WW4 File: UKRAINE-RUSSIA WAR: Washington accuses Russian army of setting up air defenses in separatist-controlled areas of Ukraine’s Donbass, Russian Defense Ministry retorts: US troops training government forces in SE oblasts; State Dept. scoffs at Kremlin allegation, maintains trainers in W. Ukraine, nowhere near combat zone; NATO Sec.-Gen. Stoltenberg says Moscow has “substantially stepped up supplies to the rebels”; Polish FM Schetyna intimates Warsaw may send troops to help Ukraine suppress separatists, repel Russian regulars: “We cannot exclude that in case of renewed escalation of military actions, we will be forced . . . to take a decision on stronger support for the Ukrainian state, including its defense capacities”; Poland to train 50 Ukrainian army instructors in 2015; Polish-Lithuanian-Ukrainian military command to be HQed in Lublin, 4,500-man trilateral brigade fully operational in 2016; Warsaw to outlay US$37 billion in massive defense upgrade, replace Soviet-era arsenal with 8 Patriot missile batteries, 50 Airbus multi-purpose helos, tender planned for 20-30 attack choppers

Communist Bloc Military Updates: Russia drawing “neutral” Serbia into its military orbit as latter walks tightrope between NATO, CSTO; Russian ambassador to Serbian lawmakers: “NATO is being very active in Serbia. It would suit Serbia’s interest to maintain good relations with the ODKB [CSTO] as well”; DM Gasic travels to Moscow, meets Russian counterpart Shoigu, discusses regional security issues (i.e., Ukraine); Russian, Serbian air forces planning joint drill in September (unclear where), Russian Defense Ministry: “Aircrew on MiG-29 fighters will perform tasks to intercept air targets, while Mi-8 military transport and combat helicopters will work on tactical landings, covering ground units from the air, firing missiles at ground targets . . .”; Russian, Belarusian and Serbian armies to hold trilateral drill in autumn 2015 (unclear where); Belgrade to buy 2 Russian military helos; Serbian political scientist on Pres. Nikolic’s, army’s presence at Putin’s planned Victory Day military parade: “We are definitely part of the coalition [of victors], considering how many Serbs were killed in the Second World War . . .”

WW4 File: UKRAINE-RUSSIA WAR: Ukraine’s top general, Col.-Gen. Muzhenko, identifies specific Russian military units operating in Donbass: “. . . Ukrainian army inflicted heavy losses on the Russian army, and disrupted Russia’s aggressive plans for further advance . . . regular units of the Russian army are still in Ukraine . . . such as the 15th Separate Motor Rifle Brigade of the 2nd Central Military District Army, 8th Motor Rifle Brigade, 331st Airborne Regiment from Kostroma, 98th Airborne Division and other[s]”; 290 US paratroopers arrive near Lviv, start joint exercise “Fearless Guardian 2015” with 900 Ukrainian service- men; Lithuanian DM urges EU to recognize Russia as “aggressor state,” says “NATO should be developing deterrent and defense forces”; Rada lawmaker Andry Teteruk maintains “some” OSCE observers in combat zone Russian FSB agents; Ukraine urges ICC to investigate alleged Russian war crimes in occupied Crimea, while Moscow dissuades Kiev, NATO against future attempts to recapture peninsula, bolsters seapower, airpower in Crimea, plans to sink US$2.2 billion into upgrading region’s infrastructure in 2015, create “analogue of Silicon Valley”

WW4 File: UKRAINE-RUSSIA WAR: NORAD/ NORTHCOM chief, Adm. Gortney, admits Russia still threat to N. American security: “This past year has marked a notable increase in Russian military assertiveness. Should these trends continue over time, NORAD will face increased risk in our ability to defend N. America against Russian air, maritime and cruise missile threats. We watch very carefully what they are doing”; Gortney to reporters: NORAD moving communications gear back to Cheyenne Mtn., nuclear bunker “EMP-hardened,” reverses 2006 relocation to Petersen AFB in Colorado Springs; Gortney to Senate Armed Services Cmte.: Upgrade needed for North Warning radar sites across Canadian Arctic, current installations unable to track “low-altitude cruise missiles”; Russia’s top general, Valery Gerasimov, reiterates Kremlin’s late-2000s threat to target missile shield in former East Bloc (e.g., Poland, Romania, etc.): “Nonnuclear powers where missile-defense installations are being installed have become the objects of priority response”; Moscow brands new Nordic Pact between NATO, non-NATO militaries of N. Europe “confrontational”

Park whistlin’ emoticon here.

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WW4 File: UKRAINE-RUSSIA WAR: NATO top cmdr., U.S. Gen. Breedlove, demands “Russia stops fuelling conflict” by sending troops, weapons to Ukraine separatists, abide by terms of Minsk 2 ceasefire; 50 NATO warships, 13,000 seamen hold maneuver near N. Scotland as Russian inspection team arrives at RAF Lossiemouth to monitor “Joint Warrior,” Typhoons chase away Russian Bear bombers (again), and Russian spy ships (“fishing trawlers”) lurk off UK coast; 450 troops from USA, Portugal, Poland, Lithuania hold artillery exercise Fire Thunder 2015 in ex-Soviet republic; 2,200 more from USA, UK, Moldova, Romania carry out Wind Spring 15 drill in Black Sea country, Romanian FM Dusa: “We will permanently rotate troops on this [NATO’s SE] flank”; USA contributes 290 troops, Canada 200, UK 75 to multinational training force in W. Ukraine, Pentagon military advisers to train Ukrainian National Guard; Polish biker incensed by Russian motorcycle club’s plan to re-trace WW2 route of Red Army to Berlin via Poland, “Night Wolves” fighting alongside Donbass rebels, urges “brother” bikers to block Russian convoy, “put aggressors in their place”; Polish PM Kopacz calls planned ride “provocation,” Putin rode with gang in Crimea in 2010

Putin invades Poland at head of motorcycle gang . . . yup, gotta see that one!

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USSR2 File: Russia subverts, divides West, preps for domestic unrest: 1) Putin, Medvedev woo Greece’s leftist PM during Tsipras’ state visit to Moscow, cagey about bailout for cash-strapped Greeks, meanwhile 100s of anarchists (once again) clash with Athens police; 2) Kremlin spokesman Peskov scoffs at CNN report “Russian government” hacked into US State Dept. computers, Obama’s schedule in Oct. 2014; 3) “International Russian Conservative Forum” draws 400 neo-fascists to St. Petersburg on Mar. 22, attendees from Bulgaria’s Ataka, Greece’s Golden Dawn, Germany’s NDP, Italy’s New Force, British National Party, FM of (terrorist group) “Donetsk People’s Republic”; “rightist Comintern” reportedly organized by Russian Dep. PM, Rogozin under US sanctions; 4) Kremlin invites dictators of Red China, N. Korea, Vietnam to view Victory Day military parade, “neutral” Serbia, PRC to send troops for May 9 march-past; Czech, Greek, Cypriot presidents beholden to pro-Russia lobbies, plan for Red Square appearances, Zeman bans US envoy from Prague Castle after row; 5) Kremlin fears repeat of 2011-2013 mass protests, 2014 Ukrainian Revolution, Interior Ministry troops hold “Barrier 2015” exercise, practice crushing demos with “irritant gases, water cannons and various types of military technologies and special weapons of non-lethal impact”

