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Is Russia Bailing On The OPEC Deal?

Is Russia Bailing On The OPEC Deal?

Offshore rig

For the first week of June, Russia, the world’s largest oil producer, exceeded the amount it agreed to produce as part of the January 2017, OPEC/non-OPEC supply cut deal.

For the first week of June, Russia produced some 11.1 million barrels per day (bpd), far exceeding production limits outlined in the deal, Interfax news agency said on Saturday, citing a source familiar with the matter.

As part of the oil production cut, Russia agreed to trim its production by 300,000 bpd from 11.247 million bpd. The output cut deal called for its members to remove some 1.8 million bpd of oil from global markets.

That deal was orchestrated to stop the bloodletting in global oil markets at the time due to a ramp up in U.S. shale production and Saudi Arabia’s late 2014 strategy of trying to drive U.S. shale producers out of business by opening the production flood gates and sending prices to multi-year lows.

However, the Saudi’s plan backfired. Global oil prices tumbled from more than $100 per barrel in mid-2014 to under $30 per barrel by the start of January 2016, throwing global markets into a historic supply overhang, and causing financial chaos for the Saudis who had to start issuing international bonds to offset record budget deficits – a development that is still ongoing as the Kingdom shores up its finances from that low oil price period.

Now that OECD oil inventory levels have reached the OPEC/non-OPEC members’ goal of five-year averages, there is talk and speculation among not only media but oil producing countries asking if it’s time to ramp up production. Also, geopolitical factors are coming into play as renewed U.S. sanctions against Iran will remove as many as 500,000 bpd from global markets, perhaps more according to other forecasts. In addition, OPEC member Venezuela’s oil production is coming apart at the seams, also removing more barrels from the market.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Trump Says Russia Should Be Back In The G7; Italy Backs Trump

Update: and just like that, G6+1 became G5+2

  • ITALY PREMIER CONTE BACKS TRUMP ON RUSSIA’S G-8 READMISSION
  • CONTE: RUSSIA’S G8 READMISSION WOULD BE IN EVERYBODY’S INTEREST

And when Germany and France, which have already been making moves to get back in Putin’s good graces, join, there will suddenly be a majority for the pro-Russian front.

* * *

On his way to what may be the most entertaining and confrontational G7 meeting in history later today in Toronto, president Trump made sure that the animosity with which he is met by the rest of the world leaders was cranked up to the max, when he told reporters this morning that Russia should be attending a Group of Seven nations meeting.

“It used to be the G-8 because Russia was in it and now Russia’s not in it. Now, I love our country, I have been Russia’s worst nightmare. I think Putin is probably going “man I wish Hillary won” cause you see what I do, but with that said, Russia should be in this meeting. Why are we having a meeting without Russia being in the meeting. And I would recommend that Russia should be in the meeting.

Whether you like it or not, and it may not be politically correct, we have a world to run and in the G-7, which used to be the G-8, they threw Russia out they should let Russia come back in cause we should have Russia at the negotiating table.”

Trump’s comment, which will surely be spun as having come straight from Putin’s brain-control device, the same one that got a few million middle class Americans not to vote for Hillary, prompted a spike in both Russian stocks…

… and the ruble.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Putin quotes Einstein: ‘WW3 would be the end of civilization’ (Video)

Putin quotes Einstein: ‘WW3 would be the end of civilization’ (Video)

Putin: WWIII may be end of civilization, and that should restrain conflicts

Russian President Vladimir Putin held his annual televised question-and-answer session, with over two million questions submitted from Russian citizens.

This year’s event is Putin’s 16th Q&A.

One question Putin received referenced the new cold war between East and West, and whether this could lead to a hot World War 3.

Putin noted that such a scenario would be “an end of civilization” event, and awareness of this should be enough to restrain international powers from engaging in global conflict.

Putin quoted Albert Einstein – “I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.”

Remember to Subscribe to The Duran’s YouTube Channel.

Via RT

As of Thursday morning, over 1.9 million questions have been submitted, according to Interfax, and the number keeps growing. The annual event, which is officially called ‘Direct line with the president,’ has been scheduled ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, which kicks off on June 14.

