Tuesday, December 31, 2013

'Fight terrorists until full elimination': Putin changes New Year address after Volgograd terror attacks ......... Are the recent attacks in Volgograd a warning or likely precursor to events that will unfold during Olympic games in February ?


Armed Russian police on Volgograd streets after fatal bombings

December 31, 2013 12:47PM ET
Authorities have canceled mass events for New Year's Eve and stepped up public searches of civilians
Sochi 2014
Russian soldiers patrol the Battle of Stalingrad memorial in Volgograd, Russia, Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013. 
Denis Tyrin/AP Images
Eerily empty buses lumbered through the streets, police weighed down with body armor warily watched pedestrians near a fast-food restaurant, and members of Cossack units stood guard at bus stops. Volgograd was an ominous and jittery city on Tuesday, after two suicide bombings in two days that killed 34 people.
"People are afraid it will happen again — they're trying not to go outside if they don't have to," 20-year-old Yulia Kuzmina, a student told The Associated Press. "We get a feeling that a war has started."
That is a worry that extends far beyond Volgograd.
Although there has been no claim of responsibility for the bombing of the city's main railway station and a trolleybus, suspicion falls strongly on Islamist insurgents, whose leader ordered his adherents this summer to do all they could to derail the Winter Olympics, which start Feb. 7 in the Russian resort city of Sochi.
Games organizers have introduced some of the most extensive identity checks and security measures ever seen at an international sporting event. But even if security at the Games is tight, many analysts suggest that the Volgograd bombings show how public transit in Sochi and sites away from the sports venues are vulnerable.
Police reinforcements and Interior Ministry troops have been sent into Volgograd, regional police official Andrei Pilipchuk was quoted as telling the Interfax news agency. He said more than 5,200 security forces are deployed in the city of 1 million, but did not say how much of an increase that was from normal levels.
Officers and security guards searched the purses of young women entering a shopping center and waved metal detectors over both males and females.
The Cossacks guarding some bus stops added an unsettling note. Although these units are officially authorized volunteer patrols, they are descendants of the fierce horsemen who protected the czars and launched raids on Muslims in the Russian Caucasus, where the Islamist insurgency is now centered.
Volgograd authorities have canceled mass events for New Year's Eve, one of Russia's most popular holidays, and asked residents not to set off fireworks. In addition, all movie theaters have been closed until Thursday. In Moscow, festivities were to go ahead, but authorities said security would be increased.
President Vladimir Putin, in his New Year's Eve address to the nation, vowed that the fight against terrorists will continue "until their destruction is complete," Russian news agencies reported.
"What blasphemy. They did it right before the holiday," said Arkady Chernyavsky, a 73-year-old retiree. He bristled at how the attacks stained the image of a city that prides itself for the tragic valor of the World War II Battle of Stalingrad, as the city then was called.
"This is supposed to be the city of heroes and things like this are taking place," Chernyavsky said.
Suicide bombings have rocked Russia for years, but the insurgents seeking to create an Islamic state have largely confined their attacks to the North Caucasus region in recent years. The blasts in Volgograd signaled that militants want to show their reach outside their native region. Volgograd is about 200 miles north of the Caucasus and about 430 miles northeast of Sochi.
In October, a female suicide bomber blew herself up on a city bus in Volgograd, killing six people and injuring about 30. Officials said the attacker came from the province of Dagestan, which has become the center of an Islamist insurgency that has spread across the region after two separatist wars in Chechnya.
After the October incident, Russian authorities said they had started taking saliva samples from religiously conservative women in the area, in order to identify the women if they became suicide bombers.  
China, host of the 2008 Summer Olympics, on Tuesday expressed confidence in the security of the Sochi Games.
"The competent authorities on our side have maintained close communication and cooperation with Russia in terms of the security work for the Winter Olympics. We believe that Russia is capable of ensuring security and hosting a successful Winter Olympics," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters on Tuesday.
The United States would welcome "closer cooperation" with Russia on security preparations for the Winter Olympics, White House spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said Monday.


