Russia: response to two Ukraines

Brussels 08.02.2023 Russian former President Dmitry Medvedev (pictured) recalled that “the division along the 38th parallel (demilitarized zone between the DPRK and South Korea) created two independent countries.”

Medvedev, nowadays the deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council has depicted Kiev’s speculation that the West is allegedly ready to split Ukraine “according to the Korean scenario” as the first step towards recognizing the existing territorial realities.

“It is clear that the “Korean scenario” speculation is just wishful thinking: ‘We, the rest of Ukraine, would be under Western control and protection. And then we would reach the level of the Republic of Korea. Also, there would remain some hope for reunification with the former territories’,” Medvedev wrote on his Telegram channel on Tuesday, February 7. The politician commented that such hypothetic thinking “is meant for internal use only.”

“There is something else that is noteworthy here,” Medvedev stressed. “Kiev has in fact made a timid hint that there can be no victory. At best, they will follow the country’s division into parts. But in fact, this is the first step towards recognizing the realities that have developed on the ground,” he said.

Medvedev recalled that “the division along the 38th parallel (demilitarized zone between the DPRK and South Korea – TASS) created two independent countries.”

“In the meantime, Donbass and other territories have become part of Russia, which is the largest state with full sovereignty and the most formidable weapons,” Medvedev stressed.

Earlier, a former adviser to the head of the Ukrainian presidential office Alexey Arestovich admitted that Ukraine lacked the strength to win and that the Western countries were ready to implement the concept of “two Koreas” in the region. Prior to this, the secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, Alexey Danilov claimed that Kiev might be offered a “Korean option” of the settlement, involving an “equivalent of the 38th parallel.”

As Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov also expressed a position of Kremlin, commenting on Kiev’s speculation about alleged discussions between the deputy chief of the Russian presidential staff, Dmitry Kozak, over the possibility of a “Korean option” for a settlement in Ukraine was a media concoction. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova dismissed Danilov’s statement that Russia might allegedly offer Ukraine a “Korean option” as rumors and far-fetched speculation.

Ukraine top executives killed in crash

Strasbourg 18.01.2023 The three leading figures in Ukraine’s interior Ministry have been killed in a helicopter crash next to a nursery in an eastern suburb of the capital Kyiv – Brovary.

Interior Minister Denys Monastyrsky, 42, died alongside his first deputy Minister and State secretary.

Nine people were killed when the helicopter came down in Brovary and another nine died on the ground, including three children.

Minister Monastyrsky is the highest profile Ukrainian casualty since the war broke out on February 24, 2022.

The deputy head of Ukraine’s presidential office, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, said the Minister had been on errand to a war “hot spot” when his helicopter went down.

There is no indication the crash was anything other than an accident, although witnesses said Russia’s war was to blame for the disaster.

“It was very foggy and there was no electricity, and when there’s no electricity there are no lights on the buildings,” local resident Volodymyr told the BBC.

The 42-year-old Interior minister was a prominent member of President Volodymy Zelensky’s cabinet. The top executive played a key role in updating the public on casualties caused by Russian missile strikes since Ukraine was invaded in February 2022.

Gen.Clark: Ukraine can regain control over Crimea

Brussels 12.01.2023 Since August, Ukraine has conducted successful counteroffensives in the north and south, taking back over 50 percent of the territory that Moscow seized after the full-scale invasion on February 24, 2022. Ukraine has also conducted successful strikes on Russian military bases in Crimea and on Black Sea Fleet near Sevastopol (pictured).

Some experts have argued that now is the time for Ukraine to retake Crimea, nine years after Vladimir Putin’s annexation in 2014. Were Ukraine to move in the south and break the land Kerch bridge running from Russia to Crimea, Moscow’s hold on the peninsula would be in danger.

Ukraine can regain control over Crimea, said Gen.Wes Clark, on condition it would be given the offensive weapons. The retired general expressed his opinion of a strong possibility of such a scenario on condition of the U.S. military support in the various fields, including intelligence.

Image: social media.

Putin announces Xmas cease-fire

Brussels 05.01.2023 Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday ordered a 36-hour cease-fire in Ukraine over Orthodox Christmas, the first major truce of the more than 10-month war that has killed tens of thousands and devastated swaths of Ukraine.

