Tag Archives: Military

Sergei Roy: “Americans and Russians, Person-to-Person, with a Sidelight on Ukraine”

Putin and Obama with U.S. and Russian Flags

Subject: Americans and Russians, Person-to-Person, with a Sidelight on Ukraine Date: Sun, 1 Mar 2015 From: Sergei Roy <sergeiroy@yandex.ru> Attached is my latest piece on “Americans and Russians, Person-to-Person.” Incidentally, it is a real letter to a real American friend. Americans and Russians, Person-to-Person, with a Sidelight on Ukraine (A letter to an American friend) By Sergei Roy [Former Editor-in-Chief, […]

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Boris Nemtsov: ‘We Must Free Russia From Putin’

Boris Nemtsov file photo

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Mikhail Sokolov and Luke Johnson – February 28, 2015) Slain opposition politician Boris Nemtsov was looking ahead to a planned March 1 opposition rally, though in an interview with RFE/RL’s Russian Service earlier this month, he portrayed the demonstration as just a first step in a long struggle. “If you think that [authorities] would run away […]

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Putin Will Likely Attack a NATO Country Next, Portnikov Says

NATO Meeting file photo

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, February 27, 2015) Because Vladimir Putin seeks both recognition as the leader of a superpower and a new Yalta at which he and Western leaders will partition the world into spheres of influence and because he can only move toward that goal by new acts of aggression, the Kremlin leader is likely […]

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Moscow Preparing Revolts in Major Ukrainian Cities, Poroshenko Ally Says

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, February 27, 2015) Having been slowed by Ukrainian resistance and hope to use the Minsk Accords to avoid new sanctions, Moscow is planning to spark uprisings in major Ukrainian cities in March and April before beginning a major military attack on the country in May, according to Yuri Lutsenko, head of the Poroshenko […]

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Interfax: Kyiv claims partial withdrawal of militia’s heavy weaponry, relocation of forces

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

KYIV. Feb 27 (Interfax) – The heavy arms withdrawal by the Donbas militia from the line of contact has been only partial, and militia forces are being regrouped and bolstered, Kyiv said. “The militants are pulling back their hardware only partially and to distances which can be covered within 30 minutes. Besides, in the words of spokesman for the OSCE […]

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Experts See Dark Plot in Spate of Mystery Bombings in Ukraine

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Allison Quinn – February 26, 2015) As the latest blast in a recent string of mysterious bombings in eastern Ukraine claimed another victim Wednesday, experts warned that there would be more to come – and they could spread the conflict further from the front lines. A Donetsk grocery store became the latest scene of carnage […]

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Interfax: Russia expects “responsible approach” from Ukraine to constitutional reform

Sergei Lavrov file photo

(Interfax – February 25, 2015) Moscow hopes that Ukraine will take a responsible approach to the implementation of the obligations undertaken in Minsk and carry out the constitutional reform, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said. He was speaking at a meeting with President of the Senate of France Gerard Larcher in Moscow on 25 February, as reported by privately-owned […]

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Interfax: Ukrainian army reports decline in ceasefire violations by militia

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

KYIV. Feb 25 (Interfax) – The militia operating in eastern Ukraine failed to observe the ceasefire in the past 24 hours yet the intensity of gunfire has reduced, the Ukrainian army said. “The number of ceasefire violations by the militants has been markedly reducing for a second day in a row. Yet the enemy continues random attacks in particular populated […]

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Is There a Plausible Strategy for the Ukraine Situation?

