PRESIDENT Putin Responds to US-NATO Military Deployments on Russia’s Doorstep

NATO-Russia-400x269Make no mistake. America is an aggressor nation threatening world peace, stability and security. It’s increasing hostility toward Russia and China may launch WW III. Lunatics in Washington wanted Russia nuked since early Cold War days.

General Curtis LeMay (1906 – 1990) argued for doing it even at the cost of a few US cities. So did General Lyman Lemnitzer (1899 – 1988).

They believed nuclear war was inevitable so better sooner than later while America had a clear advantage. They weren’t alone from their time to now.

On Tuesday, Vladimir Putin said Russia will act appropriately to US-dominated NATO’s encroachment on its borders.

He responded to Washington’s intent to position heavy weapons and thousands of US combat forces in Eastern European countries along with its planned (offensive) missile defense targeting Russia – provocations at a time no threats exist except invented ones.

If someone threatens our territories, it means that we will have to aim our armed forces accordingly at the territories from where the threat is coming,” Putin said.

How else could it be? It is (US-dominated) NATO approaching our borders. It’s not like we are moving anywhere.

I’d refrain from whipping up emotions. Of course, we will analyze everything but so far I see nothing that might prompt us to (take responsive measures).

What worries us more is the anti-missile defense system that is being deployed – that is a significant thing of strategic importance.

Among other measures, Putin announced plans for “40 new intercontinental ballistic missiles to our nuclear force…capable of overcoming even the most technically advanced anti-missile defense systems.”

Russia will have no other choice but to boost its military potential along its western borders,” Defense Ministry General Yury Yakubov explained. He called building up military forces in Eastern European countries “the most aggressive step since the Cold War.

Russia (will have to) bolster its forces and resources on the western strategic theater of operations,” – including installing Iskander tactical missiles in Kaliningrad and boosting its military presence in Belarus, he explained.

Putin, Yakubov and other Russian officials stress Russia will act appropriately to protect its security against increasingly hostile US-dominated NATO actions.

In response, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg accused Russia of “saber-rattling.  (It’s) destabilizing and dangerous,” he said.

Putin’s “statement…confirm(s) the pattern and behavior of Russia over quite a period of time.”

“This is something which we are addressing, and it’s also one of the reasons we are now increasing the readiness and preparedness of our forces…(NATO will protect) all (our) allies against the enemy.”

He ludicrously called NATO actions “proportionate (and) defensive…respond(ing) in the face of a more assertive Russia.”

Truth is polar opposite. Stoltenberg ignored longstanding US-dominated NATO provocations – ongoing since Washington broke its pledge to former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev not to expand NATO east.

Today is the most perilous time in world history. US-dominated NATO’s killing machine is an out-of-control monster. Madness defines its policy. World peace is threatened. Humanity’s fate hangs in the balance. The price of imperial arrogance is potential nuclear armageddon.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

Is Washington Planning “Operation Barbarossa 2.0″? War against Russia?

 

 
 
NATO-Russia-400x269On June 22, 1941, Hitler launched Operation Barbarossa against the Soviet Union – perhaps the largest ever invasion force by one country against another involving up to four million combat and support troops.

His ambition to conquer the Soviet Union, acquire Lebensraum, its resources and enslave its people failed. So did Napoleon 130 years earlier against Tsarist Russia.

Does Washington plan repeating their mistakes?

Anti-Russian hostility and saber rattling should scare everyone. US-NATO military exercises on Russia’s doorstep are provocative.

They repeat with disturbing regularity. BALTOPS is the latest.

On June 5, NATO said “(s)cores of ships and aircraft from 17 countries are taking part in Baltic Sea naval drills as part of exercise BALTOPS which started on Friday, 5 June 2015 and runs until 20 June.”

“Allied participation demonstrates NATO’s resolve to defend the Baltic region, and will hone the ability of Allies and partners to work together.”

“Fourteen NATO Allies are joined this year by NATO partners Finland, Georgia and Sweden. Overall, 5,600 troops will be involved.”

NATO Commander of Naval Striking and Support Forces  Admiral James Foggo said “(t)his exercise represents an important opportunity for our forces, as allies and partners, to enhance our ability to work together and strengthen capabilities required to maintain regional security.”

