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INTL Main Russia/Ukraine invasion thread - Donetsk now claims all of Ukraine - Post #18742
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  1. #41
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Teri Schultz ‏@terischultz 36m
    Stable #Ukraine "key to euro-atlantic security", sez @AndersFoghR.
    #NATO will uphold "territorial integrity" (how far will you go, #NATO?)

    Agence France-Presse ‏@AFP 12m
    Ukraine names pro-Western cabinet as Putin orders army drills via @YahooNews
    shōu xìnyòngkă ma?

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Russian Bombers over Black Sea Alert
    Bulgarian, Turkish Air Forces

    February 26, 2012

    Five Russian strategic bombers have raised alert with the Bulgarian and Turkish Air
    Forces after flying close by over the Black Sea on Wednesday.

    The five Russian Tu-22 bombers were detected right off Bulgaria’s coast, on the fringes
    of the Bulgarian air space, the Standart daily reported Thursday, saying that the
    information has been confirmed by sources from the Bulgarian Defense Ministry.

    The Bulgarian military has explained, however, that the Russian bombers never entered
    Bulgaria’s air space, even though they reached within 40 km of the Bulgarian Black Sea
    coast, apparently bound south, towards Africa.

    At the same time, however, the Russian bombers are reported to have caused alarmed
    the Turkish Air Force, with unofficial information saying that the Turkish military
    immediate flew two F-16 fighters to escort the Russian bombers.

    When asked why no Bulgarian fighter jets on duty were flew off over the Russian
    bombers, the Bulgarian Defense Ministry is quoted as saying that it is up to NATO’s
    southern command to decide whose fighter jets would be sent in the air in similar

    Observers have been quick to link the flying over of Russian strategic bombers over the
    Black Sea with the naval drills of the Russian Navy over the international tensions
    around the situation in Syria, which is the site of massive civil unrest and protests
    against the Assad regime, and Iran, whose nuclear program advance is fueling fears it
    might be subject to air strikes by Israel and/or the USA.

    A group of Russian naval ships arrived in early January in the Syrian port of Tartus,
    where two Iranian warships also came last week.

    shōu xìnyòngkă ma?

  3. #43
    Join Date
    May 2004
    James Dahl‏@JamesGDahl·5 mins
    One point missed in the debate over #Crimea is that #Sevastopol is not actually in #Crimea, it is an autonomous region which is 70% Russian

  4. #44
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Russia to expand its worldwide military presence

    MOSCOW (AP) — Russia says it plans to expand its worldwide military presence by
    seeking permission for navy ships to use ports in Latin America, Asia and elsewhere.

    Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Wednesday in remarks carried by Russian news
    agencies the military was conducting talks with Algeria, Cyprus, Nicaragua,
    Venezuela, Cuba, Seychelles, Vietnam and Singapore.

    He said that it was essential for the Russian navy to be able to call at their ports to
    service its ships.

    Shoigu said Russia was also talking to some of those countries asking them to allow
    long-range bombers to use their air bases for refueling.

    President Vladimir Putin has launched a massive military modernization program and
    sought to demonstrate Russia's global reach by sending navy ships to the
    Mediterranean, Latin America and other areas.
    shōu xìnyòngkă ma?

  5. #45
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    US Warns Russia on Ukraine, Nudges Georgia to West

    WASHINGTON February 26, 2014 (AP)
    By MATTHEW LEE AP Diplomatic Writer

    The United States on Wednesday warned Russia
    against a military interventionin Ukraine as it renewed demands
    that Moscow withdraw troops from disputed enclaves
    in another former Soviet republic, Georgia.

    The U.S. also urged Georgia to further integrate with Europe and NATO
    in calls that come amid growing tensions between Russia and the West
    over the ouster of Ukraine's pro-Moscow president.

    In pointed comments likely to fuel already heightened Russian suspicions over Western
    intentions in its backyard, Secretary of State John Kerry said Russia should be "very
    careful" in how it proceeds in Ukraine. In addition, he announced additional, but
    unspecified, U.S. assistance "to help support Georgia's European and Euro-Atlantic
    vision." And, he denounced Russia's continued military presence in the breakaway
    Georgian territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia in violation of the cease-fire that
    ended the 2008 Russia-Georgia conflict.

    Kerry, speaking at a meeting of the U.S.-Georgia Strategic Partnership Commission at
    the State Department, insisted that U.S. policy toward Ukraine, Georgia and the other
    states that once made up the Soviet Union is not aimed at reducing Russia's influence
    in its neighborhood.
    Instead, he maintained that U.S. encouragement for former Soviet
    states to integrate with the West is driven by America's desire to see them succeed as
    robust democracies with strong economies.

    "We don't make that urging ... as some sort of zero-sum game between the East and
    West or between us and any other party," Kerry said. "We simply want people to be
    able to exercise their freedom of choice and be able to maximize their economic
    opportunities. That doesn't mean that it can't also mean engagement with others."

    Later, in an interview with MSNBC television, Kerry echoed those remarks but went
    further in addressing the situation in Ukraine.

    "I think Russia needs to be very careful in the judgments that
    it makes going forward here," Kerry said. "We are not looking
    for confrontation, but we are making it clear that every country
    should respect the territorial integrity, the sovereignty of
    Ukraine. Russia has said it will do that, and we think it's
    important that Russia keeps its word."

    "What we need now to do is not get into an old, Cold War confrontation," he said. "We
    need to work together in what does not have to be a zero-sum game to provide the
    capacity of the people of Ukraine to choose their future."

    Kerry spoke as Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered massive military exercises in
    western Russia, including along its border with Ukraine. Russian news agencies
    reported that the Defense Ministry would take steps to strengthen security at facilities
    of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula, where there have been
    clashes between pro- and anti-Russian demonstrators. Pro-Russian protesters have
    spoken of secession, and a Russian lawmaker has stoked their passions by promising
    that Russia will protect them.

    Those steps have raised fears of possible Russian military intervention in Ukraine along
    the lines of its 2008 operation in Georgia, which was condemned by the United States
    and its European allies.

    Kerry, sitting next to Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili, affirmed that the U.S.
    "remains steadfast in our support for Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity."

    "We continue to object to Russia's occupation, militarization and borderization of
    Georgian territory, and we call on Russia to fulfil its obligations under the 2008
    cease-fire agreement, including the withdrawal of forces and free access for
    humanitarian assistance," Kerry said.

    He stressed that the U.S. supports Georgia's membership in NATO — something
    opposed by Russia — and wants to see it sign a partnership agreement with the
    European Union later this year. A similar proposed agreement between Ukraine and the
    E.U. was among the catalysts that led to the deadly unrest in Kiev that unseated
    Russian-backed President Viktor Yanukovych last week.

    Some Russian officials accuse the West of being behind the revolt against Yanukovych.
    U.S. and European officials have adamantly denied such allegations.

    Kerry said the Ukrainian people had risen up themselves against a "kleptocracy" and
    added that he suspected that some elements in Russia had advised Yanukovych to
    crack down hard on his opponents.

    "I think to some degree Russia has not been in touch with some of what has been
    happening on the ground," he said. "I think there were some encouragements by some
    people for Yanukovych to take a very harsh position."
    shōu xìnyòngkă ma?

