Civil War in Ukraine: Western Empire vs Russia

thorbiorn

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Interesting reflections by Angelina Siard: It Is for Such A Europe That Ukrainians Killed Their Compatriots in Donbass & Burned People Alive in Odessa? • Stalker Zone

The last time I was in Odessa it was May 2013. “What will be – will be” was already hovering in the air. Not far from my former apartment on Sadovaya Street, which went on a long voyage of illegal resales after the raider captures of the beginning of “Ukrainian independence”, a young girl handed out to passers-by St. George’s ribbons for the day of celebration of May 9th.
[...]
We are systematically trained to be tolerant of our own destruction, without noise, without weapons, with our own hands.

I noticed that many people in France are sitting on Prozac, feign unprecedented activity, or thrust themselves into the esoteric. A subconscious response to not being ready to know the truth and face it.

It is for such a Europe that you, brainwashed Ukrainians, killed your compatriots in Donbass and burned people alive in the House of Trade Unions in Odessa, because via their truth and knowledge inherited from their grandfathers and fathers, these people prevented you from obtaining lace panties and to later find yourself with a bare ass. But only your own experience is valuable. You, like the French Yellow Vests, have to go through all the lacy charms of the capitalist looking glass. But the French yellow Vests are already burning the flag of the European Union and with all their forces want to get out of it, while you are only just at the preparatory stage, assuming that the EU will even exist in the near future. But what will be, will be.
On Stalkerzone, there is another article:
Summary of RAND's New Plan to "Overextend and Unbalance Russia" • Stalker Zone Perhaps this article should even go into another thread, but here is the overall concept:
During the cold war, RAND participated in the development of a strategy of long-term competition that exhausted the resources of the Soviet economy.

The possibility of using this concept to destabilize Russia is the task of the new RAND study. The new report lists the measures by which it is expected to achieve the overstraining of Russian forces. I will say right away that the Western analytical services do not hide, but even spread information about their plans, and this does not harm the strategy itself. (Read this again and remember it!)

Russia, according to the experts of RAND, is a long-term threat and, despite its economic weakness, has bypassed the United States in some areas in the military sphere. Therefore, the American army must restore its analytical and linguistic experience in relation to the Russians. Ensure investment in new weapons. Prepare for a possible armed conflict with Russia. And to provide a set of measures to weaken the Russian army.

The most promising measures, RAND experts believe, are outside the military sphere. Russia does not seek military parity with the United States and may simply not respond to certain actions. Other actions may be much more costly for the US itself.

The most promising methods of putting pressure on Russia are those that take into account its weaknesses – the economy and political stability, not the army. But all of them suggest an escalation of the conflict.

That’s all about this report. In the closed parts every point is surely developed in detail, while here it is a teaser – a primer. But we must understand that this format of work does not imply any secrecy – the publication itself is already an instrument of pressure and destabilisation. Moreover, the strategy involves both options for Russia’s reaction: getting involved in the arms race is bad, but not involving yourself in it is not good.

Igor Dimitriyev
 
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c.a.

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Interesting is the body language, (of the host's) seem to indicate a nerveless and an uneasy tempo.

Rudy Giuliani is encouraging Ukraine to wade further into sensitive political issues in the United States, seeking to push the incoming government in Kiev to press ahead with investigations that he hopes will benefit Mr. Trump, according to NYT reporting.
May 10 2019
MSM Lie Time / 11:45




As mentioned on SOTT News back in the day!

 

goyacobol

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Giuliani canceled his trip to Ukraine.

Giuliani cancels Ukraine trip amid political meddling charges

Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, announced late Friday that he was canceling an upcoming trip to Ukraine after he came under criticism for saying he planned to talk to the country’s new leaders about investigations that could boost President Donald Trump politically.

Giuliani had said he was planning to meet with Ukraine’s president-elect, Volodymyr Zelensky, to encourage him to look into Hunter Biden’s involvement with a Ukrainian energy company and Joe Biden’s attempts as vice president to oust a Ukrainian prosecutor accused of ignoring corruption among the country’s elite.

But the move came under attack from Democrats and former law enforcement officials who accused Giuliani of trying to pressure a foreign government to target Biden, who's running for president, ahead of the 2020 election. Giuliani also said he hoped to discuss a Ukrainian investigation into the origins of the FBI probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

“Today, Giuliani admitted to seeking political help from a foreign power. Again,” House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff wrote on Twitter.
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Leonid Slutsky was hopeful that once Ukrainian President-Elect Zelensky took office, Kiev would reconsider the approach to the situation in Donbass

Russian MP slams Ukrainian top diplomat’s threats to abandon Minsk Accords as blackmail
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavel Klimkin’s threat to abandon the Minsk Agreements aimed at resolving the Donbass conflict if the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) restores Russia’s right to vote are blatant blackmail, Russian State Duma (the lower house of parliament) Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Leonid Slutsky told reporters on Monday.

"Klimkin’s threats to abandon the Minsk Agreements if PACE restores the Russian delegation’s rights is blatant blackmail. However, his statement illustrates the era of the outgoing Ukrainian president and his team. They don’t care about peace in their own country for they seek primarily to please their overseas tutors and cause as much damage to Russia as possible. Poroshenko and his team have been overtly sabotaging the implementation of the Minsk Agreements so Klimkin’s threats are nothing new," Slutsky said.

At the same time, he was hopeful that once Ukrainian President-Elect Vladimir Zelensky took office, the country’s authorities would reconsider their approach to the situation in Donbass. "I hope that the new Ukrainian authorities will pursue a different policy towards Donbass. This civil war runs completely counter to the human principles of the 21st century, while it is all happening in the center of Europe under the guise of European values," the senior Russian lawmaker emphasized.

Klimkin said earlier in Brussels that if the Council of Europe restored Russia’s right to vote in PACE, Kiev would stop abiding by the Minsk Agreements. According to the Ukrainian top diplomat, he has informed the foreign ministers of EU member states of Kiev’s stance. The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry claims that although the Minsk Agreements are not directly linked to pressure on Russia within the Council of Europe, Kiev has every reason to take such a step.

Meanwhile, French President Emmanuel Macron said at a joint press conference with Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjorn Jagland in Paris last week that France would like Russia to continue participating in the activities of the Council of Europe.

Russia and PACE
In April 2014, Russia’s delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) was stripped of its key rights, including the right to vote, over the situation in Ukraine and Crimea’s reunification with Russia. The issue of restoring the rights of the Russian delegation was raised at PACE twice throughout 2015 but sanctions remained in place. In response, Russia suspended its participation in PACE’s activities. The country did not apply for confirmation of its rights in 2016-2018. Moscow suggested PACE’s regulations be amended to ensure that no one could strip lawmakers of their rights except their voters.

