Reuters’ alleges “censorship, legal prosecution, visa denials and even physical threats to our journalists” in Russia; the Foreign Ministry responds

On January 31, 2017, Reuters’ Editor-in-Chief Steve Adler sent a message to reporters “Covering Trump the Reuters Way”. In it, he also said:

Reuters is a global news organization that reports independently and fairly in more than 100 countries, including many in which the media is unwelcome and frequently under attack. I am perpetually proud of our work in places such as Turkey, the Philippines, Egypt, Iraq, Yemen, Thailand, China, Zimbabwe, and Russia, nations in which we sometimes encounter some combination of censorship, legal prosecution, visa denials, and even physical threats to our journalists. We respond to all of these by doing our best to protect our journalists, by recommitting ourselves to reporting fairly and honestly, by doggedly gathering hard-to-get information – and by remaining impartial. We write very rarely about ourselves and our troubles and very often about the issues that will make a difference in the businesses and lives of our readers and viewers. [1]

He also published his message on Reuters’ website for the public to read

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova responded to Adler’s statements in her briefing on February 3, 2017 [2]:

Reuters’ allegations regarding Russia

We have taken note of Reuters Editor-in-Chief Steve Adler’s message to the agency’s staff about covering President Trump and his administration. We wouldn’t have taken note of this had not the agency itself drawn attention to this message by publishing it on the agency’s website. I want to stress that the way Reuters operates is not our concern, and the way it covers President Trump does not fall within the competence of the Russian Foreign Ministry. This message is designed for the staff but its open publication has made it a manifesto available to millions of readers. Wed have no doubt that it was a deliberate action on the part of Reuters. Again, I want to stress that we do not comment on the internal recommendations of editorial offices, but we could not leave the following part of the Reuters message unanswered.

According to Mr Adler’s message, Russia is a nation “in which we [Reuters staff] sometimes encounter some combination of censorship, legal prosecution, visa denials, and even physical threats to our journalists.” How can we ignore this? All of this concerns Reuters staff in Russia, Mr Adler writes. Are you serious? Can you tell me exactly when all of this simultaneously, or at least one of these attacks, was directed at your journalists?

We have asked Reuters for a comment. Nobody there could tell us what this means. We asked if any Reuters staff have had any problems in Russia. They attend our briefings and other events held by the Foreign Ministry and other Russian government agencies. A party was recently held for foreign journalists where Reuters leaders could directly approach Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to ask questions of concern to them. Why are you here if the working conditions are so bad? And why don’t we know about the above attacks, if they really happened? This is masochistic behaviour.

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U.S. launches Russian-language TV station in Eastern Europe “with zero spin” to “break through the drumbeat of Kremlin narratives”

“Focusing on personal storytelling, instead of politics, will allow their content to spread in Russia.”

The stealth approach. Seduction. The approach of pedophiles, drug dealers, sexual predators, and con artists —
— I really like you. I’m your friend. You can trust me.
— Would you like to come to my house and see my puppy? 
— It’s only one pill, and it’ll make you feel better. And it’s my gift to you. 
— You deserve more. I just want to help you.

From Foreign Policy

February 9, 2017

by Kavitha Surana and Reid Standish

Outlets that don’t toe the Kremlin line have long had trouble gaining a foothold in the Russian media market. As a result, the expertly-produced state media enjoys a virtual monopoly in the Russian-speaking world, stifling independent voices and stories critical of official Russia.

Now, a new network for Russian speakers has entered the market and it hopes to break through the drumbeat of Kremlin narratives by focusing on local issues and people’s daily lives.

Current Time, backed by U.S.-funded Radio Free Europe/Free Liberty and partnered with Voice of America, launched its 24/7 Russian language television channel on Tuesday. It had already started a website last year. With about 100 staff members in Prague and correspondents stationed throughout the region, the network will broadcast in 11 countries across the former Soviet Union, including Russia, Ukraine, Central Asia, and the Baltic countries.

“Our focus is on real human beings, bread and butter issues,” Daisy Sindelar, the director of Current Time, told Foreign Policy during an interview. “The videos really tap into day-to-day but universal issues, like corruption and poverty and health care.”

The move comes as European Union officials have stepped up criticism of Kremlin-controlled media. Moscow-funded outlets like RT and Sputnik often set the tone on stories like the Ukraine conflict, NATO, and domestic issues inside some countries with large Russian-speaking populations, sometimes sparking controversy with false information.

