Fragile Denuclearization: Russia steps up arsenal build ups

Fragile Denuclearization: Russia steps up arsenal build ups

-Dr. Abdul Ruff Colachal

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Denuclearization has remained a useless myth since it is purely utopian to expect the big nuke powers USA and Russia to renounce their arms arsenals, especially the weapons of mass destitution (WMD). While arms race is being propelled by these powers, the arms limitation talks are also going on, achieving literally nothing, while more and more nukes are being manufactured to terrorize the humanity on permanent basis.

 

Even arms control mechanisms evolved by nuclear powers are in fact meant to get rid of only the outdated or those reached the acutely dangerous level without having used them for too long.

 

 

Notwithstanding all treaties between USA and Russia, missile arsenals kept increasing in both countries, giving no chances for world peace. USA tops in warheads with 45000 warheads while Russia is second with about 40000 warheads and these arsenals are sufficient enough to destroy entire world in hours.

 

Americans also make Israel a nuke power by adding it more arsenals. Israel is now self proclaimed super power of Mideast, threatening the Arab nations and Iran.

 

Though both former Cold War adversaries have massively cut their nuclear arsenals since 1991, the data shows that over the past six months — a period that has seen Russia-West relations dive bomb over the crisis in Ukraine — both nations have boosted their nuclear forces. Although both nations increased their deployments this year, over the past three years they have moved in different directions: In 2011, Russia had 1537 warheads deployed — 106 less than now. The USA claims three years ago it had 1,800 warheads deployed, meaning it has decommissioned 158.

 

Since March this year, when Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine, Moscow has upped the ante in both regards, increasing the number of launchers from 906 to 911 and its arsenal of warheads deployed from 1,512 to 1,643.  According to US State Department report, with 1,643 nuclear warheads deployed, Moscow has now reversed 14 years of US superiority, and now has one more warhead in the field than the Pentagon. The report, which is released annually to monitor arms control efforts, has two key metrics — the number of individual nuclear warheads deployed, and the number of launchers and vehicles to deliver those warheads, such as intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) systems, submarines and bomber planes.

This has allowed Russia to achieve parity with the USA, which has showed less zeal in deploying new weaponry, growing its deployment of its nuclear warheads from 1,585 to 1,642 since March. Washington has reduced the number of its launchers from 952 to 912.

 

 

 

That is to say, maintaining the nukes for a long period of time is a big task.

 

The veto nations, having amassed huge piles of conventional and nuclear weapons do not want to disarm themselves but expect other powers to give up their nukes.

 

On the other hand, those emerging nations that want to go nuclear are eager to somehow enter the veto regime so that they can share the global wealth.

 

Nevertheless, not many nations   ask for dismantle the veto regime of UNSC so that credible peace could prevailed on earth.

 

Every nation is fearful of other nations having nukes in their arsenals.  Several treaties have been signed by nuke powers, especially by former super powers USA and Russia , but have never been implemented.

 

The ever-growing rift between the USA and Russia is a concern throughout the foreign policy community.

 

 

Arms controlling mechanisms evolved so far by big powers have only promoted the powers concerned and not worked to advantage of the humanity since no nuclear power is interested in really give up its nuclear and conventional arsenals.  In 1968, the USA and the Soviet Union hashed out their first arms control measures at the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT), freezing the number of missiles in their arsenals.  At that time, the USA had 1,710 missiles, and the Soviet Union had 2,347.

Although SALT attempted to curb the arms race, it did not address limitations on warheads. Both sides quickly realized that they could outfit their limited missile arsenals with multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles (MIRVs), allowing a single missile to deploy many nuclear warheads after launching. In 1986, President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev met in Reykjavik to talk arms reduction. On the table was a 50 percent reduction in nuclear arsenals and at one point Gorbachev even told Reagan he would eliminate all of the weapons if the USA were to ditch its missile defense plans. Reagan refused, and the arsenals survived, but the conference produced the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty, which was the first to eliminate an entire class of nuclear weapons. Today, the INF treaty is under fire, with U.S. officials accusing Putin’s Russia of violating the treaty, and senior Russian officials openly mulling pulling out of the agreement.

In 1991, the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) was signed, limiting nuclear arsenals to 1,600 delivery vehicles and 6,000 warheads.  Over the next two decades, attempts to work out a START II and III treaty never panned out, but in 2002 Presidents George W. Bush and Vladimir Putin agreed to reduce warhead arsenals to 2000 warheads under the Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty (SORT, which is also known as the Treaty of Moscow). New START brought the cap down by a further 450.

However, these treaties have only applied to deployed weapons, and as such mask the still massive arsenals both sides have shacked up in storage. According to data from the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, a global nuclear watchdog, the total size of the US strategic nuclear arsenal peaked at 32,000 warheads in 1966. The Soviet Union surpassed the US in 1978 and hit a high of 45,000 warheads by 1986. It should however be noted that these figures ignore technical capabilities and differences and don’t say much about the actual strength of each side. Russia still has 8,000 nuclear weapons, and the USA — 7,000.

Under the New START arms control treaty, which was signed into force in 2011 by Presidents Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev, the size of each nation’s nuclear arsenal is reported every six months. Although the treaty sets a cap of 1,550 nuclear warheads, it counts weapons on bomber aircraft as being a single warhead — meaning that each side may have a few hundred warheads over the limit. That cap is a fraction of what Russia and the US once aimed at one another.

 

 

Last month, Deputy Prime Minister of Russia Dmitry Rogozin said Russia’s nuclear forces — the backbone of its military might — would receive a complete overhaul by 2020 as part of the nation’s massive $700 billion rearmament campaign.  Moscow is pressing forward with its troubled Bulava (Mace) submarine-launched missiles, and new Yars land based intercontinental ballistic missiles and the uptick in Russian deployment mirrors advances in weapons delivery systems.

The dominant US narratives tend to stress the anti-democratic features of Russian politics, Vladimir Putin’s so-called dictatorship, his heavy-handed leadership, and aggressive foreign policy. The picture drawn has hardened during the Ukrainian crisis. The narratives point to a Russia that stands apart from the international community and to a president who cares little about this isolation and its political, security, and economic ramifications for his country.

However, US specialists do not compare Russian position as being very much equal to isolated Israeli position.

The current state of affairs in US-Russia relations is as distressing as it is alarming. By all accounts, this critical relationship has reached a point of rupture. In the United States, much of the discourse is centered on how to push back against Russia and President Vladimir Putin in light of what is happening in Ukraine. The answers stem from a set of narratives about Russia’s domestic trajectory, foreign policy objectives, and Putin’s personality.

Are dominant US narratives about Russia and Putin accurate, sufficient, and useful for guiding policy toward Russia? What are Putin’s objectives toward Ukraine and other post-Soviet states? What interests and assumptions are driving Russia’s policies toward the region?  Are there ideas that would help end the crisis that have been obscured by a hardening of attitudes in Russia and the USA?

Ukraine is only the recent issue between the Americans and Russians but there have been similar issues over which both reacted aggressively. Without  effective  denuclearization   or  verifiable  arms control mechanisms,  not only Ukraine  issue cannot be resolved but  more  complex issues would crop up in future too.

