Published on Feb 4, 2014 US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland was caught on tape micro-managing Ukraine opposition party strategies with US Ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt. That the Ukraine regime-change operation was directed from Washington can’t be denied. In this video you can hear US Ambassador Pyatt discussing with Assistant Secretary of State Nuland "who gets to run Ukraine". And they decided on literal Nazis.
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Antipope Francis personally ordered Ukrainian coup to kill EU exit / $15 billion Russian deal Posted by Paul W Kincaid Heinous Crimes, World news March 5th, 2014
In December of last year Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Moscow agreed to buy $15 billion worth of Ukrainian government debt and allow for a 33% gas discount in the price Ukrainians pay for Russian natural gas. This posed a very serious threat to the Catholic Church International Monetary Fund (IMF). The people of Ukraine would no longer be enslaved by interest bearing debt owed to the Pope via loans from the Catholic Church IMF. The Ukrainian people would have more money in their pockets with the Russian $15 billion debt purchase and 33% gas discount. As of January 1, 2014 Ukraine started buying Russian gas for $268 instead of $400 per 1,000 cubic meters. The Russian government agreed to buy $15 billion in Ukrainian debt by investing in Ukrainian bonds using money from Russia’s Welfare Fund. “For the purpose of supporting the Ukrainian budget the Russian government has made a decision to invest part of the National Welfare Fund, to the tune of $15 billion, in Ukrainian government securities,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said. Ukraine “is our fully-fledged strategic partner beyond any doubt,” Putin said at the meeting, where the two presidents signed 14 separate agreements on space, engineering, defense and trade. The Russian deal between Russia and Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich was very good for Ukraine and its people. The financial deal was very bad for the Catholic Church IMF so the Catholic Church ordered members of its military orders in Kiev Ukraine to honor their oaths and take to the streets and shed blood for the Catholic Church. The orders to wage war against Ukraine and overthrow elected President Viktor Yanukovich came directly from antipope Francis. A day after at least 75 people were reported killed in clashes between police and protesters in Ukraine’s capital, antipoe Francis asked the College of Cardinals to send a message of support to the two Ukrainian cardinals waging war with the elected Ukrainian government. “I want to send a greeting, not just in my name, but in the name of all, to the Ukrainian cardinals — Cardinal (Marian) Jaworski, archbishop emeritus of Lviv, and Cardinal (Lubomyr) Husar, major archbishop emeritus of Kiev — who are suffering very much these days because of the many difficulties in their homeland,” the antipope told the cardinals at the beginning of a meeting to discuss the family on February 21, 2014. Within this message antipope Francis was instructing the Ukrainian cardinals to continue to wage “relentless war” against Ukraine. The message was telling the Ukrainian cardinals to use his name to entice Ukrainian Catholic bishops, priests and parishioners to take to the streets and incite violence in his name. Now that the Catholic Church has caused major destruction to the Ukrainian capital and has overthrown the elected Ukrainian government and installed an unelected pro-EU government the Catholic Church IMF is now forcing the Ukrainian people to take on a 11 billion euros ($15 billion) interest bearing debt owed to the Pope. The announcement was made this morning by European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso. The announcement is contingent on Ukraine signing a deal with the International Monetary Fund. Not only do the people of Ukraine have to pay off a $15 billion debt to the Pope through the Pope’s IMF the Ukrainian people will also have to pay off the debt that Russia offered to buy last December. The Catholic Church forced Ukraine into bankruptcy as a direct result of the Catholic Church deadly violence in Kiev, Ukraine. Ukrainians are now forced to pay a Catholic Church IMF debt that is rigged to never be paid as well as high energy costs. Both debilitating financial hardships have been fueled by the Catholic Church which has crippled the economy of Ukraine for decades. Additionally, the Catholic Church also plans to impose the trade sanctions that Ukraine would have received had it signed an association agreement with the EU last year. An agreement that the Ukraine government refused to sign last year. The Ukrainian people will also be forced to buy, at an inflated price, gas only from the EU, via “reverse flows” of gas from the EU. www.presscore.ca
Time to grab guns and kill damn Russians: Tymoshenko tape leak
Published on Mar 24, 2014
Ukrainians must take up arms against Russians so that not even scorched earth will be left where Russia stands; an example of former Ukrainian PM Yulia Tymoshenko's vitriol in phone call leaked online. She confirmed the authenticity of the conversation on Twitter, while pointing out that a section where she is heard to call for the nuclear slaughter of the eight million Russians who remain on Ukrainian territory was edited (not present in this clip). FULL LEAKED CONVERSATION: http://on.rt.com/6auysa
WARS AND RUMORS OF WARS
PUTIN CROSSES OBAMA'S PINK LINE
Exclusive: Michael Savage declares, 'The neocons don't care which side you're on' March 2 2014
Michael Savage hosts the third-largest talk show in America and is the author of two No. 1 New York Times best-sellers.