“Russia tries to challenge the stability and the minds of Western societies,” said Anna Fotyga, a Polish member of the European Council who sponsored an EU report on Russian disinformation last year. “I consider a Russian-language satellite and digital network an excellent response to this threat.”

Current Time may have trouble drawing eyeballs away from well-funded state media pumped up with drama and glitz. The new outlet will have to make due with a much smaller budget than established Russian networks enjoy. Meanwhile, local affiliate stations that Current Time relies on to distribute their content in Russia are often hesitant to pick up foreign programming for fear that they could lose advertising revenue by going against the official line.

“In the short term, we don’t anticipate that our TV penetration will be significant in Russia,” said Sindelar.

Current Time’s founders think they’ll have better luck reaching the millions-strong Russian language audience across the region on their smartphones, using video to tell personal narratives and highlight local issues. The digital division has already garnered more than 200 million views on sites like YouTube, Facebook, and the Russian social media site VKontakte since January 2016.

Glenn Kates, the managing editor of Current Time’s digital department, said the team was inspired by the growing popularity of short subtitled videos on Facebook from outlets like Al Jazeera +, Buzzfeed, and others news sites that managed to excel in accessing audiences on social media platforms.

“I had seen how those videos were capable of engaging with people and I realized that there is no reason that something that works there shouldn’t work [for Current Time],” he said.

Current Time, which is affiliated with the Broadcasting Board of Governors and funded by the U.S. government, will also need to shed criticism it has its own state-funded editorial viewpoint.

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Russia to take tit-for-tat measures if MSM acts to limit RT broadcast in US – telecom watchdog

From RT

January 31, 2017
Russia to take tit-for-tat measures if MSM acts to limit RT broadcast in US – telecom watchdog

Project Censored: News media cover-up of reason for war on Syria — a natural gas pipeline route

Project Censored publishes a book annually of the top 25 unreported or under-reported news stories for the year. This year, the story of a major reason for the Syrian conflict was #8.

8. Syria’s War Spurred by Contest for Gas Delivery to Europe, Not Muslim Sectarianism

At least four years into the crisis in Syria, “most people have no idea how this war even got started,” Mnar Muhawesh reported for MintPress News in September 2015.

In 2011–12, after Syrian president Bashar al-Assad refused to cooperate with Turkey’s proposal to create a natural gas pipeline between Qatar and Turkey through Syria, Turkey and its allies became “the major architects of Syria’s ‘civil war.’” The proposed pipeline would have bypassed Russia to reach European markets currently dominated by Russian gas giant Gazprom. As a result, Muhawesh wrote, “The Middle East is being torn to shreds by manipulative plans to gain oil and gas access by pitting people against one another based on religion. The ensuing chaos provides ample cover to install a new regime that’s more amenable to opening up oil pipelines and ensuring favorable routes for the highest bidders.”

In 2012, the US, UK, France, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia, along with Turkey, began to organize, arm, and finance rebels to form the Free Syrian Army, consistent with long-standing US plans to destabilize Syria. These nations formed a pact, “The Group of Friends of the Syrian People,” that implemented a sectarian divide and conquer strategy to overthrow President Assad. “It’s important to note the timing,” Muhawesh wrote. “This coalition and meddling in Syria came about immediately on the heels of discussions of an Iran-Iraq-Syria gas pipeline that was to be built between 2014 and 2016 from Iran’s giant South Pars field through Iraq and Syria. With a possible extension to Lebanon, it would eventually reach Europe, the target export market.” As MintPress News reported, access to oil and gas—not sectarian differences—is the underlying cause of the violent conflict and humanitarian disaster in Syria. “The war is being sold to the public as a Sunni-Shiite conflict” by the Friends of Syria because, if the public understood the economic interests at stake, “most people would not support any covert funding and arming of rebels or direct intervention.”

Based on secret US cables revealed by WikiLeaks, Muhawesh reported that “foreign meddling in Syria began several years before the Syrian revolt erupted.” US State Department cables from 2006 documented plans to instigate civil strife that would lead to the overthrow of Assad’s government. The leaks revealed the United States partnering with nations including Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar, and Egypt to fuel Sunni-Shiite sectarianism to divide Syria.

