Tag Archive: Nato

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25.11.2015 Author: F. William Engdahl

Israeli Colonel Caught with IS Pants Down




This was definitely not supposed to happen. It seems that an Israeli military man with the rank of colonel was “caught with IS pants down.” By that I mean he was captured amid a gaggle of so-called IS–or Islamic State or ISIS or DAESH depending on your preference–terrorists, by soldiers of the Iraqi army. Under interrogation by the Iraqi intelligence he apparently said a lot regarding the role of Netanyahu’s IDF in supporting IS.

In late October an Iranian news agency, quoting a senior Iraqi intelligence officer, reported the capture of an Israeli army colonel, named Yusi Oulen Shahak, reportedly related to the ISIS Golani Battalion operating in Iraq in the Salahuddin front. In a statement to Iran’s semi-official Fars News Agency a Commander of the Iraqi Army stated, “The security and popular forces have held captive an Israeli colonel.” He added that the IDF colonel “had participated in the Takfiri ISIL group’s terrorist operations.” He said the colonel was arrested together with a number of ISIL or IS terrorists, giving the details: “The Israeli colonel’s name is Yusi Oulen Shahak and is ranked colonel in Golani Brigade… with the security and military code of Re34356578765az231434.”

Why Israel?

Ever since the beginning of Russia’s very effective IS bombing of select targets in Syria on September 30, details of the very dirty role of not only Washington, but also NATO member Turkey under President Erdogan, Qatar and other states has come into the sunlight for the first time.

It’s becoming increasingly clear that at least a faction in the Obama Administration has played a very dirty behind-the-scenes role in supporting IS in order to advance the removal of Syrian President Bashar al Assad and pave the way for what inevitably would be a Libya-style chaos and destruction which would make the present Syrian refugee crisis in Europe a mere warmup by comparison.

The “pro-IS faction” in Washington includes the so-called neo-conservatives centered around disgraced former CIA head and executioner of the Iraqi “surge” General David Petraeus. It also includes US General John R. Allen, who since September 2014 had served as President Obama’s Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) and, until she resigned in February 2013, it included Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Significantly, General John Allen, an unceasing advocate of a US-led “No Fly Zone” inside Syria along the border to Turkey, something President Obama refused, was relieved of his post on 23 October, 2015. That was shortly after launch of the highly-effective Russian strikes on Syrian IS and Al Qaeda’s Al Nusra Front terrorist sites changed the entire situation in the geopolitical picture of Syria and the entire Middle East.

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Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, accompanied by his wife Emine Erdogan, adressess teachers during a reception at the Presidential Palace in Ankara, Turkey, November 24, 2015

Two-Faced Turkey: ‘Stab in the Back’ Strikes NATO, Anti-ISIL Forces

© REUTERS/ Kayhan Ozer/Handout via Reuters
Middle East
09:35 25.11.2015Get short URL

By shooting down the Russian jet in Syria, Turkey has not only hurt Russia with its “stab in the back”, but the whole Western alliance and NATO; its policy in Syria is largely “two-faced”, as it allows the supply of weaponry and ammunition through its territory, according to Jurgen Rose, a retired German lieutenant colonel.

“President Putin’s comment that Turkey’s move was a stab in the back is quite correct and fully corresponds with reality. In its fight against al-Nusra and the so-called Islamic State, namely the Islamists, Turkey stabs in the back not only Russia, but the whole Western alliance and NATO,” he said.“Turkey, for example, is striking the forces on the ground, the Kurdish forces, and allows the supplies of weaponry and ammunition through its territory.”


World | Wed Nov 25, 2015 1:06am GMT

Turkey downs Russian warplane near Syria border

Turkey shot down a Russian warplane near the Syrian border on Tuesday, saying the jet had violated its air space, in one of the most serious publicly acknowledged clashes between a NATO member country and Russia for half a century.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said the plane had been attacked when it was 1 km (0.62 mile) inside Syria and warned of “serious consequences” for what he termed a stab in the back administered by “the accomplices of terrorists”.

“We will never tolerate such crimes like the one committed today,” Putin said, as Russian and Turkish shares fell on fears of an escalation between the former Cold War enemies.

