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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

    Map] Ukrainian Military Bases and Russian Forces located near Ukraine’s borders
    Mar 11 2014 - Leave a Comment



    By David Cenciotti
    Here’s the position of the Russian and Ukrainian military forces in and around Crimea.

    Although it is dated Mar. 1, 2014, hence a bit obsolete how dynamic the situation on the ground is in Crimea and around Ukraine, the above map at least gives a rough idea of the position of the Ukrainian Military Bases and the Russian forces located nearby.
    It was first published by a Russian language blog, along with another map focusing on Ukrainian bases (below).
    As Dmitry Gorenburg of Russian Military Reform blog noted the majority of Kiev’s forces are located in Western Ukraine; a positioning that reflects the defensive posture against NATO forces of the Soviet period.
    “There are two mechanized infantry brigades, a tank brigade, and an artillery brigade in the east, though, as well as airborne brigade and a tactical aviation brigade. Compare this to western Ukraine, where there are five mechanized infantry brigades, two artillery brigades, a tank brigade, a rocket brigade, four tactical aviation brigades, two army aviation regiments, and an air mobile brigade. Also worth highlighting the forces located in the south, near the Crimea: one mechanized infantry brigade, a tactical aviation brigade, an air mobile brigade and an army aviation regiment,” says Gorenburg.
    The text accompanying the images says that the Ukrainian forces include 184,000 people, 4 armored brigades, 15 mechanized brigades, 3 airmobile brigade, one airborne brigade, 15 artillery brigades, 2 rocket brigades, 1 airmobile regiment; 773 tanks.
    The orbat includes 160 combat planes and 25 transport aircraft: even though we may guess just a part of those are airworthy and/or combat ready, the actual figures remain a mistery.

    Image credit: http://armijarossii.blogspot.com/
    On Mar. 10, NATO announced the deployment of E-3 AWACS to monitor the airspace surrounding Ukraine, while more U.S. F-16s are deploying to Poland.
    H/T to Russian Military Reform blog

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    “You Americans are so gullible.
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    until you’ll finally wake up and find you already have communism.

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

    Nikolaus von [email]Twickel@niktwickFollow
    Russia massed 220,000 troops, 1,800 tanks , 400 helicopters, 150 aircrafts and 60 ships on border w Ukraine, #Crimea, def. minister Ihor Tenyukh told the Rada: http://www.mil.gov.ua/index.php?lang=en&part=news&sub=read&id=32912 …

    2:42 PM - 11 Mar 2014


    Bhuvanesh-DonBhuvan ‏@DonBhuvan4 2m

    Russian foreign ministry says planned US financial aid to #Ukraine is illegal and goes beyond American legal framework
    - statement.


    Mark MacKinnon ‏@markmackinnon 15m
    Russia says U.S. aid to "illegitimate regime" in Ukraine is illegal:
    http://www.trust.org/item/20140311164511-7v2y7 …


    English EuroMaidan ‏@EuroMaidanEN 15m
    Central Asian country Kyrgyzstan decided to make a statement on Ukraine:
    they do not consider yanukovich a... http://fb.me/6tFPWPovM

    (translated)
    Kyrgyzstan does not consider Yanukovych the legitimate president of Ukraine
    11/03/2014 18:16

    In the Kyrgyz Foreign Ministry stressed that there can be a legitimate
    president who has completely lost the confidence of his people
    Kyrgyz Republic shares the concern of the international community in
    connection with the escalation of tension in Ukraine and supports the
    early settlement of the situation in Ukraine by peaceful means, through
    negotiations and dialogue. This is stated in the statement of the Ministry
    of Foreign Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic .

    " The Kyrgyz Republic condemns all acts aimed at destabilizing the
    situation in Ukraine. Therefore considered inappropriate and inadequate
    statement of Victor Yanukovych March 11 of this year ," - noted in the
    Foreign Ministry....


    gandalf greybeardþ@gerrydogma50 secs
    This afternoon in Ukraine, not far from Mykolaiv according to the uploader http://youtu.be/5O3v07R1UBk @Galrahn @20committee @ThreatWatch1

    gandalf greybeard‏@gerrydogma3 mins
    Ukrainian S-300 SAM battery heading for Kherson in southern Ukraine this afternoon : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5O3v07R1UBk




    Julia Ioffe ‏@juliaioffe 18m
    Speaking of NATO, don't count on NATO, says Carlo Davis. #ukraine
    http://www.newrepublic.com/article/116967/nato-not-ready-protect-eastern-europe-russia …


    zerohedge ‏@zerohedge 16m
    Russia Warns US Against "Illegal" Ukraine Bailout;
    Ukraine Commences Live-Fire "Drill" With Tanks
    http://tinyurl.com/ntklhsz

    Russia Warns US Against "Illegal" Ukraine Bailout;
    Ukraine Commences Live-Fire "Drill" With Tanks



    Submitted by Tyler Durden on 03/11/2014 13:34 -0400
    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-0...-fire-drill-ta

    The tit-for-tat sabre-rattling and rhetoric continues to build ahead of this weekend's
    planned referendum in Ukraine's Crimea region. This morning has seen 3 new
    threads beginning with Ukraine's "live-fire" exercises involving T-64B tanks.

    This was then followed by warnings from Russia of "consequences" of
    "unconditionally indulging radical elements" in Ukraine calling US financial aid
    "illegal"


    Which was swiftly responded to by the State Department, exclaiming it
    "unacceptable" that Russian forces take matters into their own hands and
    "do not create the right environment for diplomacy."
    Not positive...


    Ukraine did its own sabre-rattling:

    • *T-64B TANKS INVOLVED IN EXERCISE, LIVE-FIRE TRAINING: MINISTRY


    The Russians are not happy

    Russia says planned US financial aid to Ukraine is illegal

    Russia's Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday that planned U.S. financial aid
    to Ukraine is illegal and outside American legal norms since it would be
    funding an illegitimate regime.

    "By all criteria, issuing funding to an illegitimate regime that
    seized power by force is unlawful and goes beyond the
    framework of the American legal system
    ," the ministry said in a
    statement.

    The statement echoed assertions made earlier in the day by ousted
    Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovich. The ministry also warned
    Washington about the consequences of "unconditionally
    indulging radical elements" in Ukraine.
    And Kerry has his own perspective:

    U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT SAYS RUSSIAN RESPONSES TO U.S.
    QUESTIONS ON UKRAINE DO NOT CREATE RIGHT ENVIRONMENT FOR
    DIPLOMACY

    Kerry told Lavrov it is unacceptable that Russian forces and
    irregulars continue to take matters into their own hands in
    Ukraine
    Of course, this remains a constant distraction from the fact that Russian boots are
    on the ground in Crimea and the US (and the West) are stuck with how to
    "off-ramp" the escalating Russian threats without sanctions that would blow-back on
    to their own economies.

    And then Merkel chipped in...

    • *MERKEL SAYS RUSSIA IS ANNEXING CRIMEA, PARTY OFFICIAL SAYS

    Geoffrey Pyatt ‏@GeoffPyatt 1m
    EUCOM Gen.Breedlove & Ukrainian Lt. Gen. Kutsyn:
    discussed support, ways to expand NATO-#Ukraine partnership.
    https://www.facebook.com/?ref=logo#!/EUCOM/posts/10152053477308087?stream_ref=10 …


    Jim Rickards ‏@JamesGRickards 3m

    Conventional wisdom keeps discussing "costs" to #Russia from #Ukraine. But Russia is not a company, it's an empire. Victory always has costs



    Nordic News ‏@Nordic_News 38s

    Masked Russians seized Norway journalists' computers and film material
    http://bit.ly/1gnGQJm The Local #ukraine #crimea

    --------

    Masked Russians seized our gear: Norway journos


    11 Mar 2014, 18:23

    Masked guards seized computers and storage devices from three Norwegian journalists on Tuesday and labelled them as spies as they attempted to leave the Crimean peninsula for mainland Ukraine.

    The three experienced journalists from public broadcaster NRK said they were stopped at an improvised checkpoint manned by 15 to 20 armed men wearing black masks and unmarked uniforms. The surrounding area was occupied by a further 100 to 150 troops, they said.

    “The mood was extremely aggressive,” one of the journalists, Jan Espen Kruse, told NRK’s website.

    “They stood there with their masks and loaded weapons and accused us of being spies.”

    The guards confiscated three PCs, all the material the team had filmed, memory sticks, a small camera, as well as bulletproof vests and helmets they had with them for their personal safety, he added.

    Kruse said he had no doubts as to the identity of the guards.

    “The people manning these checkpoints are Russian soldiers without any kind of insignia; they’re doing whatever they like,” he said.

    “The Russians deny that these are their forces but the checkpoints are fully equipped with armoured personnel carriers, lots of soldiers and trucks, and they have dug trenches in the terrain. There’s a major offensive underway here and there’s nobody but the Russians behind it.”

    After 30 to 45 minutes, the guards let the Norwegians drive on in their car. After driving a kilometre or so through no man’s land they arrived at a second roadblock manned by Ukrainian troops who allowed them to pass without incident.

    http://m.thelocal.no/20140311/masked...ukraine-crimea


    James Miller ‏@MillerMENA 1m
    Ukraine Liveblog: Russian troops continue to build inside Crimea
    and on Ukraine's borders http://bit.ly/N4g4xY


    Euromaidan PRþ@EuromaidanPR21 mins
    #Russian military occupation forces continue to arrive in #Crimea http://youtu.be/2lexwJmH7cE | PR Video #Crimea





    Видео Крым ‏@VideoCrimea 8m
    March 11 Crimea. Russian troops. 11 марта Крым. Русские войска
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=pHq1mP0YNMU #крым






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    Nikita Khrushchev: "We will bury you"
    "Your grandchildren will live under communism."
    “You Americans are so gullible.
    No, you won’t accept
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    outright, but we’ll keep feeding you small doses of
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    until you’ll finally wake up and find you already have communism.

