Rioters have seized the administration building in Lvov and forced the governor to resign. It is not known who is currently in power in this region, but a puppet government formed by ‘opposition forces’ may soon be set up. Demands for ‘autonomy’, or quite possibly, explicit separatist flirtations, may give Klitschko and his thugs added bargaining power to use against the democratically elected government during ‘negotiations’. It is likely that even more extremist activity will occur, led by Klischko, as he proclaimed on 22 January that, “If I have to go (on to the streets) under bullets, I shall go there under bullets.” Batkivshchyna Party leader Arseniy Yatsenyuk seconded this provocative threat to delve Ukraine into de-facto civil warfare, as he similarly stated on 22 January that “Tomorrow [23 January] we will go forward together. And if it’s a bullet in the forehead, then it’s a bullet in the forehead, but in an honest, fair and brave way.”
Saakashvili: Ukraine is 'first geopolitical revolution of the 21st century' (+video)
Mikheil Saakashvili, the former president of Georgia and antagonist of Vladimir Putin, told the Monitor that the streets of Kiev are a battleground between East and West.
President Vladimir Putin raised the pressure on Ukraine on Wednesday, saying Russia would wait until it forms a new government before fully implementing a $15 billion bailout deal that Kiev urgently needs. Putin repeated a promise to honor the lifeline agreement with Ukraine in full, but left open the timing of the next aid installment as Kiev struggles to calm more than two months of turmoil since President Viktor Yanukovich walked away from a treaty with the European Union. A day after Prime Minister Mykola Azarov resigned on Tuesday, hoping to appease the opposition and street protesters, Russia tightened border checks on imports from Ukraine in what looked like a reminder to Yanukovich not to install a government that tilts policy back towards the West.
As violent scenes play out on the streets of Kiev, we look at the major role extremist right-wing movements have played in Ukraine's "pro-democracy" movement.
Ukraine's*far-right is gaining support and confidence through its role in the street protests, with the Svoboda party assuming a leading role in the movement and paramilitary groups leading the street fighting.In December US senator*John McCain travelled to Ukraine*to offer his support to the opposition, appearing on stage with leaders of the three opposition parties leading the protests - including the far-right Svoboda party.Svoboda is currently Ukraine's fourth biggest party and holds 36 seats in parliament. It is also part of the Alliance of European National Movements, along with the BNP and Hungary's Jobbik.Svoboda leader Oleh Tyahnybok is one of the faces of the protests, appearing regularly along with opposition leader and former boxer Vitali Klitschko*(see picture right)*voicing opposition to Putin's influence over the region.However, Tyahnybok has provoked controversy in the past with his anti-Semitic claims that a "Moscow-Jewish mafia" controls Ukraine.
Victoria Jane Nuland (born 1961) is the Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs at the United States Department of State.
Nuland is the daughter of Yale bioethics and medicine professor Sherwin B. Nuland, the family's original surname being Nudelman. She graduated from Choate Rosemary Hall in 1979 and has a B.A. from Brown University. Nuland is married to historian Robert Kagan, with whom she has two children. Nuland speaks Russian, French, and some Chinese.
Nuland has had a long career in the Foreign Service and has worked for both Democratic and Republican administrations. During the Bill Clinton administration, Nuland was chief of staff to Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott before moving on to serve as deputy director for former Soviet Union affairs. During the George W. Bush administration, she served as the principal deputy foreign policy adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney and then as U.S. ambassador to NATO. During the Barack Obama administration, she was special envoy for Conventional Armed Forces in Europe before assuming the position of State Department spokesperson in summer 2011, which she held until February 2013.
She was nominated to serve as Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs in May 2013 and sworn in to fill that role in September 2013.
2014 Ukraine/EU conversation
On 6 February 2014[nb 1] Nuland became part of a diplomatic scandal, when one of her January 2014 conversations with the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey R. Pyatt, was apparently intercepted and uploaded to YouTube.[nb 2] In discussion about how to handle crises in Ukraine, Nuland remarked, "Fuck the E.U." and Pyatt responded, "Oh, exactly,...".[nb 3][nb 4] A spokeswoman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton stated (the same day) that the EU would not comment on a "leaked alleged" conversation.[nb 5] The next day a spokeswoman, Christiane Wirtz, stated that German Chancellor Angela Merkel termed Nuland's remark "absolutely unacceptable."
Jennifer Rene "Jen" Psaki (pronounced /sɑːkiː/) (born 1978) is the spokesperson for the United States Department of State and a former spokesperson for U.S. President Barack Obama
Born in Stamford, Connecticut, Psaki graduated from Greenwich High School in 1996 and the College of William & Mary in 2000 and is a member of the Chi Omega sorority. At William & Mary, Psaki was a backstroke swimmer for the William & Mary Tribe for two years.
