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Russia preps for WWIII against US...or maybe not...Hegelian Dialectic?

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September 24, 2017, 10:45:16 pm Psalm 51:17 says: The specific rule pertaining to the national anthem is found on pages A62-63 of the league rulebook. It states: “The National Anthem must be played prior to every NFL game, and all players must be on the sideline for the National Anthem. “During the National Anthem, players on the field and bench area should stand at attention, face the flag, hold helmets in their left hand, and refrain from talking. The home team should ensure that the American flag is in good condition. It should be pointed out to players and coaches that we continue to be judged by the public in this area of respect for the flag and our country. Failure to be on the field by the start of the National Anthem may result in discipline, such as fines, suspensions, and/or the forfeiture of draft choice(s) for violations of the above, including first offenses.”
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September 11, 2017, 06:59:33 am Psalm 51:17 says: The law of reaping and sowing. It's amazing how God's mercy and longsuffering has hovered over America so long. (ie, the infrastructure is very bad here b/c for many years, they were grossly underspent on. 1st Tim 6:10, the god of materialism has its roots firmly in the West) And remember once upon a time ago when shacking up b/w straight couples drew shock awe?

Exodus 20:5  Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
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Author Topic: Russia preps for WWIII against US...or maybe not...Hegelian Dialectic?  (Read 10714 times)
FervorForFaith
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« Reply #180 on: March 20, 2014, 08:26:47 pm »


11.30 In Germany, where Chancellor Angela Merkel has adopted a more cautious stance on sanctions against Russia than has Prime Minister David Cameron, opinion polls suggest much of the public agree with her. Tony Paterson reports from Berlin for the Telegraph:

Opinion polls have shown that 75 per cent of Germans fear that economic sanctions against Russia could have a negative impact on their economy and jobs. The Forsa polling organisation found that Germans “greatly feared” that sanctions would hit energy resources. Russia provides a third of Germany’s gas and oil supplies.

Forty four percent of Germans want their government to resolve the crisis by diplomatic means whereas 25 percent backed the idea of economic sanctions, according to Forsa.

The organisation also found that many Germans were not convinced that Crimea belonged to Ukraine rather than Russia. Seventy five percent of those polled thought that President Vladimir Putin was “power hungry, clever and strong”.

The Forschungsgruppe Wahlen public opinion research group found that many Germans thought that because the United States had in the past broken international law, Russia’s actions in the Crimea could not be so easily condemned. Sixty percent of those polled doubted that President Obama could solve the crisis.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/ukraine/10707473/Ukraine-crisis-live.html

Find this part kind of interesting.

I know this is kind of "mainstream" theory, but if Gog/Magog in Ezekiel 38 actually is Russia and Gomer is Germany, that is starting to make sense and take shape now.
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« Reply #181 on: March 20, 2014, 09:16:47 pm »

http://news.yahoo.com/did-russia-dump-u-bonds-094500329--politics.html
Did Russia Dump Its U.S. Bonds?
3/20/14

The conflict between the U.S. and Russia over the Ukraine is escalating rapidly. But the warfare is mostly rhetorical and financial.

Earlier this month, after the U.S moved to impose sanctions on top Russian officials and bar Russia from the G-8, Russia’s stock market plummeted and the value of its currency, the ruble, fell against the dollar. In response, Putin adviser Serge Glazyev said Russia would strike back through financial means. “We hold a decent amount of Treasury bonds—more than $200 billion—and if the United States dares to freeze accounts of Russian businesses and citizens, we can no longer view America as a reliable partner,”  Glazyev said earlier this month, per this Barron’s report. “We will encourage everybody to dump U.S. Treasury bonds, get rid of dollars as an unreliable currency, and leave the U.S. market.”

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And new data released this week suggests there might be some action behind this rhetoric.

Here’s what happened: Russia’s central bank, like every other, has a lot of dollars. It’s not because we have a huge trade relationship, but rather because people around the world pay for oil—one of Russia’s main exports—in the U.S. currency. “They get paid for their oil in dollars,” said David Solin, a partner at Foreign Exchange Analytics in Essex, Connecticut. Russia takes those dollars and buys safe U.S. government bonds. Those bonds in turn are held in custody accounts at the New York Federal Reserve Bank in lower Manhattan. The Fed keeps the account secure and makes sure investors get their interest payments. (Many foreign central banks also keep their gold in the basement of the New York Fed.)

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Every Wednesday afternoon, the Fed releases data showing the aggregate amount of Treasury securities that sits in those account. And typically, they rise over time. Because the U.S. runs deficits, it creates hundreds of billions of government bonds every year. And foreign central banks are reliable buyers of this debt. Over the course of the 2013, the sum rose from $2.885 trillion to about $3.02 trillion, an increase of about $130 billion.

But in the last couple of weeks, there’s been a sharp, unexpected drop in the amount of U.S. government bonds the Fed is holding for foreign accounts. From $3.02 trillion in December, the total fell to $2.973 trillion on February 26, to $2.959 trillion on March 5, and $2.855 trillion on March 12. That’s a decline of $104 billion in one week, or 3.5 percent, and a fall of $118 billion in two weeks. According to the Wall Street Journal, total foreign Treasury holdings at the Fed are at a 15-month low. (The releases can be seen here.)

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That’s anomalous.

The New York Fed doesn’t divulge information on individual accounts and countries, and won’t comment. But the Treasury Department’s Treasury International Capital system tallies foreign ownership of U.S. debt by country. In January, Russia, according to this data, had about $165 billion in U.S. government bonds. Unfortunately, TIC reports have a six-week time lag. So we won’t get data on Russia’s March holdings until two months from now.

READ MORE Russia: Release Ukrainian Hostage

Now, the decline in custody holdings over the last couple of months is roughly equal to Russia’s holdings as of January. And no other central bank has announced a dramatic shift in its holdings of U.S. government debt.

That leaves two possibilities. Either Russia sold the bonds, and converted the cash back into rubles, Euros, or another currency. Or, it simply moved the bonds away from the Fed to a different custodial account—in Russia, or in the Cayman Islands, or in some offshore banking center where it would be impossible for the U.S. to freeze it.

READ MORE Ukraine Preps Crimea Evacuation

Analysts say the latter seems more likely. “It all points to a transfer to custodial holdings offshore, rather than a sale,” said Win Thin, global emerging markets at Brown Brothers Harriman in New York. “If the Russians had dumped the bonds, you would have seen more of a reaction in the bond market.” But over the last couple of weeks, Treasury yields have remained very low.

We would have also expected for a huge sale to create a big ripple in the currency markets. Selling a lot of dollar-denominated assets and converting them into rubles or other currencies would have had the effect of strengthening the ruble against the dollar, notes David Solin of Foreign Exchange Analytics. Instead, the ruble has weakened significantly against the dollar in recent weeks.

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Whether Russia has sold its holdings or simply moved them out of reach of U.S. officials, it highlights two key points.

First, Russia can’t inflict much damage on the U.S. financially with rhetoric, or with unilateral action. Russia’s holdings are a small portion of the amount of debt outstanding. China ($1.2 trillion) and Japan ($1.1 trillion) each have six times as many Treasury holdings as Russia. Brazil, Taiwan, and Switzerland, also have more than Russia. Russia accounts for only three percent of total foreign holdings of U.S. debt.

