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“No More Transit Risk”: Ukraine & Russia Ink Landmark Gas Transit Deal, Hammering European Gas Prices

“No More Transit Risk”: Ukraine & Russia Ink Landmark Gas Transit Deal, Hammering European Gas Prices

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has hailed the completion of an against all odds landmark deal with Russia’s Gazprom as ensuring “energy security and prosperity for Ukrainians.” 

It will keep natural gas flowing to Western Europe via Ukraine for the next five years, which is estimated to net Ukraine $7 billion (€6.25 billion) in gas transit fees by 2024

After a series of compromise breakthroughs over the past weeks, including Gazprom paying out $2.9 billion legal settlement to Naftogaz and Kiev in turn agreeing to wave a separate legal claim, the two sides finally inked the historic deal on Monday, which signals a broader thawing in tensions and dramatic deescalation after Moscow and Kiev have for years stood on the brink of open war. 

Per Gazprom Chairman Alexey Miller, the accord has already gone into effect as of Tuesday: “After five days of uninterrupted negotiations in Vienna, definitive decisions have been made and final deals have been reached,” he said in a statement.

And Zelenskiy further presented it as an ‘everyone wins’ breakthrough: “Europe knows that we will not fail when it comes to energy security,” he said. Indeed European gas markets immediately felt the effects:

European gas and power prices extended declines after a last-gasp accord between Russia and Ukraine on natural gas flows averted a winter supply crisis.

According to Bloomberg’s analysis:

“There’s no more transit risk,” said Thierry Bros, an associate at Harvard University’s Davis Center for Russian & Eurasian Studies. “We are in a world with a lot of LNG and piped gas and the Russians want to keep their market share in Europe.”

Benchmark Dutch gas prices dropped 0.7%, taking their record annual plunge to 44%. German power traded at its lowest level since May 2018.

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

Fake News Alert: Headlines Paint False Picture Of Ukraine Aid Freeze

Fake News Alert: Headlines Paint False Picture Of Ukraine Aid Freeze


Leftist media print misleading headlines apparently to incriminate the president over Ukraine aid.

Following the court-ordered release of heavily redacted emails concerning the temporary hold of U.S. financial aid to Ukraine, press bias against President Trump was on full display. The media breathlessly reported that the aid was frozen immediately after Trump’s now-famous July 25 phone call with the Ukrainian president. That all sounds terribly incriminating – if only it were true.

Misleading headlines appear to have been deliberately written to imply a sequence of events that might incriminate the president but, in fact, the articles beneath those headlines concede that a hold was placed on the aid well before the Trump-Zelensky phone call. In each case, that one, vital fact is buried several paragraphs into the respective reports.

Playing Head Games With Headlines

In the age of click-bait, journalists and editors know very well that people who get their news via constantly-shifting social media newsfeeds often do not even read complete articles; they glance at a headline and apply confirmation bias to it. If the headline echoes a political or social position they support, these attention-challenged readers will like, share, repost, upvote and so on. If they don’t like what the headline says, they will give it a thumbs down and perhaps attach to it a snarky or hostile comment.

This is all well and good. Consumers of media products may do as they wish, after all, but the problem is often that the headline itself is the only thing many are taking away from the article. No matter what information the article contains, it is that one statement in bigger, bolder font that influences the thinking of so many.

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As Winter Comes Pipeline Wars Heat Up

As Winter Comes Pipeline Wars Heat Up 

For all of 2019 December has been a magnet. A number of major geopolitical issues come to head this month and many of them have everything to do with energy. This is the month that Russian gas giant Gazprom was due to finish production on three major pipeline projects – Nordstream 2, Turkstream and Power of Siberia.

Power of Siberia is here. It’s finished. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese Premier Xi Jinping christened the pipeline to begin the month. Next month Putin will travel to Turkey to join President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to open the first of four potential trains of the Turkstream pipeline.

It is only Nordstream 2 that continues to lag behind because of insane levels of pressure from the United States that is dead set against this pipeline coming online.

And the reason for that is the last of the major energy issues surrounding Gazprom needing resolution this month, the gas transit contract between it and Ukraine’s Naftogaz.

