Civil War in Ukraine: Western Empire vs Russia


Jedi Council Member
FWIW: Incident in the Kerch Strait – TTG

Incident in the Kerch Strait – TTG
By wmw_admin on November 26, 2018

Sic Semper Tyrannis – Nov 26, 2018

Earlier today Russian Navy, Coast Guard and Aerospace Forces intercepted and captured three Ukrainian vessels as they attempted to pass through the Kerch Strait en route to Mariupol. Russian authorities claim the Ukrainians failed to coordinate the passage and illegally entered Russian territorial waters. Ukraine claims their ships were illegally seized during a routine transit of the Strait. A detailed account of the incident, including a video of the deftly executed collision with the tugboat, can be read on the SouthFront site and many other sites by now.
These types of incidents occur from time to time. Remember the Navy patrol boats seized by the Iranians? They’re eventually resolved after much huffing and puffing and diplomatic activity. What strikes me about this incident is the lengths the Russians went to in stopping one Ukrainian tugboat and two small gunboats. The passage under the Kerch bridge was blocked by a large cargo ship. Two each Su-25 aircraft and Ka-52 attack helicopters flew overhead. The surface fleet consisted of several Sobol and Mangust class fast patrol craft, and a Svetlak class corvette. That tugboat was not going to pass through the Strait or get close to that new Crimean Bridge. Was there more to this than a mere provocation or coordination SNAFU? The following anonymous comment is from a SouthFront article. It may be just a conspiracy theory from a tinfoil hat wearing crazy. The commenter definitely has a flair for the dramatic. It may be disinformation. But what if there’s some truth in it? If so, holy crap!
Very important Info appeared briefly on Russian media (before being scrubbed) that a NATO SADM, possibly a Diver deployable device, was being transported by Ukrainian and British Special Forces to the Kerch Straight to be used on the Crimean bridge. The device was being tracked by the Russians and they knew it had been loaded on to a Ukrainian Tug (escorted by 5 warships!! – 3 in the Black Sea, including one NATO vessel, and 2 waiting in the Sea of Azov).
This is why the Russians acted!

They never react with force and have never blockaded the Sea of Azov. Ground attack jets and Helicopter gunships, plus a warship armed with ASM and Torpedos were waiting.
This level of force would not be used just for a tug and a few old Ukrainian ships. But a tug carrying a tactical nuclear device about to bring down one of the worlds most strategic bridges, a bridge hated by NATO – as per the recent Op Ed in the ‘Washington Examiner‘ (Ukraine should bomb the Crimean Bridge).
Ukraine regularly provokes Russia to little effect, but today the Russians acted to stop a terrible event.
Ukraine is now in panic mode and there may be direct NATO intervention if the to cover this, if the Russians make this public.
The device may have come from the UK.
The UK have been psychologically preparing their people for a war with Russia.
The SADM explosion would have brought down the bridge and melted the foundations, but looked like a conventional IED blast from above due to the underwater detonation and relatively low yield of less than 1KT.
This was a WW3 level provocation STOPPED by the Russian FSB and SF’s!
All traces of these reports are being scrubbed as I write!

Get this out before the story is completely scrubbed.
I will not contact you again. (SouthFront comments)



FOTCM Member
"For" voted 276 people's deputies, against — 30, one abstained.
Damn, they can do a lot of out of sight meddling in a month, if it's not extended that is.

"Those values of freedom and democracy cannot be traded. I have witnessed on the frontline the effects of the war in the east and this has completely reinforced my support for Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity,”
Williamson is expected to say.
If someone in western Europe is uneasy when seeing the activities of fascist adherents in the Ukraine, then apparently one is to remember the "shared values".
Yeah, right.

The resignation of Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko is the only way to prevent rising tensions following the Kerch Strait incident, Ukraine’s parliamentary group "Opposition Platform For Life" said in a statement on Monday.
You can read about Yuriy Boyko here (he held interesting position in early 2000's) and Vadim Rabinovich here (all Wiki entries).

Skipping ahead in the same links to the parties platform (or its stated stance) it notes: "According to an agreement signed on 9 November 2018 between Opposition Bloc's Yuriy Boyko and the party "the main enemies of Ukraine are war, social injustice, corruption, criminal impunity, criminal national leadership, tariff genocide, predatory nationalism, and poverty.'"


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
South Front carries an analysis of the alleged communication between the Russian ships and their command in Moscow, published by the Ukranian side: Ukraine Released Intercepted Russian Radio Communications During The Black Sea Incident (Analysis)

It includes:
  • The first run foul – 44°56’0″N 36°30’8″E. Time – 7:35. The second – 44°56’0″N 36°30’5″E. Time – 7:44. [SF: These coordinates show that the encounter took place within Russian territorial waters]
  • No more run fouls? What are your cooridnates?
  • 44°58’7″N 36°30’4″E


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
In a show of "brazen hostility," 17 Russian fighter jets 'buzzed' Britain's Royal Navy warship, HMS Duncan, in the Black Sea near

Stunning footage of the event was broadcast on a UK Channel 5 documentary following the operations of the Type 45 destroyer in the volatile region.

Defense secretary Gavin Williamson praised the actions of the crew aboard HMS Duncan in the face of Russian aggression. Williamson said:

"Over the past year, HMS Duncan and her crew have embodied the key role the UK plays in NATO.
"As NATO flagship, she has faced down brazen Russian hostility in the Black Sea with jets buzzing overhead, been stalked by Russian spy ships and played a vital role protecting NATO allies during the British, American and French strikes against Syrian chemical weapons facilities.

"Through her deployment, this world-leading ship and her crew epitomised the nation we are going to be as we exit the EU – a truly global Britain which is outward-looking and engaged on the world stage."​

Royal Navy commodore Mike Utley said the incident involving HMS Duncan shows the challenges posed by Russian military activity. He said:

HMS Duncan is probably the only maritime asset that has seen a raid of that magnitude in the last 25 years."
"I think their tactics are naive. What they don't know is how capable the ship is.
"When you see that much activity, I think it reinforces the nature of what people expect at the moment and why there is a challenge from Russia."

The footage shows the jets circling the ship before returning to Russian airspace with one of the pilots sending a message to Duncan's crew, saying: "Good luck, guys."

The documentary shows one of Duncan's sailors saying they felt the message could have been a warning to the ship while another said:

"They had 17 aircraft, we have 48 missiles - I think we're going to win that one."

And while the headlines around this "hostile" act are sure to raise already extremely high tensions between Ukraine and Russia, pointing to Russia as the "aggressor" in an effort to solidify public opinion (in NATO) against Putin, the dramatic video is from May of this year.



The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Mon Nov 26, 2018 - US Spy Plane Enters Black Sea Area Amid Ukraine-Russia Naval Tensions

A Crete-based US spy plane entered the Black Sea area on Monday morning after a standoff between Ukraine and Russia over a strait that separates it from the Sea of Azov, the Ukrainian military portal disclosed.

The Boeing RC-135V reconnaissance plane left the US naval base at Souda Bay on Crete at 05:50 GMT and headed east, the portal said, Sputnik reported.

