Thursday, February 12, 2015

Don't Wait - A Ukraine Military Aid Reader

[The MeanMesa "Reader:" There is a remarkable collection of interesting and revelatory documents available with respect to the Ukraine situation. With the "news reporting" and "opinion driven" media frantically sliding all over this subject -- all desiring to stake out some of the propaganda territory involved for their own point of view -- it may be worthwhile to visit some of exactly what is "coming from the horse's mouth." Visitors are invited to "have a little read" with this posting.]

The Russian Federation's 
Meat Handed Scrambling
Do Putin's ambitions in Ukraine echo 
LBJ's "incremental obsession" with Vietnam?

MeanMesa has no problem with approaching the carefully engineered quagmire of Putin's reckless adventure cautiously. However, the revolution in Kiev is completed. Ukraine has a new President who is clearly not intimidated by the Russian advances in the East, but who is also, clearly, not inclined to underestimate the full, lethal scope of Vladimir's on-going expansionist ambitions.

The old USSR "lost size."

"The Russian" is entertaining fantasies of reconstructing the Old Soviet Empire. However, the  loose ends accompanying the geopolitical "logic" driving such a dream leave a lot to be desired.

The satellite nations which made up that essentially ungovernable morass of Western Asia were members only by historical happenstance, and the final consequences of such a disparate mix finally "came to visit" the Kremlin in the end. During its slightly more coherent days, the U.S.S.R. bore a chilling similarity to modern Iraq where an awkward "aggregation for convenience" had birthed the irreconcilable collection of "parts" which continues to haunt that unfortunate country.

In the early years of the Cold War it was reported that 149 local languages and dialects were spoken in the U.S.S.R. [Read more here.]

After the unchallenged Super Power assimilation of Crimea Russian Federation colonialism graciously retired to its not particularly convincing "propaganda closet." However, issuing forth from behind those closed Kremlin doors was the predictably constant proclamation of total innocence with respect to the step by step Balkanization of East Ukraine and a curiously artificial, official surprise at the "admirable" ferocity of the Federation's convenient new "freedom loving client insurgent" allies.

When Non-Lethal Isn't Enough
Can anyone recall a military conflict when both parties
were equipped with only non-lethal supplies?

The Federation is pumping all sorts of shiny new Russian armor and anti-aircraft equipment across the border daily. There may have been an almost imperceptible hesitation in this re-supply tactic while the jet liner's smoldering embarrassment was dominating the international press, but now it's become "letting by gones be by gones." Driven by unstable Vladimir Putin's invasion obsessions, the Federation was apparently commanded to recover from such a temporary "red face" in a matter of hours.

The world was complicit on this one. Even though the forensic necropsies have barely been completed, the Federation's well sponsored mayhem is now already back to full steam ahead -- blissfully free of any complicating media references to the recent savagery. Likewise, the lethally vicious snipers hired by Yanukovych along with the other brutal suppression tactics which marked the desperate last days of the Russian puppet's regime have, both sadly and strangely, also faded from the media narrative.

The unspoken implication is that Russia's violent proxies in the East are somehow dissimilar to the murderous "hired guns" who were summarily executing Ukrainian civilians in the streets of Kiev only a few months ago. They're not.

Additionally, the Russian Federation is even more invested in arms exports than the United States.

Further, even at a safe distance we must disabuse ourselves of any confusion about the conflict's wicked portent. The Russian thugs in the East are now salivating over the prospect of a new bloodbath, this time at their hands, on the same streets of Kiev. This is an important point of this post.

Americans, exhausted as they emerge from the blood drenched folly of the Bush wars, might be attracted to some understandable yet dangerous wishful thinking. Worse, that same wishful thinking might entice some in the U.S. into the unsupportable expectation that Putin might actually host some sort of idealistic inclination to value peace and comity, but such an impulse would be an idealism which history would find quite incompatible with the grinding reality of historical Russian pragmatism.

If that wishful thinking leads Americans to presume that "escalation" in the Ukrainian "stand off" must be avoided at all costs, it is just that -- wishful thinking. Those not prepared to acknowledge that what is happening in Ukraine isn't a stand off, should be waiting in line to purchase a bridge from Chris Christie.

