Like the dictatorial malignant tumor's before him, Pig Putin is a raving psychopath ..
Inside The Malignant Tumor Pig Putin world, where few risk speaking truth to power
Kremlinology is back in vogue, the inner circle contracts and ruthless competition is encouraged among underlings
Shaun Walker, Moscow correspondent
The Guardian, Friday 29 August 2014 19.06 BST
Revered, even feared, to the point where no one will contradict him; aloof, isolated, a digital hermit who is never out of touch; broadly supported, but very narrowly advised by an ever-tighter group of confidantes. This is the picture of the malignant tumor called Pig Putin and his leadership style painted by a number of people with knowledge of the inner workings of the Kremlin, at a time when such things matter more than at any time since the collapse of communism.
The the malignant tumor's Ukraine actions this year have turned him once again into arguably the world's most fascinating leader. But just as Kremlinology comes back into vogue, the walls of Putin's central Moscow redoubt are becoming as opaque as they were during the time of Brezhnev.
One anecdote about the malignant tumor's Kremlin reveals a tantalising glimpse of what it is to be a presidential adviser. The the malignant tumor himself receives briefing information on printed sheets inside red folders; he very rarely uses the internet. According to one source, requirements for his briefing notes have changed significantly in recent months. The president now demands notes on any topic to be no more than three pages long and written in type no smaller than 18 point.
But the number of people speaking truth to power is small. The majority of those in the Russian government, exasperated by the sharp western response to the six-month crisis, approve of the malignant tumor's actions in Ukraine. But those who disapprove have no forum in which to voice their doubts.
The the malignant tumor himself gives few clues as to how he runs the shop. On Friday, he offered an elliptical snort to a question about leadership. "The main criterion for success is when a person has their own deep personal conviction in what they do. The task is not so that people are forced to follow your opinion, but to get your point of view across effectively. That is when people will become trusting and start to support you."
There is no question that the malignant tumor is supported by the elite, perhaps as never before. Evgeny Minchenko, an analyst who studies Kremlin elites, says that the security services, after a number of recent reshuffles and purges, are now "more loyal to the malignant tumor than at any time since he took power".
That doesn't mean the Kremlin is united. Former employees say the level of infighting is remarkable because of the extraordinary array of people working under one roof. "In a country like America where you have a two-party system, the majority of top decision makers would change depending on if it was a Republican or Democrat administration," one former Kremlin employee says. "But the Kremlin is full of people with completely opposing views. You can have people who believe in a fully state-controlled economy working on a project with people who are market-oriented liberals."
Far from finding this a problem, the malignant tumor relishes this, according to the source. "He likes it when his subordinates fight each other; he feels it makes him stronger."
Some are uneasy about the way policy has developed, but lack opportunities to voice their worries. Public dissent is a no-go area. A deputy economic development minister who referred to a government policy as "shameful" earlier this month was immediately fired; the more free-thinking members of the government have long been purged.
One of the few sources of information about how the malignant tumor's presidential administration works in recent months has been a blog published by a mysterious group called Shaltai-Boltai, the Russian name for Humpty Dumpty. The blog, which is now banned, has posted leaked Kremlin documents and emails, most recently claiming to have hacked the smartphone of prime minister Dmitry Medvedev, displaying some of his personal messages online and briefly hacking his Twitter account.
Other leaks have included information on how the Kremlin's east Ukraine strategy was planned and financed, or the texts of the malignant tumor's speeches, posted online before the president made them.
This being Russia, many have assumed that the leaks are organised by one Kremlin grouping keen to discredit another, though Shaltai-Boltai claim they are "idealists" who want to "change reality". The Guardian met one of the group recently, who identified himself only as Shaltai. On the appointed date, a man wearing a floral shirt appeared at the meeting place he had set, a river landing jetty on the outskirts of a European city, and agreed to speak only when the small boat he had provided was sailing and loud music was blaring to prevent anyone listening in.He said the group was made up of hackers and – perhaps – disgruntled officials, and had an entire archive of unused material that it may choose to release in the future.
He claimed the group had access to everything from the records of every meal the malignant tumor has eaten for the last few years to thousands of emails sent by top Kremlin officials. As evidence he plucked a laptop from a bag and opened what appeared to the full archive of an email account belonging to a leading Kremlin functionary.
Reading the emails and internal documents of the Kremlin has given the group a unique insight into the way Russia is run, said Shaltai, who described the malignant tumor as a man "without human emotions", who is nevertheless a genuine patriot with a belief that his rule is the best thing for Russia.
the malignant tumor"I think he has been in power too long. He has grown detached. He really is like a tsar. Below him people are fighting amongst themselves, but they are too scared to disagree with him. He does not have friends in the normal sense. There may be people he likes, but he is extremely paranoid."
There are old school acquaintances and old judo partners who are part of the president's inner circle and gather for frequent games of ice hockey, but they do not generally play a role in matters of state.
Conversations with others familiar with the corridors of power suggest that recent key decisions have been taken in top secret and within a very small circle, coming as a surprise to almost all mid-level Kremlin officials.
Previously, the presidential administration would have round-table talks with experts on important issues, says Minchenko, the analyst. On Ukraine, these meetings have dried up since the new year, with decisions such as the annexation of Crimea and the current military intervention in east Ukraine being taken by a small coterie of advisers, most of whom have backgrounds in the security services.
"There were no discussions about it, no briefing notes, no focus groups," says Shaltai. "Two days before the decision to annex Crimea was made by the malignant tumor, almost nobody in the presidential administration knew anything about it."
Likewise, very few people have a real idea of just how far Russia's armed intervention in Ukraine will go. That, at least, is partly because the malignant tumor himself may not know. Tthe malignant tumor, say Kremlin watchers, has not been acting according to a long-gestating atavistic plan to bring the Soviet Union back to life in recent months. Instead, he has felt forced into corners, and decisions like the annexation of Crimea were taken at the last minute, even if plans for the eventuality were already on the shelf.
