Tag Archives: Crimea

Vladimir Putin attended gala reception to mark Security Agency Worker’s Day

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, comrades, friends, veterans. I would like to congratulate you on Security Agency Worker’s Day.

This is a holiday of strong and courageous people, true professionals who are reliably protecting Russia’s sovereignty and national integrity and the lives of our citizens, who are ready to perform the most complicated, responsible and dangerous assignments.

These have always been the qualities that distinguished employees of Russia’s security services. On this day, we invariably remember the many generations of our predecessors who served our Motherland with honour.

This year, as we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Great Victory, we would like to express our deepest gratitude to our veterans. Both in the difficult war years and later you remained true to your oath and your duty and did everything within your power to develop the potential of the special services. Your heroism and courage will always serve as an example for us.

Comrades. Today the security services possess great operational, combat and analytical capabilities. We are counting on you, your competence, expertise and, wherever necessary – on your courage and valour.

The current situation in the world is complicated. Tension is growing in the Middle East and other regions of the world; terrorists have declared war on civilisation, on the entire global community – their actions pose a direct threat to this country as well. The Russian Armed Forces are fighting militants at the forward defence lines, destroying their infrastructure, their camps and bases in Syria.

I would like to stress that these decisive measures should be coordinated with equally rigorous efforts of all our special services. I am referring to exposing the terrorists’ plans and to foiling attempts on the part of terrorist and extremist groups to step up their subversive activities on the territory of the Russian Federation.

I would like to note that this year through the efforts of the Federal Security Service we managed to prevent more than 30 crimes of a terrorist nature. I expect you to retain this high level of concentration and mobilisation and to perfect all aspects of your anti-terrorist efforts.

We should give special attention to the neutralisation of all sorts of recruiters and terrorist emissaries who are trying to involve Russian citizens in militant groups. First of all, we should definitely focus on young people.

Our counterintelligence service bears a great responsibility. This year they have exposed 320 foreign special services employees, agents and accessories. We can see that the intelligence services of a number of countries are building up their ‘work on Russia”, as we say. I am certain that our security service officers are prepared to meet this challenge.

I am also counting on your efficient work in such areas as the defence of the national borders, combatting corruption and economic crime, ensuring reliable work of national security and military control agencies. You need to coordinate your efforts to enhance the capabilities of our Armed Forces.

I have already mentioned Syria. We can see the efficient work of our pilots and intelligence officers, good coordination even between different forces – the Army, the Navy and aviation, and the use of the most up-to-date armaments. I would like to note that our capabilities are not limited to this. We are not using everything we have there. We have additional means and we will use them if necessary.

In view of this, the Foreign Intelligence Service, which is marking its 95th anniversary tomorrow, is facing complicated tasks. Early detection of any external threat to Russia is of great importance, as well as providing exhaustive analytical data and making timely reports on the state and possible development of regional conflicts.

The service of the State Guard deserves a high assessment, particularly their work during the celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the Great Victory, as well during the SCO and BRICS summits in Ufa and other large-scale international forums and meetings.

Friends. I am certain that you will do your utmost to resolve the tasks facing you and will reliably defend Russia and its people. Whatever the difficulties, whatever challenges we may be facing — we will definitely overcome them and will continue moving forward with confidence towards success.

I congratulate you once again on your professional holiday. I wish you and your families happiness.

Thank you.

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‘Assured unacceptable damage’: Russian TV accidentally leaks secret ‘nuclear torpedo’ design

The Kremlin has confirmed “some secret data” was accidentally leaked when Russian TV stations broadcast material apparently showing blueprints from a nuclear torpedo, designed to be used against enemy coastal installations.

During President Vladimir Putin’s meeting with military officials in Sochi, where the development of Russia’s military capabilities were being discussed, a number of TV crews were able to capture footage of a paper that was certainly not meant for public viewing.

The presentation slide titled “Ocean Multipurpose System: Status-6” showed some drawings of a new nuclear submarine weapons system. It is apparently designed to bypass NATO radars and any existing missile defense systems, while also causing heavy damage to “important economic facilities” along the enemy’s coastal regions.

The footnote to the slide stated that Status-6 is intended to cause “assured unacceptable damage” to an adversary force. Its detonation “in the area of the enemy coast” would result in “extensive zones of radioactive contamination” that would ensure that the region would not be used for “military, economic, business or other activity” for a “long time.”

According to the blurred information provided in the slide, the system represents a massive torpedo, designated as “self-propelled underwater vehicle,” with a range of up to 10 thousand kilometers and capable of operating at a depth of up to 1,000 meters.

