In Moscow on Sunday it is expected to minus three degrees

Cloudy weather and light snow are predicted in the & nbsp; Russian capital Sunday, December 5, the official & nbsp; website of the & nbsp; Hydrometeorological Center of the Russian Federation.

During the day, the air temperature in the city will be from minus one to minus three degrees.

In addition, forecasters have again warned residents of Moscow about icy conditions. Atmospheric pressure will be 746 millimeters of mercury. South wind at a speed of & nbsp; from three to eight meters per second. & Nbsp;

Cloudy weather, light snow and ice are also expected in Moscow on Monday night. The thermometer can drop to five to seven degrees below zero.

The east wind at a speed of & nbsp; from five to ten meters per second. Atmospheric pressure & ndash; 749mm



Soyuz rocket with Galileo satellites successfully launched from Kuru cosmodrome

Russian launch vehicle Soyuz-ST-B with the upper stage 'Fregat' and two Galileo satellites launched from the Kuru cosmodrome, according to the Roscosmos website.

The launch took place at 03:19 Moscow time. Engines of the upper stage “ Fregat '' were launched approximately 19 minutes after the start. & nbsp;

It is also reported that the mission will last 3 hours 51 minutes. Two Galileo FOC navigation satellites will be launched into orbit for the global navigation European satellite system Galileo.

Initially, the launch of the Soyuz-ST-B launch vehicle & nbsp; from the Kourou cosmodrome in French Guiana & nbsp; was scheduled & nbsp; for December 2, but was & nbsp; postponed due to bad weather.

December 4, the launch was canceled eight & nbsp; minutes before the start. It was reported that the & nbsp; decision was made due to & nbsp; high-altitude wind.



“They burned all the villages.” The defeat of the Germans near Moscow through the eyes of eyewitnesses

Plot World history with Andrey Sidorchik

December 5, 1941 in the history of not only the Great Patriotic War, but also the Second World War as a whole, became an important date. On this day, the troops of the Kalinin Front, having gone over to the offensive, broke through the enemy's defenses & nbsp; and managed to advance 4-5 kilometers.


In the first hours, the Nazis were sure that they were talking about a local operation, which they could easily cope with. However, the next day, units of the Western and Southwestern Fronts began their offensive operations.

A couple of days later, the Germans admitted: they were faced with a crisis that they had not experienced during the entire war period. Hitler's directive on the transition to defense in all sectors of the front did not fundamentally change the picture & mdash; & nbsp; The Wehrmacht rolled back from Moscow.

On December 11, 1941, the jubilant voice of the announcer Yuri Levitan sounded on the radio: “ The troops of our Western Front, having exhausted the enemy in the & nbsp; previous battles, went over to the & nbsp; counteroffensive against his shock flank groupings. As a result of the launched offensive, both of these groups were defeated and & nbsp; hastily retreat, abandoning equipment, weapons and & nbsp; suffering huge losses … & raquo;

The defeat of the Wehrmacht near Moscow became a world sensation. The German military machine, which after the campaign in Europe received the reputation of invincible, for the first time received such a savory slap in the face. A force was found capable of fighting the Third Reich on an equal footing.

The plan of a lightning war, on which the calculations of the Hitlerite strategists were based, was finally buried. And the most far-sighted German military leaders predicted that nothing was & nbsp; a good “ Eastern campaign '' now won't end.

How did their direct witnesses and participants remember those December 1941 days?

“ After Klin was liberated by us, British Foreign Secretary Eden arrived there ''

Marshal Georgy Zhukov , during the Battle of Moscow, the commander of the Western Front: “ On the first day of the offensive, the troops of the Kalinin Front wedged themselves into the front edge of the enemy's defense, but could not overturn the enemy. Only after ten days of stubborn fighting and a change in offensive tactics did the front's troops begin to move forward. This happened after the right wing of the Western Front defeated the German group in the Rogachevo area & mdash; Solnechnogorsk and bypassed Klin & hellip; On December 13, the 1st Shock Army and part of the forces of the 30th Army of the Western Front approached Klin. Covering the city from all sides, Soviet troops burst into it and, after fierce fighting on the night of December 15, cleared the Klin of the enemy … After Klin was liberated by us, British Foreign Secretary A. Eden arrived there. At the end of December, we read in & ldquo; Pravda & rdquo; & nbsp; A. Eden's statement, made by him on his return to London. Sharing his impressions of the trip to the USSR, he said: “I was happy to see some of the exploits of the Russian armies, truly magnificent exploits.”

