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Main article: Russia

Putin: No external pressure on Russia will go unchallenged

February 20, 2015. President Vladimir Putin, front fourth left, at a gala marking the Defender of the Fatherland Day at the Grand Kremlin Palace. Left: Presidential Chief of Staff Sergei Ivanov. Third left: Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.(RIA Novosti / Alexei Druzhinin)

Russia will always find an adequate response to any pressure coming from the outside, Russian President Vladimir Putin said during a gala-show ahead of the upcoming Defender of the Fatherland Day, which honors those who served in the armed forces.


“Nobody should have any illusions that it’s possible to achieve military superiority over Russia – or put it under some sort of pressure – as we’ll always have an adequate response to such reckless schemes,” Putin told the audience.


The President said that Russian “soldiers and officers have proven that they are ready to act decisively, coherently, professionally and courageously, performing the most difficult unconventional tasks, as befits a modern, experienced, combat-ready army, which values its traditions and military duty.”


Defender of the Fatherland Day is an annual holiday in Russia celebrated on February 23. The holiday honors those who serve or have served in the military. It is also often referred to as Men’s Day (though the Russian military do not exclusively consist of men) to act as a counterpart to International Women's Day on March 8.


According to Putin, a lot has been done in the country in recent years to improve the effectiveness of the military administration.


“A large-scale program of rearming the Army and Navy is being successfully implemented, which includes an active development of the aerospace and nuclear forces. This is the guaranty of global parity,” the president said, adding that he will do everything in his power for the military’s potential to keep growing.

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The President also promised to continue the program aimed at creating dignified conditions for military service, including building more service housing and the development of health and social services. He noted that later this year, on May 9, the world will be celebrating 70 years since the end of World War II.


“It’s a holy date for us as it was the Russian people, the Soviet Army, which made a decisive contribution in the victory against Nazism,” he said.


The USSR lost around 26 million people in WWII, with over half of the victims being civilians.


“This is our victory; our history, which we’ll vigorously defend from lies and oblivion,” he said, refereeing to what Moscow has viewed as attempts by officials in Ukraine and Poland to rewrite history and undermine Russia’s role and sacrifice during the war.


In January, Polish Foreign Minister Grzegorz Schetyna said that it was the Ukrainian army, which liberated the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp during WWII.


Following the comment, Russia’s UN envoy Vitaly Churkin reminded Schetyna that it was the Soviet Army which freed the camp. He added that the multinational front was called the First Ukrainian Front because “it liberated Ukraine from the Nazis before reaching Poland through battles.”


Moscow had earlier criticized Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who described the events of World War II as the “USSR’s attack on Ukraine and Germany.”

Михаил Пасечник feb 23 15, 22:35
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West seeks to isolate, overthrow Putin while demanding he resolves Ukraine crisis – presidential spox

Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov (RIA Novosti/Vladimir Astapkovich)

The West is attempting to isolate Russian President Vladimir Putin in the international arena and even topple him, while simultaneously demanding that he resolve the crisis in Ukraine, Putin’s spokesman said in an interview with a Russian newspaper.

Currently in Western diplomacy, with reference to Ukraine“there is a substitution of concepts, which is leading to an escalation of the conflict” in the country, presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in an interview with the chief editor of the “Argumenty I Fakty” (“Arguments and Facts”) weekly on Tuesday.

“In the meantime, to put it simply, the West is trying to play Putin off as a party to the conflict, to isolate him in international politics, to strangle Russia economically in their own interests, to get him overthrown, while demanding that he resolves the crisis in the neighboring country,” he said.

READ MORE: Lavrov on Obama speech: Efforts to isolate Russia will fail 

The conflict in Ukraine has “unmasked” the nature of international diplomacy, international relations and laws, he added.

There is no chance Putin will be invited to the next meeting of G7 leaders, German Chancellor Angela Merkel told Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper in an interview published on Thursday. “The former G8 group has always viewed itself as a community of values,” she said. Peskov said that the Russian President is not expecting an invitation.