Washington orchestrates NATO war games – anti-Russian/Chinese/Iranian exercises at a time no threat from these country exists, when America, its rogue NATO allies and Israel alone threaten world peace.

A previous article asked if US-dominated NATO planned war on Russia – the madness of potential nuclear confrontation if launched.

Mounting evidence should give everyone pause for concern. Provocative US-dominated military exercises near Russia’s borders suggest preparation for war.

So does irresponsible Russia bashing – a regular drumbeat of Big Lies. State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf is paid to lie.

“Russia bears direct responsibility for what’s happening in Ukraine,” she says – despite no evidence suggesting it, plenty pointing fingers at Washington and its rogue allies.

Harf repeatedly blames “Russian separatists” for daily Kiev war crimes – naked aggression waged with full US support.

Russia is the continent’s preeminent peacemaker. America and its Kiev proxy want war.

On May 28, NATO deputy secretary general (its de facto boss) former US Defense Department official Alexander Vershbow repeated the same Big Lies about Russia he’s blustered numerous times before, including claiming:

– “Russia’s illegal and illegitimate annexation of Crimea:”

– Russia undermines regional peace:

– Russia “br(ought) war to Eastern Ukraine:”

– Russia supports Donbass militia fighters “with weapons – including sophisticated heavy weapons – with soldiers and with training:”

– “Russian aggression” destabilizes Ukraine: FALSE! The whole world knows no Russian aggression exists.

– Russia “use(s) force – or the threat of force – to achieve its strategic objectives:”

These allegations are false.

Vershbow said “(w)e are putting NATO into a position of strength…to protect our allies (and) engag(e) with Russia” – code language for confrontation stopping short of declaring war.

Ahead of his visit to Italy, Vladimir Putin addressed irresponsible Western “Russian aggression” accusations saying:

“I think that only an insane person and only in a dream can imagine that Russia would suddenly attack NATO.”

“I think some countries are simply taking advantage of people’s fears with regard to Russia. They just want to play the role of front-line countries that should receive some supplementary military, economic, financial or some other aid.”

Russia’s military policy isn’t “global, offensive or aggressive,” he stressed. (V)irtually no bases abroad” are maintained.

Moscow wants demilitarization while Washington’s agenda is polar opposite.

“I invite you to publish a world map…and mark all the US military bases on it,” he said. “You will see the difference between Russia and America.”

Military spending of NATO countries is tenfold Russia’s budget. Washington is installing so-called “anti-missile systems, bases and radars in European territory (and at) sea” – ignoring Russia’s warning about undermining international security.

America under George Bush withdrew from the ABM treaty, not Russia. It limited anti-ballistic missile arsenals. Putin called it “the cornerstone of the entire international security system.”

“Everything we do is just a response to the threats emerging against us,” he explained.

“Besides, what we do is limited in scope and scale, but is, however, sufficient to ensure Russia’s security.”

In late May, Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov commented on the threat of Washington installing so-called missile defense systems in Ukraine, saying:

“(W)e can only perceive it negatively…because it will be a threat to the Russian Federation. In case there are missile defense systems stationed in Ukraine, Russia will have to take retaliatory measures to ensure its own safety.”

Ukraine remains a dangerous global flashpoint. At an extraordinary FridaySecurity Council meeting, Russian envoy Vitaly Churkin explained repeated Kiev violations of Minsk ceasefire terms.

“OSCE monitors should not simply note ceasefire violations, but clearly write down the purpose of these attacks, and who suffers from them –  civilians or military units carrying out artillery fire against settlements,” he said.

Ahead of the June 7 and 8 G-7 summit in Germany, Obama spoke with Poroshenko. He reaffirmed strong US support “for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

He blamed Russia and Donbass freedom fighters for Kiev high crimes. So did US UN envoy Samantha Power atFriday’s Security Council session – bashing Russia irresponsibly like she always does, systematically ignoring hard truths.

Washington wants Putin ousted. They want regime change in Russia. They want pro-Western stooge governance replacing its sovereign independence.

