Pro-Moscow coup in Crimea. Russian fighter jets on W. border on combat alert. Kiev deploys security forces
DEBKAfile Special Report February 27, 2014
The Russian defense ministry announced Thursday, Feb. 27 that fighter jets stood on combat alert along its western borders with Ukraine. Moscow repeated its commitment to protect Russian-speaking elements in the Crimean Peninsula. Earlier, armed men carried out a pro-Russian coup in the Crimean capital, by seizing government and parliamentary buildings and hoisting Russian flags – in response to the pro-European coup in Kiev. Forces loyal to the provisional government in Kiev meanwhile surround the area which they say was occupied by “criminals in army fatigues.”
Yanukovych refuses to resign - and goes missing in E. Ukraine. Tymoshenko seizes opposition center stage in Kiev
DEBKAfile Special Report February 22, 2014
Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych went on the air Saturday, Feb. 22, to say he has no plans to resign. From Kharkiv, he accused ”armed extremists and gangsters” of staging a coup comparable to the Nazi putsch in Berlin of 1933. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called on the German, French and Polish foreign ministers to step in and take responsibility for the deal they helped the rivals forge Friday, warning that Ukrainian sovereignty was threatened. The crisis is falling into the lines of a split between opposition Kiev and pro-Yanukovych Kharkiv.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis February 16, 2014
Israel’s strategists have found a new cause for disquiet. On top of concern over the concentration of al Qaeda fighting strength around its borders, they are beginning to worry about Russian President Vladimir Putin capitalizing on America’s withdrawal from the Middle East, by means of military pacts with Syrian President Bashar Assad and Egypt's Gen. Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi. Since Egypt’s economic woes are incurable, El-Sisi plans to build a strong regime with Russian and Saudi support and lead a pan-Arab nationalist movement – potentially versus Israel.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 13, 2014
Gen. Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi went to Moscow with big plans with a $2bn Saudi check for top-line Russian arms, including S-300 missiles for he secret new elite force.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 31, 2014
The Russians withdraw Putin’s aid promise to Yanukovych to avoid another Orange Revolution, however strategically and economically Ukraine is to Moscow.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 24, 2014
Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas launched his “diplomatic intifada” against Israel Thursday, Jan. 23, from Moscow. In his talks with Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev, he marked the Palestinian breakaway from the Kerry peace process with Israel, four months before it was due to expire, and his bid for its replacement by Russian backing for a Palestinian state. Abbas’s defection caught both Secretary of State John Kerry and Prime Minister Binyamin - and their intelligence agencies – napping, busy in Switzerland far from the action.
Syria conference opens in Switzerland with secret Iranian presence. Obama, Putin aim for local truces
DEBKAfile Special Report January 22, 2014
The conference of 30 foreign ministers opening Wednesday, Jan. 22, at Montreux got off to a shaky start. Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem said the Assad presidency was a ”red line” and Information minister Omran al-Zoubi said there was no civil war - only “a fight between government and terrorists.” After the fiasco of UN Secretary Ban Ki-moon’s withdrawal of his invitation to Tehran, an Iranian delegation arrived under cover. Presidents Obama and Putin agreed to limit conference goals to local ceasefires and humanitarian corridors.
Putin to visit Tehran. King of Morocco invites Iran to “Jerusalem Committee” – with Kerry’s approval
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 17, 2014
Tehran’s offensive for establishing itself as the leading Middle East power bar none is in full flight. Foreign Minister Javad Zerif used his Moscow visit to invite Vladimir Putin to visit Tehran. The Russian President accepted. The King of Morocco offered Iran of full membership in the Al Quds (Jerusalem) Committee of the Organization of Islamic States, with the approval of US Secretary of State John Kerry. Iran also sent out invitations to Gulf rulers to tour its nuclear reactor at Bushehr, combined with a round table discussion on regional nuclear cooperation.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 17, 2014
The joint trip made to Moscow by the Iranian and Syrian foreign ministers on Jan. 16, marked the day the US stepped aside for Russia as Mid East kingpin and elevated Iran’s status over the heads of the Sunni powers and Israel.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 3, 2014
The International Olympic Committee requested an independent assessment of the terrorist threat to the Sochi games and received a “somber and disturbing” report.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 8, 2013
Chechen ruler Ramzan Kadyrov announced Monday, Dec. 4, the formation of a special unit to deal with “Syrian radicals” wiithin the North Caucasus republic and abroad. “Members…will be ready to interfere in the Syrian conflict if authorized by the Russian president.” Russian and Syrian intelligence fear al Qaeda in Syria is plotting a spectacular attack on the Sochi Winter Olympics in February, possibly using sarin, which US intelligence thinks al Qaeda has obtained. This was a prominent item in talks between Binyamin Netanyahu and Vladimir Putin in Moscow Nov. 20.
