Admiral Komoyedov told why Russia needs large-scale exercises in the oceans

“The situation is developing in such a way that we must keep the gunpowder dry”

A number of naval exercises under the general supervision of the Commander-in-Chief of the Navy, Admiral Nikolai Evmenov, will be held in January-February 2022 . The scale of the exercises is impressive: over 140 warships and support vessels are involved. “MK” asked the former Commander-in-Chief of the Navy, Admiral Vladimir Komoedov, to comment on these maneuvers.


According to the Russian Ministry of Defense, the purpose of the exercises is to work out the actions of the Navy and the Aerospace Forces to protect Russian national interests in the oceans, as well as to counter military threats to the Russian Federation from the sea and ocean directions.

The maneuvers will take place in the waters of the seas adjacent to Russian territory, as well as in operationally important areas of the World Ocean. More than 140 warships and support vessels, 1000 pieces of equipment and about 10 thousand military personnel will be involved in the participation.

Today it became known that in the Sea of ​​Japan, the latest diesel-electric submarine “Volkhov” of the Pacific Fleet performed a training launch of a cruise missile of the Caliber complex, successfully hitting a ground coastal target at a distance of more than 1000 kilometers.

From January 18 to 22, a detachment of ships of the Pacific Fleet takes part in the Russian-Chinese-Iranian naval exercises CHIRU-2022, which is taking place in the Gulf of Oman.

Are such large-scale exercises somehow connected with the world geopolitical situation and what kind of reaction we can expect from the West, “MK” was told by the former commander of the Black Sea Fleet, Admiral Vladimir Komoedov.

– These are indeed very large-scale exercises, but there is nothing unusual in them. The period from January to March is always the most saturated with trips for the fleet. During these months, all surface and submarine forces, in cooperation with aviation, work out a combat training plan. In order to keep the forces in combat readiness, they must be able to perform all the tasks assigned to them. This is absolutely normal.

– I think that in the situation that has developed between Russia and Ukraine, in a difficult diplomatic situation, as well as in connection with NATO's plans to expand to the east and threats towards our country, the Ministry of Defense wants to show that we are ready to defend our country in all directions. I mean ocean destinations. And this is the Pacific Ocean, and the Atlantic. Both the Barents Sea and our internal seas, such as the Black Sea, as well as the Mediterranean and Baltic Seas, will be involved. The situation is such that we must always keep the gunpowder dry. And I only support such a decision.

– They have been in hysteria all their lives, and especially in recent years. Wherever Russia turns, it immediately becomes hysterical. According to their plan, we should probably sit and be silent, not creak, not squeak, and not make a sound. And they themselves, without knocking, stand on our doorstep and stamp their feet.


The Bank of Russia told about a new scheme of telephone scammers

The Bank of Russia has revealed another phone fraud scheme that has become popular with attackers, Rossiyskaya Gazeta reports.

According to representatives of the regulator, the new fraud method involves two stages. During the first, a person is allegedly called by a credit bureau employee and assures his victim that they are trying to get a loan in her name or on relatives. Also, during the conversation, the attacker tries to find out which banks the citizen uses.

After some time, the victim is recruited again, but they are already allegedly being security officers of his bank, representatives of law enforcement agencies or the Bank of Russia.


At the second stage of the scam, a person is convinced that unknown people are trying to get a loan for him or his relatives, and in order to prevent this, a citizen needs to get his loan as soon as possible for the same amount that the attackers allegedly try to get a loan .

Scammers also convince a person that his actions will reveal the criminal, and the credit history will remain clean.

Fraud ends with the victim being asked to transfer credit money to "special account" ;, which the caller will indicate.

Earlier it was also reported that the Russian Federation intends to create a system to combat telephone fraud. This initiative was supported by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Roskomnadzor and the Central Bank.


“Typical teenage bullshit.” D. Puchkov (Goblin) – about youth values

Weekly “Arguments and Facts” No. 03. Either a bus, or a vision. When will the modernization of public transport reach cities and villages? 01/19/2022

Recently, a 19-year-old student who relieved himself at a stand with a portrait of a war veteran received 4 years in prison. The prosecutor's office of Naberezhnye Chelny decided to conduct an inspection after the incident with teenagers who threw snow at the Eternal Flame. And before that, in several cities, young bloggers were marked by actions with stripping against the background of museums and temples – all this immediately spread in social networks. What do those who do it achieve? About this is our conversation with translator, publicistDmitry Puchkov ­(Goblin).

went to & nbsp; desecration of all that is holy? What is a national flash mob? There is no feeling that someone is deliberately organizing this, provoking it?

– No, I I think it all happens spontaneously. Flashmob – this is when you receive a message: “Today at such and such a time and in such and such a place we all gather with umbrellas, open them together, take a picture and run away.” “Mob” – crowd, “flash” – flash. That is, an instantly assembled crowd for such completely senseless actions. In this case, I don’t see any signs of a flash mob and I don’t see any command from the moderator.

Dmitry Puchkov: “If our children are raised in hatred of communism – what will happen? Monument to Ulyanov (Lenin), which was blown up by unknown people. A funnel approximately 80×100 cm appeared on the statue in the area of ​​the buttocks. Saint-Petersburg, Russia. Photo: RIA Novosti/Sergey Ermokhin

Most often, young people generally don’t bother much, against the background of which they are photographed there, they are not interested. In their actions, some next “Pussy Wright” can also be seen. with a challenge to society: they say, I don’t give a damn about you at all, here, I’m so beautiful, I deny everything! This is typical teenage bullshit.

The fact that the kid urinated on the poster – well, it's not quite nonsense, just like trying to fry kebabs on the Eternal Flame. Under Soviet rule, such undergrowth also manifested itself. For example, in 1979  in Leningrad, college graduates committed a very large act of vandalism: they threw 11 historical marble statues from the pedestals in the Summer Garden. Today, teenagers, as they were poorly brought up, have remained. Another thing is that with the Internet, it’s like a fire in the & nbsp; steppe: they organize challenges (tasks) for each other there: they say, “I shit on” this, and now you answer & nbsp; & ndash; shit on this». Which only says one thing: these children grow up neglected. 

– Should they be punished, or is it enough to simply scold them?

– If they break the law, then, of course, it is necessary. But the task of breaking this teenager's life is not worth it. If he behaved decently before, for a start you need to talk. If talking doesn't help – fine. And if it doesn't work at all, then yes – deprive of freedom. But choosing this as the first method would be wrong.

– According to your classification, these are “juvenile morons” or normal teenagers?

– They usually outgrow their bullshit when the hormonal storms subside in their heads. How many of us, adults, make mistakes in life in an emotional heat? For example, he gave someone a face, and then sat down. And in the soul the dialogue: “Will you regret it?” “Of course I will” “Next time will you hit me?” “I won't. I wouldn't have hit that time if my brains were working properly"". And here, one might say, almost children. Adults are now almost not interested in children, they have the number one task – buy a phone or tablet for a child: “On you, shut up, sit with him in the corner, just don’t disturb us.” Well, here is the result: the children are left to their own devices. 

Why remember victories?

– The young man in the video on TikTok said that he did not know when the Great Patriotic War began, because this information “won't be useful” to him in life. What is wrong with patriotic education?

– Famous rapper Morgensternalso admitted that he did not understand the Victory Day, which took place 76 years ­ rehabilitation of Nazism. In my opinion, this is complete madness. Here you have a teenager, he was raised in your school, on your educational programs. What attention is paid to the Great Patriotic War in today's history textbooks, if the Battle of Stalingrad takes half a paragraph there, and then you talk about the bloody Soviet regime? Maybe this is a discovery for some, but our war was a war between the Nazis and the communists, led by the main communist Joseph Stalinand the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. It was her victory – as a formative and guiding force. But we can’t talk about this, because the essence of the state we have – this is a negation of everything soviet…

There are much more illustrative examples – say, Ukraine, where the Nazis and their accomplices have already been elevated to the rank of national heroes. They – the main enemies of the communists. Well, if our children are raised in hatred of communism – what happens? 

Who was the main enemy of communism? Adolf Hitler. That is, you stand on the same side with him – raise your children in contempt for your own country, for its past. If somewhere in the Baltics or in Ukraine they are taught to hate Russians as an external enemy, then we are taught inside Russia to hate ourselves. And then they are surprised: “But there Kolya and Urengoy said this in the Bundestag!” Why be surprised? You ask the rest of Kohl, Tol, Vasya – they will repeat the same thing to you, only in an even more vile form. Because that's how you teach them.

There is nothing to blame on the mirror. Morgenstern – this is the voice of a generation. And he still didn’t say anything particularly bad: only that he personally is not interested in it and it’s not clear why you set up these parades and spend money on them. A healthy question, by the way, from a teenager.

At the same time, ask any dunce – football fan: how Zenit played in 1969? He will give you a lecture for an hour: who stood at the gate, who ran forward, how many goals were scored, how the referee judged incorrectly, etc. For  fans this is the most important event. Or, say, the appearance of some human rights activists on Red Square in those days when an anti-Soviet uprising took place in Czechoslovakia. This is a major event for liberals, and, from their point of view, must be remembered. And that's who exactly won the Patriotic War, where 26 million of us died, – no, you don't need to remember that. But people who diligently talk about the “victory” of the frenzy, I repeat, & nbsp; & ndash; Hitler's comrades-in-arms who consciously take his side.

“And these are not their heroes”

– Do people with a  adolescent mind perceive any kind of propaganda?

– Of course, but only your own. Teenagers do not listen to pro-government propagandists, do not watch TV and other state officialdom. For they are too grown-up, and these guys who discuss something of their own there are not interested in them. But Morgen­stern speaks in an accessible language, which inspires confidence in them. After all, a teenager denies everything: his mother, as he thinks, is a fool, his father is a fool, they have not achieved any success in life. But there is Citizen Morgenstern, who – chik, and & nbsp; here he is already covered in & nbsp; chocolate, shaking packs of dough, and & nbsp; naked girls are jumping around. This, I understand, is success!  Mom and dad don't have any money, but Morgenstern does. So, alignment with it.

That's why teenagers don't want to learn. Look – there, the children of the oligarchs have everything and without studying. And you don’t and won’t have any social elevators that will allow you to rise to so sky-high heights. 

– Why are rappers fleeing Russia? Is there something wrong with the atmosphere in the country?

– Units run. They are just very well known and because in sight. And & nbsp; why, in fact, “run”? Do they renounce citizenship, break all ties, sell property? No. Let's say they are threatened to be prosecuted for drug propaganda. But if the song is about how a person uses ­drugs – Is this really propaganda? Let's then song Vysotsky“Oh, where was I yesterday” hellip; with the words “And then I stopped drinking because I was tired” we will write it down in the same place as its author: this is propaganda of alcoholism, by the way. It can be decided that Vysotsky, with his way of life and songs, promoted drinking and contributed to the fact that the Russian people drank themselves and died. Bullshit!

