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Russia Watch Thread


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#161
caltrek

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Russia’s homegrown Web

 

https://mondediplo.c...ussian-internet

 

Introduction:

 

 

(Le Monde Diplomatique)  The Ukrainian government blocked access to a number of Russian online services this May, including search engine Yandex and Facebook equivalent VKontakte. Kiev accuses these services, widely used in Ukraine, of sharing data with Russian intelligence, especially the personal data of soldiers fighting separatists in the Donbass region. This measure stopped millions from accessing their favourite sites, and showed the Ukrainian government’s determination to escape the digital influence Russia still has over most of the former Soviet Union.

 

Russia is one of the few countries to have a nearly complete ecosystem of platforms and services independent from Silicon Valley, established by Russians and governed by Russian law. Much of the world uses Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple (GAFA) without access to credible local alternatives, but Russians and their near neighbours can choose between the US giants and Runet — the Russophone Internet and its services. Yandex is twice as popular as Google in Russia, while VKontakte is by far its most frequently visited site.

 

This is a major asset for Russia: its position on Web governance has strengthened considerably since Edward Snowden’s revelations on the US National Security Agency’s surveillance practices. In cyberspace as elsewhere, Russia treats sovereignty as the first priority in international relations, making it clear that it will do anything to prevent interference and espionage, especially by the US. Having its own Web infrastructure has allowed Russia to pass strong legislation, such as a 2015 law that requires digital platforms to store the personal data of Russian citizens on Russian soil, officially to shield it from snooping by the US. (Facebook and Twitter are required to have theirs near Moscow.) Russia has already blocked access to the business networking service LinkedIn for breaking this rule.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#162
PhoenixRu

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^ ^ ^ My few notes:

 

Yandex is twice as popular as Google in Russia

 

Yandex search is focused on Russian language and therefore provides better results for Russian search requests. Yandex Maps are far better than Google Maps for the same reason (focused on Russia and close neighbors). In my home city, there are whole new quarters which are still not shown in Google Maps. Unlike them, Yandex Maps are updated weekly and povides some services not available in Google (say, detailed mapping of public transport).

 

VKontakte is by far its most frequently visited site.

 

In Russia, Facebook got a terrible reputation because of Mark Zuckerberg's specific understanding of "freedom of speech" and "propaganda". Other words, there is a much greater chance that Facebook will supress and punish the pro-Russian than anti-Russian opinion (and this has become painfully obvious after 2014). Unlike Facebook, VKontakte is really free and unbiased space.


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"And the Russian land, let God keep it! Under heavens, there is no other land like this. And although Russian nobles are not righteous neither kind, let God arrange the Russian land and give us enough justice" - Afanasy Nikitin, medieval traveler of XV century.


#163
caltrek

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^Thank you for your feedback.  We may not always agree on the issues, but I do enjoy hearing from you.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#164
Alislaws

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I think its interesting that the nations that have big tech giant companies are USA, and then Russia and china, because everywhere else, US companies stomped on any local players, or just bought them out if they looked like they might be successful, so its only where US companies couldn't steamroll in that other big tech companies were able to form.



#165
caltrek

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55 Years After preventing Nuclear Attack, Arkhipov Honored With Inaugural Future of Life Award

 

https://futureoflife...ure-life-award/

 

Introduction:

 

(Future of Life) The Future of Life Award seeks to recognize and reward those who take exceptional measures to safeguard the collective future of humanity. Arkhipov, whose courage and composure potentially saved billions of lives, was an obvious choice for the inaugural event.

 

“Vasili Arkhipov is arguably the most important person in modern history, thanks to whom October 27 2017 isn’t the 55thanniversary of World War III,” FLI president Max Tegmark explained. “We’re showing our gratitude in a way he’d have appreciated, by supporting his loved ones.”

 

The award also aims to foster a dialogue about the growing existential risks that humanity faces, and the people that work to mitigate them.

 

Jaan Tallinn, co-founder of FLI, said: “Given that this century will likely bring technologies that can be even more dangerous than nukes, we will badly need more people like Arkhipov — people who will represent humanity’s interests even in the heated moments of a crisis.”

 

On October 27 1962, during the Cuban Missile Crisis, eleven US Navy destroyers and the aircraft carrier USS Randolph had cornered the Soviet submarine B-59 near Cuba, in international waters outside the US “quarantine” area. Arkhipov was one of the officers on board. The crew had had no contact with Moscow for days and didn’t know whether World War III had already begun. Then the Americans started dropping small depth charges at them which, unbeknownst to the crew, they’d informed Moscow were merely meant to force the sub to surface and leave.

Arkhipov-young.jpg?x56934


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#166
Sciencerocks

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Russia looks to prospect of future without Vladimir as sources say he has considered quitting
Source: The Independent

 

For a long time, it has seemed that the only person unsure he will run in the presidential elections next March is Vladimir Putin. The people expect it, his opponents are sure of it, his entourage is convinced of it. But Russia’s president is delaying.

