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Kiev refuses to talk; situation around missing Russian journalist Stenin "unprecedented"

© RIA Novosti / Valeriy Melnikov
Flash mob #Free Andrew in support of the Russia Today photographer Andrey Stenin who disappeared in Ukraine two weeks ago.
With over two weeks since his disappearance in eastern Ukraine, the whereabouts of Russian photojournalist Andrey Stenin remain unknown. His colleagues suggest that he may soon be freed as part of a large exchange of captives.

Stenin's employers at Rossiya Segodnya news agency (formerly RIA Novosti), said that they have so far failed to get any information on their journalist from the Kiev authorities.

Comment: For more information, see:
- International journalist organizations urge release of Russian photographer abducted in Ukraine
- Ukraine Interior Minister asks to be left alone over missing Russian journalist

Gear

What, no Russians with weapons...again? No ammunition moved through Russia-Ukraine border - OSCE monitors

© AFP Photo / Bulent Kilic
This file photo shows ukrainian soldiers stand guard near the convoy of the OSCE (the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe) at a check-point in the village of Debaltseve, in the Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine.
OSCE observers stationed at two Russian border checkpoints, the Ukrainian counterparts of which are controlled by the Ukrainian military, have not witnessed any movements of weapons across the border.

The monitors did witness young people "dressed in military style" moving across the border into Ukraine, Paul Picard, acting chief observer of the OSCE Mission, told journalists. However, all of them were unarmed.

There were also no instances of military vehicles crossing the border in some two weeks which the observers spent at Gukovo and Donetsk checkpoints, he added.

He added that the OSCE did its part in assisting the international effort to check a Russian humanitarian aid convoy before it would be allowed into Ukraine, but said the organization has little impact here, because the progress with the convoy depends on Russian and Ukrainian authorities and the International Committee of the Red Cross.
Magnify

Western propaganda exposed by OSCE: No weapons seen crossing Russian-Ukrainian border

OSCE head Paul Picard
© RIA Novosti. Maksim Blinov
OSCE head Paul Picard says mission has not seen any weapons crossing between the countries on Russian-Ukrainian border
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's Special Monitoring Mission working on the Russian-Ukrainian border has not seen any weapons crossing between the countries, an OSCE spokesman working on the Russian side of the border said Tuesday.

"We have not seen any weapons. There was a question of whether we saw military vehicles crossing the border. Yesterday at two [border crossing] points we didn't see any military vehicles crossing the border," Paul Picard said at a briefing.

On August 15, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko claimed Ukrainian artillery destroyed Russian military hardware that had allegedly crossed into Ukraine at night.

The announcement came soon after a number of foreign news agencies reported that a convoy of military vehicles with Russian license plates crossed into Ukraine via the Izvarino border checkpoint.

The Russian Defense Ministry refuted the allegations, calling the claims a 'fantasy' that is not worth discussing. The Russian Border Guard Service also stressed that the reports are not based on reality and explained that cross-border regions were indeed being patrolled by mobile teams of border guards, but only on the Russian side of the border.

On August 17, the Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) working in Ukraine under the auspice of the OSCE also could not confirm the reports of Russian military convoys crossing the Ukrainian border.

On August 18, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Moscow supports the idea of equipping the OSCE monitoring mission with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to improve monitoring of the border

Kiev launched a special operation in eastern Ukraine in mid-April to suppress independence supporters who refused to recognize the legitimacy of the new authorities. Moscow has repeatedly urged Ukrainian authorities to immediately stop the punitive operation and seek a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

Comment: The West is not interested in reality, but wishes to portray Russia as an evil aggressor at all cost. The damage has already been done as the soundbytes have have been circulated non-stop in the Western media to the unthinking masses.

Hearts

17 more Ukrainian soldiers lay down arms, enter Russia for food and shelter

ukrainian troops
© Reuters / Gleb Garanich
Kiev massacres civilians. Russia provides humanitarian aid, and even protects 'enemy' soldiers who have had enough of the senseless fighting.
Seventeen Ukrainian soldiers crossed into Russia's southern Rostov region on Saturday and laid down their arms after fleeing the fighting, Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) said.