  6. #46
    Join Date
    May 2004
    James Miller‏@MillerMENA·14 mins
    Ukraine Liveblog: US State Department announces $1 billion loan to interim government

    2043 GMT: Ukraine may be getting more money from the U.S., but it will have to live without the help of Russian banks, banks which have played a major role in personal and corporate finance in Ukraine:

    Leonid Ragozin@leonidragozinFollow
    Russia biggest banks, VTB & Sberbank, suspend loans to Ukrainian clients. Time for Western banks to take their patch @vesti_news у
    The Associated Press @APFollow
    BREAKING: Kerry says US plans $1 billion in loan guarantees for Ukraine

    Nervana Mahmoud‏@Nervana_135m
    Wow! RT @BloombergNews: BREAKING: Kerry says U.S. planning $1 billion loan guarantee for Ukraine. Arab spring countries were not that lucky!

    michaeldweiss‏@michaeldweiss34 mins
    @Nervana_1 And only 1/15th of the Russian amount.
    Last edited by Lilbitsnana; 02-26-2014 at 03:03 PM.

  7. #47
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Adin of Crimea‏@RealCrimea·11 mins
    If #Russia wants keep #Sevastopol without consent #Ukraine government than will be long hard haul for #Russia as logistical can be squeezed.

    Adin of Crimea‏@RealCrimea·7 mins
    #Russia already realizing that they will have to barge in all gas, water and supplies to #Sevastopol until port can be built in Novorossiysk

  8. #48
    Join Date
    May 2004
    this person could be right

    World War III
    START! #Ukraine #Sevastopol

  9. #49
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    zerohedge ‏@zerohedge 51m
    Good news: US is fixed. Time to fix Ukraine:

    zerohedge ‏@zerohedge 11m
    Kerry Promises Ukraine $1 Billion Bailout (Detroit, Not So Much)

    Gregor Peter ‏@L0gg0l 1h
    In July 2008 just 4 weeks before the Georgian war,
    Russia held military exercises in the region …
    ^^^Was just thinking the same thing!
    shōu xìnyòngkă ma?

  10. #50
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    John Schindler ‏@20committee 4h
    "European leaders have yet 2 realize that Russia's rulers view
    geopolitical defeat in Ukraine as nothing less than an existential threat"

    John Schindler ‏@20committee 4h
    That and related wisdom can be found in: #Ukraine is a Step Away from War
    -- …
    shōu xìnyòngkă ma?

  11. #51
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by SIRR1 View Post
    A couple of questions here for the TB2K Ukraine News Team.

    Does the Ukraine have an active military and does it have any teeth.

    What is the religon of the Ukraines, Christian, Muslim, Greek Ortho?

    I hope we are getting into another Serbia because IMHO we backed the wrong side in that conflict!

    Thanks SIRR1
    Pre-crisis, per Wikipedia ( there are 159,000 active duty in all branches and another million reservists and they've got the gear to arm them to one degree or another. Where this equipment is geographically located, under who's control and the allegiances of the personnel is still to be seen.

  12. #52
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Oh, Oh, OH!!!! The integrity of Ukraine's borders has now been invoked. I can see a nasty memo flying towards Putin. Putin is laughing at it. This reminds me of the famous 1970's poster of a mouse flipping off a cat. Is NATO prepared to deploy combat troops on the Ukrainian border? If so, IT IS WAR. If not, it is political posturing. We humans have a real tendency to stumble in war. Housecarl strikes again!!!! I am thinking a run to the liquor store is merited by this thread!
    Doomer Doug, a.k.a. Doug McIntosh now has a blog at
    My end of the world e book "Day of the Dogs" will soon be available for sale at smashwords. The url is It is also at the following url

  13. #53
    Join Date
    May 2004
    top and bottom tweets are translations

    Reshetnikov. Belarus @ReshetnikovM. · 32 m
    Russian tanks are on the March in the Crimea.NATO advised the Ukrainian military by phone and Skype.Ukrainian leaders panicked

    Adin of Crimea‏@RealCrimea·
    @ReshetnikovM care to share sources? or just hype?

    Reshetnikov. Belarus @ReshetnikovM. · 22 m
    @RealCrimea why do you need sources? You have money on the Belarusian Revolution?

  14. #54
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by Doomer Doug View Post
    Oh, Oh, OH!!!! The integrity of Ukraine's borders has now been invoked. I can see a nasty memo flying towards Putin. Putin is laughing at it. This reminds me of the famous 1970's poster of a mouse flipping off a cat. Is NATO prepared to deploy combat troops on the Ukrainian border? If so, IT IS WAR. If not, it is political posturing. We humans have a real tendency to stumble in war. Housecarl strikes again!!!! I am thinking a run to the liquor store is merited by this thread!
    My concern is my consideration of comparing and contrasting what happened in Bosnia to current events in Ukraine from a few days ago may be closer to reality than comfort allows! I really hate it when I'm right!

    As to "the memo", if it's coming from Brussels that's one thing, but Berlin and or Poland raises the temperature of things quite a bit more.

  15. #55


    Quote Originally Posted by Doomer Doug View Post
    Oh, Oh, OH!!!! The integrity of Ukraine's borders has now been invoked. I can see a nasty memo flying towards Putin. Putin is laughing at it. This reminds me of the famous 1970's poster of a mouse flipping off a cat. Is NATO prepared to deploy combat troops on the Ukrainian border? If so, IT IS WAR. If not, it is political posturing. We humans have a real tendency to stumble in war. Housecarl strikes again!!!! I am thinking a run to the liquor store is merited by this thread!

  16. #56
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Quote Originally Posted by Housecarl View Post
    My concern is my consideration of comparing and contrasting what happened in Bosnia to current events in Ukraine from a few days ago may be closer to reality than comfort allows! I really hate it when I'm right!

    As to "the memo", if it's coming from Brussels that's one thing, but Berlin and or Poland raises the temperature of things quite a bit more.
    John Kerry telling Russia to Abandon South Ossetia is a BIG deal too.

    2008 South Ossetia War

    Russia resumes building of South Ossetia border fences

    by DFWatch staff | Feb 26, 2014

    TBILISI, DFWatch–Russian soldiers have resumed the installation of warning signs
    and barbed wire at villages near the border with the breakaway region South

    A sign warning about the de facto border was installed in the village Ghogheti near
    Kareli on Tuesday.

    “This happens on the cultivated lands of our population,” said Davit Sujashvili, Head
    of the Interior Ministry’s Department of Analysis.

    “We will strengthen the patrolling for more security and inform our partner countries
    and diplomatic missions.”

    He said Georgia will raise the borderization issue at the next round of Geneva talks,
    which are regular meetings between the warring parties in August 2008.

    Russians started installing barbed wire in the village Atotsi, near the town Kareli, on
    Tuesday. Villagers say that part of their farm lands ended up on the other side of the

    Georgia’s Foreign Ministry on Tuesday responded with a statement expressing
    concern. It notes that the installation of such fences had been suspended for the
    past two weeks.

    “Regrettably, and despite numerous calls by the international community, the
    Russian Federation is continuing to violate fundamental principles of international
    law as well as the commitments it undertook under the 12 August 2008 ceasefire
    agreement,” the statement says.

    It condemns Russia’s actions, which it says has a negative impact on the everyday
    life of the local population and restrict their right to free movement, education in
    their native language, economic, cultural and social rights.

    The local population has also been prevented from carrying out agricultural work and
    gaining access to cemeteries and emergency medical services.

    “The critical nature of the situation in Georgia’s occupied regions and adjacent areas
    once again underlines the importance of the need to establish international
    mechanisms for monitoring security and human rights therein,” the ministry writes.

    The Foreign Ministry calls on the international community to undertake effective
    measures against what it terms illegal actions.

    Minister of Reconciliation and Civil Equality Paata Zakareishvili told journalists that it
    was expected that the Russians would resume the installing of wires after the
    Olympics. It is obvious that Russia has very few resources left, he added.

