RUSSIA/BELARUS/UKRAINE | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

RUSSIA/BELARUS/UKRAINE

Apr 12 04:22

Crosstalk 12 Apr discussing Ukraine and Jan 6 uprising

Apr 10 14:50

Erdogan, Zelensky Confirm 'Strategic Partnership' Between Turkey and Ukraine After Istanbul Meeting

President Erdogan praised cooperation between the two countries, especially regarding the defence industry.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced following talks with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky that Ankara and Kiev have agreed to continue their "strategic partnership." Erdogan added that ensuring security and peace in the Black Sea region is Turkey's priority.

The Turkish president further praised the existing defence cooperation between the two nations, stressing that it's not aimed at any specific third country.

Apr 10 08:22

Russia Threatens ‘Full-Scale Military Activities’ in East Ukraine

The Kremlin warned on Friday “full-scale military activities” could occur in eastern Ukraine, blaming increased tensions on the Ukrainian government even as Moscow continues massing forces along the border, to the growing concern of Europe and the United States.

“There are concerns that Ukraine’s civil war will resume. And if a civil war with full-scale military activities resumes near our borders, it will pose a threat to Russia’s national security,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said at a press conference on Friday. Peskov carefully referred to the situation as a “civil war” despite Ukraine extensively accusing Russia of meddling by supporting and equipping separatist rebels in the region.

“The current developments and Ukraine’s behavior in general create the risk of full-scale military activities. It is clear from various statements that Kyiv does not completely reject the idea of using force to resolve its issue with the southeast,” Peskov claimed.

Apr 10 08:14

Russia to Provide Weapons to Pakistan in Bid to Fight Terrorism

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov vowed that his country will supply the armed forces of Pakistan with a number of unspecified weapons in an effort to boost ties in countering terrorism.

He made his remarks on Wednesday during a two-day state visit to the country in a bid to strengthen diplomatic relations and increase Russia’s reputation in the region.

Aside from providing weaponry, the country said it will begin joint exercises with Pakistan to toughen its military presence at sea and in the mountains.

“We have confirmed that we stand ready to strengthen the anti-terrorist potential of Pakistan, including by supplying Pakistan with special military equipment,” Lavrov remarked, without providing details on the equipment. “This serves the interests of all states of the region.”

Apr 10 07:41

Ukraine Redux

Ukraine and Russia may be on the brink of war – with dire consequences for the whole of Eurasia. Let’s cut to the chase, and plunge head-on into the fog of war.

On March 24, Ukrainian President Zelensky, for all practical purposes, signed a declaration of war against Russia, via decree No. 117/2021.

The decree establishes that retaking Crimea from Russia is now Kiev’s official policy. That’s exactly what prompted an array of Ukrainian battle tanks to be shipped east on flatbed rail cars, following the saturation of the Ukrainian army by the US with military equipment including unmanned aerial vehicles, electronic warfare systems, anti-tank systems and man-portable air defense systems (MANPADS).

More crucially, the Zelensky decree is the proof any subsequent war will have been prompted by Kiev, debunking the proverbial claims of “Russian aggression.” Crimea, since the referendum of March 2014, is part of the Russian Federation.

Apr 10 07:32

America’s Dangerous Ukraine Delusion

While America’s military leadership is once again calling attention to the potential for Chinese aggression against Taiwan, a new crisis may be forming on the other side of the world.

In recent days, increased Russian military activity on the Ukrainian border has captured the attention of American and European officials. President Joe Biden, whose restorationist foreign policy aims to reinforce America’s tired and fossilized alliances, pledged “unwavering support” for Ukraine during his first phone call with President Volodymyr Zelensky this weekend.

For its part, NATO announced that it would conduct joint military exercises in Ukraine later this year to “restore… [its] state border and territorial integrity.”

Apr 10 07:28

Ukraine’s Top Commander Invokes NATO’s Article 5 Military Assistance Clause as West Continues to Oversee Ukraine’s War in the Donbass

Colonel-General Ruslan Khomchak, the commander-in-chief of Ukraine’s armed forces, is quoted today as boasting that his nation’s military is capable of responding to what he deemed the “aggravation of the situation” in the Donbass, in his words the temporarily occupied territory of Donetsk and Lugansk, and “along the entire Ukrainian-Russian border.”

The above regions are only two of five Ukrainian (or former Ukrainian) oblasts bordering Russia. The total land border between Ukraine and Russia as Ukraine computes it is some 1,225 miles; Russia’s border with Donetsk and Lugansk is 255 miles.

The Ukrainian military chief has extended the line of conflict by almost five times. In language evocative of the worst days of the Cold War, Khomchak also intoned: “Ukraine is supported by the entire civilized world. We are not alone in the face of the enemy.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Except that Ukraine is not a member of NATO ... yet.

Apr 10 07:27

After Emergency Visit to Ukraine, Polish Foreign Minister Calls Nord Stream 2 Pipeline ‘Present Danger to Peace in Europe’

In the whirlwind of diplomatic activity in Europe and the U.S. related to the upsurge in fighting in the Donbass region of Ukraine, the coming and going of government and military officials in the Ukrainian capital can provide revealing insights. The head of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s Military Committee was in Ukraine on April 6 and 7 and the foreign minister of Poland was there the following day.

Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau returned to Warsaw on April 9, summing up the purpose of his visit as to “reaffirm our policy that Ukraine is not alone in defending its sovereignty, territorial integrity, and the inviolability of its borders.” Poland is not a member of either of the two negotiating arrangements established in 2014 to resolve the armed conflict in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine, the Normandy Format and the Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine.

Apr 10 07:12

Russia Alarmed Over NATO Nations’ Militarization of the Arctic

The Russian TASS news site today cited Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova sounding the alarm over the U.S. and the global military bloc it leads, NATO, moving against Russia on its final frontier: the Arctic. Zakharova seems to have arrived at the realization that NATO, which already has Russia blockaded from the Norwegian to the Black Seas to its west and has a growing presence to its south in the Caucasus, is completing its encirclement of her nation in what the alliance calls the High North. NATO announced its plans to claim the Arctic as its sphere of influence over thirteen years ago, so Russia has no excuse to have been caught off guard.

Her words at a press briefing today had a tone comparable to that the Russian Foreign Ministry has adopted when addressing the renewed fighting in the Donbass in recent weeks: one reflective of a perception that Russia is threatened on its very borders.

Apr 10 07:10

Putin accuses Ukraine of 'dangerous provocative actions' in call with Erdogan

Russian President Vladimir Putin accused Ukraine of “dangerous provocative actions” in its eastern Donbass region in a phone call with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, the Kremlin said on Friday.

The two leaders also discussed possible joint production of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine against COVID-19.

Apr 10 06:55

US-NATO Provocation in Ukraine to Stop Russian Pipeline

US Europe Command has raised its posture to the highest level, “potential imminent threat”, as USAF surveillance flights have tracked Russia’s border over the past 48 hours.

The current flare of tensions sparked on March 26, when four Ukrainian military servicemen were killed by a landmine while inspecting minefields near the village of Shumy. Kiev and their partners the US and NATO used the deaths to blame the forces of the Donetsk People’s Republic, who denied any attacks.

Dmitry Peskov, the Russian presidential spokesman, said the Kremlin was worried the Ukrainian side might create the risk for a civil war if they initiated provocation in southeastern Ukraine. Peskov added that Russia would take “additional measures” if NATO were to use provocation.

The US forces are now on high alert in Europe and blaming “Russian aggression” in the area. An official from NATO said to Reuters that Russia was undermining efforts to reduce tensions in eastern Ukraine.

Apr 10 06:54

Why Does Ukraine Want War?

Ukraine wants war with Russia due to a combination of domestic and international factors, but such a scenario would be disastrous for the Eastern European country and only serve the interests of some members of the political elite and their foreign patrons.

The whole world is watching with bated breath to see whether Ukraine and Russia will go to war over Donbass like many fear might be about to happen due to recent events. I asked earlier this week whether “Vaccines Are The Real Driving Force Behind The Latest Donbass Destabilization”, pointing out the grand strategic interest that the US has in provoking a crisis that would put unprecedented political pressure on the EU to not buy Russia’s Sputnik V like the bloc’s top members are reportedly considering at the moment, but there’s more to it than just that at the comparatively lower strategic levels.

