Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.
The West, the US and NATO, have given Russia 60 days to come in compliance with the INF treaty and to be “inspectable”. This, of course, has been met with derision by Russia and heaping helpings of it. More fresh piles of #2 being flung by Russia.
The S-125/SA-3 Goa missile being repurposed as an Anti-Ship Missile is a significant leap in capability for Ukraine. This puts the Black Sea Fleet at risk for Russia, perhaps. “A nightmare for Russia”. Ukraine has many, with 16 missiles (at least) per battery.
This YouTube video shows live-fire testing in Ukraine.
As an FYI, the US did the same thing against Iran in 1988.
On April 18, 1988, during Operation Praying Mantis, the frigate USS Simpson fired four RIM-66 Standard missiles and the cruiser USS Wainwright fired two RIM-67 Standard missiles at Joshan, an Iranian (Combattante II) Kaman-class missile boat. The attacks destroyed the Iranian ship’s superstructure but did not sink it.
An obliterated superstructure not sinking sounds like a solid hole in the water to me.
NATO and US give Russia a 60-day ultimatum to comply with INF. Russia produces a tirade of nonsense, invective, and indulges in repeat saber-rattling and Wunderwaffe propaganda.
The “firehose” barrage against Ukraine continues, now expanded by claims Ukraine is preparing to attack the Russian puppet states in Donbas. Another Russian cyber attack in Europe, another “diplomat” expelled. Eidman on Russia’s abuse of POWs.
Update on political debate in West over Kerch. Poroshenko calls for a meeting of Budapest signatories. NATO response remains mostly rhetorical. Six analysis essays on Russia – Skobov is on target.
In Ukraine, Gen Muzhenko briefs Reuters on Russian buildup, stating “In front of us is an aggressor who has no legal, moral or any other limits. It is very difficult to predict when it will occur to him to begin active combat actions against Ukraine.” “This (the Kerch Strait incident) was an act of aggression from regular forces, the border service (of the Russian Federation) in relation to the Ukrainian armed forces,” – as always, he gets straight to the point, which is that the buildup is the largest since 2014.
Pres Poroshenko correctly compares Russian propaganda to the Goebbelsian – Russia has truly drifted into the space of the NSDAP. Excellent commentary by Harding. Updates on Kerch, Azov and martial law.
Ukraine conducts another test of the Neptun / Kharpunski ASCM hitting a target at 280 km range, and trials the S-125 / SA-3 GOA as a line-of-sight ASM against maritime shipping targets.
Hungary backflips yet again.
Allies have concluded that Russia has developed and fielded a new missile system in violation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, a key arms control agreement which has been crucial in upholding NATO’s security for over 30 years. At a meeting on Tuesday (4 December 2018) NATO Foreign Ministers called on Russia to urgently return to full and verifiable compliance, saying: “it is now up to Russia to preserve the INF Treaty.” Allies expressed firm commitment to preserving effective international arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other NATO foreign ministers on Tuesday accused Russia of not being in compliance with the Cold War-era intermediate-range nuclear missile treaty.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Tuesday that the US will stop adhering to a decades-old nuclear treaty in 60 days unless Russia returns to compliance with the agreement.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Tuesday that the United States is prepared to withdraw from a crucial weapons treaty signed by the world’s two greatest nuclear powers.
On Tuesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, echoing the Trump Administration’s hard line toward Russia, announced that the United States would give Russia 60 days to comply with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty signed by Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, or the U.S.
The Nato alliance says Moscow is breaking a 1987 deal that rid Europe of land-based nuclear missiles.
TRT World Published on Dec 4, 2018 NATO foreign ministers have met in Brussels. Tension between Russia and Ukraine was high on their agenda following Russia’s seizure of three Ukrainian naval vessels and the detention of their crew last month. Also on the agenda was the future of an important arms control treaty which has limited the deployment of nuclear missiles in Europe. Simon McGregor-Wood was there.
VOA News Published on Dec 4, 2018 U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the United States will withdraw from a milestone Cold War-era nuclear treaty unless Russia returns to compliance. During a NATO ministerial meeting in Brussels Tuesday, Pompeo said the United States will abandon treaties and multilateral institutions that are not bolstering U.S. national security and sovereign interests. VOA’s Diplomatic Correspondent Cindy Saine reports from the State Department.
TIME Published on Dec 4, 2018 The United States will suspend its obligations under a landmark nuclear treaty in 60 days in response to Russia’s alleged violation of the pact, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Tuesday. Subscribe to TIME ►►http://po.st/SubscribeTIME
The Russian Foreign Ministry says it has received official notification from the United States that it intends to walk out of a key Cold War-era treaty.
By Mikhail Gorbachev and George P. Shultz December 4 at 2:28 PM Mikhail Gorbachev is a former president of the Soviet Union; George P. Shultz is a former U.S. secretary of state and is now a distinguished fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. More than 30 years have passed since the day the leaders of the United States and the Soviet Union, meeting in Geneva, adopted a joint statement declaring that “a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.” It was more than just rhetoric. Less than a year later, in Reykjavik, Iceland, they agreed on the parameters of future treaties on the elimination of intermediate-range nuclear forces, or INF, and the radical reduction of strategic nuclear arms. A year after that, in 1987, the first of these treaties was signed in Washington. The elimination of the entire class of nuclear missiles opened the way to a process of real nuclear disarmament. The INF Treaty and subsequent treaties reducing strategic nuclear arms established an innovative system of verification, inspections, data exchange and mutual consultations to ensure that each side can confidently verify that the other is faithfully adhering to the treaty limits.
BRUSSELS (AP) — The Latest on a meeting of foreign ministers from NATO nations: (all times local): 7:20 p.m. The Russian Foreign Ministry is denying U.S. and NATO allegations that Russia is violating a landmark nuclear that banned an entire class of weapons. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters in Moscow on Tuesday: “Russia strictly complies with the provisions of the treaty, and the American side is aware of that,” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced at a NATO meeting in Brussels Tuesday that Washington would suspend its obligations under the 1987 pact in 60 days due to Russia’s alleged “cheating.” NATO foreign ministers at the meeting agreed with Washington’s assertion that a new Russian missile system violates the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) signed by President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. Russia has repeatedly denied the U.S. claims, insisting the SSC8 missile system at the core of the allegations does not exceed ranges stipulated by the treaty.
