Tag: US


The Hermitage announced a moratorium on exhibitions in the US and Europe


The moratorium is introduced for a year, all exhibits previously sent to European museums have already returned to Russia. The Hermitage pointed out that in the 1990s such a moratorium was in place inside Russia for security reasons

The Hermitage, St. Petersburg

The State Hermitage will not hold exhibitions in Europe and the US for a year, according to the museum page on VKontakte.

“The Hermitage introduces a one-year moratorium on exhibitions in Europe and the USA. Recall that in the 1990s, the museum introduced a moratorium on exhibitions in Russia for security reasons and because of high financial risks,— The message says.

The Hermitage has announced that all of the museum's exhibits have returned from exhibitions in Europe. From March to June, the exhibits participated in eight foreign exhibitions: in Amsterdam, Hamburg, Brussels, London, Milan, Rome and Paris. On June 21, Titian's “Portrait of a Young Woman” was the last to be returned from the exhibitions. and Cariani's Temptation.

In April, Mikhail Shvydkoi, special representative of the president for international cultural cooperation, announced the detention of paintings from Russian museums in Finland due to bureaucratic procedures, since the border passes there Russia with the EU. Finnish customs confirmed the detention of goods that are “subject to European sanctions.” Among them were exhibits from the Hermitage, the Tretyakov Gallery, the Pushkin Museum, etc.

The Foreign Ministry protested to the Finnish ambassador, and a few days later the paintings crossed the border. The Hermitage explained that the canvases were returned after clarifying that “exhibition exchanges have a special status even under sanctions restrictions.”

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Putin called US statements about “Putin’s inflation” stupidity


The West is using the Russian special operation as a “lifeline” that allows it to “blame its own miscalculations on others,” Putin said. According to him, the increase in imports from the US and the EU led to an increase in prices in the world. 756554722171579.jpg” alt=”Putin called the US statement about “Putin's inflation” stupid” />

Vladimir Putin

Today's rise in prices— this is the result of systemic mistakes by the United States and the European Union in economic policy, and Russia, with its special operation in the Donbass, has “absolutely nothing to do with it,” President Vladimir Putin said during a speech at the St. Petersburg Economic Forum.

“Recently, more and more often I hear <…> about the so-called “Putin's inflation” in the West. When I see this, I always think: who is this stupidity designed for? For those who can't read and write, that's all. People who can even read understand what's really going on, — he said.

Video

According to the president, Russia and its “actions to liberate Donbass have absolutely nothing to do with it.” «Today's rise in prices— this is the result of systematic mistakes in the economic policy of the current US administration and the European bureaucracy. Here are the reasons. And only in this»,— Putin noted.

Western countries are already using the beginning of the Russian special operation as a “lifeline” that allows them to “blame their own miscalculations on others, in this case Russia.” “They printed money in huge quantities” And then what, where did all these funds flow? Obviously, including the purchase of goods and services outside Western countries. They [the US and the EU] have literally started vacuuming, raking out the global markets. Of course, no one thought about the interests of other states, including the poorest ones, and did not want to think, — the president said. According to him, the poorest countries were left only “scraps”, and even then at “astronomical prices”.

In particular, if at the end of 2019 the volume of imports to the United States was about $250 billion per month, by now it has grown to $350 billion, Putin said. “Growth 40%” in proportion, this exactly corresponds to the unsecured pumping of the dollar mass of recent years, — he said.

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Even higher rates of increasing imports of goods, according to him, are observed in the EU. “It is clear that such a sharp increase in demand, not backed by product supply, launched a wave of shortages and global inflation” that's where it comes from, this global inflation,»,— said the head of state.

And while these countries continue to import, the balance between exports and imports has already shifted to the other side, Putin added. However, the conclusion already suggests itself that “the economy of imaginary entities will inevitably be replaced by the economy of real values ​​and assets,” he noted.

In this way, Putin reacted, among other things, to the statement of US President Joe Biden. Speaking at the Port of Los Angeles last week about inflation and his administration's price-cutting measures, he said the United States “has never seen anything like Putin's tax on food and gasoline.” “Today's inflation report confirms what America already knows: Putin's price hike is hitting America hard— gas station prices, energy and food prices account for half of the monthly price increase in May,— said the president, commenting on the report of the US Department of Labor. According to this report, consumer prices in the country rose by 8.6% in annual terms in May, and this is the largest increase since December 1981. “I'm doing everything in my power to blunt Putin's price hike and bring down the cost of gas and food,” Biden then concluded.

The Russian Foreign Ministry, commenting on the statements of the US President, noted that food prices were rising throughout 2020 and 2021, even before the start of the operation in Ukraine. “If we listen to what the White House says, Biden, calling inside himself, American prices “Putin’s”, “Putin’s tax”, “Putin’s gasoline”, “Putin’s inflation”, & mdash; yes, they live in a fantasy world»,— said the representative of the department, Maria Zakharova, in an interview with the TV channel “360” on the margins of SPIEF.

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Vladimir Putin

politician, President of Russia

October 7, 1952

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Fiji court orders US to seize yacht linked to Russian businessman


A court in Fiji has allowed the United States to seize the Amadea yacht, which the FBI believes is related to sanctioned Suleiman Kerimov. The defense insists that the owner of the ship is businessman Eduard Khudainatov, who is not on the sanctions list .jpg” alt=”Fiji court orders US to seize yacht linked to Russian businessman” />

Amadea superyacht in Lautoka, Fiji

The Fiji Supreme Court has ruled that the Russian-linked superyacht Amadea must be removed by the United States, as it is a “waste” for the island nation. funds needed to maintain the vessel during fission legal disputes, according to Reuters.

The Amadea yacht was detained by the Fiji police on April 14, after the 106-meter vessel entered the state's exclusive economic zone after an 18-day passage from Mexico, which it did under the flag of the Cayman Islands. The United States linked the yacht to the Russian billionaire and senator Suleiman Kerimov and sought its confiscation as part of the sanctions imposed against him.

The FBI said operating costs for a $300+ million vessel are between $25 million and $30 million a year, and the United States will pay for the upkeep of the vessel after it is confiscated. Fiji's Supreme Court allowed Amadea to be seized on a US warrant on May 3.

At the same time, Millemarin Investment Limited stated that it is the real owner of the superyacht, and Faisal Haniff, the defense lawyer representing her, asked the court to stay the decision pending an appeal against this decision. He also stated in court that the yacht is not related to Kerimov, but belongs to another Russian businessman— to the owner of «NNK-Oil» Eduard Khudainatov.

The Fiji government paid for the maintenance of the yacht while the appeal was pending in court.

On Tuesday, June 7, the Supreme Court ruled that the public interest requires that the yacht “sail out of Fiji waters” because its parking “is costly to the government of Fiji.” The court also indicated that the yacht entered the waters of the state without proper permission, in the hope, probably, of avoiding criminal prosecution by the United States.

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“Issues relating to money laundering and property rights” must be resolved in the US court that initiated the proceedings, the Fiji Supreme Court indicated. Faisal Haniff, a lawyer for Millemarin Investment Limited, declined to comment on the verdict to Reuters.

RBC sent a request to Khudainatov's representative.

Since February 24, when President Vladimir Putin announced the start of a military special operation in Ukraine, Western countries have imposed numerous sanctions against Russia. Already on March 2, the US Department of Justice announced the creation of a multi-agency task force, KleptoCapture, tasked with enforcing sanctions and export restrictions against Russia, as well as combating “corrupt Russian oligarchs.” The group will explore ways to circumvent US anti-money laundering and anti-money laundering laws and search for their assets.

German shipbuilder Lürssen's website reports that Amadea's yacht was built at a shipyard in Hamburg. Its length— 106 m, there are eight cabins on board, 36 people are engaged in the maintenance of the vessel. The Superyacht Fan portal estimates the cost of the yacht at $ 325 million, and calls it an “unknown billionaire” as its owner.

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WP learns about US aid to the Saudi military in Yemen airstrikes


The Washington Post learned that the United States provided military support to the Saudi Air Force in Yemen The armed conflict in Yemen began in 2015. At first, the US worried that the airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition might violate the customs of war. However, then they began to conclude military contracts with this country

The consequences of the airstrikes of the Saudi-led coalition on the city of Sanaa in Yemen, March 2022

The United States supported the air force of the coalition led by Saudi Arabia, which has been targeting Yemeni civilian infrastructure since 2015, The Washington Post and Security Force Monitor found out in a joint investigation.

The journalists analyzed more than 3,000 publicly available images, press releases, media reports and videos and identified 19 fighter squadrons that participated in the military campaign.

They found that most of the aircraft belonged to Saudi Arabia or the UAE, which entered into at least 94 contracts with the United States for weapons, training or maintenance. Most of the 39 squadrons of countries— members of the coalition who had the ability to carry out airstrikes flew fighter jets designed and sold by American companies.

The United States participated in joint exercises with at least 80% of the squadrons that carried out strikes on Yemen, an analysis of more than 1,500 videos, photos and military statements showed. Moreover, approximately four times such exercises were held in the United States.

Since 2015, US officials have raised concerns that coalition airstrikes may have violated the rules of war. They also trained the Saudi Air Force in civilian casualty prevention, the law of armed conflict and human rights. After four years of hostilities, in 2019, the United States adopted a policy requiring high-precision missile guidance.

Since the bombing began in 2015, the United States has awarded dozens of contracts to support the F-15SA fighter and upgrade other aircraft from the same series and pilot training. The last fighter jet was delivered to Saudi Arabia in 2020.

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“Both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates face a significant threat to their territories. We intend to continue to strengthen the defense capabilities of these countries, — Pentagon spokesman Ned Price said in a comment to the publication. He explained the support by the fact that over the past year the Houthis have attacked Saudi Arabia hundreds of times.

