Dad needs to listen. How close the KGB managed to get to the Vatican

Weekly “Arguments and Facts” No. 46. Where will they not be allowed without a QR code? 17/11/2021

Spy passions around the Vatican have not subsided for many years. Lithuania recently declassified the archives, and conversations about & nbsp; “ church games '' were immediately resumed. two most powerful intelligence services in the world.

From & nbsp; priests to & nbsp; agents

Among the declassified documents, a letter from the USSR People's Commissar of Internal Affairs Lavrenty Beria and & nbsp; Head of the Main Directorate of State Security of the NKVD of the USSR Vsevolod Merkulov , addressed to the head of the NKVD of the Lithuanian SSR Alexander Guzevichius (Gudaitis). “ GUGB NKVD has information that the Vatican is still in the & nbsp; first half of 1940 & nbsp; g. decided to strengthen his anti-Soviet work with the & nbsp; purpose of maintaining influence over the masses of believers, artificially creating anti-Soviet sentiments among them and & nbsp; organizing them against the measures of the Soviet government, & nbsp; & ndash; says the & nbsp; doc. & nbsp; & ndash; The available data confirm that the installation of the Vatican from the & nbsp; moment of the Sovietization of Lithuania has been actively pursued in & nbsp; life. Based on the & nbsp; stated, the NKVD of the USSR suggests: using the data of agents & nbsp; & ndash; to outline several figures from the & nbsp; number of priests and & nbsp; authorities of the Catholic Church for & nbsp; recruitment of large agents that can reveal the connections of the leading figures of the Catholic Church with & nbsp; foreign intelligence services (especially German), and & nbsp; also intercept communications on & nbsp; the Vatican and our agents & nbsp; … And & nbsp; at the end of the postscript: “ Report on the results of the work and & nbsp; the planned activities to & nbsp; 30 & nbsp; January 1941 & nbsp ;.

Apparently, it was possible to deploy a full-fledged agent network. But Beria's idea has borne tangible results decades later. & Nbsp;

'Red Daddy'

In the & nbsp; early 1960s, both the CIA and the KGB took a serious interest in the & nbsp; Holy See. Then the pontiff was John & nbsp; XXIII, nicknamed for his sympathy for the & nbsp; communists the “ red pope ''. It was he who established diplomatic relations with the & nbsp; USSR and & nbsp; acted as an intermediary between Nikita Khrushchev and & nbsp; John F. Kennedy during the Cuban missile crisis in & nbsp; 1962. The Pope's Reputation as a 'Communist Pope' intensified even more when he convened the Second Vatican Council, which he called 'revolutionary'. The point is & nbsp; the fact that they decided to hold masses in & nbsp; national languages, and & nbsp; not only in & nbsp; Latin, in addition, Catholics were allowed to participate in & nbsp; sacraments with & nbsp; Christians of other confessions.

Not only the secret services of the two superpowers worked in the Vatican, but also agents of the Warsaw Pact states. It's primarily about the & nbsp; German Stasi. Their & nbsp; main task was to introduce as many of their cardinals into the & nbsp; curia as possible. According to & nbsp; Polish historian Slawomir Chentskevich, in & nbsp; 1962 & ndash; 1965 & nbsp; years, when the cathedral was held, 50 & nbsp; agents were abandoned from & nbsp; USSR-friendly countries to & nbsp; Rome.

Former officer of the RUMO (US military intelligence) John Koehler , who was an adviser to President Reagan in the & nbsp; 1980s, published a book about & nbsp; spies in the & nbsp; Vatican, based on & nbsp; documents that began to be declassified in batches after the fall of the Berlin Wall and & nbsp; collapse of the USSR. He writes that in the & nbsp; 1960s, Markus Wolf & nbsp; & ndash; supervised the operation of the & nbsp; introduction of Soviet agents into the Pope's entourage. Head of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of State Security of the GDR (Stasi). Wolf managed to carry out a series of daring actions to & nbsp; infiltrate the decision-making bodies of the Holy See of his secret officers: Paul Dissemond , Benedictine monk Eugen Brammertz and & nbsp; Bachelor of Philosophy, University of Munich Alfons Vashbush . & Nbsp;

