Dec 07 11:25

Live Updates: Biden and Putin Talk Amid Fears of Ukraine Invasion Plan

President Biden is speaking with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia in a high-stakes diplomatic effort on Tuesday morning to de-escalate a crisis over Ukraine as tens of thousands of Russian troops amass along the Ukrainian border, raising fears of an invasion.

The White House has said that Mr. Biden would “reaffirm the United States’ support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.” The two began their conversation via video-link at 10:07 a.m., according to the White House.

“Greetings, Mr. President!” Mr. Putin said at the start of the call, according to a brief video of the opening moments.

“Good to see you again,” Mr. Biden responded warmly, after what appeared to be a brief connection glitch. “Unfortunately last time we didn’t get to see one another at the G20. I am hoping next time we meet we do it in person.”

Dec 07 09:34

US makes war promise to NATO members on ‘eastern flank’

The US would not send troops into a conflict between Russia and Ukraine, Washington has said ahead of Thursday's summit between US President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

However, Washington has pledged that it's prepared to “bolster” members of its NATO military bloc.

“We do not know whether Putin has made a decision about further military escalation in Ukraine, but we do know he's putting in place the capacity to engage in such escalation should he decide to do so,” a senior Biden administration official told reporters in a background briefing on Monday, according to Reuters.

The US is not seeking a scenario in which its military would be used in a conflict between Moscow and Kiev, but would be “prepared to bolster allies on NATO’s eastern flank,” the official is quoted as saying. The idea of Russian troops preparing for an “invasion” of Ukraine, replicated in mainstream media over the past few days, has been rubbished by the Kremlin.

Dec 07 09:33

Ukraine could be ‘next Afghanistan’ – US Senator

A Russian invasion of Ukraine could quickly turn into a catastrophic and bloody disaster like Afghanistan, a leading American senator has said just months after a hurried US withdrawal left Kabul in the hands of the Taliban.

“If Russia does decide to move further into Ukraine, it would be a mistake of historic proportions for Moscow,” said Chris Murphy, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, in an appearance on CNN on Sunday. “Right now they occupy the eastern flank of the country. That’s a part of the Ukraine that doesn’t have the same sense of Ukrainian nationalism that the rest of the country does.” Moscow denies it maintains forces in the war-torn Donbass region, which has been held by troops loyal to two self-declared breakaway republics, which Russia considers to be part of Ukraine.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I seem to recall that Afghanistan didn't work out too well for the United States. :)

Dec 07 09:31

Kremlin: Putin Will Listen to Biden's Proposals on Ukraine 'With Great Interest'

A video conversation between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Joe Biden is scheduled to take place on Tuesday evening.

Russian President Vladimir Putin will listen to Joe Biden's proposals on Ukraine "with great interest", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday ahead of a video call between the two presidents scheduled for the following day.

"We have heard the statement of the US president that he is going to this videoconference with concrete proposals on Ukraine", Peskov said. "I mean, probably, it will be about the settlement of the Ukrainian crisis. It is important. I think that President Putin will listen to these proposals with great interest. And it will be possible to understand how much they are able to relieve tension".

Dec 07 07:26

West threatens Putin with 'united front' of reprisals over Ukraine: Boris Johnson joins Biden, Merkel and Macron warning Kremlin of 'significant harm' to Russian economy with sanctions if he invades - but they will stop short of military action

Western leaders last night vowed to form a 'united front' over Russian threats and hostility toward Ukraine.

The leaders of the US, UK, France, Italy and Germany called on Moscow to de-escalate tensions ahead of a key phone call between Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden today.

They discussed a package of sanctions against President Putin's regime should he invade Ukraine, with Boris Johnson vowing to use all 'economic and diplomatic tools at the UK's disposal'.

Dec 07 07:24

Senator Murphy warns Russia against making 'historic mistake'

If Russia decides to continue its aggression against Ukraine, it will be a historic mistake for Moscow, according to Senator Chris Murphy, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near East, South Asia, Central Asia, and Counterterrorism.
According to the senator's website, he said this in an interview with CNN.

Speaking about a build-up of Russian troops along Ukraine's border, Murphy backed President Joe Biden's plans to raise the issue with Russian President Vladimir Putin during their virtual meeting scheduled for December 7.

"I do think that there's no substitute for person-to-person diplomacy, and so I hope that this virtual meeting between President Biden and President Putin can bear fruit. But let me say this – if Russia does decide to move further, it would be a mistake of historic proportions for Moscow. Ukraine can become the next Afghanistan for Russia if it chooses to move further," the senator added.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Here's your rifle, Senator...

Dec 07 07:23

US Senate warns Russia about possibility of repetition of 'Afghan lesson' in Ukraine

Democratic United States Senator for Connecticut and a member of the Foreign Relations Committee Chris Murphy on December 5 warned Russia that "Ukraine can become the next Afghanistan for Russia." Murphy said this on Sunday program of Fareed Zakaria on CNN.

He added that while he was optimistic about the discussion between Biden and Putin, "I do think that there's no substitute for person-to-person diplomacy."

"And so I hope that this meeting, this virtual meeting between President Biden and President Putin, can bear fruit," the Connecticut Democrat told CNN's Jake Tapper on "State of the Union."

Warning against any Russian aggression toward Ukraine, he said that if "Russia does decide to move further into Ukraine, it would be a mistake of historic proportions for Moscow."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Of course the US did not do all that well in Afghanistan, either!

Dec 07 07:17

Putin to Biden: Finlandize Ukraine, or We Will

Either the U.S. and NATO provide us with “legal guarantees” that Ukraine will never join NATO or become a base for weapons that can threaten Russia — or we will go in and guarantee it ourselves.

This is the message Russian President Vladimir Putin is sending, backed by the 100,000 troops Russia has amassed on Ukraine’s borders.

At the Kremlin last week, Putin drew his red line:

“The threat on our western borders is … rising, as we have said multiple times. … In our dialogue with the United States and its allies, we will insist on developing concrete agreements prohibiting any further eastward expansion of NATO and the placement there of weapons systems in the immediate vicinity of Russian territory.”

That comes close to an ultimatum. And NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg backhanded the President of Russia for issuing it:

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"That's our job!" -- Official White Horse Souse

Dec 07 07:12

Biden to Warn Putin the US Is Prepared to Move More Troops Near Russia’s Border

President Biden will warn Russian President Vladimir Putin that the US is prepared to move more troops and military hardware near Russia’s border on NATO’s “eastern flank” if Russia invades Ukraine, an unnamed senior administration official told reporters on Monday.

Biden and Putin will speak on Tuesday amid heightened tensions over Ukraine. The US has been warning that Russia is planning to move into Ukraine based on a troop buildup in the region, but Moscow strongly denies that it is planning an invasion.

On Friday, The Washington Post reported that US intelligence has found Russia is planning to invade Ukraine in early 2022. But the administration official who spoke with reporters Monday said the US wasn’t sure if Putin was really planning an invasion.

Dec 07 07:01

Laura Ingraham: Biden in over his head on this

Dec 06 15:52

Biden administration hints at deploying additional US troops to support NATO allies if Russia invades Ukraine: President will threaten Putin with economic sanctions during Tuesday call

The Biden administration refused to rule out deploying additional US troops to Eastern Europe should Russian President Vladimir Putin invade Ukraine and President Joe Biden will threaten him with 'substantial economic' sanctions should he make such a move.

Putin has made preparations to invade Ukraine but it's unclear he's made the final decision to do so, a senior administration official said on Monday.

The official noted the US was ready to show a 'combination of support for the Ukrainian military, strong economic countermeasures, and the substantial increase in support and capability to our NATO allies' if Moscow moved forward with an attack.

Dec 06 12:44

Russia issues threat to GPS satellites

The Kremlin warned it could blow up 32 GPS satellites with its new anti-satellite technology, ASAT, which it tested Nov. 15 on a retired Soviet Tselina-D satellite, according to numerous news reports.

Russia then claimed on state television that its new ASAT missiles could obliterate NATO satellites and “blind all their missiles, planes and ships, not to mention the ground forces,” said Russian Channel One TV host Dmitry Kiselyov, rendering the West’s GPS-guided missiles useless. “It means that if NATO crosses our red line, it risks losing all 32 of its GPS satellites at once.”

The International Space Station (ISS) Flight Control team was notified of indications of a satellite breakup, causing 1,500 pieces of debris to threaten the station. “Due to the debris generated by the destructive Russian Anti-Satellite (ASAT) test, ISS astronauts and cosmonauts undertook emergency procedures for safety,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson.