This year there will be no audience at the venue and the questions will be asked not only by phone but also using interactive screens in the studio. The president will have a huge screen in front of him on which he will see text and video messages.

The Q&A session has become an annual tradition in Russia, in which the president answers questions submitted by people throughout the country. Traditionally, the Q&A focuses mostly on domestic issues, such as healthcare and economic development, but the Russian leader also often comments on global affairs.

Putin’s first Q&A session was held in December 2001, and he continued them as a prime minister. This year, Putin will host the 16th session. The longest event so far lasted 4 hours, 47 minutes.

NATO Sabre Strike Exercise: Scaring Russia with Multiple War Games of Unparalleled Scale

NATO Sabre Strike Exercise: Scaring Russia with Multiple War Games of Unparalleled Scale

NATO Sabre Strike Exercise: Scaring Russia with Multiple War Games of Unparalleled Scale

This year, NATO has already organized about 100 exercises, 20 percent more compared to the same period in 2017. Saber Strike-2018, a large-scale US-led exercise involving 18,000 soldiers from 19 NATO members and partner nations, kicked off on June 3 to last till June 15. The scope of the exercise has been steadily expanding with every year. It was 11,000 troops in 2017, 9,000 in 2016, 6,000 in 2015, 4,700 in 2014 and 2,000 in 2013 – that’s how a relatively small drill turned into the regular deployment of substantial force in the proximity of Russia’s borders. Moscow expressed its concern about it at the NATO-Russia Council’s session held on May 31.

The annual multination training event organized every year since 2010 is being held across the training areas in Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. Non-NATO countries taking part are Finland and Macedonia. Air assault landings are part of the scenario to hone the skills for launching offensive operations.

Sabre Strike is timed with Swift Response airborne drill in Latvia to culminate on June 8. It involves 800 paratroopers from US, Latvia, Lithuania, Israel and Poland.

There will be more exercises held in 2018 near Russia’s borders, including Trident Juncture, a really big one to take place in late October-early November to involve 35,000 troops from 30 nations along with 70 ships and about 130 aircraft and Anakonda organized by Poland in November. The latter will involve 100,000 servicemen, 5,000 vehicles, 150 aircraft and 45 warships. The scale is mind-boggling. One can imagine how much it costs! The Anakonda scenario includes preemptive strikes. If it’s not an open preparation for war than what is? US Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley believes it is. According to him, “Having large-scale NATO forces in the Baltic States and Poland, as well as the lack of transparency – we see serious preparation for a great war.” He knows what is talking about.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

US Challenges Russia to Nuclear War

US Challenges Russia to Nuclear War

US Challenges Russia to Nuclear War

Now that the United States (with the cooperation of its NATO partners) has turned the former Soviet Union’s states other than Russia into NATO allies, and has likewise turned the Soviet Union’s Warsaw Pact allies into America’s own military allies in NATO, the United States is finally turning the screws directly against Russia itself, by, in effect, challenging Russia to defend its ally Syria. The US is warning Syria’s Government that Syrian land, which is occupied by the US and by the anti-Government forces that the US protects in Syria, is no longer really Syria’s land. The US is saying that there will be direct war between Syria’s armed forces and America’s armed forces if Syria tries to restore its control over that land. Tacitly, America’s message in this to Moscow is: now is the time for you to quit defending Syria’s Government, because, if you don’t — if you come to Syria’s defense as Syria tries to kill those occupying forces (including the US troops and advisors who are occupying Syria) — then you (Russia) will be at war against the United States, even though the US is clearly the invader, and Russia (as Syria’s ally) is clearly the defender.

Peter Korzun, my colleague at the Strategic Culture Foundation, headlined on May 29th“US State Department Tells Syria What It Can and Can’t Do on Its Own Soil” and he opened:

“The US State Department has warned Syria against launching an offensive against terrorist positions in southern Syria. The statement claims that the American military will respond if Syrian forces launch an operation aimed at restoring the legitimate government’s control over the rebel-held areas, including the territory in southwestern Syria between Daraa and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. Washington is issuing orders to a nation whose leadership never invited America in the first place! 