Apr 10 06:53

Joe Biden Seems Destined To Start A Crisis With Russia

Washington’s relations with Moscow have been deteriorating for more than two decades. The decision by Bill Clinton’s administration to expand NATO, the most powerful military alliance in world history, eastward toward a weakened, demoralized Russia was a fateful, provocative step. George W. Bush’s attempt to bring Georgia and Ukraine into the Alliance deepened the suspicions of Russia’s leaders. The Obama administration’s meddling in Ukraine’s internal affairs to help demonstrators overthrow a democratically elected, the pro-Russia government pushed Moscow over the edge, leading Vladimir Putin to annex Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula. When the United States and its NATO allies responded to the annexation by imposing an array of economic sanctions, a full-fledged new cold war was underway.

Apr 10 06:51

Russian MiG-31 Fighter Jet Intercepts US Aircraft Over Pacific - Video

A Russian MiG-31 fighter jet took off to intercept a US RC-135 reconnaissance aircraft over the Pacific Ocean, the Russian National Defence Control Centre said Saturday.

"To identify the air target and prevent violation of the Russian state border, a MiG-31 fighter from the air defence forces of the Eastern Military District was scrambled into the air. The crew of the Russian fighter identified the air target as a strategic reconnaissance aircraft RC-135 of the US Air Force and escorted it over the Pacific Ocean", the centre said in a statement.

Apr 10 06:28

Top US national security officials call counterparts as Russia and Ukraine tensions rise

Top US national security officials have spoken with their Ukrainian counterparts, and America's top general held a call Wednesday with his Russian opposite number amid concern over Russian military activity in Crimea and eastern Ukraine, including what the US deemed a violation of a ceasefire by Moscow that led to the deaths of four Ukrainian soldiers last week.

"Russia's destabilizing actions undermine the de-escalation intentions that had been achieved through [last year's agreement]," chief Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said Wednesday. "Additionally, we are aware of Ukrainian military reports concerning Russian troop movements on Ukraine's borders."

Apr 10 06:27

Readout of Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III's Call With Ukrainian Minister of Defence Andrii Taran

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III spoke by phone today with Ukrainian Minister of Defence Andrii Taran to discuss the regional security situation. Secretary Austin reaffirmed unwavering U.S. support for Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and Euro-Atlantic aspirations. He condemned recent escalations of Russian aggressive and provocative actions in eastern Ukraine and offered condolences to Minister Taran on the deaths of four Ukrainian soldiers on March 26.

Secretary Austin reiterated the U.S. commitment to building the capacity of Ukraine’s forces to defend more effectively against Russian aggression. Since 2014, the United States has committed more than $2 billion in security assistance to Ukraine, including a recently announced $125 million package that featured defensive weapons and other key capabilities to enhance the lethality, command and control, and situational awareness of Ukraine’s Armed Forces.

Apr 10 06:19

FLASHBACK - Ukraine to buy more US Javelin anti-tank missile systems

Ukraine will purchase a second consignment of United States Javelin anti-tank missiles and launch units, Ukraine’s Defence Ministry said on Thursday.

The US has been one of Kyiv’s strongest supporters since Moscow’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 and the outbreak of fighting in Ukraine’s eastern Donbass region that has killed more than 13,000 people.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I am surprised that Al Jazeera would go along with the "Russia stole Crimea" propaganda.

Apr 10 06:13

Ukraine warns it could be provoked by Russian 'aggression' as Putin surrounds its borders with troops, tanks and missiles launchers and US spy plane is intercepted in the Pacific amid mounting tensions

Ukraine has warned that it could be provoked by Russian 'aggression' as Vladimir Putin surrounds its borders with troops, tanks and missiles launchers with a US spy plane intercepted in the Pacific.

Andrii Taran, Ukraine's defence minister, issued a statement on Saturday amid mounting tensions in the country's eastern Donbass region.

He said Russian accusations about the rights of Russian-speakers being violated could be the reason for the resumption of armed aggression against Ukraine.

Apr 10 06:06

Biden calls Ukraine's leader, pledges "unwavering support" in the face of Russian "aggression"

President Joe Biden spoke for the first time on Friday with his Ukrainian counterpart as tension mounted between the American ally and its neighbor, Russia. The White House said Mr. Biden had confirmed to President Volodymir Zelenskyy "the United States' unwavering support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of Russia's ongoing aggression."

Zelenskyy said in a tweet that he was "glad to talk to" Mr. Biden, and that he appreciated the "U.S. support on different levels. We stand shoulder to shoulder when it comes to preservation of our democracies."

Apr 10 06:05

U.S. Has Asked Russia to Explain 'Provocations' on Ukraine Border -State Department

The United States finds reports of Russian military movements on Ukraine's border "credible," has asked Moscow to explain the "provocations" and is ready to engage on the situation, the U.S. State Department said on Monday.

The reported Russian troop buildup and movements bordering eastern Ukraine have become the latest point of tension in icy U.S.-Russian relations less than three months after U.S. President Joe Biden took office.

State Department spokesman Ned Price told a news briefing that the United States would be concerned by any effort by Moscow to intimidate Ukraine whether it occurred on Russian territory or within Ukraine.

He declined to say whether the United States believed Russia was preparing to invade the neighboring former Soviet republic.

Apr 10 06:03

Zelensky arrives in Turkey

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky has started an official visit to the Republic of Turkey, Ukraine's Ambassador to Turkey Andrii Sybiha says.
"The working visit of President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky and his wife to the Republic of Turkey has begun," Sybiha wrote on his Facebook page.

According to him, the Ukrainian president is expected to meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an.

The ninth meeting of the High-Level Strategic Council between Ukraine and Turkey will be held under the co-chairmanship of the presidents of the two countries.

A number of bilateral documents are planned to be signed during the visit.

Apr 10 06:02

Foreign ministers of Ukraine and France discuss Russia's aggravation of security situation

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba and Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs of France Jean-Yves Le Drian discussed Russia's aggravation of the security situation.

This was reported by the press service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine.

During a phone call, Kuleba informed his French counterpart in detail about the latest actions of the Russian Federation aimed at destabilizing the security situation in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine. In particular, the minister drew attention to the threatening build-up of Russia’s military presence along the Ukrainian border and the strengthening of Russian propaganda.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Keep in mind that ukrinform.net is pro-Ukraine and anti-Russia.

Apr 10 05:55

Ukrainian President to meet with Erdogan in Istanbul

The Turkish presidency announced that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will receive in Istanbul tomorrow his Ukrainian counterpart, Vladimir Zelensky, against the backdrop of the new escalation in the Donbass region.

In a statement, the Turkish presidency confirmed that Erdogan and Zelensky would chair in Istanbul the ninth meeting of the high-level strategic cooperation council between the two countries.

The statement indicated that the meeting, which will be held in the presence of the relevant ministers, will review “all aspects of Turkish-Ukrainian relations that rise to the level of strategic partnership and the steps that can be taken to deepen cooperation between the two countries.”

The two leaders will also discuss “dealing with regional and international files based on an understanding on the need to maintain peace and stability.”

Apr 10 05:49

Donbass crisis: Domestic political battles in Kiev, Moscow & Washington could see Ukraine & Russia stumbling into war nobody wants

The military build-up in Ukraine is creating the possibility for a major war. However, conflict remains unlikely for the simple reason that it is not in the self-interest of any protagonist. Nevertheless, that may not be enough.

All countries have a lot to lose from a war, and unpredictability is an important factor as a series of unknown variables will make it nearly impossible to exercise escalation control and calculate the consequences.

However, the assumption that states always act rationally is deeply flawed.

The rational unitary actor

Apr 10 05:47

Ukraine’s NATO fantasy is a suicide pill in disguise; military action by the alliance against pro-Russian forces would be crushed

Ukraine's President Zelensky hopes that NATO will assist Kiev in forcefully expelling Russia from Crimea and re-taking control of the breakaway Donbass. This dangerous fiction could lead to the destruction of his troubled country.

The following are the words and actions that the historians who may one day come to write how mankind blundered its way into a major conflict in 2021 will need to know, to understand its origins and the parts played by the shortcomings and strategic missteps of ill-suited leaders.