Jagland said on October 10 that Russia’s membership in the organization’s Committee of Ministers and the Parliamentary Assembly might be suspended starting from June 2019 due to non-payment of monetary contributions. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in response that Moscow would quit the Council of Europe if opposing member states called for expelling Russia.

In January 2019, the two houses of the Russian parliament issued statements, pointing out there were no reasons for Russia to return to PACE in 2019. In addition, the State Duma upheld the move to suspend the payment of the country’s contribution.

On April 10, PACE members adopted a resolution on the role and mission of the Assembly, which, in part, mentions the need to maintain Russia’s Council of Europe membership and calls on Moscow to form a delegation to PACE and pay membership dues. The resolution says that PACE’s sanctions against the Russian delegation following Crimea’s reunification with Russia and the country’s subsequent decision to terminate participation in the Assembly’s activities caused discord within the organization.
Pompeo tells Russia to make peace with Ukraine, free captured Ukrainian sailors
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo enters a hall for his and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's joint news conference after their talks in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi, Russia May 14, 2019. Pavel Golovkin/Pool via REUTERS

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said after talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that he had told Moscow to free a group of detained Ukrainian sailors and to work with Ukraine's new president to bring peace to eastern Ukraine.
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
High fives, selfies and a snap election as Zelenskiy takes power in Ukraine
Ukraine's President-elect Volodymyr Zelenskiy takes the oath of office during his inauguration ceremony in the parliament hall in Kiev, Ukraine May 20, 2019.  REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko

Television comedian Volodymyr Zelenskiy took the oath of office as Ukraine's new president on Monday, promising that as hard as he had worked in the past to make Ukrainians laugh, he would now work to keep them from crying.

Zelensky gives to understand that ‘party of war’ will not shape Ukraine’s future — expert
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy is seen during his inauguration ceremony in Kiev

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy is seen during his Inauguration Ceremony in Kiev © AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky

Ukraine’s newly sworn-in President Vladimir Zelensky has given to understand that the bellicose rhetoric of Kiev’s ‘party of war’ will no longer shape the future of the country, a Ukrainian political analyst said on Monday.

"The very fact that the moods and attitudes to peace of violent lunatics will no longer orchestrate the country’s rhythm is a victory in itself," Oleg Voloshin, former director of the Ukrainian foreign ministry’s information policy department, wrote on his Facebook account.

According to Voloshin, Kiev’s ‘party of war,’ which is against the Minsk agreements and is seeking blockade of Donbass, "has lost the battle for the souls of the majority of Ukrainians."

"People want to live, they don’t want to fight. They want to build and don’t want to be at war. They don’t want to build an abstract Ukraine, they want build their personal careers, families, businesses, which, in the 21st century, all together means ‘to develop the country,’" Voloshin explained.

Ukraine’s new President Vladimir Zelensky was sworn into office on Monday. Speaking at parliament, he announced the dissolution of the country’s Verkhovna Rada (national parliament) and asked the cabinet to resign. Among his top priority tasks he cited cessation of hostilities in Donbass.

Ukraine’s new leader urges parliament to boot prosecutor, security and defense chiefs

© AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka

The inauguration speech of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky testifies that the new head of state has launched an open attack on the old political system, Head of the Ukrainian Institute for Analysis and Political Management Ruslan Bortnik said on Monday.

"Zelensky launched an offensive against the old political system, which he promised to do. He immediately called on the government to step down and announced early parliamentary elections," the political scientist said. Before recently there was hope that politicians would succeed in negotiating with Zelensky’s team that he President would not "destroy the political system to this extent", but this did not happen, the expert continued.

"In fact, he collided with our political system. I believe that now his opponents and media will actively work against him, he will feel such pressure that he didn’t feel during the whole election campaign," Bortnik said. The expert believes that the new head of state practically "made the Parliament seem guilty for everything that had happened in the country", however, MPs can oppose Zelensky’s decision to hold early elections.

"The Parliament can challenge [the Rada dissolution —TASS] in court, however, considering the popularity of the President, Verkhovna Rada won’t be able to resist and put spokes into his wheels for long," he said. He believes that the lack of coalition will be the argument behind the dissolution, while MPs will have to prove otherwise in court.

Ukraine prime minister to step down on Wednesday
Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman gestures as he speaks during the German-Ukrainian Business Forum conference in Berlin, Germany November 29, 2018.    REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

Ukraine's Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman said he would step down after the next government meeting on Wednesday and that he would take part in the upcoming parliamentary election.

Kremlin says Moscow was not invited to attend Zelensky’s inauguration
Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov

Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov © Mikhail Metzel/TASS

Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov has no information on whether Russian President Vladimir Putin will have contacts with Ukrainian President-Elect Vladimir Zelensky after his inauguration. The Kremlin official added that Moscow had not received an invitation from Kiev to attend Zelensky’s inauguration ceremony, set to take place on May 20.

"Currently, I am not aware of any plans to hold contacts [a meeting or a phone call between Putin and Zelensky], and, as far as I am aware, there have been no invitations [to the inauguration] at any level," Peskov told reporters.

"In many countries, inauguration does not include visits from foreign leaders," Peskov said, noting that he is not certain of the exact process of inauguration in Ukraine.

Peskov refused to provide an answer to a question on whether the Russian leadership plans to congratulate Zelensky with his assumption of office. "I cannot respond to the question: this is the decision of the Russian president," he said.

Putin has not congratulated Zelensky on his election victory and has not addressed the future Ukrainian leader personally in his Victory Day message.

Putin has no plans to congratulate Zelenskiy on inauguration: Kremlin
FILE PHOTO:  Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting on military aviation in Sochi, Russia May 15, 2019.  Sputnik/Alexei Druzhinin/Kremlin via REUTERS

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, asked if Vladimir Putin will congratulate incoming Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on his inauguration, says the Russian president had no such plans.

Zelensky announces ceasefire in Donbass as his first task in the office
The President underlined that he is willing to take unpopular measures to bring the war to an end.

Our first task is to reach a ceasefire in Donbass," he said addressing the Ukrainian people on Monday at the session of Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian Parliament) following his inauguration ceremony.

The president underlined that he is willing to take unpopular measures to bring the war to an end. "If need be, I am ready to lose my Post to reach peace," he pointed out.

At the same time, Zelensky said that it is important to return the "lost territories". "Both Crimea and Donbass are Ukrainian lands, where we lost not only territories but, most importantly, the people," he added.

He also addressed the citizens of Donbass and Crimea in Russian, saying that they "are not aliens for Ukraine."