A Magnificent Monk

Dissemond began working for & nbsp; intelligence in & nbsp; 1974 & nbsp; when he served as Secretary General & shy; of the German Episcopal Conference. It was he who informed the Stasi that the then Secretary of State of the Roman Curia, Cardinal Agostino Casaroli , had established contacts with & nbsp; a number of bishops of the GDR and & nbsp; Poland for >Benedictine monk Eugen Brammertz (The Magnificent Monk) was recruited by Smersh counterintelligence officers in & nbsp; May 1945, when he, as a Luftwaffe military doctor, was interned in a POW camp. In 1975, Brammertz was sent by the Benedictine Abbey of St. Matthew in Trier to Rome, where he worked as a translator for the German edition of the Vatican newspaper Osservator Romano. Over time, he managed to penetrate the & nbsp; Commission of the Holy See for & nbsp; Science, of which the same Cardinal Casaroli was a member. Brammertz prepared a report for & nbsp; Wolf with & nbsp; characteristics of all persons involved in the & nbsp; implementation of Eastern policy. After the election of Krakow's Cardinal Karol Wojtyla to the & nbsp; papacy under the & nbsp; name of John Paul & nbsp; II The Magnificent Monk regularly sent to the & nbsp; “ Stasi '' reports on & nbsp; & quot; the growing influence of the Polish clergy in & nbsp; Vatican & quot ;. This pope was indeed an outspoken anti-communist.

The & nbsp; telegram sent from & nbsp; Vilnius to & nbsp; Moscow in & nbsp; mid-1980s, reported that “ an agent, one of the high-ranking representatives of the Lithuanian Catholic Church, is sent to the & nbsp; Vatican, where in & nbsp; during the visit & nbsp; Pope John Paul & nbsp; II, Secretary of State A. & nbsp; Casaroli and & nbsp; others. Cardinal Casaroli was close to the pontiff, through whom the Pope's decisions were easily influenced. He was tightly held under a & nbsp; cap. This was discovered by accident. The nun, wiping the dust in the secretary of state's chambers, inadvertently brushed away the statue of the Madonna of Fatima. From & nbsp; it dropped a “ button '', which turned out to be a device for & nbsp; wiretapping. Later, the Italian special services reported that the bug & nbsp; & ndash; the result of a successful KGB special operation. And & nbsp; carried him to the chambers of the wife & shy; of the cardinal's nephew. & Nbsp;

In 1987, after the death of the Magnificent Monk, his work was continued by another German who worked for the Stasi. c & nbsp; 1965 & nbsp; g. under the & nbsp; pseudonym & laquo; Antonius & raquo;, & nbsp; & ndash; Alphonse Waszbuch . He was a correspondent for the Catholic news agency KNA. In & nbsp; 1981, during the state of emergency in & nbsp; Poland, your & shy; bush supplied the Polish special services with information about & nbsp; subversive activities of the Catholic Church inside the country.

Another agent, the Polish Dominican priest Konrad Stanislaw Heimo, who was friends with & nbsp; Karol Wojtyla since the time of joint studies at & nbsp; University of Krakow, was the closest to getting close to & nbsp; John Paul & nbsp; II. He was organizing the pilgrimage of Catholics from & nbsp; Poland to & nbsp; Rome and & nbsp; had unlimited access to the & nbsp; pontiff until & nbsp; the last days of his life. After the death of the pope in & nbsp; 2005, the head of the Polish Institute of National Remembrance Leon Keres openly accused Heimo. He did not particularly deny anything, only said that he acted “ from good intentions '' and & nbsp; & nbsp; told about & nbsp; dad only what could be gleaned from & nbsp; open & shy; sources. & nbsp;

Who set the Gray Wolf?

In the & nbsp; early 1990s, when it became known about & nbsp; large special & shy; operations of Soviet agents in the & nbsp; Vatican, the Western press exploded with loud headlines & nbsp; & ndash; & shy; they say, the Kremlin wanted to kill the popular pontiff. Recall: 13 & nbsp; May 1981 & nbsp; g. Turk Mehmet Ali Agca , a nationalist from the & nbsp; organization “ Gray Wolves '', on & nbsp; St. Peter's Square in the & nbsp; Vatican shot at & nbsp; the Pope. On the same day, US President Ronald Reagan said that world communism was behind the assassination attempt. And & nbsp; here, after 10 & nbsp; years, there appeared “ evidence '' that the Turk was only an executor. & Nbsp;

May 13, 1981 Turkish Mehmet Ali Agja from the organization “ Gray Wolves '' shot at Pope John Paul II. Photo:

This case was taken up by a commission of the Italian Parliament under the & nbsp; leadership of Paolo Guzzanti . She relied on & nbsp; & quot; Mitrokhin's dossier & quot; & nbsp; & ndash; extracts from the & nbsp; archive & shy; nd materials of the KGB, made by a retired major-defector Vasily Mitrokhin and & nbsp; transferred by him to the special services of England. Plus the conviction was added by the directive of the Central Committee & nbsp; KPSS 1979 & nbsp; g., Which & nbsp; contained the order of the KGB on & nbsp; the use of any means for & nbsp; & quot; counteraction to the new political course pursued by the Polish pope. The & nbsp; document was signed by nine Soviet leaders, including & nbsp; Mikhail Gorbachev .

