Hungary railway co. stops direct trains to Western Europe

Hungary railway co. stops direct trains to Western Europ

portfolio HU

“For the sake of safe railway traffic the railway company has decided that until further notice it will have no trains departing from Budapest directly to Western Europe. The international tickets will be accepted on domestic trains,” state-owned railway company MÁV said in a statement.

Local news portal Index cited a reader saying that an international train arriving from Berlin was stopped at Vác and the passengers were asked to change for a passenger train that went to the Nyugati railway station.

Viktor Váczi, deputy spokesman for MÁV told state-owned newswire MTI that in the current situation Western Europe is accessible from Hungary by train only from the stations directly at the western and northern borders. From then passengers can use the trains of other (foreign) railway companies, from Hegyeshalom and Szob.

MÁV spokeswoman Virág Lőcsei told news portal origo.hu that the measure is affecting the trains leaving for Bratislava and Prague. Trains heading for Western Europe may be boarded also in Győr and Hegyeshalom, she added. She noted that the Keleti railway station has been reopened for the public and the police have been withdrawn from there. MTI reported that migrants and refugees streamed into the station and the platforms are already full.

MÁV keeps informing passengers that direct trains to Western Europe have been cancelled but domestic trains heading for the border may be used. Index reported that the announcements are mostly made in Hungarian and only once or twice in English, but it does not really matter because people cannot hear it the huge ruckus.

According to Index, trains have been run over, people even climbed through windows to get inside, in hope that they can finally get out of Budapest and closer to a better life. The message has finally got through and the masses disembarked the train but remained on the platform.

Basically, there is total chaos at the station. No one, even police officers present have no idea what will happen next.

What is going on at the Hungarian railway company?

  • Thousands of refugees / migrants have been stock in the transit zone at Budapest’s Keleti railway station for days, as MÁV did not let passengers without valid documents board trains to Vienna, Austria and Munich, Germany.
  • On Tuesday morning the station was closed by authorities for about an hour, when no trains were allowed to arrive or depart. The station was evacuated.
  • There were reports last week that Germany is willing to take in any refugee from Syria that is part of the reason why those stranded in Hungary want to move on as soon as possible.
  • The German Embassy in Budapest issued a statement on Wednesday evening, saying that the Dublin Regulation is the applicable European legislation, under which asylum seekers must register in the country where they first entered the European Union.

Indian/Israeli ABM Missile In Development To Defeat Indian/Russian Anti-Ship Missile

[The Barak 8 multi-purpose seaborne missile defense system, the centerpiece of Israeli Med. gas facilities defense plans (SEE:  Israel Navy’s defense of Mediterranean gas fields displayed in war game).]

Intercept test validates Barak 8 air defense system maturity

defense update
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Barak 8 missile launched from a test rig in the Negev, on one of the recent flights that tested the missile’s propulsion system. Today’s test evaluated the entire system’s performance – sensors, command and control, communications and intercept. Photo: IAI

Today at 07:20 (Israel time), Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), in collaboration with the Israeli Ministry of Defense (IMOD), conducted the first successful flight test of the Barak-8 Air & Missile Defense System. On this test, held at the weapon test range in the Negev desert the system employed all the elements related to the naval and land-based variants of the system, including the phased array radar, battle management system, communications and the Barak-8 interceptor, which intercepted a manoeuvring air-breathing target representing an attacking combat aircraft.

The successful test validated the entire system which has already undergone exhaustive partial testing and simulations. The flight test has been delayed for months due to late arrival of parts of the propulsion systems, which have been released by India in the past months. Senior Indian officials attended the test. “This is an important milestone in the cooperation between India and Israel and in the development of the Barak-8 advanced air defense system” Dr. Avinash Chander, Head of DRDO and Scientific adviser to the Indian defense minister.

