NEWSLINK: “Kiev Is Fueling the War in Eastern Ukraine, Too; A muted White House isn’t just emboldening the Kremlin — it’s inciting the politics of war throughout Ukraine.” – Foreign Policy Magazine/ISAAC WEBB

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

“… Beginning Jan. 29, rockets rained down on residential and military positions along the front line, killing civilians and soldiers alike. One 60-year-old woman was killed in separatist shelling as she walked from her home to a nearby market; a 24-year-old medic was killed when a shell exploded next to the ambulance she was driving. The fighting decimated local water […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Trump-Putin ties now seen as key to peace in eastern Ukraine” – CNBC/Silvia Amaro

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

“Escalating violence in eastern Ukraine … has underlined the importance … Trump now plays in the region … promising to restore peace after a phone call with … Poroshenko. Trump has signaled his intent to have a closer relationship with Russia and … Putin. And with an open line of communication with Poroshenko, Trump could well prove … instrumental. * […]

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NEWSLINK: “Losing everything in Avdiivka; As violence escalates in Eastern Ukraine front, one family copes with losing their livelihood in the shelling.” – Al Jazeera/Christian Borys

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

“… Somewhere in that direction is the heavy gun that fired the shell which destroyed everything for which he had worked. The sounds of the intense fighting in that direction are still audible …. ‘That poor old man,’ says his 71-year-old wife …. ‘He worked his whole life for his family, and now it’s all gone.’ …. * * * […]

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NEWSLINK: “TODAY’S FEAR-MONGERING” – Irrussianality/Paul Robinson

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

“Doug Saunders of the Globe and Mail newspaper writes some good op-eds. But like a lot of commentators he seems to go completely off the rails when the subject of Russia comes up. His latest piece entitled ‘Is Putin scoring political goals on an empty net?’ had me spluttering over my breakfast cereal this morning, and merits a detailed response.”

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Joint news conference with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban (excerpt re Ukraine)

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Kremlin.ru – February 2, 2017) Question: I have a question about Ukraine. Mr President, your position on the conflict in Donbass is known. I would like you to clarify the following: why did this flare-up occur at this particular moment? Since we are in Hungary, I would like to ask Mr Orban the following question: What do you think about […]

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Attacks cut water supply to Donetsk

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

MOSCOW. Feb 1 (Interfax) – Water supply has been cut to Donetsk and, partially, to Makiivka as a result of an attack on a water filtering station, the Donetsk news agency said with reference to the Voda Donbasa company. “The hostilities caused a power outage at the Verkhnekalmiusskaya water filtering station at 9:30 a.m. The fourth grid connection (35 kV […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Kiev and Kremlin trade blame over surge in east Ukraine fighting” – Reuters

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

“Ukraine and Russia blamed each other on Tuesday for a surge in fighting in eastern Ukraine … that has led to the highest casualty toll in weeks and cut off power and water to thousands of civilians …. The Ukrainian military and Russian-backed separatists accuse each other of launching offensives in the government-held industrial town of Avdiyivka and firing heavy […]

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Solovey on the Shape of the Emerging Putin-Trump ‘Big Deal’ on Ukraine and Much Else

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, January 30, 2016) Valery Solovey, one of the best connected and most thoughtful of Moscow’s foreign policy commentators, says that the telephone call between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin was the “first step toward ‘a big deal’” between the two not only over bilateral ties but also over a re-division of the […]

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Ukraine’s Survival Strategy for the Trump Era

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

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – January 17, 2017) For Ukraine, Jan. 20 is a scarier date than perhaps for any other country: It may be about to lose the U.S. support that has allowed it to stay afloat in the face of #Russian hostility and economic disaster. The Ukrainian elite is divided between two competing strategies in response. […]

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Putin’s New Year

Europe Map

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Brian Whitmore – January 9, 2017) So 2017 is here. And one thing we can be pretty certain of this year is that Vladimir Putin’s regime will try to push the advantage it gained last year — and intensify its efforts to undermine the liberal world order. And there will be plenty of targets of opportunity. […]