    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
    ."
    We’ll so weaken your
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    until you’ll
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    like overripe fruit into our hands."



  3. #283
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    Default Re: Russian Invasion Of Ukraine (Formerly: Democratic Malaise Draws Ukraine Eastwards

    it's getting tense there..... folks, this really is NOT good.

    From the "home front" - which it will be soon, I suspect, C130s are flying unspecified drills today. The unit is a Reserve unit where I live, I'm familiar with their operations. There is nothing routine about it. Yesterday there were combat jets flying over this region, as reported on Facebook, KRDO and KKTV. Claims of "routine training" are bugging me, as we don't HAVE a combat unit with jets here.
    Libertatem Prius!


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

    No, not good at all, we have a weak crypto-moslem president with marxist roots, and the Russians have.... A man. Not a good man necessarily, but a Chekist who is playing the Nationalist card. He believes in Russian Exceptionalism, well and good, while our president does not believe in America, which is unfortunate.

    Meanwhile a quote from an earlier article says it all for me;

    "Germany told Russia it must switch course in Crimea by next week or risk more sanctions as Ukraine’s deposed president warned of a possible civil war.
    "
    "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

    The Cold War is back... but with much different players and cast.....

    Cold War Media Tactics Fuel Ukraine Crisis

    By CELESTINE BOHLEN




    PARIS — One of the fixtures of Cold War propaganda was a map flashed across television screens depicting menacing arrows moving toward the borders of an endangered homeland. The cutaway would be to newsreel footage of missiles being fired, marching soldiers or scenes of devastation from past wars.
    In the past week, as the crisis in Crimea deepened, similar images have been running on Russia’s state-run television. Even for the Kremlin’s master propagandists, it is a tenuous stretch — but that’s of no matter. The enemy has been identified: It is the West, allied with “fascist mercenaries” in Ukraine.
    The scale of Russia’s propaganda effort in the current crisis has been breathtaking, even by Soviet standards. Facts have been twisted, images doctored (Ukrainians shown as fleeing to Russia were actually crossing the border to Poland), and harsh epithets (neo-Nazis) hurled at the demonstrators in Kiev — who President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia belatedly acknowledged had legitimate gripes against a corrupt and failed government.
    If he weren’t the boss, such an open contradiction of the official line, made at a televised news conference, might have been censored.
    Like so much about Russia’s actions in Ukraine, the massive propaganda onslaught seems strangely anachronistic in a time when access to the Internet was supposed to undercut the influence of state-controlled media.
    It’s all the more puzzling since Russia boasts one of the world’s most active and creative blogospheres, not to mention a thriving community of independent hackers drawn from the same top math schools that feed the ranks of the modern-day successor to the K.G.B.
    According to a government-sponsored survey conducted last January, almost half of Russia’s adult population uses the Internet; for those younger than 34, it is the most used medium, ahead of television. Internet penetration in Russia is proportionately lower than in Europe: The same survey found that 38 percent of small towns had no Internet access at all. Still, Russia now ranks among the top six countries in the world for Internet use.
    And yet the propaganda campaign seems to be working. Russian public opinion has been whipped into a nationalist fervor over the fate of Crimea, a patch of territory that most Russians regard as rightfully theirs, even after its administrative transfer to Ukraine in 1954. A poll taken on March 1 and 2 by the state-sponsored VCIOM agency showed that 71 percent believe that it is necessary to protect Russian-language speakers in Crimea more vigorously.
    The main vehicle for the government’s message is still the main television news, loyally watched in areas at the core of Mr. Putin’s electorate.
    Nor is the government ignoring the Internet: Access to 13 Ukrainian websites was blocked this week on VKontacte, Russia’s popular social network. Russia’s top opposition blogger, Alexei A. Navalny, now under house arrest, has been ordered not to use the Internet for two months.
    The Internet itself is hardly a guarantor of healthy debate or accurate information. Users often go online to confirm their own views — only to have them amplified by a steady spewing of paranoid and xenophobic diatribes.
    Some attitudes, steeped in history, predate the current crisis. A poll taken in 2009 found that 73 percent of Russians endorsed a more vigorous defense of Crimea’s majority Russian population.
    Still, Boris Akunin, one of the country’s most popular writers and a member of the opposition with his own blog, is counting on the Internet to loosen the Kremlin’s grip on public debate.
    “One shouldn’t confuse two different Russias: telerussia and internetrussia,” he said in an email. “The former is largely uninterested in politics; they eat what they are fed but they are passive politically. The latter Russia is predominantly anti-Putin — precisely due to the free flow of opinions and information on the net.”
    He cited a poll, taken in early February, when state-controlled media were just warming up, which showed that 73 percent were against Russian intervention in Ukraine. The question now is how many of those have changed their minds, and why.
    Libertatem Prius!


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

    "Russia has deployed 220,000 soldiers on south-eastern borders of Ukraine and in Crimea"

    Fair use
    http://en.apa.az/news/208393?utm_sou...medium=twitter

    Ukrainian Defense Minister: "Russia has deployed 220 000 soldiers on the south-eastern borders of Ukraine and in Crimea"
    [ 11 March 2014 14:43 ]

    Alexander Turchinov: We are appealing for military-technical assistance to the states, which have given us security guarantee, they must fulfill their commitments

    Baku – APA. Russia has deployed 220 000 soldiers on the south-eastern borders of Ukraine and in Crimea, said Ukraine’s interim Defense Minister Igor Tenyukh at Verkhovnya Rada, APA reports quoting korrepondent.net. “220 000 soldiers of Armed Forces of the Russian Federation are holding military trainings on the eastern borders of Ukraine and in Crimea. They have 1,800 tanks, more than 400 helicopters, 150 aircraft and 60 warships,” he said.

    Prime Minister of Ukraine Arseniy Yatsenyuk said that the Verkhovnya Rada should call on the states (U.S., UK), which guarantee the security of Ukraine according to the Budapest Memorandum, to protect Ukraine from Russia’s aggression: “We are urging the parliament to vote for the statement addressed to the states that signed the Budapest Memorandum and calling them to fulfill their guarantees.”

    Yatsenyuk said Ukraine, which renounced its nuclear status basing on Budapest document, is now defenseless and facing a nuclear state armed to the teeth.

    “If you do not fulfill your guarantee, then you should explain how you will make Iran or South Korea reject nuclear weapons,” he said.

    According to the Prime Minister, the question is calling the guarantor states to withdraw forces (Russia) from Ukraine and defend (US, UK) Ukraine.

    Chairman of the Parliament, Acting President Alexander Turchinov underlined that they would appeal to the guarantor states for military-technical assistance.

    “The states, which have given us security guarantee, must fulfill their commitments. We have brought the Armed Forces to combat readiness. We have held trainings and see in what state the army is. Currently, we are starting to restore the army,” he said.

    The Budapest Memorandum, signed on December 5, 1994, by Ukraine, Russia, the United States and the United Kingdom laid out a set of assurances for Ukraine. These included commitments to respect Ukraine's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity in return for giving up its nuclear weapons.


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    Nikita Khrushchev: "We will bury you"
    "Your grandchildren will live under communism."
    “You Americans are so gullible.
    No, you won’t accept
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
    outright, but we’ll keep feeding you small doses of
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
    until you’ll finally wake up and find you already have communism.

    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
    ."
    We’ll so weaken your
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
    until you’ll
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    like overripe fruit into our hands."



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

    Moscow orders arrest of Right Sector leader


    View Photo Gallery — Protests continue in Ukraine: Demonstrators kept up protests in Ukraine as Russia welcomed the prospect of Crimea joining the country through a March 16 referendum.






    By Howard Schneider and Kathy Lally, Updated: Wednesday, March 12, 7:46 AM E-mail the writers

    The U.S. and its top allies demanded Russia stop efforts to split the Crimea region from Ukraine and warned of “further action, individually and collectively” if a secession vote takes place on Sunday as scheduled.
    The statement criticized the “intimidating presence of Russian troops” ahead of the hastily arranged secession vote, and comes just hours before President Obama is scheduled to host Ukraine’s interim prime minister at the White House.

    Gallery

    Tensions high in Ukraine as pro-Russian forces cement grip on Crimea: Russian forces tightened their grip on Crimea despite a U.S. warning to Moscow that annexing the southern Ukrainian region would close the door to diplomacy in a tense East-West standoff.


    More world coverage

    U.S., allies warn Russia ahead of secession vote in Crimea

    Howard Schneider and Kathy Lally 7:46 AM ET
    President Obama prepares to host Ukraine’s interim prime minister today.


    Israel passes law meant to draft ultra-Orthodox

    Associated Press 7:44 AM ET
    The issue of conscription of the ultra-Orthodox is at the heart of a cultural war in Israel.


    Ukraine’s government has less than $500,000

    Isabel Gorst 7:34 AM ET
    Interim leaders seeking political help are also appealing for an economic lifeline.








