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The outbreak of COVID-19 in Beijing worsened the epidemic situation in China

Story Coronavirus situation in China

China's regional health committees reported that the outbreak of coronavirus in Beijing led to a worsening of the epidemic situation in some other administrative-territorial units of China, TASS reports.

It is reported that over the past 10 Beijing authorities have recorded more than 40 cases of coronavirus infection. Over the past day, three cases were detected in the Hebei province adjacent to Beijing. Infected people were also found in Shandong province in the east of the country.

It is noted that the epidemic situation in China remains stable: in 11 regions out of 31 there are no infected at all, even imported cases.

Earlier it was reported that that in the Chinese city of Xi'an, which has a population of about 13 million people, they began to disinfect the streets.

Lockdown was introduced in Xi'an, disinfectants were sprayed throughout the city, residents were asked to keep windows closed, and also take precautions on the streets.

At the end of 2019, an outbreak of a disease caused by a new type of coronavirus was reported in China. It was recorded in the city of Wuhan, located in the province of Hubei. On March 11, WHO declared a global COVID-19 pandemic.


Virologist of the Russian Academy of Sciences warned of a new wave of coronavirus in the fall KXan 36 Daily News

Story Coronavirus pandemic of a new type that spread from China

Corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, virologist Alexander Lukashev said that despite the possibility of a new outbreak of coronavirus next fall, the situation is gradually stabilizing, the Izvestia newspaper writes.

According to the specialist, it is now impossible to understand which strain will be the last.

“We cannot predict, we will only find out after the fact. I would say that there are practically no last strains in nature, they continue to circulate. Rather, we are talking about the fact that a balance is being established between the circulation of the virus and the immune layer, », — he said.

Lukashov noted that one can already argue that the pandemic is moving into the stage of seasonal incidence and one can hope that 2022 will be the last year for the pandemic.

“Yes, because the pandemic is in our heads. When we as a society understand that we have done everything possible and can no longer do anything, when we are ready to accept certain losses and are not ready to continue the restrictions — we have the right to rename the pandemic into a seasonal incidence. I think this is the correct wording, », — he summed up.

Earlier, the World Health Organization reported that the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus infection in the world exceeded 340 million people.

As of 19:55 on January 21 Moscow time, WHO received information about 340,543,962 infected and 5,570,163 dead. 

We also recall that on January 20, the world recorded the largest number of infected COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic.

Earlier, the head of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation, Mikhail Murashko, said that the spread of the Omicron strain in Russia caused an increase in repeated cases of coronavirus.


Scientist: In the next 30 years, people will be able to touch each other when calling

In the next 30 years, tactile communication systems will be created and distributed, with the help of which users will be able to feel the touch of another person during a call. This opinion was expressed by Valery Kozhevnikov, a research engineer at the Integrated Photonics Laboratory of the Perm State National Research University.

In a conversation with TASS, the scientist noted that touches at a distance of thousands of kilometers will become possible thanks to high-speed Internet, which can transmit large amounts of data, as well as due to infrastructure based on photonic technologies.

Kozhevnikov added that for tactile communication systems it is necessary to create peripherals. According to him, these can be gloves with vibration sensors that simulate touch, an enzyme diffuser to simulate aromas, and a device for transmitting and receiving data in the room.

Earlier it was reported that Russian scientists have developed a neural network for monitoring pavement quality.


Attack helicopters Ka-52 will arrive in the Central Military District by the end of 2022

The Ka-52 attack helicopters will enter service in the Central Military District for the first time at the end of this year, RIA Novosti reports with reference to the commander of the Central Military District, Colonel-General Alexander Lapin.

According to According to him, the squadron of new Ka-52 attack helicopters will be transferred to the army aviation brigade stationed in the regions of the Urals. The commander of the Central Military District emphasized that  this will be the first unit in the military district to be armed with such type of helicopters.

The Ka-52 Alligator helicopter capable of providing reconnaissance of targets, target distribution and hardware target designation, it can maneuver in a limited space. Aircraft piloting is facilitated by modern automated systems. The Ka-52 is distinguished by the high security of the crew, the helicopter is also convenient to maintain on the ground.

Earlier it was reported that this year for the first time mobile anti-aircraft missile systems (SAM) of ultra-short range “Gibka-S” will enter the troops. . The complex is designed to provide air defense and is able to withstand aircraft, helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles, cruise missiles and precision weapons systems. 

It also became known that in 2022 Russia should begin mass production of a fire control vehicle  «Zavet-D».


Is it possible to conduct a medical examination of drivers remotely?

Weekly “Arguments and Facts” No. 03. Either a bus, or a vision. When will the modernization of public transport reach cities and villages? 01/19/2022

They want to introduce a remote medical examination of drivers. But how can you tell from a distance if you're healthy or sober?

Expert Response 0 + –

The authors of the bill believe that a remote medical examination of public transport drivers and taxi drivers will solve the problem of a shortage of doctors. “We need 300,000 doctors to test drivers on public roads. Therefore, telemedicine is needed, – explains head of the State Duma Committee on Transport and Development of Transport Infrastructure Evgeny Moskvichev. The bill clarifies that there are now 15 medical devices in the country that can remotely transmit data on the driver's health.

Experts agree that any physical examination is better than none. “Imagine a taxi driver who has to spend the whole morning at the doctors in order to get permission for the route. There is no such thing, – says Vice-President of the National Automobile Union Anton Shaparin. – Telemedicine – reasonable way.


Russia and Syria begin joint air patrols near the Golan Heights

Military pilots of Russia and Syria conducted the first joint air patrol along the Golan Heights and the Euphrates, TASS reports with reference to the Russian Ministry of Defense.

The ministry clarified that the patrol route ran along the Golan heights, then along the southern border, up along the Euphrates and over the northern territory of the SAR.  

The Russian military took off from the Khmeimim air base, the Syrian pilots – from the Seikal and Dumayr airfields.

The Russian Aerospace Forces were represented by the crews of the Su-34, Su-35 and early warning radar A -50, MiG-23 and MiG-29 took part in the patrol from the SAR.

During the patrol, training missile launches were carried out at air targets, ground targets were hit at one of the training grounds located in the central part of the republic.

“Pilots of the two friendly countries have gained skills in interaction in various situations,” summed up the Defense Ministry. The military department added that such joint flights will now become regular.

Meanwhile, in December it became known that the restoration of the triumphal arch destroyed by terrorists in Syrian Palmyra will begin in 2022. At the same time, the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation will take over air transportation, transport support, as well as a number of logistics and security measures.


The expert called phrases that should not be spoken in a conversation with scammers

About what you can and cannot say when answering a call from an unfamiliar number, told Rossiyskaya Gazeta security expert of one of the domestic companies Oleg Sedov.

The interlocutor of the publication recalled that some large Russian banks use the technology of customer identification by voice. Fraudsters, according to him, are trying to bypass it and make calls in order to then generate an audio recording for the bank.

Sedov explained that voice recognition takes some time. At the same time, the operator can ask different questions, so it is difficult to predict the course of the conversation and prepare a sufficient amount of material.

If a call comes from an unknown number, you should not say “Yes, Ivanov Ivan Ivanovich is listening to you,” the expert warned . He advised me to answer in short phrases, even an indistinct “uh-huh”, and immediately call back on my bank number.

Precautions should also be taken when receiving calls from a familiar number, since number spoofing is a very simple technology, Sedov added.

Scammers try to get a person to say a certain phrase – instead of a simple “yes” – “yes, I confirm” or “yes, I agree.”  Also, they may ask you to first introduce yourself completely, and then say these words. “It is permissible to say this only if you are one hundred percent sure that you are talking with your bank,” the expert emphasized.

He also recommended that you be sure to connect an SMS alert on account transactions, so that in case of illegal&nbsp ;actions to be able to promptly contact the bank and minimize damage.

Earlier, the expert explained how to distinguish a call from a bank from a call from a fraudster. She advised to pay special attention to the call of a bank security officer, as scammers often call under this pretext.


The national project “Education” is being disrupted in the Kurgan region. Who’s guilty?

About 1000 children from. Ketovo, Kurgan region, study in two shifts at a school designed for 450 children. At the same time, a large modern school was built nearby. But not open. While the authorities and the developer are trying to agree on the price of the object, the public are asking for help from senators and deputies of the State Duma. Why the school is empty was discussed at a press conference organized by the Parents' Committee of the Kurgan Region.

The stumbling block

A new school in the village of Ketovo, Kurgan Region, for 1100 places was built as part of the  Education” by  an agreement with the former leadership of the region. It is ready, fully equipped with everything you need, but for about two years it has been standing as a monument in the middle of the village, while almost 1000 children of Ketovo are studying in the old school, designed for 450 seats. From the side of the authorities, all work with appeals of residents was reduced to unsubscribes.

The Parents' Committee took on the role of a conductor between the public, the authorities and the developer. First of all, letters were sent to the governor (12/13/2021) and Everest LLC. (12/14/2021 ). Back in December, the developer explained his position in detail, indicating that he had timely notified the leadership of the Ketovsky district and the Kurgan region about the price change due to the increase in the cost of materials, additional work, an increase in VAT, and so on. And during the entire construction the authorities agreed with this. A response from the first addressee, the Governor of the Kurgan Region, has not been received so far.

“We know that federal funds in the amount of 683 million rubles allocated for the purchase of the facility have been returned back to the country's budget, as the leadership of the Trans-Urals refuses to school because of its high cost. At the same time, official authorities refer to a private estimate, according to which the school in Ketovo costs 738 million rubles. The Parents' Committee got acquainted with the mentioned assessment, which the authorities erroneously call an examination. And  she raises a lot of questions» — emphasizes Yuri Leonov, Chairman of the Parents' Committee of the Kurgan Region.

Old school building. Photo: Parents' Committee of the Kurgan Region

Argument of the authorities

The document, which indirectly prevents the opening of the school during these years, is very entertaining. More than 120 pages contain calculations and formulations that cause, to put it mildly, bewilderment.

For example, in clause 4.2, the private appraiser Lomakin indicates that his opinion “regarding the value of the object is valid only on the date of appraisal”, that is, on 6 November 2020 . At the same time, throughout 2021, the regional government justified its refusal to buy the school by the presence of an independent expertise. In fact, already on November 7, 2020, he had not not expertise not even a valid assessment.

But the most remarkable and extremely important thing in           /p>

«In table No. 26 on page 78 appraiser Lomakin, referring to state construction price standards, determines the price of each appraisal object: school building, communications, sports grounds, equipment, furniture and etc, &mdash ; notes Yuri Leonov. — If we sum up all the objects, it turns out that the cost of the school is 1 022 479 496 rubles. It would seem here — an objective assessment of the school in prices of November 2020  But here, the private appraiser suddenly applies a reduction factor of 30.37% — general depreciation of objects of assessment. As a reminder, we are talking about a brand new school building and   never never used equipment, furniture, etc».

Old school building. Photo: Parents' Committee of the Kurgan Region

According to Yuri Leonov, who carefully studied the appraiser's arguments, they do not hold water. Among them (literally): “the economic health of regional business in Kurgan Oblast remains one of the worst in the country — index — 81% and fourth place from the end of the list» (it is not very clear how this is connected with the built school), “on” October 23, in the Kurgan region, 78 new cases of COVID19 were laboratory confirmed. Of these, 37 cases were registered in Kurgan, the remaining cases were registered in Ketovsky, Kargapolsky, Kurtamyshsky, Polovinsky, Pritobolny, Shatrovsky, Yurgamyshsky districts, in the Shumikhinsky and Makushinsky municipal districts and in  Shadrinsk. 74 people were discharged upon recovery. In total, 5304 cases of COVID-19 have been detected in the region since the beginning of the registration of the incidence. (page 86 of the report. It turns out that this statistic also reduced the cost of building the school, according to Lomakin). Page 87: “The average salary in the Russian Federation as of August 2020 is 47 649 rubles. The average salary in Kurgan region for January — September 2020 is 32 058 rubles». And this is not all of the interesting reasons for the cost of the school decreased from real by a third.