Although there is plenty of coverage in US corporate media about the violence in Syria and the refugee crisis that is sweeping Europe and reaching North America, this coverage has failed to address the economic interests, including control of potentially lucrative gas pipelines, that motivate the US and its allies.  (US corporate news coverage of the Ukraine crisis was comparable in that it too downplayed geopolitical oil interests as a source of tension among Russia, the US, and their respective allies, as Nafeez Ahmed has reported. See “US Media Hypocrisy in Covering Ukraine Crisis,”Censored story #9 from Censored 2015.) Instead, corporate news coverage has characterized the conflict in Syria as a battle for democracy that has been hijacked by Sunni-Shiite interests. For example, Oren Dorell of USA Today identified “a mind-boggling and dangerous stew of shifting and competing alliances” involved in the Syrian conflict—including groups categorized as progovernment, antigovernment, anti-Islamic State, and “other fighters”—but he did not address the gas interests that, according to Muhawesh’s reporting, ultimately underpin the conflict. Instead, much of what passes for news coverage in the corporate press adheres to a pattern that Muhawesh identified and critiqued as simplistic and “Orientalist,” framing conflict in the Middle East and especially Syria as sectarian in order “to paint the region and its people as barbaric.”


Mnar Muhawesh, “Refugee Crisis & Syria War Fueled by Competing Gas Pipelines,” MintPress News, September 9, 2015, http://www.mintpressnews.com/migrant-crisis-syria-war-fueled-by-competing-gas-pipelines/209294/.

Student Researcher: Salah Mouazen (Citrus College)

Faculty Evaluators: Andy Lee Roth and Lanette Granger (Citrus College)

8. Syria’s War Spurred by Contest for Gas Delivery to Europe, Not Muslim Sectarianism

To find out more information on this year’s stories and order the book: http://www.projectcensored.org

Russia prepares for war, plans to move thermonuclear ICBMs to border

“The crazed American government drowning in its own hubris has set us on a course to nuclear war. Can America produce a leader who can reverse course?”
The real question is: Are ordinary Americans willing to be leaders in their own communities to reverse this national course? Are they willing to stand up and speak out? Are they willing to openly oppose this aggression against Syria and against Russia? 
Only that will change the present course. 
Global Research, September 27, 2016
Another Day in the Empire 25 September 2016

Last week TASS reported Russia’s western-most ICBM division will be rearmed with the RS-24 Yars missile system. Yars is a MIRV-equipped, thermonuclear, intercontinental ballistic missile that can reportedly carry up to 10 independently targetable warheads. The ICBM RS-24 Yars constitutes the backbone of Russia’s strategic missile force.

“The westernmost strategic missile force division in the Tver region will soon begin to be rearmed with the missile system Yars. It will be a sixth strategic missile division where the newest mobile ground-based missile complexes will replace the intercontinental ballistic missile Topol,” Sergey Karakayev, the commander of Russia’s Strategic Missile Force told the news agency.

The Russians claim the deployment is in response to NATO installing a US anti-missile system in Eastern Europe in violation of previous Russian-US arms treaties. The United States has made the outrageous claim its missile system is designed to respond to threats from Iran.

“Now, after the deployment of those anti-missile system elements, we’ll be forced to think about neutralizing developing threats to Russia’s security,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said in May.

Putin added that the US anti-missile systems currently in place in Romania and soon in Poland can be easily repurposed to fire short and mid-range missiles.

Russia announced it would modernize a launch detection system in response to the threat along its border. It has also discussed stationing its state-of-the art Iskander missiles at its westernmost Baltic outpost of Kaliningrad which borders NATO members Poland and Lithuania. The Iskander travels at hypersonic speed and is capable of evading anti-ballistic missiles.

In addition to missiles and nuclear warheads, NATO and Russia have engaged in massive war games this year. NATO’s Anakonda 2016 exercise involved more than 30,000 troops, about half of them Americans, and thousands of combat vehicles from 24 nations. The huge exercise simulated battle maneuvers across Poland. A simultaneous naval exercise, BALTOPS 16, simulated “high-end maritime warfighting” in the Baltic Sea. Exercises were conducted in the waters near Kaliningrad, the Russian enclave between Poland and Lithuania. The maritime exercise represented a clear provocation.

