Tag Archives: President Vladimir Putin

#Russia: Justice Ministry Adds 2 More Russian NGOs to Foreign Agents List #soldiersmothers

Soldiersmothers.ruThe St. Petersburg branch of the Soldiers’ Mothers group.

The Justice Ministry has added two beleaguered NGOs to its list of “foreign agents,” according to the ministry’s online registry.

Two St. Petersburg-based organizations, the Institute for Information Freedom Development and Soldiers’ Mothers of St. Petersburg, are the latest NGOs to be labeled foreign agents under a controversial law passed in 2012 under which the tag is applied to NGOs with any foreign funding whose activities can be defined as “political.”

Both of the organizations have made headlines over run-ins with the authorities in recent weeks.

This month, Jennifer Gaspar, the U.S. wife of the Russian founder of the Institute for Information Freedom Development, Ivan Pavlov, was deported after being deemed a national security threat. No grounds were provided by the Federal Migration Service for the decision. Both Gaspar and Pavlov cited his organization’s work, as well as the fact that Gaspar had worked as a consultant for a range of other NGOs in Russia during the 10 years she had lived here.

The St. Petersburg branch of the Soldiers’ Mothers group made waves earlier this week when its head, Ella Polyakova, who is also a member of the Kremlin’s human rights advisory body, said Russia had invaded Ukraine.

“When masses of people, under commanders’ orders, on tanks, APCs and with the use of heavy weapons, are on the territory of another country, cross the border, I consider this an invasion,” Polyakova said in comments to Reuters.

In a separate interview with independent television channel Dozhd on Wednesday, Polyakova said 100 injured Russian paratroopers had been flown to a St. Petersburg hospital from an undisclosed location, and that Russian soldiers in Dagestan had been paid 250,000 rubles ($7,000) to fight in Ukraine. Both claims were touted by journalists as proof that Russia had begun military operations in Ukraine.

Despite speculation that Polyakova’s statements had prompted the Justice Ministry to include the group on the “foreign agent” list, a statement on the group’s website posted earlier this month says the group has faced harassment by authorities ever since the adoption of the law in 2012.

The law has sparked concerns among many activists who say the “foreign agent” label carries negative Cold War connotations and that the move signals a government crackdown on civil society.

In early June, President Vladimir Putin stirred more criticism after signing legislation amending the original law — which required the NGOs themselves to register as “foreign agents” — to allow the Justice Ministry to apply the label to organizations without their consent.

Other organizations on the list include the election monitoring group Golos and the human rights organizations Agora and Memorial.

The Moscow Times.

Hundreds protest in Wales before NATO summit #WarinEurope #Putin #NATO

War is comingSupporters take part in the ‘No to NATO’ protest march in Newport, south Wales, Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014.

LONDON (AP) — Hundreds of anti-war protesters have marched through the Welsh city of Newport before a major NATO summit there next week.

About 1,000 peace activists holding banners and placards that read “No to NATO” and “Stop NATO Expansion” marched Saturday in a peaceful procession.

The Sept. 4-5 summit at Newport’s Celtic Manor Resort will be attended by more than 150 heads of state and officials.

Police have said that about 9,500 officers from around Britain will secure the event, which is expected to draw a large number of protesters. Authorities have warned that a minority of protesters is expected to disrupt proceedings and challenge police.

Associated Press.

War is coming, it is just a matter of when.

Unless Putin’s ‘Land Grab War’ is halted’ war will be coming to europe whether we like it or not! President Putin has not hidden the fact that he wants to rebuild the soviet union, and like Hitler before him he is power hungry, he will want more… “Don’t mess with nuclear Russia”, Putin has said, is he bluffing? time will tell.

Take A Stand.

Don’t mess with nuclear Russia, Putin says #RussiainvadedUkraine #NuclearRussia

BY ALEXEI ANISHCHUKPutin's Nuclear Threat

LAKE SELIGER, Russia – President Vladimir Putin said on Aug. 29 Russia’s armed forces, backed by its nuclear arsenal, were ready to meet any aggression, declaring at a pro-Kremlin youth camp that foreign states should understand: “It’s best not to mess with us.”

Putin told the assembly, on the banks of a lake near Moscow, the Russian takeover of Crimea in March was essential to save a largely Russian-speaking population from Ukrainian government violence. He said continued fighting in eastern Ukraine, where pro-Russian separatists launched an uprising in April, was the result of a refusal by Kiev to negotiate.

