The Defense Post: Top US General Calls Russia, Ukraine Amid Reported Moscow Troop Buildup

In this article at The Defense Post, Top US General Calls Russia, Ukraine Amid Reported Moscow Troop Buildup. Tensions in the region rise after President Biden condemns Russia’s 2014 takeover of the Crimea peninsula and calls Russian President Putin a “killer.” Many organizations, including leftist ones, have asked the President to cease his “reckless” rhetoric with Russia.

The top Pentagon general called counterparts in Russia and Ukraine Wednesday as the US Defense Department expressed concerns about a reported buildup of Russian troops along Ukraine’s border and in Crimea.

US troops in Europe were on an elevated “watch condition” as Joint Chiefs Chairman General Mark Milley spoke to General Valery Gerasimov, the Russian Armed Forces chief of staff, and Ukraine armed forces Commander in Chief Ruslan Khomchak.

Meanwhile, White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan called the head of the Ukraine Presidential Office Andriy Yermak to reiterate Washington’s support for the country.

“We’re concerned about recent escalations of Russian aggression in eastern Ukraine, including violations of the July 2020 ceasefire that led to the deaths of 4 Ukrainian soldiers on the 26th of March, and the wounding of two others,” said Pentagon spokesman John Kirby.

“Russia’s destabilizing actions undermine the de-escalation in tensions that had been achieved through an OSCE-brokered agreement back in July of last year.”

He said the US military was aware of Ukrainian reports concerning Russian troop movements on the country’s borders.

“We’re discussing our concerns about this increase in tensions in ceasefire violations and regional tensions with NATO allies.”

On Tuesday Moscow and Kiev traded accusations of responsibility for an increase in violence between Ukraine government forces and Kremlin-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine, leading to a rise in deaths.

Khomchak denounced the “threat to the military security” of Ukraine by the Russian army, saying that some 28,000 separatist fighters and “more than 2,000 Russian military instructors and advisers” are currently stationed in eastern Ukraine.

Reports online suggested that Russia had located more military forces along the border and also moved more into Crimea, the Ukraine territory that Moscow seized in 2014.

Those reports could not be confirmed, but some observers have tied them to Russian military exercises.

Kirby said Milley’s call to his Russian counterpart was “to gain a little bit more clarity on what exactly is going on.”

“We obviously don’t want to see any more violations of Ukrainian territory,” he said.

In his call with Yermak, Sullivan “affirmed the United States’ unwavering support for Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and Euro-Atlantic aspirations, in the face of continuing aggression,” according to a White House statement.

US forces in Europe were placed on a heightened watch level to “potential imminent crisis” in response to Russian activities, Kirby confirmed. He said that the watch condition “expresses combatant commanders’ concern about a potential threat.”

Zero Hedge: Calls Between Biden And Ukraine’s Poroshenko Leaked; Details $1 Billion “Quid Pro Quo”

Six months ago Zero Hedge related the Ukraine indictment alleging $7.4 billion laundering scheme. Now phone call recordings between Biden And Ukraine’s Poroshenko have been leaked. Phone Calls Between Biden And Ukraine’s Poroshenko Leaked; Details $1 Billion “Quid Pro Quo” To Fire Burisma Prosecutor

Leaked phone calls between Joe Biden and former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko explicitly detail the quid-pro-quo arrangement to fire former Ukrainian Prosecutor General Victor Shokin – who Poroshenko admits did nothing wrong – in exchange for $1 billion in US loan guarantees (which Biden openly bragged about in January, 2018).

The calls were leaked by Ukrainian MP Andrii Derkach, who says the recordings of “voices similar to Poroshenko and Biden” were given to him by investigative journalists who claim Poroshenko made them.

Shokin was notably investigating Burisma, the Ukrainian energy company that hired Biden’s son, Hunter, to sit on its board. Shokin had opened a case against Burisma’s founder, Mykola Zlochevsky, who granted Burisma permits to drill for oil and gas in Ukraine while he was Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources. In January, 2019, Shokin stated in a deposition that there were five criminal cases against Zlochevesky, including money laundering, corruption, illegal funds transfers, and profiteering through shell corporations while he was a sitting minister.

Viktor Shokin

The leaked calls begin on December 3, 2015, when former Secretary of State John Kerry starts laying out the case to fire Shokin – who he says “blocked the cleanup of the Prosecutor Generals’ Office,” and sated that Biden “is very concerned about it,” to which Poroshenko replies that the newly reorganized prosecutor general’s office (NABU) won’t be able to pursue corruption charges, and that it may be difficult to fire Shokin without cause.

Later in the leaked audio on February 18, 2016 – less than three months after the Kerry conversation – Poroshenko delivers some “positive news.”

“Yesterday I met with General Prosecutor Shokin,” says Poroshenko. And despite of the fact that we didn’t have any corruption charges, we don’t have any information about him doing something wrong, I specially asked him – no, it was day before yesterday – I specially asked him to resign. In, uh, as his, uh, position as a state person. And despite of the fact that he has a support in the power. And as a finish of my meeting with him, he promised to give me the statement on resignation. And one hour ago he bring me the written statement of his resignation. And this is my second step for keeping my promises.

