#AceHealthReport – Nov.22: A massive effort to contain a Covid-19 outbreak has kicked off in China’s city of Manzhouli after two locals contracted the disease: Apart from restrictive measures, the operation involves the testing of around 300,000 residents: Strict quarantine rules were rolled out in the city on China’s border with Russia after two cases of coronavirus were detected on Saturday: Two residents, a sanitation worker and his wife, employed as a domestic aide, tested positive for the virus, yet it remains unclear where they managed to contract it from, local media reported
Authorities launched a large-scale operation to contain the virus immediately after the diagnosis was confirmed: They sealed off recent locations that the couple visited, including a local police station, and disinfected them: Places visited by close contacts of the infected pair have also been sealed:
Access to the city – which is a major trade and logistics hub – and movement within it has been heavily restricted. All operations at Manzhouli bus and train stations have been suspended, while schools and other public places are closed. While the residents have not been placed under a curfew, they have been “encouraged” to limit their travel: An ambitious plan to test all the residents of the city, some 300,000 people, is underway. Testing began early on Sunday and is expected to be completed within three days.
China has repeatedly introduced harsh and impressively large-scale measures over the course of this year to weed out detected clusters of coronavirus infections: The biggest one took place in the city of Wuhan, still widely referred to as the ‘ground zero’ of the pandemic that has plagued the whole globe throughout 2020:
Mounting scientific evidence, however, suggests Covid-19 was actually just first detected and identified in China, while the virus itself circulated across the globe as early as last summer, with the earliest traces of virus found in Spanish wastewater samples collected back in March 2019:
#AceNewsReport – Mar.17: “A total of 23 diplomatic employees of the UK Embassy in Moscow are declared personae non gratae and must leave [Russia] within a week,” the statement read: The ministry also revoked its agreement on opening and operation of the UK Consulate General in the Russian city of St. Petersburg, according to the statement ……A source in the ministry told Sputnik that the UK side would get the necessary time for closing the facility #AceNewsDesk reports
#AceNewsReport – Sept.26: US has been getting ready for a possible war involving Russia in Europe’s Baltic States, German media reports. The report says all the NATO war games organized in the region by Washington have been intended to prepare various military response scenarios.
The Pentagon has shifted its military thinking when it comes to Moscow, selecting Russia’s direct neighbors in the Baltic region as the battleground, Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten (DWN) writes.
What the US sees playing out is hybrid warfare, which employs irregular troops and focuses on destabilizing the region via mass rallies as well as cyber-attacks on critical infrastructure, according to the newspaper.
The conflict in Ukraine has been used by the US as a catalyst for more preparations: “Russia’s invasion of Eastern Ukraine urged the US to dust off its emergency plans. They were pretty outdated,” former US Under Secretary of Defense for Policy and co-founder of the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), Michele Flournoy, was quoted as saying.
Moscow, however, has repeatedly denied playing a role in the Ukrainian conflict. Despite repeated accusations by Kiev and its Western backers that Russia was supporting the rebelling eastern Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Lugansk with weapons and manpower, no evidence has been presented to support the claims.
Nevertheless, since the crisis in Ukraine began, the number of war games held by NATO in Europe has surged. All of the military exercises have focused on a response to a situation in which Russia presumably takes over the Baltic region.
According to the German newspaper, a “Russian threat” has been used as an excuse to justify increased military spending in eastern European NATO countries and provide a reason for US troops to be stationed in Europe.
DWN adds that there are 40,000 US soldiers in Germany alone, with additional American tanks and artillery on their way to the Baltic States.
So far, the Pentagon has only war games in mind for the Baltic States. However, nuclear options are also being examined. Recent reports have suggested that US nuclear weapons could soon be coming to Germany, despite a 2009 decision to withdraw the old American nuclear arsenal.
Last week there were media reports that the Pentagon was reviewing and updating its contingency plans for a war with Russia for the first time since the collapse of the Soviet Union.