Barak 8 is also designed to defeat advanced threats such as the supersonic cruise missiles such as the Chinese CX-1 or Russian Yakhont

“The Barak-8 project expresses a constructive cooperation between the Indian DRDO, the Israeli DDR&D and both countries’ Defense Forces; together they have all pushed forward this important program, overcoming technological challenges and earning achievements along the way.” Rear Admiral (Res.) Ophir Shoham, head of Israel’s Research and Development directorate added.

barak-test

Barak 8 provides high level of protection against a variety of aerial platforms and munitions including aircraft, helicopters, unmanned aircraft and sea-skimming missiles under all weather conditions. In addition to conventional sea skimming missiles, which fly in subsonic speed, Barak 8 is also designed to defeat advanced threats such as the supersonic cruise missiles such as the new CX-1 or Yakhont.

IAI officials are confident that the system could become operational in few months

Its interceptor is a missile developed by RAFAEL, in collaboration with India’s Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO). Other key elements are the advanced phased array multi mission radar, two-way data link, and flexible command and control system enabling the system to be used as an area defense system, by integrating several fire units, sensors and command centers into an air defense ‘networked mesh’.

kolkata-800v

The system is scheduled to go through an accelerated testing campaign in the next years, which will include more verification tests, and launches at sea launches. Some of the tests are expected to take place in India. Although the missile testing have only started, IAI officials are confident that the system could become operational in few months, as most of the system’s elements have been thoroughly tested, some are already installed on surface ships in India and Israel.

Barak 8 air defense systems have been marketed by IAI and DRDO for several years, and have orders worth several billion US$ from a number of countries on books. Apart from India and Israel, Azerbaijan reportedly became a customer for the system. IAI is offering the system as new installations on surface vessels, as well as an upgrading of existing Barak-1 systems, providing extended coverage, providing air defense of naval groups, rather than the point defense of the carrying vessel, provided by Barak-1. Barak-1 systems are currently operational with the Navies of India, Chile, Singapore and Israel.

The INS Lahav (Saar V class) corvette was upgraded with the MF-STAR ADIR phased array radar, providing the vessel a critical sensor for the defense of Israel's offshore gas drilling rigs located in the EEZ, at the range of Gaza rockets and Hezbollah Yakhont anti-ship missiles. The Navy has recently successfully practiced air defense against those thraets, using BARAK I missiles. Future weapons, such as Barak 8, C-DOME and David's Sling will provide more hermetic defense from such threats. Photo: Israel Navy

The INS Lahav (Saar V class) corvette was upgraded with the MF-STAR ADIR phased array radar, providing the vessel a critical sensor for the defense of Israel’s offshore gas drilling rigs located in the EEZ, at the range of Gaza rockets and Hezbollah Yakhont anti-ship missiles. The Navy has recently successfully practiced air defense against those thraets, using BARAK I missiles. Future weapons, such as Barak 8, C-DOME and David’s Sling will provide more hermetic defense from such threats. Photo: Israel Navy

Former FBI Dir. Louis Freeh Alive Today Because He Was Being Followed By Unnamed FBI Agent

[Many anomalies—

Had the agent not been following him on Aug. 25, 2014, his severed femoral artery would have bled him out before it could have been called-in.  A call of “no drugs of alcohol” in his system was made by investigating officer at scene.  No toxicology report cited.  Freeh later could not remember the trip, except for starting-out the driveway from his home nearby.  He never swerved back onto the road, or braked, for 360′, even after striking mailboxes and a “stone ledge” and two trees.  Three other drivers reported him running them off the road just prior to the crash, his head was down and he was unresponsive to their horns. 

Probable cause of the crash is given as lack of sleep, even though his children report him sleeping eight hours the previous night.  Reports from the hospital stated that a heavily armed guards were posted to Freeh’s room. 

Louis Freeh was Bandar bin Sultan’s lawyer in the BAE bribery scandal.  His name figures prominently in many recent national security scandals, Flt. 800 Shootdown, Ruby Ridge, Waco, Oklahoma City, 911, even the BP Oil Spill.]

UPDATE: Louis Freeh’s Curious Car Accident

 who what why

Rescuers prepare to fly ex-FBI Director Louis Freeh to the hospital

Recently, we reported on an Aug. 25 one-car crash involving the long-time former FBI director, Louis Freeh. Considering Freeh’s prominence and tenure in the national security apparatus, the incident has received surprisingly little media attention and virtually no serious scrutiny.