The dire consequences of an escalation of conflict between the US and its allies and Russia call for a debate in the USA that examines the basic assumptions that shape American super power  ideas about, and policies toward, Russia. It is no less important that Russians examine the assumptions that underlie their views about the West.

There is no commitment to improving the US ability to understand Russia and interpret its policies. Because prevailing narratives impact foreign policies, it is imperative to get the basic narratives right and subject them to continued scrutiny.

There is also no real US commitment to denuclearization globally. This is because neither USA nor Russia is keen to dismantle all its nuke arsenals.  USA wants all other powers to sacrifice their nukes and obey Washington.

Most Russians know that dismantling fo the mighty Soviet Russia was the work of USA and its  imperialist allies and  they don’t want  Russia to  be ready to be fooled by Washington again. Under the US command circumstances, Russia needs to worry about US intentions and secret operations targeting the Kremlin.

 

Joint Cricketism: Pakistan woos India to consider for IPL

Joint Cricketism: Pakistan woos India to consider for IPL
-Dr. Abdul Ruff Colachal
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Even while India and Pakistan keep themselves busy by attacking each other at the LOC in Kashmir and over Kashmir, Pakistan agencies try to appease India by a few CBMs that New Delhi quickly reject if they do not benefit India in some measure. In sports Pakistanis have tried to make India happy too. Especially kabadi and many other sports

However, India knows too well Islamabad would not like to let Indian win the hockey gold medal at Asian Games 2014. India, Unlike Pakistan, India is frantic about “managing“ a few more medals.

Pakistan want India to let its boys to play cricket with Pakistanis, especially in IPL where Indian corperates and billionaires buy “foreign products” known as cricketers at a big cost so that they play for Indian prestige. That is perhaps the reason why Indian parliament has not yet annulled the bogus IPL joint exercises as nation’s big shame. . .

The first question: why did Lahore Lions lose to the Perth team in India at CT20 when they could easily reach the semi? Answer is simple: Pakistani wants to be in IPL money bags.

Once the answer is not surprising, then one can also know the Pakistani mindset and predicament.

Here the issue. Pakistani team Lahore Lions has participated in the CT20 taking place in India and showed inclination to work for India in IPL by allowing the Dhoni IPL team to enter the semi-finals of the CT20. Dhoni Chennai team will meet the Punjab team in the semi most probably to lose.

How did Lahore Lions allow Dhoni team to enter semi? On Sept 20, LL was playing against Perth ( jr Australian team) and if it won the match by certain runs they would go to semi and is so Dhoni team would be OUT.

LL batboys could muster only 125 runs but when they came to bowl they did exceedingly well by picking up wickets one after another by allowing only about few runs and the required run rate shot up to 9 runs per over and they were nearing to win and enter the semi.
But Pakistanis had some other idea. They wanted to lose so that India’s most favored Dhoni team enters the semi in its place.

Once a team wants to lose it is very easy to that. Pakistan lost the match just to be in the good books of IPL lords. Riaz offered only SIXes to Marsh in the last over to make him a 50 score makers. After 7 quick wickets Lions decided no to take more wickets but only to lose.

Not just in cricket, but even in core sports like hockey Pakistan has played for India in the Asian games 2014 at the final of hockey on October 02, Gandhi’s birth day.

Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman Shahryar Khan believes the Lahore Lions’ successful participation in the ongoing Champions League Twenty20 will open the Indian Premier League doors for the country’s players. Khan said he was satisfied with the performance of the Lahore Lions team. He joked pointing out that the Lahore team had left a positive image of Pakistan cricket among the Indians. “Until now the absence of our players from the IPL is very disappointing but we are trying our best to improve bilateral cricket ties with India,” he said.

Khan is also scheduled to leave for India on October 3 as a special emissary of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for some back channel diplomacy. After India, he will visit Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in official capacity as PCB Chairman. Khan said Pakistan was keen to restore and have normal relations with the Indian board. The PCB chief said while Pakistan had struggled to launch its own T20 franchised league but it was unfair to compare it with the IPL. India and other cricket countries opposed Pakistani league.

Shaharyar, a career diplomat who was posted as Pakistan’s High Commissioner in New Delhi and also remained foreign secretary, but now wants cricket diplomacy said that he had always enjoyed good relations with the top officials of the BCCI. Shaharyar said he was keen to talk to the BCCI about Pakistan players’ participation in the Indian Premier League and the restoration of bilateral ties. The PCB chief said that no matter what the relations between the two countries at the diplomatic and political level, relations between the two boards had always been good. Shaharyar was chairman in 2004 when he managed to get India to tour Pakistan for a full series after a gap of 14 years. That was before the Mumbai terror attack.

Many Pak cricketers long for IPL as their life ambition. Earlier this week, flamboyant allrounder Shahid Afridi also told reporters in Lahore that it was disappointing that Pakistani players were not being allowed to play in IPL. Afridi stated that by keeping Pakistani players out of the league, Indian cricket’s image had suffered. Pakistan’s former captain, Wasim Akram, who is on the coaching panel of the Kolkata Knight Riders, has also called for restoration of regular matches between Pakistan and India as said there is no bigger spectacle than a Indo-Pak cricket match.

Pakistani players appeared for nearly every franchise in the first edition of the IPL in 2008 but after the Mumbai terror attacks, the event organisers and Indian board stopped inviting them for the mega event.

Pakistan’s top spinner, Saeed Ajmal has said he would definitely like to get an opportunity to play in the Indian Premier League in the future and hoped the BCCI looks into the matter. Talking about the continued absence of Pakistani players in the lucrative T20 league, Ajmal said the organisers and the Indian Cricket Board needed to review their stance on this situation.

Pace legend Wasim Akram feels it is high time that the bilateral cricket ties between India and Pakistan are revived as the fans in sub-continent deserve to enjoy the historic rivalry which has produced some exhilarating action on the field. Akram said inclusion of Pakistan players would add the sheen of IPL. Pakistani players have been barred from taking part in the IPL since the inaugural edition in 2008 due to the Mumbai terror attacks.

Notwithstanding bilateral clashes, Pakistanis like to be in India as often as they can, though they prefer USA and UK for visits. It is fact, that many well-to-do Pakistanis keep visiting India just like that including for entertainments.

It is a fact that cricket or sports, Indo-Pakistani tournaments are generating tension in both countries and negatively impacting the lives of Kashmiris, sandwiched between the two nuclear states as a colonized nation lying in parts, constantly being terrorized by military attacks and fake encounters..

Just for helping a team of Pakistani cricketers to make money in India, already fragile peace situation in India, Pakistan and Kashmir cannot be further complicated, further compromised.

India and Pakistan could play cricket only when credible peace situation ensured in the region by resolving the Kashmir issue once for all.

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Care for environment and Climate


Care for environment and Climate

-By Dr. Abdul Ruff Colachal
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Causes

Pollution of environment and accelerating climatic change are not good for humanity. However, world has been experiencing with exceeding fears the ever deteriorating environmental collapse and unpredictable climatic conditions.

Several countries with millions of people in each are vulnerable to outcomes of climate change but the top polluters are not at all worried about their future. .

The major causes of devastating climatic changes taking place rapidly world over are already known to the world but intentional community has not yet responded with the urgency the issue merits and not in ways as to assure the humanity of their safety and security from climatic dangers. .

