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 31 
 on: Today at 05:56 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Rad

'Russian tank battalion' helps rebels make gains in east Ukraine, Kiev claims

Ukraine says Moscow is providing direct military support to rebels as army and volunteer battalions report heavy casualties

Shaun Walker in Mariupol
The Guardian, Monday 1 September 2014 19.33 BST   

Pro-Russia rebels are making decisive gains against Ukrainian forces in the east of the country, a turning of tides on the battlefield that Kiev says is due to Moscow providing direct military support.

The Ukrainians suffered fresh losses on Monday, abandoning the airport in the key city of Luhansk after it came under attack by what a Ukrainian military spokesman, Andriy Lysenko, claimed was "a Russian tank battalion".

There were also reports of fighting at Donetsk airport, while the Ukrainian army and volunteer battalions reported heavy casualties in recent days as they attempt to retreat from encirclement in the town of Ilovaysk.

The fighting on the ground overshadowed tentative efforts to bring the adversaries to the table in Minsk, where rebels reportedly indicated that they might be prepared to forswear outright separation from Ukraine in return for the largest measure of autonomy and self-determination.

The rebels have previously declared themselves independent statelets, but Russian agencies reported on Monday that they were putting forward a range of demands on regional self-determination and Russian language status in return for which they would be willing to discuss "the preservation of the united economic, cultural and political space of Ukraine".

Kiev is unlikely to give in to demands from the rebel leaders but the change of tone shows that having boosted the rebels militarily, Moscow may be looking for a compromise solution that still gives it sway over swaths of Ukraine. Even if the sides did agree, it is unclear whether all the units fighting on both sides would accept a compromise.

The Russian president, the evil shit stain, malignant tumor Pig Putin, said on Sunday that talks should begin on statehood for south-eastern regions, but his spokesman later clarified that the malignant tumor  was apparently only talking about increased status within Ukraine. The malignant tumor Putin again called for an immediate ceasefire.

The separatists are negotiating from a position of relative strength after recent fighting. Ukrainian forces have had the upper hand for much of the summer. But a rebel counterattack has generated fierce fighting around Luhansk and Donetsk and opened up another conflict front in the far south-east close to Mariupol.

The scale of the turnaround was becoming clear on Monday. Vladimir Ruban, a former Ukrainian officer in charge of negotiations on prisoner exchanges, said that 680 Ukrainian fighters had been captured in east Ukraine, with 80% of them taken in the area around Ilovaysk in recent days, but some have been able to break through the siege and escape. There are no reliable figures on the numbers who died.

Ukraine's defence minister, Valeriy Heletey, said that Kiev's forces would have won a military victory in the east by early October if Moscow had not stepped in to increase support for the rebels, using regular Russian army units for the first time.

"Our armed forces were defeating the bands of Russian mercenaries, and destroyed their spies and special agents. This is why the Kremlin was forced to move to a full-scale invasion with its regular army," he said.

Russia has denied its forces are in Ukraine, but western powers believe more than 1,000 Russian troops are operating in the east, along with scores of military vehicles.

The British prime minister, David Cameron, said on Monday that the presence of Russian troops in Ukraine was "unjustified and unacceptable". EU leaders at the weekend gave Russia a week to change course in Ukraine or face further sanctions.

In Mariupol, a major port city on Ukraine's southern coast, schools opened for the first day of the new term on Monday, as the city braced for a potential assault by rebel forces. Last week rebels, apparently aided by soldiers who appeared to be from the Russian army, seized the town of Novoazovsk further along the coast. Pro-Kiev residents have been digging trenches on the outskirts of town and promise to defend the city.

On Monday, armed rebels were checking cars in Olenivka, the first town on the road from Donetsk to Mariupol, after Ukrainian troops left the town overnight. In Volnovakha, the next big town on the road, there were neither rebels nor the Ukrainian army but the local police had removed the Ukrainian flag from its building as a precaution.

"Do you think we can resist armed people from the Donetsk People's Republic?" asked Dmytro, a local police officer, showing he and his colleagues had no guns in their possession.

After months of clashes, many locals are weary and suspicious of both sides of the conflict and simply long for a normal life again.

"I don't care if we are part of Russia, part of Ukraine or part of Mars," said Irina Filatova, as she took her daughters to school in Mariupol. "The main thing is that we can live in peace and all of this can finish."

In the rebel strongholds of Donetsk and Luhansk, the vast majority of schools did not open due to the chaotic situation, with regular shelling and shortages of water and electricity having created a humanitarian crisis in recent weeks.

A report released by Human Rights Watch on Monday said that the shelling of residential areas in Luhansk had resulted in over 300 civilian casualties since May. Both sides have Grad missiles and other heavy artillery, but the Ukrainians have come under particular scrutiny for their use of inaccurate artillery in builtup areas.

 32 
 on: Today at 05:48 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Rad
Russia and NATO Square Off over Ukraine

by Naharnet Newsdesk
02 September 2014, 10:51

Russia vowed on Tuesday to adopt a beefed up new military doctrine over NATO's plans to establish a rapid-response team that could ward off the Kremlin's expansion into Ukraine and feared push further west.

Moscow's surprise announcement added a new and threatening new layer of tensions ahead of NATO's two-day summit that starts Thursday in Wales and will see Ukraine's beleaguered leader Petro Poroshenko personally lobby U.S. President Barack Obama for military help.