EU/USA Files/Useful Idiots Bin: NORAD responds to Russian Air Force provocations with “Polar Growl” exercise, Pentagon dispatches 4 Stratofortress bombers on missions over North Pole, North Sea, RCAF ensures safe passage for B-52s flying over Canada to bases in N. Dakota, Louisiana, USAF Stratotankers refuel Canadian CF-18s; 200 airmen, 12 F-15Cs of Florida Air National Guard’s 125th Fighter Wing head to Netherlands, Bulgaria for 3-month deployment, “bolster NATO forces in E. Europe set on edge by Russian aggression in the region”; Poland to erect guard towers along border with Russia’s Kaliningrad exclave, hosts Patriot missile battery, 100 U.S. troops near Warsaw, Poles heed call to receive army training “in case of an invasion”; Latvia to impose military service on university students in 2016, joins Lithuania in countering Russian revanchism; Norwegian businessman buys mothballed Olavsvern sub base in 2013, rents impregnable Arctic mountain hideaway to Russian research firms, 3 Russian vessels overwinter in facility; Vice Admiral (Ret.) Einar Skorgen: “We sold the only base worthy of the name that we had up there. It’s pure madness”

WW4 File: UKRAINE-RUSSIA WAR: Rebel mortar, tank fire hits Ukrainian army positions around Mariupol in past 24 hours, breaches Minsk 2 ceasefire, 2 soldiers killed, 4 wounded in combat zone; General (Ret.) Wesley Clark: Renewed Russian offensive in Ukraine “imminent,” “most probably” take place between Orthodox Easter (April 12), Russia’s VE Day (May 8); “[S]ome 9000 Russian Federation personnel and 30 to 35,000 separatist fighters are in eastern Ukraine. These forces include some 400 tanks and 700 pieces of artillery, including rocket launchers . . . 50,000 Russian military personnel are located along or near Russia’s border with Ukraine. A further 50,000 . . . are located in Crimea”; Ukraine’s Justice Minister Petrenko: Law- makers preparing to ban Communist Party by May 9; SBU interrogates CPU boss for 10 hours, Symonenko questioned concerning attendance at Communist meeting in Moscow, public statements; CPU cadres in Dnipropetrovsk, Odessa arrested on charges of terrorism in past weeks, months; SBU detains Russian citizen on charges of organizing bombings in Kharkiv, suspected of holding post in outlawed “Donetsk People’s Republic,” IED, ammo found in accused woman’s residence

EU File: NATO counters Russian aggression in Ukraine’s Crimea, Donbass, possible thrusts toward Mariupol, Odessa, Baltic states, with ongoing “Atlantic Resolve” deployments, drills in FSU, ex-Soviet Bloc; Latvia hosts troops from Lithuania, Germany, Luxembourg, USA, Canada, NATO’s “Summer Shield” designed to “enhance Latvian Land Force’s capacity and capability to integrate fire-and-maneuver at battalion and brigade level’; Pentagon deploys: 1) 12 A-10 Thunderbolt IIs to Romania, mission designed to “deter Russian aggression in region,” follows arrival of 4 “Warthog” tank-buster aircraft in Poland; 2) 12 F-15s to Bulgaria for joint exercise; 3) 290 US paratroopers from Italy-based 173rd Airborne Brigade to W. Ukraine for joint training with 900 Ukrainian National Guardsmen; NATO military chief, Gen. Breedlove, comments on recent US Army Stryker convoy through Baltics, Poland, Czech Rep., Germany: “The exercise tested many things that hadn’t been done for a long time in NATO … like multiple border crossings and which bridges are capable of handling the vehicles”; Lithuanian State Security Dept. claims 1/3 of Russian diplomats in EU spying for Russia’s SVR, warns “Moscow could test the alliance with unconventional tactics”

Breedlove’s comments are noteworthy. “Dragoon Ride” was more than a morale booster for Central and Eastern Europeans fearful of another Russian invasion/occupation. NATO is testing its own abilities in its main theater of operation: Europe.

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WW4 File: UKRAINE-RUSSIA WAR: Russian generals to US officials at March mtg. in Germany: Kremlin will use nukes to defend Crimea annexation, if NATO deploys more forces to Baltic states; Ukrainian troops, volunteer battalions hold their ground in village 9 miles E of Mariupol as rebel artillery regularly breaches “Minsk 2” ceasefire; Russian merc on leave in St. Petersburg talks to BBC News, admits Russian regulars fighting alongside separatists: “All operations, especially large-scale ones, are led by Russian officers, by Russian generals. They develop plans together with our commanders … and then we fulfil the orders . . . our tanks came to help us. It was the Russian Army . . . Thanks to them, thanks to that heavy weaponry, we took Debaltseve”; DPR militants raid industrial sites in Donetsk O., ship equipment to Russia in 20 semi-trailer trucks; Kiev accuses Transnistrian KGB of destabilizing SW border after Moldovan citizen shot, injured; Ukraine arrests 3 Communists on charges of organizing spate of bombings in divided port city of Odessa, SBU chief Nalyvajchenko: “When the Russians openly invaded Ukraine, the Communists acted as collaborators and policemen helping the Kremlin in Crimea and Donbas”

In Belarus and the unrecognized, Moscow-backed “statelets” of Transnistria (Moldova) and South Ossetia (Georgia), the security services are still known by their dreaded Soviet-era name, KGB.

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EU File: UK responds to Russian aggression in Ukraine, provocations near British airspace: RAF launches defense exercise over NE England, largest since Cold War, “Rising Panther” includes 30 Typhoon fighters, Tornado strike aircraft, AWACS; 16,000 British troops, Challenger 2 tank units prep for potential “foreign” deployment, 4-week exercise includes live-fire drill on Salisbury Plain; follows news of Kremlin warplane deal for Argentina, renewed threat to Falkland Islands; Moscow denies reports in talks with Buenos Aires to lease supersonic bombers, but refuses to rule out future possibility; USAF A-10 Thunderbolt II tank-buster planes arrive in Poland, join Polish F-16s, Su-22s in ongoing “Atlantic Resolve” “security reassurance mission” in ex-Warsaw Pact states; 1000s of Czechs welcome US Army Stryker convoy making its way to German base from Baltic states, Communists, No to Bases group hold anti-USA/NATO demo in Prague; Bohumil Doležal: “Face to face with the protests of the Communists and the pro-Russian lobby, we would like today to cordially welcome American soldiers in the Czech Republic and express our solidarity with the allies in NATO . . .”

It is expected that in 10 years Russia will completely modernize its stock of ICBMs. At present, this arsenal is evenly split beween Soviet-era and post-Cold War missiles.

Demands for defense budget increases. Nearly continuous NATO military exercises. Europe’s worried.

