U.S. Spy Drone Spotted Near Crimea After $47 Million Defense Purchase By Ukraine: Report

A U.S. surveillance drone was spotted flying above Crimea, presumably doing reconnaissance over eastern Ukraine before returning to Naval Air Station Sigonella in Sicily, according to flight tracking services.

The RQ-4 Global Hawk's flyover is the latest in a series of US and NATO air patrols near Russian teritory. Last June a NATO F-16 fighter jet tried to approach the Russian defense minister's plane above the neutral waters over the Baltic sea. It was warded off by a Russian Su-27, and the flight continued to Kaliningrad for a discussion on security issues.  The F-16 was warded off after the Russian jet tipped it's wings, showing its armament. 

And in January, a Russian Su-27 intercepted a Navy EP-3 Aires surveillance plane over the Black Sea - which drew a sharp rebuke from the Pentagon who said the Russian jet flew too close to the U.S. plane. 

Arming Ukraine

The latest surveillance flyover comes on the heels of the Trump administration approving a deal to arm Ukraine with 210 Javelin anti-aircraft missiles and 37 launchers for $47 million. The deal was announced in December, however it follows Obama-era legislation to export weapons to the war-torn country. 

The FGM-148 Javelin Portable Anti-Tank Missile. Image source: US Army. 

As we noted two weeks ago, the sale marks a significant increase in U.S. military support for Ukraine and another major deterioration US-Russian relations, and is the first lethal weapons sale of its kind since the breakout of a Russian-backed proxy civil war against the central government in Ukraine's eastern provinces. 

President Trump approved the plan right before Christmas 2017, and Congress has until the end of March days to sink the deal or it will go through, which is expected. Trump says the sale represents a "tougher" stance on Russia than Obama, however the Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations tried his best to downplay the comment.

 "There is what I view as an artificial distinction between lethal and non-lethal military equipment," Ambassador Kurt Volker said in Washington on Monday, comparing anti-tank missiles to a counter-battery radar that improves targeting to attack and kill an enemy firing mortars. "That's non-lethal and an anti-tank missile, which sits in a box and doesn’t get used unless you have a tank coming at you, is lethal. Both are clearly defensive weapons."

Russia's deputy foreign minister, Sergei Ryabkov - the guy NATO buzzed, issued a harsh rebuke in December when the news of the sale first broke. 

"The United States in a certain sense crossed the line, announcing the intention to transfer weapons of direct damaging action to Ukraine," the statement said, translated from Russian. "American weapons can lead to new victims in our neighboring country, to which we cannot remain indifferent."

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said then that the sale "will once again motivate the hotheads" in the Ukrainian government and "unleash bloodshed again."

Trump's approval of the arms deal was a major shift from the Republican party platform, which was amended when Trump was the party's nominee for president, from supporting "lethal defensive arms" to Ukraine to the more vague "appropriate assistance” — language that ran counter to traditional Republican foreign policy.

Needless to say, Trump himself promised a reset with Russia, but since taking office, relations with Moscow have not improved.

And after years of covert American involvement in the Ukrainian proxy and civil war which has raged since 2014 - and which a leaked recording confirmed was precipitated by the US State Department - it appears that neocon hawks like McCain, Cotton, and Corker are finally getting their way. 

Perhaps more scary in terms of escalating an unnecessary war which has already taken more than 10,000 lives since 2014, the Kiev government and some in Washington are already pushing for putting anti-aircraft weapons in the hands of Ukrainian forces.

“What we are awaiting and have called for is the provision of lethal defense weapons that are more advanced - a larger package that is under consideration right now, including anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles,” a Ukrainian official told ABC News. “We are expecting this decision and would welcome it.”

Putin, or course, just rolled out a series of brand new nukes. His new "toys" include tactical and hypersonic nuclear devices which are said to be able to overcome missile defense systems. 

