Interfax: Russia’s ambassador to London explains why Russia-NATO conflict over Ukraine is impossible

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

(Interfax – July 29, 2015) Russia’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom Alexander Yakovenko rules out the possibility of a military conflict between Russia and NATO over the Ukraine crisis. An open letter of Russia’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom Alexander Yakovenko was posted on July 29 on the website of the Russian Embassy. “There are, indeed, attempts to frighten the […]

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Russian Defense Industry Revenues Soar Despite Western Sanctions

Russian Soldiers Marching

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Matthew Bodner – July 29, 2015) The Russian government bought defense equipment worth almost 2 trillion rubles ($33.2 billion) in 2014, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said in April. Russia’s major defense industry enterprises shrugged off Western sanctions and a Russian economic slowdown to grow their revenues rapidly in 2014, according to a new global ranking. […]

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Chart – Just 1 in 10 Russians favour cooperation with Nato

NATO Meeting file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Francesca Moll in London – July 28, 2015) [Chart here http://www.bne.eu/content/story/bnechart-just-1-10-russians-favour-cooperation-nato] Just one in ten Russians believe their country should cooperate with Nato, according to a recent survey by the Russian Public Opinion Research Centre (WCIOM). A preference for Eastern-led organisations emerged from the study, in which a majority of Russians (54%) believe that […]

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Interfax : Russian patriarch appeals to Putin, Poroshenko over Ukraine conflict

Patriarch Kirill file photo

(Interfax – July 27, 2015) Patriarch of Moscow and All-Russia Kirill has written letters to the presidents of Russia and Ukraine expressing deep concern over events in eastern Ukraine, privately-owned Interfax news agency reported on 27 July. “Reaching the peace agreements in Minsk put the escalation of the conflict on hold and inspired hope for a full ceasefire between the […]

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Ukraine War Risks Reigniting as OSCE Warns of Troop Buildup

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

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Kateryna Choursina, Aliaksandr Kudrytski – July 28, 2015) The battle readiness of Ukraine’s military and the rebels it’s fighting in the country’s east is at its highest level since a February truce, monitors warned, a situation that risks tipping the conflict back into war. After more than a year of fighting, sides are fortifying positions and […]

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New Russian Naval Doctrine Enshrines Confrontation With NATO

Russian Naval Vessel file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Matthew Bodner – July 28, 2015) President Vladimir Putin on Sunday approved amendments to Russia’s naval doctrine that prioritize the development of Russian positions in strategic seas around the world, according to the Kremlin website. The updated doctrine takes advantage of a huge injection of funds into Russia’s naval strength to shift the emphasis of […]

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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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NEWSWATCH Interfax-AVN: U.S. global missile shield continues to expand – consultant to RVSN commander

Patriot Missile Launch file photo

Interfax-AVN covers comments on U.S. missile defense by the Russian military. The circle of participants of the United States global missile shield is expanding, Col. Gen. Viktor Yesin, a consultant to the Commander of the Russian Strategic Missile Forces (RVSN), told a press conference …. ‘… At present, parts of the U.S. global missile defense system are deployed on the Danish island […]

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NEWSWATCH AFP: Eyeing Russia, US leads fresh military drills in Ukraine

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

AFP covers U.S.-Ukrainian relations and recent military drills near Ukraine’s border with Poland. Ukrainian and US troops launched fresh drills Monday near the war-torn country’s Polish border in a bid to show unity and resolve in the face of an increasingly resurgent Kremlin. The annual Rapid Trident exercises involve 1,800 soldiers from 18 countries and last for just under two […]

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NEWSWATCH CNN/Matthew Rojansky, Michael Kofman: Isolated Russia has little left to lose

NATO Meeting file photo

Writing for CNN.com, Matthew Rojansky and Michael Kofman address historic shifts in relations between Russia and the West, amidst Western reactions to the Russo-Ukrainian War, the downing of civilian airliner MH-17 and other developments. … MH17 was a turning point, after which many European leaders abandoned their previously held view that Russia could be successfully integrated into Western-led economic, political, or […]

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Interfax: Moscow supports bringing closer stances with Kuala-Lumpur on MH17 issue – diplomat

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

MOSCOW. July 24 (Interfax) – Moscow is ready to start work to bring closer the viewpoints of Malaysia and Russia in regard to the investigation of the Malaysian Boeing 777 crash in Ukraine, Russian Ambassador to Malaysia Valery Yermolov said. The text of the ambassador’s speech on the Boeing 777 tragedy and situation concerning the attempts to form an international […]

