Daily Archives: April 22, 2014

US responsible for Ukrainian crisis after investing $5 billion in regime change – Russia’s envoy to UN

Armed men wearing military fatigues gather by Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC) as they stand guard outside the regional state building in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slavyansk on April 16, 2014

The US is to blame for the events in Ukraine as it invested $5 billion in regime change in the country, taking a more radical stance that its EU allies, Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s envoy to the UN, said.

“It seems it was the Americans, who tried to push through the most radical scenario,” Churkin said in an interview with Rossiya 24 channel. “They didn’t want any sort of compromise between [ousted president Viktor] Yanukovych and the opposition. And, I think, they came to the conclusion that it was time to cash in those $5 billion and handle the matter towards abrupt regime change, which, eventually, happened.”

This explains why the US, but not the European Union took centre stage when the coup resulted in legal vacuum in Kiev, he added.

US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Victoria Nuland, told CNN on Monday that Washington has invested around $5 billion into supporting democracy in Ukraine since the fall of Soviet Union.

But Churkin has doubts about Nuland’s claims, saying that “any sane person would, at least, say that those investments didn’t pay off.”

“If those $5 billion were spent on support of democracy, but not overthrow of the existing government and regime change, then no democracy has triumphed there [in Ukraine],” he explained.

‘Washington’s money, radical approach led to a completely unexpected result’

The Maidan standoff was “a head-on attack” by the US and its Western allies aimed at distancing Russia and Ukraine from each other, Russia’s envoy to the UN said.

However, it failed and “led to a completely unexpected result for them when Crimea was reunited with Russia,” he stressed.

“One has to be naïve to suggest that it all happened fast,” Churkin said of the deal on the de-escalation of the Ukraine crisis, which Kiev agreed with Russia, the US and EU on April 17.

But at the same time, he stressed that consultations between Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, and his American counterpart John Kerry “weren’t in vain” as the agreement “provided good basis for further growth.”

“Despite all their recurrent adventurism, they [the US] realize that peace is rather fragile and too many crises, too much unrest has been created in different parts of the world. I don’t think they’re interested in the emergence of a new serious crisis, with non-obvious consequences for them,” the envoy said.

Russia’s Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin

According to Churkin, one of those steps should be the confiscation of 3 million items of weapons, which are currently illegally held by the “radical nationalists” in Ukraine.

Kiev calls for the disarmament of federalization supporters in eastern Ukraine, but “how will the radicals [from Western Ukraine] lay down their arms as they are sometimes declared the National Guard and thus obtain official status?” he wondered.

The envoy has ruled out the possibility of a UN peacekeeping operation in Ukraine, calling it “unrealistic.”

“Ukraine is a very big country and from political point of view there’s no frontline there. And, thank god, it can’t be drawn,” he said.

The presence of observers from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) “is just enough to monitor what’s happening there,” Churkin stressed.

The envoy also said the EU has begun realizing there’s “a considerable danger” in the rise of far-right forces in Ukraine.

“It’s not a secret that Europe has radicals of its own. Giving such a boost to the nationalist radicalism in Europe… I think that serious politicians understand this,” he said.

But those concerns are only shared during personal contacts, but “nobody talks openly about it,” he added.

US Vice President Joe Biden (R) and Ukraine’s acting Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk leave after a joint press conference in Kiev on April 22, 2014

Ukraine has been in turmoil since democratically elected president Yanukovich was removed from power via a coup powered by far-right radicals.

The society is split into two parts as the majority of the Russian speaking population refuses to accept the new authority in Kiev.

In March, the Republic of Crimea held a referendum to part ways with Ukraine and re-join Russia.

The move inspired a push for independence in other regions of Ukraine, with activists seizing government buildings in Donetsk and other south-eastern regions.

Despite Kiev’s military operation against the protesters turning into a flop, the situation remains tense in Ukraine, with armed radicals arriving in the country’s east to cause provocations.

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Syrian Jihadis ‘Take Aim’ at Christian Toddler

Front Page, By Raymond Ibrahim:

According to Sham Times and other Arabic websites, jihadi social media networks posted the above picture of a child sitting on the ground while surrounded by armed men pointing their rifles at him. The caption appearing with the picture, purportedly posted by a supporter of the Free Syrian Army, is “Our youngest hostage from among the hostile sects of Kessab.”

Kessab is a predominantly Christian Armenian village in Syria near the Turkish border. Earlier it was invaded by jihadis, who terrorized, pillaged churches, and prompted some 2000 residents to flee. Initial reports had stated that about a dozen families remained as hostages.