In a letter to the U.N. Security Council, Turkey said it had shot down the jet while in Turkish air space. Along with a second plane, the aircraft had flown more than a mile into Turkey for 17 seconds, despite being warned 10 times in five minutes while approaching to change direction, the letter said.

“Nobody should doubt that we made our best efforts to avoid this latest incident. But everyone should respect the right of Turkey to defend its borders,” Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said in a speech in Ankara.

In condemnation of Russian air strikes in Syria, during which Turkish air space has been violated several times in recent weeks, Erdogan said that only Turkey’s “cool-headedness” had prevented worse incidents in the past.

Each country summoned a diplomatic representative of the other. Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov cancelled a visit to Turkey due on Wednesday and the defence ministry said it was preparing measures to respond to such incidents.



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Turkey shoots down Russian jet near Syrian border

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‘Sicily is not a war lab!’ Hundreds march against NATO drills (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

© Ruptly
Hundreds of people have taken to the streets of Sicily protesting against Trident Juncture 2015, the largest military maneuvers in more than a decade, which NATO claims are designed to adapt the alliance to “emerging security challenges.”

The protesters marched through the streets of the city of Marsala, less than 10 miles (16km) from Vincenzo Florio Airport. The airport is a base for the 37th Wing of the Italian air force and is one of the forward operating bases (FOBs) used by NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control.


Organized by the “No war, no NATO” group, activists from all corners of the Italian island marched with banners reading “Sicily is not laboratory of the war” and “Sicily is no war zone”. People urged the Italian government to better invest in education and the medical sector rather than military activity.

A Marsala bel corteo contro 2015 prova di forza della

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18:38 30.10.2015

A rift appears to be growing in Europe as NATO announced it was considering putting more troops into the Baltic region to increase pressure on Russia, while at the same time Federica Mogherini, the EU’s Foreign Affairs chief advocated rapprochement with Russia.

NATO has been ramping up its operations in the Baltic States as well as in Eastern Europe, since the Ukraine crisis began. Now it is being reported that it is considering different ways of increasing its military presence in Eastern Europe to put further pressure on Russia, despite previous denials that it would do this.

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Go Baltic Batallion! – Urban exercise in Trident Juncture


“Claims that NATO is building bases around Russia are… groundless,” NATO states on its website.

“Outside the territory of NATO nations, NATO only maintains a significant military presence in three places: Kosovo, Afghanistan, and at sea off the Horn of Africa.

“With respect to the permanent stationing of US and other Allied forces on the territory of other Allies in Europe, NATO has full abided by the commitments made in the NATO-Russia Founding Act. There has been no permanent stationing of additional combat forces on the territory of other allies; and total force levels have, in fact, been substantially reduced since the end of the Cold War.”

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At best, the United States, its NATO allies and the regime they have collectively created in Kiev, Ukraine, will be able to claim Russia, or militants defending eastern Ukraine from Kiev’s armed incursions, accidentally shot down Malaysia Airlines flight 17 (MH17) after air controllers in Kiev recklessly sent it on a course over a battlefield other airliners had made a point to circumvent.

At worst, the US and its junior partners across Europe and the remnants of the British Commonwealth, will be implicated either in shooting it down accidentally themselves, or worse still, shooting it down on purpose in order to frame Russia and anti-regime militants in eastern Ukraine.

Russia certainly had nothing to gain by shooting down a civilian aircraft over a battlefield anti-regime militants have been aptly able to hold and defend. But what of NATO and its Ukrainian allies? In a war they are losing, could they have benefited from creating a pretext for NATO to intervene more directly?

The gain they have already wrought in terms of propaganda against Russia has been impressive. From the moment the airliner was shot down, the US, NATO and Ukraine have used the incident to indict Russia and more specifically, Russian President Vladimir Putin, in the court of public opinion. It has used legal maneuvering and its well-oiled press to turn the investigation of the disaster into a witchhunt with an inevitable outcome already eagerly determined to implicate Russia.

The Western media has intentionally twisted the words of investigators to misrepresent evidence and preliminary and very cautious statements to portray them as definitive conclusions to establish Russia’s guilt.


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Turkey says ‘no tension’ after Russian airspace violation mistake, NATO cries foul

SU-34 attack plane taking off from the Hmeimim aerodrome in Syria. © Dmitriy Vinogradov
Russia has admitted making a mistake after its warplanes violated Turkey’s airspace. Ankara has accepted the matter, saying there is no ill feeling between the two countries. But NATO has slammed Moscow for what it deemed “irresponsible behavior.”

