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Medvedev called threats “hellish sanctions” “ritual dance”

Dmitry Medvedev urged not to frighten Russia with “hellish sanctions” Western countries promise to introduce “unprecedented sanctions” against Russia in case of its invasion of Ukraine. Dmitry Medvedev believes that those who threaten sanctions do not themselves believe in the effectiveness of their statements

Dmitry Medvedev

Even those who threaten Russia with sanctions do not believe that this threat will work, Deputy Chairman of the Security Council Dmitry Medvedev said in an interview with Russian media.

we will say this in order to perform this ritual dance. And they regularly perform it,— Medvedev explained (quote from RIA Novosti). He urged not to frighten Russia with “hellish sanctions.”

“There can always be problems, but these problems can be definitely solved,” — emphasized the Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of Russia.

Commenting on the possibility of a ban on the conversion of the ruble, Medvedev said that in the event of restrictions on transactions in dollars and euros, Russia will switch to Chinese yuan. “The absence of dollar payments can be replaced by payments in euros. If there are decisions on the euro, there is the yuan. <…> I don’t know who will lose more from this,»— he said. Medvedev recalled that Russia is already pursuing a course towards a more balanced currency basket and, if necessary, can “make certain redistribution within this basket.”

Earlier that the threat of sanctions from The West does not belong “to the category of real politics,” said Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko.

The United States and other states warn Russia of “unprecedented sanctions” in the event of its invasion of Ukraine. Moscow has repeatedly stated that it is not planning an attack.

On January 25, a US administration spokesman said at a briefing that the country was preparing sanctions measures against Russia in the event of an escalation of the conflict in Ukraine. The package will include export and financial restrictions, with implications for Moscow that are broader than those considered after Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014. According to Reuters, Washington expects European partners to join the sanctions.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on the same day said that the countries of the West “in unison” respond to Russia's attack on Ukraine and the sanctions in this case will be tougher than all previously introduced.

The Bild newspaper wrote that the damage from new restrictions could amount to more than $50 billion. According to publications, the West plans to block the supply of raw materials from Russia, limit the work of embassies and reduce the supply of Russian weapons. During the visit of US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and CIA Director William Burns to Berlin, the German side assured that in the event of a Russian invasion, it would not allow the launch of Nord Stream 2, Bild reported.

In the United States, senators from the Democratic and Republican parties have introduced bills on measures against Russia. Both the Democrats' draft and the Republican Marco Rubio's document include personal sanctions against Russian President Vladimir Putin. On Wednesday, January 26, a CBS correspondent, citing sources, said that the authorities had abandoned sanctions against Putin because it would make it difficult for Western colleagues to negotiate with him.

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Peskov estimated the chances of concluding an analogue of the declaration on the end of the Cold War

Peskov: now one can only dream of an analogue of the declaration on the end of the Cold War alt=”Peskov assessed the chances of concluding an analogue of the declaration on the end of the Cold War” />

Dmitry Peskov

One can only dream of concluding agreements by modern politicians similar to the Declaration on the End of the Cold War, signed by Russia and the United States 30 years ago, Dmitry Peskov, press secretary of the President of Russia, said.

According to him, against the backdrop of worsening relations between Russia and the West, the Kremlin is not inclined to overestimate the significance of the upcoming anniversary of the declaration.

“It is unlikely that it [the declaration] is capable of influencing the formation of the political consciousness of the current leaders. In the current conditions, one can only dream of signing such papers. But still, we have other responsibilities, and dreams— that's not what we're paid for,” — noted Peskov (TASS quote).

The Declaration on the End of the Cold War was signed on February 1, 1992 by the Presidents of Russia and the United States, Boris Yeltsin and George W. Bush. In particular, the document stated that Russia and the United States do not consider each other “as potential adversaries.” Russian-American relations after the signing of the Declaration were to develop in the direction of “friendship and partnership”; and be based “on mutual trust, respect and a shared commitment to democracy and economic freedom.”

The aggravation of relations between Russia and NATO took place last autumn, when publications appeared in the Western media about Russia's military buildup on the border with Ukraine and Moscow's plans to invade the country. The United States has threatened to impose harsh sanctions against Russia in the event of aggression towards Ukraine.

The Kremlin denies the existence of plans for an invasion, and the movement of Russian troops across the country was called exclusively an internal affair of Russia. Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly noted the build-up of NATO's military presence and infrastructure near the Russian borders, and also drew attention to the fact that strategic bombers of the alliance fly 20 km from the state border, which “goes beyond certain limits”.

Later, the Russian Foreign Ministry handed over to the United States and NATO draft agreements on security guarantees, in which, among others, there was a clause on the non-expansion of the alliance to the east. This is Moscow's key demand.