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NEWSWATCH New York Times: In Bleak Ukraine City, a Duo’s Odd Experiments Win a Niche Online. In Luhansk, two men leverage YouTube fame to shed light on and report about the realities of life in Ukraine’s conflict-torn East

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

The New York Times covers online local coverage of the Russo-Ukrainian War in eastern Ukraine. As Luhansk’s prospects looked ever bleaker, Mr. Pavlov and Mr. Kryukov emerged as quirky but candid guides to an unfamiliar war zone, an Internet voice for locals who drop their Russian g’s in homegrown accents and were stunned by the sudden outbreak of violence in […]

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NEWSWATCH The Independent (UK): Vladimir Putin wants to ‘eliminate Ukraine – I have no doubt’, claims Ukrainian PM

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

The Independent covers comments by Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk about the Russo-Ukrainian War and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s policies towards Ukraine. The Prime Minister of Ukraine has claimed that Vladimir Putin is trying to ‘eliminate Ukraine’ as conflict continues between government troops and rebels.   Russia has persistently denied supporting separatist fighters … but Arseniy Yatsenyuk said there was irrefutable evidence of […]

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NEWSWATCH Ukraine Today: Poroshenko warns of imminent Russian invasion; Russia’s Donbas army consists of around 80,000 troops including 50,000 regular army soldiers

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

Ukraine Today reports on Ukrainian intelligence threat assessments regarding Russian or Russia-backed forces. … Poroshenko says military intelligence officials have confirmed … Russia could rapidly launch a fresh invasion … at any moment …. Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine has warned … Russia had completed … preperations to launch a massive new invasion in three different directions along the contact line … in the Donbas. … […]

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How Do You Solve A Problem Like The Donbas?

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

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Brian Whitmore – July 21, 2015) Just one sentence, inserted into a complex piece of legislation, caused some to wonder whether Kyiv has been sold out by its Western allies. One sentence that was too much for many Ukrainians. One sentence that was not enough for the Kremlin. One sentence that the United States reportedly lobbied […]

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Russians Can’t Decide Between Economic Development and Military Power

Russian Soldiers Marching

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – July 22, 2015) Russians are divided between focusing the nation’s efforts on rejuvenating its military power and developing a strong economy, according to a survey published Tuesday by the Levada Center, an independent polling center. Russia is halfway through a decade-long 20 trillion ruble ($350 billion) military rearmament and modernization campaign that critics say is […]

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Interfax: Over half of Ukrainians want conflict in Donbas to be resolved through negotiation – poll

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

(Interfax – July 21, 2015) Over half of all Ukrainians (56.8 percent) surveyed by the Kiev International Institute of Sociology believe the best solution to the military conflict in Donbass would be through further peace talks and a peaceful settlement on the basis of the Minsk agreements. The poll shows that 28.3 percent of the respondents believe that the territory […]

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Putin Warns Russian Defense Industry Not to Fall Behind

Igla Missile Test Firing file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Matthew Bodner, Anna DolgovJ – July 20, 2015) Russia’s military modernization drive is stalling this year under the weight of Western sanctions and the decay of the domestic defense industry, a deputy defense minister told President Vladimir Putin. The defense industry is struggling to keep to schedule on government contracts under a decade-long 20 trillion […]

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Russian Military Struggling to Modernize

Igla Missile Test Firing file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – July 17, 2015) The Russian military is failing to meet its plans for this year on re-equipping its armed forces with modernized weapons because of Western sanctions over the conflict in Ukraine and a decline of domestic industries, a deputy defense minister told President Vladimir Putin. Government defense contracts that have fallen […]

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NEWSWATCH Christian Science Monitor: Amid Kremlin-NATO tensions, what mood in Russia’s European ‘spearhead’? The Baltic enclave of Kaliningrad is home to a major naval base that weighs heavily in both Russian and Western military thinking

Kaliningrad Map, adapted and cropped from army.mil image with credit to Jim Kistler, USAWC

The Christian Science Monitor reports on Russia’s Baltic enclave Kaliningrad in the midst of stepped-up Russian and NATO military activity. If the tensions between Russia and the West should escalate into full-fledged confrontation, it is this former Prussian town – home to a huge military base in the heart of NATO country – that is going to be right at […]

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Interfax: MH17 investigators have yet to establish type of missile – Dutch prosecutors

