Russia

From Siberia, an Unlikely Cry: ‘We Need Greenpeace Out Here!’

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TAS-YURYAKH JOURNAL TAS-YURYAKH, Russia — At a truck stop at the northern terminus of the Vilyui ice highway in northeastern Siberia, drivers make small talk not about life on the road but rather the life of the road. Andrew E. Kramer The New York Times It might last another week, suggested one driver casually, tucking into a steaming plate of meatballs. “Not likely,” countered Maxim A. Andreyevsky, 31, the driver of a crude oil tanker truck. “Didn’t you see the ... Read More »

“Velvet Revolution” Takes Armenia into the Unknown

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Massive street protests have brought down Armenia’s long-serving leader Serzh Sargsyan. Meanwhile, tensions persist in the unresolved conflict with Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh. Both Armenia’s new leadership and Azerbaijan must pay attention to avoid triggering a new conflagration along that territory’s volatile front lines. Olesya Vartanyan ICG When opposition Member of Parliament Nikol Pashinyan led a knot of marchers through northern Armenia in April to protest the return to power of long-serving leader Serzh Sargsyan, no one guessed his campaign would ... Read More »

Iran urges Muslims to unite against US

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Iran’s supreme leader called on Muslim nations to unite against the United States, saying Tehran would never yield to “bullying,” state television reported yesterday. Hurriyet “The Iranian nation has successfully resisted bullying attempts by America and other arrogant powers and we will continue to resist… All Muslim nations should stand united against America and other enemies,” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said. Iran’s top authority criticized Trump for saying on April 24 some countries in the Middle East “wouldn’t last a week” ... Read More »

How a proposed Russian pipeline to Europe is dividing the West

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MUKRAN, Germany — The steel-and-concrete pipes measure 36 feet long, weigh 24 tons and, if a Russian-led consortium has its way, will stretch for nearly 800 miles along the bottom of the… by Griff Witte and Luisa Beck The Washington Post Being churned out by the thousands at a waterside factory on this German island, the pipes offer evidence that Moscow will soon have a vital new means to sell its gas to continental Europe. But what the $12 billion pipeline ... Read More »

Opinion: Corruption charges have Council of Europe teetering on the brink of irrelevance

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When individual members would rather illegally accept money and gifts instead of fighting corruption, there’s no need for the Council of Europe anymore, says DW’s Max Hofmann. Max Hofmann DW Officially, the Council of Europe is meant to safeguard democracy and the rule of law. Given that mission, many people are already asking why countries such as Russia and Turkey even have a seat at the table. Most observers in Strasbourg say it would be pointless to throw them out, ... Read More »

China’s New Arctic Policy Needs Close Analysis

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Now that the dust has settled on China’s big policy announcement, it is time to take a fresh look at China’s Arctic Policy and assess what it means for the United States and the other five states that have a coastline on the Arctic Sea: Canada, Greenland (Denmark), Russia, Norway, and… Mark E. Rosen IPP Review Before delving into that policy and making comparisons to other policy documents that China has issued, it makes sense to first review the legal ... Read More »

The Emerging Russia-Turkey-Iran Alliance Challenging NATO in the Middle East

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani, front, Russia's President Vladimir Putin, left, and Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrive for a joint press conference in Ankara, Turkey, Wednesday, April 4, 2018. The leaders of Russia, Turkey and Iran say they stand against "separatist" agendas that would undermine Syria's sovereignty and territorial integrity. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)

An unusual triple alliance coming out of Syria could change the regional balance of power and unhinge NATO — if it holds together at all. Conn Hallinan MPN News An unusual triple alliance is emerging from the Syrian war — one that could alter the balance of power in the Middle East, unhinge the NATO alliance, and complicate the Trump administration’s designs on Iran. It might also lead to yet another double cross of one of the region’s largest ethnic ... Read More »

Trump-Russia investigation

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The key questions answered Everything you need to know about the inquiry into Russian hacking, alleged collusion and Donald Trump, plus the latest news By Tom McCarthy and Sam Morris The Guardian Bigger than Watergate? Or a transparent sham? Whatever else it may be, the story of Donald Trump and Russia comes down to this: a sitting president or his campaign is suspected of having coordinated with a foreign country behind the scenes of the… Trump strongly denies all wrongdoing ... Read More »