Following consultations on these agreements, the United States sent a written response to Russia's demands. However, according to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, there was no positive reaction on the issue, which Moscow considers the main one.

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Germany announces readiness to impose sanctions against Nord Stream 2

Burbock: Germany is ready to impose sanctions against Nord Stream 2 in the event of an “invasion” of Ukraine But if it doesn’t work out, the sanctions will also affect Nord Stream 2, she threatened

Berlin is ready to impose sanctions against the Russian Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline in the event of a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine. This, speaking in the Bundestag, said German Foreign Minister Annalena Burbock, the newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reports.

“In the event of a new aggression, we have a wide range of responses, including responses to Nord Stream 2, — said Burbock.

“Yes, we always want dialogue: whoever speaks does not shoot,”— assured the head of the Foreign Ministry. However, according to Burbock, Germany and its allies “have made it clear that the resumption of hostilities against Ukraine will have serious consequences for Russia.”

At the same time, the minister sharply criticized the Russian approach. “It's hard not to see this as a threat when hundreds of thousands of soldiers with tanks and weapons are concentrated near the Ukrainian border for no clear reason,” — Burbock continued. She also opposed Russia's demands for “so-called security guarantees that are not compatible with European security pillars.”

Earlier, US State Department spokesman Ned Price said that if Russia “one way or another” will invade Ukraine, the situation with the launch of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline won't budge. Prior to this, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said that he had agreed with Burbock to oppose Russia's use of energy resources as a weapon.

Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg said that large-scale sanctions that would be imposed against Russia in the event of an invasion of Ukraine, Nord Stream 2 will not be affected, since Europe depends on gas supplies.

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Moscow declared the inadmissibility of “even the thought” of a war with Ukraine

Zaitsev from the Foreign Ministry: even the thought of a war with Ukraine is unacceptable The Foreign Ministry ruled out any plans of Russia to attack a neighboring country. But Kiev's “overseas curators” continue to adhere to the scenario they invented, said a ministry spokesman

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Russia does not even allow the thought of a war with Ukraine, said the deputy director of the department information and press of the Ministry of Foreign AffairsAleksey Zaitsev.

He mentioned the statements of the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, Oleksiy Danilov, that Kiev sees no reason for the “invasion”; Russia to Ukraine, which the West is talking about. Defense Minister Alexei Reznikov agrees with him, the diplomat pointed out.

“For our part, we have repeatedly stated that our country is not going to attack anyone. We consider unacceptable even the idea of ​​a war between our peoples,»,— he noted.

However, Zaitsev continued, “Ukraine’s overseas curators” a different opinion on this matter. “It seems that they intend to firmly adhere to the scenario he invented, according to which Russia should attack Ukraine, taking up arms against the entire Western world, and they are trying to do everything possible to bring it to life,” & mdash; considers the deputy director of the DIP.

If “something does not go according to plan”, the West begins to escalate the situation. As an example, he cited an order to evacuate embassy personnel from Kiev, and an increase in military supplies. “And they shout even louder about the mythical Russian threat, even naming the time he planned for the Russian attack on Ukraine: sometime between now and mid-February,” — he added.

At the same time, anyone who dares to have a point of view “will inevitably pay with his career, and possibly with his safety.” He recalled the resignation of German Vice Admiral Kai-Achim Schönbach, who said that Kiev had lost Crimea, and called statements about Russia's plans to attack Ukraine nonsense.

“The President of Croatia, who considered that Ukraine had no place in NATO, was entered into the database of the extremist website” Peacemaker “, as, indeed, the aforementioned German Vice Admiral,” Zaitsev pointed out.

After the statement by the Foreign Ministry about the unacceptability of the war between Russia and Ukraine, the dollar exchange rate fell by almost ₽1.9, to ₽77.61, the euro— by ₽2.8, up to ₽86.57. The US currency fell below ₽78 for the first time since January 24 this year, the European currency fell below ₽87 for the first time since January 21.

The West has repeatedly claimed that Russia is preparing an “invasion” to Ukraine. The possible timing of the attack in the White House, in particular, called mid-January— mid February. US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman also spoke about the fact that Russia is planning aggression against Ukraine by mid-February. Washington claims that Russia is preparing a military provocation under a false flag, looking for an excuse to invade a neighboring country. The Kremlin denied these words. The head of the Russian Foreign Ministry, in turn, said that the West is striving “for a real provocation” so that “the Kiev regime breaks into a military operation in the Donbass, or in some other way bury the Minsk agreements completely.”

The West threatens Russia with unprecedented sanctions in case of aggression, and NATO has already announced the transfer of forces.

Ukrainian authorities have repeatedly urged the population not to panic because of reports of a possible Russian attack . In particular, President Volodymyr Zelensky asked Ukrainians to beware of “nonsense.”