Apart from water scarcity, water quality is also a worrying concern in many countries with herding, mining, and urban development posing threats to public health. No need to specific mentioning of illegal mining operations permitted by Indian politicians and their regime.

US led NATO terror wars in Mideast as well as regular Israeli war in Palestine continue unabated, causing escalation of climatic changes by air pollutions; Emissions from industries and elsewhere have reached the dangerous limits. Nuclear powers, instead of feeding the hungry masses, are fighting to showcase their military prowess by manufacturing more and more high precision weapons as well as increasing the nuclear reaction operations, causing apart from serious health and other problems to the populations, also makes the atmosphere poisonous.

Nuclear reactor emissions are deadly dangerous to environment and affecting even the ether layers. Impending nuclear war is sure to put an end to human civilization eventually. However, nuke powers continue to blast nuclear plants to endanger living beings.

India continues to misuse resources meant for the common people by wasting the money on nukes and nuke enabled missiles.

Nuclear plants generate radioactivity attacking people near and far beyond Indian borders and waters, and can harm Indian and South Asian regional people. And nuclear blasts can kill people. In case of wars, the enemies will attack nuke plants and destroy the people in the localities. Pakistan where many people starve without food and shelter also trying to catch up with Indian nukes and missiles, adding to the regional dangers.

Asia

Climate change, combined with rapid population growth and urbanization, are placing intense pressure on Asia’s most precious resource. At the same time, extreme weather has led to unprecedented monsoon rains and deadly floods across the region that have eaten away at traditional livelihoods and in some cases interrupted the entire global supply chain for certain industries that are located in flood-prone regions. How governments, civil society, and citizens work together to address these issues will shape Asia’s development trajectory

Asia is the world’s driest and most water-stressed continent in spite of major rivers including the mighty Mekong in Southeast Asia and the Ganges and Yamuna, other rivers that bisect the subcontinent. One of Asia’s most sparsely populated countries, Mongolia, suffers from severe water scarcity despite having some of the largest freshwater lakes in the region. Water sources are unevenly distributed within the landlocked nation with abundant surface water resources located in northern Mongolia, which are inaccessible for the drier central and southern parts of the country that lack water sources. The Asian Development Bank warned that its growing capital, Ulaanbaatar, home to nearly half of the population, will face water shortage soon, as early as 2015

Thailand experienced in 2012 the worst flooding in five decades. Heavy monsoon rains submerged one-third of the country, left nearly 700 dead, and led to millions of dollars in economic loss from major industries as flood waters ground production to a halt in electronics, auto factories, and other industries. The enormity of the crisis exposed the realities of Thailand’s still nascent model for responding to natural disasters.

South Asia is home to three of the most densely populated river basins in the world – the Indus, Ganges, and Brahmaputra – which support an estimated 700 million people. The basins straddle national borders, making them a natural source of contention between neighboring countries. In the next 40 years, the urban population in Asia will almost double from 1.6 billion to 3.1 billion with strained demand for clean water.

According to the WHO, in India alone more than 97 million people lack access to safe drinking water. Changing weather patterns as a result of climate change and other factors have resulted in unprecedented monsoon rains and deadly floods. Encroaching development on flood plains worsens the effects of flooding in places like Delhi. A pump draws water from the Yamuna River in Delhi to be used for irrigation on the Sarai Kale Khan flood plain. Each year the area is regularly flooded during the monsoon season.

UN climate scientists have warned that the coastal areas in Asia will be among the worst affected by climate change. The negative effects of sea level rise and extreme weather is already evident in the southern coastal areas of Bangladesh near Khulna, where erosion and cyclones have already displaced thousands of residents. In addition to displacement of residents, Bangladesh’s low-lying coastal areas are faced with increasing salt-water intrusion, which has led to serious health concerns and loss of livelihood for households that traditionally rely on agriculture and fisheries.

Nukes

We don’t need scientists to tell us that environmental hazards can lead to eventual destruction of the earth and consequent wiping out of human civilization once and for all. Ordinary common sense is sufficient for us to comprehend that devastating equation.

More we care for environment safety the better and longer we live. Future of our earth and our own lives depends entirely on how we treat the environment we live in.
Environmental policy as well as measures of regimes set the tone of the people in this regard

Open arrogance by the elected regimes that promote all anti-environmental operations secretly and openly is not good for modern civilization.

Indian regime has plenty of nuclear and environment scientists to advice the best course of choice but it seems the government takes only the advice of nuke scientists in making environmental policies who obviously ask the regime to promote the manufacture of nukes, endangering both the environment and people. So much so, the Indian regime pursuing aggressive nuke policy boldly say nuclear plants are safe and people of India can enjoy in full.

Indian government along with Tamil Nadu government jointly targeted the local Tamil people of Kudankulam village in Tirunelveli district who protested the nuke plant on their soil, some people were been killed by Jayalalithaaa’s police of Tamil Nadu because they have got majority in assembly .

The possibility of disarmament is being delayed by adding more high precision nukes and missiles by nuclear powers to outsmart one another.
Nuclear states like India and Pakistan are engaged in this nasty rivalry.
India ignores danger so blasts and keep adding more nukes to its arsenals. A recent blast at Kudankulam nuclear plant in Tamil Nadu , nearly 100km from Thiruvananthapuram, kept as a top secret like Hindutva secret agenda) killed seriously injured and persons, has exposed not just the chinks in the security agencies’ armour but the very fragile nature of nuclear pants. .
Blasts are associated with nuclear plants and they can happen anytime, killing only the local people and workers at the plant while the leaders and rulers stay in bungalows far away in Chennai. Even if the activities of personnel of various Central security agencies deployed at Kudankulam, situated at in view of the years of simmering popular protest to stall the installation of the mammoth Russian-built plant at the sea-front had been coordinated in a better and more imaginative manner, the blast would not have been averted.
Chernobyl blast in Soviet Russia clearly showed even the best scientists cannot stop blasts taking place t at nuclear terror plants. Even American and European nations are now scared of nuclear plants and have opted for other methods for electricity generation. They care for their citizens and well being of their people.
But India and Pakistan that terrorized the South Asian masses by their nuke arsenals and terror reactors care a damn about their own people respectively and go on commissioning more nuclear terror rectors putting the masses at perpetual risks. .
More shockingly, that the blast at Kudankulam nuclear plant in Tamil Nadu incident took place hardly two kilometres from the live plant throws light on the possibility of making it a soft target for sea-born war mongers and miscreants sent by forces bent on destabilising the country so that USA could take full control of India as it does with Pakistan. .
The only relief for the agencies is that the blast of powerful home-made bombs was not the handiwork of Indian and TN governments treat as their enemies the popular anti-nuke movement known as People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE), which has been spearheading the agitation. After harassing and putting them in jail, the Tamil Nadu police have somehow dropped the names of PMANE leaders Uthaya Kumar, Pushparayan, Mukilan and their several associates from the case. However, TN police or Jayalalithaa or central government cannot return the lives of those innocent protesters they killed on sea for protesting against state nuke terror threats.
Some bombs went off at a colony set up for tsunami victims at Idinthakari village adjacent to Kudankulam. The deceased and injured have taken shelter along with several others here from the sand mafia which calls the shots at the village of Kuthenkuly which is nearly 10km from Kudankulam. The villagers say that Kudankulam and neighbouring villages have been witnessing bloody skirmishes between people and sand mafia for the past several years. The Kuthenkuly villagers and mafia called a truce three years ago yielding to the pressure of police, but it did not last long. The police say that the villagers lost a fierce fight with the mafia engaged in mining sand from sea shore and fled the village. They had been making bombs to hit back at the mafia.
Though the authorities at the plant have been shocked by the incident, none has openly expressed it out of fear. Authorities are aware that explosives are widely used in clashes between the people and mafia and the explosives are taken from one village to another through sea. Yet, the state police and security agencies have failed to clear the area of explosives despite the fact that the nuclear power plant is located at almost a porous shore and residents’ ire against the plant has been raging.
The Indian continue to threat common people with its plans for large scale nuke pants across the nation. State madness is not good for the people. .

