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Showing posts with label Sputnik. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sputnik. Show all posts

'Secret' US Military Base Near Russian Border Revealed in Documents Mishap


This is not the first time "secret" American bases have accidentally been revealed to the public and their possible opponents as a result of a mishap. Last year, a popular fitness smartphone app published global "hotspots", some of which could only be explained by soldiers stationed at such bases using the app in their training sessions.

While the presence of a NATO contingent in Estonia, a Baltic state on Russia's north-west border, was never a secret, the presence of American troops at an alleged covert base apparently was a well-guarded secret. The "secrecy" of the place was blown, however, by a local broadcaster, ERR, after one of its journalists simply studied the US Department of Defence (DoD) public records.

Although the papers did try to conceal the fact that Washington has a military base there by calling it an "unspecified training, operations facility", it never hid the country where it was located. The latter unwittingly gave away the "secrecy" of the site since the US never acknowledged having military facilities in Estonia, where officially only NATO troops from the UK at the Tapa base are deployed.

According to the DoD documents, the $15.7 million allocated to the development of the Estonian military base, will be used for the construction of a number of facilities, including barracks, arms vaults, and a weapons cleaning area.

U.S., Estonia's and NATO flags flutter next to the U.S. Air Force F-35A Lightning II fighter in Amari air base, Estonia, April 25, 2017 
© REUTERS / Ints Kalnins
U.S., Estonia's and NATO flags flutter next to the U.S. Air Force F-35A Lightning II fighter in Amari air base, Estonia, April 25, 2017

After a half-year investigation, journalists from ERR managed to get on the "secret" base's territory, which reportedly accommodates a regiment of US Special Forces on rotation. According to Kevin Stringer, a US Army colonel cited by the broadcaster, the base was established in 2014 after relations between neighbouring Russia and the West began their downward spiral.

This is not the first time secretive American military bases have been exposed by accident or lack of oversight. In November 2017, a popular fitness tracking application for smartphones, Strava, published the global heatmap of the app's most active users. To many users' and netizens' surprise, some of the hotspots were located not in cities or sport centres, but were in the middle of nowhere.

Since some of these spots coincided with military bases, specifically belonging to the US, several media outlets alleged the app was being used by some soldiers in their training sessions. Thus the remaining unattributed hotspots could also "belong" to "secret" US bases.



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‘Full Extent’ of Russian Meddling on Google in 2016? $4,700 Spent on Ads


Google CEO Sundar Pichai revealed that the “full extent” of so-called Russian meddling activity that took place on the platform during all of 2016 was $4,700 spent on some digital advertisements.

Related: [Video] Breaking News! GOOGLE CEO LIES UNDER OATH ABOUT INTERNET CENSORSHIP

"Does Google now know the full extent to which its online platforms were exploited by Russian actors in the election two years ago?" Rep. Jerry Nadler, a Democrat from New York and ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, asked the search engine's chief executive during Tuesday's hearing.

"We have — we undertook a very thorough investigation, and, in 2016, we now know that there were two main ad accounts linked to Russia which advertised on Google for about $4,700 in advertising," Pichai responded.



"A total of $4,700?" Nadler asked to confirm. "That's right," the Google executive replied.

Google employees and executives contributed $1.6 million to 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, according to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics.

Source: https://sputniknews.com/us/201812111070598758-full-extent-russian-meddling-4700-google/?fbclid=IwAR1XHOIQW1TRoyJ4L0aDfvx-fWviuMkFJkYrPev38r9KTHsan4x32UenNrs
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NATO Ready to Continue Dialogue on INF Treaty With Russia

Earlier in the day, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that he did not rule out the possibility that the issue of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty would be addressed at the upcoming talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Donald Trump.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said after the NATO-Russia Council (NRC) meeting in Brussels on Wednesday that the alliance was ready to continue a dialogue on the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty with Russia.

"Allies and Russia… shared views on the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty," NATO said in a statement following the NRC meeting.




READ MORE: NATO, Russia 'Will Likely' Discuss INF Treaty Amid Bloc's War Games in Europe

In addition, Stoltenberg noted that all allies agreed that the INF treaty has been crucial to Euro-Atlantic security.

"We all agree that the INF Treaty has been crucial to Euro-Atlantic security… Allies urge Russia again… to ensure full compliance with the INF Treaty without delay. While we stand ready to continue dialogue on this issue with Russia, as an Alliance we are also committed to take effective measures to continue to ensure the safety and security of all Allies," Stoltenberg said.

Russia, on its part, said that INF treaty is important as a factor in maintaining European and global stability, Permanent Mission to NATO noted.  
 The NATO-Russia Council, which brings together the 29 Allies and Russia, met in Brussels on Wednesday to exchange views on a wide range of topics, including issues related to military activities, reciprocal transparency and risk reduction; the situation in and around Ukraine;

Afghanistan; and hybrid challenges. According to the statement released by NATO press service, NATO and Russia provided briefings on major exercises "in the spirit of transparency."