“ If a hut or another was preserved somewhere, then it was necessarily mined ''

Marshal Konstantin Rokossovsky , during the Battle of Moscow, the commander of the 16th Army: “ During the retreat, the German troops did everything to slow down our advance. They densely mined the roads, arranged all kinds of mine traps. The army headquarters tried to be closer to the warheads, and often had to overtake the troops, advancing where our sappers had not yet managed to remove the mine obstacles. The feeling, I will say, is not pleasant … On their way, the Nazis burned all the villages. If a hut or another was preserved somewhere, then it was necessarily mined. I remember once we with & hellip; several comrades settled down to warm up in the surviving house. It was necessary to urgently make a decision and prepare an order for the troops for action the next day. The house, of course, had already been cleared of mines, which was confirmed by the defused mines lying nearby. As soon as we got ready to get down to business, first the correspondents entered, and then a few more people with cameras. The room was filled with people. In such conditions, there is no time for work. I had a sad joke about the mine danger, and pretty soon the hut was empty. “

Commander of the 16th Army of the Western Front, Lieutenant General K. & nbsp; K. Rokossovsky near Istra (second from the right). A shot from the & nbsp; documentary film The Defeat of German Troops near Moscow. October 1941 & nbsp; & mdash; January 1942 & nbsp; gg. & raquo; Central newsreel studio. 1942 Photo: RIA Novosti/S. Shcherbakov

“ Garneau, we ground them. They've killed Moscow after all, you bastards! ''

General Afanasy Beloborodov , in December 1941, the commander of the 9th Guards Rifle Division: “ The fascist strongholds located in the building of the Snigirev school and at the brick factory fell at dawn. They were defeated with their own fire by the heavy howitzer division of Captain Tertyshny. When the gunners were changing firing positions, the divisional commissar, political instructor Romanchenko, stopped the convoy near the school & mdash; let the fighters clearly see the strength of their weapons. In the building & nbsp; under the collapsed beams, among broken bricks, twisted iron, twisted anti-tank guns and machine guns, hundreds of corpses of SS men from the Führer regiment were lying around.

A short meeting took place. Gunner Sergeant Petrenko said:

& mdash; Garneau we ground them. They've killed Moscow after all, you bastards! And we, lads, will beat Berlin in kind. Is that so?

& mdash; So! & mdash; The artillerymen answered unanimously. “

” After five days of continuous fighting, no more than 10 fighters remained from the battalion “, in December 1941, assistant platoon commander of the 1166th Infantry Regiment of the 346th Infantry Division: “ I will remember the first days of my stay at the front, our first baptism of fire for a lifetime. We arrived at the front in new white sheepskin coats and fur mittens. After five days of continuous fighting, no more than 10 fighters remained from the battalion, and our fine uniforms practically fell into disrepair … The fighting continued, we liberated settlements, exhausting the enemy. Finally & nbsp; our offensive stopped near the city of Belev, which stretches along the banks of the Oka River & hellip; It was here for the first time that I saw a salvo of our guard mortars & bdquo; Katyusha & ldquo;. Heavy fire effect & bdquo; katyusha & ldquo; was amazing, but I learned about this much later, when, continuing our way to the west, we passed the German positions, the Nazis fled, throwing weapons in the trenches, the burnt corpses of dead soldiers and wounded. ''

Battle for Moscow. December 1941. Artillery crews are fighting in a forest near Moscow. Photo: RIA Novosti/Oleg Knorring

“ Potatoes have fallen in price among collective farmers. This is how they respond to our victories. The German retreats, and they retreat ''

A resident of Moscow, journalist Nikolai Verzhbitsky , from his diaries for December 1941: 'December 11 We returned Yelets & mdash; a very important node, a strategic point. Big Trophies & hellip;

December 13, 1941 & mdash; maybe from this date historians will begin the period of the defeat of fascism in the planetary war …But in general & mdash; in these days of joyful victories and the defeat of the Germans near Moscow, one will not see much jubilation. Everyone rejoices in a very restrained manner. Muscovites are just beginning to really understand what disaster awaited them and what misfortune they were freed from … Then they will understand. Such majestic events really reach the feeling and consciousness, when time pushes them somewhat into the past …

For collective farmers, potatoes have fallen in price & mdash; 6 & mdash; 7 rub. This is how they respond to our victories. The German is retreating, and they are retreating “.

“ In the & nbsp; liberated village ''. A woman hugs a Soviet soldier after liberating her village during the & nbsp; period of the Soviet counteroffensive near Moscow. Photo: RIA Novosti/Ivan Shagin

'Understand, I am dying, I am going to die, I can feel it'

From a letter from Private Wehrmacht Volheimer to his wife, December 1941: “ This is hell. The Russians don't want to leave Moscow. They began to attack. Every hour brings terrible news to us. I beg you, stop writing to me about silk and rubber boots that I promised to bring you from Moscow. Understand, I am dying, I am going to die, I can feel it. ”

“ The memory of Napoleon’s Great Army haunted us like a ghost. ”

