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Poroshenko claims there are 200,000 Russian troops in Ukraine without a shred of evidence

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© RT
The Ukrainian president has named an entirely new, wildly different figure for the number of Russian troops allegedly in Ukraine: over 20 times higher than he claimed earlier this month.

In an interview with the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko claimed there is a whopping 200,000 Russian troops in Ukraine. "Today, on Putin's order, there are 200,000 men and an arsenal of armored vehicles, sophisticated missile systems and anti-air arms amassed in our territory,"Corriere della Sera quotes Poroshenko, who went on to say: "One of these shot down the Malaysian civilian plane last year."

It is unclear where Poroshenko got the enormous figure, which constitutes about a quarter of the entirety of Russia's troops, and is almost the size of the entire Ukrainian army. But if Poroshenko's claims are true, the forces would have to possess incredible stealth capabilities, as no surveillance or intelligence service has detected the numerous troops crossing the border. Neither have the OSCE observers stationed at the border.

The figure is also wildly different from the number Poroshenko himself gave less than a month ago. Speaking to Ukraine's parliament on June 4, he claimed there were some 9,000 Russian troops in Ukraine, and that the number of Russian forces near the border had increased by 50 percent over the preceding year. The newest number would mean a more than 22-fold increase.

Just four days after Poroshenko's June 4 statement, Ukrainian Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak named his own figure, which brought further confusion to attempts to count the alleged "Russian aggressors." He claimed there were as many as 42,500 men and an impressive 558 tanks.


Light Sabers

China's Silk Road initiative ruins U.S. plans to impose blockade of China

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© Flickr/ Peter Mackey
Beijing's One Belt, One Road initiative, a viable alternative to China's vulnerable sea routes through the South China Sea, is aimed at bolstering China's economy and preventing the US from imposing a distant blockade of the country, Stratfor notes.

China's Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road initiative is not just a "sum of infrastructural projects," but rather a carefully thought-out strategy aimed at pursuing China's geopolitical objectives in Eurasia, Stratfor's analysts pointed out.

Beijing's "Belt and Road" will be in fact a sum of six transport corridors across Eurasia, comprising of both land and maritime components, the analysts elaborated.

"The strategy behind the Belt and Road Initiative is to diversify transit lines, thereby mitigating China's vulnerability to external economic disruption and reinvigorating China's slowing economy. Ideally, China would like to link its inland cities to global markets with a diversified network of transit routes and energy pipelines, many of which would take inland routes and serve as alternatives to existing sea-lanes," the Stratfor report stated.

Since China's economy is heavily reliant on foreign trade and energy supplies through the country's "vulnerable" sea routes, it would be "relatively easy" for a potential adversary to disrupt China's trade and block the country.

USA

U.S. creating crises around the globe to maintain totalitarian control

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© AFP 2015/ FILIPPO MONTEFORTE
The US' totalitarian national-security state apparatus created during the Cold War in order to counter the Soviet Union is now doing whatever it takes to stay in power, by enflaming new crises across the world, Jacob G. Hornberger notes.

American author and founder of The Future of Freedom Foundation (FFF) Jacob G. Hornberger asks what if Moscow announced that it was restoring the Warsaw Pact, involving Cuba, Venezuela, Chile, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Grenada, and Bolivia into its fold, and established new military bases along the US southern border, toppling the democratically elected president in Mexico.

"What would be the reaction of President Obama, Republican and Democrat presidential candidates, the Pentagon, the CIA, and the US mainstream press? I'll tell you: They would all be screaming like banshees! It would be a monumental crisis," Jacob G. Hornberger elaborated.

In that case Washington would have forced Russia to dismantle all of its bases near the United States and remove all of its missiles.

Surprisingly, when the roles are reversed nobody in the West is calling into question the legitimacy of NATO's rapid expansion to Russia's borders, he emphasized.

Network

U.S. government data theft likely perpetrated by Israel with help from U.S. corporations

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© Flickr/ Truthout.org
The recent discovery of a massive and unprecedented theft of US government personnel data - including personal details on every American spy, diplomat, national security official, Pentagon civilian employee and all other federal government employees, including retirees - ranks as the most important and extensive theft in cybernetic history.

The data taken reportedly includes 69 detailed categories of digitized personal information for every individual US government employee, and all detailed information on forms no. 85 and 86 — which every applicant for an intelligence, espionage or national security position must fill out.

These two forms are at the center of all national and intelligence security clearances in the US — and all information placed on them is typically verified and must be truthful in every respect.

Form no. 86 alone comprises 127 pages of personal details, according to Wall Street Journal reports published on June 12 and 13. Although the number of employee records taken has not been precisely estimated, the total is considered to be about 18 million, according to a WSJ report published on June 25.

War Whore

It's OK when we do it: U.S. admits paying terrorists in Syria for services rendered

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© anthonyfreda.com
When researchers such as myself have reported that the United States is funding al-Qaeda, Nusra, ISIS and other related terror organizations in Syria, we were not kidding. Still, despite the factthat even the U.S. government itself has admitted that it wasfunding terrorists - directly and indirectly through Saudi Arabia,the suggestion was met with disbelief, ridicule, or either entirely ignored.

Now, however, the United States government has admitted that it funds terrorists on the ground in Syria yet again, this time placing an individual dollar amount on the assistance provided.

