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World News The forum for posting news events from all over the world, ie America, Australia, Africa, Europe and any where else that isn't in Asia.
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Old 01-03-2014, 03:37 PM   #26 (permalink)
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The new pro-Moscow leader of Ukraine's autonomous Crimea region has asked Russian President Vladimir Putin for help to ensure peace.

A Kremlin source said it would "not leave unnoticed" the request from Sergiy Aksyonov.

US President Barack Obama warned Moscow against intervention after mysterious troop movements.

Ukraine's interim Prime Minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, accused Russia of seeking to provoke an escalation.

He was speaking at the first meeting of his cabinet, installed after the overthrow of President Viktor Yanukovych.

The spectre of armed conflict in Crimea will be at the top of a long agenda, the BBC's Mark Lowen reports from the region.


Unidentified Machine-gunners took up position outside the Crimean parliament

In the same vote, the parliament called a referendum on increasing the autonomy of Crimea, a region dominated by ethnic Russians.

Mr Aksyonov's election has not been approved by the new authorities in Kiev, who traditionally appoint the prime minister of Crimea, in consultation with the regional parliament.

"I appeal to the president of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, to provide assistance in ensuring peace and tranquillity on the territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea," Mr Aksyonov said in a statement.

He went on to announce that he was taking control of security in Crimea "on a temporary basis".

"All commanders are to obey only my orders and instructions," Mr Aksyonov said. "I ask all those who refuse to do so to resign."

'There will be costs'
Warning Russia there would be "costs" for any military intervention, Mr Obama said he was deeply concerned by reports of Russian military movements.

More about ww3......
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Old 01-03-2014, 03:40 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Go Putin, go

EU really fucked up on that one, and will have to come to the rescue of Putin to calm down Kiev and their unrealistic plan to join the EU and NATO
Yes, let's have a war!

You complete fuckwit.
who says have a war ? have you been reading too many MS Press Releases again this morning ?

the EU will have to come to "appease" Kiev and Moscow in the coming weeks, hardly a declaration of war
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Old 01-03-2014, 08:01 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Putin seeks Ukraine troop deployment



President Putin asks Russian parliament's upper house to approve use of Russian troops in Ukraine

BBC News - Putin seeks Ukraine troop deployment
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Old 01-03-2014, 08:21 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Ukraine crisis: Obama warns Russia against intervention



US President Barack Obama has warned Russia there will be "costs" for any military intervention in Ukraine.

He said he was deeply concerned by reports of Russian military movements inside the country.

Ukraine's acting president has accused Russia of deploying troops to the Ukrainian region of Crimea and trying to provoke Kiev into "armed conflict".

Crimea's pro-Moscow prime minister has asked Russian authorities for help in maintaining peace in the region.

"I appeal to the president of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, to provide assistance in ensuring peace and tranquillity on the territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea," Serhiy Aksyonov said in a statement.

Mr Aksyonov, who was appointed by the Crimean parliament on Thursday, also said he was taking control of Crimea's interior ministry, armed forces, fleet and border guards "on a temporary basis".


From the scene

Oleg Boldyrev BBC Russian, Simferopol

Passengers at the main airport in Simferopol were waiting for their flight to Istanbul when they were told airspace over the city was closed and the flight would not leave until the next morning at the earliest.

Some considered making the 500km (310-mile) trip to the nearest international airport, in Odessa.

Meanwhile, the airport car park was still being patrolled by heavily-armed soldiers in uniforms that gave no indication of where they were from.

News from elsewhere was no less alarming. The main television station was taken over by armed men who said they were from Russia's Black Sea Fleet.

Reports came in that fibre optic lines connecting Crimea to the rest of Ukraine were either blocked or damaged.

If the mobile or internet connection goes down, it will be the most palpable indication yet of an emergency situation for the local people.


"All commanders are to obey only my orders and instructions," Mr Aksyonov said. "I ask all those who refuse to do so to resign."

The new cabinet in Ukraine is due to meet for the first time on Saturday to discuss the deepening crisis over Russia's reported military deployments.

Russia's UN ambassador earlier insisted any troop movements in Crimea were within an existing arrangement with Ukraine.

Overnight reports said armed men in unidentified military uniforms had seized another airfield.

On Friday they took over airports in the Crimean capital, Simferopol, and Sevastopol, where Russia's Black Sea Fleet is based.

Ukrainian media citing local officials said 13 Russian aircraft carrying nearly 2,000 suspected troops had landed at a military air base near Simferopol. The report remains unconfirmed.

Russian armoured vehicles and helicopters were also seen in and around Simferopol and Sevastopol.

Flights from and to Simferopol were cancelled with airlines saying airspace over the peninsula had been closed.