Apr 10 05:45

Russia warns of full-scale war in Ukraine’s east amid tensions with Kiev

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has warned of a full-scale war in eastern Ukraine amid heightened tensions with Kiev.

In a news briefing on Friday, Peskov raised the alarm about the resumption of an all-out conflict in Ukraine’s east and expressed Russia’s determination to prevent Kiev from using force to try to retake the separatist-controlled region of Donbass.

Peskov told reporters that Moscow had the right to move its forces across the war-hit territory at its discretion and was simply taking precautions given the “dangerous, explosive region at its borders” with eastern Ukraine.

The Kremlin spokesman warned that the situation on the contact line was extremely unstable and said, “The dynamics…create the danger of a resumption of full-scale hostilities.”

Apr 10 05:22

Russia sends warships to Black Sea amid US buildup in Ukraine

Russia is sending more than 10 navy vessels, including landing boats and artillery warships, from the Caspian Sea to the Black Sea to take part in naval drills near the country's borders with Ukraine, Interfax reports.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said the fleet is moving to the area as part of the drills that involve approximately 15,000 personnel and will inspect combat readiness of the country’s naval forces by the end of this month.

“As part of the winter training check, more than 10 amphibious and artillery boats and vessels of the southern military district are conducting an inter-fleet move from the Caspian Sea to the Black Sea,” the ministry said.

The Caspian Flotilla vessels will join their Russian Navy counterparts in the Black Sea for exercises focused on testing their "readiness to repel sea and airborne assault forces," it said.

Russian officials have underlined that the deployment poses no threat and is part of the recently announced "control checks."

Apr 10 05:15

China and Russia Optimistic over Iran Talks as Biden Envoy Sulks on Sidelines

The governments of China and Russia, which appear to be taking the lead in talks between Iran and the remaining partners in the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, expressed optimism after talks concluded on Friday for the week that progress had occurred.

The conversations over the agreement formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) began this week in Vienna, Austria. Representatives from China, Russia, and Iran — as well as the United Kingdom, France, and Germany — met to discuss, they claimed, a way to repair what remains of the agreement after years of violations by Tehran and President Donald Trump withdrawing the United States from it in 2018. Notably absent from the invitation list was the United States, which had no formal representation in this week’s talks.

Apr 09 15:06

WAR IS LOOMING: US DELIVERS MILITARY CARGO TO UKRAINE

The United States has delivered military cargo to Ukraine among ongoing tensions between Kyiv and Russia. The amassment of military equipment such as tanks is increasing and it looks like the U.S. intends to be involved.

A Newsweek report that citing local media said that over the past two weeks, the US had made three military cargo deliveries to Ukraine. On March 25th, 350 tonnes of cargo was delivered by ship to the Black Sea port city of Odessa in southern Ukraine. Included in the delivery were 35 Humvees.

On April 2nd, a US Air Force C-17A Globemaster III military transport aircraft flew to Kyiv from a US base in Germany. On April 4th, another C-17A Globemaster III landed in the western city of Lviv. It’s not clear what the planes were carrying, but the C-17A Globemaster IIIs can transport up to 102 troops and 77 tons of cargo.

Apr 09 10:38

Turkey Confirms 2 US Warships To Enter Black Sea As Ukraine Posturing Grows

Turkey's foreign ministry on Friday confirmed that it's granted permission for US warships to use the Bosporus and Dardanelles straits to enter the Black Sea at a moment tensions with Russia over Ukraine are spiraling higher with tit-for-tat threats. Given it revealed the initial notification was two weeks ago, a pair of American warships are expected imminently to enter the Black Sea.

The foreign ministry said in a statement while referencing the treaty that regulates passage through the straits: "A notice was sent to us 15 days ago via diplomatic channels that two U.S. warships would pass to the Black Sea in line with the Montreux Convention. The ships will remain in the Black Sea until May 4."

Apr 09 10:37

US Navy Destroyers Roosevelt, Donald Cook to Enter Black Sea on 14-15 April , Reports Suggested

Two US warships, destroyers Roosevelt and Donald Cook, will pass through the Bosphorus into the Black Sea on 14-15 April amid the escalation of tensions between Russia and Ukraine, Turkish broadcaster NTV reported on Friday.

Earlier, a Turkish Foreign Ministry source told Sputnik that Washington had notified Ankara about the passage of its two warships through the Bosphorus to the Black Sea, where they would remain until May 4. Later, the Turkish Foreign Ministry confirmed that the ships would enter the Black Sea on April 14 and 15, and return back on May 4 and 5.

The United States is obligated to notify Turkey about the passage of its warships through the Bosphorus and Dardanelles, in accordance with the Montreux Convention.

Apr 09 10:35

Full-scale Ukrainian war would threaten Russian security Kremlin warns, pledging action to prevent ‘humanitarian catastrophe’

A return to fierce fighting in Eastern Ukraine would amount to a crisis on Russia’s doorstep, President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman has said, arguing that Moscow could be forced to intervene to prevent such a situation worsening.

Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Friday that there had been a series of worrying escalations in recent days between Kiev’s forces and separatist militants in the Donbass. “The situation on the contact line in Ukraine is extremely unstable,” he said. “The dynamics of the development of this state of affairs, and the behavior of the Ukrainian side, creates the danger of a resumption of full-scale hostilities.”

Apr 09 07:32

Legendary Tupolev Tu-160 Strategic Bomber Gets an Upgrade

Apr 09 07:18

FLASHBACK - Bush and Gorbachev at Malta

The documents show profound misjudgments of Gorbachev on the American side, including the President's assumption that the Soviet leader would press for the removal of U.S. troops from Europe, not realizing until talking to Gorbachev directly that, just as Gorbachev had already announced publicly on multiple occasions, he believed the U.S. presence along with the NATO alliance to be a stabilizing force in Europe, particularly against any danger of German revanchism.

The documents signal a major missed opportunity at Malta to meet Soviet arms reductions proposals halfway, and suggest that the Bush "pause" in U.S.-Soviet relations during 1989 effectively delayed both strategic and tactical demilitarization for at least two years (the START treaty would not be signed until 1991, and only in September 1991 would Bush withdraw tactical nuclear weapons from U.S. Navy ships), at which point Gorbachev had effectively lost the domestic power to deliver on his side.

Apr 09 07:17

FLASHBACK - NATO Expansion: What Gorbachev Heard

U.S. Secretary of State James Baker’s famous “not one inch eastward” assurance about NATO expansion in his meeting with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev on February 9, 1990, was part of a cascade of assurances about Soviet security given by Western leaders to Gorbachev and other Soviet officials throughout the process of German unification in 1990 and on into 1991, according to declassified U.S., Soviet, German, British and French documents posted today by the National Security Archive at George Washington University (http://nsarchive.gwu.edu).

Apr 09 07:06

Merkel Demands Putin Reduce Russian Troops Near Ukraine In Phone Call

It seems only in the case of Russia that Western leaders presume to lecture a large sovereign country on where it can station its troops within its own borders. It's primarily these "concerns" over a Russia troop build-up near Ukraine that's now driving the new emerging crisis following an uptick in renewed clashes in the eastern Donbas region.

On Thursday's German Chancellor Angela Merkel demanded that Russia immediately reduce its troops presence near the Ukrainian border, according to a German government statement. Merkel conveyed the demand in a phone call with Vladimir Putin.

"Among other things, the conversation was about the strengthened Russian military presence in the environs of East Ukraine," the statement read. "The Chancellor demanded that this build-up be unwound in order to de-escalate the situation."

The Kremlin meanwhile says its troops are responding to a Ukrainian military build-up and provocative actions in the mainly Russian-speaking Donbass:

Apr 09 07:01

Russia has more troops on border with Ukraine than at any time since 2014 - White House

The United States is "increasingly concerned" by escalating tensions in eastern Ukraine, as well as the large-scale concentration of Russian troops on Ukraine's border, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki has said.

"The United States is increasingly concerned by recent escalating Russian aggressions in eastern Ukraine, including Russian troop movements on Ukraine's border. Russia now has more troops on the border with Ukraine than at any time since 2014," she said at a briefing in Washington on Thursday, April 8.

Psaki also recalled that five Ukrainian soldiers had been killed in the last week alone. "These are all deeply concerning signs," she said.

