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  • Russia Deploying Tactical Nuclear Arms in Crimea

    Russia Deploying Tactical Nuclear Arms in Crimea

    Obama backing indirect talks with Moscow aimed at cutting U.S. non-strategic nukes in Europe

    October 10, 2014
    By Bill Gertz

    Russia is moving tactical nuclear weapons systems into recently-annexed Crimea while the Obama administration is backing informal talks aimed at cutting U.S. tactical nuclear deployments in Europe.

    Three senior House Republican leaders wrote to President Obama two weeks ago warning that Moscow will deploy nuclear missiles and bombers armed with long-range air launched cruise missiles into occupied Ukrainian territory.

    “Locating nuclear weapons on the sovereign territory of another state without its permission is a devious and cynical action,” states the letter signed by House Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard P. “Buck” McKeon (R., Calif.) and two subcommittee chairmen.

    “It further positions Russian nuclear weapons closer to the heart of NATO, and it allows Russia to gain a military benefit from its seizure of Crimea, allowing Russia to profit from its action.”

    Russian President Vladimir Putin in recent months “has escalated his use of nuclear threats to a level not seen since the Cold War,” they wrote.

    In a related development, the Obama administration is funding non-official arms control talks with Russia through a Washington think-tank that are aimed at curbing U.S. tactical nuclear arms in Europe.

    The first round of talks was held in Vienna Monday and Tuesday.

    Critics say Obama administration arms control officials at the State Department and Pentagon are using the informal nuclear talks as groundwork for future tactical nuclear arms cuts.

    Such cuts are likely to be opposed by NATO allies, especially in Eastern Europe, worried by growing Russian military threats to the continent.

    Regarding the nuclear deployments to Crimea, Senate Armed Services Committee ranking member James Inhofe (R., Okla.) first disclosed last month that Putin had announced in August his approval of deploying nuclear-capable Iskander-M short-range missiles along with Tu-22 nuclear-capable bombers in Crimea, located on the Black Sea.

    “The stationing of new nuclear forces on the Crimean peninsula, Ukrainian territory Russia annexed in March, is both a new and menacing threat to the security of Europe and also a clear message from Putin that he intends to continue to violate the territorial integrity of his neighbors,” Inhofe stated in a Sept. 8 op-ed in Foreign Policy.

    In their Sept. 23 letter to the president, McKeon, Rep. Mike Rogers (R., Ala.), chairman of the subcommittee on strategic forces, and Rep. Michael Turner (R., Ohio), chairman of the subcommittee on tactical air and land forces, noted Russia’s violation of the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty by building a banned cruise missile. The missile has been identified by U.S. officials as the R-500.

    The lawmakers said the Russian nuclear deployment in Crimea represents the “clear, and perhaps irrevocable tearing” of the 1997 agreement between NATO and Russia that allowed Russia to maintain a military presence within the alliance.

    The Russian nuclear deployment plans and treaty violation should have been discussed during the recent NATO summit in Wales but were not, they said.

    As a result, the congressmen urged the president to brief Congress on the threatening Russian nuclear deployments in Crimea. They also called on the president to suspend the NATO-Russia accord and demand the removal of all Russian military personnel from NATO facilities.

    Additionally, they asked that the United States and its allies halt all arms control surveillance flights by Russia carried out under the Open Skies Treaty.

    Significantly, the three House leaders called on the administration to begin research and development on deployment sites for new U.S. intermediate-range ground-launched cruise and ballistic missiles, if Russian refuses to return to compliance with the INF accord.

    Putin “must be made to understand that his actions will accomplish nothing more than the alienation [of] Russia from the West, its economy and its security architecture,” the lawmakers said.

    “Until we have a strategy that convinces Mr. Putin he cannot achieve his dream of a ‘New Russia’ through illegal annexations, covert invasions, and nuclear saber-rattling, statements and sanctions along cannot be expected to have an effect on his actions,” the letter warns.

    “Too much is at stake to continue to allow Russia’s dictator to continue to proceed on his current path toward regional destabilization without serous opposition.”

    The action “further undermines Russian credibility in terms of the Budapest Memorandum that the Russian Federation signed in 1994,” the congressmen said.

    The memorandum promised Ukraine would have security assurances against threats or use of force in exchange for Kiev giving up its Soviet-era nuclear weapons – at the time the third largest arsenal in the world.

