Tag Archives: Military

Shoigu at 60: The Man Who Would Be Russia’s King?

Sergei Shoigu file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – May 22, 2015) Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, a close ally, friend and rumored potential successor of President Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin, turned 60 on Thursday. “A servant to the tsar, a father to soldiers,” political pundits say of Shoigu – one of the country’s longest-serving government officials – citing Mikhail […]

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Announcement: New Reconsidering Russia Podcast: Yuri Zhukov on the Rebellion in Donbas

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

Subject: New Reconsidering Russia Podcast: Yuri Zhukov on the Rebellion in Donbas Date: Tue, 19 May 2015 From: Pietro Shakarian <pashakarian@gmail.com> My latest Reconsidering Russia podcast is now online. It is an interview with Dr. Yuri Zhukov of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor about the conflict in Ukraine’s Donbas. The conversation includes information on coal miners, labor, rebels, etc. […]

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A Net Assessment of the World

Mercator Projection Satellite Image of Earth

(Stratfor.com – George Friedman – May 19, 2015 – stratfor.com/weekly/net-assessment-world) A pretentious title requires a modest beginning. The world has increasingly destabilized and it is necessary to try to state, as clearly as possible, what has happened and why. This is not because the world is uniquely disorderly; it is that disorder takes a different form each time, though it […]

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Moscow Admits Two Fighters Captured in Ukraine Are Ex-Russian Soldiers

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – May 19, 2015) Russia’s Defense Ministry has identified two fighters captured in Ukraine as former servicemen in the Russian military – a concession that echoes rights advocates’ claims that Moscow has been discharging its soldiers from the army before sending them to fight alongside separatists in the Donbass. The fighters, Alexander Alexandrov […]

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Lose The Territory, Win The War

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

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Brian Whitmore – May 19, 2015) For more than year, there’s been a war in eastern Ukraine that nobody called a war. And for the past three months, there’s been a cease-fire there that wasn’t a cease-fire. And now that the agreement reached in Minsk in February that was supposed to end hostilities in the Donbas […]

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Russian Defence Ministry denies serving troops captured in Ukraine

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

(Interfax – May 18, 2015) The Russian Defence Ministry has rejected Ukrainian allegations that two men who were reportedly captured during fighting in eastern Ukraine are serving members of the Russian armed forces, privately-owned Russian news agency Interfax reported on 18 May. Ministry spokesman Maj-Gen Igor Konashenkov admitted that the two men, who were detained by the Security Service of […]

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NEWSLINK Wall Street Journal: Waging Peace. Churchill requested plans for a British-American attack on Russia code-named “Operation Unthinkable.”

Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt, Joseph Stalin and Crowd of Military Officers

The leaders of the Allied powers met three times during World War II, at Tehran, Yalta and Potsdam. The last conference stretched over 17 days in July and August 1945, longer than the first two put together. Harry Truman had replaced Franklin Roosevelt, and Winston Chur  

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Interfax: Russia takes steps to establish interaction with Ukraine on issue of humanitarian aid – Russian Foreign Ministry

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

MOSCOW. May 15 (Interfax) – Russia is ready for cooperation with Ukraine on the issue of humanitarian assistance supplies and is already taking steps in this direction, the Russian Foreign Ministry said. “Moscow is ready for close constructive cooperation with the Ukrainian authorities on issues relating to the supply of humanitarian assistance to civilians who are suffering from the acute […]

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NEWSLINK The Daily Signal: In New Role, US Army Prepares Ukrainians for Different Type of War

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

The sounds of gunfire and explosions are constant on the firing range at the International Peacekeeping and Security Center outside this western Ukrainian town. At one spot, behind an earthen bunker, U.S. Army paratroopers are qualifying Ukrainian National Guard soldiers in Soviet-era shoulder-fired rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs). Further down the line, Ukrainian soldiers shoot at targets using different types of Kalashnikov […]

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NEWSLINK Washington Post: Boris Nemtsov’s last act of courage

Nemtsov March of Mourning

IN THE final years of his life, Boris Nemtsov never gave up on politics in Russia, even when many others were discouraged or frightened away from standing up to President Vladimir Putin. Mr. Nemtsov, once in the front ranks of Russia’s post-Soviet reformers, in the last decade and a half became a persistent Putin critic. To some, he was a […]

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Interfax: Russian diplomat likes U.S. warning to Ukrainian leadership

Russian Foreign Ministry Building Tower file photo

(Interfax – Moscow, May 13, 2015) The warning given by US Secretary of State John Kerry to official Kiev not to try to capture Donetsk airport by force attests to the fact that Washington’s efforts for Ukrainian settlement are starting to have future, according to deputy director of the information and press department of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Mariya Zakharova. […]

