US Reveals Record Number of Its Troops in Poland

US Reveals Record Number of Its Troops in Poland

US Reveals Record Number of Its Troops in Poland

By RT News

Over 12,000 US troops are currently in Poland, but Warsaw and its Baltic allies want even more.

The US ambassador to Poland revealed on Thursday that there are 12,600 of America’s military personnel in the EU member state at the moment, the largest number in history. As NATO conducts massive exercises on Ukraine’s doorstep, Poland and the Baltic states have asked for even more troops, according to documents leaked to the press earlier.

“I am very grateful to Poland for hosting so many American troops on its territory. At the moment, 12,600 soldiers are on the territory of the Polish Republic. This is more than ever before in history,” Polish media quoted Ambassador Mark Brzezinski as saying on Thursday, during his visit to NATO’s Defender Europe 22 military exercises.

The Polish military described the exercise as “a test of rapid movement of troops and equipment” and said on Thursday that troops from NATO countries have already “practiced rail and road transport as well as forcing water obstacles.”

The US does not have a permanent military base in Poland, though Warsaw has long lobbied for one. In an effort to woo the previous US president, the Poles had even proposed to call it “Fort Trump.”

There are currently around 100,000 US troops in Europe. A number of NATO members have also dispatched their soldiers to the alliance’s “eastern flank,” which runs from Estonia to Romania, after Moscow sent troops into Ukraine in February.

Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia have recently asked NATO to permanently station around 6,000 troops on the territory of each country and have a 20,000-strong contingent ready to deploy in case of a Russian attack, according to a confidential proposal obtained by the Washington Post earlier this week. The four states also want permanent facilities built for the division-sized force, with prepositioned equipment and supplies.

“Russia can rapidly mass military forces against NATO’s eastern border and confront the Alliance with a short war and fait accompli,” the document reportedly said.

Poland is currently serving as NATO’s main logistics base for supplying weapons and other military aid to Ukraine. Warsaw has also sent Kiev over 200 tanks, as well as artillery, fighter jets, drones and ammunition.

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School Official To Host ‘Queer Youth Open Mic Night’ at Her Sex Shop

School Official To Host ‘Queer Youth Open Mic Night’ at Her Sex Shop

School Official To Host ‘Queer Youth Open Mic Night’ at Her Sex Shop

By RT News

A Washington state school board director plans to hold an event for children at her ‘all-ages’ sex shop.

A school board director in Washington state, who also happens to own an all-ages sex shop, plans to host an event for children called “Queer Youth Open Mic Night” at her store.

Jenn Mason, who is serving in her fifth year as a member of the Bellingham Public Schools board of directors, will hold the June 1 event at her store, called WinkWink Boutique, also located in Bellingham. All queer youth aged “0 to 18 years old” are invited to perform at the gathering by sharing poetry, music, or a story, according to a posting on the shop’s website.

“Celebrate youth pride,” a Facebook post for the free event said. “Come share and hold space for this celebration and stage for young queer voices in our community.”

WinkWink touts itself as a “woman-owned, identify-inclusive sex shop” where “we celebrate sexual expression and exploration, banish shame and help our customers to better love themselves and others,” according to the shop’s website. “We believe that normalizing, accepting and affirming all bodies, identities and gender experiences is an inherently political act. Pleasure is our revolution.”

Other special events this month at WinkWink are entitled “Non-Monogamy for Newbies” and “Rewire Your Desire.” Mason bills herself as a “sex coach, educator” and “unapologetic pleasure advocate.” She offers private sex coaching to her clients, addressing such troubles as difficulty with orgasm and “pleasing yourself or a partner.”

Bellingham Public Schools describes her qualifications rather differently on its website, saying she’s a “small business owner working with nonprofit organizations and government agencies on resource development, communication and events.” The school district notes, too, that she “worked for 15 years on behalf of families and children, including as a community educator and trauma counselor in public schools throughout Whatcom County.”

Mason told Seattle radio host Jason Rantz that the “Queer Youth Open Mic Night” was unrelated to her role as a school board member and that children would be separated from the area of her shop featuring graphic sex toys. Rantz was unconvinced, saying, “The sex shop isn’t living up to its promise to be ‘inclusive, never creepy’. This event is inappropriately inclusive and extremely creepy.”