The armed men also moved in on Crimea's parliament, state television building and telecommunication centres.


'Profound interference'

Speaking from the White House, President Obama commended Ukraine's interim government for its "restraint".

"Any violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity would be deeply destabilising, which is not in the interests of Ukraine, Russia or Europe," he said.

"It would represent a profound interference in matters that must be determined by the Ukrainian people. It would be a clear violation of Russia's commitment to respect the independence and sovereignty and borders of Ukraine - and of international laws."

He added: "Just days after the world came to Russia for the Olympic games, it would invite the condemnation of nations around the world.

And, indeed, the United States will stand with the international community in affirming that there will be costs for any military intervention in Ukraine."

Mr Obama did not spell out what any US response might be. However, the BBC's Beth McLeod in Washington says the US is considering exerting economic pressure by withholding the deeper trade ties that Moscow seeks.

It is also considering boycotting a G8 summit hosted by Russia, she adds, although that is not until June.


Georgia scenario

In a TV address on Friday, Ukraine's interim President Olexander Turchynov said Moscow wanted the new government to react to provocations so it could annex Crimea.

He appealed to Russian President Vladimir Putin to "stop provocations and start negotiations".

He said Russia was behaving as it did before sending troops into Georgia in 2008 over the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which have large ethnic Russian populations.

"They are implementing the scenario like the one carried out in Abkhazia, when after provoking a conflict, they started an annexation of the territory," Mr Turchynov said.



Armed men in unidentified military uniforms took control of airports in Simferopol and Sevastopol




Russian armoured personnel carriers were seen near the town of Bakhchisarai, Crimea





Security cameras captured armed men inside the regional parliament in Simferopol






Men calling themselves "local militia" have set up checkpoints on roads connecting Crimea to the rest of Ukraine

However, Russia's ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, said that any Russian military movements in Crimea were within Moscow's long-standing arrangement with Ukraine on the deployment of military assets.

"We are acting within the framework of that agreement," he said, after a closed-door meeting of the UN Security Council.

He did not give details of any Russian military deployment.

The Kremlin said President Putin had spoken of the "extreme importance of not allowing a further escalation of violence" during telephone conversations with Western leaders.


Ex-leader apology

On Friday, Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych made his first public appearance since being ousted from office a week ago.

Speaking in Russia, he apologised for not "having enough strength to keep stability" in Ukraine and called his usurpers "young, neo-fascist thugs".

Mr Yanukovych said he would "continue to struggle for the future of Ukraine", but said he would only return if his safety could be guaranteed.

Ukraine has started procedures demanding his extradition.

Mr Yanukovych is wanted on suspicion of mass murder following violent clashes between police and protesters last week that left more than 80 dead.

Ukraine's political crisis began in November when Mr Yanukovych rejected a trade deal with the EU in favour of a similar agreement with Russia.

The move brought thousands of Western-leaning protesters out on to the streets calling for his resignation and closer ties with the EU.

Since he was deposed, tensions have shifted to Crimea where the majority of the population are ethnic Russians


BBC News - Ukraine crisis: Obama warns Russia against intervention
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Old 01-03-2014, 09:54 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Obama needs to shut the fuck up and mind his own fucking business,

he is instrumental in all this by making false promises to their residents for NATO access
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Old 01-03-2014, 09:55 PM   #31 (permalink)
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hopefully, the EU will start to react and appease both sides of the conflict by "saving the soldier Putin"
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Old 01-03-2014, 10:05 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Lick View Post
Putin seeks Ukraine troop deployment



President Putin asks Russian parliament's upper house to approve use of Russian troops in Ukraine

BBC News - Putin seeks Ukraine troop deployment
It was a question with a Yes or Yes answer.

They're already there, who the fuck is he trying to kid?
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Old 01-03-2014, 11:31 PM   #33 (permalink)
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Surprise - Surprise


Russian parliament approves troop deployment in Ukraine




There were fierce clashes between pro- and anti-Russian protesters in the eastern city of Kharkiv

Russia's upper house of parliament has approved President Putin's request for Russian forces to be used in Ukraine.

He had asked that Russian forces be used "until the normalisation of the political situation in the country".

Russia's Black Sea Fleet is based in the Ukrainian region of Crimea, where many ethnic Russians live.

Kiev has reacted angrily to days of military movements in Crimea, accusing Moscow of trying to provoke the new government into an armed conflict.

Interim President Olexander Turchynov has called an emergency session of his security chiefs.

Russia's Vladimir Putin submitted the request for troops "in connection with the extraordinary situation in Ukraine and the threat to the lives of Russian citizens", the Kremlin said.

