Tag: Vladimir Putin

How dangerous is jailed Navalny to Putin?
Europe

How dangerous is jailed Navalny to Putin?

Alexei Navalny returned to Moscow five months after being poisoned with nerve agent Novichok and receiving treatment at a Berlin hospital, and landed straight into prison. At the airport authorities detained Navalny, the opposition leader and most prominent Kremlin critic. 

Interestingly, now for over a decade, Vladimir Putin has refrained from taking his name, mostly referring to him as ‘that gentleman’ and recently ‘patient’, after he was poisoned by suspectedly FSB agents. Logically, the act is deliberate for not giving Navalny media space and free advertising. But it also indicates the rivalry that has taken up to be personal and Putin’s deep understanding that Navalny is nowhere near backing down from exposing Putin, even after his near-death threat by recent poisoning or even prison. 

Even being in Moscow’s infamously notorious jail, Matrosskaya Tishina, has not tamed down Navalny and he is continuing to be a danger to Putin’s position and reputation. Navalny’s team have initiated a gigantic investigation into Putin’s wealth on Tuesday. This includes his £1 billion palace on Black Sea which is claimed to be built for the Russian controversial and equally ‘untouchable’ president. Navalny has called it “the biggest bribe in history”. 

Navalny’s team has researched and released blueprints and details of the manor. Then the team poked the bear saying that now that architecture has been revealed, Putin who is known to be obsessed with safety, will have to abandon the palace. 

Navalny is famous for never backing from publicly attacks Putin directly. During 2011-2012 protests, Navalny had called him a ‘thief’ and his party United Russia a “party of crooks and thieves”. Putin has been called as the biggest existential threat to Putin and his government. 

Zhanna Nemtsova, daughter of opposition leader Boris Nemtsova who was murdered, writes, “Putin is no longer afraid of western sanctions, critical statements and the demands of European and American politicians for further isolation. For him the stakes are too high – he knows that Navalny is capable of overthrowing his regime.”

Over the years Navalny has proven to be a crowd pleaser and a good approachable leader to that. He is an excellent speaker and enjoys being on stage, interacting with people, a leader during protests and with a very effective presence, a tech-savvy young campaigner with whom youth feel connected. These all qualities are in contrast to Putin, something that fears Kremlin. His courage has always been the talking point internationally, something which he again highlighted as he returned to Moscow on Sunday after fighting for his life in Germany post poisoning. 

Navalny Impersonates To Prove Kremlin Role In Assassination Attempt
Europe

Navalny Impersonates To Prove Kremlin Role In Assassination Attempt

Kremlin Role In Assassination: In a stubborn determination to not give up on a fight for fair democracy in Russia, opposition leader Alexei Navalny has gone all out to investigate the power behind derailment of his campaign efforts.

Navalny had been poisoned with a dangerous nerve paralyzing agent that has taken him months to recover from. It has been confirmed that Navalny actually impersonated a security officer and duped a Russian FSB state agent into revealing details of the life threatening attack on him. He had been injected with with the nerve agent Novichok through a cup of black coffee while he was on flight and had to be rushed back to Siberia. 

In his conversation with the Russian FSB agent, it was discovered that indeed, it was the quick response of the on-flight staff and pilot that saved the Russian former Yale University politician’s life. 

The investigative group Bellingcat has further reported that the agent (Mr. Kudryavtsev) was asked to go back and clear any traces of the nerve agent while Navalny was being treated in the ICU. Navalny has been in the ICU since August 2020 and is still in recovering stage. 

In the ongoing investigations by Bellingcat, Putin had taken to the local television and said that all this work is a conspiracy initiated by the US. But strangely, the investigations carried out by the group also proves that in fact, there were several FSB agents, chemical weapons specialists, who, had been tailing Mr. Navalny for years before the attempt on his life.

In the summer, before the August poisoning, Mr Navalny campaigned to get several of his supporters elected to councils in Siberia. Navalny is the only young dynamic politician that has a fighting chance against the dictatorial rule of Vladimir Putin. Kremlin has been consistently denying any foul play in the attempted murder of Navalny. 

Investigation reveals Russian agents who pursued Putin’s nemesis Navalny before he was poisoned
Europe

Investigation reveals Russian agents who pursued Putin’s nemesis Navalny before he was poisoned

Putin’s nemesis: On Monday, reports of a joint investigation caried out by CNN and Bellingcat, the online investigative outfit, were published blaming and naming Russian intelligence agents for pursuing Vladimir Putin’s nemesis Alexei Navalny and poisoning him with the nerve agent Novichok. 

Navalny was poisoned in August with Novichok as he collapsed mid-flight on his flight from Tomsk, the last lag on his trip to Siberia. 

The investigation implicates FSB agents in the poisoning incident of Navalny. The Navalny team, as investigation reveals, was constantly under watch of Russia’s FSB – the successor of KGB, Soviet Union’s secret police force. Investigation also revealed that Navalny was followed by FSB agents on over 30 trips since 2017 to and from Moscow. 

Navalny’s anti-corruption campaign lead, Maria Pevchikh, was followed in flight from Moscow to Novosibirsk, Serbia, by Oleg Tayakin. Tayakin is an FSB member and belongs to its team specializing in nerve agents and toxins. The following of Pevchikh a week before Navalny too was supposed to reach Serbia links the sequence of events. In fact, the very morning several FSB agents made their way to Serbian city. Navalny, the Putin’s archrival, was to arrive in Novosibirsk the next day.

The investigation reveals that these agents usually followed Navalny in groups of three and would take parallel flights to the destination. In the initial years, the agents were using their original names but later switched to using their spouse’s maiden names and changing their birth dates to next year. 

