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Britain To Supply 75 Armored Vehicles For War In Ukraine

February 14, 2015 Leave a comment

UNIAN
February 13, 2015

British Saxon armored cars to be delivered to Ukrainian army after conversion and testing

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A consignment of 20 British Saxon armored cars has been delivered to Ukraine, with another 55 of the vehicles expected to arrive in the country in the near future, Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov has said.

Turchynov, speaking during a visit on Friday to a training center of the Ukrainian National Guard, said that in the near future the armored vehicles will undergo conversion work at the enterprise of state concern Ukroboronprom to adapt them to the needs of the Ukrainian army.

“These Saxons were obtained without weapons – they will be equipped with a weapons station made in Ukraine, which should provide effective fire cover for the National Guard or the other units that the vehicles will be delivered to,” Turchynov said.

After testing, the armored vehicles will “immediately enter service with our military,” he said.

As reported earlier, on December 5, 2014, First Deputy General Director of state-owned enterprise Ukroboronprom Sergiy Pinkas said that the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine had purchased 75 light armored vehicles from British manufacturer Saxon for about $3.8 million.

He also added that the Saxon armored cars are an affordable alternative to the outdated technology currently in service of the Ukrainian army, stressing that these machines are being upgraded and would be ready to provide the necessary protection for the Ukrainian military when carrying out missions in the combat zone.

Saxon armored vehicles were developed in the early 1970s to act as a cheap but efficient “battle-taxi” for security forces on missions. Saxons are currently used by several countries, including Oman, Bahrain, Malaysia and Nigeria.

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Ukraine To Enforce Prison Terms, Martial Law, Forced Billeting

February 12, 2015 Leave a comment

Interfax-Ukraine
February 12, 2015

Evasion from mobilization or civil protection service during special period punishable by up to five years in prison – law

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine has adopted amendments to the laws regarding responsibility for evasion from the civil protection service during the special period or in case of special purpose mobilization.

A total of 238 MPs voted in favor of the bill on Thursday.

According to the law, evasion from the civil protection service during the special period (excluding the rehabilitation period) or in case of special purpose mobilization is punishable by two to five years in prison.

The law also establishes that in areas subject to martial law, if requested, private persons and legal entities must provide a place to stay for army personnel and civil protection units, as well as evacuated citizens.

The law comes into effect on the day after being posted.

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Interview: Ukraine War Is Inevitable

February 12, 2015 3 comments

Corbett Report
February 12, 2015

Interview 1000 – Rick Rozoff Warns Ukraine War is Inevitable

Audio

Rick Rozoff of Stop Nato joins us to go over the context of the US/NATO/EU/IMF takeover of Ukraine, why it is taking place, and where it is ultimately leading. Rozoff warns that war is not a potential outcome but is in fact already taking place, and full-scale US/NATO intervention is virtually unstoppable at this point.

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Report: Georgia’s Saakashvili Named Head Of Ukraine’s Foreign Affairs Advisors

February 11, 2015 1 comment

Trend News Agency
February 11, 2015

Georgia’s ex-president named head of Ukrainian presidential advisors

Baku: Georgia’s former president, Mikheil Saakashvili, has been appointed the chairman of the council of advisors for international affairs under Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko, News- Georgia agency reported citing the Pirveli Radio.

Georgia-News also reported citing the radio that a briefing to be held in Kiev will be also attended by Saakashvili.

Meanwhile, the press service of Saakashvili’s party, the United National Movement, said they currently can’t confirm the report.

“So far we have no information,” said the press service.

The MPs from the United National Movement haven’t commented on the report either.

“I have no information on the matter, and I can’t confirm it,” Goga Khachidze, an MP from the United National Movement, told News-Georgia.

Saakashvili left Georgia after the inauguration of the new president, Giorgi Margvelashvili, in November 2013.

The Georgian Prosecutor General’s Office filed charges in absentia against Saakashvili on several criminal cases, including the embezzlement of about $5 million of public funds for personal needs.

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U.S. Congress Readies $1 Billion For War In Ukraine

February 11, 2015 4 comments

Interfax-Ukraine
February 11, 2015

U.S. congress prepares bill on providing $1 bln to arm Ukraine
 

Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. Congress have prepared a bill on the provision of $1 billion in lethal defensive aid to Ukraine.

The proposed bill envisages the provision of training, equipment and lethal defensive weapons to the security forces of Ukraine through September 30, 2017.

Member of the U.S. House Armed Services Committee, Congressman Adam Smith told reporters: “It seems Russia has decided to go back to the Cold War.”

In his words, the introduction of economic sanctions has not changed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s plans.

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Ukraine’s Poroshenko: We Count On NATO Solidarity

February 7, 2015 2 comments

Interfax-Ukraine
February 7, 2015

Poroshenko, Stoltenberg discuss how NATO supports Ukraine
 

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Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko expressed gratitude to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg for the support of NATO member states to Ukraine.

“We count on unity and solidarity of NATO countries, “Poroshenko said, as his press service reported on Saturday.

During the meeting with the Ukrainian leader on the sidelines of the Munich conference on Saturday, Stoltenberg said NATO would strengthen the collective security system and provide political and practical support to Ukraine.

Besides, the parties discussed the situation in Donbas.

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Interfax-Ukraine
February 6, 2015

Conflict in Ukraine deepening due to Russia’s behavior – NATO
 

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, delivering a speech at the Munich Security Conference on Friday, has said Russia continues to destabilize situation in Ukraine.

“Russia continues to provide training, equipment, and forces in support of the separatists. And it continues to destabilize Ukraine in utter disregard for the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” he said delivering a speech at the Munich Security Conference on Friday.

According to Stoltenberg, the conflict in Ukraine is deepening with a horrific cost to civilians.

He said last year was a turning point for European security and for the global order.

“Here in Europe, we see a dangerous pattern of Russian behavior: annexation, aggressive actions, intimidation,” the Secretary General stressed.

“Since its foundation NATO has been a resolute guardian of the international order,” he said adding that now that order is being challenged.

“And we must do our utmost to protect it,” he appealed to the NATO members.

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Panelists Warn Against Peril Of War In Ukraine

January 12, 2015 Leave a comment

Daily Northwestern
January 11, 2015

Panelists offer closer look at Ukraine crisis in talk at Evanston library
Alice Yin/Daily Senior Staffer

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Two scholars warned against the peril of the war in Ukraine during a talk Saturday at the Evanston Public Library.

John Mearsheimer, a professor at the University of Chicago, and Rick Rozoff, manager of the Stop NATO website, met at EPL, 1703 Orrington Ave., for the event. Neighbors for Peace, an Evanston-based community organization aiming to promote peace throughout the world, hosted the talk, which drew about 40 people. The event featured a speech from both guests and a question-and-answer session from the audience.

The two speakers spoke on the civil unrest in Ukraine. The crisis began in late 2013, amid movement to integrate Ukraine with NATO and the European Union. The removal of Ukraine’s pro-Russian president and Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region sparked further tension in the country — and between the West and Russia.

Discussing the dwindling United States-Russia relationship and the expansion of NATO, the speakers encouraged taking a more critical view of the West’s role in the crisis.

“We continue to encourage (Ukraine) to become part of the West … while doing nothing to help the Ukrainians,” Mearsheimer said. “This is highly irresponsible.”

Mearsheimer, who wrote an article on the Ukrainian crisis published in the magazine Foreign Affairs last fall, said although Putin is not innocent, he is misunderstood. His involvement in Ukraine is a reaction to an increased Western presence near Russian borders, Mearsheimer said.

“Putin is not bent on conquering Ukraine,” Mearsheimer said at the talk. “He is wrecking Ukraine and destroying it as a functioning society. We have two choices: the West backs off or (Russia continues) to try to make Ukraine part of the West by wrecking the country.”

Dale Lehman, a member of Neighbors for Peace, said he felt the event was important to the organization’s mission of establishing peace in the international community. He said both speakers provided insight that the media and general public have not.

“Mearsheimer is a very prominent professor and knowledgeable about U.S. foreign policy,” Lehman said. “We were lucky to get him. Rozoff has all kinds of credentials as an independent researcher who’s followed changes in NATO — things that slip through media without context.”

Rozoff spoke on NATO’s growing threat as a military bloc, especially with talks in recent years to align the organization with Ukraine. The panelist underlined the danger in NATO’s failed promises to stop its expansion.

“Almost half of the countries in the world attended NATO’s last summit in Wales,” Rozoff told The Daily. “In 1991 if anyone had suggested this, they would be accused of being crazy.”

Libby Frank, a Chicago resident who attended the event, said both speakers helped her understand the different actions of the United States and Russia that led to the crisis.

“I don’t feel like I’m getting a real, true picture out of mainstream media so that’s why I came and that was the main takeaway,” Frank said. “This is very serious, and (the United States) had an unfortunately negative role.”

Rozoff said he was glad to come to Evanston and speak on the situation, which could become very “grave and dramatic,” as two nuclear superpowers are involved.

“Either NATO blinks or Russia blinks,” Rozoff said. “Or we may be heading into a warning about nuclear war.”

Email: aliceyin2017@u.northwestern.edu
Twitter: @alice__yin

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US, Ukraine and Russia: What Happened?

January 8, 2015 2 comments

US, Ukraine and Russia: What Happened?

Saturday January 10th, 3:00 pm
Community Meeting Room, Evanston Public Library
1703 Orrington Avenue
Evanston, Illinois
Phone: 847) 448-8620

Dr. John J. Mearsheimer, Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science and the co-director
of the Program on International Security Policy at the University of Chicago; and Rick Rozoff,
anti-war activist and manager of the STOP NATO website will speak on the current crisis in the
Ukraine. Professor Mearsheimer will address the causes of the crisis and how it has poisoned
relations between the United States and Russia to the detriment of both countries and disaster
for the Ukraine. Mr. Rozoff will speak on the transformation of NATO from a defensive alliance into
a component of U.S. foreign policy intent on neutralizing Russia’s strategic nuclear deterrent.

Program co-sponsored by Evanston Neighbors for Peace.

For more information, call (847) 448-8620.

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Hour-long interview: NATO and Ukraine

December 13, 2014 Leave a comment

J.D. Moore
Red Pill Reports
December 10, 2014

Guest: Rick Rozoff

Audio

Rozoff segment begins at 01:00

Rick Rozoff joins JD in the second hour to discuss the true nature of NATO as it pertains to Ukraine, ISIS, Russia and the West. Rick illustrates the connections between the global players, as the push for control over military, political and economic resources makes strange bedfellows and creates new divisions on the international chessboard.

Rick Rozoff lives and works in Chicago and has been an active opponent of war, militarism and intervention for over 40 years. He manages the Stop NATO e­mail list (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/stopnato) and his website (https://rickrozoff.wordpress.com).

He writes on the threat of international militarization. Especially on the globalization of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

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Radio Interview: Will NATO ‘Marry’ Ukraine After 20 Years’ Romance?

December 12, 2014 Leave a comment

Sputnik International
December 12, 2014

Burning Point
Ekaterina Kudashkina

Will NATO ‘Marry’ Ukraine After 20 Years’ Romance?

Why would NATO need Ukraine and where could it take the rest of Europe? Radio Sputnik is discussing it with Rick Rozoff of the Stop NATO International Network.

Audio

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk is meeting NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Monday to discuss prospects for a further relationship. Presenting the program of his government for 2015, he said the main task for the country next year will be to survive ‘Russian military aggression’ and a deep economic crisis. Kiev says the current crisis has left it with no choice but to seek protection from NATO. Yet, the truth is, the process of Ukraine’s integration into NATO was launched long before Maidan…

Says Rick Rozoff, the manager of the Stop NATO International Network:

Yes, in 1994, 20 year ago, Ukraine became the first former Soviet federal republic to be recruited into NATO’s post-Cold War era transitional military partnership – one which is called Partnership for Peace. The name of which, of course, is a glaring misnomer, as it’s been in effect used to deploy troops for candidate members in several war zones, including in the Balkans, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and so forth.

But I think it is significant that 20 years ago, which is to say only three years after the formal dissolution of the Warsaw Pact or the Warsaw Treaty Organization and the fragmentation of the Soviet Union into its 15 constituent federal republics, only three years later NATO (at the instigation of the US, undoubtedly) sought out Ukraine as the first former Soviet nation to be brought into that transitional program.

That same Partnership for Peace military program was the one used to cultivate 12 new military, full, members of NATO in the decade between 1999 and 2009, starting with Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic in 1999; seven more countries, including the three former Soviet republics in the Baltics – Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania – in 2004; and then two Balkans countries in 2009.

So, what we are seeing is that the US, the Pentagon more specifically, and NATO have had their sights set on Ukraine a long time back. So, to claim that massive military expansion in Eastern Europe over the past 11 months of so is in any way specifically a response to the ‘annexation’ of Crimea or the fighting in the Southeast Ukraine is misleading people. The fact is that the US wanted to incorporate Ukraine into the NATO to consolidate the new military Iron Curtain that runs along Russia’s entire western border, from the Baltic to the Black Sea. That’s incontestable.

Now Ukraine is devastated and if we look at the similar examples in Europe, like Kosovo, for instance, there are quite dim prospects that this country is going to get more structured and more stable, and more peaceful. So, would NATO really want this kind of member?

Rick Rozoff:

A statement was reported in Polish press and Polish radio by the infamous, if you don’t mind the adjective of my own, Zbigniew Brzezinski – the former national security adviser to Carter administration and major Russophobe geostrategist, who cautioned the West at an event in Poland that bringing Ukraine into NATO would be neither good for NATO, nor for Ukraine. And he is correct.

However, using Ukraine as a territory from which NATO can operate is in many ways much more advantageous than bringing it in as a full member. And first of all, we have to recall that NATO stipulates quite clearly their preconditions for the full membership in the block.

Two of the obstacles, rather, confronting Ukraine currently: first of all, there could be no territorial conflicts in the nation, and there is vis-à-vis Crimea, certainly from the point of view of junta in Kiev, but also there is the fighting around the Donetsk and Lugansk region; number two – there can be no foreign military personnel on the territory of the candidate member state. And by “foreign” I think we are safe in assuming non-NATO. In other words, there could be a proliferation of US, German, French, Italian and British troops, but if there is one Russian peacekeeper anywhere in the disputed area that is considered a foreign military presence.

So, the fact that the Russian Black Sea fleet for a long time has been in the Crimea, automatically would have disqualified Ukraine under any conditions for full NATO membership. So, the obvious conclusion to draw from that is that the Russian Black Sea fleet had to be evicted.

And I’m certain that that was the active intent, based on the orders they receive from the likes of Victoria Nuland and Geoffrey Pyatt in Kiev, that was the intent of the new junta in February – to evict the Russian Black Sea fleet and consolidate the nation under a pro-Western orientation so as to bring it into the NATO fold.

So, is it advantageous for Ukraine to be in NATO? No more than for Georgia. And, by the way, we should note that for at least the last decade those two countries formed a couple that we consider to be integratable at the same time and the plan was for NATO to bring them both in simultaneously.

As we know, Georgia also has unresolved territorial conflicts and it still has foreign troops on what they claim to be their territory – Abkhazia and South Ossetia. We also know, by the way, that the Orange Revolution in Ukraine in 2004, modeled after the Rose Revolution, so-called, in Georgia in the preceding year, brought to the forefront, in the case of Georgia, Mikhail Saakashvili, who is a US-educated attorney graduated from Columbia University, where Mr. Brzezinski taught; and we know that Viktor Yushchenko, who copied his example in 2004, is married to an American, Kathy Yushchenko, who was born and raised here in Chicago. So, there is an American hand in the color revolutions in both countries, and the two are considered to be a doublet to be incorporated simultaneously.