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Second, any move that actually hurts the dollar would wind up hurting Russia sooner rather than later. Because there’s no way Putin can foreswear using the greenback. Despite the war of words, Russia continues to harvest dollars thanks to its continuing sales of oil. “It’s really hard for Russia to move away from the dollar,” said Win Thin of Brown Brothers Harriman. “It’s just the way their economy is.”
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« Reply #182 on: March 20, 2014, 09:45:21 pm »

Merkel declares G8 defunct; Europe scrambles to replace Russian gas

posted at 5:21 pm on March 20, 2014 by Bruce McQuain

http://hotair.com/archives/2014/03/20/merkel-declares-g8-defunct-europe-scrambles-to-replace-russian-gas/


German Chancellor Angela Merkel has declared the G8 to be dead, thanks to Russia’s take over of the Crimea:

German Chancellor Angela Merkel declared the Group of Eight leading nations defunct given the current crisis in Ukraine, in a clear message to Russia that the world’s seven other major industrialized countries consider its actions in Ukraine unacceptable. “As long as there is no political environment for such an important political format as the G-8, the G-8 doesn’t exist anymore, not the summit nor the format,” said Ms. Merkel, in Germany’s parliament, the Bundestag. “Russia is widely isolated in all international organizations,” the chancellor said.

Ah, yes, the old “isolated in all international organizations” gambit.  And what have all the “international organizations” done in reaction to Russia’s Crimean takeover?  About what they did when Russia pushed into Georgia.  A whole lot of nothing. It is one thing to have international organizations that have teeth and are willing to do something in reaction to such a blatant act.  But when they mostly issue statements condeming the action and void the Netflix accounts of certain Russian officals, being isolated from those organizations isn’t such a big deal.  All it does is make further diplomatic efforts more difficult, not that it is clear that Russia is open to diplomatic overtures.

Another thing that is happening is Europe is discovering it has managed to put itself in an energy situation that isn’t at all to its advantage.  30% of Europe’s natural gas flows through Russian pipelines (Germany gets 40% of its natural gas supplies from Russia).

So the scramble is purportedly on to change that situation.

European leaders will seek ways to cut their multi-billion-dollar dependence on Russian gas at talks in Brussels on Thursday and Friday, while stopping short of severing energy ties with Moscow for now. EU officials said the current Ukraine crisis had convinced many in Europe that Russia was no longer reliable and the political will to end its supply dominance had never been greater. “Everyone recognises a major change of pace is needed on the part of the European Union,” one EU official said on condition of anonymity. As alternatives to imported gas, the Brussels talks will debate the European Union’s “indigenous supplies”, which include renewable energy and shale gas.

Now, one would think that such a situation would call for drastic and speedy action.  Anyone want to bet how long they dither and, should they decide to exploit their “indigenous supplies”, how onerous the rules and regulations will be?

When leaders of the European Union’s member states meet today and tomorrow (20-21 March) in Brussels, they hope to reach consensus on the EU’s long-term climate goals. But agreement appears unlikely because of deep divisions between east and west. Ahead of the summit, ministers from 13 member states signed a declaration supporting a European Commission proposal for an EU commitment to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 40% from 1990 levels by 2030 – up from a 20% target set for 2020. This ‘green growth group’ includes France, Germany, Italy and the UK. But Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia are wary of the target and the timeline, and are resisting any such commitment.

The latter group will most likely be all for moving ahead as speedily as possible to exploit “indigenous supplies”.  They’ll meet some pretty stiff headwinds, apparently, from the Western EU nations. You can almost see this train wreck coming.

Meanwhile in the pursuit of “green energy”, Europe is apparently ready to toss in the towel:

Governments across Europe, regretting the over-generous deals doled out to the renewable energy sector, have begun reneging on them. To slow ruinous power bills hikes, governments are unilaterally rewriting contracts and clawing back unseemly profits.

You have to laugh.  ”Unseemly profits”?  They’re subsidies, sir.  Not profit
.

It’ll be interesting to see if the EU has the will to sort this all out in the next couple of days.  If one is a betting person, you’d have to guess that the odds for success are long, given the EU’s recent history.
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« Reply #183 on: March 20, 2014, 09:50:29 pm »

Hitlers daughter is in for a world of hurt...
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« Reply #184 on: March 21, 2014, 02:53:24 pm »

How Obama Crippled a Russian Bank with a Stroke of a Pen
3/21/14
http://news.yahoo.com/obama-crippled-russian-bank-stroke-100000133.html

He may not take shirtless horseback rides across the steppes, or have a black belt in judo, but on Thursday, President Obama sent a message to Russian president Vladimir Putin about strength. Specifically, economic strength.

The message was this: Whenever I decide to, I can pick up a pen, and kill a significant financial institution in your country.

Obama’s victim was the St. Petersburg-based Bank Rossiya.

In response to Russia’s takeover of the Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula, Obama yesterday authorized the Treasury Department to add 20 members of Putin’s inner circle, as well as Bank Rossiya, to the Office of Foreign Asset Control’s list of “specially designated nationals.”

The designation makes the individuals named ineligible to do business with U.S. financial institutions, which is likely a major personal inconvenience. But for Bank Rossiya, the designation is something like the kiss of death.

Bank Rossiya is not the largest bank in Russia by a long shot, but its significance lies in its clientele rather than its size. In announcing the sanctions, the Treasury Department noted that Bank Rossiya “is the personal bank for senior officials of the Russian Federation” including members of the Ozero Dacha Cooperative, an exclusive community where members of Putin’s inner circle live. In addition, it provides financial services to the single largest segment of the Russian economy – the oil, gas, and energy sector.


Essentially, this is a credit union for oligarchs, with a side business in financing the Russian energy industry. Its customers include many more high-profile Russians than just those named in the Treasury statement. As of Thursday it is, for all intents and purposes, out of business.

If account holders want to do any kind of business at all short of paying their utility bills and using Russian ATMs, they are going to need to go elsewhere, said experts.

“They’ve got to go to another bank,” said Lester M. Joseph, former principal deputy chief of the Department of Justice’s Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering section. “That bank is pretty much a pariah.”

Currently the international investigations manager at Wells Fargo Bank, Joseph said when heard about the sanctions on Bank Rossiya, the first thing he did was check to see if it was a customer of his institution. “It is not, thankfully,” he said.

The impact doesn’t stop there, Joseph explained. His next step, which is ongoing, is to see if any banks that Wells Fargo has relationships with are also doing business with Bank Rossiya, and to make sure that none of those banks are routing transactions from the Russian bank through Wells Fargo’s system. “If a transaction from that bank is coming from another bank, we would have to block it,” he said.

Joseph said that every other bank in the U.S. is – or ought to be – doing exactly the same thing.

Considering the volume of international wire transfers that flow through the systems of U.S. banks, he said, this essentially shuts down Bank Rossiya’s access to a huge portion of the worldwide banking system.

As one U.S. official told Reuters, Bank Rossiya will be “frozen out of the dollar.”

And it only gets worse.

Even if governments in other countries don’t join the U.S. in sanctions against Bank Rossiya, their bankers will have a very strong incentive to stop doing business with the Russian bank if they have any ties at all to U.S. institutions – which virtually all significant international banks do.

“If they are doing business with that bank, and they are also doing business in the United States, if something slips through,” then suddenly they’re facing U.S. regulatory action, said Robert Rowe, vice president and senior counsel for the American Bankers Association. International wire traffic is voluminous and largely automated, he said, making it easier for an international bank to simply stop doing business with Bank Rossiya rather than trying to route transactions associated with it away from the U.S.

Rowe said this would affect not only individuals who do their banking at Bank Rossiya, but perhaps more importantly, the oil and gas companies that arrange their trade financing through the bank.

“That’s where it’s going to have an impact,” said Rowe.

Banking experts said that one of the uncertainties surrounding yesterday’s move is how Russia will respond. The Russian government immediately released a widely mocked list of U.S. officials whom it said would be blocked from doing business in Russia.

Politicians named on the list rushed to Twitter to boast about being sanctioned and to leave sarcastic comments about being forced to forgo vacations in Siberia.