“The appraiser takes the real cost of the school more than a billion rubles and simply subtracts 30% from it, explaining this by some mythical wear and tear, bad economy and COVID, and instead of 1 billion 22 million rubles, displays the figure 738 million . By the way, immediately declaring that he disclaims any responsibility for the result of his assessment — paragraph 4.2 of page 8 of the report, — explains Yuri Leonov. — This is the assessment, I emphasize — not by official expertise, but opinion of a private appraiser, the authorities and argument the refusal to buy the school at its real price».

Old school. Photo: Parents' Committee of the Kurgan Region

What the developer says

«We applied to               > We were given an official response, in which the developer presented his version of the story with the school. The land for the construction of the school was allocated on the basis of the order of the governor, which is documented: the authorities of the Ketovsky district, in accordance with the federal legislation, allocated the land and gave all approvals. In & nbsp; 2019, the lease was extended. All these years, the school was included in the law on the budget of the Kurgan region, in all possible programs, resolutions and orders. For & nbsp; it was reported to the federal center, the President of Russia, as a & nbsp; best practice in the implementation of the national project & ldquo; Education & ldquo;, & nbsp; & mdash; continues Yuri Leonov. — But in 2020, the investor was suddenly offered to give it for 70% of the cost».

Not agreeing to onerous conditions, the investor turned to the Ural Chamber of Commerce and Industry. And  an assessment of the most competent organization in this matter showed that the real cost of the school is more than 1 billion 120 million 170 thousand rubles.

“In answer to our demand to keep the price of school as low as possible, so hands to the government and to help children s. Ketovo, a positive response was given. Investor-developer is ready to sit down at negotiating table and agrees to sell the school below its appraised value — for 998 million rubles. This amount will allow „Everest“ cover all costs, pay all taxes (one VAT will be only 20 % — it is almost 200 million rubles) and  avoid bankruptcy, as a result of which employees may be left without work, and their families — without means of living».

Photo: Parents' Committee of the Kurgan Region

On side of the law

“For the Parents' Committee, first of all, the position of the prosecutor's office in this matter is of great importance. It is an independent arbitrator who has no interest other than to comply with the law, — emphasizes Yuri Leonov.       the position of the supervisory agency is spelled out in Submission to the Governor of the Kurgan Region of October 19, 2021 . And it testifies that the government of the region didn take the necessary measures to implement the national project “Education“”.

In particular, according to the conclusions of the prosecutor's office, the fault for non-purchase of the school and non-fulfillment of the national project lies with the executive authorities of the region and Ketovsky district. The choice of the appraiser and the conclusion of the contract with him was carried out in violation of the law, without competition, which could not guarantee the absence of an affiliate relationship between the officials and the appraiser. According to the prosecutor's check, the developer repeatedly informed the authorities in writing about the amount of costs and the actual cost of the object. Moreover, the project documentation received a positive opinion from the regional construction department. And in prices of 2017 which confirms this conclusion, the total estimated cost of the project amounted to 963 million rubles.

In the conclusion, the prosecutor's office indicates non-compliance by officials beyond the Urals with the relevant Decree of the President of the Russian Federation and requires immediate elimination violations and punishment of guilty officials.

However, even the presentation of the prosecutor's office did not move the case from a dead point. As if the document was 

Photo: Parents' Committee of the Kurgan Region

Don't promise, but do!

“Today we came to the fact that the region has no money to buy out the school. And & nbsp; all previous decisions of the regional government: on the allocation of land for the construction of a school, the inclusion of the construction of a school in the & nbsp; national project „Education“ and several regional programs, a host of other documents and agreements — don't matter now. Although about 316 million rubles are not enough to resolve the issue positively, — notes Yuri Leonov. — As the practice of neighboring regions shows, it is possible to request funds in Moscow, everything depends only on desire and perseverance. For example, quite recently, the same situation with the school was resolved in Chelyabinsk completely at the expense of the federal budget, where 270 million rubles were lacking. This money was requested and received from the federal budget. As a result, a school for 1100 places worth about 1 billion rubles has been built and has already been put into operation. But this is not done in our area. We understand that it probably makes no sense to wait further from the regional authorities to resolve this issue, so we offer an option on how to find the missing amount of 316 million rubles».

This method, according to the Parent Committee, will be a nationwide fundraiser.

“We are launching a public funding project for the issue of buying out the Ket school. The essence of the idea is already familiar to our country, where we collect money for the treatment of children via SMS. But   we do not plan to touch these facilities. Voluntary donations will be made to the budget of the Kurgan region with the intended purpose of the payment, — explains Yuri Leonov. — Is it possible to collect 316 million rubles? We think so yes. And this will literally take 3 months, if those who, during the election campaigns, take care of the interests of the people —     deputies of the State Duma and senators. We offer to our “people's servants” — all deputies of the State Duma of the Russian Federation (and their 450 persons) and all senators (their 170) within 3 months to transfer part of their official salaries to redemption of the school in s. Ketovo. The first two months —  50% of your salary, in the third month — 20%.

Considering that the official monthly salary of deputies of the State Duma of the Russian Federation and senators exceeds 430 thousand rubles, in 3 months we will collect all the missing amount and will be able to open a new Ket school. We don't want, as usual, pensioners and ordinary residents of Russia to help children. It is known that our people's servants — These are the richest people in the country. And we hope that they will not mind doing one big thing for the benefit of the children by becoming participants in the project «Public Funding for the Opening of the Ket School».

Yuri Leonov noted that he had already submitted a letter to the government of the Kurgan region with a request to request the federal center to return the subsidy for the purchase of the school. By getting the missing school with the help of State Duma deputies and senators, the issue can be resolved, and already 1 September, a new modern school will open its doors for children.

The building of the new school. Photo: Parents' Committee of the Kurgan Region

How can I help the government buy a school?

To make a charitable donation to buy a school in c. In the  mobile applications of any of banks, go to the  Payments” and enter the necessary details of the Financial Department of the Kurgan Region (UFK for Kurgan Region). In  subsection "Payment by details" you must enter the data of the UVC (listed below)

For example, for the mobile application of Sberbank of the Russian Federation, filling in the details begins with entering the TIN number of the recipient: 4500000060; then the beneficiary's account number is entered: 03100643000000014300 and BIC: 013735150; BCC 09011705020020000180. After that, you need to write down your last name, first name, patronymic, series and passport number (without spaces). In  the purpose of the payment, it is MANDATORY to indicate the purpose: «voluntary donation for acquisition (purchase) of the Ketovskaya secondary school at address: Kurgan region, Ketovsky district, s. Ketovo, st. Kosmonavtov, 49A". Completes the OKTMO payment — 37701000 and  Payment amount», where you need to specify how much money you wish to donate. After that, you need to click the  plate with the inscription “Continue”, check the correctness of all the entered data and click the “Pay” button.

After making the payment, you must save the receipt or click on the “Share” icon. and enter the email address of the Parents' Committee: [email protected] The subject of the letter: “A copy of the receipt for making a donation for the redemption of the Ket school.” This way, the public can keep track of how much the school ransom has been raised.


Recipient: UFK by  Kurgan Region (Financial Department of the Kurgan Region)

TIN: 4500000060 KPP: 450101001


BIC: 013735150 Р/account : 03100643000000014300

OKTMO code: 37701000 KBK: 09011705020020000180

Purpose of payment: «Voluntary donation for acquisition (redemption) of Ketovskoye secondary school at address: Kurgan With. Ketovo, st. Kosmonavtov, 49A».


Murder in Omsk. Why do teenagers become aggressive?

Zelensky approved sanctions against a number of Russian companies and individuals

Photo: Video frame

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky approved the decision of the National Security and Defense Council to impose sanctions against certain Russian companies and individuals. The decree on this appeared on the website of the head of state.

The document mentions designer Artemy Lebedev, former Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation Yuri Chaika, Insurance Business Group JSC, Lenpromtransproekt, GeoZemStroy LLC and other persons and companies.

Most restrictions are set for five years. Personal sanctions include blocking accounts and a ban on withdrawing capital from Ukraine.


U.S. introduces “Putin Accountability Act”

Photo: Mikhail Verny

The “Putin Accountability Act” is presented in the United States – a bill on new sanctions against Russia. The initiative was submitted to the US Congress on January 19.

According to the Washington Post, the bill was introduced by Republican Senator Jim Banks. This proposal was supported by another 38 congressmen. The text of the bill has not yet been officially published, but the publication provides data on what measures against Russia it proposes.

The initiative involves the introduction of personal sanctions against Russian officials and security officials, including the press secretary of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov , Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, Chairman of the TFR Alexander Bastrykin, Director of the FSB Alexander Bortnikov.

In addition, personal sanctions will be imposed on representatives of large businesses and journalists Margarita Simonyan, Vladimir Solovyov, Konstantin Ernst .

At the same time, Russian-backed forces in the Donbass will be recognized as terrorists, and Russia will be declared a “sponsor of terrorism.”

Transactions with Russian public debt will be banned, measures against Nord Stream 2 will be introduced , as well as stopped the dialogues on cybersecurity and strategic security.


Draft recognition by Russia of the DPR and LPR submitted to the State Duma with errors

And the last paragraph of the Communists' appeal was copied from the document on the recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia

Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said that it would “be right” to hold consultations with the leaders of the Duma factions next week, and based on the results, “consider” at the Council of the Duma an appeal to President Putin with a request to recognize the independence of the DPR and LPR. “MK” tried to figure out whether such appeals are a necessary condition for the recognition of a state.


Draft resolution on the adoption of the Appeal “To the President of the Russian Federation V.V. Putin on the need to recognize the Donetsk People's Republic and the Lugansk People's Republic” was submitted to the State Duma on the evening of January 19, 2022, signed by an impressive group of communists headed by Gennady Zyuganov. Apparently, the authors were in a hurry, and therefore the text of the document contains, to put it mildly, clumsy and not quite literate phrases like “The new authorities of Ukraine, now glorifying the Nazis Bandera, Shukhevych and their followers, have become intolerant of historically established norms, life, as well as the will and the religion of the inhabitants of these regions” (deputy punctuation retained -“MK”).

Briefly, the essence of the grounds set out on more than three pages for President Putin to take an important foreign policy step is as follows: not a single point of the “Minsk agreements” has yet been implemented, Ukraine is trying to revise them or bury them altogether, has established a “complete economic blockade” of the territories of the republics, whose population back in May 2014 voted in referendums for self-determination. Recognition, the Communist Party is convinced, will protect the population of the DPR and LPR from genocide and “strengthen international peace and regional stability.” The authors appeal to “dear Vladimir Vladimirovich”: after recognition, it is necessary to conduct negotiations with the self-proclaimed republics as soon as possible “on the creation of a legal basis for interstate relations” on all issues, “including security issues.”

“Sergey Mironov has already stated that the Just Russia – For Truth faction is ready to support the project”, and “LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky spoke on a larger scale”, without specifying whether it was “for” or “against,” recalled speaker Vyacheslav in his telegram channel early on January 22 Volodin. (The leader of the Liberal Democratic Party really spoke on a very “large scale”: he is against conversion, because recognition will not give anything, and it’s better to just hit Ukraine hard).

The ER deputies, the speaker believes, “are also concerned about the issue of protecting the lives of Russian citizens and compatriots living on the territory of the DPR and LPR” … In general, the issue is important, responsible, and “it would be right to hold consultations with the leaders of the factions next week, to discuss this initiative. Then, based on the results, to consider the issue at the Council of the State Duma,” concludes Mr. Volodin. And he adds: Vladimir Zelensky really ignores the Minsk agreements, and NATO “wants to occupy Ukraine”, and “we must not allow this”, we must somehow protect our compatriots …

Does the speaker's statement mean that the State Duma in the near future will definitely turn to President Putin with a request to recognize the independence of the DPR and LPR by voting for the initiative of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation?

No, it doesn’t mean.

The next Council of the Duma is on Monday, January 24th. If “next week” consultations only begin, and the Kremlin and the Foreign Ministry consider public discussion of the issue harmful, its consideration in the meeting room can be postponed to February. Or even for an indefinite time.

It is worth recalling that in 2018, another draft statement on Ukraine was submitted to the State Duma – moreover, on behalf of representatives of all, without exception, the Duma factions included in the Committee on CIS Affairs. This much less concrete and binding document on the President of the country stated: “The deputies believe that the Russian Federation should provide additional assistance to the suffering population of Donbass, all necessary measures, including legislative ones, have been taken to provide asylum in Russian Federation to citizens of Ukraine who are threatened and politically persecuted in Ukraine. Do you think they accepted it? No. Until now, it lies quietly in the Duma legislative portfolio … In it, in this portfolio, a lot of things have been lying for years and even decades.