About & nbsp; the authenticity of this paper to & nbsp; is still arguing. But no one doubts that Agja was only a performer. In & nbsp; as customers called the KGB, the CIA and & nbsp; Freemasons. And & nbsp; evidence of the involvement of the CIA is much more. Especially if we recall all their near-church games, starting with the & nbsp; operation to & nbsp; implanting their own man on the post of the Patriarch of Constantinople. In & nbsp; the very first sermon after enthronement in & nbsp; 1949, Patriarch Athenagoras called on Christians of different confessions, and & nbsp; also Muslims to unite for & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; fight against & nbsp; communist threat. However, the CIA operations & nbsp; & ndash; it's a completely different story. & nbsp;

And & nbsp; all the KGB games in the & nbsp; Vatican ended quite peacefully. So, in the & nbsp; Lithuanian archives, there was a report of the head of the 1st department of the KGB of the Lithuanian SSR Vytautas Karinauskas dated & nbsp; December 1988 & nbsp; g. ; the need for more decisive statements by Christians for the preservation of life and & nbsp; peace on & nbsp; Earth, against the nuclear threat, in & nbsp; favor of supporting the process of times & shy; for preventing the transfer of the arms race to & nbsp; space, and & nbsp; also for the early settlement of regional conflicts. '' And, by the way, Pope John Paul & nbsp; II at & nbsp; meetings with & nbsp; Western leaders really repeated these theses.



Police injured two people during a lockdown rally in Holland

Opponents of antiquity measures set fire to cars and threw stones at policemen

The protest action of opponents of the next lockdown in Rotterdam escalated into riots. Police opened warning fire, injuring two people, Reuters reported.

Local police spokesman Patricia Wessels admitted that police did open fire in response to rioters. “ We know that two people were hurt. The police did open fire because there was a threat to lives, '' she said. According to Wessels, an investigation will be carried out that will establish why people were injured.

According to police, mobs of rioters burned cars and threw stones at police, who responded with water cannons.

The reason for the protest was the government's decision to restrict the work of restaurants, bars, cinemas and a number of shops, as well as to prohibit attending sporting events, including for people who have a Covid passport; (It is issued to those who have been vaccinated or who have had coronavirus.)

Based on data from Reuters, more than 70% of the country's adult population is vaccinated in the Netherlands. Despite this, a new surge in the incidence was recorded in the country this week. 21,099 people were recognized as infected only in the last day, which was the second highest rate since the beginning of the pandemic (the record was the day before yesterday, when more than 23 thousand people fell ill). At the same time, 39 people died in the last day. This is the highest figure since the end of May, but several times less than at the peak of the epidemic in January (then the record number of deaths per day reached 173). Subscribe to RBC's Instagram Receive news faster than anyone



US Senate proposes sanctions for Russia’s future invasion of Ukraine

Democrat Menendez proposed to introduce restrictions on Nord Stream 2, state-owned companies, banks, and sovereign debt

Robert Menendez

The head of the US Senate Foreign Policy Committee Robert (Bob) Menendez has already proposed now to include in the defense budget a clause providing for the imposition of sanctions against Russia in the event of an invasion of Ukraine. Document text provided by Axios portal.

In accordance with the amendment, immediately after the start of hostilities by Russia, President Joe Biden will have to approve a whole list of restrictions. In particular, sanctions and visa restrictions will be introduced against the Russian military, who will be involved in the preparation of an operation against Ukraine.

The main sanctions will affect Russian banks, state-owned companies, oil and gas enterprises, and sovereign debt. For example, restrictions will apply to any companies or individuals associated with the planning and implementation of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

Earlier, with a proposal now to impose sanctions against Nord Stream 2 and to bring them into the defense budget were representatives of the Republican Party. However, according to Axios, it was not put to the vote due to the leader of the Democrats in the Senate Chuck Schumer, who cited some technical issues.

Since the end of October, the media began to report that Russia was building up its military forces on the border with Ukraine. In particular, The Washington Post wrote about this. And the newspaper Politico, in turn, published satellite images. They, presumably, capture the accumulation of Russian army tanks near the city of Yelnya in the Smolensk region, about 250 km from the border with Ukraine.

In Ukraine, it was initially said that they did not see the activity of Russian military at the border. But later, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that Western partners had informed him of the situation.

