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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

    Russia Begins Direct Military Invasion Of Ukraine – President Obama To Send Strongly Worded Letter…

    Posted on August 28, 2014 by sundance
    No doubt Putin is leveraging the U.S. position moving against ISIS in Syria which needs Russian assistance/acceptance. As Russia assists U.S. political and strategic interests in Syria, now is the right time for Putin to make his selfish moves. Putin is playing chess, and Obama is playing checkers…..

    MOSCOW — Declaring that Russian troops had crossed into Ukraine, President Petro O. Poroshenko on Thursday canceled a planned visit to Turkey and convened a meeting of the national security council to focus on the “marked aggravation of the situation” in the southeast of his country.


    The meeting of the national security council will focus on shaping a response, and Ukraine will also request a meeting of the United Nations Security Council.


    Mr. Poroshenko made his comments as the leader of the main separatist group in southeastern Ukraine said that up to 4,000 Russians, including active-duty soldiers on leave, had been fighting against Ukrainian government forces, Russian television reported.


    “There are active soldiers fighting among us who preferred to spend their vacation not on the beach, but with us, among their brothers, who are fighting for their freedom,” Aleksandr Zakharchenko, a rebel commander and the prime minister of the Donetsk People’s Republic, said in an interview on Russian state-run television. (read more)


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

    "Significant escalation": Russian tanks enter Ukraine
    CBS 5:39 a.m. EDT August 29, 2014
    Russia

    (Photo: CBS)
    CONNECTTWEETLINKEDINCOMMENTEMAILMORE

    NOVOAZOVSK, Ukraine (CBS) -- Ukraine accused Russia on Thursday of entering its territory with tanks, artillery and troops, and Western powers said Moscow had "outright lied" about its role and dangerously escalated the conflict.

    Ukrainian Col. Andriy Lysenko said that two columns of tanks and military vehicles rolled into southeastern Ukraine from Russia on Thursday after Grad missiles were fired at a border post and Ukraine's overmatched border guards fled.

    Echoing Lysenko's comments, a senior NATO official said at least 1,000 Russian troops have poured into Ukraine with sophisticated equipment, leaving no doubt that the Russian military had invaded southeastern Ukraine.

    "The hand from behind is becoming more and more overt now," Dutch Brig. Gen. Nico Tak said at NATO's military headquarters, adding that Russia's ultimate aim was to stave off defeat for the separatists and turn eastern Ukraine into a "frozen conflict" that would destabilize the country indefinitely.

    Russia dismissed the allegations, describing the fighters there as "Russian volunteers." The Kremlin has repeatedly denied arming and supporting the separatists who have been fighting Ukrainian troops for four months in the gravest crisis between Russia and the West since the end of the Cold War.

    At a White House news conference, President Barack Obama said Russia "is responsible" for the violence in Ukraine. Obama said he had spoken to German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the situation.

    "We agree, if there was ever any doubt, that Russia is responsible for the violence in eastern Ukraine. The violence is encouraged by Russia. The separatists are trained by Russia. They are armed by Russia. They are funded by Russia," he said.

    "Russia has deliberately and repeatedly violated the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. And the new images of Russian forces inside Ukraine make that plain for the world to see," Obama said.

    Obama said, "We are not taking military action to solve the Ukrainian problem," but added that Moscow had already been hit with stringent sanctions whose effect will be increasingly felt.

    NATO also produced satellite images to provide what it called additional evidence that Russian combat soldiers, equipped with sophisticated heavy weaponry, are operating inside Ukraine's sovereign territory.

    "This is highly sophisticated weaponry that requires well-trained crews, well-trained command and control elements, and it is extremely unlikely that this sort of equipment is used by volunteers," Tak said.

    In Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin called on pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine to provide a" humanitarian corridor" so Ukrainian government troops could flee the fighting, Reuters news agency reported.

    "I call on the militia forces to open a humanitarian corridor for encircled Ukraine servicemen in order to avoid pointless victims, to allow them leave the fighting area without impediment, join their families ... to provide urgent medical aid to those wounded as a result of the military operation," he said in a statement.

    Putin also said Russia would continue to provide what he called humanitarian aid to civilians in eastern Ukraine.

    At an emergency session of the U.N. Security Council, Western representatives expressed outrage.

    "Now we see irrefutable evidence of regular Russian forces operating inside Ukraine," said British Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant.

    U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power said Russia "has manipulated. It has obfuscated. It has outright lied."

    Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin offered a spirited defense, saying Kiev "is waging war against its own people."

    He did deny not the Russian presence, saying "there are Russian volunteers in eastern parts of Ukraine. No one is hiding that."

    But Power countered: "A Russian soldier who chooses to fight in Ukraine on summer break is still a Russian soldier."

    Churkin questioned the presence of Western advisers and asked where Ukrainian troops were getting weapons. He said he wanted to "send a message to Washington: Stop interfering in the internal affairs of sovereign states."

    "The U.N. stood helpless, because of Russia's opposition to action, and, ultimately, its veto power - even with thousands of Russian troops in Ukraine and a statement by the secretary-general warning that the international community cannot allow the situation to escalate further," CBS News' Pamela Falk reported from the U.N.

    "With President Obama saying that a military solution will not be forthcoming, the inaction at the U.N. leaves Washington - in coordination with European partners - with little to do other than increase targeted sanctions, with the hope that Russia begins to de-escalate," Falk said.

    In Ukraine, President Petro Poroshenko canceled a foreign trip and called an emergency meeting of his country's security council.

    "Russian forces have entered Ukraine," he said. "Today the president's place is in Kiev."

    Poroshenko urged his citizens to resist giving into panic.

    "Destabilization of the situation and panic, this is as much of a weapon of the enemy as tanks," Poroshenko told the security council.

    As Poroshenko spoke, the strategic southeastern town of Novoazovsk appeared firmly under the control of separatists and their Russian backers, a new, third front in the war in eastern Ukraine between the separatists and Poroshenko's government in Kiev.

    The Reuters news agency reported that Ukraine's defense and security council ruled that the country will re-introduce mandatory military service staring this fall from this autumn, but conscripts will not serve in the war zone.

    The Reuters news agency reported a member of Russian President Vladimir Putin's advisory council on human rights said Thursday she believed Russia was carrying out an invasion of Ukraine.

    "When masses of people, under commanders' orders, on tanks, APCs and with the use of heavy weapons, (are) on the territory of another country, cross the border, I consider this an invasion," Ella Polyakova told Reuters.

    Lysenko, the Ukrainian colonel, said the missiles from Russia were fired at Ukrainian positions in the southeast about 11 a.m. and an hour and a half later, two columns, including tanks and other fighting vehicles, began an attack. They entered Ukraine from Veselo-Voznesenka and Maximovo in the Rostov region of Russia.

    Russian stock markets dived as Switzerland joined the European Union in imposing restrictions on Russian state banks and fears grew that the U.S. and EU could impose further sanctions on Russian businesses and individuals in response to the military escalation. Russia's MICEX index dropped nearly 2 percent on Thursday, and major Russian state banks VTB and Sberbank dropped more than 4 percent.

    "Over the past two weeks we have noted a significant escalation in both the level and sophistication of Russia's military interference in Ukraine," Tak said in Casteau, Belgium. "Russia is reinforcing and resupplying separatist forces in a blatant attempt to change the momentum of the fighting, which is currently favoring the Ukrainian military."

    He said the 1,000 Russian troops was a conservative estimate and said another 20,000 Russian troops were right over the border.

    Moscow has described the Russian citizens fighting with the separatists as volunteers.

    Tak, the Dutch general who heads NATO's crisis management center, said the satellite images were only "the tip of the iceberg" in terms of the overall scope of Russian troop and weapons movements.

    NATO also has detected large quantities of advanced weapons, including air defense systems, artillery, tanks and armored personnel carriers being transferred to separatist forces in eastern Ukraine," he said. "The presence of these weapons along with substantial numbers of Russian combat troops inside Ukraine make the situation increasingly grave."

    The leader of the insurgency, Alexander Zakharchenko, said in an interview on Russian state television Thursday up to 4,000 Russians have fought on the separatist side since the armed conflict began in April.

    The U.S. government also has accused Russia of orchestrating the rebel campaign and sending in tanks, rocket launchers and armored vehicles.

    "These incursions indicate a Russian-directed counteroffensive is likely underway in Donetsk and Luhansk," U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said. She voiced concern about overnight deliveries of materiel in southeast Ukraine near Novoazovsk and said Russia was being dishonest about its actions, even to its own people.

    Russian forces, she said, are being sent 30 miles inside Ukraine, without them or their families knowing where they are going. She cited reports of burials in Russia for those who have died in Ukraine and wounded Russian soldiers being treated in a St. Petersburg hospital.