Since August 2014, a conflict has been going on in Yemen between government forces and armed groups of the Houthis. In March 2015, the conflict moved into an active phase, when coalition forces led by Saudi Arabia entered Yemen.

According to the UN, more than 17.4 million Yemenis suffer from food shortages due to the consequences of hostilities. To resolve the humanitarian crisis in the country, UNICEF will need $484.4 million in 2022 alone. The situation is complicated by military operations in Ukraine, from which Yemen receives 30% of all wheat.

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Ex-ambassador reported about US deception regarding Ukraine’s accession to NATO


Former US Ambassador McFaul: American diplomats deceived Ukraine about joining NATO

For several years, United States diplomats promised Ukraine to join the North Atlantic Alliance (NATO), which turned out to be a lie. This was stated by former US Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, speaking at The Munk Debate.

Thus, the moderator of the debate, Radoslav Sikorsky, reminded McFaul of the promises made by Washington to Kyiv on the country's accession to NATO and asked the question— “Did the [American] diplomats lie?”

The ex-ambassador answered in the affirmative, adding that this is how the “real world” works.

McFaul served as US Ambassador to Moscow from 2012 to 2014. In November 2016, he came under Russian sanctions. The diplomat claimed that this was due to his close ties with former US President Barack Obama. According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, McFaul came under restrictions due to “targeted damage to Russian-American relations.”

In March 2021, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky approved a national military security strategy. The document envisaged measures to strengthen integration with NATO for further membership in it.

He also repeatedly criticized the position of Western countries on Ukraine's membership in the alliance. In September, the Ukrainian leader also discussed this issue at the talks with Joe Biden, and, according to Zelensky, the US President announced his consent to Ukraine's entry into NATO.

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WSJ learned about US plans to lift sanctions from Minsk in exchange for grain transit


Washington may temporarily lift sanctions on Belarusian potash fertilizers if the country allows Ukrainian grain to be exported to Latvia, WSJ sources say. Earlier, the newspaper reported that the UN Secretary General offered Moscow a similar deal “WSJ learned about the US plans to lift sanctions from Minsk in exchange for the transit of grain” />

The US authorities are considering the possibility of lifting restrictive measures imposed against potash fertilizers produced in Belarus if the official Minsk agrees to the transit of Ukrainian grain through the territory Belarus, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing informed sources.

The interlocutors of the publication clarified that these sanctions could be lifted for six months, if the Belarusian authorities agree, grain crops will be delivered by rail to the port of the Lithuanian city of Klaipeda .

Earlier, WSJ diplomatic sources reported a similar proposal by UN Secretary General António Guterres. According to sources, he urged Moscow to ease export restrictions on fertilizers from Russia and Belarus in exchange for the passage of ships with grain from Ukraine.

Russian Permanent Representative to the UN Vasily Nebenzya then called the publication “a free interpretation.” The diplomat said that during his visit to Russia at the end of April, Guterres did discuss the lifting of sanctions against potash fertilizers, but without reference to the situation with grain. “This issue was indeed raised by Guterres, but not in terms of exchanging one for the other,” — claimed Nebenzya.

The American authorities believe that about 20 million tons of grain have accumulated in Ukraine, which are difficult to take out of the country. The UN World Food Program estimates the volume of grain at 25 million tons, indicating that this situation has developed due to the “blocked ports of the Black Sea”; and infrastructure problems. “We are studying ways to bring this grain back to the world market and thereby achieve lower prices,” — US President Joe Biden announced in mid-May.

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Venezuela confirms the lifting of US sanctions on the work of oil workers in the country


The US oil embargo on Venezuela has been in place since 2019. Negotiations to lift part of the restrictions have been ongoing since March. According to Vice President Delcy Rodriguez, this step was the beginning of the complete abolition of “illegal sanctions”

The United States abandoned restrictive measures that prevented the work of American and European oil companies in Venezuela. This was announced on Twitter by the vice-president of the Latin American country, Delcy Rodriguez.

“The Venezuelan government has verified and can confirm that the US has allowed its and European companies to negotiate and resume operations in Venezuela,” she wrote.

Rodriguez also noted that “Venezuela hopes that after this decision, the United States will start moving towards the complete removal of illegal sanctions.”

Earlier in the day, the US Treasury, in consultation with the State Department, issued a narrow license allowing US oil and gas company Chevron to negotiate a possible resumption of production in Venezuela that was halted by US sanctions.

United The states severed diplomatic relations with Caracas, imposed sanctions, and closed their embassy in 2019, accusing President Nicolás Maduro of electoral fraud. Negotiations between the United States and Venezuela on lifting the oil embargo resumed after Russia launched a special operation in Ukraine and imposed oil supply sanctions against Moscow.

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In early March, Reuters, citing sources, reported that US officials could not agree with the leadership of Venezuela on the easing of sanctions on oil exports. Proposals to ease sanctions included allowing Caracas to sell oil through Western companies. Venezuela demanded, among other things, the return of control over the state oil company PDVSA.

A few days later, US President Joe Biden announced the release of two Americans who were in custody in Venezuela. This happened after the visit of an American government delegation to Caracas.

Against the backdrop of the military operation in Ukraine and the ensuing anti-Russian sanctions, gasoline prices in the United States reached record levels. Biden has repeatedly accused Russia and President Vladimir Putin personally of rising prices and inflation, which also began to rise since the beginning of the conflict.

The Russian Embassy in the United States has previously stated that Washington is trying to earn political points through Russophobia to justify its own failures in solving domestic problems. The real cause of the fuel crisis, according to the embassy, ​​is record inflation for the United States— “unsecured trillion-dollar financial investments in the economy, as well as sanctions wars against objectionable states.”

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CNN learned about the development of US and EU routes for the export of Ukrainian grain


According to the TV channel, Western countries are considering the possibility of exporting wheat and corn from Ukraine by rail and aircraft

The US authorities, together with European partners, are working on ways to export wheat and corn from Ukraine in order to further deliveries to global markets, CNN reports, citing sources.

According to the channel, the administration of US President Joe Biden began to work on this issue with European allies after the blockade of the Ukrainian port by the Russian Navy. The interlocutors of CNN specified that the States are considering, among other things, the possibility of exporting grain by rail and by plane.

At the same time, according to sources, the development of scenarios will not include Russia's position on this issue. “There is still a long way to go before any deal is reached. There are many factors, many things that can influence the course of these discussions, — one source said.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Russia is the world's largest exporter of wheat, and Ukraine ranks fifth. Together they provide 19% of the world's supply of barley, 14%— wheat and 4%— corn.

After the start of the Russian military operation in Ukraine, wheat prices jumped to record levels. Bloomberg attributed the jump in prices to fears that military operations in Ukraine would lead to a shortage of this cereal on the market. The fighting has cut off more than a quarter of global wheat exports, according to the agency.

In April, the Russian Ministry of Defense suspended the passage of foreign warships and other government vessels in three areas of the Black Sea for six months, from April 24 to October 31. We are talking about an elongated section of the water area along the coast of Crimea (approximately from Sevastopol to Gurzuf), a rectangular area off the coast of the Kerch Peninsula (abeam of the Opuk Nature Reserve), as well as a small area of ​​the sea near the western tip of Crimea.

On Against this background, Biden announced the search for an opportunity to export 20 million tons of grain from Ukraine. The US president explained the need to export grain with record food prices in the world. According to him, the return of Ukrainian grain to the world market should help reduce prices

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The Wall Street Journal, citing informed diplomatic sources, previously wrote that UN Secretary General António Guterres proposed easing restrictions on export of Russian and Belarusian potash fertilizers in exchange for the passage of ships with grain from Ukrainian ports. According to the sources of the newspaper, the UN Secretary General is negotiating with Russia, Turkey and other countries, and Ankara has already agreed to participate in the clearance of the Black Sea.

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Moscow State Duma decided to change the address of the US embassy to the square of the Defenders of Donbass


Deputies of the Moscow Duma proposed to name the place near the American Embassy in Moscow as the Defenders of Donbass Square and change the address of the US diplomatic mission

Deputies of the Moscow City Duma from “United Russia”, “Fair Russia”, the Communist Party of the Russian Federation and the deputy association “My Moscow” proposed to name the area near the US Embassy in the capital “the square of the Defenders of Donbass”. We are talking about an unnamed place at the intersection of Bolshoi Devyatinsky Lane and Konyushkovskaya Street.

According to the head of the faction of the party “United Russia” in the Moscow City Duma, Stepan Orlov, chairman of the Moscow State Duma commission on urban economy and housing policy, the parliamentarians also propose changing the address of the US diplomatic mission from 8, Bolshoy Devyatinsky Lane, to the Defenders of Donbass Square. According to the authors of the initiative, if the proposal is approved, “American diplomats will receive a much more easily remembered topographic landmark.”

According to Orlov, residents of Moscow and city public associations “repeatedly turned to the deputies of the Moscow City Duma with requests to perpetuate on the map of the capital in memory of the heroism and military prowess of the defenders of Donbass».

The head of the Communist Party faction in the Moscow City Duma, Nikolai Zubrilin, said that the authors of the initiative “went on a constructive path”: they proposed not to change the Soviet names, but “to give the new square a worthy name.”

The proposal was handed over to the Moscow mayor's office.

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The issues of naming and renaming the territorial units of Moscow are handled by the City Interdepartmental Commission for the naming of territorial units, streets, metro stations, organizations and other objects; its activities are coordinated by the capital's department of cultural heritage.

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In February 2018, a section of Wisconsin Avenue in front of the Russian Embassy in Washington was named after Boris Nemtsov. The politician was killed in 2015 in the center of Moscow with four shots in the back. In 2020, on the fifth anniversary of the assassination, the name of Boris Nemtsov was given to the square Pod Chestnuts, where the Russian embassy is located in Prague.