Four new Iranian conditions block nuclear accord in Geneva. Putin calls Rouhani, Lavrov attacks Israel
DEBKAfile Special Report November 19, 2013
Early Tuesday, Nov. 19, the US and Russian presidents went into action for a last-ditch bid to rescue a nuclear deal between the six powers and Iran in the face of a new impediment and crisis: Four noes from Tehran. They fear the negotiating track may not survive the new crisis. debkafile note the strange paradox of two leaders, Ayatollah Khamenei and Prime Minister Netanyahu, implacable adversaries in all else, maneuvering with all their might for the same object of taking the wind out of the sails of this deal.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 8, 2013
Assad spirited his main chemicals stock to safety out of Al Safira to secret hiding places. Obama dropped Geneva II and handing the conference on Syria’s future over to Putin.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 8, 2013
Netanyahu decides to turn to Moscow after he is convinced with Saudi rulers that Obama has decide to abdicate from Middle East affairs and leave its nations to handle their own problems with involving America.
DEBKAfile DEBKA Weekly November 6, 2013
How did the tensely-awaited Geneva II summit this month for a political resolution of the Syrian conflict come to be called off indefinitely? The coming DEBKA Weekly out Friday reveals what happened: President Barack Obama gave way to Vladimir Putin’s arguments that Geneva II faced too many obstacles, whereas he could guarantee better results from Moscow I. He asked for space to put the event together and set a date.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 6, 2013
Avigdor Lieberman’s unanimous acquittal by a Jerusalem court on charges of fraud and breach of trust, Wednesday, Nov. 6 - and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s instantaneous welcome of his ally’s return to government - dovetail neatly with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s announcement of talks with the Israeli prime minister in Moscow on Nov. 20. Lieberman is due to be sworn into his old post as foreign minister. An invitation for Lieberman to join Netanyahu would be significant in terms of Israel’s foreign policy posture and internal political balance.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 5, 2013
Shortly before US Secretary of State John Kerry landed in Jerusalem Tuesday night, Nov. 5, the Russian president’s office announced a short working visit to Moscow by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu would take place on Nov. 20 for talks with President Vladimir Putin. debkafile: Netanyahu has determined to explore the route trodden by Saudi Arabia, Gulf Emirates and Egypt, who - feeling let down by the Obama administration’s decision to pull out of the Middle East and conerned by its outreach to Iran - turned to Moscow for closer ties.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 31, 2013
The Kremlin believes its “nuclear restraint” deal with Tehran is a good enough basis for a final accord with the US. However, it leaves Iran with the option for reactivating its weapons program and building several atomic bombs in 10 days.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 28, 2013
Spy services have been mystified by the unusual three-week absence from public view of Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Various theories claimed he was ill or in seclusion to escape the furor in Tehran over the future of Iran’s nuclear program and relations with the United States. debkafile: Khamenei stayed home to work on the draft US-Iranian-Russian deal for resolving the Iranian nuclear issue. The accord is now in the bag. This secret will be revealed in stages - first by President Barack Obama, in the third week of December.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 24, 2013
Obama, while pretending to be dissatisfied with Iran’s nuclear concessions, accelerates the wording of a draft nuclear deal with Iran via Russia and prepares to spring it on the world as a big surprise.