Apr 23

- Eyeing Pipeline, Russia Forgives North Korean Debt (The Diplomat, April 23, 2014):

Russia’s Duma has voted to forgive 90 percent of North Korea’s Soviet-Era Debt.

On Friday Russia’s parliament voted to write off roughly 90 percent of North Korea’s debt as Moscow seeks to build a gas pipeline through the Hermit Kingdom.

This weekend Reuters reported that Russia’s Duma voted to write off roughly $10 billion worth of the debt that North Korea owes Moscow from the days of the Soviet Union. The vote ratified an agreement made in September 2012, after a meeting between then-President Dmitry Medvedev and then-North Korean leader Kim Jong-il in Siberia in the summer of 2011.

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Apr 23

- Second US Warship Enters Black Sea To “Promote Peace And Stability” (ZeroHedge, April 22, 2014):

Less than two short weeks ago, the US sent their first warship into The Black Sea to “reassure NATO allies and Black Sea partners.” Since then, thing shave escalated and then de-escalated last week with the so-called “truce deal.” So why is the US sending a second ship? The Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate USS Taylor (FFG 50), homeported in Mayport, Fla., will enter the Black Sea April 22 to “promote peace and stability in the region.” We are sure that Putin will stand idly by and watch as NATO and the US build forces on his borders, but no matter how aggressive his response, the US Navy combat dolphin and sea lion team will not accompany the mission.

As Navy reports,

The Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate USS Taylor (FFG 50), homeported in Mayport, Fla., will enter the Black Sea April 22 to promote peace and stability in the region.

USS Taylor (FFG 50)

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Apr 23

H/t reader M.G.:

“If the US doesn’t get its corrupt insignificant ass out of the Ukraine, Putin will slap them down………and it won’t take much to do it. The biggest myth has been US military might. China has been building (using all US military plans given them by the greedy corporations as part payment for slave labor) up their military like crazy. They are sided with Putin. Putin is just as able as the US, and the entire region is behind him, not the US.”


- Sergey Lavrov: “If Russian Troops Or People Attacked, We’ll Retaliate” (ZeroHedge, April 23, 2014):

It took Joe Biden just a day after his arrival in Kiev to kill and bury the last remaining hope that last week’s latest attempt at diplomatic de-escalation in Geneva would actually be anything more than a joke. A few hours ago, in a statement posted on the parliament website, Ukraine acting President Oleksandr Turchynov said that pro-Russian separatists have “crossed line” adding that East Ukraine is currently controlled by “terrorists” supported by Russia.

In other words, the same old song and dance.

Which is why this time Russia made it quite clear to issue a warning that the next time there is a provocation against its soldiers or, more importantly, against its people, those in East Ukraine to be specific, it would retaliate. Once again, Obama’s “costs” message is lost on Putin…

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Apr 22

- The Truce Is Over: Ukraine President Urges Restart Of Military Action (ZeroHedge, April 22, 2014):

Ukraine’s Acting President Turchynov appears to be calling for an official break in the “truce” deal…

  • *UKRAINE’S TURCHYNOV URGES RESTART OF ANTI-TERRORIST OPERATION
  • *TURCHYNOV SAYS ‘TERRORISTS’ HOLDING EAST UKRAINE REGION HOSTAGE
  • *TURCHYNOV SAYS EAST UKRAINE SEPARATISTS SUPPORTED BY RUSSIA

So much for Joe Biden’s peace-keeping salvation mission to Kiev…

As Bloomberg reports, Pro-Russian separatists have “crossed line,” Ukraine acting President Oleksandr Turchynov says in statement posted on parliament website.

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Apr 22

- Ukraine Military Plane Hit By Gunfire Over Pro-Russia Held Slavyansk (ZeroHedge, April 22, 2014):

It would seem a red-line or two have been crossed:

  • *UKRAINE MILITARY  PLANE HIT BY GUNFIRE FROM REBEL TOWN: AFP

This comes on the heels of elevated tensions in the last few days since the “deal” and Biden’s arrival in Kiev. Last week saw ‘unidentified’ fighter jets open fire on the Pro-Russian-held Kramatorsk airfield.

