Russians Conduct Nuclear-Bomb Survival Drills as Cold War Heats Up


MOSCOW—Russian authorities have stepped up nuclear-war survival measures amid a showdown with Washington, dusting off Soviet-era civil-defense plans and upgrading bomb shelters in the biggest cities.

At the Kremlin’s Ministry of Emergency Situations, the Cold War is back.

The country recently held its biggest civil defense drills since the collapse of the U.S.S.R., with what officials said were 40 million people rehearsing a response to chemical and nuclear threats.

Videos of emergency workers deployed in hazmat suits or checking the ventilation in bomb shelters were prominently aired on television when the four days of drills were held across the country. Students tried on gas masks and placed dummies on stretchers in school auditoriums.

The capital’s civil-defense plans are also being upgraded, said Andrey Mishchenko, deputy head of the ministry.

“An inventory was taken in Moscow of the city’s underground spaces, in order to allow us to plan for sheltering 100% of the city’s population,” he said, as reported by state news agency RIA Novosti.

In parallel, commentators on state-dominated airwaves issued some of the shrillest anti-American rhetoric in years. “Russia is sick of America’s arrogant lies,” influential commentator Dmitry Kiselyov said this month after a Syrian peace plan collapsed.

Xinhua/Zuma Press The underground “Bunker-42” shelter in Moscow, once a Soviet emergency-command post, is now a museum.

After a mistaken strike by U.S.-led coalition warplanes on Syrian troops in September, Russia’s Defense Ministry warned that its air defense systems could shoot down any American plane that threatened its own forces.

And when a Russian tabloid wrote that government officials had been asked to take their children back from the prestigious preparatory schools and universities they attend in Britain, France and the U.S., speculation swirled about preparation for all-out war with the U.S.

The rhetoric reinforces Russians’ idea that their country is a superpower on par with the U.S. It also offers a distraction from an economic recession and from President Vladimir Putin’s approval ratings, which have dipped from recent highs. The threat of nuclear war also keeps the population pliant and uncritical, said Lev Gudkov, head of the Russian polling group Levada-Center.

“Most people believe that the Third World War has begun, but right now we are still in the cold phase of the war, which may or may not turn into a hot war,” he said. “And during war, you have to support your country’s authorities.”

Propaganda attacks in recent months have encouraged public ire toward various targets of the Kremlin, including Turkey, Ukraine and Russia’s domestic political opposition.

Russia’s state media and pro-Kremlin commentators have also begun zeroing in more energetically on Washington. Ties between the two countries fell to a low after a joint Russian-U.S. peace plan fell apart in Syria, where the two countries support opposing sides in a long-running conflict. President Vladimir Putin last year brought Russia into the fight in support of the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in a direct challenge to the U.S.

“For Russia the breakdown of diplomacy around Syria is a symbol of the dysfunction of the world order established by the U.S. after the Cold War,” said Fyodor Lukyanov, chairman of the Presidium of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, which advises the Kremlin and other government institutions. “For Americans, it’s that the Russians are just misbehaving.”

The Cold War echoes also resound in U.S. politics, as Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has sparred publicly with Republican Donald Trump over Russia policy and cyberattacks that U.S. officials blame on Moscow.

But in Russia, the talk of a new Cold War has taken on a life of its own. Igor Zuyev, whose SIS Proektstroy builds bomb shelters for state companies and private individuals, said his company has seen a threefold rise in demand over the past year for structures that he says guarantee protection from nuclear bombs and military invasion.

“When the situation started to heat up, particularly after the events of Crimea, a few months later people went mad, the demand was furious,” Mr. Zuyev said, referring to Moscow’s annexation of the Black Sea peninsula in 2014. “Demand has been rising ever since.”

Lights, camera, propaganda! US government anti-Russia campaign invades Hollywood

For years the influence of the CIA in Hollywood was hidden and unacknowledged. Now it’s more of an open secret; not publicized, but pretty easy to read up on if you care. Just ask the spy agency’s Entertainment Industry Liaison.

Yes, such a thing really exists.

You see, the CIA’s man in Hollywood wants to help actors, authors, directors, producers and screenwriters “gain a better understanding” of the intelligence agency in order to ensure “accurate portrayals” of its activities. It even wants to help fire up the neurons and actually give you some good ideas if you’re coming up short in that department. Indeed, the CIA provides “inspiration for future storylines” and lists them on its website. Of course, it’s all in the interest of creating authentic and balanced portrayals of US intelligence agencies and the US military. And they’re quite busy, too. Between 2006 and 2011, the CIA public relations office had input into at least 22 film and movie projects.

