• English posts

    Key MH17 Figure Identified As Senior FSB Official: Colonel General Andrey Burlaka

    In November 2019, the Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team (JIT) announced the broadening of its criminal investigation into the shoot-down of MH17 to encompass the role of individuals within Russia’s military and administrative hierarchy who enabled the tragedy. The JIT made public 23 telephone intercepts from the days before the shootdown, which appeared to prove the close involvement of Russian officials with fostering and funding the war in Eastern Ukraine — as well as directly coordinating with and providing substantial military support to ostensibly “independent” militants. Continue reading the news article on the Bellincat investigative website.  

  • English posts

    WHO IS BEHIND THE RENEWED EFFORT TO PUSH NORD STREAM 2 ON EUROPE?

    Who Paid for the PR Campaign?  The poll was commissioned by the German Eastern Business Association (Ostausschuss – Osteuropaverein der Deutschen Wirtschaft, OAOEV) OAOEV is a fairly new NGO that promotes German business in “Eastern” countries – from Russian to China. It was founded in 2018 through the partnership of the German Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations (Eastern Committee) and the Eastern Europe Business Association of Germany. In December 2019, several OAOEV members met with Vladimir Putin. Following the meeting, OAOEV published a press release.   Continue reading the news article published on the Free Russia.org website.  

  • English posts

    The Neue Ostpolitik approach to Nord Stream 2: A legal fiction carried a little too far

    EnergySource by Dr. Benjamin L. Schmitt On April 10, 2018, signs emerged that the German government was finally beginning to recognize the geostrategic implications of the proposed Nord Stream 2 pipeline. Standing next to then Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Berlin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel stated: “I made very clear that a Nord Stream 2 project is not possible without clarity on the future transit role of Ukraine…so you can see that it is not just an economic issue, but there are also political considerations.” In one short statement, the chancellor had seemingly repudiated years of arguments that she and other German politicians had made since the pipeline’s announcement: namely, the claim that…

  • English posts

    A killing in Berlin raises uncomfortable questions about Germany’s relationship with Vladimir Putin

    Boris Reitschuster is a Berlin-based journalist and specialist on Russia. On Aug. 23, an assailant gunned down a Chechen dissident during broad daylight at a park in the center of Berlin, just a short walk from the office of German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Now, a week later, Germans are still agonizing over the shooting’s likely effect on their country’s relationship with Russia. The victim, Zelimkhan Khangoshvili, was a 40-year-old ethnic Chechen from Georgia. Starting around 2001, he fought on the rebel side — against Russian troops — during the Second Chechen War. The Kremlin, correspondingly, considered him a terrorist. For his supporters, he was a fighter for the independence of Chechnya. Continue reading…

  • English posts

    To Deal with Bad Ideas, Develop Better Solutions

    The Russo-German Nord Stream gas pipeline projects—Nord Stream I, completed in 2011, and Nord Stream II scheduled to be completed around the end of 2019—are bad projects because they increase European dependence on Russian gas in general, and especially because they give the regime of Russian President Vladimir Putin the option of delivering gas to Germany while bypassing other European countries. Putin’s Russia has a track record of using gas exports as political pressure, for example, against Ukraine in the years leading up to Putin’s attack on that country in 2014 and has threatened to do the same to Central European countries, including those in the European Union. Given this, and their long…

  • English posts

    US Congress eyes sanctions on Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline

    Rick Perry, the US energy secretary, on Tuesday said he expected Congress to pass a measure that would impose sanctions on Russia’s controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to Germany, a project that critics say could be used by the Kremlin as a political weapon. “The opposition to Nord Stream 2 is still very much alive and well in the United States,” Mr Perry said in Kiev, where he was attending the inauguration of Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky. Mr Perry said the Senate and House would pass a bill that Mr Trump would approve. “It is going to go to the president and he is going to sign it,” the…

  • German posts

    Masha Gessen: “Russland ist ein mafiöser Staat”

    Die Machthaber in Russland verfolgten ausschließlich eigene Clan-Interessen, sagt Masha Gessen, Preisträgerin des Leipziger Buchpreises zur Europäischen Verständigung in der DW-Sendung “Nemtsova.Interview”. Zhanna Nemzowa: Frau Gessen, “Die Zukunft ist Geschichte: Wie Russland die Freiheit gewann und verlor” ist nicht Ihr erstes Buch über Putins Russland. 2012 erschien das Buch “Der Mann ohne Gesicht – Wladimir Putin: eine Enthüllung”. Warum sollte man Ihrer Meinung nach Putins Rolle und die Umstände seiner Machtübernahme überdenken? Masha Gessen: Mir ist wichtig deutlich zu machen, dass ich 1991 nicht als einen Wendepunkt in der Geschichte Russlands betrachte. Ich glaube nicht, dass wir es in Russland mit einer sich hinziehenden Übergangsphase zu tun haben, und ich…

  • English posts

    Russia ‘very likely’ to meddle in European Parliament elections, warns Estonia spy chief

    The intelligence boss also says Russia is continuing to develop and train its armed forces for a “large-scale war against NATO”. The Kremlin will “very likely” try to intervene in European parliamentary elections this May to help pro-Russia and anti-EU politicians win seats, Estonia’s equivalent of MI6 has warned. The Estonian Foreign Intelligence Service said President Putin’s goal is to undermine unity with the European Union “by sowing disorder and disbelief” within and between the 28 – soon to be 27 – member states. The comments came in an annual security report that also said Russia’s secret security services are still carrying out hostile activity in cyber space despite the…