This is not the diary I wanted to write. Though it includes snippets of the research I wanted to share, it is not what I had been working on for the past few days, obviously.
I am rushing this diary through as I had most of the research already and because it is quite relevant right now.
Call me a CT nut if you want, but I can not help but think that the nuclear submarine that is in flames in the Arctic is tied to Pence being called to the White House. If this is a true crisis, DOD and the deep state do not want the orange traitor anywhere near this mess.
I had been in the process of composing a diary on the Russian industrialization of the Arctic when the news of the submarine broke. I see that a diary is on the rec list now. My diary does not attempt to cover the submarine crisis in Siberia. (See annieli’s diary which does a good job explaining the event.)
Instead, I want to share some information that I have learned about what the hell is going on up at the roof of the world.
We know Putin wanted Trump in the White House to rid himself of sanctions. As Representative Maxine Waters would say — follow the oil.
We also know Putin made it clear to Trump that he wanted Exxon’s Rex Tillerson instead of Romney for Secretary of State per a lesser known second Steele Dossier.
Putin wants control of the Arctic, he has been rattling sabers for a while now.
Japan’s Abe buys into Arctic LNG2. You see, just about all countries want a slice of the Arctic pie now that the climate emergency has made the region ripe for development. So the exploitation of the Arctic is Putin’s dream for world economic domination.
Of course, Trump and Pompeo are blind to the issue. They just salivate over all of that oil and natural gas just waiting to be tapped and, put into their coffers.
Perhaps this is the reason Pence returned to the WH? Pence and Putin canceled their plans at the same time. Coincidence? I think not.
In the piece, Mayer reveals the existence of a second dossier prepared by Steele in which the president* is accused, essentially, of letting Russian officials have a veto over the people he picked for his candidate. (Jesus, Russians, couldn’t you have stepped in on Zinke or DeVos. Give a brother a break here.) From Mayer’s story:
This memo, which did not surface publicly with the others, is shorter than the rest, and is based on one source, described as “a senior Russian official.” The official said that he was merely relaying talk circulating in the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but what he’d heard was astonishing: people were saying that the Kremlin had intervened to block Trump’s initial choice for Secretary of State, Mitt Romney. (During Romney’s run for the White House in 2012, he was notably hawkish on Russia, calling it the single greatest threat to the U.S.) The memo said that the Kremlin, through unspecified channels, had asked Trump to appoint someone who would be prepared to lift Ukraine-related sanctions, and who would coöperate on security issues of interest to Russia, such as the conflict in Syria. If what the source heard was true, then a foreign power was exercising pivotal influence over U.S. foreign policy—and an incoming President.
Leaving aside the fact that this story has Mitt Romney at its center as a hero, which, albeit, is a very hard concept to grasp, can we all stop pretending now that the current president* isn’t at least half a Russian asset? He hasn’t done a single thing to prove otherwise. And the guy he picked instead of Romney, the Putin-decorated oilman Rex Tillerson, is proving to be less of an impediment to the Volga Bagmen than the usual Secretary of State would be.
July 02, 2019
The «Boiky» and «Stoiky», two of Russia’s newest naval vessels, jointly engaged in search, hunt-down and destruction of enemy submarines in the Norwegian Sea, the Russian Navy informs.
As part of the training, the ships applied their anti-submarine armament and also tested air-defense systems. It was part of a longer voyage, the main mission of which is to «demonstrate Russian naval presence in various parts of the Atlantic Ocean,» the military says.
In addition to the two warships, Russian submarine “Vladikavkaz”, a Kilo-class sub from the Northern Fleet, will this week sail in surface position through the Norwegian Sea en route to St. Petersburg from the Kola Peninsula.
The training of the two Russian warships came just shortly ahead of the Dynamic Mongoose, NATO’s annual anti-submarine exercise. Six frigates, ten aircraft and several submarines from Canada, United States, France, Germany, Poland, Spain, Turkey and United Kingdom, as well as host nation Norway, on Tuesday launched the exercise that will take place in the Norwegian Sea until July 14th.
Among the ships are NATO’s Standing Maritime Group One (SNMG1), which are sailing north directly after completing the annual Baltic Operations (BALTOPS). The navy group consists of U.S. flagship guided-missile destroyer “USS Gravely”, British frigate “HMS Westminster” and Turkish frigate “TCG Gokova”, NATO informs.
Russia launched a nuclear-powered icebreaker on Saturday, part of an ambitious programme to renew and expand its fleet of the vessels in order to improve its ability to tap the Arctic’s commercial potential.
