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The US & NATO vs Russia

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US Defense Contractor Posts Job Offering For "Classified Contingency Operations" In Ukraine


by Tyler Durden
Sat, 12/01/2018 - 22:45


The geopolitical analysis site SouthFront has unearthed from the pages of LinkedIn an incredible public job offering by a US defense contractor which reveals potentially sensitive information. The job posting mentions "classified Contingency Operations" in Ukraine and was posted a mere 15 days ago just prior to last Sunday's incident between the Russian and Ukrainian navies in the Kerch Strait.

Writes SouthFront, the US-based defense contractor company "Mission Essential" accidentally revealed a US military specialist deployment in the combat zones in Ukraine via a Job Advertisement on LinkedIn.

Crucially, it's yet further evidence which disproves the years-long claims by Washington that the United States is not directly involved militarily in the Ukraine conflict. The public posting suggests US special forces operations are indeed active and ongoing as tensions with Russia soar.


Screenshot provided should the advert time out or is “accidentally” taken down. Here is the link for the original job posting.

* * *

Similar to the Atlantic Council’s latest report on the independence of Eastern European countries, as well as the meeting between US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin, the posting came just days before the escalation in the Sea of Azov.

"Mission Essential" is a government contractor based in the Washington D.C. suburb of Herndon, VA primarily serving intelligence and military clients, and is also considered a leading provider of translation and interpretation services for the US government.

The preemptive job advert was posted on November 16th and seeks:

...linguist candidates who speak Ukrainian to provide foreign language interpretation and translation services to support classified Contingency Operations in support of the U.S. Military in Ukraine.​

The formal place of work is Mykolayiv, Ukraine. The port city is also significant, because that is where the US “logistical” naval facility is currently under construction.



The advert also requires candidates to be able to fit in the local culture and customs, in addition to “the ability to deal inconspicuously with local populace if necessary.” Which simply means that the interpreter needs to be able to hide the fact that he is not a Ukrainian citizen, at least partly.

Unsurprisingly, the individual needs to be able to serve in a combat zone “if necessary,” in addition to being able to “live, work, and travel in harsh environments, to include living and working in temporary facilities as mission dictates.”


From the Virginia-based defense contractor's website.

Considering repeated claims by the US leadership that Washington is not involved in the Ukraine conflict, the vacancy posting is an operational security failure by Mission Essential. Most other vacancies posted by the company are for analysts and various linguistical and project management positions, almost predominantly in different military facilities in the US.

It is quite possible that these specialists would assist US military personnel deployed in or near the “combat zones” in Ukraine – i.e. Eastern Ukraine, and as it was expected since as early as November 16th – the Sea of Azov.


This is another piece that reinforces the notion that the “provocation by Russia” in the Sea of Azov could somehow have been premeditated.

However, it also appears that, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s plans have appeared to, at least partially, backfire. “Partially,” because he managed to institute martial law and make another step in his attempts to postpone elections in 2019, thus “democratically” holding on to power and not allowing the Ukrainian citizens to vote and most likely elect his rival and favored presidential candidate Yulia Tymoshenko.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018...nel-support-classified-contingency-operations
 

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Russia Threatens to Target U.S. Allies If Trump Exits Treaty

Bloomberg
Stepan Kravchenko
1 hr ago


(Bloomberg) -- Russia will target countries hosting U.S. missiles if Washington goes ahead with plans to pull out of a landmark Cold War arms treaty, General Staff chief Valery Gerasimov said Wednesday.

“If the INF treaty is destroyed, we won’t leave it without a response,” he said in a presentation to foreign military attaches in Moscow, according to an official transcript. “You as military professionals must understand that the target for Russian retaliation won’t be U.S. territory but the countries where the intermediate-range missiles are deployed.”

His comments came hours after the U.S. said it would pull out of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty in 60 days if Russia doesn’t stop alleged violations. Moscow says it’s complying with the deal. Gerasimov accused the U.S. of seeking to shift the blame for its demise to Russia.

While the INF treaty restricts the U.S. and Russia, many other countries are producing these missiles and “apparently our American partners consider the situation has changed so much that the U.S. has to have such weapons,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said, according to the Interfax news service. “What’s our response? It’s simple - in that case, we’ll also do it.”