And more…

Ukraine: Small Arms Fire Damages Ukrainian Military Plane Over Slovyansk

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Apr 22

- The Man Who Saved Russia’s Economy Counts the Cost of Crimea (Minyanville’s Wall Street, April 17, 2014):

If anybody knows how much Russia will pay for its confrontation with the West over Ukraine, it should be Alexei Kudrin. As finance minister from 2000-2011, Kudrin engineered his country’s transformation from bankrupt backwater to proud fiscal model. He oversaw 11 years of budgetary surpluses, and managed to sock away the savings in huge reserve funds that rescued Russia after the world crisis of 2008-’09.  He finally left government, ironically, after publicly opposing then-President Dmitry Medvedev’s plans for a rapid increase in military expenditure.

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Apr 21

- The Strangelove effect — or how we are hoodwinked into a New World War (PressTV, April 21, 2014):

I watched Dr. Strangelove the other day. I have seen it perhaps a dozen times; it makes sense of senseless news. When Major T.J. “King” Kong goes “toe to toe with the Rooskies” and flies his rogue B52 nuclear bomber to a target in Russia, it’s left to General “Buck” Turgidson to reassure the President. Strike first, says the general, and “you got no more than 10 to 20 million killed, tops.”

President Merkin Muffley: “I will not go down in history as the greatest mass-murderer since Adolf Hitler.”

General Turgidson: “Perhaps it might be better, Mr. President, if you were more concerned with the American people than with your image in the history books.”

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Apr 21

- US Russophobia approaching pathological transference (Voice of Russia, April 21, 2014):

The headline in the Boston Globe reads: “Obama focuses updated Cold War approach on Putin” and the New York Times article by one Peter Baker that follows is one of the one of the most acidic, fact-starved, sanctimonious, self-righteous, chest beating, Russophobic, war-propagandistic, Putin-envious, out-of-touch diatribes to come out of the western media in the current tidal wave of Gleichschaltung-like anti-Russian war-propaganda.

The attack is almost criminal in its eschewing of the truth and if you dear reader ever entertained the idea that Boston was a bastion of liberal truth and that the first black American president was some sort of Martin Luther King, you may now group Boston with the vilest redneck burgs in Alabama and the president to the right of the farthest right of the neo-conservative war profiteers.

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Apr 21

- 20 Kiev spies detained in Ukraine’s Slavyansk by self-defense forces (Voice of Russia, April 21, 2014):

Self-defense forces in Slavyansk, eastern Ukraine, have detained about 20 people suspected of spying for Kiev, Vladimir Ponomaryov, the people’s mayor of Slavyansk, told a Vzglyad newspaper correspondent.

“We are searching for infiltrators and spies. Three were caught yesterday. Over a dozen have been caught already – around 20,” Ponomaryov said. He gave no further details.

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Apr 21

Listen to the interview here:

- Any US attempt to encircle Russia is destined to fail: James Fetzer (PressTV, April 20, 2014):

An American political commentator says any attempt to encircle the Russian Federation by the US is destined to fail and that future belongs to Russia, China and Iran, not to the West.

James H. Fetzer, professor emeritus at the University of Minnesota Duluth, made the remarks in a phone interview with Press TV on Sunday.

He was commenting on a recent New York Times report which says that US President Barack Obama and his national security team are looking beyond the crisis in Ukraine to adopt an updated version of the Cold War strategy of containment against Russia.

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Apr 21

- Russia Warns It May Enter Recession As Soon As This Quarter (ZeroHedge, April 21, 2014):

While hardly coming as a surprise to anyone, Russia is getting increasingly more vocal about the near certainty that the country is about to slam headfirst into a technical (at first), and then outright recession.