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The President of Lithuania offered to speak with Moscow, “without ringing weapons”

President of Lithuania Nauseda: it is not necessary to ring a weapon to protect the interests of NATO It is possible to achieve the necessary actions from Russia not only by “ringing a weapon”, but also through diplomatic methods, said Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda. But Moscow needs to be shown that the cost of invading Ukraine will be very high, he believes .jpg” alt=”The President of Lithuania offered to speak with Moscow “without clanging weapons”” />

Gitanas Nauseda

NATO does not have to support Ukraine and take care of its own interests, following the path of confrontation with Moscow, diplomacy can be used effectively, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda believes. He expressed this conviction in an interview with the LRT television and radio company.

The question was asked what Lithuania would do if Russia attacked Ukraine.

“Lithuania is ready to help Ukraine in every possible way. <…> NATO as an organization should primarily take care of collective and regional security. And it doesn't have to be done by clanging a weapon,— answered the President of Lithuania.

He advised the alliance's diplomats to harmonize their rhetoric in order to send Moscow “the clearest possible” a signal of NATO's plans to counter a potential invasion of Ukraine. This, Nauseda believes, will achieve the desired result.

To a clarifying question whether Lithuania would participate in the military conflict, the politician repeated that the country was ready to provide Ukraine with the necessary assistance.

NATO members accuse Moscow of preparing a military operation on the territory of Ukraine since autumn last year, and Russia denies it is planning a military operation.

In parallel, the US, NATO and Russia are discussing mutual security guarantees. Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly said that NATO is building up its military presence and developing infrastructure near the Russian borders, and also drew attention to the fact that the alliance's strategic bombers fly 20 km from the Russian border, which “goes beyond certain limits.”

Due to the escalation of the situation, NATO has decided to send troops, aircraft and fighter jets to Eastern Europe. However, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg promised that the bloc would not deploy troops on the territory of Ukraine. The EU has also decided to send additional financial assistance to Ukraine, and the US is discussing the supply of new arms shipments.

Negotiations between Russia, the US and NATO on security guarantees have so far come to nothing: the alliance has rejected Moscow’s proposal to abandon plans for expansion to the east . The US also gave Russia a written response to its proposal. Commenting on Washington's response, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters that there is still no positive reaction to the main question in the American side's response to Russian proposals for security guarantees.

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Zelensky called “the first priority” for Kiev and “an element for the world”

President Zelensky: ceasefire in Donbas is a priority for Ukraine “Stable and unconditional silence in Donbas” is Kiev's main priority and a condition for further steps in the negotiations, the President of Ukraine said, assessing the negotiations in Paris. Moscow assessed the progress at the meeting as zero “first priority” for Kiev and “element for the world” />

After reaching a reliable and guaranteed ceasefire in Donbass, the next steps can be taken in the negotiations within the Normandy Four. This was stated by President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, speaking about the results of the talks held the day before by political advisers of the Normandy Four countries. The statement was published on the website of the President of Ukraine.

“For our state, the first priority for today— this is the achievement of stable and unconditional silence in the Donbass. The ceasefire regime must be guaranteed, reliable, and it is on this basis that the following steps can be taken, — stressed the head of state.

Zelensky linked the implementation of the Minsk agreements with the summit of the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France, calling the negotiations of the heads of state mandatory.

“We consider the intensification of the work of the Normandy format as an obligatory element of the movement towards a fair and stable peace in Donbas through the implementation of the Minsk agreements; at the level of leaders»,— The report says.

Kyiv has repeatedly put forward initiatives for a summit meeting both within the framework of the Normandy format and between the presidents of Russia and Ukraine. Moscow rejected these proposals, insisting that an agenda for such meetings should be worked out, documents developed, and earlier commitments fulfilled.

From the Russian side on the “Norman” The meeting in Paris was attended by Dmitry Kozak, deputy head of the presidential administration, who described the results with much less optimism. According to him, “while progress is practically zero”, the parties spent eight hours revising the Minsk agreements, since in Kiev their provisions are interpreted differently than in Moscow.

Kozak also noted the lack of progress in a key moment— Kiev's direct negotiations with the self-proclaimed republics, since the Minsk agreements provide for the harmonization of the provisions of political reform in Ukraine with them. Andriy Yermak, head of the office of the President of Ukraine, who led the Ukrainian delegation at the talks, categorically rejected the possibility of such talks. In Ukraine, the DPR and LPR have been declared terrorist organizations.

The next meeting of advisers within the Normandy trial will take place in two weeks in Berlin.

Moscow has repeatedly accused Kiev of sabotage and failure to comply with the Minsk agreements. Their political part provides for amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine, a general amnesty and the granting of a special status to certain areas of Donbass. All foreign participants in the process also repeatedly called the Minsk agreements the only way to achieve peace in the Donbass.