The school district is trying to distance itself from the event. A district spokesperson told Fox News that the “community event is not sponsored by our schools or school district.”’

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India Looks To Scoop Up Divested Western Assets in Russia – Media

India Looks To Scoop Up Divested Western Assets in Russia – Media

India Looks To Scoop Up Divested Western Assets in Russia – Media

By RT News

New Delhi wants to purchase the stakes of Exxon and Shell in Sakhalin energy projects, the Economic Times reports.

India’s Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) is considering purchasing additional stakes in Russian oil and gas fields from Western firms that plan to leave the country, the Economic Times (ET) reported on Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The move comes even as the Indian company’s first bid for Shell’s 50% stake in the Salym oil fields in Siberia has not been accepted, the sources said.

“The war will not last forever, nor will the sanctions. We must move to secure our energy supplies,” said one of the sources. “We understand the risk and we are willing to take the risk.”

ONGC is considering making bids for ExxonMobil’s 30% stake in Russia’s Sakhalin 1 project and Shell’s 27.5% interest in the Sakhalin 2 project. It already owns a 20% stake in Sakhalin 1.

The sources revealed that along with other Indian firms, ONGC has also held preliminary discussions about the potential acquisition of BP’s 20% stake in Russia’s Rosneft.

Major Western oil companies, such as BP, Shell, and ExxonMobil, have recently announced their intention to exit their oil and gas operations in Russia due to Western sanctions.

Meanwhile, India has continued purchasing Russian oil in addition to seeking stakes in Russian assets at discounted rates, given the risks involved.

However, one of the sources cited by the ET said that “buying Russian crude is one thing. In case of sanctions intensifying, you could wind it back in just a couple of months. But investing in upstream could have deeper repercussions, including tougher reactions from the West.”

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Eurovision Winners Thank Pope for Neo-Nazis ‘Evacuation’

Eurovision Winners Thank Pope for Neo-Nazis ‘Evacuation’

Eurovision Winners Thank Pope for Neo-Nazis ‘Evacuation’

By RT News

There is no indication that the Pontiff actually intervened to convince the Azov Battalion to surrender.

Kalush Orchestra, Ukraine’s winning act in the Eurovision Song Contest, have thanked Pope Francis for the “evacuation” of troops, some of them neo-Nazis, trapped in the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol. Despite the band’s claim, there is no indication that Pope Francis orchestrated their evacuation, which involved surrendering to Russian forces.

Some 265 soldiers left the sprawling steel plant on Monday night and were taken into custody by troops of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR). 51 are being treated in hospital in Novoazovsk while the rest are being held in Yelenovka, Russia’s defense ministry said. Kiev ordered the troops to surrender to Russian and DPR forces.

However, in a post to their official Instagram account, Kalush Orchestra described the surrender as an “evacuation,” supposedly organized by the head of the Catholic Church.

“Thank you, Pope Francis,” read the post. “Azovstal’s evacuation has finally begun. Right now the heroes of Ukraine are being given medical care. God bless you!”

What the post neglected to mention was that the surrendering troops had been ordered to do so by their commanders on Monday night. The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine avoided using the word “surrender,” saying instead that the soldiers occupying the vasts steelworks had “completed the assigned combat mission” and their officers had now been issued an order “to save the lives of the personnel.”

In addition to Ukrainian regulars, a large contingent of the troops belonged to the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion, a volunteer militia of openly white supremacists that was integrated into the Ukrainian military in 2014. Its troops – many of whom have been photographed with swastika tattoos – wear Nazi insignia on their uniforms, and the group’s first commander, Andrey Biletsky, has said he believes it’s Ukraine’s mission to “lead the white races of the world in a final crusade… against Semite-led Untermenschen [inferior humans].”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said that he will work to return these “Ukrainian heroes alive,” with his officials adding that they would seek a prisoner exchange with Russia.