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

(John Steinbruner – Perspectives on Peace & Security – perspectives.carnegie.org – Carnegie Corporation of New York – February 2015) John Steinbruner Professor, Public Policy Director, Center for International and Security Studies at University of Maryland CUAF – School of Public Policy One year after Russia’s seizure of Crimea, the situation in Ukraine continues to drift toward active military confrontation between […]

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NEWSWATCH: Poroshenko pledges to return Crimea to Ukraine

Petro Poroschenko file photo, with additional men in background, adapted from image at state.gov

[“Poroshenko pledges to return Crimea to Ukraine” – Interfax-Ukraine – Feb. 24, 2014] Interfax-Ukraine reports on statements by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko pledging to reunify occupied Crimea with the Ukrainian mainland. ‘The Ukrainian state will regain control over this temporarily occupied territory. I am not saying that this will be a simple thing to do which we will go through quickly. But this […]

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U.S. Poll Finds More Americans Support Arming Ukraine Government

File Photo of U.S. Capitol in Bright Sunlight

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – February 24, 2015) U.S. public support for arming Ukraine has grown from 30 percent to 41 percent over the past 10 months, though the majority of Americans still oppose sending lethal military aid to Kiev, a poll has shown. Fifty-three percent of Americans oppose supplying the Ukrainian government with weapons to battle pro-Russian separatists in […]

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Moscow Times: Russians Increasingly Worried About Foreign Military Threat

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – February 24, 2015) Russians are increasingly worried about foreign states being a military threat, a new poll revealed. The independent Levada Center pollster said Saturday that 68 percent of Russians believe a foreign power threatens Russia’s national security, a 24 percentage point increase over the decade. The poll, taken Jan. 23 to 26, revealed that […]

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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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Swapping a rifle for a mailbag: One Russian’s alternative to army service

File Photo of Russian Military Conscripts Boarding Train with Gear

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Makar Butkov, special to RBTH -February 23, 2015) As in many countries, military service is compulsory in Russia for young men between 18 and 27, yet remains unpopular with many, who find various ways of avoiding the draft. Odd as it may seem, few take up the option of legal alternative civilian service […]

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NEWSWATCH: How to spot a Russian bomber

TU-95 Bear Bomber File Photo

[“How to spot a Russian bomber” – BBC – February 20, 2015] The BBC covers recent incursions by Russian bombers into UK’s area of interest, including information on how to recognize Russian bombers. Two Russian bombers have been escorted from near UK territory – the latest in a series of similar incidents. How easy is it to spot a Russian […]

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NEWSWATCH: Danger to UK safety: Vladimir Putin’s Russian bombers ‘put British passenger jets at risk’

TU-95 Bear Bomber File Photo

[“Danger to UK safety: Vladimir Putin’s Russian bombers ‘put British passenger jets at risk'; Russian bombers in British airspace risk a catastrophic collision with a passenger airliner, a former Armed Forces chief warned yesterday.” – The Daily Express (UK) – Tom Morgan – February 23, 2015] The Daily Express covers recent incidents of Royal Air Force jets being scrambled to […]

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Interfax: Russian general coordinates weapons withdrawal in east Ukraine

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Interfax – February 19, 2015) Russian and Ukrainian military representatives are working together to coordinate a plan for withdrawal of heavy weapons in east Ukraine, a Russian general said on Russia’s official state television channel Rossiya 1 on 19 February. Speaking live on the phone in Rossiya’s primetime evening news programme, head of the Russian group for coordinating ceasefire issues […]

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Interfax: DPR Defense Ministry has no information about Ukrainian heavy arms withdrawal

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

DONETSK. Feb 20 (Interfax) – The Ukrainian army has yet to begin the withdrawal of heavy weapons from the line of contact consistent with the Minsk deal, the command of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) army said. “The DPR Defense Ministry does not have information about the pullout of Ukrainian heavy armaments from the line of contact,” Eduard Basurin […]

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Interfax: Russians say external military threat has grown – poll

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

(Interfax – February 20, 2015) Sixty-eight percent of Russian citizens recently interviewed by the All Russian Center for Public Opinion Studies (VTsIOM) believe that their country faces a real military threat from outside, as compared with 52 percent of respondents in 2014, and 49 percent in 2000. Twenty-eight percent of those polled took the opposite view (42 percent in 2014). […]