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WW4 File: UKRAINE-RUSSIA WAR: Ukrainian soldiers, Mariupol civilians unimpressed by “Minsk 2” ceasefire deal, still await siege after 8 months of sporadic artillery/missile attacks by Donbass rebels, Russian regulars, volunteer battalions claim to have destroyed force of 29 Russian paratroopers in town of Shyrokine, report arrival in Krasnodon of 20 train cars loaded with ammunition from Russia; speaker of Chechnya’s pro-Moscow regional parliament, United Russia member reacts to US Congress vote to send weapons to Ukraine, urges Chechnya to arm Mexico for attack against USA, reconquest of SW states, Kremlin spokesman Peskov downplays startling remarks on Chechen government website; Russia, in person of ambassador to Copenhagen, threatens to target Danish warships with nuclear missiles if Scandinavian country joins NATO missile defense, Mar. 24 Russian bomber/fighter sortie made “supersonic dash” for Denmark across Baltic Sea

Latin America File: Commons Defense Cmte. urges UK to rearm in face of Russian aggression in Ukraine, reverse post-Cold War slide in conventional, nuclear weapons capabilities; Def. Sec. Fallon replies: “The UK has the second largest defense budget in NATO and the largest in the EU,” promises to bolster 1,200-troop garrison in Falkland Islands, follows news of Russia’s intent to lease 12 all-weather attack aircraft to leftist regime in Buenos Aires; top Russian politician tweets: “Attention London: Crimea has far more reason to be in Russia than the Falklands have to be part of Great Britain”; Russian FM visits Nicaragua, meets Pres. Ortega (probably discuss Kremlin bit part in PRC canal megaproject, sale of Russian fighter jets to Managua), moves on to Cuba, meets Pres. R. Castro (probably discuss US trade embargo/diplomatic thaw, Russian spy ship once again anchored in Havana Harbor); Lavrov sidesteps top arms client Venezuela, shows up in neighboring Colombia, slams US sanctions against socialist regime in Caracas; Lavrov, Argentine FM Timerman attend meeting of Central American Integration System in Guatemala

EU File: Greece’s leftist PM Tsipras flouts EC-ECB-IMF troika, bailout stipulations, implements anti-austerity measure, disburses US$213 million in food stamps, free electricity to poorest citizens, plays “Russia card,” bumps up by 1 month planned trip to Moscow, now Apr. 8, spooks European leaders with prospect of Russian investment in Greece’s state assets; 1,000 anarchists riot in streets of Athens, demand closure of maximum-security prisons, release of imprisoned terrorists, both anarchists and Marxists; 2nd group of anarchists ends 6-day occupation of Athens Law School after government issues no-arrest order; 10,000 “Blockupy” militants descend on Frankfurt, stage violent anti-capitalist protest outside new HQ of European Central Bank, torch police cars, 80 officers injured, many radicals bussed in from Berlin, 350 arrested; European-wide alliance of leftists backed by Greece’s ruling Syriza, Germany’s “ex”-communist Left, Spain’s upstart Podemos

Communism’s dead. Meanwhile, across Europe . . .

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EU/USSR2 Files: Russia celebrates anniversary of annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea, effectively annexes South Ossetia in Kremlin ceremony, follows similar move with Abkhazia in Nov. 2014; rebel leader Tibilov meets fellow Chekist Putin, signs document integrating Georgian region’s security forces, military, customs services into Russia’s, submits to plan “outlining how Russia will protect the borders of South Ossetia”; Georgia’s Foreign Ministry, EU condemns Moscow-Tskhinvali “treaty” as “actual annexation”; NATO fighter jets intercept 6 Russian warplanes over Baltic Sea amid Russian naval drill, aggression in Ukraine’s Donbass; neutral Sweden deploys 150 troops to Gotland after 10-year absence, DM Hultqvist: “Gotland has a strategic location in the Baltic Sea . . .”; senior Estonian politician concurs: “Gotland is a big worry for us. It could be overrun by Russia in minutes and then all of us would be highly vulnerable to an attack”; 100 US troops to conduct Patriot missile battery exercise with Poland’s 3rd Warsaw Air Defense Missile Brigade in late March, 200 US soldiers from 1st Brigade Combat Team, with tanks, arrive in Poland, stay until June

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Leonid Tibilov, Chief of South Ossetian KGB, 1992-1998 (bio)

Red Dawn Alert/Communist Bloc Military Updates: Putin rematerializes in public after 10-day vanishing act provokes flurry of speculation, defends Crimea takeover in TV documentary, considered use of nukes; Kremlin announces deployment of nuclear-capable Tu-22M3, Tu-95 bombers to occupied Crimea, Iskander missiles to Kaliningrad exclave, part of “exercises”; 5-day Arctic region drill involves N. Fleet, 38,000 Russian servicemen, 50 surface ships and submarines, 110 aircraft; 3,000 troops drilled on Sakhalin Island, Kamchatka Peninsula, other areas in Russian Far East; Venezuela’s Marxist dictator, Putin ally alleges recent US sanctions against 7 officials “bid to topple him,” Maduro secures decree powers from lawmakers, mobilizes 80,000 troops, 20,000 red-shirted civilians for 10-day “Bolivarian Shield” military exercise, naval, air defense, artillery units train with visiting counter- parts from Russia, Red China; Venezuelan DM Padrino: “The United States has declared Venezuela a threat. And that means an imminent danger for us . . .”

Blogger’s Note: Behind the New Iron Curtain: A picture of daily life in Putin’s Russia

In the mid-1990s your resident blogger’s wife visited Russia several times and made a number of friends. Several months ago, she managed to get in touch with one of these old friends. This Russian citizen, whose name and town of residence are withheld, offered the following observations of daily life under the Putinist regime:

Life here is very depressing. I am not sure to what extend you follow the news. People around us are brainwashed with TV propaganda.  They see the western world as an enemy and only “mother Russia” acts correctly. Economically everything goes to the bottom, life became very expensive.

We are glad that we don’t have now children to look after. It would be a terrible burden now. We also are very glad that [our daughter] moved out of this country. 

*    *    *

He can use my comments, of course. I read the news from newly opened site meduza.io. I think your husband knows that Lenta.ru was closed by the government last year and its chief Galina Тimchenko started a new project but from Riga [i.e., capital of Latvia]. I also installed Tor which allows me to read three forbidden sites Kasparov.ru, Grani.ru, ej.ru. On the territory of Russia they are blocked. I personally value the articles of Garry Kasparov, Andrey Piontkovsky, Andrey Illarionov. There are other authors too.

My husband and I can openly talk about the situation here only with 2 people around us. The rest are brain washed. Something really bad will come out from Russia. We are ashamed of us.

EU File: Athens raises stakes in struggle with Berlin over bailout terms, insists upon dealing separately with EU, ECB, IMF on extension, threatens to seize German property as compensation for WW2 atrocities; Greek anarchists on the rampage: 150 masked supporters of Conspiracy of Fire Nuclei (SPF) occupy law school in Athens, demand release of jailed comrades, convicted terrorist, Marxist Savvas Xiros, ex-cadre of defunct Revolutionary Organization 17 November, older brother Christodoulos also imprisoned since 2002, re-captured in Jan. 2015 after dodging temporary leave provisions 12 months earlier, threatening New Democracy-led government with “armed action”; 50 anarchists storm leftist ruling party HQ on Mar. 8, occupy Syriza office for 9 hours, 300 anarchists staged anti-EU/anti-austerity demo outside Athens U. on Feb. 26; SPF anarchists launched campaign of violence in 2008, bombing banks, car dealerships; Golden Dawn fuehrer Mihaloliakos, 70 followers, including 13 lawmakers, to stand trial in April, charged with belonging to “criminal organization,” neo-Nazis cry “political persecution”

