Розділ: Новини

усі новини

US Judge Grants Former Trump Lawyer Prison Delay

A U.S. judge on Wednesday granted a request by Michael Cohen, U.S. President Donald Trump’s former personal attorney, to delay the start of his prison term by two months.

Cohen, 52, had been scheduled to report to prison on March 6 to begin a three-year sentence for fraud, tax evasion, illegal campaign contributions and lying to Congress.

In a letter to Judge William Pauley, one of Cohen’s lawyers asked that the date be pushed back to May 6 so Cohen can recover from shoulder surgery and prepare for upcoming testimony before Congress.

Judge Pauley agreed to the request.

Cohen is scheduled to deliver closed-door testimony to the House Intelligence Committee on February 28 and has also been subpoenaed by the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Planned open-door testimony to the House Oversight Committee was put off after what Cohen alleged were public threats against him and his family from Trump and Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani.

Cohen admitted multiple charges in December related to work he performed for the real estate tycoon and pledged to cooperate with Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Mueller leads the investigation into possible collusion between the Trump 2016 presidential campaign and Russia, a probe that increasingly menaces the White House.

Cohen notably told prosecutors that Trump directed him to arrange illegal hush payments to two alleged former lovers ahead of the 2016 election.

He also admitted lying to Congress over pursuing a Moscow real estate deal in Trump’s name during the election, even after Trump had secured the Republican nomination.

Build a better website in less than an hour. Start for free at us.

Балуха переводять до російського Краснодара – омбудсмен

Засудженого в окупованому Криму українського активіста Володимира Балуха переводять до колонії в російському Краснодарі, повідомила уповноважена Верховної Ради з прав людини Людмила Денісова.

«Отримала інформацію щодо переведення політв’язня Володимира Балуха для подальшого відбування покарання до міста Краснодар РФ. Вже надіслала звернення раднику-посланнику тимчасовому повіреному України у справах України в РФ Василю Покотилу. Висловила прохання перевірити умови тримання Балуха, забезпечення його медичною і консульсько-правовою допомогою. Чекаю на відповідь», – написала Денісова у Facebook 20 лютого.

Уповноважена з прав людини в Росії Тетяна Москалькова напередодні повідомила, що етапування засудженого в Криму українського активіста Володимира Балуха в російську колонію триватиме близько місяця.

Про те, що Балуха етапували до Краснодара, раніше повідомив заступник голови Меджлісу кримськотатарського народу Ахтем Чийгоз.

13 лютого Кримська правозахисна група повідомила, що Володимира Балуха етапували з керченської колонії в СІЗО Сімферополя. 18 лютого правозахисники повідомили, що його звідти вивезли.

За кілька тижнів до цього підконтрольний Росії Керченський міський суд відмовив Балуху в умовно-достроковому звільненні.

Активіст упродовж кількох місяців у 2018 році голодував на знак протесту проти несправедливого ув’язнення.

Суд засудив Балуха до 4 років і 11 місяців колонії і штрафу в розмірі 10 тисяч рублів (близько 4 тисяч гривень) за сукупністю двох кримінальних справ.

ФСБ Росії затримала його 8 грудня 2016 року. Співробітники ФСБ стверджували, що знайшли на горищі будинку, де живе Володимир Балух, 90 патронів і кілька тротилових шашок. Захист Балуха і правозахисники стверджують, що він став жертвою репресій за свою проукраїнську позицію – через прапор України на подвір’ї його будинку.

Друга кримінальна справа пов’язана з нібито нападом на керівника ізолятора тимчасового тримання.

Build a better website in less than an hour. Start for free at us.

У Запоріжжі на честь Небесної сотні запалили свічки і фаєри

У Запоріжжі на майдані Героїв Революції, де взимку 2013-2014 року збирався місцевий Майдан, відбулася акція вшанування пам’яті Героїв Небесної сотні. Учасники заходу запалили на їхню честь свічки і фаєри. Пам’ять загиблих також вшанували хвилиною мовчання, повідомляє кореспондент Радіо Свобода.