Kiev officially did not refuse to implement them: at the Normandy Four summit; in Paris in December 2019, President Zelensky confirmed the relevant commitments. In reality, however, politicians in Kiev often openly describe the agreements as unworkable.

In recent months, Western leaders have been insisting that Russia is preparing an invasion of Ukraine, threatening Moscow with sanctions, and demanding a de-escalation. The Ukrainian leadership has repeatedly urged not to panic. In Kiev, they believe that there is no immediate threat of a Russian attack. Moscow has repeatedly stated that they are not preparing aggression against Ukraine.

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The head of the State Duma Committee announced the consideration of the application for recognition of the LPR and DPR in February

Photo: Natalia Gubernatorova

The Duma Committee on CIS Affairs, Eurasian Integration and Relations with Compatriots intends to discuss the project submitted by the Communist Party faction in early February the Duma's appeal to Russian President Vladimir Putin regarding the recognition of the self-proclaimed DPR and LPR as independent. Committee Chairman Leonid Kalashnikov spoke about this.

Earlier, the State Duma deputies from the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, in their draft letter to the Russian leader, asked him to consider the issue of recognizing the self-proclaimed republics of Donbass as independent states and about holding consultations with the leadership of the republics as soon as possible in order to form a legal the basis of interstate relations and to regulate all aspects of cooperation and mutual assistance.

It is noted that the committee asked all factions to provide their views on this issue so that the conclusion of the committee could be further adopted.

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The Russian Foreign Ministry called the idea of ​​a war with Ukraine unacceptable

Photo: Mikhail Kovalev

The Russian Foreign Ministry ruled out Russia's plans to attack Ukraine. Alexei Zaitsev, Deputy Director of the Information and Press Department, said at a briefing that Moscow considers the very idea of ​​a war with a neighboring republic unacceptable.

“Our country is not going to attack anyone. We consider unacceptable even the idea of ​​a war between our peoples,” the diplomat stressed.

Zaitsev recalled that Oleksiy Danilov, Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, also said that Kiev sees no reason for Russia to attack Ukraine. Aleksey Reznikov, head of the country's Ministry of Defense, agrees with this opinion.

At the same time, the diplomat noted that Ukraine's Western curators have a different opinion. According to him, they are going to firmly adhere to the scenario they have developed, according to which Russia should invade Ukraine, after which the entire Western world will take up arms against it.

If something does not go according to plan, the West escalates the situation, stressed Zaitsev. As an example, he cited orders to evacuate embassies from Kiev and increase military supplies to Ukraine.

Recently, reports in the West about an allegedly impending Russian invasion of Ukraine have become more frequent. The Russian side has repeatedly stated that it is not going to attack anyone. In Moscow, the actions of Western countries are regarded as an attempt to create a pretext for deploying additional NATO weapons near the Russian borders.

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Zelensky commented on the Normandy Four meeting

photo: Wikipedia

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky spoke about the meeting of the political advisers of the leaders of the countries participating in the Normandy format. The head of state praised the talks, which lasted more than 8 hours, were meaningful and allowed “outlining the possibility of achieving solutions necessary for peace.”

According to Zelensky, Ukraine's main priority is “achieving a stable and unconditional silence in the Donbass” ;. He added that he meant “guaranteed and reliable” a ceasefire in the region, which would become the basis for further steps.

The presidential press service also expressed their desire to intensify the work of the Normandy format also at the level of the leaders of the respective countries.

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Politico reveals scenario for Russia’s “invasion” of Ukraine

According to the publication, the Russian Federation may try to occupy the eastern part of the republic

The Russian Federation may try to seize the territory of Ukraine east of the Dnieper River, launching an offensive on several fronts at once. The corresponding scenario of the “invasion” allegedly being prepared by Moscow was predicted by experts from the United States, writes Politico.

Photo: pixabay.com

As the American publication emphasizes, although there are a large number of scenarios for the development of events – from the creation of a “land bridge” to Crimea to the complete occupation of the republic, the scenario with an attempt to take control of the eastern part of Ukraine seems to be the most likely. From the point of view of experts from the United States and a number of other states, a series of skirmishes in the Donbass, which will subsequently develop into a full-scale military conflict, may start an armed confrontation.

The authors of the article suggested that Russia could attack Ukraine from several directions using military equipment and aircraft. So, according to experts' forecasts, the main goal of the “invasion” will be the capture of Kiev, which will be attacked from both sides of the Dnieper and from the air. After that, as suggested in the United States, Russian military personnel will attempt to apply the same approach to other key cities in Ukraine, such as Kharkov. In addition to the regular army, Moscow can send Russian Guard troops to the conflict zone to ensure order in the captured settlements and fight dissidents, the interviewed experts shared their opinion.

