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Russian Federation Hybrid war around the world



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Hybrid warfare of Russian Federation we will be discussing diplomacy ,fake news, Influencing methods ,non-traditional war technics ....
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    80% of Russia’s Coronavirus Aid to Italy ‘Useless’ – La Stampa

    March 26, 2020
    Sources claimed that Putin is pursuing geopolitical and diplomatic opportunities in Italy with the military aid package.Russian Defense Ministry / TASS
    Around 80% of the coronavirus supplies that Russia has sent to Italy are “useless,” the country’s La Stampa daily reported Wednesday, citing high-level political sources.
    Russia sent 600 ventilators and 100 military virologists and epidemiologists to Italy following talks between President Vladimir Putin and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte last Saturday. Footage of Russian military trucks en route from Rome to the coronavirus epicenter of Bergamo circulated online this week.

    “Eighty percent of Russian supplies are totally useless or of little use to Italy. In short, this is little more than a pretext,” an unnamed source told La Stampa.
    The source said the Russian supplies consist of disinfection equipment, a field laboratory for sterilization and chemical prevention, and other similar tools.
    La Stampa’s sources claimed that Putin is pursuing geopolitical and diplomatic opportunities with the aid package dubbed “From Russia With Love,” while Conte accepted the aid in order to secure a good personal relationship with Moscow.

    Russia’s Ambassador to Italy Sergei Razov dismissed La Stampa’s report as “perverse.”
    “Such assertions are the product of a perverse mind. A selfless desire to help a friendly people in trouble is seen as insidious,” Razov told Russia’s state-run RIA Novosti news agency.
    With more than 7,500 victims and 74,000 overall cases, Italy has recorded more coronavirus-related deaths than any other country.



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    Matthew Cole, Alex Emmons
    April 13 2020, 6:15 p.m.

    ERIK PRINCE, FOUNDER of the private security firm Blackwater and a Trump administration adviser, has sought in recent months to provide military services to a sanctioned Russian mercenary firm in at least two African conflicts, according to three people with knowledge of the efforts.
    Prince, who is the brother of Trump Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, met earlier this year with a top official of Russia’s Wagner Group and offered his mercenary forces to support the firm’s operations in Libya and Mozambique, according to two people familiar with Prince’s offer.
    Wagner officials said they are not interested in working with Prince, three people familiar with their decision told The Intercept.
    A lawyer for Prince denied that his client met anyone from Wagner.

    The Wagner Group is a semi-private military force that operates in countries or conflicts where the Russian government seeks plausible deniability for its activities. It is often equipped and supported directly by the Russian Ministry of Defense, according to reports and experts who track Wagner’s activities. The U.S. State Department website also lists Wagner as an entity connected to the “Defense Sector of the Government of the Russian Federation.” Any business relationship between Prince and Wagner would, in effect, make the influential Trump administration adviser a subcontractor to the Russian military.
    In recent years, the Russian government has deployed Wagner to several African countries, Ukraine, and Syria, where the U.S. military killed dozens of Wagner fighters in 2018 after the Russians and their Syrian allies attacked an oil facility that the United States was defending.
    “Wagner Group is an instrument of Russian policy. It works under the GRU, which is the Russian military intelligence,” said Sean McFate, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council and a former military contractor who has written about mercenaries.
    In attempting to do business with Wagner, Prince may have exposed himself to legal liability.
    In attempting to do business with Wagner, Prince may also have exposed himself to legal liability. In 2017, the Trump administration sanctioned Wagner, as well as its founder and head Dmitry Utkin, for having “recruited and sent soldiers to fight alongside [Russian-backed] separatists in eastern Ukraine” during the 2014 Russian invasion. The Russian government denied involvement in the invasion, even as its forces occupied and took control of Crimea, also in Ukrainian territory, in violation of international law.
    The sanctions prohibit individuals or companies from providing “financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order.” They also forbid anyone “to have acted or purported to act for or on behalf” of Wagner. The 2017 addition of Wagner to the sanctions list builds on a 2014 executive order signed by President Barack Obama.
    “In my experience, the act of soliciting from a sanctioned party would indeed be an apparent violation,” said Brian O’Toole, a senior fellow with the Atlantic Council and former senior sanctions official at the Treasury Department. “Whether you make that [legal] case is an entirely separate matter,” he said, adding that pitching business to Wagner “would seem to be a fairly egregious thing to do.”

    When Prince met with Wagner leadership, he was already under federal investigation for violating arms trafficking regulations. The proposal to the Russian firm also raises questions about whether Trump administration officials authorized the meeting or were aware of Prince’s efforts to work with the group.
    A former Navy SEAL who rose to prominence and notoriety as head of the private security firm Blackwater, Prince has been a vocal supporter of President Donald Trump, serving as an unofficial adviser on military and foreign policy issues in Africa, the Middle East, and Afghanistan. Prince was a Trump donor in 2016 and has worked to support the president politically while proposing private military solutions that would benefit his companies financially.
    Early in the Trump administration, Prince proposed privatizing the war in Afghanistan and supplying Trump with a private spy service intended to circumvent the U.S. intelligence community. Neither proposal succeeded, despite having support for some of his ideas from senior administration officials, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
    For years, Prince has tried, mostly unsuccessfully, to win military contracts with governments in Africa and the Middle East. Wagner has become an increasingly visible player in the region as Russia’s influence there has grown, allowing the country to operate under the radar at a time when “plausible deniability is more powerful than firepower,” according to McFate, the mercenary expert.
    “The reason why groups like Wagner exist is that modern war is getting sneakier and mercenaries are a great way to get things done in the shadows.”
    “The reason why groups like Wagner exist, and the reason why people like Erik Prince [are] succeeding, is that modern war is getting sneakier and mercenaries and groups like Wagner are a great way to get things done in the shadows,” McFate said.
    Libya has been divided and in conflict since the U.S. and NATO allies removed longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi in 2011. The United Nations and most of the international community, including the U.S, recognize the Government of National Accord in the Libyan capital Tripoli as the country’s official leaders. But the eastern portion of the country is led by strongman Khalifa Hifter, who tried last year to take Tripoli. Both sides are backed by foreign powers that have continually violated a U.N. embargo on military support. Turkey and Qatar have supported the GNA, while Russia, the United Arab Emirates, and Egypt have backed Hifter.
    Last spring, Hifter’s forces, the Libyan National Army, moved to take Tripoli, but were thwarted within days. Hifter turned to Moscow and Wagner. Americans are prohibited from aiding either side of the conflict without U.S. government authorization.
    At the same time, Prince sought to provide a force in Mozambique, where the government has been fighting a small insurgency over the past two years. President Filipe Nyusi of Mozambique flew to Moscow to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in August 2019. The countries signed several trade pacts, and Russia agreed to send military aid. Russian military hardware and Russian nationals working for Wagner arrived in Mozambique in September, according to news reports.
    After Wagner lost more than a dozen fighters in Mozambique, Prince sent a proposal to the Russian firm offering to supply a ground force as well as aviation-based surveillance, according to documents viewed by The Intercept and a person familiar with Prince’s proposal.
    Prince has also served as an adviser to the de facto ruler of the United Arab Emirates, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, known as MBZ, for more than a decade. Under bin Zayed’s leadership, the UAE, a close regional ally of the U.S., has intervened militarily in several regional wars in the Middle East and Africa. A pariah during the Obama administration, Prince was taken in by the Emirati crown prince and awarded a contract worth hundreds of millions of dollars to create and train a presidential guard for the royal family. He was later removed for mismanagement, among other reasons.
    Prince also has ties to China. He is co-chair of Frontier Services Group, a Hong-Kong based logistics company he founded and whose largest investor is the Chinese government. The Intercept has previously reportedthat the U.S. government has investigated Prince for his ties to China’s intelligence service. The conflicts between Prince’s commercial interests and the goals of the many governments that retain his services have piled up as Prince has tried to sell military and mercenary capabilities around the world. FSG, for example, signed a contract for fishing rights in Mozambique around the same time Prince began exploring defense contracts there. The fishing contract has since been dissolved, according to the company.
    “The conflicts of interest are deep and threaten democracy when you have a free agent going between the U.S. and its main power rivals,” said McFate. “It would never clear an intelligence community background check. This is a dangerous thing for any democracy.”



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    ‘Russia’s Wagner tried to bring Gaddafi’s son to power’
    Article by US-based media company Bloomberg asserts relationship between Gaddafi's son Saif Al-Islam and Russia
    Enes Canli |22.03.2020

    The Wagner Group, a Russian paramilitary company, met Libya's deposed ruler Muammar Gaddafi's son to bring him into power, the U.S.-based media company Bloomberg claimed in an article on Saturday.

    The article penned by Samer Al-Atrush asserted a relationship between Gaddafi's son Saif Al-Islam and Russia.

    According to the article, two Russian agents working for the Wagner were caught last year by Libya's UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) in the capital Tripoli.

    The documents stored in the hard disks of the captured Russian agents revealed that the agents met three times with Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi, the son of Muammar Gaddafi, who was wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC).

    In one of the meetings, Saif Al-Islam used numerous documents about his father’s financial aid for election campaigns in some Western countries as a trump card, the article asserted.

    A Russian election campaign advisor also joined one of the meetings, the article said, and Russia offered to portray Gaddafi's son as a rising actor in the country in a possible election.

    In the meetings, Saif Al-Islam claimed that 80% of the fighters loyal to the renegade General Khalifa Haftar are his supporters and if Haftar captured the capital, those fighters would support Saif Al-Islam, according to the notes of Russian agents.

