Monthly Archives: April 2014

WW4 File: UKRAINE, RUSSIA AT WAR: Russia, Red China hold joint naval drill in E. China Sea, near islets disputed with Japan, deepen military interoperability begun in 2005; Beijing opposes sanctions against Moscow over Ukraine crisis; newly formed Russian army helicopter brigade holds training flights near Estonia, Latvia; NATO begins fresh round of airspace policing missions: Polish MiG-29As to patrol neighbor- ing Lithuania, Canadian CF-18s, air tanker deploy to Romania; fearing Russian aggression, Bucharest takes cue from other European capitals, commits to defense budget increase with EU, IMF approval; polls show 72% of Ukrainians doubt interim government’s ability to promote national unity; Crimea faces new crises, real and fabricated: Simferopol accuses Kiev of “sabotaging” cross-border fresh-water supply, InfoResist: Russian occupiers turned off pumps in town of Krasnopere- kopsk; militarization of border with mainland shuts down deliveries to 450 gas stations, Moscow scrambles for alternative import sites; Ukraine’s DTEK threatens to cut electricity over unpaid debts

WW4 File: UKRAINE, RUSSIA AT WAR: Turchynov: Rebellion in Donetsk, Lugansk oblasts “out of control,” Security Service, army, local police “helpless” to sup- press pro-Russia separatists, some LE units “treason- ous,” “cooperating with terrorists”; orders formation of territorial defense battalions, consisting of volunteers, “patriots ready to defend Ukraine”; military on “full combat alert” to repel possible Russian invasion, status since Crimean takeover; notice of army exercise in Kiev issued, then retracted, just presidential guard to drill on Apr. 30; masked gunmen in military fatigues (i.e., Spetsnaz) seize control of state bldg. in Horlivka, police station occupied since Apr. 14; Pushilin, leader of so-called “Donetsk People’s Republic,” brags: “We have enough people and weapons to defend our interests”; separatists occupy city council bldgs. in Alchevsk and Sverdlovsk, Lugansk Oblast; SBU busts: 1) sabotage ring in Mykolaiv, Kremlin agents plot bombing during WW2-related celebration on May 9; 2) 2 Russians, 1 Belaru- sian arrested at Dolzhansky border crossing, planned rendezvous with militants occupying SBU’s Lugansk HQ; “people’s mayor” Ponomaryov denies receiving orders from Putin, insists “quick release” of OSCE hos- tages should not be expected; Germany’s KSK special forces on alert for rescue mission to rebel stronghold in Slaviansk, Ukraine

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Related previous developments in Ukraine’s pro-Russia insurgency, Ukraine-Russia war:

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Red World Order File: Moscow consolidates ties with old/new allies in W. Hemisphere, N. Korea: FM Lavrov pays official visits to leftist regimes in Cuba, Nicaragua, Peru, Chile, condemns EU, US sanctions against Russia over Ukraine crisis, 54-year-old embargo against Cuba “unacceptable”; past/present communist dictator Ortega defends decision to invite Russia to modernize Soviet-built military, confirms Moscow “interested in in building a military resupply base in Nicaragua” (i.e., possibly for strategic bombers, which made historic first visit to Managua in Oct. 2013); Russian spy ship joins Nicaraguan, Honduran police for counter-narcotics naval exercises in Caribbean, Viktor Leonov lurking off US E. Coast since Crimean takeover; Russian Dep. PM Trutnev arrives in Pyongyang, “latest in series of exchange visits of high-level officials,” KCNA silent on agenda details

WW4 File: UKRAINE, RUSSIA AT WAR: Moscow, Brussels spar yet again over Russian troop deployments near Ukraine: Shoigu to Hagel: Army returned to barracks after exercise, NATO troop buildup in CEE “unprecedented”; NATO official: “We . . . have no information that indicates a withdrawal of Russian troops. . .”; 3,000 pro-Russia separatists storm oblast admin in Lugansk as National Guard withdraws, seize prosecutor’s office, TV center, burn Ukrainian flag; 20 gunmen shoot up local police station, demand cops surrender; SBU’s Lugansk HQ occupied since Apr. 6; militants seize city council in Pervomaisk, raise Russian tricolor, flag of “Lugansk People’s Republic”; “people’s mayor” of Slaviansk denounces inclusion of “Donetsk People’s Republic” leader Pushilin in 2nd phase of anti-Kremlin sanctions, Ponomaryov holds 40 “human shields,” including OSCE team; new EU sanctions tar- get Russia’s top general Gerasimov, GRU chief Sergun, GRU officer Strelkov, last key player in Crimea take- over, commander of “Donbass People’s Militia”; Kerry: US spyplanes intercepted communications between Kremlin, spies in Ukraine; nationalists defy ban in W. city of Lviv, hold rally commemorating Nazi 14th SS-Volunteer Division “Galician”

WW4 File: UKRAINE, RUSSIA AT WAR: Russian envoy Churkin invokes UN Charter’s Article 51, alleges “self defense” to justify military intervention in Ukraine; head of Ukraine’s presidential admin: “Under the flags of the Communist Party, the [pro-Russia] activists tried to bring the Russian military vehicles, disguised as UN peacekeepers, to the territory of Ukraine on Friday night [Apr. 25]. . . . Russian armored vehicles, painted white, with the emblem of peacekeepers, as well as some soldiers, wearing blue helmets, yesterday were really close to the checkpoint Dolzhansky on the territory of Ukraine in Luhansk region”; pro-unity Kharkiv mayor shot in back, condition “grave”; pro-Russia separatists in rebel-held Donetsk Oblast: 1) seize regional state TV, pull plug on Ukrainian programs, switch on Rossiya 24; 2) storm branch of bank owned by billionaire governor of Dnipropetrovsk, Kolomoisky offered bounty for separatists; 3) attack, scatter peace- ful national unity rally of 2,000; 4) capture police, state admin HQs in town of Kostyantynivka; last carried out by 20 masked gunmen with automatic weapons, flak jackets (i.e., Spetsnaz)

Russian soldiers in UN blue helmets. Russian armor painted in UN white. First Ukraine. Next America?