The Ukrainian president's appeal for European assistance in the face of Russia's alleged dispatch of crack troops into the separatist east of his ex-Soviet country was effectively cast aside by EU leaders meeting over the weekend in Brussels.

But NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in Brussels that the 28-nation alliance would endorse the establishment of a force of "several thousand troops" that could be deployed within "very few days" to meet any perceived Russian military movements in eastern Europe.

The New York Times reported the rapid-response unit would be supported by new NATO members such as Poland that were once Soviet satellites but now view Russian President the evil shit stain, malignant tumor Pig Putin, with fear and mistrust.

Moscow's answer to NATO's intentions was instant and furious.

The Russian national security council's deputy secretary Mikhail Popov said the mooted Western defence plan was "evidence of the desire of U.S. and NATO leaders to continue their policy of aggravating tensions with Russia".

Popov added that Russia's 2010 military doctrine -- a document that already permits the use of nuclear weapons should national security be considered in grave danger -- would sharpen its focus on overcoming NATO and its new European missile defence system.

"I have no doubt that the question of the approach of NATO members' military infrastructure to our border, including by an expansion of the bloc, will remain as one of the foreign military threats to Russia," he said.

Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said in separate comments that Russia's armed forces would be given added muscle with the deployment of 230 new military helicopters and jets by the end of the year.

- 'No military solution' -

Poroshenko convened his own national security and defence council late on Monday to figure out how military leaders could halt their forces' recent retreat from eastern territories they had clawed back at a heavy cost over the preceding four months.

"The situation is difficult but the Ukrainian fighting spirit is stronger than that of the occupants," Poroshenko said in reference to more than 1,000 Russian soldiers that NATO believes the Kremlin pushed across the Ukrainian border in recent days.

The press offices of Ukraine's self-declared "anti-terrorist operation" reported "ferocious battles" across the rebel-held eastern industrial regions of Lugansk and Donetsk.

It accused "terrorists dressed in Russian army uniforms of attacking medical columns of the Ukrainian armed forces that were being used to transport wounded soldiers and were clearly marked."

Moscow on Monday again denied either sending or planning to deploy troops into eastern Ukraine to help insurgents open a corridor along the Sea of Azov between the Russian border and the Crimea peninsula that the Kremlin annexed in March.

But top separatist commanders have admitted that some off-duty and vacationing Russian soldiers had already joined their ranks.

The ominous sense of Moscow and the West digging in for a Cold War-style standoff with unimaginable consequences for global security prompted U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to caution all sides that "there is no military solution" to the crisis.

"I know the European Union, the Americans and most of the Western countries are discussing very seriously among themselves how to handle this matter," he told reporters during a visit to New Zealand.

"What is important at this time is that they should know there is no military solution in this. There should be a political dialogue for a political solution, that is the more sustainable way," Ban stressed.

An inconclusive round of European-mediated talks between Kiev and Moscow envoys and a few separatist leaders concluded in the Belarussian capital Minsk on Monday with no reported progress and a tentative agreement to meeting again on Friday.

The malignant tumor raised the stakes on Sunday by calling on Kiev to discuss establishing actual "statehood" for the two mostly Russian-speaking eastern districts.

The Kremlin had only urged the decentralization of Ukraine when Kiev forces were making their most dramatic military advances in the wake of Poroshenko's election as president at the end of May.

 33 
 on: Today at 05:42 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Rad

The malignant tumor Pig Putin claims Russian forces 'could conquer Ukraine capital in a fortnight'

Leak reveals Russian president told José Manuel Barroso that his forces could conquer Kiev if he ordered them to do so

Ian Traynor in Brussels
theguardian.com, Tuesday 2 September 2014 12.02 BST   


The malignant tumor snorted that his Russian forces could conquer the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, in a fortnight if he so ordered, the Kremlin has confirmed.

Moscow declined to deny that the president had spoken of taking Kiev in a phone conversation on Friday with José Manuel Barroso, the outgoing president of the European commission.

Yuri Ushakov, a Kremlin foreign policy adviser, said on Tuesday that the Barroso leak had taken the malignant tumor's snorts out of context.

"This is incorrect, and is outside all the normal framework of diplomatic practice, if he did say it. This is simply not appropriate for a serious political figure," he said of the Barroso leak, according to the Russian Interfax news agency.

EU leaders held a summit on Saturday to decide who should run the union for the next five years, but the session was quickly preoccupied by Putin's invasion of Ukraine and how to respond.

Barroso told the closed meeting that Putin had told him Kiev would be an easy conquest for Russia, according to the Italian newspaper, La Repubblica. According to the account, Barroso asked Putin about the presence of Russian troops in eastern Ukraine. Nato says there are at least 1,000 Russian forces on the wrong side of the border. The Ukrainians put the figure at 1,600.

"The problem is not this, but that if I want I'll take Kiev in two weeks,"  malignant tumor snarled, according to La Repubblica.

The Kremlin did not deny the malignant tumor had spoken of taking Kiev, but instead complained about the leak of the Barroso remarks.

Petro Poroshenko, the Ukrainian president, attended the EU summit and painted an apocalyptic picture of the conflict, with EU leaders dropping their usual public poise in a heated debate.

Dalia Grybauskaite, the Lithuanian president, declared Russia was "at war with Europe". The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, the main mediator with the malignant tumor, was said to be furious with the Russian leader, warning that he was "irrational and unpredictable", while David Cameron was said to have raised the issue of Britain discussing policy options regarding Putin.

