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December 10, 2022 1:15 am

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Selected Articles

Amid Ukraine War, Putin is Changing How Russia is Governed


When declaring martial law in Russian-occupied Ukraine last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin also handed special powers to regional authorities across Russia and created an influential new government body that is charged with coordinating supplies to the military.

To the average Russian, these changes might look trivial. But, step by step, Putin is laying the foundations for a fundamental restructuring of Russian politics.

As a result of decrees signed by Putin, regional governors can now limit civil liberties — and the federal government in Moscow has the scope to move the economy to a war footing. Different regions have been given different powers. For example, the authorities in annexed Crimea can temporarily resettle residents and put restrictions on those entering and exiting the region. In Moscow, the authorities can limit the movement of vehicles. Following October’s successful attack on the Crimean Bridge, infrastructure defenses are also being reinforced all over the country. 

Let down in Ukraine by his natural allies, the security services, Putin is now looking to senior figures in the civilian bureaucratic apparatus. And the Coordination Council, the government body which Putin set up in mid-October and which held its first meeting last week, is headed by Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin. 

Essentially, Putin has directed the Council to transform the economy so it can sustain the needs of the Armed Forces in Ukraine. Specifically, it will set targets for supplying the army; control prices, suppliers and logistics; and build and equip barracks and other military facilities. 

Decisions taken by the Council are not only binding for officials, but also for businesses. Mishustin has already announced that much of Russia’s manufacturing sector, including small businesses, will be required to produce equipment for the army.

The first meeting of the Coordination Council. The first meeting of the Coordination Council.

Judging by the scope of its powers, the Council will — to some extent — supersede even the Russian government itself. In the thick of the fighting in Ukraine, Putin is effectively carrying out political reforms and restructuring his power vertical — in an attempt to win the war. In his first meeting with Council members, Putin said that the time had come to “update” Russia’s system of government. “This is precisely why… this Coordination Council was created,” he told the assembled group.

Rebuilding power structures in wartime like this is a de facto admission that the Defense Ministry has failed in its goals in Ukraine. Putin bet heavily on military success at the start of the war, but this never materialized.

Russian soldiers have complained for months about insufficient supplies of weapons, ammunition, medicine and rations. Things failed to improve even after Putin replaced veteran Deputy Defense Minister Dmitry Bulgakov in September. And when mobilization was announced at the end of September, the Defense Ministry’s failures were put on display for all to see.

From now on, civilian officials will be tasked with supplying the army. In a bottom-up decision-making process resembling that used during the coronavirus pandemic, the onus will be on the federal government and local governors, who have a better understanding of their local areas. In other words, the responsibility for unpopular new measures will be delegated to regional officials. Failure will be punished by Putin himself — by humiliation in front of the TV cameras.

Putin apparently believes that Russia’s handling of the pandemic was a success, despite the country having one of the world’s highest excess death numbers. The key — and possibly sole — criterion for judging this “success” is that coronavirus did not impact Putin’s personal popularity or threaten his grip on power.

Of course, Putin closely monitors Russian public opinion when it comes to the war. In a copy we obtained of an unpublished survey for officials that was carried out by a Kremlin-controlled polling agency, the results reveal the Ukrainian counteroffensive and Russia’s mobilization announcement have shaken the public’s faith in what the Kremlin calls its “special military operation.”


The survey suggested 68% of Russians believe the war should be continued and 22% that it should be halted. Although, it’s worth remembering that independent polling experts have warned about trusting the results of surveys when those publicly opposing the invasion can be jailed under wartime censorship laws. 

In line with Russian propaganda that likens the current conflict to World War II, some state-run media outlets have compared Putin’s new Council with Stalin’s State Defense Committee, which was established in 1941. The committee, which remained in operation until Nazi Germany was defeated four years later, helped transform the Soviet economy and its decisions were binding for all state bodies.

One high-ranking Russian official said he was certain that, regardless of politics, Putin’s decision is the right one in terms of management effectiveness. 

“After mobilization was announced, the scale of the task was extraordinary,” he said. “We need to calculate everything correctly: what people at the front will eat, what they will wear, etc.”

As a part of this, any Russian businesses that can be repurposed will be obliged to produce supplies needed by the Armed Forces. “For example, companies that are currently sewing car seat covers can start sewing military uniforms,” the official said.

Others, however, are less sure. Sergei Aleksashenko, a former deputy finance minister, said it’s too early to say whether Russia is mobilizing its economy. He told us there were never any market principles in state defense contracts. “The Defense Ministry twisted arms, issued orders and set its prices,” he said. 

