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Thread: Russian Invasion Of Ukraine (Formerly: Democratic Malaise Draws Ukraine Eastwards)

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    Default Re: Russian Invasion Of Ukraine (Formerly: Democratic Malaise Draws Ukraine Eastwards

    NATO Approves Force to Check Russia

    Pool photo by Alain Jocard
    Leaders of NATO agreed to build a rapid-response team that can quickly assemble if an aggressor crosses an allied country's border—namely, Russia. "Should you even think of attacking one ally, you will be facing the whole alliance," Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Friday. The force will be headquartered in Eastern Europe. British Prime Minister David Cameron offered 3,500 personnel to the team and suggested its headquarters be in Poland with equipment stockpiled in the most eastern member countries. Rasmussen also noted that NATO is prepared to help fight back militants in Iraq, but there has not been a request from the Iraqi government.


    Read it at The Associated Press
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    Default Re: Russian Invasion Of Ukraine (Formerly: Democratic Malaise Draws Ukraine Eastwards

    UPDATE 5-Fighting between Ukrainian army, rebels subsides as ceasefire begins

    Fri Sep 5, 2014 9:04pm IST

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    PICTURE GALLERY


    India this week

    Here is what made news in India this week. Slideshow



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    * Heavy clashes on Friday near Mariupol port and in Donetsk
    * Fighting mostly subsided ahead of 1500 GMT ceasefire
    * Residents and combatants sceptical about peace prospects (Updates with signing of ceasefire deal, end of heavy fighting)
    By Aleksandar Vasovic and Gabriela Baczynska
    MARIUPOL/DONETSK, Ukraine, Sept 5 (Reuters) - Heavy fighting between Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russian rebels appeared to subside after envoys meeting in Minsk approved a peace deal that included a ceasefire taking effect from 1500 GMT on Friday.
    Minutes after the ceasefire was due to come into force, three explosions were heard north of the city of Donetsk. It was not immediately clear how serious the blasts were.
    Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko said envoys from Ukraine, the pro-Russian separatist leadership, Russia and Europe's OSCE security watchdog had agreed the ceasefire and a peace plan for the war-shattered region in talks in Minsk.
    Fighting had raged for much of the day in two areas of eastern Ukraine - near the strategic port of Mariupol on the Sea of Azov and further north in the rebel stronghold of Donetsk, mainly near the city airport which remains in government hands.
    A Reuters reporter heard more Ukrainian shelling of rebel positions east of Mariupol about two hours before the ceasefire was scheduled to start. Under the ceasefire terms, both sides are meant to stay in their current positions.
    A Ukrainian military spokesman said the situation in Mariupol "stabilised" after the announcement of the ceasefire.
    Kiev says its forces have been trying to repel a big offensive by the rebels to take Mariupol, whose port is crucial to Ukraine's steel exports. It stands about halfway between Russia and the Russian-annexed Crimean Peninsula.
    Ukrainian commanders denied separatist claims that their forces had entered Mariupol on Friday.
    "(This claim) is not true. We have even driven them back from the positions they held before," said Andriy Lysenko, spokesman for Ukraine's National Security and Defence Council.
    A spokesman for the rebels' self-proclaimed 'Donetsk People's Republic' (DNR) told Reuters: "The army of the DNR has partly entered Mariupol. But the city is not taken."
    Mariupol became a major focus of concern for Ukraine after the rebels broke out of their main strongholds further north in late August - backed, Kiev says, by Russian regular forces.
    Russia denies sending troops and weapons into Ukraine, despite what NATO says is overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
    A Ukrainian military spokesman told a daily news briefing in Kiev that about 2,000 Russian servicemen had been killed so far in the Ukraine conflict. There was no way of confirming the figure independently. The United Nations recently put the total death toll in the conflict to date at more than 2,600.
    "BETRAYAL"
    However, few in eastern Ukraine, wearied by nearly six months of conflict, have much hope that a ceasefire can hold and some said it was a bad idea that would only benefit the enemy.
    "A ceasefire would be a disaster, we would lose everything. By fighting, we can resist the invasion and send them back. With a ceasefire, they will consolidate and carry on after a while," said Taras, a Ukrainian soldier, speaking before the announcement of the deal in Minsk.
    Another soldier who gave his name as Mykola said Poroshenko - who was attending the second day of a NATO summit in Wales - would be "betraying the country" if he backed a peace plan now:
    "If he goes for a peace plan, then all these dead and wounded and exiled and all the homes burned and jobs lost and money lost, it was all for nothing."
    In rebel-held Donetsk, where residents mostly tend to blame the Ukrainian side for the conflict, scepticism was also strong.
    "I doubt Ukraine would go for any ceasefire. Poroshenko may announce it for the army but there are also the Kolomoisky battalions," said Denis Tikhinov, 22, who worked for a computer servicing firm before it shut because of the fighting.
    He was referring to battalions formed by Ihor Kolomoisky, a wealthy businessman and governor of the Dnipropetrovsk region, to help fight the pro-Russian separatists.
    "When the first ceasefire was announced by Poroshenko, Kolomoisky said there would be no such thing and gave orders to his battalions to go on destroying the city and civilians."
    On Friday, people queued to get water from cisterns, to sign up for humanitarian aid and to withdraw money from the cash machine of one of the few banks still working in Donetsk, which had a pre-war population of about 1 million.
    A mosque, shops and schools were among buildings damaged by renewed shelling on Friday morning.
    "I have no hope. Poroshenko is a traitor, he makes promises but he's just lying to the people," said pensioner Lidia. (Writing by Gareth Jones; additional reporting by Andrei Makhovsky in Minsk and Pavel Polityuk in Kiev; Editing by Dominic Evans)
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    Default Re: Russian Invasion Of Ukraine (Formerly: Democratic Malaise Draws Ukraine Eastwards

    Ukraine and pro-Russian rebels on 'cusp of peace deal'


    Published 04/09/2014 | 17:23



    An unmarked military vehicle burns on a country road in the village of Berezove, eastern Ukraine, Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014, after a clash between pro-government troops and Russian-backed separatist militia



    Ukraine and the pro-Russian separatists appear increasingly close to signing a deal to end four months of fighting.


    Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko said he is ready to order a ceasefire in the east tomorrow if a peace deal is signed that day at talks in Minsk, Belarus.

