Monday, June 2, 2014

Russia's new ally – why Luxembourg is perfectly positioned to form a special relationship with Russia


Author: Simon Dinning

21 Jun 2013 | 00:00 | secure

Cyprus' special relationship with Russia has been rocked by its exposure to the eurozone crisis – and Luxembourg is perfectly positioned to step into the breach, says Simon Dinning
The financial crisis in Europe has been a constant in the news for longer than many of us would care to remember. The near financial collapse of Cyprus, developed primarily as a result of its exposure to Greece, is the latest highly publicised example of a wholly unstable economy and a country in political disarray.
Described by some members of the Cypriot parliament as the "enslavement deal", parliament in Cyprus has recently approved the country's international bailout after warnings that the alternative would indeed be financial collapse. MPs voted through the loan package by 29 votes to 27. The small eurozone state secured a loan package worth €10bn (£8.5bn) from its EU partners and the International Monetary Fund. In return it must raise €13bn (£11.1bn), largely through banking reform. This has created huge divisions in the country's representative house, where no one party has a majority.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Russian business to turn to Luxembourg instead of Cyprus?

Russian business to turn to Luxembourg instead of Cyprus?. 50032.png
The debt crisis in Europe has hit big business hard, and Russian business was no exception. Problems with Cypriot banks raised many questions about the appropriateness of keeping money in the Cypriot offshore. Some businessmen began to seriously consider Luxembourg as an economic partner.
Luxembourg will help Russian businesses
Luxembourg intends to serve as a platform for the Russian capital in Europe, Minister for Economy and Foreign Trade of Luxembourg, Etienne Schneider stated.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Putin's use of chemical weapons in his hybrid war against Ukraine

There is a lot of fuss in media about new military prowess of Russia and Russian polite people, succeeded in silent and bloodless occupation of the Crimea.  There a lot of explanations how they managed to do this from Russian TV propaganda, what is Russia' a psychological weapon, inducing in psychoses local population to cutting communications with Kiev and psychological unpreparedness of the Ukrainian military to kill the Russians. All of this make sense. But there is one more detail, which was not mentioned.
As the Russian video report ( made to celebrate Russia's new military prowess)  demonstrates there is a reason to consider that the Russians used the non-lethal chemical weapons while seizing administrative buildings and Ukrainian military bases. Video shows that while capturing Ukrainian soldiers in their military barracks some of Russian gunmen were wearing respirators. What for?  And why the Ukrainian military were so passive and easy to  manage?

If this happened during their first operation this explains a psychological shock which was caused by this not only to the Ukrainian military, but to the Ukrainian authorities as well to prevent them from active measures.  Also this should shape the public opinion at the beginning of intervention about Ukraine as a country, which did not oppose to the invasion of Crimea and to stifle the criticism of the West.

The video shows that when approaching the building the Russian spetznaz brought inside some heavy equipment. What kind of equipment this could be?

Another video from teh surveillance cameras at Council of Ministers building shows that before the capturing of the building the chemical substance was infused inside. The people on the video are absolutely passive without any sign of neither shock, nor fear - just apathy.

In such case is this a sign of prowess or just the use of  the non-lethal chemical weapons for manipulating of people's minds to incapacitate the from performing their duties.

Putin's use of non-lethal chemical weapons

Putin has well-known record of using non-lethal chemical weapons during the Moscow theater  hostage crisis for seizure of the crowded Dubrovka Theater on 23 October 2002:

On October 26, 2002, approximately 50 Chechen separatist guerrillas took over a Moscow theater, holding about 750 people hostage. The hostage-takers were well armed with automatic weapons and grenades, and the females were wired with high explosives. They demanded the withdrawal of Russian troops from Chechnya, and threatened to kill the hostages and themselves if their demand was not met. The Russian government refused to negotiate. On the 28th, Russian special forces troops stormed the theater, first releasing a potent narcotic (a derivative of the opiate anesthetic fentanyl) into the ventilation system. When the troops burst into the main hall, they found the hostages and hostage-takers in a coma. The unconscious Chechens were all shot dead at point blank range, and the hostages were rushed to hospitals. In the end, approximately 125 hostages died of overdose; the rest--more than 600--survived. A number of the survivors are likely to have permanent disability. Opiate overdose causes respiratory depression that can starve the brain of oxygen, causing permanent brain damage when prolonged.
Last year Russia was accused of supporting the Syrian ally Bashar Assad, who used imported earlier from Russia chemical weapons for the massive killing of his own people. This became damaging for Putin's reputation and he produced a U-turn by offering to convince Assad to scrap the chemical weapons. This rescued Assad from the US attack, promised by Obama for the chemical weapons use as a “red line” in his Syria politics and elevated Putin's reputation. Later for this move Putin was nominated (or rather orchestrated this nomination) for the Noble Prize.
But lately the theme of chemical weapons use in Syria arose again. This time this was about a non-lethal chemical weapons:

At the beginning of April, an Israeli security source confirmed that the Assad regime had used a non-lethal chemical weapon at the end of March on the outskirts of Damascus. The source said he could confirm claims made by Syrian rebels and doctors last month that a substance had been used on rebel fighters in Harasta, an outlying region of the Syrian capital, adding that the chemical neutralizes [threats] but does not kill.

