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Old 21-12-14, 12:41   #1
 
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Important EU/G7 Australia & Allies HIT Putin by Crippling Price Cap on Russian Oil

Four Guantanamo Prisoners Returned Home to Afghanistan after Ten Years in Notorious Prison

Daily Mail UK, 21 December 2014


Four Afghans held for over a decade at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have been sent home to Afghanistan, the Pentagon said on Saturday, the latest step in a slow-moving push by the Obama administration to close the facility.


The men were flown to Kabul overnight aboard a U.S. military plane and released to Afghan authorities, the first such transfer of its kind to the war-torn country since 2009, according to a U.S. official.

Obama promised to shut the internationally condemned prison when he took office nearly six years ago, citing the damage it inflicted on America's image around the world. But he has been unable to do so, partly because of obstacles posed by the U.S. Congress.




Controversial: The four anonymous inmates were flown from Guantanamo to Afghanistan overnight and handed to officials there


With a recent trickle of releases, including the transfer of six prisoners to Uruguay earlier this month, Guantanamo's detainee population has been gradually whittled down to 132.

The repatriation of the four Afghans, identified as "low-level detainees" who were cleared for transfer long ago and are not considered security risks in their homeland, had been in the pipeline for months.

But in a measure of what one senior U.S. official described as an improving relationship with the new Afghan president, Ashraf Ghani, Washington went ahead with the transfer after he formally requested it.

The continued detention of Afghans at Guantanamo - eight remain there - has long been deeply unpopular across the ideological spectrum in Afghanistan.

The release comes at a time when most U.S. troops are due to leave Afghanistan by year-end even as Taliban insurgents are intensifying their bloody campaign to re-establish their hardline Islamist regime that was toppled in a U.S.-backed military intervention in 2001.

All four men - identified as Shawali Khan, Khi Ali Gul, Abdul Ghani and Mohammed Zahir - were originally detained on suspicion of being members of the Taliban or affiliated armed groups.





Guantanamo now holds 132 prisoners


But a second senior U.S. official said:

"Most if not all of these accusations have been discarded and each of these individuals at worst could be described as low-level, if even that."

The Afghan government gave the United States "security assurances" for the treatment of the former prisoners and was expected to reunite them with their families, the official said.

Guantanamo was opened by Obama's predecessor, George W. Bush, after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, to house terrorism suspects rounded up overseas, with Afghans originally the largest group. Most of the detainees have been held for a decade or more without being charged or tried.

Thirteen other prisoners of various nationalities have been transferred from Guantanamo since early November, and several more could be repatriated or sent to countries other than their homelands by year-end, U.S. officials said.

Obama still faces major obstacles in trying to shut down the prison, among the biggest being the Yemeni detainees who make up more than half the remaining inmate population. Most have been cleared for transfer but are unable to return home because of the chaotic security situation in the Arabian Peninsula state.

Two weeks ago a U.S. Senate report delivered a scathing indictment of the harsh Bush-era interrogation program used on terrorism suspects. Obama banned the techniques when he took office in 2009. (Editing by Mark Heinrich)
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Old 24-07-15, 19:07   #2
 
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Breaking News Former Guantanamo Detainees Arrested in Belgium

Belgium Arrests Two ex-Guantanamo Inmates on Terrorism Charges

by Star UK, 24 July 2015


BRUSSELS (Reuters) -

Belgium has arrested two former detainees of Guantanamo prison on charges of terrorism, saying the men are suspected of seeking recruits to fight in Syria, the federal prosecutor's office said on Friday.


The two men, who were held at the Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval base in Cuba between 2001 and 2005, were under police surveillance and were arrested in the early hours of Thursday in the Belgian city of Antwerp along with three others.

"They were in a car, we believe waiting to commit a robbery," said Jean-Pascal Thoreau, a spokesman for Belgium's federal prosecutor.

Western fighters in Syria and Iraq have found some of their most willing recruits in Belgium, and per capita Belgium is the European country providing the highest number of citizens to fight with Syrian rebels in recent years, data shows.

Belgium is third only to France and Britain, with nearly 300 citizens travelling to fight between late 2011 and December 2013, according to the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation.

The two men accused are Moussa Zemmouri, a 37-year-old Belgian of Moroccan origin, and an Algerian whom the prosecutor's office identified as Soufiane A and who is suspected of spending time in Syria.

Zemmouri was captured in the Kandahar region in southern Afghanistan following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. He was flown back to Belgium in April 2005 and later released after spending time in a Belgian prison.

Guantanamo was set up after the Sept. 11 attacks for al Qaeda and Taliban detainees. Obama vowed to close it within a year when he came to office in 2009. The White House said on Wednesday it was in the final stage of drafting a plan for closing the prison for foreign terrorism suspects.
(Reporting by Robin Emmott)
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Old 30-10-15, 21:16   #3
 
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Breaking News Last UK Guantanamo Bay Detainee lands in Britain

Last British Resident Freed from Guantanamo Bay Arrives in UK

Shaker Aamer Flies Back to UK on a Private Jet Which Cost Taxpayers £50,000
>After 13 years in Guantanamo Without Charge... Now He May Get £1Million Compensation

  • Father-of-four had been held at the U.S. military prison in Cuba since 2002
  • Mr Aamer, 46, says he was working as charity worker in Afghanistan when he was kidnapped and handed over to US forces in 2001
  • He says he was tortured and held in solitary confinement for 360 days
  • He flew in to Kent on private jet at a cost of £50,000 to the British taxpayer
By Reuters, 30 October 2015


LONDON, Oct 30 (Reuters) -

The last British resident to be held at the U.S. prison camp in the Guantanamo Bay naval base in Cuba arrived in Britain on Friday after his release from 13 years in detention there.

Shaker Aamer, a Saudi national married to a Briton, was suspected by U.S. authorities of being an Islamist militant associated with al Qaeda but was never charged with any crime.





Father-of-four Shaker Aamer (pictured with his daughter Johina and son Michael), who has been detained at the U.S. military jail in Cuba since 2002, was cleared for release at the end of last month





Shaker Aamer, the last British prisoner in Guantanamo Bay has landed back in the UK after finally being been released from the notorious jail in Cuba





The 46-year-old arrived on a private plane, a £23 million Gulfstream IV, at Biggin Hill in south-east London






Mr Aamer is expected to be taken for a health check-up before returning to his home in Battersea, London



Television images from Biggin Hill airport south of London showed the arrival of a small white aircraft. A government spokesman said Aamer was now back in Britain.

He said ‘I am overwhelmed by what people have done by their actions, their thoughts and their prayers, and without their devotion to justice I would not be here in Britain now.’

It is also believed that Mr Aamer may be set to receive a £1million compensation payout, as others freed from Guantanamo Bay have in the past.

Each of the nine British nationals released from the detention camp, along with several others who hold British resident status, are thought to have received the mega payouts.

David Cameron’s spokesman has suggested that Mr Aamer would also receive a similar compensation package


Britain said last month that Aamer would be released, and Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said earlier on Friday that the former detainee was en route to Britain, a move welcomed by supporters.

"Today is a day for welcoming him back and hoping that he is healthy and well and that can join his family at long last," Kate Allen, UK Director of Amnesty International, told Sky News.

In Washington, the Pentagon said it reviewed Aamer's case and concluded he should be released.

"As a result of that review, which examined a number of factors, including security issues, Aamer was unanimously approved for transfer by the six departments and agencies comprising the task force," a Pentagon statement said.

Aamer was cleared for release by U.S. authorities in 2007 but not freed until now. During a debate in parliament earlier this year, some British lawmakers expressed concern that Aamer was still in Guantanamo because he "had seen too much" .



Rights group Reprieve said Aamer moved to Britain in 1996 and was in Afghanistan in 2001 doing voluntary work for an Islamic charity when he was captured by Afghan Northern Alliance forces and handed to the U.S. military.

He was then transferred to Guantanamo when the prison camp was opened in 2002.

Several British lawmakers long argued for Aamer's release with John McDonnell, now the opposition Labour party's finance spokesman, telling parliament earlier this year that Aamer had "endured harsh, and brutal and inhuman treatment".
Allen said Britain should hold a "proper independent inquiry" into allegations including mistreatment.

Prime Minister David Cameron's spokeswoman said the government had no plans to detain Aamer but would do "anything necessary to ensure public safety".

Most Guantanamo detainees have been held without trial for over a decade and Washington has drawn international condemnation for harsh treatment of foreign terrorism suspects.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said it was now time to close the facility, a vow President Obama made when first elected in 2008 but has not upheld. Congress has blocked any such move with provisions such as bans on transferring detainees to U.S. soil.

"Now Shaker has been released, the scandal of the Guantanamo detention camp itself must be brought to an end," Corbyn said.
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Old 13-12-20, 17:13   #4
 
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Question Mark Re: Guantánamos’ Last Inmates Have Glimmer of Hope After 19yrs

Guantánamos’ Last Inmates Detect a Glimmer of Hope After 19 Years Inside

Closing the notorious prison facility on Cuba will be complex and politically thankless. Is Joe Biden prepared to take it on?


The Guardian UK, 13 DEC 2020.
















Processing some of the first detainees to arrive at Guantánamo Bay in Cuba, January, 2002. The facility once held more than 700 inmates, now only 40 remain. Photograph: US Navy/Getty Images


When news of Joe Biden’s election victory crossed the Florida Straits and reached Guantánamo Bay, it gave at least some of the 40 remaining inmates a tentative hope that their long purgatory might finally be nearing an end.

“I think it’s OK for me to be happy about the result. But at the same time, it’s not like, day one, Biden is going to say ‘let’s release Khalid’,” Khalid Qassim, a Yemeni arrested in Afghanistan in 2001, said in a statement given by phone to his lawyer.

Qassim has denied any link with terrorism and has withdrawn earlier confessions of links to al-Qaida, which he says were made under torture. He insists he was in Afghanistan looking for work. He has been held at Guantánamo for nearly 19 years without being charged with a crime.

“A lot of the detainees are feeling better,” he said. “It’s a relief, you know? We know nothing will happen on day one, but at least our cases won’t be stagnant, we won’t be totally forgotten.”

How far the Biden administration will go to extricate Qassim and his fellow inmates from the judicial black hole established in Guantánamo in 2002 will say a lot about the president-elect’s determination to break with the past, and with the counter-terrorism response to the 9/11 attacks, that has shaped US foreign and security policy ever since.





Khalid Qassim. held at Guantánamo for nearly 19 years without charge Photograph: Reprieve


So far, Biden has said very little about his plans for Guantánamo, other than restating his intention to close it. His campaign put out a statement in June saying its existence “undermines American national security by fuelling terrorist recruitment and is at odds with our values as a country”.

“The president-elect stands by that,” a transition official said.

However, the incoming administration will start work at the height of a pandemic, with an accompanying economic crisis and a deeply divided nation. Closing Guantánamo will be a complex task and will accrue little political credit. The transition team is weighing tactics for winding up the detention centre established almost 19 years ago at the naval base on the US toehold in Cuba, but has revealed little of its deliberations.

Former officials say the Biden camp has learned the lesson of the Obama administration, which made big promises – issuing an executive order on closure on its second day – but then fell short. Over eight years, it managed to transfer about 200 inmates, negotiating deals with countries around the world to take them, but the effort was hindered by congressional resistance and foot-dragging in the Pentagon.

Before 2009, closing Guantánamo was a bipartisan matter. George W Bush admitted it was a national liability and transferred more than 500 inmates, but when Obama took office and named closure as a priority it became a Republican target, without full Democratic support.

Donald Trump ended the transfer policy from Guantánamo and vowed to “load it up with some bad dudes”, though he did no such thing.

The prison population actually decreased by one on his watch. But that still leaves 40 men stuck in Caribbean limbo, at an annual cost of $13m per prisoner. Only nine have been charged. Others, such as Qassim, were swept up on the battlefield and have little or no connection to terrorist attacks on the US, some handed over for the bounty the US was offering.


Five prisoners have actually been cleared for transfer by the Periodic Review Board (PRB), but have been stuck in the camp for years because of Trump’s policy.


“For four years, Guantánamo policy has essentially been set by a Trump tweet, posted before he was even in office, saying there should be no more releases. The first thing Joe Biden should do is resume the transfer process,” said Maya Foa, director of the advocacy group Reprieve, which provides Qassim’s legal representation.

The five already cleared could be transferred in the early stages of a Biden presidency, along with four or five more inmates who had been expected to win approval from the PRB before the board was mothballed by the Trump administration.

A special envoy and a State Department office dedicated to closing Guantánamo – both eliminated by Trump – would have to be reconstituted and empowered to negotiate with countries on resettling former inmates, some of whom – Yemenis such as Qassim for example – are unable to return to home countries.

Benjamin Farley, a Guantánamo defence lawyer who worked in the State Department office negotiating transfers in the Obama administration, argues that up to 30 of the prisoners could be repatriated or resettled by reviving the mechanisms that Trump dismantled, without needing permission from Congress.

Part of the process would be reframing the criteria used by the PRB in assessing whether continued detention is “necessary to protect against a significant threat to the security of the US”.

At present the PRB operates like a parole board, looking for signs of contrition. Instead, Farley argues, it should weigh each prisoner’s likely future threat in terms of their age, mental and physical state and the circumstances in the country of resettlement.

The process would be accelerated by a cooperative Department of Defense, said Alka Pradhan, another Guantánamo defence lawyer.

She said that part of the problem was the Pentagon’s aversion, presumably for legal liability reasons, to admitting that some prisoners should never have been at Guantánamo in the first place.

“One of the issues was that the Department of Defense would only authorise a short paragraph of information for the State Department to transmit to third countries, and it would literally be the name of the person, his country of origin and how long he had been at Guantánamo. There was virtually no other information,” Pradhan said. So the would-be host nation would search the name online and turn up unverified and often fabricated allegations about the inmate.

The hardest part of any effort to close Guantánamo would be the 10-12 prisoners who are either facing military commission hearings or are considered of such security importance to the US that it is highly unlikely any PRB would release them.

The military commission system has been an abject failure in delivering justice. The five defendants accused of playing a role in the 9/11 attacks, including their alleged mastermind, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, are still in pre-trial hearings more than 12 years after being charged. The process is primarily stuck on the admissibility of testimony the defendants provided after being tortured at CIA black sites. The history of torture would also overshadow any attempt to try them in federal courts.

In those cases, lawyers and human rights advocates argue the US should offer plea deals, possibly negotiated by federal judges flown into the base, that would clear the way for release for time served or life sentences in a handful of cases.

For those sentences to be served in the US, a deal would have to be struck with Congress to reverse a measure banning any prisoner transfers from Guantánamo. Or another country would have to be persuaded to take custody. And there is no guarantee that all the defendants would accept the deals on offer.

Complete closure of Guantánamo would need a substantial investment of political capital, on Capitol Hill and in foreign capitals, at a time when there will be many other pressing issues begging for attention.

Karen Greenberg, director of the Center on National Security at Fordham University School of Law, still believes that Biden’s team can finish the job.

“I think there’s more than a 50-50 chance,” she said. “You need to understand that Guantánamo as a symbol has to be taken out of the equation of what’s associated with the United States … these guys understand that.”

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Old 09-04-21, 11:14   #5
 
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Movies Russia Claims it Fired Warning Shots at Royal Navy Warship

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Could Explode Into War in Days as UK Commanders on 'High Alert'


Ready For War, Russia Warns The West to not help Ukraine


EXCLUSIVE: Sources told the Daily Mirror UK senior commanders and Whitehall officials are on 'high alert' with the usual calming voices describing Russian forces as appearing to be on a war-footing

Daily Mirror UK, 9 APR 2021.





Ukrainian servicemen work on their tank close to the front line with Russian-backed separatists near Lysychansk yesterday (Image: AFP via Getty Images)




This map shows Russia's latest movements


The Russia-Ukraine crisis could explode into all-out war within days after Moscow amassed close to 100,000 troops at the flashpoint border, it was feared last night.

Senior Ukraine military sources fear Moscow’s war-planners may have wrong-footed Kiev by being far more battle-ready for a major land and sea attack than previously suspected.

Until recently Ukraine’s senior commanders calculated that if Putin orders an attack deep into East Ukraine and elsewhere it was most likely to come in mid-May.

But today Putin’s navy piled on further pressure on embattled Kiev by announcing the deployment of a war-fighting fleet towards Ukraine arriving within days.

Last night sources told the Daily Mirror UK senior commanders and Whitehall officials are on “high alert” over the crisis and are monitoring the situation “with growing concern.”