However, according to John Byrne, executive vice president of the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists – a trade group for bankers and law enforcement professionals who deal with issues including OFAC compliance – that’s likely not the end of it.

“There’s no question these sanctions are an appropriate and effective national security tool, he said, “but this is a country that can fight back.”

How Russia reacts to the sanctions, Byrne said, will be closely watched by the financial community. And that reaction is by no means predictable. In general, major industrialized countries don’t try to shut down each other’s financial institutions without evidence of blatant illegal activity – which does not appear to exist in the case of Bank Rossiya.

“This is a new thing,” said Joseph. “It’s not a rogue bank. It’s a bank in a country where we do a lot of business. It’s not involved in a criminal case.” Compared to other actions by past administrations, he said, “It’s much more complex.”

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« Reply #185 on: March 22, 2014, 02:53:18 pm »

http://apnews.myway.com/article/20140321/DACMAED00.html
3/21/14
Crimea goes east, Ukraine goes west in 2 new deals

BRUSSELS (AP) - Two almost simultaneous signatures Friday on opposite sides of Europe deepened the divide between East and West, as Russia formally annexed Crimea and the European Union pulled Ukraine closer into its orbit.

In this "new post-Cold War order," as the Ukrainian prime minister called it, besieged Ukrainian troops on the Crimean Peninsula faced a critical choice: leave, join the Russian military or demobilize. Ukraine was working on evacuating its outnumbered troops in Crimea, but some said they were still awaiting orders.

With fears running high of clashes between the two sides or a grab by Moscow for more of Ukraine, the chief of the U.N. came to the capital city Kiev and urged calm all around.

All eyes were on Russian President Vladimir Putin, as they have been ever since pro-Western protests drove out Ukraine's president a month ago, angering Russia and plunging Europe into its worst crisis in a generation.

Putin sounded a conciliatory note Friday, almost joking about U.S. and EU sanctions squeezing his inner circle and saying he saw no reason to retaliate. But his government later warned of further action.

Russia's troubled economic outlook may drive its decisions as much as any outside military threat. Stocks sank further, and a possible downgrade of

Russia's credit rating loomed. Visa and MasterCard stopped serving two Russian banks, and Russia conceded it may scrap plans to tap international markets for money this year.

more
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« Reply #186 on: March 22, 2014, 03:24:54 pm »

http://news.yahoo.com/russia-demands-ukraine-pay-back-11-billion-000927311.html
Russia demands Ukraine pay back $11 billion
3/20/14

Moscow (AFP) - Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Friday demanded Ukraine pay back $11 billion that he said Kiev had saved through discounted gas prices in return for hosting a Russian naval base in Crimea.

Ukraine owes the money because Crimea is now part of Russia and the two countries' 2010 lease agreement was now "subject to annulment," Medvedev said at a meeting of the Security Council.

"The Ukrainian state saved some $11 billion dollars and accordingly the Russian budget has a missed profit of the same $11 billion," he warned.

Soon after coming to power in 2010, then president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, agreed to extend the lease on Russia's Black Sea fleet in Crimea that was due to expire in 2017 for 25 years, until 2042.

In return, Moscow agreed to cut natural gas prices for Ukraine by $100 for every 1,000 cubic metres
.

According to Moscow, Ukraine has been receiving the discount since 2010 even though the new lease agreement was not to enter force before 2017.

This week Russia officially made Crimea part of its territory despite condemnation from Kiev authorities and the West.

Medvedev, who signed off on the agreement with Yanukovych in his capacity as president in 2010, said it would be "absolutely legitimate" to seek the return of the money through courts even though he acknowledged such measures would be "tough".

He put Ukraine's total debt to Russia at $16 billion.

"I believe that we cannot lose such money taking into account the fact that our budget is also struggling," Medvedev said in comments released by the Kremlin.

Ties between Moscow and Kiev plunged to unprecedented lows after the Kremlin sent troops to Crimea following a popular uprising that ousted Yanukovych last month.

Washington introduced sanctions against Putin's close allies and urged Moscow to reconsider its takeover of Crimea.

Kommersant business daily reported earlier Friday that if the fleet agreement was annulled, Ukraine would end up paying up to $480 per 1,000 cubic metres for natural gas, the highest price of any of gas giant Gazprom's clients in Europe.

The expected gas price hike will deal a huge blow to Ukraine's struggling economy and is likely to exacerbate the raging political crisis
.

End-of-the-year haggling over energy prices has become a familiar problem in bilateral ties, with Russia repeatedly cutting gas supplies to Ukraine and Europe over the past few years.
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« Reply #187 on: March 22, 2014, 04:01:59 pm »

Pro-Russian forces storm Ukrainian base in Crimea
http://news.yahoo.com/pro-russian-forces-storm-ukrainian-crimea-161626492.html
3/22/14

BELBEK AIR BASE, Crimea (AP) — Ukraine's armed forces took what may prove to be one of their final stands Saturday in Crimea, as pro-Russian forces stormed and seized control of an air force base amid a barrage of gunfire and explosions.

A tense blockade of the Belbek air base base that has endured for more than a week looked set for an inevitable culmination following the seizure of one Ukrainian-held military facility after another in recent days.

It was the last major Ukrainian military facility in Crimea to fall into the hands of pro-Russian forces. The Ukrainian Defense Ministry hasn't provided details of how many bases it still controls on the peninsula.

Crimea residents voted last week to secede from Ukraine and join Russia — a process that was formalized this week with the blessing of President Vladimir Putin. The vote, which was held under condition akin to martial law under the gaze of apparently Moscow-led militia forces, has been rejected as illegitimate by the international community.

The assault on the Belbek base mirrored events at other Ukrainian-held military facilities on the peninsula in recent days.

In footage provided by the Ukrainian Defense ministry, a Russian-made BTR-80 armored personnel carrier could be seen smashing open a front gate at Belbek, a base across the bay from the port city of Sevastopol.

APCs crashed through walls at two other locations and were followed by armed personnel, who advanced in crouching position as they secured the area. Four BTR-80s were involved in the assault, Ukrainian officials said.

Ukrainian troops offered no resistance. Later, a separate motley group arrived at the scene. The crowd appeared to be made up of professional soldiers, members of a recently-formed militia unit and Cossacks.

The cause of the explosions wasn't immediately clear, although Ukrainian officials said they were stun grenades used to disperse any potential resistance.

Two ambulances arrived and then departed shortly after. Ukraine's Defense Ministry said one reporter and a Ukrainian soldier were injured in the raid.

After the takeover, Belbek base commander Col. Yuliy Mamchur called together his men, who sang the Ukrainian national anthem and then stood at ease. He then told his men to put their weapons in the base's armory.

A few hours before, Mamchur attended a wedding between two lieutenants serving at Belbek. Soldiers drank champagne and toasted the couple, despite the looming threat of a raid on the base.

Earlier, a crowd stormed the Novofedorivka base, about 50 kilometers (30 miles) west of Crimea's capital, Simferopol, Ukraine's Defense Ministry said.

Ukrainian television station TSN said troops inside the base hurled smoke grenades in an attempt to disperse groups of burly young men attempting to break through the front gates.

There were conflicting reports about whether the base was eventually taken over.

The Russian Defense Ministry says that as of late Friday, less than 2,000 of 18,000 Ukrainian servicemen in Crimea had "expressed a desire to leave for Ukraine." The ministry, however, stopped short of saying the remainder of the troops would serve in the Russian army.

No similar information has been forthcoming from Ukraine's authorities, who have been criticized by servicemen marooned in Crimea, some of whom have complained to media that they have been given no clear instructions on what they should be doing.

