NEWSWATCH: “U.S. Senate approves $500 million military aid, lethal weapons for Ukraine”

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

“The … Senate passed … the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018, authorizing the provision to Ukraine of $500 million worth of military aid, including lethal defensive weapons. … approved 89 to 8 votes, [the bill] will now go to the president’s desk … [it passed] the House … on July 14. * * * The executive summary … [says] that half of the $500 million … will be withheld until […]

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Interfax: Putin warns U.S. against supplying Ukraine with lethal weapons, which would exacerbate Donbas situation

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

XIAMEN. Sept 5 (Interfax) – The possible delivery of U.S. lethal weapons to Ukraine cannot drastically change the Donbas situation but may increase casualties and trigger the use of military force in other territories, Russian President Vladimir Putin told a press conference on Tuesday, after the BRICS summit in Xiamen. “This [the supply of lethal weapons to Ukraine] is a […]

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Putin’s Arms Bazaar Is in a Serious Sales Slump

File Photo of Buk-1 SAM

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Tobin Harshaw – April 25, 2017) Tobin Harshaw writes editorials on national security, education and food for Bloomberg View. He was an editor with the op-ed page of the New York Times and the paper’s letters editor. Russian President Vladimir #Putin is mighty proud of his #military’s performance in #Syria. And, as I have written, it’s […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Turchynov hopes Trump’s administration approves lethal weapon provision to Ukraine” – Interfax-Ukraine

“National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) Secretary Oleksandr Turchynov said he hopes that the new U.S. administration will make a decision on granting lethal weapons to Ukraine. ‘I do think that Ukraine has a chance to get lethal weapons. … The position of the Republican Party towards Ukraine is sufficiently clear and consistent. All their votes in the Congress and […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Iran and Russia Move Closer but Their Alliance Has Limits” – Reuters

Iran Map and Flag

When Iran took delivery of the first parts of an advanced Russian air defense system this month, it paraded the anti-aircraft missile launchers … to mark Army Day. … the Kremlin’s decision a year ago to press ahead with the stalled sale of the S-300 system was the first clear evidence of a growing partnership between Russia and Iran that […]

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NEWSLINK: “Putin must be stopped. And sometimes only guns can stop guns. The time for diplomacy will come again, but it is not now: Ukraine urgently needs military support, and a counter to Russian propaganda.” – The Guardian/Timothy Garton Ash

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Who benefits and who loses from revocation of anti-Iranian sanctions

Iran Map and Flag

If Moscow plays its cards correctly, it will be able to strengthen its positions not only in Iran but also throughout the entire Middle East. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – GEVORG MIRZAYAN – January 29, 2016) The lifting of sanctions against Iran has generated an entire wave of speculation about the upcoming reformation of the Middle East. However, […]

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NEWSWATCH Washington Post: “On Ukraine’s front lines, U.S.-supplied equipment is falling apart”

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

The Washington Post reports on old, second-rate U.S. equipment being given to Ukraine. The United States has delivered more than $260 million in nonlethal military equipment to help the government of Ukraine in its fight against a Russian-backed insurgency, but some of the U.S.-supplied gear meant to protect and transport Ukrainian military forces is little more than junk. … for […]

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Congress Passes Bill Giving Lethal Aid To Ukraine

U.S. Capitol in Bright Sunlight

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – WASHINGTON – November 10, 2015) Congress has passed a defense policy bill that authorizes up to $50 million in lethal military aid for Ukraine and mandates a White House response if Russia is deemed to be violating a key arms control treaty. The White House said hours after the $607 billion bill was passed by the […]

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RBTH: Manufacturer of BUK missiles disagrees with Dutch official report on MH17

Ukraine Air Crash Scene with Uniformed Security Personnel, Flames, Smoke

The Dutch Safety Board has finally released its long-awaited report on the MH17 disaster. According to the findings, the Malaysia Airlines jet was shot down by a BUK 9M38M1 missile. However, the maker of the BUK rockets, the Almaz-Antey company, has published its own document with different findings. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Alexei Timoshenko, Nadezhda Ustinova, RBTH […]

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NEWSWATCH New York Times: “Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 Most Likely Hit by Russian-Made Missile, Inquiry Says”

Ukraine Air Crash Scene with Uniformed Security Personnel, Flames, Smoke

October 13, 2015 The New York Times covers the Dutch investigation of the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over an area of Ukraine controlled by Russia-backed rebels. A 15-month inquiry into the disintegration of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in the skies over eastern Ukraine has concluded that the aircraft was most likely attacked from the ground by a Russian-made […]

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NEWSWATCH Washington Post: “Did U.S. weapons supplied to Syrian rebels draw Russia into the conflict?”

