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FBI now investigating Russian meddling in their OWN election

Moscow wired $400,000 to its embassies to help Russian citizens vote abroad

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(The Saker) – As defined in various civil rights acts and codes of civil crimes and offenses, the crime of harassment takes place when actions are committed with intent to harass, annoy or alarm another. The relations between states are not much different, especially when one state intentionally annoys, alarms and harasses the entire population of another country.

In yet another barbaric act of harassment of the Russian diplomats in the US, BuzzFeed, an online content generator and a click farm, announced on November 14th their “secret finding” of “60 Russian Payments “To Finance Election Campaign Of 2016.”  In human language, the Russian Foreign Ministry wired to the business accounts of Russia’s embassies around the world some small amount of money to provide Russian citizens abroad with a chance to vote in the parliamentary election on September 18, 2016.

This “breaking news” were instantly distributed among the pro-Trump and against-Trump crowds, with both sides claiming the this somehow proved the guilt of their opponents. “Russia wired $30,000 to its own U.S. embassy in August of last year. Per @BuzzFeedNews, “to finance election campaign of 2016” was the memo line. Dozens of other transactions were marked similarly.”

Right up front, the Buzzfeed acknowledged that although, “The FBI is scrutinizing more than 60 money transfers sent by the Russian Foreign Ministry to its embassies across the globe, most of them bearing a note that said the money was to be used “to finance election campaign of 2016,”   they received a clarification from the Russian government that the money were used to organize the polling stations in its own parliamentary election.

Nevertheless, the FBI reportedly stated to “investigate” “why Russia transferred nearly $400,000 to its embassies ‘to finance’ the ‘election campaign of 2016.”

‘The FBI is reviewing a series of wire transfers totaling more than $380,000 sent in August and September of last year by the Russian government to its embassies around the world. Most had the memo “to finance election campaign of 2016.”

The Business Insider reported that “The Senate Intelligence Committee, which BuzzFeed News says has been made aware of the wire transfers, asked the Treasury for its FinCEN records in April, The Wall Street Journal reported at the time. It received over 2,000 documents from the financial-crimes unit, which monitors over 200 million Bank Secrecy Act records involving more than 80,000 financial institutions.

Same day, the Embassy of Russia in the USA / Посольство России в США issued the following statement

“The issue of “Russian meddling” in the 2016 US presidential elections is close to becoming openly marginalized. This is obvious for the American media environment, as well as for numerous investigators into these allegations. Leftovers are being vacuumed throughout the media space, slow movers are being leaked.

A yet another confirmation of this is publication by BuzzFeed. Citing the FBI, they reported of an investigation of ‘suspicious’ transactions by the Russian Foreign Ministry to our embassies worldwide – ‘from Afghanistan to Nigeria,’ ‘to finance election campaign of 2016.’ It mentions Citibank, a bank used by the Russian Embassy in Washington.

It is of absolutely no surprise to us that in the universe of the US mainstream, Russia and the Russian Embassy in Washington have the only goal of undermining the basis of the local democracy. Now, BuzzFeed together with the FBI and Congress are investigating money transfers, on which the Embassy exists and carries out its functions in strict compliance with the Vienna convention. In fact, with assistance from Citibank, the Embassy’s activities are being investigated. This is the new American norm.

By the fact, we will have to disappoint those ‘investigators.’  We have carried out and we will carry out the State Duma and Russian presidential elections in line with our constitution. Including for Russian citizens abroad, worldwide. Including in the United States. If additional funds are needed to organize them, we will receive them from Moscow. Through Citibank. Or other one. Lawfully.

We are even grateful to BuzzFeed journalists for uncovering a yet another gross violation of elementary norms of interaction between local authorities and foreign diplomatic missions. And this attempt to artificially link Russia and the Embassy to domestic US political wrangling has failed in the most shameful manner.”

The information on the election was distributed via the Embassies’ web-sites and also by the local Russian language press and public organizations like KSORS.org – The Russian American Cultural Heritage Center.

The event was well organized and went without any reported problems. Before the election day there was some concern about the safety of people coming to vote. In Ukraine, for example, a Russian citizen was viciously attacked by a group of men.  In the US, the election poll workers were college-age men and women along with some men acting as security. Everyone was exceptionally charming. There were no protests of any kind outside of the venues. However, at least on one occasion, a middle aged woman came inside and tried to vote without having a proof of citizenship. She told her tale of woe about residing too far away and being forced to take public transportation, and how she was very nervous and forgot her Russian passport. The poll workers acted with understanding and compassion, but refused to let her vote, advising her to go back home and to return with her passport, since there was still enough time.