The two gas companies have been locked in legal disputes for years, some of which center on Crimea’s decision to break away from Ukraine and rejoin Russia in 2014. Most of them, however, involve disputes over costs incurred during the previous and expiring gas transit contract.

The particulars today are ultimately irrelevant as these lawsuits have been used as nothing more than blackmail to keep a new contract from getting signed. Ukraine has sued Gazprom in courts, like in Sweden, that rule not by the tenets of contract law but rather through the lens of social justice.

These have been political decisions that allowed Naftogaz to seize Gazprom’s European assets, further complicating any resolution to the conflict. These policies were pursued aggressively by former Ukrainian President and long-time US State Department asset Petro Poroshenko and they have done nothing to help Ukraine.

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

Ukraine’s IMF Gold and the Gold Carry Trade

Ukraine’s IMF Gold and the Gold Carry Trade

Important Tools for the Monetary Cartel

Let’s first consider a typical International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan to a sovereign in trouble, and then examine a typical gold carry trade transaction to support a sovereign arms deal. The intent is to demonstrate the importance of physical sovereign gold holdings in all forms of international trade.

Semi-failed and failed states can only exist by dealing in hard assets of real intrinsic value just as Syria, Venezuela, Iran, and Ukraine have done… and the most liquid of those hard assets is their physical gold.

Central Banks always work with the Security State apparatus when dealing with failed states and recall that the US Central Intelligence Agency funded al Qaeda and funded the war in Syria for example. Just about anything can be made to happen with funding when that funding is based on real resources. One of the most important of those resources is physical gold.

IMF Cartel Example: Ukraine

The IMF’s 2014 aid to Ukraine is based on a unique history however all IMF ‘aid’ packages are in some sense unique. Since we are highlighting the largely hitherto concealed importance of real physical gold in geo-political calculations and operations, Ukraine provides a relevant and timely example of how the banking Cartel operates with gold and may highlight that importance.

According to the 2018 Independent Transparency Index, Ukraine ranks as one of the most corrupt nations in the world. Ukraine ranks 120th out of 180 countries where the 180th – Somalia – is the most corrupt.  But all nations need funding whether corrupt or not, and Ukraine defaulted on its IMF debt in 2001 and then again in 2009 when distribution of an existing IMF loan to Ukraine was frozen.

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

The Deep State’s Deep State Department

The Deep State’s Deep State Department


For now, it comes down to this: the US State Department is at war with the White House.  State’s allies in the Democratic majority congress want to help overthrow the occupant of the White House because he’s interfering in the department’s foreign policy. The lifers at State are the same ones who executed a coup in 2014 against Ukraine’s government and threw out the elected president Victor Yanukovych because he tilted to join a Russian-backed regional customs union rather than NATO.  State’s diplomatic lifers are old hands at coups. Now they’re at it at home, right here in the USA.

Ever since the Maidan Revolution of 2014, they have worked sedulously to exert control over Ukrainian affairs. And they especially can’t stand that the recently elected president Zelensky declared that he wants to improve his country’s relationship with next-door-neighbor (and ex-sovereign) Russia. The occupant of the White House, Mr. Trump, had often expressed a similar interest to improve the USA’s relations with Russia. State would prefer to amp up a new cold war. Mr. Trump has some nerve interfering with that!

The lifers at State also have something to hide: their exertions to connive with Ukraine government officials they controlled to interfere in the 2016 US presidential election in favor of their former boss, Mrs. Clinton. The current impeachment spectacle is an attempt to pitch a smokescreen over that embarrassing mess, which includes the CIA’s and FBI’s efforts to blame Russia for their own illegal interventions in the 2016 election — the heart of the three-year impeachment narrative. The Joe-and-Hunter Biden affair is the left anterior descending artery in that heart.

The current testimony in the House Intel Committee raises another question. Whose back-channel diplomats are legitimate in US foreign policy: Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudolf Giuliani, or State’s own boy, billionaire freelance international political adventurer George Soros?