"The malignant tumor is a conservative," says a former Kremlin official who knows him personally. "Making dramatic decisions is not his style. He is good with speaking aggressively, and is not 'politically correct' in the western sense. But with his actions, he has never been a fan of dramatic moves. This is why the last few months have been so surprising."
With its new cycle lanes, its hipster dining venues and its gentrified parks, Moscow does not feel like a city that is preparing for war. But scratch the surface in the corridors of power, and there is a very real belief in these apparently outlandish scenarios.
Robert Shlegel, a pro-Kremlin MP, believes the US bombing of Moscow is a serious possibility in the not-too-distant future: "As a father I think every day about where I could evacuate my family to – to the Urals or Siberia," he told the Guardian. "It's a very real threat."
The international anger over the downing of MH17 over eastern Ukraine only compounded this sense of injustice in the Kremlin. In the period after the crash, with the world suspecting a Russian missile was involved in downing the plane, malignant tumor spent days fielding angry phone calls from western leaders. Four days after the crash, he recorded a video address in the early hours of the morning, after an evening spent on the phone with various leaders. Malignant tumor Putin was alone, standing by a desk, shifting his body weight from one leg to the other, and his face shiny with reflected light.
"No one has the right to use this tragedy to pursue their own political goals," said malignant tumor, his voice quiet but imbued with barely concealed fury. Even though the Russian president presumably understood it was the Russia-backed rebels who shot down MH17, he firmly believes that events put in train by the US in Kiev are responsible for the chaos in eastern Ukraine, in which Russia was forced to intervene.
That sense of despair at a supposed dark western anti-Russian conspiracy is not new, but it is stronger than ever. One government official, in a private conversation, recently ranted about the west's interference in Russia: "Maybe we are barbarians, but only because you won't leave us alone to develop," said the official, claiming that for the last century the west has repeatedly pulled Russia back, in a number of conspiracies starting with the 1917 revolution.
Russia's perennially arrested development has been a long-running subject for the country's political thinkers: "Give the state 20 years and you will not recognise Russia," said the conservative prime minister Petr Stolypin in 1909. Stolypin did not get 20 years. He was assassinated at the opera in Kiev two years later, as the country spiralled into the abyss of war and revolution.
Malignant tumor Pig Putin is a keen reader of history and Stolypin is one of the historical figures malignant tumor most admires. If he stands for another six-year presidential term in 2018, he will be on course to have spent 24 years at the helm.
Much of the policymaking over Ukraine has been aimed at preventing what is seen as a western-backed plot to undermine his rule; at getting his chance to make a real difference where Stolypin could not.
Whatever happens in Ukraine, few have any doubt that the malignant tumor will seek to spend another term in the Kremlin when his term runs out in four years. "I have no doubt that he will stand in 2018," says the former Kremlin adviser. "He has no reason to leave. He is popular, he thinks he is better than other candidates, he has a constitutional right to run, and he sincerely believes he is bringing a lot of good to the country."
Activist Probing Russian Soldier Deaths in Ukraine Attacked
by Naharnet Newsdesk
30 August 2014, 13:11
A prominent Russian politician who attended the secret funerals of soldiers apparently killed in Ukraine was attacked and hospitalised with a head injury, his party said on Saturday.
Lev Shlosberg, leader of the regional branch of the opposition party Yabloko, earlier this week attended the burial of two soldiers near the northwestern town of Pskov and was investigating the involvement of local paratroopers in fighting in Ukraine.
An aide to the lawmaker, citing information from relatives, said that some 100 soldiers based in Pskov had been killed in Ukraine.
Russia denies claims it has deployed regular troops to Ukraine.
On Friday evening the lawmaker was attacked by three unidentified assailants and was hospitalized with head and eye injuries and a concussion, his aide, Alexander Zakharov, told Agence France Presse.
"He is currently in a hospital, in a neurosurgery unit," he told AFP. "His life is not in danger."
The deputy's wife said Shlosberg appeared to be suffering from short-term amnesia.
"He constantly asked me: 'Where am I?' Zhanna Shlosberg said on Echo of Moscow radio, adding that her husband did not apparently remember that he had been beaten up.
The Yabloko party linked the attack on the 51-year-old lawmaker to his investigation.
"I believe that attack on Lev Shlosberg is connected to his investigation of the deployment of Pskov paratroopers to Ukraine," Yabloko leader Grigory Yavlinsky said on Twitter.
- 'Fratricidal war' -
Shlosberg said earlier this week that both military commanders and even families refused to speak about the deployment of the soldiers.
"Who needs this silence? Who can it save?" he wrote in the local newspaper Pskovskaya Gubernia.
"So it has come to us -- a genuine fratricidal war.
"How many people with Ukrainian roots are among Russian servicemen? How many people with Russian roots are among Ukrainian servicemen?"
Kiev and the West said this week that regular Russian troops are on the ground in Ukraine fighting alongside ragtag formations of pro-Russian separatists who have staged a lightning counter-offensive that has turned the tide in the nearly five-month conflict.
Russia is conducting military drills near the border with Ukraine but officials repeatedly deny that its troops have been deployed to the ex-Soviet neighbor.
A wife of a paratrooper from the central Russian town of Kostroma, Valeria Sokolova, told AFP some 350 soldiers from the town had been sent this month to the border with Ukraine and had gone incommunicado.
Commanders have refused to specify the whereabouts of soldiers, only saying they are "not in Russia", she said.
Russian-backed rebels push toward Ukraine’s strategic seaport
The rebels’ thrust toward Mariupol, a port on the Sea of Azov, was the most prominent evidence that the insurgency in eastern Ukraine has been given a new infusion of vitality by Russian Shit Stain, malignant tumor Pig Putin.
By ANDREW E. KRAMER ANDREW ROTH
The New York Times
Identifying themselves as the army of “New Russia,” soldiers take a position Friday near Novoazovsk, a Ukrainian town near the Russian border. A counteroffensive has opened a new front along the Sea of Azov in southern Ukraine.