Songs – piece of art. Where is the propaganda? Have you heard at least one song of the group “Leningrad” with three-story swearing on radio or television? I – no. At the same time, Seryoga Shnurovhellishly popular, successfully performs with such songs and collects full stadiums. Is this good or bad? Arrange an interrogation for the poet: what what did mean for example, in the song    – drink" He will tell you: “Ah, everyone is drinking, I'm talking about it.” And what? You have to educate your children, and instead you run after their idols and shake handcuffs. That's why they were undersized and ran to hide behind the cordon – “Sit cleanly” and then come back. Nobody needs them there, and they know it.

– Today's teenagers – is this the “lost generation”?

– Looking for what's lost. We will have to fight for our native country – a few people of good will will go, I assure you. They will say – and what the hell? In order to lay the next raw material pipe and to "cut" Why buying houses in Miami? Well no thanks. And in a way they will be right. The young don't want the 'brace' type of war – in this way, this generation will definitely not be able to be retained and united. 

No one argues: you need to know history, honor and respect your ancestors. But if you teach them “Vlasov” at school Solzhenitsyn, and & nbsp; on TV you have some kind of “Zuleikha opens her eyes” or other anti-Soviet stuff, and this is your model for filling children's heads with knowledge – well, congratulations. Children watch and read this about their native history and think: who were their ancestors? Freaks who lost to the beautiful civilized West? And what else can they think? Their iPhones, for example, are not made in Russia for some reason. You will tell them that a nuclear submarine is millions of times more complicated than an iPhone, and they don’t care: they use an iPhone every day, and they have never seen your submarine.

All movies, songs, music, dances that children like, – because of the bump. And & nbsp; in space, we now also have girls-actresses flying. It turns out that, in addition to exposing Stalinism, you have nothing to show the younger generation, in fact. 

As a result, your children are raised by Americans. So why be surprised when teenagers shit on portraits of your heroes? A these are not their heroes. You gave them at the mercy of who knows, and now you are amazed: well, how did it happen!


Bus or vision? When the reform of transport reaches the cities and towns

Weekly “Arguments and Facts” No. 03. Either a bus, or a vision. When will the modernization of public transport reach cities and villages? 19/01/2022

Last year, the President instructed the prime minister to Mishustinapprove a unified program for the modernization of public transport. According to the most conservative estimates, 5.2 trillion rubles are needed to renew 75% of the park. It was planned to form the program by January 1, 2022. However, it was not possible to meet the deadlines. What are the challenges of bringing urban transport back to normal? 

“Not a trip, but a game of survival”

The regions have already begun to reform urban transport. But the process is far from being successful everywhere.

Novokuznetsk: an unpleasant surprise

So, in & nbsp; Novokuznetsk, Kemerovo region. transport reform began in the fall of 2019. In just a few days, not only the entire fleet of buses, but also carriers and all routes were replaced in the city. As a result, 400 private grooves were not needed. In return, they received large “Volgabas” a company that won almost all the lots.

In the first few weeks, there was a collapse: people could not quickly switch to new routes and schedules, there were not enough buses, because the company did not have time to transport all the required number of vehicles to the city. And drivers were urgently sent from other cities. Not knowing Novokuznetsk, they got confused in & nbsp; routes and & nbsp; streets, causing even greater discontent among the residents. As a result, under the pressure of the townspeople, the administration was forced to return some routes, and others – adjust.

And the authorities also promised the same tariffs for  – 20 rub. for a trip and transfer without payment within 40 minutes. But it turned out that the transfer ticket is valid only if you pay by card, there are no such benefits for cash payments. 

Astrakhan: “Give us back the horned ones!”

Astrakhan in 2021 took the last place in rating by the level of development of public transport among 60 Russian cities. The main means of transportation in city – fixed-route taxis. There are few buses, and they run only on four routes. And you can only go to remote areas of the city by taxi. Not only are minibuses uncontested, so also every trip – as a survival test: drivers are reckless, they smoke in the cabin, they are rude. In terms of the number of accidents, minibuses are among the leaders, according to the regional Ministry of Internal Affairs. They replaced the trams that were liquidated in Astrakhan back in 2007. Even the rails were then dismantled and sold to the outside. In & nbsp; 2017, trolleybuses were also destroyed, but the contact network was preserved. However, in response to the requests of the residents to return the “horned” The authorities say: don wait.

The city has been promised a big transport reform for years. For example, enter a water taxi (the same river bus), add buses – they will be allowed on & nbsp; 48 routes, they want to introduce a & nbsp; city electric train. But so far these are just words. & nbsp;

Penza: 40 trolleybuses left

The inhabitants of Penza have the words «public transport» will elicit a sad smile at best. Seven years ago, the transport giant MUP “Passenger transportation of the city of Penza” collapsed, and the niche was filled by private traders. Now there are a dozen companies operating in this area, but almost all of them are associated with two Penza businessmen: Nikolai Krivozubov and Oleg Fomin.

Fares now go up almost every year. The regional OFAS more than once entered into a fight with carriers, but businessmen deftly fought back in court. A since 2019  unregulated tariffs have been introduced in the city, and the municipality has little leverage left to keep the traffic tycoons in in line.

But a special pain for Penza residents – trolleybuses. There are 40 of them left for the whole city, and after all, they have the cheapest travel – only 20 rub. In march­ruts –  1.5 times more expensive. “Part of the trolleybuses are on the "eternal joke" in depot, – tells the conductor Taisia. – And & nbsp; those working are badly worn out: rusty sides, the floor is in & nbsp; iron patches. A year ago, they wanted to remove them from the streets, but the deputies nevertheless allocated money for the work of the "horned". The inhabitants were delighted and appearance in 2021  GKU “Organizer of transportation of the Penza region”. But the company promises to start work only from 2022   

Kaluga: «crooked, oblique bucket»

«Crooked, oblique, rotten bucket that plugs narrow streets and dangerous for other» – this is what a local resident Alexander Kuznetsov says about the route grooves scurrying along the streets of Kaluga. The choice of Kaluzhans and is really small: trolleybuses, PAZs or minibuses for 20 people. In & nbsp; 2020, some of the old buses owned by individual entrepreneurs were removed from the streets, having purchased 60 new cars for leasing for & nbsp; the municipal enterprise “Kaluga Trolleybus Administration”. For a month their work was debugged. According to the words of the mayor of Kaluga Dmitry Denisov, private carriers should gradually ­leave the streets. They will be replaced by companies subsidized by the municipality. For this, it is planned to upgrade the entire fleet of passenger transport. The authorities of the region for the third time applied for an infrastructure loan. But commercial carriers are in no hurry to buy new cars. And not out of stinginess. “They extend our transport cards for just 9 months and every time they say: ‘You won’t be here soon. While the city is looking for money for buses, they let us work. How long this will last, no one knows. And to buy a new car for several million, in order to be left without a job in a few months, there are no people who want it, – a representative of one of carriers complains. 

Krasnodar: what do we pay for?

In Krasnodar, municipal trams, trolleybuses and buses have much fewer claims from passengers than to private traders. On suburban routes, where there is practically no municipal transport left, people complain about the irregularity of flights and crowded buses. The city is growing, the population is increasing, and public transport is not keeping up with it. Passengers, on the other hand, do not have time to keep up with the increase in fares.

– The main reason for the indignation of residents – discrepancy between prices and quality of services, – considers the coordinator of the public movement “Transport Initiative” Marina Repeshchuk. – Nothing changes for the better: the buses are old, the drivers are rude, you won’t get transport in the evening, and paying for such a "service" with every year there are more. Firms sometimes do not fulfill the conditions of tenders, according to which they won the right to serve the route. For example, according to  documents, they promised buses no older than 5 years and with air conditioning, but in fact they drive old and without cooling.

The fact that the transport infrastructure requires development is also recognized by the authorities of the region. At the regional meeting, Governor Veniamin Kondratiev focused on this problem. “The city is growing, and a radical improvement in public transport, the construction of new tram lines and the renewal of the tram fleet will help to cope with the load. For these purposes, in 2022 1 billion rubles is envisaged», – he said. 

Volgograd, Bryansk and Smolensk: prices are rising

Fares are rising everywhere. In Volgograd, using a transport card, one trip now costs 23 rubles. (was 20 rubles), when paying with a bank card – 28 rubles, for cash – 30 rub. (was 25). In Bryansk from January 11, the cost of one trip on card – 22 rubles, if in cash – 25 rub. In Smolensk, travel on some routes has risen in price by 5–7 rubles.

The first domestic omnibuses received the nickname “40 Martyrs”

Passengers choke for a seat on the omnibus. St. Petersburg, 1873. Photo: Public Domain

No one will name the specific date of the appearance of public transport in Moscow, in the role of which cabmen acted in the past centuries.

“Real” public transport began with an analogue of intercity buses – in 1820  the movement of stagecoaches between Moscow and St. Petersburg was opened. Intracity public transport began to function in 1828 g. It was then that the capital of the empire allowed the movement of two- and three-harness horse-drawn closed carriages, called omnibuses, for 16 seats.

In 1832 there was a qualitative breakthrough – crews have become more spacious. In appendix to "Sankt-Peterburgskiye Vedomosti" it is stated: “These omnibuses look like a carriage with an imperial (second open floor. – Ed.) and place from 30 to 40 people. Inside the carriage, travel is 80 kopecks, on imperial – 40 cop. A quarter of an hour before departure, the conductor gives a signal with a pipe about readiness for departure. Then he gives such signals more often, so that those who wish to take an empty place can come.

Since our roads, even in the capitals, were traditionally of lousy quality, the trip in the omnibus was so “fun” that wits instantly nicknamed this mode of transport “40 martyrs.” In Moscow went their own way – along with closed omnibuses from 1847 g. open wagons for 10 14 seats plied along the route lines, where passengers sat with their backs to each other and sideways to the direction of travel. Such wagons were called sideeyks or rulers. The fare in them cost 10 kopecks. They survived until the end of the 19th century. and were witnesses to the appearance of the first rail public transport – horse-drawn tram, trams. 

In & nbsp; in 1872  But the Moscow horse tram developed in its own way. K 1891  the system was revised – now it was possible to travel along all lines on one transfer ticket. There were 25 lines, the length of the path – 94 km. Every day, 400 cars and 2 thous. horses. Russia in public transport at least did not lag behind leaders, at least at first. The first omnibus appeared in France in 1826 , in England – in 1829  Petersburg with its 1828 looks quite respectable. Then the backlog began to grow. So, the first steam tram entered the streets of New Orleans, USA, in 1873 , in Petersburg –  9 years late, in 1882  The first electric tram started in Berlin in 1881 and in  – already 11 years behind, in 1892 g., in Kiev.

Who will pay the fare?

Experts compare transportation based on a chaotic combination of municipal and private routes with African ones. How to make urban transportation systems civilized? “AiF” discussed this issue with General Director of the non-profit organization “For public transport” Alexander ­Pitirimov.