Apr 09 06:34

If Ukraine launches a full-scale war in Donbass, Russia will be forced to defend its citizens, says Putin’s deputy chief-of-staff

Russia will be forced to protect the residents of Donbass if Ukraine launches full-scale hostilities against the region. That’s according to Dmitry Kozak, President Vladimir Putin’s deputy chief of staff, who is himself Ukrainian.

Speaking on Thursday, Kozak claimed that a ramping-up of the conflict would lead to the end of Ukraine, with the Kremlin forced to stand up for its citizens living in the territory of Donbass. In recent years, Moscow has made it much simpler for those living in Ukraine to get a Russian passport, and many have taken up the offer.

Apr 09 06:33

Russia sends warships to Black Sea amid US buildup in Ukraine

Russia is sending more than 10 navy vessels, including landing boats and artillery warships, from the Caspian Sea to the Black Sea to take part in naval drills near the country's borders with Ukraine, Interfax reports.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said the fleet is moving to the area as part of the drills that involve approximately 15,000 personnel and will inspect combat readiness of the country’s naval forces by the end of this month.

“As part of the winter training check, more than 10 amphibious and artillery boats and vessels of the southern military district are conducting an inter-fleet move from the Caspian Sea to the Black Sea,” the ministry said.

The Caspian Flotilla vessels will join their Russian Navy counterparts in the Black Sea for exercises focused on testing their "readiness to repel sea and airborne assault forces," it said.

Russian officials have underlined that the deployment poses no threat and is part of the recently announced "control checks."

Apr 09 06:31

US considers sending warships to the Black Sea to bolster Ukraine as tensions with Russia escalate and Moscow moves 10 of its own vessels and continues troop buildup

The U.S. is considering dispatching Navy warships to the Black Sea to show support for Ukraine amid a Russian buildup that the White House warned Thursday it was 'increasingly concerned' about, as U.S. potential new sanctions on Russia loom.

A Pentagon official told CNN about the potential move amid a buildup of Russian troops along its border with Ukraine.

The Navy is also flying reconnaissance planes in international airspace in the area to monitor the buildup and Russian naval moves.

Apr 09 06:19

Kremlin dismisses Ukraine's accusation that military build-up aims to distract from politics

Russia’s military build-up near its borders with Ukraine has nothing to do with any domestic issues including the jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday.

“This has nothing to do with any detainees or anyone,” Peskov told Reuters when asked to comment on remarks by Ukrainian security chief Oleksiy Danilov.

Peskov added that Russia had to be cautious towards its “restless” neighbour Ukraine.

Apr 09 06:18

Lavrov says US policy towards Russia is ‘dumb,’ ineffective

Russia’s top diplomat on Thursday described U.S. policy toward Moscow as “dumb” and warned that his country will retaliate if Washington imposes new sanctions.

Asked about the prospect of new sanctions from Washington, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that all attempts to pressure Russia are bound to fail.

He described U.S. policy on Russia as “deadlocked and even dumb,” emphasizing that past rounds of U.S. sanctions have failed to achieve their goals.

“Such actions have taught us one thing: We need to rely on ourselves because the U.S. and its allies aren’t reliable partners,” Lavrov said on a visit to Kazakhstan, adding that “naturally, we will respond to any unfriendly steps.”

Last month, Russia recalled its ambassador from Washington after U.S. President Joe Biden was asked in an interview if thought Russian President Vladimir Putin was a “killer” and replied, “I do.”

Apr 09 06:06

Russia-Ukraine 'days from war' as Vladimir Putin puts 100,000 troops on border

The Russia-Ukraine crisis could be days from exploding into war, it is feared.

UK senior commanders and Whitehall officials are on "high alert" and monitoring the situation "with growing concern", a source told the Mirror.

Moscow has amassed close to 100,000 troops at the flashpoint border and senior Ukraine military sources fear its war-planners may have wrong-footed them.

Putin’s navy on Thursday piled on further pressure on embattled Kiev by announcing the deployment of a war-fighting fleet towards Ukraine arriving within days.

A source said: “Aggressive Russian troop movements towards the border have caused a great deal of concern within the Ministry of Defence.

“The situation is being monitored constantly. I would definitely describe this as a growing crisis.”

Apr 09 06:04

Kremlin Warns of Risk of Broader War in Ukraine Conflict

Russia brushed off German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s call to pull back troops massed near the border with Ukraine, warning that growing violence there could set off a broader military conflict. “The escalation of tensions in the southeast of Ukraine justifies the measures Russia is taking,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on a conference call Friday, referring to the military buildup.

“The escalation of tensions in the southeast of Ukraine justifies the measures Russia is taking,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on a conference call Friday, referring to the military buildup. “The trend in the behavior of the Ukrainian side creates the risk of a resumption of full-scale military action,” he said.

Apr 09 06:03

Russia-Ukraine crisis could explode into war in days as UK commanders on 'high alert'

The Russia-Ukraine crisis could explode into all-out war within days after Moscow amassed close to 100,000 troops at the flashpoint border, it was feared last night.

Senior Ukraine military sources fear Moscow’s war-planners may have wrong-footed Kiev by being far more battle-ready for a major land and sea attack than previously suspected.

Until recently Ukraine’s senior commanders calculated that if Putin orders an attack deep into East Ukraine and elsewhere it was most likely to come in mid-May.

But today Putin’s navy piled on further pressure on embattled Kiev by announcing the deployment of a war-fighting fleet towards Ukraine arriving within days.

Last night sources told the Daily Mirror UK senior commanders and Whitehall officials are on “high alert” over the crisis and are monitoring the situation “with growing concern.”

Apr 09 06:00

Putin so upset over Biden's killer comments he moved 28,000 Russian troops to Ukraine border, report

Vladimir Putin was reportedly so angered when President Joe Biden called him a "killer" in his first sit-down interview after taking office, the Russian president left his quarantine, got a COVID vaccination and moved 28,000 Russian troops to the border with Ukraine.

"It was really a shock. And it changed his behavior a lot," argues Pavel Baev, a senior researcher at Norway’s International Peace Research Institute in Oslo.

Russian Bear bombers went into action, forcing NATO to scramble 10 jets to intercept the Russian warplanes flying over the North Atlantic Ocean last week, a rare show of force near the Arctic. On Monday, Putin quietly changed Russia’s constitution to allow him to stay in power until 2036. He would be 83 years old.

Apr 09 05:57

Kiev Leads New Escalation of Violence in Donbass and Crimea

Once again, Kiev is leading a new escalation of violence in the Russian border. In the past few days, the autonomous republics of Donbass have been suffering from violations of the ceasefire agreement by Ukrainian forces, which has raised tensions and worried experts about the possibility of a return to the status of the war before the Minsk conferences. To make matters worse, Washington is acting provocatively, asserting full support for Kiev and solidarity with the aggressors in the conflict.

Apr 09 05:49

War Clouds Over Russia And Ukraine? Ask Brussels

Fighting has surged in eastern Ukraine, where Moscow backs ethnic-Russian separatists. Moreover, Moscow has concentrated an estimated 4,000 soldiers near the border with Ukraine.

Demands are rising in Washington for confrontation. Indeed, the crisis is being framed as a challenge to the young Biden administration. Predictably hawkish analysts, such as those filling the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center, advocated that the administration take tougher action, including conditional sanctions.

The president appears open to confrontation. In Foreign Affairs earlier this year he treated Russia far more harshly than China. He later singled out Putin as a “killer” without a “soul,” which of course could be said about many of America’s allies—Mohammed bin Salman comes to mind—as well as adversaries.

Apr 09 05:30

The Donbass War Of 2021?

Ever since assuming office, the Biden Administration has been probing countries it designated as America’s enemies for weaknesses through a variety of provocations. So far this approach has not had any successes. China plainly told Biden’s SecState Blinken to go packing, Iran is showing no eagerness to kowtow to Washington under new management, and Russia itself has stayed the course, brushing off verbal attacks and promising either in-kind or asymmetrical responses to any new chicaneries from Washington or Brussels.

Apr 09 05:17

US Mulls Sending Warships Into Black Sea To Be "Ready To Respond" To Ukraine Crisis

A US defense official has told CNN on Thursday that the Biden administration is seriously considering sending warships into the Black Sea amid reports that Russia is mustering forces near the border with Ukraine in response to a renewed uptick in fighting in nearby Donbas.