EXCLUSIVE: Putin, Trump Will Never Allow US-Russia Armed Conflict, Lavrov Says

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov gave his thoughts on the recent alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria, the US strikes against this Arab country, the Skripal case, the upcoming Donald Trump-Kim Jong-un talks and Russia-US ties in an interview with Director General of… Sputnik: You said that Russia has irrefutable evidence — not highly likely, as London has its own ‘irrefutable’ allegations — that the so-called chemical weapons attack in Douma was staged by a country that has positioned itself as among the… This country was named ... Read More »

UK and US accuse Russia of cyber attack that compromised global networks

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Washington and London have detailed how Russian-backed hackers have been compromising network devices around the world since 2015. Alexander Pearson (with Reuters and AFP) – DW The announcement has come amid heightened tensions between the two countries and Russia. The US and Britain warned on Monday of a Russian government-sponsored cyber attack against internet network infrastructure around the world. Britain’s National Cyber Security Centre, the US Department of Homeland Security and the FBI issued a joint statement on the attack, which ... Read More »

Syria, chemical weapons and the limits of international law

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Consider this shocking fact: Despite horrific images of yet another chemical weapons attack in Syria, the U.S.-led humanitarian intervention to protect civilians on April 13 was fundamentally illegal. Andrew Bell The Conversation Under current international law, President Trump lacks the authorization to launch a single missile to stop future attacks, even for the clear and just purpose of saving civilian lives. No matter how wise you consider this intervention, legal scholars generally agree that the United Nations Charter doesn’t allow ... Read More »

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

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More legally questionable and reckless military interventions are not what British people want from their government Jeremy Corbyn The Guardian These are serious times. Following the missile attacks on Syria, now is the moment for a powerful push for peace. Boris Johnson’s blithe acceptance on Sunday that the conflict will now continue on its current course and that peace negotiations would be an “extra” is an unconscionable abdication of… Already this devastating conflict has cost more than 500,000 lives and led to 5 million refugees ... Read More »

Erdogan welcomes Syria strikes against Assad regime

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday welcomed Western strikes against Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad’s regime as “appropriate” in retaliation for Damascus’ “inhumane” attacks. AFP “We consider this operation as appropriate,” Erdogan told a meeting of his ruling party in Istanbul. In a statement, the Turkish foreign ministry said the US-led operation “has eased humanity’s conscience in the face of ” the suspected chemical attack With the latest operation, he said, “The regime has seen that its mounting attacks in ... Read More »

The Syrian War Is Actually Many Wars

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President Donald Trump is ordering U.S. strikes against government targets in Syria after a suspected chemical attack. Krishnadev Calamur The Atlantic The Middle East is a “troubled place,” President Donald Trump said Friday night as he described his decision to use America’s “righteous power” in a retaliatory attack against government targets in Syria following a suspected chemical attack… Syrian President Bashar al-Assad seems to have won the civil war in his country—but that doesn’t mean peace is coming. In fact, ... Read More »

Turkey to Mediate Between US, Russia on Syria Tensions

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ISTANBUL — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is assuming a mediator role, calling for a display of sensitivity by the U.S., Russia and other nations amid heightened tensions on Syria. Dorian Jones VoA U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened to launch military strikes in response to Saturday’s (April 7) alleged chemical weapons attack by Syrian government forces that killed at least 40. Erdogan spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin late Thursday on the phone after a separate call with Trump. “Erdogan ... Read More »

Syria: who’s involved, and what do they want?

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Among those glancing at Syria’s seven-year conflict, a simple but misleading declaration is circulating: “Assad is winning”. Authors The Conversation But the Assad regime has only survived because of the political, economic and military life support it’s had from Russia, Iran and Hezbollah. It is now entirely dependent on them. And that’s for rule over just a part of Syria. The opposition, though very dependent on Turkish protection, holds much of the north-west, and it also – for now – ... Read More »