Wars and Rumors of Wars

Separatists fly Russian flag over Ukrainian armored vehicles

Separatists fly Russian flag over Ukrainian armored vehicles

(Reuters) – Pro-Russian separatists hoisted the Russian flag on Ukrainian army armored vehicles in eastern Ukraine on Wednesday, mocking the pro-Western Kiev government’s attempt to reassert control on the eve of crucial talks in Geneva on the country’s future. Amid escalating rhetoric between Moscow and Kiev, the incident highlighted defiance by pro-Russian separatists, undermining central government efforts to push armed… Read more →

Russia says Ukraine close to civil war as Kiev begins offensive

(Reuters) – Russia declared Ukraine on the brink of civil war on Tuesday as Kiev said an “anti-terrorist operation” against pro-Moscow separatists was under way, with troops and armored personnel carriers seen near a flashpoint eastern town.

Twenty-four hours after an Ukrainian ultimatum expired for the rebels to lay down their arms, witnesses however saw no signs yet that Kiev forces were about to storm state buildings in the Russian-speaking east that armed militants have occupied.

Interim President Oleksander Turchinov insisted the operation had started in the eastern Donetsk region, although it would happen in stages and “in a considered way”.

Amidst the deepest East-West crisis since the Cold War, the leaders of Russia and the United States have called on each other to do all in their power to avoid further bloodshed.

The standoff has raised fears that Moscow might turn off gas supplies to Kiev, disrupting flows to the European Union. Russian exporter Gazprom promised it would remain a reliable supplier to the EU, but German energy company RWE began deliveries toUkraine on Tuesday – reversing the usual east-west flow in one central European pipeline.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev gave a gloomy assessment after at least two people died on Sunday when Kiev unsuccessfully tried to regain control in the town of Slaviansk, about 150 km (90 miles) from the Russian border.

“Blood has once again been spilt in Ukraine. The country is on the brink of civil war,” he said on his Facebook page.

 

Reuters has the full article

Pro-Russian separatists on Monday ignored an ultimatum to leave occupied government buildings

(Reuters) – Pro-Russian separatists on Monday ignored an ultimatum to leave occupied government buildings in easternUkraine while another group of rebels attacked a police headquarters as a threatened military offensive by government forces failed to materialize.

Rebels in the town of Slaviansk, which was expected on Monday to be the focus of a broad government “anti-terrorist” operation involving the army, issued a bold call for Russian President Vladimir Putin to help them.

Though he said on Monday that the offensive was going ahead, Ukraine’s interim president Oleksander Turchinov sacked the state security chief in charge of the operation, signaling possible discord behind the scenes.

 

Reuters has the full article

Separatists build barricades in east Ukraine, Kiev warns of force

(Reuters) – Pro-Russian separatists reinforced barricades around the state security building in the eastern Ukrainian city of Luhansk on Wednesday and called on President Vladimir Putin for help after the government warned it could use force to restore order.

But protesters were also engaged in talks to ease the standoff, which Kiev has said could provide a pretext for a Russian invasion, and lawmakers from eastern Ukraine proposed an amnesty for protesters to defuse tension.

The former KGB headquarters is one of three government buildings seized this week in eastern Ukraine by protesters demanding regional referendums on independence from Kiev, like the one in Crimea that led to its annexation by Russia.

Tensions have risen in the mainly Russian-speaking east since the overthrow of Ukraine’s Moscow-backed president and the installation of a new pro-European government.

“Of course we must ask Russia to take us in because I don’t see an alternative,” said a man dressed in camouflage who gave his name as Vasiliy and said he was the commandant of the building. “Putin help us!” he said.

 

Reuters has the full article

Apocalyptic prophecies drive both sides to Syrian battle for end of time

Apocalyptic prophecies drive both sides to Syrian battle for end of time

(Reuters) – Conflict in Syria kills hundreds of thousands of people and spreads unrest across the Middle East. Iranian forces battle anti-Shi’ite fighters in Damascus, and the region braces for an ultimate showdown. If the scenario sounds familiar to an anxious world watching Syria’s devastating civil war, it resonates even more with Sunni and Shi’ite fighters on the frontlines – who believe… Read more →

Report: Koreas exchange fire during military drills

North and South Korea exchanged fire after North Korea’s shells landed in South Korean waters during a military drill.

Urkaine radical leader killed ‘for compromising Kiev’, Right Sector pledges revenge

Ukrainian nationalist group Right Sector has announced it holds the acting Interior Minister Arsen Avakov accountable for the death of notorious radical militant Aleksandr Muzychko and will avenge it, Ukrainian media reports.

US Military Struggling To Combat Threat Of Cruise Missiles From The Gulf Of Mexico

US Military Struggling To Combat Threat Of Cruise Missiles From The Gulf Of Mexico

With Iran investing in cruise missile technology and Vladimir Putin strengthening his ties to Latin America’s leftist strongholds, American military leaders are struggling to fully meet the threat of a cruise missile attack from the Gulf of Mexico. According to the National Journal, American generals are increasingly concerned that Russia or Iran could establish presences in the Gulf of Mexico that require… Read more →

NATO general warns of further Russian aggression

NATO general warns of further Russian aggression

SIMFEROPOL, Crimea — U.S. and Ukrainian officials warned Sunday that Russia may be poised to expand its territorial conquest into eastern Ukraine and beyond, with a senior NATO official saying that Moscow might even order its troops to cross Ukraine to reach Moldova. The warnings came as Russia was finalizing its takeover of Ukrainian military bases in Crimea, the peninsula… Read more →

New Ukraine province in play as ethnic Russians push new secession referendum

New Ukraine province in play as ethnic Russians push new secession referendum

KHERSON, UKRAINE –  As Ukraine appears to have all but conceded Crimea to Moscow, Ukranians in Kherson, the province just north of the peninsula, are believed to be pushing a secession vote of their own in what a local leader angrily denounced as “treason.” The province has a huge Russian speaking population, and a vote – particularly with politicking from… Read more →