Crimea
  • Autonomous republic within Ukraine
  • Transferred from Russia in 1954
  • Ethnic Russians - 58.5%*
  • Ethnic Ukrainians - 24.4%*
  • Crimean Tatars - 12.1%*
  • Source: Ukraine census 2001
The BBC's Richard Galpin in Moscow says it is potentially significant that the request was for deployment in Ukraine as a whole, and not specifically for flash-points such as Crimea.

The upper house went into a special session almost immediately after Mr Putin made the request, in what seems to have been a carefully co-ordinated series of events during the day

Earlier, the lower house of parliament had urged the president to take whatever measures were necessary to "stabilise" the situation in Crimea.

During the upper house debate, one legislator accused US President Barack Obama of crossing "a red line" with his comments that there would be costs if Russia intervened militarily in Ukraine.

The upper house has recommended that the Russian ambassador the US should be recalled, although the decision lies with Mr Putin.


'Provocation'

The request follow days of military activity in Crimea during which unidentified armed men moved in to take over the regional parliament, state television and telecommunications hubs.

Soldiers from Russia's Black Sea Fleet, which is based in Crimea, are reported to be guarding some administrative buildings and military bases.

Amid the closure of airspace over Crimea's regional capital Simferopol on Friday evening, there were unconfirmed reports that Russian planes were flying in thousands of troops.

Ukrainian Defence Minister Ihor Tenyukh said on Saturday there are now an extra 6,000 Russian troops in Crimea, alongside an additional 30 armoured vehicles.


The build-up of Russia's military in Crimea was evident even before Saturday's vote in Moscow to send extra troops



The presence of Russia has been welcomed by many of Crimea's ethnic Russians



Pro-Russian populations in several eastern and southern cities across Ukraine took to the streets on Saturday to voice their opposition to the new interim government in Kiev





These activists in Donetsk tried to hoist the Russian flag over an administrative building




But the protests turned bloody in Kharkiv after these pro-Kiev activists clashed with Russian supporters who were trying to enter an administrative office




Meanwhile, in Kiev's Independence Square, people gathered for the funeral of one of the 88 people killed in violent clashes with police that led to the departure of President Viktor Yanukovych a week ago

Under the agreement governing the presence of the fleet in Crimea, the Russians must co-ordinate all troop movements outside the fleet's base with the Ukrainian authorities beforehand.

The newly-elected pro-Moscow leader of Crimea, Sergiy Aksyonov, earlier said he had appealed to Mr Putin for help to ensure peace on the peninsula - a request which the Kremlin said it would "not leave unnoticed".

Events in Crimea have angered the new interim government in Kiev - which does not recognise the province's new leadership - and has alarmed Western leaders.

President Turchynov accused Russia of trying to provoke Kiev into "armed conflict", but said they would not react.

US President Barack Obama said on Friday that "any violation of Ukraine sovereignty... would be deeply destabilising".

He warned of the "costs" of any Russian intervention in the Ukraine and commended the interim government in Kiev for its "restraint
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Old 02-03-2014, 10:10 AM   #34 (permalink)
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THE United States has demanded an end to Russian intervention in Ukraine after President Barack Obama told President Putin he had violated international law.

In a 90-minute phone call, he also told him to withdraw forces to bases in Crimea or face political and economic isolation.

The US also wants international monitors deployed immediately after an emergency UN Security Council session today.

He also spoke to France and Canada’s leaders to discuss the crisis, vowing to work together on an aid package to the hard-hit country.

The US ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, said the decision by Russian lawmakers to endorse military action in Ukraine was “as dangerous as it is destabilising.”

“This intervention is without legal basis, indeed it violates Russia’s commitment to protect the sovereignty territorial integrity and independence of Ukraine,” she said.

“It is time for the Russian intervention in Ukraine to end. The Russian military must stand down,” Power added.

US Secretary of State John Kerry later told Moscow it was risking regional peace and security by deploying troops to Ukraine and warned of a “profound effect” on US-Russia ties.

“Unless immediate and concrete steps are taken by Russia to deescalate tensions, the effect on US-Russian relations and on Russia’s international standing will be profound,” Kerry said, adding that Moscow’s actions were “a threat to the peace and security of Ukraine, and the wider region.”
But President Putin told President Obama there was a “real threat weighing on the lives and the health of Russian citizens” in Ukraine.

The Russian president accused the new government in Kiev of supporting “criminal actions by ultranationalists”, the Kremlin said.


Ukraine's border guard service .... said about 300 armed men were attempting to seize its main headquarters in the Crimean port city of Sevastopol under orders from Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu. Picture: AFP Source: AFP


Russia approves sending military troops to Ukraine, Barack Obama tells Vladimir Putin to withdraw them | News.com.au
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Old 02-03-2014, 10:38 AM   #35 (permalink)
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Germany under the leadership of EU Queen, Adolf Merkel should invade Russia. In 1939 they got themselves a wee bit disorientated and invaded Poland by mistake. Unfortunately there no satnavs in those days.