The warships could be deployed "in the next few weeks in a show of support for Ukraine," the unnamed defense official described. And further, "The US Navy routinely operates in the Black Sea, but a deployment of warships now would send a specific message to Moscow that the US is closely watching, the official said," according to the CNN report.

Typically the US gives 14-days notice prior to sending warships into the Black Sea, according to a long established treaty with Turkey regarding use of the Bosporus to enter the waters.

Importantly, the new CNN reporting comes two days after Ukraine's president Volodymyr Zelensky personally urged NATO to immediately expand its Black Sea presence.

Apr 08 11:01

Russia warns 'the beginning of the end of Ukraine' will be imminent if it 'has to defend its citizens' - as Putin builds his forces on the border

A senior Kremlin official today warned that if Russia is forced to defend its citizens in the disputed Donbass region it would be 'the beginning of the end Ukraine.'

Tensions have soared in eastern Ukraine in recent weeks after Vladimir Putin dispatched tanks, helicopters and thousands of troops to the Ukrainian border.

Ukraine's president Volodymyr Zelenskiy flew into Donbass today in a new show of strength as he shook hands with soldiers along the frontier which separates them from Russian-backed rebels.

Apr 08 07:48

Kiev's Forces Are Primed For Attack If They Can Overcome Their Own Minefields

Over April 5th, and going into April 6th, the Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF) continued their usual activities of deploying more troops to the demarcation line. Russia is also transferring forces to the border with Ukraine and in the Crimea. In total, over the last 24 hours 7 separate ceasefire violations were recorded, each including a high number of shots and shells. Two UAF soldiers were killed.

Near the Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR), the UAF has several armored personnel carriers deployed at the village of Schstastye. Still, the LPR said its militia was fully prepared to deal with any Ukrainian provocation, as according to them 60% of Kiev’s military hardware was entirely non-operational.

Apr 08 06:45

Biden is 'preparing' new sanctions on Putin's inner circle after completing investigation into Russia's SolarWinds hack, 'bounties' on US troops and repeated election meddling

The Biden Administration has completed its security review of Russia following a series of efforts counter to U.S. interests – with potential new sanctions being prepared for close associates of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Biden ordered the review on his first day in office, and the White House has said it would focus on four problematic areas – among them Russian election interference and the Solarwinds hack of U.S. government agencies and companies whose extent is still being understood.

With the review's completion, Bloomberg News reported, the administration could impose additional sanctions or even expel Russian intelligence officers it has identified.

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting via video conference in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, April 7, 2021. The Biden administration has reportedly completed its security review, and new sanctions are a possibility

Apr 08 06:22

Crimean Bridge protected from air, land and water — National Guard chief

The Crimean Bridge is reliably protected all around from potential threats, Russian National Guard Chief Viktor Zolotov told TASS on Thursday.

"The facilities of the Kerch transport link are today comprehensively protected on the ground, from the air and from the water and under the water," he said.

"The waters adjacent to this major transport artery are patrolled by National Guard boats while our combat swimmers inspect the bridge supports underwater. This is hard work and huge responsibility," the National Guard chief said.

Grachonok-class anti-saboteur boats have been accepted for service in Russia’s National Guard to ensure the security of facilities in the Kerch Strait, Zolotov said.

Apr 08 06:20

Kremlin on Diplomats' Potential Expulsion From US: We're Ready for Worst-Case Scenarios

Russia is prepared for any worst-case scenario in its relations with the United States, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday, commenting on recent reports about a potential expulsion of diplomats and new sanctions.

"You see, the hostility and unpredictability of the US side's actions in general obligate us to be prepared for the worst scenarios. When your interlocutor is quite aggressive and unpredictable, you are naturally mobilised all the time. In general, it seems the number of your questions about Russian-US relations largely exceeds the volume of these relations", Peskov told reporters, when asked if Russia is preparing measures to counter the potential new restrictions.

Russia still does not want relations between the two to deteriorate, the Kremlin spokesman assured.

Apr 08 06:19

Covid-19 should show US that real danger to American lives is public health, not ‘malicious’ Moscow – Russian security chief

Despite claims Russia is the US’ key threat, the true danger to Americans is public health policy, according to Moscow’s Security Council chair, who says the Kremlin can’t be blamed for Washington’s poor response to Covid-19.

On multiple occasions, US President Joe Biden has claimed that Russia poses the biggest danger to America on the international stage. Not so, says Nikolay Patrushev.

“It turns out that the main threat to the lives of Americans is not a malicious Moscow,” he told Russian newspaper Kommersant. “In the United States, the death toll from the epidemic exceeded 560,000, which is more than their losses in both world wars combined.”

Apr 08 06:17

Kremlin: US’ plan to appoint Nord Stream 2 envoy is meddling in other states’ affairs

Washington's intention to appoint a special representative for the Nord Stream 2 project eloquently speaks of US interference in the affairs of other countries, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Thursday.

"Of course, such special envoys [their appointment] for a project that has nothing to do with the United States and even is located on another continent, probably speaks very eloquently about what is called interference in internal affairs, in the economic interests of other countries," he said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"It's what we do!" -- Official White Horse Souse

Apr 08 06:16

Press review: Ukraine drags NATO into Donbass and Second Suez flop raises canal concerns

The Donbass negotiations are stuck in the mud. Neither the Normandy format, nor the Contact Group are able to agree on anything, Kommersant writes. Against this background, Kiev is betting on the West’s help, trying to persuade NATO to grant Ukraine membership in the alliance. According to the newspaper, the events that are now unfolding are beginning to look like the situation that had developed in 2008 before the war in another hot spot - South Ossetia.

The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission’s latest report, dated April 3, shows a notable surge in ceasefire violations in Donbass. There were 594 breaches in the Donetsk region and 427 violations in Lugansk. Due to this exacerbation, on April 6, Kiev requested an emergency meeting of the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG) to resolve the situation in eastern Ukraine. However, the chances that the negotiations initiated by Ukraine will take place are slim, Kommersant's sources say.

Apr 08 06:03

Veteran Intelligence Officials Issue Letter To Biden Urging To Avoid War In Ukraine

Dear President Biden,

We last communicated with you on December 20, 2020, when you were President-elect.

At that time, we alerted you to the dangers inherent in formulating a policy toward Russia built on a foundation of Russia-bashing. While we continue to support the analysis contained in that memorandum, this new memo serves a far more pressing purpose. We wish to draw your attention to the dangerous situation that exists in Ukraine today, where there is growing risk of war unless you take steps to forestall such a conflict.

At this juncture, we call to mind two basic realities that need particular emphasis amid growing tension between Ukraine and Russia.

First, since Ukraine is not a member of NATO, Article 5 of the NATO Treaty of course would not apply in the case of an armed conflict between Ukraine and Russia.

Second, Ukraine’s current military flexing, if allowed to transition into actual military action, could lead to hostilities with Russia.

Apr 08 05:56

Report: Biden May Expel Russian Diplomats and Impose More Sanctions

According to a report from Bloomberg, the Biden administration is wrapping up its review of alleged Russian actions and could announce measures against Moscow soon.

One unnamed source told Bloomberg the moves could involve sanctions on individuals close to Russian President Vladimir Putin and the expulsion of Russian diplomats the US will claim have ties to Russian intelligence.

The actions would be framed as “retaliation” for the hack of the software firm SolarWinds and alleged election interference. Both accusations are entirely unfounded, as the US has failed to present evidence for either claim.

Apr 08 05:56

Ukrainian President Headed to War Zone as US, Allies Push NATO Membership

The pro-government press in Ukraine has announced that President Volodymyr Zelensky is to go to the Donbass conflict zone tomorrow, April 8. That means that within hours he will arrive in what is at the moment the world’s most dangerous hotspot, fraught as it is with the potential for a confrontation between the world’s two major nuclear powers. No details have been provided concerning the proposed trip.

This will occur against the backdrop of Ukraine pulling out of the Minsk talks with the Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine that were initiated seven years ago. It will also happen when Russia has not had an ambassador in the U.S. since March 21, when Anatoly Antonov was summoned back to Moscow.