    Arseniy Yatsenyuk is due to meet with Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry, officials at the International Monetary Fund and others this afternoon in a broad show of international support for his fledgling government.
    In the statement, the U.S., Japan, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Italy and Canada said that the Russian military takeover of Crimea made any referendum “deeply flawed,” and said the results would not be acknowledged.
    Russia pushed into the Crimea region after the existing government was toppled following mass protests, and has since consolidated its control of the area. The Crimean regional parliament has already voted to align with Russia, and officials there are treating the outcome of the vote as a foregone conclusion. The main airport has been closed to flights from the rest of Ukraine to prevent what Crimean authorities called “provocateurs” from entering ahead of the referendum.
    “The annexation of Crimea could have grave implications for the legal order that protects the unity and sovereignty of all states,” the G7 statement read. “Should the Russian Federation take such a step, we will take further action, individually and collectively.”
    The U.S. and European nations are already considering a range of economic and other sanctions against Russia, and are also arranging financing to help prop up the new government in Kiev.
    Events on the ground, however, showed no let up in the effort to possibly divide the country.
    A Crimean official announced in a television broadcast that the regional government would soon take possession of Ukraine’s state-owned companies in the area, including an energy firm and railway, the Reuters news service reported.
    The Russian Interfax news agency reported that the civilian airport at Simferopol will remain closed until Monday — the day after the secession vote.
    “Bearing in mind the possible influx of provocateurs, we have limited plane arrivals,” Crimean First Deputy Prime Minister Rustam Temirgaliyev told Interfax. “All limitations will be lifted after March 17 and the airport will resume its normal operation.”
    Currently, the only flights operating are to and from Moscow. A flight from Kiev was turned back on Monday, and Turkish Airlines has suspended flights from Istanbul.
    Russian troops are also continuing to expand their field infrastructure around Crimea.
    According to Vladislav Seleznyov, a spokesman for the Ukrainian military, Russia has established a medical unit at an airbase near the city of Dzhankoy in northern Crimea, and more equipment is being moved in and installed on Wednesday. He said about 300 Russian troops are believed to be on the base. He said five Russian helicopters landed there Tuesday -- one an MI-8 and four MI-24 helicopters.
    Russia on Wednesday also intensified the pressure on Ukraine’s new leadership, issuing an arrest warrant for the leader of the militant faction that toppled the government there and sparked the Russian move into Crimea.
    The court order in Moscow was issued in absentia for Dmytro Yarosh, head of the Right Sector movement and deputy director of Ukraine’s Security Council, accused of inciting “terrorist operations” in parts of Russia. In a separate action, a Russian agency warned a local Web site for publishing statements by another Right Sector leader — a sign of Moscow’s determined push to cast the backers of the new government as extremists.
    The right-wing movement provided much of the muscle when demonstrators in Kiev confronted police in the conflict that toppled Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych — who is now in Russia but has declared he will return and reassert control.
    Russia has accused Yarosh of violating a Russian law prohibiting extremism in the mass media by publishing an appeal to militants in the North Caucasus of Russia “to step up extremist and terrorist operations against Russia.”
    Yarosh has said the statement was placed on his Web site by hackers, suggesting Russia was behind the attack on his site.
    Ukrainian officials have said they have no intention of detaining or extraditing Yarosh.
    The Russia agency that supervises the media also issued a warning Wednesday to the Lenta.ru news site for publishing an interview with Andriy Tarasenko, the head of Right Sector’s Kiev office. The article had a link to statements by Yarosh, which the agency said was a violation of the law against extremism.
    As Crimea grew more militarized and isolated Tuesday, hopes for a diplomatic solution to the Ukraine crisis looked increasingly faint. While NATO planes monitor Russian activity from Polish and Romanian airspace, European politicians said they were preparing to punish Russia with sanctions within days.
    British Prime Minister David Cameron, speaking in Tel Aviv, said the first steps could include a travel ban targeted against “prominent” members of the Russian parliament.
    European officials met in London on Tuesday to draw up penalties they could impose against Russia, likely to include asset freezes and visa restrictions, unless the country accepts a U.S. proposal to stop its expansion in Crimea and start discussions with Ukraine’s new government. Until now, Western efforts to curb Russia’s actions have focused on rhetoric and largely symbolic gestures, rather than measures that would cause meaningful pain in Moscow.
    The European restrictions could mark a substantial escalation in a conflict that has pitted Russia against the West in a way not seen since the Cold War. But the Obama administration has refused to set a deadline for U.S. sanctions or indicate a specific Russian action that would trigger them. And analysts say that even tough sanctions are unlikely to force Russian President Vladimir Putin to change course in Ukraine, given the depth of Russian interests there.
    “For the Kremlin, and the wider elites that support it, the fate of Ukraine is a vital interest. They’ve tied Ukraine’s future to their own,” said James Sherr, an associate fellow at the London-based think tank Chatham House. “Any sanctions the E.U. is likely to come up with will not be sufficient to change that calculation.”
    In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the Treasury Department is working on an escalating set of measures that allow the United States to “calibrate sanctions and other actions depending on the steps that Russia takes.”
    She added that Russia had replied to a list of U.S. requirements and suggestions to ease tension, but she said the response duplicated positions Moscow took last week during meetings between Secretary of State John F. Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
    While diplomatic efforts floundered, the situation in Ukraine continued to change swiftly. As the regional Crimean parliament approved a declaration of independence, the government in Kiev established a new national guard and acknowledged that the nation’s armed forces were hardly up to a fight with Russia.
    Acting President Oleksandr Turchynov said Ukraine would have to rebuild its military “effectively from scratch.” The pro-
    Western leader said it has only 6,000 combat-ready infantry, compared with 200,000 Russian troops on Ukraine’s eastern border.
    Meanwhile, Russian soldiers and the paramilitary “self-defense” units under the command of the Russian military continued their step-by-step takeover of Crimea. On Tuesday, they were in control and standing guard at several military bases, with Ukrainian troops cornered inside.
    In the regional capital, Simferopol, witnesses reported that pro-Russian forces had taken over the prosecutor’s office and the railway administration.
    Several urban military facilities in Simferopol are surrounded by sandbags and land mines. Pro-
    Russian troops patrolled outside the airport and were stationed inside official buildings.
    Government officials reached by telephone said armed men had entered their workplaces forcibly, taken away their phones and rifled through their documents. They said that they were not told to leave but that armed men remained stationed in the corridors.
    Still, in the city centers life went on largely unimpeded, with few signs of a military buildup. But ahead of a Sunday referendum on whether Crimea should remain in Ukraine or become part of Russia, billboards and posters popped up for what has become a one-sided campaign. The signs, all favoring Russia, boiled down the choice to one between being annexed to Russia or enduring fascism and Nazism by staying in Ukraine.
    One billboard showed two maps of Crimea: one adorned with a swastika, the other with the tricolor stripes of the Russian flag. Another showed the acronym NATO with an X drawn over it in a way that suggests a vulgarity in Russian.
    Crimean authorities are moving apace as if the referendum had already taken place. On Tuesday, the regional parliament voted to declare Crimea an independent state, a move evidently aimed at legally smoothing the way for the region’s annexation to Russia.
    The 78 to 3 parliament vote was denounced by human rights and opposition activists, who have urged a boycott of the referendum.
    Alex Mnatsakanian, a Moscow-based human rights activist now working in Simferopol, described pro-Russian Crimean leaders as a “locomotive” trying to rush through annexation under a thin cover of legislative decrees with no legal standing.
    “They are trying to make a trick that will stop the world from blaming Russia,” Mnatsakanian said. “But if they are trying to put a good face on it, this is impossible with all the Russian forces who are everywhere in Crimea now. It is just a circus.”
    Another perspective was offered by deposed president Yanukovych, who said Tuesday that a junta in Kiev had provoked Crimea to secede by spreading lawlessness and refusing to protect civilians from violence.
    Yanukovych, speaking at a shopping center in the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don, accused the West and the United States of backing fascists in Ukraine, an allegation regularly made by Russian authorities.
    “There is a gang of ultranationalists and fascists operating the government,” he said. “I would like to ask those who cover for these dark forces in the West: Are you blind? Have you forgotten what fascism is?”
    Yanukovych railed against the United States for offering $1 billion in aid to the new Ukrainian government and said he intended to ask the U.S. Congress and the U.S. Supreme Court to investigate the legality of such a move.
    The Russian Foreign Ministry also cited U.S. law, specifically the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961.
    U.S. financial aid to the government of a country whose legitimately elected president has been overthrown as a result of a military coup or an unlawful decision is illegal, a ministry statement said. But the section of U.S. code that the statement cited referred specifically to U.S. aid to Pakistan, not Ukraine or any other country.
    Meanwhile,Yatsenyuk, the interim prime minister, called on Western nations to defend Ukraine against Russia. He called Russia a nation “that is armed to the teeth and that has nuclear weapons.”
    kathy.lally@washpost.com


    Carol Morello in Sevastopol, Pamela Constable in Simferopol, Will Englund in Moscow, Griff Witte in London, and Anne Gearan and Karen DeYoung in Washington contributed to this report.
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  8. #288
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    Default Re: Russian Invasion Of Ukraine (Formerly: Democratic Malaise Draws Ukraine Eastwards

    G-7 Nations Warn Russia on Crimea

    Group Talks of Action If Moscow Supports Secession of Ukrainian Region

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    By Carol E. Lee
    connect

    March 12, 2014 9:45 a.m. ET
    WASHINGTON—Leaders of the world's top economies called on Russia to "immediately halt" efforts to bring an occupied part of Ukraine further into its orbit.
    In a statement on Wednesday, the so-called Group of Seven leading industrialized nations censured Russia's moves in Crimea as a violation of international principles. They threatened to "take further action, individually and collectively" if Moscow supports a vote on Sunday by residents of the Crimean region on whether to secede from Ukraine and join the Russian Federation.
    More