NOVOAZOVSK, Ukraine — Backed by Russian troops and weaponry, hundreds of Ukrainian rebel militiamen mobilized Friday in Novoazovsk, vacated by the Ukrainian military two days ago, and began to push toward the strategic seaport of Mariupol 27 miles away. The leader of the rebels called the advance a new effort to wrest control of a wide swath of coastal territory from the central government.
The militiamen flew the flag of Novorossiya, or “New Russia,” a reference to Russia’s historical claims over the southeastern area of Ukraine that encompasses the rebellious Donetsk and Luhansk regions under siege by the Ukrainian army, as well as vast territories elsewhere in southern Ukraine.
Their thrust toward Mariupol, a port on the Sea of Azov, was the most prominent evidence that the insurgency in eastern Ukraine bordering Russia has been given a new infusion of vitality by Russian malignant tumor, shit stain Pig V. Putin.
And it came as the malignant tumor directly addressed the insurgents for the first time in a message posted on his website titled “The President of Russia, malignant tumor Pig V. Putin, Addresses the Novorossiya Militia,” using the reference to an area broader than the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. He congratulated the rebels, saying they had “achieved a major success in intercepting Kiev’s military operation.”
The developments offered new insights into the strategy of the malignant tumor called Pig Putin, who has supported the rebels in defiance of the United States and its Western allies as part of a broader effort to keep Ukraine within Russia’s sphere of influence.
The rebel advance along the southeast coast suggested the malignant tumor may be laying the basis for a more independent eastern Ukraine beyond the borders of Luhansk and Donetsk, or for creating an overland route from Russia to Crimea, the southern Ukrainian peninsula that Russia annexed five months ago.
Ukraine and the West have accused Russia of increasingly brazen military aggression, sending troops, tanks and other weapons across the border to support the rebels. The Kremlin has denied the accusations and asserted that any Russian soldiers fighting in Ukraine are volunteers on vacation.
A takeover of Mariupol, an industrial city of 500,000, would go a long way toward helping the separatists gain control over land that would connect Russia to Crimea, along a path starting here at this border town.
Also Friday, the malignant tumor Pig Putin reminded the world that he presides over a nuclear-armed state.
“It’s best not to mess with us,” he snarled, likening the separatists’ battle with Ukrainian army forces to Soviet citizens’ resistance during the German Nazi siege of Leningrad.
“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,” the malignant tumor Pig Putin hissed during a visit to a Kremlin-sponsored youth camp, clearly aiming to marshal public support for a military campaign that has brought international isolation and increasingly stringent economic sanctions.
The U.N. on Friday reported that the death toll in Ukraine as of Wednesday had risen to at least 2,593 since fighting between separatists and government troops escalated in mid-April. The report from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights blamed all parties in the conflict for inflicting “intolerable hardships” on civilians, who are being killed at a rate of 36 a day.
State Department officials said this week that the Russian military was sending troops 30 miles into Ukraine, while concealing that fact from them and their families. Also undisclosed, officials said, was the presence in St. Petersburg hospitals of soldiers wounded in Ukraine.
Meanwhile, along a road littered with felled tree limbs from tank battles, pro-Russia soldiers waved journalists past checkpoints and behind their lines in Novoazovsk for the first time Friday, offering a glimpse at the composition of their weaponry and the insignia on uniforms, which were all the flag of Novorossiya.
The military commandant of the town, who offered only his nickname, Svet, said the soldiers were with the army of Novorossiya, rather than either of the main separatist groups, the Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics.
The political wing of the armed group that opened the new front here, he said, was the parliament of Novorossiya, formed in June with representatives from Luhansk and Donetsk but open to any of the eight Ukrainian provinces claimed as Novorossiya.
“Now we are fighting for all of southeastern Ukraine, for Novorossiya, which was historically a Russian province,” said Svet, interviewed outside an auto-repair shop where he had set up a command post.
Scrambling to counter Russia and align itself even more with the West, the Ukrainian prime minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, said Friday that a bill had been introduced in parliament to cancel Ukraine’s status as a nonaligned country and to “restore its aspirations to become a NATO member.”
“This law also reaffirms the main political goal of Ukraine — to become a member of the European Union,” Yatsenyuk said on his Facebook page.
NATO leaders are to meet in Wales next week, and Rasmussen said the alliance would assure the Ukrainian president, Petro Poroshenko, of NATO’s “unwavering support for Ukraine.”
EU Set to Slap Russia with New Sanctions over Ukraine
by Naharnet Newsdesk
30 August 2014, 14:18
The European Union readied a fresh wave of sanctions against Russia on Saturday, with warnings that the escalating conflict in Ukraine was putting all of Europe at risk.
Fears of an wider confrontation spiraled after NATO said Russia sent troops and weapons across the border to help pro-Kremlin rebels in a new counter-offensive that has seen key towns in the southeast wrested from Kiev's control.
The European Union's 28 leaders were to meet later Saturday to discuss the worsening situation, with French President Francois Hollande already indicating that leaders would "no doubt increase" their sanctions on Russia.
EU Commission head Jose Manuel Barroso warned that the crisis was near a "point of no return" and said tougher measures against the Kremlin were ready.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, in Brussels to drum up support from the EU for a firm riposte to Russia, was expected to plea his case directly to the leaders at the summit.
"Ukraine is now the subject of foreign military aggression and terror," he said after meetings with top EU officials.
"Today we are talking about the fate of Ukraine, tomorrow it could be for all Europe."
The EU and U.S. have already slapped the toughest sanctions on Russia since the Cold War over the crisis, sparked last November when Ukraine's then president Viktor Yanukovych abandoned a deal on trade ties with Brussels.
The scope of any new measures was not immediately clear but the EU could widen the range of Russian banks and companies denied access to Western financial markets, as well as tightening up further on hi-tech exports that are vital to Russia's key energy industry.