    On the Track 2 talks between Russian experts and a group hosted by the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), the program leader was identified as anti-nuclear arms advocate Sharon Squassoni.

    Squassoni took part in a study three years ago sponsored by the leftist, anti-nuclear weapons group Ploughshares Fund that called for removing all U.S. tactical nuclear arms from Europe.

    Thomas Moore, a former senior professional staff member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee who quit CSIS over concerns about Squassoni’s anti-nuclear slant, said he felt the Track 2 program, which was to cost $215,000 in federal funding, was unwise after Russia’s military takeover of Crimea which began last February.

    Moore said in an interview that the administration could be using the CSIS Track 2 talks as a way of conducting direct negotiations to further reduce U.S. nuclear arms in Europe.

    “Now is the wrong time to entertain any such ideas with any Russians, whether they are official or unofficial Russians, because they all support Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine and violation of the INF treaty,” Moore said, noting that verifying any tactical nuclear arms reductions is nearly impossible.

    “My goal was to verify and keep our nukes in Europe,” he said, noting that Squassoni knows little about nuclear arms and has been “a partisan for Obama and his anti-nuclear agenda in Europe.”

    CSIS spokesman Andrew Schwartz confirmed that the Track 2 talks involving U.S., Russian and European experts are aimed at “limiting non-strategic nuclear weapons.” He declined to identify the U.S. or foreign members of the project and said a report on the program would be published in summer or fall of next year. He said the notion that the project has not been adjusted to account for the Crimea crisis is wrong.

    Squassoni confirmed her participation in the Ploughshares study but said in an email that the recommendations of that project were not discussed during the first Track 2 meeting this week.

    “I can assure you that my personal views do not interfere with my ability to facilitate balanced, analytically sound dialogues,” she said.

    The CSIS-Russia Track 2 nuclear talks also are being supported by Rose Gottemoeller, undersecretary of state for arms control and international security; and Andrew Weber, who recently resigned as assistant secretary of defense for nuclear, chemical and biological defenses amid allegations of insubordination and improper personnel activities.

    A Pentagon spokeswoman declined to provide details surrounding Weber’s resignation but said he would be taking a lesser position at the State Department.

    A U.S. official close to the Pentagon said Weber ran afoul of his superiors as a result of his anti-nuclear arms positions, and practices related to hiring and the use of personnel within his office.

    Alexandra Bell, a spokeswoman for Gottemoeller said: “The administration is supportive of the domestic and international non-governmental community’s right to conduct research, scholarship, advocacy and Track 2 dialogues as they see fit.”

    Both the Pentagon and State Department spokeswomen would not address the question of whether holding informal nuclear talks on cutting nuclear weapons in Europe with the Russians will undermine NATO security in the aftermath of the Crimean crisis.

    Former Pentagon official Mark Schneider, a strategic nuclear arms specialist, said the Track 2 and any formal arms talks on tactical nuclear arms would fail.

    “They can have as many tracks as they want but the Russians will not agree to limits on tactical nuclear weapons,” Schneider said. “Their advantage is too great.”

    The United States is believed to have around 200 nuclear weapons in Europe. Russia’s tactical nuclear arsenal is at least 2,000.

    “NATO politics will prevent any cuts in U.S. tactical nuclear weapons in Europe,” he said. “This is obviously about the worst possible time to talk about something like this.”

    Schneider said nuclear policymakers should focus on deterrence now instead of disarmament.

    A Russian Defense Ministry spokesman told state-run Interfax March 26 that a “missile-carrying regiment” of Tu-22 Backfire nuclear bombers will be deployed to the Crimean airbase at Gvardeyskoye within two years.

    IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly described the nuclear-capable Tu-22s to be based in Crimea as “the backbone of Soviet naval strike units during the Cold War.”