The electronic intelligence aircraft was reportedly in Bulgarian airspace as of 06:30 GMT and flying toward the Crimean peninsula, a Russian territory in the Black Sea.

This comes after Russia detained three Ukrainian naval vessels on 25 November for entering its territorial waters on their way from the Black Sea to the Sea of Azov, a shallow internal sea the two countries share.

Russia’s FSB security agency accused the ships of ignoring warnings to stop and maneuvering dangerously. Ukraine’s national Security Council responded by declaring a 60-day martial law, which still needs parliamentary approval.

November 27, 2018 - Ukraine says Counterintelligence Officer wounded in Sunday's Russia clash
Ukraine says counterintelligence officer wounded in Sunday's Russia clash | Reuters

FILE PHOTO: Head of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), Vasyl Hrytsak speaks during a news conference about Russian prisoners of war held in Ukraine, in Kiev, Ukraine, August 28, 2015. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko

A Ukrainian military counterintelligence officer was seriously wounded after Russian aircraft fired missiles at Ukrainian vessels on Sunday, the head of Ukraine's state security service (SBU) said.

Ukraine and Russia have traded accusations after Russia fired on three Ukrainian ships then seized them. The confrontation prompted Ukraine to introduce martial law in some areas, citing the threat of a Russian land invasion.

“According to the confirmed operational information of the SBU, one of the Russian attack aircraft used two unguided combat missiles against the Ukrainian boats, as a result of which one of the officers of the SBU was seriously wounded,” Vasyl Hrytsak said in a statement on Tuesday.

Russia has said SBU officers were among those captured. Hrytsak confirmed that and said the security officers were there supporting the military.

“The real surprise is the fact that against the two Ukrainian boats and the small tugboat, the Russians used six “FSB” (Russian Federal Security Service) and four naval vessels, as well as combat helicopters and airplanes of the Russian Federation Air Force,” he said.

He added that Ukraine’s security council was taking all necessary measures to secure the release of those captured.

The confrontation has exacerbated tensions already heightened after Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine and its backing for a pro-Moscow insurgency in eastern Ukraine.

Tue Nov 27, 2018 - Ukrainian Spy Agency Confirms Its Agents on Board Encroaching Kerch Strait Ships

Head of the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) Vasily Gritsak confirmed the information about the presence of two employees of the SBU military counter-intelligence service on board the Ukrainian Navy ships that were detained in the Kerch Strait in connection with the violation of Russia’s state border.

"The officers of the Ukrainian intelligence service were performing combat tasks of the counter-intelligence support department of the Ukrainian Navy, as is stipulated in Article 12 of the Ukrainian law ‘On the Ukrainian Security Service’," the SBU press service quoted Gritsak as saying, TASS reported.

Tue Nov 27, 2018 - Putin Voices ‘Serious Concern’ over Martial Law in Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin has voiced “serious concern” over Ukraine’s recent move to impose martial law in the country following the seizure of three intruding Ukrainian military vessels in Russian waters.

Putin conveyed his concern in a phone call to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the Kremlin announced in a Tuesday statement, press tv reported.

Putin “expressed a serious concern over Kiev’s decision to put its armed forces on alert and to introduce martial law,” read the statement, which said the Russian president also urged Merkel to restrain Ukrainian authorities from engaging in further provocation and military measures.

The Russian leader further told Merkel that he hoped “Berlin could influence the Ukrainian authorities to dissuade them from further reckless acts.”

Tue Nov 27, 2018 - Diplomat: Russia Regrets That UNSC Rejected Moscow-Proposed Agenda for Session on Ukraine

Russian Foreign Ministry's official Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova

Russia regrets that the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has rejected the Russian-proposed agenda for the emergency session over the incident in the Kerch Strait, Russian Foreign Ministry's official Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told Rossiya 1 TV channel.

"When this dramatic situation began escalating, Russia sent a request to the UN Security Council chair to hold an emergency UNSC session," Zakharova said, adding that "Ukraine also sent its materials, but it is not a UNSC member and cannot request sessions", TASS reported.

"To our great regret, UNSC members - as our representative said, not without influence of the US and other Western countries - did not find the courage to fulfill Russia's request and hold the session on this agenda, or if we talk using normal language, to consider what happened yesterday in Russia's territorial waters," Zakharova continued, noting that "unfortunately, the request based on the Ukrainian letter was approved. I will stress this once again that we all understand very well how this so-called majority is attained".

New provocations may follow after Ukrainian warships violated Russia's state borders in the Black Sea on November 25, Zakharova stressed, stating that "we are talking about a pre-planned, deliberated and now realized large-scale provocation which includes an informational component, a threat to use force, and then engages diplomatic and international law resources," she said. "I think everybody should be very careful next time. I think there will be a next time, considering what is happening now".

Meanwhile, Russia's First Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Dmitry Polyansky told the UNSC emergency session on Monday that the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is not helping resolve the problem around the Kerch Strair incident, as the UNSC has rejected the Russian-proposed agenda for the meeting on Ukraine's violation of the Russian state border in the Sea of Azov.

"You are now more concerned not with how to resolve the problem, but with which agenda to pick for today's session," Polyansky said, adding that "to be honest, this reminds of the confrontation on the playground".

According to the diplomat, the confrontation in the Kerch Strait "has been planned in advance with absolute connivance of Western countries, which already gave de facto permission to their Kiev mentees for any actions".

As we are getting closer to [Ukrainian presidential] election scheduled for March, the bankrupt Maidan team needs a serious escalation, and ideally war," the diplomat said adding that without this, they will not be reelected. "Another dose of 'anti-Russian fever' is needed so that people, who have been becoming poorer over the last five years, believe once again that Russia is to blame for all their misfortunes, not their government and their Western 'puppeteers'," Polyansky stated.
The diplomat advised "not to worry" about Russia's state borders. "Our country has never struck first, but can defend itself.

The population of Crimea is under good protection, just like the populations of other Russian regions," he assured.

Addressing his Western colleagues, Polyansky said that their five-year "anti-Russian political project , which could simply be called 'Anti-Russia', is currently crumbling in front of everybody", adding that "you all know very well the real, not declared rates of 'Maidan reforms' and other dangerous and destructive processes that push Ukraine closer to the edge".

Earlier, Polyansky told the UN Security Council session that Russia considers the violation of its state border by Ukrainian ships as a flagrant provocation.

"This is evidently a flagrant provocation," Polyansky said addressing UN SC member states that supported Ukraine. "However, you consciously condone this provocation, adding that your actions on supporting Ukraine have already led to the escalation of the situation in eastern Ukraine.

"The issue is that Ukrainians, while using the navigation regime in the Kerch Strait without any problems before, staged an obvious provocation, putting the lives of their sailors in danger," he noted, stating that "nobody tried to answer this question, it was not even mentioned once. This can be perceived as permission granted to Ukraine to continue such provocations, to fan tensions, to create a threat for everybody in this region".

"It was mentioned here that Ukraine's sovereignty should be respected. Well, the sovereignty of the Russian Federation should be respected as well," he stressed.

"What concerns the incident itself, the investigation continues, and we will, of course, announce its results," Polyansky concluded.

Also, the Kremlin has defended Russia's seizure of three Ukrainian navy ships off the coast of Crimea, saying the move was lawful and in strict accordance with international and domestic regulations.

Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Monday described the actions of the Ukrainian navy as “an invasion of Russian territorial waters”, and accused the Ukrainian vessels of illegally crossing Russia’s sea border and ignoring warnings made by Russian border guards.

"The Russian side acted in strict accordance with the law, both domestic and international. This is a case of trespassing into territorial waters of the Russian Federation by foreign military vessels," Peskov said.

"These foreign military vessels entered Russian territorial waters not answering any queries from our coast guard, ignoring proposals to use piloting services, and so on and so forth," he added.

Peskov also stated that a criminal case has been opened over the violation of Russia's border, without providing further details.

Blaming Kiev for the incident, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused Ukraine of a “planned” provocation and of using "dangerous methods" that would put ships in the area at risk.

Tue Nov 27, 2018 - Moscow Warns Kiev of ‘Consequences’ for Attempts to Provoke Conflict After Kerch Strait Standoff

Moscow protested Kiev’s “planned” breach of Russian waters in the Kerch Strait and cautioned Ukraine’s foreign backers against blowing the incident out of proportion. Russia will “strongly” respond to similar “provocations”.

Three Ukrainian military boats on Sunday tried to pass through the Kerch Strait apparently without prior warning, but were ordered to stop by Russian border guards. A confrontation ensued, ending with the three ships being seized by the Russian side, RT reported.

The actions of the Ukrainian Navy “violated the rules of passage through Russian territorial waters,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Monday, adding that Moscow has summoned an emergency UN Security Council meeting to discuss the incident.

“Russia has repeatedly warned the Kiev regime and its Western supporters that fanning up the hysteria over the Azov Sea and the Kerch Strait was dangerous. It’s obvious that there was a provocation, carefully planned in terms of location and form, which is aimed at flaring up yet another point of conflict in the region and creating a new pretext to impose more sanctions against Russia,” it noted.

Kiev has used the clash to justify declaring martial law – something Moscow says only benefits Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko ahead of the March elections. Poroshenko has been struggling to campaign for re-election, with his popularity decimated by harsh economic problems and recent corruption scandals.

Moscow also added that it’s outraged by vandalism attacks targeting Russian diplomatic missions in Ukraine following the Kerch standoff. Further incidents of a similar nature may have “serious consequences,” it said, pledging to “strongly counter” any attempt to violate Russian sovereignty.

Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov has meanwhile described the actions of the Ukrainian Navy as “an invasion of Russian territorial waters”.

Tue Nov 27, 2018 - Ukrainian President Signs Decree to Impose Martial Law, Russia Says It Poses Risks of Conflict Escalation in Donbass

Ukraine’s decision to impose martial law poses a risk of escalating conflict in certain areas of the country, namely in the Southeast, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Tuesday.

"This is Ukraine’s domestic affair, but amid the elections, certainly, such a step as imposing martial law has a special undisguised undertone. Potentially, the imposition of martial law in some regions may pose a risk of escalating tensions in the conflict-hit region, namely the southeast," Peskov said, TASS reported.

When asked if this issue is expected to be discussed at the upcoming meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Donald Trump, Peskov stated that "this is not a topic for the G20 summit, but at the same time if any issues are raised at bilateral meetings with the president on the sidelines of the summit, no one should doubt that the president will give exhaustive clarifications".

On Monday, speaking at the parliament, Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko named the regions, where a 30-day martial law will be imposed from November 28. These are Vinnitsa, Lugansk, Nikolayevsk, Odessa, Sumy, Kharkov, Chernigov, Donetsk, Zaporozhye and Kherson, as well as Ukraine’s territorial waters in the Sea of Azov.

"I would like to read out my decision - I will suggest the parliament impose martial law for a term of 30 days. Why? In order to see to it that martial law does not overlap with the election campaign," he said in an address to the nation on Monday.

According to Poroshenko, the next presidential elections are to be held on March 31, 2019, as originally planned.

Tues. November 27, 2018 - Crimean Court Detains Ukrainian Sailor captured by Russia for Two Months: TASS
Crimean court detains Ukrainian sailor captured by Russia for two months: TASS | Reuters

A member of Russia's FSB security service escorts a detained Ukrainian navy sailor (R) before a court hearing in Simferopol, Crimea November 27, 2018. REUTERS/Pavel Rebrov

A court in Russian-annexed Crimea ordered the first of 24 Ukrainian navy sailors captured by Russia to be detained for two months, the TASS news agency reported on Tuesday.

The sailors were detained on Sunday when Russia seized three Ukrainian vessels off the Crimean coast.

Russia accuses the sailors of illegally entering its territorial waters.

11.27.2018 - Court arrests first of Ukrainian sailors detained off Crimea coast
Court arrests first of Ukrainian sailors detained off Crimea coast

© Alexei Pavlishak/TASS Vladimir Varimez from Ukraine’s Odessa Region was arrested until January 25

A court in Simferopol, which is deciding on Tuesday on a pre-trial measure for the Ukrainian sailors who violated Russia’s state border in the Kerch Strait has arrested the first of the detainees for two months, a TASS correspondent reported from the courtroom.

Vladimir Varimez from Ukraine’s Odessa Region born in 1992 was arrested until January 25. He is charged under Part 3 of Section 322 of Russia’s Criminal Code ("Illegal border crossing by a group of individuals by prior collusion or by an organized group, or with the use of violence or with the threat of its use"). He pleaded not guilty.

11.27.2018 - Court to decide on measure of restraint for Ukrainian sailors within two days
Court to decide on measure of restraint for Ukrainian sailors within two days

The Simferopol City Court will determine a measure of restraint for the 24 Ukrainian sailors, who had violated the Russian border while passing through the Kerch Strait, within two days, Crimean Human Rights Ombudsperson Lyudmila Lubina told reporters on Tuesday.

"An investigator has told me that a measure of restraint for the Ukrainian sailors will be determined today or tomorrow," she said.

11.27,2018 - Ukrainian sailors in custody for breaching Russian border to get free legal aid
Ukrainian sailors in custody for breaching Russian border to get free legal aid

The crew of the ships detained on Sunday in the Kerch Strait area for violating the Russian state border will receive free legal assistance, Commissioner for Human Rights in Crimea Lyudmila Lubina told TASS on Tuesday.

"They are foreigners, and providing them with attorneys is mandatory. They must receive (legal) defense," Lubina said, answering the question on whether sailors can get free legal services. She specified that this is the task of the investigators to find lawyers.

Lubina added that she is staying in Simferopol, because on Tuesday the sailors are due in court and measures of restraint will be selected for them. "I think I will have a chance to talk to them today. Maybe they’ll want to file a complaint or give something to be handed over to their relatives," she explained.

The human rights commissioner explained, "Their lives and health are not in danger," according to the information she possesses, the injured had flesh wounds. Furthermore, she went on to specify that "there are three boys, three privates with the youngest born in 1999," and she stressed that the "captains and the mid-ranking officers were not injured." Besides, she presumes that the sailors that were brought to the hospital may turn out to be active-duty soldiers.