Peace

More than 1,500 “People’s Climate” events are now planned worldwide in 136 countries. Highlights include: The worldwide mobilization and march in New York City will take place just two days before world leaders are set to attend a Climate Summit at the United Nations hosted by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. The summit is designed to build momentum for national and international climate action, including a new global climate treaty that will be finalized in Paris next year. Mobilization organizers say they are looking for “Action, Not Words” at the summit.
India saw its largest ever Climate Change Mobilization to press for stronger action on climate change. In September 2014, over 1500 people from different walks of life came out on the streets Delhi with colourful banners, placards and costumes showing their support for a healthy climate . This is the first peoples protest against any decision of the new government and will be pressing for India’s participation at the Heads of Government meet on Climate Change at the UN. The People’s Climate March started from Mandi House to Jantar Mantar in New Delhi which saw participation from citizens across the board . From College students to Rickshawallahs, from school students to daily wage workers, from artists to working professional, irrespective of background their one voice in unison demanded – Action on Climate Change! The speakers emphasized that the change must start from us, from our houses and from our localities.
The Climate Change March concluded with a street Natak presented by Asmita , which highlighted the hazards of Industrialization which has resulted in the form of calamities like droughts, floods apart from contaminated drinking water and polluted air. A memorandum on Climate Change was submitted to the Prime Minister detailing the demands so that India by itself can take swift action on Climate Change.

Policies at state levels to protect and preserve environment and climatic conditions alone is not enough for solving the acute problem but they must also implement the polices with active participation of various state and non-state agencies and people themselves can save our environment and climate, thereby protecting our planet from most dangerous environmental hazards like nuclear operations, regular missile testings, real wars like NATO wars in Islamic world for resources and Israeli war in Palestine, etc , war deaths and destructions, .
Denuclearization and disarmament should be focused more serious than ever now. Regional arms race need to be checked and big nations must stop dumping their unused terror goods on third world nations, especially in India and Pakistan.

Arms race and peace cannot go hand in hand. More the regimes care for environment better for the climate and living beings on earth.

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South Asian Cold War: Pakistan’s sea-based missiles

South Asian Cold War: Pakistan’s sea-based missiles
-Dr. Abdul Ruff
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Pakistan is being destabilized by the US led terror and a long civil
war.  People are suffering on account of many problems. Pakistan is
undergoing political turmoil, but its military is busy developing new
missiles obviously with specific targets.  Washington eyes on
Pakistani nukes.
Pakistani instability was underscored this month, as anti-government
protests in the capital asking Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to quit
appeared to push Sharif’s government to the brink of collapse. Sharif
has not yet relented. One has no idea about the immediate future of
Pakistan.

However, Pakistani military establishment seems to know the dangers
Islamabad is facing from outside Pakistan. In order mainly to outsmart
its rival nuke power India, Pakistan, like Russia, is developing
sea-based missiles and expanding its interest in tactical nuclear
warheads to give it a second-strike capability if a catastrophic
nuclear attack destroyed its entire land-based weapon system.

Instead of working to enhance the range of its missiles, Pakistan is
developing shorter-range cruise missiles that fly lower to the ground
and can evade ballistic missile defenses. In a sign of a big strategic
ambition, Pakistan in 2012 created the Naval Strategic Force command,
which is similar to the air force and army commands that oversee
nuclear weapons.

Pakistan has repeatedly tested its indigenously produced,
nuclear-capable, Babur cruise missile, which has a range of 640 km and
can strike targets at land and sea, military officials said. In 2011
and last year, Pakistan also tested a new tactical, nuclear-capable,
battlefield missile that has a range of just 60 km. This is the
miniaturisation of warheads, according to Pakistani strategic experts.

Western experts, for example, are divided over whether Pakistan has
the ability to shrink warheads enough for use with tactical or
launched weapons. Maria Sultan, chairwoman of the Islamabad-based
South Asian Strategic Stability Institute, an organisation with close
links to Pakistani military and intelligence wings, said the
short-range missile is designed as a signal to India’s military. “We
are saying, ‘We have target acquisition for very small targets as
well, so it’s really not a great idea to come attack us’?” Sultan
said. “Before, we only had big weapons, so there was a gap in our
deterrence, which is why we have gone for tactical nuclear weapons and
cruise missiles.

The next step of Pakistan’s strategy includes an effort to develop
nuclear warheads suitable for deployment from the Indian Ocean, either
from warships or from one of the country’s five diesel-powered Navy
submarines. Shireen M. Mazari, a nuclear expert and the former
director of the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad, a hawkish
Pakistani government-funded think-tank said Pakistan is on its way,
and ‘my own hunch is within a year or so, we should be developing our
second-strike capability,” he asserted.  .

The development of nuclear missiles that could be fired from a Navy
ship or submarine would give Pakistan “second-strike” capability if a
catastrophic nuclear exchange destroyed all land-based weapons.

Pakistan’s nuclear push comes amid heightened tension with US
intelligence and congressional officials over the security of the
country’s nuclear weapons and materials.
US media had reported in September 2013 that US intelligence officials
had increased surveillance of Pakistan in part because of concerns
that nuclear materials could fall into the hands of “terrorists”- the
usual US gimmick  employed to tactfully take away the nuke arsenals. .

For more than a decade, Pakistan has sent signals that it’s
attempting to bolster its nuclear arsenal with “tactical” weapons –
short-range missiles that carry a smaller warhead and are easier to
transport. Over the past two years, Pakistan has conducted at least
eight tests of various land-based ballistic or cruise missiles that it
says are capable of delivering nuclear warheads. It is unclear how
much direct knowledge the government has about the country’s nuclear
weapons and missile-development programmes, which are controlled by
the powerful military’s Strategic Planning Directorate

The acceleration of Pakistan’s nuclear and missile programmes is
renewing US and international concern about the vulnerability of those
weapons in a country home to more than two dozen “Islamist extremist
groups”. The US strategists argue that the assurances Pakistan has
given the world about the safety of its nuclear programme will be
severely tested with short-range and sea-based systems, but they are
coming.

US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki, when asked if the US was
concerned about a sea-launched Pakistani weapon, said it was up to
Pakistan to discuss its programmes and plans. But, she said Washington
would continue to urge all nuclear-capable states to exercise
restraint regarding nuclear and missile capabilities. “We continue to
encourage efforts to promote confidence-building and stability and
discourage actions that might destabilise the region.”

