Eastern Europe/Ukraine

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pankajs
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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby pankajs » 23 Apr 2014 22:39

U.S. behind Kiev crackdown: Russia

http://www.thehindu.com/news/internatio ... 940942.ece
Mr. Lavrov said it was “quite telling” that Kiev had launched its “criminal” operation “immediately after” CIA Director John Brennan visited Ukraine earlier this month and then re-launched it again hours after U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden left Kiev on Tuesday.

“There is no reason not to believe that the Americans are running the show,” Mr. Lavrov told the Russia Today TV channel on Wednesday. He warned Washington and Kiev that Moscow would be forced to respond militarily if its “legitimate interests” are attacked. “If our interests, our legitimate interests, the interests of Russians are attacked directly, like they were attacked in South Ossetia, for example, I do not see any other way but to respond in accordance with international law,” Mr. Lavrov stated.

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby TSJones » 23 Apr 2014 23:44

You can tell if we are running the show by the color of our balaclavas. We wear the ones with red, white and blue. :roll:

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby Samudragupta » 23 Apr 2014 23:49

Russians are drawn into a trap in East Ukraine....Its slowly reaching a point of no return for the Rus...

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby Virupaksha » 24 Apr 2014 01:11

TSJones wrote:You can tell if we are running the show by the color of our balaclavas. We wear the ones with red, white and blue. :roll:

yes sir, wasnt that exact same one worn by blackwater guys as well?

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby Virupaksha » 24 Apr 2014 01:18

Samudragupta wrote:Russians are drawn into a trap in East Ukraine....Its slowly reaching a point of no return for the Rus...

There is a reason why russia cleaved off crimea before that. They did not want it to be effected by this west sponsored coming civil war.

They expected the west to create a civil war in Ukraine. Both the west and russia knew the ethnic and ideological differences which divide east and west ukraine. The west would have gamed it when they sponsored the extreme neo-nazi puppet clique which is overwhelmingly western to occupy kiev. They expected the eastern ukranians to revolt against this coup and thought Sevastopol which was signed until 2042 to be brought into game. The russians cut that option off.

Unfortunately for the common Ukranians, the logical conclusion of this neo-nazi violent coup is a civil war and the west will fight the eastern ukranians to the last western ukranian.

They expect russia to be tied up in this civil war so that it takes the eye out of Syria. They are burning the borders of russia and expect it to be tied up in fighting these fires. Remember the still simmering georgian conflict as well. Caroe's theories are being are being brought to fruitition.

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby Philip » 24 Apr 2014 03:30

There are several asymmetrical moves that Putin can make apart from direct involvement of Russian forces.Look at the just announced rapprochement between Hamas and Fatah.Bibi has said that either the Palestinians can have peace with Hamas or peace with Israel but not both.But like it or not,Hamas has massive support amongst the Pal. People. Putin can stir the Middle East pot very easily.He has already planted the flag of Russian interests in Syria,which has KO'd for the moment the combined forces of the West and oily ME monarchies.
For starters,he can up the ante by providing Syria and Iran with S-300/400s,apart from other advanced weaponry,supported by Russian "advisers/technicians",as was done in Egypt before the Yom Kippur War which took a huge toll of Israeli aircraft. Iran could also be supplied with Yakhonts as we will be very careful of agreeing to supply it with BMos. Russia just sent in two bombers off the coast of Scotland to test the UK's defences,which sent up two Tornados to investigate.

In the Ukraine,he has calculated that the gains in expanding Russia's territory and control over the buffer zones between Russia and Western Europe,the former east European nations,far outweigh any punitive sanctions that the West might impose.Remember how much a far less powerful India shrugged of US led sanctions after P-2 ,where the antics of that "Half-Bright" sec. of State at the time,resembled more a bovine creature suffering from mad-cow disease ,than that of a seasoned diplomat! Putin can also react by shutting off,or slowing down supplies of Russian oil and gas to Europe,and withdrawing Russian financial investments in Londonistan,which will see a mini-collapse of the British economy and no more champagne and caviar soirees paid for with Russian "donations" for Camoron's Tories! In fact,Russians in the UK have already been advised to park their investments elsewhere before the sh*t hits the fan.

The blunt warnings from the Russians should be taken very seriously by the West,as its track record in recent times,the Crimea coup,shows that Putin and Russia play very hard ball.A further loss of Ukranian territory and the collapse of the Kiev maidan marionettes,will stir similar thoughts and actions from other border states which drifted apart from the USSR and which may drift back again! It is amazing however to see how emergency "blood tansfusions" from the US in the form of its CIA chief (resulting in the Slavyansk farce) and now Veep,Joe Biden,"bidin' his time" in Kiev,are needed to prop up the collapsing Kiev chicken coop!

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/a ... -exercises
Russia warns it will respond if interests attacked in Ukraine
Russia accuses Ukraine and US of distorting deal in Geneva to defuse crisis as Moscow announces military exercises

Joe Biden (left) and the Ukrainian prime minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, at a joint news conference in Kiev. Photograph: UPI /Landov/Barcroft Media

Russia issued a blunt warning on Wednesday that it would respond if its interests were attacked in Ukraine, as pro-Kremlin rebels in the east of the country braced for a new military offensive by Kiev.

The threat by the Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, in which he recalled the 2008 war with Georgia over breakaway South Ossetia, came as Russia accused Kiev and the US of distorting an agreement reached in Geneva last week to defuse the crisis and of ignoring what it said were provocative actions by Ukrainian nationalists.

Lavrov used an interview with the Russian state-controlled broadcaster RT to accuse the US of "running the show" in Ukraine, claiming that it was "quite telling" that Kiev had announced a new offensive in the east of the country after US Vice-President Joe Biden had visited.

"If we are attacked, we would certainly respond," Lavrov told RT.

"If our interests, our legitimate interests, the interests of Russians have been attacked directly, like they were in South Ossetia for example, I do not see any other way but to respond in accordance with international law."

The Russian foreign ministry said in a statement that it believed the west was serious about seeking peace in Ukraine but "the facts speak of the opposite".

Moscow also announced a seven-day naval exercise in the Caspian Sea and began military exercises in its Rostov region, bordering Ukraine. The US on Tuesday announced military exercises in Poland.

The crisis deepened on Tuesday after Biden's departure from Kiev following a two-day visit. In a late-night phone call, the US secretary of state, John Kerry, told Lavrov, of his "deep concern over the lack of positive Russian steps to de-escalate" the crisis in eastern Ukraine, a state department official said.

The Kiev government and its western supporters accuse Moscow of using covert agents to foment unrest in eastern Ukraine. Moscow denies that, and says people in the east rose up spontaneously against a government in Kiev which, it says, is illegitimate and aligned with far-right nationalists.

Russia says Kiev's new leaders – whom it regards as illegitimate – are to blame for the collapse of the peace accord brokered in Geneva.
Moscow maintains the accord was ruptured by ultranationalists who killed rebels in an attack on Sunday near the eastern town of Slavyansk.

The leader of the ultranationalists blamed by rebels for that attack, Dmitry Yarosh of the Right Sector militia, said on Wednesday he would suspend his presidential campaign to create an 800-man "Donbass battalion" to assist government forces to take back eastern Ukraine.

"Bandera's army has finally crossed the Dnieper River," Yarosh said at a press conference in the eastern city of Dnepropetrovsk, referring to the 20th-century nationalist leader Stepan Bandera, who is despised by many in the east as a Nazi collaborator.

Donbass, the historic coal-mining region centered on Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, "faces the same fate as Crimea," he said, blaming Russian agents for the government building takeovers. Right Sector "will be a stabilising factor," he said.

Lavrov cited Sunday's shootout in Slavyansk as evidence that Kiev was not fulfilling the conditions of the Geneva agreement to disarm militia forces in Ukraine. Yarosh called this version of events "Kremlin propaganda."

Ukraine relaunched military operations against pro-Kremlin separatists late on Tuesday.

Ukraine's acting president, Oleksandr Turchynov, said he was ordering the military to restart operations after the discovery of two "brutally tortured" bodies in Slavyansk.

One of them, he said, was that of a recently kidnapped local councillor from a nearby town who belonged to his party.

The US defence department at the same time announced it was sending 600 troops to neighbouring Poland and to Baltic countries for "exercises".

Russia's defence ministry announced on Wednesday that the navy had launched snap military exercises involving its fleet in the Caspian Sea.

The drill will last seven days and involve around 10 naval vessels and 400 crew. The Caspian Sea is bordered by Iran, Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan – a region that is crisscrossed by oil and natural gas pipelines.

The latest moves underscored the severity of the crisis that has brought east-west relations to their most perilous point since the end of the cold war.

In a further slide back towards violence, which many fear could tip into civil war, a Ukrainian reconnaissance plane was hit by gunfire while flying above Slavyansk.

The Antonov An-30 propellor-driven plane received several bullet impacts, but safely made an emergency landing and none of its crew members was hurt, said the defence ministry in Kiev.


Latest news:
http://rt.com/news/154212-lavrov-russia ... nd-itself/
Lavrov: Kiev issued 'criminal order' allowing use of weapons against civilians
The coup-appointed Kiev government’s order to use force against Ukrainian citizens is “criminal,” the Russian Foreign Minister told RT. He also denied claims that there is Russian military presence on Ukrainian territory.

In an interview with RT’s Sophie Shevardnadze, Sergey Lavrov called acting Ukrainian President Alexander Turchinov’s order to reinitiate an anti-terror operation in East Ukraine, a criminal act.

Read the full transcript

Referencing the four-sided talks between the EU, the US, Russia and Ukraine that took place in Geneva on April 17, Lavrov accused Kiev’s coup-appointed government of going back on its pledge to put a stop to all violence.

“In Geneva we agreed there must be an end of all violence. Next afternoon [interim Ukrainian President Aleksandr] Turchinov declared almost a state of emergency and ordered the army to shoot at the people.”

Turchinov announced the resumption of the anti-terrorist operation in eastern Ukraine on Tuesday. Moscow has decried the operation and urged the Ukrainian government to refrain from using force on civilians living in the region.

