Current Events and Links
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See later stories: After Dec. 31, 2011
See earlier stories - before Jan. 1, 2009
Russia emerges as Europe's most religious nation
Dec. 29, 2011 -
The survey shows that 82% of Russians say they believe in a diety. The number of "truly religious, church-going people" is not more than
20 percent, but that is still encouraging.
- Two decades after the collapse of the USSR, history's most atheistic state, the vast majority of Russians attest to a belief in the
Divine — more than in any other European country — according to a recent opinion poll.
- Source: Jewish World Review
Russia's Strengthening Military Presence in the Caucasus and the Black Sea
Aug. 25, 2010 - Russia is strengthening its military presence outside of its borders in the Caucasus and the Black Sea in order to preserve its own sovereignty.
Russia's incursions into Georgia. Abkhazia and South Ossetia and their deployment of additional missile defenses are not meant as a threat to these countries as much as it is a warning to NATO and the U.S. that it is still strong militarily.
- [The] Russian fleet in Crimea has a strategic importance in terms of preserving Moscows dominance in the Black Sea and being able to reach to the Mediterranean when necessary.
- Source: Turkish Weekly
- Largest airborne military exercises since Sov.Union begin in central Russia - RIANovosti
Bushehr nuclear reactor to be loaded with fuel August 21
Aug. 16, 2010 - Construction on Iran's first nuclear reactor was begun in 1975. According to Sergei Novikov, spokesman for the Russian Federal Atomic Energy Agency (Rosatom), nuclear fuel will be installed on August 21.
- "From then on, it [the reactor] will be qualified as [an operational] nuclear power plant," Novikov said.
- House Republicans Giving Green Light for Israeli Strike on Iran - GlobalResearch.ca
- John Bolton: Russia's Loading of Nuke Fuel Into Iran Plant Means Aug. 21 Deadline for Israeli Attack - NewsMax
FBI breaks up alleged Russian spy ring in deep cover
Jun. 29, 2010 - Ten people have been arrested on charges of spying or money laundering. The suspects are characterized as a "long term, deep cover" network of Russian agents. They spent years adopting American identities and gathering information about nuclear weapons, the gold market, and personnel changes at the CIA.
The FBI claims that the group was sent by the Russian intelligence service to live in the US under false names.
- The FBI alleges that the accused spies were able to get close to a scientist working with "bunker-buster" nuclear bombs and a New York financier with powerful political ties. But the intercepts do not suggest they were successful at uncovering valuable information.
- Source: The Guardian - UK
11th suspect arrested in alleged Russian spy ring - Xinhuane
- Russia plays down US spy arrests - BBC
- Arrests of alleged spies: 'Cold War never ended' - WTOP News Radio
- The Dismantling of a Suspected Russian Intelligence Operation - Stratfor
Russia to Help Spur New Economic Order, Medvedev Says
June 19, 2010 - According to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev says that Russia will use tax incentives and other free-market economic policies to turn the country into a destination for innovators from around the world.
Medvedev asked billionaire Viktor Vekselberg, owner of Renova Group, to develop a Russian version of Silicon Valley in the Moscow suburb of Skolkovo. Investors will be enticed by tax breaks and other incentives to spur innovation and production of high-technology products.
- The government will abolish taxes on capital gains from long-term direct investments starting next year, seeking to lure funds to reduce the economy’s energy dependence and subdue speculative capital, Medvedev said.
- Source: Bloomberg Businessweek
- Medvedev Pushes Ruble Reserve Currency to Cut Dollar Dominance - Bloomberg Businessweek
- From June, 2009 - Medvedev Shows Off Sample Coin of New ‘World Currency’ at G-8 - Bloomberg Businessweek
- Picture on Drudge Report - Today only
Russia President: We Will Continue Nuclear Weapon Development
Dec. 24, 2009 - The U.S. and Russia are working towards a nuclear arms reduction agreement, but Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said that the country will continue to develop its own strategic offensive nuclear weapons even after signing the document.
- "We will continue developing new systems, including delivery vehicles. That is normal. The rest of the world is doing it," the president continued.
- Source: Novinite
- Russia to develop new nuclear missiles - al Alam
Along the Russian-Georgian border, war games or prelude to war?
June 30, 2009 - Russia is conducting its biggest post-Soviet army military exercises in the mountainous borderlands where they invaded South Ossetia last August. Some analysts think that the war games are a test for President Barack Obama, who arrives in Moscow for talks next Monday.
- Georgia has denounced the Kavkaz-2009 games, which feature 8,500 troops and 200 tanks, as “pure provocation” and a possible prelude to renewed hostilities.
- Source:Christian Science Monitor
'Catastrophic crisis' facing Russian army
Could lead to use of nuclear weapons
June 24, 2009 - Nikolai Makarov, Russia's Chief of the General Staff, warns that Russia's military is aging and unmotivated. It is on the verge of a "catastrophic crisis" and if forced into action would be much more likely to use strategic nuclear weapons.
- In addition, Makarov said the Russian air force is not procuring sufficient numbers of new modern aircraft and has fewer flight-worthy aircraft with badly trained pilots incapable of conducting actual combat operations.
- Source: Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin - WorldNetDaily
Vladimir Putin faces rising anger from within Russian army
Feb. 25, 2009 - Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is being criticized by a growing number of citizens and even military personnel.
However, living conditions are poor for most military personnel.
- The former KGB officer has nearly quadrupled the defense budget to £22 billion this year and has unveiled plans for an additional £130 billion cash injection over the next decade.
- Source: Telegraph - UK
Is Russia Punishing Ukraine?
Jan 10, 2009 - Russia is trying to regain its role as a world power by exerting control over former Soviet countries. As an example of this pressure, Russia has shut off Ukraine's natural gas. Russia claims it is about a pricing dispute, but some see it as an effort to punish Ukraine for moving in a pro-Western direction.
- Source: CBN
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