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Putin to US: I’m ready for another Cuban Missile crisis if you want one

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President Vladimir Putin has said that Russia is militarily ready for a Cuban Missile-style crisis if the United States is foolish enough to want one and that his country currently has the edge when it comes to a first nuclear strike.

The Cuban Missile Crisis erupted in 1962 when Moscow responded to a U.S. missile deployment in Turkey by sending ballistic missiles to Cuba, sparking a standoff that brought the world to the brink of nuclear war.

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More than five decades on, tensions are rising again over Russian fears that the United States might deploy intermediate-range nuclear missiles in Europe as a landmark Cold war-era arms control treaty unravels.

Putin’s comments, made to Russian media late on Wednesday, follow his warning that Moscow will match any U.S. move to deploy new missiles closer to Russia by stationing its own missiles closer to the United States or by deploying faster missiles or both.

Putin fleshed out his warning in detail for the first time, saying Russia could deploy hypersonic missiles on ships and submarines which could lurk outside U.S. territorial waters if Washington now moved to deploy intermediate-range nuclear weapons in Europe.

“(We’re talking about) naval delivery vehicles: submarines or surface ships. And we can put them, given the speed and range (of our missiles)… in neutral waters. Plus they are not stationary, they move and they will have to find them,” Putin said, according to a Kremlin transcript.

“You work it out. Mach nine (the speed of the missiles) and over 1,000 km (their range).”

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TREATY VIOLATIONS
The U.S. State Department dismissed Putin’s earlier warning as propaganda, saying it was designed to divert attention from what Washington alleges are Moscow’s violations of the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.

The pact, which banned Russia and the United States from stationing short- and intermediate-range, land-based missiles in Europe, is in its death throes, raising the prospect of a new arms race between Washington and Moscow.

Putin has said he does not want an arms race with the United States, but that he would have no choice but to act if Washington deployed new missiles in Europe, some of which he says would be able to strike Moscow within 10-12 minutes.

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Putin said his naval response to such a move would mean Russia could strike the United States faster than U.S. missiles deployed in Europe could hit Moscow because the flight time would be shorter.

“It (the calculation) would not be in their favor, at least as things stand today. That’s for sure.” said Putin.

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Relations between Moscow and Washington were strained, he added, but the tensions were not comparable to those of the Cuban Missile Crisis.

“They (the tensions) are not a reason to ratchet up confrontation to the levels of the Cuban Missile Crisis in the 1960s. In any case that’s not what we want,” said Putin. “If someone wants that, well OK they are welcome. I have set out today what that would mean. Let them count (the missile flight times).”

Editing by Gareth Jones

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Conservative pro-impeachment congressman explains why Democrats ‘made a strategic error’ by ignoring the major flaws in GOP witness Turley’s testimony

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Four legal scholars testified at the House Judiciary Committee’s impeachment hearing on Wednesday: three of them argued in favor of impeachment (Pamela Karlan, Noah Feldman and Michael Gerhardt), while Prof. Jonathan Turley of the George Washington University Law School argued against it. Michigan Rep. Justin Amash, a former Republican turned independent and right-wing proponent of impeaching President Donald Trump, analyzed Turley’s testimony in a December 5 thread on Twitter — outlining some flaws and asserting that House Judiciary Democrats made a mistake by not using those flaws to their advantage.

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US indicts ‘Evil Corp’ hackers with alleged Russian intelligence ties

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A Lamborghini-driving Moscow hacker who called his operation Evil Corp and has ties to the FSB Russian intelligence service was indicted by US authorities Thursday for the cybertheft of tens of millions of dollars.

An indictment unsealed in Pittsburgh named Maksim Yakubets and his Evil Corp partner Igor Turashev as the main figures in a group which inserted malware on computers in dozens of countries to steal more than $100 million from companies and local authorities.

The indictment was accompanied by sanctions from the US Treasury on the two men, as well as the announcement of a $5 million reward toward Yakubets' arrest and conviction -- the highest reward ever offered for a cybercriminal.

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2020 Election

‘You’re a damn liar’: Joe Biden goes off on Iowa voter for attacking his son’s work in Ukraine

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As House Democrats move closer to indicting President Donald Trump on articles of impeachment, many Trump supporters continue to insist that Trump did nothing wrong when, on July 25, he tried to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden. Moreover, some impeachment critics still claim that an investigation of the Bidens’ activities in Ukraine is warranted. The Bidens’ connection to Ukraine was brought up this week by a man at a Joe Biden campaign event in Iowa — and the former vice president and U.S. senator from Delaware wasted no time calling him out.

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