Let me make sense of what’s happening in Ukraine for you as that country descends into armed chaos, threatening to oust the legitimately elected Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich and place the country in the hands of rebel forces spearheaded by Ukrainian neo-Nazis and Chechen Islamist radicals.
Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, along with Obama adviser and designated liar Susan Rice, are neo-conservatives, neocons for short. The neocons, first in the form of the Trilateral Commission and more recently as the Carlyle Group, thrive on military conflict. When the world is at war, the neocons and the defense contractors who work with them make enormous amounts of money.
The neocons don’t care which side you’re on, as long as they can work with you to create a political situation that they can grow into a war from which they will profit.
The Ukrainian “revolution” was fostered and encouraged by Nuland, Rice and U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt. These three were instrumental in staging a destabilization campaign. Working with Ukrainian neo-Nazis, they fostered the Ukrainian uprising that has caused the elected Ukrainian president to flee from Kiev.
Arizona Sen. John McCain was also part of this duplicity. McCain went to Kiev in December last year and helped incite the mobs that would overthrow the legitimately elected president. If there were such a thing as a Nobel Anti-Peace Prize, McCain would win it hands down for his work in Egypt and Syria, topped off by what he’s done in Ukraine.
The U.S.-supported insurgents have taken over Kiev and now hold the Ukrainian people hostage as the U.S. stands down. Barack Obama mouthed the emptiest of words – there will be “costs” to Russia for military action against the insurgents – while the U.S. found that its hands were tied.
In the early stages of the rebellion, Ukrainian President Yanukovich met with the rebels staging the uprising, and the two parties agreed to stop the violence and make an orderly transition to a new government chosen in a new set of elections. Instead, the right-wing rebels ignored the agreement and took over Kiev by force, with their armed patrols maintaining control through violence.
The situation in Ukraine has been painted as a conflict between Vladimir Putin’s Russia, the so-called bad guys, and Ukrainian rebels, the so-called good guys who seek to oust Russia from a position of influence in Ukraine and install a new government that will be responsive to the Ukrainian people.
Don’t believe a word of it.
The Ukrainian nationalists are fascists. Washington’s original purpose for staging a coup in Ukraine was to move Ukraine away from Russia and bring Ukraine into the European Union. In other words, the neocons and the bought-and-paid-for “moderates” in the Obama administration wanted to wrest control of Ukraine from Putin’s hands and gain economic and energy control over the country. As Dr. Stephen F. Cohen has pointed out, Western nations, with the U.S. leading the way, have been provoking Putin for decades. We’ve expanded NATO to include former Soviet states – Ukraine looks like the next target – and we’ve attacked allies of Russia, including Libya and Iraq. The U.S. – along with other Western nations – through our incursions into the politics, economics and national security of Russia and several of its allies, has effectively caused the situation that is now unfolding in Ukraine. Cohen is right.
Putin is certainly not a good guy, but he is not the villain in this. The Jews have always been canaries in the coal mine of human rights in Russia, and Putin has been better to Russian Jews than any other Russian leader in the past century. With the elected government now driven out of Ukraine, the anti-Semitic U.S.-backed fascist thugs who have assumed control are vandalizing synagogues and threatening the lives of Jews in Crimea.
Putin has also been forced to deploy military assets to Crimea, an important region that Russia ceded to Ukraine in the 1950s, when the USSR was reaching the height of its power and Ukraine was one of its puppet states. The majority population in Crimea is Russian, and its warm-water Black Sea ports are critical to Russian military and trade interests. Russia cannot afford to let the Crimean region fall into the hands of the insurgents who are trying to take over Ukraine.