But we think that journalistic rigor warrants a close look at misfortune befalling people in sensitive positions, even when there is a reasonable possibility that there is nothing more to learn. You can read our first article here.

Now, we’d like to update you on two key points, and then on some other curiosities.

First: local Vermont media are reporting that, just prior to his crash along a relatively straight and flat portion of a rural stretch of Vermont Highway 12, Freeh, 64, nearly took out three motorists, whose evasive actions saved themselves.

Second: a still unidentified FBI agent quickly materialized at the scene of the crash.

Freeh Wheeling

Vermont’s largest newspaper, the Burlington Free Press, provided the following coverage, citing one of the drivers whose quick action saved their lives:

The driver, Van Coleman, gave a written statement to a Windsor County deputy sheriff, who was the first police officer on the scene of the Aug. 25 crash of Freeh’s vehicle. Deputy Sheriff Justin Hoyt said he gave the eyewitness report to state police.

A motorcyclist and two cars needed to swerve into the left lane when Freeh’s vehicle crossed the center line on Vermont 12 in Barnard and headed at the trio at a high rate of speed, Coleman told the Burlington Free Press.

Freeh “was doing about 60 to 65 miles per hour and was on the left side of the road,” Coleman said. The speed limit was 50 mph.

Coleman said the northbound motorcyclist, who was first in line, moved to the left to avoid the SUV coming in the wrong lane. Another car also swerved left before Coleman followed suit in his Honda, he said.

None of this information about Freeh’s behavior has been provided to the public by the government—so we have the local media to thank for its diligence.

The Free Press provides claims by various Vermont officials that they themselves did not have the information to release.

State police were criticized for trying to keep the crash under wraps for 24 hours. A video crew for Fox44/ABC 22 in Colchester and a photographer from a local weekly newspaper in Woodstock were at the scene, but they were told a news release would be issued the following day.

Instead, FBI sources in Washington told NBC News that Freeh had been in a Vermont crash. The Vermont State Police issued a news release more than eight hours after the wreck and only after multiple calls by local and national media.

Mystery G-Man Rushes to Scene

A still unidentified FBI agent was one of the first people to arrive at the accident scene, according to police. He was apparently from out of state. What he was doing there is still not clear. Police believed him to be off-duty, but could not say with certainty.

Students of history will note the many instances in which FBI have shown up at sensitive accident/crash scenes with great haste—sometimes seemingly surmounting formidable obstacles, and sometimes arriving in force that would seem impossible based on actual local staffing.

One of many examples where FBI swarmed a crash scene was the 1972 Chicago plane crash that killed Dorothy Hunt, a former CIA officer and wife of the embattled CIA officer and Watergate burglar E. Howard Hunt, while she was cooperating with a journalist on inquiries into Watergate. The FBI took over the investigation, prompting complaints from the National Transportation Safety Board, which has statutory responsibility for such air disaster probes. (A detailed review of the incident can be found in Carl Oglesby’s Yankee and Cowboy War.)

Freeh himself was involved in a similar accident scene takeover, following the downing/crash of TWA flight 800 over Long Island. Freeh commandeered the investigation from the National Transportation Safety Board right after the incident in July 1996. Once the FBI took over, the NTSB was denied access to witnesses (see Aviation Week, Dec. 15, 1997; paywall).  That August, chemists at the FBI crime lab found traces of PETN, a component of bombs and surface-to-air missiles.  Yet, in November 1997, the FBI closed the investigation for good, claiming no evidence of a criminal act had been found.  There has never been a follow-up investigation of this case. (For more, see the documentary by WhoWhatWhy contributor Kristina Borjesson.)

“His Head Was Down”

What happened to Freeh on August 25 when his 2010 SUV left the highway, and hit a tree? Here’s the Free Press again:

“His head was down, so I thought he had fallen asleep,” Coleman, the witness, said as he reflected on what he saw before Freeh crashed.

“I think he was totally out. He made no attempt to stop,” said Coleman, who spoke initially to the News & Citizen newspaper, a weekly in Morristown.