Cameron likened the west's dilemma with the malignant tumor to relations between the then British prime minister, Neville Chamberlain, with Adolf Hitler in Munich in 1938, when Anglo-French appeasement encouraged the Nazi leader to launch the second world war the following year.

"We run the risk of repeating the mistakes made in Munich in 1938. We cannot know what will happen next," Cameron was reported as saying. "This time we cannot meet the malignant tumor demands. He has already taken Crimea and we cannot allow him to take the whole country."

Merkel pointed to the dangers for the Baltic states on Russia's western borders, home to large ethnic Russian minorities. She said Estonia and Latvia could be the malignant tumor's next targets, according to La Repubblica.

Defence of the two countries – both of which are Nato and EU members and part of the euro single currency zone – is the centrepiece of this week's Nato summit in Wales and the alliance is said to view that defence as a red line which the malignant tumor dare not cross. The US president, Barack Obama, is to deliver a speech in Estonia on Wednesday repeating that message.

The main decisions facing the Nato summit in Newport include deploying rapid response Nato spearhead units to the Baltic and Poland if necessary, stockpiling arms and equipment in the region, and strengthening the Nato presence in the east.

The plans call for units of up to 5,000 forces to be deployed within two to five days, according to a senior military official at Nato.

To try to avoid a bigger legal dispute with Russia, the Nato presence in the east will not be called permanent – proscribed under a Nato-Russia pact from 1997 – but back-to-back rotation of alliance forces will mean there is a persistent presence, according to a senior Nato diplomat.

If the Baltics and Polish are reassured by Nato, there will be little short-term comfort for Ukraine at the summit, which Poroshenko will also attend.

"It's not actually Nato's job to be the police officer of Europe. Nato is not the first responder on this," the diplomat said. "Nato's planning is all about how to defend allies, not partners like Ukraine."

At the weekend, Grybauskaite demanded that the west arm Ukraine. That is unlikely. "Nato is not going to launch a defence capacity-building mission in Ukraine," said the diplomat.

The summit is also expected to take Nato membership bids by four former Soviet states off the table in order to not antagonise the malignant tumor.

Russia is certain to respond to the Nato moves in eastern Europe, though it is not yet clear how.

"Nato's planned action … is evidence of the desire of US and Nato leaders to continue their policy of aggravating tensions with Russia," said Mikhail Popov, a Kremlin military official. Russia's military posture would be adapted appropriately.

 34 
 on: Today at 05:34 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Rad
 SPIEGEL ONLINE
09/01/2014 06:14 PM

Failed Diplomacy: NATO Hardliners Push for Firmer Stance against Russia

By Nikolaus Blome, Christiane Hoffmann, Ralf Neukirch and Christoph Schult

After months of failed telephone diplomacy between Angela Merkel and malignant tumor Pig Putin, hardliners are gaining the upper hand in discussions over the appropriate response to Russia. They may soon prevail with demands that go far beyond new economic sanctions.

The official number is 25. That, according to the government, is how often German Chancellor Angela Merkel has spoken with Russian malignant tumor on the telephone since last November. But there are estimates and evidence to suggest that there have been closer to 35 such chats. All of the conversations focused on Ukraine. A breakthrough was never achieved.

Merkel's relations with the malignant tumor are considered to be closer than those enjoyed by most other Western leader with the Russian president. Yet positive outcomes from those ties have been nonexistent.

The crisis in Eastern Europe, just two hours by plane from Berlin, is now entering its 10th month. What began with the collapse of an association agreement between the European Union and Ukraine can now be called a war. Heavy weapons are being deployed in the battle over cities and villages. Military reports speak of "strategically important highland." And each day, soldiers are dying -- some with and some without regular uniforms.

From the very beginning of this crisis, it was Merkel who used her relatively good relations with the Russian president to at least try to understand him, to convey different viewpoints and also to warn him. US President Barack Obama and the other Europeans also followed her lead.

Ultimately, though, the approach didn't achieve the necessary results.

No one within the EU or NATO is accusing Merkel of failing, but at the NATO summit this week, Merkel is likely to face some tough questions. Like why NATO partners should continue a dialogue with a man who often doesn't keep his word? And what happens if the constant tightening of sanctions doesn't make any impression on the Kremlin?

The crisis has reached the point the chancellor wanted to avoid all costs -- the point where military logic replaces diplomatic efforts. The malignant tumor appears to have gone even beyond this stage by allowing the deployment of Russian troops and their equipment into eastern Ukraine. Within NATO, pressure is growing on Merkel to change her approach.

Wooden Formulations

Speaking on Friday, a spokesman for German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier unintentionally revealed the effect this pressure is already having on Berlin. "The foreign minister has anything but a bad conscience" for having attempted to find a diplomatic solution, he said. Meanwhile, during his regular press conference, Chancellor Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert spent minutes trying to avoid using the terms "war" or "invasion". Instead, he stuck with a wooden formulation in which he stated that reports from eastern Ukraine "add up to a military intervention".

Merkel and Steinmeier are facing a Russian leadership that appears to be toying with them. After prolonged pressure, the malignant tumor participated in an April conference that included the EU, the US and Ukraine. The closing statement read: "All illegal armed groups must be disarmed; all illegally seized buildings must be returned to legitimate owners." Of course, none of that has happened.