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WW4 File: UKRAINE, RUSSIA AT WAR: US officials: Russian fighter jets flew into Ukrainian airspace “handful of times over last 24 hours,” “aircraft could have been testing Ukrainian radar or making show of force”; follows Apr. 24 airspace violation by Russian helicopters; Ukraine’s Dep. FM fears “imminent invasion,” tells reporters at UN: “We have information we are in danger,” confirms pro-Russia separatists holding OSCE team; Russian spy ship operating off US East Coast since Feb. 27 port of call at Havana; Moscow amplifies neo-fascist threat to Russophones in Ukraine, DM Shoigu: “National Guard units, Right Sector extremists attacking civilians in E. Ukraine”; 7 injured by bomb hurled from passing car along Odessa-Transnistria highway, incident occurred at checkpoint manned by Right Sector; France sends AWACS to patrol Romanian skies, 4 Rafale fighter jets to Poland, Baltics next week; Sweden’s defense budget hike to include long-range cruise missiles “capable of striking targets in Russia,” Finnish DM: New MOU with NATO similar to Stockholm’s, “not membership”

WW4 File: UKRAINE, RUSSIA AT WAR: Poltorak: Ukrainian National Guard mounts total blockade of rebel-held city in Donetsk Oblast, “no opportunity to bring in reinforcements” for Slaviansk militants; Mi-8 army helicopter at Kramatorsk air base destroyed by RPG prior to take-off, pilot escaped; pro-Russia sepa- ratists (i.e., Spetsnaz) claim responsibility for attack; OSCE mission missing in rebel region, kidnapping feared; army guards massive Soviet-era weapons cache at nearby Volodarsky salt mine, but competes with insurgent blockade ( i.e., locals, war vets, Cossacks); Yatseniuk responds to Russian military exercises barely 1,100 yards from Ukraine’s SE border: “The aggressive efforts of the Russian military on Ukraine’s soil will lead to a conflict on European soil”; US official to NBC News: Russian Ground Forces “pulsing the border,” “making a run toward Ukraine” but “pulling up well short” in training maneuvers; blast at Odessa checkpoint, 7 injured, follows attempt by Transnistrian agent to smuggle explosives into Ukraine

WW4 File: UKRAINE, RUSSIA AT WAR: Russian FM Lavrov warns “Russian citizens being attacked is an attack against the Russian Federation,” as EU recog- nizes Ukraine’s right to conduct anti-terrorist op on own soil to “defend sovereignty,” plans on signing “common airspace” deal with Kiev in June; pro-Russia separatists in Slaviansk release US-Israeli citizen Simon Ostrovsky after 2-day captivity; “people’s mayor” of Slaviansk, Vyacheslav Ponomaryov, accused Ostrovsky of spying for Right Sector, initially intended to use Vice News reporter as bargaining chip to force SBU to free Pavel Gubarev, self-proclaimed “people’s governor” of Donetsk Oblast; Moscow also expresses concern for “health” of Gubarev, Lavrov describes Kremlin fifth columnist, communist/neo-Nazi as “political prison- er”; wife Yekaterina Gubareva holds post of “foreign minister” in so-called “People’s Republic of Donetsk”

WW4 File: UKRAINE, RUSSIA AT WAR: CSTO cuts ties with NATO, expands ties with SCO, Red China; Bordyuzha: NATO “blackmailing” CSTO over Ukraine crisis; presidential candidate Poroshenko on campaign trail in restive Lugansk Oblast, tours Russian border, reports violation of Ukrainian airspace by 3 Russian helicopters; speculation: Possible pre-invasion probe; Turchynov: “We demand the Russian Federation… to pull back troops from the E. border of our country”; Ukrainian armored units break through separatist roadblocks around Slaviansk, establish cordon around rebel-held city, press into downtown; unknown gunmen fired on 2 National Guard helicopters patrolling skies over Slaviansk on Apr. 23; National Guard protecting state broadcasting company in rebel-held city of Lugansk; Ukrainian Air Force Sukhoi Su-24 pilots carry out drill in W. oblast of Khmelnytskyi; Russian police detain US vice consul in Yekaterinburg, 5 US musicians in Sverdlovsk region, Americans reportedly refused to show ID

WW4 File: UKRAINE, RUSSIA AT WAR: Kremlin full of vitriol for Kiev “junta,” Western “meddling” in Ukraine; Putin condemns neighbor’s revived “anti-terrorist” campaign against pro-Russia separatists (i.e., under control of Russian special forces): “If Kyiv really began to use the army against the country’s population… that is a very serious crime against its own people”; Russian FM Lavrov blames West for Yanukovich’s ouster: “In Ukraine the US and the EU tried to stage – let’s call things what they are – another ‘color revolu- tion’, an operation to unconstitutionally change regime”; Russian DM Shoigu: “If this [Kiev’s] military machine is not stopped, it will lead to greater numbers of dead and wounded. Planned exercises by NATO forces in Poland and the Baltic countries do not foster normalisation of the situation surrounding Ukraine, either. We are forced to react to such a development of the situation. As of today, our battalion tactical combined-arms groups from the S. and W. Military Districts have begun drills in areas bordering Ukraine”; video from Novoshakhtinsk, 10 km from SE Ukrainian border, shows columns of Russian tanks, APCs, artillery on city’s main motorway

WW4 File: UKRAINE, RUSSIA AT WAR: Ukrainian Army, National Guard, Interior Ministry troops launch new offensives on Apr. 24, target Moscow-backed separatist strongholds in Donetsk Oblast; government troops: 1) “eliminate” 5 rebels during op to remove insurgent checkpoints around Slaviansk, 2 hours later pull back, reassess storming city of 130,000; 2) repel 100 separatists in attack on army base near Artemivsk, 40 km SE of Slaviansk, insurgents (i.e., Russian special forces) “opened fire with automatic weapons, machine guns and used grenades”; 3) expel rebels from city hall in Mariupol, on coast of Sea of Azov, no bloodshed reported; leaders of rebel “Donetsk People’s Republic”: “A combined arms operation has been launched in Slaviansk. This means only one thing: a civil war”; top Ukrainian security official informs Kyiv Post: Government reformulating anti-terrorist op in light of intelligence concerning new Russian military drills near SE Ukraine; Russian invasion force pre-positioned along Ukrainian border for nearly 2 months

WW4 File: UKRAINE, RUSSIA AT WAR: Ukrainian Security Service: 1) says GRU officers commanding pro-Russia insurgency in SE oblasts, i.e., Strelkov, Bezlier, behind murder of Horlivka city council deputy; 2) holds, interrogates 3 more GRU officers in Kiev; 3) maintains 100 Russian MI agents on Ukrainian soil, covertly directing uprising; insurgents in Sloviansk abduct Kramatorsk police chief, Vice News reporter; Ukraine concerned over Russian army’s mining of border between Kherson Oblast, occupied Crimea, continues digging anti-tank trenches to thwart potential invasion; British, Dutch, Danish fighter jets chase off 2 Russian bombers lurking outside NATO airspace; Fin- land signs “military assistance” deal with, but does not join, NATO; Poland holds large-scale “security” drill, “first in decades,” hosts company of US paratroopers; ex-communist Slovakia, Bulgaria soft on neo-Soviet imperialism: Bratislava rejects need for NATO troops, “no threat of conflict between Russia, Ukraine,” Sofia gives Gazprom green light for South Stream pipeline

