Shelling is reported to have started on the eastern outskirts of Mariupol, Ukraine, according to local reporters on social media. This crucial city, due to its standing as the last major city standing in the way of a land connection to Crimea (from Russia) across the Southern border. Furthermore, Mariupol's strategic importance as a port and major industrial city is crucial to Kiev who are reinforcing the city after losing Novoazovsk last week, with the Ukrainian army on full alert. NATO has been actively sabre-rattling this morning, pulling a full Draghi by threatening to do "whatever it takes" to defend ourselves and our allies, and offering training and support for Ukraine (as they report over 3,000 Russian troops in Ukraine.)
Shelling on the outskirts of Mariupol #Ukraine
— Simon Ostrovsky (@SimonOstrovsky) September 4, 2014
"Artillery and tank fire audible on eastern edge of Mariupol. Ukrainians say 4 armored columns advancing towards Shirokina. Hint of panic:" France 24 journalist Robert Parsons says in Twitter post
NATO has some comments too...
“We have left no doubt that we will do whatever it takes to defend ourselves,” NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen says.
Ukraine’s leader sent financial markets into turbulence as he backtracked on talk of an end to five months of violence in his nation’s east.
Poroshenko Flummoxes Investors With About-Face on Truce
Rasmussen: We will adopt a substantial package for Georgia, a package that will bring Georgia closer to NATO, including a defense-capacity initiative, establishing a training center in Georgia, occasionally also exercises in Georgia”
*UKRAINE TO CALL TRUCE TOMORROW IF TALKS TAKE PLACE: POROSHENKO
I wasn't aware that Ukraine was a member of NATO.
Neighbouring Russia is strongly opposed to any eastward expansion of NATO. On February 12, 2008 (then) Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia may target its missiles at Ukraine if its neighbour joins NATO and accepts the deployment of a US missile defence shield. Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko has stated more than once his country would not allow foreign military bases on its territory; as of December 2009 NATO is not planning to deploy military bases in Ukraine.
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin allegedly declared at a NATO-Russia summit in 2008 that if Ukraine joined NATO his country could contend to annex the Ukrainian East and Crimea.
originally posted by: bjarneorn
a reply to: Bassago
Well, you can blame this conflict on Putin ... he's the chicken, who flinches.
It's one way or the other ... either they wanna exist, or not ... this is the defining point.
If those signatories do not back up their agreement, then either return the nukes to Ukraine, or every other international agreement those memebrs states also signed is too, null and void.
To counter the Russian threat.
“Ukraine, Azerbaijan, South Korea, Turkey and Iran play the role of critically important geopolitical pivots,” he wrote in The Grand Chessboard, a book viewed by many as a blueprint for US world domination.
Brzezinski wrote that Eurasia is “the chessboard on which the struggle for global primacy continues to be played,” and that “it is imperative that no Eurasian challenger emerges, capable of dominating Eurasia and thus also of challenging America.”
Understanding Brzezinski’s long-term view of Ukraine makes it easier to comprehend why the US has given $5 billion to Ukraine since 1991, and why today it is hyper-concerned about having Ukraine remain in its sphere of influence.
It may also help explain why in the past year the US and many of its media outlets have feverishly demonized Vladimir Putin.
Washington maintains that U.S. antimissile systems planned for fielding in Europe do not have the technical capability to threaten Russian nuclear missiles. At the same time, some NATO countries have explicitly linked the missile shield to the goal of deterring Russia.
originally posted by: BornAgainAlien
a reply to: Melbourne_Militia
You also have to take in the equation the promises made to Russia of NATO not expanding towards Russia. Russia`s thread of annexing Crimea and Eastern Ukraine is a direct result of that expansion.
Since its creation in 1949, the North
Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)
has developed a tradition of making
decisions by consensus. This requirement for
general agreement among all members on
positions or actions taken in the name of
NATO has survived serious internal rifts and
four rounds of enlargement.