The U.S. has said it has no plans to deploy land-based nuclear missiles in Europe once it pulls out of the treaty. In the past, Russia has threatened to target European countries that hosted U.S. missile defenses.

Earlier Wednesday, the Defense Ministry said it’s deployed laser weapons, one of several systems Putin touted as a new generation of armaments during his annual address in March.

The Peresvet laser, named after a 14th century Orthodox monk who fought in single combat against a Tatar champion at the Battle of Kulikovo, was deployed by the army on Dec. 1, the ministry said in an emailed statement.

Putin in March described the new arms as Russia’s response to the U.S. decision in 2002 to pull out of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and develop its global defense shield. While Peresvet’s technical specifications are secret, military experts say it can be used against drones, missiles and aircraft.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told NATO allies on Tuesday that the U.S. is setting a two-month deadline for Russia to return to compliance with the INF treaty before carrying out President Donald Trump’s threat in October to withdraw from the accord. Russia denies breaching the treaty, which bans deployment of ground-launched missiles with a range of 500 kilometers (311 miles) to 5,500 kilometers, and has said it wants to hold talks with the U.S. on preserving the agreement.

“The U.S. has presented no evidence that the Russian side in any way violates or fails to comply with the terms of the agreement,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters in Moscow. The INF treaty is “one of the key pillars of strategic stability” and Russia’s ready to discuss any problems with the accord without “baseless accusations and ultimatums,” she said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Stepan Kravchenko in Moscow at skravchenko@bloomberg.net
To contact the editors responsible for this story: Gregory L. White at gwhite64@bloomberg.net, Tony Halpin
For more articles like this, please visit us at
bloomberg.com
©2018 Bloomberg L.P.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world...s-if-trump-exits-treaty/ar-BBQvPk8?ocid=ientp
 

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Can Russia defeat NATO with Soviet era armour?
Jane's by IHS Markit


Published on Dec 5, 2018
Samuel Cranny-Evans, Editor, Jane's Armoured Fighting Vehicles provides exclusive analysis of Russia's ambitious modernisation of its armed forces, and NATO's response to re arm and return its attention to the potential for a conventional conflict on a scale thought improbable, since the end of the Cold War.
 

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Putin warns of a new arms race and says if US starts developing banned intermediate-range missiles, so will Russia

  • Putin has warned Kremlin will respond in kind if US walks out of key arms treaty
  • He said if US starts developing intermediate-range missiles, Russia will too
  • Earlier this year Trump announced his decision to withdraw from Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty accusing Russia and China of violating it
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/ar...notification-US-ditching-key-arms-treaty.html
 

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Caught in Russia-Ukraine Storm: A Cargo Ship and Tonnes of Grain
December 5, 2018 by Reuters

Cranes and ships are seen in the Azov Sea port of Berdyansk, Ukraine November 30, 2018. Picture taken November 30, 2018. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich





By Polina Ivanova BERDYANSK, Ukraine, Dec 5 (Reuters) – When the Island Bay cargo ship arrived from Beirut at the Kerch Strait, gateway to the Azov Sea, it sailed into a perfect storm of geopolitics and bad weather.

The following day, Russia opened fire on three Ukrainian naval ships, impounded them and detained their sailors, some of them wounded. It then blocked the strait by putting a tanker underneath a new bridge it has built linking the Russian mainland to the Crimean peninsula it annexed from Ukraine in 2014.

While the world digested the implications of the Nov. 25 incident, the most explosive clash in recent years, Russia said it had reopened the channel to the Azov Sea, which is shared by Russia and Ukraine.

But Island Bay remained at anchor outside the strait, lashed by gale force winds and sleet, its hull icing over while cargo ships amassed on either side.

On Monday, a week on, the captain reported seeing 20 vessels awaiting clearance to cross. Refinitiv data that day also showed 20 Ukraine-bound vessels held up at the strait since Nov. 25, with two others allowed through.

Meanwhile, Island Bay’s cargo of 5,500 tonnes of wheat, destined for flour mills in Libya, waited in the Ukrainian port of Berdyansk.

The saga of the ship is a window on the leverage Moscow has over Ukraine’s Azov seaboard, affecting dock workers, port operators, brokers and farmers who depend on the route.