It remains unclear if such a system is indeed being developed or the slide was presented as just one of the options the Russian military could hypothetically offer. However, according to the leaked paper, the weapons system could be developed by the Rubin design bureau for marine engineering, and may potentially be delivered using nuclear-powered “Project 09852” and “Project 09851” submarines.Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed that major TV channels had leaked some classified data on Tuesday following the meeting in Sochi.

“It is true some secret data got into the shot, and it was subsequently deleted,” Peskov said on Wednesday. “We hope that this won’t happen again.”

During Tuesday’s meeting Putin stressed that Russia will counter NATO’s US-led missile shield program through new “strike systems capable of penetrating any missile defenses.”

“Over the past three years, companies of the military-industrial complex have created and successfully tested a number of prospective weapons systems that are capable of performing combat missions in a layered missile defense system,” Putin said. “Such systems have already begun to enter the military this year. And now we are talking about development of new types of weapons.”

 

Russia has right to place nuclear arms on its soil, including Crimea

Islander E anti-aircraft missile complex

Russia has the right to house nuclear weapons on its territory, if it deems this move to be necessary, while this also includes the option of stationing them in Crimea, a statement from the Foreign Ministry read.

“Russia obviously retains the right, if needed, to deploy its nuclear weapons anywhere on its national territory, including on the Crimean Peninsula,” the Director of the Department for Non-Proliferation and Arms control at the Russian Foreign Ministry, Mikhail Ulyanov told the RIA Novosti news agency on Monday.

Ulyanov’s statement comes in response to the Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin saying in May that the deployment of Russian arms in Crimea would violate the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

“Any activity or even signals from Russia that they are even considering deploying nuclear weapons in Crimea will be considered a grave breach of the international code of conduct. If this happens, the international community will need to act decisively,” Klimkin said.

Mikhail Ulyanov added that the US missile defense plans remain a major challenge in relations between Moscow and Washington, while also mentioning that discussions between the two countries concerning nuclear disarmament are not looking positive.

“Of all the factors which are negatively affecting strategic stability, the most significant is the creation of the [US] National Missile Defense program,” he said, adding that the system was being developed step by step.

“Our position on this matter [US missile defense] has been voiced repeatedly. We need reliable guarantees of what we are told verbally at every corner – that this system is not directed against Russia’s nuclear deterrent. But so far we are told that such guarantees can not be written down on paper and that the system will be created with or without Russia’s backing,” Ulyanov added.

 

Western nations want to chain ‘the Russian bear’ – Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during his annual press conference in Moscow on December 18, 201

Western nations want to chain “the Russian bear,” pull out its teeth and ultimately have it stuffed, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned. He said anti-Russian sanctions are the cost of being an independent nation.

Putin used the vivid metaphor of a “chained bear” during his annual Q&A session with the media in Moscow in response to a question about whether he believed that the troubles of the Russian economy were payback for the reunification with Crimea.

“It’s not payback for Crimea. It’s the cost of our natural desire to preserve Russia as a nation, a civilization and a state,”Putin said.

The president said that even if “the Russian bear” started “sitting tight… and eating berries and honey,” this would not stop pressure being applied against the country.

“They won’t leave us alone. They will always seek to chain us. And once we are chain, they’ll rip out our teeth and claws. Our nuclear deterrence, speaking in present-day terms,” Putin said.

“As soon as this [chaining the bear] happens, nobody will need it anymore. They’ll stuff it. And start to put their hands on his Taiga [Siberian forest belt] after it. We’ve heard statements from Western officials that Russia’s owning Siberia was not fair,” he exclaimed.

“Stealing Texas from Mexico – was that fair? And us having control over our own land is not fair. We should hand it out!”

The West had an anti-Russian stance long before the current crisis started, Putin said. The evidence is there, he said, ranging from“direct support of terrorism in the North Caucasus,”to the expansion of NATO and the creation of its anti-ballistic missile system in Eastern Europe, and the way the western media covered the Olympic Games in Sochi, Putin said.

WATCH PUTIN’S Q&A :

10 police killed, 28 injured in Grozny anti-terror operation (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO)

Ten police officers were killed and 28 injured during an anti-terrorist operation in the Chechen capital, Grozny, the National Anti-Terrorist Committee has reported. The operation prevented major terrorist attacks planned in the city, the committee said. “In the course of the counter-terrorist operation 10 local police officers were killed and 28 were wounded, having shown bravery while on civilian and military duty,” the National Anti-Terrorist Committee said in a statement. RT’s video agency RUPTLY has obtained exclusive video of the last hours of the operation. The footage from the location shows a building on fire, with emergency services trying to put out the flames.