    "Any such referendum would have no legal effect," the G-7 7508.TO -1.83% statement said. "Given the lack of adequate preparation and the intimidating presence of Russian troops, it would also be a deeply flawed process which would have no moral force. For all these reasons, we would not recognize the outcome."
    The statement stopped short of specifically threatening sanctions against Russia, but the subtext was clear. Its release comes hours before U.S. President Barack Obama is to host a White House meeting with Ukraine's new leader.
    The G-7 nations are Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the U.S.; Leaders of the European Council and European Commission have also signed on.
    In their statement, the G-7 leaders warned that annexation of Crimea would be a clear violation of the United Nations Charter, as well as Russia's commitments under several international treaties.
    They called on Russia to reduce its troops in the region to pre-crisis levels and garrisons and to open direct discussions with Ukraine's government.
    Officials from several EU countries, including the U.K., France and Germany, met in London on Tuesday with counterparts from the U.S., Turkey and other allies to coordinate their next steps, which could include asset freezes and travel bans on Russian officials.
    The Obama administration has been readying sanctions against Russian and Ukrainian entities. Last Thursday Mr. Obama signed an executive order authorizing sanctions against those undermining democracy in Ukraine, a step the administration said is intended to increase pressure on Russia to pull back from Crimea. In addition to warning of sanctions, the administration also imposed new visa bans on those it believes responsible for perpetuating the crisis.
    On March 2, a statement from G-7 leaders also condemned Russia's actions in Ukraine, saying they violate United Nations obligations and "contravene the principles and values" of the leading nations. The countries involved said they would halt preparations for a summit of the so-called G-8 nations, which includes Russia.
    A series of targeted sanctions against individual Russians is the likely first step, since the U.S. and especially Europe have significant business ties with Russia that could suffer under broad economic sanctions and potential retaliation from Moscow, according to officials and experts.
    —Tom Fairless contributed to this article.
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    Default Re: Russian Invasion Of Ukraine (Formerly: Democratic Malaise Draws Ukraine Eastwards

    Crimea will soon take ownership of Ukrainian state companies on its territory, 1st deputy prime minister of the region says - @Reuters

    John Schindler‏@20committee
    18m
    In case you weren't sure Crimea is firmly in Putin's hands, they're about to seize all state-run firms & introduce RU tax laws - Interfax

    Russian forces still flowing into Crimea:
    Euromaidan PR‏@EuromaidanPR·7 mins
    139 #Russian ArmedForces vehicles(6AP carriers,111lorries,6special&7passenger cars,5minibuses,4missile systems crossed '#Crimea – ferry' -IR

    Euromaidan PR‏@EuromaidanPR·9 mins
    Cases of violation of international agreements by #Russia: border crossing in port of entry «#Crimea – ferry» - 10 cases -D.Tymchuk |PR

    NATO flying two AWACS over Poland and Romania to monitor #Ukraine http://bigstory.ap.org/article/nato-...ukraine-border

    Yet Obama is getting rid of ours.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-0...ponse-nato-esc
    With NATO actively building up its airforce support in Poland and the Baltic states in recent days in a flashback to cold war military escalation and deterrence, and even launching AWACS planes over Poland and Romania to monitor the Ukraine crisis and "enhance the alliance's situational awareness," the inevitable has finally happened, and other Russian neighbor states, ones not alligned with the military treaty, have escalated in turn only this time the are showing their allegiance not to the west but to Russia.
    Moments ago RIA reported that Minsk will "adequately react to the strengthening of NATO forces near the borders of Belarus, and will offer to host up to an additional 15 Russian aircraft, according to the President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko on Wednesday at a meeting of the Security Council of Belarus.

    FLASHBACK:
    Quote Originally Posted by vector7 View Post
    First Russian Su -27 fighters arrived in Belarus

    20:45 08.12.2013 .



    Shoigu announced that it would RUSSIA in neighboring countries will carry a full AIR - TAK

    DEŽURNA group of Russian military fighter Su -27 arrived in Belarus. At a military airport Baranovichi that will be a permanent base .

    First of them is the same airport arrived and " the technical and personal ."

    In the spring of 2014. Russian Minister of Defense - Army General Sergei Shoigu - in Minsk announced that the RF by 2015. on the territory of Belarus hold the entire fighter aircraft regiment .

    Then the commander of the Russian air force , General Viktor Bondarjev , that the Russian air base located near the town of Lydda and will profuncionisati the end of this year and early next year .

    Bondarjev also announced that there will be modified based fighters Su- 27SM3 .



    Mark Knoller‏@markknoller3h
    WH says Obama will confer w/ Yatsenyuk to discuss
    "how to find a peaceful resolution to Russia’s ongoing military intervention in Crimea."

    http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Ira...thizers-345136
    Iran hosts Syria conference of Assad sympathizers
    Quote:
    attended by legislators from Russia, Algeria, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Cuba and Venezuela


    U.S. not to cut cooperation with Russia on disarmament, non-proliferation - Russian official


    http://www.jpost.com/International/I...Bushehr-345126
    Iran and Russia sign on to build more nuclear plants at Bushehr
    Quote:
    Reuters reported Iran and Russia were negotiating to swap up to 500,000 barrels of oil per day for goods in the deal that would undermine Western efforts to maintain economic pressure on Tehran while global powers seek to curb its nuclear program.

    In addition to the Russia building a second reactor at Bushehr, Sanaei said Tehran was possibly interested in supplies of heavy trucks or their assembly in Iran, and other items.


    "Iran is interested in buying a huge amount of railroad tracks from Russia, as well as Russian involvement in the electrification of its railways. We are also interested in Russian grain."


    Russia could launch a 'full scale' invasion that would see troops overrun Ukraine in hours, a senior security official warned today.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...#ixzz2vl7VAq00


    Steve Collins ‏@TradeDesk_Steve 8m
    *U.S. TO RELEASE CRUDE FROM STRATEGIC PETROLEUM RESERVE: REUTERS

    There is a rumour this is 'screw' Russia over... but nothing confirmed.



    Steve Collins ‏@TradeDesk_Steve 4m
    US crude production highest since 1988


    zerohedge@zerohedge1 min
    MERKEL SAYS IF NO PROGRESS ON UKRAINE, EU LEADERS WILL HAVE TO DISCUSS 2ND STAGE SANCTIONS ON RUSSIA NEXT WEEK.

    Bloomberg just reported, the US has escalated even further, citing the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, who "has claimed that in the case of an escalation of unrest in Crimea, the U.S. Army is ready to back up Ukraine and its allies in Europe with military actions."

    http://www.zerohedge.com/

    zerohedge ‏@zerohedge · 2 min
    HOLLANDE SAYS PUTIN MUST DO ALL HE CAN TO STOP CRIMEA JOINING RUSSIA AS THAT WOULD BE "UNACCEPTABLE ANNEXATION"


    NATOSource‏@NATOSource2h
    Russia: It is Extremely Dangerous to Bring the 'NATO Factor' to the Crisis in Ukraine
    http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs...sis-in-ukraine



    Germany's Chancellor Merkel says no progress has been made on setting up contact group with Moscow on Ukraine - @Reuters

    Sky News Newsdesk ‏@SkyNewsBreak 2 min

    Reuters: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says he will meet Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov in London on Friday for #Ukraine talks



    RT@RT_com6m
    BREAKING: Moscow allows #Ukraine flight to check there are no troops near border http://on.rt.com/c39v7d



    zerohedge ‏@zerohedge · 5 min
    MERKEL SAYS ANY THREAT TO POLISH SECURITY IS THREAT TO GERMANY

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    Nikita Khrushchev: "We will bury you"
    "Your grandchildren will live under communism."
    “You Americans are so gullible.
    No, you won’t accept
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    outright, but we’ll keep feeding you small doses of
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    until you’ll finally wake up and find you already have communism.

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    We’ll so weaken your
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    like overripe fruit into our hands."



  10. #290
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    Default Re: Russian Invasion Of Ukraine (Formerly: Democratic Malaise Draws Ukraine Eastwards

    So... Dempsey actually said that? That the US Army will back Ukraine?????

    I was discussing Romania this morning. There is some... umm discussion, we will have to go in and defend them as well.

    At some point, I think something will tip over.

    Putin sees "borders". Obama sees "public and world opinion".

    In fact, Obama thinks we ought to just open the damned borders.

    edit: By the way, Poland, in case folks haven't grasped it, borders Germany and Ukraine - Merkel sees this as a threat to European autonomy. She won't, I don't think, sit on her ass and let the Russians move into the border of Poland. She's stomp his ass right there.

    Obama is a weak assed, lame-brained loser. His entire administration is based on "Green", "stealing the wealth of Americans" and Marxism.

    He needs to go.
    Last edited by American Patriot; March 12th, 2014 at 16:39.
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    Default Re: Russian Invasion Of Ukraine (Formerly: Democratic Malaise Draws Ukraine Eastwards

    Here's the news from Kiev about Dempsey.


    General Dempsey: US ready for military response to Russia if Crimean conflict escalates

    March 12, 2014, 4:51 p.m. | Interfax-Ukraine

    The Ukrainian military base in Bakhchisaray, Crimea occupied by Russian forces.

    © Anastasia Vlasova



    Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the United States General Martin Dempsey has claimed that in the case of an escalation of unrest in Crimea, the U.S. Army is ready to back up Ukraine and its allies in Europe with military actions.


    According to the Web site of the Atlantic Council, Dempsey said that "he's been talking to his military counterparts in Russia, but he's also sending a clear message to Ukraine and members of NATO that the U.S. military will respond militarily if necessary."


    "We're trying to tell [Russia] not to escalate this thing further into Eastern Ukraine, and allow the conditions to be set for some kind of resolution in Crimea. We do have treaty obligations with our NATO allies. And I have assured them that if that treaty obligation is triggered [in Europe], we would respond," Dempsey said.


    According to the General, the incursion of Russian troops into the Crimea creates risks for all the countries of Europe and NATO allies.


    "If Russia is allowed to do this, which is to say move into a sovereign country under the guise of protecting ethnic Russians in Ukraine, it exposes Eastern Europe to some significant risk, because there are ethnic enclaves all over Eastern Europe and the Balkans," Dempsey said.
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  12. #292
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    Default Re: Russian Invasion Of Ukraine (Formerly: Democratic Malaise Draws Ukraine Eastwards

    Joint Chiefs chairman Dempsey on Ukraine, military sex abuse and budget cuts

    March 7, 2014 at 6:10 PM EDT
    Judy Woodruff interviews Joint Chiefs chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey at the Pentagon about the escalating risks of the Ukraine crisis, finding a balance between budget reduction and military readiness, the uncertain future of the United States in Afghanistan and the increase of sexual assaults and misconduct within the armed forces.