The incident, which occurred on Saturday, saw Turkey scramble two F-16 jets after a Russian military aircraft crossed into Turkish airspace near the Syrian border.

Ankara also claimed that a MiG-29 fighter jet, which is used by both Russia and Syria, harassed two of its F-16’s on Sunday by locking radar on to them, as they patrolled the Turkish-Syrian border.

“Our position is very clear, we’ll warn any country that violates our borders in a friendly way. Russia is our friend and neighbor. There is no tension between Turkey and Russia in this sense. The issue of Syria is not a Turkish-Russian crisis,” Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told HaberTurk TV, as cited by the Hurriyet Daily, following diplomatic communications between Ankara and Moscow.

“What we have received from Russia this morning is that this was a mistake and that they respect Turkey’s borders and this will not happen again,” Davutoglu added.

The Russian Defense Ministry has said that bad weather caused the incident when Russian combat aircraft violated Turkish airspace.


Russia’s flight into Turkey ‘no accident’

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

US says Moscow strategy in Syria will ‘guarantee more terrorism’.

The US does not believe Russia’s incursion into Turkey’s airspace was an accident, a senior US official said, adding that urgent talks are underway on what to do about the weekend incident.

The official said the event is the type of conduct that US Defence Secretary Ash Carter spoke with the Russian defence minister about during their recent phone call.

Russia has acknowledged a plane entered Turkish airspace, but has said it was an accident.

Secretary of State John Kerry, in Chile for an ocean environmental conference, said the incident could have led to Turkey shooting down the Russian plane.

“We’re very concerned about it… and it is precisely the kind of thing we warned about,” he told reporters, saying Russia has a responsibility to act within international standards.

Speaking at a press conference in Spain, Carter said the US is conferring with Turkish leaders about the airspace violation and that the issue will come up later this week at the Nato meeting of defence ministers.


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President Barack Obama addressed the nation from the White House on Wednesday, saying the U.S. is leading a broad effort with allies to defeat the terrorist group ISIS that could include airstrikes in Syria, and an expanded air campaign and troop deployment in Iraq.

President Barack Obama addressed the nation from the White House on Wednesday, saying the U.S. is leading a broad effort with allies to defeat the terrorist group ISIS that could include airstrikes in Syria, and an expanded air campaign and troop deployment in Iraq. (Saul Loeb/Associated Press)


Consortium News

Exclusive: “Strategic communications” or Stratcom, a propaganda/psy-op technique that treats information as a “soft power” weapon to wield against adversaries, is a new catch phrase in an Official Washington obsessed with the clout that comes from spinning false narratives, reports Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

In this age of pervasive media, the primary method of social control is through the creation of narratives delivered to the public through newspapers, TV, radio, computers, cell phones and any other gadget that can convey information. This reality has given rise to an obsession among the power elite to control as much of this messaging as possible.

So, regarding U.S. relations toward the world, we see the State Department, the White House, Pentagon, NATO and other agencies pushing various narratives to sell the American people and other populations on how they should view U.S. policies, rivals and allies. The current hot phrase for this practice is “strategic communications” or Stratcom, which blends psychological operations, propaganda and P.R. into one mind-bending smoothie.

I have been following this process since the early 1980s when the Reagan administration sought to override “the Vietnam Syndrome,” a public aversion to foreign military interventions that followed the Vietnam War. To get Americans to “kick” this syndrome, Reagan’s team developed “themes” about overseas events that would push American “hot buttons.”

Tapping into the Central Intelligence Agency’s experience in psy-ops targeted at foreign audiences, President Ronald Reagan and CIA Director William J. Casey assembled a skilled team inside the White House led by CIA propaganda specialist Walter Raymond Jr.


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Read More and Watch Video Here  : Obama prepared to order airstrikes in Syria against ISIL   David Jackson, USA TODAY




Oratory as a Weapon of Mass Deception

Obama at UNI used to say President Obama is a great orator.

In retrospect, particularly in view of his speeches over the past two years, I would have to modify my appraisal: Mr. Obama is a mind-numbingly effective orator — with major emphasis on ‘mind-numbing’ — whose powers of persuasion are both awe-inspiring and reality-altering.