The cameraman is at the scene of the fierce shootout between the security forces and the assailants. The close-up shows the shots hitting the building, and then intensifying. Later, shoulder rockets are used in the violent fighting, with people ducking and wincing at the sounds of incessant shooting.   The incident started after midnight when a group of armed men traveling in three cars attacked a police checkpoint outside Grozny. Then the gang proceeded into the city and occupied the Press House building in the city center. At 8 am, the head of the Chechen Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov, wrote on his Instagram page that he was personally supervising the anti-terrorist operation and that it was “entering its final phase.”

Security forces immediately arrived at the scene and blockaded the Press House. An anti-terrorist curfew was imposed in the city. Also, additional measures were taken to liquidate terrorists who besieged a school building, the National Anti-Terrorist Committee spokesman said. The committee reports that the operation has now ended. Interfax reports that the body of a civilian has been found among the rubble of the Press House in Grozny. The civilian was an employee of a furniture store located in the building, according to a representative of the National Anti-Terrorist Committee.

Crimea observes 3-day mourning over tragic events in Ukraine’s southeast

89898989SIMFEROPOL, May 04.

The republic of Crimea is observing a three-day mourning over Friday’s tragic events, which claimed dozens of lives across Ukraine’s southeastern regions.

The days of mourning on May 3,4 and 5 were declared upon an order from Sergei Aksyonov, the acting head of Crimea.

All flags across the republic were lowered to half-mast and local authorities of all levels as well as radio and television administrations were asked to cancel festivities and entertainment programs dedicated to May 1 celebrations.

Massive protests against the new Ukrainian authorities, who were propelled to power in Kiev amid riots during a coup in Ukraine in February, erupted in Ukraine’s Russian-speaking southeastern regions in March after Crimea’s incorporation by Russia. Demonstrators, who are demanding referendums on the country’s federalization, seized some government buildings.

Crimea’s urge to reunify with Russia was caused by the republic’s refusal to accept the new Kiev authorities. In a March 16 referendum, Crimeans overwhelmingly voted to secede from Ukraine and accede to Russia. The reunification deal with Moscow was signed March 18.

On Friday, Ukraine witnessed the bloodiest violence since the ouster of President Viktor Yanukovich in February with the death toll exceeding the figure of 60.

The highest death toll took place in the southern city of Odessa. A total of 46 people were killed and over 200 wounded after radicals attacked pro-federalization activists and then set on fire Odessa’s Trade Union House with activists inside, burning them alive.

The violence erupted in Odessa in the daytime on Friday with a mass brawl at Grecheskaya Street. It was reportedly instigated by football fans from Kharkov and Right Sector and Self-Defense radicals from Kiev, who decided to organize a march on Odessa streets.

They provoked clashes with federalization supporters. Forcing them out, radicals set fire to a camp at Kulikovo Field where activists collected signatures to hold a referendum on federalization of Ukraine and the official status of the Russian language. Activists from the camp escaped to the located nearby Trade Union House, and radicals set fire to the building.

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Ukraine halts canal water supply to Crimea

KIEV, April 26  Itar-Tass

Ukraine had closed sluices of the North Crimean Canal, halting water supply from the Dnieper River to the peninsula, Ukraine’s UNIAN news agency reported on Saturday.

Crimea received 85% of fresh water through the canal, which was built in 1961-1971. It streches from the Khakhovka Reservoir to Kerch.

Crimean Prime Minister Sergei Aksyonov told the CrimeaInform news agency that restrictions on the supply of water to Crimea is an act of sabotage.

“Ukraine’s act of sabotage to limit the supply of water to the republic through the North Crimean Canal is nothing but a deliberate action against Crimeans,” he said.

Aksyonov said “negotiations are underway with Ukraine at the federal level” to resolve the issue. “There are backup plans. In any case, Crimea will not be left without water. As for drinking water, there are no problems with it,” he said.

The prime minister said that the Crimean authorities were engaged in negotiations with all agricultural producers who have been cut off from water supply from the North Crimean Canal. “The rice situation … is the worst. Crimea is redrawing the map of crop areas in regions where irrigation may not be available,” he said, adding that alternative areas were being offered to agricultural producers.

“The federal budget is ready to compensate agricultural producers for possible losses,” Aksyonov said. He recalled that this issue had been discussed with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak. “Special conditions have been created for Crimea. No one will be left without help,” the prime minister said.

“We are also considering an alternative plan for drilling wells and we are working on this day and night,” he added.

Aksyonov stressed that “the persons who have seized power in Ukraine, including former residents of Crimea, Senchenko and Kunitsyn, are acting like enemies trying to cause their former fellow citizens harm. But they will get a proper assessment from the people of Crimea and will always be persona non-grata in the republic. Usually, those who mischief hatch, mischief catch,” he said.

