Thursday 18th of April 2024

renewing the dialogue, without the yankee doodles...


After talking by phone, the Russian and Ukrainian Presidents announced their willingness to hold a meeting at the "Normandy Format" on the situation in Ukraine. Emmanuel Macron has given his "total support" to the initiative.

Volodymyr Zelensky's arrival in power is reshaping the cards for solving the Ukrainian crisis? At the initiative of the Ukrainian side, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart spoke by telephone on August 7, and agreed to hold a meeting in the "Normandy Format", that is to say with France and Germany.

"The working groups are still developing documents to be signed at the highest level," the press service of the Ukrainian president said in a statement quoted by the Kremlin. This is a significant development on the Ukrainian side, since on July 8, Volodymyr Zelensky had already mentioned the possibility of such a meeting by wishing to associate the United States, which is no longer the case.

Anxious to finalize as soon as possible the details of this summit, Volodymir Zelensky called in the wake of French President Emmanuel Macron, who has lent his support to the initiative. "Emmanuel Macron expressed his full support for Ukraine's initiatives and agreed on the need for a summit in the near future, which should be preceded by a meeting of the official representatives of the four parties", said the Ukrainian press service.

The Elysee said that Emmanuel Macron had "welcomed the constructive spirit and concord" in which acted Volodymyr Zelensky and "insisted that the progress of the last weeks will have to be consolidated." The French president "assured" his Ukrainian counterpart "of the full mobilization of France to achieve concrete results in the near future, within the framework of the Normandy format".

Strictly respect the ceasefire

The telephone conversation between Volodymyr Zelensky and Vladimir Putin was also an opportunity for the two heads of state to address the issue of settlement of the conflict in eastern Ukraine. In particular, they stressed the importance of strictly adhering to the ceasefire established on 21 July 2019, as well as the agreements on the disengagement of military forces from the demarcation line. The Russian president insisted that it was necessary, in order to defuse the conflict, to rule out the possibility of further bombing of the Donbass towns and villages by the Ukrainian army, which still generates civilian casualties.


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vying for peace...

KIEV/MOSCOW (Reuters) - Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Wednesday pressed Russian leader Vladimir Putin for a resumption of peace talks after four Ukrainian soldiers were killed by shelling in the eastern Donbass border region.

Conflict between Ukrainian troops and Russian-backed forces has killed an estimated 13,000 people since 2014. A ceasefire deal brokered by France and Germany ended major conflict in eastern Ukraine in 2015, though small-scale clashes still occur regularly. 

Bringing peace to the Donbass region was a top campaign pledge for Zelenskiy, helping him to a landslide presidential election victory in April. He strengthened his power base in a parliamentary election last month. 

He said that, in a phone call with Putin on Wednesday, he had urged his Russian counterpart to exert influence over the Donbass fighters and agree to relaunch peace talks. 

Tuesday’s four deaths marked the highest toll of Ukrainian troops in a single day since Zelenskiy took office. 

“I said that this doesn’t bring us closer to peace,” Zelenskiy said of the phone call. “I beg you to influence the other side so that they stop the killing of our people.”

He said the Russian president had promised him something, details of which would be disclosed later. 

Putin in turn said Ukrainian forces must stop the shelling of settlements in the Donbass that led to civilian casualties. 

Both sides agreed to intensify work on prisoner exchanges. Russia holds dozens of Ukrainian captives from the conflict but it is unclear how many Russians are being held in Ukraine. 

The leaders of Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany last met in 2016 for their “Normandy Format” talks on the Donbass. 

Zelenskiy said he planned to speak to French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel about arranging more talks. The Kremlin said Putin and Zelenskiy had discussed the prospect of such a meeting.

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prisoners swap...

A prisoner swap between Russia and Ukraine is under way, the president's office in Ukraine says.

The statement did not indicate who was being swapped, and would only say the process was "ongoing" and had yet to be completed.

But a Ukrainian prosecutor earlier said those being freed include the film-maker Oleg Sentsov and 24 Ukrainian sailors who were detained last year.

There has been no confirmation of the swaps from Russia.

Relatives of some of the detainees are already reported to be gathering at airports in Kiev.