It’s important to remember that this happened shortly after noon, and not terribly far from Freeh’s vacation home, not typical circumstances for a driver to have fallen asleep.

Freeh and his staff have been mum on the whole thing; the FBI has provided no details or explanation. And law enforcement has not appeared to be especially zealous in figuring out what happened. As the Free Press reported on Sept 3:

Earlier state police had said there was no evidence that drugs or alcohol were a factor in the Aug. 25 crash.  That was based on personal observation, no probable cause and a lack of suspicion,” Keefe said in explaining why no test was administered.

And AP reported on Sept 4:

State Police Capt. Ray Keefe said police did not consider if Freeh was using a cellphone before the crash, and did not examine his phone, because the accident was not consistent with one of a distracted driver; no brake or swerve marks were left on the road.

The Vermont State Police said they found no sign that his car had been tampered with. That is also what police said about the one-car crash of national security journalist Michael Hastings. Of course, police see more accidents than most people and rarely say a car has been tampered with. That’s mainly because most cars are not involved in accidents because of tampering.

Freeh is, or was, under armed guard at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, a hospital in neighboring New Hampshire that is considered among the top hospitals. It routinely has very tight security, so the reason for the extra precautions is not clear.

There is the possibility that the law enforcement agencies involved with Freeh’s car crash are treating it with kid gloves because Freeh was one of their own. Although it happens less and less nowadays, there is ample history of fellow law officers giving special treatment to cases involving someone else who carries a badge. The fact that Freeh once held the biggest badge in the land could also be playing a factor.

Freeh, with his knowledge of details concerning controversial major security events that have not been, in many people’s minds, satisfactorily explained—including 9/11, TWA Flight 800, Oklahoma City, Ruby Ridge, Waco, investigations of the Clintons and more—is in a sensitive position. If his accident was, in the opinion of the FBI, not an accident, then they would conceivably have a reason to be concerned for his safety.

Ultimately, however, Freeh, a man who headed an agency famous for being tight-lipped, is unlikely to share his thoughts.

Azerbaijan distances itself from the USA and the EU

Turning point in Eurasia: Azerbaijan distances itself from the USA and the EU

pressenza

Barcelona, Spain Nazanin Armanian

This post is also available in: Spanish

Turning point in Eurasia: Azerbaijan distances itself from the USA and the EU
Panorama of Baku, capital of Azerbaijan, by night (Image by user Urek Meniashvili on wikimedia commons)

 

Not even the extravagance of Ilham Aliev’s government on the European Olympics in June 2015 – which included the payment of transport costs and a breakfast of Azeri kuku for the 6000 athletes during the games – could change the decision of European leaders to boycott the opening ceremony in protest, supposedly, because of the persecution of dissidents. Are they also thinking about punishing the Saudi sheikhs for banning political parties, trade unions, a free press or for decapitating women and men in public squares? Or the Emirs of the mediaeval Qatari regime for exploiting to death almost 1200 immigrant-slaves working on construction projects for the 2022 world cup?

The real reason is something else: the change in Baku’s foreign policy led by Ilham Aliyev, son of Heydar Aliyev (1993 – 2013) – the former US-aligned president – who keeping the same political system of “market and repression” has opted to relax tensions with Russia instead of being a NATO military base in the South Caucasus in exchange for nothing.

Only two years ago, Azerbaijan (which means “Land of Fire” in Persian) welcomed the USA-Azerbaijan: Vision of the Future meeting with the presence of dozens of politicians and businessmen such as vice-president Joe Biden, Paul Wolfowitz, one of the butchers of the Iraqi and Afghan people, and representatives of a dozen or so oil companies such as BP, Chevron and ConocoPhillips. They went to consolidate US-EU domination over the hydrocarbons and the Caucasus enclave at the very gates of Moscow.

Russia defends its border territory

Nevertheless, the geopolitical dynamics of the region have changed, stealthily: Putin’s doctrine which includes recovery of Moscow’s influence in the former soviet space, is advancing relentlessly and has accomplished:

– the prevention of the USA and the EU from building the Nabucco pipeline

– Frustration of the GUAM Project, a military Alliance between Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova, a NATO subsidiary in the zone.

