#AceNewsServices – MOSCOW – September 20 – Soviet cosmonaut Anatoly Berezovoy died on Saturday at the age of 72, the Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) said.
Berezovoy was the commander of the first resident crew at the Soviet Salyut-7 orbiting station in 1982.
On July 30 of the same year he and his colleague Valentin Lebedev made a spacewalk, staying in outer space for 2 hours and 33 minutes.
Their mission aboard the station was a record long one at that time – 211 days.
Berezovoy was “a member of a legendary generation of cosmonauts, a man of great will and courage, a top-class professional who did so much for the development of cosmonautics and major research projects”, Roscosmos Head Oleg Ostapenko said.
He is married with two children and graduated from the Air Force Academy.
He retired on 31 October 1992 due to medical reasons after injuries he got as a victim of an armed robbery.
From 1992 to 1999, he was a Deputy President Russian Space Federation.
#AceNewsServices UKRAINE September 15 Nato countries have started an annual military exercise in west Ukraine, with Kiev saying some Nato states have also begun to ship weapons.
The exercise – “Rapid Trident” – began on Monday (15 September) in Yavoriv, near the Polish-Ukrainian border.
According to a Nato statement, the 11-day drill will practice “peacekeeping and stability operations”, including “countering improvised explosive devices, convoy operations, and patrolling”.
It includes 200 US soldiers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade, based in Italy.
It also includes 1,100 troops from Bulgaria, Canada, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Romania, Spain, and the UK and from former Soviet republics Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine itself.
Rapid Trident is taking place at the same time as “Maple Arch” – another Nato drill involving Canandian, Lithuanian, and Polish soldiers in Poland.
Ukraine has taken part in similar events since 2006 under its “Partnership for Peace” programme with the Western alliance.
#AceWorldNews – SIMFEROPOL – April 27 – Crimea’s authorities have launched works to de-mothball water well to replenish drinking water reserves after the Kiev authorities halted water supplies to Crimea via the North Crimean Canal, Crimean Minister of Information Dmitry Polonsky told Itar-Tass on Sunday.
According to Polonsky, fresh water reserves were discovered in Crimea back in the 1970’s, when Soviet geologists drilled wells in Crimea’s north-eastern areas.
“But it was of no need back then,” he said. “Today, the situation has changed and we have to do it.”
UNIAN – TASS – CRIMEA NEWS
#AceWorldNews – MOSCOW – March 31 – Ukraine’s defence ministry has said there has been a gradual withdrawal of Russian troops from its border that may be linked to Washington’s latest push for a diplomatic solution to the worst East-West crisis since the Cold War.
Oleksiy Dmytrashkivskiy, Ukraine’s defence ministry spokesman, said on Monday that he could not confirm how many soldiers the draw-down involved or the number of troops still stationed at Russia’s border with its former Soviet satellite.
“In recent days, the Russian forces have been gradually withdrawing from the border,” Dmytrashkivskiy told the AFP news agency.
#AceWorldNews says that an Indian navy officer died on Friday from a gas leak during shipyard work on a new destroyer, Reuters said.
An unknown number of dock workers were also taken to hospital after being affected by a leak of carbon dioxide on the INS Kolkata, which was docked at a naval shipyard in Mumbai, according to a navy spokesman.
The guided-missile destroyer had been due to be commissioned in 2010, but project delays pushed launch plans to this year.
Two weeks ago, two officers died when smoke engulfed a rear compartment of their Soviet-built submarine. That incident prompted chief of navy staff, Admiral D.K. Joshi, to resign.
#AceNewsServices `Ukrainian Parliament‘ repeals controversial anti-protest laws
Ukraine’s parliament is expected Tuesday to repeal legislation passed earlier this month that sparked the violent escalation of largely peaceful protests. Officials in the former Soviet country said last night that an agreement had been reached with opposition leaders to review a bundle of anti-protest laws in an extraordinary session of Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada.
