Archive

24.04.2018 - 13:59 [ Consortium News ]

US Intel Vets Dispute Russia Hacking Claims

(12.12.2016) we draw on decades of senior-level experience – with emphasis on cyber-intelligence and security – to cut through uninformed, largely partisan fog. Far from hiding behind anonymity, we are proud to speak out with the hope of gaining an audience appropriate to what we merit – given our long labors in government and other areas of technology. And corny though it may sound these days, our ethos as intelligence professionals remains, simply, to tell it like it is – without fear or favor.

We have gone through the various claims about hacking. For us, it is child’s play to dismiss them. The email disclosures in question are the result of a leak, not a hack.

24.04.2018 - 11:13 [ Tass ]

Russia hopes contacts with France will clear up cooperation on Syria

„I hope that after contacts with [our] French colleagues we will set the record straight on how we will cooperate on a settlement to the Syrian crisis in order to observe all rules and norms of the international law and the United Nations Charter,“ Lavrov explained.

The foreign minister noted that on Monday, the Russian and French presidents had a phone conversation „during which Vladimir Putin laid out our stance and confirmed [Russia’s] willingness to coordinate positions with [our] French partners.“

20.04.2018 - 22:30 [ Consortium News ]

US Intel Vets Dispute Russia Hacking Claims

(12.12.2016) All signs point to leaking, not hacking. If hacking were involved, the National Security Agency would know it – and know both sender and recipient.

In short, since leaking requires physically removing data – on a thumb drive, for example – the only way such data can be copied and removed, with no electronic trace of what has left the server, is via a physical storage device.

20.04.2018 - 22:28 [ Washington Post ]

Democratic Party files lawsuit alleging Russia, the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks conspired to disrupt the 2016 campaign

The complaint, filed in federal district court in Manhattan, alleges that top Trump campaign officials conspired with the Russian government and its military spy agency to hurt Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and help Trump by hacking the computer networks of the Democratic Party and disseminating stolen material found there.

20.04.2018 - 22:27 [ Washington Post ]

Russia: US did not violate red lines during Syria strikes

“We told them where our red lines were, including the geographical red lines,” Lavrov told Russian state television. “The results have shown that they haven’t crossed those lines.”

Moscow had warned the U.S. before the strike that it could hit back if the U.S. actions jeopardize Russian servicemen in Syria, and the allies had given Russia an advance warning to make sure no Russians were in the line of fire.

20.04.2018 - 17:57 [ theIntercept.com ]

Russia Sows Doubts Over Chemical Attack in Syria, Aided by Pro-Trump Cable Channel

Russia has chalked the delay up to security concerns in Douma, which seems odd, given that foreign journalists were taken on a government-run tour of the town on Monday, when they were able to wander freely along streets close to the site of the reported attack.

When those journalists filed their reports, it became clear why Syrian and Russian officials might have preferred to give limited access to reporters rather than unfettered access to inspectors from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

20.04.2018 - 17:51 [ One America News Network / Youtube ]

ONE AMERICA NEWS GETS EXCLUSIVE ACCESS TO UNDERGROUND MAKESHIFT HOSPITAL IN SYRIA

(19.4.2018) ONE AMERICA’S „PEARSON SHARP“ HAS BEEN ON THE GROUND IN SYRIA FOR THE PAST WEEK…. WHERE HE HAS BEEN INVESTIGATING THE ALLEGED CHEMICAL ATTACK IN DOUMA. HE GOT A CHANCE TO VISIT AN UNDERGROUND MAKESHIFT HOSPITAL IN DOUMA… WHERE HE INTERVIEWED PATIENTS AND DOCTORS ABOUT THE ALLEGED ATTACK.

20.04.2018 - 08:18 [ Organisaton für das Verbot von Chemiewaffen ]

Media Alert: Update on the Deployment of the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission to Douma, Syria

(18.4.2018) On 16 April, we received confirmation from the National Authority of the Syrian Arab Republic that, under agreements reached to allow the evacuation of the population in Ghouta, the Syrian military were unable to enter Douma. The security for the sites where the FFM plans to deploy was under the control of the Russian Military Police. The United Nations Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS) has made the necessary arrangements with the Syrian authorities to escort the team to a certain point and then for the escort to be taken over by the Russian Military Police. However, the UNDSS preferred to first conduct a reconnaissance visit to the sites, which took place yesterday. FFM team members did not participate in this visit.

On arrival at Site 1, a large crowd gathered and the advice provided by the UNDSS was that the reconnaissance team should withdraw. At Site 2, the team came under small arms fire and an explosive was detonated. The reconnaissance team returned to Damascus.