    Rogers, the strategic forces subcommittee chairman, said Sept. 18 that the Russians have discussed “plans to station tactical nuclear weapons in Crimea.”
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Russian Invasion Of Ukraine (Formerly: Democratic Malaise Draws Ukraine Eastwards) started by Ryan Ruck View original post
    Comments 169 Comments
    1. Avvakum's Avatar
      Avvakum -
      Ukraine puts on parliamentary show of unity in message to Russia

      . View photo

      Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk (R) welcomes former Prime Minister and newly elected parliamentary …

      By Natalia Zinets and Alessandra Prentice
      Related Stories

      1. Ukraine's Poroshenko says country opposes federalization Reuters
      2. New Ukraine parliament called to fight corruption Associated Press
      3. Ukraine's PM says main task is to build army to stop Russia Reuters
      4. War veterans steal limelight in Ukraine's new parliament Reuters

      KIEV (Reuters) - Ukraine's parliament approved Arseny Yatseniuk for a new term as prime minister on Thursday in a ceremony that countered reports of high-level disunity in a message to Russia over its backing of separatists in the country's east.
      Pomp and emotion characterized the opening of Ukraine's first parliament since the February fall of pro-Moscow president Viktor Yanukovich as his successor, Petro Poronshenko, declared in a keynote speech that there could be no future formula for Ukraine other than that of a single, unified state.
      More than two thirds of the deputies in the 450-seat parliament voted for Yatseniuk to stay as head of government, a post he has held since protests toppled Yanukovich, prompting Russia to annex Ukraine's Crimea region and back pro-Russian rebels in the east.
      In a gesture aimed at deflecting impressions of damaging rivalry between him and Poroshenko which have also alarmed Western governments, Yatseniuk raised his hand to the president and declared to cheers: "Here is my hand for carrying out all that you have just said from this tribune.
      "This is our joint responsibility," he added before striding over to Poroshenko and warmly embracing the president.
      The display of unity was scripted in part for the eyes of Russia, which is backing Russian-speaking separatists in Ukraine's industrial heartland in a conflagration that has killed more than 4,300 people.
      Political parties in favor of closer links to the European Union scored a resounding victory in a Oct. 26 election, handing Poroshenko a mandate to end the conflict and steer the ex-Soviet republic further out of Russia's orbit toward Europe.
      But there have been reports of disputes between Poroshenko and Yatseniuk over the share-out of portfolios in the new government which may emerge next Tuesday.
      Poroshenko said 100 percent of Ukrainians favored a unitary state without federalization, a political model that has been pushed by Russia but is seen by Kiev as a recipe for the country's dismemberment.
      "These are our warm wishes to those in the East or West who advise federalization," Poroshenko said sarcastically.
      But he said the reality was that Ukraine would always have "to sleep with a revolver under the pillow", an allusion to the perceived threat from Russia, which in turn sees Kiev's tilt toward the EU and NATO fold as menacing.
      Poroshenko said support among Ukrainians for joining NATO had grown 3-4 fold this year and Ukraine's current non-aligned status no longer worked.
      (Writing by Alessandra Prentice and Richard Balmforth; Editing by Mark Heinrich)
    1. Avvakum's Avatar
      Avvakum -
      War veterans steal limelight in Ukraine's new parliament

      By Richard Balmforth and Pavel Polityuk

      KIEV (Reuters) - War veterans and nationalist radicals brought a revolutionary air to the opening on Thursday of Ukraine's new parliament convened to name a government to hold the country together and set out a program of far-reaching reform.
      Hundreds of riot police guarded the building as the parliament quickly formed a five-party coalition of support for the pro-Western President Petro Poroshenko and later elected Arseny Yatseniuk for a new term as prime minister.
      But it was the men, and women, of force who stole the limelight from the besuited politicians when proceedings opened in the ornate parliament building a short walk from Kiev's Independence Square or Maidan, the center of last winter's Euromaidan revolution.
      Several deputies in battle fatigues -- the sign of volunteer fighters from the war front against pro-Russian separatists -- stood out among the ranks of politicians who swore an oath of allegiance in the 450-seat assembly.
      Outgoing speaker Oleksander Turchynov brought an air of triumph by announcing that one of the deputies, Nadia Savchenko, a Ukrainian military pilot, had managed to take the oath, with the help of her lawyer, despite being held in a Moscow psychiatric clinic.
      Savchenko, 33, was captured by separatists and spirited into Russia where she is accused of involvement in the deaths of two Russian journalists in Ukraine. To cheers from the assembly, her signed oath was flashed up on a giant screen.
      In a break with the old Soviet-style proceedings, many male deputies wore traditional Ukrainian embroidered shirts under their jackets.
      Outside the chamber, fighters from various volunteer battalions, as well as serving soldiers -- many of them who have become household names in the past year of revolution and war -- mingled with the media.
      Yuli Mamchur, 43, a diminutive Ukrainian air force colonel, who became an overnight hero when he defied pro-Russian forces by refusing to leave his post in Crimea last March, seemed nonplussed in the hustle and bustle around him.
      Asked if life was easier for him as a member of the Kiev parliament than when he was serving in Crimea, he replied: "No. It's harder here. I don't know a lot of people here. One has to define the atmosphere and work out the disposition of forces. But one must get down to battle. There's no other way."
      Other new deputies struck a truculent mood. Dmytro Yarosh, 43, who leads the far-right nationalist Right Sector, said he would work to reform the military to turn it into a better fighting force. "If we don't stop the enemy, then to try to build a state makes no sense," he said.
      Right Sector was blamed last January for first using violent tactics against riot police, changing the face of what had been until then a peaceful demonstration against the Moscow-backed Viktor Yanukovich.