– That the quintet of countries surrounding the Caspian Sea said “no” to US presence unanimously.

– That Azerbaijan abandoned naval cooperation projects with the USA in the Caspian Sea (KASFOR). This initiative was proposed by Russia when Moscow was cooperating with NATO, and raised so much suspicion that Iran also rejected it. Now that Vladimir Putin is reactivating the project as an initiative unlinked to the USA, Baku and Teheran can show interest.

– the closing of the North route for sending NATO military equipment to Afghanistan, as a reprisal for the provocations by the Alliance in Ukraine, leaving thousands of soldiers to fend for themselves against Pakistan and the Taliban.

Moreover, Russia has the following assets:

– a rapid response force unfolding on the Caspian Sea coast.

– Influence in the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave and troops in the Gyumri base, Armenia, a country of great strategic value. Requests by the USA-EU to Ankara to approach Yerevan and recognise the Armenian Genocide (in order to thereby remove the country from Russia’s influence), were frustrated and added insult to injury by increasing Baku’s mistrust towards the west.

– Cooperation by Giorgi Margvelashvili, the new Georgian Prime Minister, who in 2013 dislodged the pro-Nato Mikheil Saakashvili from power. US refusal to support them militarily in the war with Russia in 2008 was a big lesson.

– The possibility to block Azerbaijan pipelines in any moment. Also Georgian ones.

– Increase the standing of Turkmenistan (the world’s fourth largest gas reserve) in the region, to the detriment of Azerbaijan.

– Build a pipeline with Turkey, the Turkish Stream, destined for Europe that will compete with the Trans-Anatolia Gas Pipeline project, sponsored by the USA, the EU and Azerbaijan.

– Expand the stationing of anti-missile radars that it possesses since the Soviet Era in the Azeri city of Qabala.

A solid front composed of Russia, Iran and Armenia is watching with satisfaction and concern the disintegration of the USA-Israel-Azerbaijan-Turkey axis.

A Jihad and Maidan for Azerbaijan

Richard Morningstar, US Ambassador to Baku, has threatened Aliev with his own “Maidan Square” as a result of his policies. What he hasn’t revealed is if in Azerbaijan there will also be a “colour revolution” or a coup d’état. Morningstar, sent by Barack Obama to the zone to distance Russia from the energetic projects in the Caspian region, promoted the Southern Gas Corridor (Azerbaijan-Turkey-Greece) and after burying plans for the Nabucco gas-pipeline, it was proposed to take gas from the Shah Deniz fields, among the world’s largest, to Greece, Albania and Italy, as long as Russia keeps its fingers out.

To promote another conflict with Armenia; an ethnic-religious conflict (such as, for example, to support the separatism of the Talysh people, a 300,000 strong community of Iranian origin); to fill the press with cases of torture, to use political prisoners or the tragedy of a million refugees from the Armenian War; “fight against terrorism” and convert the Jihadists that, after unfathomable support of the Saudis, are appearing in this Muslim state into the excuse so that the USA and the EU prepare another plan to change the status quo in the region. For Barack Obama in his first mandate, an anti-China alliance with Moscow was more important than overpowering the complicated former Soviet republics. Now the intrepid President is fighting against both, and after his great anti-Russia offensive from Ukraine, he has opened another front of the conflict in the Caucasus.

In Azerbaijan, jihadists from the Jamaat (Community) Group are already operating, connected with Chechen Islamists, the Caucasus Emirate, and with Syria’s Islamic State: the attack on Eurovision in 2012 and the murder of several Shiite clerics carry their hallmarks.

The response by Georgia’s Margvelashvili to US and EU interference has been to close the office of Radio Free Europe, to deny visas to several European media staff and also George Soros’s Open Society Foundation.

Day after day, and in the midst of a bloody war for gas, the USA has ended up without any points of support in Eurasia.

