Russia’s Main Threats

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Russia’s Main Threats
by Stephen Lendman
In his annual address last week to Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), Vladimir Putin discussed the nation’s main threats.
Along with US-led Western imperialism, he cited international terrorism, foreign intelligence services and unstable neighbors, notably Ukraine – saying “many existing threats and challenges have only become more acute.”
“Military-political and economic rivalry between global and regional policy makers and between individual countries has increased. We see bloody conflicts continue in a number of countries in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa.” 
“International terrorist groups, essentially terrorist armies, receiving tacit and sometimes even open support from some countries, take active part in these conflicts.”
“At the NATO summit last July in Warsaw, Russia was declared the main threat to the alliance for the first time since 1989, and NATO officially proclaimed containing Russia its new mission.” 
“It is with this aim that NATO continues its expansion. This expansion was already underway earlier, but now they believe they have more serious reasons for doing so.” 
“They have stepped up the deployment of strategic and conventional arms beyond the national borders of the principal NATO member states.”
“They are provoking us constantly and are trying to draw us into confrontation. We see continued attempts to interfere in our internal affairs in a bid to destabilize the social and political situation in Russia itself.”
Kiev-instigated conflict in Donbass again flared up with intent to scuttle Minsk peace provisions, blaming its defense force and Russia for its own aggression.
“…Ukrainian authorities…obviously (reject) a peaceful solution,” Putin explained. They openly speak about organizing sabotage and terrorism against Russia.
Trump’s position is unclear. He said little about Ukraine so far. Conditions Putin named require special FSB attention, he said, calling for additional measures to protect Russia’s security, including its diplomatic missions abroad.
His warning followed a Kiev law, permitting its intelligence service to engage in state terrorism abroad, enacted with Russia and conflict in Donbass in mind.
Ukraine is a cancer in Europe’s heartland, a Nazi-infested putschist regime, a dagger targeting Russia, tolerating no opposition.
Free expression is banned. Independent journalists risk harassment, assault, arrest, imprisonment, even death. Russian nationals aren’t safe.
Thousands of political prisoners languish under gulag conditions, enduring torture and other forms of abuse.
Russian media, films, communism and its symbols are banned. State-controlled media allow regime-approved propaganda alone. 
Putin’s address followed a report by Russia’s Investigative Committee, citing “irrefutable evidence that the Ukrainian armed forces used weapons of mass destruction, namely, the Tochka-U tactical missile systems against civilians during the armed conflict.”
Missiles equipped with banned cluster warheads are being used to cause mass casualties and destruction. 
Putin signaled if US-led Western support for Kiev continues allowing its aggressive actions to go unaddressed, Russia will respond appropriately as needed, without further elaboration.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.