While, ignoring the Israeli nukes, the western officials have been
concerned about Pakistan’s nuclear programme since it first tested an
atomic device in 1998 to counter the real threat posed by Indian
atomic bomb. Those fears have deepened over the past decade amid
political tumult, terror attacks and tensions with India.

Analysts say much about Pakistan’s programme remains a mystery. The
prime minister is the chairman of Pakistan’s National Command
Authority, a group of civilian and military officials who would decide
whether to launch a nuclear weapon. Pakistani military officials
declined to comment on the nuclear programme.

Pakistan is also, like India, testifies missiles  very often and very
recently, Pakistan successfully test-fired short range
surface-to-surface missile ‘Hatf IX’ that has a range of 60 kilometres
and can cover parts of India. The test of the missile also called Nasr
was conducted with successive launches of four missiles from a
state-of-the-art Multi Tube Launcher with Salvo Mode.
Hatf with in-flight manoeuvre capability is a quick response system,
with shoot and scoot attributes. It contributes to the full spectrum
deterrence against the prevailing threat spectrum.

The successful test launch was warmly appreciated by Pakistan
President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Chairman of
Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, General Rashad Mahmood congratulated
the scientists and engineers on achieving yet another milestone
towards Pakistan’s deterrence capability. He appreciated the
professional attributes of all concerned which made possible the
successful launch of the weapon system. Mahmood showed his full
confidence over the Strategic Command and Control System and the
capability of Pakistan’s armed forces to safeguard the security of the
country.

Apart from nukes and Kashmir, water issue also poses trouble for
Indo-Pakistan peaceful bilateral ties.  A project 120-MW Miyar
hydropower project near Udaipur town is being commissioned by private
firm Moser Baer in the Miyar Valley on a tributary of the Chandrabhaga
River.  A three-member Pakistani delegation will inspect the 120-MW
Miyar hydropower project near Udaipur town in bordering tribal
district of Lahaul-Spiti on September 28 Monday. The purpose of the
Pakistani team’s visit is to ascertain whether any diversion has been
made in the original flow of the Chandrabhaga, which later enters
Jammu and Kashmir and merges into Chenab River. “We are hopeful that
India will show some flexibility on (Pakistan’s) reservations over the
building of new dams in India.”
The delegation led by Pakistan’s Indus Waters Commissioner Mirza Asif
Beg, reached Manali in Himachal Pradesh this afternoon and would leave
for Lahaul and Spiti. The Indian team comprising Water Commissioner K
Vohra and senior joint commissioner PK Saxena would also accompany the
Pakistani delegation to the site.

The Indus Waters Treaty was signed in 1960 with the support of the
World Bank to settle water issues between the two neighbouring
countries provided that India and Pakistan can inspect sites of
development works such as projects or dams to check that no diversion
has been created to the river flow, which could deny it the unhindered
flow.

During the five-day trip, the delegation will also visit four
“controversial sites” on the Chenab River where New Delhi is planning
to construct new dams, said the paper. Reiterating that Pakistan’s
objections over the design of Kishanganga dam were logical, Baig told
the daily that some serious doubts pertaining to the controversial
project – particularly regarding the Neelum distributary point – and
other dams on the Chenab river have already been allayed.

The delegation would try its best to resolve all issues during their
stay in India. But at the same time, he admitted that Islamabad would
have no choice but to approach the International Court of Justice if
New Delhi did not entertain their “fair” demands.

Such cross border water problem remains a major irritant between them
as Pakistan is the victim of this anomaly. As Pakistan does not get
enough water from rivers running from India or get over flooded when
it rains heavily in Indian side.

Though it is not like US-USSR era cold war, Indo-Pakistan cold war has
negative impact on the people of Kashmir.
____________________________________

Hello Obama, does Israel have the right or legitimacy for its crimes against humanity?


Hello Obama, does Israel have the right or legitimacy for its crimes
against humanity?

-DR. ABDUL RUFF COLACHAL
________________

One of the key elements of a democracy is its explicit attitude to
past, present and future both in terms of treatment of domestic
opponents and policy for other nations. Israel is eager to create a
greater Israel by taking away all Palestine lands Israeli regime is
taking revenge for the alleged holocaust in Germany, by killing the
Palestinians. Fundamentally, current and future generations cannot be
held hostage in perpetuity by Zionist Israel for crimes committed by
past generations but killing Palestinians is the Zionist double
crimes. USA and EU allow these crimes by Israeli military as
self-punishment for their own past crimes against criminal Jews.
Funny?

In view of Israel’s latest devastating spree codenamed Operation
Protective Edge, some 17,000 homes bombed and destroyed, over 2,000
civilians killed including 500 children, and over 500,000 people made
homeless — the time for the reckoning has to be now! Deaths have
become a part of Palestine phenomenon of existence under brutal
occupation of Israel. Twelve million Palestine children under the age
of five die annually from preventable diseases and malnutrition.

