Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from March 4, 2014

Putin orders Russian troops back to base

Vladimir Putin ordered tens of thousands of Russian troops participating in military exercises near Ukraine’s border to return to their bases as US Secretary of State John Kerry was on his way to Kiev.Tensions remained high in the strategic Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea with troops loyal to Moscow fired warning shots at protesting Ukrainian soldiers.It was not clear if Putin’s move was an attempt to heed the West’s call to de-escalate the crisis that has put Ukraine’s future on the line.It came as Kerry was on his way to Kiev to meet with the new Ukrainian leadership that deposed a pro-Russian president, and has accused Moscow of a military invasion.The Kremlin, which does not recognise the new Ukrainian leadership, insists it made the move in order to protest millions of Russians living there.Warning shots in Crimea regionToday, pro-Russian troops who had taken control of the Belbek air base in the Crimea region fired warning shots into the air as around 300 Ukrainian soldiers, who p…

Kerala CM: Don’t protest too much over Kasturirangan report on Western Ghats

If Kasturirangan report is dumped, the Gadgil report will take its place, cautions Chandy
Scrapping of Kasturirangan panel report on conserving Western Ghats may bring about unintended but harmful consequences, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has said.He said this to newspersons here on Tuesday while briefing them on deliberations during a special meeting of the Cabinet held earlier in the day.Farmer activists settled in the Ghat areas have been demanding that the State government press the Centre for withdrawal of ‘in-principle’ acceptance of the Kasturirangan recommendations.“But this will only bring into play the Gadgil recommendations,” the Chief Minister said of a stricter list of proposals submitted by eminent ecologist Madhav Gadgil that preceded Kasturirangan’s.Chandy said the State government would like to ensure people’s participation in conservation of ecology. But the act of conservation must not deny them their right to land and livelihood.The government’s resolve in this re…

Iran, global powers to commence talks on a positive note

Iran and the six global powers are set to commence expert-level nuclear talks on Wednesday, bolstered by an affirmation by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that Tehran is abiding by its obligations spelled out in an earlier nuclear deal.Talks will be held in Vienna on the sidelines of an on-going meeting of the IAEA board of governors.Iran and the sextet - the five permanent members of the Security Council and Germany- are holding a flurry of meetings to fulfil a six-month Joint Plan of Action (JPA), which they had signed in Geneva in November 2013. During this period, Iran is obliged to undertake a series of transparent and verifiable confidence building steps, under the supervision of the IAEA, which would result in limited sanctions relief amounting to $4.2 billion.All sanctions against Iran would be lifted if the dialogue, which can be extended by another six months, yields a comprehensive nuclear deal.The momentum of the three-day talks in the Austrian capital will b…

Putin cancels military exercises near Ukraine

In his first comments since Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych fled Kiev, Mr. Putin said he considers the latter to still be Ukraine’s leader, and hopes that Russia won’t need to use force in predominantly Russian-speaking eastern Ukraine. Earlier Tuesday, the Kremlin said Mr. Putin had ordered tens of thousands of Russian troops participating in military exercises near Ukraine’s border to return to their bases. The massive military exercise in western Russia involving 150,000 troops, hundreds of tanks and dozens of aircraft was supposed to wrap up anyway, so it was not clear if Putin’s move was an attempt to heed the West’s call to de-escalate the crisis that has put Ukraine’s future on the line. It came as Mr. Kerry was on his way to Kiev to meet with the new Ukrainian leadership that deposed a pro-Russian President, and has accused Moscow of a military invasion in Crimea. The Kremlin, which does not recognise the new Ukrainian leadership, insists it made the move in order to prote…

Lessons from a lost war

Twenty-five years ago, the last of the Soviet troops left Afghanistan. Now, as another superpower’s soldiers prepare to return home from the war-torn country, there are important lessons for India to learn Twenty-five years ago last month, Marshal Boris Vsevolodovich Gromov walked the last few metres over the bridge from Afghanistan to the Soviet Union, at the very tail of the army he had commanded. Mr. Gromov’s son, Maksim, had stood watching as the great convoy of tanks and armoured personnel carriers thundered by, waiting for his father with a fistful of carnations. The Marshal’s own father had died in 1943, when he was just a few months old, battling Nazi troops on the Dneiper river. The story of this soldier and son had a happier ending. Fourteen thousand, four hundred and fifty-three other Soviet soldiers, though, came home in black, zinc coffins. Perhaps 7,000 were maimed. No one knows how many Afghans died in the war for sure; estimates run up to 1.2 million. Now, as another g…