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Interfax: Ukraine can retain Donbas if it treats it as special region – Russian Federation Council member

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

MOSCOW. May 14 (Interfax) – Kyiv should grant special status to southeastern regions of Ukraine in order to preserve the country’s unity, says Konstantin Kosachyov, the head of the Russian Federation Council international affairs committee. “Only decentralization, reducing everyone to the same level would be not enough, and if Ukraine wants to preserve Donbas as its part, it should treat […]

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Interfax: Poroshenko statement on Russian troops in Ukraine is unfounded – Kremlin spokesman

Dmitry Peskov file photo adapted from image at kremlin.ru/wikimedia commons

MOSCOW. May 14 (Interfax) – The Kremlin sees Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s statement on the presence of 11,000 Russian troops in Ukrainian territory as unfounded and not conducive to any positive developments. “I don’t see fit to repeat such unfounded accusations, without any concrete information and proof, which are not conducive to anything positive, to put it mildly,” Russian presidential […]

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Interfax: NATO silent on Russian efforts to bolster Euro-Atlantic security – Russian NATO delegation

File Photo of Official at Podium in Front of Large NATO-Russia Council Signage

(Interfax – May 13, 2015) The Russian delegation to NATO has issued an analysis of Euro-Atlantic security, pointing to the causes of the military and political tensions in the regions. “Recently, NATO’s information offices have persistently imposed their simplified black-and-white picture of the history of the difficult relationship between the alliance and Russia on public opinion, ascribing to Russia the […]

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Nemtsov Report Says More Than 200 Russian Soldiers Killed In Ukraine War

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – May 12, 2015) [Report here https://openrussia.org/] More than 200 Russian military personnel have been killed in fighting in eastern Ukraine, according to a report based on research begun by slain opposition leader Boris Nemtsov. The estimated death toll is one of the main findings of the much-anticipated report on Russia’s involvement in the Ukraine conflict, which […]

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Putin’s Tanks Draw Cheers in Russian City Jammed Between NATO Nations

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

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Ragozin – May 11, 2015) Tanks and ballistic missiles lumbered past thousands of spectators gathered in Kaliningrad on Saturday to mark the 70th anniversary of the Allied victory in Europe, an historic triumph for Russia that the Kremlin has used to whip up a new nationalist fervor. “We need to show our enemies, who deem […]

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NEWSLINK Reuters: Russian soldiers quit over Ukraine

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

Some Russian soldiers are quitting the army because of the conflict in Ukraine, several soldiers and human rights activists have told Reuters. Their accounts call into question the Kremlin’s continued assertions that no Russian soldiers have been sent to Ukraine, and that any Russians fighting alongside rebels there are volunteers.

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NEWSLINK IHS Jane’s 360: SACEUR, analysts see Russia renewing invasion of Ukraine in next two months

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

A consensus is building among NATO officials and military analysts of the situation in Eastern Ukraine that Russia will renew its invasion of the region in the next two months. However, there is also general agreement that the attack would take only after the 9 May Victory Day celebrations in Moscow, which President Vladimir Putin regards as reaffirming Russia’s continued […]

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NEWSLINK New York Times: Battle Tested, Ukraine Troops Now Get U.S. Basic Training

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

The exercise, one of the most fundamental in the military handbook, came off without a hitch. A soldier carrying a length of rope and a grappling hook ran to within 20 feet or so of a coil of concertina wire and stopped.

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Nemtsov’s Report On Putin And Ukraine War Finally In Print, With A Little Help From His Friends

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

(RFE/RL – Tom Balmforth – MOSCOW – May 10, 2015) On the evening of February 25, the Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov came to his friend, Ilya Yashin, to ask for help with his latest investigation: a sensitive report on Russian soldiers secretly fighting in Ukraine. Two days later Nemtsov, a relentless critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, was brazenly shot dead near […]

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Building a fragile EM coalition

Mercator Projection Satellite Image of Earth

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – MOSCOW BLOG: Ben Aris in Moscow – May 11, 2015) The May 9 victory parade on Red Square was a show of strength by Russia, which is locked in conflict with Ukraine and the West. But it was also a show of solidarity by some emerging markets that have sided, to a greater or lesser degree and with […]

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Interfax: Donetsk militias register 37 ceasefire breaches by Ukrainians, including artillery attacks

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

DONETSK. May 11 (Interfax) – The Ukrainian military have shelled the Donbas territory nearly 40 times in the past 24 times, the defense ministry of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) said on Monday. “Over the past 24 hours we have registered 37 instances of ceasefire violation, including the use of artillery,” the ministry said in a statement, according to […]

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Russian ombudsman checks reports of servicemen being coerced to fight in Ukraine

