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Posts Tagged ‘Kremlin’

Russia ‘Disappears’ One of its Own News Agencies

Monday, December 9th, 2013

Perhaps we are “back in the USSR” again, to quote the Beatles.

In a posting on the Kremlin’s website on Monday, Dec. 8, Russian President Vladimir Putin decreed that the Russian International News Agency – RIA-Novosti – a leading Russian state-run news conglomerate, will be “eliminated.”

Why?

“In order to increase the effectiveness of public media.”

And in its place, Putin created a new media entity, “Russia Today,” naming as its director Dmitry Kiselyov. Kiselyov, according to BuzzFeed, is one of, if not the most, profoundly anti-Western, pro-Putin “journalist” currently operating in Russia. He is also viciously anti-gay in a way that goes beyond mere homophobia. Last year Kiselyov told a Russian TV audience that banning gays from distributing propaganda to children was not sufficient.

“I think they should be banned from donating blood or sperm, and if they die in a car crash, their hearts should be burnt or buried in the ground as unsuitable for the continuation of life,” was Kiselyov’s position, as reported by BuzzFeed.

In the years following the extreme media repression which characterized the Soviet Union era-policies, there has been a slow but perceptible growth in Russian media to engage in actual reporting. While the Russian media never had the freedoms enjoyed by the Western press, RIA-Novosti in particular had become a trusted news source for at least certain kinds of information about what was happening in Russia.

RIA-Novosti extensively covered the growing protests in the Ukraine. The Ukranian protesters oppose their government’s recent turn away from the West and towards Russia.

A report from the Associated Press on Monday quoted a spokesperson for the Ukranian Opposition who said that its headquarters in Kiev had been “stormed by authorities.”

Since Putin returned to the presidency in 2012, following his four-year term limit-required hiatus, he has been implementing increasingly stringent controls over various aspects of life, including curtailing the slowly developing press freedoms.

Putin’s latest repressive act coincides with increasing reports about Putin’s diminishing popularity.

The decree abolishing RIA-Novosti states that it will be completely dissolved in three months.  There was no word on whether the many thousands of its employees will have a future at the new media empire Putin is creating. Certainly they will be required to practice a very different form of journalism if they do.

Russia Heats Up Cold War with Sale of Iran S-300 Missiles (Video)

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

Russian media reported Wednesday that Moscow now is ready to go through a long-promised deal to supply the Iranian regime with advanced S-300 missiles that can shoot down ballistic missiles and commercial airplanes from a distance of up to 120 miles.

It is one of most lethal, if not the most lethal, anti-aircraft system in the world. Iran signed a purchase deal in 2007  for five S-300 missile batteries, but the sale was frozen three years ago when the U.N. Security Council slapped sanctions on Tehran..

Russia got around the embargo in its sale of the S-300 to Syria by claiming the weapons were for defense, and presumably that will be the excuse to sell them to Iran.

Just in case the international sanctions get in the way of the sale, Russia has come up with an alternative that might be just as useful for Iran and which does not fall under the sanctions. It would sell Iran the  Antei-2500, AKA S-300VM, or SA-23 Gladiato, according to the Russian Kommersant Daily.

The Antei-2500 was specifically tailored for the needs of ground forces, which could also be an advantage for Iran, known for its large land force,” the Iranian government-controlled Fars News Agency stated.

Kommersant said Iran has asked it to fulfill its promise to complete the S-300 missile sale, and Russia has thrown in an extra goodie by agreeing to build a second nuclear reactor in Bushehr, just what the United States and Israel don’t need.

The Russian and Chinese appetite for money has driven it to become huge weapons suppliers to Iran and Syria, giving them the lever to counter Western influence. The missile sale to Iran will add approximately $700 million to the Kremlin coffers.

Besides the financial angel, Putin is doing his best to establish Russia as the most powerful influence in the Middle East, at the expense of President Barack Obama. Moscow and Beijing have consistently thrown up barriers to American-led efforts to place sanctions on Iran and Syria.

Iran more than welcomes Moscow in its campaign to rid the world of American influence that goes against fundamentalist Muslim regime policies, such as the deprival of human rights..

Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan said earlier this week that Russia should complete the 2005 deal and supply Iran with S-300 missiles and “should believe themselves and don’t follow the US so much,”  Fars reported Wednesday.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/russia-heats-up-cold-war-with-threat-to-sell-iran-s-300-missiles/2013/09/11/

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