A source in the Kremlin for Bloomberg noted that Russia “ does not intend to start a war with Ukraine, but wants to show that it is ready to use force in the event necessity. ''

Officially, the Kremlin said that such publications “ groundlessly escalate tensions. '' According to President Vladimir Putin, such “ alarm data '' appear against the backdrop of unplanned military exercises by the United States and its NATO allies in the Black Sea, which pose a serious challenge to Russia. Subscribe to YouTube RBC Live broadcasts, videos and recordings of programs on our YouTube channel



Times learned of Boris Johnson’s plans to boycott the Beijing Olympics

Great Britain will send its athletes to China, however, it intends to declare a diplomatic boycott of the competition

The British government is actively discussing the idea of ​​a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. As reported by The Times, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is leaning towards this option.

According to the newspaper, the toughest position on this issue is taken by Foreign Minister Liz Truss, who, according to sources from The Times, in conversations does not hesitate to accuse the Chinese authorities of genocide (bearing in mind the data on the harsh persecution of the Uighurs by the Chinese authorities).

Other members of the government are not so categorical. For example, they do not consider the main option for the UK to completely refuse to participate in the Olympics. However, the situation of a diplomatic boycott is quite acceptable, in which case none of the British ministers will go to Beijing.

This option was proposed, among other things, by several representatives of the Conservative Party, who wrote the corresponding letter to Johnson. We are talking about politicians who previously accused China of violating human rights, fell under the sanctions of the PRC and will definitely not be able to attend the Games. One of them & ndash; MP Tim Loughton & ndash; and even called the Beijing Olympics 'games of genocide.' delegation and I figured it out. '' He did not clarify the meaning of his words.

Later, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said that “the politicization of sports runs counter to the Olympic spirit and harms the interests of athletes from all countries.” Subscribe to YouTube RBC Live broadcasts, videos and recordings of programs on our YouTube channel



Tymoshenko blames officials for the energy crisis in Ukraine


Former Prime Minister of Ukraine Yulia Tymoshenko accused the current government of artificially creating an energy crisis in Ukraine. She believes that the whole problem is that someone did not pump gas into the underground storage facilities on time. The politician stated this on the air of the Ukraine 24 TV channel.

Tymoshenko demanded that the ministers answer the question: who gave the command to put the country in such a situation? Why didn't they pump gas and bring in coal? Why is now the only solution to the problem see only a tearful appeal to Belarus with a request to provide electricity?

Tymoshenko recalled that serious problems will begin after the frost hits. In her opinion, the real crisis will come after the temperature of minus 10 degrees Celsius for at least a couple of weeks.

The politician believes that in principle there can be no energy crisis in Ukraine, since the country has fuel reserves … There are also gas storage facilities with a capacity of 38 billion cubic meters. According to Tymoshenko, it is not the circumstances that are to blame for what is happening in the country, but the negligence of officials.



To protect against drones, they decided to use new technical means

Smoke screens, reflectors, inflatable tanks

In the leading armies of the world, in recent years, more and more attention is paid to means of camouflage. One of the reasons is the active development of reconnaissance and strike drones. According to experts, it was the underestimation of camouflage that became one of the reasons for Armenia's defeat in the second Karabakh war in the fall of 2929. Modern means of camouflaging troops and equipment are described in the publication “New Defense Order. Strategies “.


As noted in the publication, one of the main methods of protection against drones was the setting of smoke screens. An aerosol curtain delivered in time not only protects against optoelectronic systems of drones, as noted in the article by expert Yuri Lyamin, but also interferes with the guidance of high-precision weapons. It is argued that aerosol curtains can weaken the effectiveness of means of destruction of drones if, when setting up protection, a composition effective in the infrared range is used.

The use of combined aerosol-dipole interference can weaken the effectiveness of high-precision weapons with radar guidance. Dipole reflectors made of foil or metallized paper, scattered in the air at certain altitudes, “blind” enemy radars.

Smoke projectiles, mines, grenades and bombs are used to set up smoke screens. In addition, specialized smoke machines have been created to protect large objects, for example, nuclear power plants. The crew consists of only two people. In special cases, smoke machines can be controlled remotely.

In addition to smoke, they use protection kits made of special absorbing materials for camouflage, which help to hide equipment from infrared and radar detection systems. Some protection kits for armored vehicles reduce the chance of detection by day and night devices by 70%.

Engineers are developing new concepts for creating decoys – wooden or inflatable models of tanks, anti-aircraft missile systems, fighters and even stones to hide real equipment behind them. With the proper placement of mock-ups in the neighborhood, for example, with real anti-aircraft missile systems and electronic suppression means, the enemy will not only waste high-precision ammunition, but will also receive a guaranteed retaliatory strike.