EU File: New Cold War in Europe: NATO, Russian warships conduct concurrent drills in Black Sea amid Ukraine crisis, 8,000 Russian servicemen begin multi-branch drills throughout country, occupied Crimea, Abkhazia, S. Ossetia, includes urban, naval warfare, slated to last into early April; Lithuania reintroduces conscription, Poland alters draft rules for potential return to mandatory army training, preps for countrywide defense drills involving all levels of government, slated for 2nd half of 2015; Polish Dep. DM Mroczek: Supplier for medium-range missile defence to be selected within “next few weeks,” US firm Raytheon, consortium of France’s Thales and European MBDA shortlisted for US$5 billion deal; previously reported: Poland shifts 1,000s of troops to E. borders (i.e., adjacent to Russian exclave Kaliningrad, Russian ally Belarus), restores light infantry units of WW2-era Home Army; Norway re-opens Arctic bases closed since Cold War, “restructures” armed forces to respond faster to “increased Russian aggression”; Sweden to counter Russian military activity near coasts, buy 70 new fighter jets, subs

WW4 File: UKRAINE-RUSSIA WAR: Kiev to tap into US$17.5 billion IMF loan, Managing Director Lagarde seeks Ukraine’s “immediate economic stabilization”; USA to ship $75 million in non-lethal aid to Ukraine, including counter-mortar radar, aerial drones, radios, medical equipment; President Obama approves shipment of 20 armored Humvees, up to 200 unarmored Humvees “under a separate authority”; Moscow-backed separatists, covert Russian regulars continue artillery attacks against villages near Mariupol in spite of Feb. 12 ceasefire, most residents of Shyrokine flee, Azov Battalion: “They keep accumulating man power and military equipment. We also have information that there around 30 tanks are located there”; towns of Avdeyevka, Opytne, Kamianka, positions of Ukrainian military near Pisky, Maiorsk also come under mortar, grenade fire in recent days; Ukrainian air defenses track 6 aerial drones over Mariupol; municipal government runs civil defense drills, estimates 30% of city’s population supports Ukraine, 30% rebels, 40% undecided; ex-Rada deputy, Communist Party cadre Sergiy Gordienko arrested on charge of impeding peaceful protest under Yanukovich regime

Asia File/Communist Bloc Military Updates: New Cold War in SE Asia: Washington asks Hanoi to close Cam Ranh airport to Russian Air Force, Russian aerial tankers, strategic bombers using facility to refuel, support “provocative” flights in NE Pacific, around Guam; US State Dept.: “We have urged Vietnamese officials to ensure that Russia is not able to use its access to Cam Ranh Bay to conduct activities that could raise tensions in the region”; Hanoi replies angrily: “Washington’s demand that Vietnam [stops allowing refueling planes to land] can be seen as nothing else but interference in the internal affairs of Vietnam, a sovereign state which determines its own policies for cooperating with its friends and partners”; Vietnam’s highest-ranking Communist Party official travelled to Sochi in Nov. 2014, met Putin, inked agreement on “simplified entry” of Russian warships to Cam Ranh’s deep-water port; Russian-built Kilo-class diesel-powered submarine sailed into Cam Ranh in Jan., 3rd such vessel commissioned into Vietnam’s navy; USAF used Cam Ranh during Vietnam War to repel forces from Communist North, shut down ops in 1972, handed over facility to South’s government; Soviet/Russian Navy took over Cam Ranh in 1979, withdrew personnel in 2002

EU File/Communist Bloc Military Updates: New Cold War in Europe: First shipment of 250 US tanks, fighting vehicles arrives in Latvian capital, N. Germany on Mar. 9, 500 to follow; US military official to BBC News: US armor will be “pre-positioned for deployment so we can more quickly react to crises” [i.e., possible Russian re-invasion of Baltics]; NATO multilateral naval drill kicks off in Black Sea, involves warships from USA, Canada, Germany, Italy, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey; Russia completely withdraws from 1990 Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty, ends participation in Joint Consultative Group, finalizes Moscow’s 2007 unilateral moratorium on implementation, Belarus to play part of “spy” on CFE JCG; 2,000 Russian servicemen carry out air defense drills in N. Caucasus, Georgia’s occupied regions of Abkhazia and S. Ossetia, Ukraine’s occupied region of Crimea; Dep. DM Antonov pleads national security: “NATO activity is much higher than that of the Russian armed forces”; Russian arms control official: “I don’t know if there are nuclear weapons there [in Crimea] now. I don’t know about any plans, but in principle Russia can do it”

EU File/Communist Bloc Military Updates: New Cold War in Europe: Pentagon to deploy 3,000 troops, 750 tanks, helicopters to Baltic states, exercises expected to last 3 months, but Gen. John O’Conner says “equipment [presumably US soldiers too] will stay for as long as required to deter Russian aggression” (i.e., in Ukraine, other former Soviet republics); follows participation of US armor in Independence Day parade in Estonian city of Narva, 300 yards from Russian border; 550 troops of Germany-based US Army 2nd Cavalry Regiment, 75 Stryker combat vehicles take part in live-fire component of “Atlantic Resolve” drill in N. Poland; NATO maneuvers come on heels of provocative intrusions by Russian nuclear bombers into British, Irish airspace; Tu-95s skim S. English coast near Southhampton, Royal Navy base at Portsmouth, lurk 25 miles off Irish coast in separate incident, deactivate transponders, force commercial airliners to “dodge” Bears; Russian fighter jets based out of Novofedorvka in occupied Crimea launch practice attacks against NATO warships in Black Sea, sortie of 3 Su-30s, 4 Su-24s overflew guided-missile cruiser USS Vicksburg, Turkish frigate

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The Balts are worried and perhaps the Pentagon suspects the Russians are planning further interventions on behalf of ethnic Russians outside the “Motherland.”


Red Terror File/WW4 File: UKRAINE-RUSSIA WAR: Sr. NATO official: Russian soldiers dying in “large numbers,” fighting alongside Donbass separatists, US Army Europe commander: 12,000 Russian troops deployed in SE Ukraine; Nemtsov intended to publish evidence of military intervention in Ukraine before his assassination; President Poroshenko posthumously awards Russian politician with “Order of Freedom”; KGB/FSB chief Bortnikov: 4 Chechens arrested in connection with Nemtsov murder, one of two principal suspects ex-soldier in Chechnya’s Interior Ministry; National Review: “[T]his murder bears the hallmarks of Russian intelligence. Watch the video of Nemtsov’s murder: It’s only when a government vehicle conceals Nemtsov from other drivers and the camera that the murderers strike. After executing Nemtsov, the shooter runs to a getaway car . . . The team escapes and Nemtsov bleeds out . . . The clinical timing . . . and the selected location . . . strongly suggest the culprits had military and intelligence training”

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Nemtsov’s murder proves that Putin will stop at nothing to conceal his “secret war” in Ukraine.

