Media Scoundrels Cheerlead Phony Indictments of Russian Nationals

Media Scoundrels Cheerlead Phony Indictments of Russian Nationals

by Stephen Lendman ( – Home – Stephen Lendman)

They find new ways of sinking to new lows, featuring disgraceful rubbish. A contemptible NYT editorial  headlined “Stop Letting the Russians Get Away With It, Mr. Trump,” saying:

“Are you sure you still want to call it fake news, Mr. President?”

“He dismissed the Russian subversion effort as a hoax by his opponents and the media despite voluminous evidence to the contrary – including the consensus of the American intelligence community – that it did in fact happen, and is sure to happen again.”

“Now come the indictments…(T)he(ir) sheer scope…is breathtaking,” suggesting a connection to Putin.

Fact: A same day article discussed the shameful witch hunt indictments, proving nothing but Washington’s dark side – not laying a glove on Russia or Trump, the Times and other media scoundrels implying it anyway.

Russian nationals are charged with the “crime” of free expression, using social media and other means to express views, what millions of people worldwide do all the time – in America a First Amendment right.

The Times disgracefully called it “collusion…impact(ing) on the election.” In a lead article, the Times turned truth on its head, claiming the indictments “unveiled a sophisticated network designed to subvert the 2016 election and to support the Trump campaign.”

Rubbish! The Times ludicrously called on Trump to “take aggressive measures to protect American democracy,” including by imposing more illegal sanctions.

The neocon/CIA house organ Washington Post headlined “What Trump still doesn’t get about Russian interference in the election,” saying:

DOJ indictments of 13 Russian nationals “presents powerful evidence that Moscow staged an attack on the United States’ democratic political process” – a bald-faced lie.

WaPo: “The indictment…undercuts any lingering suggestion that Russian interference is a myth or a hoax…”

They prove absolutely nothing – no Russian US election meddling, no Trump team improper or illegal dealings with Russia, no criminality by anyone.

WaPo: “(T)he evidence of a Russian assault on the US election is a serious development in and of itself that any responsible president would respond to in a serious way.” 

“Such an attempt to delegitimize the American system could only have gone forward with the knowledge and approval of Russian President Vladi­mir Putin.” 

“It reflected the Kremlin’s all-too-accurate judgment that a divided and polarized US electorate would be vulnerable to the same sort of dirty tricks Russia has pulled in Europe.”

No Russian “assault” on the US electoral system occurred. No evidence suggests it.

Blaming Putin for what never happened continues WaPo’s disgraceful assault on a preeminent world leader – unmatched in the West. Claiming Russia interfered in European elections is another bald-faced lie.

WaPo: “The grand jury’s indictment shows how far Russia is willing to go to manipulate and discredit our democracy. “

No US democracy exists to discredit. America’s debauched system discredits itself – tyranny, not governance of, by and for everyone equitably.

Here’s a sampling of other headlines following the witch hunt indictments:

Wall Street Journal: “Russians Charged With Interfering in US Election” – the Journal falsely claiming “a systematic effort to discredit the results of the 2016  election.”

CNN: “How the Russians ran a shadow campaign,” citing a “Kremlin-linked troll group.”

Fox News: “13 Russian nationals indicted for interfering in US elections,” claiming a sophisticated plot to wage ‘information warfare’ against” America.

MSNBC: “Indictment crushes Trump’s ‘hoax’ claims about Russian interference”

ABC News: ” ‘Putin’s chef’ among Russians indicted by Mueller” – referring to businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin.

CBS News: “Rod Rosenstein announced indictments of Russians in US election meddling”

NBC News: ” ‘Information warfare’: How Russians interfered in 2016 election”

USA Today: “After Mueller indicts Russian nationals, Trump insists: ‘No collusion’ “

AP News: “Russians charged with meddling in 2016 presidential race”

Reuters: “US charges Russians with 2016 US election tampering to boost Trump”

Chicago Tribune: “President Trump’s ‘Russia hoax’ turns out to be real in 37-page indictment”

Los Angeles Times: “Now we know for sure: The Russia story is not a ‘hoax’ “

The BBC: “Special Counsel Robert Mueller has dropped another Friday blockbuster…”

London Guardian: “Mueller’s indictment of 13 Russians strikes at the heart of the meddling matter”

Al Jazeera: “US charges 13 Russians, 3 firms with election meddling”

Friday’s “bombshell” was all smoke and no fire. It revealed lots more about America than Russia – more proof that its deeply corrupted system is too debauched to fix.