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

A far-right US soldier arrested by the FBI for plotting domestic bomb attacks sought to join Ukraine’s neo-Nazi Azov Battalion, which was directly armed and advised by the American government

azov ballation us
Bomb-plotting extremist American soldier tried to join US-backed neo-Nazi militia in Ukraine

A far-right US soldier arrested by the FBI for plotting domestic bomb attacks sought to join Ukraine’s neo-Nazi Azov Battalion, which was directly armed and advised by the American government

A far-right soldier in the United States Army has been arrested by the FBI for plotting bomb attacks targeting American media outlets and Democratic politicians.

While serving in the US military, this right-wing extremist gave fascist militants in Ukraine and other countries information on how to build bombs, including what he called “cell phone IEDs in the style of the Afghans.”

The FBI said he had also planned to travel to Ukraine in order to join the Azov Battalion, a neo-Nazi militia that has for years been directly supported by the US government.

In its court filing, the FBI described the Azov Battalion as a “violent far-right paramilitary group.” Yet it failed to disclose that this fascist militia has been armed and advised by American military officials in order to turn up the heat on Russia.

Publicly available photos show US military advisers directly meeting with the Ukrainian neo-Nazi militia — but the complete lack of critical coverage from a compliant mainstream media has ensured that few Americans know about their government’s double game with fascists.

The shocking arrest of the US soldier is the latest example in a long list of cases of what intelligence agencies refer to as “blowback,” when US government support for extremist foreign proxies fuels violent terrorism back at home.

US Army soldier teaching far-right extremists how to make bombs

The FBI filed a criminal complaint in Kansas district court on Monday, September 23, revealing that it had arrested US Army infantry soldier Jarrett William Smith for the alleged crime of “Distributing Information Relating to Explosives, Destructive Devices, and Weapons of Mass Destruction.”

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

The Declining Empire of Chaos Is Going Nuts Over Iran

The Declining Empire of Chaos Is Going Nuts Over Iran 

The transition in recent years from a unipolar to a multipolar world order has created international tensions that seem to threaten to escalate into clashes between regional and global powers.

In 2014 we were almost at the point of no return in Ukraine following the coup d’etat supported and funded by NATO and involving extremist right-wing Ukrainian nationalists. The conflict in the Donbass risked escalating into a conflict between NATO and the Russian Federation, every day in the summer and autumn of 2014 threatening to be doomsday. Rather than respond to the understandable impulse to send Russian troops into Ukraine to defend the population of Donbass, Putin had the presense of mind to pursue the less direct and more sensible strategy of supporting the material capacity of the residents of Donbass to resist the depredations of the Ukrainian army and their neo-Nazi Banderite thugs. Meanwhile, Europe’s inept leaders initially egged on Ukraine’s destabilization, only to get cold feet after reflecting on the possibility of having a conflict between Moscow and Washington fought on European soil.

With the resistance in Donbass managing to successfully hold back Ukrainian assaults, the conflict began to freeze, almost to the point of a complete ceasefire, even as Ukrainian provocations continue to this day.

Tensions were then focussed on Syria, where a mercenary army of at least 200,000 men, armed and trained by the US, UK, Israel, France, Turkey, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, almost managed to completely topple the country. Russian intervention in 2015 managed to save the country with no time to spare, destroying large numbers of terrorists and reorganizing the Syrian armed forces and training and equipping them with the necessary means to beat back the jihadi waves.

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

Moscow Slams NATO Black Sea Drills As Alliance Vows Support To Ukraine And Georgia

Moscow Slams NATO Black Sea Drills As Alliance Vows Support To Ukraine And Georgia

The Kremlin has slammed NATO’s multi-national “Sea Shield 2019” naval drills which kicked off in the Black Sea on Friday and will include limited Ukrainian defense forces. The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said upon the military games’ beginning, which also happens to mark NATO’s 70th birthday: “Having militarized NE Europe, NATO has decided to increase its military presence in the Black Sea.”

The Sea Shield 2019 is set to run from April 5 to April 13 and involves “14 Romanian warships and six warships from Bulgaria, Canada, Greece, the Netherlands, Turkey with 2,200 troops will carry out joint combat tasks in the Black Sea region,” according to Ukraine’s Mission to NATO and the Romanian Ministry of National Defense. Aerial assets will also be deployed as part of the games. Prior drills on the Black Sea by war ships of the NATO Standing Maritime Group-2, via the AFP 

Crucially, non-NATO countries Ukraine and Georgia will also take part — both of which have long been potential flash points between the west and Russia. However, officials reports say their involvement will be limited to coast guard maneuvers. 