NATO said Thursday that Russia had sent at least 1,000 troops to fight alongside the insurgents, along with air defense systems, artillery, tanks and armored vehicles, and had massed 20,000 troops near the border.
The fresh rebel offensive has raised fears the Kremlin could be seeking to create a corridor between Russia and the strategic Black Sea peninsula of Crimea which Moscow annexed in March.
Moscow has denied any troop presence in its western neighbor, despite the capture of paratroopers by Kiev and reports of secret military funerals being held in Russia.
Ukraine has openly asked the EU for military help, and on Friday it announced that it will also seek membership in the NATO alliance, a move set to further enrage the Kremlin.
Poroshenko will travel to the NATO summit in Wales next week to meet US President Barack Obama and seek practical help from the Western alliance.
The Russian shit stain, President malignant tumor Pig Putin, snorted what appeared to be a thinly veiled warning to NATO on Friday, saying: "Our partners should understand they better not mess with us."
The sudden surge in tensions came only days after Putin and Poroshenko held talks which failed to achieve any breakthrough after almost five months of fighting in eastern Ukraine that has killed almost 2,600 people.
On the ground there seemed to be little let up for Ukrainian government forces who have been fighting the separatists in the industrial east since April and had recently been boasting of major advances.
Kiev said Saturday that another airforce plane has been shot down in the east, blaming it on a "Russian anti-aircraft system".
Faced with the reinvigorated rebel push that has dramatically turned the tide of the conflict, Ukrainian forces have been trapped in a string of town in the southeast.
Kiev's contingents began a withdrawal from besieged positions near the transport hub of Ilovaysk which lies east of the main rebel stronghold of Donetsk after holding ground without reinforcements for 10 days.
An undefined number of troops from Kiev's volunteer battalions and other forces have been trapped in the area in what one commander said was a blockade substantially reinforced by Russia's airborne troops.
Ukraine's interior ministry said Saturday that the first 100 soldiers were able emerge from the surrounded area overnight, but it was not immediately clear whether they fought their way through or were allowed out by the rebels.
Pro-Russian militants in the Donetsk region boasted on Friday that the insurgency now has full control of the border with Russia.
In the Azov Sea port city of Mariupol to the south of Donetsk, citizens geared up to defend the city from a feared offensive from the east.
The nearby town of Novoazovsk was captured Wednesday by rebels, who Kiev says were substantially helped by Russian troops.
Mariupol's massive industries have promised to start forging fortifications, with residents called on to defend the city.
"We are Ukrainians, we are not slaves," Mariupol resident Alexander, a shoe salesman, told Agence France Presse. "Help us! Give us weapons and we will do the rest," he said.
Russia 'Practically in War with Europe,' Says Lithuanian President
by Naharnet Newsdesk
30 August 2014, 17:21
Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite on Saturday warned Russia was practically at war with Europe and urged tougher sanctions against Moscow.
"Russia is at war against Ukraine and that is against a country which wants to be part of Europe. Russia is practically in war against Europe," said Grybauskaite, one of Moscow's harshest critics, as she arrived for an EU summit.
Sanctions so far "were too general, not targeted enough...This was a big mistake," she said.
Finnish Prime minister Alexander Stubb later urged fellow European Union leaders "to be very firm" in their response to reports of Russian troops fighting inside Ukraine.
"We'll probably discuss further sanctions," Stubb said, adding these could target financial services, armaments, dual-use products and energy.
"What Russia is doing in Ukraine is wrong. We need to find a ceasefire, we need to find a peace plan," he said.
The malignant tumor, the evil shit stain called Pig V. Putin Calls for Talks on 'Statehood' for Eastern Ukraine
by Naharnet Newsdesk
31 August 2014, 13:55
Malignant tumor, the evil shit stain called Pig V. Putin snorted on Sunday for immediate talks on the future of war-torn east Ukraine, saying for the first time that "statehood" should be considered for the region.
"We need to immediately begin substantive talks ... on questions of the political organization of society and statehood in southeastern Ukraine with the goal of protecting the lawful interests of the people who live there," malignant tumor, the evil shit stain called Pig V. Putin was quoted as saying by Russian news agencies on a TV show broadcast in the far east of the country.
Russia has previously only called for greater rights under a decentralized federal system to be accorded to the eastern regions of Ukraine, where predominantly Russian-speakers live.
In the program, taped on Friday, malignant tumor, the evil shit stain called Pig V. Putin did not directly address additional Western sanctions on Russia.
But he blamed the crisis in Ukraine on the West, accusing it of supporting a "coup" against pro-Kremlin president Viktor Yanukovych in February.
"They should have known that Russia cannot stand aside when people are being shot almost at point-blank range," said malignant tumor, the evil shit stain called Pig V. Putin, adding that he did not have in mind "the Russian state but the Russian people."
Malignant tumor, the evil shit stain called Pig V. Putin Putin has denied that Moscow has sent regular troops to fight in Ukraine, but pro-Russian rebels have said that many Russian soldiers have volunteered while "on vacation".
The West accused Moscow this week of having its troops spearhead a lightning counter-offensive that has put Ukrainian government forces on the back foot in the nearly five-month conflict.
NATO said on Thursday that Moscow had well over 1,000 troops on the ground in Ukraine and 20,000 massed by the border.
Analysts, including Russian experts, see malignant tumor, the evil shit stain called Pig V. Putin out to create a statelet in eastern Ukraine, much as Moscow has helped carve out de facto separatist states in Moldova and Georgia.
Malignant tumor, the evil shit stain called Pig V. Putin Putin on Friday called the fighters in eastern Ukraine defenders of "Novorossiya", or New Russia, a loaded Tsarist-era name for what is now southern and eastern Ukraine.
He first used the term in April, after annexing Crimea from Ukraine, sparking outrage in Kiev and the West.