Outside she was joined by a man, they both got in a car and drove away, never to return. The witnesses agreed that her accent was somewhat a giveaway of her being from one of the Baltic republics.

The most superficial analysis of the election polling places has revealed no surprises. They were opened for one day on September 18th from 8AM to 8PM local time.

They all looked similar to this one

In the US, the election polling places were organized  in the buildings owned by the Russia’s diplomatic mission and some others.
  • Washington, D.C. – in the Russia’s Embassy in Washington, D.C.: 2650 Wisconsin Ave., NW, Washington D.C. 20007;
    • New York – in the Consulate general of the Russian federation in New York: 9 East 91 Street New York, NY 10128;
    • San Francisco – in the Consulate general of the Russian federation in San Francisco: 2790 Green Street, San Francisco, CA 94123;
    • Seattle – in the residence of the Consul General in Seattle: 3726 East Madison Street, Seattle, WA 98112;
    • Huston  – in the Consulate general of the Russian federation in : 1333 West Loop South, Suite 1300, Houston, TX 77027.

In addition:

  • Boston: 20 Linden Street, Allston, MA 02134;

The office building owned by the Partners Properties LLC in Allston, MA. Managing partners were Alex Matov and Andrian M. Shapiro

Judging by this disposition agreement, both of them and also on of the employees contributed to the republican campaigns of the Thomas Koch Committee, Martin Walsh, and Maura Haley.

  • Philadelphia: 10100 Jamison Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19116;

Occupied by the KleinLife, a Jewish active adult community

  • Chicago: 3100 Dundee Road Suite 915, Northbrook, IL 60062;

An office building hosting MELTSER LAW GROUP by Yevgeny Meltser is a Immigration Attorney  and shared by Steven Wilensky, another attorney at law.

  • Miami: 16850 Collins Ave, Unit 106-B Sunny Isles Beach, FL 33160;

Operated by the Red Square Holdings.

The business directory lists Roman Bokeria as a President of Miami Red Square Realty.

Elena Grady, Miami based Red Square holding agent reportedly demonstrated somewhat unorthodox ways to treat her buyers,  but she didn’t seem to be invested in politics.

This address is listed for the Hollywood Temple Beth El synagogue

  • Sacramento: 5525 Hemlock St., Sacramento, CA 95841;

An office building that hosts multiple small businesses like the Jerry 300 Club, a local funeral florist, the College Life Epic Group, Hope for Israel, service to the Jewish community, and Marina’s Dance club.

  • Dallas: 6039 Churchill Way, Dallas, TX 75230.

An address for the Dallas International School Mission Laïque Française, an elementary, middle, and high school in the North Dallas area in Dallas, Texas, United States that  uses the French educational system.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported that by July 1, 2016 1,872,390 people living abroad were eligible to vote during the last parliamentary election.

Election took place in Korea, in China,  in the South Africa and the Kingdom of Lesotho.  Also, in the Netherlands, and other countries.

What no one talks about is the scoop of investigation with over 80,000  domestic and foreign financial institutions being “audited” by the FBI, and easiness with which media obtains most detailed information on the activities of the sovereign governments using American banks.

Needless to say, that actions of the City Bank, the Buzzfeed, and the FBI constitute the most flagrant violation of the elementary norms and international agreements that govern interactions between local authorities and foreign diplomatic missions.

Also, this diplomatic scandal is one of many instances of the U.S. interfering with Russia’s elections.

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Foreign Banks Are Embracing Russia’s Alternative To SWIFT, Moscow Says

Given its status as a major energy exporter, Russia has leverage that could help attract partners to its new SWIFT alternative.

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Via Zerohedge


On Friday, one day after Russia and China pledged to reduce their reliance on the dollar by increasing the amount of bilateral trade conducted in rubles and yuan (a goal toward which much progress has already been made over the past three years), Russia’s Central Bank provided the latest update on Moscow’s alternative to US-dominated international payments network SWIFT.

Moscow started working on the project back in 2014, when international sanctions over Russia’s annexation of Crimea inspired fears that the country’s largest banks would soon be cut off from SWIFT which, though it’s based in Belgium and claims to be politically neutral, is effectively controlled by the US Treasury.

Today, the Russian alternative, known as the System for Transfer of Financial Messages, has attracted a modest amount of support within the Russian business community, with 416 Russian companies having joined as of September, including the Russian Federal Treasury and large state corporations likeGazprom Neft and Rosneft.