Where they are “going” new buses

– How many vehicles require replacement throughout Russia?

– Now the country operates 850 thousand buses, 46% of them are older than 10 years. That is, 390 thousand cars have already exhausted their resource. The average age of the bus fleet – 16.5 years old. In addition, passengers are transported by 8 thousand tram cars and 9 thousand trolleybuses, the fleet of which is worn out by 75–80%.

A large new bus costs 10 million rubles today, a trolleybus – 20 million, tram car – 30 & ndash; 40 million. This means that 3.9 & nbsp; trillion & shy; is needed for the renovation of the bus fleet alone. And how fast this process will go depends on the scale of government investments in modernization of transport. The companies involved in passenger transportation themselves do not have the required amounts. At least half of them are unprofitable.

– But since 2020, federal money has gone into public transportation. What's done on them? And what are you planning to do?

– Within the framework of the national project "Safe and"high-quality roads" the government for the first time began to subsidize transport leasing. This scheme gives carriers the opportunity to purchase vehicles at a 60% discount. According to the Ministry of Transport, by December 2021, cities received 1,131 units of new vehicles through it. This is not enough, of course. But after decades of non-stop aging of the park, this is a breakthrough. The new transport strategy of the country, approved 1.5 months ago, assumes that by 2035 the total volume of investments in public transport (including the metro and urban trains) will amount to   ­trln rubles.

< p>It is planned that from 2022 state reserves – 52 billion­ rub. from the National Wealth Fund. These will be preferential loans that will be used not only for the purchase of cars, but also for the restoration of the tram and trolleybus infrastructure. The Ministry of Transport is now working on a comprehensive public transport modernization program that will bring together all these plans and funding sources.

– Who buys discounted buses – public or private carriers?

– In basic – municipal enterprises. Strict requirements are set for the participants of the national project, which most private traders cannot or do not want to fulfill. Cars must drive along routes from 6am to 23pm and strictly observe the minimum traffic intervals. All carriers must operate on a single regulated tariff and accept transport cards for payment. While this is not possible everywhere. Out of  60-plus agglomerations that applied for preferential leasing, only 13 received this opportunity in 2021. Among them are Voronezh, Yekaterinburg, Ivanovo, ­Kazan, Krasnoyarsk.

Why transport is better in Moscow

– Purchased buses in 10 years will have to be changed again. Will transport workers get by without support in the future?

– It's an impossible dream. For this, it is necessary that the fare fully covers all the current and investment needs of the enterprise. All over the world, where transport functions well, it is subsidized by the authorities. And & nbsp; in countries where the authorities do not find money for this, urban transportation & nbsp; & ndash; the same pain as in Russia.

– But in our country there is a good example – Moscow. There are almost no old buses on the streets, and the new ones run like clockwork. Salary of drivers – up to & nbsp; 100 thousand rubles. Is it realistic to do this in all other cities?

– The Moscow authorities enter into so-called gross contracts with carriers, under which the income of a passenger company depends on compliance with the traffic schedule and the distance traveled. And how many passengers were transported – irrelevant. The money for the fare goes to the account of a special municipal company created to manage the transport. And she pays the carrier for the work.

In addition to Moscow, transport in Perm, Tver, Belgorod has been transferred to gross contracts. Thinking about it and in other large cities. But in order for transport to develop and become truly convenient, it is not enough just to change the financing model. It is important that the fee that the carrier receives from the city fully compensates the current costs of transport work and the upcoming fleet renewal. Alas, in contrast to the capital, the budgetary possibilities of most municipalities do not allow the implementation of such a full-fledged contract. Often it is not even known how much money needs to be added from the budget to the fees from passengers in order to achieve full payback of transport. According to expert estimates, 10% of the proceeds from ticket sales goes beyond the box office. Therefore, the first condition that must be met in order to civilize the transport system, – this is to introduce cashless payment by cards in the city and whitewash cash flows. 

– Does the government of the country plan to pay subsidies to the regions for the operation of public transport?

– So far, no federal program provides for this. But experts are sure that such a measure is necessary. Without it, there will be no desired effect from investments in modernization of the transport fleet. Perhaps the government should, as an experiment, finance from the federal budget in one of the cities not the renewal of the rolling stock, but the introduction of the gross contract. After all, if the municipality has enough money, it will find it for daily transport work, and for investments.

Who replenishes the transport fleet?

In 2020 in Russia 13,780 large and medium buses, 287 trolleybuses and 190 tram cars were produced.

– The main bus factories in Russia have been known since Soviet times – PAZ in Nizhny Novgorod region, LiAZ – in Moscow and KAvZ – in Kurgan – tells Chairman of the Union of Passengers Kirill Yankov. – In recent years, the production of KAMAZ electric buses has appeared; and NefAZ gas engine buses in Neftekamsk, and  Volgabas” organized the production of buses and electric buses in Volzhsky.

The oldest manufacturer of tram cars – Ust-Katav Carriage Works in the Chelyabinsk region. Since 1990s produces trams “Uraltransmash” in Yekaterinburg. And & nbsp; most of the wagons in recent years have been built by the young company PK Transport Systems, which has factories in & nbsp; Petersburg, Tver and & nbsp; Saratov Region. It specializes  in development low-floor electric vehicles. Her most famous models – tram “Vityaz” and "Admiral" trolleybus. Thanks to her, the production of trolleybuses was revived in Engels near Saratov. And two more trolleybus production facilities operate in Vologda and Ufa. 

Municipal enterprises, as a rule, buy only Russian and Belarusian equipment. Private traders import new buses from China, Japan, Turkey. But the share of imports, including MAZs from Belarus, is only 15%. 

“Drive yourself in such conditions!”

Those who drive buses and minibuses have their own view of both problems and their solution .

Sergey Oshurkov, Chairman of the Association of Motor Transport Enterprises of Irkutsk:

– One of the biggest challenges faced by trucking companies, – rising prices for fuel and spare­parts. It's very hard to keep up with them. We calculated: in order to renew the fleet, raise the salaries of drivers, keep up with the increase in the cost of fuel and lubricants and spare parts, the tariff should be 70 & ndash; 80 rubles. for the train­ku. And              Irkutsk! Passengers will not be satisfied with such figures. And I understand them: the prices of everything are growing uncontrollably, and the salary of people hardly changes.

Another problem – the state of the rolling stock. Transport is badly worn out, but it is becoming more and more difficult to update it. Starting from the new year, for example, they promise to increase the prices for grooves by 6–10%. If earlier we bought a PAZik for 4 million rubles, now we will take it for & nbsp; 400 thousand more. And after all, we buy equipment on credit and leasing. So it turns out: the bus is already falling apart, and s still we still haven't returned even the money we spent on buying it, not to mention the profit. It would be a little easier if the banks gave these loans at a concessional interest. This is how they do it abroad: for public transport companies, rates are below market rates.

The problems of carriers were exacerbated by the pandemic – we started losing drivers. Someone got sick and still hasn’t recovered, someone was afraid of getting sick (in our work you deal with thousands of people every day) and quit. Some employees can't handle a lot of conflict. After all, they were given the task of checking whether passengers are wearing masks. Sometimes it came to & nbsp; fights! And how can you keep track of whether someone in the salon has taken off his mask, if the main task of the driver – keep an eye on the road and transport people safely? If a person tries to avoid quarrels, he simply gets up and leaves: “Drive yourself in such conditions!” And the queue of wishing to take his place is not worth it. 

To solve all these problems, we need government support – first of all, assistance in the purchase of fuel, spare parts, new buses. Only then will public transport become more comfortable.

The opinion of the author may not coincide with the editorial change 


Where was life better – in the USSR or in today’s Russia?

Weekly “Arguments and Facts” No. 03. Either a bus, or a vision. When will the modernization of public transport reach cities and villages? 19/01/2022

The standard of living in modern Russia is 20% higher than it was in Soviet times, – said the head of the Accounts Chamber Alexey Kudrin.

“In 2003–2004. we have restored (on average, of course) the standard of living that citizens had in 1990 », – he said.

AIF drawing/Andrey Dorofeev

Anatoly Salutsky, writer, publicist:

– This statement – nothing more than statistical fraud. 1990 – the year of decline, the crisis of the Russian economy, which, by the way, was already officially recognized at that time at the government level. One fact: in 1985 g.        – only 100. Does anyone really think that everyone has forgotten what exactly happened with us this year and next year – 1991? 

Over the first half of the last century, the structure of industry and production relations in Russia did not change, technologies were improved in the main, affecting the standard of living of people. The economy developed linearly, therefore it was possible to compare with the past decades: what was – what has become. Today there has been a fundamental rebirth of the economic basis: IT-technologies and “digit” have come. And along with this, other areas began to change. Before perestroika, people had a different psychology, other requests for living conditions – they corresponded to the already past and obsolete level of development of civilization. Now and landmarks, and requests, and "cockroaches" others. For example, digitalization brings colossal benefits to society, but in certain cases it also brings inconveniences. 

Therefore, it is simply impossible to compare the life of people at the end of the 20th and at the beginning of the 21st centuries: it's like comparing blue with sweet. You need to deal with each case separately. By type of economic development before 1990  something objectively was better, something worse, something remained at the same level. The world is developing, including technology. Before, excuse me, in  toilets, flush tanks were attached at the top: you had to pull a rope or chain to flush the water. Now the designs have become more convenient. Has it contributed to an increase in the standard of living? I doubt it.

It would be better if Kudrin compared another indicator – people's confidence in the future and their psychological well-being before the 1990s. and now. At that time, confidence in tomorrow was a kind of bonus for an insufficiently high standard of living. People in the USSR knew for sure that they would be taught, educated, that after graduating from a technical school or institute, you would find a job. You will be able to have a normal rest (there were free pioneer camps for children, sanatoriums and dispensaries for adults), you will get housing, again for free. Do our citizens have 100% confidence in anything today? Again – I doubt. Which is not surprising, since the uncertainty about the  future – these are the costs of capitalism all over the world. Although the standard of living with him – yes, higher than under socialism.

The opinion of the author may not coincide with the position of the editors


Ex-NATO Secretary General said that Putin allowed Russia to rapprochement with the alliance

Former NATO Secretary General: Putin said that being part of Western Europe is Russia's destiny In 2000, President Vladimir Putin said that Russia should become part of Western Europe, in this, in his opinion, “its destiny.” George Robertson, then Secretary General of NATO, who negotiated with Putin, recalls this

Russian President Vladimir Putin thought about closer relations between his country and NATO, former NATO Secretary General George Robertson, who served as NATO Secretary General, told Foreign Policy in an interview in 1999— 2004. According to him, Putin spoke about this during their meeting in February 2000.

“I want to renew relations with NATO. Gradually, but I want to do it. <…> Some people don't agree with me, but I want it, — quoted Russian President Robertson. Putin told him that he wants Russia to be “part of Western Europe”, that this is its “destiny”, added the ex-NATO Secretary General.