EU/USA Files: Responding to Russian aggression in Ukraine, USA reassures nervous NATO allies with history of Soviet occupation, dispatches ground forces: US Army’s Italy-based 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team sends 150 paratroopers to each of Poland, Lithu- ania, Latvia, Estonia for “next several months”; 4,000 troops from NATO, partner states to participate in Exer- cise Combined Resolve II in SE Germany throughout May, June; Brig. Gen. Walter Piatt: “Combined Resolve II will be the largest multinational [live-fire] exercise in Europe”; Canada contributes 6 CF-18 fighter jets to NATO policing missions in Polish, Baltic airspace, plans to join US-led Rapid Trident 2014 exercise in Ukraine in July; guided-missile frigate USS Taylor returns to Black Sea, replaces warships Truxton, Donald Cook as US Navy maintains constant presence near Ukraine; neutral Sweden, Finland consider bilateral military alliance, Stockholm to beef up air force

WW4 File: UKRAINE, RUSSIA AT WAR: Turchynov re-launches “anti-terrorist” op in Donetsk Oblast after local politician from acting president’s Fatherland party found “tortured to death” near Sloviansk, Ukrainian recon plane hit by small arms fire over rebel-held city; Biden visits Ukraine, extends US$50m for reforms, tells Yatseniuk : “You will not walk this road alone. We will walk it with you”; warns Moscow: “Stop supporting men hiding behind masks and unmarked uniforms sowing unrest in eastern Ukraine”; Kiev: Ukraine’s special forces control military, civilian airfields in Kramatorsk, “facilities function as normal”; 60 supporters of “Donetsk People’s Republic” man nearby protest site; State Border Service reinforces border between Kherson Oblast, occupied Crimea; Russia tows 13 of 70 Ukrainian warships from Crimean ports to “neutral” waters, returns to Kiev’s command; self-appointed governor of “Lugansk People’s Republic” makes SBU building base of ops, illegally asserts control over courts, police, sets up “joint HQ” to coordinate pro-Russia protests throughout Ukraine; Valery Bolotov commander of insurgent “Army of the Southeast”

Communist Bloc Military Updates: Kremlin bans 250,000 state employees from travelling abroad, includes military personnel, police, persons with access to state secrets, restriction for “indefinite” period, 150 countries listed, “measure designed to prevent leaks of secret information to foreign intelligence agencies”; Russian, Belarusian air forces test joint air defense system in former’s Astrakhan region, combat aircraft carry out ground strikes, follows Mar. 6 drill; Russian Air Force delegation in Serbia, inspects 250th Anti-Aircraft Brigade, 2nd Rocket Division in Jakovo; Russian inspectors at Montana’s Malmstrom AFB, ensure demolition of 18 ICBM launch facilities per 2011 arms control treaty; Kremlin inks US$470 million contract for delivery of 16 MiG-29 SMT fighters; Russia’s sole aircraft carrier leaves Med. after 3-month tour, sails for N. Fleet’s home port of Severomorsk; Russia to deploy French-built Mistral helicopter carriers to Pacific Fleet, 1st later this year, 2nd in 2015; 2 Russian warships make first-ever port of call in Pakistan, Moscow historically close to Islamabad’s archrival India

WW4 File: UKRAINE, RUSSIA AT WAR: Local pro-Russia separatist leader in Slaviansk, Vyacheslav Ponomaryov, appeals to Putin to send Russian “peacekeeping” troops to Ukraine’s Donetsk Oblast, quell “fascists” after mysterious gunmen kill 3 comrades-in-arms near flashpoint town; masked insurgent “Vladimir”: “Four cars pulled up to our roadblock around 1 am. We wanted to conduct a check, and then they opened fire on us with automatic weapons”; Moscow voices “outrage” at attack, alleges violation of Apr. 18 Geneva accord, blames Right Sector; Ukrainian neo-fascists: Kremlin claims “lies,” “propaganda” “portrays the east as ungovernable for Kiev”

Occupied Donetsk

Map showing Ukrainian cities under control of pro-Russia separatists and covert Russian special forces.


WW4 File: UKRAINE, RUSSIA AT WAR: Pro-Russia separatists reject Geneva accord, seize Seversk, 12 cities now claimed by “People’s Republic of Donetsk”; DC: Moscow cancelled planned US surveillance flight per Open Skies Treaty, “unusual” decision thwarts assess- ment of Russian troop dispositions, “reinforcements” along Ukraine border; Putin finally admits unmarked Russian special forces involved in Crimean takeover, refuses to concede same deception in mainland Ukraine; sole Russian parliamentarian to vote against annexation visits Ukraine, Ponomarev maintains Russian saboteurs in E. Ukraine, most citizens, includ- ing Russophones, support unified country; Transnistri- an agent smuggles explosives into Ukraine’s Odessa Oblast; Moldovan PM: “The Russian army [in rebel region] is trying to learn how to cross the Dniester River in a few minutes”; Japan’s ASDF observes surge of Russian strategic aviation, pilots scrambled 6 days in a row, repel six Tu-95 Bear bombers on Apr. 18 alone

WW4 File: UKRAINE, RUSSIA AT WAR: Rada enacts draft for military service, “due to Russian aggression”; patriots encouraged by victory over 300 insurgents at Mariupol National Guard base; 4-party talks in Geneva conclude with joint statement: Illegal paramilitary groups must disband, vacate state buildings, public squares, etc., protesters to enjoy amnesty, no reference to covert Russian military activity in Ukraine, Crimean occupation; “Donetsk People’s Republic,” other pro-Russia separatists defy accord, seize TV tower in Slaviansk, pull Ukrainian broadcasts, turn on Russian programs; Dnipropetrovsk Oblast governor dips into personal fortune, offers bounty for every “Russian saboteur” apprehended, additional sums for weapons seized; pro-Kremlin website quietly proclaims “Odessa People’s Republic”; Fatherland MP Moskal cites “absolutely credible sources,” warns Security Service: Russian FSB planning “massive provocation” on Apr. 28, 1,000 provocateurs to infiltrate W. Ukraine, stage “nationalist” rallies, urge “destruction” of Communists, Party of Regions supporters; SBU identifies Russia’s Sherbank as financial conduit for separatists; Rostelecom lays cable across Kerch Strait, linking occupied Crimea to Russia’s Krasnodar Krai