And now, eight months after a senior Russian official advised that “our banks are ready to turn off SWIFT,” it appears the system has reached another milestone in its development: It’s ready to take on international partners in the quest to de-dollarize and end the US’s leverage over the international financial system. A Russian official advised that non-residents will begin joining the system “this year,” according to RT.

“Non-residents will start connecting to us this year. People are already turning to us,”said First Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Russia Olga Skorobogatova. Earlier, the official said that by using the alternative payment system foreign firms would be able to do business with sanctioned Russian companies.

Turkey, China, India and others are among the countries that might be interested in a SWIFT alternative, as Russian President Vladimir Putin pointed out in a speech earlier this month, the US’s willingness to blithely sanction countries from Iran to Venezuela and beyond will eventually rebound on the US economy by undermining the dollar’s status as the world’s reserve currency.

To be sure, the Russians aren’t the only ones building a SWIFT alternative to help avoid US sanctions. Russia and China, along with the European Union are launching an interbank payments network known as the Special Purpose Vehicle to help companies pursue “legitimate business with Iran” in defiance of US sanctions.

Given its status as a major energy exporter, Russia has leverage that could help attract partners to its new SWIFT alternative. For one, much of Europe is dependent on Russian natural gas and oil.

And as Russian trade with other US rivals increases, Moscow’s payments network will look increasingly attractive,particularly if buyers of Russian crude have no other alternatives to pay for their goods.

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US leaving INF will put nuclear non-proliferation at risk & may lead to ‘complete chaos’

The US is pulling out of a nuclear missile pact with Russia. The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty requires both countries to eliminate their short and medium-range atomic missiles.

The Duran

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Via RT


If the US ditches the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), it could collapse the entire nuclear non-proliferation system, and bring nuclear war even closer, Russian officials warn.

By ending the INF, Washington risks creating a domino effect which could endanger other landmark deals like the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) and collapse the existing non-proliferation mechanism as we know it, senior lawmaker Konstantin Kosachev said on Sunday.

The current iteration of the START treaty, which limits the deployment of all types of nuclear weapons, is due to expire in 2021. Kosachev, who chairs the Parliament’s Upper House Foreign Affairs Committee, warned that such an outcome pits mankind against “complete chaos in terms of nuclear weapons.”

“Now the US Western allies face a choice: either embarking on the same path, possibly leading to new war, or siding with common sense, at least for the sake of their self-preservation instinct.”

His remarks came after US President Donald Trump announced his intentions to “terminate” the INF, citing alleged violations of the deal by Russia.

Moscow has repeatedly denied undermining the treaty, pointing out that Trump has failed to produce any evidence of violations. Moreover, Russian officials insist that the deployment of US-made Mk 41 ground-based universal launching systems in Europe actually violates the agreement since the launchers are capable of firing mid-range cruise missiles.

Leonid Slutsky, who leads the Foreign Affairs Committee in parliament’s lower chamber, argued that Trump’s words are akin to placing “a huge mine under the whole disarmament process on the planet.”

The INF Treaty was signed in 1987 by then-President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. The deal effectively bans the parties from having and developing short- and mid-range missiles of all types. According to the provisions, the US was obliged to destroy Pershing I and II launcher systems and BGM-109G Gryphon ground-launched cruise missiles. Moscow, meanwhile, pledged to remove the SS-20 and several other types of missiles from its nuclear arsenal.

Pershing missiles stationed in the US Army arsenal. © Hulton Archive / Getty Images ©

By scrapping the historic accord, Washington is trying to fulfill its “dream of a unipolar world,” a source within the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

“This decision fits into the US policy of ditching the international agreements which impose equal obligations on it and its partners, and render the ‘exceptionalism’ concept vulnerable.”

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov denounced Trump’s threats as “blackmail” and said that Washington wants to dismantle the INF because it views the deal as a “problem” on its course for “total domination” in the military sphere.

The issue of nuclear arms treaties is too vital for national and global security to rush into hastily-made “emotional” decisions, the official explained. Russia is expecting to hear more on the US’ plans from Trump’s top security adviser, John Bolton, who is set to hold talks in Moscow tomorrow.

President Trump has been open about unilaterally pulling the US out of various international agreements if he deems them to be damaging to national interests. Earlier this year, Washington withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on the Iranian nuclear program. All other signatories to the landmark agreement, including Russia, China, and the EU, decided to stick to the deal, while blasting Trump for leaving.