General Gunther Blumentritt , in December 1941, the chief of staff of the 4th Army of the Wehrmacht: “ We did not believe that the situation could change so much after our decisive victories, when the capital seemed almost to be in our hands. The Russians surprised us. The troops now recalled with indignation the pompous October statements of our propaganda ministry … The memory of Napoleon's Great Army haunted us like a ghost. The book of memoirs of Napoleonic General Caulaincourt, which always lay on the desk of Field Marshal von Kluge, became his bible. There were more and more coincidences with the events of 1812 & nbsp; The Russian counteroffensive began with the fact that the superior forces of the Russians struck north of Moscow. In those poor conditions, German tank forces could not withstand the strongest pressure from the Russians and were forced to slowly retreat, continuing to fight stubbornly in deep snow and hoping to restore the united front further to the west. During the retreat, we left behind a lot of heavy weapons & hellip; In battles with the enemy, we suffered heavy losses. ''

The beginning of the Soviet counteroffensive near Moscow

Marching companies are sent to the front directly from Moscow. In the background is house No. 17 on Tverskaya Street. © Novosti archive/Oleg Ignatovich

Soviet aircraft fly over enemy positions near Moscow. © RIA Novosti/Samariy Gurarii

Soldiers in camouflage coats go on the attack in a village near Moscow occupied by Nazi troops. © RIA Novosti/Still from the documentary “The defeat of the Nazi troops near Moscow”

The beginning of the Red Army's counteroffensive. Soviet troops are on the streets of the liberated village. © RIA Novosti/Samariy Gurarii

Broken German tanks near Moscow. © RIA Novosti/Samariy Gurarii

Captured German artillery. © RIA Novosti

Captured German vehicles. © RIA Novosti/Alexander Kapustyansky

German cemetery and a broken cannon. © RIA Novosti

The moment of the battle for Moscow. The fighting lasted from September 30, 1941 to April 20, 1942 and ended with the strategic victory of the USSR and the collapse of the Barbarossa plan. © RIA Novosti

The beginning of the Soviet counteroffensive near Moscow

Marching companies are sent to the front directly from Moscow. In the background is house No. 17 on Tverskaya Street. © Novosti archive/Oleg Ignatovich

Soviet aircraft fly over enemy positions near Moscow. © RIA Novosti/Samariy Gurari


Soldiers in camouflage coats go on the attack in a village near Moscow occupied by Nazi troops. © RIA Novosti/Still from the documentary “The defeat of Nazi troops near Moscow”

The beginning of the Red Army's counteroffensive. Soviet troops are on the streets of the liberated village. © RIA Novosti/Samariy Gurari


Broken German tanks near Moscow. © RIA Novosti/Samariy Gurari


Captured German artillery. © RIA Novosti


Captured German vehicles. © RIA Novosti/Alexander Kapustyansky

German cemetery and a broken cannon. © RIA Novosti


Moment of the battle for Moscow. The fighting lasted from September 30, 1941 to April 20, 1942 and ended with the strategic victory of the USSR and the collapse of the Barbarossa plan. © RIA Novosti



Bild has published a scheme of Russia’s “invasion” of Ukraine

According to Bild's sources, there are two scenarios for Russia's “invasion” of Ukraine: a simultaneous attack from several fronts or a phased attack. Zakharova called the article propaganda devoid of common sense


Poroshenko demanded weapons for Ukraine and “hellish” sanctions against Russia

According to Poroshenko, Kiev is able to defend itself in the event of Moscow's aggression, since Ukraine has created “one of the most effective armies on the continent”, but the country needs the support of the EU and the US


BBC learned about final charges brought against Sapieha in Minsk

The Russian woman was charged with inciting hatred, in Belarus she faces up to six years in prison. The lawyer did not rule out that the girl could be pardoned

Sofya Sapega

The Investigative Committee of Belarus has charged the Russian woman Sofya Sapega with the final charge of incitement to hatred (part 3 of Art. 130 of the Criminal Code), the BBC Russian Service reports, citing two sources. The girl was detained in May in Minsk together with the former editor-in-chief of the opposition Telegram-channel Nexta (the Belarusian authorities recognized him as extremist) after the forced landing of a Ryanair passenger plane.

According to the newspaper, Sapieha faces up to six years in prison & mdash; the minimum term under this article, given that the Russian woman has entered into a pre-trial agreement with the investigation.

Since October 20, Sapega has been under house arrest in the Belarusian city of Lida, in the apartment of her parents, where she is registered. At the same time, they had no connection with their daughter for several months, sources say. On Friday, December 3, the girl was summoned to the Investigative Committee.

Sapega can be extradited to Russia only after the verdict. Lawyer Anton Gashinsky told the newspaper that President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko could also pardon her.

The Ryanair plane, flying from Athens to Vilnius, was forced to land in Minsk on May 23 due to a bomb report. Information about mining was not confirmed. Protasevich and Sapega were taken off the flight and detained, and later they were arrested.