Pope Francis met with two wives of Azov members and a Russian opposition activist at the Vatican last week, where they pleaded with the pontiff to arrange the evacuation of their husbands from Azovstal, but not into Russian custody. While one of the wives told British media that the Pope offered prayers, the final order to surrender came from Kiev, apparently without the pontiff’s input.

Throughout the siege of Azovstal, the troops in the plant had appealed to not just to the Pope, but other world leaders and even billionaire Elon Musk to arrange their evacuation. Russian forces surrounding the facility repeatedly called on the besieged Ukrainians to surrender.

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Buffalo Shooter Drew From the Same Ideas As Western-Backed Ukrainian Neo-Nazis

Buffalo Shooter Drew From the Same Ideas As Western-Backed Ukrainian Neo-Nazis

Buffalo Shooter Drew From the Same Ideas As Western-Backed Ukrainian Neo-Nazis

By RT News

American liberals are quick to cry ‘Nazi’ about a homegrown murderer, while they lionize his fellow Hitler acolytes fighting in Ukraine.

Ten people were killed in the recent mass shooting in Buffalo, New York. The actions of the suspect, Payton Gendron, have been identified as being racially motivated both by the police and by himself, citing the so-called ‘Great Replacement’ theory that inspires fear of a multiracial society. Yet he draws his philosophy from the same well as a group of individuals that the mainstream media has valorized since the onset of the conflict in Ukraine – the Azov Battalion.

The Azov has been a mainstay of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, featuring some of Kiev’s best fighters. However, it is openly anti-Semitic and espouses the views held by Stepan Bandera, a Ukrainian Nazi collaborator responsible for ethnic cleansing during World War II.

The battalion was once accurately maligned in Western media for its Nazi ideology, and even the US government funded outlet Bellingcat detailed in 2019 how Azov has actively recruited American extremists to join its fight against Russia. However, the tune has changed to almost the opposite during ongoing the Russian military operation in Ukraine, and now the neo-Nazi military group is heralded as being home to defenders of Ukraine’s freedom.

For a group of people who pull out the ‘You’re a Nazi’ card every time a conservative opens his mouth, liberals have been unusually silent about the rampant far right ethos within the Ukrainian military. And no more is this evident than the fact that the Buffalo shooter’s philosophy and worldview are shared by the Azov Battalion. In fact, the first page of his manifesto boldly features the ‘sonnenrad’,or black sun, symbol that features prominently on Azov’s own official insignia.

Following Gendron’s arrest, his manifesto surfaced online – posted by the suspect himself minutes ahead of the shooting, which he live-streamed on Twitch. The long-winded document, which runs to some 180 pages, explains his philosophy and motivation and derives inspiration from another mass shooter, Brenton Tarrant.

Tarrant, who murdered 51 people in several mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, posted his own, 74-page, screed that also prominently featured the ‘sonnenrad’symbol and made the same arguments as Gendron, the Azov Battalion, and other racial extremists.

Following the shooting in Buffalo on Saturday, liberals have taken it upon themselves to attack the right for “indoctrinating” easily impressionable white men such as the suspect. In an effort to deplatform Tucker Carlson at Fox News, liberals and Democrat operatives seized on the tragedy to lay the shooting at his feet – all the while erasing any connection that the shooter’s motives and philosophy share with the Ukrainian militants.

Racial hatred and the fear of a multiracial society – as detailed by the ‘Great Replacement’ theory espoused by these killers – draw upon statements made by liberals and the mainstream media, which have presented this as a positive development as recently as four years ago. As exemplified by a 2018 interview on CNN with Prof. Rogelio Saenz, a demographer at the University of Texas, trends show that Latinos will very soon surpass the white population in the state of Texas. The political implications, he stated, play out more slowly than the actual numbers – there is a significant lag period with respect to demographic strength playing out as political power.

While the left praises this development, it accuses those afraid of the loss of their demographic strength of being conspiracy theorists – while simultaneously marginalizing their concerns and dismissing their fears as base racism. Manifestos written by shooters such as Tarrant and Gendron then become a rallying cry for neo-Nazis worldwide. Tarrant’s outlook even circled back to Ukraine where an individual was arrested under suspicion of spreading the translated document, as detailed by Newsweek.