UK's Foreign Secretary, William Hague is on his way to Kiev to discuss matters which probably means that he'll be held hostage by the Ruskies for an indefinite period (hopefully).

The US is on standby to close down all the Moscow McDonald outlets in retaliation.

Last edited by Mr Lick : 02-03-2014 at 11:12 AM.
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Old 02-03-2014, 01:05 PM   #36 (permalink)
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The actions by Putin are quite telling.

If they were pushing for a referendum on Crimea going to Russia with international oversight it could hardly be denied. As Putin choses not to go that way and annex Crimea by force one cannot help but think he is nowhere sure a referendum would go his way.

It will only reenforce the former soviet republics will to seek closer ties with europe and NATO.
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Old 02-03-2014, 05:47 PM   #37 (permalink)
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I noticed today that when I searched for youtube videos every so often I'd find an odd one about Russia on the page. I was only looking at music so I don't know why they kept popping up. I guess the old Russian stuff is popular again or else someone is pushing stuff in the faces of people on the Internet. It's a new cold war!
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Old 02-03-2014, 06:27 PM   #38 (permalink)
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2 March 2014 Last updated at 12:12 GMT
Ukraine orders full military mobilisation over Russia moves

Ukraine has ordered a full military mobilisation in response to Russia's build-up of its forces in Crimea.
Acting President Olexander Turchynov has ordered the closure of airspace to all non-civilian aircraft.
US President Barack Obama has called Russian troop deployments a "violation of Ukrainian sovereignty".
Ukraine has said it will seek the help of US and UK leaders in guaranteeing its security. Nato has called emergency talks to be held at 1200 GMT.
Several other measures were announced by Andriy Parubiy, chair of the national security and defence council of Ukraine:
The armed forces would be put on "full combat readiness".
Reserves to be mobilised and trained
Emergency headquarters to be set up
Increased security at key sites, including nuclear plants.
The BBC has seen what appear to be Russian troops digging trenches on the Crimean border.
Heavily armed groups continue to occupy key sites on the peninsula, including airports and communications hubs, although there has been no actual violence.
Russian 'violation'
On Saturday, Mr Obama held a 90-minute telephone conversation with Russian leader Vladimir Putin and urged him to pull forces back to bases in Crimea.
Mr Putin said Moscow reserved the right to protect its interests and those of Russian speakers in Ukraine.
President Putin submitted his request for troops to the Russian parliament on Saturday "in connection with the extraordinary situation in Ukraine and the threat to the lives of Russian citizens", the Kremlin said.
The US, France and Canada say they are suspending preparations for a G8 summit in the Russian resort of Sochi in June as a reaction to the deployment, with Canada also recalling its ambassador from Moscow for consultations.
Mr Obama, the White House said, told Mr Putin that the appropriate way to address any concerns "is peacefully through direct engagement" with the Ukrainian government and international mediating bodies.
He told Mr Putin his actions were a "breach of international law, including Russia's obligations under the UN Charter, and of its 1997 military basing agreement with Ukraine", a statement added.
The Kremlin said that in his phone call with Mr Obama, President Putin "underlined that there are real threats to the life and health of Russian citizens and compatriots on Ukrainian territory".
Military build-up
Tensions are high in Ukraine, not only in Crimea, which is home to a large number of ethnic Russians.
In the Crimean port city of Feodosia, a group of Ukrainian marines were blockaded into their base on Sunday.
Armed men surrounded the base demanding that the garrison pledge loyalty to the region's new pro-Russian authorities.
Around 100 marines are thought to be inside the base.
There were big pro-Russian rallies in several Ukrainian cities on Saturday.
Observers have been watching a build-up of Russian military activity in Crimea - home to Russia's Black Sea Fleet - for the past few days.
Latest reports say two Russian anti-submarine warships have appeared off the coast of Crimea in violation of an agreement governing the presence of Russia's Fleet in the peninsula.
Russian soldiers are widely reported to be guarding a number of administrative buildings and military bases in Crimea. Parliament, airports, the state television building and telecommunications hubs have also been surrounded.
Some 6,000 extra Russian troops and 30 additional armoured vehicles are now in Crimea, Ukrainian Defence Minister Ihor Tenyukh said on Saturday.
The newly-elected pro-Moscow leader of Crimea, Sergiy Aksyonov, said he had appealed to Mr Putin for help to ensure peace on the peninsula.
The interim government in Kiev does not recognise Mr Aksyonov and his government, and signed a decree on Saturday that their election at an emergency session of the regional parliament this week was illegal.