The Russian Foreign Minister said the buildup of troops on the border with Ukraine was within the bounds of international law and denied the presence of Russian troops in East Ukraine. Lavrov said the troops were participating in routine military drills, something that has been verified by international inspectors.

Describing a worst case scenario in the Ukrainian crisis, Lavrov said Russia would be forced to respond if it were attacked.

“If we are attacked, we would certainly respond. If our interests, our legitimate interests, the interests of Russians have been attacked directly, like they were in South Ossetia for example, I do not see any other way but to respond in accordance with international law,” he said.

“Russian citizens being attacked is an attack against the Russian Federation,” he told RT.

Referencing Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk’s trip to the Vatican on Wednesday, Lavrov said the acting Prime Minister would do better to visit the South of Ukraine and actually meet with the anti-Maidan protesters.

The foreign minister also spoke about American involvement in the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, accusing Washington of trying to manipulate the situation.

“There is no reason not to believe that the Americans are running the show,” said Lavrov, referencing US Vice-President Joe Biden’s visit to Kiev and its coincidence with the renewed counter-terror operation on activists in eastern Ukraine.

“It’s quite telling they chose the moment of the Vice President of the US’ visit to announce the resumption of this operation because the launching of this operation happened immediately after [head of the CIA] John Brennan’s visit to Kiev,” said Lavrov.

The situation in Ukraine is just another example of Washington trying to gain ground in the geopolitical fight, the minister said.

“Ukraine is just one manifestation of the American unwillingness to yield in the geopolitical fight. Americans are not ready to admit that they cannot run the show in each and every part of the globe from Washington alone,” said Lavrov, adding Washington’s “ready-made solutions” cannot remedy a crisis that it does not understand.

The Russian government does not recognize Kiev’s interim government, which took power on February 22 following weeks of deadly protests ending with the ouster of President Victor Yanukovich.

Philip
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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby Philip » 24 Apr 2014 07:03

Ha!Ha!Ha! How to lose $5B on an "also-ran".
Please Vikkie (Nuland),I promise on scout's honour that I will for ever be a one man nation and from my "flagpole,flag my fly"...Ooops!...."fly my flag" ,just like what's her name again?....oh yes,Ms. A.Roy,who wanted to be a citizen of some other planet of the universe and whom you in the west handsomely rewarded ,if you please,please,pretty please,hand over to me the small sum of only $500million-(and its a bargain price at that too,only for you!) and I forever will be a separate state flagging my own fly! I also promise not to invite that nasty Mr.Put-it-in to invade my personal territory and stoutly refuse to fly the Russian flag.So there! I also promise to rope in as many Indians whom I know to do the same thing for a suitable fee (with a little commission for me-good crony capitalist too!).The wise ruler of your donkey party in the White House will be delighted and probably support your candidature for president at the next hustings.This way,with so much moolah flowing into India,you will do enormous positive good for the country,dramatically reducing its national debt,which your cronies and MNCs have selfishly stolen from our coffers under the rule of your bum chum "Quisling Singh".

PS:With moi you get real quality,the real deal,not noxious gases from that cheapskate windbag Fartacus Kejriwal,whom the Ford Foundation bought for just 4 Cr.,another loser!

Churkin: US behind Ukraine crisis after investing $5bn in 'regime change'
Published time: April 22, 2014

The US is to blame for the events in Ukraine as it invested $5 billion in regime change in the country, taking a more radical stance that its EU allies, Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s envoy to the UN, said.

“It seems it was the Americans, who tried to push through the most radical scenario,” Churkin said in an interview with Rossiya 24 channel. “They didn’t want any sort of compromise between [ousted President Viktor] Yanukovich and the opposition. And, I think, they came to the conclusion that it was time to cash in those $5 billion and handle the matter towards abrupt regime change, which, eventually, happened.”

This explains why the US, but not the European Union, took center stage when the coup resulted in legal vacuum in Kiev, he added.

US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland told CNN on Monday that Washington has invested around $5 billion into supporting democracy in Ukraine since the fall of Soviet Union.

But Churkin has doubts about Nuland’s claims, saying that “any sane person would, at least, say that those investments didn’t pay off.”

“If those $5 billion were spent on support of democracy, but not overthrow of the existing government and regime change, then no democracy has triumphed there [in Ukraine],” he explained.
'Washington’s money, radical approach led to a completely unexpected result'

The Maidan standoff was “a head-on attack” by the US and its Western allies aimed at distancing Russia and Ukraine from each other, Russia’s envoy to the UN said.

However, it failed and “led to a completely unexpected result for them when Crimea was reunited with Russia,” he stressed.

“One has to be naïve to suggest that it all happened fast,” Churkin said of the deal on the de-escalation of the Ukraine crisis, which Kiev agreed with Russia, the US and EU on April 17.

But at the same time, he stressed that consultations between Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his American counterpart John Kerry “weren’t in vain” as the agreement “provided good basis for further growth.”

“Despite all their recurrent adventurism, they [the US] realize that peace is rather fragile and too many crises, too much unrest has been created in different parts of the world. I don’t think they’re interested in the emergence of a new serious crisis, with non-obvious consequences for them,” the envoy said.

Russia's Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin (AFP Photo / Don Emmert)

According to Churkin, one of those steps should be the confiscation of 3 million items of weapons, which are currently illegally held by the “radical nationalists” in Ukraine.

Kiev calls for the disarmament of federalization supporters in eastern Ukraine, but “how will the radicals [from Western Ukraine] lay down their arms as they are sometimes declared the National Guard and thus obtain official status?” he wondered.

The envoy has ruled out the possibility of a UN peacekeeping operation in Ukraine, calling it “unrealistic.”

“Ukraine is a very big country and from political point of view there’s no frontline there. And, thank God, it can’t be drawn,” he said.

The presence of observers from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) “is just enough to monitor what’s happening there,” Churkin stressed.

The envoy also said the EU has begun realizing there’s “a considerable danger” in the rise of far-right forces in Ukraine.


“It’s not a secret that Europe has radicals of its own. Giving such a boost to the nationalist radicalism in Europe… I think that serious politicians understand this,” he said.

But those concerns are only shared during personal contacts, but “nobody talks openly about it,” he added.

US Vice President Joe Biden (R) and Ukraine's acting Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk leave after a joint press conference in Kiev on April 22, 2014 (AFP Photo / Sergey Supinsky)

Ukraine has been in turmoil since democratically elected president Yanukovich was removed from power via a coup powered by far-right radicals.

The community is split into two parts as the majority of the Russian speaking population refuses to accept the new authority in Kiev.

In March, the Republic of Crimea held a referendum to part ways with Ukraine and re-join Russia, of which it was part prior to 1954.

The move inspired a push for independence in other regions of Ukraine, with activists seizing government buildings in Donetsk and other south-eastern regions.

Despite Kiev’s military operation against the protesters turning into a flop, the situation remains tense in Ukraine, with armed radicals arriving in the country’s east to cause provocations.

UlanBatori
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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby UlanBatori » 24 Apr 2014 07:29

You can tell if we are running the show by the color of our balaclavas. We wear the ones with red, white and blue.


Thanks! The small problem seems to be that the Right Sector is mostly seen in a posterior view, moving speedily away without their trousers on. So what is seen may have been red and blue and polka-dotted when new, but seem to be mostly brown in the images seen .. :(

Philip: Comrade Putin may be thanking Victoria Nuland soon for the $5B gift of American weapons and supplies. Wonder if they have given F-16s and Atlantiques and Apache helicopters and Sidewinder missiles like to the Pakis.

PrasadZ
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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby PrasadZ » 24 Apr 2014 08:29

Russia Is in No Economic Shape to Fight a War

One month ago, the Western discussion on possible sanctions against Russia focused on whether they could be effective. During the spring meeting of the International Monetary Fund in Washington April 12 to 13, the question was turned around: Do we really want to destroy Russia that fast?


To judge by growth forecasts, JP Morgan and Finnish BOFIT assess that sheer market volatility in March alone shaved off 2 percentage points from Russia's expected economic growth this year. In the first quarter, Russia's GDP contracted by half a percent. In March, the World Bank presented a "high-risk" scenario in which Russia's GDP would decline by 1.8 percent in 2014, capital flight may reach $133 billion, and investment may fall by one-tenth. At present, that looks like a low-risk scenario.

The IMF and the Washington-based Institute of International Finance have recently produced much more pessimistic scenarios, which have not been published as yet. Both consider stress scenarios with a decline of Russia's GDP this year of about 4 percent, capital outflows in $150 billion to $180 billion and sharply falling exchange rates. Similarly, former Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin predicts a capital outflow of $160 billion this year. GDP could fall more because the risks are many, and they are nearly all on the downside


Economic sanctions dont mean Iran wont fight - heck, it doesnt deter even North Korea. The escalation path however seems set

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby habal » 24 Apr 2014 09:14

they are going on and on about economic growth. Growth that happens in an economy mediated by US dollars will stop when the supply of dollars is restricted. In that respect Russia is a game-changer, it can divert the global dependence on dollars as reserve currency, because the main force backing dollars is the threat of war by US military, at the end of it all.

Putin sir predicted this war in 2012, when he asked his forces to be prepared for a world war. http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Europe/2 ... e-cold-war

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby vijaykarthik » 24 Apr 2014 10:29

@Philip:and I forever will be a separate state flagging my own fly! I also promise not to invite that nasty Mr.Put-it-in to invade my personal territory and stoutly refuse to fly the Russian flag


LOL. However, how can one flag his own fly? will that not be considered a false flag in that case? :wink:

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby vijaykarthik » 24 Apr 2014 10:44

A fictional letter to offer an explanation of whats happening

Warning!! TL;DR
Gennady,

Hello! It’s a long time since we’ve spoken. I still remember our adventures in New York with pleasure.