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

How and Why the US Government Perpetrated the 2014 Coup in Ukraine

How and Why the US Government Perpetrated the 2014 Coup in Ukraine

How and Why the US Government Perpetrated the 2014 Coup in Ukraine

This will document that the ‘new Cold War’ between the US and Russia did not start, as the Western myth has it, with Russia’s involvement in the breakaway of Crimea and Donbass from Ukraine, after Ukraine — next door to Russia — had suddenly turned rabidly hostile toward Russia in February 2014. Ukraine’s replacing its democratically elected neutralist Government in February 2014, by a rabidly anti-Russian Government, was a violent event, which produced many corpses. It’s presented in The West as having been a ‘revolution’ instead of a coup; but whatever it was, it certainly generated the ‘new Cold War’ (the economic sanctions and NATO buildup on Russia’s borders); and, to know whether it was a coup, or instead a revolution, is to know what actually started the ‘new Cold War’, and why. So, this is historically very important.

Incontrovertible proofs will be presented here not only that it was a coup, but that this coup was organized by the US Government — that the US Government initiated the ‘new Cold War’; Russia’s Government reacted to America’s aggression, which aims to place nuclear missiles in Ukraine, less than ten minutes flight-time from Moscow. During the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, America had reason to fear Soviet nuclear missiles 103 miles from America’s border. But, after America’s Ukrainian coup in 2014, Russia has reason to fear NATO nuclear missiles not just near, but on, Russia’s border. That would be catastrophic.

If America’s successful February 2014 overthrow and replacement of Ukraine’s democratically elected neutralist Government doesn’t soon produce a world-ending nuclear war (World War III), then there will be historical accounts of that overthrow, and the accounts are already increasingly trending and consolidating toward a historical consensus that it was a coup —

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

OPEC And Russia Prepare For Long-Term Control Over Oil Market

OPEC And Russia Prepare For Long-Term Control Over Oil Market

oil rig

In a tight oil market reacting with price gains to concerns about supply shortages, the leaders of the OPEC and non-OPEC nations part of the production cut deal—Saudi Arabia and Russia—hinted last week that easing the cuts was an option that they had discussed and that would be up for talks at the OPEC and allies’ meeting in less than a month.

Oil prices plunged from three-and-a-half-year highs on reports that the Saudis and Russia may add as much as 1 million bpd of supply to offset crumbling Venezuelan production and possible loss of Iranian oil exports with the return of the U.S. sanctions.

Many analysts don’t think the group would add the reported 1 million bpd of supply, but the oil market lapped up the news and concerns about a return to oversupply have dominated the OPEC chatter news flow for nearly a week. As the June 22 meeting is drawing closer, oil prices will likely react to any new hint, comment, or report about OPEC’s efforts to “address consumer anxiety over security of oil supplies.”

The latest of those reports says that OPEC and non-OPEC are set to stick to the production cuts through the end of 2018, but will be ready to “adjust” supply to address possible shortages.

The group of producers part of the pact “is not ready yet to fully lift controls,” a Gulf source familiar with the Saudi thinking has told Reuters, adding that “it is going to be a long-term cooperation for the sake of a stable oil market.”

“However, if any shortage takes place, the producers will coordinate closely and promptly take necessary actions. The OPEC and non-OPEC agreement will remain in place. But the level of the cut may be adjusted if a physical shortage arises,” the source told Reuters.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Don’t Take Higher Oil Prices For Granted

Don’t Take Higher Oil Prices For Granted

Oil

Oil prices collapsed at the start of this week, with WTI and Brent dropping 5.5 percent and 7.5 percent respectively from their three and a half year peaks.

This recent price slump serves as a timely reminder for market observers and players alike that, while a heightened geopolitical risk premium and declining inventories have boosted prices, there is plenty of downside in today’s markets.

The prices started to fall when Saudi Arabia and Russia, two key brokers in the Vienna agreement, announced that they are ready to ramp up production to counter the threat of falling supply from Iran and Venezuela. The fear of a huge surge in U.S. shale production also played a part in sending oil prices lower, with rising U.S. exports to Asia beginning to impact the market share of both Russia and Saudi Arabia in the region.