They risk heading things recklessly toward WW III.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site atsjlendman.blogspot.com.

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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.

Wave of assassinations in Ukraine targets critics of Kiev regime

POTROLAND

POTROLAND

 

In the lead-up to the May 9 celebration of the 70th anniversary of the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany at the end of World War II, there has been an accelerating wave of political assassinations targeting critics of the Western-backed, far-right regime in Kiev.

Yesterday evening, a group calling itself the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA)—the name of a Ukrainian fascist militia that collaborated with Nazi forces in carrying out ethnic genocides of Jews and Poles during World War II—claimed responsibility for the killings. In a statement emailed to opposition legislators and political commentators, it also gave “anti-Ukrainian” persons 72 hours to leave the country or be killed if they stayed behind.

It pledged to carry out the “complete extermination” of enemies of Ukraine and a “merciless insurrectionary struggle against the anti-Ukrainian regime of traitors and Moscow toadies,” according to a report in Der Spiegel .

The killing spree began this week with the murder of journalist Sergey Sukhobok. On Wednesday evening, Oleg Kalashnykov was found dead in his home in Kiev. He was a former parliamentarian from the Party of Regions and a close ally of President Viktor Yanukovych, the pro-Russian politician ousted in a NATO-backed, fascist-led putsch in February of 2014 that installed the current regime in Kiev.

According to Interior Ministry advisor Anton Heraschenko, killers were waiting for Kalashnykov outside his residence and shot him when he returned.

Before his death, Kalashnykov indicated that he had received death threats over his call to commemorate May 9. He addressed a letter to his friends warning that “open genocide on dissent, death threats, and constant dirty insults” had become the “norm” since he publicly raised the issue. He reportedly added in the letter that Ukraine was under Nazi occupation.

On Thursday, pro-Russian journalist Oles Buzyna was shot and killed near his house in Kiev by two unidentified masked gunmen firing from a car. Buzyna had edited the Segodnya newspaper, a pro-Russian publication financed by Ukraine’s richest oligarch, Rinat Akhmetov, a multi-billionaire who was also one of the leading sponsors of Yanukovych’s Party of the Regions. Also killed on Thursday was Neteshinskiy Vestnik editor Olga Moroz.

The killings were the latest in a spate of deaths of high-profile opponents of the Kiev regime. The victims have largely been political and media associates of the faction of the post-Soviet Ukrainian business oligarchy tied to Akhmetov, Yanukovych and the Kremlin oligarchy in Russia. Other deaths include:

* Aleksey Kolesnik, former chairman of the Kharkov regional government, found hanged on January 29;

*Stanislav Melnik, a Party of Regions member reportedly close to Akhmetov, found shot in the bathroom of his Kiev apartment on February 24;

*Sergey Valter, the mayor of Melitopol, found hanged before his trial on February 25, leaving no suicide note;

*Aleksandr Bordyuga, the deputy chief of Melitopol police, found dead the next day, in his garage;

*Mikhail Chechetov, a former member of the Party of Regions, who jumped from the window of his 17th floor apartment in Kiev on February 28, leaving a suicide note;

*Sergey Melnichuk, a prosecutor who fell from a 9th floor apartment in Odessa on March 14.

Russian and Ukrainian officials have traded accusations of responsibility for the killings. Speaking on a call-in television show, Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed his condolences to the families of the victims and said of Buzyna’s killing, “It is not the first political assassination, we have seen a series of such killings in Ukraine.”

Officials in Kiev offered up dubious arguments to blame the killings on Russia. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko called the killings “a deliberate provocation which plays into the hands of our enemies, destabilizing the political situation in Ukraine.”

In the meantime, officials and far-right parliamentarians in Kiev have openly endorsed and celebrated the murders. While lawmaker Borys Filatov rejoiced that “one more piece of sh*t” had been eliminated,” Irina Farion, a lawmaker of the fascist Svoboda Party, attacked Buzyna as a “degenerate” and hoped that his “death will somehow neutralize the dirt this [expletive] has spilled… Such ones go to history’s sewers.”

