Tag Archives: Crimea

Russia Says US Engineered June’s Black Sea Provocation, “We’ll Sink” Any Threat Next Time, by Tyler Durden

The Russians are probably not bluffing. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

In the days after the June 23 incident between the UK Royal Navy’s HMS Defender and a Russian patrol vessel and military aircraft near Crimea which resulted in warning shots fired from the Russian side, Putin asserted that a US reconnaissance plane had been nearby monitoring the dangerous close-call incident as it unfolded below. Putin had cast the whole showdown as a “provocation” in which the US aircraft was present monitor Russia’s response to the UK vessel. Moscow’s position is that the UK vessel had ventured a full three kilometers into Russian territorial waters, which was met with a Su-24M dropping bombs in the Defender’s path along with the Russian patrol ship firing warning shots.

The latest charge on Sunday, however, has gone further, with Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov accusing Washington and the UK of essentially engineering the dangerously close military encounter in order to probe and test Russia’s defense of its borders.

I think our intelligence certainly knows who made a decision there [in the situation with the British destroyer]. But certainly I think such operations are basically planned by senior partners from overseas,” Peskov was cited in TASS as saying.

UK military drills involving HMS Defender in the Mediterranean, via The Drive.

Given Putin’s prior words pointing the finger directly at Washington during his annual televised Q&A last month, this latest Kremlin statement is also no doubt a clear reference to the US (in terms of the provocative reference to “who made the decision here”). Presidential spokesman Peskov elaborated further in his Sunday statements that “in this case the destroyer was just a tool of provocation.”

These latest statements came with a warning, following the earlier summoning of the British ambassador and military attaché in Moscow quickly after the event. Peskov said Russia will continue to “respond harshly” to any future provocations in a similar way. This after UK officials expressed “surprise” at how rapidly the sea encounter devolved in a ‘live fire’ incident. 

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Putin Talks to the Nation, by Israel Shamir

Vladimir Putin talked to Russia and he had a few things to say about Crimea and Ukraine. From Israel Shamir at unz.com:

The Russian Direct Line is a unique exercise in direct democracy: Russian citizens call up their president and he answers their queries and solves their problems, like a Nordic konung a thousand years ago. Russia came into being as a chain of Nordic princedoms that practiced this sort of direct access to their ruler; early Russian princes and Tsars posed themselves as an instance of last appeal and immediate access. Twenty years ago, Vladimir Putin resurrected this ancient practice, and once a year every Russian can appeal to him on any subject matter at all. A man of power and authority, he can override any regulation, cut through the bureaucratic red tape, and solve any conundrum by his almost-royal grace. In the heavily bureaucratised country, such an omnipotent yet benevolent ruler provides excellent solutions to problems that should never have arisen in the first place.

The majority of questions and answers deal with everyday Russian life; with the supply of gas, with water drainage, with prices for vegetables, or communal charges. But Putin also answered questions that dealt with real world politics, and provided a few scoops for us. (Here is the full transcript)

The HMS Defender raid into Crimean waters is still fresh in memory, so Putin was asked whether this confrontation could have led to the Third World War. “No”, said Putin. “Even if we had sunk that ship, it wouldn’t put the world on the brink of a third world war because they know they could not win the war. We would also suffer, but we were in the right, and on our own ground.” This means that Russians are perfectly able to sink or capture the next NATO ship if she were to enter Russian waters.

The question of sovereign recognition does not come into the equation at all. Possession and recognition are different. The US refused to recognise (from 1940 to 1991) that the Baltic States were part of the USSR, but prudently the US Navy never tried to visit Riga port, even equipped as it was with a permit from the Latvian government-in-exile. Argentina would not recognise the British claim of sovereignty over Malvinas (Falklands) and boldly sailed within 200 miles of it. Their cruiser General Belgrano was sunk with all hands by the British RN submarine Conqueror. The law of the sea advises seafarers to pay heed to reality, not to claims however legally impressive.

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HMS Defender Versus The Russian Military: The Danger of Believing Your Own Propaganda, by Ron Paul

As the man said in Scarface, “don’t get high on your own supply.” The American and British government believe their own propaganda to the point of delusion. From Ron Paul at ronpaulinstitute.org:

Less than two weeks after NATO members reaffirmed allegiance to Article 5 – that an attack on one member was an attack on all members – the UK nearly put that pledge to the test. In a shockingly provocative move, the UK’s HMS Defender purposely sailed into Crimean territorial waters on its way to Georgia.