Assessing the prospects for the adoption by the State Duma of any document on foreign policy issues, one must always remember: without agreement with the Kremlin and the Foreign Ministry, this is impossible in principle. This means that if an appeal to the president with a request to recognize the independence of any territory is supported by the Duma majority, this will mean that the decision to recognize independence has already been made at the very top. And here a lot depends on the development of the situation, on the course of negotiations with the West, on whether or not provocations happen on the line of contact between Ukrainian troops and self-defense units of the DPR and LPR.

If we approach the issue legally, then the recognition or non-recognition of any state is the power of the head of state, no appeal from the deputies is necessary for its registration. In addition, in principle, all appeals and statements of the Russian parliament to anyone else have no binding force for the executive branch, and even more so for the head of state. But in order to make the Kremlin's decision more colorful and politically convincing, it may well be preceded by a parliamentary decree: they say, the representatives of the people asked, and unanimously …

This is how Russia's recognition of the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia was formalized in 2008.

On August 21-22, 2008, these parts of Georgia, which declared themselves independent back in 1992, turned to the leadership of the Russian Federation with a corresponding request. On the same day, on August 25, both chambers of the Russian parliament, both the Council of the Federation and the State Duma, which gathered urgently, almost unanimously adopted the same appeals to the then head of state, Dmitry Medvedev. Moreover, the draft appeal of the State Duma was signed by members of the Committee on CIS Affairs from all factions without exception.

It is curious that the last paragraph of their current appeal to President Putin regarding the DPR and LPR was written off by the communists from that old decree: then it was also said on the need to recognize and “promptly conduct negotiations in order to create a legal basis for interstate relations that regulates all aspects of cooperation and mutual assistance, including security issues” …

The President of Abkhazia Sergei Bagapsh and South Ossetia Eduard Kokoity took part in the meeting of the State Duma on August 25, 2008 and spoke from the Duma rostrum. And the next day, by decree of President Dmitry Medvedev, the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia was recognized by Russia. And immediately began the very negotiations that ended with the signing of the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance.

Here it was already impossible to do without the State Duma and the Federation Council: international treaties required ratification by the parliament. At the end of October 2008, this ratification took place. Russia and the two newly recognized states, in accordance with the treaties, pledged to provide each other with all kinds of assistance, including military. Russian troops received the right to be (and are still) on the territory of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and the right to build military bases there …

The development of events may look something like this in the case of Russia’s hypothetical recognition of the independence of the DPR and LPR: the self-proclaimed republics turn to the authorities of the Russian Federation, President Putin makes a decision, securing the political support of the parliament, and then agreements are concluded with these republics, even if not recognized by the rest of the world, according to which Russian troops and Russian military bases end up on the territory of Eastern Ukraine.

But even if events develop according to this scenario, fraught with serious consequences, and the Kremlin decides that preliminary approval of the parliament will not hurt, it is unlikely the appeal proposed by the communists will be accepted. “I would like to note that now, when the situation is so tense and so sensitive, it is very important to avoid any steps that could provoke an increase in this tension,” presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on January 21. And he added that “for those who are the authors of this initiative, it would be important in the first place not to try to earn some political points on such a thin and fragile matter” …


The political scientist assessed the talks between Lavrov and Blinken in Geneva: “We checked the clock”

“There are topics that the parties need to discuss face to face”

A round of talks on security guarantees between Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken ended in Geneva. The meeting lasted an hour and a half. First, the diplomats delivered opening speeches, after which the consultations continued in a format closed to the media. The political scientist spoke about the meaning and goals of the negotiations.

Photo: AP

Russian-American consultations on security guarantees at the President Wilson Hotel in Geneva began with a friendly handshake of the heads of delegations. On the eve of the meeting, both heads of diplomatic departments said that no breakthroughs were expected from the negotiations.

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken called the discussion of the situation around Ukraine the main goal of the meeting. The diplomat promised that in the course of his conversations with Minister Lavrov, issues of concern to Russia would be raised.

At a press conference following the Geneva talks, the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry commented on the fact that the meeting lasted only an hour and a half, emphasizing : “We did not need to reproduce everything that was said at the Russian-American talks here in Geneva on January 10 and at the talks in the Russia-NATO Council on January 12.”

According to Sergei Lavrov, the Russian side heard the repetition of arguments about the freedom to choose alliances, military alliances, and, in turn, cited a number of documents in which this freedom to choose alliances is due to the need to avoid any steps that strengthen the security of one state at the expense of the security of others. .

The Russian Foreign Minister said that Washington promised to send a written response to Moscow's proposals for security guarantees next week, noting that the United States and some member countries of the North Atlantic Alliance are “poor” in keeping promises.

“Meeting we had an intermediate one,” the diplomat added. “And Anthony Blinken told me that he was satisfied with the exchange of views that took place, which will help them next week (this has already been emphasized several times) to provide us with a written response.”

This is already the third meeting of the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry with the US Secretary of State. The first took place in May in Reykjavik on the sidelines of the Arctic Council ministerial meeting. The second one took place in Stockholm in December at the OSCE ministerial meeting.

“The purpose of this meeting, so to speak, is to “align the clock,” comments MK Vice-President of the Center for Political Technologies, Professor of the Higher School of Economics Alexey Makarkin. – Neither Moscow nor Washington had any high expectations from the negotiations. There is also no opportunity for mutual understanding on key issues. However, apparently, topics have appeared that the parties still need to discuss face to face.

The second point is related to what will happen next with the negotiation process and how both sides see it. Russia has already said that it expects written responses from the US to its security proposals. The Americans are making it clear that at least they don't want to rush into it.”

According to the expert, it is important to understand how the future policy of the Russian Federation in Ukraine will be built. The Americans, judging by the press conference of President Joe Biden, held on the occasion of the anniversary of his stay in the White House, have no clear opinion on this matter.

“The United States would like to see what the United States is capable of in this matter. Russia, – the political scientist continues. – If, for example, Washington decides that no concessions are expected for the Russian Federation upon the admission of Ukraine to NATO, what will Moscow do? Will he defiantly slam the door or not?

Moreover, now different and sometimes even ambiguous signals are coming from Moscow. The other day, Vladimir Putin was offered to recognize the self-proclaimed LPR and DPR. Such a draft appeal to the president was submitted to the lower house of parliament by the Communist Party faction. United Russia is still silent. On the one hand, it seems to be necessary to admit, but on the other hand, this is suggested by the opposition.

What will happen to other topics is also not clear yet. Last year, heads of state agreed on cybersecurity. Now this issue has faded into the background, because both sides are actively discussing Ukraine. And suddenly it turns out that in Moscow, at the request of the United States, eight possible members of the REvil hacker group, accused of a large-scale cyber attack on American companies, are being arrested. Here Russia makes it clear that it is ready to cooperate with Washington on the topic of computer security and share its concerns. It remains only to follow the development of the situation.”

This meeting was initiated by the Americans in order to at least partially clarify key issues, the expert concluded. There was no a priori to expect any big breakthrough from her.


Famous Kazakh archaeologist was mistaken for a terrorist and shot

The family of the deceased sued

The consequences of the protests in Alma-Ata will have to be disentangled for a long time. Details of the execution of civilians emerge. All of them are similar: I was walking by, accidentally came under fire. And only one story stands out. On January 6, Yerlan Zhagiparov, a well-known archaeologist in Kazakhstan, was detained. Employees of the National Guard handcuffed him and took him away in an unknown direction. A few days later, relatives found him in the morgue.

Yerlan Zhagiparov.

49-year-old Yelan Zhagiparov was buried on January 14. Now his brother is looking for those responsible for the death of a loved one.

— On January 6, Yerlan was visiting friends. I left them at 18.45 – we set the exact time on video cameras, – says the brother of the deceased Nurlan. He got home in his car. Parked. And he went towards the central square, to see what was happening there, since he lived nearby.

– At that time, no one could have imagined that people would be shot. No matter how paradoxical it may sound, Yerlan probably did not fully realize the danger. I thought that he was a simple local resident, he would see what was happening and return home. On January 5 and 6, hundreds of curious people walked around that square. Although I warned him: it's better to stay at home. But none of us felt the danger from the security forces. I only advised him to stay away from marauders. Another factor that played a role was that the Internet was turned off in the city and it was not possible to understand what was happening where.

The brother was stopped almost immediately, after 20 minutes. He managed to call a friend and inform that he was detained by the National Guard soldiers. Then the law enforcers picked up the phone. They spoke Kazakh, were rude, and cursed. They said: “We are the National Guard. What is your friend doing here? If you want, come here too.” Then the connection was cut off. We couldn't get through to my brother anymore.

On the right – the deceased Yerlan, on the left – his brother Nurlan.

The search for the missing Yeralan began the next day. Friends of the missing went around the police stations, hospitals.

“My intuition failed me. I could not imagine that his detention is fraught with some terrible consequences,” adds the interlocutor. – We were reassured: do not worry, many curious people were detained, the data was rewritten and released. We expected that Yerlan's identity would also be established and released. After all, he had documents with his home address. When there was no news of him for three days, Yerlan's friends went to the morgue. I had not yet arrived in Kazakhstan. Among the dead brother was not found. According to Yerlan's friend, there were many bodies in the corridor of the morgue. It was emotionally difficult to recognize the dead. Maybe that's why they didn't find him. So we don't know if Yerlan was among those killed then or not.

On January 12, we again went to the morgue. And already with a more thorough examination, they found his body with traces of beatings, gunshot wounds. Arms and ribs were broken. The skin on his knees was torn off – either he was dragged along the ground, or forced to kneel.

– A gunshot wound to the heart and abdomen. We are waiting for the results of the forensic examination to understand from what distance he was shot and at what angle. Yerlan also had handcuffs on his left wrist with a tag: “Unidentified person of Asian nationality.” We copied the numbers of the handcuffs.

— They could not be opened. Then they cut it.

Morgue building in Alma-Ata.

– His documents are now with the investigator. We were told that he did indeed have a driver's license, a registration certificate for his car and for his mother's car, bank cards, and personal belongings. As I understand it, a lot of bodies were brought to the morgue. Documents were confiscated from the pockets of the dead, but they did not mark each one in particular. That is, documents in one heap, bodies in another. And they didn’t find out whose documents belong to whom.

– No, they calmly handed over the body, gave the death certificate. And which one is a terrorist? Yerlan had nothing to do with religion at all. He was not a supporter of religious movements. I was fond of history…

We collected the body on January 13th. Yerlan was buried the next day. And on January 17, on Monday, we went to the police, gave evidence to the investigator.

The head of the investigation department invited us to his place, expressed his condolences. An investigator was quickly appointed to deal with the case. Maybe they reacted differently if Yerlan was not a public figure, and his murder did not cause a wide resonance.

A criminal case was opened on the fact of murder. We have hired a lawyer. And recently we received a call from Astana. They said that perhaps the servicemen were involved in the crime, so the case was transferred to another investigation team. No more news yet. Waiting.

Erlan Zhagiparov.

“I don't know anything about it. He must have filmed something with his phone. Maybe this was the reason for his detention or even death.

— I have no doubt about it. But I don't think anyone listened to him. Now we are planning to reach out to people to find witnesses. We are going to communicate with other families whose loved ones have died. We will exchange materials to help in the investigation. I did not plan to contact human rights activists. I do not see that the investigators somehow hindered us in the investigation. The process is in progress.

– It will be hard to put down. After all, on a mobile phone you can track where it was delivered. They will figure out what kind of weapon and from what distance they shot at him, who detained him and put on handcuffs.

Our story caused a wide resonance. Foreign media, local and even state media have contacted us for comments.

— Yerlan was an active ethnic volunteer. He had a group of like-minded people who were engaged in research and preservation of the historical and cultural heritage of Kazakhstan. He deeply studied the traditions of the Kazakhs. I saw my mission in saving cultural values. I went to archaeological excavations, gave priceless artifacts to the museum. Participated in research expeditions to search for the most ancient rock paintings. By education, he is an architect by education, he built cottages. He was a highly educated and resourceful person.