Psaki began her career in 2001 with the re-election campaigns of Iowa Democrats Tom Harkin and Tom Vilsack. Psaki then became deputy press secretary for John Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign. From 2005 to 2006, Psaki served as communications director to U.S. Representative Joseph Crowley and regional press secretary for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
Throughout the 2008 presidential campaign of U.S. Senator Barack Obama, Psaki served as traveling press secretary. After Obama won the election, Psaki followed Obama to the White House as Deputy Press Secretary and was promoted to Deputy Communications Director on December 19, 2009. Psaki left that position on September 22, 2011 to become senior vice president and managing director at the Washington, D. C. office of public relations firm Global Strategy Group.
In 2012, Psaki returned to political communications as press secretary for President Obama's 2012 re-election campaign. On February 11, 2013, Psaki became spokesperson for the United States Department of State. Her hiring at the Department of State has fueled speculation that she is likely to replace White House Press Secretary Jay Carney when he leaves the White House.
US embarrassed by apparent hacked phone call dismissing EU on Ukraine
What appears to be a hacked phone conversation between top US officials about Ukraine, in which the EU is dismissed in crude terms, has been posted on the Internet.
The comments are attributed to the US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland – who met President Yanukovych and opposition leaders separately in Kyiv on Thursday.
The date and precise context of the recording are not known.
In the video, posted on YouTube, Nuland and the US ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt discuss which of the country’s opposition leaders they would like to see in government – and refer to getting the UN involved in the process to resolve the political crisis.
In the recording the conversation is then as follows:
Victoria Nuland: “So that would be great, I think, to help glue this thing and have the UN help glue it and you know…” At this point she uses a swear word to dismiss the EU.
Geoffrey Pyatt: “Exactly. And I think we’ve got to do something to make it stick together because you can be pretty sure that if it does start to gain altitude, the Russians will be working behind the scenes to try to torpedo it.”
The video, entitled “Maidan’s Puppets” in Russian, also has a transcript in Russian.
The US State Department said it did not know where the recording came from. But it criticised Moscow for publicising it – while being suitably contrite towards the European Union.
“We work incredibly closely with the EU and with representatives of the EU and Assistant Secretary Nuland certainly does as it relates to Ukraine. And she’s been in close contact with EU High Representative Ashton. Also let me convey that she has been in contact with her EU counterparts and of course has apologised,” said State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki.
A spokeswoman for the EU foreign policy chief told euronews that Brussels would not comment on a “leaked alleged phone conversation”.
The video clearly aims to embarrass the US, echoing Moscow’s accusations that the West is meddling in Ukraine.
Ukrainian rioters are reigniting street clashes with police in the capital Kiev, with opposition MPs attempting to paralyze the work of the parliament. Protesters are stoning police, with law enforcement responding with tear gas and stun grenades.Follow RT’s*LIVE UPDATESSecurity forces have started an anti-terrorist operation at Independence Square in Kiev. The Berkut police forces and three water cannon have gathered at the scene, while armored troop carriers have reportedly surrounded the square. Protesters are calling for women and children to leave the area immediately, while stun grenades are exploding at the scene.Three police officers have been killed in the clashes on Tuesday, according to the Interior Ministry. One died from a gunshot wound to the neck while being transported in an ambulance, the other died from a gunshot wound later in hospital.At least 157 police officers have have sought medical help, the ministry added in a statement on its website.Five soldiers from internal security troops have been shot in central Kiev. A pistol bullet was extracted from one soldier’s wound.Seven civilians died in the unrest on Tuesday, said the police, including one who died in the office of the Party of Regions, three in the House of the Officers, one from a gunshot wound on Mazepa street, two died of heart attacks at Institutskaya street, according to Interfax.One hundred and eighty five protesters have asked for medial help, Kiev’s health department estimated at 8 p.m. local time.
1. The United States is not Ukraine, so, I hope, we don’t find ourselves living in interesting times.1.**Somewhat educated young people with no opportunities are a revolutionary class.* Between 1990 and 2006, as Ukraine’s population declined, the number of students entering colleges shot up an unbelievable*60%.* According to another source, ” The number of students enrolled in Ukrainian universities grew from 1.5 million in 2001, to*2.5 million in 2009-2011.”* Towards the end of this period the student population consisted primarily of those born in the 1990′s when fertility went through the*floor.At the same time, the quality of education continued to decline.* Ukrainian universities are not highly ranked, and that grades and diplomas are bought and sold is an*open secret.* In 2006, 32% of recent college graduates were unemployed.* Overall youth unemployment (ages 15-24) is18.6%.* That the students and young people in general and are very active in protests is not surprising, but it helps to know their circumstances.