Putin ordered the cease-fire to begin on January 6, the Kremlin said. Many Orthodox Christians, including those living in Russia and Ukraine, celebrate Christmas on January 6-7.

Putin did not appear to make his conditional on Ukrainian agreement to follow suit.

But it wasn’t clear whether hostilities would actually halt on the 684-mile front line. Ukrainian officials have previously dismissed Russian peace moves as playing for time to regroup their forces and prepare for additional attacks. A senior Ukrainian official quickly dismissed the proposal.

“The Russian Federation must leave the occupied territories — only then will it have a ‘temporary truce.’ Keep hypocrisy to yourself,” presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak wrote on Twitter.

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, called earlier Thursday for both sides of the war in Ukraine to observe a Christmas truce.

Lavrov: Donbass “must be liberated”

Brussels 29.12.2022 The Donetsk (DNR) and Lugansk People’s Republics (LPR), as well as the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions, which joined Russia following referendums, “need to be liberated”, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said to Russian Channel One TV. (Image above: archive)

While answering a question about the borders of the regions that he was referring to, Lavrov said: “I am certainly talking about their borders as parts of the Russian Federation, based on the Russian Constitution.”

“It stems from the people’s will expressed in the four regions. It happened a while ago in the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics and this fall in the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions,” Lavrov added.

The top diplomat underlined that Russia was determined to make sure that its special military operation would achieve its goals. The four regions “need to be liberated from the threat of Nazification that they have faced for years” he added.

From September 23 to September 27, the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR), as well as the Kherson Region and the Zaporozhye Region, held referendums where the majority of voters opted to join Russia. On September 30, Russian President Vladimir Putin and the heads of the DPR and the LPR, the Zaporozhye and Kherson Regions signed treaties on their accession to Russia. On October 4, Putin signed laws ratifying the treaties.

Lavrov: Russia resists sanctions

Brussels 19.12.2022 Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his Belarusian counterpart Sergey Aleinik discussed the Ukrainian crisis and ways to resist the West’s waves of sanctions pressure at a meeting on Monday, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement, TASS news agency reports.

“The parties exchanged views on international and regional issues, including the situation around the Ukrainian crisis. They reaffirmed their determination to coordinate steps on international platforms and efforts to resist the political and illegal sanctions pressure that Russia and Belarus have been facing from unfriendly countries,” the statement reads.

According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, the parties also discussed pressing bilateral issues, interaction within the Union State and other Eurasian organisations. “Special attention was paid to ensuring diplomatic support for the implementation of Union State programs concerning the economic integration of the two countries, cooperation within the CIS [Commonwealth of Independent States], Russia’s upcoming chairmanship of the EAEU [Eurasian Economic Union] and Belarus’s chairmanship of the CSTO [Collective Security Treaty Organization],” the statement added.

The diplomats also discussed upcoming foreign policy events, including preparations for a joint board meeting of the Russian and Belarusian foreign ministries.

Ukraine: Orban warns EU of consequences

Brussels 07.12.2022 The Hungarian leader Viktor Orban told “Good morning, Hungary!” that EU sanctions on Russian energy are bound to fail, and that “not only our children, but also our grandchildren will suffer the consequences” of a mass borrowing scheme proposed by the EU, adding that potentially insolvent states will require support as well.

Orban reiterated Hungary’s opposition, and suggested that agreements to support Ukraine should be at the national level via bilateral agreements between individual countries, ReMix reports.

He highlighted that Ukraine has now found itself in a situation whereby it is incapable of functioning as an independent nation because of the ongoing conflict, and while it needs help from its neighbors and allies in the short-term, it is not for Brussels to speak on behalf of all member states.

What’s more, Orban believes that any further sanctions on Russian gas or nuclear energy would have “tragic consequences,” and argued that Hungary should be exempt from such a decision.

“We are facing a difficult winter, Ukraine is in an increasingly difficult situation, Russia is suffering difficulties, but its revenues from energy carriers are at their peak, so the policy of sanctions has not achieved its goal,” he said, explaining that while Hungary won’t be subject to an upcoming ban on European imports of Russian oil, it will still be affected by the “price-inflating effect of the sanctions.”

“We have always achieved our own national goals in the negotiations on sanctions, so we are participating in the discussion of the ninth package with good hopes,” Orban concluded, while noting that the “pressure is constant,” and that Hungary must “constantly fight to protect our interests.”

