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Russia has seized three Ukrainian military vessels violating its territory near Russia’s newly completed Crimean Bridge. The incident is a clear provocation carried out by Kiev and possibly engineered by Kiev’s Western sponsors – particularly those in Washington and London.

Ukrainian military vessels are in fact permitted to pass from the Black Sea into the Sea of Azov provided they notify Russian authorities beforehand. The Sea of Azov – according to a joint agreement signed by Kiev and Moscow in 2003 – is considered internal waters of both Ukraine and Russia.

https://activistpost.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u=3ac8bebe085f...

A video shows a Russian vessel ramming a Ukrainian ship, while another picture shows unknown damage to a Russian RFCGS 354 ‘Izumrud’, a Rubin Class patrol ship, deployed at Kerch bridge.

Other countries’ officials have also condemned the action by Russia “as an act of aggression” stating the country “violated international maritime law.”

Michael Roth, a deputy foreign minister of Germany, stated to Deutschlandfunk radio the matter is “very dangerous — the last thing we need is a further escalation in relations between Russia and Ukraine.”

Roth added he did not have any information on the incident, “but it is clear that Russia, in accordance with international law, must ensure unhindered access to Ukrainian harbors in the Sea of Azov.”

NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu stated the military alliance is calling for “restraint and de-escalation” over the incident in the Black Sea.

She said NATO supports Ukraine’s “navigational rights in its territorial waters” and calls on Russia “to ensure unhindered access to Ukrainian ports in the Azov Sea, in accordance with international law.”

He added that “both sides must now de-escalate” and avoid a spiral of tensions that “could ultimately lead to terrible consequences.”

The Ukrainian army has published radio communication of the Russian coast guard during the incident near the Kerch Strait according to Moscow Bureau Chief of DerSPIEGEL. Christian Esch.

“An interesting point within that audio is that an Officer says “Medvedev (vice admiral, head of FSB’s coast guard) is in panic, it looks like the president himself is controlling this shit,” Esch tweeted linking to a YouTube video.

As a result of this, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko submitted a declaration of martial law to lawmakers. On Monday, Poroshenko’s request passed as 276 lawmakers backed the proposal for martial law.

With the decree in place, authorities in Ukraine now have the power to restrict public rallies and regulate the media, the BBC reported.

The proposition will remain in effect for 30 days until Jan. 25th and issues a call for a partial mobilization of the Ukrainian military to defend the border and major government and industrial sites against potential further aggression. In other words, part of the country is under martial law.

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A respected foreign journalist living in Ukraine is warning that a war that most Americans cannot even imagine “teeters on the razor thin edge of becoming real”.  When Russia opened fire on Ukrainian Navy vessels and captured three of their ships, it made headlines all over the globe.  An emergency meeting of the UN Security Council was hastily arranged for Monday at 11 AM, and hopefully there will be a positive outcome from that meeting.  Because right now Moscow and Kiev are on the brink of war, and once a Russian invasion happens there will be no turning back.  At that point the U.S. would have a major decision to make, and if we chose to defend Ukraine that could mean that we would suddenly find ourselves fighting World War 3.

Most people don’t realize that this crisis has been simmering for over a week.  The following is from a U.S. News & World Report article that was posted on November 19th

A dispute over shipping lanes is threatening to reignite the 4-year-old simmering war between Ukraine and Russia following confrontations sparked by both sides in recent days.

Russian border guards on Monday detained Ukrainian fishing vessels in the Sea of Azov, a strategically important body of water contained to the north by Ukraine, to the west by the Crimean Peninsula and to the east and south by Russia. Monday’s incident came days after Russian President Vladimir Putin slammed Kiev for detaining Russian commercial ships also in the Azov in what he described as “a totally illegal move” and which Kremlin officials have warned may prompt retaliation.

When you realize what has already taken place, it puts the most recent events in an entirely different context.

The Russians blocked the Kerch Strait in retaliation for having had their own commercial vessels detained by the Ukrainian government.

And when the Ukrainians decided to test the Russians by sailing Ukrainian Navy vessels into the Kerch Strait, the Russians decided not to back down.  The following comes from Sky News

Russia has opened fire on Ukrainian ships and captured three vessels in a major escalation of tensions off the coast of Crimea.

Three sailors have been wounded after the Ukrainian navy said two artillery boats were hit by the strikes in the Black Sea.

Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko called an emergency session of his war cabinet and said he will propose that parliament declare martial law.

So the truth is that neither side is exactly “innocent” in this situation.

The Kerch Strait is absolutely critical, because it is the only way into and out of the Azov Sea

The strait connects the Azov Sea with the Black Sea and runs between the Crimean Peninsula and Russia. It’s a shallow, narrow stretch of water just two to three miles (3.2 to 4.8 kilometers) wide at one point near the Chuska landspit.

