Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.
The announcement that FGM-148 Javelins would be supplied to Ukraine produced expected and unexpected results. The Russians have produced the expected outburst of typical lame propaganda (COCW!) and threats, and they have found an eager audience in some Western media with an agenda to trash POTUS. As yet no substantial Russian response, insofar as past history shows most Christmas / New Year ceasefires violated regardless. Less expected was the very positive response and praise from many of POTUS’ political opponents, and some very positive editorial coverage.
Russia has limited options for responding, other than escalation that would see further sanctions and the possibility that the US might further increase lethal aid to Ukraine. An Operation Nickel Grass style resupply campaign to Ukraine would turn any serious Russian offensive into a proverbial quagmire – like the Israelis the Ukrainians are highly competent in combat and would use any and all weapons to very good effect. With previous loss-exchange ratios in ground combat favoring the Ukrainians over the Russian regulars (dressed up as mercenaries, pretending to be locals) around 10:1, this reality will not be lost on the Russian General Staff, even if not understood or accepted by the Russian political leadership. The Russians have complained that the US has “crossed the line” with Ukraine, which is an interesting observation, insofar as from this point, there are indeed no political obstacles to the US supply of any amount of lethal aid to Ukraine, given the Obama Administration embargo is now gone (will Rice and Rhodes be investigated for collusion with the Kremlin?). Media sniping by the appeaser camp will not put a dent into the deep and broad bipartisan Congressional support for Ukraine, and any further lethal aid supply by the Administration. Russia overplayed its hand in meddling in US politics.
Some interesting new disclosures on the events of 2014, especially the VP Joe Biden urging Yanukovich to abandon his post, which he did the next day. Perhaps Biden reminded Yanukovich of Khaddafi’s sorry end. Also interesting disclosures on the Russian 2014 active measures campaign, which can count amongst its successes Rice regurgitating Russian propaganda as fact.
A most interesting UK Parliamentary annual ISC report, especially the sections on Russia.
On Wednesday, Josh Rogin of the Washington Post reported that the Trump administration has for the first time approved the commercial sale of Model M107A1 Sniper Systems, ammunition, and associated parts and accessories to Ukraine, a sale valued at $41.5 million. The Obama administration had refused to issue export licenses for lethal weapons. Initial reports, including the Post’s, were that the sales to Ukraine would not encompass heavier weaponry such as Javelin anti-tank missiles. However, today the Post reports that Javelins will also be sold to Ukraine. I guess the Kremlin has no information with which to blackmail President Trump, after all. And James Clapper — probably John Brennan’s closest competition for least intelligent man ever to lead an American intelligence agency — must be wrong in claiming that “Russia is handling President Trump as an asset.” Russia denounced Trump’s decision on sales to Ukraine. Its Deputy Foreign Minister, Sergei Ryabkov, said the decision will only make the conflict more deadly and that Russia might be forced to respond. He also said the U.S. can no longer cast itself as a mediator, and is now “an accomplice in fueling the war.” Putin himself has warned that U.S. assistance would escalate the conflict. In reality, Russia is behind the war. Moreover, mediation has been futile because, as Jenna Lifhits of the Weekly Standard points out, Russia has failed to implement the 2015 Minsk ceasefire agreement. It requires Russian-backed separatists to withdraw heavy weapons from the conflict’s front line and create a buffer zone. The sale of weapons to Ukraine is a response to the failure of the 2015 cease-fire and to the fact that, according the Trump administration’s envoy for the Ukraine crisis, 2017 was the most violent year in the four year history of this conflict.
Moscow says “no decisions” taken on open arms supplies to Donbas. View news feed in news about politics for 25 December from UNIAN Information Agency
Angry denunciation by foreign ministry comes as fighting intensifies between Kiev and separatists
Officials in Moscow reacted angrily to Washington’s announcement that it would provide lethal weapons to Ukraine to combat Russian-backed separatists.
Russian officials said a decision by the United States to provide arms to Ukraine is dangerous as it will encourage Kiev to use force in eastern Ukraine.
Kremlin: U.S., Canada’s lethal aid to Ukraine opening “Pandora’s box”. View news feed in news about politics for 26 December from UNIAN Information Agency
Russia is unhappy the U.S. is selling antitank weapons to Kiev.
President Donald Trump’s decision to provide Javelin antitank missiles to Ukraine is noteworthy for those trying to divine where the White House may be headed in its policy toward the Kremlin.
The United States confirmed that Ukraine would receive lethal defensive weapons from the U.S., President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko has said. “As we agreed with President Donald J. Trump, without unnecessary noise, calmly, Ukraine will receive lethal defensive weapon from the U.S. This principled and long-awaited decision was confirmed by the U.S. administration during my yesterday’s conversation with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson,” Poroshenko wrote on his Facebook page on December 23 evening. “Such a step, in tandem with the tightening of sanctions against Russia, is a worthy response to the continued occupation of the Ukrainian territory, to Moscow not honouring its obligations and continuing pumping heavy weaponry into Donbas,” Poroshenko said.