    In one of the meetings, Saif Al-Islam and Russian agents discussed training of social media experts to create a group of specialists who will share messages over social media.

    Russian agents noted down that Saif Al-Islam was very interested in counter-propaganda.

    According to the notes of the last meeting reached by Bloomberg, Saif Al-Islam would give to Russians the list of commanders loyal to him in the next meeting.

    Additionally, it was claimed that one of the advisors of Saif Al-Islam admitted the meetings.

    According to the article, the advisor said that although Saif Al-Islam and his supporters wanted to develop good relations with the Western countries, the Russians were the first to help them.

    Wagner Group

    Russia’s Wagner Group is one of the most controversial groups among the mercenaries. It is owned by to Yevgeny Prigozhin, a businessman with close links to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    According to Bloomberg, it was reported that the Wagner Group, where over 1000 militias came to Libya, brought Russian pilots who carried out training activities for the Haftar troops, and Russian Sukhoi-22 type war planes are seen in Libyan skies.

    Mercenaries who previously had field experience in Ukraine, are fighting on the front-line in Libya, according to Euronews.

    Haftar's militia unit 'Libyan National Army'

    Haftar calls the group he leads as the "Libyan National Army" and wants to be treated like an official army. In fact, Haftar's armed force works like a "dealership" and tries to gather militias under one roof.

    A large number of militias from Libyan tribes in the east and west have joined the ranks. Others who have joined the putschist commander include members from the public committees established by former ruler Gaddafi, the extremist Madkhali Salafists, Janjaweed militias of Sudan -- who have a very controversial history in Sudan -- the rebels in Chad, Russian mercenaries, and military officers from Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and France.

    It is claimed that the force comprises 25,000-30,000 militias, including trained military personnel of 7,000. The Brigade 106, the largest and best armed among them, is commanded by Saddam Haftar, his son.

    The rallying cry for the brigade is Khamis, the name of one of the son's of Gaddafi.

    Since the ouster of late ruler Gaddafi in 2011, two seats of power have emerged in Libya: Haftar in eastern Libya, supported mainly by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, and the GNA in Tripoli, which enjoys UN and international recognition.

    The GNA has been under attack by Haftar’s forces since last April, with more than 1,000 people killed in the violence.

    *Writing by Fahri Aksut



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    Wagner Group
    Private Military Company ‘Wagner’, a.k.a.
    Chastnaya Voennaya Kompaniya ‘Vagner’, a.k.a.
    Chvk Vagner, a.k.a.
    PMC Wagner, a.k.a.

    "Wagner group" is a Russian paramilitary organization associated with Yevgeny Prigozhin, a Russian oligarch and close associate of President Vladimir Putin. Vagner commanders have fought for the company both in Syria and, before that, in support of Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine.

    Wagner Group seem like something from Leo Tolstoy’s novel Anna Karenina. In the novel, the main character Count Alexei Vronsky leaves to Serbia as a volunteer to fight against the Ottoman Empire as a part of a squadron he formed at his own expense. Pervasive in Russian literature these militias were used by tsars to pacify internal unrest and to achieve directed military and policy objectives. Today, Russian foreign policy has embraced many of the same ambitions that were born out of a need for “plausible deniability” in Kremlin’s military operations abroad.

    The Wagner Group’s roots date back to Russia’s proxy war in Ukraine in 2014, when the Kremlin’s definitions of “soldier,” “mercenary” and “volunteer” first blurred at convenience amid its tacit support for pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine’s east. While Moscow has long insisted Russia is not formally part of the conflict, Russian fighters have routinely taken part in battles — lured by idealism, propaganda and money.

    “A huge number of people went to work for Wagner with pleasure,” explained journalist Denis Korotov of Fontanka.ru, an online publication in Saint Petersburg who first broke news of the Wagner mercenaries. “Russia has more than enough people who know how to shoot a gun, and these people can’t make anything close to this kind of money working in the civilian sector,” he added in an interview with VOA in January 2018.

    Officially, the Vagner mercenaries sign contracts for civilian work in oil and gas fields. Mercenaries can earn 150,000 rubles ($2,650) a month, plus a bonus of up to 100 percent for completing a three-month tour. In three months, a mercenary can make nearly a million rubles. A commander can earn about three times as much. But a fighter who changes his mind is sent back to the supply port to unload crates at 1,000 rubles a day.

    Russian online investigative newspaper Fontantka provided evidence that around 500 pro-Syrian fighters – most of whom spoke Russian – played a pivotal role in the efforts to seize Palmyra and Deir Ezzor in 2016 and 2017. Leaked telephone conversations revealed Prigozhin himself ordered the assault. The commanders RFE/RL spoke with in 2018 estimated that some 400 Russians have been killed in Syria since 2015. Not all the killed mercenaries, they said, are returned to Russia.

    "There is a rumor that Vagner is a so-called meat-grinder project," one of the commanders said. "What is to be done with those who fought in Donbas? With the idiots from the first wave who are real ideologues? These are scary people who could catalyze society. They can cause trouble like yeast in bread. But in Syria, you can help the interests of the country and get rid of some yeast at the same time. That's what some people are saying. And probably there is something to it."

    The representative of the co-owner of the group of companies Yevgeny Prigozhin told RBC 15 November 2017 that the businessman was not related to the "Wagner" PMC and is generally surprised by the very fact of its existence (mercenarism in Russia is legally banned). "We are not aware of the activities of the organization you mentioned. Also, Yevgeny Viktorovich asked to convey that he was extremely surprised by the very existence of this company and does not have anything to do with its activities, "said the representative of the businessman.

    "The appointment of Dmitry Valerievich Utkin as general director is a private decision of the owner of Concord Management and Consulting LLC," the representative of the businessman said. He added that previously Utkin had never held positions in the structures of an entrepreneur. "SPARK-Interfax" reported that this post was taken by Dmitry Valerievich Utkin - the full namesake of the alleged commander of the "Wagner" PMC.

    PMC Wagner is a private military company that recruited and sent soldiers to fight alongside separatists in eastern Ukraine. When fighting broke out in 2014 in eastern Ukraine between the pro-Moscow separatists and Ukrainian government forces, Russia limited its presence there to clandestine troop deployments and funding and training for the rebels. Former Russian soldiers were recruited to join the separatists by a shadowy company called the Wagner Group, whose founder, Lt. Col. Dmitriy Utkin, came under US Treasury Department sanctions for the firm's actions in Ukraine.

    The mercenary groups worked hand-in-hand with the Russian military. They trained at a military facility near Rostov-on-Don and were commanded by experienced officers from the special services and the Defense Ministry. By June 2014, the first groups of about 250 mercenaries each had crossed the border into Ukraine. "They were basically company-sized tactical groups," one commander said. "There were no private military contractors then, but people were paid on time."

    One of the groups sent to Ukraine was headed by Utkin, who fought under the nom de guerre Vagner, after 19th-century German composer Richard Wagner. Dmitriy Utkin is the founder and leader of PMC Wagner. It is said that Vagner has a swastika tattooed on his shoulder, wears a helmet with horns, and practices a form of paganism.

    The first Russian mercenaries were sent to Syria by an organization called Slavic Corps in 2013 -- 267 men, according to an investigation by the St. Petersburg website Fontanka.ru. Their official mission was to guard oil facilities and pipelines, but they were soon caught up in the country's civil war and suffered heavy losses. When the survivors returned to Moscow in October 2013, their leaders were arrested and sentenced to three years in prison for illegal mercenary activity.

    Nonetheless, the idea of a role for mercenaries apparently took hold somewhere among the Russian authorities. In 2014, as Moscow was annexing Ukraine's Crimea region and stoking a separatist war in eastern Ukraine, a Soviet and Russian army officer named Dmitry Utkin and others began forming paramilitary units to fight in Ukraine's Donbas.

    The US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) on 20 June 2017 reinforced existing sanctions on Russia by designating or identifying a range of individuals and entities involved in the ongoing conflict under four Executive orders (E.O.s) related to Russia and Ukraine. As a result of these action, any property or interest in property of the designated persons in the possession or control of U.S. persons or within the United States must be blocked. Additionally, transactions by U.S. persons involving these persons are generally prohibited.

    PMC Wagner was being designated for being responsible for or complicit in, or having engaged in, directly or indirectly, actions or policies that threaten the peace, security, stability, sovereignty, or territorial integrity of Ukraine. Utkin is being designated for being responsible for or complicit in, or having engaged in, directly or indirectly, actions or policies that threaten the peace, stability, sovereignty, or territorial integrity of Ukraine; and for acting or purporting to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, PMC Wagner. Prigozhin was sanctioned in 2016 by the US, which cited his companies' Defense Ministry contracts related to the conflict in Ukraine.

    Wagner links soon emerged in Syria, where the Kremlin launched a military campaign in support of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad in the fall of 2015. Although President Vladimir Putin insisted at the outset that Russia’s military role would be limited, “Wagner became the Kremlin’s main tactical group in Syria. Because the Syrian army can’t do the job on their own,” Ruslan Leviev of the Conflict Intelligence Team, a group of researchers who have also tracked Wagners movements using online forensics stated 07 August 2018. “An air campaign can’t win the war and a ground invasion meant big losses,” he added.

    Putin wanted Russia's involvement in Syria to be different from its intervention in Afghanistan and Chechnya, which claimed many lives and were widely unpopular. The secret deployment of private contractors in Syria has helped keep the official Russian death toll low as Putin sought re-election. When Russians were killed in February 2018 in a US attack in Syria’s Deir el-Zour province, the Russian government insisted that Moscow did not send them there. Hiring mercenaries or working as one is against Russian law.