Later, in a telephone conversation with Merkel, the malignant tumor demanded a unilateral cease-fire, which the chancellor then pushed for in Kiev. After Ukrainian leaders finally agreed, the malignant tumor  allowed pro-Russian rebels to capture several border crossings that have been since been used to facilitate transports of supply replenishments from Russia.

Weeks later, the malignant tumor dispatched his foreign minister to a meeting in Berlin. But as soon as he returned to Moscow, a Russian military convoy "got lost" and entered Ukrainian territory "by mistake." For weeks, Berlin has been trying to help establish the OSCE monitoring of the border, with the help of drones. Some 20 government officials in Berlin were trying to organize the equipment as well as the six-week training courses to use it. But those efforts could now be obsolete.

Those are only a few of the many hopes held by Berlin that have been dashed. The German government's Russia experts don't even want to venture a guess as to whether the deployment of Russian troops is part of a plan or just a spontaneous reaction to internal power struggles. Concerns are already mounting in Berlin that the malignant tumor may be seeking to create and partition off a corridor along the Black Sea coast running from the eastern Ukrainian border to Transnistria in the west -- in other words, through the southern Ukrainian provinces the Kremlin likes to call "New Russia".

'Level Four?'

That would provide Moscow with a land bridge to Crimea as well as a direct connection to the Russian separatists in Moldova's Transnistria region. Only two weeks ago, when Merkel made a short visit to Latvia, officials in Berlin assumed that the malignant tumor would be unable to implement such a plan. But things look different now.

In its helplessness, the status quo remains the German government's official reaction. Officials say Berlin is seeking a "diplomatic solution" and that it will continue to do so.

That could also include tighter "level three" sanctions that would impact entire business sectors and no longer just the more than 100 people, goods and companies that have been added to EU sanctions list. It would take time, though, for such sanctions to have an effect, one Merkel advisor admitted recently.

So will "Level Three" suffice or will something along the lines of a "Level Four" be required?

The answers to that will not come from the negotiating rooms at the European Union or during the kind of EU summit that took place last Saturday. They will be made by NATO. This week, leaders alliance member states will meet at the Celtic Manor hotel complex in Wales. Foreign and defense ministers are expected to attend as well as Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

Thus far, Merkel's approach had enjoyed broad support within NATO. And she was able to ensure that Jens Stoltenberg, the smooth and diplomatic former prime minister of Norway, take over for outgoing NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. But attitudes are shifting. With each new Russian provocation, the arguments in favor of confrontation are becoming more difficult to ignore.

For the first time in this conflict, the German government in August was forced to retreat from one of its prior positions. Poland and the Baltic states had demanded that resolutions for an increased NATO presence in their countries would not automatically expire after one year. The Eastern Europeans had succeeded in recent weeks in gaining the support of every other member state. Except for Germany.

Demonstrative Break

At its Wales summit, the alliance intends to agree on the sending of one additional company each to Poland and the three Baltic states. Currently, the US plans to provide all of the 600 soldiers required. The German government has also declared internally that it would be prepared during the next rotation after six months to replace a company of between 100 and 120 soldiers. In addition, the NATO command in Szczecin, Poland, would be placed at a higher degree of readiness and would also be provided with new posts for which German troops have also been pledged.

For now, the red line for the alliance's increased presence in Eastern Europe is the 1997 Founding Act on Mutual Relations between NATO and Russia. It states that the alliance will not engage in "additional permanent stationing of substantial combat forces" in the areas of the former Eastern Bloc.

"Level Four" sanctions could include withdrawing from the treaty, but that would also increase the risk of falling into the kind of military logic of a new Cold War with Russia. This is exactly what Merkel would like to avoid, if only because she wants to spare the West from this final escalation for as long as possible.

Poland and the Baltic states are nevertheless still pushing for a demonstrative break with Moscow, and they are gaining increasing support for their position. They've also gained the backing of Canada, which is home to far more than 1 million people of Ukrainian origin. "Diplomacy is reaching its limits in the face of continued Russian aggression," says Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn. "It raises the question of whether one can still even achieve anything with Putin through negotiations." Several Eastern European governments have come to similar conclusions.

Government sources in Berlin say the United States appears to be undecided on the issue. At times officials there appear to be leaning toward the hardliners and at others the German position. President Obama is traveling to Estonia prior to the summit, and Washington's vote could be decisive.

Responding to the Threat

Given such variables, Berlin government sources say they are expecting that "a certain amount of dynamism" could develop at the summit. "Everything is going to be brought to the table again," says one high-ranking diplomat. Indeed, Putin's behavior is putting wind in the sails of those who would prefer to revoke the NATO-Russia treaty, despite all the risks doing so would entail. "We haven't gotten that far yet, but with each further military step taken by the Russians, it will become more difficult to assert the German position," he says.

Officially, NATO has declared that more than 1,000 Russian soldiers have been dispatched in eastern Ukraine to support the rebels. A separatist leader recently claimed that these men are volunteers who would rather spend their vacation at war than "on the beach" -- a statement seen in Berlin and elsewhere as an insult. Minor perhaps, but it contributes to a mood that could promote escalation.