A Diplomatic Visit to Moscow
A French and German Exhumation of the "Minsk Accord"

The Minsk Accord which the parties adopted in September, 2014, established the framework for a cease fire between the military forces of the legitimate Kiev government and the separatists sponsored by the Russian Federation. However, Putin's tactical response to the agreement was to use it as an excuse to further delay any substantive change in the Federation's support policy for the "sponsored" separatists fighters in Ukraine.

After French President Hollande and German Chancellor Merkel consulted with Ukraine President Poroshenko, they left for Moscow and talks with Russian Federation President Putin. Lacking any political momentum for a larger agreement, the Minsk Accord's "cease fire lines" provided what meager structure there was for potential "common points of discussion." It turns out that Putin showed discouragingly little reluctance for simply placing the Accord in "abeyance" until such time as the agreement once again offered any advantage to the Federation -- should this ever occur -- in the future. [Read more here - NYTimes]

This has introduced a very sensitive "contradiction" for French and German policy makers. When the US initiated economic sanctions on the Russian Federation in response to the annexation of Crimea, our European "partners" were quite nervous about their Russian natural gas supplies. The "test of balance" now has become whether or not Europeans consider the gravity of Russian incursion into Ukraine great enough to merit causing more mayhem in the existing arrangements concerning their energy supplies.

The "Minsk cease fire zone" has now fallen far behind the front lines of the separatists' advances, and MeanMesa suspects that the Russian troops now occupying East Ukraine territory will show "curiously" little interest in retreating. In the last two months they have received heavy Russian armament -- specifically Russian tanks. armor personnel carriers and Howitzer-like field guns --which is designed primarily to establish and hold conquered real estate. [Read more  here - GermanDW] Undoubtedly, these weapons are accompanied with barnyard sized additions of small arms and ammunition. [Read more about the likely Russian heavy weapons in Ukraine  here - TheMoscowTimes The article's list of weapons includes the SA11 "Gadfly" BUK znti-aircraft missile system which shot down the Malaysian jet liner.]

In the end these considerations turned out to not really matter so much. Putin knows that every delay which can be extracted from the "diplomatic mission's" schedule enables even more Ukrainian territory to fall into the hands of his special forces "separatists." [Yes, you can quite reasonably call them "spetznas" ("спецназ") from Dolph Lundgren -Armold Schwarzenegger movie fame.] Hollande and Merkel made a very public point when they dutifully expressed their "priority interest" in avoiding more conflict if it were possible, but they said little about what their  follow up intentions might become if this were not possible. [Read more  here - TheGuardian]

The question relating to this "follow up" position now becomes one of utmost relevance with respect to speculating about the next phase of this on-going event. France and Germany both have very credible, well equipped, modern European militaries. Setting aside the inevitable political complications which would arise with such a move, both countries -- importantly, in a way more or less independent of NATO -- could equip or train Ukrainian forces with very effective results.

If the Russian special force regiments presently in East Ukraine were to enter into a combat engagement with French or German "military assistance parties," Putin knows that his "incursion gambit" would be running the risk of becoming a NATO issue. Some observers are currently suggesting that he wouldn't mind going a few rounds with the Europeans and luxuriating in the nationalist domestic popularity resulting from such a move, but MeanMesa's guess is quite the opposite.

The day after the Europeans -- or, collectively, NATO -- become involved in a "shooting war" with Ukraine's Russian invaders, the "doors of opportunity" in Putin's future strategic choices begin to close.

Here Comes What's Left of the Americans
The US oligarchs' take over may have crippled this giant super power, 
but she still has teeth.

And a Commander in Chief...

At first glimpse one would expect the Republicans -- famous for loving every war and subsequent blood bath that has ever materialized practically anywhere on the planet -- would be all over the potential show down in Ukraine like flies swarming on day old potato salad. 

[One might have also had a similar expectation about the six month old war in Iraq and Syria, but on that count the Congress has remained eerily silent on a potential "force authorization" through the conduct of over two thousand air strikes at the time of this post. If this "hesitation" is in response to orders from the Owners of the Republican Party to further attempt to discredit the President, could the same thing happen with matters in Ukraine?]

MeanMesa is confident that the Pentagon procurement contractors have long ago "bent the ears" of their deeply sponsored "friends" on the various GOP Congressional "war committees" to communicate just how wonderfully profitable a conflict in Ukraine might possibly be under the right conditions. The problem is that what the Obama Administration is proposing wouldn't be all that profitable. [This is a matter of comparison. Each of the 2,000 or so bombs dropped on ISIL in the last six months has cost us around $60,000. When the expense of an air craft carrier, jet fighter maintenance, fuel, theatre flight control administration, intelligence gathering, etc. are added, each "impact" could easily be a $150,000 "hit" to the DoD budget. The Iraq invasion was costing a billion dollars per week or more at its height -- much of it quite wasteful.]

