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WSJ: U.S. pilots see close calls with Russian jets over Syria.  "War goes on, Putin seeks to hurl Ukraine into chaos," - opposition member Yashin presents report on Russian aggression.  Trump comes under pressure to soften pro-Russian rhetoric.  US senators to introduce bill on 'comprehensive' sanctions against Russia.  The Daily Vertical: We're All Russia's Neighbors Now,

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The Secret Russian Backstory Behind Ivanka and Jared’s New House

Donald Trump’s “daughter and son-in-law are about to move into a house previously owned by a staunch Putin opponent [Dan Rapoport] who advised politicians like Mitt Romney on why they should distrust the Russian leader…Rapoport is leaving town to head a $100 million American private equity investment in Ukraine.

Washington is a town of transient citizens living in timeless homes, with large swaths of the population turning over as one administration exits and another enters. Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner’s new, but century-old, house holds one such story.

Ivanka Trump’s father, president-elect Donald Trump, has a long-running, if possibly one-sided, bromance with Russian president Vladimir Putin. His inauguration portends a new era of good feeling between the two countries. Indeed, his daughter and son-in-law are about to move into a house previously owned by a staunch Putin opponent who advised politicians like Mitt Romney on why they should distrust the Russian leader.

Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner’s new Washington home was owned, according to the New York Times by Dan Rapoport, who recently sold the house and moved to Ukraine.

Rapoport, who was born in Latvia when it was part of the Soviet Union and immigrated to the United States as a child, relocated to Moscow after the fall of communism to join a Russian-American oil business. He remained in Russia for two decades and became close to pro-democracy groups critical of Vladimir Putin’s increasing limitations on civil society institutions. Rapoport ended up leaving Russia, in part due to fear of Putin’s long arm, and settled in Washington, D.C. He advised Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney during the 2012 elections and was involved in shaping Romney’s strong criticism of Putin during his run against President Barack Obama.

Now, as the political pendulum swings once again, this time making Washington a more favorable place to Putin, Rapoport is leaving town to head a $100 million American private equity investment in Ukraine. In October, he gave up co-ownership of the house to his ex-wife, according to CNN reporter Jeremy Diamond. Now Kushner, Trump and their three children will live there, within a 7-minute walk to an Orthodox synagogue................

Access complete text of the editorial: In English
Donbas separatists want all-for-all POWs exchange

Donbas separatists want to exchange prisoners on an ‘all-for-all’ basis, or 527 POWs held by Ukraine for 42 POWs held, they claim, by the separatists, Darina Morozova, a self-appointed ombudswoman if the Donetsk separatist republic told Interfax, Ukrayinska Pravda reports Jan. 10.

However, according to the Ukrainian estimates the number of Ukrainian POWs held by the separatists is much larger, reaching nearly 260, but the separatists disagree with their number.

Earlier, Rada lawmaker Nadiya Savchenko, recently released from a Moscow jail, published a full list of Ukrainian servicemen and civilians comprising 256 persons illegally detained by the separatists

Ukrainian analysts agree that Moscow uses the issue of Ukrainian POWs as a bargaining chip, trying to blackmail Kyiv into concessions.

Some experts say that there is no sufficient political will on the part of Ukraine to push for the exchange of POWs. There are still Russian businesses and banks operating in Ukraine which Kyiv can use to apply more pressure on Vladimir Putin.
Moscow launched a campaign to return Czech Republic under its influence - Former Czech Republic Ambassador to Russia

Putin regime sees the Czech Republic as its former satellites, says diplomat

The so-called pro-Czech alternative sites - not spontaneously created projects. These sites are clearly well organized. This was stated in an interview with portal Hlídací former Czech Ambassador to Russia Lubos Dobrovský.

"Together, they weaken the democratic elements of our political and social life, pointing primarily to the error of our focus on the European Union and the North Atlantic Alliance ... Presumably, that is operated by the organizational center of contemporary Russian regime and, in addition, receives some funding "- he said.

The diplomat recalled that a few years ago Russian President Putin at a conference on security in Munich, said the collapse of the USSR is extremely weakened and humiliated Russia, and now the regime is interested in the return of its "official status". "The goal - to return the huge influence of the Kremlin, ie security, the economy, the military, a policy for the entire region that was once controlled by the Soviet regime," - he added.

According to the former ambassador, the Putin regime sees the Czech Republic "as its former satellites." "His highly propaganda inspires even citizens of this idea as something just for just this situation before. He also said that Russia is not homogeneous ethnically, culturally, religiously, economically and climatically has nine time zones. "And all these differences to overcome one single idea. But in both states has never been state idea, which would be based on the same principles as that of the European national states or the United States, "- he said.