    An unmarked military vehicle burns on a country road in the village of Berezove, eastern Ukraine, Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014, after a clash between pro-government troops and Russian-backed separatist militia



    The rebels also said they were ready to declare a truce if an agreement with Ukraine is reached on a political settlement for the mostly Russian-speaking region.
    Mr Poroshenko discussed the outlines of a deal with Russian president Vladimir Putin yesterday, and they both voiced optimism about reaching an agreement in Minsk.

    Unmarked Military vehicles burning in country roads in the village of Berezove, eastern Ukraine, Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014, after a clash between pro-government troops and Russian-backed separatist militia.



    A White House official said Mr Obama and other leaders attending a Nato summit in Wales expressed solidarity with Ukraine and agreed Russia should be punished for its conduct in Ukraine.


    "The leaders reiterated their condemnation of Russia's continued flagrant violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and agreed on the need for Russia to face increased costs for its actions," US deputy national security advisor Ben Rhodes said. "The leaders also expressed their strong support for President Poroshenko's efforts to achieve a peaceful resolution to the conflict."


    Mr Poroshenko was meeting later with the heads of state and government from all 28 Nato member states, even though Nato officials have made clear that membership for Ukraine is not in the cards any time soon.


    Pro-Russian rebels ride on an APC near the village of Berezove, eastern Ukraine, Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014, after a clash between pro-government troops and Russian-backed separatist militia



    In Moscow, Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov warned that reports Ukraine was seeking to join Nato were "a blatant attempt to derail all the efforts" to seek a peaceful solution to the fighting.


    Russian-backed separatists have been battling government troops in eastern Ukraine since mid-April in a conflict that the UN estimates has killed nearly 2,600 people. Nato says at least 1,000 Russian fighters are helping the rebels and Associated Press journalists have seen convoys of heavy military equipment moving in rebel-held territory from the direction of Russia.


    Rebels have made substantial advances against Ukrainian forces over the past two weeks, including opening a new front along the Sea of Azov coast. That offensive has raised concerns the rebels are aiming to seize Mariupol, a major port of about 500,000 people, and create a land corridor between Russia and Crimea, the Black Sea peninsula that Russia annexed in March.


    An AP reporter saw three military-type vehicles ablaze in Berezove, a village along the main road connecting Mariupol with Donetsk, the largest rebel-held city. Rebel fighters were on the move, indicating they could be trying to take control of the strategic highway. Later, columns of smoke rose outside the nearby village of Olenivka, suggesting that Ukrainian forces were trying to retake it.


    Ukraine's UN ambassador said a convoy of Russian tanks and armoured vehicles had moved from the eastern resort town of Novoazovsk toward Mariupol and was stopped by Ukrainian forces and civilians. Yuriy Sergeyev told reporters in New York that "the fight is still going on" and said the convoy had four tanks, three armoured vehicles and about 50 soldiers.


    Specifics of the hoped-for peace deal are yet to be finalised. Mr Putin has suggested that rebels halt their offensive while the Ukrainian government forces should pull back away from shelling residential areas.


    Mr Poroshenko, in his turn, called for the withdrawal of foreign troops, a diplomatic reference to Russian forces, as well as establishing a buffer zone on the border and releasing all Ukrainian prisoners held in Russia.


    Both sides have expressed readiness for international monitoring of the truce and a prisoners' exchange.


    - See more at: http://www.independent.ie/world-news....xPs0ygcr.dpuf
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    Default Re: Russian Invasion Of Ukraine (Formerly: Democratic Malaise Draws Ukraine Eastwards

    Dutch report blames 'high-energy objects' for MH17 crash, no suspects named

    Dutch investigators say cockpit recordings show no emergency in the moments before Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 went down on July 17. Pro-Russian rebels fighting in eastern Ukraine are widely blamed for the incident.


    By Whitney Eulich, Staff writer

    • Maxim Zmeyev/Reuters/File
      View Caption




    A daily roundup of terrorism and security issues.
    A Malaysian Airlines passenger jet broke into pieces over Ukraine in July after it was struck by "high-energy objects from outside the aircraft,” according to a preliminary Dutch report.


    “A full listening of the communications among the crew members in the cockpit recorded on the cockpit voice recorder revealed no signs of any technical faults or an emergency situation,” the Dutch Safety Board said in its report summary. “Neither were any warning tones heard in the cockpit that might have pointed to technical problems.”


    Recommended: How safe is flying? Take the aviation safety quiz
    The much-anticipated report released Tuesday stopped short of saying the Boeing 777 was shot down by a surface-to-air missile, and it did not say who was responsible for the July 17 incident, which took place over Ukrainian territory held by pro-Russian rebels. The investigators found "no evidence of technical or human error,” for the crash. A final report is expected by July 2015.



    Kiev and the West have accused pro-Russian rebels armed with Russian surface-to-air missile launchers of downing the plane, which was flying between Amsterdam and Malaysia's capital Kuala Lumpur. Moscow denies any involvement and some officials have pointed a finger at Ukraine's government.


    Tuesday’s report was issued just one day after the European Union announced new sanctions on the Kremlin over its role in the Ukrainian conflict, which has killed more than 3,000 people, including the nearly 300 who perished in the Malaysia Airlines flight.


    A cease-fire has been in place in eastern Ukraine since Friday, but already four Ukrainian soldiers have been killed and tens have been injured, reports TIME.


    Due to the ongoing violence in eastern Ukraine, the Dutch researchers have had limited access to the crash site, reports The BBC. Investigators relied on information gleaned from the plane’s black box flight recorders, air traffic control in both Ukraine and Russia, and photos and videos from the crash site to write their preliminary report. It took nearly a week after the crash for the first victim remains to be repatriated.
    According to The New York Times:
    For days [after the crash], bodies and debris were strewn across fields near the village of Grabavo, a separatist-controlled area not far from the border with Russia.
    Much of the wreckage was left unguarded and accessible to journalists, mourners and curiosity-seekers, raising concerns that important evidence may have been tampered with.
    Though report authors didn’t specify exactly what created the "high-energy objects" that brought down the plane, or who was responsible, many observers have started to use the report's preliminary findings to back up their own conclusions on the flight’s demise.


    Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said, "The findings are consistent with the government's statement that MH17 was shot down by a large surface-to-air missile."