There’s a certain irony to the left’s creation of Nazi boogeymen while actively supporting their allies in Ukraine with billions of dollars – all while whitewashing their beliefs and ideology. Sunlight is the best disinfectant, and it’s necessary to identify evil for what it is and regardless of who commits it, be it on a battlefield in Ukraine or on American streets.

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Crisis in Transnistria: Will the Ukraine Conflict Spread Into Other Parts of Europe?

Crisis in Transnistria: Will the Ukraine Conflict Spread Into Other Parts of Europe?

Crisis in Transnistria: Will the Ukraine Conflict Spread Into Other Parts of Europe?

By Alexander Nepogodin | RT News

Shots and explosions have been heard in the enclave again. Who stands to benefit from an escalation of the ‘frozen conflict’?

While the world’s eyes are on Ukraine, Transnistria is facing an explosive situation. De facto self-governing since the Soviet collapse, the small territory, which borders Ukraine, is internationally recognized as part of Moldova.

A series of explosions shook the capital, Tiraspol, at the end of April, and shots have been heard near the border with its war-torn neighbor. Several key military and infrastructure buildings were hit – the Ministry of State Security, a TV and radio center, as well as the largest ammunition warehouse in Eastern Europe. The Transnistria issue has simmered on the fringes of global politics since the original fighting was settled on July 21, 1992, and a ceasefire was signed.

Now, 30 years later, this ‘frozen conflict’ is challenging European security once again. RT explains who could benefit from an escalation in Transnistria and how developments in the region will be affected by Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine.

Explosive situation  

The breakaway Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic (PMR) was one of the first regions to go on high alert after the Russian operation began in February. The majority of its residents take a pro-Moscow stance, and since the beginning of the 1990s, Transnistria has severed ties with Moldova and has relied on the Kremlin’s support. Geographically, however, the PMR is close to the southwest of Ukraine, bordering Odessa and Vinnitsa.

Since the first days of Moscow’s operation, it became obvious that provocations could occur here. And it seems they have. On April 25, shots were allegedly fired at the Ministry of State Security from a grenade launcher. A fire started in the building as a result, and the explosion shattered windows in the nearby buildings, but no one was injured or killed. While the emergency services dealt with the debris, the authorities tried to figure out who was behind the shooting. Eventually they concluded that such episodes played into the hands of those who wanted to drag Transnistria into the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

The next day, a military airfield near Tiraspol was hit, and later two antennas in Mayak, where the Transnistrian TV and radio center is located, were blown up. Bloggers discovered that they belonged to the Russian Television and Radio Broadcasting Network and had been transmitting to the US, the Middle East, and Latin America.

After the series of explosions, the PMR Security Council raised the terrorist threat alert to the top level and promised to “implement urgent measures that would allow the authorities to evacuate people, treat the victims, provide psychological counseling, and help secure properties if owners have to leave.”

The PMR’s president, Vadim Krasnoselsky, believes that Ukraine was behind the incidents. “We know where the terrorists came from and where they went afterwards. I assure you, they have nothing to do with the Transnistria issue,” the politician said.

The local authorities also decided to cancel the celebration of Victory Day on May 9 as a precaution. They banned fireworks and asked people not to bring flowers to the tombs of fallen Soviet soldiers. “Organizing gatherings in certain locations is not safe,” Krasnoselsky explained, adding that someday they would celebrate the victory once again as they did in May 1945.

Despite all the measures taken, the situation in Transnistria was still tense during the following days. On April 27, VOG-25 grenade launchers were apparently used to shoot at military warehouses in Kolbasna where Russian peacekeepers are stationed. The PMR Investigative Committee concluded that the attack was organized from Ukrainian territory.

Kolbasna, located near the Ukrainian border, is home to the largest ammunition stockpile in Eastern Europe. In 2000, it held 42 tons of artillery and infantry ammunition and other military equipment. Following agreements reached at the 1999 OSCE summit in Istanbul, over 20 tons were relocated or destroyed, but the facility still holds a significant number of weapons deposited there after Soviet, and later Russian, troops withdrew from Germany and Czechoslovakia.

