“The job was done to precision of second. He was blotted out under ‘curators’ order,”

“The job was done to precision of second. He was blotted out under ‘curators’ order,” – Donbas militants comment on murder of rebel leader ‘Motorola’

A number of Russian activists hostile towards Ukraine and supportive of separatists and militants of Donbas have said they are certain that Arsen ‘Motorola’ Pavlov was killed by his foes from the “Donetsk People’s Republic,” not by Ukrainian saboteurs. Source: http://en.censor.net.ua/n410846

“Those who knew how heavily guarded ‘Motorola’ was, realized immediately how absurd the version about a saboteur group sounds. Even if we presume that a recon group [of Ukraine – ed.] could penetrate into Donetsk, then how could the saboteurs manage to enter the heavily guarded building to which only a limited number of persons had access? Such tricks are only possible in poor-quality action movies,” the news outlet wrote quoting several pro-separatist activists of the Donbas.

“The following is clear as of now. The commander was killed by an explosion of a bomb attached inside a garbage disposal unit next to the elevator cabin. It was detonated exactly the moment when Arsen [Pavlov] entered the elevator and the doors closed but before it started to move up. This means the job was done to a precision of second. … It also required access to the house and ability to see when Arsen entered the building… as well as lengthy manipulations [of bomb implementation – ed.] that could not have been hidden from the guards.

“Thus the version of a “Ukrainian saboteur group” is untenable. Ukrainian saboteurs have no access to the building and ability to spend time there and do some manipulations without being noticed by the security. The murder was committed by some allies of the Kyiv junta who were able to disguise as ‘friends’ and prepare the terrorist attack,” a comment in a popular separatist public group reads. Source: http://en.censor.net.ua/n410846

Some other separatist ‘speakers’ expressed similar opinions.
Former militant commander Igor Strelkov, who fought alongside ‘Motorola’ in Sloviansk, wrote that the murdered militant’s security was top-level, including at his residence.

“No strangers could enter the building,” he commented.

Another “Strelkov” gang member Mikhail Polynkov wrote that he even knew call signs of people who murdered Pavlov. He said he was passing the names and call signs to Strelkov and asked Strelkov “to act honestly” with this information in case he is eliminated.
Source: http://en.censor.net.ua/n410846

Stalinist writer Maxim Kalashnikov in his LiveJournal post quotes Yevgeny Shabaev, official representative of the “Donetsk republic” in Moscow, as saying that “people’s leaders are being eliminated by orders of ‘curators.’ The latter want to stuff the Luhansk and Donetsk people’s republics into Ukraine as fast as possible.”
“It’s almost a fact that Russia is implementing a scenario of elimination of field commanders of the Donbas militants in its seized territories, those who were in this conflict since its beginning. Only a few of them are left, and they risk repeating the fate of ‘Motorola.’ …

“Idea-driven fighters were needed only at the beginning of the conflict. … Now their time is up. A stage of a long diplomatic struggle is taking off, during which the Russian leadership will attempt integrating the occupied areas of the Donbas back into Ukraine at the best conditions for the Kremlin. Freaky field commanders are not needed in this struggle,” the authors of the article sum up. Source: http://en.censor.net.ua/n410846

Lithuanian Court To Summon Gorbachev To Trial Over 1991 Soviet Crackdown

A court in Lithuania plans to summon former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to a trial over the Soviet crackdown on the Baltic state’s pro-independence movement in 1991.

The Vilnius Regional Court said on October 17 that it will summon Gorbachev to testify at the trial as a witness.

In January, the court started the trial of two former Soviet military officers, Russian citizens Gennady Ivanov and Yury Mel.

Lithuania charged 66 citizens of Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine last year with war crimes and crimes against humanity over the death of 13 people during the 1991 crackdown.

More than 1,000 people were also wounded when Soviet troops stormed Vilnius’s TV tower on January 13, 1991.

Fourteen people lost their lives that day after another person died of a heart attack.

It was the deadliest action by the Soviet Army in trying to crush secessionist movements in the Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia.

Will the West Ever Stand Up to Putin?

German Chancellor Angela Merkel suggested that the Normandy Four—leaders from France, Germany, Russia, and Ukraine—gather on October 19 to discuss the war in Ukraine.