VISIT MY NEW WEB SITE: (Home – Stephen Lendman). Contact at

My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

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Makes sense? Mueller says Russian ‘agents’ organized rallies for both Hillary and Trump

FBI Robert Mueller


The mainstream media’s year-long narrative that the Trump campaign “colluded” with Russian officials continued to crumble Friday, with special counsel Robert Mueller’s indictment claiming foreign agents held anti-Trump, pro-Hillary rallies in 2016.

Mueller’s court filings show 13 Russian nationals attempted to sow chaos throughout the election cycle and beyond; holding competing events for both Trump and Clinton on the same day in the same city.

“On one day, Nov. 12, 2016, the defendants organized a rally in New York to ‘show your support for President-elect Donald Trump’ while at the same time organizing a ‘Trump is NOT my president rally’ that also was held in New York,” writes CNBC.

NBC News also reports that the Russian agents held a “Support Hillary” rally in July 2016 in Washington, DC.

The bombshell revelations throw even more cold water on the liberal conspiracy theory that President Trump and his staff “colluded” with Russian officials to steal the election from Hillary Clinton; just one of many excuses commonly touted by the former Secretary of State following her stunning defeat.

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Russian Supreme Court rejects lawsuit demanding Putin be removed from presidential race

The lawsuit requesting Putin be removed from the presidential race was filed in mid-February by presidential candidate, journalist and socialite Ksenia Sobchak, who is running as a candidate for the pro-business party Civil Platform. She describes herself as a “none of the above” candidate for those who wish to register their disapproval against the political situation in Russia.

In a letter to the court, Sobchak explained that Putin’s candidacy should be annulled because he has already repeatedly occupied the post, saying that he was elected president three times and also was acting president in early 2000, before he was first elected.

In addition, Sobchak accused Putin and his longtime ally, Dmitry Medvedev, of alleged “conspiracy to grab the presidential post for their group for a long period of time or indefinitely.” She was referring to the situation of 2008-2012 when Medvedev served as Russian president and Putin chaired the government. In the same letter, Sobchak said that this move was just “castling.”

Currently, the Russian Constitution allows the same person to run for the presidency for an unlimited number of terms on one condition – there can be no more than two consecutive terms. This is why Putin could not run for the presidency in 2008 after winning in 2000 and 2004. In 2012, the condition regarding consecutive terms was not applicable, so Putin ran in the election and won.

On Friday, Judge Nikolai Romanov announced the verdict rejecting Sobchak’s lawsuit. Earlier in the day, prosecutors said that the arguments listed in the lawsuit “were based on an erroneous interpretation of the law.”

Sobchak’s press secretary, Ksenia Chudinova, said in comments with RBC that their team planned to file the lawsuit again, but did not go into details.

The Russian Presidential Election is scheduled for March 18. There are currently eight candidates in the race and public opinion polls predict that Vladimir Putin will win in the first round.

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Poland plans to end dependence on Russian energy with own Baltic pipeline – report

The project, called Baltic Pipe, was proposed by Polish right-wing populist party ‘Law and Justice,’ and will reportedly move the gas from Denmark.

The idea is not new. It was first proposed as early as 2001, when energy giants DONG of Denmark and PGNiG of Poland agreed to establish a pipeline consortium with the possible participation of Norway’s Statoil. However, the enterprise was scrapped due to economic unfeasibility.

Polish authorities made several efforts to revive the Baltic Pipe plan, but in 2009 the project was suspended again due to a lack of natural gas demand in Poland, among other reasons. The pipeline was initially linked to the Skanled project – an offshore pipeline connecting Norway to Sweden and Denmark.

However, the Skanled Project Group suspended the enterprise “due to increased commercial risk, combined with the global economic developments that have given an uncertain view on future gas demand.”