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In Chechnya, they announced the death of seven US citizens in a special operation in Ukraine


Seven Americans who fought on the side of Ukraine as part of the special forces were killed in the Donbass, the Chechen authorities said. The State Department previously said that one of them is alive and safe

Rubezhnoye

Seven American citizens who fought on the side of the Armed Forces of Ukraine as part of special forces were killed in the Ukrainian city of Rubezhnoye, RIA Novosti said. assistant to the head of Chechnya on the security bloc Apta Alaudinov.

He clarified that US citizens died as a result of the battle at the Dye Plant, one of them was named Joseph Ward Clark. “They were fixed by us, and they all departed to another world, leaving behind Javelins, documents and their weapons,” — Alaudinov reported.

A month earlier, on April 14, Clark's documents were published by the Minister of Information and Press of Chechnya, Akhmed Dudayev. He posted on VKontakte video showing the passport of a US citizen named Joseph Ward Clark.

Dudayev claimed that the passport belonged to one of the “representatives” of the US intelligence agencies that “work on the territory of Donbass and are engaged in the destruction of the civilian population.” “They all find shelter here in the Ukrainian land, the so-called,” added the Chechen minister.

On the same day, the State Department called reports of Clark's death or capture untrue. “I'm limited in what I can say due to privacy concerns, but I have reason to believe this person is safe,” — said department spokesman Ned Price.

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The US administration then recommended that US citizens refrain from traveling to Ukraine and not participate in hostilities. “We know that people want to help, but we urge Americans to find other ways to do it, — urged the representative of the White House Jen Psaki.

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Lavrov called on the US and NATO to stop the supply of weapons to Ukraine


NATO publicly expresses support for Kyiv, but in fact it does everything to prevent the completion of the operation by reaching political agreements, Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov said

The US and NATO should change their minds and stop supplying weapons to Ukraine and ammunition if they are interested in resolving the crisis. This was stated by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in an interview with Xinhua.

According to Lavrov, the world is now witnessing the “hypocrisy of the Western establishment.” Thus, NATO, publicly expressing support for Ukraine, is doing everything to prevent the completion of the operation by reaching political agreements between Moscow and Kyiv.

“Various weapons are coming to Ukraine through Poland and other NATO countries in an endless stream. All this is done under the pretext of “fighting the invasion”, but, in fact, the United States and the European Union intend to fight Russia “to the last Ukrainian”, and they are absolutely indifferent to the fate of Ukraine as an independent subject of international relations, & mdash; he stressed.

The Russian Foreign Minister added that the Ukrainian people now need a solution to humanitarian issues, and not Stingers; and Javelins.

Earlier, Sergei Koshelev, Deputy Director of the North America Department of the Russian Foreign Ministry, said that the Russian military may consider shipments of US and NATO weapons on the territory of Ukraine as their legitimate military targets.

“We warned about what consequences the thoughtless transfer to Ukraine of such types of weapons as man-portable anti-aircraft missile systems, anti-tank missile systems can have, — said Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov.

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In response, US national security adviser Jake Sullivan indicated that Washington, despite the “Russian threats”, will continue to provide military assistance to Ukraine, as it is necessary for defense.

The United States, the EU and other countries began supplying weapons to Ukraine even before the start of the Russian military operation. On April 21, Washington promised a new military aid package to Kyiv that would include 72 howitzers and 72 towing vehicles, 144,000 artillery shells, and 121 tactical drones. Prior to that, US President Joe Biden announced that Ukraine would receive $800 million in security assistance.

Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov noted that Western weapons cannot “stop the offensive.” and will not prevent Russia from achieving the goals of the special operation.

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What kind of multi-purpose UAV MQ-9 Reaper is the US going to put in Ukraine?


Feature Russian special operation in Donbass and Ukraine

Ukrainian representatives met in Washington last week with General Atomics, a Californian manufacturer of military drones. He makes the MQ-9 Reaper, the US Air Force's primary reconnaissance and strike UAV. These are heavy attack drones, so it makes sense to learn more about them. 

Why the MQ-9 Reaper

Actually, General Atomics did not mention specific models that it could sell . However, the most likely candidate is the Reaper, which has been the lead vehicle in U.S. military drone operations for over 20 years. 

MQ-9 Reaper. Photo: www.globallookpress.com/Andrea Ronchini

Specs

This is a really powerful drone. MQ-9 has a wingspan of about 20 meters, weighs about 5 tons, fully loaded with fuel and weapons. The Reaper flies at over 480 km/h. 

It has a range of almost 2,000 km for the base version and 2,500 km for the extended range version. The maximum flight altitude is up to 15400 m. The maximum flight duration — 27 hours.

Armament

Here the military has a choice, which depends on the specific task. Let's start with the AGM-114 Hellfire missiles. These are air-to-ground guided missiles designed to destroy armored, lightly armored and other targets that require precise strikes.

They are not inferior in power to the GBU-12 Paveway II, there are high-precision bombs based on classic bombs Mk 82, weighing 227 kg and equipped with a laser guidance system.

The GBU-38 Joint Direct Attack Munitions can also be used on the MQ-9 Reaper. The operator also has the GBU-49 Enhanced Paveway II, which can be controlled by laser and GPS/INS.

Finally, GBU-54 laser ammunition systems can also be used, combining the accuracy of JDAM with laser pointers. These bombs can also attack moving targets. 

The drone has six external hardpoints with a payload capacity of up to 1361 kg. It can carry up to 4 air-to-ground missiles, or 8 in the MQ-9a modification. Another option — 4 Hellfire missiles and two laser-guided Mark 82 bombs.

Features

The entire system consists of an unmanned aircraft equipped with sensors and weapons, a ground control station, a Predator Primary Satellite Link and support systems. Pretty complicated technique, right? Obviously, it will require very competent handling. 

The main crew consists of an operator, who is the commander of the apparatus, and his assistant, responsible for working with sensors and pointing weapons.

One of the “chips” drone — an on-board computer with artificial intelligence that promises to autonomously find, track and suggest targets to operators. Targets are identified from data collected by the MQ-9 airborne electro-optical sensor radar and synthetic aperture radar.

Disadvantages

Of course, this drone also has disadvantages. For example, the price. The MQ-9 is valued at $32 million apiece. Let's say the 2020 sale of four MQ-9Bs to Taiwan (plus ground stations, spare parts and training) was valued at $600 million.

Another tricky moment — training and familiarization. The Ukrainian military is accustomed to operating Russian (actually Soviet) equipment, rather than Western ones, and the US Air Force requires a year of training for UAV pilots. However, a company representative said that military pilots already familiar with UAVs can be trained to quickly fly the MQ-9 Reapers.

Conclusions

UAVs are actually quite effective  means of air defense. Although in the end they will adapt to them and learn to shoot them down.

Until now, the MQ-9 was used in those areas — Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria — where the enemy lacked serious air defense systems. 

Source:
https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelpeck/2022/04/13/ukraine-may-get-us-mq-9-reaper-strike-drones/?sh=2fc61e605b3b

Источник aif.ru


WSJ reports sharp deterioration in US relations with Saudi Arabia


Differences between Washington and Riyadh intensify over Ukraine

U.S.-Saudi relations have reached their lowest level in decades under Joe Biden's presidency. The Wall Street Journal reports on the critical point in relations between the two countries.

Photo: Global Look Press

The publication notes that relations between Washington and Riyadh have become especially aggravated against the backdrop of the situation in Ukraine.

Thus, the United States insisted that Saudi Arabia significantly increase oil production in order to reduce its prices and deprive Russia of a significant part of its income. However, the kingdom refused Washington.

It is noted that in mid-March the United States sent a delegation to Saudi Arabia, but the host country met them rather coolly. In addition, in early February, the White House tried to arrange a telephone conversation between Biden and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, but he refused to dialogue.

At the same time, in March, Salman spoke on the phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin and during the conversation reaffirmed Riyadh's commitment to maintaining the oil deal with Moscow.

In addition, relations between the two countries were noticeably shaken by the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018, to which the United States reacted very sharply.

As writes WSJ, in September 2021, Salman allegedly met with US national security adviser Jake Sullivan and after he raised the issue of the murder of a journalist, the Saudi prince allegedly yelled at the American politician and said that the US could forget about the request to increase oil production .

Источник www.mk.ru


Putin’s Arab rear: The Kremlin has neutralized the US geopolitical superweapon


Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences Vitaly Naumkin told why Saudi Arabia refused to bring down world oil prices

Having organized an almost complete blockade of Russia from the west after the start of a special operation in Ukraine, the United States could not do the same most in the east. And not only China, a superpower that has no reason to help Washington, has acted as an obstacle in the American path. America was refused support by its main allies in the Arab world, including the planetary energy giant Saudi Arabia.

Putin and Saudi Crown Prince : the fate of world oil prices depends to a large extent on the mutual understanding of these two leaders. Photo: RIA Novosti

In the era of the reign of the last Soviet general secretaries, the Saudis made a very significant contribution to the destruction of the economy of the USSR, purposefully dropping world oil prices. But now Biden's request to contribute to the destruction of the now Russian economy planned by the Americans has come up against a categorical refusal.

What is behind this Riyadh decision? How big are the chances that the Yankees will still manage to crush their partners? And how did Moscow manage to take such a strong position in the Middle East, a region from which it seemed to have been forever squeezed out under Gorbachev and Yeltsin?

Vitaly Naumkin at the presentation of the State Prize of the Russian Federation. Photo: kremlin.ru

Vitaly Naumkin, Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Scientific Director of the Institute of Oriental Studies, laureate of the State Prize of the Russian Federation, answered these and many other questions of MK.

Yes, this is largely justified. Although “collapse” is too strong a word. The threat of repetition is also an exaggeration. Today we have a much greater margin of safety. Yes, and relations between Russia and Saudi Arabia are now fundamentally different than in the days of the Brezhnev USSR.

