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Neo-Soviet chess: Ukraine checked in drama starring Russian aggressors as victims

Armed Moscow supporters take over police station in the eastern Ukraine town of Slovyansk on April 12.  /Efrem Lukatsky/AP

UNITED NATIONS — The fate of Ukraine, one of Eastern Europe’s largest countries, hangs in the balance. On the one hand, ”spontaneous” political demonstrations and government building seizures by pro-Russian separatists, are bringing an air of deliberately planned disorder to the country’s eastern regions bordering Russia. On the other, rhetorical posturing by the United States [...]

Posted in Africa / Europe,BB Columnists,Columnists,COMMENTARY,Exclusives,John Metzler,Russia,Top Stories,Ukraine | Read More »

S. Sudan government charges Khartoum backing rebels who claim key oil town

South Sudan troops wrested control of Bentiu from rebels in January but have lost the town again.  /Reuters

Special to WorldTribune.com CAIRO — Rebels have claimed the capture of an oil-rich area of South Sudan. On April 15, the rebels, despite a ceasefire agreement, said they captured Bentiu, a city in the oil-rich Wehda state. The rebels said they were advancing in Wehda and would end operations by foreign energy contractors. The South [...]

Posted in Africa / Europe,BB Africa,Exclusives,South Sudan,Top Stories | Read More »

Putin plays the Iran card: Kremlin won’t be ‘bound’ by U.S. sanctions

В.Путин провел совещание с членами правительства РФ

Special to WorldTribune.com MOSCOW — Iran and Russia have been discussing the resumption of strategic relations. Officials said the Kremlin has been negotiating terms for Russian nuclear, military and energy projects in Iran. The officials said the projects would not violate United Nations sanctions, but would take into account the easing of measures by the [...]

Posted in Africa / Europe,Exclusives,Iran,Mideast,Russia,Stateside,Top Stories,U.S. Military,Washington | Read More »

Chechens played key role in Syria, honed skills before returning home

Omar al Chechen and fighters from the Muhajireen Brigade in Syria.

Special to WorldTribune.com Geostrategy-Direct.com WASHINGTON — Chechen fighters have been playing a major role in Syria. Opposition sources and Western analysts agreed that Saudi Arabia has facilitated the recruitment of more than 1,000 Islamist fighters from Russia’s autonomous Chechnya. They said the Chechens significantly bolstered their presence in the Sunni revolt in Syria since Riyad [...]

Posted in Africa / Europe,BB Middle East,Exclusives,Mideast,Russia,Syria,Top Stories | Read More »

Report: Germany to turn down $25 billion tank deal with Saudis

Germany's Leopard-2A7 main battle tank

Special to WorldTribune.com LONDON — Germany was expected to reject a request by Saudi Arabia for hundreds of main battle tanks. A leading German newspaper said the Berlin government would not approve a Saudi request for up to 800 Leopard-2A7 MBTs. The newspaper, Bild, said the deal was opposed by leading members of the government [...]

Posted in Africa / Europe,BB Middle East,Exclusives,Germany,Mideast,Saudi Arabia,Top Stories | Read More »

Loss of joint major weapons projects keenly felt by Russia, Ukraine

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Special to WorldTribune.com By Miles Yu, Geostrategy-Direct.com After the UK, France, the U.S. and other key NATO member states’ suspended all military cooperation with Russia, the Ukrainian government likewise announced it would terminate all joint weapons development projects with Moscow. On the face of it, this would not seem to be a major development considering [...]

Posted in Africa / Europe,BB Backgrounder,Exclusives,Russia,Top Stories,Ukraine | Read More »

U.S. calls on Muslim allies Turkey and Morocco to train Libya’s ‘weak’ military

Gen. David Rodriguez.  /AP

Special to WorldTribune.com WASHINGTON — U.S. officials said the Obama administration has reached out to Muslim allies within and outside NATO to help rebuild Libya’s military. The officials cited Morocco and Turkey, the latter which recently completed a training course for Libyan soldiers. “The Libyan institutions across the board are very, very weak after the [...]

Posted in Africa / Europe,BB Middle East,Exclusives,Libya,Mideast,Morocco,Stateside,Top Stories,Turkey,U.S. Military | Read More »

China invests heavily in Sudanese energy sector, infrastructure

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Special to WorldTribune.com CAIRO — China and Sudan have agreed to expand crude oil exploration. The two allies signed several agreements to explore for oil in the Arab state. Under the accords, signed last month, China would fund the exploration projects, expected to be conducted by the state-owned China National Petroleum Corp. Officials said China, [...]

Posted in Africa / Europe,BB Africa,BB NE Asia,China,Exclusives,NE Asia,Sudan,Top Stories | Read More »

Ukraine continues weapons sales to China in the midst of turmoil

Il-78 aerial refueling tanker.

Special to WorldTribune.com By Miles Yu, Geostrategy-Direct.com As the 6th largest arms export country in the world, Ukraine has counted China as its top customer for the past two decades. On March 25, a Russian-designed Il-78 aerial refueling tanker plane conducted a final test flight after a major upgrade before being delivered by Ukraine to [...]

Posted in Africa / Europe,BB Backgrounder,China,Exclusives,Intel Brief,Life,NE Asia,Top Stories,Ukraine | Read More »

Tunisia says captured terror cell planned attacks on economic capital Sfax

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Special to WorldTribune.com CAIRO — Tunisia has captured an Al Qaida-aligned cell. The Tunisian Interior Ministry has reported the capture of a cell aligned with Al Qaida’s Ansar Al Sharia. The ministry said eight suspected members of the cell were arrested and charged with plotting attacks in Sfax, deemed the economic capital of Tunisia. “Suspected [...]

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