German Security Expert Warns “War Between Russia And The West Is A Real Possibility”

“The de-escalation strategy with Moscow has failed,” warns Joachim Krause, Director of the Institute for Security Studies, concluding ominously that “A war between Russia and the West… is a real possibility.” As Handelsblatt reports, Krause states “we should not deny this reality any longer.”
From Handelsblatt (via Google Translate),
The Director of the Institute for Security Studies at the University of Kiel, Joachim Krause, holding a war between Russia and the West for possible, the West should now not clearly show the flag in view of the escalating situation in Ukraine. “A war between Russia and the West, I do not wind up currently, but if the West will not respond with the necessary determination and effectiveness, a war in a few years could be a real possibility,”Krause told Handelsblatt Online.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 08/28/2014.

Dangerous Crossroads: US-NATO To Deploy Ground Troops, Conduct Large Scale Naval Exercises against ‘Unnamed Enemy’

By professor Michel Chossudovsky of Global Research.
The World is at a dangerous Crossroads.
The Western military alliance is in an advanced state of readiness. And so is Russia.
Russia is heralded as the ‘Aggressor’. US-NATO military confrontation with Russia is contemplated.
Enabling legislation in the US Senate under ‘The Russian Aggression Prevention Act’ (RAPA) has ‘set the US on a path towards direct military conflict with Russia in Ukraine.’
Any US-Russian war is likely to quickly escalate into a nuclear war, since neither the US nor Russia would be willing to admit defeat, both have many thousands of nuclear weapons ready for instant use, and both rely upon Counterforce military doctrine that tasks their military, in the event of war, to preemptively destroy the nuclear forces of the enemy. (See Steven Starr, Global Research, August 22, 2014)
The Russian Aggression Prevention Act (RAPA) is the culmination of more than twenty years of US-NATO war preparations, which consist in the military encirclement of both Russia and China:
From the moment the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, the United States has relentlessly pursued a strategy of encircling Russia, just as it has with other perceived enemies like China and Iran. It has brought 12 countries in central Europe, all of them formerly allied with Moscow, into the NATO alliance. US military power is now directly on Russia’s borders. (Steven Kinzer, Boston Globe, March 3, 2014, emphasis added)
NATO’s top commander in Europe General Philip Breedlove (right) (AFP Photo / John Thys)
On July 24, in consultation with the Pentagon, NATO’s Europe commander General Philip Breedlove called for ‘stockpiling a base in Poland with enough weapons, ammunition and other supplies to support a rapid deployment of thousands of troops against Russia’.(RT, July 24, 2014). According to General Breedlove, NATO needs ‘pre-positioned supplies, pre-positioned capabilities and a basing area ready to rapidly accept follow-on forces’:
‘He plans to recommend placing supplies – weapons, ammunition and ration packs – at the headquarters to enable a sudden influx of thousands of Nato troops’ (Times, August 22, 2014, emphasis added)

This post was published at Washingtons Blog on August 27, 2014.

Russia Sanctions Hit German Consumers, ‘Economic Expectations Completely Collapse’

It starts out un-alarmingly. The optimism of German consumers weakens somewhat, according to the forward-looking Gfk survey, conducted on a monthly basis for the European Commission. So the overall index fell to 8.6 for September, from 8.9 in August. It was the first decline since January 2013.
The index bottomed in late 2008 below 2, after a breathtaking crash during the financial crisis. In late 2007, it had hovered above 9. Early 2014 was the first time since the prior bubble that the index broke above 8. And August’s level of 8.9 represented an ‘extremely optimistic economic outlook,’ as Gfk calls it. German consumers have been feeling good, and according to the headline index, they’re stillfeeling good up there somewhere in the rarefied air above 8.
But beneath the surface, there is serious trouble. Gfk reports that the sub-index of economic expectations, ‘in light of the intensified state of international affairs, completely collapses.’
It plunged 35.5 points to 10.4. The worst monthly plunge since the beginning of the survey in 1980. In a single month, it nearly wiped out all the gains of the boom of the last 12 months. Gfk cites the escalation of the situation in Iraq, Israel, the Eastern Ukraine, and particularly ‘the faster rotating sanctions spiral with Russia.’

This post was published at Wolf Street on August 27, 2014.

The Road To World War 3: Russia And Ukraine Are Now Engaged In A Shooting War

Russian soldiers and Ukrainian soldiers are now shooting at each other in eastern Ukraine. Could this conflict ultimately lead us down the road to World War 3? This week, a very robust force of “tanks, artillery and infantry” has opened up a “third front” in the Ukrainian civil war in a part of southeastern Ukraine that had not seen much fighting yet. Exhausted Ukrainian forces are suddenly being pushed back rapidly and many outsiders are wondering how the nearly defeated rebels were able to muster such impressive military strength all of a sudden. But it really isn’t much of a mystery. The tanks, artillery and infantry came from inside Russia. In recent days, Ukrainian units have captured ten Russian paratroopers and there have even been funerals for Russian paratroopers that have been killed in action back home in Russia. Even though it has become exceedingly obvious that Russia is now conducting a stealth invasion of Ukraine, Vladimir Putin is still choosing to deny it. But if he did publicly admit it, that would be even more dangerous. Barack Obama would be forced into a position of either having to do something about the Russian invasion or look weak in the eyes of the public. And as the Russians have already shown, they are more than willing to match any move that the Obama administration makes.
There has already been much written about who is to blame for all of this, and I am sure that much more will be written about who is to blame in the future. The western world is blaming “Russian aggression” for the mess in Ukraine. In return, the Russians point out that it was westerners that funded and organized the groups that violently overthrew the democratically-elected government of Ukraine. To the Russians, the current government of Ukraine is made up of neo-Nazi terrorist usurpers that are attempting to brutally oppress millions of ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine.
So the Russians seem themselves as “the good guys” in this conflict and so does the western world. But that is how most wars start. Both sides usually feel morally justified at the start of a conflict.
In the final analysis, however, is it really going to matter very much who was “right” and who was “wrong” if the end result is World War 3?
If the rebels in eastern Ukraine had been able to defeat the Kiev government forces on their own, Putin probably would have been content to let them do that. But instead, they had been pushed back to two major cities and seemed on the verge of defeat.
But now it is the Ukrainian forces that are experiencing “panic and wholesale retreat”…

This post was published at The Economic Collapse Blog on August 27th, 2014.