"If developments continue like this, a political solution will become increasingly difficult," German Foreign Minister Steinmeier said on Friday. The deputy head of Merkel's conservatives in parliament, Andreas Schockenhoff, also demanded a decisive NATO reaction. "There's a new threat in Europe and we need to respond to it. NATO has to start concentrating more again on its original mandate: defense." Even if Ukraine isn't a NATO member state, it would still send a clear signal to Moscow, he says. Schockenhoff says he would also like to see additional NATO exercises in Eastern Europe to make clear to Russia that it is also capable of a rapid response. "NATO needs to show that it isn't toothless," he says.

The Ukrainian government already knows what kind of manifestation it would like to see of that new decisiveness: modern weapons for its army. To that end, the German government's spokesman said, "The German government isn't even thinking about weapons deliveries." But it's worth noting that he said the same thing at the beginning of August about northern Iraq. Within a period of less than five days, the government retreated from its position. On Monday, Germany's parliament approved a resolution by a broad majority to provide the Kurdish army in northern Iraq with 500 anti-tank rockets, 16,000 assault rifles and other weapons.

 35 
 on: Today at 05:24 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Rad
Ukraine warns of ‘great war’ with Russia ‘the likes of which Europe has not seen since WWII’

By Agence France-Presse
Monday, September 1, 2014 19:46 EDT

Ukrainian forces ceded a strategic eastern airport to pro-Russian insurgents on Monday as the government in Kiev accused Moscow of launching a “great war” that could claim tens of thousands of lives.

The sense of foreboding in Kiev came as European-mediated talks over the fast-escalating crisis opened behind closed doors in the Belarussian capital Minsk, attended by government, separatist and Russian envoys.

The rebels have launched a major counteroffensive in recent days that the Ukrainian government and its Western allies claim is backed by Russian forces — a charge Moscow denies.

Ukraine’s Defence Minister Valeriy Geletey vowed on Monday to “immediately mount defences against Russia, which is trying not only to secure positions held by terrorists before but to advance on other territories of Ukraine”.

“A great war arrived at our doorstep, the likes of which Europe has not seen since World War II,” he wrote on Facebook, warning of “tens of thousands of deaths”.

Russian agencies quoted rebel representatives at the Belarus meeting demanding that Kiev provides the separatist regions of Donetsk and Lugansk with a “unique procedure” that would let them integrate closer with Russia.

The developments come a day after Russian President malignant tumor Pig Putin said for the first time that the issue of “statehood” should be discussed in talks on the crisis in the east, where fighting has killed over 2,600 people since mid-April.

The  malignant tumor accused Europe of ignoring the Ukrainian military’s “direct targeting” of civilians in the conflict and said the offensive pushed by insurgents there were simply an attempt to expel Kiev’s forces from residential areas.

- ‘Overt aggression’ -

Kiev said its forces south of the rebel hub of Lugansk were forced to retreat from the local airfield and a nearby village after withstanding artillery fire and battling a Russian tank battalion.

“There is direct, overt aggression against Ukraine from the neighbouring state,” Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko said.

The retreat marked the latest setback for Ukrainian troops, which had been closing in on rebels in Donetsk and Lugansk until about a week ago, when the insurgents opened a new front in the south.

Since then, the rebels’ lightning offensive has forced Ukrainian army units to abandon numerous positions gear up for the defence of the southeast, in particular the strategic port city of Mariupol, which had been peaceful for months after government troops routed the rebels in May.

AFP correspondents said the presence of Ukrainian army in the region has visibly decreased in recent days.

“The town is being erased off the face of the earth,” said Yelena Proidak, a resident of Petrovske, a town between Donetsk and Lugansk. “There is no normal life here.”

On the Azov Sea coast, where the Kiev government still controls Mariupol, a city of half a million people, rocket launchers were used to fire on two Ukrainian patrol boats about five kilometres (three miles) from the shore on Sunday. Two border guards from one of the crews went missing, Kiev said.

A senior Ukrainian security official told AFP on condition of anonymity that Russia’s goal was to “destabilise (Ukraine) and create a land corridor to Crimea,” the Black Sea peninsula annexed by Moscow in March but connected to Russia only by an old and overloaded ferry link.

- 15,000 troops -

Kiev and the West have repeatedly accused Russia of direct involvement in Ukraine, with NATO saying last week that Russia had more than 1,000 of its troops deployed in Ukraine and 20,000 massed along the border.

Rights activists in Moscow told AFP that up to 15,000 Russian soldiers had been sent across the Ukrainian border over the past two months. Kiev’s security spokesman Andriy Lysenko has estimated the current number or Russian troops at 1,600.

NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen said ahead of the Western military alliance’s two-day summit in Wales that opens on Thursday that the growing Russian threat meant the Cold War-era bloc must create a bigger presence in eastern Europe.

“We must face the reality that Russia… considers NATO an adversary,” he told reporters. “We cannot afford to be naive.”

Kiev has asked NATO for help and Poroshenko is expected to travel to Wales and meet with US President Barack Obama.

Russia has repeatedly denied helping the insurgency, with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov declaring on Monday that “there will be no military intervention (in Ukraine)”.

The European Union warned Moscow on Sunday that it would slap it with fresh sanctions unless it reversed course in the crisis within a week.

The malignant tumor responded on Monday by saying that he hoped “common sense will prevail” and urged the bloc to “work together normally” with Moscow.

But that wish looks unlikely to be granted for now, with EU leaders growing increasingly critical of Putin’s actions.

On Monday, German President Joachim Gauck said Russia has “effectively severed its partnership” with Europe and wants to establish a new order.