"It happened this morning," Nikolay Sinitsyn, the official regional representative of the FSB, told RT. "They were provided with food, and they're safe here. We're carrying out a probe."

"Whoever wants to stay, can do so - after the probe," Sinitsyn said.

On Sunday morning, all the Ukrainian soldiers returned to their country.

According to the soldiers, they made the decision to cross into Russia after their group came under fire in a forest and they had no weapons left to shoot back with.

"We came under mortar shelling," one of the 17 Ukrainian servicemen told Russia's NTV channel. "We were in the forest - out of weapons, out of everything," the man, wearing a black mask hiding his face, said. "The chief told us to get out of the place. So, we got out."

Comment: The numbers of defections are likely much higher than officially acknowledged, as are the number of military deaths. The Kiev regime has been tight-lipped about the true number of casualties and defections. If such figures were publicized, it would show how unpopular the so-called anti-terrorist operation really is within their own ranks. The U.S. image makers rely on this sort of obfuscation, after all, so they can continue their official support for their puppet regime. Meanwhile, Russia is acting like the gentleman in this conflict. In their position, Kiev or U.S. would probably just execute 'enemies' lacking proper equipment and clear orders...

Bad Guys

Saudi king backs Egypt's military against Muslim Brotherhood

King Abdullah
© Associated Press
King Abdullah said he was confident that Egypt will recover [AP]
King Abdullah calls on Arabs to stand together against "attempts to destabilise" Egypt.

"The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, its people and government stood and stands by today with its brothers in Egypt against terrorism," he said in a statement read on state TV on Friday, backing Egypt's military leadership.

"I call on the honest men of Egypt and the Arab and Muslim nations ... to stand as one man and with one heart in the face of attempts to destabilise a country that is at the forefront of Arab and Muslim history," he added.

He also said that they were confident that Egypt will recover.

Saudi Arabia was a close ally of former President Hosni Mubarak and has historically had a difficult relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood.

It pledged $5bn in aid to Egypt after Mohamed Morsi of the Brotherhood was ousted from the presidency last month.

Saudi Arabia "has stood and stands with its Egyptian brothers against terrorism, deviance and sedition, and against those who try to interfere in Egypt's internal affairs... and its legitimate rights in deterring those tampering with and misleading" its people, he said.

H A Hellyer from the Brookings Institution and the Royal United Services Institute, speaking from Cairo, said Saudi Arabia would back whoever they think can actually hold on to order in the country.

"At present that seems to be the interim government as well as the military. Also Saudi Arabia has a very uncomfortable history with the Muslim Brotherhood" he told Al Jazeera.
Heart - Black

Immigrant Woman in Ireland denied abortion at 8 weeks forced to give birth by cesarean at 25

Ireland Protestors
© Unknown
Immigrant saying she was suicidal was refused termination at eight weeks before court made her have the baby at 25 weeks
A young woman has been legally forced to give birth by caesarean section after being denied an abortion in Ireland, in a case experts say exposes flaws in recent reform meant to allow limited terminations.

The woman, who is an immigrant and cannot be named for legal reasons, was refused an abortion even though at eight weeks she demanded a termination, claiming she was suicidal.

After she then threatened a hunger strike to protest the decision, local health authorities obtained a court order to deliver the baby prematurely - at around 25 weeks according to some reports - to ensure its safety. The infant has been placed in care.

The case is the first proper test of the 2013 Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act, which allows for limited abortions in Irish hospitals. The law provides for cases where the woman's life would be in danger if she goes full term, or in cases where she is suicidal in such instances as rape and incest. Critics say that in this instance the law has proved of no practical value to the woman concerned.
Pistol

Saudi prince's Paris convoy robbed of 200,000Eu and 'sensitive documents' by 'commando-looking men'

Saudi ambassador
© Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Saudi Arabia's ambassador to France, H.E. Dr. Mohammed Ismail Al-Sheikh, celebrates with embassy staff and visiting Saudi dignitaries in this 2012 photo at the Saudi Embassy in Paris
French police are investigating a possible inside job after heavily armed men attacked a convoy of cars belonging to a Saudi Arabian prince, and stole cash amounting to 250,000 euros (US$330,000).

