On Tues of this week AlertsUSA subscribers were notified via SMS messages to their mobile devices regarding an announcement by the White House that President Obama would be signing a bill from Congress which adds new sanctions on Russia and would codify into law the provision of lethal aid to the Ukrainian government.
Known as the Ukraine Freedom Support Act of 2014, the bill is intended to "assist the government of Ukraine in restoring its sovereignty and territorial integrity in order to deter the government of the Russian Federation from further destabilizing and invading Ukraine and other independent countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia." .
Even before the bill made it out of Congress, at least one member of Russia's Duma called the bill "extremely dangerous" and suggested the decision to arm Ukraine should prompt ‘adequate measures’ from Russia, such as the use of military force on Ukrainian territory preemptively. "We should not wait until Ukraine is armed and becomes really dangerous." Similar warnings were issued in late November during a visit to Ukraine by Vice President Joe Biden.
Readers might find it interesting to note that documents released late last month by the Ukrainian hackers group CyberBerkut reveal that the US may in fact already be providing substantial lethal aid to Ukraine's armed forces. According to CyberBerkut, during Vice President Biden's two-day trip to Kiev in November, they were able to gain access to confidential State Department files that had been stored on American delegation member’s mobile device.
Those documents show that the Obama Administration has been supplying Ukraine with lethal aid as far back as the August, including sniper and assault rifles, grenade launchers, mortars, stinger missiles and anti-tank weapons.Read the here. See the docs here.
AlertsUSA advises readers that while the American public is being distracted with all manner of mainstream media fluff stories, be advised that our world is becoming more and more dangerous by the day.
From the surge of U.S. and NATO forces in Eastern Europe over the past year, the increasing number of tense encounters between armed NATO and Russian aircraft (more than 400 times this year - see this, this, and this) and a declining Russian currency resulting from a collapse in oil and gas prices just to name a few, tensions between the U.S., NATO and Russia are at an extremely dangerous level.
In a recent interview with the German publication Der Spiegel, former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger gave a chilling assessment of a new geopolitical situation taking shape, calling the West’s approach to Ukraine a “fatal mistake.” He characterized the tense relations as exhibiting the danger of another Cold War and warned that ignoring this danger any further may result in a “tragedy.”
We also remind readers that while the Obama Administration and U.S. media paint Russia as the aggressor in this situation, in Feb of this year a video was leaked showing Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Victoria Nuland, giving a presentation before a private group at the National Press Club in Washington within which she openly admits that the U.S. government has spent five BILLION dollars in an effort to subvert the Russian friendly Ukrainian government in order to bring into power the country into the U.S. sphere of influence (also see this).
DIRECT STRATEGIC THREATS
The resulting riots and change of government, in turn, posed a number of direct strategic threats to Russia, ultimately forcing them to move on Crimea in order to protect access to their naval base at Sevastopol, as well as to the Black Sea in general.
As an example, consider the geography of the region. Looking at a map you will see that the Black Sea is Western Russia's singular warm-water access point. All other ports in the North of the country, with the exception of Murmansk near the northeast corner of Finland, are blocked by ice at least 6 months out of each year. The only reason Murmansk remains ice free is due to the warm waters of the N. Atlantic current. Although 9 time zones in size, more than 90% of Russia's population lives in the Western third of the country.
Additionally, although Crimea was/is recognized as a part of Ukraine, it was/is actually an autonomous region . The Russian Navy has kept its Black Sea Fleet stationed at a naval base on the peninsula since the late 1700s and the time of Napoleon and Catherine the Great. The Port of Sevastopol has a large, deep, defensible harbor and is accessible in all seasons. In 2010, Russia negotiated an agreement with Ukraine that allows use of the strategically located Sevastopol naval base through 2042 in exchange for discounts on natural gas.
While Crimea is physically detached from Russia, it is connected by those parts of eastern and southern Ukraine that contain a large Russian speaking, pro-Russian population.
FOLLOW THE MONEY
We would be remiss if we did not also play "follow the money" and point out that Ukraine is a critical corridor for oil and gas pipelines from Russia and the Caspian region into Europe. These pipelines and the product they carry generate huge profits for Russia and directly compete with the planned Southern route which is at the heart of the instability in Syria .
With just these few items (there are many more), it is easy to see how Russia is being backed into a corner. Their strategic interests and national security are directly threatened.
JOE BIDEN'S SON ON BOARD OF UKRAINE'S
LARGEST INDEPENDANT NATURAL GAS PRODUCER
It is also important to note that in May of 2014, near the height of the Ukraine crisis, Hunter Biden, the youngest son of Vice President Joe Biden, was appointed to the Board of Directors of Burisma Holdings, Ukraine's largest independent producer of natural gas.
You can read more on this aspect of the story here.
Hunter Biden's appointment came just weeks after being dishonorably discharged from the U.S. Navy Reserves after testing positive for cocaine use.
You can read more on this aspect of the story here.
It would be naive to think that Russia is going to allow Ukraine to fall into the arms of NATO without a vigorous fight. The strategic importance of the country is far too great. Additionally, readers are reminded that Russian President Putin, Prime Minister Medvedev and the Chief of the Russian General Staff Gen. Nikolai Makarov, have on multiple occasions in the last 3 years made explicitly clear that Russia would use nuclear weapons, including in a preemptive capacity, if there is a threat to the integrity of the Russian Federation (see this, this, and this). These scenarios include conventional attacks on Russia or it's strategic partners, placement of missile shield installations in former Soviet-bloc countries and more.
AlertsUSA continues to closely monitor growing tension in Eastern Europe and the Ukraine and will issue additional alert messages to subscriber mobile devices as threats and events warrant .