Most cyber attacks on China originate from US: report

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF SHANGHAI CHINA’S ‘SHINE’ NEWS NETWORK)

 

Most cyber attacks on China originate from US: report

Xinhua

Most of the cyber attacks targeting Chinese networks in 2018 have originated from the United States, according to an annual report released by China’s National Computer Network Emergency Response Technical Team on Monday.

In terms of Trojan and botnet activities, CNCERT found that 3.34 million computers on the Chinese mainland were controlled by more than 14,000 Trojan or botnet command and control servers (C&C servers) in the United States in 2018, up 90.8 percent from the C&C server number in 2017.

It also reported that 3,325 IP addresses in the United States, up 43 percent from 2017, planted Trojans in 3,607 websites on the Chinese mainland.

In the above two categories, the United States topped the list of overseas sources of cyber attacks targeting computers and websites on the Chinese mainland, according to the organization.

Established in 2002, the CNCERT is a non-governmental organization of network security technical coordination.

Six Geography Facts That Will Change The Way You Look At The World

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRAVEL TRIVIA)

 

As an avid explorer and Travel Trivia reader, you probably know a lot about the world. Well, this planet hides a few surprises. Here are six geography facts that will change the way you see the world.

Around 90% of the Planet’s Population Lives in the Northern Hemisphere

Around 90% of the Planet's Population Lives in the Northern Hemisphere

Credit: blvdone/Shutterstock

When we think about where people live, we assume each hemisphere has a good number of residents. In reality, most of the world’s population is located in the Northern Hemisphere, leaving the Southern Hemisphere nearly uninhabited by this study’s standards. Around 90% of the people on the planet live in the Northern part of the world in countries such as the U.S. and China, making the rest of the world look a bit sparse.

Continents Shift at the Same Speed That Your Fingernails Grow

Continents Shift at the Same Speed That Your Fingernails Grow

Credit: ModernNomad/Shutterstock

If you were awake during social studies class, you will remember that the planet’s tectonic plates are in a state of near-constant movement. This is how the earth went from having basically one big continent to having seven. For around 40 million years, the continents were in a slow phase, moving away from each other at a rate of about one millimeter per year. Then, about 200 million years ago, things got kicked into high gear and the plates began to move at 20 millimeters per year, which, scientists say, is equivalent to the speed at which fingernails grow.

Reno, Nevada, Is Farther West Than Los Angeles

Reno, Nevada, Is Farther West Than Los Angeles

Credit: Andrew Zarivny/Shutterstock

Los Angeles is typically seen as the West Coast city. It is right next to the ocean and it has all those beaches, so it would make sense for it to be farther west than a desert city like Reno, Nevada, right? Wrong! Reno is actually around 86 miles farther west than Los Angeles, due to the curve of California and the placement of the states.

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Asia Is Bigger Than the Moon

Asia Is Bigger Than the Moon

Credit: Perfect Lazybones/Shutterstock

Continuing on this same shocking track, the moon isn’t as big as it looks either. Still, though, it is around 27 percent of the size of Earth and has 14.6 million square miles of surface area. Although this seems like a lot, it is significantly less than the total surface area of Asia, which is 17.2 million square miles, meaning that Earth’s biggest continent is actually bigger than the moon.

Mount Everest Is Not the World’s Tallest Mountain

Mount Everest Is Not the World's Tallest Mountain

Credit: Vixit/Shutterstock

If someone asks you “What is the tallest mountain in the world?” you will surely answer, “Why, Mount Everest, of course! Everyone knows that!” But sadly, you would be wrong. Technically, Mount Everest is the tallest mountain above sea level, but it isn’t the tallest in the world. This honor goes to Mauna Kea in Hawaii. Mauna Kea rises up 13,796 feet above sea level (compared to Everest’s 29,035 feet), but it also extends down an additional 19,700 feet below sea level, into the Pacific Ocean. To make this mountain even cooler, it is actually a volcano, whose last eruption was 4,600 years ago.

Alaska Is the Westernmost, Easternmost and Northernmost State in the U.S.

Alaska Is the Westernmost, Easternmost and Northernmost State in the U.S.

Credit: Mike Redwine/Shutterstock

This sounds impossible, but I assure you it is true. From looking at a map, it is pretty obvious that Alaska is the northernmost state in the country. What’s surprising? The Aleutian Islands between Russia and Alaska boast the westernmost point of the United States, but in what seems like some sort of geographical oxymoron, they are also home to the easternmost point of the U.S. too. An island called Semisopochnoi (which just so happens to be a collapsed volcano) has a spot that sits so far to the west (around ten miles west of the Prime Meridian) that it actually becomes easternmost spot in the U.S.