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Interfax – Moscow, May 6, 2015) Russian Human Rights Ombudsman Ella Pamfilova has not confirmed reports of Russian servicemen’s presence on the territory of Ukraine. “Inquiries concerning each of the incidents mentioned in the press had been sent to military prosecutors of military districts and directly to the chief military prosecutor. It follows from the official replies received by the […]

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Order of Battle

File Photo of Parade in Red Square from 2005

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – MOSCOW BLOG: Ben Aris in Moscow – April 30 2015) Russia will commemorate the end of World War II on May 9 with its traditional military parade through Red Square. But this year the parade will be more closely watched than normal, as it will also be a chance for Russian President Vladimir Putin […]

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NEWSLINK AP: US Experts on Russia Fear Escalation Over Ukraine.

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

U.S. experts on Russia see a growing danger the crisis in Ukraine that has already taken thousands of lives could explode, although the latest cease-fire agreement has partially held. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_UNITED_STATES_RUSSIA_ANALYSIS?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT

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NEWSLINK Reuters: Russia may be readying for new Ukraine offensive – NATO commander

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

Russia’s military may be taking advantage of a recent lull in fighting in eastern Ukraine to lay the groundwork for a new military offensive, NATO’s top commander told the U.S. Congress on Thursday. U.S. Air Force General Philip Breedlove, the NATO supreme allied commander, said Russian forces had been seeking to “reset and reposition” while protecting battlefield gains, despite a […]

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NEWSLINK Foreign Affairs: Paper Tiger Putin; The Failure of Russia’s Anachronistic Antagonism

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

Russian President Vladimir Putin is not as strong as he might seem, or, more important, as he might hope. Although Russia supports fighters in Ukraine, invaded Georgia in 2008, sold missile systems to Iran, and recently threatened Denmark and Lithuania with nuclear war, it is, in reality, a muted and restrained power operating in a system that no longer supports […]

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Putin Needs Neither War Nor Peace in Ukraine

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – April 29, 2015) Russia’s toxicity for investors is suddenly so 2014. Western money is returning to Moscow’s equity and bond markets, and private Russian companies are again able to borrow, albeit at a premium to Western peers. The main cause for this reversal of fortunes is the cease-fire in Ukraine, even though it […]

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Interfax: U.S. to deploy bases in Ukraine after peacekeeping mission – Russian Deputy Defense Minister

Aerial Photo of Pentagon and Environs

(Interfax – April 30, 2015) Over 400 U.S. military sites have been deployed in countries surrounding Russia, and the Pentagon will open its bases in Ukraine if American peacekeepers are sent there, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov has said. “I agree. No matter where the Americans go, bases are built there,” Antonov said in an interview published by the […]

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NEWSLINK AP: US now sees Russia directing Ukraine’s rebels

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

The United States now sees the Ukrainian rebels as a Russian force. American officials briefed on intelligence from the region say Russia has significantly deepened its command and control of the militants in eastern Ukraine in recent months, leading the U.S. to quietly introduce a new term: “combined Russian-separatist forces.” The State Department used the expression three times in a […]

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NEWSLINK New York Times: Dutch Foreign Minister Reports Progress in Inquiry Into Downing of Malaysian Jetliner

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

NATO officials have said Russian-backed Ukrainian insurgents firing a Russian-made missile were responsible for downing the jetliner on July 17. Russia has blamed Ukrainian forces and denied responsibility in the disaster, which caused shock around the world and played a role in the worsening of relations between Russia and the West over the past year. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/29/world/europe/progress-reported-in-malaysian-plane-shootdown-inquiry.html

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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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A Vicious Circle: The More Aggressive Putin Is, the More Russians Love Him

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, April 29, 2015) Russian polls, admittedly not the most reliable source, suggest that the more aggressive Vladimir Putin is, the more Russians love and support him regardless of the immediate impact of his policies on their lives, a vicious circle that history suggests could lead to a disaster especially given Moscow’s possession […]

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NEWSLINK STRATFOR: Russia’s Scare Tactics in Ukraine

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

Minor clashes continue along the conflict line in Ukraine, but behind the front lines U.S. and Russian officials are waging a war of words. Russia and the United States have each accused the other of threatening to undo the ceasefire, while in reality both the Russian and Ukrainian sides are largely respecting the cease-fire terms of the Minsk agreement. Russian military movements […]

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Open economy should be created in Russia – Putin

File Photo of Outdoor Electronic Sign with Russian Exchange Data

ST. PETERSBURG. April 28 (Interfax) – Raising private investment for different economic sectors, including the defense industry, is one of the key paths for the development of the Russian economy in general, President Vladimir Putin has said. “Raising private investment is one of the general paths of economic development as a whole. It is one of the main points that […]