“Efforts to contain Russia have failed, face it,” Putin said in a nearly two-hour address he illustrated with video clips of the new arms, which included underwater drones, intercontinental missiles and a hypersonic system he said “heads for its target like a meteorite.” -Bloomberg

Russia has also accused the US of violating the nuclear nonproliferation treaty by "preparing the militaries of European states to use tactical nuclear weapons against Russia"

He [Putin] said Russia had long warned Washington not to go ahead with anti-missile systems that Moscow feared could erode its nuclear deterrent. “Nobody listened to us. Listen now,” he said, to a loud ovation from the crowd of legislators, officials and dignitaries. -Bloomberg

We won't hold our breath for the Olympic-level mental gymnastics from anti-Trumpers trying to explain how Putin convinced Trump to sell Ukraine all that hardware which will soon create quite a few Russian army widows.

Comments

Crazy Or Not Tue, 03/13/2018 - 02:49 Permalink

Wakey Wakey Tylers! RT ran this 3 days ago. (though analysis is better)
 2018 FIFA World Cup is gonna be "explosive" for sure.....

BTW: I'm convinced the Grey Tsunami is one real driver of NATO MOAR War madness - "the pot's empty" - ergo default to moar banditry. 

Crazy Or Not 07564111 Tue, 03/13/2018 - 04:09 Permalink

It's a live 6d event with many cards in play. Guaranteed US is planning the next "blame Assad" trigger event, (and it's consequences) to follow May's Salisbury FF, all part of the ramp up that initiated way back. Cogs in the big machine are fully engaged and no-one party can back out. Which explains why RU Diplomats, spooks and holders of contradictory intel are dropping like flies, or beating themselves to death. The machine must roll on toward DefCon 0 as necessary, and push to capitulation all non NWO boulders aside or underfoot. Those weird clocks in back offices telling their own tune of events and instructed timed actions to those in the know. If not they know what happens to their children - they've been to the parties.  

In reply to by 07564111

HenryKissinger… Crazy Or Not Tue, 03/13/2018 - 04:32 Permalink

1) now that anti tank weaponry seems to be easily available to anyone anywhere...
does it make sense from a military POV to have tanks TODAY?
please share any ideas, you may have.

2) doesn't NORDSTREAM make all these countries PERFECT for proxy wars?
Europe would still get the gas through Germany, while TPTB can play war games in poland, ukraine, etc.

In reply to by Crazy Or Not

Crazy Or Not HenryKissinger… Tue, 03/13/2018 - 07:49 Permalink

Hi Henry, Hutch's book on your namesake was a killer - for him, but v. on point re: warcrimes, any comment?
I'm not a Sandhurst/Westpoint clone, so best check Von Clauswitz for ususal axioms.
Ohio is still churning out Abrams upgrades/variants but competition's closing. But 'til battlefied goes fully drone there's a call for armoured support esp to root out snipers way before air cav. better than being in your meatsack.
True it's easier/cheaper to ship MANPATS to global rebel force(s) and go proxy. But at some point you have to hold the line & 2,3 or 4 Abrams will put a big dent in any rebel stronghold long before air turns up. They beat walking.

Nord has worked wonders for RU to take Polish ports off the map for larger vessels. Well played German commerce /RU strategic. Chances of border skirmishes - RU attrition wars - moderate to good. I'd watch the side doors at Turkey & the Northern 'Stan's mid term for the more interesting shows.

In reply to by HenryKissinger…

BarkingCat Crazy Or Not Tue, 03/13/2018 - 09:03 Permalink

I read that article yesterday about Tusk and how approval of the original Nordstream made Polish ports useless for large ships. 

It actually named 2 ports. There must be other ports accessible by large ships as they are taking deliveries of LNG from the US and there was also a story last year about getting a delivery from Saudi Arabia  (I don't remember if crude or LNG).

Regardless.  If Tusk did what he did, the Poles should drag him back to Poland and hang from from a wooden pole.