BBC News - Ukraine orders full military mobilisation over Russia moves
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Old 02-03-2014, 07:45 PM   #39 (permalink)
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I hate to be a wise guy but....




http://teakdoor.com/newreply.php?do=newreply&p=2706909
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Quote:
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To me, the main targets should be the US and EU and UK I guess. Why are they so vocal about Ukraine, when Thailand has fascist royal monkeys running rampant on the streets, throwing grenades at policemen and shooting them, while trying to shut down democracy and replace the popularly elected government with an unelected "Rich Noble Council"? Bottom line is Gi had to flee just like Jacropob and others who dared utter the truth about the Sakdina-Amart-Chink run patronage system. Hasta la siempre victoria..
This might sound a bit harsh:
"The utter truth is that a Ukraine civil war is far worse then a sack of rice falling over in Thailand."
Let's just hope this does'nt get out of controll. The good news is that Ukrain military is in such bad shape that they could not even handle Lichtenstein. Meaning a real war between Russia and Ukrain just nonsense. The Ukrain would be good advised and play it like the Afghanys. Give em hell from the underground.

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Old 02-03-2014, 11:59 PM   #40 (permalink)
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I just hope the U.K has learnt from history,we where in the Crimea under Queen Victoria and had our arses seriously kicked by the Russians.
Afghanistan,didn't learn our lessons there,went back.
At least this time if things kick off we have a super power behind us.
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Old 03-03-2014, 12:37 AM   #41 (permalink)
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I just hope the U.K has learnt from history,we where in the Crimea under Queen Victoria and had our arses seriously kicked by the Russians.
Afghanistan,didn't learn our lessons there,went back.
At least this time if things kick off we have a super power behind us.
...and a super power in front of you.
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Old 03-03-2014, 12:48 AM   #42 (permalink)
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New head of Ukraine's navy defects in Crimea




The newly appointed head of Ukraine's navy has sworn allegiance to the Crimea region, in the presence of its unrecognised pro-Russian leader.

Rear Admiral Denys Berezovsky was only made head of the navy on Saturday, as the government in Kiev reacted to the threat of Russian invasion.

Russia's troops have been consolidating their hold on Crimea, which is home to its Black Sea Fleet.

The US has warned Moscow may be ejected from the G8 for its actions.

US President Barack Obama called Russian troop deployments a "violation of Ukrainian sovereignty".


'Brink of disaster'

Ukraine has ordered a full military mobilisation in response to Russia's build-up of its forces on the Crimean peninsula. Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk has warned the country is "on the brink of disaster".
So in Ukraine is that what Russia intends to do too? Take Crimea and Russian speaking regions under its control, effectively dividing Ukraine in half?”
Bridget Kendall Diplomatic correspondent, BBC News

In Crimea, Ukrainian soldiers faced off with Russian soldiers surrounding their bases on Sunday while the Russian army was said to be digging trenches on the border with mainland Ukraine.

The UK has joined the US, France and Canada in suspending preparations for a summit of the G8 in Russia in June. Nato, of which Ukraine is not a member, is conducting emergency talks.

Admiral Berezovsky appeared in Sevastopol before cameras alongside Sergiy Aksyonov, the pro-Russian politician elected by Crimea's regional parliament as local prime minister.

Mr Aksyonov announced he had given orders to Ukrainian naval forces on the peninsula to disregard any orders from the "self-proclaimed" authorities in Kiev.

Sunday, he said, would go down in history as the birthday of the "navy of the autonomous republic of Crimea".





Admiral Yuri Ilyn: "I'm very sorry that Ukrainian soldiers and sailors are hostages of this situation"


The admiral then pledged to "strictly obey the orders of the supreme commander of the autonomous republic of Crimea" and "defend the lives and freedom" of Crimea's people.

Admiral Berezovsky was later sacked by interim Ukrainian Defence Minister Ihor Tenyukh and a treason case launched against him.

Ukraine's Ukrainska Pravda newspaper reports that the admiral was speaking before the "numerous cameras of predominantly Russian TV channels".





John Kerry: Russian troop movement is a "brazen act of aggression"


Earlier, Ukrainian naval officers found their headquarters in Sevastopol occupied by Russian troops and were unable to go to work.

Admiral Yuriy Ilyn, who was until recently commander of the Ukrainian navy and served briefly as head of Ukraine's armed forces under ousted President Viktor Yanukovych, told the BBC's Christian Fraser at the scene that the armed forces were "hostages of the situation".

Separately, Ukraine withdrew coast guard vessels from two ports in Crimea and moved them to other bases in the Black Sea and Sea of Azov on Sunday.