The strait is an important economic lifeline for Ukraine, as it allows ships leaving the port city of Mariupol to access the Black Sea.

It’s also the the closest point of access for Russia to Crimea, a peninsula Moscow annexed in 2014. The international community has largely not recognized Russia’s annexation of Crimea, but that did not stop Russia from building a bridge over the Kerch Strait connecting Crimea to mainland Russia. The Kerch Strait bridge was opened in May.

In addition to asking for a declaration of martial law, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has also been gathering with his top military leaders.  Poroshenko is pledging that Ukraine will not take any “offensive” military actions, but he also says that they are ready to defend against any attacks from Russia.

The Russians are accusing Poroshenko of manipulating this crisis in order to pump up his flagging approval ratings for the upcoming presidential elections.  There is a very real possibility that Poroshenko could lose, and he is desperate to stay in office.

Of course the Ukrainians are blaming Russia for everything, and Poroshenko says that what happened on Sunday “was an act of war”

Finally, Ukraine has called for an urgent UN Security Council meeting over ‘Russian aggression’ while Ukraine’s secretary for national security, Oleksander Turchynov, accused Russia of engaging in an act of war: “We heard reports on incident and have concluded that it was an act of war by Russian Federation against Ukraine”.

At this point, it is unclear what the Russians will do next.

Hopefully they will see that a full-blown invasion of Ukraine would not be wise.

But if they decide that such a war is inevitable, they will move with lightning speed as we have seen in other conflicts.  For example, Russia had already annexed Crimea before the rest of the world even started talking about it.  And we all remember what happened in Georgia.

If and when Russia finally pulls the trigger, their forces will be halfway to Kiev before the mainstream media in the western world even realizes what is happening.

And if Russia does invade, the Trump administration will be under tremendous pressure from Republicans, Democrats and other NATO members to intervene.  Already, there has been some very tough talk from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

It’s yet unclear how far the U.S. is willing to go in support for Ukraine. In a joint statement after Klimkin’s meeting with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last week, both sides “condemned Russia’s aggressive actions against international shipping transiting the Black Sea, the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait to Ukrainian ports” and agreed that “Russia’s aggressive activities in the Sea of Azov have brought new security, economic, social, and environmental threats to the entire Azov-Black Sea region.”

But if we directly intervene in a military conflict between Russia and Ukraine, that could very easily trigger World War 3.

Most Americans are not concerned that a conflict between Russia and Ukraine could potentially affect the United States, but the threat is very real.  In fact, according to foreign correspondent Nolan Peterson such a war “teeters on the razor thin edge of becoming real”…

This is the most dangerous moment I’ve seen in Ukraine in years. Tonight, a war that many people in America can only imagine thanks to Hollywood movies, teeters on the razor thin edge of becoming real. Tonight in Ukraine we go to sleep not knowing what tomorrow will bring.

Let us hope for peace, because right now the world is becoming a more chaotic place with each passing day…

Poroshenko recently declared that he would destroy the new bridge built by Russia connecting with Krimea. Ukraine was about to have an election (now cancelled) and with Poroshenko being very unpopular in his country, it looks as though he created a very dangerous situation in order to avoid this election and declare martial law. Poroshenko is a globalist puppet (much like Macron in France) who was never the people's choice. 

In this instance there were 10 Ukraine warships seeking passage. They did not respond to any requests for information by the Russian patrol ship. The Russian patrol ship warned them (Following standard international protocol) and as there was still no response, they destroyed their rudders. The Ukraine crew stayed inside the boat and did not come out. This is a deliberate attempt at causing friction between Ukraine and Russia!! Until now, Russia has been incredibly restrained despite numerous provocations by the West in order to start a war. The West (deep state) desperately needs a huge war to cover the fact that the financial system is imploding. Deutsche Bank and nearly every other European bank are bankrupt, about to cave in

Pretty damned good analysis.I think there are a lot of distractions being staged for that very reason(Stormy Kavanaugh,migrant caravan,RussiaGate).Trump himself has proved to be a big distraction,no doubt a factor in his selection.

http://tass.com/world/1033513

WASHINGTON, November 29./TASS/. US President Donald Trump decided to cancel his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit in Argentina after speaking with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and National Security Adviser John Bolton, Reuters quoted White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders as telling reporters aboard Air Force One.