Another thing that is important to know, as much obliquely, as it is being poured at Viktor Yanukovych right now in the Western media and by the Western government officials trying to portray him, in essence, as a Russian puppet or something of this sort. He, Yanukovych, made Ukraine the first non-NATO country to supply a military vessel for NATO’s permanent naval surveillance and interdiction operation in the Mediterranean, Operation Active Endeavor.

Then, shortly thereafter his government supplied a vessel, again, the first non-NATO one to do it, to NATO’s now permanent naval operation off the Horn of Africa, in the Arabian Sea, Operation Ocean Shield, and up until the coup d’état in February this year in Ukraine, Ukraine was one of four non-NATO countries that was going to be incorporated into NATO’s new international Response Force. The other three being Georgia and another double, if you will, Finland and Sweden.

So, we see that the integration process with Ukraine has been underway for a long time. We have to remember that the Leonid Kuchma government supplied 2,000 troops for the occupation of Iraq after 2003, as part of arrangements under NATO’s Partnership for Peace program. So, Ukraine was already well underway towards being integrated into NATO. And what it appears is that the US may have overplayed its geopolitical hand in the area and set back its plans to bring Ukraine as the full member into NATO.

But what is NATO’s ultimate goal? Is it to attack Russia or, perhaps, use different tactics on Russia?

Rick Rozoff:

I’ve been long saying, and I think even an amateur military strategist or a student of military history can tell you, you don’t besiege a country, unless you intend to starve it out or attack it. And since the major round of NATO expansion in 2004 where they brought in Bulgaria, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, they immediately, within weeks, if not days, set up a permanent what they refer to as an air policing operation in Lithuania. What these are, are air patrols by advanced-generation warplanes.

Initially, there were four planes. That’s been brought up now to, I think, six times that number, if I’m not mistaken. It is in the neighborhood of 20 or 24 warplanes, permanently, patrolling the Baltic from Lithuania. A comparable air base has been upgraded and turned over to NATO and the US in Estonia. A new one is on its way in Latvia as well.

The US has taken over, essentially, the Lask air base in Poland, where it is rotating F-16 warplanes, in addition to 48 F-16s they’ve basically compelled the Polish government to purchase at the beginning of this [century]. You know, Poland does not have 48 F-16s for any other reason, than to confront Russia.

Similarly, in Bulgaria and Romania in 2008-2009 the US secured 8 major military bases, including at least 3 large-scale or major, potentially strategic, air bases. And this goes on all the way down the line. The world’s first multinational strategic airlift operation is conducted by the US and NATO out of an air base in Hungary now.

So, the entire western flank of Russia, let me please emphasize that again, the entire western flank of Russia is now witnessing an increase in NATO military activities – the opening and upgrading of new military bases, the deployment of 600 US paratroopers to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, the rotation of US F-16s from Italy to Poland, the permanent Task Force East (a multiservice military operation, operating out of Bulgaria and Romania), a Black Sea Rotational Force (component of the US Marine Corps in the same area) and we could go – incidentally, four years ago the deployment of the US Patriot Advanced Capability-3 longer-range interceptor missiles in Poland, some 30 miles from the Russian territory of Kaliningrad.

So, what is indisputable, and I think the significant fact right now is that… And that doesn’t even take into account the building of the US interceptor missile system where they are going to be deploying advanced, a new generation interceptor missiles in Poland and Romania, as well as the surveillance, radar facilities. So, you know, given all that (and I have by no means exhausted the deployment of NATO facilities and equipment, and personnel in the area), the inevitable conclusion I would have to draw from that is that somebody is preparing for a war with Russia.

And I might cite an article yesterday from Stars and Stripes, which is the official newspaper of the American armed forces, that talked about a recently concluded war game in Germany, the scenario for which was a nation invades Estonia, and it resulted, amongst other things, in missile strikes and cyber warfare. And I’ll leave it to your listeners’ imagination which country is intended as the aggressor in that scenario.

But this is a suicidal scenario for the US! Russia is not Libya, Russia is not Iraq. We are a nuclear power.

Rick Rozoff: I’m fully aware of the fact that Russia is a nuclear power. But I also know that the US has perfected the method of game theory, if you will. This is very cynical and, ultimately, it may be a catastrophic and even an apocalyptic gambit on the part of the US, but the intent is to test Russian resolve, see how they respond to various events. If they appear to be willing to concede, then keep pushing and escalating the pressure to see how far they can get away with it.

Look, the US in the post-Cold War period, but particularly in the last 15 years, they engineered a 78-day air war against the European country for the first time, incidentally, as an of aggression against an European country since Hitler’s and Mussolini’s wars of the late 1930s and early 1940s. It put on display for the entire world the impotence of the world community to intervene to stop that war.

And then, shortly thereafter we have the invasion of Afghanistan, the invasion of Iraq, the devastation of Syria, the overthrow of governments in the Ivory Coast and Yemen, and an attempt to replicate that model in a very bloody manner in Syria, and on and on. Unless the world community draws the line, the US has no incentive to stop.

And in this case Europe and its European allies are held hostage.

Rick Rozoff:

They are held hostage is the kindest interpretation of that. I think one should rather look into the curriculum vitae, into the biographies of the heads of states of Europe. You will discover, for example, that the head of the state of Estonia, whose country is the imaginary victim of something that could trigger WW III, is an American citizen – Toomas Ilves. He was raised in the US, he worked for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, that is, at the very least, for the State Department.

Up until a few years ago his counterpart in Lithuania was Valdas Adamkus, another American citizen, who lived here in Chicago for decades, who also worked for the US federal government. And at about the same time the head of state of Latvia was a woman who was raised in Canada and worked for the federal government.

You know, first of all, we have to understand who we are talking about when we are talking about the heads of states and other political figures in Europe. We are talking about people who belong to transnational think tanks and planning bodies. The US Atlantic Council, for example, which is the major think tank promoting NATO development and expansion around the world, has its counterparts in 30 or 40 other countries, including most every European country. They have essentially seduced, if not bribed or recruited, most every political leader in Europe. First of all, we have to be clear about that.

The fact that Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov yesterday had to finally have some harsh words about German political leadership, and I’m thinking in particular of what he said vis-à-vis Chancellor Angela Merkel, I think should expose this charade that there is an independent foreign policy orientation in Europe and, somehow, that a person like Chancellor Merkel is one person when she is wearing her EU credentials and another one when she is wearing her NATO credentials. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The EU and NATO are effectively merging not only their military but their foreign policy orientations and programs, including sharing military commanders, sharing the military bases, sharing military assets. You know, it is a very delicate question right now where NATO ends and the EU begins. So, I think that anyone sitting in Moscow who believes that there is some essential difference between the EU orientation of European leaders and the NATO one, better go back to the drawing board and reevaluate their perspective. They’ve made a dangerous, if not a fatal mistake.

We have to keep in mind, when this whole tragedy in Ukraine began in November of last year when the Yanukovych government did not refuse, but simply delayed the signing of what was called an Association Agreement with the EU, one that was being pushed by the US, I need hardly add. And for anyone who’s seen the document, it has a very strong military component. It would effectively integrate Ukraine into Western military structures, whether there was an EU or a NATO stamp on it, it almost doesn’t matter, because the two – the EU and NATO – are united under a program of the 1990s called the Berlin Plus agreement which effectively merges the militaries of those two organizations.

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CrossTalk: Cycle of Violence (Ukraine)

November 14, 2014 Leave a comment

RT
November 14, 2014

CrossTalk: Cycle of Violence

Ukraine on tender hooks: The ceasefire brokered last September to stop Ukraine’s civil war is collapsing. Both sides in this conflict appear to be preparing for more hostilities. This is at a time when the country’s economy is facing meltdown. CrossTalking with Rick Rozoff, David Speedie and Michael O’Hanlon.

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The Devil Quotes Scripture To Drag Ukraine Into NATO, Europe Into War

September 13, 2014 6 comments

Ukrinform
September 13, 2014

Yatseniuk says about NATO membership, remembering Bible

The Prime Minister of Ukraine visits NATO
Yats and Ras (the Iscariot boys)

KYIV: Only the NATO membership can protect Ukraine from Russian aggression.

Prime Minister of Ukraine Arseniy Yatseniuk said within the frames of the 11th Annual Meeting of Yalta European Strategy YES, held in Kyiv, a Ukrinform correspondent reports.

“We must clearly recognize that, in these particular circumstances, NATO is the only way to protect Ukraine,” Yatseniuk said.

According to him, not all NATO members are satisfied with this position of Ukraine.

“In the short term, NATO is not ready to accept Ukraine, but the Bible says: if knocking on the door – the door will open. So we decided to knock,” the head of the government said.

Yatseniuk is sure that Russian President Vladimir Putin wants to take over the entire territory of Ukraine: “I clearly understand what the ultimate goal is. He seeks to take not just Donetsk and Luhansk, he wants to take the whole of Ukraine. ”

However Yatseniuk noted that “this will never happen, we will fight for our Ukraine.”

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UN: Over 4,600 Killed, Wounded, 100,000 Displaced In Ukraine War

Azeri Press Agency
July 28, 2014

UN says over 1,100 killed, nearly 3,500 wounded in Ukraine since mid-April

Baku: 1,129 people have been killed and 3,442 wounded in eastern Ukraine since the start of the Kiev’s military operation in April, according to UN estimates, APA reports quoting RT news.

The report also states that these are the minimum casualty toll estimates by the UN monitoring mission and WHO.

The report says that the cause of the rising death toll is intensified artillery shelling of the civilian residential areas and the so-called “collateral damage” of the armed actions in the heavily-populated areas.

Also, 100,000 people were forcibly displaced in eastern Ukraine.

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NATO to Train Ukraine Regime Troops for Southeast Operation

Stop NATO articles

RIA Novosti
May 14, 2014

OPINION: NATO to Train Ukraine Regime Troops for Southeast Operation
Rick Rozoff

MOSCOW: On May 9 the website of United States European Command, one of six regional unified (land, air, naval and special forces) combatant commands used by the Pentagon to divide up the entire planet, announced the opening ceremony of Exercise Spring Storm in Estonia run by the U.S.’s Special Operations Command Europe (SOCEUR).

The event was held at the Ämari Air base in the Baltic nation, which recently has been inaugurated as a hub for U.S. and other NATO nation’s warplanes after the manner of the Šiauliai Air Base in nearby Lithuania, where NATO warplanes have been operating for continuous air patrols initiated over a decade ago. During the last, recently concluded, U.S. rotation the number of multi-role combat aircraft deployed for that mission was increased from the customary four to ten.

Following the war games in Estonia, the Special Operations Command Europe forces will participate in the Flaming Sword 14 exercise in Lithuania and Latvia from May 18-30, then the Namejs 14 drills in Latvia from May 19-25. In the words of the U.S. armed forces publication Stars and Stripes on May 9, “U.S. Special Operations Command Europe is planning additional exercises in the region as part of an effort to reassure allies in border regions around Russia and Ukraine.”

The special forces maneuvers will overlap with the deployment last month of 600 members of the 173rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team – airborne rapid reaction combat troops – for exercises in the same three countries and Poland.

In its account of the current special operations exercises in the Baltic Sea region, European Command reports:

“SOCEUR has also added a number of Joint Combined Exchange Training (JCET) events in five countries across the Baltics and Eastern Europe to be conducted over the next two months. These JCET events are the first in a series of expanded U.S. special operations training activities in Eastern Europe and the Baltic region; they are the first in a developing persistent rotational SOF presence in the region…”

Stars and Stripes indicates that, given the ambitious scope of and time required to operationalize the following, plans for the expanded and in fact permanent presence of American special operations forces in nations bordering Russian territory have been underway long before the current Ukrainian crisis:

“In addition to long-standing annual exercises, SOCEUR has added a number of new training programs over the next two months in five counties across the Baltics and eastern Europe. Follow-on missions are also being planned to ensure an ongoing presence of special operators, according to the command.

“The so-called Joint Combined Exchange Training events will involve small teams of operators, who work on a range of combat tactics on 30-day rotations. The troops, including Green Berets, SEALS and Air Force operators, will be pulled from SOCEUR headquarters in Stuttgart and across the SOF [Special Operations Forces] community to maintain a constant rotational presence.”

The commander of SOCEUR, Air Force Major General Marshall B. Webb, is quoted stating, “Through these types of annual exercises, SOCEUR elements have developed lasting relationships and extensive interoperability with our special operations partners in the majority of countries bordering Ukraine over the last seven years.”

The time frame he uses may be a reference to the annual Jackal Stone special operations forces exercises the U.S. and its NATO allies and partners have held in Eastern Europe since 2008.

The first was hosted by Hungary, Romania and Ukraine and included personnel from the U.S., Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Sweden and Ukraine. The 2010 iteration was conducted in Lithuania and Poland and the 2011 one in Bulgaria, Romania and Ukraine.

Romania and Bulgaria, Ukraine’s and Russia’s Black Sea neighbors, also host the U.S. Army’s Task Force East and the U.S. Marine Corps’ Black Sea Rotational Force, the latter assigned since 2010 to further the NATO integration of 16 nations in the Balkans, Black Sea and Caucasus regions (Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Georgia, Greece, Kosovo, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia and Ukraine) through regular multinational training and exercises.

The current and upcoming special operations exercises in the Baltic states officially include the participation of units from the U.S. and its NATO allies and partners Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Norway, Finland and Sweden. All but the U.S. and Sweden border Russia.

What is not reported but is to be assumed is that Ukrainian special forces, already the recipient of several years of Jackal Stone exercises designed to achieve special forces interoperability with the U.S. and NATO, will be trained for ongoing combat operations against opponents of the Kiev junta in the east of their nation.

It is worth recalling that the Pentagon’s Georgia Train and Equip Program, which for the past twelve years has trained the Caucasus country’s combat forces for deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan – and for the five-day war with Russia in 2008 – was initially run by United States Army Special Forces, the Green Berets, in the Black Sea state. A thousand U.S. troops led the Immediate Response 2008 NATO and Partnership for Peace war games in Georgia, which only ended a week before Georgian – U.S.-trained – special forces launched a bloody assault of the South Ossetian capital of Tschinval, triggering the war with Russia.

A Reuters feature of March 2 of this year written by one Peter Apps asserts that “Ukrainian special forces or irregular units could mount hit-and-run attacks on Russian forces in the country.” If there were Russian forces in the country; but in lieu of that option they can and no doubt are being used against self-defense volunteers in the east of the country.

Special operations units also participated in the NATO Response Force Steadfast Jazz exercises last November in the Baltics and Poland, which with 6,000 troops – air, sea and land forces – constituted NATO’s largest war games since 2006. Thirteen warships were deployed off the coast of Poland and 60 military aircraft were employed.

The secretary general of the U.S.-dominated military bloc, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, stated at the time:
“The purpose of the NATO Response Force is to be able to defend any Ally, deploy anywhere, and deter any threat – all at short notice. It is the spearhead of NATO. Every year, we test it, to make sure that it is sharp and ready for use.”

The NATO-led Cold Response military exercises in Norway also routinely include a thousand or more special forces troops. This year’s version in March featured the participation of 16,000 troops from sixteen nations conducting exercises in northern Norway, not far from the Russian border.

Until recently the U.S. and NATO have trained special operations forces for integrated military action abroad, particularly in Afghanistan. Having achieved the desired real-life combat training in South Asia, those troops and units are home for use domestically and against neighboring states.