This President has been extremely frugal in the exercise of his war making authority. On the occasions when he has used this power to "enter combat," he has been almost uniquely determined to do so with a coalition of other sensible allies -- allies heavily invested with ideas of international law, proportionality of response and, for the most part, the seasoned, mature decency found in nations with the cultural memory of wars fought on their home soil. Further, after discounting the inauthentic claims to the contrary, these occasions of entering combat have generally yielded successful results.

On the other hand it is no secret that the Pentagon procurement contractors -- and their suspiciously well fed Congressional lackeys -- want war with the spectacular excesses of maudlin propaganda, violence, expense and stupefying, bankrupt mismanagement we endured during the duplicitous Bush W. "wars." 

The resolution of Ukraine's present dilemma will not be like this, at least, it won't be like this by prior design. This will be quite a departure from the Iraq conflict which elevated Halliburton from near bankruptcy to a well heeled "emergency, no bid" contractor with $35 Bn in revenue.

The US Congress appears quite favorably inclined to authorize the President's draft "military action" proposal if the Republican "leadership" can pull the tea bags away from a dozen more bills to repeal ObamaCare. Secretary of State Kerry has been working with the Ukrainian government in Kiev to prepare a "wish list" of lethal US arms, and the Secretary of Defense [pending nomination at the time of this post] Carter has indicated that the Pentagon is prepared to act as soon as there is Congressional clearance.

Unlike those sponsored in other "nation building" adventures the US has undertaken recently, the Ukrainians are a proven, credible military with an impressive history. We should not anticipate anything similar to the frantic withdrawal of Iraqi forces in Mosul or the subsequent capture of significant US military equipment by enemy forces. The rebels in the East might be temporarily attracted to such an opportunity, but remember -- they already have plenty of Russian Federation fire power in their barns.

Once Ukraine is armed in the manner currently being discussed, one essential strategic objective will be to take control of the country's border with the Russian Federation. While there are all sorts of good tactical reasons for such a provocative move, we can anticipate that the Russians will be prepared to really "flex their muscle" to prevent it. The outcome of this conflict will pivot on control of that border.

It is easily conceivable that there will be fire from the Russian side of the border into Ukraine, and this could precipitate an additional "moment of truth" policy-wise.

Diplomatic pressure on Putin has not ever produced results before. Further, the Russian strategy is entirely geared to exploit delays in the inevitable Ukrainian "push back." Meanwhile, the Federation's arms shipments across the common border are escalating daily. The deployment of significant numbers of thinly disguised Russian special forces can be described in the same way.

President Obama is prepared to "go to the mat" with Vladimir Putin. There is essentially no international diplomatic price to be paid for arming an allied country to defend its sovereign territory from invasion, but once the East is secured, Kiev will undoubtedly want to revisit Crimea. Among those sympathetic or participating in the re-securing of the East, MeanMesa suspects that the more timid will be backing away from the conflict rather rapidly when it turns to Crimea.

Having said that, MeanMesa expects that the repatriation of Crimea is "doable," although there is no expectation that the process will be pretty. It will certainly not be a party attended by the faint at heart.

The House Resolution 758
Memo  To: V. Putin                                                   

Message: What part of this do you not understand?

Because MeanMesa has already properly informed visitors [in the title of this post...] that this was a "reader," there isn't any problem whatsoever with including the complete House of Representatives bill in its entirety. Although this House Resolution is a little "longish," MeanMesa would encourage everyone to thread all the way through the whole thing. [You can visit the original page  at]

Our allies in Ukraine are studying every word of this. So is Mr. Vladimir Putin.

Remember that the long narrative which follows is a resolution. It is not actual legislation which might in the future become law. Congressional resolutions, at least theoretically, are statements defining the sentiment or "resolve" of the Congress. As such, they serve as a sort of informal proclamation of what corresponding legislation might be if the matter moves forward. All the "Whereas-es" are the current presumptions, observations and conclusions which would serve to explain and justify such future legislation it it were to develop.