According to the German media outlet, Poland is currently obtaining the documents necessary to start building infrastructure for the Baltic Pipe project. The routing has reportedly been approved with a final decision on the building of the gas pipeline expected this year.

Poland is one of the most vociferous opponents of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline between Russia and Germany. Last month, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, during a meeting with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, asked the White House to sanction Gazprom’s project, which is currently under construction.

“We want that the sanction regime set by US law from August 2, 2017, which provides for sanctions against Russia also [to cover] the construction of the gas pipeline Nord Stream 2,” he said. “For us, the previous US State Department’s interpretation of the document was ambiguous and unsatisfactory. This is a very important moment for us in our negotiations with the United States. And it’s not only about our energy security, it’s about the security of the entire region.”

However, Gazprom’s European partners are not satisfied with Poland’s position, and have accused Warsaw of only looking out for its own interests, FAZ reports.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

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Russian Plane Crash Murdered 71 To Silence 3

It is a tragedy that the Deep State operatives and globalists in our government, working with other crooks around the world who are just as evil, decided the lives of these passengers were of no value and murdering them was imperative to cover their crimes.The first was IvanOFF ANA-TOL-O-VICH who is the CFO of Rosatom Overseas – the Russian company involved in Uranium One mining. Some people who don’t understand the structure of big companies are unaware there can be more than one Chief Financial Officer of a company. Anotolovich was the CFO of the overseas division of Rosatom.

He would have had knowledge about the financial aspects of the Uranium One deal made with Crooked Hillary and Traitor 44 which is why this is significant and looks as if, since the release of the Nunes Memo, the Democrats and the Deep State are looking to cover their tracks.

Them there was another passenger, Ser-gay Pan-CHEN-ko was also murdered. He was the Russian intelligence operative connected to Uranium One and was “Source D” providing fake information for the dossier created by Christopher Steel which provided false information in order to get a FISA warrant on Carter Page, a volunteer for the Trump Campaign in 2016.

PAN-CHEN-CO also went by Millian Pan-CHEN-co and Ser-gay Millian. An article dated March 29, 2017 in the Wall Street Journal says he was the head of a Russian American Business Group and the source of the Fake Russian Dossier.

You have to remember, the Wall Street Journal is a liberal publication. They are not friendly to President Trump’s Administration and back in March last year, they were publishing this article on the Fake Russian Dossier and yet, even today, the lunatic left is still pushing Russia, Russia, Russia when it’s really Democrats, Democrats, Democrats.

Then there was Igor Gromov from Chicago, who was a Russian and an attorney linked to Loop Capital which appears to be the company used by many Democrats and the Deep State money laundering operation also linked to sex trafficking, MS 13 and Amalgamated Bank which is linked to the company providing G-4-S- security for the Miami Nightclub and the 34 B J Union which oversaw the Time Disposal Trash Company that caused the train crash carrying the Intelligence committee members to their annual retreat as well as the Hospital where Scalia and Seth Rich were transported for treatment.

Traitor 44, the Clintons, Russians and mobsters. This is per a Q Anon post which includes the public records of Gromov’s career and then there are many posts on Anon boards linking all of this together.

This does not appear to be a coincidence. It appears to be a hit job where 71 people died as a result of information 3 people had on Deep State operatives in the government. This is a global issue people.

After the release of the Nunes Memo, the 13 thousand sealed indictments and the subsequent arrests that have been made, this horrific action taken by the Deep State to silence people and send messages to others is unacceptable.

However, this will get much worse before it gets better.

As I’ve repeatedly stated, these events are not only false flags which are meant to distract us from the Democrats and the Deep State criminals, they are also meant as silencing factors.

According to Qanon – who – regardless of the thoughts of others – is very accurate – Gitmo is full and the second prison is being used now which we believe could be on Diego Garcia, another military base with high level security.

Thanks to some of the viewers last night on the live show, we are able to decipher some of the messages we’re getting from the Anon boards.