    On Thursday morning, an Associated Press journalist saw rebel checkpoints on Novoazovsk's outskirts and was told he couldn't enter. One of the rebels said there was no fighting in the town.

    Novoazovsk, which lies along the road connecting Russia to the Russia-annexed Crimean Peninsula, had come under shelling for three days, with the rebels entering it on Wednesday. This area had previously escaped the fighting that has engulfed areas to the north, and the only way rebels could have reached the southeast was by coming through Russia.

    The new southeastern front raised fears that the separatists are seeking to create a land link between Russia and Crimea. If successful, it could give them or Russia control over the entire Sea of Azov and the gas and mineral riches that energy experts believe it contains. Ukraine already lost roughly half its coastline, several major ports and significant Black Sea mineral rights in March when Russia annexed Crimea.

    In Mariupol, a city of 450,000 about 20 miles to the west of Novoazovsk, a brigade of Ukrainian forces arrived at the airport on Wednesday, while deep trenches were dug a day earlier on the city's edge.

    National Guard spokesman Ruslan Muzychuk told the AP in Mariupol that the government has evidence that large amounts of weapons have been brought into Novoazovsk from across the Russian border.

    He added that National Guard reinforcements were taking up positions in Mariupol.

    "The positions are being strengthened," the spokesman said. "The road from Novoazovsk to Mariupol is under the control of Ukrainian troops."

    Associated Press journalists on the border have seen the rebels with a wide range of unmarked military equipment - including tanks, Buk missile launchers and armored personnel carriers - and have encountered many Russians among the rebel fighters.

    In Donetsk, the largest rebel-held city, 11 people were killed by shelling overnight, the city said Thursday.
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    Default Re: Russian Invasion Of Ukraine (Formerly: Democratic Malaise Draws Ukraine Eastwards

    Wow.

    Flat out lying

    Russia isn't at war in Ukraine, says the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation




    28 August 2014 - 8:35pm
    The Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation declared today that the list of military connections of the army of Russia published in the western mass media, allegedly warring now in Ukraine, is no more than a rumour. The official representative of the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation, Major-General Igor Konashenkov, reported about it.
    Konashenkov explained that the connections specified in the list are at field exits on ranges and participate in tactical exercises on all the territory of Russia.

    The Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation declared today that the list of military connections of the army of Russia published in the western mass media, allegedly warring now in Ukraine, is no more than a rumour. The official representative of the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation, Major-General Igor Konashenkov, reported about it.

    Konashenkov explained that the connections specified in the list are at field exits on ranges and participate in tactical exercises on all the territory of Russia.
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    Default Re: Russian Invasion Of Ukraine (Formerly: Democratic Malaise Draws Ukraine Eastwards


    Don't Mess With Nuclear Russia, Putin Says

    August 29, 2014

    President Vladimir Putin said on Friday Russia's armed forces, backed by its nuclear arsenal, were ready to meet any aggression, declaring at a pro-Kremlin youth camp that foreign states should understand: "It's best not to mess with us."

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

    Ukraine, and Western governments, accuse Russia of sending troops and armour to back the separatists in a conflict that has already killed over 2,000 people. Russia denies the charge.

    "Russia is far from being involved in any large-scale conflicts," he said at the camp on the banks of Lake Seliger. "We don't want that and don't plan on it. But naturally, we should always be ready to repel any aggression towards Russia.

    "Russia's partners...should understand it's best not to mess with us," said Putin, dressed casually in a grey sweater and light blue jeans.

    "Thank God, I think no one is thinking of unleashing a large-scale conflict with Russia. I want to remind you that Russia is one of the leading nuclear powers."

    Putin spoke easily with the students, many of whom looked to be asking scripted questions about demography and history. Other times he accepted gifts or, smilingly, played down their praise.

    When a student said that she had not heard a single negative comment about Putin's presidency from camp speakers, he responded with a grin that "objectivity" was important.

    His tone darkened when speaking on Ukraine, blaming the United States and the European Union for the "unconstitutional" removal of Kiev's former Moscow-backed president Viktor Yanukovich and replacement with a pro-European government.

    He said eastern Ukraine did not agree with Yanukovich's removal and was now subjected to "crude military force" from government planes, tanks and artillery.

    "If those are contemporary European values, then I'm simply disappointed in the highest degree," he said, comparing Ukraine's military operations in the east of the country with the Nazi siege of Leningrad in World War Two.

    "Small villages and large cities surrounded by the Ukrainian army which is directly hitting residential areas with the aim of destroying the infrastructure... It sadly reminds me of the events of the Second World War, when German fascist... occupiers surrounded our cities."



    A very interesting speech.

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

    Well.... what an asshole.

    He's a complete prick.

    I think someone OUGHT to assassinate his bald ass.
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    Default Re: Russian Invasion Of Ukraine (Formerly: Democratic Malaise Draws Ukraine Eastwards

    I didn't see anything in that speech that might be "veiled".

    Vladimir Putin’s Veiled Nuclear Threat

    Posted: August 29, 2014 | Author: Pundit from another Planet | Filed under: Diplomacy, Russia, War Room | Tags: Crimea, Lake Seliger, Moscow, Putin, Reuters, RUSSIA, Russophilia, Ukraine, United States, Vladimir Putin |Leave a comment
    “Thank God, I think no one is thinking of unleashing a large-scale conflict with Russia. I want to remind you that Russia is one of the leading nuclear powers.”

    Aug 29 (Reuters) – Alexei Anishchuk reports: President Vladimir Putin said on Friday Russia’s armed forces, backed by its nuclear arsenal, were ready to meet any aggression, declaring at a pro-Kremlin youth camp that foreign states should understand: “It’s best not to mess with us.”
    “Russia is far from being involved in any large-scale conflicts. We don’t want that and don’t plan on it. But naturally, we should always be ready to repel any aggression towards Russia.”

    Putin told the assembly, on the banks of a lake near Moscow, the Russian takeover of Crimea in March was essential to save a largely Russian-speaking population from Ukrainian government violence. He said continued fighting in eastern Ukraine, where pro-Russian separatists launched an uprising in April, was the result of a refusal by Kiev to negotiate.
    “Russia’s partners…should understand it’s best not to mess with us.”

    Ukraine, and Western governments, accuse Russia of sending troops and armour to back the separatists in a conflict that has already killed over 2,000 people. Russia denies the charge.
    “Russia is far from being involved in any large-scale conflicts,” he said at the camp on the banks of Lake Seliger. “We don’t want that and don’t plan on it. But naturally, we should always be ready to repel any aggression towards Russia.
    “Russia’s partners…should understand it’s best not to mess with us,” said Putin, dressed casually in a grey sweater and light blue jeans.
    “Thank God, I think no one is thinking of unleashing a large-scale conflict with Russia. I want to remind you that Russia is one of the leading nuclear powers.”
    Putin spoke easily with the students, many of whom looked to be asking scripted questions about demography and history. Other times he accepted gifts or, smilingly, played down their praise.
    When a student said that she had not heard a single negative comment about Putin’s presidency from camp speakers, he responded with a grin that “objectivity” was important.
    His tone darkened when speaking on Ukraine…(read more)
    Reuters

    (Reporting by Alexei Anishchuk, Writing by Thomas Grove; editing by Ralph Boulton)
    Related articles

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

    NATO chief eyes more bases in E. Europe to confront Russia
    Published time: August 27, 2014 09:54
    Edited time: August 28, 2014 05:04 Get short URL


    First company-sized contingent of about 150 U.S. paratroopers from the U.S. Army's 173rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team based in Italy arrive in the airport in Riga April 24, 2014. (Reuters/Ints Kalnins)


    Under the pretext of an 'overt' Russian threat, NATO is pushing for a ‘readiness action plan’ that will bring the Cold War military bloc closer to Russian borders than ever - despite objections from some NATO members.

    NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the 28-nation military bloc, which meets next week in Cardiff, Wales, would attempt to overcome internal opposition and agree to the deployment of military bases near the Russian border.

    Two NATO warships heading to Black Sea

    Amid the ongoing Ukrainian conflict, which is fracturing the country along east-west ideological lines, NATO is preparing to install for the first time military “reception facilities” in Eastern European countries, including Poland and the three Baltic countries: Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia.

    "We have something already called the NATO response force, whose purpose is to be able to be deployed rapidly if needed,” Rasmussen said in an interview with several European newspapers. “Now it's our intention to develop what I would call a spearhead within that response force at very, very, high readiness. In order to be able to provide such rapid reinforcements you also need some reception facilities in host nations. So it will involve the pre-positioning of supplies, of equipment, preparation of infrastructure, bases, headquarters.”