Brussels bailing out Ukraine will ruin Europe for generations, Hungary’s Orban warns.

NATO: Russia as “terrorist state”

Strasbourg 22.11.2022 The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation Parliamentary Assembly (NATO PA) on Monday 21 November supported the proposal of the Ukrainian delegation and adopted a unanimous resolution defining Russia as a “terrorist state” during its 68th Annual Session.

The PA passed a series of resolutions calling on the 30 NATO allies to intensify support to Ukraine’s resistance and assistance to the country’s integration into Euro-Atlantic institutions. The PA announced to the allies that the “Russian state under the current regime is a terrorist one.”

President of the PA Joëlle Garriaud-Maylam condemned Russia´s war on Ukraine and noted that “Western allies had failed to listen to the warnings of their Eastern partners before President Vladimir Putin ordered Russian troops into Ukraine.”

“Now, no doubt is possible, Russian leaders, are acting like real terrorists, showing unprecedent barbarism by attacking civilians and civilian infrastructure. We must act, and they must be judged as terrorists in front of international tribunals. As NATO parliamentarians, we must support Ukraine, we must support its people. People who are everyday showing courage and resilience in the service of our values of Freedom, democracy and sovereignity”, the president Garriaud-Maylam declared.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed the Assembly through video conferencing and called the NATO Allies to stand firm against Russian aggression and step up support to Ukraine.

“Ukrainians are sure we can defend ourselves in this war, we can reinstate our borders, European borders, along the full length of our southern and eastern flanks. The power of our democracy will be a guarantee that no tyranny to the east of us will be able to threaten Europe.

Other international bodies have also condemned Russia’s war in Ukraine.On October 13, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. (PACE) unanimously adopted a resolution calling the Russian Federation a terrorist regime. PACE became the first international organisation to recognise Russia as a terrorist state. PACE passed another resolution on November 16 to recognise Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism. On November 14, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution stating that Russia must be held accountable for international law violations during its war in Ukraine and must pay war reparations.

Pentagon: U.S. military in Ukraine

Brussels 03.11.2022 U.S. Air Force Brigade General Pat Ryder acknowledged during an official briefing that active-duty U.S. military personnel are not only deployed in Ukraine, but are operating far away from the U.S. Embassy in Kiev.

The day before, an unnamed U.S. Department of Defense official said at a background briefing that “U.S. personnel” had “resumed on-site inspections to assess weapon stocks” in Ukraine.

Reporting on this announcement, NBC News noted that “these inspectors in Ukraine appear to be some of the first members of the U.S. military to re-enter the Eastern European country since the start of the war, outside of military guards posted at the U.S. Embassy…”

During Tuesday’s on-camera briefing, Travis Tritten of military.com asked, “The military has personnel inside of Ukraine, who are doing weapons inspections now. I’m wondering what the rules of engagement for those personnel are if they are fired on by the Russians or they are targeted by the Russians.”

“We do have small teams that are comprised of embassy personnel that are conducting some inspections of security assistance delivery at a variety of locations” Ryder said.

“My understanding is that they would be well far away from any type of frontline actions, we are relying on the Ukrainians to do that, we are relying on other partners to do that…. They’re not going to be operating on the front lines” he continued.

“We’ve been very clear there are no combat forces in Ukraine, no US forces conducting combat operations in Ukraine, these are personnel that are assigned to conduct security cooperation and assistance as part of the defense attaché office” the general said.

To this explanation, Tritten replied: “But this would be different because they would be working outside the embassy. I would just ask if people should read this as an escalation.”

Ryder claimed that the U.S. action was not escalatory, and simply refused to answer Tritten’s question about what the Washington would do if any active-duty U.S. troops were killed.

At present Russia has expanded its targeting of logistics sites throughout Ukraine, with weapons depots being a major target. The question “what will be the consequence if these U.S. troops, serving as liaisons for the coordination of logistics and weapons shipments, are targeted, including inadvertently, by Russia?” remains unanswered.

The United States has exported weapons, but also ensured economic assistance for Ukraine, altogether mounting to $50 billion. Having financed and supplied the war, the Washington intends to control the weapons trajectory and use. The ambivalence caused by reports of the growing black market of weapons has fuelled and argument within the American political establishment in advance of the midterm elections.