The 5 Littoral States Vote To Ban Foreign Militaries From Caspian

For Members Only The Consequences of the Caspian Summit’s Foreign Military Ban

diplomatic intel

caspian sea 

5VIENNA, September 01, 2015 – Last September brought with it major changes to the hotly contested Caspian Sea region. These changes were revealed at the IV Caspian Summit held on September 29th in Astrakhan, Russia.

Of the greatest significance was the unanimous vote by the “Caspian 5” (Russia, Iran, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, and Kazakhstan) to no longer allow foreign military presence in the Caspian region and that all issues that were to arise would be solved between the littoral states only. The political declaration, according to an announcement by Vladimir Putin and signed by all five presidents “sets out a fundamental principle for guaranteeing stability and security, namely, that only the Caspian littoral states have the right to have their armed forces present on the Caspian.” [1]

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani echoed this sentiment stating “there is consensus among all the Caspian Sea littoral states that they are capable of maintaining the security of the Caspian Sea and military forces of no foreign country must enter the sea.” [2]The five further agreed to expand cooperation on the Caspian Sea in terms of meteorology, natural disasters, and environmental protection. [3] The declaration also revealed clear formulations on the delimitation of the seabed with each country having exclusive sovereign rights to a 15 mile area. [4] This puts to rest an issue that had been contested since the breakup of the Soviet Union and the emergence of the new independent states. [5]Apart from being a unique body of water in terms of its bio and ecological resources, the Caspian Sea comes with a massive amount of oil and gas reserves, an estimated 18 billion tons with proved reserves of four billion tons. These numbers put the Caspian Sea directly behind the Persian Gulf in terms of the world’s largest oil and gas reserves. [6]

This corresponds with what prof. Anis H. Bajrektarevic described as the lowest common denominator of 5 littoral states in both theatres – the Caspian and Arctic. “The Five will be: (i) Dismissive: Erode the efforts of international community/external interested parties for creation of the Antarctica-like treaty (by keeping the UNCLOS referential); (ii) Assertive: Maximize the shares of the spoils of partition – extend the EEZ and continental shelf as to divide most if not the entire body of water only among the Five; and (iii) Reconciliatory: Prevent any direct confrontation among the riparian states over the spoils – resolve the claims without arbitration of the III parties. (preferably CLCS). [7]

Therefore, no wonder that this declaration also outlined many corresponding projects in the works for this region – a major one being the joint construction of a railroad that would encircle the Caspian Sea, connecting key Caspian ports and cutting transportation time in half. The five states also signed an emergency prevention and response agreement which called for joint efforts in responding to emergencies in the region. Additionally, plans were revealed for a joint emergency response exercise to take place in 2016 that will test the capabilities and partnerships between the nations and develop procedures of notifying and coordinating rescue units. [8]

Disguised underneath these projects, exercises, cooperation, and initiatives is a very real threat to the United States and NATO. Russia and Iran have long felt threatened by the possibility of a foreign military presence in the Caspian Sea and Moscow was determined to find a way to ensure it would not lose any more influence in the global energy sector (this in light of Europe slowly but surely diversifying away from Russian gas after the Ukrainian crisis began). The best way to do this was to bring these nations into the fold of Kremlin interests, while making them feel their own interests were also being served. By strengthening relations in their own backyard Russia has been able to increase influence and gain back power in the region. Shutting NATO out of the region also significantly increases Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, and Turkmenistan’s dependence on Moscow in many different aspects. [9] Another added bonus is that a clear alliance made up of Iran, Russia, Turkmenistan, and Azerbaijan, Ukraine (absent any ‘outsider presence’) would be comparatively easy to control. [10]

The effects of this agreement have already resulted in major changes to relations between Caspian nations and the United States. For years Azerbaijan has welcomed American-Azeri relations by stepping up logistical support for NATO operations in Afghanistan and even serving in Afghanistan as part of the ISAF, but relations have clearly cooled between the two nations. There were also serious talks between Kazakhstan and the United States for building a base on the border in Aktau that would cater to the needs of the United States and NATO troops, but since the signing of this declaration the project has been halted. Finally, the geopolitical shift in the region has resulted in the closing of the North route for NATO military equipment being sent to Afghanistan. [11]Prior to this Caspian Summit agreement the United States had played an active role in helping Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, and Kazakhstan bolster their military defenses and develop their own navies. [12] The maintaining of close relations in this region was of great political and strategic importance to the United States, not only due to its vast oil and gas riches (originally outside of Russia’s control) but its strategic location that connects it with many regions of Western interest.