Unfortunately, not all camouflage technologies are perfect. For example, smoke screens are short-lived and highly dependent on meteorological conditions and topography. Rain or wind can quickly disperse smoke. Of course, an aerosol curtain can outsmart cheap drones, but the American RQ-4 “Global Hawk” drones are equipped with high-quality optoelectronic and radar systems. With their help, “Global Hawk” is able to detect targets day and night in adverse weather conditions.

The only drawback of such drones is that they are incredibly expensive to manufacture – about $ 123 million per device! Most drones have relatively simple detection systems, so camouflage never loses its value.



Biden got the best birthday present since colonoscopy

The American leader celebrates his 79th birthday for the first time as president

photo: www.whitehouse .gov

Joe Biden's first birthday as president is held in gloomy circumstances. And it's not just the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, but also a sharp drop in the ratings of the current leader of the United States.

So the conditions for celebrating the 79th birthday of Joseph Biden are not very favorable. Although the oldest American head of state in US history has announced his intention to run in the next election, his advanced age is fueling rumors that he may step down. According to recent polls, only 40% of voters considered Biden “healthy”, compared with 50% who hold the opposite opinion (a year ago the ratio was different: 53% versus 34%).

And by the way about health – the eve of Biden's birthday turned out to be so much more! The President went to the Walter Reed Medical Center for a medical examination, including a colonoscopy procedure under anesthesia, which forced him to temporarily transfer the functions of the head of state to Kamala Harris. However, upon completion of the medical examination, the head of the White House received probably the most pleasant gift. Doctors delivered a verdict based on the results of the check: by his 79th birthday, Joe Biden is generally healthy!

According to CNN, President's physician Dr. Kevin O'Connor wrote that Biden “remains fit for his duties and fulfills all of his duties with no exceptions or accommodations.” However, who has worked with Biden since his tenure as vice president, the doctor identified two areas of “observation”: “an increase in the frequency and severity of” clearing the throat “and coughing while talking,” and a more prominently impaired walking. Both of these manifestations have been visible in Biden's public appearances since he took office.

Dr. O'Connor states that the “extremely detailed neurological examination” was “reassuring” and showed no evidence of stroke, multiple sclerosis or Parkinson's disease.

“President Biden remains a healthy, energetic 78-year-old man who is able to successfully fulfill the duties of the president, including in the posts of chief executive, head of state and commander-in-chief,” O'Connor concluded.

Not yet It's been a year since Joe Biden's inauguration, and as President of the United States, he has yet to celebrate his birthday. But he managed to celebrate at the very beginning of summer the 70th birthday of his wife Jill.

The anniversary of the first lady of America was approached outside the box: the Biden couple went on a bike ride in Cape Henlopen Park in Lewis (Delaware). Dressed in T-shirts and jeans, as well as bicycle helmets, the couple waved to the audience and other cyclists and smiled as the crowd of well-wishers sang “Happy Birthday to you” in honor of Jill Biden.

As the press reported, the bike path remained open to others cyclists, although a Secret Service agent has previously checked themselves and their bicycles.

President Biden and his wife went to celebrate the first lady's round date at their Delaware beach house, bought by the politician for $ 2.7 million in 2017 after the end of his vice presidency. As reported in the White House, the couple decided to celebrate this birthday together. The press wrote in June that the trip was a rare midweek escape from the White House for the president. It also marked Biden's first visit to the couple's country home since taking office as head of state in January.

Joe Biden celebrated his last birthday after actually winning the presidential election against Trump, but even before he officially took office. Then a wave of criticism fell on the elected president – a video appeared on the Internet in which Biden allegedly celebrates his 78th birthday without a mask.

It all started when Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms tweeted a video in which she leads the crowd alongside Biden, singing “Happy Birthday!” The footage soon went viral online as clear evidence that Bottoms, Biden and others were not wearing masks to protect against the coronavirus. Conservative online news websites Conservatives Today and the Daily Patriot Post pointed to the video as evidence of Democratic hypocrisy.

“You are not allowed to celebrate Thanksgiving with several members of your family, but Joe Biden and hundreds of his friends can get together, without masks, and have fun like in 1999,” – said the anti-Biden publications. But, as it turned out, the video was filmed back in 2019, that is, before the coronavirus pandemic.

As for Biden's real last year's birthday, the President-elect of the United States, judging by the available video footage, took care of wearing a mask. As USA Today wrote, in November 2020, Joe Biden held a birthday meeting in Wilmington, Delaware with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. The entire party was wearing masks and the congregation sat a few feet apart at a large rectangular table, according to the New York Times. Although the meeting of politicians was formally devoted to the coronavirus and the economy, Pelosi nevertheless brought Biden a birthday present – a white orchid.

