Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports, “Russian President Vladimir Putin has issued veiled criticism of the United States in a speech before a Red Square parade marking the anniversary of Germany’s defeat in World War II, listing ‘pretentions to exceptionalism’ as a factor that drove Nazi aggression and saying such attitudes remain a threat to global security today.” Bibi stood beside him as he watched the parade. Fox News cheerleads, “Russia will showcase its new ‘Uran-9’ robo-tank at the Victory Day parade in Moscow on Wednesday.” Oh joy, be still our beating hearts! Fox News notes, “Wednesday’s military parade on Red Square commemorates the 73rd anniversary of victory over Nazi Germany in World War II.” Fox News adds, “Other new Russian weapons making their public debut on Wednesday include the Korsar and Katran unmanned aerial vehicles and its BMPT Terminator fire support combat vehicles.” Meanwhile in formerly Soviet occupied Riga, The Baltic Times reports, “May 9 or the Victory Day, which in Russia is officially marked as the end of World War II and in Latvia is celebrated mostly by Russian-speakers,” and, “will be opened by Riga City Mayor Nils Usakovs (Harmony),” a pro-Russian politician. The Baltic Times notes, “The Victory Day is celebrated in Russia and some other former Soviet Union countries on May 9, the anniversary of the Soviet victory over the Nazi army in World War II. Elsewhere in Europe, including Latvia, the defeat of Nazism is celebrated on May 8, the date that World War II allies formally accepted the unconditional surrender of the armed forces of Nazi Germany. On May 9, Latvia officially celebrates Europe Day. Latvia’s Russian-speakers widely celebrate the Victory Day on May 9 while ethnic Latvians tend to scorn this celebration because for Latvians this date means the beginning of the decades-long Soviet occupation.” Meanwhile Public broadcasting of Latvia reports, “The US Embassy in Latvia on May 7 issued a security alert on its website, notifying travelers of terrorist threats.” Public Broadcasting of Latvia notes, “The alert comes ahead of the May 9 events in Latvia when the country’s large Russian-speaking minority gathers in the capital Rīga to mark the end of World War II and the role of the Soviet Union in victory over Nazi Germany. Nevertheless, the alert mentions neither the May 9 even, nor any other organized gatherings.” Despite it’s comparative size, there is a reason so many Russians have fled to the Baltic state in recent years: bigger freedoms and a better economy, no harassment from the state top that list.

From Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Fox News, The Baltic Times and Public broadcasting of Latvia.




The New York Times
reports, “A shell company that Michael D. Cohen used to pay hush money to a pornographic film actress received payments totaling more than $1 million from an American company linked to a Russian oligarch and several corporations with business before the Trump administration, according to documents and interviews.” Not only are Trump and Cohen dirty Russian whores, they are stupid dirty Russian whores. The New York Times adds, “Financial records reviewed by The New York Times show that Mr. Cohen, President Trump’s personal lawyer and longtime fixer, used the shell company, Essential Consultants L.L.C., for an array of business activities that went far beyond what was publicly known. Transactions adding up to at least $4.4 million flowed through Essential Consultants starting shortly before Mr. Trump was elected president and continuing to this January, the records show.” The New York Times notes, “Among the previously unreported transactions were payments last year of about $500,000 from Columbus Nova, an investment firm in New York whose biggest client is a company controlled by Viktor Vekselberg, the Russian oligarch.” The New York Times adds, “Other transactions described in the financial records include hundreds of thousands of dollars Mr. Cohen received from Fortune 500 companies with business before the Trump administration,” including AT+T and Novartis, the pharmaceutical giant. The New York Times notes, “References to the transactions first appeared in a document posted to Twitter on Tuesday by Michael Avenatti, the lawyer for Stephanie Clifford, the adult film star who was paid $130,000 by Essential Consultants to keep quiet about an alleged affair with Mr. Trump. The lawyer’s seven-page document, titled ‘Preliminary Report of Findings,’ does not explain the source of his information but describes in detail dates, dollar amounts and parties involved in various dealings by Mr. Cohen and his company. Most of the transactions involved two banks: First Republic Bank and City National Bank.” The New York Times continues, “In addition, Korea Aerospace Industries paid Mr. Cohen’s company $150,000 last November”. This is the presidency as a pyramid scheme, a gigantic money laundering operation, and also a huge fucking fraud.