The Coordination Council’s membership is composed of more civilian officials than military ones. Apart from Mishustin, it includes Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, deputy prime ministers and senior financial and economic managers (with the notable exception of the head of the Central Bank). Members from the so-called siloviki include the heads of the Defense Ministry, the Federal Security Service (FSB), the Foreign Intelligence Service, the National Guard, the Interior Ministry and the Emergency Situations Ministry.

Putin and Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin. Putin and Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin.

Until recently, civilian officials were focused on maintaining economic stability and working to maintain the illusion among ordinary Russians that the war was something far away with few consequences for day-to-day life. Russia’s relatively successful insulation from the major economic shocks of sanctions — thanks to the efforts of the Central Bank and the government — has been key to preserving Putin’s popularity. 

But now, the president is pushing these same civilian officials to the fore. They are charged with solving the army’s supply problems and raising troop morale — by improving conditions for soldiers as well as ensuring that social benefits are awarded to their families and that they receive promised cash payouts. 

Mishustin is now the most senior manager of Russia’s war effort (after Putin). He will be aided in this role by the excellent relations he built with the FSB and other security agencies during his 10-year tenure leading the Federal Tax Service. However, he is also known for advocating closer ties to the West. He held onto these ambitions even after he became prime minister, and reportedly, for example, aspired to put forward another Russian bid to join the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Even now, Mishustin is far from a hawk. This is in stark contrast to former Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, who has emerged as one of the loudest pro-war voices among Russian officials. Our sources suggest that, while Mishustin is certainly no liberal, he has never really supported this war.

Mishustin’s old friend, Moscow Mayor Sobyanin, was also likely kept in the dark about Putin’s plans to invade Ukraine. Neither Mishustin nor Sobyanin have an FSB background and neither knew Putin during the early years of his career in St. Petersburg. Before the war, Sobyanin was even praised in the Western media, which highlighted the mayor’s interest in modern, Western urban design. Since February, Sobyanin has fought to minimize the impact of the war on Moscow — for example, city authorities have tried to make sure that not too many pro-war “Z” symbols are visible on Moscow’s streets.

Putin’s overhaul of government means that civilian officials — like Sobyanin and Mishustin — will now be unable to take a backseat. As it turned out, it is these civilian officials, not the siloviki, as many assumed, who form the backbone of the regime. These career bureaucrats, ultimately the most competent part of the system, include many who were horrified by the invasion. Now, Putin wants them to take on prominent roles in the ongoing war effort. 

Paradoxically, Putin’s security forces, in which he invested most of the country’s resources, proved unable to cope with the demands of the fighting.

In Putin’s new setup, Shoigu has been informally demoted. When the Crimean Bridge was attacked, he lost his position as a battlefield leader. Instead, Putin placed General Sergei Surovikin in charge of Russia’s forces in Ukraine. Now, even military logistics have been taken away from the Defense Ministry, leaving Shoigu as a rank-and-file member of Mishustin’s Coordination Council. Shoigu is only entrusted with menial tasks, such as calling his foreign counterparts to frighten them with tall tales of a Ukrainian “dirty bomb” plot.

This doesn’t mean that Putin is about to abandon his old comrade Shoigu. That’s not his style. After all, replacing a defense minister in wartime, especially one who polls as the country’s second most popular political figure, would be seen by Putin as an admission of mistakes. That is something the president always tries to avoid.

You can read more by Farida Rustamova and Maxim Tovkailo on their Substack.

Michael Novakhov - SharedNewsLinks℠

Blogs from Michael Novakhov | The Trump News Review – The News And Times

shared this story
from The Trump News Review – The News And Times.

Investigate in depth Trump, Kushner, Putin, German Intelligence, Russian Intelligence, Russian Mob and many other players!

Michael Novakhov – SharedNewsLinks 
1:10 PM 8/3/2020 – Does FBI investigate Ernst Uhrlau? Deutsche Bank launches investigation into longtime banker of Trump, Kushner – M.N.: She is the small fly. What about her boss, Ernst Uhrlau, the Consultant on the Geopolitical Risks and the former chief of the German BND?

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Michael_Novakhov shared this story from The Trump Investigations – Review Of News And Opinions – Blog by Michael Novakhov.

Deutsche Bank launches investigation into longtime banker of Trump, Kushner 

“Deutsche Bank launched an internal investigation into the longtime personal banker for President Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, a bank spokesman confirmed to The Hill on Sunday.
The New York Times first reported Sunday that the bank was looking into Rosemary Vrablic to determine if she had acted improperly when she and two colleagues bought an apartment for about $1.5 million in 2013 from Bergel 715 Associates.”