    The Wagner group “is not a classic private contractor; it is ... an unofficial arm of the Defense Ministry,” said Ruslan Leviev, whose Conflict Intelligence Team studied the clandestine Russian deployment in Syria. He said Prigozhin was the right person to take up the task,” compared to any other oligarch of Putin’s.” Evro Polis, a company linked to Prigozhin, signed an agreement with Syria’s state-owned General Petroleum Corp., which gives the Russian company 25 percent of the proceeds from oil and gas production at fields its contractors capture and secure.

    In February 2018, an unknown number of Russian mercenaries -- some reports say a dozen, others as many as 200 -- were killed by U.S. air strikes during fighting in Syria. The men were hired by a private military contracting firm called ChVK Vagner, which has been sending Russians to fight in Syria since 2015.

    The Russian mercenaries fighting in Syria said they are not in the country for the money or to help Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. "[Syrians] can't stand Assad," one Russian mercenary commander told RFE/RL in March 2018. "Really. Only a tiny percentage of the population there supports him and the rest oppose him. Only [Russian President Vladimir] Putin supports him. Russia supports him -- no one else." There is a bigger motivation, the mercenary claimed. "If you are fighting under a Russian flag, with a Russian weapon, even if you are eating moldy food and are 10,000 kilometers from home, you are nonetheless fighting for Russia," he said. "There is no Syrian war," he added. "There is no Ukrainian war. There is only a war between the Russian Federation and the United States."

    RFE/RL's sources estimated in early 2018 that there were about 2,000 Vagner fighters in Syria, although other media reports put the figure at 4,000. In addition, the Vagner troops fight together with a unit called Karpaty, which is made up primarily of about 300 Cossacks with Ukrainian citizenship.

    The mercenary groups worked hand-in-hand with the Russian military. They trained at a military facility near Rostov-on-Don and were commanded by experienced officers from the special services and the Defense Ministry. By June 2014, the first groups of about 250 mercenaries each had crossed the border into Ukraine. They were basically company-sized tactical groups. There were no private military contractors then, but people were paid on time.

    By 2018 there were several Russian private military contracting companies working in the country, but only the Vagner troops are said to engage in combat operations. RFE/RL's sources estimated that there are about 2,000 Vagner fighters in Syria, although other media reports put the figure at 4,000. In addition, the Vagner troops fight together with a unit called Karpaty, which is made up primarily of about 300 Cossacks with Ukrainian citizenship. Including Russian military forces, there are some 8,000 Russians supporting Assad in Syria now, the commanders say. "There were 6,000, but they announced a draw-down and reduced it to 8,000," one commander quipped to RFE.

    In the Central African Republic, by 2018 some contended Wagner’s mission had shifted once again — this time, to protect economic as well as political interests. Media reports suggest Wagnerites are there to flush out — or, perhaps, blend in with — 175 Russian civilian and military “instructors” tasked within a larger United Nations mission aimed at shoring up the CAR’s government amid a civil war. The Kremlin has also openly worked with CAR to develop its diamond and mineral industries. “We conclude that the ‘Russian civilian instructors’ in CAR are in fact Russian mercenaries from Wagner,” says Conflict Intelligence Team’s Ruslan Leviev. Russian officials, in turn, stress the Russian presence is there with UN backing. “There is nothing sensational about the presence of Russian instructors in the Central African Republic,” said Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova. “No one has been concealing anything.”

    The company M-Invest, which Prigozhin is rumoured to own, has an interest in Sudan’s gold deposits and Libya’s oil-rich east region, presumably secured by offering various military services in exchange for natural resource contracts. Wagner’s influence might go even deeper. Proekt Media, an independent Russian news outlet, produced four lengthy reports unearthing a CAR government mining contract with Prigozhin’s conglomerate Lobaye Invest.

    It finances the training of army recruits in the CAR by some 250 Russian mercenaries. Attempts at scrutiny became even more complicated when three Russian journalists investigating Wagner’s activities in the CAR were murdered under mysterious circumstances in the summer of 2018, and two additional individuals who tried to investigate their murder were poisoned. Unfortunately, details on Wagner’s deployments in CAR are scarce, but based on what can be gleaned from sources available, they follow a similar pattern.
    Wagner Group a.k.a. Private Military Company Wagner, a.k.a. Chastnaya Voennaya Kompaniya Vagner, a.k.a.


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    SBU Major-General Suspected of Being Russian Spy Arrested
    14 April, 2020

    Shaytanov faces charges of treason and of taking part in terrorist acts. The Security Service of Ukraine

    The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has released a statement saying that their counter-intelligence wing has detained an SBU major-general, Valeriy Shaytanov, on suspicion of being a Russian spy recruited by the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB). Shaytanov now faces charges of treason and of taking part in terrorist acts. The SBU believes that Shaytanov had also planned the murder of Chechen Adam Osmaev, who took part in the Donbas conflict on the Ukrainian side as a volunteer.
    “Unfortunately, a person who received the rank of general after the Revolution of Dignity and who was supposed to defend Ukraine, was actually working against it. We conducted a long, complicated, and multi-level special operation,” stated SBU head Ivan Bakanov.
    Shaytanov was one of the former heads of Special Operations Group A at the SBU, while at the same time he was acting as a spy for FSB agent Igor Egorov, under the codename “Bobil.” Egorov works for the FSB’s Department of Counterintelligence Operations 1 – a subdivision of the FSB that specializes in planning, organizing, and executing surveillance, sabotage, and terrorist acts – both in Ukraine and in other countries.
    СБУ обнародовала доказательства контактов генерал-майора СБУ Валерия Шайтанова со своим куратором полковником ФСБ РФ Игорем Егоровым. 14 апреля 2020 года
    Translation (from top to bottom): Egorov met Shaytanov and his henchman, Agent “N” – in Europe. France. Germany. Croatia.
    “Under the command of the [Russian Federation’s] special services, Major-General Shaytanov planned to enact terrorist acts on Ukrainian soil. For his actions, the FSB guaranteed compensation of $200,000 and Russian citizenship and passport,”reads the SBU statement.
    The SBU also claims that Shaytanov specifically recruited former special forces operatives to commit his crimes – one of whom is given the codename “Agent N” in audio recordings (audio in Russian) released by the agency.

    SBU Major-General Suspected of Being Russian Spy Arrested


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    Italian PM scolds Russians over La Stampa spy spat
    Italian newspaper claims 104-strong contingent of doctors and experts almost certainly included officers from the GRU

    GRU intelligence headquarters in Moscow. Credit: AFP.
    As if Italian officials didn’t already have enough on their hands with the deadly coronavirus causing havoc — a media report now suggests the Russians have placed GRU spies amid its aid contingent, sparking a war of words between the two nations, Yahoo News reported.
    The Russians came last week to help disinfect hospitals and care homes in a northern Italian region that has recorded over half of the country’s 14,681 official Covid-19 deaths, the report said.
    It was a chance for Russian President Vladimir Putin to exert “soft power” at a moment of dire weakness for the West.
    But Italy’s La Stamp newspaper said Thursday that the 104-strong contingent of doctors and experts almost certainly included officers from Russia’s GRU military intelligence agency, the report said.

    “Without a doubt, there are GRU officers among them,” former NATO chemical weapons expert Hamish De Bretton-Gordon told the paper.
    Britain accuses GRU officers of trying to poison former Russian double-agent Sergei Skripal in England in 2018, the report said.
    The GRU — which stands for the Main Intelligence Directorate — has a long-running program to run ‘illegal’ spies who work without diplomatic cover and who live under an assumed identity for years until orders from Moscow.
    “We can assume that (the Russian team) will want to find out as much about Italian forces as possible and set up intelligence networks,” the former NATO expert told La Stampa.
    Moscow’s response was livid and swift.
    Its embassy in Rome tweeted a statement from a defence ministry spokesman condemning La Stampa’s “Russophobic Cold War fake news.”
    The defence ministry accused the Italian paper of “hiding behind the ideals of free speech” to spread stories reminiscent of “anti-Soviet propaganda.”
    The vehemence of Russia’s attack on one of Italy’s main newspapers prompted the government of Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte to briefly turn its focus away from the raging virus crisis and tell Moscow to back off, the report said.
    “While grateful for Russia’s support, one cannot but criticize the inappropriate tone of certain expressions used by the Russian defence ministry spokesman,” the government said in a statement.
    “Freedom of expression and the right to criticise are fundamental values of our country,” it said.
    It noted that Russia had “the right to respond (to the allegations), but in a formal and correct manner.”
    Italians near Milan “met the Russian column of trucks with applause, singing the Russian national anthem,” ministry spokesman Maria Zakharova said in Moscow.
    Zakharova accused La Stampa of “distinguishing itself by running a number of defamatory articles about Russian humanitarian aid.”
    Anonymous sources within the Italian government told La Stampa that the Russian delivery contained equipment for bacteriological disinfection and a field laboratory for chemical-biological sterilization — not ventilators and PPE (personal protective equipment), The Daily Mail reported.
    “Of those Russian supplies, 80 percent were completely useless or of little use to Italy. In other words, the delivery was more like a pretext,” one source alleged.
    Dubbed “From Russia With Love,” officials said it is likely that Prime Minister Conte accepted the package in order to secure a good personal relationship with President Putin.

    Italian PM scolds Russians over La Stampa spy spat


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    Misleading Mashup: Russia’s COVID-19 'Aid' to U.S.
    April 02, 2020
    U.S. -- NEW YORK CITY, APRIL 1, 2020: A Russian Aerospace Forces plane carrying medical equipment has landed at John F. Kennedy International Airport.

