Explain how that will result in any progress? Dividing a pretty sizable country (one of the larger slavic ones) is not good in my eyes....
It's 2nd largest and 2nd most populous. However, people on either side of Dniepr can't stand each other. You should hear my grandfather on W. Ukrainians, and I thought I was a hard-liner. ;D
Sadly, Ukrainian Nationalists base their entire ideology on "hate Russia" and "do everything to spite Russia". Leader of ultra-Nationalist faction Братство pledged readiness to fight with the georgians against "russian agressors".
This is on top of documents showing that Ukrainian Government has been arming Georgia for this upcoming conflict!!
That is just f up then.... why is it that way?
Ukraine... I always thought Ukrainians, Russians and Belarussians were close (almost one the same)...
Ukraine seeks deal limiting use of Russian Black Sea Fleet 19:20 | 11/ 08/ 2008
KIEV, August 11 (RIA Novosti) - Ukraine wants Moscow to agree to a deal restricting the use of Russia's Crimea-based Black Sea Fleet in armed conflicts, a top Ukrainian diplomat said on Monday, following Russia's deployment of warships near Georgia.
Ukraine, whose pro-Western leadership shares the NATO ambitions of Georgia, threatened on the weekend to refuse to allow the Russian vessels to return to the Sevastopol naval base. The ships were patrolling the waters near Georgia during a Russian peace enforcement operation that begun after Georgia's costly offensive in breakaway South Ossetia.
"We hope that this situation will compel both parties to sign such an agreement. The Ukrainian side is ready for this," Deputy Foreign Minister Konstyantyn Yeliseyev said. He reiterated Kiev's position that the use of the Russian ships in armed hostilities is unacceptable.
Russia's Defense Ministry said on Sunday that the Russian Navy had sunk a Georgian vessel transporting missile launchers.
The Ukrainian diplomat said the country does not want confrontation with Russia but "normal, constructive dialogue that must take Ukraine's interests into consideration."
Two Russian warships - the Moskva missile cruiser and Smetlivy patroller - returned to the Russian port of Novorossiisk on Sunday evening. The Moskva had been docked at the Sevastopol base before its deployment near Georgia.
Russia remains a Black Sea power By M K Bhadrakumar
If the struggle in the Caucasus was ever over oil and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's (NATO's) agenda towards Central Asia, the United States suffered a colossal setback this week. Kazakhstan, the Caspian energy powerhouse and a key Central Asian player, has decided to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Russia over the conflict with Georgia, and Russia's de facto control over two major Black Sea ports has been consolidated.
At a meeting in the Tajik capital Dushanbe on Thursday on the sidelines of the summit meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Kazakh President Nurusultan Nazarbayev told Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that Moscow could count on Astana's support in the present crisis.
In his press conference in Dushanbe, Medvedev underlined that his SCO counterparts, including China, showed understanding of the Russian position. Moscow appears satisfied that the SCO summit also issued a statement on the Caucasus developments, which, inter alia, said, "The leaders of the SCO member states welcome the signing in Moscow of the six principles for regulating the South Ossetia conflict, and support Russia's active role in assisting peace and cooperation in the region." The SCO comprises China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
There were tell-tale signs that something was afoot when the Kazakh Foreign Ministry issued a statement on August 19 hinting at broad understanding for the Russian position. The statement called for an "unbiased and balanced assessment" of events and pointed out that an "attempt [was made] to resolve a complicated ethno-territorial issue by the use of force", which led to "grave consequences". The statement said Astana supported the "way the Russian leadership proposed to resolve the issue" within the framework of the United Nations charter, the Helsinki Final Act of 1975 and international law.
The lengthy statement leaned toward the Russian position but offered a labored explanation for doing so.
Kazakhstan has since stepped out into the thick of the diplomatic sweepstakes and whole-heartedly endorsed the Russian position. This has become a turning point for Russian diplomacy in the post-Soviet space. Nazarbayev said: I am amazed that the West simply ignored the fact that Georgian armed forces attacked the peaceful city of Tskhinvali [in South Ossetia]. Therefore, my assessment is as follows: I think that it originally started with this. And Russia's response could either have been to keep silent or to protect their people and so on. I believe that all subsequent steps taken by Russia have been designed to stop bloodshed of ordinary residents of this long-suffering city. Of course, there are many refugees, many homeless.