2. Bilingual nations are inherently unstable.* From its inception in 1991, Ukraine has been bilingual.* Roughly speaking, those in the south and east of the country speak Russian and cherish cultural continuity and economic ties with their eastern neighbor.* They pride themselves on being Slavic people who heroically fought Nazism in World War II.* The west speaks Ukrainian and is fiercely nationalistic.* They remember Holodomor and the three Western-most regions, historically called eastern Galicia, build monuments toNazi*collaborationist*Stepan*Bandera.The South-east, with its agriculture, industry, mining and ports is the economic engine of the country — such as it is.* The west struggles with unemployment; with radical politics now resurgent in Galicia.* In the 2012 elections, chauvinistic Svoboda (“Freedom”) party received over 30% of votes in these three regions.
The west rebelled in response to the pro-Russian policies of Yanukovich who was elected by a slim majority.* That the restive west and the center toppled corrupt local governments is just as important as the demonstrations in Kyiv.* Activists are attempting to spread the revolution to the south-east, but the locals are prone to see them as invaders.* The English-speaking public got the impression that Maidan is a popular uprising, but*half of the country doesn’t support it.* The South-east is generally passive, but a modest amount of political activity is registered there, too. *In the southern port city of Odessa, Russian nationalists took credit for running Ukrainian nationalists*out of town, cars with western license plates are torched in Kyiv and the east and maidan offices are*bombed*in Kharkiv.While the western press marveled at the “stunning” fireworks of molotov cocktails in Kyiv, I heard a different sentiment from eastern Ukraine.* They see boys from Lviv who, once infected with revolutionary fever, refuse to go home to their miserly jobs.* Sample this comment from a Kharkiv portal of the Russian social site Odnoklassniki, where pictures of babies and animals doing things are increasingly frequently sprinkled with Soviet nostalgia videos and political talk:They bombed out downtown Kiev like fascists.* Shcherbitsky [Soviet-era Premier of Ukrainian * SSR -- ed.], god bless his memory, truly loved Kiev and after the war raised that city out of ruins. *Today neo-fascists are destroying, annihilating the city. I don’t understand, why can’t they stage “maidan” in the west? If they want destruction, let them destroy Lvov, Rovno, Ternopol.* Go at it.* Why do they need to go elsewhere? *Go to a city square BAZAR — and burn tires, no need to board a train. Kiev — it’s Kievan RUS.* Kiev was never a capital of Western Ukraine.* Don’t like it, for god’s sake, demand separation.* But they don’t like that solution because pensions and subsidies come from the east, from people who work instead of striking and pay taxes that are equally distributed between the regions. We break our backs, but* these scumbacks kill innocent Berkut boys who with their bodies protect ordinary people in Kiev. [...]* Berkut guys are set on fire, but they are forbidden from using arms because it will displease America that will bomb us like Yugoslavia, Syria, Lebanon and so forth and will install “Democracy” here.* We have to stomp out fascism in embryo, otherwise it will be 1933 all over again.Others weighed in with comments like “Where is Stalin when you need him?” or “I know Russia is not perfect, but I prefer it to what’s going on here.” or “I’d rather to live next to monument to grandpa Lenin than fascist Bandera.”* 1933, you say?Right now Putin is dormant, his hands are tied with the Olympics.* A reliable, conservative way to peel away the eastern part of the country is to create a*Ukrainian federation.3.*It’s easier to lose freedom than to gain it.* Prior to the 1775 destruction of Zaporozhian Sich, Cossacks had an autonomous, republican government.* Today Ukraine is a post-colony ruled by wave after wave of crooks.* In 2004, Ukraine went through a stage of mass delusion when citizens believed that a glorious future awaits them if only they support their honestly elected Yushchenko.* Today they are disappointed and apolitical.* Another lady on Odnoclassniki opined:There are masochists out there aching to go onward, to Maidan, for those craving money and * power!According to one poll, only 51% of Ukrainians say that they want democracy, 20.5% prefer an authoritarian form of government, and the later number is significantly*higher in the east.* This is now, but what kind of results can we expect if the protests linger?I’m not convinced of the democratic tendencies of the west either.**Svoboda, for instance, proposes ban on anti-Ukrainian sentiment* and return of the Soviet practice of including ethnic origin in passports. Its economic program is approved by*The Nation.* Svoboda is only the dominant party in three western regions of the country, but in as much as it provides much of the cannon fodder for*Maidan*(along with Fatherland volunteers, including the ultra-nationalistPravyy Sektor), it wields outsize influence.* They, too, will probably like the idea of federalizing Ukraine.Ukrainians say that they want transparency, but they are kind of cheating at their own revolution.* Yes, many protesters are sincere, but Russian channel 24 filmed a short documentary exposing*mercenary protestersorganized in groups of 5 and paid by the day. This fact is a common knowledge among Russians and Ukrainians, including the Maidan supporters.Russian-speaking pro-regime politicians are a little slow on the uptake, but they organized their own mercenary protests.* According to our friends in Kharkiv, such events were part Soviet-style, with government-employees rounded up for the occasion, part new model, with students and pensioners paid for attendance.* Plus, the authorities bused in people from Donetsk.* Our friend joked that in the morning the out-of-towners attended the anti-Maidan meeting, but in the evening cashed in on the pro-Maidan one.* Or maybe she was serious.The United States has a long and proud tradition of self-rule and free market economy.* We didn’t fight we didn’t live through Stalinism and Nazi occupation.* But we are pumping money into dubious college degrees and are on the verge of passing amnesty.* Our bureaucracy is expanding and crony capitalism is on the march.* We might find ourselves living in interesting times.A bonus lesson for Russian liberals: Don’t ally yourselves with Nazis.* Moderate pro-EU Fatherland and Udar parties entered alliance with Svoboda when two years ago it showed that it was able to turn out 10% of the population.* They allowed Svoboda and their Banderista signage in their protests, which antagonized half the country.* Likewise Russia’s liberals are allied with the radical nationalists, and it’s probably not going to end well.* Easy for me to dispense this advise, sitting here in the US.