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Lift Russian Sanctions for ‘Positive Developments’ in Ukraine – OSCE Chair

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – January 9, 2017) Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz has called on European leaders to begin lifting sanctions against Russia in exchange for “any positive development” in the Ukrainian crisis. Kurz, a politician for the Austrian People’s Party, claimed that the change in policy would “send a clear signal to Russia.” “My concept is clear. I […]

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Putin Will Never Agree to Deal Thomas Graham Suggests He Wants, Portnikov Says

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, January 5, 2016) Vladimir Putin has no interest in the deal Thomas Graham suggests he now wants, Vitaly Portnikov says; and consequently, if Washington pursues the course the former US diplomat and current Kissinger associate proposes, it will only embarrass itself but not achieve any of the goals he says the West […]

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EVENT: Reminder: Everyone Loses: The Ukraine Crisis and the Ruinous Contest for Post-Soviet Eurasia | Thursday, January 12th at 9:00am [in Washington D.C.]

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

Subject: Reminder: Everyone Loses: The Ukraine Crisis and the Ruinous Contest for Post-Soviet Eurasia | Thursday, January 12th at 9:00am Date: Wed, 4 Jan 2017 From: Samuel Charap <Charap@iiss.org> The International Institute for Strategic Studies – Americas Everyone Loses: The Ukraine Crisis and the Ruinous Contest for Post-Soviet Eurasia Thursday, January 12, 9:00-10:00am IISS-AMERICAS BOOK LAUNCH 9:00-10:00am Discussion followed by […]

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Interfax: DPR reports nearly 1,700 Ukrainian army attacks in past 24 hours

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

DONETSK. Dec 19 (Interfax) – The self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) recorded 1,684 attacks by the Ukrainian military, nine houses were damaged in the past 24 hours, senior officer of the DPR Defense Ministry Eduard Basurin said. “At the same time, the adversary fired 54 122mm caliber artillery shells, 310 120mm and 82mm caliber mines, three tank projectiles, as well […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Reassess and Reassure. A new Trump administration could move Russia away from its anti-Western posture.” – The National Interest/Carnegie Corporation/Andrew Kuchins

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

“The first thing … Trump can do is strike a new tone … open, respectful, businesslike and disciplined. He should acknowledge … deep concern at the state of U.S.-Russia relations … and express that his administration views Russia as an essential partner in reducing nuclear risks … fighting #terrorism and bringing more stability to the greater Middle East, and mitigating […]

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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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Lavrov says no breakthroughs at Normandy Format meeting

Sergei Lavrov file photo

MINSK. Nov 29 (Interfax) – Today’s meeting of the Normandy Quartet foreign ministers has brought no breakthroughs; it is noted that implementation of the Minsk Agreements in the area of security and politics remains stalled as no specific steps have been agreed upon, although the earlier agreements made by leaders of the fours countries are not being questioned, Russian Foreign […]

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Russians Want West to Make Up with Them and Don’t See Why Ukraine Should Be an Obstacle, New Poll Suggests

File Photo of G7 Leaders and other Officials Around Round Table at the Hague, with Flags

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, November 29, 2016) In presenting the latest Levada Center poll on Russian attitudes toward the West, the center’s Aleksey Grazhdankin says that a majority of Russians think that the initiative for improving East-West ties should come from the West and “do not understand why the actions of their country in Ukraine” have […]

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NEWSLINK AFP: “Obama wants Ukraine deal ‘before term is up'”

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

“US President Barack Obama said he told Vladimir Putin … that he wants to reach a settlement that solves the Ukraine crisis before he leaves office in January. ….”