Guided by out bilateral agreement on friendship and cooperation between Kazakhstan and Russia, we have provided humanitarian aid: 100 tons have already been sent. We will continue to provide assistance together with you.
Of course, there was loss of life on the Georgian side - war is war. The resolution of the conflict with Georgia has now been shifted to some indeterminate time in the future. We have always had good relations with Georgia. Kazakhstan's companies have made substantial investments there. Of course, those that have done this want stability there. The conditions of the plan that you and [President of France Nicolas] Sarkozy drew up must be implemented, but some have begun to disavow certain points in the plan.
However, I think that negotiations will continue and that there will be peace - there is no other alternative. Therefore, Kazakhstan understands all the measures that have been taken, and Kazakhstan supports them. For our part, we will be ready to do everything to ensure that everyone returns to the negotiating table. From Moscow's point of view, Nazarbayev's words are worth their weight in gold. Kazakhstan is the richest energy producer in Central Asia and is a regional heavyweight. It borders China. The entire US regional strategy in Central Asia ultimately aims at replacing Russia and China as Kazakhstan's number one partner. American oil majors began making a beeline to Kazakhstan immediately after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 - including Chevron, with which US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was associated.
Unsurprisingly, Kazakhstan figured as a favorite destination for US Vice President Dick Cheney and President George W Bush has lavishly hosted Nazarbayev in the White House.
The US had gone the extra league in cultivating Nazarbayev, with the fervent hope that somehow Kazakhstan could be persuaded to commit its oil to the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, whose viability is otherwise in doubt. The pipeline is a crucial component of the US's Caspian great game.
The US had gone to great lengths to realize the pipeline project against seemingly hopeless odds. In fact, Washington stage-managed the "color" revolution in Georgia in November 2003 (which catapulted Mikheil Saakashvili to power in Tbilisi) on the eve of the commissioning of the pipeline. The general idea behind the commotion in the South Caucasus was that the US should take control of Georgia through which the pipeline passes.
Besides, Kazakhstan shares a 7,500 kilometer border with Russia, which is the longest land border between any two countries in the world. It would be a nightmare for Russian security if NATO were to gain a foothold in Kazakhstan. Again, the US strategy had targeted Kazakhstan as the prize catch for NATO in Central Asia. The US aimed to make a pitch for Kazakhstan after getting Georgia inducted into NATO.
These American dreams have suffered a setback with the Kazakh leadership now closing ranks with Moscow. It seems Moscow outwitted Washington.
Belarus voices support The other neighboring country sharing a common border with Russia, Belarus, has also expressed support for Moscow. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko visited Medvedev in Sochi on August 19 to express his solidarity.
"Russia acted calmly, wisely and beautifully. This was a calm response. Peace has been established in the region - and it will last," he commented.
What is even more potent is that Russia and Belarus have decided to sign an agreement this autumn on creating a unified air defense system. This is hugely advantageous for Russia in the context of the recent US attempts to deploy missile defense elements in Poland and the Czech Republic.
According to Russian media reports, Belarus has several S-300 air defense batteries - Russia's advanced system - on combat duty and is currently negotiating the latest S-400 systems from Russia, which will be made available by 2010.
Attention now shifts to the meeting of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), which is scheduled to take place in Moscow on September 5. The CSTO's stance on the crisis in the Caucasus will be closely watched.
It appears that Moscow and Kazakhstan are closely cooperating in setting the agenda of CSTO, whose members are Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The big question is how the CSTO gears up to meet NATO's expansion plans. The emergent geopolitical reality is that with Russia's recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, Moscow has virtually checkmated the US strategy in the Black Sea region, defeating its plan to make the Black Sea an exclusive "NATO lake". In turn, NATO's expansion plans in the Caucasus have suffered a setback.