But this is premature. Nothing will come out of this meeting without a detailed roadmap for a real ceasefire and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s adherence to fully implement the Minsk agreements.

Russia is essentially demanding that Ukraine fully implement Minsk, including the holding of elections in Russian-occupied territory in the Donbas, while meeting a tiny part (at most one percent) of its Minsk obligations. After all, the most basic requirement of Minsk is an end to the shooting, but there has not been one day since the first ceasefire was agreed to over two years ago that there has not been shelling from the Russian-controlled side of the contact line. This is not a genuine offer to secure peace; it’s just a game. The Kremlin must be completely isolated until the shelling in the Donbas stops.

It is high time for the West to understand that Ukraine is not a buffer zone. We are a strategic partner and the restoration of global security is not possible without Ukraine.

Russia has cleverly used international institutions to prevent it from taking real steps to implement Minsk. It influences the decisions of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and its membership in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe is laughable: Russia blatantly disrespects and disregards the organization’s mission. At the UN Security Council, Russia had no problem wielding its veto on the draft resolution on Syria, even when innocent lives are at stake.

We have been given bad advice by some of our European friends. As Ukraine considered amendments to the constitution that would give eastern Ukraine greater decentralization so as to fulfill the Minsk agreements, one European official urged their adoption. “If someone slaps you on the cheek, turn the other cheek. This is a Christian value,” he told me. But this isn’t a theological discussion. The Europeans understand that Russia invaded Ukraine, but still they require the victims to take the initiative to resolve the conflict, which was triggered by Russian aggression.

The situation that we are in—a hybrid peace—will bring more losses than the hybrid war that killed thousands in eastern Ukraine over the almost last three years. After 10,000 deaths, “turning the other cheek” means allowing more body bags and instability in the broader region. Putin will not give up his expansionism easily.

It is time for the world to wake up. The West has pressured Ukraine during the last two years while not making any attempt to force Putin to secure a real ceasefire.

Continental Europe talks a lot about values, but from Kyiv it looks like just that: a lot of talk. The dialogue between Europeans and the aggressor has nothing to do with Christian values. Negotiating with a tyrant using the language of appeasement is pointless. Russia annexed Ukrainian Crimea and then invaded the Donbas, bombed peaceful districts of Aleppo, has built up its military massively, engages in military provocations in the Baltics, and ignores its agreements on peacekeeping and military deterrence. How many times should we turn the other cheek?

We were hopeful that the West’s response might change this fall. Even after the interim report of the Joint Investigation Team on the MH17 tragedy demonstrated that Russia provided the Buk missile that killed 298 innocent people, and even after Russia and Syria’s inhumane attacks on hospitals and civilians in Aleppo, the West’s response was inadequate. France, Germany, and the United States could take actions that would get the Kremlin’s attention. They could suspend Russia from the SWIFT banking system or refuse to buy its oil and energy products. A recent picture at the United Nations was equally depressing: nothing could be done as Russian blocked the French resolution calling for a ceasefire in Syria and the banning of military flights over Aleppo.

The weak and conciliatory reactions of the West deeply concern us, and they concern others in Eastern Europe as well. The sad truth is that the West does not seem to know how to confidently stand up to Putin any more.

From – http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/new-atlanticist/will-the-west-ever-stand-up-to-putin

NATO Chief Concerned Russian Navy Task Force Will Join Attacks On Aleppo

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg says he is “concerned” that a Russian aircraft carrier and its task force that is heading to the eastern Mediterranean Sea will join Russian attacks on the Syrian city of Aleppo and “increase human suffering.”

Stoltenberg said on October 20 that navies from NATO member states would monitor the movements of the Russian task force in a “responsible and measured way.”

The Russian Navy deployment would increase its firepower in Syria, where it has been carrying out air strikes in support of President Bashar al-Assad’s army for more than a year.

The Admiral Kuznetsov, Russia’s only aircraft carrier, can carry dozens of fighter bombers.

It is accompanied by a nuclear-powered battle cruiser, two antisubmarine warships, and four support vessels.

The deployment comes amid an offensive by Assad’s troops on rebel-held neighborhoods of Aleppo, backed by Russian warplanes, that has caused international outrage.

It also comes amid heightened tensions between Moscow and NATO, which has accused Russia of provocative military maneuvers.