“Given the security environment, given the actions of Russia, it has become apparent that we need to make sure to update the plans that we have in response to any potential aggression against any NATO allies,” a senior defense official familiar with the plan told Foreign Policy.
The exercises will take place August 20 to 28 in the Peter the Great Gulf and other areas off the Russian coast, AFP quoted Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun as saying. A key purpose of the drills is to further enhance the capabilities of jointly coping with maritime security threats, Yang said.
The maneuvers will include training in air defense, anti-submarine and surface warfare, and landings.
#AceNewsReport – Opinion: RUSSIA:July.01: The heads of Russia’s Federal Space Agency and China’s Satellite Navigation Office signed a joint statement on May 8 on the joint operation of Russia’s GLONASS and China’s BeiDou systems.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Russian and Chinese global navigation satellite systems are well suited to meeting #BRICS members’ civilian needs, chief analyst for GLONASS Union, Andrei Ionin, told Sputnik on Wednesday.
“All the studies show that the two systems [can] solve all civilian objectives. So GLONASS and BeiDou together can cater for all such tasks within BRICS,” Ionin told Sputnik.
He pointed to the key importance of developing GLONASS within the BRICS framework. The GLONASS Union analyst said Russia’s navigation system, with the exception of that of China and the United States, lacks global undertakings.
#AceBreakingNews – IRAN:June.22: With some lawmakers chanting “Death to the America,” Iran’s parliament voted Sunday to ban access to military sites, documents and scientists as part of a future deal with world powers over its contested nuclear program.
The bill, if approved into law, could complicate the ongoing talks in Vienna between Iran and the six-nation group (#P6+Iran) the U.S., Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany — as they face a self-imposed June 30 deadline. The talks are focused on reaching a final accord that curbs Iran’s nuclear program in return for the lifting of economic sanctions.
#AceNewsReport – MOSCOW:June.20: Russian president Vladimir Putin said he was “very keen” to hold talks with Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe, in a bid to resolve the dispute over the Kuril Islands, Kyodo news agency reported.
“All problems have a solution,” the Russian leader said during a press briefing at the St. Petersburg Economic Forum. The sparsely populated Kuril Islands were assigned to the Soviet Union at the conclusion of World War II, but Japan has insisted on the return of the four southernmost islands, which it says are not a part of the Kurils, and should never have been seized by the USSR.
Putin also said that “Japan bears responsibility for the cooling of relations between our countries” and suggested that Tokyo “needs to come up with new ideas for resolving the territorial dispute, which has reached an impasse.”
#AceNewsServices – June.14: Edward Snowden ‘Has Blood On His Hands:’ MI6 Is Forced To Pull Spies Out Of Hostile Countries — After Russia And China Decode a MILLION Encrypted Files’ — Based On His Leaks; While The Islamic State, al Qaeda, others — Have Learned How To Better Evade Western Surveillance.
Jay Akbar, writing on the June 13, 2015 DailyMailOnline, says Britain’s MI6 foreign spy agency “has pulled its spies out of ‘hostile countries;’ and, “American intelligence agencies are on high alert — after China and Russia crack encrypted files leaked by Edward Snowden. The Top Secret documents contain information that could lead to the identification of British and American [undercover] spies,” according to [senior] officials in Downing Street — the Home Office, and Security Services.”
“A senior Home Office official accused Snowden — the former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor — responsible for the largest leak of classified information in U.S. history — of having “blood on his hands,” after China, Russia,” al Qaeda, the Islamic State, and others, gained access to over one million files, Mr. Akbar writes.