Political responsibility for the killings rests with the imperialist powers that oversaw and backed the Kiev putsch. They have encouraged Kiev to wage a bloody civil war against pro-Russian regions of eastern Ukraine and covered up its reliance on fascistic, anti-Russian forces. In the resulting political atmosphere, opponents of the Kiev states can be murdered without investigation and with political impunity.

What is occurring in Ukraine is a warning to the international working class. With the support of Washington and its European allies, which are moving to train the neo-Nazi militias that make up much of the Ukrainian regime’s National Guard, an ultra-right regime has emerged in a major European country.

With Ukraine’s economy disintegrating and its population resisting Kiev’s attempts to reinstate the draft to wage war against eastern Ukraine, Kiev is seeking to crush domestic dissent and relying ever more directly on the far right. Terrified that mass opposition might coalesce around the May 9 holiday, it has banned public discussion of communism. It also rehabilitated the UPA and the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN).

This is the culmination of a series of police state measures by the Kiev regime that have enjoyed the full support of its NATO backers. During last year’s Ukrainian legislative elections, opposition candidates, including Pyotr Symonenko, the Stalinist Communist Party of Ukraine’s (KPU) former presidential candidate, were physically attacked by fascist thugs.

Even before the murder of Buzyna, Kiev regime officials and sympathizers were demanding draconian punishments of journalists who oppose the regime. Last month, Ukrainian Minister of Information Policy Yuri Stets demanded that journalists in the breakaway eastern Ukrainian Donbass region serve prison terms of eight to 15 years.

In an account on Facebook of a speech he had given at Harvard University, pro-Kiev regime commentator and political analyst Yuri Romanenko boasted that he had argued for murdering pro-Russian journalists and summarized his arguments.

“The Ukrainian army must selectively and carefully eliminate Russian journalists covering the situation in Donbass. We need to direct Ukrainian army snipers to shoot people wearing PRESS helmets, making them priority targets,” Romanenko wrote. “Since the media represent a destructive weapon and allow Russia to operate not only in the war zone but across Ukraine, taking out several dozen journalists in the conflict zone will reduce the quality of the picture presented in the Russian media and, therefore, reduce the effectiveness of their propaganda.”

The murder of Kalashnykov, Buzyna and their political associates emerges directly from the foul political atmosphere produced by such ranting. It is an indictment of the NATO powers backing the regime in Ukraine and the illusions peddled by the Western media and corrupt pseudo-left groups that the right-wing protests on the Maidan and the February 2014 putsch were part of a democratic revolution.

While these forces insisted, without any proof, that the murder of Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov was a crime carried out by the Russian government, they are maintaining a hypocritical silence as the Kiev regime’s internal opponents are gunned down in the streets.

Russia Under Attack

By Dr. Paul Craig Roberts

Global Research
In-depth Report:

 

While Washington works assiduously to undermine the Minsk agreement that German chancellor Merkel and French president Hollande achieved in order to halt the military conflict in Ukraine, Washington has sent Victoria Nuland to Armenia to organize a “color revolution” or coup there, has sent Richard Miles as ambassador to Kyrgyzstan to do the same there, and has sent Pamela Spratlen as ambassador to Uzbekistan to purchase that government’s allegiance away from Russia.  The result would be to break up the Collective Security Treaty Organization and present Russia and China with destabilization where they can least afford it.

For details go here:  http://russia-insider.com/en/2015/03/18/4656

Thus, Russia faces the renewal of conflict in Ukraine simultaneously with three more Ukraine-type situations along its Asian border.

 And this is only the beginning of the pressure that Washington is mounting on Russia.

On March 18 the Secretary General of NATO denounced the peace settlement between Russia and Georgia that ended Georgia’s military assault on South Ossetia. The NATO Secretary General said that NATO rejects the settlement because it “hampers ongoing efforts by the international community to strengthen security and stability in the region.”

Look closely at this statement. It defines the “international community” as Washington’s NATO puppet states, and it defines strengthening security and stability as removing buffers between Russia and Georgia so that Washington can position military bases in Georgia directly on Russia’s border.

In Poland and the Baltic states Washington and NATO lies about a pending Russian invasion are being used to justify provocative war games on Russia’s borders and to build up US forces in NATO military bases on Russia’s borders.

