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Regional geopolitics

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  • "Pravda (Russian: Правда; IPA: [ˈpravdə] (About this sound listen), "Truth") is a Russian broadsheet newspaper, formerly the official newspaper of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, when it was one of the most influential papers in the country with a circulation of 11 million."

    Not to be confused with Pravda.ru or Komsomolskaya Pravda. (As in the trash news)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pravda

    Comment


    • Originally posted by Azad View Post
      "Pravda (Russian: Правда; IPA: [ˈpravdə] (About this sound listen), "Truth") is a Russian broadsheet newspaper, formerly the official newspaper of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, when it was one of the most influential papers in the country with a circulation of 11 million."

      Not to be confused with Pravda.ru or Komsomolskaya Pravda. (As in the trash news)

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pravda
      So it was the biggest political propaganda tool and fake news publisher.

      Comment


      • ^^^^^
        Originally posted by Azad View Post
        Not to be confused with Pravda.ru or Komsomolskaya Pravda. <<< (As in the trash news)
        Pravda was the communist propaganda back in the days. The one that published the garbage has nothing to do with the old Pravda.
        Last edited by Azad; 09-07-2017, 03:16 PM.

        Comment


        • Որոշվել է պայթեցնել Ադրբեջանի փուչիկը

            • ՆԱԻՐԱ ՀԱՅՐՈՒՄՅԱՆ, Մեկնաբան
            • Մեկնաբանություն - 09 Սեպտեմբերի 2017

          Ամերիկացի սենատոր Դիկ Դերբինն առաջարկել է պատժամիջոցներ ընդունել Ադրբեջանի ղեկավարության դեմ: Այս մասին նա հայտարարել է հատկացումների կոմիտեի նիստի ժամանակ:



          Հայտարարվել է նաեւ, որ ԱՄՆ Կոնգրեսը որոշել է լրացուցիչ 1.5 միլիոն դոլար հատկացնել Ղարաբաղում ականազերծման աշխատանքների համար:



          Ադրբեջանցի վերլուծաբանները փորձում են գտնել Ադրբեջանի դեմ ծավալվող միջազգային արշավի աղբյուրները: Ավելի ճիշտ, նրանք հավանաբար գիտեն, թե որտեղ են ակունքները, սակայն փորձում են սլաքներն Ալիեւից շեղել ուրիշների ուղղությամբ:



          Ադրբեջանի դեմ իրոք լուրջ արշավ է սկսվել: Այնպիսի տպավորություն է, որ այն ուղղված է ոչ թե Ալիեւի վարչակարգը տապալելուն (նա շատերին է ձեռնտու), այլ ստիպելու, որ որոշակի պայմաններ ու լուծումներ ընդունի: Դրա համար չի բացառվում, որ եւ պատժամիջոցներ ընդունվեն, եւ սառեցվեն Ալիեւի միլիարդներն արեւմտյան ու այլ բանկերում:



          Վերջին 2-3 տարիներին Ադրբեջանը ցնցվում է ներքին եւ միջազգային սկանդալներից: Առաջին հզոր հարվածը պանամական սկանդալն էր, հետո ադրբեջանցի իրավապաշտպանների եւ լրագրողների ձերբակալություններն էին. 3 ադրբեջանցի կին 20 կանանց թվում էին, որոնց ԱՄՆ-ն ճանաչել է մարդու իրավունքների պաշտպանության համար տուժածներ:



          Հետո եղավ տրանսպորտի նախկին նախագահ Զիա Մամեդովի սկանդալը, որին մեղադրել են շվեյցարական ընկերությանը «ատկատ» տալու մեջ: Դա աննկատ վերածվեց իսրայելական սկանդալի, երբ Ալիեւին մեղադրեցին Իսրայելում միլիոնավոր դոլարի ներդրումների եւ իսրայելցի պաշտոնյաներին կաշառելու մեջ: Հետո մեկ այլ սկանդալ «կրակեց», երբ հրապարակվեց, որ Ադրբեջանը իսրայելցի զինվորականներին ստիպել է գնված զենքը Ղարաբաղում հայերի վրա փորձարկել: Իսրայելը ստիպված էր սառեցնել անօդաչու սարքեր վաճառած ընկերության գործարքը:



          Այլ սկանդալներ էլ եղան, մասնավորապես կապված ԵԽԽՎ ղեկավար Պեդրո Ագրամունտի, ինչպես նաեւ Եվրոպայի խորհրդում այսպես կոչված «խավիարային դիվանագիտության» հետ: Այս շաբաթ էլ հրապարակվեցին միջազգային հետաքննության արդյունքները, որոնք վկայում են, որ Ադրբեջանը կաշառել է եվրոպացի եւ այլ պաշտոնյաների:



          Ակնհայտորեն ստեղծվում է Ադրբեջանի մի կերպար, ըստ որի այդ պետությունը կարող է գոյություն ունենալ միայն կաշառքի շնորհիվ, որովհետեւ այլ հիմքեր չկան: Բայց քանի որ կաշառելու փողը նվազում է՝ նավթն ավարտվում է, որոշվել է պայթեցնել Ադրբեջանի փուչիկը:



          Իզուր չէ, որ Ալիեւն ամեն ինչի մեջ մեղադրում է բրիտանական հետախուզությանը: Հավանաբար, հենց Լոնդոնին է պատկանում Ադրբեջանին «սանձելու» նախաձեռնությունը, որն արվում է Իսրայելի օգնությամբ: Ալիեւին ցույց են տվել, թե որքան նեղ է նրա մանեւրի տեղը եւ որքան թույլ են այդ պետության իրավական փաստարկները:



          Կարելի է տրվել գայթակղությանը եւ որոշել, որ Ալիեւին նման կերպ հարկադրում են ղարաբաղյան հակամարտության կարգավորման: Ալիեւն անձամբ է հայտարարել, որ իրենց ստիպում են ճանաչել Ղարաբաղի անկախությունը: Սակայն չի բացառվում, որ Ղարաբաղը միայն մեծ փաթեթի մասն է, կա նաեւ Նախիջեւանի եւ տարածաշրջանի ապաշրջափակման հարցը:



          Համաշխարհային քաղաքականությունում մեծ «մաքրություն» է սկսել. սեպտեմբերի 25-ին Իրաքյան Քրդստանն անկախության հանրաքվե է անցկացնելու: Դրան կարող է հաջորդել տարածաշրջանային սահմանների վերանայումը՝ նոր աշխարհքաղաքականությանը համապատասխան, եւ Ադրբեջանն այդ դեպքում ակնհայտ օբյեկտ է: Ադրբեջանը ստեղծվել է նավթի վրա: Չկա նավթ՝ չկա Ադրբեջան:

          Comment


          • Արևմուտքը ճնշում է գործադրում Ռուսաստանի դաշնակից Ադրբեջանի վրա. Զախարովա

            2017-09-08





            Ռուսաստանի արտաքին գործերի նախարարության պաշտոնական ներկայացուցիչ Մարիա Զախարովան հայտարարել է, թե Արևմուտքը ճնշում է գործադրում Ռուսաստանի դաշնակիցների, մասնավորապես, Ադրբեջանի վրա: Այս մասին նա նշել է՝ մեկնաբանելով արևմտյան հեղինակավոր լրատվամիջոցների հրապարակումները, որոնք ստացել են «Ադրբեջանական լվացքատուն» անվանումը:

            «Տեղի ունեցածը ցույց է տալիս, որ Արևմուտքը ճնշում է գործադրում Ռուսաստանի դաշնակիցների վրա: Կարծում եմ՝ խոսքը մի քանի ուղղություններով տեղեկատվական ուժեղ ճնշման մասին է: Դա իրականացվում է մեծ քանակությամբ կեղծ նորությունների հրապարակման միջոցով: Մենք փորձում ենք մշտապես արձագանքել դրանց»,- ասել է նա:

            Հիշեցնենք, որ հրապարակումների համաձայն՝ Ադրբեջանը բրիտանական կեղծ ընկերությունների միջոցով կաշառել է եվրոպացի պաշտոնյաներին ու փողեր լվացել:

            Comment


            • Report: $7 Million Payment Tied to Hungary's Extradition of Azerbaijani Axe-Murderer

              September 7, 2017 - 10:51am, by Bradley Jardine

              Report: $7 Million Payment Tied to Hungary's Extradition of Azerbaijani Axe-Murderer
              Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban meet in Baku in 2016. (photo: president.az)

              A new report has uncovered a $7 million payment from Azerbaijan into a Hungarian bank account, timed suspiciously closely to Budapest's extradition of a convicted axe-murderer to Baku, where he was given a hero's welcome and pardoned.