But NATO officials have described the exercise as “a long-planned, annual exercise led by Romania” and claimed that “neither the patrols, nor the exercise, are linked to events in Ukraine.”

“Three Allied nations [Romania, Bulgaria, and Turkey] border the Black Sea, and NATO regularly conducts exercises and operations in the Black Sea in order to maintain credible deterrence and readiness,” a NATO official continued in response to questions from Russian reporters last week. Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo commemorating NATO’s 70th in Washington on Wednesday, April 3, 2019. Image source: AP

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

Washington Follows Ukraine, Syria Roadmap in Push for Venezuela Regime Change 

Venezuela | Political Crisis

Washington Follows Ukraine, Syria Roadmap in Push for Venezuela Regime Change 

What happens in Venezuela going forward will have major consequences for the entire region and the world; and, with the U.S. already pushing countries to pick sides, the world may soon become as divided as it was immediately preceding WW II.

CARACAS, VENEZUELA — Since the decision of the Trump administration on Wednesday to recognize a member of the Venezuelan opposition, Juan Guaidó, as an unelected “interim president,” the situation in the South American country has become increasingly tense, with efforts to force the current government of Venezuela — led by Nicolás Maduro — out of power having grown in intensity over the past few days.

Despite the enormous pressure his government faces from both local and international sources, Maduro has managed to maintain his position thanks to a combination of factors. These include the loyalty of the country’s well-armed military, in addition to popular support from Venezuelans who recently voted for Maduro, as well as Venezuelans who may not like Maduro but prefer him to a politician hand-picked and foisted upon them by the United States.

Yet, the long-standing campaign of the United States to effect regime change in Venezuela — a campaign that has been ongoing ever since Hugo Chávez, Maduro’s predecessor and mentor, was elected in 1998 — has shown time and again that the U.S. is unwilling to let go of its dream of installing a “friendly” government in the world’s most oil-rich country. 

For that reason, if the Trump administration’s attempt to simply install a Venezuelan president fails to produce the intended result (regime change), there is substantial concern that the U.S. will turn to other means to bring about a change in government, including the instigation of a new proxy war.

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

MH17 Turnabout: Ukraine’s Guilt Now Proven

MH17 Turnabout: Ukraine’s Guilt Now Proven

MH17 Turnabout: Ukraine’s Guilt Now Proven

Finally, a clear and convincing — and unrefuted — case can now be presented to the public, as to precisely whom the guilty party was, that downed the MH17 Malaysian airliner over Ukraine on 17 July 2014, and why it was done. The complete case, which will be fully documented here, displays unequivocally who needed the MH17 murders (of 298 persons) to be perpetrated. This mass-murder was done for one leader’s very pressing obsession. For him, it simply had to be done, and done at that precise time.

The full MH17 case will be presented here, to be judged by the public, because no court of law which possesses the power to bring this (or even any) case on the MH17 murders, is willing to do so, and because the evidence in this 17 July 2014 case has become overwhelming, and is unrefuted. This evidence is accepted by both sides. But it still remains effectively hidden from the publics in the United States and its allied countries. (The present news-report, which is the first ever to present this entire case, is submitted to all news-media in English-speaking countries, so that any of them that wishes to provide its audience access to this uncontested and conclusive evidence in the MH17 case can do so, by publishing this article. Any of them that won’t, don’t want their audience to have access to the conclusive evidence in this case, because this article is being made available to all of them to publish, free of charge; so, there is no other reason not to publish it.)

The complete evidence will be described, and all of the conclusive evidence is linked-to, proving who perpetrated, and who demanded, the shoot-down on 17 July 2014 of the Malaysian airliner MH17.