WW4 File: UKRAINE, RUSSIA AT WAR: Respected Ukrainian military analyst: Russian Ground Forces form “shock troops” along Ukrainian border near Chernihiv, Sumy, Kharkiv oblasts; Russian VDV, Belarusian special forces hold joint drill in N. Belarus; pro-Russia separatists (i.e., under direction of Spetsnaz) place radar stolen from Kramatorsk airfield in front of Sloviansk city council building; Ukraine’s Security Service: 1) says GRU sleeper agent Igor Bezlier assumed role of police chief of Horlivka, Donetsk Oblast; 2) detains 10 Russian saboteurs, charged with organizing mass riots; 3) releases composite drawing of Igor Strelkov, GRU officer allegedly commanding Russian special forces in SE oblasts; Ukraine’s State Border Service imposes restrictions on cross-border travel for all Russian citizens ages 16 to 60, notice sent to Aeroflot; Turchynov orders DM to disband 25th Separate Airborne Brigade, servicemen to stand trial for cowardice, surrendering to pro-Russia protesters; 15 combat vehicles used in failed anti-terrorist op return to garrison

WW4 File: UKRAINE, RUSSIA AT WAR: Putin denounces Ukraine’s leaders for using army to quell pro-Russia separatism in SE oblasts, refers to Kiev’s “grave crime,” “dragging country into abyss” (conveniently ignoring multiple Soviet/Russian “interventions” in CEE, Afghanistan, N. Caucasus during, after Cold War); concedes State Duma authorized use of Russian Armed Forces in Ukraine, but laments: “I really hope that I do not have to exercise this right”; admits for first time uniformed Russian soldiers without insignia involved in Crimean takeover; adds: Ukraine has one month to settle US$2.2 billion natural gas bill before prepayment regime kicks in; Communist Party of Ukraine boss hopeful 4-party talks in Geneva will resolve separatist crisis, Symonenko deplores use of army “against Ukrainian citizens,” annoyed by secret arrival of CIA director in Kiev last weekend; White House admits Brennan met with Ukrainian counterparts, denies advising Turchynov, Yatseniuk on tactical counter-insurgency ops

WW4 File: UKRAINE, RUSSIA AT WAR: Russia to join Ukraine, EU, USA for talks in Geneva on Apr. 17 but might be secretly planning to scuttle negotiations; Kremlin’s Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin issues troubling statement: “We are getting ready for this meeting without any preconditions, only if nothing drastic happens overnight in southeastern Ukraine”; comment may be possible allusion to full-scale military intervention in strife-wracked neighbor, or terrorist provocation carried out by Russian special forces, i.e., as outlined in Apr. 16 briefing by Ukrainian SBU; Kiev authorities post civil defense notices throughout city on Apr. 15, take them down today, reason for sudden removal unclear; capital city’s bomb shelters inspected last month

WW4 File: UKRAINE, RUSSIA AT WAR: Russian military invasion of mainland Ukraine underway as self-proclaimed Transnistrian parliament formally requests Russian Federation to annex breakaway region, Tiraspol regime seceded from Moldova in 1991, Moldovan PM Iurie Leanca condemns petition; Roman- ian president frets Putin seeking territory all the way to Danube River; Ukrainian state media: “Little green men” (i.e., uniformed Russian soldiers without insig- nia) raise Russian flags in Mariupol, near Sea of Azov, barricade city council building; gun-toting pro-Russia separatists attack National Guard base in coastal city, 3 killed, 13 wounded, 63 arrested; Mariupol strategic entry point for impending armored invasion of Donetsk Oblast; SBU counterintelligence: “Russian special services are planning to kill 100-200 people in Ukraine and then use tanks and armored vehicles”; Party of Regions holds emergency convention in Donetsk, urges militants to lay down weapons, end occupation of state buildings

WW4 File: UKRAINE, RUSSIA AT WAR: Russian military invasion of mainland Ukraine underway as “anti-terrorist” op in Donetsk Oblast flounders; Ukrainian forces recapture airfield, encounter popular, pro-Russia resistance in Slaviansk, Kramatorsk, some troops surrender to protesters, defect; Kiev: “Russian terrorist sabotage groups,” with support of local militants, blocked, seized 6 APCs, displayed Russian flags; pro-Russia gunmen (i.e., Spetsnaz) storm mayor’s office in Donetsk, regional admin HQ under occupation since Apr. 6; SBU intercepts Moscow-bound communi- cations, IDs GRU officer Igor Strelkov as mastermind behind Russian takeover of Crimea, Donetsk, Lugansk, Kharkiv oblasts; tapes conversations between pro-Russia insurgents, controllers in Russian Federation; Ukraine’s mission to EU: Two GRU “raiding groups” in Sevastopol to shortly infiltrate mainland, coordinate government building seizures in SW port city of Odessa; First Deputy PM Yarema: “Situation in Odessa quiet and under control”; NATO chief Rasmussen: Alliance’s forces in E. Europe to be strengthened “within days,” including more Baltic airspace policing, naval assets in Baltic Sea, E. Med

WW4 File: UKRAINE, RUSSIA AT WAR: Russian military invasion of mainland Ukraine underway as Ukrainians appear to fulfill Russian PM Medvedev’s “fears” of “civil war” in former Soviet republic: Angry Kiev mobs attack ex-, current Party of Regions presidential candidates: MP Tsarev brutally assaulted after comments on TV talk show, Right Sector militants haul pro-Russia separatist, businessman to SBU HQ, demand prosecution, eventually hospitalized in critical condition; ex-Kharkiv mayor Dobkin doused with flour, green antiseptic solution; Turchynov condemns attacks against Tsarev, Dobkin, rejects Svoboda’s demand for civilian militias, vows “no civil war”; Right Sector rallies outside Rada, demands closure of borders with Russia, unrestricted right to buy, carry firearms, resignation of acting president, Interior Minister Avakov, “considers their actions unprofessional, bordering on sabotage”