November 27, 2018 - European Politicians call for New Sanctions on Russia over Ukraine
European politicians call for new sanctions on Russia over Ukraine | Reuters

Senior politicians from Germany, Austria, Poland and Estonia on Tuesday raised the possibility of new EU sanctions against Russia to punish it for capturing three Ukrainian vessels at sea, an incident the West fears could ignite wider conflict.

Financial markets have responded to the prospect of new Western sanctions that could hurt Russia’s economy, though the rouble on Tuesday clawed back some losses from the previous day as investors bet any sanctions would not be swift.

After Russia opened fire on and seized three Ukrainian naval vessels on Sunday near Russian-annexed Crimea, both Russia and Ukraine are trying to cast the other side as being in the wrong.

President Vladimir Putin told German Chancellor Angela Merkel by phone on Monday that Moscow was ready to provide more details to bolster Russia’s version of events. Moscow says Ukraine deliberately provoked Russia to trigger a crisis.

Ukraine, which on Monday night introduced martial law for 30 days in parts of the country it deems most vulnerable to an attack from Russia, said its ships did nothing wrong and that it wanted the West to impose new sanctions on Moscow.

Some of the more than 20 Ukrainian sailors held by Russia for straying into Russian waters appeared on Russian state TV on Tuesday admitting to being part of a pre-planned provocation. Kiev denounced what it described as forced confessions.

The Ukrainian sailors are expected to appear in a Russian court later on Tuesday. Their vessels were captured by Russian forces at sea near the Kerch Strait, which is the only outlet to the Sea of Azov and controls access to major Ukrainian ports.

A Reuters reporter at the Crimean port of Kerch where the vessels are being held saw masked armed men on board one of the ships
Germany, potentially the leading voice in any call for Western action called upon both sides to de-escalate the new tension, while signalling a tougher line towards Russia.

Norbert Roettgen, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union and a leading Merkel ally said Europe may need to toughen sanctions against Moscow.

Karin Kneissl, foreign minister of Austria, said the EU would consider sanctions depending “on the exposition of facts and the further conduct of both parties”.

Polish President Andrzej Duda said his country was ready to back new sanctions. Estonian Defence Minister Juri Luik called sanctions “probably the most potent way to signal to the Russian leadership that we are serious”.

Merkel, an important voice in any future EU decision to impose more sanctions, on Monday spoke by phone to both Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Putin. She said the situation needed to be de-escalated.

In Kerch, two Russian police officers with automatic rifles stood on the pier where the Ukrainian vessels were moored. The vessels bore traces of collisions and big holes in their hulls.

A doctor at the local hospital said three Ukrainian servicemen were being treated there. An unidentified man prevented Reuters from entering or talking to them.

Commercial shipping traffic was passing through the strait under a new bridge built by Russia that spans it.

Russia’s FSB security service released video footage on Tuesday of captured Ukrainian sailors saying their actions were deliberately provocative and they had ignored Russian orders to stop. At least one appeared to be reading from a script. Ukrainian politicians said the sailors were coerced, rendering their confessions meaningless.

The FSB said it had information showing the sailors’ mission had been pre-planned by the Ukrainian government and that two intelligence officers from Ukraine’s SBU security service had been on board to coordinate the provocation.

Vasyl Hrytsak, the head of the SBU, confirmed that his officers were on board to support the military and said one of them had been seriously wounded after Russian aircraft fired missiles at the Ukrainian vessels.
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The Living Force
FOTCM Member

Vesti Special Report: What Happened in the Kerch Strait? The Lead-Up to the Stand-Off at Sea!
Published on Nov 27, 2018 (4:22 min.)

The Ukrainian Navy sailors whom Kiev sent to the provocation in the Kerch Strait will stand trial tomorrow. They are testifying right now. The three Ukrainian warships that attempted to force their way into the Azov Sea from the Black Sea did not respond to the legitimate demands by the Russian border guards and were maneuvering in a manner in a dangerous to civilian ships, are now docked at the Port of Kerch.

MrRevinsky‏ @Kyruer Nov 26
#Breaking #Ukraine #Crimea #Kerch First pics of a #Russia|n vessel damaged yesterday while asaulting #Ukranian

2:22 AM - 26 Nov 2018

MrRevinsky‏ @Kyruer
#Ukraine #Crimea #Kerch Pic of the damaged Ukrainian boat "Berdyansk" held in Kerch


Jedi Master
Merkel, an important voice in any future EU decision to impose more sanctions, on Monday spoke by phone to both Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Putin. She said the situation needed to be de-escalated.
Интересное, маленькое уточнение

Порошенко после провокации на море пытался связаться с Путиным, но тот не захотел его слушать
27.11.2018 - 22:32


Interesting, a little clarification

Poroshenko after provocation at sea tried to contact Putin, but he did not want to listen to him
27.11.2018-22: 32
President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko said that after the detention of Ukrainian courts near the Kerch Strait tried to talk on the phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin, but received no response from Moscow to this request.

"I ordered a conversation with Russian President Putin at night — we did not receive an answer," Poroshenko said in an interview with Ukrainian TV channels.

He also said that because of this he was forced to appeal to German Chancellor Angela Merkel so that she talked to Vladimir Putin about the immediate release of Ukrainian soldiers.

""There were no telephone contacts of the presidents," — confirmed, in turn, the press Secretary of the President of Russia Dmitry Peskov, commenting on Poroshenko's words.

Порошенко после провокации на море пытался связаться с Путиным, но тот не захотел его слушать


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Wednesday, 28 November 2018 - Russia announces new S-400 surface-to-air missiles deployment in Crimea
Russia announces new S-400 surface-to-air missiles deployment in Crimea | November 2018 Global Defense Security army news industry | Defense Security global news industry army 2018 | Archive News year

Russia’s Defense Ministry has said it will deploy new S-400 surface-to-air missile systems on the Crimean peninsula as tensions flared in the region this week following Moscow's claims that three Ukrainian vessels had violated its territorial waters near the Kerch strait.

S-400 air defense system (Picture source: Vitaky Kuzmin)

Russia’s Southern Military District spokesman Vadim Astafyev told Interfax on Wednesday that a fourth S-400 battalion would soon be deployed in Crimea near Djankoy, a small town near the "border" with Ukraine. The new S-400 systems will be operational by the end of the year.

Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and has bolstered the Black Sea peninsula’s military defenses with three S-400 systems since 2017. On Sunday 25 November, a clash between Russian coast guards (possibly also with FSB personnel) and three Ukrainian Navy ships that wanted to enter the Sea of Azov via the Russian-controlled Kerch Strait led to the capture of the three ships off the Crimea, 24 sailors were taken prisoner, including three wounded. This is the first open armed confrontation between Ukraine and Russia since the annexation of Crimea in March 2014. Ukrainian president Poroshenko declared on 27 November that his country is near a "total war" with Russia.The UN has called both parties to de-escalation of the tension. US President Donald Trump has declared is considering to cancel a scheduled meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin at the forthcoming G20 summit because of the Russian "aggression".

With a theoretical range of 400 km, the S-400 is the latest in Russia's anti-aircraft and anti-missile defense systems, which sees it as one of the jewels of its military industry. It has been sold to India but also to Turkey, which has angered Western allies in Ankara within NATO, including Washington, which highlight its incompatibility with the Alliance's defense systems.