Press reports suggest that there was a dispute between the UK defense and foreign ministries over whether to violate Russia’s claimed territorial waters with a heavily armed warship. According to reports, Prime Minister Boris Johnson himself jumped in to over-rule the more cautious Foreign Office in favor of confrontation.

As Johnson later claimed, because the UK (and the US) does not recognize Russian sovereignty over Crimea, the UK was actually sailing through Ukrainian waters. It was an in-your-face move toward Russia just weeks after the US and NATO were forced to back down from a major clash with Russia in eastern Ukraine

This time, as was the case in eastern Ukraine, the Russians took a different view of the situation. Russian coast guard vessels ordered the HMS Defender to exit Russian territorial waters – an order they punctuated with rare live fire of cannon and dropping of bombs.

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As Russian Tanks Move Toward Ukraine, The Globe Braces For World War 3, by Michael Snyder

Is it for show or could it become real? From Michael Snyder at theeconomiccollapseblog.com:

At this hour, more Russian military forces are massed near Ukraine’s borders than we have ever seen before.  Western military leaders say that they are concerned that the troop movements that we have witnessed in recent days may be leading up to an invasion, and if an invasion does happen it will greatly test the resolve of the Biden administration, EU leaders and NATO brass.  In particular, the hawks in the Biden administration would almost certainly not be willing to just sit back and let the Russians conquer all of Ukraine.  There would likely be a major response by the United States, and that could set off a chain reaction that could ultimately spark World War 3.

So what made the Russians suddenly move a massive invasion force toward Ukraine?

Well, it turns out that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky essentially signed a declaration of war against Russia on March 24th.  The document that he signed is known as Decree No. 117/2021, and you won’t read anything about it in the corporate media.

I really had to dig to find Decree No. 117/2021, but eventually I found it.  I took several of the paragraphs at the beginning of the document and I ran them through Google translate…

In accordance with Article 107 of the Constitution of Ukraine, I decree:

1. To put into effect the decision of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine of March 11, 2021 “On the Strategy of deoccupation and reintegration of the temporarily occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol” (attached).

2. To approve the Strategy of deoccupation and reintegration of the temporarily occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol (attached).

3. Control over the implementation of the decision of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, enacted by this Decree, shall be vested in the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine.

4. This Decree shall enter into force on the day of its publication.

President of Ukraine V.ZELENSKY

March 24, 2021

Basically, this decree makes it the official policy of the government of Ukraine to retake Crimea from Russia.

Of course the Russians will never hand over Crimea willingly because they consider it to be Russian territory, and so Ukraine would have to take it by force.

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US Makes Large Military Hardware Delivery To Ukraine’s Army After Biden Pledged “Crimea is Ukraine”, by Tyler Durden

Are Biden and his cohorts so stupid that they’re going to start a war over Crimea? From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

Russian state sources are alleging that Washington under the Biden administration is ramping up military aid to Ukraine after local media observed a US cargo ship delivering 350 tonnes of military equipment – including tactical vehicles – to Ukraine’s Odessa port.

Local media reported the delivery which began late Wednesday and which is said to still be in process Friday. Ukraine’s Dumskaya news agency said the American vessel carried at least 35 US military humvees for Ukrainian national forces.

File image, via Defence Blog

“Dry-cargo ship Ocean Glory under the American flag entered the port of Odessa last night,” the report indicated.

“The bulk carrier Ocean Glory specializes in military transportation. Built in 2015, length 171 meters, width 25 meters, deadweight about 20 thousand tons,” it added according to a translation.

The delivery follows last year’s US DoD announcement of an additional $125 million military assistance package for Ukraine (unveiled in March) which involves equipment, training, and military advisory support, with an additional $150 million waiting for Congressional and Pentagon approval.

Dumskaya news agency said the “Ocean Glory” vessel made the military hardware delivery.

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Time to Extricate From Ukraine, by Doug Bandow

Ukraine has about as much relevance to US security as Mexico has to Russia’s. From Doug Bandow at theamericanconservative.com:

Kiev has become a drag on Trump, but if we don’t watch out, it could turn into a geopolitical threat to everyone.