From The New York Times.


reports, “Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators have questioned a Russian oligarch about hundreds of thousands of dollars in payments his company’s US affiliate made to President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, after the election”. CNN notes, “Viktor Vekselberg, chairman of asset manager Renova Group, is an oligarch close to Vladimir Putin, and last month the Trump administration placed him on a list of sanctioned Russians for activities including election interference. The purpose of the payments, which predate the sanctions, and the nature of the business relationship between Vekselberg and Cohen is unclear.” CNN adds, “Vekselberg is one of two Russian oligarchs the FBI stopped earlier this year after their private jets landed in New York-area airports as part of Mueller’s investigation.” So who is the other? CNN reports, “FBI agents asked Vekselberg about payments his company’s American affiliate, Columbus Nova, made to Cohen,” and, “The Russian was questioned as well about $300,000 in political donations by Andrew Intrater, Vekselberg’s American cousin who is the head of Columbus Nova”.

From CNN.



CNN reports, “President Donald Trump announced Tuesday he is quitting the Iran nuclear deal, pitting him against the United States’ closest allies and leaving the future of Tehran’s nuclear ambitions in question.” CNN adds, “Trump said he would initiate new sanctions on the regime, crippling the touchstone agreement negotiated by his predecessor. Trump said any country that helps Iran obtain nuclear weapons would also be ‘strongly sanctioned.’” In his remarks, the fake Russian bullshit president “at times, misrepresented the international agreement’s provisions.” CNN notes, “Trump’s decision could have explosive consequences, straining longstanding US alliances, disrupting oil markets and boosting tensions in the Middle East, even if the US reversal doesn’t lead Iran to restart its atomic program. While Trump supporters praised the move, analysts and critics said it undermines Washington’s credibility in future negotiations — particularly with North Korea — and potentially empowers the very hardliners in Iran that Trump vilified in his remarks.” CNN adds, “Former President Barack Obama, who rarely comments on his successor, issued a statement describing Trump’s move as a ‘serious mistake’ that could leave the US with a ‘losing choice between a nuclear-armed Iran or another war in the Middle East.’” Meanwhile, “Some of the US’ closest allies, the UK, France and Germany, issued a statement expressing ‘regret and concern’ about the decision, emphasizing Iran’s compliance with the deal and their ‘continuing commitment’ to the Joint Commission Plan of Action, as the deal is formally known.” CNN notes, “Iran’s President, Hassan Rouhani, said he had ordered the country’s atomic industry to be ready to restart industrial uranium enrichment, while the country’s foreign minister said he would work with the pact’s remaining partners — France, the UK, Germany, China and Russia — to see whether they could ensure ‘full benefits for Iran. Outcome will determine our response,’ Javad Zarif,” Iran’s Foreign Minister, “tweeted.” As an immediate result, “Tensions in the region are high, with US officials citing ‘concerns’ that Iran might attack Israel, without citing their evidence for the claim, while Israel called up reserves and the State Department issued a security alert for US citizens in the Golan Heights.”

From CNN.



POLITICO reports, “President Donald Trump revealed on Tuesday afternoon that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was flying to North Korea, where he will continue preparations for Trump’s planned meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.” POLITICO notes, “Pompeo’s trip to North Korea is his second in recent months and his first since being confirmed as secretary of state. Pompeo also traveled to North Korea earlier this year, a trip that was secret at the time and only later confirmed by the White House, including with the release of photos of the then-CIA director shaking hands with Kim.”