Many already understand that this price rally is not sustainable. Vladimir Putin recently saidthat an oil price of $60 “suits Russia”. Last year, Russia’s finance minister shared his plans to draft the 2017-2019 budget based on oil prices as low as $40. These statements, taken alongside the recent reports that Russia and Saudi Arabia are looking to bring some production back online, have been seen by some as a sign that the recent oil price rally is coming to an end. It has long been known that these kind of production deals are not long term and sustainable solutions to an oil market crisis.

This is not to say that oil prices can’t rise again, or even touch $100 in the near future. Both the Iran nuclear deal and collapsing production in Venezuela could provide plenty of upside to oil prices.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

Clapper: The U.S. Meddled In Foreign Elections And Conducted Regime Change In The “Best Interests Of The People”

Former head of US Intelligence James Clapper just admitted that the United States was simply looking out for citizens of various countries “when we tried to manipulate or influence elections or even overturned governments,” a statement directly at odds with the moral high ground claimed by President Obama and other US officials on the topic of Russian election meddling.

In an interview with Bloomberg’s Tobin Harshaw published Saturday, Clapper – who is promoting his new book “Facts and Fears,” said “I guess the way I think about that is that through our history, when we tried to manipulate or influence elections or even overturned governments, it was done with the best interests of the people in that country in mind,’ adding that the US has a “traditional reverence for human rights.”

According to a February 2016 report by Dov H. Levin, the United States has engaged in over 80 instances of election meddling or regime change between 1946 and 2000, while a February analysis by the New York Times notes that election meddling is hardly unprecedented.

“If you ask an intelligence officer, did the Russians break the rules or do something bizarre, the answer is no, not at all,” said Steven L. Hall, who retired in 2015 after 30 years at the C.I.A., where he was the chief of Russian operations. The United States “absolutely” has carried out such election influence operations historically, he said, “and I hope we keep doing it.”NYT

We’ve been doing this kind of thing since the C.I.A. was created in 1947,” said Loch K. Johnson, a University of Georgia professor who began his career in the 1970s investigating the CIA for the Senate.

We’ve used posters, pamphlets, mailers, banners — you name it. We’ve planted false information in foreign newspapers. We’ve used what the British call ‘King George’s cavalry’: suitcases of cash.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The One Question We Should All Be Asking About Establishment Russia Hysteria

The One Question We Should All Be Asking About Establishment Russia Hysteria

Babchenko was dead, to begin with. There was no doubt whatever about that. News reports had been aired, mournful obituaries published, outraged tweets cursing Moscow flew hither and thither. Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman condemned “the Russian totalitarian machine” for assassinating a journalist simply because of his “honesty and principled stance”. UK Foreign Minister Boris Johnson proclaimed  that he was “Appalled to see another vocal Russian journalist, Arkady Babchenko, murdered.”

Not a soul questioned it: old Babchenko was as dead as a door-nail.

And then, like the ghost of an old business partner announcing three Christmas visitations, there he was. Everyone knew that Babchenko was dead. They didn’t suspect it, they weren’t relatively confident about it. They knew it.

And it was all fake.


This article makes a hugely important point: had Babchenko decided to stay “dead” and gone into hiding, his death would have been taken as unquestionable fact by unquestioning press & politicians, and anyone doubting it labeled a crazy conspiracy theorist.https://off-guardian.org/2018/05/31/what-if-babchenko-had-decided-to-stay-dead/ 

What if Babchenko had decided to stay “dead”?

What if Arkady hadn’t turned up, looking sheepish at that presser? What if he hadn’t turned up ever? What if he’d decided he couldn’t face the humiliation, or what if his SBU handlers decided…

off-guardian.org


The main purpose of this article is to draw attention to an important op-ed by an Off-Guardian editorwhich asks us to consider a hugely significant hypothetical question: what if Babchenko had, for whatever reason, remained “dead”? What if, instead of appearing at a press conference the day after his faked assassination publicly apologizing to his poor traumatized wife, the controversial Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko had put on a wig, obtained some fake papers, and started a new life in Hawaii? What would have happened then?