By the way, Joe Biden was wearing a mask during a meeting with Kamala Harris in October on the occasion of the day birth of the vice president. The owner of the White House presented his deputy with a bouquet of flowers and a framed photo from both of them against the background of the presidential residence. The presence of masks did not prevent the birthday girl from kissing the chief on the cheek. Well, on the eve of his own birthday, Biden made Harris an even more interesting gift – he gave him a brief “steer” of the country when he temporarily transferred presidential functions to her while he was under anesthesia during the colonoscopy procedure. It may have lasted a short time, but Kamala Harris went down in history as the first woman in the United States (and, in addition, a woman of color, with African American and Asian roots!), Acting as head of state.



Japanese scientists create the first artificial genomic DNA

Experts from Japan have developed the world's first artificial genomic DNA capable of reproducing and developing outside the cell, writes ACS Synthetic Biology.

It is specified that the study was carried out by scientists from the University of Tokyo under the leadership of Professor Norikazu Ichihashi.

Biologists have succeeded in creating an artificial DNA replication system in which two genes are involved & ndash; an enzyme for DNA replication Phi29 and Cre-recombinase.

According to the researchers, genes can be added to artificial genomic DNA and, thanks to this, artificial cells can be created that can be used to produce drugs and products.

< p> Earlier & nbsp; immunologist Valery Chereshnev expressed the opinion that in 30-40 years a DNA base will appear in the world, which will automatically predict the genetic predisposition of people to diseases. & nbsp;



In Moscow and the Moscow region announced the yellow level of danger due to snow

Precipitation in the form of rain with sleet & nbsp; is predicted in the & nbsp; Russian capital on Saturday, November 20, the official & nbsp; website of the & nbsp; Hydrometeorological Center of the Russian Federation reports.

ice '', – the message says.

During the day, the air temperature in Moscow will be from one to three degrees Celsius. West wind with a speed of & nbsp; from seven to 11 meters per second. & Nbsp; In some places its gusts can reach 15-20 meters per second.

In the capital of the Russian Federation and the Moscow region, a yellow hazard level has been declared due to weather conditions. It is expected that & nbsp; rainfall in the form of sleet and rain will end by 21:00 Moscow time. & Nbsp;

Atmospheric pressure, according to the forecast of the Hydrometeorological Center of the Russian Federation, will be 724 millimeters & nbsp; mercury column. & Nbsp;

On Sunday night in Moscow it will get colder to minus one degree. Cloudiness, sleet and light precipitation in the form of rain and sleet are expected.

Atmospheric pressure – 731 millimeters of mercury. West wind with a speed of & nbsp; from five to ten meters per second. & Nbsp; In some places its gusts can reach 15 meters per second.

Leading employee of the meteorological center “ Phobos '' Yevgeny Tishkovets & nbsp; said that & nbsp; November 20 & nbsp; in Central Russia, up to a quarter of the monthly precipitation rate will fall. He explained that this will be one of the strongest wet snowfalls in 73 years.

In addition, the forecaster warned Muscovites about & nbsp; a baric precipice. & Nbsp; According to him, by noon Saturday, atmospheric pressure in the city will drop from about 736 to 716 millimeters of mercury.



Several flights were delayed in the Sakhalin region due to a cyclone

In the Sakhalin region, several flights were postponed until the evening due to bad weather, reports TASS.

It is clarified that we are talking about flights from Kurilsk and Aleksandrovsk-Sakhalinsky to Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk. According to the information provided on the online scoreboard, the arrival of the plane from Kurilsk, which was supposed to arrive at 11:40 (03:40 Moscow time), is now expected at 20:30 (12:30 Moscow time), from Aleksandrovsk-Sakhalinsky & ndash; at 18:30 (10:30 Moscow time).

In addition, the flight to Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk & ndash; Kurilsk was delayed until 17:00 (09:00 Moscow time), initially it was supposed to take off at 08:15 (00:15 Moscow time).

A strong side wind is now observed in the region, moderate snow is also predicted on A blizzard is raging on the coasts.

Earlier it became known that about a quarter of the monthly rainfall may fall in the Moscow region this weekend.



Why Austria’s youngest chancellor was stripped of immunity

And how the charges against him influenced the position of the right in Europe The deprivation of the former Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz of parliamentary immunity opens the way for an investigation into the corruption case. The acquittal may not be enough to resume the political career of the Austrian

Sebastian Kurz

Why Kurz supported the removal of immunity

The lower house of parliament & mdash; National Council of Austria & mdash; on Thursday, November 18, she unanimously voted to remove parliamentary immunity from ex-chancellor of the country Sebastian Kurz, who currently heads the faction of the Austrian People's Party and remains its leader. Kurz himself supported the decision, which gives the Austrian Prosecutor's Office for Economic and Corruption Crimes to complete the investigation into the politician, and asked his party members to vote in his favor. The ex-chancellor in the course of the entire case denies the charges against him and believes that the lifting of his immunity will contribute to the speedy completion of the process begun against him.