Several Ukrainian army bases were surrounded by Russian troops on Sunday but there were no reports of clashes despite the refusal of Ukrainian soldiers to open their gates


BBC News - New head of Ukraine's navy defects in Crimea
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Old 03-03-2014, 01:27 AM   #43 (permalink)
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Essay by former ambassador Jack Matlock lays things out fairly and clearly as well as providing some important perspectives, so I thought I'd pass it on. He ends it rather well, I think.

Ukraine: The Price of Internal Division | JackMatlock.com
With all of the reports coming out of Ukraine, Moscow, Washington, and European capitals, the mutual accusations, the knee-jerk speculation, and—not least—the hysterical language of some observers, bordering on the apocalyptic, it is difficult to keep in mind the long-term implications of what is happening. Nevertheless, I believe that nobody can understand the likely outcomes of what is happening unless they bear in mind the historical, geographic, political and psychological factors at play in these dramatic events. The view of most of the media, whether Russian or Western, seems to be that one side or the other is going to “win” or “lose” Ukraine.


I believe that is fundamentally mistaken. If I were Ukrainian I would echo the immortal words of the late Walt Kelly’s Pogo: “We have met the enemy and he is us.” The fact is, Ukraine is a state but not yet a nation. In the 22-plus years of its independence, it has not yet found a leader who can unite its citizens in a shared concept of Ukrainian identity. Yes, Russia has interfered, but it is not Russian interference that has created Ukrainian disunity but rather the haphazard way the country was assembled from parts that were not always mutually compatible. To the flaw at the inception of an independent Ukraine, one must add the baleful effects of the Soviet Communist heritage both Russia and Ukraine have inherited.

A second mistake people make is to assume that when a given government adopts a particular policy that policy is in the true interest of that country. In fact, as often as not, policies made in the heat of emotion, by leaders who feel personally challenged by opponents, are more likely to be counterproductive than supportive of a country’s true interest. Political leaders are not computers weighing costs and benefits or risks and rewards in objective fashion. They are human beings endowed with their full share of human weaknesses, including especially vanity, pride and the felt necessity of maintaining appearances, whatever the reality.

Some Basics

1. The current territory of the Ukrainian state was assembled, not by Ukrainians themselves but by outsiders, and took its present form following the end of World War II. To think of it as a traditional or primordial whole is absurd. This applies a fortiori to the two most recent additions to Ukraine—that of some eastern portions of interwar Poland and Czechoslovakia, annexed by Stalin at the end of the war, and the largely Russian-speaking Crimea, which was transferred from the RSFSR well after the war, when Nikita Khrushchev controlled the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Since all constituent parts of the USSR were ruled from Moscow, it seemed at the time a paper transfer of no practical significance. (Even then, the city of Sevastopol, the headquarters of the Black Sea Fleet, was subordinated directly to Moscow, not Kiev.) Up to then, the Crimea had been considered an integral part of Russia since Catherine “the Great” conquered it in the 18th century.
2. The lumping together of people with strikingly different historical experience and comfortable in different (though closely related) languages, underlies the current divisions. That division, however, is not clear-cut as it was, for example, between the Czech lands and Slovakia, which made a civilized divorce practical. If one takes Galicia and adjoining provinces in the west on the one hand and the Donbas and Crimea in the east and south on the other as exemplars of the extremes, the areas in between are mixed, proportions gradually shifting from one tradition to the other. There is no clear dividing line, and Kyiv/Kiev would be claimed by both.

3. Because of its history, geographical location, and both natural and constructed economic ties, there is no way Ukraine will ever be a prosperous, healthy, or united country unless it has a friendly (or, at the very least, non-antagonistic) relationship with Russia.

4. Russia, as any other country would be, is extremely sensitive about foreign military activity adjacent to its borders. It has signaled repeatedly that it will stop at nothing to prevent NATO membership for Ukraine. (In fact, most Ukrainians do not want it.) Nevertheless, Ukrainian membership in NATO was an avowed objective of the Bush-Cheney administration and one that has not been categorically excluded by the Obama Administration.

5. A wise Russian leadership (something one can no more assume that one can a wise U.S. or European leadership) could tolerate a Ukraine that modernizes its political and economic systems in cooperation with the European Union so long as (1) this is not seen as having an anti-Russian basis; (2) Russian-speaking citizens are granted social, cultural and linquistic equality with Ukrainians, and (3) most important of all, that the gradual economic integration with Europe will not lead to Ukraine becoming a member of NATO.

6. So far, Ukrainian nationalists in the west have been willing to concede none of these conditions, and the United States has, by its policies, either encouraged or condoned attitudes and policies that have made them anathema to Moscow. This may be grossly unfair, but it is a fact.