The U.S. military and State Department are increasingly concerned that advanced weapons may end up in the hands of elements within Ukraine that may use them in a way that Washington has not approved beforehand.

The Pentagon’s statements followed the release of a report by the State Department on its plans to “Counter Illicit Diversion of Certain Advanced Conventional Weapons in Eastern Europe.”

The report referred to “a variety of criminal and non-state actors [who] may attempt to acquire weapons from sources in Ukraine during or following the conflict, as occurred after the Balkan Wars in the 1990s.”

Unfortunately, the “Criminal” actors, however, are embedded in the Ukrainian military, particularly in the form of the fascistic Azov Batallion, which is playing a frontline role in the war against Russia and whose leaders have been brought to Washington where they received warm welcome by Congressmen, Democrat and Republican alike.

The open secret is that the actual U.S. force presence in Ukraine is far greater even than that admitted by the Pentagon.

In October, veteran journalist James Risen reported that the Biden administration had authorized the clandestine deployment of U.S. Special Forces in Ukraine.
“Clandestine American operations inside Ukraine are now far more extensive than they were early in the war,” wrote Risen.

Secret U.S. operations inside Ukraine are being conducted under a presidential covert action finding, current and former officials said. The finding indicates that the president has quietly notified certain congressional leaders about the administration’s decision to conduct a broad program of clandestine operations inside the country. One former special forces officer said that Biden amended a preexisting finding, originally approved during the Obama administration, that was designed to counter malign foreign influence activities.

In July, the New York Times reported that dozens of US ex-military personnel are operating on the ground in Ukraine and that retired senior US officers are directing portions of the Ukrainian war effort from within the country.

US forces are intimately involved in all aspects of Ukrainian military operations, having helped provide intelligence for the strike that sunk the Moskva, the flagship of the Russian Black Sea fleet, in April, and for Ukrainian strikes that have killed Russian generals.

The announcement comes amidst a major escalation of the war over the past month. Following military setbacks in both Northern and Southern Ukraine, Russia has mobilized hundreds of thousands of reservists, annexed four regions of Ukraine, and threatened the use of nuclear weapons to defend them.

A series of major provocative actions targeting Russia have massively increased tensions, including the bombing of the Nord Stream gas pipelines, for which Russia has blamed the United Kingdom, along with the assassination of Russian far-right ideologue Daria Dugina and the bombing of the Kerch Bridge, which the New York Times reported were carried out by Ukrainian forces.

Over the weekend, Ukraine carried out an attack on Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, the Times reported, which prompted Russia to shortly withdraw from its grain agreement with Ukraine, threatening to escalate the global food crisis.

Under these conditions, forces within the U.S., including admiral James Stavridis, have renewed calls for more direct U.S. intervention, including in the form of the dispatch of warships to the Black Sea.

U.S. Division ready to enter Ukraine

Brussels 22.10.2022 The U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division is ready to enter Ukraine in case of further tensions between Moscow and Kiev or an attack on a NATO ally, CBS News reported, citing the division’s command staff.

“We’re ready to defend every inch of NATO soil,” the division’s Deputy Commander Brigadier General John Lubas said, as cited by the media outlet. Commander of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team Colonel Edwin Matthaidess, in turn, underlined that his troops, deployed to Romania, have been “closely watching” the Russian manoeuvre, “building objectives to practice against” and conducting drills that “replicate exactly what’s going on” in the war.

“In all, about 4,700 soldiers from the 101st Airborne’s home base in Fort Campbell, Kentucky, have been deployed to reinforce NATO’s eastern flank,” CBS News noted.

“The commanders told CBS News repeatedly that they are always ‘ready to fight tonight,’ and while they’re there to defend NATO territory, if the fighting escalates or there’s any attack on NATO, they’re fully prepared to cross the border into Ukraine,” the media outlet added.

On February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a special military operation based on a request from the heads of the Donbass self-proclaimed republics. In response, the West imposed major sanctions on Russia, claiming Ukraine territorial integrity. In addition, Western countries started to massively provide weapons and military equipment to Kiev, whose total value is currently estimated at billions of dollars. However, US President Joe Biden has repeatedly stated that he has no plans to send US troops to Ukraine.