Vladimir Putin is, sources say, tired. And he is reluctant to engage in a major national election - again. The campaign will be reduced to a bare minimum; there will be no repeat of the exhausting test of the 2011-2012 elections, when Mr. Putin declared his candidacy six months early.

The absolute deadline for registration depends on whether Mr. Putin runs as an independent or on a party platform. But most expect a declaration no earlier than mid-December.

The opposition, unable even to agree on a unity candidate, is of course unlikely to make a breakthrough. The controversial candidacy of TV personality Ksenia Sobchak has split the anti-Kremlin vote. Whether she will be allowed to participate is still, sources say, under discussion. The technocratic head of Putin’s administration, Sergei Kiriyenko believes her presence would add sparkle; others are less convinced.

 

Read more: https://www.msn.com/...ID=ansmsnnews11


To follow my work on tropical cyclones


#167
Yuli Ban

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I think he's Putin on a show. If he doesn't run, that'd be the biggest shock since Donald Trump became POTUS. 

I mean who would he pick, Maria?


Nobody's gonna take my drone, I'm gonna fly miles far too high!
Nobody gonna beat my drone, it's gonna shoot into the sky!

#168
PhoenixRu

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I mean who would he pick, Maria?

 

Which Maria?


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"And the Russian land, let God keep it! Under heavens, there is no other land like this. And although Russian nobles are not righteous neither kind, let God arrange the Russian land and give us enough justice" - Afanasy Nikitin, medieval traveler of XV century.


#169
Yuli Ban

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Maria Vladimirovna.


Nobody's gonna take my drone, I'm gonna fly miles far too high!
Nobody gonna beat my drone, it's gonna shoot into the sky!

#170
Maximus

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The Russian Ministry of Defence Publishes Screenshots of Computer Games as Evidence of US Collusion with ISIS

 

On the morning of November 14th 2017 the Russian Ministry of Defence published multiple posts in Russian, Arabic, and English on their Twitter and Facebook accounts, claiming to show “irrefutable evidence” of collusion between the US and ISIS combat units:

russian-mod-tweet-1.jpg

 

Unfortunately for the Russian MoD, eagle-eyed Twitter users immediately spotted some problems with the images. One image claimed to show an ISIS convoy leaving Abu Kamel on November 9th, 2017:

Untitled.jpg

 

What this in fact showed was a cropped screenshot from the mobile phone game AC-130 Gunship Simulator, specifically a screenshot from a promo video for the game:

 

 

The other images are also not from the dates and locations claimed by the Russian MoD, but from videos filmed in Iraq in 2016. 

 

If anyone still doubts that Russia is spewing misinformation like that mud volcano referenced on the timeline.


If the world should blow itself up, the last audible voice would be that of an expert saying it can't be done. -Peter Ustinov
 

#171
PhoenixRu

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The textbook example of sabotage: enemy's rat in your ranks serving as usual for years, and then, suddenly, doing something destructive. And take a note: the rat does not even take much risks. Yes, quickly revealed, but this was the "technical mistake of civil specialist". How can you prosecute someone for just a mistake? The rat was fired, of course, but this is already doesn't mean much compared to generous reward.

 

The goal? During minutes this story was posted by all the main western media. Look, people:

 

If anyone still doubts that Russia is spewing misinformation like that mud volcano referenced on the timeline.

 

And few minutes later, when Russian MOD corrected the "mistake of civil specialist" and posted the real stuff, nobody paid any attention...


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"And the Russian land, let God keep it! Under heavens, there is no other land like this. And although Russian nobles are not righteous neither kind, let God arrange the Russian land and give us enough justice" - Afanasy Nikitin, medieval traveler of XV century.


#172
PhoenixRu

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Something more serious:

 

Putin instructed to prepare for a possible increase of military produсtion

 

All the large private and state enterprises of Russia should be ready for the quick transition to military mode and increasing the military production, President Vladimir Putin said on November 22...

 

According to the head of state, the ability of the economy to rapidly increase the military production at the right time is one of the most important conditions for ensuring the military security of the state. "All strategic and simply large enterprises should be ready for this, regardless of their form of ownership," Putin said at a meeting on the military-industrial complex.

 

I can only hope that this is the serious project and not usual empty speech to reassure the public opinion. And that this is not too late. With current speed of events, this is unlikely that "western partners" will give us much time.


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"And the Russian land, let God keep it! Under heavens, there is no other land like this. And although Russian nobles are not righteous neither kind, let God arrange the Russian land and give us enough justice" - Afanasy Nikitin, medieval traveler of XV century.


#173
PhoenixRu

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SCUM:

 

DQTaZORWkAApD_3.jpg


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"And the Russian land, let God keep it! Under heavens, there is no other land like this. And although Russian nobles are not righteous neither kind, let God arrange the Russian land and give us enough justice" - Afanasy Nikitin, medieval traveler of XV century.


#174
wjfox

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Don't blame the IOC, blame the drug cheats.



