Russia’s president, speaking at a pro- Kremlin youth camp at a lake near Moscow, said “it’s best not to mess with us,” adding “I want to remind you that Russia is one of the leading nuclear powers.” ….. In language not seen since the height of the Cold War, he told his audience: “Thank God, I think no one is thinking of unleashing a large-scale conflict with Russia. I want to remind you that Russia is one of the leading nuclear powers.”
Vladimir Putin has criticized Washington’s unilateral actions on the international arena, saying that whatever it touches seems to be turning into Libya or Iraq. Below are the top 10 quotes from the Russian President’s speech at the Seliger youth forum. Unilateral decisions made outside the United Nations are usually doomed to failure, Putin said Friday, while speaking at the “Seliger-2014” annual youth forum.
European volunteers are streaming into Ukraine to join the fighting on both sides. While Kiev’s forces are beefed up with mercenaries from private military companies, Europeans have also come to defend the rebel Donbass region of their own free will. ….. Another volunteer, 25-year-old Nikola, used to be a professional soldier with the elite French mountain troops for five years. Now he’s putting his skills to good use in Ukraine. Alongside a contingent of other foreign volunteers, he’s training anti-Kiev forces in urban guerilla warfare. “These are people’s militias, these are not mercenaries or professional soldiers, so they need instruction,” Nikola told RT. “They really have the motivation, whereas the Kiev army, which is a kind of puppet of NATO, they don’t have any motivation whatsoever,” Nikola said. “We have seen them before. They are very much unmotivated and they do not really know why they are fighting, and against whom they are fighting, so that is our main strength.”
The National Institute for South China Sea Studies
“China has warned the United States to end its military surveillance flights near Chinese territory, rejecting claims by Washington that a Chinese fighter jet made several “dangerous” and “unprofessional” passes at a U.S. Navy plane last week. The U.S. should take “concrete measures” towards ending reconnaissance operations off the coast of China if it wants to improve bilateral ties between the two countries, a spokesperson for China’s Defense Ministry, Yang Yujun, said at a regular press briefing in Beijing on Thursday.”
Japan’s Defense Ministry has asked the Tokyo government for a record high budget to purchase sophisticated military equipment and boost the country’s military power.Officials at the ministry announced on Friday that they had demanded a 3.5-percent increase in the budget to 5.05 trillion yen (USD 48.7 billion) for the coming fiscal year starting in April 2015.The extra money would be spent on buying F-35 stealth fighter jets, P-1 surveillance aircraft, Global Hawk drones and a radar-equipped destroyer. [War is Profitable]
Media and experts dismiss concerns that China’s large-scale military exercise with Russia and other Central Asian nations “is targeted at any third party”. The week-long exercise, which ends on Friday, involves Russia, China and other members of the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation (SCO). The SCO group – including the Central Asian states of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan – was formed in 2001 to curb extremism in the region and enhance border security. It was widely viewed as a countermeasure to curb the influence of Western alliances such as Nato.
Sydney Morning Herald
A CHINESE military officer has raised the spectre of nuclear weapons and warned Australia not to side with the United States and Japan as a territorial dispute in the East China Sea continues to escalate. Senior Colonel Liu Mingfu, of the National Defence University, blamed America’s ”orchestration” and Japan’s ”militarism” for rising tensions over disputed islands known as the Senkaku in Japan and the Diaoyu in China. ”America is the global tiger and Japan is Asia’s wolf and both are now madly biting China,” Colonel Liu said. ”Of all the animals, Chinese people hate the wolf the most.” China was a peaceful nation but it would fight to the death if seriously attacked, he said.
China and the United States appear headed for a damaging confrontation over the extent of China’s territorial claims in the South and East China Seas. Now that China has become the world’s largest importer of oil, and energy more generally, the country’s need to develop more indigenous energy supplies has become urgent. Expecting China to put the South and East China Seas off limits to exploration and production until disputes over sovereignty can be resolved through some undefined legal or diplomatic process is unrealistic.
IHS Janes’ 360
China continues to expand Woody Island, the largest of the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea. Satellite imagery shows that since October 2013 China has undertaken substantial land reclamation, harbour redevelopment and other infrastructure construction on the island, which is known as Yongxing Dao by China and Phu Lam Island by Vietnam. China has occupied Woody Island since capturing it from South Vietnam in the January 1974 Battle of the Paracel Islands. Since then, it has established a military garrison, coastal defensive positions, the runway, four large aircraft hangars, communications facilities, and a municipal headquarters. Vietnam claims the Paracels, as does Taiwan.
Russian President Vladimir Putin says Moscow has to strengthen its position, economically and militarily, in the resource-rich Arctic region, where other countries are vying for influence. “Our interests are concentrated in the Arctic. And of course we should pay more attention to issues of development of the Arctic and the strengthening of our position [there],” Putin told a youth camp outside Moscow on Friday, enumerating military and economic plans for Russia’s Arctic.
But the Lord said to Gideon, “There are still too many men. Take them down to the water, and I will thin them out for you there. If I say, ‘This one shall go with you,’ he shall go; but if I say, ‘This one shall not go with you,’ he shall not go.”