One said: “Aggressive Russian troop movements towards the border have caused a great deal of concern within the Ministry of Defence.

“The situation is being monitored constantly. I would definitely describe this as a growing crisis.”

More than ten heavily-armed Russian warships are now steaming towards the Caspian Sea from the Black Sea, armed with artillery and other weapons to back Putin’s land forces.

Russia’s Defence Ministry announced it was moving more than ten navy vessels, including landing boats and artillery warships to the Black Sea to take part in exercises.

But western nations and Ukraine have voiced alarm over the build-up as a five strong alliance or “QUINT” of the UK, US, Canada, Lithuania and Poland allies backed Ukraine.

UK defence Secretary Ben Wallace was among the Quint which issued a statement warning Russia: “The Quint Defence Ministers are united in our unwavering support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of increased Russian military activity.

“We will work closely with Ukraine to monitor the situation and continue to call on Russia to de-escalate.”

The Russian Ministry of Defence said in a statement: “As part of the winter training check, more than 10 amphibious and artillery boats and vessels of the southern military district are conducting an inter-fleet move from the Caspian Sea to the Black Sea.”




Just months ago the Daily Mirror witnessed UK paratroopers practising their biggest para-drop in decades alongside Ukrainian allies in a show of force against Russia (Image: Andy Stenning/Daily Mirror)



Russia’s Black Sea fleet is based in Crimea, which Russia illegally annexed from Ukraine in 2014.

It is feared that within days more than 95,000 assault troops, backed by tanks, armoured vehicles, artillery and even thermobaric rocket batteries will be ready to invade.

More trucks were arriving at the border in the past few days, many carrying rocket launching batteries but were alarmingly without number plates, indicating Moscow wants to keep their numbers as covert as possible.

The entire region has been buzzed by Moscow’s surveillance drones, indicating Moscow is trying to find weak points.






Months ago the Mirror witnessed 16th Air Assault Brigade Paratroops drop into a field near Mykoliav, Ukraine a short drive to the border with Russia (Image: Andy Stenning/Daily Mirror)



Russian troops have also been equipped with sophisticated river-crossing bridge-engineering equipment, further fuelling alarm that they may be poised to invade at multiple points.

Spetsnaz special forces and a large number of elite paratroopers are among the infantry units now massing at the Ukraine border having been sent from all over Russia.

They also have in their armoury large “psych-warfare” trucks which can blast battle-noises over the frontline to confuse the enemy and even create devastating diversions.

Tens of thousands of Ukrainian troops – including reservists- have been called up to the border and US advisers are believed to be “in country,” according to sources.




After landing, paras moved on the ground at their rendezvous points (Image: Andy Stenning/Daily Mirror)




It comes just months after the Daily Mirror witnessed UK paratroopers practising their biggest para-drop in decades alongside Ukrainian allies in a show of force against Russia.

And American intelligence assessments grade the threat of a major Russia-Ukraine flare-up as “potential imminent crisis” as stated by their European operations centre EUCOM.

War has raged along the 1,500 miles-long East Ukraine-Russia border since 2014 after the Euromaidan riots in Kiev and the overnight and lightning Russian invasion of neighbouring Crimea.

In brutal fighting, which has often returned to a trench warfare stand-off around 14,000 people are estimated to have been killed.





A member of the Pathfinders exits the back of a Hercules C130 aircraft to parachute into Ukraine (Image: Cpl Danny Houghton RLC)



The brutal frontline stand-off has been worsened for Ukraine in the east by pro-Russian rebels, aided by Moscow’s GRU military intelligence spies.

Bruce Jones, a Janes Russia expert told the Daily Mirror: “It is difficult to be too alarmist about this situation.

“Russia is giving a lot of evidence that it is pulling out all of the stops in order to be able to wage the widest possible range of hostilities against Ukraine.

“Any such conflict would present a serious challenge to the military capability and resolve of US, EU, NATO which inevitably includes the UK.”




The 16th Air Assault Brigade Paratroopers land in the field (Image: Andy Stenning/Daily Mirror)




Former commander of British forces in Afghanistan Colonel Richard Kemp said: “We have got to take this situation extremely seriously.

“Of course it might be a deception but we have to assume Russia intends to invade Ukraine.

“However my view is that this would be in a limited way to avoid a wider conflict with America.”


'Putin could get away with it - he has before'

- Analysis, by Chris Hughes, Mirror defence editor




Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting on the coronavirus disease vaccines production via a video link at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow on March 22, 2021







Military bluffs and espionage have worked well for Putin in the past (Image: SPUTNIK/AFP via Getty Images)



Just a few days ago most defence officials and experts were briefing that Russia’s troop movements were a “bluff” to test US President Joe Biden and to exploit a divided Europe.

They feel Putin believes he has to create a nationalistic stir to regain falling domestic support.

Divisions over Brexit, Covid-19 and terror threats make the time right for Russian to meddle on Europe’s doorstep.





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Old 16-04-21, 12:08   #6
 
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Movies re: Russia Claims it Fired Warning Shots at Royal Navy Warship

Ukrainian Navy Threatens to Shoot at Russian Ships After 'Provocative Manoeuvres'

Russia And Ukraine War: 'Half A Million Troops On Move' With Country Facing 'Wipe Out Blitzkrieg'

In the latest in a series of tensions which could spark war between the two nations, Russia is accused of carrying out "provocative manoeuvres" around Ukrainian artillery ships


Daily Mirror UK, 16 APR 2021.


Vladimir Putin has ordered the biggest troop movement for nearly 50 years, since the height of the Cold War, and is said to be ready to go to war with the US.

Vladimir Putin may have ordered up to half a million troops to the Ukrainian border as fears of war in Europe rise.

A veteran analyst today warned that the country is on the "doorstep of war" thanks to "total mobilisation" on a level not seen for nearly 50 years, at the height of the Cold War.

Russia is ready to go to war with the US if it intervenes, it is claimed - in spite of Joe Biden's call for calm.

Today Russian navy began drills in the Black Sea in a show of strength ahead of the arrival of two US warships in the region.

Videos released today seem to show heavy armaments on the move in Krasnodar region and naval vessels on the Don River.

Russia is known to be switching landing ships and other crafts from the Caspian Sea to the Black Sea for the first time since the end of the Soviet era.

Chilling new footage today also showed Russia’s Black Sea Fleet on manoeuvres - while Ukraine also conducted naval exercises off Crimea.

Yesterday Joe Biden called for a summit with Putin in a neutral country - but Russia has vowed decisive action if new Western sanctions follow.

This comes as a veteran independent Russian defence analyst Pavel Felgenhauer has claimed Putin may have ordered the movement of “more than half a million” troops involving forces from the Pacific to the Baltic.

Asked on Ekho Moscow radio if Russia was “on the doorstep of war”, he replied: “Practically, we are.”

He said: “An unprecedented mobilisation of the Russian armed forces is taking place.

“All the armed forces. This has not happened either since 1973, or since 1962. Total mobilisation. All armed forces .

“The exact number of people participating is not officially indicated. Apparently more than half a million.”

He stressed that the movements of troops take place during the day in order to show that Russia is "fully mobilised" and "in full combat readiness".

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Old 16-04-21, 15:00   #7
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Default re: Russia Claims it Fired Warning Shots at Royal Navy Warship

The whole dang world has become a powder keg ready to blow, not only by war but also from within, so many volcanoes erupting and more ready to blow. We are truly in our last days and I'm waiting for our true King to come.
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Old 24-06-21, 11:08   #8
 
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Movies Re: Russia Claims it Fired Warning Shots at Royal Navy Warship

Russia Claims Warning Shots Were Fired at Royal Navy Warship in The Black Sea

The Ministry of Defence has denied a report by the Russian defence ministry that warning shots and bombs were dropped nearby HMS Defender in the Black Sea

Daily Mirror UK, 24 JUN 2021












HMS Defender arrived for a port visit in Istanbul, Turkey on June 9, 2021 (Image: Shaun Roster / SWNS)


Russia claims it fired warning shots at a Royal Navy destroyer HMS Defender in the Black Sea - but the UK's Ministry of Defence has denied any shots were fired.

According to the Russians the HMS Defender had entered Russian waters and a Russian jet dropped bombs in its path.

But a statement from the British Ministry of Defence reads: "No warning shots have been fired at HMS Defender.

"The Royal Navy ship is conducting innocent passage through Ukrainian territorial waters in accordance with international law.

"We believe the Russians were undertaking a gunnery exercise in the Black Sea and provided the maritime community with prior-warning of their activity.

"No shots were directed at HMS Defender and we do not recognise the claim that bombs were dropped in her path."

The Russians claim the HMS Defender left Russian waters soon afterwards, "having ventured as much as 3 kilometres (2 miles) inside".

The dispute is likely to revolve around the territorial waters of Crimea which was annexed from Ukraine by Russia, a move that saw Russia expelled from the then-G8.

The UK has never acknowledged Russian sovereignty of the region.

A statement from the Russian Ministry of Defence read: "At 11:52am on 23 June, the HMS Defender of the British Royal Navy, operating in the northwestern part of the Black Sea, violated the border and entered three kilometres into Russian territorial waters in the region of Cape Fiolent.

"At 12:06 and 12:08, a border patrol vessel carried out warning shots.

"At 12:19 a Su-24M carried out a warning bombing run using 4 OFAB-250 [high-explosive fragmentation] bombs at the HMS Defender's path of movement.

"At 12:23 the combined actions of the Black Sea Fleet and the Border Forces of the FSB forced the HMS Defender to leave the territorial waters of the Russian Federation."

The destroyer had been on operations in the Black Sea with American navy guided missile destroyer USS Laboon and Dutch warship HNLMS Evertsen in a show of support for Ukraine following Putin’s recent vast military build up close to Ukrainian borders.

Russia has said in recent days that it was closely monitoring HMS Defender, which is capable of carrying up to 56 Tomahawk cruise missiles at any one time.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said that HMS Defender had been "shadowed" by Russian ships and had been "made aware" of training exercises in the area.

"This morning, HMS Defender carried out a routine transit from Odessa towards Georgia across the Black Sea," he said.

"As is normal for this route, she entered an internationally-recognised traffic separation corridor. She exited that corridor safely at 0945 BST.

"As is routine, Russian vessels shadowed her passage and she was made aware of training exercises in her wider vicinity."

The Russian Defence Ministry reportedly said the ship had violated Russia's border, according to Russian news agency Interfax.

An earlier image taken from Royal Navy destroyer HMS Defender showed Russian frigate Admiral Essen "shadowing" USS Laboon.

Russia’s national defence control centre said: "Forces and systems of the [Russian] Black Sea Fleet have started monitoring the movements of the Royal Navy HMS Defender and the Dutch Navy's Evertsen frigate.”

The fleet’s former commander Admiral Vladimir Komoyedov said: ”Those ships will definitely not be welcome here.

“No-one is going to greet them as guests of honour, while their actions will definitely be monitored.

“They will be put under direct surveillance, technically, from the air and from outer space.”

The admiral added: "Their visits to the Black Sea have become too frequent.

“Their intensified presence has gone too far.

“They are complying with the Montreux Convention, but the activity of ships from non-Black Sea countries has never been so intensive before, even in the Soviet period.”

The latest flare-up comes amid months of tensions between Moscow and the west following a build-up earlier this year of Russian forces on the border with Ukraine.










Defiant UK Tells Putin 'You Won't Stop our Ships' After Royal Navy Destroyers’ Face-Off Near Crimea

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Old 03-07-21, 15:08   #9
 
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Update re: Russias' New COLD WAR is Dangerous-Deploys 700 Snipers at Ukraine Border

Ex-Guantánamo Detainee at Risk of Torture if Forced to Return to Russia

Ravil Mingazov, who spent 15 years in the US prison camp, could be sent to Russia where ‘he will not be free for the rest of his life,’ experts warn


The Guardian UK, 3 JUL 2021.








Ravil Mingazov in Guantanamo Bay Photograph: Wikileaks



A former Guantánamo detainee is facing forced repatriation from the United Arab Emirates to Russia where he faces a “substantial risk of torture” according to UN human rights experts.

Ravil Mingazov is a Muslim Tartar who spent 15 years without charge in the US prison camp on Guantánamo Bay before being transferred to the UAE in January 2017. The conditions of the transfer were kept secret, but his family and legal team were given assurances that he would be freed after a few months. Those assurances were not kept.

Instead, they say he has been held in worse conditions than Guantánamo, suffering torture, deprivation of water and medical care. He now faces being sent back to Russia, which has a record of torturing prisoners transferred from Guantánamo, and locking them up after dubious trials.
Military Police guard Taliban and al Qaeda detainees, January 11, 2002 Guantanamo Bay, Cuba

As Joe Biden seeks to close down the Guantánamo Bay camp by transferring or releasing the remaining 40 inmates, the Mingazov case illustrates how transfer could actually worsen the plight of some prisoners.

The US state department did not respond to a request for comment on Friday.

“We are seriously concerned that instead of releasing him in accordance with the alleged resettlement agreement between the US and the UAE, Mr Mingazov has been subjected to continuous arbitrary detention at an undisclosed location in the UAE, which amounts to enforced disappearance,” said a panel of UN experts, including Nils Melzer, special rapporteur on torture and Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights while countering terrorism.

“Now, he risks being forcibly repatriated to Russia despite the reported risk of torture and arbitrary detention based on his religious beliefs.”

Mingazov is a former Red Army ballet dancer who fled Russia out of fears of religious persecution, his family and lawyers say. They insist he had gone to Afghanistan out of the desire to live in an Islamic country and was not involved in terrorism, but was seized on the battlefield in Afghanistan after the 2001 invasion and handed over to the US for a bounty. He was 33 when he was detained, and is now 52.

He was never charged and was cleared for transfer by a parole board in 2016. His family pressed for him to be sent to the UK where his wife, son and other family members settled, but he was instead flown to the UAE in January 2017, where his conditions worsened dramatically.
Guantánamo

In total, 23 former Guantánamo detainees have been transferred to the UAE, 18 of them Yemeni, four Afghans and Mingazov, a Russian national.

“They were all sent there on assurances that were given to their US lawyers, that they would spend six months in what was termed a ‘residential rehabilitation centre’, and thereafter they would be released into a society and allowed to safely rebuild their lives. That has not happened,” said Nick Beales, who runs a project on secret prisons for the Reprieve legal advocacy group.

“All of them were detained without trial on arrival, and none of them have ever been released into UAE society.”

“Ravil has been on hunger strike, and we’re aware that he’s being tortured, whilst detained in the UAE as well,” Beales said. “He’s been held in solitary confinement for extended periods, and he’s suffered physical abuse at the hands of the guards detaining him.”

“All this time he has not once been allowed to see a doctor,” his sister-in-law, Sevil Kurbanova, said. “There are no books, no Red Cross, he has nothing. Even when they are fasting they are not given a full cup of water or tea at night – just a quarter cup.”

Kurbanova, who lives in the UK, said that last month Russian officials visited Mingazov’s mother in Tatarstan to ask for documentation to help prepare new travel documents for him, signalling that he would be repatriated imminently.

Seven Russian nationals were repatriated from Guantánamo in 2004, with diplomatic assurances that they would be humanely treated. According to a Human Rights Watch report in 2007, “two of them have been tortured and are in prison after investigations and trials that did not meet international fair trial standards; one has been tortured and is in prison awaiting trial; the other four are either abroad or in hiding.”

In their statement on Friday, the UN experts pointed out that Mingazov’s repatriation to Russia would represent a violation of international law, and in particular the principle of refoulement, the forcible return of refugees or asylum seekers to a country where they are liable to face persecution.

If he is now sent back to Russia, Kurbanova said, “He will not be free for the rest of his life.”
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Old 12-11-21, 11:03   #10
 
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Movies re: Russias' New COLD WAR is Dangerous-Deploys 700 Snipers at Ukraine Border

Russias' New Cold War is at Its Most Dangerous

Prepare for Russian invasion of Ukraine, US warns European allies

Tens of thousands of troops massed on the border, Washington officials tell EU counterparts


The Telegraph 12 NOV 2021.



AMERICA'S NEW COLD WAR WITH RUSSIA

WHAT ARE THE STAKES?















The U.S. is raising the alarm with European Union allies that Russia may be weighing a potential invasion of Ukraine as tensions flare between Moscow and the bloc over migrants and energy supplies.