‘Security Services have reported ‘increasing difficulties’ in tracking terrorists and dangerous criminals via email, chat rooms, and social media — since he [Snowden] exposed Western intelligence gathering [sources and methods],” The London Sunday Times reported. Mr. Akbar adds that senior “aides to British Prime Minister David Cameron’s office confirmed [to the DailyMailOnline], “the Top Secret [encrypted] material is now in the hands of China and Russia.” “it has meant agents have had to be moved; and, that knowledge of how we operate has stopped us [from] getting vitalinformation.” “A British intelligence source added……”Snowden has done incalculable damage. In some cases, agencies have been forced to intervene; and, lift their agents from operations to prevent them from being identified and killed. we know Russia and China have a access to Snowden’s material; and, will be going through it for years to come, searching for clues to identify potential targets.”
“Former GCHQ Director [NSA’s ‘sister’ agency in Britain], Sir David Omand, believes the leak represents a “huge strategic setback,” which is “harming Britain, America, and her NATO allies.” Sir David Omand added, “the leak could spark a ‘global intelligence arms race,’ adding: ‘I have no doubt whatever the programs are being launched; and, money is being spent to try and catch up. That’s probably not just true of China and Russia; but, a number of other nations who have seen some of this material to be published.”
“I am not at all surprised that people are being pulled back; and, operations where people [agents] are exposed….are having to be shut down, at least for the moment.” Robin Simcox, writing in the June 9, 2015 edition of Britain’s newspaper — The Independent, wrote “quantifying the damage has not always been easy.” “If a terrorist suspect dropped off the radar, post-June 23, 2013 [post-Snowden], “it could not always be proved,” that an individual went silent — as a result of what Edward Snowden had disclosed. “Regardless,” Mr. Simcox contends, “there are trends emerging.”
LONDON (Reuters) – Britain has pulled out agents from live operations in “hostile countries” after Russia and China cracked top-secret information contained in files leaked by former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, the Sunday Times reported.
Security service MI6, which operates overseas and is tasked with defending British interests, has removed agents from certain countries, the newspaper said, citing unnamed officials at the office of British Prime Minister David Cameron, the Home Office (interior ministry) and security services.
Snowden downloaded more than 1.7 million secret files from security agencies in the United States and Britain in 2013, and leaked details about…
It is being reported by the Daily Beast, that Russia and China have cracked Edward Snowden’s documents. It would indicate that between hacking of federal databases of Office of Personnel Management, and US military, combined with Snowden Documents, if substantiated, things/life, in America and elsewhere, could possibly, become difficult.
To counter balance, it would be expected that some documents would, be breeched, but not all, and exactly what, does, Snowden have in his possession, something the US Government never answered with any measure of truthfulness. Might not be good, but it might not be horrible.
We do not know, until the US Government comes forth with some answers.
#AceNewsReport – MOSCOW: June 12: (RAPSI) – Konstantin Yankauskas, a Moscow municipal legislator who stands charged with large-scale fraud, has been released on his own recognizance, his lawyer Sergei Panchenko told RAPSI on Thursday.
Yankauskas was placed under house arrest on June 11, 2014. Panchenko said earlier that his client was suspected of illegally transferring large funds to opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s campaign during the Moscow mayoral election last year.
According to investigators, Yankauskas and businessmen Nikolai Lyaskin and Vladimir Ashurkov each transferred 1 million rubles ($18,200) to Navalny’s election account posted an online address “for web users to voluntarily refill their digital wallets, presumably to compensate for the funds that had been transferred to Navalny’s account, and to support his political activity.”
“As a result, over 10 million rubles (over $182,400) was transferred to these digital wallets. Investigators have cause to believe that Yankauskas, Lyaskin and Ashurkov embezzled these funds,” Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said earlier.
Entrepreneurs Nikolai Lyaskin and Vladimir Ashurkov are also under investigation, searches were conducted earlier at their premises. Searches were also conducted at Yandex.Money offices. An arrest warrant was issued for Ashurkov who had left Russia and asked for asylum in the UK.
This is not the first time that Navalny’s supporters have been suspected of embezzling funds. Last year, the Interior Ministry announced that Yankauskas had received 5 million rubles ($91,200) via transfers to the Yandex. Money wallet, of which he embezzled 4 million rubles (about $73,000).