    “We see how it acts in Ukraine and will see its actions in other countries, but thank
    God the smart steps of our government doesn’t give them lots of opportunities,” he

    Zakareishvili said the delegation from Georgia currently visiting the United States
    brought up the Russian border activity during high level meetings.
    shōu xìnyòngkă ma?

  17. #57
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Kalashnikitty‏@CustosDivini·7 mins
    Official Statement by @NATO Defence Ministers on #Ukraine #Russia #Kiev #Crimea

    Statement by NATO Defence Ministers on Ukraine

    NATO - North Atlantic Treaty Organisation

    26 Feb. 2014

    We continue to follow developments in Ukraine very closely. We deplore the tragic loss of life. We welcome the fact that violence has been stopped through negotiations that paved the way for a peaceful outcome. We emphasise the importance of an inclusive political process based on democratic values, respect for human rights, minorities and the rule of law, which fulfils the democratic aspirations of the entire Ukrainian people.

    NATO and Ukraine have a distinctive partnership, embodied in the NATO-Ukraine Commission. Through that partnership framework, NATO stands ready to continue to engage with Ukraine and assist with the implementation of reforms. Defence reform and military cooperation remain key priorities. We commend the Ukrainian armed forces for not intervening in the political crisis. In a democracy, it is imperative that the armed forces do not intervene in the political process. We underscore the need to strengthen democratic control over the defence and security sector, with effective parliamentary oversight and the robust involvement of civil society. In the context of recent tragic events, transparent democratic and accountable institutions are essential to the future of Ukraine.

    A sovereign, independent and stable Ukraine, firmly committed to democracy and the rule of law, is key to Euro-Atlantic security. Consistent with the Charter on a Distinctive Partnership between NATO and Ukraine, NATO Allies will continue to support Ukrainian sovereignty and independence, territorial integrity, democratic development, and the principle of inviolability of frontiers, as key factors of stability and security in Central and Eastern Europe and on the continent as a whole.

  18. #58
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Kalashnikittyþ@CustosDivini18 mins
    #Russia Boosts Security Around Its Sevastopol Naval Base in the #Crimea … #Ukraine #news

    posted for fair use

    Russian Navy Boosting Security in Crimea – Defense Minister

    Topic: Turbulence in Ukraine

    Russian Navy Boosting Security in Crimea – Defense Minister
    © RIA Novosti. Gennady Dianov

    21:21 26/02/2014

    Tags: Nikita Khrushchev, Crimea, Ukraine, Russia
    Related News

    MOSCOW, February 26 (RIA Novosti) – Russia is taking additional steps to ensure security at its naval facilities on the Crimean Peninsula amid the growing political unrest in Ukraine, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Wednesday.
    “We are carefully monitoring the situation in Ukraine and around the Black Sea Fleet,” Shoigu told reporters in Moscow.
    “We are taking measures to ensure security of the fleet’s facilities, infrastructure and arsenals,” he said without specifying such measures.
    A Russian military source said earlier on Wednesday that security check points at several Black Sea Fleet facilities had been strengthened with armored vehicles.
    Shoigu’s statement follows reports of scuffles that broke out Wednesday in the southern Ukrainian city of Simferopol as large crowds of opponents of the newly installed national authorities faced off against representatives of the Crimean Tatar community outside the local parliament.
    Until Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev in 1954 transferred Crimea to what was then the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, the territory was officially a part of Russia.
    The Black Sea Fleet maintains its main base in the port of Sevastopol and several auxiliary naval installations around the peninsula.
    During the tenure of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, which began in early 2010 and ended with his ouster on Saturday, the country renewed Russia’s lease on the naval facilities in Crimea until 2042.

  19. #59
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Russian-backed fighters establishing checkpoint in Crimea. Yeah, I'm sure this is legal:

    Piero Castellano‏@PieroCastellano·4 mins
    @michaeldweiss It started the same way in Sarajevo...

  20. #60
    Does anyone actually seem Obambi starting a war over the Ukraine? I mean, he buckled when it came bombing Syria so I expect him to buckle again if pressed by Putin.

    There won't be a cataclysmic World War III. Ukraine is F**ked. Putin will take it back and will leave Obama and the US and EU wringing their hands and shrieking over the brutal smackdown of the Ukrainian protesters.

    Putin is a Alpha Male, Obama, even with the backing of an Alpha female like Valerie Jarrett is a Beta Male. The Alpha Male Putin, playing his Alpha Male game, will smack the $hyte out of Obama. I don't want that to happen as I'm more supportive of the Ukrainian Nationalists like Right Sector but Putin will open a can of Alpha Male Whoop-Ass on the Nigger from Chicago.
    Last edited by JamestheFin; 02-26-2014 at 06:20 PM.

  21. #61
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    For links see article source.....
    Posted for fair use.....

    This map helps put Russia’s military moves near Ukraine in perspective

    By Adam Taylor
    February 26 at 6:19 pm
    Comments 3

    The surprise announcement that the Russian military would begin large-scale drills so soon after Ukraine ousted Kremlin-ally Viktor Yanukovych may well seem ominous. In the recent past, Russia has shown itself willing to intervene in situations along its borders: It was less than six years ago that Russia and Georgia went to war over the fate of the separatist region of South Ossetia, for example.

    So, should we be spooked? The map below provides some context.

    Okay, so according to Ria Novosti, more than 150,000 troops are due to take part in the drills, as well as 90 planes and more than 120 helicopters. While we don't know precisely where the troops will be, Moscow has said the drills would happen in the Western and Central military districts.

    As you can see, while the Western district does border Ukraine, it also covers a huge amount of other land, too. It is possible that some of the troops in this district may be relatively close to Ukraine: According to the Wall Street Journal, the 20th Army, based about 200 miles from the border, is listed to be involved in "operational and tactical exercises."

    On the other hand, the military district in the South is the only one that borders Crimea, and Russia says it is not the part of the drill at all. Crimea is a place to watch, and with good reason. The peninsula is a part of Ukraine but has its own legislature and constitution. Until 1954, it was part of Russia, and it's population is still about 60 percent ethnic Russian. Russia's Black Sea Fleet is based in Crimea, and Russia also announced vague measures to tighten security at its headquarters today, but did not mention much else.

    There have been some reports that Russia might step in to protect these ethnic Russians should Ukraine disintegrate, and a vocal separatist movement in Crimea would no doubt support that. However, the regions involved in the drill suggest that Crimea is not an immediate priority. Russia is, of course, denying that the timing of the drills had anything to do with Ukraine, and RIA Novosti reports that six similar drills were held last year.

    That said, Russian military intervention is still a scenario that many people are taking seriously: Secretary of State John Kerry today warned Russia that sending troops to Ukraine would be a "grave mistake." In this instance, it's hopefully just bluster.

    Adam Taylor
    Adam Taylor writes about foreign affairs for the Washington Post. Originally from London, he studied at the University of Manchester and Columbia University. You can follow him on Twitter here.

  22. #62
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    For links see article source....
    Posted for fair use.....

    Marvin Kalb | February 26, 2014 5:00pm
    What Are the Russians Up To?

    Russia and Eurasia

    Share on email Share on twitter Share on facebook Share on linkedin Share on google_plusone_share Share on stumbleupon Share on reddit Share on print
    Russia's President Vladimir Putin (R, back) and his Ukrainian counterpart Viktor Yanukovich (L, back) attend a signing ceremony after a meeting of the Russian-Ukrainian Interstate Commission at the Kremlin in Moscow (REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin).