With Washington closely monitoring a buildup of Russian forces near the Ukrainian border, U.S. officials have briefed EU counterparts on their concerns over a possible military operation, according to multiple people familiar with the matter. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov Friday dismissed the report as “empty and unfounded efforts to exacerbate tensions.”

The assessments are believed to be based on information the U.S. hasn’t yet shared with European governments, which would have to happen before any decision is made on a collective response, the people said. They’re backed up by publicly-available evidence, according to officials familiar with the administration’s thinking.

A White House official said Thursday evening that the U.S. was consulting with allies over the buildup. Russia says military deployments on its territory are an internal matter and it denies any aggressive intentions, while accusing the U.S. of provocation by sailing warships in the Black Sea close to its territory.

The ruble weakened on the news, slipping 0.5% against the dollar toward its first weekly loss in three. Ruble bonds fell for a second day, with the yield on 10-year debt climbing three basis points to 8.07%. Stocks headed for their biggest drop in two weeks.

Similar tensions erupted in the spring when the U.S. and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization accused Russia of massing as many as 100,000 troops, tanks and warplanes near the border with Ukraine. The crisis eased after U.S. President Joe Biden called Russian President Vladimir Putin and offered a summit that took place in June.

Russia’s latest movement of troops and tanks toward Ukraine spurred CIA Director Bill Burns to visit Moscow this month, where he spoke by phone with Putin. Germany’s Angela Merkel, Putin’s main interlocutor in Europe, also asked him on Wednesday to use his influence with Russia’s ally Belarus to defuse a crisis over thousands of Middle East migrants seeking to cross the border with Poland into the EU. Putin declined. They spoke again on Thursday.



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Old 04-12-21, 19:14   #11
 
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Movies Re: Russias' New COLD WAR is Dangerous-Deploys 700 Snipers at Ukraine Border

RUSSIA Deploys 700 Snipers in Four Regions Close to Ukraine Border

RUSSIA is deploying more than 700 military snipers in four regions close to Ukraine in new war games.

4 Dec 2021 The Sun


The move comes amid deepening tension over Western fears Vladimir Putin is plotting an imminent invasion of his neighbour.

It comes after Russia warned war is "highly likely" with Ukraine following orders to troops to remain "combat ready" after speculation of a Ukrainian invasion.

The Kremlin has said that Kiev's desire to retake Crimea is "direct threat", as the US vows to respond following growing reports of a Russian invasion.

Three of the four regions with the giant sniper exercises share borders with Ukraine.
More than 700 sharpshooters are being schooled in camouflage of firing positions and countering the enemy.



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Old 08-12-21, 10:00   #12
 
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Movies re: Russia-Ukraine: Russia Sends Ballistic Missiles & Snipers to Ukraine Border

Biden and Putin Hold Rare Video Talks Amid Russia-Ukraine Tensions

Biden Warns Putin of 'Strong Measures' Amid Ukraine Invasion Fears


Putin joined the meeting by video link from Sochi

The US says it is preparing "strong economic and other measures" over fears of a Russian invasion of Ukraine, after Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin spoke.


BBC News 8 DEC 2021.






In a video call, President Biden voiced worries over Russian troop build-ups near the border with Ukraine and called for a de-escalation of tensions.




Mr Biden (R) with top officials Image source, Reuters




Russia Says It Will Not Attack.

President Putin accused Ukraine of provocation, and sought guarantees against eastward Nato expansion and deployment of weapons close to Russia.

More than 90,000 Russian troops are believed to be massed near Ukraine's borders. The movement has strained already tense relations between Russia and the US.


ANALYSIS: Is Russia Preparing to Invade Ukraine?


After Tuesday's call, US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said the Biden administration was preparing specific robust responses in the weeks ahead if they were required.

The measures included economic sanctions and other actions such as additional troop deployments to Nato allies in the region and defence equipment for Ukraine.

Mr Sullivan refused to be drawn on what the economic measures might be. But he said Nord Stream 2, a new gas pipeline from Russia to Germany, which is not yet in operation, provided "leverage" for the US and its allies.

"If Vladimir Putin wants to see gas flow through that pipeline, he may not want to take the risk of invading Ukraine," he told journalists. Earlier reports said US officials had reached agreement with Germany to shut down the pipeline in the event of an invasion.

Mr Biden was accompanied by top officials for the call

Other possible measures include restrictions on Russia's banks converting roubles into foreign currencies, or even disconnecting Russia from the Swift global financial payment system, reports say.

"Things we did not do in 2014 we are prepared to do now," Mr Sullivan added, referring to Western responses to Russia's annexation of Crimea.

He also said there was "a lot of give and take" in the call and "no finger-wagging" but that President Biden was "crystal clear where the United States stands on all of these issues".

Video footage of the opening moments showed friendly greetings between the US and Russian leaders, before the talks continued behind closed doors.

The call was held on a secure video link set up under previous administrations but never used before. President Putin spoke from his residence in the southern resort of Sochi and President Biden from the White House.


What Form Russias' Military Option Could Take

By Jonathan Marcus of the Strategy and Security Institute, University of Exeter


Russia's military option could take a variety of forms from a large incursion, to a significant invasion of the eastern part of Ukraine. One aim would be to bring the main fighting elements of the Ukrainian army to battle and to inflict such a defeat upon them that the Kyiv government has to rethink its position.

Invading territory amidst a hostile population has significant risks. Ukraine's armed forces have had some Western weaponry and training and are much improved since 2015. However, Russian forces have also improved over recent years. The firepower Russia is building up is impressive. For all the talk about Ukrainian sovereignty Nato cannot and will not come to Ukraine's aid.

And additional weapons supplies might simply contribute to Russia's justification for war.

Moscow's calculation of the costs of conflict may also be influenced by previous military deployments. While the West currently sees military engagements through the prism of the strategic defeats in Iraq and Afghanistan, Russia may take a very different view. Its operations in Georgia, its seizure of Crimea, its combat in eastern Ukraine - not to mention its involvement in Syria - may all be seen by President Putin as relative victories.

Of all the military contingencies, Michael Kofman, of the US Centre for Naval Analyses, still thinks that if it happens it will be big. "I think Russia is in the best position since 2014 economically, politically, and militarily to execute such an operation, which is not to say it will happen, but simply to suggest that there are the fewest constraints relative to other periods when it has conducted offensive operations."







Russia Seeks 'Reliable Guarantees'

Meanwhile, a Kremlin statement said President Putin had stressed that Russia should not be held responsible for tensions because Nato was making "dangerous attempts to take over Ukrainian territory and increasing its military potential" on Russia's borders.

"Therefore Russia is seriously interested in getting reliable guarantees fixed in law to rule out the eastward expansion of Nato and the location in countries neighbouring Russia of offensive weapons systems," the statement added (in Russian).

The White House said President Biden did not make any guarantees to limit Nato expansion.

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky said that, while the talks brought "no sensations", he was grateful for President Biden's "unwavering support".


Ukrainian authorities have said Moscow could be planning a military offensive at the end of January, although US officials say it is not yet clear whether President Putin has made a decision.

Presidents Biden and Putin last met in person in Switzerland in June, but made little progress other than to agree to send their ambassadors back and begin a dialogue on nuclear arms control.

In a conference call on Monday night, the White House said the leaders of the US, UK, France, Germany and Italy had formed a joint strategy "to impose significant and severe harm on the Russian economy" should Russia launch an invasion.

President Biden spoke to the four European leaders again after his talks with President Putin.


Russian troop build-up: View from Ukraine front line


A large part of the recent Russian military build-up is in Crimea, which Russia seized from Ukraine and then annexed in 2014.

Troops are also gathering near Ukraine's eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, parts of which are under the control of Russian-backed separatists.
More than 14,000 people have lost their lives in seven years of conflict since Russian-backed forces seized large areas of Ukraine's east.





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Old 14-12-21, 10:38   #13
 
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Movies re: Russia-Ukraine: Russia Sends Ballistic Missiles & Snipers to Ukraine Border

Missile Threat: Russia Warned it Was Willing to Deploy Intermediate-Range Nuclear Missiles Within Range of Europe as Tensions Reach Boiling Point

RUSSIA has threatened to deploy intermediate range nuclear missiles in Europe, as tensions over Ukraine intensify.

Since 1987, intermediate range nuclear missiles have been banned under a treaty


BBC News 14 DEC 2021.






Russia has warned that it will respond to U.S. deployments by deploying more intermediate-range missiles, possibly including ballistic missiles, pointed toward Europe.



If all this comes to pass, Europe will be less secure and the risk of a military incident or miscommunication leading to military conflict with Russia will increase.


The warning from the country’s foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov comes amid fears of a Russian invasion of Ukraine, where the Kremlin has massed 175,000 troops.

Vladimir Putin has been warned of “massive consequences” if he invades Ukraine as Russia masses troops on its neighbour’s border.

Ryabkov has now threatened to revive Intermediate-range nuclear missiles, deployed in large numbers by both sides in the Cold War in the early 1980s.

He denied Russia was planning to invade Ukraine said Moscow would “respond militarily” if Nato sought to expand eastwards.

Speaking to the state-run RIA Novost he warned “there will be confrontation, this will be the next step" and previously banned weapons “will appear from our side”.

“They don’t exist now, we have a unilateral moratorium,” he added.


When they were first deployed, the missiles brought the cities of Europe into much closer striking range, adding an even more terrifying dimension to the nuclear arms race.

But a historic treaty signed between Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and US President Ronald Reagan eventually saw the two sides destroy nearly 2,700 of them.

America withdrew from the pact in 2019 after complaining for years of alleged violations revolving around Russia's development of a ground-launched cruise missile.

US intelligence recently detected Russian troops on the border with Ukraine as fears of a potential invasion in early 2022 are mounting.

The rising tensions have prompted the G7 group of Western nations - meeting in Liverpool - to issue a warning to Russia.

“Russia should be in no doubt that further military aggression against Ukraine would have massive consequences and severe cost in response," the group said in statement.

"We reaffirm our unwavering commitment to Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as the right of any sovereign state to determine its own future."

Britain's Defence Secretary Ben Wallace recently said the UK was ready to use force to help defend Ukraine.


What is Happening Between Russia and Ukraine?


RUSSIA and the Ukraine have remained technically at war since 2014


Ukraine was aligned with Russia as part of the Soviet Union until its collapse in 1991, following which it became an independent state.Both nations remained closely tied - but Ukraine gradually began to distance itself, seeking deeper ties with the West.The open conflict was triggered by the Ukrainian Revolution in 2014 - when an uprising overthrew the pro-Russian government of Viktor Yanukovych.

Vladimir Putin's forces reacted by annexing the region of Crimea from Ukraine - a move which was widely condemned by the West.The conflict then spiralled when pro-Russian groups in Eastern Ukraine then took up arms against the state.Russia gave their backing the separatist forces which formed breakaway republics in Donetsk and Luhansk.

Putin's forces then launched a military incursion into these regions as they gave their support to the rebels.Russia continues to hold Crimea - and claims the region joined them willingly after they a referendum.

Seven years have now passed and the War in Donbass remains at a stalemate.It is estimated some 14,000 have been killed in the conflict, including more than 3,0o0 civilians.Ukraine and the rebels signed a new ceasefire in July 2020 - but clashes have been steadily increasing again throughout 2021.

Russia has denied that it plans to attack Ukraine and condemned the G7 warning.

"Russia has made numerous offers to NATO on ways to decrease tensions,” its UK embassy said.

“The G7 forum could be an opportunity to discuss them, but so far we hear nothing but aggressive slogans.”




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Old 16-12-21, 13:41   #14
 
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Update re: Russia-Ukraine: Russia Sends Ballistic Missiles & Snipers to Ukraine Border

Russia-Ukraine: EU to WARN Moscow Against Hostile Action

European leaders are expected to warn Russia that hostile action against Ukraine could come at a "high price", amid concerns over the build-up of Russian forces on the Ukrainian border.


BBC News 16 DEC 2021.





A Ukrainian serviceman keeps watch at a position on the frontline with Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine


The message, to be agreed during a European Council summit in Brussels, will be the latest warning from the West against Russian aggression.


Meanwhile, Russia has set out its demands for security guarantees to the United States.

Western intelligence services believe up to 100,000 Russian troops are massed near Ukraine's borders. Ukrainian authorities have said Moscow could be planning a military offensive at the end of January, although US officials say it is not yet clear whether President Putin has made a decision.

On Wednesday, the chief of the European Commission, which is the EU executive, again urged Russia to de-escalate tensions. Ursula von der Leyen said additional sanctions had already been prepared, targeting "all the different fields you might think of".

"[T]he message is very clear: should Russia take further aggressive actions against Ukraine, the costs will be severe and the consequences serious," she said.

It is not yet clear what the threatened sanctions package might include. One of the possible targets is Nord Stream 2, a new gas pipeline from Russia to Germany not yet in operation.

Is Russia preparing to invade Ukraine?



Her comment came after French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz sought to revive talks with Russia, as they met the Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky, in Brussels.

President Zelensky said he would prefer sanctions to be imposed immediately, before Russia acts, adding that measures after an escalation of hostilities "no longer interest anyone".

Earlier, Mr Scholz said the situation on the Russian-Ukrainian border was of "great concern", and that any "violation of territorial integrity will have a price, a high price".

Also on Wednesday, Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov handed over a list of proposals for European security to US Assistant Secretary of State Karen Donfried, who was in Moscow for talks.

Russia wants legally biding guarantees against eastward Nato expansion and deployment of weapons close to its border. Nato says its activities are defensive and that no country can veto Ukraine's hopes of joining the alliance.

Ukraine shares borders with both the EU and Russia but has deep social and cultural ties with Russia. Russia, meanwhile, has accused Ukraine of provocation.

The Kremlin denies it plans to attack.
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Old 18-12-21, 09:09   #15
 
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Movies re: Russia-Ukraine: Russia Sends Ballistic Missiles & Snipers to Ukraine Border

Putin Announces 16,000mph ‘Satan-2’ Nuke With 12 Warheads Will be Ready in a Year

18 Dec 2021 The Sun







RUSSIA says its 16,000mph hypersonic ‘Satan-2’ missile which can fit 12 nuclear warheads and could destroy the UK will go into service within a year.






The Kremlin will also significantly increase the number of test launches of its nuke-tipped rockets in 2022, amid fears its tensions with neighbour Ukraine could spark World War 3.

And the head of Moscow’s strategic missile forces Col-Gen Sergey Karakayev vowed to replace the Mach-27 capable Avangard hypersonic gliding unit by the time the West finds an “antidote” to it.

This comes as images purport to show heavy weaponry suspected to be en route to a military field camp near the village of Klintsy in Bryansk region, some 28 miles from the Ukrainian border.

Vladimir Putin has amassed more than 100,000 troops near the border in a terrifying escalation of hostilities in recent months.



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Old 11-01-22, 09:16   #16
 
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Movies re: Russia-Ukraine: Russia Sends Ballistic Missiles & Snipers to Ukraine Border

Russia Downplays Threat to Ukraine in Talks With US

Russia has told the US that it has no intention of invading Ukraine, after officials from both countries met for high-stakes talks in Geneva.

BBC News 11 JAN 2022.






A Ukrainian soldier stationed at the country's border with Russia. Moscow has deployed thousands of troops to its side of the border




After a meeting that lasted for seven hours on Monday, both sides agreed to continue efforts to reduce tensions.

But there was no sign of a major breakthrough following the talks.

Around 100,000 Russian troops are believed to be near the border with Ukraine, prompting fears of an incursion and warnings from the West.

The US has said there would be sanctions if Russia were to attack Ukraine.

Russia, meanwhile, has warned the US not to "underestimate the risks" involved in Moscow's confrontation with the West.

"We explained to our colleagues that we have no plans, no intentions to attack Ukraine," Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told reporters following the meeting.

He said the Russians had told their US counterparts "that all measures for the combat training of troops and forces are carried out within our territory" and that there was "no reason to fear any escalation scenario in this regard".

US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman described the talks as "frank and forthright" discussions designed to encourage a better understanding of each side's security concerns.




Key Disagreements Remain

Analysis by James Landale, Diplomatic Correspondent



This was the first chance Russian and American diplomats had to discuss face to face the standoff over Ukraine, and Russia's demands for Nato to step back from eastern Europe.

And while little agreement appears to have been reached, both sides aired their concerns and set out their demands with at least the possibility of talks continuing in the future.

Yet the gap between both sides remains large. The US urged Russia to de-escalate the situation and remove its troops from Ukraine's border but it received no assurance that would happen.