The British Navy was shadowing the Admiral Kuznetsov and seven other Russian warships on their journey from the Norwegian Sea to the North Sea and through the English Channel as they head toward Syria.

Admiral Vyacheslav Popov, the former commander of Russia’s Northern Fleet, says the task force could cover the distance from the English Channel to the eastern Mediterranean in “less than a week” at top speed.

He said that at “medium speed, it can take up to two weeks.”

British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon said on October 19: “When these ships near our waters, we will man-mark them every step of the way” and will be watching them “as part of our steadfast commitment to keep Britain safe.”

British Prime Minister Theresa May has urged the European Union to unite in condemning Russia’s role in Syria and bring an end to what she called Moscow’s “sickening atrocities” there.

Meanwhile, momentum was building among EU leaders for sanctions against supporters of Assad’s regime — including Russia — if they fail to stop atrocities in Syria.

A draft statement obtained by RFE/RL at an EU summit in Brussels on October 20 said the bloc was “considering all options, including further restrictive measures targeting individuals and entities supporting the [Syrian] regime, should the current atrocities continue.”

Russia was not specifically named in the threat of more punitive measures, but was singled out in the draft statement — which said the EU “strongly condemns the attacks by the Syrian regime and its allies, notably Russia, on civilians in Aleppo.”

Russia announced on October 20 that it would pause its air strikes for 11 hours each day for the next four days to allow civilians to leave Aleppo and aid workers to deliver humanitarian supplies.

But officials at the EU summit dismissed the gesture as being timed to coincide with their talks in Brussels in an attempt to minimize the growing momentum toward sanctions against Russia.

During the break in fighting in Aleppo on October 20, Syria’s military used loudspeakers to call on residents to evacuate.

However. there was no sign of such a move among the estimated 250,000 civilians trapped in the besieged city’s rebel-held eastern district.

From – http://www.rferl.org/a/russia-britain-sends-warships-to-escort-naval-task-force/28064717.html

Killing of Motorola ups tensions in eastern Ukraine

The killing on Oct. 16 of Arseniy Pavlov, a Russian warlord who headed one of the armed gangs that have taken over parts of Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, has sparked fears of an escalation in the war in eastern Ukraine.

Pavlov, know widely by his nom de guerre Motorola, was killed by a remotely activated device that detonated as he entered the elevator in his nine-story block of flats in Donetsk, where Kremlin-backed militias have seized control from the local authorities.

The leaders of the Kremlin-backed armed groups are calling Pavlov’s death a “terrorist act,” and say it was carried out by Ukrainian special forces. Oleksandr Zakharchenko, a Kremlin-backed leader in Donetsk, lsays he will take revenge on Ukraine and accuses the country’s president, Petro Poroshenko, of declaring war.

But in Kyiv the message is radically different. No claims of responsibility are being made, with a spokesperson for Ukraine’s Interior Ministry, Artem Shevchenko, instead writing on his Facebook page that Pavlov had likely been killed by his fellow “partners in crime.”

Zorjan Shkirjak, an Interior Ministry adviser, posted on social media that he believes Russia’s security services, the FSB, killed Pavlov as part of a professional “clean-up” operation, and that other leaders of pro-Kremlin armed groups will come to the same end.

String of killings

Meanwhile, a video has surfaced on social media purporting to show four men from a far-right Ukrainian group admitting to Pavlov’s murder. The clip has, however, been widely labeled as a fake.

Pavlov, 33 at the time of his death, was a Russian citizen born in Ukhta, a town some 1,600 kilometers northwest of Moscow. He came to Ukraine in February 2014, declaring himself a volunteer and fighting against Ukrainian forces on a number of occasions. He was head of the Sparta Battalion armed group during the battle for Donetsk airport, one of the key confrontations in the Kremlin-backed war in the Donbas. He was on the wanted list in Ukraine, accused of committing crimes against the country’s territorial integrity. In an April 3, 2015 interview with the Kyiv Post, he claimed to have murdered prisoners of war.

Pavlov’s death is the latest in a string of killings of commanders of Kremlin-backed armed groups. These include that of Alexei Mozgovoi, who was killed in May 2015. At the time, Ukrainian authorities said Mozgovoi was likely murdered due to a power struggle between separatist groups. Officials in Russia suggested Mozgovoi was murdered with the help of the Western intelligence services, though without providing any evidence to back their claim.