Thus, experts believe, the Russian Federation will be able to establish control over eastern Ukraine and create a so-called puppet government in Kiev. At the same time, the western part of the republic, where the overwhelming majority of the population speaks Ukrainian, will turn into a kind of stump country that will act as a buffer between the Russian Federation and the North Atlantic Alliance, the publication says. With such a development of events, the Kremlin, in all likelihood, will consider that the threat posed by an independent Ukraine has been eliminated, but the price of such a solution to the problem will be high for all parties, the journalists of the American edition summarized.

Recently from Kiev and the states of the West, statements about the threat of a Russian attack on Ukraine are increasingly heard. At the same time, the Russian side denies the existence of any plans for an invasion. In particular, the official representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Maria Zakharova, said that, hiding behind an allegedly imminent attack by Russia, Kiev itself is preparing provocations.

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In Russia, they told what weapons can be supplied to the militias of Donbass

Pantsiri, Tornado, Iskanders

In the unrecognized republics of the LPR and DPR, they supported the proposal of Russian Senator Andrey Turchak to start supplying weapons to the defenders of Donbass from Russia. They immediately stated that they most of all need air defense and electronic warfare equipment that would help shoot down Ukrainian drones. However, a number of military experts believe that air defense systems alone in the event of an attack by Ukrainian troops will not be enough for the defenders of the LPR and DPR. We also need percussion instruments. “MK” found out from experts what weapons Russia can supply to Donbass and what not, and why. For example, can Iskander missile systems reach Donbass?

Photo: dan-news.info.

– If the decision on the supply of weapons to the LPR and the DPR is made at the official level, – believes Alexei Leonkov, a military expert, editor of the Arsenal of the Fatherland publication, – then this, of course, will first of all be the supply of air defense systems, with which everything is not very good there well. Of course, I would add electronic warfare systems to them – electronic warfare stations, and also strengthen the grouping with cannon artillery systems and multiple launch rocket systems – MLRS, in particular, Tornado-G.

– We did not have guided missiles in the MLRS. Although now the developers have achieved high accuracy of hitting area targets. There will be no survivors in the place that the Tornado salvo will cover. Guided missiles are Iskander. It would be possible to supply the LPR and the DPR with more aviation systems, but they do not have their own aviation, so this would make no sense. Aviation is the main advantage that the Ukrainian army has over the defenders of Donbass. That is why air defense systems are so relevant for the militias. I would say precisely the military air defense, that is, the Buk and Tor are short- and medium-range systems. And if necessary, we will get them from our territory with long-range S-400 systems.

– It is quite real, but this does not mean that Iskanders will be delivered to the DPR or LPR. If we are talking about supplies, this is one thing, but if we are talking about assistance to unrecognized republics, it is quite another. Ukraine, by the way, has similar missile systems – Tochka-U. They have already dragged them to the line of contact.

I believe that now it is necessary for the LNR and the DNR to provide complexes that could help them in a ground operation. They themselves have enough tanks to carry it out. And if the artillery and multiple launch rocket systems still work well, then all the offensive fervor from that side will be extinguished.

– Our MLRS systems contain such rockets that are designed to destroy armored vehicles. They simply cover a section of the territory where tanks, armored personnel carriers, infantry fighting vehicles are located, and turn them into a pile of metal.

– It makes no sense to supply high-precision weapons to the LPR and DPR, because there simply are no specialists in high-precision systems. For example, we initially supplied the Syrians with modernized T-72 tanks, but it turned out that they had T-72 specialists – once or twice and miscalculated. Then I had to deliver what they know. T-64 tanks stagnated in our warehouses. We brought them to mind, put them there, and the Syrians immediately began to fight. That is, you need to understand that with all due respect to the defenders of Donbass, they do not own modern high-precision systems and weapons. This needs to be learned.

Another military expert, the former head of the anti-aircraft missile forces of the Special Forces Command (Moscow Air Defense District), Colonel Sergei Khatylev believes that the main task of protecting the unrecognized republics can be solved solely by the supply of air defense systems.

“There now, our Pantsir air defense systems are needed to combat drones and other low-altitude targets,” the expert says. – They are effective against helicopters that support troops from the air, dropping troops and are available to the Ukrainians in sufficient numbers. In addition, this complex, having four 30-mm automatic cannons with six launch rockets, is also capable of firing at a ground enemy, including tanks. At one time, I participated in the tests of the “Shell” at the Kapustin Yar training ground, where just this complex fired at the tanks placed for it.

