WW4 File: UKRAINE-RUSSIA WAR: NATO sends not-so-subtle warnings to Moscow, presses ahead with exercises in ex-Warsaw Pact states: 1) 1,300 troops–including 200 US paratroopers from 173rd Airborne Brigade in Italy–hone armies’ interoperability in annual Rapid Trident exercise in Yavoriv, W. Ukraine; 2) Polish, Lithuanian, Canadian soldiers carry out Maple Arch drill in Poland; 3) NATO air forces wrap up Ample Strike in Czech Rep.; Ukrainian DM: “In order to stop Putin, we need weapons. And they [some NATO states] have listened to me – as of today, the process of delivering arms is being realised . . . [T]hose weapons are already on the way to us – that’s absolutely true, I can officially tell you”; Heletey: 3,500 Russian troops (i.e., “volunteers,” mercenaries and regulars) still inside Ukraine, 25,000 more “parked” along border; Kiev, rebels claim other party guilty of numerous cease-fire violations over weekend; PM Medvedev maintains Russia’s non-involvement in Donbass War: “When a series of our partners, if they can be called that, test Russia’s strength through sanctions and all kinds of threats, it is important . . . to preserve and continue the development of democratic processes in our society, our state”

WW4 File: UKRAINE-RUSSIA WAR: President Poroshenko basks in glow of staunch support from key NATO countries, invited to Ottawa, Washington DC, Sept. 17-18, address joint bicameral sessions of Canadian Parliament, US Congress; 1.2 million Ukrainian-Canadians urged to roll out “blue-and-yellow” carpet for Poroshenko, while Communist Party of Canada regurgitates Kremlin line, denounces “criminal imperialist conspiracy” to impose “neo-Nazism” upon Ukraine; several hundred Ukrainian troops, holed up at Donetsk’s Sergey Prokofiev International Airport since June, repel yet another artillery/rocket attack from Moscow-backed insurgents; second Russian “humanitarian” convoy, consisting of 250 white trucks, illegally enters SE Ukraine, NSDC accused first convoy on Aug. 22 of stealing Topaz production unit for Kolchuga radar, raiding factory that makes “specialized” ammunition magazines

WW4 File: UKRAINE-RUSSIA WAR: Conflicting reports beset news of Russian invasion force’s withdrawal from Donbass: Poroshenko initially stated 70% troop draw down, NSDC now says evacuation suspended, Russian regular forces concentrated near Rozsypne and Pelahiivka, Donetsk Oblast; NATO says no withdrawal at all, 20,000 Russian troops still poised on Ukraine’s SE border; solution: Russian Armed Forces feigned retreat, in conjunction with rebel cease-fire, to confuse Kiev, NATO; rebels release nearly 800 POWs this week; Putin’s secret war in Ukraine: Pro-Kremlin pollster’s survey finds 57% of Russians support Donbass separatists, only 5% support sending troops to Ukraine; Moscow scoffs at Kiev’s allegations of 2,000 Russian war dead in Donbass, even as Reuters tracks down Russians with relatives, friends fighting, dying in Ukraine; Russian politician “badly beaten” by thugs after publicizing funerals of paratroopers in Pskov; Kremlin’s “Investigative Committee” shuts down inquiries into soldiers’ deaths; FSB reportedly hacks website of soldiers’ advocacy group “Cargo 200”; Putin attends SCO summit in Dushanbe, praises Red China, C. Asia republics for sharing Moscow’s view on Ukraine crisis

Donbass War Sitrep

Find the Russian troops:

Kiev: Russia has suspended the evacuation of its 1,000 troops from Ukraine.

NATO: The original invasion force of 1,000 Russian troops is still in Ukraine.

Moscow: What Russian troops?

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Neo-Sandinista File: Moscow-Beijing Axis tightens strategic chokehold on Central America: Teams of assessors from Hong Kong company, accompanied by Nicaraguan soldiers and police, “interview” (i.e., intimidate) property owners along route of US$40 billion interoceanic canal; “big dig” slated to begin Dec. 2014, finish in 2019, connect Brito River on Pacific coast with Bluefields Bay on Caribbean; Wang Jing’s HKND Group enjoys 100-year concession over canal, billion- aire denies ties to Communist Party of China, admits “good friendship” with President Ortega’s son, sinks personal cash into megaproject, says 500 HKND staff already on site; Russia to supply “hi-tech equipment” for construction of Nicaragua Canal, Russian Navy to guard sea approaches (!); Putin’s surprise stopover in Managua during July tour of Latin America unprecedented for any Soviet/Russian leader, primary purpose to meet Sandinista leader, discuss Russia’s role in canal; Moscow think tank: “We [Russia and China] are both interested in restraining the US,” “Nicaragua will allow Russia to deploy its flotilla from the Atlantic to the Pacific quickly . . . especially if Russian naval bases are deployed in Cuba”

WW4 File: UKRAINE-RUSSIA WAR: Turchynov backs Yatseniuk’s bill to revoke Ukraine’s “non-bloc” (i.e., non-aligned) status, pave way for full NATO member- ship; Poroshenko orders building of “1,000s of kms” of anti-tank barriers, trenches for armored vehicles, 4,000 army dugouts along frontier with Russia: “In the new military doctrine, the Russian Federation should be acknowledged as the only threat and as the aggressor that threatens Ukraine’s territorial integrity”; bolsters defensive line built, financed by billionaire Taruta; Ukrainian military to receive 145 new planes, helos, armored vehicles by Dec. 2014; NSDC: 1) Large chunk of Donetsk Oblast beyond Kiev’s control, “stay behind” contingent of Russian Ground Forces, DPR militants “regrouping” within zone bounded by regional capital, border with Rostov O., Sea of Azov; 2) 129 reported cases of rebel shelling since cease-fire began Sept. 5; 3) but no cross-border missile strikes from Russia since last weekend; 4) ATO detains 2 Russian soldiers suspected of trying to shoot down Ukrainian aircraft; Kiev advises 10,000s of refugees displaced by Donbass War not to return to rebel-held territory

I think one of the decisions the President [Poroshenko] should take one of these days is to cancel the norms of the law on Ukraine’s non-bloc status, pulled along [i.e., instituted] by [former President Viktor] Yanukovych in flagrant violation of the standing orders. This was done to Moscow’s dictation. Ukraine must open the way for accession to the NATO. Only the Euro-Atlantic system of collective security can stop such an aggressor as Russia.