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

(Interfax – July 17, 2015) An international group of investigators probing the crash of the Malaysian Boeing in eastern Ukraine have yet to find out whether the plane was shot down from the ground or from the air, according to the Dutch prosecutor general’s office. “We are investigating the scenario of the ground-to-air missile that downed MH17 and the other […]

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The Day Putin Became A Pariah

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

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Brian Whitmore – July 16, 2015) It was the day Moscow’s dreams of empire cost European lives. It was the day the Kremlin lost its last vestiges of credibility. It was the day when it became impossible to continue even pretending that Vladimir Putin’s regime was anything close to respectable. It was the day the mask […]

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NEWSLINK Christian Science Monitor: Islamist threat to Russia looms large at Central Asia security summit

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The Kremlin is increasingly concerned about an Islamist uprising in one of the weak autocracies along its southern flank, all of which will be attending the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit today in Ufa, Russia

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Interfax: Putin says Eurasia’s not a chessboard, it’s our home

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

(Interfax – July 9, 2015) Russia and its neighbours in the Eurasian landmass should not be treated as a “chessboard” or a “geopolitical playing field”, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on 9 July in remarks reported by privately-owned Russian news agency Interfax. “For us, this isn’t a chessboard, it’s not a geopolitical playing field – this is our home, and […]

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Re: [UTExpertsDiscGrp] Straight talk about Russian aggression in Ukraine

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

Subject: Re: [UTExpertsDiscGrp] Straight talk about Russian aggression in Ukraine Date: Wed, 8 Jul 2015 From: ‘Andrei Liakhov’ via “Untimely Thoughts” – An Expert Discussion Group on Russia The course for violent (in some form) confrontation was set when in mid-to-LATE JANUARY 2014 “Luhansk partisans” (a 100% local group) emerged as a response to the local right sector and captured […]

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Russia Can No Longer Afford to Be the Militarist and Expansionist Power It has Always Been, Shevtsova Says

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

(Paul Goble – Staunton, July 8, 2015) After a brief attempt to escape from its past in the 1990s, Russia under Vladimir Putin is “again returning to militarism … the model of existence in which Russia had existed for centuries” in order to prepare for war. No other such civilization exists in the world now, but Russia “cannot militarize as […]

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Russian weapons face West’s economic wall

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(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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RIA Novosti: Russian volunteers making up to 2 per cent of Donbass separatists – rebel envoy

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

(RIA Novosti – Moscow, July 3, 2015) The number of Russian volunteers among Donbass rebels does not exceed 2 per cent, Vladyslav Deyneho (Vladislav Deynego), the authorized representative of the [self-proclaimed] Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) at the contact group, has said. Moscow has repeatedly said that it is not a party to the conflict in east Ukraine. Russian Foreign Ministry […]

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Interfax: No military solution to Ukraine conflict – Russian Defence Ministry

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Interfax – St. Petersburg, June 30, 2015) The Russian Defence Ministry sees no alternative to a peaceful settlement of the crisis in Donbass. “We are convinced that the conflict in Ukraine has no military solution. There is no alternative to a peaceful settlement of the crisis on the basis of full compliance with the Minsk accords,” Russian Deputy Defence Minister […]

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RIA Novosti: No plans for military alliance with Moscow, says Chinese envoy

Eurasia Map

(RIA Novosti – June 30, 2015) Li Hui, the Chinese ambassador to Russia, has said that Beijing has no plans to form a military alliance with Moscow. He made this statement during an in-depth interview published on the website of RIA Novosti (part of the state-owned International News Agency Rossiya Segodnya) on 30 June. (http://bit.ly/1FNjB7z) No threat to third parties […]

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Interfax: Luhansk reports Ukrainian army’s use of forbidden weapons

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

LUHANSK. June 30 (Interfax) – The Ukrainian army has shelled the territory of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) twelve times in the past four days, using armaments and hardware prohibited by the Minsk agreements, deputy chief of staff of the LPR militia corps Col. Igor Yashchenko has said. “Violations of the Minsk agreements by the Ukrainian Armed Forces are […]

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Russians See Western Sanctions as Plot to Weaken Them, Poll Shows

Mercator Projection Satellite Image of Earth

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – June 30, 2015) Two out of three Russians believe that Western governments want to “weaken and humiliate” Russia with their sanctions over the Ukraine crisis, and only 5 percent think the measures are aimed at ending the bloodshed in Ukraine, a new poll indicates. Nearly half of Russians – 46 percent – […]

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UNOCHA: Five things you need to know about the crisis in Ukraine