Ukraine, and Western governments, accuse Russia of sending troops and armour to back the separatists in a conflict that has already killed over 2,000 people. Russia denies the charge.

“Russia is far from being involved in any large-scale conflicts,” he said at the camp on the banks of Lake Seliger. “We don’t want that and don’t plan on it. But naturally, we should always be ready to repel any aggression towards Russia.

“Russia’s partners…should understand it’s best not to mess with us,” said Putin, dressed casually in a grey sweater and light blue jeans.

“Thank God, I think no one is thinking of unleashing a large-scale conflict with Russia. I want to remind you that Russia is one of the leading nuclear powers.”

Putin spoke easily with the students, many of whom looked to be asking scripted questions about demography and history. Other times he accepted gifts or, smilingly, played down their praise.

When a student said that she had not heard a single negative comment about Putin’s presidency from camp speakers, he responded with a grin that “objectivity” was important.

His tone darkened when speaking on Ukraine, blaming the United States and the European Union for the “unconstitutional” removal of Kiev’s former Moscow-backed president Viktor Yanukovich and replacement with a pro-European government.

He said eastern Ukraine did not agree with Yanukovich’s removal and was now subjected to “crude military force” from government planes, tanks and artillery.

“If those are contemporary European values, then I’m simply disappointed in the highest degree,” he said, comparing Ukraine’s military operations in the east of the country with the Nazi siege of Leningrad in World War Two.

“Small villages and large cities surrounded by the Ukrainian army which is directly hitting residential areas with the aim of destroying the infrastructure… It sadly reminds me of the events of the Second World War, when German fascist… occupiers surrounded our cities.”

(Reporting by Alexei Anishchuk, Writing by Thomas Grove; editing by Ralph Boulton).


Mr. Putin Tests the West in Ukraine #‎RussiainvadedUkraine #Obama #Putin #NATO

By A member of Ukrainian volunteer battalion Dnipro looks through binoculars near the small southern Ukrainian city of Novoazovsk, Donetsk region, on Aug. 27. © AFPA member of Ukrainian volunteer battalion Dnipro looks through binoculars near the small southern Ukrainian city of Novoazovsk, Donetsk region, on Aug. 27. © AFP.

The evidence has been mounting for some time, but there is no longer any doubt: Russian troops are in Ukraine, not as volunteers, as the rebel commander in Donetsk would have the world believe, but in units equipped with mobile artillery and heavy military equipment.

A senior NATO officer reported on Thursday that the alliance had monitored a “significant escalation” in Russia’s military “interference” in Ukraine, and that well over 1,000 Russian soldiers are operating inside the southeast of the country. The officer, Brig. Gen. Nico Tak, called it “interference,” presumably because “invasion” would mean an all-out military assault. But, by any name, it is a large and unacceptable escalation of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.

President Obama was right in his news conference on Thursday to rule out military action, 1 but new, tougher Western economic sanctions are obviously needed to make clear to President Vladimir Putin of Russia that the West views his lies and escalating aggression as a major threat.

Mr. Obama declined to speak of an “invasion” in his relatively restrained comments, describing the latest developments only as “a continuation” of what Russia has been up to and of his “expectation” that the allies will deepen the sanctions. His ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, was more blunt in her address Thursday to the Security Council, where she described Russia’s actions as “a deliberate effort to support, and now fight alongside, illegal separatists in another sovereign country.” That should be the reality guiding Mr. Obama when he meets with NATO allies in Wales next week.

NATO suspects the Russian goal is to prevent a military defeat of the rebels and freeze the conflict in an open-ended cease-fire, with Russia left in effective control of Ukraine’s industrial heartland, following the template of Russia’s frozen conflicts with Moldova and Georgia. But Russia’s motive is not the issue here. It is Russia’s violation of a cardinal principle of the international order since World War II — states do not seize territory by force.

Mr. Putin has played his dangerous game in Ukraine with cunning and deceit since the ouster in February of the corrupt Viktor Yanukovych lost him a Ukrainian president he could manipulate. First he annexed Crimea outright. Shocking and outrageous as that was, at least no blood was shed; Mr. Putin claimed that history and a Russian population as justification for that seizure. The Western reaction was limited to modest sanctions.