    Australia suffered the second-largest loss of life among citizens on the flight, with 38 Australians killed (there were 196 Dutch citizens on board).

    Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak echoed this point of view in a written statement that noted the report’s key findings lead, “to the strong suspicion that a surface-to-air missile brought MH17 down.” He acknowledged that “further investigative work is needed before we can be certain."


    An aviation safety specialist, Christopher Yates, told The Associated Press that the report "is extremely consistent” with damage from a missile because of the “penetration marks” on the plane:
    "It must have been moving at very high velocity to create the damage," [Mr. Yates] said. "It could only be a missile of the type that would reach the altitude that would have struck the aircraft, potentially a Buk missile.


    He said the report gave no indication whether the missile had been fired from the ground or from another aircraft, but it likely came from the ground as there were no military aircraft known to have been flying at the time. The missile could not have been shoulder-fired because it would not have reached the necessary altitude, he added.
    A separate criminal investigation by prosecutors at The Hague is also underway, the BBC reports.
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    Default Re: Russian Invasion Of Ukraine (Formerly: Democratic Malaise Draws Ukraine Eastwards

    Shot down. No one is saying whodunit....
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    Default Re: Russian Invasion Of Ukraine (Formerly: Democratic Malaise Draws Ukraine Eastwards

    Although this: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-29119024

    Says "multiple objects hit the aircraft".

    Anti aircraft artillery? Or was it shot up as it was coming down after being hit with a missile?
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    Default Re: Russian Invasion Of Ukraine (Formerly: Democratic Malaise Draws Ukraine Eastwards

    9 September 2014 Last updated at 08:49 ET Share this page







    MH17 crash: Dutch experts say numerous objects hit plane

    The BBC's Anna Holligan reports takes a close-up look at one of the first copies of the report

    Continue reading the main story MH17 crash





    Dutch experts say Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 broke up in mid-air after being hit by "objects" that "pierced the plane at high velocity" in July.


    The new report also said there was "no evidence of technical or human error".


    Correspondents say this matches claims that MH17 was hit by missile shrapnel.


    Investigators relied on cockpit data, air traffic control and images, as the crash site in eastern Ukraine remains too dangerous to access amid fighting between government troops and rebels.


    The plane was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it crashed in rebel-held territory in eastern Ukraine.


    All 298 people on board, most of them from the Netherlands, died when the plane came down, amid reports it was shot down by pro-Russian rebels.


    Tjibbe Joustra, chairman of the Dutch Safety Board, which is conducting the investigation, said a final report would take around a year to publish.


    "We're trying to make the report for the next-of-kin - very important - but also for history," Mr Joustra said.




    The crash site was in rebel-held territory in eastern Ukraine, making the investigation even more difficult

    Analysis: Richard Westcott, Transport correspondent

    This report doesn't say flight MH17 was knocked from the sky by a missile. But it pretty much rules out anything else.


    There were no emergencies on board, no mechanical problems, the pilots didn't make any mistakes.


    Instead, it talks about the plane being punctured by "high-velocity objects", which is consistent with how the BUK missile system works (that's the system many suspect was responsible). They don't actually hit the target, they explode nearby and pepper it with shrapnel for maximum damage.


    But all of this doesn't answer the critical question. Who fired the missile?


    Both sides in this conflict use the same weapon. To find out who made this terrible mistake, they need to determine where on the ground the missile was actually launched from. And one expert told me that they should eventually be able to work that out with a combination of radar data and evidence from the scene.


    There is one very sobering fact also highlighted in this report. Three other, very large commercial airliners flew over the same area at around the same time.
    Russians 'operated BUK' in MH17 area


    Investigators say the cockpit voice recorder "gave no indication that there was anything abnormal" on board



    The Dutch team analysed photographs of the wreckage that showed a number of pieces with multiple holes


    They said the plane "broke up in the air probably as the result of structural damage caused by a large number of high-velocity objects that penetrated the aircraft from outside."


    The cockpit voice recorder revealed no signs of any technical faults or an emergency situation, the experts said.


    The investigators have not visited the crash site because of fighting in the area but they said photographic evidence of the wreckage suggests the plane split into pieces during "an in-flight break up".


    Maintenance history showed the aircraft was airworthy and had no known technical problems when it took off from Amsterdam, the report added.


    Experts said it was manned by "a qualified and experienced crew" and that engines were running normally at 293 knots at 33,000ft (cruise altitude).


    Radio communications between the pilot and Ukrainian air traffic control confirm that no emergency call was made.



    Final transmissions from MH17

    At 13:08:00 MH17 contacts Ukraine's Dnipropetrovsk International Airport (DNP):


    MH17 to DNP: Dnipro Radar, Malaysian one seven, flight level 330


    DNP to MH17: Malaysian one seven, Dnipro Radar, good day, radar contact


    Flight MH17's last transmission was at 13:19:56 when it responded to a navigation request from DNP:


    DNP to MH17: Malaysian one seven, due traffic proceed direct to point Romeo November Delta


    MH17 to DNP: Romeo November Delta, Malaysian one seven


    At 13:20:00, DNP sends MH17 another radar message but there is no response:


    DNP to MH17: Malaysian one seven, how do you read me? Malaysian one seven, Dnipro Radar


    DNP makes two more requests for contact from MH17 before Russia's Rostov airport (RST) calls in at 13:22:05.


    RST to DNP: Listening [to] you, its Rostov


    DNP to RST: Rostov, do you observe the Malaysian by... by the response?


    RST to DNP: No, it seems that its target started falling apart.


    Criminal investigation

    While it is not the final report into the crash, the findings are significant because they are the first official account of what happened, says the BBC's Anna Holligan in the Netherlands.


    The report does not attribute blame or liability for the crash but a separate criminal investigation is being conducted by prosecutors in The Hague, she adds.


    Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak welcomed the report, saying it "leads to the strong suspicion that a surface-to-air missile brought MH17 down".


    Meanwhile, the rebel leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic, Aleksandr Zakharchenko, insisted the separatists did not have the capability to shoot down the plane.


    "I can say one thing only: we simply do not have the kind of hardware that could have downed a commercial Boeing, including that Malaysian plane," he told the Russian Interfax news agency.


    Ukraine's government and several Western leaders say there is strong evidence that pro-Russian separatists shot down the plane with an anti-aircraft system known as Buk.
    Russia has consistently denied allegations that it had supplied any missiles or weapons to the rebels.