In a column for the Washington Post in 2011, David Sirota noted that the Pentagon too enlists the help of Hollywood for PR purposes when things are going awry and Americans are becoming weary of war. Movies like Top Gun in the 1980s and Zero Dark Thirty more recently were made in consultation with the Pentagon and White House. The result of this “creative input for Pentagon assistance” bargain created an entertainment culture “rigged to produce relatively few anti-war movies and dozens of blockbusters that glorify the military” and which amounts to “government subsidized propaganda,” Sirota wrote.


The CIA has had a hand in creating TV shows like 24, Homelandand Alias. The Americans an FX show about two Russian spies living undercover in the US — was created by a former CIA agent, and the agency reportedly approves the scripts for each episode.

A piece in the Guardian in 2008 called the CIA’s involvement in Hollywood a “tale of deception and subversion that would seem improbable if it were put on screen”. Of course, it’s unlikely to be put on screen, given that the agency which provides guidance on CIA-related movies (…) is the CIA.

Enlisting Hollywood help with “anti-Russia messaging”

Remember the “inspiration for future storylines” list mentioned earlier? Well, guess what? The liaison’s “current pick” for a possible future movie project is about one Ryszard Kukliński — a Polish colonel and spy for NATO who spent years passing secret Soviet documents to the CIA. I wonder why they’d be interested in that sort of thing right now. It couldn’t be anything to do with deteriorating relations between Russia and the West, could it?

It may sound like conspiracy theory, but the 2014 hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment revealed that the the US State Department has actively sought out the biggest players in Hollywood and tried to enlist their help with what they called “anti-Russia messaging” for the public’s consumption through innocent entertainment. In other words, the government asked Hollywood for help producing propaganda — although I’m sure the State Department would call it something nicer.

Richard Stengel, the US under secretary for public diplomacy, wrote to Sony CEO Mark Lynton explaining that the government needed help countering both ISIS and “Russian narratives” and said this wasn’t something the State Department could do “on its own”. He suggested convening a meeting of media executives to discuss ideas, content, production and “commercial possibilities”. Lynton responded with a list of media executives at other entertainment companies including Disney and Fox. It’s unclear from the emails whether that meeting Stengel requested ever happened, but judging by much of the recent entertainment industry output, one might be forgiven for assuming it did.


Negative depictions of Russia in American and British news and entertainment media are hardly new — but at least as far as I can tell, there’s certainly been an uptick over the past 12-18 months, and it coincides nicely with a major US government-led anti-Russia messaging campaign which has also spilled over into much of Western print and broadcast media. Gratuitous mentions of Russia and Vladimir Putin where they are not necessary are becoming tiresome. For me, the last straw was sitting down to watch Bridget Jones’s Baby last month and being subjected to an entirely unnecessary and irrelevant subplot about the anti-Putin punk band Pussy Riot and their struggle for free speech. It was the last straw because it was just one more in a long line of useless allusions to big bad Russia that seemed to come from nowhere.


In the Netflix political drama House of Cards, Pussy Riot — the real ones this time — got their own cameo alongside evil Putin (not the real one). But even when there isn’t a major storyline attached to Russia, somehow the country frequently gets thrown in anyway. Russia is still the go-to country when there needs to be a joke about scary or immoral foreigners. There are endless examples.

In NBC’s Scandal, one character suggests Putin might randomly invade Belarus. In CBS’s Madam Secretary, one character spews the line: “I can’t go back to Russia, it’s a pigsty.” In the recently released movie Bad Moms, one of the bad moms, protesting something or other which I can’t recall, shouts “What is this, Russia?” The short-running show Allegiance was entirely about a Russian sleeper cell in the US which was suddenly reactivated and whose members — now fully adapted to blissful life in America — no longer wanted anything to do with Russia. How original.

NBC’s Blacklist has given us multiple Russian baddies and the sitcom 2 Broke Girls has made its fair share of Putin jokes. The third installment of The Purge introduced us to a gang of menacing Russian “murder tourists” who take advantage of the annual 12-hour period during which any crime, including murder, becomes legal. I could go on, but you get the idea: Russians are bad.


Is it all CIA influence? Is it all the result of the State Department’s “anti-Russia messaging” campaign? Not necessarily. While the CIA does have huge influence in Hollywood on specific projects, many of the random negative references to Russia are probably the result of a media information war which naturally spills over into the creative output of writers and directors. Many of them probably shouldn’t be blamed too harshly. They’re fed a diet of anti-Russia messaging through the news media, so it’s no wonder these kinds of lines end up in their movies and TV shows.