      Volodymyr Parasiuk, a boyish 26-year-old from the western city of Lviv who is credited with giving an impromptu speech that turned the Maidan against an EU-brokered deal that would have allowed the now-ousted Yanukovich to stay in office, seemed disoriented away from the war front where he has been serving.
      He had to check with journalists to find the right door for deputies to enter the parliament.
      There were fighting words from Andriy Biletsky, an ultranationalist who leads the Azov battalion of volunteer fighters and who was elected deputy in the Oct. 26 election.
      The emblem of the Azov battalion -- a black capital Z slicing across a black vertical -- is strikingly similar to the Nazi swastika and Biletski's presence in parliament will feed Russian accusations of "fascist" influence on Ukrainian policy.
      Asked why he was not wearing combat fatigues, Biletski said: "Camouflage is a comedy in the town and in parliament."
      But he said he would be going back to the front on Friday to Mariupol, a southern coastal town under threat from pro-Russian forces. "There are as many camouflage uniforms there as you want, but not here!"
      Mikhailo Gavrilyuk, 35, won sympathy in Ukraine when he was forced to strip on a cold day in January by riot police who humiliated him in front of video cameras.
      Sporting a Ukrainian cossack haircut of a single lock of hair on an otherwise shaven head, he said his main challenge was working out "what makes each person here tick."
      Pro-Western parties won a mandate to end the separatist conflict and steer the country further out of Russia's orbit toward Europe, though a grouping called the Opposition bloc which includes allies of the now-discredited Yanukovich also won representation.
      One Opposition Bloc deputy, billionaire Vadim Novinsky, said: "It does not embarrass me that we are so few. It is only the beginning. Without a good opposition, there is no good government."
      (Writing by Richard Balmforth; editing by Giles Elgood)

      View Comments (54)
    1. American Patriot's Avatar
      American Patriot -
      I think this might be the right place to put this:

      US Army Plans to Send Abrams Tanks and Bradleys to Eastern Europe

      Share on facebook? Share on twitter Share on google_plusone_share Share on more Add a comment

      These U.S. Army M1A2 Abrams tanks are part of the European Activity Set, a combined-arms battalion-sized set of vehicles and equipment pre-positioned at Germany’s Grafenwoehr Training Area. Markus Ruachenberger/U.S. Army

      Dec 01, 2014 | by Richard Sisk
      The new Army commander in Europe plans to bolster the U.S. armored presence in Poland and the Baltic states and keep rotations of U.S. troops there through next year and possibly beyond to counter Russia.
      Lt. Gen. Frederick "Ben" Hodges, who replaced Lt. Gen. Donald M. Campbell earlier this month as commander of U.S. Army Europe, said the Army was looking to add about 100 Abrams tanks and Bradley Fighting Vehicles to the forces in Eastern Europe.
      "We are looking at courses of action for how we could pre-position equipment that we would definitely want to put inside a facility where it would be better maintained, that rotational units could then come and draw on it and use it to train, or for contingency purposes," Hodges said in a briefing from Vilnius, Lithuania.
      Hodges visited a training site in Lithuania that could be used to store armor and said he would look at similar sites in Estonia and Poland.
      "Certainly, I don't see a need to build infrastructure -- a FOB [Forward Operating Base] if you will -- or anything like that, that would be used for U.S. forces," Hodges said.