– Alexander Turchynov, Rada Speaker/Former Acting President of Ukraine, September 11, 2014

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WW4 File: UKRAINE-RUSSIA WAR: Poroshenko, Putin converse by phone, express satisfaction over OSCE-brokered cease-fire, Ukrainian president offers more autonomy to Donbass, but insists upon “territorial integrity” of country, Moscow-backed rebels still demand state of “New Russia”; Putin’s secret war in Ukraine: Poroshenko says 70% of Russian invasion force has withdrawn, leaving Russian “volunteers”; determined counter-attack from Ukrainian Ground Forces, National Guard produced 2,000 Russian casualties (according to Kiev), “loads” of wounded trucked back over border; Poroshenko rallies soldiers, steelworkers at rebel-surrounded port city of Mariupol on Mon., praises troops for defeating armored thrust from Russia 2 weeks ago, vows to fend off future Russian aggression against industrial center; NSDC spokesman Lysenko: Russian Armed Forces, separatists stage 20 “provocations” against government forces in ATO zone, shell Donetsk’s embattled Sergey Prokofiev International Airport on Sept. 9; “We’ll be back”: Russian army building up new invasion forces opposite Novoazovsk, also occupied Crimea; Tymchuk: Fuel trucks crossing rebel-held stretches of border to resupply Russian invaders; new EU sanctions target oil giant Rosneft, Russian tank maker Uralvagonzavod

Communist Bloc Military Updates: Two Russian nuclear bombers fly over Labrador Sea, simulate cruise missile launch at targets on US E. Coast, provocation occurs during NATO summit in Wales, debate over assistance to be given Ukraine following Russia’s Aug. 25 invasion; Gen. Yakubov: Russia’s military doctrine should be revised again (last time 2010) to identify USA, NATO as “enemies,” “clearly outline the conditions for a pre-emptive nuclear strike against them”; since Moscow-backed insurgency began in SE Ukraine in Apr., Ukrainian, US, NATO officials have also referred to Russia as an “enemy,” no longer “partner”; Adm. Haney: “Clearly, we at the U.S. Strategic Command do monitor the strategic environment. Any nation state [meaning Russia] has the right to train . . . Clearly, the actions associated with Ukraine are problematic. I will say that the business of them [Russian bombers] coming close to the USA, we take very seriously”

WW4 File: UKRAINE-RUSSIA WAR: NSDC spokesman: Moscow readying invasion force in occupied Crimea, Russian Ground Forces deploy 64 tanks, 100 APCs, Grad, Uragan rocket launchers, Buk SAMs to border with Kherson Oblast, set up field hospital near Chorno- morske, NW Crimea; Lysenko: “[O]n the southern direction . . . we have now enough forces and means in order to stop direct aggression of the enemy”; 8 Russian Navy landing ships spotted in Black Sea even as NATO, Ukrainian, Georgian navies hold Sea Breeze drill; Kiev cites Chisinau’s dep. DM Kosovan, says “little green men” (i.e., Russian GRU officers) have infiltrated Moldova, 500 recruits to destabilize Ukraine’s SW region; cross-border artillery, missile attacks from Russia quiet since Sun., but rebel provocations ongoing in spite of Sept. 5 cease-fire; Russian invaders, proxies use small arms, mortars, RPGs to hit Ukrainian army roadblocks around Mariupol; besieged port city builds 2nd ring of defenses, welcomes morale-boosting visit from President Poroshenko; Russian tank unit surrounds Ukrainian National Guard checkpoint near Sloviyanoserbsk, Lugansk Oblast, standoff in progress; fearing Russian invasion will widen, Kharkiv City Council urges patriots to join volunteer battalions

WW4 File: UKRAINE-RUSSIA WAR GOES HOT: 24-hour-old cease-fire between Ukrainian government, Moscow-backed separatists breaks down outside besieged city of Mariupol, Russian and/or rebel artillery fire destroys truck, gas station, industrial site within city limits, 1 dead; Ukrainian troops, tanks, volunteer battalion rush to eastern suburbs to counter attack ; army officer: “There has been an artillery attack. We received a number of impacts”; sporadic shelling, gunfire occurs near airport in Donetsk, regional capital in rebel hands but Sergey Prokofiev International Airport in Kiev’s; Lugansk International Airport fell to rebels, armored Russian units on Sept. 1; IM Avakov Facebooks: 16 Grad rockets launched from Russia struck targets in SE Ukraine late Sat., military reinforcements sent to Mariupol; NSDC: Column of Russian armored vehicles observed moving N to S in Lugansk Oblast over weekend, insurgents holding 200 Ukrainian troops captive, POW swap pending

Ukrainian army tank near Mariupol

Pictured above: Ukrainian Ground Forces tank guarding eastern approach to Mariupol.

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Blogger’s Note: At this website, we frequently use the following abbreviations:

DM: Defense Minister

FM: Foreign (or Foreign Affairs) Minister

IM: Interior Minister (in European context this typically includes domestic law and order)

ATO: Ukrainian military’s Anti-Terrorism Operation

NSDC: Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council

WW4 File: UKRAINE-RUSSIA WAR GOES HOT: Cease-fire mostly holding in Donetsk, Lugansk Oblasts, some rebel provocations, but Poroshenko says troops will not abandon positions, Moscow-backed insurgents deny forsaking objective of independence; NSDC spokesman Lysenko says Russian Armed Forces “concentrating” troops, equipment on border between Kherson Oblast, occupied Crimea; Poroshenko announces POW swap beginning Sept. 6; Russian Foreign Ministry: NATO’s Rapid Trident exercise near Lviv, W. Ukraine “threatens peace”; alliance’s Ample Strike air force drill underway in Czech Rep. until Sept. 15; Moscow’s envoy to OSCE expresses belief rebels will “liberate” Mariupol; Putin’s secret war in Ukraine: Moscow perpetuates fiction of no regular forces in Ukraine, only “volunteers” fighting for separatists, even as Russian women demand to know why husbands, sons fighting, dying in Ukraine, NSDC estimates 2,000 Russian troops killed in Donbass, some buried in shallow graves, others surreptitiously hospitalized in St. Petersburg, Rostov-on-Don; NATO responds to Ukraine’s plea to counter Russian invasion: USA to help Ukraine develop defense strategy, allocates US$60 million for Kiev’s Defense Ministry, Border Guard Service, National Guard, Italy to supply 90 Iveco armored vehicles

WW4 File: UKRAINE-RUSSIA WAR GOES HOT: Ukrainian government, Donbass rebels agree on cease-fire plan, guns reportedly fall silent at 6 p.m. local time, Sept. 5; meanwhile Russian Ground Forces besiege Mariupol with heavy artillery, missiles, Ukrainian port city located on Sea of Azov; Mariupol’s steel mills shift to 24/7 production of defensive fortifications, city council finances volunteer fighting units; NSDC spokesman Lysenko: “Yesterday afternoon the Russian Federation mounted an offensive . . . through Shyrokyne, 20 km east of Mariupol. An armoured column broke through . . . : five tanks, three self-propelled guns, a Grad multiple rocket launcher, and personnel with mortar launchers and other heavy firepower equipment. [The] . . . first attack was smashed”; 14 Russian battle groups, including airborne troops, deployed along entire Ukraine border; dep. commander of Azov Battalion protecting city: “At first they [i.e., the Russians] tried our defenses with a tank raid, and when our firing positions revealed themselves they threw all their artillery at us”; OSCE monitors in Mariupol: Situation in city of 450,000 “deteriorating”; national unity rally downtown hoists anti-Putin posters, some banners read: “Mariupol is a Ukrainian city”; Kherson Oblast allocates funds to fend off possible Russian attack from occupied Crimea; Poroshenko at NATO summit in Wales: “NATO-Ukraine Distinctive Partnership” to consist of “full interoperability” between militaries, “developing joint capabilities in defense and security,” DELIVERY OF PRECISION-GUIDED WEAPONS

