• Human Rights Abuses in Russia-Occupied Crimea

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    The “green men” who fanned out across Crimea in early 2014, establishing control over key infrastructure and clearing the way for once-marginal political actors to seize the reins of power, were the vanguard of a forced political change that has led to grave human rights abuses across the Crimean peninsula.

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  • NATO Special Forces Helping Members Address Threat from Hybrid Warfare

    The Pentagon is increasingly concerned about how to combat "hybrid warfare," the combination of stealth invasion, local proxy forces and international propaganda that Russia used to annex Crimea and destabilize eastern Ukraine, U.S. officials said.
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  • NATO Leader Sees Dangerous Trend in Russia's Nuclear Activities

    Russia's recent use of nuclear rhetoric, exercises and operations are deeply troubling.
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  • President Vladimir Putin’s Dangerous Moves

    Even for Mr. Putin, the recent nuclear threats have set a new benchmark for hostility in the conflict he has ignited with the West.
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  • Briefing from Ukraine’s Front Lines

    General Wesley K. Clark (Ret.)
    Former NATO Supreme Allied Commander
    March 30, 2015


     The Kremlin has been waging a covert, hybrid war against Ukraine since February of 2014. In this war, Moscow has used a combination of local separatist forces, irregular volunteers, and Russian special forces and regular (conventional) forces. Since the original Minsk I ceasefire in September and the Minsk II ceasefire in February, the Kremlin-directed forces have taken additional territory.

    The team consisted of General Wesley K. Clark (Ret.), former Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, Lieutenant General Patrick M. Hughes (Ret.), former Director, Defense Intelligence Agency, and Lieutenant General John S. Caldwell (Ret.), former Army Research, Development and Acquisition Chief. The team met with senior civilian and military officials, including Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, Ukrainian Chief of the General Staff Viktor Muzhenko, US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt, and Ukrainian ministers, parliamentarians, and leaders at all levels of the military, both in Kyiv and in the operational area.

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  • Why Has the West Forgotten About Crimea?

    One year after Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in a brazen act that violated international treaties and rewrote Europe's borders for the first time since World War II, Western governments and the media have largely forgotten the peninsula's plight.

    In Russia, however, that land grab is far from forgotten. Crimea annexation day will be celebrated with much pomp, parades, and the recent release of a new Russian documentary, Crimea: The Way Home. In the film, Russian President Vladimir Putin reveals that he ordered the annexation of Crimea and that this plan was hatched in a late-night meeting in February after then-Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych fled Kyiv and took refuge in Russia. Taking credit for the swift and relatively bloodless land grab, Putin says he was ready to put Russia's nuclear arsenal on alert in case the situation escalated because Crimea was simply that important to Russia's President. And it's easy to see why: the annexation helped drive Putin's popularity to its highest levels (according to latest polls, Putin's approval ratings are at 86 percent) and ushered in a new wave of Russian nationalism that has made Russia's economic woes easier to explain to the Russian population. For Putin, the annexation of Crimea has provided a windfall.

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  • Putin Willing to Put Russian Nuclear Forces on Alert in Support of Attack on Ukraine

    Russian President Vladimir Putin personally directed his nation's capture of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula, he said in a documentary aired Sunday, in which he offered details of his deep involvement in last year's quick and effective takeover.
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  • Human Rights Abuses in Russian Occupied Crimea

    On March 6, the Atlantic Council's Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center hosted a panel discussion introducing a report Human Rights Abuses in Russian-Occupied Crimea, by Andrii Klymenko. The report chronicles how in one year of occupation, the Russian authorities have established a repressive system of control aimed at suppressing and intimidating "disloyal" groups. Rather than protecting Russians — as President Putin claims to do — his government is actively violating their, and other groups, basic human rights.

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  • Ukraine: The High Cost of Ignoring Russia’s Land Grab in Crimea

    Report documents rights abuses; Kremlin ‘greatest security challenge,’ says Atlantic Council’s Herbst

    The apparent US indifference toward the annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in February 2014 amounts to giving Russian President Vladimir Putin a green light to commit similar acts of aggression against other countries, panelists warned during a March 6 conference at the Atlantic Council.

    “The Obama administration refuses to call what Putin is doing an invasion. They use the word incursion,” said John E. Herbst, Director of the Atlantic Council’s Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center.

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  • Mearsheimer: Don't Arm Ukraine

    Sending weapons to Ukraine will not rescue its army and will instead lead to an escalation in the fighting. Such a step is especially dangerous because Russia has thousands of nuclear weapons and is seeking to defend a vital strategic interest.
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