Rumours that a prisoner swap is imminent have spread in recent days as Sentsov was moved to Moscow from a prison in Russia's Arctic north.

Who are the prisoners?

Sentsov was found guilty of plotting terrorist acts in Crimea after Russia annexed the peninsula in 2014.

The Ukrainian was arrested in 2014 during a protest against the annexation. 

Sentsov was given a 20-year jail sentence after prosecutors said he was involved in two attempted arson attacks in the city of Simferopol, ordered by extremist Ukrainian group Right Sector. He denied the charges.

The trial was condemned by the US, EU and other film directors.

Sentsov started a hunger strike in May last year to press Russia to free 64 jailed Ukrainians whom he calls political prisoners. After more than 140 days he abandoned the strike to avoid being force fed.


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ukrainian president is likable...

Ukraine, pro-Russia separatists carry out landmark prisoner exchange

The Ukrainian government has exchanged dozens of prisoners with Russian-backed separatists in a pre-planned exchange. The swap may indicate the start of a better working relationship between Russia and Ukraine.

Pro-Russia separatists and the Kyiv government carried out a landmark prisoner swap of Ukrainian soldiers in exchange for Ukraine-held separatists on Sunday near the rebel-controlled town of Gorlivka.

It is unclear exactly how many people were involved in the swap, but officials and Russian press previously said separatists would get 87 prisoners while 55 people would be handed over to Kyiv.

The exchange was agreed upon by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in Paris in December, in a meeting that France and Germany helped broker.

Read more: Opinion: Germany's policy on Russia — silence implies consent

The swap took place in the rebel-controlled Donetsk region. "At the Mayorske checkpoint the process of releasing detained persons has begun," the official Twitter account of the Ukrainian president said on Sunday.

The all-for-all prisoner exchange has been seen as a sign of the gradual thaw between Moscow and Kyiv after Russia annexed Crimea in 2014 and the years-long conflict in eastern Ukraine that killed some 13,000 people.

"We are all waiting for this," the Ukrainian leader said on Saturday. He described the exchange as "the most difficult task this year."

Many commentators hope that this could spell an end to the conflict, given improved relations between Zelenskiy and Putin, who has described the Ukrainian president as "likable."


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Kiev and Moscow announced on the night of December 30-31 that they had signed, after tough negotiations, a contract for the transit of Russian gas to Europe via Ukraine, raising fears of a new crisis in the middle of winter. "Ukraine has signed a five-year transit contract," Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced on Facebook. "Europe knows that we are not going to drop it," he said.

The final agreements were reached after five days of uninterrupted negotiations in Vienna. A whole series of documents have been signed,” confirmed the boss of the Russian gas giant Gazprom, Alexei Miller, quoted by the Russian agencies. He added that these documents would make it possible to continue "the transit of gas after December 31", the expiration date of the existing contract. Volodymyr Zelensky and Russian President Vladimir Putin stressed in a telephone conversation on December 31 the "importance" of this agreement and the "constructive nature of the talks, the results of which create an atmosphere favorable to the resolution of other problems" , according to a press release from the Kremlin. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, quoted by AFP without specifying place or date, is said to be "happy" with this "successful conclusion" which she would have called "important signal". Despite the first agreement in principle obtained on December 19 in Berlin, talks to finalize it proved to be very tense, raising fears of a last-minute failure at the risk of disrupting supplies to European countries.


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This will piss off the Yamerikans as they won't be able to sell their overpriced and environmental disaster fracking gas to Europe...

rewriting history as a legend...

There is a weird article (naive or decidedly viciously slanted?) by a young journalist at the ABC. James Glenday is a North America correspondent based in Washington DC. He has previously been the ABC's Europe correspondent in London and a political reporter at Parliament House in Canberra. James has won several journalism awards, including the ABC's prestigious Andrew Olle Scholarship

I knew Andrew Olle. I knew him enough to believe he would have been horrified by this young gun’s work here. It’s not that James is telling porkies, but he is leaving the important stuff out of the equation. What is the important stuff?

