Putin appoints governors for Donbass

Strasbourg 05.10.2022 President Putin appoints acting heads of four “new Russian regions”, Russian TASS news agency reports. (Image above: archive)

Following referenda where voters opted for the accession of the regions to Russia, Putin and the heads of the four regions signed treaties on their accession to Russia at a Kremlin-hosted ceremony, the news agency continues. THe moved unanimously condemned by the European Union, assessing the change as “annexation”.

Russian President Vladimir Putin appointed acting heads of the four new Russian regions who will govern until the regions’ heads are elected according to Russian law.

The same politicians who headed the regions prior to their accession to Russia have retained their posts. Denis Pushilin, who was a leader of Russian-speaking protests in the Donetsk Region after a coup in Ukraine, became acting head of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR). Pushilin participated in a ceremony on April 7, 2014 when the DPR was created, and in 2018 he was elected head of the republic.

Leonid Pasechnik has been a head of the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR). In 2014, when protests against Euromaidan events and a nationwide coup began in southeastern Ukraine, he took the side of the Lugansk Region’s people’s militia and was elected head of the republic in 2018.

The leaders of the two self-proclaimed Donbass republics retained the title of heads, while the heads of the other two regions became acting governors.

Yevgeny Balitsky, who has been leading the Zaporozhye Region’s military-civilian administration, will be the region’s acting governor. The military-civilian administration was formed in the region’s liberated areas after those had been taken over by Russian troops. And Vladimir Saldo, previously the head of the Kherson Region’s military-civilian administration, will become the region’s acting governor.

Following referendums where voters opted for the accession of the regions to Russia, Putin and the heads of the four regions signed treaties on their accession to Russia at a Kremlin-hosted ceremony on Friday. Pushilin, Pasechnik, Balitsky and Saldo signed off on the documents on behalf of the four regions.

Russia: limited nuclear conflict catastrophe

Brussels 29.09.2022 Assumptions about the possibility of a limited nuclear conflict are erroneous as any use of nuclear weapons is fraught with global catastrophe, Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antono wrote in an article published on the website of the US’ National Interest magazine.

“I would like to warn American military planners about the fallacy of their assumptions that a limited nuclear conflict is possible. They apparently hope that the United States would be able to take cover behind the ocean if such a conflict happens in Europe with British and French nuclear weapons. I would stress that this is an extremely dangerous “experiment.” It is safe to assume that any use of nuclear weapons could quickly lead to an escalation of a local or regional conflict into a global one,” he emphasized.

“I want to believe that, despite all the difficulties, we and the Americans have not yet approached a dangerous threshold of falling into the abyss of nuclear conflict. It is important to stop threatening us,” he noted. “Today, it is difficult to predict how far Washington is ready to go in exacerbating relations with Russia. Will the U.S. ruling circles be able to give up their plans aimed at wearing out our country with the prospect of its dismemberment?”

“The recent Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit and the high-level week of the 77th UN General Assembly session have proved that a considerable part of the planet is not satisfied with the world order that was created after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

“We are witnessing the majority of the global community trying to find ways to establish an equitable system of international relations which would have neither first-nor second-tier states. We firmly support such a world order based on international law, the UN Charter, and the principle of the indivisibility of security,” Antonov added

Kaliningrad: military combat training

Brussels 28.09.2022 Russia’s Defense Ministry said on Wednesday, September 28, that newly mobilised reservists in the Kaliningrad region have started combat training at the base of Russia’s Baltic Fleet.

“All mobilised military personnel comply with the standards for shooting from small arms. In addition, citizens called up from the reserve restore their skills in the operation and maintenance of weapons, military and special equipment,” the ministry said on its Telegram channel.

Courses have been also held to increase firing skills and prepare military personnel for “confident actions on the battlefield”.

President Vladimir Putin ordered Russia’s first military mobilisation since World War Two last week, which could see hundreds of thousands more people sent to fight in Ukraine.

Russia has a significant military presence in Kaliningrad, a Russian Baltic coast enclave located between NATO and European Union members Poland and Lithuania, including nuclear-capable missiles, its Baltic fleet and tens of thousands of soldiers.

Izyum: Russian troops in retreat

Brussels 10.09.2022 The Russian troops stationed at Balakleya and Izyum have been regrouped and redeployed to the Donetsk direction in order to step up efforts there, Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Igor Konashenkov told reporters on Saturday, September 10.

“In order to achieve the declared goals of the special military operation for the liberation of Donbass, it was decided to regroup the Russian forces stationed near Balakleya and Izyum to boost efforts in the Donetsk direction,” Konashenkov said.

According to the Russian Defense Ministry spokesman, for that purpose, an operation of reorganizing and redeploying the Izyum-Balakleya grouping to the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) has been carried out in the past three days. Simultaneously, distractive and demonstration activates indicating troops’ real actions were taken.
“A powerful fire attack, with the air force, missile and artillery troops engaged, was conducted against the enemy to prevent harm to Russian troops,” the general added.

On Friday, September 9, the Russian Defense Ministry released a video showing Russian troops’ redeployment to the Kharkov direction. Footage features a military convoy consisting of BTR-82A armored personnel carriers and D-20 towed gun-howitzers. Besides the Z and V symbols, a new symbol – a circle inscribed in a triangle – painted on military vehicles can be seen in the video.

Anti-Russian sanctions “unnoticed”

Brussels 09.09.2022 Western nations have imposed about 11,000 various restrictions on Russia, which went largely unnoticed by Russian citizens, Russian Permanent Representative to International Organizations in Vienna Mikhail Ulyanov said on Friday, September 9.

“The West introduced record-breaking 11 000 sanctions against Russia. The Russian citizens have not noticed that so far,” the diplomat wrote on Twitter.