«Важливо пам’ятати, бо це є історією. Небесна сотня поклала життя за нашу свободу, незалежність і демократію, і ми маємо гідно нести цю ношу. Якщо вони нас бачать і чують – зганьбитися не хочеться перед ними. Для моєї родини чому це важливо? Тому що ми всю революцію пройшли: ми тут були з братом і мамою на запорізькому Майдані, а батько був на київському Майдані. І в ці криваві дні він теж був там», – розповіла організаторка акції Ярина Геращенко.

У період з 21 листопада 2013 року по 21 лютого 2014 року під час сутичок протестувальників із силовиками в центрі Києва загинули понад сто людей, найбільше – 20 лютого. Згодом загиблих учасників акцій протесту почали називати «Небесною сотнею».

За даними Міністерства внутрішніх справ, з 18 лютого по 2 березня 2014 року під час виконання службових обов’язків у центрі Києва загинули також 17 силовиків.

Build a better website in less than an hour. Start for free at us.

Putin Threatens US with New Weapons if Missiles Deployed to Europe

Russian President Vladimir Putin says Moscow plans to target the United States with new hypersonic weapons if Washington deploys intermediate-range missiles in Europe.

 

“Russia will be forced to create and deploy weapons that can both be used on the territories from which the direct threat to us originates, as well as the territories where the centers of decision-making are located,” Putin said during his 15th State of the Nation address before the federal assembly in Moscow on Wednesday.

Putin’s frequent references to the moribund 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty came amid record-low approval ratings for the fourth-term Russian leader.

 

Putin rejected U.S. assertions that Washington’s decision to withdraw from the landmark arms control pact was triggered by Russian violations of the agreement. He charged that the U.S. made false accusations against Russia to justify its decision to opt out of the deal.

 

“The U.S. directly and crudely violated the rules of the [INF] agreement; they have had launchers in Romania for a long time,” he said, repeating a well-worn Kremlin talking point that refers to a Romania-based U.S. anti-ballistic missile system capable of firing Tomahawk medium-range cruise missiles.

 

The United States has long said that system is designed to defend against “rogue” states such as Iran and provides no protection against Russia’s nuclear arsenal.

 

“Russia doesn’t intend to deploy new missiles in Europe first,” Putin added. “If the U.S. really is going to deploy missiles on the European continent, it will exacerbate the international situation and create a genuine danger for Russia, as there will be missiles with a 10-12 minute flight time to Moscow.”

 

He then seemed to taunt the U.S., calling on leaders to calculate the range and speed of Russia’s most advanced weapons.

 

“It’s their right to think how they want,” he said about U.S. leaders. “But can they count? I’m sure they can. Let them count the speed and the range of the weapons systems we are developing.

“The tests of Poseidon, an unmanned submarine with unlimited range, are going well… This hasn’t previously been said, but today I can say that by the spring of this year, the first atomic submarine will have been launched into the water.

 

“We are ready for disarmament talks, but we are no longer going to knock on a closed door,” he later said.

 

Russia began voicing skepticism about the value of a sustained bilateral arms treaty more than 10 years ago, when Kremlin officials asked the administration of then-President George W. Bush to consider expanding the treaty to bring rising nuclear powers such as China into compliance.

 

The majority of China’s nuclear arsenal is classified as intermediate range, meaning Chinese compliance with the INF would be tantamount to a wholesale forfeiture of its arsenal.

 

In December, when Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced U.S. plans to withdraw from the INF, he gave Russia 60 days to come back into compliance with the terms of the nuclear weapons pact, leaving the door open to reverse the withdrawal process.

 

“Russia has not taken the necessary steps to return to compliance over the last 60 days,” Pompeo said in a prepared statement on February 1. “It remains in material breach of its obligations not to produce, possess, or flight-test a ground-launched, intermediate-range cruise missile system with a range between 500 and 5,500 kilometers.

 

“The United States has gone to tremendous lengths to preserve the INF Treaty, engaging with Russian officials more than 30 times in nearly six years to discuss Russia’s violation, including at the highest levels of government,” he added.

According to terms of the original INF agreement, Moscow and Washington are obligated to six months of negotiations over differences, which, if unresolved, constitute full withdrawal from the treaty.

 

If the U.S. puts additional weapons in European host countries, Putin warned that Russia would not only target those nations, but field new weapons that will target “U.S. decision-making centers.”

