Why Is the Trump Administration Selling Giant Sniper Rifles to Ukraine?
On Dec. 20, 2017, the U.S. State Department publicly announced it was finally issuing an export license for Ukraine to purchase lethal military weapons. Pres. Donald Trump personally approved the move after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary James Mattis briefed him. Curiously, the only specific form... Read more
Ukraine’s Getting American Anti-Tank Missiles
On Dec. 22, 2017 the State Department announced it had issued an export license for lethal military aid to Ukraine — including $47 million for 210 Javelin missiles and 35 shoulder-mounted command launcher units, or CLUs, with which to launch them. The decision has been welcomed by Kiev and elicited... Read more
These Are the Flashpoints That Could Spark War in 2018
The world has managed to make it through most of 2017 without the return of cataclysmic, great power conflict. In some parts of the world — most notably Syria — tensions have declined significantly. In others, already difficult situations have grown even more tense. Here are five crises that could lead... Read more
What’s the Democratic Republic of Congo Doing With These Ukrainian Tanks?
Three years ago, Ukraine announced it would sell 50 of its T-64BV-1 tanks to an unspecified foreign customer, rumored to be the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This became official in 2016 with the delivery of 25 of the tanks to the country, according to information just released by Ukraine... Read more
Airborne Fighting Vehicles Rolled Through Hell in Eastern Ukraine
In April 2014, a few months after Russian troops seized Crimea, a pro-Russian uprising broke out in Eastern Ukraine centered on Donetsk Oblast. The province had a substantial ethnic Russian population which supported the pro-Moscow government of Pres. Viktor Yanukovych, who fled the country that February after the Euromaidan... Read more
Fearing Russian Influence, Ukraine Bans a Social Media Site
Ukraine is blacklisting the country’s most popular social network VKontakte, email provider Mail.Ru and a host of other companies — all because they’re Russian businesses. Pres. Petro Poroshenko updated the official sanctions list, banning more than 400 companies from doing business for three years in the Ukraine. The government... Read more
Defiant in the Quagmire, a Ukrainian Commander Vows to ‘Liberate All of Our Lands’
It starts in the same manner every day, as predictable as it is deadly. Twice a day, when the sun sets and again as morning’s first light arrives, the normal sporadic gunfire of a battlefield starts to increase in tempo. Scattered shots take on a more constant rhythm, the... Read more
A Tour of Ukraine’s ‘Mad Max’ Tank Factory
This article originally appeared at Motherboard. Roads in the east of Ukraine are littered with signs of war: roadblocks, craters, tanks, and camo-painted trucks. Occasionally a Mitsubishi L200 pickup painted in a striking black and grey geometric pattern will roll by. That’s Azov Battalion. Its trademark camo print covers... Read more
Russia’s Navy Is More Rust Than Ready
On May 8, 2014, the British Royal Navy destroyer HMS Dragon sailed from the naval base at Portsmouth on an urgent mission — to find and follow the Russian aircraft carrier Kuznetsov and six accompanying vessels steaming through the English Channel. “A Russian task group of this size has... Read more
Ukrainian Soldier Speaks — This Is Our ‘Stalingrad’
At his 100-acre farm on the outskirts of Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine’s third-largest city, Alexey Chaban looked rested. He’d just spent three months back home following a half-year of fighting. The 50-year-old father of four is a first lieutenant with the Ukrainian army’s 17th Tank Brigade. He became well known after... Read more

Santiago de la Presilla

Europe-based freelance journalist, mostly Europe and Russia.

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