Further, listing the "Whereas-es" in this way provides the opportunity for someone such as the Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation to "counter" specific Congressional presumptions in the event that there is contradictory evidence available.

This is a high stakes game, the scale of which makes the events in Syria and Iraq appear almost frivolous. And, as usual, we dare not trust the domestic corporate media or, for that matter, the Congress for usable information about anything important or relevant, so reading through 758 is well worth the time.

H. Res. 758

In the House of Representatives, U. S.,

December 4, 2014. 

Whereas the Russian Federation has subjected Ukraine to a campaign of political, economic, and military aggression for the purpose of establishing its domination over the country and progressively erasing its independence;

Whereas the Russian Federation’s invasion of, and military operations on, Ukrainian territory represent gross violations of Ukraine's sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity and a violation of international law, including the Russian Federation's obligations under the United Nations Charter;

Whereas the Russian Federation has, since February 2014, violated each of the 10 principles of the 1975 Helsinki Accords in its relations with Ukraine;

Whereas the Russian Federation’s forcible occupation and illegal annexation of Crimea and its continuing support for separatist and paramilitary forces in eastern Ukraine are violations of its obligations under the 1994 Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances, in which it pledged to respect the independence and sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine, and to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine;

Whereas the Russian Federation has provided military equipment, training, and other assistance to separatist and paramilitary forces in eastern Ukraine that has resulted in over 4,000 civilian deaths, hundreds of thousands of civilian refugees, and widespread destruction;

Whereas the Ukrainian military remains at a significant disadvantage compared to the armed forces of the Russian Federation in terms of size and technological sophistication;

Whereas the United States strongly supports efforts to assist Ukraine to defend its territory and sovereignty against military aggression by the Russian Federation and by separatist forces;

Whereas the terms of the cease-fire specified in the Minsk Protocol that was signed on September 5, 2014, by representatives of the Government of Ukraine, the Russian Federation, and the Russian-led separatists in the eastern area of Ukraine have been repeatedly violated by the Russian Federation and the separatist forces it supports;

Whereas separatist forces in areas they controlled in eastern Ukraine prevented the holding of elections on May 25, 2014, for a new President of Ukraine and on October 26, 2014, for a new Rada, [MeanMesa term definitionVerkhovna Rada of Ukraine (Верхо́вна Ра́да Украї́ни) - "Supreme Council of Ukraine" or Parliament of Ukraine ] thereby preventing the people of eastern Ukraine from exercising their democratic right to select their candidates for office in free and fair elections;

Whereas on November 2, 2014, separatist forces in eastern Ukraine held fraudulent and illegal elections in areas they controlled for the supposed purpose of choosing leaders of the illegitimate local political entities they have declared;

Whereas the Russian Federation continues to provide the military, political, and economic support without which the separatist forces could not continue to maintain their areas of control;

Whereas the reestablishment of peace and security in Ukraine requires the full withdrawal of Russian forces from Ukrainian territory, the resumption of the Government of Ukraine’s control over all of the country’s international borders, the disarming of the separatist and paramilitary forces in the east, an end to Russia’s use of its energy exports and trade barriers to apply economic and political pressure, and an end to Russian interference in Ukraine’s internal affairs;

Whereas Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, a civilian airliner, was destroyed by a missile fired by Russian-backed separatist forces in eastern Ukraine, resulting in the loss of 298 innocent lives;

Whereas the Russian Federation continues to supply the vast majority of arms purchases, which include anti-aircraft missile systems and other lethal weapons, to the Bashar Assad regime in Syria, a state sponsor of terrorism that is actively backed by Hezbollah, a sophisticated terrorist group hostile to the United States and its close allies;

Whereas the Russian Federation has protected the Assad regime and backed its brutal assault against the Syrian people;

Whereas the Russian Federation has used and is continuing to use coercive economic measures, including the manipulation of energy prices and supplies, as well as trade restrictions, to place political and economic pressure on Ukraine;

Whereas France agreed to sell to the Russian Federation two Mistral-class amphibious assault ships in 2011 for $1.7 billion;

Whereas Russian possession of these ships would be a destabilizing addition to the Russian military, which would likely have boosted its ability to invade Crimea;

Whereas given the Russian invasion of sovereign territory of the Republic of Ukraine in Crimea and elsewhere and its dangerous behavior throughout the region, France decided to suspend delivery of the Mistral-class warships to the Russian Federation;