Elsewhere, more than 5,000 pro-Russia residents of a major city in Ukraine's east demonstrated in favor of holding a referendum similar to the one carried out in Crimea.

The apparent ease with which Russia has managed to take control over Crimea has ignited concerns for Ukraine's government that elements in the mainly Russian-speaking east will agitate for a similar move.

Russia has brought large military contingents to areas near the border with eastern Ukraine. Putin has said there is no intention to move into eastern Ukraine, but the prospect of violence between pro- and anti-secession groups in the east could be used as a pretext for sending in troops.

Valentina Matvienko, the speaker of the upper house of the Russian parliament and a close Putin ally, said Saturday there is no intention to absorb other regions of Ukraine, according to the ITAR-Tass news agency.

Eastern Ukraine is the heartland of Ukraine's economically vital heavy and mining industries. It's also the support base for Viktor Yanukovych, the Ukrainian president who fled to Russia last month after three months of protests in the capital, Kiev, triggered by his decision not to sign an agreement with the European Union.

Russia and Yanukovych supporters contend the former leader's ouster was a coup and allege that the authorities who then came to power are nationalists who would oppress the east's large ethnic Russian population.

"They're trying to tear us away from Russia," said demonstrator Igor Shapoval, a 59-year-old businessman. "But Donbass is ready to fight against this band which already lost Crimea and is losing in the east."

Donbass is the name for the region of factories and mines that includes Donetsk.

About an hour after the Donetsk rally began, the crowd marched through the city center and assembled before the regional administration building chanting: "Crimea! Donbass! Russia!"

Demonstrators waving Russian flags were faced off by lines of riot police. Inside, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier met with local officials.

"We heard that there is much desire to preserve Ukraine as a single state," he told reporters after the meeting.

The demonstrators erected several tents — an ironic echo of the huge tent camp that was established on Kiev's central square after the protests against Yanukovych broke out in late November.

"I'm ready to live in a tent, but I'm not ready to submit to the West, to dance to their tune," said Viktor Rudko, a 43-year-old miner.

The rally in Donetsk in the end dispersed without any disturbances. Another similar meeting is expected Sunday.

The local provincial parliament on Friday formed a working group to develop a referendum analogous to the one in Crimea. Activists on Saturday passed out mock ballots, although no referendum has been formally called.

A number of leading pro-Russian activists have already been detained by police on suspicion of fomenting secessionist activities. The country's security services said Saturday that they have arrested Mikhail Chumachenko, leader of the self-styled Donbass People's Militia, on suspicion of seeking to seize authority.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon met with Ukraine's acting Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk in Kiev on Saturday and said: "I am confident that with such strong support from the international community that you are receiving, under your leadership as well as with your courageous people, you will be able to overcome this difficult time."

Sanctions imposed this week by the U.S. and the European Union haven't persuaded Russia to back off on its intent to annex Crimea.

As tensions roil in the east, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe is deploying an observer team aimed at easing the crisis.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said in a statement on Friday that Moscow hopes that the 200-strong team "will help to overcome the internal Ukrainian crisis" and ensure the respect for human rights there.

It is unclear whether the team will be allowed into Crimea. Russian forces last week stopped OSCE military observers from entering Crimea. The organization on Friday didn't specify whether the observers will go to Crimea.

Lukashevich said Saturday that the OSCE's mission "will reflect the new political and legal order and will not cover Crimea and Sevastopol, which became part of Russia."

Sevastopol, a city in southwest Crimea, is the home of Russia's Black Sea Fleet.

Daniel Baer, the chief U.S. envoy to OSCE, said the observers should have access to the territory because Crimea remains Ukrainian to the rest of the world.
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« Reply #188 on: March 23, 2014, 12:00:45 am »

http://en.ria.ru/world/20140323/188673844/Ukraine-Closes-Border-with-Crimea.html
Ukraine Closes Border with Crimea
3/23/14

MOSCOW, March 23 (RIA Novosti) - Ukrainian border guards closed the exit from the Republic of Crimea, local authorities said on Saturday.

The office of the Crimean Federal District, which was established by President Vladimir Putin on Friday, said that even Ukrainian servicemen who wanted to leave Crimea could not cross the border.

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, only 2,000 out of 18,000 Ukrainian troops serving in Crimea decided to leave the peninsula.

"The obvious purpose of this provocation is to accuse the Crimean authorities of not letting people out and create tensions in the border area," the office of the Crimean Federal District said.

Putin signed a decree on Friday to ratify the treaty providing for the reunification of the Crimean Peninsula with Russia.

Leaders in the predominantly Russian-ethnic republic refused to recognize the legitimacy of the government in Kiev that came to power amid often violent protests last month, instead seeking reunification with Russia.
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« Reply #189 on: March 23, 2014, 08:33:51 pm »

Ukraine says top commander held after base stormed
http://news.msn.com/world/ukraine-says-top-commander-held-after-base-stormed
3/23/14

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — A Ukrainian air force commander is being held after his base in Crimea was stormed by pro-Russian forces, and the acting president called for his release Sunday.

Col. Yuliy Mamchur is the commander of the Belbek Air Force base near Sevastopol, which was taken over Saturday by forces who sent armored personnel carriers smashing through the base's walls and fired shots and stun grenades. One Ukrainian serviceman was reported wounded in the clash.

It was unclear if the forces, who didn't bear insignia, were Russian military or local pro-Russia militia.

Ukraine President Oleksandr Turchynov, in a statement, said Mamchur was "abducted" by the forces. He didn't specify where Mamchur is believed to be held.

However, prominent politician Vitali Klitschko said Sunday that Mamchur is being held by the Russian military in a jail in Sevastopol, the Crimean city that is the base of Russia's Black Sea Fleet.

Klitschko was one of the leaders of the three months of protests in Ukraine that culminated in late February with President Viktor Yanukovych fleeing the country and interim authorities taking power before a May 25 presidential election. The protests were triggered by Yanukovych's decision to reject a deal for closer ties with the European Union and turn to Moscow instead.

Yanukovych's ouster was denounced by Russia and much of Ukraine's ethnic Russian population as a coup. Soon thereafter, Russian forces took control of Crimea and the region held a referendum to break off from Ukraine and join Russia.

Russia formally annexed Crimea last week, a move that Western countries say is illegitimate. The U.S. and the EU have imposed sanctions on Russia in the dispute, but Moscow appears unmoved.

On Sunday, the Russian Defense Ministry said the Russian flag was now flying over 189 military facilities in Crimea. It didn't specify whether any Ukrainian military operations there remained under Ukrainian control.

At a Ukrainian marines base in Feodosia, troops were negotiating with Russian forces on handing over the base, Lt. Anatoly Mozgovoi told The Associated Press. The marines were loading 50-caliber machine guns into armored personnel carriers to take them to the base armory, but Mozgovoi said they hope to hold on to heavy weapons such as rocket-propelled grenades and cannon.

"I think from my personal opinion, the Russian Federation has enough weapons," he said.

In Donetsk, one of the major cities in eastern Ukraine, about 5,000 people demonstrated in favor of holding a referendum on secession and absorption into Russia.

Eastern Ukraine is the country's industrial heartland and was Yanukovych's support base. Donetsk authorities on Friday formed a working group to hold a referendum, but no date for it has been set.

Russia has deployed thousands of troops in its regions near the Ukrainian border and concerns are high that it could use unrest in the east as a pretext for crossing the border.

On Sunday, Russian deputy defense minister Anatoly Antonov was quoted by Russian news agencies as saying the number of Russian troops in the area of the Ukrainian border does not exceed international treaty limits.

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« Reply #190 on: March 24, 2014, 09:56:20 am »

Find this part kind of interesting.