But great? I think not.

You see, great orators don’t insult their audiences by lying and using their enormous gifts to wreak havoc on the world, demean other world leaders, and generally inflict listeners with self-serving propaganda.

Great orators ennoble, enlighten, inspire!

There is so much deception, obfuscation, manipulative innuendo, faulty logic, sheer raw hypocrisy in his recent U.N. speech, I could write volumes. But it’s not worth your time or mine, since so many of the lies upon which he built this petty and self-aggrandizing show have been repeated with such relentless regularity, they are part of the accepted collective wisdom of both the American public and the government propaganda apparatus, aka the main stream media.

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Just in case anyone had any doubts as to the US and NATO’s true purpose in Syria.  Here is your response loud and clear!


Russia establishes ‘no fly’ zone for NATO planes over Syria, moves to destroy “ISIS” – Pentagon freaks out


Check-mate. Putin outfoxes U.S. warmongers

You may, or may not, have noticed the growing body of evidence over the past year or two that strongly suggests that the U.S. government and its European “allies” are not really serious about destroying “ISIS”.

The first hint came early last year when the jihadi mercenaries took large swathes of Iraq and Syria, and the West did nothing but wring its collective hands and fret, and resolve to bolster the fighting capability of the wonderful “rebels”.

The second hint came this year when the U.S. and their partners began piecemeal airstrikes against “ISIS” that appeared to merely spur the head-choppers on to more success.

The third hint came with reports that weapons supplies being sent to “Syrian rebels” were ‘accidentally’ ending up in the hands of the head-choppers.

The most recent confirmation that Western politicians and military types effectively view “ISIS” as ‘their guys’ came in the last few weeks when the Pentagon reacted to news that Russia was in the process of establishing an air base in western Syria, from which to attack all foreign forces in Syria involved in the four-year-long attempted coup against the Syrian government.

Putin’s speech at the UN two days ago appears to have been the signal (one that was apparently missed by the Pentagon, perhaps because it was couched in clear, honest language) that Russia was about to ‘get real’ and make good on its intention to prevent the overthrow of Assad, defend the civilian population of Syria against ISIS, and solve the European ‘refugee crisis’ in the process.

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Russian anti-terror op in Syria Live updates

A Sukhoi-34 jet © Vladimir Astapkovich
The Russian military has launched airstrikes against Islamic State militant targets in Syria. The move was approved after a request from President Bashar Assad to Vladimir Putin, who has also expressed concern about the number of Russian extremists in the country.
  • 01 October 2015

    21:52 GMT

    The Russian Ministry of Defense has released two combat footage tapes showing the precise striking of Islamic State targets in Syria, as the Russian Air Force continues to engage hostile targets for the second day running.

    The first piece of footage shows a surgical strike carried out by Su-24 M fighter jets on an Islamic State command post near the village of Al-Latamna. According to the Ministry, the target was destroyed.


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 On Monday the Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said that the isolated Kurdish enclave of Kobani was “about to fall” to a massive, sustained assault from ISIS.
Also on Monday, Rooz Bahjat, a Kurdish intelligence officer stationed in Kobani said the city would fall within “the next 24 hours.”
By now ISIS was expecting to be slaughtering civilians by the score.

Instead, something totally unexpected happened – ISIS has been forced to pull back.

 A local Kobani official, Idris Nahsen, told AFP that fighters from the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) had managed to push ISIS fighters outside several key areas after “helpful” airstrikes by the U.S.-led coalition.
“The situation has changed since yesterday. YPG forces have pushed back ISIS forces,” he said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitoring group, confirmed that ISIS fighters had withdrawn overnight from several areas and were no longer inside the western part of Kobani.
They remained in eastern parts of the town and its southern edges, said Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman, whose group relies on a network of sources inside Syria.
The number of dead in the overnight fighting was not clear, but Mustafa Ebdi, a Kurdish journalist and activist from Kobani, wrote on his Facebook page that the streets of one southeastern neighborhood were “full of the bodies” of ISIS fighters.

