Spicer exits as Trump shakes up his beleaguered press team - Northwest Herald

Northwest Russia - 3 hours 8 min ago

Northwest Herald

Spicer exits as Trump shakes up his beleaguered press team
Northwest Herald
The departing spokesman said the president “could benefit from a clean slate” as he seeks to steady operations amid the Russia investigations and ahead of a health care showdown. Spicer, whose daily briefings once dominated cable TV and delighted ...

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In Putin's Russia, An 'Adhocracy' Marked By Ambiguity And Plausible Deniability - Northwest Public Radio

Northwest Russia - 7 hours 40 min ago

Northwest Public Radio

In Putin's Russia, An 'Adhocracy' Marked By Ambiguity And Plausible Deniability
Northwest Public Radio
When Donald Trump Jr. agreed to meet Natalia Veselnitskaya last summer, she was introduced to him as a "Russian government attorney" with dirt on Hillary Clinton. After it turned out that Veselnitskaya couldn't deliver the goods, the meeting ended quickly.

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“Oil is the hostage of speculation, Africa is paying for the price crisis,” ENI CEO Descalzi says - ItalyEurope24 (subscription)

Google News: --- Baltic Environmental - Sat, 07/22/2017 - 01:07

“Oil is the hostage of speculation, Africa is paying for the price crisis,” ENI CEO Descalzi says
ItalyEurope24 (subscription)
Ahead of the meetings in St. Petersburg, where the OPEC countries, Russia and other producers will try to find a solution for the low oil price, the chief executive of ENI, Claudio Descalzi, invited to a forum with Il Sole 24 Ore-ItalyEurope24, is not ...

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Russian Lawyer Who Met Donald Trump Jr. Once Represented Spy Agency - New York Times

Northwest Russia - Fri, 07/21/2017 - 23:53

Reuters

Russian Lawyer Who Met Donald Trump Jr. Once Represented Spy Agency
New York Times
The lawyer, Natalia V. Veselnitskaya, who is now at the center of the political intrigue over the Trump campaign's possible collusion with Russia during Donald J. Trump's presidential campaign, represented a military unit founded by the Russian Federal ...
Trump Legal Team Reviews Options For Blocking Russia InvestigationNorthwest Public Radio
Lawyer who met with Trump Jr. had Russian intelligence connectionsWashington Post
Exclusive: Moscow lawyer who met Trump Jr. had Russian spy agency as clientReuters
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Lawyer who met with Trump Jr. had Russian intelligence connections - Washington Post

Northwest Russia - Fri, 07/21/2017 - 20:10

Reuters

Lawyer who met with Trump Jr. had Russian intelligence connections
Washington Post
In those cases, Veselnitskaya represented Military Unit 55002 in a dispute over a five-story office building in northwest Moscow where a number of electronics companies were based. It was not immediately clear what the spy agency, known as the FSB ...
Russian Lawyer Who Met Donald Trump Jr. Once Represented Spy AgencyNew York Times
Trump Legal Team Reviews Options For Blocking Russia InvestigationNorthwest Public Radio
Exclusive: Moscow lawyer who met Trump Jr. had Russian spy agency as clientReuters
The Northwest Florida Daily News -Bloomberg -New York Times -Washington Post
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To keep himself in power, Putin has created an off-putting ‘State of Fools,’ Yakovenko says

StopFake.org - Fri, 07/21/2017 - 20:05

By Paul Goble, Window on Eurasia

“By his planned cleansing of the political field of Russia” of anyone who might challenge him, Vladimir Putin has “liquidated any direct threat to the preservation of his power,” Igor Yakovenko says. But at the same time, he “has created a new albeit long-term threat” to him and Russia.

The essence of this threat, the Moscow commentator says, is that “in Russia today, there exists a critical mass of fools in power and fools with initiative,” a reality that Putin himself occasionally acknowledges as he did with regard to official attacks on artists and directors (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=59719A83C5005).

“But the winner of the competition for the title ‘chief fool of the month’ undoubtedly is DNR head Aleksandr Zakharchenko who declared that he is replacing Ukraine and putting in its place Malorossiya with a capital in Donetsk.” Unlike most fools in Putin’s entourage, this wasn’t a personal evaluation or a prediction: this was a declaration.