In addition to deploying military assets in Crimea, Putin has contacted his allies in at least eight other strategically located countries to assure that Russia has access to those countries’ military facilities so Putin’s forces can extend their long-range naval and strategic bomber capabilities. In other words, the U.S. interference in Ukrainian politics has resulted in Putin expanding his military influence, while at the same time Barack Obama is bent on shrinking our own military to pre-World War II levels.
Once again, the incompetent, uninformed and uninvolved president of the U.S. has drawn a pink line in the sand. Obama doesn’t know whose side he’s on. He didn’t even bother to attend the meeting of his national security advisers on Friday afternoon as the Ukrainian conflict was escalating and Putin was deploying his military. The new game in Washington, D.C., is not “Where’s Waldo?” It’s “Where’s Barry?” They took the trouble to Photoshop Obama into pictures of national security meetings during the Benghazi crisis. In this case, they’re not even bothering to pretend he’s in charge.
Obama hasn’t got a clue about what the conflict in the Ukraine means. Nuland and Rice, two of the four horsewomen of the apocalypse who seem to make so many critical decisions of this administration, told him to blame Putin, so that is what he did.
Now the Russian and Ukrainian people are at grave risk from the Ukrainian nationalists and Chechen Islamic jihadists into whose hands the U.S. has worked to place the fate of that country, and Putin has called on his allies to assist him in expanding his military presence around the world.
The greatest hypocrisy here comes from those who call for open borders with Mexico and amnesty for 30 million illegal aliens who have violated our territorial integrity. It is our own politicians and advisers – Sens. Dick Durbin, Lindsey Graham and John McCain, along with national security renegades like Zbigniew Brzezinski and Madeleine Albright – who have made our borders meaningless. Our foreign enemies are less to be feared than the American subversives who are orchestrating the takeover of Ukraine by pro-Islamist Ukrainian neo-Nazis.
New Ukraine/ Kill russians and jews - we are the Europe ! Published on Mar 8, 2014 Ukraine opposition leaders hardly insist they are peaceful and friendly.
The Ukraine: Neo-Nazi criminal state looming in the centre of Europe On February 22, militants and terrorists of the Euromaidan Parliament executed a neo-Nazi coup using armed force, violating all norms of the Constitution, international law, and trampling European values. Washington and Brussels - who told the world that Euromaidan is a nonviolent action of the Ukrainian people - instigated a Nazi coup to serve the geopolitical interests of the West, facilitated de facto by the weak-kneed stance of the Yanukovych government.
'US thinks it's superior, rules only apply to inferior nations' - ex Australian PM Mar 18, 2014 The US has been accused of double standards for supporting Kosovo's secession while calling Crimea's illegal. We talked to former Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Fraser, to clarify the contradiction in the US/EU positions on secession.
Crimean Crisis : Nationalists donate (Nazi-Muslim)Tatars to attacks / Ukraine Mar 1 2014
The (Nazi-Muslim)Tatars can play an important role in the power struggle in the Crimea Ukrainian nationalists calling for the preparation of attacks against Russians.
Because the Muslim minority rejected a port of the peninsula to the hated neighbor.
In the Crimea threaten new bloody clashes between Russians and Crimean (Muslim) Tatars. On Wednesday already around 30 people had been injured in a brawl in front of the Parliament of the Black Sea peninsula. The Presidium of the Crimean Parliament thereupon made an appeal to the public to prevent bloodshed.
But cracked by Russian hackers e-mails from the deputy leader of the Crimean (Muslim) Tatars representation “Majlis” Omer Aslan Kirimli, clearly indicate that leading officials of the extreme right-wing “rights industry” want to incite the Crimean (Muslim) Tatars to support acts of terrorism against the Russians in the Crimea.
