U.N. Security Council meets in emergency session (link to video); NATO confirms columns of Russian tanks, artillery and troops crossing border into eastern Ukraine; Kiev denounces imminent large-scale invasion



(1) Ewen MacAskill (defence correspondent), “Russian tanks and troops crossing into Ukraine, says Nato commander General Philip Breedlove warns of renewed war as border between two countries becomes ‘completely porous’,” November 12, 2014 (13.00 EST).

Nato’s chief military commander has said that columns of Russian tanks, artillery and troops have been spotted crossing the border into Ukraine over the last two days, amid fears of a renewal of all-out conflict in the war-torn east of the country.

Moscow has denied that any columns have crossed the border and challenged Nato to produce evidence.

Philip Breedlove, the US general who is supreme allied commander Europe, speaking in the Bulgarian capital Sofia on Wednesday, said: “What worries me the most is that we have a situation now that the former international border between Ukraine and Russia is completely porous, it is completely wide open.”

He added: “Forces, money, support, supplies, weapons are flowing back and forth across this border completely at will and that is not a good situation.”

(2) Osten der Ukraine: Nato bestätigt Militärtransporte aus Russland; Panzer, Artillerie und Truppen: Die Nato hat Berichte bestätigt, wonach Russland seine militärische Präsenz im Osten der Ukraine ausbaut. Die Regierung in Moskau dementiert,” Der Spiegel, 12. November 2014 (14:32 Uhr).

Kiew/Sofia – Die Nato beobachtet, dass “zahlreiche Kolonnen” mit militärischer Ausrüstung von Russland aus in den Osten der Ukraine transportiert werden. “In den vergangenen zwei Tagen haben wir dasselbe gesehen, was die OSZE berichtet: Wir haben Kolonnen russischer Ausrüstung gesehen, vor allem russische Panzer, russische Artillerie, russische Luftabwehrsysteme und russische Kampftruppen, die in die Ukraine gebracht werden”, sagte Nato-Oberkommandeur Philip Breedlove. Die genaue Anzahl der Einheiten sei unklar, doch bestünde Einigkeit, dass es “zahlreiche Kolonnen” seien.

(3) U.N. Security Council Meeting on Ukraine; The U.N. Security Council held a meeting on Ukraine, as Russian combat troops, tanks, and artillery moved into the country, C-SPAN, November 12, 2014. The video link is here.

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James Rowles
"The Trenchant Observer" is edited and published by James Rowles (aka "The Observer"), an author and international lawyer who has taught International Law, Human Rights, and Comparative Law at major U.S. universities, including Harvard, Brandeis, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Kansas. Dr. Rowles is a former staff attorney at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) of the Organization of American States OAS), in Wasington, D.C., , where he was in charge of Brazil, Haiti, Mexico and the United States, and also worked on complaints from and reports on other countries including Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. As an international development expert, he has worked on Rule of Law, Human Rights, and Judicial Reform in a number of countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and the Russian Federation. In the private sector, Dr. Rowles has worked as an international attorney for a leading national law firm and major global companies, on joint ventures and other matters in a number of countries in Europe (including Russia and the Ukraine), throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, and in Australia, Indonesia, Vietnam, China and Japan. The Trenchant Observer blog provides an unfiltered international perspective for news and opinion on current events, in their historical context, drawing on a daily review of leading German, French, Spanish and English newspapers as well as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and other American newspapers, and on sources in other countries relevant to issues being analyzed. Dr. Rowles speaks fluent English, French, German, Portuguese and Spanish, and also knows other languages. He holds an S.J.D. or Doctor of Juridical Science in International Law from Harvard University, and a Doctor of Law (J.D.) and a Master of the Science of Law (J.S.M.=LL.M.), from Stanford University. As an undergraduate, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree, also from Stanford, where he graduated “With Great Distinction” (summa cum laude) and received the James Birdsall Weter Prize for the best Senior Honors Thesis in History. In addition to having taught as a Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School, Dr. Rowles has been a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University's Center for International Affairs (CFIA). His fellowships include a Stanford Postdoctoral Fellowship in Law and Development, the Rómulo Gallegos Fellowship in International Human Rights awarded by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and a Harvard MacArthur Fellowship in International Peace and Security. Beyond his articles in The Trenchant Observer, he is the author of two books and numerous scholarly articles on subjects of international and comparative law. Currently he is working on a manuscript drawing on some the best articles that have appeared in the blog.