It’s not too far-fetched to wonder how the Berlin Crisis or the Cuban Missile Crisis would have culminated if the U.S. and USSR weren’t speaking to each other.

Apr 08 05:49

US Delivers Military Cargo to Ukraine as it Hypes Russian Military Movements

While hyping the movement of Russian troops near the border with Ukraine, the US has delivered multiple military shipments to Kyiv.

A Newsweek report that cited local media said that over the past two weeks, the US had made three military cargo deliveries to Ukraine. On March 25th, 350 tonnes of cargo was delivered by ship to the Black Sea port city of Odesa in southern Ukraine. Included in the delivery were 35 Humvees.

On April 2nd, a US Air Force C-17A Globemaster III military transport aircraft flew to Kyiv from a US base in Germany. On April 4th, another C-17A Globemaster III landed in the western city of Lviv. It’s not clear what the planes were carrying, but the C-17A Globemaster IIIs can transport up to 102 troops and 77 tons of cargo.

Apr 08 05:47

Joe Biden’s Ukraine Policy: A Repeat of George W. Bush in Georgia?

Biden’s administration is going out of its way to assure Ukraine’s government that the United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) have Kiev’s back in its growing confrontation with Russian-supported separatists and Russia itself. An April 2 White House press release confirmed that in his telephone call to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Joe Biden “affirmed the United States’ unwavering support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of Russia’s ongoing aggression in the Donbas and Crimea.” Other high-level administration officials, including Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken have done the same.

Apr 08 05:43

Russia to Deploy Submarine Armed With Nuclear Drone in Pacific

The Belgorod nuclear submarine will serve in the Russian Navy’s Pacific Fleet after passing a series of tests, Russian state news agency TASS has reported.

The soon-to-be-commissioned vessel, designed to carry Poseidon underwater nuclear drones, has the capability to carry out missions in any part of the world, according to the outlet.

TASS had earlier reported that trials on the submarine would take place beginning in May 2021. However, this has not been officially confirmed.

The Sevmash shipyard began constructing the Belgorod in December 2012, and it was scheduled to be commissioned in September 2020 after passing sea trials in June, according to TASS. The delay was reportedly due to the pandemic.

Apr 08 05:21

Baltic: “NATO Allies and partners from across the globe” prepare for “real-world fight” with Russia

Baltic: “NATO Allies and partners from across the globe” prepare for “real-world fight” with Russia

Rick Rozoff

As the U.S-led DefenderEurope 2021 war games continue in twelve European nations into June, NATO has recently concluded both naval and ground war exercises in the Baltic states.

The DefenderEurope 2021 exercises include estimates of as many as 37,000 troops from at least 27 NATO member and partner states and appear to be based entirely in Eastern Europe, from the Baltic Sea to the Balkans and the Black Sea. Comprehensive figures are not verifiable, but there is every reason to believe this is the largest U.S.-NATO military exercise since the Cod War; and moreover one occurring as Russia and Ukraine, steadfastly backed by the U.S. and NATO, are at loggerheads over renewed fighting in the Donbass region of what was formerly Eastern Ukraine.

Apr 07 12:53

Heavy Shelling Is Being Reported In Ukraine As Russian Television Discusses A Possible “Nuclear Strike”

Hearing that should send a chill through your bones, because if nuclear weapons are used that will cross a line that will never be able to be uncrossed. -- We are so close to a nightmare scenario, but most Americans continue to be completely and utterly oblivious to what is going on. -- A hothead is in charge of our foreign policy, he is surrounded by a team of all-star warmongers, and we are now closer to war with Russia than we have been in decades. -- And at this hour, even more forces are racing toward the conflict zone in Ukraine…

Apr 07 10:51

Rabo: There Is Strangely Little Coverage Of The Major Russian Military Mobilization Underway

I know a little --choot-choot-- about Russia. Preferring Gogol to Google gives me no inside angle: that would be like a Russian reading “The Remains of the Day” in early 2016 and saying they could therefore call Brexit. Yet I had ????????? ? ??? ????? --warts and all-- experiences in Russia back in the day when the prime minister used to say things like: “We wanted the best, but it turned out like always." That particular phrase rings true again today for obvious reasons.

For a Western media that for years has had Russia front and center as *the* threat to democracy, there is strangely little coverage of the major Russian military mobilization currently underway. 20,000 men, tanks, armored vehicles, and artillery have been moved to the border with Ukraine, and Russia is beginning combat readiness tests in all its military districts.

Apr 07 10:50

NATO has an open door policy, but Ukraine unlikely to walk through it any time soon, German officials say amid Donbass escalations

Despite Kiev claiming that only NATO membership will end the risk of supposed Russian aggression in the Donbass, there are currently no plans for the country to join the US-led military bloc, the German government has announced.

Ulrike Demmer, Berlin’s deputy spokesperson, told reporters on Wednesday that the question of Ukraine’s accession to the faction was not currently on the table. “As you know, with regard to new members NATO generally follows an open door policy,” she said. “Ukraine has a right of free choice and its own political needs. However, no further steps towards its membership are currently envisaged.”

The day before, Ukraine’s President, Volodymyr Zelensky, used a call with NATO’s General Secretary, Jens Stoltenberg, to say that his country’s accession to the bloc would be the only path to peace in its war-torn east. “We strive to reform our army and defense sector, but reforms alone cannot stop Russia.”

Apr 07 07:31

Nuclear Notebook: How many nuclear weapons does Russia have in 2021?

Russia is in the middle of a decades-long modernization of its strategic and nonstrategic nuclear forces to replace Soviet-era weapons with newer systems. In December 2020, President Vladimir Putin reported that modern weapons and equipment now make up 86 percent of Russia’s nuclear triad (Russian Federation 2020a), compared to the previous year’s 82 percent (Russian Federation 2019a). He additionally noted that he expects that number to rise to 88.3 percent in 2021. As in previous years, Putin’s remarks emphasized the need for Russia’s nuclear forces to keep pace with Russia’s competitors: “It is absolutely unacceptable to stand idle. The pace of change in all areas that are critical for the Armed Forces is unusually fast today. It is not even Formula 1 fast—it is supersonic fast. You stop for one second and you start falling behind immediately” (Russian Federation 2020a).

Apr 07 07:06

Moscow pledges retaliation to US & UK plans for rocket deployment in range of Russia’s borders, sparking new missile crisis fears

Russia would be forced to defend itself if Western nations go through with plans to station short- and long-range missiles in Europe, a Moscow diplomat has warned, insisting they could be used to target the country’s air defenses.

In a statement released on Monday, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that Washington was increasingly discussing proposals to deploy rocket launchers to the continent. Previously banned by the INF Treaty, research and development has reportedly resumed since the pact was torn up in 2019 by then-US President Donald Trump.

The spokeswoman argued that “the British military has now joined in with the openly hostile and destabilizing rhetoric,” citing intentions to upgrade its missile launch complexes to “make it possible to deliver deep missile strikes, in order to neutralize enemy air defense systems.”

Apr 07 06:54

Zelensky’s hope Ukraine will join NATO doomed to fail, says Russian senator

Ukraine has no chances of ever being admitted to NATO and President Vladimir Zelensky’s hope the alliance will agree to protect him, if he enters into a conflict with Russia is futile, first deputy chairman of the Federation Council’s international affairs committee, Vladimir Jabarov, told TASS in an interview.

"NATO admits only those countries which have no internal conflicts or conflicts with neighboring states. He [Zelensky] has both an internal conflict, the one in the southeast, and rifts with neighboring countries. He has quarreled with Belarus and is threatening us. May he give up this hope. He will never be in NATO," Jabarov said.

He invited Zelensky to give thought to how to retain power.

Apr 07 06:52

Large-scale combat readiness checks kick off in Russian troops

Final combat readiness checks for the winter training period kicked off in Russian troops, Russia’s Defense Minister Army General Sergei Shoigu said at the ministry’s conference call on Tuesday.

"In accordance with the Armed Forces’ training plan, final checks have begun in military command centers, military units and formations," the defense minister said.

"The troops have moved to training grounds for holding tactical, special tactical and force-on-force exercises. I require ensuring a high quality of control checks and security in the movement of military echelons and military hardware," Shoigu said.