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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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Ukrainian rebels fight way into Debaltseve

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

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – bne IntelliNews – Feb. 18, 2015) Russian-backed rebels in East Ukraine’s Donbas region look set to take the town of Debaltseve despite a ceasefire agreement entering into force on February 15. Debaltseve is a local road and rail hub that forms a Ukraine-held salient jutting into rebel-held territory, which rebels have fought to encircle […]

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Interfax: Luhansk republic leader announces “closure” of Debaltseve

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

MOSCOW. Feb 17 (Interfax) – The fighting zone in Debaltseve is closed, so all hostilities are taking place inside the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR), LPR leader Igor Plotnitsky has said. “We have a continuous line. The Debaltseve ‘boiler’ is closed. It is Ukraine who cannot and does not want to recognize this. All hostilities taking […]

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Kyiv blames Moscow, Donetsk and Luhansk republics for violating Minsk agreements

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Interfax – KYIV, Feb. 17, 2015) Ukraine’s presidential chief of staff has blamed Russia, and the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics for violating the Minsk accords reached on February 12. “Contrary to the expectations that all parties will demonstrate a responsible position after the adoption on February 12 of the Declaration of measures to be taken, including Russia – […]

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Ukraine rebels offer safe passage to surrounded Kiev troops

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

(Interfax – February 16, 2015) The self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) is ready to offer safe passage to Ukrainian troops surrounded near the settlement of Debaltseve, DNR spokesman Denis Pushilin [Denys Pushylin] has said. “At the present moment we consider it [Debaltseve] our internal territory. We will offer safe passage to Ukrainian troops. They may withdraw without their weapons and […]

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German doctors confirm that Savchenko is fine – Russian Federal Penitentiary Service

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Interfax – February 16, 2015) The Russian Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN) has assisted German doctors with an objective medical evaluation of Ukrainian servicewoman Nadezhda Savchenko, which has confirmed that her health condition is fine. “Assistance was provided yesterday with an approved medical evaluation of accused Nadezhda Savchenko by doctors from Germany,” the FSIN press service said in a report obtained […]

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Putin ‘Will Not Advance Further’ in Ukraine, Kyiv Journalist Says

Putin at Desk

(Paul Goble – Staunton, February 16, 2015) Many in Ukraine and elsewhere are fearful that Vladimir Putin will expand his aggression into other regions of Ukraine, but, according to Ivan Yakovina of “Novoye Vremya,” he does not at least at the present time have “the strength, the motive or the opportunity” to do so. here are six compelling reasons why this […]

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Putin Evokes Tolstoy 26 Years After Soviet Troops Pulled Out of Afghanistan

Soviet Era Afghan Soldiers with Flag

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – February 16, 2015) President Vladimir Putin marked the 26th anniversary of the Soviet Union’s withdrawal from Afghanistan Sunday, vindicating his country’s involvement in the Afghan War and praising novelist Leo Tolstoy’s moral teachings. “When years pass and more facts become known, we more clearly understand the reason why Soviet troops were sent to Afghanistan,” Putin […]

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Agreement in Minsk: Will the ceasefire in eastern Ukraine work this time?

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Alexei Timofeichev, RBTH – February 13, 2015) According to the agreement reached in Minsk on Feb. 12, the ceasefire in eastern Ukraine goes into effect at 00:00 on Feb. 15. However, Russian military experts believe that several factors may impede the full cease of military activity, key among which is the situation in […]

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Interfax: If demands not met, Ukraine rebels to claim rest of Donetsk Region – leader

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

(Interfax – February 14, 2015) If the demands of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) for de facto independence are not met, the republic may intensify its claims to the whole of Donetsk Region, DPR leader Aleksandr (Oleksandr) Zakharchenko has said, privately-owned Russian news agency Interfax reported on 14 February. “So far we see fuzzy wording and all kinds of interpretations. […]

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Shelling of Ukrainian army position stops – General Staff