The US ultimatum on the INF treaty is part and parcel of what Washington throws at Russia – from the Kerch Strait and the Skripals, to meddling in elections – that is not constructive, former American diplomat Jim Jatras said.
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – Key decision makers within the Trump administration have zero interest in preventing the collapse of the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty and NATO is well positioned to exploit the situation including the predictable missile buildup to follow, analysts told Sputnik.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that Moscow is against the destruction of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, but would respond accordingly if it happens. His comments come a day after the US said it would withdraw from the treaty if Russia does not return to full compliance.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Moscow and Washington must hold talks on the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), so that it could be adapted to the current situation and limited only to Europe, Chairman of Russia’s upper house Defense and Security Committee Viktor Bondarev told Sputnik on Tuesday.
Russia says it has received official notification from Washington that the United States intends to withdraw from a Cold War nuclear-arms treaty unless Moscow returns to compliance with the accord.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned that Moscow will follow suit if Washington pulls out of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. Putin spoke on December 5, a day after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that Washington would abandon the INF Treaty unless Moscow returns to compliance with the accord within 60 days.
Mike Pompeo announced at a NATO meeting that Washington will suspend its obligations under the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, citing Russian “cheating.”
Military chief says if U.S. "were to destroy" 1987 INF treaty, Russia "will not leave it without a response," as Putin again blames U.S.
Russian President Vladimir Putin says Russia would be forced to respond if the U.S. exits the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces arms control treaty.
The Russian Foreign Ministry says it has received official notification from the United States that it intends to walk out of a key Cold War-era treaty.
EUROPE will be in the crosshairs of Russian missiles in a grim re-run of the Seventies arms race if the US pulls out of a key nuclear deal, according to Vladimir Putin’s official spokesman.
VLADIMIR Putin has a hypersonic missile system that “cannot be intercepted” at his disposal, a Russian general has warned.
Russia will target countries hosting U.S. missiles if Washington goes ahead with plans to pull out of a landmark Cold War arms treaty, General Staff chief Valery Gerasimov said Wednesday.
The United States delivered Russia a 60-day ultimatum on Tuesday to come clean about what Washington says is a violation of a 1987 nuclear arms control treaty
Moscow believes the Ukrainian government is set for a flare-up of hostilities against rebels in the east, using the newly-imposed martial law to cover up its preparations.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Kiev is deploying major offensive components to Donbass, with reports about preparations by the Ukrainian Armed Forces for military actions emerging, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has stated.
Russia plans to award medals to the border guards who fired on and seized Ukrainian sailors and ships during last week’s confrontation in the Black Sea.Vyacheslav Volodin, Speaker of the Russian parliament and a former Kremlin adviser, said that the men acted “courageously and efficiently” to preve
The Russian President Vladimir Putin explained why he did not answer the calls of the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, as Interfax reported. According to him, allegedly, he does not want to take part in some “little trick” and “election campaign”. “It is not like I am avoiding Poroshenko and do not want to talk with him,” Putin said commenting on the absence of a phone conversation with Poroshenko, which Ukraine’s side demanded.
The Russian Navy has deployed its newest large patrol ship Dmitry Rogachev to Sevastopol in annexed Crimea. According to a statement of the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation, the newest patrol ship Dmitry Rogachev has made its first-ever visit to Sevastopol for another stage of state trials. In five days the ship will fulfill a complex of state trials. After the special mission, the Dmitry Rogachev will sail to Novorossiysk to perform further stages of trials. Earlier the crew had successfully trained first artillery fire drills in zone of the Black Sea Fleet. It also trained navigation at the maximum angles of rotation and ascent by simulators of marine, coastal and air targets. The ship Dmitry Rogachevare primarily intended for duties such as patrol, monitoring and protection in open and closed seas. Over the past few years, Russia’s Black Sea Fleet has fully renewed its submarines and coastal defense missile systems – the new Bal and Bastion complexes are protecting the entire Black Sea area. Also, the Black Sea Fleet has received three frigates, small missile and other ships that are performing their missions in the Black and Mediterranean Seas. New aircraft are arriving for naval aviation, for example, Sukhoi Su-30SM fighter jets.
The Security Information Service (BIS) of the Czech Republic annual report published on Monday states that Russia’s intelligence services were …
Slovakia has expelled a Russian diplomat as an alleged spy.
Slovakia has expelled a Russian diplomat after information from military intelligence showed he engaged in espionage activities in the NATO and European Union member country, Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini said on Wednesday. The diplomat was expelled on November 22.
What was the Kerch incident really about? On November 25, Russia attacked and seized three Ukrainian gunboats and their crew while they were attempting to transit into the Sea of Azov through the Kerch Strait. The move caused a wave of international condemnation, with Ukraine claiming it signalled renewed Russian aggression and pleading with NATO to confront Russia in the Black Sea region. On the surface, it seems this is just the latest iteration of the Russian-Ukrainian military and political confrontation which the Maidan revolution sparked back in 2014. In March that year, Russia occupied the Crimean Peninsula and used hybrid forces to start a civil conflict in Eastern Ukraine. The Kerch Strait separates Russia proper from Russian-controlled Crimea and connects the Black Sea to the Sea of Azov. In the aftermath of the annexation, Russia built a bridge across the strait, which Ukraine never agreed to. On paper, movement in and out of the Sea of Azov for Ukrainian ships is regulated by a treaty signed in 2003 between Ukraine and Russia, which gives free access to vessels from both countries. Since the Crimea bridge was completed earlier this year, Russia has been impeding traffic of commercial vessels bound for the Ukrainian port of Mariupol on the Sea of Azov and after last week’s incident, it has virtually imposed a blockade on it. Given the subsequent exchange of accusations between Ukraine and Russia, it is important to make a number of points clear. Does Ukraine have the right to send gunboats from Odessa to the Sea of Azov as it did in the prelude to the Kerch Strait incident? Yes, it does. Can it test Russia’s patience by ignoring demands to get a permit in order to pass through the strait, as these boats did? Sure it can, as per the Russian-Ukrainian 2003 treaty. Should Ukraine protest the arrest of its men and the seizure of its boats, as well as plead with its Western allies to interfere? It absolutely should.