She is the small fly. What about her boss, Ernst Uhrlau, the Consultant on the Geopolitical Risks for the Deutsche Bank and the former chief of the German BND, who presumably approved the billions and billions in loans to Trump and Kushner, the debt which was later sold to the Russian bank VTB, a front and tool of the KGB – FSB and other Russian Intelligence Services? 

Does FBI investigate Ernst Uhrlau?
Michael Novakhov | 1:10 PM 8/3/2020

Investigate the investigators in depth! Save America! Reform the FBI now!

By its history and by its nature, the FBI is the half-criminal gang of the half-literate psychopaths. The only thing they care about is their own well-being, not the country. They are not capable and are not willing to understand their complex mission. It is the army of the hired thugs. This assessment had been proven many times over by themselves and by the outside independent observers. FBI destroys America, they are the huge problem, not a solution.

Reform the FBI now! Abolish the old FBI, and establish the new and competent domestic intelligence and law enforcement service.

No new Headquarters for them, they do not need and do not deserve it. The old ones are more than enough. Anyway, most of these psychopaths and criminals should be fired!
Michael Novakhov | 7:30 AM 8/3/2020 
To #US & #Senate: Present #Covid19 #Crisis is direct result of gross #incompetence & #stupidity of #FBI & #CIA. Both could be #penetrated and #subverted. New centralized structure after 9/11 was not a #solution. #INVESTIGATE & #REPLACE them, #ASAP or you will lose this #country
The FBI News Review: Russian Mob – TOC and Covid-19: Attention #FBI, #CIA, #DIA, #NSC: The event such as “COVID-19”: global, complex, defying understanding and the explanations; can be comprehended only if it is viewed as the terrorist BioInfoWarfare.




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» The News And Times: #KremlinGremlin #PutinKhan #КГБешный #Хулиган Что ни #слово, то #обман И Историю в карман | mr putin, history is not your whore – Google Search
13/06/21 13:12 from Blogs from Michael_Novakhov (19 sites)
mr putin, history is not your whore – Google Search <a href=”” rel=”nofollow”></a> — Michael Novakhov (@mikenov) June 13, 2021 The first public rally near the KGB building in Moscow on Lubyanka Square in memory …

Selected Articles

Russia says world’s five nuclear powers ‘on brink of armed conflict’ – follow live


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Arpan Rai

Thursday 03 November 2022 05:21


Russia summons UK ambassador over Black Sea Fleet drone strike

Volodymyr Zelensky says Moscow’s attempted blackmail has failed as Vladimir Putin was forced to take a U-turn and resume the grain exports deal in Europe.

“Today, we have a significant diplomatic outcome for our country and the whole world – the Grain Export Initiative will continue being implemented. Russian blackmail has led nowhere,” Mr Zelensky said in his address last night.

Vladimir Putin resumed Moscow’s participation in a UN-brokered deal allowing Ukrainian grain exports after he was urged by western officials to “stop using food as a weapon.”

Russia suspended its involvement in the Black Sea Grain Initiative over the weekend, saying it could not guarantee the safety of civilian ships because of a major drone attack on Russian vessels in the Bay of Sevastopol on the Crimean peninsula.

Elsewhere, the US has collected evidence which indicates that North Korea is covertly supplying Russia with a “significant” number of artillery shells for its war in Ukraine, it has been revealed.

Pyongyang was attempting to obscure the shipments by funnelling them through countries in the Middle East and North Africa, White House national security spokesperson John Kirby said.


The world’s five big nuclear powers are teetering “on the brink of a direct armed conflict”, Russia has claimed, warning of catastrophic consequences.

Blaming the west for “provocation”, Moscow ramped up the nuclear rhetoric, pinpointing “irresponsible and impudent actions aimed at undermining our national security”.

The statement by the foreign ministry said avoiding a nuclear clash was the country’s first priority, and that Russia stood by a joint declaration with the US, China, Britain and France in January affirming their joint responsibility for avoiding a nuclear war.

Read the full story here:

Avoiding ultimate clash is top priority, claims Moscow as it blames West for ‘provocation’

Arpan Rai3 November 2022 05:14

Foreign secretary James Cleverly will urge international allies to bolster resilience against Vladimir Putin’s “weaponisation” of energy and food at a meeting of G7 foreign minister in Germany today.

Mr Cleverly will warn that the Russian leader is plunging the world’s poorest “further into despair”.