More:
http://tass.com/world/1033513

https://www.globalresearch.ca/what-foreign-threats/5661876

One of the local Washington television stations was doing a typical early morning honoring our soldiers schtick just before Thanksgiving. In it soldiers stationed far from home were treated to videolinks so they could talk to their families and everyone could nod happily and wish themselves a wonderful holiday. Not really listening, I became interested when I half heard that the soldier being interviewed was spending his Thanksgiving in Ukraine.

It occurred to me that the soldier just might have committed a security faux pas by revealing where he was, but I also recalled that there have been joint military maneuvers as well as some kind of training mission going on in the country, teaching the Ukrainian Army how to use the shiny new sophisticated weapons that the United States was providing it with to defend against “Russian aggression.”

Ukraine is only one part of the world where the Trump Administration has expanded the mission of democracy promotion, only in Kiev the reality is more like faux democracy promotion since Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is clearly exploiting a situation that he himself provoked. He envisions setting himself up as a victim of Moscow to aid in his attempts to establish his own power through a security relationship with Washington. That in turn will help his bid for reelection in March 2019 elections, in which his poll numbers are currently running embarrassingly low largely due to the widescale corruption in his government. Poroshenko has already done much to silence the press in his county while the developing crisis with Russia has enabled him to declare martial law in the eastern parts of the country where he is most poorly regarded. If it all works out, he hopes to win the election and subsequently, it is widely believed, he will move to expand his own executive authority.

There also has to be some consideration the encounter with the Russians on the Kerch Strait was contrived by Poroshenko with the assistance of a gaggle of American neoconservative and Israeli advisers who have been actively engaged with the Ukrainian government for the past several years. The timing was good for Poroshenko for his own domestic political reasons but it was also an opportunity for the neocons warmongers that surround Trump and proliferate inside the Beltway to scuttle any possible meeting between a vulnerable Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin at the G20 gathering in Argentina.

The defection of Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen, together with the assumption that a lot of anti-Trump dirt will be spilled soon, means that the American president had to be even more cautious than ever in any dealings with Moscow and all he needed was a nod of approval from National Security Adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to cancel the encounter. A heads-of-state meeting might not have solved anything but it certainly would be better than the current drift towards a new cold war. If the United States has only one vitally important relationship anywhere it is with Russia as the two countries are ready, able and apparently willing to destroy the world under the aegis of self-defense.

Given the anti-Russian hysteria prevailing in the U.S. and the ability of the neocons to switch on the media, it should come as no surprise that the Russian-Ukrainian incident immediately generated calls from the press and politicians for the White House to get tough with the Kremlin. It is important to note that the United States has no actual national interest in getting involved in a war between Russia and Ukraine if that should come about. The two Eastern European countries are neighbors and have a long history of both friendship and hostility but the only thing clear about the conflict is that it is up to them to sort things out and no amount of sanctions and jawing by concerned congressmen will change that fact.

Other Eastern European nations that similarly have problems with Russia should also be considered provocateurs as they seek to create tension to bind the United States more closely to them through the NATO alliance. The reality is that today’s Russian Federation is not the Soviet Union and it neither aspires to nor can afford hegemony over its former allies. What it has made very clear that it does want is a modus vivendiwhere Russia itself is not being threatened by the West.

Recent military maneuvers in Poland and Lithuania and the stationing of new missiles in Eastern Europe do indeed pose a genuine threat to Moscow as it places NATO forces on top of Russia’s border. When Russia reacts to incursions by NATO warships and planes right along its borders, it is accused of acting aggressively. One wonders how the U.S. government would respond if a Russian aircraft carrier were to take up position off the eastern seaboard and were to begin staging reconnaissance flights. Or if the Russian army were to begin military exercises with the Cubans? Does anyone today remember the Bay of Pigs?

When it comes to international conflicts context is everything. Seeing the incident between Russia and Ukraine in Manichean terms as an example of Moscow’s aggressive instincts is satisfying in some circles, but it does not in any way reflect the reality on the ground. Internal politics of the two countries combined with deliberate fabrications that are expected to generate a certain response operate together to create a largely false narrative for both international and domestic consumption. Unfortunately, narratives have consequences: in this case, the sacrifice of the possibly beneficial meeting between Trump and Putin.

The same dynamic works vis-à-vis Washington’s other enemy du jour Iran. In the case of Russia, useless “friend” Ukraine is pulling the strings while regarding Iran it is conniving Israel and Saudi Arabia. Iran has been accused of being the world’s leading sponsor of terror, of destabilizing the Middle East, and of having a secret nuclear weapon program that will be used to attack Israel and Europe. None of those assertions are true. The terrorism tag comes from the country’s relationship with Hezbollah, which is only a terrorist group insofar as it is hostile to Israel and pledged to resist any future Israeli invasion of Lebanon. Washington and Israel have pushed the terrorism label for Hezbollah, but most Europeans have begun to disregard the designation since the group has become a part of the Lebanese government.

