US leads ‘largest multinational exercise held in Ukraine’ – Follows Pentagon’s Advice to Conquer the World?

61a9564

Ukrainian soldiers and servicemen of the U.S. Army’s 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team take part in a joint military exercise called “Fearless Guardian 2015” at the military training area in Yavoriv, outside Lviv, Ukraine, May 12, 2015.Oleksandr Klymenko/Reuters

Troops from the US, UK, Germany and 14 other countries are set to conduct what officials are calling the “largest multinational exercise held in Ukraine” in the west of the country over the coming weeks.

The exercises will be conducted in Lviv region, in western Ukraine, far from the conflict zone in the east, with as many as 1,800 servicemen from 18 countries taking part from today until the end of the month.

The Saber Guardian and Rapid Trident exercises are conducted annually between the US army in Europe and European states which agree to participate. Last year they included 1,300 defence staff from 15 militaries, including Ukraine. However last year, only Rapid Trident took place on Ukrainian soil, with Saber Guardian being organised in Bulgaria.

Beside the US military and their Ukrainian hosts, personnel from other Nato allied nations joining the exercise include the UK, Germany, Spain, Turkey, Canada, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, while non-members Serbia, Moldova, Georgia and Azerbaijan are also set to participate.

“Multinational exercises have been conducted in Ukraine since 1995, however it is safe to say that this is the largest multinational exercise held in Ukraine to date,” Don Wrenn public affairs public affairs specialist for US Army Europe, who is at the site of the exercises says.

Despite the heightening tension in eastern Ukraine where Russian-backed rebels have intensified fire towards Kiev-held positions since May, Wrenn says the exercise has no relation to the specific conflict.

“It is not anything to do with the political situation,” Wrenn says “This exercise was planned ahead of time. Countries were notified that it would occur and we can’t directly connect with the situation going on. Rapid Trident has been going for years in Ukraine.”

“Part of why this is larger this year is that there are two exercises going ahead at the same time in the same place,” Wrenn explains. The Saber Guardian exercise rotates between host nations, it just so happens that this year it was Ukraine’s turn to host it, coinciding with Rapid Trident

“The two were held together and integrated with each other,” Wrenn says. Training will begin tomorrow, after the end of today’s opening ceremony.

“We will be looking at practicing skills such as casualty evacuation and first aid, reacting to being ambushed in both an offensive posture or in defensive mode, we are conducting training in how to identify and react to improvised explosives and devices and there will be some simulated outpost operations.”

“These are all skills that are to be used either in combat or peacekeeping. Some Ukrainian armored vehicles will be included but most of the vehicles being used are just US humvees and wheeled vehicles,” he adds. Contrary to some media reports, no air operations are scheduled as part of the exercise.

Although a period of relative calm followed in the east after a ceasefire agreement was signed by the rebel leaders, Russian president Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko in February, clashes increase along the contact lines in May and by June the rebels launched the largest offensive since the battle for the strategic town of Debaltseve on the eve of the ceasefire deal.

Rebel leader Alexander Zaharchenko once again publically set target towns which the rebels plan to “take” in May and Reuters, Nato and the Ukrainian government have all reported an increasing military build up on the Russian side of the border.

Since the start of the conflict with pro-Russian rebels in the east, Ukraine has led a series of reforms to its military in a bid to strengthen its efficiency in the short and long term. Eastern regions have obtained physical reinforcement bases and Ukraine has also pursued stronger ties with western neighbours such as the joint battalion it formed last year with Poland and Lithuania,

President Petro Poroshenko pledged yesterday to increase Ukraine’s security spending power, adding a further 5 billion hryvna (over €200m) to the defence budget, according to a statement released on his official website. Independent Russian news site Slon reported that the last Ukrainian budget allotted 90 billion hryvna to defence spending, which, together with Poroshenko’s latest pledge equals around €4bn.

However,  Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s claim that the Ukraine will take over Donbass by the end of the year seems to be one more of his tricks. 