Zelensky also emphasized that he is ready to open a dialogue to reach a ceasefire in Donbass, insisting that prisoners should be returned. "I am willing to hold a dialogue, but also convinced that the first step to open such a dialogue will be the return of all Ukrainian prisoners," he stressed.

Putin to congratulate new Ukrainian president on success in Donbass settlement — Kremlin

© Alexei Nikolsky/Russian Presidential Press and Information Office/TASS

Russian President Vladimir Putin will congratulate Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky on the first success in the settlement in Donbass and the normalization of Russian-Ukrainian relations if any occur, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists in response to the question on whether the Russian leader will congratulate Zelenskiy on his inauguration.

"President Putin will congratulate President Zelensky on the first success in the settlement of the domestic conflict in southeastern Ukraine and on the first success in the normalization of Russian-Ukrainian relations," he stressed. Peskov did not specify what this "first success" may be. "However, the first success [in the restoration of relations between Moscow and Kiev] will be obvious," he said. "If there is any, it will stand out a mile."

Speaking about the settlement in southeastern Ukraine, Peskov noted that President Zelensky "can and should solve" this domestic Ukrainian problem based on the plan contained in the Minsk agreements.

Zelensky’s position against language division should apply to religion — Lavrov
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov © Valeriy Sharifulin/TASS

According to Lavrov, "the artificially instigated church split only exacerbated the internal crisis and resulted in deeper division in the Ukrainian society"

The stance of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, who stands against the language division, should be applied to the religious sphere as well, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday at a reception on the occasion of Orthodox Easter.

"The fight against the Russian language and culture and the aspiration to destroy the all-encompassing ties between the two brotherly nations became the trademarks of the previous Kiev regime. It even disrupted the sacred spiritual sphere," the top diplomat said. "The attacks on the canonical Orthodox church, acts of vandalism, seizure of churches, and harassment of priests became systematic."

According to him, "the artificially instigated church split only exacerbated the internal crisis and resulted in deeper division in the Ukrainian society." "In this regard, it is especially important that, despite the external pressure, most local churches realize the risks attached to the proclamation of the new renegade Ukrainian church," Lavrov added.

"I am convinced that all attempts to sever the thousand-year old Russia-Ukraine spiritual ties are doomed to fail. Time will set the record straight," the Minister underlined.

"Today, in his inauguration speech President Zelensky stood against the attempts to divide the Ukrainian society on the basis of language. There are no doubts that this stance should be fully applicable to the religious sphere, including the broader context of implementing the Minsk Accords," he concluded.

UNSC to hold emergency meeting on Ukraine’s language law
The document stipulates that all Ukrainian citizens from now on are obliged to use the Ukrainian language in all areas of life

The United Nations Security Council will hold an emergency meeting on Ukraine’s State Language Law on Monday, Russian Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Dmitry Polyansky told TASS.

"We have called a Security Council meeting on Ukraine’s language law," he said. "We believe it runs counter to the spirit and letter of the Minsk Agreements approved by the Council," Polyansky said, adding that the meeting would be open for reporters.

A bill on Ukraine’s state language was approved by the Verkhovna Rada (parliament) on April 25 and signed into law by outgoing President Pyotr Poroshenko on May 15. The document stipulates that all Ukrainian citizens from now on are obliged to use the Ukrainian language in all areas of life. Special language inspectors will monitor compliance. They will be empowered to attend any state agency’s meetings, collect documents from public organizations and political parties for examination and issue fines.

However, Ukraine's opposition forces said they would use mechanisms to abolish the law if it was signed.

Member of the "Opposition Platform - For Life" party Nestor Shufrich said the opposition would file a lawsuit with the Constitutional Court, since the law was unconstitutional. Besides, an initiative was placed on a website for parliamentary petitions, which calls for suspending the Verkhovna Rada’s decision to approve the language bill. The initiative needs to gain at least 25,000 votes to be considered.

Poroshenko signs law on Ukrainian as the only state language
Poroshenko signs law on Ukrainian as the only state language
Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko

Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko © EPA/TATYANA ZENKOVICH

"I, as President Pyotr Poroshenko, have the greatest honor and a unique opportunity to sign the law on provision of the functioning of the Ukrainian language as the state language," he said.

Kremlin expects to continue talks with Kiev on detained persons
Spokesman Dmitry Peskov commented on Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensk's statement about his readiness for a dialogue on the ceasefire in the Donbass area, insisting on the return of the detained.

Moscow expects that the talks with Kiev on the exchange of detained persons will continue under the new Ukrainian leader, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday.

"This issue was actively discussed within the framework of available channels and within the framework of the Contact Group and that is why we hope these discussions will continue. Russia has numerously expressed its interest in that," the Russian presidential spokesman said.

"At the same time, there were certain problems with qualifying particular persons and determining whom the talk was about," the Kremlin spokesman said.

Replying to a question about whether head of the political council of the Opposition Platform - for Life party Viktor Medvedchuk would remain the person through whom negotiations on this issue were held, the Kremlin spokesman said: "he will remain in such capacity, this person who has a contact with Vladimir Putin and this contact will in any case be continued."

"If Medvedchuk manages to implement his humanitarian initiatives from the Ukrainian side, then it can be undoubtedly said that his work in such capacity will be continued," Peskov said.

Kremlin hopes incoming Ukrainian administration will comply with Minsk deal
"We hope that the new Ukrainian administration’s approaches will possibly feature new aspects that will bring us closer to fulfilling the Minsk Accords," he said in response to a request to comment on US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo calling on Russia to reach out to the new Ukrainian leadership

Potential ban on Poroshenko leaving Ukraine ‘just desserts', diplomat says
Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko

Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko

The initiation of court proceedings to prohibit Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko and several high-ranking Ukrainian officials from leaving the country is what nationalists justly deserve said Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on Friday on her Facebook page.

"Just desserts for nationalists: if you value Ukraine above all, then live there without the possibility of leaving," the spokeswoman wrote.

Earlier on Friday, a court in Kiev initiated proceedings against President Poroshenko, speaker of Ukrainian parliament Andrey Parubiy, Ukrainian PM Vladimir Groysman and 177 other Ukrainian officials. The court is mulling over imposing an exit ban prohibiting all these officials from leaving Ukraine.
 

c.a.

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Ukrainian Minister ate a cake in the form of the ruins of the Kremlin
MOSCOW, January 31 - RIA News. The Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine, Vladimir Omelyan, was presented with a cake in the form of the ruins of the Moscow Kremlin on the 40th anniversary. This was reported on Facebook by his press secretary Marina Tomko.

"They congratulated the minister on his birthday, presented the Kremlin (the ruins). And the hand with the cufflink of the UPA * flowers ate the star of the Spasskaya Tower," she wrote.

Omelyan celebrated his birthday on January 30th.

The Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine has repeatedly made loud statements about Russia. So, in October, he offered his fellow citizens instead of trips to Russia to arm themselves and "return the Kuban and Moscow."



MOSCOW, May 20 - RIA News. The Minister of Defense of Ukraine Stepan Poltorak published his photo against the background of the “blown up” towers of the Moscow Kremlin, UNIAN writes.

According to the publication, such a collage Poltorak accompanied one of his publications on Facebook. Now his post is not illustrated in any way, but UNIAN published a screenshot of how it looked earlier.

In addition, the history of editing the publication shows that it contained a multimedia file.

In the edited note, the Minister thanked the Ukrainians for "support and warm words."

Previously, Poltorak wrote a letter of resignation.


The Ukrainian publication Strana.ua published a draft decree of the newly elected President of Ukraine, Vladimir Zelensky, on the early dissolution of the Verkhovna Rada, which, according to sources in his entourage, he plans to sign after the inauguration on May 20.

It clarifies the publication, the published document is preliminary, and its final version has not yet been approved. “There are still discussions, but the project is already there. Perhaps it will be further refined, ”said a source surrounded by Zelensky.

The document states that since February 19, 2016, after the withdrawal from the parliamentary coalition of the Batkivshchyna and Self-help parties, in the two remaining factions of the BPP and the Popular Front, there are less than 226 deputies, that is, less than half of the constitutional composition of parliament.

On this basis, the President of Ukraine has the right to dissolve the Rada. “If within one month there is no coalition of deputy factions in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine that would meet the requirements of Article 83 of the Constitution of Ukraine, then the President of Ukraine has the right to terminate the powers of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine ahead of schedule,” the draft decree says.

Considering the above, the elected President of Ukraine, Vladimir Zelensky, decides:

1. To terminate early the powers of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine of the eighth convocation.
2. To appoint special elections to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on July 14, 2019.
3. The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine shall ensure the financing of early elections to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.
4. The Central Election Commission shall ensure preparation and holding of extraordinary elections to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine in accordance with the Constitution of Ukraine, the law of Ukraine “On elections of people's deputies of Ukraine”, other laws of Ukraine.
5. This decree shall enter into force on the day of its publication.

According to the TV channel NewsOne, the decree decides not only to prematurely terminate the powers of the parliament of the eighth convocation, but also to appoint special elections for July 14.

Recall, on May 17, Parliament Speaker Andrei Parubiy reported on the collapse of the parliamentary coalition in connection with the withdrawal of the Popular Front faction from its composition. Now, he said, a mechanism has been launched to form a new majority, for which 30 days have been set aside.

 

angelburst29

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
MOSCOW, January 31 - RIA News. The Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine, Vladimir Omelyan, was presented with a cake in the form of the ruins of the Moscow Kremlin on the 40th anniversary. This was reported on Facebook by his press secretary Marina Tomko.

"They congratulated the minister on his birthday, presented the Kremlin (the ruins). And the hand with the cufflink of the UPA * flowers ate the star of the Spasskaya Tower," she wrote.
No doubt, the chocolate in the cake and dark icing were made from ingredients ... from "Poroshenko"s Chocolate Factory"!

US, Germany, UK, Poland block UN SC emergency session on Ukraine's language law
The United Nations headquarters in New York

The United Nations headquarters in New York © EPA/MATT CAMPBELL

UNITED NATIONS, May 20, 2019 - The United States, France, the United Kingdom, Poland, Belgium and Germany blocked the emergency session of the UN Security Council on Ukraine's law on the state language, Indonesia's Permanent Representative to the UN Dian Triansyah Djani said on Monday.

The emergency session was convened at Russia's request. China, South Africa, the Dominican Republic and Equatorial Guinea supported the emergency session.

Djani said that five votes were cast in support of the session, six — against it, and four members abstained. He added that the agenda was not approved due to insufficient number of votes.
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Ukraine parliament election may happen on July 21: presidential adviser
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskiy (L) and his lawyer and adviser Andriy Bogdan (R) attend a meeting with lawmakers in Kiev, Ukraine May 21, 2019. Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via REUTERS

Ukraine may hold a snap parliamentary election on July 21, an adviser to new President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Tuesday after Zelenskiy held consultations with lawmakers.

Ukraine's new president replaces Chief of the General Staff: decree
Chief of the General Staff of Ukraine's Armed Forces Viktor Muzhenko speaks during an interview with Reuters in Kiev, Ukraine December 4, 2018.  REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko

Ukraine's new President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Tuesday promoted Lieutenant General Ruslan Khomchak to be the Chief of the General Staff after sacking Viktor Muzhenko, a presidential decree said.
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
President Vladimir Putin discussed the conflict in eastern Ukraine with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and France's Emmanuel Macron in a phone call on Tuesday, the Kremlin said.

May 21, 2019 - Putin, Merkel and Macron discuss Ukraine in phone call: Kremlin
The Kremlin said the call focused in part on the change of leadership in Kiev after Volodymyr Zelenskiy was elected president last month.
Germany, France, Ukraine and Russia have held four-way talks in a bid to resolve the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

Parliament frustrates new Ukraine president's election reform
Members of the Ukrainian parliament attend a session in Kiev, Ukraine May 22, 2019. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko

Lawmakers dealt an early blow to Ukraine's new president Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Wednesday by rejecting proposed changes to the electoral system ahead of a snap parliamentary election due in July.

Ukrainian parliament fails to consider presidential bills changing election law

© Pyotr Sivkov/TASS

Zelensky called for lowering the vote threshold for parties from five to three percent and introducing a proportional election system.

KIEV, May 22, 2019 - Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada (parliament) has failed to consider two bills changing the election law, which were submitted by President Vladimir Zelensky. The documents failed to gain enough votes to be put to consideration at a meeting initiated by the president.

"Regrettably, we were unable to include either of these bills in the agenda," Parliament Speaker Andrei Parubiy said following the vote and declared the meeting closed.

As many as 92 lawmakers voted in favor of considering Zelensky’s idea to change the election law, while another 127 supported his initiative on procurement concerning election campaigns.

Zelensky particularly called for lowering the vote threshold for parties from five to three percent and introducing a proportional election system. However, the hottest debate concerned party lists.

Parubiy said that the bill did not mention open party lists. Meanwhile, Ukrainian Presidential Administration Chief Andrei Bogdan said on Tuesday that though Zelensky supported the idea of open lists but it was impossible to implement it because of the Rada’s position. When speaking about the planned changes to the election law, he said that the provision concerning the majority election system would be excluded, while the vote threshold would be reduced from five to three percent.