Since the picture appeared on Arabic social media, many have expressed shock and outrage, condemning the Syrian “rebels,” while others cast doubt on the authenticity of the picture.

Of course, those wondering what the jihadis have to gain from taking such a picture and making it public would do well to remember that these are the same “rebels” who decapitate people and wave their severed and bloodied heads in front of cameras while smiling; these are the same “freedom fighters” who literally eat their victims on camera.

Surely “teasing” an infidel toddler – a subhuman – with their rifles and sharing it with their sadistic comrades via the Internet for a “laugh” should not be too surprising?

At any rate, the fact remains: the “Free Syrian Army,” along with other “rebel” groups operating in Syria, are guilty of countless barbaric crimes against humanity — including against women and children.

UPDATE: Commenter LeviDocker at PJ Tatler posts a very apt excerpt from Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s classic work, The Brothers Karamazov, which follows:

These Turks took a pleasure in torturing children, too; cutting the unborn child from the mother’s womb, and tossing babies up in the air and catching them on the points of their bayonets before their mothers’ eyes. Doing it before the mothers’ eyes was what gave zest to the amusement. Here is another scene that I thought very interesting. Imagine a trembling mother with her baby in her arms, a circle of invading Turks around her. They’ve planned a diversion: they pet the baby, laugh to make it laugh. They succeed, the baby laughs. At that moment a Turk points a pistol four inches from the baby’s face. The baby laughs with glee, holds out its little hands to the pistol, and he pulls the trigger in the baby’s face and blows out its brains. Artistic, wasn’t it? By the way, Turks are particularly fond of sweet things, they say.

via  – The Counter Jihad Report.

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سيرجى كوروتكوف : روسيا ستبيع لمصر طائرات ميغ -35 الاكثر تطورا

MIG-35 Russian Fighter Jet

MIG-35 Russian Fighter Jet

موسكو – قال المدير العام لشركة “ميغ” الروسية لصناعة الطائرات الحربية، سيرجى كوروتكوف، إن  شركته ستوقع عقداً مع وزارة الدفاع المصرية لتوريد مقاتلات من طراز “ميج – 35” المتقدمة

وأضاف كوروتكوف، فى تصريحات لوكالة أنباء إيتار تاس الروسية، الأحد، أنه “حتى الآن لم يتم الاتفاق على عدد الطائرات التي سيتم تزويد مصر بها من طراز ميج- 35، حيث إنه خلال فترات مختلفة من المحادثات بين مصر وروسيا، تم الحديث عن أعداد متباينة في كل مرة لعدد الطائرات التي ترغب مصر في شرائها”

ونقلت الوكالة الروسية تصريحات لكوروتكوف أكد فيها أن “ميغ مستعدة تماماً لتوريد العدد الذي سيرغب في شرائه الجانب المصري”

وأشار إلى أن مقاتلات “ميغ- 35” أكثر تقدماً من مقاتلات “ميغ- 29″، التي دار الحديث عنها في وسائل الإعلام المصرية والروسية في وقت سابق

واستقبل الرئيس المصري المستشار عدلي منصور، في نوفمبر/تشرين الثاني، كلا من وزير الخارجية الروسي سيرغي لافروف، ووزير الدفاع سيرغي شويغو، ونظيريهما المصريين نبيل فهمي والفريق أول عبدالفتاح السيسي، الذي كان يشغل منصب وزير الدفاع قبل ان يقدم استقالته للترشح لانتخابات الرئاسة، في إعلان عن تدشين اجتماع “2+2”

وقام المشير عبدالفتاح السيسي بعدها، بزيارة إلى روسيا، رافقه فيها وزير الخارجية، نبيل فهمي، في منتصف فبراير/شباط لبحث “العلاقات الثنائية وأوجه التعاون”

وشملت الصفقة مروحيات عسكرية، ومقاتلات من طراز ميغ 29 أم 2 حيث تسعى مصر إلى الحصول على 24 مقاتلة من هذا النوع في صفقة تبلغ تكلفتها 1700 مليون دولار. وأنظمة دفاع جوي متطورة ودبابات، وصواريخ كورنيت مضادة للدبابات، وهي صواريخ من الجيل الثالث الذي يستطيع خداع جهاز “تروفي” الإسرائيلي، الذي تم تركيبه على دبابة “الميركافا” الإسرائيلية