Right after Moscow started its military operation, certain Telegram channels began to discuss scenarios in which Ukraine would try to take over the warehouse and grab the weapons. The authorities didn’t comment on the rumors – apparently they believed that the US and EU had supplied the country with enough modern gear.

Rising tensions

The 1992 Transnistria conflict was caused by the disintegration of the Soviet Union. Transnistria was part of the Moldovan Soviet Republic, an area populated by Russian-speaking people, and today it is a breakaway republic locked in between Moldova and Ukraine. The possibility of ‘defrosting’ the Transnistria conflict has been discussed for a few years.

RT A general view of the Monument Alexander Suvorov at Catherine Park on November 25, 2021 in Tiraspol, Moldova. 

It reappeared on the agenda in 2014, after Crimea reunited with Russia and a conflict was sparked in Donbass. Half of the 500,000 people living in Transnistria are Russian citizens, and the authorities have been adjusting its laws to Russian law since 2016 in order to accommodate future integration. In this context, Ukraine began to view the PMR as a hostile part of the ‘Russian world’ near its borders.

The escalation between the two guarantors of the conflict settlement – Russia and Ukraine – has been raising the risk of a defrosting. In 2014, this led to stronger ties between Ukraine and Moldova, which increased military and political pressure on the PMR. In 2022, the risk of escalation grew even higher. However, judging by the statements made by the politicians in Moldova and Transnistria, the two parties really want to avoid being drawn into the conflict.

Addressing the people of Ukraine, specifically the Vinnitsa and Odessa regions, on February 26, President Krasnoselsky said that the rumors of a threat coming from Transnistria are a “provocation.”

“I am fully confident that all those spreading this misinformation are either completely out of touch with the situation or are trying to stir up trouble … Don’t believe rumors spread by shady actors and troublemakers, keep a sober mind and support those who need it if you can,” he said.

Moldova’s response to the string of explosions in Transnistria has been relatively reserved. Speaking to the press after a meeting of the country’s Supreme Security Council on April 27, President Maia Sandu blamed the escalation on “pro-war forces” in the region “interested in destabilizing the situation,” without elaborating further. Minister of Defense of Moldova Anatolie Nosatii emphasized that his ministry was monitoring the events with a view to avoid further escalation.

Moldova is making every effort to distance itself from the Ukraine crisis, and the looming threat of escalation is a huge concern both for the government and the public. The country’s Information and Security Service issued a statement calling on people to remain calm and refrain from disseminating unverified information. “It’s important to prevent the spread of fake news fueling hatred and war,” the statement said.

However, while Moldovan authorities attempted to calm citizens down, the Armed Forces of Ukraine started a military exercise near Podolsk (formerly Kotovsk), a city near the Transnistrian border, deploying at least 2,000 soldiers. Ukrainian journalist Dmitry Gordon commented that the Ukrainian Army must hit the PMR because it is a source of threat for the Odessa region.

Officially, Ukraine has denied any complicity in these incidents. However, some Ukrainian politicians made statements that would seem disturbing both for the PMR and for Moldova. Presidential adviser Alexey Arestovich said the attacks were playing into Russia’s hand and suggested that Ukrainian troops should enter Transnistria, emphasizing it would only happen if the Moldovan government requested such assistance directly. “We can manage [Transnistria] if the need arises. Snap, and it’s done,” he said.

President Volodymyr Zelensky, in turn, directly accused Russia of trying to destabilize the region. “We clearly understand that this is one of the steps of the Russian Federation. The special services are working there. It’s not just about fake news. The goal is obvious – to destabilize the situation in the region, to threaten Moldova. They show that if Moldova supports Ukraine, there will be certain steps,” he said.

However, Moldova’s Reintegration Bureau – a parliamentary body managing the Transnistrian settlement talks – rejected any offers of help from Ukraine. “The settlement of the Transnistrian issue can be achieved by political means and only on the basis of a peaceful solution, excluding military and other forcible actions,” it said. During a visit to Kiev, Speaker of the Moldovan Parliament Igor Grosu said Moldova would not provide military aid to Ukraine, citing the country’s neutrality.

