|Russia will send upgraded jets to Syria
Posted: 16 Feb 2017 11:48 AM PST
February 16th, 2017 – Fort Russ News –
– By Joaquin Flores –
Four upgraded close air support fighter planes, the Su-25SM3 fighter jets, the latest upgrade of the Su-25 ground attack aircraft, are to be sent to the Russian airbase in Syria later this year in the summer, as reported by the Russian Izvestia newspaper.
The Hmeymim airbase received ten Su-25SM and two of the training variants – Su-25UB in the September of 2015. On January 12th, four Su-25 attack jets were again transferred to the Russian airbase in Lattakia to carry out strikes against ISIS terrorists in Al-Bab.
Izvestia recalls that the Hmeymim military airbase is located south of the Syrian city of Lattakia, and is Russia’s center of strategic operations against the Islamic State and other terrorist organisations. The airbase is reported to be scheduled for significant expansion and upgrades throughout the year.
According to Izvestia, the Su-25SM3s – an extensively modified version of the Su-25 ground attack jet, are to be sent to the Hmeymim military
airbase in western Syria
. The exact date of the transfer is not confirmed, but is expected to happen between August and September this year.
The upgraded Su-25 is equipped with an advanced tactical electronic warfare suite – Vitebsk-25.
Russia’s upgrading of Su-25 to SM3 version can reportedly extend the aircraft’s operative life for at least another ten years. The country’s air force is expected to receive its first modernized variants by August, when four aircraft will be sent for duty in Syria.
|For the former Czech president, « the dissolution of the EU could be an opportunity for Europe »
Posted: 16 Feb 2017 11:31 AM PST
February 16, 2016 – Fort Russ News –
RT France, translated by Tom Winter –
|Vaclav Klaus, President of the Czech Republic, 2003-2013
There is a growing frustration with Brussels that threatens the EU. Will it resist the pressure? When did the idea of a union of the European nations get corrupted? Former President of the Czech Republic Vaclav Klaus confides in RT.
RT: This year Europe marks the 25th anniversary since the creation of the European Union. Twenty-five years later, is the European integration process a success or a failure?
Vaclav Klaus (V. K.): I am not very happy with what is happening. At the time, I was very much in favor of the European integration process, but this process was transformed by the Maastricht Treaty, and especially by the Treaty of Lisbon, into something totally different. I call this the movement from integration towards unification. This was the beginning of the bad development.
RT: German Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel recently told Der Spiegel that dissolving the union was a possible scenario – do you believe the union is in danger today?I broadly support the idea of much freer cooperation between individual member countries rather than a unified Europe.
V. K.: First of all, I would be very happy if the European Union turned into something else, so I see no problem, no danger, but rather an opportunity, a potential victory for the future. Brexit has been an important factor in this development, but I hope that Europe will finally begin its restructuring on its own.
If it is necessary to be radical, I think that the form that the European continent has today should change. I strongly support the idea of much freer cooperation between individual member countries rather than a unified Europe.
I believe that the first decision should be to totally stop the so-called « deepening » of the EU, stop accepting laws coming from Brussels for different EU countries. The second dream would be to go back, and for me, of course, the optimum would be to revisit the Maastricht Treaty. This was the transition from the European Community to the European Union. That would be a long-term goal.
I consider that anti-establishment movements in Europe – in France, Germany, Sweden, Italy and the Netherlands – have real potential for change.
RT: Donald Trump’s election was seen as an example of anti-establishment forces gaining ground in the West. Do you have the impression that this is something temporary, or that these new anti-establishment forces could really change the status quo in the EU?
V. K.: I hope so, because I think these anti-establishment movements in Europe – in France, Germany, Sweden, Italy, the Netherlands, and some other countries have a real potential for change. I do not share the labeling of these parties as populist and far right. Not at all ! They try to represent normal, ordinary people who simply want to change something in the country and are very angry at the establishment and its arrogance in many of these countries. So I hope it’s a positive move. The success of this movement will be another question. Nevertheless, I think it is a long-term process, it is a sort of awakening of the silent majority in the European countries. This is very important.
RT: With regard to the fight against the terrorist threat, you would prefer to eliminate Schengen and enhance security at national level …
V. K .: Undoubtedly.
RT: … and create a European army?
V. K .: Undoubtedly. This is the same problem of this shift from integration to unification. I would be content with free borders, but without Schengen.
RT: The refugee crisis remains on the agenda in the EU today. Why do you think the EU has so far failed to prepare a coherent plan to tackle this problem?
To stop the migration, just say « no, » but the EU is not ready to say it.