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Ukraine Crisis Exposes NATO’s Eastward Expansion Drive

May 13, 2014 2 comments

Stop NATO articles

RIA Novosti
May 13, 2014

OPINION: Ukraine Crisis Exposes NATO’s Eastward Expansion Drive

MOSCOW: The Defense Minister of NATO “aspirant” member state Georgia has urged the military alliance to expand eastward while the ongoing Ukraine crisis can serve as a smokescreen, says Rick Rozoff, the owner and manager of the Stop NATO website.

The defense minister of Georgia, Irakli Alasania, recently concluded an eight-day visit to Washington, D.C., which began at the Toward a Europe Whole and Free conference of the Atlantic Council and ended at the Pentagon.

The first event commemorated the fifteenth, tenth and fifth anniversaries of North Atlantic Treaty Organization expansion in the post-Cold War era: The incorporation of the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland in 1999; the absorption of Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia in 2004; and the accession of Albania and Croatia is 2009. In all, a 75 percent increase in the military bloc’s membership from 16 to 28 members, the twelve new members all in Eastern Europe and all either former Warsaw Pact member states, including three former Soviet republics, or former Yugoslav federal republics.

The Atlantic Council event was co-chaired by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley, the former also head of the National Democratic Institute, and included addresses by Vice President Joseph Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry and European Commission President José Manuel Barroso as well as the attendance of NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel received the Council’s Distinguished International Leadership Award, with other leadership awards being granted to Barroso and Marine Corps General Joseph F. Dunford, Jr., top commander of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.

According to a Georgian news account of the above event, Defense Minister Alasania stated that, “in response to Russia’s actions in Ukraine,” NATO should deploy military assets in his nation, which fought a five-day war with Russia in 2008, including “antiarmor, antiaircraft and antitank” capabilities, as “this is something we need to put in Georgia and Russians will understand that you are serious.”

Delivering these comments as part of a panel discussion that included NATO’s Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow, an American and former U.S. ambassador to Russia, as well as the defense chiefs of the Czech Republic, Estonia and Montenegro, Alasania lamented the fact that the crisis in Ukraine might eventually subside, that sanctions would be lifted and that, to lend the most plausible interpretation to his words, a precious opportunity may be missed to exploit the tragedy in Ukraine, so to avoid that lapse “we should do something that will have strategic importance – this is expansion of NATO.” He also offered his sponsors in Brussels and Washington the opportunity for increased “exercises from the NATO countries [in order] to have a footprint in Georgia,” according to Civil Georgia, the source for most of the above quotes as well as for Alasania’s contention that “these joint exercises may have a regional context with involvement of troops from Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey with a focus on protecting energy and pipeline infrastructure.”

He also demanded, or rather perhaps voiced his masters’ demands, that NATO boost the deployment of military personnel and equipment to the other, as NATO calls them, aspirant countries, the next in line for full Alliance membership: Bosnia, Macedonia and Montenegro.

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen promised to take the matter under advisement and back with him to the bloc’s headquarters in Brussels.

Alasania’s fellow panelist Vershbow identified Russia “as more of an enemy than a partner,” perhaps the first public admission of what any sensible observer could have discerned about NATO not only during but ever since the (formal) end of the Cold War. His Georgian colleague hastened to chime in that he “certainly” concurred.

The Georgian defense minister also met tête-à-tête with Vice President Biden, who had been the first major American official to fly into Georgia after the war with Russia almost six years ago, then promising the Mikheil Saakashvili regime one billion dollars in aid.

The day after the Atlantic Council conference ended, James Appathurai, NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia, was in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi where, again according to a report from Civil Georgia, the military bloc is now examining the “next steps” to bring the country “even closer” to NATO.

Alasania also met with members of the U.S. Senate and House Committees on Foreign Affairs and Subcommittees on Defense to discuss deeper military cooperation and Georgia’s NATO membership.
On May 7 he was the guest of his American counterpart Chick Hagel at the latter’s haunts, the Pentagon, where the two deliberated over NATO’s war in Afghanistan (where Georgia is the largest troop contributor of any non-full Alliance member) and NATO interoperability.

According to Civil Georgia once again:

“The two leaders also discussed the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. They reviewed the efforts by allies and partners in the region to reinforce our international commitments and to continue to apply diplomatic and economic pressure on Moscow.”

The Georgian Ministry of Defence website reported that after the meeting Alasania issued the following statement (verbatim):

“Meeting with U.S. Secretary of Defence was very productive. We continue dialogue what steps the USA and Georgia should make forward for increasing Georgia’s security and defence capability. I’d like to outline that we have progress in this direction and this meeting once more confirms that strategic partnership in defence and security sphere between Georgia and USA is strengthening.”

The following day British Foreign Secretary William Hague arrived in the Georgian capital and pledged full support to the host nation’s incorporation into both NATO and the European Union. Hague’s itinerary started with visits to Moldova and Ukraine, which with Georgia constitute three-quarters of the U.S.-initiated Georgia-Ukraine-Azerbaijan-Moldova (GUAM) bloc, established in the 1990s to further NATO integration of post-Soviet space, the “resolution” of so-called frozen conflicts (Georgia with Abkhazia, Adjara and South Ossetia; Ukraine with Crimea; Azerbaijan with Nagorno-Karabakh; Moldova with Transdniester and Gagauzia), transport corridors for future wars in the south and east and transit routes for Caspian Sea oil and natural gas to Europe, circumventing and squeezing out Russia and Iran. All but Azerbaijan have been the victims of successful “color revolutions” as well.

During the Atlantic Council conference, NATO’s Alexander Vershbow also stated, apropos the above:
“We need to step up our support for defense reforms and military modernization of Russia’s neighbors, and not just of Ukraine, but also Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan.”

Armenia is at loggerheads with Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh and it is no secret that Washington and Brussels would prefer to absorb all three former Soviet South Caucasus republics – Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia – en bloc.

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Silence of the Wolves: Ukraine and the Moral Stultification of the West

Stop NATO articles

Russian Information Agency Novosti
May 5, 2014

Silence of the Wolves: Ukraine and the Moral Stultification of the West
By Rick Rozoff, founder of Stop NATO project

Although all efforts have been made by the violently-installed regime in Kiev and its sponsors in the United States and Europe to, by turns or simultaneously, ignore, downplay, obfuscate and distort the horrific events in Odessa, Ukraine on Friday, May 2, what is indisputably evident is that an estimated 46 people were killed and 200 forced to seek medical treatment after assaults by pro-government forces culminated in the burning of a trade union office building.

A French novelist wrote in the 1800s of a curious trait of the human psyche that a person will perpetrate the perfect crime, then give himself away by bragging it about it to the first stranger he meets in a bar. Such indeed is the dynamic that seems to account for videos appearing on YouTube almost immediately after the carnage in Odessa demonstrating beyond a scintilla of doubt that young thugs, many with military camouflage outfits and plastic and metal military helmets, were preparing firebombs and, in one clear instance, firing a handgun in the direction of the besieged occupants of the trade union headquarters, who had fled a tent camp they had inhabited outside for shelter after the extremist goons arrived.

One cell phone video shows what appear to be members of the police force walking by and observing several young men getting Molotov cocktails ready and, far from intervening, appearing to nod their approbation. After the assailants hurled several of the handmade bombs into the building, shouts of exultation and triumph are heard, increasing in intensity as the fires caused by the bombs spread through the several-story complex.

After the tardy, unaccountably and unconscionably tardy, response by law enforcement forces and rescue workers, several of the victims who survived the onslaught were arrested and held for investigation. There are no reports indicating that the perpetrators and those who incited them were apprehended.

The U.S.- and NATO-backed regime of Arseniey Yatsenyiuk and Oleksandr Turchynov  in the nation’s capital has attempted to deflect attention from the self-evident truth of what occurred, with Turchynov stating the day after the massacre, “I’ve signed a decree on the two days mourning in Ukraine for heroes who were killed during the antiterrorist operation and people killed during the tragic events in Odesa.”

His cynical disingenuousness has been echoed, or orchestrated in conjunction with,  comparable equivocation and evasion by leaders of the U.S. and the European Union.

This is as though a defendant himself presented proof of his guilt and not only confessed but celebrated his act, and the prosecutor demanded an investigation and the judge rendered an acquittal.

Western leaders will, after consulting with their public relations specialists, shed a couple of crocodile tears, lament the violence on both sides and continue to support, morally and materially, the massive, military campaign by their client regime in Kiev against what the latter invariably refers to as terrorists.

As Chechnya’s President Ramzan Kadyrov stated in relation to the above:

“Not even fascists acted like this. First, to burn people alive by blocking all entrances and setting them on fire, and then to tell the whole world that it was the people inside the building who hurled bottles with flammable substance at each other.”

Not even fascists, indeed.

There will be no outcry against the hideous barbarity motivating and characterizing the massacre in Odessa in the West; what was described on a video tape by one of its supporters as “our May barbecue.”

Not one of the one hundred members of the U.S. Senate, not one of the 435 members of the U.S. House of Representatives, no member of the European Parliament will rise to denounce this outrage, more reminiscent of the behavior of Adolf Hitler’s Wehrmacht seventy years ago and or roaming bands of cutthroat mercenaries during the Thirty Years’ War four centuries ago than what people may have expected in the 21st century, in the post-Cold War epoch of what President Barack Obama embraced as the reign of “the world’s military superpower” on the occasion of his receiving – and how truly unimaginative George Orwell has been proven to have been – the Nobel Peace Prize in December of 2009.

Wolves don’t cry, not even stage tears; they howl. And tear flesh.

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Civil War In Ukraine Could Start After Presidential Election

Russian Information Agency Novosti
April 29, 2014

OPINION: Civil War in Ukraine Could Start After Presidential Election

MOSCOW: Civil war in Ukraine could break out as soon as next month, the deputy director of research programs at Russia’s Council on Foreign and Defense Policy said Tuesday.

“A civil war might kick off on May 26-27, as it is obvious that federalization supporters will not go anywhere and, apparently, will not be satisfied by some superficial amendments to the Ukrainian constitution, which will not introduce any essential changes, changes to the basis of domestic relations in Ukraine,” Dmitry Suslov said during a round table meeting at RIA Novosti.

Ukraine faced a regime change in February when the country’s parliament, backed by far-right movements, voted to strip President Viktor Yanukovych of his powers, amended the constitution and slated early presidential elections for May 25.

Moscow says that the legitimacy of the upcoming election will depend on a number of conditions, including transparency, fairness and taking the interests of the regions into account.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said last week that the vote would turn destructive for the entire country if Kiev refused to respect the demands of the southeastern regions.

“The US and Kiev are totally fine with the vague status quo in Ukraine’s east,” Suslov said adding that the main aim of the United States and the Kiev authorities is to conduct elections at any cost to officially authorize the results of the coup d’état.

“The fact that the election will not take place in some Ukrainian region will hardly disturb either the Kiev authorities or the United States,” the expert said.

He also stressed that neither the United States nor the Ukrainian interim government comply with the principles outlined in the Geneva communique on April 17.

The rallies of pro-federalization activists began last month in eastern Ukraine, with protesters in Donetsk, Luhansk and Kharkiv calling for a referendum on the status of their respective regions within the country. To quell the protests the Ukrainian interim government announced a special anti-terrorist operation targeting the cities of Kramatorsk and Slaviansk in the Donetsk region.

The move was strongly condemned by Moscow that called the decision to use force an extremely dangerous development of the events.

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Draft Restored, Stormtroopers Armed: Ukraine Junta Prepares For War

Interfax-Ukraine
April 26, 2014

Military conscription could be returned in Ukraine – Defense Minister

The Armed Forces of Ukraine could return military conscription, acting Defense Minister Mykhailo Koval has stated.

“The army will be professional – this is the future of the Armed Forces. But now the Armed Forces are not ready for this. Therefore we might have to return 21-23-years-old men for a while, and they will serve the state,” he told reporters in Kyiv on Saturday.

According to Koval, the reckless policy of transition to contract service showed its negative sides, in particular, in Crimea.

“If there were conscripts there [in military units], then the situation might be different,” the minister said.

In addition, the minister said the Armed Forces of Ukraine have not created a good base for training and life-support of contract soldiers.

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Interfax-Ukraine
April 26, 2014

Yarosh urges Ukrainian authorities to immediately start mass armament of Ukrainians – appeal to Turchynov

The Ukrainian presidential candidate, leader of the Right Sector organization Dmytro Yarosh has called on Acting President of Ukraine, Verkhovna Rada Chairman Oleksandr Turchynov to start the mass providing of weapons to Ukrainians facing the threat of a war with Russia.

“Given statements and ultimatums from the Kremlin official speakers, observing their failure to fulfill the Geneva agreements, a few days might remain to Russia’s large-scale military invasion of Ukraine. The Ukrainian authorities should immediately begin the massive armament of our citizens, particularly volunteer patriotic formations, which more than 10,000 Ukrainians have joined only in Dnipropetrovsk region,” reads an open letter of Yarosh to Turchynov, posted on his page on Facebook.

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Ukraine, Crimea, Transdniester: Romania Deploys Military To Borders

April 27, 2014 1 comment

Voice of Russia
April 27, 2014

Romanian military units moving towards Ukrainian border

According to information available, in Romania military units are moving towards the eastern borders – a military echelon loaded with anti-aircraft guns, trucks and ground -to- air missile systems has moved via Bucharest towards the Black Sea port of Constanta. The military units are needed for conducting joint military exercises with the participation of the US servicemen and four American F-16 fighter jets, according to the Romanian Defense Ministry officials told newsmen.

“The maneuvers will be held in compliance with the plan on strategic partnership existing between Romania and the US,” Romanian Minister of National Defense Mircea Dusa announced.

Earlier Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, and Estonia asked NATO to strengthen its military presence in their countries because of the Ukrainian crisis. As soon as it broke out, the AWACS planes started their daily flights over the southern part of Romania, taking off from the NATO air base Gellenkirchen in Germany in order to conduct radar intelligence operations which covered the southern part of Ukraine, Moldova and Crimea.

At the same time, Romanian President Trian Basescu satisfied Washington’s request to increase the number of marines on the NATO air base in Germany from 1,000 to 1,600. In addition, the Romanian authorities asked official Washington to deploy a squadron of US fighter jets on their territory for the period until 2017.

The plans of an increase in the US military presence in Romania are being criticized by both politicians and the public in the country. An adviser to Romanian Prime Minister Ionel Blanculescu voiced his fears, saying that the US had turned Romania into a “good target” in case of military escalation in the region.

On the other hand, a number of Romanian political analysts believe that in view of the events in Ukraine, Bucharest must be well prepared for bringing its troops into the territories of the Odessa and Chernovtsy regions. “Intervention to the north of the Bukovina region, to the south of Bessarabia and Transnistria is becoming inevitable and even necessary, especially in case Ukraine is unable to maintain public order on the territories where the Romanian population lives,” an analyst of the popular Romanian newspaper “Adevarul”, Dinu Zare, wrote in his article, TASS reports.

Romania starts to relocate anti-aircraft artillery and rockets

A train loaded with anti-aircraft guns, trucks and surface-to-air missiles was spotted in Bucharest, the Ukrainian National News (UNN) agency reports.

The echelon was reportedly bound for Constanza ahead of joint military exercises due to be held by Romania, Bulgaria, Macedonia and the United States in the south of Macedonia.

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NATO’s Incremental But Inexorable Absorption of Ukraine

April 25, 2014 3 comments

Stop NATO articles

Stop NATO
Apirl 25, 2014

NATO’s Incremental But Inexorable Absorption of Ukraine
Rick Rozoff

A version of this feature will appear in the forthcoming volume Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks Global War, edited by Stephen Lendman and to be issued by Clarity Press.
As more information becomes available it will be posted at Stephen Lendman’s website.