But despite the statements by Moldova and the PMR, NATO is still expecting provocations in Transnistria. NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoana sees no military risks for Moldova in the nearest future, but foresees such risks for Ukraine. “We expect provocations, false flag operations – aiming to cause trouble not so much for Moldova as for the Ukrainian forces in the west of the country,” she said.

RT People with a banner of Transnistria, the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic, march in the Inmortal Regiment demonstration during the celebrations of May 9th in Moscow

The EU was also concerned about the escalation in Transnistria; its diplomats urged the parties to keep calm and exercise restraint, but decided to increase support for Moldova. Some countries recommended their citizens leave Transnistrian territory or avoid visiting the region due to the worsening security situation. States that issued updated travel safety advisories included Canada, the US, Bulgaria, Israel, and Germany.

A Russian enclave

A couple of hours before the Transnistrian Ministry of State Security in Tiraspol was hit with a blast, Deputy Foreign Minister of Russia Andrey Rudenko said, “We do not see any risks in Transnistria. Our position remains unchanged. We are advocating for a peaceful settlement of the Transnistrian conflict.” Several days before that, however, Acting Commander of Russia’s Central Military District Major General Rustam Minnekayev announced that one of the goals of the second phase of the Russian military operation in Ukraine would be securing access to Transnistria. This opinion was later supported by Denis Pushilin, the head of the Donetsk People’s Republic.

A Russian peacekeeping force is currently stationed in Transnistria. Since Maia Sandu, a pro-European politician, took office, Moldova has spoken out in favor of a political settlement, which is only supposed to be possible after Russian troops are withdrawn. It is said to be needed to accelerate the reintegration of Moldova and Transnistria, which separated after an armed conflict broke out following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s.

However, the Moldovan authorities have blocked the transit of Russian cargoes multiple times since 2014 (before that, the peacekeepers maintained a connection with the “mainland” through Moldova as well as through Ukraine, including via rail). Russia referred Moldova to the 1992 agreement between the two countries, but to no avail. This is why controlling the southern regions of Ukraine that Minnekayev mentioned would potentially enable Russia to reopen a logistics pathway for its peacekeepers.

The last rotation of the Operational Group of Russian Forces in Transnistria was in November 2021. The battalion took watch at 15 peacekeeping stations and checkpoints on a 225-km-long and 20-km-wide area of the central and southern sections of the demilitarized zone. Overall, around 3,000 Russian troops are stationed there, many of them locals. Combined with an estimated 4,000 to 5,000 troops of the PMR military, the joint forces have a very limited offensive potential.

The best they can hope for if hostilities with Ukraine break out is to hold off the Ukrainian forces for a while. In this light, the recent incidents in Transnistria make sense – Ukraine is preventively whipping up tensions in the region. There is no concrete proof, however, apart from a few isolated statements. Viktor Andrusiv, an adviser to the Ukrainian interior minister, for example, has expressed regret about having to ask for Moldova’s permission to invade Transnistria.

In theory, Ukraine is ready for this. Since 2014, it has been preparing for an escalation. The Ukrainian Armed Forces have held annual joint exercises between several branches of the military and agencies with support from the National Guard and Security Service of Ukraine in Odessa Region and on the Black Sea and rivers.

In 2018, Ukraine practiced coastal defense and control over a Danube-Dnieper section “under conditions of internal threats’ activation” as part of the Rapid Trident international exercise. In 2021, it practiced scenarios during the Sea Breeze international exercise, including fighting off a coastal landing in the Odessa area. But the most interesting part was the role of the Ukrainian Security Service in supposedly recapturing the region from “terrorists” and cutting off their retreat routes.

What’s next?

The situation in Ukraine is in fact trending towards an increased risk of expanding the conflict to Transnistria and drawing other nations into the quagmire. The Transnistrian case is definitely beneficial to the Ukrainian militarily as it can create another hotbed of tension for Russia. Media outlets are increasingly referring to it as a potential “second front.” This is impractical, however, as Kiev would have to divert forces much needed in Donbass and Russia – and establish an air supply route.

This means an all-out war is not likely to come to the unrecognized republic, with the PMR and Moldova definitely having no interest in fighting. But the risk of destabilization is still looming over the region.