Rival groups clash in Ukraine's Crimea, 20 injuredFebruary 26, 2014, 05:00 AM The*Associated PressSIMFEROPOL, Ukraine — Fistfights broke out between pro- and anti-Russian demonstrators in Ukraine's strategic Crimea region on Wednesday as Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered major military exercises just across the border.The tests of military readiness involve most of the units in central and western Russia, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said in a televised statement. He said the exercise would "check the troops' readiness for action in crisis situations that threaten the nation's military security."In Kiev, opposition leaders who took charge after pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych fled were working on forming a new government to chart a path forward for the country and its ailing economy. Parliament has delayed the announcement of the new administration, which was originally set for Tuesday, reflecting the political divisions among the various factions of the opposition.When announcing Russia's military exercises, Shoigu didn't specifically mention the turmoil in Ukraine, which is bitterly divided between pro-European western regions and pro-Russian areas in the east and south.Three months of protests forced Yanukovych to go into hiding over the weekend as his foes set up an interim government following violent clashes between protesters and police that left more than 80 people dead.In Crimea's regional capital of Simferopol, about 20,000 Muslim Tatars who rallied in support of the interim government clashed with a smaller pro-Russian rally. One health official said at least 20 people were injured, while the local health ministry said one person died from an apparent heart attack.The protesters shouted and attacked each other with stones, bottles and punches, as police and leaders of both rallies struggled to keep the two groups apart.They started to disperse after the speaker of the regional legislature announced it would postpone a crisis session, which many Tatars feared would have taken steps toward seceding from Ukraine."The threat of separatism has been eliminated," Refat Chubarov, the leader of the Tatar community in Crimea, told the crowd.Crimean Tatars are a Turkic Muslim ethnic group who have lived in Crimea for centuries. They were brutally deported in 1944 by Soviet dictator Josef Stalin, but returned after Ukraine's independence.The tensions in Crimea — a peninsula in southern Ukraine that is home to Russia's Black Sea Fleet — highlight the divisions that run through this country of 46 million, and underscore fears the country's mainly Russian-speaking east and south won't recognize the interim authorities' legitimacy."Only Russia can defend us from fascists in Kiev and from Islamic radicals in Crimea," said Anton Lyakhov, a 52-year-old pro-Russian protester.According to the Russian defense minister, the military will be on high alert for two days as some troops deploy to shooting ranges. The actual maneuvers will start Friday and will last four days, he said. The exercise will involve ships of the Baltic and the Northern Fleets, and the air force.The order came a day after a Russian lawmaker visiting Crimea said Moscow would protect the region's Russian-speaking residents, raising concerns that Russia might make a military move into Ukraine."We take it for granted that all nations respect the sovereignty and independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine, and this is a message that we have also conveyed to whom it may concern," NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said.On Wednesday, Yanukovych's three predecessors as president issued a statement accusing Russia of "direct interference in the political life of Crimea."Russian officials denied any plans to move militarily on Ukraine."That scenario is impossible," said Valentina Matvienko, speaker of the upper chamber of Russia's parliament, known as the Federation Council. She is a close Putin ally and was born in western Ukraine."Russia has been stating and reiterating its stance that we have no right and cannot interfere in domestic affairs of a sovereign state," she said. "We are for Ukraine as a united state, and there should be no basis for separatist sentiments."In Kiev, the capital, protesters who have demanded that the new government be close to the people, cut down a fence surrounding the Parliament building.Ukraine's acting interior minister ordered the disbandment of a feared riot police force known as Berkut, which protesters blamed for violent attacks against peaceful demonstrators.The force, whose name means "golden eagle," consisted of about 5,000 officers. It was unclear Wednesday whether its members would be dismissed or reassigned to other units.Protesters took to the streets after Yanukovych's decision in November to reject an agreement that would strengthen ties with the EU and instead seek closer cooperation with Moscow.Anti-Yanukovych protesters set up a camp on Kiev's Independence Square, known as the Maidan, demonstrating against corruption and human rights abuses and calling for the president's resignation.Under an EU-mediated plan, Yanukovych and protest leaders agreed to form a new government and hold an early election, but Parliament later voted to remove him from the presidency. The protesters took control of Kiev and seized the president's office as Yanukovych fled the capital. His whereabouts are unknown.In Lviv, a major city in the European-leaning west of Ukraine, leading cultural figures tried to defuse the tensions between the Russian-speaking east and the Ukrainian-speaking west, calling on residents to speak only Russian on Wednesday in a symbolic show of solidarity.The call appeared to have had some effect."You can really hear a lot of Russian spoken on the streets of Lviv today," said Konstantin Beglov, one of the campaign's promoters, "although it often leads to funny situations because Lviv residents hardly ever speak Russian."