    U.S. -- NEW YORK CITY, APRIL 1, 2020: A Russian Aerospace Forces plane carrying medical equipment has landed at John F. Kennedy International Airport.
    Dmitry Peskov

    Dmitry Peskov
    the Kremlin’s Press Secretary
    “’Against the background of the severe epidemiological situation in America, the Russian side offered assistance in the form of medical equipment and protective equipment,’ he [Peskov] said, noting that the U.S. president gratefully accepted this humanitarian assistance.”
    Source: TASS.ru, March 31, 2020
    U.S. and Russia diplomatic agencies said the cargo was purchased and not donated
    Speaking at the White House COVID-19 press briefing on Monday, March 30, U.S. President Donald Trump said many foreign countries were sending help for the coronavirus pandemic. He specifically mentioned China and Russia, without specifying whether assistance was purchased or a form of humanitarian aid.
    “Russia sent us a very, very large planeload of things, medical equipment, which was very nice.”
    Trump’s announcement created a confusion, first because Russia had yet to send the plane when the U.S. president said it already had arrived. Secondly, Trump’s critics assumed the aid was a gift, providing President Vladimir Putin a propaganda victory.
    Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov was the source of the misleading claim that the Russian supplies were of a “humanitarian nature.”
    Peskov said Putin offered to send humanitarian aid to the U.S. during a phone call with Trump on March 30, and that Trump “accepted the offer with gratitude.”
    While “some on the American side” did not support rapid implementation of the presidents’ agreement, the Kremlin expects the spirit of cooperation to be mutual, Peskov added.
    On Wednesday, April 1, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Twitter that Russia’s “largest cargo aircraft” was en route to the U.S. to “help save lives of American citizens.” The tweet used hashtag “RussiaHelps,” further suggesting a humanitarian gesture.

    MFA Russia 🇷🇺



    Following phone talk between Presidents #Putin & @realDonaldTrump #Russia sends largest cargo aircraft An-124 Ruslan
    medical supplies (masks + equipment) to #US to help fight #COVID19 pandemic, save lives of American citizens.
    The plane is en route #RussiaHelps

    Embedded video

    The Russian diaspora in the U.S. believed the supplies were a gift. The Russian Community Council in the U.S.A. sent a letter of gratitude to the Russian Foreign Ministry, saying: “Numerous representatives of the Russian diaspora living in various parts of the United States are grateful to the residents of Russia and the Russian authorities for sending humanitarian aid, 120 tons of medicines, to the United States.”
    A Russian Air Force An-124 “Ruslan” took off from the Chkalovsk military airbase near Moscow on Wednesday, April 1, at around 4 p.m., Moscow time, and landed at New York’s JFK International Airport at 4 p.m., Eastern Time, that same day.
    The Russian Defense Ministry said the plane was carrying surgical masks and equipment.
    U.S. -- A Russian military transport plane carrying medical equipment, masks and supplies lands at JFK International Airport during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in New York City, New York, U.S., April 1, 2020.

    U.S. -- A Russian military transport plane carrying medical equipment, masks and supplies lands at JFK International Airport during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in New York City, New York, U.S., April 1, 2020.
    But in a move that unsettled the narrative, the U.S. State Department issued a statement that the U.S. actually bought the supplies from Russia.
    “As a follow-up to the March 30 phone call between President Trump and President Putin, the United States has agreed to purchase needed medical supplies, including ventilators and personal protection equipment, from Russia, which were handed over to FEMA on April 1 in New York City,” the State Department said.
    The U.S. did not provide the details of the purchase, including the price and the content of supplies. (FEMA stands for the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency, which responds to disasters like the pandemic.)
    On April 2, the Russian Foreign Ministry confirmed that the cargo was indeed not entirely humanitarian – and added a new wrinkle.
    Moscow said the Americans paid for some of the supplies, while part of the cost was covered by the Kremlin’s Direct Investment Fund, controlled by Putin.
    Critics have accused the Russians of trying to engineer a propaganda windfall by sending coronavirus supplies to places like the U.S., Italy and China while Russia’s own COVID-19 response is wanting.

    Andrew S. [email protected]


    This is nuts. Kremlin spox Peskov says Trump accepted Putin's offer to send a flight w #coronavirus medical equipment to US. Details willl be handled at the working level. Hopefully someone will tell Trump that he's playing right into a propaganda ploy https://www.interfax.ru/russia/701773
    View image on Twitter
    In Russia, the Doctor’s Union accused authorities of covering up a coronavirus disaster. As in the U.S., hospitals across the country are reportedly in dire need of protective gear, masks and ventilators, the head of the union said in a video address.
    The Russian authorities have been “waging a crusade” to hide the true COVID-19 predicament under guise of fake news, the Associated Press reported.
    RUSSIA -- A woman watches a live broadcast of Russian President Vladimir Putin's address to the nation over the coronavirus outbreak, in her appartment in Moscow, April 2, 2020

    RUSSIA -- A woman watches a live broadcast of Russian President Vladimir Putin's address to the nation over the coronavirus outbreak, in her appartment in Moscow, April 2, 2020
    In an op-ed for the Washington Post, Garry Kasparov, the exiled Russian world chess champion and Putin critic, compared the Kremlin’s COVID-19 disinformation efforts to the Soviet regime’s cover-up of the Chernobyl disaster.
    “Putin’s coronavirus malpractice isn’t just the latest misery visited upon the Russian people; he also endangers the rest of the world. Remember the lessons of Chernobyl,” Kasparov wrote.
    Russia’s coronavirus aid to hard-hit Italy, dubbed “From Russia with Love,” came under criticism, after the Moscow Times and La Stampa newspapers reported that 80 percent of the supplies were “totally useless.”
    Photos and videos shared on social media showed Russian military convoys riding through Italian towns. Putin’s “publicity coup” left European Union exposed, Reuters reported, noting that it was not just the Russians seeking advantage.

    Olga [email protected]

    Russian military trucks delivering aid to Italy in a massive PR/special operation. They are on their way to Bergamo from airbase near Rome. According la @LaStampa sources in the Italian military, 80% of the items they brought are useless. Pics by Ru journalist A. Yemelyanova
    View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter
    Reuters reported: “Alexander Baunov, a senior fellow at the Moscow Carnegie Center, noted China and Cuba were also sending medical aid to Italy. ‘For countries that would like to see the existing world order revised in their favor, the pandemic is an opportunity,’ he said.”

    Misleading Mashup: Russia’s COVID-19 'Aid' to U.S.


    Well-Known Member
    Baudet refers to Russian payments in apps


    reading time 4 minutes
    Russian connection 5

    FVD leader Thierry Baudet worked closely with a Russian affiliate of the Kremlin in the run-up to the Ukraine referendum. This is evident from research by Zembla and De Nieuws BV. In internal app messages, he also refers to payments from the man, which he describes as "a Russian who works for Putin." According to Baudet, the messages were ironic.
    It concerns the Russian-born Vladimir Kornilov. From 2004 to 2013, he worked as a director of the Institute of CIS countries in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev. The organization's headquarters are in Moscow. Earlier leaked emails show that the institute regularly reports directly to the Kremlin, including on Ukraine.

    "The aim [of the Institute; ed.] is to advocate for an alliance with Russia and to weaken Western societies and institutions such as NATO and the EU, ”said Michael Carpenter in Zembla, who has worked as director of Russia at the Pentagon and before the National Security Council of the White House. "They use propaganda and sedition."
    Russian working for Putin
    Baudet meets Kornilov in late 2015 for an interview on a Russian site. Then they keep in touch. “I made an appointment with him this afternoon. Is a very influential guy, nice things, I will tell you yet ”, Baudet said on 2 October in an FvD app group.

    Baudet seems to know about Kornilov's Kremlin connections. When people in Forum ask who Kornilov is, he says, "A Russian who works for Putin." In the following months they meet several times, Baudet invites him to speak at the FvD and Baudet translates two pieces from Kornilov into Dutch. They appear on TPO and GeenStijl.

    "I'm working on that Kornilov," says Baudet with a screenshot of the text of the article that later appeared on TPO under the name of Kornilov appears. NRC previously described that article as an example of a direct Russian influence operation. Baudet now acknowledges having translated documents previously converted by Kornilov to English or Dutch using a translation site.

    "What you saw was that every now and then all kinds of people turned up in newspapers and discussion programs that told the pro-association treaty story, the American, the NATO story, so to speak," says Baudet now. "I thought it was very relevant to let the other side do the talking, so I helped get those articles published."
    'Kornilov with all his money'
    Baudet even hints at payments in two texts to then board member Henk Otten. When Baudet says he wants to quit as a paid commentator at Powned in November 2015, he says 'maybe Kornilov wants to pay extra', adding a wink. Later he thanks Otten for moral support: "No Kornilov can beat that with all his money." Where he adds a smiley with sunglasses.

    These apps and messages in which Baudet says to meet with Kornilov with the addition 'we are still going to need the Russians', we should see in the light of irony, according to Baudet, he says in an interview with Zembla. According to him, jokes about Russian influence were made internally. "That was a running gag between us, and I can really explain it hand to heart: we never got paid in any way."

    Baudet says he does not know anything about Kornilov's Kremlin connections, although he does state that he had 'a suspicion'. "To indicate the world of thoughts a little bit ... at that time ... we wondered that about everyone. At one point I spoke to an American, maybe that's a ... probably a CIA agent. "

    Michael Carpenter, who at the time had director access to intelligence in the Pentagon as Russia's director, says the Americans also had FvD in their sights. According to him, Baudet was "a link in a Russian propaganda war", although nothing is known about payments.