Whereas purchase of the two Mistral-class warships by North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) countries would expand NATO’s capabilities, resolve France’s legitimate concern over the cost of the ships, and eliminate a potential threat to countries in Eastern Europe;

Whereas the Russian Federation invaded the Republic of Georgia in August 2008, continues to station military forces in the regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and is implementing measures intended to progressively integrate these regions into the Russian Federation, including by signing a “treaty” between Georgia’s Abkhazia Region and the Russian Federation on November 24, 2014;

Whereas the Russian Federation continues to subject the Republic of Georgia to political and military intimidation, economic coercion, and other forms of aggression in an effort to establish its control of the country and to prevent Georgia from establishing closer relations with the European Union and the United States;

Whereas the Russian Federation continues to station military forces in the Transniestria region of Moldova in violation of the express will of the Government of Moldova and of its Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) commitments;

Whereas the Russian Federation continues to provide support to the illegal separatist regime in the Transniestria region of Moldova;

Whereas the Russian Federation continues to subject Moldova to political and military intimidation, economic coercion, and other forms of aggression in an effort to establish its control of the country and to prevent efforts by Moldova to establish closer relations with the European Union and the United States;

Whereas the Russian Federation acceded to the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty obligation of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in a declaration issued at Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, in October 1992;

Whereas under the terms of the INF Treaty, a flight-test or deployment of any INF-banned weapon delivery vehicle by the Russian Federation constitutes a militarily significant violation of the INF Treaty;

Whereas on April 2, 2014, the Commander, U.S. European Command, and Supreme Allied Commander Europe, General Breedlove, stated that, “A weapon capability that violates the INF, that is introduced into the greater European land mass is absolutely a tool that will have to be dealt with * * *. I would not judge how the alliance will choose to react, but I would say they will have to consider what to do about it * * *. It can’t go unanswered.”;

Whereas on July 29, 2014, the United States Department of State released its report on the Adherence to and Compliance with Arms Control, Nonproliferation, and Disarmament Agreements and Commitments, as required by Section 403 of the Arms Control and Disarmament Act, for calendar year 2013, which found that, “[t]he United States has determined that the Russian Federation is in violation of its obligations under the INF Treaty not to possess, produce, or flight-test a ground-launched cruise missile (GLCM) with a range capability of 500 km to 5,500 km, or to possess or produce launchers of such missiles”;

Whereas concerns also exist with respect to a new Russian ballistic missile, the RS–26, which, according to reports, has been tested on multiple occasions at intermediate ranges, and in different configurations, which would be covered by the interpretative statements the United States Senate relied upon when it ratified the INF Treaty in May 1988;

Whereas the Russian Federation has requested the approval of new sensors and new aircraft to be flown over the United States and Europe as part of the Treaty on Open Skies, and serious concerns have been raised regarding impacts to United States national security if such approval is given;

Whereas on November 11, 2014, the Commander, U.S. European Command, and Supreme Allied Commander Europe, General Breedlove, stated that, Russian forces “capable of being nuclear” are being moved to the Crimea Peninsula;

Whereas according to reports, the Government of the Russian Federation has repeatedly engaged in the infiltration of, and attacks on, computer networks of the United States Government, as well as individuals and private entities, for the purpose of illicitly acquiring information and disrupting operations, including by supporting Russian individuals and entities engaged in these actions;

Whereas the political, military, and economic aggression against Ukraine and other countries by the Russian Federation underscores the enduring importance of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) as the cornerstone of collective Euro-Atlantic defense;

Whereas the United States reaffirms its obligations under the North Atlantic Treaty, especially Article 5 which states that “an armed attack against one or more” of the treaty signatories “shall be considered an attack against them all”;

Whereas the Russian Federation is continuing to use its supply of energy as a means of political and economic coercion against Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, and other European countries;

Whereas the United States strongly supports energy diversification initiatives in Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, and other European countries to reduce the ability of the Russian Federation to use its supply of energy for political and economic coercion, including the development of domestic sources of energy, increased efficiency, and substituting Russian energy resources with imports from other countries;

Whereas the Russian Federation continues to conduct an aggressive propaganda effort in Ukraine in which false information is used to subvert the authority of the legitimate national government, undermine stability, promote ethnic dissension, and incite violence;