    LISTEN 00:00

    00:00



    SEE PODCASTSJUDY WOODRUFF: The crisis in Ukraine, budget battles, the wind-down and uncertainty of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, and the increase of sexual assaults in the armed forces and what to do about it, these are all front-burner issues for the highest-ranking uniformed member of the military, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Army General Martin Dempsey.

    In a rare television interview, he sat down with me earlier today at the Pentagon.
    General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, thank you very much for talking with us.
    GEN. MARTIN DEMPSEY, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff: Well, I’m excited to be here today.


    JUDY WOODRUFF: The United States is sending more military material, forces into Eastern Europe, F-15s into the Baltics, F-16s to Poland, another warship into the Black Sea. What message is the U.S. trying to send to Russia right now?


    GEN. MARTIN DEMPSEY: We’re clearly trying to send a message to Russia, almost exclusively through diplomatic channels, so that I do have an open line with my Russian counterpart that I have used twice the last two days.
    But we’re trying to tell them not to escalate this thing further into Eastern Ukraine and allow the conditions to be set for some kind of resolution in the Crimea. But the message we are sending militarily is to our NATO allies.
    So, one of our responsibilities at times like this is to reassure our allies. And so the deployments you mentioned into the Baltic air policing mission, into the aviation detachment in Poland, the deployment of the ship, are really intended to reassure our allies.


    JUDY WOODRUFF: So, the U.S. is saying to the allies, if this were to come to some sort of military conflict, the U.S. would back up NATO?


    GEN. MARTIN DEMPSEY: Well, don’t forget, we have — actually, we have NATO treaty obligations under Article 5 for collective defense.
    And, so, when they ask us for reassurance or they ask us to — for contingency planning, we respond, and we do have obligations with NATO.


    JUDY WOODRUFF: But, if there were to be a misunderstanding of some sort, if there were to be an accident that were to lead to something bigger, has the administration thought through the consequences of what that means, the two countries that are the greatest armed powers on the planet involved?


    GEN. MARTIN DEMPSEY: Well, that’s why we’re seeking aggressively to resolve this diplomatically, before we would reach the point where there could be a miscalculation.
    It’s probably worth mentioning why this is so unsettling to the Eastern Europeans. You know, we live here in America and sometimes don’t understand the realities of geography and demographics in Eastern Europe.
    There are — if Russia is allowed to do this, which is to say move into a sovereign country under the guise of protecting ethnic Russians in Ukraine, it exposes Eastern Europe to some significant risk, because there are ethnic enclaves all over Eastern Europe and the Balkans.
    I will give you one example. There are 400,000 ethnic Romanians living in Ukraine. So this is enormously unsettling.


    JUDY WOODRUFF: But you know what the Russians are saying is that they have an historic relationship with — with Crimea, and they’re saying the Crimean legislature has voted now to have a referendum, and they’re saying what the government in Kiev did was illegal.


    GEN. MARTIN DEMPSEY: Of course they are. And they’re trying to roll back to the February 21 agreement, and we’re trying to suggest that, really, the clock started on February 24.
    Those are matters of diplomacy. Our role, as the military, is to seek ways to influence this without it being escalatory. And, by the way, I do have this open line with my Russian counterpart. So, everything that we have done, I tell him, here’s what we’re doing. Here’s why we’re doing it. We disagree fundamentally about your claim of legitimacy, but, as militaries, let’s try to avoid escalating this thing.


    JUDY WOODRUFF: But there is a chance it could escalate?


    GEN. MARTIN DEMPSEY: Of course there is.


    JUDY WOODRUFF: There is a chance of military conflict?


    GEN. MARTIN DEMPSEY: Sure. Yes.


    JUDY WOODRUFF: And is the U.S. prepared if that happened?


    GEN. MARTIN DEMPSEY: Well, that’s a question that I think deserves to be assessed and reassessed and refreshed as this thing evolves.


    But, remember, we do have treaty obligations with our NATO allies. And I have assured them that, if that treaty obligation is triggered, we would respond.


    JUDY WOODRUFF: How much of your time right now, General Dempsey, is spent on this issue?


    GEN. MARTIN DEMPSEY: Well, quite a bit, although there’s other things going on in the world. And we just have this little matter of the budget.
    So, as much as I need to spend on it, I’m spending on it.


    JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, speaking of the budget, the administration announced just — and the Pentagon announced just a few days ago that there’s going to be a — or that you would like to have a downsizing of materiel and troops back to a size that we haven’t seen since before World War II.


    Because of what’s going on right now in Eastern Europe, any second thoughts about that?
    GEN. MARTIN DEMPSEY: Well, I’m not sure that if we had a million-man Army, that it would make — would have made any difference in the Russian calculation to enter the — to enter Ukraine.


    But, that said, we do have an obligation to deter conflict and to prepare for it should it occur. And we are reaching a point, because not only the depth of the budget reductions, but also the mechanism, the draconian way it’s applied, where we really can’t move money around or balance the budget in any responsible way, that is affecting our readiness.


    So, if you’re asking me, you know, does this increase the urgency with which I articulate the risks that we are beginning to accrue, sure, it does.


    JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, I ask because I’m sure you know there has been a crescendo of criticism. The chairman of the House Armed Services — Armed Services Committee, Congressman Buck McKeon, among other things, said this.


    He has called the downsizing immoral. He says U.S. adversaries are growing bolder as a result of it. He talks about China and Russia arming up while the U.S. is preparing to arm down.
    How do you answer this?


    GEN. MARTIN DEMPSEY: Well, I think the we can still be — look, even at the budget level that has been submitted by the department, which is about $115 billion over the Budget Control Act, most commonly known as sequestration, at that level, we can still be the most powerful military in the world in 2020, which is about where we project out to.
    There will be more than a million men and women in uniform in the active component and almost two million when you add up the Guard and Reserve. We have forward operating bases. We have close, strong alliances. This is not a military in decline, nor will it be at the level of the budget we submitted.
    But if we’re driven to the full level — or the full reductions of the Budget Control Act, this thing called sequestration, yes, then we will have what I think would be too much risk.


    JUDY WOODRUFF: Let me ask the question on the other side, which, as you know very well, a number of Republican and even — and Democratic deficit hawks are saying this budget doesn’t abide by the lower budget numbers of the past, that it ignores the deficit, blows a hole through it.


    GEN. MARTIN DEMPSEY: Yes.


    JUDY WOODRUFF: You have got critics coming from that side. What do you say to them?


    GEN. MARTIN DEMPSEY: Well, you know, the — I’m trying to actually manage the criticisms on both sides and do what I think is right for the country.


    And I think we have done that in the way we have articulated this budget submission and what we would do, both to be more fiscally responsible — you know, I’m a citizen, as well as a soldier, and I understand the fiscal constraints that the nation faces. And we can actually do this. That’s my message.


    We can’t do it at sequestration levels. I have said that very clearly, but we can do it at the level of the submission. We have to have the flexibility, though, to make the hard decisions.


    JUDY WOODRUFF: Afghanistan, the president said that the U.S. is prepared to pull out all American troops from Afghanistan if you can’t get that security agreement you need from Afghanistan’s leaders.


    Current President Karzai is saying he’s not going to do it. And, right now, the Afghan government has announced they’re dissolving a critical guard force that protects supply convoys, international aid groups.


    GEN. MARTIN DEMPSEY: Right.


    JUDY WOODRUFF: What does all this mean for the future of the U.S. commitment in Afghanistan?


    GEN. MARTIN DEMPSEY: Right.
    We do need a bilateral security agreement. And we need it because we need a demonstrated statement of commitment from the Afghans that they’re going to treat us like partners, and not, on occasion, accuse us of being occupiers.
    If you’re asking me how I think this will resolve itself, I think we’re probably in a position where it’s unlikely we will get it from the current president, and probably more likely that we will get it after the elections, which will begin to constrain our options post-’14.
    But I will also tell you, when I was over there, we had a very candid conversation with each other about the fact that, although there’s uncertainty in ’15 and beyond, we have got a lot of work to do in ’14. So, if you’re asking me where we’re focused right now, we’re focused on ’14.
    Some of these things that President Karzai has done, with releasing prisoners and dissolving this convoy protection force, those are disturbing, because they’re — they violate agreements we have already made with them. And they’re risky because of the increased danger that they pose, but they’re also risky in the message it sends about, you know, their ability and willingness to live up to agreements as they’re made.


    JUDY WOODRUFF: There have been — I’m going to turn back — there’s so much to ask you about, but I do want to ask you about a couple of other things that have gotten attention here in the United States, a number of embarrassing incidents in the last few years involving U.S. military personnel, suspicions of cheating on exams by sailors at a nuclear training program, Air Force officers accused of cheating on different qualification exams, separate scandal involving senior Navy commanders and other incidents.
    What’s going on in the armed forces? Is this something, the kind of thing that’s always been happening, and it’s just now coming out, or is this a different period? How do you see it?


    GEN. MARTIN DEMPSEY: I think what happened is, we have gotten a little careless maybe and sloppy over the last 10 years with the mechanisms that used to provide oversight, checks and balances, a safety net, if you will, for professionalism.
    We became consumed with preparing to go on a deployment, going on the deployment, coming back, and getting ready to go again. We stopped sending young men and women to our professional military education when they should have gone. We stopped doing things like command climate surveys. We got sloppy with contracting oversight.
    And we have got to go back — I will tell you what we have got to do. We have got to go back to the small disciplines that really make a difference in defining ourselves as a profession. And we will.


    JUDY WOODRUFF: There are some analysts who have been out there saying you have been surprisingly low-key, though, on this issue, that they — that, in essence, they have said they have looked to you to speak up more about it, to admonish the forces more about it, and they have been surprised no one’s been publicly fired over these incidents.
    How do you — what do you say about that?