The ship, dubbed the Ural and which was floated out from a dockyard in St Petersburg, is one of a trio that when completed will be the largest and most powerful icebreakers in the world.
Russia is building new infrastructure and overhauling its ports as, amid warmer climate cycles, it readies for more traffic via what it calls the Northern Sea Route (NSR) which it envisages being navigable year-round.
The Ural is due to be handed over to Russia’s state-owned nuclear energy corporation Rosatom in 2022 after the two other icebreakers in the same series, Arktika (Arctic) and Sibir (Siberia), enter service.
“The Ural together with its sisters are central to our strategic project of opening the NSR to all-year activity,” Alexey Likhachev, Rosatom’s chief executive, was quoted saying.
President Vladimir Putin said in April Russia was stepping up construction of icebreakers with the aim of significantly boosting freight traffic along its Arctic coast.
The drive is part of a push to strengthen Moscow’s hand in the High North as it vies for dominance with traditional rivals Canada, the US and Norway, as well as newcomer China.
Russian president, Vladimir Putin is believed to be preparing for a new Cold War by opening a top-secret military base in the Arctic. The base situated on the northern ice cap is believed to be fully armed with nuclear-ready fighter jets and missile systems. Putin had overseen plans for the giant complex, which is painted in the colours of the Russian flag and built on Alexandra Land, an Island in Russia.
The project is believed to be part of a drive to take advantage of trillions of pounds worth of natural resources believed to be buried beneath the snow. Russian economists believe this could hold the key to the Kremlin unearthing almost £24 trillion of oil and gas buried deep beneath the snow, The Times reports.
Monday, Moscow released the first pictures of the giant Arctic Trefoil complex on the Arctic island of Alexandra Land – where temperature can drop to -50°C. Over 150 troops will be based at the compound. Moscow’s defense minister Sergei Shoigu confirmed nuke-ready Su-34 fighter jets will be deployed at a nearby airbase. Putin has ordered elite special forces, troops, to train for Arctic warfare, including training on how to use reindeer sleds as a means of transportation in the freezing conditions.
Vladimir Putin has his eyes set on starting a new Cold War – by opening a top-secret military base in the Arctic.
The giant complex on the northern ice cap is believed to be fully-armed with missile systems and nuclear-ready fighter jets.
And Russian economists reckon it could hold the key to the Kremlin unearthing almost £24 TRILLION of oil and gas buried deep beneath the snow, The Times reports.
Moscow yesterday released the first pictures of the giant Arctic Trefoil complex on the Arctic island of Alexandra Land – where temperature can drop to -50°C.
More than 150 troops will be based at the clover-shaped compound – which is decked out in the red, white and blue of the Russian flag.
And more worryingly, Moscow’s defence minister Sergei Shoigu confirmed nuke-ready Su-34 fighter jets will be deployed at a nearby air base.
Today, the portal stressed, Russia is entering its third large-scale effort to develop the region. There are several reasons for Moscow's careful attention to Arctic development. First, is the exploration and exploitation of mineral resources from the Polar region. Second is the issue, associated with climate change, of the possible reorientation of global transportation routes from the south to the north, including via the so-called Northern Sea Route. Finally, there is the issue of the Arctic's role in providing the northern hemisphere with clean drinking water.
As far as the latter is concerned, Expert Online emphasized that “the return of the Armed Forces to the region is one of the keys to the success of the third push into the Arctic. In December 2014, United Strategic Command 'North' was established to manage the military forces and assets in the area from Murmansk to Anadyr.”
Over the next several years, efforts are being made to launch nearly 150 projects worth over five trillion rubles (about $88.8 billion US). Four trillion rubles of that is expected to come from private sources. About half of these projects are related to the mining and processing of mineral resources, particularly in Yamalo-Nenets.
In addition to its role as defender of Russia's borders, the military serves to provide security in the event of natural and man-made emergencies, and is what the portal calls a “system-forming factor for the development of local cities and settlements.” Factually, the military is also “one of the main suppliers of new technology for civilian life (from clothing fit for the Arctic to footwear, medicines and machinery).” Accordingly, the importance of its participation in the third wave cannot be overestimated.
“It is here that about 95% of Russian nickel and cobalt, more than 80% of Russian gas, 60% of its copper, and 100% of its barite and apatite concentrate are produced. About 90% of the Arctic's natural gas, 10% of the active world reserves of nickel, 19% of the platinum group of metals, 10% of titanium, and over 3% each of Zinc, cobalt, gold and silver are concentrated in its Russian sector. The fishing industry produces about 15% of [Russia's] fish products.”