The ministry said that Ashurkov embezzled 2.27 million rubles ($41,400) and Lyaskin 790,000 rubles ($14,400).
Navalny ran for Moscow mayor, losing to the incumbent mayor, Sergei Sobyanin, who received 51.37% of the vote. Navalny finished second with 21.24%. The turnout was 32.03% of the electorate.
#AceNewsReport – Featured Post:June.12: Currently, 195 of the 201 decommissioned submarines have been disposed. The demolition of the rest submarines and 14 technical support vessels is due to be completed by 2020.
Russia’s Rosatom Corporation is nearing to complete the disposal of Soviet-made decommissioned nuclear-powered submarines and support vessels.
Currently, 195 of the 201 decommissioned submarines have been disposed. The demolition of all the decommissioned nuclear submarines and 14 technical support vessels is due to be completed by 2020.
“We have started the disposal of technical support vessels and depot ships. By 2020, we are expected to complete the disposal of all 14 support ships decommissioned from the Northern and the Pacific Fleets as well as two Atomflot support ships,” Rosatom CEO Sergei Kirienko said during the “70th anniversary of the Russian Atom” forum in Chelyabinsk.
“195 of the 201 submarines have been dismantled and recycled. Six submarines are left. Now we have no vessels standing in queue for dismantling. In 1999, when Rosatom was charged with the disposal there were 120 submarines waiting,” Kirienko said.
In 2014, the disposal of the “Volodarsky” depot ship was completed. Now, the disposal of the “Lepse” depot ship has begun. Within six months, it will be discharged of nuclear fuel. Then it will be prepared for wet storage before the disposal.
Kirienko also pointed out that under the “Nuclear radioactive safety 2” program new equipment and technology were developed, including the recycling technology for the uranium-beryllium fuel from project 705 submarines which were equipped with liquid-metal reactors.
The need for the disposal of nuclear submarines and depot ships emerged after the fall of the Soviet Union. At that time, military spending was significantly reduced.
More than 200 submarines built-in the 1950-1980s, and a large number of support vessels, were decommissioned from the Russian navy.
#AceNewsReport – WASHINGTON:June.11: Alexander Brazhnikov, a naturalized US citizen born in Moscow, has admitted obtaining and smuggling sensitive electronic components worth $65 million from the United States to Russia, US Attorney Paul Fishman said in a press release on Thursday.
Under questioning by a federal prosecutor, Brazhnikov admitted that between January 2008 and June 2014, he conspired to export 1,900 shipments of high-tech electronics components valued at $65 million to Russian defense contractors who supply Russian military and security forces.
“As he admitted in court, Brazhnikov was responsible for nearly 2,000 illegal shipments of regulated, sensitive electronics components, many of which wound up in the hands of Russian military and security forces,” Fishman said.
Brazhnikov admitted concealing the actual contents of the shipments, which were, in several instances, sent to the addresses of vacant apartments in Moscow.
Brazhnikov is a US citizen who has been in the country since the age of 22. He owned microelectronic exports companies in Carteret, Mountainside, Union and Manalapan.
He lives in Mountainside with his wife and two daughters.
His attorney, Jack Arsenault, said his client was enlisted by his father of the same name. He said his father, who is in Russia and has not been charged, turned his back on his son after his arrest in June 2014.
#AceNewsServices – Featured Report:MOSCOW:June.11: Double standards in fighting extremism are not acceptable, the top Russian diplomat stressed, adding that actions of extremists are often ignored for political gain.
Russia will promote the creation of a single strategy to counter Islamic State militants in the Middle East and North Africa under the auspices of the UN Security Council, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Thursday.
#AceNewsReport – #BreakingUpdate:MOSCOW:June.11: A Russian student, Varvara Karaulova, who had been detained in Turkey during an alleged attempt to join the Islamic State, has returned to Russia with her father, her mother said Thursday.