At this point, it’s important to remember, you’re not going to see Jeff Sessions come out and be flamboyant about his work. He’s not going to be tipping off the criminals. Mueller is on Trump’s side and isn’t investigating any Russian collusion. Mueller is in the spot where he must cooperate or face the consequences of his support of the Deep State and as he is able to see what’s really going on, he knows his fate would not be a good one.

Trey Gowdy is going back to being a Federal Prosecutor which is very helpful to the Trump Administration and the prosecution of key players in the destruction and corruption of past administrations such as Traitor44’s 8 years of total denial of the Constitution and what the United States stands for.

These people who are exposing this crime are in grave danger. President Trump, Devin Nunes, Jeff Sessions, Trey Gowdy, even Mueller himself are in the same kind of danger as this Russian plane that was blown up yesterday.

This is serious folks and it’s time to understand what’s going on here. These people have no issue murdering innocent people to cover themselves and their tracks. We’re in danger every day when we speak the truth, but it’s necessary as is our vigilance in the efforts to bring these crooks to justice and protect Americans and our country.

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Saudi Arabia boosts investment in Russian economy

“More and more Russian companies are investing in Saudi Arabia, and Saudi Arabia is investing in Russia. Saudi Arabia’s investment in Russia has already reached more than $2 billion,” Dmitriev said.

A Sovereign Fund of Saudi Arabia, Public Investment Fund (PIF), announced in 2015 its intention to invest $10 billion in the Russian economy through partnership with the Russian fund.

The funds have invested in petrochemicals, energy, transport infrastructure and retail. Saudi Arabia also expressed interest in working with Russia in the railway industry, space exploration and peaceful nuclear energy.

Russian banks and a joint Russia-China investment fund are eager to participate in Saudi company Aramco’s initial public offering (IPO). Riyadh plans to sell about a 5 percent stake in its national oil company in a record listing.

“We have a Russia-China investment fund, and through that Russia-China investment fund we see a major interest in the Aramco IPO from a number of leading Chinese institutions,” Dmitriev said.

“We see significant interest to invest in the Aramco IPO from Russia, from China, and we believe that this is very good for, once again, thinking jointly about oil.”

The RDIF and Aramco also plan to invest up to $1 billion in Russia’s largest independent driller, Eurasia Drilling.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

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DHS Just Admitted Mainstream Media Has ‘Misrepresented Facts’ On Russian Interference

Since late 2016, in instance after instance, the narrative on Russia hacking the election has been slowly exposed as a massive farce. Last year, that slow crawl toward death turned into a full on sprint as CNN, not once, but twice admitted that they pushed fake Russian news with no proof — for ratings. Shortly after CNN, in their magnificent fall from the fake news pedestal, the New York Times quietly admitted their ‘bombshell’ backbone to the entire Russian narrative was simply not true.

Now, the Department of Homeland Security has even stepped in to lay the rumors to rest put out by NBC last week claiming that Russia “successfully penetrated” the voting system in several states.

According to NBC, in an “exclusive report” they received information from Jeanette Manfra, the head of cybersecurity at the Department of Homeland Security, who said she couldn’t talk about classified information publicly, but in 2016, “We saw a targeting of 21 states and an exceptionally small number of them were actually successfully penetrated.”

However, this week, Manfra came forward to call NBC out for spinning her words to make it seem like the US had been hacked. “Recent NBC reporting has misrepresented facts and confused the public with regard to Department of Homeland Security and state and local government efforts to combat election hacking,” DHS cybersecurity chief Jeanette Manfra said on Monday.

Despite the fact that Manfra said an “exceptionally small number” of states were targeted successfully, NBC’s headline on its website reads “Russians penetrated US voter systems, top US official says,” which Manfra has accused of being misleading.

“Let me be clear,” she said. “We have no evidence – old or new – that any votes in the 2016 elections were manipulated by Russian hackers.”

NBC has yet to issue an update on their story and, in fact, has fired back—in spite of the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS), which represents a group of chief election officials—who have similarly criticized NBC for misleading reporting.

“It’s hard to believe DHS actually watched or read NBC’s report. Our story is accurate, and makes all of the very same points this statement accuses us of not making,” an NBC spokesperson told the Hill.