Russia demanded that Nato should give a cast-iron guarantee it would never offer membership to Ukraine. The US rejected this outright. The US offered some ideas for both countries to limit military exercises and missile deployments but there was no sense this would be enough for Russia.

Optimists will point to the fact the talks were business-like, they did not break up in acrimony and Russia insisted it had no intention of invading Ukraine. Pessimists will note that even after such assurances, US officials said they were still not sure if Russia was serious about finding a diplomatic solution to this crisis.


Ms Sherman said the US had pushed back on Russian proposals that were "non-starters" for the US government, including Russia's demand that Nato commit to never include Ukraine in the alliance.

"We will not allow anyone to slam closed Nato's open-door policy, which has always been central to the Nato alliance," she said.

According to Ms Sherman, the US delegation told the Russians that any invasion would be met with "significant cost and consequences well beyond what they faced in 2014" when Russia annexed the peninsula of Crimea from Ukraine.

These measures could include sanctions against key financial institutions, export controls, "enhancements of Nato force posture on allied territory" and increased security assistance to Ukraine, she added.

Mr Ryabkov said the talks had been "business-like and professional" but warned the US not to "underestimate the risks" of the tensions.

The Geneva talks are the first of several meetings between US, allied and Russian officials this week, which will also include a meeting at Nato headquarters in Brussels and at the permanent council of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, which includes Russia.


Monday's meeting, however, took place without the participation of US European allies, including Ukraine, prompting reassurances from Ms Sherman and other US officials that Ukraine, Europe and Nato would be included in any decisions.

Earlier on Monday, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell Fontelles said he believed a Russian invasion was still possible. "There are 100,000 Russian troops on the other side of the border," he said. "I suppose they haven't gone there to drink coffee!"

Mr Borrell added that he'd been told nothing would be agreed without the EU's "strong co-operation, co-ordination and participation".

Russia has repeatedly denied it has any plans to launch a military operation in Ukraine. Last month, the Russian government published a series of demands including a commitment that Ukraine will never join Nato.=








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Old 18-01-22, 18:22   #17
 
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Movies re: Russia-Ukraine: TROOPS Move In as UK & US Warns Russia of Consequences

Russia Sends Ballistic Missiles and Snipers to Ukraine Border

18 Jan 2022 The Sun


RUSSIA is reportedly deploying ballistic missiles and teams of snipers to its border with Ukraine amid warnings of “a huge war” in Europe.

Missile launchers have been spotted moving west as the Kremlin said the tense stand-off between Moscow and the West over Ukraine had reached an “extremely dangerous” phase.

Videos appeared to show Iskander-M launchers being transported by train towards the border while other footage has emerged showing teams of snipers reportedly near the conflict zone.

This comes as the Ukrainian ambassador to Berlin, Andrij Melnyk, warned Europe faced the risk of “a huge war, the worst since 1945” and insisted Ukraine had “a sacred right to self-defence”.

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Old 19-01-22, 07:06   #18
 
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Movies re: Russia-Ukraine: TROOPS Move In as UK & US Warns Russia of Consequences

Russian Invasion of Ukraine May be Imminent Warns White House -

BBC News 18 Jan 2022


The US government believes Russia could launch an invasion of Ukraine at any moment.


The White House press secretary warned of an “extremely dangerous situation” on the country’s border, where Russia has massed more than 100,000 troops.

Talks between the United States and Russian have failed to resolve the stand-off between the two countries and the US has warned Russia of “dire economic consequences” if it invades its neighbour.

Huw Edwards presents BBC News at Ten reporting by diplomatic correspondent James Landale.


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Old 24-01-22, 03:33   #19
 
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Movies re: Russia-Ukraine: TROOPS Move In as UK & US Warns Russia of Consequences

UK Warns Russian Government Will Face Serious Consequences if Ukraine is Invaded

Dominic Raab warns ‘very significant risk’ Russia will invade Ukraine


Russia says 'no plans' to invade Ukraine as more troops sent to border


German navy chief resigns after saying Putin 'deserves respect' over Ukraine

BBC UK 24 JAN 2022.



The UK has accused Russia’s President Vladimir Putin of plotting to install a pro-Moscow figure to lead Ukraine's government.

Russia has moved 100,000 troops near to its border with Ukraine but denies it is planning an invasion.

UK ministers have warned that the Russian government will face serious consequences if there is an incursion.


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Old 24-01-22, 06:19   #20
 
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Movies re: Russia-Ukraine: Putin Preps For WAR-Strike on Kiev-20 Warships & More Paratroopers

US Orders Families of Embassy Staff Out of Ukraine as Tensions Rise

State department says dependents of staffers must leave the country amid growing tensions over Russia’s military buildup on the border

BBC UK 24 JAN 2022.








The US government has ordered the families of all American personnel at the US embassy in Ukraine to leave the country amid heightened fears of a Russian invasion.



The state department told the dependents of staffers at the US embassy in Kyiv that they must leave the country. It also said that non-essential embassy staff could leave Ukraine at government expense.

US officials stressed the Kyiv embassy will remain open and that Sunday’s announcement does not constitute an evacuation. The move had been under consideration for some time and does not reflect an easing of US support for Ukraine, the officials said.

“Military action by Russia could come at any time,” the US embassy said. Officials “will not be in a position to evacuate American citizens in such a contingency, so US citizens currently present in Ukraine should plan accordingly,” it added.

The statement came amid rising tensions about Russia’s military buildup on the Ukraine border that were not eased during talks Friday between secretary of state Antony Blinken and Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov in Geneva.

Ahead of a foreign ministers meeting in Brussels on Monday, a senior European official said the EU would be ready to launch sanctions “within days” if Russian troops launch an invasion.

US vows ‘swift, severe and united response’ if Russia invades Ukraine


Ukraine was also said to be reacting “seriously” to UK Foreign Office allegations that Moscow has plans to invade the country and install a puppet government, according to a senior government adviser, adding that Kyiv is resisting Russian efforts to destabilise its government and economy.

The Foreign Office claims that Moscow may topple the government and install Yevhen Murayev, a former MP who controls a pro-Russia television station, were met with shock and some scepticism in Ukrainian political and media circles on Sunday.

The Foreign Office made the allegations as the UK pledged to take a more aggressive posture over Russia’s buildup of more than 100,000 troops and weaponry on the border with Ukraine.

Murayev himself denied that he was involved in any plot, telling the Observer he had been banned from entering Russia and was in a conflict with a close ally of Vladimir Putin. “It isn’t very logical,” he said.

The Foreign Office has not provided any evidence to support the allegations, which came as Boris Johnson’s domestic political troubles deepened.

British sources emphasised on Sunday afternoon that the coup plot warning on Saturday followed a UK intelligence assessment, a different formulation from earlier briefings that had suggested it was based on “US-led intelligence”.

The UK allegation came days after the US alleged that Russian intelligence was recruiting current and former Ukrainian government officials to take over the government in Kyiv and cooperate with a Russian occupying force.

The accusations have increased tensions as discussions rage about how best to deter Vladimir Putin from launching a new invasion of Ukraine. Russian tanks and artillery, military vehicles and fighter aircraft continued to arrive within striking distance of Ukraine’s borders this weekend, and Russian troops have been sighted less than 20 miles from the border.

Moscow has announced sweeping naval exercises that will put its ships in close proximity with Nato forces while potentially positioning landing craft for an amphibious assault on Ukraine’s southern coast.

British deputy prime minister Dominic Raab told Sky News on Sunday: “There’ll be very serious consequences if Russia takes this move to try and invade but also install a puppet regime.”
Civilian participants in a Kyiv territorial defence unit train on a Saturday in a forest in Ukraine.
Civilian participants in a Kyiv territorial defence unit train on a Saturday in a forest in Ukraine. Photograph: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Blinken said the US and its allies would deliver a “swift, severe and united response” if Russia invades Ukraine.

The Russian president, Blinken said, must choose between the “preferred path of diplomacy and dialogue” or “Russian aggression and massive consequences”. The US, Nato, and Europe stood ready to deal with any eventuality, he said.

“We’ve been very clear that if there is any further Russian aggression in terms of sending Russian forces into Ukraine, there will be a swift, severe and united response from the United States and Europe,” Blinken told CBS’s Face the Nation, echoing the message he said he delivered to the Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, in “frank and substantive” talks in Geneva last week.

“We’ve been equally clear that Russia engages in other tactics short of sending forces into Ukraine, or other countries, hybrid actions, cyber-attacks, efforts to bring the government down. There, too, I’m confident based on the many consultations I’ve had with European allies and partners that there will be a swift, calibrated and also united response.”

Blinken would not say if that response included committing US forces, but told CNN’s State of the Union the alliance was looking at “very practical and important measures”, including military options.

On Sunday, the US state department said: “The security conditions, particularly along Ukraine’s borders, in Russia-occupied Crimea, and in Russia-controlled eastern Ukraine, are unpredictable and can deteriorate with little notice. Demonstrations, which have turned violent at times, regularly occur throughout Ukraine, including in Kyiv.

The department’s travel advisory, which had warned against traveling to Ukraine because of Covid-19 as well as the tensions over Russia, was changed Sunday to carry a stronger warning.

“Do not travel to Ukraine due to the increased threats of Russian military action and Covid-19. Exercise increased caution in Ukraine due to crime and civil unrest. Some areas have increased risk,” the department advised.

The travel advisory for Russia was also changed: “Do not travel to Russia due to ongoing tension along the border with Ukraine, the potential for harassment against US citizens, the embassy’s limited ability to assist US citizens in Russia, Covid-19 and related entry restrictions, terrorism, harassment by Russian government security officials, and the arbitrary enforcement of local law.”

The state department would not say how many Americans it believes are currently in Ukraine. US citizens are not required to register with embassies when they arrive or plan to stay abroad for extended periods.


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Old 24-01-22, 16:31   #21
 
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Movies re: Russia-Ukraine: Putin Preps WAR-Strike on Kiev-20 Warships & More Paratroopers

Boris Johnson Warns Russia Invading Ukraine Would be 'Painful, Violent and Bloody'

24 Jan 2022 Guardian News



The British prime minister has warned Russia that invading Ukraine would be a "disastrous step." Boris Johnson added: "We also need to get over the message that invading Ukraine from a Russian perspective is going to be a painful, violent and bloody business."

The developments came as the White House and Downing Street said they had started withdrawing diplomats’ families from Ukraine. EU foreign ministers gathered to discuss the escalating crisis with the US secretary of state, Antony Blinken




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Old 25-01-22, 11:02   #22
 
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Movies re: Russia-Ukraine: Putin Preps For WAR-Strike on Kiev-20 Warships & More Paratroopers

Is Russia Getting Ready to Invade Ukraine? - BBC Newsnight

8,500 US Troops “on HIGH Alert” as Ukraine Invasion Fears Grow

Why are US and Russian tensions escalating over the Ukraine?

BBC News 25 JAN 2022.


Russia denies it is planning an invasion, but it has seized Ukrainian territory before and it has an estimated 100,000 troops deployed near its borders.


Tension is ratcheting up between President Putin and members of Nato over the threat of an invasion into Ukraine.

The Secretary General of Nato says the risk of conflict between Russia and Ukraine is real. Vladimir Putin continues to build up troops and weapons, but insists Russia will not invade.

The US’s top diplomat, Antony Blinken, is in Europe vowing relentless diplomacy to stop Russian aggression and is heading to Geneva to meet the Russian foreign minister.


What’s Putin’s Next Move?


Newsnight’s diplomatic editor Mark Urban reports. Kirsty Wark is joined by Fiona Hill, former Russia director of the White House’s National Security Council and Tobias Ellwood, Conservative MP and chair of the defence select committee.






Western Leaders Unite Against Russia Threat

As tensions continue to grow over Ukraine, leaders in the West have united against Russia. While Russia continues to deny planning any military action, it has 100,000 troops on the Ukrainian border, which is concerning leaders of other nations including the US, the UK, France and Germany.

In a bid to tackle the situation, President Joe Biden held a video call with European allies to agree a strategy to deal with Russia, which has seized Ukrainian territory before. "I had a very, very, very good meeting - total unanimity with all the European leaders," Mr Biden said.

Details of this meeting came as the US says it has some 8,500 combat-ready troops on high alert to deploy to Europe at short notice. At the moment there are no plans to send them to Ukraine itself, and the US would only act if Nato decides to activate a rapid-reaction force, "or if other situations develop".




If you're wondering what’s caused tensions,Ros Atkins has taken a look;





Germamy WONT HELP Alliance - FULL REPORT
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Old 26-01-22, 17:03   #23
 
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Movies Re: Russia-Ukraine: Putin Preps For WAR-Strike on Kiev-20 Warships & More Paratrooper

MARCH ON KIEV Putin Deploys 20 Warships and 1,000 Elite Paratroopers to Ukraine Border as He Plots Lightning Strike on Kiev

RUSSIA has deployed 20 warships off the coast of Ukraine and a reported 1,000 elite paratroopers to the border amid fears he's planning a lightning strike invasion to seize Kiev.

Vladimir Putin has already massed 127,000 troops on the frontier with Eastern Ukraine - with a Russian incursion threatening to trigger World War Three.


The Guardian UK 26 JAN 2022.
















Russian airborne forces seen on a previous training exercise



Putin deployed the latest fleet of warships to the Black Sea from the Crimean ports of Sevastopol and Novorossiysk for the second time in three days.

Sources suggest Moscow's latest round of war games involves frigates, patrol ships, missile boats and landing ships - as concerns grow that a potential offensive could take place on multiple fronts at any moment.

“The crews of the ships will conduct a number of exercises and training sessions on the organisation of communications, safe manoeuvring in areas with heavy navigation, and the organisation of air defence at sea," a Black Sea Fleet statement said.

Elsewhere, The Kremlin has been beefing up its force on the land border with Ukraine with the deployment of the crack 217th Guards Parachute Regiment of the 98th Airborne Division.

The deployment was reported by independent Russian researchers known as the Conflict Intelligence Team (CIT).

They pointed to video showing tarpaulin-covered BMD-4M airborne combat vehicles and BTR-MDM airborne armoure personnel carriers.



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Old 27-01-22, 09:42   #24
 
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Movies re: UKRAINE-US Sends Ttoops to Europe & NATO Countries •Conflict Would be Horrific

Nord Stream 2 Gas Pipeline Won’t Open if Russia Invades Ukraine, Says US

US Finalizing Plans to Divert Gas to Europe if Russia Cuts Off Supply

US and German officials signal hardening of position on controversial gas link


Officials working with global suppliers to avoid European gas crisis if flow from Russia is cut as Biden says he would consider personal sanctions against Putin

Ukraine crisis: US rejects Russian demand to bar Ukraine from Nato


The Guardian UK 27 JAN 2022.






Russian media refers to the UK and the US as 'Anglo-Saxons', and sees them as particular adversaries




Mr Blinken said the US was "prepared either way"


The US has rejected Russia's demand to bar Ukraine from Nato, amid warnings Russia might invade its neighbour.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken was giving Russia a formal response to its demands to resolve the Ukraine crisis.

The Nord Stream 2 pipeline between Russia and Germany will not move forward if Russia invades Ukraine, the US state department has said, in a significant strengthening of the west’s previous position on the strategically vital gas supply.

As tension ratcheted up over Russia’s military buildup on its neighbour’s eastern border, state department spokesperson Ned Price said on Wednesday night that the Biden administration was “working with Germany” to ensure it could withstand the loss of the pipeline.

“I want to be very clear: if Russia invades Ukraine one way or another, Nord Stream 2 will not move forward,” Price told National Public Radio. “I’m not going to get into the specifics. We will work with Germany to ensure it does not move forward.”

A sign reading ‘Nord Stream 2 Committed. Reliable. Safe’ hangs above a painted map at the natural gas receiving station in the Lubmin industrial estate in Lubmin, Germany.


Nord Stream 2: Putin’s cut of pipeline would paralysed the west


Emily Haber, Germany’s ambassador to Washington, appeared to endorse a hardening of the position in comments on Thursday. She noted on Twitter that “the US and Germany jointly declared last summer: if Russia uses energy as a weapon or if there is another violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty, Russia will have to pay a high price.”

The German chancellor, Olaf Scholz, and the foreign minister, Annalena Baerbock, also made this clear. “Nothing will be off the table, including Nord Stream 2,” Haber said.



The comments came after a day of intense diplomatic activity, with the US saying that it had set out a path to address Russian demands in eastern Europe, as Moscow held security talks with western countries and continued its military buildup.