Dec 06 12:12

Ukraine warns EU about 5 million refugees

Ukraine’s defense minister has decided to raise the specter of one of the European Union’s major concerns – large scale migration – amid American-driven claims that Russia is planning an invasion of his country.

Alexey Reznikov, who took charge of Kiev's Defense Ministry in November, warns that up to five million of his country men and women could flee to the EU in the event of a full-scale war. A similar number are believed to have already left since 2014, about two million to Russia, and the rest to other European countries.

Writing for pro-NATO lobby group the Atlantic Council, Reznikov said there was “real uncertainty” about whether Brussels understood the impact a much-hyped large-scale Russian incursion into Ukraine would have on the whole of the continent.

Reznikov dedicated his article to explaining to EU leaders the potentially “disastrous consequences” of any conflict – one Russia has repeatedly said it has no intention of starting.

Dec 06 12:04

War in Ukraine? NATO expansion drives conflict with Russia

Russia is seeking a legally binding pledge that NATO will stop expanding east, including to Ukraine. If the US refuses, is war next? Richard Sakwa joins Pushback.

Russia is seeking a legally binding pledge that NATO will stop expanding east, including to Ukraine. If the US refuses, is war next? Scholar and author Richard Sakwa analyzes the growing Russia-Ukraine conflict and how Russiagate fueled it.

Guest: Richard Sakwa. Professor of Russian and European politics at the University of Kent. His books include “Frontline Ukraine: Crisis in the Borderlands” and his latest, “Deception: Russiagate and the New Cold War.”

Dec 06 11:44

Biden Mulls Cutting Russia Off SWIFT Ahead Of Putin Call In "Nuclear Option" Ukraine Response

CNN and others are reporting just a day ahead of the much anticipated video call between Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Joe Biden that the White House is mulling "nuclear option" level actions against Moscow should it launch a military offensive against Ukraine - which US intelligence has lately said could be imminent based on assessing that some 175,000 troops have been mustered in the Crimea and regions near Ukraine's eastern border.

This includes discussion of the possibility of disconnecting Russia from the SWIFT international payment system, seen as the most drastic potential measure which further includes fresh sanctions on Putin's inner circle and on Russian energy producers.

The Kremlin has of course vehemently rejected the Ukraine threat accusations, saying it's free to move its own troops wherever it sees fit within the Russian Federation's sovereign territory and borders.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Cutting Russia off from SWIFT will not lead to a calm discussion!

Dec 06 11:00

Russia claims Aeroflot flight from Tel Aviv to Moscow was forced to divert to avoid mid-air crash with NATO spy plane over the Black Sea amid growing tensions over troops on Ukraine border

A Russian plane with more than 140 people on board had to change course to avoid collision with a NATO spy plane, avoiding disaster by metres, according to authorities from Moscow.

Transport officials in Russia claim the plane 'descended rapidly' across the planned route of a Tel Aviv-Moscow Aeroflot service with 142 passengers on board late on Saturday over the Black Sea.

According to reports, the Airbus A330 had to lower its path by 500 metres (1,600 feet) to keep a safe distance from the CL-600 Artemis aircraft, which pilots were able to see from the cockpit.

Dec 06 10:16

Ukraine’s Euromaidan Revolution: A Final Breakaway from Russia

This November, Ukraine marks the eighth anniversary of the beginning of the Euromaidan Revolution, also known as the Revolution of Dignity – the third revolution in this former Soviet country since the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of Communism. It started as mass protests provoked by the sudden and unexpected decision by the government of President Viktor Yanukovich on 21st November 2013 not to sign an Association Agreement between Ukraine and the European Union. The government argued that the decision was purely economic, and that the Agreement on-offer needed to be improved. Such an explanation did not satisfy many Ukrainians as that did not seem to be true. As a matter of fact, teams from the Ukraine and EU had intensively and scrupulously worked on the Agreement for a few years, during which they had over forty rounds of negotiations.

Dec 06 08:01

Satellite images reveal new camps of Russian soldiers, tanks and artillery near Ukraine's border as US warns Putin will be ready to invade with 175,000 troops within weeks

Satellite images have revealed huge new camps of Russian troops, tanks and artillery near the Ukrainian border as Vladimir Putin continues massing his forces on Europe's doorstep amid warnings he could invade within weeks.

Newly-published images document at least three camps housing seven battalions of troops near at Yelnya and Pogonovo, between 100 and 150 miles from the border, which analysts say have arrived in the last month.

More images taken from Russian-occupied Crimea shows what appears to be dozens of tanks and artillery pieces parked on a base at Novoozerne, around 80 miles from the border, which have also arrived in recent weeks.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

We have seen enough faked images (Iraq tanks on the border of Saudi Arabia is one example) to be cautious. But assuming these images are accurate, how do we know that Putin is not preparing to BE invaded?

Dec 06 07:51

Biden Says He’ll Make It ‘Very Difficult’ for Putin on Ukraine

On Friday, President Biden said he is working with allies to make it “very, very difficult” for Russian President Vladimir Putin to order an invasion of Ukraine. The US has been claiming Russia is preparing to move into Ukraine, but Moscow strongly denies the accusation.

“What I am doing is putting together what I believe to be … the most comprehensive and meaningful set of initiatives to make it very, very difficult for Mr. Putin to go ahead and do what people are worried he may do,” Biden said.

Biden said he’s been in “constant contact” with European allies and Ukrainian officials over the issue. On Wednesday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken threatened sanctions against Russia if it invaded Ukraine. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg also suggested alliance members could hit Russia with sanctions.

Dec 06 07:01

Russia, India Sign Military Cooperation Agreement for Next Decade

The agreement was signed in the presence of the Russian and Indian defence ministers, Sergei Shoigu and Rajnath Singh.

The Russian Defence Ministry said on Monday that Moscow and New Delhi have signed an agreement on military and technical cooperation for 2021-2030.

The deal envisages cooperation between units of the countries' armed forces, as well as the supply and development of weapons and military equipment.

The signing ceremony was attended by Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and his Indian counterpart Rajnath Singh.

Dec 06 07:00

US Intel Resorting to 'Unprecedented Sharing' to Convince EU of Russian 'Invasion' Plans in Ukraine

The United States actively shared certain intelligence in order to convince the EU and NATO of Moscow's alleged plans to prepare an invasion of Ukraine, the Financial Times reports.

Officials told the newspaper on Sunday that the "unprecedented sharing" of US intelligence reports depicting Russian military deployments along the border helped convince previously sceptical European countries, including Germany, that Russia could "soon order its troops into Ukraine".

"Many allies were not convinced that serious things were happening", one official told the Financial Times. "We were surprised about this [intelligence] gap - how and why the US were seeing things that we were not seeing".

Dec 06 06:59

Putin in Meeting With Modi, Discusses Drug-Trafficking, Terrorism and Situation in Afghanistan

Dec 06 06:50

Putin prepares for imminent invasion on EU's border - UK and NATO planning for war

Following an unprecedented sharing of US intelligence with EU and NATO, the allies have swung behind Joe Biden's assessment that Russia is prepared to invade Ukraine. In an upcoming video summit with Mr Putin, the US president will warn him against an invasion. Mr Biden will reportedly have the full backing of NATO and the EU for retaliatory measures.

Dec 06 06:45

War games: NATO battle groups on borders of Belarus, Kaliningrad, Russia

In a snowy Latvian forest, some 1,500 NATO troops rehearsed battle skills earlier this week…by disrupting and stalling a ‘hypothetical’ adversary’s advance north of the city.

Located roughly 300 kilometres from the border with Russia…the Canadian-led battlegroup at Camp ?daži is considered a crucial part of the alliance’s Eastern defence.

It was not a coincidence that NATO’s Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and other NATO foreign ministers visited the base ahead of their meeting in Riga this week….

Dec 06 06:41

Ukraine wants US, UK & Canada to bypass NATO

The US, the UK, and Canada should “visibly” deploy troops in Ukraine near the Russian frontier as support for Kiev to deter a potential military conflict with Moscow, Ukrainian Defense Minister Alexey Reznikov has said.

Speaking to Toronto’s The Globe and Mail on Sunday, Reznikov called on “the Anglo-Saxon allies” to provide assistance to Ukraine outside of NATO structures, including sending more military trainers to the country.

“It would be nice if the Canadian instructors… would be deployed in Kharkiv, Mariupol, Kramatorsk, Odessa, and Zminiy Island,” the defense minister said. All the named locations are in the east and south of Ukraine, close to the border with Russia or on the Black Sea.

