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.

Russia: limited nuclear conflict catastrophe

Brussels 29.09.2022 Assumptions about the possibility of a limited nuclear conflict are erroneous as any use of nuclear weapons is fraught with global catastrophe, Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antono wrote in an article published on the website of the US’ National Interest magazine.

“I would like to warn American military planners about the fallacy of their assumptions that a limited nuclear conflict is possible. They apparently hope that the United States would be able to take cover behind the ocean if such a conflict happens in Europe with British and French nuclear weapons. I would stress that this is an extremely dangerous “experiment.” It is safe to assume that any use of nuclear weapons could quickly lead to an escalation of a local or regional conflict into a global one,” he emphasized.

“I want to believe that, despite all the difficulties, we and the Americans have not yet approached a dangerous threshold of falling into the abyss of nuclear conflict. It is important to stop threatening us,” he noted. “Today, it is difficult to predict how far Washington is ready to go in exacerbating relations with Russia. Will the U.S. ruling circles be able to give up their plans aimed at wearing out our country with the prospect of its dismemberment?”

“The recent Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit and the high-level week of the 77th UN General Assembly session have proved that a considerable part of the planet is not satisfied with the world order that was created after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

“We are witnessing the majority of the global community trying to find ways to establish an equitable system of international relations which would have neither first-nor second-tier states. We firmly support such a world order based on international law, the UN Charter, and the principle of the indivisibility of security,” Antonov added

Kissinger: U.S. on brink of war

Brussels 14.08.2022 Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger believes that Washington is currently on the brink of war with Moscow and Beijing, he said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.

“We are at the edge of war with Russia and China on issues which we partly created, without any concept of how this is going to end or what it’s supposed to lead to,” he underscored.

“You can’t just now say we’re going to split them off and turn them against each other. All you can do is not to accelerate the tensions and to create options, and for that you have to have some purpose,” Kissinger added.

USA-Russia: prisoners exchange talks

Brussels 06.08.2022 Russia is ready to discuss the exchange of prisoners with the US, but only within the channel, negotiated by Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Joe Biden. If the Americans resort to public diplomacy, its’ “their problem,” Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said to reporters Friday, August 5. (Image above: Viktor Bout)

The top diplomat said that Washington’s logic in the situation around House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan is “strange,” and noted that US Secretary of State Antony Blinken displayed no interest in contacts with his Russian counterpart during the ASEAN events in Phnom Penh.

“If the Americans once again decide to resort to public diplomacy and to make loud announcements that they plan to take some steps, then that is their business, and I would even say, their problem. The Americans often do not comply with agreements on a quiet professional work on this and many other topics.”

Borrell: views on Ukraine conflict shift

Brussels 11.07.2022 The G20 Foreign Ministers Meeting in Bali opened to Josep Borrell the different perspectives around the world on the situation in Ukraine and its consequences, the The European Union top diplomat said, pointing at the evolution of views on the conflict.

“In the March vote at the UN General Assembly, 140 states condemned the Russian aggression and no member of the G20, apart from the aggressor, opposed this Resolution. But on how to move forward and on the consequences of the war, views differ sharply,” Borrell said in a statement published on the EU’s website on Sunday. “The G7 and like-minded countries are united in condemning and sanctioning Russia and in trying to hold the regime accountable. But other countries, and we can speak here of the majority of the `Global South’, often take a different perspective,” he concluded.

“The global battle of narratives is in full swing and, for now, we are not winning,” Borrell underlined.

The G20 foreign ministerial sessions held in Bali on July 7-8 were attended by Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who held a number of bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the G20 Foreign Ministers Meeting.

On February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a “special military operation” in response to a request by the heads of the two Donbass Republics. The U.S., the EU, the UK and a number of NATO allies retaliated with sweeping sanctions against Russia and have been ramping up their weapons supplies to Ukraine.

“In the March vote at the UN General Assembly, 140 states condemned the Russian aggression and no member of the G20, apart from the aggressor, opposed this resolution. But on how to move forward and on the consequences of the war, views differ sharply,” Borrell said in a statement published on the EU’s website on Sunday. “The G7 and like-minded countries are united in condemning and sanctioning Russia and in trying to hold the regime accountable. But other countries, and we can speak here of the majority of the `Global South’, often take a different perspective,” the EU diplomat concluded.

“The global battle of narratives is in full swing and, for now, we are not winning,” Borrell continued.

The G20 foreign ministerial sessions held in Bali on July 7-8 were attended by Russia’s top diplomat Sergey Lavrov. The Russian foreign minister held a number of bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the G20 Foreign Ministers Meeting.

On February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a special military operation in response to a request by the heads of the two Donbass republics. The US, the EU, the UK and a number of other countries retaliated with sweeping sanctions against Russia and have been ramping up their weapons supplies to Ukraine.

Russia-U.S. talks on mercenaries failed

Brussels 09.07.2022 Talks on American mercenaries in Ukraine going nowhere — Russian diplomat
“The U.S. earlier sent some kind of a signal, mostly stressing that these people should be regarded as combatants under the Geneva Convention and the corresponding obligations should be applied to them,” Deputy Foreign minister Sergey Ryabkov said.

Russian-U.S. exchanges on the issue of American mercenaries in Ukraine failed to proceed, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov told reporters on Friday, July 8.

“As far as I understand, the discussions failed to develop,” he said in response to a TASS question. “The US earlier sent some kind of a signal, mostly stressing that these people should be regarded as combatants under the Geneva Convention and the corresponding obligations should be applied to them,” Ryabkov added.