In a written response delivered in person by its ambassador in Moscow, the US repeated its commitment to upholding Nato’s “open-door” policy while offering a “principled and pragmatic evaluation” of the Kremlin’s concerns, said the US secretary of state, Antony Blinken.

Russia has demanded Nato pull back troops and weapons from eastern Europe and bar its neighbour Ukraine, a former Soviet state, from ever joining. Washington and its Nato allies, such as the UK and France, reject that position but say they are ready to discuss other topics such as arms control and confidence-building measures.


“Putting things in writing is … a good way to make sure we’re as precise as possible, and the Russians understand our positions, our ideas, as clearly as possible. Right now, the document is with them and the ball is in their court,” Blinken said.

The Nato secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, said: “While we are hoping for and working for a good solution – de-escalation – we are also prepared for the worst.”

China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, said on Thursday that all parties involved in the Ukraine issue should remain calm and refrain from actions that stir tension and hype up the crisis, as he held talks with Blinken.




Europe’s most divisive energy project, Nord Stream 2 is designed to double the amount of gas flowing from Russia straight to Germany, bypassing the traditional transit route through Ukraine via a pipeline along the bed of the Baltic Sea.

It has faced resistance within the EU, from the US as well as Ukraine on the grounds it increases Europe’s energy dependence on Russia and denies Ukraine transit fees, at a time of Moscow’s broader standoff with the west.

The $11bn (£8.3bn) pipeline was first announced in 2015. Angela Merkel, who stepped down as German chancellor in 2021, was an enthusiastic backer as it promised to supply cheap fuel to 26m German homes.

But longstanding fears that it could give Vladimir Putin more leverage over Germany and other European countries have been amplified significantly by the Ukraine standoff.

The pipeline’s construction was completed in September but its owner, the Russian gas company Gazprom, is waiting for final legal permission from German regulators to open the valves and send gas westwards.

The prospect of Russia cutting off supplies in the event of a conflict has led the Biden administration to begin talks with gas producing nations across the world to secure supplies for Europe.

A senior US official said this week that “contingency” plans were being drawn up, and the White House said that Joe Biden would host the emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, on Sunday, with their agenda including “ensuring the stability of global energy supplies”.



Australians in Ukraine
‘No sense of fear’: Australians in Ukraine staying put despite government advice to leave



When asked about reports that industry had little or no capacity to provide the required supplies, the White House press secretary, Jen Psaki, said on Wednesday that the US faced logistical challenges, especially around moving natural gas.

“That’s part of our discussions with a lot of companies and countries,” Psaki said. “But again, these conversations are ongoing and we don’t intend to fail.”

On Thursday, Australia’s resources minister, Keith Pitt, refused to confirm whether Australian officials were in active discussions with the Europeans about gas supply.

He said Australia had been one of the most reliable suppliers of liquefied natural gas throughout the pandemic. “We will of course continue to meet our existing contracts but where there is a shortfall Australia will always look to support our friends,” Pitt told Sky News Australia.

Whether any shortfalls would provide Australian exporters with a long-term opportunity or just become a short-term fix was “a matter for exporters to determine”, he said.





Ukraine crisis: Inside Ukraine's top secret tank base



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Old 27-01-22, 17:18   #25
 
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Movies re: UKRAINE-US Sends Ttoops to Europe & NATO Countries •Conflict Would be Horrific

British Army Unveils New Air Defence Missile System Amidst Tensions in Ukraine

27 Jan 2022 The Sun










THE BRITISH Army has unveiled a new air defence missile system amidst growing uncertainty and tensions in Ukraine as Russia moves more troops and tanks to the border.


Defence Secretary Ben Wallace today visited the 16 Regiment Royal Artillery as it revealed 'Sky Sabre', a new sophisticated air strike weapon.

Fears of a Russian invasion of Ukraine are escalating as Moscow continues to ramp up its large-scale military presence in and around the country.





DE-CLAW THE BEAR
How the West is squaring up to Putin’s war machine with ‘thousands of troops’, javelin missiles & F-16 fighter jets

Read More:
How the West is squaring up to Putin’s war machine with ...






If Russia Invades Ukraine Here’s Where Cvilians are ,Meant to Hide

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Old 28-01-22, 14:34   #26
 
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Movies re: UKRAINE-US Sends Ttoops to Europe & NATO Countries •Conflict Would be Horrific

Moscow Doesn't Want War With Ukraine Says Russia's Foreign Minister

US ignored Russia's security concerns, Vladimir Putin says

BBC News 28 Jan 2022







Speaking to Russian radio stations, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said


"If it depends on Russia, then there will be no war. We don't want wars. But we also won't allow our interests to be rudely trampled, to be ignored."



Lavrov's statement comes after President Biden said that there is a distinct possibility that the Russians could invade Ukraine in February.






US ignored Russia's security concerns, Vladimir Putin says - BBC News
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Old 29-01-22, 10:17   #27
 
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Movies re: UKRAINE-Russia & US Tensions-Powers Clash at UN Security Council

US Warns Russia Conflict With Ukraine Would be Horrific as Tensions Simmer


US Sends Ttoops to Eastern Europe and NATO countries

Biden says the US is moving troops to Eastern Europe and NATO countries in 'near term'

Top US officials call for diplomacy to address Russian military buildup on the Ukraine border, saying conflict is ‘not inevitable’

BBC News 29 Jan 2022






President Joe Biden, with retiring US Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, speaks in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, DC,


President Joe Biden said that the US will move "not a lot" of troops to Eastern Europe in the "near term."


President Joe Biden told reporters on Friday that the US will move to send troops to Eastern Europe and NATO countries in the region in the near future.

"I'll be moving US troops to Eastern Europe and the NATO countries in the near term — not a lot," Biden told reporters at Joint Base Andrews in Prince George's County, Maryland.

The White House and Pentagon did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

Shortly before the president's comments, on Friday, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley said that a Russian invasion of Ukraine would be "horrific" and result in a "significant number of casualties," urging Russia to pursue a diplomatic path.

Earlier this week, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III instructed 8,500 troops to be on "high alert," for deployment to Eastern Europe, according to The New York Times.

During a call on Thursday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told the US President to "calm down" and stressed that Biden had created "unwanted panic" in their talks about a potential war with neighboring Russia.

"I'm the president of Ukraine, and I'm based here, and I think I know the details better here," Zelensky told reporters on Friday.




On Ukraine front line as nervous troops waiting for war exchange shots and mortar rounds




















After months of tension, Ukrainian troops know they could face a tsunami of armoured violence as Europe tips towards bloody conflict. Russian President Vladimir Putin is keeping the world guessing














In the snow-blanketed fields of eastern Europe hundreds of thousands of troops face each other in sub-zero, bitingly cold trenches and shell-smashed buildings, bracing for war.

Many are unseen, camouflaged, heavily-armed and hidden behind
anti-sniper netting, huddled behind derelict buildings and exchanging the odd shot, mortar round or artillery shell.

After months of tension, they know they could be just a few words barked down a radio from a tsunami of armoured violence as Europe tips towards bloody conflict.

The monument of the Three Sisters, in the tense no-man’s land between Ukraine, Belarus and Russia has proudly celebrated friendship between the three countries since 1975.










We visited it, close to the north Ukrainian village of Senkivka, and find ourselves in a stateless no-man’s land the size of two football pitches, sadly now a deluded landmark of peace.



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Old 31-01-22, 06:24   #28
 
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Movies re: UKRAINE-Russia & US Tensions-Powers Clash at UN Security Council

Chernobyl Site in Ukraine Under Close Watch

31 Jan 2022 Sky News


If Russian troops do invade Ukraine the most direct route to Kiev will take them past one of the most infamous sites in Soviet History.

Chernobyl is close to the Ukrainian capital. And that makes it strategically important because north of the exclusion zone is the border with Russian ally Belarus.

Ukraine has been increasing military deployments to the zone,


Sky News' Dominic Waghorn visited to find out why.


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Old 01-02-22, 11:57   #29
 
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Movies re: UKRAINE-US Weapons & Amo Arrive in Ukraine as Russia Tensions Continue

Russia-Ukraine Tensions: Powers Clash at UN Security Council

There have been angry clashes between Russian and US envoys at the UN Security Council, after the US called a meeting to discuss Moscow's troop build-up on its borders with Ukraine.

BBC UK 1 FEB. 2022.








Linda Thomas-Greenfield (R) warned of more Russian troops arriving in Belarus



US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said the mobilisation was the biggest Europe had seen in decades.

Her Russian counterpart accused the US of fomenting hysteria and unacceptable interference in Russia's affairs.

The US and UK have promised further sanctions if Russia invades Ukraine.

UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said legislation was being prepared which would target a wider range of individuals and businesses close to the Kremlin than is currently possible.

A US official said Washington's sanctions meant individuals close to the Kremlin would be cut off from the international financial system.

Russia has placed an estimated 100,000 troops, tanks, artillery and missiles near Ukraine's frontiers.

Diplomatic efforts continue, with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken due to hold talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov later on Tuesday.

The US said it had received a written response from Russia to a US proposal aimed at de-escalating the crisis in Ukraine. But hours later Russia's deputy foreign minister said that was not true and a source told Ria news agency it was still preparing a response.

A state department spokesperson said the US remained fully committed to dialogue and would continue to consult closely with its allies and partners, including Ukraine.

Meanwhile a number of European leaders are travelling to Ukraine on Tuesday for talks. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is flying to Kyiv after promising to work with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to find a diplomatic solution to arguments with Moscow and "avoid further bloodshed".

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte are also heading to the Ukrainian capital.


Graphic Showing Positioning of Russian Troops..





At Monday's UN Security Council meeting, Russian Ambassador Vasily Nebenzya said there was no proof that Russia was planning military action against Ukraine, and that its troop build-up was not confirmed by the UN.

He said Russia often deployed troops on its own territory and that this was none of Washington's business.

Russia had tried to block the open session of the UN body but was outvoted by 10 votes to two.

The Biden administration was "whipping up tensions and rhetoric, and provoking escalation", Mr Nebenzya said.

"This isn't just unacceptable interference in the internal affairs of our state, it's also an attempt to mislead the international community about the true situation in the region and the reasons for the current global tensions," he said.

Ms Thomas-Greenfield said the US continued to believe there was a diplomatic solution but warned that the US would act decisively if Russia invaded Ukraine, the consequences of which would be "horrific".

"This is the largest... mobilisation of troops in Europe in decades," she said.

"And as we speak, Russia is sending even more forces and arms to join them."

Moscow was planning to increase its force deployed in neighbouring Belarus, on Ukraine's northern border, to 30,000, she added.

Late on Monday, the US ordered the departure of family members of American government employees from Belarus, citing the "unusual and concerning Russian military build-up". A similar order was earlier issued to families of US government personnel in the American embassy in Ukraine's capital Kyiv.




Ukrainian soldier on front line at Horlivka, DonbasImage

Ukrainian forces have been fighting Russian-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine for eight years



Moscow wants the West to promise Ukraine will never join the Nato alliance - in which members promise to come to another's aid in the event of an armed attack - but the US has rejected that demand.

Nato's 30 members include the US and UK, as well as Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia - former Soviet republics which border Russia. Moscow sees Nato troops in eastern Europe as a direct threat to its security.

Mr Putin has long argued the US broke a guarantee it made in 1990 that Nato would not expand further east, though interpretations differ over exactly what was promised.

Russia annexed Ukraine's southern Crimea peninsula in 2014. It is also backing rebels who seized large swathes of the eastern Donbas region soon afterwards, and some 14,000 people have died in fighting there.


Ukraine Crisis-Missed Putin Call Demonstrates 'Systemic Chaos' in Number 10

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Old 02-02-22, 09:22   #30
 
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Movies re: UKRAINE-US Weapons & Amo Arrive in Ukraine as Russia Tensions Continue

Tensions: US Trying to Draw Russia Into WAR, Putin Says

Russia's President Vladimir Putin has accused the US of trying to draw his country into a war in Ukraine.


BBC News 2 FEB. 2022.







Mr Putin was speaking after talks with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban in Moscow



He said America's goal was to use a confrontation as a pretext to impose more sanctions on Russia.

Mr Putin also said the US was ignoring Russia's concerns about Nato alliance forces in Europe.

The US and its Nato alliance partners accuse Russia of planning an invasion of Ukraine, something Russia has repeatedly denied.

On Tuesday US Secretary of State Antony Blinken tweeted that the US was "committed to preventing a conflict that is in no one's interest".

Ukrainian civilians prepare as war threatens


In recent weeks Russia has moved about 100,000 troops - equipped with everything from tanks and artillery to ammunition and air power - to Ukraine's border.

It comes eight years after the country annexed Ukraine's southern Crimea peninsula and backed a bloody rebellion in the eastern Donbas region.

Moscow in turn accuses the Ukrainian government of failing to implement an international deal to restore peace to the east, where at least 14,000 people have been killed and Russian-backed rebels control swathes of territory.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned on Tuesday that a Russian invasion would "not be a war between Ukraine and Russia - this would be a war in Europe, a full-scale one".

'Are We Hoing to Fight With Nato?'



Speaking after talks with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban in Moscow, Mr Putin said: "It seems to me that the United States is not so much concerned about the security of Ukraine... but its main task is to contain Russia's development. In this sense Ukraine itself is just a tool to reach this goal."

Rivalry between Russia and the US, which still possess the world's biggest nuclear arsenals, dates back to the Cold War (1947-89). Ukraine was then a crucial part of the communist Soviet Union, second only to Russia.

Mr Putin said the US had ignored Moscow's concerns in its response to Russian demands for legally binding security guarantees, including a block on the Nato alliance's further expansion to the east.

He suggested that if Ukraine were granted its wish to join Nato, it could drag the other members into a war with Russia.

"Imagine that Ukraine is a Nato member and a military operation [to regain Crimea] begins," the Russian leader said. "What - are we going to fight with Nato? Has anyone thought about this? It seems like they haven't."





Map Showing Russian Forces






The US meanwhile insists it is fully committed to dialogue. Speaking after a call with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Tuesday, US Secretary of State Blinken said he had emphasized US willingness to continue discussing "mutual security concerns".

Earlier this week the US said it had received a written response from Russia to a US proposal aimed at de-escalating the crisis in Ukraine. But hours later Russia's deputy foreign minister said that was not true and a source told Ria news agency it was still preparing a response.


Civilians Prepare Amid Threat of War

Analysis by Sarah Rainsford, Moscow Correspondent



For months, Ukraine's Western allies have been pointing to Russian troops massing on the border.

Ukrainians who would be in the direct line of any such incursion are far less convinced it will happen. But all the war talk is unsettling.

"Last week I was pretty disturbed; I even went to my psychologist for help," Dmytro Dubas admits.

In 2014, he joined the flood of volunteer soldiers pouring east when heavy fighting against Russian-backed forces erupted.

Dmytro had returned to civilian life, storing the reminders of his time in the trenches in an old ammunition box painted and re-fashioned as a coffee table in his living room.

Now he's calmed his nerves by preparing for the worst possible scenario: filling his car with fuel, buying emergency food supplies and signing-up with the territorial defence force to brush-up his skills.

In Ukraine itself on Tuesday, visiting UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson accused Mr Putin of effectively "holding a gun... to the head of Ukraine" and he called on the Kremlin to step back from a "military disaster".

Mr Johnson warned that the UK would respond to Russian aggression with a "package of sanctions and other measures to be enacted the moment the first Russian toecap crosses further into Ukrainian territory".


Under-pressure Johnson takes to world stage with Ukraine visit


The UK has announced it is giving £88m ($119) to Ukraine to promote stable governance and energy independence from Russia.

Mr Zelensky called for sanctions to be introduced before any escalation, saying he would support any move by the UK to deal with "dirty money" allegedly linked to the Kremlin being laundered through the City of London.



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Old 03-02-22, 09:43   #31
 
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Movies re: UKRAINE-US Weapons & Amo Arrive in Ukraine as Russia Tensions Continue

Russia Warns of Nuclear Missile Deployment in Europe as Tensions Over Ukraine Reach Boiling Point

Russia nuclear war warning: Putin threatens to unleash hellfire in EU with missile launch



Ukraine Tensions: Russia Condemns Destructive US Troop Increase in Europe

Russia has condemned a US decision to send extra troops to Europe to support its Nato allies amid continuing fears of a Russian invasion of Ukraine.


Daily Mail UK.3 FEB 2022.



Moscow said it was a "destructive" step which heightened tension and reduced the scope for a political solution.