Kobani has been under attack by 9,000 ISIS jihadists, armed with tanks and heavy artillery for nearly a month. This is the largest manned assualt by ISIS in its short existance.
They are being opposed by just 2,000 Kurdish fighters with the YPG, the armed wing of the Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK), without access to any heavy weaponry and short on ammunition.
To put this into perspective, 800 ISIS fighters routed 2 divisions of the Iraqi Army, totaling 30,000 heavily armed soldiers, in June.
In other words, the Syrian Kurds of Kobani weren’t supposed to stand a snowball’s chance in Hell.

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NATO’s second-in-command says Russia is now an enemy, not a partner

Published time: May 01, 2014 17:08
Edited time: May 02, 2014 06:51

 NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow (AFP Photo / Yuri Kadobnov)

NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow (AFP Photo / Yuri Kadobnov)

NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow now says that the allied group has been compelled to treat Russia “as more of an enemy than a partner,” according to an Associated Press report published Thursday.

The 61-year-old former United States ambassador to Russia reportedly told journalists this week that Moscow’s role in the ongoing crisis in Ukraine has forced NATO to reconsider the alliance’s opinion on Russia, and that additional troops may soon be mobilized to the region as tensions worsen.

AP journalist Robert Burns wrote on Thursday that Vershbow said the Kremlin’s perceived part in the recent events in Ukraine “marks a turning point in decades of effort by NATO to draw Moscow closer.”

NATO’s second-in-command reportedly told journalists that the alliance is now considering new measures meant to counter any future acts of aggression on the part of Russia aimed at partner nations, and soon could deploy a larger number of combat forces to Eastern Europe.

Journalists reporting for Civil.Ge wrote on Thursday that Vershbow told the audience at a panel discussion in Washington, DC one day earlier that NATO should deploy “defensive assets to the region.”

“We need to step up our support for defense reforms and military modernization of Russia’s neighbors, and not just of Ukraine, but also Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan,” Vershbow said, according to the Civil Georgia site.


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Pentagon orders 600 troops to Eastern Europe, criticizes Russia

Donald Cook

The U.S. guided-missile destroyer Donald Cook sails past Istanbul, Turkey, en route to the Black Sea. (Bulent Kilic / AFP/Getty Images / April 10, 2014)

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon said Tuesday that it was sending 600 soldiers to Eastern Europe for military exercises in response to “aggression” by Russia in Ukraine, the first U.S. ground forces dispatched to the region in the 2-month-old crisis.

The 173rd Infantry Brigade, a U.S. Army airborne unit based in Vicenza, Italy, will deploy 150-soldier companies to Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia over the next month and will rotate more U.S. forces to those and possibly other countries at least through the end of the year, Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, told reporters.

The four countries, all of which were under Moscow’s control during the Cold War and later joined NATO, have been among the most vocal in asking the U.S. and other alliance members to send forces to their territory in response to Russia’s military buildup along the Ukrainian border.

“What we’re after here is persistent presence, a persistent rotational presence,” Kirby said. “If there’s a message to Moscow … it’s that we take our obligations” to defend NATO members “very, very seriously.”


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Vice President Joe Biden meets with Ukraine's acting prime minister, Arseny Yatsenyuk, in Kiev on Tuesday.

( Sergei L. Loiko / Los Angeles Times / April 22, 2014 )

Vice President Joe Biden meets with Ukraine’s acting prime minister, Arseny Yatsenyuk, in Kiev on Tuesday.


U.S. will stand by Ukraine in face of Russian aggression, Biden says


KIEV, Ukraine — The United States will stand by Ukrainians against Russian aggression that threatens their nation’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, Vice President Joe Biden pledged Tuesday during a visit to Kiev.

“No nation has the right to simply grab land from another nation, and we will never recognize Russia’s illegal occupation of Crimea, and neither will the world,” Biden said after meeting with Ukraine’s acting prime minister, Arseny Yatsenyuk. “No nation should threaten its neighbors by amassing troops along the border. We call on Russia to pull back these forces. No nation should stir instability in its neighbor’s country.”

Biden threatened greater costs and greater isolation for Russia, already facing fresh sanctions after annexing Crimea last month, and demanded that it “stop supporting men hiding behind masks in unmarked uniforms sowing unrest in eastern Ukraine.”