I know this is kind of "mainstream" theory, but if Gog/Magog in Ezekiel 38 actually is Russia and Gomer is Germany, that is starting to make sense and take shape now.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/why-germany-poland-winners-ukraine-091500097.html
3/23/14
Why Germany and Poland Are Winners in the Ukraine Crisis

Russia is winning the Ukraine crisis.  While Moscow may have suffered some economic sanctions, the world saw a disobedient Russian neighbor being forcibly brought to heel.  The land grab was no doubt designed to encourage the others—Estonia, Latvia, Hungary, Georgia – all those unfortunates who live nearby.  And it will.

There are other winners, even on the side of the somewhat hapless angels. Like Germany, which is currently less an angel, and Poland, which is currently more.  Before taking a mildly more aggressive position on sanctions Friday, Germany had been the least enthusiastic major European power about aggressively confronting Russia. Part of this is due to Germany’s oil and gas imports, over a third of which comes from Russia and its other economic ties to the east.  It’s not all economics, though: while money plays a part, power plays a bigger one.

Since both its unifications, Germany has been the strongest European power in a difficult geographic position, surrounded by a stronger Russia and weaker France and Britain. It has usually thus played off one side against the other, in a foreign policy that was neither East nor West but neutralist.

In 1922, for example, post-WWI Germany extended diplomatic recognition to Bolshevik Russia, the first major power to do so. The Rapallo agreement led to secret German-Soviet military cooperation that evaded the treaty’s prohibitions on remilitarization. Later, West German Chancellor Willi Brandt’s controversial Ostpolitik in the 1960s and 70s famously favored closer relations with the USSR, rattling some NATO members.

Berlin’s behavior over the Ukraine is thus a potential reversion to its traditional East-West behavior.  Chancellor Angela Merkel will punish Putin when he gets too aggressive, but probably slower and less than her eastern or western neighbors would like.  Unless he pushes her too far, as he might now have. But because Germany has solidified its political leadership of Europe by financing away the debt crisis, Europe can’t really react until Berlin does.

Poland also wins, but in a slightly different way.  Since the minor crisis in Maidan Square turned into a major crisis in Crimea, Poland has repeatedly and loudly called for stronger action against Russia and its minions.

It’s no wonder.  Poland, as a nation, is a historical trauma case, as close to a collective PTSD state as a people can be. It’s flat, with no natural borders, and is rivaled only by Korea for its frequent geopolitical catastrophes. Like Korea, it lives in a terrible neighborhood, bookended between a baleful Russia and a less baleful but somehow even less reassuring Germany. And thus for long periods of history, Poland has disappeared entirely from the map.

Russia’s behavior in the Ukraine thus set off the usual alarm bells in Warsaw.  During Vice President Joe Biden’s visit to Poland on Tuesday, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk repeated Poland’s stand: “It is a challenge for the whole world…It is not just Poland, but all of Europe must speak in a strong voice.”

Europe won’t, thanks partially to Germany, but also to the Western European states which don’t really want a serious conflict over ethnic Russians in the Crimea.  US help to Poland has also been minimal--a visiting fighter squadron, a few tankers, and some of Joe Biden’s thoughts about gas dependency.

It’s not perhaps overly reassuring, but then it wouldn’t be. Most alliances are negatively defined: they are coalitions against something.  NATO lost its core definition for the West in 1991.  Hence the growing disconnect with NATO’s eastern members, who thought the basic purpose of the alliance was to defend them against Russia.

For Poland, Hungary, and Latvia and the other Soviet punching bags there’s only Russia.  If NATO won’t defend them– if its bluff was just a bluff – well then, those states will take matters into their own hands.  One of the few benefits of a traumatic national upbringing is that you take power very seriously. And they have been thoroughly unimpressed by NATO’s response to Putin.

Because of Russia’s aggression, Poland now has the chance to expand its military power without alarming or incurring pushback from nearby states. It can act more according to its own interests, less muted by the EU, NATO, or the UN, and assume a more regionally assertive role with fewer costs.  Russia has given Poland carte blanche to become a regional power, and potentially the linchpin of an eastern coalition against Russia.

That would be an historic shift; Europe has not seen a major eastern European power since the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth almost five hundred years ago.  And nobody would deserve it more than Putin. Poland can thus come out of the Ukraine crisis a winner; not because the fates have been kind to it, for they never are, but because it can rise with near-impunity. It’s a self-help, tough-love kind of win, but that’s the only kind Poland ever gets.
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« Reply #191 on: March 24, 2014, 05:01:42 pm »

http://sports.yahoo.com/news/prokhorov-says-transferring-brooklyn-nets-ownership-russia-172007557--nba.html
3/24/14
Prokhorov says transferring Brooklyn Nets ownership to Russia

Moscow (AFP) - Russian billionaire businessman Mikhail Prokhorov, owner of the Brooklyn Nets basketball franchise, said Monday he was transferring its ownership to Russia.

As one of the richest Russians with assets abroad, Prokhorov could be vulnerable if the Western powers escalate economic sanctions against Russia over its takeover of Crimea.

"I am doing all that I can to own the basketball club through a Russian company," Prokhorov told journalists, quoted by the Interfax news agency.

Prokhorov is the principal owner of the Brooklyn Nets through his Onexim Sports & Entertainment holding, according to the team's website.

The Brooklyn Nets last year jumped in value 47 percent to $780 million, making it the fifth most valuable National Basketball Association club.

Asked if US sanctions imposed on Russia could affect his assets, Prokhorov said: "This question is not clear so far. We are all now looking at it together. At the moment, so far, no."

The billionaire tycoon and former presidential candidate has not been personally targeted by US sanctions over Crimea, which have blacklisted several billionaires closely linked to President Vladimir Putin.

Prokhorov said that the transfer of the team's ownership to Russia was an ongoing process.

"This process is going slowly. I have already said numerous times that I am gradually transferring the basketball club to Russian companies, according to the law."

Putin decorated Prokhorov on Monday over his contribution to the Sochi Winter Olympic games as the head of biathlon in Russia.

Prokhorov was estimated to be worth $10.4 billion by Forbes magazine this year.
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« Reply #192 on: March 25, 2014, 05:29:40 am »

Vladimir Putin Vows To Defend Christianity Worldwide

The representative of the Russian Orthodox Church has told Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin this week of the urgent situation Christians are facing around the world in persecution hot spots, and has asked him to use his power to aid their situations. RT online reported that Metropolitan Hilarion, foreign relation chief of the Russian Orthodox Church presented evidence and statistics that stated, “Every five minutes one Christian was dying for his or her faith in some part of the word.”

Christians face persecution in many nations; from church demolition in Afghanistan and bombings of churches in Iraq, to the violence against Christians taking place in rebellious towns in Syria.     

MORE: http://global.christianpost.com/news/vladimir-putin-vows-to-defend-christianity-worldwide-69002/

Of course they mean the Catholic church... Now where have i seen this before??  Huh hmmm... Catholic wants to defend all "christians" in the world through force... hmm, lets see here



Yep, there it is...
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« Reply #193 on: March 25, 2014, 05:34:40 am »

Dont worry, Putin is on it

Christians In Israel Ask EU To Stop ‘Christian Ethnic Cleansing’ In Arab Countries

150 Christian citizens of Israel demonstrated outside the European Union's delegation in Tel Aviv, against the EU's silence relative to what they termed “the ethnic cleansing of Christians throughout the Middle East.” The protesters demanded that the EU act for human rights and fight for the Christians throughout the Middle East, who are quickly becoming extinct except in Israel.

http://www.yourjewishnews.com/2014/03/n32026.html
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« Reply #194 on: March 25, 2014, 09:12:48 am »

And remember Rick Warren saying how he plans to amass a 1b man Christian "army" to transform the world. The "religious right" also has the same agendas as well.
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« Reply #195 on: March 25, 2014, 09:31:57 am »

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/178865#.UzFPlqhdVCw
Russia Booted from G8, More Sanctions Possible

Russia's membership in the G8 suspended in the latest response to its annexation of Crimea.


