Moscow keeps up its sleeve: Gerashchenko says Russia blackmails Ukraine with prisoners.  Ukrainian army will switch to NATO standards by 2020 and get new logistics system.  The International Olympic Committee announced new sanctions against Russia.  Why Moscow seeks more security cooperation with Eurasian neighbors .

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McCain, in 2017 Ukraine will return occupied Donbas defeating invaders

Ukraine will return its occupied lands in 2017.

This was stated by US Senator John McCain in Mariupol, reports "112 Ukraine".

"I saw that the cooperation between our countries is important for the safety of Ukraine's borders. In 2017 we will win invaders and send them back to where they came from. And Putin, I want to say that he would never be able to rid Ukrainian freedom and independence" - said McCain.

He also conveyed greetings from the people of the United States.

As reported by the "Observer", the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, along with US Senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Amy Klobuchar came to the area Shyrokyno to congratulate Ukrainian soldiers from the New Year., In Ukrainian / на українській мові
Trump questioned the assertion that Russia attacked Democrats servers

US President-elect said that the attack could implement any other country

US President-elect Donald Trump questioned the uniqueness of allegations that Russia was on hacker attacks on servers Democratic Party.

He told reporters invited to celebrate the New Year at the club Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach (FL), reports Reuters .

According to Trump, system attack the US Democratic Party could be any other country, not Russia.

"I know something that others do not know. You'll see it on Tuesday or Wednesday," - said Trump.

He also expressed the hope that the US will maintain "excellent relations" with many countries, including Russia and China. At the same time, he left open the possibility of meeting with the president of Taiwan if it will arrive on a visit to the United States after his inauguration. , In Ukrainian / на українській мові
Last year in Syria killed nearly 50,000 people - human rights activists

Among those killed nearly 3,000 children

At least 49 thousand 742 people were killed during 2016 in Syria. This Dec. 31 news agency dpa citing Syrian monitoring center for human rights. According to human rights activists, among the dead - 13 000 617 civilians, 2 thousand 885 of them - children, reports Deutsche Welle.

Civil war continues in Syria since 2011. According to the UN, it killed more than 220,000 people, millions became refugees. In addition, some parts of Syria controlled terrorist group "Islamic State" and "Dzhebhat Fatah al-Sham", which suffers from the civilian population and which are fighting the government and the opposition supported by the international coalition.

Midnight December 30 in Syria in areas of conflict between government and opposition forces acting ceasefire agreed with the mediation of Russia and Turkey. However, on December 31 representatives of several opposition to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad factions issued a statement threatening to recognize the truce agreed "invalid" if the breach of the ceasefire will continue. According to representatives of the opposition in some regions of the country clashes and air strikes continued for 30 December.

As reported, agreed with the mediation of Turkey and Syria truce does not apply to the terrorist group "Islamic State" group "Dzhebhat Fatah al-Sham" (formerly "Front of Al-Nusra," which is associated with "Al-Qaida") and close to these groups. Also ceasefire does not apply Kurdish "self-defense detachments People. , In Ukrainian / на українській мові
McCain appealed to Putin: You can never rid the Ukrainian freedom and independence!

Senator John McCain believes that in 2017, the year Ukraine will be able to free the territory from invaders

The following year, 2017, Ukrainian territory will be freed from the invaders, convinced US Senator, member of the Republican Party, John McCain, reports" nterfaks-Ukraine" .

"I saw that the cooperation between our countries is important for Ukraine border security. In 2017 we will win invaders and send them back to where they came from. And I want to tell Putin that he can not deny freedom and Ukrainian independence," - he said during his visit to Mariupol on Saturday.

McCain also conveyed greetings from the American people. "Your struggle - our struggle, and we win together," - he said.

As previously reported, on Saturday 31 December, President Petro Poroshenko with American politicians visited Shyrokine . The President congratulated our soldiers a Happy New Year. "He arrived at the command post in the area Shyrokinoho John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Amy Klobuchar to greet our soldiers a Happy New Year," - said the head of state at Twitter. , In Ukrainian / на українській мові
The Daily Vertical By Brian Whitmore (VIDEO report): Putin's War At Home
Trump card Moscow keeps up its sleeve: Gerashchenko says Russia blackmails Ukraine with prisoners

Russia has been blackmailing Ukraine with prisoners whom Moscow refuses to release despite earlier agreements, however the talks on hostage liberation should continue with Russia, not with the militant leaders, according to First Deputy Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine's representative in the humanitarian subgroup of the Trilateral contact group Iryna Gerashchenko, reports.