The senior Russian diplomat has underlined that “the circumstances of mercenaries’ emergence and the overall presence and activities of foreign mercenaries on the side of Ukraine’s Armed Forces and nationalist battalions are one of the most serious issues in the relations with the United States and their allies.

Defense: Russia blames U.S. fake news campaign

Brussels 12.06.2022 The United States is trying to justify its unseemly military biological activities in the post-Soviet space with fake news, official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova TASS reports.

The diplomat drew attention to the “Fact Sheet on WMD Threat Reduction Efforts with Ukraine, Russia and Other Former Soviet Union Countries” published on June 9 on the website of the US Department of Defense, which contains statements about the allegedly peaceful nature of US activities in the biological sphere on post-Soviet space.

“We consider this material to be fake news and part of an information campaign launched by Washington to justify the United States’ military biological activities in the post-Soviet space in order to divert international attention away from their true non-transparent and unseemly nature, which contradicts Washington’s international obligations, including those under the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC),” Zakharova stressed.

Zakharova underscored that the numerous explanations that the United States is collecting biomaterial and monitoring the epidemiological situation “only reinforce and strengthen the fears of the Russian Federation in the context of compliance with the BTWC, including the facts revealed in Ukraine”

“For obvious reasons, the United States prefers to remain silent about ongoing work in the post-Soviet space and does not provide information as part of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC). Assertions that the activity of the Pentagon and related structures is focused exclusively on health issues, are not true. Obviously, health care does not require the participation of the US military,” she said.

Zakharova stressed that the numerous explanations that the United States is collecting biomaterial and monitoring the epidemiological situation “only reinforce and strengthen the fears of the Russian Federation in the context of compliance with the BTWC, including the facts revealed in Ukraine”.

TAG”For obvious reasons, the United States prefers to remain silent about ongoing work in the post-Soviet space and does not provide information as part of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC). Assertions that the activity of the Pentagon and related structures is focused exclusively on health issues, are not true. Obviously, health care does not require the participation of the US military,” she said.

For obvious reasons, the United States prefers to remain silent about ongoing work in the post-Soviet space and does not provide information as part of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC). Assertions that the activity of the Pentagon and related structures is focused exclusively on health issues, are not true. Obviously, health care does not require the participation of the US military,” she said.

Zakharova pointed out that the numerous explanations that the United States is collecting biomaterial and monitoring the epidemiological situation “only reinforce and strengthen the fears of the Russian Federation in the context of compliance with the BTWC, including the facts revealed in Ukraine”.

Russian Ambassador Antonov on food crisis

Brussels 28.05.2022 Russian ambassador to Washington Anatoly Antonov on Friday, May 28, said the food crisis, which had been unfolding for the past couple years, worsened due sanctions on Russia by the U.S. and its allies.

“The crisis was further exacerbated due to the introduction by Washington and its satellites of illegitimate sanctions against Russia,” the diplomat said in statement released by the Russian Embassy in Washington. “Despite the references of the U.S. officials to exemptions from the restrictions, which allegedly provide for the opportunity for our country to trade in farm goods, domestic exporters often don’t have a chance to make shipments.”

“They face blocked payments, denials of loans and insurance, problems with booking freight ships, purchase of farm equipment and even seeds,” he went on to say. “In addition, the US continues to increase import taxes on our fertilizers.”

Antonov described such actions as “the utmost hypocrisy” and called the US attempts to blame Russia for the food crisis as absolutely unfounded.

“We urge a halt to shifting the blame,” he continued. “Russia is committed to its export obligations and is ready for negotiations to resolve this most serious problem, including through the UN.”

The diplomat also said that difficulties in the food market have been building up for a long time, at least over the past two years. “They are associated with miscalculations and systemic errors in the macroeconomic policy – primarily financial and foreign trade policies – and energy and food policies of Western countries,” he said. “At the same time, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to significant disruptions of supply chains.”

“Freight costs have almost doubled,” he continued. “Naturally, all this couldn’t not fail but lead to a sharp increase in food prices. Wheat prices increased by a quarter over 2021.”

The Wall Street Journal earlier reported that UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres is negotiating with Russia and Ukraine to unblock the export of Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea in exchange for the lifting of a number of sanctions that hinder the export of Russian fertilizers. Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the UN Vasily Nebenzya and Permanent Representative of the United States Linda Thomas-Greenfield confirmed that there are talks on resuming the exports of Ukrainian grain and Russian fertilizers to the global market. However, the sides insists that these issues are discussed separately from each other and don’t assume any exchanges.

Lavrov: West declared total war on Russia

Brusels 27.05.2022 The West has declared a total war on Russia and the Russian world, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (pictured) said on Friday, May 27.

“The West has declared a total war on us, on the Russian World. Nobody makes any secret of this,” Lavrov said at a meeting of the Council of the heads of Russia’s constituent territories at the Foreign Ministry.

Lavrov warned that the Western policy of “cancelling” Russia would continue for a long time.

“The culture of cancelling Russia and everything related with our country has reached a point of absurdity. Bans have been imposed on such classics as Tchaikovsky, Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy and Pushkin. Persecution is underway against Russian culture and art workers. In general, one can be certain that this situation will last,” Lavrov said.

“We must realize that it has exposed the West’s real attitude to the beautiful slogans that were put forward 30 years ago after the end of the Cold War, the calls for universal humanitarian values, for building a common European home from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Now we can see the real worth of these fine words,” Lavrov said.

The top diplomat has underlined that Russia would certainly not agree to put up with these policies.

“In this situation there is a great demand for a concrete discussion on how we develop our cooperation, cooperation between our ministry and civil society, including at the level of regions,” he added.