Holding what he said was “’a constitutional act,’” Zakharchenko listed the 19 Ukrainian oblasts he said would be part of his new state. (Why he didn’t list the other four is uncertain. Perhaps he doesn’t know, Yakovenko says.) Worse yet, “it is obvious that the Kremlin wasn’t prepared to go so far in its own alternative reality.”

Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov didn’t quite know how to react at all, while Vladislav Surkov suggested that all the “hype” about Malorosia about “the imaginary state of Malorossiya on the whole is useful.” At least, it will have an impact on Ukraine’s efforts to integrate with Europe.

To the honor of Ukrainians, Yakovenko continues, “many of them still have” a positive attitude toward Russia and its leadership.” But “it is difficult to say how the further rapid growth in the number of fools in the Russian leadership and the appearance of ever new foolish initiatives on the relationship of citizens of Ukraine and Russia.”

“Especially,” he concludes, “if one considers that the author of this main and most foolish initiative on the occupation of Crimea intends to continue to rule Russia until the end of his life and Russians in the same way are prepared to put up with this.”

By Paul Goble, Window on Eurasia

Categories: World News

Russian lawmakers adopt final drafts of legislation cracking down on Internet anonymity

StopFake.org - Fri, 07/21/2017 - 19:25

By Meduza

Russia’s State Duma passed final versions of legislation that will impose new restrictions on instant messengers and prohibit the use of technologies that make it possible to circumvent Internet censorship. Both draft laws were adopted with overwhelming majorities.

The law on instant messengers requires service administrators to establish the identity of all users through their phone numbers, also establishing a system (to be determined by the government) to restrict communications by certain individuals. One of the bill’s co-authors has said these targeted restrictions on individuals’ access to instant messaging will be determined by court orders. If passed by the Federation Council and signed by the president (which is very likely), the law is designed to take effect on January 1, 2018.

The State Duma also adopted legislation that would tighten government control over the sale of SIM cards, making it more difficult to buy a SIM card without providing cellular operators with verified passport information.

The legislation against censorship-circumvention tools would ban the use of any software that grants users access to online content that’s been banned in Russia, including virtual private network (VPN) services and Internet anonymizers, like the Tor browser. The law would also ban any online resources that provide access to such software. Russia’s Federal Security Service and Interior Ministry would be responsible for identifying software that violates the law, which takes effect on November 1, 2017, if approved by the Federation Council and President Putin.

By Meduza

Categories: World News

Romania does multidomain battle on Danube - Defense News - DefenseNews.com

Google News: --- Baltic Environmental - Fri, 07/21/2017 - 18:25

DefenseNews.com

Romania does multidomain battle on Danube - Defense News
DefenseNews.com
The Romanian armed forces showed its capability to perform multidomain battle using naval, land and air power during a river crossing exercise on the Danube ...

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Russian lawyer who met with Trump's inner circle spent 8 years representing Russian spy agency - Daily Kos

Northwest Russia - Fri, 07/21/2017 - 17:34

Daily Kos

Russian lawyer who met with Trump's inner circle spent 8 years representing Russian spy agency
Daily Kos
The documents show that the lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, successfully represented the FSB's interests in a legal wrangle over ownership of an upscale property in northwest Moscow between 2005 and 2013. The FSB, successor to the Soviet-era KGB ...

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Trump Legal Team Reviews Options For Blocking Russia Investigation - Northwest Public Radio

Northwest Russia - Fri, 07/21/2017 - 17:26

Reuters

Trump Legal Team Reviews Options For Blocking Russia Investigation
Northwest Public Radio
President Trump's legal team is said to be reviewing its options for blocking an investigation of Russian interference in the presidential election. The Washington Post notes that the president's lawyers are investigating members of Robert Mueller's ...
Russian Lawyer Who Met Donald Trump Jr. Once Represented Spy AgencyNew York Times
Lawyer who met with Trump Jr. had Russian intelligence connectionsWashington Post
Exclusive: Moscow lawyer who met Trump Jr. had Russian spy agency as clientReuters
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Russian lawyer who met Trump Jr. represented spy agency: report - The Hill

Northwest Russia - Fri, 07/21/2017 - 16:58

The Hill

Russian lawyer who met Trump Jr. represented spy agency: report
The Hill
... a top Russian spy agency's security service among her clients for years, according to a new Reuters report. According to Russian court documents obtained by Reuters, lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya represented the FSB's interests in northwest Moscow ...