Not many analysts have understood the full military import of the Russian moves in recognizing the breakaway Georgian republics.
Russia has now gained de facto control over two major Black Sea ports - Sukhumi and Poti. Even if the US-supported regime of Viktor Yushchenko in Ukraine creates obstacles for the Russian fleet based in the Crimean port of Sevastopol - in all probability, Moscow will shrug off any Ukrainian pressure tactic - the fleet now has access to alternative ports on the Black Sea. Poti, in particular, has excellent facilities dating to the Soviet era.
The swiftness with which Russia took control of Poti must have made the US livid with anger. Washington's fury stems from the realization that its game plan to eventually eliminate Russia's historical role as a "Black Sea power" has been rendered a pipe dream. Of course, without a Black Sea fleet, Russia would have ceased to be a naval power in the Mediterranean. In turn, Russia's profile in the Middle East would have suffered. The Americans indeed had an ambitious game plan towards Russia.
There is every indication that Moscow intends to assert the strategic presence of its Black Sea Fleet. Talks have begun with Syria for the expansion of a Russian naval maintenance base at the Syrian port of Tartus. The Middle East media recently suggested in the context of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to Moscow that Russia might contemplate shifting its Black Sea Fleet from Sevastopol to Syria. But this is an incorrect reading insofar as all that Russia needs is a supply and maintenance center for its warships, which operate missions in the Mediterranean. In fact, the Soviet navy's 5th Mediterranean Squadron had made use of Tartus port for such purpose.
China shows understanding Moscow will approach the CSTO summit pleased with the SCO's backing, even it it was not without reservations. Medvedev said of the SCO meeting,
Of course, I had to tell our partners what had actually happened, since the picture painted by some of the Western media unfortunately differed from real facts as to who was the aggressor, who started all this, and who should bear the political, moral and ultimately the legal responsibility for what happened ...
Our colleagues gratefully received this information and during a series of conversations we concluded that such events certainly do not strengthen the world order, and that the party that unleashed the aggression should be responsible for its consequences ... I am very pleased to have been able to discuss this with our colleagues and to have received from them this kind of support for our efforts. We are confident that the position of the SCO member states will produce an appropriate resonance through the international security, and I hope this will give a serious signal to those who are trying to justify the aggression that was committed. It must have come as a relief to Moscow that China agreed to line up behind such a positive formulation. On Thursday, the Russian Foreign Ministry in Moscow also seems to have had its first contact with the Chinese Embassy regarding the issue. Significantly, the Foreign Ministry statement said the meeting between Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexei Borodavkin and Chinese ambassador Liu Guchang took place at the Chinese initiative.
The statement claimed, "The Chinese side was informed of the political and legal motives behind Russia's decision and expressed an understanding of them." (Emphasis added.) It is highly unlikely that on such a sensitive issue, Moscow would have unilaterally staked a tall claim without some degree of prior tacit consent from the Chinese side, which is a usual diplomatic practice.
The official Russian news agency report went a step further and highlighted that "China had expressed its understanding of Russia's decision to recognize Georgia's breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia".
The favorable stance by Belarus, Kazakhstan and China significantly boosts Moscow's position. In real terms, the assurance that the three big countries that surround Russia will remain on friendly terms no matter the West's threat to unleash a new cold war, makes a huge difference to Moscow's capacity to maneuver. Any time now - possibly this weekend - we may expect Belarus to announce its recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
Clearly, Moscow is disinterested to mount any diplomatic campaign to rally support from the world community for the sovereignty and independence of the two breakaway provinces. As a Moscow commentator put it, "Unlike in comrade Leonid Brezhnev's time, Moscow is not trying to press any countries into supporting it on this issue. If it did, it could find quite a few sympathizers, but who cares?"
It serves Moscow's purpose as long as the world community draws an analogy between Kosovo and the two breakaway provinces. In any case, the two provinces have been totally dependent on Russia for economic sustenance.