    Carpenter states, “We didn't realize then that this was the beginning of a movement we saw in the US elections, the Brexit referendum, the Italian referendum and many other political processes. But this was the first time that we saw clear Russian interference to influence the outcome of a referendum. ”

    In the 2016 annual report, the AIVD writes that Russian agents operated in the Netherlands. "In Russia, the activities of espionage also focus on influencing decision-making processes, imaging and public opinion."
    Zembla and De Nieuws BV received access to app messages from Forum for Democracy from several people. After some hesitation, former FvD board member Henk Otten was also prepared to provide insight into his app traffic with Baudet and to respond to questions from Zembla and De Nieuws BV . He did not see the comments as a joke at the time and warned Baudet several times in Russian about Russian influences. He says he has not seen any payments through the party fund.
    Google Translate


    Well-Known Member
    The distortion of reality and the defeat of truth: Russia`s celebration of Victory Day

    By Gregor Razumovsky

    The year 2020 marks the 250th anniversary of Ludwig van Beethoven`s birth; undoubtedly a reason to celebrate for both music afficionados and Austrian tourism agencies alike. Yet with all due respect to one of mankind greatest composers: the demise of Adolf Hitler`s regime of terror in 1945 will presumably be better remembered by future generations. In memory of the hardships their citizens overcame and the victory they fought for from 1945 until the end, the 16 former member states of the USSR will celebrate the 75th commemoration of the triumph of the Allies on the 9th of May 1945 over the national-socialist dictatorship of the German “Third Reich”.

    Not entirely surprisingly, in an obviously well-orchestrated series of public speeches, President Putin has been trying to highjack the victory over Nazi-Germany and create a new myth. That of Russia being the sole real opponent of Germany, having overcome the “Third Reich” on the eastern front and virtually the whole rest of the world in general.

    According to your author, this act of information war serves primarily domestic purposes. The aim is to strengthen the cohesive forces in the Russian Federation in a situation where overall national economic conditions have rapidly been going from bad to worse to utterly disastrous.

    Mr. Putin`s revamping of his country`s self-image could be interpreted as serving only the cause of rallying his voters in support of his de-facto well prepared coup d`état as it was supposed to be sanctified in April. Apparently, Russia`s President – who seems to be determined to secure himself a life-long Presidential power position - is trying to appropriate all the joint accomplishments of the nations united under the Soviet regime for the purpose of aggrandizing Russia`s historical role.

    The Russian government`s behaviour is suspicious in a more alarming way than the usual nationalist posturing. Mr. Putin has repeatedly demonstrated how little he respects international treaties signed by his predecessors. When Russia`s troops invaded Georgia 2008 it was in clear contravention of the CIS-Treaty of 1992 and when Russia effectively went to war against Ukraine over the Donbas in 2014, it broke not only the OSCE Final Act, the CIS treaty but also deposed with the UN. Mr. Putin`s aims should perhaps be see as a preparation for Russian re-conquista. His often reiterated claim that "Russia is a country of winners" should make of the West aware of the danger of the Kremlin`s interest in further expansion into perceived “Russian lands”. Moscow, so says the credo, is responsible for the safety and well-being of all Russians, no matter where they are. The combination of this assertion in combination with the claim that Ukrainians are an integral part of the Russian nation is somewhat threatening.

    Differing dramatically from what Russia became after the Soviet Union fell apart, was one of the world`s super-powers. The current Russian Federation chose to declare itself the “legal successor” of the USSR, which refers to Russia`s upholding international obligations signed by the Soviet Union.

    Each of the republics of the former USSR paid a high price for the joint vanquishing of the national-socialist ideology of the “Third Reich”. In Ukraine, which also became the main battle-ground in eastern Europe, up to seven million citizens were mobilized for the war-effort, which amounted to a quarter of the military of the Red Army. Ukrainians made up a significant part of the high command of the Red Army, with several hundreds generals and admirals partaking in the war.

    In addition to Russians and Ukrainians, men and women from Uzbekistan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia served in the war against Adolf Hitler.

    Without in any way wishing to lessen the unimaginable sacrifices that were brought by Russian citizens, military and civilian alike, it should still be noted that in Uzbekistan more than 1.4 million people were drafted for the ranks of the Red Army, of which more than 650,000 were killed or disappeared. More than a million people were mobilized in Belarus for the Red Army. Belarus, which had been under German occupation for more than three years, lost about three million inhabitants. In Kazakhstan, more than a million citizens were recruited for the war effort, which amounted to almost a quarter of the total population of the Republic. Of these, half a million perished during the war. Georgia sent more than 700 thousand troops to the Red Army, of which more than a third died. Azerbaijan contributed more than half a million soldiers, of which every second died. Armenia sent more than half million of its citizens, half of which did not survive.

    Mr. Putin`s claim to Russian fame will sound preposterous not only to citizens of the 15 non-Russian states of the Soviet Union, but also to the historically interested western reader. I believe it is safe to assume that not only US citizens will have forgotten about D Day on the 6th of June 1944. Thousands of British, French, US-American soldiers and innumerable others fell in combat against the German Wehrmacht. And perhaps the memory for the billions of US $ spent to supply war material, tanks and guns to the Soviet Union, which was helplessly underequipped and logistically unprepared to fight the German armies will not entirely have been lost.

    From our point of view, Mr. Putin`s declarations may well seem silly at best, but again for this author the question to ask is “why”. Why reinvent history 75 years after it happened. Why now?

    The Soviet Union suffered unimaginable losses, both on a human scale as well as economically through WWII. Nevertheless or possibly exactly for that reason, Stalin, the Soviet “Vozhd” - a term synonymous with titles accorded to other European dictators of the time, such as “il Duce”, “der Führer” or “el Caudillo” – came out strengthened by WWII. The war had united the Soviet people more than his reign of terror ever could. Perhaps the memory of WWII will be strong enough to serve the same or a similar purpose.

    The British weekly magazine The Economist quotes Mr. Sergei Lavrov, Russia`s foreign minister on the development in Libya saying “… we do not approve the statement that Field-Marshal Haftar will now single-handedly decide how the Lybian people should live”. In this, it is remarkable how hard Mr. Lavrov is working to secure his president exactly the same power in Russia.

    In 2020 we do not only celebrate the 75th anniversary of Victory Day, but also the 75th of yet another important but rather more ambivalent event: The advent of nuclear threat.

    Some 50 years later, in 1994, three permanent members of the UN Security Council – the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the Russian Federation and the United States for America - signed a memorandum in Budapest with Ukraine. The remaining members of the Security Council, the Republic of France the People`s Republic of China joined in a few weeks later.

    Object of the memorandum was that Ukraine, at the time armed with an impressive nuclear arsenal, expected its decision to unilaterally scrap all its nuclear weapons to be met with an unequivocal guarantee concerning the inviolability of its borders. In return for this nearly unprecedented act, the Permanent Members of the UN Security Council, including Russia, gave Ukraine the following – as it turned out rather hollow – promises:

    “Welcoming the accession of Ukraine to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons as a non-nuclear-weapon State,

    Taking into account the commitment of Ukraine to eliminate all nuclear weapons from its territory within a specified period of time,

    Noting the changes in the world-wide security situation, including the end of the cold war, which have brought about conditions for deep reductions in nuclear forces,

    Confirm the following:

    1. Member states of UN Security Council …

    reaffirm their commitment to Ukraine, in accordance with the principles of the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, to respect the independence and sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine;

    2. (The members of the UN Security Council) …reaffirm their obligation to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine, and that none of their weapons will ever be used against Ukraine except in self-defence or otherwise in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations;

    3. (The members of the UN Security Council) …reaffirm their commitment to Ukraine, in accordance with the principles of the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, to refrain from economic coercion designed to subordinate to their own interest the exercise by Ukraine of the rights inherent in its sovereignty and thus to secure advantages of any kind;

    (4. and 5. refer to threats of nuclear aggression against Ukraine and are not material to this article)

    6. Ukraine and … (the members of the UN Security Council) … will consult in the event a situation arises that raises a question concerning these commitments.

    The memorandum was submitted to the 49th Session of the General Assembly, Security Council, on the 19th of December 1994. Not entirely without irony, the representative who signed the letter on behalf of the Russian Federation was none other than that very same Mr. Sergei Lavrov, at the time a steadfast servant of the Russian ministry of foreign affairs under President Boris Yeltsin.

    All the of the above being said, it should be noted that the OSCE Final Act was first violated by NATO in the alliance`s war against Yugoslavia in 1999, which led to the secession of the Kosovo. We should also not forget that in 1990 the Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany Helmut Kohl gave the unambiguous guarantee to President Mikhail Gorbachev that there would be no enlargement of NATO into eastern central Europe. Indeed, the “Free World” has given the Kremlin and its current master enough justification to mistrust any western government. But let us not confuse “justification” and “reason”.

    Mr. Putin`s behaviour should not be interpreted as an irrational reaction to an imagined threat. Nor is it a sign of alertness, a signal that Russia is prepared to defend itself. In reality, the Russian President is instrumentalising rampant apprehension, misgivings and envy felt in Russia against the “Western World”, to secure his position as ruler of Russia. When the Russian Federation will have its new constitution, the country will have its very own new Vozhd. Perhaps things will work out for the best and Minsk will not become the new Munich. This is to be hoped, even though appeasement policy vis à vis the Kremlin seems to be the discrete consensus between politicians in EU and NATO alike. Sadly, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

    The distortion of reality and the defeat of truth: Russia`s celebration of Victory Day — Unlimited Democracy


    Well-Known Member
    Activities of Russian mercenaries employed by the private military company "Wagner Group" in the African region

    Syria, Libya, Ukraine, and now Africa! The Russian private military company Wagner Group (PMC Wagner Group) began its dirty business on another continent. In order to rebuild and strengthen their position, Russian mercenaries are actively increasing their presence on the African continent, training soldiers in Sudan, the Central African Republic and other African countries, pursuing their own mercantile interests and creating new "hot spots" on the world map.