So where does this leave us? Some random thoughts:

a. It has been a mistake for all the parties, those in Ukraine and those outside, to treat this crisis as a contest for control of Ukraine.
b. Obama’s “warning” to Putin was ill-advised. Whatever slim hope that Moscow might avoid overt military intervention in Ukraine disappeared when Obama in effect threw down a gauntlet and challenged him. This was not just a mistake of political judgment—it was a failure to understand human psychology—unless, of course, he actually wanted a Russian intervention, which is hard for me to believe.
c. At this moment it is not clear, at least to me, what the ultimate Russian intent is. I do not believe it is in Russia’s interest to split Ukraine, though they may want to detach the Crimea from it—and if they did, they would probably have the support of the majority of Crimean residents. But they may simply wish to bolster the hand of their friends in Eastern Ukraine in negotiations over the new power structure. At the very least, they are signaling that they will not be deterred by the United States from doing what they consider necessary to secure their interests in the neighborhood.
d. Ukraine is already shattered de facto, with different groups in command of the various provinces. If there is any hope of putting it together again, there must be cooperation of all parties in forming a coalition at least minimally acceptable to Russia and the Russian-speaking Ukrainian citizens in the East and South. A federation with governors elected locally and not appointed by a winner-take-all president or prime minister would be essential. Real autonomy for Crimea will also be required.
e. Many important questions remain. One relates to the principle of “territorial integrity.” Yes, that is important, but it is not the only principle to consider. Russians would argue, with some substance in the argument, that the U.S. is interested in territorial integrity only when its interests are served. American governments have a record of ignoring it when convenient, as when it and its NATO allies violated Serbian territorial integrity by creating and then recognizing an independent Kosovo. Also, by supporting the separation of South Sudan from Sudan, Eritrea from Ethiopia, and East Timor from Indonesia.

So far as violating sovereignty is concerned, Russia would point out that the U.S. invaded Panama to arrest Noriega, invaded Grenada to prevent American citizens from being taken hostage (even though they had not been taken hostage), invaded Iraq on spurious grounds that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction, targets people in other countries with drones, etc., etc. In other words, for the U.S. to preach about respect for sovereignty and preservation of territorial integrity to a Russian president can seem a claim to special rights not allowed others.
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Old 03-03-2014, 09:06 AM   #44 (permalink)
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As I seem to remember, when the Ukraine gained independence it held the worlds 3rd biggest nuclear arsenal, it gave up these weapons given the assurance it's sovereignty would be protected by US, EU and not least Russia.

All sounds very familiar
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Old 03-03-2014, 09:31 AM   #45 (permalink)
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Payback time, and nothing wrong with what Putin is doing.

After all, Obama did ask Medvedev to tell Putin to back off and give him an easy ride till the second term elections, after which he would have an easier time selling the civilised world down the river.

I wonder how much difference it would have made to world events, if the America-hating, white-hating, Jew-hating Muslim Socialist knew the exchange was being recorded.
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Old 03-03-2014, 10:33 PM   #46 (permalink)
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Russia has now issued ultimatum to Ukraine's armed forces to surrender within 12 hours.
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Old 03-03-2014, 11:16 PM   #47 (permalink)
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Nuke Moscow.
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Old 03-03-2014, 11:48 PM   #48 (permalink)
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Former British ambassador also pens an essay making some of the same points as that of the former US ambassador above. Breath of fresh air in what has been a reflexively anti-Russian slant throughout western media discussions of the issue:

Ukraine crisis: No wonder Vladimir Putin says Crimea is Russian - Comment - Voices - The Independent
With irresponsible talk of EU and Nato membership, the West has badly mishandled relations with Ukraine – and with Moscow

Much recent comment on Ukraine in the British press has been marked by a barely forgivable ignorance about its history and politics, an overhasty willingness to put the blame for all its troubles on Vladimir Putin, and an almost total inability to suggest practical ways of bringing effective Western influence to bear on a solution.
So perhaps we should start with a short history lesson. A thousand years ago Kiev was the capital of an Orthodox Christian state called Rus with links reaching as far west as England. But Rus was swept away by the Tatars in the 13th century, leaving only a few principalities in the north, including an obscure town deep in the forests, called Moscow.

What became known as Ukraine – a Slav phrase meaning “borderlands” – was regularly fought over by Tatars, Poles, Lithuanians, Russians, Turks, Swedes and Cossacks. One large chunk, including Kiev itself, joined Russia in the 17th century. Galicia in the west fell to the Austrians in the following century, but was taken by Poland after the First World War, when the rest of Ukraine joined the Soviet Federation. Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin handed Galicia and its capital Lviv to Ukraine in 1945. All these changes were accompanied by much bloody fighting.

Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula followed a different but equally tumultuous path. The seat of a powerful and predatory Tatar state, it was conquered and settled by the Russians in the 18th century. Stalin deported its Tatar minority in 1944 because, he said, they had collaborated with the Germans. They were later allowed to return. Crimea only became part of Ukraine in 1954, when Khrushchev gave it to Kiev as a present.

Ukraine became an independent country for the first time since the Middle Ages when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. It had many of the requirements for success: an educated population, good links with the outside world and substantial industry, though its economy remained distorted by the Soviet legacy. But it was still divided, with an uncertain sense of nationhood. Today 77 per cent of the country’s population is Ukrainian. But 17 per cent is Russian, a third of the population speak Russian and many of these people have strong family ties with Russia. Only the Ukrainians from Galicia look unequivocally to the West.

Meanwhile, most Russians feel strong emotional links to Ukraine as the cradle of their civilisation. Even the most open minded feel its loss like an amputated limb.

Things started well enough. Russia and Ukraine negotiated a sensible agreement to allow the Russian Black Sea Fleet to remain in Crimea. With well-judged concessions, the Ukrainians assuaged the demands of Crimea’s Russian inhabitants for closer ties with the motherland. But the Ukrainians were unlucky in their country’s new leaders, most of whom were incompetent or worse. They failed to modernise the economy; corruption ran out of control. Then Putin arrived in 2000, ambitious to strengthen Russia’s influence with its neighbours. And the West began its ill-judged attempts to draw Ukraine into its orbit regardless of Russian sensitivities.

Despite his best efforts, both overt and covert, Putin has failed to shape Ukraine to his will. He got his puppet Yanukovych elected president in 2004, only to see him overthrown in an Orange Revolution supported by millions of dollars of Western money. The “democratic” leaders who then emerged proved incompetent as well as corrupt. Yanukovych was re-elected in a fair election in 2010, but was even more incompetent and corrupt. His forceful ejection at the height of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, intended to showcase a modern and powerful Russia, was a humiliation for Putin and an unintended consequence of his intrigues. He is a vindictive man who will want revenge.
Although he is also a cunning politician, he already looks incapable of calm calculation. His apparent threat – or intention – to use force in Crimea would up the stakes in ways whose consequences neither he nor anyone else can foresee.

He may of course believe that the West will be unable to find an adequate response, and he may not be wrong. Western policy towards Ukraine has had two inadequate parts. The first is respectable but merely rhetorical: Ukraine is entitled to decide its future for itself, and Russia has no legitimate claim to a voice. The second is a piece of old-fashioned geopolitics: Russia can never again become an imperial threat if Ukraine is incorporated into Nato and the European Union. This part of the policy is impractical to the point of irresponsibility. It ignores four things. The members of Nato and the EU have lost their appetite for further enlargement. Most Ukrainians do not want their country to join Nato, though they would be happy to join the EU. A majority want to remain on good terms with Russia.

Above all, the West does not have the instruments to impose its will. It has no intention of getting into a forceful confrontation with Russia. Lesser sanctions are available to it, both economic and political, but they will hardly be sufficient to deflect a determined Russia from its meddling.

The alternative is for the West to talk to the Russians and to whoever can speak with authority for Ukraine. So far the Americans have been ineffective on the sidelines, the British seem to have given up doing foreign policy altogether, and only the Germans, the Poles and the French have shown any capacity for action.

An eventual deal would doubtless have to include verifiable agreement by the West as well as the Russians to abandon meddling in Ukrainian affairs, a credible assurance that Nato will not try to recruit Ukraine and arrangements for the both the Russians and the West to prop up Ukraine’s disastrous economy. The sums involved are vast ($35bn has been mentioned). The task of ensuring that they are properly spent will be taxing in the extreme.

All that would involve much eating of words on all sides. It would enable the West to show that it can move beyond fine rhetoric about democracy to real deeds. It will be very hard to achieve. It may already be too late. But the alternatives are liable to be far worse.

Rodric Braithwaite was ambassador in Moscow in 1988-92. His last book was Afgantsy: The Russians in Afghanistan 1979-89
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Old 04-03-2014, 12:52 AM   #49 (permalink)
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Nuke Moscow.
I would like to see anyone doing that. Russia still have biggest nuke supplies in the world and it was not so aggressive in it's tactics as US was all the time... they there more in to defending themselves.

So, payback from Russia would be so-o-o... painful.
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Old 04-03-2014, 12:55 AM   #50 (permalink)
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Russia has now issued ultimatum to Ukraine's armed forces to surrender within 12 hours.
Check your sources mate. According to this it's fake.
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