In fact, Israel is establishing a fascist ideology based on the
“supremacy” of God’s “chosen people” whose colonial Apartheid
objectives include the savage military ethnic cleansing of the
indigenous people of Palestine and Tel Aviv is establishing it by the
continual bribing and corrupting of the elected representatives of
other nations, by misusing the UN. So, Israelis, like the Nazis, must
be made accountable and punishable for their war crimes; and that
collective cowardice, criminal cooperation, and culpable complicity
with regards to Israel are an irresponsible dereliction of duty to all
humanity. Israel will not be satisfied until every Palestinian home,
hospital and school has been reduced to rubble with bombs supplied by
courtesy of US taxpayers; and Israel will not be satisfied until every
drop of Palestinian blood has soaked into the stolen Palestinian lands
on which more illegal Jewish settlements will be built against all
norms and international law.
Most criminal Jews claim Israel essentially as Jewish state to support
and promote Zionism exists as a fulfillment of a promise made by God
Himself. This is a blatant lie because by God Israeli fascists mean
those individual Jews who wrote something like that as a favorite time
pass mechanism after heavy drinks and drugs. By placing a stamp of God
is itself is a major deceptive trick of Jews. Jews either in Israel
or outside are not really believers because believers do not drink
human blood or human meat as their favorite prerogative. Israelis do
exactly do that by pouncing upon the people of Palestine with US
weapons.
Like global dictator USA, its ally fascist Israel that keep killing
the neighboring Palestinians on false grounds of a past story scripted
by some fanatic individuals, also clams to be democracy – as the only
democracy in Mideast and West Asia at that! Simply laughing at the
cruel terrocratic phenomenon is not enough, though!
USA and Europe grant legitimacy to Israel for its crimes in Palestine.
Culpable complicity with Israel’s barbarous criminality takes many
forms including nations who either abstain or vote against UN
resolutions condemning Israel’s persistent persecution of the
Palestinian people — the USA has used more vetoes on behalf of Israel
than it has on behalf of itself. In place of the needy punitive
measures, criminal cooperation is the provision to Israel of
preferential access to US and European Union markets including the
latter’s failure to enforce laws prohibiting the import of Israeli
goods produced in the Occupied Territories; criminal cooperation is
investment in Israel which in 2012 alone rose 14.5% to $73.9 billion
with American investors accounting for $19.7 billion. Culpable
complicity includes the provision of military-related equipment to
Israel with the knowledge that it will be used for the continued
oppression of the Palestinian people in the illegally Occupied
Territories
Genuine legitimacy, like respect, cannot be feigned, fabricated,
purchased or purloined: it has to be earned with commendable conduct
and well intentioned cooperation in the affairs of all humankind. And
thus Israel should be accountable for its crimes for decades in
Palestine. Legitimacy cannot be claimed by Israel on the basis of some
manmade Biblical narrative written thousands of years ago by ancient
Jewish record-keepers, scribes intent on inventing a Jewish people and
creating a Jewish nation.
Like all previous US presidents who may have ever thought that Israel
wanted peace, must have been faint-hearted, foolish or complete
frauds, Obama is also a fraud-criminal who seeks to control the world
by militarism. Also, unfortunately, so far most political and
religious leaders including the Pope and apart from retired Anglican
bishop Desmond Tutu have failed to unconditionally condemn Operation
Protective Edge..
Both USA and Israel claim legitimacy for the Zionist crimes in
Palestine for years. Genuine legitimacy for a Zionist Apartheid Israel
cannot be established by the silencing of demands for accountability
for contemptible and illegal behaviour with impunity. Israel would
ignore it but educated American tribes should know that legitimacy
cannot be established by devilish duplicity, denial of obvious
criminality, or the deprivation of human and political rights for
Palestinians and other weak nations; it cannot be established by
numerous self-serving false flag operations by Israeli military.
Entire world, all powers, just watched the regular Jewish shows of
eating the Palestinian flesh and drinking their blood profusely. The
collective cowardice resulting from the fear of being stigmatised as
anti-Semites or Holocaust deniers is an irrational and immoral
reaction to the well financed and orchestrated Zionist campaign for
the promotion of guilt-inducing reminders of the Holocaust — otherwise
known as the Holocaust industry.
Since what has just occurred in Gaza is not unconditionally condemned
and punished by the UNSC, JCJ and ICC, the Zionist attack will most
certainly reoccur as it has been doing for over 60 years. Israel’s
parasitic inclinations will not be satisfied until every drop of
drinkable water which it has not already stolen, becomes too
contaminated for Palestinians to drink.
Israel will only be satisfied if all Palestinian children have been
traumatised by the experience of seeing their parents being hounded,
humiliated, imprisoned without due process, and in many cases simply
murdered. Clearly, Israel will not be satisfied until Palestine air,
land and sea blockade of the occupied territories, preventing the
import of vital food and medical supplies, has induced malnutrition,
disease and death amongst the imprisoned and persecuted population.
Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those powers that who
could have acted to end Zionist crimes against humanity. After more
than sixty years of being paralysed into silence by the Zionist venom
( the stigma of anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial) that prevented
condemnation of incalculable murdering, cheating, lying, stealing, and
ruthless violation of the legal and natural human rights of the
Palestinian people by Israel devoid of conscience, humanity, or any of
the noble principles of the religion to which it claims to belong, the
world in general and the US led West in particular have once again
been witness to Israel’s latest arrogant, barbaric, and contemptuous
assault on international law and the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights.
Jews do not any more have a monopoly on suffering as is witnessed by
the fact that the millions of injuries and fatalities in Palestine
resulting from Israeli-induced fake conflicts. People everywhere,
including all those Americans who are either politically illiterate or
naively oblivious to reality and the true facts, have to be resolute
in deciding that goodwill towards Israel and tolerance for its crimes
against humanity can no longer permitted because of regret over the
Holocaust.
Jews claim to be the most civilized people on earth because they are
the most favoured people of God, more than visibly the highly cultured
Ango-American Christians. So, they think they have the right to kill
the Palestinians besieged by Egypt-Israeli terror blockades.

Not only USA and EU but even the UNSC and legal agencies seem to agree
with Israeli thesis while shielding the Israeli criminal regime from
punishments for its crimes against humanity. They seem to protect
Israel as their prime duty assigned by God.

——————-

Global Warming and Scientific Warning

 

Global Warming and Scientific Warning

-DR. ABDUL RUFF COALCHAL

____________

 

 

If the world powers are bent upon destroying the world and all living beings along with it, it seems, nothing can stop them. They can achieve the devastating objective but would not be existing to recount the tragedies impact on them.

The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) synthesis report on the global scientific community’s assessment of human-caused global warming offers the starkest and most strongly-worded warning yet of the dangers ahead for the earth and humanity.

Aspects of future climate shifts are probably already irreversible but, however, Climate change will be significantly more dangerous, deadly, and expensive if nothing is done to correct humanity’s course

Climate change is the most important environmental threat at par with nuclear weapons. Climate change is real and around us. The IPCC assessment seeks to tie together previous reports the panel has released over the last year and offers a stark assessment of the perilous future the planet and humanity face due to global warming and climate change.

The world’s leading scientists have reached a clear and overwhelming consensus that the failure to adequately acknowledge and act on previous warnings has put the planet on a path where “severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts” of human-caused climate change will surely be felt in the decades to come. Pennsylvania State University climate scientist Michael Mann wrote: “The report tells us once again what we know with a greater degree of certainty: that climate change is real, it is caused by us, and it is already causing substantial damage to us and our environment. If there is one take home point of this report it is this: We have to act now.”

Using blunter, more forceful language than the reports that underpin it, the new draft highlights the urgency of the risks that are likely to be intensified by continued emissions of heat-trapping gases, primarily carbon dioxide released by the burning of fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas.

It cited rising political efforts around the world on climate change, including efforts to limit emissions as well as to adapt to changes that have become inevitable. But the report found that these efforts were being overwhelmed by construction of facilities like new coal-burning power plants that will lock in high emissions for decades.

From 1970 to 2000, global emissions of greenhouse gases grew at 1.3 percent a year. But from 2000 to 2010, that rate jumped to 2.2 percent a year, the report found, and the pace seems to be accelerating further in this decade.

 

Continued emission of greenhouse gases will cause further warming and long-lasting changes in all components of the climate system, increasing the likelihood of severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems The IPCC draft paints a harsh warning of what’s causing global warming and what it will do to humans and the environment. It also describes what can be done about it.

The IPCC report  is designed to integrate the findings of the three working group contributions to the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report and two special reports” and provide policymakers with a scientific foundation to tackle the challenge of climate change. Taken together, the IPCC reports and their recommendations are designed to help governments and other stakeholders work together at various levels, including a new international agreement to limit climate change.

It mentions extreme weather and rising sea levels, such as heat waves, flooding and droughts. It even raises, as an earlier report did, the idea that climate change will worsen violent conflicts and refugee problems and could hinder efforts to grow more food. And ocean acidification, which comes from the added carbon absorbed by oceans, will harm marine life, it says.

Without changes in greenhouse gas emissions, “climate change risks are likely to be high or very high by the end of the 21st century

 

The risk of abrupt and irreversible change increases as the magnitude of the warming increases. The draft includes not new information per se, but employs stronger language and contains a more urgent warning than the previous reports from the IPCC which it attempts to synthesize and summarize.

