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Ukraine Powerless To Act As East Slips Under Russian Control

World Ukraine A man, who introduced himself as a lieutenant colonel of the Russian army, speaks to policemen as he introduces his appointed new head of the regional police, after the regional police building storm was stormed and its chief detained, in the eastern Ukrainian city of Gorlovka, near Donetsk, on April 14, 2014. Alexey KravtsovAFP/Getty Images

On Monday afternoon, a line of defecting officers from the Ukrainian police lined up outside their ransacked headquarters in the town of Gorlovka, in eastern Ukraine, to receive orders from their puckish new commander. Their station had been seized hours earlier by a mob of pro-Russian demonstrators, and instead of resisting many of its officers capitulated or, as they put it, went over to the side of the people. Greeting them outside the building with a military salute, the apparent leader of the siege, a man in fatigues who identified himself as Alexander Shulzhenko, stated his rank as lieutenant colonel. Of what? one of the Ukrainian policemen asked him. Of the Russian army, Shulzhenko said.

That brief exchange, which was captured on video and posted to YouTube within hours, was among the clearest pieces of evidence that Russian troops have already begun their takeover of the region of Donetsk, much as they did last month in Ukraines Crimean peninsula. But instead of sending tanks across the border, Russia seems to have chosen a more subtle form of invasion coordinating the mobs of local men who have been seizing government buildings in a handful of cities and towns and declaring independence from Kiev.

The strategy has left the central government with no good options. It can either stand by as pro-Russian gunmen seize more and more ground in the region of Donetsk and other parts of eastern Ukraine, or it can try to evict them by force, giving Russia an excuse to launch a full-scale invasion on the pretext of protecting the locals. Either way, the loss of Donetsk to de facto Russian control already looks to be imminent.

So far, Kiev seems to be approaching this dilemma with caution. The parliament has stopped short of declaring a state of emergency, as that would force Ukraine to delay the presidential elections scheduled for May 25. And on Monday morning, the governments deadline for launching a counter-terrorism operation against the pro-Russian forces ticked by without any assault. According to local media reports, the presence of Ukrainian forces in and around Donetsk has been minimal, and local police and security officials have been defecting en masse to the pro-Russian side.

All of that signals that Ukraine sees little hope of beating back the separatists by force, at least not without serious help from NATO powers. At the border, Russia has gathered a force of at least 40,000 troops poised to attack Ukraine, according to NATO estimates, and U.S. Air Force General Philipp Breedlove, the alliances commander in Europe, has said it would take the Russian forces between three and five days to rout the Ukrainian army if given the order to invade.

Those odds urged Kiev to appeal on Monday for immediate help from the West. Yulia Tymoshenko, the presidential candidate whose close allies hold both the interim presidency and premiership of Ukraine, declared that the epoch of appeasing the aggressor is over. In a written plea distributed to the press, she said, I ask the leaders of the world to provide direct military assistance to the Ukrainian people.

But so far, Western assistance has been limited to the delivery of 300,000 army rations from the U.S., known as meals ready to eat, while President Obama has said clearly that the U.S. will not go to war with Russia over Ukraine. Nor will any other NATO power, and without foreign help, Ukraine has become desperate enough to consider more radical means of defense. In her appeal on Monday, Tymoshenko said that, the time has come to organize a nationwide resistance to the Russian aggressor using all available means, including a total mobilization.

In effect, that would mean arming volunteers with little or no military training and sending them to fight a hastily arranged guerilla campaign in the east. Indeed, the day before Tymoshenko suggested this idea, Ukraines acting interior minister Arsen Avakov had already set a similar plan into motion. On his Facebook page, he called for all patriots of Ukraine to join paramilitary forces under his command, pledging that his ministry was prepared to provide guns and uniforms to as many as 12,000 of these volunteers around the country. The creation of these special units will be carried out as quickly as possible, without any foot-dragging or formalities.

Implicit in this strategy was an acknowledgement of just how little faith Ukraines leaders have in their own armed forces, both military and police. In light of this weekends runaway defections in the east, that hardly seems surprising. Police forces across the region of Donetsk have tended to either abandon their posts or go over to the pro-Russian forces without a shot being fired. That is what happened on Monday in Gorlovka, one of at least six cities and towns in eastern Ukraine where police buildings have been overrun.

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Ukraine Powerless To Act As East Slips Under Russian Control

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LONDON MARKETS: FTSE 100 Turns Higher As Mining Stocks Strengthen

By Dow Jones Business News, April 14, 2014, 01:05:00 PM EDT By Sara Sjolin, MarketWatch LONDON (MarketWatch) — U.K. stocks reversed course and finished higher Monday, with shares of Randgold Resources Ltd

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LONDON MARKETS: FTSE 100 Turns Higher As Mining Stocks Strengthen

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LONDON MARKETS: FTSE 100 Slips, But Glencore Xstrata Gains

By Dow Jones Business News, April 14, 2014, 10:44:00 AM EDT By Sara Sjolin, MarketWatch LONDON (MarketWatch) — U.K. stocks came off session lows Monday, with shares of Randgold Resources Ltd

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LONDON MARKETS: FTSE 100 Slips, But Glencore Xstrata Gains

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In this game Russian gas beats your paper! – Video



In this game Russian gas beats your paper!
Watch the full Keiser Report Episode 587 here: http://youtu.be/PT1qQokJn-o In this episode of the Keiser Report, Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert discuss the dol…

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In this game Russian gas beats your paper! – Video

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NATO to focus on reassuring allies worried about Ukraine

NATOs next move in response to the crisis in Ukraine is likely to be more of the same: more NATO fighters patrolling over the Baltics, more rotations of warships into the Black Sea and more surveillance of Russian movements around Ukraine.