"The decision on whom to release, when to release, and how to release, is not taken by ‘Igorek’ and ‘Sasha’ [the reference to the manner Nadiia Savchenko called Donbas militant leaders Igor Plotnitsky and Alexander Zakharchenko, with whom she held unsanctioned talks in Minsk] but by Moscow. That is why it is very important to talk specifically with Moscow: to find a way how to demand from Moscow the release of our prisoners," she said.................
Ukrainian army will switch to NATO standards by 2020 and get new logistics system

"As a result of the execution of the provisions of the state program, the military administration system will be built based on the principles adopted by NATO member states. The transition to the new system of planning the development of the Armed Forces based on capacity planning, and focusing on the threat will take place," the statement reads.

In addition, as a result of the program, the army structure will be improved and its numbers optimized. The military will undergo the necessary training and will be fully equipped with weapons, military equipment and other materials and technical means.

There will also be a unified system of logistics and improved system of medical provision of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. "The experience gained by the Ukrainian army during the anti-terrorist operation, and the relevant NATO standards will be taken as a foundation for this," the report says.

The program will ensure the Armed Forces of Ukraine will develop to respond effectively to threats to national security in the military sector, Ukraine's defense and protection of its sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability, as well as to achieve Euro-Atlantic standards and criteria necessary for the acquisition of a membership in NATO, the Defense Ministry said...............
Interview: Three Senior U.S. Senators Take Hard Line On Russia
US intelligence: Russia prepared for a real battle with the United States

Moscow, apparently foresaw the introduction of new sanctions by the United States for hacking attacks during the presidential campaign of 2016, and thus prepared for a real battle with the United States - even online.

This is stated in the report Stratfor, a private intelligence company transmits

As noted, the new sanctions are symbolic, and it is understood to be in the White House and the Kremlin because the Kremlin elite still often travel in spite of sanctions, without taking into account the financial constraints.

Also in intelligence say that the FSB and GRU - the most important secret services against which the White House could impose sanctions, not calling at the name of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"The current political, social, business and defense system of Russia is completely built on the work of the security services, who maintain order throughout the country. Contact with will not be sanctions list directly interfere with their activities, as they are likely to use other people and legal entities, to circumvent these restrictions. Without a doubt, Russia will retaliate, expelling US diplomats and other staff from the country and exposing sanctions objects associated with the United States. There is also a likelihood that the Kremlin would retaliate working in the Russian Federation to American companies. for example, in the American social networks such as Linkedin, Twitter and Facebook, already was done under pressure to ensure that they kept data on their Russian users in the country, so that the owners of social networks to resist ", - the report says.

At the same time, Moscow now has an incentive to make the company an example, although it can not afford to spoil relations with all Western firms.

In addition to repression, scouts write, Russia is preparing for the real battle with the United States - even online.

"As part of its resistance to Moscow, the Obama administration has made the assumption that some of their punitive measures will be secret. Russia has significantly expanded the scope of activities of its computer intelligence and disinformation campaign around the world in recent years, as well as strengthened protection against cyber-warfare and external research their networks ", - emphasized in the report.

So, give examples of the scouts, for the last three years, Russia has reduced the interconnection of networks of its operational and financial data - in particular, with the West.

In 2014 the Russian Federation began to expand their internal electronic data network, especially for critical infrastructure, and sectors such as intelligence, military and energy services.

Earlier in 2016 the Kremlin has adopted a series of draconian laws that sharply limit the online connection and data exchange, which Russian companies and Internet users can make outside the country. And throughout the year, Russia has expanded the activities of the FSB defense centers that clock control strategic state enterprises.

"Russia also reduced its dependence on Western technology, turning instead to the Chinese, to help expand the domestic network capabilities Kremlin has already experienced the shameful consequences of hacking email Vladislav Surkov, presidential aide who caused the war in the east of Ukraine.", - Stated in the material .

