Category Archives: Military

Interfax: Russia to take into account threats resulting from new U.S. security strategy

Mercator Projection Satellite Image of Earth

(Interfax – March 26, 2015) Russia will react to the adoption of a new U.S. security strategy and will take into account emerging risks and threats in its founding documents related to national security, says Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. “Certainly, all threats to Russia’s national security are taken into consideration. They will be analyzed, and if need be, amendments will be […]

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NEWSLINK Hoover Roundtable: Perspectives On Russia’s Hybrid War On Ukraine And US Foreign Policy

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

On March 10, the Hoover Institution [at Stanford University] held a roundtable discussion on “Perspectives on Russia’s Hybrid War on Ukraine and US Foreign Policy.” Hoover fellow Paul Gregory moderated; presenters were Michael McFaul, director of Stanford’s Freeman Spogli Institute, Hoover senior fellow, and former ambassador to Russia; Alexander Yarim-Agaev, a professor at Donetsk Technical University; General Jim Mattis, (ret) […]

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NEWSWATCH CNBC: Falkland Islands’ fears for Russia-backed invasion

South America and Falkland Islands

[“Falkland Islands’ fears for Russia-backed invasion” – CNBC – Catherine Boyle -March 25, 2015] CNBC covers British military reinforcements of Falkland Islands defenses on the heels of remarks by the Russian Ambassador to the UK comparing the comparing the Falklands to Crimea. The U.K. has sent extra military support to one of its overseas colonies at the bottom of the world, the Falkland Islands, […]

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

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

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

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How to end the Ukraine conflict

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

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Moscow – March 19, 2015) March will be a tense month as Russia has decided to poke its finger in Nato’s eye again. Russia’s Armed Forces are holding for the first time Arctic military exercises, which kicked off on March 16 and will last through March 21. The exercises are massive. The […]

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

Gen. Ben Hodges, USA file photo

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

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Experts: Russia’s withdrawal from the CFE Treaty is a signal to the West

Russian Soldiers Marching

Russian experts say the decision to abandon cooperation with NATO on conventional forces must be considered in the broader geopolitical and historical context. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Alexei Timofeichev, RBTH – March 13, 2015) Moscow has announced its withdrawal from the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty, as of March 11, stating that the agreement had became […]

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In E. Ukraine, Civilian Deaths Push Men to Join Rebels

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

(Voice of America – voanews.com – Patrick Wells – March 12, 2015) After months of fighting in eastern Ukraine, the presence of the Ukrainian military and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the rebellion. New recruits for Ukraine’s rebel army, part of a battalion of Don Cossacks, are on their way out of […]

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Interfax: Russia ready for new agreement on conventional weapons in Europe

Europe Map

(Interfax – March 11, 2015) Russia is ready for negotiations concerning a new treaty regarding the control of conventional weapons in Europe, Mikhail Ulyanov, director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s department on non-proliferation and arms control issues, said. “We are ready to consider the possibility and hold appropriate negotiations regarding a new agreement that is in line with the new […]

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Interfax: Wikileaks prompted Russia to suspend Joint Consultative Group on CFE participation – Russian Foreign Ministry

Europe Map

(Interfax – March 11, 2015) Russia decided to suspend its work in the Joint Consultative Group on the CFE Treaty because it could not use this format to discuss issues relating to conventional weapons control in Europe, Mikhail Ulyanov, director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s department on non-proliferation and arms control issues, said. “When Wikileaks published secret documents, Department of State […]

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Interfax: Russian defence officials deny US claims of Russian soldiers in Ukraine

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Interfax – March 5, 2015) Russian Deputy Defence Minister Anatoliy Antonov has criticized statements by American officials that thousands of Russian military personnel are operating in Ukraine. “Then what about the statement of the chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces’ General Staff, Gen [Viktor] Muzhenko, that there are no armed forces of the Russian Federation in Ukraine?” Antonov said at […]

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

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

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

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NEWSLINK: Obama Said to Resist Growing Pressure From All Sides to Arm Ukraine

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

As American intelligence agencies have detected new Russian tanks and artillery crossing the border into Ukraine in recent days, President Obama is coming under increasing pressure from both parties and more officials inside his own government to send arms to the country. But he remains unconvinced that they would help. …

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TRANSCRIPT: A Military Assessment of the Russian War in Ukraine