Soon, a video was published in Belarus in which Sapega claims that she was the administrator of the Telegram channel Black Book of Belarus. (also recognized as extremist in the country), where the personal data of employees of the internal affairs bodies were published. The Russian woman was accused of inciting social enmity and discord, she was also a suspect in the case of organizing actions that grossly violate public order, under these articles she faced up to 15 years in prison.

Until June 25, Protasevich and Sapega were in SIZO, but then they were transferred under house arrest. As stated in the Investigative Committee of the Republic, both concluded a pre-trial agreement with the investigation. Belarusian state channels showed several interviews with Protasevich, in which he stated that he cooperated with the investigation, admitted his guilt and no longer wanted to engage in politics.

In August, Sapega also gave an interview to the state channel Belarus 1. The girl admitted that the work collective was “ involved in the incident with the forced landing of the plane. '' ex-editor-in-chief of Nexta. According to her, the Belarusian special services were not involved in the incident.

After the forced landing of the Ryanair flight, the EU imposed sectoral sanctions against Belarus. This led to a migration crisis on the border with the EU countries, which is why new restrictions were introduced against Minsk.

Subscribe to RBC's YouTube Live broadcasts, videos and recordings of programs on our YouTube channel



Pentagon chief says US will help Taiwan defend itself

Photo: Still from video

The head of the Pentagon, Lloyd Austin, said that the United States intends to help Taiwan defend against the use of force. At the same time, Washington remains committed to the policy of “one China.” indicate an increase in tension in the region due to the flights of Chinese military aircraft near the island.



Apple sues the Federal Antimonopoly Service of Russia

The American corporation Apple has filed a lawsuit against the FAS, RIA Novosti reports with reference to the file of cases of the Moscow Arbitration Court.

It is specified that the company filed an application for recognition of non-normative legal acts on December 1 invalid, and on Thursday – a petition to attach additional documents to the case.

According to an FAS spokesman, cited by the agency, the American corporation disputes the warning issued at the end of August.

Recall 30 In August, the FAS issued & nbsp; Apple a warning due to abuse of a dominant market position and obliged to eliminate violations. The warning was not followed.

The Russian department opened a case against the & nbsp; corporation due to the prohibition of application developers to inform users of & nbsp; about the possibility of paying for purchases outside the App Store.

In October & nbsp; FAS opened a case on violation of antitrust laws against Apple.



A rocket with the Soyuz spacecraft is being prepared for launch at Baikonur

A Soyuz-2.1a launch vehicle was installed on the launch pad of site 31 (Vostok) of the Baikonur cosmodrome. with the manned spacecraft Soyuz MS-20, reports TASS.

The launch of the manned spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS) with two space tourists is scheduled for December 8, & nbsp; the flight duration will be 12 days. Manage the Soyuz MS-20 there will be Russian cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin.

It is noteworthy that Misurkin will become the first TASS special correspondent in orbit. Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa and his business assistant Yozo Hirano will also go into space.

Meanwhile, it became known about NASA's plans to conclude a contract for three additional deliveries of astronauts to the ISS on SpaceX spaceships.



US postpones launch of Atlas V rocket with military communications satellite

The launch of the Atlas V launch vehicle with the United States Space Force communications satellite has been postponed until December 6, the press service of the United Launch Alliance (ULA) consortium reports.

It is specified that this is due to a fuel leak in the ground storage that was discovered during preparatory activities. Initially, the launch was scheduled for December 5 from the spaceport at Cape Canaveral, Florida. & Nbsp;

“ The launch is now scheduled for Monday, December 6, at 04:04 US East Coast time (12:04 Moscow time ) & raquo ;, & ndash; follows from the message.

Recall that the Atlas V rocket is to launch the military satellite STPSat-6, on which infrared lasers are installed.

Meanwhile, the Russian Soyuz-ST launch vehicle -B & raquo; with the upper stage 'Fregat' and two Galileo satellites successfully launched from the Kuru cosmodrome. & nbsp;



Soyuz rocket launched Galileo satellites into orbit

Two satellites of the global European navigation system Galileo successfully entered orbit after the launch of the Soyuz-ST-B carrier rocket; from the Kourou cosmodrome in French Guiana. This was announced on Twitter by the head of Arianespace, Stefan Israel.

“Undocking of two Galileo satellites has been confirmed, our passengers have been delivered to their intended orbit”, “ndash;” he wrote.

The launch of the Russian Soyuz-ST-B launch vehicle with the upper stage 'Fregat' and two satellites Galileo took place on December 5 at 03:19 Moscow time. Engines of the upper stage “ Fregat '' were launched approximately 19 minutes after launch. & nbsp; & nbsp;

Galileo FOC spacecraft were manufactured by EADS Astrium for the European Space Agency. So, out of 28 satellites already in orbit, 14 were launched by Soyuz-2 carrier rockets.