– They're talking about dozens of cars. It is also important that the command post of the “Shell” is able to control several machines at once. And it is still very difficult for him to interfere. The Pantsirya multifunctional radar station conducts reconnaissance in the centimeter range, combat work to detect targets and destroy them in the millimeter range. The complex has an infrared detector that detects targets, identifying them by the exhaust of the turbine. And also visually. With the help of a television optical sight, he can shoot a cannon at a distance of up to five kilometers. So from this point of view, Pantsir is the most convenient complex for the LPR and DPR and the most unpretentious.

– They also proved themselves very well. Donbass asks them. They are also very unpretentious. “Tors” work on low-altitude targets in automatic mode. There are ten anti-aircraft missiles on board, and all in one combat vehicle, no more than three meters in length. That is, everything is compact and convenient for calculation.

Donbass also needs Buk-M2. The media wrote that several complexes remained there. They are also very good for destroying various air targets both at medium and high altitudes. And most importantly, it is a self-propelled installation on a caterpillar track. So from the point of view of their application in the LNR and DNR, they can be very effective.

– Absolutely. With their help, it is possible to build a layered air defense in the Donbass, that is, to create a no-fly zone over the LPR and DPR. And without air support, it is almost impossible to fight today, there will simply be nothing for Ukrainian troops to catch there.

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The New York Times wrote about Putin using Syria as a laboratory

The publication recognized the strength of the Russian army, noting the shortcomings

In the 2000s, the Russian army was an “empty shell” that could not cope with the conflict in Chechnya and even ensure the safety of its own submarines. But two decades later, under the leadership of Vladimir Putin, Russia's armed forces have grown into a formidable force with experienced military personnel, a clear command structure and hypersonic weapons. The American newspaper The New York Times wrote about this.

Photo: AP

“In 2015, Russia entered the war in Syria to prevent the overthrow of the government of Bashar al-Assad and to show the world the superiority of its own weapons,” writes the American edition. – According to experts, Putin used this war as a laboratory to identify the real potential of the military technologies used, as well as to gain combat experience for Russian commanders and officers.

In 2020, when Azerbaijan and Armenia finally decided to make peace, the transfer of 2,000 peacekeepers to Nagorno-Karabakh took Russia only a few hours. According to the publication, such a quick and effective modernization of the Russian army could not but cause a negative reaction from US officials. As a result, Russia began to be accused of planning an attack on Ukraine, although the statements of the Joe Biden government are based only on predictions and conjectures.

U.S. Marine Corps veteran Robert Lee noted that Kalibr cruise missiles installed on Russian ships and submarines of the Black Sea Fleet, as well as Iskander-M missile systems located on the border, are capable of hitting any target on Ukrainian territory. The military expert added that the T-72B3 tanks, which are located near the Ukrainian border, are equipped with long-range projectiles and new thermal imagers that allow combat operations at night.

Former commander of US forces in Europe, Ben Hodges, admitted: “I am ashamed this is to say, but when the “Caliber” hit targets in Syria from the Caspian Sea, it came as a surprise to me. It's not about the technical characteristics of these missiles – I didn't even know they were there!”.

“Despite the many successes, the modernization of the Russian armed forces has its drawbacks: that this is hurting its economy and worsening the quality of life of ordinary citizens, and instead of creating new weapons systems, Russia is simply improving its old equipment,” American analysts say.

Nevertheless, the military general US Air Force Philip Breedlove said: “We have to give the Russians their due – they are incredibly quick to learn new methods of warfare. Every time we see their actions during any conflict, they act even more accurately than before.”

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Putin’s secret diplomacy: what Russia and the United States agree on

Presidents “hide” in plain sight

“Say the password and go!” – “Password!” – “Come on!” – after the American side delivered a written response to Russian security proposals, the main character of this joke no longer seems like a complete idiot.

Photo: kremlin.ru

How is secret diplomacy usually done in the world? Here is a classic example: in 1956, big bosses from London, Paris and Tel Aviv arranged a secret rendezvous in the French city of Sèvres and agreed there to launch a military strike on Egypt at the same time. The war itself ended quickly: America threatened its younger allies with a finger, and they instantly tucked their tail. But the very fact of signing the Protocols of Sevres, their co-author, former British Foreign Secretary Selwyn Lloyd, recognized only when he was on his deathbed almost twenty years later. And their photographic copy was only published in 2010.

What is the matter of the current secret diplomacy of Putin and Biden! Guided by the principle of the well-known detective “it is necessary to hide in plain sight”, the two presidents did not even put up a sign: “Do not interfere! Trying to negotiate a backroom deal!”

Although, however, no, they set it. “We will not publish the document because we believe that diplomacy has a great chance of success if we leave room for confidential negotiations. We hope and expect that Russia shares our views,” this statement by US Secretary of State Tony Blinken actually performs the function of such a virtual “plaque”. And this “tablet”, in turn, has one important, useful function – useful not only for the participants in the negotiations, but also for those who, like us, are watching them from the side, frantically trying to understand what is happening.