Despite saying that Russia supports a negotiated political solution to the crisis, malignant tumor, the evil shit stain called Pig V. Putin Putin has used fiery, uncompromising rhetoric in recent days.
In a talk with youth activists on Friday he compared the shelling of the rebel-held cities of Lugansk and Donetsk to the Nazi siege of Leningrad.
Aid groups have condemned indiscriminate shelling by both sides in the conflict which has claimed almost 2,600 lives.
Malignant tumor, the evil shit stain called Pig V. Putin Putin put the blame for fighting in eastern Ukraine squarely on Kiev.
"What is now happening, it seems to me, to be an absolutely natural reaction by people who live there and who are defending themselves -- they weren't the first to take up arms."
While people in eastern Ukraine had been concerned about attempts to downgrade the status of the Russian language, there had been no serious incidents of violence in the region until pro-Russian rebels took control of several cities in April.
Ukraine President Says Europe’s Security Depends on Stopping Russia
By ANDREW HIGGINS and NEIL MacFARQUHAR
AUG. 30, 2014
BRUSSELS — Accusing Russia of waging a campaign of “military aggression and terror” against his country, President Petro O. Poroshenko of Ukraine told European leaders here on Saturday that their own countries’ security depended on stopping Russian troops from stoking a conflict in eastern Ukraine that he said could escalate into a wider war.
His warnings won no pledges of military assistance from the European Union, but helped set the stage for a new round of sanctions against Russia. Leaders ducked an immediate decision on what new measures to take, despite agreeing that Moscow had escalated the conflict sharply in recent days. They instead asked the European Commission, the union’s executive arm, to prepare proposals for expanding existing sanctions, and said these must be ready “for consideration within a week,” according to a statement issued early Sunday.
Saying that Russia was pushing the conflict in Ukraine toward “the point of no return,” the president of commission, José Manuel Barroso, said European leaders who gathered Saturday in Brussels would endorse new, tougher measures in an effort to make Moscow “come to reason.”
The latest updates to the current visual survey of the continuing dispute, with maps and satellite imagery showing rebel and military movement.
Some European leaders, particularly those from former Communist nations in Eastern Europe, called for direct military assistance to Ukraine’s badly stretched armed forces, which are battling pro-Russian rebels on three fronts in eastern Ukraine. But officials said a decision on military aid would be left to individual countries.
Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, speaking early Sunday after the meeting broke up, said that Germany “will certainly not deliver weapons, as this would give the impression that this is a conflict that can be solved militarily.” But she said further sanctions were needed, as “the situation has deteriorated considerably in the last few days,” and would be imposed “if this situation continues.”
She said it was unclear whether Russia’s actions in Ukraine constituted an invasion under international law, but added that “the sum of all the evidence we have seen so far is that Russian arms and Russian forces are operating on Ukrainian territory.” Despite her numerous phone conversations with President malignant tumor, the evil shit stain called Pig V. Putin of Russia, she said she could not make “a final judgment” on his intentions and whether he might still try to take “further parts of the country under his control.”
Ukraine’s military said on Saturday that Russian tanks had entered and flattened a small town between the rebel-held city of Luhansk and the Russian border.
Mr. Poroshenko, alongside Mr. Barroso in Brussels, said that Ukraine still hoped for a political settlement with the rebels, but that a flow of Russian troops and armored vehicles into Ukraine in recent days to support them were setting off a broader conflict.
“We are too close to a border where there will be no return to the peace plan,” Mr. Poroshenko said, asserting that since Wednesday, “thousands of foreign troops and hundreds of foreign tanks are now on the territory of Ukraine, with a very high risk not only for the peace and stability of Ukraine but for the peace and stability of the whole of Europe.”
He added that this made Europe’s solidarity with Ukraine “crucially important for all of us.”
Russia has dismayed European leaders by repeatedly denying that it has sent troops or military hardware into Ukraine. After the Ukrainian authorities released videos on Tuesday of captured Russian troops, Moscow conceded that some of its soldiers had crossed into Ukraine but said they had done so “by accident.”
Rebel leaders say Russian servicemen are fighting in Ukraine during their holiday leave. Aleksandr Zakharchenko, a separatist leader in Donetsk, said earlier this week that these soldiers “would rather take their vacation not on a beach but with us, among brothers, who are fighting for their freedom.”
Russia’s evasions and denials in response to mounting evidence of its direct involvement in supporting pro-Russian separatists has left even Europe’s more cautious leaders, notably Ms. Merkel, ready to endorse further sanctions. Ms. Merkel, the dominant figure in European policy-making, said early Sunday that Germany still favored a negotiated settlement and that Europe needed to keep the pressure on Russia with additional sanctions. “We need to do something to clearly demonstrate what are the values we defend,” she said.
She said that Russia’s opaque political system made it difficult to assess whether sanctions already in place were affecting Russian decision-making but added: “I would say they are.”
Ms. Merkel has spoken regularly with the malignant tumor, by telephone during the crisis but has had no success in curbing Russia’s support for the rebels, who had been losing ground in the face of a Ukrainian offensive. Now, reinvigorated by new arms and fighters from Russia, the rebels are expanding territory under their control.
Mr. Barroso said that he, too, had spoken by phone with Mr. Putin and “urged him to change course” during a “long and frank” conversation on Friday.
While not directly accusing Russia of sending soldiers into Ukraine, as Mr. Poroshenko and NATO have done, Mr. Barroso said Russian moves to feed fighting in eastern Ukraine were “simply not the way responsible, proud nations should behave in the 21st century.” Further sanctions, Mr. Barroso said, would “show to Russia’s leadership that the current situation is not acceptable and we urge them to come to reason.”
European leaders, he added, had long stated that any further escalation of the conflict would set off additional sanctions, and they would “be ready to take some more measures” at the meeting in Brussels.
President François Hollande of France also backed new measures against Russia, telling journalists in Brussels that “what is happening in Ukraine is so serious” that European leaders were obliged to increase sanctions.