Of course, we’ve noticed the posts you’ve been making recently on RSB 117. Don’t worry, you aren’t in any trouble, these are all reasonable questions to ask. Have we really thought about the long-term economic consequences of our actions? Do we actually understand the likely effects in the markets, and the way they will affect our macroeconomic stability and growth prospects? Are we really willing to sacrifice all the benefits of a convertible ruble and access to world capital markets, just for Crimea, and part of the Ukraine, and perhaps some tiny, insignificant pieces of Estonia or Moldova?

The questions are reasonable ones, but that doesn’t actually mean that we would prefer that you continue to ask them in public in such an acute and penetrating way, simply because we’d prefer that not many people deduce their correct answers at this point. So Higher has authorized me to share with you some of the actual logic of our overall strategic thinking. Of course, we must ask that you exercise the utmost in discretion, as usual. But we thought it would be useful to give you, at least, some idea of what is really going on, and where we are headed with it, as it may be necessary to turn to you, at some point, for advice on tactics.

First, the strategic objective. It’s true, as you say, that our hand has been forced by recent events, but in fact we are exploiting an unexpected opportunity, not fighting a fire, executing a contingency plan developed some time ago, one of several we have available to take advantage of likely occurrences, one that will significantly advance our long-term strategic goals. If it hadn’t been Crimea, now, it would have been something else, in the next few years.

An opportunity to do what? Our public story has always been that we are engaged in some kind of atavistic gathering of the Lands, doing our best to recreate the good old days of the vanished Soviet Union. This is a convenient belief, so we have encouraged it. It is convenient because it allowed us to establish, in Georgia and elsewhere, the principle that we could still use naked force in inter-state relations, without provoking the alarm that a more obviously open-ended program of conquest might have. But really, one should think in more ambitious terms.

Of course, the Lands must be gathered, but there are two other things driving our overall strategic approach, one a problem and one an opportunity. The problem is America. The opportunity is Europe. The moment to move against both of them is now. This is our chance to finally break NATO. We’ll get away with it because we’re going to do it subtly, destroying the alliance by snipping threads, here and there, that will cause the whole thing to unravel under the stresses of the coming few years. Our opponents have forgotten the difference between lies and the truth, and as a result they typically have no idea, themselves when they are bluffing. It is finally time to call a bluff – the claim that NATO would defend former Soviet republics – that our opponent never knew was a bluff, and so invalidate even their more serious promises.

How? We are about to do something that we have seen the Americans do several times now, most recently against Iran; fight a largely economic and financial war. The twist is that we are by far the weaker power, so we must do it in a clever way. But our opponents are, for now, so poorly led that they have put themselves in an enormously vulnerable position. We can withstand another crash in world markets – all we’ll have to do is arrest a few people, it will be salutary – but none of our opponents will win the next election if there’s another crisis like the one in ’08, or an even worse one, so for them finding some way to accommodate us before we can bring that about is a matter of political life and death.

Of course, the real reason the markets have to crash, sooner or later, is that the Fed and the Bank of Japan and the ECB would have to keep geometrically expanding the volume of money printing to keep the bubble they’ve already blown up from bursting, but instead the Fed has already reached its limits and is starting to taper. Even if they flinch this time, and re-expand QE, as we expect them to, continued geometric increase is impractical for very long. So the effort to prevent a crash in financial markets by surrendering to our demands will ultimately fail, but before it does, we can expect our opponents to offer many valuable concessions.

Once the final panic in the market does get underway, we will be able to take advantage of its disorganizing effects, while they will be crippled by them. Democracies are easily distracted. Who knows how long from now that will be? Not I, or anyone. It could happen tomorrow, or not for another five years. In the meantime, it is very much in our interest to keep the threat that we will precipitate a crash alive.

We are facing opposing powers that are intrinsically much stronger than we are, governed by people with no real survival instincts, who have made no effective preparations of any kind for a military or economic conflict. In that kind of strategic environment, great things can be accomplished with slender means. Fortune favors the bold. The trick will just be keeping the conflict non-kinetic and unconventional, and achieving as much as we can before they finally wake up and make a real stand. Each action must seem independent, each move must seem like it might be the last one we’ll make. Bit by bit, step by step, we will back them into a corner, simply because their planning horizon is three days, and ours is thirty years. The risk is limited, because our opponents are desperate for peace, and will gladly let us switch off the war the minute it begins to go against us. (This is the meaning of the American president’s endless “exit ramps”; what he is actually telling us is that we can end the confrontation whenever we please.)

By now American voters are very tired of their endless imperial wars, which started so many weary years ago, and as far as they can see, have achieved exactly nothing for them. The whole project of empire has been publicly discredited, though no part of the empire has been relinquished. That’s the paradox of Obama’s presidency – he still carries on all the various wars of empire and meddling provocations, but at the same time doubts their necessity, and is constantly tempted to repudiate them. The tentacles of the jellyfish continue to sting, like independent creatures, even after the brainless animal has lost interest in the fight. He wants to overthrow several of the world’s governments, and is actively undermining them – but his heart really isn’t in it. He starts wars that he has no will to win.

This, to our minds, is a strategic vulnerability that simply has to be exploited, because it means he can be fought – and beaten – fairly easily. Nothing can enhance a state’s prestige and influence more than taking on and defeating the currently paramount power, so America’s current strategic stance – impressive means, incoherent goals, absolutely no political will to achieve them, an attention span of three days – is a standing invitation to attack. We have done quite well against them in Syria, and there is no reason to think their performance on the Ukraine will be any better. Samantha Powers will still be piously scolding us and threatening to un-friend us on Facebook as the tanks roll into Kiev; she might well go on doing the same thing if we took Warsaw, or Berlin, though of course we currently have no plans to send tanks to those two places.

The natural tendency of the American voter is isolationism – he has difficulty seeing why other peoples’ troubles should matter to him, though he’s a good fighter once he’s reluctantly become involved in them. The trick is just to find some way to tip him back into his pre-1942 state of selfish indolence without doing any actual fighting. A much higher oil price and a deeper depression might do it, at this point, so it’s fortunate that we’re in a position to bring that about. The people who make up America’s current political leadership won’t really put up much resistance – they tolerate the existence of the empire because it’s lucrative for powerful constituents, and costs them, personally, nothing, but they are presiding over an inherited political system and an inherited security architecture which they fundamentally don’t believe in, don’t understand, and have no will to defend. If they have to choose between health care and Europe’s security, of course they will choose the good they understand and believe in – freedom from pain and the postponement of personal death for as long as possible – over the one they’ve never understood or sympathized with.

If we are really determined to restore full Russian sovereignty, up to and including the right to go to war on other powers without seeking anyone’s permission, as is our sacred obligation as guardians of the security of the Russian people and nation, war with America or her proxies can’t be avoided anyway, because as things are now, we won’t ever again be able to exercise our sovereign rights to make war and peace without fighting them, they will always get involved at an early stage. Since war can’t be avoided, and we’re the weaker power, if we want to win we must attempt to control the time and circumstances of the fight. We must fight a limited war when we can win, in a clever way that allows us to win, to avoid having to fight a war when we can’t. That means we have to start the fight ourselves, instead of waiting for them to start it. We must attack, because we are the weaker party, and need to keep the strategic initiative to achieve our goals.

So much for the problem, now for the opportunity. Only a year or two ago, the European Union seemed to be teetering on the verge of dissolution. I think that it would be very much in our interests to see that actually happen, especially if NATO goes with it. (This is why Estonia is essential; NATO thinks they will defend it, we must show them that they will not. Once one NATO member has been abandoned to our mercies, the principle will have been established, and we can deal with the Poles – our single biggest problem – at our leisure.)

The EU, as it presently exists, is a relic of an American-backed project to create a European super-state, a United States of Europe, that specifically and deliberately excludes us. In any such confederation, German hegemony is virtually certain. That is intolerable. We, of course, would prefer to see a European political architecture that includes us, one in which we have a chance at playing a leading role. But only by destroying the existing EU, and NATO, and starting over from scratch will we really be able to arrive at a satisfactory outcome.

The near-dissolution of the EU a couple of years ago was the result of an economic crisis, and so the question of whether or not it is possible to bring another such crisis about naturally arises. It’s my belief, as I’ve already explained, that an eventual renewal of the crisis is not only possible, but inevitable. Given that inevitability, the only choice available to us is that of whether or not to take control of the event, and use it.

The strange thing, really, is the apparent conviction, on the part of many European and American elected officials, that another financial crisis can actually be avoided, forever. Apparently they think that they can indefinitely postpone the next recession. From the outside, however, it has become quite obvious that the “developed” economies are locked in a cycle of artificial booms and genuine busts. It’s useless to speculate on the ultimate reason – what we actually know is that this is a group of people who for more than a decade now have not achieved anything like the rates of economic growth they had expected and planned for. As any polity experiencing a growth shock of this kind would, they have been resorting to more and more desperate expedients to try to delay the day of reckoning with this huge ongoing shortfall, in the process making things worse and worse each time they lose control.

Russia, and Brazil and China for that matter, are simply carried along as passengers on this increasingly violent roller-coaster ride. If we don’t want our currencies to appreciate uncontrollably against the dollar, we have to print rubles or yuan to buy up the excess dollars the Fed is printing to try to keep the world economy from crashing, so we inflate our own economies and pile up huge reserves of foreign exchange in the upswing, and then in the downswing, when the panic finally comes, all that money tries to rush out of our economies at once, making our markets and our currencies crash.

So you see, Gennady, another crash in the ruble and the MICEX is inevitable, sooner or later, simply as a consequence of the Fed’s current policies, whether we annex parts of the Near Abroad, or not. The question is just whether we initiate it ourselves, and ride the storm, first using the threat of a global financial crisis to manipulate and damage our enemies, or else are mere passive victims of the cycle, as we were in the last two iterations. The question is whether we Russians are capable of learning anything from experience, whether we have learned not to be the greatest fools in an artificial bull market. Perhaps, if we can develop the political will to abandon convertibility quickly enough, we can even avoid being caught in the crash, this time. The reserves the Fed forced us to accumulate will allow us to postpone the decision for years, if we’d like, and in that amount of time, it may even be possible to complete the operation and escape default and devaluation. If not, well, those are both things we know how to do, and last time the pain only lasted two or three years, which is nothing.