The Pentagon said 2,000 US troops would be sent from North Carolina to Poland and Germany, and a further 1,000 already in Germany would go to Romania.

Russia has some 100,000 troops near Ukraine. It denies planning to invade.

The tensions come eight years after Russia annexed Ukraine's southern Crimea peninsula and backed a bloody rebellion in the eastern Donbas region.

Moscow accuses the Ukrainian government of failing to implement the Minsk agreement - an international deal to restore peace to the east, where Russian-backed rebels control swathes of territory and at least 14,000 people have been killed since 2014.

Responding to US President Joe Biden's decision to deploy extra troops to Europe this week, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko said it was a "destructive" and an "unjustified" step.

Speaking on Wednesday, Mr Grushko added that it would "delight" the Ukrainian authorities, who would continue sabotaging the Minsk agreement "with impunity".

The Pentagon earlier said the American troops being deployed would not fight in Ukraine - but would ensure the defence of Washington's allies.

Their deployment is in addition to the 8,500 troops the Pentagon put on alert last month to be ready to deploy to Europe if needed.

"It's important that we send a strong signal to Mr Putin and, frankly, to the world that Nato matters to the United States and it matters to our allies," Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told reporters on Wednesday.

But on the question of alleged invasion plans by Mr Putin, he said: "We still don't believe he's made a decision to further invade Ukraine."

He also said a US proposal "leaked to a European news outlet" was genuine. He appeared to be referring to a story in Spain's El País newspaper about a US offer of talks with Russia on cutting back on nuclear weaponry and on trust-building measures in exchange for reducing tensions over Ukraine.


Graphic showing positioning of Russian troops..







Meanwhile, intense diplomatic efforts continued to try to find a political solution to the crisis, amid fears it could blow up to a full-scale war in Europe.

Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed Ukraine with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson by phone on Wednesday.

Mr Johnson told Mr Putin "all European democracies have a right to aspire to Nato membership", a Downing Street statement said. Russia opposes Ukraine joining the security alliance.

Mr Putin drew attention to Nato's reluctance to respond appropriately to Russia's justified concerns, the Kremlin said in a statement (in Russian).

The Russian president earlier accused the US of trying to draw his country into a war in Ukraine. He said America's goal was to use a confrontation as a pretext to impose more sanctions on Russia.

Separately, President Biden and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron "affirmed their support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity," the White House said in a statement.

In a phone call, they reviewed "ongoing co-ordination on both diplomacy and preparations to impose swift and severe economic costs on Russia should it further invade Ukraine," the statement said.






PUTIN RESPONDS;

Russia WARNS of Nuclear Missile Deployment in Europe


RUSSIA has threatened to deploy intermediate range nuclear missiles in Europe, as tensions over Ukraine intensify.


The Sun UK & Ireland 3 FEB. 2022.








Russia has warned it might deploy more nuclear weapons to Europe






The warning from the country’s foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov comes amid fears of a Russian invasion of Ukraine, where the Kremlin has massed 175,000 troops.


Vladimir Putin has been warned of “massive consequences” if he invades Ukraine as Russia masses troops on its neighbour’s border.

Ryabkov has now threatened to revive Intermediate-range nuclear missiles, deployed in large numbers by both sides in the Cold War in the early 1980s.

He denied Russia was planning to invade Ukraine said Moscow would “respond militarily” if Nato sought to expand eastwards.

Speaking to the state-run RIA Novost he warned “there will be confrontation, this will be the next step" and previously banned weapons “will appear from our side”.

“They don’t exist now, we have a unilateral moratorium,” he added.


When they were first deployed, the missiles brought the cities of Europe into much closer striking range, adding an even more terrifying dimension to the nuclear arms race.



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Old 04-02-22, 23:18   #32
 
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Movies re: UKRAINE-West Scrambles to Evacuate Personnel & Interpret Putins' Moves

US Weapons & Ammunition Arrive in Ukraine as Tensions Continue With Russia

Military equipment, including weapons and ammunition from the U.S. arrive in Ukraine as tensions continue with Russia.

Ukraine tensions: US alleges Russian plot to fake invasion pretext


BBC 4 Feb 2022







Washington alleged that the staged attack could show Ukrainian forces in eastern Ukraine targeting Russians



The US has claimed Russia is planning to stage a fake Ukrainian attack that it would use to justify an invasion.

It alleged Moscow was likely to release a graphic video showing the attack on Russian territory or against Russian-speaking people in eastern Ukraine.

Russia denied it was planning to fabricate an attack, and the US did not provide evidence to support the claim.

The build-up of tens of thousands of Russian troops on Ukraine's borders has escalated fears of an invasion.

Moscow says they are there for military drills, but Ukraine and its Western allies remain concerned that Russia is planning to launch an assault.

"We do have information that the Russians are likely to want to fabricate a pretext for an invasion," Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told reporters on Thursday.

"As part of this fake attack, we believe that Russia would produce a very graphic propaganda video, which would include corpses and actors that would be depicting mourners and images of destroyed locations," he said.

But senior US officials said the video was just one of several ideas Russia has to provide a pretext to invade its neighbour.

They added that the alleged plan was being revealed in an effort to dissuade Russia from invading.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov responded to the reports later on Thursday.

"This is not the first promise of its kind [to release details about Russian provocation]," he said. "Something similar was also said before, but nothing came of it."

Russia has repeatedly denied that it is planning an attack.

News of the alleged plot came a day after the US said it was sending more troops to eastern Europe to support allies in the Nato defensive alliance.

Russia said the move was "destructive" and showed that its concerns about Nato's eastward expansion were justified.

Also on Thursday, Nato expressed concerns that Russia was likely to deploy up to 30,000 troops - including special forces, fighter jets and short-range ballistic missiles - in Belarus, Ukraine's northern neighbour.

"This is the biggest Russian deployment there since the Cold War," Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said.

Rivalry between Russia and the US, which still possess the world's biggest nuclear arsenals, dates back to the Cold War. Ukraine was then a crucial part of the communist Soviet Union.




Graphic Showing Positioning of Russian Troops..





Diplomatic Moves


Russian President Vladimir Putin is currently in the Chinese capital, Beijing, for the Winter Olympics, and on Friday met his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, for their first face-to-face meeting since June 2019, because of the pandemic.

The two nations have a close relationship - President Xi has previously praised Mr Putin as his "best friend", and it is widely expected that Russia will be looking for diplomatic support from China as tensions build with Ukraine and the West.

Meanwhile, French President Emmanuel Macron will travel to Russia and Ukraine next week to try and de-escalate the tensions. He will meet Mr Putin in the Russian capital, Moscow, on Monday, then Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky the next day.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson was in Ukraine earlier this week in an effort to "avoid further bloodshed"




US warships bolster NATO to counter Russia as Ukrainian crisis tensions heighten









How advanced are Russian preparations for an incursion into Ukraine?



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Old 07-02-22, 11:26   #33
 
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Update re: UKRAINE-West Scrambles to Evacuate Personnel & Interpret Putins' Moves

French Leader Macron to Meet Putin Over Ukraine Crisis

Macron Hopes For Historic Solution to Ukraine Crisis Ahead of Putin Meeting

French leader, who will travel to Kyiv on Tuesday, is optimistic he can secure peace, despite the US saying Russia could invade ‘tomorrow’

French leader hopes for ‘historic solution’ … Johnson allies insist the ‘grownups’ are in charge

BBC News 7 FEB. 2022.












French President Emmanuel Macron has said he will discuss how to de-escalate the Ukraine crisis when he meets Vladimir Putin


French president Emmanuel Macron believes he can deliver “a historic solution” to the Ukraine crisis ahead of his arrival in Moscow for talks with Russian president Vladimir Putin.

After a flurry of diplomatic activity that included talks with US president Joe Biden this weekend and three phone calls with Putin, Macron will land in Moscow on Monday seeking a “de-escalation” of the tense standoff on Ukraine’s eastern borders.

Russia has denied planning to invade Ukraine but has tens of thousands of troops near its neighbour’s borders, prompting the US to order about 3,000 extra troops to bolster Nato’s eastern flank in Poland and Romania.

Biden Rattles His Sabre at Putin … But it’s Xi He Really Wants to Scare


The White House believes Moscow has assembled at least 70% of the firepower it needs to give Vladimir Putin the option of a major military operation by mid-February. The US national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, said on Sunday that an invasion could take place “as soon as tomorrow”.

However, Macron told the Journal du Dimanche newspaper on Sunday that Russia’s objective was “not Ukraine, but a clarification of the rules … with Nato and the EU”.

It was therefore “urgent to advance towards a new order which our Europe needs profoundly and which rests on the cardinal principle of sovereign equality among states”, he told the paper.

He said his dialogue with Putin would probably be enough to prevent military conflict breaking out despite the pessimistic assessments in many western capitals.

“The intensity of the dialogue we have had with Russia and this visit to Moscow are designed to stop that happening,” Macron said.

“Then we will discuss the terms of de-escalation. We have to be very realistic. We will not obtain unilateral gestures, but it’s essential to stop the situation deteriorating.”

Macron, whose diplomacy has been strengthened by France being the current holder of the European presidency, said he had “always been in a deep dialogue with president Putin and our responsibility is to build a historic solution” to the problem of European security. “I believe President Putin is available for this,” Macron said.

The French leader, who faces a presidential election challenge from far-right candidates in April, will travel to Kyiv on Tuesday for talks with Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

While Macron is in Moscow, the German chancellor, Olaf Scholz, will be in Washington for talks with Joe Biden on Monday, aiming to narrow differences between the US and German approach to the crisis. Berlin has been criticised by some Nato allies for not supplying Ukraine with weapons.

“There are strict export criteria we are following on the export of weapons into crisis regions,” Scholz told the Washington Post on the eve of his White House visit, and pointed to other ways in which Germany was helping Ukraine, including $2 bn in economic aid over seven years.

He also noted that his government was contributing to a Nato effort to reinforce the alliance’s eastern flank, with hundreds of troops deployed in Lithuania, fighter jets in Romania and plans to send more warplanes to the Baltic.

There are still differences however between Washington and Berlin over the response if Russia attacks Ukraine. The US has said the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany would not open. Scholz’s government has not been as categorical and the chancellor said the situation required “strategic ambiguity”.

“Please understand that I will not get into any specifics, but our answer will be united and decisive,” he said.”


Amid a weeks-long military buildup, Moscow has said it could take unspecified military action if its security demands are not met. Those include a promise that Nato will never admit Ukraine, a demand the United States and Nato have called unacceptable.


Western governments have promised to protect Ukraine’s sovereignty and Boris Johnson has warned Russia it would be a “tragic miscalculation” to invade its neighbour.

US officials have warned that a full attack could lead to the swift capture of Kyiv and potentially result in 50,000 civilians killed or wounded, as well as up to 25,000 dead Ukrainian soldiers and 10,000 Russian ones. Millions could flee in a refugee crisis for Europe, they suggested.

They said the Russian army had now positioned 83 “battalion tactical groups” near Ukraine, each with between 750 and 1,000 soldiers. The figure has risen from 60 battalion groups two weeks ago, they added.

Ukraine’s former defence minister, Andriy Zagorodnyuk, said he did not believe a Russian invasion was inevitable. He said the remorseless Russian troop buildup was proceeding along textbook lines, but that the Kremlin’s intentions and strategy remained opaque.

“We don’t see a political endgame here,” he said. “If Putin seizes Kyiv, there will be full-scale war. The Ukrainian army forces will fight. There will be enormous resistance for all time. Why would you do that?

“Ukraine is not going to say: ‘Let’s join Russia.’ This is understood. Unless, of course, Putin is totally delusional and has his own understanding of reality. There will be blood, sanctions. Nobody needs that kind of international war in Europe right now.”

However, the Ukrainian foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, sought on Sunday to play down “apocalyptic predictions” about an imminent Russian invasion, saying his country was strong and had unprecedented international support.

Earlier on Sunday, Macron spoke Biden for 40 minutes to “share information about contacts made during the weekend” and for “good coordination” ahead of the Frenchman’s mission to Moscow.

The White House said the two leaders discussed “ongoing diplomatic and deterrence efforts in response to Russia’s continued military build-up on Ukraine’s borders”.
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Old 12-02-22, 07:50   #34
 
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Movies re: UKRAINE-West Scrambles to Evacuate Personnel & Interpret Putins' Moves

World on The Brink - Imminent -Russia Set to Invade Ukraine Any Day Now Warns US

Russia-Ukraine crisis: British & US nationals told to leave Ukraine

Surrounded - Russian forces close in amid Ukrainian army warnings


BBC News 12 FEB. 2022.


The White House is warning that a Russian attack on Ukraine, could be imminent.


After a huge build up of Russian troops near the Ukrainian border, American officials say Moscow now has the capability, to launch a major military operation, including an attack on the capital Kyiv.

Moscow has practically encircled its smaller neighbour, with close to 130,000 troops, but maintains no invasion is being planned.


Diplomatic efforts are continuing to defuse the crisis.








Memories of Ukraines’ Great Famine Fuel Resentment of Russia

BBC News 12 Feb 2022


The current tensions between Ukraine and Russia have deep historical roots.

Russia and other nations have long sought to determine Ukraine’s destiny, contributing to the rise of Ukrainian nationalism and demands for self-determination.

In the Great Famine of the 1930s, as many as four million Ukrainians died during the forced collectivisation of Ukraine’s farms by the Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin. The bitterness remains to this day.

Clive Myrie presents a BBC News at Ten special report by Fergal Keane from Kharkiv in eastern Ukraine, who met some of the last survivors of the famine.




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Old 14-02-22, 08:14   #35
 
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Last-Ditch Bid to Avert WAR Western Leaders in Urgent Push to Avoid War

Boris Johnson plans talks with allies to bring Russia ‘back from the brink’

Ukraine seeks meeting with Russia within 48 hours to discuss build-upUkraine seeks meeting with Russia within 48 hours to discuss build-up

Ukraine has called for a meeting with Russia and other members of a key European security group over the escalating tensions on its border.

BBC News 14 FEB. 2022.







Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said Russia had ignored formal requests to explain the build-up of troops.



He said the next step was requesting a meeting within the next 48 hours for transparency about Russia's plans.

Russia has denied any plans to invade Ukraine despite the build-up of some 100,000 soldiers on Ukraine's borders.

But some Western nations have warned that Russia is preparing for military action, with the US saying Moscow could begin with aerial bombardments "at any time".

More than a dozen nations have urged their citizens to leave Ukraine, and some have pulled embassy staff from the capital. CBS News reported that the US was preparing to withdraw all its personnel from Kyiv within the next 48 hours, citing three sources.

Mr Kuleba said Ukraine had, on Friday, demanded answers from Russia about their intentions under the rules of the Vienna Document, an agreement about security issues adopted by the members of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which includes Russia.

"If Russia is serious when it talks about the indivisibility of security in the OSCE space, it must fulfil its commitment to military transparency in order to de-escalate tensions and enhance security for all," he said.

However, Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky, who criticised the "panic" that could spread from such claims, said he had seen no proof that Russia was planning an invasion in the coming days.

On Sunday, he spoke for nearly an hour by phone with US President Joe Biden. The White House said President Biden had reiterated US support for Ukraine, and that both leaders had agreed on "the importance of continuing to pursue diplomacy and deterrence".

Ukraine's statement of the call said its president had thanked the US for its "unwavering support" and that, at the end, President Zelensky had invited the US leader to come to Ukraine. There has been no comment on the invite from the White House.

An hour-long call between President Biden and Russian leader Vladimir Putin the day before failed to yield a breakthrough.










Western allies have previously made clear one of Russia's key demands - that Ukraine is never be allowed to join the Nato military alliance - is not up for debate, saying the alliance's door must remain open to new members.

Ukraine's ambassador in London, Vadym Prystaiko, has told the BBC his country might be willing to drop its ambition to join Nato to avert war, saying Ukraine could be "flexible".

Asked if Kyiv was considering shelving its plans to pursue Nato membership, despite it being written into the Ukrainian constitution, he replied: "We might - especially being threatened like that, blackmailed by that, and pushed to it."

But a British government source said it was "too early" to tell if the comment were a genuine concession that could change the mind of Vladimir Putin.

In the latest attempt to find a diplomatic solution, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has meetings scheduled with President Zelensky in Kyiv on Monday and with President Putin in Moscow on Tuesday.

