Russian Strategic Bombers Conduct More European Flights

In this photo released by the U.S. Navy, an F/A-18 Hornet from aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz, escorts a Russian Tupolev 95 Bear long rang bomber aircraft on Feb. 9, 2008

Russian nuclear-capable bombers conducted a third day of military runs along Europe’s coasts on Friday as part of heightened strategic activities by Moscow, the NATO alliance said.

“On Friday, Russian planes carried out more flights over Europe,” said NATO spokesman Maj. Rob Phillips. “NATO tracked these flights over the Baltics, the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.”

Russian Arms Sales to Syria, Iran Add to Middle East Instability

AP

Putin’s Russia has revived its once flagging global arms sales business and is using those sales to revive its defense industrial base. Second to only the United States with about a 26 percent share of the global arms market—the United States has a 30 percent share—Russian arms sales in 2013 generated some 13 billion dollars for government coffers according to the pro-government Russia Today.

Russian Government Pushes to Eliminate Civil Society Groups

Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s effort to eliminate one of the country’s oldest human rights organizations is the latest indication that the authoritarian leader has revived many Soviet-era practices to crush civil society and tighten his grip on power, including persecuting dissidents and disseminating anti-Western propaganda.