China’s Communist Party made a flashy graphic to show everyone what it thinks about the trade war

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNBC AND CHINA’S ‘PEOPLE’S DAILY’ NEWS OUTLET)

 

China’s Communist Party made a flashy graphic to show everyone what it thinks about the trade war

KEY POINTS
  • The People’s Daily, China’s official newspaper for the Communist Party, publishes a post titled “This, is China’s attitude!” on its official WeChat account.
  • The post contains a graphic with three slogans touting the country’s defiant attitude in face of trade tensions with the U.S.
  • The dispute escalated overnight with Beijing retaliating against the latest round of U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods.

The official newspaper for China’s Communist Party published a morale-boosting graphic on Tuesday touting the country’s defiant attitude in the face of trade tensions with the U.S.

“This, is China’s attitude!” the People’s Daily said in the headline of a post on its official WeChat account.

The post contained just one image, with three slogans in gold lettering printed over the red Chinese flag and a picture of shipping containers. CNBC’s translation of the Chinese phrases reads:

“Negotiate, sure!”

“Fight, anytime!”

“Bully us, wishful thinking!”

Trade negotiations between the world’s two largest economies took a negative turn last week. On Friday, the U.S. raised tariffs on $200 billion worth of imported goods from China to 25% from 10%. Beijing responded late Monday local time with tariffs of up to 25% on $60 billion worth of U.S. goods.

China steps up US criticism

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CHINA’S GLOBAL TIMES NEWS NETWORK)

 

China steps up US criticism

By Wang Cong Source:Global Times Published: 2019/5/14 23:13:40

FM pushes back on Washington claims, keeps options open


Photo: VCG

China on Tuesday stepped up criticism of the US as tensions between the world’s largest economies continued to escalate, blaming the US for the renewed escalation that has roiled global financial markets and saying the US has underestimated China’s resolve and ability to defend itself.

As Chinese and US officials continued to exchange harsh words, China needs to be prepared for a protracted war with countermeasures and long-term reform and opening-up efforts, analysts said on Tuesday.

Asked at a routine press briefing about the US threat to impose tariffs on $300 billion in Chinese goods, Geng Shuang, a spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry, did not mince words about China’s plan to fight back.

“When it comes to a trade war, China does not want to fight one or is willing to fight one, but China is also absolutely not afraid to fight one,” Geng said. “If someone has brought the fight to our doorsteps, we will fight to the end.”

Though the spokesperson did not specify measures, China appears to keep options open. Asked about claims in social media that China should stop purchasing US agricultural and energy goods and Boeing airplanes if it retaliates, Geng declined to comment about the report but also stopped short of issuing a denial.

US officials appear to be moving forward with a threat to impose tariffs on $300 billion in Chinese goods. They plan a public hearing on June 17.

China announced it will impose tariffs of between 5 percent and 25 percent on $60 billion in US products starting June 1 in response to the US decision to increase tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods.

US miscalculation

China’s retaliation on Monday might have surprised US President Donald Trump and other US officials, who appeared to think that they could use tariffs to pressure China into signing an agreement, according to Wei Jianguo, a former Chinese vice commerce minister.

“I don’t think they thought about China’s will and resolve to defend its core national interests and major concerns, especially at the final stage,” Wei said. “They also haven’t considered China’s ability to stand up to pressure… and the reaction from US [consumers and companies].”

Geng also said that some in the US might have miscalculated the situation, continued to confuse the public, and asked for unreasonably  higher prices. “So we would certainly push back against these claims,” Geng said.

US officials have claimed that China walked back on a “95 percent” done deal and blamed that for the escalation.

Citing previous cases where the US backtracked from deals, Geng said that the US cannot accuse China of walking back from its positions and promises.

Prolonged war

Though both Chinese and US officials left some room for further talks, with Trump publically calling for a meeting with President Xi Jinping at the G20 summit in Japan in June and Chinese officials calling for the US to meet China halfway, no formal plan has been announced so far, leading some to believe this could be a prolonged trade war.

To prepare for a protracted war, analysts said, China must continue to carry out reforms and opening-up measures to boost market vitality and expand overseas markets for Chinese products to reduce reliance on the US market or any other single market.