Mother Jones reports, “Michael Cohen, the longtime Trump fixer at the center of multiple presidential scandals, just mortgaged his multi-million-dollar condo in the swanky Trump Park Avenue building on the Upper East Side of Manhattan as part of a $9 million loan deal related to his troubled taxicab business.” Mother Jones notes, “In 2014, Cohen owned dozens of medallions worth an estimated $30 million, and he used them as collateral to borrow $20 million from two banks, including Sterling National Bank. Cohen has a partner in his taxicab business, Evgeny Friedman, who operates at least some of the cabs Cohen owns. As the Times reported, Cohen refinanced his medallion loans last month in a new transaction with Sterling, using as collateral money that Friedman might owe him. The Times described this arrangement as ‘unusual.’” Mother Jones adds, “But according to mortgage documents filed publicly on Monday, Cohen and his wife, Laura Cohen, also mortgaged their Trump Park Avenue condo as part of the deal with Sterling. Cohen’s attorney declined to comment about this new mortgage.” Mother Jones notes, “The Trump Park Avenue is one of the more luxurious buildings in the Trump real estate empire. Before moving to Washington, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner lived in one of the building’s penthouse apartments. The Trump Organization is embroiledin a legal fight with a Saudi prince over another condo in the building. One penthouse unit is on the market for $29.5 million. (It was once listed for $48 million.) Last year, Trump sold another penthouse unit for $15.8 million to a businesswoman with ties to Chinese military intelligence.”

From Mother Jones.



POLITICO reports, “A Dutch attorney now has the dubious distinction of being the first person imprisoned in connection with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Alex van der Zwaan, 33, reported to a low-security Federal Bureau of Prisons facility near Allenwood, Pennsylvania, on Monday to serve the 30-day sentence he received for lying to investigators in the course of Mueller’s investigation, according to a bureau spokesperson. His projected release date is June 4, according to information on the prison bureau’s website.” POLITICO recalls, “In February, van der Zwaan, a former London-based attorney for the U.S. law firm Skadden Arps, pleaded guilty to a felony false-statement charge, admitting that he lied to the FBI and lawyers for Mueller’s office during questioning about his involvement with a report Skadden prepared in 2012 at the request of the Ukrainian government.” Van der Zwaan is also the son-in-law of Russian oligarch German Khan, who is named in the Steele dossier for his alleged involvement in the coup.




Oh hello! TRUMPISTAN WATCH was dropped not once but TWICE in legendary Democratic Machine Cook County, lllinois in 2016 so this news comes as no surprise as Illinois was long reported to be ground zero for Russia’s voting registration hacking campaign but now The New York Times reports, “Russia was preparing to undermine confidence in the United States’ voting process when its hackers surveilled around 20 state election systems in the run-up to the 2016 elections, the Senate Intelligence Committee concluded in a brief report released on Tuesday.” The New York Times adds, “But the committee said it saw no evidence that the Russians had ultimately changed vote tallies or voter registration information. In a few states, however, Russian hackers were ‘in a position to, at a minimum, alter or delete voter registration data,’ the committee said.” TRUMPISTAN WATCH has two witnesses to what transpired, my mama and my papa, and any credible reporter or member of the committee can talk to them. The New York Times notes, “The senators found that the Russians targeted at least 18 states, and said that there is evidence that they also went after three others, scanning them for vulnerabilities. In six states, they went further, trying to gain access to voting websites, and in ‘a small number of states’ actually breached election computer defenses.” The New York Times adds, Senator Richard M. Burr of North Carolina, the committee’s chairman, told reporters on Tuesday that the next report, on the intelligence assessment, could be out as early as next week.”

From The New York Times.


The Hill
reports, “Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.) said Tuesday that he plans for the panel to begin to wrap up its investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election in August, when the Senate leaves for a monthlong recess.” The Hill notes, “The North Carolina Republican had previously estimated that the panel would be done with its work by December 2017,” and, “The panel still has a handful of witnesses to interview, Burr said.”

From The Hill.