    GEN. MARTIN DEMPSEY: Well, what I say is don’t — don’t characterize my public persona with my level of interest and the urgency with which I deal with this internal to the profession.
    And, by the way, we have to separate out these different issues. Some of them are actually criminal. Some of them are ethical and behavioral issues. Some of them are sophomoric cultural issues. And some of them are just plain stupidity.
    And each of those has to be dealt with in a different way. You can’t lump all of that together and decide, you know, one size fits all.


    JUDY WOODRUFF: Another issue, there’s been a lot of public attention recently around the problem of sexual assault and abuse in the military. Just yesterday, 55 United States senators…


    GEN. MARTIN DEMPSEY: Right.


    JUDY WOODRUFF: … voted to take the prosecution for this kind of thing out of the chain of command.


    GEN. MARTIN DEMPSEY: Right. Yes.


    JUDY WOODRUFF: Not enough to pass, but a majority of the Senate…


    GEN. MARTIN DEMPSEY: Right.


    JUDY WOODRUFF: … said this.


    What does this say about the confidence of our senior political leaders in the military’s ability to handle this?


    GEN. MARTIN DEMPSEY: No, your point is a great one.


    Even though Senator Gillibrand’s bill was defeated, a majority of the Senate of the United States expressed a lack of confidence in our ability to solve this ourselves. By the way, I respect greatly what both Senator Gillibrand and Senator McClaskey have done — McCaskill have done to help us with — to put a constellation of reforms around our Uniform Code of Military Justice to help us.
    We are currently on the clock, if you will. The president of the United States said to us in December, you know what? You have got about a year to review this thing and show me you can make a difference.
    And we understand that, you know, this — just because Senator Gillibrand’s bill was defeated yesterday doesn’t mean that, a year from now, it may not be reintroduced. And if we haven’t been able to demonstrate we’re making a difference, then we deserve to be held to the scrutiny and standard.


    JUDY WOODRUFF: One other thing, General, news reports that a far larger number of troops are being kicked out of the armed forces with less-than-honorable discharges just in the last couple of years, many more so than in the past.
    That means, of course, they are not eligible for veterans benefits. People who follow this issue say many of these are folks who are getting kicked out because they have acted up, but they’re acting up because of psychological trauma during Afghanistan and Iraq, and they’re not getting the treatment they need in the services.
    How do you see this?


    GEN. MARTIN DEMPSEY: Well, first of all, I see it.
    Second of all, there are mechanisms in place, to — to the greatest extent possible, to make sure that we are both administering justice, if you will, for indiscipline and misbehavior, which we have to do, but, at the same time, understand the pressures that we have had the force under for the past 10 years.
    There’s an appeals process that actually extends well into retirement. What we can’t do is begin to excuse indiscipline, misconduct and criminal behavior because of the possibility that it was created by the conditions of post-traumatic stress and other things.
    The point here is, we have got to watch both of those. And I think we have got in place — I’m confident, in fact, we have got in place mechanisms to allow us to try to really unpack what has gone on. But that’s not to say that there won’t be the occasion where we maybe miss something. But we do see it, just as you described it.


    JUDY WOODRUFF: General Martin Dempsey, thank you very much.


    GEN. MARTIN DEMPSEY: Thank you for your interest.


    JUDY WOODRUFF: Our conversation continues online, where General Dempsey tells us what books he’s reading right now, and about his love of literature and poetry.
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    Default Re: Russian Invasion Of Ukraine (Formerly: Democratic Malaise Draws Ukraine Eastwards

    NATO sends 2 surveillance planes to Ukraine border

    [IMG]http://media.philly.com/images/600*450/9cd4736f60254b3e97daf2f6c078bc83-b079a4f2014e380a4e0f6a706700ddb7.jpg[/IMG]

    A Nato AWACS plane takes off the NATO Airbase in Geilenkirchen, Germany, Wednesday, March 12, 2014. AWACS planes flying out of Geilenkirchen to patrol over Romania and Poland. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)



    [IMG]http://media.philly.com/images/172*129/9cd4736f60254b3e97daf2f6c078bc83-cd8832da0152380a4e0f6a70670020c2.jpg[/IMG]
    Gallery: NATO sends 2 surveillance planes to Ukraine border








    FRANK AUGSTEIN, The Associated Press

    Posted: Wednesday, March 12, 2014, 8:44 AM


    GEILENKIRCHEN, Germany (AP) - NATO deployed two surveillance aircraft Wednesday to monitor Ukraine's air space and Black Sea ship movements as Russia consolidated its military buildup in Crimea.


    NATO headquarters spokesman Lt. Col. Jay Janzen said one aircraft based in England would observe Russian air and sea movements from Polish air space, while the other based in Germany would fly over Romania. Both Poland and Romania are NATO members and border Ukraine, and Romania's Black Sea coast is only about 220 kilometers (140 miles) from the Crimean peninsula.


    Janzen said the planes - both Boeing E-3 Sentry aircraft that sport a rotating radar dome above the fuselage - would be able to monitor military movements covering an area of 300,000 square kilometers (115,000 square miles) and will not leave NATO air space.


    "Regardless, we can observe, we can look, a very long way," he said.



    The Sentry is also known as AWACS, short for "airborne warning and control system," and is the main battlefield command and surveillance aircraft for NATO air forces.


    The 28-nation NATO alliance decided Monday to use AWACS to monitor Russia's military buildup, and the first Sentry sortie over Romania happened Tuesday, Janzen said.


    The Tuesday and Wednesday sorties had previously been planned as training flights before NATO's decision, but were then reconfigured to be part of the new mission, Janzen said. More operations are now being planned.


    The U.S. Air Force already has deployed extra combat fighters to NATO bases in Eastern Europe, including six F-15s last week in Lithuania and a dozen F-16s this week in Poland.


    Meanwhile, a U.S. Navy destroyer joined Bulgarian and Romanian naval forces in the Black Sea for exercises a few hundred miles off the Crimean peninsula.


    The drills on Wednesday include the guided-missile destroyer USS Truxton, the Bulgarian naval frigate Drazki and three Romanian vessels.


    Bulgaria's Defense Ministry said in a statement that the drills were planned in 2013 and were in no way related to the recent events in the Ukraine.


    Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/na...5hcKTuO2g00.99
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    Default Re: Russian Invasion Of Ukraine (Formerly: Democratic Malaise Draws Ukraine Eastwards

    US F-16s, Troops to Poland Over Ukraine Crisis







    Stars and Stripes | Mar 11, 2014 | by Jennifer H. Svan and John Vandiver



    KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany – Polish government officials said Monday that the U.S. military was sending 12 F-16 fighter jets and about 300 service members to their country in response to the situation in Ukraine.


    Some U.S. aircraft and service members had already arrived in Poland on Monday, with the remainder expected later in the week, a spokeswoman for Poland’s Defense Ministry said.


    Where the warplanes and personnel were coming from is not known, however, as U.S. military officials provided few details on the mission.


    It’s the second time in less than a week that the Pentagon has ordered combat planes and personnel to countries in Eastern Europe amid mounting tensions over Russia’s incursion into Ukraine’s Crimea Peninsula. Last Thursday, the U.S. Air Force sent six F-15C Eagles and more than 60 U.S. airmen from RAF Lakenheath, England, to Lithuania to bolster NATO’s air policing mission over the Baltics.


    The Baltic nations and Poland requested the deployments, officials said.


    Poland requested to speed up a previous planned rotation of U.S. military aircraft in connection with the crisis on its border, said Arthur Golawski, a spokesman for the Polish armed forces.


    Normally, U.S. Air Force rotations in Poland are about two weeks. It’s not clear how long this rotation will last. “If it needs to be prolonged, it can be prolonged,” Golawski said. “It’s up to the Americans and how much they will spend on this rotation.”


    The U.S. service members and aircraft that have already arrived in Poland are on the ground at Lask air base, said the Polish Defense Ministry spokeswoman. The base, located about 100 miles southwest of Warsaw, has been home to a U.S. Air Force aviation detachment since November 2012. She said the planes and personnel could be moved to several other military bases in Poland that are prepared to receive them.


    The spokeswoman, who declined to give her name because she was not authorized to speak on the matter, said an exercise with U.S. forces “was already planned but not at this scope.” She said Americans “responded very quickly” to Poland’s request to expand the military drills.


    Details of the type of joint training to be conducted by the U.S. and Poland would be announced later in the week, she said.


    A spokesman with U.S. European Command on Monday confirmed the U.S. military was working with Poland “on increasing activities associated with the aviation detachment” but said details were still being negotiated.


    “It is too early to talk specific aircraft or quantity,” Lt. Col. David Westover said in a statement. “We’re in consultations to determine what they’d like, what the airfield can handle, and what we can provide.”


    A rotation of three C-130s and about 100 personnel from Ramstein Air Base were scheduled to arrive in Poland in early April for joint training, U.S. Air Forces in Europe officials said last week.


    Now, F-16s will be arriving earlier as part of an effort to boost activities in response to the crisis in Ukraine, Golawski said.


    Last year, the Air Force did four rotations in Poland, two of which involved F-16s and two of which involved C-130s.


    Russian forces have seized control of key areas in Crimea, and a pro-Russian government there plans to hold a referendum Sunday on whether the region should secede and join the Russian Federation. The referendum has been widely denounced by European leaders and the United States.


    Tens of thousands of people on both sides of the referendum protested over the weekend, with some rallies turning violent, according to news reports.
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    Default Re: Russian Invasion Of Ukraine (Formerly: Democratic Malaise Draws Ukraine Eastwards

    US deploys fighter jets in Poland and Lithuania amid Ukrainian turmoil

    Published time: March 10, 2014 14:13
    Edited time: March 11, 2014 06:27 Get short URL

    F-16 Fighting Falcon (AFP Photo)

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    The US is sending a dozen F-16 fighter jets and nearly 300 service personnel to Poland by Thursday as part of a training exercise in response to the crisis in neighboring Ukraine, the Polish defense ministry confirmed.