I can’t believe a Russian army can come here to conquer us. It is like a bad dream. It doesn’t make sense. Why destroy our country and kill our people? What for? It is insane!
– Vera Chuyko, 34-year-old resident of Mariupol, Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine

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WW4 File: UKRAINE-RUSSIA WAR GOES HOT: OSCE monitors at border checkpoints in SE Ukraine observe cross-border artillery fire from Russian Federation, “groups of militants” entering Ukraine, “loads of wounded” combatants passing in opposite direction; Smerch rocket attack destroys base camp of 12th Kyiv Battalion in Dmytrivka, Lugansk Oblast, combined force of rebels, Russian regulars pushes pro-government paramilitaries from regional capital; Russian army unit near Gukovo, Rostov O., launches Tochka U at target in Ukraine, ballistic missile more powerful than Grads, Smerchs; NSDC confirms ATO forces fighting “Russian units, “terrorists” (i.e., rebels) at 16 locations throughout Donbass, countering overt Russian invasion that began Aug. 25, 837 Ukrainian servicemen killed since April; Tymchuk: “100 Russian soldiers and terrorists” killed overnight Sept. 3-4; Ukraine’s Independent Trade Union of Miners confirms “the terrorists and their Russian masters” have raided several Donbass mines, shipped 15,000 tons of coal to Russia in white trucks comprising part of Kremlin’s so-called “humanitarian convoy”; Ukrainian FM Klimkin praises France for (finally) suspending sale of Mistral-class helicopter carrier to Russia: “It’s important for restoring peace in Europe”

EU/USSR2 Files: Senior Putin aide Glazyev, Kremlin human rights council member (!) Shevchenko, Moscow’s top Eurasianist ideologue Dugin descend upon Yalta in occupied Crimea, host summit of Russian, European neo-Nazis, discuss viability of “New Russia” state in SE Ukraine, rail against Kiev’s “fascist junta,” condemns Poroshenko as “Nazi” (takes one to know one, apparently), accuse USA of seeking global domination, orchestrating lethal Odessa fire and Malaysian Airlines shootdown, inciting “brother countries” Russia and Ukraine to warfare; diplomatic dust-up after Poland refuses to open airspace for Russian DM’s return trip from Bratislava to Moscow, plane forced to return to Slovak capital after Shoigu attended ceremony marking 70th anniversary of anti-Nazi Slovak National Uprising; ex-Warsaw Pact states divided in commitment to new NATO membership: Poland strong supporter of anti-Kremlin sanctions, Czechs call for Russian military’s withdrawal from Ukraine, while Hungary’s PM Orban condemns sanctions, Slovakia’s ex-communist PM cozies up to Moscow, opposition brands Fico “Russian spy”

WW4 File: UKRAINE-RUSSIA WAR GOES HOT: NATO begins Steadfast Javelin II military exercise in Poland, Germany, Estonia, Lithuania while 1,200 NATO troops, including US military, prep for Rapid Trident exercise near Lviv, western Ukraine Sept. 16-26; Poroshenko, Putin agree on conditions for ceasefire, but no actual implementation, Moscow-backed rebels in Donetsk, Lugansk Oblasts ignored Kiev’s unilateral cease-fire in June; Russian dictator still denies regular forces in Ukraine even as Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry asserts: “Russian military are continuing to shell the roadblocks of the ATO forces, cities and public transport. Ukraine is continuing to record instances of violation of its airspace, and the accumulation of armored vehicles and artillery systems of the Russian Armed Forces in its eastern regions is continuing,” “Russia has switched from clandestine warfare to an open armed invasion of the Ukrainian territory”; NSDC spokesman Lysenko: Following Sept. 1 attack by rebels, Russian T-90 tank column, retreating Ukrainian forces purposely destroyed Lugansk runway; 100 Ukrainian para- troopers remained at airport to cover main body of retreating forces, broke through encircling ring of Russian tank units on Sept. 3; Donbass separatists claim to control all roads leading to Mariupol, Ukrainian army, paramilitaries, civilians feverishly erect anti-tank obstacles around port city, expect assault by Russian armor that crossed border Aug. 25

WW4 File: UKRAINE-RUSSIA WAR GOES HOT: 9,500 UK police officers to provide security for Sept. 4-5 NATO summit in Newport, Wales; Western communists denounce NATO, USA, Ukraine, rally in defense of Russia: 1,000 “anti-war” protesters march through Welsh city’s streets ahead of alliance meet-and-greet, demos organized by Stop the War, venerable Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament; NATO pushing for “significant” expansion of 13,000-troop rapid reaction force, respond to “resurgent” Russia, Trident Juncture 2015 exercise to be held in Italy, Spain and Portugal; Hungary ships 58 second-hand T–72 tanks to “undisclosed location” in Czech Republic, ultimate destination believed to be Ukraine, NATO’s Ample Strike 2014 air force drill to begin Sept. 3 from S. Moravia base; Swedish military HQ raises readiness level, deploys fighter jets to Gotland in Baltic Sea, PM Reinfeldt on Russian invasion of Ukraine: “It’s a behavior which we saw during the Cold War and which is now returning”; Finnish air force on alert after Russian military planes “repeatedly” violate airspace; neutral Stockholm, Helsinki to ink agreement with NATO, accept emergency assistance from alliance militaries

WW4 File: UKRAINE-RUSSIA WAR GOES HOT: President Poroshenko accuses Russia of “direct and open aggression”; NSDC spokesman Lysenko: “At least four battalion tactical groups of the Russian Armed Forces are operating in Ukraine in the area of Novositlivka-Novoannivka-Krasne, Starobesheve-Novokaterynivka, Kumachove-Pobeda, and Scherbak-Markyne,” “The Russian military are shelling the checkpoints of the ATO forces and civilian vehicles”; DM Geletey: Russian regular forces have arrived in regional capitals of Donetsk, Lugansk: “The information that Russian troops are there has been confirmed. We are fighting Russia and it is Russia which is deciding what will happen in the Donbass”; Ukrainian Ground Forces abandon Lugansk airport after all-night clashes with Russian tank battalion, Moscow-backed rebels; days of heavy shelling ruins parts of rebel-held Donetsk city; ATO forces “liquidate” 180 “terrorists” (i.e., rebels) over 48-hour period, Grad missile launchers, armoured vehicles; 84 more volunteer soldiers (including 4 female fighters!) of Donbass Battalion break past besieging rebels, Russian regulars; insurgent artillery fires on Ukrainian patrol vessel in Sea of Azov; rebels (Russian regulars?) shoot down Ukrainian Su-25 Frogfoot “close air support” aircraft on Aug. 29