    The Russian government denies delivering arms to the separatists


    The search for evidence has been hampered by heavy fighting in the region, and Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai called on both sides to grant investigators full access.


    "The crash site is a criminal investigation area and it is imperative that we protect the integrity of the crash site and allow the investigation to proceed," he said.


    More than 2,600 people have been killed and thousands more wounded since violence between rebels and Ukrainian government forces erupted in April.




    Key findings of report


    • Likely that damage resulted in loss of structural integrity of aircraft, leading to break-up in the air
    • Forward parts of plane found near Petropavlivka closest to last flight data broadcast
    • Cockpit window contained numerous small puncture holes suggesting small objects entered from above level of cockpit floor
    • Damage to forward section indicates plane penetrated by large number of high-velocity objects from outside
    • No evidence found of manipulation of flight and data recorders
    • No indication of technical or operational issues with plane or crew


    Malaysia plane crash: What we know
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    Default Re: Russian Invasion Of Ukraine (Formerly: Democratic Malaise Draws Ukraine Eastwards

    According to the Separatists, they have no missiles to shoot down aircraft.

    If that is the truth (I somehow doubt it is) then there remains the Ukrainians and the Russians.

    Since there IS evidence the Russians were moving specific AA missiles into play, I vote Russians. Especially since of the group of missiles they were bringing in, ONE WAS MISSING....
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    Default Re: Russian Invasion Of Ukraine (Formerly: Democratic Malaise Draws Ukraine Eastwards

    These guys are nut jobs... but this is an interesting take.

    Sep 9 2014

    Ukraine Joining Nato Would Provoke Nuclear War



    Washington’s Blog

    U.S and NATO Responsible for Ukraine Crisis … and West Has Agreed to Cover Up Details About Shoot Down of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17


    Stephen Cohen is one of America’s top experts on Russia. Cohen is professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at New York University and Princeton University, and the author of a number of books on Russia and the Soviet Union.


    Cohen says that the West is mainly to blame for the crisis in Ukraine:


    This is a horrific, tragic, completely unnecessary war in eastern Ukraine. In my own judgment, we have contributed mightily to this tragedy. I would say that historians one day will look back and say that America has blood on its hands. Three thousand people have died, most of them civilians who couldn’t move quickly. That’s women with small children, older women. A million refugees.


    Cohen joins other American experts on Russia – such as former U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union, Jack Matlock – in this assessment.


    Cohen also says that if Ukraine joins NATO, it will lead to nuclear war:


    [Interviewer:] The possibility of Ukraine in NATO and what that means and what—


    STEPHEN COHEN: Nuclear war.


    [Interviewer:] Explain.


    STEPHEN COHEN: Next question. I mean, it’s clear. It’s clear. First of all, by NATO’s own rules, Ukraine cannot join NATO, a country that does not control its own territory. In this case, Kiev controls less and less by the day. It’s lost Crimea. It’s losing the Donbas—I just described why—to the war. A country that does not control its own territory cannot join Ukraine [sic]. Those are the rules.


    [Interviewer:] Cannot join—


    STEPHEN COHEN: I mean, NATO. Secondly, you have to meet certain economic, political and military criteria to join NATO. Ukraine meets none of them. Thirdly, and most importantly, Ukraine is linked to Russia not only in terms of being Russia’s essential security zone, but it’s linked conjugally, so to speak, intermarriage. There are millions, if not tens of millions, of Russian and Ukrainians married together. Put it in NATO, and you’re going to put a barricade through millions of families. Russia will react militarily.


    In fact, Russia is already reacting militarily, because look what they’re doing in Wales today. They’re going to create a so-called rapid deployment force of 4,000 fighters.

    What is 4,000 fighters? Fifteen thousand or less rebels in Ukraine are crushing a 50,000-member Ukrainian army. Four thousand against a million-man Russian army, it’s nonsense. The real reason for creating the so-called rapid deployment force is they say it needs infrastructure. And the infrastructure—that is, in plain language is military bases—need to be on Russia’s borders. And they’ve said where they’re going to put them: in the Baltic republic, Poland and Romania.


    Now, why is this important? Because NATO has expanded for 20 years, but it’s been primarily a political expansion, bringing these countries of eastern Europe into our sphere of political influence; now it’s becoming a military expansion. So, within a short period of time, we will have a new—well, we have a new Cold War, but here’s the difference. The last Cold War, the military confrontation was in Berlin, far from Russia. Now it will be, if they go ahead with this NATO decision, right plunk on Russia’s borders. Russia will then leave the historic nuclear agreement that Reagan and Gorbachev signed in 1987 to abolish short-range nuclear missiles. It was the first time nuclear—a category of nuclear weapons had ever been abolished.

    Where are, by the way, the nuclear abolitionists today? Where is the grassroots movement, you know, FREEZE, SANE? Where have these people gone to? Because we’re looking at a new nuclear arms race. Russia moves these intermediate missiles now to protect its own borders, as the West comes toward Russia. And the tripwire for using these weapons is enormous.



    One other thing. Russia has about, I think, 10,000 tactical nuclear weapons, sometimes called battlefield nuclear weapons. You use these for short distances. They can be fired; you don’t need an airplane or a missile to fly them. They can be fired from artillery. But they’re nuclear. They’re radioactive. They’ve never been used. Russia has about 10,000. We have about 500. Russia’s military doctrine clearly says that if Russia is threatened by overwhelming conventional forces, we will use tactical nuclear weapons. So when Obama boasts, as he has on two occasions, that our conventional weapons are vastly superior to Russia, he’s feeding into this argument by the Russian hawks that we have to get our tactical nuclear weapons ready.