In reply to by Crazy Or Not

new game HowdyDoody Tue, 03/13/2018 - 06:57 Permalink

What the US hiding in Eastern Ghouta

nothing! pretty obvious what they are up to...

fomenting the instability of the mideast.

pipelines and oil.

on the wrong side of the action.

vietnam anyone?

let us all celebrate? no?

50 years later the same thinking neo con, now

 zio-cons, puppets, fighting for not what they understand.

a policy that has no end game, actually a logical outcome...

the hidden power of kabbalist-talmudism with the primaries weakened to a state of defeat.

remember how vietnam forced us off the gold standard with gold creeping up?

are interest rates rising any different? in essence the same hand is being forced.

at three percent something has to give.grant says 2.2 percent ave int. 400+ billion-half the military budget right there.

slow at first then suddenly-ultra turmoil.

trump will be in charge of one hell-of-a bankrupt nation on his watch.

the dam is getting unstable and the"rein"keeps coming.

the bond market.

tic toc...

 

In reply to by HowdyDoody

An Shrubbery Tue, 03/13/2018 - 03:04 Permalink

"We won't hold our breath for the Olympic-level mental gymnastics from anti-Trumpers trying to explain how Putin convinced Trump to sell Ukraine all that hardware which will soon create quite a few Russian army widows."

LOLZ

BarkingCat The Ram Tue, 03/13/2018 - 09:20 Permalink

Ukraine has a population of about 40 million with a shitload of engineers and scientists. 

Their problem with maintaining of that drone would not be lack of technical ability but rather their philosophy of weapon systems being same as that of the Russians - things are built tough with tolerances for extended service intervals. 

They are perfectly capable of maintaining US technology.  The Ukrainian airline flies Boeing 737 jets and the planes are not crashing.

 

But they are piss poor. Even much more so now that the last government was overthrown and their major trading partner (Russia) has become the enemy and the entities that instigated the whole affair  (EU and US) have not replaced any of the lost economic activity.

If anything the EU is probably working to kill Ukrainian industry and use the nation as an export market.

In reply to by The Ram

BritBob Tue, 03/13/2018 - 06:03 Permalink

Russia/Ukraine – Crimea (If it ever went to court Russia would lose).

As successor states to the Soviet Union, both Ukraine and Russia are signatories to the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE). Adopted in Helsinki in 1975, the document sought to promote détente during an era of Cold War geopolitical tensions in Europe.

Part 3 – Inviolability of frontiers

Part 4 - Territorial Integrity of each of the participating states

For relevant facts (1 page)

Gibraltar – Helsinki Accord 1975 https://www.academia.edu/32824301/Gibraltar_-Helsinki_Accord_1975 (1 page)

oncemore1 BritBob Tue, 03/13/2018 - 08:10 Permalink

Dear Bob, UN is the entity, which has the actual update of the bprders on the planet.

Go and look up e Russian Okrainian border.

I tell u a secret, it was not agreed yet.

Theorwtically Russia can march down to polish slovak hungarian bprder and say this is Russia.

Small Russia, as we Slavs ( I am from Slovakia, the country, which was sold by UK to Hitler in 1938) call the territory of Okraina, was always a russian territory.

The artificial state, trying to make from 3 languages one language, will be the new Israel. Therefor the fight against Russia.

In reply to by BritBob

max_is_leering Tue, 03/13/2018 - 06:51 Permalink

well then Bob, take them fuckers to court over Crimea... you nut-less, clue-less p.o.s. brit, why don't you file the papers in int'l court v. Russia?... I just wish you'd stfu

Mustahattu Tue, 03/13/2018 - 08:33 Permalink

WW3 is likely to start soon. One sign to look for is when the raperefugees start to flee Western Europe back to their shitholes. Soros will know when war starts and will be handing out 'finding your way back to your shithole' booklets.

Juliette Tue, 03/13/2018 - 13:14 Permalink

Ukraine is a shithole, it's the poorest country in Europe by far with an average salary of €212 net a month. Th next poorest nation is Kosovo with €374, almost twice as much as Ukraine. The UK is €1,990 and Iceland is €3,586 ...