    The Russian military alert could have been planned months ago, or it could be President Vladimir Putin’s way of warning the new authorities in Kiev that he will not tolerate an outcome that features anti-Russian policies or actions. Either way, the alert demonstrates that Russia has the power and the geographic position to intervene in Ukraine, if Putin deems it necessary to protect what one Kremlin spokesman described as the “existential interests” of Russia. Putin can act, or not act; though the recent upheaval in Ukraine has hurt and to an extent humiliated the Russians, it does not oblige the Russians to take any dramatic action. Putin has time. For him, Ukraine is a marathon, not a sprint. He is in it for the long run.

    In addition, Putin has many non-military assets, any of which can be used to pressure Ukraine into bending to Russia’s interests. He can hold up his promised $15 billion loan to Ukraine, or drip-drop a billion here and there, or withhold a billion here and there, to highlight his nimble flexibility, knowing all the while that he holds most of the cards. Putin can also decide to blockade Ukrainian imports. Russia is Ukraine’s biggest, most profitable market. It takes time to build another. Putin has others cards, too, few more potent than holding up the flow of natural gas or fuel, or raising the price of both, aware that Ukraine has no other reliable, regional suppliers. In many ways, Ukraine is dependent on Russian largesse.

    Ukraine is in desperate need of $35 billion in emergency loans over the next two years, just to pay its normal day-to-day bills. Otherwise, Ukraine is broke. The old regime was pathetically corrupt and ineffective. It left Ukraine in a sinkhole. Countries may be able to exist for a time without money, people suffer, but regimes cannot exist without money. Governance is not a romance; it demands a degree of effective management. The International Monetary Fund has said that it will provide some money to Ukraine, but the IMF has also made it clear that it intends to attach strings to such loans—and the sad truth is that Ukraine, even with the best of intentions, is not likely to be able to institute the timely reforms the IMF will demand.

    Maybe--a very big and perhaps totally unrealistic maybe--the IMF and the European Union, working together with Russia, can create an acceptable arrangement to loan Ukraine what it needs financially, while giving Ukraine the time it obviously needs to come up with an acceptable political arrangement that can result in a free and fair election on May 25, as promised. Though it is unlikely, Putin may agree to such an arrangement, if for no other reason than to burnish his post-Olympic glow as a leader who can deliver. He promised a spectacular show, and that is what the world got.

    Of course, this all assumes that everyone is acting in Ukraine’s best interests, the international actors as well as the local and regional competitors for power. Ukraine is really two countries: one is in Kiev, where pro-western sentiments generally prevail, and the other is in the eastern and southern parts of the country, where pro-Russian sentiments are powerful. Few on either side of the divide really want to split the country in two, but they may do so anyway, driven as they are by strong national, religious and cultural currents. Look first to the volatile, still unpredictable events in the Crimea, a rich appendage dangling down from Ukraine into the Black Sea but with a population heavily Russian in number and sympathy. If the Russians there demand Moscow’s military assistance, they are likely to get it.

    And then what does the West do? Wail and bemoan Ukraine’s fate? The Russians have been umbilically linked to Ukraine for a thousand years. Though Ukraine has been independent for more than 20 years, for most of its life, it has been part of the Russian or Soviet empires. Putin cannot be indifferent to Ukraine’s struggle for global recognition as a fully independent country, and he does not have to cooperate. He will undoubtedly do what is in Russia’s best interest. He has some time. He can play his game with patience and skill, or, by a foolish, precipitous action, plunge the region into chaos.

    Back to the beginning: why is the Russian military alert for forces near Ukraine’s border?

    Portrait: Marvin Kalb

    Marvin Kalb

    Nonresident Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy

    Marvin Kalb is a nonresident senior with the Foreign Policy program at Brookings, and senior advisor at the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. He focuses on the impact of media on public policy and politics, and is also an expert in national security, with a focus on U.S. relations with Russia, Europe and the Middle East. His most recent book is The Road to War: Presidential Commitments Honored and Betrayed (Brookings Institution Press, 2013).

  23. #63
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Mike Walker ‏@New_Narrative 1h
    Russian warship docks in Havana without explanation:

    What does Russia have cookin' now?

    BAM!!! Kick it up a notch
    (chef Emeril Lagasse)
    shōu xìnyòngkă ma?

  24. #64
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Adin of Crimea‏@RealCrimea·7 mins
    #Russian landing ships Kaliningrad and Minsk enter #BlackSea to #Sevastopol from #Bosphorus today return from #Syria.

    lots of pics at link and a list of warship movements in 2014 and a link to an archived list of 2013 movements. I can't get it to C&P in a legible way, so just providing the link. for 2014 list

    2013 link:

  25. #65
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    ian bremmer ‏@ianbremmer 31m
    4% of Russians describe relationship w Ukraine as "friendly" (Levada).
    That's worse than China-Japan relations. Though not by much.

    Roland Oliphant ‏@RolandOliphant 2h
    Vigilante check point on Simferopol to Sevastopol road.
    Aggressive, intimidating, unpleasant.
    shōu xìnyòngkă ma?

  26. #66
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Russia Responds To US Warning: Expands Military Presence Globally

    Submitted by Tyler Durden on 02/26/2014 19:34

    Shortly after the US warned Russia over its "provocative actions" with regard Ukraine...
    RiaNovosti reports defense minister Sergei Shoigu saying Russia plans "to
    expand permanent military presence outside its borders by placing military
    bases in a number of foreign countries,"
    including Vietnam, Cuba, Venezuela,
    Nicaragua, the Seychelles, and Singapore.

    "The talks are under way, and we are close to signing the relevant documents,"
    Shoigu told reporters in Moscow.
    Via RiaNovosti,
    Russia is planning to expand its permanent military presence
    outside its borders by placing military bases in a number of foreign
    countries, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Wednesday.

    Shoigu said the list includes Vietnam, Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, the
    Seychelles, Singapore and several other countries.

    The talks are under way, and we are close to signing the relevant
    ,” Shoigu told reporters in Moscow.

    The minister added that the negotiations cover not only military bases but
    also visits to ports in such countries on favorable conditions as well as the
    opening of refueling sites for Russian strategic bombers on patrol.

    Moscow currently has only one naval base outside the former Soviet
    – in Tartus, Syria, but the fate of this naval facility is uncertain
    because of the ongoing civil war in that country.

    Post-Soviet Russia closed a large naval base in Vietnam and a radar base
    in Cuba in 2002 due to financial constraints.

    However, Russia has started reviving its navy and strategic aviation since
    mid-2000s, seeing them as a tool to project the Russian image abroad and
    to protect its national interests around the globe.

    Now, Moscow needs to place such military assets in strategically
    important regions of the world to make them work effectively
    toward the goal of expanding Russia’s global influence.

    shōu xìnyòngkă ma?

  27. #67
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by Possible Impact View Post
    Mike Walker ‏@New_Narrative 1h
    Russian warship docks in Havana without explanation:

    What does Russia have cookin' now?

    BAM!!! Kick it up a notch
    (chef Emeril Lagasse)
    Hummm....ELINT ship.

  28. #68
    Join Date
    May 2004
    quick breakdown for those who missed it

    shabbir gheewalla‏@shabbirghewalla·39 mins
    "@ajamazing: #Russian maneuvers involve some 150,000 troops, 880 tanks, 90 aircraft and 80 navy ships. #Crimea #Ukraine"

  29. #69
    Posted for fair use and discussion.

    Ukraine Calls Russia's Bluff, Slashes Nat Gas Imports By 80%
    Submitted by Tyler Durden on 02/25/2014 11:15 -0500

    Twice in recent years, Russia has suspended gas supplies, or notably raised prices, as the somewhat well-known "trump card" of Russia's oil and gas supply to Ukraine (and Europe for that matter) remains Putin's easiest option for clenching his iron-first against the divided nation. Following a pre-emptive move in November by Ukraine to diversify its energy supply, Russia had reduced the price of gas for the highly indebted Ukraine in December (to entice Ukraine under Russia's wing); but, after recent events, Dmitry Medvedev signaled on Monday that the price could be raised again. However, today we find that Ukraine's state oil and gas company, Naftogaz, has slashed gas imports from Russia's Gazprom by stunning 80% in February as Ukraine tries to show Russia it can't be pushed around... of course, with limited (and more expensive) alternative supplies, we fear this could well shoot them in the foot.

    This action is similar to that taken in November (before the EU accession discussion)...

    Russia and Ukraine waged two gas wars over prices in the winters of 2006 and 2009 (which lasted 3 weeks) over a claim Ukraine was late in paying.


    Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said that if Gazprom refuses to revise its contract, Ukraine would stop importing gas from Russia. In a step away from energy dependence on Russia, last week Ukraine signed a $10 billion shale gas deal with Chevron.

    Ukraine is speeding up its effort to diversify its supply, and has looked at different exporters, fracking, new offshore projects in the Black Sea, as well as new LNG terminals and pipelines to diversify supply. Ukraine imports more than half of its gas from Russia, but under Viktor Yanukovich’s leadership, has intentionally scaled down Gazprom imports 40 percent over ‘unfair prices’.

    And now today,

    Ukraine's state oil and gas company, Naftogaz, has slashed gas imports from Russia's Gazprom to 28 million cubic meters per day as of February 24 from 147 million, two Russian industry sources told Reuters on Tuesday.

    They said Naftogaz had gradually reduced its imports from 147 million cubic meters as of February 1, but did not offer a reason for the cuts.


    Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev hinted on Monday that gas prices, reduced as part of a Russian bailout in December, may revert to higher levels.

    Ukraine consumes about 55 billion cubic meters of gas each year, and more than half is imported from Russia. Gazprom exported 161.5 billion cubic meters of gas to Europe last year.

    A Gazprom official declined to comment on Naftogaz import volumes but said Russian gas transit to Europe was unaffected.

    So simply put, they want to show Russia they can't be pushed around... the trouble is, of course, that with alternative supply routes in short-supply (and only more expensive alternatives available)...

    ...they may well be shooting themselves in the foot. That and the whole being out of money thing too won't help. Finally, as everyone knows by now, Russia does have the "trump card" no matter how hard to get the Ukraine plays:

  30. #70
    With the Russians docking their warships in Havana, we are entering a new phase in this East West confrontation. I imagine that Russian subs are now stationed both in the Mediterranean and off both our coasts. If you remember, there were subs off the coast of California during 911. This fact has not been discussed much by either the MSM nor conspiracy buffs.

    Russia is probably now on high alert. Any hostile act by the west, or the Ukrainians that have enacted the revolution with the help of the west, could spark WWIII. The Russians won't play tiddly winks. If war happens, it will be nuclear soon after the opening salvo by either side.

    Is it time to prepare for all the possibilities? You're damn straight.

    What will Mr. Obama do? Silly me, why have I asked such a dumb question.

    NOTE: Remember, the Russians have a civil defense program for their citizens. Here in the U.S. we also have a program. It's called the EAS system. You will receive instructions if and when there is or has been an nuclear attack. The instruction will be............DUCK AND COVER. then bend over and kiss your a&^ goodbye.
    Sow the Wind....Reap the Whirlwind

  31. #71
    Join Date
    May 2004
    2004 Soviet of Washington
    There is a possibility that Mr. Putin could go for the gusto and the World Cup. The US is weakened and chaotic, with a wrecked economy, divided society, and a demoralized, poorly equipped Paper Tiger military. The foray of the 5 Russian Tu-22M3 bombers is very aggressive as have been several other provocations like a Russian Military Base in Cuba in the near future. I do not know enough about the arrest of the individual that was stalking Mr. Kerry but the report said he had some Russian connection.
    The Russians have warships in Havana, and the US ship sent to the Ukraine grounded itself before it could get to the Ukraine.
    As to what Mr. Obama and the EU are going to do..
    Mr. Obama: Words, Words, Words, words, WORDS , Words......
    The EU: Words, words,words.words...

  32. #72
    Posted for fair use and discussion.

    Russian spy ship docked in Havana
    3 hours ago

    Havana (AFP) - A Russian warship was docked in Havana Wednesday, without explanation from Communist Cuba or its state media.

    The Viktor Leonov CCB-175 boat, measuring 91.5 meters (300 feet) long and 14.5 meters wide, was docked at the port of Havana's cruise ship area, near the Russian Orthodox Cathedral.

    The Vishnya, or Meridian-class intelligence ship, which has a crew of around 200, went into service in the Black Sea in 1988 before it was transferred seven years later to the northern fleet, Russian media sources said.

    Neither Cuban authorities nor state media have mentioned the ship's visit, unlike on previous tours by Russian warships.

    The former Soviet Union was Cuba's sponsor state through three decades of Cold War. After a period of some distancing under former Russian president Boris Yeltsin, the countries renewed their political, economic and military cooperation.

    The ship is reportedly armed with 30mm guns and anti-aircraft missiles.

    Its visit comes as isolated Havana's current economic and political patron, Venezuela, is facing unprecedented violent protests against President Nicolas Maduro's government.

    Cuban President Raul Castro's Communist government is the Americas' only one-party regime

  33. #73
    Posted for fair use and discussion.

    Feb 26, 9:06 PM EST

    Russia war games over Ukraine prompt US warning


    KIEV, Ukraine (AP) -- Russia ordered 150,000 troops to test their combat readiness Wednesday in a show of force that prompted a blunt warning from the United States that any military intervention in Ukraine would be a "grave mistake."

    Vladimir Putin's announcement of huge new war games came as Ukraine's protest leaders named a millionaire former banker to head a new government after the pro-Russian president went into hiding.

    The new government, which is expected to be formally approved by parliament Thursday, will face the hugely complicated task of restoring stability in a country that is not only deeply divided politically but on the verge of financial collapse. Its fugitive president, Viktor Yanukovych, fled the capital last week.

    In Kiev's Independence Square, the heart of the protest movement against Yanukovych, the interim leaders who seized control after he disappeared proposed Arseniy Yatsenyuk as the country's new prime minister. The 39-year-old served as economy minister, foreign minister and parliamentary speaker before Yanukovych took office in 2010, and is widely viewed as a technocratic reformer who enjoys the support of the U.S.

    Across Ukraine, the divided allegiances between Russia and the West were on full display as fistfights broke out between pro- and anti-Russia protesters in the strategic Crimea peninsula.

    Amid the tensions, Putin put the military on alert for massive exercises involving most of the military units in western Russia, and announced measures to tighten security at the headquarters of Russia's Black Sea Fleet on Ukraine's Crimea peninsula.

    The maneuvers will involve some 150,000 troops, 880 tanks, 90 aircraft and 80 navy ships, and are intended to "check the troops' readiness for action in crisis situations that threaten the nation's military security," Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said in remarks carried by Russian news agencies.

    The move prompted a sharp rebuke from U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who warned Russia against any military intervention in Ukraine.

    "Any kind of military intervention that would violate the sovereign territorial integrity of Ukraine would be a huge, a grave mistake," Kerry told reporters in Washington. "The territorial integrity of Ukraine needs to be respected."

    In delivering the message, Kerry also announced that the Obama administration was planning $1 billion in loan guarantees for Ukraine and would consider additional direct assistance for the former Soviet republic.

    Still, Kerry insisted that U.S. policy was not aimed at reducing Russia's influence in Ukraine or other former Soviet republics, but rather to see their people realize aspirations for freedom in robust democracies with strong economies.