With almost 1,500 miles of land and sea connecting the two nations, the border with Ukraine is the longest along the western frontier of Russia, with that of Finland next in length.

Until the end of the Cold War only one member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization directly adjoined Russia: Norway, and that for only 135 miles, land and sea. (Though Turkey bordered other Soviet republics.)

The decade of NATO expansion beginning in 1999 brought four new members of the U.S.-dominated military bloc directly up to Russia territory: Estonia and Latvia to northwestern Russia proper and Poland and Lithuania to the non-contiguous Kaliningrad Oblast.

The acquisition of Ukraine as a full NATO member or even as it now is, a partner lending its territory, troops and general military assets to the alliance, would, with the likely prospect of Finland being enlisted in tow, cover the entire western flank of Russia from the Arctic Ocean and Barents Sea in the north to the Black Sea in the south with NATO air bases, naval docking facilities, firing ranges and training grounds, airfields, radar installations, storage compounds, cyber warfare centers, interceptor missile batteries, armored vehicles, troops and tactical nuclear weapons.

Ukraine is and for decades has been seen as the decisive linchpin in plans by the U.S. and its NATO allies to effect a military cordon sanitaire severing Russia from Europe.

In 1995, just four years after the dissolution of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Ukraine became the first member of the post-Soviet Commonwealth of Independent States to join NATO’s mechanism for the eventual absorption of all of Europe and the rest of former Soviet space not already in the bloc, the Partnership for Peace. The twelve Eastern European nations that joined NATO in 1999, 2004 and 2009 are all graduates of that program. (Waiting in the wings are 22 more members of the transitional program for military integration and full NATO membership; all fourteen European countries not already members, except for Russia, the three former Soviet republics in the South Caucasus and the five in Central Asia.)

Two years later the military alliance established the Charter on a Distinctive Partnership, out of which was created the NATO-Ukraine Commission, which is active to this day; in fact more so than ever before since the violent coup d’état in Ukraine in February of this year.

In December of 2008, four months after the Georgian government of Mikheil Saakashvili invaded South Ossetia and thereby triggered a five-day war with Russia, Ukraine and Georgia were both made the recipients of the first-ever Annual National Programs crafted by NATO. Earlier in the year, at the alliance summit in Bucharest, Romania, it was announced that, although the last stage before full NATO accession – the Membership Action Plan – would not immediately be granted to the two former Soviet republics, NATO was nevertheless committed to their eventual membership. One of the Ukrainian public officials pushing for a Membership Action Plan was then-chairman of the nation’s parliament, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, now the U.S.-selected (indeed, the U.S.-imposed) prime minister and effective head of the ruling junta.

In fact, the parliamentary opposition blocked the functioning of the Verkhovna Rada from January to March of 2008 – ahead of the NATO summit in early April of that year – in protest against the nation being dragged into the bloc. The main effort domestically to expedite the incorporation of Ukraine into NATO emanated from the duarchy emerging from the 2004-2005 “Orange Revolution,” President Viktor Yushchenko and Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. Indeed, Washington and its European allies supported and directed the second so-called color revolution (after that in Georgia the preceding year) with just that intended effect in mind.

Ahead of the Bucharest summit President George W. Bush, fellow Republican and at the time candidate for his party’s presidential nomination (which he later secured) John McCain, and Democratic rivals for their party’s nomination, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, all fulsomely endorsed full NATO membership for Ukraine and Georgia.

A year ahead of the “Orange Revolution,” Yushchenko’s predecessor, Leonid Kuchma, had attempted to appease the U.S. and NATO by providing 1,650 troops for the NATO-supported Multi-National Force – Iraq. A nominal contingent of Ukrainian troops has also been assigned to NATO’s International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, part of an over 50-nation integrated command. But as not only Kuchma has learned, total subservience, abject submission alone are accepted by NATO “partners” in Washington and Brussels.

Georgia would later supply 2,000 (the third largest deployment after those of the U.S. and Britain at the time), which were airlifted home by American aircraft during the August 2008 war with Russia. The “orange” regime of Viktor Yushchenko was accused of surreptitiously shipping weapons and allowing if not organizing the deployment of military and extremist nationalist paramilitary forces to Georgia during the fighting.

Immediately after the South Caucasus war ended, Yushchenko flew into the Georgian capital to join a rally with (and for) President Saakashvili and immediately upon returning to Kiev signed a decree demanding Russia notify his government of – in essence seek its authorization for – naval and air deployments from the Black Sea Fleet base in Sebastopol. He reserved the right to prevent Russian vessels from departing and returning to the complex; that is, a de facto selective blockade.

Starting no later than 2006, at first covertly and then quite flagrantly, directors and other officials of the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency visited Ukraine to discuss the stationing of interceptor missile components in the country, part of an initiative that has subsequently been embraced by all 28 members of NATO under the Barack Obama administration’s European Phased Adaptive Approach land- and sea-based missile shield being deployed along Russia’s western (and later southern) border.

Annual U.S.-led NATO Partnership for Peace military exercises code-named Sea Breeze have been held in Ukraine every year since 1996 – in the Crimea, near the headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet – except in 2006 when they were cancelled because of local protests.

Led by U.S. European Command, yearly Rapid Trident military exercises are also held in Ukraine with U.S., NATO and Partnership for Peace forces. In the words of U.S. Army Europe’s account of last year’s iteration, Rapid Trident “helps prepare participants to operate successfully in a joint, multinational, integrated environment with host-nation support…designed to enhance joint combined interoperability with allied and partner nations” as well as “support[ing] Ukraine’s Annual National Program to achieve interoperability with NATO and commitments made in the annual NATO-Ukraine work plan.”

In the same month as NATO initiated its Annual National Program with Ukraine, December of 2008, Washington launched the United States-Ukraine Charter on Strategic Partnership, the founding document of which asserts and identifies among other objectives:

“Deepening Ukraine’s integration into Euro-Atlantic institutions is a mutual priority. We plan to undertake a program of enhanced security cooperation intended to increase Ukrainian capabilities and to strengthen Ukraine’s candidacy for NATO membership.

“Guided by the April 3, 2008 Bucharest Summit Declaration of the NATO North Atlantic Council and the April 4, 2008 Joint Statement of the NATO-Ukraine Commission, which affirmed that Ukraine will become a member of NATO.

“Recognizing the persistence of threats to global peace and stability, the United States and Ukraine intend to expand the scope of their ongoing programs of cooperation and assistance on defense and security issues to defeat these threats and to promote peace and stability. A defense and security cooperation partnership between the United States and Ukraine is of benefit to both nations and the region.

“Working within the framework of the NATO-Ukraine Commission, our goal is to gain agreement on a structured plan to increase interoperability and coordination of capabilities between NATO and Ukraine, including via enhanced training and equipment for Ukrainian armed forces.”

In 2010 Ukraine became the first NATO partner state to provide a warship for the alliance’s Operation Active Endeavor, a permanent naval surveillance and interdiction campaign throughout the entire Mediterranean Sea inaugurated in 2001 with the activation of NATO’s Article 5 mutual military assistance provision.

In 2013 Ukraine complemented the above contribution by becoming the first NATO partner to assign a warship to the bloc’s Operation Ocean Shield, a now five-year-old (and also intended to be indefinite) maritime mission off the Horn of Africa in the Arabian Sea and further into the Indian Ocean.

Before the onset of civil unrest in the country last November, NATO was already touting Ukraine as one of four partners to join the global NATO Response Force. (The other three being Georgia, Finland and Sweden.)

Now with a U.S.-NATO proxy regime in place in Kiev, the prospects for Ukraine being turned into a veritable gargantuan forward base for the Pentagon’s and NATO’s inexorable, now generation-long, drive to the east, overrun with Western military advisers and intelligence agents and hosting warplanes, warships, armor, troops and missiles, are being entertained by Western leaders with a degree of ambitiousness and recklessness surpassing anything hitherto contemplated.

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USAID and “Democracy Promotion” in Ukraine

Stop NATO articles

Stop NATO
April 25, 2014

USAID and “Democracy Promotion” in Ukraine
Rick Rozoff

If U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland recently reiterated that Washington has spent $5 billion on “democracy promotion” in Ukraine over the past 20 years, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) openly acknowledges that “Over the last 20 years USAID has provided $1.8 billion in critical development assistance in support of the Ukrainian people.”

That seems an artificially low figure as USAID accounts for almost all non-military foreign aid, although the State Department directly and through respective embassies as well as the U.S. Congress-funded National Endowment for Democracy and its main affiliates, the International Republican Institute and the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, work hand-in-glove with USAID in most instances in “democracy promotion.” (Chicago-based scholar Kim Scipes estimates that the National Endowment for Democracy spent $2,830,959 in Ukraine in 2013.)

The White House and State Department also, if you will, outsource some of the latter work to assorted non-governmental organizations and think tanks like Freedom House, the Heritage Foundation, the Brookings Institution. the Hudson Institute, etc. After the 2004-2005 “Orange Revolution” in Ukraine, then-U.S. Congressman Ron Paul demanded a congressional investigation into funding for it. Nothinh more was heard about such an investigation; presumably Paul was the only one of 535 congressmen and senators who took objection to the “revolution” and the means used to effect it.

It is to assume that USAID is a “force multiplier” for other American governmental and so-called NGO (more often than not receiving government funding) advocacy groups; as well as from the European Union and individual member states thereof.

According to the USAID/Ukraine web site, “USAID/Ukraine implements a focused development assistance program to support: more participatory, transparent, and accountable governance…” That is, something the U.S. does not practice at home but will foster abroad when, and only when, it can contribute to overthrowing governments the U.S. wants overthrown.

Its website also says:

USAID is working to help Ukraine continue on a path of democratic development. Working with the Ukrainian and Crimean parliaments, USAID supports improvements to the legislative process and increased public engagement and accountability. USAID programs strengthen the rule of law through improved judicial accountability and independence, and established networks of advocacy organizations and legal clinics that increase access to justice in the areas of healthcare, employment and property rights.

Its funded programs span a wide range of initiatives, but include:

Fair, Accountable, Independent and Responsible (FAIR) Justice Program

Access to Justice and Legal Empowerment Program (LEP)

Media Development

Ukraine Electoral Law Reform Program

Strengthening Civil Society in Ukraine Project

Regarding the last, USAID says:

“USAID’s civil society program in Ukraine helps foster civic activism, boosts reforms, and builds sustainable NGOs. The Ukraine National Initiatives to Enhance Reforms (UNITER) project strengthens the capacity of leading Ukrainian NGOs and community leaders to better represent citizens’ interests and drive Ukraine’s reform agenda through more effective advocacy, monitoring and activism. The project assists NGOs to increase citizen participation in policy-making, establish legal frameworks that govern civil society and improve the institutional and financial viability of NGOs across the country.”

Again, this is exactly the sort of “grassroots” democracy that is non-existent and fought by the government at every turn in the U.S. itself.

USAID also says:

“USAID programs promote political processes that lead to more representative and accountable governance. These include training for political party activists and locally elected officials to improve communication with civic groups and citizens, and the development of NGO-led advocacy campaigns on electoral and political process issues…”

And:

Domestic Oversight of Political Processes in Ukraine Program

“The goal of this activity is to improve Ukraine’s electoral process and its corresponding legislation to better reflect the will of the Ukrainian people. The activity will achieve this goal by improving the integrity of Ukrainian elections through domestic monitoring, supporting development and implementation of relevant legislation that is inclusive, transparent and conforms to European standards, and increasing the organizational and technical capacity of the Civic Network OPORA.”

OPORA a variation of Pora, the “youth group” created for the “Orange Revolution” in 2004, modeled after and organized by Otpor (now CANVASS) in Serbia and Kmara in Georgia (the 2003 “Rose Revolution”).

From the OPORA website:

The Civil Network ‘OPORA’ is a non-governmental, non-political and financially independent nationwide network of public activists. We have teamed up to enhance public participation in the political process by developing and implementing models of citizens’ influence on the activities of state and local government in Ukraine.

We work to develop civil society in Ukraine as the foundation of a sovereign, independent, democratic, social and legal state.

Strategic objectives of the Civil network ‘OPORA’:

Ensure the openness and transparency of state and local government in Ukraine

Support and develop the social groups and environments at local communities, their association in the nationwide network of cooperation and communication.

Develop and implement the innovative training system of community activists.

Priority areas of CN OPORA:

Educational policy – development and testing of integrated public observation mechanisms for independent external testing (EIT) and admission to higher education during all phases of the process.

Municipal policy – development and implementation of the effective institutionalized model for condominiums’ organization in Ukraine.

Election process – providing a comprehensive long-term monitoring and analysis of the electoral process and program activities of political parties in Ukraine, observations during the elections.

Forms and methods of our work:

Monitoring and public control (watch-dog activity)
Research and policy analysis
Civic education
Law education and human rights of citizens
Social media lobbying
Civic journalism
Direct actions
Legislation development
Protection of rights and public interests…”

The following is from USAID Country Development Strategy 2012-2016 for Ukraine:

“Ukraine is the largest country wholly in Europe and shares a 1000‐mile border with the southwestern part of Russia. This geographic location between Russia and the European Union, (and the home to Russia’s Black Sea Fleet) gives Ukraine particular strategic importance.”

“Viktor Yanukovych was elected in a February 2010 Presidential election judged free and fair by the international community.”

“Fostering Ukraine’s integration into Europe remains a major diplomacy goal of the USG. As Ukraine progresses along a path toward Europe, opportunities will arise to leverage EU commitments to advance democratic, economic, and social reforms critical to meeting USAID development objectives.”

USAID provides the largest amount of donor support to the Verkhovna Rada, and coordinates closely with other donors involved in strengthening the Parliament of Ukraine, including the Westminster Foundation and the European Commission’s Ukraine‐Legal Policy Advice Centre.”

USAID is also the largest donor in providing support to political parties and election observation, whereas private foundations engage parties on a limited basis, pairing Ukrainian parties with ideologically like‐minded political parties in counties for small‐scale training assistance. USAID collaborates with the Canadian International Agency for Development (CIDA), the German Embassy, the British Embassy, the Council of Europe, the European Commission, and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) to support political processes, political party development, and elections in Ukraine. USAID’s programming focuses on improving parties’ responsiveness to citizen needs. USAID operation in Europe (OSCE) to support political processes, political party development, and elections in Ukraine. USAID’s programming focuses on improving parties’ responsiveness to citizen needs. USAID ration in Europe (OSCE) to support political processes, political party development, and elections in Ukraine. USAID’s programming focuses on improving parties’ responsiveness to citizen needs. USAID also provides significant support – along with CIDA, the German Embassy, and OSCE Office for Democratic Initiatives and Human Rights (ODIHR) – to long‐term and short‐term election monitoring to ensure that fair, transparent and inclusive elections take place.”

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Stephen Lendman interviews Rick Rozoff on Ukraine

http://prn.fm/progressive-radio-news-hour-rick-rozoff-041814/

 

Progressive Radio News Hour
April 18, 2014

Stephen Lendman interviews Rick Rozoff

Audio 

 

 
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Videos: NATO’s Top Military Chief Invokes Article 5 War Clause Over Russian “Military Invasion” Of Ukraine

April 21, 2014 1 comment
Categories: Uncategorized

Foreign Minister: Russia Won’t Allow Civil War In Ukraine

Interfax
April 21, 2014

Lavrov: Russia to stop attempts to unleash civil war in Ukraine

MOSCOW:Russia will not allow a bloody conflict in Ukraine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

“There has been a surge in appeals to Russia for saving them from this outrage. We are being put into an extremely complex position,” Lavrov told a press conference in Moscow on Monday.