WW4 File: UKRAINE-RUSSIA WAR GOES HOT: Ukraine’s NSDC: Invading Russian tank column directs firepower at town in Lugansk Oblast, destroys every house, Novosvitlivka liberated from Moscow-backed rebels on Aug. 12, invaders move onto town of Khriaschuvate; 5 trucks full of “armed terrorists” (i.e., rebels, Russian regulars) breach border in Lugansk O. on Aug. 28; Russian tanks, APCs rushing border, pulling back at various sites; Ukrainian IM Avakov: 28 members of Donbass Battalion, 4 journalists escape from town of Ilovaysk, 200 volunteer soldiers surrounded by Moscow-backed rebels, later Russian infantry with tanks, since Aug. 25, follows statement from Putin to allow Ukrainians to retreat; Russian occupational forces mining approaches to Novoazovsk as 1,000s of civilians in neighboring Mariupol help Ukrainian army brace for combined attack by insurgents, Russian tank column N. of city, some residents fleeing; state-run enterprise UkrOboronProm responds to Poroshenko’s orders, shifts into 24/7 mode, ramps up production of armored vehicles

Mariupol_8-29-14

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Incidentally, the commander of the Ukrainian Interior Ministry’s Donbass Battalion is an ethnic Russian but a loyal Ukrainian citizen, which highlights the complexity of the Ukraine crisis.

WW4 File: UKRAINE-RUSSIA WAR GOES HOT: UN Security Council holds emergency session to discuss Russian invasion of Ukraine; Moscow’s UN envoy, Churkin, deflects accusation, retorts Kiev “is waging war against its own people”; PM Yatsenyuk submits bill to Rada, urges NATO membership for Ukraine; Czech Republic to host 11-nation NATO air force exercise, Ample Strike 2014 to run Sept. 3-15; follows gradual buildup of alliance military assets in Baltics, Poland, Romania in response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March; Herashchenko, adviser to Ukrainian IM: Russia launched overt attack after President Poroshenko called snap Rada election, complicating implementation of martial law, effective countering of invasion; NATO Sec.-Gen. Rasmussen: “Despite Moscow’s hollow denials, it is now clear that Russian troops and equipment have illegally crossed the border”; Dutch Brig.-Gen. Tak, head of NATO crisis management: “We have also detected large quantities of advanced weapons, including air defense systems, artillery, tanks and armored personnel carriers being transferred to separatist forces in eastern Ukraine”; volunteer battalions Facebooking about Russian army’s assault upon Novoazovsk 3 days before Obama comments

WW4 File: UKRAINE-RUSSIA WAR GOES HOT: Russian Ground Forces in firm control of Ukrainian border town after launching invasion on Aug. 25, bolsters flagging Donbass insurgents, stockpiles armaments in Novoazovsk for further ops; invasion force splits up: 1) northward Russian column consists of up to 100 tanks, heavy weapons, seen moving towards Temanove on Aug. 27; VDV’s Pskov division besieges Ukrainian forces at Ilovaysk; encircled by 12 Russian paratroopers, 2 Ukrainian majors refuse to surrender, perish while blowing up all attackers, selves with grenades, ATO urges conferment of title “Hero of Ukraine”; 2) southward Russian column consists of 60 tanks, concentrated 12 mi. N. of Mariupol; Ukrainian army, National Guard units from Novoazovsk fall back to new positions along coastal highway, mine approaches to port city; 3) possible pincer movement from occupied Crimea feared; Ukrainian troops in shootout with Russian recon patrol near Kherson Oblast on Aug. 25, 3 Russian helos stray 500 m N. of peninsula’s militarized border; 4) Reuters reporter in Russia’s Rostov Oblast witnesses battle-weary, injured soldiers returning from Ukraine, 2 mi. away, army helo landing at first-aid base

Russia is no longer a partner like it used to be; it has to be seen as an enemy.
– High-ranking NATO diplomat, quoted in Deutsche-Welle, August 29, 2014

We have to change our positions frequently as enemy spotters help artillery attacks on us. It’s the Russian invasion. We saw it yesterday [Aug. 27] when Russian tanks with Russian flags and soldiers entered Novoazovsk.
– Ukrainian serviceman, quoted in Zik (Lviv), August 29, 2014

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WW4 File: UKRAINE-RUSSIA WAR GOES HOT: Russian invasion force smashes its way into Ukraine’s Donetsk Oblast in support of Donbass insurgents, consists of 1,000 troops, 100 tanks, APCs, rocket launchers; invaders fire Grad missiles at Ukrainian border post, reportedly head for regional capital, 20,000 troops poised across border; follows farcical Putin-Poroshenko summit in Minsk, Putin gives nod to cease-fire plan, maintains fiction of no Russian military presence in Ukraine; Poroshenko cancels Turkey trip, calls emergency session of NSDC, urges citizens not to panic, declares: “Russian troops were actually brought into Ukraine”; Ukraine’s OSCE envoy Prokopchuk: “What we registered is a direct invasion of the Russian military into the E. regions of Ukraine”; 1st Russian armored column of 50 vehicles entered Donetsk O. on Aug. 25, shells, seizes strategic town, Ukrainian troops stand ground but some desert; Novoazovsk situated on highway linking Russia’s Rostov O., government-held port of Mariupol, occupied Crimea; Ukraine prepares to defend Mariupol, military brigade rushed to temporary capital of Donetsk O., deep trenches dug around city of 450,000

WW4 File: UKRAINE, RUSSIA AT WAR: Ukrainian forces detain 10 Russian paratroopers in Donetsk Oblast, armed invaders surrender without fight, profess to have crossed border by mistake; DM Geletey: “In reality, they are participating in military aggression against Ukraine . . . “; NSDC spokesman Lysenko: “We think that this is not a mistake, but a special task”; capture of Russian recon patrol complicates Putin-Poroshenko summit in Minsk; Novoazovsk, Donetsk, under cross-border artillery barrage, town site of battle between Ukrainian army, rebel armored column from Russia; 2 Russian Mi-24 combat helos attack Ukrainian border post in Lugansk Oblast, 4 guards dead; NATO: 10,000s of Russian troops near neighbor’s border; US ambassador to Kiev warns of possible “Russian-directed counteroffensive” by separatists (definitely underway); Russian neo-fascists form volunteer battalion, support Donbass rebels: “We are all Russian imperialist nationalists, descendants of the White Guard”; Poroshenko dissolves Rada, calls snap election; SBU arrests Communist Party cell leaders on charges of financing terrorism (i.e., separatism)

According to recent news reports, Russian combat helicopter and artillery units appear to be providing cross-border fire support for rebel offensives against the Ukrainian military.