First Publish: 3/25/2014, 2:45 AM

The G8 group of leading industrialized nations became the G7 on Monday, as leaders decided to end Russia's role in the group, CNN reports.

The move to suspend Russia's membership in the G8 is the latest direct response from major countries allied against Russia's annexation of Crimea, the White House said in a statement quoted by the network.

"International law prohibits the acquisition of part or all of another state's territory through coercion or force," the White House said. "To do so violates the principles upon which the international system is built. We condemn the illegal referendum held in Crimea in violation of Ukraine's constitution.”

"We also strongly condemn Russia's illegal attempt to annex Crimea in contravention of international law and specific international obligations," added the White House.

Russia was apparently not concerned by the move, as Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said earlier in the day that being kicked out of G8 would be no big deal.

"G8 is an informal organization that does not give out any membership cards and, by its definition, cannot remove anyone," he said during a news conference.

"All the economic and financial questions are decided in G20, and G8 has the purpose of existence as the forum of dialogue between the leading Western countries and Russia," added Lavrov.

He added that Russia was "not attached to this format and we don't see a great misfortune if it will not gather. Maybe, for a year or two, it will be an experiment for us to see how we live without it."

An aide to British Prime Minister David Cameron confirmed to CNN that a group summit initially planned for June in Sochi, Russia, where the Winter Olympics were just held, is now off.

The United States and its allies in Europe are "united in imposing a cost on Russia for its actions so far," Obama said earlier in the Netherlands where he attended a nuclear security summit with other world leaders.

Western powers have imposed sanctions and other penalties against specific people in Russia close to President Vladimir Putin.

A senior Obama administration official told CNN that Obama and other leaders agreed that further steps to punish Russian President Vladimir Putin could include sanctions on energy, banking and defense sectors, all areas where Europe is deeply engaged economically with Russia.

Those additional sanctions could be prompted if Russia further escalates its incursion into Ukraine, which the official defined as sending troops beyond Crimea into the southern or eastern parts of the country. Violence in the contested peninsula could also trigger further sanctions.

Russian President Vladimir Putin completed drafting a bill to annex Crimea last Friday, thumbing his nose at EU and U.S. sanctions, and even drafting his own sanctions on top American senators.

Obama has come under fire from Republicans over his foreign policy which, they say, encouraged Putin to annex Crimea.

On Sunday, former presidential candidate Mitt Romney joined in the criticism, saying Obama could have taken more drastic steps to prevent the Russian invasion of Crimea.

Romney declared that Obama has been exhibiting "faulty judgment" and "naiveté" in dealing with the crisis in Ukraine, and noted that the President had slammed him during the 2012 presidential race for calling Russia the "number one geopolitical foe" of the U.S.
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« Reply #196 on: March 25, 2014, 09:38:27 am »

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., on Ukraine bill: 'In order for it to become law, the controversial IMF provision must be removed' - @elwasson

Actually you have to get rid of this... 

The Foreign Assistance Act mandates that the U.S. cut aid to any country “whose duly elected head of government is deposed by military coup or decree.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreign_Assistance_Act
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2013/07/03/law-says-the-u-s-is-required-to-cut-aid-after-coups-will-it/


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« Reply #197 on: March 25, 2014, 12:07:42 pm »

http://news.yahoo.com/russian-economy-grinding-halt-ukraine-crisis-takes-heavy-162649133--business.html
3/24/14
Russian economy grinding to a halt as Ukraine crisis takes heavy toll

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's economy is barely growing, inflation is rising fast, and capital is pouring out of the country, the Economy Ministry said on Monday, a sign that international tensions around Ukraine are already inflicting severe economic costs.

In February Russia's gross domestic product eked out growth of just 0.3 percent year-on-year, down from 0.7 percent in January, Russia's Deputy Economy Minister Andrei Klepach said.

Last year the economy grew by just 1.3 percent, far below initial forecasts, but there had been hopes that growth would rebound this year. Instead Russia's economic performance is deteriorating further as the international tensions around Ukraine lead capital to flee Russia.

Klepach said that when seasonal and calendar factors are taken into account, February's 0.3 percent was "not bad" and "better than expected."

But he added that "it's too soon to talk about a turn-around in economic trends, about a recovery from stagnation."

He said that the ministry anticipates GDP growth of "around zero" for the first quarter as a whole. That would make its 2.5 percent growth forecast for 2014 challenging.

"There won't be a recession, but there is a problem of stagnation: it's length and depth. Unfortunately the investment slump is continuing. I'm not ready to say how long it will continue," Klepach said.

INFLATION SPIKE

While Russia's economic growth slows, inflation is shooting up. The Economy Ministry expects inflation to reach 6.9-7.0 percent in March, up from 6.2 percent in February.

The sharp rise illustrates how a slumping rouble is feeding into higher import prices, as both Russians and foreigners scramble to get out of rouble investments
.

Klepach said that the Economy Ministry forecasts the net capital outflow during the first quarter at $65-70 billion - and "closer to $70 billion".

That compares with an outflow of $62.7 billion during the whole of 2013.

He said that Russia's economic indicators have been deteriorating, even though western sanctions against Russia have so far had only a minor economic impact, because cool relations between Russia and the West damage investor confidence.

"We considered in the forecast how the general deterioration of our relations with developed countries and world markets is having an influence," he said.

"Sanctions so far don't have a significant economic character, but in itself a worsening of relations is a significantly negative factor for economic growth and correspondingly influences the capital outflow."

(Writing by Jason Bush; Editing by Jeremy Gaunt)
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« Reply #198 on: March 26, 2014, 08:04:11 am »

In military rout, Russia seizes 51 Ukrainian ships in Crimea

 Shocked

In its invasion and annexation of Crimea, Russia has seized 51 vessels belonging to the Ukrainian navy, according to information compiled by Dmitry Tymchuk, director of the Center of Military and Political Research in Kyiv.

Among the Ukrainian vessels reportedly captured by the Russians are submarine Zaporizhia, management ship Slavutych, landing ship Konstantin Olshansky, landing ship Kirovohrad, minesweeper Chernihiv and minesweeper Cherkasy.

The Cherkasy was the last of the ships to have been overtaken following weeks of threats and ultimatums to surrender. It was finally chased down and overtaken by the Russian navy on March 25 after failing to slip past a blockade of two ships intentionally sunk by the Russians to trap it and other vessels in a narrow gulf, keeping them from escaping into the Black Sea.

As of March 26, just 10 Ukrainian vessels remained in its navy's possession, including frigate Hetman Sahaydachniy, gunboat Skadovsk, intelligence ship Pereyaslav and diving vessel Netishin.

a good chart: http://www.kyivpost.com/content/ukraine/russia-reportedly-seizes-51-ukrainian-ships-in-crimea-340929.html
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« Reply #199 on: March 26, 2014, 08:38:47 am »

Is it just me, or does this feel like it's playing out like a Tom Clancy novel?
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« Reply #200 on: March 26, 2014, 09:16:51 am »

BRICS rejects sanctions against Russia over Ukraine

oops  Shocked another Obama black eye   Cheesy


The group of five major emerging national economies known as the BRICS has rejected the Western sanctions against Russia and the “hostile language” being directed at the country over the crisis in Ukraine.