  • RUSSIA MAY ENTER `TECHNICAL RECESSION’ IN 2Q, ORESHKIN SAYS
  • RUSSIAN 2014 CAPITAL OUTFLOWS MAY REACH $70B-$80B: ORESHKIN
  • RUSSIAN 2014 CURRENT-ACCOUNT SURPLUS MAY EXCEED $50B: ORESHKIN
  • RUSSIAN GDP MAY CONTRACT IN 2Q OR 3Q VS YR EARLIER: ORESHKIN

Bloomberg reports that Russia’s economy may halt or contract in 2Q or 3Q, citing Maxim Oreshkin, head of Finance Ministry’s strategic forecasting dept.

It seems that we’ll get negative growth again in the second quarter compared with the previous quarter.” Oreshkin says

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Apr 21

- Ukraine and the grand chessboard (Asia Times, April 17, 2014):

By Pepe Escobar

The US State Department, via spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki, said that reports of CIA Director John Brennan telling regime changers in Kiev to “conduct tactical operations” – or an “anti-terrorist” offensive – in eastern Ukraine are “completely false”. This means Brennan did issue his marching orders. And by now the “anti-terrorist” campaign – with its nice little Dubya rhetorical touch – has degenerated into farce.

Now couple that with NATO secretary general, Danish retriever Anders Fogh Rasmussen, yapping about the strengthening of military footprint along NATO’s eastern border: “We will have more planes in the air, mores ships on the water and more readiness on the land.”

Welcome to the Two Stooges doctrine of post-modern warfare.

Pay up or freeze to death

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Apr 21

- US financial showdown with Russia is more dangerous than it looks, for both sides (Telegraph, April 16, 2014):

The US Treasury faces a more formidable prey with Russia, the world’s biggest producer of energy with a $2 trillion economy, superb scientists and a first-strike nuclear arsenal

The United States has constructed a financial neutron bomb. For the past 12 years an elite cell at the US Treasury has been sharpening the tools of economic warfare, designing ways to bring almost any country to its knees without firing a shot.

The strategy relies on hegemonic control over the global banking system, buttressed by a network of allies and the reluctant acquiescence of neutral states. Let us call this the Manhattan Project of the early 21st century.

“It is a new kind of war, like a creeping financial insurgency, intended to constrict our enemies’ financial lifeblood, unprecedented in its reach and effectiveness,” says Juan Zarate, the Treasury and White House official who helped spearhead policy after 9/11.

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Apr 20

Putin-Gold

- This Means War: US To Target Putin’s Personal $40 Billion Stash (ZeroHedge, April 20, 2014):

While the White House has continually threatened further sanctions against Russia for non-de-escalation (even as it un-de-escalates itself), the specifics of the additional sanctions have been sparse. German CEO warnings over blowback from economic sanctions… the “nonsense” of replacing Russian gas with US gasthe Russian warnings of “interdependence” and “boomerangs”… all reduce the West’s arsenal of financial sanctions. But, as The Times of London reports, perhaps the US has found a crucial pain point for Putin – a sanctions regime that would target Putin’s personal wealth, which includes a reported $40 billion stashed in Swiss bank accounts.

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Apr 20

FYI.


- Anonymous Releases Email Allegedly Detailing Western Backed False Flag in Ukraine (The Daily Sheeple, April 19, 2014)

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Apr 20

- ‘More sanctions against Russia is mutually assured economic destruction’ (RT, April 18, 2014):

Patrick L Young is expert in global financial markets working in multiple disciplines, ranging from trading independently to running exchanges.

At this juncture more sanctions is ultimately economic suicide, and mutually assured economic destruction, global financial markets expert Patrick Young told RT.

“The West is not remotely secure enough in its own economic recovery for the economy to actually withstand sanctions,” Patrick added.

“Stage one, stage two sanctions really don’t demand too much, they are the equivalent in naval warfare of firing a shot across the bows of another ship in order to warn them that there could be some other problems ahead,” he said.

On Thursday the President Barack Obama said that his administration is prepared to take further actions against Russia if the Geneva agreement concerning the crisis in Ukraine fails to bear fruit.