As for Pavlov, one Russian MP has already suggested renaming a school in St. Petersburg in his honor. Should that step be taken, the information war over events in eastern Ukraine will surely resonate long after Russian President Vladimir Putin has left office.

Security fears

Ultimately, the truth behind who killed Motorola is unlikely to ever be definitively established. It remains to be seen if pronouncements of revenge from the leaders of armed groups who have survived him, like Zakharchenko, will translate into anything real. Their response has been aggressive, but this likely masks very real doubts that are now surfacing regarding their own security and the security of the territories they occupy as a whole. If the man they called Motorola can be killed just meters from his own home, then surely no one is safe.

The natural reaction of the Russian-backed leaders in such cases has been to make bombastic threats toward Ukraine. But the frequency of attacks on the lives of prominent Kremlin warriors suggests they would be better off spending time looking after their own safety – and making sure they stay useful to Moscow.

From – https://www.kyivpost.com/ukraine-politics/analysis-killing-motorola-ups-tensions-eastern-ukraine.html

Pro-Russia media star ‘Motorola’ killed by ‘Ukrainian Nazis,’ rebels claim

MOSCOW — He bragged about being a cold-blooded killer, and videotaped battles with his helmet cam.

And along the way, this former car wash worker became an unlikely, pro-Kremlin media star in rebel-held Ukraine – where he met his end late Sunday in a mysterious explosion that roared up the elevator shaft in his apartment building.

The death of Arsen Pavlov, 33, better known by his nom de guerre “Motorola,” brought blame-trading on both sides of the conflict between Ukraine’s Western-allied government and rebel factions with ties to Russia.

Many believed the blast was just the lasted in a series of killings that may be linked to a bitter internal purge of rebel leaders. Separatist officials, in turn claimed Ukraine’s government in Kiev was behind the attack in Donetsk, the largest rebel-held city.

“I understand that [Ukrainian President] Petro Poroshenko has violated the ceasefire and declared war against us,” said Alexander Zakharchenko, the leader of the separatists in Donetsk. “Now wait for it.”

A video surfaced Monday on social media purportedly from anti-rebel factions showing a self-proclaimed fighter saying he was in Donetsk and claiming they “just liquidated the famous terrorist Motorola.” He then lists two other pro-Moscow leaders as “next” on the hit list, and ends with a Nazi salute. The authenticity of the video could be independently verified, but separatists insisted it proved Kiev’s hand in the attack.

Pavlov, a native of the northern Russian Komi Republic and former car wash employee, arrived in Kiev during the 2013-2014 pro-European protests, and later joined anti-Western street demonstrations in Kharkiv and Donetsk. Reported to be a veteran of Russia’s Second Chechen War, he led teams of separatist fighters in the extended battles for the Ukrainian city of Slavyansk and at the Donetsk Airport.

Kiev has called Pavlov a war criminal. Asked by the Kyiv Post last April about allegations that he had executed a Ukrainian defender of the airport, Pavlov responded: “I don’t give a f*** about what I am accused of, believe it or not. I shot 15 prisoners dead. I don’t give a f***. No comment. I kill if I want to. I don’t if I don’t.”

Pavlov first became known for strapping a GoPro camera to his helmet and then passing the footage to pro-Kremlin media outlets including LifeNews and Komsomolskaya Pravda. He granted generous access to friendly journalists, producing some of the best-known, and most infamous, videotaped scenes from the war.

One showed his fighters capturing Ukrainian soldiers at the airport in Donetsk. The men were later paraded through Donetsk, where locals threw stones and beat them, which Kiev called a violation of the Geneva Convention. A longer cut of the video, which we won’t link to here, shows Pavlov dragging the bodies of Ukrainian soldiers out of the trunk of a car as another soldier covers his face in the background.

After the battle, he also brought captives to the airport to gather the bodies of their fallen comrades. According to a report by the Reuters news agency, he said they had been assigned the task because “it’s not our job to recover dead bodies, it’s our job to make them.”

He “was one of the first to understand that the information component of this war was perhaps just as important as the combat,” wrote Alexander Kots, a war reporter for the pro-government daily Komsomolskaya Pravda, adding that Pavlov liked “Russian rap and joking around” and that his friends called him “Motik.”