“For the first time in history the Western nations face the consequences of sanctions they introduce against another state,” he added.

The Ambassador tweeted: “The West introduced record-breaking 11,000 sanctions against Russia. The Russian citizens have not noticed that so far.”

In another tweet, Ulyanov underscored that the Western nations for the first time face the “consequences” of sanctions that they imposed against another nation. He further said, “Of course, the sanctions bite. The question is who they bite more. We will see.”

EU nations, US and UK have launched sanctions against Russia to apply pressure to the Kremlin to end the war in Ukraine, and accept the will of the Ukrainian leadership to join NATO. So far, European Union has imposed several packages of sanctions against Russia, including trade restrictions, asset freezes and travel bans. As part of the economic sanctions, the EU has imposed import and export restrictions on Russia which implies that European entities cannot export certain products to Russia and vice versa.

Kissinger: U.S. on brink of war

Brussels 14.08.2022 Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger believes that Washington is currently on the brink of war with Moscow and Beijing, he said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.

“We are at the edge of war with Russia and China on issues which we partly created, without any concept of how this is going to end or what it’s supposed to lead to,” he underscored.

“You can’t just now say we’re going to split them off and turn them against each other. All you can do is not to accelerate the tensions and to create options, and for that you have to have some purpose,” Kissinger added.

USA-Russia: prisoners exchange talks

Brussels 06.08.2022 Russia is ready to discuss the exchange of prisoners with the US, but only within the channel, negotiated by Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Joe Biden. If the Americans resort to public diplomacy, its’ “their problem,” Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said to reporters Friday, August 5. (Image above: Viktor Bout)

The top diplomat said that Washington’s logic in the situation around House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan is “strange,” and noted that US Secretary of State Antony Blinken displayed no interest in contacts with his Russian counterpart during the ASEAN events in Phnom Penh.

“If the Americans once again decide to resort to public diplomacy and to make loud announcements that they plan to take some steps, then that is their business, and I would even say, their problem. The Americans often do not comply with agreements on a quiet professional work on this and many other topics.”

Russia-Africa Summit announcement

Brussels 27.07.2022 Russia’s second-largest city of Saint Petersburg will host the 2023 Russia-Africa Summit, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson wrote on her Telegram channel on Wednesday, July 27.

“We are leaving the African continent under a heavy rain and this is a good sign,” she stated. “Thank you, friends, and we are waiting for you in Saint Petersburg next year at the Russia-Africa summit.”

The inaugural Russia-Africa summit was hosted by the Russian Black Sea resort city of Sochi in 2019. The summit was organised between October 22 and 24, 2019 and its slogan read as ‘For Peace, Security and Development.’

Within the framework of the African tour earlier this week, Foreign Minister Lavrov visited Egypt, the Republic of the Congo, Uganda and Ethiopia between July 24 and 27.

The visit to Ethiopia on Wednesday July 27 was be the final stop in Lavrov’s African tour, after which the Russian top diplomat will travel to the Foreign Ministers’ Meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in the Uzbekistani capital of Tashkent.

The food crisis caused by the Ukraine conflict took the center stage during Lavrov’s previous negotiations and press conferences in African countries.

Putin vows to overcome hardships

Brussels 18.07.2022 Russia is not going to lose heart or have decades of its progress reversed, despite inhospitable forecasts from opponents, President Vladimir Putin told the Council for Strategic Development at a meeting on Monday.

The president said Russia was being completely denied access to foreign hi-tech products.

“We understand that this is a major challenge to our country, however we are not going to lose heart or have decades of our progress reversed, despite predictions from a number of our ill-wishers, the opposite is true,” Putin insisted.

“[We are] aware of the huge amount of obstacles” being put up, so Russia will be “looking for new solutions while making effective use of its own technological capacities available in the country and research by innovative Russian companies,” Putin explained.

“I understand that this is a complicated task. All of us are perfectly aware of that. And it’s also clear that we cannot and will not live in isolation from the rest of the world,” the Russian president pledged.

The head of state stressed that Russia cannot be isolated from the rest of the world, or fenced off from it.

“Obviously, we cannot develop in isolation from the rest of the world. And we won’t. It is impossible in the present-day world to merely issue as decree and erect a huge fence. It is simply impossible,” he said and outlined top priority tasks.

According to the president, one of such tasks is to develop end-to-end technologies, which have major influence on structural changes in the economy.

Russia: Belgorod hit by missile

Brussels 03.07.2022 At least three people were perished and dozens of residential buildings damaged in the Russian city of Belgorod near the Ukraine border, the regional governor said, after reports of several blasts in the city.

At least 11 apartment buildings and 39 private houses were damaged, including five that were destroyed, Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov posted on the Telegram messaging app.

Governor Gladkov said earlier that the “incident” was being investigated, adding: “Presumably, the air defence system worked.”

At least four people were injured and two hospitalised, including a 10-year-old boy, he said.

The news agencies could not independently verify the reports. There was no immediate reaction from the Ukraine relevant authorities.

Belgorod, a city of nearly 400,000 some 40km north of the border with Ukraine, is the administrative centre of the Belgorod region.

Russian Defense Ministry spokesperson Igor Konashenkov confirmed that tonight, from 3:00 to 3:30 Moscow time, the “Kyiv regime” carried out a “deliberate strike with Tochka-U ballistic missiles with cluster munitions and Tu-143 Reis drones on residential areas of Belgorod and Kursk, where there are no military installations”.

All three Tochka-U ballistic missiles with cluster warheads launched by Ukrainian military at Belgorod were destroyed in the air by Russian air defense systems. As a result of the defeat of Ukrainian missiles, the wreckage of one of them fell on a residential building in the city.