19.04.2018 - 09:03 [ rferl.org ]

UN Says Negotiating With Syria, Russia On Visit To Syria Site

A team from the United Nations is discussing security arrangements with Syrian and Russian authorities in Syria to allow experts access to the town of Douma to investigate an alleged chemical-weapons attack, UN officials say.

The remarks on April 18 came after the director-general of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Ahmet Uzumcu, said UN security experts had come under fire in the town when they arrived in an attempt to assess the situation.

18.04.2018 - 16:07 [ Techdirt ]

In Trying To Ban Telegram, Russia Breaks The Internet

Russia’s war on encryption and privacy has reached an entirely new level of ridiculous. We’ve noted for a while how Putin’s government has been escalating its war on encrypted services and VPNs in the misguided hope of keeping citizens from dodging government surveillance. But things escalated dramatically when the Russian government demanded that encrypted messaging app Telegram hand over its encryption keys to the FSB. After Telegram refused, a Russian court banned the app entirely last Friday, and the Russian government began trying to actually implement it this week.

18.04.2018 - 15:52 [ theGuardian.com ]

Syrian medics ’subjected to extreme intimidation‘ after Douma attack

“There has been a very heavy security presence on the ground ever since the attack and they have been targeting doctors and medics in a very straightforward way,” said Tayara, a Birmingham-based physician, now in Turkey where he is supervising the departure from Syria of some of the Douma medics. “Any medic who tried to leave Douma was searched so vigorously, especially for samples. At one medical point, seven casualties were taken away. The Russian military police were heavily involved. They were directing things.

16.04.2018 - 09:20 [ Haaretz ]

Despite Tensions Over Syria Attack, Israel’s Line to the Kremlin Remains Open

Moscow issued public denunciations of the strike and called in Israel’s ambassador to Russia for a „conversation.“ These are symbolic, relatively „soft“ use of tools in the diplomatic toolbox meant to telegraph Moscow’s displeasure with Israeli activities in its sphere of influence.But below the surface, a number of figures who are familiar with Israeli-Russian ties say the diplomatic and military communications have continued — consistent, stable and practical — even after the attack.

16.04.2018 - 08:09 [ Jeremy Corbyn / theGuardian.com ]

Diplomacy, and not bombing, is the way to end Syria’s agony

Already this devastating conflict has cost more than 500,000 lives and led to 5 million refugees being forced to flee Syria, and 6 million internally displaced. We must put negotiations for a political settlement centre stage, and not slip into a new cycle of military reaction and counter-reaction.

Protracted external military intervention in Syria – from funding and arms supplies to bombing and boots on the ground – has not helped in the slightest. Syria has become the theatre for military action by regional and international powers – the United States, Britain, Russia, France, Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates among them.

14.04.2018 - 09:57 [ Rob Lee / Twitter ]

After warning the US against a future strike against Damascus, Gen. Gerasimov had a conversation with Gen. Dunford. The Russian MoD is concerned because, while they have Russian air defenses at their bases in Khmeimim (S-400 and Pantsir-S1) and Tartous (S-400V4),

(13.3.2018)

14.04.2018 - 04:27 [ Michael Carpenter ‏/ Twitter ]

Dunford: Only contestation of these strikes was from Syrian air defense systems. No mention of Russian A2/AD. The deconfliction channel with Russia was used, but Dunford says no “prenotification” of Russia. So targets were presumably not shared but perhaps airspace boxes were.

14.04.2018 - 04:25 [ ABC News ]

What is the US-Russian hotline being used as possible Syria strike looms?

(12.4.2018) Anything is possible when the missiles start flying, but the U.S. and Russia have a system for avoiding this scenario – it’s known as the deconfliction hotline.

The hotline runs from the vast U.S. air command center in Qatar to Khmeimim Air Base in Syria where Russia has commanders.

14.04.2018 - 03:45 [ CBS News ]

Trump says he has directed precision strikes in Syria — live updates

„A short time ago, I ordered the U.S. Armed Forces to launch precision strikes on targets associated with the chemical weapons capabilities of Syrian dictator, Bashar al-Assad,“ the president said from the White House.

„A combined operation with the armed forces of France and the United Kingdom is now under way,“ he continued.

12.04.2018 - 12:28 [ theGuardian.com ]

Syria ‚deconfliction hotline‘ in use by Russia and US, says Kremlin

A “deconfliction” telephone line for Syria between Russia and the US is being used by both sides, the Kremlin has said, as tensions mount over the prospect of a US strike on Russia’s Middle East ally.

“The line is used and it is active. In general the line is used by both sides,” the Kremlin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told reporters.