The council was established on May 28, 2002 and was effectively suspended by the alliance in 2014-2016 over the situation in Ukraine. The latest NATO-Russia Council meeting was held in late May at NATO headquarters in Brussels.

Source: https://sputniknews.com/world/201810311069397982-nato-russia-inf-treaty-cooperation/?fbclid=IwAR2vBB6Wqzap1_27RCI0AKNMm5KTg-i_Wpl5kPomKv3DYvfNdVmteYL1vBE
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Israel Unlikely to Fly Freely Over Syria After Il-20 Incident - Ex-Official

ST.PETERSBURG (Sputnik) - Israel is unlikely to freely use Syrian airspace in the wake of the crash of a Russian Il-20 military aircraft over the Mediterranean Sea, Yakov Kedmi, a former high-ranking Israeli intelligence official, told Sputnik.

"There was an agreement between Israel and Russia that the actions of Israel in Syria's airspace would not endanger lives of Russian troops. Israel breached this commitment… What happens next will depend on the position of Israel. Most likely, Israel will no longer be able to enjoy the same freedom in the sky of Syria as it did before the incident," Kedmi said.

The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) earlier in the day that Israel would share all information on the incident with Moscow. The IDF expressed regret over the deaths of the Russian troops and put the blame on Damascus and Tehran.

"Israel's attack in itself, regardless of the consequences, was an irresponsible step, because there is not a single facility on the territory of Syria that might have been used by Iran and whose destruction would have justified an attack on it, which could endanger the Russian troops," Kedmi said.

READ MORE: Turkey Could Deploy Additional Troops to Idlib Under Deal With Russia — Ankara

According to the IDF, the Israeli jets were targeting a facility in Syria which contained "systems to manufacture accurate and lethal weapons" that could be sent "on behalf of Iran" to Hezbollah movement in Lebanon. Israel, as well as many other states, considers the movement a terrorist organization.

Related: Will Russia-Israel ties suffer after downing of Il-20 military plane off Syrian coast?
 
 The Russian Hmeimim airbase had lost contact with the crew of the Russian Il-20 military aircraft late on Monday during the attack of four Israeli F-16 aircraft on Syrian targets in the province of Latakia. The Russian Defense Ministry said earlier on Tuesday that the Israeli military deliberately created a dangerous situation by using the Russian aircraft as a shield against Syrian air defense systems. As a result, the Il-20 jet was downed by a missile launched by Syria's S-200 air defense system.

Source: https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201809181068132500-israel-syria-il-20-incident-airspace/?utm_source=https://l.facebook.com/&utm_medium=short_url&utm_content=j8DT&utm_campaign=URL_shortening

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Murder of Donbass leader committed with help of Western intelligence services - DPR acting head

Murder of Donbass leader committed with help of Western intelligence services - DPR acting head

Murder of Donbass leader committed with help of Western intelligence services - DPR acting head
The assassination of Aleksandr Zakharchenko, the leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, was committed with the help of western intelligence services, the republic’s acting head said. 
 
One person has been detained as part of an investigation into the murder of Aleksandr Zakharchenko, the acting head of the DPR Denis Pushilin said on Saturday.

Pushilin stated that the detained person is “an agent of Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU)”, adding that SBU was involved in Zakharchenko's assassination. DPR investigators analyzed the remains of the explosive device that killed Zakharchenko and identified technology that hadn’t previously been used by SBU, he said.

 
“This gives us an understanding that the terrorist attack was committed with the assistance of Western intelligence services,” he added.

Earlier in September, Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) accused Ukrainian intelligence services of being behind the explosion that killed Zakharchenko.

Moscow condemned the murder of the 42-year old, saying that the incident may jeopardize the peace process in the east of the country. “Given the current situation, it’s impossible to talk about the nearest meetings in the Normandy format like many of our European partners would have wanted,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said. “It is a serious situation that must be analyzed. We are doing it right now.”

Zakharchenko was killed by an explosion in a cafe in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk in late August. He had headed the DPR since November 2014, when a crisis broke out in Ukraine following a coup d’etat that ousted President Viktor Yanukovych.

READ MORE: 'The city is orphaned': 120,000 mourners bid farewell to murdered Donbass leader in Donetsk (PHOTOS)

Hours after Zakharchenko’s killing, the SBU released a statement, rejecting all allegations of its involvement in the incident. According to the service’s spokeswoman, the blast was probably caused by infighting in the Donetsk Republic.

Source: https://www.rt.com/news/438513-donbass-leader-assasination-donetsk/
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