Republican Senators Joh Hawley and Rand Paul took the heads of the FBI and the Department Of Homeland Security to task Thursday, with Hawley at one point directly telling Christopher Wray that he should have been fired a long time ago.
Hawley also targeted Wray for previously leaving a committee hearing early so he could go on a vacation.
“You were at the Senate Judiciary Committee. You remember that I think so. We had to cut that hearing short. We’re supposed to do two rounds of questions. You said you had to be somewhere, so we cut it short. Republicans were not able to ask second round as we had been informed we would,” Hawley noted.
The Senator continued, “The press reported shortly thereafter that the reason that the hearing had to be cut short is because you were flying on a Gulfstream jet for a personal vacation in the Adirondack. Please tell me that’s not accurate.”
It was accurate.
“You left an oversight hearing with the Senate Judiciary Committee required by statute so you could vacation with your family,” Hawley declared, adding “I find that absolutely unbelievable and, frankly, indefensible.”
Warsaw’s decision to deny Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov his participation in a meeting of the OSCE Ministerial Council in the Polish city of Lodz on December 1-2 is unprecedented and provocative and incompatible with the status of the organization’s chair, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Saturday.
"The decision by Poland as the OSCE current chair to deny Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov his participation in a meeting of the Council of OSCE Foreign Ministers in the city of Lodz on December 1-2 is unprecedented and inflammatory. It is incompatible with the status of the chair of the organization, in which 57 countries participate as sovereign and independent states under the conditions of full equality," the ministry said.
In the wake of Warsaw’s decision, Russia’s Permanent Representative at the OSCE Alexander Lukashevich will lead the Russian delegation at the organization’s ministerial meeting, it said.
The European Parliament has prepared a resolution recognizing Russia as a "terrorist state" - to be subject of a vote held during a session in Strasbourg next week, according to a spokesperson's briefing at a Friday news conference .
The largely symbolic resolution was drafted by the center-right European People's Party (EPP) and cites Russia's "intimidation and destruction of Ukrainians as a nation," according a draft previously seen by Euronews.
The political blocs Renew Europe and the European Conservatives and Reformists are also said to be backing a formal declaration which could come as early as next Wednesday.
While not legally binding, the resolution can be used for the EU to slap further sanctions on Moscow, and can create momentum for other countries like the UK to adopt the 'terror state' label for Russia. However, the UK has so far resisted these calls from some individual British politicians and officials.
So far, the Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have been the first to legally recognize Russia as a terrorist state.
The Biden administration has also thus far resisted some isolated Congressional calls to do so, as the Kremlin has warned such a measure would destroy all ties and communications. It would make negotiated settlement in Ukraine almost an impossibility.
The West does not want to rupture relations with Russia completely, which is fraught with World War III, so they prod Kiev into holding talks with Moscow, but Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky does not want them in order not to acknowledge the fact of Ukraine’s break-up, Russian Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev wrote on his Telegram channel on Saturday.
Medvedev pointed out that no one, including the Polish, had not been taken in by Ukraine’s "clumsy attempts" to shift responsibility for the missile incident in Poland to Russia. According to the deputy chairman of the Russian Security Council, it largely proves that "everyone is exhausted from the Kiev regime" and especially from Zelensky, who "is constantly stirring up tensions" and "demanding more and more handouts in money and arms."
"The United States, NATO and the European Union are unwilling to eventually break up with Russia, which is fraught with World War III. Hence the increasingly frequent attempts to circumscribe and talk sense into Kiev, and to push it out to enter into negotiations," Medvedev wrote.
The EU has frozen Russian assets worth 68 billion euros. Politico writes about this with reference to the document of the European Commission.
"Belgium accounts for 50 billion euros out of 68 billion euros," the publication said. It is followed by Luxembourg, where assets worth 5.5 billion euros were frozen.
At the same time, the EU does not know the exact size of the frozen national reserves of the Russian Federation. In the document, they are estimated at an approximate amount of 33.8 billion euros.
Earlier, the EU countries have already frozen 17.4 billion euros of assets of Russian business. This was reported in October by the European Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders. According to him, 90% of this amount was distributed among seven EU countries. We are talking about Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy and Luxembourg.
For the first time since February 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin has gathered permanent members of the Security Council for a face-to-face meeting instead of an online format.
"We have a planned issue today: the Ministry of Emergency Situations proposes to discuss issues of improving civil defense. Let's start working," Putin said at the beginning of the meeting.