U.S. Capitol in Bright Sunlight

A Military Assessment of the Russian War in Ukraine Stephen Blank Senior Fellow American Foreign Policy Council February 2015 Testimony Presented to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation, March 4, 2015 Ukraine needs military help from abroad in terms of weapons, training, and finances to help sustain its government and economy in the face […]

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War in Ukraine is a struggle for new rules in the global game

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

The world should not hold its breath for a simple resolution to the confrontation that has arisen between Russia and the West over Ukraine – beyond the struggle for influence over Ukraine’s destiny lies a deeper ideological conflict. Moscow has issued a challenge to the U.S.-led unipolar model that has dominated global geopolitics for the last 25 years, and there […]

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Ukraine and rebels claim to have withdrawn heavy weapons from Donbas ceasefire line

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

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Graham Stack in Kyiv – March 2, 2015) The ceasefire in East Ukraine’s Donbas region between Ukraine government forces and Russian-backed separatist rebels is fragile but holding. Both sides reported some clashes but no fatalities on February 28 and March 1, and claimed to have withdrawn their heavy weaponry, though this is as yet […]

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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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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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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: 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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Debaltseve Was Fatal Flaw in Minsk Agreement on Ukraine

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – February 19, 2015) When the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France spent 17 hours last week negotiating an agreement aimed at stopping the fighting in eastern Ukraine and paving the way for a future fundamental settlement of the crisis, there was one key issue they failed to agree on. This was […]

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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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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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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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In Ukraine’s West, Patriotism Is One Thing. Fighting’s Quite Another

File Photo of Street in Lviv

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Daisy Sindelar, Halyna Tereshchuk – MALEKHIV, Lviv Oblast, Ukraine, February 16, 2015) In towns this small, there are three numbers that local officials like Volodymyr Seinkovskiy can recite without even consulting their files: how many of their men are fighting, how many are injured, and how many are dead. In the undeclared Donbas war that has […]

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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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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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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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Ukrainian troops reportedly encircled by pro-Russian rebels in crucial Donbas town ahead of peace talks

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – bne IntelliNews – February 10, 2015) Russian-backed rebel fighters in eastern Ukraine’s Donbas region are close to encircling a key town that their commanders are intent on taking ahead of further ceasefire talks in Belarus, reports said on February 10. The small town of Debaltseve, the most eastward point held by Ukrainian forces, is […]

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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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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: Pentagon 2008 study claims Putin has Asperger’s syndrome

Vladimir Putin

[“Pentagon 2008 study claims Putin has Asperger’s syndrome” – USA Today – Ray Locker – February 4, 2015] USA Today reports on a U.S. Department of Defense study from 2008, obtained through a Freedom of Information request, theorizing that Russian President Vladimir Putin is autistic, having the neurological condition Asperger’s Syndrome. A study from a Pentagon think tank theorizes … Putin has Asperger’s […]

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NEWSWATCH: Prospects for NATO-Russia relations: Keynote address by NATO Deputy Secretary General Ambassador Alexander Vershbow

Alexander Vershbow file photo

[“Prospects for NATO-Russia relations: Keynote address by NATO Deputy Secretary General Ambassador Alexander Vershbow at the 2015 Leangkollen Conference, Oslo” – Alexander Vershbow – NATO transcript – Feb. 2, 2015] In his keynote address at the 2015 Leangkollen Conference, Oslo, NATO Deputy Secretary General Ambassador Alexander Vershbow addressed the Ukraine conflict and challenges facing NATO-Russia relations. Vershbow holds that Russian aggression has undermined […]

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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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Interfax: Luhansk authorities ask Ukrainian “guerrillas” not to blow up coal trains

Ukraine Map and Flag

KYIV. Jan 23 (Interfax) – Head of the Luhansk region state administration Hennadiy Moskal has asked the so-called “guerrillas” who blew up a coal train at the Krasna Mohyla station not to stage acts of sabotage on the Kyiv-controlled part of the Luhansk region. “A lion’s share of electric power for populated localities on our territory is generated by the […]

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Putin Now has His Storm Troopers and Pogroms Will Surely Follow, Ganapolsky Says

Vladimir Putin

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, January 23, 2014) Putin’s Russia has crossed a Rubicon: it now has sanctioned the Anti-Maidan Movement, a domestic version of Hitler’s storm troopers, and thus created a monster that almost certainly will engage in pogroms against one group or another in the future, according to Moscow commentator Matvey Ganapolsky. Despite Putin’s ratings […]

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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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