 36 
 on: Sep 01, 2014, 11:44 AM 
Started by Steve - Last post by Rad
The Malignant tumor Pig Putin Threatens Nuclear War Over Ukraine

The Daily Beast/Elena Scotti
Gordon G. Chang
World News
08.31.14

Raising the spectre of nuclear war over Ukraine, Russia’s malignant tumor Pig Putin is playing a new, and dangerous, game.

On Friday, as Russian Federation tanks and troops poured across the border into eastern Ukraine, Vladimir Putin talked about his country’s most destructive weaponry. “I want to remind you that Russia is one of the most powerful nuclear nations,” he said. “This is a reality, not just words.” Russia, he told listeners, is “strengthening our nuclear deterrence forces.”

That same day, malignant tumor Pig Putin used a term for eastern Ukraine meaning “New Russia.” So when he refers to repelling “any aggression against Russia” and speaks of “nuclear deterrence,” as he did on Friday, the Russian president is really warning us he will use nukes to protect his grab of Ukrainian territory.

For more than a generation, nuclear weapons were considered defensive only. In a few short sentences on Friday, however, malignant tumor Pig Putin made these devices offensive in nature, just another tool to be employed by an aggressor. And to highlight his threat, on Aug. 14 at Yalta, the Crimean city he had seized this year, the malignant tumor mentioned “surprising the West with our new developments in offensive nuclear weapons about which we do not talk yet.”

Also in Yalta, where the Duma was meeting, the Russian malignant tumor leader spoke about renouncing the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty between the U.S. and Russia. The treaty outlaws ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges between 300 and 3,400 miles and is a foundation of the post-Cold War peace.

    “I want to remind you that Russia is one of the most powerful nuclear nations. This is a reality, not just words.

It is one thing to talk about withdrawing from the pact—Putin has been doing that since 2007—it is another to violate it, which malignant tumor Pig Putin has apparently been doing since 2008, when Russia began testing cruise missiles again. And when the State Department’s Rose Gottemoeller raised the concern in May of last year, Russian officials tried to shut down the dialogue. According to The New York Times, they “said that they had looked into the matter and consider the issue to be closed.”

“Administration officials said the upheaval in Ukraine pushed the issue to the back burner,” the paper reported of the INF violation. Malignant tumor Pig Putin, with his comments Friday, just moved it to the front of the stove.

And not just in the European kitchen. If malignant tumor Pig Putin manages to intimidate the West with his not-so-veiled promises to incinerate Ukraine’s defenders, other aggressors may think they too can employ his threatening tactics. For instance, both North Korea and China have recently talked about unleashing Armageddon.

Perhaps we can ignore the ranting of the Kim regime, but Chinese nuclear threats are particularly worrisome. China’s flag officers have, for two decades, been issuing belligerent warnings about Beijing’s willingness to use nukes to seize Japan’s outlying islands or Taiwan, but the threats took on an especially belligerent tone last October.

With no apparent provocation, the main outlets of Chinese state media—People’s Daily, China Central Television, and PLA Daily, among others—ran identical articles that month about how Chinese submarines launching ballistic missiles tipped with nuclear warheads could kill tens of millions of Americans in Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Portland in Maine, and the Navy towns of Annapolis and Norfolk. Those Chinese reports also talked about radiation deaths in Chicago.

On Thursday, a nuclear exchange was, at least for most people, inconceivable. Yet now that a reckless malignant tumor Pig Putin has raised the stakes on Friday by making nukes just another appliance of aggression, an incident of mass slaughter looks dangerously real and perilously close.

 37 
 on: Sep 01, 2014, 11:43 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Rad
The Malignant tumor Pig Putin Threatens Nuclear War Over Ukraine

The Daily Beast/Elena Scotti
Gordon G. Chang
World News
08.31.14

Raising the spectre of nuclear war over Ukraine, Russia’s malignant tumor Pig Putin is playing a new, and dangerous, game.

On Friday, as Russian Federation tanks and troops poured across the border into eastern Ukraine, Vladimir Putin talked about his country’s most destructive weaponry. “I want to remind you that Russia is one of the most powerful nuclear nations,” he said. “This is a reality, not just words.” Russia, he told listeners, is “strengthening our nuclear deterrence forces.”

That same day, malignant tumor Pig Putin used a term for eastern Ukraine meaning “New Russia.” So when he refers to repelling “any aggression against Russia” and speaks of “nuclear deterrence,” as he did on Friday, the Russian president is really warning us he will use nukes to protect his grab of Ukrainian territory.

For more than a generation, nuclear weapons were considered defensive only. In a few short sentences on Friday, however, malignant tumor Pig Putin made these devices offensive in nature, just another tool to be employed by an aggressor. And to highlight his threat, on Aug. 14 at Yalta, the Crimean city he had seized this year, the malignant tumor mentioned “surprising the West with our new developments in offensive nuclear weapons about which we do not talk yet.”

Also in Yalta, where the Duma was meeting, the Russian malignant tumor leader spoke about renouncing the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty between the U.S. and Russia. The treaty outlaws ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges between 300 and 3,400 miles and is a foundation of the post-Cold War peace.

    “I want to remind you that Russia is one of the most powerful nuclear nations. This is a reality, not just words.