Along with energy and resources, two ambitious projects for the region's development include east-west railways, the White Sea-Komi-Ural (Belkomur) railway, as well as the Northern Latitudinal Line, a planned 700 km project aimed at linking Yamal-Nenets's eastern and western areas. Then there is the Sabetta Port project, a port and LNG plant under construction on the western shore of the OB estuary in the Yamal peninsula.
Among the key governing principles of the current program to develop the Arctic is the Public Private Partnership (PPP). Expert Online pointed out that the Ministry of Economic Development “has proposed a concept of eight core zones in which territories are developed as integral projects – in Kola, Arkhangelsk, Nenets, Vorkuta, Yamalo-Nenets, Taimyro-Turukhansk (Norilsk), North Yakutia and Chukotka. And it is on the principles of the PPP that the development of the North Sea Route is planned,” with active participation by Norilsk Nickel, Novatek, and Gazprom Neft, which are building new reinforced ice-class vessels.
The Arctic Shamrock and Northern Clover military bases (Alexandra Land and Kotelny Island, respectively) are designed to provide regional air defense and have pushed Russia’s military presence further north than any other country, giving Russia a distinct military advantage in the area. The Arctic Shamrock is, in fact, the world’s northernmost permanent building. Critics argue that this development is aggressive, as many regard the Arctic as one of Russia’s most stable and easily defendable borders and thus, that its military presence in the region should be minimal.
While climate change is helping to fuel Russia’s moves in the Arctic, Russia’s development of the region will continue contributing to rising temperatures. This, and the fact that Arctic development presents specific environmental risks, makes Russia’s activities in the region of relevance within international environmental discussions.
The greatest environmental threat to the region stems from the extraction and transportation of fossil fuels. While oil and chemical spills are likely to occur in any region containing oil and gas reserves, when such spills occur in the Arctic, they are particularly dangerous incidents.
For example, because the Arctic drilling season is typically limited to a few months during the summer, companies have a limited timeframe to cap leaking oil/gas wells or successfully drill relief wells before winter sea ice returns. Oil spills are also difficult to clean up and contain, as oil will become trapped under large blocks of ice and travel large distances under ice flows. Extreme weather conditions, short days, lack of search and rescue stations, also amplify the danger of such events.
Arctic shipping also poses environmental threats. For example, black carbon (soot) is a common pollutant produced by marine vessels through the incomplete oxidation of diesel fuel. When in the air, black carbon particles absorb sunlight and generate heat in the atmosphere, affecting cloud formation and rain patterns. When covering snow and ice, the particles absorb the sun’s radiation, generating heat and speeding the melting process. In 2004, 609 tons of black carbon were released into the Arctic region. Shipping other raw materials, such as nickel, also poses major risks, as raw nickel is a known carcinogen
These troubling pictures show how rotting junk – some toxic, and much of it from the Soviet era – blights the vast Arctic terrain in northern Russia.
They are highlighted as President Vladimir Putin and Premier Dmitry Medvedev are today due to make a joint visit to Alexandra Land in the Franz Josef Land archipelago – site of a key military base – to inspect clean-up operations.
Yet as the pictures show, there is far more work to do across nine time zones in the Russian Arctic.
Rusting metal barrels containing oil or chemicals stain the landscapes. There are mountains of disused tractors, excavators, fire engines, military vehicles, cranes, boats, and ships.
Dilapidated, abandoned buildings have been left to decay: once they were schools, or airports, or apartment blocks, but they were left to crumble and decompose.
Household waste is there too: old fridges, cookers, and broken furniture.
The head of Greenpeace Energy Department, Vladimir Chuprov, said: 'This is the price of industrial development of the Arctic, and it should be paid not by Russian taxpayers but by oil and other companies that receive astonishing profits from exploiting the area.
'We call to federal and regional authorities so that they show willpower and force them to pay.'
He warned: 'The Arctic might not survive the second wave of industrialization.'
One area where there has been success is in clean-ups staged by Russian military forces on President Putin's orders.
The Russian Ministry of Defence each summer stages major campaigns to remove harmful waste – this year getting rid of 6,540 tons, well above the target that had been set.
Please take a look at this video. This monstrosity is what today's Arctic is all about. The Yamal LNG starts at 2:06.
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