Earlier, on October 9, 35-year-old Kurz had to resign as head of government, thus avoiding a vote of no confidence due to allegations of corruption. He held the post of chancellor since 2017, having headed the cabinet of ministers four years ago, he became the youngest head of government not only in the history of Austria, but also in the world (at that time).

According to investigators, Kurz and his closest associates are involved not only in corruption, but also in the abuse of trust. They are charged with bribing the Austrian newspaper & Ouml; sterreich, which published articles and opinion polls that positively affect the image of Kurz and his party, as well as bribery and abuse of office between 2016 and 2018. Federal Treasury funds were used to fund polls on behalf of a political party and its top official, these polls were exclusively motivated by party politics, and sometimes they were manipulated, the New York Times quoted a statement from the accusatory side. The results of the polls were published in the media owned by Ouml; sterreich Media Group, “ without advertising, '' the prosecutor's office said. Prosecutors said that in exchange for favorable coverage, they suspect that the “ payments were made to the media conglomerate. ''

It is also about the fact that, as the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Austria (Kurz held this post from 2013 to 2017), he worked to undermine the credibility of the leader of his own party, which was then Reinhold Mitterlehner, in order to take his place. The accusations are based, among other things, on 500-page correspondence in the chat rooms and messengers of Kurz with his confidants. According to the publication Der Spiegel, which has partially familiarized itself with the content of these correspondences, their publication could cause serious political damage to Kurz, as it shows his disdain not only towards representatives of the opposition, but also towards his own party members.

For Kurz, the current scandal is the second in his political career. So, at the end of May 2019, for the first time in post-war Austrian history, a vote of no confidence was passed against him against the backdrop of a scandal dubbed the Ibiza Gate. Then a video from 2017 was released, in which Vice-Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache and the leader of the Freedom Party Johann Gudenus discussed in Ibiza with a woman who introduced herself as the niece of the Russian oligarch, the possibility of broad coverage of their activities in a positive manner in exchange for government contracts. Despite the widespread resonance from this event, Kurz and his party then managed to win again in early parliamentary elections and head the government in September 2019.

How the scandal affected the position of the conservatives in Austria

This time, Kurz's chances of regaining the top post are not so high, the Der Standart newspaper notes. The newspaper believes that the main risk for the politician is that the investigation may drag on for an indefinite period. The ex-chancellor, accustomed to being in the spotlight, has now gone into the shadows and is trying to refrain from public speaking and comments. This situation is unlikely to suit an ambitious politician and can push him to reckless actions, the newspaper writes. Nevertheless, even finding himself “ in the background '', Kurz did not move away from running the country and continues to play a leading role in making important decisions, the newspaper notes. Bloomberg even compares the current situation with the Russian period of 2008 – 2012, when Dmitry Medvedev was president, and prime minister & mdash; Vladimir Putin. 'New Medvedev' in this case could be Alexander Schallenberg, the loyalist to whom Kurz handed over his position.

Der Spiegel, in turn, writes about serious reputational costs and the loss of popularity of both the chancellor and his party amid a corruption scandal. According to the newspaper, previously convinced supporters of Kurz within the party are trying to distance themselves from him, and a vacuum is created around the politician. While he still has support in Vienna, things are different outside the capital, including at the level of the heads of the federal states representing his party. Kurz becomes an asset that they want to get rid of. This is also facilitated by a strong drop in the popularity of both the politician himself and his party. The downward trend in popularity emerged even against the background of the country's inconsistent policy in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic and was finally consolidated after Kurz was charged with corruption. As of the end of October, the popularity rating of the Austrian People's Party did not exceed 23%. The popularity of the ex-chancellor showed a negative result at all. For example, the number one politician in the country, whose rating in the most successful moments could reach 77%, now faces 60% negative reviews.

How the position of the right-wing was shaken in Europe

The corruption scandal, in the center of which was Kurz, causes significant damage to the European People's Party & mdash; the largest faction in the European Parliament, Politico notes. According to the newspaper, Kurtz was a 'rising star' of this party, and its fall, which coincided with the end of the era of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, leaves the center-right not only without reliable support, but also without a role model. With the likely coming to power in Germany of liberals led by the Social Democratic Party, Slovenian Ljubljana will become the westernmost conservative capital of Europe, and the EPP itself, whose founders included ex-French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Italian leader Silvio Berlusconi, will lose its influence.