Capt. Matthew McCoy, commander of Company A, 1st Battalion, 179th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team during international weapons training near Yavoriv, Ukraine, in 2017.(Photo by Sgt. Anthony Jones, 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team)/U.S. Army

Recently Ukraine has been thrown into the spotlight as Democrats gear up to impeach President Donald Trump. More important, though, is its role in damaging America’s relations with Russia, which has resulted in a mini-Cold War that the U.S. needs to end.

Ukraine is in a bad neighborhood. During the 17th century, the country was divided between Poland and Russia, and eventually ended up as part of the Russian Empire. Kiev then enjoyed only the briefest of liberations after the 1917 Russian Revolution, before being reabsorbed by the Soviet Union. It later suffered from a devastating famine as Moscow confiscated food and collectivized agriculture. Ukraine was ravaged during Germany’s World War II invasion, and guerrilla resistance to renewed Soviet control continued for years afterwards.

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Return to Russia: Crimeans Tell the Real Story of the 2014 Referendum and Their Lives Since, by Eva Bartlett

If you could conduct a free and fair referendum in Crimea, most of its citizens would indicate that they are happier under Russia than they were under Ukraine. From Eva Bartlett at mintpressnews.com:

Eva Bartlett traveled to Crimea to see firsthand out how Crimeans have fared since 2014 when their country reunited with Russia, and what the referendum was really like.

SIMFEROPOL, CRIMEA — In early August I traveled to Russia for the first time, partly out of interest in seeing some of the vast country with a tourist’s eyes, partly to do some journalism in the region. It also transpired that while in Moscow I was able to interview Maria Zakharova, spokeswoman of the Foreign Ministry.

High on my travel list, however, was to visit Crimea and Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) — the former a part of Russia, the latter an autonomous republic in the east of Ukraine, neither accurately depicted in Western reporting. Or at least that was my sense looking at independent journalists’ reports and those in Russian media.

Both regions are native Russian-speaking areas; both opted out of Ukraine in 2014. In the case of Crimea, joining Russia (or actually rejoining, as most I spoke to in Crimea phrased it) was something people overwhelmingly supported. In the case of the Donbass region, the turmoil of Ukraine’s Maidan coup in 2014 set things in motion for the people in the region to declare independence and form the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics.

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Crimea: The Geopolitical Jewel Russia Continues to Polish, by Tom Luongo

Crimea is now firmly in the Russian and Chinese orbit. From Tom Luongo at strategic-culture.org:

With all that is happening in the world Crimea has taken a bit of a backseat recently. Yes, the US, EU and Canada just added more sanctions on Russia via the odious Magnitsky legislation but this is inconsequential.

There’s been a flurry of good news coming out of Crimea and the Black Sea recently that bears discussion. Let’s start with the most important. President Vladimir Putin was in Crimea earlier this week to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the peninsula’s reunification with Russia. There he also officially inaugurated two major upgrades to Crimea’s power grid.

Located in Simferopol and Sevastopol, two new power plants will produce 940 megawatts and secure Crimea’s energy needs for now and into the future.

Power has been Crimea’s Achilles’ heel since breaking off from Ukraine in 2014. It received almost 90% of its power from the mainland. In November 2015, the trunk lines into Crimea were sabotaged by Ukrainian nationalist radicals, encouraged by President Petro Poroshenko plunging it into darkness as winter took hold.

Does this sound familiar? A place that defies US edicts geopolitically is first hit with a full trade embargo, sanctions and threatened militarily by proxies before having its electricity shut off?

*Cough* Venezuela *Cough*

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All U.S. Gov’t. Accusations Against Russia’s Gov’t. Are Lies, by Eric Zuesse

Eric Zuesse analyzes the many questionable charges the US government has made against Russia. From Zuesse at thesaker.is:

THE FIRST ACCUSATION, which is the source of the Magnitsky Act sanctions against Russia, was in 2012 under U.S. President Barack Obama, and it alleged that Sergei Magnitsky had been a whistleblower in Russia who was a lawyer who uncovered corruption in Russia’s Government and was imprisoned for that and beaten to death there for that. Magnitsky was, in fact, no whistleblower, and no lawyer, but the accountant of American billionaire Bill Browder, who had been charged by the Russian Government (and who then fled Russia) as having tax-defrauded the Russian Government of $230 million. And, Magnitsky’s death in prison was due to inadequate medical care of his pancreatitis by the medical personnel there, not (as Browder alleged) to any “beating.”