I really do appreciate Russian humor. This article is not meant to be humorous but it almost… is. Mostly because the logic is grossly obtuse, the leaps in logic were a comedic tragedy, and the assertions and assumptions were, well, cute. As cute as a pile of #2 but, still, cute. This blog link was…
Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) has prevented the sale of new Bal-E coastal missile systems to Azerbaijan, according to Russian newspaper reports. Russia apparently refused a request to sell Bal-E coastal missile systems to Azerbaijan because of fears by the country’s MoD. Russia will not sell the Bal-E coastal missile system to Azerbaijan because of the risks it may present to the ships of the Caspian flotilla located in Russian territorial waters, said in Kommersant’s newspaper reports. The newspaper, referring to its own sources, explains that the reason for the disruption of supply lies with the position of the Russian Ministry of Defense, the supply in the department was considered inexpedient. As also previously reported, the Republic of Azerbaijan has expressed its intention to procure “Bal-E coastal missile system from Russia. According to Kommersant, Azerbaijan has been eyeing this missile system for a long time because of its need to protect its coastal zone of the Caspian Sea. Bal-E is the export version of the BAL missile complex in service with the coastal missile unit of the Russian Navy Caspian Flotilla. The system is used to guard straits and territorial waters, to protect offshore sea lines, naval bases, coastal infrastructure, as well as to defend the coast at amphibious landing threat directions within the missile launch range.
Paul Goble Staunton, December 5 – The international community must do everything possible to save the Ukrainian soldiers Russian forces took prisoner because Vladimir Putin is behaving toward them in exactly the same way Stalin treated his enemies in 1937, accusing them of a crime and only then bringing them to trial, Igor Eidman says. The Russian sociologist who writes commentaries for Deutsche Welle says that in fact Putin is behaving in exactly the same way that Stalin did, charging those he has as prisoners of “fantastic” crimes and then turning them over to the chekists to extract the necessary evidence or confessions by one means or another (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=5C053C09673A6). Putin explicitly said, Eidman continues, that “we must confirm the provocative character of the actions of the Ukrainian authorities and fix this in legal documents … We must form them in a corresponding way and there it will be obvious.” It is beyond doubt that his Chekists will do just what Stalin’s did to fulfill the leader’s will. “Putin further said,” the commentator says, “Ukrainian sailors attempted to break through to the Kerch straits and said that they intended to blow up the Kerch bridge.” That is nonsense, the kind of charge that comes from the Stalinist playbook and that is worrisome because so little attention is as yet being devoted to it. Given that Putin in this case is acting as the Stalin of today, Eidman concludes, “the international community must immediately save the Ukrainian sailors” from his clutches. “Otherwise against them may be fabricated a case in the style of 1937.”
The United States and European Union can extend the sanctions against Russia due to the seizure of Ukrainian sailors and ships. Kurt Volker, the U.S. Special Envoy to Ukraine made such statement as Interfax reported. “Some of our European allies talked about new sanctions or extension of the current. I think it is a decent idea, we will consider it,” Volker said. Related: Are anti-Russian sanctions of EU and US meaningful? He also urged Russia to release captured Ukrainians sailors and ships as a gesture of goodwill before the holidays. “They were attacked groundlessly in the high seas and arrested. They (the Russians) should resort to de-escalation and return them…We hope that Russia will immediately return sailors,” he claimed.
U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker has said the United States and Europe could strengthen sanctions against Russia or introduce new ones due to the seizure of Ukrainian sailors and ships, the U.S. government-funded Voice of America has reported.
German Ambassador to Ukraine Ernst Reichel says there is no consensus within the European Union about the introduction of new sanctions against the Russian Federation over of the seizure of three Ukrainian boats and the capture of 24 Ukrainian navy sailors in the Kerch Strait on November 25. Meanwhile, the EU continues to discuss new sanctions in connection with illegal “elections” held in Russian-occupied Donbas on November 11.
First Deputy Speaker of the Ukrainian Parliament and Ukraine’s envoy to the Trilateral Contact Group’s humanitarian subgroup Iryna Gerashchenko and Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of State George Kent have discussed the issue of freeing prisoners of war and political prisoners in Russia, as well as the introduction of martial law in 10 Ukrainian regions.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg says the organization recognizes Ukraine’s aspirations to become member of the Alliance. Ukraine has made progress on reforms, Stoltenberg says.
NATO stands ready to build up its presence in the Black Sea region, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said, commenting on the NATO ministerial meeting held in Brussels on Tuesday.
Ukraine protested at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Committee for Maritime Safety because of the armed attack on Ukrainian …
The International Court will consider the attack on Ukrainian sailors as the episode of the aggressive war that Russia wages against Ukraine – not the separate case. Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko added that the Ukrainian law enforcement agencies already prepared a presentation of collected evidence, which confirms the fact of military aggression of the Russian Navy against the Ukrainian ships. Earlier, the Kremlin reported that the seized Ukrainian ships are the “physical evidence”. Dmitry Peskov, the spokesperson of the Russian President made such statement answering the question on the location of the Ukrainian artillery boats “Berdyansk”, “Nikopol” and tugboat “Yany Kapu” in occupied Kerch as UNIAN reported. “I cannot answer your question. It is not the subject of attention (of Kremlin, – 112.international). It is, rather, the prerogative of the investigative bodies, which hold the investigation and charge and you need to appeal to them to get to know it. As far as we know, these boats are the physical evidence and they are relevant to the investigated case,” Peskov said. As is known, three Ukrainian ships were on their way from Odesa to Mariupol to join the newly created Ukrainian naval base in the Sea of Azov. Russian naval vessels and aviation opened fire and wounded three Ukrainian servicemen. The ships and their crews were captured. Currently, 24 Ukrainian sailors face charges with ‘illegal border crossing’, as they stay in detention centers in Moscow.