Since then, Mr. Putin has turned his attention to southeastern Ukraine, holding intimidating military exercises on the Ukrainian border and sending in ever more men and arms in support of secessionists in Donetsk and Luhansk, all the while falsely denying any Russian involvement other than humanitarian concern for the ethnic Russian population.

After the rebels shot down a Malaysian jetliner with a Russian missile, and after Kiev made gains against the rebels, Russia’s involvement became more overt, with reports of artillery fire across the border, armored columns crossing into Ukraine and Russian soldiers caught or killed inside Ukraine. The United States and the European Union ratcheted up the sanctions, but Mr. Putin continued to deny any involvement. He will no doubt deny the latest evidence as well, and will cynically claim some Ukrainian or Western plot.

Comments from European leaders on Thursday showed they recognize the danger of this moment. European Union leaders meeting on Saturday must join the United States in expanding the economic sanctions. France should seriously reconsider delivering the Mistral assault ships it has sold Russia. And when NATO leaders gather next week, they should give strong reassurances to NATO members along Russia’s borders that they will be protected 2 should Moscow turn its attentions on them.

The New York Times.


Footnotes are the sole opinion of the ‘Take A Stand’ blog and not of ‘The New York Times’ or any of it’s reporters.

  1. I have come to the conclusion that the U.S., UK and the United Nations only take military action on countries who do not have a nuclear arsenal, countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria etc. So I’m afraid the Ukrainians are on their own with little or no help from the west, except maybe further economic sanctions on Russia. 
  2. Protected how? Like Ukraine is being ‘protected? the NATO members along Russia’s borders should be really worried if they think that NATO has got their back!! 

Russia replies to Canada’s colorful map tweet #RussiaCanada #USRussia #NATO

This combination image shows a map tweeted by the Canadian Joint Delegation to NATO on Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014, top, and a map tweeted in response on Thursday by the Twitter Feed of the Permanent Mission of Russia to NATO, below. The top map went viral, being retweeted more than 25,000 times by late Thursday, including by U.S. U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power. The bottom map shows Crimea as part of Russia, which the country annexed from Ukraine in March. (AP Photo)This combination image shows a map tweeted by the Canadian Joint Delegation to NATO on Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014, top, and a map tweeted in response on Thursday by the Twitter Feed of the Permanent Mission of Russia to NATO, below. The top map went viral, being retweeted more than 25,000 times by late Thursday, including by U.S. U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power. The bottom map shows Crimea as part of Russia, which the country annexed from Ukraine in March. (AP Photo)

TORONTO (AP) — It began with Canada tweeting some not-so-friendly travel tips for the Russian military: a map showing Russia and labeling Ukraine as “not Russia.”

That opening shot was enough to launch a Twitter war of words — and maps.

Canada’s NATO Twitter account posted the map Wednesday with the explanation: “Geography can be tough. Here’s a guide for Russian soldiers who keep getting lost and ‘accidentally’ enter Ukraine.”

The tweet went viral, being retweeted more than 25,000 times by late Thursday, including by U.S. U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power.

Russia struck back by tweeting its own map showing Crimea as part of its territory. Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in March.

Kiev accused Russia on Thursday of sending tanks, artillery and troops across Ukraine’s border.

Russia says its only active duty soldiers in Ukraine were the 10 captured earlier this week, who Moscow insists had mistakenly wandered across the border.

NATO estimates that as many as 1,000 Russian troops are fighting inside Ukraine with an additional 20,000 soldiers massing on the border for support or possible reinforcements.

“It’s important to look at this exchange through the current context,” said Rick Roth, the top spokesman for Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird. “The original tweet was in the context of Russian military personnel being found in sovereign Ukrainian territory, claiming they were lost. Nobody believes that.”

Dutch Brig.-Gen. Nico Tak said there has been a significant escalation in both the level and sophistication of Russia’s military interference in Ukraine.

“We have also detected large quantities of advanced weapons, including air defense systems, artillery, tanks, and armored personnel carriers being transferred to separatist forces in eastern Ukraine,” said Tak.

Baird called the recent events a “significant provocation” in advance of next week’s NATO summit in Wales, where the alliance’s leaders are expected to hold a special meeting with new Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

Ukraine is not a member of NATO, so the alliance is not automatically obliged to come to its defense.

President Barack Obama ruled out the possibility that the U.S. will take military action over Ukraine and declined to characterize the assault as an invasion. 1


Associated Press.

  1. Sounds like Obama really did make a deal with Putin during their secret talks over Ukraine in Finland in June