The Washington Post reports, “Last Wednesday, senior FBI and national intelligence officials relayed an urgent message to the White House: Information being sought by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes could endanger a top-secret intelligence source.” DARKNESS AT NUNES does not give a shit about the sovereignty of the republic so what is one source to such an indifferent Russian and Trump tool? The Washington Post adds, “Top White House officials, with the assent of President Trump, agreed to back the decision to withhold the information. They were persuaded that turning over Justice Department documents could risk lives by potentially exposing the source, a U.S. citizen who has provided intelligence to the CIA and FBI,” as if anything that goes into the White House does not go to Russia out the backdoor anyways. The Washington Post notes, “The debate over the risk to the source is now at the center of a pitched battle between House Republicans and the Justice Department.” Again, the death cult GOP does not care about America, only the accumulation of vast wealth and the destruction of our nation’s vast resources, most of all our people. Naturally The Washington Post adds, “Several administration officials said they fear Trump may reverse course and support Nunes’s argument,” because it seems the people who work for our fake Russian bullshit president harbor few allusions over who he is really working for (hint: not the American people).  POLITICO adds, “Key House Republicans said Tuesday they think President Donald Trump will override the Justice Department’s refusal to turn over documents that top officials there say would endanger national security and risk lives.” The death cult GOP also knows who they are dealing with and does not care either.

From The Washington Post and POLITICO.


reports, “When the political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica announced last week it would be closing its doors and filing for bankruptcy in the wake of the Facebook Inc. data scandal, speculation mounted that it would be revived under the guise of two new companies set up in London. Not so, said Nigel Oakes, the founder of Cambridge Analytica’s British affiliate, SCL Group.” Bloomberg adds Oakes said by phone Tuesday, “The whole lot is gone. There’s no secret. For anything like this to recreate itself you need a team of people to work together but nobody is working together. Everybody has gone off to do their own things.” Bloomberg notes, “Oakes said the original idea was to acquire Cambridge Analytica and SCL and put them under one roof. Now Emerdata is also in administration, he said. Firecrest Technologies Ltd., another company created in March by former Cambridge Analytica Chief Executive Officer Alexander Nix, would also be wound down, he said. Firecrest’s main shareholder was Emerdata, according to company filings. Nix declined to comment when reached by phone.” Don’t believe them, they are professional and proven liars and employees are replaceable, as per capitalism.

From Bloomberg.


reports, “A Russian oil company effectively barred from international capital markets by western sanctions has found an ingenious workaround. It involves a Moscow bank taking a detour to Dublin.” Bloomberg adds, “In February, Credit Bank of Moscow PJSC used an Irish shell company to sell $500 million of bonds to investors including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. While the marketing materials for the offering didn’t dwell on the bank’s relationship with Rosneft PJSC, the state-controlled oil company has drawn the lender into close orbit, making hundreds of millions of dollars in deposits at a time of financial duress and borrowing billions in return.” Bloomberg notes, “The Moscow bank isn’t sanctioned and doesn’t face any limits on raising funds from international investors. The money it brought in through the Irish special purpose vehicle, or SPV, didn’t go directly to Rosneft. Yet the maneuvering allowed the bank to expand its lending to the oil company, highlighting one way Russian firms are circumventing U.S. and European restrictions.” Bloomberg adds, “the impression bank executives left with potential investors at the Savoy hotel in Zurich when they pitched their bond offering,” was that, “They were pretty arrogant about the sanctions risk”. Bloomberg notes, “Credit Bank of Moscow’s controlling shareholder is Roman Avdeev, a billionaire with 23 children who bought the lender when it was little more than a banking license in 1994. Avdeev was included on a U.S. Treasury list of oligarchs released in January. While those named weren’t targeted for restrictions, the move demonstrated that they were on Washington’s radar.”

From Bloomberg.



Reuters reports, “Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday congratulated Armenian protest leader Nikol Pashinyan on becoming prime minister, the Kremlin said in a statement.” Reuters adds, “Russian President Vladimir Putin and opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan who was elected Armenia’s new prime minister spoke on the phone on Tuesday and agreed to further strengthen bilateral ties.”