“The reform and opening-up policy has been a magic key for China to address serious issues over the past 40 years. And a magic key is what we need to deal with the situation now,” said Cao Heping, an economics professor at Peking University, noting that more concrete actions are needed.

China has opened up more sectors to foreign investors, including finance, manufacturing and healthcare, and passed a new Foreign Investment Law to offer greater market access and better protection for foreign firms. It has cracked down on intellectual property rights violations and sought to increase foreign goods.

“The trade war has not changed and will not change China’s pace for further reform and opening-up,” Liu Ying, a research fellow with the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China in Beijing, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

Posted in: DIPLOMACY,ECONOMY

Trump And Xi Jinping: The Two Most Dangerous People In The World?

TRUMP AND XI JINPING: THE TWO MOST DANGEROUS PEOPLE IN THE WORLD?

 

Going back to the U.S. Elections of November 2016 I felt that we the people of this country only had two real choices to be our President. I also looked at our choices and felt that the people, no matter what, we were going to have a very evil person sitting in the Oval Office. I felt then as I do now, we could have a very smart crooked person (Hillary) or we could have a total dumbass crooked person for our President. The people by several million votes voted for the dangerous smart person but the Electoral College gave the victory to the crooked dumbass/ignorant ass, Mr. Trump.

 

As you have probably noticed I did not mention Russia or Mr. Putin in my comments above, there is a reason. Mr. Putin is a whole nother story. Mr. Putin is smarter than the average IQ I believe but he is definitely not a genius but neither is Mr. Trump. Mr. Putin is not stupid but he is still very dangerous because he has a dark heart/Soul. He is a bully and quite the smartass, but he is not at all stupid, unlike Mr. Trump.

 

Mr. Trump has proven to the whole world that he is a total buffoon, as well as an ignorant ass and a stupid ass fraud. There is one group of people though that still backs him no matter how ignorant and moral-less he acts each day, uneducated southern white males. I know that it sounds bad, the reality that I am a southern white male, I am a college graduate but I do not consider myself to be smarter than most folks. When I was in college I worked my behind off but could only manage about a 2.7 GPA. I do believe that Mr. Trump and almost all of his West Wing family are literally nothing more than a Mafia family, just like his Daddy was. Mr. Trump, through his massive ignorance of the whole world situation/realities is very dangerous. Through his massive ignorance, stupidity, arrogance and ego is still very likely to get our Nation into more military conflicts.

 

Mr. Xi Jinping I consider to be the world’s most dangerous human being. The man is very smart, he plays the ‘long game’ and he is a devout Chairman Mao believer. China is the most dangerous Nation in the world and Mr. Xi Jinping knows how to ‘play’ everyone, every leader every nation, he knows their weak points and he does attack them, just like the Devil attacks each humans weak points. Did I just call Mr. Xi Jinping the Devil, no I didn’t. But just as with every person, our bodies, are like a house, either we live there alone or with another entity. I have no doubt at all that at best Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, Donald Trump and Xi Jinping are empty houses. The only ones who can ‘move into’ anyone’s house is a Spirit, either good or bad. None of these folks I have mentioned have the Holy Spirit within them. To say that any of them do is akin to calling Hitler a devout Catholic, just because his Mom was a Catholic. Anyone can say they are a Christian but if we don’t have a strong faith backed up with good works, then we/they are just lying to their own selves. I used the word ‘works’ for a reason, no one is saved by their works, nor is anyone saved by just faith, they go hand in hand one with the other. If a person’s actions show them to be evil then they are not possessed by G-d’s Spirit. Not everyone who does evil is possessed by an evil Spirit though but in can happen. One thing that cannot happen is that an evil Spirit cannot move into a body that the Spirit of G-d resides in.

Turkey Says Not Distancing Itself From NATO With S-400 Deal

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)

 

Turkey Says Not Distancing Itself from NATO with S-400 Deal

Friday, 3 May, 2019 – 10:30
FILE PHOTO: A Lockheed Martin F-35 aircraft is seen at the ILA Air Show in Berlin, Germany, April 25, 2018. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt
Asharq Al-Awsat
Turkey is not distancing itself from the NATO alliance by buying Russian S-400 missile defense systems, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said on Friday, adding that Ankara should not be excluded from the F-35 jet project over the purchases.

Turkey and the United States, NATO allies, have been at odds over Ankara’s move to buy the Russian S-400s, which Washington says are not compatible with NATO systems and may threaten the Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jets, of which Turkey is a prospective buyer and partner in production, Reuters reported.