Red Terror File: Knife-wielding left-nationalist attacks US ambassador in Seoul, Mark Lippert attending breakfast hosted by Korean Council for Reconciliation and Cooperation, facial wound required 80 stitches, arm slashed, nerve damage expected; Kim Ki-Jong subdued, shouts slogans against annual US-South Korean military exercise, tells police “Today I committed a terrorist act”; boasting history of assaults, trips to North Korea, anti-USA demos stretching back to mid-1980s, convicted criminal Kim hurled pieces of concrete at Japanese envoy in 2010; Kim’s organization Urimadang (“Our Square”) dedicated to Korean unification; SK President Park Geun-hye calls incident “not only a physical attack on the U.S. ambassador in South Korea but also an attack on the Korea-U.S. alliance and we will not tolerate it”; Pyongyang’s official propaganda agency praises bloody attack against Ambassador Lippert as “just punishment,” “expression of resistance,” refers to Kim’s weapon as “knife of justice”; Seoul bans Unified Progressive Party, leftist lawmakers accused in 2013 of plotting to overthrow government in event of NK invasion

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Flashback: 2013 South Korean Sabotage Plot (source)

Red Terror File: Russia’s liberal opposition leader Nemtsov, former first deputy PM under President Yeltsin, gunned down near Kremlin at 11:40 p.m., Feb. 27, unknown assailants emerge from car, shoot anti-Putin critic four times in back; Nemtsov planned to participate in March 1 demo against Russia’s covert military intervention in Ukraine, predicted own murder in Feb. 10 interview: “I’m afraid Putin will kill me”; Russian dictator admits murder probably “contract killing,” sends telegram of condolence to Nemtsov’s mother, orders KGB/FSB to probe (i.e., cover-up) murder; Ukrainian President Poroshenko accuses Putin aide, Kremlin ideologist Surkov of sending hit team to Kiev’s Maidan in Feb. 2014, orchestrating sniper killings of protesters; SBU chief Nalivaichenko: “[SBU Alpha special forces unit] members gave us concrete information about the positions of foreign sniper groups that were targeting both protesters … and Interior Ministry police officers. There’s [evidence] of their ranks, last names, copies of their passports, dates of arrival and departure, what cellphone network they used, where they stayed and how Putin’s advisor Surkov coordinated their activity in Kiev”

WW4 File: UKRAINE-RUSSIA WAR: Moscow-backed Donbass rebels concentrate firepower, keep up attacks near Ukrainian port city of Mariupol, follows lengthy siege of strategic railway town of Debaltseve, Feb. 17 retreat of government troops, shaky implementation of 2nd ceasefire since Sept.; NATO countries to send military advisers to regions outside combat zone: US military to train four companies of National Guard near Polish border; USAF deploys 12 A-10 tank-busters to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Thunderbolts to be later “forward deployed to other partner nations in E. Europe”; UK troops to train Ukrainian counterparts in medical, logistics, intelligence, infantry skills; Polish defense official: “The defense ministry intends to send Polish instructors to support the training of Ukrainian non-commissioned officers”; German BfV chief Hans-Georg Maaßen: Russia reverting to “Soviet-style” spying in Europe, ferreting out NATO intentions regarding Ukraine crisis

Red Dawn Alert/Communist Bloc Military Updates: Russia counters NATO military buildup in ex-Soviet Bloc, political and non-lethal military support for Ukraine, DM Shoigu conducts official visits to leftist allies in Caribbean Basin, arranges joint naval/air defense exercise with Venezuela for late 2015, second such drill since 2008, reaffirms Moscow’s commitment to arm Venezuelan military, follows socialist president Maduro’s Jan. trip to Moscow, conference with Putin, OPEC leaders on global oil price collapse; Shoigu travels on to Managua, Havana, praises Ortega, Castro for opening up harbors to Russian warships, pledges Moscow’s technical involvement in Chinese-led Nicaragua Canal megaproject; Gen. Zepeda, chief of Nicaraguan MI, comments on planned purchase of Russian-built MiG-29 fighter jets, disavows intent to attack C. American neighbors: “We plan to buy a batch of warplanes that would be used only for defence purposes, not for air strikes”; Kremlin’s top general Gerasimov announces military drills with Cuba, North Korea, other states: “We are planning an expansion of the communication lines of our military central command. We are entering preliminary negotiations with the armed forces of Brazil, Vietnam, Cuba and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea”

With news like this, it is obvious that the Communist Bloc militaries are pooling their resources for a collective blow against the USA and its allies. NATO’s “meddling” in Ukraine will be Moscow’s pretext for a preemptive strike. If Nicaraguan past/present dictator Ortega equips his tiny air force with MiG-29s, who’s to say these aircraft won’t actually be piloted by Russians, who can then provide cover for strategic bombers that have already made provocative touchdowns in Caracas and Managua?

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Red Dawn Alert/WW4 File: UKRAINE-RUSSIA WAR: Ukrainian National Guard launches offensive against Donbass rebels near Mariupol, covert Russian regulars led deadly missile attack against strategic port city on Jan. 24; President Poroshenko visits Kramatorsk on Wed., after 15 civilians, soldiers killed in rebel rocket barrage day before; travels to Minsk for talks with leaders of France, Germany, Russia, then Brussels for EU summit; NATO more than doubles size of rapid reaction force to 30,000 soldiers, 6 command centers to be set up in Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Baltic republics; Germany to send 1,700 troops to Poland, join NATO’s “Sober Strike” exercise, unprecedented deployment possibly first since WW2-era Nazi occupation, bound to agitate Polish nationalists; Russian DM Shoigu plans visit to leftist allies in Caribbean, negotiate with Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua on weapons sales, naval maintenance/resupply sites, refueling Russian nuclear bombers on “global patrol missions”; Russian Tu-160s landed in Caracas, Managua in 2008, 2013; President Ortega (possibly anticipating revenue from Chinese-built Nicaragua Canal) submits order for Russian-made MiG-29s, failed Soviet warplane deal during first Sandinista regime (1979-1990) worried Reagan Admin

EU File: Greece’s leftist-led, anti-austerity government receives vote of confidence in parliament ahead of emergency meeting with Eurozone finance ministers; Germany rejects new debt accord as PM Tsipras’ right-wing coalition partner, DM Kammenos hints Athens may accept bailout from Moscow after all: “[I]f there is no deal . . . and if we see that Germany remains rigid and wants to blow apart Europe . . . [then] Plan B is to get funding from another source. It could the United States at best, it could be Russia, it could be China . . .”; Russian FM Lavrov butters up the Greeks: “We appreciate the stance of the Greek government [vis-à-vis European Union]”; Syriza’s internal “Communist Tendency” praises Tsipras for standing up to EU, Berlin: “SYRIZA’s Communists welcome the government’s intentions not to give in to the provocative ultimatums of Germany, and to the ECB’s attempt to suffocate the Greek banking system”; Tsipras decides to privatize Port of Piraeus after sending mixed signals, Beijing-owned COSCO front-runner to buy state’s 67% stake in facility; Kremlin clinches military cooperation deal with bankrupt Cyprus, Nicosia opens ports and air bases to Russian Air Force, Navy

WW4 File: UKRAINE-RUSSIA WAR: Weeks of heavy fighting between Ukrainian troops and Donbass rebels, Russian regulars prompt evacuation of city of Vuhlehirsk, railway hub Debaltseve, 80% of civilians flee, dead bodies lying in the streets; Tymchuk: Russian Ground Forces deploy 1,200 troops, 45 tanks to prosecute siege of Debaltseve; PM Yatsenyuk at joint press conference with US State Secretary Kerry in Kiev: “We are fighting against rebels, we are fighting against Russian regular troops. It is without doubt that Russia keeps its troops in Donbas. It is rather difficult to buy Russian tanks and missile batteries in Donbas stores”; ATO spokesman reports “Russian terrorist forces” also preparing to re-attack strategic port city of Mariupol: Merkel, Hollande travel to Moscow on peace mission, hold talks with Putin on Feb. 6, attend Munich Security Conference on Sat., unable to guarantee success of peace initiative for Ukraine’s Donbass