The plane with my former husband and my daughter has landed. As far as I know, they are currently in the airport going through some juridical procedures,” the student’s mother told RIA Novosti.
Moscow State University student Varvara Karaulova, 19, was detained earlier in June on the border between Turkey and Syria while travelling with a group of foreigners allegedly recruited by Islamic radicals.
Since the rise of the Islamic State militant group, Turkey has become a gateway for foreign fighters attempting to join the group. As many as 20,000 foreign fighters have joined militant groups in Syria, including ISIL, according to the US National Counter-terrorism Center.
Earlier Thursday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called on Turkey to allow diplomatic access to 14 Russian nationals detained for allegedly attempting to cross the Syrian border to join the Islamic State.
#AceNewsReport – #BreakingUpdate:#FIFA on Thursday refuted media reports that the world football organization considered stripping Russia of the right to host the 2018 World Cup over the Ukraine crisis, a source in the #FIFA press service said.
The Spanish sports daily As, on Wednesday, reported that FIFA had asked Qatar to speed up its preparations for the 2022 World Cup, so that the country could be ready to host the competition in 2018 instead of Russia, should the situation in Ukraine worsen. It was not specified when the offer was made.
“This information is absolutely wrong,” the source told R-Sport on Thursday.
The West has imposed restrictive measures against Russia as it accuses Moscow of fueling the internal conflict in Ukraine. The Kremlin denies the allegations.
The news comes amid the FIFA corruption scandal. In late May, several high-ranking FIFA officials were arrested on a US federal corruption warrant. Swiss authorities launched a separate probe into the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups. @AceNewsServices
#AceBreakingNews – ST PETERSBURG:June.11: Russian security services have detained Ilyas Kagirov, who is suspected of being the head of a group recruiting students for Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) in St. Petersburg, NTV reported.
The group was working at the State Marine Technical University and had contacts in Syria, security sources say.
Several Russian citizens have recently been detained on the Turkish border.
They were allegedly heading to Syria to join IS.
ST. PETERSBURG, June 9 (RAPSI) – The Federal Security Service (FSB) has arrested a Russian national who allegedly headed the St. Petersburg group of the international terrorist organization Hizb ut-Tahrir al-Islami, RIA Novosti reported on Tuesday.
The suspect was arrested as part of a case opened under Part 2 of Criminal Code Article 205.5 (the creation of and participation in a terrorist group).
Eight suspects have been arrested in St. Petersburg since the summer of 2014, including two alleged leaders of local Hizb ut-Tahrir cells.
The FSB official said Hizb ut-Tahrir activity in St. Petersburg has been stopped as a result of a joint operation of the local FSB and Interior Ministry departments.
Hizb ut-Tahrir (the Party of Islamic Liberation), founded in Jerusalem in 1953, is banned in several Arab and Central Asian countries. Russia’s Supreme Court banned the group from operating on the territory of the country in 2003, describing it as a terrorist organization.
Hizb ut-Tahrir members are regularly arrested by the police across Russia, mainly in big cities in central Russia, the Volga region and Siberia. Also, there are many supporters in Crimea, which rejoined Russia last spring.
A criminal case over the creation of a Hizb ut-Tahrir cell in the St. Petersburg region was opened last May.
#AceNewsReport – MOSCOW:June.10: Russian Defence Ministry said that group of Russian military industry experts has arrived in the far eastern Chukotka Autonomous Area to prepare the Eastern Military District’s drones for monitoring missions in the Arctic.
A group of Russian military industry experts has arrived in the far eastern Chukotka Autonomous Area to prepare the Eastern Military District’s drones for monitoring missions in the Arctic, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a press release Wednesday.
“The drones will be used for surveillance of the littoral part of the Pacific Ocean, the mainland part of the zone of responsibility of the troops and forces in the northeast, and Navy combat training ranges,” Capt. 1st Rank Roman Martov said.