It means were are left with the perfect moment for the system of checks and balances established 30 years ago to prove its resilience and prevent the Ukraine conflict from spilling over to the enclave. Provocations cannot be ruled out, though, and they are likely to intensify as the war escalates in the south of Ukraine.

Today, there is no settlement in sight to this conflict. The process has been stalled for several years. Talks in the 5+2 format (Moldova and the PMR, with Russia, Ukraine, and the OSCE as mediators, and the US and EU as observers) were effectively put on hold in 2019. No progress has been made on humanitarian issues as well.

In reality, the Transnistrian conflict is now also connected with the Donbass. This has led to Ukraine exerting more economic pressure against the PMR than even Moldova in 2021.

RT Tiraspol is a city in Moldova, capital of the Transnistrian Autonomous Territorial Unit and de facto capital of the Moldovan Republic of Pridnestrovie.

That said, Kiev hasn’t withdrawn from the negotiations yet. The Moldovan Reintegration Bureau reports the Ukrainian side is continuing to participate in the Joint Control Commission charged with the coordination of the demilitarized zone and supervision of the peacekeeping operation. “It’s hard to make predictions. We don’t know how the war will end and how it will affect the political climate and the Russia–Ukraine relations,” Oleg Serebryan, the Moldovan deputy prime minister, said. He added that it’s not the best time to propose changing the format; “First, we need to clarify the situation.”

Ukraine is still part of the talks, but continues to talk tough towards the PMR. It sees Russian peacekeepers as a threat to its national security and has closed its border with Transnistria. This initiative has resulted in massive lines on the border with Moldova; with refugees waiting for 10 to 72 hours before crossing it.

However, it’s unlikely that Kiev is ready to provoke hostilities. Most residents of the PMR are Moldovan citizens, and Chisinau’s possession of Transnistria is internationally recognized, which means Ukraine would need its approval to invade the area. Having said that, the current events have made the Transnistrian case a key issue in the European security system.

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British Volunteer Says He Was ‘Manipulated’ Into Joining the Frontline in Ukraine

British Volunteer Says He Was ‘Manipulated’ Into Joining the Frontline in Ukraine

By RT News

The Briton told RT that he came to help civilians, but was pushed into combat by Ukrainian officers.

 

Andrew from Plymouth says he traveled to Ukraine to treat wounded civilians, but within weeks, he found himself shelled, shot, and captured. Recovering in a hospital, he told RT that he and his fellow volunteers were “manipulated” into the very duty they swore to avoid.

Andrew, a 35-year-old who worked as a scaffolder back home in Britain, was attached to a unit of Ukraine’s International Legion near Nikolayev when he came under a devastating Russian artillery barrage. Russian troops fired on his position, Andrew was hit in the arm with a bullet, and he surrendered.

“I wasn’t there to fight so I surrendered,” he told RT. As for his teammates who fought, “They were killed,” he explained.

Andrew said that he never intended to participate in, or even get close to, combat. Watching media reports about the conflict in Ukraine in March, he said he got the impression that “Ukraine was asking people for help,” and contacted the Ukrainian Embassy.

Leaving his children behind, he flew from the UK to Poland, and made his way to the Ukrainian border. After a brief stint “helping refugees” there, he said he was approached by a man named ‘Jacob’ from the International Legion, who told him that his basic medical experience – gained with the British military – could be put to use further inside Ukraine.

“I feel sad,” he told RT. “I do feel that I’ve been lied to, massively. Not just by the Foreign Legion, but I feel like I was lied to back in the UK through the Western media.” Andrew said that news reports of “people all coming over helping, going to Ukraine, helping Ukraine,” made the trip seem like an easy prospect.

Once inside Ukraine, Andrew recalls traveling to a building in Lviv, where he and a cohort of foreigners were kept indoors for several days, allegedly for their own safety. Although he served in the British Army, Andrew said that he had no combat experience, and that volunteers like him were kept separate from veterans who came to Ukraine to fight.

From there, the group was bussed to Yavoriv – where a training center for foreign recruits had been destroyed by a Russian missile – and then to Kiev, where a Ukrainian handler told them that the situation would be similar to that in Lviv: “‘You will be locked down, you can’t leave the building, you have to stay in, you will be fed, water will be provided to you, wait until further instruction.’”