Biden's policy towards Putin and Russia is based on the matryoshka principle. The upper matryoshka is available to the eyes of absolutely everyone. The President of the United States publicly flexes his muscles (of course, intellectual and ideological, not physical), publicly calls GDP a “murderer” and tells how Washington will effortlessly twist Moscow into a ram's horn.

The medium matryoshka is only visible to Putin and a narrow group of other high-ranking Russian and American officials. According to reliable information, at the summer talks in Geneva, Biden behaved with emphatic amiability and assured that he understood the special role of Russia in international affairs and our concerns. At the same time, however, it was emphasized that the American leader would continue his previous line of conduct in public.

What is Biden's smallest nesting doll hiding? Here, alas, while stop. At the moment we can say absolutely nothing about its content. And perhaps even the American leader himself does not know everything yet. What kind of nesting doll he will eventually have to present to the world depends on whether there will be some kind of agreement with Russia in this very end or not. And this is not yet obvious.

Lavrov about the American response: “There is no positive reaction on the main issue. The main issue is our clear position on the inadmissibility of NATO expansion and the deployment of strike weapons that could threaten the territory of the Russian Federation.” Another gloomy forecast by the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry, which, it would seem, kills my thesis about the “secret diplomacy of Putin and Biden” in the bud: “I have no doubt that in the very near future it will (the text of the American response. – “ MK ) will become known to the general public. It “leaks”.

So, at first, two deputy ministers (Sergei Ryabkov and Wendy Sherman), and now two ministers (Lavrov and Blinken) could not agree on anything breakthrough. But could they actually agree on something? Do they deserve such achievements?

In politics, as in cinema, there is a division into main and secondary characters. The main achievements (or main villainies) are the lot of the main characters of the film. If these main characters suddenly find themselves in the shadow of supporting characters, then the whole dramaturgy falls apart. The point of our Russian-American political dramaturgy is that the main characters in our “movie” are Putin and Biden. Only they can agree on something in the final. And the failure of the ministers is an obligatory item in the program on the way to this finale. Remember the obligatory outline of any good action movie? The closer the final, the stronger the tension. It would seem that there is no way out, a happy ending is impossible. But suddenly something happens, and by some miracle everything grows together.

Am I too carried away by cinematic analogies? Perhaps everything is actually much simpler and sadder. In principle, I am not trying to predict something or convince you and myself of the inevitability of a happy ending. I am trying to prove something completely different: if there is such a happy ending, then the current emotional roller coaster is its absolutely necessary condition. The gap between the positions of Russia and the collective West is too wide. To smooth and “sew” it, Putin and Biden need emotional tension. Only in the presence of fear – what will happen if a war starts ?! – the final political compromises will have the necessary moral legitimacy. This is the only way to make these compromises without destroying the base of its political support in the process (in the case of Biden; Putin has incomparably more freedom to maneuver).

Federal quote: “Russia will not rush to assess US response on guarantees, Peskov said. It’s a pity, it’s infinitely pity that, unlike a cinematic thriller, the “political thriller” that our life has become cannot be immediately skipped to a happy ending. But this is probably part of the price for the fact that we live not on the silver screen, but in real life.

Источник www.mk.ru

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For the first time in Kazakhstan, they told about members of a religious organization who staged pogroms

“They don’t wash, they don’t study, they don’t get medical treatment”

According to the Kazakh state channel Khabar in the evening the documentary film “Tragic January. How it was. For the first time, the name of a religious organization whose members took part in the pogroms was mentioned in it. We are talking about the radical cell “Yakyn Inkar”, banned in the Russian Federation, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. In the countries of Central Asia, this radical organization, which is a wing of the Tablighi Jamaat movement, (also banned in the Russian Federation and the states of Central Asia) & nbsp; has settled since the beginning of 2010. What the followers of the cell are famous for and why they are recognized as an extremist organization, “MK” understood. 

Photo: Frame from video

 The Yakyn Inkar Movement, the literal translation of whose name is — "Negation of everything except God" — was founded in India in 1926. The followers of this movement preach the denial of all the blessings of civilization, calling for the norms of life of the time of the Prophet Muhammad. Cell members do not recognize health care, do not teach children at school. But this sect, in fact, is recognized as extremist in many Asian countries not for this. And for the fact that the adherents of this organization categorically deny the right to existence of other religions, which falls under the definition of religious extremism. 