The important stuff is that the US policy in Ukraine has been to extract it from the Russian influence, using any means possible including giving moneys to Ukrainian Nazis “to fight corruption” and create “a revolution". If one carefully reads the speech by United States Ambassador to Ukraine, Mr Slava Ukraini, one should see the usual corrupt way of "soft" arm twisting that has served the USA well in Afghanistan, in Iraq, in Vietnam, and in Europe after WW2. It’s generosity with thick strings attached. This is a way (often overt) to shift “local corruption” into a “US way to do corruption in a more acceptable profitable way for the US, as long as we do it the “US democratic way” — which "everyone” should know is corrupt. And not just Trump's baby. This has been the case under all presidents, including Obama and his acolyte Biden. Back in 1964, the General de Gaulle saw clearly through all this crap.

The whole system is corrupt for favours. Believing that in just a few years a "corrupt system” can be changed to a “justice the American way” by loading the dice with American moneys is delusion plus… Nulan worked on corrupting Ukraine with "cookies", far more than Russia ever did. Mr Slava Ukraini tells us:

"I take great pleasure in announcing that U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker will return to Ukraine in October. During her visit, Secretary Pritzker will take a serious look at what Ukraine has accomplished since her last visit. I am confident that she will see a government and business community serious about reforms, and ready to establish more connections and partnerships with U.S. businesses and investors.

What is this shit?… Getting the headmistress of the school to come and give a tick of approval to the pacified bullies?… Come on, wake up, open your eyes! 

Oh and now, young James Glenday tells us as well:

"There's no evidence Mr Biden acted improperly.”

"Since the impeachment drama got underway, Ukrainian prosecutors have decided to reopen 15 investigations related to Burisma.

Ukraine's most senior prosecutor, Ruslan Ryaboshapka, says he's unaware of any wrongdoing by the younger Biden.

Hello? Unaware? Should this prosecutor find something unsavoury (which should not take long, I believe the Russian "new KGB” would know a few things) he will keep it unaware for a while because Biden could become US President, you know… We don’t want bad blood, do we?

And what was Young Biden doing at Burisma when he was an unwashed greenhorn at this job for which he was paid 50 grands a month? Is this sheer corruption, mates rates or who-you-know rather than what-you-know?

Sounds like pompous Captain Mainwaring deciding that old Godfrey who wants to quit the Platoooon is too valuable to the “Platooooon” because Godfrey is rostered for make tea for the Platoooooon of old foggies…

Yes Guiliani is a loose cannon, Trump is a loose cannon and this is the point that somewhere, in the US secret service AND the Russian secret service, someone knows what this shit was really all about. We should all know that Biden is a smart operator but cannot be trusted… He is a warmonger

Presently, Volodymir and Vladimir have made an uneasy peace. Volodymir knows of the pressures placed on the previous “non-corrupt” (laugh all you can) government of Poroshenko supported by the USA. The Ukrainians prefered to elect a comedian as president rather than do a few more years with Poro… Doesn't this tell you something?

Volodymir knows that many Ukrainians are not happy about the US and their moneys interfering with their politics. He also knows that Ukraine has an uneasy relationship with the Nazis, a dormant movement which was revived with US cash to create the Maidan revolution, which despite the US ambassador praising this “movement” was deviously vicious as all get out. The more honest people in Ukraine do not like this and may prefer “socialism” rather than being ruled by thugs, paid for by the USA, who turn their life into becoming servile to a big brother that can break their windows should they not pay protection moneys — through a vast empire of "more connections and partnerships with U.S. businesses and investors”.

Young James Glenday again:

"In fact, Mr Biden was part of an international consortium pressing to fire Mr Shokin because he wasn't investigating corruption actively enough.

The policy was made by the State Department, in coordination with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. 

The concern was the West wouldn't get value for the huge amount of treasure it was sending Ukraine's way to help it defend itself against Russia.

The firing of Mr Shokin in 2015 was widely applauded, and Ukraine was granted the aid money.

If this isn’t international ganging-corruption, what is? The IMF and the EU OBEY the US State Department, because, they themselves depend on the US teats — and countries fear being sanctioned (BLACKMAILED), AS THEY ARE UNDER TRUMP, PRESENTLY, in regard to Russian gas (NordStream2).