Apr 07 06:51

Kremlin doesn’t see signs of intent from Kiev to take control of its army in Donbass

The Kremlin can't see any signs of intent from Kiev to drop "bellicose rhetoric" and take control of Ukrainian army units along the contact line in Donbass, Russian president’s press secretary, Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday.

"So far, we can't see signs indicating that the Ukrainian side wants to somewhat calm down, drop bellicose rhetoric hidden behind the talk about some imaginary threat and take control of its army units that are deployed directly along the contact line [in Donbass] and that often become a source of provocations," he said.

According to the Kremlin spokesman, during a telephone conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron, Russian President Vladimir Putin "clearly worded" Moscow’s concerns over the situation in Ukraine. "Other capitals have also been informed about our concerns. Indeed, the situation leaves much to be desired," Peskov added.

Apr 07 06:49

Residents share horrifying details of UAV air raid on Donetsk

Residents of the village of Aleksandrovskoye, located on the territory of the self-proclaimed People's Republic of Donetsk, revealed details of the shelling of their village by the Armed Forces of Ukraine on April 3, in which a four-year-old boy was killed, RIA Novosti reports.

Residents share horrifying details of UAV air raid on Donetsk
Natalya Terentyeva, who introduced herself as the boy's grandmother y, told reporters that during the shelling, her grandson was playing outside. The woman did not notice the approaching UAV. She rushed to the boy only after she heard the explosion.

“His hat was there, but he had no arms, no legs, he was limbless, you know,” the woman said.

The child's funeral would be held on April 6; his parents still remain in a state of shock.

“We do not know how we can survive this tomorrow. I don’t feel sorry for this house, why did this child suffer?" added Terentyeva.

Apr 07 06:45

Ukraine admits NATO prepares for war over Crimea

Kiev admitted that Ukraine and NATO were conducting joint preparations for the war to win back the Crimea.

According to Alexei Arestovich, the press secretary of the Ukrainian delegation in the contact group on resolving the crisis in the Donbass, said in an interview with Ukrainian media that NATO exercises Defender Europe 2021 would be conducted to practice the situation of an armed confrontation with Russia. The exercises will be focused on the Balkans, the Crimea and everything to the north of it, he added.

NATO's largest military exercises since the Cold War, Defender Europe 2021, will take place in May-June. Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova will be actively involved in the war games.

Apr 07 06:43

Marshal Shaposhnikov frigate test-fires Kalibr missile in Sea of Japan

The Marshal Shaposhnikov, Russia’s upgraded project 1155M frigate, has test-fired a Kalibr cruise missile in the Sea of Japan, striking a sea surface target at the distance of 100 kilometers, the Pacific Fleet’s information service told reporters on Wednesday.

"The Pacific Fleet’s Marshal Shaposhnikov frigate fired a Kalibr cruise missile at a sea surface target in the Sea of Japan. The cruise missile successfully hit the target at the distance of 100 kilometers," the fleet’s press service said.

According to the press service, the target imitated a surface ship.

In order to ensure safety of the maneuvers, the Pacific Fleet deployed its warships, as well as naval aviation planes and helicopters, closing the area of trials for maritime and air traffic.

Earlier, the frigate fired a Kalibr cruise missile at a coastal target at the distance of over 1,000 km.

Apr 07 06:38

Putin poised to set out vision for future in dramatic speech, in what allies say will be ‘world’s most important political event’

Russian President Vladimir Putin is reportedly preparing to give a major address in which he will fire the starting pistol on a “new era” and set out a different vision for the future of his country as the Covid-19 pandemic wanes.
The chairwoman of the Russian Senate, Valentina Matvienko, told reporters on Tuesday that the speech would set out answers to a number of challenges facing the world.

“This will be a message for a new age,” she said. “But at the same time, as always, current issues will be addressed, focuses will be defined and direct instructions will be given.” Matvienko added that “in the current difficult environment facing the world, which comes with many obstacles for countries including Russia,” the address would become “the most important political and public event.”

Apr 07 06:25

Moscow pledges retaliation to US & UK plans for rocket deployment in range of Russia’s borders, sparking new missile crisis fears

Russia would be forced to defend itself if Western nations go through with plans to station short- and long-range missiles in Europe, a Moscow diplomat has warned, insisting they could be used to target the country’s air defenses.

In a statement released on Monday, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that Washington was increasingly discussing proposals to deploy rocket launchers to the continent. Previously banned by the INF Treaty, research and development has reportedly resumed since the pact was torn up in 2019 by then-US President Donald Trump.

The spokeswoman argued that “the British military has now joined in with the openly hostile and destabilizing rhetoric,” citing intentions to upgrade its missile launch complexes to “make it possible to deliver deep missile strikes, in order to neutralize enemy air defense systems.”

Apr 07 06:23

With tensions rising in Donbass, Ukraine pulls out of Minsk peace talks: Kiev refuses to meet Russia & OSCE in Belarusian capital

The Ukrainian delegation to peace talks on settling the conflict in Donbass will refuse to attend any discussions if they continue to be held in Minsk. Kiev accused Belarus of “hostile rhetoric” and being “influenced” by Russia.

The Trilateral Contact Group is made up of Ukraine, Russia and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), and in September 2014, representatives from all three parties signed the Minsk Protocol, an agreement to end the Donbass war. Now, with worries that fighting may flare up again, there have been proposals to head back to the Belarusian capital for further talks.

Apr 07 06:22

Russian Troop Buildup Near Ukraine Largest Since War Outbreak, Monitor Says

Russia has amassed the largest concentration of troops on its border with Ukraine since the eastern Ukraine conflict first erupted in 2014, The Insider investigative news website reported Wednesday, citing military analysts.

Recent Russian military movements and an increase in clashes between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian separatists have raised fears of an escalation in the long-simmering war.

The Russian military has deployed motorized rifle, artillery and airborne as well as likely tank units near Ukraine, according to a group of Russian military bloggers known as the Conflict Intelligence Team (CIT) cited by The Insider.

“We haven’t seen such a concentration of troops since the hot phase of the war in Ukraine in 2014-15,” CIT said.

Apr 07 06:21

Russia's Military Buildup Near Ukraine Is an Intimidation Tactic

A recent breakdown of the ceasefire in Ukraine, and escalation in fighting along the line of control, has been followed by what has become a somewhat traditional war of words between Moscow and Kiev, with each side blaming the other.

The rhetorical escalation plays out amidst a significant level of Russian military activity, exercises, and deployments which have caused intense apprehension in Ukraine, U.S., and among NATO allies.

Russian forces have shifted several units to Crimea, with visible movements among the Southern Military District, among others, and their intentions are unclear.

These actions do not appear to be regular exercises, nor are they necessarily a prelude to an offensive. The activity is exemplary of coercive diplomacy, a Russian effort to use hard military power in an effort to pressure Ukraine politically, and equally signal to Ukraine’s partners in the West.

Apr 07 06:20

US asks Russia to explain ‘provocations’ on Ukraine border

The United States has asked Russia to explain recent “provocations” on Ukraine’s border, the US State Department said on Monday, after reported Russian troop enlargement and movements drew international concern last week.

The department said reports on Russian movements bordering eastern Ukraine, which have become the latest point of tension in icy US-Russian relations less than three months after US President Joe Biden took office, were “credible”.

Apr 07 06:19

Ukraine Says NATO Only Way to End Donbass War, 37,000-Troop US-NATO War Games Aim at Confrontation With Russia

The Ukrainian government reports two more soldiers killed in ongoing fighting in the Donbass as Kiev withdraws from the Trilateral Contact Group of Ukraine, Russia and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe meetings in the Belarusian capital of Minsk because of what it calls “hostile rhetoric” from the host nation, which it also accuses of being under Russian influence.

The Pentagon warned it was “aware of Russian troop movements” on or near the Donbass border as the State Department denounced what it called provocations by Russia, with Reuters paraphrasing State Department spokesman Ned Price as saying Washington “would be concerned by any effort by Moscow to intimidate Ukraine whether it occurred on Russian territory or within Ukraine.”

Apr 07 06:18

Ukraine, Georgia Offer Control of the Black Sea in Exchange for NATO Membership

Georgian English-language media reported on April 5 that their nation’s head of government, Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili, took the occasion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s 72 anniversary to offer the military alliance an intriguing quid pro quo.