Angela Merkel’s intention to step down from the position of leader of Germany’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party, and later from the position of federal chancellor, threatens to cause trouble for Russia. Merkel’s most likely successor as head of the ruling CDU, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, has criticized Russia for exacerbating the conflict with Ukraine, and has identified the Nord Stream 2 project as a possible target of response measures. Refusing to support the project at all would be “too radical”, but Berlin may reduce the planned amount of gas transit through the pipeline, Kramp-Karrenbauer told ARD TV channel in an interview. Germany must react to the growing political fears surrounding Nord Stream 2 – Gazprom’s third attempt to build a pipe that bypasses Ukraine – in light of Russia’s recent capture of three Ukrainian boats and their crews close to Crimea, stressed Kramp-Karrenbauer, who is leading in the battle for CDU leadership ahead of final voting at the end of the week. According to her, the time has come to take a stricter stance with respect to Russia’s actions, including its annexation of Crimea and support of the rebels in eastern Ukraine. On Friday, Kramp-Karrenbauer proposed another package of radical measures in response to Moscow’s refusal to release the detained Ukrainian sailors. “If it is confirmed that the aggression originated with Russia, I think that a clear response needs to be given,” she said. “Such a response, for example, could be to ban Russian ships arriving from the Black or Azov seas from entering European or American ports until the situation with Ukraine is resolved”. Europe and Germany in particular will “take on great responsibility” in matters of security and foreign policy, because they “have consequences domestically,” she emphasized. “This means, for example, that we must spend more money on defense at home and abroad,” Kramp-Karrenbauer observed. The EU is considering the possibility of imposing sanctions on Russia for the Kerch incident. Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl said on November 27: the decision will be made after an “analysis of the facts”.
Ukraine calls on the signatory states of the Budapest Memorandum to hold urgent consultations, according to a statement released by the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry.
With initial talk of tighter sanctions now fading and Russia so far paying little cost for firing on Ukrainian ships in the Kerch Strait last month, President Petro Poroshenko reiterated calls for action from the West. “While Western partners make strong statements, Putin acts,” Poroshenko told Bloomberg
Batkivschyna Party leader Yulia Tymoshenko has met with U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker during her trip to the United States. The sides discussed the situation in Ukraine, first of all, the escalation of Russia’s war against Ukraine and the latest events in the Kerch area strait. “Kurt Volker stressed the need for the return of captured sailors and warships to Ukraine. For her part, Tymoshenko thanked the United States for the help and support. She called for tougher sanctions against the aggressor country and assistance to Ukraine’s Naval Forces,” her party’s press service said on Wednesday morning. Volker thanked Tymoshenko for a clear position on the need to continue Ukraine’s integration into NATO and the EU. He stressed that the United States will continue to support the open door policy of NATO for the Ukrainian state. “In addition, the parties substantively discussed Tymoshenko’s proposals for new Constitution, the New Economic Course and proposals for new steps to end the war and establish peace,” her press service said.
NATO is beefing up its troop deployments across eastern Europe amid fears Russia’s “destabilising” behaviour in the Black Sea could spark open conflict with Ukraine.
Hillary Clinton on Twitter: “Russia’s seizure last week of three Ukrainian boats and their 24 crew members in the Kerch Strait is a significant Russian military escalation with respect to Ukraine and the latest attempt by Russia to control key areas in and around Ukraine.”
Soviet-born oligarch Len Blavatnik is in business with two Russians under US sanctions.
On Tuesday, Dec 5, the global social network Facebook was down or unreachable for vast numbers of users. People were thrown out of their accounts and unable to log back in.
Paul Goble Staunton, December 4 – As hard as it is to imagine in the 21st century, Vladimir Putin is perfectly prepared to go to war to ensure that Ukrainian Orthodoxy does not gain autocephaly because once it does and once its status is recognized by others, the Kremlin leader’s imperial pretensions will suffer a defeat that he simply cannot tolerate, Yury Skobov says. “If the Russian Federation doesn’t block the establishment and recognition by other Orthodox of a new Ukrainian Orthodox Church not subordinate to the Russian Orthodox Church,” the Moscow commentator says, then this will mean that ‘Russia doesn’t exist,’ as Lev Vershilin, a ‘patriotic’ writer fantast has written” (graniru.org/opinion/skobov/m.274089.html). That is because for Putin and those who support him, Ukraine cannot be allowed to be independent of Russia in any fundamental way. For Putinists, Ukraine is not a state, Ukrainians are not a nation, and Russia must dominate and include them all. Indeed, the Kremlin leader and his propagandists have regularly insisted on those false propositions. Consequently, Skobov continues, “Putin will use any opportunity not to allow what would be viewed within the country as ‘a geopolitical defeat.’ And therefore, the issue of Ukrainian autocephaly certainly could be one of the causes which led him to provoke ‘the Kerch crisis.’” But it isn’t the only one. The other cause is the problematic geographic position of Crimea which Putin seized and annexed in 2014. “Putin cannot be certain of the firmness of his acquisition until he establishes control not only over a land corridor to Crimea … but also over lands adjoining the canal supplying Crimea with water from the Dnepr.” “This does not mean,” the Moscow commentator continues, “that Putin has already taken a decision to begin a widescale war with Ukraine. But the annexation of Crimea will remain a constant source of tensions which will give rise to ever new conflict situations,” each of which the Kremlin leader will try to exploit to achieve the destruction of Ukraine. Putin’s “empire like a shark cannot exist except in movement. Otherwise it will drown. So too the empire. Having started on the path of international brigandage, Putin already cannot stop himself.” And having shown himself prepared to ignore all the existing rules of the game, he must continue to do so, even if the consequences become more serious. The Kremlin leader’s mantra about Russia “’rising from its knees’” is like Hitler’s ‘throwing off the shackles of Versailles.’” It is not something that is achieved once and for all but rather something that requires ever more aggression and ever more violation of international norms and laws, the commentator says. “The goal of Putin’s Kremlin is to force the surrounding world to agree to close its eyes to his international crimes. That is what the Kremlin calls ‘taking our interests into account.’ As long a law remains a factor in international relations and isn’t driven out by force, the Kremlin’s control of Crimea will be insecure.” That has consequences that many leaders in the West have not yet been willing to face up to, Skobov suggests. Politeness and appeals are not going to be enough to prompt Putin to change. “Putin can be stopped only by force” because Putinism is “an infection” of the international system, one that must destroy that system or be destroyed by it. “In order not to die, the organism must suppress the source of the infection,” Skobov says; and in this case, “the surrounding world must force the Russian Federation to leave Crimea.” Nothing short of that will prevent Putin from behaving worse and worse and thus threatening the world more and more.