Since another panic in world markets is inevitable sooner or later, we plan to try to use it, this time, surf on it, let it carry us to our strategic goals. In order to do that, we need to be, or at least to appear to be, in control of the timing of events. The threat of cutting off Europe’s natural gas is a threat of precipitating a European recession, which would reduce tax revenues and bring the Mediterranean bond markets back into difficulties. A shock from the price of oil at the same time would make things even worse. The Europeans will concede anything in order to avoid that, because it threatens their whole European project, for which they have already sacrificed so much. This great harm, which is actually going to befall them no matter what they do, can be made to look, for a little while, like something it is in our power to provoke or prevent. They will allow us to get away with murder, if we can just produce that illusion – and it’s our job to take as much advantage of this fleeting opportunity as we can.

In the end, though, we really may have to go so far that we do force them to give up the oil and gas, because another European recession or depression now is absolutely necessary to our longer-term strategic plans. We can promise to turn the gas back on, if they’ll just give us Ukraine, but then drag things out somehow during the negotiation of the details, insisting on various implausible principles in a tedious and impractical manner, so that the economic damage is done anyway… We ourselves are likely to get caught in the depression as well, of course, no matter what we do, war or no war – which is why we actually need an external enemy now, to justify an increase in political repression and the imposition of exchange controls. During a war, many ways of managing an economy that would be impossible during peacetime are perceived as legitimate, so a confrontation with Europe will, in some ways, give us more freedom of action.

The Americans are in a position to take a more hawkish stance than the Europeans, and they may eventually begin to agitate for that approach, as things move on. Obama is in his second term, and the Democrats might not mind being out of power for the next two years, if they are going to be really bad ones for the voter, so even higher oil prices might be tolerable as far as they are concerned, as long as the other party can be blamed for their effects. Sooner or later, wise old men like Brzezinski, who still remember what it is like to have an actual thinking opponent, will be listened to. Or perhaps not, perhaps it will simply be impossible for the current leadership to ever wrap their heads around the idea of actually getting into a fight against someone with the means to fight back.

The European leaders, in any case, are, in our judgment, such complete pacifists that instead of welcoming their assistance in a crisis, they may easily be brought to resent the Americans’ hawkish interference, which perhaps can be used to drive a wedge between the two parties. We must try our best to seem, at some crucial point, both reasonable and conciliatory to the Europeans, and utterly insane and out of control to the Americans. Given the somewhat differing character of the two ruling elites, and the in particular the rather thoughtless jingoism of the Republicans, and their great love of draconian sanctions, that shouldn’t actually be all that difficult to accomplish. Perhaps a Republican victory in the upcoming American midterm election would serve our purposes – another way a crisis in financial markets could benefit us strategically.

Our immediate objective, by first threatening and then managing an economic crisis, is, of course, to regain control of the Ukraine, the whole thing, unopposed, step by step, perhaps annexing the East if that’s convenient, and at the same time to intimidate the Europeans, force them to publicly back down, to openly beg us to turn the gas back on, and have the Americans do nothing very effective to rescue them. The cherry will be Estonia; having failed to defend Ukraine, NATO will find it hard to rally to reverse the results of yet another referendum, even one conducted on the soil of a nominal NATO member. Kerry and Merkel may well abandon the Estonians to their fate – if so, that will be the last that will be heard of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. If not, we can always drag out the crisis, and use it to extract more concessions in other domains. At the end, we want discredited European leaders bickering with each other as the EU and NATO crumble, and an exasperated America confined to the sidelines.

This will establish a precedent – if the Americans didn’t do anything about the first act of bullying, what is going to make them do something about the next one, or the next one, or the next one after that? It will show who really has the leverage in Europe, now. At the same time, the world economy will be crashing again. Nationalists will be rising to power in European countries, and the people who run Europe now will do anything to defeat them. One side or the other will end up as our allies. We’ll simply support whichever looks weaker. Beppo Grilli as Prime Minister of Italy or Marine Le Pen as Prime Minister of France would be a political windfall beyond our wildest dreams. We think we can manipulate such a combination of circumstances to our ultimate advantage, especially if we can get the Americans out of the picture – a protracted period of chaos and disunity in Europe is exactly what we need now.

While the threat of gas and oil cutoffs and the recession and crashes those could produce are our main point of leverage, there are other tools as well. It is important to keep direct military pressure on Ukraine. We can’t afford to let the situation stabilize as it is now, and we have yet to encounter any effective resistance, so the thing is to push on as quickly as is possible without provoking a real reaction. We need to discredit the Kiev government and, eventually, replace them with our allies. Ultimately we must use as much force as is necessary to achieve that goal, even if it means shooting some rioters in the streets. But here as everywhere, we can only win by fighting smart. I think you know what I mean by that, in a Ukrainian context.

Of course, as you’ve correctly pointed out, the Ruble will eventually crash, no matter what we do, if the crisis goes on long enough. Since we didn’t want it to appreciate in a way that would kill our economy, we were forced, by QE, to accumulate huge dollar reserves, enough to accommodate years worth of capital outflows without a crash, if we choose to spend them that way. We may not need to, though, if we can impose really effective exchange controls quickly enough.

Anyway, last time the ruble crashed, things were already going back to normal two or three years later. The people who will lose the most in a ruble crash are the European banks – our oligarchs own real assets, not paper money, and they are willing to be patient for the sake of the nation, as long as we subsidize them enough to keep them from going bankrupt.

We must prepare for a temporary loss of our oil and gas export revenues, of the sort the Iranians have suffered, another reason to impose exchange controls and arrest our domestic political opponents ASAP. If the ruble does crash, the seven hundred billion dollars Russians owe European banks must of course be written off, which by itself may be enough to precipitate a financial crisis in Europe. In either case, the end-point is, yes, Gennady, another default on our debts and a retreat from full convertibility. And about damn time, too – there are serious drawbacks to full participation in the global dollar economy, periodic economic and political shocks that make it more trouble than it’s worth. The experience of a number of countries shows that it’s possible to do well behind the barrier of a non-convertible currency, as long as you manage sensibly. India has done well. Our strategic position will be greatly improved once that transition has been accomplished – we will no longer be dependent on Fed policy and world financial markets, and will be able to conduct counter-cyclical economic policy without always having to worry about the ruble’s exchange rate against the dollar.

Militarily, we are, of course, much, much weaker than the Americans, but we also are closer to home and fighting for something we care a lot more about. If we keep thinking outside the box, we can fight an asymmetric, unconventional, non-kinetic financial and political war and win, wring political concessions from an enemy who’s too urbane and sophisticated and hip and ironic to want to risk becoming involved in an open-ended nuclear brawl. We might actually benefit from the opportunity to machine-gun some protestors, if we could do it at a time when the enemy would have trouble coming up with a coherent response, for example in the middle of a financial panic. And, again, the enemy is dying to negotiate, so we can switch the war off at any time, if it begins to go badly. Since we’re by far the weaker party, we, as always, prefer a limited conflict. In an emergency, however, the use of nuclear weapons over our own territory – say, against an overflying satellite – would freeze our gains in place, while we negotiated a de-escalation.

So you see, Gennady, we are actually quite prepared to see the stock market crash, to see all the stock markets in the world crash, and the yields on our dollar bonds rise to whatever level. We are prepared for much worse things. We may, ourselves, be in a position to bring this outcome about, in at least two different ways – cutting off the gas to Europe, and suddenly defaulting on all our bank loans - and we think it favors us strategically, so we probably will try, sooner or later. The stock market will go back up some day, whether we win or lose, and if we end up defaulting, history shows that we’ll be borrowing in world bond markets again three or four years later. We risk a brief period of manageable economic suffering, while on the other side the whole global financial and political system is at risk, along with the retirement savings and medical plans of countless voters.

The inevitable economic setback may result in some political opposition within Russia itself, but in the context of an escalating confrontation with Europe it shouldn’t be too difficult to cope with. Stalin developed some very effective techniques for managing public opinion, both inside and outside of Russia; as his heirs, we must use them. The alternative is to wait for some other falling domino – China, Turkey, Thailand, Japan – to cause the next crash in world markets, and once again be caught in it as hapless victims. It’s worth taking the risks we’re taking because the other possible worlds in which we don’t take it aren’t actually all that wonderful either, and because we’re playing for all of Europe, and therefore ultimately for the whole world.

I hope that makes things a little clearer. Yes, it is a risky strategy, but a Europe dominated by Russia, or at least detached from the United States and disunited, is a prize worth risking everything for. Beppo is worth a crash. Of course, I can’t say anything about our more detailed military plans at this point, but this should suffice to explain the overall logic behind our willingness to, yes, Gennady, sacrifice the convertible ruble and the stock market for control of the Ukraine and a tiny part of Estonia, if necessary.

Think about what I’ve said – some of it may come as a shock, but in the end, I think you’ll agree that it’s actually good news that the long tense period of waiting is finally over. We can’t win a conventional or a nuclear conflict, but this plan really might succeed. If not, well, we Russians are used to overcoming adversity. In any case, it is what Higher has decided, so it behooves us all to get behind it, and push. A word to the wise.

It would be great to get together and talk in person sometime, though I’m afraid we won’t be meeting in New York again for a while.

Gennady, I remain, sincerely

Your friend, Sasha

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby RSoami » 24 Apr 2014 11:50

If there is violence in eastern Ukraine there almost certainly will be a Russian military intervention. It will effectively take over those regions of Ukraine which have Russian speaking population ? So what will the chest thumping warriors of US of A do? Slap more sanctions. Unless they want a nuclear war. More regions will be lost to Russia than they are in turmoil today.
The west will `lose eastern Ukraine` as it has lost South Ossetia, Abkhazia and Crimea before it.

The US is showing strategic brilliance just like the Pakis.
How much of the sanctions is going to hurt Russia without hurting Western Europe and weakening the alliance which serves no purpose anyway today. ?!
Amazing stupidity by the strategic geniuses of US.