وقدر محللون أن الصفقة هي بداية لصفحة جديدة في العلاقات المصرية الروسية وتقليصا للاعتماد العسكري المصري على الجانب الأميركي سواء في استيراد الأسلحة أو في تلقي المعونات، وهو الوضع الذي استخدمته واشنطن كورقة ضغط على القاهرة في أكثر من مناسبة قبل أن تقرر تعليق جزء كبير من المساعدات العسكرية

كما قال المحللون أنها خطوة جديدة على طريق التغيير في السياسة الخارجية المصرية كانت موسكو الوجهة الأبرز لها، وهي خطوة انتظرتها موسكو طويلا لاستعادة دورها في الشرق الأوسط عبر البوابة المصرية

وكانت صحيفة “فيدوموستي” الروسية قد نقلت عن مصدر قريب الصلة من وزارة الدفاع الروسية، قوله إن روسيا ومصر تبحثان إمكانية توقيع صفقة تسليحية أخرى تزيد قيمتها على ملياري دولار. وتفيد مصادر خليجية أنها تترواح بين 4 و6 مليار دولار وتمولها إلى حد كبير دولة الإمارات العربية

مصادر عسكرية إسرائيلية، كانت قد ذكرت أن مصر ستحصل على أسلحة وأنظمة دفاعية وهجومية متطورة ستؤثر على التوازن العسكري في المنطقة لصالحها. وقال موقع “ديبكا” المقرب من أجهزة الاستخبارات الإسرائيلية “إنه من المقرر أن يصل 1500 خبير عسكري روسي لمصر منتصف عام 2014، بهدف تدريب القوات على استخدام صفقة الأسلحة التي ستمولها السعودية ويصل ثمنها لأكثر من 4 مليون دولار”

وأوضح الموقع الإسرائيلي أن من بين الأسلحة الحديثة التي ستحصل عليها مصر أنظمة دفاع جوي قادرة على اكتشاف طائرات الشبح والقاذفات الثقيلة والطائرات بدون طيار، بالإضافة إلى صواريخ اعتراضية يمكنها تدمير الصواريخ في السماء، وهو ما سيجعل مصر أقوى دولة في المنطقة تمتلك أنظمة دفاع جوي يصعب الهجوم عليها أو اختراقها، ما سيمكن قوات الدفاع الجوي المصرية من رصد أي جسم مهما كان صغيرا أثناء تحليقه ابتداء من منتصف البحر المتوسط وحتى قبل اقترابه من مياهها الإقليمية، وزيادة قدرات مصر في حماية قناة السويس والبحر الأحمر والحدود الجنوبية والغربية بشكل كامل. وأضاف الموقع أن البند الثاني في صفقة الأسلحة الروسية سيشمل منظمة أسلحة هجومية، من بينها صواريخ “أرض أرض” قادرة على الوصول لأي دولة في المنطقة، ويتجاوز مداها إيران وتركيا، ولم يتم الكشف عن نوعية تلك الصواريخ حتى الآن

التقارير تحدثت عن الاسلحة التي ستتضمنها الصفقة ولكنها لم تشر إلى طائرات “ميغ-35” الأكثر تطورا في روسيا على الاطلاق.

وقال محللون ان روسيا تسعى إلى تكوين تحالفات جديدة في منطقة الشرق الأوسط عوضا عن سوريا التي سقطت في حالة فوضى عارمة، وإيران التي تبدو سعيدة بتقارب الغرب معها من خلال محادثات ملفها النووي

وأضافوا ان بوتين يتطلع إلى نفوذ جديد في المنطقة من خلال بوابتها الرئيسية في القاهرة، وان يعيد عصر الاتحاد السوفييتي السابق، في وقت تحاول فيه واشنطن الخروج من المنطقة لصالح جنوب شرق اسيا

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US sends 600 troops to Eastern Europe, warship USS Taylor enters Black Sea

U.S. Navy frigate USS Taylor sets sail in the Bosphorus, on its way to the Black Sea in Istanbul April 22, 2014

US frigate USS Taylor (FFG 50) has entered the Black Sea, according to the US Navy, as the Pentagon announces plans to dispatch some 600 troops to Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia for military exercises.

The US claims the ship’s entry is “to promote peace and stability in the region.”

“The US Navy routinely operates ships in the Black Sea consistent with the Montreux Convention and International Law. Taylor’s mission is to reassure NATO allies of the US Navy’s commitment to strengthen and improve interoperability while working toward mutual goals in the region,” read a US Navy statement released on Tuesday.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has previously stated that the US has been violating the Montreux Convention which restricts the number of US vessels operating in the Black Sea and sets a time limit of 21 days for each one.