Volgograd Bombings: CIA’s Chechen Assets Attack Russia Ahead of Winter Olympics

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Attacks likely precursor to events that will unfold during Olympic games in February
Kurt Nimmo
December 31, 2013
Responsibility for deadly attacks in the Russian city of Volgograd, formerly Stalingrad, is being placed on Chechen rebel leader Doku Umarov, who was declared dead by Chechen Republic head Ramzan Kadyrov on December 18. Like many other phantom terrorists, including the mercurial Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Umarov has risen from the grave numerous times.
On Tuesday, the New York Times weighed in. It reported “the attention of the Russian security services is already focused on the republic of Dagestan, which has become the hub of Muslim separatist violence in recent years, and on connections to the insurgent leader, Doku Umarov,” who is, like many other Islamic terrorists, a “mysterious, almost mythical figure who fought in both Chechnya wars, which began nearly two decades ago and have come to symbolize the radicalization of a movement that began as a struggle for independence.”
The New York Time’s tidy encapsulation on the Dagestan conflict, a sideshow in the artificially spawned Chechnya conflict, omits a few pertinent facts. First and foremost, the struggle in the North Caucasus region is part of a larger effort to instigate trouble in Russia’s southern, primarily Muslim republics. “Ethnic Muslim populations in this region of Russia and of the former Soviet Union, including Uzbekistan, Kyrgystan and into China’s Xinjiang Province, have been the target of various US and NATO intelligence operations since the Cold War era ended in 1990,” writes F. William Engdahl. “Washington sees manipulation of Muslim groups as the vehicle to bring uncontrollable chaos to Russia and Central Asia. It’s being carried out by some of the same organizations engaged in creating chaos and destruction inside Syria against the government of Bashar Al-Assad.”
According to the official historical narrative, which is often echoed by Russia, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan is responsible for spreading often violent Islamic fundamentalism in Chechnya and other republics. “The invasion was a big mistake that opened the hornet’s nest that is terrorism, not only in Afghanistan but in the region as a whole,” said Gen. Boris Gromov, who led the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan in 1989.
In fact, this “hornet’s nest” was organized, sponsored and stirred up, as Jimmy Carter’s national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski admitted in 1998, by the United States and its partners, including Turkey and Saudi Arabia. “What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?” Brzezinski told Le Nouvel Observateur.
It wasn’t, however, the liberation of Eastern Europe that primarily interested the United States. Following the suicide bombing of a bus outside Volgograd in October, President Vladimir Putin said the ongoing terror attacks are part of an effort to undermine Russia proper. “Some political forces use Islam – the radicals within it who are not typical of Russian Muslims – to weaken our state and create conflicts on Russian soil that can then be controlled from abroad,” he said.
In addition to causing trouble for Russia as it prepares to host the Winter Olympics in Sochi, the upsurge of terrorism is designed as a response to Russia’s support of Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, who tenaciously holds power despite a concerted effort by the United States and its partners, including Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey and Israel, to take him down and install an Islamic puppet regime like the one previously installed in Libya. “Putin and the Russian Government are the strongest and most essential backer of the current Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad, and for Russia as well the maintenance of Russia’s only Mediterranean naval base at Syria’s Tartus port is vital strategically,” writes Engdahl.
CIA Runs Umarov and the Chechen Rebels
As we have previously noted, the insurgency in Chechnya was largely a covert CIA initiative. Rebel leaders Shamil Basayev and Al Khattab, who vow to establish a Wahhabist Caucasian Emirate, were trained and indoctrinated in CIA sponsored camps in Afghanistan and Pakistan, as Michel Chossudovsky notes. Pakistan’s ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence) played a key role in organizing and training the Chechen rebel army. The ISI also played an instrumental role in supporting the Afghan Mujahideen, a Muslim paramilitary force that would eventually mature under the guiding hand of the CIA et al into the Taliban and al-Qaeda.
The British MI6 asset Abu Qatada raised money for the Chechnya jihad and the notorious Finsbury Park mosque imam Abu Hamza al-Masri – an informer for two British security services in London – raised funds for both the jihad in Chechnya and bin Laden’s Darunta camp in Afghanistan.
The CIA also worked to destabilize the Balkans, a fact documented by the media in Europe but largely ignored in the United States. The effort to convert the Balkans into a “safe haven” for fanatical jihadists was aided by the CIA and the Pentagon. In 1993, CIA asset Osama bin Laden reportedly installed his number two man, Ayman al-Zawahiri, to run the organization’s operations in the Balkans.
The Volgograd attacks are likely a precursor to coming events that will unfold during the Olympic games to be held beginning on February 7 in the Black Sea coast city of Sochi. In the West, the establishment media, in the wake of Volgograd attacks, is predicting disaster.
“Security concerns have been entwined with the planning for every Olympiad at least since Munich 1972,” the Los Angeles Times reported on Monday. “The horrific events in Volgograd in recent days are only a reminder that the Sochi Winter Olympics will open some five weeks from now in a frighteningly unstable part of the former Soviet empire.”
The Times neglected to mention the frightening instability in that part of Russia was largely engineered in the West. “Suicide bombers do not explode themselves from excessive emotions or religious fanaticism,” Lyuba Lulko writes for Pravda. “This is always a result of a well-planned operation. There are Western intelligence agencies and money from Saudi Arabia and Qatar that stand behind terrorist groups and gangs operating in Russia… The bombings were conducted to destabilize the situation in the country before the New Year holidays and prior to the Olympic Games in Sochi.”