While Ukraine seeks international backing for its Black Sea standoff with Russia and asks NATO to increase its presence in the Black Sea, members of the alliance avoid taking military steps that will further escalate tension in the region. Turkey’s position sides with the alliance in this case.
It is possible to draw a number of strategic conclusions based on this growing list of cooperative initiatives. First, their military-technical cooperation may help to speed up the transformation of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and assist in bringing them closer to NATO standards. And on the other hand, Turkey is drawing on Ukraine’s own intellectual and technical resources, including tank engine or aircraft design and construction. Indeed, it is easier for Kyiv to cooperate with a partner that has its own practical reasons to want to work with Ukraine than it is for Kyiv to collaborate with many (more technologically advanced) Western partners. Finally, Turkey and Ukraine’s close cooperation is driven by a national security interest to counterbalance Russia in the Black Sea region. Russia’s latest provocative actions regarding the Sea of Azov are thus likely to further spur Turkey and Ukraine’s developing military strategic partnership. It of course remains to be seen how far either side will push this cooperation. But its further development in the military, political and economic spheres could contribute to preventing further Russian expansion and effectively deter it. Thus, it is in the West’s collective interest to see this strategic military partnership between Kyiv and Ankara expand and flourish.
Russia has perpetrated acts of war against Ukraine in the Kerch Strait and the adjacent portion of the Black Sea on November 25 (see EDM, November 26, 28, 29). Moreover, during the preceding months, Russia had systematically and aggressively obstructed Ukrainian and international shipping in the Sea of Azov (see EDM, February 22, April 12, May 22, 31, June 11, 28, November 6). Western and Ukrainian responses to these events have often revealed confusion about the legal status of the Azov Sea and Kerch Strait. Misunderstandings include: referencing the international law of the sea in connection with the Azov Sea and Kerch Strait, terming the Kerch Strait an international waterway, or proposing Western naval expeditions into the Azov Sea.
Over the last five years Ukraine went through many tough episodes: revolution, the annexation of Crimea, conflict in Eastern Ukraine that was …
Paul Goble Staunton, December 4 – Aleksey Arbatov, a foreign policy specialist at the Institute of World Economics and International affairs, says that “any armed clash between Russia and the US with a high degree of probability will escalate into nuclear war,” a warning reflecting an all too real possibility but also one intended to keep the US from responding to Russian aggression. Writing in Novaya gazeta, the academician says that the current situation is being made worse by “a new threat” that may be “the most fundamental one: the military and political establishments of Russia and the US already in reality are allowing for a direct clash of their armies and fleets” (novayagazeta.ru/articles/2018/12/03/78784-za-etim-porogom-ne-ray). At the beginning of the Cold War, the two leaderships engaged in several “tests of strength,” but after the Caribbean missile crisis in 1962, they became “much more careful and began to respect one another as worthy opponents and even to search for a basis of professional mutual understanding,” Arbatov says. The military leaders of the two countries now “do not respect each other,” despite the obvious reasons fore ach to do so. Instead, they calmly talk “about the possibility of war and even of nuclear war,” despite the certainty that such a conflict would have completely unacceptable consequences. “A new generation has arisen which does not understand and does not want to know the experience” of the past and did not experience “the most horrific psychological stress of crisis situations.” Not only has the World War II generation passed from the scene, so too has the one that was at the center of the Cold War. According to Arbatov, “It sometimes seems that the present-day leaders of the great powers and their advisors who are responsible for the security of their countries and the entire world consider themselves to be the first people on this earth as if no one lived before them” or had anything to offer them. Instead, they seem to have to learn everything over again. And there is less pressure on them to learn quickly because people around are focused on all kinds of things other than the threat of a new war. “Today, for Europe, Brexit and migration are the most important things; for the US, a wall with Mexico and tariffs; and for Russia, the Kerch straits.” Moreover, “the danger of war is growing not according to the scenarios of 40 years ago: this is a qualitatively different and more complex threat, but it is very serious and completely real. A military clash between Russia and the US can at any moment take place in Syria, the Baltics, the Arctic, or around Ukraine.” Tragically, Arbatov continues, this is something that leaders and societies “periodically forget.” Such problems must be discussed, he concludes. “But the main condition of such a discussion must be the presence of different but competent opinions which express themselves in understandable language and are not cut off from good sense.” At one level, of course, Arbatov’s argument is compelling; but at another, there is a problem. His words are far more likely to be accepted by political elites in the West which clearly do not want war than by Vladimir Putin and his entourage in the Kremlin who constantly talk about a conflagration. And because that is so, one can hardly avoid the conclusion that at least in part Arbatov’s real message is that the West should not stand up to Putin’s aggression because that could lead to a nuclear war, an argument that is very effective in the West but one that does nothing to prevent the Kremlin leader from continuing his assault on the international order.