In addition, the followers of the movement do not consider it necessary to comply with the laws of the state. They also urge not to obey the muftiats and distort the norms of Islam, which is why it is considered extremist in the Muslim community. As Abdulaziz azhy Zakirov, the head of the Spiritual Administration of Muslims (SUM) of the Jalal-Abad region, spoke about them: “We are against the actions of those people who call themselves “inkar”, “yakyn”. and do the wrong things. This is not according to Sharia and not according to the laws. Just lie at home and do nothing, saying “God willing” — This is completely wrong. You need to work, try.

In Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, this movement has long been recognized as extremist, the activities of the cells were banned. But the adherents of “Yakyn Inkar” in 2012 managed to gain a foothold in the north of Kyrgyzstan – in Issyk-Kul and Naryn regions. Later, the ideas of the organization spread in Chui, Osh, Jalal-Abad and Batken regions, as well as in the cities of Tokmak, Bishkek, Kant, Kyzyl-Kiya and Osh. At first, people in long Pakistani robes, with uncut hair and beards, were looked upon as oddballs. But then, when more and more supporters began to appear and entire families and villages refused to send their children to schools, receive passports, use healthcare services and generally make contact with the state, the alarm was sounded in Kyrgyzstan. Moreover, it was precisely from the environment of poorly educated and unemployed youth that recruiters recruited “recruits” in ISIS (an organization banned in the Russian Federation, recognized as a terrorist organization) and other radical movements.  

In 2017, the Yakyn Inkar movement It was recognized as extremist by the Oktyabrsky District Court of Bishkek. After that, detentions of its active members began in the country. In 2017, 32 members of Yakyn Inkar were detained in the Osh region. There are 16 more people in the next —  Many of them received 3-4 years in prison. Last year, their arrest just expired.

After the “Inkarovites” were taken up in Kyrgyzstan, they tried to move to Kazakhstan. But in the neighboring country they did not “take a closer look” for five years to the radicals, as it was in Kyrgyzstan. Already in 2018, the court of Astana recognized this organization as extremist, saying that its goal “is to create a caliphate in a single country, including on the territory of Kazakhstan, which involves a violent change in the constitutional order, a violation of sovereignty.” So this radical a cell in the country did not receive, being “strangled at the bud”,

However, religious scholars believe that “Yakyn inkar” cannot be fully considered a terrorist structure, rather – destructive. Because its adherents do not work, as a rule, have an untidy appearance, do not have education and do not recognize secular sciences, do not use transport, do not take money in their hands. “This group has certain signs of fanaticism and contradicts not only the traditional forms of Islam, but also the social order, national traditions and progress (science, culture). Therefore, by its nature, it is not extremist or terrorist, but has a destructive orientation, “»» said about them by a Kyrgyz theologian, an expert on religion, director of the analytical center «Religion, Law and Politics» Kadyr Malikov.

  All this suggests that the adherents of “Yakyn Inkar” could participate in the riots, but the role of organizers and “shock forces” they definitely don't fit – not those fighting qualities.  

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Russia named scenarios for the development of relations with the West after receiving a response

“As long as there is imitation of dialogue, it provides time to consider the next steps”

The United States has given the Russian side a written response to Moscow's proposals in the field of European security. Although it is assumed that the text of this document is not subject to publication, apparently, no fundamentally new theses were made by Washington. We talked about the prospects for relations between Russia and its, as they say in diplomatic circles, “Western partners” with international relations expert Vladimir Frolov.

Photo: AP

— Only President Vladimir Putin knows this. The reaction of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov to the American and NATO written response leaves the head of state the opportunity to make a decision in one direction or another. As long as there is dialogue imitation, it provides time to think about the next steps.

— The choice is simple: either be satisfied with “secondary negotiations”, which are not bad, but the main problem for Russia of “Ukraine's withdrawal to the West” they don’t decide, and they will continue for a long time, and with an unpredictable result, and with new obligations of the Russian Federation not to place something and limit it on its territory … And here we need to think: do we need it?

The second option — “break the pattern” and solve the main problem ourselves: preventing the emergence of a strong but hostile Ukraine, integrating, if not into NATO, then into bilateral military alliances. This, however, can only be achieved by regime change in Kiev. The Kremlin has such a choice.

— Dont clear. At the same time, there is already information that Minister Lavrov is allegedly going to meet again next week with Secretary of State Anthony Blinken in Geneva. So far, however, this has not been confirmed.

— Productive new negotiations between diplomats can only be made by Putin's choice of the first of the above options. That is — minor meetings without solving the problem of Ukraine. However, it seems to me that this is not the choice to be made. Then the meeting between Lavrov and Blinken will again be a waste of time, just like the negotiations between the advisers of the —  "Normandy Format" in Berlin in two weeks.

If the Kremlin gives the go-ahead to “small” negotiations, then Lavrov and his deputy Sergei Ryabkov will quickly arrange everything. If this scenario is rejected, they will have to play for time.

Источник www.mk.ru