V. K.: I am referring intentionally to « migrants. » To call them « refugees » is a misnomer. The majority of these people from the Middle East and North Africa are not refugees, they are simply migrants who came to Europe in hopes of a better life, but it is not about « refugees. » It is very important to see the difference between the terms. As far as migration is concerned, it is a phenomenon which threatens to destroy European culture, European civilization. I am not a person who blames the migrants, I blame the European political elites who let this happen.
RT: Many have in mind that the only way to stop mass migration in Europe is to end the conflicts in these countries. Do you think that Europe should play an active role in Syria, in Libya?
V. K.: I am not sure that Europe can be a real actor, because there are so many different points of view in Europe that Europe is not able to function as an entity. But in terms of migration … I think there are a lot of technical issues, but to stop migration, just say « no, » and the EU is not prepared to say that. This is the main issue and the main problem.
|What would they do without the famous « Russian Threat »?
Posted: 16 Feb 2017 10:51 AM PST
February 16, 2016 Fort Russ News –
|Cartoon by Vitaly Podvitsky
Humor Note: But what would the world be without this famous « Russian threat »?
The news is full of Russia’s exploits. The Bear elects Trump, is about to invade Europe, distorts the elections in France, saves the tyrant Assad, supports the Ukrainian « separatists. » Just what won’t Russia do?
It would certainly be quicker to enumerate the notable events that are not Russia’s doing. In other words, according to Western politicians, we have entered the era of global Russian governance. Have I got this right? This, in fact, justifies the strengthening of NATO and the United States in Europe. Have I still got it?
We learn with great concern that Russia — after returning the Trump team (for all that, still continuing the same policy towards Russia) and making Hillary Clinton lose — will take care of the French elections. This is a very serious conclusion from the no less serious DGSE. [French Foreign Intelligence Service — tr]
Especially since Russia would have already raged against the sacred Emmanuel Macron, pirating his site En Marche. And why? To elect Mme. Le Pen, what else? Because of course, elections are not won with popular voices. As always, the National Canard reveals the info. Le Canard is very active in politics this year, but whatever, it fulfills its function, which is not journalistic: In short, Russia poses a threat in the realm of cyberterrorism.
But not only that, because, of course, the countries of Eastern Europe have entered the EU, for lack of being able to add a star to the American flag, and, for their greatest misfortune still remain « in the East » (political geography has limits which reason still recognizes), they are parroting the coming Russian invasion. If, if … the tanks should arrive. In this case, they are American.
But it’s the Atlantic Resolve! They are expecting 3500 American soldiers, 87 tanks and 550 armored troop transports. The first tanks have arrived in Poland and Bulgaria and the Baltic countries are eager to receive their rapid response units, which will allow an intervention in 24 hours at the Russian border, obviously, in case of attack. Well, for the time being, this remains very theoretical, because it is still necessary to build the infrastructures, which are inadequate to the structures of NATO. And considering the small importance of the contingent, it is fortunate for these countries that the threat is all virtual. On the other hand, political aggression is very real, but we will keep a pious silence, for Russia is of course responsible for bringing its borders closer to the bases of NATO. So it’s not an aggression, it’s a defense. Phew, honor is safe.
The United States has been well organized. Lithuania and Estonia, which after so many years in the Alliance have finally found their place: they have signed Status Of Forces Agreements (SOFA) with the US on the status of US troops in their countries. These agreements provide for the exclusive jurisdiction of the United States in all matters relating to its soldiers. Only serious crimes may, perhaps, come within the jurisdiction of the national courts. The countries that have been home to US troops for a long time, like Japan, know what they can do on a daily basis in an occupied country.
In any case, the countries of Eastern Europe are happy and relieved. Happy to find protection against this mysterious and unavoidable « Russian threat. » That allows James Mattis, the new US Secretary of Defense, to put the dots on the i: if you want our protection you have to play by our rules; the times have changed:
« The Alliance remains a fundamental foundation for the United States. (…) America will assume its responsibilities, but if your nations do not want America to moderate its commitment to this Alliance, each of your capitals must show its support for our common defense. (…) Americans can not worry more about the future safety of your children than you do yourself. »
Everything has a price, and the ones prostituted pay their share to their protector, a matter of 2% of the national budget. Otherwise, the countries of the Alliance can always change pimps or become autonomous, which they fear in a panic.
