UPA (Utanian Press Agency)
Release: Monday, June 4th, 301 AP.

Nationalist Abels claims Armatirian fleet "nearby"

Utanian Nationalist Party leader Thomas Abels has told a Shecker-based FM radio station that Armatirion's aircraft carrier fleet is currently "only" a thousand kilometres from Utan Krysaror.

"It's the beginning of an invasion, mark my words." A man not renowned for his cautious and considered claims, Thomas Abels, the country's former intelligence chief, is making claims once again about Armatirion's intention to "occupy" the former Guwimith Dependency lands, meaning Begral, South Bay, Rovens and Utania. He says he has it "on good authority" that the Armatirian Aircraft carrier fleet is currently resupplying in Ecostal, 1,000 km from Utan Krysaror, in preparation for an invasion. Pressed for his source, Mr Abels would only admit it was "a fellow patriot in UPIA", Utania's intelligence and counter-intelligence agency.

"The first step was to ban free speech in their own country, being the ban supposedly aimed at religion", Mr Abels claimed, outlining the socialist plot. "They say it's to prevent 'conversions' and talk of religion - when any fool can see it's an attempt to ban talk of free speech and the rights of the individual.

"Anything can be claimed to be "religious talk" if you try hard enough, and that's what they want. Once their own people can't criticise them for their government's actions, the way is clear to invade... sorry, to 're-secure' in the name of 'democracy and freedom' the lands to their east." Mr Abels continues to explain how as intelligence section chief through the 90s for the Guwimithian Southern Dependencies, he learnt a lot about how the Armatirians had planned the downfall of the Tsarist empire, and believe they sponsored the Yellow Bay rebels with help from the Movement for a Communist Zartania (MCZ).

(The YB rebels were the central group responsible for the attack on Zartlam Oil rig that precipitated the end of the Guwimithian regime.)

Mr Abels said he was calling on the President to strength the border and put the Utanian fleet on Alert 3 (the highest level of alertness), which would involve warships standing-by with missiles ready to fire. He said all plans to ban conscription should be halted "until the plans of the Armatirians can be revealled".

He also called on all "patriotic Utanians to stand ready to defend this country".

The radio station received over 1,300 phone calls during the one hour Mr Abels was on the air, some asking where they could acquire semi-automatic ammunition from, but the overwhelming majority declaring Mr Abels "off the rails" as one listener put it.

Despite this, a defence analyst rang the radio station as well and said that Mr Abels was "100% right about the Armatirian fleet being in Ecostal", but could not explain why or how he knew.

©UPA, 301 AP.

©Mike Ham, 2001. All rights reserved. No reproduction without, at least, tacit approval. ;-)