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US responsible for Ukrainian crisis after investing $5 billion in regime change – Russia’s envoy to UN

Armed men wearing military fatigues gather by Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC) as they stand guard outside the regional state building in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slavyansk on April 16, 2014

The US is to blame for the events in Ukraine as it invested $5 billion in regime change in the country, taking a more radical stance that its EU allies, Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s envoy to the UN, said.

“It seems it was the Americans, who tried to push through the most radical scenario,” Churkin said in an interview with Rossiya 24 channel. “They didn’t want any sort of compromise between [ousted president Viktor] Yanukovych and the opposition. And, I think, they came to the conclusion that it was time to cash in those $5 billion and handle the matter towards abrupt regime change, which, eventually, happened.”

This explains why the US, but not the European Union took centre stage when the coup resulted in legal vacuum in Kiev, he added.

US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Victoria Nuland, told CNN on Monday that Washington has invested around $5 billion into supporting democracy in Ukraine since the fall of Soviet Union.

But Churkin has doubts about Nuland’s claims, saying that “any sane person would, at least, say that those investments didn’t pay off.”

“If those $5 billion were spent on support of democracy, but not overthrow of the existing government and regime change, then no democracy has triumphed there [in Ukraine],” he explained.

‘Washington’s money, radical approach led to a completely unexpected result’

The Maidan standoff was “a head-on attack” by the US and its Western allies aimed at distancing Russia and Ukraine from each other, Russia’s envoy to the UN said.

However, it failed and “led to a completely unexpected result for them when Crimea was reunited with Russia,” he stressed.

“One has to be naïve to suggest that it all happened fast,” Churkin said of the deal on the de-escalation of the Ukraine crisis, which Kiev agreed with Russia, the US and EU on April 17.

But at the same time, he stressed that consultations between Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, and his American counterpart John Kerry “weren’t in vain” as the agreement “provided good basis for further growth.”

“Despite all their recurrent adventurism, they [the US] realize that peace is rather fragile and too many crises, too much unrest has been created in different parts of the world. I don’t think they’re interested in the emergence of a new serious crisis, with non-obvious consequences for them,” the envoy said.

Russia’s Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin

According to Churkin, one of those steps should be the confiscation of 3 million items of weapons, which are currently illegally held by the “radical nationalists” in Ukraine.

Kiev calls for the disarmament of federalization supporters in eastern Ukraine, but “how will the radicals [from Western Ukraine] lay down their arms as they are sometimes declared the National Guard and thus obtain official status?” he wondered.

The envoy has ruled out the possibility of a UN peacekeeping operation in Ukraine, calling it “unrealistic.”

“Ukraine is a very big country and from political point of view there’s no frontline there. And, thank god, it can’t be drawn,” he said.

The presence of observers from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) “is just enough to monitor what’s happening there,” Churkin stressed.

The envoy also said the EU has begun realizing there’s “a considerable danger” in the rise of far-right forces in Ukraine.

“It’s not a secret that Europe has radicals of its own. Giving such a boost to the nationalist radicalism in Europe… I think that serious politicians understand this,” he said.

But those concerns are only shared during personal contacts, but “nobody talks openly about it,” he added.

US Vice President Joe Biden (R) and Ukraine’s acting Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk leave after a joint press conference in Kiev on April 22, 2014

Ukraine has been in turmoil since democratically elected president Yanukovich was removed from power via a coup powered by far-right radicals.

The society is split into two parts as the majority of the Russian speaking population refuses to accept the new authority in Kiev.

In March, the Republic of Crimea held a referendum to part ways with Ukraine and re-join Russia.

The move inspired a push for independence in other regions of Ukraine, with activists seizing government buildings in Donetsk and other south-eastern regions.

Despite Kiev’s military operation against the protesters turning into a flop, the situation remains tense in Ukraine, with armed radicals arriving in the country’s east to cause provocations.

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Europe understands there is no backtracking on Crimea — Russian EU ambassador

Russia’s Ambassador to the EU Vladimir Chizhov

MOSCOW, April 18. ITAR-TASS

Europe is fully aware that there is no and there will be no backtracking on Crimea, Russia’s Ambassador to the EU Vladimir Chizhov said on Friday.

“I think Europe has finally come to understand that there is no and there will be no going back. They understand that it is rather pointless to discuss the Crimean problem with us, although this issue will remain a point of contention in our relations,” he told the Rossiya 24 television channel.

The work on the process that was launched in the Geneva negotiations on Ukraine will be continued, Chizhov added.

