Russian flag

RUSSIA-CHINA. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi says: "In developing China-Russia strategic cooperation, we see no limit, no forbidden zone and no ceiling to how far this cooperation can go." The two now settle 25% of their business in their own currencies. I would say that the two lasting achievements of the neo-cons and their New American Century have been the ever-closer Moscow-Beijing alliance and the increased influence of Iran. Who did win the Cold War after all?

RESERVES. The Central Bank of Russia has published its account of Russia reserves as of 30 June 2020. The total was 561.1 billion USD (up $44.3 billion since a year before). Euro holdings accounted for 29.5% . For the first time ever gold (22.9%) was a bigger proportion than USD (22.2%). Renminbi was 12.2%. Russia's economy – failing always failing.

NAVALNIY. The report from the Charité Hospital in Berlin fires another nail gun's worth into the coffin of the Navalniy story. Numerous health problems, lots of drugs in him, but no novichok symptoms.

COVID. Putin has ordered mass use of the Sputnik vaccine (1.5 million inoculated already). No side effects, they say. A scientist is optimistic that COVID will have faded down by the summer.

PUTIN CHRISTMAS. What Putin did on the 6th; what some Americans think he did. Or this.

WESTERN VALUES™. As Western social media apps censor, people are bailing out and Russian ones grow: the founder of Telegram says 25 million new members have joined in past 72 hours. These things are bubbles: Twitter and Facebook are said to have lost fifty billion dollars after banning Trump.

PAVLIK REDEVIVUS. From Vladimir Goldstein. And she wants to be a lawyer, too.

JOKES. Just heard this one: I can make anti-Putin jokes on Russian social media. So, what, I can make anti-Putin jokes on Western social media. (A re-tread of a Soviet-era joke). Or this: Due to travel restrictions abroad, Americans have done a coup at home.

MOON. Moscow considering manned moon mission. Hmmmm. Russian/Chinese base on the Moon in ten years?

SURVEILLANCE. Moscow City has revealed a plan to spend money on a database containing information about every resident, including passport numbers, insurance policies, salaries, car registrations. Much of it appears to already exist. For safety, security and convenience, of course. Mind you, we all volunteered: we all carry smartphones around broadcasting everything we do.

ARMENIA-AZERBAIJAN. Putin chaired a meeting of the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan. They signed a statement on development of Karabakh region. Here are the official statements after the meeting. Its another step in resolving the difficult problem which has deep roots. I note a reference to the OSCE Minsk Group but I don't expect it to get much involved. It's done nothing much in 28 years and who wants the West meddling in the area anyway?

THE EMPTINESS OF FORMER FLAPS. "After months of bashing Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine, Western journalists in Moscow line up to be inoculated". A reminder of the job description.

NUGGETS FROM THE STUPIDITY MINE. I am amused that the US Navy has announced that it may start "freedom of navigation" trips in the Russian Arctic (despite not not signing on to the UNCLOS.) But the biggest US icebreaker is rather elderly and can barely handle two-metre ice. So perhaps it will lease icebreakers from Finland. Given that the Arctic is a Russian lake, not least because of the Russian monopoly of gigantic icebreakers, one can easily image some embarrassments for the Americans.

NEW NWO. "We are seeing images that I never imagined we would see in this country-in some other capital yes, but not here. No one in the world is likely to see, respect, fear, or depend on us in the same way again. If the post-American era has a start date, it is almost certainly today." Richard N Haass.

EUROPEANS ARE REVOLTING. After seven years of negotiation, the EU and China have produced a comprehensive trade agreement. Washington is not amused. Meanwhile Nord Stream 2 chugs along.

UKRAINE. Has been left rather high and dry on vaccines with none of its BFFs in the West doing anything for it. But the Foreign Minister insists Kiev will not buy Sputnik vaccine even if it works: "It [Russia] cares about imposing its propaganda cliches and ideology by supplying the vaccine, even if it were effective". Like most things in Ukraine, it's a mess.

© Patrick Armstrong Analysis, Canada Russia Observer


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16 Responses to RUSSIAN FEDERATION SITREP 14 JANUARY 2021 by Patrick Armstrong

  1. scott s. says:

    While true that the US has not ratified UNCLOS, largely due to the International Seabed Authority provision, it does adhere to the demarcation of the seas, and it can be argued that the demarcation is now “customary international law”.
    WRT ice breakers, USCG Commandant Adm Schultz announced at the Surface Navy Association convention yesterday that USCG would not pursue a nuclear ice breaker option. Meanwhile, the Polar Security Cutter program to construct 3 PSCs continues with VT Halter Marine constructing the lead ship. But expect the Biden administration to review the program.