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NEWSWATCH: “Ukraine turns to Tampa group for help setting up new commando HQ” – Tampa Bay Times

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

Commando forces in … Ukraine were decimated … against pro-Russian insurgents and … “little green men” — masked Russian commandos in unmarked army uniforms. … when it came time to rebuild and adjust … Ukrainian officials turned … to the non-profit Global SOF Foundation, a Tampa-based special operations advocacy group. … credited with helping put Ukraine on the right footing […]

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Ukraine’s ‘Amazing Idiots’ and ‘Crimes Against Humanity’; Five issues Vladimir Putin addressed when speaking in Yalta on Oct. 26

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 26, 2016) On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin traveled to Yalta on the contested Crimean peninsula, where he addressed a forum by the All-Russia People’s Front, a political movement Putin started in 2011 to coexist with the United Russia political party. Hours after Putin’s speech, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry sent Moscow a formal letter […]

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Ukraine’s ministry of internal hatred

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

Ukrainian citizens displaced following the outbreak of conflict in the Donbas are still fighting for their rights – and public officials are using them as scapegoats. (opendemocracy.net – Tetiana Bezruk – October 14, 2016) Tetiana Bezruk researches contemporary Ukrainian nationalism, political violence in the Donbas and cultural memory in post-Soviet Ukraine. A friend who moved to Kyiv from Luhansk showed […]

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Ukrainian Nationalists Stage Torchlight March In Kyiv As New Far-Right Party Is Born

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

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Christopher Miller – KYIV, October 14, 2016) Thousands of nationalists have marched through Kyiv in a torchlight procession to celebrate Ukrainian fighters past and present on a day that saw a fearsome far-right military force formally enter the country’s political fray. As dusk fell on the second annual Day of Defenders on October 14, a holiday […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Dealing with a simmering Ukraine-Russia conflict” – Brookings/Fiona Hill, Steven Pifer

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

A major foreign policy challenge that will confront the new U.S. administration from day one is Ukraine and its conflict with Russia. … Minsk II … that was to end the fighting in … Donbas … has yet to be implemented. There is little sign that Moscow wants a settlement, apparently preferring a ‘simmering’ rather than ‘frozen’ conflict, where it […]

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In Putin’s World, Crime Pays

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

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Brian Whitmore – October 3, 2016) By most objective standards, last week’s news should have been an unmitigated disaster for Vladimir Putin’s regime. By most objective standards, the Kremlin should be worried that it risks becoming an international pariah. By most objective standards, September 28 should have been a dark day for Russia. Dutch investigators on […]

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Analysis: ‘Barbarous’ Syria Bombings, MH17 Blame: What Consequences Could Russia Face?

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Steve Gutterman – September 30, 2016) In terms of its reputation, Russia has had one of its worst weeks ever. Incensed that Moscow is pushing ahead with the “barbarous” bombing of Aleppo and angry over an attack on an aid convoy that is widely blamed on Russian and Syrian forces, the United States is threatening to […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russia Implicated in Shooting Down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 Over Ukraine” – New York Times

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

A Dutch-led investigation has concluded that the powerful surface-to-air missile system … used to shoot down a Malaysia Airlines plane over Ukraine two years ago, killing all 298 on board, was trucked in from Russia at the request of Russian-backed separatists and returned to Russia the same night. … largely confirm[ing] the already widely documented Russian government role not only […]

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NEWSLINK Newsweek.com: “UKRAINE REPORTS RUSSIA IS PRACTICING ITS READINESS FOR NUCLEAR CONFLICT”

Nuclear Mushroom Cloud

Ukraine’s military intelligence claims Russia’s nuclear forces have begun training, simulating the conditions of a large-scale conflict. Kiev’s military intelligence posted a statement on Facebook Wednesday, reporting that Russia’s 33 Guards Rocket Army, based in the western Siberian city of Omsk, had kicked off a nuclear combat practice drill. [featured image is file photo]

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What Putin Didn’t Get In Hangzhou

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Brian Whitmore – September 8, 2016) One of the most significant things about the G20 summit was something that didn’t happen. Hangzhou didn’t become Yalta. China didn’t become Munich. But Vladimir Putin sure wanted it to. In fact, Russia’s actions in and around #Ukraine over the past month appear to have been, at least in part, […]