Another coincidence the same day when the theme of non-lethal chemical weapons in Syria arose  Russia baned military and police from traveling abroad

The ban includes employees who have access to state secrets - parts of the military and the police, the Federal Drug Control Agency, the Federal Migration Service, Federal Penalty Service and certain employees of the Foreign Ministry. According to estimates, they are around 250 000 people.
The goal of the measure, according to is to prevent leaks of secret information to foreign intelligence agencies who could use it to penetrate Russia.
Exceptions would be made in exceptional circumstances and for good reason. The duration of the ban is yet unclear, which for the time being is for an indefinite period.

It seems that the use of the chemical weapons is the secret. which Russia would like to hide, especially after Putin's revelation at his press-conference at 17th of April that the silent polite people, who seized Crimea without any shooting in fact were Russian special forces.  It looks like Putin was so proud for himself that he couldn't wait to identify those legendary green men as the Russian spetznaz.

This means that the same chemical weapons are used at the East of Ukraine in Donetsk and other places, where the same Russian spetznaz has seized and continue to seize administrative buildings in the same silent and polite way.

Doping of  Hitler for separatists

This is not the only use of psycho-chemicals in Putin's hybrid warfare against Ukraine. There is  an information that inside Donetsk state administration building there is a laboratory, where a special substance - pervetin is produced every day and night. Later it is served to the rebels many of whom are criminals and drug addicts. This substance  is known as a power drug, which reduces fatigue, heighten aggression, and diminish human warmth and empathy.
 As pervitin was used by Nazi's troops for making soldiers to fight longer and more fiercely it is styled the doping of Hitler.  A pharmacologist from the German Doctors' Association explains :

"The blitzkrieg was fueled by Pervitin. The idea was to turn ordinary soldiers, sailors and airmen into automatons capable of superhuman performance."

It seems Putin decided to actualize Hitler's secret weapon. It is not surprising that Hodorkovsky, visiting recently Ukraine, was not allowed to enter the Donetsk state administration building.  As one of higher ups of the rebels informed him: There are patriots there and they are attuned for everything.

In February there was the information on the Russian spetsnaz, which lived in a resort near  Kiev during the Maidan, was getting some special tea from their higher ups, not from resort as mentioned those, who worked there. Some observers consider that this was the same spetznaz, who killed Maidan activists later in February.  One of captured in Donetsk separatists recognized that he was working in Kiev during the deadly shootings of Maidan.

Diplomatic dopings and incapacitants

Every result achieved in a war should be consolidated in diplomatic agreements. This is just another battlefield in Putin's hybrid war. One could notice that Sergey Lavrov does whatever he can to prolong the talks.  And it seems at the end of the talks he is not exhausted like other participants, but an opposite he looks even more refreshed than at the beginning. Journalists noticed that Lavrov often leaves the negotiations room­   for a smoke. - as often as some journalists suggested  that it is damaging for the superpower status, for wh­  ich Russia aspires. This could be just a sign of extra-agitation. Otherwise nobody knows what Lavrov smokes. It is known the result: super diplomat always obtains what he wants, leaving the opponents confused.

Supposedly Lavrov is using a kind of power drug, designed or adjusted in the Kremlin's secret laboratories. Nanotechnologies have got a special boost in Russia lately, but without visible results. Also Moscow made its policy to invite the scientists, whose experiments are prohibited in their own countries or to use the results of their work.

The wearing-out strategy itself is enough to win over the exhausted partners during the talks. But after the latest diplomatic victories it seems that Lavrov could use not only a doping drug for himself, but a kind of sedative for his partners, what should make them more understanding. Just a capsule in his pocket is enough to achieve the result. The challenge here is to not overdo with the final result of the talks to remain credible.

The diplomatic practice shows that Putin himself  used to utilize some special effects during the negotiations and doesn't have any psychological barriers to this. Moreover, such practice makes part of his basic skills as a former KGB agent.  Putin not only doesn't downplay his FSB affiliation, but emphasizes how proud he is about it.

Hostages and enemies

The use of such psycho-chemicals can not only break a resistance, but make people more prone to manipulation. We could see that  just a couple of days spent as a  hostage in Sloveansk made mayor Shtepa  to change her mind from accusing separatists to thanking them and Putin for annexing Crimea.
International military observers, captured lately by the Russian terrorists, also pointed out that they are not hostages, but guests of thenew Mayor of Slovensk.

With the help of his straw men Putin can use any special substances against his opponents like the Ukrainian power, which behaves very strangely lately.  It's behavior is far from rational, rather it could be rationalized later. 

The  sane technology can be used against the border patrols to access the country despite the introduced earlier ban etc.

It seems that this war advanced new and not experienced before challenges, which should be acknowledged and faced. If the world is to survive. This challenges demonstrate also how far Putin is prepared to go to achieve his goal for world domination.

Irina Severin

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Bernd Lucke, the head of Germany's euroskeptic Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, with his four children at an election party in Berlin.

