Sunday, May 10, 2015

Sunday Post

For all the times we've gnawed on our mothers' faces...
Russian soldiers resigning from the army put a dent into the fabrication that there are no Russian soldiers in Ukraine:

Some Russian soldiers are quitting the army because of the conflict in Ukraine, several soldiers and human rights activists have told Reuters. Their accounts call into question the Kremlin's continued assertions that no Russian soldiers have been sent to Ukraine, and that any Russians fighting alongside rebels there are volunteers.

Evidence for Russians fighting in Ukraine – Russian army equipment found in the country, testimony from soldiers' families and from Ukrainians who say they were captured by Russian paratroopers – is abundant. Associates of Boris Nemtsov, a prominent Kremlin critic killed in February, will soon publish a report which they say will contain new evidence of the Russian military presence in Ukraine.

Until now, however, it has been extremely rare to find Russian soldiers who have fought there and are willing to talk. It is even rarer to find soldiers who have quit the army. Five soldiers who recently quit, including two who said they left rather than serve in Ukraine, have told Reuters of their experiences. 

One of the five, from Moscow, said he was sent on exercises in southern Russia last year but ended up going into Ukraine in an armored convoy.

"After we crossed the border, a lieutenant colonel said we could be sent to jail if we didn't fulfil orders. Some soldiers refused to stay there," said the soldier, who served with the elite Russian Kantemirovskaya tank division. He gave Reuters his full name but spoke on condition of anonymity, saying he feared reprisals.

He said he knew two soldiers who refused to stay. "They were taken somewhere. The lieutenant colonel said criminal cases were opened against them but in reality – we called them afterwards – they were at home. They just quit."

Russia's President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly denied that Moscow has sent any military forces to help rebels in eastern Ukraine, where clashes and casualties persist despite a ceasefire struck in February. Putin's spokesman has derided such allegations by NATO, Western governments and Kiev. 

Officials say that any Russian soldiers fighting in Ukraine are "volunteers," helping the rebels of their own free will.

Eight Macedonian police officers were killed by Albanian extremists:

Macedonia said on Sunday its police had wiped out a group of ethnic Albanian "terrorists" in a day-long gun battle that left at least 22 people dead at a moment of deep political crisis in the former Yugoslav republic.

NATO, which dragged Macedonia from the brink of civil war in 2001, called for a "transparent investigation" of what went on when heavily armed police entered a mainly Albanian neighborhood in the northern town of Kumanovo before dawn on Saturday.

The government said eight police and 14 members of an "armed group" had been killed in the ensuing gun battle, describing the gunmen as former rebel commanders from neighboring Kosovo, which broke from Serbia in war in 1999 and inspired an ethnic Albanian insurgency in Macedonia two years later.

Kim Jong-Un reportedly had a missile fired:

North Korea said on Saturday it had successfully test-fired a ballistic missile from a submarine, a step that would mark significant progress in the secretive state's military capabilities. 

It could pose a new threat to South Korea, Japan and the United States, which have tried to contain North Korea's growing nuclear and missile strength, military experts said.

I suppose that is preferable to hearing re-heated anti-Western propaganda.

The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact: another part of history Putin would rather people remember differently.

There's no liar like an old liar:

Cuban President Raul Castro paid a call Sunday on Pope Francis at the Vatican to thank him for working for Cuban-U.S. detente — and said he was so impressed by the pontiff he is considering a return to the Catholic church's fold.

Damn you, global warming!

South Dakota was the centre of weather extremes Sunday, with a tornado hitting a small town on the eastern side of the state and more than a foot (30 centimetres) of snow blanketing the Black Hills to the west.

It was among several Great Plains and Midwest states in the path of expected severe weather. At the same time, a tropical storm came ashore in the Carolinas and wintry weather also affected parts of Colorado.

Convicted and unrepentant terrorist Omar Khadr was freed on bail and all the popular press has for him are Justin Trudeau soft-ball questions:

Patrick Brown, not the anointed favourite Christine Elliott was,  has won the PC leadership:

After a long, hard winter of campaigning, the Ontario Progressive Conservatives have selected Patrick Brown as the man to lead the party’s renewal.

The MP for Barrie beat out Christine Elliott on her own turf, winning the 5,292 votes necessary in ridings across Ontario. Of the 10,583 electoral votes available, Brown took 6,543 to Elliott’s 4,040, or nearly 62 per cent.

He said he wants to lead “the party Ontario deserves: a progressive conservative party” and the province “can’t afford another decade of this Ontario Liberal government.”

And now, Happy Mothers' Day to all mothers. You've earned your brunch!

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