Russia scrambled fighter jets to patrol its border and reportedly gave shelter to Ukraine's fugitive president as pro-Russian gunmen stormed offices of Ukraine's strategic region, deepening the crisis for the new Ukrainian government even as it was being formed.The moves pose an immediate challenge to Ukraine's new authorities as they seek to set up an interim government for the country, whose population is divided in loyalties between Russia and the West. Ukraine's new prime minister said the country's future lies in the European Union but with friendly relations with Russia. Moscow, meanwhile, has launched a massive military exercise involving 150,000 troops and put fighter jets on patrol along the border.A respected Russian news organization reported that President Viktor Yanukovych, who was driven out of Kiev by a three-month protest movement, was staying in a Kremlin sanatorium just outside Moscow."I have to ask Russia to ensure my personal safety from extremists," Yanukovych said in a statement carried by Russian news agencies on Thursday. He said he still considers himself president and sees the new Ukrainian authorities as illegitimate.Shortly after, the same three Russian news agencies quoted an unnamed Russian official saying that Yanukovych's request for protection "was satisfied on the territory of Russia."Oleksandr Turchynov, who stepped in as acting president after Yanukovych's flight, condemned the takeover of government buildings in Crimea as a "crime against the government of Ukraine." He warned that any move by Russian troops off of their base in Crimea "will be considered a military aggression.""Unidentified people with automatic weapons, explosives and grenades have taken over the governmental buildings and the Parliament building in the autonomous region of Crimea," he said. "I have given orders to the military to use all methods necessary to protect the citizens, punish the criminals, and to free the buildings."In Kiev, lawmakers chose Arseniy Yatsenyuk as the new prime minister. He will face the hugely complicated task of restoring stability in a country that is not only deeply divided politically but on the verge of financial collapse. The 39-year-old served as economy minister, foreign minister and parliamentary speaker before Yanukovych took office in 2010, and is widely viewed as a technocratic reformer who enjoys the support of the U.S.Shortly before the lawmakers chose him as the leader of the new Cabinet, Yatsenyuk said Ukraine doesn't want a fight with Russia, but insisted the country wouldn't accept the secession of the southern Crimea region.He said Crimea "has been and will be a part of Ukraine."Yanukovych fled after riot police attacked protesters in Kiev's central square, killing more than 80 people, and European and Russian officials intervened. He has not been seen publicly since Saturday, when he said he remained the legitimately elected president — a position that has been backed by Russia.Russia's respected RBK news organization reported Wednesday evening that Yanukovych was staying at the Barvikha sanatorium, which is run by the presidential administration's property department. The spokesman for this department, Viktor Khrekov, told The Associated Press on Thursday that he has no information about this.The RBK report was impossible to confirm, but security at the Ukraina Hotel was unusually heavy late Wednesday, with police watching from parked vehicles outside and guards posted throughout the lobby. Some of Yanukovych's allies, also reported to have been at the hotel, may have still been there.Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman also said he had no information about Yanukovych's reported arrival in Moscow.In a clear warning to Ukraine, Putin on Wednesday ordered massive military exercises involving most of the military units in western Russia. On Thursday, as part of the exercises, fighter jets were put on combat alert and were patrolling the border, Russia's Defense Ministry said in a statement. It didn't specify the areas where patrol missions were being conducted. The military also announced measures to tighten security at the headquarters of Russia's Black Sea Fleet on the Crimean peninsula in southeastern Ukraine.The military maneuvers prompted a sharp rebuke from U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who warned Russia that any military intervention in Ukraine would be a "grave mistake."The Russian Foreign Ministry voiced concern Thursday about the Russian-speaking population in Ukraine and vowed to protect their interests. State-owned ITAR-Tass news agency quoted a statement read at a session of the ministry's board on Thursday, saying that Russia "will have a firm and uncompromising response to violations of the rights of compatriots by foreign states."Russia has accused Ukraine's interim leaders of failing to control radicals who threaten the Russia-speaking population in Ukraine's east and south, which includes the Crimean Peninsula.Witnesses said the gunmen in Simferopol, the Crimean regional capital, wore unmarked camouflage uniforms and carried rocket-propelled grenades, sniper rifles and other weapons. They raised the Russian flag over the local parliament building.The men did not immediately voice any demands and threw a flash grenade in response to a journalist's questions. They wore black and orange ribbons, a Russian symbol of the victory in World War II, and put up a sign reading "Crimea is Russia."Maxim, a pro-Russian activist who refused to give his last name, said he and other activists had camped overnight outside the local parliament in Simferopol when 50-60 heavily armed men wearing flak jackets and carrying rocket-propelled grenade launchers and sniper rifles took over the building."Our activists were sitting there all night calmly, building the barricades," he said. "At 5 o'clock unknown