Russia’s ally Syria shot down one of its planes on Tuesday, and it exposes how Russian President Vladimir Putin is strangely powerless to protect his own people or do much more than enforce the status quo. Russia has suffered a number of humiliating defeats in Syria while its economy has entered a downward spiral. Putin portrays himself as powerful, but he has failed to protect Russians time and time again. Russia grappled with a tragedy on Tuesday after its ally, Syria, mistakenly shot down one of its planes flying above the Mediterranean, and it shows how Russian President Vladimir Putin is strangely powerless to protect his own people. After Russia’s Il-20 went down on Tuesday, the Russian Defence Ministry quickly blamed Israel for the downing of the jet by a Syrian missile. Israel had attacked Syria with low flying jets evading and jamming radar during a prolonged missiles trike. Syria missile defences, unable to get a fix on the Israeli fighters, instead spotted … [Read more...] about The loss of a Russian plane in Syria reveals how Putin is strangely powerless to protect his own troops
How powerful is russia
MOSCOW — When 52-year old accountant Marina Grigoryeva was laid off this year, she figured that at least she would be eligible for a state pension in three years' time. But measures announced by President Vladimir Putin last week mean that Grigoryeva, who has been looking for a job for over six months, will have to wait eight years instead.A planned hike in the retirement age yanks away the safety net for millions of Russians in their 50s, core Putin supporters who struggle to hold down a job, let alone find a new one, and have come to rely on pensions as a meagre but secure source of income at a time of economic uncertainty."You can't get by on the benefits at all," said Grigoryeva, who has worked for the Moscow City Telephone Network for nearly 30 years. She is entitled to 5,000 rubles ($73) a month in unemployment benefits, which is half what the government says is the minimum subsistence level. And it's only a tenth of the average salary in Moscow, where she lives. Putin had … [Read more...] about Grey power: Could Russia’s pensioners be the downfall of Vladimir Putin?
On November 8, 2016, the night of Donald Trump’s election, artist and programmer Justin Blinder was closely watching Wikipedia. He noticed that a section of Trump’s Wikipedia page had undergone some clever semantic editing. It summarized the revelation of an audio recording from 2005, in which Trump bragged to former Access Hollywood host Billy Bush about forcibly kissing and groping women. On election night, the entry was edited to suggest Trump had actually told Bush that “fame made women amenable to kissing and groping.” The word “forcibly” had also been removed. Intrigued, Blinder began looking into other Wikipedia edits—some involving public figures and current events, others more random in nature. He started to realize that over time certain edits aggregate to “semantically erase and reshape important popular narratives.” He was also seeing that they were “obfuscating context, authorship, and power, often marginalizing … [Read more...] about This Site Tracks How Wikipedia Is Being Edited in Real-Time
Donald Trump has outlived the “axis of adults” who was supposed to guide and shape his foreign policy. He’s run through two national security advisers, innumerable lawyers and lower-level aides, an attorney general, an array of Cabinet secretaries and, any day now, the second of two White House chiefs of staff. He’s dumped the ideologist who helped elect him and never really clarified what his “America First” campaign slogan was all about anyways. But since we launched The Global Politico days after his inauguration, Trump has more than followed through on his election pledge to shake up the Washington establishment of both parties when it comes to America’s position in the world. Each week, we’ve watched as he’s reoriented – or tried to – U.S. policy toward everywhere from Iran to North Korea, Russia to our North American neighbors. Story Continued Below In 67 episodes over the last year and 85 days, I’ve been … [Read more...] about Just How Dangerous Is Donald Trump?
Russia appears to have deployed its most advanced fighter jet to Syria. An expert told Business Insider that it could be used to spy on the US’s F-22 stealth fighter. Russia often uses Syria as a showroom for new hardware, and it most likely wants to market the Su-57, which is still a prototype, as having been combat-tested. But the Su-57 isn’t ready for combat, and Russia has only 12 of the jets on order as it seeks funding to expand the program. Videos on social media appear to show Russia’s Su-57, a prototype of a new, fifth-generation fighter jet, operating in Syria – and it could be a direct threat to US stealth aircraft like the F-22. Justin Bronk, a combat aircraft expert at the Royal United Services Institute, told Business Insider that initial attempts to geolocate Su-57s shown in the video indicated the deployment may be authentic. He also said any deployment … [Read more...] about Russia appears to have deployed its next-generation fighter jet to Syria — and it’s a major problem for the F-22