  2. downtownhaiku says:

    Armstrong refers to Navalny and Charite Hospital report, citing Helmer’s blog. Helmer’s blog was attacked because of this article and is currently unavailable. Here is a copy of the article:
    Instead of “LOVE” on pill box, substitute POWER
    On jar behind, instead of HYMEN’S, substitute MERKEL
    By John Helmer, Moscow
    The German laboratory test results for Alexei Navalny, published by a group of doctors at the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin last month, reveal a surprising number of medical symptoms, but they are not those of Novichok nerve agent poisoning as Navalny and his supporters in western governments have alleged.
    Clinical doctors, toxicologists, and pharmacology experts outside Germany believe the test results which the Charité group released on December 22 reveal symptoms of acute pancreatitis, diabetes, liver failure, severe dehydration, muscular rigidity, as well as a serious bacterial infection, and a possible heart attack associated with his kidney problems. According to the experts, these are not recognisable symptoms of a nerve agent attack.
    The German medical publication reports Navalny’s “laboratory values on admission”, and toxicology and pharmacology results “in blood and urine samples obtained on arrival of the patient of the patient at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin (day 3)”. Accordingly, the newly available data are evidence of the condition Navalny was in during his two-day treatment in Omsk Emergency Hospital No. 1 in Russia; and of the treatment he received there, as well as during his six-hour flight on a German medical evacuation aircraft from Omsk to Berlin.
    The German doctors have also released a tabulation of their laboratory test results for Navalny during 33 days of his stay in the Charité hospital, and a subsequent visit to the hospital as an outpatient. The four data tables are described by the Germans as following “the supposed poisoning of the patient”. The doctors don’t wish to sign their names to this “supposing”.
    Navalny first fell ill on the morning of August 20, during a flight from Tomsk, where he had been on an election campaign tour, to Moscow. The flight was diverted to Omsk, and Navalny admitted to hospital in Omsk in mid-morning local time. He was in intensive care there for 48 hours until he was released for German medical evacuation to Berlin on August 22.
    The German doctors treating Navalny at the Charité were led by Kai-Uwe Eckardt, the chief of the Charité treatment unit whom Navalny publicly thanked on October 7. Eckardt and David Steindl are the principal authors of the December 22 report; Eckhardt is a specialist on diabetes and kidney transplants; Steindl is a specialist on musculo-skeletal pathologies.
    Read their report in the British medical journal, The Lancet, here. A forensic analysis of the report can be read here. This exposes the many contradictions between the medical evidence now attested by the Germans and the allegations from Navalny and his supporters.
    Kai-Uwe Eckardt and David Steindl —
    In their 4-page case report, Eckardt and Steindl say “severe poisoning with a cholinesterase inhibitor was subsequently diagnosed”, not by the Charité group, but by a “laboratory of the German armed forces”; that was the Institut für Pharmakologie und Toxikologie der Bundeswehr (IPTB).
    British toxicologists have repeatedly cautioned there can be many causes and sources for the cholinesterase inhibition detected from metabolites in Navalny’s blood and urine, and they continue to ask the German doctors and the IPTB: “Name the compound. That would be a good start.” In their publication of Navalny’s test results, Eckardt and Steindl say: “results of toxicology analyses conducted in a special laboratory of the armed forces [IPTB] are not included.” They don’t give a reason.
    In the Lancet case report, there are several references to a 4-page appendix. This contains Navalny’s test results, but the appendix is not easy to find and was published separately. The Lancet editors explain: “this appendix formed part of the original submission and has been peer reviewed. We post it as supplied by the authors.” It can be opened and read here. LINK.
    Source: LINK, Appendix S1.
    A review of these data by a clinician with specialised training in pharmacology provided a detailed interpretation of each line of data where the reported value for Navalny was either well above or below normal.
    The expert, who declines to be identified, reports that the sodium and chloride scores show Navalny was suffering from extreme dehydration on his arrival in the Berlin hospital. How this was possible after the German medevac flight is unknown.