'Fight terrorists until full elimination': Putin changes New Year address after Volgograd terror attacks

Published time: December 31, 2013 18:49
Russian President Vladimir Putin in Khabarovsk addresses the nation, 31 December 2013 (RIA Novosti / Aleksey Nikolsky)
Russian President Vladimir Putin in Khabarovsk addresses the nation, 31 December 2013 (RIA Novosti / Aleksey Nikolsky)
The deadly suicide attacks in Volgograd forced Vladimir Putin to make changes to his traditional New Year address, with the Russian President promising to wage “a confident, tough and consistent” war on terror until total victory.
“The inhumane terrorist acts in Volgograd” were among the biggest challenges Russia faced in 2013, the Putin said in his address to the nation, broadcast minutes before the New Year.

“In the time of challenges Russia always stood united and solid,” he stressed.

At least 34 people have lost their lives and over 80 injured in two suicide blasts in Russia’s southern city of Volgograd on December 29 and 30, with the president saying: “We bend our head before the victims of the violent terrorist attacks.”

“We’ll lead a confident, tough and consistent battle against the terrorists until their full elimination,” the President promised.

This year, Putin broke the long-time tradition and gave up on the pre-recorded address to the nation, shot at the Kremlin several days before the New Year.

On December 31, Putin made a surprise visit to Khabarovsk, which contains one of the temporary accommodation centers for those who lost their homes in massive floods hitting the Russian Far East this summer.
The sudden change of plans resulted in the Russians getting two presidential addresses as Putin recorded his new speech in Khabarovsk. 
Investigators, police officers and emergency crews are seen at the site of the suicide bomber attack near the entrance to the train station in Volgograd (RIA Novosti / Sergey Braga)
Investigators, police officers and emergency crews are seen at the site of the suicide bomber attack near the entrance to the train station in Volgograd (RIA Novosti / Sergey Braga)

It happened in front of the inhabitants of an accommodation center and the soldiers, who battled the natural disaster, invited by the head of the state to welcome in 2014 with him.

The Khabarovsk address turned out to be three minutes longer than the initial speech, with specifics on the Volgograd blasts and the devastating floods in the Far East added.

“On New Year’s Eve, the President decided to be with those specific people, who survived this unprecedented catastrophe. And here he addresses them with a felicitation,”
 Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s press-secretary, told ITAR-TASS news agency.

“And this greeting speech has become his New Year address, which means that he, in fact, broke a longstanding tradition,” the spokesman added.

Peskov explained the fact that Kamchatka saw the old address by “a technical blunder” as the footage was not sent there in time.

“My dear friends, this year I’m addressing you with a New Year speech not from the Kremlin as usual, but from the Far East,” Putin said in his new address. “I came here to meet the New Year with those, who with honor and dignity passed the test of nature, but can’t celebrate the holiday in their own homes. Together with them, I congratulate the whole of the country and raise my glass to our people, the health of those, who fought the flood, showing compassion and selfless generosity.” 
A policeman watches as a bus, destroyed in an earlier explosion, is towed away in Volgograd December 30, 2013 (Reuters / Sergey Karpov)
A policeman watches as a bus, destroyed in an earlier explosion, is towed away in Volgograd December 30, 2013 (Reuters / Sergey Karpov)

In August, several big rivers in the Far East, including the Amur and Zeya, burst their banks, which resulted in one of the biggest floods the region has ever seen.

12,000 homes were flooded in Khabarovsk, Amur and Jewish Autonomous Regions, with over 183,000 people affected by the natural disaster.

“We’ll support all those, who were affected [by the floods],”
 the President said. “We’ll do everything that was planned – reconstruct and build everything slated to be reconstructed or built.”

But despite the challenges Putin gave a positive assessment of 2013, “our country became somewhat better, more convenient, more prosperous and succeeded in persistently defending its interests in international affairs,” he stressed.

As for Russia’s main tasks in 2014, Putin said that a lot has to be done “in the economy, in improving the lives of people and assuring their safety,” with another important issue on the agenda being “hosting the Olympics and Paralympics at the highest level.”
A helicopter flies over a flooded dwelling outside Komosomolsk-on-Amur in Russia's far east September 7, 2013 (Reuters / /Vladimir Barsukov)
A helicopter flies over a flooded dwelling outside Komosomolsk-on-Amur in Russia's far east September 7, 2013 (Reuters / /Vladimir Barsukov)