From Reuters and Reuters.


reports, “Poland’s antitrust and consumer protection watchdog will present charges against Russia’s Gazprom PJSC and five companies financing the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. Poland opposes the expansion of the major gas link directly from Russia to Germany, Europe’s biggest market for the fuel, arguing it would deepen Europe’s dependence on Russian energy and risk isolating transit nations such as Ukraine.” (See more in “KNOW YOUR ENEMY” today.)

From Bloomberg.



Public broadcasting of Latvia reports, “On May 8 Latvia’s interior police force, the Security Police, detained pro-Kremlin activist Vladimirs Lindermans. The case may be tied to an event, organized by Tatjana Ždanoka’s party, the Latvian Russian Union, protesting Latvia’s move to school instruction only in the Latvian language”. Public Broadcasting of Latvia notes, “Earlier, on April 18 the Security Police launched a probe over a March 31 event, organized by the Latvian Russian Union.” Public Broadcasting of Latvia adds, “Ždanoka herself to appear before the Security Police May 11 to account for alleged anti-Latvian statements made during the March 31 rally. Most recently, she quit the European Parliament to run for this year’s Saeima elections — but she may not be allowed to run in the elections at all. Ždanoka was a member of the Communist Party after January 13, 1991, thus the Constitutional Court is likely to rule against her candidacy, which might give her an opportunity to publicize the ‘oppression’ of Russians and more specifically herself in Latvia, which is a popular theme with the Russian government of which she has been a staunch supporter. As a MEP, she approved the annexation of Crimea during an illegal vote on the issue and has also been a supporter of Russia’s intervention in Syria and its support for the Assad regime.” Public broadcasting of Latvia notes, “Lindermans’ most recent run-in with the Security Police was when he was arrested after two Russian citizens walked into a huge military exercise at the Latvian war base Ādaži. Lindermans was suspected of aiding the two Russians, but was later acquitted.”

From Public broadcasting of Latvia.





POLITICO reports, “Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort has added a new defense attorney to his team. Jay Nanavati, a former Justice Department tax-crimes prosecutor, filed a formal appearance Tuesday in a Virginia-based case in which special counsel Robert Mueller has charged Manafort with tax evasion, bank fraud and failing to report overseas bank accounts.” POLITICO notes, “Nanavati is a founding partner of the Washington office of Kostelanetz & Fink, a New York-based law firm.”





The Dallas Morning News
reports, “Buried in the campaign finance reports available to the public are some troubling connections between a group of wealthy donors with ties to Russia and their political contributions to President Donald Trump and a number of top Republican leaders. And thanks to changes in campaign finance laws, the political contributions are legal.” One “example is Len Blavatnik, a dual U.S.-U.K. citizen and one of the largest donors to GOP political action committees in the 2015-16 election cycle.” The Dallas Morning News notes, “In 2015-16,” Blavatnik “pumped $6.35 million into GOP political action committees, with millions of dollars going to top Republican leaders including Sens. Mitch McConnell, Marco Rubio and Lindsey Graham. In 2017, donations continued, with $41,000 going to both Republican and Democrat candidates, along with $1 million to McConnell’s Senate Leadership Fund.” No wonder the death cult GOP does not care anymore about American sovereignty: they were paid off so as not to care. The Dallas Morning News adds, “Viktor Vekselberg is one of the 10 richest men in Russia. He and long-time business partner Blavatnik hold a 20.5 percent stake in Rusal,” and, “In 1990, Blavatnik and Vekselberg co-founded the Renova Group for large-scale investments in energy, infrastructure, aluminum and other metals.” The Dallas Morning News notes, “Vekselberg has connections to at least two Americans who made significant GOP campaign contributions during the last cycle.” The other is of course Andrew Intrater, “Vekselberg’s cousin. He is also chief executive of Columbus Nova, Renova’s U.S. investment arm located in New York.” The Dallas Morning News adds, “Intrater had no significant history of political contributions prior to the 2016 elections. But in January 2017 he contributed $250,000 to Trump’s Inaugural Committee.” Two others raise red flags, Alexander Shustorovich, who gave a “$1 million check to Trump’s Inaugural Committee,” and Simon Kukes, “an oil magnate,” who “worked for Vekselberg and Blavatnik,” and, “contributed a total of $283,000, much of it to the Trump Victory Fund.” The Dallas Morning News tallies it up and “In total, Blavatnik, Intrater, Shustorovich and Kukes made $10.4 million in political contributions from the start of the 2015-16 election cycle through September 2017, and 99 percent of their contributions went to Republicans.”