The chancellor, who took over the leadership of Germany from Angela Merkel in December, has warned of severe economic consequences for Russia if it should launch any invasion, echoing statements by other Western nations and members of the Nato military alliance.

But Berlin officials have downplayed any expectation of a breakthrough.

Meanwhile, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson plans to hold fresh diplomatic talks across Europe to bring Russia "back from the brink" of war.

In Washington, President Biden's National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said an invasion could begin "any day now".

Mr Sullivan said the US is closely monitoring for a potential "false flag" operation by Moscow as a pretext for a full-scale invasion so it can claim it is responding to Ukrainian aggression.

Russia contends that its build-up of troops along the Ukraine border is its own concern, within its own territory. On Sunday, senior foreign policy official Yuri Ushakov characterised the US warnings of imminent invasion as "hysteria has reached its peak".


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Old 15-02-22, 10:40   #36
 
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BREAKING: Russia Pulling Some Forces Back From Ukraine Border

German Chancellor Scholz emphasises solidarity with Ukraine ahead of Moscow trip


15 Feb 2022 Sky News


Russia says it is pulling some of its forces back from its border with Ukraine.



The defence ministry said some western and southern troops would be heading back to their permanent bases after finishing training exercises.

It comes following a warning from Foreign Secretary Liz Truss that a Russian invasion of Ukraine could happen at any time.

A statement from Russia said: "Units of the Southern and Western Military Districts, which have accomplished their missions, are boarding trains and trucks and will head for their garrisons later today.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Ukrainian President Vodolymyr Zelenskyy held talks in Kyiv on Monday amid fears Russia might invade Ukraine.

After the meeting, Scholz stressed Germany's support for Ukraine.



"Germany stands close by your side," Scholz said at a press conference after the sit-down. "My country is impressed by the democratic movement in Ukraine and supports the European path it has taken since 2014," he added.

Scholz has held firm on Germany's opposition to sending lethal weaponry to Ukraine amid a massive Russian troop buildup.

Germany has said it plans to send more than 300 troops to Lithuania to bolster NATO's eastern flank.

The first contingent of German troop reinforcements arrived in Kaunas on Monday.

70 troops arrived on an A400M German Luftwaffe plane at Kaunas airport, along with around 100 howitzer cannons and military vehicles.

The German Defense Ministry had announced plans last week to send an additional 380 soldiers to Lithuania and more arrivals are expected throughout the week.



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Old 15-02-22, 14:07   #37
 
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Putin and Scholz Meet in Moscow

Vladimir Putin is taking his big gamble

RT 15 FEB 2022


His decision to assemble an invasion force along Russia’s border with Ukraine suggests that we are about to enter a dangerous new phase of international relations.




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Old 15-02-22, 16:42   #38
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Default re: UKRAINE-West Scrambles to Evacuate Personnel & Interpret Putins' Moves

Wow, this is a tense situation...Very scary to even think of WW3..
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Old 15-02-22, 20:06   #39
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joerooty View Post
Wow, this is a tense situation...Very scary to even think of WW3..

Putin has stated many times he does not want a WAR,, just more respect from certain leaders especially the US

I wish the US would STOP interfering in so many countries affairs,,,

Espec as they have supplied most of the arms that cause the problems and made a LOT of money doing so,,,,
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Old 15-02-22, 21:38   #40
 
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Russian Navy Carries Out Military Drills in Syria

15 Feb 2022 The Sun



RUSSIAS' navy carries out military drills in Syria despite deescalation talks.

Russia's Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu watched on as the Russian Navy held drills in the Mediterranean Sea at the Tartus naval base.

Over 15 warships and over 30 aircraft are taking part in the drills......













‘No evidence of de-escalation’ on Ukrainian border, says NATO


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Old 16-02-22, 13:46   #41
 
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Movies re: UKRAINE- WAR Begins-Russia Launches Full-Scale Invasion & Putins' Childhood

West Scrambles to Interpret Putins' Latest Moves as Ukraine Invasion Threat Looms

As the threat of an invasion of Ukraine again appeared to slip into a holding pattern, Western leaders and diplomats have been left scrambling to interpret conflicting signals coming out of Moscow.

Russia-Ukraine Standoff: Countries Scramble to Evacuate Personnel as Possible Invasion Looms


CBC News 16 FEB 2022.



Russia has put its willingness to play by its own rules on full display with a token withdrawal of some troops exercising in Crimea and the offer of renewed security dialogue with the West, CBC's senior defence and security reporter Murray Brewster writes.

Russia made those gestures after several days of delivering sharp anti-Western rhetoric — and after allied intelligence sources warned again that an invasion could happen as early as today.

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky says a potential Russian invasion could begin as early as Feb. 16, in an address calling for nationwide solidarity.

Russia has been building up its forces near Ukraine, with well over 100,000 troops lined along the border and there are reports they have begun moving into "attack positions."

As Jackson Proskow reports, the alarming comments come as allied nations scramble to get personnel out of the country, as little hope remains for a peaceful solution.

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Old 18-02-22, 04:24   #42
 
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Footage Appears to Show Ukrainian Nursery Bombed by Bro-Russian Forces Aftermath

18 Feb 2022 The Sun


Footage has emerged appearing to show, a Ukrainian nursery left in ruins after being 'bombed by pro-Russian forces' according to the Ukrainian Joint Forces Operation.

Video and images posted across social media show damage to the kindergarten in Stanytsia Luhanska.

The Ukrainian Joint Forces Operation said two civilians were injured when the building was hit. Interfax said three people were injured. No children were reported harmed.

Parts of Luhansk have been left without electricity and residents were evacuated into shelters, the military said.




Ukraine Crisis: 'Global security is at risk' - Tobias Ellwood



Russia stages explosive missile drills in annexed Crimea

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Old 20-02-22, 08:20   #43
 
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Russia Accuse Ukrainians of Genocide in Donbas Region

Russia, in report to U.N., again accuses Ukraine of 'genocide' amid shelling in Donbas region

The Telegraph 20 FEB 2022





Soldier in Luhanska, Ukraine.



Russia has again alleged Ukraine's military has "committed crimes against residents of the eastern Donbas region," according to documents seen by The Wall Street Journal.

Moscow's report, which it filed with the United Nations, doubles down on its accusation that Ukraine is seeking the "genocide of the Russian-speaking population of Donbas," the documents read.


The country's U.N. ambassador is also expected on Thursday to criticize both Ukraine and the West regarding "the plight of Russian speakers in eastern Ukraine," the Journal writes, per the report.

Earlier Thursday, the Ukrainian government and pro-Russian separatists accused one another of opening fire in Ukraine's war-torn eastern Donbas region, notes Axios. Kyiv "claims a kindergarten was struck, but no one was killed."

Both Ukrainian and Western officals had previously cautioned Russia could use separatist fighting to fabricate supposed grounds for an invasion. President Biden warned Russia could use a "false flag operation" to justify an attack, making the repeated claim of "genocide" particularly ominous at this time.

"Reports of alleged abnormal military activity by Ukraine in Donbas are a blatant attempt by the Russian government to fabricate pretexts for invasion," U.K. Foreign Secretary Liz Truss tweeted, per the Journal. "This is straight out of the Kremlin playbook."


Meanwhile, the Kremlin maintains the situation in Donbas is "ramping up" thanks to what it's calling provocative action on Ukraine's part.

"The situation at the borders of Russia may ignite at any moment," Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Thursday.
Added Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov: "Attempts to shift all the blame for what is happening around Ukraine onto Russia will not succeed."



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Old 23-02-22, 01:18   #44
 
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Movies re: UKRAINE- WAR Begins-Russia Launches Full-Scale Invasion & Putins' Childhood

Russia Orders Troops Into Rebel-Held Regions

Ukraine-Russia tensions: Oil surges on supply fears

Russia's grip on Western tech

Investors are concerned about the impact of sanctions on Russia, a major producer of oil and natural gas.


BBC News 23 FEB.2022.






A Ukrainian serviceman holds a machine gun at a town in DonetskImage source, Reuters



Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered troops into two rebel-held regions in eastern Ukraine, after recognising them as independent states.

Russia said the troops have not yet been deployed but will be "peacekeeping" in the regions, which it has backed since 2014.

The US said calling them peacekeepers was "nonsense", and accused Russia of creating a pretext for war.

Several countries have announced sanctions in response.

Ukraine's president said his country was "not afraid of anything or anyone".

In a late-night televised address to the nation, President Volodymyr Zelensky called for "clear and effective actions of support" from Ukraine's international allies.

"It is very important to see now who our real friend and partner is, and who will continue to scare the Russian Federation with words only," he added.




Map showing the regions of Donesk and Luhansk in eastern Ukraine and the Russian-backed separatist-held areas within those regions.


Fears over an invasion have been rising in recent months, as Russia has massed some 150,000 troops along Ukraine's borders, according to US estimates.


At an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council, US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield dismissed Russia's claims that troops would be taking on a "peacekeeping" role, saying: "We know what they really are."

Recognising Luhansk and Donetsk as independent was part of Russia's bid to create a reason to invade Ukraine, she said.

Russia has been backing a bloody armed rebellion in eastern Ukraine for the past eight years. Some 14,000 people - including many civilians - have died in fighting since then.

In recent years, Russian passports have been given out to large numbers of people in Donetsk and Luhansk.

The rebel-held areas have been evacuating women, children and the elderly to Russia since late last week.

In an hour-long address on Monday, Mr Putin said Ukraine was an integral part of his country's history, and described eastern Ukraine as "ancient Russian lands".

Russia's UN Ambassador Vasily Nebenzya argued for the need to defend the rebel-held areas in eastern Ukraine's Donbas region from what he called Ukrainian aggression. "Allowing a new bloodbath in the Donbas is something we do not intend to do," he said.

But Mr Zelensky said Moscow's recognition of the rebel-held regions represented a threat to the security of Ukraine and other European nations.

"If we have a full-scale escalation... our neighbours would be put at risk," he said.


'A Barrage of Sanctions'

Western powers have rallied behind Ukraine, promising tough sanctions against Russia if it invades - though it is not yet clear how effective this move could be.

The US swiftly condemned Mr Putin's move, and President Joe Biden signed an executive order that prohibits new investment, trade and financing by Americans in the breakaway regions. The White House said the measures were separate to wider Western sanctions which are ready to go "should Russia further invade Ukraine".

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Russia had violated Ukrainian sovereignty and "completely torn up" international law. He said Mr Putin appeared "bent on a full-scale invasion", and promised a "barrage of sanctions".

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said he was halting the process of certifying the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline because of Russia's actions. The gas pipeline between Russia and Germany was completed last September but is not yet operating. Running under the Baltic Sea, it would double Moscow's gas exports to Germany and circumvent Ukraine, which relies on existing pipelines for income.

The European Union pledged to "react with unity, firmness and with determination in solidarity with Ukraine".

Both Mr Scholz and France's President Emmanuel Macron spoke with the Russian leader ahead of his announcement.




Putin Builds to a Showdown

Analysis by Sarah Rainsford, Moscow Correspondent


This speech was Putin the angry, impatient and directly threatening. It felt like Russia's president was getting 20-odd years of hurt off his chest and hitting back.

"You didn't want us to be friends," was how he put it to the West, "but you didn't have to make an enemy of us."

There was a lot we've heard before, repackaged for this moment when he knows he has maximum attention.

He's clearly ceding no ground on his key security demands: Nato expansion must be rolled back, and Ukrainian membership is a red line. He complained that Russia's concerns had been ignored as irrelevant for years and accused the West of trying to "contain" Russia as a resurgent global force.

Mr Putin's focus on Ukraine felt obsessive, like a man who thinks about little else. At times it sounded like a bid to run for president there, it was so detailed.

And, of course, there was his re-writing of Ukrainian history, to claim it has never really been a state. In today's context, that had deeply ominous overtones.

A Ukrainian serviceman at a position on the front line near the village of Travneve in Donetsk region

Groundwork for the controversial decision was laid earlier on Monday, when Mr Putin convened Russia's security council to discuss recognising the self-declared republics as independent.

Mr Putin's top officials were called to a podium to deliver their views, each speaking in favour of the move. Monday's televised meeting was not entirely smooth, however.

Two officials appeared to reference a possibility to "incorporate" the regions into Russia. On both occasions, Mr Putin corrected them.

"We are not talking about that," Mr Putin said, shaking his head in response to one official's use of the phrase. "We are talking about whether to recognise their independence or not."








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Old 24-02-22, 09:38   #45
 
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Movies re: UKRAINE- WAR Begins-Russia Launches Full-Scale Invasion & Putins' Childhood

Russia Invades Ukraine as Putin Declares WAR to Demilitarise Neighbour

Russia-Ukraine: Putin has launched ‘full-scale invasion’ says Ukrainian foreign minister

Russia appeared to be targeting military infrastructure in early strikes with explosions reported at airfields, military headquarters and military warehouses


BBC 24 FEB 2022




WWIII?





This shell landed in a street in Kyiv hours after Russia launched its attack



Russian forces have launched a military assault on neighbouring Ukraine, crossing its borders and bombing military targets near big cities.

In a pre-dawn TV statement Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia did not plan to occupy Ukraine and demanded that its military lay down their arms.

Moments later, attacks were reported on Ukrainian military targets.

Ukraine said that "Putin has launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine".

Russian military vehicles were said to have breached the border in a number of places, in the north, south and east, including from Belarus. At least seven people are known to have been killed in Russian attacks, police say. Another 19 are missing.

President Volodymyr Zelensky announced that martial law was now being imposed across all of Ukraine.

"No panic. We're strong. We're ready for anything. We'll defeat everyone, because we are Ukraine," the Ukrainian leader said in a video statement. Ahead of Russia's attack he had made a last-ditch attempt to avert war, warning that Russia could start "a major war in Europe" and urging Russian citizens to oppose it.

Warning sirens blared across the capital, which has a population of almost three million.





A family takes shelter in a metro station in Kyiv in the morning of February 24, 2022

Families sought shelter in Kyiv's deep underground network




Traffic queued to leave the city during the night and crowds sought shelter in the Kyiv underground. Several neighbouring countries have begun preparations to take in a large number of refugees.

"We don't understand what we should do now," one woman called Svetlana told the BBC. "We're now going to a place where we can be safe and we hope we can leave safely. We have family in Mariupol and now they're very nervous."


What Russia Has Targeted


Russia first launched strikes on Ukraine's military infrastructure and border guard units, according to Mr Zelensky. Then Ukrainian forces said Russian military vehicles had crossed the border at Kharkiv in the north, Luhansk in the east, Russian-annexed Crimea in the south and from Belarus too.





Map showing explosions in Ukraine






Ukraine's army said Kyiv's Boryspil international airport was among a number of airfields that had been bombed, along with military headquarters and warehouses in the big cities of Kyiv, Dnipro, Kharkiv and Mariupol.

Mr Zelensky said Russia had positioned almost 200,000 troops and thousands of combat vehicles on Ukraine's borders.


'Unprovoked and Unjustified'


The Russian leader launched the "special military operation" repeating a number of unfounded claims he has made this week, alleging that Ukraine's democratically elected government had been responsible for eight years of genocide.




Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks about authorising a special military operation in Ukraine"s Donbass region during a special televised address on Russian state

President Putin announced the military attack on Ukraine in a pre-recorded TV address



He said the goal was demilitarisation and "denazification" of Ukraine. Hours earlier Ukraine's president had asked how a people who lost eight million of its citizens fighting Nazis support Nazism. "How could I be a Nazi?," said Mr Zelensky, who is himself Jewish.

Ukraine's Western allies had repeatedly warned that Russia was poised to invade, despite repeated denials from Moscow. The US, EU, UK and Japan imposed sanctions against leading Russians, Russian banks and MPs who backed the move.

Responding to Russia's assault, US President Joe Biden said Washington and its allies would respond in a united and decisive way to "an unprovoked and unjustified attack by Russian military forces" on Ukraine.


"President Putin has chosen a premeditated war that will bring a catastrophic loss of life and human suffering," Mr Biden said. "The world will hold Russia accountable."



European Commission Chief Ursula von der Leyen said the EU stood with Ukraine and that Russia "must withdraw its military".

The EU's 27 leaders were due to hold an emergency summit meet later on Thursday.


UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was "appalled by the horrific events in Ukraine" and that President Putin "has chosen a path of bloodshed and destruction by launching this unprovoked attack".





Cars drive towards the exit of the city after Russian President Vladimir Putin authorized a military operation in eastern Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine 24 February, 2022



A stream of cars left the capital after Russia announced it was launching its military operation

"Together with allies, we will respond to this barbaric act of aggression," said Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky.