    British Foreign Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs William Hague (L) and NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen (R) unveil the logo for the upcoming NATO summit in Wales during a family photo of NATO Foreign Affairs ministers at the NATO headquarters in Brussels on June 25, 2014. (AFP Photo)


    The bottom line, according to the NATO chief, is that there will be “a more visible NATO presence in the east.”

    Asked whether there would be permanent NATO presence in Eastern Europe, he said, "The brief answer is ‘yes’. To prevent misunderstanding, I use the phrase 'for as long as necessary'. Our eastern allies will be satisfied when they see what is actually in the readiness action plan."

    Rasmussen, whose term expires on September 30, said the new NATO forces in Eastern Europe could be “deployed within hours.”

    Needless to say, NATO's militarization of the region will not sit well with Moscow, which has watched with increasing alarm since the collapse of the Soviet Union - despite pledges from the Western military bloc not to expand further east - as NATO continues its march towards Russia's western border.

    Currently, the Polish port city of Szczecin, which military experts anticipate will serve as one of NATO’s new “reception facilities,” represents NATO’s easternmost military presence.

    Ironically, NATO’s latest enlargement plans are being opposed not just by Russia, but by its very members, some of whom do not see the point in aggravating tensions with Moscow.

    It should come as no surprise that the United States and the United Kingdom, distant as they are from any potential fireworks on the European-Russian border, favor a military escalation in Eastern Europe. Other major NATO members, however, including France, Spain and Italy, have expressed serious reservations to the plans.

    Meanwhile, Germany, NATO’s second strongest member, remains uncommitted to the expansion plans.

    This should come as no surprise considering the recent deterioration in relations between Washington and Berlin.


    Paratroopers from the U.S. Army's 173rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team participate in training exercises with the Polish 6 Airborne Brigade soldiers at the Land Forces Training Centre in Oleszno near Drawsko Pomorskie, north west Poland, May 1, 2014. (Reuters/Kacper Pempel)


    Germany was forced to take a critical new look at its powerful American partner following Edward Snowden’s shocking NSA revelations, which showed massive US and UK spying on German citizens. Even Chancellor Angela Merkel’s personal mobile phone was caught up in the international surveillance net.

    Remarkably, Rasmussen asserted that Russia “does not consider NATO a partner,” when it was NATO that flat-out refused Russian participation in the controversial US missile defense system, also planned for Eastern Europe. Such cooperation, had it been given the green light, would have sealed the so-called reset between the two Cold War-era foes, bringing to end years of mutual suspicion and antagonism. Instead, the US and NATO opted to keep Russia on the sidelines, ensuring nothing less than another full-blown arms race.

    Speaking on the subject of Crimea’s decision to hold a referendum to join the Russian Federation under the threat of military attack by pro-Kiev forces, Rasmussen commented that “nobody had expected Russia to grab land by force.”

    At the same time, the outgoing NATO chief reiterated claims – surprisingly without providing any sort of unassailable proof, in this age of advanced surveillance equipment - that Russia is actively participating in the Ukrainian upheaval.

    "We have seen artillery firing across the border and also inside Ukraine. We have seen a Russian military buildup along the border. Quite clearly, Russia is involved in destabilizing eastern Ukraine … You see a sophisticated combination of traditional conventional warfare mixed up with information and primarily disinformation operations. It will take more than NATO to counter such hybrid warfare effectively," Rasmussen was quoted as saying.

    NATO officials, however, have admitted their intelligence is not perfect.

    "We can only watch from 23 miles (37km) up," one official told the Guardian.


    Ukrainian servicemen rest in the shade next to an armoured vehicle topped with a Ukrainian flag as they take up a position near the eastern city of Debaltceve, in the region of Donetsk, on July 30, 2014. (AFP Photo/Genya Savilov)


    Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko is to attend the NATO summit, where the 28-member bloc has prepared four ‘trust funds’ to finance Ukraine's military logistics, command structures, and cyber defense forces, and to pay overdue military pensions.

    Yet somehow Rasmussen was able to say of Russia’s embattled neighbor.

    "Ukraine follows its own path…It is actually what we will decide to do at the summit, to help them build the capacity of their security sector, modernize it," he said.

    Meanwhile, it looks as if Rasmussen will be passing around the proverbial hat during next week’s summit, looking to collect more money from NATO members, even as their own countries are facing economic turmoil amid IMF-enforced austerity measures.

    "Since the end of the Cold War we have lived in relatively good weather. Now we are faced with a profound climate change. That requires more investment," said the NATO chief.

    It will be interesting to see how many member states take up this latest challenge, which threatens to ratchet up European-Russian tensions to levels not seen since the Cold War.

    Meanwhile, there is no question as to how Russia views NATO's relentless eastward encroachment.

    No matter what our Western counterparts tell us, we can see what’s going on," President Putin said in July at an emergency Security Council meeting in Moscow. "As it stands, NATO is blatantly building up its forces in Eastern Europe, including the Black Sea and the Baltic Sea areas. Its operational and combat training activities are gaining in scale.”

    Putin stated that NATO’s military build-up near Russia’s border, which includes the US-built missile defense system, is not just for defensive purposes, but is an “offensive weapon” and an “element of the US offensive system deployed outside the mainland.

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    Nikita Khrushchev: "We will bury you"
    "Your grandchildren will live under communism."
    添ou Americans are so gullible.
    No, you won稚 accept
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    outright, but we値l keep feeding you small doses of
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    until you値l finally wake up and find you already have communism.

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    ."
    We値l so weaken your
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    until you値l
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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

    NATO planning 'rapid-deployment force' of 10,000 troops to counter Russia

    August 30, 2014

    Source: RT



    NATO is reportedly working towards the creation of an expeditionary force composed of 10,000 troops from seven different member states as a result of escalating tensions with Russia over the conflict in Ukraine.

    According to the Financial Times, the force’s creation will be spearheaded by Britain and involve contributions from Denmark, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Norway, and the Netherlands. Canada is also interested in joining the group, but it’s not known what its final decision will be.

    Although no formal announcement has been made, British Prime Minister David Cameron is expected to declare its formation at the upcoming NATO summit in Wales on September 4th.

    Many specifics have yet to be worked out or announced, but planners are reportedly implementing ways to increase the number of soldiers involved even more if necessary. Air and naval units will be integrated into the group, as well as ground troops led by British commanders.

    As noted by the Times, the creation of the force comes as a response to Russia’s involvement in the ongoing Ukrainian crisis, with the ultimate goal being to “create a fully functioning, division-sized force for rapid deployment and regular, frequent exercises.” NATO has accused Russia of deploying more than 1,000 troops into Ukraine to bolster separatists in the eastern part of the country.

    Russia, however, insists that it does not have troops operating inside of Ukraine and has dismissed NATO’s assertions.

    Despite the fact that NATO has opted not to act militarily in Ukraine – unnamed sources told Foreign Policy on Friday that there are no plans to confront Russia with anything more than stronger sanctions – Jonathan Eyal of the London-based Royal United Services Institute said the group needs to demonstrate that its eastern European members are just as integral to the alliance as other states.

    “We need to end the idea of different zones of security in Europe,” he told the Financial Times. “We need to be talking about prepositioning, regular rotation of troops and making it very clear that we do not accept that the eastern Europeans are in some different category of membership of NATO.”

    The revelation also arrives just a few days after NATO’s Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen expressed interest in forming “a more visible presence” in Eastern Europe in the form of facilities capable of rapidly receiving “response forces” needed to counter Russia.

    For his part, Russia’s envoy to NATO, Aleksandr Grushko, said any attempt to stretch further into the region would impact Moscow’s own security planning.

    War in Europe is not a hysterical idea

    Comments 1759


    Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures as he speaks to the media after his talks with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014. (Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP)

    By
    Anne Applebaum Columnist August 29

    WARSAW

    Over and over again — throughout the entirety of my adult life, or so it feels — I have been shown Polish photographs from the beautiful summer of 1939: The children playing in the sunshine, the fashionable women on Krakow streets. I have even seen a picture of a family wedding that took place in June 1939, in the garden of a Polish country house I now own. All of these pictures convey a sense of doom, for we know what happened next. September 1939 brought invasion from both east and west, occupation, chaos, destruction, genocide. Most of the people who attended that June wedding were soon dead or in exile. None of them ever returned to the house.

    Anne Applebaum writes a biweekly foreign affairs column for The Washington Post. She is also the Director of the Global Transitions Program at the Legatum Institute in London. View Archive

    In retrospect, all of them now look naive. Instead of celebrating weddings, they should have dropped everything, mobilized, prepared for total war while it was still possible. And now I have to ask: Should Ukrainians, in the summer of 2014, do the same? Should central Europeans join them?