As previously reported in Roskosmos, next year four more launches of domestic rockets are planned from the South American cosmodrome.



Bloomberg learned about the dispute between Lavrov and Blinken over Ukraine

Bloomberg: Lavrov and Blinken argued in Stockholm over Ukraine According to the agency, the dispute began during an informal dinner the day before the official meeting of the US Secretary of State and the Russian minister. It concerned the events in Ukraine in 2014

Anthony Blinken and Sergey Lavrov

There was a tense dispute between US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Stockholm over the situation in Ukraine, Bloomberg reports, citing sources.

According to the agency, the dispute began on December 1 during an informal dinner. which was attended by members of the OSCE Ministerial Council. In the course of it, Lavrov said that the events in Ukraine in 2014 were a coup d'etat from the point of view of Russia. The minister also accused NATO and the European Union of “ suppressing dissent and threatening Russia, '' sources said.

Blinken responded by stating that “forces loyal to then-President Viktor Yanukovych [led Ukraine from February 2010 to February 2014] fired on peaceful demonstrators in Kiev and killed more than 100 people.” After that, the Secretary of State reminded, Yanukovych fled to Russia. The head of the State Department also called NATO a “ defense alliance. ''

In the fall of 2013, protests began on Independence Square in Kiev, which continued in 2014. The reason was the refusal of the administration of Viktor Yanukovych to sign an association agreement with the EU. Peaceful actions escalated into clashes with security officials, and then led to a change of power. Yanukovych left the country, Ukraine was headed by Petro Poroshenko. According to the Ukrainian Ministry of Health, 115 people died during the clashes on the Maidan from January to March 2014. The Russian authorities interpret the events that led to the change of power in Ukraine as a coup d'état, Kiev calls them a “ revolution of dignity. ''

The Financial Times also reports, citing witnesses to the discussion, that Lavrov and Blinken exchanged 'tense remarks' at dinner. on the situation in Ukraine.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova called the “ fabulous news '' information, allegedly from Ukrainian sources, that Blinken “ put Lavrov in his place '' at the dinner. “ Complete intellectual dysfunction of Western curators and their Ukrainian protégés, '' & mdash; she wrote on Facebook.

The dispute occurred a day before the official bilateral meeting between Lavrov and Blinken “ in the margin '' ministerial meeting of the OSCE. The diplomats held talks on December 2 in a closed format, they lasted about 40 minutes. After the meeting, Lavrov said that he proposed to Blinken to mutually nullify the existing restrictions on the work of diplomatic missions.

On December 1, after a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Riga, Blinken said that in the event of a Russian attack on Ukraine, Washington would use such effective sanctions against Moscow , from the use of which he abstained earlier, and called on the Russian side to withdraw its troops from the Ukrainian border. Lavrov, in response, promised that Moscow would respond to possible restrictive measures. Sanctions warnings began to sound after media outlets, including Politico, The Washington Post and Bild, wrote that Russia may be planning an attack on Ukraine. Moscow denies this information.

Subscribe to YouTube RBK Live broadcasts, videos and recordings of programs on our YouTube channel



Ambassador announced Biden’s reluctance to impose sanctions against Russia

The US President does not want to continue the sanctions policy, but Washington's actions will depend on “resolving some issues” that caused the imposition of restrictions, Sullivan said

John Sullivan

US President Joe Biden's administration does not want to impose sanctions on Russia , but Washington's decisions will depend on Moscow's actions, US Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan said in an interview with RBC.

According to the diplomat, in April of this year, when the United States extended sanctions against Russia and took measures prohibiting banks and other financial institutions of the country from purchasing Russian ruble federal loan bonds (OFZ) on the primary market after June 14, according to Biden, “ remained open questions. '' We are talking about accusations of Russia of involvement in cyberattacks on SolarWinds, which affected hundreds of organizations, and interference in the US 2020 elections, Sullivan explained. Moscow has repeatedly denied these accusations.

Over the course of time, significant sanctions have been imposed on Russia in areas where we have fundamental disagreements and concerns about Russian actions, which we considered incompatible with US interests, values, with the interests of our partners. And these are the tools that the US has & raquo;, & mdash; Sullivan stated.

The previous US administration, in which Sullivan was undersecretary of state, “ took significant steps to counter actions with which we deeply disagreed, '' the ambassador said, adding that the Biden administration continued on that path. “I know from his conversations with [Russian President Vladimir] Putin in June & mdash; it is definitely not President Biden's desire to continue to impose sanctions on Russia, but it depends on Russia, the United States and its allies, on the resolution of some of the issues that led to the imposition of the sanctions, '' & mdash; he emphasized.