WW4 FILE: UKRAINE, RUSSIA AT WAR: Russian military invasion of mainland Ukraine underway as Ukraine’s leaders weigh issues affecting nation’s survival: Rada recognizes Crimea as “temporarily occupied territory”; appoints major general chief of revived National Guard, Poltorak hails from Odessa Oblast, began career in Ukraine SSR; Orange Revolutionaries, Fatherland politicians urge decisive action against pro-Russia separatists: Tomenko insists upon depriving Communist MPs of parliamentary powers; presidential candidate Tymoshenko advocates imposition of “state of emergency” in SE oblasts; Sobolev concurs: “The Verkhovna Rada should adopt the draft law on holding the elections under conditions of the public emergency and . . . ensuring army financing under condition of the military threat from the Russian Federation”; SBU launches criminal proceedings against Russian bank, central branch in Kiev conduit for financing pro-Russia separatists; Ukrainian banks flee Crimea as Simferopol-backed Russian National Commercial Bank opens for business

Communist Bloc Military Updates: Russia’s Strategic Missile Forces test-fire SS-27 Mod 2 road-mobile ICBM from Plesetsk Cosmodrome, 2nd such test since invading Ukraine’s Crimea Peninsula; CSTO chief Bordyuzha: Belarus “western outpost” of Moscow-led military alliance, Minsk’s air defenses boast “quite high capabilities”; Russia’s GLONASS navigation system crashes 2nd time in as many weeks, 8 of 24 satellites malfunction for 30 minutes; speculation: Russian military might be overloading GLONASS with requests as special forces coordinate insurgency in Ukraine’s Donetsk Oblast; Japan scrambles fighter jets to intercept 2 Russian “Bear” bombers, 2 Ilyushin Il-20 spy planes, Moscow, Tokyo quarrel over S. Kurils; Russian paratroopers landed on drifting ice floe in Arctic Ocean last week in first-ever such exercise for VDV; Kremlin pulls Voice of America off the air, refuses to renew contract, Rossiya Segodnya chief Kiselyov on US sanctions list, says Russia can reduce USA to “radioactive ash”

WW4 File: UKRAINE, RUSSIA AT WAR: Russian military invasion of mainland Ukraine underway as Russia’s 45th Airborne Regiment carries out covert ops in SE oblasts after “slow-motion” infiltration; Ukraine’s First Deputy PM Yarema: “Right now, they’ve [several hundred Russian paratroopers] concentrated their strength in Krasniy Lyman, Horlivka, Kramatorsk and Slovyansk (all in Donetsk Oblast); the terrorists are committing violent acts against police officers and are taking over government buildings”; Kiev backs up tough talk to crush insurgency: 1) Interior Ministry’s elite Omega unit, with reported fire support from Ukrainian warplanes, storms, recaptures airfield between Slaviansk, Kramatorsk, pro-Russia militants wounded, possibly some deaths, RUSSIAN SOLDIERS CAPTURED; 2) deploys first battalion of 350 National Guard troops to rebel region; revived branch of Ukrainian military includes recruits from EuroMaidan protests, ultranationalists; Parubiy Facebooks: “The soldiers have a high fighting spirit and readiness to protect Ukraine . . . I’m sure that we’ll win because God and Ukraine are with us”; state-run Ukroboronprom equips National Guard with 100 factory-new APCs, BTR-4 boasts 30mm cannon, anti-tank missiles

Ukraine is facing its own real-life “Red Dawn” scenario right now. News of developments in Europe is still available. However, if a world war erupts between NATO and CSTO over the Ukraine crisis, expect major Internet disruptions. National and international news may be impossible to obtain. The survival of your family and the defense of North America will become paramount.

In reporting on the Ukraine-Russia war, please note we are very cautious in our use of Russian media sources since Kremlin disinformation has been evident on several occasions, such as in the alleged mutiny aboard the Ukrainian Navy’s flagship frigate last month. That story turned out to be a complete lie. Typically, we will only cite Russian state media if its reports confirm that which is separately corroborated by Western media. Furthermore, while we monitor late-breaking updates in the alternate and social media, we try to wait until the story appears in the MSM before posting news.

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WW4 File: UKRAINE, RUSSIA AT WAR: Ukraine’s First Deputy PM Yarema: Party of Regions, Communist Party inciting rebellion in SE oblasts, follows regional bans against ousted regime coalition partners, attempt to pass national ban against communism; acting FM Deshchytsia: Family of deposed president Yanukovich financing separatist rallies; foreign ministry spokesman Perebyinis: Russia “doing everything” to disrupt four-party meeting in Geneva slated for Apr. 17; pro-Russia separatist leaders huddle in 11th-story room of occupied Donetsk Oblast HQ, defy Kiev, vow total control over region; Makovich: “Everything from city cleaning to the sewage system, the airport, railway stations, military … should all be under your control”; Pushilin, self-styled head of “Donetsk People’s Republic”: “One thing is clear, there will be no May 25 presidential elections for us”

WW4 File: UKRAINE, RUSSIA AT WAR: Russian military invasion of mainland Ukraine underway as NORAD carries out “training flights” over Washington DC next 2 nights, follows Mar. 19 drill; Exercise Falcon Virgo held in coordination with FAA, NCRCC, JADOC, Civil Air Patrol, U.S. Coast Guard, NORAD’s E., W. Air Defense Sectors; follows 2-week NORAD drill by Royal Canadian Air Force over N. territories; Pentagon: Russian Sukhoi Su-24 fighter jet made 12 passes by USS Donald Cook in Black Sea on Apr. 12, 2nd “Fencer” in area, observed destroyer’s response to provocation; 3 French warships also cruising Black Sea, “bolster NATO’s E. flank”; Turkish Air Force intercepts Russian spy plane, 2nd such incident in 1 week; Russian envoy to NATO Grushko: “We will take into account in our military planning any possible changes in NATO forces and configurations and . . . will take necessary measures in the interests of ensuring our security”

World war going hot soon. Shopping mall regime snoozing peacefully . . . for just a little while longer. Got civil defense? Probably not.

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WW4 File: UKRAINE, RUSSIA AT WAR: Russian military invasion of mainland Ukraine underway as Turchynov talks by phone with UN chief Ban Ki Moon, requests deployment of international peacekeeping troops; Russian Armed Forces began covert operations to seize key administrative, law enforcement, military sites in Donetsk Oblast on Sat., Apr. 12; police station in Slaviansk first target for seizure, reportedly liberated by Ukrainian special forces; masked, well-armed “pro-Russia extremists” storm, occupy Slaviansk airport, police station in Horlivka on Mon., Apr. 14; one attacker in Horlivka reportedly lieutenant colonel in Russian Ground Forces, addresses line of Ukrainian policemen in video; follows seizures of state buildings in smaller regional centers, week-old occupations of Donetsk Oblast HQ, SBU HQ in Lugansk continue

Putin has finished “picking his teeth” after tearing away Crimea from Ukraine and is now taking another “bite.” He does not appear to be concerned about the UN or NATO’s responses.

