Wars and Rumors of Wars

China's Xi issues veiled warning to Asia over military alliances

China’s Xi issues veiled warning to Asia over military alliances

(Reuters) – Chinese President Xi Jinping appeared to warn some Asian nations on Wednesday about strengthening military alliances to counter China, saying this would not benefit regional security. But he also pledged to peacefully resolve China’s disputes over territory, which have intensified in recent years, especially in the South and East China Seas. “To beef up military alliances targeted at a third party… Read more →

Up to 21 dead, doctor says, as anti-China riots spread in Vietnam

Up to 21 dead, doctor says, as anti-China riots spread in Vietnam

(Reuters) – Up to 21 people were killed in Vietnam, a doctor said on Thursday, and a huge foreign steel project was set ablaze as anti-China riots spread to the centre of the country a day after arson and looting in the south. The doctor at a hospital in central Ha Tinh province said five Vietnamese workers and 16 other… Read more →

Rebels declare victory in east Ukraine self-rule vote

Rebels declare victory in east Ukraine self-rule vote

(Reuters) – Ukrainian leader Oleksander Turchinov accusedRussia of working to overthrow legitimate state power in Ukraine on Monday after pro-Russian rebels declared a resounding victory in rebel referendums on self-rule in eastern regions. Turchinov said the Kremlin was trying to disrupt a presidential election later this month which is taking centre stage in a confrontation pitting Moscow and the separatists against… Read more →

Ukraine crisis: Vladimir Putin pays visit to Crimea

President Vladimir Putin visits Crimea for the first time since Russia annexed the Ukrainian peninsula, just days ahead of a separatist vote by pro-Moscow militants in eastern Ukraine.

On a triumphant visit to Crimea on Friday, President Vladimir Putin hailed Russia’s annexation of the Black Sea peninsula as he celebrated Victory Day, which marks the capitulation of Nazi Germany to the Soviet Union at the end of World War II.

Putin sailed into the port of Sevastopol for the commemorations, his first trip to Crimea since the region seceded from Ukraine and became part of Russia in March.

The Russian leader watched a parade of Russian navy ships and a flyby of Russian aircraft marking Victory Day, and made addressed troops.

Earlier in the day, Putin was in Moscow for a massive display of military hardware at the annual Red Square parade.

Putin made no reference to the situation in Ukraine in his speech in Moscow, which focused on the historic importance of the victory over the Nazis.

Ukraine has condemned Putin’s visit to Crimea as trampling on international law.

The Victory Day celebrations come at a time when the world’s attention is focused on Ukraine’s political crisis.

Pro-Russian insurgents in eastern Ukraine have been fighting with the government and are preparing to hold a referendum on secession on Sunday.

China blames Vietnam for sea collisions, but calls for talks

China blames Vietnam for sea collisions, but calls for talks

(Reuters) - China accused Vietnam on Thursday of intentionally colliding with its ships in the South China Sea, but called for talks to end a bitter row sparked by Beijing’s parking of a giant oil rig in contested waters. A senior foreign ministry official in Beijing demanded that Vietnam withdraw its ships after its southern neighbor asserted that Chinese vessels used water… Read more →

Video: Huge build-up of tanks, artillery, missile systems near Slavyansk

Video posted online reveals that Ukrainian tanks and armored vehicles have been stationed en masse around the Donetsk region city of Slavyansk.

Russian Strategic Bombers Flying Along California Cost

Russian Strategic Bombers Flying Along California Cost

The Associated Press reported Monday that Gen. Herbert Carlisle, Commander of United States Air Forces in the Pacific, acknowledged a significant increase in the activities by Russian long-range strategic aircraft flying along the California coast. There was no comment about whether the aircraft were nuclear capable, but it has not been since the Cold War ended in the early 1990s that Russian… Read more →

Deadly fighting escalates in Odessa amid Ukraine crisis

Report: Syria expects to receive first batch of fighter jets from Russia

Report: Syria expects to receive first batch of fighter jets from Russia

Russia is planning on delivering the first batch of Yak-130 fighter jets to its ally Syria by the end of 2014, reported al-Arabiya on Monday. Russian media reported that Russia intends to deliver a total of 36 jets as per a previously signed contract. A previous report stated that Syria had made an advanced payment of $100 million to Russia… Read more →

Odessa Jewish community mulls emergency evacuation

Odessa’s Jews are prepared to evacuate should the violence in the western Ukrainian city get significantly worse, several community leaders told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday.

Odessa’s Jewish community numbers some 30,000, down from nearly 40 percent of the city’s population before the Holocaust.

Running street battles between pro-Russian and nationalist forces claimed dozens of lives in the Black Sea port this weekend, culminating in the burning of dozens of pro-Russian protesters in the city’s trade union building on Friday evening.

The Odessa bloodshed came on the same day that Kiev launched its biggest push yet to reassert its control over separatist areas in the east, hundreds of kilometers away, where armed pro-Russian rebels have proclaimed a “People’s Republic of Donetsk.”

While Jewish community leaders are unanimous in asserting that the violence is unconnected to the Jewish community and that they do not feel specially targeted, they agreed that, should the situation deteriorate, it would be easy for the spillover to affect their constituents.

According to Rabbi Refael Kruskal – the head of the Tikva organization, which runs a network of orphanages and schools and provides social services to the city’s elderly – several of the wounded from Friday’s clashes were Jews, and the community is taking all necessary precautions.

“Over the weekend we closed the [Great Choral] Synagogue,” Kruskal said. “We took all the students out of the center of the city where the violence was, because we were worried it was going to spread. We sent a text message to everybody in the community on WhatsApp that they should stay at home over the weekend.”

While the synagogue, which is located close to the site of Friday’s clashes, was reopened Sunday morning, Kruskal said he planned on closing it again later in the day.

The Jewish community, he added, is hunkering down and trying to ride out the storm.

“When there is shooting in the streets, the first plan is to take [the children] out of the center of the city,” Kruskal said. “If it gets worse, then we’ll take them out of the city. We have plans to take them both out of the city and even to a different country if necessary, plans which we prefer not to talk about which we have in place.”

Fearful of further “provocations” on Friday, which marks the anniversary of Soviet Russia’s victory over Germany in the Second World War, Kruskal said that he was considering renting a holiday camp to house 600 Jews away from the fighting he expects next week.

“The next weekend is going to be very violent,” he said.

While other communal leaders are more sanguine, all have evacuation plans in place.


The Jerusalem Post has the full article

Odessa Horror: How clashes turned into massacre

Ukraine crisis: funerals for Odessa fire victims held

Brutal clashes in Donetsk: Riot police stoned and punched by pro-Russian separatists

RT reporter trapped in Slavyansk amid deadly military op