THE SECOND ACCUSATION, in 2014, is that “Russia stole Crimea.” This charge is the source of additional (and more severe) sanctions against Russis, and also of NATO’s massing of troops and weapons on and near Russia’s border, which are massed there allegedly to ‘protect’ European nations against ‘Russian aggression’ (such as ‘seizing Crimea’). It’s all founded on basic lies regarding Crimea and Ukraine. A fuller presentation of that case is here. But what constitutes the most remarkable evidence of all in this entire matter are two crucial phone-conversations. The first is the 27 January 2014 phone-conversation whereby the chief agent, Victoria Nuland, whom Obama had assigned to organize the coup to overthrow Ukraine’s democratically elected President Victor Yanukovych, gave the order as to whom Yanukovych’s replacement would be. This call is grossly misrepresented if not entirely ignored by the U.S. regime’s ‘journalists’ and ‘historians’. Nuland famously said there “Fuck the EU” (for the EU’s wanting a more moderate and less-nazi alternative to be selected). That much of the call was reported in the Western press (though with virtually no context as to what it meant and why she had said it), but the rest — the historically crucial part of it — wasn’t. This historically mega-important phone-call, which was posted to the internet a week later, on February 4th — three weeks before the man whom she named there received (just as she had instructed) the appointment to lead the post-coup Ukraine — isn’t even being denied by Washington. Instead, it’s either ignored by them, or else totally misrepresented, in the ‘historical’ accounts by the agents of the U.S. regime.

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What Should We Do About Crimea? by Ron Paul

The last paragraph of this article has many great suggestions. Unfortunately they make so much sense that none of them will ever see the light of day. From Ron Paul at antiwar.com:

Is Crimea about to explode? The mainstream media reports that Russia has amassed troops on the border with Ukraine and may be spoiling for a fight. The Russians claim to have stopped a Ukrainian sabotage team that snuck into Crimea to attack key infrastructure. The Russian military is holding exercises in Crimea and Russian President Vladimir Putin made a visit to the peninsula at the end of the week.

The Ukrainians have complained to their western supporters that a full-scale Russian invasion is coming, and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said he may have to rule by martial law due to the Russian threat.

Though the US media pins the blame exclusively on Russia for these tensions, in reality there is plenty of blame to go around. We do know that the US government has been involved with “regime change” in Ukraine repeatedly since the break up of the Soviet Union. The US was deeply involved with the “Orange Revolution” that overthrew elected president Viktor Yanukovych in 2005. And we know that the US government was heavily involved in another coup that overthrew the same elected Yanukovych again in 2014.

How do we know that the US was behind the 2014 coup? For one, we have the intercepted telephone call between US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and US Ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt. In the recording, the two US officials are plotting to remove the elected government and discussing which US puppet they will put in place.

You would think such undiplomatic behavior could get diplomats fired, but sadly in today’s State Department it can actually get you promoted! Nuland is widely expected to get a big promotion – perhaps to even Secretary of State – in a Hillary Clinton administration, and Geoffrey Pyatt has just moved up to an Ambassadorship in Athens.

Ambassador Pyatt can’t seem to control himself: Just as tensions were peaking between Russia and Ukraine over Crimea this month, he published a series of Tweets urging Ukraine to take back Crimea. Is this how our diplomats overseas should be acting? Should they be promoting actions they know will lead to war?

When the mainstream media discusses Crimea they are all lockstep: that’s the peninsula Putin annexed. Never do they mention that there was a referendum in which the vast majority of the population (who are mostly ethnic Russians) voted to join Russia. The US media never reports on this referendum because it produced results that Washington doesn’t like. How arrogant it must sound to the rest of the world that Washington reserves the right to approve or disapprove elections thousands of miles away – meanwhile we find out from the DNC hacked files that we don’t have a lot of room to criticize elections overseas.

What should we do about Ukraine and Russia? We should stop egging Ukraine on, we should stop subsidizing the government in Kiev, we should stop NATO exercises on the Russian border, we should end sanctions, we should return to diplomacy, we should send the policy of “regime change” to the dustbin of history. The idea that we would be facing the prospect of World War III over which flag flies above a tiny finger of land that most US politicians couldn’t find on a map is utterly ridiculous. When are we going to come to our senses?

http://original.antiwar.com/paul/2016/08/21/what-should-we-do-about-crimea/

 

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