Dec 06 06:39

‘Cheap bit of fake news’: MP blasts Bild’s article on Russian plan to invade Ukraine

Western media outlets have begun to constantly publish "fairy tales about Russia’s plans to attack Ukraine," an article in Germany’s Bild on this subject is a cheap bit of fake news, Chairman of the Russian State Duma Committee on Foreign Affairs Leonid Slutsky wrote on his Telegram channel on Sunday.

"The Western media outlets, it seems, en masse, opened a permanent section "Tales about Russia’s plans of attacking Ukraine," he wrote. "Now the German Bild has distinguished itself in this field, its journalists drew a map of the Russian ‘invasion,’ based, scary to say, on sources in NATO and the Ukrainian intelligence," he explained.

Dec 06 06:37

Ferguson: Omicron Sounds The Death Knell For Globalization 2.0

“Somewhere out there,” I wrote here two weeks ago, “may lurk what I grimly call the ‘omega variant’ of SARS-CoV-2: vaccine-evading, even more contagious than delta, equally or more deadly. According to the medical scientists I read and talk to … the probability of this nightmare scenario is very low, but it is not zero.”

Indeed. Little did I know, but even as I wrote those words something that appears to fit this description was spreading rapidly in South Africa’s Gauteng province: not the omega variant, but the omicron variant.

As I write today, major uncertainties remain, but what we know so far is not good. People are emotionally predisposed to look on the bright side — we are all sick of this pandemic and want it to be over — so it pains me to write this. Nevertheless, I’ll stick to my policy of applying history to the best available data, even if it means telling you what you really don’t want to hear.

Dec 05 08:51

Russia’s Greatest Weapon is not a Weapon

An ultimately very healthy but in the meantime very unpleasant realization is gradually dawning in West—an insight that is simply shocking, that fundamentally alters their picture of the world: that the stronger becomes the hurricane of woke transformations that is raging there, the more attractive Russia becomes for hundreds of millions of Europeans and Americans. What is Russia’s most powerful weapon? Is it nuclear? Is it hypersonic (or “hydrosonic,” as per Trump)? Cybermagic, perhaps? No, Russia’s most powerful weapon is its values. And it grows stronger and more dangerous every day, in direct proportion to the intensifying fire of multiculturalism and political correctness that is raging in Europe and in America.

Dec 05 08:51

Offensive Double-Think… Russia ‘Not Allowed Sphere of Influence’ As NATO Missiles Encroach on Russian Border

It is exasperating that self-evident, legitimate security concerns enumerated by Russia have been repeatedly ignored or rebuffed by NATO.

NATO secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg fulminated at the alliance’s summit in Riga this week, declaring that Russia is not permitted to have a “sphere of influence”. However, the risible hypocrisy and double-think in Stoltenberg’s logic are that the United States-led NATO military bloc is evidently permitted to expand a sphere of influence all around Russia. And not merely a sphere of influence, it is a threatening build-up of NATO missiles and other offensive infrastructure on Russia’s border.

Dec 05 08:50

Near-Octogenarian Joe Biden Taps Teen Spirit to Snub China and Russia

Biden is trying to foist an anachronistic dichotomy on the world whereby geopolitical rivals China and Russia can be cast as malign.

Inviting some while not inviting others to your party is usually a ploy one associates with petulant, insecure teenagers. It’s my party, so there! U.S. President Joe Biden turned 79 last week – near enough an octogenarian – and in the same week announced the invitation list for a so-called “democracy summit” to be held on December 9-10.

China and Russia aren’t on the list. Neither are a lot of other countries many of whom happen to be on U.S. blacklists for sanctions. They include Cuba, Iran, Nicaragua, North Korea, Syria and Venezuela, among others.

Dec 05 07:30

EU To Help Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine Improve Defense Capabilities

The European Council has adopted assistance measures to strengthen the military and defense capacities of Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine over three years.

The measures under the European Peace Facility (EPF) aim to promote “domestic resilience and peace,” and do not involve the supply of lethal equipment, the Council said in a statement on December 2.

Under the program, Georgia is to receive assistance worth 12.75 million euros ($14.46 million) to help its armed forces' “ability to provide their services to civilians in crises or emergency situations,” it said.

The assistance measure will provide medical and engineering equipment, as well as “civilian-type mobility assets,” according to the European Council.

It said 7 million euros ($7.9 million) will be made available to help Moldova’s military build the capacities of its medical and engineering services.

Dec 05 07:04

Who is fighting who in Ukraine?

Fierce battles and political tensions have been swirling around Eastern Ukraine in recent weeks. But at times, it's not even clear who is party to the conflict, and the confusion is at the heart of a growing information war.

A lack of clarity is understandable, given Ukraine is a divided country in a divided Europe. Is this a conflict between Kiev and Donbass, between Ukraine and Russia, between Ukraine and NATO, or between NATO and Russia? The UN-approved Minsk agreement for settling the conflict only identifies the two domestic conflicting parties – Kiev and the two self-proclaimed breakaway Donbass Republics, in Donetsk and Lugansk. Russia insists the deal should be implemented, and classes the war as a domestic conflict, while NATO continues to present the conflict as solely a rivalry between Ukraine and Russia, undermining the pact.

Dec 05 07:04

Details of incident between Russian flight and NATO spy plane revealed

The Russian civil aviation authority has confirmed that its air traffic control personnel had to divert the course of two aircraft to prevent them colliding with a NATO spy plane in the Black Sea region.

In a statement on Saturday, Russia’s federal air transport agency, Rosaviatsia, shed more light on an incident that had unfolded above the international waters of the Black Sea the day before.

The regulator said a NATO reconnaissance plane had been flying dangerously close to a Moscow-bound civil aircraft with more than 140 passengers on board and had repeatedly ignored attempts by air traffic control to make contact with it. Because the NATO jet’s crew had failed to respond, the passenger plane was forced instead to lose altitude.

Dec 05 07:00

Estonia and UK send troops to Poland to assist in border crisis

Troops from the United Kingdom and Estonia have deployed to Poland to help contend with a migrant border crisis with Russian ally Belarus, Polish officials said.

The situation, which NATO says is being orchestrated by the regime in Belarus to destabilize neighboring member states, is among an array of security problems allies are grappling with on the bloc’s eastern flank.

Pawel Soloch, head of Poland’s National Security Bureau, said Thursday that President Andrzej Duda had granted permission for British and Estonian forces to enter Poland.

“We thank [the UK and Estonia] for solidarity, political and military support,” Soloch said in a Twitter posting.

Dec 05 06:51

Russia Is Primed for a Persian Gulf Security ‘Makeover’. The Multi-trillion Dollar Chalous Gas Field in the Caspian Sea.

It’s impossible to understand the resumption of the JCPOA nuclear talks in Vienna without considering the serious inner turbulence of the Biden administration.

Everyone and his neighbor are aware of Tehran’s straightforward expectations: all sanctions – no exceptions – must be removed in a verifiable manner. Only then will the Islamic Republic reverse what it terms ‘remedial measures,’ that is, ramping up its nuclear program to match each new American ‘punishment.’

The reason Washington isn’t tabling a similarly transparent position is because its economic circumstances are, bizarrely, far more convoluted than Iran’s under sanctions. Joe Biden is now facing a hard domestic reality: if his financial team raises interest rates, the stock market will crash and the US will be plunged into deep economic distress.

Panicked Democrats are even considering the possibility of allowing Biden’s own impeachment by a Republican majority in the next Congress over the Hunter Biden scandal.

Dec 05 06:41

Belarus de facto recognises Crimea as Russia while Ukraine punches the air

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko de facto recognized Crimea as part of Russia. He thereby made Ukraine face a dilemma: either take punitive measures against Belarus or lose electricity supplies before winter, which is a matter of survival for Ukraine.

Belarus de facto recognises Crimea as Russia while Ukraine punches the air
Kiev faces a dilemma: either punish Lukashenko for Crimea or freeze in winter
Lukashenko no longer sets any conditions for his visit to Crimea.

On November 4, President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko complained during his video conference with Vladimir Putin that the latter should have taken him to Crimea. Putin responded to Lukashenko that he would be happy to show him the new memorial complex in Sevastopol dedicated to the end of the Civil War.

The head of the Belarusian community of Crimea, Roman Chegrinets, told Crimea 24 that Lukashenko's remarks came as his de facto recognition of Crimea as Russian territory.

Dec 05 06:39

Russia shoots down American military satellite

David Thompson, Vice Chief of Space Operations at United States Space Force, said that the Russian military, using an unidentified type of laser combat complex, shot down an American military spacecraft, website reports.