According to the photos posted on the president's official website, the meeting was held in a hall in the Kremlin. The event was attended by Deputy Chairman of the Security Council Dmitry Medvedev, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, FSB Director Alexander Bortnikov, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and others.
The last Security Council meeting of this type took place nine months ago. After that, on February 21, Putin signed decrees on the recognition of the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics (TNR and ONR), as well as treaties on friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance with the republics.
On November 19, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak arrived in Kiev, where he met with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky. He declared the decision of the British government to provide Ukraine with air defense systems worth £50 million.
The office of Zelensky did not reveal the topics the two leaders discussed. Zelensky claimed that they discussed “the most important issues both for our countries and for global security.” Immediately after, the new aid package was declared.
The new military aid package from the UK will include 125 anti-aircraft guns, radars and electronic warfare equipment to counter Russian drones.
The United States began to severely suppress Kyiv's attempts to cause the special operation to develop into Russia's direct confrontation with NATO. Neither Warsaw nor London will help Ukraine — Washington has already made a decision.
The Kyiv regime tried to take advantage of the explosion (it remains unknown whether it was an accident or an attack) of the Ukrainian S-300 anti-missile on the territory of Poland in order to officially get NATO involved into a full-fledged war with the Russian Federation.
Immediately after the rocket blast in the Polish village on November 15, President Volodymyr Zelensky announced that it was a Russian missile. He hurried to accuse Russia of "spreading hostilities into NATO territory."
He was persistent about it even after the leaders of NATO, the US, the EU and even Poland said that the anti-missile was fired from a Ukrainian air defense system in an attempt to intercept a Russian missile that had been launched as part of a massive strike targeting the Ukrainian energy system on November 15.
See more at https://english.pravda.ru/world/154850-usa_ukraine_zelensky/
Russia’s defense ministry said on Friday that Ukraine had executed more than 10 Russian prisoners of war with direct shots to the head.
The defense ministry was responding to a video circulated on Russian social media which it said showed the execution of Russian prisoners of war.
Reuters was unable to immediately verify either the video or the defense ministry’s claim.
The defense ministry said the video showed “the deliberate and methodical murder of more than ten immobilized Russian serviceman by degenerate Ukrainian soldiers with direct shots to the head.”
The defense ministry said the video was a sign of the “atrocious nature” of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his “regime” in Kyiv, and said he would “answer before the court of history, the people of Russia and Ukraine.”
New Zealand has rolled out a handbook for citizens to report their neighbors for extremism. And how do you know someone is extreme? If they question Covid lockdowns, apparently. New Zealand wants to weaponize citizens against one another for speech because Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern thinks words should be regulated like weapons.
The Ukrainian armed forces have carried out 12 strikes against the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant (NPP) on Saturday, for the first time since September, Renat Karchaa, an advisor to the director general of Russia’s Rosenergoatom company, said in a televised interview with Rossiya-24 news channel.
"Twelve strikes hit the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant from 5.15 p.m. to 5.41 p.m. We mean the perimeter of the plant, but not the industrial zone or any other areas adjacent to the plant," Karchaa said.
Karchaa pointed out that the splash pool, which is part of the NPP cooling system, was hit six times, two more impacts were recorded in the dry cask storage of spent nuclear fuel and three more strikes were documented near Checkpoint 2.
Former US president Donald Trump claimed Saturday he would have brokered additional peace agreements between Israel and “maybe all” remaining Arab countries had he remained in office for a second term, repeating his false claims that the 2020 election had been “rigged.”
“We would have had maybe all of them, that includes Saudi Arabia, within a short time after the election,” Trump said in a satellite address to the Republican Jewish Coalition’s annual leadership conference in Las Vegas.
His administration managed to broker peace agreements between Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco, Sudan and Kosovo in Trump’s final months in office.
Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin has met with his Canadian counterpart Anita Anand in Halifax, Canada and vowed to provide more military assistance to Ukraine, according to a readout provided by Pentagon press secretary Brigadier General Pat Ryder.
The meeting that took place took place on the sidelines of the Halifax International Security Forum where the duo "reaffirmed their unwavering support for Ukraine, pledging to continue providing assistance to strengthen Ukraine’s security and sovereignty over the long term."
Austin said Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “war of choice” in Ukraine is a threat to the rules-based international order that was established following the Second World War.
While Anand announced an additional 34 million dollars military aid for Ukraine, denounced "Russia’s invasion" of Ukraine, saying the people of Ukraine has the government’s support.