The Trump administration has approved a plan to provide lethal weapons to Ukraine, including Javelin anti-tank missiles.
The U.S.-made FGM-148 Javelin is one of the premier portable anti-tank missile systems in the world. It’s also an expensive piece of kit, with each missile typically costing more than the targets it eliminates.
After years of hesitation, U.S. will sell American-made lethal weapons to Ukraine. President Petro Poroshenko announced the move on Dec. 23, saying that U.S.
Ukrainian diaspora hails US decision to sale lethal weaponry to Ukraine
The sale of lethal defensive weapons by the United States to Ukraine will help to ensure stability in Europe.
The authorities in Kiev lay blame for the heaviest fighting in nearly a year on the withdrawal of Russian officers who had acted as mediators.
Ukraine’s president and Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomed the decision to recommit to a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine first agreed in 2015. But the US is reported to be sending lethal weapons to Kyiv.
The sale of Raytheon missile systems to anti-Russian forces could escalate conflict in Ukraine.
A threat prevails of a significant escalation in Donbass, according to a Ukrainian political scientist Volodymyr Fesenko, who believes that the trend is stable, Glavred reports. Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin is using the conflict as a tool in the game with the West, he said during a public chat at Glavred. “As long as the need and interest remains for him to negotiate with Western leaders, he will not go for a large-scale war,” Fesenko said. “I would like to note another interesting factor: [UEFA] World Cup is to take place in Russia this summer.” According to the political scientist, this sports forum is as important for the Russian leader as was the Winter Games in Sochi back in 2014. “But what will happen after it remains an open question.I recall that the annexation of Crimea took place after the Sochi Olympics. But once again, everything will depend on how the relations between Putin and the West will develop,” the expert said. “It is also possible that Putin will wait to see the outcome of Ukraine elections in 2019. And I have no doubt that the Russian authorities will interfere in our election process in various ways,” said the political analyst.
The Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament published an “Annual Report 2016–2017” which squarely blames Russia for the shootdown of MH17 in July 2014, for the illegal invasion of Crimea, for cyber operations against the West, for Information Warfare against the West. Basically, UK intelligence blames Russia for continuing Cold War practices on a never-ending basis.…
The year 2017 was the toughest in the whole period of the conflict in Donbas, so the sanctions against the Russian Federation should remain in force. The year 2017 was the toughest in the whole period of the conflict in Donbas, so the sanctions against the Russian Federation should remain in force. This was reported by the US special representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker in an interview with La Stampa. “The year that ends is the toughest since the beginning of the conflict in Ukraine.The weapons are supplied in Kyiv to help defend themselves and also send a signal to the attackers. In this context it is absolutely necessary that the sanctions imposed on Russia remain in force. Moscow reacts, trying to break the unity of Western countries, and therefore tries to influence the upcoming Italian elections,” he said.
Volker interview with Italy’s La Stampa: There is need to maintain anti-Russian sanctions. Current news and events for 24 December from UNIAN Information Agency
Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden has mentioned a phone call to former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, after which the latter escaped from Ukraine.
Classified report documents six days of an covert influence operation on social media.
Russian military spy agency created over 30 “Ukrainian” groups in social networks Facebook and VK
Russian psy-ops campaign paved way for military action in Crimea in 2014 – media. Current news and events for 26 December from UNIAN Information Agency
Article by: Andreas Umland There is a broader trend rising today in certain European political circles towards the acceptance of the Crimea annexation. But this ignores the details that are questioning the Kremlin-supported narrative of allegedly near-universal and enthusiastic support for annexation among the local population. In summer 2017, the German Bundestag election campaign was rocked by an unexpected statement from the leader of Germany’s liberals, Christian Lindner. The chair of the Free Democratic Party (FDP) – a centre-right force hitherto known for its hawkish stance in support of international law and all-European integration – proposed to accept Russia’s annexation of Crimea as a “permanent provisorium.” While this was unusual, Lindner only expressed a view which can be heard among many politicians, diplomats, and journalists in Germany and other Western countries. In fact, Lindner has – at least within the German political context – been not the most accommodative towards Kremlin expansionism.
Article by: Tetiana Pechonchyk On December 19, the UN General Assembly voted in support of a resolution on the human rights situation in Crimea. 70 countries voted in favor, 26 voted against, and 76 abstained. The ones who voted against: Armenia, Belarus, Bolivia, Burundi, Cambodia, China, Cuba, DPRK, Eritrea, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Philippines, Russia, Serbia, South Africa, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Uganda, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Zimbabwe.
Putin okays groundwater extraction in occupied Crimea. View news feed in news about economy for 22 December from UNIAN Information Agency
Local owners of cars with Ukrainian number plates to be fined in occupied Crimea from Jan 1. Current news and events for 24 December from UNIAN Information Agency