    So who really are PMC Wagner Group? Some experts believe that this structure is a part of the Russian hybrid troops, a peripatetic special unit of the Russian military intelligence or special operations forces of the Russian Federation who disguise themselves as a private company, performing tasks for both the armed forces and special services of the Russian Federation instead.

    Russia is using PMC Wagner Group as a part of a hybrid war in other countries, recruiting international mercenaries. But the basis of this structure is retired Russian servicemen who carry out the orders of the Russian command. Mercenaries are being trained in Russian 10th special brigade base of the Chief Intelligence Directorate of the Russian Federation. They receive heavy weapons and equipment directly from the storage facilities of the Russian Ministry of Defense.

    The US State Department recently announced that Russian mercenaries employed by PMC Wagner Group were mistakenly called a Russian private military company because they were in fact a "tool of the Russian government" that Moscow uses as a cheap and risk-free tool to achieve its military, economic and political goals. From the very beginning, PMC Wagner Group have shown close cooperation with the Russian armed forces. For example, in March 2014, PMC Wagner Group helped Russian regular military units seize government offices and disarm Ukrainian army servicemen, acting mainly as an auxiliary force in the Ukrainian peninsula of the Crimea. Further successful occupation of the Crimea inspired Russia to train and engage its mercenaries further in the future. In May-August 2014 at least 1500 Wagner Group militants arrived in the Russian-occupied Luhansk region of Ukraine, continuously attacked the positions of the Ukrainian armed forces and the local population, contrary to international norms and laws of war.

    The experience gained in Ukraine has allowed Russia to use PMC Wagner Group as a tool to expand its influence in other regions of the world, notably in Africa. Sources from the world-famous Bloomberg media company claim that Wagner's mercenaries are currently stationed and operating in ten African countries: Sudan, the CAR, Libya, Zimbabwe, Angola, Madagascar, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Republic of Mozambique and probably in The Democratic Republic of the Congo. In exchange for the right to mine minerals (uranium, diamonds, gold, chromium, and natural gas) and supply Russian weapons to African countries, Wagner Group mercenaries guard high-ranking officials, train the military, do dirty work to suppress anti-government riots, and help to organize election campaigns, implementing their agents of influence.

    Thus, according to bilateral agreements, in October 2019 Russian leadership sent 200 mercenariesemployed by PMC Wagner Group and weapons (Mi-24 combat helicopters, Mi-8 transport and combat helicopters) to Mozambique under the pretext of combating Islamist illegal armed groups in the north of the country in exchange for ensuring access of Russian companies to mine natural resources in Mozambique. Mozambique's forces had considerable difficulty interacting with PMC Wagner Group and consider them as unreliable forces. It should be noted that having pursued its own interests and having not fulfilled the promises made, Russia, contrary to the agreements, withdrew its mercenaries from Mozambique in April 2020. At the same time, Russian officials continue to conduct an informational campaign aimed to avoid public disclosure of the presence and activities of Russian servicemen and Russian mercenaries in Mozambique.

    The world's leading military experts consider that the results of the gamble project of Russian mercenaries in Syria, Libya, Ukraine and Mozambique could have serious consequences in Africa. As a result of PMC Wagner’s Group brutality, callousness, unreliability and failure to meet its commitments, the governments of Cameroon and Uganda are likely to revise previous agreements with Russia to provide security services to those countries.

    Do we really want to see on the territory of the DRC Russian hybrid troops disguised under the PMC Wagner Group, whose activities could lead to destabilization and worsen security situation in our country!?

    La face voilée de la Russie : Les activités de la société militaire privée russe Wagner Group dans la région Africaine


    Well-Known Member
    when Turkish stream is more important then all the Christian orthodox claims
    Moscow Says Turkey's Hagia Sophia Move an 'Internal Affair'

    Russia said Monday that Turkey's decision to turn the iconic Hagia Sophia in Istanbul into a mosque was the country's own business.
    Turkey's move followed a court decision last week revoking the museum status of the UNESCO World Heritage site, and has triggered a global outcry.
    "We proceed from the fact that this is a Turkish internal affair in which neither us nor others should interfere," Russia's deputy foreign minister Sergei Vershinin told reporters.
    He stressed however the importance of Hagia Sophia for "world culture and civilization," Russian news agencies reported.
    The Hagia Sophia was constructed as a cathedral during the Byzantine Empire but converted into a mosque after the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople in 1453.
    It is to reopen this month for Muslim worship as a mosque after almost nine decades as a museum.
    Vershinin's statement came after the Russian Orthodox Church expressed dismay at Turkey's decision.
    "The concern of millions of Christians were not heard," Church spokesman Vladimir Legoida said on Friday.\

    Moscow Says Turkey's Hagia Sophia Move an 'Internal Affair' - The Moscow Times


    Well-Known Member
    OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine reports a new evidence of the Russian military presence in Ukraine

    The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine reports a new evidence of the Russian military presence in Ukraine.

    On 29 August the SMM mini-UAV has spotted 12 self-propelled howitzers Gvozdika, 122 mm near Buhaivka, non-government controlled area of Luhansk region of Ukraine, which is less than 25 km from the contact line.

    This is the next crude violation of the Minsk Agreement from the Russian side. All the howitzers were delivered from Russia to supply the 2nd Army Corps of the 8th Army of the Southern military district of Russian Armed Forces.

    The mentioned above is definitely classified by the SC Resolution 3314 as an Act of Aggression.


    Well-Known Member
    OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine reports a new evidence of the Russian military presence in Ukraine

    The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine reports a new evidence of the Russian military presence in Ukraine.

    On 29 AugusttheSMM mini-UAV hasspotted12 self-propelled howitzers Gvozdika, 122 mm near Buhaivka, non-government controlled area of Luhansk region of Ukraine, which is less than 25 km from the contact line.

    This is the next crude violation of the Minsk Agreement from the Russian side. All the howitzers were delivered from Russia to supply the 2ndArmy Corps of the 8thArmy of the Southern military district of Russian Armed Forces.

    The mentioned above is definitely classified by the SC Resolution 3314 as an Act of Aggression.


    Well-Known Member
    The Advanced Novichok, or The Easy Way to Combat Dissent

    According to the weekly Die Welt, Russian Federation opposition leader Alexei Navalny was poisoned with a new and improved version of a chemical from the Novichok group.

    According to the Munich Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology, in the laboratory of which the analyzes of the Russian politician were studied, the new substance was not known to experts before the attack and is more harmful and deadly than the “Novichok” used to poison the former employee of the Russian GRU Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia March 4, 2018, in Salisbury, Great Britain.

    According to the German side, one of the FSB agents who followed the opposition politician in the city of Tomsk added poison to the tea that Navalny drank at the airport, or applied it to the surface of a cup. Experts attribute the fact that Navalny managed to survive as a fortunate coincidence.

    German experts believe that such a complex two-component poison can be synthesized only in a special departmental laboratory, and only the Russian Federation special service could carry out an operation using such a deadly and complex poison.

    Speaking about the involvement of the Russian special services, one should be aware that in Russian Federation society, which is under a total control special services, even the leaders of the powerful FSB (formerly the KGB) are not able to make an independent decision on the use of a military nerve agent, without receiving instructions from the presidential administration of Russian Federation.

    It gave grounds for the official representative of the German government, Steffen Seibert, and then German Chancellor Angela Merkel, to declare on September 2 that the decision to get rid of unwanted criticism of the Russian Federation government was made by the Kremlin.

    In this context, the reaction of the United States is interesting, based on the intelligence information received, the Department of Commerce decided to impose sanctions on three Russian Federation research institutes that are actively developing chemical and biological weapons, including "Novichok" warfare agents. The US sanctions list will include: 33 Central Research Institute of the Russian Ministry of Defense in Shikhany, Saratov Region, 48 Central Research Institute of the Ministry of Defense in Sergiev Posad and its branches in Kirov and Yekaterinburg, State Research Institute of Organic Chemistry and Technology, subordinate to the Ministry of Industry and trade and its branch in Shikhany, Saratov region. The British newspaper “The Times” reported that the latter institute was involved in the creation of the “Novichok”.

    Earlier, US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Bigan, during talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, said that the United States would take tough measures against Russian Federation if the version of Navalny's poisoning is confirmed.

    The use of chemical and biological weapons by the Russian Federation outside the country is a form of armed aggression and has become the hallmark of the Russian Federation's totalitarian regime.

    It is worth mentioning that along with the cases of poisoning, which received wide international coverage, one should not forget about the poisoning in 2015 by the staff of the GRU of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces of the Bulgarian businessman Emilian Gebrev with a poisonous substance of the "Novichok" type. On February 21, 2020, the Bulgarian Prosecutor's Office published the names of suspected employees of the Russian special services who had passports in the names of Sergei Fedotov (real name Denis Sergeev), Sergei Pavlov (Sergei Lyutenko) and Georgy Gorshkov (Pyotr Borisov).

    As in the case of two other GRU officers Alexander Petrov (Mishkin) and Ruslan Boshirov (Chepiga), who used a military "Novichok" in Great Britain, the Bulgarian poisoners received passports from the same department of the Federal Migration Service of Russia under number 770001 and crossed the border another state under assumed names for the first time.