Today the other 27 members are reassured, the boss sent his representative, everything will remain as before, you just have to pay a little more. But independence would be too dangerous. Especially in the face of this « Russian threat. »
But in fact, what is this « Russian threat »? Is it the risk for this System, whose greatest force is its total absence of morality, to show its iniquitous face? Or is it the real rupture that exists and is growing between the aspirations of the populations and the ideological choices of their governing groups? Is it the fact that our societies are governed only by a minority to whom we must give the mask of superiority to justify their position?
What is this « Russian threat »? Is it the excuse without which it would no longer be possible to justify anti-social policies, liberticidal policies, totalitarian tendencies – in the sense that these societies want to create a new man, without roots or past, who lives here and now, therefore a being without a future?
Just what is the « Russian threat » if not the fear that the System has about itself, its inconsistency, and its vacuity.
|Putin urges FSB to counteract Ukrainian terrorism and foreign destabilization efforts
Posted: 16 Feb 2017 05:56 AM PST
February 16, 2017 – Fort Russ –
On February 16th, at his annual meeting with the Collegium of the Federal Security Service (FSB), Russian President Vladimir Putin named the main threats to Russia’s security to be: international terrorism, foreign intelligence services, and the instability of neighbors, particularly Ukraine.
Putin also drew attention to the fact that at the NATO summit in Warsaw in July last year, for the first time since 1989 Russia was recognized to be the main threat to NATO’s security and deterring Russia was officially declared to be the new mission of NATO.
“The bloc’s further expansion is being carried out with this goal,” the president continued. “This was done before, but now they have found what they think to be more serious justification. The deploying of strategic and conventional weapons beyond the borders of its member-states has been accelerated. They are provoking us with this and striving to drag us into confrontation. Attempts at interfering in our domestic affairs with the aim of destabilizing the socio-political situation in Russia itself have not ceased,” the president stated.
Just last year, the operations of 53 officers and 386 foreign intelligence agents were suppressed. But threats to the state’s security continue to be posed by neighboring states.
Putin explained: “We have recently seen a serious deterioration of the situation in South-East Ukraine. The aim of this escalation is obvious: to disrupt the Minsk Agreements. Today’s government in Ukraine is clearly not ready for a peaceful resolution of this complicated problem and is betting on a coercive solution. Moreover, they are openly talking about the organization of sabotage and terroristic, subversive work, including in Russia. This cannot but disturb us.”
“The events and circumstances I’ve named demand from Russia’s special and security agencies, and first and foremost from the Federal Security Service, special attention and concentration of forces, first and foremost in the fight against terrorism,” Putin added.
The Russian president also instructed for additional measures to be taken to ensure the safety of Russian institutions and diplomatic missions abroad. In addition, he called for dialogue with the intelligence services of the US and other NATO member-countries.
Putin’s warning comes on the heels of a law recently adopted by Ukraine on special operations forces which permits Ukrainian intelligence services to engage in terrorist operations outside of the country. In the several months since the law was adopted, the commander of the Lugansk People’s Republic’s People’s Militia, Oleg Anashchenko, and the commander of the Donetsk People’s Republic’s Somali battalion, Mikhail Tolstykh (“Givi”), have
|Putin criticizes NATO plans to expand Black Sea presence
Posted: 16 Feb 2017 05:30 AM PST
February 16, 2017 – Fort Russ News –
On February 16th, NATO member-countries’ defense ministers adopted a decision on strengthening the alliance’s military naval presence in the Black Sea. This reinforcing is to involve the intensification of intelligence gathering on the situation in the region, NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has announced.
“Today we agreed on two measures for an increased NATO naval presence in the Black Sea for enhanced training, exercises and situational awareness, and the functioning of our permanent naval group’s coordination at sea while interacting with other allied naval forces in the Black Sea region,” Stoltenberg is quoted by RIA Novosti as telling reporters
NATO’s Secretary General believes that dialogue with Russia must be held from a position of strength and that methods of deterrence must be applied in the likes of what Western countries did during the Cold War.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has stressed that NATO considers Russia its main threat, and that this standpoint explains the expansion of NATO’s military presence.
“At the NATO summit in July last year in Warsaw, for the first time since 1989 Russia was recognized as the main security threat to the alliance, and deterring Russia was officially declared to be NATO’s new mission. The bloc’s further expansion is being carried out with this goal. This was done before, but now they have found what they think to be more serious justification,” Putin has said.
Putin also mentioned that NATO member-countries are constantly provoking Russia and drawing her into confrontation by interfering in the country’s internal affairs.
In December, Russia’s permanent representative to NATO, Alexander Grushko, stated that the expansion of NATO’s military presence in the Black Sea will increase tensions and undermine security in the region.