Sullivan recalled the promise of Secretary of State Anthony Blinken to impose such effective sanctions against Moscow in the event of aggression in Ukraine, which Washington had previously refrained from using. According to the ambassador, if there is a military invasion of Ukraine, it will provide an opportunity for more serious American sanctions, “ sanctions of a different degree of strength. '' “ So I hope this is not needed and we can diplomatically resolve the differences, and if not, then the Secretary of State made it very clear, '' & mdash; concluded the diplomat.

Blinken's deputy Victoria Nuland also called for measures against the Russian side in the event of an escalation in Ukraine. Biden, for his part, said the US is working with its European allies on a “ comprehensive '' a package of measures that should prevent Russia from invading Ukraine. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov promised that Moscow will respond to possible sanctions.

The introduction of sanctions against Russia was also allowed by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. He said that the foreign ministers of the countries & mdash; members of the alliance discussed possible economic and political measures against Moscow in the event of an “ aggression in Ukraine. ''

Washington began to warn Moscow about sanctions after media reports began to appear that Russia was building up military forces on the border with Ukraine, in particular, The Washington Post and Politico wrote about this.

The Russian side has repeatedly denied preparations for any aggressive actions against Ukraine. The Kremlin said that the movement of Russian military equipment and army units across the country & mdash; this is exclusively a matter of Moscow.

Intrusion theme Russian troops were raised in Ukraine at the beginning of the year, when Russia was conducting the West-21 exercises, but the invasion itself has not happened yet, Vladimir Putin said at the Russia Calling forum, answering the question of whether investors are afraid of the possible entry of Russian troops into the territory of Ukraine.

“ The point is not to send troops or not, to fight or not to fight, but to improve relations to create a more equitable, sustainable development and take into account the security interests of all participants in international activities '', & mdash; said Putin. “ If we sincerely strive for this, no one will experience any threats, '' & mdash; added the president.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Maria Zakharova said that the media should be concerned about aggression from the United States, not Russia, based on NATO's actions in the region. According to Zakharova, the United States is conducting a special operation to aggravate the situation around Ukraine, shifting responsibility to Russia. The representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs noted that at the heart of this operation – & mdash; provocative actions in the area of ​​the Russian borders, which are accompanied by “ accusatory rhetoric against Moscow. ''

Subscribe to RBC's Telegram Receive news faster than anyone



US Ambassador calls the waiver of the Spaso House lease a last resort

Due to a lack of staff, US Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan did not consider the possibility of abandoning the lease of the residence, the famous Spaso House. Refusing to rent is absolutely an extreme measure, he said

Residence of the US Ambassador Spaso House (Vtorov's mansion in Spasopeskovsky Pereulok)

Due to mutual reductions, about 120-130 are currently working at the US Embassy in Russia diplomats, US Ambassador John Sullivan said in an interview with RBC. Due to a lack of personnel, the embassy stopped providing visa services to Russians, and the number of events was reduced. However, the possibility of canceling the lease of the ambassador's residence, which requires care, is not being considered, the ambassador assured.

“ It was only as an absolute last resort that I had agreed to consider abandoning the lease on this building, which has such a history, '' & mdash; said Ambassador Sullivan. According to him, the mansion located in the Old Arbat area & mdash; it is a historical place for both Russians and Americans. “ We rented it in 1933, our first ambassador, Ambassador Bullitt, moved here in early 1934, 88 years ago, '' & mdash; recalled the ambassador. The mansion has witnessed the development of the history of Russian-American, Soviet-American relations: Presidents Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon, Presidents George W. Bush and George W. Bush, Bill Clinton & mdash; they all visited the residence during their visits.

The Kommersant newspaper reported that the diplomatic mission was considering the option of refusing to lease the mansion. The Washington Post reported on December 3 that the embassy was so understaffed that many staff were forced to take on additional work.

The US Embassy, ​​however, intends to restore the number of its employees, which is now significantly inferior to the Russian presence in the United States. In early November, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov called on the United States to send additional diplomats to Moscow. However, Ambassador Sullivan told RBC that so far this call has not been implemented, since candidates for work in Russia are not given Russian visas.

“ The problem is that we cannot obtain visas for American diplomats so that they came to Russia. And it was described as a visa impasse. This is unfortunate, it is not a way to build productive diplomatic relations, and it is not as easy as saying send more diplomats & mdash; said Sullivan. According to him, a meeting was recently held between Russian and American representatives on this issue, and another one is to be held in the near future, at which this issue will also be discussed.