      Since taking command, Hodges has made clear his concerns about Russia, which annexed Crimea last March and has supported the separatists in eastern Ukraine. U.S. Army Europe, which had 280,000 troops at the height of the Cold War, now has 31,000.
      The rotations of U.S. troops on training missions in Eastern Europe would provide "deterrence against Russian aggression," Hodges said.
      "I don't think that Russia has any intention of some sort of a conventional attack into NATO territory because they know that would generate an Article 5 response."
      He referred to the NATO treaty article calling on all member states to respond to an attack on any member of the alliance. Poland, Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia are all members of the 28-member NATO alliance.
      "I think that what they [the Russians] do want to do is to create that ambiguity, plant the seeds of uncertainty so that the alliance members lose confidence that the rest of the alliance would come to their aid if they were, in fact, attacked," Hodges said.
      Two days after Hodges spoke, Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove, the NATO commander, visited Ukraine to discuss U.S. and NATO assistance in shoring up defenses against the separatists.
      Moscow has repeatedly denied sending troops into eastern Ukraine and providing advanced arms and equipment to the separatists, but Breedlove said that Russian troops definitely were present in eastern Ukraine and were "giving backbone" to the rebels.
      Breedlove said Russian forces were also training the rebels to "understand the advanced weaponry that is being brought across."
      The central government in Kiev led by President Petro Poroshenko has been pleading with the U.S. for advanced weaponry to counter the Russian troops and rebels, but the U.S. has limited assistance to non-lethal aid.
      Speaking on background, a senior administration official traveling with Vice President Joe Biden on his trip to Ukraine last week said the U.S. has provided more than $100 million in non-lethal assistance "to help the Ukrainians defend themselves."
      The aid included night-vision goggles;protective vests; counter-mortar radars; blankets; vehicles; and Meals, Ready to Eat, the official said. The official said the U.S. had concluded that arming Ukraine would be counter-productive since "no matter how many weapons we provided to Ukraine, they were going to get outgunned by the Russians."
      Since the pro-Russian rebels seized border regions last April, more than 4,300 combatants and civilians have been killed in eastern Ukraine and nearly a million people have fled the region, according to the United Nations.
    1. American Patriot's Avatar
      American Patriot -
      Just want to say....

      This is not looking too good here to me. Back to the essentials of the Cold War, if you ask me.
    1. Ryan Ruck's Avatar
      Ryan Ruck -
      Quote Originally Posted by American Patriot View Post

      These U.S. Army M1A2 Abrams tanks are part of the European Activity Set, a combined-arms battalion-sized set of vehicles and equipment pre-positioned at Germany’s Grafenwoehr Training Area. Markus Ruachenberger/U.S. Army
      I thought we pulled out the last of the Abrams from Germany not too long ago?
    1. American Patriot's Avatar
      American Patriot -
      We did. Except for some. At least that's my thinking.

      When we decommission stuff, we don't decom it all. When we close down units, we generally move the equipment to other units. People too.

      So a lot of the tanks should still be present, and people to drive them should be available still.
    1. vector7's Avatar
      vector7 -
      Is Moldova the next Crimea? Russia is worried

      Matt Clinch | @mattclinch81

      A top Russian policymaker issued a warning to Moldova as election results from the former Soviet republic showed that pro-EU parties were edging toward victory.

      Russia is worried that a Moldovan government wanting closer ties with Europe would weaken its power in the region. The warning Monday comes after Russia annexed Crimea in March, following a referendum that showed overwhelming support for the move.

      By 9 a.m. London time on Tuesday, over 98 percent of the votes had been counted following a parliamentary election on Sunday. Initial results showed that the pro-Russian Socialist Party was leading the way with 20.77 percent of the vote, but three pro-European parties were faring well enough that observers said they might be able to form a coalition.

      Dmitry Rogozin, Russia's deputy prime minister, tweeted on Monday that Moldova's capital Chisinau should "think seriously whether the right path is chosen to move forward.
      Lonely Planet Images | Getty
      Moldova, Eastern Europe, including breakaway region of Trans-Dniester

      He bemoaned the dismissal of the pro-Russian Patria Party, which had been accused of illegal use of foreign funding, from the election. A Moldovan High Court upheld the ruling just days before the vote.
      Read MoreOPEC decision spells trouble for Russia

      Rogozin also claimed that Moldova's labor migrants in Russia had been denied a vote, and highlighted the breakaway state of Trans-Dniester, a narrow strip of land on the border with Ukraine, which did not take part in the elections.
      Meanwhile, international election observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said the elections "were generally well administered in a campaign influenced by geopolitical aspirations."
      But it did stress that the campaign environment had been affected by the "deregistration" of the Patria Party shortly before the election.