The basis of these relations in the energy sector is our rapprochement on the site of the OPEC + project. This project dates back to the middle of the second decade of our century, when there was a collapse in world oil prices. This forced competitors, what were then the OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) and Russia, to join forces to stabilize these prices.

By the beginning of December 2016, an agreement was signed in which its participants pledged to reduce the production of “black gold” by 1.7 million barrels per day. The quotas allocated to the parties to the agreement were observed, and the agreement was regularly extended until March 2020, when the agreed amendments were made to it.

In the summer of 2021, an agreement was reached on a slight increase in daily oil production, and the project itself was extended until the end of December 2022, when another reassessment of the situation should take place. It is assumed that Russia's quota will increase from 11 to 11.5 million barrels per day. On April 16, Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, during which a positive assessment was given to cooperation between the two states within the framework of OPEC+.

He persuaded, persuaded, but never persuaded: US Secretary of State Blinken could not convince the de facto ruler of the UAE, Muhammad bin Zayed, to oppose Moscow. Photo: en.wikipedia.org

Washington's attempts to isolate Russia by pitting it against Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have been fruitless. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (MBS, as he is known in the West) showed respectable consistency, independence and firmness.

We began to change, and Saudi Arabia began to change – towards greater pragmatism. Not so long ago, communism in any form was regarded by the Saudis as a terrible enemy. And now communist China is among the leading trade and economic partners of the kingdom.

An important role in our reconciliation with the kingdom was played by the change in the role and place of religion in our lives, the departure from official atheism and, especially, the granting of full religious freedom to Russian Muslims. And the differences that were between us during the short period of active struggle of our state against religious extremism and terrorism in the Caucasus have long been overcome.

Russia has been an observer country in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation since 2005. And today, the head of the Islamic World League, created at the initiative of Saudi Arabia, Muhammad Abdel Karim al-Isa, is received by the top leaders of the Russian Federation. To a certain extent, the normalization of our relations is a return to “historical roots”. The Soviet Union was the first country in the world to recognize the state created by the founder of Saudi Arabia, Ibn Saud, and establish official relations with it. In 1938, these relations, however, were interrupted. But up to that moment they were quite friendly. This is preserved in the traditionally strong historical memory of the Saudis.

– The Saudis associated their refusal with the threat from unmanned aerial vehicles of the Yemeni anti-government Houthi movement Ansarullah. This movement is supported by Iran and opposes the alliance led by Saudi Arabia, conducting an anti-Houthi military operation in Yemen.

In the kingdom, as well as in the UAE, they stated with resentment that Washington does not react in any way to the painful attacks of the Houthis on the territory of both monarchies and does not provide the necessary assistance to its allies. Washington even had to make excuses. Only on March 21, responding to grievances poisoning cooperation with Arabian partners, did Washington hand over Patriot missile and anti-aircraft systems to Riyadh. However, while Washington has condemned the Houthis, there are growing calls in the United States to resolve peacefully the decade-long bloody conflict between the Arab coalition-backed government and the Houthis.

“The point here is not so much in Yemen itself, but in Iranian influence in Yemen. Saudi Arabia traditionally views itself as the leader of the Islamic world – a huge part of the world community, whose weight, role and influence in it is constantly growing. Let me remind you that the king of Saudi Arabia bears the title of “servant of the two shrines”, the pilgrimage to which is one of the main duties (“five pillars of faith”) of every Muslim.

Of the more than a dozen and a half million guests who annually arrive in the kingdom, the bulk are pilgrims who make both the main, obligatory pilgrimage in the month of the Hajj and Umra – the “small Hajj”, the rites of which can be performed at any time of the year.

The second important role of Saudi Arabia is the role of defender of the interests of the Sunni majority of the Islamic world, since most of the approximately 36 million people of the Kingdom consider themselves to be one of the madhhabs, or interpretations, of this trend in Islam.

But all this does not mean that Saudi Arabia's relations with all Muslim states are cloudless. For example, the kingdom has difficult relations with another most influential country in the Islamic world – Turkey. The leadership of Turkey, as is commonly believed, belongs to the supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood movement. Saudi Arabia regards the “brothers” as competitors and, to a certain extent, as opponents. Of course, this hostility is not as harsh as the hostility of the UAE, for which the “brothers” represent almost the main internal threat to the security of the state. But this is still hostility.

However, Saudi Arabia, like the UAE, considers the Islamic Republic of Iran as the main external threat. Iran positions itself as a protector of the Shiite part of the population of the Middle East. Containing Iran's influence is the main objective of Saudi foreign policy.

“There is not one, but three major oil superpowers in the world, each producing more than a dozen million barrels a day of crude oil: Russia, the United States, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. But you are right that the United States has indeed been the main ally and partner for the kingdom since the 1930s, when the Americans discovered the richest oil fields in the country.

Why are there significant nuances in the current situation, which are partly manifested in the position of Riyadh regarding the Ukrainian crisis? Because the growth of general distrust of the United States in the region and the attitude towards them as a power “leaving” the Middle East really takes place.

Some distancing from Washington is already becoming a quite stable trend in the politics of most Arabian states. The Kingdom, like the UAE, another influential oil-producing state of Arabia, has been pursuing a multi-vector foreign policy in recent years.

Saudi Arabia seeks to balance close relations with its long-standing partners, the US and Europe, by developing relations with non-Western countries “new” to it, primarily China, as well as Russia and India.

However, in- firstly, these relations are highly asymmetric and, secondly, they are subject to fluctuations due to changes in the world arena and the situation in the region. As is often the case with “balancing states” — they sometimes literally have to “walk on a wire” — they show some inconsistency and even indecision in their foreign policy, being influenced by one or another of their partners, in this case, the West.

The main guarantee of the stability of the multi-vector course of Saudi Arabia is the undoubted political will of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is able not to stop at political risks.

— There can be no doubt that Washington is the stronger participant in this partnership, and the KSA is more weak. However, weak participants sometimes tend to “show their teeth” more often than strong ones. Same here.

After talking with Stalin in Yalta in 1945, the then US President Franklin Roosevelt went to establish relations with the first king of Saudi Arabia. However, during the Ukrainian crisis, traditional allies took fundamentally different positions. Photo: en.wikipedia.org

At the same time, in the East, especially in the Arab world, the personal factor is always very significant. The Saudi establishment has not forgotten the defamation campaign launched in the US against MBS, who was allegedly personally behind the kidnapping and murder of prominent Saudi opposition journalist Jamal Khashoggi in October 2018. Russia backed the crown prince at the time, reinforcing its image as Saudi Arabia's “new partner” and showing that cooperation with it could be beneficial for the young Saudi reformer. This largely predetermined the fact that Riyadh basically refrains from criticizing Russia in the Ukrainian crisis, although in some ways it shows flexibility, hedging its fundamentally multi-vector positions.

Yes, it is not difficult to assume that Washington will increase pressure on Saudi Arabia, trying to turn it against Moscow. Riyadh's defense of its position will be facilitated by its actual coincidence with the position of other Arab states of the Persian Gulf, except for Qatar and Kuwait.

But Washington's capabilities should not be underestimated either, even given its image of an unreliable partner in the region.

However, we also have our own trump cards. Reliability and loyalty to allied obligations are the unconditional pluses of the Russian leader in the eyes of his Arab colleagues. In this sense, the Syrian experience is working for Moscow's reputation even among the opponents of Bashshar al-Assad (Vitaly Naumkin specifically pointed out that the name of the Syrian president should be spelled that way. – “MK”).

Vitaly Naumkin and Syrian President Bashshar al-Assad

By the way, Saudi Arabia occupies the most prominent place among these opponents. Riyadh is one of the main sponsors of the Syrian opposition to Assad.

– Of course, in the current most difficult international situation, the Russian military base in the Eastern Mediterranean makes our country a serious geopolitical player in the region and beyond.

– For all its firmness in the pragmatic independent defense of the interests of the kingdom, MBS is well aware that he should not cross certain “red lines”. One of these lines is the development of military cooperation with Russia and the purchase of Russian military equipment.

But a general independent trend in the foreign and defense policy of Riyadh is indeed observed. The proof is, for example, this project, information about which was leaked to the media. We are talking about the creation of a joint air defense system by the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Israel. It will most likely be based on a multi-level missile defense structure, in which its three levels are integrated and supplemented with early warning equipment.

On the territory of Israel in Sde Boker (Negev desert) on March 27-28 this year, for the first time, an Arab-Israeli meeting of foreign ministers was held with the participation of representatives of Bahrain, Israel, Morocco, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, as well as the US Secretary of State.

Representatives of Saudi Arabia in Sde Boker, however, was not. Riyadh is not joining some of its Gulf neighbors in establishing official relations with Israel. And the Saudis have not yet given the go-ahead to public contacts with Israeli diplomats. The reason is the lack of progress in implementing the plan to create a Palestinian state.

But at the same time, there is information in the media about a series of allegedly held secret talks between representatives of the special services of the two states on security issues. It is easy to see that these interests overlap. Israel's main enemy is also Iran. It is not surprising, therefore, that the talks between the leaders of Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt discussed the Iranian nuclear threat, the consequences of a new agreement between world powers with Iran, and the US “withdrawal” from the Middle East. Unlike Israel, Saudi Arabia and the UAE are not ready to strike directly at Iranian targets – although the Iranian-backed Houthis did damage their oil facilities.

But the main thing is that the summit participants in the current situation were not inclined to trust Blinken's promises on behalf of the United States to guarantee their safety in the event of an escalation in the Persian Gulf.

The Kingdom is not interested in strengthening the positions of the Iranian-linked Shiite Lebanese party Hezbollah on the eve of the Lebanese parliamentary elections. She is accused of supporting the Yemeni Houthis. And representatives of this party, for their part, claim that Riyadh is financing the election campaign of the former Sunni Prime Minister Fuad Siniora, who opposes them.