I'll tell you about one more detail. Yerlan spent several years restoring our father's grave. He made a major project, came up with the structure of the crypt, strengthened it. Here in this crypt we buried him next to his father. Looks like he built it for himself. Yeralan left a 24-year-old daughter – a successful girl, graduated from a leading university in Kazakhstan, works in a foreign company.

– He never participated in the rallies themselves. Was far from all this. He devoted his life to research work.

— We grew up in Alma-Ata, lived in a civilized society. It is absurd for us that in the 21st century a person can be arrested and executed. We will definitely ensure that the people who committed the crime are punished.


“Lukashenko is drifting towards the abyss”: Old Man has prepared an “emergency exit” for himself

But not the fact that he decides to use it

Everything is going according to plan in Belarus, according to the plan of constitutional restructuring initiated by the head of state. It seemed that the well-known events in Kazakhstan would somewhat moderate Alexander Lukashenko's reformist ardor, but no: the plan remained in force. On January 20, the final version of the proposed amendments and additions to the main law of the country was published. At the same time, a presidential decree was issued that scheduled a referendum on constitutional amendments for February 27 this year.


The ballot will contain only one question: “Do you accept amendments and additions to the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus?” And the main intrigue now, respectively, is what answer will be given by the Belarusian people, who, according to both the old, current and new editions of the basic law, “the only source of state power and the bearer of sovereignty.” Joke.

In the outcome of the referendum, no one who is in their right mind and is even slightly aware of the peculiarities of the local national policy, of course, has no doubts. The father says: it is necessary! The people, well, in the sense of the CEC, answers: yes! The intrigue, of course, is different – all the same, which arose at the time of the announcement of the reform and was never dispelled: why did Alexander Grigoryevich need all this? National Assembly, to which a significant part of the powers of the existing power structures will pass. In essence, it will be the most important, supreme body of power, significantly “elevated” above all other institutions, including even the presidential institution.

“The All-Belarusian People's Assembly is the highest representative body of the people's power of the Republic of Belarus, which determines the strategic directions for the development of society and the state, ensures the inviolability of the constitutional order, the continuity of generations and civil harmony,” says Article 89.1 of the new edition of the Belarusian constitution, outlining the functions and powers of the Supreme People's Council.

The powers, for example, are as follows: the All-Belarusian People's Assembly “gives binding instructions to state bodies and officials.” Or here are a couple more notable mandates: “Makes a decision to remove the President from office in the event of a systematic or gross violation of the Constitution or the commission of high treason or other grave crime … Has the right to introduce a state of emergency or martial law on the territory of the Republic of Belarus if there are grounds provided for by the Constitution , and in case of inaction of the President on these issues”.

And Article 144 gives a clear indication of who will head the new powerful body: “A person holding the position of President on the date the amendments and additions to the Constitution come into force may simultaneously be the President and Chairman of the All-Belarusian People's Assembly.” Well, that is, of course, Lukashenka himself will be the head.

Of all the experts specializing in Belarusian issues, political scientist Andrei Suzdaltsev gives, perhaps, the most clear, contrasting, uncomplicated picture of what is happening. Another question, of course, is how this picture corresponds to reality.

“The transit of power in the Republic of Belarus is underway and it cannot be stopped,” the political scientist believes. “It is clear that the broad masses of the people of Belarus would like this transit to take place as early as August 2020, but then it was necessary to really engage in power, and not with balls and walk with hearts… Nevertheless, the protests did the main thing – they literally pushed the Belarusian authoritarian-oligarchic regime off its basic “platform” and Lukashenka began to drift towards the abyss… The constitutional referendum is the next stage of Lukashenka's departure from power. I have already chosen a successor.

And, in principle, the statements of Lukashenka himself confirm this version. Well, except for the reasons for the reform. Their initiator sees them, of course, in a completely different way.

“There are reference points, there are certain criteria,” Alexander Grigorievich said, speaking three days ago at a regular meeting on constitutional amendments. “We have clearly defined: the current generation … must go to sidings, give the new generation an opportunity to come to power. We should not conflict with him, we should, by observing, direct him where necessary.To do this, you need to have leverage… The current president is not eternal, new people will come.

Who will they be? Look, well, future presidents in our country are practically visible. It will not be like this president was elected in 1994. Then everyone was stunned, then they did not know what to do. We saw these nouveaux riches, corruption, banditry that was in the country … Well, they “stuck” into Lukashenka … Well, yes, they stumbled upon it quite by accident, they were elected. Now this will not happen. Now the people are cunning… People will elect consciously.

For this moment, we need this constitution. It is necessary that normal people come to management. And so that we don’t bite our elbows later, that we could fix something, but we don’t leave leverage … If civilized, then the VNS should play this role. “

It seems to be said quite clearly: yes, transit. By the way, Lukashenka's words – “future presidents are practically visible” – also confirm that he has decided on the choice of a successor. According to Suzdaltsev, the successor is Natalya Kochanova, “to whom the main part of the Belarusian nomenklatura, bankers, security officials have already begun to lean.”

To clarify: Kochanova now holds the post of chairman of the Council of the Republic, the upper house of the Belarusian parliament. Natalya Ivanovna became the speaker of the Belarusian Senate two years ago, at the end of 2019. And before that, she worked as the head of the presidential administration for three years. In a word, not a stranger to Lukashenka, not a random person.

But the decisive argument in favor of this version is the new version of the constitution. Today, the second person in the power hierarchy is the prime minister. It is he who becomes the head of the country if for some reason the president loses the reins of government. According to the corrected and supplemented text, the powers of the President are transferred in such cases to the Chairman of the Council of the Republic.

However, according to Suzdaltsev, Lukashenka's calculations, which largely reproduce the Kazakh transit formula, are fundamentally wrong and will lead to the same result: “Lukashenko believes that he controls everything. Naive, he is controlled. And then there will be a repeat of Kazakhstan and calls to the CSTO. The troops will appear and support, but only the second president of Belarus. Nobody needs Lukashenka.”

And this is where a serious logical flaw appears in the expert's version: no one could reproach Alexander Grigoryevich for something, but for naivety. So far, there is no sign that his instincts have betrayed him. From the same speech at the “constitutional” meeting, it is clear that he sees the risks very well: “It is very dangerous to allow dual power. /p>

Why, nevertheless, does Lukashenka take this risk? Well, firstly, Lukashenka is not going anywhere yet. And what's more, it doesn't go away. The possibility of transit is by no means solemn to transit itself. Nothing prevents Lukashenka – so far, at least, such obstacles are not visible – to sit out the current presidential term, while simultaneously holding the post of chairman of the Supreme People's Council. And then – to serve two more terms permitted by the amended and supplemented constitution. And then once again “fuck” the constitution – something familiar.

The exact answer to the question why Lukashenka needs amendments is known today only by Lukashenka himself. But in any case, they do not narrow, but expand its corridor of possibilities. Times are not very calm now, and such an option as a relatively safe “emergency exit” from the forefront of politics (Lukashenka's scheme, for all its similarity to Nazarbayev's, still looks more reliable), will not be superfluous in Lukashenka's political economy. It will come in handy on the farm.

Yes, not to forget: there is one more little “intrigue”. However, who knows, maybe not so small. The version of the constitutional draft, published before the New Year, before the “nationwide discussion”, read: “Changes to the Constitution come into force from the day of the official publication of such changes.”

Now it sounds like this: “Changes to the Constitution come into force through 10 days from the date of official publication of such changes, unless otherwise specified in this section.

Why does Lukashenka need an additional time gap? What will happen in these 10 days? Something that will shake Belarus/Europe/the world? Or will nothing happen? In general, we have to recall the old vulgar anecdote again: “Again this painful uncertainty.”


Putin’s battle plan revealed: the ultimate goal of the game is the recognition of Donbass

Volodina, Peskov and Zyuganov summed up their “actor data”

The Lavrov-Blinken negotiations in Geneva, as expected, ended in nothing – unless, of course, you count the next round of mutual trolling. But in the grand scheme of things, it doesn't really matter anymore. On this very Friday, the veil of secrecy finally lifted from Putin's infamous “Plan B” (which was actually originally Plan A). Vladimir Vladimirovich himself, of course, would not mind keeping the intrigue for some time longer. But the president was summed up by the team of “evil and good investigators” he recruited in the person of Zyuganov, Volodin and Peskov. These politicians are good for everyone – but not for their acting data. This trinity – urgently in GITIS. And for everyone else, get ready for the official recognition by Russia of the independence of the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics.


Early in the morning on the last working day of this week, an urgent message appeared on the Telegram channel of Vyacheslav Volodin, Chairman of the State Duma of the Russian Federation. What is so concerned about our speaker? Do not believe it, “requests from journalists.” And not some abstract wishes, but the desire of the workers of the pen and the television camera to find out the opinion of Vyacheslav Viktorovich about the initiative of Gennady Zyuganov to recognize the DPR and LPR. Asked — we answer: “We see President Zelensky ignoring the Minsk agreements (note to the speaker — in relation to Zelensky, the word “president” can also be written with a small letter). NATO wants to occupy Ukraine. And one, and another can turn into a tragedy. We must not let this happen. 

A little later, the same topic — it would seem, from fundamentally different positions — was the subject of a comment by Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov: “I would like to note that now, when the situation is so tense and sensitive, it is very important to avoid steps that could provoke an increase in this tension. And, of course, it is very important for those who are the authors of this initiative, first of all, not to try to earn some political points on such a thin and fragile matter. Slap? No matter how. 

Let's take a look at the situation brick by brick. What we have? Three “investigators” : “evil” (in relation to the West and Ukraine) Gennady Zyuganov, rather “evil” Vyacheslav Volodin and “kind”, moderate and balanced (again in relation to the West) Dmitry Peskov. Do they work well together? Alas, I'm not ready to believe it. Gennady Andreevich, of course, can sometimes run out of the Kremlin's red lines and temporarily go into political AWOL. But the possibility of a fundamental difference between the positions of Volodin and Peskov — this is something from the realm of non-science fiction. 

And what then relates to the sphere of political realities — Or, rather, what will soon become political realities? I think that's it. Vladimir Putin is very fond of multi-way political combinations, the true purpose of which becomes obvious only at the very last moment. Remember, for example, how the same Vyacheslav Volodin excited the public by publicly expressing his “exclusively personal point of view”; about the need to redistribute powers between the branches of Russian power? If you suddenly forgot, then let me remind you how it all ended: the constitutional reform and the resetting of Putin's presidential terms at the beginning of 2020. And then everyone gasped: they say, the hints were before our eyes, but “we didn’t notice the elephant.” 

Let's try this time to “notice the elephant” on distant (okay, not very distant) approaches. A summer article dedicated to Ukraine by the GDP, whose main message was the thesis “if they do not stop, then we will not tolerate it.” Many experts then remained at a loss. Like, what and how exactly Putin does not intend to endure? Go ahead. Putin's decree of November 15, 2021 with a seemingly completely apolitical title “On the provision of humanitarian support to the population of certain regions of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions of Ukraine.” I will cite only one point from this decree: “Admission on equal terms with goods of Russian origin of goods originating from these regions, in order to purchase goods to meet state and municipal needs.” 

Sorry, but this is not quite “humanitarian support” anymore. This is a demonstrative and very important step towards the integration of the economies of the DPR and LPR with the economy of the “mainland”; – Russia. We continue our political journey. At the end of last year, the level of tension between the Russian Federation and the West increased sharply. The United States begins to fight in hysterics due to the fact that Moscow is allegedly about to “attack Ukraine.” The Kremlin says its “patience has run out” and rolls out NATO a list of its ultimatum demands. Experts plunge into even deeper bewilderment. This is the only way to deal with a defeated and powerless enemy, which the West is definitely not. Given Moscow's public toughness, everyone is starting to fear « big war. 

Only the last act remains unplayed in this political spectacle (my on-duty reservation: a spectacle — in the good sense of the term). Here is its summary: “big war” not happening. Instead, having received a written refusal from the West to accept its key demands, Moscow initiates the process of recognizing the state sovereignty of the rebellious republics of Donbass and guarantees their “security and territorial integrity.”