As reported, Russia has launched an unprecedented public awareness campaign before the elections to the German Bundestag in 2017. One of its features - targeted attacks on people who oppose the aggression of Russia, in particular Angela Merkel. Experts say that will run news satire, to throw mud in her personal life. The main task - to present the image of Merkel rozpalyuvalnytsi war and politics, which promotes not German and American interests. Also in France said that the fear of cyber attacks .

Earlier, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on combating Russian media . The resolution entitled "Strategic Communication EU as opposition propaganda of third parties' proposed by Polish MP Anna Fotyga., In Ukrainian / на українській мові
Russia entered the top five most dangerous countries for journalists

In general, over the past year, doing his job, killing 115 journalists

International Institute of Information Security at Cardiff School of Journalism (INSI) published a report in which she called the five most dangerous countries for journalists.

According to the data of INSI , in 2016 the most dangerous for media workers were Colombia, Mexico, Afghanistan, Iraq and Russia. Overall last year, doing his job, killing 115 journalists.

"Nine Russian journalists were killed aboard a military plane that crashed over the Black Sea. This disaster occurred less than a month after the 20 journalists killed in another accident when the plane from the Brazilian football team Chapecoense crashed near the Colombian city of Medellin "- referred to in the report. Six media workers killed in Syria.

Hannah Storm, director of INSI, said that most of them were international journalist, few had the backing of major news agencies and most of them died after prolonged threats and pressure.

According to the organization "Reporters without borders", in 2016 the world was killed 74 journalists. There are 57 professional journalists, citizen journalists 9 and 8 people cooperated with the media. Also, Turkey and China account for over 60% of all imprisoned journalists in the world. As of December 1, 2016 in the world there were at least 348 mediapratsivnykiv who are behind bars because of their work. , In Ukrainian / на українській мові
Putin is making great efforts to restore Kremlin control over Ukraine - Yashin

Russian opposition leader Ilya Yashin argues that the key allies in the Kremlin loosening of the situation in Kiev were local oligarchs, whose business was woven in government ever since Yanukovych. This is stated in his report "Hybrid Kremlin aggression" , devoted to the war of Russia against Ukraine.

"These oligarchs, like Putin, Ukraine interested in immersing into chaos. The first is the need to restore their positions. Putin is necessary - to return control of the neighboring country, bringing to power a loyal politicians ", - he said. According to the opposition, Putin so carried away games in the war and "geopolitical rivalry" that Russia has no allies left in the world.

According to Yashin, many resigned to the idea that if war with Ukraine over. "In fact, the war continues - and not only in areas controlled by separatists, but also in Kyiv. Putin is making great efforts to bring Ukraine back under the control of the Kremlin. For this he uses methods of "hybrid aggression" - propaganda, provocation, corrupt local politicians ", - the opposition.

As reported, European analysts believe that Putin will not be stopped in its impact on world politics. In Western countries there is hardly any other means of pressure, besides those already imposed sanctions, Putin and the Kremlin is unlikely to strain to fulfill the requirements of the so-called Minsk agreements of 2015., In Ukrainian / на українській мові
The Daily Vertical By Brian Whitmore (VIDEO report): We're All Russia's Neighbors Now
US senators to introduce bill on 'comprehensive' sanctions against Russia

Republican U.S. Senator John McCain and Democratic Senators Ben Cardin and Robert Menendez said on Monday they would introduce legislation to impose "comprehensive" sanctions on Russia over its attempts to influence the 2016 U.S. election.

On Dec. 29, Washington announced sanctions in relation to Moscow's involvement in cyberattacks against several Russian companies, the Federal Security Service, and the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces. The U.S. also expelled 35 Russian diplomats from the country and announced closure of two Russia-belonging facilities in the states of New York and Maryland. Moscow has been denying its involvement in the cyberattacks. Russian president's spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said the new sanctions were an act of aggression.

On Jan. 9, 2017, the U.S. government extended the list of Russian citizens covered by sanctions under Magnitsky Act. The new list includes top Russian investigator Alexander Bastrykin, Stanislav Gordievsky, Dmitry Kovtun, Andrey Lugovoy, and Gennady Plaksin. , In Ukrainian / на українській мові
"War goes on, Putin seeks to hurl Ukraine into chaos," - opposition member Yashin presents report on Russian aggression (VIDEO)

Russian opposition member, PARNAS (People's Freedom Party) Deputy Chairman Ilya Yashin presented the report called "Hybrid aggression of the Kremlin", covering the Russian military campaign against Ukraine.
Yashin wrote on Facebook, Censor.NET reports.

