This is the War and Peace of the ‘War, No Peace allowed’ in one of the Nato-repurposed 2.0 cold war proxy wars against Russia. I know it’s long, but it’s all of a puzzle. Given its length, were I a reader, I’d focus on the Ukraine/Russian warships story, as a hella lot’s gonna break tomorrow, including at the UN. So far Vladimir Putin and Sergei Lavrov have refused to be drawn into responding to threats of war against The Bear, but what might be the flexion point? Given that, I’ve chosen to give some background to what’s afoot already. Yeppers, it’s all copy/paste, but transposing is even more impossible in my haste.
On Nov. 25 the FSB had reported that three Ukrainian Warships had illegally entered Russian territorial waters and were carrying out ‘dangerous maneuvers’.
“SIMFEROPOL, November 25. /TASS/. Three Ukrainian warships have illegally crossed Russia’s state border entering its territorial waters, and are carrying out dangerous maneuvers, the Federal Security Service’s Border Service in Crimea said on Sunday.
“This morning at around 7:00 a.m. Moscow Time three ships of Ukraine’s Navy violated Articles 19 and 21 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which define the right of a coastal state to ensure maritime security, crossed the Russian state border and illegally entered the temporarily closed waters of the Russian territorial sea,” the statement said.
The Ukrainian warships continue heading to the Kerch Strait, where the traffic is regulated under a schedule approved by the captain of the Russian sea port. A source in Crimea’s maritime authorities said the vessels are expected to reach the Kerch Strait in an hour and a half.”
Also from Tass news, Nov. 26:
“All three vessels of the Ukrainian Navy, which violated the Russian state border, have been detained in the Black Sea, weapons were used to force them to stop, the Public Relations Center of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) reported.
“The Ukrainian Navy’s vessels the Berdyansk, the Nikopol and the Yany Kapu, which violated Russia’s state border this morning, made another attempt of committing illegal activities in Russia’s territorial sea at 19:00 Moscow time on November 25,” the FSB said. “They did not respond to legitimate demands by the ships and boats of Russia’s FSB Border Guard Service escorting them to stop immediately and performed dangerous maneuvers.”
According to the FSB, “weapons were used to force the Ukrainian warships to stop.” As a result, all three vessels of the Ukrainian Navy were detained in Russia’s territorial waters in the Black Sea. “Three wounded military servicemen of the Ukrainian armed forces received medical assistance,” the FSB said, adding that there was no threat to their lives.
A criminal case has been initiated over violation of Russia’s state border.”
According to RT.com:
“Both sides have been accusing each other of violating the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. Kiev argues that it had notified the Russian side in advance of its plan to sail from the Ukrainian Black Sea resort of Odessa to Mariupol, a port on the north coast of the Sea of Azov, a claim that the Russian coastguard denies.
The route goes through the Kerch strait, which separates Crimea from mainland Russia.
Kiev has called a meeting of the National Security and Defense Council [NSDC] to discuss imposing martial law, chairman Oleksandr Turchynov told media.
NATO has urged both parties to show restraint. NATO spokesperson Oana Lungescu said in a statement that NATO has been “closely monitoring developments in the Azov Sea and the Kerch Strait,” while voicing support to Ukraine.
“NATO fully supports Ukraine’s sovereignty and its territorial integrity, including its navigation rights in its territorial waters,” the statement read.”
Ruptly video: ‘Coast Guard traces Ukrainian vessels after breach of Russian waters’
“The FSB, which is responsible for maintaining Russia’s borders, denounced the Ukrainian vessels’ actions as a deliberate provocation aimed at creating “conflict situations” in the region.
The Ukrainian Navy said that its vessels were sailing as part of a scheduled routine transfer, at some point, adding that it warned the Russian authorities about it in advance.”
From southfront.org’s ‘Russia-Ukraine Black Sea Military Crisis: On The Brink Of War’:
“The existence or absence of the Ukrainian request to the Russians is out of the matter. The fact is that the Ukrainian warships violated Russian territorial waters threatening navigation in the area and provoking the Russian side.
More than 5 hours, the Russian side had been avoiding to employ any actions to block warships of the de-facto “unfriendly state” in its territorial waters. The Russian Federal Security Service’s Border Service employed real measures to put an end to hostile actions of the warships of the de-facto “unfriendly state” in own territorial waters at about 20:00-20:30 local time.