Zelensky must strive for peace in Donbass, not talk sanctions, says opposition politician
Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky © Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP

KIEV, May 22, 2019 - Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky should be looking for ways to achieve peace in the Donbass Region rather than talking about sanctions against Russia, Chairman of the political council of Ukraine’s Opposition Platform - For Life party Viktor Medvedchuk believes.

"The President shouldn’t talk about sanctions (against Russia - TASS) but about him looking for paths to reach peace in Donbass," he said in an interview with the 112 Ukraine TV channel.

At the same time, Medvedchuk blasted the proposal put forward by Zelensky's team to hold a referendum on possible negotiating treaties with Russia on peace in eastern Ukraine. "The referendum is a reference to the unforeseeable future", as Ukraine does not have a referendum law or the corresponding constitutional amendments, he pointed out, adding that "peace in Donbass is something that should have been done yesterday." "It’s impossible to delay this any longer because people are dying," Medvedchuk underlined.

"According to the politician, protracting the war leads to "people straying away from Ukraine further and further." "We should catch the last car of the departing train, and do everything possible to return these people and these territories. Now is the time to make a decision and not talk about referendums," Medvedchuk added.

London’s refusal to discuss Ukraine language law points to double standards, says diplomat
LONDON, May 22, 2019 - By refusing to discuss the Ukrainian language law, the British authorities showed that official London is applying double standards, the press secretary of the Russian embassy in London told reporters on Wednesday.

"The western countries' double standards, including Great Britain's, are evident. Only recently, London criticized the Russian President’s decision to introduce the streamlined procedure of obtaining Russian citizenship for those living in Donbass, although, as we’ve repeatedly pointed out, it was made in compliance with norms of the international law and in no way violates the Minsk Agreements," the Russian diplomat said. According to him, in this case the western partners yet again displayed their solidarity with the previous Ukrainian administration, which "more sowed discord between the Ukrainian citizens speaking Russian and Ukrainian, while fully neglecting the Minsk Accords for the sake of all Ukrainians," he pointed out.

As the press secretary emphasized, London "supporting the authorities in Kiev in the last few years, has been addressing all complaints and demands relating to the implementation of the Minsk Agreements only to Russia, which is not a party to the conflict." "At the same time, doing virtually anything to push Kiev to put an end to the conflict with their fellow citizens is certainly not in the British interests," the embassy spokesman said.

The Russian diplomat also said that Great Britain and other western countries’ decision to reject the request to hold a UN Security Council meeting on the recently adopted law on state language in Ukraine "yet again testifies to the fact that London and other western capitals view the developments in Ukraine only in the context of their own geopolitical interests without any consideration for Ukraine itself and its people." The press secretary indicated that passing the law on provision of the functioning of the Ukrainian language as "a brazen violation of rights and freedoms of millions of Ukrainians who do not speak Ukrainian as their native language,"
passing the law on provision of the functioning of the Ukrainian language as the state language is not only "a brazen violation of rights but also "underlines the spirit and provisions of the Minsk Agreement endorsed by the UN Security Council Resolution 2202."

The diplomat particularly referred to the violation of citizens of certain areas of the Donetsk and Lugansk Regions for language self-determination provided for by point 11 of the Package of measures for the Implementation of the Minsk agreements. "For some reason, our western colleague did not deem it sufficient to consider the issue proposed by Russia at the UN Security Council meeting. Moreover, the adopted law violates the Ukrainian constitution and Ukraine’s international obligations which guarantee the respect for rights of national minorities," the press secretary concluded.

Ukrainian anti-corruption prosecutor’s office opens another case against Poroshenko
Pyotr Poroshenko

Pyotr Poroshenko © AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda

KIEV, May 22, 2019 - Ukrainian special anti-corruption prosecutor’s office has opened a criminal case against the former president, Pyotr Poroshenko, and a number of other top officials over abuse of office.

"The decision has been made and information entered to the unified register of pre-trial investigations," the anti-corruption prosecutor’s office said on its Facebook page.

The affair concerns the appointment of officials in one of the leading electric power producers in Ukraine, Tsentrenergo.

"Officials and members of Tsentrenergo’s observer council and officials at Ukraine’s state property fund and bodies of state power used their position and status to distribute key positions in the Tsentrenergo management board and the observer council with the aim of embezzlement of funds of a company in which the state has the controlling stake. The plaintiff says the joint actions by this group of persons were coordinated by Ukrainian legislator Igor Kononenko and the former Ukrainian president," the prosecutor’s office said.

The anti-corruption prosecutor’s office suspects that the energy company was defrauded of $228 million. If found guilty, those responsible may face a prison term of five to eight years and stripped of the right to take certain jobs.

Earlier, the State Bureau of Investigation opened a criminal case against Poroshenko over the Kerch Strait incident.
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Two petitions to remove Vladimir Zelensky from presidency have been registered on the Ukrainian presidential administration’s website. The first petition claims that he has no specific program for the country, and the second one calls for removing him from office if he fails to fulfill his election promises in six months.

Two petitions to remove Zelensky from presidency registered in Ukraine
Ukrainian president Vladimir Zelensky

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky © Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP

The author of one of the petitions, Maksim Bezruk, says that Zelensky cannot unite Ukrainians who have different views and aspirations. "You consolidated the protest sentiment without making specific promises and determining no political targets but after you have been elected and taken office, you cannot avoid outlining a path forward," the document adds.

Bezruk added that the new president’s first steps had disappointed the country’s people. "An unacceptable situation is emerging where ‘a servant of the people’ has no moral obligations to the people that stem from the electoral process," he noted. The petition, registered on May 22, has gathered over 6,000 signatures.

Another petition, registered by Vadim Mikhalsky, calls for removing Zelensky from presidency if he fails to fulfill his election promises in six months. In this regard, the petition particularly emphasizes the need to remove the immunity of lawmakers, judges, cabinet members and the president himself, and review utility tariffs. The petition has been signed by more than 1,000 people.

A petition needs to collect at least 25,000 signatures in three months to be considered by the head of state.


Zelensky states need to get rid of Soviet hardware and standards in Ukrainian army
Ukraine’s President Vladimir Zelensky

© Official website of the President of Ukraine/Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International

KIEV, May 23, 2019 - Ukraine’s President Vladimir Zelensky stated the need on Thursday to get rid of all Soviet military hardware and standards in the Ukrainian army and instead introduce Western standards.

Zelensky’s statement was published on Thursday as the Ukrainian president introduced new Chief of the General Staff Ruslan Khomchak.

"I expect that with the arrival of general Khomchak, increasingly less Soviet [hardware and standards] will be left in our army daily. Instead of that, Western standards will be introduced," Zelensky wrote on Twitter.

