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Neo-Soviet chess: Ukraine checked in drama starring Russian aggressors as victims

Armed Moscow supporters take over police station in the eastern Ukraine town of Slovyansk on April 12.  /Efrem Lukatsky/AP

UNITED NATIONS — The fate of Ukraine, one of Eastern Europe’s largest countries, hangs in the balance. On the one hand, ”spontaneous” political demonstrations and government building seizures by pro-Russian separatists, are bringing an air of deliberately planned disorder to the country’s eastern regions bordering Russia. On the other, rhetorical posturing by the United States [...]

Posted in Africa / Europe,BB Columnists,Columnists,COMMENTARY,Exclusives,John Metzler,Russia,Top Stories,Ukraine | Read More »

Putin plays the Iran card: Kremlin won’t be ‘bound’ by U.S. sanctions

В.Путин провел совещание с членами правительства РФ

Special to MOSCOW — Iran and Russia have been discussing the resumption of strategic relations. Officials said the Kremlin has been negotiating terms for Russian nuclear, military and energy projects in Iran. The officials said the projects would not violate United Nations sanctions, but would take into account the easing of measures by the [...]

Posted in Africa / Europe,Exclusives,Iran,Mideast,Russia,Stateside,Top Stories,U.S. Military,Washington | Read More »

Chechens played key role in Syria, honed skills before returning home

Omar al Chechen and fighters from the Muhajireen Brigade in Syria.

Special to WASHINGTON — Chechen fighters have been playing a major role in Syria. Opposition sources and Western analysts agreed that Saudi Arabia has facilitated the recruitment of more than 1,000 Islamist fighters from Russia’s autonomous Chechnya. They said the Chechens significantly bolstered their presence in the Sunni revolt in Syria since Riyad [...]

Posted in Africa / Europe,BB Middle East,Exclusives,Mideast,Russia,Syria,Top Stories | Read More »

Loss of joint major weapons projects keenly felt by Russia, Ukraine


Special to By Miles Yu, After the UK, France, the U.S. and other key NATO member states’ suspended all military cooperation with Russia, the Ukrainian government likewise announced it would terminate all joint weapons development projects with Moscow. On the face of it, this would not seem to be a major development considering [...]

Posted in Africa / Europe,BB Backgrounder,Exclusives,Russia,Top Stories,Ukraine | Read More »

Obama is reversing Reagan’s Cold War victory, inviting new hot wars

Speaking at Berlin's Brandenberg Gate in October 1987, President Ronald Reagan called for Soviet leader Gorbachev to "tear down this wall."

Jeffrey T. Kuhner President Obama is on the verge of an historic triumph. Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the American Left has been bitter about America’s victory in the Cold War. For decades, they preached moral equivalence between the United States and the Soviet Union. In their view, America was to blame for [...]

Posted in BB Columnists,Columnists,Croatia,Estonia,Exclusives,Georgia,Jeffrey Kuhner,Libya,Life,Lithuania,Recent Hits,Russia,Stateside,Syria,Terrorism,Top Stories,U.S. Economy,U.S. Intelligence,U.S. Media,U.S. Military,U.S. Politics,Ukraine,Washington | Read More »

Crimea’s annexation may have energized NATO, but it empowered the Shanghai Cooperation Organization

A pro-Russian guard checks a driver’s documents at the Chongar checkpoint leading to Crimea.

Special to Gregory R. Copley, GIS/Defense & Foreign Affairs The change in the political balance in the Black Sea region which took place on March 18, 2014, with the re-accession of Crimea into Russia, was not profound in terms of any of the normal arbiters of strategic power. Nonetheless, it changed the equation not [...]

Posted in Africa / Europe,BB NE Asia,Exclusives,Life,Russia,Top Stories,Ukraine | Read More »

Unidentified forces kill Ukrainian nationalist Moscow called terrorist

Olexander Muzychko

Special to By Miles Yu, Olexander Muzychko, the leader of a right-wing nationalist political group in Ukraine, was gunned down on March 24 in the western Ukrainian city of Rivne. Mr. Muzychko was best known in and outside Ukraine as an extreme nationalist with an anti-Russian penchant. Moscow tried to blame him as [...]

Posted in Africa / Europe,BB Backgrounder,Exclusives,Intel Brief,Life,Russia,Top Stories,Ukraine | Read More »

Russia, Saudi in talks for multi-billion gas reserves development

The Empty Quarter, also known as Rub Al Khali.

Special to ABU DHABI — Russia and Saudi Arabia have been negotiating a multi-billion-dollar project to develop natural gas reserves in the Gulf Arab kingdom. Officials said the state-owned Saudi Aramco was holding talks with Russia’s LukOil to develop gas reserves in Saudi Arabia. The officials said the kingdom’s Empty Quarter, despite a decade [...]

Posted in Africa / Europe,BB Middle East,Exclusives,Mideast,Russia,Saudi Arabia,Top Stories | Read More »

100 countries at UN rebuff Russia on Crimea; See below who backed Moscow

A monitor displayed the vote in the General Assembly on March 27. [CLICK ON IMAGE TO ZOOM] / NPR

John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — In a resounding rebuff to Russia, the UN General Assembly has reaffirmed Ukraine’s territorial integrity and has characterized the recent referendum which incorporated the Crimean peninsula into Russia as “invalid.” While President Vladimir Putin signed a treaty joining Crimea with Russia, the Kiev government has committed itself never to [...]

Posted in Africa / Europe,BB Columnists,BB Top Story,Columnists,COMMENTARY,Exclusives,John Metzler,Life,Recent Hits,Russia,Top Stories,United Nations | Read More »

Roar of the bear: Russian 2014 military exports already over $2 billion

Sukhoi T-50

Special to MOSCOW — Russia has reported a strong start in defense exports for 2014. The Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation said arms exports so far this year have exceeded $2 billion. The exports were said to have included several clients in the Middle East, including Algeria and Syria. “As of today, Russia [...]

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