Other ways that Russia has benefited from this deal include: the creation of a rapid response force unfurling along the Caspian Sea coast as a means to extend influence over the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave and its troops in the Armenian Gyumri base; jumpstarting cooperation with Giorgi Margvelashvili, the new Georgian Prime Minister; maintaining the ability to block Georgian and Azerbaijan pipelines; improving relations with Turkmenistan; beginning plans for building a pipeline with Turkey (named the Turkish Stream) out to Europe, which will compete with the Trans-Anatolia Gas Pipeline project (sponsored not coincidentally by the US, EU, and Azerbaijan). [13]

The United States has another reason to worry about being blocked from the region – Chechnya. In Azerbaijan, jihadists from the Jamaat (Community) Group are already operating and maintaining connections with Chechen Islamists, the Caucasus Emirate, and Syria’s Islamic State: the attack on Eurovision in 2012 and the murder of several Shiite clerics all carry their hallmarks. This insurgency is threatening to turn the region into one of the most ungovernable locations in the world where neither aggressive use of military/intelligence force (counterterrorism operations courtesy of Russia) nor engaged economic assistance has helped the situation. With the United States not being able to join together with forces in the region this threat will not just remain present but will likely only continue to grow. [14]

Arguably, the signing of this agreement to ban foreign militaries has been the biggest game-changer to take place in the Caspian over the last 20 years. The West not being able to be involved in the region not only decreases energy development and security in the oil and gas-rich Caspian sea basin, but also wounds in several other respects: it reduces the ability to deter adversaries in the region against attacks; it weakens what were growing U.S. alliances; it allows Moscow to project its power over the other Caspian nations with little interference; it cuts off access to ports for deployments to the Middle East; it does not allow for responses to humanitarian crises in the region; and it does not allow for the U.S. to project its own power and reach as easily as it once did. All of these make the United States and NATO much weaker than before the Summit began. Round One in this heavyweight prize fight has clearly gone to the Russian bear.


[1]Dettoni, J. (2014). “Russia and Iran Lock NATO Out of Caspian Sea.” The Diplomat. Retrieved from http://thediplomat.com/2014/10/russia-and-iran-lock-nato-out-of-caspian-sea/

[2]Ibid.

[3]PressTV. (2014). “No foreign military force must enter Caspian region: Rouhani.” PressTV.ir. Retrieved from http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/09/29/380453/no-foreign-force-in-caspian-region/

[4]Belinksi, S. (2014). “Caspian Sea Could Be Key To Russian Control Of Eurasian Energy Markets.” Oilprice.com. Retrieved from http://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Caspian-Sea-Could-Be-Key-To-Russian-Control-Of-Eurasian-Energy-Markets.html

[5]PressTV. (2014). “No foreign military force must enter Caspian region: Rouhani.” PressTV.ir. Retrieved from http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/09/29/380453/no-foreign-force-in-caspian-region/

[6]TASS, (2014) “Real breakthrough reached at 4th Caspian Summit – Putin.” TASS Russian News Agency. Retrieved from http://tass.ru/en/russia/751856

[7] Bajrektarevic, A. (2014), The Caspian Five and the Arctic Five—Critical Similarities, Geopolitics of Energy, CERI Canada 34(4)2014.

[8]Sputniknews. (2014). “Countries bordering the Caspian Sea will hold joint emergency exercises in 2016, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Monday.”   Sputniknews.com Retrieved from http://sputniknews.com/military/20140929/193422433.html

[9]Belinksi, S. (2014). “Caspian Sea Could Be Key To Russian Control Of Eurasian Energy Markets.” Oilprice.com. Retrieved from http://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Caspian-Sea-Could-Be-Key-To-Russian-Control-Of-Eurasian-Energy-Markets.html

[10]Ibid.