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

KYIV. Feb 15 (Interfax) – Acting spokesman for the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces Vladyslav Seleznyov has announced that the shelling of army positions in Eastern Ukraine stopped as of 3 a.m. on Sunday. “The ceasefire in the zone of the antiterrorist operation is generally observed since midnight. Since that time members of illegal armed formations irregularly conducted […]

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Interfax: Russia didn’t make any promises to release pilot Savchenko in Minsk summit – Peskov

Ukraine Map and Flag

MOSCOW. Feb 13 (Interfax) – The issue of pilot Savchenko was indeed raised by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in the Minsk meeting in the “Normandy format” and Russia made no promises, but gave explanations, Russian presidential press officer Dmitry Peskov told Interfax on Friday, commenting on the statement made by Poroshenko saying he had raised the issue of Savchenko release […]

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Situation in ‘Debaltseve pocket’ worsens ahead of Ukraine peace talks in Minsk

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – bne IntelliNews – February 11, 2015) Ukrainian government forces trapped in the eastern Ukrainian town of Debaltseve are suffering significant casualties, according to Ukraine’s general staff. Debaltseve is the easternmost town held by Ukraine in the conflict-torn Donbas region, and is now surrounded by Russian-backed rebel forces following an encircling action. The fate of […]

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Russia Would See U.S. Moves to Arm Ukraine as Declaration of War

Maidan Square file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Matthew Bodner – February 10, 2015) U.S. provision of military aid to Ukraine would be seen by Moscow as a declaration of war and spark a global escalation of Ukraine’s separatist conflict, Russian defense analysts said. With Russia-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine seizing new territory from the Ukrainian army, voices in Washington are demanding that […]

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Europeans Laugh as Lavrov Talks Ukraine

Sergei Lavrov file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Josh Rogin – February 7, 2015) Josh Rogin is a Bloomberg View columnist who writes about national security and foreign affairs. He has previously worked for the Daily Beast, Newsweek, Foreign Policy magazine, the Washington Post, Congressional Quarterly and Asahi Shimbun. In the span of 45 minutes today, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov rewrote the history […]

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Putin’s War in Ukraine has Already Claimed 50,000 Dead, German Intelligence Sources Say

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, February 8, 2015) German intelligence services estimate that 50,000 people have died in the war in Ukraine so far, a figure almost ten times larger than that offered by Ukrainian or other sources, according to a report in today’s “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.” (faz.net/aktuell/politik/ausland/ukraine-sicherheitskreise-bis-zu-50-000-tote-13416132.html). According to the German paper, earlier figures provided by […]

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Saakashvili Says Ukraine Could ‘Conquer Russia,’ Provoking Official Outcry

Mikheil Saakashvili file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – February 9, 2015) Georgia’s former President Mikheil Saakashvili told a Ukrainian television channel over the weekend that Ukraine’s military could “conquer all of Russia,” a remark that incited the ire of Russian officials. Saakashvili was “born an idiot and will die one,” Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, who oversees the country’s defense industry, said […]

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Business New Europe: NATO ramps up presence in Eastern Europe

NATO meeting file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – bne IntelliNews – February 6, 2015) Nato has agreed to establish a new rapid reaction force, boost its troops in Poland and Romania, and establish six command and control centres in Central and Southeast Europe as part of the alliance’s response to the Russian aggression in Ukraine. According to Nato’s secretary general Jens Stoltenberg, […]

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Interfax: “Lavrov: Excitement inspired by NATO’s all-out support will hopefully not harm Kiev”

Sergei Lavrov file photo

(Interfax – February 8, 2015) Russia hopes that the feeling of excitement inspired by NATO’s all-out support will not do harm to the Ukrainian leadership, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told the press in Munich on Sunday. “Concerning Ukraine in the context of relations with NATO, and the parallels between Ukraine and Georgia, I did not draw such parallels. NATO […]

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PONARS Perspectives: U.S. Military Assistance to Ukraine