File Photo of U.S. Soldier Training Lithuanian Soldier with TOW Anti-Tank Missile

October 12, 2015 The Washington Post covers Russia’s entry in the Syrian Civil War and the impact of U.S. military transfers to some Syrian rebel groups. American antitank missiles supplied to Syrian rebels are playing an unexpectedly prominent role in shaping the Syrian battlefield, giving the conflict the semblance of a proxy war between the United States and Russia … […]

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RBTH: Syrian rebels ask U.S. for arms to defend against Russian strikes

Syria Map

Representatives of “moderate” rebel groups in Syria opposed to the regime of Bashar al-Assad have asked the U.S. to supply them with surface-to-air missiles to counter Russian air strikes, American media have reported. Russian observers say this is unlikely but caution that arms may be supplied by the key regional sponsors of Syria’s opposition, Turkey and Saudi Arabia. (Russia Beyond […]

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Abandoned Mistral Deal Still Divides Russian Officials, Analysts

Mistral Class Ship

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Matthew Bodner – August 5, 2015) France has agreed to reimburse Russia for the two Mistral-class helicopter carriers purchased under a 2011 contract, ending a months-long dispute over the fate of Russia’s largest foreign arms purchase in the post-Soviet era. But the question of whether Russia really needs such expensive ships other than for mere […]

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NEWSWATCH Chatham House/James Sherr: To Support Ukraine, West Must Go Beyond Sanctions. Providing critical military assistance to Ukraine would devalue Russia’s advantage in negotiations.

U.S. Military Convoy Headed to Ukraine, On Highway Near Mountains or Cliffs

Writing for Chatham House, James Sherr addresses Western support for Ukraine admidst the Russo-Ukrainian War. … the West has acted on the premise that economic sanctions would induce Russia to modify its actions. But while sanctions do constrain capacity, they do not constrain behaviour. Their immediate impact is bearable … they do nothing to diminish Russia’s most usable and effective form of power: military force. […]

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RIA Novosti: Supply of U.S. artillery-locator radars to Kiev will have major effect – pundit

Aerial Photo of Pentagon and Environs

(RIA Novosti – July 23, 2015) The possible supply of artillery-locator radar systems by the United States to Ukraine could treble the effectiveness of the Ukrainian Army in artillery battles with the separatist militias, but will require direct involvement in the war by US troops, the president of the Academy of Geopolitical Problems, Konstantin Sivkov, has said, RIA Novosti (part […]

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Russian weapons face West’s economic wall

Asia Map

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Rakesh Krishnan Simha, special to RBTH – July 8, 2015) Despite being technologically ahead, Russian weapons face a virtual ban in the West. However, the picture is entirely different in Asia. Russian weapons are good enough for China and India – countries flush with cash and able to afford the best – but […]

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NEWSLINK Kyiv Post editorial: New arms race; The last time that the West got into an arms race with the Kremlin, the Soviet Union collapsed

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

So when we hear threats from Russian President Vladimir Putin that he will respond to the West’s improved NATO defenses on Russia’s border, our response is: Bring it on, peewee Stalin!

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NEWSLINK The National Interest/Rajan Menon: Newsflash, America: Ukraine Cannot Afford a War with Russia

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

Arming Ukraine would only fan the flames of tension between the West and Russia, leading the United States into a conflict it doesn’t, and shouldn’t, want.  

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Bershidsky: Ukraine’s Neo-Nazis Won’t Get U.S. Money

U.S. Capitol in Bright Sunlight

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – June 12, 2015) It’s easy to see why Representative John Conyers, a Michigan Democrat, would have a problem with the military unit commanded by Ukrainian legislator Andriy Biletsky: Conyers is a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus, Biletsky is a white supremacist. The House of Representatives has unanimously approved an amendment to […]

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U.S. House Passes Three Amendments By Rep. Conyers To Defense Spending Bill To Protect Civilians From Dangers Of Arming and Training Foreign Forces

U.S. Capitol in Bright Sunlight

(Office of Congressman John Conyers, Jr. – conyers.house.gov – June 11, 2015) WASHINGTON- Late yesterday evening, the U.S. House of Representatives considered H.R. 2685, the “Department of Defense Appropriations Act of 2015.” During consideration of the legislation, Congressman John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) and Congressman Ted Yoho (R-Fla.) offered bipartisan amendments to block the training of the Ukrainian neo-Nazi paramilitary militia “Azov Battalion,” and […]

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NEWSLINK New York Times: Defying Obama, Many in Congress Press to Arm Ukraine

U.S. Capitol in Bright Sunlight

With the peace process stalled and violence escalating in Ukraine, a bipartisan coalition in Congress is defying President Obama and European allies by pressing the administration to provide weapons to the embattled nation http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/12/world/europe/defying-obama-many-in-congress-press-to-arm-ukraine.html

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NEWSLINK Reuters: Sink or sell? Russia spat leaves France with warships to spare

Mistral Class Ship

Tensions between the West and Russia over Ukraine have blocked a deal in which Moscow was to buy the ships, leaving Paris trying to negotiate a face-saving compromise and work out CAwhat to do with two unwanted warships.

