Coalition of the Confused

Hosted by Jenifer (Zarknorph)

Confused malcontents swilling Chardonnay while awaiting the Zombie Apocalypse.

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Russia    The U.K and Europe

Started 3/28/18 by Jenifer (Zarknorph); 57554 views.
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Jenifer (Zarknorph)

From: Jenifer (Zarknorph)


Then more...


Who is taking action?


The United States and more than a dozen European nations have kicked out Russian diplomats, with the Trump administration also ordering Russia's consulate in Seattle to close, as the West sought joint punishment for Moscow's alleged role in the poisoning of an ex-spy in Britain.

Key points:

  • The White House says the expulsion will "make the United States safer"
  • The expelled Russians will have seven days to leave the US
  • 14 EU member nations are also expelling Russian diplomatic staff

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Jenifer (Zarknorph)

From: Jenifer (Zarknorph)


And tit for tat.  Where did that saying even come from?

Russia promises 'symmetrical' response

European Council President Donald Tusk said further measures could be taken in the coming weeks and months.

Russia said it would respond in kind.

"The response will be symmetrical. We will work on it in the coming days and will respond to every country in turn," the RIA news agency cited an unnamed Foreign Ministry source as saying.

The Russian embassy in the United States asked Twitter followers to vote what US consulates they would close in Russia, if they could decide.

Besides the embassy in Moscow, the United States has three consulate generals in Russia.

The Kremlin has accused Britain of whipping up an anti-Russia campaign and has sought to cast doubt on the British analysis that Moscow was responsible.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova suggested in a post on Facebook that the EU's expression of support for Britain was misguided given it would be leaving the bloc next year.

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From: Jenifer (Zarknorph)


Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal likely poisoned at front door


The Russian ex-spy and his daughter left critically ill in a nerve agent attack three weeks ago were probably poisoned at the front door of their home, British police say.

Key points:

  • Police have searched numerous sites including pub, restaurant and cemetery
  • Russia says it's in no hurry to retaliate for expulsion of its diplomats
  • Moscow says UK secret service may have been behind attack

It was the first time police have said where they thought Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia might have been poisoned.

The highest concentration of nerve agent found so far was on the Skripals' front door in Salisbury, and detectives plan to focus their investigation in the surrounding area, London's Metropolitan Police force said in a statement.

"At this point in our investigation, we believe the Skripals first came in contact with the nerve agent from their front door," deputy assistant commissioner Dean Haydon said in the statement.

"We are therefore focusing much of our efforts in and around their address."

Police have also searched a variety of sites around Salisbury, including a pub, a restaurant and a cemetery.

As horrible as it is, at least whoever is responsible didn't carry out the attack in a public park.

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From: Jenifer (Zarknorph)


Russian ex-spy's daughter Yulia Skripal no longer in critical condition

The daughter of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal, who with her father was poisoned with a nerve agent at his home in England earlier this month, is no longer in a critical condition and is improving rapidly, according to the hospital treating her.

Key points:

  • Her father remained in a critical but stable condition, the hospital said
  • Britain has blamed the attempted murder on Russian President Vladimir Putin
  • 27 nations including Australia have joined the UK in expelling Russian diplomats over the incident

Yulia Skripal, 33, and her 66-year-old father were found on March 4 slumped on a bench in the southern English city of Salisbury where the former Russian double agent lived.

British counter-terrorism police believe a nerve toxin had been left on the front door of his home.

Last week, a British judge said the Skripals might have suffered permanent brain damage as a result of the attack.

"I'm pleased to be able to report an improvement in the condition of Yulia Skripal," Christine Blanshard, Medical Director for Salisbury District Hospital, said in a statement.

"She has responded well to treatment but continues to receive expert clinical care 24 hours a day."

Her father remained in a critical but stable condition, the hospital said.

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From: Jenifer (Zarknorph)


Russia expels 60 US diplomats in diplomatic 'tit-for-tat'

Russia has ordered 60 US diplomats to leave by April 5, the Foreign Ministry says, in a retaliatory move against Washington which expelled a similar number of Russian diplomats over the poisoning of a former Russian spy in England.

Key points:

  • The diplomats expelled include 58 from the embassy in Moscow and two general consulate officials in Yekaterinburg
  • Russia will also expel a number of diplomats from other countries including France, Germany and Poland
  • Former Russian double-agent Sergei Skripal remains critical, daughter improving

It said it had declared persona non grata 58 diplomats in Moscow and two general consulate officials in Yekaterinburg in the row over the poisoning of former Russian double-agent Sergei Skripal on March 4.

Moments before the ministry announcement, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Russia would respond in kind to the mass expulsion of diplomats by Western governments which include, apart from the United States and Britain, most member states of NATO and the European Union.

"The measures would be reciprocal ... they include expulsion of the equivalent number of diplomats and they include our decision to withdraw our agreement to allow the United States' general consulate to operate in St Petersburg," Mr Lavrov told a briefing.

"As for the other countries, everything will also be symmetrical in terms of the number of people from their diplomatic missions who will be leaving Russia, and for now that's pretty much it."

That approach will mean that, among other countries affected, France, Germany and Poland would each have four of their diplomats in Moscow sent home, Ukraine would forfeit 13 diplomats, and Denmark, Albania and Spain would each have two of their embassy staff expelled.

Russia has already retaliated in kind after Britain initially expelled 23 diplomats.

The White House said Moscow's decision marked a further deterioration in the US-Russia relationship.

"Russia's response was not unanticipated and the United States will deal with it," the White House said in a statement without elaborating.

The US State Department, however, indicated earlier that Russia's decision to expel
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From: Jenifer (Zarknorph)


This guy actually makes some good points...

Russia has warned Britain it is "playing with fire and you'll be sorry" over its accusations that Moscow was to blame for poisoning a former Russian spy and his daughter.

Key points:

  • Russia claims Britain is required to allow Moscow to participate in the investigation of the attack.
  • Britain says their actions will stand up to scrutiny.
  • Russian Ambassador uses a passage from Alice in Wonderland as an analogy for how Moscow has been treated.

It was the second showdown between Russia and Britain at the United Nations Security Council since the March 4 nerve agent attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in an English town.

Russia, which requested the council meeting, denies any involvement.

"We have told our British colleagues that, 'You're playing with fire and you'll be sorry'," Russian UN ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said during a more than 30-minute speech that attempted to poke holes in Britain's allegations against Moscow.

He suggested that anyone who watched television crime shows like Britain's Midsomer Murders would know "hundreds of clever ways to kill someone" to illustrate the "risky and dangerous" nature of the method Britain says was used to target Skripal.

"Great Britain refuses to cooperate with us on the pretext that the victim does not cooperate with the criminal," Mr Nebenzia said.

"A crime was committed on British territory, possibly a terrorist act, and it is our citizens who are the victims."

He challenged Britain to take his statement as "a litmus test" of the country's integrity and respect for international norms and said Britain was required to allow Russia to participate in the investigation of the attack on Mr Skripal and his daughter, Yulia.

British police believe a nerve agent was left on the front door of the Salisbury home where Mr Skripal lived after he was freed in a spy swap.

He was a military intelligence colonel who betrayed dozens of Russian agents to Britain's MI6 spy service.

"We believe that the UK's actions stand up to any scrutiny," British UN ambassador Karen Pierce told the Security Council.

"We have nothing to hide … but I do fear that Russia might have something to fear."

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Russians arrested in anti-Putin protests ahead of presidential inauguration

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny and more than 1,600 anti-Kremlin activists have been detained by police during street protests against Vladimir Putin ahead of his inauguration for a fourth presidential term.

Key points:

  • Putin won a landslide re-election victory in March
  • He has been in power, either as president or prime minister, since 2000
  • Protests were reported across Russia including the far east and Siberia

Mr Navalny had called for people to take to the streets in more than 90 towns and cities across the country to register their opposition to what Mr Navalny said was Mr Putin's autocratic Tsar-like rule.

Mr Putin won a landslide re-election victory in March, extending his grip over Russia for six more years until 2024, making him the longest-lasting leader since Soviet dictator Josef Stalin, who ruled for nearly 30 years.

Mr Navalny, who was barred from running in the election against Mr Putin on what he said was a false pretext, was detained soon after showing up on Moscow's central Pushkinskaya Square where young people chanted "Russia without Putin" and "Down with the Tsar".