Subscribe to RBC's YouTube Live broadcasts, videos and recordings of programs on our YouTube channel



Experts assessed the risk of an armed conflict in Ukraine

Experts interviewed by RBC assessed the possibility of military escalation due to the situation around Ukraine, noting the high risk of unforeseen incidents. In their opinion, the West is not ready to provide Russia with the security guarantees required by Putin

What they say in Moscow, Washington and Brussels

Over the past month, the United States has repeatedly spoken about Russia's pulling up troops to the border with Ukraine, while Moscow has rejected these statements. Following the meeting of NATO foreign ministers on December 2, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken called on Russia to withdraw its troops from the border with Ukraine. Also, according to him, in the event of Russian aggression, Washington will impose such sanctions against Moscow, which it has not yet applied before. “ We don't know if President Putin made the decision to invade. We know that he creates the potential to do so in a short time if he decides to, & raquo ;, & mdash; added the secretary of state. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Russia would give an answer if new “ hellish '' attacks were introduced against it. economic sanctions. “ This is a dead-end road, and ultimately it will turn against the very initiators of these illegitimate unilateral measures, '' & mdash; warned the minister.

Against the background of the aggravation, President Vladimir Putin announced that in negotiations with the United States and its allies, Russia would insist on “ working out specific agreements that would exclude any further NATO moves to the east and the deployment of weapons systems that threaten us in close proximity to Russian territory. '' His idea was developed by Lavrov during the press conference “ in the margins '' OSCE Ministerial Meeting in Stockholm: “ We want the agreements that the President mentioned, and which we will seek, must have a legal, legally binding character. '' According to him, they will be formulated in the near future. “ If NATO continues to withdraw from the conversation on this topic or on the topic of agreements, ideas put forward by Russian President Vladimir Putin, of course, we will take measures so that our security, our sovereignty and territorial integrity do not depend on anyone. '' , & mdash; he stated. Although NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has already said that the decision on Ukraine's entry into the alliance will be made by its 30 member countries, and Russia's opinion on this issue will not be taken into account. “ Russia has no veto right, its opinion is not taken into account. It has no right to restore the principle of spheres of influence and through this influence neighboring countries, '', & mdash; Stoltenberg said.

Internal and external reasons for the escalation of the situation

The rise in tensions between the US and Russia over the past few months largely reflects the internal US reaction to the June Biden-Putin summit in Geneva, said Alan Kafruni, professor of international relations at Hamilton College. According to him, then Biden clearly outlined the desire for stability and predictability, since he gives priority to the rivalry between the United States and China. As a result, it provoked a serious internal struggle in the US foreign policy establishment. “The most aggressive elements are exerting tremendous pressure on the Biden administration to prevent any significant convergence, in fact repeating in some respects the experience of Donald Trump, who sought to reduce tensions with Russia,” “mdash. the expert explained in a conversation with RBC. According to him, an increase in the supply of lethal weapons to Ukraine, naval maneuvers in the Black Sea and an increase in flights closer to the border with Russia are the result of such pressure. “ Last month, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin offered the United States to approve Ukraine's NATO membership. Ukraine's membership in NATO & mdash; de jure or de facto & mdash; this is, of course, the 'red line' For Russia. Washington's increasingly tough line and Ukraine's own military maneuvers and rhetoric have provoked a new round of Russian military mobilization along the Ukrainian border, along with increasingly decisive statements from Vladimir Putin. Of course, all of this further inspired Biden's belligerent critics at home, '', & mdash; Kafruni emphasized.

According to Dmitry Trenin, director of the Carnegie Moscow Center, Moscow is moving from exhortations to concrete warnings. According to him, starting in the spring of 2021, Russia has resorted to military demonstrations in order to contain the Ukrainians and their Western allies. These demonstrations are considered by the objects of these signals to be valid (“ preparation for the invasion ''). “ These actions are being carried out right now, because the dynamics in and around Ukraine, as well as the real blocking of the Minsk agreements and the emasculation of the Normandy format, present the Russian leadership with a choice. Either passively observe the constantly deteriorating strategic situation in a very important area, or stop these processes with tough retaliatory steps, not excluding military measures. If a collision is inevitable, then it is better to meet the enemy in the early approaches, seizing the initiative and using the enemy's vulnerabilities '', & mdash; Trenin noted in a conversation with RBC. Kennan Institute expert Igor Zevelev believes that the Kremlin has realized the impossibility of further maintaining the status quo in Ukraine. “ Not a single issue related to the conflict in eastern Ukraine has been resolved and there is no progress. It is quite obvious that the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky and the people around him do not seek to resolve the issue on the basis of the Minsk agreements, and Russia does not currently see any other alternative, '' & mdash; he told RBC. Zevelev added that the Ukrainian problem in itself would have been insignificant if it had not been included in the system of relations between Russia and the Western countries.