12.04.2018 - 11:54 [ Ansa.it ]

Italy one of key EU partners – Putin

Italy is one of Moscow’s key partners in the European Union, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday at a ceremony in which ambassadors presented their credentials, including Italy’s Pasquale Terracciano who thus officially started his mandate in Russia.

12.04.2018 - 06:14 [ al-monitor.com ]

Have Iran, Russia and Turkey reached agreement on future Syrian state?

While Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan made it clear that Ankara and Moscow “have no disagreements” over Turkey’s Operation Olive Branch, some reports even suggested that Russia was actually helping Turkey to reach its goals in Afrin. For its part, while expressing concern over the situation in eastern Ghouta, Turkey stopped short of directly condemning the Russian-backed military moves in the area. Meanwhile, Iran apparently preferred to keep a low profile regarding both cases.

12.04.2018 - 06:12 [ Washington Post ]

Turkey’s Erdogan says missile deal with Russia is final

(3.4.2018) Erdogan appeared at a joint news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who was in Ankara for his first foreign visit since his March 18 re-election. Both the defense system agreement and Putin’s visit underscore the intensifying ties between Turkey and Russia.

12.04.2018 - 05:57 [ lowyinstitute.org ]

Rouhani, Erdogan, and Putin’s bizarre love triangle

It appears a new regional security order is encircling Syria as the civil war grinds into its seventh year. This shift was visible last week, when the leaders of Turkey, Iran, and Russia met in Ankara to discuss solutions to the Syrian crisis. The detailed talks covered de-escalation zones, humanitarian concerns, and intra-Syrian dialogue, but the broader motive was to agree on the role of each state once the conflict ends.

12.04.2018 - 05:41 [ Kreml ]

Telephone conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu at the Israeli side’s initiative.

The two leaders discussed issues dealing with Syria, including in the context of recent missile strikes by the Israeli Air Force at the T4 airbase in Homs province. Vladimir Putin emphasised the importance of respecting Syria’s sovereignty and called for refraining from any steps that could further destabilise the situation in the country and threaten its security.

12.04.2018 - 05:40 [ Kreml ]

Telephone conversation with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi at the Indian side’s initiative.

The two leaders had a constructive and friendly discussion of several current issues related to developing the privileged strategic partnership between Russia and India.

They agreed to continue contacts.

11.04.2018 - 19:03 [ Tass ]

White Helmets staged Douma ‘chemical weapons attack’ on civilians — Russian General Staff

The chemical weapons attack on civilians in the Syrian town of Douma was staged and filmed by members of the White Helmets organization, First Deputy Chief of the Russian General Staff’s Main Operations Department Lieutenant General Viktor Poznikhir told reporters on Wednesday.

„On April 7, probably the last attempt to stage a chemical weapons attack in Eastern Ghouta was made. The notorious White Helmets, who operate as part of terrorist groups, staged and filmed a chemical weapons attack on civilians in the town of Douma,“ he said.

11.04.2018 - 06:03 [ New York Times ]

Trump Weighs More Robust Military Strike Against Syria

American officials expressed confidence that they would have the backing of France, which has been vocal about the need for a strong response, as well as Britain, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, all of which called for Syria to be held accountable for the suspected chemical attack. It remained unclear, however, whether any of the allies would participate.

10.04.2018 - 02:46 [ Kreml ]

Telephone conversation with President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke highly of the meeting of the heads of state, guarantors of the Astana process: Russia, Iran and Turkey. Taking into account the results of the international consultations, the leaders exchanged views on the Syrian settlement and agreed to continue contacts on this issue.

10.04.2018 - 02:43 [ Kreml ]

Telephone conversation with Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel

Vladimir Putin and Angela Merkel agreed to continue joint efforts in the Normandy format to settle the internal crisis in Ukraine.

The two leaders also discussed the situation in Syria, including chemical attack accusations made by a number of Western states against official Damascus. Russia’s position – that it is unacceptable to use this as an opportunity for provocation and speculation – was conveyed.

10.04.2018 - 02:42 [ Tass ]

Russia demands just probe into reported chemical attacks in Syria, says Lavrov

„As for the reaction of our foreign colleagues in Washington, Paris, London, and other places, it is all quite simple: this was done by the regime, and if Russia supports the regime, then it is both Russia’s and Iran’s fault, and it is necessary to conduct an investigation,“ the foreign minister noted. „It is rather difficult for a logical person to understand the correlation between one and the other.“

On April 7, a number of NGOs, including the White Helmets, alleged that chemical weapons were used in Douma, Eastern Ghouta. According to the statement published on the organization’s website on April 8, chlorine bombs had been dropped on the city, killing dozens and poisoning many locals who had to be brought to the hospital. The Russian Foreign Ministry dismissed that report as fake news.