To which Biden replied: “I agree.”

Four weeks later on March 22, 2016, Biden says “Tell me that there is a new government and a new Prosecutor General. I am prepared to do a public signing of the commitment for the billion dollars.

Poroshenko tells Biden that one of the leading candidates is the man who replaced Shokin, Yuriy Lutsenko who later said in a deposition that Hunter Biden and his business partners were receiving millions of dollars in compensation from Burisma.

Then, on May 13, 2016, Biden congratulates Poroshenko on “getting the new Prosecutor General,” saying that it will be “critical for him to work quickly to repair the damage Shokin did.”

And I’m a man of my word,” Biden adds. “And now that the new Prosecutor General is in place, we’re ready to move forward to signing that one billion dollar loan guarantee.”

Poroshenko thanks Biden for the support, and says that it was a “very tough challenge and a very difficult job.”

Zero Hedge: Ukraine Indictment Claims $7.4 Billion Obama/Democrat-Linked Laundering

This article comes from Zero Hedge, relating an indictment by Ukraine’s Prosecutor General against Burisma Holders, where Hunter Biden held a highly-compensated sinecure. Emphasis below is from the original article.

An indictment drawn up by Ukraine’s Office of the Prosecutor General against Burisma owner Nikolai Zlochevsky claims that Hunter Biden and his partners received $16.5 million for their ‘services’ – according to Ukrainian MP Alexander Dubinsky of the ruling Servant of the People Party.

Dubinsky made the claim in a Wednesday press conference, citing materials from an investigation into Zlochevsky and Burisma.

“Zlochevsky was charged with this new accusation by the Office of the Prosecutor General but the press ignored it,” said the MP. “It was issued on November 14.”

The son of Vice-President Joe Biden was receiving payment for his services, with money raised through criminal means and money laundering,” he then said, adding “Biden received money that did not come from the company’s successful operation but rather from money stolen from citizens.”

…According to Interfax-Ukraine, MP Andriy Derkach announced at the same press conference that deputies have received new materials from investigative journalists alleging that the ‘family’ of ex-President Yanukovych funneled $7.4 billion through American investment firm Franklin Templeton Investments, which they claim have connections to the US Democratic party”…

The son of Templeton’s founder, John Templeton Jr., was one of President Obama’s major campaign donors. Another fund-related character is Thomas Donilon. Managing Director of BlackRock Investment Institute, shareholder Franklin Templeton Investments, which has the largest share in the fund. It is noteworthy that he previously was Obama’s national security advisor,” Derkach added…

Click here to read the entire article at Zero Hedge.

Jim Kunstler: Civil War On

Jim Kunstler is the author of the books The Long Emergency, the consequences of a world oil production peak, coinciding with the forces of climate change, resurgent diseases, water scarcity, global economic instability, and warfare, and The Geography of Nowhere, which discusses why suburbia should not be considered credible human habitat, among others. The following excerpt comes from Jim Kunstler’s article today Civil War On:

Someone in Impeachmentville is not paying attention. Of course, diverting the rubes is exactly the point of the latest CIA operation to negate the 2016 election. Has nobody noticed that there is treaty between Ukraine and the USA, signed at Kiev in 1998 and ratified by the US Senate in 2000. It’s an agreement on “Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters.”

…How does this not permit Mr. Trump asking the president of Ukraine for “assistance” in criminal matters arising out of “collusion with Russia,” as specified within the scope of Robert Mueller’s special prosecutor activities? For instance, the matter of CrowdStrike. The cybersecurity firm was co-founded by Russian ex-pat Dmitri Alperovitch, who also happens to be a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, an anti-Russian think tank funded by Ukrainian billionaire, Viktor Pinchuk, who donated at least $25 million to the Clinton Foundation before the 2016 election. Crowdstrike was the company that “examined” the supposedly hacked DNC servers, while somebody in the Obama administration prevented the FBI from ever seeing them. Does this sound a little like part of the origin story of RussiaGate? Is that not exactly the potential criminal matter that the current attorney general, Mr. Barr, is officially investigating?

…UkraineGate is the equivalent of Fort Sumter in Civil War 2.0. Charges have been flying and tempers flaring for three years now, much as they did between 1858 and 1861. Once again, what seems to be at stake is the integrity of the Union. As in the previous enactment, one side is dangerously deluded, and that is liable to lead to its destruction.

The Saker: Zelensky, Trump and the Bidens

In an effort to get Giuliani silenced on the topic of Biden family corruption and executive misuse of office, the Biden campaign is demanding that anchors and network refuse to book him for interviews. Against that backdrop, here is a lengthy article from The Saker detailing the background of both the Biden relationship with Ukraine and of Zelensky’s involvement in the same dubious endeavors.  Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

Here is the dirt Trump wanted from Zelensky about the Bidens and why Zelensky doesn’t want to give it to him — hidden by rampant falsehoods in the press

Click here to read the entire article at The Saker.