Of all these countries, Turkey is the one that is playing a double game of dare. Should the US sanction Turkey for buying Russian S400, the US would lose its Incirlik base and Europe would be flooded with a new wave of 2 million plus refugees… It’s a game of chicken... And Biden is thick in it.

What Biden did in Ukraine was no other thing than pure blackmail, to suit US interests, and do a favour for his son. Biden should be seen as a Mafioso thug, nothing less.

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working together would be of great mutual benefit...

Efforts by some foreign actors to drive a wedge between Russia and Ukraine make sense, since the synergies coming from both countries working together would be of great mutual benefit, Vladimir Putin has said.

Russia and Ukraine have common historic roots and great potential for benefiting each other from joint efforts, so it's no surprise that hostile players put so much energy into preventing any rapprochement, the Russian president said in an interview.

“Since any integration of Russia and Ukraine, along with their capacities and competitive advantages would spell the emergence of a rival, a global rival for both Europe and the world, no one wants this. That’s why they’ll do anything to tear us apart,” he told the news agency TASS.

READ MORE: ‘No one mentioned Mishustin, except me’: Putin reveals new Russian PM wasn't on original shortlist

Ukrainian nationalists and politicians who drive the nations further apart are acting against the interests of their own nation, Putin argued, citing how Ukraine is becoming less industrialized, amid other economic woes which have manifested since 2014. He believes the allegiances of such people lie elsewhere.

Their goal is “not even to get more from robbing the Ukrainian people blind, but to hold on to what they have previously stolen”, he said.


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the chocolate king vs russian fifth columnists... in biden's bid...

meanwhile in russia, early may... 

the victory for an unrecognised republic...

People’s Republic of Donetsk: The path of an unrecognised state outside the borders of globalism
by Miroslava Dimitrova*

At midnight on 27 July 2020, a complete and comprehensive ceasefire began in Donbas. This had been agreed on by Ukraine, Russia and the OSCE within the Trilateral Contact Group. The ceasefire is to be maintained, until the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine has been fully resolved. The People’s Republic of Donetsk (DPR) called this step a breakthrough. Russia also reacted positively to the negotiation of the measures. For the first time, this agreement was also signed by Ukraine.
Is the fulfillment of the Minsk agreements the final goal that the republics in the Donbas are really striving for? What visions do they have for their future? About these and other issues we had talks in Donetsk with the “Donetsk Republic” social movement Central Executive Committee chairman, Alexei Muratov, with the Minister of Economic Development of the DPR Alexei Polovyan, and with the Chairman of the People’s Chamber, Alexander Koffman.

    The People’s Republic of Donetsk declared itself an independent republic in 2014, after the national referendum held in the same year. Since then it has been held in international political economic blockade and isolation. Although the republic has created its own constitution based on the principle of popular rule and although it has begun building its own social system, the international community does not accept its choice. Despite the fact that the Republic has all the characteristics of state control over its territory, an administrative system with an efficient state apparatus and de facto sovereignty, it does not have international diplomatic recognition and thus cannot de jure become a subject of international relations. As in the case of the other post-Soviet unrecognised states, the international community takes a harsh stance and places the principle of the inviolability of borders above the principle of the right to self-determination.

Socioeconomic upturn of
the People’s Republic of Donetsk 

Despite international isolation and ongoing military conflict, the People’s Republic of Donetsk has not only established its rule of law with independent institutions and the separation of powers during its six years of existence; it has also developed an economy based on the principles of the welfare state, a development that makes the unrecognised republic a pioneer of today’s resistance to globalism. The political model of government of the People’s Republic is democratic, but has no party participation. It is a nation state that functions outside the system of globalism with economic success despite war.