Most likely, Thompson referred to the Peresvet laser complex, which has recently entered service with the Russian army. However, the range of the Peresvet system is limited, which made the US official put forward another version of the attack.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is an example of reckless journalism in service to propaganda. When you read the body of the article, it says the incident did not actually happen, and that the weapon system described may not even exist. I am surprised that Pravda did not re-write the headline to be more in line with the story.

Dec 04 09:20

Russia to help Donbas in event of Kyiv's military aggression, could recognize DPR, LPR - Duma members

Should Kyiv choose to pursue a military scenario in Donbas, it could prompt Russia to actively intervene there, and it is not ruled out that Moscow could eventually recognize independence of the self-proclaimed Donetsk (DPR) and Luhansk (LPR) People's Republics, according to members of the Russian State Duma's three largest factions and two committees interviewed by Interfax.

"We will do as much as we can to help residents of Donbas in the event of active aggression. Some 700,000 citizens of Russia live there. This number may increase to around one million by the end of the year. It will be a million Russian citizens. Can you imagine the leader of any country who would leave a million of his citizens in the lurch? You won't find such a leader. And, naturally, we are not going to leave our citizens who live in Donbas in the lurch," United Russia Party MP Viktor Vodolatsky, first deputy chairman of the State Duma's Committee on CIS Affairs and Compatriots, told Interfax.

Dec 04 09:19

Wars of Soviet succession: Pentagon chief’s trip planned war against Transdniester, other “occupied territories” – analyst

This site repeatedly points out that Transdniester (and possibly Gagauzia) is with Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Crimea, Donetsk and Lugansk what the West calls temporarily occupied territories in the former Soviet Union that will be “reintegrated” (see below) after the model of last year’s war by Azerbaijan and Turkey against Nagorno-Karabakh.
It has more specifically been indicated here that assaults against those entities may occur simultaneously.

Nezavisimaya Gazeta: Moldovan leader shrugs off negotiations with Transnistria

Transnistria will hold presidential elections on December 12, but Chisinau is not recognizing these elections, said Moldovan President Maia Sandu. The leader of the Social Democratic Party of Moldova, Viktor Shelin, told Nezavisimaya Gazeta that Sandu wouldn’t meet with the head of Transnistria….

Dec 04 09:00

Invasion of Ukraine may pose threat to Russia itself - Kuleba

The high cost of expanding Russian aggression against Ukraine, in human and economic terms, could be a threat to Russia itself.

That’s according to Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Dmytro Kuleba, who gave an interview to the Latvian news outlet, the translation of which was published by Ukraine’s Embassy in Latvia, Ukrinform reports.

"An attack on Ukraine could be a threat to Russia itself. For many years, they have spent millions to zombify their population, dehumanize and humiliate Ukraine through propaganda media. However, despite this, it’s not yet clear to the Kremlin how the general public in Russia will react if an endless flow of coffins carrying bodies of Russian soldiers starts coming in from Ukraine," Kuleba said.

Dec 04 09:00

Emboldened by West, Ukrainian FM threatens Moscow with “massacre,””coffins carrying bodies of Russian soldiers”

“An attack on Ukraine could be a threat to Russia itself. For many years, they have spent millions to zombify their population, dehumanize and humiliate Ukraine through propaganda media. However, despite this, it’s not yet clear to the Kremlin how the general public in Russia will react if an endless flow of coffins carrying bodies of Russian soldiers starts coming in from Ukraine,” [Foreign Minister Dmytro] Kuleba said.

“At the moment, our Armed Forces are incomparably stronger [than in 2014]. If Russia does decide to go to war, they will have to expect an extremely high death toll among Russian soldiers, incomparable to 2014. It will be a massacre,” warned the head of Ukrainian diplomacy.

Dec 04 08:59

Ukrainian President warns of imminent coup attempt in Kiev

A Russian-backed plot to topple the Ukrainian government within days has been exposed, the country’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, has claimed, pointing the finger at a high-profile oligarch as one of the backers of the coup.

Speaking as part of a marathon press conference in Kiev on Friday, Zelensky told journalists that officials have “received information that a coup d’état will take place in our country on December 1-2. We have audio recordings in which representatives of Russia and Rinat Akhmetov discuss the coup.”

According to Zelensky, billions of dollars are being spent by Akhmetov, the owner of Shaktar Donetsk football club and recently a leading critic of the government, as part of a regime-change bid. Zelensky, however, said that he doesn’t believe the entrepreneur, who has an estimated net worth of more than $7 billion, will take part in the coup himself.

Dec 04 08:58

‘Ukraine’s richest man’ faces criminal prosecution over Zelensky's claims

Hundreds of criminal cases will soon be launched against companies linked to one of Kiev's most high-profile businessmen, Rinat Akhmetov, after he was accused of being behind a failed bid to oust the Ukrainian government.

Writing in a Facebook post on Thursday, the country’s Prosecutor General Irina Venediktova said that “an unusual show” had been playing out in recent weeks, with President Volodymyr Zelensky accusing Akhmetov of plotting to stage a Russian-backed coup attempt. “I don’t think that in a public and political storm, the office of the Attorney General should sit aside,” she went on.

“I will repeat and emphasize,” Venediktova wrote, “I am not calling anyone an assailant, an oligarch or an offender, but I do have the right at such a pivotal moment for the country to activate the investigation of a whole number of criminal proceedings…regarding entities from the orbit of the owner of several famous TV channels, coal enterprises, and energy companies.”

Dec 04 08:20

US Intel Accuses Russia of Planning 'Multi-Front Offensive' Against Ukraine as Early as 2022

Over the last several weeks, tensions have remained high between the US and Russia as American authorities have accused Moscow of laying the groundwork for a potential invasion of neighbouring Ukraine. The Kremlin has repeatedly rejected the unsubstantiated claims.

Newly surfaced US intel reports have accused Russia of planning a "multi-front offensive" against Ukraine sometime within the next year, a charge that marks the latest claim pinned to the Kremlin amid weeks of heightened tensions.

Citing sources and a US intelligence document, The Washington Post reported late Friday that planning is allegedly underway by Moscow for a military offensive as early as 2022 that will include up to 175,000 troops.

An unidentified source with knowledge of the sensitive information alleged to the outlet that Russian forces would be "twice what we saw this past spring during Russia’s snap exercise near Ukraine’s borders".

Dec 04 07:27

Biden dismisses Russia’s ‘red lines’

US President Joe Biden has vowed to hold lengthy talks with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, on the issue of Ukraine, but insists he will accept no warnings about “red lines” from Moscow.

“We’ve been aware of Russia’s actions [concerning Ukraine] for a long time and my expectation is we’re going to have a long discussion with Putin,” Biden said on Friday night as he left for Camp David.

“I don’t accept anybody’s red lines,” the president added in apparent reference to the position Moscow reasserted earlier this week as several Western publications suggested a military showdown in Ukraine was imminent.

On Thursday, Russia’s Foreign Ministry again claimed NATO had given assurances it would not move “an inch” further east at the end of the Cold War. Despite that pledge, it has continued to expand, encompassing new member states ever closer to Russia’s borders, with Ukraine repeatedly having expressed an interest in joining the bloc in recent years.

Dec 03 14:11

Russian Fighters Scrambled to Escort US Spy Planes Over Black Sea

Russian fighters Su-27 and Su-30 were scrambled to escort US reconnaissance aircraft over the Black Sea, no border breach was allowed, the Russian Defence Ministry's National Defence Control Centre (NDCC) said on Friday.

It is noted that on 3 December, Russian airspace control detected targets approaching the state border of Russia over the neutral waters of the Black Sea.

"To identify aerial targets and prevent violation of the Russian state border, Su-27 and Su-30 fighters were scrambled. The crews of Russian fighters identified aerial targets as the US Air Force RC-135 strategic reconnaissance aircraft and the CL-600 reconnaissance and target designation aircraft 'Artemis' of the US Ground Forces and escorted them over the Black Sea," the statement says.

Dec 03 14:02

US Reportedly Plans Javelin Missile Delivery to Ukraine, Reneges on Surface-to-Air Missiles

The Biden administration is considering providing Ukraine with additional anti-tank weapons such as Javelin missiles, but has reneged on providing surface-to-air missiles like Stinger missiles in order not to provoke Russia, CNN reported on Friday.

Over the past several weeks, Ukraine and some Western countries have expressed concern about the alleged increase in what they characterise as "aggressive actions" by Russia on their border. However, Russia has refuted the accusations by saying it is moving troops within its own territory and at its own discretion.