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Fulfillment of S-300 deal with Iran will take time – Russian official

Iran Map and Flag

(Interfax – MOSCOW, May 26, 2015) The right time to begin implementing a contract for the delivery of S-300 surface-to-air missile systems to Iran has not yet come, Deputy Secretary of Russia’s Security Council Yevgeny Lukyanov told Interfax on Tuesday. “A decision concerning S-300 deliveries to Iran has been adopted, but the implementation of this project will take time. As […]

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SENATE HEARING: Russia, Ukraine, and U.S. Policy – Prepared statement by Stephen Sestanovich

U.S. Capitol in Bright Sunlight

Senate Committee on Armed Service April 28, 2015 Russia, Ukraine, and U.S. Policy Prepared statement by Stephen Sestanovich George F. Kennan Senior Fellow for Russian and Eurasian Studies Council on Foreign Relations Kathryn and Shelby Collum Davis Professor of International Diplomacy School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University Chairman McCain, Senator Reed, members of the Armed Services Committee: Thank […]

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No U.S. plans to deliver anti-tank systems to Ukraine – U.S. ambassador to Russia

File Photo of Soldier Firing Javelin Shoulder-Mounted Anti-Tank Missile

(Interfax – April 21, 2015) The U.S. does not plan to deliver Javelin shoulder-mounted anti-tank missile systems to Ukraine for the moment and is sending defensive gear alone to that country, U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Tefft said on Ekho Moskvy radio. He said that the U.S. is supplying bullet-proof jackets, glasses and night-vision systems to Ukraine, all of which are […]

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Why Russia Ended its Ban on Selling Advanced Air Defense Systems to Iran

Middle East Map

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Matthew Bodner – April 15, 2015) Russia’s decision this week to lift a self-imposed embargo on selling powerful S-300 anti-aircraft systems to Iran is likely an attempt to turn the Middle Eastern country into a major new market for Russian arms exports. As the international community edges closer to a nuclear deal with Iran, the […]

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NEWSLINK The National Interest: How Russia Plans to Save Its Massive Military Buildup. “For those who expected that sanctions and the fall in energy prices would tame the bear’s claws, think again.”

Russian Soldiers Marching

“For those who expected that sanctions and the fall in energy prices would tame the bear’s claws, think again.” The announcement that Russia is planning to lift its self-imposed ban on selling the advanced S-300 air defense system to Iran gives us an important insight into how Moscow plans to move ahead with its ambitious plans to modernize and reequip […]

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How Much Power Will Russia’s S-300 Missile Defense Systems Give Iran?

Middle East Map

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Matthew Bodner – April 15, 2015) Moscow’s decision to lift its unilateral ban on exporting advanced S-300 air defense system to Iran will boost the Islamic republic’s air defense capabilities, but their military impact depends on the outcome of ongoing negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program. The air defense systems, built by Russia’s largest defense contractor […]

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Putin’s Mideast Gains Trump $27 Billion Loss From Iran Agreement

Middle East Map

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Henry Meyer, Stephen Bierman – April 14, 2015) As Russian President Vladimir Putin has shown in Crimea and eastern Ukraine, he’s willing to take an economic hit to expand his political influence. He’s taking the same approach with Iran. Lifting sanctions and allowing Iranian oil onto global markets would threaten to deepen the plunge in crude […]

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No decision yet on new contract for S-300 missiles for Iran – Kremlin

Middle East Map

MOSCOW. April 14 (Interfax) – The Kremlin has acknowledged the absence of any legal restrictions for supplying S-300 air defense missile systems to Iran now that the president has signed the relevant decree. “The question of contracts, to sign or not sign [new ones], is one that will be decided or discussed by the immediate participants of the deal, if […]

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Interfax: Lavrov: Kyiv may resort to provocation in Donbas to get arms from abroad

Sergei Lavrov file photo

MOSCOW. March 21 (Interfax) – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov does not rule out that what he called “the war party” in Kyiv might resort to some provocative acts to open the path to supplies of lethal weapons to Ukrainian government forces from abroad. “Provocateurs in Kyiv and also those who support the war party may try to cook something […]

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Interfax: Moscow will not stay indifferent to U.S. decision on lethal arms supplies to Kiev

File photo of Barack Obama and Petro Poroshenko facing one another, with Obama gesturing

