World War III Inches Closer As US House Votes To Arm Ukraine

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Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to urge the President of the United States to arm Ukraine in its conflict with Russia. The United States needs to be very careful here.

I travel to Ukraine often. I travel to Moscow often. Ukraine has a long, tortured history with Russia that most Americans don’t understand.

How can we effectively deal with a war like this when we may not have a full understanding of the situation and the history that has driven the conflict in East Ukraine to where it is today?

Slavic society started in Ukraine. After the tribes of Kievan Rus were overrun by the Golden Horde from the East almost nine hundred years ago, the princes moved to Moscow and started a new Slavic kingdom which became known as Russia.

The Russian Orthodox Church started in Kiev. Ukraine holds a special place in the Russian Slavic heart.

I am for democracy and for the right of people to determine their own destiny. I have to say I am torn with this situation.  It is not as easy as to say “ok, let’s just go kill Russians in Ukraine and make the world a better place.”

There will be serious consequences from Russia. Russia is bristling with modern nuclear weaponry and nationalist xenophobia.

I am concerned that arming Ukraine will fall right into Putin’s trap. Now, he will have a real enemy to keep his population’s eyes off the coming economic misery.

Let me say that NATO countries should be the absolute red line. There should already be multiple armored brigades in Eastern Europe to show America’s intent to defend the alliance and her allies.

However, I think we have to be much more clever in Ukraine. It seems to me there has to be some other way to stop the Russian advance in the East than for America to directly provide weapons. For instance, we could easily just provide funds secretly for the Ukrainians to arm themselves.

This is a serious situation and could easily lead to a world war which could go nuclear quickly. Russian President Vladimir Putin has often told the West to not forget that Russia has nuclear weapons. The problem is, he is willing to use them.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

US Armor Rolls Through Eastern Europe

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The United States has been showing force in Eastern Europe recently at the request of our allies in NATO located in the Baltic states and other Eastern European former satellites of the Soviet Union. This video is from the Estonian town of Narva, only 300 yards from the Russian border.

RT reports:

In another sign that NATO is looking to show even more resolve to defend its territory from further Russian advances, even more armor was offloaded this month in the Latvian port of Riga. Latvian Minister of Defense Raymond Vejonis.”The presence of our allies (US and NATO) in Latvia is a confirmation of solidarity and security in the region,” Vejonis said in a statement on Twitter.

The tanks were delivered to Latvia via Riga Freeport after being offloaded from the carrier ship Liberty Promise on Monday. US Army General John O’Conner who witnessed the tanks arriving on Latvian soil said, “Freedom must be fought for, freedom must be defended,” as reported by the US Embassy Riga Twitter feed.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Putin Has No Problem With Nuclear War Against The West And Was Ready To Push The Button Over Crimea

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The Crimean Peninsula, or Krim as the Russians call it, is sacred to the Russian people. In a strategic sense, it is their historical warm water port and access to the Black Sea, the Mediterranean, and the oceans beyond. Russia had already secured Crimea with prior treaties in Ukraine which allowed them to station an overwhelming number of soldiers and sailors to service their Black Sea Fleet.

So to me, it was not surprising that Russia decided to take the territory by force when Ukraine showed signs of becoming a nation beholden to the West when Ukrainian President Yanukovych was ousted from power in the Maidan revolution over a year ago now.

Russia is now celebrating the one year anniversary of their conquest of Krim and produced a documentary which showed a lengthy interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The video gives fascinating insight (and most importantly Kremlin propaganda for the West to ponder) into Putin’s thoughts and decisions regarding the military operation that annexed the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine.

The Washington Post reports on the documentary:

“You know what our advantage was? The fact that I was doing this personally,” (Putin) said. “Not because I did everything correctly, but because when it is done by the top person in government, it’s much easier for those who fulfill orders to work.” Ukrainian forces in Crimea were ill-organized after the collapse of the government in Kiev, he said.

“We were ready” to raise Russia’s nuclear forces to a high state of readiness, Putin said. “But I proceeded from the belief that it would not go so far.”