According to Forbes, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has offered Russian counterpart Vldimir Putin to ”include Donbass” in the territory of the federation. The announcement was released to Forbes magazine through an anonymous source.

It was stated that the proposal had been extended during the Normandy Four talks held in Minsk on February 11 and 12.

”Poroshenko directly told me, ”Take Donbass”, and I responded, ”Have you gone mad ? I don’t need Donbass. If you don’t need it, announce its independence”, was the statement Vladimir Putin made at his meeting with Russian industrialists and businessmen on March 19, as quoted by Forbes.

In the words of the Russian President, Poroshenko then stated that Ukrainian authorities are not able to take the step, ” Then, let Ukrainian authorities pay the pensions and social care to the population of Donbass and let them restore the banking system,” Putin allegedly insisted.

The ceasefire deal included 14 points connected to the withdrawal of heavy weapons from the front line, release of prisoners, the providing of humanitarian aid for the severely affected regions of Ukraine, as well as establishing of special statute for the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk Republics.

According to the source released information to Forbes, Putin himself is skeptical regarding the peace deal and believes that Ukrainian authorities are attempting to win the fight with rebel forces and to destroy Donbass in economic terms.

Allegedly, Putin said that EU leaders are well aware of the Ukrainian intentions, but the strengthening of the conflict is said to be in favor of US foreign polices. He also informed business leaders that the EU sanctions against Russia are unlikely to be removed in the upcoming years.

On the other hand, Poroshenko’s relations with Poland have deteriorated.

A scheduled meeting of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko with the winner of the Polish presidential elections Andrzej Duda in Warsaw will not now take place, Polish news agency PAP reported on Wednesday, with reference to its own sources close to the newly-elected head of state.

At home, Poroshenko is facing serious problems with the nationalist “Right Sector” paramilitary group.  The popular assembly is dubbed ‘Away With Traitors in Power!’

The popular assembly dubbed “Away With Traitors in Power!”organized by Ukraine’s far-right paramilitary group, Pravy Sektor (Right Sector) has started on Independence Square (Maidan).

Here’s the scene on ‘s Maidan right now. 1000+ now gathered for far-right nationalist rally:

WATCH LIVE STREAMING VIDEO  HERE

The rally follows a recent shootout involving members of ‘Right Sector’, security teams close to Ukrainian MP Mykhailo Lanyo and local police officers which took place in the town of Mukacheve in Ukraine’s western Zakarpattia region on July 11. Four people were killed and up to 14 were wounded in the exchange of gunfire.

‘Right Sector’ is one of a number of militarised groups that emerged during violent protests that toppled former Moscow-backed President Viktor Yanukovych a year ago.

The militias went on to fight alongside Ukrainian troops in the east against Russian-backed militants, but concerns have risen over whether they could pose a challenge to President Poroshenko and the government or threaten public security.

‘Right Sector’ and police have accused each other of initiating the violence in Mukacheve, but on Tuesday a spokesman for the group said two of its members had surrendered to the SBU security service. 

 

Ukraine PM Yatsenyuk’s Nazi Rhetoric: Accuses USSR of having invaded Germany and Ukraine during WW2

 

 

[In January 2015], Ukraine Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said the USSR had invaded Germany and Ukraine in WW2. Despite attempts by the Western press to bury the story, Russia is now demanding answers from Berlin.

Nothing is louder than silence. I know this, you know this and you can be sure that Angela Merkel knows it too. Why then is the Chancellor’s government refusing to comment on Arseniy Yatsenyuk’s extraordinary remarks? The reasons are complex, as I will shortly outline. First, though, here’s what Yatsenyuk actually said.

“All of us still clearly remember the Soviet invasion of Ukraine and Germany,” he told German-state broadcaster ARD. ”We need to avoid [a repeat of] it.”

“Nobody has the right to rewrite the results of the Second World War,” he also added. ”Russia’s President Putin is trying to do exactly this.”

