Vladimir Putin orders Russian troops onto ‘combat alert’ as Ukraine fighting spills across border

Tensions between Moscow and Kiev continue to mount with Vladimir Putin’s latest show of force as Russia dismisses Petro Poroshenko’s “peace plan” as an ultimatum

Vladimir Putin has ordered troops in central Russia onto “combat alert” in snap military drills a day after confirming the country is beefing up its presence on the Ukrainian border.

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Russia issues ultimatum to Ukraine: Surrender or face military assault

Calling Obama’s bluff and showing how incapable both America and Europe all in one step. The repercussions for this are likely nothing as they will have a limited or no effect. Obama can do nothing but continue to make hollow threats of ‘economic sanctions’. Russia does not care, nor do they think the same, as they are awash in oil and gas export profits.

At this moment, war looks like a 95% chance if the interim leader of Ukraine sticks to his word. The other 5% chance is betting on Ukrainian leaders defecting like the previous head of the navy.

Put on your seat belts, we’re in uncharted territory with an angry Putin bent on retaking the Ukraine that was destabilized by Berlin and Washington.

Elsewhere in Ukraine, pro-Russian demonstrators raise the Russian flag on government buildings; speaker of Russia’s lower parliament house said that ‘for now, there is no need’ to send armed forces.

Russia’s Black Sea Fleet has told Ukrainian forces in Crimea to surrender by 5 A.M. on Tuesday or face a military assault, Interfax news agency quoted a source in the Ukrainian Defense Ministry as saying.

The ultimatum, Interfax said, was issued by Alexander Vitko, the fleet’s commander. The ministry did not immediately confirm the report and there was no immediate comment by the Black Sea Fleet, which has a base in Crimea, where Russian forces are in control.

“If they do not surrender before 5 A.M. tomorrow, a real assault will be started against units and divisions of the armed forces across Crimea,” the agency quoted the ministry source as saying. Continue reading

US drone escapes attack over Hormuz. Syria threatens to bomb Lebanon. Russian marines dock in Beirut

This was not the first time a US drone was threatened by Iranian aircraft over the Persian Gulf, but in reporting the incident, the Pentagon revealed that the drones flying in the neighborhood of Iranian shores are now escorted by US jet fighters.

A couple of hours earlier that evening, DEBKAfile received an exclusive report from its military sources that the Syrian high command had just issued an ultimatum, on the orders of Bashar Assad, demanding that the Lebanese government put an immediate stop to the passage of armed Sunni fighters from Lebanon into Syria, else the Syrian Air Force would strike the Lebanese intruders’ convoys and also their home bases.  Damascus claimed they were coming to fight the government alongside the al Qaeda-linked Jabrat al-Nusra. Continue reading

Report: U.S. asked Russia to warn Iran of ‘last chance’ to avoid military strike

Clinton reportedly told her Russian counterpart to rely message to Tehran that it must engage in talks with world powers or face a military strike within months, according to Russian daily Kommersant.

The United States has asked Russia to deliver an ultimatum to Iran, warning the Islamic Republic that it has one last chance for talks before a military strike, the Kommersant daily quoted Russian diplomats as saying on Wednesday.

According to the Russian newspaper, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton asked her Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in New York on Monday to tell Tehran that it has one last chance to solve the conflict peacefully by making progress in the talks with the P5+1 group – United States, Britain, France, Russia, China, and Germany. Otherwise, an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities will occur within months, the diplomats said.

Full article: Report: U.S. asked Russia to warn Iran of ‘last chance’ to avoid military strike (Harretz)

Israel delivers ultimatum to Barack Obama on Iran’s nuclear plans

Two years ago, Barack Obama reportedly left Benjamin Netanyahu to kick his heels in a White House anteroom, a snub delivered to show the president’s irritation over Israel’s settlement policy in the West Bank. In May, the Israeli prime minister struck back, publicly scolding his purse-lipped host for the borders he proposed of a future Palestinian state.

When the two men meet in Washington on Monday, Mr Obama will find his guest once more at his most combative. But this time, perhaps as never before, it is the Israeli who has the upper hand.

Exuding confidence, Mr Netanyahu effectively brings with him an ultimatum, demanding that unless the president makes a firm pledge to use US military force to prevent Iran acquiring a nuclear bomb, Israel may well take matters into its own hands within months.

The threat is not an idle one. According to sources close to the Israeli security establishment, military planners have concluded that never before has the timing for a unilateral military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities been so auspicious.

Full article: Israel delivers ultimatum to Barack Obama on Iran’s nuclear plans (The Telegraph)