“The escalation of hostile language, sanctions and counter-sanctions, and force does not contribute to a sustainable and peaceful solution, according to international law, including the principles and purposes of the United Nations Charter,” foreign ministers of the BRICS countries - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - said in a statement issued on Monday.

The group agreed that the challenges that exist within the regions of the BRICS countries must be addressed within the framework of the United Nations.

    “BRICS countries agreed that the challenges that exist within the regions of the BRICS countries must be addressed within the fold of the United Nations in a calm and level-headed manner,” the statement added.

The White House said earlier on Monday that US President Barack Obama and the leaders of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan decided to end Russia's role in the G8 over the crisis in Ukraine and the status of Crimea.

Meanwhile, the G7 group of top economic powers has snubbed a planned meeting that Russian President Vladimir Putin was due to host in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi in June.

The G7 said they would hold a meeting in Brussels without Russia instead of the wider G8 summit, and threatened tougher sanctions against Russia.

Russia brushed off the Western threat to expel it from the G8 on the same day. The Autonomous Republic of Crimea declared independence from Ukraine on March 17 and formally applied to become part of Russia following a referendum a day earlier, in which nearly 97 percent of the participants voted in favor of the move.

On March 21, Putin signed into law the documents officially making Crimea part of the Russian territory. Putin said the move was carried out based on the international law.

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/03/25/355941/brics-rejects-sanction-against-russia/
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« Reply #201 on: March 28, 2014, 05:53:59 am »

Report: Poland Calls Up Army Reserves: “The World Stands On the Brink of Conflict”

Though not much is being said about the the Ukraine in U.S. mainstream news circles, the tension in Europe is being stretched to a near breaking point.

A few weeks ago the country of Estonia warned that their sources indicated that the Russian Army was are preparing an invasion of the Western-supported Ukrainian government. The President of the country’s provisional government has since deployed at leas 40,000 troops to its Eastern front as a countermeasure should Vladimir Putin’s 80,000 strong military cross its border.

In Poland, which sits in a region that has been party to just about every European engagement in modern history, leaders are concerned with the possibility that a Russia/Ukraine conflict would spill over to its country.

According to a report from The Week Polish military reservists are being called up by the thousands, presumably to prepare for the possibility of not just spillover, but all out military confrontation with Russia.

    At least 7,000 reservists have been recalled to the colours for immediate exercises lasting between 10 and 30 days.

    They’re told by the Polish authorities that the call-ups are “routine”: but the men say they haven’t been asked before and they’re well aware of the growing alarm in Warsaw at President Putin’s aggression. Three weeks ago, their Prime Minister, Donald Tusk, called a press conference to warn that “the world stands on the brink of conflict, the consequences of which are not foreseen… Not everyone in Europe is aware of this situation.”

    …

    But in the worst case scenario of a truly revanchist Russia, Poland certainly has the borders from hell.  Starting from the top, it abuts Kaliningrad (the Russian exclave on the Baltic carved at the end of the war from East Prussia), Lithuania, Belarus and Ukraine.

    None of these borders relies on any natural barriers like rivers or mountain ranges – they are just lines on a map drawn by Stalin in the full flush of victory.  No wonder the Poles are feeling vulnerable.

    And we should be worried, too. Poland is both a Nato and EU member.  We are bound by solemn treaty to defend her in case of attack.  Violation of Poland’s territorial integrity was after all why we went to war reluctantly in 1939.

    …

    Poland is one thing but there are other states in Russia’s shadow who are members of both Nato and the EU. Would we fight for the vulnerable Baltic states should President Putin turn the screws on them?

This is the first time in Poland’s history that they have called up their reserve troops, so whatever prompted the mobilization is likely of serious concern.

REST: http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/report-poland-calls-up-army-reserves-the-world-stands-on-the-brink-of-conflict_03262014
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« Reply #202 on: March 28, 2014, 06:32:12 am »

Ukraine says 100,000 Russian troops near border

Washington (AFP) - Nearly 100,000 Russian forces have massed on Ukraine's border, a top Ukrainian defense official told an American audience Thursday, giving a number far higher than US military estimates. "Almost 100,000 soldiers are stationed on the borders of Ukraine and in the direction ... of Kharkiv, Donetsk, " Andriy Parubiy, chairman of Ukraine's national security council, said via a webcast from Kiev.   

http://news.yahoo.com/ukraine-claims-100-000-russian-troops-near-border-151112283.html;_ylt=AwrTWfycSTRTzxkAs3_QtDMD
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« Reply #203 on: March 28, 2014, 09:33:53 am »

Obama: Russia Must Pull Back Troops From Ukrainian Border

you better, or Obama will get all red in the face and look sternly at the teleprompter

U.S. President Barack Obama says Russia must pull back its troops from the Ukrainian border and begin negotiating to defuse tensions.

In an interview with CBS, Mr. Obama said Russia's military moves may be no more than an effort to intimidate Ukraine. But he added that Russia may have "additional plans."

On Thursday, the head of Ukraine's national security council said Russia has close to 100,000 troops along Ukraine's borders in the north, south, and east. He said Russian forces are in full readiness to strike.

Russia says the soldiers are involved in "springtime exercises" and has assured the United States they will not cross the border.

Western experts believe the number of Russian forces near eastern and southern Ukraine is close to 30,000.

Also Friday, Russia described as "counterproductive" a U.N. resolution that refuses to recognize its annexation of the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine. Russia's Foreign Ministry said the U.N. General Assembly resolution will only complicate efforts to settle Ukraine's internal political crisis.

The ministry accused Ukraine of seeking to distract from domestic tensions by blaming its problems on Russia.

The U.N. General Assembly passed the non-binding resolution on Thursday, with 100 countries in favor, 11 opposed and 58 abstaining.

Crimea's majority Russian residents voted to break away from Ukraine and join Russia in a referendum earlier this month that Western powers deemed illegal.

Ousted Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych called Friday for referendums to determine the status of all Ukrainian regions. He said only a nationwide referendum and not an early presidential election can stabilize Ukraine and preserve its sovereignty and integrity.

http://www.voanews.com/content/obama-russia-must-pull-back-troops-from-ukrainian-border/1881217.html
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« Reply #204 on: March 28, 2014, 03:21:21 pm »

Yeah - we are living in some very, very interesting times now.

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« Reply #205 on: March 29, 2014, 03:14:15 am »

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you better, or Obama will get all red in the face and look sternly at the teleprompter

 Cheesy Sends shivers down my spine! Oooh.
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« Reply #206 on: March 29, 2014, 10:59:46 am »

A rapid Russian build-up of tanks and troops with tough talk from President Vladimir Putin raises fears war with Ukraine could be imminent



    War college professor warns of imminent invasion
    US officials tell of ‘awful’ developments
    NATO chief briefs US government on threat

WAS Crimea just the beginning?

A senior military academic is warning Europe is staring down the barrel of its biggest war since 1945. And it could start in days, as Russian forces mass on the border with Ukraine — apparently poised to invade.

The commander of NATO forces in Europe visited the White House overnight to voice his alarm at Moscow’s massive military build-up facing eastern Ukraine — on the other side of the embattled country to the already-annexed Crimean peninsula.

Many other military and political voices are suddenly expressing the same fears.

“By the end of the weekend, Europe’s biggest war since 1945 will have begun or Putin will have started to send the troops on the border home,” declared Professor of the Naval War College at Boston University, John Schindler.

And he is not the only academic voicing this concern.

The troops are reportedly not average Russian conscripts. New intelligence reveals the mechanised infantry units and their tanks to be among the best and most highly trained the Russian Federation has — diverted from their Moscow barracks to their tents and revetments overlooking Ukraine.

Also early this morning Australia time, a group of masked right wing ultra-nationalists began a demonstration inside and out of the Ukraine’s main parliament building - calling for the sacking of the police minister after one of their leaders was shot dead.