Ukraine is planning to use its new military patrol boats, supplied by the United States, to boost defence missions in the Black Sea, the report said citing anonymous sources in the Biden administration.

Dec 03 10:20

NATO’s Jan Stoltenberg needs to calm it down

Twice in the last two weeks, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has made public comments that threaten to worsen already strained relations between Russia and the alliance.

Instead of calming things down, Stoltenberg has been carelessly ratcheting up tensions over nuclear weapons in Europe and the conflict in Ukraine. At exactly the moment when the U.S. and NATO need to be working to deescalate the situation with Russia over Ukraine, the top official in NATO has been throwing kerosene on the flames.

Dec 03 10:19

Tit for tat diplomatic expulsions by Russia and US are absurd and reckless

Official U.S. behavior towards Russia is suffering from a pretty acute case of what might charitably be called obsessive-compulsive disorder. As a result of this affliction, it has often lost touch not only with basic strategic common sense, but with the overall goals and strategy of the current U.S. administration.

The latest manifestation of this has been the U.S. refusal to extend the visas of Russian diplomats in Washington, which this week naturally and inevitably led to a new round of tit for tat expulsions of U.S. diplomats from Moscow. As a result of an escalating cycle of retaliation in recent years, the U.S. embassy in Moscow is now the only U.S. diplomatic presence in that country, and the number of its staff is barely one tenth of its previous figure.

Dec 03 10:15

'Lot of concern' over Russian military activity near Ukraine, top U.S. general says

The United States is tracking enough indicators and warnings surrounding Russian military activity near Ukraine to trigger "a lot of concern" and Russian rhetoric appears increasingly strident, the top U.S. military officer said late on Thursday.

Dec 03 06:12

New Norwegian Government to Restrict NATO Traffic Near Russia

In the words of the country's Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt, it is in Norway's best interests to take care of its northernmost areas using its own armed forces, as a means of balancing deterrence with reassurance.

Norway's Labour Party, which came to power earlier this year after nearly a decade of Conservative rule, wants the planes and vessels from allied countries to keep some distance from border areas near Russia in the north, Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt has said.

“It is important for Norway to be militarily present in our immediate surroundings. But very close to the Russian border, we believe that we do it best ourselves, with Norwegian planes and Norwegian frigates. It is fundamental for us,” Anniken Huitfeldt told the newspaper Verdens Gang.

Dec 03 05:55

Concern over NATO military buildup near Belarusian border under pretext of migrant crisis

Information wars and hybrid wars are in full swing in the OSCE space already. Belarusian Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei made the statement at a session of the OSCE Ministerial Council in Stockholm, Sweden on 2 December, BelTA has learned.

Vladimir Makei said: “NATO is rapidly building up military potential under the far-fetched pretext of the migration crisis at the European Union's border with Belarus. To wage war on whom? Water cannons with pepper gas, stun grenades flying from the West towards women and children, hounding, deadly beatings. Is it normal?”

Dec 03 05:54

'I will deepen and broaden partnership between Poland and US': Brzezinski

Appearing before the US Senate's Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday, Brzezinski said he would "commit to continue and strengthen" the United States' security cooperation "with our stalwart ally Poland, where the enduring rotational presence of some 4,500 US troops defends NATO’s eastern flank."

He added: "I will deepen and broaden the partnership between Poland and the United States to spearhead economic growth in the region, including through the Three Seas Initiative," a Polish-led regional drive by European countries between the Black, Baltic and Adriatic Seas.

Brzezinski also pledged that, if confirmed, he would "work with Poland to support the government and people of a peaceful and whole Ukraine, as well as the aspirations of the Belarusian people for a democratic Belarus."

Dec 03 05:51

Brzezinski spawn vows to complete cordon around Russia, unite Ukraine, “democratize” Belarus

The Three Seas Initiative, the European Union’s Eastern Partnership, the Bucharest Nine, the Lublin Triangle and similar programs and formats are integral parts of the contemporary application of the Intermarium Project first enunciated by Poland’s Józef Pi?sudski a century ago to effect a cordon sanitaire/militaire along Russia’s entire western border, blocking it from the rest of Europe.

Dec 03 05:51

Nuland returns to the scene: main impediment to peace is “foreign troops in Ukraine”

US Deputy Secretary of State Victoria Nuland said that negotiations on Donbas had reached a stalemate. But she noted that the United States could play a supporting role in resolving the conflict in Donbas. Nuland made a corresponding statement at the Kyiv forum.

Nuland noted that…the main demands are to withdraw foreign troops from Ukraine….

Dec 03 05:50

Rashomon diplomacy: Blinken-Lavrov meeting in Stockholm

The State Department and the Russian Foreign Ministry seem to be reporting on different events. There will be those who praise (as they predictably do) Sergey Lavrov’s consummate restraint, suave statesmanship, nonpareil diplomatic skill set, etc. There may be others who call into question his very comprehension of reality. But Blinken and Lavrov reportedly agree on the need to “restrain and contain” Iran even as Washington arms the Kiev regime for its new offensive in the Donbass and the State Department insults and condemns Moscow over the war there.

Dec 02 13:01

NATO ready to punish Russia

NATO member states are prepared to take action against Russia should it show aggression against neighboring Ukraine, the White House’s top diplomat has announced as tensions between Moscow and the US-led military bloc run high.

Speaking at a conference in Latvia on Wednesday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the organisation is "ready to take serious measures, and NATO is ready to strengthen its eastern flank."

Washington’s envoy, however, insisted the military bloc does not harbor any ill intent against Moscow. “NATO is a defensive alliance," he said. "We are not a threat to Russia... Every step we take is aimed at maintaining active protective measures of our alliance members, as well as helping our partners."

Dec 02 13:01

Western missiles in Ukraine ‘will force Russia to react’ – top Moscow senator

A senior Russian senator has advised Kiev and the West to consider how Moscow will react following suggestions that strike missile systems could possibly appear in Ukraine, close to the Russian frontier.

Writing on his Telegram channel, Aleksey Pushkov suggested that Russia would have to take action in response.

“The appearance of missile strike systems in Ukraine will force Russia to react,” he wrote. “I believe that Kiev, Brussels, and Washington should take this warning very seriously.”

Pushkov was reacting to a comment made by Russian President Vladimir Putin at Tuesday’s “Russia Calling!” Investment Forum, when he said that the appearance of advanced weaponry near the border is a serious issue.

Dec 02 12:59

Kremlin Says Half Of Entire Ukrainian Army Is In Donbass As Blinken Warns Putin: US "Prepared To Act"

A Wednesday statement out of the Russian Foreign Ministry has charged Kiev with stoking tensions along the Ukrainian border. The statement alleged that over 100,000 Ukrainian troops and military hardware have been moved into the restive Donbass region, where the national forces have been in a stalemate with pro-Russian separatists for half a decade going back to 2014.

While rejecting prior accusations out of Kiev and Washington - and especially Western media - that it's Russia that's stoking tensions by sending 90,000 regular forces near the border, Kremlin spokeswoman Maria Zakharova had this to say: "According to some reports, the number of troops… in the conflict zone already reaches 125,000 people, and this, if anyone does not know, is half of the entire composition of the Armed Forces of Ukraine."

Dec 02 12:50

Lavrov: US Medium-Range Missiles May Soon Be Deployed in Europe

The architecture of strategic stability is rapidly collapsing, and US medium-range missiles may soon appear in Europe, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Thursday.

"The architecture of strategic stability is rapidly collapsing, NATO is refusing to constructively consider our proposals to de-escalate tensions and prevent dangerous incidents. On the contrary, the military infrastructure of the alliance is being brought closer to the Russian borders. A nightmare scenario of a military confrontation is returning," Lavrov said at a meeting of the 28th OSCE Ministerial Council.

Lavrov added that Moscow will insist on the development of agreements that will exclude NATO's advance to the east.

Dec 02 12:50

FSB Detains Three Ukrainian Special Agents Who Planned to Blow Up Black Sea Fleet Radio Center Mast

Three agents of the Ukrainian special services — a father and his son collecting data on strategic objects and a young man planning a terrorist attack — have been detained in Russia, the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) said on Thursday.

The FSB noted that intelligence and sabotage activities of Ukrainian special services were suppressed in three Russian regions.