“Those who are deliberately pursuing a civil war, possibly, in an attempt to start a big, serious bloody conflict, are pursuing a criminal policy. And we will not only condemn this policy but will also stop it,” the minister said.

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Interfax
April 21, 2014

Kyiv grossly violates Geneva agreements – Lavrov

MOSCOW: The current authorities in Kyiv are grossly violating the Geneva agreements reached last week at the Russia-U.S.-EU-Ukraine meeting, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

“Not only is the Geneva agreement not being complied with, but steps are being made, primarily by those who seized power in Kyiv, to grossly violate the agreements reached in Geneva,” he told a press conference responding to a question posed by Interfax.

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Itar-Tass
April 21, 2014

Lavrov: Geneva agreement on Ukraine not fulfilled

MOSCOW: The Kiev authorities do nothing to eliminate the causes of the crisis, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday after a meeting with his colleague from Mozambique Oldemiro Baloi.

“Geneva agreements on Ukraine specify no timeframe, but measures should be taken urgently”, Lavrov stressed. The agreement is not fulfilled, first of all, by those who have seized power in Kiev, the foreign minister added.

“Everything points to the fact that the Kiev authorities are not able to control extremists, or do not want to control them,” the foreign minister said. The main thing now is to prevent any kind of violence in Ukraine, Lavrov added. “It is the first clause of the Geneva agreements, the first requirement,” the minister stressed. “This part of the Geneva agreement is not fulfilled, but on the contrary, steps are taken by those who seized power (in Kiev) in violation of the Geneva agreements,” Lavrov said.

“We are concerned that instead of confirming the responsibility for the situation, Kiev and the West-European countries are trying to make Russia responsible,” he said. “There main proof is the Russian weapons in the conflict zones. It is ridiculous – no other weapons have ever been there,” Lavrov added.

Kiev’s statement that the Geneva decisions are not valid for Maidan are unacceptable, the diplomat noted.

“The buildings in Kiev, which have been seized by force in the beginning of the events in Ukraine, are not freed now, the streets remain blocked, the ‘Maidan’ continues to boom,” the foreign minister said. “The leadership appointed by the Verkhovna Rada, say openly the Geneva decisions are not valid for ‘Maidan’, because, as they say, Kiev’s municipal administration had decided ‘Maidan’ may remain and it is legitimate. This is absolutely unacceptable,” Lavrov stressed.

“Those who intentionally aim at instigating a civil war obviously hope to spark off an enormous, serious and bloody conflict, are conducting a criminal policy,” Lavrov said. “We (Russia) will not be only condemning this policy, but thwarting any manifestations of such policy as well,” the diplomat said, adding that “shooting at unarmed people on the Easter night is beyond any reason.”

“Instead of giving ultimatums and threatening us with sanctions, Washington should realize in full measure its responsibility for those people they brought to power in Kiev,” Lavrov noted. “Attempts to isolate Russia are absolutely prospectless, as it is impossible,” the minister emphasized.

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Ukraine: Fascist Stormtroopers Kill Three In The East

Interfax
April 20, 2014

Moscow outraged by incident in Sloviansk, insists on Ukraine fulfilling Geneva agreement – ministry

MOSCOW: Moscow is outraged by the armed incident that occurred Saturday night in Sloviansk in which innocent civilians died as a result of an attack by Right Sector militants, the Russian Foreign Ministry says.

“The Russian side is enraged by the militant provocation which is an indication of the reluctance of the authorities in Kyiv to bridle and disarm nationalists and extremists,” a ministry statement says.

“It is surprising that the tragedy occurred after the signing on April 17 in Geneva of the final statement of the four-sided meeting of representatives of Russia, the USA, EU and Ukraine which calls for refraining from any violent actions, intimidation or provocations. The Russian side insists on the strict fulfillment by the Ukrainian side of its commitments concerning the de-escalation the situation in southeast Ukraine,” the ministry says.

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Itar-Tass
April 20, 2014

Provocation in Slavyansk proves Kiev’s not willing to disarm extremists – Russia’s FM

MOSCOW: The militants organized the provocation on the night of Sunday in Ukraine’s Slavyansk (Donetsk region). It proves the Ukrainian authorities are not willing to disarm nationalists and extremists, Russia’s foreign ministry says in a statement published on Sunday.

“At the night of Sunday, April 20, the Easter armistice was broken in Slavyansk. The attack of the armed militants from the so-called Right Sector claimed lives of innocent civilians… The Russian side is indignant at this provocation of the militants, which proves Kiev’s authorities are not willing to control and disarm the nationalists and extremists.

Russia insists on Ukraine’s strict observance of the obligations it has undertaken to de-escalate the situation in Ukraine’s south-eastern regions, Russia’s foreign ministry said commenting on the events in Slavyansk, where militants from the Right Sector had breached the Easter armistice.

“We are surprises the tragedy happened already after signing on April 17 in the Geneva the statement of the four-sided meeting featuring representatives of Russia, the US, the EU and Ukraine, which contains the urge to refrain from any force actions, threats and provocations,” the foreign ministry said.

“The Russian side is indignant at this provocation of the militants, which proves Kiev’s authorities are not willing to control and disarm the nationalists and extremists,” the foreign ministry said adding the local people found in the attackers’ cars weapons, maps of the region and symbols of the Right Sector.

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Voice of Russia
April 20, 2014

Slavyansk mayor asks Russia to send peacekeepers in wake of deadly night attack

Head of the self-defense units of Ukraine’s eastern town of Slavyansk, Vladimir Ponomaryov, who was appointed Slavyansk mayor by the town’s residents, has asked Russia to send peacekeepers to eastern Ukraine to protect civilians from National Guard and Right Sector militants.

“They kill our people. They don’t talk to us but just kill,” Ponomaryov said at an emergency press conference in the wake of last night’s armed clashes on the outskirts of Slavyansk.

“The town has actually been besieged by the Right Sector,” he said.

Only Russia can protect civilians from the Right Sector, Ponomaryov said, that’s why he decided to ask Russian President Vladimir Putin to send peacekeepers to the eastern Donetsk and Lugansk regions, the RIA Novosti news agency reports.

The leader of the self-defense forces in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slavyansk said Sunday up to seven gunmen who attacked a local checkpoint overnight were injured or killed by return fire. Vyacheslav Ponomaryov, also known as the acting Slavyansk mayor, has confirmed that one member of the self-defense forces was killed and two others were injured in the shootout.

Nevertheless, Ukraine’s Interior Ministry has stated Sunday three people, including two local citizens, were killed and three others were injured in overnight shootout at a checkpoint in the eastern city of Slavyansk, RIA reports.

Federalization supporters in Kharkov, Donetsk, Gorlovka, Slavyansk and Kramatorsk have refused to recognize the legitimacy of the current Ukrainian government and are urging interim authorities to hold referendums similar to the one held in Crimea last month, which led to the republic’s reunification with Russia. In response, Ukrainian authorities launched a special operation to crack down on the protests.

Russia outraged by deadly shootout in Slavyansk, insists on Kiev fulfilling Geneva agreement – Moscow
Moscow is outraged by the armed incident that occurred Saturday night in Slavyansk in which innocent civilians died as a result of an attack by Right Sector militants, the Russian Foreign Ministry says. “The Russian side is enraged by the militant provocation which is an indication of the reluctance of the authorities in Kiev to bridle and disarm nationalists and extremists,” a ministry statement says.

“It is surprising that the tragedy occurred after the signing on April 17 in Geneva of the final statement of the four-sided meeting of representatives of Russia, the USA, EU and Ukraine which calls for refraining from any violent actions, intimidation or provocations. The Russian side insists on the strict fulfillment by the Ukrainian side of its commitments concerning the de-escalation the situation in southeast Ukraine,” the ministry says, Interfax reports.

“The Eastern ceasefire was violated in Slavyansk on April 20. As a result of an armed attack by the so-called Right Sector innocent civilians died. Local residents seized the vehicles of the attackers in which they discovered arms, aerial maps of the area and Right Sector paraphernalia,” the statement says.

Categories: Uncategorized

TASS Report: Fighter Jet Shot Down In Eastern Ukraine

April 15, 2014 3 comments

Itar-Tass
April 15, 2014

Fighter jet shot down near Ukraine’s city of Kramatorsk, witnesses say

As follows from what the people say four fighter planes, presumably Sukhoi-27 were hovering over Kramatorsk

Ukraine KIEV: Shots are being fired at the airdrome near the city of Kramatorsk, Donetsk Oblast, and one fighter plane has been shot down, witnesses report from the scene.

As follows from what the people say four fighter planes, presumably Sukhoi-27 were hovering over Kramatorsk. At a certain point they opened fire at the local airdrome. Who commanded the planes and who downed the fighter remains unclear. Witnesses claim there have been casualties at the airdrome. An ambulance is on the way to the scene.

Earlier, a Ukrainian daily reported with reference to witnesses that shots and explosions were heard at the military airdrome near the city of Kramatorsk.

According to the website of the daily Novosti Kramatorska, a military aircraft circled over the airdrome for a while.

“Witnesses say it was a MiG-25 or Sukhoi-27 plane. It was flying at a very low altitude,” the paper said.

Earlier, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry declared the beginning of a special operation in the city against the supporters of the country’s federalization.

Categories: Uncategorized

Ukraine: U.S. Proxies Launch Bloody Civil War

April 15, 2014 1 comment

Sofia News Agency
April 15, 2014

Ukraine’s Army Starts Anti-Terror Operation in Kramatorsk

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The Ukrainian army has stormed Kramatorsk Airfield in Donetsk region, in a moved that has marked the beginning of a long-forewarned “anti-terrorist operation”.

A series of shots and explosions could be heard in the area, according to reports by the local newspaper Novosti Kramatorska cited by Lenta.ru.

A video footage earlier published on YouTube purportedly shows deployment of Ukrainian special forces beginning around the airfield.

Ukrainian aircraft seem to be taking part in the operation.

The country’s Defense Ministry announced an anti-terrorist operation had been launched in Kramatorsk, but refused to provide further details.

Unconfirmed reports by sources cited by Lenta.ru suggest Interior Ministry’s forces have also arrived in Slaviansk, which was virtually sealed off by rebel pro-Russian groups during Sunday and Monday.

On Tuesday afternoon local time, Andriy Parubiy, who heads the National Security Council of Ukraine, reported via his Facebook profile that troops had set off for Eastern Ukraine as part of the “anti-terrorist operation”.

Interim President Oleksandr Turchynov announced a few days ago that such operation would be a last resort if pro-Russian factions occupying government buildings and security headquarters across eastern cities don’t surrender.

Turchynov asserted on Tuesday that all activities addressing “separatists” would be carried out “in a very responsible way”, as quoted by Der Spiegel.

He also said the aim of these actions was “to protect the citizens of Ukraine” and “to stop terror… [and] attempts to tear Ukraine to pieces”.

Moscow has however repeatedly warned Kiev against using force to crack down on rebel groups. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev even wrote on his Facebook profile that “blood will be spilled again in Ukraine”, repeating a comment he made in mid-February, during the peak of violence across the country that led to ousting President Viktor Yanukovych.

Categories: Uncategorized

Video: NATO, Ukraine and U.S. Imperialism

 IF YOU HAVEN’T GIVEN YET, MAKE YOUR DONATION NOW TO KEEP LABOR BEAT ALIVE:

 
 
NATO, Ukraine and U.S. Imperialism
with Rick Rozoff
 
On YouTube at:
  
 
Also archived at:
 
Rick Rozoff, internationally recognized critic of NATO https://rickrozoff.wordpress.com>, spoke on April 12, 2014 at a Chicago teach-in titled “Stop U.S./NATO’s New Cold War Over Ukraine.”
 
He described the geo-political background to the current crisis resulting from the recent right-wing coup of the Kiev government in Ukraine and U.S./NATO sable-rattling. The key to understanding the present situation is to look at the historically aggressive objectives of NATO.
 
“The Ukrainian crisis is simply the pretext for the U.S. and its NATO allies of moving more military equipment up to the Russian border…to besiege [it]. And there’s only one reason you besiege a country — either to starve it out or to attack it. And nothing less severe is at stake right now.”
 
Rozoff also noted the presence of the warship USS Donald Cook in the Black Sea — and which has as of this writing been reported on corporate media, with cued vexation, as having been buzzed by a Russian fighter jet. “It’s the third guided missile warship from the United States to go into the Black Sea since the crisis in the Ukraine. There is a convention in 1936 called the Montreux Convention that expressly prohibits war ships of a certain size or larger to go into the Black Sea or to stay there over a limited period of time. The U.S. is in clear violation of that Convention and Russian political figures have notified them of that.”
 
“There is no way of exaggerating the severity of what we’re facing right now.” Rozoff warns. “I applaud everyone’s efforts in building an anti-war movement. It has never been more necessary than it is right now.”
 
This video of Rozoff’s talk is enhanced with images assembled in a PowerPoint created by Sara Flounders (International Action Center/NY), plus additional photos and footage. Length – 13:00
 
Rick Rozoff at April 12, 2014 meeting. “There is no way of
exaggerating the severity of what we’re facing right now.”
Photo: Labor Beat
 
 
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NATO Boss Exploits Ukraine For NATO-EU Military Merger

April 15, 2014 1 comment

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
April 15, 2014

NATO Secretary General says Ukraine crisis amplifies need to boost defence cooperation

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Tuesday (15 April 2014) that the Ukraine crisis has amplified the need to strengthen cooperation between NATO, the European Union and with close partners. “We need to train and exercise more together, for instance the NATO Response Force and the EU Battlegroups, so that we stand ready for whatever the future may bring,” the Secretary General said arriving for EU Defence Ministers talks in Luxembourg.

The Secretary General discussed the crisis in Ukraine with the EU defence ministers. He expressed his deep concern over the continued violence by small groups of separatists and Russia’s continued military pressure on Ukraine’s border. “I call on Russia to de-escalate the crisis, to pull back its troops from Ukraine’s borders, to stop de-stabilizing the situation in Ukraine, and make clear that it doesn’t support the violent actions of pro-Russian separatists,” he said. “Russia should stop being part of the problem, and start being part of the solution.”

The EU ministers were informed by Mr. Fogh Rasmussen about what measures NATO has already taken and will take to further strengthen collective defence at sea, in the air and on land. “These measures will follow three tracks; re-enforced defence plans, enhanced exercises and appropriate deployments,” he said. The Secretary General will also hold talks with Prime Minister Xavier Bettel of Luxembourg and Mr. Marc Angel, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee of the Luxembourg Parliament, while in the Grand Duchy.

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Interview: Ukraine Junta May Spark Civil War

April 14, 2014 3 comments

Press TV
April 14, 2014

Ukraine junta may spark civil war: Analyst

Audio

Press TV has conducted an interview with Rick Rozoff, from the Center for Research on Globalization, to get his views on the crisis in Ukraine.

Below is a rush transcript of the interview.

Press TV: Now, looking at the words used by [ousted Ukrainian President] Viktor Yanukovych, he noted that the CIA is involved in what is taking place in Ukraine right now as far as the crackdown on pro-Russia protesters go. What do you make of the role the CIA may be playing in Ukraine?

Rozoff: The deposed president of Ukraine, still the standing president legally, Viktor Yanukovych, made the accusation that the US CIA director, John Brennan, had given authorization to the junta, there is no more proper term for it, in Kiev to avoid not only armed force, but the military of Ukraine, in many ways trained by the United States and its NATO allies against peaceful civilian protesters in the east of the country.