The report found that companies and governments had identified reserves of these fuels at least four times larger than could safely be burned if global warming is to be kept to a tolerable level. That means if society wants to limit the risks to future generations, it must find the discipline to leave a vast majority of these valuable fuels in the ground

The final report, rather final warning will be issued after governments and scientists go over the draft line by line in an October conference in Copenhagen late October. In September, the United Nations is hosting its next international climate summit in New York City and climate campaigners are hoping to capitalize on the meeting by planning what they are calling the “People’s Climate March” during the same week as a way to apply pressure on world governments to finally act on the issue.

Politicians have come together too many times with nothing more than rhetoric and empty promises in tow. Next month, thousands of true leaders will be marching on the streets of New York demanding real action. The question is, will our elected leaders follow.

The IPCC draft report should serve to galvanize and add weight to the climate justice movement, which has consistently demanded that world leaders respond to the crisis with action—not words.

Save climate!

Save world!

Save humanity!

Russia meets Ukraine amid standoff!


Russia meets Ukraine amid standoff!

-Dr. Abdul Ruff Colachal

__________________

 

 

 

After all there were together fighting the enemy of socialism during the cold war and have some basic understating about their problems and the can find solutions. Russia and Ukraine were part of Russia for centuries and separated as the mighty Soviet state crumpled and dissolved into 15 independent republics.

 

Splitting the Soviet Union had been one of the major agenda of US led NATO>and they did succeed in making the Soviet system crimple.

 

 

Conflict

 

 

The post-Crimea military tension in Ukraine shows no signs of abating. The United Nations Human Rights Committee concluded that separatists and Ukrainian forces have both committed an array of abuses. According to the findings the rebels have engaged in murder, torture and abductions that were “disproportionately targeting civilians”. They receive a steady supply of sophisticated weapons and ammunition from Russia. Violations by the Ukrainian military and Interior Ministry special battalions include “arbitrary detention, enforced disappearances and torture. Most of the fighting, which has cost at least 2,000 lives, has been concentrated in Ukraine’s industrialized Donbass region and the key rebel strongholds of Donetsk and Luhansk, which separatists have declared as independent states.

 

The fighting in eastern Ukraine began in mid-April, a month after Russia annexed Crimea. It has killed over 2,000 people and forced over 340,000 to flee, according to the U.N. Russian Defense Ministry as saying the soldiers were patrolling the border and probably crossed the border inadvertently. Russia reportedly has tens of thousands of troops positioned in areas near the Ukrainian border, leading to persistent concerns that Moscow could be preparing an invasion.

 

Putin has so far ignored requests from the rebels to be annexed by Russia — unlike in March, when he annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula. But Associated Press journalists on the border have seen the rebels with a wide range of unmarked military equipment — including tanks, Buk missile launchers and armored personnel carriers — and have run into many Russians among the rebel fighters. It was the second straight day that attacks were reported in the vicinity of Novoazovsk, which is in eastern Ukraine’s separatist Donetsk region but previously had seen little fighting. Novoazovsk lies on the Azov Sea on the road that runs from Russia to the major Ukrainian port of Mariupol and west to Crimea, the Black Sea peninsula annexed by Russia.

 

Now after the war conflict in east Ukraine, when the leaders of Russian Ukraine met an impression was  created that  they want to sort out differences. Even as tensions have ramped up after Russia for the first time admitted that its troops had crossed onto Ukrainian soil after Kiev released footage purporting to show 10 Russian soldiers captured on its territory, the presidents of Russia and Ukraine (Vladimir Putin and Petro Poroshenko) shook hands ahead of key talks in Minsk on 26 August, though with little hope for a breakthrough to end the raging conflict pitting Kiev against pro-Moscow separatist rebels..

The soldiers from a Russian paratrooper division were captured around Amvrosiivka, a town near the Russian border. Towering columns of smoke rose Tuesday from outside a city in Ukraine’s far southeast after what residents said was a heavy artillery barrage. Ukraine accused separatists and their Russian backers of trying to expand the conflict. It was the second straight day that attacks were reported in the vicinity of Novoazovsk, which is in eastern Ukraine’s separatist Donetsk region but previously had seen little fighting.

 

Ukraine’s forces accused Russian troops of trying to open a “new front” after an armoured convoy crossed onto government-held territory Monday in the south of Donetsk region. Ukrainian officials said artillery was fired from the Russian side of the border. A Ukrainian soldier who declined to give his name suggested that the shelling could have come from rebels aiming to take out a Ukrainian rocket launcher. In Kiev, Col. Andriy Lysenko blamed the shelling on “Russian mercenaries.” Novoazovsk lies on the Azov Sea on the road that runs from Russia to the major Ukrainian port of Mariupol. That same road goes west to Crimea, the Black Sea peninsula annexed by Russia in March.

 

Ukraine also accused Russian army helicopters of launching a ferocious missile attack on a Ukrainian border position further to the north, killing four border guards and bringing the death toll to 12 soldiers in the past 24 hours. Local authorities in the main rebel bastion of Donetsk said three civilians were killed in shelling overnight as the army pummels insurgent fighters.

The rebels previously announced the launch of a counter-offensive after losing swathes of territory to a push by government forces. Officials from the EU and Russian-led Customs Union were set to discuss the crisis and trade issues after Ukraine’s new pro-Western leaders signed a landmark deal with the European Union in June that riled Russia.

Russia unilaterally sent about 230 lorries carrying what it claimed was 1,800 tonnes of humanitarian aid to the rebel-held city of Lugansk on Friday after accusing Kiev of intentionally delaying the mission. Kiev condemned the move as a “direct invasion”. Some 400,000 people have fled their homes since April in fighting that has left residents in some besieged rebel-held cities without water or power for weeks.

Ukraine said a small column of Russian tanks and armored vehicles crossed into Ukraine north of Novoazovsk, raising the possibility that pro-Russia separatists were aiming to take control of a strip of land that would link up Russia with Crimea. “Russia is trying from its side to open a new front. The new columns of Russian tanks and armor crossing into Ukraine indicates a Russian-directed counteroffensive may be underway,” U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt said there were enough forces and equipment in Mariupol to defend the city of more than 450,000. An AP reporter saw excavators digging deep trenches on the eastern edge of the city.

Ukrainian media aired footage purporting to show captured Russian soldiers confessing to crossing into Ukraine in armoured convoys.  Kiev has long accused Moscow of stoking the separatist insurgency raging in its east — charges the Kremlin has repeatedly denied — but this is the first time it has claimed to have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian soil.”Officially, they are at exercises in various corners of Russia. In reality, they are participating in military aggression against Ukraine”, Defence Minister Valeriy Geletey said  A Russian defence ministry source on Tuesday said the captured soldiers had crossed into Ukraine accidentally. The soldiers had been “taking part in patrolling a section of the Russian-Ukrainian border. They crossed it most likely by accident, on an unequipped, unmarked section”.

 

 

Meeting

 

 

The presidents of Russia and Ukraine met face-to-face on 26th August for the first time since June to talk about the fighting that has engulfed Ukraine’s separatist east. From their opening remarks, it appeared unlikely that Vladimir Putin and Petro Poroshenko would find common ground. Meanwhile, a Moscow military source claimed they had crossed into Ukraine “by accident”. Pressure soared after Kiev’s security service said that paratroopers from Russia’s 98th airborne division had been captured by Ukrainian forces about 50 kilometres (30 miles) southeast of the main rebel stronghold of Donetsk.