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WW4 File: UKRAINE, RUSSIA AT WAR: Ukraine counters yet another armored incursion from Russia as Moscow-backed separatists thrust across border from Rostov Oblast, head SW along highway to government-held port city of Mariupol, battle Ukrainian troops at town of Novoazovsk; latest invasion force consists of 10 tanks, 2 APCs bearing symbols of self-styled Donetsk People’s Republic; NSDC spokesman Lysenko: Incursion attempt “by the Russian military in the guise of Donbass fighters to open a new area of military confrontation”; Moscow plans 2nd aid convoy to SE Ukraine, Kiev fears unauthorized 1st convoy transported arms to insurgents in Lugansk; rebels parade captured government soldiers through Donetsk city, crowds chant “Fascists”; Ukrainian president announces US$3 billion defense budget for 2015-2017; Poroshenko, Putin scheduled to talk peace in Minsk on Aug. 26, Merkel in Kiev, gloomy over prospects of “breakthrough”; Moscow pouts over exclusion from NATO’s Ukrainian crisis summit in Wales

WW4 File: UKRAINE, RUSSIA AT WAR: Convoy of humanitarian aid trucks returns to Russia after delivering food, medicine to rebel-held Ukrainian city of Lugansk; estimates of convoy size vary from 184 to 260 white-painted vehicles; Ukrainian State Border Guard Service inspected contents of some trucks, partly confirms Kremlin line; NSDC spokesman Col. Lysenko alleges Russian personnel delivered cargo, but also stole equipment from Ukrainian military factories, including Kolchuga radar system, firearms magazines; NATO chief Rasmussen condemns unauthorized Russian aid convoy, describes as “major escalation in Russian military involvement in eastern Ukraine,” Russian artillery units have moved into Ukrainian territory, firing at Ukrainian government forces; German Chancellor Merkel arrives in Kiev on official visit

WW4 File: UKRAINE, RUSSIA AT WAR: 145-truck Russian “aid convoy” enters E. Ukraine without permission of Ukrainian authorities or International Committee of the Red Cross escort, heads for rebel-held city of Lugansk, follows 10-day standoff with Kremlin; Ukrainian President Poroshenko denounces “flagrant violation of international law,” SBU chief Nalivay- chenko fulminates “We consider this a direct invasion by Russia of Ukraine,” but promises Ukraine will not attack Russian personnel, avoid provoking Moscow; Russian Foreign Ministry: “All excuses delaying the delivery of aid to people in the humanitarian catastro- phe area have been exhausted. The Russian side has decided to act”; Ukrainian military spokesman Lysenko reacts to Russian incursion: “The Ukrainian side suggested holding negotiations between the leadership of the general staffs of Ukraine and the Russian Federation, but the Russian side refused”

Communist Bloc Military Updates: Russian strategic bombers try to enter Dutch airspace, repelled by Royal Netherlands Air Force, make U-turn, second run at NATO member; Japanese warplanes shadow two Bear bombers circumnavigating archipelago; Kremlin’s nuclear bombers penetrated USA’s NW air defense identification zone 16 times over 10 days in late July, early Aug., one Russian sortie near Alaska included spyplane, NORAD confirms “spike in activity”; Moscow settles on Baranovichi, W. Belarus for new air base to open in 2015, already operates fighter jet squadron in buffer state; 2,600 Union State paratroopers train in Russia’s NW region of Pskov while CSTO troops converge in Kyrgyzstan for “anti-terrorist” Enduring Brotherhood 2014 drill; Russian Defense Ministry to rehabilitate Cold War-era airbase, build 6 “closed” military towns in NE Siberia, Tiksi Aerodrome first served as staging base for Soviet strategic aviation to reach N. America

WW4 File: UKRAINE, RUSSIA AT WAR: Poles hawkish over Russian annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea, arming of rebels in Donetsk, Lugansk, shooting down of Malaysian airliner; PM Tusk foresees Russia’s “direction intervention” in SE Ukraine as Kremlin once again builds up military positions near neighbor; 1,000 Polish soldiers, dozens of visiting US, Canadian troops march through Warsaw in country’s largest military parade since Cold War; Poland speeds up plans to buy 30 attack helicopters, second naval strike missile system, air-to-surface JASSM missiles for 48 F-16 fighter jets, long-range UAVs; unveils futuristic PL-01 light “stealth tank,” mass production slated for 2016; Gen. Campbell, commander of US Army Europe, in Warsaw to discuss boosting US military power in ex-communist state; Polish FM summons Russian ambassador, demands explanation for Zhirinovsky’s bellicose remarks, neo-fascist lawmaker threatens to “wipe out” Poland, Baltics in war against West

WW4 File: UKRAINE, RUSSIA AT WAR: Kiev says Moscow-backed rebels attack convoy of civilians fleeing Lugansk city, killing “dozens”; self-proclaimed PM of “Donetsk People’s Republic” boasts army of 1,200 fighters trained in Russia’s Rostov Oblast, 150 armored vehicles, including 30 tanks; 20,000 Ukrainian men living in Czech Republic receive call-up orders for military service as Russian moves along border spark fears of invasion under guise of humanitarian mission; Ukraine completes national revolution, dissolved Communist Party’s pro-Moscow/pro-separatist Rada faction on July 24; acting president, parliamentary speaker Turchynov praised “correction of historical error,” expressed hope in disappearance of “communist ideology”; Russian, EU communists dismayed over dissolution, CPRF deputies retaliate, seek “terrorist” tag for Right Sector, neo-fascists in Ukraine’s National Guard fighting separatists

WW4 File: UKRAINE, RUSSIA AT WAR: President Poroshenko says army directly engaged Russian armored column on Ukrainian soil on Thursday, UK journalists maintain APCs bore full Russian markings, including license plates; Kremlin denies incursion as it prepares to send massive humanitarian convoy to Ukraine’s war-torn SE oblasts, alleges Ukrainian volunteer battalion plans to mine roads, blow up aid vehicles; separatists continue to hold positions in cities of Donetsk, Lugansk; Kiev has claimed for months Moscow bolstering insurgents with arms, guerrilla fighters from occupied Crimea, Caucasus, Moscow, Serbia

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Back from summer vacation . . .

WW4 File: UKRAINE, RUSSIA AT WAR: 2 Ukrainian fighter jets shot down over rebel-held territory from altitude of 5,200 meters, attack occurs near site of catastrophic downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17; Kiev says Russian regular forces across SE border fired SAMs that hit combat planes, National Security and Defense Council: “They were shot down very profes- sionally. The terrorists [separatists] do not have such professionals”; government troops regain control of suburbs of Donetsk, Lugansk as shelling blows up chemical plant in first city; Moscow-backed rebels concentrate forces in downtown Donetsk, fortify posi- tion near university, dig trenches; rebel commander, Russian GRU officer Strelkov bans media from combat zones; train with refugees from Lugansk arrives in Kiev

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It’s hard to know how far Comrades Putin, Zyuganov and Co. intend to go with this mess their agents, lackeys and proxies have fomented in Ukraine, but it’s a superb opportunity for Russian neo-imperialism/neo-fascism/neo-communism to reassert itself. A weak, uncoordinated response from NATO could lead to similar Kremlin-sponsored adventurism in both the Former Soviet Union and the former East Bloc.