              Research by Hungarian investigative journalism NGO Atlatszo.hu, along with the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) and other media outlets, recently uncovered data showing how a $2.9 billion slush fund tied to Azerbaijan’s ruling elite had been used to promote Baku’s political objectives worldwide.

              Some of these funds – totaling more than $7 million - reportedly made their way into account of the Budapest-based MKB Bank right around the time the government of Hungary handed convicted killer Ramil Safarov to Azerbaijan.

              According to Atlatszo.hu, the Hungarian bank account belonged to an offshore company, Velasco International Inc., owned by the son of an influential politician in Baku.

              The report notes that Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban visited the Azerbaijani capital in June 2012 (right before the release of Safarov), where he was greeted by then-First Deputy Prime Minister of Azerbaijan Yaqub Eyyubov, father of Orkham Eyyubov, the offshore company’s owner.

              Eight years prior, Safarov, then a lieutenant in the Azerbaijani army, murdered Armenian army lieutenant Gurgen Margaryan in Budapest. The two were in Hungary participating in a NATO-sponsored language program.

              Safarov walked into the sleeping Margaryan’s dormitory, partially decapitating him with an axe before stabbing him repeatedly in the chest. Safarov was soon arrested and tried in a Hungarian court where he was convicted of murder in 2006 and sentenced to life in prison.

              Just after his meeting in Baku, the Orban government allowed Safarov to be extradited to Azerbaijan, prompting an international outcry. Armenia later severed diplomatic ties with Hungary as a result, and unsubstantiated theories proliferated.

              After his release, Safarov was greeted by an adoring crowd in Baku, where he walked the streets carrying a bouquet of roses, draped in the national flag. He was later pardoned, promoted to the rank of major and given a luxury apartment by the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry.

              When asked about these reports at a press conference on Wednesday, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto expressed his hope that the “international and national inquiries into the stories uncover what exactly happened,” adding that lack of information can lead to defamatory statements that bear serious consequences.

              “In the firmest possible way, I reject any inference or insinuation which make a connection between Hungarian foreign policy decisions and the aforementioned criminal actions,” Szijjarto said. “I really hope we can uncover the truth of what happened very soon.”

              Comment


              • Azerbaijan: State Low-Cost Airline Replaced By Lower-Cost Airline

                September 8, 2017 - 8:15am, by Matthew Kupfer

                Azerbaijan: State Low-Cost Airline Replaced By Lower-Cost Airline
                Crew from Buta Airways, Azerbaijan's new state-run low-cost airline, pose in front of the airline's first aircraft, an Embraer E190. (photo: Buta Airways)

                The Azerbaijani capital of Baku may be associated with oil wealth and posh, Emirates-style skyscrapers, but a new airline is focusing on another reality: economic crisis.

                On September 1, Azerbaijan low-coster Buta Airways launched its maiden flight, ferrying a group of local journalists from Baku’s Heydar Aliyev International Airport to Tbilisi on a promotional tour.

                Buta is in fact Azerbaijan’s second attempt at a budget airline, as it replaces the country’s previous low-cost airline, AZALJet, which stopped selling tickets in July. The exact reason for the switch remains unclear, but it appears that one low-cost airline is being replaced by an even lower-cost airline.

                No frills tickets on Buta, without checked baggage, start at 29 euros (around $35). Compare that to AZALJet’s old starting fare of 49 euros ($59).

                And whereas AZALJet offered a fairly broad selections of routes, including some beyond the immediate Eurasian region, Buta is starting slower. Its fleet of just eight Brazilian Embraer E190 jets will begin with four flights a week, before increasing to ten by the end of October.

                Many destinations are old faithfuls. Besides flights to Istanbul, Antalya, Tehran, and Tbilisi, the airline will offer a large number of destinations in Russia — Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kazan, and Mineralny Vody, as well as a flight between Azerbaijan’s second city, Ganja, and the Russian capital.

                On the surface, Buta’s launch comes as part of a continued drive by the PR-hungry country to develop tourism and the airline industry. In September 2014, Heydar Aliev Airport opened a state-of-the-art Flight Operations Control Center in preparation for the European Games, held in Baku in June 2015. The Control Center’s dispatchers all received licensing from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration. Later that month, Azerbaijan Airlines (AZAL) launched its first direct flight between Baku and New York City.

                This year, Azerbaijan began allowing citizens and residents of 94 countries to order electronic visas online. As of this month, the e-visas are delivered in only three hours. Encouraging low-costers to fly to Azerbaijan has also long been part of this general tourism push.