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby Philip » 24 Apr 2014 12:00

VK:you know how flags flap in the breeze.But I promise you this fly won't "flag" when it comes to waving!

RSoami:Exactly.The leader of the "Donkey" party in the US,squatting in the White House and his Sancho Panza bufoon JoKer-ry,are clueless when it comes to international affairs,other than beating the retreat.Imagine how ridiculous it would look if Putin was doing exactly what the US is doing,say in Mexico,sending his FSB chief,and Medvedev to urge California and New Mexico to revolt and demand the return of Texas!

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/a ... imir-rybak
Kidnapping of Ukrainian patriots has Russia's full support, says Kiev
Case of Vladimir Rybak is latest in a string of kidnappings which Kiev blames on Russia and its undercover agents

Xcpt:
The EU called on Russia on Wednesday to ensure an immediate end to the kidnappings and killings in eastern Ukraine. But Russia's foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, accused Kiev of violating the Geneva statement, and warned that Russia would respond if its interests were attacked in Ukraine.

Lavrov used an interview with the Russian state-controlled broadcaster RT to accuse the US of "running the show" in Ukraine, saying it was quite telling that Kiev announced a new military campaign immediately after a visit by the US vice-president, Joe Biden. "If we are attacked, we would certainly respond," said Lavrov, who recalled the 2008 war with Georgia over breakaway South Ossetia.



X-posted in the Indo-Russia td: Indicating the close cooperation between India and Russia in global affairs.
India-Russia-Afghanistan synergy: India to pay for Russian arms supplies to Kabul

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby pankajs » 24 Apr 2014 12:01

Two points
1. US thinks they can somehow tailor sanctions such that it hurt Russia while touching Europe/US/World only on the margins.
2. Russia capitulates before the escalating sanction cause a rupture between US and Europe.

If Russian is able to soak up all the disruption and pain caused by escalating sanctions it will eventually win out because Europe will go only so far and no more.

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby Virupaksha » 24 Apr 2014 12:20

There will be violence in eastern ukraine. The neo-nazi clique will create a gulf of tonkin incident to make sure of it. The west will not want its 5 Billion to go down the drain.

The west will demand either the clique's heads or the ukranian nationalists heads. Guess what will the clique choose?

Sanctions are bringing peas into this gun fight.

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby vijaykarthik » 24 Apr 2014 12:48

BBC News on the fighter jets scrambled.
Fighter jets were scrambled after two Russian military aircraft were spotted approaching UK airspace, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has said.

Royal Air Force Typhoon fighter jets took off from RAF Leuchars in Fife on Wednesday.

The jets were sent to investigate the Russian planes, which are believed to have turned away shortly afterwards.

RAF fighter planes were scrambled to incidents such as this eight times last year, an MOD spokesman said.

The spokesman said the jets were launched to "determine the identity of unknown aircraft" that approached the north of Scotland and "could not be identified by other means".

He said: "The aircraft were subsequently identified as Russian military aircraft. The Russian military aircraft remained in international airspace at all times as they are perfectly entitled to do so.

The spokesman added that Russian military flights have never entered UK sovereign airspace without authorisation.

Meanwhile a Royal Navy warship is shadowing a Russian destroyer as it sails past the UK.

HMS Dragon, one of the Navy's most modern warships, sailed from Portsmouth at the end of last week to waters north of Scotland to track the Russian warship, Vice Admiral Kulakov.

HMS Dragon monitored the movements of the Russian ship as she approached British waters in what has been described by a defence spokesman as a "well established and standard response".

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond, said: "Recent events have increased awareness of Russian military activity, but we have always routinely intercepted, identified and escorted Russian air and naval assets that transit international airspace and waters within the UK's 'area of interest'.

"The Royal Navy and Royal Air Force will remain alert and ready to intercept any non-NATO forces in the area".

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby vijaykarthik » 24 Apr 2014 12:51

Oh.. in the meanwhile, this too:

Uk govt 'liberates' Mariupol city hall

The Ukrainian government says it has regained control of the city hall in the eastern port of Mariupol from pro-Russian separatists.

There were no reports of serious injuries during the overnight operation in the city, where three pro-Russian protesters were recently shot dead.

But local media quote the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic as saying it still controls the city hall.

US President Barack Obama has accused Russia of flouting a deal on Ukraine.

Pro-Russian separatists have taken over administrative buildings in at least a dozen towns in eastern Ukraine in a bid to seek closer ties to Moscow.

Mr Obama told a news conference in Japan that Moscow had failed to halt actions by militants in the region and warned that the US had further sanctions against Russia "teed up".

A contingent of US troops has begun landing in Poland for military exercises amid concerns among Nato's eastern members about Russian intentions.

Moscow has said it will respond to any attack on its interests in Ukraine.

Unrest began in Ukraine last November over whether the country should look towards Moscow or the West.

Clash

Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov announced on Thursday that the city hall in Mariupol, a port on the Sea of Azov, had been "liberated" overnight without any casualties.

"Civic activists" played a major part in the operation, he said.

However, local news website 0629 reported that the self-proclaimed People's Republic of Donetsk was still claiming control over the mayor's hall after a struggle with attackers.

Mr Avakov also reported that Ukrainian troops in Artemivsk had fended off an attempt by dozens of pro-Russian militants to seize weapons from a military unit. One soldier was wounded, he said.

Unverified footage of military helicopters, said to be flying over Artemivsk, was posted by a blogger on YouTube.

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby pankajs » 24 Apr 2014 15:53

Wall Street Journal ‏@WSJ 3m

Breaking: Putin says use of army against Ukrainian civilians 'serious crime' by Kiev http://on.wsj.com/1oOslWm


Daniel Sandford ‏@BBCDanielS 2m

The new government[Kiev] checkpoint on the Sloviansk to Artyomisk road pic.twitter.com/jJyuIgmOLo

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby Philip » 24 Apr 2014 18:34

It's begun.Fighting between Kiev forces and pro-Russian easterners!

http://rt.com/news/154472-gunmen-slavya ... k-defense/
Unknown gunmen have attacked a checkpoint near Slavyansk in eastern Ukraine. Two people were killed, local self-defense forces spokesperson Stella Horosheva told RT.

Follow RT’s LIVE UPDATES on military operation in eastern Ukraine

“Unfortunately, the reports of a shooting have been confirmed,” Horosheva said. “Every night some sort of an incident takes place at one of our checkpoints. This time suspicious armed people were passing by and the self-defense members approached them to check their IDs. But the gunmen opened fire.”

Horosheva said that self-defense forces were investigating the incident, trying to find out who was behind the attack.

Almost simultaneously there appeared reports of unknown gunmen opening fire in the city of Artyomovsk, Donetsk Region.

"Artyomovsk is not calm now, there’s shooting. No information yet of casualties or injured,” a representative of the self-defense forces told Interfax over the phone.

Ukraine’s Interior Ministry, meanwhile, says about a hundred unidentified militants attacked a military unit near Artyomovsk.

“Attackers were shooting with machine-guns, grenade guns and were active in using fragmentation hand grenades,” the ministry’s statement says, adding that Ukrainian troops managed to repel the attack.

On Wednesday, authorities in Kiev announced they were resuming a military operation against protesters in eastern Ukraine, which they describe as an ‘anti-terrorist’ initiative.

Ukrainian security force officers walk past a checkpoint set on fire and left by anti-goverment protesters near Slavyansk April 24, 2014 (AFP Photo / Gleb Garanich)

Ukrainian security force officers walk past a checkpoint set on fire and left by anti-goverment protesters near Slavyansk April 24, 2014 (AFP Photo / Gleb Garanich)

“Law enforcement agencies are working on the eradication of all groups currently active in Kramatorsk, Slavyansk and other cities of the Donetsk and the Lugansk Regions,” coup-appointed First Vice-President Vitaly Yarema told journalists.

Protesters have pointed out the move was contrary to the agreement on de-escalation reached in Geneva.

The same day, the Ukrainian radical neo-fascist Right Sector group announced that it is moving its main headquarters from Kiev to Dnepropetrovsk to “closely monitor” developments in the east.

“I moved my headquarters to Dnepropetrovsk. The purpose is to prevent the spread of the Kremlin infection,” Ukrainian presidential candidate and Right Sector leader Dmitry Yarosh said.

Yarosh, placed by Russia on an international most wanted terrorist list, also announced that he had begun to establish a special squad of fighters called ‘Donbass’.

“We coordinate all of our actions with the leadership of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Security Service of Ukraine,” Yarosh said.


http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/a ... ve-updates
Ukraine: government troops move against pro-Russian separatists - live updates

Ukrainian troops move into Slavyansk and Donetsk

Summary
Ukrainian troops have moved against rebel-held Slavyansk, with at least two dead, and taken control of the town hall in the south-eastern port city of Mariupol. The situation in Slavyansk appears fluid, however, with pro-Russian separatists moving back to previously surrendered checkpoints and reinforcing them with sandbags.

Vladimir Putin said deployment of military forces by Ukraine is a crime against its own people that will "have consequences". He admitted sanctions were hurting the Russian economy but said the damage was not critical.

Barack Obama earlier accused Russia of not abiding by last week's Geneva agreement to defuse the crisis. He warned of further sanctions.


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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby Philip » 24 Apr 2014 19:03

http://rt.com/news/154588-russia-drill- ... operation/
Russia 'forced' to launch military drills at border in response to Ukraine op - Moscow
Published time: April 24, 2014

Russia has begun extensive military exercises in Ukrainian border area following the escalation of violence in eastern Ukraine.

“The order to use force against civilians has already been given, and if this military machine is not stopped, the amount of casualties will only grow,” Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said during an official meeting in Moscow.

“War games by NATO in Poland and the Baltic states are not helping the normalization of the situation. We are forced to react to the situation.”

Shoigu said that the drills involve march and deployment exercises by forces in the southern and western military districts, and separate Air Force maneuvers.