Although he would be very elderly if still alive, Anatoliy Golitsyn’s analysis of the Ukraine crisis would no doubt be very illuminating. This unique KGB defector’s most valuable insight was to remind Western analysts that communists are very persistent in their determination to overthrow freedom and capitalism, adroit in both organization and propaganda, and capable of concocting multi-decade plans to bring about their totalitarian global regime.

Meanwhile, for your resident blogger summer vacation has arrived. This is likely to be our last post for the next three weeks.

WW4 File: UKRAINE, RUSSIA AT WAR: From Russia with malice: Moscow-backed, GRU-directed separatist insurgency in Ukraine takes horrific turn as Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 reportedly shot down by SAM over village of Grabavo, Donetsk Oblast, 298 passengers and crew perish, airliner on flight between Amsterdam, Kuala Lumpur; US VP Biden says Boeing 777-200ER apparently “blown out of the sky,” responsible party unknown, Ukrainian President Poroshenko: “We do not exclude that this plane was shot down, and we stress that the armed forces of Ukraine did not take action against any airborne targets”; rebels locate, seize Flight MH17’s black boxes, turn over to Russian aviation authorities

What’s Putin’s game here? Is he provoking a NATO intervention and, thus, global nuclear war, or are his insurgents in SE Ukraine just trigger happy?

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Latin America File: From Russia with shove: President Putin thumbs nose at Washington amidst Moscow-backed separatist insurgency in Ukraine, makes sur- prise official visit to Nicaragua during regional tour, long-time KGB asset Ortega revels in Kremlin’s affec- tion for second Sandinista dictatorship; Managua pitstop unprecedented show for any Soviet/Russian leader as rumors abound of Moscow’s “silent partner- ship” in Hong Kong-led Nicaragua Canal megaproject; Russian Navy patrols Caribbean Sea, helps Nicaragua, Honduras interdict narco-trafficking; Putin arrives in Cuba, Argentina, Brazil to promote bilateral commercial arrangements; state-run Russia Today: Moscow to reopen Lourdes electronic spy base, facility closed in 2002, suspected role in monitoring US military, civilian air traffic during 911 terrorist attacks

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Flashback: Cuba’s Lourdes Radar Base, Terrorist Mohamed Atta and the Kremlin (source)

Blogger’s Note

In recent weeks we have posted less frequently on the Ukraine crisis. Other responsibilities have made it difficult to keep this blog up to date.

However, we have redirected our efforts to the writing of a history of Czechoslovakia/Czech Republic from a “Golitsynian” perspective.

Work began last year and the project is now many hundreds of pages in length.

We hope to publish this history late next year or possibly in 2016.

WW4 File: UKRAINE, RUSSIA AT WAR: Ukrainian military scores first major victory against Moscow-backed insurgents, rebels abandon stronghold of Slavyansk after 3 months of on-again, off-again fighting, GRU officer Igor Strelkov/Girkin reportedly joins exodus from city; self-proclaimed PM of “Donetsk People’s Republic,” Russian citizen Borodai: “Due to the overwhelming numerical superiority of the enemy [i.e., government forces] our men were forced to abandon their positions”; death toll of Ukraine crisis: 250 civilians, 200 soldiers, 800 rebels; displacements: 110,000 people flee SE Ukraine for Russia, 54,400 displaced within country itself

WW4 File: UKRAINE, RUSSIA AT WAR: Poroshenko refuses to extend ceasefire as Ukrainian Army, National Guard press attacks against Moscow-backed rebels in Donetsk, Lugansk oblasts; insurgents try to down Su-24 Fencer combat plane with missile, kill border guard in mortar attack; acting DM Koval on Monday: Govern- ment forces carried out strikes against 120 rebel positions, “We have to eliminate the fighters who have brought misfortune to the land of the Donbass”; Ukrainian, Russian, German, French FMs to meet in Berlin, talk peace; Moldova tries to escape Russia’s neo-imperialist dragnet, parliament ratifies EU “association agreement,” 34 pro-Moscow Communist deputies leave chamber in protest; Putin, Russian Orthodox Patriarch bestow awards upon Communist Party boss Zyuganov

WW4 File: UKRAINE, RUSSIA AT WAR: 65,000 Russian troops hold week-long drill in Volga, Ural regions as President Poroshenko announces week-long cease-fire with Moscow-backed rebels in SE oblasts; 3 soldiers in Donetsk injured by insurgents in mortar/ sniper attack; 300 civilians, soldiers, rebels dead since April, 34,000 civilians displaced; Donetsk “people’s governor” Gubarev calls Kiev cease-fire “fake,” main- tains army still shooting; RAF Typhoons stationed in Lithuania intercept Russian Air Force sortie over Baltic Sea on June 18, latter consists of Tu-22M Backfire strategic bomber, 4 Su-27 Flanker fighters, Beriev A50 Mainstay early-warning plane, Antonov 26 Curl transport

WW4 File: UKRAINE, RUSSIA AT WAR: Russian state TV reporter killed, colleague missing after position shelled in clashes between Ukrainian forces, Moscow-backed separatists, army making push to enter rebel-held city of Lugansk; gas pipeline blows up in NE oblast of Poltava, “accident” occurred day after Gazprom terminates supply; Right Sector leader Yarosh reported- ly threatened to sabotage Russian pipelines in March; National Security and Defense Council chief Parubiy: “Between 15,000 and 20,000 militants are in Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Nearly half of them are . . . from the Russian Federation,” including “natives of the Cau- casus and special units of the Russian Armed Forces”; NSDC spokesman: “Terrorists get the coordinates of the sites of the deployment of Ukrainian security forces from a Russian satellite”; DPR leader Pushilin names Russian controllers: “We interact with [Alex] Babakov, [Valentina] Matviyenko, [Sergey] Glazyev and Zhirinov- sky. . . . [T]hese are politicians who provide support”

WW4 File: UKRAINE, RUSSIA AT WAR: Kremlin cuts natural gas supply to Ukraine after payment deadline expires, Kiev’s Naftogaz: Country can manage without Russian energy until Dec.; gas feed to EU untouched; Russia alleges military border violations, follows incur- sion into Donetsk, Lugansk oblasts by 3 Russian tanks, APCs, presumably by Russian soldiers or Moscow-backed separatists; Moscow says Ukrainian Su-27 fighter jet entered Russian airspace on June 5, Mi-8 helo on 12th, infantry fighting vehicle crossed land border on 13th; Russian Foreign Ministry: “We consider such actions an illegal act that will prevent the peaceful resolution of the armed conflict in the SE of Ukraine”; Kiev: 16,000 Russian troops still deployed along main- land border, 22,000 in occupied Crimea, “Separate subunits of 76th Pskov air assault division of Russian Armed Forces redeployed to districts close to Ukrainian border on June 15”; Poroshenko: Government ousts rebels from all frontier areas near Russia; Alex Yanu- kovich phones Lukashenko, says father Viktor no longer trusts Putin, seeks asylum in Belarus or presidency over self-proclaimed Federal State of New Russia

