Germany expelled two Russian diplomats due to the murder of Zelimkhan Khangoshvili, a 40-year-old who fought against Russia in the Second Chechen War and allegedly had links with Georgian intelligence. Khangoshvili and his family made an asylum claim in Germany in 2016, under their new identities secured in Georgia. His asylum was denied in 2017 and it was under appeal at the time of his murder.
On February 5, 2021, the treaty between the US and the Russian Federation on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms will expire. The agreement was last updated in 2010. The formal name of the treaty is START and it is a nuclear arms reduction treaty. According to the terms of the START treaty, each side will reduce its strategic offensive arms while the total quantities do not exceed 700 units deployed.
Russia announced their 9K720 Iskander rocket has been connected to the military internet. The Iskander is a mobile short-range ballistic missile system produced and deployed by the Russian Federation. The missile systems are a replacement for the obsolete OTR-21 Tochka systems. The Russian military internet has the capability of trading information at 300 megabytes per second. Additionally, the Russian ministry of defense uses special equipment and more than 1,500 mobile communication and encryption systems.
Germany refused Russian President Vladimir Putin’s proposal for a moratorium on missile deployment in Europe. Putin had sent a proposal to the leaders of several countries this fall to introduce a moratorium on deploying intermediate-and shorter-range missiles in Europe. The intermediate-range missile is defined as ground-launched ballistic missiles (GLBM) or GLCM having a range between 1,000 km to 5,500 km. The shorter-range missile was defined as GLBMs or GLCMs with a range between 500 km and 1,000 km.
China has been actively involved in espionage against Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. In the last century, China has not been known for many inventions in the space field, but instead as been a successful copycat. The route to copying patented and classified inventions leads to espionage. The facts prove themselves. Even though China has the highest numbers of STEM grads under President’s Xi politics, still China is not a leader in the field. Also, Chinese education focuses on being a great follower, but not a leader, since the communist model does not allow room for individualistic views.
Newly elected Israeli Minister of Defense Naftali Bennett believes an aggressive offense strategy needs to be executed on Iranian targets, as well as additional attacks on Syria. Bennett is an Israeli politician who led the Jewish Home party between 2012 and 2018 and currently serves as an MK for New Right. Bennett publicly shared his doctrine proposal on November 29 in the Israeli media. The doctrine received an immediate reaction from Russia.
On November 28, 2019 Russia officially refused to finance the operations of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)– an intergovernmental organization and the implementing body of the Chemical Weapons Convention, which entered into force on April 29, 1997. The OPCW, with its 193 member states, has its seat in The Hague, Netherlands, and oversees the global endeavor for the permanent and verifiable elimination of chemical weapons.
US and China tensions continue to escalate. President Donald Trump signed Hong Kong democracy legislation, which clearly angered China. The US never truly had any dealings with Hong Kong. Historically, Hong Kong was involved in the First Opium War in the mid 1800s. In 1841 Britain entered the island of Hong Kong and made it its military staging location. The island of Hong Kong became a British Colony.
Prime Minister of Bulgaria Boyko Borisov, after discussions with US President Donald Trump, announced Bulgaria readiness to have NATO use its Black Sea port for naval coordination efforts amid growing fears of Putin’s military appetite and Russia’s growing rift with the West. According to Borisov, the military exercises in the Black Sea are much needed and the more the merrier because they have a preventative effect.
This month, Russia’s Gosduma approved the withdrawal from the declaration that the Soviet Union made upon ratification of the Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions of August 12, 1949, concerning the protection of victims of international armed conflicts. Last month, Russian president Vladimir Putin asked the Russian government to approve the withdrawal. Of course, in Putin’s Russia the Gosduma immediately agreed to pass it into law.
Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a new defense and weapons strategy will be introduced in 2020, which expected to be in force until 2033. It is expected to contain expanded military spending and a new generation of weapon systems. One of the main areas of focus is space and artificial intelligence (AI) applications.
