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This UABA Blog page provides information and commentary on issues that are relevant to the organization and its members. Although the blogs are public, comments can only be made by members. If yoiu wish to join the discussion, you are welcome to become a member.

The comments expressed on these blogs represent the opinions of the authors and not that of the UABA.

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  • 07 Apr 2015 2:57 PM | Andriy J. Semotiuk

    The Russian invasion of Ukraine continues to escalate, with rising military, economic and social costs. In the last year, thousands of people have been killed in the fighting in Eastern Ukraine, with over ten thousand injured and almost one million Ukrainians displaced. Indeed, the conflict marked its one year anniversary with reports of more Ukrainian soldiers being killed.

    The harshness of the conflict and the fear it instills in civilians was brought home to me last week when I got a call from a woman named Iryna. She has two small children in Mariupol, Ukraine. She complained that, not far away, Russian soldiers were gathering for what she believed was an upcoming invasion heading towards her home in Mariupol, a city that has been in the news a lot lately:

    The crisis has now reached stalemate. The ceasefire brokered by Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France in mid-February is still in force, though deaths are reported almost daily among Ukrainian soldiers, civilians and rebels.

    Large swaths of the industrial east, including

    and Luhansk, are under the control of the rebels and Kiev fears they could be preparing to try to take Mariupol, a city of 500,000 people.

    Iryna asked me if there was anything I could do to help her family escape any upcoming attacks. The sad reality was that there was nothing practical that I could offer to her.

    See full details on Forbes at:http://www.forbes.com/sites/andyjsemotiuk/2015/04/07/the-ukraine-crisis-a-humanitarian-response-through-immigration/


  • 31 Mar 2015 10:17 AM | Myroslaw Smorodsky (Administrator)

    Watch the full webcast here.

    General Wesley K. Clark (Ret.)
    Former NATO Supreme Allied Commander
    March 30, 2015

    Background

     The Kremlin has been waging a covert, hybrid war against Ukraine since February of 2014. In this war, Moscow has used a combination of local separatist forces, irregular volunteers, and Russian special forces and regular (conventional) forces. Since the original Minsk I ceasefire in September and the Minsk II ceasefire in February, the Kremlin-directed forces have taken additional territory.

    The team consisted of General Wesley K. Clark (Ret.), former Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, Lieutenant General Patrick M. Hughes (Ret.), former Director, Defense Intelligence Agency, and Lieutenant General John S. Caldwell (Ret.), former Army Research, Development and Acquisition Chief. The team met with senior civilian and military officials, including Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, Ukrainian Chief of the General Staff Viktor Muzhenko, US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt, and Ukrainian ministers, parliamentarians, and leaders at all levels of the military, both in Kyiv and in the operational area. 

    Детальніше-Read More

  • 25 Mar 2015 7:55 PM | Liudmyla Mozgova (Administrator)

    The speaker of the upper house of the Russian parliament has proposed the creation of a Russian "Silicon Valley" on the Moscow-annexed peninsula of Crimea. Federation Council speaker Valentina Matviyenko said at a session devoted to Russia's regions that the project could be implemented "taking into account the business experience of Russia's regions."   RFE/RL.   Read More

  • 25 Mar 2015 7:42 PM | Liudmyla Mozgova (Administrator)

     Andrey Volentir, secretary of Moldova’s Central Election Commission, says that the Gagauz vote on Sunday that appeared to have brought a pro-Moscow politician to power may not have been legitimate, a declaration that creates the kind of uncertainty that the Russian Federation may seek to exploit. Volentir said he did not want to say that the elections were illegitimate – that is a task for the courts – but he pointed to a statistical sleight of hand that suggests that too few people actually voted to make the election legal under the terms of the Moldovan law on the special status of Gagauzia.   Window on Eurasia.   Read More

  • 25 Mar 2015 7:35 PM | Liudmyla Mozgova (Administrator)

    From higher home heating costs to lower pensions, Ukrainians are about to feel the pinch from austerity measures attached to a newly approved International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan package. The long-awaited $17.5 billion credit announced this week holds out hope of an eventual economic recovery for the country. But that comes down the road.   RFE/RL.   Read More

     

  • 25 Mar 2015 7:26 PM | Liudmyla Mozgova (Administrator)

     Ukrainian police have interrupted a government session being broadcast live on television and detained Emergency Situations Service head Serhiy Bochkovskiy and his deputy Vasyl Stoyetskiy, leading both officials away in handcuffs. Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said the two were being investigated on suspicion of corruption connected to offshore companies.   RFE/RL.  Read More

     

  • 25 Mar 2015 7:19 PM | Liudmyla Mozgova (Administrator)

    Swastikas on Texas license plates? Yes, the lawyer answered. Messages promoting jihad? Yes. “Make Pot Legal?” Yes. Justice Anthony M. Kennedy kept looking for an outer limit. “Your position is that if you prevail, a license plate can have a racial slur?” Kennedy asked the attorney for the Sons of Confederate Veterans, which was at the Supreme Court on Monday because Texas wants to keep the group’s Confederate-flag logo off the state’s specialized license plates.   Washington Post.  Read More

     

  • 25 Mar 2015 7:16 PM | Liudmyla Mozgova (Administrator)

     The Obama administration’s plan to limit emissions of mercury and other hazardous pollutants from coal- and oil-fired power plants encountered a wall of skepticism from the Supreme Court’s most conservative justices Wednesday. The justices questioned whether the Environmental Protection Agency should have taken into account costs when it first decided to regulate the emissions. The agency said it was supposed to consider only health consequences and whether technology was available to correct the problem. It says costs were to be considered only when implementing the standards the plants were supposed to achieve.   Washington Post.   Read More

     

  • 25 Mar 2015 7:12 PM | Liudmyla Mozgova (Administrator)

     Just over a year ago, Russia annexed Crimea in the first major land grab in Europe since World War II. The world has paid little attention to Crimea since then, but developments on the Black Sea peninsula provide fearsome insights into both the folly of Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin, in Ukraine and his campaign of intimidation against Russia’s near neighbors.  NYT.   Read More

  • 25 Mar 2015 7:07 PM | Liudmyla Mozgova (Administrator)

     Russia has completed an unprecedented five-day military exercise simulating the deployment of nuclear weapons. The multiregional maneuvers in mid-March looked ominously like preparations for full-scale war with the West. And although World War III is not necessarily imminent, the extensive drills were part of a broader offensive to spread fear and uncertainty and to reinvigorate President Vladimir Putin’s alpha dog image after his reappearance from a mysterious ten-day absence. Previous Russian exercises have focused on particular military districts and involved restricted targets. Conducting a single exercise that cuts across Europe from Norway to the Black Sea was clearly aimed at rattling NATO and its Central-East European members.   CEPA.   Read More

     

     

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