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WW4 File: UKRAINE, RUSSIA AT WAR: Moscow fomenting grave state of insurgency in E. Ukraine, covert Russian military operation definitely underway in Donetsk Oblast, follows Feb. 27-28 “Crimean formula”: Russian special forces masquerading as “pro-Russia militiamen” secured key government, military sites, airports in Simferopol, Sevastopol, airborne troops arrived within 24-28 hours, armored units still later, occupation begins; Kiev to deploy army to suppress Donetsk insurgents; Ukrainian paratroopers begin “combat missions in certain areas,” following groups mobilized: 25th Separate Airborne Brigade (Dnipropetrovsk), 80th Separate Airmobile Regiment (Lviv), 95th Separate Airmobile Brigade (Zhytomyr), 79th Separate Airmobile Brigade (Mykolaiv), 28th Separate Training Airmobile Troops Battalion (Chernihiv); FM Lavrov admits Russian citizens involved in anti-Kiev protests; UN Security Council holds emergency meeting at Russia’s request

WW4 File: UKRAINE, RUSSIA AT WAR: Moscow fomenting grave state of insurgency in E. Ukraine, covert Russian military operation definitely underway in Donetsk Oblast; Kiev’s ability to hold country together questionable with Russian Armed Forces also poised to strike, “defend” Russophones; SBU agents launch anti-terrorist op in Slaviansk on Sun., drive out pro-Russia militants (i.e., Russian special forces?) holding police station, 1 security officer killed, 5 wounded, “unidentifiable number” of casualties in separatist camp; local media: 20 gunmen who seized Kramatorsk police station on Sat. also occupied town council, threw up barricades at nearby military airport; attackers wearing matching military fatigues, toting automatic weapons, arrived by bus; “unidentified men” seize control of prosecutor’s office, police dept., city council early Sun. morning in city of Yenakievo, 60 miles from Slaviansk; 1,000 pro-Russia extremists rally in Mariupol, demand regional independence, seize mayor’s office, wave Russian flags, declare “Donetsk People’s Republic”; U.S. National Security Council: “We call on President Putin and his government to cease all efforts to destabilize Ukraine, and we caution against further military intervention”

WW4 File: UKRAINE, RUSSIA AT WAR: Kremlin’s stealth invasion of Ukraine continues as pro-Russia extremists (i.e., Russian special forces?) seize another police station in Donetsk Oblast, this time in city of Kramatorsk, police defend building, short gun battle ensues, flag of “Donetsk People’s Republic” raised; follows seizure of police station in Slaviansk by “People’s Militia of Donbass”; official buildings in town of Druzhkovka reportedly occupied by protesters; attack on police buildings in Krasny Liman late Sat. repelled; Donetsk regional police chief intimidated by separatists, resigns; acting President Turchynov summons National Security and Defense Council to “plan response”; Interior Minister Avakov: Pro-Russia violence amounts to “aggression by the Russian Federation”; Russian Armed Forces undoubtedly poised for full-scale invasion of Ukraine

WW4 File: UKRAINE, RUSSIA AT WAR: Kremlin’s stealth invasion of Ukraine continues as 15-20 masked gunmen (i.e., Russian special forces?) seize police station in Slaviansk, city of 100,000 in Donetsk Oblast, 93 miles from Russian border; police talking to attackers, but no demands issued; more masked gunmen, sporting black and orange ribbons of pro-Russia separatist movement, stand outside; Interior Minister Avakov: “The response will be very tough because there is a difference between protesters and terrorists”; Kiev backs down after deadline passes for protesters to vacate state buildings in Donetsk, Lugansk; PM Yatseniuk negotiates with regional, separatist leaders, referenda permitted, regional governors no longer appointed, no limitations on Russian language; full-scale military assault still looms as 40,000 Russian troops, tanks, artillery, fighter jets positioned at 100 sites along Ukrainian border

WW4 File: UKRAINE, RUSSIA AT WAR: Stand-off between Ukraine’s interim government, pro-Russia extremists in Donetsk, Lugansk continues; rebels reject Turchynov’s offer of amnesty, Yatseniuk meets with legitimate regional authorities in Donetsk, offers devolution of power; special forces delay anti-terrorist ops, reportedly refuse to storm oblast HQ in Donetsk, SBU regional HQ in Lugansk; Donetsk rebels return some SBU weapons, Lugansk counterparts raided SBU armory, tote assault rifles, sport bullet-proof vests; “People’s Militia of Donbass” ousted regional council on Apr. 6, proclaimed “Donetsk People’s Republic,” urged Putin to send Russian “peacekeeping” troops to region, plans to form “People’s Army”; Donetsk militia leader, neo-Nazi/communist Gubarev still in SBU custody; Kiev-appointed governor Taruta: “The decisions made by the people who have seized government institutions are unlawful”; Lugansk militia leader Mozgovoy treks to Moscow to secure backing for rebellion, Zhirinovsky and Mironov supportive, no meeting with Putin, but addressed Russian president with plea “to make decisive move to settle crisis”

Final Phase Backgrounder: Russian lawmakers blame current Ukraine crisis, “illegitimate” Yatseniuk government on collapse of Soviet Union; United Russia, Communists, Liberal Democrats request top prosecutor to investigate Gorbachev (now 83 years old) for “treason,” last Soviet president acted “illegally,” flouted results of March 1991 vote by dissolving Soviet regime; Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan to ink Eurasian Union treaty in May, build upon CIS, CSTO, Union State, EurAsEC Customs Union; Communist voted mayor of Novosibirsk, Russia’s third-largest city, unofficial capital of Siberia; red victory perceived as blow for United Russia as opposition parties bow out of race to support Anatoly Lokot; Communist HQ in Kiev torched on Apr. 9, party boss Symonenko alleges “people close to ruling parties, parliament’s majority involved in the crime,” CPU to withdraw from Rada work until arrests made, follows parliamentary punch-up with neo-fascists

Even today, we are facing the consequences of developments of 1991. People in Kiev are dying and will be dying further due to the fault of those, who made the decision to destroy the country in the Kremlin many years ago.
— Mikhail Degtyaryov, Russian Federation State Duma Deputy, Liberal Democratic Party of Russia faction

It was impossible to imagine that Ukraine and Russia could not be together. That they could be in separate states. But that is what happened. What seemed impossible, unfortunately occurred. The USSR broke up.

Some Western politicians are already trying to frighten us not only with sanctions but with the prospect of worsening internal problems. I would like to know what they mean by this: the actions of some kind of fifth column, various types of national traitors or do they expect that they can worsen Russia’s socio-economic situation and thereby trigger people’s discontent. We regard such statements as irresponsible and obviously aggressive and will respond appropriately.