    I realize that this question sounds hysterical, and foolishly apocalyptic, to U.S. or Western European readers. But hear me out, if only because this is a conversation many people in the eastern half of Europe are having right now. In the past few days, Russian troops bearing the flag of a previously unknown country, Novorossiya, have marched across the border of southeastern Ukraine. The Russian Academy of Sciences recently announced it will publish a history of Novorossiya this autumn, presumably tracing its origins back to Catherine the Great. Various maps of Novorossiya are said to be circulating in Moscow. Some include Kharkiv and Dnipropetrovsk, cities that are still hundreds of miles away from the fighting. Some place Novorossiya along the coast, so that it connects Russia to Crimea and eventually to Transnistria, the Russian-occupied province of Moldova. Even if it starts out as an unrecognized rump state — Abkhazia and South Ossetia, “states” that Russia carved out of Georgia, are the models here — Novorossiya can grow larger over time.

    Russian soldiers will have to create this state — how many of them depends upon how hard Ukraine fights, and who helps them — but eventually Russia will need more than soldiers to hold this territory. Novorossiya will not be stable as long as it is inhabited by Ukrainians who want it to stay Ukrainian. There is a familiar solution to this, too. A few days ago, Alexander Dugin, an extreme nationalist whose views have helped shape those of the Russian president, issued an extraordinary statement. “Ukraine must be cleansed of idiots,” he wrote — and then called for the “genocide” of the “race of bastards.”

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


    I Can Take Kiev In Two Weeks, Vladimir Putin Warns European Leaders

    The Russian president is reported to have boasted his forces could sweep into Kiev in a fortnight if he wanted to as NATO announced it would build a new “spearhead” rapid reaction force

    September 1, 2014

    Vladimir Putin has boasted to European leaders that his forces could sweep into Kiev in two weeks if he wanted.

    The Russian president reportedly made the threat to the European Commission president during talks on the Ukraine crisis.

    Mr Putin told Jose Manuel Barroso: “If I want to, I can take Kiev in two weeks,” Italy’s La Repubblica newspaper reported, implying this could be the result if the EU stepped up sanctions against Russia.

    His comments, relayed by Mr Barroso to colleagues at last weekend’s EU summit, emerged as NATO announced it would build a new “spearhead” rapid reaction force of up to 4,000 troops that can be flown into eastern Europe in 48 hours to respond to possible Russian aggression.

    The EU’s new head of foreign policy, Federica Mogherini, also warned there was no military solution to what is now Europe’s biggest crisis in decades.

    Anders Fogh Rasmussen, secretary general of the alliance, said Nato faced multiple crises on its southern and eastern borders that could erupt at any time.

    Leaders of the alliance’s 28 members are expected to agree to the new force at this week’s Nato summit in Wales, and it is likely to include British troops.

    The spearhead force is part of a package of measures to sharpen up the alliance as it faces crises in Iraq and Ukraine.

    A senior Nato official said allies would take turns to command the spearhead and many of the arrangements would be in place by the end of the year. Troops would be based in their home countries and come together when necessary.

    The summit will agree to stockpile supplies in eastern Europe so that equipment and ammunition are waiting for the force when it arrives.

    The alliance will also boost the number of exercises in the area, so that troops are constantly cycling through it. Mr Rasmussen said the new spearhead force would “travel light and strike hard if needed”.

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

    Russia Has Threatened Nuclear Attack, Says Ukraine Defence Minister

    By Damien Sharkov
    9/1/14 at 11:52 AM | 9/1/14 at 2:33 PM


    A Topol-M mobile launcher during rehearsals for the 2012 Moscow Victory Day Parade. Vitaly V Kuzmin

    Filed Under: World, Ukraine, Russia, Nuclear Weapons

    Kiev has received threats of nuclear retaliation from Russia through unofficial channels if it continues to fight pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, the Ukrainian Minister of Defence, Valeriy Heletey, announced on his Facebook page on Monday.

    “The Russian side has threatened on several occasions across unofficial channels that, in the case of continued resistance they are ready to use a tactical nuclear weapon against us,” Heletey’s statement reads.

    The minister goes on to say that Russia’s “hybrid war” in Ukraine is at an end, accusing the Kremlin of attempting a “full-scale invasion”. Heletey called for all Ukrainian forces to “consolidate” and “begin building defences against Russia,” insisting today “the operation to liberate the Eastern Ukraine against terrorism is complete”.

    Newsweek Magazine is Back In Print

    Heletey’s cryptic message comes after rapidly escalating tensions between Russia and Ukraine over continuing reports of Russian military activity near the separatist-held regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, in eastern Ukraine.

    Italian newspaper La Repubblica reported that Russian president Vladimir Putin had said in a phone call European Commission President Jose Manual Barroso he could “take Kiev in two weeks” if he wanted to.

    Putin also alluded to potential nuclear conflict when he told Russian youth campers last week: "Thank God, I think no one is thinking of unleashing a large-scale conflict with Russia," he said. "I want to remind you that Russia is one of the leading nuclear powers.”


    Ukrainian Colonel-general Valeriy Heletey, now Ukraine's Minister of Defence, speaks in the Ukrainian parliament in Kiev July 3, 2014. Valentyn Ogirenko/Reuters


    Last week two groups of Russian soldiers were captured by Ukrainian forces, which the Kremlin insisted had not entered Ukraine as part of a military operation.

    The Kremlin has gone on record to deny any military involvement in Ukraine, insisting that all Russians fighting for Ukrainian eastern separatist forces are not stationed on military duty but are there as volunteers, despite mounting evidence that a full-scale military operation is underway.

    But Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko accused Russia of "direct and undisguised aggression" shortly before the Ukrainian military said it had retreated from a strategically valuable airport near the city of Luhansk today, after coming into contact with a Russian tank battalion.

    Western leaders have condemned Russian military activity in Ukraine with British Prime Minister David Cameron branding Russian troops’ presence in Ukraine “unacceptable and unjustified”, while Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel has called on Russia to cease its “aggressive behaviour”.

    The Federation of American Scientists estimates Russia’s total inventory of nuclear warheads at 8,000, 1,600 of which are strategically operational.

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

    This stuff is really reaching isn't it?

    Let me make a stretch now.


    John Titor was a REAL person. He was REALLY from 2036. He REALLY knew what was going to happen, albeit, a little off his time line, not as precise and not as accurate as things are now.

    By February next year, 2015, Russia will have launched a nuke.

    There is a civil war in the United States that starts in 2005. That conflict flares up and down for 10 years. In 2015, Russia launches a nuclear strike against the major cities in the United States (which is the "other side" of the civil war from my perspective), China and Europe. The United States counter attacks. The US cities are destroyed along with the AFE (American Federal Empire)...thus we (in the country) won. The European Union and China were also destroyed. Russia is now our largest trading partner and the Capitol of the US was moved to Omaha Nebraska.
    Now... we all know that there isn't really a "civil war". But what there is, is a President that facilitates racial divide - and he does so without uttering a word to stop it. Instead he tries to keep the blacks in this country upset by "identifying" with them.

    Those of you who know me personally, in person, my family and friends KNOW I am not a racist. I don't even "see color".

    But now we're being FORCED into believing that somehow all the white people are at fault for all the woes of Detroit, the piss poor border control, illegal immigration. NO, this is ALL the fault of the blacks who live in those places, and have a President in office.

    Has anyone ever actually looked at the History of Haiti? It is one of the only "black run" counties in the West. Since 1791 that country has been in "control" of "former black slaves" and it has been wracked with killing, murders, Poppa Doc and Baby Doc type of rulers. They DID beat back Napoleon from the Country. Well, the men he sent anyway around 1804 or 05. So in 1804, the first "Haitian Emperor" was put in to place.


    That began a chain of assassinations by "friends" until recent times.

    Haiti is the OLDest black republic in existence. That country lies in ruins, with people even today in the 21st century trying to escape it's borders.

    The lesson here is if you bring Tribalism to it's ultimate conclusion, tribes are slaughtered by people who are JUST LIKE THEM. The blacks have brought a hateful culture to America, to the West and to the rest of the world - a tribal hate culture - one that hates people of different color, and today they use this in America without any clue of why they do what they do.

    I can't judge them. My family was oppressed for centuries... in Ireland. And when it comes right down to it, there is honestly NO human culture that doesn't thrive on "controlling" the population.

    Whether it is the French, the Spaniards, the Mexicans, the Blacks, the Whites of Europe or America, or even obviously, the blacks of America - humans when they try to make a civilization simply can't keep from fighting one another.

    The Russians are diametrically opposed to the West.

    They threaten us.

    We have an ALMOST Civil War happening here and now in America - from Big Government trying to take ranches, cows, spying on Americans, stealing from us, threatening us, building a police-military, trying like hell to control Americans, to force us to "convert" to Big Government Lovers. Russia is on the verge of something bigger than Georgia ever was. This is a severe and blatant attempt to bring the Soviet Union back into power.