Since Russia annexed Ukraines Crimea Peninsula last month, NATO has sought to reassure jittery members concerned about Moscows suspected expansionist aims by boosting its presence in those countries that border Russia, Ukraine and Moldova, officials said.

Essentially, what we are looking at is a package of land, air and maritime measures that would build assurance for our easternmost allies, Gen. Philip Breedlove, NATOs supreme allied commander and head of U.S. European Command, told The Associated Press in an interview Wednesday. Im tasked to deliver this by next week. I fully intend to deliver it early.

U.S. soldiers from the Texas-based 1st Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division the unit already designated as the U.S. contribution to the NATO Reaction Force could be deployed to the region to train with allies in the east. However, any such move would be on a rotational basis rather than any permanent repositioning of an additional Army brigade in Europe, military officials said.

Rotating them over to participate in an exercise is one of the many options on the table to reassure allies, said Col. Martin Downie, spokesman for Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe.

Other NATO options now under review include the deployment of aircraft to guard NATO airspace that borders Russia as well as planes capable of striking against ground forces. A more prominent naval presence in the Baltic and Black seas could also be an option for the alliance, military officials said.

As the crisis in Ukraine presses on, the U.S. and its allies in Europe are being forced to reconsider the security landscape in Europe during what many experts have described as perhaps the Continents most significant crisis in a generation.

In the short term, NATOs focus will be on ways to reassure allies and deter any chance of Russian aggression on alliance territory a move regarded by experts as highly unlikely. Whats less clear is whether Moscow will, at some point, intervene in eastern Ukraine, where Russia has amassed thousands of troops along the border, rattling both Kiev and NATO.

Adm. James Stavridis, who served four years as NATOs SACEUR before retiring last year, says Breedloves recommendations will likely focus on three core areas: posturing NATO for contingency operations, reassuring allies and military cooperation with Ukraine.

Some specific steps could include activation of command-and-control centers within the NATO command structure, surveillance of Russian forces and events in Ukraine, and placing the NATO Response Force on alert, Stavridis told Stars and Stripes. Other likely actions in the region include moving aircraft, ships and troops into nations in the eastern part of the alliance, especially the Baltics and Poland, as well as conducting military exercises.

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NATO to focus on reassuring allies worried about Ukraine

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No significant change in Russian troop positions near Ukraine: NATO

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – NATO does not see significant changes in the positioning of Russian troops close to Ukraine's eastern border, a NATO military official said on Monday, after pro-Russian protesters seized public buildings in three cities in eastern Ukraine. "We do not see significant changes to Russian troop dispositions east of the Ukrainian border," the NATO military official said, when …

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No significant change in Russian troop positions near Ukraine: NATO

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Russia should be worried about NATO – Video



Russia should be worried about NATO
It was agreed in Gorbachev's times that NATO wouldn't expand to the East, although successive Russian leaders made no effort to implement that clear-cut agre…

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Russia should be worried about NATO – Video

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Putin Chases Off Short Sellers as Russian Stocks Rebound

President Vladimir Putins pledge not to expand beyond the Crimea peninsula in Ukraine is driving short sellers out of the Russian stock market. Traders have scaled back bets on declines in the Market Vectors Russia (RSX) exchange-traded fund to 5 percent of outstanding shares from a record-high 21 percent on March 3

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Putin Chases Off Short Sellers as Russian Stocks Rebound

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Kremlin Chases Off Short Sellers as Russian Stocks Rebound

President Vladimir Putin's pledge not to expand beyond the Crimea peninsula in Ukraine is driving short sellers out of the Russian stock market.

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Kremlin Chases Off Short Sellers as Russian Stocks Rebound

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'No sign' of Russian pullout from Ukraine border, NATO says

Rasmussen says ‘no threat against allies will succeed’

(ANSA) – Brussels, April 1 – NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Tuesday there was no sign of a Russian troop pullout from the border with Ukraine and reaffirmed the alliance’s commitment to a collective defence. “Defence starts with deterrence so we will take the necessary steps to make it clear to the world that no threat against NATO allies will succeed,” said Rasmussen at the start of a two-day meeting of NATO country foreign ministers in Brussels. On Monday Russian President Vladimir Putin reportedly told German Chancellor Angela Merkel he had ordered a partial withdrawal of Russian troops near the eastern border of Ukraine, where Moscow is believed to have massed tens of thousands of soldiers since its annexation of Crimea last month. Russia’s aggression against Ukraine “challenges our vision of a Europe whole, free and at peace,” said the NATO chief, adding that NATO ministers would make clear that its actions are unacceptable. “We will take decisions on which cooperation with Russia is still appropriate. Because through its actions, Russia has undermined the principles on which our partnership is built, and has breached its own international commitments. So we cannot go on doing business as usual,” he concluded.

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'No sign' of Russian pullout from Ukraine border, NATO says

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