men turned up and went to the building. They got into the courtyard and put everyone on the ground."They were asking who we were. When we said we stand for the Russian language and Russia, they said: 'Don't be afraid. We're with you.' Then they began to storm the building bringing down the doors," he said. "They didn't look like volunteers or amateurs; they were professionals. This was clearly a well-organized operation.""Who are they?" he added. "Nobody knows."A convoy of seven armored personnel carriers was seen on a road near the village of Ukromnoye, about 10 kilometers (some 6 miles) away from the city of Simferopol. In Moscow, Russia's Foreign Ministry said that Russia was abiding by an agreement with Ukraine that sharply restricts troops movements, but acknowledged some unspecified troops movements, claiming they didn't violate the deal, the Interfax news agency reported.In a statement, the local government said Crimean Prime Minister Anatoly Mogilyev had tried to negotiate with the gunmen but was told "they were not authorized to negotiate and present demands."Ukraine's acting interior minister, Arsen Avakov, said on his Facebook page that police were sealing off the area."Measures have been taken to counter extremist actions and not allow the situation to escalate into an armed confrontation in the center of the city," he said.Phone calls to the Crimean legislature rang unanswered, and its website was down.Meanwhile, Ukraine's currency, the hryvnia, dropped further to a new record low of 11.25 to the U.S. dollar, a sign of the country's financial distress.One of the new government's first tasks will be to seek rescue loans from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. The finance ministry has pegged the country's needs at $35 billion dollars for this year and next to pay salaries and debts and cover the large budget deficit.- See more at: http://thecontributor.com/russian-fo....ZNaIo7B0.dpuf
The CIA's Anti-Putin 'Nationalists' in Russia & Ukraine
Newly appointed Prime Minister of Ukraine and former central banker*Arseniy Yatsenyuk
A reshuffled Ukrainian Parliament installed following a coup last week has voted to appoint Arseniy Yatsenyuk as the new prime minister of the country. Yats, as*Victoria Nuland, the Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs at the U.S. State Department, called him, is a natural choice. He is a millionaire former banker who served as economy minister, foreign minister and parliamentary speaker before Yanukovych took office in 2010. He is a member of Yulie Tymoshenko’s Fatherland Party. Prior to the revolution cooked up by the State Department and executed by ultra-nationalist street thugs, Tymoshenko was incarcerated for embezzlement and other crimes against the people of Ukraine. Now she will be part of the installed government, same as she was after the last orchestrated coup, the Orange Revolution.
Yats will deliver Ukraine to the international bankers. “Ukraine is on the brink of bankruptcy and needs to be saved from collapse — Yatsenyuk has a strong economic background,”*Ariel Cohen, senior fellow at the Washington-based Heritage Foundation, told Bloomberg on Wednesday. “Ukraine faces difficult reforms but without them there won’t be a successful future.”Discussion with the IMF is crucial, US Treasury Secretary*Jacob Lew*said earlier this week. In order to cinch the deal, the U.S. government will sweeten the pot. Lew talked with the IMF boss, Christine Lagarde, about Ukraine as he headed back from a globalist confab, the G-20 meeting in Sydney, Australia.“Secretary Lew informed Managing Director Lagarde that he had spoken earlier in the day with Ukrainian leader Arseniy Yatsenyuk and advised him of the broad support for an international assistance package centered on the IMF, as soon as the transitional Ukrainian government is fully established by the Parliament,”*MNI News*reported on Monday. “Secretary Lew also noted that he had communicated to Mr. Yatsenyuk the need to quickly begin implementing economic reforms and enter discussions with the IMF following the establishment of the transitional government.”Ukraine’s story is right out of the IMF playbook. The nation’s corrupt leaders past and present – most notably Tymoshenko, who went to prison for corruption and wholesale thievery – have enriched themselves at the expensive of ordinary Ukrainians.“Ukraine at the dawn of independence was among the ten most developed countries, and now it drags out a miserable existence,” Communist Party leader*Petro Symonenko*said last year. The nation’s leaders “signed a memorandum with the International Monetary Fund to meet the requirements of the oligarchs, but on the other hand — to timely pay the interest on the IMF loans and to raise the prices for gas and electricity,” Symonenko said.The Orange Revolution – initiated by NED, IRI, Soros and the CIA – installed a rogue’s gallery of self-seeking sociopaths who further bankrupted a country already seriously debilitated by corruption.For the IMF and the financial elite, Ukraine is nothing less than a tantalizing bounty. “Its fertile black soil generated more than one-fourth of Soviet agricultural output, and its farms provided substantial quantities of meat, milk, grain, and vegetables to other republics,” notes*ABO, a website covering energy resources. “Likewise, its diversified heavy industry supplied the unique equipment (for example, large diameter pipes) and raw materials to industrial and mining sites (vertical drilling apparatus) in other regions of the former USSR.”After breaking away from the Soviet Union and declaring independence, it was thought the country would “liberalize” its industry and resources, in other words open them up for privatization by transnational corporations and international banks, but this did not happen quickly enough for the financiers and the corporatists.