 

Some information for this report is from AP and Reuters.

 

Build a better website in less than an hour. Start for free at us.

US Investor Detained in Russia May Be Denied Consular Access

Michael Calvey, an American businessman who was detained in Moscow five days ago on fraud charges, has not yet had consular access, according to the head of a US-Russian trade organization.

“I’ve spoken to [Calvey’s] colleagues, but not him, since the detention,” said U.S. national Alexis O. Rodzianko, president of the Moscow-based American Chamber of Commerce in Russia. Calvey is the founding partner of the Moscow-based private equity firm Baring Vostok.

Speaking with VOA Tuesday evening in a Moscow hotel, Rodzianko, who had just left discussions about Calvey’s detention with various Russian, American and European members of Moscow’s financial community, said: “I understand [Calvey] has met with his lawyers; I understand that he has not yet had consular contact — that’s as of lunchtime today.”

According to terms of the Vienna Convention, consular access must be provided within a 72-hour window from the time of arrest, meaning that a member of the U.S. government should have visited Calvey in detention by now.

A State Department spokesman declined to confirm Rodzianko’s assertion, citing privacy concerns, but seemed to indicate that the U.S. Embassy in Moscow is still seeking access to the businessman.

“We are aware that a U.S. citizen was arrested on February 14, 2019, in Russia,” said the spokesperson, who spoke on condition of not being identified. “The U.S. Embassy in Moscow is aware of the case and will be following it closely, and will provide all appropriate consular assistance. We have no higher priority than the protection of U.S. citizens abroad.”

Calvey is the second American citizen to face prosecution in Russia since Dec. 31, when Paul Whelan, a former Marine, was jailed on accusations of spying. Russia announced Whelan’s detention on Dec. 31, some 24 hours after his arrest.

Whelan’s family sharply criticized Russia’s handling of the announcement, noting that security officials divulged his arrest hours into the start of New Year’s Eve, which in Russia marks the start of a week-long national holiday. Delaying the announcement, they said, drastically decreased Whelan’s chances of securing access to legal and consular resources within the mandated 72-hour window.

U.S. Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman Jr. was finally permitted to meet with Whelan six days after his arrest.

Fraud charges

Calvey is facing fraud charges stemming from a protracted dispute with shareholders of Vostochny Bank, of which Baring Vostok owns 52.5 percent. He was detained along with five others, including three Baring Vostok employees, according to the Russian state news agency, RIA Novosty.

A coalition of lobby groups representing European businesses active in Russia has issued a joint statement expressing concerns about the arrest of Calvey and his colleagues.

“The detention of Baring Vostok’s top management has sent shock waves through the country’s business community and can potentially seriously damage the investment climate and attractiveness of Russia for foreign direct investments,” it said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin appeared to make a passing reference to Calvey’s case during his annual State of the Nation address to the federal assembly on Wednesday.

“Good-faith business shouldn’t feel threatened by the law or constantly feel the risk of criminal or even administrative punishment,” Putin said.

If convicted, Calvey faces up to 10 years in a Moscow prison.

Pete Cobus is VOA’s acting Moscow correspondent.

Build a better website in less than an hour. Start for free at us.

У НАТО назвали неприйнятними погрози Путіна націлити ракети на США

Заяви президента Росії з погрозами на адресу союзників НАТО є неприйнятними, заявляють у Північноатлантичному альянсі.

«Ми закликаємо Росію зосередитися на поверненні до дотримання Договору про ліквідацію ракет середньої і меншої дальності (ДРСМД)», – заявив заступник речника НАТО Пірс Казале.

Він додав, що НАТО не хоче нової гонки озброєнь і не має наміру розгортати в Європі нову ядерну зброю.

20 лютого російський президент Володимир Путін, виступаючи з посланням до Федеральних зборів (верхньої палати парламенту Росії), заявив, що у відповідь на вихід Сполучених Штатів з договору про ракети середньої і меншої дальності Росія розгорне ракетні системи, які будуть націлені не тільки на озброєння, але і на центри ухвалення рішень на території США та їхніх союзників.

