Monthly Archives: September 2014

EU/USSR2 Files: Lukewarm EU member Hungary cowers before past Russian overlord, Gazprom CEO Miller arrives in Budapest on Sept. 22, confers with pro-Moscow lackey PM Orban, offers to up natural gas shipments in exchange for ex-East Bloc state terminating reverse-flow gas supply to Ukraine; Kiev’s Naftogaz describes stoppage as “unexpected and unexplained”; Russian Energy Minister Novak rumbles: “Re-exporting Russian gas to Ukraine is illegal and could lead to some EU states going without fuel shipments from Gazprom”; Moscow stopped direct gas shipments to Ukraine in June, citing unpaid US$4.5 billion debt; in controversial July 26 speech to Hungarian-Romanians, “soft authoritarian” Orban advocated “illiberal,” nationalist state, praised Putin’s Russia, cracked down on NGO as “foreign agent”; meanwhile, Budapest’s top prosecutor asks Euro Parliament to lift immunity from Jobbik MEP suspected of spying for Russia, Hungarian paper alleges Soviet-educated neo-fascist “KGBéla” Kovács held “conspiratorial meetings” with Russian diplomats, Russian wife employed or financially backed by SVR

WW4 File: UKRAINE-RUSSIA WAR: Poland’s biannual “Anakonda” military exercise assumes new urgency in light of Russian invasion of Ukraine, memories of 1945-1992 Soviet occupation; 10-day drill kicks off at 4 test ranges in country’s N., Baltic Sea, involves nearly 11,750 Polish troops, 750 from NATO allies, including USA, UK, 4 ex-communist states; Poles contribute 120 armored vehicles, 50 anti-aircraft units, 15 missile launchers, 17 warships, 25 aircraft to repel simulated invasion under NATO’s “mutual defense article”; DM Siemoniak: “Poland’s biggest military exercise, Anakonda, has acquired special significance due to the events in Ukraine”; 1,300 NATO troops, including 200 US paratroopers, wrap up exercise near Yavoriv, W. Ukraine, U.S. Army Sec.: “If anyone questions the United States’ commitment to security in the Black Sea region, they might want to take a look at . . . Rapid Trident 14”; Ukrainian Ground Forces commander: “It goes without saying this event is very important. . . . This increases our combat readiness”; pro-Kremlin think tank lambastes “2,600-km American military front” against Russia, i.e., from Lithuania to Turkey

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Historical Flashback: Last Russian Combat Troops Withdrawn from Poland in 1992 (source)


WW4 File: UKRAINE-RUSSIA WAR: NATO spokesman, Canadian Lt. Col. Janzen confirms “significant pullback” of Russian Ground Forces from Ukraine’s Donbass, but “many thousands are still deployed in vicinity of border,” “Russian special forces are operating in Ukraine,” although “difficult to detect”; under terms of Minsk agreement, Kiev, Moscow-backed rebels agree to withdraw artillery from engagement line, create 30 km buffer zone; meanwhile, in spite of Sept. 5 cease-fire, insurgents prosecute 4-month siege of Donetsk’s Sergey Prokofiev International Airport; Ukrainian soldiers, reportedly equipped with T-72 tanks, MRLs, protected by Soviet-era nuclear-resistant fortifications fend off near-daily bombardments; control tower heavily damaged, terminal building partly collapsed, narrow strip of land connecting runway to nearby village links besieged soldiers to supply route; DPR leader Purgin says “We haven’t got the weapons to take it,” but Kiev fears Russian cargo planes could land at facility; Ukraine worries over economic retaliation from Moscow, once again hesitates over closing border with Russia