Zelensky said he hoped that the Ukrainian army would achieve high standards. "The Ukrainian armed forces should match the world’s best armies," he noted.


Russia ready for dialogue on normalization of relations with Ukraine — upper house speaker
MOSCOW, May 23, 2019 -Russia is interested in normalizing relation with Ukraine and is ready for dialogue with it, speaker of Russia’s Federation Council upper parliament house Valentina Matviyenko said on Thursday.

"We are interested in and are ready for dialogue, including between the parliaments, but it should be a serious and meaningful dialogue on the basis of mutual respect. We will not accept any conditions for the beginning of such dialogue," she said.

She noted that it is not right to comment political developments in Ukraine right now when that country’s new president, Vladimir Zelensky, has been in office for only four days. "It is deeds that matter. Let us wait and see what is done," she said.

Nevertheless, she said Zelensky’s decision to dissolve the Verkhovna Rada, or Ukraine’s parliament, was quite justified but refused to say anything about the legitimacy of this step.

"I don’t know if it violates law or not, it is up to the Ukrainians to decide. But I think this decision was justified because by voting to him (Zelensky - TASS), people voted for changes, for new authorities, for new faces," she said. "But it is too early to speak about the future Rada, would-be elections and how they are organized. Let us wait and see."

According to Matviyenko, the current Verkhovna Rada speaker, Andrei Parubiy, is a "non-handshakable man" because of his involvement in the state coup in Ukraine in 2014.
 

thorbiorn

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
The terror of the NGO's and think tanks have set in: West-backed think tanks threaten new Ukrainian president with disturbing list of ‘RED LINES’ In the article there was this:


Basically this is a trend that has been seen elsewhere too. There will be the governments and then pressure groups, sometimes working for the people, sometimes against the Government but in order for the Government to be able to exercise the control and chaos they wish to create.

In Ukraine it is probably, like before, very much directed from outside. And incidentally a new report came out: Meddling 101: US Army research center publishes strategy to destabilize Russia that has:
One particularly Machiavellian idea, the study suggests, would be for the US to find ways to encourage “skilled” and “well-educated” Russian youth to emigrate. Such a plan would have “few costs or risks” and would help the US while hurting Russia, it says. Unfortunately the negative effects for Russia would only be felt over the very long term, it adds.

Geopolitically, the report offers that US could consider providing more “lethal aid” to Ukraine, but acknowledges this option could lead to a “much wider conflict.” Increasing US support to Syrian rebels is another option, but could result in similarly unsavory outcomes, including damaging efforts to combat Islamic terrorism, it concedes.
 

c.a.

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Translated from Russian by Vlad Nikolaev 1-2 minute Read
#Ukraine #Russia Ukrainian border guards have tried to smuggle to Russia through the checkpoint "Goptovka", Kharkiv, more than 50 cans of explosives. Read MORE: Харьковские пограничники пресекли попытку ввезти взрывчатку на территорию России

Translated from Russian Влад Николаев 3-4 minute Read:
#Russia #Ukraine #Crimea UN International Tribunal demands release of arrested Ukrainian sailors Read MORE: Международный трибунал ООН потребовал освободить арестованных украинских моряков

Translated from Russian by Mary Christmas 2-3 minute Read:
#Ukraine #Russia #Donbass #Kiev It is impossible to break ties with Russia in the economy-representative of the newly elected president of Ukraine Zelenskiy Read MORE: Порвать связи с Россией в экономике невозможно — представитель Зеленского

Translated from Russian by 2 minute Read: vk.com
FSB HAS COVERED THE NETWORK OF UNDERGROUND GUNWORKERS. Crimea, Moscow region, Chelyabinsk and Ryazan regions. Seized 74 units of firearms. Full video of the FSB of Russia here: Wall


In Dagestan, the FSB Special Forces department destroys a gang of terrorists. Three "spirits" sent in hell.
Live video of the National Anti-Terrorism Committee (NAC)

The information center of the National Anti-Terrorism Committee reports that today, under the current legal regime of the KTO, the operational headquarters of the NAC has conducted verification activities in the Kizilyurt district of the Republic of Dagestan.

When inspecting a non-residential private house located in the village of Sultan-Yangi-Yurt, officers of the security forces were fired upon by a group of armed men. The response was neutralized by three gangsters.

Automatic weapons and ammunition were found at the scene of the clash.

There are no casualties among security forces and injured civilians.

The agencies of the Federal Security Service carry out the necessary operational investigative measures and investigative actions
.
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Translated from Russian Влад Николаев 3-4 minute Read:
#Russia #Ukraine #Crimea UN International Tribunal demands release of arrested Ukrainian sailors Read MORE: Международный трибунал ООН потребовал освободить арестованных украинских моряков
May 25, 2019 - UN Convention does not apply to Kerch Strait incident dispute - Foreign Ministry
Earlier the United Nations International Tribunal ruled that Russia should release 24 Ukrainian sailors detained for violating the state border in the Kerch Strait.

The dispute resolution procedures provided by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea are not applicable to the incident in the Kerch Strait, and the arbitration that Ukraine requires to convene in connection with it does not have jurisdiction in this area, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Saturday.

"As was earlier noted by the Russian side, the statements made by both Russia and Ukraine when signing and ratifying the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea of 1982 rule out the possibility of using the Convention’s dispute resolution procedures regarding the incident of November 25, 2018, in the Kerch Strait. In the arbitration, we intend to consistently defend our position, including the lack of jurisdiction of the arbitration to consider this situation in the light of the circumstances mentioned above," the Ministry said.

"It was possible to avoid the situation of the requirements of the Russian legislation concerning navigation in this area were fulfilled. We urge the Ukrainian side to do that in the future," the Ministry added.

May 25, 2019 - NATO demands release of Ukrainian sailors detained in Russia
NATO has made repeatedly clear that there was no justification for Russia’s use of military force against Ukrainian ships and military personnel.

May 26, 2019 - Ukrainian oligarch says Zelensky should reject IMF’s aid or default on debt
Igor Kolomoisky

Igor Kolomoisky © REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko - Ukraine should treat its creditors the way Greece does, Igor Kolomoisky supposes.

Ukrainian businessman Igor Kolomoisky has called on the country’s new President Vladimir Zelensky to reject the International Monetary Fund’s austerity program or default on Ukraine’s external debt.

"In my opinion, we should treat our creditors the way Greece does," Kolomoisky said in an interview with the Financial Times. "That’s an example for Ukraine." In its battle with creditors in 2015, Greece became the first developed country that refused to repay an IMF loan, albeit temporarily, he recalled.

According to Kolomoisky, Zelensky’s landslide victory in the presidential election confirmed that the people of Ukraine want a break from the IMF-mandated austerity reforms and clamp down on corruption. The voters cited these as their top reasons to vote for the comedian, the businessman explained.

