Category Archives: Russia

Global arms industry: First rise in arms sales since 2010, says SIPRI

Sales of arms and military services by the world’s largest arms-producing and military services companies—the SIPRI Top 100—totalled $374.8 billion in 2016, according to new international arms industry data released today by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

South Korea | IOC rejects 15 Russian athletes request to join Olympics

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has rejected a request from 15 Russians, who have been cleared of doping, to participate in the PyeongChang Olympics.

The 13 athletes and two coaches were among 28 Russians that had previously been given a lifetime ban for doping by the IOC.
However, the Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) overturned the ban last week, claiming there was insufficient evidence that they broke doping rules during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.
In contrast to the CAS ruling, the IOC said Monday its external review panel examined the 15 individual’s applications and found suspicions of potential doping violations.
“Extremely disappointing and surprising,” said IOC President Thomas Bach during a press conference in PyeongChang. “The privilege to be invited requires more than just the absence of a sanction.”
The IOC plans to make a decision on whether to appeal the CAS decision, once it sees full details of the ruling.
Bach also said the decision showed an urgent need for reform of the court’s structure.
Last December, the IOC banned Russia from competing in the Olympics because of confirmed allegations of state sponsored doping during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.
However, Russian athletes that proved they were clear of drugs were be allowed to compete under a neutral flag, and known as the Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR).
“The purpose of the review panel was to confirm that athletes can be considered clean for a potential invitation to the Olympic Winter Games,” said the IOC in a statement.
At least 168 Russian athletes are scheduled to compete as OAR according to the PyeongChang official website.
However, of the total Russian athletes a little over 70 are scheduled to take part in the Olympic’s opening ceremony according to the Russian Olympic Committee.
“Some of the athletes have competitions the day after the opening ceremony, while many have not yet arrived in PyeongChang. Our delegation at the opening ceremony will consist of 70 to 75 people,” the ROC said in a statement. “Among the participants in the ceremony will be players of the ice hockey team, snowboarders, lugers, alpine skiers, ski jumpers, freestylers, cross-country skiers, bobsled and skeleton racers, and speed skaters.”
The opening ceremony for the winter extravaganza of sports is slated for Friday at 8:00 p.m.

USA | NATO: Moving Ever Closer Toward Russia

By Phil Wilayto

When the North American Treaty Organization, or NATO, was founded on April 4, 1949, it had 12 members: the U.S., Canada and 10 Western European countries. By then the wartime cooperation with the Soviet Union was long over and NATO was essentially an anti-Soviet military/political alliance.

Russia | Andrei Kostin of VTB doesn’t believe Russians are running away like “cockroaches through the floorboards”

By John Helmer

Andrei Kostin, 61, the head of the state-owned VTB Bank, has enjoyed a long career as a state official and state banker.  His reputation among his international banking peers does not highlight expertise in treasury operations  or investment ingenuity. Rather, Kostin is reputed for being the trusted executor of his shareholders’ instructions, deliberative, loyal, cheerful.

It is now two minutes to midnight: 2018 Doomsday Clock Statement Science and Security Board

Founded in 1945 by University of Chicago scientists who had helped develop the first atomic weapons in the Manhattan Project, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists created the Doomsday Clock two years later, using the imagery of apocalypse (midnight) and the contemporary idiom of nuclear explosion (countdown to zero) to convey threats to humanity and the planet. The decision to move (or to leave in place) the minute hand of the Doomsday Clock is made every year by the Bulletin’s Science and Security Board in consultation with its Board of Sponsors, which includes 15 Nobel laureates. The Clock has become a universally recognized indicator of the world’s vulnerability to catastrophe from nuclear weapons, climate change, and new technologies emerging in other domains.