The prince, who was not immediately identified, was in a convoy of several vehicles headed to the Le Bourget airport from the Saudi embassy in Paris late Sunday, when it was attacked by men who were described as moving like "commandos."

Armed with Kalashnikov rifles and using two vehicles, about eight men targeted a Mercedes mini-van in the convoy at around 9:15 p.m. (1915 GMT), pointing their guns at the driver and forcing him to stop.

The whole convoy stopped by the wayside when the armed men stopped the mini-van.

The men then drove the mini-van with the driver and two passengers inside, leaving the other vehicles behind. French media reported that no shots were fired, and the Saudis were later released a short distance away from the northern ring at Porte de la Chapelle on the edge of the city.

The mini-van was later found incinerated. A French police spokesman said inside the van were roughly 200,000 euros in cash and some sensitive official documents from the Saudi embassy.

Another police source told the AFP news agency that it was "quite an unusual attack. They were obviously well-informed. It's true that it's quite a rare way of operating."

The Brigade de Répression du Banditisme (Banditry Repression Brigade), an elite police unit under the French Ministry of the Interior, is reportedly in charge of the investigation.

The Saudi prince has not been identified.


Comment: It's possible the theft of the money was meant to be a distraction from the theft of 'sensitive papers'. It's certainly downplayed in this article. Given the Saudi's penchant for being in the background of much of the trouble in the Middle East and elsewhere, those papers might be very interesting.

Network

Strengthening ties: Russia to boost software imports to China, get more servers in return


© RIA Novosti / Taras Litvinenko
Minister of Communications and Mass Media Nikolay Nikiforov
Russia and China plan to increase technology cooperation
, with Moscow set to increase exports of software in exchange for data storage, Russia's Communications Minister said.

Nikolay Nikiforov, head of Russia's Ministry of Communications, announced via Twitter that Russia and China have agreed to increase the supply of Chinese servers and storage systems and production in Russia, and to boost the supply of Russian software to China.

The technology turn toward China is part of a larger overall pivot toward Asia after Western sanctions have endangered certain Russian industries, with technology feared to be next.

Comment: The "multilateral transparent model" translates into a world in which the biggest bullies on the block don't get to call the shots.

For a detailed discussion of how the US decided it could pulverize the rest of the world, check out SOTT Talk radio:

Untold History of the US: Interview with Peter Kuznick

No Entry

Bulgaria halts South Stream gas pipeline project for second time under pressure from the EU

© RIA Novosti
All operations on Russia's Gazprom-led project South Stream have been suspended, as they do not meet the requirements of the European Commission, Bulgaria's Ministry of Economy and Energy said on its website.

"Minister of Economy and Energy Vasil Shtonov has ordered Bulgaria's Energy Holding to halt any actions in regards of the project," the ministry said. This specifically means entering into new contracts.

There has been mounting pressure from the EU to put the project on hold, and now the European Commission will be consulted each step of the way to make sure it complies with EU law.

Comment: The EU has been shooting itself in the foot with the trade war against Russia, but this action tops all else. The fact is that the EU needs to buy Russia's gas much more than Russia needs to sell it to them. It will not be long into the winter before people in the EU wake up to that fact.

Top Secret

​Turkey Foreign Ministry sez German spying 'unacceptable' if confirmed

© AFP/Michael Kappeler
The Turkish Foreign Ministry has called in Germany's ambassador in Ankara to explain media reports that Germany's secret services had been spying on its NATO ally.

"This is a grave situation that needs to be explained by Germany if there is slightest truth to these allegations," the ministry said in a statement Monday. "Such practices in relations among friends and allies, which should be built on mutual trust and respect, are in no way acceptable."

"It is expected that the German authorities present an official and satisfactory explanation on the claims reported by German media and end these activities immediately if the claims are true."

Turkey's acting Foreign Ministry undersecretary, Erdogan Iscan, met German Ambassador Eberhard Pohl to voice Turkey's concerns.

Germany said that its ambassador had not been "summoned" but rather invited for a discussion, which was conducted "in a friendly manner."

Earlier, German media reported that the national Federal Intelligence Service (BND) had been spying on its NATO ally Turkey since at least 2009.
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