The Ural Science Education Center (USEC), backed by Roskosmos, has announced a new project. The USEC opened this year under a Kremlin directive and is expected to have 15 additional centers opened within the next six years across Russia. The project consists of creating a platform which will gather information about each user. It will gather each individual’s digital footprint— the trail of data you create while using the Internet. This includes the websites you visit, emails you send, and information you submit to online services.
Rostec showcased their new countermeasure complex for unmanned aerial vehicles– “Rubez-Avtomatka” prototype (translation: Frontier-Automation)– at the 2019 Dubai Airshow this week. The airshow is a biennial show held in the United Arab Emirates under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. The airshow started in 1986. Rostec is a State Corporation for Assistance to Development, Production and Export of Advanced Technology Industrial Product. It is a Russian state-owned holding conglomerate headquartered in Moscow that specializes in consolidating strategically important companies, mainly in the defense and high-tech industries.
Russia’s spy ship Yantar disappeared from radars near North American shores, after being spotted on November 8. Yantar is a special purpose intelligence collection ship built for the Russian Navy under the pretense of research. The ship has been operated by the Russian Navy’s Main Directorate of Underwater Research since 2015 and is reportedly a spy ship. The ship has a length of 108 metres (354 ft) and a full displacement of 5,736 tons. It’s home base is Severomorsk, where it is attached to the Northern Fleet.
NATO Ministers of Foreign Affairs are meeting this week at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, also called the is an intergovernmental military alliance between 29 North American and European countries. The organization implements the North Atlantic Treaty that was signed on 4 April 1949. It is expected that NATO will acknowledge space as NATO’s new operational sphere at these meetings.
Russia’s Gosduma approved a new law regarding Russian individuals being designated as foreign agents if they are working with foreign news outlets and receive funding outside of Russia. Interestingly, besides one member of the Duma, 337 members voted in favor of the proposed law. It is expected to take effect on November 21. The State Duma, commonly abbreviated in Russian as Gosduma, is the lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia, while the upper house is the Council of the Federation. The Duma headquarters are located in central Moscow, a few steps from Manege Square. Its members are referred to as deputies.
Rosatom declassified documents pertaining to the highly secretive Russian rocket R-5. Rosatom is a Russian state corporation headquartered in Moscow that specializes in nuclear energy. The rocket R-5 is the predecessor of the Russian Calibr. The R-5 was originally a development of OKB-1 as a single-stage missile with a detachable warhead reentry vehicle. The R-5M was a nuclear armed missile– the first nuclear missile to be deployed by the Soviet Union– with greater payload and weight but better reliability than its predecessor.
On November 14, the NASA Inspector General Office of Audits published a report entitled NASA’s Management of Crew Transportation to the International Space Station. The audit data was collected from February 2019 to November 2019 as per the audit standards. One of the main goals of the audit is to compare the piloted programs by Boeing, Space X and Soyuz.
The recent arrest of the Russian citizen Marsha Lazareva in Kuwait for her alleged involvement in a financial fraud has once again rung the humanitarian alarms for the US and the Arab nation. It has also brought forth some crucial dignitaries, including Neil Bush, the son of the former president, to get involved in the release of the Russian woman.
Next year is the 100 year anniversary of the Evgeniy Dragunov, born February 20, 1920 into the family of the famous weapons makers of Czarist Russia. He served in the Soviet army during World War II. After the war was over, he started designing weapons and by 1950 his first successful design was put into mass production. Dragunov designed five more weapons, which ended up being utilized by the Soviet Army.
Russia announced the final phase of the TOS-2 Heavy Flamethrower System, which is expected to be delivered to the Russian army by May 2020. The TOS is a family of 220mm 30-barrel multiple rocket launchers and thermobaric weapon mounted on a T-72 Main Battle Tank (MBT) chassis. It is based on the Armata platform.
Britain’s Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matthew Hancock announced the government’s desire to start collecting DNA of every newborn child. Hence, the privacy of UK citizens will no longer exist. Your DNA is a treasure trove of personal information, including your physical characteristics like eye color, paternity and health. The UK has been a pioneer in privacy intrusion. It is one thing to use DNA to solve heinous crimes and protect society, yet another to use it for the government’s gain and control.