Bernd Lucke, the head of Germany's euroskeptic Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, with his four children at an election party in Berlin.
Bernd Lucke, the head of Germany's euroskeptic Alternative
for Germany (AfD) party, with his four children at an election party
 in Berlin.

Despite falling short of the 5 percent hurdle required to enter parliament, the euroskeptic Alternative for Germany party performed surprisingly well in the German election. Experts say the party shouldn't be underestimated.

After a tumultuous night at party headquarters in Berlin, Bernd Lucke -- head of Germany's euroskeptic Alternative for Germany (AfD) party -- was up bright and early on Monday morning, doing an interview on the ARD's "Morgenmagazin" breakfast show.

Friday, June 28, 2013

U.K. Finds Its Beppe Grillo - Bloomberg

U.K. Finds Its Beppe Grillo - Bloomberg
U.K. Finds Its Beppe Grillo
By Marc Champion Mar 1, 2013 2:19 PM GMT+0200

U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron's tactic of pledging to claw back powers from the European Union and then hold a referendum on whether to leave or stay in the bloc has failed its first election test.

That was the general consensus in the U.K. news media this morning, after Cameron's Conservative Party was reduced to a humiliating third place in a by-election in the southern constituency of Eastleigh. The Tories were beaten not only by their coalition partners, the Liberal Democrats (who held on to the seat), but also by the UK Independence Party.

The EU referendum pledge that Cameron made in January was designed precisely to stanch the flow of right-wing Conservatives to the UKIP. This week, it failed. Already this morning, conservative commentators in newspapers such as the Daily Telegraph were saying the result proved that Cameron should hold a referendum on whether to stay in the EU immediately, rather than by 2017; crack down harder on immigration; and abandon recent policies such as legalizing gay marriage.

The result was widely interpreted, too, as a resounding victory for the Liberal Democrats who won with 32 percent of the vote, despite trailing badly in national opinion polls. The UKIP candidate got about 28 percent and the Conservative candidate 25 percent. Labour came in with less than 10 percent.

How you interpret the results depends on how you look at the numbers. One view is that midterm by-elections mean nothing -- the ruling party always does terribly because voters can send a message of protest with little consequence. That's usually and empirically ture, but as Beppe Grillo showed in Italy, politics are changing in Europe. Protest voters may really mean it this time.

More interesting than the raw figures is the change from the last results for Eastleigh, at the 2010 national election. The (pro-EU) Liberal Democrat share of the vote has fallen by 14.5 percentage points, about the same as the (euro-skeptic) Conservatives at minus 14 percentage points. This makes perfect sense to me: Both parties are running the government together and the economy is in terrible shape, so they did as badly as each other. Labour went nowhere, with an increase of 0.2 percentage point. That's a disaster for them, too, because as the main opposition party they need to be making large electoral gains if they hope to win power at the next national election.

The only clear victor was the UKIP, whose vote this week increased 24 percentage points, compared with 2010. I don't see this as a Europe issue, and if Cameron concludes that what he needs to do now is chase the UKIP's policies, he'll still lose at the next election.

That should come as no surprise. When the Ipsos Mori polling group does its monthly survey on what Britons consider the most important issue facing their country, the EU doesn't even make the top 10: In the latest, January poll only 6 percent of Britons ranked the EU as their top concern. The standout winner was the economy, at 52 percent, followed by unemployment, immigration, the National Health Service and crime.

What the by-election probably shows is that in UKIP leader Nigel Farage, the British have found their Beppe Grillo, the stand-up comedian turned politician who won a quarter of the vote in Italy's recent parliamentary election.

Farage was never a professional comedian like Grillo, but he is the nearest thing to it in the European Parliament, where he is a legislator. His party has nationalist roots that are quite different from Grillo's, but Farage seemed to understand that he drew votes from all parties and the cause of his success was the same as Grillo's: protest. He called his party's surge in Eastleigh a rejection of traditional parties and politics.

Cameron and the Tories will succeed only if voters believe the government is looking out for their interests and has found the right policies to restore prosperity to an economy that has yet to recover its size at the start of the financial crisis. The prime minister should spend all of his time worrying about whether he has the right growth and austerity policies; some time on improving immigration policies; and no time at all on showing how tough he's being on the EU -- a strategy that won't get him re-elected, but distracts from policies that might.

(Marc Champion is a member of Bloomberg View's editorial board. Follow him on Twitter.)

Monday, May 6, 2013

Stefano Pitrelli


Read Alan Moore to understand Beppe Grillo

Posted: 16/03/2013 05:00

"All the parasites drown, sex and crimes such as accumulated dirt will submerge them up to the waist ... And the whores and politicians will look up and shout," Save us. "And I whisper," No "."

Absence of irony aside, it sounds like a speech by Grillo. Indeed, this is exactly the standard answer of Beppe Grillo at every possible offer of alliance made to his parliamentary motion. But talking about here is Rorschach with his famous prose broken, that is the character of "Watchmen," Alan Moore comics, perhaps the most well-known author of comics in the world.