According to (Reuters) – Supporters of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich hustled a sweeping law through parliament on Thursday in an attempt to curb anti-government protests, sparking an outcry from the opposition and raising tensions on the streets.
The law, backed by deputies from Yanukovich’s Regions Party and allies, also adopted a similar stance to Russia on registration of foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs), insisting they should pay taxes on profit.
NGOs that were financed from abroad and took part in political activity in Ukraine would be categorized as “foreign agents”, it said.
But the law, which ran to more than 100 pages, appeared directed mainly at preparing the ground for action to end the street protests that have taken place in the capital Kiev and some other cities since November.
Yanukovich’s refusal at that time to sign a free trade deal with the European Union in favor of boosting ties with Ukraine’s former Soviet master Russia brought hundreds of thousands on to the streets in protest.
Though numbers have dwindled since, several hundred people remain camped out on Kiev’s central square of Kiev or are occupying public buildings such as City Hall. On Sunday, at least 50,000 people demonstrated against Yanukovich in Kiev.
The law, which still needs Yanukovich’s signature, bans any unauthorized installation of tents, stages or amplifiers in public places, on pain of a fine of up to $640 or up to 15 days in detention.
People and organizations who provide facilities or equipment for such meetings will be liable to a fine of up $1,275 or detention of up to 10 days.
Opposition politicians regularly use a stage on the square to broadcast messages of support to the protesters, and the law will clearly make such action illegal.
Other tough but vaguely worded threats envisage jail sentences ranging from two to 15 years for offences involving stopping people entering buildings or “mass violation” of public order.
Protest ‘motorcades’ involving more than five vehicles, like those staged outside government residences including that of Yanukovich in recent weeks, were also banned.
The decision in parliament, taken by a sudden show of hands that caught the opposition off-guard, followed a court ban on protests in Kiev, boosting opposition fears of an imminent police crackdown.
“The people of Ukraine have been deprived of civil rights and liberties.
According to these laws, standing on the Maidan (central square) is prohibited, setting up tents is prohibited, talking about corrupt judges is prohibited. And many other things are also banned,” said boxer-turned-politician Vitaly Klitschko, an opposition leader who is regarded as a potential strong challenger to Yanukovich for the presidency.
(Reporting By Pavel Polityuk; Writing by Richard Balmforth; Editing by Kevin Liffey and Cynthia Osterman)
More Soon ……………………………………………………………..
- Ukraine: Prime Minister Resigns(israelnationalnews.com)
- Ukraine parliament may endorse law blocking accounts of terrorism-suspected enterprises(en.itar-tass.com)
- UPDATE 1-Police and protesters clash after Ukraine president offers foes posts – Reuters(in.reuters.com)
- Lukash: Yanukovych, opposition leaders agree on repeal of Jan 16 laws – Kyiv Post(kyivpost.com)
Syria and the Saudi-Israeli Connection: The Chemical Weapons Attack. Who was Behind It?
The long anticipated UN inspectors report confirmed the use of chemical weapons on August 21, 2013 in the Ghouta area of Damascus. The investigators report provided “clear and convincing evidence that surface-to-surface rockets containing the nerve agent Sarin were used”. Warmongers were quick to pounce on the use of rockets as evidence that the Assad government was responsible. The Russian Foreign Minister Sergie Lavrov was quick to point to the “post hoc ergo propter hoc” argument — correlation does not equal causation. So whodunit?
Foremost, given that the report emphasis the use of rockets, the Saudis should be asking themselves why it is that the accusatory finger has been pointed to them. There is no doubt that Saudi Arabia is involved in the Syria conflict. Their involvement is not restricted to providing arms to the rebels but as USA Today reported in January, they have been sending death-row inmates to fight in Syria. That said, the UN report clearly repudiates dubious reports which surfaced on the internet citing a rebel’s father who had claimed that the Saudis supplied the chemical weapons without instructions, or without telling the rebels what they were which is why “they” (chemical weapons) went off in the tunnel.