    The agreement to deploy US military forces in Poland was made between US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, and Poland’s Minister of National Defense Tomasz Siemoniak during a telephone conversation on Sunday, March 9, 2014, according to a statement on the official website of the Polish Ministry of National Defense.


    "The squadron will number twelve F-16 planes and will transport 300 soldiers," Polish Defense Ministry spokesman, Jacek Sonta, confirmed to AFP.


    Initially, the training exercise was planned to be smaller but was increased and pushed forward because of the “tense political situation” in neighboring Ukraine, added Sonta.


    The ministry also said that the aim of sending the units is to “strengthen Polish - American cooperation.” Part of the preparation team of US Air Force has already arrived on Polish territory.


    The fighters were sent on the initiative of the Polish government, an initiative immediately accepted by Washington.


    On Monday, NATO also gave the go-ahead to Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) for reconnaissance flights over Poland and Romania in order help monitor the crisis in Ukraine.


    Poland is a western neighbor of crisis-torn Ukraine - between the countries’ capitals, Warsaw and Kiev, there is less than 700 km.


    Earlier, the Polish media reported that US fighter jets would be stationed at the Lask air force base in central Poland.


    Washington is also sending four F-15 planes to Lithuania in response to “Russian aggression in Ukraine and increased military activity in Kaliningrad,” according to the Lithuanian Defense Ministry.


    On Saturday, US Navy destroyer, the USS Truxtun, crossed Turkey's Bosphorus and entered the Black Sea. The ship, with around 300 crew, was heading to “previously planned” training exercises with the Bulgarian and Romanian navies. When the vessel appeared in the Black Sea, Fox News declared that NATO’s bolstering presence in the Black Sea is a “defensive” measure to counter “Russian military aggression” in Ukraine.


    USS Truxton, one of the largest destroyers ever built for the US navy, will reportedly stay in the Black Sea till mid-March as the Montreux Convention allows a warship of any non-Black Sea country to stay in the region for 21 day only.


    The situation in Ukraine is close to financial and humanitarian catastrophe after the armed coup which took place in February. There are mass protests in eastern and southern parts of the country against the self-proclaimed authorities in Kiev.


    The Autonomous Republic of Crimea has scheduled a referendum for March 16 on whether it wants to remain part of Ukraine, or join Russia.
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    Default Re: Russian Invasion Of Ukraine (Formerly: Democratic Malaise Draws Ukraine Eastwards

    US flexes military might with Ukrainian war games

    Ukrainian troops at a military unit in the village of Perevalnoye in Crimea yesterday. Picture: Reuters



    • by FREDRIK DAHL


    The United States and Poland have begun war games as Washington last night made a gesture of support for its Nato allies in the Baltic states and Eastern Europe after Russia’s intervention in Ukraine.



    Polish president Bronislaw Komorowski called on his country’s political parties to safeguard defence spending at a time of budget constraints due to the “events to the east”, without specifically naming Ukraine.


    The US claimed that both the air drills in Poland and its joint naval exercises in the Black Sea were planned before the crisis in Ukraine.


    But they are being seen as a message of resolve to Nato members nervous about Russia’s intentions in its former Cold War backyard, along with separate reconnaissance flights over Poland and Romania near the Ukrainian border.


    Poland is traditionally seen as Nato’s border in the East, with the former communist state a staunch ally of the US.


    The defence ministry in 
Bucharest said a Nato E-3A Awacs plane would fly through Romanian airspace. The aircraft fly out of Germany and Britain.


    At the Lask base in central Poland, Mr Komorowski watched as four Polish F-16s took to the air. An American Hercules transport plane landed with support staff and at least 12 US F-16 fighter jets, and 300 personnel are due to arrive for the exercises – beefed up at Warsaw’s request after Russian forces seized control in Crimea.
    Flanked by a handful of American soldiers, Mr Komorowski stressed the need to maintain defence spending in Poland.


    “I hope events to the east of the Polish border, which is also Nato’s border, will encourage tough decisions regarding Polish security,” he said.


    Mr Komorowski urged all parties to safeguard annual defence spending.


    The exercises underline Washington’s lead role in the response to Russia’s actions in Ukraine, where political forces determined to take Kiev westwards to Europe have taken power after the overthrow of president Viktor Yanukovich.


    The European Union, hampered by the need for consensus among its 28 members and their economic interdependence with Russia, has been less bold, though members such as Britain have threatened sanctions.


    In a separate deployment since the Ukraine crisis began, extra US military aircraft have arrived in Lithuania to take part in regular Nato air patrols over the Baltic states.


    In other developments yesterday, the Swiss head of Europe’s security and democracy watchdog said that Crimea’s referendum on joining Russia this weekend is illegal in its current form and independent observers will not be sent.


    The region had invited the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to send a mission to observe Sunday’s poll.


    But the organisation last night stated that attempts to break away in their current form would go against the Ukrainian constitution.


    Swiss foreign minister Didier Burkhalter, whose country is the current chair of the Vienna-based OSCE, said: “In its current form the referendum… is in contradiction with the Ukrainian constitution and must be considered illegal.”


    In further developments yesterday, the European Commission agreed to give nearly €500 million worth of trade benefits to Ukraine, which had been teetering towards default even before the unrest in Kiev.
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    Default Re: Russian Invasion Of Ukraine (Formerly: Democratic Malaise Draws Ukraine Eastwards

    11 March 2014 Last updated at 11:39 ET "Little green men" or "Russian invaders"?

    By Vitaly Shevchenko BBC Monitoring Highly organised local 'self-defence groups' or Russian military?
    Continue reading the main story Ukraine crisis




    The internet has no shortage of photographs and videos showing armed men in Crimea who look like members of the Russian military. Their guns are the same as those used by the Russian army, their lorries have Russian number plates and they speak in Russian accents.
    Yet according to President Vladimir Putin, they are in fact members of "self-defence groups" organised by the locals who bought all their uniforms and hardware in a shop.
    This poses a challenge to the media covering the crisis: what do you call people who are officially not there?
    The state-run and pro-government media in Russia have chosen to take little notice of them, and the heavily armed men are rarely if ever shown on TV. Instead, they show groups of lightly-armed "volunteers" described as local "self-defence groups".
    "Polite men" Russian journalists less aligned with the Kremlin often use the phrase "polite men". According to centrist daily Nezavisimaya Gazeta, "'polite, armed men' are in charge of Crimea now". Describing them as Russian troops in the Russian media "is not the done thing, and even dangerous, too," prominent photojournalist Denis Sinyakov comments on independent website Colta.
    Russian media suggest that the heavily armed "polite men" have come to defend peaceful Crimean residents
    According to popular blogger Ilya Varlamov, the term "polite men" was invented by spin doctors who arrived in Crimea from Moscow. "They are creating an image of a Russian liberator-soldier wearing a nice new uniform and armed with beautiful weapons, who has come to defend peaceful towns and villages," Mr Varlamov says.
    "Little green men" Another phrase used by reporters in Russia and Ukraine alike is "little green men", which refers both to the colour of their uniforms and their unconfirmed origin.
    The soldiers are often described as "little green men"
    Their involvement in Crimea is a "tragicomic masquerade", says Russian liberal newspaper Novaya Gazeta, which argues that "the little green men will turn into Russian troops very soon".
    According to Kiev-based private TV channel One Plus One, the term "little green men" was coined by local residents in Crimea. It is now frequently mentioned on Ukrainian TV, by a defence ministry spokesman in his posts on Facebook and even by Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk in his recent addresses to parliament.
    Some Ukrainian journalists have criticised the use of this term. "Colleagues, stop using the affectionate term 'little green men' to describe the Russian troops," tweeted journalist Svyatoslav Tseholko. "Otherwise you get the impression that we trust Putin more than we do common sense."
    The unconfirmed but obvious origin of the troops creates a "tragicomic masquerade", media say.
    'Russian invaders' Most journalists in Ukraine, however, have little doubt about the true identity of the pro-Russian armed men.
    Ukrainian papers openly call the troops "Russian invaders"
    "Russian invaders" and "occupiers from Russia" is how popular Kiev-based news website Ukrayinska Pravda describes the military men in Crimea. Meanwhile, analytical daily Den calls them "Russian extremists", echoing language used by the Russian media to describe Islamist militants.
    Unidentified armed servicemen block access to a Ukrainian navy base in Simferopol
    Even outlets previously supportive of ousted President Viktor Yanukovych - such as Segodnya, a tabloid owned by Ukraine's richest man Rinat Akhmetov, - are now calling the military presence in Crimea "an armed intervention".
    Ukraine's most popular TV channel Inter is treading a more cautious line. Previously critical of the protests that led to President Yanukovych's downfall, Inter speaks of "unknown armed men" in Crimea. But it also said that they were bringing Russian military hardware to the peninsula.
    A soldier in unmarked but apparently Russian military uniform guards S300 surface-to-air missiles in the port city of Sevastopol.
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    Default Re: Russian Invasion Of Ukraine (Formerly: Democratic Malaise Draws Ukraine Eastwards

    Ukraine is the least of this dimwit's worries:

    Reports: Obama to issue executive order expanding overtime pay


    • By Fred Barbash






    President Obama waves as he boards Air Force One in New York on Tuesday after attending a pair of Democratic fundraisers. Tomorrow he plans to use his executive authority to change the nation’s overtime rules.(AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

    This story has been updated.



    President Obama will issue an executive order today expanding the number of people who qualify for overtime pay under federal labor law, according to news reports.
    According to the Associated Press, the directive is designed to help salaried workers, such as fast-food shift supervisors or convenience store managers, who may be expected to work more than 40 hours a week without receiving overtime pay.


    AP reported that under Obama’s proposed changes, the Labor Department could raise the pay threshold for workers covered by overtime rules.
    The legal authority derives from the Fair Labor Standards Act, which, under current regulations, guarantees extra pay to salaried workers told to work overtime if they earn less than $455 per week.