Shoigu said that 11,000 Ukrainian soldiers, 160 tanks, 230 armored carriers and at least 150 artillery pieces are involved in the operation against anti-Kiev activists.

“National guard units and Right Sector extremists are fighting against the peaceful population, as well as a volunteer Donbass ‘anti-terrorist’ unit. Also security and internal forces transferred to Lugansk and Donetsk from other areas of the country are suppressing dissent,” the minister said.

He added that Ukrainian sabotage units have been deployed near the Russian border.

In contrast, Shoigu said that the pro-Russian self-defense units number about 2,000 and have about 100 guns between them, which have mostly been taken from local police stations.
RIA Novosti / Igor Zarembo

NATO has estimated that Russia has massed at least 40,000 troops near its border with Ukraine. Moscow has not denied that it has moved troops to the region, but said that its internal troop movements are its own prerogative.

NATO began military exercises in Poland on Wednesday, with more scheduled to take place in the Baltic states next week.
Poland’s foreign minister, Radoslaw Sikorski, has also asked NATO to deploy 10,000 troops in his country.

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby rsingh » 24 Apr 2014 20:00

Image

Style and format is neither Russian nor Ukrainian. It look like leaf out of CIA sabotage book handed out to Democratic fighters in Nicaragua (and others around the world) in bad old days.

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby Philip » 24 Apr 2014 20:23

Intriguing fact about the Ukranian conflict! It explains why the Kiev clique has launched its military offensive.

Xcpt:
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/a ... f-comments
Alec Luhn reports for the Guardian on how pro-Russia protesters are sitting on one of the biggest arms caches in eastern Europe.

When pro-Russia protesters stormed a police station in Slavyansk, in eastern Ukraine, they seized several hundred firearms. They also took control of the biggest weapons cache in eastern Europe, which lies beneath their feet.

Since March a group of protesters have been guarding the entrance to the Volodarsky salt mine, which holds an underground collection of at least a million firearms ranging from first world war heavy machine guns to Soviet-era Kalashnikovs.

The protesters say they are there to prevent the new government from using the weapons against them, but officials and analysts worry that pro-Russia militias could seize the guns.

"If such a large amount of weapons fell into hands of separatists, it would be a catastrophe," said Alexei Melnik, a defence analyst at the Razumkov centre in Kiev. When Melnik visited the cache in 2002 it held about 3.5m firearms, he said.


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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby RSoami » 24 Apr 2014 21:12

self delete. Wrong dhaaga

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby vijaykarthik » 24 Apr 2014 23:03

Here comes the scare stories. How long before holey wood makes pictures on this topic to keep stirring the pot

In 1983, the ABC television network broadcast a movie called The Day After about how a superpower nuclear exchange devastated the lives of typical Americans in two midwestern cities. The conflict began with a Russian troop buildup in Eastern Europe (which Moscow initially claimed to be a military exercise), and then gradually escalated to a point where both sides launched their intercontinental weapons for fear of losing them in a preemptive attack. Coming as it did during a period of U.S.-Soviet tensions and controversy surrounding Reagan Administration nuclear policies, the broadcast attracted a huge audience of over 100 million viewers; it is still the highest rated made-for-television movie in U.S. history.

Americans haven’t thought much about such scenarios since the Cold War ended, because the Soviet Union dissolved and the ideological rivalry between Washington and Moscow ceased. However, this year’s crisis over Ukraine is a reminder that Russia remains a nuclear superpower, and that the geopolitical sources of its security concerns have not vanished. In fact, Moscow may have greater reason for worrying today, because it has lost the buffer of allies that insulated it from Western attack during the Cold War, and now finds its capital only a few minutes from the eastern border of Ukraine by jet (less by missile). If you know the history of the region, then it is easy to see why Moscow might fear aggression.




Although the Obama Administration is responding cautiously to Moscow’s annexation of Ukraine’s province of Crimea in March, its credibility is on the line with regional allies and Russian leader Vladimir Putin has not been helpful in defusing the fears of his neighbors. Having fomented revolt in eastern Ukraine, Moscow now says it might be forced to come to the aid of ethnic Russians there (it has massed 40,000 troops on the other side of the border, in what was first called an exercise). Meanwhile, the U.S. has increased its own military presence in the neighborhood, reiterating security guarantees to local members of NATO. So little by little, tensions are ratcheting up.

One facet of the regional military balance that bears watching is the presence of so-called nonstrategic nuclear weapons on both sides. Once called tactical nuclear weapons, these missiles, bombs and other devices were bought during the Cold War to compensate for any shortfalls in conventional firepower during a conflict. According to Amy Woolf of the Congressional Research Service, the U.S. has about 200 such weapons in Europe, some of which are available for use by local allies in a war. Woolf says Russia has about 2,000 nonstrategic nuclear warheads in its active arsenal — many of them within striking distance of Ukraine — and that successive revisions of Russian military strategy appear “to place a greater reliance on nuclear weapons” to balance the U.S. advantage in high-tech conventional weapons.

A 2011 study by the respected RAND Corporation came to much the same conclusion, stating that Russian doctrine explicitly recognizes the possibility of using nuclear weapons in response to conventional aggression. Not only does Moscow see nuclear use as a potential escalatory option in a regional war, but it also envisions using nuclear weapons to de-escalate a conflict. This isn’t just Russian saber-rattling. The U.S. and its NATO partners too envision the possibility of nuclear use in a European war. The Obama Administration had the opportunity to back away from such thinking in a 2010 Nuclear Posture Review, and instead decided it would retain forward-deployed nuclear weapons in Europe under a doctrine known as extended deterrence. Eastern European nations that joined NATO after the Soviet collapse have been especially supportive of having U.S. nuclear weapons nearby.

This mobile intercontinental ballistic missile launcher is emblematic of Moscow’s continuing investment in nuclear weapons, reflecting a doctrinal emphasis that includes potential nuclear use in response to conventional aggression. (Retrieved from http://blogs-images.forbes.com/lorentho ... opol-m.jpg)




So improbable though it may seem, doctrine and capabilities exist on both sides that could lead to nuclear use in a confrontation over Ukraine. Here are four ways that what started out as a local crisis could turn into something much worse.

Bad intelligence. As the U.S. has stumbled from one military mis-adventure to another over the last several decades, it has become clear that Washington isn’t very good at interpreting intelligence. Even when vital information is available, it gets filtered by preconceptions and bureaucratic processes so that the wrong conclusions are drawn. Similar problems exist in Moscow. For instance, the Cuban missile crisis of 1963 arose partly from Soviet leader Khrushchev’s assessment that President Kennedy was weaker than he turned out to be, and the U.S. Navy nearly provoked use of a nuclear torpedo by a Russian submarine during the blockade because it misjudged the enemy’s likely reaction to being threatened. It is easy to imagine similar misjudgments in Ukraine, which Washington and Moscow approach from very different perspectives. Any sizable deployment of U.S. forces in the region could provoke Russian escalation.

Defective signaling. When tensions are high, rival leaders often seek to send signals about their intentions as a way of shaping outcomes. But the meaning of such signals can easily be confused by the need of leaders to address multiple audiences at the same time, and by the different frames of reference each side is applying. Even the process of translation can change the apparent meaning of messages in subtle ways. So when Russian foreign minister Lavrov spoke this week (in English) about the possible need to come to the aid of ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine, Washington had to guess whether he was stating the public rationale for an invasion, sending a warning signal to Kiev about its internal counter-terror campaign, or trying to accomplish some other purpose. Misinterpretation of such signals can become a reciprocal process that sends both sides up the “ladder of escalation” quickly, to a point where nuclear use seems like the logical next step.

Looming defeat. If military confrontation between Russia and NATO gave way to conventional conflict, one side or the other would eventually face defeat. Russia has a distinct numerical advantage in the area around Ukraine, but its military consists mainly of conscripts and is poorly equipped compared with Western counterparts. Whichever side found itself losing would have to weigh the drawbacks of losing against those of escalating to the use of tactical nuclear weapons. Moscow would have to contemplate the possibility of a permanent enemy presence near its heartland, while Washington might face the collapse of NATO, its most important alliance. In such circumstances, the use of “only” one of two tactical nuclear warheads to avert an outcome with such far-reaching consequences might seem reasonable — especially given the existence of relevant capabilities and supportive doctrine on both sides.




Command breakdown. Strategic nuclear weapons like intercontinental ballistic missiles are tightly controlled by senior military leaders in Russia and America, making their unauthorized or accidental use nearly impossible. That is less the case with nonstrategic nuclear weapons, which at some point in the course of an escalatory process need to be released to the control of local commanders if they are to have military utility. U.S. policy even envisions letting allies deliver tactical warheads against enemy targets. Moscow probably doesn’t trust its allies to that degree, but with more tactical nuclear weapons in more locations, there is a greater likelihood that local Russian commanders might have the latitude to initiate nuclear use in the chaos of battle. Russian doctrine endorses nuclear-weapons use in response to conventional aggression threatening the homeland, and obstacles to local initiative often break down once hostilities commence.

When you consider all the processes working to degrade restraint in wartime — poor intelligence, garbled communication, battlefield setbacks, command attenuation, and a host of other influences — it seems reasonable to consider that a military confrontation between NATO and Russia might in some manner escalate out of control, even to the point of using nuclear weapons. And because Ukraine is so close to the Russian heartland — about 250 miles from Moscow — there no telling what might happen once the nuclear “firebreak” is crossed. All this terminology — firebreaks, ladders of escalation, extended deterrence — was devised during the Cold War to deal with potential warfighting scenarios in Europe. So if there is a renewed possibility of tensions leading to war over Ukraine (or some other former Soviet possession), perhaps the time has come to revive such thinking.

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby RSoami » 25 Apr 2014 01:38

Violence has started. 6 pro Russian supporters dead in the military crackdown in east Russia.
The self declared peoples republic of Donetsk has called people to mobilise in that part.