On the same day, after negotiations with Putin, Robertson told reporters (quoted by The New York Times): “I think he agreed with me that the period of coolness [in relations] should have ended.” NATO Secretary General also had lunch with Foreign Minister Sergei Ivanov and other diplomats. “Yes, we competed with each other, but now let's rebuild the relationship,” — this is how Robertson described the atmosphere that reigned during these meetings.

The ex-NATO Secretary General also recalled the period during and after the September 11, 2001 attacks. According to Foreign Policy, the relationship between the alliance and Russia “survived this crisis as well.” Robertson noted that shortly after the attacks, at a meeting in Brussels, Putin asked him when NATO would invite Russia to join the alliance.

“I said, “We do not invite countries to join NATO. Countries apply for NATO membership and then we make a decision. And he said, “We're not going to stand in line with a lot of countries that don't matter.”

According to Robertson, in response, he suggested that the Russian president continue to form diplomatic relations and later look, “to what will it lead to.

Putin in 2000 did not rule out a scenario in which Russia would become part of NATO. He spoke about this in an interview with the BBC. in March of that year. Asked if Russia might one day join NATO, he replied: “Why not? I do not rule out such a possibility. I repeat, if Russia's interests are taken into account, if it becomes a full partner. I want to emphasize this especially.

Then he recalled that Russia objects to the expansion of NATO to the east. He explained that these objections are based not on Russia's interests in relation to other territories, but on concerns about “the place in the world that our own country occupies today and will occupy tomorrow.”

“And if we trying to exclude them from the decision-making process, this causes fear and irritation on our part. But this does not mean that we are ready to slam the door and lock ourselves up, engage in isolationism. Of course not, — the President emphasized then.

Now the possible expansion of NATO to the East, that is, the entry into the bloc of Ukraine and Georgia, is the main item on the agenda of negotiations between representatives of Russia and the United States. Moscow demanded legal security guarantees from the alliance and Washington by sending draft treaties to both sides. The US has already said that some of the paragraphs in them are “unacceptable”. Moscow is now waiting for a detailed written response from the United States and NATO to its proposals.

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The State Department listed examples of “disinformation” of Russia on Ukraine

The US State Department compiled a list of what it called Russia's “false claims” about Ukraine The State Department compiled a list of what it called Moscow's “false claims” about Ukraine. They, according to the State Department, are used in a disinformation campaign and to justify the “invasion” of the territory of Ukraine

The US State Department has compiled a list of what it calls “false claims” Russia on the situation in Ukraine and the behavior of the Ukrainian authorities, the list is published on the agency’s website. Each such statement attributed to Russia, the State Department has accompanied its vision of what is happening.

The American department noted that they received information about some Russian military and intelligence structures that are participating in the information war against Ukraine. They are trying to “make Ukraine and the Ukrainian government look like an aggressor” in relations with Russia, the State Department said in a statement. This, in his opinion, is necessary in order for Western countries to believe that Ukraine's behavior can provoke a “global conflict”. Also, Russia thus tries to convince its citizens of the need for military action on the territory of Ukraine, the United States believes.

The State Department provided several allegations attributed to Russia, as well as their responses to them:

  • “Allegation”; Russia: “Ukraine and Kiev are the aggressor in Russian-Ukrainian relations.” State Department response: “False claims by the Putin regime place the blame on the victim, Ukraine, [and blame it] for Russian aggression. Russia invaded Ukraine in 2014, occupied Crimea, controls military forces in the Donbas and now has more than 100,000 troops on the border with Ukraine, while President Putin threatens “retaliatory military-technical” measures if its requirements are not met»
  • «Assertion» Russia: “The West is pushing Ukraine to participate in the conflict.” State Department response: “Moscow initiated the current crisis by deploying more than 100,000 troops on the border with Ukraine, while no such military action was carried out on the Ukrainian side of the border. <…> Russia blames others for its aggression, but it is Moscow that must end this crisis peacefully through de-escalation and diplomacy.
  • Russia: “Deployment of Russian combat forces— it is just the movement of troops across its territory. State Department response: “Deployment of more than 100,000 Russian military, including combat forces and offensive weapons involved in the battles, without a plausible explanation, to the borders of the country, the territory of which Russia had previously invaded and still occupies parts of it, — it's not just a rotation of troops.”
  • Russia: “Russia protects ethnic Russians in Ukraine.” State Department response: There is no credible evidence that any ethnic Russians or people who speak Russian are under threat from the Ukrainian government.
  • "Statement" Russia: “NATO <…> has surrounded Russia with troops, broken promises not to expand, and threatens Russia's security with the prospect of Ukraine's NATO membership. State Department response: NATO is a defensive alliance whose purpose is to protect its members. <…> NATO did not surround Russia— the length of the Russian land border is more than 20 thousand km. <…> NATO has never promised not to accept new members. NATO expansion is not directed against Russia.

The State Department also released a separate report on Russia's RT and Sputnik, calling them “critical elements in Russia's disinformation and propaganda ecosystem.” They said that the media use “the guise of conventional international media to support the Kremlin's foreign policy goals through disinformation and propaganda.” Kirill Vyshinsky, in response to the accusations of the State Department, advised “not to shift from a sick head to a healthy one.” “We can’t compete with you in ‘spreading propaganda and misinformation. You are doing it so masterfully and massively that we just have to do our job: publish the facts and expose your lies, — he said (quote from RIA Novosti).

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The Central Bank proposed a total ban on cryptocurrencies in Russia

The regulator offers many arguments in favor of a complete ban on any operations with this type of finance for Russians.

The Central Bank of Russia proposed a total ban in Russia on the issuance, mining and circulation of cryptocurrencies.

At the same time, the authors of the initiative propose to introduce liability for violating the ban.

The risk is indicated as a reason threats associated with the spread of this type of money, including the financial “bubble”, which may arise in the local market.

The report “Cryptocurrencies: Trends, Risks, Measures” published by the Central Bank states that private investors risk completely losing their investments by investing in cryptocurrencies, the rate of which depends on public recognition and chances to use them in various transactions, including those that violate the law.

“The growth of the cryptocurrency market largely reflects the formation of a bubble in the market,” Central Bank analysts said.

The same ban, in their opinion, should be imposed on financial transactions with cryptocurrency for organizations in the sphere, as well as its use in financial instruments, the participation of Russian intermediaries in them and, in general, any participation of the domestic market in such monetary circulation.

As a timeliness of such a decision, the Central Bank recalled that Russia came in third in terms of capacities used for mining, their share is 11% of the total world resource. Further growth can disrupt the work of other enterprises, because. the amount of energy consumed will also increase.

Thus, analysts recalled the Irkutsk region with its almost two-fold increase in electricity consumption (1.6 times) against the backdrop of the lowest tariffs for residents.

As a result, last year the number of citizens whose expenses increased by 62% electricity increased 13 times more than the usual size. Judging by the data on their personal accounts, it is these consumers who take 25% of all electricity in the region.

In addition, cryptocurrencies are not provided within the country for domestic settlements, which is also a reason for their ban, the Central Bank believes.


The speaker of the Kremlin, Dmitry Peskov, also expressed his opinion about the proposed ban.

He said that this issue is not the prerogative of the presidential administration, thus referring journalists to the relevant departments, which should analyze this issue.

On the eve of the Central Bank's statement, Bloomberg claimed that the decision of the Bank of Russia was influenced by the arguments of the FSB.

As Topnews wrote earlier, the General Prosecutor's Office of the Russian Federation announced the rules for the arrest and confiscation of cryptocurrencies from Russians.



Manturov called the consequences of the ban on the export of electronics to Russia

Manturov: restrictions on the export of electronics to Russia will hit US manufacturers Earlier, Reuters learned about the plans of the White House to limit the export of chips to Russia in the event of an invasion of Ukraine. According to the head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Washington seeks to oust competitors from the market, including potential ones .jpg” alt=”Manturov called the consequences of the ban on the export of electronics to Russia” />

Semiconductor production

Restrictions on the supply of semiconductors and electronics manufactured using American technologies to Russia will hit the manufacturers themselves, Denis Manturov, head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, warned, TASS reports.

“Possible restrictions on the supply of products manufactured abroad using American technologies in first of all, they will hit the producers themselves, who may lose an attractive market, and encourage them to look for alternative technological partners in countries that do not use this kind of manipulation, — the minister said. He added that Russia is open “to a constructive dialogue” with foreign partners.

Manturov said that the intention to impose restrictions on the supply of semiconductors to Russia reflects the policy of Washington “to oust any, even potential competitors, from the market.” He cited the example of the actions of the US administration against the Chinese company Huawei: The US Department of Commerce blacklisted in 2019, citing a threat to national security.

According to the critical nomenclature of the electronic component base, deliveries from the United States to the Russian Federation are practically not carried out even now, and the mass segment is represented on the global market mainly by manufacturers from China and Southeast Asia, the head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade noted.

Earlier, Reuters reported that the National Security Council (NSC) of the United States warned the association of chip manufacturers about the possibility of new restrictions on exports to Russia in the event of its invasion of Ukraine. “The NSS indicated that the administration is actively considering all possible options,” — according to an email received by the agency. In particular, the possibility of export restrictions similar to those already in force against Iran and North Korea is being considered. In addition, in relation to Russia, tools may be used that once allowed Huawei to be cut off from the supply of components.

In early January, The New York Times wrote that Washington was discussing the imposition of sanctions to ban the export of any consumer goods to Russia. designed in the United States or containing US-made parts. In addition, Russia’s disconnection from the largest financial institutions and international payment systems and an embargo on the export of developments in the field of defense and consumer industries are being considered.

Bloomberg reported back in December 2021 that the US and EU in the event of an ; may impose sanctions against the largest Russian banks and RDIF.

At the end of last year, information began to appear in the foreign media about the accumulation of Russian troops near the border with Ukraine. Politicians in some Western countries also began to talk about a possible invasion: for example, US Deputy Secretary of State Victoria Nuland said that it could happen as early as early 2022. The Russian side has repeatedly stated that it is not going to attack anyone and that the movement of troops across the country's territory is its internal affair.

Representatives of the American administration have repeatedly warned that in relation to Russia “unprecedented sanctions” will be imposed if it attacks Ukraine.

Democratic senators have published a draft package of sanctions against Russia's leadership and banking sector. According to the document, the president, the prime minister, the heads of the Foreign and Defense Ministry, as well as at least three organizations from the following list may be subject to restrictions: Sberbank, VTB, Gazprombank, VEB, RDIF, MKB, Alfa-Bank, Rosselkhozbank, Otkritie; , Promsvyazbank, Sovcombank, Transcapitalbank.