Political Model of the
People’s Republic of Donetsk

According to the constitution adopted on 14 May 2014, the People’s Republic of Donetsk is a democratic social republic under the rule of law. The form of government can be described as a presidential republic. There are no active political parties in the DPR. The functions of political parties are performed by social organisations. There are two larger than the others – “Republic of Donetsk” and “Free Donbass”.
    The leader of the “Republic of Donetsk” movement is the head of state of the People’s Republic of Donetsk, Denis Pushilin. The role of social movements in the Republic’s political life is described by Alexei Muratov, head of the Central Executive Committee of the public movement “Republic of Donetsk”, in the following interview.
Miroslava Dimitrova: Mr. Muratov, would you briefly explain the government model of the DPR for us? In modern Europe we are not familiar with a government without participation of political parties. What are the advantages of this model over the political model of liberal democracy?

Alexei Muratov: What are political parties for? Political parties mainly fight for power. We need no power. The public movement differs from political parties in that it is an association of people who have come together to find a common solution for the goals and tasks of a society. When we united in 2014, social movements came into being, to decide what our future path should be. This was the time of the military coup and the Maidan. People appeared in public and decided that our future, our way should be the integration into the Russian Federation. Today the social movement “Republic of Donetsk” has more than 210,000 activists, that is first of all people with an active attitude towards life, who create order with their own hands, who build the state and build bridges to the Russian Federation, in accordance with the decisions we made in 2014.

Do you have a model, an example from the past that you would like to emulate, or is the republic’s model of government the first pioneer in world history?

There are enough examples of popular rule. Today we have a People’s Republic. According to the constitution, the people are the source of power. Within the movement we have a variety of activities, but above all we give to the people the tools of self-regulation, i.e. the instruments of democracy. We also have interesting projects such as the control by the people, where the people themselves have the opportunity to participate and control the authorities. We cooperate with all categories of citizens – with elderly people as well as with young people, with students, with soldiers, with all others. We have a constitution, and therefore the power, the government, lies with the people. In the West, power is in the hands of the political parties, so the people are not at the center of the decisions. Political parties represent the interests of certain categories in society. There the decisions are made in the leadership circles. We have a social movement. In our country all citizens participate in public organisation and can actively make decisions on all issues.

The economic Development of the Republic

The People’s Republic of Donetsk is an industrially highly developed country. The events of recent years have led to a sharp decline in industrial production. Problems related to the destruction of infrastructure and lack of working capital hinder the technological development of the economy. At the same time, however, the metallurgical industry, the production of coke and coke products, the manufacture of certain types of technical products, the food industry, the chemical industry and certain types of building materials remain competitive. According to a number of economic indicators, the Republic recorded economic growth in 2019. The People’s Republic of Donetsk is a welfare state. Health and education are free, mineral resources and agricultural land belong to the state and the municipalities. The international economic blockade is an obstacle to the development of the national economy. However, efforts are being made to increase economic growth, to attract foreign investors in order to secure jobs, to maintain and develop infrastructure and to develop the country.

    We also discussed the plans for the development of the economy of the republic with Alexei Polovyan, Minister of Economic Development of the DPR:
What are the main objectives of the strategy of economic development of the DPR?
Alexei Polovyan: Under the present conditions, the main goal of the Republic is to improve the population’s well-being. Consideration should be given to increasing the economy’s productivity, to an efficient use of human capital, innovative, technological and natural resources for production of goods and services, to solving the problems of modernisation of production as well as ensuring sustainable development of the Republic’s economy as the main source of an increase in competitiveness of the DPR economy.
What is the role of the welfare state in the DPR’s economy?
The idea of the welfare state is at the center of the formation of our republic, and this fact is confirmed by

  • stable tariffs for housing and communal services for the population during the last five years, and

  • the increase of the average wage by more than twice over that of 2016, including the wages of workers in education and health care.

In addition, the Republic’s leadership plans to further improve the well-being of the population. Starting this year, the salaries of public sector employees, pensioners and other socially disadvantaged groups will be gradually increased.

    Much attention is also paid to young people in our republic and they are guaranteed the right to higher education. The republic also demonstrates the functions of a welfare state in its programme of humanitarian aid and environmental protection for the Donbass regions controlled by Ukraine. Free medical and educational services are provided, benefits are paid to veterans and separated families, invalids, children with disabilities and their families are supported. Human capital is an important resource of national wealth and a source of positive state transformation. The People’s Republic of Donetsk is in an active phase of rebuilding key sectors of the national economy and of increasing production rates.