Communist Bloc Military Updates: Russia’s Eastern Military District wraps up Vostok-2014 exercise, 100,000 servicemen, “thousands of tanks and aircraft, dozens of ships” participated in combined-arms drills in Urals, Siberia, Sea of Okhotsk; “large-scale firing practice” conducted in Orenburg, Chelyabinsk, Novosibirsk regions; Air and Space Defence Forces “drilled actions in conditions of a simulated nuclear strike”; Pacific Fleet deployed in Primorsky, Kamchatka sectors, while Russian paratroopers practice thwarting hypothetical (i.e., Japanese) attack against Kuril Islands; Moscow, Tokyo technically in state of war, no peace treaty signed in 1945; Northern Fleet subs simulate torpedo attacks against enemy warships in Barents Sea, Borey-class ballistic missile sub Vladimir Monomakh successfully launches Bulava from submerged position in White Sea, SLBM hits target on Kamchatka Peninsula

WW4 File: UKRAINE-RUSSIA WAR: Putin in phone call to Poroshenko allegedly threatens to attack ex-Soviet republics, ex-East Bloc states, German media quotes: “If I wanted, in two days I could have Russian troops not only in Kyiv, but also in Riga, Vilnius, Tallinn, Warsaw and Bucharest”; follows similar comments regarding Kiev made to European Commission President Barroso; Putin’s secret war in Ukraine no longer secret: Enraged citizens take to the streets in Moscow, St. Petersburg, other cities, wave Russian and Ukrainian flags, protest undeclared military intervention in Donbass, condemn “Liars” in the Kremlin; police estimate 5,000 anti-war protesters in Moscow, Ekho Moskvy radio posits 50,000; BBC News TV crew in Astrakhan roughed up after interviewing family of soldier killed in Ukraine; surreptitious military burials, leaked transcripts of soldiers’ conversations, social media expose Kremlin deception, including demise of 80 Russian troops near Lugansk city in Aug.; Poroshenko on N. American tour addresses US Congress, welcomes White House’s US$46 million in “security assistance,” but no “lethal aid” (i.e., weapons)

WW4 File: UKRAINE-RUSSIA WAR: NATO SACEUR Gen. Breedlove on Russian Ground Forces invasion of Ukraine’s Donbass: “From a peak of well over ten battalion task groups . . . we’re now down to elements of probably four battalion task groups . . . ”; Russian DM Shoigu: Moscow plans to deploy “proper and self-sufficient troop grouping” in Crimea, Ukrainian Foreign Ministry: Russian military buildup in occupied peninsula threatens “territorial integrity of Ukraine and peace in the region”; amid shaky cease-fire, embattled Ukrainian forces at Donetsk’s international airport repel yet another artillery barrage from Moscow-backed DPR rebels on Sept. 17, 9-story building on fire, 2 civilians injured; ATO destroys “terrorist” (i.e., rebel) base, weapons stockpile near Severodonetsk; Moscow vows to send third “humanitarian” convoy into SE Ukraine; PM Yatseniuk assures cabinet Donbass autonomy law does not recognize militants of self-proclaimed Donetsk, Lugansk “People’s Republics”; some separatist leaders surprisingly warm toward autonomy law, direct import of natural gas from Russia planned

EU/USSR2 Files: Kiev, Brussels in video link, jointly ratify Association Agreement, 535 European lawmakers vote in favor, 127 against, 35 abstain; 3 Czech Communist MEPs, Social Democrat with pedigree in Prague’s pre-1989 Stalinist regime adopt Kremlin line, say no to Kiev; Poroshenko proclaims: “Since World War II, not a single nation has paid such a high price for their right to be European”; pro-Moscow predecessor Yanukovich rejected EU bid last Nov., leading to ouster in Feb., Russia’s annexation of Crimea, rebellion and (undeclared) Russian military intervention in Donbass, 3,000 war dead; additional laws advance Ukraine’s national revolution by: 1) screening 1 million civil servants for patriotism, esp. Yanukovich cronies, Communists, ex-KGB officers; and 2) granting autonomy to Donbass, amnesty but not for armed insurrectionists; Russian Foreign Ministry praises self-rule as “step in the right direction,” but Ukrainian daily laments: “This is a great victory for Putin and the Kremlin, because now they have the legitimisation of their terrorist groups in Ukraine”; Poroshenko on N. American tour comments on EU deal, tells Canadian Parliament: “That was the last farewell from Ukraine to the Soviet Union”

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