An accusation was made today by a member of parliament, formerly of the Party of Regions, that is the ruling party of Viktor Yanukovych, and presidential candidate Oleg Tsarev, that an entire floor of the state security building of the government in Kiev is occupied by US intelligence officers and that it’s off limits even to Ukrainian personnel. This should not surprise us. This is the degree to which the West, the US in the first place, has engineered the bloody coup d’etat in Kiev and is now engineering what Yanukovych himself said is a civil war in his country, and this again is the use of all-out military force, not security personnel, not even riot police but military personnel against peaceful protesters in eastern Ukraine.

This signals bloodshed, has already resulted in deaths in Slavyansk and other cities in the east and Russia has called for convoking a meeting of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to discuss what it truly looks like. Again, in the words of Viktor Yanukovych, entering the door of civil war.

Press TV: The interim government or the Junta, as you have called it in Kiev, has given a deadline of Monday morning to these pro-Russia protesters and that it will carry out large-scale counter-terrorism operations against these protesters. How do you see this planning out? More bloodshed on the streets of eastern and southern Ukraine?

Rozoff: I should sincerely clearly hope that the regime, the US-installed junta in Kiev, does not go through with that ultimatum. If it does and if it deploys more military forces and shoots down more peaceful protesters under the name – yet to make this even more diabolical – counter- or anti-terrorist operations, what you’re going to see is the eruption of full-scale civil war in Ukraine.

As it’s going to be occurring in the east of the country, that’s right on Russia’s border, that’s precisely what the United States’ intention is to do, which is to embroil Russia into an armed conflict in Europe and maybe to issue the US final play for global military domination by provoking confrontation between the two world’s two major powerss. Nothing less dramatic than that is at hand.

Press TV: And very quickly if you can Mr. Rozoff, we’re running out of time. How do you see the UNSC doing in this emergency meeting, which is to take place, as far as averting any potential disaster?

Rozoff: I wish I could say that the United Nations served any purpose other than being used by the United States as it chooses to and being ignored by the United States when it chooses to ignore it. So I don’t expect anything substantive to come out of the meeting of the United Nations Security Council itself, but I think Russia will succeed in sounding the alarm internationally, so the rest of the world understands the gravity, the severity of the situation obtaining in eastern Ukraine and throughout Ukraine right now, because this is something fully comparable with what the US engineered in Syria and currently in Venezuela. It’s an attempt to destabilize and plunge into bloody violence yet another country and it has to be stopped, because if it doesn’t stop here it will continue to spread to other nations.

Categories: Uncategorized

Russia Slams NATO, “Elite Club,” Over Ukraine, Kosovo, Libya

Xinhua News Agency
April 10, 2014

Russia slams NATO over Ukraine

MOSCOW: Moscow said Thursday that NATO took the roles of a referee and a court-marshal in Kosovo and Libya, while turning a blind eye on extremist forces in Ukraine.

“In recent months, we have not heard from NATO Secretary General (Anders Fogh Rasmussen) any constructive agenda or care about sooner normalization of situation in Ukraine,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement, blaming Rasmussen for his “active employment of double standards.”

NATO attempts to use the crisis in Ukraine to “close ranks” within the bloc, which, in its view, allegedly faces threat from Russia, said the statement.

NATO accents “increasing militarization of Russia” to prove the bloc is still needed in the 21st century, it added.

Russia said it was not surprised by NATO’s attempt to represent itself as an “elite club” bearing some special political legitimacy and ignoring international institutions, including the U.N. Security Council.

Earlier this month, Rasmussen highlighted the alliance’s steadfast commitment to collective defense and decided to suspend all civilian and military cooperation with Russia.

Categories: Uncategorized

NATO Leaders, Think Tank Elites Plan Future Operations Against Ukraine Backdrop

April 10, 2014 1 comment

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Command Transformation

April 9, 2014

Transformation Seminar Charts Path to Summit

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More than 250 NATO military and civilian leaders along with important partners in Think-Tanks met in Paris, France, April 8-9 for the 2014 NATO Transformation Seminar (NTS) hosted by SACT.

The NTS is a core event within SACT’s strategic engagement campaign and serves as a precursor for leaders to inform and progress the dialogue leading up to the NATO Summit in Wales in September.

The two days included several plenary discussions and group breakout sessions that covered topics such as; The Future of Operations: a Post-Afghanistan Refocus on NATO Core missions, Addressing Military Requirements, Capability Challenges in the 21st Century, The Future of the Transatlantic Link, NATO in the 21st Century: How to Adapt NATO to Face Multiple and Complex Challenges.

In line with expectations, the current crisis in Ukraine also drove much of the discussion – as it remains a major concern for the entire Alliance. During his closing remarks, SACT said the situation further proved the importance of the Nations’ willingness to work together and continue to build bonds.

“…Ukraine didn’t overshadow the conference,” said SACT. “Ukraine highlighted the conference. Ukraine highlighted the need for a strong commitment as well as solidarity in what we should do to face this crisis. It highlighted as well the need for us to deliver on the major initiatives [that] we have enhanced.”

SACT thanked all the leaders for their contributions to the conversations and said that their input was invaluable as Allied Command Transformation continues to forge the future of the Alliance.

“The most important outcome of what we did is really – from my perspective – the individual takeaway,” said SACT. “And my own takeaway is that after the seminar, I feel much stronger – much stronger as far as our collective confidence in pushing forward the transformation of our Alliance and taking on the challenges of today.”

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Day One – NATO begins Two-day Transformation Seminar

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The annual NATO Transformation Seminar began today at the Intercontinental Le Grand Hotel in Paris, France, with keynote speeches from SACT, the SECGEN and the Defence Minister of France, Jean-Yves Le Drian.

More than 250 invitees among them NATO military leaders and ambassadors (PERMREPS) and important partners in Think-Tanks and defence managers are attending this two-day event hosted by SACT to support preparations for the upcoming NATO Summit. Particularly, the seminar is designed to identify steps for NATO’s transformation, continue the ongoing assessment of capabilities and risks, develop NATO initiatives, discuss the impact of the current crisis in Ukraine and address other top issues.

Speaking about current events that are of major concern for NATO, SACT said that nations must continue to commit to “transforming” the Alliance to help take on these challenges successfully.

“While a crisis develops at the eastern edges of our Alliance and at the crucial time of transition in Afghanistan, more than ever we have to prepare for NATO’s future,” SACT said. “I’m convinced that current events can only encourage us further to continue with the transformation of our military toolbox, continue to adapt our capabilities, improve our interoperability and our ability to react.”

SECGEN told the attendees that the situation in Ukraine “raises serious questions on Euro-Atlantic security” and that “now was the time for the right answer”.

“…and let me put forward three answers that I see are key for our Wales Summit in September,” SECGEN said: “We must prepare a readiness action plan, we must reinvest in our defence and we must reinforce the transatlantic bond.”

Over the next two days, the leaders attending the seminar will concentrate their efforts on these issues and more, as broader discussions at the NATO Summit in Wales are just five months away.

Categories: Uncategorized

NATO Exploits Ukraine To Consolidate Its Ranks: Russian Foreign Ministry

Interfax
April 10, 2014

Russian Foreign Ministry: NATO tries to use Ukraine crisis for its own consolidation in face of imaginary military threat

MOSCOW: The Russian authorities view NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen’s accusations against Moscow as an attempt to bolster the relevance of the alliance, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a commentary posed on its website on Thursday.

“The secretary general’s constant accusations against us suggest that the alliance is trying to use the crisis in Ukraine to “consolidate its ranks” in the face of some imaginary external threat allegedly facing NATO countries, as well as to reinforce the relevance of the alliance in these issues in the 21st century,” the ministry said.

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Russian Information Agency Novosti
April 10, 2014

NATO Double Standard Undermines Ukraine’s Stability – Russian Foreign Ministry

MOSCOW: Recent statements by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen on the situation in Ukraine as well as the alliance’s double standard on Crimea have hindered a de-escalation of tensions in the country, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Thursday.

“Several times over the last few months we have heard nothing constructive in comments by the NATO Secretary General,” the ministry said in a statement.

“The use of double standards is a direct threat to security and stability in the region,” the statement said, referring to NATO members’ support of the coup-imposed regime in Kiev while calling the reunification referendum in Crimea illegitimate.

Earlier this week, the NATO chief voiced concerns about the situation in eastern Ukraine during a conference of the Atlantic alliance in Paris, stressing that Russia’s decision to intervene in Ukraine will turn into a historic mistake and might lead to the country’s international isolation.

“Events in eastern Ukraine are a great concern, I urge Russia to step back. Any further move to eastern Ukraine would represent a serious escalation rather than de-escalation,” Rasmussen said.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said that NATO is attempting to use the Ukrainian crisis as an imaginary threat to unite the alliance’s members.

“The constant accusations by the Secretary General directed at us confirm the fact that the alliance is attempting to use the crisis in Ukraine in order to ‘unite ranks’ before an imaginary external threat to NATO member states in order to secure the need for the alliance in the 21st century,” the ministry said.

In February, the Ukrainian parliament backed by far-right movements ousted President Viktor Yanukovych, amended the constitution and scheduled an early presidential election for May 25.

Moscow has described the uprising in Kiev as an illegitimate fascist coup and a military seizure of power, which resulted in it taking steps to protect ethnic Russians in Ukraine, including the reunification of Crimea. It blames the ongoing crisis in the country on Ukrainian nationalists and their aggressive rhetoric.

Moscow has insisted that a federal form of government is the only way out of the protracted political stalemate in Ukraine, currently a unitary state which is de facto split into a Ukrainian-speaking west and a Russian-speaking east and south.

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Interfax
April 10, 2014

CSTO, NATO should not interfere in events taking place in Ukraine – Bordyuzha

MINSK: Nikolai Bordyuzha, general secretary of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), has expressed concerns about the statements made by the NATO administration on sending experts to Ukraine.

“CSTO and NATO should not interfere in the situation. I am concerned about the constant statements made by the NATO administration on sending experts there, etc. It’s counterproductive and it does not help stabilization of the situation” Bordyuzha told a press conference in Minsk on Thursday.

He recalled that Ukraine is not a member of CSTO. “We cannot influence events taking place there. However, we follow the tendencies. They are undesirable and they lead even further exacerbation of the situation,” Bordyuzha said.

Bordyuzha reiterated that “everything should be decided by the people. It’s the only thing needed to bring peace and calm there.”

Categories: Uncategorized

Fraternal Genocide in Ukraine: U.S. Instigating Yugoslav Scenario

April 4, 2014 2 comments

Russian Information Agency Novosti
April 4, 2014

US Instigating ‘Yugoslav Scenario’ of Fraternal Genocide in Ukraine

NEW DELHI: The US effort to turn Ukraine into a forward area for positioning NATO bases is paving the way for fraternal genocide and ethnic cleansing in the former Soviet state, repeating the Yugoslav scenario, Aijaz Ahmad, a famous Indian philosopher and political expert said in an article in a leading Indian newsmagazine, Frontline.

The conflict in Yugoslavia – a former European country that separated into Slovenia, Macedonia, Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro – culminated in a series of NATO bombings in March 1999 in response to alleged widespread atrocities by Serbian forces against ethnic Albanians in the province of Kosovo.

As a result of the 78-day NATO bombing campaign, Serbia, a nation with historic ties to Russia, lost control of Kosovo province, which declared independence in 2008. Moscow compared last month’s Crimea secession from Ukraine with Kosovo’s secession from Serbia, saying Kosovo established a precedent and Crimea followed suit.

In his article, “The ‘Great Game’ in Europe,” Ahmad wrote that in February the United States sponsored a Euro-Nazi coup in Kiev and, in response, the reunification of Crimea, formerly a Ukrainian region, with Russia in March signaled a “turning point and a watershed event” in the post-Soviet era.

Ahmad wrote that on the heels of US President Barack Obama’s China-containment strategy, known as the “Asian pivot,” Washington has started a European pivot with the goal of encircling Russia and abolishing a crucial buffer between Moscow and the advance of a network of NATO bases into territories formerly part of the Warsaw Pact and the Soviet Union.

Ukraine, like the Serbo-Croatian region in the former Yugoslavia, is a borderland shared between the East and the West, categories developed by US political scientist Samuel Huntington, the philosopher wrote.
Croatia, with its Catholic majority, was encouraged to break its union with the predominantly Orthodox Serbia, “with murderous, even genocidal consequences all around.”

“In attempting to turn Ukraine into a forward country for positioning NATO bases against Russia, the US is paving the way, wittingly or unwittingly, for potentially that same kind of fraternal genocide and ethnic cleansing,” Ahmad wrote.

Commenting on an $18 billion promised IMF loan to Ukraine, Ahmad said he has doubts that the West’s economic assistance will indeed help the crisis-hit country. Kiev will need $24 billion to cover its budget deficit, debt repayment, natural gas bills and pension payments this year alone, according to Moody’s rating agency.

Over the past two decades, the Russian subsidy for Ukraine’s oil and gas purchases has reached about $200 billion. The West is offering little driblets of money, he said, adding that “without Russian generosity, the Ukrainian economy will be in ruins.”

“IMF-imposed austerity on a ruined economy and NATO-propelled militarization for eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation with Russian power is just the kind of combustible combination that may well lead to a civil war, a regional war, and heaven knows what else – in a country where 70 per cent in a recent Gallup poll voted against joining NATO,” he wrote.

Ahmad said China and India have supported Moscow in its actions in Ukraine, adding that a strategic alliance between Russia, which has vast mineral deposits, and China, the world’s second largest economy, could become one of the positive results of Washington’s fiasco in Ukraine.

Categories: Uncategorized

Nordic Defense Chiefs To Discuss Ukraine, Afghanistan, Syria And Mali

Xinhua News Agency
April 4, 2014

Nordic defense ministers to discuss cooperation, security situation

OSLO: Defense ministers from the five Nordic countries will hold a two-day meeting from April 8 in the northern Norwegian city of Tromso to discuss cooperation and security situation in the region.

The ministers from Finland, Denmark, Iceland, Norway and Sweden will discuss the situation in Ukraine, cyber defense plan, joint tactical air transport, capacity building and the status of various Nordic cooperation projects, said a press release issued on Thursday by the Norwegian Defense Ministry.

They will also exchange information and draw experiences from cooperation in international operations in Afghanistan, Syria and Mali.

“The Nordic countries cooperate closely in many areas and we are now in an era where constructive dialogue on regional and global issues is very important,” said Norwegian Defense Minister Ine Eriksen Soereide.

Norway holds the rotating presidency of the Nordic defense cooperation forum NORDEFCO in 2014.

NORDEFCO was established in 2009 to enhance the Nordic defense cooperation.

Categories: Uncategorized

Pentagon Suspends Interceptor Missile Talks With Russia Over Ukraine

April 3, 2014 1 comment

Russian Information Agency Novosti
April 3, 2014

Pentagon Suspends Missile Shield Talks with Russia over Ukraine

MOSCOW: The Pentagon has halted all talks with Russia concerning its anti-missile defense shield in Europe over the Ukrainian crisis, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear and Missile Defense Policy Elaine Bunn said.

“Russia’s intervention in Ukraine in violation of international law led to the suspension of our military-to-military dialogues, including civilians, and we have subsequently not continued to engage Russia on the topic of missile defense,” Ms. Bunn said.

Washington has also declined to introduce any restrictions on anti-missile defense as proposed by Russia, the US deputy defense chief said.