In July 2014, he arranged one of the most bizarre events of the war up to that point: His own wedding, attended by members of Russian and Western media, that highlighted the manic, tragicomic (and highly media-sensitive) atmosphere of Donetsk in early 2014.

One week later, a Malaysian airliner carrying 298 passengers and crew was shot from the sky. A two-year, Dutch-led investigation last month said that the missile-launcher “came from Russia” and was fired from territory held by the separatists.

On Monday, an 11-second video appeared in which men who said they are members of the neo-Nazi “Misanthropic Division,” claimed responsibility for the attack. The claim could not immediately be verified.

On Monday, Russian state television aired glowing obituaries to Pavlov and his role in the breakaway Donetsk People’s Republic, or DNR. Others responded with gallows humor.

“The DNR fighter has changed his codename from “Motorola” to Samsung Galaxy Note 7,” joked one anti-Kremlin account, in reference to the Samsung’s exploding telephones.

From – https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2016/10/17/pro-russia-media-star-motorola-killed-by-ukrainian-nazis-rebels-claim/

RT: NatWest to close Russian channel’s UK bank accounts

NatWest bank is to close the accounts of Russia’s state-run broadcaster, RT.

Editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan tweeted: “They’ve closed our accounts in Britain. All our accounts. ‘The decision is not subject to review.’ Praise be to freedom of speech!”
The bank said the decision was “not taken lightly” and that the accounts were “still operative” at present.

An MP from Russia’s ruling party has said its parliament will demand an explanation from the UK.

RT says the entire Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) Group, of which NatWest is part, is refusing to provide its services.
The broadcaster, previously known as Russia Today, says NatWest wrote to its London office saying: “We have recently undertaken a review of your banking arrangements with us and reached the conclusion that we will no longer provide these facilities.”

The bank, RT said, had insisted its decision was final and it was “not prepared to enter into any discussion.”
A letter posted online by the channel appears to show that the freeze is not in effect yet. It warns that banking facilities will be “cancelled and closed” on 12 December.
RBS said in a statement: “These decisions are not taken lightly. We are reviewing the situation and are contacting the customer to discuss this further. The bank accounts remain open and are still operative.”

The UK Treasury said it does not comment on individual cases, but added that no new sanctions or obligations relating to Russia had been imposed on British banks by the government since February 2015.

A spokeswoman for Prime Minister Theresa May said: “It’s a matter for the bank, and it’s for them to decide who they offer services to based on their own risk appetite.”
Reaction in Russia

MP Sergei Zheleznyak, from the ruling United Russia party, told the privately owned Interfax news agency: “We will be demanding an explanation from Britain’s official authorities in connection with this situation.”

Mr Zheleznyak, who sits on the international affairs committee of the State Duma (parliament’s lower house), called NatWest’s refusal to offer its banking services “outrageous” and “an infringement of the rights of journalists”.

RT chief Ms Simonyan said the closure included the personal accounts of some senior staff working in the UK.
She told Russian state media: “They haven’t explained the reasons and I think they can’t explain them because there can’t be any reasons. We have an absolutely transparent operation there, absolutely transparent funding. There have never been any complaints in this regard at all.

“They have failed to defeat us by simply vilifying us, by picking on our broadcast, so they decided to try the banking flank: ‘Try broadcasting when all your accounts have been closed.’ Yet we will try.”

RT, which is run by the Kremlin, has previously been accused of biased reporting and found in breach of Ofcom regulations.

The UK broadcasting regulator criticised a programme in which RT claimed the BBC had “staged” a chemical weapons attack for a news report on Syria.
Ofcom ruled that parts of the RT programme were “materially misleading”.

Russian media outlets have made inroads into the UK recently.

The state-funded Sputnik news agency set up in Edinburgh in August to broadcast live radio programmes from Scotland. It said its goal was “telling the untold” to Scottish and UK audiences, although critics say it will act as a Kremlin mouthpiece.