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

(From the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs – unocha.org – ©2015 Reprinted with the permission of the United Nations – also appeared at unocha.org/top-stories/all-stories/five-things-you-need-know-about-crisis-ukraine – June 29, 2015 ) “We can make a difference … but we do need to get the funds,” said UN Resident Coordinator Neal Walker on Friday at a New York Headquarters Briefing on […]

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NATO will never invade Russia – McFaul

NATO Meeting file photo

(Interfax – June 28, 2015) Former U.S. ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul has said NATO is not planning to invade Russia and there is no need for the Russian leadership to deploy S-400 air defense systems on its Western borders. “NATO will never invade Russia,” he twitted on Sunday. The former ambassador said the Russian leadership is groundlessly concerned about […]

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Interfax: Russia to react “immediately” if NATO increases strength in Europe – source

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Interfax – Moscow, June 26, 2015) By “slightly pushing” Russia by increasing the alliance’s military presence in Europe, the USA and NATO are waging a “game of nerves” for now, however should any practical steps be taken towards an escalation near Russia’s western border, Moscow will respond without delay, a source in the military and diplomatic circles has told Interfax-AVN. […]

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NEWSWATCH New York Times: NATO Returns Its Attention to an Old Foe, Russia

NATO Meeting file photo

The New York Times covers NATO exercises and policies towards Russia. After years of facing threats far beyond its borders, NATO is now reinvigorating plans to confront a much larger and more aggressive threat from its past: Moscow. This seismic shift has been apparent in military training exercises in this former Soviet republic [Latvia], which is now a NATO member […]

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NEWSLINK Reuters: U.S. to pre-position tanks, artillery in Baltics, eastern Europe

Ashton Carter File Photo

The United States will pre-position tanks, artillery and other military equipment in eastern and central Europe, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced on Tuesday, moving to reassure NATO allies unnerved by Russian involvement in Ukraine.

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DOD TRANSCRIPT: Media Availability with Secretary Carter En Route to Berlin, Germany

Ashton Carter File Photo

(US Department of Defense – June 21, 2015) Presenter: Secretary of Defense Ash Carter SECRETARY OF DEFENSE ASHTON CARTER: So the purpose of this trip, the focus of it, this particular trip to Europe, is NATO. And as to take it from the top again, we’ll be going now to Germany, and talking about — to the German defense minister […]

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Russian Security Fear Citizens Joining ISIS More than Ukrainian Separatists

Map of Area Spanning Portions of Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, highlighting military engagements against ISIL

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – June 22, 2015) More than 1,000 Russian citizens are believed to be fighting alongside the Islamic State, but Moscow is unable to stem the flow of militants to the terrorist group, nor the flow of “volunteers” to separatist forces in eastern Ukraine, a top security official said in an interview published Monday. […]

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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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NEWSWATCH Time Magazine: Russia Just Opened a Theme Park for Warmongers; There are army rations for lunch, and tanks and missiles to play with

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

Time magazine reports on The Guardian reporting on Russia’s new “Patriot Park,” a military-focused theme park an hour outside Moscow. Want your child to learn how to use a grenade launcher? Now, they can at Putin’s ‘Patriot Park,’ a sort of Disneyland built to showcase Russian military prowess. Attractions include military rations for lunch and tanks and missiles to play […]

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NEWSWATCH: NATO and Russia Are Playing a Risky Game

NATO Meeting file photo

Writing in The Moscow Times, NYU professor Mark Galeotti comments on recent military exercises by NATO and Russia. Both Russia and the West continue to stage all kind of major military exercises and demonstrations, even while both accuse the other of provocation and aggressive intent. Are the drums of war beating? No, they’re not — but we need to understand […]

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NEWSLINK International New York Times/Fiona Hill, Steven Pifer: Putin’s Risky Game of Chicken

TU-95 Bear Bomber File Photo

Russian SU-24 fighter-bombers buzzed a U.S. Navy destroyer in international waters in the Black Sea late in May, just days after the Royal Air Force scrambled to intercept nuclear-capable Bear bombers near British airspace. These dangerous Russian games of chicken are now regular occurrences and come hard upon a Russian threat in March to aim nuclear missiles at Danish warships […]

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U.S. Readying Plan to Put Tanks on Putin’s Doorstep

NATO Meeting File Photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – David Lerman, Marta Waldoch – June 14, 2015) The U.S. may announce agreements later this month to station tanks and fighting vehicles in eastern European and Baltic countries, a U.S. defense official said. The Pentagon is trying to finalize plans to station equipment for as many as 5,000 soldiers in about a half-dozen countries as the […]

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