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A Trump-Putin Deal on Crimea Could Trigger a Much Bigger War. In the Senate already have a draft of new sanctions against Russia. CIA: Russia uses tactics in Syria "scorched earth".  Right-wing militia trains Russians to fight the next war - with or without Putin.  Ban on entry for Le Pen after scandalous statement on Crimea.  Ukraine's state debt shrinks by 1.19% in Nov, to $67.5 bln.

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Le Pen commented on a possible ban on entry to Ukraine after the words of Crimea

The issue of Ukraine will be resolved through diplomatic channels if elected Le Pen president of France, said her team

The team French presidential candidate, leader of "National Front" Marine Le Pen commented on a possible ban on entry to Ukraine after allegations of occupied Crimea. It is reported Reuters  citing the press secretary Le Pen.

She said Le Pen in no way going to Ukraine.

"Marine Le Pen in any case did not have the slightest intention of going there. This issue will be decided through diplomatic channels when she becomes president of the Republic" - said spokesman Le Pen.

Recall, the leader of the party "National Front" candidate for president of France Marine Le Pen believes that Russia's annexation of Crimea "not illegal".

Earlier, Le Pen has said that if elected president of it finds Crimea Russian territory . Also presidential candidate said that relations between Russia and France are important in a multipolar world and necessary for resolving international crises.

The Foreign Ministry of Ukraine expressed outrage at the fact that Marine Le Pen has allowed a statement in support of the Russian occupation of Crimea . In turn, the SBU sent a letter to the Foreign Ministry on the prohibition of entry Marine Le Pen in Ukraine., In Ukrainian / на українській мові
Today, the US Senate held two hearings on the threat from Russia

In the Senate Committee on Armed Forces, led by John McCain, planned hearings on foreign cyberthreads

Just two hearings on cyber threats, primarily from Russia, will take place on Thursday the Committee on Armed Services and the Committee on International Relations of the US Senate.

This was reported on Wednesday Ukrainian Service "Voice of America".

"On Thursday the Senate Committee on Armed Forces, led by John McCain, planned hearings on foreign cyberthreads United States. From their findings senators introduce director of the Office of National Intelligence James Klepper, Deputy Minister of Defense for Intelligence Marseille Lettret II and Admiral Michael Rogers, commander of the joint United States Cyber Command. After outdoor public hearings for a pass and a closed briefing for senators with the same issues" - said in a statement.

On the same day the Senate Foreign Relations Committee scheduled hearings on the Obama administration response to the Russian hacker attacks and prosecution of US diplomats abroad.

"Full of the Committee, behind closed doors, with the actions of the Russian government and its agents will introduce Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, director of the Office of Foreign Missions Gentry Smith and Assistant Deputy Minister of the Interior on cyber security and communications Danny Toler" - is observed in the publication.

This draws attention that such hearings also initiated in the House of Representatives. So, on Tuesday Congressman Gregory Meeks turned to the chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs Ed Royce to conduct hearings on the Russian intervention in US elections.

"In previous elections it was clear that some foreign leaders on the orders of the Russian government used the vulnerability of our electoral system, trying to blow up, as they did in other democratic countries", - said Congressman Meeks in a letter to Royce. , In Ukrainian / на українській мові
OSCE report on Russian elections may be regarded as attempt to legalize Crimean annexation

The final report by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) on the 18 September 2016 State Duma elections in the Russian Federation raises concerns as it can be used by the aggressor to legitimize its actions, Chairwoman of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Foreign Affairs Hanna Hopko has said.

"The report does not illustrate the fact that the elections to the State Duma of the Russian Federation were held by Russian occupying authority, including in the territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol annexed by Russia. At the same time the results of these illegitimate elections are included in the election report throughout the Russian Federation that calls into question its validity and it can be used by the aggressor to legitimize its actions in the future. Such an approach used by the OSCE may be regarded as a covert attempt to legalize the illegal annexation of the part of Ukraine's territory," Hopko said in a statement posted on the official website of the parliament............

"Putin has long sought to return Donbas on his own terms," - Tuka

As soon as the occupied territory is liberated, two to three years have to pass before local elections can be held in the Donbas.

Deputy Minister of Temporarily Occupied Territories and IDPs Heorhii Tuka said it on air of Espreso TV, Censor.NET reports.

"I support the official position. At least two or three years have to pass after the liberation before we can have any elections [in the occupied territory]," Tuka said.

He also sees no tragedy in civil-military administrations operating in the liberated areas of the Donbas during those years.

"Putin has long sought to return the Donbas on his own terms being either federalization or legitimization of existing gangs," the deputy minister added. , In Ukrainian / на українській мові
Israeli man arrested in Uman, Ukraine for desecrating cross

Police in the city of Uman in Ukraine arrested an Israeli man they suspect of defacing a large crucifix as payback for the desecration of a synagogue last month.