From The Dallas Morning News.



The Sun reports, “A FORMER Playboy model has claimed she had sex with President Trump as her best friend watched at Trump Tower in Manhattan.” Show of hands if you are old enough to remember when the death cult GOP cared about such sexual transgressions, citing morality, as opposed to nowadays when they are all like mmm, yeah give me some of that patriarchy. The Sun adds, “Barbara Moore was born August 21, 1968, in Spokane, Washington, and is an American glamour model, television and feature film actress and professional ballroom dancer and instructor. She was chosen as Playboy’s Playmate of the Month for December 1992 and has appeared in Playboy videos,” which is essentially soft-core porn of an earlier, pre-internet era. The Sun notes, “In April 2018, it was reported that she claimed she had an affair with future US President Donald Trump in 1993 while Trump’s wife at the time, Marla Maples, was pregnant with Tiffany Trump. In May 2018, former Playmate and German model Elke Jeinsen told how she was invited to Trump Tower with her fellow model in 1993 and watched Barbara and Trump have sex.” The Sun adds, “She claims she met the businessman at Trump’s Castle Casino hotel, a former Trump owned property in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and as Miss December 1992 she had been hired by Playboy to do a fashion show at the hotel.” The Sun notes, “The affair fizzled out around [sic] Septemeber 1993 when their calls to one another dried up.”

From The Sun.



Business Insider reports, “A roundabout next to the new US embassy in Jerusalem will be named in honor of President Donald Trump. Jerusalem’s Mayor Nir Barkat announced the name change to a paved traffic circle near the new US embassy on Twitter.” A roundabout built for an extremist by extremists. How perfect! Let them ride around in circles as they will anyway.

From Business Insider.



The New York Times reports, “Melania Trump’s rollout this week of her ‘Be Best’ initiative focusing on children was intended to give the first lady an agenda all her own. Instead, it revived accusations that Mrs. Trump’s ideas were really coming from somewhere else.” The New York Times notes, “Mrs. Trump’s communications director published an extraordinary statement on Tuesday that admonished the news media for reporting on the plagiarism claims.” Oh man these people are trolls or to be less generous, scum of the earth. The “fake news” media, aka The New York Times, however is gracious enough to note, “Before the official ‘Be Best’ rollout on Monday, aides had been upfront to reporters when asked about the fact that Mrs. Trump’s office was repackaging items, including the Federal Trade Commission booklet, from other programs.” Of course, “she has been accused of plagiarism before. In 2016, a large part of a speech she delivered at the Republican convention appeared to be taken from remarks Michelle Obama, her immediate predecessor, delivered in 2008. On Monday, observers also noted that Mrs. Obama had delivered remarks in 2016 urging men to ‘be better.’” Oh the irony that no one listened then and probably will not now as Melania is married to the biggest cyber bully on the planet, who also has the backing of Russia, noted for its professional, state-run trolling operations. The New York Times does note what garbage our fake First Lady is as, “Like her husband, Mrs. Trump is also viewed by many as having baggage related to the Obamas, stemming back to jabs she took at President Barack Obama while her husband was promoting the conspiracy theory that Mr. Obama was not an American citizen: ‘It’s not only Donald who wants to see’ Mr. Obama’s birth certificate, Mrs. Trump said during a 2011 interview. ‘It’s American people who voted for him and who didn’t vote for him.’ Mr. Obama eventually released his long-form birth certificate.”

