“For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.” Matt 24:7
Video Above: Russian President Vladimir Putin in recent months “has escalated his use of nuclear threats to a level not seen since the Cold War.”
The Ministry of Economic Development, which publishes the government’s economic outlook, on Tuesday revised its forecast for 2015 to show a contraction of 0.8 percent, compared with a previous projection of 1.2 percent growth.
- The ruble dropped against the dollar, continuing its nose dive in recent months
- The Russian stock market index Micex also dropped on the announcement, regaining the loss later in the afternoon.
- Also boding ill for the Russian economy was the announcement on Monday by President Vladimir Putin to scrap plans for South Stream gas pipeline, a grandiose project that was once intended to establish the country’s energy dominance in southeastern Europe but that instead fell victim to Russia’s increasingly strained relationship with the West.
Despite its looming economic future, President Putin’s push for Russia’s return to global dominance continues.
Russia Launches a ‘Wartime Government’ HQ in a Major Military Upgrade: A national defense facility, which is meant to monitor threats to national security in peacetime, but would take control of the entire country in case of war.
And if Russia does get into a war, the center would act as a major communication hub and a form of wartime government, delivering reports to the country’s military command and giving orders to all ministries, state-owned companies and other organizations, according to the needs of the armed forces.
Russia’s increasingly assertive – and some say militaristic – foreign policy hit a little closer to home recently.
This will include in the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico – the United States’ proverbial backyard.
Shoigu reportedly added that the flights would be “reconnaissance missions to monitor foreign powers’ military activities and maritime communications,” presumably referring to the U.S.
If Shoigu’s announced plans were to materialize, the Russian flights would constitute the most significant Russian international military escalation since the Cold War. By some standards, bomber sorties in the Gulf of Mexico would surpass even Cold War-era tensions, as Russian forces reportedly did not routinely patrol North America’s southern flank.
Shoigu’s comments come amid a major increase in Russian airborne “probing” missions in the Black Sea, the Baltic Sea, the Mediterranean and throughout European airspace.
However, those flights were largely launched from Russia itself. Flying patrols to the Gulf of Mexico, to say nothing of the further-flung Caribbean, would require a constellation of refueling and maintenance facilities throughout the region to support aircraft making the approximately 5,500-mile journey from Russia’s frozen East to the balmy Gulf.
This makes it unlikely that Russia will be able to fly patrols in the Gulf and Caribbean as announced without first establishing those facilities, experts say.
It is also possible that while several high-profile missions may indeed go forward, they will be used more as a demonstration of capability rather than establishing a regular surveillance route.
But either way, it underlines Russian intentions to boost its presence in the Western Hemisphere and, more broadly, to lay claim to the return of Russia as a global power.