Ukraine Accuses Russia Of Imminent Gas Cut-Off, Russia Denies, Germans Anxious

So much for the Russia-Ukraine talks bringing the two sides together as even Germany’s Steinmeier could only say it’s “hard to say if breakthrough made.” Shortly after talks ended, Ukrainian Premier Yatsenyuk stated unequivocally that “we know about the plans of Russia to cut off transit even in European Union member countries,” followed by some notably heavy-on-the-war-rhetoric comments. The Russians were quick to respond, as the energy ministry was “surprised” by his statements on Ukraine gas transits and blasted that comments were an “attempt at EU disinformation.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 08/27/2014.

Ukraine Seeks Ceasefire Following ‘Very Tough and Complex” Talks With Putin

On August 10, Ukraine said No Cease-Fire Until Rebels Surrender.
Things changed.
This just in … On August 26, Reuters reported Poroshenko Seeks Ceasefire After ‘Very Tough’ Talks With Putin.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko promised after late-night talks with Russia’s Vladimir Putin to work on an urgent ceasefire plan to defuse the separatist conflict in the east of his former Soviet republic.
The first negotiations between the two leaders since June were described by Putin as positive, but he said it was not for Russia to get into the details of truce terms between the Kiev government and two rebel eastern regions.
“We didn’t substantively discuss that, and we, Russia, can’t substantively discuss conditions of a ceasefire, of agreements between Kiev, Donetsk and Luhansk. That’s not our business, it’s up to Ukraine itself,” he told reporters early on Wednesday.

This post was published at Global Economic Analysis on August 27, 2014.

Outright Military Victory by Rebels? Ukraine Offensive in Donetsk and Lugansk Fails

Outright Military Victory by Rebels? Militarily, if the rebel site maps and discussion are correct, the war may conclude with outright military victory by the rebels. Whether or not you believe these maps or such talk, please note the mainstream media silence on the civil war in the last two weeks. At best, one can safely assume Kiev has nothing good to report. Ukraine Offensive in Donetsk and Lugansk FailsRebel sites now proclaim Ukraine offensive in Donetsk and Lugansk have failed. Let’s take a look at a translated map of major military operations August 10-25, 2014. The map source is Colonel Casad. Translation by Kot Ivanov and Anthony Hartin on SLAVYANGRAD.org.

This post was published at Global Economic Analysis on August 26, 2014.

Ukraine Releases Video Of Captured Russian Troops; They “Entered Accidentally” Russia Claims As Putin-Poroshenko Meeting Begins

Moments ago, Russian president Vladimir Putin arrived in Minsk, Belarus where upon the initiative of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko a summit between the Customs Union (Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan) and Ukraine will be held on Tuesday. As Interfax adds, the meeting will also be attended by three European commissioners – EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton, Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht and European Commission Vice President, Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger.
Amusingly, Putin’s arrival did not proceed without incident…
This will be second meeting in the past three months between Putin and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko organized with the mediation of a president a third country. However, official confirmation that a separate meeting between Putin and Poroshenko will take place does not yet exist.
As noted earlier, the main reason for the recent ramp in futures is because someone activated the de-escalation algo sending futs promptly from overnight lows to highs, on hopes there will be some resolution of Ukraine’s proxy civil war, and maybe a detente between Russia and Europe, where the latter is now on the verge of a triple-dip recession due to “costs” against Russia.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 08/26/2014.

Ukraine’s Poroshenko “Optimistic” Over EU Deal, Putin Warns Of Consequences

When two of the richest presidents in the world currently met this morning in Minsk, the tensions was palpable. As Poroshenko (net worth ~$1.3 bn) and Putin (~$440bn) prepared for talks, the threats, promises, and hopes were everywhere…
*POROSHENKO SAYS ‘OPTIMISTIC’ ABOUT TODAY’S MEETINGS IN MINSK, INTERESTED IN EU, CUSTOMS UNION AGREEMENTS But Vladimir Putin – having reminded everyone that Russian capital represents 32% of the Ukraine banking system (threat or statement?) warned any EU association pact may force Russia to scrap trade preferences.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 08/26/2014.

Rebels Claim Liberation of Mariupol Imminent: War Zone Map Update August 13 vs. August 24

A lot has happened since Western media reported on August that rebels in Donetsk were surrounded. Here is the map of major military operations from my August 13 post Multi-Pronged Attack on Donetsk Rebels Likely Within Days.

Legend
Blue jets inside red circles are locations where Ukrainian military planes are confirmed to have crashed after being shot down. (This is only for the period of the map, August 1-10. Blue jets shooting into blue circles are locations of Ukrainian air raids, again just for the period August 1-10. Blue circles with “X” inside them are Ukrainian artillery strikes. Red circles with “X” inside them are rebel artillery strikes. Red lines with arrows are rebel advances Blue lines with arrows are Ukrainian advances Solid red lines (no arrow tips) are rebel defense lines Current Map of Military Operations…

This post was published at Global Economic Analysis on August 25, 2014