    Obama’s order would increase that salary level. The reports did not say by how much.


    The move would “potentially shift billions of dollars worth of corporate income into the pockets of workers,” the New York Times said on its Web site. The Times quoted Cecilia Muñoz, director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, as saying the effort was part of Obama’s pledge to help workers thrive:


    “We need to fix the system so folks working hard are getting compensated fairly,” she said on Tuesday evening. “That’s why we are jump-starting this effort.”
    Bloomberg said it confirmed the story.


    The move is likely to infuriate business interests, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, as well as congressional Republicans, who have accused the president of abusing his executive authority.


    Obama and Democrats in congressional races are trying to make helping the middle class their central political theme heading into the 2014 midterm elections, using the issue to draw a contrast with Republicans. Obama has repeatedly said he will use executive orders and regulatory powers to bypass the Republicans, who have used their control the House of Representatives to block most of his initiatives, according to the Times:
    “The proposed new regulations would increase the number of people who qualify for overtime and continue Mr. Obama’s fight against what he says is a crisis of economic inequality in the country. Changes to the regulations will be subject to public comment before final approval by the Labor Department, and it is possible that strong opposition could cause Mr. Obama to scale back his proposal.
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    Default Re: Russian Invasion Of Ukraine (Formerly: Democratic Malaise Draws Ukraine Eastwards

    What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
    War games are fun until somebody gets hurt
    By Peter Weber | March 5, 2014
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    Batman versus Superman. (REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)






    The chances that the U.S. and Russia will clash militarily over Moscow's invasion of Ukraine are very, very slim. Ukraine isn't a member of NATO, and President Obama isn't likely to volunteer for another war. But many of Ukraine's neighbors are NATO members, including Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Hungary. And so are the the Baltic states — Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia — further north and right on Russia's border.


    If any of those countries come to Ukraine's aid and find themselves in a war with Russia, NATO is obliged to intervene. That's also true if Russia comes up with some pretext to invade any of those countries, unlikely as that seems. If we learned anything from World War I, it's that huge, bloody conflicts can start with tiny skirmishes, especially in Eastern Europe.


    Again, the U.S. and Russia almost certainly won't come to blows over Ukraine. But what if they did?
    If you asked that question during the Cold War it would be like those fanciful Godzilla vs. King Kong, or Batman vs. Superman match-ups: Which superpower would prevail in all-out battle? But Russia isn't the Soviet Union, and military technology didn't stop in 1991. Here, for example, is a look at U.S. versus Russian/USSR defense spending since the end of the Cold War, from Mother Jones.


    The U.S. is much wealthier than Russia and spends a lot more on its military. That doesn't mean a war would be easy for the U.S. to win, though, or even guarantee a victory: As Napoleon and Hitler learned the hard way, Russia will sacrifice a lot to win its wars, especially on its home turf.


    So, what would a war between the U.S. and Russia look like? Here are a few scenarios, from awful to merely bad:


    Nuclear Armageddon

    Even with the slow mutual nuclear disarmament since the end of the Cold War, the U.S. and Russia each have thousands of nuclear warheads at the ready. As
    Eugene Chow noted earlier this year, the entire stockpile of U.S. intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) — 448 active — is essentially aimed squarely at Russia. Russia's hundreds of ICBMs are probably returning the favor.


    In all, the U.S. has about 7,700 nuclear warheads, including 1,950 warheads ready to deploy via ICBM, submarine, and airplane, plus thousands more in mothballs or waiting to be dismantled, according to the latest tally by the Federation of American Scientists. Russia has slightly more warheads overall — about 8,500 — but a slightly fewer 1,800 of them operational. China, in comparison, has about 250 nuclear warheads, a bit less that France (300) and a bit more than Britain (225).


    Nuclear war with Russia is still mutually assured destruction. Hopefully, that's still deterrent enough.


    A conventional war in Eastern Europe

    This is the other scenario that never happened in the Cold War. Now, the possibility of scenario one (nuclear Armageddon) makes this one almost equally unlikely. But for the sake of argument, let's assume this hypothetical U.S.-Russia war breaks out in Ukraine, and that other NATO forces are supplementing U.S. troops, ships, and aircraft. Unlike in the Asia-Pacific, where the U.S. keeps China in check (and vice versa, as Eugene Chow explained), NATO provides the United States with a robust military alliance set up specifically to take on Soviet Russia.


    The first dynamic is that Russia would have home field advantage: The Russian navy has long called Crimea its home, and whatever troops Russia doesn't already have in Ukraine are right next door, one border-crossing away. The other big starting point is that the U.S. and its NATO allies have Russia effectively surrounded. By its own public count, the U.S. has 598 military facilities in 40 countries, along with the 4,461 bases in the U.S. and U.S. territories.


    Along with its large number of bases in Germany, the U.S. has major military installations in Qatar and the Diego Garcia atoll to Russia's south and Japan and South Korea to its east. NATO allies France and Britain are even closer, as this map from Britain's The Telegraph shows:






    On top of that, NATO has bases around Russia's western perimeter and in Turkey, right across the Black Sea from Ukraine. What about Russia? "They have a presence in Cuba," more a way station than a base, NYU professor Mark Galeotti tells The Washington Post. And Russia has a naval base in Tartus, Syria. But otherwise "they have no bases outside the former Soviet Union."


    Russia has an estimated 845,000 active-duty troops, with as many as 2.5 million more in reserve. NYU's Galeotti isn't very impressed. Russia's military is "moderately competent," he tells The Washington Post. "It's not at the level of the American or British or German military, but it's better than in the 1990s." The Russian troops, especially the Spetsnaz special forces, are "good at bullying small neighbors, but it would not be effective against NATO. It would not be able to defeat China." Galeotti is even more brutal about Russia's Crimea-based Black Sea Fleet:


    As a war-fighting force, it's not particularly impressive. Its main vessel was basically built to fight other ships and so is only useful in fighting a naval war. It's got the Moskva, an aging guided-missile cruiser; a large anti-submarine warfare cruiser — very dated; a destroyer and two frigates, which are more versatile; landing ships; and a diesel attack submarine. It's not a particularly powerful force. The Italian navy alone could easily destroy it. [Washington Post]


    The U.S. military's 1.4 million active duty troops and 850,000 reservists, but it can't just throw all of them at Russia — somebody has to maintain those 598 bases around the world, as well as defend the U.S.


    NATO's Response Force (NRF), which would probably be the first armed unit to engage the Russians, has 13,000 troops at the ready and thousands more in reserve. Here's NATO describing its first-response team, right before NRF war games last fall:


    If Russia would have the advantage at sea — Sevastopol is its home port, and the U.S./NATO would have to dislodge its navy — the U.S. would have an edge in the skies, mostly. "The U.S. planes have better radar, missiles, and electronic warfare equipment, while the Russian planes are judged to have superior handling and thrust-to-weight ratio, which would give them an edge in a classic dogfight," says Charles Clover at the Financial Times.


    But classic dogfights are at least as dated as Top Gun, Russian defense analyst Ruslan Pukhov tells FT. "Ever since Soviet days we have been lagging behind the U.S. in military aviation." Because of that gap, he adds, Soviet and Russian military planners have invested heavily in air defense systems, and the S-300 and S-400 systems are the best in the world. "It's like boxing," Pukhov says. "If you have a weak right arm, you need to compensate by a strong left arm. Soviet strategists made up for a weakness in aviation by investing heavily in air defense systems."


    A U.S.-Russia war probably wouldn't end up a draw, but it would be a bloody mess. The site Global Firepower ranks the U.S. the most powerful conventional military in the world, and that's without NATO, but Russia is a pretty close second (here it differs with Galeotti). If you look down the list of military assets, the U.S. beats Russia in almost every category — Russia has more tanks, ground artillery, and mine warfare craft.


    There's a wild card, though: Since 2010, the U.S. and Russian militaries have been increasingly cooperating, including engaging in joint military exercises. Unlike in Soviet times, or even the 1990s, U.S. and Russian military commanders know one another and are familiar with each other's armaments and strategies. Until the U.S. put all U.S.-Russian military engagements on hold Monday, the relationship was good and improving.


    There's "a very robust, cooperative effort between our militaries," Rear Admiral Mark C. Montgomery, deputy director for plans, policy, and strategy at U.S. European Command (EUCOM), told Foreign Policy in 2012, as Russian officers were in NORAD headquarters in Colorado, practicing counterinsurgency tactics.


    The naval exercises "tend to be fairly deep in their level of technical engagement," Montgomery said, "where say, the ground ones and [special operations forces] ones are still fairly young exercises that do a lot more walk-thru than detailed exercising. But as they go year to year, they get more complicated."


    A proxy war

    Short of a negotiated peace with no casualties, this is the best of the bad options. The U.S. and Russia have already fought a string of proxy wars, the big ones being Vietnam to Afghanistan. In this scenario, the U.S. might finance Ukrainian forces to fight Russian soldiers, with the probable goal of driving them out of Ukrainian territory. Or, should the U.S. or NATO back the Ukrainian army, Russia might fund pro-Moscow separatist movements in Ukraine against it.


    Russia helped the North Vietnamese beat the U.S. in Southeast Asia, and the U.S. helped the Mujahideen defeat the Soviets in Afghanistan. If that pattern holds, and Ukraine is the battleground, then it's bad news for the occupying army. Advantage: America.
    Libertatem Prius!


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

    here's the kicker to this thing. Read it carefully, then remember me and Ryan having discussions, or more accurately bitching about this:

    There's a wild card, though: Since 2010, the U.S. and Russian militaries have been increasingly cooperating, including engaging in joint military exercises. Unlike in Soviet times, or even the 1990s, U.S. and Russian military commanders know one another and are familiar with each other's armaments and strategies. Until the U.S. put all U.S.-Russian military engagements on hold Monday, the relationship was good and improving.
    Libertatem Prius!


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