Ms. Bunn also added that Moscow will not have command and control capabilities in the project.

Russia and NATO agreed to cooperate on the US-led ABM program in Europe at a Lisbon summit in 2010, but the dialog stalled after Washington refused to give Moscow guarantees that the project didn’t threaten Russian nuclear deterrence forces.

The Kremlin initially offered NATO to build a joint European missile defense system based on a sectoral principle. This scenario suggested that every partner would be responsible for a certain region, with Russia having control of the Baltic space. This plan was shot down citing Article 5 of the alliance’s collective security agreement.   

The Ukrainian coup has soured Russia’s cooperation with the United States and NATO on many levels, including their joint anti-drug and helicopter maintenance programs in Afghanistan.

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Interfax
April 3, 2014

Ryabkov on U.S. plans to suspend missile defense cooperation with Russia: such cooperation does not exist

MOSCOW: Russia and the United States do not cooperate in missile defense issues because Washington refuses to provide Moscow with legally-binding guarantees that the U.S.-planned global missile defense shield will not be directed against Russia, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said.

“I need to say that cooperation does not exist in this sphere,” Ryabkov told Interfax on Thursday, when commenting on U.S. officials’ statements that such cooperation with Russia could be suspended.

“The American side is well aware of the fact that opportunities for such cooperation could emerge if Washington agreed to heed our demand to provide reliable and legally-binding guarantees that the global missile defense system being built by the U.S. together with its NATO allies and certain countries in the Asian region and the Middle East will not be directed against [Russia],” he said.

“Obviously, this way of putting this question is no longer relevant today because of the U.S. policy aimed at exacerbating bilateral relations with Russia,” Ryabkov said.

“Possibly, as time goes by, the American side will realize the absence of any alternative to such an approach, if certainly Washington’s policy is not totally dominated by the aspiration to secure the appearance of potential in the missile defense sphere that would start to devalue our strategic nuclear deterrence potential,” the high-ranking diplomat said.

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Interfax
April 3, 2014

U.S. suspends cooperation with Russia on number of peaceful nuclear projects

MOSCOW: The United States has suspended the cooperation with Russia on a number of peaceful nuclear projects, Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom said in a statement.

It namely concerns a number of technical meetings, in particular on scientific topics, and what the U.S. refers to as Russia’s actions in Ukraine.

“We consider this step to be wrong and contradicting the constructive spirit we had formed with the U.S. Department of Energy in the recent years. Nuclear energy is a very subtle and serious matter. A responsible and professional approach is needed here from all participants in international cooperation. Politicization is inappropriate here,” Rosatom statement said.

“Any attempts to add some unilateral restrictions in this sector will first affect the initiators of such steps,” the document said.

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Russian Information Agency Novosti
April 3, 2014

Freeze on Russia-NASA Space Cooperation to Have Global Backlash – Expert

MOSCOW: Washington’s decision to freeze cooperation between the NASA space agency and its Russian counterpart on a slew of joint projects will hurt global space partnership but won’t be the end of the Russian space program, Director of the Space Policy Institute Ivan Moiseyev told RIA Novosti Thursday.

NASA issued a statement saying it put most of its joint missions with Russia on hold indefinitely. The only exception is the “operational International Space Station activities,” the agency’s associate administrator Michael O’Brien said in a memo.

“The statement was way too harsh,” Ivan Moiseyev told RIA Novosti. He warned NASA that its move would have a “rather significant” impact on space exploration projects globally.

“Modern space science is a global phenomenon that benefits all countries,” Moiseyev noted. “It means that many large-scale projects require an international effort. A freeze on cooperation will spur a serious backlash against the international space program.”

The space pundit added that, despite being something that Russia would never want for space science, this freeze was unlikely to have any catastrophic repercussions for its industry. Russia will simply have to adjust its projects to the new reality, he explained.

Russia’s senior space official said earlier in an interview with RIA Novosti that Russia didn’t depend much on the United States, as far as space industry goes.

This comes as the United States, European Union and their allies continue to ratchet up diplomatic pressure on Russia following its re-unification with the Russian-majority Crimea peninsula, which was taken over by Ukraine after the Soviet fall.

Measures include sanctions against Russian and Crimean officials and businesses, who had their foreign assets seized.

In a recent development, NATO member states suspended cooperation with Moscow allegedly until Russia changed its stand on the Ukrainian crisis, prompting the Russian Foreign Office to accuse the allies of trying to manhandle the country into accepting their viewpoint.

Categories: Uncategorized

NATO, Pentagon Exploit Ukraine Crisis To Sow Panic, Push Military Presence

April 2, 2014 2 comments

Stars and Stripes
April 2, 2014

Breedlove: Ukraine situation shows need for US forces in Europe

Moscow has enough forces to achieve its goals in three to five days if it invades eastern Ukraine, the top U.S. commander in Europe said an interview Wednesday, arguing that the U.S. needs to re-examine where and how its troops are deployed in Europe in light of a newly assertive Russia.

“We think it is ready to go and we think it could accomplish its objectives in between three and five days if directed to make the actions,” Breedlove told Reuters news service.

Foreign Policy magazine noted that before March, Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove’s primary concern was holding the line against cuts to U.S. military personnel in Europe, where there are now about 67,000 troops, down from about 100,000 in 1990 and some 400,000 at the height of the Cold War.

Although the Pentagon has announced no public proposals to draw down U.S. forces, European Command has been seen by some as low-hanging budgetary fruit since before February.

“For years, [European Command] has been the natural bill payer,” said Mark Jacobson, a senior fellow at the German Marshall Fund in Washington, using Pentagon-speak for a command or program forced to accept cuts in favor of other defense programs.

Breedlove was to testify on Capitol Hill on Tuesday and Wednesday on the EUCOM budget, in which force structure is considered as part of coming defense bills. He was instead sent back to Europe to deal with the Ukraine situation.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s reportedly had ordered a partial withdrawal of forces massed near eastern Ukraine, but Breedlove offered a strikingly different assessment.

“I must tell you that we do not see that yet,” Breedlove said in the interview. “We are looking for it, and we have not seen movements to the rear.”

Moscow maintains its troops have been sent to the border for military exercises, but Breedlove told Foreign Policy that the troops were so well equipped that they could cross into eastern Ukraine within 12 hours and take control within several days. Breedlove said Russia had deployed “the whole package” to the border, including helicopters and attack aircraft, as well as jamming systems and cyber assets.

The crisis is helping Breedlove make the case that no further cuts to U.S. forces in Europe should be made. In fact, he said, the military footprint in Europe should be rethought altogether in light of what has unfolded in recent weeks.

A Pentagon review of infrastructure due this summer will recommend a number of reductions across Europe, Foreign Policy reported. Defense officials have declined to say how the events of recent weeks may affect that review’s findings.

Breedlove has acknowledged that there is excess infrastructure for U.S. basing, but is adamant that the United States must endeavor to do a comprehensive examination of how the U.S. military is deployed throughout Europe.

“The question now,” he said, “is how is the force positioned and provisioned to prepare us for a new paradigm.”

Categories: Uncategorized

Brussels: NATO Ready To Go To War Over Georgia As Well As Ukraine

April 2, 2014 2 comments

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
April 2, 2014

NATO Foreign Ministers reiterate support for Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic integration

NATO Foreign Ministers met with their Georgian counterpart Dr. Maia Panjikidze in the NATO-Georgia Commission on Wednesday (2 April) for an exchange of views on Georgia’s progress in implementing reforms and on developments in Georgia and in the region.

“As a country aspiring to join our Alliance, Georgia is a special partner for NATO. And we very much value our political dialogue and practical cooperation”, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said.During the meeting, Ministers discussed the crisis caused by Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine.“At this time, it is more important than ever to stress that the breach of territorial integrity and sovereignty is unacceptable. That nations have the right to make their own free choices. And that those choices should be respected by all”, the Secretary General said.

NATO Allies stressed their firm support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders and highlighted continued support for Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations. Ministers also expressed recognition for Georgia’s outstanding contribution to NATO operations and to Euro-Atlantic security.“You are the largest non-NATO troop contributor to our mission in Afghanistan.

You have committed to contribute to our planned Resolute Support Mission. And we welcome your decision to take part in the NATO Response Force”, Secretary General Rasmussen said. And he added:

“You have made remarkable progress with ambitious democratic and defence reforms. Further progress will require continued constructive cooperation between the government and the opposition. Following the presidential elections last year, the upcoming local elections in June will be another important milestone for Georgia’s maturing democracy. Georgia can become a model for the region”.

Categories: Uncategorized

Talk Nation Radio: Rick Rozoff on Ukraine and NATO at 65

  

Talk Nation Radio: Rick Rozoff on Ukraine and NATO at 65

http://davidswanson.org/node/4360

https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-rick-rozoff

Rick Rozoff is the manager of Stop NATO at https://rickrozoff.wordpress.com He discusses the Ukrainian crisis and the state of NATO at age 65.

 

Total run time: 29:00

 

Host: David Swanson.
Producer: David Swanson.
Music by Duke Ellington.

Download from Archive or LetsTryDemocracy.

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Syndicated by Pacifica Network.

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Past Talk Nation Radio shows are all available free and complete at
http://davidswanson.org/talknationradio

David Swanson’s wants you to declare peace at http://WorldBeyondWar.org  His new book is War No More: The Case for Abolition. He blogs at http://davidswanson.org and http://warisacrime.org and works for http://rootsaction.org. He hosts Talk Nation Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @davidcnswanson and FaceBook.  

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This email may be unlawfully collected, held, and read by the NSA which violates our freedoms using the justification of immoral, illegal wars absurdly described as being somehow for freedom.

Categories: Uncategorized

NATO To Send Military Instructors To Ukraine

April 1, 2014 1 comment

Itar-Tass
April 1, 2014

NATO plans to send military instructors to Ukraine
They will train Ukranian civil defence forces

BRUSSELS: Ukraine and NATO representatives on Tuesday discussed the possibility of sending NATO military instructors to Ukraine to train Ukrainian civil defence forces, Ukraine’s acting Defence Minister Andrei Deshchitsa said after a meeting of the NATO -Ukraine commission on Tuesday.

“We discussed a possibility of sending mobile groups of instructors to Ukraine to train its civil defence forces,” he said.

NATO’s former Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen did not rule out sending mobile groups of military instructors to Ukraine. However, he excluded the possibility of sending NATO’s armed forces to Ukraine.

In the meantime, NATO has stopped all practical military and civilian cooperation with Russia over Ukraine’s crisis, the NATO Council at the level of foreign ministers said in its final statement on Tuesday.

However, the Russia-NATO Council will continue meeting at the level of ambassadors and at a higher level in order to keep the door open for a dialogue with Russia.

Categories: Uncategorized

Several NATO Wargames In Ukraine Approved For This Year

Interfax-Ukraine
April 1, 2014

Rada approves hosting in Ukraine multi-national drills with EU, NATO partners in 2014

Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, has passed a bill approving a Ukrainian presidential decision to allow the units of other countries’ armed forces to enter Ukraine in 2014 in order to participate in multi-national drills.

A total of 235 deputies voted for the draft law.

The law proposes establishing the number of participants in the exercises from the Ukrainian side at 2,500 people and the same number from other partner states, Acting Defense Minister Mykhailo Koval said at a plenary meeting before the vote.

“The main subject of the exercises is aimed at preparations for participation in international operations on maintaining peace and security, humanitarian and search operations on land and water, and protecting our country,” he said.

A member of the Economic Development parliamentary group, former Defense Minister Oleksandr Kuzmuk, in turn, said that the exercises would be conducted from May to November in southern Ukraine – in Mykolaiv region, in the Black Sea, as well as in the western regions – at the Yavoriv (Lviv region) and Uzhgorod firing grounds.

A respective bill was submitted by Verkhovna Rada Chairman and acting President Oleksandr Turchynov and registered on March 26 under No. 4561.

“To approve the Ukrainian president’s decision on admitting armed forces of other states to Ukrainian territory in 2014 for participating in Ukrainian-Polish exercises of aviation groups at the level of squadrons, the Law and Order 2014 Ukrainian-Polish exercises of military police units, the Rapid Trident 2014 Ukrainian-U.S. exercises, the Safe Skies 2014 Ukrainian-Polish exercises of aviation groups, the Sea Breeze 2014 Ukrainian-U.S. exercises, the Light Avalanche 2014 multinational exercises, the Carpathians 2014 multinational exercises of mountainous infantry units, and the South 2014 Ukrainian-Moldovan-Romanian exercise of mechanized units,” reads the document.

The law comes into force after adoption from the date of its publication.

Categories: Uncategorized

Russian Defense Minister At Shanghai Cooperation Organization Meeting: Ukraine Follows “Arab Spring” Model

Russian Information Agency Novosti
April 1, 2014

Ukraine Follows ‘Arab Spring’ Scenario – Russian Defense Minister

KHUJAND, Tajikistan: A scenario similar to the Arab Spring has unfolded in crisis-hit Ukraine during and after the events leading up to the ouster of the country’s president in February, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Tuesday.

“With great sorrow, I noted that a scenario similar to the Arab Spring was used in that country,” Shoigu said during a meeting with the heads of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

The Arab world was gripped by a wave of revolutions in late 2010 in what became known as the Arab Spring. Regimes were overthrown in Tunisia, Yemen, Libya and Egypt; Bahrain and Syria were engulfed in internal armed conflicts; and a number of countries, including Algeria, Kuwait and Morocco, saw major protests.

The Arab Spring revolutions were initially triggered by economic problems and the public’s fatigue of the corruption of ruling authoritarian elites. But the energy of protestors was eventually funneled to new purposes by extremists, resulting in no major advancement of democratic causes.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said in September that events in Egypt and Libya showed that “there are countries and whole regions of the world which cannot live according to the pattern of US or European democracy.”

Commenting on events in Ukraine, where the new government seized power in February as a result of an illegitimate coup, Shoigu said Russia is posing no threat to Ukraine’s statehood.

“The threat to Ukraine’s statehood is in a deep domestic political and economic crisis and does not come from Russia,” he said adding that “the games by the leadership in Kiev with neo-Nazis and the expansion of Russophobic tendencies may turn into a tragedy not only for Ukraine, but also for all of Europe.”

Shoigu said a troubling situation is now brewing in the eastern and southern regions of Ukraine, where “nationalists are attempting to suppress the Russian-speaking population, including by the use of force.”

Russia has consistently warned that the new government in Ukraine has a dangerous fascist element of Ukrainian ultranationalism, leading Moscow to take steps to protect ethnic Russians in Ukraine.

Categories: Uncategorized

NATO Move Into Ukraine: Worst Thing That Could Happen To Belarus And Russia

Belarusian Telegraph Agency
March 28, 2014

Belarus president: We are not afraid of NATO, but have to respond to its actions

MINSK: NATO’s actions in the region need an adequate response. The statement was made by Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko in an interview for the Ukrainian TV show Shuster Live on 26 March, BelTA has learned.

“We see their concrete actions. Therefore, we are forced to at least say: we don’t think you are going to fight us tomorrow and we don’t think you are a potential aggressor, but, please, don’t move on to the east, stop, let’s cooperate in economic, political matters but stop your advance in military sense,” said the President.

“What is the advance I am talking about? Militarization, tanks, aircraft, other weapons, soldiers moving closer to us. Why? The same thing was done after East Germany and West Germany were reunited. Back then we heard sworn testaments that NATO would not move closer. Now not only former socialist states but ex-USSR republics are NATO members. Georgia and Ukraine are willing to be NATO members. Why do you fail to deliver on your promises?” noted Alexander Lukashenko.