“Russia has been ramping up its forces near the border with Ukraine since August and now poses the greatest military threat since 2014, the year Moscow annexed Crimea,” Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Viktor Muzhenko told Reuters in an interview on Tuesday. During the interview, General Viktor Muzhenko gestured to a series of satellite images which he said showed the presence of Russian T-62 M tanks stationed 18 km (11 miles) from the Ukrainian border. He added that their number had more than doubled to 250 from 93 machines from mid September to October 1. Therefore, he believes this is evidence of a concerted build-up of Russian forces in the run-up to Nov. 25, when Russia fired on and captured three Ukrainian vessels at the Kerch Strait, an action Kyiv’s leadership fears may be a precursor to a full-scale invasion. Russia has no legal, moral or any other limits, the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine underscored. “In front of us is an aggressor who has no legal, moral or any other limits. It is very difficult to predict when it will occur to him to begin active combat actions against Ukraine,” Muzhenko said. Ukraine was also expecting help from allies, mostly the United States, for equipment including air and naval reconnaissance, boats and weapons for ground troops, he said. As the General summed up, Ukraine expects to complete the building of a military base on the Azov Sea, which had been planned before the navy clash, by next year.
Russia has been ramping up its forces near the border with Ukraine since August and now poses the greatest military threat since 2014, the year Moscow annexed Crimea, the commander of Ukraine’s armed forces told Reuters in an interview on Tuesday.
Russia has been ramping up its forces near the border with Ukraine since August and now poses the greatest military threat since 2014, the year Moscow annexed Crimea, the commander of Ukraine’s armed forces told Reuters in an interview on Tuesday. Russians had more than doubled to 250 from 93 machines within the space of two weeks from mid-September to October 1.
The amount of military equipment which Russia has on the Ukrainian border has recently increased dramatically, said Ukrainian Chief of General …
Ukraine is concerned about the dangerous escalation near in the Azov and Black Sea and along the border with Russia. Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Viktor Muzhenko said at the TV program on the ICTV channel that Russia increases the number of soldiers and military equipment near the border with Ukraine. “The pattern of deployment shows that the corresponding offensive groups can be formed in the shortest possible time and the direction of their actions in Ukraine. Therefore, we consider not just one direction – Luhansk and Donetsk regions – but the northeastern, eastern and southern borders of Ukraine as well,” Viktor Muzhenko said. He also spoke about the creation of the Russian division consisting of two tanks and two motorized rifled regiments. “Such divisions are called “Proryv” (breakthrough in English) division. Obviously, the division is being created not for defensive actions, but for attacking,” the Head of the General Staff noted. According to him, this division is part of the 8th combined-arms army deployed in Novocherkassk. “The most interesting thing is that two army corps, which are located in the temporarily occupied territory of Luhansk and Donetsk regions, are controlled from the headquarters of this 8th combined-arms army. We see systemic formation,” Muzhenko stressed. He also said that the Russian Federation had “almost doubled” the number of its ships in the waters of the Sea of Azov. As reported, on November 25, Russian border ships committed the acts of aggression against three Ukrainian ships heading from the port of Odesa to the port of Mariupol. The Russian special forces fired and seized three Ukrainian ships in the Kerch Strait and 24 sailors aboard. On November 26, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted a law approving the decree of the President of Ukraine on the imposition of the martial law for 30 days in 10 regions of Ukraine in connection with the aggression of Russia.
Russia has been ramping up its forces near the border with Ukraine since August and now poses the greatest military threat since 2014, the year Moscow annexed Crimea, the commander of Ukraine’s armed forces told Reuters in an interview on Tuesday. General Viktor Muzhenko gestured to a series of satellite images which he said showed the presence of Russian T-62 M tanks stationed 18 kilometers from the Ukrainian border. They had more than doubled to 250 from 93 machines within the space of two weeks from mid-September to Oct 1. For Muzhenko this is evidence of a concerted build-up of Russian forces in the run-up to Nov. 25, when Russia fired on and captured three Ukrainian vessels at the Kerch Strait, an action Kiev’s leadership fears may be a precursor to a full-scale invasion. Ukraine and Russia have traded accusations over the clash. The Kremlin’s spokesman on Monday dismissed as “absurd” the notion that Russia wanted to forcibly take over Ukrainian ports.
President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko has called on the West to strengthen sanctions against Russia and increase the presence of NATO in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.
The President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, aptly compared Russian propaganda to that of Nazi Germany’s Reich Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels from 1933 to 1945. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum had what I consider the world’s best exhibit about Nazi propaganda. During the tour, one is taught that Nazi propaganda wraps a fabricated story around a kernel of the truth. Russian propaganda does that, consistently, today. Many of the graphics used by Russian propaganda is reminiscent of Nazi propaganda. Graphics depicting stereotypically racist and unique features on US Presidents Trump and Obama were used frequently in Russian propaganda since Putin became President. Calls for apologies have been summarily dismissed and ignored. Another signature of Nazi propaganda is to have complete authority over the media. Russia has almost complete dominance over Russian media and is constantly seeking more invasive and oppressive controls. Nazi propaganda also controlled all types of media, including radio, books, plays, movies, and newspapers. One cannot find any part of Russian society where the government is not involved, reminiscent of Nazi propaganda. Ukraine’s Poroshenko is accurate comparing Russian propaganda to Goebbels. Russian Information Warfare includes propaganda, and all this is an integral part of Russian Hybrid Warfare. Russia’s behavior is that of a playground bully, as a country, they have become a rogue state. Playground bullies rely on a victim’s reluctance to stand up to them, to fight back. Russia’s fallback final verbal threat is usually a reminder, “we have nukes”. Then they will claim Western provocation, and in this case, Ukrainian provocation. It’s sad when a country with so much potential wastes their talent on propaganda which can be directly compared with Nazi propaganda. It is also a shame that more countries do not properly label Russian propaganda for what it is: an overt display of aggression against other countries, oppression of Russian citizens, and evasion of the truth from all, which should be compared with Goebbels. </end editorial>
Answering the question at his meeting with Ivano-Frankivsk students on Tuesday on how Ukraine can counteract the large-scale anti-Ukrainian propaganda campaign pursued by Russia, which uses methods similar to those of Nazi propaganda mastermind Joseph Goebbels, Petro Poroshenko agreed with such a comparison. “The system of propaganda of Russians is very similar, unfortunately,” the president noted. President Petro Poroshenko emphasizes that Ukraine, as well as the whole world, is facing mass propaganda and distribution of fake information Russia has been exploiting in its hybrid war against Ukraine. Answering the question at his meeting with Ivano-Frankivsk students on Tuesday on how Ukraine can counteract the large-scale anti-Ukrainian propaganda campaign pursued by Russia, which uses methods similar to those of Nazi propaganda mastermind Joseph Goebbels, Petro Poroshenko agreed with such a comparison. “The system of propaganda of Russians is very similar, unfortunately,” the president noted. “Is this the problem of Ukraine, or only Ukraine? No. Everyone talks about Russia’s interference in the U.S. elections. Everyone talks about Russia’s interference in the referendum in the Netherlands. Everyone talks about Russia’s interference in Brexit,” he said, according to the president’s press service. “All that can be destroyed. To Russia, any systems based on western values are like a bur in the throat. That is why we are now united to confront a unique misinformation policy. When democratic standards are used to ruin democracy,” the president said. “And this is a problem that the whole western world is facing, including Ukraine. And we have to fight it,” Petro Poroshenko added.