    America is sending troops now.

    Russia already has troops.

    Russia threatens nuclear war.

    Obama sticks his stirrer in the pot, goes golfing, goes out trying to raise money for the Marxocrats - and America's military has shrunken to the point that we can't oppose a strong Russia with ANYTHING but Nukes.

    I don't see any of this ending well for any of us private people. Those of us who have NO control over any of this, we're the ones who will suffer. White, Black, Hispanic. Doesn't matter. If YOU live in America, even if you're an ILLEGAL ALIEN who doesn't even belong here - you will suffer for this President's stupid, stupid decisions.
    Libertatem Prius!


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

    09.03 0530 ET BREAKING NEWS: Poroshenko Agrees to Ceasefire in Ukraine Civil War

    by John Galt
    September 3, 2014 05:30 ET


    The following statement is from the official webpage of the Ukrainian President:





    The Kremlin’s website had the following statement also:
    Vladimir Putin has had a telephone conversation with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

    An in-depth discussion of the military and humanitarian crisis in Ukraine was continued. The heads of state exchanged opinions on what needs to be done as a matter of priority to ensure a speedy end to the bloodshed in the south-east of the country.

    The views of the presidents of the two countries on the possible ways out of the crisis were, to a large extent, the same.
    This pretty much cedes the Donbas region to the Russian Federation in the long run and will eventually force the withdrawal of all Ukrainian forces from Mariupol and eventual recognition of the legitimacy of the Donetsk People’s Republic and Lugansk People’s Republic in some form, whether as an independent member of a federation or as independent states affiliated with the Russian C.I.S.

    Putin wins again, Obama and Soros lose. Wow.





    Kiev: Poroshenko Announces Ceasefire in East Ukraine Following Talks With Putin

    Updated on 12:55 a.m. Moscow Time

    KIEV, September 3 (RIA Novosti) – The Ukrainian president’s press service said Wednesday after a telephone conversation between Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Russian President Vladimir Putin that Poroshenko announced a permanent ceasefire in eastern Ukraine.

    “Mutual understanding was reached in regard to steps to be taken to provide peace,” a statement published on the Ukrainian president’s website reads.

    Earlier the same day, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the presidents’ views to ending the crisis considerably coincide. Peskov also said the heads of state exchanged opinions of what needed to be done to halt the bloodshed in the country’s southeast.

    In turn, a militia representative from the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) claimed to be unaware of any ceasefire agreement and stated that independence supporters would not stop fighting until Kiev-controlled forces left the Donbas Region.

    Ukraine's southeast has been under fire since mid-April, when Kiev launched a military operation aimed at suppressing independence supporters who refused to recognize the legitimacy of the new Kiev government that came to power after a February coup.

    Thousands of people have been affected by the Ukrainian Armed Forces’ continuous shelling. Ukraine’s southeastern regions are currently in a state of humanitarian catastrophe, with citizens struggling without water and electricity.

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

    Obama about to speak, apparently about Russia and ISIS. 10-30 minutes
    Libertatem Prius!


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

    Hours After Russia Succeeds With Cease Fire, U.S. Military Heads To Ukraine

    September 4, 2014 Qronos 16 Leave a comment Go to comments

    Source: Kenneth Rapoza Forbes Contributor
    Okay, now you’re asking for it.


    Washington is going ahead with a planned military drill in Western Ukraine just hours after Russian president Vladimir Putin was able to convince pro-Russia separatists to stand down in their fight with the Ukrainian military in the eastern oblasts of Donetsk and Luhansk. This military drill does not bode well for Friday’s cease-fire discussion in Minsk, Belarus between the Ukrainian government and the separatist leaders who will demand autonomy from Kiev.


    According to a Reuters report on Tuesday, preparations are under way for a joint military exercise this month with more than 1,000 troops from the United States and its allies shipping into Ukraine for the roughly three year old Rapid Trident program, part of Ukraine’s military tilt towards NATO.


    The decision to go ahead with the Rapid Trident exercise Sept. 16-26 is seen as a sign of the commitment of NATO states to support non-NATO member Ukraine. The annual exercise was initially scheduled for July, but was pushed back due to the ongoing crisis in the east.


    Ukraine’s military has been battling with separatist groups in cities close to the Russian border, where nearly half of the population are ethnic Russians. The exchange of fire power between both sides has been on going since March.


    The political tug of war has one side wanting greater autonomy from Kiev — which means closer ties to Moscow — and the other side wanting to maintain territorial integrity, with Kiev the indisputable power source of the Ukrainian government.


    Looked at another way, Kiev wants Donetsk and Luhansk to become autonomous republics about as much as Moscow wants Ukraine to join NATO.


    Of course, Ukraine is no stranger to NATO, much to Russia’s chagrin. Russia sees itself as the true power behind the throne in Ukraine, an old bread basket state and military base for Russia for centuries.


    Ukraine contributes to NATO’s missions in Afghanistan and Kosovo. The formal basis for NATO-Ukraine relations is the 1997 Charter on a Distinctive Partnership, which established the NATO-Ukraine Commission, and the Declaration to Complement the Charter, signed in 2009. Rapid Trident was launched shortly after with the U.S. Army taking the lead.


    On Wednesday, just hours after Putin managed to convince pro-Russia separatists to cease fire, President Obama said in Estonia ahead of the upcoming NATO Summit that the U.S. and NATO would not allow a foreign country to encroach on its friends. He said this after blaming Moscow for the political turmoil in Ukraine. He was a hair away from saying that the U.S. would protect Ukraine from a Russian military attack.


    On balance, it appears Russia has done its part in orchestrating the slow Balkanization of the country.


    On March 17, it annexed the Crimean peninsula, then an autonomous region in the Black Sea. The Crimean government, made up of mostly ethnic Russians, held a referendum for secession when Kiev voted to eliminate the Russian language from official, government communications.


    The Russian economy has been sanctioned by both the U.S. and Europe ever since.


    This likely led to economic contraction in the third quarter and possibly a recession, said Jan Dehn, an emerging markets economist for the Ashmore Group in London.
    Markets in Russia actually rose today thanks to the cease fire, but all eyes will be on the Friday meeting in Minsk between the two warring parties.


    Even though the U.S. has been planning the Rapid Trident exercise since the summer, carrying this out now is akin to “showing the flag”, a Naval practice often used to flex military muscle and show political influence.


    Russia may see this as more mammalian, with NATO nations led by the U.S., marking its territory at a fragile time in Ukraine-Russia relations.


    For his part, Putin has raised the white flag, which isn’t to say his side is losing. In response, the Ukrainian government issued what the Associated Press referred to as a “vague statement” on agreeing with Putin to end the conflict. The separatists initially rejected the move, saying no cease-fire was possible without a pullback by Ukraine’s military. This makes Friday’s meeting a must-watch for Russia investors. Political risk is driving Russia’s equity market right now, making it a high volume trade for day traders with an appetite for risk.


    But investors in general will all be impacted if Friday’s meet ends in a stalemate, or ends the cease-fire altogether.


    Early today, safe haven assets dropped in price and bond yields for German, U.S. and U.K. debt all rose on the cease-fire news. Markets are watching Russia closely.





    Anti-war journalist John Pilger wrote in The Guardian back in April that the military exercises with Ukraine were part of Washington’s “Manifest Destiny” — a longstanding ambition to dominate the Eurasian landmass from China to Europe, a landmass that Russia controls, at least in part, due to its energy resources.


    Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 19991, NATO has surrounded Russia with military bases, reneging on a promise by Ronald Reagan to the Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev in 1990 that NATO would not expand “one inch to the east”. In the former Soviet Caucasus, NATO’s military build-up is the most extensive since World War II, Pilger wrote.
    Libertatem Prius!