Interestingly, in June, the Senate Intelligence Committee included an amendment to Congress’ annual intelligence spending bill which would require the Director of National Intelligence to submit reports detailing the relationship between the CIA and Hollywood. But the Senate committee is no doubt less worried about the propaganda effects and more worried about the CIA divulging sensitive and classified information to movie directors, as was the case, controversially, with Zero Dark Thirty.

Anyway, tip for aspiring filmmakers and TV producers: Leave the Russia jokes out. It’s getting boring.

Clinton adviser wants US to intercept Iranian ships to help Saudi Arabia

Hillary Clinton’s campaign adviser, former CIA director Chris Morell – known for recommending killing Russians in Syria, and opposing the Iran nuclear agreement – has emerged with a new idea: forcibly boarding Iranian ships to help Saudi forces.

The idea to escalate support for the Saudis by engaging in such open aggression against Iran was voiced by the Democrat during a speech given to Clinton campaign manager John Podesta’s liberal think-tank, Center for American Progress (CAP), on Tuesday.

“Ships leave Iran on a regular basis carrying arms to the Houthis in Yemen,” he said, speaking on the Iran-aligned Shia rebels fighting the government there. “I would have no problem from a policy perspective of having the US Navy boarding their ships, and if there are weapons on them, to turn those ships around.”

These ideas, as well as the former CIA director’s supportive stance on waterboarding, may sound like something out of the Republican camp, but Morell is indeed with Clinton, and in the event of Clinton winning the election, he is poised to become a driving force in American foreign policy.


He did, however, express some worry that forcibly boarding Iranian ships in foreign waters might pose some problems with regard to international law. But according to Morell, who has accused Iran of “malign behavior in the region,” taking things to the next level is exactly what is needed to “get the attention of our friends in the region to say the Americans are now serious about helping us deal with this problem.”

The Iran-aligned Houthi rebels captured Yemen’s government institutions and exiled President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi in 2014. The Americans believe him to be the country’s legitimate leader, and are in league with Saudi Arabia over expelling the rebels from Yemen.

Gulf countries then set about bombing Yemen in the spring of 2015, with no protests emanating from the Americans, who have engaged in active support. The death toll topped 4,000 in late October, as the Saudi-led coalition used tens of billions of dollars in US weapons aid – including laser-guided bombs and internationally-banned cluster bombs – creating a humanitarian catastrophe that has put millions of lives in danger.

One of the latest Saudi bombings hit a funeral hall and killed 140 people.

Washington, however, is careful not to brand the Houthis terrorists. Aside from enjoying a tenuous alliance with Iran, the Houthis have also been committed to fighting against Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Al-Qaeda is, after all, considered a terrorist group by Washington.

Podesta’s CAP released a fresh report last week, entitled ‘Leveraging US Power in the Middle East,’ calling for continued cooperation with the Gulf alliance and expanded action against Syria, which is allied with Iran in all of this. According to The Intercept, the report was received with open arms by UAE Ambassador to the US, Yousef al-Otaiba.


The ambassador’s position has been that the US is not doing enough to help the Sunni monarchies expand their influence, adding that he would like to see Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, and Jordan enjoy renewed support from Washington, “to get the band back together,” as he put it, according to The Intercept.

The US has sold more than $20 billion in arms to Saudi Arabia in the past 18 months.

Morell, for his part, believes the Middle East conflict is not a struggle between Iran and the Gulf monarchies, but instead “a desire on behalf of the Iranians to be the hegemonic power in the region… and it is the Sunni Gulf states pushing back against that. That is what’s happening.”

In August, Morell told Charlie Rose in a PBS interview that Russia and Iran should suffer in Syria for their support of the government of Bashar Assad.

The former CIA director said: “What they need is to have the Russians and Iranians pay a little price. When we were in Iraq, the Iranians were giving weapons to the Shia militia, who were killing American soldiers, right? The Iranians were making us pay a price. We need to make the Iranians pay a price in Syria. We need to make the Russians pay a price.”

He suggested that the killing be done “covertly, so you don’t tell the world about it, you don’t stand up at the Pentagon and say ‘we did this.’ But you make sure they know it in Moscow and Tehran.”

In the same vein, he proposed US forces bombard Syrian government installations to “scare Assad.”

Former CNN Reporter Exposes the Truth – OBAMA PAID THEM TO LIE


If you eventually watch CNN, you’ll understand that the network has turned into a front for the Clinton Campaign and a bastion for spreading liberal non-sense. Now, a report by among its own journalists has discovered that CNN in addition has taken bribes from international countries.

The CNN reporter who blew the lid on this issue was none other than Amber Lyon, formerly employed by CNN and an “award winning reporter.” Yesterday, Lyon “blew the cover” on the network’s suspicious business practices.

