Sky News & AntiWar.com – 2016-10-28 21:18:28
(October 27, 2016) — Russian President Vladimir Putin says Russia is not going to attack anyone and denies claims his country is attempting to influence the US Presidential election.
Russian Threat Exaggerated by West
To Justify Military Spending — Putin
(October 27, 2016) — Vladimir Putin has accused the West of exaggerating the threat Russia poses to the world to justify increased military spending.
Addressing an audience of foreign policy experts, the Russian President said: “It’s very pleasant and profitable to make yourself out to be defendants of civilization from some new barbarians, but the thing is Russia doesn’t plan to attack anyone.” He said the idea was “unthinkable — simply stupid and unrealistic”.
Mr. Putin also slammed as “hysteria” claims that Russia has attempted to interfere in the upcoming US presidential elections by hacking American political institutions.
“The number of mythical, dreamt-up problems includes the hysteria — I can’t think of another word — that has broken out in the United States about the influence of Russia on the current elections for the US President,” he said.
“Does anyone seriously think Russia can somehow influence the choice of the US people? Is the US some kind of banana republic? The United States is a great power. Please correct me if I’m wrong,”
The US government has formally accused the Russian government of trying to “interfere” in the 2016 White House race by hacking US political institutions.
The Kremlin has repeatedly dismissed the allegations. Mr. Putin has said the accusation is meant to divert American voters from serious domestic problems such as the country’s national debt and gun control. “It’s a lot easier to distract people’s attention towards Russia’s so-called hackers, spies, agents of influence and so on,” he said.
Mr. Putin also took a jab at the West for its “mistakes” in its military interventions in Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan and now, Syria. “The fight against terrorism has not yielded a global result while the threats are only growing,” he said, adding that Russia’s calls to unite forces against terrorism have been ignored.
[Putin] blamed the US for the ongoing conflict in Syria, saying that “stopping bloodshed and launching a political process (in Syria) has not been possible”.
Meanwhile, a convoy of Russian warships, headed by aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov, continues to sail towards the eastern Mediterranean. Moscow has said it is “absurd” to think it is being sent to carry out military operations in Syria, but has not offered any reason for the fleet’s journey.
Russian, US Jets in ‘Near Miss’ Over Syria
Air Force General Attributes It to Lousy Russian Pilot
Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com
(October 28, 2016) — The US Air Force is claiming a “near miss” in the skies of Syria last week, in which a Russian jet that was escorting a spy plane came within “half a mile” of a US warplane. The incident was at night and none of the planes had any lights on.
US Air Force Lt. Gen. Jeff Harrigian chalked the matter up to inferior Russian pilots, saying that it was because the pilot did not have “the necessary situational awareness” and simply didn’t see that there was a US warplane flying around in the area.
The US is eager to hype any such incidents as proof of Russia’s “unsafe and unprofessional behavior” in Syria, though a major factor in this is that the US dramatically curtailed information sharing with Russia in Syria after the last ceasefire failed.
Details on the incident are still minimal, but it was described as happening in “eastern Syria.” This is unusual because, while Russian warplanes tend to operate in that area, where al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front holds significant territory, the US generally does not, and US airstrikes are more or less exclusively in the northwest of the country.
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