    The spikes in the tested creatine kinase-MB and myoglobin reveal that his muscle function was breaking down; the visible symptom, according to the expert, should have been muscle rigidity. According to the German doctors, they didn’t see it, and neither did the Omsk hospital doctors, or witnesses of Navalny’s collapse on board the flight from Tomsk. The German case report, quoting from the Omsk hospital “discharge report”, says “the patient presented [in Omsk on August 20] comatose with hypersalivation and increased diaphoresis [sweating].” When Navalny reached the Charité, the doctors there reported in December, he was “deeply comatose, with mild bradycardia…hypersalivation, hypothermia (33.5C), increased diaphoresis and small pupils not reactive to light, decreased brainstem reflexes, hyperactive deep tendon reflexes, and pyramidal signs.”
    The independent expert does not know how hyperactive tendon reflexes can have produced the abnormal MB and myoglobin test results.
    The expert said the standard diagnosis which follows from the reported albumin result is chronic disease of the liver. The high lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) score indicates metabolic disorders commonly seen with cancerous tumours. The amylase and lipase results signify pancreatitis, a condition which the Russian press has reported Navalny to have experienced in the past. The results for C-reactive protein, leukocytes, neutrophils, and erythrocytes all point to a serious bacterial infection. The German case report confirms that skin and rectal swabs and urine samples found staphylococcus aureus and other infectious bacteria which were treated with antibiotics, the standard procedure. How Navalny picked up the bacterial infection, and where – in Tomsk, Omsk, in the medevac flight, or in Berlin – is unknown.
    Source: LINK, Appendix S4. The table extends to Day 33 in hospital, and includes Day 42 when he returned for testing as an outpatient.
    The unusually high result for the urinary protein/creatinine ratio has been diagnosed by the expert as signifying kidney failure – “clinical diabetes but not an extreme presentation.” Diabetes has been reported for Navalny in the past; his staff deny it.
    The abnormally high troponin-T results reported on Days 4 and 5 at Charité are puzzling to the independent expert because they signify a heart problem or mild heart attack, possibly related to the reported kidney failure. Eckardt and Steindl say in their case report that Navalny’s heart was beating abnormally slowly (bradycardia – 44 beats per minute) when tested in Omsk hospital, then 59 beats per minute during the flight to Berlin. After he arrived at Charité the bradycardia worsened to 33 bpm.
    The independent expert accepts that the unusually low test score for butyryl cholinesterase – 0.42 on arrival in Berlin, 0.41 at Day 3 – usually signifies exposure to a cholinesterase inhibitor. The German doctors’ report says: “based on clinical and laboratory findings, severe cholinesterase inhibition was diagnosed and the patient was started on atropine and obidoxime…Cholinergic signs returned to normal within 1 h[our] after the onset of this antidotal therapy.” The German test results do not substantiate this conclusion, neither for troponin-T which didn’t normalise until Day 7, or butyryl cholinesterase, which didn’t reach normal until Day 17.
    Testing for cholinesterase inhibition is the key to the allegations of the German Army laboratory, the German intelligence agency BND, and German officials that Navalny had been poisoned by a Russian Novichok nerve agent. The new data disclosure falls short of proof. Instead it reveals that in Berlin Navalny’s laboratory testing revealed cholinesterase inhibition, while in the Omsk hospital laboratory reports published in part in August, revealed that “cholinesterase inhibitors were not detected in blood and urine”; for more details of the earlier test data, read this and this.
    This week the independent expert also reviewed the table of medications which testing of Navalny revealed on his admission at Charité:
    Source: Appendix S2. LINK
    According to the source, the presence of pain relieving and anaesthetic drugs, antibiotics, and atropine are conventional treatment. Amantadine is a neurological drug often used in treatment of Parkinson’s Disease; lithium is a psychiatric medication for treating bipolar mood disorders and depression. Lithium, the expert says, along with the relaxant drugs recorded in Navalny’s system — diazepam, nordazepam, oxazepam — are commonly taken orally. If Navalny had been comatose at Omsk hospital and then at Charité, then it is likely he took these drugs himself in Tomsk before his flight. The Omsk hospital testing also reported that Navalny had taken “tricyclic antidepressants” before his collapse. End+