    Former Polish president – and famed anti-communist activist – Lech Walesa agrees that the U.S. and NATO’s arming of Ukraine could lead to a nuclear war


    Cohen also notes that the West has entered into an agreement to cover-up what happened to Malaysian airlines flight 17, because Russia was not responsible:
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    Default Re: Russian Invasion Of Ukraine (Formerly: Democratic Malaise Draws Ukraine Eastwards

    Malaysia: Dutch report suggests MH-17 shot down from ground

    By Anthony Deutsch and Gabriela Baczynska
    THE HAGUE/GRABOVO Tue Sep 9, 2014 1:05pm EDT

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    1 of 9. A teaddy bear is placed next to wreckage at the site of the downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, near the village of Hrabove (Grabovo) in Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine September 9, 2014.
    Credit: Reuters/Marko Djurica




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    Malaysia: Dutch report suggests MH-17 shot down from ground




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    (Reuters) - Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 broke apart over Ukraine due to impact from a large number of fragments, the Dutch Safety Board said on Tuesday, in a report that Malaysia's prime minister and several experts said suggested it was shot down from the ground.
    The crash over pro-Russian rebel-held territory in eastern Ukraine on July 17 killed 298 people, two thirds of them from the Netherlands.
    Ukraine and Western countries accuse the rebels of shooting it down with an advanced, Russian-made missile. The main rebel leader repeated earlier assertions that his forces did not possess such weapons.
    The report said MH17 crashed due to a "large number of high-energy objects" penetrating the fuselage. "There are no indications that the MH17 crash was caused by a technical fault or by actions of the crew," it said.
    Although the report did not mention a missile, impact with a large number of fragments would be consistent with a "proximity" warhead, designed to explode in the air and hurl shrapnel at its target, said Tim Ripley, a defense analyst with Jane's Defense Weekly magazine.
    Such warheads can be fitted to a number of missiles, including the Russian-made BUK surface-to-air missile that Ukraine and Western allies, including the United States, say was fired by separatists who probably hit the airliner by accident.
    "The preliminary report suggests that high energy objects penetrated the aircraft and led it to break up midair," Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said in a statement. "This leads to the strong suspicion that a surface-to-air missile brought MH17 down, but further investigative work is needed before we can be certain," he added.
    Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said it was still too early to assign blame: "We need to be careful not to draw conclusions too quickly," he told journalists. "Step-by-step, the experts are working to reach irrefutable conclusions."
    A final report by the board is not expected until mid 2015. The Netherlands is also running a separate investigation into the possibility of criminal charges against suspected culprits.
    Russian authorities have suggested in the past that other theories were possible, including that the plane may have been shot down from the air. However, the report found no military aircraft in the vicinity.
    "It's consistent with a hit by a ground missile," said Joris Melkert, a lecturer in aerospace engineering at the Technical University of Delft. "What could cause a pattern of high velocity particles 10 kilometers up in the sky? As far as I can see, the only thing that could do that is a rocket," he said. "The report finds there were only three other aircraft in the vicinity: two Boeing 777s and one Airbus A330, so both civilian, which makes the surface-to-air missile more likely."
    WAR ZONE
    The investigation has been hard because the crash took place near the front line. Although a small number of Malaysian inspectors and Dutch body recovery experts reached the site, fighting kept Dutch air crash investigators away. A ceasefire this week means the area is quieter at last.
    "In the beginning they were all coming here, the Dutch, the Malaysians, but then they stopped because of the fighting," said Vasily, a retired miner, near the site on Tuesday. "Now it's the ceasefire and things have calmed down here a lot."
    Most of the wreckage is still lying in Ukrainian wheat and sunflower fields. Passenger seats, suitcases, clothing, toys, and bags of mail were still scattered across the rolling fields around Grabovo village on Tuesday.
    Large parts of the aircraft, including a big piece of wing, still lay in the open, along with flowers laid by residents to honor the dead. Bits of fuselage - some torn apart, some burned, some melted from the intense heat of the crash - lay several hundred meters away, with landing gear and engine parts.
    Photographs of the wreckage detailed in the report showed multiple shrapnel impacts. A site visit would greatly help the investigation, said Tjibbe Joustra, head of the Safety Board.
    "There are elements we are interested in. The cockpit is very important because a lot of those objects penetrated the cockpit," he said, adding that flight instruments also contain data not registered by the flight data recorders.
    The early findings were based on data retrieved from the cockpit voice recorder, the flight data recorder, satellite and other images, and radar information. Joustra said investigators had found no evidence of tampering with the flight recorders, which were recovered by rebels and turned over to Malaysia. Kiev and its Western allies, including the United States, say separatists were supplied from Russia with a BUK, an advanced system with large missiles that have enough range to hit an airliner at cruising height.
    The separatists have mostly denied ever possessing such missiles, although one separatist leader told Reuters in July that they did in fact have one on the day the plane was shot down. Moscow denies supplying the rebels with weapons.
    "I can say only one thing. We just don't have the (military) equipment which could bring down a passenger Boeing, including this Malaysian plane," Alexander Zakharchenko, leader of the rebel self-declared Donetsk People's Republic said on Tuesday.
    U.S. President Barack Obama said the day after the crash that "evidence indicates that the plane was shot down by a surface-to-air missile that was launched from an area that is controlled by Russian-backed separatists inside of Ukraine".
    The Dutch report is "an initial, provisional sequence of events" and it could take up to a year for a final report to be concluded, the board said.
    Nearly two months after the crash, Tuesday's release is several weeks past a 4 week timeframe generally required by the International Civil Aviation Organization. Extra time was given due to the complex nature of the MH17 case.
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    Default Re: Russian Invasion Of Ukraine (Formerly: Democratic Malaise Draws Ukraine Eastwards

    Ukraine says Russia withdrawing forces from east, sees boost for peace

    By Pavel Polityuk and Gareth Jones
    KIEV Wed Sep 10, 2014 1:18pm EDT

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    1 of 16. Members of the Ukrainian national guard stand at a checkpoint nearby the town of Slavyanoserbsk, in Luhansk region September 10, 2014.
    Credit: Reuters/Gleb Garanich







    (Reuters) - Ukraine's president said on Wednesday Russia had removed the bulk of its forces from his country, raising hopes for a peace drive now underway after five months of conflict in which more than 3,000 people have been killed.


    Moscow denies sending troops into eastern Ukraine to support pro-Russian rebels battling Ukrainian forces, despite what Kiev and its Western backers say is overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Moscow also denies arming the separatists.


    President Petro Poroshenko told a televised cabinet meeting Ukraine would remain a sovereign, united country under the terms of a peace roadmap approved last Friday, but said parts of the east under rebel control would get special status.


    "According to the latest information I have received from our intelligence, 70 percent of Russian troops have been moved back across the border," he said. "This further strengthens our hope that the peace initiatives have good prospects."