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

Ukrainian Official Urges UK Navy To Cross Kerch Strait “To See How Russia Reacts”

Despite relative calm ensuing in the area of the dangerous Nov. 25 Kerch Strait incident, Ukrainian officials have continued making media statements suggesting escalation could still yet be on the horizon. On Friday a deputy minister in Kiev urged the British Navy to send a warship to the Sea of Azov to test Russia’s response. The appeal came at a moment when the UK Secretary of State for Defence Gavin Williamson met with Ukrainian officials to reiterate that “The UK is a steadfast partner to Ukraine as it faces illegal acts of aggression on its sovereign territory,” according to a statement, and as an unarmed UK surveillance ship, the HMS Echo, is deployed to the Black Sea.

Ukrainian defense minister Stepan Poltorak (2nd left) and British defence minister Gavin Williamson, via Sky News

A high ranking deputy minister involved in seeking the return of Crimea to Ukraine named Yuri Hrymchak, said on a televised political talk show on Friday“When it is being said that Russia won’t allow the passage of a British ship, I have one remark – has anyone tried it?” — according to a translation of the provocative comments by RT. Moscow subsequently described the idea as “bonkers,” according to RT.

The Ukrainian official added, “And it would be interesting to see how will [the Russians] would react if this ship sailed in a caravan” through the Kerch Strait, according to the live broadcast, later uploaded to the station’s YouTube channel.
The British Royal Navy ship, HMS Echo, is docked in Odessa.

In late November, just days following the Russian seizure of three Ukrainian naval vessels and their crew over what Moscow described as “performing dangerous maneuvers” in violation of a 2003 treaty ensuring shared access to the Kerch Strait and Sea of Azov…

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The Stampede of the Gadarene Swine: US Leaders Allowing Ukraine to Pull Them into Global War

The Stampede of the Gadarene Swine: US Leaders Allowing Ukraine to Pull Them into Global War

The Stampede of the Gadarene Swine: US Leaders Allowing Ukraine to Pull Them into Global War

George Friedrich Wilhelm Hegel was right – Again: The only thing the human race learns from history is that it learns nothing from history.

In 1914,the British Empire, largest in human history and one of the longest-lasting, charged into World War I to defend “gallant little Belgium” whose King Leopold over the previous 30 years had carried out one of the longest, largest genocides of all time, killing 10 million people in the Congo.

Germany, wealthiest, most prosperous nation in Europe, blundered into the same needless war when feckless Kaiser Wilhelm II causally gave sweeping approval to Austria-Hungary to annihilate the tiny nation of Serbia. Millions of brave and idealistic Russians eagerly volunteered to fight in the war to protect “gallant little Serbia.” Most of them died too. There is no record that any of the Serbian leaders after the war visited any of their mass graves.

Now it is the United States’ turn.

Since the end of the Cold War US policymakers, presidents and their congresses have carried out virtually every stupidity and folly imaginable for any major power. The only one they have so far avoided has been the danger of stumbling into a full scale world war.

However, now, with the escalating and increasingly hysterical US support for the shady and risk-taking junta in Kiev, President Donald Trump risks committing that most dire and unforgivable of all horrors.

Trump today is no more than putty in the hands of his national security adviser John Bolton, one of the masterminds of the catastrophe that was the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

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Latest Odds of a Shooting War Between NATO and Russia

Latest Odds of a Shooting War Between NATO and Russia

Hungarian scholar George Szamuely tells Ann Garrison that he sees a 70 percent chance of combat between NATO and Russia following the incident in the Kerch Strait and that it is being fueled by Russia-gate.

George Szamuely is a Hungarian-born scholar and Senior Research Fellow at London’s Global Policy Institute. He lives in New York City. I spoke to him about escalating hostilities on Russia’s Ukrainian and Black Sea borders and about Exercise Trident Juncture, NATO’s massive military exercise on Russian borders which ended just as the latest hostilities began.

Ann Garrison: George, the hostilities between Ukraine, NATO, and Russia continue to escalate in the Sea of Azov, the Kerch Strait, and the Black Sea. What do you think the latest odds of a shooting war between NATO and Russia are, if one hasn’t started by the time this is published?