Obviously, this piece of news about their readiness to use nuclear weapons is calculated to scare the West into not confronting Russia on any further adventures it decides to take in Eastern Europe. Putin also says in the video that he was surprised the invasion went so easily. I guess he thought the West would put up more of a fight.

Unfortunately, our current leadership has no stomach to stand up to aggression in any form. The next American president needs to make it very clear that the Eastern European nations which form the barrier of NATO to Russia also have the nuclear protection of the United States. It would be nice to hear a president say that, but I’m going to hold my breath for two years.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

What Is Going On In Russia?

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Vladimir Putin has done a very good job of removing adversarial coverage from the airways in the Russian Federation. Apparently, Russia wants to shut down the U.S. independent media as well, and some things that have been said at the State Department and on Fox News have angered Russian lawmakers who are not used to having their actions questioned.

The Moscow Times reports:

 A Russian lawmaker has penned a letter to U.S. Ambassador John Tefft recommending that the U.S. State Department and other federal agencies conduct psychological analyses and drugs tests on their employees.

Oleg Mikheyev, a deputy with the party A Just Russia, said he acted after U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki “ignorantly” suggested that the presence of Russian aircraft in Vietnam could destabilize the region, the RIA Novosti news agency reported Tuesday.

Mikheyev also took issue with comments made by former U.S. Army Major General Robert Scales, who told Fox Business News in an on-air interview last week that the only way the United States could “turn the tide in Ukraine” was to start “killing so many Russians that even [President Vladimir] Putin’s media can’t hide the fact that Russians are returning to the Motherland in body bags.” The Investigative Committee announced Thursday it had launched a criminal case against Scales in connection with his remarks.

“In order to improve the international dialogue between Russia and the U.S., we consider it necessary for U.S. bodies to analyze civil servants for the presence of mental disorders (including disorders of perception, obsessions), alcohol and substance abuse,” Mikheyev was cited as writing.

The political atmosphere in Moscow is toxic after the murder of Putin opponent Boris Nemtsov. The disappearance of Vladimir Putin for over ten days recently with no explanation has heightened this feeling of uncertainty in the Russian capital.

Many think he is being pushed out by more nationalistic, anti-Western forces who could present an even more diabolical Russia to NATO. So it seems natural that a member of this group of hardliners would like to influence, or threaten, the media in the West as well.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Putin Puts 45,000 Troops On Alert; Conducts Nationwide Military Exercises

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Russian President Vladimir Putin reappeared in public Monday for the first time in nearly two weeks and ordered snap military drills throughout the country.

The largest of the military exercises will take place near Russia’s northern border with Norway. The Scandinavian nation is currently conducting its “Joint Viking” military exercise in the resource-rich arctic region, involving 5,000 troops. Russia plans to dwarf that exercise in sending in 40,000 servicemen, 41 warships, and 15 submarines (from the country’s Northern Fleet), according to the RIA news agency.

The snap military exercises will last for much of the week and, in addition to the Arctic region, include exercises in the Far East with 5,000 military personnel, and in the unstable North Caucasus region of Chechnya with 500 personnel. The exercises in Chechnya are aimed at Islamic insurgents who seek to create an independent state in the North Caucasus.

Russia’s snap military exercises come at the one year anniversary of the nation’s annexation of the Crimean region of the Ukraine. Putin’s actions have caused the greatest tension between East and West since the Cold War. The West responded to Russia’s aggression in the Ukraine region by imposing stiff economic sanctions last year.

Putin, in turn, has indicated he is willing to put Russia’s largest-in-the-world nuclear forces on alert in order to secure the gains made through the Crimean Crisis against interference from the Ukraine or the Western powers.

“New challenges and threats to military security require the armed forces to further boost their military capabilities. Special attention must be paid to newly created strategic formations in the north,” Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said, quoted by the RIA news agency.

Shoigu said the order for the snap exercises came from Putin, who has promised to spend more than 21 trillion rubles ($340 billion) by the end of the decade to overhaul Russia’s fighting forces.

h/t: Business Insider

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom