Russia May Send 100K Troops to NATO’s Borders

In this Aug. 2, 2017, photo, Russian paratroopers mark Paratroopers Day in Moscow’s Red Square. The Russian military says major war games, the Zapad (West) 2017 maneuvers, will not threaten anyone. Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP

 

The exercises are part of President Vladimir Putin’s effort to demonstrate Russia’s full recovery from being a military basket case following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Russia’s Northern Fleet claimed to have sent about 50 ships, submarines and support vessels into the Barents and Baltic Seas in August on a series of anti-submarine, anti-mine and search-and-rescue operations, a Russian Navy spokesman told Russia’s Interfax news agency.

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U.S. Open to Providing Weapons to Ukraine

U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis walks past honour guards during a welcoming ceremony in Kiev, Ukraine August 24, 2017. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

 

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is signaling his support for suppling the Ukraine with weapons. During a visit to that country Thursday, Mattis said Washington would keep up pressure on Russia over what he called its aggressive behavior.

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Russia heavily militarizes Crimea, seeks to deploy nuclear weapons – Poroshenko

“There are systemic and large-scale violations of human rights in Crimea. International organizations signal these facts in their reports. The occupation regime targets everyone who shows dissent, especially Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars who support territorial integrity of Ukraine,” said Poroshenko. Continue reading

Crisis in Kiev

KIEV/BERLIN (Own report) – A serious government crisis is shaking up a pro-western Ukraine. Yesterday, Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk barely survived a no-confidence vote, after President Petro Poroshenko urged him to resign. Hundreds had assembled in front of the parliament building to protest against his policies, which are impoverishing large sectors of the population. Lately, people have been particularly upset over the hike in gas prices – making, for many, heating throughout the icy Ukrainian winter an expensive luxury. Berlin and Washington are worried that the country will no longer be controllable, due to the disastrous economic situation and the dramatic loss of popularity of the President and government. Western powers have therefore begun to call on Kiev to get serious about fighting corruption. Spectacular resignations of several ministers and the deputy general prosecutor have provided greater urgency to this demand and accentuated the government crisis over the past few months and the last few days, with no solution in sight. The formation of a “government of technocrats” under a longtime western diplomat is in discussion, in other words, Kiev would be placed directly under western control.

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Business with Obstacles

BERLIN/MOSCOW/KIEV (Own report) – Berlin is taking steps to possibly end sanctions against Russia. Today, almost one year after the signing of the Minsk II Agreement – whose full implementation is still considered as a prerequisite for ending the sanctions – the Bavarian Prime Minster, Horst Seehofer is expected to arrive in Moscow for talks on promoting the renewal of German-Russian business relations. Seehofer can build on decades of Bavarian-Russian cooperation. His visit to Moscow is closely coordinated with Germany’s federal government. The EU and NATO are also involved in Berlin’s cooperation efforts. Monday, Chancellor Angela Merkel also increased pressure on Ukraine’s President, Petro Poroshenko to finally obtain approval from Kiev’s parliament for the constitutional amendment providing Eastern Ukraine’s special status, as agreed upon in the Minsk II Agreement. Until now, nationalists and fascists have prevented this measure.

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Threat of open war with Russia higher than last year – Poroshenko

The threat of an open war with Russia is “more serious than last year,” Poroshenko said, according to Bild. Continue reading

Russia deploys nuclear weapons in occupied Crimea: Dzhemilev

As of today, the military option to return the annexed territory of Crimea is excluded, Ukrainian presidential envoy for Crimean Tatar People’s affairs, and Ukrainian MP from the Bloc of Petro Poroshenko Mustafa Dzhemilev (Cemilev) said in an interview with Ukrainian weekly news magazine Focus.

“Russia has depoyed [sic] nuclear weapons in Crimea,” he said, citing his sources. Continue reading

The IMF Just Entered The Cold War, Forgives Ukraine’s Debt To Russia

Since 1947 when it really started operations, the World Bank has acted as a branch of the U.S. Defense Department, from its first major chairman John J. McCloy through Robert McNamara to Robert Zoellick and neocon Paul Wolfowitz. From the outset, it has promoted U.S. exports – especially farm exports – by steering Third World countries to produce plantation crops rather than feeding their own populations. (They are to import U.S. grain.) But it has felt obliged to wrap its U.S. export promotion and support for the dollar area in an ostensibly internationalist rhetoric, as if what’s good for the United States is good for the world. Continue reading

The Siege of Crimea (II)

KIEV/MOSCOW/BERLIN (Own report) – Leaders of the Crimean Tartars, who have been blocking the supply of electricity to Crimea for the past few days, have good contacts to the German political establishment. Years ago, Mustafa Jemilev and Refat Chubarov, who were involved in the sabotage action, had held talks on closer ties between Crimea and the West with officials of the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs and with the German government’s Representative for ethnic German immigration to Germany. Just two and a half weeks ago, they discussed with the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security, Federica Mogherini, the “de-occupation of Crimea” and the necessary “peaceful actions, in particular with respect to power supply.” The Crimean Tartars, who are currently cooperating with fascist organizations and ultra-rightwing battalions, have been elected to the Ukrainian parliament on the electoral list of President Petro Poroshenko’s party. According to an expert, Poroshenko is “instrumentalizing” them for “his foreign policy” objectives. Jemilev also has good contacts to the US political establishment. Among the Crimean Tartars, he and Chubarov, who in Berlin enjoy exclusive recognition, are competing with Tartar Salafists – some of whom are currently fighting on the battlefields of Syria – and with Russia-oriented Tartar organizations.

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Russia ‘sends more troops to eastern Ukraine’ as leaders get together for crisis summit

Fears of a return to all out warfare continue to mount in Ukraine after Petro Poroshenko, the Ukrainian president, accused Russia of sending fresh troops and equipment into the eastern part of the country.

The comments come ahead of a summit on the crisis between Mr Poroshenko, Angela Merkel, and Francois Hollande in Berlin, where the three leaders are expected to discuss how to keep a peace agreement signed in February from falling apart.

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Is Putin planning an invasion? Ukraine says ‘record number’ of Russian troops on border

A RECORD number of Russian troops are stationed on the borders of Ukraine, the under-siege country’s has warned amid claims of intensifying attacks by pro-Russian rebels.

President Petro Poroshenko claimed NATO, EU and even US sources had warned of large numbers of Russian Federation armed forces being manned along the war-stricken borders.

His caution came as defence forces in Ukraine complained of more frequent and dangerous attacks in eastern regions of the torn country.

He said: “We have information that there is a record number of the Russian Federation’s armed forces along with the borders of Ukraine. Continue reading

My life as a pro-Putin propagandist in Russia’s secret ‘troll factory’

When Lyudmila Savchuk heard about the assassination of Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov earlier this year she was shocked and saddened.

“I felt the bullets between my own shoulders,” she said, recalling how the Kremlin critic was gunned down near Moscow’s Red Square in February.

Yet within hours of Mr Nemtsov’s death, Ms Savchuk and her colleagues were going online to pour bile on the former deputy prime minister and claim he was killed by his own friends rather than by government hitmen, as many suspect.

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‘First Let Merkel, Hollande Know’: Lugansk Delivers Ultimatum to Poroshenko

If Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko intends to tighten the Donbass economic blockade, he should make such decisions in the presence of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande, who brokered the Minsk-II deal together with Russian President Vladimir Putin, head of the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic said.

On Friday, the Ukrainian parliament introduced a bill to ban trade with the so-called “temporarily occupied territories.” Continue reading

Ukraine’s Poroshenko warns of ‘full-scale’ Russia invasion

President Petro Poroshenko has told MPs the military must prepare to defend against a possible “full-scale invasion” from Russia, amid a surge of violence in eastern Ukraine.

Russia has denied that its military is involved in Ukraine, but Mr Poroshenko said 9,000 of its troops were deployed.

Clashes involving tanks took place in two areas west of Donetsk on Wednesday.

There was a “colossal threat” that large-scale fighting would resume, the president told parliament in Kiev. Continue reading

Steinmeier and the Oligarchs

KIEW/DNEPROPETROVSK/BERLIN (Own report) – Berlin is increasing pressure on Kiev that it enforces the cease-fire in eastern Ukraine. Observers consider the continuation of the civil war to be perilous. On the one hand, they see the risk of loosing even more territory to eastern Ukrainian insurgents, while on the other, it is unclear how the country’s total economic collapse can be avoided without ending the hostilities. Therefore, on the weekend, German Foreign Minister Steinmeier traveled not only to Kiev, but also to Dnepropetrovsk, the town of oligarch Ihor Kolomoyskyi. Even though Kolomoyskyi has recently stepped down as governor, he still wields significant influence over the – in some cases – fascist militias, which refuse a cease-fire. To put pressure on the fascists, who had helped execute the February 2014 Kiev coup, but are uncontrollable in the civil war, Berlin must make a deal with Ukrainian oligarchs. These same oligarchs had been the focus of the protests at the Maidan. Several times last year, Foreign Minister Steinmeier held personal consultations with powerful oligarchs – including President Poroshenko – or politicians directly dependent on them. The Ukrainian oligarchy has emerged unscathed from last year’s upheavals.

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