"If Zelensky listens to [the West] and doesn’t make his own appointments he’ll end up like Poroshenko. He’ll have the same poll numbers 5, 10, or 15 instead of 73 per cent," Kolomoisky said. According to him, the United States and the European Union should write off Ukraine's external debt. "This is your game, your geopolitics," he said. "You don’t care about Ukraine. You want to hurt Russia, and Ukraine is just an excuse."
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I have to agree with Kolomoisky on this one - any help from the IMF - will only drag Ukraine deeper into a financial black hole.

According to Kolomoisky, Zelensky’s landslide victory in the presidential election confirmed that the people of Ukraine want a break from the IMF-mandated austerity reforms and clamp down on corruption. The voters cited these as their top reasons to vote for the comedian, the businessman explained.
Ukraine and IMF to prepare new aid programme after election: presidential official
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskiy attends a meeting with representatives of the International Monetary Fund in Kiev, Ukraine May 28, 2019. Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via REUTERS

Ukraine and the International Monetary Fund have agreed to prepare a new aid program to be ready after a snap parliamentary election in July, top presidential official Oleksandr Danylyuk said on Tuesday.

(Comment: Zelensky may have made another really foolish mistake ... by granting Saakashvili's return to Ukraine? Zelensky might not be smart enough to realize ... he just opened the door to his replacement?

Saakashvili teases 'cautious' return to Ukrainian politics
Mikhail Saakashvili

Mikhail Saakashvili © Piotr Sivkov/TASS

On Tuesday, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky reinstated Saakashvili's citizenship.

Former Georgian president and ex-governor of the Odessa Region Mikhail Saakashvili, who has regained Ukrainian citizenship, pledged on Wednesday to return to the country’s politics "cautiously."

Zelensky's actions on Donbass differ from his inauguration statements — DPR head
DPR head Denis Pushilin

DPR head Denis Pushilin © Valentin Sprinchak/TASS

The actions of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky on improving the situation in Donbass differ from his statements during his inauguration speech, head of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) Denis Pushilin told Channel One on Tuesday.

"As we see, his actions, concrete steps alreadt differ from what he saud during his inauguration. Now we see that something else needs to be done in order to really start talking about ceasefire and ending the military operation," Pushilin said.

In order to ensure ceasefire in Donbass, the Ukrainian president should take tough measure against Ukrainian radicals, Pushilin noted adding that "Zelensky does not have those opportunities."

The DPR head said that Zelensky does not have any contacts with the DPR authorities, and there are no improvements when it comes to the implementation of the Minsk Agreements. "Unfortunately, we see some steps that are very similar to manipulations carried out by [former president] Pyotr Poroshenko," Pushilin noted.


US seeks to freeze Donbass conflict in wake of Poroshenko’s defeat, says expert

© AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka

US envoy Volker is trying to freeze the Peace process, as well as, the conflict itself, the Russian expert noted.

Washington’s policy is aimed at freezing the conflict in southeastern Ukraine, Director of the Center for Current Politics in Russia Alexey Chesnakov told TASS commenting on the Internet conference held by US Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker on Tuesday.

"Judging by yesterday’s statements made by Volker, the United States has set the course for freezing the conflict in southeastern Ukraine," he said. "By asserting that Ukraine cannot do more for the implementation of the Minsk agreements than it has already done, he actually urged Kiev to do nothing more to comply with the UN resolution on Donbass. Volker is thus trying to freeze the peace process as well as the conflict itself."

"Having supported Pyotr Poroshenko during the election, Volker was evidently taken aback when his candidate suffered a complete failure. He is concerned because he doesn’t know Zelensky well enough and fears that the new Ukrainian president, being a populist, will heed the Ukrainian people’s opinion and implement the Minsk accords," the expert stressed.

"Volker needs a pause to exert pressure on Zelensky and convince the ‘people’s servant’ that his people are mistaken and that war is actually a good thing," Chesnakov went on to say. "To confirm that Washington is not interested in resolving the conflict, one could mention the fact that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo did not raise the Ukrainian issue at the recent negotiations in Sochi at all."

The political guru was also surprised about where Volker got information on a potential Normandy format meeting in July. "Of course, experts and representatives of the Normandy Four leaders maintain permanent contacts, and their meetings or telephone conferences are possible," he said. "I believe, however, that holding a summit in July, with the lack of any positive steps on the part of Kiev, is unfeasible."
 

Voyageur

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Here is a Helmer article focused on the RAND 'charitable' donation think-tank who received funneled money from the "Pentagon generals" and their US Army to spin-up an option paper on Russia. It is about operation SWARM (a 300+ page report to the Military).

Unfortunately, after reading in part, there was no indication that RAND presented an option for the US and Russia to just get together and build sh#$; the 'risks' are just too mind boggling for them to consider. Better to keep at a 'strategy of tension' they are saying.

Pictures (and I did not know RAND had such a big opulent structure in California - pretty good for a charitable) and charts in the link:


SWARM – THE RAND STRATEGY OF DESPERATE US MEASURES AGAINST RUSSIA

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By John Helmer, Moscow
Wednesday, May 29th, 2019

The US Army’s general staff has paid the RAND think-tank in California to devise a brand new plan of attack against Russia. The plan was released a month ago, on April 24. The new idea is Operation SWARM – that means throwing everything the US can think of at Russia.

SWARM (lead image) isn’t exactly new. He started in 1977 when Spider-Man discovered SWARM was a German scientist who had survived Hitler’s defeat and escaped to South America. He wasn’t doing too well until he was irradiated by a super-collider at RAND. SWARM moved to the East Coast of the US, and then to Syria. He hasn’t been doing too well against Spider-Man anyplace.

One of the reasons for the new plan is that the Pentagon generals don’t take seriously RAND’s public declaration that it’s “a research organization that develops solutions to public policy challenges to help make communities throughout the world safer and more secure, healthier and more prosperous.” The US Army, like RAND, has a narrower view of whose prosperity they aim to help, starting with themselves.

Another of the reasons is that retired State Department official James Dobbins, the lead author of the new attack-Russia plan, needs money to replace his past employment at the State Department and White House where he worked on US wars in Bosnia, Kosovo, Somalia, and Afghanistan. Equally in need of cash are his co-authors, several of whom are retirees from the intelligence and armed services.

And finally the third reason, as RAND concedes in several charts, is that none of the things the US Government has been throwing at Russia for the past five years has been working as intended, while the risks of BBB have been growing; that’s backfires, boomerangs and bloodshed.