In addition, Putin is likely to qualify for a fourth term as president after only 15 months, Moscow has been particularly concerned about the Western pressure.

The Stratfor remind that on 29 December internet consultant of Russian President Herman Klimenko said that his country, if necessary, could be completely cut themselves off from the Internet - a grand statement, remarkable in that it shows the essence of the Kremlin's thinking.

As tensions between Moscow and Washington continues to grow, another big question remains unclear, whether the United States will maintain its pressure on Russia after 2017 will become the country's president, Donald Trump.

"Each campaign to impose sanctions against Russia was a government decree -. A solution that does not require the approval of the Senate or the House of Representatives thus Trump endorsement lawmakers will not need to cancel them as soon as he takes office, however, anti-Russian sentiment. in Congress are strong enough, which leads to the question of whether the next president will risk enmity with his party's leaders only to lift the sanctions against Russia, but this problem can be solved gradually, "-. according to the company.

At the same time, Stratfor noted that despite the fact that Moscow is a rather carefree applies to most US sanctions against individuals or companies, including those that were announced on Thursday, in the next few years the Russian Federation would like to remove or mitigate a specific set of sanctions that focus on its energy and financial sectors.

"Thus, Russia could agree on a more high-profile sanctions related to hacker attacks if it meant easing the pressure on the more important pain points", - concludes the private US intelligence. , In Russian / На русском
The International Olympic Committee announced new sanctions against Russia

The head of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Thomas Bach on December 30 announced new sanctions against Russia in the context of the publication of the report on the use of doping by Russian athletes .

This writes the Ukrainian edition DW .

Bach also announced the measures that will accept the results of the report of the Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren of doping by Russian athletes. The head of the IOC noted that this report is shocking.

Bach said the IOC will prepare a response to two specially created commission that will right all parties to express their position, after which the organization will take appropriate action and impose sanctions.

Thomas Bach promised that McLaren's work will continue and will be expanded, as previously he had no authority to check all doping samples of athletes of................. , In Ukrainian / на українській мові
Why Moscow seeks more security cooperation with Eurasian neighbors

Stratfor, the U.S.-based geopolitical intelligence and consulting firm, notes that Moscow`s military and diplomatic standoffs with the West continue, therefore Russia is renewing its efforts to boost security cooperation with its Eurasian neighbors.

”Moscow seeks opportunities to increase its presence throughout the region,” Stratfor said in the article titled ”Moscow Deepens Its Eurasian Security Tendrils” published on December 20.

The latest example is an agreement announced on December 15, under which Russia will station mobile missile launchers at its base in Tajikistan, and this pattern that will continue in 2017, Stratfor analysts said.
The Russian military said December 15 that it would deploy BM-27 Uragan self-propelled multiple rocket-launcher systems to its 201st military base, which comprises 7,000 troops stationed at facilities in Dushanbe and Qurghonteppa.

The highly maneuverable truck-mounted missile systems will increase Russia`s ability to hit targets in Tajikistan`s mountainous terrain. This latest deployment follows a November 30 announcement by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu that additional weaponry and equipment, including airplanes and helicopters, would be sent to Tajikistan in 2017.

Tajikistan is not the only country on the Russian periphery that is tightening military and security ties with Moscow. On December 12, Russia and Belarus agreed to conduct joint counterterrorism operations. This is a notable enhancement of their security collaboration, which previously had been limited to exercises. Neither the scope nor the timing of those missions has been disclosed. In Armenia, meanwhile, Moscow and Yerevan said they will create a joint army group — the United Group of Troops — that will combine Armenian army units and personnel from the 102nd Russian military base in Gyumri. Shoigu said the combined force is intended to ”provide an adequate response to any armed attack as well as to other challenges and security threats to the parties.” Further details about the group`s mission or structure have yet to be revealed.

”The new security arrangements parallel an increasingly tense political environment in Europe and the presidential transition underway in the United States. Russia hopes to take advantage of such distractions to increase its influence in the former Soviet sphere and strengthen its military position in the region,” Stratfor said.

Although recent deals were struck with countries already considered security allies — Armenia, Belarus and Tajikistan each are participating members of the Moscow-led Collective Security Treaty Organization — Russia has forged military agreements with states outside that framework..............

Access complete text of the editorial: In English
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