      Crude's crumble puts Putin in corner: Pro

      Ian Bremmer, Eurasia Group president, discusses the impact of falling oil prices on Russia and Vladimir Putin.

      With neighboring Ukraine locked in a battle with pro-Russian separatists, there have been fears that tensions could spread to Moldova. The republic lies in eastern Europe between Romania and Ukraine.

      It has signed an association agreement with the EU alongside Ukraine and Georgia, however, clearing stating its intentions to form closer bonds with the West.

      Timothy Ash, head of emerging market research at Standard Bank, said the pro-EU parties would likely get a narrow majority in parliament, but stressed that Trans-Dniester would continue to "loom" over Moldova.

      The region declared its independence in 1990 but has never been recognized internationally. There are fears of potential Russian intervention, Ash said, given that Moscow has been blamed for backing the rebels fighting in the eastern part of Ukraine.

      "I think the Russians are biding their time, still keeping their options open," Ash told CNBC via email. "Ukraine remains the big prize, and Moldova is being used as something of a bargaining chip."

    1. vector7's Avatar
      vector7 -
      The US House of Representatives has overwhelmingly approved a document which strongly condemns Moscow’s actions against its neighbors, calling them a policy of aggression.

      Passed with 411-10 votes, the resolution slams Russia’s “continuing political, economic, and military aggression” against Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova and the “continuing violation of their sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity.

      The US, Europe and our allies must aggressively keep the pressure on Mr. Putin to encourage him to change his behavior,” Rep. Adam Kinzinger, the resolution’s sponsor, said.

      The resolution calls for Russia to stop supporting local militias in eastern Ukraine and for the cancellation of Crimea’s decision to join Russia. In addition, it calls on Moscow to withdraw its troops which the US claims are in Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova.

      The House calls on President Barack Obama to provide Ukraine with defense equipment and training… https://www.congress.gov/bill/113th-...resolution/758 H.Res.758 - Strongly condemning the actions of the Russian Federation, under President Vladimir Putin, which has carried out a policy of aggression against neighboring countries aimed at political and economic domination.
    1. American Patriot's Avatar
      American Patriot -
      Heard some rumor yesterday about "Congress declaring war on Russia". I said I'd not heard any such thing and if I had it would have been likely someone would have called me to tell me.

      Then I read this today. Not an outright declaration, but certainly a step in that direction.

      Titor and 2015 anyone?
    1. Avvakum's Avatar
      Avvakum -
      Quote Originally Posted by American Patriot View Post
      Heard some rumor yesterday about "Congress declaring war on Russia". I said I'd not heard any such thing and if I had it would have been likely someone would have called me to tell me.

      Then I read this today. Not an outright declaration, but certainly a step in that direction.

      Titor and 2015 anyone?
      With Obama on the watch, we need this Congressional resolution like we need, well, a nuclear war. Our politicians don't represent our interests, neither do the Ukrainian ones theirs, but the Russian leadership does represent their National interest.

      The Nazis, Fascist and Islamist bastards out there would love to see America and Russia and China, and Israel and anybody else they can think of that stands in their way, go at it with each other, so they can gobble up the whole planet on the ruins of civilization. This is all an Islamist/Neo-Nazi plot, always was. They are the real 'Trans-Asian Axis' coalition/conspiracy, and Israel and Serbia know it, which is why they both have good relations with Russia.

      Jesus, with Obama in the White House (a crypto-Islamist/Black Nationalist 'trojan horse', working with the Nazis to weaken America and ultimately dismember her into smaller race-based countries? I hope not), Russia is the best real friend America really has (even though they look out only for their own interests, as any nation should), and we don't even realize it. I really didn't at first. Oh, I worried and dithered and went back and forth on one side or the other, until I saw what was really happening in Ukraine and the Middle East. The Godamned Nazis trying to resurrect their 'Thousand Year Reich', is what is happening, and the Muslim Jihadis are busy helping them do it.
    1. vector7's Avatar
      vector7 -
      Ukraine President Signs Mobilization Decree: 50,000 To Be Drafted

      Submitted by Tyler Durden on 01/15/2015 21:15 -0500

      And with a stroke of his pen, Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko signs a decree that mobilizes up to 50,000 "health men and women" aged 25 to 60 to the frontlines in Eastern Ukraine...