In an interview with broadcaster NTV, Akar said that excluding Turkey from the F-35 project would put “very serious” burdens on the other partners in the project.

“There is no clause saying ‘you will be excluded if you buy S-400s’ in this partnership. Excluding us just because any one country wants so would not be in line with justice, laws or rights. This should not happen,” Akar said, according to Reuters.

He said Turkey was trying to explain to the United States and other partners in the F-35 project that the S-400s would not pose a threat to the jets, and added that Ankara had taken measures to prevent that.

In his strongest challenge yet to warnings that Turkey may be removed from the F-35 project, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday that the project would collapse if Turkey did not participate.

While Washington has warned of potential US sanctions if Ankara pushed on with the S-400 agreement, Turkey has said it would not back down from the deal.

Instead, Turkey has proposed to form a working group with the United States to assess the impact of the S-400s, but says it has not yet received a response from US officials.

Akar said on Friday Turkey was still evaluating the latest US offer to sell Raytheon Co. Patriot systems, which he said was more positive than Washington’s previous offers.

Iranian Minister Threatens To Quit Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE TIMES OF ISRAEL)

 

Iranian minister threatens to quit nuclear non-proliferation treaty

Iran’s foreign minister says leaving the pact is one of Tehran’s ‘many options’ to retaliate against US sanctions

Iran's uranium conversion facility near Isfahan, which reprocesses uranium ore concentrate into uranium hexafluoride gas, which is then taken to Natanz and fed into the centrifuges for enrichment, March 30, 2005.  (AP/Vahid Salemi)

Iran’s uranium conversion facility near Isfahan, which reprocesses uranium ore concentrate into uranium hexafluoride gas, which is then taken to Natanz and fed into the centrifuges for enrichment, March 30, 2005. (AP/Vahid Salemi)

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said leaving the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty is one of the “many options” Tehran has to retaliate against US sanctions, state media reported Sunday.

The United States has imposed a raft of sanctions against the Islamic Republic since US President Donald Trump withdrew last year from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal with world powers.

Last week Washington announced an end to sanction waivers for buyers of Iranian crude oil, and earlier this month the US declared Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards a “foreign terrorist organization.”

“The Islamic Republic has many options… (leaving) the NPT is one of them,” Zarif said in remarks to Iranian reporters in New York aired by state television.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on the CBS program Face the Nation, April 27, 2019. (YouTube screenshot)

State news agency IRNA said Zarif was asked why he had not touted leaving the nuclear treaty as one of Iran’s possible reactions during his trip, as he had done so previously.

“The country’s officials are deliberating” the different options and measures, Zarif replied, adding that the possibility of leaving the NPT was among those options. He did not list the other options.

Iran has branded the US sanctions “illegal” and Zarif warned on Wednesday that there would be consequences should Iran be barred from selling its oil.

The 2015 Iran nuclear deal with six world powers — Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States and Germany — had given the Islamic Republic sanctions relief in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program.

Speaking to Fox News Sunday, Zarif claimed Israel, US National Security Adviser John Bolton, Saudi Arabia,and the United Arab Emirates were pushing a reluctant Trump into war.

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Global Warming Shrank India’s Economy By 31%

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES OF INDIA)

 

Global warming shrank Indian economy by 31%: Study

The study from 1961 to 2010, global warming decreased the wealth per person in the world’s poorest countries by 17 to 30 per cent.

WORLD Updated: Apr 23, 2019 11:46 IST

Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Boston
global warming,Indian economy,nigeria
Global warming shrank Indian economy by 31%: Study(AFP)

Global warming has caused the Indian economy to be 31 per cent smaller than it would otherwise have been, according to a Stanford study which shows how Earth’s temperature changes have increased inequalities.

The study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, showed that growing concentrations of greenhouse gases in Earth’s atmosphere since 1960s have enriched cool countries like Norway and Sweden, while dragging down economic growth in warm countries such as India and Nigeria.

“Our results show that most of the poorest countries on Earth are considerably poorer than they would have been without global warming,” said climate scientist Noah Diffenbaugh, from Stanford University in the US.

“At the same time, the majority of rich countries are richer than they would have been,” Diffenbaugh said in a statement.

The study from 1961 to 2010, global warming decreased the wealth per person in the world’s poorest countries by 17 to 30 per cent. Meanwhile, the gap between the group of nations with the highest and lowest economic output per person is now approximately 25 per cent larger than it would have been without climate change.