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No Non-Military Solution to Russian-Ukrainian War Possible, Illarionov Says

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, April 27, 2015) Yesterday, Yuri Lutsenko, the leader of the Poroshenko Bloc in the Verkhova Rada, said that the probability of the renewal of military actions in eastern Ukraine was “more than 80 percent,” a statement that underscores analyst Andrey Illarionov’s argument in Tallinn that “there is no non-military solution” for the […]

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BOOK REVIEW: The lessons Russia learnt in Chechnya

Chechen Militants file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Nicholas Watson in Prague – April 22, 2015) “Russia’s Wars in Chechnya 1994-2009″. By Mark Galeotti, Osprey Publishing (2014). As Russia begins a new period of military adventurism, it’s an opportune time to review what happened when the country previously waged war in its backyard, so Mark Galeotti’s “Russia’s Wars in Chechnya 1994-2009″ is […]

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NEWSLINK The National Interest: Countdown to War: The Coming U.S.-Russia Conflict. Putin and Obama think they’ve got this crisis contained. Two prominent experts say they may be wrong.

Putin and Obama with U.S. and Russian Flags

The United States and Russia may be unwittingly stumbling down a path to deeper confrontation and even war, cautioned two prominent American national-security experts at a panel in Washington, D.C. Tuesday. Graham Allison, director of Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, and Dimitri K. Simes, president of the Center for the National Interest and publisher of this […]

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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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The Faltering Russian Economy Makes a Renewed Ukraine Offensive More Likely

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

(Eurasia Daily Monitor: Volume 12, Issue 73 – Jamestown Foundation – jamestown.org – Pavel K. Baev) “Boring” is perhaps the prevalent impression of President Vladimir Putin’s televised four-hour-long Q & A session that aired last Thursday (April 16), which was meant to demonstrate his good health and relaxed attitude to the great many problems worrying his loyal subjects. The three […]

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NEWSLINK New York Times/James Cartwright & Vladimir Dvorkin: How to Avert a Nuclear War

Nuclear Mushroom Cloud

We find ourselves in an increasingly risky strategic environment. The Ukrainian crisis has threatened the stability of relations between Russiaand the West, including the nuclear dimension — as became apparent last month when it was reported that Russian defense officials had advised President Vladimir V. Putin to consider placing Russia’s nuclear arsenal on alert during last year’s crisis in Crimea.

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Interfax: Ukrainian-U.S. Fearless Guardian 2015 military exercise begins in Ukraine

ukraine-us-army-convoy-poland-army-mil

LVIV. April 20 (Interfax) – During the Fearless Guardian 2015 international military exercise, Ukraine’s National Guard intends to learn from the United States military the practices they have used in operations worldwide, Ukraine’s Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said. “The U.S. special task force has experience received in operations worldwide, and we want to use this experience. Wars are won by […]

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Rebel Forces Prepare Spring Offensive in Ukraine

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

(Eurasia Daily Monitor: Volume 12, Issue 69 – Jamestown Foundation – jamestown.org – Roger McDermott – April 14, 2015) All parties to the Minsk Two agreement, which has resulted in a shaky ceasefire in southeastern Ukraine since February 12, express varying levels of concern about a possible full resumption of hostilities. On April 10, the pro-Russian Ukrainian rebel leader who heads the Donetsk […]

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Normandy Quartet calls for withdrawal of artillery and heavy weapons below 100mm in Donbass

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

(Interfax – April 14, 2015) Foreign ministers from the Normandy Quartet countries have called on the trilateral Contact Group for Ukraine to agree a schedule for the withdrawal of weapons below a 100 mm caliber from the line of contact in Donbass, the chair of the Normandy format’s ministerial meeting in Berlin said in a statement. “We furthermore call for […]

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NEWSLINK New York Times: Rival Factions in Ukraine Are Urged to Withdraw Heavy Weapons

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

Warring parties in Ukraine should withdraw heavy weapons — including tanks, armored vehicles, mortars and artillery — in order to comply with the shaky cease-fire that has held in eastern Ukraine since late February, the German foreign minister said early Tuesday. The call from the minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, came after talks with his counterparts from France, Russia and Ukraine aimed […]

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Swedish Admiral Admits ‘Russian Submarine’ Was Actually Civilian Boat

Map of Sweden and Environs

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Peter Spinella – April 14, 2015) A photo that a retired Swedish naval officer said showed a Russian submarine in Swedish waters last autumn was actually of a much smaller civilian boat, a Swedish admiral told his country’s media Monday. “Analysis revealed that the photograph taken in Stockholm’s inner archipelago was of a smaller boat,” […]

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