From The New York Times.



The New York Post’s Page Six reports, “Vanessa Trump’s prom date for senior year at her $47,000-a-year Upper West Side prep school dressed up for the big occasion in a tuxedo, a bow tie — and a necklace in the black-and-gold colors of the Latin Kings, a street gang he had joined in an upstate prison.” Gee who could have leaked that to the Murdoch-owned, Trump friendly paper? The son of the fake billionaire Russian bullshit president is looking to dip into her recent inheritance, so might someone be fishing for a payoff for silence on further dirt? The article claims she waved her lawyer father’s famous name to help get the gangster off the hook a few times with police, helped him run drugs and later abandoned him for a fling with Leonardo DiCaprio.

From The New York Post’s Page Six.



Deutsche Welle reports, “The Nord Stream II gas pipeline would concentrate almost all Russian exports to the EU into one route, doubling the amount of gas transported from Russia to Germany to 55 billion cubic meters (bcm) a year. The cost of the 1,200-km (746-mile) pipeline has been estimated at €9.5 billion ($10.3 billion) and construction along the seabed is scheduled to begin in 2019. Construction of the German terminal began in the city of Lubmin on the Baltic Sea coast on May 3.” Deutsche Welle adds, “the pipeline has polarized debate in the EU, and between the bloc and the US, while adding to already confused EU-Russian relations.” Deutsche Welle notes, “Both Brussels and Moscow realize that despite their recent spats over Syria and Ukraine, they need each other. Russia needs a market for most of its oil and gas exports; Europe needs cheap and reliable sources of energy to replenish its own depleting sources,” which is hilarious in the most cynical sense because look to Bulgaria or Ukraine to see how reliable Russia truly is (supplies are cut off annually during harsh winter months for political advantages). Of course, “The project was driven by Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel (SPD), and ex-Chancellor Gerhard Schröder (also of the SPD) is the CEO of Nord Stream II.” Deutsche Welle adds, “the majority of the EU states and the EU Commission consider the project politically harmful,” and, “In Germany, senior politicians from the CDU, FDP and Greens have also said they want Berlin to rethink Nord Stream II.” Meanwhile, “A bipartisan group of US lawmakers recently wrote to Trump to urge his administration to block Nord Stream II by hitting the companies behind it with financial penalties.” Deutsche Welle notes it all comes down though to one country, Denmark, for now as, “Sweden and Finland have yet to issue permits for the pipeline through their exclusive economic zone, which is regulated by UN law. Germany did so earlier this year. But only in Denmark would the undersea pipe pass through sovereign territorial waters.” So it goes, “The Nord Stream II consortium has said it is carrying out surveys for an alternative route north of the Danish island of Bornholm outside Denmark’s territorial limits, but it would cost time and money.” Sadly Deutsche Welle brings in a bought and paid for by Israel, Azerbaijan and evidently now Russia expert professor Brenda Schaffer who makes the dubious claim that, “Some countries in Eastern Europe,” might, “have even better security of supply through Germany.” Yeah no, barf.

From Deutsche Welle.



Bellingcat reports, “The Bellingcat Investigation Team has determined conclusively that the artillery attack on the Ukrainian town of Mariupol on 24 January 2015, which resulted in at least 30 civilian deaths and over 100 injuries, came from Russia-controlled territory. Bellingcat has also determined that the shelling operation was instructed, directed and supervised by Russian military commanders in active service with the Russian Ministry of Defense. Bellingcat has identified nine Russian officers, including one general, two colonels, and three lieutenant colonels, involved directly with the military operation.” Bellingcat adds that it “has determined that two artillery batteries of Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS) were transported from Russia into Ukraine the day before the Mariupol operation. In the early morning of 24 January 2015, these batteries were deployed near the village of Bezimenne exclusively for the shelling of targets in and around Mariupol, after which they were repatriated back into Russia.” Bellingcat notes, “This investigation was made possible due to access to raw video and audio data that is being submitted by the Ukrainian government to the International Court of Justice as part of an ongoing legal case. This data was made available to a small group of international investigative media for the purposes of independent assessment.” Bellingcat adds, “Our full investigation, with biographical details on each of these men, our research process, and our analysis of the shelling attack itself, will be published later this week.”