7 November, 2018 - Crimea court orders three Ukrainian sailors held for two months
Crimea court orders three Ukrainian sailors held for two months

<img alt="" class="StretchedBox W(100%) H(100%) ie-7_H(a)" src="" itemprop="url"/>
A detained Ukrainian sailor is escorted to a car after a court hearing in Simferopol, Crimea, on November 27, 2018

A court in Russian-annexed Crimea on Tuesday ordered three Ukrainian sailors to be held in custody for two months after a weekend confrontation at sea with Russian border guards.

"For now, the court has ordered three people held until January 25" on accusations of crossing into Russian territory illegally, Crimea's rights ombudswoman Lyudmila Lubina told AFP at the court.

Several others of the more than 20 Ukrainian sailors held by Russia were expected to appear before the court later Tuesday.

They have been held by Moscow since Sunday, after Russian forces captured three of Kiev's ships off the coast of Crimea, sparking the most dangerous crisis between the ex-Soviet neighbours in years.

Kiev says 23 are in detention, while Russian officials have put the figure at 24.

Three of the Ukrainian sailors were wounded in the clashes and are being treated in a Crimean hospital.

Russia has so far resisted calls to release them, accusing the sailors of crossing illegally into Russian waters and of ignoring warnings from its border guards.

The incident was the first major confrontation at sea in the long-running conflict pitting Ukraine against Moscow and Russian-backed separatists in the country's east.

The court hearings took place in Simferopol, the main city in Russian-annexed Crimea, and are expected to continue on Wednesday.


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
11.28.2018 - Ukraine's Poroshenko: Putin wants My Whole Country
Ukraine's Poroshenko: Putin wants my whole country | Reuters

Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko (R, front) addresses servicemen as he visits the 169th training centre "Desna" of the Ukrainian Army ground forces in Chernihiv Region, Ukraine November 28, 2018. Mykola Lazarenko/Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via REUTERS

Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko accused Russia's Vladimir Putin of seeking to annex his entire country and called in interviews with German media for Chancellor Angela Merkel to come to Kiev's aid in the crisis.

Russia seized three Ukrainian navy ships and their crews on Sunday near the Crimean peninsula, which Moscow annexed in 2014, over what it said was their illegal entry into Russian waters - a charge Ukraine strongly refutes.

In interviews with Germany’s Bild newspaper and the Funke newspaper group on Thursday, Poroshenko rejected Russia’s charge that the vessels’ entry into the Azov Sea - a body of water shared by Ukraine and Russia on which the Ukrainian ports of Mariupol and Berdyansk sit - was a provocation.

“Don’t believe Putin’s lies,” he told Bild, Germany’s biggest-selling paper, comparing Russia’s protestations of innocence in the affair to Moscow’s 2014 denial that it had soldiers in Crimea even as they moved to annex it.

“Putin wants the old Russian empire back,” he said. “Crimea, Donbass, the whole country. As Russian Tsar, as he sees himself, his empire can’t function without Ukraine. He sees us as his colony.”

The seizure of the navy vessels drove tensions to their highest since 2015, when Moscow-backed rebels rose against the Kiev government in the eastern Donbass region, sparking a war that has killed tens of thousands.

Poroshenko called on Germany, the largest and wealthiest buyer of Moscow’s gas exports, to halt the building of an undersea gas pipeline that would allow Russia to supply Germany directly, cutting out Ukraine. “We need a strong, resolute and clear reaction to Russia’s aggressive behavior,” he told Funke. “That also means stopping the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project.”

Germany regards the pipeline, which is being built by Russian state-owned energy company Gazprom, as a private investment. But Merkel recently acknowledged its “political dimensions” and said Ukraine must continue to be a conduit for Russian gas sold to western Europe.

German officials said on Wednesday that their position on the pipeline remained unchanged and that talk of tighter sanctions against Moscow, demanded by the United States and many European politicians, was “premature”.

Poroshenko also called for the stationing of NATO vessels in the Sea of Azov.

11.28.2018 - No swift new EU Sanctions on Russia seen after Ukraine Sea Incident
No swift new EU sanctions on Russia seen after Ukraine sea incident | Reuters

European Union Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini delivers her statement, during the Geneva Conference on Afghanistan, at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland November 28, 2018. Salvatore Di Nolfi/Pool via REUTERS

The European Union's hawks have called for more sanctions on Russia after a fresh flare-up of tensions with Ukraine but the divided bloc is not going to act swiftly, if at all, diplomatic sources said.

In a sign of their long-standing divisions on how to handle President Vladimir Putin’s Russia, the 28 EU states have taken three days to agree a joint statement after Russia seized Ukrainian navy vessels and sailors on Sunday.

In the end the bloc issued a statement by its top diplomat Federica Mogherini on Wednesday night expressing “utmost concern about the dangerous increase of tensions” and dismay at the “unacceptable” use of force by Russia.

The three former Soviet republics sitting on the Baltic Sea coast, backed by Poland and Britain, wanted much tougher language on more sanctions looming.

Several senior European politicians raised the prospect on Tuesday and U.S. President Donald Trump said he might cancel a meeting with Putin later this week over the maritime clash he described as “aggression”.

But the bloc’s top powers Germany and France have so far emphasized efforts to ease tensions. The statement by Mogherini did not mention sanctions but only says regarding the situation that the bloc will “continue to follow closely” and “act appropriately.”

Countries including Italy, Greece, Bulgaria and Cyprus have long called for a softer stance vis-à-vis Moscow, saying the bloc’s existing economic sanctions over Russia’s role in the turmoil in Ukraine hurt EU businesses too.

“We are not going to move very quickly on any new sanctions, there could be some later on, that is not ruled out. But for now the unity of the 28 is key. And focus on de-escalation,” one EU diplomat said.

11.28.2018 - Russia's Lavrov says US encouragement for Ukraine 'saddens me greatly'
Russia's Lavrov says U.S. encouragement for Ukraine 'saddens me greatly' | Reuters

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov attends a news conference with Swiss Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis in Geneva, Switzerland, November 28, 2018. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

The United States should stop encouraging provocative moves by Ukraine and instead mediate between Kiev and rebel-held Ukrainian regions, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters in Geneva on Wednesday.

Lavrov said Ukrainian warships had ignored maritime law on Sunday when they tried to enter the Kerch Strait, aiming to create a scandal for domestic political purposes and U.S. encouragement for such acts “saddens me greatly”.

11.28.2018 - Western powers regret not building NATO naval base in Crimea — Russian Foreign Minister
Western powers regret not building NATO naval base in Crimea — Russian foreign minister

GENEVA - Western powers regret that they did not have enough time to build a NATO naval base in Crimea before the 2014 referendum, when the Crimean people expressed their desire to become of Russia, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated on Wednesday after talks with his Swiss counterpart Ignazio Cassis.

"I understand that some of our Western colleagues deeply regret that they failed to build a NATO naval base in Crimea, but there’s nothing to be done: such is the course of history, such is the will of the Crimean people," Lavrov stressed.

He noted that the Crimean referendum took place in full accordance with the principle of national self-determination. Foreign observers monitored the referendum process, although they did not represent official governments.