Ukraine Map and Flag

(PONARS Eurasia – ponarseurasia.org – February 5, 2015) PONARS Eurasia is a network of over 100 academics, mainly from North America and post-Soviet Eurasia, who advance new policy approaches to research and security in Russia and Eurasia. Eight former senior military and diplomatic officials have called for the United States to provide $1 billion a year in military assistance to Ukraine over […]

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Another Sign Moscow Preparing Massive Invasion of Ukraine – and Facing Problems Doing So

File Photo of Russian Military Conscripts Boarding Train with Gear

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, February 5, 2015) The Russian government has introduced draft legislation that would make it easier for Moscow to sign up professional soldiers and for commanders to force draftees to convert to that status and thus be available for dispatch to Ukraine, yet another indication Moscow is preparing for a massive invasion and […]

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NEWSWATCH: Russians present in Ukraine in specialist roles: U.S. envoy

Douglas Lute file photo

[“Russians present in Ukraine in specialist roles: U.S. envoy” – Reuters – February 4, 2015] Reuters reports on clarifications by U.S. ambassador to NATO Douglas Lute that Russian troops in eastern Ukraine are in a command role and are operating sophisticated military equipment, while additional Russia military interventions do not appear imminent. ‘Back in August, we saw a spike in direct Russian intervention […]

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NEWSWATCH: Obama’s Pentagon nominee suggests support for arming Ukraine

Ashton Carter File Photo

[“Obama’s Pentagon nominee suggests support for arming Ukraine” – Reuters – Phil Stewart, Andrea Shalal- February 4, 2015] Reuters reports on remarks by U.S. Secretary of Defense nominee Ashton Carter regarding U.S. policy towards Ukraine and Russia, such as arms for Ukraine and continued economic pressure on Russia. President Barack Obama’s pick to become defense secretary told Congress on Wednesday he […]

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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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Interfax: Russian Defence Ministry again says it has no troops in Ukraine

File Photo of Russian Military Conscripts Boarding Train with Gear

(Interfax – Moscow, January 30, 2015) The Russian Defence Ministry has once again denied the claims of the Ukrainian military that Russian forces are fighting on the side of the militia. “It is difficult to imagine even one defence ministry in the world in which public statements are made on the principle of ‘every cock wants to crow’,” Russian Defence […]

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Russia Beyond the Headlines: Putin: ‘Foreign legion’ operating in Ukraine; Russian experts react to Putin’s comments, which NATO calls “nonsense.”

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Alexei Timofeichev, RBTH – January 27, 2015) During at visit to the National Mineral Resources University in St. Petersburg on Monday, Jan. 26, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the army fighting against pro-Russian rebels in southeastern Ukraine is “essentially no longer an army, it is a foreign legion – in this case […]

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Analyst Provides Insider View of Russian Government Think Tank

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Eurasia Daily Monitor: Volume 12, Issue 11 – Jamestown Foundation – jamestown.org – Valery Dzutsev – January 20, 2015) The revelations of Alexander Sytnik, who recently left his position as a senior fellow at the Russian Institute for Strategic Research, a government-funded think tank, provides a rare glimpse into the inner mechanisms of policymaking in Russia. In his personal account of the […]

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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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Interfax: Putin suggests Ukraine conflicting parties cease fire, pull back artillery guns larger than 100mm

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Interfax – January 19, 2015) The text of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s message to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko was published on Sunday night. Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov told Interfax about the message earlier. “The latest events in southeastern Ukraine – the resumed bombardments of populated areas in the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk – give us a deep sense […]

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Business New Europe: It’s time for a new pan-European Security treaty

Europe Map

(Business New Europe PERSPECTIVE – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Moscow – January 13, 2015) We are in the middle of the worst political crisis since the end of the Cold War and there is a very real, albeit still remote, possibility of war in Europe. Without attempting a detailed analysis of how we got here, in the broadest brush […]

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