Сполучені Штати Америки 1 лютого остаточно оголосили про свій вихід із важливого договору про обмеження на ракети з Росією через його порушення з боку Москви, яке там заперечують.

2 лютого про те, що Росія припиняє участь у Договорі про ліквідацію ракет середнього та меншого радіусу дії, повідомив президент Росії Володимир Путін.

Договір РСМД, укладений 1987 року, заборонив США і тодішньому СРСР, наступником якого стала Росія, мати, виробляти і ставити на бойове чергування цілий клас ракет досяжністю від 500 до 5 тисяч кілометрів. США вперше звинуватили Росію в його порушенні ще 2014 року.

Build a better website in less than an hour. Start for free at us.

Sanders’ Early Fundraising Surpasses Rivals

Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders’ campaign announced Wednesday it raised nearly $6 million during its first day of online fundraising, easily exceeding first-day totals amassed by his rivals.

More than 220,000 donors contributed to Sanders, a Senator from Vermont, in a 24-hour period since he announced his bid Tuesday for the White House, eclipsing his 2015 first-day fundraising total of more than $1.5 million.

Public disclosures showed Senator Kamala Harris of California was previously the top early Democratic fundraiser, with more than 38,000 donors contributing $1.5 million. Harris announced her candidacy on January 21.

Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts raised nearly $300,000 online on December 31, the day she announced an exploratory campaign committee.

Senator Amy Klobuchar raised more than $1 million in 48 hours after launching her campaign on February 10, campaign officials said.

Sanders’ show of strength is not surprising. He raised more than $200 million when he opposed Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential race.

In its announcement Wednesday, the Sanders campaign touted a large grassroots donor base that includes individuals who have already “contributed $600,000 in donations that will recur every month.”

Build a better website in less than an hour. Start for free at us.

«Свідки Єгови» заявляють про тортури з боку силовиків Росії

Релігійна організація «Свідки Єгови» заявляє про тортури, яких зазнають її члени, затримані російськими силовиками в північному місті Сургут. Щонайменше троє єговістів залишаються в СІЗО.

«Ударів струму, задушення до стану непритомності, побиттів зазнали щонайменше сім мирних свідків Єгови… Тортурами віруючих змушували відповідати на питання: «Де проходять збори свідків Єгови? Хто приходить на зібрання? Як прізвища старійшин? Який пароль у тебе на телефоні?» – ідеться в повідомленні на сайті релігійної організації.

Всього кримінальні справи порушені проти 19 членів організації «Свідки Єгови» в Сургуті. Серед них є і жінки.

У Слідчому комітеті Росії заперечують тортури до затриманих членів релігійної організації. Про це заявив речник комітету в Ханти-Мансійському регіоні Олег Менших.

20 квітня 2017 року Верховний суд Росії визнав Управлінський центр «Свідків Єгови» екстремістською організацією. Ще в серпні 2018 року правозахисна організація «Меморіал» визнала політв’язнями 29 прихильників «Свідків Єгови», яких звинувачують у тероризмі, і закликала негайно їх звільнити.

Уряди в Росії та деяких інших країнах із підозрою ставляться до діяльності «Свідків Єгови» через їхню позицію щодо військової служби, голосування та влади в цілому. Релігійна організація, яка має головний офіс у Нью-Йорку, стверджує, що в Росії нараховується близько 170 тисяч її прихильників.

Build a better website in less than an hour. Start for free at us.

US Trade Representative to Testify on China Next Week

 U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer will testify next week at a U.S. House of Representatives hearing on U.S.-China trade issues, a spokesman for the House Ways and Means Committee said on Wednesday.

Lighthizer has been the lead negotiator in ongoing trade negotiations with Beijing as the world’s two largest economies seek to find agreement amid a bitter dispute that has seen both sides impose tariffs on imports.

In a statement, the committee said the hearing was scheduled for Feb. 27, just days ahead of President Donald Trump’s March 1 deadline that the Republican U.S. leader has said could slide.

China and the United States began their latest round of talks this week.

 

Build a better website in less than an hour. Start for free at us.