09.04.2018 - 03:36 [ New York Times ]

As Trump Seeks Way Out of Syria, New Attack Pulls Him Back In

Days after President Trump said he wanted to pull the United States out of Syria, Syrian forces hit a suburb of Damascus with bombs that rescue workers said unleashed toxic gas.

Within hours, images of dead families sprawled in their homes threatened to change Mr. Trump’s calculus on Syria, possibly drawing him deeper into an intractable Middle Eastern war that he hoped to leave.

08.04.2018 - 20:24 [ New York Times ]

Trump Vows ‘Big Price’ for Syria Attack, Raising Prospect of Missile Strike

(8.4.2018) President Trump on Sunday promised a “big price” to be paid for what he said was a chemical weapons attack that choked dozens of Syrians to death the day before, and a top White House official said the administration would not rule out a missile strike to retaliate against the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

08.04.2018 - 19:25 [ CNN ]

Trump blames Putin, Obama for ‚Animal Assad,‘ tweets ‚big price‘ after reports of Syrian chemical attack

President Donald Trump called out Russian President Vladimir Putin by name on Sunday for backing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and warned of a „big price“ after reports of a chemical weapons attack in Syria almost a year to the day since the US struck a Syrian air field after a previous attack.

06.04.2018 - 13:17 [ CJ Hopkins, Berlin / Counterpunch ]

The Cult of Authority

(7.3.2018) Believe it or not, I’m a fan of Glenn Greenwald, who is one of the very few celebrity journalists who has had the guts to consistently challenge the ridiculous “Russiagate” narrative from the start. And just because The Intercept is owned by a neoliberal oligarch who backed a fascist coup in the Ukraine, micro-financed a few Indians to death, and employs a personal security detail of ex-Secret Service agents and State Department types who will fly him to safety in his private jet in the event of imminent zombie apocalpyse, that doesn’t mean The Intercept staff doesn’t publish important investigative journalism.

No, what struck me as I was suffering through this debate was how utterly divorced from reality it was, whatever “reality” might mean anymore. Watching Greenwald, Risen, and Scahill sitting there, like rational people, “debating” whether Donald Trump might be part of some convoluted Russian conspiracy to destroy America and Western democracy, I felt like I was finally having one of those apocryphal LSD flashbacks.

04.04.2018 - 17:57 [ Regierung des Vereinigten Königreichs ]

British Ambassador to Russia briefing on the Salisbury attack: 22 March 2017

First, there is no doubt that the weapon used in the attack was the military-grade nerve agent from the Novichok series. This has been confirmed by specialists, our specialists. An Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons mission is in the UK now to independently confirm this analysis.

There is also no doubt that Novichok was produced in Russia by the Russian state. It is not a weapon that can be manufactured by non-state actors. It is so dangerous it requires the highest grade state laboratories and expertise to produce it.

04.04.2018 - 10:52 [ Sky.com ]

Nerve agent attack: Johnson faces questions over Porton Down claim

The Foreign Secretary was urged to explain the answer he gave when asked why he was certain the novichok nerve agent originated in Russia.

On Tuesday, Britain’s military research unit revealed to Sky News it was not yet able to establish where the substance used to poison Sergei and Yulia Skripal was made.

04.04.2018 - 10:35 [ Tass ]

Putin seeks to pave new ways for global cooperation in war on terror

The Islamic State terror group (outlawed in Russia) retains its potential, so there is a need to work out new ways of global cooperation to reinforce the successes achieved in the fight against terrorism, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a welcome address to the participants and guests of the Seventh Moscow Conference on Global Security, which was read out by Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev.

03.04.2018 - 10:11 [ RT ]

‘Not proxy’: Lavrov says US, British, French special forces ‘directly involved’ in Syria war

(19.3.2018) The US coalition is “illegitimate” from the standpoint of international law and the UN Charter, Lavrov said. “But we are realistic and understand that we wouldn’t fight with them. So we coordinate actions at least to prevent unintended clashes. Our military always keeps in touch with the American commanders who lead the operation on Syrian territory.”

28.03.2018 - 18:11 [ Sputnik ]

Russian Delegation Reportedly Enters Syrian Town for Militant Surrender Talks

Babbila is not a part of the East Ghouta region, and has witnessed little fighting between the Syrian Army and occupying militants, as it has been under a ceasefire agreement for months.

Syrian authorities are currently in the process of transferring militants from a cluster of towns and settlements in East Ghouta to northwestern Syria, as part of a large transfer deal.