Publicly, this will cause a new wave of hysteria in the West and Ukraine and a flood of new, perhaps rather biting, sanctions. But non-public statements in the style of “outraged and condemned” will  be accompanied by some relief. The official death of the Minsk agreements (namely, this is what we are de facto talking about) — it's a million times better than a new big war in Europe. Besides, what does the “death of the Minsk agreements” mean in practice? They are long dead and exist only as a phantom. Ukraine has been frankly sabotaging them for years, while the West is diligently looking the other way. This protracted political vaudeville (in the bad sense of the word) could not continue  forever. Sooner or later, Moscow had to either say “why the hell did this Donbass surrender to me!” (just such a scenario would be ideal from the point of view of official Kiev), or officially take Donbass under its protection. “Surrender yours” — not in the style of Putin. Infinitely endure — this is also not the style of GDP. 

We will not have to endure waiting for the outcome of the current crisis either. Of course, this “decoupling” will not put an end to the crisis in relations between the Russian Federation and the West, and the Russian Federation and Ukraine. This crisis will only move into a different phase. But that's a completely different story — a story from tomorrow.

Read the material “The draft recognition by Russia of the DPR and LPR was submitted to the State Duma with errors”


Zelensky doubted the “Ukrainian” affiliation of Kharkov

The President's statement increased the panic of citizens

Ukraine, judging by the latest sayings of its President, has entered perhaps the most “turbulent” period of its recent history. Shaken by a series of economic turmoil, the post-Soviet republic is about to lose its first Soviet capital, Kharkov.


The one and a half million regional center, which for the most part supported Vladimir Zelensky in both rounds of the presidential elections, upon reunification with the Russian Federation, will almost certainly “bring behind itself” a fair amount of a very successful – and most importantly, Russian-speaking – region.

Kharkiv Mayor Igor Terekhov, after Zelensky’s interview in the Washington Post, immediately assured that he had no reason for serious concern, the largest industrial center of Ukraine entrusted to him “has been and will remain a peaceful city.”

Initially, the goal of Volodymyr Zelensky was … to dispel the panic associated with a possible attack on Ukraine by the Russian army. In the end, it turned out that the supreme commander had already come to terms with the loss of Kharkov. Volodymyr Aleksandrovich absolutely deliberately “crossed out” the million-plus city from the list of “key Ukrainian cities”, noting that “Kharkov, ready for Russian occupation, is under the control of the government of Ukraine.”

It is believed that Russia’s “forced taking” of Kharkov will be carried out under the pretext of “protecting the Russian-speaking population.” After “Crimea was occupied and annexed” under similar slogans, we understand that this is feasible and could happen soon,” Zelensky told an American newspaperman.

Kiev journalist Vadim Petrasyuk is among those of my compatriots who, in all seriousness, caught today's signal from “our partners that war could start tomorrow.” The colleague is perplexed: why is the president of the country embarrassed to say: “Kharkov is Ukraine”? Obviously, not only because of the desire to “show off refined literature” a simple and understandable phrase was replaced by the definition “… under government control”, and the first capital of Soviet Ukraine became “a city to the left of Voronezh, to the right of Zhmerinka – on the map like ours.”

“Do we have Kharkov now or is it still with us? Petrasyuk tries to clarify. – And what does “may be occupied” mean? Are you suggesting or allowing?..” At the same time, the journalist is wondering what else the government of Ukraine has “under control”?

Volodymyr Lytvyn, a full member of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, considers the processes of improving the well-being of each of the representatives of the “ancient, proud and wise Ukrainian nation” to be “uncontrollable”. As recently as 2019, presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelensky promised voters just such a “dramatic breakthrough” in their property status.

In just one year, the total number of pensioners suddenly decreased by more than a million people. This fact can hardly be attributed to “labor migration”. “Age guest workers” from the “nezaezhnoy” either in Europe or in Asia are not particularly interesting to anyone. There are plenty of old people there.

According to Zelensky, it turns out that he significantly raised cash payments from the state to pensioners.

Vladimir Litvin cites the following data. Social benefits for retired judges have indeed been increased in Kiev by 23,000 hryvnias, and some even more – by 28,000 hryvnias ($1,000). This is in addition to the 100,000 hryvnias ($3,520) already allocated to the ex-servants of Themis.

The pensions for ordinary hard workers were raised by a mere minuscule: by 100 and 150 hryvnias. (for $3.5 and for $5.3). That is, we are not talking about any social justice, the income gap is huge to the point of obscenity.

Volodymyr Lytvyn, who twice headed the Verkhovna Rada in the past, is sure that due to a noticeable decrease in the burden on the Pension Fund of Ukraine (instead of the recent 14 million pensioners, 11 million people of respectable age live in the country now), it would be quite possible to raise the amount of payments … Well, at least for those who receive monthly 3,000 hryvnias ($105) or less.

“Surviving on that kind of money is problematic,” states the politician. – … References to the fact that Ukraine is at war with Russia and therefore must be tolerated are untenable. If we endure, then all together…”.

In 2014, continues Professor Lytvyn, the salaries of people's deputies of Ukraine were “cut” to 6,000 hryvnias ($210). But today, according to the payrolls of the accounting department of the Verkhovna Rada, each of the “servants of the people” has an official salary of 60 thousand ($2100). And members of the pro-presidential faction “Servant of the People” are given 20-30-50 thousand US dollars in cash in envelopes, depending on their position in the parliamentary hierarchy.

For the sake of fairness, we note: if a deputy skips meetings or votes “wrong”, the leader of the faction, David Arakhamia, has the right to impose a fine on him. That is, to deprive the usual “black cash”.

With the onset of the covid pandemic in Ukraine, the so-called “covid fund” was formed. 78 billion hryvnias ($2 billion 746 million) were “injected” into it.

Soon, 68 billion hryvnias were redirected to the state project “Great Construction”, that is, to overhaul, repair roads, and lay new highways.

The audit showed that approximately 30 billion were spent … well, not quite for the intended purpose. Simply put, every second hryvnia is stolen. It is not possible to find where these money “sailed”.

Well, the “covid” hospitals function solely thanks to the dedication of medical workers and volunteers who selflessly help them.

Therefore, guessing “when Putin will attack? – to put it mildly, inappropriate. Permeated through with all sorts of corruption schemes, Ukraine can “fall” at any moment. Itself, without the invasion of the “little green men” mentioned in vain these days by American high-ranking politicians.

A couple of days ago, Zelensky warned his compatriots against buying buckwheat and matches for future use. Like, don’t believe the spiteful critics, no one will “move on” us, we are stronger than ever!

“I see that all the politicians lined up in a wedge and went to save Kharkiv,” popular blogger Elena Monova sneers. – All as one. Now I am calm. I changed my mind about emigrating. Do they take matches back to the store?”.


The expert explained the appearance of Russian military equipment in the DPR

Kyiv's provocations will be rebuffed

Ukrainian intelligence announced the transfer of Russian tanks and ammunition to the territory of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics. The expert suggested that the drawdown of the armed forces may be related to Russia's plan to recognize the self-proclaimed DPR and LPR.

Photo: dan-

According to the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, since the beginning of January, several units of tanks, self-propelled artillery mounts, as well as ammunition have been removed from the territory of Russia to the unrecognized republics. Military equipment was delivered by rail and road.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, in an interview with The Washington Post, suggested that Moscow plans to intensify the escalation of the conflict in territories where “historically inhabited by people” who have family ties to Russia. For example, under the guise of protecting the Russian-speaking population, Moscow can take control of Kharkov.

Eduard Basurin, a representative of the People's Militia of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic, made similar claims to the Ukrainian side. According to him, Kiev deployed eight Smerch and Uragan multiple launch rocket systems to Donbass.

Political scientist Sergei Markov, in a conversation with MK, assessed the likelihood of large-scale hostilities:

– Do not forget that there is a psychological war, and both sides can either openly lie or tell half-truths. Nobody can be trusted. But, if this information is true, then there may be several scenarios.

Firstly, if Russia recognizes the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics, then troops on the border are necessary so that the Kiev regime does not gave the order to go on the offensive.

The second option: the Kiev authorities will give the order to the Armed Forces of Ukraine to go on the offensive. Then Russia will respond to these actions, and this time it will not stop only at defense.

– Do you think Russia can recognize the DPR and LPR as independent states?

– The likelihood of this, in my opinion , is equal to 85%.

– What sanctions against Russia may follow from this decision?

– There will be no large sanctions. Biden has already stated that if there is a small invasion, then there will be no response from them. And if it is big, then there will be an answer. That is, it can be interpreted as follows: Donbass – take away, but you can’t enter Kharkov, Odessa, the Black Sea region.

– Why do you think that Russia will recognize the self-proclaimed republics after eight years?

– Russia feels back to the wall. There were many agreements, and it constantly turned out to be a deception on the part of the Ukrainian side. I think Moscow is counting on Biden not acting like Trump, who was ready for drastic measures. In addition, now is such a moment that Russia has an advantage over the United States in the field of nuclear missile weapons.


What kind of atomic clock did a descendant of Pushkin keep?

Weekly “Arguments and Facts” No. 03. Either a bus, or a vision. When will the modernization of public transport reach cities and villages? 01/19/2022

Sergey Borisovich Pushkin, born in Moscow in 1925, was the great-grandson of Alexander Alexandrovich, the eldest son of the great poet. After graduation, he came to work in the laboratory of the Central Research Institute of Radio Measurements. Over time, it turned into the Institute of Metrology of Time and Space (VNIIFTRI), and Pushkin's great-great-grandson, starting as an engineer, rose to the post of deputy director.

When Sergey Borisovich headed the institute's time service laboratory, it was she who transmitted through radio stations country time check signals (known as “6 dots”). In 1964, VNIIFTRI began to develop the State primary standard of time, frequency and atomic time scale. In 1967, it was officially approved by the State Standard. The standard was based on quantum mechanical hydrogen generators and a group of high-precision quartz clocks.

All these works were carried out under the guidance of the chief designer of the State Standard of Time and Frequency, Sergei Pushkin. He was also appointed its guardian. The atomic clocks created by Soviet scientists turned out to be a million times more accurate than those based on the rotation of the Earth. Their error — 1 second in 500 thousand years!

Sergei Borisovich has been the keeper of this watch for 30 years. He passed away on July 9, 2015


Nutrition and self-education. How to lose weight by 70 kg

AIF Zdorovye No. 1-2. Is Omicron the most contagious and not the last strain of COVID-19? 18/01/2022

By the age of 50, Internet editor Mikhail Verny gained 206 kg of weight. And I decided enough is enough. In just a year, he managed not only to lose weight, but to lose the weight of a whole person! Next target – reach 100 kg. And then reach the ideal 80 kg.

To get fat, says Mikhail, he began from birth. Already in kindergarten, he was teased for this. At school too. He came to the recruiting station with a weight under a centner. The Soviet army for 2 years, of course, made a man out of him, he could even wear size 48 suits. But after a couple of years, there was no trace of the former article. 

Food as a form of leisure

Michael's family loved to eat. True, at the same time, my father actively played football, and my mother, in addition to work, tirelessly busied herself with the housework. But Mikhail liked to lie on the couch with a book and eat. Fortunately, my mother cooked well, and her dishes were mostly high-calorie: kharcho soup, chops, fried potatoes, dumplings. Mikhail's grandfather is from the Urals. From him, the tradition began to gather with the whole family and sculpt 1000 dumplings, and for the next few days they eat them from morning to evening. First, 15 steaming dumplings were laid out for each, and when they were eaten, the grandfather, defiantly patting his stomach, announced: “Tamped. Start the second portion. Then a third. Mikhail recalls that they sat down at the table during the day, and got up because of it closer to the night. .jpg” height=”600″ width=”356″ style=”display: block;” />

Initially, Mikhail planned to have an operation to reduce the stomach. Photo: from the personal archive of Mikhail Verny

Happy student life is over. Life has become more orderly and less riotous. Now Mikhail mostly rested at the TV on the couch, in the restaurant. The work was also sedentary, and at the same time difficult, nervous and responsible. And these two moments – physical inactivity and stress – only exacerbated the problem.

Like any overweight person, Mikhail tried to lose weight many times. Every time a new miracle cure came along, whether it was a dietary supplement or a blood type diet, he tried it and hoped. The results were, but not too noticeable and, in addition, short-lived. In addition, my head hurt, my strength left, my mood deteriorated.