    All of the above is indisputable evidence of Russia's continued practice of the USSR to physically eliminate opponents of the regime by any available means, including chemical and biological weapons. This continues to occur despite Russian Federations' formal ratification of the UN international conventions prohibiting the development, production, stockpiling, and use of chemical and biological weapons. Moreover, the use of chemical warfare agents on the territory of foreign states is equal to armed invasion and attack, unleashing and waging war, and falls under the definition of an act of aggression by UN General Assembly Resolution 3314.
    To leave such manifestations of aggression unanswered is to agree that the geography of the use of the “Novichok” and similar poisons will only expand.
    The physical elimination of opponents is only part of the Kremlin's hybrid strategy, along with violence, cyber-attacks, interference in the elections of democratic countries, acts of direct military aggression, and the spread of disinformation and propaganda.

    The modern Russian Federation with the GRU and the FSB is undoubtedly the heir of the USSR with its KGB and GRU, continuing an irreconcilable struggle against freedom of speech and democracy. And today, more than ever, the question is how to reason and stop this totalitarian and aggressive state, which in its desire to violate the world order established since 1945, to trample on democratic values, to undermine the stability of international institutions, to enslave independent peoples by military force surpasses the Soviet Union.
    Today, more than ever, the world's leading democracies should unite their efforts to bring the usurpers of power in the Russian Federation to a fair international tribunal.


    Well-Known Member
    OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine reports a new violation of Minsk Agreement from the Russian side

    OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine reports a new violation of Minsk Agreement from the Russian side. On 29 AugusttheSMM mini-UAV hasspottedthe newly emerged trenches near Uzhivka, non-government controlled area of Donetsk region of Ukraine, which is less than 1 km from the contact line.

    This is the next crude violation of the additional achieved on 22 July Minsk Agreements from the Russian side. The 20 m trench extensions were dug between 26 and 29 August 2020 and assessed as belonging to the Russian occupation Army, namely 1stArmy Corps of the 8thArmy of the Southern military district of Russian Armed Forces.



    Well-Known Member
    Investigation: Russian Elites’ Connections to Bulgaria’s Largest ‘Crime Group’
    Leading Russian defense figures bought luxury apartments in a Black Sea resort controlled by an organization U.S. diplomats called one of the country’s largest crime syndicates.

    The apartment complex where Russian elites own property next to Bulgaria's Black Sea coast. Dimitar Stoyanov (BIRD)

    Several heads of Russian state-owned companies — including acquaintances of President Vladimir Putin — have residences in a Bulgarian Black Sea resort controlled by TIM — an organization U.S. diplomats named one of Bulgaria’s largest crime organizations and which was created by communist-era military and intelligence officers with connections at the highest state level.
    Important Stories and Bulgarian investigative journalist center BIRD found that the resort, near Varna, has a small but influential Russian community, lured there by a former Bulgarian KGB officer who branched out into the hospitality and real estate sectors. In the heart of the resort lie apartments owned by the families of top managers of Rosneft, Gazprom, VTB Bank, as well as CEO of the Rostec state corporation Sergei Chemezov.
    While relatives and friends of the Russian state-owned company bosses enjoyed the Bulgaria resort, TIM were building their business empire and investing into Russian state assets.
    Everyone speaks Russian
    The resort town of Saint Constantine and Helena, named in honor of the Roman emperor and his mother, stands eight kilometers from Varna. The local healing springs attracted aristocrats from the Eastern Roman Empire, and later the Bulgarian royalty, who built their summer residence on the coastal site. More recently, one of the buildings close to an ancient monastery was converted to produce wine and in 2004 became the site of the four-star Estreya Palace hotel — around which the modern aristocracy, with their nostalgia for Black Sea beaches, gathered.
    Next to the Estreya Palace is a seven-story apartment complex, completed in 2010 and fitted out in traditional Bulgarian architecture. It includes massage rooms, a sauna, Turkish baths, a gym and an underground garage.
    According to the Bulgarian real estate register, more than 20 apartments with an area of more than 100 square meters in the complex are owned by Russians, including top figures from some of the largest state-owned corporations, as well as their relatives and friends.
    Permission to construct the complex was granted in 2007, and it opened only three years later. In total, more than 15 families from Russia invested in the apartments — at various stages of construction and after it had been completed. The most notable are acquaintances and colleagues of Sergei Chemezov, CEO of the Rostec state corporation. Chemezov is a long-time friend of Putin, having served with him in the KGB in East Germany.
    Chemezov’s son, Alexander, is the owner of one of the more exclusive apartments — more than 200 square meters — and a swimming pool and roof terrace of more than 300 square meters. For the apartment, pool, terrace and a space in the underground garage, he paid around six million rubles, as calculated by 2008 exchange rates. Chemezov’s former wife, Lyubov Chemezova, also bought an apartment in the complex — measuring 110 square meters and without a swimming pool — for nine million rubles.

    Other property was bought by the daughters and wife of the former head of Russia’s customs agency, Andrei Belyaninov — another long-time friend of Putin and Chemezov from their KGB connections in East Germany. Those apartments cost around 42 million rubles.
    Belyaninov previously explained part of the reason Russian statesmen preferred Bulgaria to other European destinations, even though some have more luxurious property elsewhere, such as the Spanish villa of Chemezov’s stepdaughter, which cost around 15 million euros.
    “I like to relax in Bulgaria, around Varna,” Belyaninov told reporters in 2014. “There are very good resorts there, as some say Soviet-style. Conditions are very comfortable and everybody speaks Russian.”
    Another close connection of Putin — the wife of Orthodox businessman Konstantin Goloshchapov — also owned apartments in the same complex through a Dutch holding company, having spent around 38 million rubles. Goloshchapov has been dubbed “Putin’s masseuse,” lived next door to Chemezov in a village outside Moscow, and also owns apartments in a hotel building overlooking Red Square.
    Among the Russian cohort of owners there are practically no outsiders — with nearly all having some connection to the Rostec boss. The name Druzhba, or friendship, which Saint Constantine and Helena was called during the communist era, has seemingly retained its relevance.
    Other apartments were bought by the following individuals or their spouses:
    • Anatoly Isaikin, former state security officer and former director of the state arms export agency Rosoboronexport
    • Alexei Aleshin, former first deputy of Chemezov at Rostec and head of the government’s environment, industrial and nuclear supervision service Rostechnadzor
    • Alexander Rybas, former director at a Rostec subsidiary, and Aleshin’s former deputy at the environment, industrial and nuclear supervision service
    • Valery Lukyanenko, deputy chairman of VTB Bank and board member at a Rostec subsidiary
    • Alexander Bespalov, former head of information at Gazprom who worked with Putin in St. Petersburg in the 1990s
    • Ildar Fayzutdinov, former director of property at Rosneft
    • Yulian Levin, president of RN Management, a Rosneft subsidiary
    • Vasily Kichedzhi, former vice governor of St. Petersburg and former head of transport and communications at Moscow city hall
    • Leonid Bochin, former head of environmental protection at Moscow city hall
    The press office of Russia's environment, industrial and nuclear supervision service Rostechnadzor told Important Stories that the apartments in Bulgaria were bought “to decrease family members’ expenses during summer holidays.”
    The wife of Alexei Aleshin, head of Rostechnadzor, and formerly Chemezov’s first deputy at Rostec, invested in the apartments during the construction stage. Rostechnadzor’s press office said Aleshin has not visited the Black Sea coast since 2013 and does not know anything about the owners of the resort.
    Tired of the West
    The Russian contingent came to the resort at the behest of the Estreya Palace owner — a former Bulgarian KGB officer with the call-sign Plamen — Atanas Karageorgiev, who is friends with the apartment owners on social media.
    Karageorgiev told BIRD journalists that the Chemezovs stopped coming to the resort after the EU levied sanctions against the Rostec head. However, they continue paying for maintenance and the apartments are all in good condition, he added.
    The former counterintelligence officer seems more like a Russian official than a European businessman. He was disappointed when Bulgaria joined the EU, saying “we are tired of Western culture. The West has no values. More precisely, they have 'values' for homosexuals,” he said in 2018.
    “In the 1990s, very few people watched Russian TV … And now, in many Bulgarian families, TVs are tuned to Russian channels. We feel that we are two peoples who have the same values, and they do not coincide with Western ones,” he added.
    Sergei Chemezov, Rostec CEORostec

    Karageorgiev’s connections with the Russians who would go on to buy apartments in the Bulgarian resort were born in the 1990s, when he was director of Bultrak, a Russian-Bulgarian business shipping tractors from Chelyabinsk in Russia to Bulgaria.
    He said that he got to know Chemezov because Russia’s defense-related export agency Rosoboronexport, where he worked, was the agency which gave permission to export dual-purpose tractors.
    Karageorgiev said he does not consider a modest purchase of apartments by the Chemezovs as an investment. “This is not an investment for him. They invest on a much larger scale.”
    Bultrak’s Moscow office was headed up by Vasily Kichedzhi, who went on to become head of Moscow’s transport and communications department and vice governor of St. Petersburg from 2011 until 2014.
    Kichedzhi’s brother, wife and niece were among the first investors in the apartment complex project, as were Chemesov’s relatives.
    Not saints
    Saint Constantine and Helena is not only famous for its ancient history and access to the Black Sea.
    Almost everything that happens there is controlled by the largest criminal group in Bulgaria, TIM. The organization, which is registered as a financial and industrial group, owns the resort, its management company and is responsible for developing the beaches and infrastructure around Saint Constantine and Helena through an affiliated company.
    In dispatches revealed by WikiLeaks, U.S. diplomats named TIM an organized crime group, writing: “TIM is involved in a wide range of criminal activities, including extortion and racketeering, intimidation, prostitution, gambling, narcotics trafficking, car theft, and trafficking in stolen automobiles.”
    TIM representatives deny such a description of the organization and its activities.
    The organization was registered in Varna in 1993 by three former Bulgarian special forces operatives — Tihomir Mitev, Ivo Kamenov and Marin Mitev. The group’s work focused on security services — a money spinner which local law enforcement said resembled racketeering.