It is believed that the military power of Hezbollah surpasses the forces of the Lebanese army. It is also a serious political force. The emigration from Lebanon of a significant part of the liberal-minded, pro-Western elite to the West and the countries of the Persian Gulf creates a certain political vacuum, which is filled by representatives of the Shiites. Interested in weakening the pro-Iranian Hezbollah, Washington is stepping up sanctions pressure on Lebanon to show that this party is to blame for the acute financial and economic crisis. Here the interests of the United States and Israel, on the one hand, and Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, on the other, coincide. However, this is not enough to change the policy of the two leading Arabian monarchies in relation to the two main rivals of the United States – Russia and China.

“You should not think that the achieved level of prosperity saves the kingdom from social, political and even economic problems and upheavals. In particular, the tension between the Sunnis and the Shiite minority does not subside. There is evidence of popular dissatisfaction with the ongoing operation in Yemen, which has to spend a lot of money.

From time to time, underground cells of terrorist organizations threatening the security of the kingdom are found in the country. Recently, 84 terrorists were executed here, the last three of them right on the day of the visit of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who failed to convince his Arabian partners to increase oil production and condemn Moscow.

Let me give you one more example. Although the country has harsh laws against illegal drug trafficking, drug trafficking and drug use cannot be completely eradicated. It is reported that another attempt to smuggle a large consignment of drugs – 456,000 amphetamine tablets hidden in various equipment – was thwarted at the border the other day. Earlier in April, 1.5 million Captagon tablets were seized at the Jordanian border, and 1.6 million tablets were seized at the port of Jeddah in March.

In 2020, 7–8% of Saudis were reported to have used drugs, with amphetamines being among the most common and most users between the ages of 12 and 22. This is facilitated by the closeness of the kingdom, the dominance of inert norms of life.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has launched unprecedented measures to modernize public life, including allowing women to drive. This is supported by a large young part of the country's population, but is faced with acute dissatisfaction with the Wahhabi clergy. An ambitious program for the development of the kingdom's economy by 2030 has been put forward based on its diversification and reduction of oil dependence, which includes, among other things, the development of tourism. However, it is doubtful that the target figures for tourism – 100 million people a year – can be achieved without a fundamental change in the norms of life in the kingdom. And there are not so many cultural heritage sites here, not to mention the entertainment industry for tourists.

– I think that Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman can certainly be considered one of the most reliable partners of Russia. The same applies to the de facto ruler of the UAE, the Crown Prince of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, Mohammed bin Zayed.

Another thing is that the extremely high unpredictability of the development of the situation both in the Middle East region and throughout the world, the constant pressure on the Arabian states of their Western partners, ongoing crises and regional conflicts, fueled by intense competition for resources and influence, cannot but affect the positions of any regional leader. Therefore, the absolute reliability of any of the well-known heads of state is hardly worth it.

At the same time, much will depend on our ability to constantly strengthen the existing trust in our country, convincing regional players that it is simply impossible to solve their ever-complicating political and economic problems without Russia.

— The UAE, like Saudi Arabia , refuse to join the anti-Russian sanctions and condemn Russia. First, the UAE abstained from voting in the UN Security Council on the American draft resolution condemning Russia's actions in Ukraine, and then repeatedly confirmed its intention to remain neutral.

This position is based both on the unwillingness of the UAE rulers to blindly follow the course of the United States and the desire to be guided by their interests, including in the field of security, and on their close and extensive business and political ties with Russia. Moscow is traditionally seen here as a counterbalance to Washington's desire for dominance. So far, this position can be considered fairly stable. But some analysts believe that it could be shaken if the military conflict in Ukraine drags on too long. This position is shared by most Arab states. A pro-American position (for various reasons and with some nuances) was taken by Kuwait, Qatar.

—I think that cooperation with key countries in the Middle East can certainly mitigate the effect of the imposition of sanctions against Russia by the West and some other countries. However, in a number of cases, cooperation will be difficult.

In addition, some, not the most powerful countries in the region, not wanting to put their economies at risk, declare their unwillingness to help Russia circumvent sanctions. At the same time, prospects are opening up for Moscow's cooperation with Arab and other countries of the Middle East region, which will not be hindered by any sanctions, if there is a political will to do so. This may apply, for example, to the sphere of military-technical cooperation, as evidenced by the experience of implementing the deal on the purchase of S-400 missile and anti-aircraft systems by Turkey.

In this regard, it is worth saying a few words about the plans of the UAE to develop its own military-industrial complex. In many ways, the change in the military-industrial policy of this country resembles what Russia is doing today in the field of import substitution, including aircraft manufacturing and other strategic areas. The UAE is committed to the self-sufficiency of its armed forces in certain types of weapons and military equipment and to reduce dependence on foreign supplies. Their experience can be useful for our country, regardless of whether the sanctions regime is maintained or relaxed/lifted.

Thus, in the UAE, the task was set to turn the state into a major manufacturer of world-class civil and military aviation equipment. One example of the accomplishment of this task is the creation of a large center for the repair and maintenance of aviation equipment. There is a center for research and technology of unmanned aerial vehicles. The armored industry is developing. In one of the industrial zones in Abu Dhabi, a joint venture of two large local companies has been created, which produces Nimr multi-purpose armored vehicles. The production of armored personnel carriers based on a South African armored car has been launched.

– President Assad, with the help of Russia and Iran, managed to almost put an end to the ISIS terrorist movement banned in the Russian Federation and inflict serious strikes on the bases of other terrorist groups. The “big” war is over.

But sporadic clashes between government forces and armed opposition groups are an integral part of the Syrian reality. The government in Damascus has established control over a significant, but, unfortunately, not over the entire territory of the country. Thus, its region, located in the northeast of the country, on the left bank of the Euphrates, is under the control of Kurdish forces in alliance with some local Arab tribes and the American administration. Together, these forces profit from the trade in oil produced in this territory, as well as grain.

Russia, together with the Syrian authorities, demands the departure of the Americans and an end to the shameless plunder of the country's resources.

In the northwest, in Idlib, there is a zone controlled by the armed opposition, including both its pro-Turkish detachments and terrorist organizations banned by the entire world community. In Syria, they fear that if Turkish dominance in this zone drags on, then in the future it may be annexed by Ankara. However, cooperation between Russia, Iran and Turkey on Syria continues. The country's sovereignty is violated by Israel's illegal occupation of the Golan Heights in the southwest of the country and the Israeli Air Force's occasional strikes on targets in Syrian territory, which our country condemns.

< img src="https://static.mk.ru/upload/entities/2022/04/20/16/articlesImages/image/9a/52/9d/85/377b530bba3ef86dffcf1bc34c947df7.jpg" height="0" width=" 0" />

Vitaly Naumkin with the King of Bahrain.

– It is not unusual that the Arab street almost everywhere is sympathetic to the actions of Russia and is not inclined to support the course of the United States and its allies due to the fact that they, guided by double standards, do not condemn the actions of Israel in the occupied Palestinian territories and consign to total oblivion the internationally recognized national rights of the Palestinians. The greatest understanding of Russia's actions is met in Syria (with the exception of the opposition), as well as in Palestine.

Vitaly Naumkin with the first president of the Palestinian national administration by Yasser Arafat.

Источник www.mk.ru


UK court approves extradition of WikiLeaks founder Assange to US


The floor is up to the British Home Secretary

During the meeting on April 20 at the Westminster Magistrates Court (England), the decision to extradite Julian Assange to the American side was approved. The infamous whistleblower, famous for “plums” confidential information through the WikiLeaks media resource founded by him, has long been the object of close attention from the United States. However, numerous delays, including the sheltering of Assange by the Ecuadorian embassy in London, dragged out the process for years. Now, Home Secretary Priti Patel has the final say.

Julian Assange in court Photo: AP

The American side accuses Assange of espionage, since a significant part of the “leaks” published by WikiLeaks concerned precisely US overseas military operations. There was a place in the archive of revelations for many other events and persons, but it was the facts that highlighted the “dirty” reality that had the greatest resonance. Washington policy.

In addition to the United States, Assange wanted to see Sweden on her territory. There, the whistleblower was accused of rape. In particular, he was charged with inappropriate sexual contacts (by mutual consent, but either with the use of contraceptives, or without them – against the will of the partner, which is equated to a crime under Swedish law). However, of course, the American agenda outweighed other claims against the scandalous figure.

The situation for Washington was complicated by the fact that the Ecuadorian embassy in London granted Assange the right to live in his building. Since the land on which the diplomatic mission is located is equated to the territory of its state, then “smoking out” whistleblower was impossible: an invasion by British security forces would be equated with an attack on Ecuador. As a result, Assange spent almost seven years in his asylum.

During the meeting of the Westminster Court on April 20, the protagonist of the event was present virtually — via video link from the British Belmarsh prison, where he was sent after he left the Ecuadorian embassy, ​​and where he even managed to get married. However, his speech was short: he only confirmed the name, surname and date of birth.

Mark Summers, Assange's royal (that is, provided by the British side) lawyer, told the Chief Justice that the defense now had no choice but to send the case to the UK Home Secretary Priti Patel. According to the lawyer, due to insurmountable circumstances, in particular, the fact that the client was behind bars, there was no opportunity to collect new evidence of his innocence, but there were some “fresh events”. Summers is supposed to present some “serious material” to Patel; regarding Assange's imminent sentencing in the United States. Paul Goldspring, who chaired the meeting, noted that he had no right to prevent the appeal to the head of the Home Office (analogous to the Ministry of Internal Affairs).

Short — just seven minutes — Wednesday's hearing comes after the British Supreme Court rejected a whistleblower's appeal against his extradition last month. The American side, in turn, gave guarantees that, if Assange were extradited to it, he would be imprisoned (and, if desired, the sentence could be “cut” even more severe, which many supporters of the founder of WikiLeaks feared) on ordinary, and not super-tough conditions. The defense, apparently, will now try to play on the fact that for the client “moving” in the United States, it would be potentially more dangerous to remain in Belmarsh.