Whereas the Russian Federation has expanded the presence of its state-sponsored media in national languages across central and western Europe with the intent of using news and information to distort public opinion and obscure Russian political and economic influence in Europe;

Whereas expanded efforts by United States international broadcasting across all media in the Russian and Ukrainian languages are needed to counter Russian propaganda and to provide the people of Ukraine and the surrounding regions with access to credible and balanced information;

Whereas the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), Incorporated continue to represent a minority market share in Ukraine and other regional states with significant ethno-linguistic Russian populations who increasingly obtain their local and international news from Russian state-sponsored media outlets;

Whereas the United States International Programming to Ukraine and Neighboring Regions Act of 2014 (Public Law 113–96) requires the Voice of America and RFE/RL, Incorporated to provide programming content to target populations in Ukraine and Moldova 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including at least 8 weekly hours of total original video and television content and 14 weekly hours of total audio content while expanding cooperation with local media outlets and deploying greater content through multimedia platforms and mobile devices; and

Whereas Vladimir Putin has established an increasingly authoritarian regime in the Russian Federation through fraudulent elections, the persecution and jailing of political opponents, the elimination of independent media, the seizure of key sectors of the economy and enabling supporters to enrich themselves through widespread corruption, and implementing a strident propaganda campaign to justify Russian aggression against other countries and repression in Russia, among other actions: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives —

(1) strongly supports the efforts by President Poroshenko and the people of Ukraine to establish a lasting peace in their country that includes the full withdrawal of Russian forces from the territory of Ukraine, full control of Ukraine’s international borders, the disarming of separatist and paramilitary forces in eastern Ukraine, the adoption of policies to reduce the ability of the Russian Federation to use energy exports and trade barriers as weapons to apply economic and political pressure, and an end to interference by the Russian Federation in the internal affairs of Ukraine;

(2) affirms the right of Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, and all countries to exercise their sovereign rights within their internationally recognized borders free from outside intervention, and to conduct their foreign policy in accordance with their determination of the best interests of their peoples;

(3) condemns the continuing political, economic, and military aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova and the continuing violation of their sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity;

(4) states that the military intervention by the Russian Federation in Ukraine—

(A) is in breach of its obligations under the United Nations Charter;

(B) is in clear violation of each of the 10 principles of the 1975 Helsinki Accords;

(C) is in violation of the 1994 Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances in which it pledged to respect the independence, sovereignty, and existing borders of Ukraine and to refrain from the threat of the use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine; and

(D) poses a threat to international peace and security;

(5) calls on the Russian Federation to reverse its illegal annexation of Crimea, to end its support of the separatist forces in Crimea, and to remove its military forces from that region other than those operating in strict accordance with its 1997 agreement on the Status and Conditions of the Black Sea Fleet Stationing on the Territory of Ukraine;

(6) calls on the President to cooperate with United States allies and partners in Europe and other countries around the world to refuse to recognize any de jure or de facto sovereignty of the Russian Federation over Crimea, its airspace, or its territorial waters;

(7) calls on the Russian Federation to remove its military forces and military equipment from the territory of Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova, and to end its political, military, and economic support of separatist forces;

(8) calls on the Russian Federation and the separatist forces it supports and controls in Ukraine to end their violations of the cease-fire announced in Minsk on September 5, 2014;

(9) calls on the President to cooperate with United States allies and partners in Europe and other countries around the world to impose visa bans, targeted asset freezes, sectoral sanctions, and other measures on the Russian Federation and its leadership with the goal of compelling it to end its violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, to remove its military forces and equipment from Ukrainian territory, and to end its support of separatist and paramilitary forces;

(10) calls on the President to provide the Government of Ukraine with lethal and non-lethal defense articles, services, and training required to effectively defend its territory and sovereignty;

(11) calls on the President to provide the Government of Ukraine with appropriate intelligence and other relevant information in a timely manner to assist the Government of Ukraine to defend its territory and sovereignty;

(12) calls on North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies and United States partners in Europe and other nations around the world to suspend all military cooperation with Russia, including prohibiting the sale to the Russian Government of lethal and non-lethal military equipment;

(13) reaffirms the commitment of the United States to its obligations under the North Atlantic Treaty, especially Article 5, and calls on all Alliance member states to provide their full share of the resources needed to ensure their collective defense;