The Russian side is traditionally restrained in comments of the crisis situation during its development. From its side, the Ukrainian side is traditionally providing a surplus amount of data.”
Via strategic-culture.org Nov. 24: ‘UK Commits Extra Military Forces to Ukraine: Irresponsible Policy, Dangerous Repercussions’, Arkady Svitsky
“Ukraine’s Constitutional Court green-lighted a bill on amending the country’s main law by enshrining into it the final goal of obtaining NATO and EU membership. The decision was announced the next day after the UK and Ukraine’s defense ministries made a joint statement, stressing the need to expand military cooperation. The defense chiefs agreed that Operation Orbital, the Army training program started in 2015, was a success to be continued at least till 2020. Instructors from the British Army, most of who have significant experience in participating in combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, have trained over 9,500 Ukrainian servicemen. An unspecified number of UK soldiers would be sent to train Ukrainian special forces and marines, in addition to the 100 personnel deployed currently in the country.
A multi-role hydrographic survey ship will be deployed in the Black Sea next year to demonstrate Britain’s support for Ukraine and ensure “freedom of navigation”. HMS Echo is not a warship but it flies the naval ensign. In September, Great Britain made known it planned to increase the warships’ presence in the Black Sea next year with increasingly frequent port calls to Odessa.
NATO naval presence there is seen as provocative by Russia amid increasing tensions in the Azov Sea. A conflict appears to be imminent and the West has taken the side of Ukraine despite the fact that it was Kiev who has been provoking it. EU High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini believes many vessels flying European Union flags were threatened to make Brussels consider “appropriate targeted measures” to be taken as a signal to Moscow.
The increase in UK military presence goes against the letter and spirit of Minsk accords, which state that the conflict in Ukraine should be managed through diplomatic and political means.
The US military already runs a maritime operations center located within Ukraine’s Ochakov naval facility designed to deliver flexible maritime support throughout the full range of military operations. Hundreds of US and Canadian military instructors are training Ukrainian personnel at the Yavoriv firing range. The US is to transfer two Oliver Hazard Perry-type frigates to Ukraine. The move will actually ensure constant NATO naval presence in the Black Sea going around the restrictions imposed by the Montreux Convention because the vessels will have America sailors onboard carrying out “training missions” and remain under US command, despite official sources saying otherwise. All in all, ten ships of that class are available for export. In September, the US Coast Guard transferred two Island-class cutters, armed with .50-caliber machine guns and 25mm deck guns. The transfers urge Kiev to challenge Moscow militarily.
Nobody in Washington or London asks why an industrialized nation and a large arms exporter, with abundant resources and fertile land should depend on foreign assistance unable to defend itself. Weapons are supplied and training is provided to the country, where corruption is rampant. Even the US State Department’s recent report says it is. Popular protests are commonplace. The conflict in Donbass is used to distract the people from domestic woes.
The frustration with Kiev’s reluctance to introduce much-needed reforms and curtail the political influence of the oligarchs is rapidly growing. The common people of Ukraine need political and economic reforms, not increased foreign military presence on their soil.
The only reason for the West to keep the failed Ukraine afloat is its obsequiousness and readiness to be converted into a springboard to threaten Russia with an aggression. Despite Ukraine’s multiple problems, the country has recently been rewarded with an official status in NATO. The 2018 North Atlantic Alliance’s summit confirmed its support for Ukraine’s full-fledged membership to make a mockery of the so called “NATO standards.” [snip]
“Russia is not watching idle. If the Minsk accords are washed out, it will have each and every reason to recognize the Lugansk and Donetsk self-proclaimed republics as independent states eligible for military cooperation agreements, including stationing Russian military bases on their soil, if their governments ask for it. No international law would be violated.
Ukraine’s government is ramping up tensions because President Petro Poroshenko is running for re-election in March 2019 on a national security platform. So he takes a tougher line on Azov. Those who rush to provide him with military assistance become accomplices in his adventurist actions that could have disastrous consequences. The UK will bear responsibility for goading Kiev into taking a confrontational approach and turning the Azov Sea into a flashpoint that can spark at any minute.”