He is set to stress the need to work together in the face of economic insecurity driven by Moscow’s war on its neighbour.

Mr Cleverly will accuse the Russian president of exploiting a scheme to export grain from Ukraine to low-income countries around the globe – claiming this shows his willingness to “hold the world’s vulnerable hostage”, the foreign office said.

Read the full story here:

James Cleverly is set to stress the need to work together in the face of economic insecurity driven by Moscow’s war on its neighbour.

Arpan Rai3 November 2022 04:13

At least four Russian ammunition depots situated in Ukraine’s south have been destroyed, the Ukrainian military’s southern unit said today.

The Ukrainian salvo of 150 fire missions and an airstrike on Russian positions traced in Ukraine’s south have destroyed four Russian depots and tanks carrying fuel, the southern command said in an update.

Now, Russia now has seven ships in the Black Sea, including one warship and one surface-to-surface missile carrier with eight Kalibr cruise missiles on board, the military unit said.

Arpan Rai3 November 2022 03:35

Volodymyr Zelensky said Moscow’s blackmail has failed and remained fruitless as Vladimir Putin has been forced to take a U-turn and resume the grain exports deal in Europe.

“Today, we have a significant diplomatic outcome for our country and the whole world – the Grain Export Initiative will continue being implemented. Russian blackmail has led nowhere,” Mr Zelensky said in his address last night.

He added: “Once again, everyone saw that there is only one threat to global food security in our region, and that is the Russian Federation, and no one else.”

The Ukrainian president thanked the UN and secretary general Antonio Guterres for “personally responding in a principled and effective way.”

“This entire situation was immediately reflected in the stock exchanges’ indicators – we see some decrease in the price of both wheat and corn. Every time Russian blackmail intensifies, food prices rise. And every time the world does not give in to blackmail, foodstuffs become cheaper,” Mr Zelensky said.

Mr Zelensky said that the phantom threat of the global food crisis would have not existed had there been no attack from Russia on Ukraine.

“Because every Russian missile that hits our ports, grain storage facilities, and power plants that power our agricultural production ultimately affects the standard of living of tens of millions of people in many countries. This includes Egypt, Algeria, Somalia, Sudan, Lebanon, Bangladesh, India, China, Indonesia, Vietnam…,” he said.

Arpan Rai3 November 2022 03:25

Good morning, welcome to our coverage of the Ukraine war on Thursday, 3 November.

Arpan Rai3 November 2022 03:14

Thanks for following our live updates, we are pausing our coverage for the evening.

Katy Clifton2 November 2022 18:31

Pakistan has denounced statements from a Russian senator that accused Islamabad of helping Ukraine develop nuclear bombs, calling them illogical.

Pakistan’s ministry of foreign affairs said on Tuesday that the statements were baseless and sought an explanation from its Russian counterpart.

“We are surprised by such an unfounded and baseless statement. It is without any rationale, and is entirely inconsistent with the spirit of Pakistan-Russia relations,” foreign office spokesperson Asim Iftikhar said in a statement.

Ukrainian specialists travelled to Pakistan to discuss nuke technologies, claimed a Russian senator

Emily Atkinson2 November 2022 17:30

Ben Wallace pledges to ‘fight for as much money as he can get’ to fund defence department
Emily Atkinson2 November 2022 17:00

Russian president Vladimir Putin has been urged by Western officials “stop using food as a weapon” after Moscow agreed to rejoin the UN-brokered deal allowing Ukraine grain exports.

Russia suspended its involvement in the Black Sea Grain Initiative over the weekend, saying it could not guarantee the safety of civilian ships crossing the Black Sea because of an attack on its fleet there.

The Kremlin claimed there was a major drone strike on Russian vessels in the Bay of Sevastopol on the Crimean peninsula – an area Mr Putin annexed from Ukraine in 2014 – part of which it said had originated from within the grain export corridor. Ukraine has said that was a false pretext.

Read our full report here:

Russia suspended its involvement in the Black Sea Grain initiative over the weekend

Emily Atkinson2 November 2022 16:30

Vladimir Putin has said Moscow reserved the right to withdraw again from a UN-brokered grain shipment deal that it had returned to – but that if it did so, it would not impede grain shipments from Ukraine to Turkey.

In televised remarks, Putin said that, in return for rejoining the agreement, Russia had demanded guarantees that Ukraine would not launch attacks from parts of the Black Sea covered by the deal.

Emily Atkinson2 November 2022 16:00

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(FILE) Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a Security Council meeting via videoconference


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