Russians intensifies threats against Ukraine

yalta

In the resort of Yalta, in Crimea.

In what mean more Russian military attacks against Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered naval war games in the Black Sea after he accused Ukraine of sending saboteurs into Crimea, which Russia seized from Ukraine in 2014.

Ukrainian and other observers fear that Russia may plan to ramp up fighting in the war between  Ukraine and pro-Russian and Russian armed separatists.

Reuters speculated: “Such an escalation could be used by Putin to demand better terms in the Ukraine peace process, or to inflame nationalist passions at home ahead of Russian parliamentary elections next month.”

To read the Reuters story, please hit this link.

Ukraine war puts many weapons in hands of criminals

 

The Russian-backed attack on eastern Ukraine has   taken vast numbers of weapons  out of the hands of irregular military units and put them into the criminal  international arms business, which is selling the weapons far beyond the conflict zone.

“Interviews by Reuters with security officials and rebels, as well as study of law enforcement data and court documents have shown that weapons are being channeled out of the conflict zone in eastern Ukraine in significant numbers, in some cases as part of an organized underground trade,” Reuters reported.

“Of course, they have moved arms across, and they’re moving them across now,” Igor, a fighter with a pro-Russian rebel unit in eastern Ukraine told Reuters. “Mainly they take Kalashnikovs,” he said.

To read the entire Reuters story, please hit this link.

Lucian Kim: The endless lies of Putin’s Russia

 

Lucian Kim writes in a Reuters opinion piece that the Russian athletes’  “doping scandal is a symptom of a much larger problem: the casual disregard for the truth that has become a hallmark of {Russian President Vladimir} Putin’s rule. In a country where elections are rigged, lawsuits are fabricated, and state TV spews lies around the clock, it’s hard to know what ordinary citizens are to believe anymore. Beyond politics, corruption has not only gnawed away at Russia’s reputation as a sports powerhouse, but cheapened the prestige of its once-vaunted institutions of higher education.

“Putin’s initial denial of Russia’s 2014 military intervention in Crimea — followed by a later admission of it — was the clearest demonstration of the Kremlin’s belief that the ends justify the means. Many Russians seem to agree.

“In a poll taken by the independent Levada Center in April 2015, 37 percent of respondents said they believed their government that Russia wasn’t militarily involved in eastern Ukraine. An almost equal portion, 38 percent, said that ‘even if there are Russian soldiers and military equipment in Ukraine, it’s the correct policy for Russia to deny these facts in the current global situation.’ ”

To read Mr. Kim’s essay, please hit this link.

U.S. emphasizes it will keep Black Sea military presence

 

U.S.  Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said that the  United States will maintain its  military presence in the Black Sea despite, in Reuters’s words, “a Russian warning that a U.S. destroyer patrolling there undermined regional security.”

The USS Porter entered the Black Sea this month, drawing heavy criticism from Moscow. Turkey and Romania are expected to seek  a bigger NATO presence in the  sea at the NATO summit in Warsaw next month.

Mr. Mabus told Reuters that it was the U.S. Navy’s job to deter aggression, presumably meaning Russian aggression,  and keep international sea lanes open.

Relations between Russia and NATO have been very strained over Moscow’s attack on Ukraine and military  support of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.

For more details, hit this link.

 

Merkel: Implementing Minsk Agreement would end sanctions against Russia

(June 13th, 2016) German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on June 10 that implementing the Minsk Agreement to end the conflict between Russia and Ukraine would end sanctions imposed against Russia  for  its seizure of Crimea from Ukraine and its ongoing attacks on the latter nation’s east.

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Mrs. Merkel also said that in the long term, the European Union should aim for a vast common economic zone with Russia extending from Russia’s Pacific coast to Portugal.

“We should move gradually towards this goal,” she said.

The Boston Global Forum last December named Chancellor Merkel a “World Leader for Peace, Security and Development’’.

Hit this link for more details.