“All of this—the aggressive exercises, the NATO buildup, the added US troop deployments—reflects a new and dangerous strategic outlook in Washington. Whereas previously the strategic focus had been on terrorism and counterinsurgency, it has now shifted to conventional warfare among the major powers,” Michael T. Klare wrote for The Nation in July.

“Washington might intend the military buildup as pressure on President Putin to reduce Russian opposition to Washington’s unilateralism. However, it reminds some outspoken Russians such as Vladimir Zhirinovsky of Hitler’s troops on Russia’s border in 1941,” notes Paul Craig Roberts.

“To make the crisis clear for my readers and for all peoples, Washington is surrounding Russia with nuclear missile sites that can be silently converted from ABMs to first strike nuclear missiles that can reach Russian targets in a mere few minutes. Washington attempted to disguise this first strike capability with the explanation that the missiles were there to protect against an Iranian ICBM attack on Europe. This explanation was given by the US government despite the fact that everyone knows that Iran has neither ICBMs nor nuclear weapons,” he writes on his website.

Roberts, a former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal, is not optimistic about what such frenzied military activity portends.

He believes it is futile for Americans to plan for retirement.

“The crazed American government drowning in its own hubris has set us on a course to nuclear war. Can America produce a leader who can reverse course?”

Hillary Clinton will undoubtedly continue along this suicidal path. Donald Trump has said repeatedly he will not confront Russia. However, he has announced if elected the United States will expand its already massively inflated military budget.

Paul Craig Roberts — Somnolent Europe, Russia, and China: accept US hegemony or go to war?

Global Research, May 06, 2016
The documents show that the European Union was a creature of the CIA.

Can the world wake up?

On September 19, 2000, going on 16 years ago, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard of the London Telegraph reported:

Declassified American government documents show that the US intelligence community ran a campaign in the Fifties and Sixties to build momentum for a united Europe. It funded and directed the European federalist movement.

The documents confirm suspicions voiced at the time that America was working aggressively behind the scenes to push Britain into a European state. One memorandum, dated July 26, 1950, gives instructions for a campaign to promote a fully fledged European parliament. It is signed by Gen. William J. Donovan, head of the American wartime Office of Strategic Services, precursor of the CIA.

The documents show that the European Union was a creature of the CIA.

As I have previously written, Washington believes that it is easier to control one government, the EU, than to control many separate European governments.  As Washington has a long term investment in orchestrating the European Union, Washington is totally opposed to any country exiting the arrangement.  That is why President Obama recently went to London to tell his lapdog, the British Prime Minister, that there could be no British exit.

Like other European nations, the British people were never allowed to vote on whether they were in favor of their country ceasing to exist and them becoming Europeans. British history would become the history of a bygone people like the Romans and Babylonians.

The oppressive nature of unaccountable EU laws and regulations and the EU requirement to accept massive numbers of third world immigrants have created a popular demand for a British vote on whether to remain a sovereign country or to dissolve and submit to Brussels and its dictatorial edicts.  The vote is scheduled for June 23.

Washington’s position is that the British people must not be permitted to decide against the EU, because such a decision is not in Washington’s interest.

The prime minister’s job is to scare the British people with alleged dire consequences of “going it alone.”  The claim is that “little England” cannot stand alone.  The British people are being told that isolation will spell their end, and their country will become a backwater bypassed by progress.  Everything great will happen elsewhere, and they will be left out.

If the fear campaign does not succeed and the British vote to exit the EU, the open question is whether Washington will permit the British government to accept the democratic outcome.

Alternatively, the British government will deceive the British people, as it routinely does, and declare that Britain has negotiated concessions from Brussels that dispose of the problems that concern the British people.

Washington’s position shows that Washington is a firm believer that only Washington’s interests are important.  If other peoples wish to retain national sovereignty, they are simply being selfish.

Moreover, they are out of compliance with Washington, which means they can be declared a “threat to American national security.” The British people are not to be permitted to make decisions that do not comply with Washington’s interest. My prediction is that the British people will either be deceived or overridden.

It is Washington’s self-centeredness, the self-absorption, the extraordinary hubris and arrogance, that explains the orchestrated “Russian threat.” Russia has not presented herself to the West as a military threat.  Yet, Washington is confronting Russia with a US/NATO naval buildup in the Black Sea a naval, troop and tank buildup in the Baltics and Poland, missile bases on Russia’s borders, and plans to incorporate the former Russian provinces of Georgia and Ukraine in US defense pacts against Russia.

