Photo: Ukraine's foreign minister Pavlo Klimkin urged US senators to support sanctions against Russia on Tuesday


Paul Manafort cast the scrutiny of him as “a blatant attempt to discredit me and the legitimacy of the election of President Trump.” | Getty


The Spring Storm 17 exercises aim to increase interoperability of Romanian and U.S. troops in a region where NATO members are uneasy after Russia's interventions in Ukraine.  

The $12 million in payments the Yanukovych regime made to Paul Manafort appears likely to wind up center stage in the FBI’s inquiries in Russia influence on the U.S. presidential election.


< The Russian military says Ilya Gorbunov, 19, died when a tank he was driving rolled off a bridge. His sister says that a soldier from her brother's unit said Ilya died after being locked in a tank and suffocating.


Analyst: “With a pro-EU coalition government highly likely in the Dutch parliament, the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement will be approved by the Dutch Senate. Afterwards, it’s certain to be approved by the EU Council.”


Analyst: “The big question is not who will win the election, but whether the anti-EU party led by Wilders will gain enough votes to form a coalition government. If he does, that could influence the Senate in its upcoming vote on the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement.”


<Geert Wilders, head of the far-right anti-immigration Party for Freedom


The article below qualifies as today’s MUST READ for anyone with an interest in international affairs – and most especially Russian citizens, whose national budget is being squandered to support the evil regime of Bashar al-Assad. It might be logical if in return Russia was gaining firm control of Syria but Russian rubles and Russian blood is buying nothing except temporary control of limited parts of a country that are no longer under control of Assad. Instead, Assad – and by extension Russia – must deal with the fact that real power in Syria today is controlled by criminal gangs with loyalty only to themselves. If you read nothing else today, I urge you to read the article and to consider its long-term implications.


<Photo: Mohamed Jaber is the leader of the Desert Hawks militia, which is based in Latakia, a stronghold of dictator Bashar Assad's Alawites


Analyst: “Western institutions will continue to extend sanctions for as long as they can amid the looming populist threat sweeping Europe.”


UBO Analysis: Russia’s plans to massively expand its logistics facility at Tartus, Syria into a major naval base capable of servicing 11 ships carries with it a likelihood that the Tartus expansion will for both political and fiscal reasons have the impact of minimizing Russian plans for its facilities at Sevastopol.


<Photo: The Russian missile cruiser Great Peter makes a port call at Tartus, Syria.


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