(Interfax – March 24, 2015) Russia will not stay indifferent to Washington’s possible decision to begin supplying lethal weapons to Ukraine, Alexei Pushkov, who chairs the Foreign Affairs Committee in the State Duma, the lower chamber of Russia’s parliament, has said. “The Congress is urging the president of the United States to begin delivering weapons to the country which has […]

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NEWSLINK Wall Street Journal: U.S. Delays Ukraine Military Training, General Says; Washington wary of giving Moscow excuse to scrap truce

Gen. Ben Hodges, USA file photo

The Pentagon is delaying a training program for Ukrainian soldiers so as to avoid giving the Kremlin an excuse to scrap the tenuous peace deal struck last month between Kiev and Moscow-backed separatists, a top U.S. general said Tuesday. Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, commander of U.S. Army in Europe, said U.S. officials wanted to make sure such training—which would involve […]

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NEWSLINK: One Year Later, Obama Administration Still ‘Reviewing’ Lethal Aid to Ukraine.

File photo of Barack Obama and Petro Poroshenko facing one another, with Obama gesturing

For roughly a year, Obama officials have been weighing lethal aid to Ukraine. Some 6,000 Ukrainians have been killed since, but they’re no closer to a decision. …

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Obama Administration Increasingly Divided Over Arms to Ukraine

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Patrick Donahue, David J Lynch – March 5, 2015) As the U.S. State Department’s No. 2 official warned against a military response to the Ukraine crisis, President Barack Obama is facing growing pressure from other top advisers to start arming Ukrainian government forces battling Russian-backed insurgents. “Anything we did as countries in terms of military support […]

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NEWSWATCH: Russia’s military budget may shrink 10 percent in 2015 – Rostec

File Photo of Russian Tanks in Military Parade

[“Russia’s military budget may shrink 10 pct in 2015 – Rostec” – Reuters – Stanley Carvalho – Feb. 23, 2015] Reuters covers news that Russian defense spending might shrink this year, due to the impact of Ukraine-related sanctions. Finance Minister Anton Siluanov previously had said that 10 percent cuts to government spending would spare defense. But on Monday the head of […]

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Arming Ukraine: A Dose of Realism

File photo of Barack Obama and Petro Poroshenko facing one another, with Obama gesturing

Subject: ARMING UKRAINE: A DOSE OF REALISM Date: 17 Feb 2015 From: Kirk Bennett <kirkbennett7@yahoo.com> ARMING UKRAINE: A DOSE OF REALISM By Kirk Bennett Kirk Bennett is a former Foreign Service officer who served in both Moscow and Kyiv. The opinions expressed are his own and do not represent the views of the U.S. government. The latest upsurge in fighting […]

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Moscow Times: Putin Says Russian Intelligence Shows U.S. Is Already Arming Ukraine

Column in Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Feb. 18, 2015) Russian President Vladimir Putin has claimed the U.S. is supplying Kiev with lethal weapons, telling reporters that the conflict in Ukraine will not be resolved through military escalation. “According to our intelligence, [U.S.] weapons are already being delivered,” Putin was shown on state television Channel One as telling a press conference on […]

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NEWSWATCH: Ukraine needs America’s help

Ukraine Map and Flag

[“Ukraine needs America’s help” – Washington Post – Steven Pifer, Strobe Talbott – January 29, 2015] Steven Pifer and Strobe Talbott, in a Washington Post op-ed, address the unfolding conflict in Ukraine and U.S. options. The new year has brought more misery …. Separatist fighters, supported by Russian troops, have launched attacks in Donetsk and Luhansk. Diplomatic efforts have made no progress toward […]

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Moscow Times: Over Half of French Citizens Think Paris Should Deliver Mistral Warship to Russia

Mistral Class Ship

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – January 20, 2015) Over 60 percent of French citizens think their country should honor a 1.2 billion euro ($1.39 billion) contract with Russia for the stalled delivery of two French-built Mistral-class helicopter carriers, according to a poll published Tuesday. In contrast, 36 percent of French citizens support French President Francois Hollande’s decision to deliver the […]

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Russia does not mind not getting Mistral but it wants its money back – Putin

Mistral Class Ship

(Interfax – Moscow, December 6, 2014) Russia proceeds from the fact that the contract to supply Mistral helicopter carriers will be carried out by the French side, otherwise it expects the money that has been paid to be returned, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said. “There is a contract, and it is a legal document. We proceed from the fact […]

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Interfax: No comment from Kremlin spokesman on suspension of Mistral warship delivery by France

Mistral Class Ship

SOCHI. Nov 26 (Interfax) – Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov has refused to comment on French President Francois Hollande’s statement on Tuesday regarding the postponement of the delivery of the Mistral helicopter carrier to Russia because of the situation in Ukraine, saying that the matter had not been discussed at a conference hosted by President Vladimir Putin and dealing with the […]

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