The drop in steel prices and Ukraine’s exposure to the global financial crisis due to aggressive foreign borrowing lowered growth in 2008 and the economy contracted more than 15 percent in 2009, among the worst economic performances in the world,” ABO explains. “In August 2010, Ukraine, under the Yanukovych Administration, reached a new agreement with the IMF for a $15.1 billion Stand-By Agreement. Economic growth resumed in 2010 and 2011, buoyed by exports. After initial disbursements, the IMF program stalled in early 2011 due to the Ukrainian Government’s lack of progress in implementing key gas sector reforms, namely gas tariff increases. Economic growth slowed in the second half of 2012 with Ukraine finishing the year in technical recession following two consecutive quarters of negative growth.”Now that Yanukovych is out of the picture, the banker minion Yats is lording over the Parliament, and thuggish fascists control the streets and guard against a counter revolution that my threaten Wall Street’s coup, the coast is clear for the IMF to pick up where it left off. Ukraine, now one of the poorest countries in Europe thanks to a kleptocracy supported by Washington and Wall Street, is wide open for further looting.
American Conquest by Subversion: Victoria Nuland’s Admits Washington Has Spent $5 Billion to “Subvert Ukraine”
By*Global Research NewsGlobal Research, February 07, 2014
“After three visits to Ukraine in five weeks, Victoria Nuland explains that in the past two decades, the United States has spent five Billion dollars ($5,000,000,000) to subvert Ukraine, and assures her listeners that there are prominent businessmen and government officials who support the US project to tear Ukraine away from its historic relationship with Russia and into the US sphere of interest (via “Europe”).Victoria Nuland is the wife of Robert Kagan, leader of the younger generation of “neo-cons”.* After serving as Hillary Clinton’s spokesperson, she is now undersecretary of state for Europe and Eurasia.”**Diana Johnstone*Hear Victoria Nuland’s very concise, almost victorious speech:****
Russia Starts Massive Air Defense Drills Amid Crimea Standoff
MOSCOW, March 6 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s Western Military District has begun large-scale air defense drills at its southern testing range of Kapustin Yar on the backdrop of further escalation of tensions with the West over Ukraine.Kapustin Yar, located some 450 kilometers (280 miles) east of the Ukrainian border, will host about 3,500 troops and over 1,000 units of military hardware for about a month. The exercise will culminate with live-firing drills, involving S-300, Buk-M1 and other air defense systems.“It is for the first time that all air defense units from the district, including coastal defenses of the Northern Fleet, have gathered in one place,” said the district’s spokesman, Col. Oleg Kochetkov.“It is the largest-ever exercise held by air defense units of the Western Military District,” Kochetkov said, adding that the drills were part of a regular combat training cycle.The exercise, however, coincides with further escalation of a political crisis in Ukraine that has led to the current standoff between Russia and the West over the fate of Crimea, an autonomous Ukrainian region with a majority ethnic Russian population.Crimean authorities have refused to recognize as legitimate the new central government in Kiev, which ousted President Viktor Yanukovych late last month, and on Thursday they announced a decision to become part of Russia.A popular vote to approve the decision will be held in Crimea on March 16.Russia’s parliament has recently approved military intervention in Ukraine, while thousands of “local militia” allegedly under Russian command have taken control over Ukrainian military bases across Crimea in the past week.Following these developments, the West showered Moscow with accusations of aggression and threats of sanctions while cutting off military exchanges with Russia and scrambling to bolster military cooperation within NATO.The Pentagon announced plans on Wednesday to expand combat pilot training in Poland and to send six additional F-15C fighter jets to a NATO mission carrying out air patrols over Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.Patrols have been carried out on a three- to four-month rotation basis by 14 NATO states from Lithuania’s air base in Zokniai, near the northern city of Siauliai, since 2004 when the ex-Soviet republics joined the alliance.The Estonian military said Thursday that the six US fighter jets as well as two KC-135 aerial refueling tankers landed at Zokniai, joining four US F-15s deployed there since January.