(14) urges the President, in consultation with Congress, to conduct a review of the force posture, readiness, and responsibilities of United States Armed Forces and the forces of other members of NATO to determine if the contributions and actions of each are sufficient to meet the obligations of collective self-defense under Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty and to specify the measures needed to remedy any deficiencies;

(15) welcomes the decision of France to indefinitely suspend the delivery of the Mistral-class warships to the Russian Federation and urges the United States, France, NATO, and other partners to engage in consultations and consider all alternative acquisition options for such warships which would not include transfer of the ships to the Russian Federation;

(16) urges the President to publicly hold the Russian Federation accountable for violations of its obligations under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty and to take action to bring the Russian Federation back into compliance with the Treaty;

(17) urges the President to work with Asian, European, and other allies to develop a comprehensive strategy to ensure the Russian Federation is not able to gain any benefit by its development of military systems that violate the INF Treaty;

(18) believes the emplacement by the Russian Federation of its nuclear weapons on Ukrainian territory would constitute a provocative and destabilizing move;

(19) calls on Ukraine and other countries to support energy diversification initiatives to reduce the ability of the Russian Federation to use its energy exports as a means of applying political or economic pressure, including by promoting energy efficiency and reverse natural gas flows from Western Europe, and calls on the United States to promote increased natural gas exports and energy efficiency;

(20) calls on the President and the United States Department of State to develop a strategy for multilateral coordination to produce or otherwise procure and distribute news and information in the Russian language to countries with significant Russian-speaking populations which maximizes the use of existing platforms for content delivery such as the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), Incorporated, leverages indigenous public-private partnerships for content production, and seeks in-kind contributions from regional state governments;

(21) calls on the United States Department of State to identify positions at key diplomatic posts in Europe to evaluate the political, economic, and cultural influence of Russia and Russian state-sponsored media and to coordinate with host governments on appropriate responses;

(22) calls on the Russian Federation to cease its support for the Assad regime in Syria;

(23) calls on the President to publicly and privately demand the Russian Federation cease its destabilizing behavior at every opportunity and in every engagement between the United States and its officials and the Russian Federation and its officials;

(24) calls upon the Russian Federation to seek a mutually beneficial relationship with the United States that is based on respect for the independence and sovereignty of all countries and their right to freely determine their future, including their relationship with other nations and international organizations, without interference, intimidation, or coercion by other countries; and

(25) calls for the reestablishment of a close and cooperative relationship between the people of the United States and the Russian people based on the shared pursuit of democracy, human rights, and peace among all nations.



A Russian Federation Propaganda Sampler

It's usually a good idea to pay at least a passing attention to the propaganda being broadcast in an affair such as the Russian incursion into Ukraine. Without poking around the GOOGLE for very long at all, MeanMesa located this little Russian jewel. [The GOOGLE auto translator did a fair job with dropping this into English, and MeanMesa cleaned up a few "loose ends" to make it readable. The old "sharpness" of  MeanMesa's Russian is suffering from decades of disuse.]

This Russian propaganda is playing a major role in terms of controlling Russian Federation popular opinion, and it has served to constantly embolden the Russian sponsored "separatists" in East Ukraine. While there is little to suggest that "Fact Military" represents a "front line" propaganda outlet within the Federation, MeanMesa finds that its remote "location" -- perhaps quite removed from the  more official sources -- somehow validates its folksy treatment of affairs and provides a "window" through which the "common line" of Putin's narrative may be seen.

MeanMesa suspects that such content is the daily rhetoric among Russian Federation citizens, now so propagandized by the Kremlin's relentless misinformation campaign that few voices still challenge the veracity -- or even the respectable intentions -- of such a source.

Fact Military
[Дело в том военный]
Information warfare around the events in Ukraine (2014)

[Excerpted. Read the entire article  here. Translate the entire article using the GOOGLE translator. Right click. Words to be deleted from the auto-translation are noted as {pink} while words replacing these mis-translations are noted in [green]. Un-interpreted content is shown in [blue.]

Ukrainian and Western media have sought to interpret any declarations [by the] military and political leadership of the Russian Federation for the protection of the rights of Russian-speaking population of Ukraine as a threat of military intervention, drawing parallels with the Georgian-South Ossetian conflict, in which Moscow was given the role of the aggressor.