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NEWSWATCH: “The Far Right in Ukraine During the ‘Euromaidan’ and the War in Donbas September 2016” – Ivan Katchanovski

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

Abstract This paper analyzes the role of far right in the Ukrainian politics during the ‘Euromaidan’ and the war in Donbas. The issue of the involvement of Ukrainian far right organizations in the “Euromaidan” and the war in Donbas have been politicized and polarized. Russian and separatist politicians and the media often presented the “Euromaidan” as a “fascist coup” and […]

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If Russia Plans to Attack Ukraine, It Will Do So in the Next Several Weeks, Felgengauer Says

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, August 28, 2016) It remains unclear whether Moscow intends to launch a full-scale military attack on Ukraine, Pavel Felgengauer says; but if it plans to, there are compelling reasons – deteriorating weather in the fall and the new round of the Russian military draft in October – to think that it will […]

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Russia’s Economy at Risk of Delayed Recovery After Crimea Flareup

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Andre Tartar, Anna Andrianova – August 28, 2016) The recent flare up over Crimea may have just delayed Russia’s economic recovery. After President Vladimir Putin accused Ukraine of plotting terrorist attacks on the Black Sea peninsula this month, the chance that Western countries will scrap economic sanctions against Russia has declined, according to a Bloomberg survey […]

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Playing The Kremlin’s Game

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

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Brian Whitmore – August 29, 2016) After more than two years of war in eastern Ukraine, we continue to pretend; we continue to play make believe. We continue to pretend that what is happening in the Donbas is a civil war, when in fact it is the result of a Russian invasion. We continue to pretend […]

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NEWSLINK Transitions Online: “Russia’s Donbas ‘Buildup’: Threat or Bargaining Chip?”

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

Ukrainian leader warns of possible Russian invasion, while the Pentagon tries to inject a note of realism into increasingly tense debate

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NEWSWATCH: “Playing With Fire in Ukraine” – New York Times

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

Two years after President Vladimir Putin of Russia annexed Crimea and began destabilizing eastern Ukraine, tensions are rising anew, with news reports suggesting that he may be preparing for yet another military confrontation with the pro-Western government in Kiev. … regardless of his intentions, the provocations, real or feigned, could spin out of control. It is essential for Europe and […]

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It’s Security, Stupid: How Putin Manipulates National Emergencies

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Moscow Times/Kennan Institute – wilsoncenter.org/program/kennan-institute – Maxim Trudolyubov – August 15, 2016) Maxim Trudolyubov is a Senior Fellow with the Kennan Institute and editor-at-large with Vedomosti. Vladimir Putin is both feared and admired for his signature move of creating suspense to keep everybody on their toes. He knows how to make sure his next move is unpredictable. And yet, he […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Putin underestimated Ukrainians and overestimated his ability to divide NATO – Pyatt” – Ukraine Today

Geoffrey R. Pyatt file photo

‘Implementation of Minsk-2 means all the Russian troops go out; it means Ukraine’s control over the international border is restored; it means all the hostages are released; it means all of the tanks, and BMPs, and GRAD missiles, and mortars, all of these heavy weapons go back. The first point of the Minsk agreement was a comprehensive ceasefire, and the […]

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NEWSWATCH: “While the world is distracted, Putin escalates his war in Ukraine” – Washington Post

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

… The … FSB, claimed … one of its officers was killed … near the de facto border between Crimea and Ukraine. Russia seized Crimea from Ukraine in early 2014, then backed a violent uprising in … Donetsk and Luhansk. … According to the FSB … a second attempt occurred … with support from Ukrainian artillery, killing a Russian … […]

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NEWSLINK Anders Åslund/Project-Syndicate.Org: “The Putin Question”

Vladimir Putin

As war fever returns in Ukraine, the question of why Russian President Vladimir Putin went from would-be modernizer to aggressive autocrat is being revived. Whatever the reason – fear for his safety, a sense of historical grievance, or both – Putin’s inability to reform Russia’s economy seems certain to be his downfall.

