Large numbers of Ukrainian troops have surrendered to the Russian military in recent weeks, using a special radio frequency designed for fighters willing to lay down arms, TASS reported on Wednesday.
The frequency, 149.200 call sign ‘Volga’, was set up by the Russian military during the summer. Thus far, it has been used by more than 10,000 Ukrainian servicemen who were subsequently taken into Russian custody, according to a source with knowledge of the situation cited by TASS. The person added that the radio frequency is active along the entire front line.
“More than 10,0000 Ukrainian soldiers have chosen life and used the 149.200 ‘Volga’ frequency to surrender. The prisoners are well-fed and are provided with all the necessary medical care,” the source stated.
Even by the standards of arms deals between the United States and Saudi Arabia, this one was enormous. A consortium of American defense contractors led by Boeing would deliver $29 billion worth of advanced fighter jets to the United States' oil-rich ally in the Middle East.
Israeli officials were agitated, reportedly complaining to the Obama administration that this substantial enhancement to Saudi air power risked disrupting the region's fragile balance of power. The deal appeared to collide with the State Department’s documented concerns about the repressive policies of the Saudi royal family.
But now, in late 2011, Hillary Clinton’s State Department was formally clearing the sale, asserting that it was in the national interest. At press conferences in Washington to announce the department’s approval, an assistant secretary of state, Andrew Shapiro, declared that the deal had been “a top priority” for Clinton personally. Shapiro, a longtime aide to Clinton since her Senate days, added that the “U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army have excellent relationships in Saudi Arabia.”
These were not the only relationships bridging leaders of the two nations. In the years before Hillary Clinton became secretary of state, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia contributed at least $10 million to the Clinton Foundation, the philanthropic enterprise she has overseen with her husband, former president Bill Clinton. Just two months before the deal was finalized, Boeing -- the defense contractor that manufactures one of the fighter jets the Saudis were especially keen to acquire, the F-15 -- contributed $900,000 to the Clinton Foundation, according to a company press release.