According to the Pentagon, Syrian "rebels" being trained and "vetted" by the United States are receiving "compensation" to the tune of anywhere between $250 to $400 per month to act as America's proxy forces in the Middle East. Reuters reports that the payment levels were confirmed by the Pentagon and also that the Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter and Navy Commander Elissa Smith both separately admitted the fact that these "new" terrorists are receiving a stipend.

Red Flag

Germany spreading anti-Russian propaganda through schools

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© Sputnik/ Mikhail Fomichev
The Bundeswehr is intensifying its efforts to militarize German society and attracting young people into its ranks to fight against "new threats" and a "threat from Russia" in particular, World Socialist Web Site wrote.

Army and military equipment are seemingly becoming a natural part of leisure and family activities in Germany. The last major "military" event took place on June 13 in 15 various cities in commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the Bundeswehr, WSWS reported.

According to the website, staged combat and armor demonstrations, simulations of helicopter operations and personal conversations with soldiers coupled with entertainment facilities for children and families are a central component of a new strategy in foreign policy, which was announced by the federal government at the beginning of 2014.

German President Joachim Gauck had called for a stronger role of the army in the German society already in 2012.

"Generals, officers, Bundeswehr soldiers - come back to the middle of our society!" he appealed to his audience.

Comment: There appears to be a concerted effort to demonize Russia throughout Europe: SOTT Exclusive: Anti-Russian propaganda appearing in Dutch school textbooks


Alarm Clock

Stratfor analyst: West still looking at Russia through prism of Cold War

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© Flickr/ mikytex
Stratfor's analysts have admitted that Western media's portrayal of Russia as an "aggressor" is misleading and based on the outdated Cold War narrative, adding that actually Moscow just reacts to Washington's provocative moves.

According to American analyst, author and a member of Stratfor's editorial board Jay Ogilvy, the West is still looking at Russia through the prism of the old Cold War narrative, and such a stance is deplorable, since both Russia and the United States are the globe's two great superpowers.

The latest polls indicate that for the first time in twenty years Americans are inclined to consider Russia the number one enemy of the United States, replacing such stereotypical "adversaries" as Iran and North Korea.

"We're still coming to Russia from the old Cold War narrative. And this is sad because, as de Tocqueville pointed out so long ago, looking to the future, the United States and Russia are two of the globe's great superpowers. If we're not getting along, if we're not understanding one another, it's just bad for all of us," Jay Ogilvy emphasized.

Magnify

Wikileaks docs show NSA conducted economic espionage on France

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© Reuters/Jim Urquhart
A National Security Agency (NSA) data gathering facility is seen in Bluffdale, about 25 miles (40 km) south of Salt Lake City
Washington has been leading a policy of economic espionage against France for more than a decade by intercepting communications of the Finance minister and all corporate contracts valued at more than $200 million, according to a new WikiLeaks report.

The revelations come in line with the ongoing publications of top secret documents from the US surveillance operations against France, dubbed by the whistleblowing site "Espionnage Élysée."

The Monday publications consist of seven top secret documents which detail the American National Security Agency's (NSA) economic espionage operations against Paris.

According to the WikiLeaks report, "NSA has been tasked with obtaining intelligence on all aspects of the French economy, from government policy, diplomacy, banking and participation in international bodies to infrastructural development, business practices and trade activities."


Play

South Front Crisis News 30 June: 75,000 Kiev militants in Donbass

Kiev has a grouping of 75,000 servicemen in the conflict zone in Donbass, head of Lugansk People's Republic Igor Plotnitsky told a briefing at LuganskInformCenter on Monday. Yesterday, the defence ministry of the Donetsk People's Republic reported that it registered the redeployment of tanks and Ukrainian troops to the town of Maryinka from Kurahovo. Ukrainian artillery positions of eight self-propelled artillery weapons found in the outskirt of the town of Ostroye. In Maryinka, protected artillery positions of these weapons were registered too.


Comment: Foreign Policy Diary: The New War of Transnistria:




Star of David

Israel admits it is assisting Syrian rebels in overthrowing Assad

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© Diana Hananshvili/Defense Ministry
Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon attends an IDF exercise on May 7, 2015
Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon said Monday that Israel has been providing aid to Syrian rebels, thus keeping the Druze in Syria out of immediate danger. Israeli officials have previously balked at confirming on the record that the country has been helping forces that are fighting to overthrow Syrian President Bashar Assad.

During a briefing with Israel's diplomatic correspondents at the IDF's headquarters in Tel Aviv, Ya'alon said that Israel's ongoing humanitarian assistance to Syrian rebel fighters, a source of growing conflict between Israel and its own Druze population, safeguards the minority population in Syria.

"We've assisted them under two conditions," Ya'alon said of the Israeli medical aid to the Syrian rebels, some of whom are presumably fighting with al-Qaeda affiliate al-Nusra Front to topple Syrian President Bashar Assad. "That they don't get too close to the border, and that they don't touch the Druze."


Comment: It's highly likely that Israel is providing more than medical assistance to the Syrian rebels.


The Druze on Israel's side of the Golan, Ya'alon charged, acted "irresponsibly" last week by attacking an Israeli ambulance carrying wounded Syrian rebel fighters. One person was killed and another wounded during what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu termed a "lynching." The person in the Israeli ambulance was not affiliated with the al-Nusra Front, and his death would provoke calls for revenge, Ya'alon asserted.