When Washington, its generals and European vassals declare Russia to be a threat, they mean that Russia has an independent foreign policy and acts in her own interest rather than in Washington’s interest.  Russia is a threat, because Russia demonstrated the capability of blocking Washington’s intended invasion of Syria and bombing of Iran.  Russia blunted one purpose of Washington’s coup in the Ukraine by peacefully and democratically reuniting with Crimera, the site of Russia’s Black Sea naval base and a Russian province for several centuries.

Perhaps you have wondered how it was possible for small countries such as Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yeman, and Venezuela to be threats to the US superpower.  On its face Washington’s claim is absurd.  Do US presidents, Pentagon officials, national security advisors, and chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff really regard countries of so little capability as military threats to the United States and NATO countries?

No, they do not.  The countries were declared threats, because they have, or had prior to their destruction, independent foreign and economic policies.  Their policy independence means that they do not or did not accept US hegemony. They were attacked in order to bring them under US hegemony.

In Washington’s view, any country with an independent policy is outside Washington’s umbrella and, therefore, is a threat.

Venezuela became, in the words of US President Obama, an “unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States,” necessitating a “national emergency” to contain the “Venezuelan threat” when the Venezuelan government put the interests of the Venezuelan people above those of American corporations.

Russia became a threat when the Russian government demonstrated the ability to block Washington’s intended military attacks on Syria and Iran and when Washington’s coup in the Ukraine failed to deliver to Washington the Russian Black Sea naval base.

Clearly Venezuela cannot possibly pose a military threat to the US, so Venezuela cannot possibly pose an “unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security of the US.”  Venezuela is a “threat” because the Venezuelan government does not comply with Washington’s orders.

It is absolutely certain that Russia has made no threats whatsoever against the Baltics, Poland, Romania, Europe, or the United States.  It is absolutely certain that Russia has not invaded the Ukraine.  How do we know?  If Russia had invaded Ukraine, the Ukraine would no longer be there. It would again be a Russian province where until 20 years ago Ukraine resided for centuries, for longer than the US has existed. Indeed, the Ukraine belongs in Russia more than Hawaii and the deracinated southern states belong in the US.

Yet, these fantastic lies from the highest ranks of the US government, from NATO, from Washington’s British lackeys, from the bought-and-paid-for Western media, and from the bought-and-paid-for EU are repeated endlessly as if they are God’s revealed truth.

Syria still exists because it is under Russian protection.  That is the only reason Syria still exists, and it is also another reason that Washington wants Russia out of the way.

Do Russia and China realize their extreme danger?  I don’t think even Iran realizes its ongoing danger despite its close call.

If Russia and China realize their danger, would the Russian government permit one-fifth of its media to be foreign owned?  Does Russia understand that “foreign owned” means CIA owned?

If not, why not?  If so, why does the Russian government permit its own destabilization at the hands of Washington’s intelligence service?

China is even more careless.  There are 7,000 US-funded NGOs (non-governmental organizations) operating in China.

Only last month did the Chinese government finally move, very belatedly, to put some restrictions on these foreign agents who are working to destabilize China.  The members of these treasonous organizations have not been arrested.  They have merely been put under police watch, an almost useless restriction as Washington can provide endless money with which to bribe the Chinese police.

Why do Russia and China think that their police are less susceptible to bribes than Mexico’s or American police?  Despite the multi-decade “war on drugs,” the drug flow from Mexico to the US is unimpeded.  Indeed, the police forces of both countries have a huge interest in the “war on drugs” as the war brings them riches in the form of bribes. Indeed, as the crucified reporter for the San Jose Mercury newspaper proved many years ago, the CIA itself is in the drug-running business.

In the United States truth-tellers are persecuted and imprisoned, or they are dismissed as “conspiracy theorists,” “anti-semites,” and “domestic extremists.”  The entire Western World consists of a dystopia far worse than the one described by George Orwell in his famous book, 1984.

That Russia and China permit Washington to operate in their media, in their universities, in their financial system, and in “do-good” NGOs that infiltrate every aspect of their societies demonstrates that both governments have no interest in their survival as independent states. They are too scared of being called “authoritarian” by the Western presstitute media to protect their own independence.

My prediction is that Russia and China will soon be confronted with an unwelcome decision: accept American hegemony or go to war.