At the beginning of February, the USS Taylor was initially posted in the Black Sea. However, damages to the warship’s propeller assembly after running aground in the Black Sea caused a spike in tensions between the US and Russia after it caused the ship to exceed the time allotted to its stay by 11 days.

US soldiers of the Airborne Division

US troops heading to Baltics

The 600 troops are to be sent to Poland and the Baltic states in the coming days in order to offer support to NATO allies which have expressed concern following Crimea’s accession to Russia, the Pentagon stated on Tuesday.

“I’m told they’re infantry level – infantry training exercises,” said Pentagon press secretary, Rear Adm. John Kirby in a press briefing given on Tuesday. However, he added that he couldn’t provide specifics.

Kirby pointed out that the bilateral exercises were a supplement to the standard military exercises which the countries undertake together and were because of current events in Ukraine.

“The United States takes seriously our obligations under Article 5 of the NATO alliance, even though these aren’t NATO exercises,” Kirby said. “It’s a very tangible representation of our commitment to our security obligations in Europe.”

Last Friday, Poland’s Defense Minister, Tomasz Siemoniak, said that this week Poland and the United States would be announcing the dispatch of ground forces to Poland take part in a two-week land-forces exercise. Some 150 soldiers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team based in Vicenza, Italy are to begin the exercises in Wednesday after which similar exercises will follow in the Baltics.

US troops will rotate in and out of all four countries. “We’re looking at trying to keep this rotational presence persistent throughout the rest of this year,” Kirby stated, adding that exercises could potentially expand into other countries.

The measures are being taken as part of a stepped-up effort announced last week by US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in order to reassure NATO allied states.

Relations between Russia and the West became strained after an armed coup in February deposed President Viktor Yanukovich following months of protests. Moscow considers the events to have been orchestrated by the EU and the US and does not recognize the post-coup authorities as legitimate.

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​Firefighters v arsonists: US confirms $5bn spent on ‘Ukraine democracy’

People holding illegal arms and occupying government buildings are perfectly OK, as long as they are permitted to do so, believes Washington’s top diplomat in Europe. But doing exactly the same thing without permission is bad.

This piece of infallible logic came from the US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, as she refused to equate the situation in Ukrainian capital, Kiev, in February with the present one in eastern Ukraine. In both cases armed militias have seized buildings and refused to leave.

“You can’t compare the situation in Kiev, where now everything that is still being held by protesters is being held with licenses and with the agreement of the government of Ukraine, with the agreement of the Rada, or with regular leases from the owners of the buildings,” Nuland told CNN in an interview.

Of course, when those militias were taking over buildings and building barricades in Kiev and elsewhere in in Ukraine, they didn’t have any license. It was only after they toppled the Ukrainian government that the new authorities moved to legitimize those seizures. The same authorities whose legitimacy is now being questioned by the protesters in the country’s east.

There is another difference between the two armed movements, according to Nuland.

“You can’t compare it to what is happening in eastern Ukraine, where you have armed separatists wearing balaclavas, carrying very heavy munitions, holding government buildings refusing to allow monitors in refusing to allow journalists in,” she claimed.

As if balaclava-wearing radical protesters never pelted the police with firebombs and didn’t shoot at them with guns stolen from police stations in Ukraine. But isn’t this is how the people presumably now in charge came to power?

The Kiev militias are where they are because they could topple the new government just as they did with the previous one. They already besieged the parliament demanded the resignation of the interior minister for the killing one of their leaders, and it took a lot of convincing on the part of the MPs to make them leave.

Of course when the authorities can’t force somebody to follow the law, they can save face by altering that law. Unfortunately for the Ukrainian government, disarming those unruly militias is what they agreed to by signing a joint statement with Russia, the US and the EU in Geneva last week. Pretending that this document applies only to those opposing Kiev simply won’t work.

Naturally, Washington blames Russia for making things worse in Ukraine, and fails to see the impotence of the current government.

“We continue to be concerned that you cannot dress yourself like a firefighter and behave like an arsonist,” Nuland said.

One can wonder what she was dressing herself like as she was treating Maidan activists to cookies and discussing the composition of the government which now sits in Kiev with the US ambassador to Ukraine.

Or how the $5 billion, which the US poured into “building civil society” in Ukraine helped the country overcome its inherent divisions and build a stable nation that can change its government without any street violence.

Alexandre Antonov, RT

via ​Firefighters v arsonists: US confirms $5bn spent on ‘Ukraine democracy’ — RT Op-Edge.

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