George Szamuely: Several weeks ago, when we first talked about this, I said 60 percent. Now I’d say, maybe 70 percent. The problem is that Trump seems determined to be the anti-Obama. Obama, in Trump’s telling, “allowed” Russia to take Crimea and to “invade” Ukraine. Therefore, it will be up to Trump to reverse this. Just as he, Trump, reversed Obama’s policy on Iran by walking away from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, otherwise known as the Iran nuclear deal. So expect ever-increasing US involvement in Ukraine.

AG: NATO’s Supreme Commander US General Curtis M. Scaparrotti is reported to have been on the phone with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko “offering his full support.” Thoughts on that?

GS: There has been a proxy war within Ukraine since 2014, with NATO backing Poroshenko’s Ukrainian government and Russia backing the dissidents and armed separatists who speak Russian and identify as Russian in Ukraine’s southeastern Donbass region. But in the Kerch Strait the hostilities are between Russia and Ukraine, with NATO behind Ukraine.

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Ukraine Wants Nuclear Weapons: Will the West Bow to the Regime in Kiev?

Ukraine Wants Nuclear Weapons: Will the West Bow to the Regime in Kiev?

Ukraine Wants Nuclear Weapons: Will the West Bow to the Regime in Kiev?

Efforts to prevent nuclear proliferation are one of the few issues on which the great powers agree, intending to continue to limit the spread of nuclear weapons and to prevent new entrants into the exclusive nuclear club.

The former Ukrainian envoy to NATO, Major General Petro Garashchuk, recently stated in an interview with Obozrevatel TV:

“I’ll say it once more. We have the ability to develop and produce our own nuclear weapons, currently available in the world, such as the one that was built in the former USSR and which is now in independent Ukraine, located in the city of Dnipro (former Dnipropetrovsk) that can produce these kinds of intercontinental ballistic missiles. Neither the United States, nor Russia, nor China have produced a missile named Satan … At the same time, Ukraine does not have to worry about international sanctions when creating these nuclear weapons.”

The issue of nuclear weapons has always united the great powers, especially following the signing of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The decision to reduce the number of nuclear weapons towards the end of the Cold War went hand in hand with the need to prevent the spread of such weapons of mass destruction to other countries in the best interests of humanity. During the final stages of the Cold War, the scientific community expended great effort on impressing upon the American and Soviet leadership how a limited nuclear exchange would wipe out humanity. Moscow and Washington thus began START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) negotiations to reduce the risk of a nuclear winter. Following the dissolution of the USSR, the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances persuaded Ukraine to relinquish its nuclear weapons and accede to the NPT in exchange for security assurances from its signatories.

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Spinning Against Russia & Reality

Spinning Against Russia & Reality

Spinning Against Russia & Reality

The November 27 Bloomberg article “Malaysia Beats Emerging Market Peers as Asia Outshines”, highlights the positive economic performances of some Asian countries, contrasted with a negative overview of South Africa and Turkey. In this piece, Russia’s second place ranking among the so-called “emerging economies” is noticeably downplayed. According to the referenced Bloomberg statistic, Russia is ahead of China, India, South Korea, Hungary and Poland.

I’m sure that a good number of economists and others will (within reason) add that the statistic at issue doesn’t give an overall complete picture of how well a given nation is economically performing. Regardless, the referenced Bloomberg statistic has enough meat to counter the mantra of a poorly performing Russian economy, whose president engages in nationalist activity as a cover for his nation’s shortcomings. If anything, that take is more applicable to the socioeconomically challenged Kiev regime controlled Ukraine, that has become greatly dependent on US government influenced International Monetary Fund loans.

Within the past year, the Kiev regime has engaged in several nationalist stunts, involving the – faked murder of Arkady Babchenko, to (as spun) uncover a still unproven sinister Russian plot – pressure on the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which is loosely affiliated with the Moscow Patriarchate – violation of Russian territory (including area recognized as Russian before Crimea’s reunification with Russia), as well as breaching the established protocol for passing the Kerch Strait. The last point concerns the Russian built bridge connecting Crimea with the rest of Russia. Inside and outside of Ukraine, there’ve been calls to destroy that bridge. With that in mind, it’s quite provocative to not give the standard notice before nearing the area of that bridge.

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

Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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