But the problem needed a solution. Then Mikhail decided to resort to bariatric surgery. This operation is difficult, but it helps to lose weight dramatically. But it turned out that a person with his weight first needs to go through the preliminary stage – surgical installation of an intragastric balloon (placed for six months). Mikhail learned that with his gastritis, this is fraught with complications. I thought about it and abandoned the idea.

You can't live like this!

But health deteriorated. There were severe swelling of the legs, shortness of breath, apnea (holding the breath during sleep, dangerous for the heart and brain), hypertension, trophic ulcers, increased sugar and cholesterol levels. There is nothing to say about domestic inconveniences – bending down to tie shoelaces became impossible. However, the realization that it is no longer possible to live like this came suddenly a year ago. On the eve of the New Year, Mikhail went for groceries, slipped and stretched out right at the entrance to the store. A woman who came up to help, unable to bear his weight, also fell down next to him. A third one came up. Then Mikhail realized that if he would give his hand to him, there would already be three of them. He rolled back to the nearest bench to stand up, leaning on it, and heard after: “Where did this bun roll?” Then he thought of his mother, whom he had cared for for the last two years of her life after she broke her hip, and realized that he might be helpless, but there would be no one to look after him. Then he turned to the First City Hospital, where they treat obesity. There he was offered to take part in a weight loss project. It didn't take long to persuade him.

Cool changes

At the beginning, the plan was – lose some weight to have stomach reduction surgery. But in the end, it turned out that Mikhail lost 70 kg in a year, and so far he does not need an operation. He even inspired others with his example, and now he has followers in the group on social networks. jpg” height=”600″ width=”343″ style=”display: block;” />

But in the end, he lost 70 kg in a year, and so far he does not need an operation. Photo: from the personal archive of Mikhail Verny

I had to reduce portions and reduce the amount of fatty foods and fast carbohydrates (bread, pasta, white rice, sweets), as well as increase physical activity. A nutritionist from Pervaya Gradskaya helped develop a diet, because not everything was possible for Mikhail. Red meat, spinach, and other foods that raise uric acid levels have been banned because of gout. And because of the high creatinine, I had to limit what could have a bad effect on the kidneys (the same meat, for example). But the vegetables that Mikhail almost never ate before, on the contrary, were added. It turned out that steamed zucchini – it's even delicious. Mikhail learned to drink ordinary water. The doctor asks to drink 2.5 liters daily, until this succeeds, but at least 1.5 liters of water per day is wasted.

Our hero is lucky – he does not like flour and sweets. Restricting meat was harder, but fish, seafood, cottage cheese, and lean turkey didn't turn out so bad in the end. And considering that the size of the usual portion has decreased three times, it turns out not so expensive. Refusal of alcohol, with which Mikhail used to relax, became the biggest problem. But he managed. And my friends supported me, now they come to him for tea. 

Physical activity was also difficult. Previously, Mikhail walked to the nearest store with two stops, sat down on a bench along the way. At first he walked 700 meters a day, but every day he increased the load. Now he walks at least 5,000 steps a day.

Nutrition and self-education

Hunger and a terrible mood tormented Mikhail for the first three months. Then they gave way to sports passion. The first successes in losing weight turned out to be a real drug. But at first, losing weight was really difficult. And, as Mikhail himself admits, he would probably have quit if it were not for an innate sense of responsibility. He promised that he would participate in the program, and announced its launch publicly on social networks. There was nowhere to go.

It cannot be said that during this year Mikhail never allowed himself too much. But all these indulgences were controlled. They were approved by a nutritionist, because you can’t live on constant bans. For example, on the eve of the anniversary of a friend, our hero discussed with the doctor how to behave at a banquet. The doctor advised me to stop at 2 glasses of brut champagne (or dry wine). Since alcohol is not only high in calories, but also leads to fluid retention. The nutritionist also warned against mayonnaise salads and cold cuts. However, if you really want to, you can eat, but not much. The main thing in the diet – not prohibitions, but a sense of proportion. After all, the diet – Not a one-time action, but a way of life forever. Now Mikhail's blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol have returned to normal, the swelling of his legs has almost disappeared (the need to wear compression stockings and undergo vein surgery has disappeared). 

Advice from our hero:

  • See a nutritionist. It is important to choose the right diet and control the process. It is necessary to constantly do tests, for example, bioimpedance, in order to understand why the weight is lost: due to fat or muscles. You need to take drugs to prevent gallstones, as large weight loss increases this risk.
  • Find what you need to lose weight for. Motivation – the most important thing in losing weight. For Mikhail, the main incentive was the desire to travel, to move.
  • Turn off emotions. This strategy, which our hero learned in the army, helped him survive the first – the most difficult – months of diet. Do not give in to negative thoughts, accept your new life as a necessity. Do not feel sorry for yourself, but do what you must. Sooner or later you will get used to it. As soon as the psychological discomfort disappears, it will become easier to lose weight.
  • Don't lose hope and patience. Weight can stand for two weeks even on a strict diet, and this is normal. Lose weight – it is long, difficult, but possible.
  • Источник

    Historical figures: what they really looked like

    Scientists have learned to recreate the appearance of people who have long passed away. This became possible thanks to modern computer technologies, as well as the process of reconstructing the face from the skull using the method of anthropological reconstruction of the appearance.

    More — in the photo feed.

    Scientists have recreated the appearance of Pharaoh Tutankhamun. The new portrait of Tutankhamun was recreated using computer modeling of appearance based on the analysis of the anatomical features of the mummy. The mummy of this pharaoh was studied using a tomograph. Over 2000 scans were received. In addition, scientists also conducted DNA analyzes of the genetic material of Tutankhamen himself and his relatives. Studies that lasted more than 10 years made it possible to find out what the pharaoh looked like in life © Youtube Screenshot/AiF Collage jpg” height=”533″ width=”800″ style=”display: block;” />

    Composer Johann Sebastian Bach. Based on a laser scan of the composer's skull and documentary sources, Scottish anthropologist Caroline Wilkinson, together with artist Caroline Needham, recreated his appearance ©

    Meritamon was the great queen of Egypt, who lived about 2000 years ago. Scientists from the University of Melbourne determined from the mummified remains that she was between 18 and 25 years old. To recreate the appearance of Meritamon, scientists resorted to medical research, forensic science, computed tomography and 3D printing technology © Youtube Screenshot

    Henry of Navarre ruled France from 1589 to 1610. Philipp Frosch created a three-dimensional computer model based on a CT scan of Heinrich's mummified head © Screenshot of Youtube/Visualforensic

    Scientists reconstructed the appearance of a mummy that was found in an ancient Egyptian tomb in the Valley of the Kings and received the designation KV55 (Kings' Valley No. 55). Historical and archaeological research, including some artifacts in the tomb, suggests that the KV55 mummy is Pharaoh Akhenaten (r. 1353–36/35 BC) © Screenshot/FAPAB Research Center

    Robert Burns was such a popular poet and folklorist that his birthday became a public holiday in Scotland. The appearance of Robert Burns was reconstructed from fragments of the skull and portraits in his lifetime, as well as from the written testimonies of his contemporaries © Youtube screenshot height=”483″ width=”800″ style=”display: block;” />

    A DNA test showed that the mummy, known as the “Younger Lady”, is the sister of Akhenaten (Thoth's father) and the mother of Tuttankhamun. Many researchers believe that the remains belong to Nefertiti, the great queen of Egypt. The reconstruction of the appearance of an ancient Egyptian mummy was performed at the University of Bristol. The process was led by Egyptologist Aiden Dodson. Paleoartist Elizabeth Danes sculpted directly © Youtube screenshot

    In 2012, the skeleton of the legendary English king Richard III, who died at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485, was found in a car park in Leicester. The restoration of the appearance was carried out by Caroline Wilkinson, she was based on the data of the genetic examination and the shape of the king's skull. The image turned out to be similar to portraits painted after the death of the monarch, including the earliest version – a portrait of Richard III from the collection of the Society of Antiquaries of London, created in the 1520s ©

    Scientists have recreated the appearance of Pharaoh Tutankhamun. The new portrait of Tutankhamun was recreated using computer modeling of appearance based on the analysis of the anatomical features of the mummy. The mummy of this pharaoh was studied using a tomograph. Over 2000 scans were received. In addition, scientists also conducted DNA analyzes of the genetic material of Tutankhamen himself and his relatives. Studies that lasted more than 10 years made it possible to find out what the pharaoh looked like in life © Youtube Screenshot/AiF Collage jpg” height=”533″ width=”800″ style=”display: block;” />

    Composer Johann Sebastian Bach. Based on a laser scan of the composer's skull and documentary sources, Scottish anthropologist Caroline Wilkinson, together with artist Caroline Needham, recreated his appearance ©

    Meritamon was the great queen of Egypt, who lived about 2000 years ago. Scientists from the University of Melbourne determined from the mummified remains that she was between 18 and 25 years old. To recreate the appearance of Meritamon, scientists resorted to medical research, forensic science, computed tomography and 3D printing technology © Youtube Screenshot

    Henry of Navarre ruled France from 1589 to 1610. Philipp Frosch created a three-dimensional computer model based on a CT scan of Heinrich's mummified head © Screenshot of Youtube/Visualforensic

    Scientists reconstructed the appearance of a mummy that was found in an ancient Egyptian tomb in the Valley of the Kings and received the designation KV55 (Kings' Valley No. 55). Historical and archaeological research, including some artifacts in the tomb, suggests that the KV55 mummy is Pharaoh Akhenaten (r. 1353–36/35 BC) © Screenshot/FAPAB Research Center

    Robert Burns was such a popular poet and folklorist that his birthday became a public holiday in Scotland. The appearance of Robert Burns was reconstructed from fragments of the skull and portraits in his lifetime, as well as from the written testimonies of his contemporaries © Youtube screenshot height=”483″ width=”800″ style=”display: block;” />

    A DNA test showed that the mummy, known as the “Younger Lady”, is the sister of Akhenaten (Thoth's father) and the mother of Tuttankhamun. Many researchers believe that the remains belong to Nefertiti, the great queen of Egypt. The reconstruction of the appearance of an ancient Egyptian mummy was performed at the University of Bristol. The process was led by Egyptologist Aiden Dodson. Paleoartist Elizabeth Danes sculpted directly © Youtube screenshot

    In 2012, the skeleton of the legendary English king Richard III, who died at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485, was found in a car park in Leicester. The restoration of the appearance was carried out by Caroline Wilkinson, she was based on the data of the genetic examination and the shape of the king's skull. The image turned out to be similar to portraits painted after the death of the monarch, including the earliest version – a portrait of Richard III from the collection of the Society of Antiquaries of London, created in the 1520s ©


    The main features of a typical resident of different cities. infographics

    Weekly “Arguments and Facts” No. 03. Either a bus, or a vision. When will the modernization of public transport reach cities and villages? 01/19/2022

    Click to enlarge 


    Why are there fewer newborns in maternity hospitals?

    Weekly “Arguments and Facts” No. 03. Either a bus, or a vision. When will the modernization of public transport reach cities and villages? 01/19/2022

    Number of children conceived at the beginning of the first lockdowns in 2020 in Russia and Europe and born in January-February 2021, 10% less than a year earlier.

    Demographic results for 2021  will not be positive either.

    Ekaterina Donskikh, director of the AiF Charitable Foundation. Kind heart», mother of four children:

    – “Just don't give birth on New Year's Eve”,  – I said to myself. Everything really happened before. But what I saw in the maternity hospital amazed me. Chamber, equipment, personnel qualification – at a decent level. And & nbsp; here's who I  didn't see there, so it's women in labor. «Little, oh, how little they give birth!» – midwives and pediatricians lamented.

    Ten years ago, everything was packed here, the beds stood in the corridor, where expectant mothers waited their turn. And since 2015, as statistics show, the birth rate in Russia is going down. The demo & shy; graphic pit of 1990 & ndash; 1997 & nbsp; But researchers say that this small generation is also pushing back the creation of a ­family. In priority they personal life and career. The President, at the last press conference, explained the low birth rate with this shift in values. 

    Some sociologists predicted that after the lockdown there would be a baby boom, but in reality, after the restrictions were lifted, it was much more common for spouses to run away for divorce than go to maternity hospitals. And someone was in no hurry with procreation for completely understandable fear for health­e. However, the coronavirus has been with us for two years, and it is not known how long it will linger. So the question is: has the pandemic become a real reason or just a reason not to plan a replenishment
    in the family?

    Yes, the government is doing a lot to support young families: increasing birth payments, expanding the use of maternity capital, subsidized mortgage. This is a good help for those who have already decided to become parents. But they are unlikely to be able to change the opinion of those who decided to wait for “better times”. And I really want to ask those who are waiting: are you sure that in this expectation you will not miss the chance to become happy? After all, the race for career and pleasure has no finish line. And here is the biological time allotted to us, of course. And there is very little of it. Is it necessary to spend it so ­meanly? 

    The opinion of the author may not coincide with the position of the editors


    The President of Moldova said that Russia sent “their people” to the country

    Maia Sandu: Russia tried to prevent Moldova's exit from the USSR by sending “their people” The Russian authorities sent their troops to Transnistria in order to prevent Moldova from leaving the USSR and becoming independent, Sandu said. Now Chisinau is in dialogue with Moscow on the withdrawal of troops from the region

    Russia has sent “its people” in Transnistria to prevent Moldova from becoming independent from the USSR, said Moldovan President Maia Sandu in an interview with Pro TV. Now Chisinau is trying to negotiate with Moscow on the withdrawal of troops from Transnistria.

    “The war in Transnistria was an attempt to interfere with the independence of Moldova. Forces that did not want us to become independent tried to stop this process. <…> It is quite clear to everyone that Russia sent its people for these actions against Moldova,»,— said Sandu.

    According to her, the presence of this conflict in Transnistria is a serious obstacle to the development of Moldova and an obstacle on its European path.

    The President also said that Moldova is conducting with Russia a “difficult but necessary” dialogue on the withdrawal of Russian troops from Transnistria. “We are discussing the problem of the withdrawal of the Russian military, there is the problem of the elimination of weapons from warehouses in Kolbasna. We would like to speed up the solution of this issue, there are also problems of an economic nature,— added Sandu.

    In the summer of 2021, Dmitry Kozak, Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration of Russia, said that Chisinau asked Moscow to help dispose of the ammunition that is located on the territory of Pridnestrovie. He stated that the elimination of expired ammunition that cannot be transported is in the interests of Russia.

    The shells in question are in an ammunition depot near the village of Kolbasna, which is located in the region of the Moldovan-Ukrainian border . A task force of Russian troops is stationed in the region.

    The conflict in Transnistria escalated after Moldova left the USSR. Local residents, most of whom were Russians and Ukrainians, demanded the separation of the region from Moldova. In 1992, in connection with this, clashes began, which lasted several months. Then the presidents of Moldova and Russia signed an agreement on a peaceful settlement of the conflict, after which Russian peacekeepers entered Pridnestrovie.

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    Poroshenko refused to be a friend of Zelensky

    Poroshenko refused to be a friend of Zelensky, but called for uniting for the sake of saving Ukraine. According to the ex-president, he does not want to scare anyone, but the country can fight back “when it is strong, and it is strong when it is united.” In this regard, he called for unity in the face of the “Russian threat”

    Former President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko said that he would not make friends with the current head of state, Vladimir Zelensky. Despite this, he called for unity in the face of the threat. The former head of state said this on the air of the talk show “Freedom of Speech by Savik Shuster” on YouTube.

    “Zelensky will definitely not be my friend, and I know that. But today I urge: we all must unite in front of a real threat, since underestimation of the threat— it is also a crime,— noted Poroshenko.

    According to him, he does not want to scare anyone, but Ukraine can fight back, “when it is strong, and it is strong when it is united.”

    Poroshenko, in response to Zelensky's appeal, asked to respect the Ukrainians. On January 19, the Ukrainian leader urged citizens not to panic over reports of “aggression” against the country and not “buying buckwheat and matches.” According to him, “the war has been going on for the eighth year.” The ex-president considered that the head of state allowed himself to address the Ukrainians as “some kind of undeveloped people.”

    Zelensky noted in his address that “now they are actively attacking not our land, but your nerves. Purpose— weaken Ukraine and force it to make concessions, he believes.

    Western media and countries have repeatedly reported that Russia is preparing an “invasion” to Ukraine. In particular, the United States and Germany stated that the country had concentrated more than 100,000 troops on the border with a neighboring state. The White House does not rule out that the “attack” can happen at any moment.

    Moscow responded by saying that it did not threaten anyone, and that it was moving troops around its own territory and at its own discretion. The Foreign Ministry, in turn, admitted that the West itself is preparing “large-scale provocations, including military ones” in Ukraine.

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    “He himself is called that”: what did Biden do a year after being elected

    A year ago, US President Joe Biden took office. During this time, he managed to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, create a new alliance in the Pacific Ocean, and meet with Putin. About the year of Biden's rule – in RBC video


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    NATO ruled out the withdrawal of troops from Bulgaria and Romania at the request of Russia

    NATO considered unacceptable Russia's demand for the withdrawal of troops from Romania and Bulgaria The alliance said that this would lead to the division of countries into first and second grade. Moscow demands the withdrawal of NATO forces from the territory of countries that were not members of the alliance in 1997. Bulgaria and Romania joined it only in 2004

    NATO rejected Russia's demand for the withdrawal of troops from Romania and Bulgaria, Oana Lungescu, the official representative of the alliance, said on Twitter.

    “Russia's demands will divide the NATO countries into first and second grade, which is unacceptable. We reject any idea of ​​spheres of influence in Europe,” — she wrote.

    Moscow demands the withdrawal of NATO military forces and equipment from the territory of countries that were not members of the alliance in 1997. These are, in particular, Bulgaria and Romania, which joined NATO only in 2004.

    In the spring of 1997, Russia and the North Atlantic Alliance signed the Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security, which stated that the parties did not consider each other as adversaries. By 1997, NATO did not include the states of Eastern Europe. Several waves of bloc expansion followed. In 1999, the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary joined it, in 2004— Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Romania, Bulgaria, Slovenia and Slovakia, in 2009— Croatia and Albania, and in 2020— North Macedonia.

    Russia is trying to obtain security guarantees from the West, primarily regarding the refusal to advance NATO to the east and accept the former USSR countries, including Ukraine and Georgia, into its ranks . In January, Moscow held talks with the United States and its allies in the alliance and the OSCE. However, the parties failed to reach a compromise. After failed negotiations, Russia requested a written response to its proposals. Washington promised to hand it over next week.

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    WP learns of US request to Russia not to release safeguards response

    WP: The US asked Russia not to make public the answer on the guarantees after Lavrov's statement At the same time, the State Department did not rule out that Moscow would make the document public. According to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, this “would be right”

    The United States asks Russia not to publicize the response to Moscow's proposals on security guarantees, writes The Washington Post. At the same time, a senior State Department official admitted that the Russian side could release the document as soon as Washington hands it over.

    The interlocutor noted that while the United States response still does not satisfy Russia's demand that NATO refuse to move east and accept Ukraine into its ranks, the administration of President Joe Biden believes that Russian leader Vladimir Putin will familiarize himself with it,— in the interests of the United States.

    “There is one person in Russia who makes decisions, and this person— President Putin»,— said an administration official.

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said “it was right” publicize the United States response. According to him, he will ask Secretary of State Anthony Blinken about it. Lavrov and Blinken held talks in Geneva on January 21.

    Putin has repeatedly said that Moscow needs “precisely legal, legal guarantees,” since the West has not fulfilled its verbal obligations. In particular, that NATO will not move east.

    On December 17 last year, the Foreign Ministry released drafts of a treaty with the United States on security guarantees and an agreement on security arrangements with NATO. They focus on guarantees that the alliance will not move further to the east, concentrate offensive strike weapons systems near the borders, join the states formerly part of the USSR, including Ukraine, conduct any military activity on the territory of this country, as well as other states. Eastern Europe, Transcaucasia and Central Asia.

    On 10, 12 and 13 January, Russia held talks with the US and its NATO and UN allies. Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). However, it was not possible to reach a compromise in the negotiations.

    Russia asked for a written response to its proposals. The Secretary of State promised to hand it over next week. According to White House press secretary Jen Psaki, the United States will set out its proposals for strengthening arms control and building confidence in it.

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    US fails to mobilize all allies to boycott Beijing Olympics

    Chinese Authorities Warn Foreign Athletes Not to Protest


    Thursday, January 20, the first snow of this year fell in the Chinese capital, which improved the overall atmosphere of the upcoming 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

    Beijing has officially entered the Olympic period, preparing to receive massive arrivals of delegations from around the world in the coming days, testing its anti-epidemic defenses. According to the Chinese official publication Global Times, the capital of China is fiercely fighting both the Omicron variant of the coronavirus and Delta, strengthening measures to ensure the safe conduct of the Games. Officials, athletes and staff in charge of the event promise that the Olympic event will run smoothly and successfully.

    Comparing the 2022 Games to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the organizers say the overall situation has greatly improved to date, such as the country's increased ability to apply big data and artificial intelligence technologies to help ensure security during the world's biggest sporting event.

    Meanwhile, if on the eve of the 2008 Olympics there was criticism of Beijing in the West, the intensity of passions today looks much hotter. China and Western countries are preparing not only for sports, but also for political battles.

    The Chinese authorities have warned Olympic athletes that they will be “punished” if they stage anti-Beijing protests during the Winter Games, writes the Daily Mail .

    This warning is from Yang Shu, Deputy Director General of Beijing 2022 International Relations Department.

    As you know, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has been criticized for allowing China to host the Olympic Games amid accusations against Beijing in connection with human rights violations against minority groups, in particular the Uyghurs, whom the United States considers victims of “genocide”. For its part, China denies allegations of human rights violations.

    Speaking at a virtual briefing hosted by the Chinese embassy in Washington on Wednesday, Yang Shu said, “I am confident that any expression that is in line with the Olympic spirit will be protected, and any behavior or speech that is contrary to the Olympic spirit, especially against Chinese laws and regulations, will also subject to certain punishment. The official added that the cancellation of accreditation is a potential punishment in accordance with the recommendations of the organizers.

    And while one of the rules of the Olympic Charter states that “demonstrations or political, religious or racial propaganda are prohibited at any Olympic venues,” this requirement was relaxed last year to allow gestures on the field – provided they are performed without violation and with respect for competitors.

    The IOC has also made it clear that athletes are free to express their opinion on any matter at press conferences and in interviews, unless this happens during competitions or award ceremonies.

    At the past Olympic Games, any violation of the Olympic Charter by athletes was dealt with exclusively by the IOC, and not by the host country, reminds the Daily Mail.

    But Human Rights Watch watchdogs recently warned Olympians not to speak out on rights issues in Beijing for their own safety, and also referred to the “Orwellian surveillance state” that the organization claims China has become. .

    As Dr. Sophie Richardson, director of China for Human Rights Watch, said recently, one of the features of the 2008 Beijing Olympics was “the use by the authorities of what was then considered high technology,” but, in her words, “it pales in comparison with the Orwellian state of surveillance that authorities are now using across the country, where tools such as artificial intelligence and intelligent police, big data databases, extensive social media surveillance, prevent people from participating in certain types of conversations. Everyone who travels to the country for these Games – journalists, athletes, coaches – should know that such surveillance can also affect them.

    Particular concerns in the West are that the smartphone app that China requires all athletes attending the Beijing Winter Games to download has security issues that could expose sensitive data.

    China is requiring all foreign Olympic participants, including coaches and journalists, to download and start using the app 14 days before departure, according to Western media. This app allows users to send essential health information daily and is part of China's efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic during the Olympics. The multi-purpose application also includes chat features, file transfer, weather updates, travel advice and GPS navigation.

    Olympians in a number of Western countries have been advised to bring disposable phones to the Games amid fears that Chinese intelligence agencies will hack into their mobile devices. In particular, the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee has already issued a recommendation to athletes advising them to “assume that every device and every communication, transaction, and online activity will be monitored.”

    “Security should not be expected.” or data privacy when operating in China,” this guide says.

    Internet watchdog group Citizen Lab said in a report that the MY2022 app has serious encryption flaws that make sensitive user data and any other data transmitted through it vulnerable to hacking. According to the report, other sensitive user data in the app was not encrypted at all.