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

    Despite Moscow denials, Ukrainian troops give accounts of fighting Russian army in Ilovaysk outside Donetsk

    .
    Shaun Walker and Oksana Grytsenko in Komsomolske, Leonid Ragozin in Moscow
    The Guardian, Wednesday 3 September 2014


    Ukrainian servicemen fight with pro-Russian separatists in the eastern Ukrainian town of Ilovaysk. Photograph: Reuters
    Bloodied, dirty and stinking, the Ukrainian soldiers who passed through the town of Komsomolske on Saturday morning made for a sorry sight. But they were the lucky ones, who had managed to escape alive from an assault they say involved regular units of the Russian army.
    Having fled from encirclement in the town of Ilovaysk, their column of 70 armoured vehicles and hundreds of soldiers was ambushed and shelled, according to one soldier. “Our vehicles were colliding with one another and our tracks were running over our own fighters,” said Taras Samchuk, 28, whose 51st brigade was one of the units surrounded.
    Many died, some were captured, and about 100 soldiers survived, often “with legs broken or smashed, with shrapnel in our hands, legs, bodies, with smashed teeth and broken noses”, he said.
    Two weeks ago, Ukraine looked as if it was winning its battle against Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine, but the tide has turned in recent days, with the encirclement at Ilovaysk a key moment. Samchuk, like many Ukrainian fighters, said there is only one reason for this. Instead of fighting a ragtag group of rebels, the Ukrainians have suddenly found themselves fighting the regular Russian army.
    Samchuk, who worked as a barman in the western Ukrainian city of Lutsk before being recruited to the army, said he and his comrades rescued a Russian in an armoured vehicle they destroyed near the town. “He told us he served in 8th Chechen brigade [possibly the 8th mountain motor-rifle brigade, based in Chechnya] and he claimed he thought they were sent here for exercises,” Samchuk said, adding that the soldier was now being treated in a Kiev hospital.
    Nobody knows how many Ukrainians died in Ilovaysk, but the battle for the small town outside Donetsk is likely to go down as one of the defining moments of the conflict. Some were killed in the intense exchanges of shelling in a battle for the town that lasted a week, while others were picked off as they fled, and many more were taken prisoner – more than 500, according to the Ukrainian official in charge of prisoner swaps. In one video released by rebels, a group of captive Ukrainians from volunteer battalions are forced to jump up and down at gunpoint by rebel commanders, reciting derogatory rhymes.
    Russia has flatly denied any of its troops are operating in Ukraine, claiming a group of paratroopers captured by Ukrainians deep inside their territory were on a border patrol mission and crossed “accidentally”. President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly said that Russia is not party to the “internal Ukrainian conflict”. But the evidence is mounting that an impending rebel defeat pushed Moscow to intervene more overtly in the past two weeks. There have been repeated sightings of Russian army ration packaging and of “green men” without insignia similar to those who took part in the annexation of Crimea, as well as satellite images which, Nato claims, show Russian armour inside Ukraine.
    A video posted on YouTube this week showed a huge armoured column that appeared to be Russian moving well inside Ukrainian territory. Inside Russia, a regional newspaper has published a long transcript of what it alleges to be recorded conversations with two servicemen of the 76th Pskov airborne division who returned from Ukraine. In their answers, the soldiers relate the story of a company that was almost completely annihilated by Ukrainian artillery. The men say only 10 out of between 80 and 100 from the company survived the shelling.
    Lev Schlossberg, a local Pskov politician who obtained the tapes, told the Guardian the soldiers were Russian servicemen but said he could not reveal the identities of the three men or explain how he got hold of the recordings. Schlossberg is recovering from a beating he links to his inquiries about the fate of Pskov soldiers. He said military authorities are coercing relatives of soldiers believed to be in Ukraine into silence, and only a handful are willing to talk.
    The Committee of Soldiers’ Mothers, a rights organisation, claims up to 15,000 soldiers have been sent over the border in recent weeks. The newspaper Novoya Gazeta published an interview with the mother of 20-year-old sapper Vadim Tumanov, alongside a photograph of an official notice informing the local military commissar of his death.
    The last time she heard from her son, he told her he was near the Ukrainian border and “going to war”.
    The Guardian has found the social network account of a soldier who appears to be fighting in Ukraine. In a post on the Russian Vkontakte network, dated 31 August, Kirill Zdrok from Nizhny Novgorod said he was determined to fight on out of a sense of duty to his fallen comrades. “You know, I will stay here. I cannot sit idly and watch our guys being taken home as Cargo-200s [a Soviet codeword for coffins] … One day you say hello, talk to them, laugh with them, then the next day you find out it’s all over – they are no longer alive, heading home in a metal box.” He appears frustrated by the secrecy surrounding his mission and his close friends have no idea what is going on.
    “You won’t see it on TV, hear it on radio or read it in newspapers. You won’t find anything on the internet that explains what is really happening where we are now. Honestly, you’re better clueless, because the truth is horrible”, Zdrok wrote in a post dated 26 August. He had earlier posted a newspaper article about Russian casualties on the border with Ukraine, remarking that they were reconnaissance soldiers from his 9th motor-rifle brigade, based in Nizhny Novgorod.
    Semyon Semenchenko, commander of the Ukrainian Donbass volunteer battalion, earlier claimed the 9th brigade was one of the two Russian units that encircled his men at Ilovaysk. The leader of the Donetsk rebels has admitted there are Russian soldiers in the region but says they are not there on orders of the Russian army but “on holiday”.
    Having routed the Ukrainians at Ilovaysk and taken back other strategic sites such as Luhansk airport and the coastal town of Novoazovsk, regular Russian soldiers have evaporated from view. Days after the surrender of Ilovaysk, the territory between Donetsk and the port of Mariupol is now an eerie no man’s land, dotted with burned-out vehicles and the remains of Ukrainian army checkpoints.
    The rebels have slowly advanced down the road, though only in small groups. In the town of Telmanove on Tuesday afternoon, a group of seven rebels, dressed in T-shirts and camouflage trousers, were busy using a digger to move concrete blocks into place to form a checkpoint. There was no other sign of the rebels, and certainly no sign of any Russian soldiers, although further up the road two armoured vehicles were spotted driving along dirt tracks, apparently under rebel control.
    It is unclear whether the rebels will heed Putin’s appeal to stop their advance. In Mariupol, the presumed next rebel target, the Kiev-appointed regional governor, Serhiy Taruta, promised that the city would be defended if the rebels attempted to take it, and said the Russian regular invasion had completely changed the game in eastern Ukraine.
    “Without the troops and armour sent over the border, we would have taken back Donetsk by the end of August,” he said.
    Libertatem Prius!


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

    ‘NATO plan against Russia to cost several hundred million euro a year’

    Posted on by Tom Fernandez

    The implementation of NATO’s readiness action plan to ‘overt’ Russian threat, which will be presented at the alliance’s summit in Wales on September 4, will involve “several hundred million euros” a year, says the bloc’s commander.
    NATO chief eyes more bases in E. Europe to confront Russia
    “Keeping people on alert carries a certain cost,” General Jean-Paul Palomeros, the head of the Allied Command Transformation, which leads military transformation of bloc’s forces and its capabilities, told AFP.
    According to Palomeros, the plan which was adopted to counter Russia’s involvement in Ukraine’s crisis could be implemented “by the end of the year.”
    “It has to be supported financially, but also over time because it is not enough to be reactive for a month, or two, or six,” he said, “Once NATO decides it wants these capabilities, it has to have them for the very long term.”
    Palomeros added that as there are “multifaceted threats” in the world, it is important to have “credible, well trained, well equipped, modern forces.”
    “The world is moving very quickly. We saw that with the Ukraine crisis and we see it in the south, particularly in Iraq,” he said.
    However, French general said that the price of the NATO’s readiness action plan was an “investment” worth paying for “a credible defense.”
    “We will become more efficient,” said Palomeros. “These are not colossal figures compared to total budgets in alliance members.”
    NATO summit: Obama, Cameron urge allies to ramp up military spending
    According to NATO’s official website, its military budget for 2014 is 1.4 billion euro.
    Jean-Paul Palomeros.(Reuters / Rich-Joseph Facun)Jean-Paul Palomeros.(Reuters / Rich-Joseph Facun)
    In August, the alliance said would like to see its member states commit to raising their defense spending to 2 percent of GDP over the next 10 years. In 2013, only four countries – the US, Britain, Greece and Estonia – spent this much on defense.
    Canada, however, opposed the move, saying that “Canada has made clear it will block consensus and even though the focus is on European members, this is making life harder for NATO as it faces Russian aggression.”
    US prepares military drill in W. Ukraine for mid-September
    The country is not alone in its discontent with the prospect of increasing defense spending to 2 percent of GDP. Germany has earlier voiced its concern over the issue.
    “Germany believes that the 2 percent requirement is unsuitable as an assessment criterion to determine the loyalty of a member state to the alliance. We should talk less about percentages of defense budgets and more about smart ways to obtain better capabilities,” a German Defense Ministry spokesman said.
    Readiness Action Plan responds to ‘Russia’s aggressive behavior’ – Rasmussen
    The Readiness Action Plan was outlined by NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen back in May, when he said that the 28-member bloc will continue to stand up “for freedom and security in light of the Ukraine crisis.”
    “We already have more planes in the air, more ships at sea and more exercises on the ground … We are also considering the longer-term implications of Russia’s actions for what we do in NATO,” he said.
    According to Rasmussen, the plan includes a review of joint exercises, threat assessments, intelligence-sharing arrangements, early-warning procedures and crisis response planning.
    Obama pledges to send more aircraft and military to Estonia
    At the end of August, the alliance said it was planning to install for the first time military “reception facilities” in Eastern European countries, including Poland and the three Baltic countries: Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia.
    Estonia wants NATO bases on its territory as military bloc plans expansion
    Also in August it was reported that NATO was working towards the creation of an expeditionary force composed of 10,000 troops from seven different member states.
    The force’s creation will be spearheaded by Britain and involve contributions from Denmark, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Norway, and the Netherlands. Canada is also interested in joining the group, but it’s not known what its final decision will be.
    No formal announcement of a 10,000 troops plan has been made. But British Prime Minister David Cameron said he is expected to declare its formation at the NATO summit.
    September 1, ahead of Wales summit Rasmussen said that the Readiness Action Plan “responds to Russia’s aggressive behavior – but it equips the Alliance to respond to all security challenges, wherever they may arise.”
    “The Readiness Action Plan will ensure that we have the right forces and the right equipment in the right place, at the right time. That also means more visible NATO presence in the East [of Europe] for as long as required. And it will make NATO fitter, faster and more flexible to adjust to all kinds of security challenges,” he added.
    Libertatem Prius!