Whatever the blowhards in the media and the government claim over Russian hacking, the fact remains that they have presented no proof to the people. In fact, last year, even the former director of the FBI, James Comey admitted he never once saw any of the evidence of Russian interference in US elections.

Senator Richard Burr, (R) North Carolina opened the inquiry into Comey in June of last year. After a series of entirely led questions which allowed Comey to assert — over and over again — that he has “no doubts Russia interfered with the US election,” Burr asked the most important question of all. He wanted to know if Comey had ever seen any evidence of the interference.

Burr: “Did you ever have access to the actual hardware that was hacked? Or, did you have to rely on a third party to provide you the data that they collected?”

Comey: “In the case of the DNC, we did not have access to the devices themselves. We got relevant forensic information from a private party….a high-class entity that had done the work. But, we didn’t get direct access.”

Burr: “But no content?”

Comey: “Correct.”

What makes this case all the more ironic is while DHS is now claiming the facts have been misrepresented on Russian election interference, in late 2016 and early 2017, they were accused of doing the hacking.

As the Free Thought Project previously reported, the Department of Homeland Security, under the Obama administration,attempted to hack the Indiana State electoral system nearly 15,000 times.

Prior to the hacks in Indiana, it was the state of Georgia that exposed DHS meddling in their elections.

Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson, who also served as president of NASS, pointed the finger squarely at the Obama administration’s DHS, saying she believed the scans were possibly retaliatory since the state chose not to allow DHS to get their hands on Indiana’s electoral infrastructure. “We declined their assistance,” she said but added, “our voter registration system was not penetrated.”

In reality, the case against Russia, as we’ve previously reported, is alleged to have been contrived mere moments after Clinton lost the election. Last year, WikiLeaks detailed the contents of the book “Shattered” — written by Jonathan Allen — which lays out the plan quite clearly.

Wikileaks uploaded a picture from a page of Allen’s new book which destroys the Russian hacking narrative immediately.

The page uploaded by Wikileaks explains how the Clinton spin machine was set in motion in the minutes following her loss to Trump. Allegedly, John Podesta (Clinton’s campaign manager), collaborated with Robby Mook (fellow member of the Clinton campaign) to make the argument the election was rigged by the Russians — an argument which was put forward when it was revealed in early 2016 the Democratic National Committee’s emails had been hacked.

Building on that narrative, the Clinton camp reportedly put out the notion to members of the media that the election was anything but fair. The suggestion was apparently made that “Russian hacking was the centerpiece of the argument.”

The narrative has spiraled so far out of control that even the Trump administration is fear mongering over it now. Last week, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson went on FOX News to pump fear into the right over Russian meddling in the US elections.

“There’s a lot of ways that the Russians can meddle in the elections,” he said. “A lot of different tools they can use.”

Despite the constant tornado of half-truths, lies, and propaganda filling the airwaves, even some of the mainstream media has been forced to admit it is all a facade. On a broadcast of MSNBC’s “Rachel Maddow Show” last year, Andrea Mitchell, NBC’s Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent and the host of MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports,” stated a fact which went under the radar and contradicted everything they reported this week, but lays it all out perfectly clear —Russiagate is a “conspiracy theory” created by Hillary Clinton.


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‘Rodchenkov was turned when he worked in Canada’ – Russian Skiing Federation chief Elena Valbe

Fugitive doctor Rodchenkov, whose testimony formed the basis of the anti-Russian Olympic campaign, has become a hot topic once again with the Winter Games underway in South Korea.

Last weekend he was featured in the CBS program 60 Minutes, where he once again claimed to have played a key role in the Sochi 2014 “doping scheme,” which in his words was backed by Russian President Vladimir Putin himself, and discussed the doping situation in the global Olympic movement.

READ MORE: More than 20 Olympic nations are benefiting from doping, says WADA informant Rodchenkov

In her recent interview with, Russian Cross-Country Skiing Federation chief Valbe said that information provided by Rodchenkov cannot be treated as trustworthy, as the 59-year-old doctor might suffer from mental illness.