Lyon claims that CNN “is paid by the U.S. government for reporting on some events, and not reporting on others.” Lyon also told us that the network is a tool for the Obama Administration to manipulate the information the American Public gets to see.

Lyon claims that Obama has been controlling what we know through CNN, her former employer.

Lyon’s findings suggesting that the network acted as an information filter for the Obama Whitehouse has confirmed the suspicions of many that government corruption reaches far into supposedly non government sectors of America.

A few years ago, Lyon was interviewed by Joe Rogan, and revealed some very shocking testimony concerning her reporting of the 2011 Arab Spring Protests in Bahrain.

During Lyon’s interview with Joe Rogan, she explained that she and another female colleague were part of a 4 person team sent by CNN to Bahrain in 2011. Arriving in Bahrain, Lyon noticed something very odd- the United States government had been supplying over $1 billion worth in weaponry- including tear gas- to the oppressive Bahraini regime looking to suppress popular protests in the country.

Lyon was threatened by United States government personnel while staying on a U.S. Navy base in Bahrain. She was told not to report the incident, or face grave consequences.

Instead, CNN told her to be quiet and not report the Bahraini government’s suppression of peaceful protests, but was forced to report complete lies.

The Guardian confirms much of Lyon’s testimony, and tells us that the CNN journalists themselves were victims of oppression from the Bahraini authorities:

“The CNN crew itself was violently detained by regime agents . As they described it after returning to the US, “20 heavily-armed men”, whose faces were “covered with black ski masks”, “jumped from military vehicles”, and then “pointed machine guns at” the journalists, forcing them to the ground. The regime’s security forces seized their cameras and deleted their photos and video footage, and then detained and interrogated them for the next six hours.”

Right now, Amber Lyon is trying to get the word out that the Obama Administration and CNN have worked together to support a brutal, repressive regime and silence journalists who are only doing their jobs to report the truth.

61% of Americans don’t feel represented by either Democrats or Republicans

Despite the current US electoral landscape, which again sees a Democrat and a Republican leading the face off in the finals, more than six in 10 Americans who put them there do not feel represented by either party, a survey found.

The presidential election in 2016 has the entire country and world on the edge of their seats, as any hope of a third party candidate is all but gone. But according to the 2016 American Values Survey by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI), dissatisfaction with both parties has plummeted sharply since 1990.

And it’s not just parties: Americans don’t trust the electoral process as a whole, with only 43 percent believing their vote will be counted accurately. One in five people has shown a complete lack of confidence.


“Pessimism about the direction of the country is considerably higher today (74 percent) than it was at this time during the 2012 presidential race, when 57 percent of the public said the country was off on the wrong track,” the authors, who have tested 2,010 adults across 50 states, write.

One contributing factor that shook up people’s belief were things like outsider Donald Trump having success, and the popular Bernie Sanders, who lost his party’s nomination. This did not make life any easier for third-party candidates like the Libertarian Gary Johnson and Jill Stein of the Greens.

The resulting disappointment is thought to have contributed to 61 percent saying neither party reflects their views, with only 38 percent disagreeing.

The authors write that the views don’t change across class or race.

Yearning for another ‘Golden Age’?

Most of the people who support the firebrand Trump (72 percent) believe they’re doing so because life in the US has changed for the worse since the 1950s, while almost the same portion of those supporting Hillary Clinton believe things are actually looking up.

What is also a telling sign is that a slight majority of college-educated whites believe things have become better since that time, while nearly two-thirds of the white working class believe the opposite. The authors believe this testifies to just how pronounced class differences have become.



The biggest pessimists in America are white evangelical Protestants, as nearly three-quarters (74 percent) say “American culture has changed for the worse since the 1950s.” But overall, the country is almost split on the matter, with 51 percent believing this aren’t looking as good as in the post-war golden age.

One thing everybody agrees on, however, is just how badly both the current candidates are doing. Less than half now view a major party candidate favorably, with Clinton taking 41 and Trump taking 33 percent in the poll.

And, as mentioned before, vote-counting confidence is a big issue. Here, Clinton supporters fair noticeably better, with 70 percent believing their votes will be counted accurately, compared to Trump’s 41 percent. This could be a result of how much importance each candidate or their party generally attributes to the issue.

“This election has become a referendum on competing visions of America’s future. Donald Trump supporters are nostalgic for the 1950s, an era when white Christians in particular had more political and cultural power in the country, while Hillary Clinton supporters are leaning into – and even celebrating – the big cultural transformations the country has experienced over the last few decades,” PRRI chief Robert P. Jones says.

