New Year Address to the Nation, by President of Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, December 31, 2018.
23:55, The Kremlin, Moscow
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Dear itizens of Russia, dear friends,
A new year, year 2019, is right around the corner. Behind us is the busy month of December, when we rushed to complete all our urgent tasks, finalised our plans for the future, and of course, got ready for New Year celebrations. Filled with excitement and hope, we are now waiting for the New Year to arrive. We see the eyes of our children shining with enthusiasm. We feel the joy of our parents and grandparents, if the entire family is together at this moment.
Their hearts are warmed by the tenderness and attention, and they can experience the New Year magic created by the generosity of our spirits. This generosity is essential not only when we celebrate, but also in our daily lives, when we are there to support those who need our help, those who are alone or not well. After all, we must be responsive to the misfortunes of others, and care is always repaid in kindness and gives us the joy of involvement.
While our expectations at this very moment may differ, what we all want is for our loved ones to be healthy, our home to be full of harmony, our children to bring us joy, our life to be peaceful, and our dreams, even the most sacred ones, to come true.
Just like in our childhood, on New Year’s Eve we make wishes and expect this night to bring us luck and success. May all this come true. At the same time, we all know for sure that only through our own efforts and by working together can we build a better life for ourselves, our families and our homeland.
We face many pressing tasks in the economy, research, technology, healthcare, education and culture. What matters the most is that we make steady progress in improving the wellbeing and quality of life in Russia, so that all its people, each and every one of us, feel the change for the better as soon as next year.
We will succeed, but only if we are able to work together. We never had any help in these endeavours, and never will. For this reason, we must form a team that is united, strong and acts as a single whole. Let the friendship and good hopes that bring all of us together accompany us moving forward and help us in our work and in achieving our common goals.
The New Year is just a few seconds away. Let us wish happiness to those next to us. Let us say the warmest words to all those we treasure, thank our parents, give a tender hug to our children, and open our hearts to each other. After all, when millions of people share these wonderful feelings, the world is filled with love and trust.
From all my heart I wish joy and wellbeing to you, and success and prosperity to our homeland, to our beloved Russia.
Happy New Year 2019!
Anthem of the Russian Federation
Christmas Strikes in Syria: Panic in Israel following the Russian reaction
Al-Manar Journalist: Zionist security sources responded to Moscow’s Statement that the latest Israeli strikes in Syria endangered two civilian planes over Lebanon by saying that Moscow has not kept its commitments regarding the Iranian presence there, and Zionists analysts have recognized that freedom of action in Syria is dramatically reduced.
The occupying entity has clearly expressed its discomfort with the Russian position which has denounced the endangerment of two civilian planes over Lebanon during its aggression against Syria on Tuesday evening. This position was expressed to the Associated Press by an anonymous Zionist security source who accused Russia of not having kept the promise to repel Iranian forces at 80 km from the border with the occupied Golan, thereby acknowledging that the Zionists were responsible for the recent strikes against Syria.
Ayhud Ya’ri, Zionist analyst of Arab affairs: This is the first time that Russia described the Israeli attack as a provocation, and this clearly indicates that the Russian Ministry of Defense has lost patience. And Syrian sources claim that the anti-aircraft missiles that were fired against Israeli planes could fall, next time, accidentally or intentionally, on the positions of the Israeli army in Mount Hermon (occupied Syrian territory).
Rouni Daniel, Zionist analyst of Arab affairs: The Russian position brings us to a critical point, because they absolutely refuse the Israeli freedom of action and want to end it. And I do not think that Israel is able to respond favorably to this request.
Report: The Yediot Aharonot commented the Zionist aggression in Syria by saying that in light of the end of the chaos there, Israel’s ability to conduct attacks against Syria without paying a price is over.
Tzveka Yahzkalay, Zionist analyst of Arab affairs: The opportunities for action in Syria are closing inexorably, and it is doubtful that Israel could carry out attacks whenever it wishes, because such windows of action disappear, and the question is this: will Israel manage to prevent the Iranian presence after the US withdrawal? It is difficult to say at 100% that Israel will succeed.