Russia just announced near completion of its own new tokamak prototype. Russia is one of the nations involved in the ITER experiment, the world’s largest fusion experiment. Each nation involved in the project has to have its own tokamak. The tokamak is one of several types of magnetic confinement devices being developed to produce controlled thermonuclear fusion power.
Russia is planning to send 82 tonnes of monazite from the Ural region to China. The proposal was discussed on November 6. Monazite is a reddish-brown phosphate mineral containing rare-earth metals. It occurs usually in small, isolated crystals. Since the start of atomic projects in the Soviet Union in the 1930s, Siberia has been one of the regions where monazite in the river sands was extracted for its Thorium, a naturally-occurring, slightly radioactive metal discovered in 1828 by the Swedish chemist Jons Jakob Berzelius, who named it after Thor, the Norse god of thunder.
On November 7, professor Oleg Sokolov murdered his live-in girlfriend Anastasia Yeshchenko in St. Petersburg. She was only 24 years old. Sokolov is a Russian historian of the Napoleonic era. He is a Candidate of Historical Sciences and was a Docent of the Department of Modern History, and Faculty of History of Saint Petersburg State University. His scientific and social activities were acknowledged by the Legion of Honour in 2003 by French President Jacques Chirac. The Legion of Honour is the highest French order of merit for military and civil merits, established in 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte and retained by all later French governments and régimes.
Roskosmos and Russian space programs have been experiencing certain difficulties for some time. The Roscosmos State Corporation for Space Activities is a state corporation responsible for the wide range and types of space flights and cosmonautics programs for the Russian Federation. Russia is unfortunately known for corruption and theft.
Recently, construction of the new Vostochny Cosmodrome resulted in the theft of 11 billion roubles ($171.3 million). This was confirmed by Russian press secretary Dmitriy Peskov, a Russian diplomat, translator and Turkologist. Since 2012, Peskov has been the Press Secretary for the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin.
Japanese company HAPSMobile successfully completed the second HAWK30 Solar HAPS test flight on October 23 from a NASA facility. The first flight was in the September. HAPSMobile plans to move the HAWK30 to the Hawaiian island of Lanai and is accelerating preparations to perform stratospheric test flights there by March 31, 2020 per their press release.
HAPSMobile is a subsidiary of SoftBank Corp. (TOKYO: 9434) and minority-owned by AeroVironment, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVAV), who is also an aircraft development partner for “HAWK30,” a solar-powered unmanned aircraft designed for stratospheric telecommunications platform systems that flies approximately 20kms into the stratosphere. The wing span of the HAWK30 is 78 meters.
The 11th BRICS Summit will be held in Brasília, Brazil on November 13-14, 2019. This year’s BRICS slogan is “Economic Growth for an Innovative Future”. BRICS is the acronym coined for an association of five major emerging national economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. This year there will be two distinct differences:
1) Hightened security measures due to the unrest in South America. During the summit, the Brazilian military will be deployed to the area.
2) The partners from other nations will not be invited. Usually, partners are invited to the summit to ink trade deals and engage in additional open dialogue.
British national James Le Mesurier was found dead in Istanbul, Turkey. He was known to be affiliated with the White Helmets, officially known as the Syria Civil Defense, a volunteer organization that operates in parts of opposition-controlled Syria and in Turkey, founded in the 2014. Le Mesurier was a former MI-6 officer, the foreign intelligence service of the government of the United Kingdom, tasked mainly with covert overseas collection and analysis of human intelligence (HUMINT) in support of the UK’s national security. NETFLIX has a documentary pertaining to The White Helmets.
Thе dіffеrеnсеѕ between Gеrmаnу аnd thе Trumр аdmіnіѕtrаtіоn are no lоngеr hіddеn, but attempts at rapprochement аrе uninterrupted, mоѕt notably thе соnѕultаtіоnѕ thаt took рlасе Friday bеtwееn Chаnсеllоr Angela Mеrkеl аnd Secretary of State Mike Pоmрео іn Bеrlіn. On Friday, Mеrkеl promised that Bеrlіn will рlау аn active rоlе іn rеѕоlvіng dіѕрutеѕ.