Russia, whose coast guards began inspecting traffic in the Kerch Strait eight months ago, blamed inclement weather for the delay. But on Sunday, when the skies cleared, just a handful of ships passed through; by Monday evening, the Island Bay’s captain’s frustration was beginning to show.

“It is acceptable weather for transit. Coast guards have own opinion,” his log, seen by Reuters, said. That day, he reported seeing just two ships cross into the Azov Sea.

Ukraine says the hiatus is one of many since the Russian spot-checks began in May, when Russia opened the Kerch bridge, interrupting exports of grain and steel and imports of coal. Moscow denies any disruption.

THE STEVEDORES
In Berdyansk’s port, where icy winds had recently ripped off the roof of a nearby shed, staff of stevedore company Ascet Shipping were reading the daily reports from the Island Bay with growing concern.

Ascet loads almost a million tonnes of Ukrainian grain a year onto cargo ships in Berdyansk and was waiting to load the Island Bay; its size means each day of waiting time costs around $2,000-$2,500, Ascet’s chief executive, Denis Rusin, said.

This has made Berdyansk an unpopular port in recent months.

“Ship owners do not want to go to Berdyansk,” said Rusin, whose clients include U.S. firm Cargill, one of the world’s largest dry bulk and tank shipping companies. “Buyers are refusing to bet on passage.”

Since Russia and Ukraine clashed in the strait, Ukraine has introduced martial law in 10 regions, including the Azov Sea coast – highlighting the risks of doing business with Berdyansk.

“For us this was the worst week in recent years,” Rusin said. “Clients have stopped considering the possibility of signing contracts for delivery in January, let alone February or spring,” he said.

THE PORT
Some Ukrainian politicians have accused Moscow of trying to strangle Ukraine’s Azov Sea ports in preparation for an invasion from the east, following on from Crimea’s annexation and the subsequent breakaway of Russian-speaking eastern Ukraine.

Moscow says that idea is a fantasy dreamt up by Ukraine’s pro-Western leaders ahead of elections next year. It says it has the right to patrol the strait.

But Berdyansk’s businesses say the patrols target ships bound for Ukraine, causing damaging delays.

The recent escalation in tensions has not affected ships coming to pick up grain from the Russian side of the Azov Sea, according to Sergei Filipov, director of trading firm QAM7 Dubai, which has operations there. He said inspections have delayed travel by the usual two or three days.

On its eleventh day at anchor in Kerch Strait, with skies finally clear, Island Bay reported to Berdyansk: “We called everywhere to make guards (come and) inspect the vessel, but their intentions cannot be explained.”

The situation has sent Rusin racing to further revise down his business forecasts.

Climbing out onto the windswept roof of his office on Friday, he pointed to a single truck of grain where multiple trucks used to line up along the dock.

“We had expected to load around 150,000 tonnes over the next three months… Maybe 200,000,” he said. Now the company is preparing for anything between 50,000 tonnes and no business at all, he said.

“This was a change of plan that happened this week.”

The Azov Sea grain supply chain makes up just 2 to 3 percent of Ukraine’s agricultural exports, deputy central bank chief Dmitry Sologub said. But for the southeastern Zaporozhye region, home to 1.8 million people, it is critical.

At the government Port Authority in Berdyansk, officials said they feared for the port’s future as clients look to other locations with direct access to the Black Sea.

“Of course we would prefer (to use other ports),” said Erdem Sekreter, fleet manager at Turkey’s Bayraktar shipping group, which has two ships waiting to cross the Kerch Strait to reach the Ukrainian coast.

“It is getting more expensive for ship-owners to go to the Azov Sea – the Ukrainian side of course,” he added. “We are paying out of our pocket now.”

FARMERS AND TRADERS
Bison Group owns 40,000 hectares of arable land in Zaporozhye region and exports much of its harvest via Berdyansk.

With ship-owners raising freight charges to factor in the new risks in the Azov Sea, the costs will be passed down to grain producers, Bison deputy director Igor Serov said. “It hits agricultural producers really hard.”

Prices will have to go down by at least $10 per tonne, a trader at Atria Brokers, which handles Berdyansk grain, said.

But producers may not have other options. The railway infrastructure is not in place to send exports via Black Sea ports instead, Serov said, and transferring grain by truck to Odessa, for example, would cost an extra $40 per tonne.

Buyers are also pulling back, afraid of the risks.