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

America’s Incredible Shrinking Influence

America’s Incredible Shrinking Influence

Just two weeks after President Trump pulled the US from the Iran nuclear agreement, his Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, issued 12 demands to Iran that could never be satisfied. Pompeo knew his demands would be impossible to meet. They were designed that way. Just like Austria-Hungary’s ultimatum to Serbia in July, 1914, that led to the beginning of World War I. And just like the impossible demands made of Milosevic in 1999 and of Saddam Hussein in 1991 and 2003, and so many other times when Washington wanted war. These impossible demands are tools of war rather than steps toward peace.

Secretary Pompeo raged at Iran. The mainstream news media raged at Iran. Trump raged at Iran. But then a strange thing happened: nothing. The Iranians announced that they remained committed to diplomacy and would continue to uphold their end of the nuclear agreement if the Europeans and other partners were willing to do the same. Iranian and European officials then sought out contacts in defiance of Washington in hopes of preserving mutually-beneficial emerging commercial relations.

Washington responded to the European snub by threatening secondary sanctions on European companies that continued doing business with an Iran that had repeatedly been found in compliance with its end of the bargain. Any independent European relationship with Iran would be punished, Washington threatened. But then, again, very little happened.

Rather than jump on Washington’s bandwagon, German Chancellor Angela Merkel made two trips to Russia in May seeking closer ties and a way forward on Iran.

Russia and China were named as our prime enemies in the latest National Security Strategy for the United States, but both countries stand to benefit from the unilateral US withdrawal from the Iran deal. When the French oil company Total got spooked by Washington threats and pulled out of Iran, a Chinese firm eagerly took its place.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The “Axis of Gold” Just Got Stronger

The “Axis of Gold” Just Got Stronger

As you probably know by now, President Trump backed out of the nuclear deal with Iran and is re-imposing harsh sanctions.

And just this morning, Trump announced that he’s canceling the much-anticipated nuclear summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un because of Kim’s recent belligerent comments.

What does that mean, aside from the added geopolitical risk to markets?

As you’re about to see, you can now expect what I call the “Axis of Gold” to get even stronger. And it has potential to accelerate the demise of the dollar-based international system.

The Axis of Gold includes Russia, China, Iran and Turkey. I would also include North Korea in that list, although as a junior member.

These countries are forming a trading and financial network revolving around gold and are acquiring massive amounts of physical gold to support it. They are steadily moving toward a gold-based balance of payment system.

Why is this happening?

Well, if you’re on the receiving end of American sanctions like Russia, Iran or North Korea, you want a way to work around these sanctions. And gold is a powerful alternative.

Let’s first consider North Korea.

With the summit called off, there’s every reason to expect that North Korea will only intensify its nuclear program.

But how can North Korea obtain the foreign nuclear and missile technology it requires to advance its program?

By using gold.

If a rogue state wants to acquire ballistic missile components or equipment to enrich uranium, it can’t buy them through SWIFT, the international payment system. But it can use gold.

Gold can’t be hacked or traced. Unlike digital money in bank accounts, it can’t be frozen. You just put it on a plane or ship and send it to its destination.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Russia Finance Minister: We Are Ready To Ditch The Dollar In Favor Of The Euro

In a testament to the success of the latest Trump sanctions against Russia, overnight Russian aluminum giant Rusal announced that its chief executive, Aleksandra Buriko, and half of its managerial board resigned to make sure the firm avoids U.S. sanctions against its founder, billionaire oligarch, Oleg Deripaska. The mass resignations were part of “the efforts that have been made by the management of the group to protect the interests of the company and its shareholders” since the sanctions were imposed last month, Rusal said in a May 24 statement.

Buriko resigned after the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced new punitive measures against Russia in early April in response to Russia’s “malign” activities around the world. The latest round of sanctions primarily targeted Russian oligarchs close to President Vladimir Putin, especially Oleg Deripaska – who had previously been interviewed by Robert Mueller – prompting Rusal shares to tumble while the price of aluminum soared.