When I saw the comments on my Twitter timeline, I was initially convinced it was a joke. So much disinformation is circulated on the platform that I automatically dismissed it as a misquote. Surely a senior politician wouldn’t say something like that? Only 24 hours later, when I saw Yatsenyuk’s words still swooshing through the Twitter-sphere, did I realize that he actually did utter those words.

Arseniy Yatsenyuk, apparently handpicked for the PM post by US diplomat Victoria Nuland, believes the USSR invaded Germany in WW2. This runs contrary to the almost universally accepted narrative that Germany actually attacked the Soviets first in Operation Barbarossa. After repelling the attack, USSR forces eventually made it to Berlin where they met the other liberating powers, the USA and Britain.

Naturally, some are claiming that Yatsenyuk made a slip of the tongue. This is hogwash. The only thing that dropped was his mask. I’ve heard similar remarks before and the location was Western Ukraine, where the PM is from. Yatsenyuk hails from Chernivsti, widely regarded as the region’s second cultural capital, after Lvov, which is viewed by many as the nationalist stronghold.

Something interesting used to happen each May 9 in Ukraine (the anniversary of the German surrender in 1945). Kiev, Kharkov, Odessa, Donetsk, Dnipropetrovsk and all the other major cities, bar one, honored the defeat of the Nazis. Many in Lvov have never looked too happy with the day. In fact, in 2011, local ‘patriots’ went a step further by attacking a small gathering of veterans who were commemorating the occasion.

The reason for this feeling is simple. West Ukrainians believe that they lost the war. Their side was defeated. Put simply, Yatsenyuk is merely a product of his environment. However, this time he expressed publicly a view that was probably previously restricted to private discourse. It’s possible that he felt a German audience might have been sympathetic to his position. If so, that was a huge misread of the German people.

Nazisme-Ukraine

Ukraine PM Yatsenyuk – Nazisme-Ukraine

 

Standard North American and Western European history textbooks give students the impression that WW2 in Europe was a fight between Germany, the USSR, France and the UK, with the US getting involved later. The other countries where the war was fought are, largely, regarded as victims of Germany. This is simplistic. In reality, Germany wasn’t alone in its invasion of the USSR in 1941. Forces from Romania, Finland, Italy, Hungary and Slovakia also took part and West Ukrainian elements collaborated with Hitler’s war machine.

The difference between Ukraine and, for example, Slovakia is that Slovaks have come to understand that their wartime behavior was wrong. The pro-Nazi leader, Jozef Tiso, is rightly reviled among the vast majority in Kosice and Bratislava. However, in West Ukraine, their chief Hitler acolyte Stepan Bandera is accorded ‘hero’ status. Indeed, there’s a gigantic statue of him in front of the main railway station in Lvov.

Ukrainian reverence for relics of the Nazi past is both embarrassing and worrying for Germany. I’m sure Merkel often wishes that her NATO allies had found a more reasonable client state to antagonize Russia with. Ukraine’s refusal to deal with its past head-on is a festering boil for EU diplomats.

Just this week, the Czech President, Milos Zeman, was embroiled in an argument with Bandera fan boys in Ukrainian academia.

“You are aware of the Bandera statement: ‘You must kill every Polish person between 16 and 60 years of age?’ If you say you don’t know this – then what kind of scholars of Ukrainian studies are you?” he wrote.

Zeman continued: “I want to tell you that Bandera wished to make out of Ukraine a vassal state of Germany… I can’t congratulate a country that has such ‘national heroes.’”

This also explains the silence of German media on Yatsenyuk’s words. If the German public were made fully aware of what the visitor from Kiev had said, they would be outraged. So much so that Merkel could be forced to withdraw all support for Ukraine.

If Yatensyuk’s comments were widely circulated, they would embolden revisionists in Germany and beyond – something there is, sadly, no shortage of.

Just as it seemed the story would fade away, the Russian Foreign Ministry made a late intervention, asking Berlin to outline its official position on Yatsenyuk’s verbiage. The reply, assuming it ever arrives, will be telling.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). Unruly Hearts will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article.