With the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, what matters critically for Moscow is that if the West now intends to erect any new Berlin Wall, such a wall will have to run zig-zag along the western coast of the Black Sea, while the Russian naval fleet will always stay put on the east coast and forever sail in and out of the Black Sea.
The Montreal Convention assures the free passage of Russian warships through the Straits of Bosphorous. Under the circumstances, NATO's grandiose schemes to occupy the Black Sea as its private lake seem outlandish now. There must be a lot of egg on the faces of the NATO brains in Brussels and their patrons in Washington and London.
Ambassador M K Bhadrakumar was a career diplomat in the Indian Foreign Service. His assignments included the Soviet Union, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Germany, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Kuwait and Turkey. www.atimes.com/atimes/Central_Asia/JH30Ag02.html
"SURRENDER LIFE TO MOTHERLAND, SOUL TO GOD, AND HONOUR TO NOBODY!"
Post by CHORNYVOLK on Sept 9, 2008 13:01:50 GMT -5
Russia comes up with response to NATO ships in Black Sea
The heavy nuclear-powered cruiser Pyotr Veliky will arrive off Venezuela in November at the head of a Russian flotilla. Officially, the Russian ships are sailing for an exercise in the Caracas area. But last week President Dmitry Medvedev threatened the United States with Russian vessels appearing in the Caribbean. Pyotr Veliky joined the Russian navy in 1998. The cruiser, which is manned by a crew of 655, is powered by two KN-3 type nuclear reactors. Its armaments are as powerful as any in the world. She boasts Granit anti-ship missiles, the S-300F sea-to-air missile system, the Kinzhal independent ship-borne air defense system, the Kashtan anti-aircraft missile and gun system, and 130mm AK-130 artillery systems with a range of 22 kilometers. "Under international law, such maneuvers off South America are fully justified," Admiral Eduard Baltin, a former commander of the Black Sea Fleet, told Rossiiskaya Gazeta. "Any two countries can agree about anything, including joint maneuvers in territorial or neutral waters." Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told Vremya Novostei that "it is not yet a matter of an exercise, simply a flotilla of Russia's warships will call at one of the Venezuelan ports for resupplies, which is typical of a distant cruise by any fleet." "News is being spread that Russia is seeking control points to assert its military strength in different regions and that we are incriminated in some geopolitical game. These are false signals. We are against a face-off and do not want a return to the logic of the past. This is not our way," the diplomat said. Military analyst Vladimir Yevseyev disagrees and believes that the decision to hold an exercise flows directly from the worsening of relations between Russia and the West. "This is a very strong statement in all respects," he told Gazeta.ru. "To begin with, the exercise is to be conducted with Venezuela, which, in Washington's view, pursues an openly anti-American policy. Second, the presence of Pyotr Veliky will tell the Americans that their territory is vulnerable, too. Third, Russia shows that it is willing to establish relations with many countries in the region that are close to Venezuela, and Nicaragua's recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia's independence was not accidental."
"SURRENDER LIFE TO MOTHERLAND, SOUL TO GOD, AND HONOUR TO NOBODY!"
Ukrainian and Russian delegations are set to discuss Russia's naval base post-2017 in the Crimea. Tension between the countries increased following last month's armed conflict over South Ossetia.
The Russian Black Sea Fleet issue is a stumbling block between Russia and Ukraine, as well as a vital factor for Ukraine’s independence and NATO membership prospects.
Integral part of Russia’s military for centuries
Following the capture of the Crimean peninsula in 1771 by the Russian army, which dealt a crushing blow to the Tatar army in the process, Russia’s vessels settled in the Black Sea for the first time.
Even since then Russia has always put the infrastructure of the Crimea ahead of territorial claims.
The town of Kherson and the first ship docks were set up in 1778, while Crimea officially became a part of the Russian Empire by a Ekaterina II decree only in 1783.
The fortress of Sevastopol was built in a year and by 1785 Russia’s Black Sea fleet was established.
It took part in all of the subsequent Russo-Turkish wars, as well as the war with France, becoming instrumental for Russia’s military achievements in Europe.