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

    Red alert: NATO mission creep advancing to Russian border

    Posted on 4 de September de 2014 by fernandocascais
    by Robert Bridge
    (Robert Bridge has worked as a journalist in Russia since 1998. Formerly the editor-in-chief of The Moscow News, Bridge is the author of the book, “Midnight in the American Empire.”)
    Buried beneath news of the Ice Bucket Challenge, and the latest video release by the Islamic State was an interview by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen that should be of immediate concern to everyone.
    These days, the actual importance of a news story is inversely proportional to the number of American media outlets that refuse to touch it. That would explain the virtual non-existence of the NATO chief’s interview on Wednesday that he gave to a handful of European newspapers.
    Never content to let a good war go to waste, Rasmussen said the 28-member military bloc would be “spearheading” its way into the fleshy flanks of Eastern Europe, just a missile lob away from the Russian frontier. The reason – “Russian aggression” – should surprise nobody who has been following Ukraine’s slow-motion meltdown ever since Kiev attempted to form a more perfect union with Russia instead of the European Union. That’s when the Western-backed fireworks display, complete with John McCain and Victoria Nuland agitating/feeding the crowds in central Kiev, exploded, leaving Ukraine on the verge of total collapse, and US-Russian relations in tatters.
    But I digress. Rasmussen chose his words carefully as he proudly pointed to NATO’s latest road map to Russia, decorated with brand new red flags: “In order to be able to provide such rapid reinforcements you also need some reception facilities in host nations. So it will involve the pre-positioning of supplies, of equipment, preparation of infrastructure, bases, and headquarters. The bottom line is you will in the future see a more visible NATO presence in the east.”
    “Reception facilities?” Rasmussen makes the militarization of Eastern Europe sound so harmless and quaint. In a best-case scenario, NATO’s expansionist plans for Eastern Europe – which military observers anticipate will be in Poland and the Baltic States – will usher in a new arms race on the European continent (For those not familiar with modern maps, Latvia and Estonia share immediate borders with mainland Russia, whereas Lithuania and Poland envelop the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad).
    There is probably no need to mention the worst-case scenario here, since in the event of another global conflagration it won’t matter what we brand it because few people will be around to remember it. As Albert Einstein once quipped: “I do not know with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.”

    It is important to consider several other remarks by the NATO chief since an arms race in Europe will only be a pleasant development for the merchants of death from the military industrial complex hawking their wares around an increasingly shaken planet.
    Asked whether there would be permanent NATO bases in Eastern Europe, Rasmussen did not miss a beat: “The brief answer is yes. To prevent misunderstanding I use the phrase ‘for as long as necessary’. Our eastern allies will be satisfied when they see what is actually in the readiness action plan.”
    Rasmussen said NATO forces could be deployed “within hours.”
    The NATO chief then made some broad generalizations regarding Russia that were quite simply wrongheaded. This is no insignificant matter because when the average person on the street misjudges the geopolitical situation the stakes are not very high. But when the leader of the world’s most fearsome fighting force flunks a question on very recent history then that could be a sign we may be heading for some major turbulence.
    Here is Rasmussen’s (mis)statement: “We have to face the reality that Russia does not consider NATO a partner. Russia is a nation that unfortunately for the first time since the Second World War has grabbed land by force. Obviously we have to adapt to that.”
    Certainly Rasmussen recalls that it was Russia that requested on numerous occasions participation in NATO’s missile defense system, arguing that cooperation between the two sides on this controversial technology – which, in fact, may give the Europeans countries a false sense of security given that the system may not work as effectively as advertised – would only strengthen their ability to maintain peace and security on the continent…
    more…
    http://rt.com/op-edge/183160-nato-mi...ussian-border/
    Libertatem Prius!


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

    Ukraine endures heavy shelling hours before agreed ceasefire

    Reports of overnight artillery fire by Russia-backed rebels on key eastern port of Mariupol as truce set to take effect from midday






    A Ukrainian army vehicle is seen against smoke from separatist artillery fire on the outskirts of Mariupol. Photograph: Philippe Desmazes/AFP/Getty Images



    Hours before an expected ceasefire in eastern Ukraine, heralded as a significant breakthrough by Nato leaders meeting in Newport, heavy shelling has been heard on the outskirts of Mariupol.


    A commander of a Ukrainian volunteer militia based in the key eastern port city told Reuters: "We were under fire all night but we are still keeping the rebels at bay. They are facing us with tanks and artillery."


    The mayor of Mariupol, Yuri Khotlubey, told Ukraine's 112 TV channel: "Our artillery has come and is being deployed against the [pro-Russia] rebels."


    A series of explosions was also heard in the main eastern rebel hub of Donetsk overnight, apparently coming from the city's airport, according to reports.


    Mariupol has become the latest flashpoint in the east of the country as separatists wage a counter-offensive that has seen swaths of land seized from government forces in just a matter of days.


    Residents of the government-held city on the Sea of Azov have been digging in for fear of a major onslaught by the rebels, apparently backed by Russian troops and firepower.


    By mid-morning, the shelling had died down. Andriy Biletskiy, commander of the far-right Azov battalion which has been doing much of the fighting, said the pro-Russia forces had been pushed back to 20km from the town, having reached 5km on Thursday.
    Tanks and other armour from the Ukrainian army arrived late on Thursday evening, he said, and despite coming under heavy artillery fire, the Ukrainians were able to repel the rebel advance.


    It was unclear whether the rebel moves had been aimed at a serious assault on the city or were instead an extra bout of pressure to push the Ukrainians to sign a ceasefire deal in Minsk.
    Biletskiy said he would obey the ceasefire order if it came but he hoped it would only be temporary: "What talk can there be of a ceasefire when the enemy is on our land?"
    The ceasefire, part of a seven-point peace plan proposed on Wednesday by the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, and welcomed by Nato leaders, would freeze forces in their positions at around midday on Friday.
    The Ukrainian president, Petro Poroshenko, who expressed cautious optimism about the truce, caught Nato officials off-guard, however, with the disclosure that, while Nato was not arming Ukraine, at least one country, which he did not name, was providing Kiev with high-precision weapons.
    In Ukraine on Thursday, a column of rebel armour was spotted moving in the direction of Mariupol, and there were reports of Ukrainian forces shelling the outskirts of Donetsk.
    In spite of the proposed truce, the US and the UK remained sceptical about Putin's intentions and urged more diplomatic and economic pressure, including the threat of increased sanctions. As part of that, the EU is expected to go ahead on Friday with new sanctions against Russia.
    Poroshenko made the ceasefire announcement at the Nato summit in Newport where he met the British prime minister, David Cameron, US president, Barack Obama, German chancellor, Angela Merkel, French president, Fran輟is Hollande, and Italian prime minister, Matteo Renzi.
    At a press conference with the Nato secretary general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Poroshenko said he hoped the ceasefire would happen, but he remained suspicious because Putin had proposed it.
    Rasmussen said he had seen similar moves before by Russia that had been smokescreens, but he would welcome a serious political settlement.
    Poroshenko said that, provided a peace meeting in Minsk between Russia, Ukraine and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) goes ahead as planned on Friday, he would call a halt to Ukrainian military attempts to regain territory held by the separatists. "I will call on the general staff to set up a bilateral ceasefire."
    Alexander Zakharchenko, the separatist leader, said he would order a ceasefire an hour later. The rebels are proposing the creation of "security zones" that would be policed by representatives of the OSCE and the establishment of a corridor for refugees.
    Reaching a lasting peace agreement will be difficult. Ukrainian authorities are unlikely to accept any settlement that involves recognising rebel control over parts of Ukrainian territory, but are aware that Kiev's forces have suffered such losses in the past fortnight that they cannot go on fighting.
    The White House expressed support for Poroshenko's "efforts to achieve a peaceful resolution to the conflict", and pinned the blame for the conflict on Putin, condemning Russia's "flagrant violation of Ukraine's sovereignty".
    Nato has ruled out intervening in Ukraine with troops or equipment and pressure from the west has come mainly through sanctions.
    Although Poroshenko did not name the country providing Ukraine with weapons, only a small number, such as the US, Poland or even Britain, have both the necessary equipment and the sympathy for the Ukrainian cause.
    Such weapons are desperately needed by Ukraine because it is confronting an estimated 100 tanks and it does not have the kind of anti-tank weapons that can be fired at distance.
    The number of Russian troops were said by Ukraine to be in the thousands rather than just 1,000, suggesting an escalation rather than de-escalation.
    At the end of its two-day summit, Nato is to issue a strongly worded document condemning Russian actions in Ukraine, declaring Moscow to be in breach of international agreements. There have been disagreements over the wording, with the US, Britain and Poland seeking tough language and Germany seeking to water it down.
    European Union ambassadors meeting in Brussels agreed that restrictions imposed on Russian state-owned banks would be extended to state-owned defence and energy firms. The US and Britain pushed for the sanctions to go ahead in spite of the ceasefire but other countries were more hesitant.
    The sanctions come after France, under pressure for going ahead with the export of Mistral helicopter carriers to Russia, finally caved in and said it would delay the contract because of events in Ukraine. Hollande said delivery of the first ship, which had been scheduled for October, was dependent on the ceasefire holding and a political settlement being reached.
    Libertatem Prius!