EU File: Global stock markets “falter” as Greece’s new leftist government adheres to anti-austerity program, ECB withdraws “key borrowing option” for Greek banks; PM Tsipras converses by phone with Putin, discusses economic, energy cooperation, Ukraine crisis, Russian dictator invites Syriza leader to Moscow; right-wing DM, coalition partner Kammenos assures NATO allies Athens “committed” to military alliance in spite of friendly “political” relations with Moscow, “[W]e have [Russian] military equipment. We discussed that with the [NATO] secretary general. We will continue to source spare parts so that we are able to keep this equipment . . .”; Merkel digs in heels over Greek sovereign debt, while Germany’s “ex”-communist Left Party urges EU to talk reduction with Athens; Golden Dawn fuehrer Michaloliakos, 71 followers to stand trial on charges related to 2013 murder of anti-racist musician, membership in “criminal group,” unclear whether neo-Nazis to be permitted to take seats in Greek parliament prior to court date

EU File: Greece’s new leftist PM rejects Moscow’s overtures for financial bailout (for now), carries out first official foreign visit to Greek-speaking Cyprus, meets center-right President Anastasiades, communist predecessor Christofias; Tsipras warns Turkey against “undermining” peace talks for divided island, Ankara bolstered occupational troops from 36,000 to 43,000 in 2013, but withdrew 100 tanks, leaving 349; Syriza leader urges Athens, Nicosia to establish “bridge of peace and cooperation” between EU, Russia, both countries side with Serbia in rejecting Kosovo independence; Russia seeks military base in Cyprus (even though British Forces Cyprus stationed at Dhekelia, Akrotiri since 1960), Anastasiades slated for state visit to Moscow in late Feb.; Syriza deputy minister Katrougkalos, former MEP vows to sink EU-USA trade pact, ruling coalition partner ANEL shares same hostility towards Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership; Golden Dawn wins third place in Jan. 25 election even though party boss, six MPs on remand, neo-Nazis release statement, back Tsipras government, oppose privatizations, EU’s anti-Russia sanctions; 1000s of anti-fascists gather in Athens, rally against Greek ultranationalists

EU File: Euro Parliament president warns Greece against linking EU policy vis-à-vis Russian aggression in Ukraine to Greece’s sovereign debt crisis; upon Schulz’s arrival in Athens, PM Tsipras announces country’s intention to “exit from the dead end of the crisis,” Deputy PM Dragasakis cautions against “mutual blackmailing”; Fin. Min. Varoufakis seeks cancellation of 50% of debt, dismisses talks with EU-ECB-IMF troika, holds fruitless meeting with Eurogroup head Dijsselbloem; EU secures limited Greek support, extends existing anti-Russia sanctions by 6 months, Moscow raises stakes: 1) sends strategic bombers to English Channel, “Bears” fly “dangerously” close to passenger planes, Kremlin’s UK ambassador hauled in for explanation; 2) Fin. Min. Siluanov offers bailout to Greeks if Athens so inclined; Greece’s new Syriza-ANEL government holds damage control meeting with Red China delegation, smooths over hard feelings created by termination of port sale to Beijing’s COSCO; Cypriot communist leader makes congratulatory phone call to Tsipras, Marxist AKEL ruled island 2008-2013

EU File: Greece’s new “ex”-communist PM Tsipras declares: “We are coming in to radically change the way that policies and administration are conducted in this country”; Greek bank stocks crash 26% on Jan. 28, reflect cumulative losses of 40% since last Sun. vote; Tsipras welcomes Russian, Red Chinese envoys to PM’s mansion within hours of inauguration; rolls back ECB/IMF-imposed austerity, halts privatization of state assets (e.g., Public Power Corporation of Greece, Hellenic Petroleum); stacks cabinet with “ex”-KKE cadres: Dragasakis, Deputy PM, overall coordinator of economic policy; Stathakis, czar of “economics superministry”; Varoufakis, Finance Minister, self-described “libertarian Marxist”; Kotzias, Foreign Minister, praised Communist Poland’s crackdown on Solidarity in early 1980s, hides personal links to Russian neo-fascist Dugin; Russian counterpart Lavrov sends telegram to Kotzias on Jan. 29, suggests official visit to Moscow; Lafazanis, Minister of Productive Reconstruction, Environment and Energy; Skourletis, Minister of Labour and Social Solidarity; Kammenos, Defense Minister, head of nationalist ANEL, but deputies both Syriza; France’s neo-fascist National Front, Left Party hail Syriza triumph

EU File: Greece’s anti-NATO Radical Left Coalition (Syriza) grabs plurality in Jan. 25 snap parliamentary vote, forms shaky anti-austerity, pro-Moscow government with nationalist Independent Greeks (ANEL); Syriza leader, ex-communist PM Tsipras opposes sanctions against Russia, steers country toward collision with ECB, Germany over financial policy; Ukraine’s Euromaidan Press: Tsipras travelled to Moscow in May 2014 (i.e., after annexation of Crimea) to meet key Putin allies in Duma, Federation Council; ANEL chief Kammenos trekked to Moscow in early Jan. 2015, ANEL MP Avramidis head of “Greek-Russian Alliance,” conferred with Russian consul general in Thessaloniki on Jan. 23 (i.e., 2 days before election); Tsipras meets Russian ambassador day after victory, Maslov hands new Greek PM congratulatory letter from Putin; new Syriza FM heads for Brussels, rejects further anti-Russia measures, pro-NATO Kammenos secures post of DM; Syriza’s internal “Communist Tendency” denounces party’s cooperation with “bourgeois” ANEL, urges alliance with KKE; mainstream New Democracy, PASOK locked out of power first time since military junta ousted in 1974

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The [European] system is under pressure. Challenges to the system can come from the left or the right. Syriza is the first anti-systemic, radical left party to come to power in Europe. I doubt it will be the last.
— Dimitris Papadimitriou, Political Science Professor, University of Manchester

Viva Golitsyn!