                But economic crisis remains the elephant in the room. Buta’s launch clearly represents a conscious adjustment to declining fortunes.

                Since 2014, falling oil prices and Western sanctions have led to a financial crisis in Russia and the collapse of the Russian ruble. War and a heavy debt burden have also left Ukraine’s economy in shambles. (There, Irish low-coster Ryanair’s decision not to fly to the country sparked widespread anger among Ukrainians unable to afford other flights to Europe.) Falling oil prices have also plunged the Azerbaijani economy into economic crisis and sent the country’s currency, the manat, into a tailspin.

                Buta appears to be focusing its efforts where it believes profit is guaranteed. In the first half of 2017, Russia was the number one source of tourists to Azerbaijan, the Trend news agency reported. Russia also fielded over 400 thousand tourists from Azerbaijan as of July this year, the TurStat analytical agency calculated. Meanwhile, Ukraine remains hungry for affordable flights, and Turkey and Georgia are old favorites.

                What once was low-cost in the region no longer appears so low.

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                • Azerbaijan Sues French Journalists, In France, For Defamation

                  September 5, 2017 - 1:42pm, by Bradley Jardine

                  Azerbaijan Sues French Journalists, In France, For Defamation
                  Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev, at an event handing over free apartments to government-friendly journalists. Azerbaijan has sued two French journalists for defamation for calling the country a "dictatorship." (photo: president.az)


                  Two French reporters appeared in a Parisian court on September 5 to face charges that they defamed Azerbaijan by calling it a “dictatorship.”

                  One of the journalists, Elise Lucet, called Azerbaijan “one of the world’s harshest dictatorships” in a “Cash Investigation” program broadcast on the France 2 television network in September 2015. The other, Laurent Richard, referred to the state as a dictatorship during a radio interview with France Info following his May 2014 arrest during a reporting trip in Baku.

                  The head of the Reporters Without Borders (RSF) Eastern Europe and Central Asia desk, Johann Bihr, testified on the journalists' behalf, as did Azerbaijani journalist Agil Khalil and husband-and-wife human rights defenders Leyla Yunus and Arif Yunus. Khalil fled to France in 2008 after escaping several murder attempts in Azerbaijan. Leyla and Arif Yunus fled to the Netherlands after being imprisoned for 18 months.

                  In a release ahead of the trial, RSF called the suit an attempt “to export censorship to France.”

                  “By suing two French journalists who just used their right to free speech, the Azerbaijani government is demonstrating its complete inability to tolerate criticism, said ”RSF secretary-general Christophe Deloire.

                  Meanwhile, former French parliamentarian Jean-Francois Marcel has agreed to testify for Azerbaijan’s government. Marcel is on the board of directors of the Association of Friends of Azerbaijan, which is partly financed by Baku.

                  French media called the case “unprecedented” as it appeared to be the first time French media were sued in France by another country.

                  The suit recalled a similar one in 2011, when Lola Karimova, the daughter of then Uzbekistan President Islam Karimov, sued the French news website Rue89 in 2011 for calling her a “dictator’s daughter.” But Karimova then was suing as a private individual. She lost the case, with the court ruling that the article in question was “entirely true to reality.”

                  It was a bad PR day overall for Azerbaijan, as the waves from a blockbuster investigation published the night before continued to ripple. On September 4, the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) released a damning report on Azerbaijan’s $2.9 billion money-laundering schemes in the UK. In response, Baku blocked access to the OCCRP’s website on September 5.

                  Hikmet Hajiyev, the spokesman for Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, then took to twitterto suggest the reports are part of a “Soros funded fake news and disinformation campaign” to discredit the government of Azerbaijan.

                  Hajiyev also attacked Giorgi Gogia, the South Caucasus Director at Human Rights Watch, after he shared a Washington Post op-ed on Baku’s crackdown on independent media, accusing him of orchestrating a “disinformation campaign against Azerbaijan.”

                  The Azerbaijani authorities have also been carefully dismantling domestic media. The Turan news agency, the country’s last independent media outlet, became the latest victim in August of this year. Its director has been jailed and its bank accounts have been frozen, forcing it to suspend all activities. Access to all the main independent news websites is blocked.

                  At least 16 of Azerbaijan’s journalists, bloggers and media workers are currently imprisoned according to RSF.