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Blinken called Nord Stream 2 a lever of influence on Russia

Blinken: Nord Stream 2 remains a lever of influence on Russia until its launch According to the head of the State Department, as long as there is no gas flowing through Nord Stream 2, the project is a lever of pressure for the US and Germany

Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline remains for the United States, Germany and their allies a lever of influence on Russia until gas supplies through it begin, said US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken at a press conference with German Foreign Minister Annalena Burbock in Berlin.

“Worth noting that gas does not flow through the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. This means that it [the pipeline] is a lever of influence for Germany, for the United States and our allies, and not for Russia, — said the Secretary of State.

Blinken said that he and Burbock had agreed, among other things, to “oppose Russia's use of energy resources as a weapon.”

He noted that the United States is considering all possible options for Russia's actions against Ukraine and is discussing with partners the response to them. According to the Secretary of State, among the possible scenarios for Moscow— “hybrid attacks and attacks using armed formations.”

Burbock, in turn, said that in the event of further escalation on the Russian-Ukrainian border, all measures regarding Nord Stream 2 would be considered. She added that Germany is discussing possible sanctions against Russia with the United States and other EU countries. The minister once again called on Russia to de-escalate.

On January 13, it became known that in the United States, the bill of Republican Senator Ted Cruz on new sanctions against Nord Stream 2 did not win enough votes in the upper house. At the same time, on January 3, Politico wrote that the Republicans were confident that the document would soon be approved.

Construction of Nord Stream 2 completed in autumn 2021. The gas pipeline is ready for launch, but first it must obtain permission from the German and European regulators. The German Federal Network Agency stated on December 16 that a decision on certification was not expected in the first half of 2022.

The United States has consistently opposed the construction of the gas pipeline, arguing that Russia will use it to put pressure on other countries.

Washington planned to introduce new sanctions against Nord Stream 2 last May, but President Joe Biden dropped the idea, pointing out that it was “unproductive” for relations with Europe. However, the possibility of sanctions in the West was again discussed after foreign media began to publish reports about the impending Russian invasion of Ukraine at the end of 2021. Moscow has repeatedly denied these accusations. Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine demanded tougher sanctions against Russia and restrictions on Nord Stream 2.

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Zelensky responded to Biden’s words about the “minor invasion” of Russia

Zelensky told Biden that there are no “minor invasions” Biden had previously said that NATO countries may not agree on possible sanctions against Russia if it undertakes a “minor invasion” of Ukraine. Zelensky then stated that “there are no minor aggressions”

Volodymyr Zelensky

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky after the words of American leader Joe Biden about a possible “minor invasion” Russia said on Twitter that “minor aggressions” does not happen.

“We would like to remind the great powers that there are no minor aggressions, just as there are no small nations. There are no insignificant sacrifices, and there is no small grief from the loss of loved ones,»,— wrote Zelensky, noting that he says this “as the president of a great power.”

On Jan. 19, Biden told reporters that he admits the possibility of a “minor intrusion” Russia to Ukraine, — according to him, in such a scenario, NATO countries may be divided in their opinion on the appropriate response to aggression. “It's one thing if it's a minor invasion, then we'll have to argue about what to do and what not to do. But if they really do what they can do with the troops gathered on the border, then this will turn out to be a disaster for Russia, — the president said. According to him, Russia in any case “will bear responsibility” for aggression.

Subsequently, in response to a question about what he meant by “minor intrusion,” Biden said that for him the line that should not be crossed would be “Russian forces crossing the border and killing Ukrainian soldiers. “I think this will change everything,” — he emphasized.

An official from the Ukrainian administration told CNN after this statement that Kiev was shocked by Biden's words. “This will give [Russian President Vladimir] Putin a free hand, [allow him to] invade Ukraine as he pleases,” he said.

After that, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said that the United States would be regarded as a “new invasion” any crossing by Russian military personnel of the border with Ukraine. This was confirmed at a press conference in Berlin on Thursday by Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, adding that “immediate and hard” the response of Washington and its allies.

On January 18, Psaki stated that Russia could launch an attack on Ukraine at any moment.

Moscow repeatedly assured that it was not going to attack anyone. Presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov said on January 16 that Russia excludes the deployment of offensive weapons on the territory of Ukraine.

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Reuters learned the attitude of Russia and Ukraine to the idea of ​​Turkey on de-escalation

Reuters: Russia and Ukraine do not object to Turkey's participation in de-escalation Earlier, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan offered his assistance in resolving the conflict. According to Reuters, Moscow and Kiev are not against Ankara's participation in the de-escalation alt=”Reuters learned the attitude of Russia and Ukraine to the idea of ​​Turkey on de-escalation” />

Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Russia and Ukraine may consider the idea of ​​Turkey's participation in resolving the conflict between them, Reuters writes, citing Turkish diplomatic sources.< /p>

“Both Russia and Ukraine are positive about Turkey's mediation”,— said one of the interlocutors of the agency.

On January 19, the official representative of the Turkish President, Ibrahim Kalin, said that Ankara was ready to participate in the de-escalation of relations between Kiev and Moscow. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan invited Russian and Ukrainian counterparts to Turkey to “settle differences.” Kalyn explained the proposal by the fact that Turkey is at the same time “a friendly country to both Russia and Ukraine”; and a member of NATO.

Press Secretary of the President of Russia Dmitry Peskov, commenting on this information, said that Moscow would only be happy if Turkey could push Ukraine to implement the Minsk agreements. According to him, the question of the place of negotiations is secondary.

This is not the first time the Turkish leader offers his help: in November 2021, he already announced his desire to participate in resolving the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. Peskov then said that the idea of ​​holding a summit on Donbass with the participation of the leaders of Russia, Ukraine and Turkey does not make sense, since Moscow is not a party to the conflict.

According to Reuters, Turkey is also discussing the possibility of holding the next summit in Istanbul meetings of the Minsk Group. The sources did not specify the date of the proposed meeting, but said that Russia, Ukraine, the OSCE and the unrecognized republics of Donbass are expected to attend.

February 3, the day of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Turkey and Ukraine, Erdogan will travel to Kiev. There, he intends to meet with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky in Kiev at the tenth meeting of the high-level strategic council. The parties will sign agreements and memorandums of understanding, including on defense issues.

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Cellular operators in Russia raise prices for mobile communications

The cost of archive plans will increase by 10%.

In Russia, mobile operators in 2022 increase the cost of archival tariffs. On average, mobile communications will rise in price by 10-12% this year. The operators themselves explain that this is due to the rise in equipment costs and the growth of mobile traffic.

The Kommersant publication found out that in the near future the cost of VimpelCom's archive plans will increase by 10%.

Next, MegaFon raises prices, and later Tele2. Since January of this year, prices for MTS tariffs have increased: by an average of 60 rubles.

Vympelcom announced that they would change the cost of archival plans, and subscriptions in advance warn them by offering them new services. So far, the company has about 40 archival tariffs.

Before VimpelCom, MTS also offered its subscribers a choice of services. This mobile operator explained that the construction of networks has risen in price in the country, prices for electricity and external contractors have risen.

MTS was the first to set the upward trend.

“As a rule, operators look at each other and hesitate to raise prices first among competitors”, – experts say.

Services and legal requirements are becoming more expensive, for example, the implementation of the Yarovaya Law.

Experts confirm that mobile operators will raise prices to bring them up to current realities . Some tariffs worked for 5-6 years. With the help of a rise in price, companies will push subscribers to change their tariff. Moreover, some tariffs will be cheaper than the old ones.

By the way, in 2021 the services of mobile operators have risen in price by 2%, in 2022 by 10-12%. In the meantime, the most expensive services are in Chechnya, Dagestan, and the cheapest ones are in Moscow, Magadan, Sakhalin, etc.

As Topnews wrote earlier, Russians were warned about rising food prices. The cost of meat, semi-finished products, sausages will increase several times – by 7-20%, experts predict.

Retail chains report that this is due to the rise in the cost of raw materials and packaging.

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The Metropolitan who returned the icon of Our Lady of Tikhvin from the USA to Russia has died

Retired Metropolitan Vladimir (Kotlyarov), who participated in the return to Russia of the Tikhvin Icon of the Mother of God “Hodegetria”, painted by the Evangelist Luke, died at the age of 93.

“Our leader appeared before God” hellip; Kingdom of heaven and eternal rest, dear Vladyka!” – Bishop Nazariy of Kronstadt wrote on Facebook.

According to legend, the Tikhvin Icon appeared in the air over the waters of Lake Ladoga in the 14th century. In December 1941, she was taken to Riga, where she came to Bishop John, who came to the USA with her 8 years later.

The shrine was kept in the United States until 2004, when it was solemnly returned by a delegation led by Metropolitan Vladimir .

Earlier it was reported that the Moscow Art Theater returned to the St. Petersburg Church of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker the relics and two icons that were in the so-called prayer room.


Biden compared the possible “invasion” of Russia to Ukraine with the Second World War

Biden: Russia's invasion of Ukraine will be the most serious event since World War II Biden is concerned that the situation around Ukraine could “get out of control”

If Russia “invades” Ukraine to Ukraine, this step will have serious consequences for the world, US President Joe Biden said at a press conference.

According to Biden, if Russian President Vladimir Putin makes such a decision, it will be “the most serious event that has happened in the world in terms of war and peace since the Second World War.” (quote from CBS).

The US leader said he was concerned that the situation on the Russian-Ukrainian border “may get out of control”, including due to the fact that Ukraine borders on several NATO countries. “The only war worse than planned,” this is an unintentional war,— he said.

Biden warned Russia of tough economic measures, including a ban on banks from dealing in dollars, in the event of an escalation in Ukraine. At the same time, he said that the Russian authorities have not yet made a final decision on actions against the neighboring country, and expressed confidence that Putin does not want a full-scale war with the West.

On January 18, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that the United States believes Russia may launch an “attack” on to a neighboring country at any time. However, she stressed, in response to this, the strictest sanctions from the West will follow.

Moscow has repeatedly rejected reports of a planned “aggression”; regarding Kiev. The Russian Foreign Ministry emphasized that the actions of the Russian armed forces on the territory of the country — “legitimate right of a sovereign state”. Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov called the “outrageous measure” imposition of likely restrictions on the country's leadership and warned that they could lead to a complete cessation of relations between the United States and Russia.

The day before, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky delivered a video message to the nation in which he said that “Ukraine does not want war, but must always be ready for it,” and urged citizens not to panic about the news of a possible Russian invasion. According to him, the war with the participation of Ukraine has been going on for the eighth year already.

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What kind of new aircraft appeared in Russia to replace the “corn”?

Flight tests of the newest Russian light multi-purpose aircraft “Baikal” enter active phase — it became known that the car broke away from the ground. This aircraft was designed to replace the An-2 and AIF. ru suggests to understand its peculiarities.

What happened?