WW4 File: UKRAINE-RUSSIA WAR: Ukraine finally declares state of emergency in Donetsk, Lugansk oblasts after Moscow-backed insurgency drags into 12th month, PM Yatsenyuk says “not martial law,” army to call up 200,000 men for duty, including 62,000 reservists, “high alert regime” introduced for civilians throughout country; SBU chief: Captured Russian artillery controller admits superior officer commanded battery that pounded Mariupol on Jan. 24, Russian invasion force retrieved Grad rocket launchers from border, MRLs and Tyulpan mortars previously hidden in nearby village of Markyne; Ukrainian artillery destroys 4 of 6 Grads employed in assault against port city; ATO: Maj.-Gen. Kuzovlev of Russia’s S. Military District “personally commands Russian-terrorist troops leading the offensive against Ukrainian units near town of Popasna”; Donbass rebels, backed by estimated 9,000 Russian regulars, mercs prosecute offensive into Jan. 26, fighting near town of Debaltseve, NE of Donetsk city, “particularly fierce”; Russian aviation steps up activity near Ukraine, “numerous” strategic airlifters spotted landing in Rostov-on-Don, 50 attack helos deployed to occupied Crimea, Black Sea Fleet aircraft test-firing missiles at Crimea’s Kerch Peninsula; Russian riot police target Tatars, raid “ATR” TV in Simferopol, seize “evidence” of protest outside Crimea’s collaborationist parliament; Ukraine’s treasonous Communist Party boss in Strasbourg to lobby leftists, readmit Russia to PACE

WW4 File: UKRAINE-RUSSIA WAR: International condemnation, including from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, EU foreign policy coordinator Federica Mogherini, follows rebel missile attack against Mariupol; estimates of dead, injured revised up to 30, 83 respectively, OSCE monitors rush to strategic port city to assess casualties, damage; Moscow-backed DPR “prime minister” Zakharchenko denies responsibility, but admits: “Today [Jan. 24] an offensive was launched on Mariupol. This will be the best possible monument to all our dead”; Kiev, NATO fear Russia secretly supports rebel seizure of Mariupol to create “invasion corridor” between Rostov Oblast, occupied Crimea; Mariupol subject to sporadic artillery, missile attacks since Aug. 2014; 3 Ukrainian fighter jets bomb “Russian army base” near rebel-held town of Novoazovsk, presumably part of invasion force on Ukrainian side of border, but details from intercepted Russian army communication sketchy; targets apparently included Russian servicemen of 17th brigade, 200th artillery brigade, 45th paratroopers’ brigade; Ukrainian troops say 3 Russian fighter jets violated airspace over Lugansk Oblast on Jan. 24, flying from town of Milove to regional capital

WW4 File: UKRAINE-RUSSIA WAR: DPR “prime minister” Zakharchenko vows “no more cease-fires” after Donetsk airport takeover; meanwhile Russian Ground Forces, Donbass rebels launch punishing Grad missile attack on Mariupol’s E. suburbs on Sat. morning, 15 civilians, 1 National Guard soldier killed, 76 people injured; NSDC chief Turchynov refers to assault on strategic port city as “another bloody crime against humanity committed by the Russian military and the bands of terrorists under their complete control”; Lysenko: “Illegal armed groups are trying to widen the boundaries of controlled territories and correct the demarcation line to their advantage”; Ukrainian ATO forces capture 10 rebels, Russian servicemen with IDs, Putin’s invariable retort: Russian soldiers in Donbass “on vacation”; Turchynov to visit Warsaw on Jan. 26-27, confer with Polish president, DM, FM, National Security Bureau chief on “matters of comprehensive military cooperation in the security and defense sector”

Communist Bloc Military Updates: Japan Air Self-Defense Force besieged by Russian, Red Chinese military flights over, near territorial waters; Russian long-range bombers, spy planes intruding into northern airspace at Cold War levels, PLAAF fighter jets probing southern flank, E. China Sea near disputed Senkaku islets; Japanese combat pilots scramble 744 times to repulse intruders during last 9 months of 2014; PM Abe’s cabinet endorses Japan’s largest post-WW2 defense budget, 5 trillion yen (US$42 billion) allocation to include surveillance aircraft, drones, F-35 stealth fighter jets to “counter China’s rising assertiveness in the region”; Japanese Communist Party nearly triples seats (from 8 to 21) in parliament’s lower house in Dec. vote, country’s strongest left-wing party opposes Trans-Pacific Partnership trading bloc, restarting NPPs closed after 2011 earthquake

WW4 File: UKRAINE-RUSSIA WAR: NSDC spokesman Lysenko: “Large number” of Russian soldiers in unmarked uniforms spotted near regional capital of Lugansk; Russian armor, consisting of 60 tanks, 50 infantry carriers, 100 “Tigr” IMVs, appear in city of Krasnodon; “Donetsk People’s Republic” militants in town of Horlivka being replaced by Russian regulars; 100 Russian tanks located near cities of Shakhtarsk, Torez; broadcast on rebel-controlled TV station “Luhansk 24” demands residents of government-held city of Shchastya, village of Stanytsya Luhanska rally against presence of Ukrainian Armed Forces, or population centers will face shelling; Russia’s top general Gerasimov vows to bolster military capabilities in Arctic, Kaliningrad, Crimea, follows reported Backfire bomber deployment to occur on occupied peninsula by 2016, Russia rumored to have moved nuclear weapons to Crimea; 400 Russian commandos train with Transnistrian troops on Ukraine’s SW doorstep

WW4 File: UKRAINE-RUSSIA WAR: NATO contradicts Kremlin lies, confirms “increase in numbers of tanks, artillery pieces and other heavy military equipment being used by Russian troops in eastern Ukraine,” but refuses to comment on troop numbers; Ukraine-Russia-France-Germany summit in Berlin issues (toothless) demand for cessation of hostilities in Donbass; mean- while, Ukrainian troops retreat from Donetsk’s inter- national airport after 242 days of “heroic defense,” runway, control tower and terminal completely ruined and indefensible, 6 soldiers killed during last stand, some crushed by debris, 16 captured in final battle with Moscow-backed insurgents; DPR “prime minister” Zakharchenko vows to push front deeper into government-held territory; mortar rounds hit bus stop in war-torn regional capital on Jan. 22, killing 13 civilians, wounding dozens; Ukrainian troops in villages near port of Mariupol repel “multiple but fruitless” artillery assaults from Russian Ground Forces, “terrorists” (i.e., rebels)

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Total Devastation: Pics of Donetsk’s Sergei Prokofiev International Airport Before and After 242-Day Siege by Moscow-Backed Rebels: link

WW4 File: UKRAINE-RUSSIA WAR: Poroshenko claims additional 2,000 Russian soldiers, 200 tanks invade rebel-held Donbass on Jan. 21, attack Ukrainian troops at checkpoints 29, 31 leading to Lugansk city; pro-Russia militants “seriously damage” sole vehicle bridge en route to rebel-held regional capital; latest Russian violation of Ukrainian territory follows Aug. invasion and retreat, augments Jan. 19 incursion of Lugansk Oblast by 800 Russian regulars, 8,500-man “stay-behind” mercenary force fighting for separatists; Kremlin aggression against insurgency-wracked neighbor occurs hours ahead of Berlin peace talks, brokered by Germany, France; Bloomberg interviews Poroshenko, Ukrainian president comments on Putin’s game-changing tactics: “The situation is getting worse . . . This creates a very high risk of further escalation of the situation”; hostile tank column approaches government-held positions around heavily fortified, strategic port of Mariupol, launches “massive fire attack,” NSDC reports Russian battalion heading for Mariupol from Rostov Oblast; railway bridge over Kalchyk River restored, links Mariupol’s steel mills to port, blown up by saboteurs on Dec. 23

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Flashback: Russian Army Invades Ukraine in August 2014 Support Mission for Rebels, Thrusts Toward Donetsk City, Seizes Coastal Town of Novoazovsk (source)