The Washington Post notes that the crisis of the conservatives is spreading not only in the structures of the EU, but also in the countries of the union. As an example, the newspaper cites the defeat of the Christian Democratic and Christian Unions bloc in the elections in Germany in September and the subsequent internal party crisis, and also recalls the recent decision of the French court to issue a second conviction in the Sarkozy case for embezzlement of funds during the election campaign. His party was never able to recover from the first verdict, the newspaper reminds. “ Perhaps this is the end of the big popular parties '', & mdash; quoted by Peter Hayek, political analyst at Public Opinion Strategies in Vienna. “ Since the 1970s and 1980s, voters have distanced themselves from these traditional parties for a long time, '' & mdash; the expert recalled, noting that the personalities of Kurz and Merkel helped smooth this trend.

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From huts to warehouse: why refugees stopped storming the Polish border

Refugees who were camped on the border with Poland, breaking fences and throwing stones at the security forces, retreated. Some were taken out of the country, some began to live in a warehouse. Why have they so far refused to storm the Polish border – in the video of RBC


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WSJ learns that the United States disrupted the construction of a secret Chinese military facility in the UAE

China has begun building a military facility at a port near Abu Dhabi. The United States learned about this from “classified satellite images” and convinced the UAE to stop construction, sources told WSJ

View of the port of Khalifa

US intelligence learned that China was building a secret military facility in the United Arab Emirates. The Wall Street Journal reported this with reference to sources.

According to the interlocutors of the publication, US intelligence learned about the suspicious activity of the PRC in the port of Khalifa, located about 80 km north of Abu Dhabi about a year ago. The Chinese conglomerate COSCO has built its container terminal in this port.

At first, the information seemed unconvincing to US officials, but this spring, the “ classified satellite imagery '' allowed them to conclude that China is building a military facility in the port. The data alarmed the administration of US President Joe Biden, and it made diplomatic efforts to convince the UAE of the military purpose of the facility and the need to stop construction, WSJ sources say.

After a series of meetings and visits by US officials to the UAE, construction of the facility was stopped, the edition writes.

The UAE Embassy in Washington, DC, told the WSJ that Abu Dhabi did not have an “ agreement or plan to locate a Chinese military base. '' A spokesman for the Chinese Embassy in the United States did not respond to a request from the publication.

Last week, Bloomberg sources reported that US top officials do not receive enough intelligence about what is happening in Beijing and “ understand little '' on the real state of affairs in the leadership of China, in particular who can become the successor of President Xi Jinping.

military force in the South China Sea, limiting the investigation into the origin of COVID-19, pressure on Chinese companies that were going to go public in the United States, and an increase in hacker attacks, '' the agency writes.

According to its information, Beijing caused significant damage to the US spy network even before Xi Jinping came to power. In addition, American intelligence lacks people who speak Mandarin Chinese.

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Putin on the birthday of Patriarch Kirill awarded him the order

Vladimir Putin and Patriarch Kirill

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on awarding Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia with the Order of St. Andrew the First-Called, the Kremlin press service reported. Today Patriarch Kirill is 75 years old.

“ For his outstanding contribution to the preservation and development of spiritual and cultural traditions, the strengthening of peace and harmony among peoples, to award the Order of the Holy Apostle Andrew the First-Called Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia '', “ mdash; the decree says.

The material is being supplemented

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Saakashvili ends 50-day hunger strike

These footage were used by the Georgian jailers as” evidence of a hunger strike deception “

Former President of Georgia Mikhail Saakashvili agreed to end the hunger strike he announced at the beginning October after being arrested in his homeland, where he returned after several years of life in Ukraine. His attending physician Nikoloz Kipshidze informed the media about the resumption of food intake by the politician, and the data was also confirmed by lawyer Nika Gvarmia.

Saakashvili agreed to start a gradual withdrawal from the hunger strike after being transferred from the prison hospital to the military hospital in Gori. The ex-president's doctor claims that the threat to his life and health remains for his patient. Earlier it was reported that Saakashvili's condition deteriorated sharply on November 18, after a meeting with a lawyer, he lost consciousness. This became the basis for his transfer to a medical institution.

During Saakashvili's hunger strike, the Georgian penitentiary authorities stated that he was secretly eating. In particular, the specialized agency has distributed recordings from CCTV cameras in the medical office of the prison in Gori. According to the records, Saakashvili ate and drank something in the presence of doctors. His supporters later denied the breakdown of the hunger strike. According to them, from the very beginning Saakashvili made no secret of the fact that he continued to take vitamins and juices against the background of refusing food.