Ukraine’s security agency said it has thwarted a massive cyberattack and blamed Russia for the attempted attack that targeted the country’s court system.
The security service of Ukraine successfully blocked an attempt by Russian intelligence to carry out a large-scale cyberattack on information and telecommunication systems of Ukraine’s judicial authorities. Compromised e-mails, infected with malware, had been sent to computers in various bodies of the country’s judiciary system.
Head of the Ukrainian Border Guard Service Petro Tsygykal has said his agency has asked heads of the border agencies of the neighboring countries in the west to beef up border security. Tsygykal stressed that citizens of Russia or other countries who work for Russian special services may come from European countries.
Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs recommended the Verkhovna Rada to terminate the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Partnership with Russia, as it was decided at the session on December 5, Ukrainian News reported. The Committee recommended the Parliament to approve the presidential bill No. 0206 on termination of the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Partnership with Russia. Vasyl Bondar, Deputy Foreign Minister, stated that voting for this document is a domestic procedure required to cease the treaty. “The Internal Ministry regarded this treaty important in protecting Ukraine’s interests in the courts till summer 2018. As all of these court procedures required so that the international court can consider our lawsuit are completed, it does not have any value as earlier,” Bondar said.
Interfax Ukraine reports that the Prosecutor General of Ukraine Yuriy Lutsenko intends to send letters to the President of Ukraine and National Security and Defense Council with a proposal to introduce sanctions against certain legal entities and individuals of the Russian Federation for armed aggression against the Ukrainian Navy and Armed Forces. “Today I will send (I am a member of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC)) a letter to the president and secretary of the NSDC with a proposal given the armed aggression of Russia against Ukrainian ships. I consider it necessary for the NSDC to consider this issue of imposing personal and individualized economic and other restrictions to Russian individuals and legal entities, in part freezing assets on the territory of Ukraine,” said Lutsenko on Monday evening. According to the Prosecutor General, this freezing of assets should continue till the de-occupation of Ukrainian territories. On the morning of November 25, Ukraine informed the Russian port of its intention to transfer three ships through the Kerch Strait, as required by the Agreement on the joint use of the Azov Sea and Kerch Strait. However, at around 8:00 a.m., Russian ships carried out acts of provocation against the Ukrainian vessels, even ramming into the Yany Kapu tugboat. Russia later accused the Ukrainian ships of illegally entering its territorial waters, claiming that they were “maneuvering dangerously” and “not complying with the legitimate demands of the Russian authorities”. Russia also physically blocked the Kerch Strait with a transport ship. The Ukrainian ships decided to return to Odessa, but they were chased and subsequently attacked by the Russian military. The Berdiansk and Nikopol boats were hit, and two crew members were wounded. All three of the ships were seized by Russia. On November 28, the Kremlin-controlled court of Simferopol placed the Ukrainian sailors under 2 months of arrest – until January 25, 2019.
The Ukrainian side plans to serve a notice of suspicion to more than 10 Russian servicemen involved in aggression against the Navy of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, press secretary of Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko, Larysa Sarhan has said. “In the near future, it is planned to serve a suspicion notice to more than 10 servicemen of the Russian Federation Navy, the border guard service of the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation and the Air Force and the air defense of the Russian Armed Forces from junior officers to generals,” Sarhan wrote on her Facebook page on Tuesday. A spokesperson for the prosecutor general said that during seven days of the pretrial investigation, 17 volumes of evidence of the Russian Federation’s aggression against the Naval Forces of the Ukrainian Armed Forces were collected. “The pretrial investigation body is the investigative department of the SBU in Odesa region. The procedural management in criminal proceedings is carried out by the Military Prosecutor’s Office of the Southern Region of Ukraine,” said Sarhan.
When the Island Bay cargo ship arrived from Beirut at the Kerch Strait, gateway to the Azov Sea, it sailed into a perfect storm of geopolitics and bad weather.
euronews (in English) Published on Dec 4, 2018 Shipments from the Azov Sea have resumed after Russia decided to partially unblock two critical Ukrainian ports. And as tensions remain high between the two countries, experts worry about the upcoming elections in Ukraine. Euronews’ Damon Embling has this report.
Russia is mastering the forms and techniques of hybrid warfare at sea in the region of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.
Ukraine Navy Commander Vice Admiral Ihor Voronchenko says Russia has resettled over 105,000 Russian citizens to Crimea since the Russian occupation of the peninsula in March 2014. The Ukrainian official insists that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s ultimate goal is to create a military base in Crimea.
As tensions grow between Moscow and Kyiv, families living in two villages along the Ukraine-Russia border have been separated by a barbed-wire fence.
Ukraine’s representative in the TCG Yevhen Marchuk said this live on the Priamy television channel, an Ukrinform correspondent reported.