WW4 File: UKRAINE-RUSSIA WAR: Kremlin-backed separatists renew assault upon Donetsk’s international airport, 3 soldiers killed defending devastated terminal, runway on Jan. 19; ATO spokesman Lysenko: 800 Russian regular forces, in 2 battalion task groups, invade Lugansk Oblast across uncontrolled stretch of border, support rebel offensives; PM Yatsenyuk: “I have just spoken with . . . [NSDC chief Turchynov]. Ukrainian military intelligence confirm the fact [Russian] military personnel and equipment have been transferred from Russia to Ukraine”; Rada approves partial mobilization, conscripts to boost size of Ukrainian Ground Forces beginning Jan. 20, Turchynov claims more than 36,000 armed rebels in Donbass, 8,500 of which are Russian mercenaries; Russian army has deployed 52,000 soldiers near Ukraine’s E. border, along with 541 tanks, 990 armored vehicles, 700 heavy weapons, MRLs, anti-aircraft missiles; blast near Kharkiv prosecutor’s office latest bombing in GRU-led destabilization plot, previous targets outside combat zone include Kiev residential district, 10 cars damaged, ATO-critical railway bridge in Zaporizhia Oblast, train derailed

Gray Terror File: Multiple-scene terror incident unfolding in and around Paris: Self-confessed Al Qaeda militants suspected in Jan. 7 massacre at Charlie Hebdo newspaper hijack car, flee to town of Dammartin-en-Goele, 25 miles NE of French capital, encounter police roadblocks, engage in gun battle, hole up in print works with 1 hostage, possibly armed with RPG; 5 French Army helos, heavily armed regular police, gendarmerie elite forces converge on facility, siege ensues; second terror scene in Paris: Man of “African appearance,” wearing bullet-proof vest, jumps from car, fatally shoots black female traffic cop in Montrouge, S. of Paris, flees to capital’s Porte de Vincennes district, storms kosher grocery store, seizes “several” hostages, “prolonged” gunfire heard; Jan. 8 shooting suspect believed to have links to Kouachi brothers; President Hollande holds crisis cabinet meeting

Gray Terror File: Two gunmen storm into office of satirical Paris newspaper on Jan. 7, kill 12 people, including 8 journalists, 2 police, wound 11, flee, 800 extra officers deployed, UK ups security checks; Charlie Hebdo published caricatures of Prophet Muhammad, witnesses say attackers claimed allegiance to al-Qaeda in Yemen; PM Valls admits suspects in slayings — brothers Cherif (32) and Said Kouachi (34) — known to French intelligence; Socialist President Hollande calls for “tolerance,” but political analysts fear National Front presidency in 2017, “final demise of the EU and euro,” neo-fascists already enjoying surge in support from far right and far left voters, financial backing from Russian banks; Moscow lackey, anti-capitalist Marine Le Pen blames massacre on “Islamic fundamen- talism,” vows to reintroduce death penalty; 35,000 Parisians hold rally to denounce terror, trumpet freedom of speech; popular, pro-Putin Russian TV channel says “US intelligence agencies” orchestrated Charlie Hebdo bloodshed, Washington “sabotaging Russia-led effort against Islamist terrorism”; Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front claims Jan. 6 bombing at Istanbul police station, but Turkey’s Interior Ministry says female suicide bomber was Russian citizen, Chechen “Black Widow” plot suspected

WW4/Red Terror Files: UKRAINE-RUSSIA WAR: Ukrainian Communists (no doubt under guidance of Russian GRU, which is known to be operating in Ukraine) resort to sabotage, terrorism in S. ports to destabilize country, evade SBU by fleeing to rebel-held areas of Donbass; 7 bombings hit Odessa over past 5 months, latest strikes cargo train at Zastava-1 station on Dec. 24, petroleum tanker train at Odesa-Peresyp station on Jan. 3, city’s Euromaidan office on Jan. 4; Security Service accuses Communist Party (which is facing ban) of staging terror attacks in Dnipropetrovsk, adviser to SBU chief: “The group led by the Commu- nists planned a number of explosions targeting banks and public places and seizing weapons at military units”; 5 blasts rock Mariupol since Nov., saboteurs blow up railway bridge over River Kalchyk on Dec. 23, gunmen wearing camo, toting automatic weapons attack Azovstal steel plant same day, 1 worker killed; ATO forces come under rebel small arms, artillery attack at various locations in Donbass on night of Jan. 6-7; Interior Ministry’s Azov Battalion near village of Hranitne, Donetsk Oblast, Facebooks: “[Terrorists] are shelling us with a 120-millimeter mortar. Good morning to everyone!!!!”; fearing Russian naval assault, Ukrainian combat engineers mine shores of Sea of Azov

Odesa, Mariupol as well as Kyiv and Kharkiv are those sensitive spots where Russia-backed forces feel there’s still a possibility to destabilize the situation.
— Oleksiy Melnyk, Ukrainian military expert, quoted in Kyiv Post, January 5, 2015

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Communist Bloc Military Updates: New Kremlin military doctrine identifies NATO as main threat to Russia, Moscow hosts CSTO summit, vows to increase number of combat aircraft, helicopters at Belarusian air base; Russian strategic aviation carries out 50 flights over world ocean in 2014, modernizes Tu-160 avionics, awaits stealth bomber prototype in 2019; Poland races to rearm in face of Russian aggression in Ukraine, US$30 billion plan to upgrade, enlarge armed forces by 2022, shifts troops to E. border, revives Home Army light infantry to help thwart Russian re-invasion, organizes 2nd naval strike missile battalion for coastal defense; U.S. Army to deploy “heavy brigade” in Baltics, Poland or Romania in 2015, reassure CEE allies with 150 M1 Abrams MBTs, M2 Bradley IFVs, 24 self-propelled howitzers; Ukraine’s Poroshenko visits Poland, inspects barracks that will house Polish-Lithuanian-Ukrainian brigade, new military formation to be combat ready in early 2015

The new Polish-Lithuanian-Ukrainian brigade shows that Ukraine is already integrated into NATO, at least militarily if not politically.

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EU/USSR2 Files: Russia’s EU ambassador urges Brussels to open talks with Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), Russia-led bloc inaugurated Jan. 1, includes Kazakhstan, Belarus, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan to join in May; Moscow to control EEU via Eurasian Economic Commission, Supreme Eurasian Economic Council; Russian Communists demand President Putin dismiss PM Medvedev’s government over ruble collapse, “catastrophic” 2015 budget, establish “crisis reversal” plan for country, urge return to Stalinist dictatorship: Chairman Zyuganov: “Stalin … was a genius,” CPRF’s Moscow city committee: “These days the interest in the personality of Stalin in Russia is growing, mostly with the loss of the country’s previous foothold on the world scene and profound economic and social problems inside the country”

EU File: Fascism resurgent amidst Eurocrisis: Italian police infiltrate neo-fascist New Order Vanguard, arrest 14 members, including ex-cop ringleader, Stefano Manni stockpiled arms, planned assassinations of politicians, judges, attacks against tax agency, state railway, police stations; 31 other persons under investigation for extremist political activities; original New Order banned in 1973, after carrying out campaign of violence; national unemployment rate of 13.2%, youth jobless rate of 43.4%, economic stagnation push segments of Italian society, including south, to far right; poll says one third of Italians back Kremlin-funded Northern League, anti-EU/anti-immigrant Matteo Salvini compared to France’s Marine Le Pen, visits Moscow in Oct., confers with United Russia leadership, urges strong Italo-Russian friendship

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The Moscow Leninists cover all the bases. Merry Christmas. We’ll be back in the New Year.