Putin Announces Social Handouts in Bid to Stop Opinion Poll Slide

A year ago, Russian President Vladimir Putin sailed to victory in what challengers dubbed a “filthy election.” Facing weak candidates — some likely encouraged to run by a Kremlin eager to give the poll a veneer of greater competitiveness — Putin basked in his re-election, promising a flag-waving rally of loyalists off Moscow’s Red Square that “success awaits us.”

But with less than a month to go before marking the anniversary of his re-election, Putin faces rising public frustration with his rule and unprecedented dips in his approval ratings. In a recent opinion poll, nearly half of those surveyed said the country is heading in the wrong direction.

Putin, who has held power since succeeding Boris Yeltsin in 1999, had always been guaranteed victory in an election timed to coincide with the fourth anniversary of the Russian annexation of Crimea. Many pro-Putin voters interviewed by VOA last year said they were backing him because he had restored Russian strength and transformed the country from a regional power to a global player.

The domestic political landscape has changed since then, and the spell of Russian foreign adventurism doesn’t have the pull it once had, say analysts. The 66-year-old Russian leader appeared to acknowledge that Wednesday in his first address to parliament since his re-election.

Shift in focus

He went much more lightly on foreign and military issues in contrast to his last annual address in which he saber-rattled and unveiled a raft of new missiles, bragging about their stealth and speed. This time, he focused more on domestic challenges.

 

In response to rising public anger at the country’s economic malaise, Putin pledged to increase spending on development and social benefits, announcing a jump in child benefits along with tax breaks for families. He also pledged to almost double disability support payments. Putin boasted that for the first time, the country’s currency reserves cover external debt obligations and said economic growth should exceed 3 percent by 2021.

“Thanks to many years of common work and the results achieved, we can now direct and concentrate enormous financial resources on our development goals for our country,” Putin said.

“Nobody gave these funds to us; we did not borrow them. These funds were earned by millions of our citizens, the whole country,” he added.

“In the near future, this year, people should feel real changes for the better,” Putin pledged.

A tough sell

Whether Putin can deliver and reverse his growing unpopularity waits to be seen.

Analysts say Russians are unlikely to be satisfied with just words when it comes to quality of life issues, including the delivery of public services, municipal amenities or, more often than not, their absence, and on health and safety issues. It is the everyday “parochial” issues that worry them, including the potentially deadly consequences of shoddy and unsafe municipal housing and the reckless discarding of trash as Russia runs out of landfill sites.

Last year, thousands protested when dozens of children, in the town of Volokolamsk near Moscow, were hospitalized with suspected poisoning, the result of noxious gases emanating from an overfull local landfill.

In the past, when his political star has waned, Putin has turned to adventurism abroad to shore up support, offering foreign policy triumphs to whip up his domestic standing. That is unlikely to work moving forward, say analysts such as Mikhail Dmitriev.

Urban-rural divide

Dmitriev says polling data suggest the Kremlin is heading for a rocky few months with signs that dissent is likely to mount, and not just among the usual middle-class Putin skeptics and critics in the Russian capital and St. Petersburg, but in non-metropolitan Russia, in the smaller towns and villages, which traditionally have been the backbone of his support.

Raising the retirement age last year triggered the slide in Putin’s popularity. Cuts to salaries and sluggish economic growth added to the drag on his approval ratings, pollsters say. Real incomes have fallen by more than 10 percent since 2014, and nearly 40 percent of Russians say their material well-being has worsened just in the last 12 months.

Alexander Baunov of the Carnegie Moscow Center, a research institution, noted in a commentary earlier this month that ordinary workers are becoming more vexed with the Kremlin’s failure to deliver higher standards of living, as Putin promised he would do during the election campaign.

“Increasingly he is getting into fights with real Russians who want to complain about government policies. Last September, when he visited the Zvezda shipyard in the Russian Far East, the president got into an argument with the workers there about their salaries. (The transcript of their conversation in which Putin massively overestimated what they were paid was subsequently removed from the Kremlin website),” according to Baunov.

Baunov says the Putin system is increasingly being found wanting and the Russian president will not be able to deliver on the growing demand for economic redistribution “at the expense of the country’s rich capitalists,” in effect the friends of Putin and businessmen close to the Kremlin.

 

Build a better website in less than an hour. Start for free at us.