In a mail requests Andrei Tarasenko, one of the leaders of the “rights industry” of Kirimli to give his comrades ‘instruments’ and the coordinates of hidden weapons caches. The right-wing extremist writes: “Wild there’s a lot we need more hunting gear, helmets and sticks.” From the context it is clear that with “game” of political opponents are meant active members of the Russian community. Nationalist Crimean (Muslim) Tatars and the “rights industry” have converged at the rallies on the Maidan in Kiev. Most of the inhabitants are Russians in the Crimea. The representation of the people of the peninsula calls for 25 May for a referendum on expanded rights for the autonomous region on. Parliament Bureau announced it was about a “perfection of the status of autonomy”. Only in this way could the Crimean residents “without external pressure and diktat determine the future of autonomy.” But a large part of the Crimean Tatars is against such an extension of autonomy: Many of them fear that Russian forces wanted to connect the peninsula to Russia. Crimean Crisis:Thousands (Muslim)Tatars dead in deportation under Stalin Naturaly Crimean (Muslim)Tatars hates Russians during hundreds years The Crimean (Muslim)Tatars , about 260,000 people of about 2 million inhabitants of the Crimea, are a Muslim Turkic people with a Turkish -like language . Since the eighth century , they lived on the peninsula. 1430 , they created their own state , the Crimean Khanate . To the Crimea fought for centuries rival powers , Genoa, Venice and Byzantium. After all, who dominated the Crimea , controlled the Black Sea , and thus access to the Bosphorus and the Mediterranean. The Crimean (Muslim) Tatars were forced into less fertile areas . The ratio of the Crimean (Muslim) Tatars to the Russians has long been eager : Under Josef Stalin , the Soviet regime forced the Crimean (Muslim) Tatars as all the peasants in collective farms , it closed mosques and persecuted faithful Muslims .
During World War II she then supported the Wehrmacht : The 1942 created ” (Nazi-Muslim)Tatar Committee ” in the capital Simferopol created a ” department to fight against the Soviet partisans ” : Armed (Nazi-Muslim) Tatar nationalists went in company strength brutally against Russian resistance in the Crimea , led by German (Nazi) officers. For the bloody cooperation a part of their community with the Nazis even the innocent have paid a high price: Stalin had 183,000 Crimean (Muslim) Tatars after the reconquest of the Crimea to deport Kazakhstan. Thousands perished. The stories of this cruel fate are very much alive in the families of the Crimean (Muslim) Tatars today. In 1967, the Crimean (Muslim) Tatars were officially rehabilitated by the Soviet state. But only in 1988 they were allowed to return to their homeland. Although many Crimean (Muslim) Tatars have been tried to a peaceful relationship with the Russian and Ukrainian inhabitants of the peninsula in everyday life.
But again there was controversy and fights for land occupations by the baby-Tatars. Now that the Russian majority population of the Crimea to defend their autonomy against the threatened violence of Ukrainian nationalists, fanning hotheads among (Muslim)Tatars old fears of the Russians. The Crimean (Muslim)Tatars run this risk of becoming an instrument of foreign interests: For the extreme (Nazi) right-wing nationalists in Crimea no basis – their only chance, therefore, is to abuse the Crimean (Muslim) Tatars as auxiliary volunteers against the Russians.
Crimea parliament declares independence from Ukraine ahead of referendum
March 13, 2014 The parliament of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea has adopted an independence declaration from Ukraine which is necessary for holding a March 16 referendum. “We, the members of the parliament of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the Sevastopol City Council, with regard to the charter of the United Nations and a whole range of other international documents and taking into consideration the confirmation of the status of Kosovo by the United Nations International Court of Justice on July, 22, 2010, which says that unilateral declaration of independence by a part of the country doesn’t violate any international norms, make this decision,” says the text of the declaration, which was published by the Crimean media. The document was adopted during an extraordinary session of parliament. 78 of 100 members of the parliament voted in favor of the declaration. The Crimean parliament’s vote to become an independent sovereign state paves the way for the March 16 referendum for the Crimean Autonomous Republic and the city of Sevastopol to join Russia. If the referendum is in favor, the Crimean authorities will request for their country to become a constituent republic of the Russian Federation. The declaration was signed by the speaker of the Supreme Council of Crimea, Vladimir Konstantinov, and the head of the Sevastopol City Council, Yury Doynikov. “We adopted the declaration of independence to make the upcoming referendum legitimate and transparent,” Konstantinov said. “Now we declare ourselves the Republic of Crimea, we don’t add ‘autonomous." After Tuesday’s declaration of independence, Crimea will never rejoin Ukraine, Konstantinov added. “Crimea won’t be a part of Ukraine even if the ousted president, Viktor Yanukovich, returns to power,” he said. “The country where we lived doesn’t exist anymore. We are going our own way and we’re trying to do it quickly.” Konstantinov said that Crimea will adopt the Russian ruble as its currency soon after the referendum. Meanwhile, Crimean authorities are preparing for Sunday’s poll, says the speaker of the Supreme Council of Crimea. He reiterated that he believes the referendum will be passed. “The ballots for the referendum are being printed and the election committees are being formed in all parts of Crimea," he says. Seventy-seven percent of people in Crimea and Sevastopol will vote to join Russia in the March 16 referendum, according to the poll conducted by Crimea Republican Institute of Political and Sociological Research. Eighty-five percent of people in Sevastopol, a city with a special status located on the Crimean peninsula, believe that it should join Russia. According to the poll, 97 percent of the population of Sevastopol and Crimea negatively view the situation in Ukraine regarding the Kiev coup-imposed government, while 84 percent say that Ukraine is experiencing a crisis. A total of 83 percent of the population of Crimea disapprove of the coup-appointed government in Kiev, the poll found.