‘Here’s who Washington’s sending arms – Meet Nazi Ukraine’s would be Führer; The commander of Ukraine’s influential Azov battalion extremist militia and an MP, Andriy Biletsky says he’s ready to fight the ‘untermenschen’’, Alex Christoforou, January 5, 2018, theduran.com
“We are certain that when Ukraine is completely overrun by neo-nazi leader Andriy Biletsky, the western mainstream media will wonder what could have possibly caused such an outcome.
Then again, the fact that Biletsky was invited by Czech MEP Jaromír Štětina to visit the European Parliament may in fact be a sign that Europe is welcoming of neo-nazi elements, as long as they are directed towards Russia.
(Oriental Review) – Today’s Ukraine is painfully reminiscent of Germany in the 1920s: poor governance on the heels of a lost war, which – added to the sense of betrayed hopes and the sharp decline in average incomes coupled with rising prices – is all driving a critical mass of the Ukrainian population toward an overwhelming feeling of desperation. A demand from the public for a “strong hand” – a new, authoritarian ruler – is rapidly coalescing, due to their dissatisfaction with President Poroshenko and all the other jokers they’ve been dealt from that shabby deck of political cards.
And a man like that already exists in this destitute and disintegrating country. Andriy Biletsky, the commander of the Azov Battalion who is known to his comrades-in-arms as the “White Führer,” is making an ever-bigger name for himself in the Ukrainian parliament.”
There are about six more feet of text and links, but you likely get the gist.
‘Israel is arming neo-Nazis in Ukraine’, Asa Winstanley, The Electronic Intifada, 4 July 2018
Now all of this gets a tad esoteric to the average person, but here goes:
“Israeli arms are being sent to a heavily armed neo-Nazi militia in Ukraine, The Electronic Intifada has learned.
Azov Battalion online propaganda shows Israeli-licensed Tavor rifles in the fascist group’s hands, while Israeli human rights activists have protested arms sales to Ukraine on the basis that weapons might end up with anti-Semitic militias.
In a letter “about licenses for Ukraine” obtained by The Electronic Intifada, the Israeli defense ministry’s arms export agency says they are “careful to grant licenses” to arms exporters “in full coordination with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other government entities.”
The 26 June letter was sent in reply to Israeli lawyer Eitay Mack who had written a detailed request demanding Israel end all military aid to the country.
Azov’s official status in the Ukrainian armed forces means it cannot be verified that “Israeli weapons and training” are not being used “by anti-Semitic or neo-Nazi soldiers,” Mack and 35 other human rights activists wrote.
They had written that Ukrainian armed forces use rifles made in Israel “and are trained by Israelis,” according to reports in the country.
The head of the Israeli arms export agency declined to deny the reports, or to even discuss cancellation of the weapons licenses, citing “security” concerns.
But Racheli Chen, the head of the agency, confirmed to Mack she had “carefully read your letter,” which detailed the fascist nature of Azov and the reports of Israeli arms and training.” [large, but explanatory, snip]
“Starting as a gang of fascist street thugs, the Azov Battalion is one of several far-right militias that have now been integrated as units of Ukraine’s National Guard.
“Today, Azov is run by Arsen Avakov, Ukraine’s interior minister. According to the BBC, he pays its fighters, and has appointed one of its military commanders, Vadym Troyan, as his deputy – with control over the police.
Azov’s young founder and first military commander Andriy Biletsky is today a lawmaker in the Ukrainian parliament.” [snip]
“At a military training camp for children last year, The Guardian noticed that several Azov instructors had Nazi and other racist tattoos, including a swastika, the SS skull symbol and one that read “White Pride.”
One Azov soldier explained to The Guardian that he fights Russia because “Putin’s a Jew.”
It’s chock-full of photos and videos, tweets, etc.
“Israel’s military aid to Ukraine and its neo-Nazis emulates similar programs by the United States and other NATO countries including the UK and Canada.
So obsessed are they with defeating a perceived threat from Russia that they seem happy to aid even openly Nazi militias – as long as they fight on their side.
This is also a throwback to the early Cold War, when the CIA supported fascists and Hitlerites to infiltrate from Austria into Hungary in 1956, where they began slaughtering Hungarian communist Jews and Hungarian Jews as “communists.”
The whole nine yards are here.
(cross-posted at caucus99percent.com)