Russia declassified additional information about weapons in space the Soviets who had a keen interest in defense projects in space. The Cold War and the arms race were projected to take place in the space. Hence, the development of the weapons for such war. In the early 1970s, the Soviets launched a space station for defense purposes– Almaz, which contained the artillery system Chit-1. The system was one of a kind. The Almaz program was a highly secret Soviet military space station program begun in the early 1960s. Three crewed military reconnaissance stations were launched between 1973 and 1976: Salyut 2, Salyut 3 and Salyut 5.
French Prеѕіdеnt Emmаnuеl Macron, сіtіng Irаn’ѕ аnnоunсеmеnt tо іnjесt urаnіum іntо thе Fоrdоw еnrісhmеnt fасіlіtу, ѕаіd thіѕ wаѕ thе first tіmе thаt Iran hаd еxрlісіtlу tаkеn асtіоn thаt was a ѕіgn оf іtѕ intention to lеаvе the Iran Nuclear Deal.
Hоurѕ аftеr Iranian Prеѕіdеnt Hаѕѕаn Rouhani announced thаt fuel enrichment аt thе Fordow nuсlеаr сеntrіfugе had resumed, Frаnсе, Brіtаіn аnd the European Union еxрrеѕѕеd соnсеrn about thе decision. “With the presence of inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Iran started injecting gas into centrifuges in Fordow,” in central Iran, state TV said today. Rouhani said on Twitter, “Iran’s 4th step in reducing its commitments under the JCPOA by injecting gas to 1044 centrifuges begins today. Thanks to US policy and its allies, Fordow will soon be back to full operation.”
Russia announced a new project pertaining to the satellite system Gonets 2.0. The system will have satellite phone options and a myriad of government applications. It is on par with Putin’s plan to have Russia closed off in the same way as Russia is developing its own intranet, similar to the Great Fire Wall of China and eliminating privacy. The deployment of the system is scheduled for 2024. It will also have large data storage capabilities and the ability to create automatic subsystems. Russia estimates by 2025 that their satellite channel will be used by millions of devices in Russia. Besides the military applications, Gonets 2.0 can be used in the drone, energy, transport, oil and gas industries across Russia and some of the former Soviet block nations, like Belarus.
A fire occurred Sunday in the town of Herzach-22. As a result, a very unique Russian factory, that was producing monomolecular polymetallic filaments, burned down. According to the Russia’s official version, the fire occurred at the tungsten ingot dehydration workshop, due to the failure of the fire systems. The fire spread through the whole factory, including the storage of the final product of the linearized titanium-tungsten monofilament (a single strand of material, as opposed to multi-filament lines), which was ready to ship to the Russian military.
The State Archive of the Russian Federation in St. Petersburg has, for the first time ever, made declassified documents available pertaining to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s KGB history (as wee as a few other key people in the KGB). The KGB, translated in English as Committee for State Security, was the main security agency for the Soviet Union from 1954 until its break-up in 1991. As a direct successor of agencies such as the Cheka, NKGB, NKVD and MGB, the committee was attached to the Council of Ministers.
Russian theoretical physicist Yevgeny Avronin kept notes that were released pertaining his lifelong work in nuclear weapons. Avronin was a theoretical physicist, nuclear engineer and Scientific Director at the Russian Federal Nuclear Centre (RFNC). He was a co-developer of the RDS-37, the first Soviet two-stage thermonuclear bomb. He died in 2018.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was formed in 1949. It was one of the first defense unions. The main reason for the creation of NATO was a need for a western unified alliance against the threat of the Soviet Union. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in the 1991, NATO integrated some former communist block Eastern European nations into the alliance.