— Vladimir Putin, Russian Federation President, on occasion of signing treaty to annex Crimea, March 18, 2014

Viva Golitsyn!

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March 1991 referendum on preservation of Soviet Union as “renewed federation”

WW4 File: UKRAINE, RUSSIA AT WAR: East-West war of words heats up: Russian Dep. DM: “Certain NATO countries plan massive troop deployments near Russian borders”; NATO Dep. Sec.-Gen. Vershbow: “I totally dismiss claim by Antonov that NATO plans to deploy large military contingents close to Russia’s borders”; Daily Beast: Washington refusing to share “critical” military intel with Kiev, i.e., location of Russian army units, field hospitals; senior US intel officer speculates: Ukrainian military closely aligned with Russia’s until Feb., likely penetrated by GRU; Russia places MiG-31BM interceptor aircraft on combat alert in W. oblast of Tver; Turkish Air Force intercepts Russian spy plane flying along Black Sea coast; Pentagon to temporarily augment F-16 squadron in Poland with 18 more from Germany, total of 40 US warplanes in Lask between June 2-21; follows announcement of F-16 deployment to Romania; number of NATO fighter jets patrolling Baltics to triple to 12 for 4-month rotation starting May, Estonia offers 2nd base for visiting alliance warplanes, complements Lithuania’s

WW4 File: UKRAINE, RUSSIA AT WAR: Moscow’s mantra: No army buildup along Ukraine border; Russia’s missile troops practice camouflaging mobile launchers for Topol-M, Yars ICBMs, deploying false units; Russia bolsters armored units in Bryansk oblast, N of Kiev; 76th Air Assault Division (Pskov), 106th Guards Airborne Division (Tula) in Belgorod oblast; CIS chiefs of general staffs talk mil-mil cooperation in Baku, Ukraine absent, pulling out of Moscow-led CIS, never member of CSTO; Belarus tests rapid reaction forces, follows Union State air defense exercises, tightened border controls with Ukraine, Kiev’s deployment of APCs, missile systems to NW frontier; Washington wags finger at Kremlin amid Ukraine crisis, USS Donald Cook to sail into Black Sea, replaces USS Truxton; Czech Rep. to partly integrate air force with Slovakia’s “in a few months,” offer cross-border servicing of warplanes, “interconnect” airspaces, pursue “unauthorized planes to Ukrainian border”

WW4 File: UKRAINE, RUSSIA AT WAR: Ukraine, Russia, USA, EU to hold 4-party talks next week; Kiev terminates natural gas imports from Russia; ITAR-TASS: Ukraine’s stores of gas enough for 1 month; Interior Minister Avakov: Separatist protests in SE oblasts will be “resolved within 48 hours — either through negotiations or force”; pro-Russia extremists release 51 hostages from SBU regional HQ in Lugansk, other reports deny hostage taking; SBU arrests: 1) 1 Russian citizen, 3 Ukrainians, charged with stealing, turning over SBU hard drives to FSB agent in Kharkiv, “Russian special services engaged a network of agents among residents of Lugansk, Zaporizhzhia”; 2) 23-year-old Russian female, charged with subversion, involved in clashes outside Mykolaiv oblast HQ, shot, wounded 3 people, funnelled weapons to pro-Russia extremists, tasked with spying on Ukrainian border guards along Crimean checkpoints; Polish FM on CNN’s “Amanpour” show: “Russia financing subversion in E. Ukraine using pretext of ethnic tensions”

WW4 File: UKRAINE, RUSSIA AT WAR: Contrary to earlier reports, pro-Russia extremists still holding Donetsk oblast HQ, dig in with stacks of tires, razor wire, “Ukrainian military nowhere to be seen”; more separatists, possibly in collaboration with Russian FSB agents, holding up to 60 hostages at SBU regional HQ in Lugansk, mine building with explosives, control security service’s arms warehouse; Ukraine Rada strengthens penalties for “crimes against national security,” interfering with operations of armed forces; Interior Minister: Almost 1/3 of Kharkiv police dismissed for “failure to fulfill duties” during uprising; Kerry: “What we see from Russia is an illegal and illegitimate effort to destabilize a sovereign state and create a contrived crisis with paid operatives”; Hague: “There can be no justification for this action, which bears all the hallmarks of a Russian strategy to destabilise Ukraine”; Czech President Zeman: NATO should send troops to Ukraine if Russia invades

WW4 File: UKRAINE, RUSSIA AT WAR: “Trigger event” for Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine has arrived: Acting President Turchynov: Russian “secret services” organized seizure of government buildings in Donetsk, Lugansk, Kharkiv on Sun., 70 separatists detained in last city; authorities will “liberate” SBU regional HQs in Donetsk, Lugansk; “planned provoca- tions” failed in Dnipropetrovsk, Mykolaiv; Russian Foreign Ministry: “We urge [Kiev] to immediately stop all military preparations which could lead to a civil war,” Kiev employing “US mercenaries” from Virginia-based Greystone Ltd. to suppress uprisings in SE oblasts; US envoy to OSCE: 10,000s of Russian troops on Ukraine border, “not in their normal peacetime positions or garrisons”; acting head of Presidential Admin: “No evidence businessman Akhmetov, Party of Regions faction leader Yefremov provide financial assistance to separatists”; brawl erupts in Rada as 15 Svoboda, Communist MPs start shoving, punching match, neo-fascists angered by inflammatory comments from Communist Party boss Symonenko

WW4 File: UKRAINE, RUSSIA AT WAR: Kremlin fabricates pretext to invade mainland Ukraine: Russia “concerned” over possible “leaks” of ballistic missile technology from Kiev’s defense industry; Ukrainian Air Force returns “Fulcrum” fighter jets to combat service, carries out sorties, 2 MiG-29s spotted in skies over restive SE regions today; Kiev deploys APCs, missile systems to NW border with Belarus after accusing Russia of secreting military into buffer state, Russian VDV to hold practice drops in Belarus in mid-April; Russia’s top general visits Baku, Azerbaijan in CSTO 1994-1999; CSTO: Ukraine authorities must stop “rampage of [right-wing] radicals”; Tusk: NATO to bolster military presence in Poland “within weeks”; Bucharest’s DM: USAF to deploy F-16 fighter jets to Romania for “pretty long period”; Moldovans fear Russian aggression in rebel region Transnistria, burn Putin portraits in Chisinau