And regarding destabilizing the Middle East, that has largely been the end result of actions undertaken by the United States, Israel and the Saudis, while the alleged Persian nuclear weapons program is a fantasy. If someone in the U.S. national security apparatus had any brains the United States would work to improve relations with Iran real soon as the Iranians would in the long run quite likely prove to be better friends than those rascals who are currently running around using that label.

And there are other friends in unlikely places. Beleaguered British Prime Minister Theresa May is wailing loudly against a Trump threat to reveal classified documents relating to Russiagate. The real problem is that the documents apparently don’t expose anything done by the Russians. Rather, they seem to appear to reveal a plot by the British intelligence and security services working in collusion with then CIA Director John Brennan to subvert the course of the 2016 election in favor of the Deep State and Establishment favorite Hillary Clinton. How did that one work out?

So how about it? Teenagers who get in trouble often have to ditch their bad friends to turn their lives around. There is still a chance for the United States if we keep our distance from the bad friends we have been nurturing all around the world, friends who have been convincing us to make poor choices. Get rid of the ties the bind to the Saudis, Israelis, Ukrainians, Poles, and yes, even the British. Deal fairly with all nations and treat everyone the same, but bear in mind that there are only two relationships that really matter – Russia and China. Make a serious effort to avoid a war by learning how to get along with those two nations and America might actually survive to celebrate a tricentennial in 2076.

*

https://www.theepochtimes.com/u-s-gives-russia-60-days-to-comply-wi...

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gave Russia a 60-day deadline on Dec. 4, to come into compliance with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.

If Russia fails to take action and destroy the SSC-8 missiles and launchers, which the U.S. says are in violation of the landmark 1987 arms pact, Washington will initiate the formal process to withdraw from the treaty, according to Pompeo.

“Our nations have a choice. We either bury our head in the sand or we take common-sense action in response to Russia’s flagrant disregard for the express terms of the INF Treaty,” Pompeo said Dec. 4, at a press conference during the NATO Foreign Ministers meeting in Belgium.

The potential for major escalation in the Black Sea between the United States and Russia just grew significantly hotter as the US military has formally notified Turkey that it plans to sail a warship into the Black Sea for the first time in a month. 

US defense officials have told CNN that the request is specifically in response to Russia's actions against Ukraine during the Nov. 25 Kerch Strait incident


USS Forrest Sherman, via US Naval Forces Europe-Africa

According to a CNN exclusive Wednesday afternoon:

The US has begun making the necessary preparations to sail a warship into the Black Sea, a move that comes amid heightened tensions in the region following Russia's seizure of Ukrainian ships and detention of Ukrainian sailors.

The US military has requested that the State Department notify Turkey of its possible plans to sail a warship into the Black Sea, three US officials tell CNN, a move they said is a response to Russia's actions against Ukraine in the Kerch Strait, which connects the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.

The military has made the request as required under the Montreux Convention — the 1936 agreement which gave Turkey control over the Bosporus Straits and the Dardanelles, including authority to regulate the transit of naval warships.

A State Department spokesman told CNN, "the United States carries out its activities consistent with the terms of the Montreux Convention. We will not, however, comment on the nature of our diplomatic correspondence with the Government of Turkey." There was no early indication whether Turkey granted the passage, which could be interesting given recent closer relations between Ankara and Moscow. 

But two among CNN source's cautioned that giving Turkey notification would merely provide the Navy "the option" of moving a warship into the area, suggesting that no battleships have necessarily yet to be deployed. 

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-12-05/us-prepares-sail-warship-...

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Poroshenko government may stage chemical attack


nage.com/track/click?u=dd1894510f1...

The military command of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) received information regarding several scenarios of a Ukrainian offensive in Donbass. The details of the alleged Kiev plan were announced by the deputy c....

“Our intelligence obtained reliable data on the training of Western curators, together with the Ukrainian command of several options for the offensive,” Basurin said in a statement.

Most notably, there is allegedly a chemical attack being planned in the Kiev-controlled settlements in the Gorlovka area in eastern Ukraine. Prior to this, intelligence suggested that the preparation of such a scenario was being prepared by British experts.

The DPR Militia stated that in Mariupol bloody provocations are being prepared on land and sea. Both scenarios are designed for numerous casualties among the civilian population and the armed forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine with the subsequent accusation in this of the forces of the People’s Militia.

“This occasion will immediately be used to deliver a massive missile and air strike on the critical objects of the Republics. In particular, artillery and aviation will hit the places that store military equipment, established by the Minsk agreements, weapons and fuel warehouses,  civilian infrastructure,” Basurin said.

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