"Many people have got used to the idea that the war against Ukraine is allegedly over. Isolated attacks are still being recorded in the territory of the Donbas, but the peace accords are more or less observed while the war has been left behind. In fact, the war goes on and not only in the territories occupied by the militants, but also in Kyiv. Putin makes great effort to return Ukraine under the Kremlin's control. He uses methods of hybrid aggression: propaganda, provocations, tampering with local politicians to achieve this," Yashin wrote.

"The local oligarchs, whose businesses were integrated into the public administration system back in Yanukovych era, became the Kremlin's key allies in its strive to undermine the situation in Kyiv. These oligarchs, like Putin, seek to hurl Ukraine into chaos. They need it to regain their positions. Putin seeks it to regain control of the neighboring country by bringing loyal politicians to power. It's not a joke at all. Putin was so busy playing war and geopolitical rivalry games that Russia has no more allies left in the entire world," the PARNAS party deputy chairman stressed.

"Our country began to be perceived as an aggressive and unpredictable state that could pose new threat anytime. As history has demonstrated, such countries often face a miserable fate if their insane leaders are not stopped in due time (What is more, it is the Russian people who must stop him on their own since it is in our common interest). During the New Year holidays, I made an analytical review of Putin's "hybrid aggression" with the help of which he tries to take over Ukraine. You can have a read," the opposition member wrote. Source: , In Ukrainian / на українській мові
Trump comes under pressure to soften pro-Russian rhetoric

President-elect Donald Trump is finding himself caught between his desire to improve relations with Russia and fellow Republicans who are pushing for a harsher response to what American spy agencies say was the Kremlin's meddling in the U.S. presidential election.

Censor.NET reports citing Reuters.

The tacit acknowledgement on Sunday by his incoming chief of staff, Reince Priebus, that Russia was behind the hacking of Democratic Party organizations suggests that Trump's maneuvering room could be shrinking.

Trump has long been dismissive of the U.S. intelligence conclusion that Russia was behind the election hacks, which Russia has denied, or was trying to help him win the November ballot, saying the intrusions could have been carried out by China or a 400-pound hacker sitting on his bed.

But following a report from U.S. intelligence agencies last week blaming Russian President Vladimir Putin, Russia experts say Trump will face growing calls for a stiff military, diplomatic, economic, and perhaps also covert response after his Jan. 20 inauguration.

"The new U.S. administration will need to adopt a significantly tougher line," said Nile Gardiner of the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank in Washington that is an influential voice in Trump's transition team.

Republicans in Congress wary of Trump's push for detente with Putin could pressure the new president to withhold the thing the Russian leader wants most: a rapid easing of the economic sanctions imposed after Russia's 2014 annexation of Ukraine's Crimea and its support for separatists in eastern Ukraine, the Russia experts said.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said he and fellow Republican John McCain, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, would introduce legislation with stronger sanctions than the ones now in place.

"We're going to introduce sanctions that... will hit them in the financial sector and the energy sector, where they're the weakest," Graham told NBC television's Meet the Press.

Retired Marine General James Mattis, the nominee for secretary of defense who will face a Senate confirmation hearing on Thursday, is expected to advocate a stronger line against Moscow than the one Trump outlined during his election campaign.That could put him at odds with Trump's national security adviser, retired Army Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, who has had warmer relations with Putin's government, and with Rex Tillerson, the nominee for secretary of state, who as CEO of ExxonMobil had extensive business ties with Russia.

If Mattis does push for a tougher approach to Russia, that could empower U.S. advocates for strengthening the American military presence in Europe. That could include reinforcing U.S. troops in the Baltic states and Poland, analysts say.

NATO already plans to deploy 4,000 additional troops, planes, tanks and artillery to the three former Soviet republics in the Baltics and Poland this year., In Ukrainian / на українській мові
WSJ: U.S. pilots see close calls with Russian jets over Syria

The U.S. and Russian militaries have a year-old air safety agreement, but American pilots still find themselves having close calls with Russian aviators either unaware of the rules of the road or unable or unwilling to follow them consistently, according to The Wall Street Journal.

"Rarely, if ever, do they respond verbally," said Brig. Gen. Charles Corcoran, commander of the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing, who flies combat missions in a stealth fighter. "Rarely, if ever, do they move. We get out of the way. We don't know what they can see or not see, and we don’t want them running into one of us," WSJ wrote. Complicating the aerial traffic jam, the Russian planes don't emit identifying signals, flouting international protocols. In 2015, U.S. and Russian commanders signed a four-page memorandum of understanding intended to keep their warplanes from crashing into each other or shooting each other down.

The 2015 agreement between the U.S. and Russia led to negotiation of what Americans call the "rule of threes." Pilots should keep at least three nautical miles of separation horizontally, or 3,000 feet vertically. Should they get closer, they'll remain for no more than three minutes..............
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