    However, Poroshenko said the ceasefire was not proving easy to maintain because "terrorists" were constantly trying to provoke Kiev's forces.


    Ukraine's military recorded at least six violations of the ceasefire overnight but said there were no casualties. Five servicemen have been killed during the ceasefire, Ukraine says. A civilian was also killed at the weekend during shelling of the eastern port of Mariupol on the Sea of Azov in eastern Ukraine.


    Poroshenko said Ukraine was regrouping its forces in eastern Ukraine, not in preparation for a new offensive against the rebels, as the separatists themselves have suggested, but in order to defend territory from possible attack.


    The Kremlin said Russian President Vladimir Putin and Poroshenko were broadly satisfied with how the ceasefire, in place for nearly five days, was holding in Ukraine. The two leaders spoke by phone on Tuesday for the second time this week.


    OLIVE BRANCH


    In his televised remarks, Poroshenko offered the rebels an olive branch by saying he would propose a bill next week offering "special status" to parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of eastern Ukraine they now control.


    But he was adamant in rejecting the separatists' demands for full independence for their regions and the kind of radical "federalization" favored by Russia.


    "The Minsk protocol envisages the restoration and preservation of Ukrainian sovereignty on all the territory of the Donbass (in eastern Ukraine), including that controlled by the fighters," Poroshenko said.


    City authorities in Mariupol, a key frontline in the conflict, announced on Wednesday tough new security measures including a night-time curfew to help control rebel movements.


    Underlining the complexity of the conflict, armed Chechen fighters in the eastern city of Dnipropetrovsk told Reuters they had come to Ukraine to take revenge on "Russian invaders" who they said had destroyed their own North Caucasus homeland.


    "They (the Russians) took everything from us, I had to bury all my relatives, my daughter ... We are here now on a mission to save Ukraine," said their commander, Isa Munayev, who said he now had a Danish passport.


    Russia waged two wars in the 1990s against separatists in Chechnya, a small, mainly Muslim republic in the North Caucasus. But other Chechens, loyal to the region's current pro-Moscow ruler, are now fighting in Ukraine on the rebels' side


    The conflict in Ukraine has plunged relations between Russia and the West to their lowest point since the Cold War.


    Putin accused NATO on Wednesday of using the Ukraine crisis to "resuscitate itself". He also signed a decree taking direct charge of a commission that oversees Russia's defense industry as Moscow tries to reduce reliance on Western equipment.


    At a summit last week in Wales, NATO pledged support for non-member Ukraine in its efforts to tackle the separatist rebellion and announced plans to beef up the defense of alliance members in eastern Europe, including the Baltic republics.


    The European Union and United States have imposed economic sanctions against Russia over its role in Ukraine, prompting Moscow to retaliate by banning most Western food imports.


    The EU has prepared another wave of sanctions targeting Russia's banking and energy sectors but has held off implementing them to see whether the ceasefire holds.


    German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the EU's most powerful leader, said in Berlin that the 28-nation bloc should go ahead with the new sanctions, adding it could always suspend them later if there was progress towards a durable peace in Ukraine.


    Poroshenko signed a law on Wednesday allowing Ukraine to impose its own sanctions against Russian firms and individuals deemed to be backing the separatists in eastern Ukraine.


    In Prague, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which is monitoring the ceasefire, said it would be reasonable to allow more time for the peace process before imposing more sanctions against Russia.


    Didier Burkhalter, who is president of Switzerland, said the OSCE would soon deploy drones to monitor the ceasefire.


    Human rights group Amnesty International said in Moscow it had documented evidence of war crimes by both sides and also repeated criticism of Russia's role in the conflict.
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  12. #692
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    Default Re: Russian Invasion Of Ukraine (Formerly: Democratic Malaise Draws Ukraine Eastwards

    I just thought i'd speak to my back-and-forth on the Ukraine crisis and other matters, briefly.

    As I mature, I value things much more, even the peoples who fight and struggle for freedom in lands far away from me, and especially those who preserve Orthodoxy as the foundation of their unwillingness to bend the knee to any Despot whether Czar or Commissar or Chekist in a business suit... It is the battle against the real Rus that is the Ukraine, and the spiritual and cultural descendants of the 'Golden Horde' regime after the Mongols invaded. Today, the mask the Kremlin wears is that of the ideology is 'Eurasianism', but it is always Tyranny any way you cut it. I cannot dishonor the memory of the 10 Million Ukrainians who were executed or starved to death in the Holodomor in the 1930's, while the despots continue to have statues placed of their murderers Lenin and Stalin all over the 'former' Soviet Union. Today Barbarism wears a human face, but the aims of these men remains the same.

    They are very afraid of a free and prosperous and great Ukraine, a Ukraine that could easily have the potential to be the 'America' of Europe, this is what all this is about.

    This war in the Ukraine-don't believe the media lies-still goes on smolderingly even after the 'ceasefire', and it will heat up again you can bet on it. We need to continue to document the ongoing struggle, the Revolution which we ourselves began in 1776 and which burst into flame once more in Kiev in our own day.
    "God's an old hand at miracles, he brings us from nonexistence to life. And surely he will resurrect all human flesh on the last day in the twinkling of an eye. But who can comprehend this? For God is this: he creates the new and renews the old. Glory be to him in all things!" Archpriest Avvakum

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    Default Re: Russian Invasion Of Ukraine (Formerly: Democratic Malaise Draws Ukraine Eastwards

    Found these pics of Islamists who had been flocking to the Donbass region of Ukraine, to fight for Islam by fighting for 'Russia';

    Name:  islamic militants on russia's side.jpg
Views: 85
Size:  67.7 KB

    Check this former KGB agent's paper on this kind of thing;

    http://www.leninandsharia.com/docs/preobrazhensky.pdf







    Helpful hints regarding this issue; go to www.LeninandSharia.com

    Last edited by Avvakum; October 7th, 2014 at 23:26.
    "God's an old hand at miracles, he brings us from nonexistence to life. And surely he will resurrect all human flesh on the last day in the twinkling of an eye. But who can comprehend this? For God is this: he creates the new and renews the old. Glory be to him in all things!" Archpriest Avvakum

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    Creepy Ass Cracka & Site Owner Ryan Ruck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Russian Invasion Of Ukraine (Formerly: Democratic Malaise Draws Ukraine Eastwards


    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.”

