Ukraine slides into civil war amid Merkel’s bid to bridge US-Russian differences. Putin resigns responsibility
DEBKAfile Special Report May 3, 2014
German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s bid during her visit to Washington Friday, April 2, to bridge the differences between Presidents Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin over Ukraine was overtaken by the onset of civil war. After the Kiev government launched its first serious offensive Friday to take E. Ukrainian towns from pro-Russian militias, Moscow repudiated responsibility for events in that region. Putin’s spokesman called it a punitive action which broke the Geneva accords: “Neither Russia, nor any other country,” he said, “can any longer influence the citizens of Ukraine’s southeast…"
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 1, 2014
The creeping Russian takeover of E. Ukraine is advancing by proxy as separatists seize one city after another without facing resistance.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 25, 2014
US sanctions against Russia have most remained in the field of rhetoric. But it is in Obama’s power to undermine Russia’s banking system for a time at least by wielding the “scarlet letter.”
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 25, 2014
Russian cyber war superiority and capacity to retaliate for sanctions against its banks may deter the Europeans at least from joining US sanctions over Ukraine.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 25, 2014
Netanyahu hopes that in consideration of Israel’s neutrality on Ukraine, Putin will be receptive to its concerns on Iran and Syria.
DEBKAfile Special Report April 24, 2014
Defense Minister Gen. Sergey Shoigu Thursday, April 24, ordered the Russian army to start drills at Rostov on Don near the Ukraine border. debkafile: This order amounted to a state of alert, which required the troops to move up to the Ukraine border and take up prepared positions as bridgeheads if ordered to enter East Ukraine. In the past 48 hours, Russian officials have kept up an unprecedented stream of invective against the provisional government in Kiev – called “junta” - and the Obama administration for its intervention in Ukraine.
DEBKAfile DEBKA Weekly April 23, 2014
The Obama-Putin contest over Ukraine no longer fits the definition of a cold war revival. It is a new kind of world war, fought by stealth between two financial and intelligence colossi aiming for each other’s economic jugulars amid skirmishes over Ukraine. In its latest issue out Friday, DEBKA Weekly reveals how this novel war is orchestrated from a secret US headquarters in Kiev and the SVR center at Yasenevo near Moscow – and looks ahead at its global wings.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis April 18, 2014
The Kerry-Lavrov “de-escalation” recipe for Ukraine, concluded in Geneva Thursday, April 17, consists of the same ingredients as their previous deals: a slick-sounding compromise that the US and Russian can more or less live with; a gloss over the real elements at issue between them; and a deal that goes over the heads of the prime movers involved in the conflict. By Friday, the two rival camps in Ukraine were digging in their heels against it. Though threatened with sanctions, Vladimir Putin is waiting to see if the West makes the Kiev government moderate its positions.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 27, 2014
Putin will not be intimidated by NATO into going back on his annexation of Crimea. He sees Russian military control of Crimea as a counterweight to US bases in Romania and Bulgaria.
DEBKAfile Special Report March 20, 2014
The US and Russian presidents locked horns in earnest over their Ukraine dispute Thursday, March 20 with two sets of serious reciprocal sanctions. International financial circles warn that in their determination to outplay one another, the US and Russian leaders risk causing havoc in world trade centers. debkafile: Whereas Barack Obama’s new executive order covering 20 targets strikes deep inside Vladimir Putin’s inner circle and personal financial interests, the Russian president appears to be going for American politicians hostile to Moscow – although this is only his first shot.
DEBKAfile Special Report March 18, 2014
After defending Crimea’s referendum as adhering to “all international norms,” Russian President Vladimir Putin declared Tuesday, March 18, that Russia would henceforth strongly defend its national interests against the “cold war tactics” practiced by the United States and the West. He complained Moscow had sought dialogue with the West, but was “cheated all the time.” When he accused America of practicing the “law of the strong,” he was cheered by the packed Russian lower house. He ended the session by signing the Crimean annexation treaty.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 13, 2014
The last Western hope for averting the Crimean referendum Sunday and a major showdown between the two world powers rested with Chancellor Angela Merkel. But even she failed to sway Putin.
The Ukraine crisis: Russia may halt (START) strategic weapons inspections, revert to Cold War tactics
DEBKAfile Special Report March 8, 2014
Russia ratcheted up international tensions over Ukraine Saturday, March 8, after mobilizing air and coastal defenses for a month-long drill to secure the May 16 Crimean referendum from disruption. The defense ministry in Moscow announced “Russia is considering halting foreign inspections of its strategic weapons arsenal, including nuclear-capable missiles, in response to ‘threats’ from the United States and NATO over the Ukraine crisis. debkafile: Moscow is ready to revert to Soviet belligerent posture unless the US and the West back down on the Ukraine dispute.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 7, 2014
Netanyahu persuaded Obama to back Israel’s raid on an Iranian missile ship to improve his soft image and possibly deter Putin from further military action in Ukraine.
Putin: Not Russian - but local forces took control of Crimea. DEBKAfile: They are Russian special forces
DEBKAfile Special Report March 4, 2014
Russian President Vladimir Putin, addressing reporters for the first time Tuesday, March 4, denied that Russian forces had taken control of the Crimean Peninsula – but self-defense locals in Russian uniforms. debkafile’s military sources challenge this, having identified the units as Russia’s Rapid Intervention Brigade 22 based in Rostov on-Don, southern Russia, and the 25th Regiment of Special Forces-Stavropol. Putin also said Viktor Yanukovych was removed by an anti-constitutional coup d’etat and remains Ukraine’s only legitimate president, but he showed no inclination to restore him to power.
Moscow will halt military steps in Ukraine – only after a US guarantee not to post missile shield there
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 3, 2014
As Washington and the Europeans continued to decry Russian military aggression, the US and Russians quietly began intense negotiations - through Berlin - on a deal for settling the Ukraine dispute, debkafile reports. Moscow will keep its military forces in Crimea, but discuss terms for restraining the Russian army from advancing into the Russian-speaking eastern Ukraine: Kiev must stay out of NATO, the US must guarantee not to deploy advanced radar, missile shields or ballistic missiles in the country, and local armed bodies will protect Russian-speaking areas.
Ukraine calls up reserves against Russia. Putin spurns Obama’s call to de-escalate with fallout on Mid East
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis March 2, 2014
The US-EU tactic of turning the heat on Moscow instead of Kiev is proving futile and a strategic blunder stemming from weakness, more likely to spark real violence and bloodshed. US President Barack Obama’s call to Vladimir Putin to de-escalate the tension and pull his troops out of Crimea went unheeded. So Kiev mobilized a million military reservists and put the Ukraine army on a war footing, without the resources for feeding or arming them. Putin was encouraged to forge ahead with his plans until the interim government falls – or talks.
DEBKAfile Special Report February 28, 2014
Thirteen giant Ilyushin-76 air transports (NATO codenamed IL-76 Candid) flew into the Crimea Friday night, Feb. 28, and landed some 2,000 fresh Russian troops at a military airfield near Sebastopol. debkafile’s military sources report the new intake belonged to the Russian Rapid Intervention Force. They arrived as the UN Security Council in New York discussed the Kiev government’s protest against the Russian military invasion of Ukraine. Armed Russian troops earlier took control of the runways of Crimea’s two main airports at Simferopol and Sevastopol.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 28, 2014
Crimea is Russia’s main springboard for Putin’s Mid East strategy. Kerry’s last-ditch phone call to Lavrov may avert a Russian military operation – but at a steep price for Kiev and the West.