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KIEV/DONETSK Ukraine (Reuters) - As Ukrainian troops gained ground in eastern Ukraine in early July, separatist leader Aleksander Borodai, a Russian national, left for Moscow for political consultations.
After what he described as successful talks with unnamed people there, he returned to the rebel stronghold of Donetsk to introduce a new senior figure in his self-proclaimed republic, a compatriot seasoned in the pro-Russian separatist movement in Moldova and a war between Russia and Georgia.
Vladimir Antyufeyev was named "deputy prime minister" by Borodai on July 10, one of several native Russians to have taken charge of the separatist rebellion in Ukraine's eastern regions.
Joining Borodai and rebel commander Igor Strelkov, Antyufeyev's arrival underlines a change at the top of the separatist movement, highlighting Moscow's involvement in the conflict, Western officials say. The Kremlin denies any involvement.
"There has been a dramatic change in the leadership of the Donetsk People's Republic over the past weeks, which certainly gives the impression of a much more hands-on Russian directive role," said Geoffrey Pyatt, the U.S. Ambassador to Kiev. "These individuals are in regular touch with authorities in Russia."
Ukrainian-born rebel leaders have been eased out, causing rifts among increasingly nervous separatists since a Malaysian airliner was downed over rebel-held territory just over a week ago.
Methinks we're about 6 months away from the NATO alliance being sorely tested. The same excuse Russia used to infiltrate Ukraine and foment unrest there could easily be reapplied to Latvia and Estonia (plenty of "Russian speakers" there) and forge a path to Kalingrad through southern Lithuania.
originally posted by: jimmyx
hello NATO European countries, are you there???....what are you waiting for, Americans to come and die for you? to spend a couple of hundred billion so you can set back, and make sure your country doesn't have to pony up the money??
now we have president that's calling your bluff...and he is saying loud and clear, put up or shut.