“Commitments are failing everywhere and international agreements are violated. We are not afraid of NATO but we have to adequately respond. If you stage an army exercise, we do the same. You keep combat-ready troops, we are forced to do the same in case, God forbid, a military conflict happens and we have to cause unacceptable damage to you. It is just a reason for you to think whether it is a good idea to invade Belarus again like the Nazis did. It is what the situation is all about,” explained the Belarusian head of state.

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Belarusian Telegraph Agency
March 28, 2014

NATO’s Ukraine undesirable for Belarus, Russia

MINSK: Russia and Belarus would not like to see Ukraine as part of NATO. The statement was made by Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko in an interview for the Ukrainian TV show Shuster Live on 26 March, BelTA has learned.

“I’ve told Putin that making Crimea part of Russia is not a problem. Doing something in Ukraine, helping someone is not a problem either. But one has to bear in mind the consequences at every step,” said the Belarusian leader.

“What is the most dangerous thing for Belarus and Russia now? I and President Putin understand that the most dangerous thing would be Ukraine’s accession to NATO or NATO’s deployment and reinforcement in Ukraine. It is the worst thing that could happen for Russia and Belarus! It is more important than Crimea. I said that, too,” stated the Belarus President.

“On the other hand, did the events in Crimea give a reason to Ukraine to reciprocate? Yes, they did. If, God forbid, NATO troops enter Ukraine and straddle the country — on request of the government because the president has yet to be elected — and will secure the country’s integrity with support of the Ukrainian people, it will be the most undesirable consequence for Russia after what has happened,” said the head of state.

“The Ukrainian authorities have exposed themselves, giving Russia a reason to go and protect Crimea. The move has virtually invited NATO to come here, without a thought of the consequences. It is the most dangerous thing in the situation! It is what we should think about now. While negotiating with the West, Russia should keep in mind this possibility. It may be even more dangerous and more important for us. Russia is a nuclear power and so on while NATO’s arrival is a more dangerous thing for us,” believes Alexander Lukashenko.

The Belarus President also outlined his vision of how the Crimean events would proceed if Ukraine was a NATO member. “Certainly, it would not have happened. The thought of assaulting one NATO member and getting a war with the entire NATO bloc would have been a powerful deterrent. Nobody would have dared to go as far as waging a war on NATO,” remarked the Belarusian head of state. “But the argument would have been effective only until Russian citizens and Russian-speaking people had started dying in Crimea”.

If bloodshed had started, neither Russia nor Belarus would have been able to stay indifferent about it regardless of considerations about NATO. But these are only speculations. I don’t think there are so many cutthroats in Ukraine as to start the bloodshed. God forbid, I don’t even want to think about it,” concluded Alexander Lukashenko.

Categories: Uncategorized

Video: Ukraine, Endgame Of 15 Years Of NATO Expansion

Press TV
March 24, 2014

NATO agenda targets Russian border territories: analyst

Video

Press TV has conducted an interview with Rick Rozoff, Stop NATO International Network in Chicago, about Russia’s move to take control of Ukrainian naval bases situated inside Crimea.

The following is an approximate transcript of the interview.

Press TV: We have heard Moscow time and again saying it is committed to restoring stability within the region and yet we are seeing a concerted effort on the part of NATO and the West as a whole to give this rhetoric and this crisis a military nature. What do you make of it?

Rozoff: First of all, Nowruz (New Year) greetings to your viewers. May this be a new year of peace, unlike the past 20 years or more unfortunately in the post-Cold War period.

I’m afraid what we’re seeing right now is the end game, if you will, of 20 years of NATO expansion – actually 15 years of NATO expansion beginning in 1999.

At this very date in Tehran, March 24th, 15 years ago NATO began its first war, which was a 78-day air war against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

Subsequent to that of course and at the very same time they incorporated the first new members since the end of the Cold War – Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic.

NATO has subsequently waged a full-fledged war in Asia in Afghanistan; in Africa against Libya; it’s conducting permanent naval operations in the Mediterranean Sea, the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean. It has in fact become a global military force dominated by the United States.

Its members and its partners have encroached not only on the Russian border, but on the borders of Iran and China as well.

And what we’re seeing right now is arguably the final push by the United States and its major NATO allies to push this military bloc – unprecedented in history in terms of size and scope – right up to the Russian border; up to the 1,500 some-odd kilometers whereby Ukraine borders with Russia.

The most dangerous aspect of what we heard today and you relayed it to your viewers is the fact that the top military commander of this 28-nation military bloc – one which consists incidentally including partners as well as members of over 70 nations in the world – that is, over one third of the countries on the planet – is stating that not only is Russia allegedly guilty of aggression in Crimea – It is not; but that somehow Russia covets a breakaway region of Moldova, Transnistria, and has its troops poised to attack Moldova.

That is sheer nonsense. It’s a provocation. It’s actually the reverse of the truth.

I for one have been warning since the beginning of this Ukraine crisis that the US and its NATO [allies] were planning a military attack against Transnistria, which is bordered by Moldova to its west, Ukraine to its east and just as Moldova is likely to be absorbed into Romania – which is a full NATO member – so a Moldavian attack against Transnistria in one direction, a Ukrainian one by the junta in Kiev from the other would have the support of Romania in service of NATO.

So what NATO is doing is trying to portray its own aggressive designs on the breakaway region of Transnistria as being a defensive maneuver in some manner to protect Moldova against Russia. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Press TV: We have seen the West time and again miscalculating Russia’s response, its might and its capabilities. Is this going to be one of those instances as well?

Rozoff: If it is it could be one of the more dangerous in history.

I’m not the only person I’m sure who’s drawn the conclusion that the current tensions between the world’s two major nuclear powers – and let us recall that even though Russia is a very circumscribed and weakened version of the former Soviet Union – it is along with the United States the world’s major nuclear power.

It not only has an arsenal roughly comparable to the United States, but has delivery systems analogous to those of Washington.

So, any tension that increases to the level that it has now – and I for one can’t remember quite anything of this intensity since arguably the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 – is a threat not only to the region of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, but ultimately to the world and this is a cause of very serious concern.

We know that the US is moving dozens of war planes into Poland and Lithuania – ten F15s into Lithuania; they’re rotating twelve F-16s into Poland; France is talking about moving war planes into the Baltic region as well; NATO has AWACS aircraft over Poland and Romania.

There is a major military buildup particularly on Russia’s northwest border and this could be a threat not only to Russia, but maybe to the nation of Belarus, which is also I believe in the gun sights of the United States, NATO as well as Transnistria.

There’s another autonomous region within Moldova called Gagauzia, which could also be threatened.

Their parliament voted last week for independence as did the reassertion of independence of Transnistria.

These unresolved conflicts on the territory of the former Soviet Union are now rich grounds for NATO military provocation and escalation. And they’re so dangerously close to the Russia border in every instance.

You have to remember the two nations I mentioned, Lithuania and Poland where there is a massive military buildup of US war planes, both have borders with Russia.

Categories: Uncategorized

EU-Ukraine Pact Signals Step Toward NATO: Russian Foreign Ministry

March 24, 2014 1 comment

Russian Information Agency Novosti
March 24, 2014

Ukraine-EU Pact Signals Step Towards NATO – Russian Ministry Source

MOSCOW: The signing of a political pact between Ukraine and the European Union is a hasty step which points to the prospect of closer military ties between Kiev and NATO, a Russian foreign ministry source said Monday.

“The political provisions of the association deal pave the way for further entrenchment of Ukraine into the foreign policy and military orbit of the EU and the West in general,” the official said.

Russia has vociferously opposed any further eastward expansion by NATO, particularly by former Soviet republics on its borders. President Vladimir Putin said last week Moscow was open to further cooperation with NATO, but remained opposed to the organization’s presence in historic Russian territories.

Ukraine and Georgia have been lobbying to become NATO members for years, enjoying full support for their bids from the US, but alliance members rejected a proposal to offer them membership at a NATO summit in Bucharest in 2008.

Ukraine’s Western-backed interim prime minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, appointed by the country’s parliament last month, signed the political portion of an expanded association agreement with the European Union in Brussels on Friday. A similar agreement was rejected by the country’s ousted president in November in favor of closer ties with Russia.

The economic and trade provisions of the deal will not be agreed upon until after the upcoming presidential election scheduled for May.

“We can expect that under current circumstances the signing of the agreement will be followed by steps towards closer cooperation, including in terms of the evolution of the Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP) and its potential link with NATO activity,” the source said.

“If the political association is considered a long-term choice made by both sides, why would the signing of such an important document be made with the head of a self-imposed government, without waiting for presidential elections in May?” the source said.

Russia does not recognize the interim government in Ukraine and insists that all new decisions should be taken by democratically-elected Ukrainian leaders after the May vote.

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Radio: Crimea in the Context of Ukraine Events

Radio: Crimea in the Context of Ukraine Events

On-Line Listening:

http://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=12728786


Description [29 Minutes]:


Guest Phil Taylor, host of the Taylor Report, has followed the situation in Ukraine for months. He comments on developments regarding Crimea.

 

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Joint Ukraine-NATO Military Exercise Starts In Bulgaria

March 22, 2014 1 comment

Stars and Stripes
March 21, 2014

Joint Ukraine-NATO military exercise starts in Bulgaria
By Matt Millham

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KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany: More than a dozen Ukrainian military officers joined U.S. and NATO troops in a two-week military exercise that started Friday in Bulgaria as Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a bill finalizing his country’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.

Planning for the exercise, which involves roughly 700 troops from 12 nations, has been in the works for about a year, said Jesse Granger, a spokesman for U.S. Army Europe.

“It just so happens that the execution date coincided with recent events,” he said.

Dubbed Saber Guardian, the exercise at the Novo Selo training facility in eastern Bulgaria includes personnel from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bulgaria, Georgia, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Turkey, the United States, representatives from NATO and 15 Ukrainian staff officers. The inclusion of the Ukrainian officers was planned before the outbreak of tensions between Russia and Ukraine over Crimea, Granger said.

Host nation Bulgaria’s eastern border on the Black Sea is roughly 260 miles from the Crimean port city of Sevastopol, where pro-Russian self-defense forces on Wednesday stormed a Ukrainian naval base following a Russian-backed referendum to separate Crimea from Ukraine. Putin finalized Russia’s annexation of Crimea on Friday as the U.S. threatened to increase sanctions and the European Union considered imposing penalties of its own on Moscow.

While some countries threaten stability in this very region, our peaceful, humanitarian-focused exercise will help bring stability to this geopolitically significant part of the world,” Maj. Gen. Richard Longo, USAREUR’s deputy commander, said in a news release announcing the start of the exercise.

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U.S. To Lead Multinational NATO Military Exercise In Ukraine

RT
March 20, 2014

US, UK military to stage NATO exercises in Ukraine

Ukraine will play host, but the US military will call the shots, in an upcoming military exercise called Rapid Trident that will bring together some 1,300 international forces in Ukraine for a long-planned exercise.

Although the United States canceled Atlas Vision 2014, which was scheduled to take place in July in the northeastern Russian city of Chelyabinsk, the Pentagon says it will go ahead with plans for a multinational military exercise this summer in Ukraine.

Rapid Trident 2014 is designed to “promote regional stability and security, strengthen partnership capacity and foster trust while improving interoperability between the land forces of Ukraine, and NATO and partner nations,” according to the US forces in Europe website.

The Pentagon refused to provide information on the number of US forces expected to participate in the maneuvers.

US Army spokesman Col. Steven Warren said Rapid Trident is the only Ukraine military exercise the United States plans to participate in this year. The exercise is intended to help the Ukrainian military improve its troops and weapons operability with NATO forces.

Last year’s Rapid Trident, which focused on “airborne and air-mobile infantry operations,” according to a report on the Rapid Trident website, brought together 17 NATO countries for joint exercises.

According to Rapid Trident’s Facebook page, last year’s exercises involved “more than 800 pieces of weaponry and about 170 military and combat vehicles… In addition, 4 Mi -8 helicopters, a military transport aircraft An- 26 of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and a German transport aircraft C- 160 were involved to work out airborne operations and elements of evacuation of the wounded from the field of battle.”

However, given the level of hysteria that has been generated by the Ukrainian crisis, Rapid Trident 2014 will take place under entirely different circumstances than last year’s event.

The Pentagon has already dispatched 12 warplanes and hundreds of troops to Poland following the Crimean referendum on Sunday that witnessed an overwhelming majority of residents voting in favor of joining Russia.

Last week, the US military announced that the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush and its group would remain in the Mediterranean Sea for a few more days than planned “to reassure US allies” over the Ukraine crisis.

On Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin, together with the Prime Minister of Crimea and the mayor of Sevastopol, signed an agreement in Moscow for Crimea and Sevastopol to join the Russian Federation.

In addition to US and UK troops, Rapid Trident 2014 will include units from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Canada, Georgia, Germany, Moldova, Poland, Romania and Ukraine.

Rapid Trident military exercises have been held annually on the territory of Ukraine for a number of years.

Ukraine has a partner relationship with NATO but is not officially a member.

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Washington: NATO, Pentagon Chieftains Meet On Ukraine

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
March 18, 2014

NATO Secretary General in Washington to discuss Ukraine crisis, Wales Summit

NATO Secretary General visits Washington D.C.

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen discussed the crisis in Ukraine and preparations for this September’s NATO summit in Wales in talks with senior United States government officials in Washington DC on Tuesday (18 March 2014). The Secretary General attended a working dinner hosted by US Secretary of Defence Chuck Hagel, together with Secretary of State John Kerry and National Security Advisor Susan Rice.

They stressed the importance of a unified international response to Russia’s continued violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty and breach of international law. They examined the implications of the crisis for the Wales Summit and reviewed the whole range of NATO’s agenda in preparation for the meeting of Alliance foreign ministers in early April.

On Wednesday (19 March), Mr Fogh Rasmussen is attending a breakfast meeting at the Atlantic Council on maintaining the strength of the transatlantic bond. He will receive a Hillary Clinton Award for Advancing Women in Peace and Security at Georgetown University. He will also hold a speech at the Brookings Institution about why NATO matters for North America, at a time when the Ukraine crisis demonstrates our security cannot be taken for granted.

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West Violates Agreement In Backing Ukraine Coup: Russian Foreign Ministry

Interfax
March 19, 2014

West actively encouraged Ukrainian coup, acted in breach of Budapest Memorandum – ministry

MOSCOW: Western actions during the Ukrainian crisis run counter to the 1994 Budapest Memorandum, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

“The U.S. and EU actively encouraged the coup d’etat in Kyiv, acting against the political independence and sovereignty of Ukraine in breach of their obligations under the Budapest Memorandum,” the ministry said in a commentary posted on its website on Wednesday.

In the context of the situation in Ukraine, some of Moscow’s partners did not fail to point out to Russia its obligations under the 1994 Budapest Memorandum, the ministry said.

“In view of this we would like to remind them what these obligations are and who exactly is responsible for honoring them. In the Budapest Memorandum, Russia, the U.S. and the United Kingdom committed to act as guarantors of the rights inherent to Ukraine’s sovereignty,” the ministry said.

“We would like to ask: how do the threats to impose sanctions on the Ukrainian authorities made repeatedly by the U.S. and EU during the riots in Kyiv fit into these guarantees? What is it, if not an economic coercion with respect to a sovereign state? How should one regard, for example, the almost continual patrolling by Western envoys in “Maidan”?” the commentary said.

“How should we qualify the U.S. and EU statements that they are no longer regard the legally elected head of state as a legitimate partner, unlike the new leaders appointed in the square in a breach of all the constitutional procedures?” the document said.

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