Ousted Yanukovich talks to press in Russia (FULL CONFERENCE) Streamed live on Feb 28, 2014 Conference starts at 9:30.
Ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich pledges to fight for Ukraine. He addressed a press conference in southern Russia, appearing in public for the first time since he fled Kiev amid bloody riots. MORE QUOTES: http://on.rt.com/1ldeaa
Putin's proposal to deploy forces in Ukraine approved by Russian senators
Published on Mar 1, 2014 Russia's Federation Council has unanimously approved President Vladimir Putin's request to use Russian military forces in Ukraine. The move is aimed to settle the turmoil in the split country. READ MORE: http://on.rt.com/8ttdf7
Russian lawmakers cheer after unanimous vote to invade Ukraine After voting 87-0 in favor of giving Vladimir Putin permission to invade Ukraine, Russian lawmakers cheered their decision.
Revolution: The Truth About Ukraine Published on Feb 24, 2014
In today's video, Christopher Greene of AMTV explains the Truth about the Revolution in Ukraine.
BREAKING! Russian Navy on the Move in Ukraine Published on Feb 24, 2014 In today's video, Christopher Greene of AMTV reports the Russian Navy on the move in Ukraine.
Putin’s Excellent Ukraine Adventurism by COLONEL KENNETH ALLARD (US ARMY, RET.)March 5, 2014
Last weekend was a trip back in time for an intelligence officer who well remembers the Soviet military machine that once threatened Western Europe, particularly its ability to project power with elite airborne and naval forces. Stay tuned: Their campaign may have only begun, since the assault-force mission is simply preparation for any follow-on attacks that may be required. By any measure, it has been a remarkable fortnight for that new post-Soviet man, Vladimir Putin. He neatly flipped Egypt from the U.S. to the Russian orbit, won the Olympics and then executed the surprise airborne intervention that swiftly subdued Crimea. It was unlikely that the wily KGB apparatchik was unduly troubled by his 90-minute phone call from President Obama. Instead, the Russian leader was probably recalling one of Lenin's great teachings, equally useful in bayonet fighting and testing the mettle of your opponent: If you hit steel, then pull back. If your blade strikes only mush, then thrust forward. There was little steel available to deter Mr. Putin. He must have savored the irony of a week that began with precipitous cuts being scheduled for the U.S. Army - and ended with Russia's stunning demonstration of what boots on the ground can actually achieve. Among other things, they produced a psychological shock wave that shook the Western alliance to its thoroughly demilitarized core. The speed and scope of Crimean events also stunned the usual cast of correspondents and media pundits. For them, the only things more shocking than Mr. Putin's sudden transition from affable Olympic autocrat to steely-eyed Cold Warrior were the instruments of the Russian blitzkrieg. Reporters accustomed to thinking of war as a really neat video game with precision missiles zapping defenseless targets were woefully unprepared to grasp what was happening. CNN and BBC commentators had trouble connecting the dots - linking the swift movement of helicopters and troop transports into the broad red arrowheads that seized control of Crimea in only a few short hours. First their breathless reports innocently mentioned Ilyushin-76 transports landing in Crimea. Then the first videos revealed a distinctive striped T-shirt beneath the open collars of Russian fatigues. Both are signature items of the elite Russian airborne forces, whose presence instantly revealed much about Moscow's capabilities and intent. Since Soviet times, the use of those forces signals the Russian Sunday punch, the knockout blow that is as stealthy as it is swift and decisive. Its strategic objective: crippling the opponent's ability to react. An article I wrote in 1980 for "Parameters," the Army War College journal, serves as a long-standing Cold War reference. Written shortly after the Russian "airbornski" spearheaded their invasion of Afghanistan, the article showed how elite forces inserted far from Soviet territory could instantly create "decisive facts" on the ground. The Russian air-transport service was numerous enough to carry those forces in a few sorties - not endless return trips. While airborne troops are usually considered vulnerable to heavier, better-armed forces, the Soviets featured the BMD, a light armored personnel carrier that could easily accompany Russian paratroops. I finally got to experience those assault vehicles directly as my career was ending, as a peacekeeper with the U.S. First Armored Division in Bosnia. Oddly enough, the Russians were there as our allies, so a senior American officer was welcomed in formations that would once have treated him only as a POW. The BMD lived up to its billing. So did the Russian airborne troops, their officers and their