At the same time, the former leader of the British Labor Party, Jeremy Corbyn, went even further in his forecasts, expressing the hope that Patel would decide to release Assange altogether. “He just told the world about military planning, military policy and the horrors of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and I think he deserves thanks,” — said the Laborist during a conversation with reporters following the court session.

However, given the relationship between London and Washington, in which the need for bilateral cooperation has increased significantly against the backdrop of events in continental Europe, few doubt that Patel will approve the extradition. Moreover, Assange was, in principle, an unwanted “splinter” for the UK. If the whistleblower is extradited, he will face a separate trial in the United States, which, in turn, may stir up the American society: the founder of WikiLeaks still has many supporters there.

Источник www.mk.ru


Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan blames US for his overthrow


Political instability threatens in nuclear country

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has been fired after losing a vote of no confidence. What is happening threatens new political instability in a nuclear country with a population of 220 million people.

Photo: AP

Imran Khan, a former cricket star, came to power in 2018 but recently lost his parliamentary majority. He accused his opponents of colluding with the US to remove him, Sky News reported.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan was fired after he lost a vote of no confidence, ending a constitutional crisis as he tried to stay in power.

Opposition politicians put forward the motion last Sunday, and Imran Khan reacted by dissolving parliament and calling early elections, a move the Supreme Court later ruled illegal.

The vote was called due to allegations of mismanagement and political mismanagement. and opponents accused him of failing to revive the economy and fight corruption.

The head of the Pakistani government accused his opponents of colluding with the US to remove him and called on people to take to the streets this weekend in protest.

>

In an address to the nation on Friday, Imran Khan said the vote of no confidence was the result of a “foreign conspiracy” linked to the United States. The Pakistani prime minister said the US singled him out because, unlike his adversaries, he could not be “easily used as a stooge of the West” regarding independent foreign policy. He said he was not anti-American but would not allow his nation to be “used as toilet paper” in a “unilateral relationship.”

The U.S. State Department issued a statement saying that Khan's allegations of interference “are not true”. “We are closely following developments in Pakistan and we respect and support Pakistan's constitutional process and the rule of law, but when it comes to these allegations, they are not true,” the statement said.

Preparing for a vote in the Pakistani parliament was turbulent, and members of Imran Khan's party tried to prevent the vote.

Opposing politicians accused him of treason in an attempt to refute the Supreme Court's claim.

Imran Khan held meetings with senior military figures, raising fears that he would attempt to declare martial law to maintain power.

< p>The Chief Justice of Pakistan, in turn, prepared the Supreme Court to find the government in contempt of court if it does not allow a vote of confidence to be heard by midnight.

Opposition parties were able to win 174 votes in the 342-member chamber in support of a vote of no confidence. According to Reuters, several politicians from Imran Khan's ruling party attended the trial.

Opposition leader Shahbaz Sharif, brother of imprisoned former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, is set to become interim prime minister.

< p>The opposition has said it will hold a general election no earlier than October.

Drama threatens new political instability in a nuclear nation of 220 million, Sky News notes. The streets of the capital Islamabad were heavily policed ​​and paramilitary, with shipping containers blocking the roads.

No prime minister has completed a full five-year term since the country's independence from Britain in 1947. Pakistan's military has ruled the country directly for nearly half of its 75-year history, overthrowing successive democratically elected governments. The rest of the time, the military indirectly manipulated elected governments from behind the scenes.

Источник www.mk.ru


Disclosed the characteristics of the US kamikaze drones promised to Ukraine


Capable of penetrating almost a meter of armor

The United States has officially announced that it is transferring a batch of Switchblade 600 tactical attack drones to Ukraine. According to various sources, we are talking about ten to twenty devices worth $ 2, 5 million. The warhead of such a drone is capable of penetrating homogeneous armor 600-800 mm thick, it is not afraid of dynamic protection. Denis Fedutinov, an expert in the field of unmanned systems, told MK what kind of drone it is.

Photo: US Army AMRDEC Public Affairs

Thanks to our air defense systems, the Turkish Bayraktar TV-2, the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) have almost run out, without having time to confirm the previously widely advertised effectiveness. Now, as the Americans say, they are ready to supply the Ukrainian military with more efficient drones. And in this, admittedly, experts have no doubts.

Switchblade 600 – this is actually a modernization of the previously made Switchblade 300 loitering ammunition with improved performance and operational characteristics. This is a completely new product, the existence of which became known only in 2018.

A series of tests was carried out in 2019, after which the manufacturer – AeroVironment – stated that in terms of firing range their product is superior to the American FGM-148 Javelin anti-tank system.

Now the creators do not even hide the fact that by sending dozens of their Switchblade 600s to Ukraine, they plan to test their capabilities in combat operations against Russian armored vehicles. Moreover, it is known that using satellite channels, the Switchblade 600 is capable of destroying targets at a distance of up to 80 kilometers. That is, during the use of this device, the capabilities of the US satellite military constellation will be used.

The Switchblade 600 is made up of several components. This is a transport and launch container, inside of which there is loitering supplies, and an operator's tablet, which is used to control. There are also special mounts for installing a transport-launch container (its length is less than 2 meters) on a car, helicopter, boat.

The warhead has a contact and remote fuse. It is equipped with a cumulative fragmentation warhead, exactly the same as that of the Javelin anti-tank system. In the bow – homing head. In the central part – foldable wing in flight. In the tail – stabilizer and keel, as well as – an electric motor with a pusher propeller.

«SwitchBlade 600 is a heavier loitering ammunition compared to the 300 model, – explained Denis Fedutinov. – Aircraft weight – 22.7 kg versus 2.5 kg for the previous version. As the dimension increased, so did its other characteristics. The mass of the warhead was increased, thanks to which the device became capable of fighting not only manpower, but also enemy armored vehicles. The maximum flight duration was increased from 15 to 40 minutes, as well as the radius of action, which for the 600th model was already four times higher.

 

Источник www.mk.ru


US removes Ozone Bank from sanctions list


The United States has excluded the Russian Ozone Bank from the SDN sanctions list, according to the website of the US Treasury.

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US offered Ukraine a replacement for Turkish Bayraktars: Zelensky asked for air support


Combat aviation of the Armed Forces of Ukraine is actually destroyed

Ukraine again asks the US to supply it with weapons. This was reported by the CNN channel with reference to a document at their disposal, handed over by Kiev to Washington. According to Democrat Rep. Jason Crowe, among Kyiv's “urgent needs” are reconnaissance and attack drones and attack aircraft from the Soviet-made Su-25.

Photo: Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.

Earlier, in the same context, it was about MiG-29 fighters. Poland wanted to transfer several dozens of its old, still Soviet, aircraft to Kiev, having received more modern aircraft from NATO in return. The Poles offered to overtake the MiG-29 to the American Ramstein airbase in Germany. And there the Americans themselves will decide how to transport them to the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

However, the Polish trick did not work. The Germans realized that the Poles did not want to expose their own airfields to Russian missiles, which, if the aircraft of the Armed Forces of Ukraine are based on them, become a legitimate target. At the same time, they were simply horrified at the thought that a strike was possible on the Ramstein airbase, in whose underground storage facilities there are American B61-12 nuclear bombs. В

And now we are talking about the Su-25 Grach attack aircraft.

These aircraft, designed for close air support of troops on the battlefield, performed well during the Soviet war in Afghanistan. Su-25 is called “flying tank”. It has powerful armor, high rate of fire machine guns and, among other things, can fire at ground armored vehicles while flying at low altitude.

Su-25s are still in service with many countries, including Georgia, Azerbaijan, Belarus and even Peru, Chad, Equatorial Guinea and Angola. In Europe, they were in the Air Force of the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Bulgaria. It is known that today only Bulgaria has a certain number of Su-25 attack aircraft. But it is unlikely that she, like Poland, will enthusiastically show her readiness to share them with Ukraine.

Bulgaria has already expressed dissatisfaction with the supply of NATO weapons to Ukraine and has officially announced that not a single Bulgarian soldier will participate in this conflict without the approval of the country's parliament.

It is known, however, that the United States at one time bought the Su-25 piece by piece from the countries of Eastern Europe, to test its own armored vehicles. In particular, combat vehicles of the Bradley class. The Americans were very surprised that the Russian “Rooks” armor-piercing shells easily made holes in all parts of the hulls of their armored vehicles. However, even if a couple of Su-25s still remain in the States, they will not make the weather for Kyiv. The idea with these aircraft will end, apparently, in the same way as with the Polish MiG-29.

For Zelensky, this is a very sad fact, since now the combat aviation of the Armed Forces of Ukraine is actually destroyed. According to Sergei Shoigu, out of the 152 aircraft of the Armed Forces of Ukraine available at the time of the start of the operation, 124 aircraft were destroyed. And combat helicopters – 77 out of 149. And air casualties are increasing daily.

According to experts, this segment of the military component of the Armed Forces of Ukraine was initially the most vulnerable. The modernization of the Ukrainian Air Force was supposed to begin in 2023. Moreover, it was about the purchase and partial transfer of NATO aircraft to Ukraine. Of course, Kyiv could not count on the supernova F-35s due to their high cost, but on the F-15s, F-16s and A-10 – quite.  

In addition, there was talk of transferring to Ukraine several divisions of the American Patriot anti-aircraft missile system. As a result of the growing rapprochement in NATO, they were supposed to finally replace the Soviet S-300 and Buk systems in Ukraine. Now, however, there is not much to replace, since their 180 long-range and medium-range anti-aircraft missile systems – 152 have been destroyed.

But the main – next year, large-scale production of its own Turkish-designed Bayraktar drones was to begin in Ukraine. True, our special operation made a bad publicity for these drones, which distinguished themselves in 2020 in the Karabakh war. About the destruction of “Bayraktars” daily reports to the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation. Now it is less frequent, since the APU has essentially run out of their stock. The need to replenish the fleet of drones is mentioned in the very document of Kyiv addressed to the American leadership, to which CNN refers.