Report has identified the three men who had “entailed” Navalny to Tomsk where he was poisoned, also revealing phone and travel data which “strongly suggests the August poisoning attempt on Navalny’s life was mandated at the highest echelons of the Kremlin”. 

Following the revelations, Navalny, who was released from Berlin hospital post treatment in September, tweeted, “Case closed.” 

There has been no response yet from Kremlin about the investigation and revelations. 

The group named in report is FSB Criminalistics Institute, also known as Research Institute – 2 or Military Unit 34435.Investigators could track their phone and travel records which also proved that they were entailing Navalny since three years. The report said, “Beginning in 2017 – after Mr Navalny announced his plan to run for the presidency – operatives travelled with the opposition figure on more than 30 flights in a three-year period.” 

The three named agents who travelled with Navalny to last destination where he was poisoned are medical doctors Alexey Alexandrov and Ivan Osipov, and Vladimir Panyaev. 

Phone tracking of these agents reveals that when Navalny was poisoned, they were just few minutes away from him. There are also messages and calls between agents and supervisors at specific times including just after Navalny fell sick in flight. Three FSB agents also booked flights to Kalinigrad city where Navalny had travelled with his wife Yuliya, who had also developed similar minor symptoms in the July trip.

The report thus concludes, “Given this implausible series of coincidences, the burden of proof for an innocent explanation appears to rest purely with the Russian state.” 

G-20 nations pledge a fair distribution of Covid-19 vaccine in the world
Asia Pacific Focus

G-20 nations pledge a fair distribution of Covid-19 vaccine in the world

G-20 nations pledge: On Sunday, In a G20 virtual meeting, world leaders pledged to provide a fair distribution of coronavirus vaccine around the world, however, offered no particular new funding to meet that objective.

“We have a responsibility to rise to the challenge together during this meeting,” King Salman announced as he inaugurated the meeting. 

The summit is held online for the first time due to the pandemic. The members are talking about the effect of the Covid on the world economy and exploring ideas to invigorate financial recuperation and development. 

The Summit was facilitated by Saudi Arabia. His Highness King Salman’s statement was made as worldwide Covid cases reached 58 million, and overall deaths by the virus reached 1.4 million, as indicated by Johns Hopkins University. 

The G-20 members are worried that the pandemic will extend the gap between the wealthy and the poor. To battle that, the European Union asked for commitments adding up to $4.5 billion to Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator, a worldwide effort to accelerate the development and dissemination of vaccines, treatment, and tests as indicated by the World Health Organization (WHO). 

King Salman called on member nations to reassure the global community of reasonable and impartial admittance to the vaccine. 

German Chancellor Angela Merkel promised more than 500 million euros (almost USD 593 million). Russia’s President Vladimir Putin proposed Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine, and China offered to coordinate on the vaccine. 

U.S. President Donald Trump, who dodged a few meetings on Saturday to play golf, paid little consideration to other pioneers’ speech and alleged that the Paris climate deal was planned not to spare the planet but rather to destroy the US economy. 

The White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany expressed that Trump discussed the need to cooperate to reestablish financial development, yet she didn’t refer to a U.S. vow to help the worldwide distribution of the vaccine.

 As Trump left the virtual conference, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, said in a Treasury Department stated that the 7-month-old Debt Service Suspension Initiative “is a fundamental accomplishment of the G-20 because of the pandemic.” 

The initiative intends to enable the world’s least fortunate nations to tussle with the results of the pandemic until mid-2021. 

Treasury’s statement added that the G-20’s Common Framework would enable the poorest nations to address pandemic-induced debt issues “by organizing sovereign debt resolution if necessary.” 

Russian President Putin also focused on the aftermaths of the virus on the world economy, causing a crisis that caused famine in many parts of the world, as well as poverty and job cuts, which are the greatest dangers to humankind today.” 

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated that “Decisions made in the summit will be decisive for limiting the negative impacts of coronavirus for the world and also respond to the world’s expectations.” 

G-20 member nations incorporate Argentina, Germany, India, Australia, Canada, China, Brazil, Britain, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, France, Indonesia, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, the United States, Turkey, and the European Union. 

The EU and the UN stated that there is a £4.5bn financing setback this year that the G20 countries should help to reach. Nations have so far put $10bn in the Access to Covid-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator and in the Covax Facility. 

The majority of the meeting zeroed in on guaranteeing that when the coronavirus vaccines will launch in the market, it will be accessible at reasonable costs in poor nations.

Russia Expands Power Portfolio Into African Continent
Middle East & Africa

Russia Expands Power Portfolio Into African Continent

Russia Expands Power Portfolio: If Vladimir Putin is losing his grip on Azerbaijan and Algeria situation, he is trying to garner more control elsewhere. Continuing to increase his footprint in Sudan, he now has plans to establish a naval base with nuclear powered military equipment. This is Kremlin’s official foothold into the African continent since the fall of the Soviet Union.

The new facility is earmarked to be built near the Port of Sudan. Confirmed reports state that it will be capable of accommodating upto 300 military and civilian personnel. This strategic move will not only give Russia access to Africa’s huge untapped fossil fuel resources but also improves Kremlin’s ability to operate in the Indian Ocean.

While Africa had been keenly looking for developmental support and collaboration with the world, its desire to strengthen its military prowess through external support is going to be double-edged sword. 

Plans are to use this as a repair and rest facility. However, with such free space given away by Sudan, Russia tends to have found a free passage into the continent that comprises 54 United Nation members. Sudan has been the bedrock of civil war and has only recently started to find itself assemble into a democracy. 

Nevertheless, its mineral rich status makes it a virgin land to be blundered. There are many takers for the wrong reasons. Political analysts are also forecasting that Russia might actually fortify its new African outpost with advanced surface-to-air missile systems, allowing it to create a no-fly zone for miles around. 

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