In exchange for being inducted into NATO as a full member (“The pursuit of NATO membership [is] Georgia’s top foreign and security policy priority”), he would guarantee his nation would contribute to “the expansion of the Alliance towards the Black Sea,” as that penetration and domination of an inland sea that includes Russia as a littoral state “is a necessary condition for European and world security.” Hence, the proposed trade-off would be mutually beneficial as “NATO needs Georgia as much as we need it.”

That the NATO anniversary occurred on a Sunday, and on Easter Sunday on the Gregorian calendar at that, meant nothing to the Georgian prime minister. NATO comes first, foremost and exclusively.

Apr 07 06:16

EU Provoking Russia by Attempting Color Revolutions in Belarus, Ukraine and Crimea

Apr 07 06:09

European Union welcome in new Russian-backed ‘Great Eurasian Partnership’, Moscow says… if Brussels sees value in turning to East

A new coalition of nations promoted by Russian President Vladimir Putin could run from Europe’s Atlantic coast to the Sea of Japan, after Moscow declared it would be open for any country across Eurasia that wants to participate.

Speaking to Pakistan’s News International network on Wednesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that the grouping would be far from an exclusive club. Instead, “the initiative by President Putin to create a Greater Eurasian Partnership is all about putting unification on the agenda.”

Moscow’s top diplomat said that participation would be “open to all states of the continent,” including members of the Eurasian Economic Union, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and, “provided they are interested, the European Union.”

Apr 07 06:08

Moscow holds emergency talks with US over fighting in Donbass as Ukraine says NATO exercises will train troops for war with Russia

Amid fears of worsening clashes in eastern Ukraine, Russian and American diplomats have held unscheduled bilateral talks in an effort to forestall an all-out conflict, which Moscow has warned could spell disaster for the region.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov told reporters on Tuesday that “we have had contact with the US administration on the situation in the Donbass, and we have exhaustively explained to their side what is happening.” He added that Western rhetoric over Ukraine is striking an increasingly belligerent tone, and that “Washington should be concerned about the consequences of this coordinated policy.”

The day before, US State Department spokesman Ned Price warned of credible reports of Russian troop movements on the border with Ukraine, which some in Kiev have claimed to be a precursor to an invasion. He added that Washington is “open to engagement with Moscow” to prevent a crisis and issued a “call on Russia to refrain from escalatory actions.”

Apr 07 06:07

This is not a joke

#Ukraine is planning to build *in advance* a cemetery-memorial for those fighters who ***will die*** in the "Russian-Ukrainian war"

Apr 06 12:47

Ukrainian Drone Strike Kills a 5-Year Old in Donbass

Today in the Donetsk People’s Republic one of the most difficult funerals took place: 5-year-old Vladik, who died from a shell dropped from a drone by Ukrainian punishers, was buried.

Donbass military commander and writer Katya Katina published footage of farewell to the boy.

“Look, bastard ukrobots and ‘Rains’, idiots inventing nonsense and actively spreading it, and other evil spirits who wrote: ‘Katya is lying, I don’t believe her.’ Fill up your filthy mouths!

This is the funeral of five-year-old Vladik killed by Ukrainian creatures. He is buried in a closed coffin, because the boy was actually torn to pieces.

Apr 06 12:46

Poland stops reverse gas flow to Ukraine, Kiev blames Russia

Ukraine’s state-controlled gas transit company says Poland cut off reverse flows to Ukraine, alleging that a quarter of Russian gas imports to Poland went missing. Gazprom said it continues to supply the same amount of gas as previously.

Uktransgaz CEO Igor Prokopiv accused Russia of reducing supplies to “disrupt reverse deliveries” from Poland.

Apr 06 11:02

Google Began Censoring Search Results in Russia, Reports Say

Google has started to remove certain entries from its search results in Russia in compliance with long-standing demands from the authorities, the Vedomosti business daily reported Wednesday.

Russia fined Google $7,500 in November 2018 for failing to take down certain search results. New regulations that went into effect in November 2017 require search engines to delete results to websites blacklisted by Russia’s communications regulator Roskomnadzor.

Roskomnadzor, which bans websites containing prohibited information on topics such as child pornography, drugs and suicide, has also been accused of being a tool of state censorship. The regulator has blocked access to corruption investigations by opposition activist Alexei Navalny, the LinkedIn social network and the Telegram messaging app, and is currently investigating BBC Russia over possible violations.

Apr 06 08:06

CrossTalk Bullhorns, HOME EDITION: Flashpoint Ukraine

Ukraine is back in the news again – and not in a good way. Escalating rhetoric could lead to more conflict within the country. Who is driving this impending conflict, and why? Or is this all about isolating Russia?

Apr 06 08:06

Why Is the Biden Administration Pushing Ukraine To Attack Russia?

On March 24th, Ukraine’s President Vladimir Zelensky signed what was essentially a declaration of war on Russia. In the document, titled Presidential Decree No. 117/2021, the US-backed Ukrainian leader declared that it is the official policy of Ukraine to take back Crimea from Russia.

The declaration that Ukraine would take back Crimea from Russia also followed, and was perhaps instigated by, President Biden’s inflammatory and foolish statement that “Crimea is Ukraine.”

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who was a chief architect of the US-backed coup against Ukraine in 2014, continued egging on the Ukrainians, promising full US support for the “territorial integrity” of Ukraine. Many Americans wonder why they are not even half as concerned about the territorial integrity of the United States!

Apr 06 08:00

Is War Between Russia And Ukraine Now Inevitable?

The situation in Eastern Ukraine is critical. Russia and Ukraine are on the brink of an open armed conflict. In this context, many military experts suggest their opinions and forecasts on the military developments in the region. The position of famous warlord Igor Strelkov is definitely one that deserves special attention.

Apr 06 07:34

For What Should We Fight Russia or China?

Last Monday, in a single six-hour period, NATO launched 10 air intercepts to shadow six separate groups of Russian bombers and fighters over the Arctic, North Atlantic, North Sea, Black Sea and Baltic Sea.

Last week also brought reports that Moscow is increasing its troop presence in Crimea and along its borders with Ukraine.

Joe Biden responded. In his first conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Biden assured him of our “unwavering support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of Russia’s ongoing aggression in the Donbass and Crimea.”

Though Ukraine is not a member of NATO, and we have no treaty obligation to fight in its defense, this comes close to a war guarantee. Biden seems to be saying that if it comes to a shooting war between Moscow and Kiev, we will be there on the side of Kiev.

Last week, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov answered that if the U.S. sends troops to Ukraine, Russia will respond.

Apr 06 06:24

War in Donbass Update

For various reasons I am upping my probability of intense fighting in the Donbass this year (probably this summer) to over 50%.

The Ukrainian buildup on the border continues. Wheeling in all those guns and equipment and letting them stand idle is expensive. The Americans have sent a cargo ship which is unloading more equipment in Odessa and a Global Hawk is making overflights over the Black Sea.

The other reason is that quite a few people I know who are connected with the Donbass are near certain about a coming conflict to an extent that I don’t recall seeing in years (this excerpt from a discussion featuring Igor Strelkov on Sergey Zadumov’s show is not unrepresentative). Expected timeline appears to be late April to July.

Apr 06 06:01

Master List Of Official Russia Claims That Proved To Be Bogus

On March 16th, 2021, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) released a much-hyped, much-cited new report on “Foreign Threats to the 2020 Elections.” The key conclusion:

We assess that Russian President Putin authorized, and a range of Russian government organizations conducted, influence operations aimed at denigrating President Biden’s candidacy and the Democratic Party, supporting former President Trump, [and] undermining public confidence in the electoral process…

Apr 06 04:57

US Sanctions Turkey for 'Significant' Transaction With Russia, State Department Says

Cooperation between Turkey and Russia in defense and intelligence has never been met with enthusiasm by the United States. Particularly, when Turkey moved to purchase the S-400 Russian-made air defense missile systems, Washington began its threats to impose sanctions on Ankara.

Turkey's Presidency of Defense Industries (SSB), along with four top officials working within it, including its chief, Ismail Demir, will be sanctioned by the US under its Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), the US State Department said on Monday.

The United States has announced that it will sanction Turkey's SSB and four top officials for "ties" with the Russian defense and intelligence sector.

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