True, as it turns out, the United States sees its own benefit here, trying to withdraw Turkey with its Bayraktars. for brackets. According to the American Breaking Defense, Washington proposes to supply Zelensky with “more effective” American drones. To do this, the US is even ready to change its own strict export control rules on missile technology, which puts some reconnaissance-strike drones on a par with ballistic missiles. The distribution of technologies for their creation is mostly prohibited. 

To all appearances, Zelensky will have nowhere to go here – will have to settle for American drones. Indeed, during the last conversation with Biden, he promised Ukraine another $ 500 million budget assistance. It is clear that with this budget money it is much more useful for Biden to please his own arms magnates than to buy Turkish Bayraktar for Kyiv on them.

The only question whether the United States will have time to deliver drones to Ukraine and whether they will have enough time to train Ukrainian operators and technicians. Judging by the pace of the special operation, the Ukrainians are running out of time.

And yet, it is possible that soon Russian air defenses in Ukraine will have to shoot down not only Turkish, but also American drones. Probably, the Russian military would be interested in finding out which of them fall and burn faster?

Источник www.mk.ru


“China will not buy”: Beijing responded to US sanctions threats


Chinese newspaper responds to Washington's demands to refuse cooperation with Russia

The US continues to put pressure on China to force Beijing to refrain from any assistance to Russia in an attempt to reduce the negative effect of Western blanket sanctions. Washington made outright hints of punitive measures for Chinese companies and banks that do not comply with the sanctions regime. In China, these threats are treated quite calmly.

Photo: AP

The US administration appears increasingly hesitant in its pressure campaign to force China to take sides in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict as US officials double down on their threats of “economic consequences”; against China if Beijing refuses to support Washington's sanctions against Russia, writes the Chinese edition of the Global Times.

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said on Wednesday that the G7 countries will soon announce a joint response to make sure Russia can't evade Western sanctions with the help of China or any other country, Reuters reported, which called the remarks establishing ” red lines» for China.

A more specific flexing of muscles, the Global Times continues, came from US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, who threatened that the US “absolutely” impose export controls if Chinese companies send semiconductors made using American technology to Russia. “If we find that they are selling chips to Russia, then we can effectively shut them down by denying them the use of this software, and we are absolutely ready to do that,” — said Raimondo on Wednesday.

This is far from the first time US officials have tried to intimidate China with the “economic consequences” because of his position on the situation in Ukraine. Clearly, sensing the limitations of their sanctions against Russia, US officials are trying to blackmail China into dancing to its tune, writes the Global Times: “But, simply put, China won't buy it. Such threats have not worked against China during the US trade war for the past few years and certainly do not work now.

“China's objective and impartial position on the situation in Ukraine is consistent and highly respected both in Russia and Ukraine, as it contributes to the peaceful resolution of the conflict, – claims the Global Times. – Moreover, the normal economic and trade cooperation between China and Russia is reasonable and legal, and the US has no right to accuse.

“Needless to say, if Washington is so arrogant and tries to harm China’s interests, then China will respond strongly and properly to protect the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese businesses and individuals, – continues the Global Times. – It would be a grave mistake for Washington to believe that it can coerce China by imposing control on the export of chips and hurting Chinese companies.

In recent years, the US has already shown what the “economic consequences” can be by ruthlessly cracking down on Chinese high-tech companies under various trumped-up pretexts, including national security and human rights violations. China has firmly responded and withstood such repression, proving that Washington's sanctions are not only illegal, but also useless.

Such sanctions also backfired on the US itself, recalls the Global Times. With the complex economic and technological cooperation between countries in the era of globalization, any attempt to prevent China from gaining access to high-tech products or technologies will only lead to further disruption of global production chains, casting a shadow on the interests of relevant companies in the United States and around the world.

Since the United States cut off Chinese high-tech companies from supplying chips, China has resolutely promoted its own developments in semiconductor technology, according to a Chinese publication.

In addition, with a complete production chain and production system, China is the world's largest semiconductor market with significant chip manufacturing capacity. In 2021, China accounted for 34.6% of global semiconductor sales and about 25% of global smartphone shipments.

With such huge market demand and manufacturing power, China has its own strategic initiative in the semiconductor supply chain. If the US insists on using the chip as a trump card to pressure China, it risks provoking a split and confrontation in the global semiconductor sector, the Global Times concludes.

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The Foreign Ministry told the US ambassador about relations “on the verge of breaking” because of the words about Putin


US Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan was summoned to the Foreign Ministry and handed a note of protest over US leader Joe Biden's remarks about Russian President Vladimir Putin. This was reported in the Telegram of the Foreign Ministry.

“It is emphasized that such statements by the American president, unworthy of a statesman of such a high rank, put Russian-American relations on the verge of breaking,”— the Foreign Ministry said.

The ambassador was also warned that “hostile actions” The United States against Russia will receive a firm rebuff.

The material is being supplemented

src=”https://s0.rbk.ru/v6_top_pics/media/img/0/01/756358467784010.jpg” alt=”The US Foreign Ministry told the US Ambassador about relations “on the verge of breaking” because of the words about Putin”/>

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Psaki says US and allies ‘completely crushed’ Russian economy


Also, according to Psaki, the US allies participated in this process.

According to White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, the US and its allies “completely crushed” economy of the Russian Federation.

This statement was made by an official representative of the American authorities during her briefing.

Psaki's words are quoted by RIA Novosti.

She noted that she should ask the president a question Russia to Vladimir Putin about “what will be the end of the game”.

“We completely crushed his [Vladimir Putin's] economy”, – Psaki said, noting that the United States has provided assistance to Ukraine, so the country “resists much longer”.

According to her, Vladimir Putin must determine his “way forward“ #8221;.

Russia's special operation in Ukraine began on February 24.

In response, the West imposed tough sanctions against Russia.

According to US President Joe Biden, the stock Russian market is waiting “explosion” and collapse after the opening.

To this, the press secretary of the President of Russia, Dmitry Peskov, said that measures were being taken in Russia to level the processes of the economic war launched by the West.

Earlier, TopNews wrote that that the United States is imposing sanctions on the family of Dmitry Peskov.

Tatyana Navka reacted to the situation.

Источник topnews.ru


US imposes sanctions against Lukashenka’s wife and eight deputies of Shoigu


The US Treasury announced the expansion of the list of persons subject to sanctions. The updated list, in particular, includes the wife of the President of Belarus, Galina Lukashenko, as well as the First Deputy Minister of Defense of Russia, Ruslan Tsalikov, and the Deputy Heads of the Military Department— Army General Dmitry Bulgakov, Colonel General Yunus-Bek Yevkurov, Colonel General Yuri Sadovenkov, Colonel General Gennady Zhidko and “civilian” deputies Timur Ivanov, Alexei Krivoruchko and Nikolai Pankov.

In addition, the head of Rosoboronexport was sanctioned; Alexander Mikheev and Director of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation Dmitry Shugaev.

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Rogozin: Russia stops deliveries of rocket engines to the US


Russia stops deliveries of rocket engines to the USA. This was stated by the head of Roskosmos Dmitry Rogozin, RIA Novosti reports.

According to the president of the state corporation, Russia will no longer service the 24 RD-180 engines remaining in the United States, and the RD-181 will stop delivering.

“Let fly into space on their brooms,” Rogozin said.

He also noted that Russia would stop cooperation with Germany on joint experiments on the Russian segment of the ISS and would conduct them independently. Rogozin added that against the backdrop of sanctions, the Russian space program will be adjusted, and its priority will be the creation of satellites for defense.

Earlier it was reported that due to the sanctions, Roscosmos recalled Russian specialists from the Kourou cosmodrome. Today the last employees arrived in Moscow.

Источник aif.ru


Moscow promised a sensitive response to US sanctions


Foreign Ministry: Moscow's response to US sanctions will be sensitive and strong Russia has already proved that, despite all the restrictions, it is able to minimize the damage from them, the diplomats noted. Restrictive tools “are ineffective and counterproductive from the point of view of American interests” alt=”Moscow promised a sensitive response to sanctions for the US” />

View of the building of the Russian Foreign Ministry

Russia will give a strong response to US sanctions, according to the website of the Russian Foreign Ministry. The reaction will not necessarily be symmetrical, but “calculated and sensitive for the American side,” the department explained.

“The package of sanctions announced by the US administration (already the 101st in a row) the list of persons against whom personal restrictions are being imposed is in line with Washington's ongoing attempts to change the course of Russia, — the message says.

At the same time, Moscow has already proved that, despite all the restrictions, it is able to minimize the damage. “And even more so, sanctions pressure is not able to affect our determination to firmly defend our interests,” — stressed the Foreign Ministry.

Restrictive instruments are “ineffective and counterproductive from the point of view of American interests,” diplomats are convinced.

On February 21, Putin announced his decision to recognize the independence and sovereignty of the DPR and LPR, explaining such measures by Kiev's unwillingness to comply with the Minsk agreements. Ukraine, the European Union and the United States condemned Moscow's actions and threatened with sanctions.

The day before, United States President Joe Biden announced the introduction of restrictions against Russia. They affect the sovereign debt of Russia, Promsvyazbank and VEB and more than 40 of their subsidiaries, as well as some Russians. Among them— son of the director of the FSB and deputy president— Chairman of the Board of VTB Denis Bortnikov, son of the former director of the SVR and chairman of the board of Promsvyazbank Petr Fradkov, as well as the son of the first deputy head of the presidential administration and CEO of VK Vladimir Kiriyenko.

The European Union has also prepared its own list of sanctions. The restrictive measures concern 351 State Duma deputies who voted for the recognition of the DPR and LPR, 27 individuals and legal entities, Russia's access to the financial and capital markets of the EU.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced sanctions against five Russian banks and three businessmen: Gennady Timchenko, Boris and Igor Rotenberg.