"However, they were the people that genuinely wanted to know what is going on there, and they declared the self-determination process to be lawful, and the Crimean people had chosen the path of reuniting with Russia," the Russian foreign minister noted.

"Consequently, the Kerch Strait became part of Russia’s territorial waters," Lavrov stated.

After the coup in Ukraine in February 2014, officials in Crimea and Sevastopol organized a referendum, in which 96.77% of Crimeans and 95.6% of Sevastopol voters chose to secede from Ukraine and join Russia. Eighty percent of the voting population participated in the referendum. The Russian president signed the reunification deals on March 18, 2014, which the Federation Council (upper house of the Russian parliament) ratified on March 21. Despite the referendum results, Kiev refused to recognize Crimea as part of Russia.


The Living Force
FOTCM Member

Russia 'entirely to blame' for naval clash

A Ukrainian Navy chief has vowed to ask Turkey to close the Bosphorus Strait for Russian warships over the Kerch naval standoff. Moscow wasn’t impressed, as the official cited laws referring exclusively to warring countries.

“I’m sure that the international community will make up its mind and recognize that there was an aggression against the state of Ukraine,” commander of the Ukrainian Navy, Admiral Igor Voronchenko, said on Thursday.

“Citing this, and the rules of the Montreux Convention, namely Article 19, we will try to ask the Republic of Turkey for the closure of the Bosphorus Strait, to teach the Russians what it takes to violate international rules,” the official, who used to be a top officer with the county’s national guard and was recently promoted to admiral, said.

The bold statement has surely raised some eyebrows in Moscow, since the article he mentioned regulates rules of passage through the Bosphorus Strait for the nations that are currently in the state of war. Some officials have dismissed the threat out of hand.

“Kiev’s desire to seek closure of the Bosphorus Strait is legally insignificant,” top Russian Senator Franz Klintsevich told reporters. “Russia is not at war with anyone, and doesn’t plan to go to war,” he stressed.

Moscow has condemned the incident in the Kerch Strait as a deliberate “provocation” staged by the Kiev authorities, while Ukraine stands by its version of events. On Sunday, Kiev sent three military ships through the Kerch Strait into the Sea of Azov.

READ MORE: Kerch Strait standoff: Ukrainian Navy consciously ignored orders to stop, FSB says

Moscow says the vessels did not seek proper clearance to sail through the narrow and regulated strait and instead attempted to break through illegally and breach Russian territorial waters. Curiously, the Ukrainian Navy boss appears to be proud of what the detained boats achieved.

“We had to show… our face in the Kerch Strait and the Sea of Azov, and demonstrate what these gunboats are capable

It’s not exactly clear which capabilities Kiev managed to show off, as the two gunboats and a tug were blocked, rammed, fired at and eventually seized by the Russian maritime border guards after numerous requests and warnings, which the Ukrainian sailors apparently ignored. The tense hours-long standoff ended up with all the crew members – including sailors and agents of the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) – in custody. They will remain there for at least two months as they stand accused of illegally crossing Russian borders. Three of the crew were injured and received first aid and treatment in a Russian hospital.

Published on Nov 28, 2018



The Living Force
FOTCM Member
11.29.2018 - Russia blocks Ukrainian Azov Sea ports: Minister
Russia blocks Ukrainian Azov Sea ports: minister | Reuters

Cranes are seen in the Azov Sea port of Mariupol, Ukraine November 29, 2018. REUTERS/Iryna Gorbasyova

Two Ukrainian Azov Sea ports, Berdyansk and Mariupol, are effectively under blockade by Russia as vessels are being barred from leaving and entering, Ukraine's infrastructure minister, Volodymyr Omelyan, said on Thursday.

11,29.2018 - Kremlin Denies Ukrainian charge it is restricting shipping near Crimea
Kremlin denies Ukrainian charge it is restricting shipping near Crimea | Reuters

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov

The Kremlin on Thursday denied a Ukrainian allegation that Russia was restricting shipping near Crimea as part of what Kiev said was a de facto blockade of its ports on the Sea of Azov.

Ukraine’s infrastructure minister, Volodymyr Omelyan, earlier on Thursday accused Russia of barring ships from leaving and entering the sea, days after Moscow seized three Ukrainian naval vessels and their crews.

Speaking to reporters on a conference call, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said he was unaware of any such problems and said shipping traffic was moving normally through the Russian-controlled Kerch Strait which separates the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.

Peskov said delays did sometimes occur in the area as a result of bad weather however.

11.29.2018 - Ukrainian Leader says Putin wants his Whole Country, asks for NATO help
World News |

Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko addresses servicemen as he visits the 169th training centre "Desna" of the Ukrainian Army ground forces in Chernihiv Region, Ukraine November 28, 2018. Mykola Lazarenko/Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via REUTERS

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Thursday accused Russia's Vladimir Putin of wanting to annex his entire country and called for NATO to deploy warships to a sea shared by the two nations.

Poroshenko’s comments to German media were part of a concerted push by Kiev aimed at gaining Western support for more sanctions against Moscow, securing tangible Western military help, and rallying opposition to a Russian gas pipeline that threatens to deprive Ukraine of important transit revenue.

His Western allies have so far not offered to give him any of these things soon, despite his warnings of a possible invasion by Russia after Moscow seized three Ukrainian naval ships and their crews on Sunday.

Volodymyr Omelyan, Ukraine’s infrastructure minister, on Thursday accused Russia of imposing a de facto blockade on two Ukrainian ports on the Sea of Azov by barring ships from leaving and entering the sea via the Russian-controlled Kerch Strait.

The Kremlin denied it was restricting shipping, saying it had not heard of any problems. If there were any delays they were due to bad weather rather than politics, it said.

11.29.2018 - Merkel: We Sanction Russia for the sake of International Law
Merkel: We sanction Russia for the sake of international law | Reuters

German Chancellor Angela Merkel gestures as she speaks during the German-Ukrainian Business Forum conference in Berlin, Germany November 29, 2018. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the West was imposing sanctions on Russia to stand up for international law and added that she would address the Sea of Azov issue with Russian President Vladimir Putin at an upcoming G20 summit.

“We don’t impose sanctions on Russia for sanctions’ sake, rather we impose sanctions to make clear that countries, even if their territorial situation puts them close to Russia, have the right to their own development,” she told a Germany-Ukraine conference in Berlin. “Those are the principles of international law.”

The European Union’s hawks have called for more sanctions on Russia after a fresh flare-up of tensions with Ukraine but the divided bloc is not going to act swiftly, if at all, diplomatic sources have said.

11.29.2018 - Three Siemen's employees investigated over turbines in Crimea
Three Siemens employees investigated over turbines in Crimea | Reuters

Prosecutors are investigating three German Siemens employees based in St. Petersburg over allegations they violated EU embargo rules, the Hamburg public prosecutor’s office said.

Siemens sold seven gas turbines to Russia in 2015 and 2016, but four of them were later installed in Russia-annexed Crimea, which is subject to sanctions from the European Union.

The bloc imposed sanctions after Russia annexed the Black Sea peninsula from Kiev in March, 2014, and ratcheted them up as Moscow went on to back rebels fighting against government troops in east Ukraine.