It is one thing to talk about withdrawing from the pact—Putin has been doing that since 2007—it is another to violate it, which malignant tumor Pig Putin has apparently been doing since 2008, when Russia began testing cruise missiles again. And when the State Department’s Rose Gottemoeller raised the concern in May of last year, Russian officials tried to shut down the dialogue. According to The New York Times, they “said that they had looked into the matter and consider the issue to be closed.”

“Administration officials said the upheaval in Ukraine pushed the issue to the back burner,” the paper reported of the INF violation. Malignant tumor Pig Putin, with his comments Friday, just moved it to the front of the stove.

And not just in the European kitchen. If malignant tumor Pig Putin manages to intimidate the West with his not-so-veiled promises to incinerate Ukraine’s defenders, other aggressors may think they too can employ his threatening tactics. For instance, both North Korea and China have recently talked about unleashing Armageddon.

Perhaps we can ignore the ranting of the Kim regime, but Chinese nuclear threats are particularly worrisome. China’s flag officers have, for two decades, been issuing belligerent warnings about Beijing’s willingness to use nukes to seize Japan’s outlying islands or Taiwan, but the threats took on an especially belligerent tone last October.

With no apparent provocation, the main outlets of Chinese state media—People’s Daily, China Central Television, and PLA Daily, among others—ran identical articles that month about how Chinese submarines launching ballistic missiles tipped with nuclear warheads could kill tens of millions of Americans in Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Portland in Maine, and the Navy towns of Annapolis and Norfolk. Those Chinese reports also talked about radiation deaths in Chicago.

On Thursday, a nuclear exchange was, at least for most people, inconceivable. Yet now that a reckless malignant tumor Pig Putin has raised the stakes on Friday by making nukes just another appliance of aggression, an incident of mass slaughter looks dangerously real and perilously close.

 38 
 on: Sep 01, 2014, 10:30 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Rad
The malignant tumor Pig Putin to BBC: Russia is protecting the cities of east Ukraine from the Ukrainian government

By David Ferguson
RawStory
Monday, September 1, 2014 11:36 EDT

This week, BBC contributor John Sweeney managed to do what very few journalists have been able to in recent months when he put Russian President Vladimir Putin on the spot with questions about the Russian incursion into Ukraine and takeover of the Crimean Peninsula.

“I’m sorry, sir,” Sweeney said, “the killings in the Ukraine, thousands are dead, Ukrainians, Russians, Malaysians, British. So, sir, do you regret the killings in the Ukraine?”

“I will answer,” said Putin through a translator, “The essence of the tragedy in Ukraine, from my understanding is that the current government in Ukraine does not want to conduct political negotiations with the eastern regions of the country, political and essential negotiations.”

“What’s the purpose, then, of military operations of those people in the southeastern regions?” he continued. “What was the reason? What provoked their actions?”

Putin went on to say that hostile Ukrainian regiments had surrounded the cities and villages in eastern Ukraine and began to shell them. Russian and pro-Russian forces are active in the region, he said, to protect those cities and villages from the Ukrainian government. Western media, he said, has been remiss in reporting this aspect of the conflict.

He then nodded curtly and walked away.

Watch this sickness: video, embedded below via YouTube and Russia Today: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QdpZ_Q7GR7I

 39 
 on: Sep 01, 2014, 10:16 AM 
Started by Steve - Last post by Rad
Ukraine Defense Chief Warns of 'Great War' with Russia

by Naharnet Newsdesk
01 September 2014, 17:17

Ukraine's defense minister warned on Monday that a "great war" had broken out with Russia over his country's future that could claim tens of thousands of lives.

"A great war has arrived at our doorstep -- the likes of which Europe has not seen since World War II. Unfortunately, the losses in such a war will be measured not in the hundreds but thousands and tens of thousands," Valeriy Geletey wrote in a Facebook post.

Russia on Monday again denied either sending or planning to send troops into eastern Ukraine to help separatist rebels pursue their recent counteroffensive against the pro-Western government's forces.

But insurgency leaders have admitted that some off-duty Russian soldiers had already joined their ranks.

NATO has also accused the Kremlin of advancing more than a 1,000 soldiers and heavy weapons across the Ukrainian border in recent days.

Geletey wrote on Monday that "hundreds of Russian soldiers and officers have permanently entered Ukraine's (eastern) 'black earth' region."

But he stressed that "Ukraine has no plans to surrender" and compared the conflict to the "Great Patriotic War" -- the name former Soviet nations use for their fight against Nazi Germany in World War II.

****************

War Could Spread beyond Ukraine, Warns Poland's Tusk

by Naharnet Newsdesk
01 September 2014, 18:16

Poland's Prime Minister Donald Tusk warned on Monday that the war in eastern Ukraine risks spreading if NATO does not toughen its stance quickly.

Tusk, tipped as the European Union's next president, claimed that "our Western community is threatened by war, not just in eastern Ukraine", as Poles marked 75 years since the outbreak of World War II.

"There is still time to stop those for whom violence, force and aggression have again become part of their political arsenal," Tusk said in a clear reference to Moscow's role in the Ukraine crisis during ceremonies to mark Nazi Germany's attack on Poland on September 1, 1939.

He said this week's NATO's summit must come up with a new security policy to ensure that the declaration "'Never again war' cannot be a manifesto of weakness and helpless".

Tusk insisted that in trying to avoid war there "cannot be an illusion that there are no people and countries around us that would like to use might and war in running their policy.