    "This is not `Rocky IV'," Kerry said, referring to the 1985 Sylvester Stallone film in which an aging American boxer takes on a daunting Soviet muscleman. "It is not a zero-sum game. We do not view it through the lens of East-West, Russia-U.S. or anything else. We view it as an example of people within a sovereign nation who are expressing their desire to choose their future. And that's a very powerful force."

    Russia denied the military maneuvers had any connection to the situation in Ukraine, but the massive show of force appeared intended to show both the new Ukrainian authorities and the West that the Kremlin was ready to use all means to protect its interests.

    While Russia has pledged not to intervene in Ukraine's domestic affairs, it has issued a flurry of statements voicing concern about the situation of Russian speakers in Ukraine, including in the Crimea.

    The strategic region, which hosts a major Russian naval base and where the majority of the population are Russian speakers, has strong ties to Moscow. It only became part of Ukraine in 1954 when Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev transferred jurisdiction from Russia - a move that was a mere formality until the 1991 Soviet collapse meant Crimea landed in an independent Ukraine.

    Igor Korotchenko, a former colonel of the Russian military's General Staff, wrote a commentary in a Russian online newspaper,, saying "if illegal armed formations attempt to overthrow the local government in Crimea by force, a civil war will start and Russia couldn't ignore it."

    Still, while the exercises include most units from Russia's Western Military District and some from the Central Military District that spreads across the Urals and part of Siberia, it does not involve troops from the Southern Military District, such as the Black Sea Fleet and areas in southern Russia that neighbor Ukraine.

    This seemed to signal that Moscow does not want to go too far. By flexing its military muscles Russia clearly wants to show the West it must seriously consider its interests in Ukraine, while avoiding inflaming tensions further.

    In Crimea, fistfights broke out between rival demonstrators in the regional capital of Simferopol when some 20,000 Muslim Tatars rallying in support of Ukraine's interim leaders clashed with a smaller pro-Russian rally.

    The protesters shouted and attacked each other with stones, bottles and punches, as police and leaders of both rallies struggled to keep the two groups apart.

    One health official said at least 20 people were injured, while the local health ministry said one person died from an apparent heart attack. Tatar leaders said there was a second fatality when a woman was trampled to death by the crowd. Authorities did not confirm that.

    The Tatars, a Muslim ethnic group who have lived in Crimea for centuries, were brutally deported in 1944 by Soviet dictator Josef Stalin, but have since returned.

    One of the first jobs for Yatsenyuk and other members of his new Cabinet will be seeking outside financial help from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. Economists say Ukraine is close to financial collapse, with its currency under pressure and its treasury almost empty. The acting finance minister has said Ukraine will need $35 billion in bailout loans to get through the next two years.

    Any such deal will require a new prime minister to take unpopular steps, such as raising the price of gas to consumers. The state gas company charges as little as one-fifth of what it pays for imported Russian gas. The IMF unsuccessfully pressed Ukraine to halt the practice under two earlier bailouts, and halted aid when Kiev wouldn't comply.

    The European Commission's top officials held a meeting Wednesday in Brussels to discuss how the 28-nation bloc can provide rapid financial assistance to Ukraine.


    Vladimir Isachenkov reported from Moscow. Associated Press writers Maria Danilova and David McHugh in Kiev, Svetlana Fedas in Lviv, and Yuras Karmanau in Simferopol contributed to this report.

  34. #74
    Posted for fair use and discussion.

    Inside the Ring: All eyes on Moscow’s military moves in Ukraine
    By Bill Gertz
    The Washington Times
    Wednesday, February 26, 2014

    U.S. intelligence agencies are stepping up their spying on Russia’s military amid concerns that Moscow is preparing to use force against Ukraine in the wake of the pro-democracy revolution in Kiev.

    Earlier this week, intelligence agencies reported that two Ural-4320 trucks full of armed Russian troops were observed arriving in the Black Sea port of Yalta. Photographs made by a Ukrainian civilian were posted online as the troop transports entered a Russian military facility in Yalta, on the Crimean peninsula in Ukraine.

    Other activities in recent days have included the movement of armored personnel carriers observed at Russia's Black Sea Fleet headquarters in nearby Sevastopol.

    U.S. officials said the purpose of the troops is not known, but speculation centers on the possibility of the troops being used as part of an advance force for a future Russian military operation.

    U.S. intelligence agencies also are tracking possible covert infiltration of Russian Spetsnaz commandos. One concern is that Moscow will provoke a conflict by using the undercover commandos to attack ethnic Russians and then launch an invasion under the guise of protecting those Russians.

    Some 8 million Russians reside in Ukraine, making up about 17 percent of the population.

    Tensions remain high between Moscow and Kiev over the recent ouster of Ukraine’s pro-Russia president, Viktor Yanukovych, who now is being sought on murder charges.

    In a sign of Moscow’s concern over losing what it regards as a strategic neighbor, President Vladimir Putin ordered Russian forces on a higher state of alert Tuesday. The mobilization includes forces some 200 miles from Russia’s southern border with Ukraine.

    The mobilization could indicate a future military operation, although Moscow's Defense Ministry said the troop movements are not related to the unrest in Ukraine.

    The Obama administration has issued indirect warnings to Russia not to intervene militarily, the latest signal made by Deputy Secretary of State William Burns during a visit Tuesday to Kiev.

    “We strongly support Ukraine’s territorial integrity and its unity,” Mr. Burns told reporters at the U.S. Embassy in Kiev.

    Asked about the Russian military activities in the Crimea, and how far the United States is prepared to go to prevent military intervention, Mr. Burns said: “All that I would stress is what I said before, and that is that the United States strongly supports the unity and the territorial integrity of Ukraine.”

    Mr. Burns said speculation over splitting Ukraine into pro-Russian and pro-European regions “is not in Ukraine’s interest.”

    “And the United States will continue to reinforce that very firm position,” he said.

    Gates on Obama vS. military

    Former Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates reveals in his new memoir that many in the Obama White House harbor deep suspicions and antagonism toward the U.S. military.

    In “Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War,” Mr. Gates discloses details of the differences between the White House and senior military leaders, mainly over the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Vice President Joseph R. Biden, he notes, framed the issue with public comments in 2009 that he would not let the military “bully” the White House on decisions about how many troops to add to forces in Afghanistan.

    Mr. Gates said he suspected the anti-military feelings were “stoked” by Mr. Biden, Senior Security Adviser Thomas Donilon, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and others who were distrustful of the military because of their lack of military experience.

    Mr. Gates also disclosed that U.S. Pacific commander Adm. Tim Keating was nearly fired by President Obama, who was upset that the admiral told reporters the U.S. military was ready to shoot down any threatening North Korean long-range missile. Adm. Keating was reprimanded but not fired, Mr. Gates noted.

    Retired Navy Adm. Dennis Blair, Mr. Obama’s first director of national intelligence, and Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, also piqued Mr. Obama’s ire.

    “All too early in the administration, suspicion and distrust of senior military officers by senior White House officials — including the president and vice president — became a big problem for me as I tried to manage the relationship between the commander in chief and his military leaders,” Mr. Gates wrote.

    After a secret plan for troops in Afghanistan was leaked to the press, Mr. Obama became “infuriated” at what he saw as a conspiracy by military leaders to “box me in.”

    “What is wrong?” Mr. Obama asked Mr. Gates, according to the memoir. “Are they suspicious of my politics? Do they resent that I never served in the military?”

    The divisions over how many troops to send to Afghanistan in 2009 created a “wall” between the military and the White House that Mr. Gates said was “bad for the country, even dangerous.”