#175
PhoenixRu

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Don't blame the IOC, blame the drug cheats.

 

What "drug cheats"? Are you trying to troll me? This have nothing to do with doping, nor with sport at all. Do not pretend, sir, that you're do not understand! And thank you for your advice, but i KNOW whom to blame.


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"And the Russian land, let God keep it! Under heavens, there is no other land like this. And although Russian nobles are not righteous neither kind, let God arrange the Russian land and give us enough justice" - Afanasy Nikitin, medieval traveler of XV century.


#176
PhoenixRu

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And additional humiliation: according to IOC, Russia must also pay 15 million to foreign inquisitors, to compensate the spendings on their "investigation". If ours will agree to even this, this will be the fucking shame of the century.

 

And, of course, our patricipation in football cup of 2018 is, too, under big question. Western officials are already discussing that the next step will be "investigation" of Russian football and that this would be an "interesting option" to "punish Putin". If you check my earlier posts (2 or 3 year ago) you'll find that i predicted this and was mocked for my "paranoya".


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"And the Russian land, let God keep it! Under heavens, there is no other land like this. And although Russian nobles are not righteous neither kind, let God arrange the Russian land and give us enough justice" - Afanasy Nikitin, medieval traveler of XV century.


#177
rennerpetey

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What "drug cheats"? Are you trying to troll me? This have nothing to do with doping, nor with sport at all. Do not pretend, sir, that you're do not understand! And thank you for your advice, but i KNOW whom to blame.

 

I am open to the idea that this was an anti-Russian ploy by the west, as you seem to suggest, but the evidence that I've heard seems to suggest otherwise.

 

https://www.theguard...er-games-doping

 

Nonetheless, many will feel that the IOC has not done enough given the weight of evidence against Russia – and that the IOC has again flinched its responsibilities, just as it did in July 2016 when it decided against banning Russia from last year’s Rio Olympics despite a report from the respected Canadian law professor Richard McLaren which found that the country’s government, security services and sporting authorities colluded to hide widespread doping across “a vast majority” of winter and summer sports.
 

 

Some had feared a repeat performance from the IOC on Tuesday, despite a second report by McLaren in December 2016 which confirmed that more than 1,000 Russian athletes had been involved in, or benefited from, state-sponsored doping.
 
It started when Wada revealed that it had received fresh evidence from a whistleblower that had “reinforced” McLaren’s findings. Separately, the Oswald commission, set up by the IOC to examine Russian doping in Sochi in 2014, began to ban Russian competitors from those Games retrospectively. So far the figure stands at 25 athletes, with 11 medals stripped.
 
Meanwhile the credibility of the Russian whistleblower Grigory Rodchenkov, who ran the Moscow anti-doping laboratory before fleeing last year and revealing what he knew to McLaren, was recently enhanced by the Oswald commission, who confirmed that he was a “truthful witness”.

 

Also, what rumors have been going around claiming that fifa is considering banning Russia from the tournament.  This is the closest I could find.

 

https://www.theguard...-world-cup-draw

 

Michel D’Hooghe, the chairman of the Fifa medical committee, confirmed Russian authorities would have no part in the anti-doping programme at next summer’s tournament.
 

 

“The anti-doping control will be done by medical officers of Fifa not Russia, nothing will be in the hands of the Russian organisers,” he said, “With the rumours around Russia it’s one reason more to say we give nothing of the doping control to Russian doctors, to the Russian authorities, to the local organising committee.”

It looks like here, it just says that Russian doctors will play no role in the Fifa anti-doping program.


Pope Francis said that atheists are still eligible to go to heaven, to return the favor, atheists said that popes are still eligible to go into a void of nothingness.


#178
PhoenixRu

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I am open to the idea that this was an anti-Russian ploy by the west, as you seem to suggest, but the evidence that I've heard seems to suggest otherwise.

 

As you wish, frankly i have no mood to discuss this theme... or, to be exact, i'll discuss this in other place, with my fellow Russians.


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"And the Russian land, let God keep it! Under heavens, there is no other land like this. And although Russian nobles are not righteous neither kind, let God arrange the Russian land and give us enough justice" - Afanasy Nikitin, medieval traveler of XV century.


#179
PhoenixRu

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First small step in right direction:

 

VGTRK will not show the Olympics-2018 without Russian national team

 

The All-Russian State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company (VGTRK) will not broadcast the Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang unless the Russian national team takes part in them.

 

In practice, this mean serious financial losses for IOC.


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"And the Russian land, let God keep it! Under heavens, there is no other land like this. And although Russian nobles are not righteous neither kind, let God arrange the Russian land and give us enough justice" - Afanasy Nikitin, medieval traveler of XV century.


#180
As We Rise

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I feel like the ban on Russian athletes has less to do with the drug users than it is anti-Russian sentiment. The athletes can still participate, but not under Russian flag or uniform.

It's just a feeling, though.

Let us all come together and help save the world, one tree at a time.





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