“Baikal” during one of runs along the runway, it took off the ground and flying a few meters again descended onto the runway. The first full-fledged flight should be completed by the end of January. They wanted to start its flight tests in October last year, but subsequently they rescheduled the beginning of 2022. nicknamed one of the  most efficient, sought-after, irreplaceable and  long-operated aircraft of domestic design. The reason for this is its versatility or, in modern terms, utility, resulting in the indispensability of its agricultural modification. However, they want to replace the indispensable aircraft practically from the moment it began to be operated.

Plans for production

Project "Baikal" has been developed since  2019 and should replace the obsolete light multi-purpose aircraft (LMS) An-2, known as “maize”. Now, according to plans, they want to produce 30 winged vehicles per year.

The aircraft will be assembled in Komsomolsk-on-Amur (KnAAZ), and not at UZGA in Yekaterinburg. For the production of aircraft, a special assembly shop will be built next to the Komsomolsk-on-Amur Aviation Plant. In fact and  legally, it will be a separate production from  KnAAZ. According to plans, the production of LMS-901 aircraft should be 30 units per year, with further growth to 50.

The Ural Civil Aviation Plant (UZGA) expects to conclude a firm contract this year for the supply of ten Baikal aircraft in 2023-2025, Oleg Bogomolov, UZGA Sales and Marketing Director , said in the summer.< /strong>

The cost of “Baikal” in the basic version is 120 million rubles. The volume of the market of the state order of the Russian Federation for "Baikal"aircraft can reach 300 cars until 2030.  


The developer of “Baikal”, which should replace the Soviet “maize”, is the company “Baikal Engineering” (subsidiary structure of UZGA). “Baikal” will be equipped with a domestic VK-800 engine. This aircraft is created to increase the transport accessibility of remote regions of Russia and the development of local airlines.

History of creation

LMS-901 “Baikal” cannot be considered absolutely new: when creating it, they used the backlog of the T-101 Grach aircraft, which made its first flight in 1994. Around the & nbsp; 90th year, the idea arose to make a car in & nbsp; the dimensions of the An-2 aircraft. Because the operation of the aircraft was coming to an end, there were problems with spare parts, with gasoline. There was an idea to make a car with kerosene, without gasoline, without fabric.

History of "Rook" got a sequel. The chief designer of OSKBES MAI, with & nbsp; partners, offered the T-101 in the guise of Viscount V100. Later, UZGA began to gain strength, which occupied a niche in flights up to 50 persons. 


“Baikal” easy to maintenance, can be repaired in field conditions and stored outside of hangars at temperatures from minus 50 to plus 50 degrees Celsius. Depending on the cabin layout, it can be used as a passenger, cargo, agricultural or medical aircraft.

As Baikal-Engineering Company reported, the aircraft created by Russian designers and engineers is safe, affordable and versatile, and its economic performance is significantly better than that of foreign competitors, the price is 30-50%, and  cost per flight hour — more than two times less.

LMS-901 “Baikal” has a length of 12.2 meters, a height — 3.7 meters and wingspan — 16.5 & nbsp; meters. Maximum takeoff weight — 4.8 tons, speed — up to 300 km/h. Maximum flight range — 3 thousand km. Accommodates 9 passengers and can carry up to 2 tons of payload. At current it is equipped with a General Electric H80-200 engine;

https://t. me/bmpd_cast/10296


The celebration of Epiphany in the regions of Russia

On January 19, Orthodox believers in Russia celebrate the Epiphany. This day is associated with the gospel event — baptism by John the Forerunner of Jesus Christ in the Jordan River. Baptism in Russia is traditionally accompanied by Epiphany bathing in ice holes (Jordan).

Epiphany celebration in Russian cities — in the photo feed.

Rector of the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Archpriest Yevgeny Popichenko (left) during the rite of consecrating water on Epiphany Christmas Eve at Verkh-Isetsky Pond in Yekaterinburg © RIA Novosti/Pavel Lisitsyn

A man during Epiphany bathing in a font in the waters of the Verkh-Isetsky pond in Yekaterinburg © RIA Novosti/Pavel Lisitsyn

A believer during a water-blessed prayer service for Baptism in the Church of St. Nicholas in Moscow © RIA Novosti/Mikhail Voskresensky

Distribution of Epiphany water on the day of the celebration of the Epiphany in the Church of the Holy Righteous John of Kronstadt in Moscow © RIA Novosti/Sergey Pyatakov

Distribution of Epiphany water on the day of the celebration of the Epiphany in the Church of the Holy Righteous John of Kronstadt in Moscow © RIA Novosti/Sergey Pyatakov

A man during Epiphany bathing in a font in the waters of the Middle Harbor in Kronstadt © RIA Novosti/Alexander Galperin =”541″ width=”800″ style=”display: block;” />

During Epiphany bathing in a font in the water area of ​​the Middle Harbor in Kronstadt © RIA Novosti/Alexander Galperin

A clergyman during the blessing of water in a font in Pereslavl-Zalessky © Reuters

A woman during Epiphany bathing in a font in Pereslavl-Zalessky © Reuters

A man during Epiphany bathing in a font on the Ob River in Novosibirsk © RIA Novosti/Alexander Kryazhev

Men during Epiphany bathing in a font on the territory of the New Jerusalem Museum and Exhibition Complex in the Moscow Region © RIA Novosti/Valery Melnikov

During Epiphany bathing in a font on the Ob River in Novosibirsk © RIA Novosti/Alexander Kryazhev 533″ width=”800″ style=”display: block;” />

A woman during Epiphany bathing in a font on the Ob River in Novosibirsk © RIA Novosti/Alexander Kryazhev

Men during Epiphany bathing in a font on the territory of the New Jerusalem Museum and Exhibition Complex in the Moscow Region © RIA Novosti/Valery Melnikov

A man during Epiphany bathing in a font in the waters of the Verkh-Isetsky pond in Yekaterinburg © RIA Novosti/Pavel Lisitsyn

Priests during Epiphany bathing in a font on the Ob River in Novosibirsk © RIA Novosti/Alexander Kryazhev “508” width=”800″ style=”display: block;” />

A man during Epiphany bathing in a font in the Third Bay of the Krasnoyarsk reservoir on the Yenisei River © RIA Novosti/Ilya Naimushin

Rector of the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Archpriest Yevgeny Popichenko (left) during the rite of water consecration on Epiphany Christmas Eve at Verkh-Isetsky Pond in Yekaterinburg © RIA Novosti/Pavel Lisitsyn

A man during Epiphany bathing in a font in the waters of the Verkh-Isetsky pond in Yekaterinburg © RIA Novosti/Pavel Lisitsyn ” height=”551″ width=”800″ style=”display: block;” />

A believer during a water-blessed prayer service for Baptism in the Church of St. Nicholas in Moscow © RIA Novosti/Mikhail Voskresensky

Distribution of Epiphany water on the day of the celebration of the Epiphany in the Church of the Holy Righteous John of Kronstadt in Moscow © RIA Novosti/Sergey Pyatakov jpg” height=”533″ width=”800″ style=”display: block;” />

Distribution of Epiphany water on the day of the celebration of the Epiphany in the Church of the Holy Righteous John of Kronstadt in Moscow © RIA Novosti/Sergey Pyatakov

A man during Epiphany bathing in a font in the waters of the Middle Harbor in Kronstadt © RIA Novosti/Alexander Galperin

During Epiphany bathing in a font in the waters of the Middle Harbor in Kronstadt © RIA Novosti/Alexander Galperin

A clergyman during the blessing of water in a font in Pereslavl-Zalessky © Reuters

A woman during Epiphany bathing in a font in Pereslavl-Zalessky © Reuters

A man during Epiphany bathing in a font on the Ob River in Novosibirsk © RIA Novosti/Alexander Kryazhev “528” width=”800″ style=”display: block;” />

Men during Epiphany bathing in a font on the territory of the New Jerusalem Museum and Exhibition Complex in the Moscow Region © RIA Novosti/Valery Melnikov

During Epiphany bathing in a font on the Ob River in Novosibirsk © RIA Novosti/Alexander Kryazhev .jpg” height=”533″ width=”800″ style=”display: block;” />

A woman during Epiphany bathing in a font on the Ob River in Novosibirsk © RIA Novosti/Alexander Kryazhev

Men during Epiphany bathing in a font on the territory of the New Jerusalem Museum and Exhibition Complex in the Moscow Region © RIA Novosti/Valery Melnikov

A man during Epiphany bathing in a font in the waters of the Verkh-Isetsky pond in Yekaterinburg © RIA Novosti/Pavel Lisitsyn

Priests during Epiphany bathing in a font on the Ob River in Novosibirsk © RIA Novosti/Alexander Kryazhev

A man during Epiphany bathing in a font in the Third Bay of the Krasnoyarsk reservoir on the Yenisei River © RIA Novosti/Ilya Naimushin


Bloomberg learned about the transfer of the British Foreign Office to a crisis mode because of Russia

Bloomberg: UK FM to go into crisis mode amid Ukraine tensions Switching to this mode means diplomats and other FM officials will focus on policy towards Ukraine and Russia, as well as Britain's work on a response in the event of an escalation, including sanctions < p>

The UK authorities have instructed UK Foreign Office staff to be prepared to switch to crisis mode as soon as possible amid growing concerns about “Russian aggression” in relation to Ukraine, Bloomberg reports citing a source.

The interlocutor of the agency specified that the employees of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs were informed about this this week. The launch of the crisis regime will mean the redistribution of duties of the leading employees of the department. They will primarily focus on policy issues towards Russia and Ukraine, as well as developing UK responses to rising potential tensions, including work on “containment”; and sanctions.

The instructions received by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs say that “this is a critical work to form and ensure security.” in Europe.

Some experts have already been brought in to develop contingency plans, a source told Bloomberg. The ministry did not respond to the agency's request.

The order to switch to a crisis regime does not mean that the British authorities consider a Russian attack on Ukraine inevitable, the agency notes. Rather, it is a precautionary measure that will allow the ministry to react quickly if necessary.

The day before, British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said that London would supply Kiev with light anti-tank weapons for self-defense due to the “increasingly threatening behavior of Russia”: according to the minister, there is real reason to worry that Moscow will show military aggression. He stressed that the systems are not strategic weapons and do not pose a threat to Russia. “Ukraine has every right to defend its borders, the new aid package will further expand its ability to do so,” — Wallace said.

The minister also invited his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu to London to discuss the situation. The Times reported last week that British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss may be planning a visit to Moscow to hold talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Western media began reporting late last year on Russia's impending invasion of Ukraine , referring to the concentration of Russian troops near the Ukrainian border. Then similar fears began to be expressed by the authorities of the United States, Germany, Britain and other countries, the West threatened Moscow with harsh sanctions in the event of an attack on Ukraine.

The Kremlin denied these assumptions more than once, called them escalation of tension, and emphasized that Moscow there are no aggressive plans towards other countries. Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that not Russia, but NATO is gradually invading Ukraine “with its infrastructure, its instructors, stocks of defensive and offensive weapons” and in these conditions the Russian side must take precautions.