While the impacts of temperature may seem small from year to year, they can yield dramatic gains or losses over time. “This is like a savings account, where small differences in the interest rate will generate large differences in the account balance over 30 or 50 years,” said Diffenbaugh. After accumulating decades of small effects from warming, India’s economy is now 31 per cent smaller than it would have been in the absence of global warming, he said.

Although economic inequality between countries has decreased in recent decades, the research suggests the gap would have narrowed faster without global warming.

The study builds on previous research in the team analysed 50 years of annual temperature and GDP measurements for 165 countries to estimate the effects of temperature fluctuations on economic growth. They demonstrated that growth during warmer than average years has accelerated in cool nations and slowed in warm nations.

“The historical data clearly show that crops are more productive, people are healthier and we are more productive at work when temperatures are neither too hot nor too cold,” said Marshall Burke, a Stanford assistant professor of Earth system science. “This means that in cold countries, a little bit of warming can help. The opposite is true in places that are already hot,” said Burke.

Researchers combined data from more than 20 climate models developed by research centres around the world. Using the climate models to isolate how much each country has already warmed due to human-caused climate change, the researchers were able to determine what each country’s economic output might have been had temperatures not warmed.

“For most countries, whether global warming has helped or hurt economic growth is pretty certain,” said Burke. Tropical countries, in particular, tend to have temperatures far outside the ideal for economic growth. “There’s essentially no uncertainty that they’ve been harmed,” he said.

It’s less clear how warming has influenced growth in countries in the middle latitudes, including the US, China and Japan. For these and other temperate-climate nations, the analysis reveals economic impacts of less than 10 per cent.

First Published: Apr 23, 2019 11:46 IST

(MAKE THE WORLD GREAT AGAIN SEND ALL THE POLITICIANS ON A ONE WAY TRIP TO MARS) (oldpoet56)

Trump Demands China Trade Deal Before Summit

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER)

 

Trump shifts from personal diplomacy as he demands China trade deal before summit

The embrace of hype has not changed. When the U.S. and China finally agree a trade deal, it will be the “granddaddy” of all deals and a “monumental” agreement, according to President Donald Trump.

But as he spoke ahead of a meeting with Beijing’s vice premier on Thursday, the dealmaker in chief signaled a shift in tactics.

“If we have a deal, then we’re going to have a summit,” he said. “If we don’t have a deal, we’re not going to have a summit.”

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His words stand in contrast to previous negotiations, characterized by heavy doses of personal diplomacy designed to seal agreements during presidential summits rather than before them.

In February, Trump walked away from a summit with Kim Jong Un of North Korea in Vietnam without a deal. Tizoc Chavez, a presidential diplomacy expert at Vanderbilt University, said the failure of the second Kim summit may have prompted a rethink.

“He does have this great faith in his ability to convince someone. Before the first Kim Jong Un summit, he talked about how his touch and his feel would play an important role,” he said. “Maybe now we see his evolution as he tries to trust his diplomats and officials to lay the groundwork rather than taking on all the responsibility himself.”

Robert Lighthizer, who heads China talks for the Trump administration, said “major, major issues” remain. Negotiations continued for a third day on Friday and are due to carry on next week via video link.

The U.S. is pressing China to make commitments to buy American products, to increase protection for intellectual property, and to rebalance trade between the two countries.

Trump said any deal could take up to four weeks.

Officials initially suggested that a summit could take place before the end of March. However, that sparked concerns that any announcement before a deal could weaken U.S. leverage, reducing the chances of winning concessions, according to a person familiar with the talks.

It suggests a new tack for the author of The Art of the Deal, who as a candidate frequently talked up how he would use his business acumen in the realm of politics.

“Deals are my art form. Other people paint beautifully or write poetry,” he said shortly before announcing his presidential run. “I like making deals, preferably big deals. That’s how I get my kicks.”

Curtis Ellis, senior policy adviser with America First Policies and former member of the Trump transition team, said the president had no need to take on the entire weight of negotiations by himself.

Instead, Trump forged a consensus around tough action and promoted the decoupling of the U.S. economy from China, winning more time to strike not just a deal, but the right deal.

“Businesses and business leaders are coming around on China as the threat. They are now open to President Trump’s approach to confront China. They are open to tariffs,” he said.

“There’s now a growing consensus that President Trump’s policy is the right policy, so the pressure for a ‘quick deal’ is disappearing as it becomes more obvious that we need to counter China’s expansion in international markets and infrastructure development.”