“I came here to Kiev to let you know, Mr. Prime Minister, and every Ukrainian know that the United States stands with you and is working to support all Ukrainians seeking a better future,” Biden said. “You should know that you will not walk this road alone. We will walk it with you.”

He accused Russia of failing to abide by commitments to help de-escalate the situation in eastern Ukraine made last week during meetings with officials from the U.S., Ukraine and the European Union.

“Now it is time for Russia to stop talking and to start acting on the commitments that they made to get pro-Russia separatists to vacate buildings and checkpoints, accept the amnesty,” Biden said. “That is not a hard thing to do …. We need to see this kind of concrete steps, we need to see them without delay.”

Biden pledged that the U.S. would provide nonlethal military aid to Ukraine. He also noted that the U.S. had committed to providing a $1-billion loan guarantee to help shore up the interim government in Kiev, which took power in February with the fall of pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovich.


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The New American

Did Team Obama Blunder or Conspire in Ukraine?

Written by 

While no one ever lost money overestimating the capacity of the U.S. government to blunder, we cannot rule out that American officials knew exactly what they were doing when they helped provoke the crisis in Ukraine.

It is hard to believe that all these officials are so ignorant of Russian history that they could not anticipate how President Vladimir Putin would respond to U.S.-backed machinations in Kiev. These machinations led to the ouster of elected (if corrupt and power-hungry) president Viktor Yanukovych after street demonstrations, which included neo-Nazi elements now represented in the new government.

About these machinations there is little doubt. We have a phone call between Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland and U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt, in which they talk about who should rule Ukraine next. Nuland says, “I don’t think Klitsch [an opposition leader, Vitaly Klitschko] should go into the government. I don’t think it’s necessary, I don’t think it’s a good idea…. I think Yats [Arseniy Yatsenyuk, another opposition leader] is the guy who’s got the economic experience, the governing experience.” Yatsenyuk became the prime minister after Yanukovych’s ouster.

Pyatt responds, “I think you reaching out directly to him [Yatsenyuk] helps with the personality management among the three [opposition leaders].”

The U.S. government worked to replace Yanukovych with its “guy” — which is not what the Obama administration tells the American people.

Pyatt adds, “But anyway we could land jelly side up on this one if we move fast…. [W]e want to try to get somebody with an international personality to come out here and help to midwife this thing.”

This phone call made headlines because Nuland used an obscenity regarding the European Union. But the news is that, contrary to public statements, the Obama administration sought to “midwife” regime change.

One need not be a Putin apologist to ask how the Americans failed to see that this activity would provoke the Russian president.


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Russia warns it will respond if interests attacked in Ukraine

US vice president Joe Biden and Ukraine PM Arseniy Yatsenyuk

Joe Biden (left) and the Ukrainian prime minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, at a joint news conference in Kiev. Photograph: UPI /Landov/Barcroft Media

Russia issued a blunt warning on Wednesday that it would respond if its interests were attacked in Ukraine, as pro-Kremlin rebels in the east of the country braced for a new military offensive by Kiev.

The threat by the Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, in which he recalled the 2008 war with Georgia over breakaway South Ossetia, came as Russia accused Kiev and the US of distorting an agreement reached in Geneva last week to defuse the crisis and of ignoring what it said were provocative actions by Ukrainian nationalists.

Lavrov used an interview with the Russian state-controlled broadcaster RT to accuse the US of “running the show” in Ukraine, claiming that it was “quite telling” that Kiev had announced a new offensive in the east of the country after US Vice-President Joe Biden had visited.

“If we are attacked, we would certainly respond,” Lavrov told RT.

“If our interests, our legitimate interests, the interests of Russians have been attacked directly, like they were in South Ossetia for example, I do not see any other way but to respond in accordance with international law.”

The Russian foreign ministry said in a statement that it believed the west was serious about seeking peace in Ukraine but “the facts speak of the opposite”.

Moscow also announced a seven-day naval exercise in the Caspian Sea and began military exercises in its Rostov region, bordering Ukraine. The US on Tuesday announced military exercises in Poland.The crisis deepened on Tuesday after Biden’s departure from Kiev following a two-day visit. In a late-night phone call, the US secretary of state, John Kerry, told Lavrov, of his “deep concern over the lack of positive Russian steps to de-escalate” the crisis in eastern Ukraine, a state department official said.



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