The suspect, Netanel Shimon, is said to have dismantled on Dec. 31 the Jesus icon from a crucifix that locals in 2013 set up near the bank of a lake where many Jews go to perform tashlikh – a ritual associated with Rosh Hashanah, the holiday when thousands of Jews descend on Uman, the newspaper Gazeta reported Tuesday.

Security footage showed four males wearing traditional haredi garb trying unsuccessfully to bring down the entire crucifix. They leave and another man, wearing a mask, is seen tearing the icon from the cross.

Shimon, who is in his 20s, has denied any wrongdoing and complained in letters published by the news website Behadrei Haredim that authorities are denying him access to legal representation and medicines for his diabetes.

Uman is a major pilgrimage site for followers of Rabbi Nachman, an 18th century luminary, whose gravesite is the focal point of an annual Rosh Hashanah celebration. Some 25,000 Jews arrive there on that holiday annually.

The same cross was defaced with graffiti in 2013.

In recent years, Uman has seen several far-right rallies against the presence of Jews there. Street brawls between visitors and locals are not uncommon.

Last month, a synagogue in Uman was sprayed with red paint and desecrated with a pig’s head with a swastika carved into its forehead....
All French banks refused loans Le Pen in the polls

The politician complained that her presidential campaign lacks the 6 million euros

All French banks refused to give credit to the presidential campaign of French far-right leader Marine Le Pen.

This ultra-right leader of the party "National Front" announced on the air BFM-TV, reported "true European" .

"All French banks refusing to lend my presidential campaign, despite the fact that they risk nothing, because we are sure that we can get more than 5%, so we see that this is a political decision", - said the ultra-right politician.

According to Le Pen, it lacks 6 million euros for the full campaign.

"I struggled with banks (France - Ed.), It's (the position of banks to finance the campaign Le Pen - Ed.) Is a threat to democracy. I appealed to European, British, Russian banks and, of course, will receive support from the first who is ready to give money, "- said Le Pen.

It is worth adding that in 2014 Le Pen received a loan of $ 9 million to fund his campaign in the First Czech-Russian Bank.

Late last year it was reported that the Russian Agency for Deposit Insurance filed a lawsuit because of Le Pen party debt to the bank, the rights to which the First Czech-Russian Bank "transferred to a third party."

This was reported by the Russian news agency RNS. The Bank itself was denied a license by the Bank of July 1, 2016.

Earlier it was reported that the leader of the French extreme right, presidential candidate Marine Le Pen said that the Ukrainian annexation of Crimea by Russia "was illegal" because the referendum "people voted to join Russia.", In Ukrainian / на українській мові
In the Senate already have a draft of new sanctions against Russia

Senators called package of additional sanctions anti-Russian "comprehensive"

The senators from the Republican and Democratic parties of America will have prepared a bill that would allow Congress to introduce new sanctions against Russia.

On the Senate prepared a package of additional sanctions said one of the authors of the bill, Democratic Senator Ben Cardin, reports CNN .

"It will be a comprehensive bill that Congress provide authorization for additional sanctions against Russia", - he said.

According to the senator, sanctions are a response to Moscow's actions in Eastern Europe, including the annexation of Crimea, Ukrainian, and support the regime of Bashar Assad in Syria.

The document can be submitted to the US Senate next week.

Earlier, Republican senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham and Democrat Senator Amy Klobuchar, after a visit to Ukraine went to Georgia, where 1 January said they will seek approval from Congress harsher sanctions on Russia and its President Vladimir Putin. , In Ukrainian / на українській мові
CIA: Russia uses tactics in Syria "scorched earth"

The Russian army uses in a military operation in Syria uncivilized methods, including the tactics of "scorched earth"

This was stated in an interview with broadcaster PBS CIA Director John Brennan.

The head of security services said that Moscow "playing by their own rules" on the world stage, ignoring conventional installation.

Brennan said that many of Russia's actions in Syria would have been unacceptable to Washington. "The US would never have to do in any of these military conflicts that the Russians did in Syria partly used on their policy of" scorched earth "that led to the destruction and the deaths of thousands of civilians", - said the director of the CIA.

He also suggested that the main goal of a Syrian government was to keep "his longtime ally" of Bashar Assad. , In Ukrainian / на українській мові
Ukraine's state debt shrinks by 1.19% in Nov, to $67.5 bln

The total amount of Ukraine's state and state-guaranteed debt at the end of November 2016 was US$67.54 billion, which was 1.19% less than at the beginning of the month, according to the Ukrainian Finance Ministry's website.