Patrick Young believes, the US is pursuing its own interests pressing with threats of more sanctions on Moscow. Continue reading »

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Apr 19

Ukraine-unrest
Riot police confronting peaceful protesters in Ukraine

Ukraine Jew registration hoax traced (PressTV, April 19, 2014):

By Gordon Duff

Email intercepts that included the original copies of anti-Semitic leaflets distributed in Eastern Ukraine have now been shown to be part of an elaborate false flag hoax to sabotage recent US-Russian talks.

The hoax, a “game theory warfare” operation, was meant to “sucker punch” both Russia and the US.  If those responsible, in this case the New York based ADL, were caught, and they have been, there would be no consequences.

The ADL is “untouchable.” When Secretary of State Kerry expressed his revulsion at Nazi leaflets demanding that Jews in Ukraine “register” with a non-existent government agency, little did he know he was the victim of an elaborate and highly dangerous false flag hoax.

Anonymous Ukraine, the group that intercepted emails outlining false flag terror attack plans made by the US Embassy in Kiev in March, has done it again. Emails intercepted between Washington DC offices tied to the Anti-Defamation League sent to neo-Nazi extremists in the Ukraine were the sources of the outrageous materials.

Earlier intercepted emails outlined plans for an attack on Melitopol Airport scheduled for March 10, 2014.  When those plans and the attached maps showing where explosives were to be planted were leaked, the planned attack failed to materialize.

Those emails showed direct ties between the US State Department and terrorist groups within the Ukrainian military. According to Anonymous, the current intercepted emails included several attachments, each different version of the anti-Semitic leaflets passed out in the pro-Russian Eastern Ukraine, particularly in the city on Donetsk.

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Apr 19

Orders demanding Jews to register in Ukraine are fake

- Report: Orders demanding Jews to register in Ukraine are fake (Intellihub, April 18, 2014):

The viral story about Jews being forced to register or face deportation in Ukraine is reportedly false

UKRAINE (INTELLIHUB) — According to articles published by Israeli news organization Ynet and USA Today, the new government in a pro-Russian sector of Ukraine was handing out flyers demanding that Jewish people register with the government or face deportation.

These flyers did unfortunately exist, but according to recent reports they were forgeries, and the local government is not actually forcing Jews to register with the government.

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Apr 18

- Ukraine “De-escalation” Voided As Pro-Russia Militia Refuse To Vacate Occupied Buildings (ZeroHedge, April 18, 2014):

If yesterday we had questions about the half life of the effectiveness of the latest diplomatic de-escalation of Ukraine tensions ‘achieved’ in Geneva, following news that both Ukraine would continue its anti-terrorist operation and that fighting had broken out in various east Ukraine locations after the agreement, today any questions have been swept aside following news that the Ukraine “separatist” milita, who after all is the primary object of Ukraine “anti-terrorist activities”, has announced that they will only leave the occupied east Ukraine buildings if the interim government in Kiev resigns. Denis Pushilin, a spokesman of the self-appointed Donetsk People’s Republic, told reporters that the insurgents do not recognize the Ukrainian government as legitimate.

Indeed, in an amusing twist, the militia has flipped the Geneva agreement on its head, alleging that if they are to abide by a signed document, so should the “illegitimate” government, which as a reminder took power following a US-assisted coup, even though an explicit agreement was signed on February 21 between Ukraine and western powers previously retaining Yanukovich as president of the country, and ushering in presidential elections later in 2014. Needless to say, that agreement was made null and void within hours of signing. It is only logical, and perfectly expected, that so should this one.

This is a reasonable agreement but everyone should vacate the buildings and that includes Yatsenyuk and Turchynov,” he said referring to the acting Ukrainian prime minister and president.