We have crazed US generals on national television calling for “killing Russians.”

The EU leadership has agreed to launch a propaganda war against Russia, broadcasting Washington’s lies inside Russia in an effort to undermine the Russian people’s support of their government.

All of this is being done in order to coerce Russia into handing over Crimea and its Black Sea naval base to Washington and accepting vassalage under Washington’s suzerainty.

If Saddam Hussein, Gaddafi, Assad, and the Taliban would not fold to Washington’s threats, why do the fools in Washington think Putin, who holds in his hands the largest nuclear arsenal in the world, will fold?

European governments, apparently, are incapable of any thought.  Washington has set London and the capitals of every European country, as well as every American city, for destruction by Russian nuclear weapons.  The stupid Europeans rush to destroy themselves in service to their Washington master.

Human intelligence has gone missing if after 14 years of US military aggression against eight countries the world does not understand that Washington is lost in arrogance and hubris and imagines itself the ruler of the universe who will tolerate no dissent from its will.

We know that the American, British, and European media are whores well paid to lie for their master.  We know that the NATO commander and secretary general, if not the member countries, are lusting for war.  We know that the American Dr. Strangeloves in the Pentagon and armaments industry cannot wait to test their ABMs and new weapons systems in which they always place excessive confidence.

We know that the prime minister of Britain is a total cipher. But are the chancellor of Germany and the president of France ready for the destruction of their countries and of Europe?  If the EU is of such value, why is the very existence of its populations put at risk in order to bow down and accept leadership from an insane Washington whose megalomania will destroy life on earth?

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. The Center of Research on Globalization grants permission to cross-post original Global Research articles on community internet sites as long as the text & title are not modified. The source and the author’s copyright must be displayed. For publication of Global Research articles in print or other forms including commercial internet sites, contact: publications@globalresearch.ca

As tensions with Russia spiral, where is NATO? Chickened Out?

nato-germans-1024x615

German troops who are part of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), attend a memorial ceremony for slain soldiers, in the German Army’s Camp Marmal in Mazar-e-Sharif, May 8, 2013. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani

As Iran rattles its sabers and Russia masses weapons in and around Ukraine, many are asking, “Where is the North Atlantic Treaty Organization?” What are its member states doing to bolster European stability and deter these new strategic threats?”

The alliance that once stood toe-to-toe with the communist bloc is silent and seems ill-prepared for today’s challenges. Not that long ago, NATO was the bastion of air-defense capability. With the end of the Cold War, however, members reduced their air-defense assets.

Nations have downsized their forces and are discussing further reductions. NATO’s robust training exercises have been reduced or eliminated, and the pursuit of weapons and equipment that could be integrated and can work together seems more a topic of discussion than an urgent need.

newton-top-1024x646Yet post-Cold War Russia is emerging as a serious threat, and other nefarious world actors are demonstrating new capabilities. Moscow is developing advanced ballistic and cruise missiles and boasts a long-range strike capability. The Kremlin’s new doctrine characterizes NATO as a threat. Consider: NATO aircraft intercepted Russian military aircraft more than 400 times in 2014, as Russians probed into or near NATO airspace.

In addition, Iran has unveiled its unmanned aerial vehicle, declared itself the “world’s fourth-greatest missile power” and opened 2015 with a satellite launch of a rocket that could send a ballistic missile into Europe. Hamas, a Middle East terrorist organization like Islamic State, tested the Qasam rocket, fired more than 4,000 rockets into Israel in the 2014 conflict and flew its own unmanned aerial vehicles.

NATO’s air defense force, meanwhile, is stretched thin and limited in its ability to meet these new challenges. Most European nations have retired their short- to medium-range air defense systems. Germany’s Patriot force is about one-third the size at the end of the Cold War. The Netherlands ended its deployment to Turkey because its Patriot force is not large enough to sustain a third year of deployment. Spain backfilled the Dutch but only deployed a single Patriot unit for a mission that requires two.

The bulk of the U.S. Patriot force is forward stationed in the Pacific or deployed in Central Asia, leaving approximately 40 percent of it either recently home from a deployment or preparing for a deployment.