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Kiev ‘Patriarch’ prepares to seize Moscow properties in Ukraine

Although Constantinople besought the Kiev church to stop property seizures, they were ignored and used, or perhaps, complicit.

Seraphim Hanisch

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The attack on the Eastern Orthodox Church, brought about by the US State Department and its proxies in Constantinople and Ukraine, is continuing. On October 20, 2018, the illegitimate “Kyiv (Kiev) Patriarchate”, led by Filaret Denisenko who is calling himself “Patriarch Filaret”, had a synodal meeting in which it changed the commemoration title of the leader of the church to include the Kyiv Caves and Pochaev Lavras.

This is a problem because Metropolitan Onuphry of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church which is canonically accepted and acts as a very autonomous church under the Moscow Patriarchate has these places under his pastoral care.

This move takes place only one week after Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople unilaterally (and illegally) lifted the excommunications, depositions (removal from priestly ranks as punishment) and anathemas against Filaret and Makary that were imposed on them by the hierarchy of the Moscow Patriarchate.

These two censures are very serious matters in the Orthodox Church. Excommunication means that the person or church so considered cannot receive Holy Communion or any of the other Mysteries (called Sacraments in the West) in a neighboring local Orthodox Church. Anathema is even more serious, for this happens when a cleric disregards his excommunication and deposition (removal from the priesthood), and acts as a priest or a bishop anyway.

Filaret Denisenko received all these censures in 1992, and Patriarch Bartholomew accepted this decision at the time, as stated in a letter he sent to Moscow shortly after the censures. However, three years later, Patriarch Bartholomew received a group of Ukrainian autocephalist bishops called the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the USA, who had been in communion with Filaret’s group. While this move may have been motivated by the factor of Bartholomew’s almost total isolation within Istanbul, Turkey, it is nonetheless non-canonical.

This year’s moves have far exceeded previous ones, though, and now the possibility for a real clash that could cost lives is raised. With Filaret’s “church” – really an agglomeration of Ukrainian ultranationalists and Neo-Nazis in the mix, plus millions of no doubt innocent Ukrainian faithful who are deluded about the problems of their church, challenging an existing arrangement regarding Ukraine and Russia’s two most holy sites, the results are not likely to be good at all.

Here is the report about today’s developments, reprinted in part from OrthoChristian.com:

Meeting today in Kiev, the Synod of the schismatic “Kiev Patriarchate” (KP) has officially changed the title of its primate, “Patriarch” Philaret, to include the Kiev Caves and Pochaev Lavras under his jurisdiction.

The primate’s new official title, as given on the site of the KP, is “His Holiness and Beatitude (name), Archbishop and Metropolitan of Kiev—Mother of the cities of Rus’, and Galicia, Patriarch of All Rus’-Ukraine, Svyaschenno-Archimandrite of the Holy Dormition Kiev Caves and Pochaev Lavras.”

…Thus, the KP Synod is declaring that “Patriarch” Philaret has jurisdiction over the Kiev Caves and Pochaev Lavras, although they are canonically under the omophorion of His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine, the primate of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

Philaret and his followers and nationalistic radicals have continually proclaimed that they will take the Lavras for themselves.

This claim to the ancient and venerable monasteries comes after the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate announced that it had removed the anathema placed upon Philaret by the Russian Orthodox Church and had restored him to his hierarchical office. Philaret was a metropolitan of the canonical Church, becoming patriarch in his schismatic organization.

Representatives of the Ecumenical Patriarchate have clarified that they consider Philaret to be the “former Metropolitan of Kiev,” but he and his organization continue to consider him an active patriarch, with jurisdiction in Ukraine.

Constantinople’s statement also appealed to all in Ukraine to “avoid appropriation of churches, monasteries, and other properties,” which the Synod of the KP ignored in today’s decision.

The KP primate’s abbreviated title will be, “His Holiness (name), Patriarch of Kiev and All Rus’-Ukraine,” and the acceptable form for relations with other Local Churches is “His Beatitude Archbishop (name), Metropolitan of Kiev and All Rus’-Ukraine.”

The Russian Orthodox Church broke eucharistic communion and all relations with the Ecumenical Patriarchate over this matter earlier this week. Of the fourteen local Orthodox Churches recognized the world over, twelve have expressed the viewpoint that Constantinople’s move was in violation of the canons of the Holy Orthodox Church. Only one local Church supported Constantinople wholeheartedly, and all jurisdictions except Constantinople have appealed for an interOrthodox Synod to address and solve the Ukrainian matter in a legitimate manner.

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