#AceNewsReport – MOSCOW:June.09:. /TASS/. Russian Investigative Committee Chairman Alexander Bastrykin has opened a criminal case against State Duma deputy Ilya Ponomaryov over his complicity in embezzling 22 million rubles ($750,000) from the Skolkovo hi-tech hub’s funds, Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said on Tuesday.
The criminal probe was opened into the misuse of $750,000 allocated under a 2010 contract on the fulfillment of R&D work and lecturing, the spokesman said.
Under the existing legislation, Russia’s Investigative Committee has received consent from the State Duma, the lower house of the country’s parliament, for opening the criminal case against Ponomaryov, Markin said.
The investigation of the case has been assigned to the Investigative Committee’s Department for High-Profile Investigations, the spokesman said.
“Considering that Ponomaryov is currently staying outside the Russian Federation, investigators plan to initiate his international search with his subsequent extradition so that he can go on trial in Russia.
Along with this, measures will be taken to compensate for the damage caused by this crime,” Markin said. @AceNewsServices
#AceNewsReport – Featured Interview:POLAND:June.07: Former Polish army commander and ex-Deputy Defense Minister Waldemar Skrzypczak says that Poland and the Baltic states prepare for ‘hybrid war’ with Russia, while adding that NATO’s combined military power comfortably exceeds the forces at Russia’s disposal.
Sitting down for an interview for Baltic news hub Delfi, Skrzypczak defended NATO’s beefing up of its presence in countries along Russia’s border, arguing that “I wouldn’t say that this is an attempt to intimidate Russia, but rather the response by the [NATO] Alliance to a threat which could turn into an uncontrollable situation. What sort of threat? For example, a hybrid war.”
Skrzypczak noted that under the present balance of forces, the expanded Eastern European Rapid Response Force can handle the appearance of Russian ‘little green men’ “with ease.” However, ramping up the paranoia and alluding to a Russian fifth column in the Baltic states, the ex-general added that “the aggressor acts not only with the help of special forces.
His activity can be observed in a variety of fields –from military to political and the ethnic factor.” Skrzypczak did not make clear how this “ethnic factor” should be dealt with, noting only that “it is very important to understand what is happening and to provide a timely warning about the opponent’s [potential] actions.”
Commenting on the growth of NATO military might along Russian borders, including a growing permanent military presence, expanded and intensified exercises, Lithuania’s return to conscription, and Poland’s own intensive rearmament, Skrzypczak noted that NATO governments’ earlier policy was naïve for “blindly believing that good relations with Moscow [would] last forever,” adding that the conflict in Ukraine, for which he blamed Russia, “fell [on European politicians] like a cold shower.” In the general’s view, NATO’s more aggressive posture “is the only way to cool the hotheads in Moscow.”
Boasting that the generals of the Russian army “likely think of a conflict with NATO as a bad dream,” Skrzypczak noted that NATO’s military potential “exceeds at least several times the capabilities at Russia’s disposal,” adding that even on their own, the combined forces of Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia would be a “tough nut [for Russia] to crack.” In the ex-general’s view, a war with NATO would “plunge Russia into chaos from which it would be unable to recover,” and for this reason “full-scale hostilities are not a threat.”
Retracting his earlier calls for Polish authorities to support Ukraine politically and militarily, Skrzypczak noted that this would be improper following “the Ukrainian parliament’s decision to recognize [Nazi collaborationist forces] OUN-UPA as fighters for Ukrainian independence.” Skrzypczak noted that “we Poles are against the honoring of the executioners of the Volyn massacre,” but added that “if we leave the Ukrainians alone, everything could end up even worse.”
Blaming Russia for the civil war in eastern Ukraine, caused in no small part by the radical nationalism supported by Kiev, Skrzypczak noted that while Russia is presently “trying to return to the international scene as peacemaker,” he remains hopeful that “the West will remain alert.”
Skrzypczak served as the commander of Poland’s land forces between 2006-2009, serving as the country’s deputy defense minister between 2012-2013.