According to Merkel “supposedly Putin does not fit into this system of values with his world view,” he remarked.“Is this the system, which, for example, allows the recognition of the results of a coup d’etat the next day [after it happened]? If so, Putin surely does not fit into such a system with his understanding that such a revolution can hardly be legal,” he said.

Moscow is already doing everything it can to end the conflict in Ukraine, Peskov assured. Russia “is helping Ukraine’s economy, ensuring the coal supply, electricity and so on, and sending humanitarian convoys to the people in need in the south-east.”

However, Russia cannot resolve the conflict as it is an “inter-Ukrainian issue” and the dialogue can be “launched only by...[officials in] Kiev”, he added.

The attempt to solve the crisis using force is a dead end. Over 7,000 people have already died in the war. Until Kiev starts communicating with its regions, people will continue dying,” Peskov said.

Ukrainian troops launched a massive assault on militia-held areas in eastern Ukraine after an order from Kiev on Sunday morning. The assault came despite Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko receiving a proposal on Thursday night from Putin, suggesting that both sides of the conflict withdraw their heavy artillery in accordance with the Minsk agreements.

READ MORE: Poroshenko rejected Putin’s artillery withdrawal plan, began assault – Kremlin

On Tuesday Peskov expressed hope that the Minsk group will continue its efforts and discussions will bear fruit in order for talks in the so-called “Normandy format” to take place as planned in Astana, Kazakhstan.

The Normandy Four platform – Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany – was created in June 2014 when the leaders discussed the Ukrainian crisis on the sidelines of the celebrations of the 70th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy, France.


Михаил Пасечник jan 24 15, 14:05
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Patriarch seeks abortion ban in Russia in parliament speech

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia gives a speech in the Russian State Duma (RIA Novosti / Maksim Blinov)


The head of the Russian Orthodox Church has called upon MPs to begin a campaign against abortions, starting with canceling state sponsorship for the procedure and aiming at a total nationwide ban.

If we manage to cut the number of abortions by 50 percent we would have stable and powerful population growth,” Patriarch Kirill said, speaking before the Lower House on Thursday. This was the first ever speech of the head of the Russian Orthodox Church before the State Duma.

The argument that a ban would cause an increase in the number of underground abortions is pure nonsense. People have to pay money for these operations and our task is to make the price of a legal infanticide the same as of the illegal one. Taxpayers must not pay for this,” the church leader told the MPs, suggesting the exclusion of abortion from the list of services covered by the obligatory medical insurance program.

However, the Patriarch acknowledged the solution to demographic problems was complex. According to him, apart from bans and restrictions, the state must help young families with money and housing and also introduce strict ethical norms in the medical sphere, giving doctors additional stimuli to care about the life of “conceived children.”

The top Russian cleric again attacked surrogacy in his parliamentary speech, urging lawmakers to take steps to completely replace it with adoption.

In mid-November last year, a large assembly formed of lawmakers, rights activists, medical experts and members of various church-related groups passed a resolution seeking legislative changes to ban all abortions, saying human life begins at the moment of conception. The authors of the document said that although Russia ratified the International Convention on Children’s Rights in 1990, the authorities still do nothing to “protect children before birth.”

The bill brands abortions as murder and completely bans them along with contraceptives “with an abortive function” – morning-after pills and intra-uterine devices.

In October 2013, an official representative of the Russian Orthodox Church attacked abortions and surrogacy as a “mutiny against God,” and less than a month later State Duma Deputy Elena Mizulina said in a speech that the community must urgently stop tolerating abortions and surrogacy, as they threaten to wipe out the population of Russia and the world as a whole.

The move gained little support from other politicians, who argued that such a ban would only lead to more illegal abortions that are much more dangerous and leave many women infertile, only aggravating Russia’s demographic problems. Eventually Mizulina had to play down her statements, saying that she merely wanted to draw attention to the problem and start a discussion, not introduce any legislative bans.

According to pro-life activists, every year about 1 million women in Russia have induced abortions with only 10 percent of them being carried out for health reasons.