    Positive changes are made possible precisely because of the high labour and intellectual potential of our citizens, their love for their homeland and their desire to preserve and increase the wealth of the Don land.

Life in times of crisis
On 12 February 2020 five years have passed since the signing of the Minsk Agreement, Minsk II. In the past year, numerous proposals for a solution to the conflict in the Donbass were discussed, such as the Steinmeier formula and the Munich resolution. Earlier this year, the situation in the region and the progress of the Minsk agreements were discussed in the UN Security Council, and there were talks in the Normandy format – Russia, Germany, France, Ukraine. On 21 July, both sides reached another ceasefire agreement.

    However, during my stay in Donetsk, daily shelling from the front line, which is about 5 km from the city, can be heard. The city itself is quiet and safe, but the daily news from the front as well as reports from the OSCE show that not a day goes by without shelling and damage to houses, infrastructure, injuries to civilians and soldiers.

    When asked about the effectiveness of the Minsk Agreement, our interlocutors replied as follows:

Alexei Muratov: For us, the Minsk Agreement is first and foremost a civilised divorce from Ukraine. We already made our choice in 2014. In order to gain recognition in all other countries, we now have the location in Minsk. With this algorithm we confirm our right to self-determination and our decision, which we made in 2014. Our choice is Russia.

Alexander Koffman: Did you hear the explosion this morning? That is the sound of the current Ukrainian government. During the period of Zelensky’s leadership, there have been more victims among the population than in the same period last year under the leadership of Poroshenko. Therefore, I do not believe in the peaceful rhetoric of Ukraine, and I do not believe that we would be able to agree on anything with them.

    Zelensky is a puppet, he does not make independent decisions. He had everything: the highest confidence level of 72 %, the majority in the Verkhovna Rada, a government formed by himself, everything. He would have been able to end the war. But he did not do so. Therefore, we cannot consider Zelensky as relevant to international processes. 
The Minsk Accords were needed in 2014 because they halted the advance of Ukrainian troops and put an end to the massive losses of the civilian population. However, the implementation of the Minsk Accords is not possible for Ukraine, as this would lead to a complete dismantling of Ukraine. 

The Donbass election
The number of unrecognised countries in the world is growing, and at the same time there is a lack of active discussions in the international community to solve the problem. Will the People’s Republic of Donetsk become a central point of attraction for the anti-globalist forces of the world and a precedent as the first recognised self-proclaimed republic? According to Alexander Koffman, Chairman of the People’s Chamber of the DPR, Europe is called upon to recognise the choice of the DPR: “The use of unconventional weapons such as gas, nuclear weapons and phosphorus bombs is prohibited worldwide. In view of the Europe’s defeat due to National Socialism 75 years ago,

I am convinced that Europe would never return to this kind of weapons, but we must clearly understand that Ukraine is using this kind of weapons - genocide against its own people. And as long as Europe or the USA do not realise this and do not consider it criminal, they will become criminals against humanity themselves”.

    A large part of the DPR population already has Russian passports, Russian is the official language in their republic, and the Russian ruble is their official currency. Donetsk has chosen Russia, and the country has deliberately taken this path. Donbass has itself determined its affiliation to the Russian sphere of influence. The Russian value system is based on principles such as historical continuity of generations, conservation, dissemination and development of national culture, education for patriotism, and a democratic and social state. All these values have already been forgotten in a large part of Europe.

    Negotiations for a cease-fire are underway, but the recognition of a people’s choice of civilisation is the remaining and the essential question. A choice that makes it impossible for a people to be integrated in a pro-liberal and global political and economic system such as the one currently in force in Ukraine. From today’s point of view, it is rather unlikely that Europe will accept the choice of the people in Donetsk. But this unrecognised republic’s success could become a step forward in the victory over globalism in the world.

(Translation Current Concerns)

*  Miroslava Dimitrova, born in Sofia (Bulgaria), graduate in economics, journalist, president of the association “Oplot Bulgaria”, currently in Donetsk, where she is denied departure until further notice due to the closing of the borders of the Russian Federation and Ukraine.

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Note: this news made little news in the Western media, possibly because it goes against the general Western Russiophobia...