However in 1850s Russia suffered a deafening defeat in the Crimean war and was prohibited to have navy in the Black Sea till 1871. Immediately after that Russia started the transition of the fleet to steamboats.
During the Civil War which followed the Bolshevik Revolution, most of the fleet was lost or interned by the Western Allies and the Soviet Union started a huge rebuilding project in 1930s.
The rebuilding bore fruit as early as during the WWII, at the end of which dozens of ships were awarded with State Awards.
Unhappily ever after
With the collapse of the Soviet Union the Black Sea Fleet was weakened by funding cuts and the fact that a part of the ships passed under Ukrainian jurisdiction along with the coastal facilities.
To further complicate matters Crimea proclaimed self-government in May 1992, making the Black Sea Fleet issue critical for Ukraine’s independence.
The Crimean leadership was persuaded to remain a part of newly-independent Ukraine, meanwhile an interim agreement brought a joint Russo-Ukrainian fleet to life.
It existed until May 28, 1997, when the Treaty of Friendship, Co-operation, and Partnership on friendship and division of the Black Sea Fleet were signed on. According to this documents Russia recognized Ukraine's sovereignty over the Crimea and Sevastopol, while Russia’s Black Sea Fleet (80% of the Soviet one) is to stay in the Crimea until May 28, 2017.
Tensions eased somewhat, but didn’t cease to exist completely, with Ukraine eventually declaring that the far from perfect treaty – minor details of it are still causing controversies today – will not be extended.
Russia's naval base in Sevastopol currently boasts some 50 sea vessels and 80 aircrafts.
With Viktor Yushchenko’s controversial rise to power and the establishment of a fragile political system in Ukraine, the new president named the Black Sea Fleet issue among three key problems of Russo-Ukrainian strategic relations, along with border disputes and energy cooperation.
After several Black Sea Fleet warships dropped anchor off the Georgian coast during August’s Georgian-South Ossetian conflict, the Ukrainian leadership made steps to make the conditions for the Russian fleet less comfortable.
First a decree to introduce ‘a permissive mechanism’ for crossing the Ukrainian border by Russia’s Black Sea Fleet was signed. The decree announces that the fleet must inform the Ukrainian General Staff no later than 72 hours before the prospective crossing of the country’s border.
Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev responded by stating that ‘Russia needs no instructions on the Black Sea Fleet’.
Then a 25-fold increase of rent for the Russian Fleet from January 1, 2009 was proposed.
The rent price was calculated in 1997 and defined in the treaty of disposition of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet on the territory of Ukraine. The calculations took into consideration the Ukraine’s debt to Russia, which at the time was $US 2 billion, and the cost of renting port facilities was agreed at $US 98 million per year.
After the increase the price might reach as much as $US 1-2.5 billion.
Yushchenko also called for Russia to withdraw its navy from the Sevastopol base early, but this idea didn’t have the backing of Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.
New hope of resolving
On Thursday, delegations from Kiev and Moscow will undergo a new round of talks concerning Russia's Black Sea fleet base in the Crimea.
According to the country’s Foreign Ministry, Ukraine “will draw the attention of the Russian side to the need to follow decrees issued by the Ukrainian president.” They believe that “outside the zone of its temporary deployment, the Russian Black Sea Feet must comply with the existing laws of Ukraine”.
Russia in turn may offer Ukraine several lucrative proposals to convince Kiev to allow Russia's Black Sea Fleet to remain in Sevastopol after 2017, including a contract to build aircraft carriers for the Russian Navy.
Original thread name, New nuclear attack submarine starts sea trials
Russia's new nuclear attack submarine starts sea trials
27/ 10/ 2008
VLADIVOSTOK, October 27 (RIA Novosti) - The Amur shipyard in Russia's Far East said on Monday it had started sea trials of a newly built nuclear-powered attack submarine, which according to media reports may be leased to India.
The construction of the Akula II class Nerpa nuclear attack submarine started in 1991 but has been suspended for over a decade due to lack of funding. Akula II class vessels are considered the quietest and deadliest of Russian nuclear-powered attack submarines.