RAND stands for Research ANd Development. It’s a charity, the corporation says on its website, inviting sympathizers to make “a tax-deductible charitable contribution ”. But the new report was not a philanthropy. It was “sponsored by the Army Quadrennial Defense Review Office, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff G-8, Headquarters, Department of the Army.”

The full 354-page report can be read here. For those who must work for a living, there’s a brief summary of 12 pages. For the picture version of SWARM, go to Marvel Adventures Number 38 or Ultimate Avengers Number 5.

Since the Army paid for the report, it’s unsurprising that land warfare is a preferred option in the attack plan, especially SWARM. “The Army should consider investing—and encouraging the other services to invest— more in the handful of capabilities… that could extend Russia. The U.S. Army also might consider spending some of its R&D resources on less mature, more futuristic systems (e.g., swarm unmanned aerial vehicles or remote ground vehicles). While these measures would likely be insufficient in and of themselves to extend Russia, they would benefit U.S. deterrence efforts and could augment a broader whole-of-government policy.”
By “extend” Russia, RAND means threatening Russian defences to compel the Russian armed forces and the state budget to spend more and more money, diverting resources away from domestic welfare and increasing the likelihood of internal rebellion and regime change. This is a strategy of bleeding Russia; RAND insists it isn’t bloodshed. Instead, it claims the plan of attack comprises “nonviolent measures that could exploit Russia’s actual vulnerabilities and anxieties as a way of stressing Russia’s military and economy and the regime’s political standing at home and abroad. The steps …conceived of as elements in a campaign designed to unbalance the adversary, leading Russia to compete in domains or regions where the United States has a competitive advantage, and causing Russia to overextend itself militarily or economically or causing the regime to lose domestic and/or international prestige and influence.”

One of the cheapest of the proposed US Army attack options is multiplying the number of NATO exercises on Russia’s borders. The problem, RAND concedes, is that American troops are unpopular in most of Europe. “Large-scale operations involving heavy equipment, such as main battle tanks, inevitably involve substantial damage to private and public property and a heightened risk or rate of accidents involving civilians. These factors could undermine popular local support for NATO and its activities, and Russia would undoubtedly take steps to strengthen this negative perception of the exercises through its propaganda arms and other means of influence in NATO member states.”

When the RAND team calculated which of its land warfare options stood a high enough likelihood of success to warrant the US and NATO costs and risks, less than half the proposals scored. Half of those, however, were also rated as risking the probability that Russian retaliation would wipe out whatever advantage the generals intended. As the RAND chart illustrates, if the Army develops new types of missiles but deploys them to Europe, it’s near-certain the Russian Army will do the same.

Even “revolutionary, swarm counter-anti-access and area denial capabilities” flash red on the chart — Russians can swarm too. If it’s Russian SWARM versus American SWARM, RAND warns there’s no firepower advantage for the US; no Pentagon confidence in the outcome.

At sea, RAND is also less than confident in the US Navy’s advantages. “It is more politically and logistically difficult for the U.S. Navy to operate in the Black Sea than it is for the Russian Navy to do so; it is also more dangerous in the event of a conflict. Therefore, an increased naval presence does not seem a promising competitive strategy. Improving NATO’s land-based A2AD [anti-access and area denial] capabilities over the Black Sea seem to be a more-promising approach. The effect would be to drive up Russian costs of defending its Crimean facilities and to lower the threat posed to neighboring countries.”

Land-based, in RAND speak, used to mean Turkey, but no longer. It also means Romania, but President Vladimir Putin has explained why that country’s US missile batteries are in the cross-hairs of Russian attack. There is no sign that the RAND strategists and their Pentagon clients have caught up with the new Russian doctrines of Cross-Hairs, the 12-Minute Red Line , and Hostile Intent . These aren’t the symmetrical risk for risk, tit for tat, which the RAND charts imply. They are the Russian scripts for warning before pre-emptive (repeat pre-emptive) fire. In naval encounters in the Black and Baltic Seas, for example, the Russian script starts with buzzing by air; if that doesn’t deter, then cruise-missile launch can follow without warning. For the time being, Russian maritime forces are ahead on points.

In short, the RAND chart for US naval operations against Russia reports no promising option.

In the outcome, is the US better off? That’s not what the US Army asked RAND to calculate. Still, the report cautions, “if the US escalates its attacks, most likely [that would] prompt some Russian counter-escalation. Thus, besides the specific risks associated with each option, there is additional risk attached to a generally intensified competition with a nuclear-armed adversary to consider. This means that every option must be deliberately planned and carefully calibrated to achieve the desired effect. Finally, although Russia will bear the cost of this increased competition less easily than the United States will, both sides will have to divert national resources from other purposes. Extending Russia for its own sake is not a sufficient basis in most cases to consider the options discussed here.”

In fact, the RAND attack plan identifies very few options which combine the calculation of high likelihood of success in imposing costs on Russia with the calculation that the risks to the US remain low. Just three in fact. The economic warfare of increasing sanctions isn’t working to purpose; adding more sanctions, the report warns, will run much higher risks to US interests. Worse, if the price of oil stays up, and the European states decide sanctions are not in their interests, RAND is predicting the US economic war against Russia will be defeated.

“The international sanctions have not improved Russian behavior and have furthermore allowed the regime to plausibly blame the West for ordinary citizens’ economic distress. Russia’s economic weaknesses are extensive, but the counterintuitive effect of the sanctions regime exemplifies how weaknesses are not the same thing as vulnerabilities that the United States can leverage to its advantage.”

The one economic warfare measure Dobbins and his staff recommend is expanding US energy production with the idea of driving Russian oil and gas out of their traditional markets in Europe, and cutting Russian export revenues. The rest are military measures – reposition US bombers in closer striking range of Russia; and two swarm tactics — electronic and cyber-war operations and deployment of robot and drone weapons.

The attack plan dismisses US schemes for proxy wars and regime change in Belarus or the Central Asia states at worth chancing.

The report endorses Alexei Navalny but concludes he can’t be weaponized on the US side, not at least among Russians. “It would seem highly inadvisable for Western intelligence agencies to attempt to cooperate directly with anticorruption groups inside Russia, such as Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation. Such cooperation would undermine the effectiveness of those groups within Russia, as well as put their members at greater risk of imprisonment or death. Instead, Russian-language outlets outside Russia would need to be identified or created.”

So far, there has been no direct reaction to the publication of the RAND attack plan in the Russian press; RAND has been unmentioned in print since 2012. However, this week there was an indirect reply in the obscure website of Information Agency Rex. “If the United States and other western states feel the slightest weakness of Russia, its unwillingness to [defend itself in] military and political conflicts and its internal political destabilization, they will certainly take full advantage…to weaken or destroy it as much as possible. And this cannot be allowed.”
 
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