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Exclusive: Moscow lawyer who met Trump Jr. had Russian spy agency as client - Reuters

Northwest Russia - Fri, 07/21/2017 - 16:34

Reuters

Exclusive: Moscow lawyer who met Trump Jr. had Russian spy agency as client
Reuters
The documents show that the lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, successfully represented the FSB's interests in a legal wrangle over ownership of an upscale property in northwest Moscow between 2005 and 2013. The FSB, successor to the Soviet-era KGB ...
Lawyer who met with Trump Jr. had Russian intelligence connectionsWashington Post
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Exclusive: Moscow lawyer who met Trump Jr. had Russian spy agency as client - Reuters

Northwest Russia - Fri, 07/21/2017 - 16:16

Reuters

Exclusive: Moscow lawyer who met Trump Jr. had Russian spy agency as client
Reuters
The documents show that the lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, successfully represented the FSB's interests in a legal wrangle over ownership of an upscale property in northwest Moscow between 2005 and 2013. The FSB, successor to the Soviet-era KGB ...
Russian Lawyer who Met With Don Trump Jr. Listed Russian Spy Agency as ClientMediaite

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SitRep: Trump Pulls CIA From Syria, Russia Cheers; Trump Downplays Afghan Strategy - Foreign Policy (blog)

Northwest Russia - Fri, 07/21/2017 - 14:52

Foreign Policy (blog)

SitRep: Trump Pulls CIA From Syria, Russia Cheers; Trump Downplays Afghan Strategy
Foreign Policy (blog)
While Washington looks to pull some support — though the training, advising and equipping effort for the Syrian Democratic Forces continues around Raqqa — Turkey is sending more fighters into Northwest Syria to battle Islamist groups there. Hezbollah ...
Analysis: Trump's cutoff of aid to Syrian rebels marks victory for Assad, Russia and IranUSA TODAY
Syria rebels blindsided by US move, say jihadists to benefitReuters
Trump ends covert CIA program to arm anti-Assad rebels in Syria, a move sought by MoscowWashington Post

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Krasnoye Sormovo shipyard launches chemical carrier Balt Flot 16 of Project RST27М for BF Tanker - PortNews IAA

Google News: --- Baltic Environmental - Fri, 07/21/2017 - 13:45

PortNews IAA

Krasnoye Sormovo shipyard launches chemical carrier Balt Flot 16 of Project RST27М for BF Tanker
PortNews IAA
The tanker design takes into account special requirements of Russian and international oil companies as well as additional environmental restrictions of Russian Maritime Register of Shipping «ECO PROJECT» (ECO-S). The vessels are designed for mixed ...

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Children’s toy part of conspiracy against the Kremlin

StopFake.org - Fri, 07/21/2017 - 12:14

By East Stratcom

Have you tried the fidget spinner? The toy that enjoys a wave of global popularity has now also reached Russia – only to be blamed on national TV for being instrumental in a conspiracy to topple the Kremlin leaders.

Yes, you read that right. In a news broadcast aired by Russian state TV Rossiya-24, the audience was told that the spinner “has at several occasions been seen in the hands of members of the opposition”. The spinner is in fact closely tied to political activism both in Russia and abroad, if we are to believe Russia’s national broadcaster.

But that is not the end of the story. Russia’s consumer watchdog, Rospotrebnadzor, followed up on Rossiya-24’s conspiracy theory by ordering a probe into the spinner’s possible negative effect on children’s health, as reported by CurrentTime TV.

Not the first game that was created by evil Western spies

The accusations against the fidget spinner do not stand alone: Supporters of opposition leader Alexey Navalny were recently accused of having ties to online suicide groups targeting Russian teenagers, and Navalny himself has been called a ”political pedophile” in Russian state media because of his success in mobilising young Russians to participate in protests. Clearly, recent “temnik” guidelines from the Kremlin have demanded that dominating Russian media follow a narrative about the opposition as physically dangerous for young Russians.

Previously, other elements of children’s culture coming from the West have been accused of being part of plots for regime change in Russia: Russian nationwide TV has for example explained that the Pokemon Go game was in fact created by foreign secret services as a tool for global espionage.

For more details on the accusations against the fidget spinner on Russian national TV, read the article by Meduza in English.