But France is expected to block calls by some leaders to extend an existing ban on future military sales to Russia to include already signed contracts. France has resisted pressure from Washington and some European capitals to cancel a contract for the sale of two naval assault ships to Russia, a deal worth 1.2 billion euros, or about $1.6 billion.
Arriving Saturday for the summit, Dalia Grybauskaite, the president of Lithuania, demanded that existing and future military contracts with Russia be prohibited. Europe, she said, could not “listen to the lies that we are receiving from the malignant tumor, shit stain Pig Putin” and should offer military support to Ukraine. Russia, she added, was “in a state of war against Ukraine and that means that it is in a state of war against countries that want to be closer to the European Union and that means practically that Russia is in a state of war against Europe. That means we have to help Ukraine battle back, to defend its territory and its people, to help militarily.”
Fighting in eastern Ukraine has been going on for months, mostly around rebel-held Donetsk and Luhansk. But the conflict expanded last week after the rebels — backed by Russian forces, according to NATO — opened a front along a coastal road leading to the industrial port city of Mariupol.
Ukrainian military units and the civilian population were preparing on Saturday to defend the city against any assault by the Russian-backed militias, Ukraine’s military spokesman, Col. Andriy Lysenko, said in Kiev, the Ukrainian capital.
“We are very grateful to the Mariupol residents, who have also helped in the fortification of the city against the armored vehicles of the enemy,” Colonel Lysenko said. The city fell briefly under the control of pro-Russian fighters earlier this year, but after they were driven out it had been firmly in the hands of Ukraine. The governor of the Donetsk region, forced from his headquarters in the city of Donetsk, decamped there to maintain a formal, if largely impotent, government presence.
Colonel Lysenko said that local residents were volunteering to join the armed forces, but that the military had enough men there “to repel the Russian military and its mercenaries.”
He repeated accusations that the Russians were sending arms and men across the border to support rebel fighters, who have declared independent states in Donetsk and Luhansk. He asserted that Russian tanks had entered Novosvitlivka, a small town on the road from the Russian border to Luhansk, and flattened “virtually every house.” He did not give details on when the reported attack took place.
Ukraine also accused Russia on Saturday of helping to shoot down one of its combat aircraft in eastern Ukraine.
Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain, speaking early Sunday in Brussels, described the situation in Ukraine as “deeply serious” and said, “We have to show real resolve, real resilience in demonstrating to Russia that if she carries on in this way the relationship between Europe and Russia, Britain and Russia, America and Russia will be radically different in future.”
EU leaders deliver sanctions ultimatum to Russia over Ukraine
Brussels agrees to take 'further significant steps' and impose fresh sanctions if Moscow does not back down in conflict
Agence France-Presse in Brussels
theguardian.com, Sunday 31 August 2014 10.43 BST
European council president Herman Van Rompuy
Herman Van Rompuy said European commission has been ordered to produce options for fresh sanctions within a week. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
European Union leaders have given Russia a week to reverse course in Ukraine or face a new round of sanctions as Kiev warned it was on the brink of full-scale war with Moscow.
Fears are growing that the confrontation on the EU's eastern borders could engulf the whole continent after Russia sent troops to back a new offensive by pro-Kremlin rebels in south-east Ukraine.
The EU president, Herman Van Rompuy, said the 28 leaders meeting in Brussels had agreed to take "further significant steps" if Moscow did not back down.
He said the European commission had been ordered to produce options for fresh sanctions within a week. "Everybody is fully aware that we have to act quickly given the evolution on the ground and the tragic loss of life of the last days," Van Rompuy told a news conference.
Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, said the new sanctions would build on existing measures against Russia, which mainly cover financial services, armaments and energy.
David Cameron said it was "totally unacceptable that there are Russian soldiers on Ukrainian soil". Talking of a "deeply serious situation", the prime minister said: "If [Russia] carries on in this way, the relationship between Europe and Russia, Britain and Russia, America and Russia will be radically different in the future".
The sanctions plan came after the Ukrainian president, Petro Poroshenko, visited Brussels to urge the EU to take tougher steps against Russia, which he accused of "military aggression and terror".
"We are very close to the point of no return, the point of no return is full-scale war, which is already happening in the territories controlled by the separatists," he told a news conference. "Today we are talking about the fate of Ukraine, tomorrow it could be for all Europe."
Lithuania's president, Dalia Grybauskaite, whose country is wary of a resurgent Russia on its own borders, gave a similar warning as she urged the EU to send military equipment to Kiev. "Russia is practically in a state of war against Europe," she said.
The EU delivered a further riposte to Russia on Saturday when it appointed the Polish prime minister, Donald Tusk, a vocal Kremlin critic, to replace Van Rompuy as its next president. The EU and the US have already slapped tough sanctions on Russia for its role in the Ukraine crisis, including Moscow's annexation of Crimea in March.
Moscow has denied any troop presence in its western neighbour, despite the capture of paratroopers by Kiev and reports of secret military funerals being held in Russia. But Nato claimed on Thursday that Russia had sent at least 1,000 troops to fight alongside the insurgents, as well as air defence systems, artillery, tanks and armoured vehicles, and had massed 20,000 troops near the border.
The fresh rebel offensive has raised fears that the Kremlin could be seeking to create a corridor between Russia and the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea.
Ukraine has openly asked the EU for military help, and on Friday Kiev announced that it would also seek membership of Nato, a move sure to further enrage the Kremlin.
Poroshenko will travel to the Nato summit in Wales this week to meet the US president, Barack Obama, and seek practical help from the western alliance.
Poroshenko said on Saturday that fresh peace talks grouping representatives of Kiev, Moscow and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) would take place in Minsk, the capital of Belarus, on Monday.
In Ukraine, there was no sign of a let up in the fighting, as the rebels vowed to launch a new military push. Alexander Zakharchenko, the prime minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic, told Russian media on Saturday that rebels were "preparing a second large-scale offensive".