“Many were inclined to think that this meeting would be doomed to failure,” Chizhov noted. “The fact that we managed to agree on the document is a big success, which opens the way for further work. The work at the Geneva meeting is not over, it will be continued with active participation of Russian diplomacy,” he said.

Geneva agreement on deescalation of crisis in Ukraine

The term ‘constructive ambiguity’ cannot be applied to Geneva statement on Ukraine, Chizhov said, commenting on various interpretations of the agreements reached in Thursday’s Geneva negotiations on Ukraine.

“The statement rather clearly states what the Kiev authorities should do,” he said. “Kiev is insisting on disarming eastern regions and ignores what is going on in western regions and in the capital,” he added.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) will expand its mission in Ukraine and increase its financing, Chizhov said.

“Participants in the Geneva meeting agreed that control over the implementation of agreements in Ukrainian cities will be vested with the OSCE monitoring mission, which is already working in Ukraine and regularly sends its reports to Vienna,” the diplomat explained. “I think the mission will be expanded – more personnel will be sent there and more funds will be allocated. Russia supported the initiative to send this mission. It took much time and effort to agree its mandate.”

Ukraine’s entry restrictions for Russians

Ukrainian authorities’ decision to ban entry into the country for some categories of Russian citizens “has revealed hostility towards the nationals of Russia and, on top of that, a bureaucratic mess,” Chizhov said.

“This doesn’t justify the Ukrainian authorities by any means,” he said.

As he answered a reporter’s question on the EU’s reaction to the ban, Chizhov expressed hope that there would be a reaction of some kind eventually. “It turned out that Ukraine’s interim acting foreign minister (Andrii Deshchytsia) didn’t even know about the decision.”

“The anti-humanistic nature of the step is further intensified by its timing,” Chizhov said. “It was announced on the eve of the Easter, which all confessions of Christianity celebrate on the same day this year.”

 

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Russian President Vladimir Putin expresses hope he won’t have to send troops to Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin replies to questions from Russian citizens at the Gostiny Dvor studio during annual question and answer session "Direct Line with Vladimir Putin,"

Russian President Vladimir Putin replies to questions from Russian citizens at the Gostiny Dvor studio during annual question and answer session “Direct Line with Vladimir Putin,”

MOSCOW — Russia’s President Vladimir Putin on Thursday rejected claims that Russian special forces are fomenting unrest in eastern Ukraine, but recognized for the first time that the troops in unmarked uniforms who had overtaken Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula before its annexation by Moscow were Russian soldiers.

He expressed hope for a political and diplomatic solution of the worst East-West crisis since the Cold War, saying he hopes that he won’t have to send Russian troops into eastern Ukraine, which has been engulfed by violent protests against the new authorities in Kyiv.

Speaking in a televised call-in show with the nation, Putin harshly criticized the West for trying to pull Ukraine into its orbit and said that people in eastern Ukraine have risen against the authorities in Kyiv, who ignored their rights and legitimate demands.

A wave of protests, which Ukraine and the West said was organized by Russia and involved Russian special forces, have swept eastern Ukraine over the past weeks, with gunmen seizing government offices and police stations in at least 10 cities.

“It’s all nonsense, there are no special units, special forces or instructors in the east of Ukraine,” Putin said.

At the same time, he recognized for the first time that soldiers in unmarked uniforms — dubbed “little green men” by some — who have swept Ukraine’s Black Sea region of Crimea laying the ground for its annexation by Moscow last month were Russian troops.

Putin, who previously said the troops were local self-defence forces, said the Russian soldiers’ presence was necessary to protect the local population from armed radicals and to ensure the holding of a referendum, in which an overwhelming majority of its residents voted for seceding from Ukraine and joining Russia.

“Our servicemen stood behind the back of Crimea’s self-defence forces,” Putin said. “They acted politely, but resolutely and professionally. There was no other way to hold the referendum in an open, honest and honourable way and allow the people to express their opinion.”

Putin insisted that protests in the east of Ukraine only involve locals. He said that he told his Western counterparts that only local residents are involved in the protests in the east, and “they have nowhere else to go, they are masters of their land.”

Putin denounced the Ukrainian authorities’ decision to use the military to uproot the protests in the east as a “grave crime.”

He expressed hope for the success of Thursday’s talks in Geneva that brings together the United States, the European Union, Russia and Ukraine for the first time since the Ukrainian crisis erupted.

“I think the start of today’s talks is very important, as it’s very important now to think together about how to overcome this situation and offer a real dialogue to the people,” Putin said.

via Russian President Vladimir Putin expresses hope he won’t have to send troops to Ukraine.

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