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Apr 18

Vladimir Putin1

- Putin’s annual Q&A: 10 most compelling quotes (RT, April 17, 2014):

Ukraine’s crisis was, predictably, at the center of Vladimir Putin’s annual televised interview. He said the situation can only be solved through a compromise between internal players. Below are the president’s ten most significant quotes. Continue reading »

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Apr 17

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Andriy Deshchytsia (R) stops U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (L) and European Union High Representative Catherine Ashton (C) in Geneva April 17, 2014
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Andriy Deshchytsia (R) stops U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (L) and European Union High Representative Catherine Ashton (C) in Geneva April 17, 2014. (Reuters / Jim Bourg)

- Kiev: Military operation in Ukraine southeast to go on despite Geneva agreement (RT, April 17, 2014):

Despite calls for a peaceful dialogue in the document on Ukraine adopted in Geneva, the coup-imposed Ukrainian Foreign Minister said it will not affect the “anti-terrorist” operation in the East of the country and the troops will remain there.

Soon after the Geneva document, adopted at a four-side meeting between Ukraine, the US, the EU and Russia, was published, Ukraine’s acting Foreign Minister Andrey Deshchytsa said Kiev is not bound by its recommendations.

According to Deshchytsa cited by RIA Novosti, “the troops in the East of the country are carrying out a special operation and can remain where they are.”

This comes despite the statement issued by the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry following the meeting, which says: Continue reading »

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Apr 17

- Snowden Asks Putin on Live TV If Russia Spies Like U.S. (Bloomberg, April 17, 2014):

Edward Snowden, the former U.S. security contractor under asylum in Russia, made a rare appearance today, asking President Vladimir Putin if the nation spies on its citizens like the U.S.

“Does Russia intercept, store or analyze in any way the communications of millions of individuals?” Snowden asked the former KGB colonel through a video link from an unidentified location during Putin’s annual live call-in show, broadcast nationwide from central Moscow.

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Apr 17

- Ukraine Bars Entry To Russian Men Aged 16-60 (ZeroHedge, April 17, 2014):

In a somewhat stunning turn of events, entry to Ukraine is being dramatically restricted to Russian men. Interfax reports, Ukraine border service officials “significantly restricting” entry of adult males from Russia.

  • UKRAINE BANS ENTRY TO RUSSIAN MEN OVER TERROR THREAT: ASTAKHOV

Aeroflot notes on their website that entry will be denied to “all citizens of Russia male aged 16 to 60 years” and “citizens of Ukraine who are registered in Crimea.”

Via Aeroflot,

Aeroflot informs passengers about the severe restrictions imposed by the Ukrainian authorities to enter the country. According to the official announcement, the airline received in crossing the state border of Ukraine will be denied:

1. All citizens of Russia male aged 16 to 60 years .

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Apr 17

putin

- Putin Says Russia Will Respond To NATO Moves, Accuses Kiev Of Plunging Ukraine Into “Abyss” (ZeroHedge April 17, 2014):

It didn’t take long for Putin to respond to the latest news from the west that NATO was about to boost its military presence in proximity to Russia. Specifically he said that Putin does not see a reason to fear NATO which was to be expected. But the even more predictable punchline: Russia must respond when NATO moves closer to country’s border, President Vladimir Putin says during annual televised call-in show.

Putin dial in

The Russian president made his views clear during a nationally televised question-and-answer session in Moscow on Thursday, ahead of the Geneva two-day meeting during which the Ukraine problam is (again) supposed to get a diplomatic solution (it won’t). During the Q&A Putin also accused the Kiev government of committing “a serious crime” by sending in troops to quell unrest in Ukraine’s east, as a clash overnight left three pro-Russian protesters dead and 13 wounded. And just to make sure there is a solid enough soundbite, the former KGB spy accused the authorities in Kiev of plunging the country into an “abyss”. Continue reading »

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Apr 17

- NATO To Boost Air, Warship Presence Around Russia; Netherlands May Deploy F-16s To Ukraine (ZeroHedge, April 16, 2014):

If there is was one way to assure a certain escalation in Ukraine hostilities beyond what has already happened, it is for NATO to do precisely what Russia warned it should not do: build up its presence in the surrounding countries. Which is why we find it somewhat puzzling that NATO announced it would do just this when as the Guardian reported, the military alliance said it would step up its presence around Russian borders to “reassure eastern European member states.” Continue reading »

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Apr 17

See also:

- EU Spy Chief Rules Out Russian Military Presence In Ukraine


- The Science of Unmasking Russian Forces in Ukraine (Defense One, April 16, 2014):

Every day, the scene playing out along the Ukrainian border with Russia seems like an act of costumed theater. Russian protestors wearing balaclavas, or ski masks, armed with military-grade weapons, attempt to take over government buildings by force. The question of who is behind the masks has risen to a level of critical international importance. If the protestors are affiliated with the Russian military, Putin’s government is in violation of international treaties and laws. It’s a nearly impossible challenge, but one that the United States military, within its own sphere of operations, is also trying to solve.