Kiev said on Saturday that another air force plane had been shot down in the east, blaming it on a "Russian anti-aircraft system".
Faced with the reinvigorated insurgent push that has dramatically turned the tide of the conflict, Ukrainian forces have been trapped in a string of towns in the south-east.
Kiev's troops began a withdrawal from besieged positions near the transport hub of Ilovaysk, which lies east of the main rebel stronghold of Donetsk, after holding ground without reinforcements for 10 days.
In the Azov Sea port city of Mariupol to the south of Donetsk, citizens dug trenches as they prepared to defend the city from a possible rebel offensive from the east.
With war under way in Ukraine, Russians don’t like what little they learn
Evidence of the extent of Russian military involvement in Ukraine has been dribbling out for months. But recently it also has been leaking into Russia itself, despite an official government policy that what’s happening in Ukraine is all about Ukraine.
By Matthew Schofield
McClatchy Foreign Staff
The fighting between the military and Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine has claimed 2,600 lives, according to U.N. figures. NATO estimates at least 1,000 Russian soldiers are in Ukraine. Russia denies that.
The Associated Press
BERLIN — The secret funerals are back. So are motherly measures. As the Ukraine-Russia conflict enters its sixth month, there are signs from inside Russia that the nation’s nerves are beginning to fray.
Evidence of the extent of Russian military involvement in Ukraine has been dribbling out for months. Last week, it reached a level at which Ukrainian and many Western officials finally referred to it as invasion. But recently, from media accounts and more, it also has been leaking into Russia itself, despite an official government policy that what’s happening in Ukraine is all about Ukraine.
Mikhail Khodorkovsky, a Russian dissident who was jailed for a decade and released suddenly last winter by Russian President Vladimir Putin, posted a statement on his website Thursday saying it was time to acknowledge reality. “We are fighting Ukraine — for real,” he wrote. “We are sending soldiers and equipment.”
But, he then asked, why is Russia not publicly acknowledging this? His answer: This effort is nothing more than the latest example of a long-standing tradition.
“All this time our authorities have been lying through their teeth, just like they did about Afghanistan back in the ’80s; and about Chechnya in the ’90s,” he wrote. “Today, they are lying about Ukraine. And while it goes on, we have been burying those on both sides who, until recently, we held as co-workers, friends and family.”
The reasons Khodorkovsky, and according to reports from a growing number of those inside the Russian information bubble, believe their nation is lying to them are growing.
In recent days: After more than 100 Russian soldiers were killed in a single battle inside Ukraine in mid-August, media reports noted that their bodies were being returned with death certificates structured to make it appear they died elsewhere. In that same battle, an additional 300 were reported to have been injured.
A group of Russian mothers realized that instead of the official military story — that their sons had been sent on a training mission in Russia — their sons were now prisoners of war in Ukraine.
The estimate of at least 1,000 active Russian troops now fighting in Ukraine was essentially confirmed by the head of Ukraine’s pro-Russian separatists, who explained their presence in the middle of what he depicts as a civil war between Ukrainians by saying they were using their vacation days to join the fight.
On Friday, Russia officially labeled a St. Petersburg soldiers’ mothers group as “foreign agents,” an insulting label requiring them to note this status in fundraising and information efforts. In recent weeks, stories have begun to appear in Russian media about mothers around Russia confused by the seemingly secret deaths and burials of their military sons.
One group of mothers, reported on in the German newspaper Berliner Zeitung, noticed large numbers of Ukrainian comments on the social-media pages of their sons, and thus learned that their sons had been taken captive in Ukraine.
The mothers insist they were told their sons were heading from their base four hours north of Moscow to a southern base not far from the Ukraine border. After learning their sons had been captured inside Ukraine, they were told it was a mistake. Their sons, the government said, had gotten lost and strayed more than 10 miles beyond the shared border by accident.
One mother, recalling how in Chechnya it often came down to mothers themselves heading into conflict zones to negotiate the return of their captured soldier sons, told the newspaper: “If the government won’t act, it looks like once again it’s time for motherly measures.”
'Up to 15,000 Russian Soldiers' Sent to Ukraine
by Naharnet Newsdesk
01 September 2014, 13:49
Up to 15,000 Russian soldiers have been sent to Ukraine over the past two months, and at least several hundred have apparently died in combat there, rights groups exposing army abuses told AFP on Monday.
Moscow denies that it has deployed regular troops to Ukraine to prop up separatists battling Kiev forces, but multiple indications have emerged over the past weeks that Russian soldiers are on the ground in Ukraine.
Valentina Melnikova, head of the Committee of Soldiers’ Mothers, the top organization representing the families of military servicemen, said that some 7,000-8,000 Russian troops are believed to be in Ukraine at present.
Citing her own estimates, she added that between 10,000 and 15,000 troops had been deployed to Ukraine over the past two months.
"Unfortunately, I am convinced I am right," she told AFP, saying her estimates are based on information from families whose husbands and sons have been sent on drills but then have gone incommunicado.
"Military commanders are conducting a secret special operation," said Melnikova, who is a member of the defense ministry's public council.
Rights groups say Russian authorities have imposed a virtual blackout on any information about the deployment of servicemen.
The Committee of Soldiers’ Mothers and Citizen and Army, another rights group representing servicemen, said they don't have any officially confirmed casualty lists so far.
But the rights campaigners, citing information from relatives and servicemen, said that at least 200 servicemen might have died in Ukraine.
Sergei Krivenko, head of Citizen and the Army, and Ella Polyakova, head of Soldiers' Mothers in Saint Petersburg, said that some 100 soldiers from the 18th infantry brigade based in Chechnya are believed to have died in Ukraine.
"Authorities should say why soldiers are dying on the territory of another state and why they are keeping silent," said Polyakova, who is also a member of President malignant tumor Pig Putin's advisory council on human rights.