The total sum of the Ukraine's state and state-guaranteed debt in the hryvnia equivalent at the end of November amounted to UAH 1.729 trillion, which was 0.79% less than at the beginning of the month.........

Ban on entry for Le Pen after scandalous statement on Crimea: SBU reveals new details

The SBU Security Service of Ukraine has sent a letter to the Foreign Ministry to agree on a ban on entry to Ukraine for Marine Le Pen, the National Front's presidential candidate, for her statement that the annexation of Crimea was not illegal, head of the SBU chief's staff Oleksandr Tkachuk told UNIAN.

"On January 3, we sent a letter to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine to agree on our position regarding the ban on entry into the territory of Ukraine for Marine Le Pen. It is a standard procedure, especially when it comes to the politicians of a foreign state. That is, we will definitely take into account the foreign policy aspects. We always respect the position of our colleagues from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs," he said.

"I think, perhaps, even today there will be a positive response, and our initiative will be supported," Tkachuk added.

According to him, Le Pen's remarks about Crimea must have consequences, however, he said, this politician is not representative of the French public authorities..............
A Trump-Putin Deal on Crimea Could Trigger a Much Bigger War, Israeli Analyst Says

Avraam Smulyevich, a leading Israeli specialist on ethnic issues in the former Soviet space, says that Kyiv might be forced to agree to a Trump-Putin deal on Crimea but that such a deal would “only convince the Russian dictator that he had invade other countries without being punished” and thus lead him to launch new wars.

“Putin himself has acknowledged,” the head of the Israeli Institute for an Eastern Partnership told Kseniya Kirillova in an interview published today by Radio Liberty, “that the Syrian war is a training ground for his army and that the state of his army has really improved” (

The Kremlin leader is “evidently preparing his country for war” in order, among other things, to preserve his own power by launching aggression abroad. The rest of Ukraine is less likely to be in his sights than the Baltic countries, Poland, or “some countries in the South Caucasus such as Azerbaijan.”

And in the current environment, Shmulyevich says, it is possible that Putin will reach an agreement with Turkey’s Recep Tayyp Erdogan “about the participation of the Middle East or a dash into Central Asia,” a region Ankara has long coveted and one that Moscow would like to rebuild its power in.

With regard to a settlement on Crimea, he continues, “the return of Crimea is even more important for some representatives of the West than it is for the ruling Ukrainian elite.” That is because Kyiv wants to end the conflict as soon as possible, while some in the West want to maintain the principle of the inviolability of international borders by force alone.

That commitment explains the recent UN General Assembly resolution on Crimea, but Shmulyevich says, “it is important to understand that for the majority of the Western establishment, returning Crimea to Ukraine is not as important as simply finding a way to resolve it in a legal fashion.”

Putin clearly understand this, the Israeli analyst argues, and that explains why he bases his actions on what he says was Khrushchev’s illegal transfer of Crimea from the RSFSR to the Ukrainian SSR and on the fact that the Budapest Memorandum is null and voice because none of its signatories has lived up to its provisions.

Putin’s people are also arguing that “the Helsinki Accords fixed inter-state and not intra-state borders, and that the state which signed them was not Russia or Ukraine but the Soviet Union.” Indeed, they point out, the only high-level international agreement both Russia and Ukraine have signed was the one creating the UN...........

Access complete text of the editorial: In English
Right-wing militia trains Russians to fight the next war — with or without Putin

In a half-lit basement on a side street in St. Petersburg, 18 men holding reproduction Makarov pistols were fumbling through an exercise, racking the slides, taking aim and firing. Click, click, click, click, click. Repeat.

Denis Gariev, the instructor, called out to pause the training.

He was not about to air his political views, an ethnic nationalism so raw that he is far to the right of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

He was about to rail against a society that had gone soft.

"Nowadays everyone tells the boys starting in kindergarten, 'Don't act so aggressive, be smarter,' " he said in a mocking baby voice. "And we turn into these unaggressive vegetables." Gariev aims to restore the aggression.

"By and large, we are learning how to kill," he told his charges, who had come to the "Reserve" military-patriotic club for a one-week paramilitary course called "Partisan."

"We hope that it will never happen to us and we'll never harm a living creature. But if we have to, then we should be ready."

The "cadets" listening to Gariev were largely white-collar and self-employed workers from cities across Russia, men motivated less by an ideology than by the siege mentality that has surged here since the wars in Ukraine and Syria and a conviction that the modern Russian man should be combat-ready.

They signed up to train for 12 hours a day or more in a week-long, military-style course that promises to raise one's chances of survival "in case of a war or total collapse of modern society."...........

Access complete text of the editorial: In English
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