Countries interested to purchase the Russian-made air defense missile system*S-400*are ready to wait for delivery until 2021, announced Wednesday, 13 February, 2013, in Moscow, the CEO of the Russian State Agency of arms export, Rosoboronexport, Anatoly Issaïkine."The queue of countries wishing to acquire systems*S-400*extends until 2020 to 2021," he sai to the reporters.Mr. Issaïkine indicated also that Russia was conducting negotiations with ten countries over the delivery of combat training aircraft*Yak-130."Negotiations are also underway with six countries for the delivery of submarine equipped with air independent propulsion (AIP)," said the head of Rosoboronexport.According to him, many countries want to buy Russian helicopters, including the Ka-52 Alligator, Mi-35 and Mi-28N nicknamed "night hunters".The*S-400 Triumph*(NATO code SA-21 Growler) is a long range surface-to-air missile systems produced by Almaz-Antey. The S-400 Trumph is intended to engage, ECM, radar-picket, director area, reconnaissance, strategic and tactical aircraft, tactical and theatre ballistic missiles, medium-range ballistic missiles and other current and future air attack assets at a maximum range of 400 km, and a altitude of up to 30 km.*The*S-400*air defense missile system can simultaneously engage 36 targets.
Lakenheath fighters headed to Baltics to beef up air space patrolling as Ukraine crisis continues
KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — Six F-15C Eagles and more than 60 U.S. airmen from RAF Lakenheath, England, were en route Thursday to Lithuania to bolster NATO’s air policing mission over the Baltics region amid the crisis in nearby Ukraine.The Associated Press later reported that the fighter jets had arrived at Siauliai air base, Lithuania.U.S. Air Force officials with the 48th Fighter Wing at Lakenheath, and at U.S. Air Forces in Europe headquarters at Ramstein Air Base said Thursday morning that the additional fighter jets and military personnel were on their way to Siauliai. The Pentagon announced late Wednesday that the U.S. military planned to augment its current Baltics air policing mission.The action “comes at the request of our Baltic allies,” said USAFE spokeswoman Capt. Reba Good. “We’re committed to our NATO allies. We’ll continue to support them.”Lacking the capabilities to police their airspace, the Baltic nations have relied on their NATO allies, which send fighter jets and crews on a rotational basis to perform the mission. For the past 10 years, the United States has shared the task of protecting Baltic airspace with several other NATO countries, including Great Britain, France, Germany, Belgium, Italy and Spain.The 48th Air Expeditionary Group out of Lakenheath has been deployed to Lithuania in support of the mission since early January, when it replaced a Belgian unit. That mission is still scheduled to end as planned in early May, Good said. The Polish military will assume the next rotation.The contingent includes pilots, engineers, medical personnel, support groups and communications personnel. The Air Force declined to provide the number of servicemembers because of security reasons.Though the beefed-up U.S. contingent headed to the Baltics more than doubles the number of U.S. warplanes currently patrolling the skies over the former Soviet republics of Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia, a senior NATO diplomat said Thursday, “this is essentially a symbolic action.”“It’s a demonstration meant to reassure those allies of the American presence and commitment,” said the envoy, who spoke on usual condition of anonymity.On Wednesday, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told Congress that the United States would, separately, boost U.S. training flights with the Polish military.The U.S. Air Force in November 2012 stood up a small aviation detachment, marking the first enduring presence of U.S. military members on Polish soil. Unaccompanied Air Force personnel are assigned to the unit, which hosts periodic rotations of U.S. F-16 fighter jets and C-130 cargo and personnel transport aircraft that deploy to Poland for joint training.Good said there are currently 10 airmen working at the aviation detachment. No U.S. aircraft are deployed there at the moment, she said.Next up in the rotation are three C-130s and about 100 personnel from Ramstein, scheduled to arrive in early April, Good said, but given Hagel’s remarks, this could change. They will be located at Powidz air base in Poland.“I think it’s clear ... that the events of the past week underscore the need for America’s continued global engagement and leadership,” Hagel said in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee.Although Air Force officials in Europe wouldn’t draw a connection between the Ukraine crisis and the extra jets sent to the Baltics, Lithuanian’s defense minister said the move was in response to Russia’s “aggression in Ukraine and its amplified military activity in the Kaliningrad region,” *the Baltic News Service reported.Meanwhile Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite warned Thursday, during a meeting in Brussels of the European Council, that Russia was trying to redraw its post-Cold War map and borders. “So, first it’s Ukraine, Moldova will be next and, finally, it can reach the Baltic states,” she told journalists in Brussels, according to the Baltic News Service.Stars and Stripes’ Slobodan Lekic contributed to this firstname.lastname@example.org...@stripes .com