WW4 File: UKRAINE, RUSSIA AT WAR: Moscow-backed Russophone separatists down Ukrainian Il-76 strategic airlifter on approach to Lugansk International Airport, 49 crew, soldiers killed, President Poroshenko declares day of mourning; Ukrainian Health Ministry: Total of 270 deaths since clashes began in SE oblasts; Moscow denies sending unmarked T-64 tanks to sup- port rebels as 100 protesters storm Russian embassy in Kiev, condemn downing of military plane, break win- dows, tear down Russian flag, overturn diplomats’ cars; pro-Ukrainian volunteer militia fighting separatists: “We won’t forget. We won’t forgive”; NATO: Videos, satellite pics of armored unit at Russia’s Rostov military base, later in Ukraine’s rebel regions “raise significant questions” about Moscow’s role in insurgency; bomb found, defused near presidential office, motorcade route, follows June 7 car bombing in Kiev, just prior to Poroshenko’s inauguration

WW4 File: UKRAINE, RUSSIA AT WAR: Ukrainian troops destroy 2 tanks, 2 APCs, 2 Kamaz trucks near village of Stepanivka, Donetsk, armored column from Russia waved through rebel-held border crossing in neighboring Lugansk region; DPR chairman Pushilin in Moscow, speaks on Russian state TV, admits acquisition of tanks, NATO chief Rasmussen: Incursion of Russian tanks into Ukraine “marks a serious escalation of the crisis in E. Ukraine”; Kiev says military also intercepted 3 “terrorist” convoys that “intruded from the side of Russia,” 40 Moscow-backed insurgents killed in Snizhne, Russian-made MANPADS, antitank rifles, small arms seized; 100 soldiers of newly formed Azov Battalion evict rebels from state buildings in Mariupol (again), port city sits astride highway leading from S. Russia to occupied Crimea; billionaire governor of Dnipropetrovsk oblast offers to build 1,900-km fence/ trench within 6 months, “protect Ukraine from Putin”; Gazprom CEO Miller demands Kiev pay US$3.5 billion debt by June 16 or face immediate prepayment regime

Middle East File: Iraq facing worst crisis since with- drawal of US troops in 2011, “failed state” status loom- ing: Iran sends 2 battalions of elite Quds Forces to shore up Shi’ite PM Maliki’s government as Sunni rebels hoist black flag of Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) over major cities in N. Iraq, including Mosul, Tikrit; Ba’athist military officers, Hussein loyalists who eluded arrest after 2003 US-led inter- vention join rebellion; militants confiscate Iraqi Army’s US-built Humvees, seize and fly two helicopters; reportedly execute soldiers, police in captured towns; fearful of rebel advance, Iraq’s Kurds seize control of Kirkuk oil fields; Iraqi government’s authority now confined to country’s south, army “essentially evapo- rated” ahead of rebels’ “stunning advance,” lost control of Euphrates Valley W of capital last year; Iraqi warplanes fire missiles at insurgent targets in Mosul, uniformed Shi’ite volunteers head for front lines 60 miles N of Baghdad; ISIS militants hold 80 Turks hostage in Mosul, Ankara threatens to retaliate if any citizens harmed, Turkish hostages include special forces soldiers, diplomats, children

Middle East File: Militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant seize control of Mosul, take over airport, police stations, military bases; 500,000 residents flee Iraq’s second largest city; soldiers abandon weapons, don civilian clothes, join exodus; PM Maliki urges parliament to declare state of emergency; Al Qaeda offshoot controls “considerable territory” in eastern Syria, western and central Iraq, including cities of Ramadi, Falluja; FM Zebari: “Iraq faces a serious, mortal threat”

WW4 File: UKRAINE, RUSSIA AT WAR: President of Ukraine’s official website: Army, border guards have resecured control of 100 km swathe of frontier near Russian border, follows deep incursion by small armored column via rebel-controlled border crossing, identity and fate of invading troops after battle with Ukrainian army unclear; Poroshenko phones Putin to discuss peace plan for rebellious SE oblasts, calls arrival of Russian tanks, heavy artillery “unacceptable”; Pushilin, self-styled chairman of “Donetsk People’s Republic,” spotted at Moscow meeting with veteran neo-fascist/neo-imperialist Zhirinovsky

WW4 File: UKRAINE, RUSSIA AT WAR: Russia takes advantage of Ukraine’s failure to swiftly recapture frontier from insurgents, mini-invasion force of 3 T-72 main battle tanks, APCs waved through rebel-held border crossing near Dyakove, Lugansk; Russian armor proceeds to Snizhne in neighboring secessionist region of Donetsk, Ukrainian military engages 2 T-72s near town of Horlivka; Interior Minister Avakov: “The fight is under way. I cannot say about its final outcome, but part of this column has been destroyed”; Kiev fears Moscow preparing to send more guerrillas into rebel- lious SE oblasts, 80 “self-defense” militiamen involved in Crimean takeover later received training at special services base in Rostov Oblast, formed “sabotage group” to aid separatists in mainland Ukraine; rebels lay siege against Lugansk International Airport last weekend, security forces finally repel attackers on Wed.; ATO spokesman says army defended hotly con- tested Kramatorsk airport during rebel attack on June 10, 40 “mercenaries” (i.e., from Russia) killed; 60 Russians, Belarusians volunteer for Interior Ministry’s Donbas Battalion in defense of Ukraine

WW4 File: UKRAINE, RUSSIA AT WAR: Amid Ukraine crisis, 4 Russian Bear H bombers intercepted over Aleutians on June 9, 2 TU-95s continue flight across N. Pacific, repelled 50 miles off N. California coast; Krem- lin brands NATO’s “Baltops” naval maneuver in Baltic Sea, land drills in Baltic states as “act of aggression,” matches alliance’s 6,500-troop deployment with units from Russian Navy’s Baltic Fleet, Russian Air Force, VDV, stealth corvette Soobrazitelny live-fires missiles at surface targets; Putin’s personal envoy Markov issues truculent warning to Helsinki ahead of FM Lavrov’s visit: “Russophobia could start the third [world war]. Finland is one of the most Russophobic countries in Europe, together with Sweden and the Baltic states. Russia recommends Finland not to join NATO”; con- veniently forgets Finns’ “Russophobia” might be linked to 1939 Soviet invasion; France, Italy dispatch spy ships to Black Sea, monitor Russian military activity in occupied Crimea