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NEWSWATCH: “Russian reshuffle claims another big name: Putin’s chief of staff”

File Photo of Sergei Ivanov, adapted from defense.gov image

… Putin has abruptly sacked his longtime aide and confidant, Kremlin Chief of Staff Sergei Ivanov, amid what appears to be a major reshuffling within the ranks of Russia’s ruling elite. … the Kremlin website says … Ivanov asked to retire, and requested that his trusted deputy, Anton Vaino, replace him. Even if wholly accurate, it does little to explain […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s Foreign Minister Says No Plan to Break Diplomatic Ties with Ukraine” – Wall Street Journal

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

… Lavrov said Russia had no intention of breaking diplomatic ties with Ukraine and was discussing the possibility of organizing joint talks with Ukrainian, Russian, French and German officials aimed at resolving the conflict in eastern Ukraine. … Lavrov’s comments … come after … Putin blamed Ukraine … for incidents in #Crimea that left two Russian service members dead and […]

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NEWSWATCH: “No evidence so far to corroborate Russia allegations over Crimea: U.S.” – Reuters

Geoffrey R. Pyatt file photo

The United States has seen nothing so far that corroborates Russian allegations of a Ukrainian incursion into Crimea … U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, said …. [along with promises that] U.S. sanctions in relation to Russia’s annexation of Crimea would remain in place until the territory was returned to Ukraine. … Putin accused Kiev … of … terrorist tactics […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s Vladimir Putin may believe time is ripe for another invasion. The Crimea crisis has come from nowhere but the Russian president has form for military adventures in Olympic years, says Luke Harding” – The Guardian (UK)

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

The situation in Crimea looks ominous. Russia’s FSB … said … it … foiled a series of attacks by armed Ukrainians on the peninsula. … Putin accused Kiev[] … of choosing terror over peace. Meanwhile, largely unnoticed by the outside world, Russia has been stealthily shipping military vehicles to Crimea, which Putin annexed … 2014. … two years after Putin […]

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Guns Of August: Fears Of Full-Scale War Return As Casualties Mount In Ukraine

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

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Christopher Miller – MARYINKA, Ukraine – August 9, 2016) Framed by a tiny cutout in the fortified bunker, this particular piece of no-man’s land is tinted a blood-reddish orange by the setting summer sun. It’s hot as hell, and it’s about to get hotter. When the sun goes down, the guns start blazing. And all that […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Putin’s tanks spark fears of European invasion after giant convoy is spotted massing on Ukrainian border” – The Daily Mail (UK)/Abe Hawken

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

Russian tanks have been spotted on the northern Crimea border which has sparked fears that an invasion is imminent. Witnesses described seeing Russian military hardware and trucks arrive near the towns of Armyansk and Dzhankoy – 25 miles south of the Ukrainian border. … video footage also appears to show a fleet of Russian armoured trucks driving down a street […]

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Russia’s Moves, Terrorism Fuel Talk of War in Europe – The Daily Signal [also appeared as “Europeans are quietly preparing for war with Russia” at Newsweek.com]

Europe Map

[article also appeared at Newsweek.com as “Europeans are quietly preparing for war with Russia”] (Nolan Peterson – @nolanwpeterson – The Daily Signal – dailysignal.com – The Heritage Foundation – heritage.org – KYIV, Ukraine, Aug. 3, 2016) Whether referring to Russian aggression in the east or to the threat of Islamist terrorism in the West, Europe’s political, media, and religious elite […]

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Will Putin Again Use the Olympics as Cover for New Aggression, This Time in Ukraine?

Olympic Rings Lit at Night, adapted from image at state.gov

(Paul Goble – Staunton, August 8, 2016) Eight years ago today, when the world was focusing on the Olympics in Beijing, Vladimir Putin used this distraction as the occasion to launch his invasion of Georgia. Now, there are both indications and fears that he may use the world’s focus on the Olympiad in Rio to reignite Russian aggression in Ukraine. […]

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