There are even reports — unconfirmed at this stage — that Russia has in the past few hours erected a massive field hospital designed to treat wounded soldiers.

And Russian President Vladimir Putin’s rhetoric has also been heating up, with claims that Russian-speaking people in Ukraine are being treated “brutally”.

The much-talked-about Russian defence exercises near the Ukraine seem to be a spoof, designed to explain away the buildup.

While highly publicised exercises have been underway in distant Siberia, only a few “events” seem to have been staged among the troops massed near Crimea and Ukraine.

 John Schindler @20committee
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By the end of the weekend, Europe's biggest war since 1945 will have begun or Putin will have started to send the troops on the border home.
3:40 PM - 27 Mar 2014

S Defense officials say the numbers of troops far exceeds the amount needed for any training exercise. And there is no evidence any large-scale manoeuvres have actually taken place

More worrying is that none of the troops have returned to their bases.

War expert Schindler has been fast and furiously tweeting his fears to all who care to listen in recent hours.

He speculates the real number of Russian troops now in place may amount to 80,000.

“(The) odds of invasion are raising,” he tweeted early this morning. “Only Putin really knows, but the world will know soon enough.”

rest: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/world/a-rapid-russian-buildup-of-tanks-and-troops-with-tough-talk-from-president-vladimir-putin-raises-fears-war-with-ukraine-could-be-imminent/story-fni0xs61-1226867240935
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« Reply #207 on: April 01, 2014, 03:52:48 pm »

http://news.yahoo.com/russia-hikes-gas-price-ukraine-081252144.html
Russia hikes gas price for Ukraine
4/1/14

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia on Tuesday sharply hiked the price for natural gas to Ukraine and threatened to reclaim billions previous discounts, raising the heat on its cash-strapped government, while Ukrainian police moved to disarm members of a radical nationalist group after a shooting spree in the capital.

NATO foreign ministers were gathering for a two-day meeting in Brussels to consider further steps in the wake of Russia's annexation of Crimea, including measures to reassure the Baltic states, Poland, and Romania that the alliance would help guarantee their security.

Alexei Miller, the head of Russia's state-controlled natural gas giant Gazprom, said Tuesday that the company has withdrawn December's discount that put the price of gas at $268.50 per 1,000 cubic meters and set the price at $385.50 per 1,000 cubic meters for the second quarter.

The discount was part of a financial lifeline which Russian President Vladimir Putin offered to Ukraine's President, Viktor Yanukovych, after his decision to ditch a pact with the European Union in favor of closer ties with Moscow. The move fueled three months of protests which led Yanukovych to flee to Russia in February.

Radical nationalist groups played a key role in Yanukovych's ouster, but they quickly fell out with the new government. Many activists are still encamped on Kiev's Independence Square, known as the Maidan, and have signaled their intent to remain there until the election of what they deem to be a legitimate government.

Last week, one of the leaders of the most prominent radical group, the Right Sector, was shot dead while resisting police.

Right Sector members then besieged parliament for several hours, breaking windows and demanding the resignation of Interior Minister Arsen Avakov. They lifted the blockade after lawmakers set up a panel to investigate the killing.

Late Monday, a Right Sector member shot and wounded three people outside a restaurant adjacent to Kiev's main Independence Square, including a deputy city mayor, triggering a standoff that lasted overnight.

Police responded by surrounding the downtown Dnipro Hotel, which Right Sector had commandeered as its headquarters, demanding that the radicals lay down their weapons and leave. Avakov said that Right Sector members agreed Tuesday to leave their weapons behind and went to a suburban camp, escorted by officers of Ukraine's Security Service.

The Ukrainian parliament then voted to order police to disarm all illegal armed units. Backers of the measure said the drive was needed to combat a recent surge in violent crime and to defuse the risk of provocations by "foreign citizens" in Kiev and the south and east of Ukraine, heavily Russian-speaking regions where anti-government groups have rallied over the past several weekends in calls for secession.

In March, authorities launched a broad appeal for the voluntary surrender of weapons, many of which went astray from police depots during months of unrest. The government has said a similar amnesty will remain in effect in April.

If police disarm nationalists and other radical groups, it would undermine Russia's key argument: the allegation that the new Ukrainian government was kowtowing to nationalist radicals, who threaten Russian-speakers in southeastern Ukraine. Russia has pointed at the perceived threat from ultranationalists to defend its annexation of Crimea, and has concentrated tens of thousands of troops along its border with Ukraine, drawing Western fears of an invasion.

Putin and other officials have said that Russia has no intention of invading Ukraine. Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu insisted Tuesday that the Kremlin wants a "political settlement that would take interests and rights of the entire Ukrainian people into account."




.EU wants US gas. Play video 
EU wants US gas
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said he couldn't confirm reports of a Russian pullback from Ukraine's borders.

"This is not what we have seen," he told reporters in Brussels. "And this massive military buildup can in no way contribute to a de-escalation of the situation, a de-escalation that we all want to see, so I continue to urge Russia to pull back its troops, live up to its international obligation and engage in a constructive dialogue with Ukraine."

German Chancellor Angela Merkel told a news conference in Berlin that she could not confirm any withdrawal. Even if Putin had removed some troops, she said, "it is also certainly not the final step... the troop concentration on the Ukrainian border is very high."

Germany's foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, renewed a push for internationally backed direct talks between Russia and Ukraine amid "small signals of de-escalation" including the launch of an international observer mission.

"What will be important in the coming days is getting Russia and Ukraine around a table together," Steinmeier said at a meeting with his French and Polish counterparts in Weimar, Germany. He said that could be done in an international framework — "it can be a contact group, it can be a support group."

Russia has used financial levers to hit Ukraine, which is teetering on the verge of bankruptcy. Gazprom's Miller said that the decision to charge a higher price in the second quarter was made because Ukraine has failed to pay off its debt for past supplies, which now stands at $1.7 billion.

On Tuesday the Russian parliament moved to annul agreements with Ukraine on Russia's navy base in Crimea. In 2010, Ukraine extended the lease of Russia's Black Sea Fleet's base until 2042 for an annual rent of $98 million and discounts for Russian natural gas. The lower house voted to repeal the deal Monday, and the upper house was to follow suit.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has said that Russia had given Ukraine $11 billion in gas discounts in advance and should claim the money back once the lease deal is repealed — a threat repeated Tuesday by Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin.

The Russian moves would fall hard on Ukrainian consumers, who have benefited from generous state subsidies that have kept gas prices low while swelling government debt.

Ukraine has agreed to gradually withdraw subsidies under a deal with the IMF that required the country to make its utility costs economically viable for the state by 2018 as condition for up to $18 billion in loans. Household gas prices in Ukraine are set to rise 50 percent beginning May 1.

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« Reply #208 on: April 01, 2014, 06:30:16 pm »

Russia raises price of gas for Ukraine by 65 percent
 April 1, 2014  DEBKAfile
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« Reply #209 on: April 02, 2014, 01:32:41 pm »

NASA suspends work with Russia over involvement in Ukraine

Citing Russia’s ongoing violations of Ukraine’s sovereign and territorial integrity, NASA announced today that it is suspending all contact with Russian Government representatives. In an internal NASA memorandum obtained by The Verge, NASA said that the suspension includes travel to Russia, teleconferences, and visits by Russian government officials to NASA facilities. NASA is even suspending the exchange of emails with Russian officials.

Ongoing International Space Station activities are exempt from this suspension, however, as are meetings with other countries held outside of Russia that include the participation of Russian officials.

http://www.theverge.com/2014/4/2/5574896/nasa-suspends-contracts-with-russia

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