"Two agents of the Ukrainian Security Service [SSU] were detained: Zynovyy ... Koval, born in 1974, and his son Igor ... Koval, born in 1999, who arrived in Russia in order to collect information and take photographs and videos of strategically important life support enterprises and transport infrastructure facilities," the FSB said in a statement.
Short-barreled and automatic weapons were found in their car, as well as personal protective equipment, which were sent for examination, the statement read.

Dec 02 12:47

Russia says military action in Ukraine highly likely

The risk of an all-out armed conflict in south-eastern Ukraine is extremely high and is becoming a matter of grave concern for Russia, Moscow has cautioned, as international tensions heighten over the war-torn Donbass region.

Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov said that “the probability of hostilities in Ukraine is still high” when asked about the likelihood of a war in the country’s east.

“This is a matter of particular concern and worry for us,” he added.

Peskov's remarks come a day after Russia’s foreign ministry spokeswoman alleged that Kiev was significantly beefing up its military force in the region by “pulling heavy equipment and personnel” into the area.

“According to some reports, the number of troops… in the conflict zone already reaches 125,000 people," Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday.

"This, if anyone does not know, is half of the entire composition of the Armed Forces of Ukraine," she added.

Dec 02 12:47

US reveals response to a Russian invasion of Ukraine

If Russia uses its military against Ukraine, Moscow will see a response from the US and its NATO partners unlike anything ever experienced before, including unprecedented sanctions, Washington threatened on Wednesday.

Speaking via video link at the Kiev Security Forum, US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland reiterated the American government’s support for the former Soviet republic.

“We are resolute in sending the message to Moscow, that if it moves again to internally destabilize Ukraine or use these forces to enter the country, that it will be met with high-impact economic measures, the likes of which we have not used before, from all of [NATO]” she stressed.

Her statement comes as tensions remain high on the border between Ukraine and Russia, with multiple Western media outlets suggesting a conflict is around the corner. Despite the Kremlin’s repeated denials, Moscow has been accused of preparing for war, with some suggesting a winter invasion.

Dec 02 07:45

Russian troops mass on Ukraine's border. West worries this isn't like the last time.

It is by now a familiar pattern: Russian troops mass near the Ukrainian border, triggering ratcheting rhetoric and jitters across Europe and the United States that war might be imminent, before a flurry of diplomacy calms nerves.

Officials and experts say that this time is different — and there are several clues giving them genuine concern that the current gambit by Russian President Vladimir Putin might be for real, and the start of a conflict that could drag in Europe and even the U.S. itself.

Putin has deployed more than 90,000 troops along Russia’s border with Ukraine, matching the force that he sent and withdrew in the spring. But whereas those troops maneuvered in open daylight, now they have mostly been far less showy, moving under the cover of darkness.

And Moscow's rhetoric has noticeably hardened in recent months, saying it will not accept what it sees as a deepening of ties between Ukraine and the West.

Dec 02 07:44

U.S., NATO fully committed to Ukraine, says Blinken ahead of Lavrov talks

NATO allies share an "unwavering commitment" to Ukraine's sovereignty, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Thursday, hours before he meets Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov amid escalating East-West tensions over Ukraine.

Blinken, speaking at the start of talks with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, reiterated Washington's concerns over a build-up of Russian troops on the border that has triggered threats of fresh Western sanctions against Moscow.

Kuleba tweeted that Ukraine, which is not a NATO member but seeks closer ties with the Atlantic alliance, was working with Western countries on a "comprehensive deterrence package including severe economic sanctions" to stop Russian aggression.

Dec 02 07:20

Addressing NATO panel on Balkans, EU’s Borrell affirms firm, decisive backing of Ukraine against Russia

The European Union will stand firmly and decisively with Ukraine in front of any attempt to undermine its territorial integrity and sovereignty.

Josep Borrell, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, made a corresponding statement before the Western Balkans’ session of the Ministerial meeting of NATO.

“I cannot not talk about Ukraine, it is not in the Western Balkans, but it is an issue of utmost importance. Yesterday I was with the Prime Minister of Ukraine [Denys Shmyhal] in Brussels; today I will meet the Foreign Affairs Minister [of Ukraine, Dmytro Kuleba]. And in both cases, I want to stress that, for the European Union, the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine is above anything. And we will be standing firmly and decisively with Ukraine in front of any attempt to undermine its territorial integrity and sovereignty,” Borrell stressed.

Dec 02 07:19

Lukashenko Speaks on Migrant Crisis, Ukraine and Explains Why Belarus Needs S-400s

In an interview with RIA Novosti, the president of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, reflected on the impact of Western sanctions imposed on his country after the EU and the US refused to recognise his victory in the 2020 presidential election, also commenting on tensions between his country's closest neighbours - Russia and Ukraine.

Speaking about what his country has been doing to defend itself amid unstable and tense relations with the EU and NATO's reported plans for eastward expansion, Lukashenko mentioned what Minsk needs.

"Today we completely cover our borders with our air defence systems ... But in order to be effective against a missile attack, we need just the S-400, and maybe the S-500 [air defence systems]," Lukashenko said.

Dec 02 07:12

Brzezinski brothers want Biden, NATO to reprise father’s confrontation with Russia over Poland

Not to be missed. From the New Atlanticist and the Atlantic Council. Offered by Ian Brzezinski, son of Zbigniew (as he mentions in the article), senior fellow at the Atlantic Council and former U.S. deputy assistant secretary of defense for Europe and NATO policy.

His brother Mark is on his way to becoming U.S. ambassador to Poland just in time for the impending catastrophe in northeastern Europe. The two sons are positioning themselves to reprise their father’s role in confronting and defeating Russia (and Belarus) over Poland.

Hence the labored analogy that serves as the theme of the piece.

The writer alludes to the simultaneity of Washington’s 1980 dual crusade/jihad on the Soviet Union’s northwestern and southeastern frontiers – Poland and Afghanistan, to variously degrees religiously motivated – which has been missed for over forty years.

Dec 02 06:37

Kiev’s rhetoric suggests looming military scenario in Donbass, Kremlin warns

Hostilities in Ukraine are still highly probable and Kiev’s aggressive rhetoric suggests a possible military scenario in Donbass, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday.

"Military operations in Ukraine are still highly probable and this is a cause for special concern, a concern for us," the Russian presidential spokesman emphasized.

"As a whole, we see sufficient, perhaps, even aggressive rhetoric, as we can put it, used by the Ukrainian authorities. We see stepped-up provocative actions along the lines of engagement," Peskov noted.

While talking about the need for direct negotiations with Russia on the Donbass situation, Ukraine "is obstinately trying to depict Russia as a conflicting party," the Kremlin spokesman pointed out.

At the same time, Kiev is acting in a way to make any talks impossible, Peskov stressed.

Dec 01 11:54

Antony Blinken: US Preparing Additional Sanctions on Belarus in Coordination With EU

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken delivered his comments after a meeting of NATO foreign ministers that took place in the Latvian capital city of Riga on Wednesday.

Antony Blinken announced Wednesday that the United States is preparing new sanctions against Belarus alongside European and other partners.

"The United States is preparing additional sanctions in close coordination with the European Union and other partners and allies," Blinken said.

Dec 01 11:54

Ukraine warns neighbor not to recognize Crimea as Russia

If Belarus recognizes the disputed Crimean Peninsula as part of Russia, Minsk will deal an “irreparable blow” to its relationship with Ukraine, Kiev’s Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba warned on Wednesday.

Speaking to the press in Latvia, where a meeting of NATO foreign ministers is taking place, Kuleba reacted to news that Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko was planning a trip to Crimea. This would essentially mean that Belarus would become one of a handful of nations to recognize the peninsula as Russian.

“We will assess [Lukashenko’s] actions,” Kuleba told the press. “If Belarus recognizes Russia’s illegal occupation of Crimea, this will deal an irreparable blow to Ukrainian-Belarusian relations.”

Ukraine says it’s ready to defend itself against RussiaREAD MORE: Ukraine says it’s ready to defend itself against Russia
“We will act in full force. Crimea is not an issue where we can abstain,” Kuleba continued.

Dec 01 11:53

Putin calls on NATO to do a deal

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said he will request talks with NATO to ensure that the US-led military bloc does not creep closer to his country's borders, as Ukraine moves to allow Western troops into the country.

Speaking to a group of newly-arrived ambassadors in the Kremlin on Wednesday, Putin said that his country will “insist on guarantees being set out to exclude the possibility of NATO moving any further to the east, and deploying threatening weapons close to Russian territory.”

“I would like to emphasize that we need these to be legal guarantees,” the Russian president said, “given that our Western colleagues have not fulfilled their respective oral obligations. Everyone knows they made promises they wouldn't expand eastwards, but then they did the opposite. Legitimate Russian security concerns have been ignored and continue to be ignored.”