Final Phase Backgrounder: Russian Communists urge referenda on changing names of St. Petersburg, Volgo- grad back to Leningrad, Stalingrad, Putin expresses support for initiative; CPRF’s long-standing policy to restore Soviet Union; CIS co-founder Shushkevich maintains Putin rebuilding USSR through formation of Eurasian Union, Russian special services intervention in Ukraine; freest former Soviet republics–Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova–have lost “chunks of territory” to pro-Moscow separatists; Lukashenko “doing his part” in Belarus via KGB-controlled “democracy,” collective farms, 80% of economy in state hands; C. Asian repub- lics have made “scant progress towards” democratic reform in 23 years; Shushkevich denies he, colleagues Yeltsin, Kravchuk had “ulterior motive” in dissolving USSR, but KGB defector Golitsyn predicted contrived demise of Soviet Union, followed by “new worldwide communist federation” (New Lies for Old [1984], p. 346), identified CIS as component of “longstanding overall Communist strategy of convergence” (The Pere- stroika Deception [1995], p. 149); Borodin: Russian-Belarusian Union State “great development of commu- nism,” USSR to be restored in 2017, centennial of Bolshevik Revolution

WW4 File: UKRAINE, RUSSIA AT WAR: Heavy fighting resumes around rebel stronghold in Ukraine’s Donetsk Oblast, shelling heard in downtown Slavyansk as govern -ment troops, Moscow-backed separatists exchange fire, rebels shoot down Ukrainian An-26 transport plane on June 6, 5 of 8 aircrew survived; insurgents attack military base in Artemivsk, repelled, others claim to detain pro-Kiev mercenaries from Poland, Czech Rep. (possibly to deflect attention from Russian citizens fighting on behalf of “people’s republics” in Donetsk, Lugansk); newly inaugurated President Poroshenko: OSCE-brokered talks to close “porous” border between Ukraine, Russia; Washington reassures European allies in face of Russian aggression, deploys 2 B-2 stealth bombers to UK, 3 B-52s arrived last week; NATO navies carry out “Baltops” maneuver in Baltic Sea, “Sabre Strike” land drills in Estonia, Latvia; Polish paratroop- ers host US, Canadian counterparts, conduct grenade training; London to commit 1,000 soldiers, 25 tanks to NATO drill in Poland later this year; Hagel tours US missile cruiser in Black Sea; NATO’s largest-ever cyber- warfare drill “Locked Shields” held this past March

WW4 File: UKRAINE, RUSSIA AT WAR: Outgunned by Moscow-backed rebels, invaders from Russian Federation, Ukraine’s State Border Guard shuts down 8 checkpoints in Donetsk, Lugansk Oblasts, self-styled PM Nikitin: Armed wing of “Lugansk People’s Republic” controls 150-200 km swathe of border region, creating invasion corridor for Russian Armed Forces, still poised nearby; Ukrainian fighter jet supported border guards at Marynivka crossing, attacked rebels, Russian mercenaries; PM Medvedev: Russia has received 4,000 refugees from Ukrainian civil war; governor of Russia’s Rostov Oblast declares “state of emergency,” deal with alleged influx of Ukrainian refugees, Kiev denies such exodus; Kremlin recycles months-old propaganda, alleges “extremists” entering Russia from Ukraine

WW4 File: UKRAINE, RUSSIA AT WAR: Skirmish erupts near Ukrainian border village of Marynivka, Donetsk, border guards (with standing order to “open fire”) repulse convoy of Russian mercenaries in trucks, infantry vehicle, 100 Moscow-backed rebels arrive on scene to support invaders, 5 Ukrainian soldiers injured, 15 separatists killed, latest episode of infiltration by guerrillas from Russian Federation; Kiev claims heavy fighting with artillery around rebel stronghold of Slavyansk on Tues., Wed. leads to 300 insurgent deaths, residents flee, self-styled PM of “Donetsk People’s Republic” denies losses; rebels seize border guard base near Lugansk city after troops retreat, remove Ukrainian flag; USA to send military advisers to former Soviet republic, assess need for “defense reform,” Obama approves US$5 million in body armor, night vision goggles, communication devices for Ukrainian army, non-lethal supplies for border guards, follows shipment of 300,000 MREs; Putin, Poroshenko meet, speak at D-Day event in Normandy, no handshake seen, Ukrainian president-elect to be sworn in June 7

EU/USSR2 Files: Fascism resurgent amidst Eurocrisis: Moscow’s hidden control over European politics revealed, 30-year-old warnings of KGB defector Golitsyn confirmed (again): Far-right parties—e.g., Britain’s UKIP, France’s National Front, Belgium’s Vlaams Belang (VB), Hungary’s Jobbik, Greece’s Golden Dawn—parrot Kremlin script in Brussels, vilify USA, EU, NATO, Ukraine; Farage frequent interviewee on state-owned Russia Today; Le Pen troops to Moscow before Euro vote, Putin says Marine “one of Europe’s most promising new leaders”; Dewinter: “We can be a good partner for Russia in the European Parliament, and Russia sees us as a potential partner”; VB, Austria’s Freedom Party, Bulgaria’s Attack, Italy’s Northern League sent “independent observers” to Crimea to validate Russian annexation; Jobbik chair- man Vona trekked to Russia in 2008, rubbed elbows with Communist MP Kalashnikov, Moscow State U. Prof. Dugin during follow-up 2013 trip; Gulyás, ex-member of Hungary’s parliamentary committee on national security: “Jobbik is a phony nationalist party which serves only Russian interests”; Eurasianist Dugin wrote CPRF constitution, advises current State Duma speaker Naryshkin, inspired creation of new Eurasian Union, attended founding congress of insur- gents’ New Russia Party in Ukraine in May 2014

WW4 File: UKRAINE, RUSSIA AT WAR: NATO’S top commander on Moscow-backed insurgency in Ukraine’s Donetsk, Lugansk oblasts: “Russia is continuing to de- stabilize Ukraine . . . Russian irregular forces, Russian-backed forces, and Russian financing are very active in E. Ukraine. This has to stop. . . . [W]hat you see in the E. part of Ukraine are very well-led, very well-financed, very well-organized clashes with Ukrainian forces”; Breedlove on Russian regular forces near Ukrainian border: “There are several large formations that are remaining and they have not reduced their presence in any way”; Pentagon admits “dangerous” Apr. 23 provo- cation by Russian fighter pilot over NW Pacific, Su-27 “Flanker” rolled sideways to reveal air-to-air missiles, flew within 100 feet of cockpit of US RC-135 spy plane, ret. USAF Lt. Gen.: “President Putin sees weakness in the current American leadership and is trying to intimi- date us”; follows Russian Air Force’s Apr. 12 provoca- tion against US destroyer in Black Sea; White House reassures European allies in face of Russian aggression in Ukraine, Pentagon deploys 3 B-52 strategic bombers to Fairford, England; Boeing installs advanced avionics in venerable “Stratofortress,” first such upgrade since 1960s