By East Stratcom

Categories: World News

PATRICK J. BUCHANAN: The real crimes of Russiagate - The Northwest Florida Daily News

Northwest Russia - Fri, 07/21/2017 - 12:10

The Northwest Florida Daily News

PATRICK J. BUCHANAN: The real crimes of Russiagate
The Northwest Florida Daily News
For a year, the big question of Russiagate has boiled down to this: Did Donald Trump's campaign collude with the Russians in hacking the DNC? And until last week, the answer was “no.” As ex-CIA director Mike Morell said in March, “On the question of ...

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US Sanctions Against Russia Never Go Away — They Just Evolve - Northwest Public Radio

Northwest Russia - Fri, 07/21/2017 - 12:00

Northwest Public Radio

US Sanctions Against Russia Never Go Away — They Just Evolve
Northwest Public Radio
Nearly four decades passed before President Obama finally lifted those restrictions and granted Russia full trade ties in a law he signed on Dec. 14, 2012. Yet that very same law, known as the Magnitsky Act, also imposed new sanctions that bar specific ...

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Russia's Financial Support for Anti-Fracking Groups Is No Coincidence - National Review

Northwest Russia - Fri, 07/21/2017 - 11:50

National Review

Russia's Financial Support for Anti-Fracking Groups Is No Coincidence
National Review
The Pungesti commune, in the northwest, “became a magnet for activists from across the country opposed to hydraulic fracturing,” the New York Times reported. Russia “is playing a dirty game” to “keep this energy dependence,” concluded Iulian Iancu, the ...

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Living the Russian dream

StopFake.org - Fri, 07/21/2017 - 10:41

 

By Corina Rebegea, for CEPA

Classic Russian propaganda stories are a rare occurrence in Romania’s media space. Yet discreet attempts to win over the hearts and minds of Romanians are becoming more common. Sputnik recently posted an interview with a Romanian woman married to a Russian man and living in St. Petersburg who painted a rosy picture of life there. The interview is a real treat for its carefully selected words and praises of Russian culture, lifestyle and openness to foreigners in an obvious attempt to portray Russia as a sort of promised land. It is also unique because typically pro-Kremlin media outlets publish articles and commentaries criticizing the West and pointing to its decay and corruptive nature.

The interview received little social media attention—with 128 Facebook interactions including likes, comments and shares, and just over 900 views on the webpage—though it was much more popular than typical Sputnik news articles, which have very little following. But the reach is less important than the role these positive stories play in creating a balance between love and fear that makes Russia such a formidable information war machine. Romanians have a deeply rooted fear of Russian aggression that pro-Kremlin media trying to assert Russia’s military superiority over NATO—and thus Romania’s vulnerability—can easily exploit. However, it still must construct the love component. Russian propaganda is slowly trying to break through the collective dislike of Russia with narratives about the benefits of strengthening Romanian-Russian economic ties, and also through endearing snippets about life in Russia and personal accounts that connect with the reader at a more intimate level.

Instilling doubt about Romania’s NATO and EU choices or weakening pro-Western sentiment is potentially more lucrative for the Kremlin than trying to boost Russia’s approval rating among Romanians, who have no nostalgia for the USSR and perceive Russia as a historical enemy and a threat. It will take more than a few media campaigns to reverse those perceptions. On the other hand, playing the anti-West card fits better with conspiracy theorists and nationalists who already populate various corners of the internet.

But the love-fear continuum is an overarching element of online Russian propaganda everywhere and Moscow serves it in regular installments on various media. Articles like Sputnik’s interview form only one piece of the #SlavaPutin (glory to Putin) puzzle that pro-Kremlin trolls and their unsuspecting followers build every day on Facebook. In their world, pictures, anecdotes, memes and personal testimonies paint an appealing picture of Russia’s greatness. Facebook is a solid breeding ground for Putin’s adorers. His personality cult—along with news about Russia’s military might or sensible fair foreign policy decisions—aims to obliterate real news about Russia. With pro-Putin propaganda having carved a space on its own in international media, Romania’s pro-Kremlin trolls have a daily mission to share these narratives and slowly drill them into their followers’ minds.

Such social media behavior, including the replaying of older narratives (trolls often republish forgotten stories from months or years ago), is also part of a Russian propaganda water drop technique by which snippets of (dis)information either pro-Kremlin or anti-West are dripped into the media space every day with the deliberate aim to erode confidence and attachment to Western values and institutions. This is enough to suggest there is increased experimentation in how Kremlin propaganda targets Romanians and we need to pay attention to whether the efforts to edulcorate their view of Russia will continue and succeed.

By Corina Rebegea, for CEPA
Categories: World News