    “We heard regularly from members of the press that Biden, [National Security Adviser James L.] Jones, Donilon, [White House communications adviser Denis] McDonough, [National Security Council staff member Douglas] Lute, Emanuel, and [senior adviser David] Axelrod were ‘spilling their guts’ regularly — and disparagingly — to reporters about senior military leaders, Afghanistan and the decision-making process,” Mr. Gates said, adding that at one point the atmosphere in the White House toward the military was “poisonous.”

    Mr. Gates says many White House staffers regarded him as a “geezer” and “Yoda,” and that the younger corps of staffers, mostly former congressional aides, took up senior positions, but lacked “firsthand knowledge of real-world governing.”

    He noted that in the beginning of the administration, all White House staffers brought their cellphones to classified meetings in the Situation Room “potentially broadcasting everything that was said to foreign intelligence electronic eavesdroppers.”


    U.S. officials confirmed this week that North Korea’s long-range missile program benefited from parts made in China, Europe and America.

    The discovery occurred after the rocket booster and other components of a Taepodong-2 missile were fished out of the Sea of Japan following a North Korean test launch in December 2012.

    Discovery of foreign components represents a setback for the Obama administration’s non-proliferation policies. The administration has sought to use economic sanctions and financial controls to prevent North Korea from getting long-range missiles. But the North’s missile program has advanced steadily over the past decade, creating more lethal road-mobile intercontinental ballistic missiles.

    Additionally, Pyongyang’s use of foreign missile parts in the Taepodong-2 is expected to complicate the administration’s push to loosen exports controls on high-technology goods. President Obama has been seeking looser controls to boost U.S. economic competitiveness.

    Covert weapons procurement networks by rogue states like North Korea and Iran, however, raise questions about whether loosening high-tech controls will increase national security threats to the U.S. and its allies.

    Officials confirmed the foreign parts in the North Korean missile after the discovery was first reported last week by Japan’s NHK television.

    U.S. and South Korean technicians discovered that the missile debris contained U.S.-made electronic circuits, British transmitters and a Swiss-made electrical component. Other parts were made in China and states of the former Soviet Union.

    The parts were manufactured during the past several years, indicating they were procured covertly by the North Koreans despite multiple U.N. sanctions against such trade. The parts were described as dual-use components not covered directly by U.N. sanctions that North Korean procurement agents imported by circumventing international controls.

    The discovery could result in future U.N. sanctions aimed at closing the loophole on dual-use components.

    State Department spokeswoman Sandra Postell declined to comment. “We do not comment on intelligence matters,” she told Inside the Ring.

    Thomas Moore, a former professional staff members of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations involved in export control issues, said the discovery is “not particularly shocking to me.”

    “You can expect to see many more of these items appearing in the missile programs of U.S. adversaries, given the relaxed posture evident in the Obama administration’s treatment of space technology export controls combined with the oft-stated but usual phrase of the era: ‘When it doubt, ship it out,’” Mr. Moore said.

    “It’d be one thing if they were also working the threat by providing for better defense of the homeland from long-range attack, but they’ve gutted that, too,” he said. “I suppose their crass view might be that this makes lawyers and shifty businessmen more profitable, but really does show how far down we have come in the last decade.”

    U.S. intelligence agencies estimate North Korea will be capable of hitting the United States with a nuclear warhead within the next two years.

    Read more:

  35. #75
    The foray of the 5 Russian Tu-22M3 bombers is very aggressive

    While everything is indeed probably heading for hell in a handbasket, I believe the Backfire flight mentioned in the story that has popped up actually occurred in February 2012

  36. #76
    Posted for fair use and discussion.

    New Ukraine ministers proposed, Russian troops on alert
    By Alessandra Prentice and Richard Balmforth

    SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine/KIEV Wed Feb 26, 2014 6:55pm EST

    (Reuters) - Ukraine's protest leaders named the ministers they want to form a new government following the overthrow of President Viktor Yanukovich, as an angry Russia put 150,000 troops on high alert in a show of strength.

    President Vladimir Putin's order on Wednesday for soldiers to be ready for war games near Ukraine was the Kremlin's boldest gesture yet after days of sabre rattling since its ally Yanukovich was ousted at the weekend.

    Moscow denied that the previously unannounced drill in its western military district was linked to events in its neighbor but it came amid a series of increasingly strident statements about the fate of Russian citizens and interests.

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry warned Moscow that "any kind of military intervention that would violate the sovereign territorial integrity of Ukraine would be a huge - a grave mistake".

    With the political turmoil hammering Ukraine's economy, the central bank said it would no longer intervene to shield the hryvnia currency, which tumbled 4 percent on Wednesday and is now down a fifth since January 1. Wednesday's abrupt abandonment of Ukraine's currency peg sent ripples to Russia where the rouble fell to five-year lows and bank shares fell.

    In Kiev, leaders of the popular protests that toppled Yanukovich on Wednesday named former economy minister Arseny Yatseniuk as their choice to head a new interim government.

    In a display of people power, the so-called 'Euromaidan' council made its announcement of Yatseniuk, and candidates for other key ministries, after its members addressed crowds on Independence Square, cradle of the insurgency.


    Oleksander Turchinov, now acting president, said the new government would have to take unpopular decisions to head off default and guarantee a normal life for Ukraine's people.

    The Euromaidan council's proposals must be approved by parliament, which meets on Thursday in an atmosphere heavy with memories of recent bloodshed, whose hundred or so victims are taking on the status of martyrs.

    Yanukovich fled Kiev on Friday night after days of violence in which scores of his countrymen were killed. the government says it believes he is hiding in Crimea. It wants him tried at the International Criminal Court in the Hague.

    The council named career diplomat Andriy Deshchytsya as foreign minister. Oleksander Shlapak, a former economy minister and former deputy head of the central bank, was named as finance minister.

    "This is a government which is doomed to be able to work only for 3-4 months ... because they will have to take unpopular decisions," Turchinov said.

    If the new ministers are approved, that would pave the way for talks with the International Monetary Fund to stave off financial meltdown now that Russia is expected to cut off a $15 billion lifeline it offered Yanukovich when he turned his back on ties with the EU in November.

    Kerry held out the possibility of providing $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees for Ukraine, as well as U.S. budget support. He said Europe was also considering putting up roughly $1.5 billion in assistance for Ukraine.


    Senior EU officials discussed a possible aid package for Ukraine and said officials would travel there alongside experts from the IMF to assess Kiev's financial needs.

    In Crimea, thousands of ethnic Russians, who form the majority in the region, demonstrated for independence. They scuffled with rival demonstrators supporting the new Kiev authorities. Crimea is home to part of Russia's Black Sea Fleet, which Moscow said it was taking steps to secure.

    Demonstrators poured into the regional capital Simferopol, where the provincial parliament was debating the crisis.

    Pro-Russian crowds, some cossacks in silk and lambswool hats, shouted "Crimea is Russian!".

    Rival demonstrators backing the new authorities - mainly ethnic Tatars repressed under Soviet rule - rallied under a pale blue flag, shouting "Ukraine! Ukraine!" [ID:nL6N0LV2E0]

    Russia has repeatedly expressed concern for the safety of Russian citizens in Ukraine, using language similar to statements that preceded its invasion of Georgia in 2008.

    "In accordance with an order from the president of the Russian Federation, forces of the Western Military District were put on alert at 1400 (1000 GMT) today," Interfax news agency quoted Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu as saying.

    Shoigu also said Russia was also "carefully watching what is happening in Crimea" and taking "measures to guarantee the safety of facilities, infrastructure and arsenals of the Black Sea Fleet," in remarks reported by state news agency RIA.

    Since Yanukovich's downfall, all eyes have been on Putin, who ordered the invasion of neighboring Georgia in 2008 to protect two self-declared independent regions with many ethnic Russians and others holding Russian passports, and then recognized the regions as independent states.