Rosatom released declassified information pertaining to German nationals who were working on nuclear weapons in Nazi Germany and after World War II came to the Soviet Union. Rosatom State Nuclear Energy Corporation, is a Russian state corporation headquartered in Moscow that specializes in nuclear energy. It was founded by Russian president Vladimir Putin in 2007. The document release is the start of celebrations continuing to August 2020 commemorating 75 years of the Russian nuclear industry.
Russia is testing new weapons systems using the nuclear-powered submarines B-534 Nizhny Novgorod and B-336 Pskov. These two submarines are classified by NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) as 945A Condor (Sierra-II). The Sierra class (Soviet designations Project 945 Barrakuda and Project 945A Kondor) are a series of nuclear-powered attack submarines intended for the Soviet Navy and currently in service with the Russian Navy.
The Human Genome Organization (HUGO) and the European Union developed genetic information privacy regulations to protect the public. A majority of experts have agreed for the need for genetic information privacy. In 2014 the HUGO Committee on Ethics, Law and Society (CELS) presented a human rights approach to an international code of conduct for genomic and clinical data sharing. The code of conduct is supposed to prevent human rights violations during the research of genomes, allowing enough protection to allow scientific research in the genome field.
German news outlet zdf.de published an article pertaining to nuclear waste going to Russia. The European subsidiary of URENCO signed a contract with Rosatom to export nuclear waste to Russia. URENCO group is a nuclear fuel company operating several uranium enrichment plants in Germany, the Netherlands, United States, and the United Kingdom.
The Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation is the principal security agency of Russia and the main successor agency to the USSR’s KGB. The FSB’s main responsibilities are within the country and include counter-intelligence, internal and border security, counter-terrorism, and surveillance as well as investigating some other types of grave crimes and federal law violations.
Russian citizen Maria Butina, who was convicted in the United States of being a spy in the Kremlin’s service, left US prison in Tallahassee on Friday after serving an 18-month prison sentence. Butina was due to leave prison only in early November, but a change in legislation has advanced her release due to good behavior. After leaving the penitentiary in Tallahassee, Florida, she was placed in the custody of federal immigration authorities and is due to be deported to Russia.
The Belgian army will stop using a GPS system due to a heightened risk of Russia’s disruption of the GPS signal. The Global Positioning System, originally NAVSTAR GPS, is a satellite-based radionavigation system owned by the United States government and operated by the US Air Force. The Belgian military will revert to the use of topographic maps and old fashioned compasses.
Russia is developing a reusable rocket that is expected to be a competitor to the American made Falcon 9 rocket, a two-stage-to-orbit medium lift launch vehicle. The Falcon 9 is designed and manufactured by SpaceX, a private American aerospace manufacturer and space transportation services company headquartered in Hawthorne, California. It was founded in 2002 by Elon Musk with the goal of reducing space transportation costs to enable the colonization of Mars. It is powered by Merlin engines, also developed by SpaceX, burning liquid oxygen and rocket-grade kerosene propellants. Falcon-9 is also the first ever reusable rocket.
Fоrеіgn Mіnіѕtrу ѕроkеѕmаn Seyyed Abbas Mousavi ѕаіd Iran “welcomes any move that would result in the maintenance of Syria’s territorial integrity, reinforcement of its national sovereignty, and return of stability and calm to the region.” Aссоrdіng tо Irаnіаn news аgеnсіеѕ, Mousavi added that “the Islamic Republic considers the agreement reached between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Turkey to end the conflicts in northern Syria as a positive step to return stability and calm to the region.”
French scientists carried out nuclear levels testing of Chlorine, which rises to the surface of the Antarctic region snow. The testing was completed in multiple locations in the antarctic circle, pertaining to the isotope of chlorine-36. The results of the elevated levels of the isotope tested positive. Chlorine has two stable isotopes and one naturally occurring radioactive isotope.
This week Russia will host a Russia-Africa summit from October 23-24. The purpose of the summit is to promote Russian initiatives in Africa. There are 54 countries on the African continent and 47 of the nations confirmed their attendance. Russian’s official strategy pertaining to Africa will be unveiled at the summit.