Dec 01 11:41

The Collapse of the US Submarine Fleet

The submarine fleet has traditionally enjoyed the special favors of the top leaders in the United States. It is even known that in 1993 former US Vice President Al Gore made a trip to the Arctic aboard the USS Pargo nuclear submarine.

According to The National Interest, the US Navy announced in December 2016 that it needed 66 submarines with submarine-launched cruise missiles and strike missiles deployed. But in early 2019, there were only 51 attack submarines in the fleet. And that number is projected to decrease. For example, dozens of Los Angeles-class submarines will be decommissioned in the next few years, and too few new Virginia-class submarines are being produced.

Dec 01 11:18

Russian Forces Are Growing...In Russia! Pentagon Awkwardly Downplays Ukraine Invasion Hype

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on Tuesday urged Western allies in NATO to act fast to "deter" Russian aggression aimed at the country's east, claiming that a Russian military assault could come "in the blink of an eye".

"What we are seeing is very serious. Russia has deployed a large military force in regions close to Ukraine's state border," he told reporters after weeks of widespread Western media assertions that at least 90,000 Russian troops are mustering near the border. "If Russia decides to undertake a military operation, things will happen in literally the blink of an eye," the foreign minister added.

Kuleba's numbers were even higher than common Western press estimates: "Moscow has massed 115,000 troops around Ukraine, on the Crimean peninsula," he was cited as saying. He also alleged tanks, military vehicles, and electronic warfare systems were also being positioned.

Dec 01 10:51

Belarusian President Lukashenko Threatens To Halt Transit Of Energy Products From Russia

As if the energy sector needed any more volatility than it's already experiencing, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has thrown his hat in the ring by commenting this week that he could shut down transit of energy products if Poland closes its border with his country.

The border is currently turning into a point of contention between the European Union and Lukashenko. Thousands of migrants are stuck in the middle of the border and at least 11 have died, according to the Wall Street Journal. The migrants are seeking refuge and to move further into Europe. The EU has blamed Lukashenko for using the migrants as "pawns", while Lukashenko attests that something should be done about the humanitarian crisis.

Lukashenko has now escalated tensions over the crisis by indicating he is "serious" about halting energy products from Russia.

Dec 01 07:49

Putin Warns NATO That Deploying Forces to Ukraine Is a ‘Red Line’

On Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned NATO that sending troops and weapons to Ukraine would cross a “red line” for Moscow.

Addressing an online investment forum, Putin said he was concerned that NATO’s eastward expansion could result in the alliance placing missiles in Ukraine that could target Russia.

“The emergence of such threats represents a ‘red line’ for us,” Putin said. “I hope that it will not get to that and common sense and responsibility for their own countries and the global community will eventually prevail.”

Putin’s warning came as the NATO officials met in Riga, Latvia, to discuss a potential response to Russia’s alleged troop build-up near Ukraine. The US has claimed Russia is planning to invade Ukraine, but Moscow strongly denies the accusation.

Dec 01 07:11

Polish Parliament Rejects Unlimited Media Access to Belarus Border

Poland's president on Tuesday signed into law legislation that will limit the access of aid charities and journalists to its border with Belarus as the country grapples with a simmering migrant crisis.

The law is a blow to the opposition parties that advocated for unlimited media access, an amendment approved by the upper house of parliament on Friday but rejected by the lower house.

Under the state of emergency declared in the border region in September and ending at midnight, the media and aid charities were completely banned. The opposition said the ban was intended to cover up rights abuses and had sought unfettered access.

The government said the restrictions were necessary for security reasons.

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Dec 01 07:10

Ready for nuclear holocaust with Russia over Ukraine?

Dec 01 07:05

Putin warns West: Moscow has ‘red line’ about Ukraine, NATO

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday sternly warned NATO against deploying its troops and weapons to Ukraine, saying it represents a red line for Russia and would trigger a strong response.

Commenting on Western concerns about Russia’s alleged intention to invade Ukraine, he said that Moscow is equally worried about NATO drills near its borders.

Speaking to participants of an online investment forum. Putin said that NATO’s eastward expansion has threatened Russia’s core security interests. He expressed concern that NATO could eventually use the Ukrainian territory to deploy missiles capable of reaching Moscow in just five minutes.

“The emergence of such threats represents a ‘red line’ for us,” Putin said. “I hope that it will not get to that and common sense and responsibility for their own countries and the global community will eventually prevail.”

He added that Russia has been forced to counter the growing threats by developing new hypersonic weapons.

Dec 01 07:04

Belarus Will Support Russia in the Event of Aggression From Ukraine, Lukashenko Says

If Russia faces aggression from Ukraine, Minsk will support Moscow, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said in an interview with RIA Novosti.

"If Russia faces aggression from Ukraine, we will be closely teaming up — economically, legally, and politically — with Russia. This is the main thing,” Lukashenko said.

He stressed that he would never be "on the side of the nationalist intoxication that is taking place in Ukraine today."

“I will do everything to make Ukraine ours. It is our Ukraine, our people there. These are not emotions, this is my firm conviction,” the head of the Belarusian state said.

Lukashenko previously announced his plans to visit Crimea, saying that his trip would mean its recognition as part of Russia by Minsk.

"We all understood that Crimea is de facto Russian Crimea. After the referendum, Crimea became Russian de jure."

Dec 01 07:04

Ukraine Pulling Armed Forces to Conflict Zone in Donbass, Moscow Warns

Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Kiev's provocative steps to deliberately aggravate the situation in Donbass were a matter of concern.

Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that Ukraine is pulling its armed forces into the conflict zone in Donbass and that half of the troops are already there.
"Ukrainian Armed Forces are building up their military strength, pulling together heavy equipment, personnel. According to some reports, the number of Ukrainian troops in the conflict zone already numbers 125,000, and this, if anyone does not know, is half of the entire composition of the Armed Forces," Zakharova said at a briefing on Wednesday.

Dec 01 06:59

US Seventh Fleet's commander calls for MORE aircraft carriers in Pacific to deter China and Russia and make them realize 'today is not the day' to start a conflict

US Seventh Fleet's commander has warned that the United States and its allies need more aircraft carriers in the Pacific to deter and intimidate China and Russia so they realize that 'today is not the day' to start a conflict.

On Tuesday Vice Adm. Karl Thomas told reporters aboard the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson that although the U.S and it's allies combined forces have 'an incredible amount of power,' they should consider expanding their fleet to ensure victory in possible battle, the Wall Street Journal reported.

'When we think about how we might fight, it's a large water space, and four aircraft carriers is a good number, but six, seven or eight would be better,' he said.

Adm. Thomas made his comments after the U.S. and allies Japan, Australia, Canada and Germany completed a 10-day naval exercise led by Japan in the Pacific.

Dec 01 06:58

Russia and China are attacking US satellites 'every single day' with lasers, radio jammers and cyber attacks in a shadow space war, Space Force commander claims

American satellites far outside the Earth's orbit are facing a near-constant barrage of threats from Russian and Chinese technology, and it's only getting worse, a top Space Force officer is warning.

An arms race in space between the US, Russia and China has been steadily heating up in recent years even as officials in Washington warn that such a build-up is dangerous.

'The threats are really growing and expanding every single day. And it’s really an evolution of activity that’s been happening for a long time,' General David Thompson told the Washington Post in a piece published on Tuesday.

Dec 01 06:57

Russia threatens criminal charges against married NASA astronaut, 45, over baseless claims she drilled HOLE in their spacecraft while it was docked in ISS 'because she'd broken up with crew member and wanted to go home'

Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, has threatened to press charges against a NASA astronaut who it claims drilled a two millimeter hole in a Soyuz MS-09 vehicle that was docked with the International Space Station (ISS) in 2018.

The agency recently completed its investigation into what it deems was a sabotage, citing Serena Auñón-Chancellor, a crew member of the ISS at the time of the incident, as the culprit.

The allegations have been handed over to Russian law enforcement, allowing Roscosmos to announce the possibility of criminal charges.

Dec 01 06:49

Belarus Proposes To Host Russian Nukes If NATO Expands Its Arsenal

Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko has again announced his country stands ready to host nuclear weapons provided by Russia on its territory. "We are ready for this on the territory of Belarus," Lukashenko told Russia's RIA news agency in an interview published Tuesday.

Lukashenko held it out as the necessary response in the scenario where NATO would deploy nuclear systems to neighboring Poland. The Belarusian president said he will soon propose this plan to Putin.