While it is not a secret that the Saudis aim to spread their influence in the region by assisting neocons remove Assad from power, what should be of note to the Saudis and of interest to media watchers is the fact that in spite of the Saudi ‘s full cooperation with America and Israel in funding and supporting wars against fellow Arabs and Moslems, and even providing them with terrorists, the neoconservatives such as the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies are now claiming that Saudi Arabia is responsible for pushing for war . This should give Saudis reason to pause and reflect. But to the report….
According to the UN report two types of rockets had been used, including an M14 artillery rocket bearing Cyrillic markings and a 330-millimeter rocket of unidentified origin – though perhaps not so unidentified. Shortly after the August incident, Foreign Policy published and made mention of these mysterious rockets which according to former UN inspectors bore a strong resemblance to a 1970’s American weapon—the SLUFAE. Although SLUFAE had been shelved, the concept was built upon by several countries—namely Israel. According to the former UN inspector, “a very similar munition was found 3-5 years ago, during one of the Israeli excursions,” into Southern Lebanon”. Further, there is the strong possibility that the rockets with Cyrillic markings (attributed to the Soviets) can be traced back to the “Bear Spares” program.
According to the 1995 Teicher Affidavit, the United States had a “Bear Spares” program with the objective to provide ammunition for Soviet or Soviet-style weaponry and deliver them third countries without direct involvement. Israel which had a large stockpile of Soviet weaponry and ammunition captured during its wars was active in this program and, according to Teicher, transferred the spare parts and weapons to third countries or insurgents (such as to Iraq in the Iran-Iraq war, to the Afghans, and the Contras).
Of note is the fact that Israel possess Sarin gas and it is not party to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). It is worthwhile repeating here that it was Israeli “intelligence” which alerted the United States of the use of Sarin on August 21, and of its delivery method long before the UN report was published. It was the Israeli ‘intelligence’ which prompted John Kerry to point the finger at Assad with confidence.
Often left unmentioned is the fact that it was John Kerry’s public suggestion to rid Syria of its chemical weapons which became the basis for the Russian initiative to avert war. Undoubtedly, Israel stands to gain from this initiative given its territorial ambitions (see HERE for example) given that it is thought that Syria’s entire defense against Israel may rest on chemical weapons and warheads[i]. Not surprisingly, the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu regards the initiative as a precedent for dealing with Iran’s civilian nuclear program.
While Israel has the most to gain by the chemical attack incident, it is not unique in its access to Soviet weaponry – and to Sarin gas. Egypt also served as a supplier for the Bear Spares program where it manufactured weapons and spare parts from Soviet designs and provided these weapons and ammunition to the Iraqis (during the Iran-Iraq war) and other countries. The United States approved, assisted and encouraged Egypt’s manufacturing capabilities. It is not without relevance to mention here that the Syrian opposition group had headquarters in Egypt for some time. The leader of Egyptian military coup, General al-Sisi was hailed as a “national hero for all Jews’ by the Israeli ambassador in Cairo. The military continues to be in charge with the full support of and funding from the United States (and Saudis).
Contrary to the Western media pundits who attempt to pain this as a straightforward case against Assad, without evidence or without thought, one can point the finger to other more likely culprits who stand to gain a great deal from this heinous crime. The only way to narrow down the field is to consider ‘cui bono’. Clearly, Assad is the biggest loser.
Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich is an independent researcher and writer with a focus on U.S. foreign policy and the role of lobby groups in influencing US foreign policy.
- Chemical Weapons Shipment in Syria could fall into Hands of Al-Qaeda Brigades (nsnbc.me)
- Saudi Anger Masks Concern About Loss of Influence (lobelog.com)
- Saudis seek ‘Samson Option’ with Israeli, French aid (veteranstoday.com)
- Saudi Arabia, Russia and China Elected to UNHRC (israelnationalnews.com)
- Bandar bin Sulkin’ (my.firedoglake.com)