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WSJ learned what the next US sanctions over Russia and Ukraine will be

WSJ: US prepares sanctions against four “pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine” Restrictions, which include an asset freeze, will be imposed against four “pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine”, Washington will announce them on Thursday, January 20th. The United States does not yet want to introduce measures directly against Russia, writes WSJ =”WSJ learned what the next US sanctions will be because of Russia and Ukraine” />

The US is preparing financial sanctions against “pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine,” reports The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), citing sources. According to the newspaper, the measures are to put diplomatic pressure on Moscow and “dissuade her from invading”; to a neighboring country.

Sanctions will affect at least four people, they mean the freezing of their assets in the United States, the newspaper writes. Against whom exactly the restrictions will be introduced, it is not specified. Washington is expected to announce these measures on Thursday, January 20.

The sanctions will be adopted as part of US President Joe Biden's April 2021 executive order targeting individuals involved in “external aggression” Russia, writes WSJ.

The US Department of State and Treasury did not respond to the publication's request.

The newspaper's sources note that the imposition of sanctions against citizens of Ukraine, and not the Russian authorities, indicates “some indecision”; administration of the United States in relation to direct action against Moscow. Washington and allies hope for a diplomatic solution to the situation around Ukraine, writes WSJ.

US Deputy Secretary of State Victoria Nuland said the United States has prepared 18 scenarios for sanctions against Russia in the event of an attack on Ukraine. According to The New York Times, among the measures being considered are — a ban on the export to Russia of any consumer goods: from mobile phones and laptops to refrigerators and washing machines designed in the United States or containing American-made parts. Bloomberg wrote last year that the sanctions imply cutting Russia off from SWIFT and limiting the ruble's conversion.

On January 12, the US Senate released a draft of a new package of sanctions prepared by the Democrats against Russia's national debt, the banking sector and leadership of the country, including against President Vladimir Putin. Then Republican Senator Marco Rubio introduced a bill in the Senate “On the containment of authoritarian military actions”, which provides for tough personal sanctions against Putin and other leaders of the country in the event of a further escalation in Ukraine.

Moscow has repeatedly rejected reports of planned “aggression” regarding Kiev. Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov called the “outrageous measure” imposition of likely restrictions against Putin and warned that they could lead to a complete cessation of relations between the countries, “which would not be in the interests of either Moscow or Washington.”

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The United States announced the possibility of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine through Belarus

US State Department: Russia may use exercises in Belarus to attack Ukraine According to a State Department official, Russia may use troops sent to Belarus to conduct exercises to invade. The Ministry of Defense of Belarus called the purpose of the exercises an assessment of the readiness of the forces of the Union State to protect the borders

Russian troops arriving in Belarus could be used to attack Ukraine, a senior US State Department official said. Exercises in Belarus give Russia an opportunity to attack a neighboring country, according to Washington.

“The information we have suggests that Belarus may play a role in Russia's planned invasion of Ukraine. <…> There is concern about reports of Russian troops moving into Belarus under the pretext of regular planned joint military exercises,— said a spokesman for the department. He pointed to the possibility of an attack on Ukraine from the north.

Moscow sent more troops than the US could expect as part of a standard exercise, according to a State Department official.

The official also said it was “a defining moment” for Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko. and he must decide on the future sovereignty of his country.

On January 18, the first units of the Russian Armed Forces arrived in the republic, which will participate in the joint exercises “Allied Resolve”. The troops will arrive from Russia throughout the entire first stage of the exercises, after unloading they will go to the training area.

The Ministry of Defense of Belarus called the goal of the joint exercises to assess the readiness of the forces of the Union State to carry out tasks to neutralize threats at the borders. The military will work out the regrouping of forces over long distances and perform combat training tasks. The main result of the maneuvers should be an assessment of the ability of commanders and troops to quickly respond to challenges to the military security of the Union State, the department noted.

Lukashenka announced the exercises on January 17. They will be held in February (the head of the republic did not name the exact dates). According to him, he and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed on the need for maneuvers in December last year.

“Today we see what we need in this western and southern region, the “Belarusian balcony”, to conduct solid exercises,— Lukashenka said.

Earlier on Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that Russia could launch an attack on Ukraine at any moment.

The situation on the Russian-Ukrainian border escalated in the fall of 2021 : foreign media began to publish materials about the impending “invasion”; Russia to Ukraine. Moscow has repeatedly rejected such accusations and stated that it does not plan any attack.

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Sullivan said the number of cyberattacks decreased after contacts between the United States and Russia

Assistant to the President of the United States Sullivan: the number of cyber attacks on the United States has decreased after contacts with the Russian Federation According to the adviser to the President of the United States, the number of ransomware attacks on infrastructure has decreased in recent months. He thanked Russia for detaining the hackers who staged such cyberattacks

The United States has noted a decrease in hacker activity in recent months, said Jake Sullivan, assistant to the president for national security. He thanked Russia for its assistance in this area.

“Over the past few months, we have seen a decrease in activity in the field of high-profile ransomware attacks against key infrastructure,”— he said in an interview with Foreign Policy.

He commended the Russian authorities' detention of “several criminals linked to extortionate cyberattacks in the United States.”

On January 14, the FSB reported on the suppression of the activities of the REvil hacker group, whose members used malware to steal money from the accounts of foreign citizens and companies. Alleged hackers were detained in 14 Russian cities, some of them were arrested. “The basis for the search activities was the appeal of the competent authorities of the United States”, — reported to the FSB.

According to the US authorities, the leader of the group is involved in “encroachments on the information resources of foreign high-tech companies by introducing malicious software, encrypting information and extorting money for its decryption.”

Among the victims of REvil were one of Apple's key partners, Quanta Computer, the largest meat producer JBS Foods, IT company Acer and others. According to a Kaspersky Lab report, the group earned $100 million in 2020.

The presidents of Russia and the United States have been discussing cyberattacks by hackers since last summer. Joe Biden demanded that Vladimir Putin stop the activity of extortionists.

/6/08/756358485252086.jpg” alt=”Sullivan announced a decrease in the number of cyber attacks after contacts between the US and Russia” />


FT praised Russia’s preparations for new US and EU sanctions

FT: Russia is better prepared than the EU for the consequences of possible sanctions Russia is quite prepared for the consequences of possible sanctions, writes the Financial Times. The European Union, in turn, was unable to reduce dependence on Russian gas, oil and other raw materials

Russia has prepared for the sanctions that Western countries promise to impose in the event of its “invasion” to Ukraine, writes the Financial Times.

According to the publication, Moscow was helped in this, in particular, by actions aimed at reducing dependence on the global financial system.

The newspaper quoted Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov as saying in an interview with RBC last week that the Russian economy would be able to withstand US sanctions. He added that Russia has already created a safety cushion in the form of the National Welfare Fund (NWF)— it will help protect the economy. According to Siluanov, Russian financial institutions will be able to cope with the risks that may arise.

“In general, we will withstand the restrictions that are being discussed today, but I think that this should not come to that,” ; said Siluanov.

The Financial Times also noted the de-dollarization of the economy initiated by the Russian authorities. In 2018, President Vladimir Putin backed a government-led plan in response to the tightening of US sanctions. According to ING Bank, in 2014–2019, the share of the dollar in Russia's trade and financial flows fell by 15–20 p.p.

In addition, Russia has become less dependent on foreign investors, the newspaper writes. At the same time, the European Union has not made due efforts to reduce its dependence on Russian energy resources.

At the end of last year, foreign media began to write about Russia's impending invasion of Ukraine. Soon, Western politicians also started talking about a possible attack. Moscow has denied these data more than once.

US Deputy Secretary of State Victoria Nuland announced 18 scenarios for sanctions against Russia in the event of military aggression. Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Russia is also considering different options for the development of the situation in the event of an escalation of the conflict over Ukraine, but believes that there should be “much fewer” of them; 18.

The New York Times wrote that the authorities are considering, in particular, a ban on the export of any consumer goods. Bloomberg reported that the sanctions imply Russia's disconnection from the interbank SWIFT and the restriction of the ruble conversion. Later, Handelsblatt, citing sources, wrote that the West was no longer considering the idea of ​​disconnecting Russian banks from SWIFT.

The Wall Street Journal reported on January 18 that Washington was preparing financial sanctions against at least four “pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine.” ; to put diplomatic pressure on Moscow and “dissuade it from invading.”

On January 12, the US Senate published a draft of a new package of sanctions prepared by the Democrats against Russia's public debt, the banking sector and the country's leadership, including President Vladimir Putin. In addition, Republican Marco Rubio introduced a bill providing for tough personal sanctions against Putin and other leaders of the country in the event of further escalation.

Peskov called the introduction of restrictions against the head of state an “outrageous measure” and stated that they could lead to a breakdown in relations between countries.

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Bloomberg learned that in the US they are discussing the “problem of Germany” because of Russia

Bloomberg: US discusses whether Germany is ready to impose tough sanctions on Russia Washington is concerned about whether Germany will be ready to impose tough sanctions on Russia if necessary, including restrictions on Nord Stream 2

The situation around Nord Stream 2 and the expanding influence of Russia could become a reason for disagreement between the US and Germany, writes Bloomberg, citing sources. Washington has doubts about Berlin's readiness for tough sanctions and is starting to talk about the “problem of Germany”, the agency's interlocutors say.

A former official associated with the current White House administration, in a conversation with Bloomberg, confirmed that the concerns of the US authorities lies in the fact that they doubt the readiness of the FRG for tough sanctions against Russia.

Nils Schmid, a Bundestag member and foreign policy spokesman for the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) faction involved in the formation of a new government coalition in Germany, told Bloomberg that it is “easy for the US to urge Germany to take a tougher stance.” “The West must ask itself if it was prepared to pay the economic price, including a possible energy boycott. There are good reasons not to do it,— he said.

On the discussion of the “problem of Germany” in the US, Bloomberg reported on the background of the visit of German Foreign Minister Annalena Burbock to Moscow. During a joint press conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Burbock announced the presence of a “chubby folder” disagreements in relations with Russia, including on fundamental issues. In particular, she pointed out that the future of Nord Stream 2 will be related to whether Russia will use energy as a weapon.

The previous German government, led by Angela Merkel, who represented the CDU (Christian Democratic Union) party, has repeatedly expressed interest in continuing the Nord Stream project -2».

«Gazprom» announced the completion of the gas pipeline in September 2021. Now the project must be approved by the German and then the European regulator. On December 16, the German Federal Network Agency, which is responsible for the certification of Nord Stream 2, announced that it would not make a decision on this issue until July 2022.

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Germany and NATO threatened Russia with a “tough reaction” because of Ukraine

Germany and NATO warned Russia about a “tough reaction” in case of aggression against Ukraine Western countries will prepare a tough response in case of growing tension around Ukraine, any aggression against the country “will have a high economic price”, Scholz and Stoltenberg warned

Russia will face a “tough reaction” Western countries in the event of any aggression against Ukraine, said German Chancellor Olaf Scholz at a joint press conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Berlin. The broadcast on Twitter was published by the representative of the North Atlantic Alliance, Oana Lugnescu.