  3. jerseycityjoan says:

    I am not sure if you are joking when you refer to the Arctic as a “Russian lake.” In case you are serious, I just want to say I disagree. There are multiple nations involved and I would add the whole world has a stake in what goes on in the Arctic and Antarctic. I would prefer that the world continue to ignore these areas, for the most part.
    In a world dominated by mankind and our sometimes questionable and just plain stupid actions and decisions, there is a lot to be said for leaving the top and bottom of the world alone. I would like that to continue. I think the Russians would prefer to exploit whatever they can from a warmer Arctic. So much of their economy relies on extraction. I would love people who know more to disagree with me but I am not hopeful that they will.

  4. @jerseycityjoan
    Read my paper. In short, the Russians can go there, do go there while the other Arctic nations talk about it.

  5. downtownhaiku says:

    please read this, written by patrick armstrong

  6. LeaNder says:

    Posted by: downtownhaiku | 14 January 2021 at 06:34 PM
    was trying to figure out what is going on. Ping worked as did anything else.

  7. Russians already launched new meme–Googlag Archipelago. Just saying.

  8. got message from Helmer. His site is under attack since his Navalniy revelations. He has replaced them with these Twitter-access links:
    As I never tire of saying: back then they jammed us, we didn’t worry about what Radio Moscow was saying.

  9. downtownhaiku says:

    Dance with Bears, Helmer’s site is back online, and includes another big article about Navalny, plus reflections on the attack which shut down the site for awhile.
    AND, you get to see his art!

  10. ISL says:

    PA, Thanks as always,
    Manned moon mission in less than a decade. Impressive. How far out is the US manned Mars mission? Oh, George Bush proposed a manned Moon station 2012 and a Mars mission 2020 – I must have been asleep in 2020 and missed it. Of course it sabotaged NASA realistic activities by transferring resources to a pipe dream.
    Completely agree on the likely outcome of an Arctic Freedom of Seas sailing – perhaps Russia will free the crew and impound the US cutter for scrap metal when it gets stuck.
    Re: The Sputnik vaccine, because it was developed in a traditional manner, it is likely less susceptible to viral mutations – a South African Covid variant already has multiple spike mutations that may already have rendered (no one knows at this point) western mRNA vaccines ineffective.

  11. roberto says:

    Just tried to access Helmer’s site and it’s down again.

  12. Paul Damascene says:

    PA — much appreciated as always. Not sure that RF is terribly pro-climate-change, or has begun perhaps to see it as more of a mixed bag.
    Erodes massive RF advantage in icebreakers, and exclusivity of Northern sea routes
    Seriously threatens world’s most extensive infrastructure subject to melting permafrost effects–serious spills already, damage to oil & gas facilities, ports…
    20-30C above normal temperatures N. of Arctic Circle
    Massive forest fires and potential for peat fires
    Habitat loss for charismatic megafauna…
    My sense is that RF / VV Putin’s attitude towards ACD shows increased concern…
    Whatever happens to planet overall, RF is the largest tract of earth enclosed in a single nation, so…

  13. Cortes says:

    The latest update on how Navalny has survived the Three Bears edition of Novichok (the ruthless FSB assassins haven’t tweaked their dosages to get them “just right” yet) was available a few moments ago:

  14. Deap says:

    Trying to decide if Navalny is a credit or an indictment of the Russian health care system.
    Is a reasonably fit looking 45 year old with a huge litany of atypical acute medical symptoms for his age a credit to the Russians for keeping him patched together and functioning so well; or on the other hand does this sound like a bogus post-poisoning health status report?
    ……..”reveal symptoms of acute pancreatitis, diabetes, liver failure, severe dehydration, muscular rigidity, as well as a serious bacterial infection, and a possible heart attack associated with his kidney problems. According to the experts, these are not recognisable symptoms of a nerve agent attack. …..”
    Then add also this list of pharmeceuticals found in his system too, supposedly prescribed by same crack health care system, for someone in his frail health status. Or maybe he was just on more Russian alcoholic. I dunno.
    Here is my “expert opinion” however — these are not “recognizable symptoms for a relatively healthy appearing young man in a competent health care system — either. Even an 45 year old alcoholic. But I am not standing down wind from him for easier diagnosis of that condition.

  15. LeaNder says:

    Posted by: Andrei Martyanov | 14 January 2021 at 11:56 PM
    You were somewhat on the deeper synapses of my mind a while ago in a distant discussion space …
    Didn’t check your blog for quite some time. Take care be well smoothie.

  16. Etiene Y Lee says:

    The very last link in this piece about Ukraine being a mess is way beyond a mess.
    That article’s second photo has nothing to do with vaccines. Those are cannabis vaporizers along with cartridges and pods filled with distilled cannabis oil that have very high concentrations of THC. Only an article about Ukraine could be this messed up.

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