Siemens said in its annual report published on Wednesday that it was fully cooperating with the authorities.

While Siemens had agreed to sell 7 turbines, only 4 were delivered, an option for a further 3 turbines was never drawn.

The turbines order was worth 213 million euros and the investigation had been going on since May, a spokesman for the prosecutor said.

Siemens said that the turbines were ordered and delivered for a power plant project in Taman in southern Russia. But they were then transferred to Crimea by Siemens’ Russian customer OAO VO TechnoPromExport and installed in new gas-fired power plants in a breach of the sales contract.

OAO VO TechnoPromExport declined to comment.

Siemens sued OAO VO TechnoPromExport in Russia to get the sales contract canceled. But its case was dismissed by four consecutive courts, Siemens said.

11.29.2018 - Russia to build New Missile Early-warning Radar Station in Crimea: Ifax
Russia to build new missile early-warning radar station in Crimea: Ifax | Reuters

Russia plans to build a new missile early-warning radar station in Crimea next year, the Interfax news agency reported on Thursday, citing a Crimean security source.

News that a new military facility will be built in Crimea, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014, follows Russia’s seizure of three Ukrainian navy vessels off the coast of the peninsula on Sunday.

The new radar station — which will be able to track ballistic and cruise missiles from a long distance — will be built near the port of Sevastopol where Russia’s Black Sea fleet is based, the source told the news agency.

Interfax reported earlier on Thursday that Russia was also working on a new technical system to allow it to better track shipping around the peninsula in order to protest its maritime borders.

The Russian Ministry of Defense said on Wednesday it would deploy a new battalion of S-400 surface-to-air missile systems on the Crimean peninsula by the end of the year.

11.29.2018 - Russians failing to indicate purpose of travel face ban from Ukraine, says border service
Russians failing to indicate purpose of travel face ban from Ukraine, says border service

A spokesman says the key reason why Russian citizens are prohibited from entering Ukraine is their failure to confirm their purpose of travel.

© AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka

The key reason why Russian citizens are prohibited from entering Ukraine is their failure to confirm their purpose of travel, Andrei Demchenko, a spokesman for the State Border Guard Service, told the 112 Ukraine television on Thursday.

In the last few days, Ukraine has refused numerous Russians entry to the country. As such, roughly 100 Russian citizens who flew from Minsk to Kiev have been forced to go back because they were denied entry. On November 27, the Ukrainian border guards banned entry for 76 Russians in Kiev’s Boryspol and Kiev airports. The Ukrainian State Border Guard Service said that they acted in accordance with current legislation on granting foreigners entry to the country.

"For the past day, Ukraine banned entry for 33 Russian citizens, mainly because they could not confirm the purpose of travel," Demchenko stressed. He added that Russians are denied entry to Ukraine because "some of them don’t have the relevant documents that give them the right to cross the border, and there are also people who have illegally visited Crimea (bypassing Ukrainian checkpoints - TASS).

The spokesman for the Ukrainian State Border Guard Service pointed out that generally the number of Russian citizens blocked from entering Ukraine hasn’t been more than it was prior to the introduction of martial law across some regions of the country.

The Verkhovna Rada (Ukraine’s parliament) convened a special meeting on November 26 with 276 lawmakers having voted in favor of martial law, surpassing the required minimum of 226 votes.

Kiev’s move to impose martial law across the Vinnytsia, Lugansk, Nikolayev, Odessa, Sumy, Kharkov, Chernigov, Donetsk, Zaporozhye, and Kherson Regions along with the country’s territorial waters in the Azov-Kerch water zone followed the Kerch Strait incident.

The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) reported on November 25 that the Ukrainian warships, the Berdyansk, the Nikopol and the Yany Kapu had breached the Russian state border on Sunday morning and later attempted to carry out illegal maneuvers in Russia’s territorial waters later. The Ukrainian vessels ignored the legitimate demands of the Coast Guard of the FSB Border Service and the Black Sea Fleet to immediately halt, and end their dangerous maneuvers. The Ukrainian warships’ blatant disregard of the orders triggered a chase involving some gunfire to stop them. Consequently, the ships were detained in Russian territorial waters.

Moscow branded Kiev's stunt in the Kerch Strait as a dangerous provocation, while the European Union and NATO called for a de-escalation of tensions.

11.28.2018 - Ruling Party Candidate wins Georgia Presidential Runoff
Ruling party candidate wins Georgia presidential runoff | Reuters

Presidential candidate Salome Zurabishvili (C), accompanied by her daughter Ketevan and son Teimuraz, attends a news briefing dedicated to the results of the presidential election at her campaign headquarters in Tbilisi, Georgia November 28, 2018. REUTERS/David Mdzinarishvili

Results from Georgia's presidential runoff showed the ruling party-backed candidate, who favours balancing the ex-Soviet republic's relations with Moscow and the West, defeating her rival who advocates a stronger pro-Western line.

Figures from the Central Election Commission gave French-born Salome Zurabishvili 59.6 percent of the vote in the runoff, which was held on Wednesday. Opposition candidate Grigol Vashadze had 40.4 percent, based on results from almost all polling stations, the CEC said on its website.

Earlier, two exit polls also showed Zurabishvili, a former French career diplomat who served as Georgia’s foreign minister from 2004-2005, with a clear lead.

The second round of voting was under close scrutiny by opposition and international observers for any sign that the ruling Georgian Dream party is using its control of state machinery to help Zurabishvili win.

The opposition said there have been attacks on its activists during campaigning and complained there were many irregularities during the vote, including attempts to pressure voters and manipulation of voter lists.

The ruling party has denied attempting to influence the outcome of the vote unfairly.

International observers said the first round of voting last month had been competitive, but had been held on “an unlevel playing field” with state resources misused, private media biased, and some phoney candidates taking part.

Vashadze, who was foreign minister in 2008-2012, had been expected to use the presidency’s limited powers to send a vocal message of integration with the U.S.-led NATO alliance and the European Union - sensitive issues in the South Caucasus country that fought a war in 2008 with its neighbour Russia.

Georgian Dream and Zurabishvili take a more pragmatic line, balancing the country’s aspirations to move closer to the West with a desire to avoid antagonizing the Kremlin.

Constitutional changes have reduced the authority of the president and put most levers of power in the hands of the prime minister, a Georgian Dream loyalist.

The election was the last in which the president will be selected by popular vote. From 2024, presidents will be picked by an electoral college of 300 lawmakers and regional officials.

Zurabishvili won 38.6 percent of the vote in the first round on Oct. 28. That was just one percentage point ahead of Vashadze, who was a foreign minister in 2008-2012 in a resolutely pro-Western government that was in power when the conflict with Russia broke out over a Moscow-backed breakaway Georgian territory.

Georgian Dream was founded by billionaire banker Bidzina Ivanishvili, the country’s richest man, and critics say he rules the country from behind the scenes.

Zurabishvili’s supporters say she would bring international stature to the presidency. But her opponents have criticised her for statements that appeared to blame Georgia for the 2008 war and remarks about minorities that some see as xenophobic.