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

    Sorry, Ukraine: Obama is not going to defend you from Russia

    Updated by Max Fisher on September 3, 2014, 4:20 p.m. ET @Max_Fisher max@vox.com
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    President Obama speaks in the Estonian capital of Tallinn SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty


    Don't miss stories. Follow Vox! Follow

    President Obama's speech on Wednesday in Estonia, a small eastern European country that reasonably fears it could be next on Russia's invasion list, was a huge step against Russian aggression. Obama promised that the US and the other members of NATO (a military alliance that includes most of Europe) would fight to defend any invaded member state, including Estonia, as if it were "Berlin [or] Paris [or] London." That is a big deal, meant to deter Russian aggression with the ultimate threat: war against the United States military.
    But there was another message in Obama's speech, one that was in the subtext but came through loud and clear, especially to Ukrainians: the United States and NATO will not defend Ukraine from the ongoing Russian invasion pushing across its border. The US is not exactly abandoning Ukraine — it still wants to help — but it is not going to do anything that would force the Russian invasion to stop.


    obama has drawn his red line for russia, and ukraine is on the outside of it
    The Obama White House is no stranger to the Ukrainian capital of Kiev, which Vice President Joe Biden visited in a show of support in April, shortly after Russia had invaded and annexed Crimea. So Obama clearly could have gone there for this speech, which he announced in response to Russia's mid-August invasion of eastern Ukraine. But he didn't, and that's significant.
    Obama's choice to go to a NATO country and assert that the US will defend other NATO countries, at a moment when Russia is invading a non-NATO country, made it pretty clear that the US is not going to turn back Russia's tanks in Ukraine — or, perhaps, in any other non-NATO country, such as Moldova, where Putin is supporting breakaway separatists, or Georgia, where Russia fought a war in 2008.

    Members of NATO in blue; the US and Canada are also members (Geneva Tribune)
    This does not mean that the US and Europe are indifferent to Ukraine's plight. They have sanctioned Russia's economy repeatedly and heavily, sending it to the precipice of recession. They have isolated Russia politically, for example by booting it from the G8. But these sanctions are about punishing Russia to deter it from future invasions, or at best an attempt to convince Putin that invading Ukraine is not worthwhile. But Putin's actions have demonstrated very clearly that he is willing to bear Western economic sanctions for his Ukraine invasion, and the US is not escalating further, so the invasion continues.
    The US is taking some tougher steps in Ukraine, but they are not very much. Obama, in his speech, called for "concrete commitments" to help Ukraine modernize its military, but it's not clear what he meant, and even if Ukraine were armed to the teeth it would still lose any open war with Russia, which has the second-largest military in the world. So building up the Ukrainian military, while a nice symbolic gesture, will not stop Putin.
    The US is also sending 200 troops to participate in NATO military exercises later this month that is taking place, very conspicuously, in western Ukraine. It sounded at first like this was meant to deter Russia from invading further: Putin wouldn't dare strike near the NATO forces and risk war. But it turns out that the exercises are being held on the complete other end of Ukraine from the fighting, 750 miles from the front lines, along the border with Poland, where there is near zero imminent risk of Russian invasion.
    President Obama has set a big, bright, clear red line for Russia's military adventurism: the member-states of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. The country's inside of that line, he insisted, can count on US military support, and that is a big deal. But the countries outside of it, from eastern European states such as Ukraine and Georgia to Central Asian former Soviet republics such as Kazakhstan, are largely on their own.
    To learn more about the crisis in Ukraine, read the full explainer, and watch the two-minute video below:



    Card 5 of 24 Launch cards
    Why is Russia invading eastern Ukraine?

    Though President Vladimir Putin insists that Russia is not invading eastern Ukraine, Russian soldiers, tanks, and self-propelled artillery have been crossing the border since mid-August in what can only be described as a hostile invasion. There are two ways to think about why Putin is doing this: as a rational, strategic effort to take something from Ukraine, or as a less-rational action driven by domestic Russian politics.
    Theory 1: Putin is trying to overturn to the rebels' losses because he wants something from Ukraine
    On the surface, the Russian invasion looks like it is meant to bolster the pro-Russia rebels in eastern Ukraine, who began losing ground in early August when the Ukrainian military began a renewed offensive against them. In this thinking, Russian troops are there to keep the rebels from being entirely overrun.
    Putin has been backing the rebels for months and fomenting violence in eastern Ukraine. He's doing this either because he wants to maintain a perpetual separatist crisis (he did this in Georgia and Moldova as well) so that he has leverage over the Ukrainian government to keep it from crossing him, or because he wanted to give himself an excuse to invade on the premise of saving eastern Ukrainians, then annex that territory as he did in Crimea. Another possibility is that he wants to force some concession from the Ukrainian government and/or from the West. In any case, the thinking here is that Putin is after some immediate strategic goal, and will stop once he feels he's achieved it.
    Theory 2: Putin was sucked into an irrational invasion he didn't want by his own rhetoric and propaganda
    Since taking power in 2000, Putin governed through an implicit deal with the Russian people: he delivered high economic growth, and Russians accepted curbs to political and individual rights. But after the economy slowed and some Russians protested his sham reelection in 2012, Putin shifted strategies, focusing on stirring up old-school anti-Western paranoia and imperial-style Russian nationalism.
    So when the Ukraine crisis started, Putin's state media spun up a narrative that the Ukrainian protests were an American conspiracy to isolate Russia and that the new Ukrainian government is run by secret Nazis bent on expansion. Sponsoring the rebels and saving Ukraine — which in the Russian nationalist view is really part of Russia — became a matter of national pride, of asserting Russia's defiance of the West.
    Sure enough, when Putin invaded and annexed Crimea in March, his slouching approval rating skyrocketed. Putin, addicted, has played up the nationalist cause in eastern Ukraine, the heroism of the rebels, his own heroism in backing them, and the threat of Ukraine's "fascist" government. Were he to sit idly by while the rebels were defeated, it would show that his rhetoric was a lie and leave him without the nationalist cause on which he now bases his political legitimacy. So, with no other way out, he invaded.
    Putin is not crazy, but he may have created a crisis with an internal momentum so great that it has broken beyond his control. That is a truly scary possibility.
    Libertatem Prius!


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

    Coming Up: Obama Speaks From NATO Summit

    Obama Holds New Conference From NATO Summit

    Live Video










    President Barack Obama plans to speak Friday on newly announced NATO plans to counter Russian aggression in Ukraine.
    The president is scheduled to speak at 11:30 a.m. ET from a NATO summit in Newport, Wales.
    NATO leaders approved plans earlier in the day to create a force that could mobilize quickly if any alliance country in Eastern Europe were to come under attack. NATO leaders are seeking to reassure countries nervous about Russian aggression.
    “It sends a clear message to any potential aggressor: Should you even think of attacking one ally, you will be facing the whole alliance,” Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the NATO secretary-general, declared at the summit.
    In a hopeful sign, Ukraine signed a cease-fire agreement Friday with pro-Russian rebels who have been fighting Ukrainian government forces in eastern Ukraine.
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