      As UA Today reports, 50 000 servicemen will be drafted to the frontline in eastern Ukraine

      Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has issued a decree mobilising 50,000 servicemen to the frontline in eastern Ukraine.

      Those eligible will receive notice papers calling them to service as soon as the Ukrainian parliament approves the measure.

      The Ministry of Defense plans to draft healthy men and women, preferably with military experience. Tank operators, artillerymen, reconnaissance scouts and messengers aged 25 to 60 are in high demand.

      Volodymyr Talalay, Major General: "We are not planning to draft untrained men for positions that require military efficiency. Military leaders are looking for those who have already been in the army or those who can serve within civilian professions."

      Combat trainings for servicemen will take 10-15 days. Ministry of Defense officials say this timeframe is adequate to acquire combat skills and replace those soldiers who will be rotated out.
      * * *
    1. vector7's Avatar
      vector7 -
      Ukraine accuses Russia of fresh troop incursion as fierce fighting rages over Donetsk airport

      19/01 13:30 CET

      Ukraine says some 700 Russian troops have crossed the border into its territory as fierce fighting continues for control of Donetsk airport.
      There are confused and conflicting reports of the situation on the ground with both sides claiming to be in control.

      What is clear is that violence is intensifying in eastern Ukraine with up to a dozen of civilians killed this weekend, all attempts to restart peace talks have failed.

      The Ukrainian military spokesman, Andriy Lysenko accused the rebels of breaking the Minsk ceasefire deal agreed last September.
      “The Russian side cancelled its signature from the joint document detailing the ceasefire schedule. This agreement calls on the Russians to come to the table and guarantee a truce from today,” said Lysenko.

      Russian military officials are blaming the Ukrainians for the escalation.

      Military spokesman, Andrey Kozlov said: “The Ukrainian military group has made an attempt (to recapture the airport) which led to unjustified victims among civilians of Donetsk and Horlivka. It is without doubt a violation of all agreements of the ceasefire in the Minsk memorandum.”

      Moscow also says Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko has rejected a peace plan put forward on Sunday by his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin that requires both sides to withdraw heavy artillery.

      Ukraine@war @DajeyPetros
      Large Russian army column near Ukrainian border, location not exactly known yet.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zvbj60jQ_yM&feature=youtu.be … via @MarQs__
      12:28 PM - 20 Jan 2015 http://www.interpretermag.com/ukrain...schastye/#6372

      DPR militia capture UKR colonel at Donetsk airport.

    1. Ryan Ruck's Avatar
      Ryan Ruck -

      US Trainers To Deploy To Ukraine

      Also Will Begin Shipment of US-funded Armored Vehicles

      January 22, 2015

      American soldiers will deploy to Ukraine this spring to begin training four companies of the Ukrainian National Guard, the head of US Army Europe Lt. Gen Ben Hodges said during his first visit to Kiev on Wednesday.

      The number of troops heading to the Yavoriv Training Area near the city of L'viv — which is about 40 miles from the Polish border — is still being determined, however.

      The American training effort comes as part of a US State Department initiative "to assist Ukraine in strengthening its law enforcement capabilities, conduct internal defense, and maintain rule of law" Pentagon spokeswoman Lt. Col. Vanessa Hillman told Defense News.

      After meeting with commander of the Ukrainian Armed Forces Lt. Gen. Anatoliy Pushnyakov and acting commander of the National Guard Lt. Gen. Oleksandr Kryvyenko during his visit, Hodges said he was "impressed by the readiness of both military and civil leadership to change and reform."

      The training was requested by the Ukrainian government "as they work to reform their police forces and establish their newly formed National Guard," Hillman added. Funding for the initiative is coming from the congressionally-authorized Global Security Contingency Fund (GSCF), which was requested by the Obama administration in the fiscal 2015 budget to help train and equip the armed forces of allies around the globe.

      The training mission has been the subject of plenty of discussion among US policy makers for months, and the United States has already earmarked $19 million to help build the Ukrainian National Guard.