“Our sales have fallen,” the Atria trader said. “It has affected us in a fundamental way.”

Every day Island Bay’s cargo sits in port, it racks up costs for traders. Grain can spoil, and storage costs are steep.

“The market is suffering… everyone along the chain is paying the price for these war games,” a grain trader said, declining to be named due to the sensitivity of the situation.

On Tuesday, Ukraine’s agriculture ministry said some grain shipments from the Azov Sea had resumed.

Five of the 14 ships headed to the Ukrainian port of Mariupol, held up since the stand-off, were still waiting to cross on Wednesday, Refinitiv data showed. One had turned back to Istanbul.

In comparison, of the ships aiming for one of Russian city Rostov-on-Don’s ports, that had arrived to Kerch Strait since the stand-off began, none were still waiting for passage, the data showed the same day.

Only one out of the six boats headed to Berdyansk had crossed by Wednesday. After twelve days at anchor in the waters near the strait, Island Bay was still waiting.

(Additional reporting by Pavel Polityuk and Natalia Zinets in KIEV and Polina Devitt in MOSCOW; editing by Philippa Fletcher)

(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2018.

https://gcaptain.com/caught-in-russia-ukraine-storm-a-cargo-ship-and-tonnes-of-grain/
 

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Oh, they sure are, Mr Dial. While we are munching Jiffy Pop and dreaming of sealed indictments Russia is gearing up for war 24/7.
1544543947011.png
1544543975004.png
Russian Military Base 20 km from Ukraine Boarder



This is a rehab factory. Upgrades armor, weapons systems and such. They only have some 20,000 plus old tanks to work with, while they build their new ones somewhere else....just like the Russians have been building submarines nonstop for years now, they have been turning out tanks 24-7-365 days a year...
To be more specific, defense weapons, missile systems and other armament is being nonstop produced....Russian men and many women have all mostly had training, in at least hand weapon use. For it is mandatory one year, and most serve it. Some as with everywhere, get out for various reasons. My son in-law was able to get it down to a few months due to his higher education requirements...
Russia is getting ready for war...
I (America) live here and I know. I also know where the bomb shelters are. We have several near where I live. Not sure I want to go out that way, underground, but Russians have built them and Moscow has started the air raid drills every Wednesday at 11 a.m...
I noticed that all the water (flood) air raid doors on the metros have been reconditioned. I even saw one closed and opened back the other day, as they tested it. These doors are massive and in working order...
To be honest, I am waiting for when they start having people dig trenches in the countryside around Moscow again....as they did in WW2
Grab your popcorn...

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018...-russian-battle-tanks-amassing-ukraine-border

Trust the plan.
 

keef

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“P” is for Popcorn
Yeah, lots of popped corn needed as this is turning out to be one hell of a Reality TV show cool:

Russia prepares for possible conflict with NATO as our NATO leaders get all boozed up and do the 'puppet dance'. :popcorn:
 

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Russia-Ukraine standoff in Kerch Strait
CaspianReport


Published on Dec 13, 2018
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BAKU - Last weekend, paramilitary forces of the Russian FSB intercepted two small Ukrainian naval vessels and a tugboat attempting to pass through the Strait of Kerch. The Ukrainian vessels were navigating from the Black Sea port city of Odessa to Mariupol, on the coast of the Sea of Azov when the incident occurred. Now, with at least three injured Ukrainian sailors, both parties are pointing the finger at each other. Yet, whoever is right, the naval standoff illustrates the importance of the Kerch Strait and the Sea of Azov.

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US supports Kosovo's creation of army, NATO warns of repercussions
RT


Published on Dec 15, 2018
Kosovo has declared it's creating its own army turning small security forces into full-scale military units. Its latest decision has left some parts of Europe concerned. READ MORE: https://on.rt.com/9kj1
 

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China and Russia are working together to HEAT the atmosphere to cut off satellite communication in terrifying wargame experiment

  • Several experiments have been conducted which alter Earth's ionosphere
  • It has potential military applications as it can disrupt satellite communication
  • These ions form a reflective layer over a certain area impervious to radio waves
  • This can disrupt communication which provides a distinct military advantage
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-6504415/China-Russia-working-HEAT-atmosphere.html
 

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The Stampede Of The Gadarene Swine: US Leaders Allowing Ukraine To Pull Them Into Global War


by Tyler Durden
Tue, 12/18/2018 - 02:00

Authored by Martin Sieff via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

George Friedrich Wilhelm Hegel was right – Again: The only thing the human race learns from history is that it learns nothing from history...