Footage of his detention posted online showed five policemen carting him off by his arms and legs to a waiting van.

Russian police carry struggling opposition leader Alexei Navalny

Mr Navalny, who has been detained and jailed for organising similar protests in the past, had managed to briefly address several thousand people, saying he was glad they had shown up.

Reporters saw riot police systematically detaining other protesters in Moscow, some of them harshly, before bundling them into buses.

In St Petersburg, protesters were prevented from reaching the city's central square.

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From: Jenifer (Zarknorph)


'Demonstrating against puppet elections'

Russian police detain a protester at a demonstration against President Vladimir Putin

Pavel Kuznetsov, a 72-year-old pensioner wearing a T-shirt depicting Mr Putin wearing a crown with a line through it, said he and others had turned up in Moscow to protest against what he said was an election designed to keep a dictator in power.

"We've come out here to demonstrate against the puppet elections," he said.

OVD Info, a human rights organisation that monitors detentions, said it had received reports of police detaining 1,607 people across the country, 704 in Moscow alone.

While police said protesters in the capital numbered about 1,500, eyewitnesses estimated the crowd exceeded several thousand.

Protests took place in the Far East and Siberia as well.

In the Urals city of Yekaterinburg, about 1,500 kilometres east of Moscow, a reporter saw a crowd of more than 1,000 people protesting, some shouting "Down with the Tsar".

Mr Putin, 65, has been in power, either as president or prime minister, since 2000.

Backed by state TV and the ruling party, and credited with an approval rating of about 80 per cent, he is lauded by supporters as a father-of-the-nation figure who has restored national pride and expanded Moscow's global clout with interventions in Syria and Ukraine.

Kremlin says protests illegal

The authorities regard most of the protests as illegal, arguing their time and place was not agreed with them beforehand.

Mr Putin dismissed Mr Navalny as a troublemaker bent on sowing chaos on behalf of Washington.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, a close Putin ally, has called Mr Navalny a political charlatan.

Mr Putin is due to be inaugurated on Monday in a Kremlin ceremony heavy on pomp and circumstance.

With almost 77 per cent of the vote and more than 56 million votes, his March election win was his biggest ever and the largest by any post-Soviet Russian leader, something he and his allies say gave him an unequivocal mandate to govern.

However, European observers said there had been no real choice in the election, and complained of unfair pressure on critical voices.

Critics like Mr Navalny accuse Mr Putin of overseeing a corrupt authoritarian system and of illegally annexing Ukraine's Crimea in 2014, a move that isolated Russia internationally.

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Jenifer (Zarknorph)

From: Jenifer (Zarknorph)


Investigators confirm Russian missile was used to shoot down MH17

Investigators on the hunt for those responsible for downing Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine are now convinced the Russian military played a pivotal role in providing the deadly missile.

Key points:

  • JIT has called for witnesses to come forward with information
  • 298 people, including 38 Australians, died when the plane was shot down in 2014
  • Families have said Russian world cup will have a 'different, dark meaning'

This is the first time the official investigators have named the Russian Federation's 53rd anti-aircraft missile brigade based in Kursk.

At a briefing in the Netherlands, the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), which includes Australian officers, showed video and pictures of the path taken by the truck transporting the missile across the border.

The Boeing 777 was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it was shot down on July 17, 2014.

All 298 people onboard, including 38 Australians, were killed.

It was just 50 kilometres from the Ukraine-Russia border and the investigation into who brought it down continues.

The deadly incident happened during the war in Donbass.

But Russia's defence ministry said it had nothing to do with the downing of the plane, Interfax news agency reported.

The military denied any missile complex had ever crossed the border between Russia and Ukraine, according to a report from TASS news agency.

The Dutch Safety Board concluded in October 2015 that a Buk surface-to-air missile was fired at the plane.

A year later the Dutch-led JIT concluded the missile had been brought into Ukraine from Russia on the day of the crash and fired from a pro-Russian rebel-controlled area and then the launcher moved back across the border to Russia.

At that time roughly 100 people had been identified as witnesses or suspects but no names were released.

Fred Westerbeke, the chief prosecutor of the national prosecutor's office of the Netherlands, said the call for witnesses was the natural next step.

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