                  Comment


                  • Azerbaijan’s Last Independent Media Company to Suspend Operations

                    August 25, 2017 - 10:36am, by Bradley Jardine

                    AzerbaijanÂ’s Last Independent Media Company to Suspend Operations
                    A campaign poster by the Human Rights House Network calling attention to the arrest of Mehman Aliyev, the director of Azerbaijan's only independent media outlet.

                    The director of Azerbaijan's Turan Information Agency was arrested and ordered detained for three months as part of an ongoing investigation into alleged tax evasion and abuse of power by the country's only independent news agency. As a result the agency said it is suspending operations as of September 1.

                    The arrest follows owner and director Mehman Aliyev’s August 18 announcement that Azerbaijan’s tax authorities had frozen Turan’s bank account as part of a criminal probe launched against the media company earlier in the month.

                    Human rights groups have raised concern about the legitimacy of the charges and point to the Azerbaijani government’s broad crackdown on independent media and civil society.

                    “The authorities are stepping up the pressure on Turan because they have been unable to force it to cooperate,” said Johann Bihr, the head of the Eastern Europe and Central Asia desk of Reporters Without Borders. “Mehman Aliyev is one of journalism’s pioneers in Azerbaijan. His only crime is to have headed the country’s last independent media outlet. We demand his immediate released and the withdrawal of all the politically motivated charges against Turan” he said.

                    Comment


                    • IDF drill and new Hizballah tactics at Deir ez-Zour
                      06/09/2017
                      debka


                      By Wednesday, Sept. 6, day three of the big IDF exercise for war with Hizballah - after the Syrian army and two Hizballah brigades, with massive Russian air and missile support, had broken the three-year ISIS siege of Deir ez-Zour - it was evident that Hizballah was fighting a different war from the scenario tens of thousands of Israeli troops were practicing in the north.
                      DEBKAfile’s military sources have no doubt that without this Russian support, the Syrians and Hizballah would have found it much harder to knock down ISIS defenses, before advancing into the long-beleaguered eastern town, free the wretched population and reunite with the force holding out in the trapped Syrian airbase.
                      Russian jets were there to hit any ISIS fighters emerging to refortify damaged lines and rebuild military positions and prevent manpower moving between points. The defense ministry in Moscow confirmed that a Russian warship in the Mediterranean had fired Kalibr cruise missiles to destroy an ISIS communications and command center, ammo depots and an armored vehicle repair shop. The ISIS occupiers of Deir ez-Zour had no air defense missiles for hampering Russian air strikes.
                      This Deir ez-Zour operation counts nonetheless as a major victory for the Syrian ruler, Bashar Assad, and his army, although there is still more fighting ahead in the east, as the defeated ISIS withdraws eastward towards another of its strongholds, the Syrian-Iraqi border town of Abu Kamal.

                      HIzballah certainly shares in this victory against ISIS in ten days of fighting .It is not its first.

                      Last week, the clash of arms against ISIS and other Islamist groups in the Qalamoun Mountains on the Syrian-Lebanese border ended in their virtual surrender and withdrawal.Notwithstanding vehement denials, there was coordination between the Syrian, Lebanese and Hizballah forces battling ISIS enclaves on both sides of that border, with US and British special forces also taking part. It was this virtual coalition which tipped the balance and led to the operation’s successful conclusion.

                      We are therefore seeing Hizballah emeging as an army, which has gained valuable combat experience in five years of fighting shoulder to shoulder with the Syrian army and foreign Shiite militias. This experience was enhanced in recent weeks by close military conjunction with two world powers, Russia and the United States.

                      The IDF drill which has another seven days to go is geared to fighting a war triggered by a Hizballah invasion of northern Israel from Lebanon. Is that scenario still realistic in the light of that experience and the latest events on two Syrian battles?

                      Most unlikely, say our military sources. They note that, building on its gains and experience in the Syrian war arena, Hizballah may well choose a quite different tactic, e.g, an attempt to draw Israeli forces into Lebanon and then Syria by opening a second front against the IDF from there. In Syria, Hizballah can count on the support of the Syrian army and pro-Iranian Shiite militias - an alliance which has proved itself in Syria - whereas an invasion of northern Israel would find Hizballah fighting alone and surrounded by Israeli forces.
                      In the remaining seven days of the exercise, the IDF still has a chance to update its scenario.
                      Last edited by Vrej1915; 09-10-2017, 10:09 PM.

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