Report : Unlike the usual practice, Zionist analysts acknowledged that the Syrian air defense system is now able to face the Zionist missiles over Syria, and intercepted a number of them during the last attack near Damascus.
Christmas Strikes Against Syria: Israel Hides Behind Civilian Airliners, Preventing Use of S-300
Journalist: “Prolonging the conflict and supporting the terrorists”. This is a statement by the Syrian Foreign Ministry regarding the probable, as the local diplomats and politicians see it, goals of the Israeli missile attack against Syria. Last night, for 1.5 hours, the outskirts of Damascus were under fire from the direction of Lebanese airspace. The air defense system shot most of the targets down but there are still some victims; an ammunition depot was damaged.
“Basically, this is a rude violation of Syrian sovereignty and the terms of a UN Security Council Resolution”. This is the reaction by the Russian Foreign Ministry. The Duma members from the Committee on Friendship with the Syrian Parliament agree with that, saying that this is an obvious attempt to destabilize the situation and that this is obviously helpful to the militants whom Israel claims to be fighting.
Another important detail from the Russian Defense Ministry: As it turned out, the Israeli strikes took place just when civilian planes were landing in the Beirut and Damascus airports.
We’ll ask Vadim Zavodchenkov: What’s the point of such tactics? Vadim, greetings.
Vadim Zavodchenkov: Good evening.
Journalist: Were they using the civilian planes as cover?
Vadim Zavodchenkov: Well, Alexey, the initiators of the attack surely knew that their actions posed a danger to civilian planes and passengers.
Here’s data from FlightRadar24.com about the traffic in the sky above Syria just before the attack on Damascus. One can see that there are both transit airplanes and the planes that took off from the capital in the south of the country.
Of course, the Damascus airport traffic can’t be compared to the traffic of Israeli airports or other Middle Eastern countries. Nevertheless, 15 planes in total were to depart and arrive this day, heading to Kuwait, Iraq, the United Arab Emirates, and Jordan. The Syrian flight operators had to urgently reroute a civilian plane to the alternate airfield of Khmeimim because of the American-made aerial bombs which Israel had used before.
GBU-39 is equipped with folding wings and is capable of gliding, which dramatically increases its combat range. Despite the fact that it’s considered to be a small diameter precision bomb, the results of its use may turn out to be rather big.
Victor Zabolotsky, honored test pilot: “If air traffic control doesn’t warn the pilot that there’s something odd in the area near you, for example, a missile attack or something else, then the only thing that’s left is to leave the area because no one knows where they will strike, whether it’s the airport, a hangar, or some warehouses. Even if they blow up a depot, the fragments may disperse as far as 15 kilometers and so on”.
The latest version of the American bomb is capable of eliminating even moving targets. Such a capability is granted by the joint use of GPS, infrared and radar homing. However, even such advanced munitions can’t stay undetected by Syrian air defenses.
According to some data, the Syrian government forces could have used the Pantsir S-1 air defense complex. It was used many times earlier, for example, to fight terrorist drones. The Pantsir S-1, operating on the move, is capable of eliminating a target flying at a speed of 1,000 meters per second. It’s almost impossible to evade it. The Pantsir is capable of detecting a target up to 80 kilometers away, it can acquire up to 10 targets per minute, and track up to 4 targets at the same time.
However, they had to limit the deployment of air defense systems and electronic countermeasures systems due to the threat to civilian planes. The goal of electronic countermeasures is to interrupt the satellite signal, thus leaving the missiles or aerial bombs without any way to home in on their targets. However, due to radar jamming, civilian planes can also go blind because their course is corrected with the help of GPS.
Alexey Leonkov, military expert of Arsenal Otechestva magazine: “The means of electronic countermeasures work on certain frequencies and can affect civilian planes. They started the attack right when the planes started to land. Those were the civilian planes near Damascus, they attacked the Damascus airport. Officially, there is no war there anymore, so there were no restrictions for landing”.
Thanks to the precise, selective implementation of the Syrian air defense systems, 14 out of 16 guided aerial bombs were destroyed. Alexey.
Journalist: Thank you. Vadim Zavodchenkov about the goals and means.