"Observing the tragedy in Ukraine, the war -- because this is what it must be termed -- we know that September 1939 can never be repeated," he added.

Tusk has been one of European Union's most outspoken leaders on the Ukraine crisis and has readily questioned Russia's role in provoking it.

He and other senior officials in the region have repeatedly urged NATO to be serious about reinforcing its eastern flank amid growing fears in ex-communist Poland and the three formerly Soviet Baltic states over a resurgent Russia.

The 28-member bloc named Tusk its new president this weekend and he will take over from Herman van Rompuy on December 1 as chair of EU and eurozone summits.

Polish intellectuals echoed Tusk Monday, insisting there are parallels between the appeasement of Nazi Germany prior to WWII and Europe's current predicament.

And they lambasted France in particular for its "myopic" decision to continue to sell warships to Russia.

"French President Francois Hollande and his government intend to take a step that is more harmful than the passivity of France in 1939," said the statement signed by Oscar-winning film director winner Andrzej Wajda and former Polish foreign minister Wladyslaw Bartoszewski, an Auschwitz survivor, among others.

"They are the only ones in Europe who want to back the aggressor by selling it big new Mistral warships," they added.

"This kind of selfish and myopic European policy towards the aggressor must never be repeated. Yet Ukraine's predicament is reminiscent of 1939: an aggressive Russia annexed Crimea, part of its smaller neighbor," the statement said.

"Whoever engages in a policy of 'business as usual', risks the death of hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians and Russians, hundreds of thousands of refugees and further attacks by the reeking malignant tumor called Pig Putin's imperialism on other countries," they added.

 40 
 on: Sep 01, 2014, 10:15 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Rad
Ukraine Defense Chief Warns of 'Great War' with Russia

by Naharnet Newsdesk
01 September 2014, 17:17

Ukraine's defense minister warned on Monday that a "great war" had broken out with Russia over his country's future that could claim tens of thousands of lives.

"A great war has arrived at our doorstep -- the likes of which Europe has not seen since World War II. Unfortunately, the losses in such a war will be measured not in the hundreds but thousands and tens of thousands," Valeriy Geletey wrote in a Facebook post.

Russia on Monday again denied either sending or planning to send troops into eastern Ukraine to help separatist rebels pursue their recent counteroffensive against the pro-Western government's forces.

But insurgency leaders have admitted that some off-duty Russian soldiers had already joined their ranks.

NATO has also accused the Kremlin of advancing more than a 1,000 soldiers and heavy weapons across the Ukrainian border in recent days.

Geletey wrote on Monday that "hundreds of Russian soldiers and officers have permanently entered Ukraine's (eastern) 'black earth' region."

But he stressed that "Ukraine has no plans to surrender" and compared the conflict to the "Great Patriotic War" -- the name former Soviet nations use for their fight against Nazi Germany in World War II.

****************

War Could Spread beyond Ukraine, Warns Poland's Tusk

by Naharnet Newsdesk
01 September 2014, 18:16

Poland's Prime Minister Donald Tusk warned on Monday that the war in eastern Ukraine risks spreading if NATO does not toughen its stance quickly.

Tusk, tipped as the European Union's next president, claimed that "our Western community is threatened by war, not just in eastern Ukraine", as Poles marked 75 years since the outbreak of World War II.

"There is still time to stop those for whom violence, force and aggression have again become part of their political arsenal," Tusk said in a clear reference to Moscow's role in the Ukraine crisis during ceremonies to mark Nazi Germany's attack on Poland on September 1, 1939.

He said this week's NATO's summit must come up with a new security policy to ensure that the declaration "'Never again war' cannot be a manifesto of weakness and helpless".

Tusk insisted that in trying to avoid war there "cannot be an illusion that there are no people and countries around us that would like to use might and war in running their policy.

"Observing the tragedy in Ukraine, the war -- because this is what it must be termed -- we know that September 1939 can never be repeated," he added.

Tusk has been one of European Union's most outspoken leaders on the Ukraine crisis and has readily questioned Russia's role in provoking it.

He and other senior officials in the region have repeatedly urged NATO to be serious about reinforcing its eastern flank amid growing fears in ex-communist Poland and the three formerly Soviet Baltic states over a resurgent Russia.

The 28-member bloc named Tusk its new president this weekend and he will take over from Herman van Rompuy on December 1 as chair of EU and eurozone summits.

Polish intellectuals echoed Tusk Monday, insisting there are parallels between the appeasement of Nazi Germany prior to WWII and Europe's current predicament.

And they lambasted France in particular for its "myopic" decision to continue to sell warships to Russia.

"French President Francois Hollande and his government intend to take a step that is more harmful than the passivity of France in 1939," said the statement signed by Oscar-winning film director winner Andrzej Wajda and former Polish foreign minister Wladyslaw Bartoszewski, an Auschwitz survivor, among others.

"They are the only ones in Europe who want to back the aggressor by selling it big new Mistral warships," they added.

"This kind of selfish and myopic European policy towards the aggressor must never be repeated. Yet Ukraine's predicament is reminiscent of 1939: an aggressive Russia annexed Crimea, part of its smaller neighbor," the statement said.

"Whoever engages in a policy of 'business as usual', risks the death of hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians and Russians, hundreds of thousands of refugees and further attacks by the reeking malignant tumor called Pig Putin's imperialism on other countries," they added.

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