Andrew’s first interaction with Ukrainian civilians came at the beginning of April in the town of Bucha, where he said that he cooked and distributed food. Although he arrived in Bucha after Russian troops had left, he said that he saw no signs of the war crimes that the Ukrainian government later attributed to the Russians there.

“I didn’t see any corpses myself, didn’t see anything, it looked untouched,” he recalled, adding that he remained on the outskirts of the town. “It all seemed normal. There weren’t any signs of any fighting.”

After only a day in Bucha, another bus ride took Andrew and his companions to Nikolaev, which he said was “closer to the front than I was aware of.” Even after he was moved up to a combat unit of six other foreigners outside the city, Andrew said that things seemed quiet. However, the day after he was sent to the front, the position was attacked.

“I got shot in my arm, broke my bones,” he told RT. As Russian troops advanced, Andrew lay on the ground with his good hand above his head, until a Russian soldier dragged him into a foxhole and administered first aid. “I’m very lucky to survive,” he recalled. “The Russian soldier that gave me first aid saved my life. The bullet cut my artery and I was bleeding out.”

Andrew’s captor offered him a cigarette before he was moved back through Russian lines for surgery and questioning. Currently awaiting two further rounds of surgery in a hospital under the authority of the Donbass People’s Republic (DPR), he told RT that there were many volunteers like him who ended up “in a situation that you don’t want to be in.”

“Everyone seemed to be normal people that wanted to help,” he said of his fellow volunteers, a group that included British, Canadian, American, German, and Danish members. However, he said that many felt “the same way as me,” in that they felt like they were “manipulated” into helping soldiers rather than civilians.

Since his capture, Andrew told RT that he was being treated “very well” in the hospital. “Everyone’s being very friendly. I’m receiving medical aid every day, being fed three times a day, I get water, tea, coffee, everything I need,” he explained. He said that DPR authorities are currently seeking to return him to the UK, but need the cooperation of the British Home Office and Ukrainian embassy in London to arrange the transfer.

Neither London nor Kiev are cooperating with the DPR’s requests, he told RT.

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Ukraine Controlled by US and UK – Russia

Ukraine Controlled by US and UK – Russia

Ukraine Controlled by US and UK – Russia

By RT News

London and Washington have been exercising their control over the Ukrainian negotiators with the aim of dragging out the conflict, and this policy has led to the suspension of peace talks between Moscow and Kiev, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov claimed on Tuesday.

Speaking at the New Horizons educational marathon, Lavrov said that Ukraine may have made its own decision in Istanbul, when it came up with some “acceptable principles for reaching agreements” during negotiations with Russia. However, according to the minister, these ideas were apparently not supported by the West.

We have information coming through various channels that Washington and especially London ‘lead’ the Ukrainian negotiators and control their freedom of maneuver. They want to drag out the conflict, and it seems to them that the longer it will last, the more damage they will inflict on Russian servicemen,” Lavrov said.

The foreign minister doubts, however, that “transferring the conversation to the level of Washington or London” would be able to change anything in terms of the progress.

Anyway, neither London, nor Washington, nor the West as a whole has put forward any proposals,” Lavrov said.

The West actually acknowledged that Ukraine is “expendable in a hybrid total war against the Russian Federation,” Lavrov claimed, citing remarks by the EU, UK and US officials who have said on multiple occasions that Russia should not be allowed to win in the Ukrainian conflict.

The war was declared by them. And not at all between Ukraine and Russia, but between the West and Russia,” Lavrov said.

Earlier on Tuesday, Deputy Foreign Minister Andrey Rudenko said that diplomatic dialogue between Moscow and Kiev had been completely suspended after Kiev withdrew from negotiations without providing any response to the latest Russian proposals.

A Ukrainian presidential adviser, Mikhail Podolyak, later confirmed that “after the Istanbul communiqué [in March], there have been no changes, no progress.

Russia attacked the neighboring state in late February, following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German- and French-brokered protocols were designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.

The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two republics by force.

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