[11]Armanian, N. (2015). “Turning point in Eurasia: Azerbaijan distances itself from the USA and the EU.” TheFifthColumnews.com. Retrieved from http://thefifthcolumnnews.com/2015/06/turning-point-in-eurasia-azerbaijan-distances-itself-from-the-usa-and-the-eu/

[12]Ibid.

[13]Ibid.

[14]Cohen, A. (2012). “Anti-Terrorism Operation in North Caucuses Exposes Russia’s Vulnerabilities.” TheDailySignal.com. Retrieved from http://dailysignal.com/2012/10/23/anti-terrorism-operation-in-north-caucasus-exposes-russias-vulnerabilities/

Written by Megan Munoz

Megan Munoz – Bellevue University, Nebraska. She works as an intelligence analyst for the state of New Jersey, previously served as an intelligence analyst in the United States Air Force for 10 years, and remains a reservist.

Svoboda Nazis Riot After Ukrainian Parliament Vote—1 Dead So Far

svoboda        1 dead, 100 injured in Ukraine clashes

usa_today_long

One Ukrainian national guard member was killed by a grenade and 100 people were injured Monday  as nationalists protested a parliamentary vote to grant autonomy to areas held by Russian-backed separatists.

The escalation in violence took place as the parliament in Kiev approved a draft constitutional amendment proposed by President Petro Poroshenko. His decentralization plan would give more power to the eastern Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, which are held by the separatists.

In a televised address, Poroshenko called the bill “a difficult but a logical step toward peace,” and he insisted  it wouldn’t give any autonomy to the rebels, the Associated Press reported. He described the clashes outside parliament as an attack on him and pledged to prosecute “all political leaders”  behind the violence.

Photographs and video showed the grenade emitting a trail of smoke. Ten injured police officers were in serious condition. There were no reports of serious injuries among the protesters.

Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk called for life imprisonment for the person who threw the grenade and said the protesters were worse than the separatist rebels because they are destroying the country from within “under the guise of patriotism,” the AP said.

“The cynicism of this crime lies in the fact that while the Russian federation and its bandits are trying and failing to destroy the Ukrainian state on the eastern front, the so-called pro-Ukrainian political forces are trying to open another front in the country’s midst,” he said.

The nationalist Svoboda party that led Monday’s unrest blamed the government, saying  it “provoked Ukrainians to protest” by presenting a bill  tantamount to “capitulation to the Kremlin.”

The legislation, if approved, would allow some communities in eastern Ukraine to take ownership of state assets and natural resources. The amendment would permit Ukraine’s president to overrule local authorities  to protect national sovereignty.

Critics of the plan, including the far-right Svoboda and Right Sector parties, say the bill would give too much power to the separatists waging war against Ukrainian security forces.

“This is not a road to peace and not a road to decentralization,” said former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, the leader of another party that opposes the measure. “This is the diametrically opposite process, which will lead to the loss of new territories.”

Supporters argue that Donetsk and Luhansk will benefit from the decentralization of power, which was a condition of the Minsk agreement in February that formally ended major combat between Ukraine’s military and the separatists.

Despite evidence of Russian weapons and military troops fighting alongside the self-described rebels, Russia has consistently denied any involvement.

More than 6,800 people have died in the Ukraine conflict that began last year and is still active in places despite the cease-fire signed in February.

A final vote on the amendment is likely during the parliament’s fall session, which starts Tuesday. The Svoboda party holds only a handful of seats in the parliament.

Russian Air Force NOT GOING TO SYRIA NOW…Stinking Zio Disinfo

Russian jets in Syrian skies

Ynet

[NO STORY HERE]

http://www.rt.com/news/314010-syria-russia-planes-isis/

Russia-Today

No Russian jets were deployed to Syria in order to launch attacks against Islamic State militants (IS, formerly ISIS, ISIL) and Syrian rebels, a military source told RT, dismissing reports in Israeli media.

“There has been no redeployment of Russian combat aircraft to the Syrian Arab Republic,” the source told RT on Tuesday. “The Russian Air Force is at its permanent bases and carrying out normal troop training and combat duty.”