Why Russia invaded


Earlier this week Russia's president announced he was recognising the independence of two self-proclaimed people's republics of Donetsk and Luhansk in eastern Ukraine.

The breakaway regions were seized by Russian-backed rebels after Russia invaded Crimea in 2014. Mr Putin launched that attack after mass street protests in Ukraine that ousted pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych.

Since then more than 14,000 people have died in the east a conflict with Ukraine. A shaky ceasefire had held but there has been a surge in violations in recent days.

Mr Putin said the military operation's objective was to defend the people in the breakaway areas.

Kyiv and its Western allies have repeatedly rejected as absurd Mr Putin's claims that Ukraine was being run by neo-Nazis, instead pointing that - unlike an authoritarian Russia - Ukraine was now a nation with growing democratic institutions.

Fears of a Russian attack have been rising for months.

Mr Putin has repeatedly accused the US and its allies of ignoring Russia's demands to prevent Ukraine from joining Nato military alliance and offer Moscow security guarantees.

Ukraine declared a state of emergency hours before the invasion.

It introduces personal document checks, blocks military reservists from leaving the country, bans mass gatherings and places restrictions on radio communication systems. Kyiv's mayor said checkpoints would be set up in roads into the city, and access to government buildings would be restricted.





Ukraine is in Eastern Europe and shares a border with Russia. It used to be part of the Soviet Union but became an independent country in 1991.











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Old 24-02-22, 17:41   #46
 
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Movies re: Putin Plans to Dominate Europe With Chilling Warning to Finland & Sweden

LIVE: Kiev's Maidan Square as Putin Launches Full-Scale Invasion of Ukraine

Daily Mail 24 FEB 2022


Watch live footage from Kyiv's Maidan Square as Russia today launched all-out war on Ukraine with simultaneous attacks coming from south, east and north, by land and by air.

It came after Vladimir Putin gave an extraordinary early-morning address to the Russian nation - delivered during a UN meeting aimed at avoiding war - in which he declared a 'special military operation' to 'de-militarise' and 'de-Nazify' Ukraine in what amounted to a outright declaration of war.

The Russian strongman also issued a chilling warning to any country thinking of coming to Ukraine's aid, vowing 'consequences greater than any you have faced in history'. 'I hope I have been heard,' he said.

Ukrainian President Zelensky then followed with his own address - delivered from home - in which he declared martial law and vowed to resist the Russian attack, come what may. 'Don't panic. We are strong. We are ready for everything. We will defeat everyone. Because we are Ukraine,' he said.

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Old 24-02-22, 22:49   #47
 
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Movies re: Putin Plans to Dominate Europe With Chilling Warning to Finland & Sweden

WAR IN EUROPE: Russian Ukraine Invasion Escalates

Russia planning biggest European war since 1945 in Ukraine, says UK PM


Cruise missiles slam into Ukrainian airport as Russian helicopters circle Kyiv

Russian forces seize Chernobyl nuclear plant after battle with Ukraine forces and take staff at nuclear site hostage

UK announces 'biggest-ever' Russian sanctions against all banks and major firms


BBC News 24 Feb 2022








'Huge explosions and red glow' - Inside Kyiv after Putin launched war on Ukraine...









People take shelter in a subway station, after Russian President Vladimir Putin declared an invasion of Ukraine






Ukraine president says 'we need help' and 'we need blood' as Russia invades


The Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky has said he will give guns to every Ukrainian who wants them to help fight back against the Russian invasion which began today





Ukraine: President urges people to join the army and donate blood




A wounded woman is seen after an airstrike damaged an apartment complex in city of Chuhuiv, Kharkiv Oblast, Ukraine



At around 4:35am this morning, Putin declared the invasion and warned that any intervention in Russia's invasion would lead to "consequences never encountered in your history".

Speaking in a televised speech at 6am local time, he said:


"Whoever tries to hinder us, and even more so, to create threats to our country, to our people, should know that Russia's response will be immediate.

"And it will lead you to such consequences that you have never encountered in your history.

"We are ready for any development of events. All the necessary decisions have been made in this regard. I hope that I will be heard."


Putin also told the Ukrainian military to lay down its weapons and go home.

The Russian leader said: "I urge you to immediately lay down your weapons and go home.

"All servicemen of the Ukrainian army who fulfil this demand will be able to freely leave the combat zone and return to their families."

Since the announcement of the invasion, Ukraine has been attacked on multiple fronts and its cities have been hit with regular missile fire.






A map of morning strikes on Ukrainian cities by Russia








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Old 25-02-22, 14:47   #48
 
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Movies re: Putin Plans to Dominate Europe With Chilling Warning to Finland & Sweden

The Nuclear Shadow Hanging Over Putins' Attack on Ukraine Should Not be Dismissed, Experts Say

Is This a New Cold War? Map Shows 20 UK Towns and Cities Russia Could Hit With a Nuclear Bomb

UK defence officials once released a list of targets if Russia were to launch a nuclear attack on Britain, with 106 locations markers as "probable targets"


Ukraine Conflict World Reaction: Sanctions, Refugees and Fears of WAR


BBC / Daily Mirror 25 FEB 2022







Ukrainian hero tells Russian warship to 'f*** off' before 13 soldiers killed...





Missiles have already reportedly hit residential districts in Kyiv, Ukraine .



Map Shows 20 UK Towns and Cities Russia Could Hit With a Nuclear Bomb


The "probable nuclear targets" were signed by the Prime Minister's office under former PM Edward Heath, as the UK prepared for any involvement in the Cold War.


Targets at the time were set to include major cities including central London, Edinburgh Teeside, Leicester, Manchester, Liverpool, Glasgow, Hull, York, Dover, Cambridge, Maidstone, Huddersfield, Wolverhampton, Coventry and Sheffield.

As well as hitting huge areas of population, the documents revealed that 23 RAF bases, 14 USAF bases, 10 radar stations, eight military command centres and 13 Royal Navy bases could also be hit.

The declassified documents held by the National Archives predict up to 150 nuclear missiles and an unknown number of nuclear launches from submarines could hit the UK.




The top 20 towns and cities that Russia is thought to target, should it launch an attack on the UK




Although these simulations from the 1960s are likely to have changed since the office of Edward Heath, the initial targets show how tensions between Russia and the UK has spanned decades.

But just yesterday (Feb 24) Vladamir Putin appeared to make a veiled threat of nuclear attack on any nation which tries to retaliate against Russia's invasion of Ukraine.


In a public broadcast at 5.45am in Moscow the Russian leader claimed there would be consequences “never seen in history”.

He said: "Whoever tries to impede us, let alone create threats for our country and its people, must know that the Russian response will be immediate and lead to the consequences you have never seen in history.


“All relevant decisions have been taken. I hope you hear me.”



Russia has already boasted a stockpile of 6,200 nuclear weapons with the biggest nuke it has ever tested being the Tsar Bomba.

One nuclear bomb dropped on London could wipe out six million people with the potential fallout engulfing Reading, Bedford, Southend and could even stretch as far as Brighton.

The test of the Tsar Bomba used only half the 100 megatons of TNT that Russia would prepare for its launch.


The top 20 UK towns and cities listed are:

Liverpool
Cardiff
Manchester
Southampton
Leeds
Newcastle
Bristol
Sheffield
Swansea
Hull
Teeside
London
Edinburgh
York
Nottingham
Plymouth
Dover
Cambridge
Birmingham
Belfast


World Reaction: Sanctions, Refugees and Fears of WAR...


Major Western nations have reacted with outrage at Russia's invasion of Ukraine, accusing it of bringing war back to Europe.





The Poland-Ukraine border. Poland is setting up reception points for expected refugees...


France's Emmanuel Macron said this was a "turning point in the history of Europe", with the G7 group of nations vowing to impose severe sanctions.

In eastern Europe, the fears extended to coping with a wave of refugees.

But China bridled at the word invasion and joined those nations focusing more on their citizens' safety.

Ukraine says Russia is carrying out a full-scale attack from many directions, but the details of the assault and the number of casualties are not yet clear.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has spoken of a "special military operation" aimed at the demilitarisation and "denazification" of Ukraine, but his overall goals also remain unclear.

The uncertainty has not stopped an angry and defiant response from Western allies.


'Bitter Price' - US, UK, EU and G7

A largely united voice spoke out with condemnation and promises of sanctions.

US President Joe Biden said: "President Putin has chosen a premeditated war that will bring a catastrophic loss of life and human suffering."

European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said Mr Putin was "responsible for bringing war back to Europe".

UK PM Boris Johnson said Mr Putin had "chosen a path of bloodshed and destruction" with an "unprovoked attack".

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz also reacted angrily, calling this "Putin's war" and saying the Russian leader would pay a "bitter price" for his "serious error".


Russia Attacks Ukraine:


FROM KYIV: BBC Ukraine editor: There is no safe place any more


FROM MOSCOW: Shock and support in Russian capital


The G7 - the US, Japan, Germany, Britain, France, Italy and Canada - vowed in a joint statement to bring forward "severe and co-ordinated" sanctions.

The EU bloc will have more of them, which Ms Von der Leyen said would "weaken Russia's economic base and its capacity to modernise".


But there remains huge concern at what could happen next.


One German minister spoke of a "land war in Europe that we thought was only to find in history books", while another, Interior Minister Nancy Faeser, said Germany would help neighbours if there was a "large-scale influx" of refugees.



'Dire Consequences' - Eastern Europe


That concern is also shared by Ukraine's neighbours, but many were also scrambling to shore up their own security.

The president of Lithuania, a Nato member, said he was going to impose a state of emergency.

A similar decree has been issued by Moldova further south. Dozens of cars were reportedly queuing on the border with Ukraine, with Moldova saying it would accept tens of thousands of refugees.

Romania said it could take half a million.

Poland is setting up reception points for refugees. It told Russia to end its attacks and leave Ukraine alone.

Georgia - which fought Russia in 2008 over disputed regions - backed Ukraine, saying the Russian attack would have "dire consequences" for the international community.

Russia's ally, Belarus, said it was not taking part in the military action, but would consider it if asked. Belarus has hosted Russian troops during the crisis, and they crossed from the country into Ukraine as part of the attack.


Ukraine has asked Nato member Turkey to close the Bosphorus and Dardanelles straits to Russian ships.

Turkey will consider the request but shares friendly ties with both nations, and said it was "sincerely saddened" that they had come "face-to-face".


'Typical Western Question' - China

There has been a lot of interest in how China would respond. Its initial response was to call the word invasion a "typical Western media question method", with the foreign ministry saying "we won't go rushing to a conclusion".

Senior diplomat Wang Yi said China understood Russia's security concerns.


China and Russia now have a strategic partnership aimed at countering US influence, sealed when Mr Putin and President Xi Jinping met just before the Winter Olympics in Beijing.

China told its citizens in Ukraine to fly a Chinese flag to try to protect themselves.


'Egregious Behaviour' - Other Nations

United Nations chief, António Guterres, urged Vladimir Putin to halt the attack "in the name of humanity".

A US-led draft resolution will demand Russia leaves Ukraine "immediately, completely, unconditionally", although Moscow has the power to veto it.

South Korea condemned the attack, saying it would join international economic sanctions.

And Australia will expand those it has already enforced. There must be "a cost for this violent, unacceptable and egregious behaviour", Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.

India has focused on trying to keep its citizens inside Ukraine safe, although media reported that PM Narendra Modi could talk later to Mr Putin in a possible role as mediator.

Iran called for a political solution, with its foreign minister blaming Nato provocations for the Ukraine crisis.



More...


WATCH: Footage from Ukraine shows explosions, a missile strike and a helicopter under fire










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Old 25-02-22, 19:12   #49
 
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Movies re: Putin Plans to Dominate Europe With Chilling Warning to Finland & Sweden

Kyiv Under Siege:


Putin Urges Ukrainian Army to Overthrow Government


Putin says Ukraine run by "band of drug addicts and neo-Nazis"; urges Ukrainian army to stage coup

The Telegraph UK 25 FEB 2022




The Russians have tanks; the citizens of Kyiv are armed with Molotov ****tails. The battle for control of the Ukrainian capital began in the early hours of this morning with a hail of missiles, while Russian armoured vehicles appeared on its suburban streets for the first time at dawn.


President Vladimir Putin has since called on the Ukrainian army to overthrow the country's leadership, describing them as "terrorists" and "a gang of drug addicts and neo-Nazis".


His comments - which you can read for free in our liveblog - came as Ukrainian soldiers started taking up positions around Kyiv, with Vitali Klitschko, the city's mayor, saying the city had "entered into a defensive phase".

On an industrial estate in the capital, hundreds of AK-47 rifles and other automatic weapons were being handed to civilians from the back of two huge orange dump trucks. Robert Mendick details how civilians have been given weapons in the battle for Kyiv - and see pictures of how they are in the line of fire.

Ukraine's forces have put up stiff resistance in the face of the Russian advance, despite being significantly outgunned and outnumbered. There had been little international expectation that the country's military could severely deflect Putin's invasion with such overwhelming odds, but that has not stopped determined opposition.

The onslaught of Russian tanks and missiles will force Europe's leaders to reassess the continent's security and address the nakedly aggressive despot on their doorstep. Ben Farmer analyses how, if Putin wins, a Cold War-style world order will wreak havoc with the West.


In other developments:


Radiation levels around Chernobyl have risen after it was seized

At least 50,000 Ukrainians have crossed into neighbouring countries

Anti-tank weaponry provided by the UK has been used by Ukraine

A Russian tank appears to have run over a civilian in a car

Russia banned British airlines from its airspace in a tit-for-tat measure






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Old 26-02-22, 03:17   #50
 
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Movies re: HUGE Convoy Rolls Through Ukraine-Russia Use Vacuum & Cluster Bombs

Who is The Ghost of Kyiv? HERO Ukrainian Fighter Pilot Who Shoots Russian Planes From Sky

On an otherwise grim day, reports of one Ukrainian fighter pilot's heroic efforts have inspired hope around the world on behalf of besieged nation

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Daily Mirror 26 FEB 2022














The Ghost of Kyiv is rumoured to be flying a MiG-29 like the one pictured here...




In times of war and hardship, stories of bravery and heroism can be vital for getting people through tough times and giving hope.

In Ukraine, just two days into the full-scale Russian invasion that commenced on 24 February, 2022, one such legend of heroism has already emerged for the defenders.

Russian forces are closing in on the nation’s capital as Kyiv braces to try and hold off the coming attack.

Images of troops in the street have begun to surface, while Russian forces claim they have secured the strategically important Hostomel airport.

But through all the grim horror, one hero is keeping Ukrainian spirits alive - the ‘Ghost of Kyiv’.


What is the Ghost of Kyiv?

The Ghost of Kyiv is a fighter pilot who, unconfirmed reports claim, has so far shot down six Russian jets at the time of writing.



On Twitter, people have been clambering to show their support for the pilot, who has been rousing spirits and getting the world talking.


Video snippets purporting to show the Ghost have been circulating online.






One particular post has specified that the pilot has shot down a variety of Russian planes. The unconfirmed reports claim they have taken down two SU-35s, one SU-27, one MiG 29 and two SU-25s.


Pilots who shoot down five planes tend to be referred to as an ‘ace’, and so if the reports claiming the Ghost has shot down six are true, then they could be recognised as such after just a single day of combat.



Is the Ghost of Kyiv Real?





Tanks and armoured vehicles hidden in woods beside road out of Kyiv as violence reaches the capital



At the time of writing, no evidence has confirmed that the Ghost of Kyiv is definitely real.

Ukrainian defence forces are however claiming that seven Russian fighters were downed on Thursday, 25 February.

It seems unlikely that six of these seven have been destroyed by a single pilot given the size of Ukraine and the scale of the conflict, but, there is also no evidence to suggest the rumours are false.

Twitter has lit up with support for the pilot, real or not, celebrating the victory as a glimmer of hope in an otherwise dark time.

The Ukrainian ambassador to the European Union, Mykola Tochytskyi, wrote in a tweet: “One Ukrainian MiG-29 jet fighter pilot scored six victories in a single day in air battles with the Russians. He has been nicknamed the “Ghost of Kyiv”. Another example of the willingness of the Ukrainian people to resist. The civilized world must help protect our freedom!”

Whether the Ghost of Kyiv, who reportedly flies a MiG-29 fighter jet, turns out to be real or not the story has undoubtedly given the world a reminder of the bravery of the Ukrainian resistance.






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