“We are constantly talking about this and the possible need to prepare a joint response,” — he said. The chancellor threatened that “military aggression against Ukraine would have a high economic cost.”

According to Scholz, Germany expects Russia to take steps to de-escalate on the Russian-Ukrainian border, in particular, to reduce the number of its troops there.

At the same time, the chancellor pointed out that the FRG does not want tension between Berlin and Moscow, but is interested in constructive relations with it.

Stoltenberg also stated the importance of dialogue with Russia, especially on the issue of military exercises and reducing threats from nuclear and missile systems. He urged the Russian authorities to “refuse the decision to sever diplomatic ties with NATO”, as well as to take part in a series of meetings with the countries of the alliance to discuss European security and the situation in Ukraine.

The NATO Secretary General once again stated that the bloc will not compromise with Russia on the issue of non-expansion of the alliance or deployment of its military infrastructure. He also warned that Moscow would have to pay a “high price” for in case of further growth of tension around Ukraine.

Western countries have repeatedly stated that in the event of an invasion of Ukraine, tough sanctions would be imposed against Russia. The New York Times wrote that the US was considering a ban on exports to the country of any consumer products that use US-made or designed electronics. Possible sanctions were also reported by the Associated Press and Bloomberg. According to them, the United States may include Russia in the list of countries for which there are strict export restrictions. Now this list includes Iran, North Korea, Cuba and Syria. Among other measures— possible disconnection of Russia from SWIFT and restriction of ruble conversion.

Russia has repeatedly stated that the country does not threaten anyone and is not going to attack anyone, and the movement of troops on its own territory— her internal affairs. Presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov pointed out that against the background of the “unfriendly atmosphere” due to NATO exercises and the advance of its infrastructure to the east, Moscow is “forced to take precautionary measures.” “Russian troops are on the territory of the Russian Federation near the Ukrainian border, and we consider it necessary to leave them there in the face of a very tense situation,” — he said in an interview with CNN.

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US authorities allowed Russia to disconnect from SWIFT


The US administration does not rule out that Russian banks will be disconnected from the SWIFT system. This may happen in the event of a further escalation of the crisis around Ukraine, said White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki.

According to her, Washington continues to consult with partners on this matter. Psaki added that various options for tough sanctions are being considered “in case Russia invades Ukraine.”

Earlier, the future chairman of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) of Germany, Friedrich Merz, said that Russia's disconnection from the interbank transfer system information about SWIFT payments will undoubtedly hit the country's economy. But this measure will also hit the market as a whole and other states.

Before that, the head of the Eastern Committee of the German Economy, Oliver Hermes, also warned that the Russian Federation is not Iran and that it will not be possible to disconnect it from the SWIFT system painlessly for Western countries. In addition, Moscow may strengthen ties with China, which is highly undesirable.


Mass layoffs of officials predicted in Russia

A third of municipal employees may be left without work

Russian officials risk losing their jobs en masse due to the implementation of the new draft law on local self-government (LSG).

Photo: Yevgeny Semenov

Deputy Minister of Justice Andrey Loginov told Kommersant that by 2028 a third of municipal employees, more than 100, may lose their posts thousand people.

The new reform will hit civil servants of three federal districts: the Central, Southern and North Caucasian districts the hardest.

The bill was submitted to the State Duma at the end of last year. The document provides that rural and urban settlements will be deprived of their own governing bodies – heads and deputies.

Instead, it is proposed to create a single-level system of LSG, in which only urban and municipal districts will remain. At the same time, intracity districts are provided for in federal cities.

The reform is planned to be launched in early 2023 and completed by early 2028.

According to the Ministry of Justice, at the end of 2020, 293,000 municipal employees, including 119,000 in local governments of urban districts, will not be affected by the reform.

Another 111,000 people work at the level of municipal districts and districts – their number is planned to be reduced by half. The remaining 60 thousand are employed in local self-government bodies of urban and rural settlements – these rates are planned to be removed completely.


Europe is preparing Ukraine for a conflict with Russia: but Kiev will fight alone

Western partners do not give Zelensky offensive weapons

After a tense – and, in fact, inconclusive – last week of negotiations between Russia and the collective West, European countries are again increasing their activity in the Ukrainian direction . And if such states as Sweden use the conflict in Donbass to justify strengthening their defense, then, for example, Great Britain and Germany are talking about the supply of military assistance directly to Kiev. However, not without significant nuances.


German Foreign Minister Annalena Burbock began the third week of January with a trip to Ukraine, where she held a series of meetings, including face-to-face talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. During the contacts, the importance of interaction between the two states was again emphasized, as well as Germany's commitment to the principle of the territorial integrity of the Eastern European republic. However, such statements did not come as a surprise: a week earlier, Ukrainian representatives proudly reminded during the OSCE negotiations that the West is invariably on the side of Kiev.

However, during Burbock's visit, Ukrainians were also in for an unpleasant surprise. The German minister reiterated that her country does not intend to provide lethal weapons to Kiev for use in the Donbass conflict, and this problem itself must still be resolved exclusively on the diplomatic field, in particular, within the so-called Normandy format, where, in addition to Germany, includes Russia, Ukraine and France.

A fragile hope for the support of the case from the Ukrainian authorities was caused even by the statement of the head of the Bundestag committee on foreign policy, Michael Roth, representing the ruling Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD). According to him, Berlin will still be able to provide military assistance to Kiev in the future, but only in terms of the supply of protective equipment: body armor and helmets.

The position of Germany, despite the regularly declared solidarity with Ukraine, is quite understandable. As a member of the Normandy Four, Germany cannot afford to directly intervene in hostilities, which would be the supply of offensive or simply lethal weapons: this would simply marginalize its role in the negotiation process against the backdrop of France and Russia, which are also not parties to the conflict. In addition, Berlin fundamentally avoids direct intervention in territorial disputes, managing only official, albeit sometimes harsh, statements.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, in turn, expressed hope for the continuation of negotiations with the FRG on possible arms supplies, but this statement was made, rather, for the sake of the notorious “saving face” and for the domestic audience. Both the minister himself and his German partners are well aware that Berlin's decision is final. Even the United States, whose hands seem to be untied (they are not burdened with diplomatic obligations of the “Normandy format”, and there are enough “hawks” in the American Congress), and even then they were in no hurry to supply lethal weapons to Kiev: under these conditions, Germany definitely cannot run ahead of the locomotive meaning.

Nevertheless, Burbock's uncompromising statement, ironically, coincided with the activation of Great Britain in the Ukrainian direction. The authorities of the United Kingdom announced the start of deliveries of defensive weapons to Kiev, in particular, anti-tank ones.

The position of London in this context is much less categorical than the German one. On the one hand, formally, we are really talking about means of protection. The head of the British Ministry of Defense, Ben Wallace, emphasized that they do not pose a threat to Russia, not being strategic. He also denied the possibility of direct intervention in the hostilities in the Donbass. “It would be a mistake to assume that representatives of the British armed forces will go to Ukraine and unite with local [government] troops there,” the minister said. “That is why we are making every effort so that the Ukrainians can help themselves.” In addition, once again emphasizing the unwillingness to go into conflict with Moscow, Wallace recalled that a few weeks ago he invited his Russian colleague Sergei Shoigu to London to discuss security issues.

However, even despite such conditionally friendly rhetoric, the very fact of deliveries from the UK is a tricky move and, if I may say so, slippery. Anti-tank weapons, while formally defensive, are still incomparable with protective equipment like bulletproof vests, since in fact they are lethal in nature (it is difficult to avoid victims when an anti-tank projectile hits an armored vehicle). This is well understood in Kiev, Moscow, and London: the question is to what extent Russia is ready to turn a blind eye to a not too elegant British maneuver.

As for the Ukrainian side, it is no less important than the issue of armaments, for her remains “Nord Stream – 2”. Minister Kuleba, during a meeting with Burbock, raised this problem, again calling on Europe to prevent the operation of the gas pipeline. The head of the German Foreign Ministry, however, escaped with vague statements, which, in fact, nevertheless made it clear: the leading EU countries do not intend to sacrifice their energy stability to please the whims of Kiev.

Burbock's visit, like the “half-hearted” the position of London, proved once again: the resolution of the crisis in Ukraine is, first of all, in the US-Russian plane and, judging by the unsuccessful negotiations at the level of official representatives, in this case, a direct dialogue is needed between the US and Russian presidents, who can directly influence the parties Donbas conflict.


Borrell rules out preventive sanctions against Russia over Ukraine

Borrell: everyone could benefit from the revision of the European security architecture The EU is ready to take measures in case of “aggression” against Ukraine, but there is no talk of preventive restrictions, the diplomat said. He also did not rule out a revision of the European security architecture, which would be beneficial for everyone

On preventive restrictions against Russia in the event of an “invasion” is not going to Ukraine, said EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell.

“Nobody is talking about preventive sanctions, there can be no preventive sanctions. We discuss what to do if something happens. <…> If it is necessary to act, we will have to act,— said Borrell.

At the same time, he noted that the European Union is ready in the event of “aggression” take action against Ukraine.

The European Union agrees that the architecture of European security needs to be revised, this could benefit everyone, the head of European diplomacy pointed out. “Revisiting the European Security Architecture Could Benefit Everyone,” — he thinks. At the same time, the diplomat pointed out that it is impossible to discuss the security of Europe without Europe itself. “No decisions can be made without the participation of Europeans”, — he noticed.

Western media and politicians have repeatedly reported on the concentration of Russian troops to the border with Ukraine and a possible “invasion” to a neighboring country.

US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, in particular, recently said, citing intelligence, that Russia is looking for a pretext for “aggression” against Ukraine. “Russia is working to create a reason for the invasion, including through sabotage, accusing Ukraine of preparing an attack on Russian forces in eastern Ukraine,” — he said. CNN reported that Moscow is preparing “a task force to carry out a false flag operation in eastern Ukraine.” Later, this information was confirmed by White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki. According to her, “attack” should happen between mid-January and mid-February.

The West is threatening to take drastic measures if this happens. Among them, Russia's disconnection from SWIFT and the restriction of the ruble's conversion.

The New York Times wrote that the United States could effectively ban the export of any consumer goods to Russia— from mobile phones and laptops to refrigerators and washing machines,— designed in the USA or which contain parts of American production.

Preventive measures were insisted, in particular, by the former Special Representative of the US State Department for Ukraine, Kurt Volker, who asked not to wait until « too late.” They also called for it in Ukraine.

Russia has repeatedly stated that the movement of troops on its own territory— her internal affairs. At the same time, the Kremlin assured that the country did not threaten anyone and was not going to attack anyone.

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