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Thursday, March 27, 2014

U.S. fears Russia planning to federalize Ukraine, alarming Congress -- By Bill Gertz, The Washington Times

Russian President Vladimir Putin on March 18 said he did not want Ukraine divided up, but questioned its current borders, which were established after the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution that incorporated Russian areas in the south and east. (Associated Press)U.S. intelligence officials say Russia plans to force Ukraine to adopt a scheme to federalize and turn its southern neighbor into a quasi-province of the Russian Federation.

Additionally, recent assessments of Moscow's motives indicate that a large-scale military intervention to take over Ukraine is a possible plan of action.

The push for a federalized Ukraine began shortly after the March 16 vote in Crimea declaring the peninsula part of Russia. The next day, the Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement calling for a new constitution in Ukraine to create a "democratic federal state" that would have a politically-neutral military. The Russians want regional entities with broad powers that would boost the power of ethnic Russians and Russian-language speaking Ukrainians.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on March 18 said he did not want Ukraine divided up, but questioned its current borders, which were established after the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution that incorporated Russian areas in the south and east.

A leaked Russian document developed by Moscow's National Security Council and posted on a Ukrainian website Monday revealed that Russia plans to "integrate" all Russian-speaking regions of Ukraine, including the capital, Kiev.

"Only the full entry of the territory of the Russian regions of Ukraine, namely, Crimea, Luhansk Region, Donetsk Region, Zaporizhzhya Region, Dnipropetrovsk Region, Chernihiv Region, Sumy Region, Kharkiv Region, Kyiv Region, Kherson Region, Mykolayiv Region and Odessa Region into the Russian Federation can guarantee peace, security and prosperity for their population as well as provide reliable protection for Russia's interests," the document states.

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