Monday, March 12

Russian Journalist Takes Header Off Fifth Floor

I missed this one last week, but apparently another critic of Putin has met their untimely death. Vladimir Isachenkov was investigating the sale of weapons to Iran and Syria via Belarus when he was warned not to go public or he would face criminal charges. Apparently they were punishable by death.

( If confirmed, such a contract would upset the balance of forces in the Mideast and likely anger Israel and the United States.

Safronov did not say where the warning came from, according to Kommersant, but he had repeatedly been questioned in the past by the Federal Security Service or FSB, which suspected him of divulging state secrets in his reports. The FSB is the main successor agency to the KGB.

“Ivan Safronov said he was not going to write about it for a while because he was warned that it would create a huge international scandal and the FSB would launch a criminal case on charges of breaching state secrets,” it said.
And why would Israel and the U.S. be upset?
Upon his return from the trip, it said, Safronov told colleagues that he also had learned about Russian plans to provide Syria with Iskander missiles, MiG-29 fighter jets and Pantsyr-S1 air-defence systems.

The Iskander, a sophisticated surface-to-surface missile with a range of about 280 kilometres, would give Syria the capability to strike targets in Israel with high precision. Israel has complained about past sales of anti-tank missiles to Syria, saying that some landed in the hands of the militant group Hezbollah.
What would the Arab translation be for Bay of Pigs?