training. On patrols with them, I always experienced cool professionalism and the routine sophistication of a well-disciplined combat force, either on the move or in well-sited entrenchments. Nearly a generation later, the deployment of those forces to Crimea suggests to me nothing so much as the stern intent of Mr. Putin and the highly disciplined Russian military establishment he commands. These are serious people who can read maps and defend national interests, none more important than the security of the Russian homeland. Mr. Putin seems like the product of a culture steeped in history, including those frequent occasions when the perception of weakness invariably preceded attacks. He is less the new Soviet imperialist ideologue and more the latest throwback to the days of Imperial Russia. He reminds me as well of the general who commanded that Russian airborne unit. Refilling our glasses with Stolichnaya, he toasted his troops. "Comrade Colonel, always remember that the Russian soldier, whatever he is asked and wherever he is sent, will always do his duty." We clinked our glasses together as I responded, "And, Comrade General, may he always do it close to home."
Putin has transformed Russian army into a lean, mean fighting machine Military well-prepared for Ukraine
By Rowan Scarborough The Washington Times, March 6, 2014
President Vladimir Putin has turned a once-moribund Russian military into a lean, quick-strike force that can invade Chechnya, Georgia and now Ukraine's Crimean peninsula. Under Mr. Putin, Russia has developed the world's third-largest defense budget, at $70 billion. The underpaid army of post-Cold War conscripts has given way to special operations troops and experienced guns for hire, some of whom showed up in Crimea in not readily identifiable uniforms. Overall, headquarters have been consolidated and soldiers fight out of brigades, not large divisions. Mr. Putin, who has lamented the end of the Soviet empire, is using Russia's energy riches to buy military technology overseas such as communications networks and drones. Germany, its eastern half once ruled by Stalinist countrymen, built for Russia a sophisticated training center for infantry units that can simulate an array of war scenarios, such as invading a neighbor. After Mr. Putin's re-election in 2012, the military began a series of "snap exercises" — surprise orders to see how fast army units mobilize, leave bases and arrive at objectives. Orders for larger exercises recognize the military's inability to fight a long war and include the use of nuclear weapons to defend the homeland. In all, Mr. Putin has built a military that can unleash a force to reclaim territory lost in the Soviet empire's demise. "What they've done is fashion a force structure that can deal with local crises in adjoining states, and right now that means states that, by rights in their view, should belong to the Russian Federation," said David Glantz, a retired Army officer trained as a Sovietologist who just completed a book about the Battle of Stalingrad. "Crimea is the most sensitive and obvious place to operate because that is where they've had the military bases." "Putin has left his stamp by essentially supporting a much more aggressive Russian response," said Jacob Kipp, a Russia military historian and former director of the Army's Foreign Military Studies Office at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. "The Russian military today is clearly intended early on to conduct initial combat operations. The problem is it doesn't have the capacity to conduct protracted combat operations." A local crisis The re-emergence of the Russian bear has rattled Europe and the Obama administration, which is pulling combat troops out of Europe and closing bases as it shifts more assets to the western Pacific and an assertive China. "These people are still living in an era of realpolitik," Mr. Glantz said. "We've lost it. We've lost our ability to sense it. We have no Kissingers around anymore. Putin's taking advantages of this thing to the hilt." Mr. Kipp said Mr. Putin began his foray in war planning in 1999. President Boris Yeltsin had brought the former KGB colonel into the Kremlin and put him in charge of federal security, then made him prime minister and then acting president. That October, Russian troops invaded Chechnya, as they had in 1994, in response to attacks by separatists, many of them Islamists. Unlike 1994, when Yeltsin allowed his army to get chewed up in mountain warfare, Mr. Putin went straight for the capital of Grozny, established a pro-Russian government and fought a counterinsurgency that ended in victory. Ever since, Mr. Putin has focused on combat readiness and technology for 2 million active-duty and reserve troops. "He took charge of the Second Chechen War, and if you notice, you can't find anything about that war because there is a cloak of secrecy around it," Mr. Glantz said. "He was basically testing