    It was around then that TIM forced the state to sign an unprofitable and unnecessary contract to protect the Saint Constantine hotel — which would become the Estreya Palace — the former head of combating organized crime in Varna, Stamo Stamov, told the author of an expose on the outfit, titled “TIM: The Team That Conquered Bulgaria.”
    “Every month they were being paid more than the salary for 30 police officers. But they had just four people driving around the resort,” Stamov said.
    But to secure control over the resort, TIM had to fight off competition from a rival syndicate, known as Multigroup. Its leader Ilya Pavlov, the godfather of the Bulgarian mafia and the country’s richest businessman, invested hundreds of millions in developing the region and buying up hotels in the 1990s. When the government eventually decided to privatize the hotel, the two groups clashed.
    In 2003, Pavlov was shot and killed. The joint stock company that owned the resort fell into the hands of companies controlled by TIM — a fact which became public only in 2009 when the company was moved into the group’s Varna Holding company, completing the journey from providing security services for a state-owned spa hotel to fully controlling the resort.
    The current owner of Estreya Palace, Karageorgiev told BIRD reporters that he is independent from TIM. His hotel and the apartments complex are situated on the territory of the group’s resort and he said his payment for the infrastructure every year is “higher than the income tax.”
    Industrial scale
    After the 1990s, TIM quickly established its business fronts and expanded its influence across Bulgaria. By the start of the millennium, it had privatized Chimimport, and had filled its portfolio with banks, insurance companies, airlines and ships. Founder Marin Mitev estimated in 2012 TIM accounted for 5% of Bulgaria’s GDP. The three founders are seen as among the five most influential people in the country.
    According to the former chief of the General Directorate Combating Organized Crime at the Ministry of Interior, Vanio Tanov, the group’s ties to government circles have become so strongthat it was reportedly forbidden to mention TIM in meetings with the prime minister about the problem with organized crime in Bulgaria.
    The group has denied its involvement in organized crime. When asked about bribing civil servants in an interview with a German journalist, founder Kamenov said corruption was rare in Bulgaria. “After all, we are not Russia,” he added.
    Kamenov — the executive director of Chimimport — has firsthand experience of Russia. After starting construction on the apartment block next to the Estreya Palace which proved so popular with members of the Russian elite and acquaintances of Putin, Chimimport suddenly popped up in Tatarstan, quickly gaining control of a number of state assets, including the region’s airline — a collaboration which proved unsuccessful and had tragic consequences.
    Organized airline
    In 2008, Tatarstan was preparing for the Universiade — an olympics for university students — and the local government was urgently looking for investors.
    Kamenov stepped up, agreeing to invest $50 million to reconstruct regional capital Kazan’s airport and another $20 million to renew Tatarstan Airlines’ fleet, after personal negotiations with Tatarstan’s then-President Mintimer Shaimiev. In return, the Bulgarians received a joint share in the state-owned airline and airport.
    However, even years later, the planes had not been updated and in 2012, Tatarstan ceased its cooperation with Сhimimport in the sphere of air transport. AK Bars was planned to become the airline’s new co-owner.
    Then, in November 2013 a Tatarstan Airlines passenger jet flying from Moscow to Kazan crashed upon landing, killing all 50 on board. Among the deceased was Tatarstan’s President’s son and the head of the regional federal security service (FSB). After a six-year investigation, Russia said the crash was caused by crew error and found that the commander had a fake pilot’s license.
    At the time of the crash, the Boeing plane was 23 years old. A year earlier it had been forced to make an emergency landing due to cabin depressurization. Planes of such age can still be airworthy, experts said, assuming they are properly maintained. Tatarstan Airlines head Aksan Giniyatullin refused to answer questions about the plane’s service history or explain when certain components were last changed. After Chimimport took a stake in the airline, aircraft were serviced in Bulgaria.

    Once it had formally received its shares in Tatarstan Airlines, Chimimport backed out of the planned purchase of new Airbus planes, local business journal Business Online reported. Instead, it subleased four used Boeings from Bulgaria Air — which Chimimport also controls — to Tatarstan Airlines. The youngest of the planes was 15 years old. Business Online reported the deal cost Tatarstan $265,000 a month, instead of the original $100,000, as the contract stipulated the planes must be serviced in Bulgaria.
    It was one of the ex-Bulgaria Air planes that was involved in the fatal crash. And one year later, Tatarstan Airlines went bankrupt.
    But TIM and Chimimport’s unsuccessful experience with Tatarstan did not prompt them to leave the Russian market. It still has links to companies with strong connections to the Russian elite.
    A number of TIM’s businesses are intertwined with Russian state companies whose managers received apartments in the Saint Constantine and Helena resort at low prices.
    For instance, TIM occupies a leading position in Bulgaria’s aviation industry as co-owners of the Varna and Burgas airports, as well as Bulgaria Air and Hemus Air. The latter is listed as a foreign partner of UEC-Perm Engines, a subsidiary of Rostec. In 2019 Bulgaria Air signed a jet fuel contract with Rosneft — whose senior figures are also connected to the Saint Constantine and Helena apartment complex.
    Two more of Chimimport’s Russian assets are also notable. The company owns a small lender, IK bank, and an insurance company Armeets. The son of the Kremlin’s Envoy to the Far East and Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Trutnev, Dmitry, sat on the board of both firms.
    NATO’s new neighbors
    Some Russian state-owned companies and elites, including the current and former leaders who own apartments in the Bulgarian resort, are now covered by EU sanctions.
    Despite this, Russian statesmen haven’t become completely unwelcome in Bulgaria.
    Just last year Bulgarian President Rumen Radev said that he intends to continue military and technical cooperation with Russia in face of the restrictions, citing the two countries “centuries of historical ties.”
    The links mean even a new NATO naval center in Varna which has been proposed by the Bulgarian government will be a close neighbor to the TIM-controlled resort, where leading Russian defense officials and friends of the President own property.
    Reporting by Irina Dolinina (Important Stories), Atanas Chobanov (BIRD) and Dimitar Stoyanov (BIRD)

    Investigation: Russian Elites’ Connections to Bulgaria’s Largest ‘Crime Group’ - The Moscow Times


    Well-Known Member
    Where are the Military coups born

    History has many examples of how large regional countries are interfering in the political processes of other countries in order to spread their influence and control on natural resources. The main features of such intervention are military coups with the forcible seizure of political power and change of the leadership. Unfortunately, the countries of the African region, such as Liberia, Nigeria, CAR, Uganda, Guinea and Zimbabwe, have not escaped such examples. More recent examples include Sudan and Mali.

    All military coups in the countries of the African region have internal and external factors. Undoubtedly, internal factors are socio-economic instability, which leads to numerous demonstrations and rallies. Equally important, however, is the foreign policy context, which is the desire of large regional countries to increase expansion in Africa, helping the countries of the continent politically, financially and openly supporting them by military assets. Russia has been interfering in the internal and foreign policies of the African countries since 2018, having previously carried out similar military coups in Ukraine and trying to carry them out in the Republic of Belarus today. In August this year, President of the Republic of Belarus Alexander LUKASHENKO accused Russia not only of interfering in the country's presidential election, but also of illegally sending Russian militants of the private military company Wagner, who are part of Russia's hybrid troops, a mercenaries of the Russian special forces and intelligence. According to the President of the Republic of Belarus, Wagner's mercenaries were send to destabilize the situation in the country before and during the elections. Russia's aggressive actions have also been condemned by the top US leadership.

    Russia's active interference in the events in Sudan and Mali is also notorious. In 2019, acting President of Sudan Omar Al-BASHIR, who is actively supported by Russian President Vladimir PUTIN, had been dismissed in a military coup. The world media claimed that the same mercenaries of the Russian private military company Wagner, whom Russia now widely uses as an element of a hybrid war in African countries, took an active part in the suppression of anti-government sentiment on the Sudanese president side. Some facts also indicate that the military, that seized power in Sudan, had been trained in Russia in the past. That is why there is a suspicion that the military coup in Sudan took place exactly according to the Russian scenario.

    In August 2020, a military coup also took place in the Republic of Mali. After forcing the acting President KEITA to resign, the country is now run by the so-called "Comité National pour le Salut du Peuple" (CNSP). It is well-known that the leaders of the CNSP, who carried out a military coup in the Republic of Mali, were recently trained in military institutes of the Russian Armed Forces. An additional evidence, that may indicate Russia's involvement in the coup in the Republic of Mali, is the meeting of Russian Ambassador to Mali GROMYKO with the rebels on August 21, 2020 in Kati. During the meeting, they discussed Russia's assistance to the rebels, as well as the prospects for increasing bilateral relations.

    Indisputable facts indicate that the Russian impact on the military coups in Sudan and the Republic of Mali is aimed to consolidate the status of the main and only military and economic partner among African countries, followed by unrestricted access to their natural resources. Is there any confidence today that the wave of military coups in Africa will not affect our country, which is rich in natural resources?

    Votre éditeur pense ; De quelles manières naissent des coups d’État militaires