That said, Rusal is not out of the woods yet, and earlier today Bloomberg reported that Deripaska had asked the Russian government to buy aluminum for state reserves, in other words engage in an indirect bailout of the state’s largest aluminum producer, although the Kremlin hasn’t made a decision yet. Furthermore, Rusal which is facing significant debt maturities in the coming months, has applied for state support to Promsvyazbank, and a decision is pending.

The common theme here is that Trump’s sanctions against Russia – with which he is supposedly colluding – not only work, but are very effective in achieving their goal. And they do so though the biggest weapon the US has: access to the world’s reserve currency, because with one phone call to SWIFT, Trump can lock out an entire nation.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Stephen Cohen’s Misrepresentations About the 2014 Coup in Ukraine

Stephen Cohen’s Misrepresentations About the 2014 Coup in Ukraine

The restoration of the Cold War now, between Russia and the United States, is based on frauds by the United States, as will be documented here; and one of the biggest responsibilities that historians have, is to state this publicly — to acknowledge it publicly and clearly — so that the necessary public pressure can finally come to be brought upon the U.S. Government, to acknowledge that it has been wrong about this matter, which is a matter increasingly threatening the entire planet with World War III, a nuclear war between the U.S. and Russia, the war that would end the world.

Most historians fail this fundamental professional obligation to truthfulness especially about important matters such as this, and don’t even acknowledge publicly that the overthrow in February 2014 of Ukraine’s democratically elected President was a “coup” instead of a ‘revolution’ (which the U.S. Government and its foreign allies call it), but even most of the historians who do call it a “coup” do not say that it was perpetrated by the U.S. Government upon, and greatly harmed, the people of Ukraine; and, so, their admission fails to apply any pressure at all upon the U.S. Government, to stop its constant lying about this.

Wars do not result merely from force of arms, but even more fundamentlly, they result from force of lies. In the present matter, those lies can have a world-ending consequence; so, at least the biggest of these lies need to be addressed in public, by historians.

Dr. Stephen C. Cohen, the prominent Russia-specialist now retired from Princeton and NYU, has said on at least two occasions, that the February 2014 overthrow of Ukraine’s democratically elected President Viktor Yanukovych was a “coup.” 

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Skripal Case Is Being Pushed Down The Memory Hole With Libya And Aleppo

The Skripal Case Is Being Pushed Down The Memory Hole With Libya And Aleppo

On the fourth of March, in the sleepy British cathedral town of Salisbury, an ex-spy named Sergei Skripal was poisoned by an assassin with the most deadly nerve agent known to man.

The Russian government was immediately blamed by a shocked and outraged world. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson assured the people of Great Britain that “There’s no doubt” that Moscow was responsible. In a large and sudden leap forward in cold war escalations, Russian diplomats were thrown out of countries all around the globe, including my own Australia, in a show of solidarity with the United Kingdom. It was the largest collective ejection of Russian diplomats in history.

Two months after his earth-shattering assassination, as the world stared spellbound at the weekend’s immensely popular PR spectacle of a royal wedding, Sergei Skripal was quietly discharged from the hospital he’d been staying at. The BBC reports that he is walking and approaching complete recovery.

Wait a second. Haven’t I seen this Python skit before?

So to recap, an ex-spy who had been retired and strategically irrelevant for years was reportedly poisoned by the Kremlin with Novichok, a scary Russian-sounding word which refers to a group of extremely deadly and fast-acting nerve agents that start shutting down the body’s muscles and respiratory system within 30 seconds to two minutes. Except in the case of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia it was several hours with a leisurely stroll, a meal, and beers in between.

The poison was placed in Yulia Skripal’s suitcase. Actually no, they got that wrong, it was the air vents in their car. Wait, no, that doesn’t work either. Maybe it was administered via weaponized miniature drone! Wait, no, it was the family’s car door handle. Actually, scratch that, it was the front door of the house. Definitely the front door of the house. We’re absolutely sure.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai II: Exodus
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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Olduvai III: Cataclysm
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