There would be an armed conflict

The risk of military escalation is now “ very significant '', says Alexei Arbatov, head of the Center for International Security of the IMEMO RAN, Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The main reason for the current exacerbation of & mdash; the fact that “ in Moscow, apparently, they came to the conclusion that it is impossible to keep Ukraine through the Crimea and Donbass, '' the expert says. Russia has long been talking about the unacceptability of Ukraine's entry into NATO. “ Kiev is receiving more and more military and financial assistance, and now the number [of claims against Kiev and its allies] has turned into quality, '' & mdash; the expert noted in a conversation with RBC.

Zevelev described the current situation as “ quite acute. '' “ I do not think that Russia has plans to invade Ukraine, or that the Ukrainian government will take any drastic steps, but the possibility of incidents, especially in the Black Sea region, is extremely dangerous given the concentration of military power on all sides, the lack of adequate communication lines , trust in each other and understanding not only potential, but also mutual intentions '', & mdash; explained Zevelev.

Neither Russia nor the United States wants a military conflict, Kafruni agrees with him. “ Despite widespread predictions of a Russian invasion in the US media, Russia definitely does not want all the attendant problems this could entail. However, in the context of growing provocations and rhetorical escalation, there is a possibility of misperception and mistakes. This is especially true in the context of instability in Kiev & raquo;, & mdash; he explained. Thus, the situation is very similar to the situation in Georgia in 2008, when then-President Mikheil Saakashvili mistakenly believed that he could count on US military support, the expert summed up.

Director of the Center for Political-Military Analysis at the Hudson Institute, an expert at the Valdai Club Nor does Richard Weitz think that the current tensions between Russia and the West over Ukraine could lead to war. Rather, it is & mdash; a repetition of Moscow's strategy to periodically increase and decrease tensions around Ukraine, the expert explained. This strategy has several goals, including forcing Kiev to make concessions to Russia, encouraging differences within Ukrainians over the Russian issue, exploiting any differences between Ukraine and its Western partners, and getting concessions from Washington, such as the summit between Presidents Biden and Putin.

“ The main character of the Play by Eugene Schwartz 'Dragon' said that “ the war begins suddenly. '' Since they have been talking about war, without ceasing, for a month and a half, at all levels, purely in an applied sense, this is not the case, '', & mdash; noted the editor-in-chief of the magazine “ Russia in Global Affairs '' Fedor Lukyanov. In his opinion, although the risk of military clashes is increased, so far what is happening can be described as “ rhetorical artillery preparation and a demonstration of confidence '' in order to move opponents to some kind of agreement, Lukyanov says. What Moscow wants to get has already been said by both Putin and Lavrov. “ That we will seek new security guarantees. That it is necessary to revise the entire system of relations in the field of European security that emerged after the Cold War, that NATO should not expand indefinitely, '' & mdash; added the expert. According to him, it is this topic that will be devoted to the upcoming online summit of Putin and Biden. “ At the last meeting between Lavrov and Blinken, the American side has already made an interesting statement. Yes, the rhetoric was harsh, threats of sanctions, but we heard for the first time that the Minsk agreements must be fulfilled, '' & mdash; he said.

Will Putin receive guarantees that NATO will not expand eastward

The US and NATO cannot guarantee Russia will not expand the military alliance to the east, Arbatov said. It is even difficult to imagine how this can be legally formalized, given how the bloc is structured and that there are 30 states in it, including the Baltic states and Poland, he adds. However, the expert continues, one can imagine less formal agreements. “ That the parties will not exacerbate tensions, that military assistance will be limited, the exercises will be limited both from the Russian side and from the other side, '' & mdash; he gives an example.

In the long term, Arbatov believes, the conflict could be resolved peacefully on the basis of the Minsk agreements. Donbass is returning as part of Ukraine. Ukraine retains its sovereignty and territorial integrity, and Russia and NATO become its guarantors. Ukraine also maintains a neutral status & raquo;, & mdash; he describes a possible scenario.

Zevelev recalled that the Ukrainian conflict & mdash; it is an integral part of relations between Russia and the United States, NATO, and European countries. “ Without Russia's finding a worthy place in the European security system, the Ukrainian conflict essentially cannot be resolved. This is not a Russian-Ukrainian conflict, it is much broader, and, not seeing the prospects for its solution, the fundamental question of guarantees has been raised right now, although their implementation in their current form seems unrealistic to me, because I do not see the intention of Western countries to meet Russia halfway and respond to her proposal without losing face '', & mdash; he said. For his part, Weitz added that the crisis is unlikely to be resolved through guarantees from the West, since Western leaders will not give them.

“ Putin's proposal for NATO to provide legal guarantees against Ukraine's accession would be unacceptable for NATO and Putin certainly understands this. At the same time, his demand can become a starting point for negotiations. After all, as in the case of Georgia in 2008, the United States will not resort to military intervention on the side of Ukraine. I hope the Ukrainian government and the armed forces understand this; '', & mdash; concluded by Kafruni.

Subscribe to YouTube RBC Live broadcasts, videos and recordings of programs on our YouTube channel