The two leaders sat on opposite sides of a large round table and were joined by the presidents of Belarus and Kazakhstan and three senior officials from the European Union. Contrary to some expectations, they did not meet one-on-one ahead of the talks. They did stage a handshake for the cameras.

The presidents of Russia and Ukraine who arrived to attend a conference in the Belarusian capital about the development of the Eurasian Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan, representatives of the European Commission and the Russian Federation, met face-to-face for the first time since June on the fighting that has engulfed Ukraine’s separatist east. They were joined by the presidents of Belarus and Kazakhstan and three senior officials from the European Union in the Belarusian capital of Minsk.

The meeting came as Ukraine said its forces had captured 10 Russian soldiers in eastern Ukraine and the shelling spread to a new front in the far southeast. Ukraine has repeatedly accused Russia of supporting and arming the rebels, which Russia denies daily. “The fate of peace and the fate of Europe are being decided in Minsk today,” Poroshenko said as the talks began.

The leaders spent two hours discussing bilateral concerns after a regional economic summit in Minsk, Belarus, in which Putin said there is no military solution to the crisis in Ukraine. It was their first formal meeting since a chilly encounter in June during D-Day commemorations in Normandy, France.  Poroshenko said in a statement afterward that a “road map” for a possible cease-fire in eastern Ukraine would be prepared as soon as possible. He and Putin agreed to begin consultations about border guards.

The meeting in the Belarusian capital of Minsk came as Ukraine said it had captured 10 Russian soldiers in eastern Ukraine and shelling spread to a new front in the country’s southeast. Ukraine has repeatedly accused Russia of supporting and arming the pro-Russian rebels fighting government troops, which Russia always denies. “The fate of peace and the fate of Europe are being decided in Minsk today,” Poroshenko, a billionaire chocolate magnate, said as the talks began, his manner unusually restrained. Poroshenko told the gathering in Minsk that “the fate of the world and Europe” is being decided there. 10 soldiers from a Russian paratrooper division were captured Monday in the area of Amvrosiivka, near the Russian border in the Donetsk region. Russian Defense Ministry said that the servicemen were patrolling the Russian-Ukrainian border area and probably crossed the border by accident. Ukraine rejected any claims of an accident.

Putin devoted most of his opening remarks to trade, arguing that Ukraine’s decision to sign an association agreement with the 28-nation EU would lead to huge losses for Russia, which would then be forced to protect its economy. Russia had been counting on Ukraine joining a rival economic union it is forming with Belarus and Kazakhstan. Ukraine is set to ratify the EU association agreement in September. On the fighting, Putin said he was certain the conflict “could not be solved by further escalation of the military scenario without taking into account the vital interests of the southeast of the country and without a peaceful dialogue of its representatives.”

 

Poroshenko said the purpose of his visit was to start searching for a political compromise and promised that the interests of Russian-speakers in eastern Ukraine would be taken into account. Ukraine wants the rebels to hand back the territory they have captured in eastern Ukraine, while Putin wants to retain some sort of leverage over the mostly Russian-speaking region so Ukraine does not join NATO or the European Union.

 

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko urged both sides to “discard political ambitions and not to seek political dividend.”

 

No compromise

The refusal by Kiev’s former president Viktor Yanukovych to ink the EU deal last year in favour of Moscow’s economic bloc sparked the protests that eventually led to his ouster and sparked a chain of events that saw Russia annex Ukraine’s Crimea region and sparked the pro-Moscow insurgency.

 

On the ground there appeared no end in sight to the four months of conflict that has already claimed some 2,200 lives and has plunged relations between Russia and the West to levels not seen since the end of the Cold War in 1991.

 

Ukraine wants the rebels to hand back the territory they have captured in eastern Ukraine, while Putin wants to retain some sort of leverage over the mostly Russian-speaking region so Ukraine does not join NATO or the European Union.

 

Petro Poroshenko and Vladimir Putin met in Belarus with top EU officials and the leaders of Kazakhstan and Belarus in a bid to defuse the conflict some fear could trigger all-out war between Kiev and its former Soviet master Moscow. Poroshenko told Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko that “peace is the priority” ahead of the group meeting.

Putin called their discussions “positive” and said Russia would do everything it could to help achieve peace between Kiev and pro-Moscow separatists in eastern Ukraine. He said a cease-fire was never discussed with Poroshenko. Putin devoted most of his opening remarks to trade, arguing that Ukraine’s decision to sign an association agreement with the EU would lead to huge losses for Russia, which would then be forced to protect its economy.

 

Putin has so far ignored requests from the rebels to be annexed by Russia — unlike in March, when he annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula. But the rebels are seen with a wide range of unmarked military equipment — including tanks, Buk missile launchers and armored personnel carriers — and have run into many Russians among the rebel fighters.

 

 

Russia had been counting on Ukraine joining a rival economic union that it is forming with Belarus and Kazakhstan. Ukraine is set to ratify the EU association agreement in September. On the fighting, Putin said he was certain the conflict could not be solved by further escalation of the military scenario without taking into account the vital interests of the southeast of the country and without a peaceful dialogue of its representatives.

 

Ukraine said a small column of Russian tanks and armored vehicles crossed into Ukraine north of Novoazovsk, raising the possibility that pro-Russia separatists were aiming to take control of a strip of land that would link up Russia with Crimea. Ukraine accused the separatists and Russia of trying to expand the conflict. Towering columns of smoke rose from outside a city in Ukraine’s far southeast after what residents said was a heavy artillery barrage.

 

Poroshenko would be unlikely to agree to Russia’s frequent call for federalization — devolving wide powers to the regions from the central government — but could agree to allow them to have some expanded powers. He also has spoken against holding a referendum on Ukraine’s joining NATO; Russia’s desire to keep Ukraine out of the military alliance is seen as one of Moscow’s key concerns.

 

Moscow also said it seeks a negotiated settlement and not a military victory. Poroshenko would be unlikely to agree to Russia’s frequent call for Ukraine to federalize — devolving wide powers to the regions from the central government in Kiev — but could agree to give the regions some expanded powers. Poroshenko also has spoken against holding a referendum on Ukraine’s joining NATO.

 

Meanwhile, Washington claims Russian-directed counteroffensive may be underway and Russia is trying from its side to open a new front. Russia reportedly has tens of thousands of troops positioned in areas near the Ukrainian border, leading to persistent concerns that Moscow could be preparing an invasion. Ukrainian officials said artillery in the region was fired from the Russian side of the border. Later in the day, reporters saw Ukrainian troops and equipment moving on the road west of Novoazovsk, and heard the rumbling of what sounded like artillery fire in the distance.

As Ukraine’s political transition continues, Poroshenko announced long-awaited early parliamentary elections for October 26. The Kremlin also ratcheted up the pressure by announcing plans to send another aid convoy into eastern Ukraine “this week”.

 

 

Of course, there wasn’t any peace talk between Putin and Poroshenko and hence real peace in Ukraine is far away. .