Михаил Пасечник jan 24 15, 14:01
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Lavrov on Obama speech: Efforts to isolate Russia will fail

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov prior to the beginning of a press-conference summarizing the results of the Russian diplomacy in 2014.(RIA Novosti / Maxim Blinov)

Attempts at isolating Russia will not work, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a press conference on the outcome of 2014.

“We hear from our Western partners that Russia has to be isolated,” Lavrov said. “Specifically, Barack Obama has just repeated that. These attempts won’t be effective. Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia will never resort to self-isolation.”

The minister said Moscow is calling on Washington to resume cooperation that was thwarted last year.“Relations between Moscow and Washington significantly deteriorated in 2014. We call for resuming effective cooperation at a bilateral and international level. But dialogue is only possible if based on equality and respect for each other’s interests,” he said.

Cutting ties with NATO was not Russia’s choice, according to Lavrov.

#LAVROV Q&A: #NATO choses confrontational approach, still thinks in Cold War categories - LIVE NOW: http://on.rt.com/avzjbb 

“NATO followed the US in its drive for confrontation. NATO made an absolutely politicized decision to halt civil and military cooperation. Almost all projects have been frozen,” Lavrov said. Moscow “will not allow a new Cold War,” he added.

Commenting on US President Barack Obama’s State of the Union Speech, Lavrov said it showed Washington wanted to dominate the world and required all the rest to acknowledge their superiority.

“Americans are absolutely non-critical in assessing their own steps, and yesterday’s speech by Obama shows that the core of their philosophy is: ‘we are number one’. And all the rest should accept that.”

Lavrov described US “aggressive” foreign policy as “outdated.”

No proof of Russian military in southeastern Ukraine

Lavrov has denied allegations of a Russian military presence in southeastern Ukraine, calling on those who believe the opposite to prove their point. “I say it every time: if you are so sure in stating that, confirm it with facts. But no one can or wants to provide them,” he said.



Lavrov said he would try to negotiate an immediate ceasefire in eastern Ukraine at talks in Berlin due to take place later in the day. The foreign ministers of Ukraine, Germany and France are expected to be present.

He said it was now vital to withdraw heavy artillery from the line separating militia-held territories from those under Kiev’s control. The move would prevent civilian casualties. “Russia has already persuaded the self-defense fighters to withdraw heavy artillery,” he said. “Now the Ukrainian authorities should do their bit.”

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is, according to Lavrov, ready to discuss the peace plan offered by President Putin on January 15, despite earlier reports of its rejection.

READ MORE: Poroshenko rejected Putin’s artillery withdrawal plan, began assault – Kremlin

“Judging by the reaction of President Poroshenko, we feel he’s ready to discuss it, but raises certain questions, some of those quite technical. They can all be agreed upon equitably.”

In response, Poroshenko says that Kiev is committed to adhering to the Minsk agreement. The Ukrainian president also says that his country wants to see an end to the conflict in eastern Ukraine by“removing heavy artillery” and “starting a political process.”

“We will do everything possible to turn the situation around to follow the Minsk agreement. This is very simple. The Minsk agreement is a peaceful option,” the Ukrainian president said, as reported by RIA Novosti.

Recent days have seen an escalation of violence in eastern Ukraine. Government troops launched a massive assault on militia-held areas, in accordance with a presidential order.

Residential areas have come under fire with reports of several civilian casualties.

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More civilian deaths in #Donetsk on Tuesday as shelling of residential areas continues. 3 non combatant deaths so far

 Ukraine, UkrainaA hospital in Donetsk was severely damaged on Monday, when at least two shells struck it.

Human rights groups have called on both sides to protect civilians in conflict zones.

Amnesty International called on militias not launch operations from populated areas, and demanded that Kiev stops its indiscriminate shelling of residential blocks.

Михаил Пасечник jan 21 15, 22:23
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Ser korz
Ser korz
West Fascist Ukraine is a lunatic's lunatic ( AND all thanks to the USA -NATO- EU).

Poor fascist …
Ser korz Ukraine, you're crazy!

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Ser korz
Ser korz
West Fascist Ukraine is a lunatic's lunatic ( AND all thanks to the USA -NATO- EU).

Poor fascist …
Ser korz Ukraine, you're crazy!