Now, what will Putin do if violence escalates.
Case 1. Russia can attack Ukraine and take over the eastern Region. Then Western Ukraine wont give it no money and also join EU and NATO.
Case 2. Russia can take all Ukraine and give this economically backward state free gas forever and also get the pain of western ukrainians who will keep looking towards Europe.
Case 3. Russia can do nothing and wait for elections in which almost certainly some Russia supporting fellow will win, if there are any free elections at all, which is doubtful. Wait patiently till the Ukrainians/EU realises that they cant do without Russian gas and revert.

What will US do?
If Case 1. Russia can take eastern Ukraine. Western Ukraine will join EU and NATO. No need to pay any money to Ukraine. Its EU`s problem like Greece.
If Case 2. Russia can take all Ukraine and US will support insurgency in West Ukraine. Wait patiently till the poor Ukrainian economy and continuing insurgency ruins Russia.
If Case 3. Ally with the tinpot pro US dictator like Saudi Arabia and try to suppress the people forever.

What will the EU do ?
Suck it.

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby UlanBatori » 25 Apr 2014 01:55

Case 4: Russia exercises extreme restraint, learning from the example of India in 1971. :mrgreen: Of course with a Russian twist: the Ukrainian Свобода армії will include a fair number of balaclava-clad, no-insigna, no-talk ppl who just happen to know how to handle an AK-47, RPG launcher, SAM or anti-tank missile launcher just as well as they handle a vodka bottle. Say ~40,000?

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby Gagan » 25 Apr 2014 03:53

Either way, Ukraine is screwed!

Massa wants to draw russia in and do another Afghanistan.
Pooty poot, is a wise man, and knows that going in will be a trap

End result: As Ulan Batori suggests, a Ukranian Liberation Army shall emerge which will want to "Liberate" eastern russia to reunite it with its fatherland.

Winter comes in and the Germans will start to behave, and try to make friends with Russia.
Germay and Russia - these frenemies will again go back to pulling each other's legs come spring

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby Philip » 25 Apr 2014 07:19

When and not if,Putin decides to "pull the plug",he should go for the jugular,take out Kiev .The hard core of the Western maidan marionettes are located in KIev.As long as Kiev is in control of the facsist neo-Nazi CIA sponsored thugs,tand helos terorising the eatsern people.here will be no peace.

First step to teach the Nazis a lesson,send in a few aircraft to shoot down the Ukranian airrcaft Strafing a few columns of Right Sector columns for dessert.

But the best way to show Russia's dis[pleasure is to heavily arm Syaia and Iran and all other democracies and nations under threat from the US like Venezuela,etc. Western Europe relies heavily upon Russian gas."There are many ways to skin the Euro-Peon cat"!

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby vijaykarthik » 25 Apr 2014 07:32

Russia, IMO, just looking for influence. Putin for all the jibes in the west and media is a pragmatist and a realist. He wanted Crimea for multiple needs and annexed it. He doesn't need E Ukraine in the short term other than influencing them andhe has enough influence over there.

Incidentally, Arseniy has hinted that the elections wont go ahead as planned. I am assuming Putin should be happy by the current going ons. He just wants a moribund situation akin to a quagmire from where progress will be difficult in short term... and looks like its leading towards that

Invasion will be very tricky and by the looks of it, Putin is playing it smartly. Just doesn't seem to have hit his high bar for his to play a forced hand. Besides, if it did hit the high bar, since he hasn't clearly mentioned it, he can play it like Obama and adjust his "red line" too? As we all know, there are various hues of red and the appreciation of red, like beauty, lies in the eyes of the beer holder.

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby member_28502 » 25 Apr 2014 08:28

meanwhile Khan saab is openly supplying Stingers and ATGM, TOW missiles to Syrian rebels, via KSA and being trained in Jordan.
Ukraine is extension of Syria++ ( in the ++ part add Snowden Iran etc etc)
Last edited by member_28502 on 25 Apr 2014 08:52, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby vijaykarthik » 25 Apr 2014 08:47

^^ yes, I think so too. I actually think aloud like you too - Is Ukraine the new Syria of Europe?

I don't see a clear winner in this game. And the main losers are the Ukrainian people. Unnecessary war mongering isn't good for anyone. And Putin for all his faults dished out terror using invasive but non violent methods. Doesn't augur well with these overt operations of Ukraine after getting "US" approval. [while we are at it, I find it shameful that Ukraine asked for US assurance and US said yes. Does Ukraine really believe that US will come marching in just because a dozen people died? What is going to be a sufficient bar for it to really require US involvement? I am guessing 1000's of deaths. But if Syria is any indication, 1000's might be very low bar? However, aren't they the middle east and a life in Europe is much higher in weightage wrt the Asians? Lots of interesting aspects to measure and look at. very impressive for a thinking mind but very depressing for the mind which keeps a pragmatic track of the state of affairs of the world]

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby Philip » 25 Apr 2014 09:24

Absolutely! We've spoken before how Ukraine has been an attempted payback to Putin for the colossal loss of Yanqui and O'Bomber face after it pissed in its pants over Syria. And where are rhe SAMs,etc.,coming from? Pakistan! Robert Fisk in the UK Independent revealed how Pak was paid a few billions by the Saudis to supply the Syrian mercenaries -through Riyadh,these key weapons with which they hope to topple Assad. The boot would be on the other foot if the Russians now started supplying Hamas and the Hiz with SAMs,etc.! The Iranians are already doing a good job (from their viewpoint) supplying the Hiz with various missiles.It's a game in which there are no winners only losers...the poor innocent people caught up in the crossfire,scornfully shrugged off by the "Christian" US as simply "collateral damage". No wonder the Iranians call the US as the "Great Shaitan".

http://rt.com/news/154588-russia-drill- ... operation/
Russia 'forced' to launch military drills near border in response to Ukraine op
Published time: April 24, 2014

Russia has begun extensive military exercises near the Ukrainian border following the escalation of violence in eastern Ukraine.

“The order to use force against civilians has already been given, and if this military machine is not stopped, the amount of casualties will only grow,” Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said during an official meeting in Moscow.

“War games by NATO in Poland and the Baltic states are also not helping the normalization of the situation. We are forced to react to the situation.”

Shoigu said that the drills involve march and deployment maneuvers by forces in the southern and western military districts, and separate Air Force exercises.

“National guard units and Right Sector extremists are fighting against the peaceful population, as well as a volunteer Donbass ‘anti-terrorist’ unit. Also security and internal forces transferred to Lugansk and Donetsk from other areas of the country are suppressing dissent,” he said.

Shoigu added that Ukrainian sabotage units had been deployed near the Russian border.
RIA Novosti / Igor Zarembo

In contrast, he said that the pro-Russian self-defense units number about 2,000 and have about 100 guns between them, which have mostly been taken from local police stations.

"It's not an evenly matched confrontation," Shoigu said.

The coup-imposed Ukrainian acting president, Aleksandr Turchinov, has demanded that Russia pull back its troops back from the Ukrainian border, calling the ongoing Russian military exercises “blackmail.”

In a brief address, Turchinov claimed that “terrorists have crossed the border… taking hostages and killing the patriots of Ukraine.” He also called for the Russian government “to stop interfering into the internal affairs of our country.”

The heaviest fighting on Thursday took place in Slavyansk, with the Ukrainian Interior Ministry reporting the deaths of at least five "terrorists."

NATO has estimated that Russia has massed at least 40,000 troops near its border with Ukraine. Moscow has not denied that it has moved troops to the region, but said that its internal troop movements are its own prerogative.

Soldiers from the first company-sized contingent of about 150 U.S. paratroopers from the U.S. Army's 173rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team based in Italy walk after unpacking as they arrive to participate in training exercises with the Polish army in Swidwin, northern west Poland April 23, 2014 (Reuters / Kacper Pempel)

Soldiers from the first company-sized contingent of about 150 U.S. paratroopers from the U.S. Army's 173rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team based in Italy walk after unpacking as they arrive to participate in training exercises with the Polish army in Swidwin, northern west Poland April 23, 2014 (Reuters / Kacper Pempel)

NATO began military exercises in Poland on Wednesday, with more scheduled to take place in the Baltic states next week. So far, 150 US paratroopers have arrived in the country from their stationary base in Italy, with 450 more set to join them.

Poland’s foreign minister, Radoslaw Sikorski, has also asked NATO to deploy 10,000 troops in his country.

On Wednesday, the frigate USS Taylor became the latest US ship to enter the Black Sea on a rotating deployment. NATO has dispatched a separate rapid reaction force to the Baltic.

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby Philip » 25 Apr 2014 09:52

Look what's happening to Britain simultaneously!

Raise the flag! Cornwall is celebrating being granted minority status - but what of other English counties' claims to independence?
http://www.independent.co.uk/

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby TSJones » 25 Apr 2014 10:07

deleted

its useless
Last edited by TSJones on 25 Apr 2014 10:23, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby member_28352 » 25 Apr 2014 10:18

^^^Who is a South Asian?

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby member_28440 » 25 Apr 2014 10:20


TSJones
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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby TSJones » 25 Apr 2014 10:26



Actually, itstarted as a DARPA project in the pentagon building under a development contract with various universities and national labs.

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby RSoami » 25 Apr 2014 12:28

Putin should wait till the winters. Its unlikely Arsenic and US will go around doing ethnic cleansing till then owing to Euro Peons sensitivity. Then he should turn off the gas tap. Pay up or no gas. $ 40 billion is a lot of money.
The Euro Peons will have to pay. Americans and Peons will force Ukraine to raise the price for gas for domestic consumers making Arsenic regime even more unpopular and untenable.
Then after getting money from the peons on behalf of Ukraine, Putin should march in and `liberate` Ukraine in the middle of winter. Offer fair elections/referendum and cheap gas.
Russia then will have both money and Ukraine.
Continuing to milk European Union also seems like a very good idea. Unfortunately, the EU will break up before paying that kind of money. Another incentive for Putin.
Unkil is smart. He wont pay up no more than lip service like the peanuts of $50 million that he has just so liberally donated. So the Germans it has to be.

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby vijaykarthik » 25 Apr 2014 12:37

Very interesting interview. The more I see it, the more I pity Arseniy too though he can be a crazy nut.