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    Default Re: Russian Invasion Of Ukraine (Formerly: Democratic Malaise Draws Ukraine Eastwards

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Ruck View Post

    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.”
    I think this was part of the overall 'strategic deception' of the Free World, and this particular phase of it was planned out about 10 years ago. 'Soviet Union 2.0' can't have the Ukrainians in it, but the Ukrainians couldn't be allowed to keep the Crimea, so this 'crisis' was created with the ouster of Yanukovich to take the Crimea back into Neo-Soviet hands. This war over the Donbass region was expected to go down just like the Crimea annexation, but the Ukrainians fought back and only a ceasefire and the direct intervention of regular Russian troops saved the 'Donetsk People's Republic' from destruction by an increasingly awakened Ukraine.
    "God's an old hand at miracles, he brings us from nonexistence to life. And surely he will resurrect all human flesh on the last day in the twinkling of an eye. But who can comprehend this? For God is this: he creates the new and renews the old. Glory be to him in all things!" Archpriest Avvakum

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    Default Re: Russian Invasion Of Ukraine (Formerly: Democratic Malaise Draws Ukraine Eastwards

    So... in connection to the other thread... "Yeah, people DO think about nukes".
    Libertatem Prius!


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    Default Re: Russian Invasion Of Ukraine (Formerly: Democratic Malaise Draws Ukraine Eastwards

    Quote Originally Posted by American Patriot View Post
    So... in connection to the other thread... "Yeah, people DO think about nukes".
    Indeed.

    Ukraine should never have given up theirs, but we thought at the time the fewer new nations in the 'FSU' having them, the better. No weapon can stop an idea though, I look back and saw a photo that sums it all up for me and the way I want to live, an Ukrainian Orthodox priest standing between the people assembled in the main square in Kiev, and the Interior Ministry goons of Yanukovich;

    Name:  priests2.jpg
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    Saying with his stance; "You shall not pass!", if they attack the crowd, they'd have to go through him first.
    "God's an old hand at miracles, he brings us from nonexistence to life. And surely he will resurrect all human flesh on the last day in the twinkling of an eye. But who can comprehend this? For God is this: he creates the new and renews the old. Glory be to him in all things!" Archpriest Avvakum

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    Default Re: Democratic Malaise Draws Ukraine Eastwards

    Ukraine soldiers to government: we're coming for you next















    . View gallery






    Dnipropetrovsk (Ukraine) (AFP) - Vitaliy Feshchenko, one of thousands of Ukrainian volunteers fighting pro-Russian rebels, has this message for government leaders back in the capital Kiev: his battle-hardened men might come for them next.
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    The bearded fighter's warning illustrates the lack of trust Ukraine's young revolutionaries have in President Petro Poroshenko and other politicians promising to drag their country from a corrupt, post-Soviet past into a European future.
    And this is why.
    A peaceful, pro-democracy protest in 2004 on Kiev's Maidan Square toppled Russian-backed president Viktor Yanukovych, but led only to bitter disappointment and Yanukovych's return. So this February, huge crowds once more braved the cold and riot police on Maidan to topple the government and demand reform -- and now their greatest fear is being let down yet again.
    "There won't be a third Maidan if that happens," Feshchenko, 38, said in the frenetic headquarters of the Dnipro-1 volunteer militia in Dnipropetrovsk, in eastern Ukraine, where he is deputy commander. "There'll be a military takeover."
    It might be hard to imagine how Ukraine, nearly bankrupt and being steadily dismembered by Russian troops and heavily armed pro-Russian separatists, could get more chaotic. Angry veterans heading to Kiev would accomplish that.
    "We're going to give them half a year to show the country has somehow changed, that even if it's hard, there's light ahead," Yuriy Bereza, Dnipro-1's popular commander, told AFP.
    Asked what would happen should that deadline pass, another paramilitary member at headquarters, a tall man in civilian clothing with a pistol strapped to his side, didn't hesitate.
    "A coup," he said.
    - VOLUNTEERS TO THE RESCUE -
    When Russian troops swarmed into Ukraine's southern region Crimea in March, Ukrainians dizzy with the success of the latest street revolution in Kiev were caught flat-footed. Their country of 45 million people, it turned out, barely had an army -- no more than 6,000 combat ready troops, according to the then defence minister.
    That's when thousands of civilians, in large part activists from the Maidan, began joining hastily thrown together battalions funded by everything from oligarchs to grassroots charities.
    Crimea, where entire bases of regular Ukrainian troops surrendered without a shot, was already lost, but a new crisis erupted in the industrial east, where separatists closely linked to Russia were taking over strings of towns.
    Deploying alongside Ukraine's regular army, the sometimes barely trained, but enthusiastic volunteers helped stem the tide, forcing separatists into today's stalemate.
    Military analyst Sergiy Zgurets said the regular army had weapons, but low morale, while the volunteers "had high fighting spirit, but, temporarily, a lack of equipment."
    "The volunteer battalions did their task," Bereza, the Dnipro-1 commander, said. "They halted the aggressors. They stopped a second Crimea."
    View gallery

    Maidan self-defence activists sit on an armoured vehicle in front of the parliament in central Kiev …