Kremlin: U.S. Must ‘Babysit’ Poroshenko After Funding Ukrainian Revolution

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF POLYGRAPH.INFO)

 

Kremlin: U.S. Must ‘Babysit’ Poroshenko After Funding Ukrainian Revolution


Ukraine - the first day after "victory" at the Maidan in Kyiv, 23Feb2014
Ukraine – the first day after “victory” at the Maidan in Kyiv, 23Feb2014
Dmitry Peskov

Dmitry Peskov

Russian presidential spokesman

“Too much money was invested into Ukraine, too much money was poured into the coup in Ukraine, and justifying this coup also requires too much money.”

FALSE

Claim that U.S. funded “coup” in Ukraine long-since disproven

On Thursday December 20, Kremlin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told theTASS news agency that the upcoming presidential election in Ukraine, set for March 31, 2019, is further straining bilateral relations with Russia.

“[Ukrainian President Petro] Poroshenko has to win electoral support by all means, because the approval of him is low compared to the rivals who have overtaken him in the electoral rating. And this is exactly what he is doing, and this is clearly visible to us all,” Peskov said.

Peskov said that despite Poroshenko’s “relatively weak electoral positions,” the United States was stuck “babysitting” him on account of the sunk cost fallacy.

“Too much money was invested into Ukraine, too much money was poured into the coup in Ukraine, and justifying this coup also requires too much money,” Peskov said.

Kremlin officials and the state media in Russia label the popular pro-EU uprising in Ukraine a “coup” when in reality the movement was civilian in nature and involved no military support.

Claiming Washington is waiting for its investment in Ukraine to “yield dividends,” Peskov said the U.S. “did not quite succeed” and now needs to do its best “to save the situation.”

“Washington has to support Poroshenko and turn a blind eye to the real situation, which is exactly what it is doing now,” he said.

Tensions between Russia and Ukraine flared following a November 25 incident, in which three Ukrainian ships attempting to transit through the Kerch Strait in the Sea of Azov were fired on and then captured by Russian vessels.

Tweets by the Russian foreign ministry accounts
Tweets by the Russian foreign ministry accounts

The following day, martial law was introduced in Ukraine for 30 days in the 10 regions that would be on the front lines of a military conflict with Russia.

Russian media and officials have argued that Poroshenko provoked the incident in the Sea of Azov as a pretext to introduce martial law and buoy his electoral prospects.

No media source currently available

0:001:230:43

During his annual year-end press conference, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Poroshenko had sent Ukrainian servicemen to die in the Sea of Azov to provoke Russia and boost his approval ratings.

The Russian Foreign Ministry has gone so far as to claim that Kyiv is planning a chemical weapons attack in Ukraine’s war-torn east.

Peskov’s claim that the U.S. funded the “coup” in Ukraine is false.

While not stated explicitly, his comment is likely based on a claim promulgated by Russian state media that the U.S. invested $5 billion in the Ukrainian uprising.

Politifact reported the claim stems from a December 2013 speech by then Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland to the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation, a non-governmental agency promoting democracy in Ukraine.

In that speech, Nuland said that the United States had invested over $5 billion since Ukraine’s independence in 1991 to help the country “build democratic skills and institutions” so it can “achieve its European aspirations.”

As Brian Bohm noted in the Moscow Times in May 2014: “U.S. law prohibits the funding of opposition leaders and movements, and there have been no violations of this law in Ukraine.”

Since the annexation of Crimea and Russian-backed war erupted in Ukraine in 2014, the U.S. has provided Ukraine with more than $1 billion in security assistance.

In July, the Pentagon told CNN it had released $200 million in security assistance to Ukraine.

In March, the U.S. State Department formally approved the sale of 210 Javelin anti-tank missiles to Ukraine and 37 launchers for an estimated cost of $47 million. That was the first time lethal military aid to Kyiv has been approved.

Citing the U.S. Congressional Research Service (CRS), the Council on Foreign Relations said the U.S. had spent $49 billion on foreign aid in 2016, around 1.2 percent of the federal budget. That included security and military assistance.

USAID, which put total U.S. obligations at $50 billion that year, said $513 million, or roughly 1% of the total, had gone to Ukraine.

The idea that U.S. support for Ukraine is based strictly on a need to “recoup an investment” and not on broader security issues in the region does not appear to be supported by the data.

As for Peskov’s argument that the U.S. funded the 2014 revolution in Ukraine, Polygraph.info finds that claim to be false.