Arseniy Interview

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk sat down with Lally Weymouth in Kiev. Excerpts:


How do you see the situation in the east of Ukraine?


We have clear evidence that Russia supports these so-called peaceful protesters with machine guns in their hands. Russian security forces deployed groups of 10 to 20 people in different areas, and these groups have a widespread network of local protesters. That’s what our intel says. They storm the administrative or police buildings, then they disappear and local protesters occupy these buildings. Then the well-trained Russian security forces move to another destination. That’s what happened in Donetsk and Luhansk. We just got the latest opinion polls from Donetsk and Luhansk. Only 10 percent of those who live in the Donetsk region support integration with Russia. It seems that all the demands for the protection of Russian-speaking minorities were actually launched by Russians. Despite this, my government has launched a comprehensive constitutional reform because we believe we need to decentralize power and to empower local authorities.








So there is no threat to the Russian minority in Ukraine, as the Russians maintain?





Look at the [Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe] report: It says there is no threat to Russian speakers. The Russians started this in Crimea, and they decided to move from Crimea to southern and eastern Ukraine, to split Ukraine and eliminate Ukrainian independence. This is the goal of Russia. To restore the Soviet Union, they have to eliminate Ukraine as an independent state. On this road to hell, they need to undermine the Ukrainian presidential elections that are scheduled for the 25th of May.


Since the Geneva meeting, has there been any progress on the ground?



On the Geneva deal, the Russians have done nothing contrary to the Ukrainian government, which introduced to parliament an amnesty bill.



[A bill] saying that if the people come out of the buildings they will get amnesty?




Yes, if they leave the buildings and give up their weapons they will not be prosecuted. We established a constitutional commission and had a long debate over what kind of new constitution my country needs. The Ukrainian people need to know what kind of powers this new president will get.


Because power needs to be split between the prime minister and the new president?


Between the government and the president. In Ukraine, the president has no executive authority, but he still has powers that can be envisaged as executive, so we need to be very clear in saying Ukraine has to restore the balance of power between the executive, legislative, and judiciary.


Will the elections be held?




Yes, we will do everything to have these elections be free and fair.



Do you think [Russian] President [Vladimir] Putin will have his troops sit on the border of your country or will he invade?





This is not only the question for me but it is the question for which everyone in the world wants to find an answer: What is the ultimate goal of President Putin?



What do you think it is?




I’m not sure he even knows. Presumably, his goal is to restore the Soviet Union and build up a new, bipolar world. To achieve this target, he has to invade Ukraine, conquer Moldova, and grab Georgia. But Ukraine plays a pivotal role. This is the key pillar of his empire. He isn’t the first one to think like that. Lenin was the first one. Lenin said there would be no Soviet Union without Ukraine. But Russia is too weak to construct a bipolar world and to build up a Berlin Wall. But it is strong enough to create numerous problems for Ukraine. I’d like to underscore that the conflict we have is not a bilateral conflict between Ukraine and Russia. It is a global one. What Russia did violated international law by grabbing the land of an independent country. In 1994, when we signed the Budapest Memorandum, we relinquished our nuclear arsenal and got nothing except Russian tanks in Crimea.



At the time you got [security] guarantees.




We got signatures. There’s a difference between guarantees and signatures.




Do you feel let down by the signatories?



Maybe by Russia.



What about the U.S. and Great Britain?




The U.S., the U.K.—mainly the U.S.—are quite strong in imposing economic sanctions over Russia. We understand that the administration has a number of constraints, but despite this it seems the U.S. is the most decisive in [pressuring] Russia. The way Putin acts is very simple. He makes a step and then double-checks what is on the ground. If the price is very high, he won’t step.


Which means he has to be opposed? But he’s not meeting any resistance.




That’s true. There is a pressure, but this pressure is not as strong as [is] needed to stop President Putin from moving further and further.



Is it true that at Geneva there was no talk of Crimea?


In the statement [issued afterward] there was no indication of the Crimean annexation. But during the press conference, three out of four [foreign ministers] said they would never recognize Crimean annexation.


Did they basically allow Putin to do a land grab?



Basically there is no way to stop this kind of thing except military options. To wage the third world war is not the best-case scenario. Another option, which is an economic one, has implications on both sides. Not for the U.S. but definitely for the EU.


So do you feel the EU should be stronger with its sanctions?



I feel the EU and the U.S. need to act in concert. I feel that Russia needs to realize that as a P-5 member [permanent member of the U.N. Security Council] and a former G-8 member they need to stick to their international obligations—otherwise they have to pay a very high price.


Even without Russia you already have a big job reforming the economy.



The primary task is to survive. If we survive, then we need to reform the economy. We have already passed austerity measures.


But then you will have to keep public support for these austerity measures.


I’m not sure the public will be happy. We passed [economic reforms] ... we doubled the gas bill, we shut down a number of social programs. We passed very painful reforms and that is the price for not having reforms in the last two decades.



On top of this, you have Russians on the border?


On top of this we have massed Russians at the border, security forces inside, political clashes in the house—it’s all about politics. We are running a huge budget deficit, the foreign reserve account is dangerously low, and the exchange rate dropped by 50 percent. But we succeeded to survive the last two months.


Do you think you’ll survive the next two months?


I’m absolutely sure.



Is your first job to calm down the east?



There is no first job. You have to do everything all at once. To calm down the east, to change the constitution, to get the [International Monetary Fund] loans, to have free and fair elections, to overhaul the Ukrainian military, to sign the [free-trade agreement] with the European Union.


Is the U.S. giving you enough military aid to build up the army?


The U.S. supplies us with nonlethal support.


How do you build up your army?








I’m trying to find an appropriate answer. We do understand that we need to rely on our own resources.



But you will need money to purchase military equipment?



The U.S. issued $1 billion in loan guarantees. The IMF supports us. We are getting support from the EU. When I listed my agenda ... I forgot energy reform. We have no gas. Consumption is about 47 million cubic meters. So we need to buy gas from Russia or from other countries. That’s another $10 billion. Russia just doubled the gas bill for Ukraine. We have a definition of “brotherhood relations” between Ukraine and Russia. Today I figured out what that means. It means $500 for 1,000 cubic meters of natural gas and tanks in your country.


Do you need to diversify your energy supply?



There is the option of reverse flow through Slovakia and Poland. It is a good option, but we cannot facilitate this reverse flow with Slovakia because there are a number of legal impediments. Russia’s Gazprom blocks this reverse flow.



Doesn’t Ukraine need to be more energy efficient?


We are No. 1 in the world in terms of energy consumption per dollar of GDP.


You were in the Maidan. You were one of the people who signed the agreement brokered by Polish Foreign Minister [Radek] Sikorski and the German and French foreign ministers. What do you think of that looking back?


I think we did the right thing. We collected votes in the house, and we ousted President [Viktor] Yanukovych.


But the Maidan rejected the agreement.


Maidan didn’t accept the agreement. But at that time, it was reasonable to sign this deal. We bought time. As Yanukovych fled the country, his supporters defected and joined a new coalition four hours after the signature. It wasn’t well accepted by the Ukrainian people—they are not politicians. They felt that we betrayed them, and we felt that we outplayed Yanukovych. But we paid the price in our approval ratings.


You wake up in the morning and you have to figure out how to get an army that works?


How to feed the army and how to fill the tanks.



Where to get the tanks?


The army is big, but it’s all about efficiency.



Is the army infiltrated by the Russians? Would you like to see the U.S. share more intelligence with Ukraine?


I don’t want to go into the details, but we have good cooperation with the intelligence community.


What are you looking for from the U.S. that you haven’t received?



We’ve got what they can deliver. We have really good relations.


Nevertheless, you are left with the Russians on your doorstep and your army not functioning.


The price for ammunition for one Russian soldier is about $13,000. The price for a U.S. soldier is $23,000. The price for a Ukrainian soldier is about $1,800.


What can you do?


Fight.


What keeps you up at night?


About 2 or 3 o’clock in the morning I check the Internet to see if something has happened—another crisis, more violence, another building seized, another Russian spy or agent. In the last five days, thank God, nothing has happened. They tried but didn’t succeed. 



If Putin wants to do more here, does he have to send in troops?


He won’t do it. At this particular period, Ukrainians who live in southern and eastern Ukraine don’t support the Russian president.
He could get additional support [in Ukraine] if we face social problems, if people are unhappy with austerity. He will be waiting for this. He will create problems, and he will wait for the problems that we are creating by ourselves.


While you work on the economy, you will have to keep an eye on the Russians that are in your country?


The security services detained a number of agents with an FSB [successor to the KGB] background.


So they are in the country and have been here for a while?


This was a preplanned operation. They started infiltrating the Ukrainian government a few years ago—the government, the military, the security forces, and the state-owned companies.



So it wasn’t the Maidan that brought the Russians here?


No. You have to know the Russians. The Russians never trusted Yanukovych, but they used him as access to Ukraine. They were very familiar with what Yanukovych was like—they knew he was a corrupt man and easy to intimidate. The real plan was to change Yanukovych in 2015 and to have a new pro-Russian president and a new pro-Russian majority in the parliament. This was the dream of President Putin.


So do you think the West was asleep?


When President Putin [said] that the biggest disaster of the 20th century was the collapse of the Soviet Union, did the West think he was kidding? He wasn’t. No one heard this. The West was deaf to his speech but he wasn’t kidding. He invaded Georgia in 2008 and has now moved to Ukraine. Then he supported Bashar al-Assad in Syria. The Russians like to back these kinds of ********. They don’t care about red lines. They redraw them in other colors.


So the U.S. didn’t follow through on its threat about the red line. Did Putin see the United States as weak?


He saw [that] there is no power to stop him. He is a big, sophisticated political animal. He scrutinized every other political animal on the globe and realized that at this particular time, he has no impediments. It is a disaster for the world, and we need to take lessons from the last century. Europe had a bad record in 1938, and we are not allowed to repeat the same stuff in 2014.


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