Information hysteria around the actions of the Armed Forces and the Navy of the Russian Federation clearly demonstrated the British "Daily {Mail} [Mail's" intention to] scare readers [with phrases such as] {titled} "Bear in the backyard," Cold War "returns". {Thus} [This is how the] publication described the passage of a group of Russian warships led by the aircraft carrier "Admiral Kuznetsov" through the English Channel. In general, almost every incident {with the advent of the} [in which] Russian ships or aircraft in neutral territory resonates in the press {mentioning} [with a mention of] the "Cold War."

An important area Russophobian information policy of Ukrainian authorities as rising tensions in the South East of the country was {accused} [accusing] Moscow [of] subversion and destabilization of the situation in the border areas. Ukrainian media reported mass detentions {while} [of Russian secret service] attempting to cross the border {and} directly {on} [into] the territory of Ukraine {the Russian secret service}. As evidence {demonstrated },[photographs showing] openly staged shots, which have "saboteurs" {were removed nonexistent identity "scouts"} [with identity patches removed] and ridiculous weapons. According to statements of Ukrainian border guards, every other [one of every two] detainee admitted to {work in} [working for] the intelligence services of Russia and gave the names of other agents. It should be noted that such a provocative {work of} [effort by] the Ukrainian authorities {and they} [who] control the media was so rough and implausible that [the reporting] did not find the {unconditional support of} [credible acceptance by the media in] the West.

Fact Military
27/01/2015 NATO refused to Ukraine to solve territorial issues 
[NATO refuses Ukraine membership until territorial issues are solved]

[Excerpted. Read the entire article  here. The same caveats apply with respect to both translations and re-interpretations.]

© , the North Atlantic Alliance will not accept Ukraine as a member as long as the country does not solve all of {their} [its] territorial disputes. This was stated by Director of the NATO Information Office in Moscow Robert Pszczel [on] the radio {station} [program] "Moscow speaking."

"Joining the Alliance - it's always a long-term process -- [although] Ukraine {even such application is filed} [has previously filed such an application]. In recent years, the Ukrainian authorities, so to speak, changed {his} [this] approach, saying that the country does not want to be considered bezblokovoy ["without a bloc"]. {In this state,} [Ukraine] as well as everyone in Europe has the right to choose, but today this issue is not even worth it ", - said Pszczel.

[Read more about Robert Pszczel here - DLD/NATO/Moscow]

The Mythical Fortress and The Mythical Victims
A closer look at the "Russian Speaking People" in Ukraine

If one initiates a GOOGLE image search in hopes of finding a map of Ukraine showing the current tactical locations and fronts between the parties in this civil war, he will find that most of what is recovered will be either maps of which portions of the country voted one way or the other in the recent election or maps of which portions of the country are populated by primarily Russian speaking Ukrainians.

This is an important point for one central reason. The division in the country is repeatedly explained as the division between those citizens who speak Ukrainian and those who speak Russian. As one digs through the glacial Federation propaganda on this matter, the reference to "Russian speaking" Ukrainians gradually morphs into a what is proposed as a legitimate technique for identifying  those "Ukrainians who need Russian Federation protection."

Once the propaganda argument has drifted to its simplified form, its premise becomes that Ukrainians in the East need Russian Federation protection because they are Russian speakers.

Although this becomes more and more flimsy with rational consideration, it turns out that precisely this ideas is capable of attracting significant traction among the Federation's nationalist populations. Further, Vladimir Putin has "pulled out all the stops" with respect to "juicing up" this incendiary Russian nationalism for his own purposes.

Included in this embarrassingly amateurish scheme are claims that Russia must aggressively strive to restore its international national pride and respect as a powerful nation -- including the annexation of a few unwilling neighbors. This effort is also advanced by the furtive insinuation that the reconstruction of a modern version of the Soviet empire is validated by the Russian equivalent of "manifest destiny" -- a "destiny" which begins by absorbing Crimea and continues from there with slicing off a nice chunk of what remains of Ukraine.

The whole scheme has a sickening similarity of the German "repatriation" of the Sudetenland in the beginning of WWII. Putin's propaganda claims that Kiev is controlled by Nazis may amount to the ultimate irony of the 21st Century. The Reich insisted that German speaking residents in Sudetenland were being oppressed in ways that only a violent military repatriation could resolve.

Whatever the thoughts driving such ambitions in the Kremlin, MeanMesa presumes that this kind of bald faced expansionism has little chance of ever being tacitly acceptable to Europe, NATO or the United States.

MeanMesa's compliments to the President.

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