“I have known Grigory for many years. He is mentally unhealthy. The fact that he tried to commit suicide and stabbed himself with a knife speaks a lot about his mental capacity,” said Valbe.

“WADA [the World Anti-Doping Authority] insisted that Rodchenkov would remain the head of the anti-doping laboratory [despite his sister receiving a suspended sentence for selling drugs],” she added.

Three-time Olympic champion Valbe also suggested that Rodchenkov has been working for foreign special services, as in her view he could not have orchestrated the doping plan on his own.

“I think Rodchenkov was turned when he worked in Canada, as one person cannot mastermind such a plan. He allegedly kept diaries for many years,” Valbe said.

The sports official added that the Olympic snub to Russian leaders who have never been implicated in doping was part of an alleged meticulously elaborated conspiracy against Russia.

READ MORE: Russian Olympic Committee banned from 2018 Winter Games, athletes allowed to compete as neutrals

“[The Olympic non-invitation] was part of a well-planned conspiracy. Following the decision to suspend the Russian Olympic Committee [ROC], the Olympic governing body appointed a special invitation commission. It was created solely for [approving] Russian athletes.

“Usually a country, not a separate athlete, goes to the Olympics, but after Russia was banned from the Games, the IOC [International Olympic Committee] invited only those whom they wanted, as if it is not the Olympic Games, but somebody’s wedding.

“This [ruling] allowed to exclude Russia’s strongest participants [from the Games] without providing reasonable explanations. At first the IOC stipulated three invitation criteria which were later converted into 17. And the latest one of them was just tremendous – you can bar people from the Games using information coming from anonymous sources.”

It’s known that at the end of the ‘90s, Rodchenkov worked in an anti-doping laboratory in Calgary, Canada, for a year, before returning to Russia, where he worked in oil companies for some time. He then proceeded with his career in the area of anti-doping, before eventually becoming responsible for anti-doping control at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

After fleeing Russia at the end of 2015, Rodchenkov became a WADA informant and repeatedly accused the Russian government of pushing him to tamper with doping samples at the 2014 Winter Games.

His accusations instigated a massive crackdown against the ROC, with affected the country’s participation at the 2016 and 2018 Games in Brazil and South Korea respectively.

At the 2018 PyeongChang Games, Russian athletes are competing under a neutral flag and under the name Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR) without national emblems, which were banned by the IOC.

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Russian Airline Tragedy: Malfunction, Human Error, Weather Related, Midair Collision or Sabotage?

Russian Airline Tragedy: Malfunction, Human Error, Weather-Related, Midair Collision or Sabotage?

by Stephen Lendman ( – Home – Stephen Lendman)

Shortly after takeoff on Sunday, Domodedovo air traffic control lost contact with Saratov Airlines’ An-148 flight 703, bound for Orsk on the Russia/Kazakhstan border from Moscow.

All 65 passengers and six crew members were killed, including three children and three foreign nationals – reportedly citizens of Switzerland, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan.

Valery Gubanov was an experienced pilot with around 5,000 flight hours. A large-scale search and rescue operation began Sunday after the crash – wreckage and body parts reportedly scattered over a wide area.

It’s too soon to know what caused the tragedy. Two flight recorders were recovered, their information crucial to determine what happened.

According to Russia’s Investigative Committee, the pilot reported no technical failures, no mayday call sent in flight. Airline spokeswoman Elena Voronova said aircraft maintenance fully conformed to proper operating standards.

During its ascent, the aircraft reached around 6,500 feet, then abruptly dropped nearly 1,000 feet, regained its stability briefly before dropping off radar contact.

On Monday, Tass said the plane didn’t break up in midair. It exploded on impact with the ground, citing Investigative Committee spokeswoman Svetlana Petrenko.

She explained “information from the flight recorders will enable experts of the IAC (Interstate Aviation Committee) to reconstruct the flight in detail and determine the cause of the crash,” adding:

“(D)uring the course of the preliminary investigation, all versions will be looked into, including the work to investigate the airline’s activity, the technical condition of the plane and the pilots’ professional level, as well as facts about the required training underwent.”

“(I)nvestigators have obtained fuel samples, the files of radio exchanges between flight controllers and the plane’s commander, the files of the system tracking the airliner on the ground and in the air, along with the radar’s electronic data on the plane’s flight.”

Flight recorders were severely damaged, decoding them still believed possible.

According to Tass, “(a) criminal case is being pursued under Article 263.3 of the Russian Criminal Code (violation of security requirements while using aircraft, resulting in the death of two and more persons through negligence).”

Was a bomb or something else responsible for the plane’s explosion on impact with the ground? Investigators will be looking into the possibility.

If suspicious fragments or other disturbing evidence is found, sabotage would have caused the disaster. 

So far, it’s unknown why it occurred. What downed the aircraft will be known once forensic analysis is completed.

VISIT MY NEW WEB SITE: (Home – Stephen Lendman). Contact at

My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

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Russian Plane Carrying 71 Crashes Near Moscow

(MOSCOW) — A Russian airliner that had just taken off from the country’s second-busiest airport crashed Sunday, killing all 71 people aboard and scattering jagged chunks of wreckage across a snowy field outside Moscow.

The pilots of the An-148 regional jet did not report any problems before the twin-engine aircraft plunged into the field about 40 kilometers (25 miles) from Domodedovo Airport, authorities said.

The Saratov Airlines flight disappeared from radar just minutes after departure for the city of Orsk, some 1,500 kilometers (1,000 miles) to the southeast.

Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov confirmed that there were no survivors.

The 65 passengers ranged in age from 5 to 79, according to a list posted by the Russian Emergencies Ministry, which did not give their nationalities. Six crew members were also aboard.

Emergency workers combed through the field while investigators descended on the airport to search for clues to what brought the jet down. One of the flight recorders was recovered, Russian news reports said, but it was not immediately clear if it was the data or voice recorder.

The airport has been the focus of security concerns in the past. Security lapses came under sharp criticism in 2004, after Chechen suicide bombers destroyed two airliners that took off from the airport on the same evening, killing a total of 90 people. A 2011 bombing in the arrivals area killed 37 people.

Investigators also conducted a search at the airline’s main office in Saratov, reports said.

Russia’s Investigative Committee said all possible causes were being considered. Some reports suggested there were questions about whether the plane had been properly de-iced. Moderate snow was falling in much of Moscow at the time of the crash.

Airline spokeswoman Elena Voronova told the state news agency RIA Novosti that one of the pilots had more than 5,000 hours of flying time, 2,800 of them in an An-148. The other pilot had 812 hours of experience, largely in that model plane.

Tass said the plane entered service in 2010 for a different airline, but was held out of service for two years because of a parts shortage. It resumed flying in 2015 and joined Saratov’s fleet a year ago.

TV footage from the crash site showed airplane fragments lying in the snow. Reports said the pieces were strewn over an area about a kilometer (0.6 miles) wide.

A plane can disappear from radar when it gets too close to the ground to reflect radar signals.

John Cox, a former airline pilot and now a US-based safety consultant, said the disappearance could also indicate that the jet’s transponder lost power.

“That says potential of engine failure or a technical problem,” Cox told The Associated Press.

President Vladimir Putin put off a planned trip to Sochi to monitor the investigation. Putin was to meet Monday with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas at the Black Sea resort, where the president has an official residence.

Instead, Abbas will meet with Putin in Moscow in the latter part of Monday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Russian news agencies.

The An-148 was developed by Ukraine’s Antonov company in the early 2000s and manufactured in both Ukraine and Russia.

Shabby equipment and poor supervision plagued Russian civil aviation for years after the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, but its safety record has improved in recent years.

The last large-scale crash in Russia occurred on Dec. 25, 2016, when a Tu-154 operated by the Russian Defense Ministry on its way to Syria crashed into the Black Sea minutes after takeoff from Sochi. All 92 people on board were killed.

In March 2016, a Boeing 737-800 flown by FlyDubai crashed while landing at Rostov-on-Don, killing all 62 people aboard.

An onboard bomb destroyed a Russian Metrojet airliner in October 2015 soon after it took off from Egypt’s Sharm al-Sheikh resort. The bombing killed 224 people.

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