From – http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-37677020

How one woman tried to save Ukraine from economic collapse

Natalie Jaresko, the former Minister of Finance, was handed an impossible task

A couple of times I thought Natalie Jaresko was going to cry. But she did not. It was twilight in May 2015, and we sat on the terrace of her house just outside Kiev. As we talked, all the emotion of trying to save Ukraine from economic oblivion bubbled to the surface. Each time, though, the Minister of Finance regained her composure. Her two daughters, aged 17 and 11, drifted in and out asking homework questions. “I just feel incredible pressure,” said her mother. Ukraine’s very “existence as a country” was under threat, and “we have no choice but to succeed.”
The figures were dire. In 2014 industrial production declined by 21% and the hyrvnia had lost 69% of its value against the dollar. The country had lost territory, resources, industries, people and markets. Between 40 and 60% of economic activity is in the gray economy. In the first quarter of 2015 the economy was 17.6% smaller than a year before. The war, which was costing between $5 and $7 million a day, was being fought with guns, but securing the home front meant saving the economy too. After 23 years of poor and often literally criminal management, making sure that the country did not implode under the weight of its debts and generalized corruption was a responsibility which fell, out of the blue, onto Natalie’s shoulders.

Natalie was born in 1965 in Chicago, and her progression from diaspora girl to minister was not obvious. When, after the general election of October 2014, she was asked to take the post, she recalled thinking, “if I had not tried to help, I would never have forgiven myself.”

When Natalie arrived in Ukraine in 1992, it was clear that the country had already been in decline for years even before the post-Soviet economic nosedive that was now beginning. But, as the difficult period of settling in began to pass, she found herself becoming ever more excited about “the Ukraine that could be.” It was close to the rest of Europe, rich in various resources, had an educated population, ports and so on. “What more could you ask for?”

The big story of Ukraine since independence is one of lost opportunities. We talked of how road builders and other contractors stole vast amounts, leaving the country with third-world roads. We talked of how few paid income tax. “It is a vicious circle. People say, ‘Why should I pay tax if the government does not provide me with good schools and hospitals as it is supposed to?’ And the government in turn does not have the money to provide them as they are not paying tax.”

When President Yanukovych said he would not sign a deal with the E.U. and demonstrations began in 2013, Natalie began to help the demonstrators. Her children’s nanny cooked up fatty meat stews to take to the men in the square, explaining that they needed the fat to protect them from the cold.

Then, nine months after the protests were over, she was visited by headhunters taken on by the incoming Ukrainian government. Within days she was offered the post of Minister of Finance and was granted citizenship when she took office. When she began work, one of her two assistants asked if they would be getting the usual cash bonus. It turned out that the minister was expected to bribe them not to accept bribes from others who were keen to find out the minister’s schedule and other interesting bits of information. As the answer was “no,” one left, but the other remained.

Negotiating with the IMF and Ukraine’s debtors was one thing, but trying to get the system under her to work was quite another. The Soviet-inherited system was designed, she said, so that the person at the top got to shoulder all the responsibility, so that absolutely no one lower down had to take any. The civil servants have been taught to check if anything that comes before them has a consequence for the budget, and if it is legal, but not how to solve problems.

On the plus side, she believed that Ukraine had never been a more tolerant place. She recalled meeting the finance minister from an E.U. country who told her he wanted to talk about Ukraine’s “discrimination” against Russian-speakers. In her office, Russian, English and Ukrainian are used interchangeably. At last, she said, “the definition of being a Ukrainian is being a member of this society and not being ethnically Ukrainian.” And this, having grown up as an American, is something she was very happy to see.

From – https://www.kyivpost.com/article/opinion/op-ed/tim-judah-one-woman-tried-save-ukraine-economic-collapse.html

Putin Has Issued An Order To Officials To Bring All Their Relatives Home

Russia has issued an order to all its officials to fly home any family members who are living abroad, it has been reported.

Politicians and other official figures have, allegedly, received a warning from Vladimir Putin ordering them to bring their relatives home.

Russian news website ZNAK broke the news yesterday that Putin was asking that all family members studying abroad as well as older relatives who may be living outside of Russia should return.

This is the latest in a recent spate of worrying behaviours from the Russian president.

He recently cancelled a visit to France after a ‘furious row’ regarding Moscow’s role in the Syrian conflict; he’s also been carrying out nuclear attack drills, which led many to speculate he’s planning a war.

This new directive applies to administrative staff, lawmakers, regional administrators and all employees of public corporations. The reason is, as yet, unclear.

However, failure to follow the order will put officials at risk of losing their chances of promotion.

Russian political analyst Stanislav Belkovsky told ZNAK: “This is all part of the package of measure to prepare elites for some ‘big war’.”

From – http://www.theladbible.com/now/politics-