Both the balaclava and maskirovka serve a definitive military purpose in Eastern Europe. Russia has spent decades perfecting this doctrine and is arguably the world’s most proficient actor of military deception. For Myhalych, wearing a ski mask is just as essential as wearing combat boots and keeping his weapon clean.
The National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine has announced that it successfully tested a land-based cruise missile and upgraded S-125 missile system on 5 December. According to statement, the tests of Ukrainian missiles proved that Ukraine is capable of defending its borders in the Black and Azov Seas. This was stated by Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov upon completion of the tests at the military proving ground in the Odesa region. According to him, significant results were achieved during the tests, in particular, a successful flight test of Ukrainian cruise missiles was carried out, and the coast defense system was worked out with the help of the modernized S-125 missile system. “The task put today before cruise missiles was to check the range and accuracy of hitting surface targets”, – the NSDC Secretary said adding that the target was destroyed at a distance of 280 kilometers. Mr. Turchynov reported that aviation was involved in checking the results of hitting long-range targets and that a special point on the Snake Island was equipped. In addition, Mr. Turchynov said that to strengthen coastal defense, the accuracy and reliability of hitting the conditional opponent’s watercraft by the S-125 missile systems, which had undergone a deep modernization at the enterprises of the Ukrainian defense industry, were checked. “According to the results of the watercraft firing, the upgraded S-125 proved to be effective. There were 8 launches during which 8 surface targets were destroyed. This is a very good result, which proves that these modernized systems are capable of providing reliable protection against aggression both from the air and from the sea, and will significantly enhance the coast defense of the Black Sea and Azov coast”, – Mr. Turchynov noticed. After the tests were completed, the NSDC Secretary held a meeting with the leading developers of missile equipment and the military leadership to determine the priority areas for strengthening defense of the Black Sea-Azov region. The meeting took place in a new command-and-staff mobile special telecommunication complex, which was involved in coordinating missile firing.
The check on the range and accuracy of defeating the surface targets of Ukrainian cruise missiles from the new coastal anti-ship complex Neptune was successful and important results were achieved during the exercises. “The task that was set today for cruise missiles is to check the range and accuracy of hitting surface targets,” said Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council Secretary Oleksandr Turchynov after completing tests at a military training ground in Odesa region, adding that the target was destroyed at a distance of 280 kilometers. Turchynov said that in order to check the results of hitting targets at a long range, aviation was involved, and a special unit on Snake Island was equipped. As reported, the development of promising anti-ship weapons, in particular, the new coastal anti-ship complex Neptune with a cruise missile with a range of up to 300 km is developed by the Kyiv-based Luch State Design Bureau.
Neptune, the new anti-ship missile was successfully tested in Odesa region, southern Ukraine. Stepan Poltorak, the defense minister stated this after the field probes held on Wednesday, December 5. The missile, developed by Ukraine’s Luch construction bureau can hit the vessels located within the range of 300 km. ‘We tested ‘Neptune’, our anti-ship missile. At this particular stage, the tasks were completed, and there’s even an opportunity to boost the current combat capacity [of the missile]’, Poltorak said. The minister added that the military tested an upgraded version of S-125, the surface-to-air missile system. Thanks to the upgrade, the missile fired from it can hit the sea-based targets, too. Poltorak also said that the works on further upgrades will continue. Commenting on the tests, Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council Oleksandr Turchynov said that Ukraine proved it was ‘capable of protecting its borders in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov’.
The firing test of Ukrainian missiles proved that Ukraine is capable of defending its borders in the Black and Azov Seas. This was said by Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (NSDC), Oleksandr Turchynov, upon completion of the tests at the Odesa region-based military proving ground, Censor.NET reports citing the NSDC press office. According to him, significant results were achieved during the tests. Namely, Ukraine-made cruise missiles successfully passed flight test while the coast defense was ensured by the upgraded S-125 missile system. “Today’s assignment for the cruise missiles was to check the range and accuracy of hitting surface targets,” the NSDC secretary said adding that the target was destroyed at a distance of 280 kilometers. Turchynov reported that aviation was involved in checking the results of a missile strike on remote targets and that a special observation point was constructed on Zmiinyi Island. In addition, Turchynov said that in order to strengthen coastal defense, the accuracy and reliability of the S-125 missile system, which had been substantially upgraded by the Ukrainian defense firms, was checked during a strike on a conditional hostile watercraft. “Having successfully hit the above-water targets, the upgraded S-125 missiles proved their efficiency. A total of eight launches were made and eight surface targets were destroyed. This is an outstanding result which proves that these upgraded systems are capable of providing reliable protection against aggression both from the air and from the sea and will significantly enhance the defense of the Black and Azov Sea coasts,” Turchynov said. Upon completion of the test, the NSDC Secretary held a meeting with the leading missile developers and the military leadership to determine priorities in strengthening the defense of the Black Sea and Azov Sea regions. The meeting took place in a new specialшяув command-and-control center which was involved in adjusting missile fire.
Tests of Ukrainian missiles have proved that Ukraine is capable of defending its borders in the Black and Azov Seas.
З початку збройної агресії Росії на Сході України Повітряні Сили отримали більше 100 відремонтованих та модернізованих літаків і вертольотів. Про реалії та подальшу перспективу – головний інженер авіації Повітряних Сил ЗС України генерал-майор Петро Скоренький
Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó has said Hungary will continue blocking the NATO-Ukraine Commission (NUC). The minister insists that the protection of minority rights is inseparable from security issues.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said that Kyiv will firmly defend its interests in the row with Hungary, at the same time doing everything to help the Hungarian community in Ukraine. Klimkin will hold a meeting with his Hungarian counterpart Peter Szijjarto at the OSCE ministerial summit in Milan.
Halyna Trofanyuk joined the mass protests in Kyiv known as the Euromaidan, hoping Ukraine would have a prosperous future and closer ties with the European Union. Five years later, she travels to neighboring Poland for work — just as she did before the what Ukrainians call the “Revolution of Dignity.”
Tamara Tarnavska opened the first animal shelter of its kind in Ukraine in 1997. She has since rescued 20,000 dogs and cats from certain death.