Fortunately, there are proven means to solve these challenges. First is greater integration of equipment. As General Frank Gorenc, the commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe, recently explained, “the holy grail of interoperability is operating the same equipment.”

Two NATO allies, Poland and Turkey, are about to select new air and missile defense systems. Both began their acquisition process almost two years ago and both could acquire systems that would assure that all NATO weapons can work together in an integrated manner. The nations’ procurement leverages competition, and they have the opportunity to exploit the U.S. Army’s Patriot system.  Stability in Eastern Europe and the value of interoperable systems are of such importance that a bipartisan group of 32 members of the U.S. Congress took the unusual step of writing to Polish Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz urging his country to acquire the Patriot system.

NATO once understood that interoperability, shared munitions and logistics, and combined training were critical to deterring aggression and — if deterrence failed — to mounting a robust response. The ability to quickly integrate an ally’s unit into the partners’ command, or share ammunition and repair parts, is essential in combat, particularly when dealing with low-density, mission-critical air defense systems.

NATO also needs to resurrect its training and educational programs. This means creating an integrated air- and missile-defense training center like those the United States developed for Central Asia and the Pacific theaters. This center would complement a Patriot procurement decision and NATO’s Tactical Leadership Programme.

A reinvigorated tactical program could, for example, enable the relatively new land-based version of the U.S. Navy’s SPY-1 radars with batteries of standard missiles, called Aegis Ashore, to operate with offshore Aegis ships stationed in the Mediterranean and also with NATO’s Patriot units. The synergies of this type of integrated network would put substance behind wishful rhetoric.

It is time for NATO to rejuvenate itself through focused leadership and a unified alliance that boasts educational and training programs underpinned with the most capable interoperability and shared weapon systems.  Nothing less will enhance European stability or ensure its security.

NATO Meeting in Brussels Heightens Danger of War with Russia

 

In-depth Report:

11039-400x287NATO defense ministers are meeting in Brussels today to consolidate the military alliance against Russia, increasing the risk of a direct military confrontation between nuclear-armed powers.

NATO sources have revealed plans to establish a long-term presence in Eastern Europe, according to a report in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung (FAS). So-called NATO “Force Integration Units” will be established in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Bulgaria. There are also plans to deploy such a unit in Hungary at a later time.

The units will consist of 40 soldiers each. They will be tasked with preparing exercises for a new NATO rapid response force and coordinating military activities in emergencies. Germany, which is spearheading the operation this year, intends to deploy a total of 25 soldiers within the units.

The ground troops of the rapid response force are to consist of a brigade of some 5,000 soldiers. The goal is for their most flexible units to have the capability to move to a new location within 48 hours. The entire brigade will be trained and equipped to be able to move to a new location within a week. The leadership of the operation will rotate yearly between NATO member countries.

According to the FAS, NATO defense ministers have already decided on the equipment to be provided during the “test phase,” which is to last until the beginning of next year. Starting in April, a company of German paratroopers will supplement American units that have been stationed in the Baltic States and Poland since last year.

Two weeks ago, the FAS revealed that NATO defense ministers will convene the Nuclear Planning Group (NPG) at the beginning of today’s meeting to discuss “the nuclear threat scenario from Russia in the past few months.”

Unlike previous years, according to the FAS, this will not merely be a routine meeting. An analysis of threat scenarios worked out at NATO headquarters will be presented to the defense ministers. Afterwards, the ministers “will for the first time discuss the consequences for the nuclear strategy of the alliance.” A separate consultation session is planned with France, which is not a member of the NPG.

NATO’s nuclear simulations underscore the fact that the imperialist powers are ready to risk nuclear war in order to force Russia to its knees. In the past week, a number of prominent figures, including former Soviet head of state Mikhail Gorbachev, have warned of the danger of a Third World War if NATO, led by the United States, continues to take aggressive measures against Russia.

Under conditions of escalating fighting between troops of the Western-backed Kiev regime and pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, Gorbachev warned of a “hot war” that “could well inevitably turn into an atomic war.”