From Bellingcat.





Think Progress reports, “Earlier this year, the family of former Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich sued Fox News for inflicting emotional distress when it reported a conspiracy theory that Rich had been murdered for leaking documents from the DNC to Wikileaks. In its response filed Tuesday, the network argued that the claim didn’t hold up was because the network had portrayed Rich as a ‘hero.” Ew. This is their official response to libeling and slandering a dead man and placing him at the center of an unfounded conspiracy theory linking him to scum of the earth like WikiLeaks’ J-Ass? Think Progress adds, “Although Plaintiffs assert that the Fox News article caused them pain, other readers might well consider their son to be a hero,” the new brief argues. “Far from condemning Seth Rich for the purported leak, the Fox News article portrayed him as a whistleblower who released the DNC emails to expose that ‘top party officials conspired to stop Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont from becoming the party’s presidential nominee.‘” Damn that’s a lot of chutzpah, and not well placed chutzpah at that. In fact, it’s fucking evil.

From Think Progress.



The AP reports, “Army wife Angela Ricketts was soaking in a bubble bath in her Colorado home, leafing through a memoir, when a message appeared on her iPhone: ‘Dear Angela!’ it said. ‘Bloody Valentine’s Day!’” The message continued, “We know everything about you, your husband and your children”. The AP notes, “the Facebook message continued, claiming that the hackers operating under the flag of Islamic State militants had penetrated her computer and her phone”. The AP adds, “Ricketts was one of five military wives who received death threats from the self-styled CyberCaliphate on the morning of Feb. 10, 2015. The warnings led to days of anguished media coverage of Islamic State militants’ online reach.” The AP notes, “Except it wasn’t IS,” as, “The Associated Press has found evidence that the women were targeted not by jihadists but by the same Russian hacking group that intervened in the American election and exposed the emails of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign chairman, John Podesta.” It also fits the pattern of simultaneously attacking several individuals of similar profile that TRUMPISTAN WATCH and other journalists have observed after receiving similar but nonthreatening spearphishing scams. The AP adds, “The operation also parallels the online disinformation campaign by Russian trolls in the months leading up to the U.S. election in 2016,” but TRUMPISTAN WATCH would note after as well. The AP notes, “Links between CyberCaliphate and the Russian hackers — typically nicknamed Fancy Bear or APT28 — have been documented previously. On both sides of the Atlantic, the consensus is that the two groups are closely related.”

From the AP.



The Southern Poverty Law Center reports, “The far-right provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos has been invited to speak by a group funded by the Hungarian government this month. Yiannopoulos will be delivering a speech at the Public Foundation for the Research of Central and East European History and Society, a group dedicated to protecting the country’s ‘educational and cultural goods.’ The group is sponsored by the heavily anti-immigrant, far-right Fidesz party currently in power in Hungary, which was re-elected for a third term last month.” Budapest has become a bulwark of Russian espionage in Europe and Russian intelligence has found a sanctuary of sorts under the government of far right President Viktor Orbán. So Milo is falling into Russia’s orbit, predictably.

From The Southern Poverty Law Center.




The Moscow Times
reports, “German sportswear retailer Adidas has removed its USSR-themed women’s jersey from its online store after facing criticism from politicians and social media users from countries including Lithuania and Ukraine.” The Moscow Times notes, “A FIFA World Cup men’s t-shirt remained the only Soviet-related apparel available on the company’s online store as of Tuesday afternoon.”

From The Moscow Times.


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