In the interview he had been asked to respond to recent comments of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who provoked anger out of Moscow by suggesting the Western military alliance could eventually see its nukes deployed to Eastern European partners.

According to state-run BelTA, the exchange went as follows:

The Belarusian head of state was asked about a recent statement by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg regarding the possible deployment of nuclear weapons in Eastern Europe.

Dec 01 06:38

MINUTE TO MIDNIGHT Russia and West ‘one mistake’ from nuclear conflict in most dangerous moment since Cold War, warns UK admiral

THE world is "one mistake" from all-out nuclear war thanks to Vladimir Putin's "dangerous games" in Eastern Europe, warns an ex-Navy chief.

Moscow is amassing 100,000 troops on its Ukrainian border and is also supporting Belarus dictator Alexander Lukashenko as he "weaponises" migrants against the EU.

And after accusing the US of conducting nuclear bomber drills 20km from its border, the Kremlin said its nuke forces were "on alert" and it had stepped up its military partnership with China.

Admiral Lord West told The Sun Online the situation "is extremely dangerous and risky" with Putin playing "games in the area of grey warfare - things short of war."

He continued: "In terms of the nuclear clock, I think we are closer to midnight than we've been certainly since the 1960s probably.

"And that's because of Russia's silly behaviour in Eastern Europe."

Dec 01 06:32

Belarus may invite Russian nuclear weapons into country

Belarus’ leader has said Russia should deploy atomic warheads inside his country’s borders if NATO’s nuclear weapons are advanced eastwards through Poland, amid a growing row with the West.

Speaking in an interview with RIA Novosti on Tuesday, Alexander Lukashenko threatened to increase the amount of deadly hardware facing off across the frontier if American-made nukes are moved further into Eastern Europe.

In that case, Lukashenko said, “I will suggest that [Russian President Vladimir] Putin return nuclear weapons to Belarus.” According to him, the restoration of a Soviet-era nuclear deterrent over the territory using “those atomic armaments would be the most effective in such a case.”

“I am not saying this for no reason,” he went on, “we are ready for this on the territory of Belarus.” Lukashenko, however, did not specify which type of system he wanted to be used, and claimed that this would be “agreed” by the two sides.

Dec 01 06:29

Stoltenberg in Latvia: global NATO confronts Russia, China, “alternative models of governance”

Secretary General shares ideas on NATO’s next Strategic Concept

It is really great to be back in Riga, back in Latvia, for many reasons.

You are a staunch Ally,
You contribute to NATO missions and operations in many ways.
And you meet the 2% guideline.
And you host NATO battlegroup, here in Latvia.

Dec 01 06:27

All but invoking 1939 parallel, Polish PM tells NATO allies to “wake up” to Russian plan to “change the geopolitical system” in Europe

Polish PM urges NATO allies to ‘wake up’ to Russian attempts to destabilise Europe: BBC

Speaking in an interview with the BBC, Mateusz Morawiecki said that recent events showed the Kremlin and allies wanted to “change the geopolitical system” and “disunite” the European Union.

He cited a build-up of Russian forces near Ukraine, soaring gas prices and a crisis on Poland’s border with Belarus…

His comments came ahead of a two-day meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Riga, Latvia.

NATO and EU leaders have recently accused Belarus of orchestrating a migrant crisis on its border with Poland.

Dec 01 06:27

US to strengthen its military contingent in Europe to contain Russia

The US Department of Defense has decided to increase the number of its soldiers in Germany, lifting the 25,000-man limit, which was introduced by Trump

US President Joe Biden accepted the recommendations of Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin regarding the revision of the global balance of forces of the United States, including positions in Europe as Pentagon reported citing deputy undersecretary of defense for policy Mara Karlin.

Dec 01 06:26

Russia tells US embassy staff to leave Moscow

American embassy workers who have been stationed in Moscow for over three years have been given just weeks to leave the country, Russia’s Foreign Ministry has announced, amid a growing row with Washington over diplomatic visas.

Speaking at a briefing on Wednesday, diplomatic spokeswoman Maria Zakharova announced that “by January 31, 2022, employees of the US embassy in Moscow who have been on assignment for more than three years must leave Russia.”

The news comes after Washington reportedly denied extending the visas of dozens of family members of Russian diplomats based in the US. According to Zakharova, “we consider the American move to be a clear expulsion and intend to react accordingly.”

She said that “such a game” was started by America’s policy decisions, rather than because Russia was eager to break off ties.

We tried long and hard to reason with them and direct them to some constructive solution to the issue, but they made their choice.

Dec 01 06:26

Half of Ukraine’s army has now been deployed to Donbass – Moscow

Ukraine has now stationed well over 100,000 troops and large quantities of hardware in the war-torn Donbass region, the Russian Foreign Ministry alleged on Wednesday morning, amid rising tensions.

Speaking at a briefing on Wednesday, diplomatic spokeswoman Maria Zakharova claimed that “the Armed Forces of Ukraine are increasing [their] military force, pulling heavy equipment and personnel.”

“According to some reports, the number of troops… in the conflict zone already reaches 125,000 people, and this, if anyone does not know, is half of the entire composition of the Armed Forces of Ukraine," she said.

Zakharova also condemned Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky for submitting a bill to the national parliament that would allow units from foreign armed forces to enter the country as part of multinational exercises next year.

Dec 01 06:25

Ukraine Pulling Armed Forces to Conflict Zone in Donbass, Moscow Warns

Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Kiev's provocative steps to deliberately aggravate the situation in Donbass were a matter of concern.

Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that Ukraine is pulling its armed forces into the conflict zone in Donbass and that half of the troops are already there.

"Ukrainian Armed Forces are building up their military strength, pulling together heavy equipment, personnel. According to some reports, the number of Ukrainian troops in the conflict zone already numbers 125,000, and this, if anyone does not know, is half of the entire composition of the Armed Forces," Zakharova said at a briefing on Wednesday.

Dec 01 06:24

Lavrov: Lukashenko's Statement About Russian Nuclear Arms in Belarus is 'Serious Warning' to West

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko's statement on the possibility of placing Russian nuclear weapons in Belarus should be taken by the West as a warning, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday.

In an interview with RIA Novosti on Tuesday, Lukashenko said Minsk would propose to Moscow to deploy nuclear weapons in Belarus if similar NATO systems appear in Poland.

"I would take this statement as a very serious warning, which is dictated, first of all, by the reckless policy pursued by the West," Lavrov told lawmakers.

Nov 30 15:51

General who warned about ‘accidental’ war with Russia gets replaced

The UK has a new Chief of the Defence Staff, as Admiral Sir Tony Radakin took over the job from the retiring General Sir Nick Carter. The former First Sea Lord will lay out his vision for Her Majesty’s Armed Forces next week.

Radakin officially assumed the post on Tuesday, calling it a “privilege” to lead the Armed Forces in pursuit of British national interests. The government “envisages a strong, secure and confident United Kingdom, actively engaged in the world,” he added.

Nov 30 15:30

Biden and His Aides Reportedly Prepare For Virtual Summit With Putin in December

While there were no official announcements about a possible meeting between the presidents of Russia and the United States, Joe Biden said he would likely speak with Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Russian officials earlier mulled over the possibility of Putin-Biden talks before the end of 2021.

US President Joe Biden and his aides are preparing for next month's virtual summit with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, The Washington Post reported Tuesday, citing sources.

The analysts view the reported virtual call as a chance to reduce the simmering tensions but also to "signal the costs of an invasion to the Kremlin." The threats of the purported Russian "invasion" in Ukraine were reported by multiple Western media outlets before, raising eyebrows in Moscow before being debunked by the Kremlin.

Aside from this, Washington reportedly floated the possibility of an in-person summit between Putin and Biden in 2022, the newspaper noted.

Nov 30 11:43

NATO threatens Russia with ‘consequences’

The head of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, has hit Russia with a stark warning against exerting force on neighboring Ukraine amid a series of unsubstantiated Western-driven claims that Moscow is massing its troops at their shared border.
Speaking at a press conference on Sunday in Lithuania to discuss the humanitarian crisis unfolding on the EU’s frontier with Belarus, the US-led bloc’s secretary general took the opportunity to call on the Kremlin “to be transparent, reduce tensions, and de-escalate” the situation on the demarcation line with Ukraine.

Answering a question from a journalist, the NATO chief said that the alleged “increased Russian presence close to Ukraine’s borders is something which is very concerning for many reasons,” calling it “unprovoked and unexplained.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I fear a major war before Christmas.