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Foreign Ministry called US statements about “lists of Ukrainians for destruction” nonsense


Photo: Gennady Cherkasov

The Russian Foreign Ministry made a statement regarding the letter from the US Permanent Representative in Geneva that Moscow is allegedly preparing lists of Ukrainians who are subject to destruction.

In the message of the Russian Foreign Ministry, the content of this letter is called “delusions on the verge of mental illness.”

The Foreign Ministry also noted that such statements by the United States do not stand up to scrutiny.

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In addition, Moscow expressed concern that the United States, with its letter about Russia's “plans” in relation to the citizens of Ukraine, is going to involve the UN in its dirty political game.

Источник www.mk.ru


“Miller “bent” everyone: the media reported losses on gas carriers delivering LNG from the US to the EU


Analysts have concluded a serious supply crisis.

Analysts have come to the conclusion that it has become unprofitable for gas transportation companies to transport consignments of liquefied natural gas from the United States to Europe.

According to “Free Press“, the price is only one such transportation will cause a loss and is assessed as negative.

As analysts explain, Europe has already taken 90.8% or 43.4 billion cubic meters of gas from its storage facilities, practically emptying its gas storage facilities. But it is simply unprofitable for gas carriers to transport fuel under current conditions, they have to work at a loss to deliver fuel from across the Atlantic.

LNG prices are high due to the energy transition that has begun, which provoked a shortage of fuel.

The publication notes that tankers travel faster across the Atlantic than across the Pacific Ocean, but they are idle, because there is not enough fuel to fill the cylinders.

As a result, each trip brings a loss, despite American statements about record LNG production.

“If your ships are heading to Europe instead of Asia, the journey will be much shorter, so the ships will return earlier and be ready to go again. This creates greater availability (more precisely, an oversupply) in the transportation system,” explained the expert “SP”.

According to Bloomberg, LNG supplies to Europe were record-breaking in January due to traders using spot prices to send shipments from Asia.

As a result, a large number of ships appeared in the Atlantic.

The problem that has arisen at the moment could be solved by redirecting ships to Asia by a longer route across the Pacific Ocean and thus balancing the interests of fuel producers, its buyers and ship owners. But this requires the launch of “Nord Stream-2”. And the United States is against it.

As a result, the publication comes to the conclusion that “Gazprom” and personally its head Aleksey Miller, “bent”everyone“.

Earlier, Topnews wrote that Miller commented on Ukraine's threats to take away gas to pay off the debt.

Источник topnews.ru


Poland has simplified the conditions of entry for US citizens leaving Ukraine


US Embassy: Poland has simplified the rules for entering the country for Americans from Ukraine that US citizens can now enter Poland through the land border with Ukraine. No pre-approval required,— said in the message.

To cross the border, Americans need to present a valid US passport and confirm vaccination against coronavirus. In addition, it is recommended to carry a negative PCR test or a COVID-19 antigen test.

On February 11, US President Joe Biden addressed the Americans who are in Ukraine and urged them to leave the country “now” as “the situation could get out of hand very quickly.” At the same time, the American leader rejected the possibility of sending troops to Ukraine to evacuate citizens. “If the Americans and Russians start shooting at each other, it will be a world war,” — Biden said.

The next day, the State Department ordered non-critical U.S. diplomats in Kiev to leave Ukraine.

In addition to the United States, more than ten states have asked their citizens to leave Ukraine or not to visit it, including Germany, Great Britain and Finland.

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The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. US rocket will deliver soil from Mars to Earth


NASA has signed a contract with the American corporation Lockheed Martin to build a rocket that will take soil samples from the surface of Mars for the first time in history. The rocket will reach the interplanetary station, release a container with collected samples, which will “catch” probe. Next, the station will turn on the engines to return the container to Earth in the early to mid-2030s.

The rocket was named “Mars Ascent Vehicle” (MAV). She is small and light. Its main function — leave rocks, sediments, and some “atmosphere” Mars to Earth. If the vehicles successfully landed on the red planet many times, takeoff from it — something completely new in terms of technology. 

According to NASA's plan, the rocket will be delivered to Mars no earlier than 2026 using the Sample Retrieval Lander. The launch of the SRL lander will take place from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Entering the atmospheric layers of the planet, it will land near the Lake crater. 

Amazing Mars. 10 pictures of the red planet “display: block;” />

In May 2015, NASA showed a photograph of the site where the Ares 3 expedition landed from the movie The Martian. This is a section of the Acidalian Plain, located between the volcanic regions of Tarsis and Arabia north of the Vale of the Mariner. © NASA

North Canyon in the northern polar cap of Mars. © NASA

The Nili pits are one of the most colorful regions of Mars. © NASA

Wind is one of the most active forces shaping the surface of Mars in today's climate. © NASA

Such spidery patterns form on the surface of Mars every time spring arrives in a cold region. © NASA

Mount Sharp inside Gale Crater is the main mission destination for the Curiosity rover. © NASA

Dark streaks on the slopes of Martian craters are formed by seasonal water flows. © NASA

Frozen ravines in the northern plains of Mars. © NASA

fresh crater. © NASA

Curiosity rover selfie. © NASA

Amazing Mars. 10 pictures of the red planet “display:block” />

In May 2015, NASA showed a photograph of the place where the Ares 3 expedition landed from the movie The Martian. This is a section of the Acidalian Plain, located between the volcanic regions of Tarsis and Arabia north of the Vale of the Mariner. © NASA

North Canyon in the northern polar cap of Mars. ©NASA

The Nili Pits are one of the most colorful regions of Mars. © NASA

Wind is one of the most active forces shaping the surface of Mars in today's climate. ©NASA

Such spider-like patterns form on the surface of Mars every time spring comes to a cold region. © NASA

Mount Sharp inside Gale Crater is the main mission destination for the Curiosity rover. ©NASA

Dark streaks on the slopes of Martian craters are formed by seasonal water flows. © NASA

Frozen ravines in the northern plains of Mars. © NASA

Fresh crater. ©NASA

Curiosity rover selfie. ©NASA

Recall that the American rover Perseverance landed there in 2021. The Perseverance rover carrying the Ingenuity helicopter successfully landed on the surface of the Red Planet on February 18 last year. In September 2021, the first Martian soil samples were collected, which will be stored on the rover until the arrival of spacecraft, which will be developed for joint NASA and ESA missions to bring Martian soil samples to Earth. 

So, the vehicle will take the soil samples collected by Perseverance and send them to Mars orbit using the MAV rocket. 

In orbit, the rocket will gain the necessary altitude for rendezvous with the automatic interplanetary station of the European Space Agency, after which it will release a container with collected samples, which will then “catch” probe. Then the station will turn on the engines and leave the orbit of Mars to return the container to Earth in the early to mid-2030s.

On Earth, soil samples can be fully studied — after all, space imposes restrictions on the use and transportation of a number of tools for analysis. It is impossible to put on the rover some of the instruments that would be very important for soil research, for example, a cyclotron mass spectrometer, an ion probe. That is why it is so important for scientists to bring the soil to Earth and study it already in the laboratory. It was there that one could build an isotope diagram for oxygen — this is not the most difficult of possible studies, but very necessary and at the same time requiring a laboratory. The isotopic composition can provide information about the biogenicity of a substance, that is, about the relationship of its origin with the work of living organisms.

It is with Mars that experts hope to find the first alien life, albeit the simplest bacteria. And it is the study of the soil in the terrestrial laboratory that can put an end to this issue.

NASA's campaign to return samples from Mars promises to change our understanding of Mars. The campaign will fulfill the goal of exploring the solar system — a priority for space science since the 1970s.

Samples collected by the rover while exploring an ancient river delta are thought to reveal the mysteries of Mars' evolution, as well as whether life once existed there.

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According to the US Space Administration, the cost of the contract could potentially reach $194 million. According to the contract, Lockheed Martin is required to develop, build and test an integrated MAV system, as well as ground equipment for a successful launch of the device. Lockheed Martin Space will provide several MAV test units and a flight unit. 

The contract comes into force no later than February 25th. MAV will be the world's first rocket launched from another planet.

MAV is technologically complex. The rocket must be strong enough to withstand the harsh conditions of Mars. It also needs to be synchronized with a number of other spacecraft. It must be small enough to fit inside the sample retrieval lander. 

https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-selects-developer-for-rocket-to- retrieve-first-samples-from-mars/

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El País did not confirm or deny US data on leaked responses


El País neither confirmed nor denied Nuland's claims that Russia was involved in the

The Spanish newspaper El País neither confirmed nor denied reports of Russia's involvement in the publication of US responses and NATO on security assurances, TASS reports.

“I can't confirm or deny because we can't reveal the sources,”— El País editor-in-chief Lucia Abelian told the agency.

She suggested that the U.S. suspicions were expressed specifically against Russia, since it was originally the party “which demonstrated a willingness to publish”; responses.

RBC turned to the editors of El País for comment.

El País published the text of the US and NATO responses on February 2. The Pentagon and the US State Department have confirmed their authenticity.

The US Deputy Secretary of State Victoria Nuland said that the publication of the responses could have been arranged by Moscow. She noted that the published document contained the same notes that were in the text handed over specifically to the Russian side. The document to Washington's allies contained other notes, Nuland said.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova responded to Nuland's allegations that “Russia plays openly, but American players deal marked cards.” In turn, Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko noted that there is “nothing new and unexpected” in Nuland's statement. “According to the logic of Washington, Moscow is responsible for everything,” — he said.

In the Kremlin, immediately after the publication appeared, they said that Moscow had nothing to do with the publication of the document, and advised them to seek clarification from the Spanish authorities and the publication itself. Commenting on Nuland's statement, Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for the Russian president, said that the United States “is often convinced of what later turns out to be false.”

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