Several events going on regarding Russia. The Russia Desk at CIA and the U.S. State Department must be real busy about now. Why? Could the United States and international friends be encouraging some of these items? One cannot overlook the fact that Russia continues to bomb Syria and then well, we have Russia still embedding itself in Venezuela….but read on…some interesting items below.
- Jon Huntsman is expected to leave his role as U.S. ambassador to Russia this year ahead of a potential bid to be Utah’s next governor, The Atlantic reported Monday.Four sources familiar with the situation told the magazine that Huntsman is more seriously considering the job, which he already held from 2004 to 2009, than he previously had been.
“It’s not idle chatter,” Chuck Warren, a Republican consultant who served as Huntsman’s campaign manager during his first bid for governor, told The Atlantic. “He’s seriously considering it.”
- Yet another mock gravestone bearing the name and image of President Vladimir Putin has appeared in Russia — this time in the southwestern city of Voronezh.”Incredible thief and liar. Political corpse,” read the accompanying text featuring Putin’s surname, initials, and birth year, and listing 2019 as the year of death.
Soon after that a mock gravestone emerged in Moscow, and a third in Berlin. On April 3, activists placed one opposite the famed St. Isaac’s Cathedral in St. Petersburg, garnering widespread attention.
Agit Rossia has taken responsibility for at least some of the gravestones. In an interview with Meduza in April, spokesman Grigory Kudryavtsev said the group was created to “fill a niche” left behind by the lack of street protests in Russia.
- Vladimir Putin’s decision to offer Russian citizenship to those living in Russian-occupied portions of Ukraine and possibly others as well may be intended not only to extend Russian power over that country further but also to help solve Russia’s demographic collapse, according to a Russian blogger who writes under the screen name “Ded Moroz” [Grandfather Frost].He suggests that the extremely negative demographic figures of recent months mean that “the massive distribution of passports may be the only way to save [Russia] from withering away altogether” (cont.ws/@Ded-Moroz/1310165 reposted at newizv.ru).
If Russian government claims that 86 percent of the population in Russian-occupied portions of the Donbas are correct, this policy would immediately produce some two million new Russian citizens and be a boost to the country’s total population.
Many analysts had concluded that the declining number of women in the prime child-bearing ages and declining birthrates present Russia with an almost intractable problem especially given that the number of immigrants has fallen sharply, Grandfather Frost says. But it turns out that this all can be solved not just by falsification of demographic data but by “the stroke of a pen.” Complete summary here.
- Ukraine is still under military attack by Russia.
Russia’s hybrid military forces on June 9 mounted 26 attacks on Ukrainian army positions in Donbas, eastern Ukraine. “In eight instances, they used the weapons banned by the Minsk agreements – 122mm artillery systems, 120mm and 82mm mortars,” the press center of Ukraine’s Joint Forces Operation said on Facebook in an update as of 07:00 Kyiv time on June 10, 2019.Russia-led forces also used weapons installed on infantry fighting vehicles, anti-tank missile systems, grenade launchers of various types, heavy machine guns, and small arms. Under attack were Ukrainian positions near the town of Avdiyivka, as well as near the villages of Vodiane, Talakivka, Pavlopil, Hnutove, Verkhniotoretske, Pisky, Berezove, Nevelske, Novo-Oleksandrivka, Zaitseve, and Novoluhanske.
*** There is more but now it stands to reason that since Europe has joined the United States by pushing back on countless items of Russian aggression, it is no wonder Putin is looking for a deeper relationship with China, both for sure rogue nations that are in a hybrid war against the United States. Putin was not invited to any of the D-Day events so he met with Xi Jinping and they declared the best of friendships.Putin’s message got a boost, if a superficial one, from Xi, who called him “my best friend” and presented a pair of pandas – Ru Yi and Ding Ding – that China is loaning Russia for 15 years for what was described as a joint research project.
In what seems like some sort of metaphor for Russia’s lopsided relationship with China, whose economy is nearly 10 times the size of Russia’s, state news agency TASS reported that the pandas will remain the property of the Chinese government “and their offspring, if any, will also belong to China.”
And Putin’s message at the forum was undermined by a warning from longtime former Finance Minister Aleksei Kudrin, who suggested that Calvey’s arrest in February was behind a doubling of capital flight from Russia, which he said reached $40 billion so far this year.
- Meanwhile, there has been almost no reporting of the near purposeful collision of a Russian destroyer with a U.S. Navy cruiser.USS Chancellorsville (CG-62) was attempting to recover a helicopter when it was approached by a Udaloy-class destroyer at about 11:45 a.m. local time, according to a Friday statement from 7th Fleet.“While Chancellorsville was recovering its helicopter on a steady course and speed when the Russian ship DD572 maneuvered from behind and to the right of Chancellorsville accelerated and closed to an unsafe distance of ~50-100 feet. This unsafe action forced Chancellorsville to execute all engines back full and to maneuver to avoid collision,” read the statement.
The Friday incident in the Pacific follows an unsafe aircraft interaction between a U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon and a Russian Sukhoi Su-35 fighter. By the way, notice towards the end of the video where the Russian sailors are on the stern sunbathing… More here.