Don’t mess with nuclear Russia, Putin says

LAKE SELIGER Russia (Reuters) – President Vladimir Putin said on Friday Russia’s armed forces, backed by its nuclear arsenal, were ready to meet any aggression, declaring at a pro-Kremlin youth camp that foreign states should understand: “It’s best not to mess with us.”

Putin told the assembly, on the banks of a lake near Moscow, the Russian takeover of Crimea in March was essential to save a largely Russian-speaking population from Ukrainian government violence. He said continued fighting in eastern Ukraine, where pro-Russian separatists launched an uprising in April, was the result of a refusal by Kiev to negotiate. Continue reading

White House confirms CIA director visited Ukraine over weekend

White House spokesman Jay Carney confirmed that CIA Director John Brennan visited Ukrainian capital Kiev over the weekend and met with high-ranked Ukrainian officials.

Previously, deposed Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich accused Brennan of ordering a crackdown on pro-Russian activists in the east of the country.

The CIA had already dismissed these accusations as “completely false”, but did not disclose whether its chief had actually been to Kiev – until now.

“We don’t normally comment on the CIA director’s travel but given the extraordinary circumstances in this case and the false claims being leveled by the Russians at the CIA we can confirm that the director was in Kiev as part of a trip to Europe,” White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters. Continue reading

Putin Crosses Obama’s Pink Line

Exclusive: Michael Savage declares, ‘The neocons don’t care which side you’re on’

Let me make sense of what’s happening in Ukraine for you as that country descends into armed chaos, threatening to oust the legitimately elected Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich and place the country in the hands of rebel forces spearheaded by Ukrainian neo-Nazis and Chechen Islamist radicals.

Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, along with Obama adviser and designated liar Susan Rice, are neo-conservatives, neocons for short. The neocons, first in the form of the Trilateral Commission and more recently as the Carlyle Group, thrive on military conflict. When the world is at war, the neocons and the defense contractors who work with them make enormous amounts of money.

The neocons don’t care which side you’re on, as long as they can work with you to create a political situation that they can grow into a war from which they will profit.

The Ukrainian “revolution” was fostered and encouraged by Nuland, Rice and U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt. These three were instrumental in staging a destabilization campaign. Working with Ukrainian neo-Nazis, they fostered the Ukrainian uprising that has caused elected the Ukrainian president to flee from Kiev.

Arizona Sen. John McCain was also part of this duplicity. McCain went to Kiev in December last year and helped incite the mobs that would overthrow the legitimately elected president. If there were such a thing as a Nobel Anti-Peace Prize, McCain would win it hands down for his work in Egypt and Syria, topped off by what he’s done in Ukraine. Continue reading

Russia warns US on Ukraine, says Moscow could act

For Russian planners, as was in 2008 with the invasion of Georgia, the 2014 Winter Olympics might be used as a distraction for Moscow to ‘act’.

Kiev: A senior Kremlin aide accused the United States on Thursday of arming Ukrainian “rebels” and, urging the Kiev government to put down what he called an attempted coup, warned Russia could intervene to maintain the security of its ex-Soviet neighbour.

Sergei Glazyev, an adviser to President Vladimir Putin with responsibility for relations with Ukraine, told a newspaper that US “interference” breached the 1994 treaty under which Washington and Moscow jointly guaranteed Ukraine’s security and sovereignty after Kiev gave up its Soviet-era nuclear arsenal. Continue reading

The Fight for Ukraine

If Ukraine is to still join the EU, expect it to after the cold winter subsides. This way, Russia can no longer blackmail the Ukranian leadership via energy supplies by shutting off the gas lines as it did a few years back — which also was a statement to Europe as it, too, was affected.

Every decent revolution produces an iconic scene. The 1989 Tiananmen protests had tank man; during Germany’s reunification it was a segment of the Berlin Wall swaying back and forth like a wiggly tooth before finally collapsing; in Baghdad in 2003, it was the slow-motion toppling of the giant statue of Saddam Hussein. On Sunday, the budding revolution in Ukraine got its iconic scene, when, amid protests of roughly 500,000 in Kiev’s Independence Square, angry marchers felled a Vladimir Lenin statue then slugged it to pieces with sledgehammers.

The protesters are upset with President Viktor Yanukovich, and specifically his November 29 decision to reject a free-trade deal with the EU. The decision was seen not only as a rejection of Europe, but an embrace of Russia. Many Ukrainians worry that Yanukovich, despite repeated denials, has struck a deal with Vladimir Putin to form a customs union with Russia.

Whatever the outcome, events in Ukraine highlight three important geopolitical realities, each of which is also prophetically significant. Continue reading

Ukraine’s Risky Bet

MOSCOW — Ukraine is leaving Russia for Europe. That’s what many observers see as the likely consequence of the Association Agreement that Ukraine and the European Union are expected to sign at a summit meeting in Vilnius at the end of this month. But those who expect Ukraine to embark on a fast transformation should not be complacent. Bitter disputes persist within the Ukraine-E.U.-Russia triangle, complicated conflicts that are about selfish interests, not universal values.

Vladimir Putin may say that opening borders to European goods and services under the Association Agreement’s free-trade pact is Ukraine’s sovereign choice. But Russia’s president is a master at dissembling: He is widely believed to have promised his Ukrainian counterpart, Viktor Yanukovich, to inflict a lot of pain if the Association Agreement is signed. Continue reading