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Apr 16
An anti-government protester waves a flag in front of the seized office of the SBU state security service in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine April 14, 2014.
An anti-government protester waves a flag in front of the seized office of the SBU state security service in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine April 14, 2014. (Reuters / Shamil Zhumatov)

- I’m confused, can anyone help me? (RT, April 15, 2014):

I’m confused. A few weeks ago we were told in the West that people occupying government buildings in Ukraine was a very good thing. These people, we were told by our political leaders and elite media commentators, were ‘pro-democracy protestors’.

The US government warned the Ukrainian authorities against using force against these ‘pro-democracy protestors’ even if, according to the pictures we saw, some of them were neo-Nazis who were throwing Molotov cocktails and other things at the police and smashing up statues and setting fire to buildings.

Now, just a few weeks later, we’re told that people occupying government buildings in Ukraine are not ‘pro-democracy protestors’ but ‘terrorists’ or ‘militants’.

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Apr 16

- “Pro-Russian Separatists” Attack Ukraine Soldiers With Guns, Molotov Cocktails, Local TV Station Reports (4 Killed, 12 Injured) (ZeroHedge, April 16, 2014):

UPDATE: ABOUT 500 SEPARATISTS ATTACKED UKRAINE MILITARY BASE: TV5

As RT reports,

Four people have reportedly been injured by gunfire in a confrontation between anti-Maidan protesters and soldiers stationed at an Interior Ministry base in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol.

A group of several dozen protesters arrived at the base, located in the turbulent Donetsk region, on Wednesday evening.

They called on the troops to abandon the base, but the soldiers didn’t listen, the demonstrators said.

Instead, the troops opened fire at the protesters, injuring at least four people. One of them took a bullet in his chest and is in serious condition, according to protesters.

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Apr 16

- Moldova’s Transnistria Region “Approves” Appeal To Russia For Independence (Zerohedge, April 16, 2014):

As the EU seeks a closer association with Moldova, the 97% pro-Russian state of Transnistria (that we first warned was next here) is accelerating its move towards independence. As Bloomberg reports, despite condemnation by Moldova’s government of the “direct defiance”, the Transnistria Assembly has approved an appeal to Russia to recognize the region’s independencee. Neighboring Romania is “worried” and there are growing ‘actions’ by the so-called “Supreme Soviet” in the region’s capital.

Who is next?

Transnistira

As Bloomberg reports,

Moldova’s breakaway pro-Russian region of Transnistria has appealed to Russian President Vladimir Putin to recognize its independence after Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

The appeal by the Parliament of Transnistria, city and district council members and community associations “express the aspirations of the people of Transnistria” and is based on the results of referendums held in 1991, 1995 and 2006, the parliament of the unrecognized state said on its website.

Continue reading »

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Apr 16

- NATO to deploy ships, intensify Baltic & Mediterranean patrols ‘due to Ukraine crisis’ (RT, April 16, 2014):

NATO is strengthening its military presence in the Baltic and Mediterranean due to the escalation of the Ukrainian crisis. The organization is to deploy ships and intensified aerial patrols in the region.

At a meeting of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council in Brussels, NATO approved a number of measures to strengthen security in Eastern Europe in connection with the growing crisis in Ukraine.

“Our defense plans will be revised and strengthened,” said Anders Rasmussen, Secretary General of NATO, to press in Brussels.

He added that NATO had not yet reached a decision about the possible deployment of troops in Eastern Europe. Continue reading »

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