But all of this is not to say that things have been steadily getting worse at the same rate. Outgoing President Barack Obama still enjoys one of the highest recent ratings among Democrats as the Number One president: 35 percent. That’s compared to John F. Kennedy, who had 21 percent, and Bill Clinton’s 20 percent. For Republicans, things appear to have ended with Reagan: nearly 69 percent of his constituents believe he was the best president ever. Although there’s a wild variation here, seeing as George W. Bush is next in line, and he has only 12 percent.

But mostly, everyone just wants the elections to be over: a startling majority (69 percent) recently told ABC News in a poll that they find the election stressful; of those 23 percent reported the period to be causing “serious stress.


#Podesta conspiracy 2.0: Ex-Swedish PM & Soros ally Bildt makes false RT-WikiLeaks claims


Former Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt has become the latest high profile figure to accuse RT of conspiring with WikiLeaks in the hacking and release of the #Podesta emails.

Monday saw the whistleblowing website leak its 17th batch of messages from Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair John Podesta and, not for the first time over the last fortnight, RT broke the story prior to WikiLeaks tweeting the announcement.


Bildt’s tweet claiming RT reported on the WikiLeaks releases “before they are released” drew some exasperated responses from Twitter users who pointed out the clear inaccuracy of his statement.


The former prime minister’s tweet prompted clarification from WikiLeaks itself.


Bildt is a controversial figure having sat on the board of Lundin Oil – an organization which was investigated for alleged human rights abuses in Sudan in the late ’90s and early 2000s. Two Swedish investigative journalists were imprisoned for terrorist-related offenses while looking into Lundin’s business dealings in Ethiopia in December 2011.

He was also a major supporter of the Maidan movement which eventually toppled the democratically-elected government of President Viktor Yanukovich in Ukraine and has caused continued unrest in the east of the country.


Having worked as an EU High Representative for Bosnia in the ’90s, Bildt was one of three people nominated by controversial tycoon George Soros, in an email to Clinton, to be a senior EU mediator in Albania during a period of civil unrest in 2011.

He is far from the first high profile political figure to suggest RT was in some way involved in the Podesta hack.

In early October Christopher Miller, a journalist with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and a freelance writer inaccurately claimed RT had published a story about the email drop before WikiLeaks had posted the documents on its website.

Clinton’s press secretary Brian Fallon made similar claims on Twitter while the campaign’s director of communications, Jennifer Palmieri, accused RT of collusion during a TV interview.

The reality was simply that RT journalists were monitoring the WikiLeaks website and reacted quickest to break the story when the emails were uploaded.


60 civilians killed, 200 injured as US-led coalition strikes Mosul residential areas


Over 60 civilians have been killed and at least 200 injured during three days of US-led coalition airstrikes on residential areas in Mosul, the Russian military reported.

There were numerous attacks of the US-led coalition targeting residential areas, schools, and other civilian objects both in Mosul and in other parts of the Iraqi Nineveh Governorate, Gen. Sergey Rudskoy, head of Operations in the Russian General Staff, told journalists on Tuesday.

We are closely monitoring the situation around Mosul. So far we see no substantial progress in liberating this city from the terrorists of ISIS,” he added, referring to the terrorist organization Islamic State by its former name.


According to the Russian military, among the civilian objects hit by US-led coalition airstrikes was a school for girls in southern Mosul, which was attacked last Friday.

Meanwhile, the International Committee of the Red Cross reiterated its call not to target civilians and civilian infrastructure in Mosul. The aid organization earlier warned that the offensive may force hundreds of thousands of refugees to flee the city, overstretching Iraq’s already-challenged ability to shelter them.

The general described the situation around the Iraqi city on the sidelines of a report about Russia’s action in Syria, where Moscow and Damascus continue a pause in the offensive in Aleppo, which is divided between the Syrian Army and various armed groups, including the terrorist organization Al-Nusra Front.


Rudskoy said that Russia has not conducted sorties over and around Aleppo since last Tuesday and intends to continue holding off the warplanes. Fighting on the ground in the city resumed on Sunday, after a three-day unilateral ceasefire was derailed by insurgents, who prevented civilians from fleeing the battered city.

Iraq’s Mosul is being besieged by a ragtag coalition of uneasy allies, which includes Iraqi government forces, Shiite militias, Kurdish troops, and the Turkish Army. The US-led coalition is providing air support for the operation, which was launched a week ago.

READ MORE: Turkey may launch ground op against Kurds in Iraq if feels threatened – minister

IS fighters have since launched a number of raids on their opponents’ communications, distracting the attacking forces from Mosul. No fighting inside the city has been reported yet, although several neighborhoods were seized during the offensive.