On Sunday, the Süddeutsche Zeitung quoted the Russian military expert Yevgeny Buchinsky, who warned that, in response to an offensive against the Donbass by Kiev,

“Russia will have to intervene, and then, bluntly speaking, to take Kiev. Then NATO would be in a difficult situation. Then you would have to start World War III, which no one wants.”

In spite of such warnings, the imperialist powers and their proxies in Kiev are escalating the conflict. On Monday, the New York Times revealed that the Obama administration is considering sending advanced weapons to Kiev. The newspaper listed high-ranking current and former administration officials and military officers who are pushing for such a move.

The Times report triggered opposition among sections of the European elite. The Süddeutsche Zeitung wrote that a decision by Washington to arm the Kiev regime with offensive weapons would be taken by Russia as the equivalent of a declaration of war. Russian officials and German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke against any such move during a visit to Hungary.

Washington intends to use today’s NATO meeting to bring the member states into line behind its provocative and reckless course. At the beginning of the week, Alexander Vershbow, a former US ambassador to Russia and currently the deputy secretary general of NATO, referred to “Russian aggression” in Ukraine as a “game changer in European security.”

He emphasized the necessity of deploying rapid response troops in Eastern Europe, extending NATO’s reach in the east, and arming the Ukrainian military. Referring to Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova, all former Soviet republics, he said,

“The more stable they are, the more secure we are. So helping Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova—to strengthen their military forces, reform their institutions and modernize their economies—is not an act of generosity, it is in our fundamental strategic interest.”

He added,

“NATO is doing its part. To help Ukraine to modernize and reform its armed forces, we have launched five trust funds to assist in areas like command and control, logistics, cyber defense and military medicine. We are sending more advisors to Kiev and will be carrying out exercises with Ukraine’s armed forces. And we are helping Moldova and Georgia to strengthen their defense capacity in similar ways, and, in Georgia’s case, to help it prepare for future membership in the Alliance.”

At the end of his speech, Vershbow warned:

“This time around, having chosen our course, we must stick to it. We must stay united, stay firm and increase the costs to Russia of its aggression.”

Meanwhile, voices in favor of arming Ukraine are growing louder. Michael Gahler (Germany’s Christian Democratic Union—CDU), who is the spokesman on security policy for the European People’s Party in the European Union parliament, spoke in favor of sending weapons to Ukraine in an interview on Deutschlandfunk radio.

Wolfgang Ischinger, leader of the Munich Security Conference, which takes place this weekend, has adopted the same line. On ZDF Television he spoke in favor of the “announcement of possible weapons shipments” to Ukraine. “Sometimes one needs to use pressure to enforce peace,” he declared. While he cautioned that Germany should not send weapons, he said he could “imagine that other members of the alliance would want to do this.”

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, whose regime was brought to power nearly a year ago by a fascist-led putsch backed by the US and Germany, and has since waged a brutal war against the population of eastern Ukraine, made an appearance yesterday in Kharkiv, which is near the border with Russia and the contested areas. He said that “we will need lethal weapons, and I am sure that foreign weapons will be sent to Ukraine.” He continued: “I don’t have any doubt that the US and other partners will provide help with lethal weapons so that Ukraine will be able to defend itself.”

Poroshenko will take part in the Munich Security Conference along with 20 other heads of state and 60 foreign and defense ministers. He is meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Kiev today.

Crowd of Several Hundred Tries to Storm Ukrainian Presidential Administration Office

 

In-depth Report:

Ukraine-anniversary-Maidan-coup-4-400x270A crowd of several hundred people has begun storming the Ukrainian presidential administration’s office, a TASS correspondent reports from the scene.

Protest demonstrators have penetrated the first cordon of the National Guards and are trying to make their way to the conference hall. Police forces are being moved in. National guards in full riot gear entered a brawl with the demonstrators, who are demanding access to TV cameras for a statement.

Earlier, demonstrators demanded the introduction of martial law and resignation of all top law enforcement officials, including the defense minister and prosecutor-general.

Also, one of their demands is the removal of the 25th Kievan Rus battalion of the Ukrainian armed forces from the area of Debaltsevo. Women from the Mothers’ Union have told TASS their sons could not have been contacted for the past several days.