Jedi Master
I would like to add that if this happens, we can safely forget about the last scenery of the "civilized, democratic, European" state in the form of future elections.
ВАЖНО: На Украине отменили выборы
29.11.2018 - 21:48
Вот и начало ожидаемого процесса. Пока отменяются местные выборы, но ребята еще поработают, организуют еще провокаций и видимо добьются основной цели, оставят власть в Украине несменяемой.
11.28.2018 - Ruling Party Candidate wins Georgia Presidential Runoff
Ruling party candidate wins Georgia presidential runoff | Reuters
Друзья, давайте не сваливать все в одну кучу. События в Грузии конечно важны, однако Грузия все таки не Украина. Надо новую ветку открыть наверное.


IMPORTANT: In Ukraine canceled the election
29.11.2018-21: 48
The Central election Commission of Ukraine has decided to cancel the scheduled for December 23 elections of deputies of local councils and mayors of cities in 10 regions of the country, which introduced martial law. This is reported by the Ukrainian media. "The Central election Commission wishes to draw the attention of actors and other participants in the electoral process of local elections held in Vinnytsia, Donetsk, Zaporizhia, Luhansk, Mykolaiv, Odesa, Sumy, Kharkiv, Kherson, Chernihiv oblasts, in which martial law, in strict compliance with article 19 of the law of Ukraine "On legal regime of martial law" prohibiting the holding of elections," voiced the position of the ruling by the Deputy Chairman of the Central election Commission Oleg Gonopolskiy. According to the adopted resolution, the issue of the appointment of local elections in these ten areas will be decided by the subjects of their appointment in a legally determined manner after the cessation or abolition of the martial law. As said the Chairman of CEC Tatyana Slipachuk, we are talking about banning the first 45 and 7 for by-elections in the newly created GSS, appointed on December 23, and 9 staging of local elections, which must will be held on 9 and 16 December.
ВАЖНО: На Украине отменили выборы

That's the beginning of the expected process. While local elections are canceled, but the guys still work, organize more provocations and apparently achieve the main goal, leave the power in Ukraine irremovable.
11.28.2018 - Ruling Party Candidate wins Georgia Presidential Runoff
Ruling party candidate wins Georgia presidential runoff | Reuters
Friends, let's not lump everything together. Events in Georgia are certainly important, but Georgia is still not Ukraine. We need a new thread open I guess.


FOTCM Member
Here is the Nations look today:

Ukraine’s Pinochet Scenario
Did President Poroshenko use a clash with Russia to try to shut down internal opposition?

By Nicolai N. Petro
Yesterday 7:00 am

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko attends a parliament session to review his proposal to introduce martial law. (Reuters / Valentyn Ogirenko)

At first glance, Russia’s seizure of three Ukrainian warships that attempted to enter the Sea of Azov seems to follow a familiar pattern of aggression aimed at solidifying control over the annexed Crimean peninsula. Upon closer inspection, however, there is much more going on here than a dispute over transit rights.

By firing upon the Ukrainian vessels, Russia violated the December 2003 agreement on cooperative use of the Sea of Azov, which clearly provides for the unimpeded transit of both military and commercial ships of either country. This was immediately condemned by Washington and other Western capitals.

But it is worth noting that this agreement is explicitly tied to the 1997 Treaty of Friendship between the two countries. Indeed, when Ukraine withdrew from this treaty this past September, many Ukrainian legal experts warned that it would actually undermine Ukraine’s legal standing in the event of a border dispute. In October, therefore, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko unilaterally issued a set of directives delimiting Ukraine’s new border in the Azov and Black seas. Little noted at the time, these also apparently contained “an extensive secret section in the form of directives to the Council for National Security and Defense” to be carried out within the next 30 days.

This is where the president’s response to the latest incident becomes interesting. Within hours of the Russian military action, Poroshenko managed to convene his war cabinet, got it to propose martial law nationwide, and demanded that the Rada (Ukraine’s parliament) approve it. No other crisis—not even the presence of Russian troops in Donbass and Crimea—has ever evoked such a draconian response. The decision to do so now, at the onset of the presidential campaign, therefore raised enormous suspicions.

For the first time ever, a broad political coalition challenged the president. Three former presidents of Ukraine penned an open letter to the parliament saying that the only reason martial law is even being considered is because of the upcoming elections, which is why “the majority of society believes that, in this way, democracy will be restricted.”

In a recent online interview, opposition parliamentarian Nestor Shufrich describes how the leader of the Radical Party, Oleg Lyashko, and presidential front-runner Yulia Timoshenko literally stormed the dais where Poroshenko was speaking, demanding to see the text of the martial-law decree that they were supposed to vote on. When Poroshenko replied, “You’ll just have to take me at my word,” the meeting disintegrated into jeers and personal insults hurled at the president.

It is a sign of the president’s current political standing that he was unable to pass his proposal through a parliament that is largely controlled by the party that carries his name. To preserve a united front, and salvage the dignity of the presidency, a compromise was proposed and, after a hasty phone call between Poroshenko and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, adopted. Poroshenko was forced to cut back his proposal for martial law from two months to one month, and was permitted to implement it in only 10 regions of the country. He was also forced to set a firm date for presidential elections: March 31, 2019.

We will probably never know if this latest conflict with Russia was specifically designed to bolster Poroshenko’s plummeting political fortunes, but if it was, then like many of his other initiatives—restricting public use of the Russian language, disestablishing the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church and replacing it with a new “national church,” and curbing the rights of minorities to education in their native tongue—it seems to have exploded in his face. If Russia does not actually attack Ukraine now, Poroshenko will be widely mocked for raising unjustified fears and stoking economic and political chaos on the eve of the elections.

Opposition leader Shufrich triumphantly declared that the parliament beat back what he called Poroshenko’s “Pinochet scenario.” The battle, however, is still far from over, and it has already left new scars on the Ukrainian political landscape. As a result of this “victory,” all political activity in a third of the country will be suspended for at least a month. An extensive list of restrictions on public, private, and economic activities will be imposed, including military censorship on local media outlets. Conveniently for Poroshenko, the area under martial law coincides almost perfectly with the political base of the Opposition Bloc. It is also where the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) is strongest, where trade with Russia is most extensive, where Russian is the predominant language, and where Poroshenko’s political ratings are next to nil.

Still, it is hard to imagine any Western leader complaining very loudly about any of this. Trapped by their own anti-Russian rhetoric, dialogue with Russia, on Crimea or anything else, is clearly out of the question. Nor can they rein in Ukraine’s efforts to escalate the confrontation, for fear of being accused of condoning Russian aggression. As a result, hostilities in the region can only escalate, until Western leaders ask themselves whether Ukraine’s interest in conflict with Russia is really the same as their own.


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Russian envoy on Ukraine, Aleppo chem attack, Labour MP on II leaks, Broken News (E686)
Published on Nov 28, 2018 / 28:11
On this episode of Going Underground, we speak to Alexander Yakovenko, the Russian ambassador to the United Kingdom, about the situation in Ukraine after the clash between the Russian Navy and Ukrainian Navy on the Kerch Strait, the Aleppo chemical attack & more. Next, we speak to Chris Williamson MP about the Integrity Initiative, the rollout of Universal Credit, and more. Finally, Lembit Opik joins us for Broken News!
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