      "We're very open to the idea that this becomes a first step in further training for the Ukrainian military," Derek Chollet, former assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs, told Defense News just before he left the Pentagon on Jan. 17.

      He was quick to add that he doesn't anticipate that this training mission "will require significant US presence."

      The mission comes at a time of increasing concern among Eastern European countries that Russian aggression in the region will increase, and as fighting around the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk between government forces and Russian-backed separatist rebels rages on.

      Speaking at the Davos conference on Wednesday, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko accused Russia of sending 9,000 troops into the eastern part of his country to back the rebels, a contention that NATO officials have backed up, but without providing their own estimates for the number of Russian forces in country.

      Chollet said Russian military incursions into the Crimea and eastern Ukraine have refocused American attention on the region after a decade of fighting two wars in the Middle East.

      "A year ago we were worried about the future of the trans-Atlantic relationship, how would it be relevant to people," he said. "And of course, the events of the last year with Russia and Ukraine has focused people again on threats to European security and the unfinished business, really, still coming out of the end of the Cold War."

      One of the biggest challenges for US policy makers is trying to discern "where could this lead and how does this make us think anew about European security issues and force posture issues or defense spending issues?" he added.

      In addition to US trainers, Washington is beginning to provide heavier military equipment to the government in Kiev. On Monday, the United States delivered the first prototype of an armored "Kozak" vehicle for use with the Ukrainian border guard, according to the US Embassy there.

      A posting on a US government contracting site put the cost of the vehicle at $189,000.

      The vehicle is built on a chassis manufactured by Italian company Iveco and features a V-shaped armored hull to help protect against mines and roadside bombs. The embassy said that to date, "the United States has delivered dozens of armored pickup trucks and vans to the Ukrainian Border Guard Service. The Kozak is larger and offers a higher level of protection."
    1. American Patriot's Avatar
      American Patriot -
      Didn't we send a lot of cops over to the ME before? How'd that work out again?
    1. MinutemanCO's Avatar
      MinutemanCO -
      Do you think this may be the beginning of our deployment into WWIII? Or am I oversimplifying?
    1. American Patriot's Avatar
      American Patriot -
      Honestly? I don't think it's over simplification. I don't believe anyone called it "World War I" when it started. I seriously doubt that "World War II" was the designation used there either, not until much later.

      It was called "The War" in documents and historical references I've read. Basically a short answer is "No" it's not a world war until someone, history person, or the "winner" says it's a World War.

      Therefore. You're not over simplifying things.

      The longer answer... We are technically IN a world war at this point. It is Islam versus everybody else. The Russians and Chinese Communists merely at this point are players like the rest of us. While some think that the biggest threat is ISIS - and they ARE a threat - they are not an existential threat to the whole planet. Nuclear war, however IS such a threat.

      Terrorists have no nukes yet (if they did, they'd use them). Russians do. They have not yet fired them. They are threatening the US, Ukraine and other random entities.

      So - for us to say "World War III" is TRUE based on the fact Islam wants us all dead. But to include the Russians... not so much.
    1. American Patriot's Avatar
      American Patriot -
      Here is an article I found. This kind of sheds light on the names WWI and WWII and WWIII
    1. Ryan Ruck's Avatar
      Ryan Ruck -
      This is Russia's ITAR-TASS so take it for a grain of salt...

      Dead Bodies In NATO Uniforms, US Weapons Recovered From Under Debris Of Donetsk Airport

      “While examining the building of the Donetsk airport, we found a great number of American firearms,” spokesman for the defense ministry of the self-proclaimed DPR said

      January 22, 2014

      Dead bodies in NATO uniforms and a great number of US-made weapons have been recovered from under the debris of the Donetsk airport, Eduard Basurin, a spokesman for the defense ministry of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) said on Thursday.

      “While examining the building of the Donetsk airport, we found a great number of American firearms, assault rifles and hand mortars, equipment and communications devices,” he said. “We also found publications in European languages, including on religious matters.”

      Apart from that, “we found dead bodies in NATO uniforms under the debris in the new terminal. Personal belongings indicated that these people were foreign citizens contracted by private military companies who operated under the disguise of Ukrainian subversive groups,” he said.
    1. Ryan Ruck's Avatar
      Ryan Ruck -
      This is very interesting. Skip ahead to 2:30 to see why...

    1. vector7's Avatar
      vector7 -
      Hmmm...very interesting!