WW4 File: UKRAINE, RUSSIA AT WAR: Ukrainian special forces expel pro-Russia separatists occupying Donetsk Oblast government HQ; masked extremists who seized building on Sun. armed with machine guns, RPGs; Crimea’s de facto PM Aksenov tweets: Deposed president Yanukovych has returned to Donetsk; Kharkiv activists briefly proclaim “people’s republic,” appeal to Moscow for protection, before being routed from admin HQ; police block approaches to Lugansk after regional coup attempt; Turchynov informs nation: Authorities “will deal with” separatists as terrorists, Putin’s goal “to destabilize situation in the state, over- throw Ukrainian authorities, disrupt elections and break our country into pieces”; SBU arrests 1) Russian citizen, GRU agent at border crossing, suspected of coordinating pro-Moscow rebellions in SE Ukraine; 2) self-proclaimed “people’s mayor” of Mariupol

WW4 File: UKRAINE, RUSSIA AT WAR: Possible pro-Russia coup underway in SE Ukraine as “People’s Militia of Donbass” seizes oblast government building in Donetsk, declares “people’s republic,” raises Russian flag, demands secession referendum, occupies SBU re- gional HQs in Donetsk, Lugansk, raids security service arsenal; security chief Parubiy, SBU head Nalyvaichen- ko in Lugansk to defuse situation; nationalists, separa- tists hold counter-rallies in Odessa; Turchynov: Rebellion in SE oblasts “second wave” of Kremlin operation to destabilize Ukraine; Yatseniuk: “The plan is to destabilise the situation. The plan is for foreign [i.e., Russian] troops to cross the border and seize the country’s territory, which we will not allow,” protesters have “distinct Russian accents”; Russian army 19 miles from frontier as Strategic Missile Forces carry out nuclear war drill; 2nd death in 40-day Ukraine-Russia war: Russian marine, unarmed Ukrainian naval officer in E. Crimea argue, former shoots, kills latter

Russia lost the element of surprise for a full-scale invasion of mainland Ukraine weeks ago and, thus, has resorted to subterfuge to disguise the presence of an obvious invasion force near its neighbor. As with Russia’s initial, covert invasion of Crimea on February 27 and 28, the situation in SE Ukraine is once again very fluid, but a Russian military invention is no doubt imminent. News is breaking across alternative, independent and social media, as well as Ukrainian- and Russian-language sources.

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WW4 File: UKRAINE, RUSSIA AT WAR: Ukrainian troops, tanks, armoured vehicles “dig in” along mainland border with Russia; Moscow’s Strategic Missile Forces begin 3-day exercise including 10,000 soldiers, 1,000 pieces of equipment from more than 30 units, purpose of drill to ensure Russia has “sufficient readiness to conduct offensive operations involving massive and simultaneous use of nuclear missiles”; Baltic Sea Fleet coastal defense troops carry out exercise in Kaliningrad exclave; E. Ukraine still restive: pro-Russia extremists storm regional government building in Donetsk, break into SBU regional HQ in Lugansk, rally in Kharkiv, demand independence referendum; Ukrainian reporter, neo-fascist Svoboda member, anti-Yanukovych activist found murdered in forest 60 miles from Kiev

Red Terror File: Ukraine’s crackdown against militants, saboteurs, provocateurs continues ahead of May vote; SBU arrests 15 people suspected of planning to overthrow regional government of Lugansk on April 10, confiscates 100s of rifles, grenades, petrol bombs; retired Ukrainian general: Russia might follow Crimea formula to subjugate Ukraine, infiltrate “proxies” to seize “key government buildings, infrastructure” before “large-scale invasion” of mainland; SBU chief Nalyvaichenko: Yanukovych plot to kill opponents, cling to power not only involved Russian FSB sniper team, but also “heavy aircraft” from Russia landed at Kiev International, Gostomel Airports with 5,100 kg of explosives; incident occurred on Jan. 20, one month before Yanukovych’s ouster

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WW4 File: UKRAINE, RUSSIA AT WAR: Kremlin fabricates pretext to invade mainland Ukraine: State Duma unanimously (i.e., including Communists) passes resolution condemning “political repression” of “Russian-speaking citizens” by Ukraine’s “self-proclaimed authorities,” in collaboration with “nationalist radicals,” “extremists”; Moscow statement lists known fifth columnists under SBU detention; Ukrainian Communist Party boss, presidential candidate Symonenko treks to Moscow, confers with Russian counterpart Zyuganov, discuss developments in Kiev; Lavrov: Russian army returning to bases after exercises near Ukraine border; Hagel: “There are troops that are moving around, we know that, but no indications of any significant movements of those large troop deployments . . . away from the border”

WW4 File: UKRAINE, RUSSIA AT WAR: Ukrainian deputy PM accuses Russia of planning attack from Transnistria, Tiraspol again denies reports of troop buildup; Ukraine state media: 1,000 Russian GRU agents have been infiltrated into Moldova’s Moscow-backed breakaway region to destabilize Ukraine’s neighboring Odessa Oblast ahead of presidential election, “provoke border conflict,” force “state of emergency”; Armed Forces of Transnistria building pontoon bridges across Dniester River (i.e., to Moldova proper); follows Ukraine’s capture of Transnistrian KGB agent, closure of border with Transnistria, halting of supply trains bound for Russian peacekeeping troops, banning of foreign military overflights

WW4 File: Amid deterioration of relations between NATO, Russia over Crimean annexation, North American Aerospace Defense Command begins “planned” two-week “Spring Forward” exercise over Labrador, Nunavut, Northwest Territories; Royal Canadian Air Force major: “Exercising our ability to operate at our forward operating locations across the North is crucial to ensuring we are ready to respond at a moment’s notice”; follows NORAD air defense drills over Washington/Oregon border, Houston, Washington, DC

WW4 File: UKRAINE, RUSSIA AT WAR: NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe restates fear of Russian invasion of Ukraine, suggests order to attack could be executed within 12 hours; Moscow recalls ambassador to NATO for “consultations” after N. Atlantic alliance suspends all civilian and military cooperation with Russia; Kiev’s state-owned weapons conglomerate Ukroboronprom stops deliveries to Moscow, pending termination of Russian occupation of Crimea; 16 senior Ukrainian military officers attend NATO’s Saber Guardian exercise in Bulgaria; Russia contends USA violated Montreux Convention (1936), guided-missile destroyer USS Truxton overstayed 3-week limit in Black Sea, US Navy to send another warship; Brussels-based Eurocontrol bans commercial flights to Crimea, refuses to recognize any regional air navigation authorities apart from Kiev’s