    - GUNS AND MONEY -
    Dnipro-1's headquarters are on the ground floor of the Dnipropetrovsk administration building. Upstairs sits the regional governor, Igor Kolomoisky.
    The arrangement is no accident: Kolomoisky, one of Ukraine's most controversial billionaires, funds the paramilitary, which returns the favour in these troubled times by boosting the banking and industrial tycoon's personal security and political clout.
    All the signs are of a flourishing military enterprise.
    Young men with Kalashnikovs and pistols and several well dressed women working on laptops fill the anteroom to Bereza's office.
    Inside, maps, aerial photos and a picture depicting Adolf Hitler as a father figure to a child-sized Russian President Vladimir Putin line the walls. Ammunition boxes lie in the corner. On Bereza's desk: three mobile phones, a laptop, the Ukrainian flag, and an icon of the Virgin Mary.
    The commander repeatedly breaks off an interview with AFP to take calls, sign papers, or approve the purchase of a fleet of new pick-up trucks that will serve as machine-gun platforms.
    When a young woman comes in to complain about difficulties in booking a theatre for a Dnipro-1 benefit concert, Bereza dials the theatre manager and yells for a full minute, before gently asking: "So, is there a problem? No. I didn't think so."
    The woman leaves happy.
    The interior ministry, which oversees the paramilitaries, was quoted saying in September that there are now 34 such groupings and Zgurets estimates that the country's total of combat ready troops now tops 50,000 men.
    Although the army retains control over heavy weaponry, the motivated -- and increasingly well equipped and skilled -- volunteer groups remain crucial.
    Dnipro-1 members have been in several of the biggest battles in the seven-month conflict, which has killed more than 3,700 people, including at the fierce, continuing standoff around Donetsk airport.
    "It's not so easy for Russia now," said Bereza, who like most Ukrainians believes they are up against an undeclared Russian invasion, not just local separatists. "We were demoralised in the summer, but now we have a lot more experience."
    Dnipro-1 has 700 men -- "officially," Bereza says with an enigmatic smile.
    "Unofficially, it's 7,000."
    - DARK SIDE -
    Questions over the far right leanings of some volunteer groups and allegations of involvement in the murder of civilians cast a long shadow.
    One of the most controversial is the Azov Battalion, which uses the Wolfsangel insignia -- an ancient design that was resurrected in Hitler's Germany. The Azov has been linked to Oleg Lyashko, a politician accused of neo-Nazi sympathies.
    Right Sector, an ultra-nationalist party, also has its own battalion of several hundred men on the frontlines, even if the government refuses to register or pay them.
    Dasha Slutskovska, a 29-year-old volunteer from the battalion in Dnipropetrovsk, conceded that Right Sector has an image problem -- they are relentlessly portrayed in Russia's state-controlled media as fascists. But she insisted her comrades only want the Maidan goals of ending corruption and steering Ukraine into Europe.
    "Nationalists does not mean Nazis. We're just normal people," she said, adding with a laugh: "Well, maybe a bit more radical."
    - BETRAYAL AND PAYBACK -
    Amid Ukraine's increasingly feverish patriotism, Putin is seen as bordering on the diabolical.
    "It's sadomasochism," Svyatoslav Oliynyk, deputy to the Dnipropetrovsk governor Kolomoisky, said of Kremlin policy.
    "Putin is mad, a schizophrenic," Bereza said. "If we don't stop them here, Russian tanks will go all the way to Berlin."
    But among the volunteer battalions there is almost equal hatred for the corrupt bureaucrats running their country and the military top brass responsible for bloody fiascos like the massacre of troops retreating from Ilovaisk in August.
    Which is why if the government doesn't act quickly on those promises to rebuild Ukraine, today's battle might move to the capital, where the revolution began.
    "The people who were in the war won't accept any sliding back," Oliynyk says.
    Slutskovska's eyes shone with anger in Right Sector's dingy Dnipropetrosk office, when asked how she would react to failure of reforms.
    "We'll just go straight there with weapons," she said. "There'll be a coup''.
    Last edited by Avvakum; November 1st, 2014 at 01:57.
    "God's an old hand at miracles, he brings us from nonexistence to life. And surely he will resurrect all human flesh on the last day in the twinkling of an eye. But who can comprehend this? For God is this: he creates the new and renews the old. Glory be to him in all things!" Archpriest Avvakum

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    Default Re: Democratic Malaise Draws Ukraine Eastwards

    Poroshenko fires 30 district administration chiefs under lustration law

    World
    October 30, 21:44 UTC+3
    Most of the dismissed officials are from the south-eastern regions of Ukraine


    ITAR-TASS/Nikolai Lazarenko


    Read also


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    Lustration bill applies to dozens of state officials in Ukraine
    "Old guard" joined by relatives returning to Ukraine’s parliament
    Head of lustration committee goes missing in eastern Ukraine
    Ukraine fires first 39 top officials in power purge



    KIEV, October 30 /TASS/. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has dismissed 30 district administration heads as part of implementation of Ukraine’s recently-adopted lustration law, the presidential press service reported on Thursday. The list of dismissed district bosses include eight district administration chiefs in the Donetsk region, seven in Dnipropetrovsk region, seven in Zaporizhye region; four in the Odessa region, two in the Sumy region; one in the Rivne region and one in the Kharkiv regions.
    A day earlier, on Wednesday, Poroshenko dismissed Valery Baranov, the governor of the Zaporizhye region, and Roman Vanzuryak, the head of the Chernivtsy region.
    Previously, Ukraine’s Justice Ministry published a list of 179 former officials to whom the lustration law had already been applied on its website.
    ITAR-TASS/Maxim Nikitin Ukraine’s lustration law excludes President Poroshenko, Ukraine parliament speaker says



    Lustration law


    The law on purge of power, or lustration, was passed by the Ukrainian parliament on September 16 and came into force a month ago. Under the law, subject to lustration are all state officials and members of local governments who were in office during the period from February 25, 2010 to February 22, 2014 (under the rule of president Viktor Yanukovich) and officials and law-enforcement personnel who have done “harm to life, health or property of ‘EU-Maidan’ protest participants (activists who gathered at Kiev’s central square Maidan for rallies in support of EU integration). The law is also applied to former Soviet Union Communist Party and Communist Youth League members and former officials and security service officers involved in political persecution against Ukrainian nationalist activists during WWII and post-war time.
    Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said earlier that one million officials of various levels, including all cabinet members, were subject to lustration.
    "God's an old hand at miracles, he brings us from nonexistence to life. And surely he will resurrect all human flesh on the last day in the twinkling of an eye. But who can comprehend this? For God is this: he creates the new and renews the old. Glory be to him in all things!" Archpriest Avvakum

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    Default Re: Russian Invasion Of Ukraine (Formerly: Democratic Malaise Draws Ukraine Eastwards

    So, basically this law of 'Lustration' makes it impossible for a present or 'former' Communist to hold public office, ever. Never again. This law is true justice so that the ideological heirs of the perpetrators of the Holodomor can never have a position of authority or responsibility over another human being in the Ukraine, fitting justice for the 10 million Ukrainians who perished 1933-34 during Stalin's genocidal artificial famine, in what was and is the richest agricultural land in Europe....
    "God's an old hand at miracles, he brings us from nonexistence to life. And surely he will resurrect all human flesh on the last day in the twinkling of an eye. But who can comprehend this? For God is this: he creates the new and renews the old. Glory be to him in all things!" Archpriest Avvakum

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