"The submarine, built under a contract with the Russian Defense Ministry, has been moved from the shipyard in Komsomolsk-on-Amur to a maintenance facility in the Primorye Territory and fitted with all necessary equipment. At present it is undergoing sea trials," a spokesman for the shipyard told RIA Novosti.
Indian media have reported on various occasions that the construction of the submarine was partially financed by the Indian government. India has reportedly paid $650 million for a 10-year lease of the 12,000-ton submarine.
According to Indian defense sources, Nerpa is expected to join the Indian navy under the designation INS Chakra in the second half of 2009.
The submarine will not be equipped with long-range cruise missiles due to international restrictions on missile technology proliferation, but India may later opt to fit it with domestically designed long-range nuclear-capable missiles.
However, a spokesman for the Amur shipyard earlier said that Nerpa differed considerably from the previous Akula-class submarines.
"Our Nerpa is fitted with more sophisticated navigation, sonar, and hydraulic systems," he said.
Russian state officials have categorically denied reports of a possible lease of a nuclear submarine to India.
Asked in late September to comment on media reports on alleged plans to export nuclear submarines, in particular to India, Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said: "The press discusses lots of things. We do not export nuclear submarines."
India previously leased a Charlie I class nuclear submarine from the Soviet Union from 1988 to 1991.
Russia recently handed over to India the INS Sindhuvijay diesel-electric submarine after an extensive overhaul at a shipyard in northern Russia.
TsarSamuil: Medicines aren't allowed to be sold on the market without a 15 year trial period, to determine short n long term effects. Sputnik just turned 1 year, others not even that, just months, how can we determine long term effects without the data from long term
Aug 24, 2021 11:22:20 GMT -5
TsarSamuil: exposure? Does anyone have a time machine to go 14 years or so into the future n come back n say whether we have good vaccines? Fear makes world abandon its own standards..Besides, vaccines for other illnesses that have been developed for YEARS actually
Aug 24, 2021 11:23:40 GMT -5
TsarSamuil: help. These covid vaccines are literally SHIT, why else do they demand you take 1, 2 n now 3 shots? The problem is also a disease becomes resilient if u administer a weak vaccine that doesn't do the job proper. Allow illness to survive just makes it strong
Aug 24, 2021 11:25:04 GMT -5
TsarSamuil: instead if we go by the book, we should all wait for a really good vaccine to take out the illness for good. Now...we may never get rid of it..but understandably the world economy has a hard time dealing with lock downs, but that is just needless panic
Aug 24, 2021 11:27:06 GMT -5
TsarSamuil: why Swe had fared well with country not being locked down? Because they are cold people, keeping distance was the thing before covid-19 was ever heard of, I hope world doesn't become like that, but some could use a little common sense n change in behavior.
Aug 24, 2021 11:29:12 GMT -5
TsarSamuil: It's no wonder covid hits so many Arabs in the country, stupid bastards..
Aug 24, 2021 11:29:38 GMT -5
TsarSamuil: If I go to H&M a new shirt, if an Arab wants to buy a pair of pants, not only is his whole family along, his friends, even his freaking grandmother is along n all chattering along in a big dumb group of ignorance..
Aug 24, 2021 11:33:05 GMT -5
Boro: Thx for the response. I'm not sure... It seems the vaccines work, at least people aren't dying of Covid. Those who get ill have a problem, it's not "just a flu". Maybe it's from a chinese laboratory, who knows...
Aug 24, 2021 13:46:55 GMT -5
Boro: I agree regarding Arabs..
Aug 24, 2021 13:50:39 GMT -5
Boro: Be glad, Sweden isn't overpopulated.
Aug 24, 2021 14:11:49 GMT -5
TsarSamuil: true, vaccines do help somewhat, maybe better than nothing..I hope in 2022 we can come out of this nightmare..
Aug 24, 2021 15:38:24 GMT -5
Boro: Horrible times, indeed.
Aug 24, 2021 15:47:41 GMT -5