    Any military action in Ukraine, a country of 46 million people that has close ties with European powers and the United States, would be far more serious.

    Despite the alarm raised by the sabre-rattling, many analysts expect Putin will pull back before taking armed action.

    The war games were probably for show, said Moscow-based military analyst Alexander Golts: "Any rational analysis says that Russia would get nothing out of military intervention - it would become an international outcast."

    (Additional reporting by Gabriela Baczynska in Donetsk, Steve Gutterman and Ian Bateson in Moscow, Adrian Croft in Brussels and Arshad Mohammed in Washington, Justyna Pawlak in Brussels; Writing by Peter Graff; Editing by Giles Elgood)

  37. #77
    Posted for fair use and discussion.

    Ukraine rivals clash as Russia alerts troops
    Russia orders battle tests for forces near border and moves to secure Ukraine-based fleet, as tensions rise in Crimea.
    Last updated: 27 Feb 2014 03:09

    Pro- and anti-Russian protesters have clashed in the Ukraine region of Crimea, as Russia orders battle-readiness checks on armed forces near the nations' borders and says it is moving to ensure the security of its Black Sea fleet.

    Scuffles broke out outside the Crimea regional parliament on Wednesday between thousands of pro-Russia separatists and supporters of Ukraine's new leaders as regional politicians prepared to debate the removal of the pro-Russian Viktor Yanukovich from the presidency.
    Ukraine's Vitaly Klitschko appeals to Crimea amid unrest

    Russian President Vladimir Putin issued battle drills for army, navy and airforce troops based in Russia's western military district, which borders Ukraine, Belarus, the Baltic states, Finland and the Arctic.

    Russia's Defence Ministry was later reported by Reuters to have said it was taking measures to ensure the security of its facilities and arsenals of its Ukraine-based Black Sea naval fleet.

    "The commander-in-chief has set the task of checking the capability of the armed forces to deal with crisis situations posing a threat to the military security of the country," Sergei Shoigu, defence minister, told Interfax news agency.

    Shoigu said that "generally speaking, the drill is not in any way related to the events in Ukraine".

    Al Jazeera's Rory Challands, reporting from Moscow, said that similar inspections were made regularly in Russia to ensure readiness.

    "The government will be well aware, however, that reminding its neighbours and rivals of Russian military might at this time is not such a bad thing to be doing." he said.

    Separately to the Russian announcement, the secretary general of NATO, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, said the alliance to "for granted that all nations respect the sovereignty ... and territorial integrity of Ukraine".

    "This is a message that we have also conveyed to whom it may concern," he said, without naming Russia.

    The US urged Russia to keep its word to respect the territorial integrity of Ukraine and warned against provocative actions after Russia said it was boosting security measures in southern Crimea.

    "We are making it clear that every country should respect the territorial integrity here, the sovereignty of Ukraine. Russia said it will do that, and we think it is important Russia keeps its word," Kerry said.

    About 2,000 people, many of them ethnic Tatars who are the indigenous group on the Black Sea peninsula, converged on the parliament building on Wednesday to support the "Euromaidan" movement which overturned Yanukovich in Kiev after three months of protests.

    They were met by a similar number of pro-Russia demonstrators who bellowed loyalty to Moscow and denounced the "bandits" who had seized power in Kiev.

    The two sides, who were held apart by police lines, rallied outside the parliament which, under pressure from pro-Russia forces, had called an emergency session for later on Wednesday to discuss the crisis.

    Crimea was transferred from Russia to Ukraine in 1954 in the Soviet-era by then Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev.
    Former Georgian leader Mikheil Saakashvili says deposed Ukraine president had boasted to him about corruption

    With a part of Russia's Black Sea fleet based in the port of Sevastopol, it is the only region of Ukraine where ethnic Russians dominate in numbers, although many ethnic Ukrainians in other eastern areas speak Russian as their first language.

    With Crimea now the last big bastion of opposition to the new post-Yanukovich political order in Kiev, Ukraine's new leaders are voicing alarm over signs of separatism there.

    Since Yanukovich's downfall, all eyes have been on Putin, who in 2008 ordered an invasion of Georgia to protect self-declared independent regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia with many ethnic Russians, which he then recognised as independent states.

    In Kiev on Wednesday, Ukraine's protest leaders named Arseny Yatseniuk, a former economy minister, as a candidate to head a new government following the overthrow of President Viktor Yanukovich.

    The Euromaidan council made its announcement of Yatseniuk, plus candidates for several other key ministers, after its members addressed crowds on Kiev's Independence Square.

    Al Jazeera's Tim Friend, reporting from Kiev, said that potential candidates for government were being brought on stage to "cheers and jeers" from the crowd as people gauged the audience's reaction.

  38. #78
    Posted for fair use and discussion.

    Russian military drill may be lead-in to Crimea occupation and Ukraine split
    DEBKAfile Special Report February 26, 2014, 6:09 PM (IST)
    Tags: Ukraine, Vladimir Putin, Russian military, Crimea,
    The Russian Combat Army in a drill

    There is no way that President Vladimir Putin will relinquish Russian control of the Crimean peninsula and its military bases there - or more particularly the big Black Sea naval base at Sevastopol. This military stronghold is the key to Russia’s Middle East policy. If it is imperiled, so too are Russia’s military posture in Syria and its strategic understandings with Iran.

    This peril raised its head Wednesday, Feb. 26, when pro-Russian and pro-European protesters clashed violently in the Crimean town of Simferopol, the Peninsula’s financial and highway hub.

    Most of the protesters against Moscow were members of the minority Tatar community, who had gathered from around the region to demand that Crimea accept Kiev rule.

    The majority population is Russian speaking and fought the Tatar demonstrators. However, rival historic claims to this strategic peninsula were in full flight, sparking red lights in Moscow to danger.

    The Tatars ruled Crimea in the 18th century. If they manage to expel Russian influence from Simferopol and then the rest of the region, it would be the signal for dozens of the small peoples who make up the Russian Federation to go into separatist mode and raise the flags of mutiny. The Kremlin is therefore bound to nip the Tatar outbreak in the bud to save Russia.

    And so, Putin ordered Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu to stage an urgent four-day drill to test the combat readiness of Russian military forces in central and western Russia, starting with a high alert for the military and the deployment of some units to shooting ranges.

    The exercise will involve Russia’s Baltic and Northern Fleets and its air force.

    In a televised statement after a meeting of top military officials in Moscow, defense minister Gen. Shoigu said the forces “must be ready to bomb unfamiliar testing grounds” and be "ready for action in crisis situations that threaten the nation’s military security.”

    A senior Russian lawmaker on Tuesday told pro-Russia activists in Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula that Moscow will protect them if their lives are in danger.

    The Russian president’s military move Wednesday signaled his readiness to send his army into Ukraine and divide the country, if Moscow’s national interests and the Russian-speaking population of Ukraine are at stake. Having broadcast that message, Putin will now wait to see if it picked up by Washington and Brussels for action to restrain the new authorities in Kiev.

  39. #79
    Join Date
    May 2004
    2004 Soviet of Washington
    Quote Originally Posted by Archetype View Post
    The foray of the 5 Russian Tu-22M3 bombers is very aggressive

    While everything is indeed probably heading for hell in a handbasket, I believe the Backfire flight mentioned in the story that has popped up actually occurred in February 2012
    Sorry about that. So much is happening it is hard to keep up with the bouncing ball.
    Thanks for the observation.

  40. #80
    If what is happening in the Ukraine was going on in Mexico I could see the US making the same moves as the USSR. (I made no mistake)

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