the kind of force structure he believed Russia needed down the road." Mr. Putin's rise and that second war marked the beginning of a Russian rearmament that continues today. Moscow's 2013 defense budget funds a 40 percent increase over the next three years, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, putting the Kremlin only behind the U.S. and China in military spending. His incursion into the former Soviet republic of Georgia in 2008 revealed that the army had problems with its communication networks and air force aircraft had difficulties in discerning friend from foe. But overall, it succeeded in presenting Mr. Putin's vision of a mobile force able to respond to what he saw as a local crisis. "What you saw in Georgia was a test bed for that new force structure, basically a brigade force to replace the old divisions and regiments," Mr. Glantz said. "I think the judgment on the part of Putin was, what he sent in there, this multiple brigade and battalion groups, worked quite well." 'They go nuclear' Ariel Cohen, a military analyst at the Heritage Foundation, said Russia today basically has two militaries: one for neighborhood incursions such as Crimea and another to guard against invasions. "What you see in the Crimea is Spetsnaz [special forces] and air assault/airborne," Mr. Cohen said. "Mostly contracted professionals, not draftees. Plus lots of FSB." FSB, the Federal Security Service, is the Kremlin's internal security arm and successor to the dreaded KGB, where Mr. Putin learned his trade. The transformation under Mr. Putin to a leaner, faster military is demonstrated in stark numbers. The number of units in the ground forces, one of six distinct armed forces, decreased from 1,890 in 2008 to 172 by 2012, according to Globalsecurity.org. "It used to be when people talked about the Russian military, the point was it was a steamroller," said Mr. Kipp, of the Army's Foreign Military Studies Office. "Got steam up very slowly. It had a capacity to mobilize echelon on echelon. That's what we feared at NATO: large, competent forces right on the Germany border and then the capacity to mobilize the entire society for a high-intensity industrial war. "There is no great mobilization capacity in Russia today," he said. "What that means is, in a crisis, if the military gets into problems, the Kremlin has some very unappealing options. What they've been doing in their exercises is, when the conventional forces fail in defense, they go nuclear." James Russell, an instructor at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif., said regardless of Mr. Putin's incursion and ramped-up military, Russia is in dire economic straits, existing on energy resources and hamstrung by deep corruption. "Events in the Crimea do not alter this basic fact," Mr. Russell said. "Russia is passing from the scene in this sense, with an unsustainable economic and maybe even political model. It could be argued that a central challenge of the 21st century will, in fact, be the collapse of the Russian state when the oil runs out and Putin's mafia cronies are all enjoying themselves in their villas in the French Riviera." That is why, he said, the U.S. pivot to Asia should continue. "The political, economic and military epicenter of the world is moving inexorably eastward, and the United States needs to move along with it," Mr. Russell said. "Our continued economic health and well-being depends upon our continued economic, political and military integration with Asia."
Putin orders military tests amid Ukraine tensionsFeb. 7, 2014 • Rival groups clash in Ukraine's Crimea MOSCOW (AP) — President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday ordered massive exercises involving most of its military units in western Russia amid tensions in Ukraine. Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said in a televised statement made at a meeting of top military brass in Moscow that the exercise is intended to "checks the troops' readiness for action in crisis situations that threaten the nation's military security." Shoigu said Putin ordered the exercise Wednesday afternoon. During the first two days, the military will be put on high alert and some will deploy to shooting ranges. The actual maneuvers will start Friday and will last four days, he said. The exercise will involve ships of the Baltic and the Northern Fleets and the air force. Shoigu's statement didn't contain any reference to Ukraine, where tensions remain high following the toppling of Russia-backed President Viktor Yanukovych. Russia has questioned the legitimacy of the new Ukrainian authorities and accused them of failing to control radicals who threaten the Russia-speaking population in Ukraine's east and south. A senior Russian lawmaker on Tuesday told pro-Russia activists in Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula where Russia has a major naval base that Moscow will protect them if their lives are in danger.