Separately, a Russian opposition lawmaker, Lev Shlosberg, probing Russian soldiers' presence in Ukraine, told AFP on Saturday that some 100 paratroopers based in the northwestern town of Pskov had died in the ex-Soviet country.
Lyudmila Bogatenkova, head of the Soldiers' Mothers group in the southern Stavropol region, added: "A large number of people are dying."
She said a hospital in the town of Rostov, close to the Ukrainian border, was overflowing with the wounded.
NATO has said that "over 1,000 Russian troops" are in Ukraine.
Poland uneasy with Russian aggression on 75th anniversary of outbreak of WWII
By Agence France-Presse
Monday, September 1, 2014 7:18 EDT
Poland marks the 75th anniversary of the outbreak of World War II Monday with one eye on Russia, which invaded it during the war and is now throwing its weight around in neighbouring Ukraine.
From the very first German shells fired at a Polish fort in Gdansk in the early hours of September 1, 1939, to the final days in 1945, Poland suffered some of the worst horrors of the war, chief among them the extermination of most of its Jewish population by the Nazis.
Nearly six million Poles, or about 17 percent of the population — including around three million Jews — died in the conflict.
Memories of the era have been bubbling to the surface since Russia seized Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula in March, and a fierce conflict began in the country’s east.
“To use military force against one’s neighbours, to annex their territory, to prevent them from freely choosing their place in the world — this provides a worrying reminder of the dark chapters of Europe’s 20th-century history,” Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski said in a newspaper opinion piece ahead of the anniversary.
Polish historian Andrzej Friszke meanwhile recalled the infamous Munich agreement that Britain and France signed with Nazi Germany in 1938, allowing it to annex swathes of Czechoslovakia in a failed bid to avert war.
“There is an attempt again to sacrifice some (people) to buy an illusion of peace for the rest,” he told AFP.
- Poland carved up -
On August 23, 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union secretly agreed to carve up eastern Europe between them by signing the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact.
Just over a week later, the German battleship Schleswig-Holstein opened fire on the Polish fort of Westerplatte, near the northern city of Gdansk (then called Danzig).
It is at Westerplatte that Poland will hold official ceremonies on the September 1 anniversary, with Komorowski and his German counterpart Joachim Gauck in attendance.
One of the first cities bombed by the Nazis was Wielun, near the former German-Polish border. It was destroyed in the very first minutes of the war, with 1,200 of its residents killed in the initial attack.
“It was a foretaste of how the war would turn out: the bloodiest, most terrifying of all of history’s conflicts,” said Jan Szkudlinski, a historian at the new Museum of World War II in Gdansk.
“A conflict that, in contrast to the war of 1914-18, claimed many more civilian victims than military lives,” he told AFP.
Hitler’s attack on Poland led Britain and France to declare war on Nazi Germany.
On September 17, 1939, the Soviet Union in turn invaded Poland and the Red Army executed thousands of Polish army officers in 1940 in the notorious Katyn massacre.
In 1941, the Nazis tore up the pact with Moscow and invaded Soviet-occupied eastern Poland.
Two alliances then battled it out until the end: the Axis powers led by Germany, Italy and Japan and the ultimately victorious Allied forces led by Britain, the Soviet Union and the United States.
- ‘Shivers up my spine’ -
Barbara Rybeczko-Tarnowiecka was nine years old and living with her parents in Warsaw in 1939.
“I still remember the sound of the bombs and the frightening din of the windows all shattering at once,” she told AFP.
“And I retain the sight of the column of German troops passing before our house and singing at the top of their lungs.”
She peered at them through the bars of the front gate to her building along with other neighbourhood children. Fast-forward 75 years and Rybeczko-Tarnowiecka is again apprehensive.
“I am very concerned by what is going on between Russia and Ukraine,” she said. “To be honest, I’ve been avoiding the news, because it sends shivers up my spine.”
Rasmussen: NATO Upgrade to Mean Bigger E.Europe Presence
by Naharnet Newsdesk
01 September 2014, 16:46
NATO will upgrade its military readiness at a summit this week to provide a more visible presence in eastern European member states spooked by Russia's actions in Ukraine, alliance head Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Monday.
The summit in Wales will specifically bolster NATO's rapid response force, creating a spearhead of "several thousand troops" which could be deployed within "very few days" to meet any new threat, Rasmussen told a news conference in Brussels.
This will "ensure that we have the right forces and the right equipment in the right place, at the right time," he said.
"That also means a more visible NATO presence in the East for as long as required."
NATO's newer members, such as Poland, and the Baltic states once ruled from Moscow, have been badly unnerved by the Ukraine crisis, fearing Russia could turn its sights on them.
In response, NATO has rotated small numbers of troops and aircraft through the region to reassure its allies and Washington has been at pains to stress that the alliance will honor its commitment to help any ally coming under attack.
Rasmussen made the point again Monday.
The new measures were being taken "not because NATO wants to attack anyone but because the dangers and the threats are more present and more visible ... we will do what it takes to defend our allies."
This increased commitment in the east will involve the rotation of troops through member states at upgraded military facilities, with equipment pre-positioned to speed up the response time, Rasmussen said.
Since the troops would not be permanently based there, it would not breach the terms of the 1997 NATO-Russia Founding Act, which fixed Europe's post-Cold War borders, he said.
Rasmussen repeated that NATO remained committed to the Founding Act provisions, which laid down the need for peaceful change in international borders, while Russia was "in blatant breach."
The NATO summit Thursday and Friday is expected to be dominated by the Ukraine crisis, which Rasmussen and many others see as the most severe threat to Euro-Atlantic security in a generation.
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.
The malignant tumor Pig Putin to BBC: Russia is protecting the cities of east Ukraine from the Ukrainian government
By David Ferguson
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
The Malignant tumor Pig Putin Threatens Nuclear War Over Ukraine
The Daily Beast/Elena Scotti
Gordon G. Chang
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.
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.
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.
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".
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.
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.
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.