    This means that Chinese ISPs or telecommunications companies can read data through Wi-Fi hotspots in hotels, airports and Olympic venues, writes the Daily Mail.

    However, the Citizen Lab report states that there is no evidence that the easily detectable security flaws in the MY2022 app were intentionally posted by the Chinese government. First, it is argued that much of the sensitive health information stored on the app must be submitted directly to the authorities on healthcare customs forms. Citizen Lab also stated that the security vulnerabilities found in the MY2022 app are similar to those found in popular Chinese web browsers, and noted that “the lack of protection for user data is common in the Chinese app ecosystem.”

    * * *

    Several countries, including the US, UK, Japan and Australia, have effectively declared a diplomatic boycott of the Games due to human rights concerns in China. In particular, in the West, Beijing is accused of detaining more than a million Uyghurs in Xinjiang in the framework, as claimed by Western politicians. campaigns to “destroy the traditional culture, language and” Turkic Muslim population. China, on the other hand, not only denies human rights violations, but also condemns the boycott as a betrayal of Olympic principles.

    The POLITICO publication divided the countries whose leaders decided to skimp on their presence at the Olympic events in the capital of China.

    The first group includes those states that defiantly announced a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Olympics.

    One of the first in early December decided to diplomatically boycott the Beijing Olympics Lithuania. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Baltic Republic announced that the head of the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry, Gabrielius Landsbergis, will not take part in the Winter Olympics. Vilnius and Beijing have had a rocky relationship in recent months as Lithuania's deepening ties with Taiwan, which China considers part of its territory.

    The United States also announced a diplomatic boycott – the Biden administration announced on December 6 that it would not send an official US delegation to Beijing. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki cited “the ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang” as the reasons for the demarche.

    Official representatives of the Australian government will not go to the Olympics in China either. However, Australian athletes will compete in the Games, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said when Canberra decided on Dec. 8 to join the boycott. Almost simultaneously, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that his government ministers would not be present at the Games. “It will be in fact a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics,” Johnson said, justifying London’s decision by accusing China of human rights violations.

    Then, on December 8, Canada announced a diplomatic boycott of the sporting event. “We will not be sending any diplomatic representatives to the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Beijing this winter,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, adding that the Maple Leaf decision should not “come as a surprise” to China.

    Later, Belgian Prime Minister Alexandre de Croo announced his intention not to send representatives of the federal government to the Winter Olympics in the Chinese capital. Denmark and Estonia also joined the diplomatic boycott.

    Another group of countries, according to POLITICO, were those states that motivated the absence of their official representatives at the Games in Beijing with fears related to the coronavirus pandemic.

    In particular, New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson said on December 7 that Wellington would not send government officials to China due to a number of factors, “but mostly related to COVID.”

    And Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer in December, opposed the “politicization of the Games”, but made it clear, however, that due to the demands made in connection with the coronavirus in China, there would be no high-ranking politicians from Austria in Beijing. “I prefer to meet our athletes in person in Vienna,” Nehammer said.

    As the reason for his absence from the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympic Games in Beijing, Slovenian President Borut Pahor the current wave of coronavirus.

    The COVID-19 pandemic motivated Sweden's decision not to send government representatives to the Beijing Olympics and the sports minister of the Scandinavian country Anders Igeman, while making an awkward nod to China: “This is not a diplomatic boycott.”

    The Netherlands will not send an official diplomatic delegation to the Olympics, the Dutch Foreign Ministry spokesman citing COVID-19 restrictions. According to him, because of these measures, there will not be enough substantive options for discussing “the great concern of the Netherlands about the human rights situation.”

    As for Japan, Tokyo took an ambivalent position, avoiding mentioning a diplomatic boycott and stating that high-ranking representatives will not be sent to Beijing, in part because of human rights concerns, but Olympic officials will go, one of whom is also a member of parliament.

    A number of European countries are weighing the pros and cons, trying to determine the level of participation of their representatives in the opening ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Games. Against this background, with great surprise, the observers perceived the decision of Polish President Andrzej Duda, despite the position of the United States, to go to the Olympics in Beijing and meet with Xi Jinping.

    “Poland is a sovereign state and decides its own policy towards China,” Duda's foreign affairs adviser Jakub Kumoch told Reuters. “Poland is an ally of the United States, but Poland also has very friendly relations with China.”

    As Poland's relations with the United States deteriorated under the Joe Biden administration, continued criticism of Beijing is just to to please the Americans is no longer in the interests of Warsaw. Moreover, the Polish president's relations with China have recently been positive: he made a surprise appearance at the 17+1 summit with China, while other Central European countries sent representatives of a lower rank. Duda said that Poland plans to take advantage of its geographical position to increase its role in trade between Europe and China.

    According to the Chinese edition of the Global Times, some top leaders and officials of international organizations have already confirmed their participation in the Olympic events. organizations such as UN Secretary General António Guterres, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, and Mongolian Prime Minister Luvsannamsrai Oyun-Erdene.


    New conflicts in 2022: the main risks for Russia are named

    Expert: we are not allowed to relax literally for a single day

    What conflicts are possible in the world in the coming year? What threats do they pose to Russia? How to respond to them? President of the Russian section of the International Police Association, Lieutenant-General, Doctor of Law, Professor, Honored Lawyer of Russia Yuri Zhdanov analyzed the risks that our country may face.


    – I propose to first look at the conflicts that the Americans attach importance to. In my opinion, it will be clearer comparison of risk assessments by them and us. It is known that the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) – a private American organization in the field of international relations – published the next, fourteenth, annual Preventive Priorities Survey, dedicated to the likelihood and impact of thirty potential conflicts that may arise or intensify during this year. The compilers interviewed American foreign policy experts, asking them to assess the likelihood and impact on American interests of these thirty conflicts, a list of which was compiled back in October 2021 using social networks. In November, the questionnaire was sent to more than 11,300 government officials, foreign policy experts and academics.

    – No, only about 400 sent the completed questionnaire to the authors.

    – Conflicts were divided into three groups according to their impact on US interests (high, moderate, low) and likelihood (high, moderate, low). True, the groups themselves were formed according to some arbitrary and even strange logic.

    For example, the worsening humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, the growing level of unrest and instability in Haiti, the military conflict between Iran and Israel over Tehran's nuclear program, the escalation of clashes in eastern Ukraine, or large-scale military operations in contested areas have somehow fallen into one group. Here are Taiwan and China, and Mexico, and Lebanon, and Venezuela. And the same hodgepodge in the other groups, which brought together three dozen conflicts of various colors. Again, it is not clear why exactly three tens, and not two or, say, five.

    “None of the potential and actual conflicts was rated this year as both highly probable and having a high impact on American interests. The most likely event, according to experts, is a humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.

    – In the first place of them, of course, we put the conflict in Ukraine. It is around him that a particularly fierce debate is being waged. But one gets the impression that many political forces in the United States are simply eager for a military development of the conflict. Thus, on January 10, a group of Republican congressmen announced that they intended to introduce a bill declaring Ukraine a NATO-plus country and initiating a review of the advisability of declaring Russia a state sponsor of terrorism.

    “Diplomacy has little chance of success unless it is approached from a position of strength,” said Michael McCall, a leading Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, who is the bill's main sponsor. “Vladimir Putin should take note that Congress will not tolerate the restoration of a Russian sphere of influence and will not allow Ukraine and our other allies and partners in Central and Eastern Europe to be abandoned,” he added.

    “The bill will provide Ukraine with the military and diplomatic support it needs in the face of an alleged Russian military buildup along its borders. The bill also designates Ukraine as a “NATO-plus” country to provide expedited consideration for the sale of certain US defense goods and services. As Congressman Rogers said, “This bill will significantly increase funding for the supply of lethal aid to Ukraine, in particular anti-aircraft and anti-ship weapons, which the Ukrainians need to contain Russia. He also makes it clear that Putin's demands, such as a veto on countries joining NATO and a moratorium on the deployment of medium-range missiles in Europe, are unacceptable and contrary to US national security interests.

    In addition, the bill provides for the allocation of $155 million to combat “Russian disinformation” and information operations in the countries of the former USSR for 2022. That is, the information war against Russia.

    – The second place is occupied by the conflict in Afghanistan. The recent rebellion in Kazakhstan showed the reality and involvement of the Afghan situation in the processes taking place in the post-Soviet space.

    The ongoing conflicts over Taiwan and the Iranian nuclear program will also always be among the most significant for Russia. Every year, the danger that they will flare up and involve the whole world in their funnel only increases.

    As for the new Karabakh conflict in 2022, here, most likely, the least likelihood. Especially due to the consequences of the events in Kazakhstan.

    By the way, the authors of the forecast did not indicate other areas of potential conflicts. After the events in Kazakhstan, the report of the RAND Corporation, made back in 2019, is now often recalled.

    Rand Corporation is, in fact, the “thought factory” of the US military-industrial complex. In 2019, the corporation developed a plan to involve the Russian armed forces in conflicts. Their goal is to weaken Russia economically by forcing it to go to excessive spending on the deployment of troops and their use in the next “hot spots”.

    Six options for action in this direction have been proposed: arming Ukraine; increased support for jihadists in Syria; regime change in Belarus; maintenance of tension in the South Caucasus; reduction of Russian influence in Central Asia; rivalry with the Russian presence in Transnistria.

    So, it has been noticed that the events in Kazakhstan over the past week correspond to the fifth chapter of the RAND Corporation plan. And the sixth chapter of this plan will be implemented in Pridnestrovie. The previous four episodes have already taken place over the past two years in Ukraine, Syria, Belarus and Nagorno-Karabakh. At the same time, the US National Security Council initiated a series of actions against Russia. This is not about overthrowing governments or starting new wars, but about throwing Moscow into conflicts beyond its borders and thereby exhausting it.

    – Yes, especially since it borders on Ukraine. The United States, together with the European Union, organized an economic blockade of this unrecognized state, whose population seceded from Moldova in a referendum during the collapse of the USSR. The staff of the European Union Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine (EUBAM), led by Stefano Sannino (former OSCE Representative to Serbia), has been monitoring the work of the Moldovan and Ukrainian customs to implement the blockade of this country since January 1, 2022. Although, mind you, Ukraine and Moldova are not members of the EU. Russia is forced to create an air bridge to supply food to the 500,000 inhabitants of this enclave.

    – Yes, NATO promises that Georgia will join the North Atlantic Alliance and that a third country will not solve the issue of Georgia's Atlantic integration. According to a report released by the Georgian Foreign Ministry, NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoane stated this on January 10 in a telephone conversation with Georgian Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani.

    Earlier, on January 5, US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and Georgian Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani discussed the right of sovereign states to determine their own security mechanisms in a telephone conversation. The State Department said in a statement that the parties discussed the situation in the region and the threat of aggression from Russia. The US Diplomatic Office reports that in a conversation with a Georgian diplomat, Sherman reaffirmed the US's strong support for Georgia's independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity.

    “The Deputy Secretary of State noted that the United States will continue to urge Russia to withdraw its troops to the positions that existed before the war and respect the 2008 ceasefire,” the State Department said in a statement.

    However, in parallel with the statements of Western partners about supporting the freedom of choice of Georgia and Ukraine, Russia continues to insist on “reinforced concrete” guarantees that these countries will never be able to join the North Atlantic Alliance. “We emphasize that it is absolutely imperative for us to make sure that Ukraine never becomes a member of NATO. We would like the formula adopted by the Bucharest summit in 2008 to be withdrawn and replaced at the Madrid summit of NATO with the following: “Ukraine and Georgia will never become members of the North Atlantic Alliance.” We are tired of empty talk, we are tired of half-promises, of We don't trust the other side We need concrete, legal guarantees, not promises, but guarantees, with the words “should”, “should”, never become NATO members. the issue of Russia's national security,” Ryabkov told the media after a closed-door meeting that lasted about eight hours.

    – Alas, in turn, during the briefing following the talks, Wendy Sherman ruled out such a guarantee for Russia : “We will not allow anyone to close the door to NATO for another country.”

    – What to do, this is our usual state.The list of existing, smoldering or still only possible con conflicts does not allow you to relax literally for one day. And the events in Kazakhstan have shown that the post-Soviet space, with the help of our “partners” in negotiations from the United States and NATO, remains a “zone of special attention.”