In 1914,the British Empire, largest in human history and one of the longest-lasting, charged into World War I to defend “gallant little Belgium” whose King Leopold over the previous 30 years had carried out one of the longest, largest genocides of all time, killing 10 million people in the Congo.

Germany, wealthiest, most prosperous nation in Europe, blundered into the same needless war when feckless Kaiser Wilhelm II causally gave sweeping approval to Austria-Hungary to annihilate the tiny nation of Serbia. Millions of brave and idealistic Russians eagerly volunteered to fight in the war to protect “gallant little Serbia.” Most of them died too. There is no record that any of the Serbian leaders after the war visited any of their mass graves.

Now it is the United States’ turn.
Since the end of the Cold War US policymakers, presidents and their congresses have carried out virtually every stupidity and folly imaginable for any major power.
The only one they have so far avoided has been the danger of stumbling into a full scale world war.

However, now, with the escalating and increasingly hysterical US support for the shady and risk-taking junta in Kiev, President Donald Trump risks committing that most dire and unforgivable of all horrors.

Trump today is no more than putty in the hands of his national security adviser John Bolton, one of the masterminds of the catastrophe that was the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Bolton is just like his hero Winston Churchill a century ago during World War I. He always gets his way, always gets the wars and battles he wants and bungles them embarrassingly every time. And like the young Churchill, Bolton never learns, never mellows and he never changes. It is always everybody else’s fault.

Churchill finally did grow and learn. His famous activities of the 1930s were not meant to start a new world war with Germany under the far worse leadership of Adolf Hitler: He wanted to avert such a war.

The invaluable diaries of Ivan Maisky, the Soviet Union’s ambassador to Britain through the 1930s make clear that even then Churchill was eager – alone in the British ruling classes - to establish a serious close defensive alliance with Josef Stalin and the Soviet Union. He recognized that would be the only way to box in Hitler and prevent a global catastrophe.

But Bolton has not learned from his hero - Quite the reverse. He is now impelling Trump on a reckless course of empowering the dangerous adventurers who with US support have seized Ukraine and have spent the past nearly five years wrecking it.



Even worse, the same kind of absurd sentimentalizing of an obscure, tiny or unstable ally that doomed Britain, Russia and Germany to unimaginable suffering and loss in 1914 now permeates US decision-makers, strategists and their pontificating pundits about Ukraine. On March 1, 2016, US General Philip Breedlove, then NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) memorably referred to “our Ukrainian brothers and sisters” in a Pentagon press briefing

There is no way in any sane assessment that the ramshackle Ukrainian forces - and certainly not the neo-Nazi militias recruited in the west of the country to terrorize the east - can be regarded as “brothers” of the US armed forces. The US and Soviet troops who met on the River Elbe on April 25, 1945 after advancing a combined more than 2,000 miles to liberate Europe from the darkest tyranny in its history could truly be called “brothers.”

However, the US military today and the Ukrainian forces they are being drawn in to protect certainly are not “brothers and sisters.” No poll has been taken since then across the United States, as far as I am aware as to whether the American people would be willing to risk full-scale nuclear war to defend a government in Ukraine that is demonstrably unpopular among its own people.

Trump was elected president in November 2016 precisely because he was the only candidate in that shock election who unambiguously called for the United States to end its 70-year fixation with getting pulled into one endless war and confrontation after another around the world.

It would be the darkest of ironies if instead he took America into its last and most catastrophic conflict – a nuclear confrontation from which there could be no recovery, no escape and no survival.

Britain, Russia and Germany in 1914 were all destroyed by the deliberate plotting and manipulations of vastly smaller or weaker allies run by psychopathic gamblers. The rulers of Kiev today, in their entirely reckless disregard for the dangers of global thermonuclear war clearly fit into that category.

Policymakers in Moscow recognize this dire reality. Their counterparts in Washington remain amazingly totally blind to it. Their only idea of strategy is the suicidal stampede of the Gadarene Swine in the Gospels off the end of a cliff. And they are taking the entire human race with them.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018...leaders-allowing-ukraine-pull-them-global-war
 

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