Surrendered Ukrainian soldier: “Lyuba, don’t worry, I’m in captivity”

Here is the article related to yesterday’s powerful video showing captures Ukie soldiers confronted with civilians.

Original here:
Translator: Daniel Mihailovitch / Edited by @GBabeuf

Photo: Aleksander KOTS Dmitriy STESHIN Photo: Aleksander KOTS Dmitriy STESHIN

I have two small children!” A woman slaps a Ukrainian Army prisoner on the cheek. “They almost lost their voices!”

Knock it of!” A militiaman growls, and the woman moves away from the ranks.

A dozen local residents went out into the street in Snezhnoe to share with the surrendered artillerymen all that they had accumulated in their hearts in the last weeks. Under fire. During sleepless nights in basements. In anticipation of the next terrible artillery barrage, during rare moments of respite. The prisoners stand in silence, heads bowed. They can raise a plaintive look at the guards, but have not the strength to look into the eyes of ordinary civilians, those they shelled with large-calibre weapons.

After two more cauldrons were created in the Donbass, the flow of government soldiers willing…

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#Ukraine: News from the #Gas War

There are a number of interesting news regarding the gas war being fought right now throughout Europe. Learn about the OPAL pipeline, the start of construction of the pipeline to China, the Power of Siberia pipeline, and a antitrust trial started against GE.

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak

ITAR TASS has a story about a rather interesting pipeline: the OPAL pipeline. Actually a boring side path of North Stream, the political dimension of OPAL makes it interesting.

The European Commission (EC) will say whether it is possible to load the OPAL pipeline fully by September 15, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said in a news conference Monday, following an August 29 discussion with EU Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger.

“At the last meeting, we discussed the full loading of the OPAL pipeline, giving the full capacities. It will improve the situation with living through the autumn-winter period, will give more opportunities to supply gas bypassing Ukraine’s transit risks…Oettinger has promised us to make a decision by September 15. There is no reason not to do it,” Novak said.

The OPAL, whose capacity amounts 36 billion cubic meters, is plugged into Russia’s Nord Stream undersea export pipeline and stretches along Germany’s eastern border. Under the EU’s third energy package, Russian gas giant Gazprom is limited to use only 50% of its capacities.

But the only filler of the OPAL pipeline is the Nord Stream, and to avoid financial losses, Russia and Germany urged the European Commission to exempt OPAL from the Third Energy Package legislation. The commission decided to hold an auction in July for the remaining 50% of the pipeline’s capacities to remove the OPAL from the package by imposing a so-called partial regulation, but the auction was cancelled.

What makes this pipeline so interesting is that EU breaks its own rules with OPAL, while it sabotages the South Stream project on the same grounds. Yep, that is their hypocrisy out in the open. For Russia this is good as it gives more reach to Russian gas in Europe.

While the business with the West is rather cumbersome currently, even though the gas industry is exempted from all sanctions, the developing China business is promising. Before any business activities can start, however, huge investments are to be done and the pipeline to be built. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin attended Gazprom’s groundbreaking ceremony for its construction of the Power of Siberia pipeline

Gazprom Begins Construction of Gas Export Pipeline to China.

Russian President Vladimir Putin attended Gazprom’s groundbreaking ceremony for its construction of the 3,000-kilometer (1,860-mile) Power of Siberia pipeline Monday.

“Without any exaggeration, we are launching a large-scale strategic project on the global level. It is meant to stimulate the development of Eastern Siberia and the Far East and increase Russia’s energy security as a whole. The new gas pipeline will significantly strengthen economic cooperation with the governments of the Asia-Pacific region and, first and foremost, with our key partner China,” Putin said during the opening ceremony.

“This project doesn’t only give us the ability to export gas, it gives us the ability to develop the gas infrastructure of our own country, the eastern regions of Russia: the Far East and Eastern Siberia,” Putin said.

“We are launching the world’s biggest construction project. There will not be anything bigger in the near future,” the Russian president stressed.

Putin also thanked Chinese President Xi Jinping for his support of joint efforts.

In May, Gazprom and China’s CNPC signed a 30-year agreement on the annual export of around 38 billion cubic meters of Russian gas to China. The project is valued at $400 billion. Russia’s Power of Siberia gas transmission system is designed for delivering gas from the Irkutsk Region and Yakutia gas production centers further eastward to Russia’s Far East and China. The pipeline’s Yakutsk-Khabarovsk section is scheduled for a late 2017 launch.

In terms of the domestic gas infrastructure, the Power of Siberia pipeline is expected to become a unified gas transmission system (GTS) for the Irkutsk and Yakutia production centers, transporting gas from the regions to Vladivostok via Khabarovsk.

The pipeline will run along the already operational Eastern Siberia-Pacific Ocean oil pipeline, which should help streamline infrastructure and power supply costs. The first section of the Power of Siberia GTS is expected to go into operation in late 2017.

On May 21, 2014, Gazprom Deputy chairman Alexei Miller and China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) chairman Zhou Jiping signed a contract to supply gas from Russia to China via the eastern route. According to the 30-year contract, Russia will deliver 38 billion cubic meters of gas to China annually.

The length of the Power of Siberia gas pipeline is estimated to be about 4,000 kilometers (2,485 miles) and have an annual throughput of 61 billion cubic meters of gas.

In the light of such huge investments, budget control becomes important. What you do not want is paying more than necessary, for instance, due to corruption. And what could be better if an American company is one of the suspects?


p class=”b-material__title”>Russia’s RusHydro, GE suspected in violations at gas turbine tender

Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service has opened a case against hydropower giant RusHydro and US General Electric (GE) over alleged violations at gas turbine tenders for the Yakutsk GRES-2 plant, the antitrust body said Monday.

The service said it opened the case based on documents and information obtained during unscheduled inspections.

“The development of the Far East has an important political and social significance and is carried out mostly with budget funds, that’s why it is important for us to make sure that tender winners connected with the construction of the facilities of the fuel and energy complex in the Far East are picked fairly,” Alexander Kinyov, the antimonopoly service’s deputy director, said.

The construction of the first stage of the Yakutsk GRES-2 plant is one of RusHydro’s projects to build four power plants in the Far East. The government earlier gave 50 billion rubles to the company for the implementation of these projects.

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#Ukraine: It’s #sanction time again

The EU summit behind us and the NATO summit ahead, Western politicians have all hands full to do with their hypocritic theatre. Headlines say “More Sanctions: Europe Will Ban Purchase Of Russian Bonds; However Russian Gas Exports Remain Untouched”, “EU works to prepare new sanctions against Russia”, “Australia’s Abbot Announces New Sanctions Against Russia” or “Merkel: Russia’s ‘Aggressive’ Behavior Cannot Go Unanswered”.

Politicians seem to speak with one voice currently, even though experts say that sanctions are rather harmful than helpful and companies on the ground say that the real losers are not in Russia but in the West. I take a look at seven articles from today that are related to the new wave of sanctions rolling.

Zerohedge. Over the weekend, insolvent, debt-dependent Europe thought long and hard how to best punish Russia and moments ago reached yet another milestone in deep projective thought: as Reuters reports, Europeans could be barred from buying new Russian government bonds “under a package of extra sanctions over Moscow’s military role in Ukraine that European Union ambassadors were to start discussing on Monday, three EU sources said.” This will be in addition to the ban on the debt funding of most Russian corporations. So as Europe’s 7-day ultimatum for the Kremlin to “de-escalate” counts down, Putin has a choice: continue operating under a budget surplus and ignore Europe’s latest and most amusing hollow threat which is merely a projection of Europe’s biggest fears, or spend itself into oblivion as Europe has done over the past decade and become a vassal state of the Frankfurt central bank.. Somehow we doubt Putin will lose too much sleep over this latest “escalation”…

Some more details on today’s latest threat by Europe, which if nothing else has sent the ruble to a fresh record low against the dollar, leaving Europe green with envy at such currency debasement, and boosting Russian exports even more. I don’t know if that is the reason for articles of today (e.g. Goldman & Sachs) forecasting a 1:1 exchange rate for Dollar and Euro, which means that the Dollar is blown up. The Dollar! Despite all that fiat money business and uncontrolled Dollar printing. 

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who led the drive for a tougher EU response, said on Monday that Moscow’s behaviour in Ukraine must not go unanswered, even if sanctions hurt the German economy, heavily dependent on imported Russian gas, and not only that. Moscow News:

“I have said that (sanctions) can have an impact, also for German companies,” Merkel told a news conference in Berlin. “But I have to say there is also an impact when you are allowed to move borders in Europe and attack other countries with your troops,” she said. “Accepting Russia’s behaviour is not an option. And therefore it was necessary to prepare further sanctions.”

It remains to be seen just how much more loss-generating populism German companies are willing to take. After all, every now and then even Europe requires a reminder that it is corporations who pull the political strings. And if German corporations want Merkel gone, that just may be what they will get. For now however, all Europe gets is more “draconian” populism. What a welcome change of tune after all that austerity lamenting! Or is the same? 

The leaders asked the executive European Commission to prepare further measures within a week, building on steps taken at the end of July, which targeted the energy, banking and defense sectors.

“I’m hearing that a ban on buying Russian government bonds could be in the next package,”

an EU official familiar with the preparations said. ITAR TASS: They will be imposed on the financial, arms, dual-use goods sectors and some technologies in the energy sector

The European Commission has started preparing suggestions on new sanctions against Russia, which will be presented before September 7, Commission spokeswoman Pia Ahrenkilde Hansen told reporters Monday.

Work on the suggestions will be finished on terms set by the EU – within a week, she said, without disclosing the measures, saying only that they will have economic consequences which have to be assessed the political and economic point of view.

Previously, Finland’s Prime Minister Alexander Stubb told ITAR-TASS the new restrictions will be set in the framework of existing sanctions. They will be imposed on the financial, arms, dual-use goods sectors and some technologies in the energy sector, he said.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry replied that the country will take new countermeasures if the Union imposes new sanctions.

“It is regrettable that the Union follows the countries interested in increasing confrontation with Russia despite interests of its member-countries,” the ministry said in a statement. “But there is still hope that the EU can look at the situation above last century’s stereotypes and will organize constructive work on settling the Ukrainian crisis.

And in another ITAR TASS article:

Russia will take countermeasures in retaliatory to the West’s new sanctions, Federation Council (upper house) chairperson Valentina Matviyenko said on Monday.

“We have serious steps and countermeasures if the spiral of sanctions is widen,” she said, adding that Russia did not support such measures. However, she said if Western politicians forced Russia to take retaliatory measures “it will be a hell to pay”.

“The EU rhetoric changed” after Russia banned imports of beef, pork, poultry, fish, cheese, dairy products, fruit and vegetables from Australia, Canada, Norway, the US and the EU for one year on August 7.

To be sure, nothing was decided: it is, after all, Europe, and decisions is what well-catered parties in the future are for. 

An EU diplomat said ambassadors of the 28 member states would hold an emergency meeting on Monday at 1300 GMT to start work on a “significant” package of further measures although no immediate decisions were expected. A further meeting is set for Wednesday.

The leaders said the Commission should include in the sanctions “every person and institution dealing with the separatist groups in the Donbass”, potentially leaving a very broad area that could be targeted.

I would suggest that the new EU thought crime legislation, which has been prepared for months to curb anti-Muslim sentiments throughout the EU, is extended to make all verbal and written support for Russia punishable. In the end, only that will help to keep people in line after they lost their jobs due to “inevitable measures” and politics “without alternative”.

And just to add to the European flavor, and humor, the key countries in central Europe have already opined against further Russian sanctions, thus further jamming the wedge discussed previously whereby Russia has succeeded in converting that all-important safehaven, Austria, to its side.

However several EU countries heavily dependent on Russian gas, including the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Austria, are opposed to new sanctions, which require unanimous agreement.
“I consider sanctions meaningless and counterproductive,” Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico said on Sunday.
“Until we know what is the impact of the already imposed sanctions, it makes no sense to impose new ones,” Fico said. “I reserve a right to veto sanctions harming national interests of Slovakia.”


But back to the stupidity of Eurocrats, who instead of focusing on fixing their own imploding economies, are hell bent on making Russian life a living hell, in the process accelerating Europe’s mere “triple-dip” into an outright depression: 

EU diplomats said the main thrust of new steps could be financial because that would hit the Russian government rather than citizens. It could be coordinated with the United States, whose measures were also focusing on the financial sector.

Two diplomats said they did not rule out a ban on the purchases of Russian sovereign bonds to make it more difficult for the Russian government to finance itself on markets. In July, the EU banned Russian state-owned banks from raising capital or from borrowing in EU markets.

And of course, since Putin knows he hold all the trump, or rather Gazprom, cards from day one, all Europe will achieve with further sanctions is even more retaliation: 

Moscow has retaliated against sanctions by banning most agricultural imports from Europe and the United States. The risk of a ban on buying Russian sovereign bonds is that the Kremlin could hit back by dumping European government bonds, of which Russian state institutions have significant holdings.

Which bring us to the dumbest idea from last week: the UK’s push to exclude Russia from SWIFT… and in the process accelerate the demise of the dollar as the world’s reserve currency. 

Asked about the idea that Russia could be cut off from the international money transfer system known as SWIFT, one diplomat said the idea had been floated several months ago, but that there was opposition to it among several EU countries.

The problem is that while it would probably work well in the short-term, as in the case of Iran, in the long-term it would trigger the creation of an alternative system to SWIFT and the setting up of two alternative world transaction systems and nobody wants that,” the diplomat said.

Well certainly not the US government, who gets every single SWIFT transaction presented under the pretext of the “war on terror”.

But the punchline, and why once again anyone with half a brain knows it is all for show, is that as usual, Russia’s gas sector, which powers European industry and lights its cities, has been spared so far and will continue to be spared.

By now even 5 year olds realize that if Europe really wanted to hurt Russia, it would cut off the gas and oil imports.

Only one problem: it can’t, as that would be economic and political suicide for Europe, and for the “infinite” political capital behind its unraveling monetary union. Everything else is noise.

McDonald's falls victim of Molotov cocktail attack in Russia. 53471.jpeg

Noise are, of course, also Russian retaliatory steps against McDonalds fastfood restaurants in Russia. After the closing of some five or seven restaurants on health grounds, McDonald’s has fallen victim of Molotov cocktail attack in Russia. Pravda writes:

In the morning of August 31, a group of unknown individuals threw a Molotov cocktail into a window of McDonald’s restaurant in the city of Ivanovo, Central Russia. The perpetrators escaped from the crime scene immediately afterwards. 

Employees of the restaurant managed to put down the fire before a fire brigade arrived. The police are looking for those, who committed the act of arson.

McDonald’s chain has been under close attention in Russia lately. Several restaurants of the chain were closed in different cities of Russia, including Moscow, over violations of sanitary conditions and poor quality food.

Meanwhile, State Duma deputy from Just Russia Andrei Krutov appealed to Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika with a proposal to check the activities of charity fund Ronald McDonald House. The principal activity of the fund, according to the deputy, is “other forms of monetary intermediation”. Charity is not indicated on the list of activities of Ronald McDonald House. The MP believes that one needs to understand where the collected money goes and how reliable financial statements from the fund are.

In addition, the organization, founded by foreign entities, is not registered in the Ministry of Justice as a foreign agent, Interfax says with reference to the Izvestia newspaper. The fund is registered at the place of mass registration.

Representatives of the fund rejected the deputy’s accusations. They noted that Ronald McDonald House “timely generates adequate reports and sends them to the General Directorate of the Ministry of Justice of Russia in Moscow. The press service also said that the fund was not referred to non-profit organizations that serve as a foreign agent, since the organization did not engage in political activities.

So, idiots are obviously not exclusive to the US and the EU. Is it really needed to remind that McDonald’s is a franchise system, which means the restaurants are owned by local investors, possibly together with foreigners. McDonald’s is delivering the raw materials and provides the marketing material.
Yesterday I saw a report about a German, who went 25 years ago as an apprentice to Russia and today owns the largest farm for milk production in Russia with some 20,000 cows and is an adviser to President Putin in the food ban issue. He reported that Russian farmers were already heavily under price pressure from abroad and that the import bans is working really nicely now to relieve the local producers from this pressure. He expects the whole crisis to be a tremendous development stimulus for Russian agriculture.
Worrying is however that the Wests bans or threatens to ban technology sales to Russia. Under this category would also fall the software needed to run modern farms of today and spare part for Western farming machinery. The Chinese, he says, have immediately picked up the opportunity and are sending armies of sales reps to invite farmers and producers to visit China to present them what they have to offer in this category. Verdict after the first visits: the Chinese products are not bad at all and have improved a lot from what they have been like some ten or twenty years ago.
Bottom line: the West, and especially the EU and Germany, are destroying all their gains they made in the Russian market. The winners will sit in China, the losers in the crisis-ridden countries of Western Europe.
To this fits another article on RIA Novosti that the Chinese are now tackling the Russian car market: Chinese ‘Haima’ Plans to Return to Russian Auto Market
Chinese automotive company Haima plans to enter the Russian market for the second time

Chinese automotive company Haima plans to enter the Russian market, following another Chinese automobile manufacturer Lifan, newspaper Kommersant reports.

 “Chinese manufacturers, apparently, hope for special preferences or plan to fill niches, which can emerge after potential sanctions in the automotive sector,” said Oleg Dazkiv, head of the internet portal In his opinion, the moment for starting production is not quite right, as Russian automotive industry is currently experiencing a slowdown in sales.

 According to Kommersant, Haima is going to invest 100$ Mln in the new project, which is expected to produce 10-30 thousand cars in a year. The project implementation is planned to take place in four steps – starting with SKD followed by gradual extension of localization levels. 

For Haima, it will be a second attempt to start car manufacturing in Russia. In November 2010 a plant for Haima 3 production was opened in Cherkessk by Derways Automobile Company. However, due to Derways’ inability to pay for Haima’s knock-down kits and its low set-up quality, cooperation between the two companies was suspended. 

Some analysts believe that the attempts of re-opening can be attributed to the deepening of Russia-China economic relations. 

According to Forbes, Haima is currently producing 150 thousand cars a year, holding a 2% share in the Chinese automotive market.

What makes me so immensely angry with all of these politicians claiming that we have no alternative at all to destroying our own economy and jobs is the fact that the imagined reason for taking action are based on so many lies and falsehoods and in the end, for whom are we doing all this? Is Ukraine worth all that? Not at all! Is the American ambition of conquering Asia to ensure everlasting leadership worth it? Are you kidding???

Last aspect. A Ria Novosti video on Australian sanctions. Australia is moving quickly from being a cool country with nice and friendly people at the edge of the world to an important player in Washington’s plans to attack China and conquer the Pacific Rim. Japan is still a bit more important as the coming pitbull of Washington, but Australia will be the poodle that the UK used to be and keep Japan’s back free and provide logistical support. What do Australians do gain from all that apart from being used as cannon fodder once more as in WWII?

Check out the video: Australia’s Abbot Announces New Sanctions Against Russia

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has announced that Australia will introduced fresh round of sanctions against Russia targeting finance, defense and petroleum sectors. Oh yes, here is what Australian politicians think they can get from this: Australia has built up sizeable LNG capacities and if of course not very happy when Russia builds pipelines to China, South Korea, and Japan.


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#Ukraine: Euphoria in #Novorussia

The euphoric video shows the Novorussian Armed Forces (NAF) in action, who are retaking their country from the Kiev killer commandos of the Ukies.


Maybe it is too early to celebrate the victory, NATO will not give up their plans that easily. But the Ukies hear about the euphoria as well and their spirit is sinking.

In the German propaganda media, Vladimir Putin’s TV interview of today caused waves of outrage. Putin spoke about a sovereign state to be created in Southeast Ukraine and they connected it with the keyword of Novorussia such that it is Putin creating Novorussia. None of the journalists and viewers know anything about Russian history and nobody explains it to them. Everybody thinks now Putin wants to create a new Russia. Miserable mainstream media!

Mysterious sea battle off the coast of #Mariupol, #Ukraine

Today a number of videos popped up showing two jets attacking a ship off the coast of Mariupol, Ukraine.

The question is who attacked whom. As far as I know there are no Novorussian aeroplanes and the Russians would not attack a Ukrainian ship out in the open. If they were Ukie jets, whose ship was it? A Russian ship?

Here is another one:

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Zakharchenko: “We’re Preparing a Second Large-Scale Offensive”

Oh this irony, each word will burn on their skin!

Voices from Russia

00 aleksandr zakharchenko. 27.08.14


Chairman of the DNR Government A V Zakharchenko said in an on-air interview on Russkoi Sluzhby Novostei (Russian News Service), “We continue to advance, we’re mopping up the pockets, and we’d like to break through and create a corridor between Donetsk and Lugansk. We’re preparing a second large-scale offensive. We have no shortage of arms and ammunition. In fact, the Ukrainian army provided us with enough equipment and ammunition, we captured quite a bit from them. Just in the last day, we captured about 40 pieces of equipment”. The DNR offensive on the southern strategic direction began on 24 August.

30 August 2014

Russkaya Vesna

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»Vision 2020«: #Bulgaria’s struggle with #Russian influence

I am trying to find out what is going on in Bulgaria. I got the impression the President Rossen Plevneliev is the problem, who already showed his bias in the context of the South Stream project.

Russia causes sparks between Bulgaria

Traditionally, many Bulgarians view Russia as the brother country that freed them from what they call »Ottoman tyranny«. In 1878, after ten months of war between the Russian and the Ottoman empire, the Treaty of San Stefano created an independent Bulgarian state once again. But since the end of the Cold War, Bulgaria–Russia relations are ambivalent. Bulgaria depends strongly on Russia in a variety of fields, including energy, while the Russian government often stands accused of interfering in Bulgarian politics.

A week ago, the Bulgarian defence ministry published »Vision 2020«, a report that would be presented by the Bulgarian President Rossen Plevneliev and the acting Defence Minister Velizar Shalamanov at the NATO summit in September. The report stressed, that one of the main risks to Bulgaria would be „the new hybrid war, which combines conventional methods with guerrilla, cybernetic and information war.“ Russian propaganda, especially via Bulgarian political and economic personalities, and the media, would put Bulgarian economic and energy security to the test, and undermine its defence capacities.

The report soon caused ‚sparks‘ between the President and Georgi Bliznaski, the acting Prime Minister appointed by him. The president defended »Vision 2020« as overlapping with the official position of the NATO alliance, while the Prime Minister called the report unbalanced and wanted it to be withdrawn. Finally, they ‚agreed‘ that the published report was only a draft version and it got deleted or – in the words of the Prime Minister: „The document was returned for revision.“

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#Ukraine: #Poroshenko’s promises he has failed to keep

Porky has often announced to make peace or to talk with the self-defence forces, just in order to do the next day the very opposite. Kiev Post checks on a few of his political promises. Result: disastrous.

Pro-Russian militants stand guard as investigators work at the crash site of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17. Photograph: Bulent Kilic/AFP/Getty Images

Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko during multilateral talks in Minsk on Aug. 26. © Mykola Lazarenko/POOL

It’s been more than three months since the May 25 election in Ukraine, which propelled Petro Poroshenko to presidency in an unprecedented first-round victory. 

Poroshenko made many promises during his extensive campaign trips, but has failed to keep many of them. It has not eroded his support so far, however. Some 57 percent of Ukrainians still support their president, according to the latest findings of the pollster Research&Branding Group published on Aug. 15.

Kyiv Post has revisited some of the election promises ahead of President Poroshenko’s three months in power since the day of inauguration, which took place on June 7.

1. Promise: “I will nominate my team the day after inauguration

Status: failed

On his campaign trail, Poroshenko was very secretive about the team he planned to work with, but never stopped repeating that he will nominate his team “the day after inauguration, possibly on the land of Donbas.”

But the first major appointments did not start till June 10, when Borys Lozhkin, Poroshenko’s former business partner, was named chief of the president’s administration.

Oleksiy Haran, a political expert and professor at Kyiv Mohyla Academy, says it’s ok because the president “should spend some time trying to find out who will work out for him.” But the president has been taking his time filling key vacancies in the Cabinet, presidential administration and the National Security and Defense Council.

So far, he has failed to fill some key vacancies, the most prominent of which is the job of the National Security and Defense Council Secretary.

Poroshenko did make a number of appointments at the president’s administration and appointed some members of the Cabinet that fall under his competence. Most prominently, he nominated Pavlo Klimkin as foreign minister and Valeriy Heletei as defense minister.

He also appointed Valeriya Gontareva, former Investment Capital Ukraine board chairperson, as Governor of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU). Gontareva became the first woman in Ukraine’s independent history to become a chief banker. One of EuroMaidan Revolution activists and volunteers, Yuriy Biryukov, also made it to presidential pool. He was appointed president’s advisor on Aug. 13.

Haran says that this time the president’s administration “keeps a low profile, which is good – because it’s only a support service of the president.”

2. Promise: “Anti-terrorist operation cannot and will not last two or three months. It has to, and will, last hours.”

Status: failed

During his first press conference after the election vote on May 25, Poroshenko said that the anti-terrorist operation will last hours. It has been three months, and a new front just opened in the east of Ukraine as Russian soldiers crossed the border in the south of Donetsk Oblast and took over the town of Novoazovsk just days ago. Large chunks of Donetsk and Luhansk regions still remain under separatist control, while the death toll of Ukraine’s army is running over 700. The United Nations said 2,200 civilians died in clashes.

The country’s anti-terrorist operation was initially announced in mid-April. During the five months of Russia’s aggression.

Haran, the professor at Kyiv Mohyla Academy, believes that the situation may have been different had Russia not decided to openly invade Ukraine. “Nobody expected then Russian government would send its (humanitarian) convoy to Ukraine and then keep sending its forces in Ukraine,” Haran explained.

Two weeks after the inauguration Poroshenko announced a unilateral ceasefire by the government forces as a part of a peace plan. The president was calling on Russia-backed insurgents to put down the arms. But during the 10-day ceasefire the casualties in Ukraine’s army actually went up as militants opened fire at Ukrainian forces more than 108 times, killing at least 28 servicemen, according to official figures. They also shot down a Ukrainian military plane, and all 49 passengers of that plane died.

As of Aug. 28 armed insurgents backed by Russian regular troops keep the number of strategic cities, including Ilovaisk, Amvrosiivka, Starobesheve and Novoazovsk in Donetsk Oblast.

3. Promise: Full reboot of power

Status: partially fulfilled

The promise of a full reboot of power was one of the key points of Poroshenko’s presidential program.

“I will provide a power reboot and make every effort within the constitutional powers and announce parliamentary elections by the end of 2014, based on the proportional representation of the political parties,” reads Poroshenko’s program.

After the Independence Day celebrations, Poroshenko announced that he set an early parliamentary election for Oct. 26. In his speech Poroshenko stressed he was issuing his decree “taking into account the expectations of the majority of Ukrainians and trying to keep my own word, which I gave while running for president.”

But the original promise was to conduct parliamentary elections based on new rules and a proportional system, where parties would create election lists of their candidates in a open and transparent manner.

However, the Oct. 26 vote will be based on the existing parallel system, where each resident gets two ballots to vote. One of the ballots will offer a list of parties, who will have created their lists of candidates behind closed doors. The other ballot will offer a list of candidates specific for each of the 226 majority constituencies in Ukraine. It’s still unclear what will happen in the annexed Crimea and in the war zone in the east.

4. Promise: To sell business (except for Channel 5) in case of presidency

Status: pending

Poroshenko, the country’s 18th richest man, whose wealth Forbes estimates at $1.3 billion, this month has picked an agent to sell off his significant business assets. His interests will be represented by Rothschild & Cie Investment Company, according to Giovanni Salvetti, co-chairperson of the company, who spoke to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

“We’re very delighted to be selected for this important mission (selling Poroshenko’s assets),” Salvetti said in a televised interview. He said that the company will team up with their Ukrainian counterparts, Investment Capital Ukraine and promised on Aug. 21 that “the effective work on selling (Poroshenko’s) business will start the next week.”

Investment Capital Ukraine is the company that used to be co-owned by Gontareva, the National Bank governor, before her appointment by Poroshenko on June 19. She had to sell her business assets after the appointment.

Apart from an international candy empire Roshen with a turnover of $1.021 billion last year, according to, a specialized website, Poroshenko owns assets in automobile, shipbuilding, real estate and agriculture. He also owns Channel 5, which he refuses to tell for sentimental reasons.

5. Promise: “All the soldiers will be paid Hr 1,000 per day starting May 26

Status: failed

“The soldier of Ukraine will no longer be naked, barefoot and hungry. He has to be well paid, his life has to be insured,” Poroshenko said in his speech on election day.

He promised to make improvements of the Ukrainian army his top priority. He said he would raise what servicemen make from $50 a month to $83 a day, and that each volunteer would get a life insurance worth $83,000.

However, the soldiers who take part in the country’s unfolding anti-terrorist operation, still earn Hr 5,700 ($424) per month, according to the deputy Defense Minister Petro Mekhed.

Source: Kiyv Post

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Where do #Ukraine’s rebels get arms from? Old Soviet bases, says #Russia’s top brass

Self-defense fighters of the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) in the city of Ilovaisk in the Donetsk Region. (RIA Novosti/Gennady Dubovoy)

Self-defense fighters of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) in the city of Ilovaisk in the Donetsk Region. (RIA Novosti/Gennady Dubovoy)

Russia is not waging war in Ukraine’s east, and is not supplying rebels with military equipment, according to Russian deputy defense minister Anatoly Antonov. The anti-Kiev forces get their arms at old Soviet storages – same as government troops do.

“Surely, Russia doesn’t wage any war. Vladimir Putin’s policy is aimed at not allowing the situation to develop according to the worst-case scenario. There are, unfortunately, forces that try to push two peoples against each other to start a real war between Russia and Ukraine,” Antonov said, speaking with journalists in Slovakia.

Addressing the claims that Russia supplies weapons to the eastern Ukrainian self-defense forces, he explained where the militia may get their weaponry from.

“First, one shouldn’t forget that Ukraine used to be a part of the Soviet Union. There were many weapon storages on the territory of the Soviet Union, so when Ukraine and Russia became independent states, clearly some storages remained on Ukrainian territory.

“Currently, in the region engulfed by this disaster, by the bloodshed, where the “punishment” operation is being carried out by Kiev against its own people, some of these storages have been seized by the self-defense forces. That’s why saying that Russians supplied the weapons to Lugansk and Donetsk is simply incorrect. Look at the Ukrainian army’s weaponry. It’s fighting with the Russian weapons – or, more precisely, with Soviet weapons,” Antonov said.

Ukrainian servicemen ride in an armoured vehicle near Debaltseve, Donetsk region, August 29, 2014. (Reuters/Gleb Garanich)

Ukrainian servicemen ride in an armoured vehicle near Debaltseve, Donetsk region, August 29, 2014. (Reuters/Gleb Garanich)

Another source is operational trophies, the deputy defense minister said. “The self-defense forces seize large amounts of National Guard’s and the Ukrainian army’s weapons. Hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers fled into Russia, leaving the weapons they used to own,” he added.

The cost of the war – be it “anti-terrorist operation” as Kiev puts it or a “military operation for protecting East Ukraine civilians” as the rebel forces have it – comes at a cost. To Russia, it is a stream of refugees, who “didn’t enter our territory just to “visit their grannies”,” Antonov said.

More than 130,000 Ukrainians have asked for either refugee status or temporary asylum in Russia since the conflict in the country’s east started in April, according to the Federal Migration Service, while some 820,000 Ukrainian citizens have moved to Russia.

“Those who come to Russia need to be given medical aid, provided with a job… There is no lighting, morgues and the sewage doesn’t function, there is no water, the people choke because of the unbelievable damage that the Kiev government has done. In this situation, we couldn’t be uninvolved…”Antonov said.

Deputy Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation Anatoly Antonov (RIA Novosti/Ramil Sitdikov)

Deputy Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation Anatoly Antonov (RIA Novosti/Ramil Sitdikov)

If Moscow sends anything to Ukraine, it is supplies to civilians caught up in turmoil as Ukraine’s east is plunging into a humanitarian crisis. Cities in Donetsk have been without water and electricity for weeks now, there are food shortages and it is hard to leave the conflict zone.

“What do we send there? We send wheat, buckwheat, medical supplies, mini electricity stations to ensure there is electricity at least in hospitals… That’s what we send!” Antonov stressed. “It was said that we would use those trucks to carry out some military intervention. I would like to say openly: it’s all nonsense. It was all counted: the number of trucks which came to Lugansk exactly corresponded with the number of those which returned to Russia, empty.”

Since April, almost 2,000 people, many of them civilians, have been killed in the fighting. Over 130,000 people have been declared internally displaced, according to the UN, while the number of those who have fled into Russia is nearing a million, according to the Russia’s government.

Source: RT

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#Russia Says It Will Respond To #NATO Troop Rotations In East Europe

After this week’s interview of NATO Secretary General Rasmussen that the Guardian printed and before next week’s NATO summit in Cardiff expected to decide on aggressive measures against Russia, Russia announced already what it will think of the move.
Moscow will take steps to respond if NATO begins regular troop rotations in the Baltics, Russia’s permanent mission to NATO said on Wednesday. Russia’s permanent mission to NATO said via Twitter on August 27 that Russia’s reaction would be “with a view to ensure its security.”

The remarks come after NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen announced the troop rotations for NATO’s eastern members in an interview published on August 26 by Britain’s “The Guardian” newspaper. Rasmussen said the troops rotations would be carried out at “very high frequency” so that “any potential aggressor” would know an attack on the NATO host country would target the entire NATO alliance.

Poland and the three Baltic states — all NATO members — have called for a stronger NATO presence after Russia’s intervention in Ukraine and annexation of Crimea.

NATO Ukraine Crimea Europe Eastern Europe Putin Russia

But Russia’s Foreign Ministry say the NATO military drills would harm security in the region.

“More visible NATO military presence in the east will be detrimental to the Euro-Atlantic stability. Russia will react to NATO moves eastwards with a view to ensure its security,” the foreign ministry wrote on its twitter account. “NATO is willing to satisfy its eastern allies in their phobias. What about fighting real challenges to international security?” another “tweet” indicates. “One should not be misled by the term “rotation”. What matters is permanence of NATO presence in the East,” the ministry also said.

A major NATO summit in Wales next week will discuss the deployment of allied armed forces in military bases in east Europe, Rasmussen told “The Guardian” on Tuesday.

The Cardiff summit is likely to come up with a solution for calls to a permanent NATO presence, alliance sources said, which would avoid the term “permanent” for the new bases. But the impact will be to have constantly manned NATO facilities east of what used to be the iron curtain.

Rasmussen said that the bases could be established on a rotation basis.

U.S. President Barack Obama leaves a press conference at the conclusion of the 2012 NATO Summit May 21, 2012 in Chicago. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN.

“The point is that any potential aggressor should know that if they were to even think of an attack against a NATO ally they will meet not only soldiers from that specific country but they will meet NATO troops. This is what is important,” said Rasmussen.

When asked whether there would be permanent international deployments under a NATO flag in east Europe, Rasmussen said:

“The brief answer is yes. To prevent misunderstanding I use the phrase “for as long as necessary”. Our eastern allies will be satisfied when they see what is actually in the readiness action plan.”


Source: Radio Free Europe

#UK Wants #EU to Block #Russia From #SWIFT Banking Network

Amidst an allegedly huge new domestic paedophile scandal (check the related coverage of events here) involving some 1300 abused white children in UK, which absorbs police and government offices in massive cover-up activities, on the international parquet the British government came to the fore with a new proposal as to how to harm Russia financially.

Pro-Russian fighters post a paper on the wall of a supermarket in downtown Novoazovsk, 50kms east of the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol, on Aug. 29, 2014.

The U.K. will press European Union leaders to consider blocking Russian access to the SWIFT banking transaction system under an expansion of sanctions over the conflict in Ukraine, a British government official said.

The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, known as SWIFT, is one of Russia’s main connections to the international financial system. Prime Minister David Cameron’s government plans to put the topic on the agenda for a meeting of EU leaders in Brussels today, according to the official, who asked not to be named because the discussions are private.

David cameron

Prime Minister David Cameron’s government plans to put the topic on the agenda for a meeting of EU leaders in Brussels today, according to the official, who asked not to be named because the discussions are private.


“Blocking Russia from the SWIFT system would be a very serious escalation in sanctions against Russia and would most certainly result in equally tough retaliatory actions by Russia,” said Chris Weafer, a senior partner at Moscow-based consulting firm Macro Advisory. “An exclusion from SWIFT would not block major trade deals but would cause problems in cross-border banking and that would disrupt trade flows.”

The move underscores Europe’s growing concern at Russia’s latest incursion into Ukraine, with casualties mounting amid the threat that conflict descends into an all-out war on the EU’s eastern flank. The U.K. wants the EU to respond by ratcheting up sanctions against Russia to bring them more into alignment with those imposed by the U.S., said the official.

The U.K. wants the EU to respond by ratcheting up sanctions against Russia to bring them more into alignment with those imposed by the U.S., said the official.

The EU enrolled SWIFT as part of sanctions imposed on Iran in March 2012, prohibiting financial messaging providers from providing services to Iranian banks. SWIFT, based in Belgium, has to comply with EU decisions because the organization is incorporated under Belgian law. No one was immediately available for comment from SWIFT’s press office when contacted by phone yesterday.

Reuters / Olivia Harris

Russian System

Faced with the risk of losing access to the network, Russia’s government has already drafted a bill to create a new Russian system for domestic bank transfers, Deputy Finance Minister Alexey Moiseev said on Aug. 27, according to the Itar-Tass news service.

The system transmitted more than 21 million financial messages a day last month, facilitating payments between more than 10,500 financial institutions and corporations in 215 countries, the organization said on its website.

“There’s no doubt that in the short term restricting Russian usage of SWIFT would be extremely disruptive to Russian financial and commercial activities,” said Richard Reid, a research fellow for finance and regulation at the University of Dundee in Scotland. “However, it may carry a longer-term downside, namely the likelihood that large chunks of Russian international payments flows would move to much less well monitored and measured financial channels and thus be beyond sanctions at any future point.”



Sanctions Round

EU governments widened sanctions on Russia to banks financing and advanced technology in July. Since then, fighting in eastern Ukraine has intensified.

Leaders including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollandeare due to meet to try to forge a joint response after NATO reported a surge of Russian troops and advanced military equipment into eastern Ukraine.

EU leaders will “consider further measures” at the summit, Steffen Seibert, Merkel’s chief spokesman, said in Berlin yesterday. “I don’t want to go into detail on which measures those might be. Europe needs to deliberate that jointly.”

Source: Bloomberg

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Alexei Mozgovoi: Freedom and Conscience: this will be Novorossia !

Lots of insight and information in this interview with Alexej Mozgovoi, Self-Defence leader of the LPR. Recommended reading!

Interview with Alexej Mozgovoi, August 21, 2014

Translator: Maria Razdiak
Edited by S. Naylor

Militia unit led by Alexei Mozgovoi in Lugansk People's Republic

“If we were to speak of the operations which my unit carried out, I must caution: the word “operations” is an exaggeration. Currently, the war is mainly being fought in the media field: an information war. The actual military activity is merely an extension. It is of utmost importance, for Ukraine, to destroy the idea for which we stand and the weapons merely aid the physical destruction of the people who carry these ideals in their hearts.

“We used to be, by structure and organization (by accumulating miners, taxi-drivers, farmers in our ranks), a battalion. Now we’ve grown into a brigade.

“In actuality, that which we had been engaging in is difficult to call an “operation” per se. This is despite the fact that we work with maps, organize reconnaissance, and abide by staff timetables, as…

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So, I Asked the Russian Ambassador What He Thinks of NATO

A brief first hand report from a recent event at the University of Virginia with the Russian Ambassador to the United States, Sergey Ivanovich Kislyak.

There some links to follow, which I support and especially the idea to contact Russian embassies appeals a lot to me.

Let the Russian embassy in you country know what you think about the Ukraine conflict, NATO and the actions of the West against Russia. Should we facilitate this by providing contact details? Like if you agree!

#Minsk Summit: What the Media Would Not Say (#Ukraine, #Russia)

The Minsk summit happened only four days ago, but it seems so far away already. This is because Poroshenko went out in front of cameras to accuse Russia of an invasion, which was later backed up by NATO. One could ask why did they meet at all in Minsk? One has to understand that Minsk was exclusively an EU matter, without US involvement. As we know the “Fuck EU” attitude by the Americans, and if I take their perspective I can also understand that, the next day NATO and US kicked in and set Poroshenko under pressure not to betray them and to play by their rules. This poor bugger with empty pockets (figuratively, on paper he himself is of course a billionaire) has to dance by everybody’s tune, because he wants help and money from everyone. But US and EU interests are not exactly the same.

Here are two interesting Voice of Russia radio interviews of Ekaterina Kudashkina with Kirill Koktysh, Political analyst based with MGIMO University, Moscow, Russia, who participated in some parts of the Minsk summit, and Manuel Ochsenreiter, Editor in Chief of German monthly ZUERST! Newsmagazine. As I personally do not know this German magazine, I checked Bolshe-Wikipedia for the political leaning of the magazine: if they say it is “leaning to the right”, you have to read it as “center with a tendency to reason”, for otherwise they would call it “Nazi” or similar. Also his personal blog of Ochsenreiter is quite interesting. The latest article “A strong Russia is good for Europe!” sound promising.


The mainstream mass media cover the Minsk summit as a meeting that resulted with nothing. Is it possible that the journalists have missed some important details? Radio VR is looking into the issue with Kirill Koktysh, Political analyst based with MGIMO University, Moscow, Russia, and Manuel Ochsenreiter, Editor in Chief of German monthly ZUERST! Newsmagazine.

Kirill Koktysh: Well, actually, the results are quite significant and these are the maximum results that could be achieved. The main result is that the parties agreed to call a spade a spade. They admitted that the humanitarian catastrophe is a humanitarian catastrophe and it should be managed as a catastrophe, but not as a regular development. Of course, the additional reason to do this for Ukraine, was the fact that the new part of the Ukrainian troops is encircled now, which means that the humanitarian catastrophe is a real threat not only for Donetsk and Lugansk self-proclaimed republics, but also for the significant part of the Ukrainian troops.

The other questions on the agenda weren’t prepared and the result was that the parties agreed to continue communication on these items as well. If you take into account the problem of the relations’ harmonization between the EU and the Customs Union, actually the EU denied the very existence of this problem. So, this question wasn’t prepared, because the EU so far didn’t acknowledge the possibility of revising this treaty and there is the stalemate in these negotiations.
But as the two parties agreed that this problem should be discussed and resolved in this or that way, this means that the working groups will start a process on this, as well as on the other items. The result that the counterparts agreed to negotiate and not to struggle, and admitted some problems – that is the maximum result that could be achieved on such negotiations.

Also, there are the results of the second place, the strong regional results. I mean, the results for Minsk, as they are the hosting capital for the negotiations. A quite significant development was that Catherine Ashton met with President Lukashenko without any preconditions. So, actually, the EU legitimized the Belarus President and admitted Belarus as a part of the negotiation process.

For Minsk it would mean a possible claim to be a center of the east European political process. Probably, on the next stage they could discuss the matter that Minsk could be the center of the new eastern partnership, because the current structure of the eastern partnership is compromised and it seems to me that it is more dead than alive.

So, this means that the partnership’s structure of the whole eastern Europe could be revised and could be rebuilt on a different foundation, first of all, avoiding the mistake that the eastern partnership did when Russia was excluded from the negotiation process, and which led to the hard consequences and Russia views this partnership as a union against Russia, but a union for cooperation with Russia and as well with the West. So, this means that a new cooperation structure, if it would emerge with Minsk as the center, would include Russia as well.

For Minsk it is a straight road to realize its ambitions as the east European center, as the center of communication between the East and the West. Of course, it could be only at the next stage and in case if Minsk would manage this resource that was granted to it. But this development could reshape the very map of the Eastern Europe. This development is very essential.

So, we can say that the negotiations brought two results. First of all, they started the political phase of the Ukrainian conflict, because, it seems to me, all the sides admitted that a military decision is not a decision at all, which means that a political decision should be searched for and should be found. And the second result is that Minsk stopped being so terrible for Europe, stopped being the last dictatorship in Europe and started being a new regional east European center. So, this second claim is not less essential than the first one.

You are saying that all parties have recognized that a political solution is the only solution, it has no alternatives. However, this meeting has not been attended by any US representatives. Do you think that the American advisors to the Ukrainian Government would agree that there is no military solution?

Kirill Koktysh: It seems to me that this would be the choice of the Ukrainian power, because in the previous period, when Kiev was strongly listening to the advisers from Washington, it led to the development of a war. But now it is obvious that a war is not a solution and the Ukrainian power simply hasn’t got enough resources to settle this conflict in a military manner.

So, this means that Europe started playing its role which actually it had to play initially. And Europe started dealing with it, because, after all, Europe along with Russia, are the two sides that would pay for the Ukrainian conflict under all circumstances, in the best-case scenario and in the worst-case scenario. This means that Europe started being the manager of the Ukrainian crisis. And after all, it is a Ukrainian matter and not an American one. So, of course, it would be Kiev’s choice but, obviously, together with Europe, Kiev can maintain peace much sooner and much more effectively, than relying on the American advisors only.

From the other side, of course, we should understand that Poroshenko is quite limited in his actions, because there are several groups which are struggling for power. And we can say that nominally we have one president who is now facing no political competition, because now the Verhovnaya Rada is dissolved, but actually there two or three powerful groups that are forming the politics in Ukraine. And of course, Poroshenko is under the strong pressure. The main threat for him is that, if he would claim that the negotiations were absolutely successful, he would immediately be accused of betrayal by his competitors.

This means that Poroshenko did what he could do under these circumstances. He claimed about a limited progress. That means that Ukraine didn’t trade its national interest and, after all, that is a good message for the Ukrainian electorate. But, of course, Poroshenko understands that the continuation of war would ruin his power, while a peace process could create a chance where he would remain the President. So, his pragmatic interest is to be a President of peace, to be such a political figure that would bring peace to Ukraine and not a war.

The additional argument is that actually Ukraine is in a pre-default state. This means that in a month or two it would face terrible challenges, like the lack of energy, lack of gas and coal and the financial crisis. So, Poroshenko is interested to settle this military headache as soon as possible, to be able to face other headaches, other terrible problems that Ukraine has to face currently.

So, these public explanations of the results of the negotiations are quite predictable. And they are actually showing that the Minsk process was as successful as it could be, because only limited results could be achieved and this was obvious from the very beginning.

As far as I understand, you have participated in some of the meetings, haven’t you?

Kirill Koktysh: Yes.

What are your personal impressions?

Kirill Koktysh: My personal impression is that it was a very hard negotiation. Poroshenko was limited, because he was relying on the advices from the European commissioners, and this was quite obvious for an external observer. But the main result was that Europe agreed that this Ukrainian problem should be resolved and resolved with the Russian participation, because Russia is part of the process and Europe is also part of the process”.

Manuel Ochsenreiter:

In general, the political elite in Europe is supporting in a very strong way the Western position, supporting Washington. Of course, on different levels and dedicated in a different way. Some are more dedicated, like the Polish, for example, some are less dedicated, as it seems right now, for example, with the German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
At the Minsk meeting everybody was, of course, talking that they want peace, they want the truce. But there was no agreement. And while these people were talking in Minsk, the war went on in the eastern Ukraine.
And when we speak about the war in the eastern Ukraine, we should speak about the realities. There is the Ukrainian Government and Poroshenko. He is leading the so-called Anti-terror operation, the ATO, in eastern Ukraine, which is in reality a terrorist operation, because we see that he is using the so-called volunteer militias, like the battalion Azov, for example, where usual criminals from Europe join as volunteers, where people with long criminal records come and join it, and they are attacking the civilian areas. We see a lot of evidence that this so-called Anti-terror operation is aimed at civilians in the eastern Ukraine.
So, we have to say that Poroshenko is right now in war against his own population. And we shouldn’t forget this when all these heads of states are talking in Minsk. And we shouldn’t forget that right now there is no change and it looks like the decision would not be found at this nice meeting on the red carpet in Minsk, but somewhere on the battlefield in the Donetsk area.
As far as I understand, the European decision makers come to realize that it is Europe which is going to pay for Ukraine. I mean, there’s been the pressure coming from sanctions, there’s been the pressure coming from energy issues and business don’t look exactly happy about what is going on.

Manuel Ochsenreiter: First of all, we have to see that the political elite, the decision-makers  – and I think that is a very important point which has more to do with psychology, than with politics – if you ask the decision makers how they define themselves, what interests they are working for, they will tell you things like – we are working for the Western interests, for human rights. They will tell you very in blurry terms about why they are doing something and what they are doing. And the more blurry the term is, the further away their work is from the European interests. I think this is a very important point.

For example, in Germany it takes a long-long time until a mainstream German politician will tell you – yes, I’m working for the German interests. He will say something about the European interests, about the Western world, the transatlantic set of values – a lot of blurry sentences that are far away.

And on the other side we have the business, we have the industry. The industry is, of course, looking for a good business. And we know that Germany is the most powerful economy of Europe and an important part of its power is about the business relations with Russia. Our business relations with Russia are much-much better and much friendlier than the political relations. And the industry doesn’t complain about a political hate speech against Moscow as long as it doesn’t have any real consequences for the business.

But now we entered the stage that it is not just sort of a hate speech anymore, sort of a harsh criticism, they talk about real sanctions. And you cannot do sanctions without your own industry and your own economy suffering. And as we in Germany import a lot of raw materials from Russia, it will, of course, hit the German economy.

The Americans push for that. And that has also a certain reason, because they also want to push Russia out from the European market. So, the Americans have the strong industrial and business interest to get more on the European market. And for this, they abuse the political question and the political pressure against Russia, to bring themselves more into the game again.

So, we have the industry in Europe, especially in Germany, who realizes what is exactly going on, on the one side. And on the other side, we have the politics with their blurry catalog of values they are always talking about. And the question is simply – when will this blurry catalog be hit by the reality. And by the reality I mean that if those sanctions will work and we will have the first industries going down, the stock exchange market will react and, maybe, we will have a lot of jobless people. So, this will be the moment when politics will have to face those realities.

And then, I think a change might come but, hopefully, it doesn’t need all that. Hopefully, the mainstream politics become wiser before that happens.

We have some signs in Europe. We know that, for example, Angela Merkel, who is very faithful towards Washington (and we shouldn’t forget that last year it came out that Angela Merkel’s phone was tapped by the NSA) and she is full of forgiveness for the Americans, but now we see that this forgiveness might end the moment her lobby in Germany (and she has the strong lobbyists from the industry) starts criticizing her for the politics towards Russia.

So, right now we see Angela Merkel in a really weird situation, because, on the one side, I think, she would do nothing with more pleasure than support the Washington politics, but, on the other side, she is not stupid, she knows very well that she will automatically harm our own industry. And I think this is the reason why she is not reacting as fast, as the American would usually expect it from the German Government or the German Chancellor.

And your forecast for the rest of Europe?

Manuel Ochsenreiter: Not so long ago we had the last European elections and we see that the questions about the peace and war in Ukraine, especially the relations with Russia, but also – we have to speak it out – the Western support for terrorism when it comes to Syria and to Iraq… because these bogeymen terrorists from the Islamic State, these are the people who were the moderate rebels two or three years ago. The people know that and the support for such politics become lower and lower.

And we see, by the way, when we look at the last European elections, that all those political movements and parties who criticized the EU, and in particular the dependency of the EU from the US, they are becoming stronger and stronger. So, we have the political parties from the far left, far right. We have the libertarian parties becoming stronger in Europe. So, all those movements are now becoming stronger.

And if the European mainstream politics will not adjust their political framework to those – let me say – new desires of their own population, it might come to the point (maybe not now, maybe not in the next European elections, but, for sure, in the next ten years) that there will be a change of power in Europe. And those parties who are against the EU, who are against the Euro currency and who are especially against the dependency from the US, who say that we need our own European interest and we shouldn’t automatically connect our interest to the interest of the US, we should handle the US as a normal partner and a normal partner can be punished when he is doing something bad, you can be in good and in bad terms with him – all those parties might become stronger.

And this might then really be a change in the European politics, because, if you ask the people on the street, if you look at the actual polls, they already want it. Right now, they are just not prepared in the majority to vote for those movements and parties, who will stop those politics. So, I think if it goes on like this within the next years, we might have a new European elite which will change a lot on the table”.


#Ukraine moves to shed its non-aligned status in a hope to become a #NATO member

Well, well. this is not the only thing Yats has announced in his time that was utter BS. BS is his middle name, so to speak. Comes right after rabbit.

Ukraine might very well apply and the US will immediately get enthusiastic about it, for they suggested this step already in 2008. But the other countries do not want Ukraine to become a member. That is a sure ticket to hell with a super-corrupt, unreliable and militarily obviously incapable state like Ukraine. I could imagine that countries like France and Germany feel the pressure, but would expect that they are reasonable enough to see the consequences.

I rather expect that NATO invents some creative new status to give the impression that Ukraine is their friend, but doesn’t oblige them to act when the going gets tough.

#Ukraine: Food riots in Ukrainian Army

ukr_army_400_defectors_o_999399Ukrainian security officials and army openly oppose the Kiev command. Smoldering discontent that has been accumulating in the previous months breaks out. Even the volunteers are not willing anymore to pay with their lives for the incompetence and corruption of military leaders.

Mortar volleys, shelling from rocket launchers and howitzers. The Donbass militia is advancing on all positions of the Ukrainian military. Here, this is Marinovka. According to local residents, they got shot from Donetsk, from the suburbs, and from all sides.

Ukrainian forces have lost more soldiers over the past few weeks than in all preceding history of this armed conflict. Kiev military is backing up on several fronts, but for many there is nowhere to retreat. Kiev however insists that no troops got surrounded, the army suffers only minor losses, and in general, the Ukrainian forces are celebrating success after success. “Nobody gave up on our guys, we keep in touch with them, they are fiercely resisting the terrorists while inflicting great damage on them, you may have no doubt. Nobody is going to surrender,” – said Deputy Interior Minister Anton Gerashchenko.

Military disagree. “Everything said on TV are lies. We did not even have anything to eat. We ate corn from the fields. For two days we ate corn, we did not have any proper food, we did not have water. One liter of water for the battalion of 20 people!” – says a soldier of 28 Mechanized Brigade Mikhail.

The servicemen of the battalion “Donbass” report that their colleagues who find themselves abandoned and surrounded by militia send videos captured on phones with a single phrase: “Good-bye, we die for Ukraine”.

Ukrainian journalist channel that was surrounded in a pocket along with the Ukrainian military, reports: “We are bombarded by mortars daily, bombs go off constantly. Soldiers are all confident that Kiev just betrayed them and hold a very negative view of the Kiev authorities. TV tells us that supposedly help already came here or it is on its way or something, but we are surrounded for five days now and we see no assistance. We have almost no food, the water is a very big problem. ”

Ukrainian military is now deserting the units by the count of hundreds. 400 fighters escaped from the fire under Amvrosievka. They were surrounded for nearly two months. However, on the way home to Ivano-Frankivsk, they were stopped at a checkpoint, weapons were confiscated and the soldiers were immediately declared deserters.

A resident of Ilovaysk Alex Osipenko, who was a prisoner of the Ukrainian National Guard and witnessed their conversations, says: “They say they want to go, they would now go to Kiev. “We are” – they say – “ready.” Nobody would release them now. They say they go and shoot Poroshenko themselves. He threatens their families to force them to go here to the front lines.”

The fact that the losses of the Ukrainian army are understated is admitted even by Oleg Lyashko. “With full responsibility I declare – the situation on the Eastern front is extremely complicated. Part of our troops in the Donetsk and Luhansk region were surrounded and will simply not survive, if immediate steps are not taken,” – he writes.

Finances for war are sorely lacking. Fuel ran out and armored vehicles stalled. Yesterday the battalion commander of “Kherson” Ruslan Storcheus was killed. The wounded commander of battalion “Donbass” Semen Sementchenko begs the command for help from his hospital bed.

The cars filled with bodies of the dead from the war zone now arrive daily. According to local residents, mortuaries in major cities are overcrowded. Every day someone dies. Those who disclose information about the actual losses and the defeats of the Ukrainian army, are declared enemies of the state on the spot. Currently Ukraine has opened a thousand criminal cases because of army defections. But criminal charges do not scare people anymore. The number of those who voluntarily lay down their arms is up in the hundreds. Donbass militia commanders pass the deserters back to their families, not to their commanders.

Poroshenko, in turn, in response to the mothers’ tears sends more soldiers to the Eastern front. When they come back if at all – that is the big question. Mothers can do nothing else but continue to pray.

Souce: Food riots in Ukrainian Army

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#Ukraine: August 29 Situation Report

The Vineyard of the Saker produced the basis for below information, which I am glad to pass on from this supreme source, which I only slightly will amend and adapt to my way of writing.


Pro-Russian separatists walk at a destroyed war memorial on Savur-Mohyla, a hill east of the city of Donetsk, August 28, 2014

The Ukrainian civil war has reached a turning point and a lot of separate facts point to this conclusion:

Military situation on the ground

The Ukies are losing, big time!  All the reports from Novorussian sources agree that the Ukie forces are either surrounded or in full retreat, but also Ukie sources do confirm this.  In Kiev, angry demonstrations by nationalists [correctly] accuse the military’s High Command of playing down the real casualty figures and abandoning the forces that are fighting in Donbass. 

Even Oleg Lyashko, leader of the Radical Party and one of the really bad guys in Ukraine, stated that the Ukie forces have been “betrayed”. The mercenaries of his battalion are presumably in midst of the encirclements and left by the UAF generals in deep shit without support or supply. Demonstrations were held at the buildings of the General Staff of the UAF in demand of better leadership and many Right Sector protesters are demanding to create a “generals battalion” to be sent to fight personally and get a taste of their own incompetence.

Others are also demanding the resignation of the Ukie Minister of Defence, who has inaugurated just in beginning of July.  Ukrainian women are regularly stopping military convoys on the roads, often by standing or lying down in front of trucks, to prevent their men from being sent to death. Think of these scenes!

Entire Ukie battalions are deserting from the front (according to RT, already 1100 criminal cases have been opened in this context, Kyiv Post says only 480) and Special Forces are sent to stop them. Apparently, the Ukie police is afraid to arrest the soldiers for desertion because of their large numbers. The domain of Ukrainian policemen is rather harassing citizens and pressing the for bribes. Otherwise they are good for nothing.

The city of Mariupol is now surrounded and the local political elites and SBU personnel have fled. Poroshenko cancelled his trip to Turkey and gathered his Security Council. Ihor Kolomoyskyi, the oligarch controlling southwestern Ukraine, did the same thing with his own Security Council (yes, since he has his own army, so he also has his own security council).  Tymoshenko wants the introduction of full martial law (at least in the East). 

The male population up to 60 is now conscripted (though not called up as far as I know).  Yatsenyuk and Poroshenko have both demanded that NATO intervene and accept the Ukraine as some “special ally”.  In other words, all the signs are of total and utter panic in Kiev.

Political situation

Russia: Putin met with Poroshenko and the EU leaders and delivered them a very simple yet strong message: “don’t talk to us, we are not a party to the conflict – talk to the Novorussians“.  By the way, the Kremlin now openly speaks of “Novorussia” and “Novorussian forces”. In the West, these terms cause bewilderment, as nobody has a clue about Russian history. In the German propaganda news, this evening the concept of Novorussia was called an “aggressive expansive course” and likened to Germany demanding to get back former German settlement areas. Putin a Nazi?

Furthermore, the Russians are also officially sending in a second aid convoy and they have announced that this will not be the only one. In the UN Security Council, the Russian Representative, Vitaly Churkin, has dared the Ukie Rep to explain where the recording of the conversations between the Kiev ATC and MH17 were hidden and why.

With Autumn rapidly arriving, the EU has pushed Kiev to renew gas negotiations, which the Russians have declared “deadlocked” due to Kiev unwilling and incapable of paying their dues.  By all accounts, the “Voentorg” (a Russian contraction meaning “Military Trade”, which was the name for the Soviet era building were military gear could be purchased) between Russia and Novorussia has further increased and the Novorussian are now getting more men, including specialists, and more equipment.

Contrary to the predictions of the Putin bashing crowd, the replacement of Strelkov by Zakharchenko was not followed by any “sellout” of Novorussia. Quite to the contrary, as soon as Zakharchenko took power, the Novorussians went on a general offensive. As for Strelkov himself, he is apparently in good health and is supposed to make a public appearance today in Crimea.  So all that talk about Putin backstabbing Novorussia, him having some kind of deal with Obama, about Strelkov’s elimination by Putin’s Spetsnaz and all the rest of the doom and gloom propaganda of the Putin haters has now clearly shown to be absolute rubbish. 

Clearly, some Putin bashers are paid by Russian oligarchs, others are just too dull to understand the sophisticated policy of the Kremlin in Ukraine. Whatever may be the case, these shrills are now completely discredited by fact and forced to walk away in shame.

Putin’s latest move to call on the NAF to open a humanitarian corridor is simply brilliant. Think of it: the mothers and wives of Ukie servicemen are demanding that their men be returned to them, the regime in Kiev ignores them, and Putin steps in to agree with them and asks the Novorussians to open humanitarian corridors to allow them to safely leave and go back home.  Thus, he shows more concern for the Ukies than the Ukie regime itself and by doing so he encourages the desertion of more Ukie soldiers, minimizes the casualties on all sides, and deals another deadly blow to Ukie morale. 

Best of all, he achieves all this by a simple statement written in such a way that ‘nobody’ can possibly condemn him for anything bad. As for the Novorussians, Zakharchenko has already agreed, but on the condition that the Ukies leave behind all their heavy weapons and the ammo for it. Perfect. Needless to say, the Ukie High Command has rejected the offer and ordered the surrounded units to break out guns blazing. Just imagine how that response feels to the relatives of those stuck in the various “cauldrons”! The winter is coming soon!

Also needless to say that Germany propaganda news only showed Obama, EU folks and German politicians always repeating their condemnation of the Russian invasion but remaining silent about Putin’s proposal. The German program ‘Kulturzeit’ (culture time) on 3Sat was especially bad tonight: pictures from victims of Ukie shelling were associated with the Russian invasion, the ‘attacks on Mariupol’ (???) were “committed in a time when people are on vacations at the beach”, says a so-called East Europe pundit named Karl Schlögel. The old Nazi traditions are very much alive in Germany. Those who claim to be fighting ‘Nazis’ non-stop are using the Nazi methods all the time, not only in the media.

The EU: the EU is totally stuck.  Apparently, the chaos in Banderastan combined with the Russian sanctions and the gas crisis is gradually having an effect in the dull brains of the Eurobureaucrats who are coming to realize that they have been at least as stupid as the Ukies and that the US has used them for their own imperial goals.  “Fuck the EU” indeed.  Badly.  The best these hapless bureaucrats could do is to go to Minsk and agree to negotiate with Russia the terms under which Ukraine would ratify the Agreement with the EU.  Exactly that which Russia had been demanding from Day 1 and which the EU had always been contemptuously rejecting with the arrogant “none of your business” reply.  Now Ashton and a few others had to eat humble pie and kindly ask the Russians to come and talk to them.

The US: Poor Uncle Sam is really looking pathetic, foolish and confused. Probably there are simply too many weddings to dance on at the moment. The very best the USA can do is to accuse Russia of invading Ukraine and only threaten more sanctions as Obama has already admitted that the US has no military option in Ukraine.  To measure the degree of disarray amongst the US Neocons, I will just quote from an article written recently by Herbert E. Meyer, former Special Assistant to the Director of Central Intelligence and Vice Chairman of the CIA’s National Intelligence Council during the Reagan Administration, for American Thinker and modestly entitled “How to Solve the Putin Problem“.  Here is what this genius came up with:

Since subtlety doesn’t work with Russians, the president and his European counterparts should also make absolutely clear that we have no interest whatever in how these people (the Russian oligarchs) solve their Putin problem. If they can talk good old Vladimir into leaving the Kremlin with full military honors and a 21-gun salute — that would be fine with us. If Putin is too too stubborn to acknowledge that his career is over, and the only way to get him out of the Kremlin is feet-first, with a bullet hole in the back of his head — that would also be okay with us.

Nor would we object to a bit of poetic justice…. For instance, if the next time Putin’s flying back to Moscow from yet another visit with his good friends in Cuba, or Venezuela, or Iran, his airplane gets blasted out of the sky by some murky para-military group that somehow, inexplicably, got its hands on a surface-to-air missile

I don’t know if Mr. Meyer thinks that Mrs Nuland delivering bread and cookies on the Maidan was the subtlety the Russian did not appreciate or understand, or if his own article is an expression of US subtlety, but he clearly has “Pat Robertson moment” (the latter wanted the US to kill  Hugo Chavez) which just proves that the AngloZionists don’t have a diplomacy as such and that magical thinking is a key coping mechanism when that lack of diplomacy becomes obvious.

Where do we go from here?

It’ hard to tell. I think that Oleg Tsarev is right when he says that as soon as the Ukie regime begins collapsing the West will suddenly ask for negotiations. Zakharchenko in his crucial press conference has clearly indicated that options such as federalization or decentralization are off the table and that nothing short of full independence will do. Maybe. Maybe not. We will see. There are plenty of historical examples which show that separatist movements eventually settled for less, often wisely so. But in this case, we are dealing with several intertwined problems:

a) Geographical: Ukraine is an artificial country.
b) Political: internally the regime in Kiev is Nazi. 
c) Geo-strategic: externally the regime in Kiev is a russophobic US puppet.
d) Economic: Ukraine is economically dead.

All these factors clearly point to the same conclusion: Ukraine needs to be broken-up.  This might happen catastrophically – the East going to Novorussia, the South to Kolomoyskyi, the Center to Poroshenko and the West breaking off completely.  There are some signs that this is already gradually happening. Furthermore, this is all made worse by the undeniable fact that Ukraine is already a failed state and that a seizable minority of the Ukrainian population if formed of truly rabid nationalists.  So right now things don’t look too good for any negotiated solution. 

Novorussia probably has the potential to rebuild and to become a more or less livable, stable place: most of its industry is in ruins, but it’s “human capital”, it’s people, are very bright and hard working and its political leaders clearly capable people.  But short of some kind of miracle, the rest of Ukraine is probably going to slouch to towards the kind of mess the USA is so good at leaving behind in places like Libya or Iraq.  Maybe not, maybe the Europeans will finally grow a spine and tell the US to stay out and then try to solve this ugly mess with Russia.  I am not holding my breath, not as long as the current AngloZionist nomenklatura is in power in the EU.

One thing could possibly change this downward spiral: a regime change in Kiev.  I don’t mean one replacing Poroshenko by Liashko or Iarosh, but an anti-Nazi insurrection or coup.  I will be honest with you, with kind of terror the SBU and the oligarchs are capable of meting out to the general public, this is not very likely.  But who knows what might happen on a wave of popular discontent?  If the current freaks could be kicked out by halfway sane people and a process of denazification initiated, then maybe something could still be salvaged?  Again, I am not very hopeful.  But let’s stick to current events.

Current situation

I would say that things look better right now than ever before. This is far, far from over, and many things could go wrong but at least at this moment in time things look pretty good.  Short of a sudden reversal, the cities of Lugansk and Donetsk are probably going to be freed from most of the shelling within 10-14 days.  Currently, the Novorussians control the entire border between Russia and Novorussia, which makes the Voentorg much easier. 

Zakharchenko and his men seem to be making an excellent job and rumor has it that Strelkov will be back soon in some special capacity. The Novorussian leadership and the Kremlin are clearly on the same wavelength and there is no reason to suspect an over Russian military intervention. I am confident that the Black Sea Fleet will do what is needed to keep the Novorussian coast safe so as long as the Ukies are not able to mount a surprise attack from the North, Mariupol will probably fall very soon. 

There are increasing reports of partisan movements in Zaporozhia and that, if true, is something very interesting which might begin to affect other areas and cities such as Kharkov and Dnepropetrovsk. I still don’t see Novorussian tanks headed for Kiev, but an operational success seems to be in the making right at this moment in time.

I am by character, education and trade a rather cautious person, but today I am cautiously optimistic, at least for Novorussia.

The Saker (kindly amended by No War in Europe)

Post Scriptum: this just in from a good friend:


– Volnovakha taken by Novorossiya Armed Forces (NAF); South-Western Cauldron closed off.
– Yalta (near Mariupol) taken, NAF is now 12 km away from Mariupol.
– Mariupol – Zaporozhia (Berdyansk) road closed off by NAF. Virtually all settlements around Mariupol appear to be taken by NAF. Mariupol Cauldron closed off.
– Fighting has crossed the border into Zaporizhia. Saboteur-Reconnaissance Groups (SRG) and guerrillas active inside Zaporozhia’s borders.
– Ukrainian punitive forces surrendering in the many cauldrons, the rate of surrenders is picking up pace.
– NAF is pushing outward toward Yasinovataya, Maryinka, Karlovka, Krasnogorovka (west of Donetsk)

AND, the BIGGEST (albeit not fully confirmed) NEWS: Donetsk Airport taken by NAF today.


– Lutugino partially controlled by the Militia, very heavy urban combat there, although Rodakovo was lost (plans to retake it shortly).
– Lyashko appears to be still trapped in Severodonetsk, which is besieged by Mozgovoi’s Brigade (I have no further information since a couple of days ago).
– LPR has encircled Schastye and Metallist and is advancing on the Ukrainian positions there, as well as in the north-eastern direction (Stanitsa Luganskaya, which still remains contested).
– NAF continues to advance on Debaltsevo taking checkpoints on the outskirts of the city.
– LPR is planning some major advances in the next few days, hopefully to clean up most of the remaining cauldrons. 

PPS: and this from Russia Today

Poland has refused overflight rights to the plane of Russia’s defense minister, Sergei Shoigu, who was on his way from Slovakia, RIA Novosti’s correspondent reported. The plane has landed in Bratislava. The minister was returning from the celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the Slovak national uprising that took place in the town of Banská Bystrica.
However, Poland banned entrance into its airspace for the Tu-154 plane, according to a RIA Novosti correspondent who was on board, citing one of the crewmembers. The plane had to take a U-turn and landed in Bratislava an hour later.
Negotiations are being held on the matter at the moment. All the passengers are now on board the plane.

Comment:  rather petty and infantile behavior in my opinion.  This really begs the question of what the Poles think that they will achieve with this other than the dubious honor of “servicing” Uncle Sam once more (those who follow Polish politics will know what I mean).

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#Argentina Debt Default is Risky US Power Poker

Most are unaware of the drama unfolding behind the imminent threat of (yet another) Argentina deb default. Far from another tale of a corrupt developing country not able to meet its foreign debt obligations as the world saw during the 1980’s and late 1990’s, the real drama behind Argentina’s sovereign debt default is a risky, in fact, dangerous power play by Washington and Wall street aimed at terrorizing not just Argentina but all emerging nations into playing by rules uniquely written on Wall Street to the unique benefit of Wall Street banks and hedge funds.

On August 1, the Wall Street credit rating agency, Standard & Poors, the same agency accused of politically intervening to turn the Greek debt crisis into a Euro crisis in 2011, acted to declare Argentina in “Selective Default.” The declaration came when negotiations between the Argentine Government and Wall Street hedge funds failed to resolve a dispute over payment of €400 million in debt. But this is more interesting that it appears. It was Argentina which refused to agree to pay the amount, not the funds who refused.


The critical bit of intelligence is that the dispute is not about Argentina being able to service its foreign debts as was the case in more than a decade ago. In 2001 Argentina defaulted on almost US$ 82 billion of its sovereign debt. It was a bitter time for the country as Wall Street and City of London banks had pushed the government against the wall. Its government negotiated a debt restructuring terms in 2005 and 2010, with around 92% of the holders of defaulted debt accepting “haircuts” or significant reduction on the value of their bonds.

Then about 8% of bondholders did not accept the terms of the restructuring, so-called “holdouts” who were mostly speculative hedge funds. The hedge funds, led byNML Capital, part of Paul Singer’s Elliott Capital Management, refused the terms of the haircut offered by Argentina. They demanded repayment in full of the bonds by Argentina plus interest.

Vulture capitalism rules

There is a little ugly wrinkle however. Singer’s NML Capital is not even an ordinary hedge fund. He runs what is called a “vulture fund,” a special kind of speculation fund. As the name implies, like a vulture, it scavenges debt “corpses” for potential profits as high as 1700% on investment. It is the most cynical expression of the pure free market logic of Gordon Gekko from Oliver Stone’s 1987 film Wall Street. They buy the debt of poor countries or countries in financial recovery for pennies on the dollar and then sue in known courts, often recovering up to ten times the purchase price, usually by suing in “market friendly” US or European courts. Vulture funds are very secretive and are often based in offshore tax havens like the Cayman Islands. Singer’s potential profits come by his suing in a US District Court and winning

Thus, the issue between Argentina and Singer is whether its voluntary agreement with the other 92% debt holders, which Argentina has paid into an escrow account that the US Court judge froze pending resolution of Singer’s demands, can be sabotaged by a crass speculator gambling on friendly judges to give him obscene profit at the expense of the stability of an entire nation.

The freedom of unregulated vulture funds buying up defaulted sovereign debt and suing for recovery would be as if in 1991 at the dissolution of the Soviet state, Wall Street hedge funds sued the Russian Federation to recover in full plus accrued interest defaulted 1916 Czarist Russia bonds it had bought in some rummage sale for pennies. The point is not the madness of the vulture funds but the madness of the US Federal District Court in New York and even the Supreme Court in allowing such madness exist.

This past June the US Supreme Court, one of the most bizarre courts in US history, ruled in favor of the NML Capital Vulture Fund, holding that it would not review Argentina’s appeal of the Federal District Court Judge Thomas Griesa. Leaving aside the fact that Judge Griesa is 84 years old and his rulings suggest possible senility, the situation is more than bizarre, so much so that even the US Obama Government and the IMF oppose the Judge’s ruling.

Judge Griesa has issued contradictory rulings in the Argentine case yet the Supreme Court refuses to examine the case

Griesa, using a legal argument of parity or para passu, blocked Argentina from making any payments to the 92%, the holders of its restructured debt, if it does not make payments to the holdouts suing the country. As he stated, his rulings all were intended to force Argentina to live up to what he repeatedly called its “obligations.”

Griesa ruled that Argentina must pay the old bonds in full at the same time it made the next semiannual interest payment to holders of the new bonds. And if it did not do so, any bank that helped Argentina pay interest on the new bonds would be violating the order.That ruling was upheld by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and in June the Supreme Court refused to hear Argentina’s final appeal.

Judge Griesa is in effect seeking to control actions by a sovereign government and issuing orders that are supposed to be binding on those who would ordinarily never be within the jurisdiction of an American court. It’s a bit mad were it not for the fact that the US Supreme Court, whose knowledge of vulture funds and complex financial deals is perhaps limited, refused to challenge the determined Griesa. 

Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner called the court orders “extortion.” But she said her country will continue making payments to holders of its restructured debt.The payments however have been frozen by US Judge Griesa.

For Argentina it is a nuclear “Catch 22.” If she pays the $1.33 billion to the vulture fund as the judge demands, the other hedge fund “holdouts will in part or all sue as well to demand full 100% repayment. Argentina estimates that would cost as much as $28 billion, exhausting the country’s foreign exchange reserves. But, by blocking the payment to the 92% Judge Griesa is forcing an unwilling default by Argentina.

The savagery of Singer’s vulture fund knows no bounds. In October, 2013, in an attempt to collect its Argentine debt, NML Capital asked a Ghanaian court to seize one of Argentina’s ships, the ADA Libertad, parked off the coast of Ghana. NML Capital won the case and Ghana seized the ship. Later, the ruling was overturned by the United Nations Tribunal on the Laws of the Sea and the ship was returned to Argentina. On June 21, 2013, Ghana’s Supreme Court condemned the Argentine ship seizure. But it indicates the Barbary Pirate nature of these vulture funds, funds which are not recognized in many countries including Germany.

Joe Stiglitz, Nobel Prize economist, noted of the Argentina US court rulings, “We’ve had a lot of bombs being thrown around the world, and this is America throwing a bomb into the global economic system. We don’t know how big the explosion will be — and it’s not just about Argentina.”

F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics , exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”

Source: Argentina Debt Default is Risky US Power Poker

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#Corridor: #Putin calls on #Ukraine #DPR militia to let out surrounded Kiev troops

What we are witnessing here is absolutely absurd and it is good as it shows some sign of reason to end the senseless killing. It is also possible that Putin and the NAF are using this to win back some sympathies and to further demoralize the Ukies. Here is my little overview of events

1. Families of soldiers have been demonstrating for the past days in Kiev and demand better support and supplies for their husbands, fathers and sons, who are encircled in various places in the fighting areas of Donbass.

2. The soldiers got into this situation, because they were sent to attack and kill civilians and self-defence forces, which they view as terrorists. They killed thousands of civilians with their brutal shelling of predominantly civilian dwelling areas.

3. As the pressure on Porky gets bigger, he launched yesterday a concerted worldwide media attack on Russia, claiming that Russian involvement was only enabling the ‘terrorists’ to get his soldiers into this situation and that Russia was invading Ukraine.

4. Under this pressure, President Putin is moved to call on the militia to release those for humanitarian reasons, who were sent and fighting to kill them. A corridor is to be created that enables the attackers to escape.

If I were someone responsible in the resistance, I would flat out refuse to do so unless the minimum conditions are met: official surrender and that the attackers leaver their weapons and equipment behind. And then I would stick to the procedure applied so far: conscripts can go, officers are captured and made prisoner of war to be exchanged against own men in prison, mercenaries and volunteers (National Guard and other militias involved) are executed.


President Putin has called on self-defense militias in Ukraine to provide Kiev’s military units blocked in the east of the country with a safe humanitarian corridor to leave the combat area and “reunite with their families.”

“It is clear the militia has achieved a major success in intercepting Kiev’s military operation, which represents a grave danger to the population of Donbass and which has already led to the loss of many lives among peaceful residents,” the Russian leader said in a statement.

As a result of militias’ counter-offense, large numbers of Ukrainian troops – many of whom were taking part in Kiev’s so-called anti-terrorist operation “against their will” and “just following orders” – have been surrounded, the President added.

“I call on the militia groups to open a humanitarian corridor for Ukrainian service members who have been surrounded, so as to avoid any needless loss of life, giving them the opportunity to leave the combat area unimpeded and reunite with their families, to return them to their mothers, wives and children, and to quickly provide medical assistance to those who were injured in the course of the military operation,”Putin said.

READ MORE: Ukraine president blames military failure on deserting commanders

The central headquarters of the anti-Kiev forces has expressed its support for Putin’s initiative to open a humanitarian corridor, provided that the troops disarm.

“We support the initiative of Russian President Vladimir Putin to create a humanitarian corridor to create a safe passage for the surrounded armed forces of Ukraine. We are ready to ensure the safety of the Ukrainian troops out of the encirclement under one condition – they have to go through the established corridor without weapons,” the anti-Kiev army press service said in a statement.

The prime minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic Aleksandr Zakharchenko elaborated, saying that “Ukrainian forces have to abandon heavy weaponry and ammunition, so they cannot be reused against us [anti-Kiev forces].”

Ukrainian troops have been routinely crossing into Russian territory over the course of the conflict seeking refuge from militia, who were pushing them towards the border, or after negotiating a safe passage from an encirclement. On Wednesday alone over 60 Kiev troops crossed into Russia, bringing the total number of those who fled to safety to over 600 men.

Ukrainian soldiers in Rostov Region August 4, 2014 (RIA Novosti / Julia Nasulina)

Ukrainian soldiers in Rostov Region August 4, 2014 (RIA Novosti / Julia Nasulina)

READ MORE: Over 60 Ukrainian troops cross into Russia seeking refuge

After getting medical help, if needed, Kiev’s troops were allowed to freely return to Ukraine. Not all of the did, however, fearing prosecution, as the Ukrainian General Prosecutor’s office has launched over 1,000 investigations into those men on charges of disobedience, desertion and evasion of military service.

Russia in the meantime is ready and will provide aid to Ukraine’s regions suffering from a humanitarian disaster, the Russian leader added.

“I once again call on the Ukrainian authorities to immediately stop military actions, cease fire, sit down at the negotiating table with Donbass representatives and resolve all the accumulated problems exclusively via peaceful means,” Putin said according to the Kremlin’s press service.

Meanwhile on Thursday, hundreds of people gathered in front of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry in Kiev, demanding resignation of President Petro Poroshenko and the defense minister over the poor handling of the military operation in the southeast. The demonstrators, many of whom were mothers and wives of the soldiers involved in the fighting in the Donetsk and Lugansk Regions, were in despair following the encirclement of large groups of Kiev’s troops.

Protesters demand Ukrainian troops surrounded in the south-east of the country should be saved (RIA Novosti / Evgeny Kotenko)

Protesters demand Ukrainian troops surrounded in the south-east of the country should be saved (RIA Novosti / Evgeny Kotenko)

READ MORE: ‘Kiev, rise up!’ Protesters demand ouster of Ukrainian president, defense minister

The Russian president’s call for a humanitarian corridor comes hours after the UN Security Council blocked a Russia proposed statement on a mutual ceasefire and peace talks in Ukraine – and just minutes after US President Barack Obama blasted at Russia and threatened it with more sanctions over its purportedly “direct role” in the Ukrainian crisis.

Source: Corridor: Putin calls on Ukraine militia to let out surrounded Kiev troops

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Situation Report #Lugansk and #Donetsk as per evening of 28 August

Slightly enhanced Google translation

Lugansk Republic

  1. After some fighting break, there began the offensive in Lugansk, but it develops slowly, as the enemy’s defense is very strong here.
  2. Airport and Lutugino are confidently controlled by the junta, so early to say the situation has improved south of Lugansk.

  3. An encirclement of the enemy near Schastje has not yet been achieved, since the enemy with its activity near Stanitsa Luganskaja is constantly disrupting the plans of Lugansk forces.

  4. Highway Krasnodon – Lugansk is completely controlled by the militia, but in some places the junta may still sporadically firing at the milita. There is still so much work ahead.

Donetsk Republic

  1. So far there is no assault on Mariupol, and maybe there will not be any hurry. Recon-sabotage groups bypassed Mariupol, where the junta pulled everything together that it could, and started fighting on the highway Mariupol-Berdyansk and the territory of Zaporozhye region, which Kolomoyskyi is now dominating. Here militias operate actually in vacuum, so only a lack of forces and mechanized units keeps it away from advancing even faster. Here Novorossiya still have a few days, during which they will develop their success. Direct attack on Mariupol is now unlikely, although not excluded, if armoured vehicles and artillery are promptly transferred to the edges of Mariupol. It should be remembered that junta troops in Mariupol number up to 3,000 people and little equipment, but their morale is poor.
  • Southern front is fragmented into a series of cauldrons, which are being dried out. Junta is incurring heavy losses, poking with surrounded militia forces, trying to find a weak spot. This leads to bloody battles, in which both sides suffered heavy losses. Their increased activity is understandable – a few more days, and supply problems should tie them to their immobile vehicles. The militia did not lose hope to form a “Volnovaskyi Cauldron”, while the junta is trying to save anyone they can – after freeing the surrounded troops near Yelenivka, they inflicted another blow on Yasinovataya, to tie down part of Donetsk forces from the southern front, which carries no operational value.

  • Generally, the fighting north of Donetsk is now of secondary importance and essentially it is of securing nature in relation to what is happening south of the capital of the Donetsk Republic.

    1. The junta is hastily assembling reserves, trying to compensate the consequences of defeat. In 2-3 days south-west of Donetsk it will try to rebuild a front line, to restore the cohesion between the two torn groups of the junta in Donbass.

    The combat capability of these units is highly questionable. Vehicle losses are increasingly difficult to replace. According to preliminary estimates, in case the outer parts on the southern front are eliminated, the junta will have only a one-and-a-half ratio advantage in people and a double advantage in armored vehicles. That, in the light of what is happening, will be an irreversible disaster. The junta is gradually deprived of its main advantage of outpowering superiority in artillery and vehicles, and the low quality of its infantry will become visible.

    In general, the offensive until successfully developed, but one must realize that in a few days it will start to fade and how far it will go now, that will depend on the front line, which continued fighting after the junta tighten reserves and stop flight.

    Source: DPR news

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    FSB: 62 Junta Soldiers Sought Asylum in Russia

    Voices from Russia

    00 Evil to Triumph. Oleg Tyagnibok. 09.02.14


    Today, 62 junta soldiers crossed the border in Rostov Oblast, asking for asylum. They abandoned their weapons in the Ukraine, after which Russian border guards provided them with a safe-conduct corridor for secure movement in the Russian Federation. Nikolai Sinitsyn, a spokesman of the Rostov Oblast FSB Border Guard Directorate, said, “Today, 62 VV MVDU troops approached the Russian border near Shramko Matveyev in Kurgan Raion, asking Russian officials to grant them asylum on the territory of the Russian Federation. We provided them with every necessity… water, food, and clean clothes”.

    27 August 2014

    Russkaya Vesna


    VV MVDU means “Internal Forces of the Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs”… that is, soldiers in formed units used for internal security duties. These are long-term sloggers, not recent draftees. For these guys to “give up” means that the junta’s truly in the deep kimchi… all the blather in the Western…

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    The day, the “truth about #Russia” was exposed


    Today was again a strange day, a concerted media attack on Russia went around the world in supersonic speed. In the morning, President Porky went in front of cameras and claimed, “the Russians are coming, he has to stay and cannot leave to Turkey”. He claimed that the Russians had invaded Ukraine.

    There was no evidence shared with us puzzled observers. Later, NATO confirmed the words and even sized the attack force: “up to 1000 Russians are fighting along the separatists”. And even satellite images were presented. We know this game. This time, the pictures showed no harvesting machines or lawn mowers, this time they seemed to show columns of tanks indeed, yet the position of these tanks could be anywhere. What does it prove?

    Also the statement “Russians fight along separatists” is relative. They avoided a clear statement. They did not say, 1000 Russians soldiers crossed the border and went fighting. And who would deny that a lot of volunteers are fighting with the Self-Defence forces? No, an invasion they do not call it either, NATO chose the term ‘incursion’.

    The media went bonkers and repeated the claims every few minutes. If we could visualize the media output, it would look similar to a seismograph chart of an earthquake. The foot troops in the internet fora triumphed and complained about the evil paid Russian trolls, who spread only lies. Today was the day, “the truth was exposed”.

    And then the German TV news (ZDF, the lie station of course) brought their latest secret weapon, flown in directly from a fashion farm (see picture) apparently and he explained everything to the stunned population. “Russia wants to force a land connection to Crimea” was one version and “Putin wants to force Poroshenko to negotiate with the separatists directly” the other. Never seen or noticed this BS hero before. Are they already sending the reserve forces to the media front?

    Conclusion: even without any concrete fighting, the information warfare continues. Lies and claims are their bullets

    #Ukraine: #Poroshenko address to the nation


    This guy really is pathetic. His army of conquest is losing ground in Southeastern Ukraine. And what does he do? Well, first of all he accuses the Russians of having caused that, not the incompetence of his generals. I posted earlier the explanation of The Saker why the Ukies run so often into encirclements. And even NATO Rasmussen said in his interview, which I posted today, that “the Ukrainian generals just want to bombard everything”.

    Secondly, he calls the loss of his fascist army a “deteriorating situation” and calls for help. The UN Security Council, in which Russia has veto rights anyway, is to be called and, of course, the EU is appealed to hold an emergency meeting. Is Ukraine already a member? What he did not mention is that Poroshenko called also for help from NATO. And as it seems they are the only once inclined to respond to his request.

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    #Poroshenko Eyes #Ukraine Cease-Fire After ‘Very Tough Talks’ With #Putin

    Honi soit qui mal y pense! Of course, the motivation to work out the conditions of a cease-fire has “nothing at all” to do with the fact that the Ukies are more and more losing ground with their conquest of the Southeast. Whenever I read or hear something from Poroshenko, it is utter crap.

    Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko (front) is seen at a meeting in the Belarussian capital Minsk with Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (L).
    Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko promised after late-night negotiations with Russia’s Vladimir Putin in Minsk to work on an urgent ceasefire plan to defuse the separatist conflict in the east of his former Soviet republic.

    The first talks between the two leaders since June were described by Putin as positive, but he said it was not for Russia to get into the details of truce terms between the Kiev government and two rebel eastern regions.

    “We didn’t substantively discuss that, and we, Russia, can’t substantively discuss conditions of a ceasefire, of agreements between Kiev, Donetsk and Luhansk. That’s not our business, it’s up to Ukraine itself,” he told reporters early on Wednesday.

    “We can only contribute to create a situation of trust for a possible, and in my view, extremely necessary, negotiation process.”

    Poroshenko, after two hours of one-to-one talks which he described as “very tough and complex”, told reporters: “A roadmap will be prepared in order to achieve as soon as possible a ceasefire regime which absolutely must be bilateral in character.”

    Despite the positive tone, it remained unclear how the rebels would respond to the idea of a ceasefire, how soon it could be agreed and how long it might stick.

    And with Putin insisting the details were an internal matter for Kiev, there was no sign of progress on a fundamental point of disagreement: Ukraine’s charges that Moscow is sending arms and fighters to help the rebels, and Russia’s adamant denials.

    The leaders shook hands at the start of their meeting in the Belarussian capital just hours after Kiev said it had captured Russian soldiers on a “special mission” on Ukrainian territory.

    Responding to a video of the detained servicemen, a Russian defense ministry source told Russian news agencies that they had crossed the border by mistake. But Ukraine’s military spokesman dismissed that, mocking the idea that “the paratroopers got lost like Little Red Riding Hood in the forest.”

    Putin appeared to play down the incident, saying: “I hope in this case there won’t be any problems with the Ukrainian side.”

    Poroshenko, in his opening comments, demanded a halt to arms shipments from Russia to the separatist fighters. He defended a peace plan he issued in June, when the rebels in the southeast Donbass region scorned his invitation to lay down their arms and leave by a safe corridor.

    “The prime condition for a stabilization of the situation in Donbass is the establishment of effective control over the Russian-Ukrainian border. It is vital to do everything to stop deliveries of equipment and arms to the fighters,” he said.

    Source: Poroshenko Eyes Ukraine Cease-Fire After ‘Very Tough Talks’ With Putin

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    #Minsk meeting: #Russia stands tall and proud

    As expected, the meeting in Minsk between the presidents of Russia and Ukraine within the scope of the Customs Union-EU-Ukraine summit ended without any breakthrough results. Vladimir Putin emphatically stated that the regulation of the crisis in Ukraine was not Russia’s business, but an internal problem of Ukraine. The talks between the two leaders lasted for about two hours. The Russian president described them as “positive,” whereas his Ukrainian counterpart called them “very complicated and difficult.”

    Speaking of the armed conflict in Ukraine, Putin said that “Russia, for its part, will do everything for the peace process, if it begins. This process should be started as soon as possible”, he said, adding that the sides agreed to resume the work of the contact group on the peaceful settlement. Putin also announced the achievement of “certain agreements” with Kiev on the delivery of humanitarian aid to the conflict zone.

    Vladimir Putin stated that Russia could not negotiate the conditions of cease-fire in Luhansk and Donetsk regions with Ukraine. According to him, Russia can only “contribute to the establishment of the environment of trust” between the participants of internal Ukrainian negotiations, as this is an internal matter of Ukraine.

    At the general meeting with the participation of the presidents of Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan and representatives of the EU, Putin spoke more about economy, rather than politics. In essence, Poroshenko’s appeal to consider his peace plan was left without a response, although the Ukrainian leader said that the logic of the plan “was finally supported by all leaders, without exception.” However, the plan was not discussed at the talks.

    Some experts believe that the meeting in Minsk showed that Putin does not consider Poroshenko an equal partner for solving issues of war and peace, as this is a subject for negotiations between Moscow and Washington. The military and political situation in the Donbass was not discussed in Minsk in the absence of representatives of the United States. At the same time, it is highly likely that the administration of Barack Obama is not ready for direct US-Russian negotiations on this topic.

    Journalists paid attention to the emotions of the Russian and Ukrainian leaders displayed at the meeting in Minsk. Putin, welcoming the colleagues, was smiling and looked relaxed, while Poroshenko, on the contrary, looked as black as thunder cloud.

    Putin’s speech at the general meeting was mainly devoted to cooperation between the EU, Ukraine and the Customs Union, given Kiev’s Agreement on the European integration. Poroshenko was convincing other participants of the meeting that the free trade of Ukraine and the EU did not pose a threat to other members of the Customs union. Putin, on the contrary, was promoting a different point of view. He evaluated Russia’s possible losses from new rules of trade between Kiev and Brussels at 100 billion rubles, explaining that less competitive Ukrainian products would be pushed from the market primarily to Russia and other countries of the Customs Union. “Russia in this situation, of course, can not stand still,” he said.

    As for the war in eastern Ukraine, Putin only said that the situation “can not be resolved by further escalation of the military scenario ignoring the interests of residents of south-eastern regions, without a peace dialogue with their representatives.”

    Putin commented the news of the detention of ten Russian military men on the territory of Ukraine. He told reporters that he had not received a report on this from the Ministry of Defense, but noted that, the soldiers were patrolling the border and could find themselves on the Ukrainian territory incidentally indeed, similarly to how Ukraine servicemen had previously crossed the Russian border. Ukrainian servicemen “came” to the Russian territory before, even on armored vehicles, Putin said. “There were no problems about it. I hope that in this case they (problems) will not arise either,” said Putin.

    In general, one shall assume that no one was expecting breakthrough results from the meeting between Putin and Poroshenko. In became clear from Putin’s interview that the leaders discussed the whole range of issues of mutual relations, but found no obvious points of contact.

    It was the first meeting between the presidents of Russia and Ukraine in the bilateral format. In early July, in Normandy, they talked in the presence of colleagues from France and Germany, only for 15 minutes, and spoke several times on the telephone before the summit in Minsk.

    After the talks with Putin, at about midnight MSK, Poroshenko went to the Ukrainian Embassy in Minsk, where he had another meeting scheduled – with EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton. The presidents of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan continued communication in the trilateral format after Poroshenko left, discussing the development of the Customs Union.

    Later, Poroshenko announced that the talks on energy issues with the participation of ministers for fuel and energy of Ukraine, Russia and the EU would take place on September 6. On August 30, in Brussels, Ukraine will inform EU leaders on further action to implement the Agreement, Poroshenko said.

    Putin confirmed that Russia and Ukraine agreed to resume talks on energy and gas issues. “We have many specific issues. Russia, Ukraine and our European partners are interested in solving these issues,” Putin said

    Source: Minsk meeting: Russia stands tall and proud

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    #Putin set to protect #Russian economy unless concerns are taken into account

    What Poroshenko called “tough negotiations” after the Minsk meeting earlier this week was Putin talking clear text about the risks Russia is facing if Ukraine applies EU standards and regulation, let alone join the EU, how unlikely that event may be. In his well-informed and competent manner, Putin cuts out all sweet talking and points directly to the critical parts of the association agreement. The whole trade between Ukraine and Russia is at stake, which will be doomsday for Ukraine as they will hardly sell any of their produce in Europe and economically very harmful also for Russia. Western observers like to overlook both facts and only stress that Putin is bullying a sovereign country. But is he not right to warn and complain about the consequences? Nobody can expect the EU to play fair, they just see their economic and geopolitical advantages.

    Russia will have to protect its market unless its interests are taken into consideration in the Ukraine-EU association, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.

    “If we fail to reach any agreements and our concerns are not taken into account, we will have to take measures in order to protect our economy,” Putin said after negotiations with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

    “We had an opportunity to formulate our concerns once again and we agreed to boost the activity of the trilateral working group comprising Russia, Ukraine and European Union representatives and to try to draw up proposals regarding the aforementioned concerns of Russia and the Customs Union before September 12,” he said.

    Putin said they had reaffirmed at the meeting that “the implementation of the Ukraine-EU association agreement created significant risks to the Russian economy.” “We proved that with the agreement’s text, direct references to concrete articles of the agreement and recalled that it was a subject of zero-rate customs tariffs, technical regulations and phytosanitary norms,” Putin said.

    Putin warned that in the case Ukraine accepts EU technical regulations “we will be unable to supply our products to Ukraine at all because our technical norms are different.”

    “We will be unable to supply our machines and any industrial products. And we will be unable to accept Ukrainian farming products because of different approaches to phytosanitary control,” the Russian president reminded the reporters.

    “We think we have many problems,” Putin pointed out.

    “Colleagues uphold far from all our arguments but at least they have heard us,” he admitted.

    “In the end we agreed to speed up the exchange of opinions and to try to find at least some solutions,” he noted.

    “If we fail to reach any agreements and our concerns are neglected, we will have to take measures in order to protect our economy,” he stressed once again.

    “We have told them about possible measures. And our partners will consider all cons and pros and make relevant decisions. Each side to this process has a right to make any decisions, as we are all sovereign states. We will respect any choice of our Ukrainian and European partners. Hopefully, they will treat our measures towards the protection of the Russian economy with equal respect,” Putin said.

    Source: Russia Beyond the Headlines

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    Sanctions & the Dollar: A Fall From Grace?

    The damage for the US economy, once the US is not the world’s reserve currency any longer, will be enormous. The sanctions against Russia and the worsening relationship with China are leading to measures of these countries that will result for the US at least in loss of control over international financial streams, argues Conn Hallinan of Dispatches From The Edge.


    Source: Dispatches From The Edge

    Aug. 26, 2014

    The recent round of sanctions aimed at Moscow over the crisis in the Ukraine could backfire on Washington by accelerating a move away from the dollar as the world’s reserve currency. While in the short run American actions against Russia’s oil and gas industry will inflict economic pain on Moscow, in the long run the U.S. may lose some of its control over international finance.

    Proposals to move away from using the dollar as the international currency reserve are by no means new. Back in 2009, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) proposed doing exactly that. SCO members are Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Afghanistan Iran, India, Pakistan and Mongolia have SCO observer status, and the organization has close ties with Turkey and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

    Ever since the 1944 Britton Wood Agreement, the world’s finances have been dominated by the U.S. dollar, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the World Bank. But, according to economist Jeffrey Sachs, that world is vanishing and the dollar cannot continue to hold the high ground, because “the role of the United States in the global economy is diminishing.”

    While it may be diminishing, the U.S. and its European allies still control the levers of international finance. For example, the U.S.’ slice of the global GDP is 19.2 percent, and its share of IMF voting rights is 16.8 percent. In contrast, China, with 16.1 percent of the global GDP, has only 3.8 percent voting rights in the IMF. The presidency of the organization is reserved for a European.

    In 2010, the World Bank “reformed” its voting rights to increase low and middle-income countries from 34.67 percent to 38.38 percent, although even this modest adjustment has been sidelined because the U.S. Senate refuses to accept it. The wealthier countries still control more than 60 percent of the vote. The presidency of the Bank normally goes to an American.

    In early August of this year, the BRICS countries—Brazil, China, India, Russia and South Africa—launched a series of initiatives aimed at altering the current structure of international finance. Besides pushing to dethrone the dollar as the world’s reserve currency, the organization created a development bank and a Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA). The former would allow countries to by-pass the IMF and the World Bank, with their tightfisted austerity fixation, and the latter would give countries emergency access to foreign currency.

    The development bank will start off with $50 billion in the kitty, but that will soon double. The BRICS will also be able to draw on $100 billion from the CRA. While by international standards those are modest sums—the IMF has close to $800 billion in its coffers—the BRICS bank and CRA has just five members, while the IMF serves hundreds of countries. Eventually the BRICS observer members may be able to tap into those funds.

    Last month’s sanctions went straight for Russia’s jugular vein: the development of its massive oil and gas reserves and Moscow’s construction of the South Stream pipeline. When completed, South Stream will supply Europe with 15 percent of its natural gas and generate over $20 billion in annual profits. Indeed, there is suspicion among some Europeans that the real goal of the sanctions is to derail South Stream and replace it with U.S. shale-based American oil and gas.

    Sanctions can do enormous damage.

    The United Nations estimates that the sanctions against Iraq were responsible for the deaths of some 500,000 Iraqi children from 1991 to 1998.

    The sanctions aimed at Iran’s oil and gas industry have cut deeply into government revenues—80 percent of the country’s foreign reserves are generated by hydrocarbons—resulting in widespread inflation, unemployment and a serious national health crisis. While humanitarian goods are not embargoed, their cost has put medical care beyond the reach of many Iranians.

    Associated Press reporter Nasser Karimi wrote last year that some medicine and medical equipment costs have risen 200 percent: “radiology film up 240 percent; helium for MRIs up 667 percent; filters for kidney dialysis up 325 percent.” The cost of chemotherapy has almost tripled.

    Iran’s exclusion from the Society for World Wide Banking (SWIFT) makes it impossible to transfer funds electronically. That, in turn, makes buying the raw materials to manufacture generic medicines expensive and difficult.

    The recent crash of an Iranian passenger plane that killed 39 people was, in part, the result of sanctions. Because Iran cannot purchase spare parts for its Boeing and Airbus planes, it is forced to use alternatives, like the trouble-prone Ukrainian-made A-140 aircraft that went down Aug. 10. Another A-140 crashed in 2002, killing 46 passengers.

    In short, opposing the U.S. and its allies can be dangerous to one’s health.

    There is growing opposition to the widespread use of sanctions, as well as to the ability to isolate countries from international finance by excluding them from things like SWIFT. Coupled with this is a suspicion that the U.S. uses its currency to support its economy at the expense of others.

    After the 2007-08 economic meltdown, the U.S. lowered its interest rates and increased its money supply, thus making its exports cheaper and other countries imports more expensive. Developing countries have blamed these policies for artificially driving up the value of their currencies and, thus, damaging other countries economies. Brazilian Finance Minister Guido Mantega calls it waging “currency war.”

    With the U.S. now pushing higher interest rates and throttling back on buying foreign bonds, many developing countries fear that international capital will flow back to the U.S., leaving countries like Brazil high and dry.

    But as long as the world’s reserve currency isin dollars, the U.S. will be able to manipulate global finance and block countries like Iran from any transactions using dollars. But that may be coming to an end. With China set to replace the U.S. as the world’s largest economy, it is only a matter of time before the renminbi—or some agreed upon international method of exchange—replaces the dollar.

    China is already moving toward bypassing New York as the world’s financial center, instead routing finances through Hong Kong and London. “There can be little doubt from these actions that China is preparing for the demise of the dollar, at least as the world’s reserve currency,” says Alastair Macleod of GoldMoney, a leading dealer in precious metals.

    A number of countries are already dealing in other currencies. Australian mining companies have recently shifted to using China’s reniminbi. How dumping the dollar will affect the U.S. is not clear, and predictions range from minor to catastrophic. What will almost certainly happen is that the U.S. will lose some of its clout in international finance, making it easier for developing countries to move away from the American economic model: wide-open markets, fiscal austerity, and hostility to any government role in the economy.

    Diminishing the role of the dollar may make it harder to apply sanctions as well, particularly in those areas where Washington’s policies are increasingly alienated from much of the world, as in Iran, Cuba, and Russia. The European Union (EU) has sanctioned Russia over Ukraine, but not to the extent that the U.S. has. The EU’s trade with Russia is a major part of the Europe’s economy, while Russian trade with the U.S. is minor. And the BRICS—who represent almost a quarter of the world’s GNP and 40 percent of its population—did not join those sanctions.

    Addressing the BRICS delegates in Fortaleza, Brazil, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that “together we should think about a system of measures that would help prevent the harassment of countries that do not agree with some foreign policy decision made the by the U.S. and their allies.”

    In the long run, the EU may come to regret that it went along with Washington. German industry has taken a big hit—trade with Russia fell 20 percent from January through May—and Russia’s ban on EU agricultural products has badly hurt Poland, Lithuania, Germany, Denmark, Latvia, Finland and the Netherlands. Indeed, European Bank President, Mario Draghi, warned that the current EU recovery is extremely fragile and that sanctions could push it back into recession.

    The Germans are especially worried that Russia will turn to Asia, permanently cutting Berlin out of Moscow’s economic sphere.

    There are enormous changes ahead as a result of climate change and population growth. While there has been a reduction in the number of people living in extreme poverty—making less than $1.25 a day—almost all that reduction was in China. Things have actually gotten worse in parts of Asia and Africa. By 2050 the world’s population will grow to nine billion, and 85 percent of that growth will be in developing nations, the very countries that most need help to confront the consequences of that future.

    Unless the institutions of international finance are wrested from the control of a few wealthy nations, and unless there are checks on the ability of the U.S. and its allies to devastate a country’s economy over a disagreement on foreign policy, those figures bode for some serious trouble ahead.

    Conn Hallinan can be read at and

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    #Ukraine: What is the deal with the Ukie “cauldrons”?

    The Vineyard of the Saker has a military explanation why the Ukies get so often trapped in encirclements and cauldrons (kettles). It starts as so often with the desire of politicians to present success stories.

    Stalingrad: the mother of all encirclements (although by far not the first one)

    A lot of people are wondering what the deal is with the so-called “cauldrons” in which the Ukie forces seem to get surrounded over and over again.  Are the Ukie generals simply stupid, or what is the deal?  I will try to explain.

    Remember that that Ukie forces are typically “heavy”.  They have lots of tanks, lots of artillery, lost of ammo, lots of soldiers, etc.  At least initially.  They are also much inferior in terms of tactical skills, morale and willpower.  In contrast, the Resistance forces have dramatically fewer tanks, fewer artillery pieces, much less ammo and less soldiers too.  But their morale is sky-high, their tactical skills excellent and they are fighting on their own land – a big “home turf” advantage.  Add to all this the following: the Ukies are desperately trying to prove to the world that they are “winning” whereas the Resistance is trying to eject an occupying force.  Now if you keep all that in mind, you will very easily understand how these “cauldrons” form.  It typically goes like this:

    The political powers in Kiev order the commanders of the so-called “anti-terrorist operation” to show some results.  The latter get together and define what they consider a number of key towns and villages.  They then order their forces to go in and take these towns/villages.  The junta forces move in and with much superior firepower typically destroy a few Resistance roadblocks on the main roads and move to seize the said towns.  At this point they report “mission accomplished – our flag is on the administration of town X“.  The BBC picks up the info handed to them by the Ukies and the world learns of yet another Ukie victory.    In the meantime, Ukie terror squads are brought in to smoke out any sympathizers of the Resistances in the occupied towns.  As for the tanks, they are used to protect the Ukie force while their artillery is used long range to terrorize the population of the next town on the list.

    Then everything goes down the tubes.

    First, a big forces requires lots of petroleum, lubricants, ammo, supplies, food, etc.  But the roads are under constant attack by Resistance forces.  Next, the Novorussians slowly but inevitably bring in some artillery which begins ponding on the Ukie forces.  Gradually, the bigger Ukie forces is forced to dig in while the Resistance take back full control of the main roads and surrounding towns.  That’s it – the circle has closed, the Ukies are surrounded and a ‘cauldron’ has formed.

    At that point two things happen: a) the Ukies try to retreat b) reinforcements are sent in to rescue them.  But at this point the density and quality of Resistance forces is sufficient to block the main roads and to prevent both retreats or reinforcements.  In some cases the Ukies succeed in breaking out or reinforcing, but typically at great costs in equipment and lives.  And that brings me to another important point:

    The Ukies prefer to fight on the main roads.  The Resistance is at home in the forests, hills, fields and bushes (what the Russian military calls the “The Green”).  That means that Ukie movements are very predictable.  Not so for the Resistance.  The Ukies fear the “Green” – the Novorussians love it.  I don’t know of a single battle so far in which the Ukies attempted to attack through, or from. the “Green”.  The Novorussians do that all the time.

    Pretty soon, supplies become a real problem, and with more or less the entire Ukie Air Forces kaput, and the density of anti-air weapons of the Resistance, even large units go from a fighting mode to a survival mode.  At least 4 Ukie death squads are in that mode right now, today.

    But remember, the Ukies sill have more armor and more firepower, so it is not that easy to reduce and crush a cauldron – that is why the Resistance needs so much time to eventually finish them off.  They do though, one by one.  If they had the time and forces, they could do it easily, but they don’t.

    Right now, the main forces protecting Mariupol are all stuck in 2-3 cauldrons southeast of Donetsk.  But instead of wasting time reducing them, the Novorussian Armed Forces have launched an attack along the sea coast towards Mariupol were the Ukies are already in a panic mode as nothing much stands between them and the Resistance.  And this is the correct move for the Novorussians.

    Just as in chess a blocked figure is essentially useless, so is a Ukie force in a cauldron.  The important thing is to keep the initiative and press the advantage.  This is why the Resistance is pushing towards Mariupol.  If that city is taken, or even surrounded,  or if the cauldrons south of Donetsk are reduced, that will mean a collapse of the entire southern front of the Ukie attack on Novorussia.

    There are risks however.  First, any Novorussian force moved in or towards Mariupol risks been cut off and surrounded by Ukie reinforcements.  Now, I don’t know for a fact what the Ukies are up to, but I bet you that there is total panic in Kiev and that reinforcements are sent from all over the country to prevent Mariupol from falling into Novorussian hands.  The Novorussians need to keep a very careful eye over their shoulder (but then, I am pretty sure that the many GRU eyes in space and on the ground are already doing that for them).  Second, the surrounded Ukies can try to join forces and then either break out or attack towards the north.  If they fail, they will probably either do what they have done in the past – run for their lives and abandon all their heavy equipment or fight to the last man.  Either way is fine for the Novorussians.

    I hope that the short (and somewhat simplified) explanation above explain, at least in general lines, why and how these “cauldrons” are constantly forming.

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    Government keen on #NATO forces in #Sweden

    Nato will soon be able to deploy forces to Sweden, with the government likely to sign an agreement with the military alliance this week, but an expert told The Local that full membership remains unlikely.

    Defence Minister Karin Enström told the Svenska Dagbladet newspaper that the decision could be approved on Thursday. The move follows months of speculation after the Swedish military asked the government to discuss the matter with Nato last autumn.

    Talks are believed to now be complete with both Sweden and Nordic neighbours Finland set to sign up to the deal.

    Under the ‘host country agreement’ Nato would be able to carry out military training in Sweden. The agreement would also include a guarantee for the safe transportation of troops by land, air or sea.

    “We have come very far and it may be a government decision on Thursday,” Enström told the newspaper.

    Enström said Nato would not be able to deploy in Sweden against the government’s wishes.

    The decision is unlikely to be a precursor to Sweden becoming a fully fledged member of the alliance, according to the National Defence College (Försvarshögskolan). 

    “This is really a case of Sweden wanting to show that they have done their homework and have something to show at the Nato summit in Wales next month,” Magnus Christensson, military strategist at the defence college told The Local. 
    He added: “Sweden is part of a frontrunner group discussing enhanced opportunities within Nato and this agreement is a part of that. I don’t think we can say this is the latest step to full membership but Sweden is certainly becoming closer to Nato.” 
    Election favourites the Social Democrats have long been opposed to joining the military alliance. Christensson said Nato wouldn’t be an election issue as he felt none of the parties had anything to gain by making it a topic at the polls. 
    “In order for Sweden to become a full member of Nato there would need to be a serious threat and right now Russia is making a case for that. Being outside would also need to come at a cost and the Social Democrats would need to change their attitude on the matter completely.” 

    Sweden has participated in Nato operations since the Bosnian war in the early nineties. In March The Local reported that over a thousand Swedish troops participated in a Nato training exercise close to the Russian border.

    In a recent survey one in three Swedes supported the prospect of the country joining Nato. Sweden is currently a Nato partner, not a member, with full membership long a bone of contention between the major political parties. 

    Source: Government keen on Nato forces in Sweden

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    #Ukraine crisis: #Nato plans east European bases to counter #Russia

    A very revealing interview with our much-loathed NATO Secretary General, Rasmussen justifying coming NATO aggression. I highlighted a lot in the article. First of all, the basis for all of the rest are outright lies and purposeful distortion of the truth. By defining a threat, certain counter-actions are triggered, which strongly lead to an escalation with Russia. Russia’s reaction to these actions then is isolated and taken as the justification for the next steps. These are the rules of the game. The fact that Ukraine does not belong to NATO and thus NATO has no business in Ukraine is swept away and ignored. Interesting is, however, the criticism on Ukraine’s military strategy. That is spot on. Shameless is how NATO’s activities in Kosovo are overlooked.

    Anders Fogh Rasmussen

    Anders Fogh Rasmussen: ‘We have to face the reality that Russia does not consider Nato a partner.’ Photograph: Niels Ahlmann Olesen/EPA

    Nato is to deploy its forces at new bases in eastern Europe for the first time, in response to the Ukraine crisis and in an attempt to deter Vladimir Putin from causing trouble in the former Soviet Baltic republics, according to its secretary general.

    Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the organisations’s summit in Cardiff next week would overcome divisions within the alliance and agree to new deployments on Russia’s borders – a move certain to trigger a strong reaction from Moscow.

    He also outlined moves to boost Ukraine’s security, “modernise” its armed forces and help the country counter the threat from Russia.

    Rasmussen said: “We will adopt what we call a readiness action plan with the aim to be able to act swiftly in this completely new security environment in Europe. We have something already called the Nato response force, whose purpose is to be able to be deployed rapidly if needed. Now it’s our intention to develop what I would call a spearhead within that response force at very, very high readiness.

    “In order to be able to provide such rapid reinforcements you also need some reception facilities in host nations. So it will involve the pre-positioning of supplies, of equipment, preparation of infrastructure, bases, headquarters. The bottom line is you will in the future see a more visible Nato presence in the east.”

    Poland and the three Baltic states have been alarmed at the perceived threat from Russia and have been clamouring for a stronger Nato presence in the region. They have criticised what they see as tokenism in the alliance’s response so far.

    But the issue of permanent Nato bases in east Europe is divisive. The French, Italians and Spanish are opposed while the Americans and British are supportive of the eastern European demands. The Germans, said a Nato official, were sitting on the fence, wary of provoking Russia.

    The Cardiff summit is likely to come up with a formula, alliance sources said, which would avoid the term “permanent” for the new bases. But the impact will be to have constantly manned Nato facilities east of what used to be the iron curtain.

    “It can be on a rotation basis, with a very high frequency. The point is that any potential aggressor should know that if they were to even think of an attack against a Nato ally they will meet not only soldiers from that specific country but they will meet Nato troops. This is what is important,” said Rasmussen.

    The only Nato headquarters east of the old cold war frontier is at Szczecin, on Poland’s Baltic coast. Sources said this was likely to be the hub for the new deployments. Air and naval plans had been completed, but the issue of international land forces in the east was proving trickier to agree upon.

    Asked whether there would be permanent international deployments under a Nato flag in east Europe, Rasmussen said: “The brief answer is yes. To prevent misunderstanding I use the phrase ‘for as long as necessary’. Our eastern allies will be satisfied when they see what is actually in the readiness action plan.”

    Rasmussen said the forces could be deployed within hours.

    Nato has clearly been caught napping by the Russian president’s well prepared advances in Ukraine since February and is scrambling to come up with strategies for a new era in which Russia has gone from being a “strategic partner” of the alliance to a hostile actor perfecting what the alliance terms “hybrid warfare”.

    Rasmussen, whose term as Nato chief is coming to an end, said: “We have to face the reality that Russia does not consider Nato a partner. Russia is a nation that unfortunately for the first time since the second world war has grabbed land by force. Obviously we have to adapt to that.” In an interview with the Guardian and five other European newspapers, he said: “It is safe to say that nobody had expected Russia to grab land by force. We also saw a remarkable change in the Russian military approach and capability since, for instance, the Georgian war in 2008.

    “We have seen the Russians improve their ability to act swiftly. They can within a very, very, short time convert a major military exercise into an offensive military operation.”

    Rasmussen reiterated that the Russians had massed in their thousands on Ukraine’s eastern borders, and had been firing artillery into Ukraine. His information was based on Nato’s own intelligence and “multiple reports”.

    But Nato officials admitted that the intelligence was impaired by a lack of solid information from the ground. “We can only watch from 23 miles up,” said an official.

    Rasmussen said: “We have reports from multiple sources showing quite a lively Russian involvement in destabilising eastern Ukraine.

    “We have seen artillery firing across the border and also inside Ukraine. We have seen a Russian military buildup along the border. Quite clearly, Russia is involved in destabilising eastern Ukraine … You see a sophisticated combination of traditional conventional warfare mixed up with information and primarily disinformation operations. It will take more than Nato to counter such hybrid warfare effectively.”

    If western leaders have been surprised and also impressed by the sudden display of Russian military prowess, Ukraine, by contrast, is in a pitiful condition militarily, according to Nato officials.

    “If we are two steps behind the Russians, the Ukrainians are 16 steps behind,” said a Nato source recently in Kiev. “Their generals just want to blow everything up. But it’s not a shooting war, it’s an information war.”

    In further moves certain to rile Putin, Nato is to step up its aid to, and collaboration with, the Ukrainian military.

    Ukraine’s president, Petro Poroshenko, is to attend the Cardiff summit and will be the sole non-Nato head of state to negotiate with alliance leaders. Four “trust funds” are to be established to finance Ukraine’s military logistics, command and control structures, and cyber defences, and to pay the armed forces’ pensions.

    “Ukraine follows its own path. That will be demonstrated at the summit because we will have a Nato-Ukraine summit meeting,” said Rasmussen. “It is actually what we will decide to do at the summit, to help them build the capacity of their security sector, modernise it.”

    The summit will also grapple with the perennial question of reduced European defence spending at a time of intense instability on the continent’s eastern and southern borders as well as the growing US exasperation with Europe’s reluctance to fund its own security properly.

    “Since the end of the cold war we have lived in relatively good weather. Now we are faced with a profound climate change. That requires more investment,” said Rasmussen. “Politicians have tried to harvest the peace dividend after the end of the cold war. That’s understandable. But now we are in a completely new security situation.”

    Source: Ukraine crisis: Nato plans east European bases to counter Russia

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    #Finland, #Sweden edge closer to #NATO “host nation” status

    So there is more trouble ahead. The two Scandinavian neutral countries, Finland and Sweden, are sucked and pushed into NATO membership, which means that the whole northern flank can be used for attacks on Russia and a rocket defence shield. There will be an interim step created, the so-called “host nation” status, which basically means that NATO can use the country as a basis for its activities, but the country is not a member of NATO. This step will certainly change the security situation and balance of powers in the region and a worsened relationship between the two countries and Russia is inevitable.

    For Sweden, who has been an adversary of Russia over centuries and always used Finland as a buffer between the two, this is much less a problem than the direct neighbour of Russia, Finland, who had been after some 800 years of belonging to Sweden also some 100 years a part of the Russian empire. Independence has been fought for in several wars with Russia in the first half of the 20th century, and after WWII a special neighbourship developed.

    Keskustan kansanedustaja Seppo Kääriäinen

    Ex-defence minister Seppo Kääriäinen says Finland has been negotiating a host nation support agreement for 10 years. Image: Toni Pitkänen / Yle

    Finland and Sweden are expanding their cooperation with NATO. Defence Minister Carl Haglund told Yle on Wednesday that the government plans to sign an agreement on a new type of partnership at next week’s NATO summit in Wales.

    The Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet says that the Swedish government will likely decide on Thursday to approve a so-called host nation support agreement with the North Atlantic military alliance NATO. Such a deal would allow the deployment of NATO rapid reaction forces on Swedish soil.

    According to Swedish sources, the arrangement would allow NATO forces to use Swedish land, airspace and maritime territory while en route to operations. Sweden would guarantee the troops’ logistical and support operations. This could include providing them with food and ammunition.

    Finland could request support in civilian crises

    Speaking on Yle Radio 1 on Wednesday morning, former defence minister Seppo Kääriäinen said that Finland has been negotiating on its own host nation support agreement for a decade. The opposition Centre Party MP is now deputy chair of the parliamentary Defence Committee.

    Under the envisaged wording, Finland would have the option of providing operational support to NATO forces in various kinds of crisis situations, including purely civilian situations, says Kääriäinen. He points out that Finland would always make the decision whether to request assistance.

    On Sunday, Prime Minister Alexander Stubb told Yle that Finland will participate in the next NATO meeting in a different category than in the past, adding that “in concrete terms, it means to a great extent systems shared with NATO and with Sweden. We’re in a special status [as] partnerships are being reconsidered.”

    NATO support ticks up

    Meanwhile a poll published by Finland’s biggest paper, Helsingin Sanomat, on Wednesday suggests that more Finns now back the idea of full NATO membership.

    According to the survey, 26 percent of respondents now support joining NATO – up from 22 percent in a corresponding poll last March. However a strong majority – 57 percent – still say no to membership, with 17 percent undecided.

    Source: Finnish Broadcasting News (YLE)

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    #Putin awaits report from Defense Ministry on soldiers captured in #Ukraine

    Of course I have no idea if these paratroopers were indeed on a special mission or if they made a navigation mistake, if they were set up or are themselves all fake. One of our readers commented that their uniforms are not at all the ones the paratroopers are wearing these days. As Lavrov says, the truth must come out. But what I do know is that this incident is again a major PR blow for Russia, not quite of the dimension of the downing of MH17, but it goes in this direction. Lavrov frequently calls this the “Information War” and this is not exaggerated. The public opinion can withdraw support from a government and force it to end military adventures. And such events can always and certainly will be used as a pretext for further escalation such as permanent NATO military staff in Eastern Europe, rocket shield against Russia, and stuff like that. Russia’s enemies are obviously very skilled in this sort of warfare. Time to learn and get better.

    Putin awaits report from Defense Ministry on soldiers captured in Ukraine

    The Russian paratroopers said they did not know how they had ended up on Ukrainian territory.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin says that 10 Russian paratroopers captured in Ukraine, near the border with Russia, had probably strayed across the frontier “by accident” and that he is waiting for a report from the Ministry of Defense on the incident.

    A group of Russian paratroopers detained on August 24 by the Security Service of Ukraine had crossed the Russian-Ukrainian border “by chance”, Interfax has been told by a source in the Russian Defense Ministry.

    “These soldiers were patrolling a section of the Russian-Ukrainian border, and had crossed it, most likely by accident on an open and unmarked section. They did not resist the armed forces of Ukraine during their arrest, as far as we know,” said the source.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin told reporters that he had not yet received a report from the military about the paratroopers, whom Kiev claims were on a “special mission.”

    “As far as I know, they were patrolling the border and could have ended up on Ukrainian territory,” said Vladimir Putin, pointing out that not long ago, Ukrainian military personnel had also ended up on Russian territory, “and not just 5-10 people, but several dozens, with 450 people crossing the last time.”

    There had been no problems before, Putin noted. “I hope that in this case as well, that there will be no problems on the Ukrainian side,” he said.

    Capture of prisoners


    According to a statement from the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), one week ago, the Russian paratroopers were transferred to the southern city of Rostov-on-Don from their regiment’s permanent base. The detainees were dressed in Russian military uniforms, but without any insignia and in camouflage overalls, while the identification markings on their military equipment were covered by paint.

    Press Digest: Russian soldiers crossed into Ukraine ‘unintentionally’

    “Near the village of Zerkalniy in the Amvrosievskiy district of the Donetsk Region, a combined operations group of Ukrainian Armed Forces and SBU detained 10 members of the 331st Regiment of the 98th Guards Airborne Division of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation (military unit 71211),” said a statement posted on the department’s website. “The Russian military personnel were captured with their personal documents and weapons.”

    According to the Ukrainian news agency UNIAN, the original contingent of the paratroop unit consisted of about 400 soldiers – an artillery battalion, a reconnaissance company and support units. It was composed of 30 airborne combat vehicles, 18 Nona artillery units, and other vehicles.

    The Russian paratroopers, during interrogation, said they did not know how they had ended up on Ukrainian territory. According to them, their commanders had announced the launch of tactical exercises on the night of August 24, the unit was placed on alert, and, according to the Ukrainian military, was directed to march across the border towards the Ukrainian city of Ilovaisk, keeping radio silence.

    “We were driving off-road and over fields, and I do not even know where we crossed the border,” a man who called himself Corporal Ivan Melchakov of the 331st Regiment of the 98th Russian Airborne Division said in a video recording. In the published video interrogation, the soldier claims to have learned that he was on the territory of Ukraine only when the group came under fire.

    In captivity


    According to Viktor Litovkin, a retired Russian colonel and independent military expert, the video is confirmation that the Russian soldiers got lost after hours of marching, accompanying their column.

    “Moscow did not send its military men to fight in the southeast of Ukraine. When a military column is on the move, they always send out an advance guard, which moves in front of the column, and there are flank guards as well,” Litovkin told RBTH.

    Sergei Lavrov: The truth must be revealed “

    Apparently, these men were simply on the flank of the column, and at night, becoming disoriented, they crossed the Russo-Ukrainian border. The border is not marked there, with no signs anywhere warning about the presence of the border, so it is not surprising that they ended up on the Ukrainian side,” he said.

    Alexander Konovalov, president of the Institute for Strategic Assessments, said that the capture of Russian armed soldiers on the territory of Ukraine is a real present for Kiev, as now the government authorities will have a much easier time proving Moscow’s involvement in the fighting in southeast Ukraine.

    “We can expect the United States and EU to toughen their sanctions. Ukraine will also become much more insistent in asking for military assistance to build up its armed forces, and supplying them with modern weapons,” said Konovalov. “

    The country will now have a few more arguments in trying to convince the West of the need for this. Although, I think that the West, for now, will hold off on this.”

    The expert also noted that in light of the upcoming talks with the Customs Union, “this incident will serve as a trump card in the hands of [Ukrainian President Petro] Poroshenko.”

    Source: Russia Beyond the Headlines

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    The Nail In The #Petrodollar Coffin: #Gazprom Begins Accepting Payment For Oil In #Rouble, #Yuan

    Zerohedge runs a story summarising what is known about the coming de-Dollarization of energy trade, the end of the Petrodollar.

    Several months ago, when Russia announced the much anticipated “Holy Grail” energy deal with China, some were disappointed that despite this symbolic agreement meant to break the petrodollar’s stranglehold on the rest of the world, neither Russia nor China announced payment terms to be in anything but dollars. In doing so they admitted that while both nations are eager to move away from a US Dollar reserve currency, neither is yet able to provide an alternative.

    This changed in late June when first Gazprom’s CFO announced the gas giant was ready to settle China contracts in Yuan or Roubles, and at the same time the People’s Bank of China announced that its Assistant Governor Jin Qi and Russian central bank Deputy Chairman Dmitry Skobelkin held a meeting in which they discussed cooperating on project and trade financing using local currencies. The meeting discussed cooperation in bank card, insurance and financial supervision sectors.

    And yet, while both sides declared their operational readiness and eagerness to bypass the dollar entirely, such plans remained purely in the arena of monetary foreplay and the long awaited first shot across the Petrodollar bow was absent.

    Until now.

    According to Russia’s RIA Novosti, citing business daily Kommersant, Gazprom Neft has agreed to export 80,000 tons of oil from Novoportovskoye field in the Arctic; it will accept payment in Roubles, and will also deliver oil via the Eastern Siberia-Pacific Ocean pipeline (ESPO), accepting payment in Chinese Yuan for the transfers. Meaning Russia will export energy to either Europe or China, and receive payment in either Roubles or Yuan, in effect making the two currencies equivalent as far as the Eurasian axis is concerned, but most importantly, transact completely away from the US dollar thus, finally putin’ (sic) in action the move for a Petrodollar-free world.

    More on this long awaited first nail in the petrodollar coffin from RIA:

    The Russian government and several of the country’s largest exporters have widely discussed the possibility of accepting payments in Roubles for oil exports. Last week, Russia began to ship oil from the Novoportovskoye field to Europe by sea. Two oil tankers are expected to arrive in Europe in September.


    According to Kommersant, the payment for these shipments will be received in Roubles.

    Gazprom Neft will not only accept payments in Roubles; subsequent transfers via the ESPO may be paid for in Yuan, the newspaper reported.

    According to the newspaper, the change in currency was made because of the Western sanctions against Russia.

    As a protective measure, Russia decided to avoid making its payments in US dollars, which can be tracked and controlled by the United States government, Kommersant reported.

    “Protective measure” meaning that it was the US which managed to Plaxico itself by pushing Russia to transact away from the US Dollar, in the process showing the world it can be done, and slamming the first nail in the Petrodollar’s coffin.

    This is not surprising to anyone who has been following our forecast of the next steps in the transition from the Petrodollar to the Gas-O-Yuan. Recall from April:

     The New New Normal flow of funds:
    1. Gazprom delivering gas to China.
    2. China Gazprom paying in Yuan (convertible into Roubles)
    3. Gazprom funding itself increasingly in Yuan.
    4. Russia buying Chinese goods and services in Yuan (convertible into Roubles)

    And all of this with the US banker cartel completely disintermediated courtesy of the glaring absence of the USD in any of the above listed steps, or as some may call it: from the Petrodollar to the Gas-o-Yuan (something 40 central banks have already figured out… just not the Fed).

    Still confused? Then read “90% Of Gazprom Clients Have “De-Dollarized”, Will Transact In Euro & Renminbi” for just how Gazprom set the stage for the day it finally would push the button to skip the dollar entirely. Which it just did.

    In conclusion we will merely say what we have said previously, and it touches on what will be the most remarkable aspect of Obama’s legacy, because while the hypocrite “progressive” president who even his own people have accused of being a “brown-faced Clinton” after selling out to Wall Street and totally  wrecking US foreign policy abroad, is already the worst president in a century of US history according to public polls, the fitting epitaph will come when the president’s policies put an end to dollar hegemony and end the reserve currency status of the dollar once and for all, thereby starting the rapid, and uncontrolled, collapse of the US empire. To wit:

     In retrospect it will be very fitting that the crowning legacy of Obama’s disastrous reign, both domestically and certainly internationally, will be to force the world’s key ascendent superpowers (we certainly don’t envision broke, insolvent Europe among them) to drop the Petrodollar and end the reserve status of the US currency.


    As of this moment, both Russia and China have shown not on that it can be done, but it is done. Expect everyone to jump onboard the new superpower axis bandwagon soon enough.

    Three civilians burnt alive in car as Ukrainian army shells center of #Donetsk

    Image by @PaulaSlier_RT

    Image by @PaulaSlier_RT

    Kiev forces have shelled residential areas in the center of the rebel-held town of Donetsk, killing at least three people and damaging several apartment blocks, a kindergarten and a cultural center.

    On Wednesday, Kalininsky District in the center of the city came under artillery fire from the government forces.  RT’s Paula Slier arrived on the scene less than half an hour after the shelling when the local residents were “still in shock”.

    One of the missiles directly hit a passenger car on Shevchenko Boulevard, turning the vehicle into a torch.

    “There’s a car where three people have died and the bodies are badly burned inside,” Slier said.

    Another missile hit the roof of the Youth Culture Center as several fire brigades were working to put out the fire caused by the explosion, she added.

    According to the City Council, a kindergarten and two apartment blocks were also shelled in the area.

    “We’re hearing from the militia that there were around six, seven hits at the same time,” Slier said.

    One of these shells didn’t explode and the self-defense forces were waiting for a technician in order for it to be disarmed, she added.

    Later in the day the Ukrainian military shelled the western outskirts of Donetsk, the City Council said.

    “It’s turbulent in Donetsk. Mortar explosion are heard in the Petrovsky District,”
    the mayor’s office informed on its website.

    Deputy head of the city’s Voroshilovsky District, Ivan Prikhodko, described the aftermath of the shelling by Kiev forces as “frightening” on his Facebook page.

    Ukraine has been engulfed in a violent internal conflict since April, when Kiev’s military began its crackdown on the southeast parts of the country.
    Some of the people in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions refused to recognize the new coup-imposed authorities and demanded federalization of the country.

    According to United Nations’ estimates released Tuesday, over 2,249 people have so far been killed and over 6,033 wounded in the fighting in eastern Ukraine.

    The number of internally displaced Ukrainians has reached 190,000, with another 207,000 finding refuge in Russia, the UN said.

    #US government criticizes #Uruguay for “approach to #Russia”

    Montevideo. The Government of the United States believes that Uruguay should rethink their “commercial approach” to Russia. This said the number three of the State Department, David McKean, in an interview with the weekly newspaper Búsqueda during his visit to Uruguay last week.

    His comments stand in the context of the conflict between Washington and Moscow with the mutual imposition of sanctions for the Ukraine crisis.

    David McKean, head of policy planning in the State Department, during his visit to Montevideo

    McKean, head of policy planning in the State Department, stressed that his government was not concerned about the close trade relations between the Latin American countries with China. The United States wished, however, that “the world followed the American attitude towards Russia and condemned the role that it has played in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine”.

    “We believe that all nations should be concerned about the violation of the territorial integrity both, in the Crimea and the east of Ukraine,” McKean said. He hoped that the countries of the region “rethink” strengthening relations with Russia.

    President Vladimir Putin, in response to the sanctions imposed on Russia because of his attitude in Ukraine conflict, had imposed on August 7 a first temporary one-year ban on imports of a number of agricultural products from the United States, the EU, Australia, Canada and Norway. In the same move, the Russian government opened the domestic market for these same products from Latin America. Uruguay is one of the countries next to Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Ecuador, and Peru to increase their food exports to Russia now. Representatives of the European Commission have therefore already threatened these countries with “consequences”.

    The ruling Frente Amplio party and the country’s president, José Mujica, have so far not commented on the request of the U.S. government.

    The Southern Front Catastrophe – August 27, 2014

    Note the title of the latest situation report reading “The Southern Front Catastrophe”. Well, not so much for the Militia, but certainly for the Junta it is a real catastrophe. Even if you do not like war stories, this great reading will tell you a lot about the competence and bravery of the Self-Defence troops. Take a map of the area and go through it with your finger on the map! The situation is turning before our eyes and consequently there is no doubt as to why Kiev is, all of a sudden, talking a lot about a peace process.

    Map of Operations, August 10-27, 2014 – Created by Kot Ivanov and Anthony Hartin


    Novorossiya Military Briefing – Novorossiya Shall Be!

    Original: Colonel Cassad LiveJournal
    Translated from Russian by Daniel Mikhailovich / Edited by Gleb Bazov

    pic1We are currently witnessing an epic and, in its own way, historic event. The Ukrainian regular army and the punitive battalions are suffering a catastrophic defeat to the south of Donetsk. Only a short time ago the Republics were in dire straits: the DPR was hanging only by a thin supply thread, which the Ukrainian Army was attempting to sever near Shakhtersk and Krasnyi Luch; the summit of Saur-Mogila had been abandoned, and Bolotov’s counter-offensive had failed to bring decisive victories.

    To many it seemed that the Militia forces were on the ropes and on the verge of breaking, which would have led to the collapse of Novorossiya and a military victory for the fascist…

    View original post 1,641 more words

    #Ukraine — from Molotov Cocktails against Unarmed Policemen to Ballistic Missiles in less than Six Months

    Original by Delian Diver

    In less than six months, Ukraine has been plunged into a vortex of violence that doesn’t appear to have any end in sight. The vicious circle that started with Molotov cocktails thrown at unarmed riot police has now gone to ballistic missiles launched at cities.

    On the video below we can see as ‘peaceful’ protesters on Maidan in Kiev bottle a Molotov cocktail and throw it away to riot police.
    What have we been told about events on Maidan on CNN, BBC and other ‘democratic’ TV channels? ‘People of Ukraine made their choice to be with Europe and bloody president Yanukovych suppress them’ or something similar in this way.

    Well… actually I don’t know what would happen to radical protesters in Europe or US if they throw Molotov cocktails on riot police? At least get in prison for some time, maximum have a chance to be shot. Have a look at Ferguson, in case you are in doubt.

    nazis in urkaine

    Why Europe and US had to cover up those neo-nazis and bandits on Maidan in Kiev? Well, they had one common goal, namely to bring to power a puppet president, be it Klitchko or Poroshenko, and at the same time each party of this game had their personal reasons:

    EU — Poroshenko sign the association agreement (already done) and EU get the following:

    1. a new market to sell off their goods in Ukraine;
    2. extra profit out of loans which International Monetary Fund will give to Ukraine to fulfill all the requirements as per the agreement with EU.

    US — solve their geopolitical goals:

    1. press out Russian fleet and military forces from Black Sea and Crimea;
    2. place NATO bases in Crimea close to Russian border and use it for pressure on Russian Federation in future;
    3. create a completely russophobic Ukraine and later incite it to get in war against Russia;
    4. destroy commercial links between the Russian Federation and EU to weaken both groups and to strengthen the ailing dollar;
    5. with the help of their puppet Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who according to plan should become a Prime Minister, initiate a new gas-war with Russia and use it to press on EU to buy shale gas, which ‘Shell’ is planned to produce on the east of Ukraine (Donbass) where currently civil war prevent it.

    In February, record of telephone conversation of Victoria Nuland with ambassador Mr.Pyatts leaked into the press, where they uncover some of the details about putsch organized on Ukraine.

    Now, US by the hands of ‘president’ Poroshenko wage a real war on the east of Ukraine to keep a control over this territory.

    Bombing Lugansk by Ukrainian army

    As it became clear last days, the Ukrainian military forces used a ballistic missile ‘Tochka U’ (according to NATO classification SS-21 Scarab A)


    In this respect, I have a few questions: ‘What really does America bring along: democracy, or war and destruction?’ Whom they support and what sort of regime set up?


    bloody poroshenko

    poroshenko terrorist

    us and ukraine military forces

    #Hypocrisy at its best: The #Federalisation Game

    biden ukraine 600x400

    I do not know about you, but I am extremely puzzled about the US foreign policy in terms of support or rejection of the federalisation of countries.

    In Iraq, the US seem to have found the magic recipe by supporting their fellow Sunni buddies — their love affair started way after destroying the country and killing Bin Laden, so don’t be confused — and pissing on the Shiite’s leg. After all, they are the brothers of the Iranian enemy. Maliki refused for a while to comply with American orders to make way, but in the end he was mobbed out of office.

    In Ukraine, however, the mega-corrupt centralized structures suite the US gangsters fine and a federalisation would limit the possibilities to use Ukraine against Russia as a launchpad for further attacks against Moscow.

    Two constants remain:

    • the future of other countries depends on what fits best to the American strategy, and
    • the fate of the people in these countries do not bother anyone at all.

    More on this topic:

    #DPR Army reports that it captured a #Ukraine contingent south of #Amvrosievka

    The encircled Ukrainian military tried to break out, but suffered heavy losses.

    Staff of the Army of the People’s Republic of Donetsk reported that on August 26 in the south of Amvrosievka (between Donetsk and the Russian border) 94 Ukrainian soldiers surrender and were taken prisoner. Before, the Ukie company made an unsuccessful attempt to break the encirclement, but were driven back to their positions.

    In the area of the village Kuteinikovo as a result of negotiations surrendered 94 demoralized punitive operatives – reported the headquarters of the DPR army. According to staff, during clashes the loss of security forces were about 50 people.

    In addition, staff reported the discovery of a large cluster of Ukrainian troops southwest of Donetsk, near the village of Vorovskogo. Militia artillery attack struck and destroyed 11 enemy armored vehicles. Ukrainian Armed Forces shelled on 25 and 26 August residential neighborhoods of Donetsk, Lugansk, Novosvetlovki and Khryashchevatogo, says the army headquarters DNR.

    As reported by LifeNews, August 26 DPR forces attacked positions of Ukrainian troops in Ilovaiskaya . The fighting continued outside the city throughout the day. It became known about the death of the commander of the battalion “Kherson”, Ruslan Storchiusa.By evening, the DPR army controlled more than half of Ilovaysk. Militias cut the enemy access to the road connecting the city with other areas of Donetsk oblast.

    Source: Lifenews

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    #Azov Battalion Refused Orders to Block #DPR Drive to Sea of Azov

    One gets the impression that the Azov battalion, just as the other volunteer and mercenary contingents, are a good choice to shoot conscripts in the back, when they refuse to kill civilians. They might also be an excellent choice to shell hospitals and kindergartens. But when it comes to fight a real enemy, man against man, they seem to be an unreliable weapon.

    Voices from Russia

    00 crisis 02. ukrainian soldiers. 02.03.14


    Trying to prevent the advance of Novorossiyan forces to the Sea of Azov, the junta command tried to send the Azov Battalion, now in reserve, to the front. However, the leaders of the terrorist battalion refused to advance to Novoivanovka (south of Amvrosievka), saying, “We lost 4 killed and 35 wounded in the battle for Ilovaisk”. What’s more, the battalion withdrew from its frontline positions and went back to Mariupol to “rest and resupply”. A second attempt to rouse the Azov into action became farcical. When 8 Corps headquarters tried to contact Biletsky, the commander of the terrorist unit, they heard nothing but swearing in response. Recently, the junta promoted Biletsky to Lieutenant Colonel in the VV MVDU, even though he’s a convicted criminal. No doubt, this emboldened him to disobey orders and swear at his superiors. Because of this confusion, the Novorossiyan counter-offensive was able to come to jumping-off…

    View original post 41 more words

    #France fulfills all obligations under #Mistral deal with #Russia

    MOSCOW, August 26. /ITAR-TASS/. France is fulfilling all obligations under a bilateral deal on the construction of two Mistral-class helicopter carriers for Russia, Igor Ponomaryov, the vice president of Russia’s United Shipbuilding Corporation, said on Tuesday.

    “The delivery of the first vessel to Russia is expected in November,” Ponomaryov said, adding that the contract is being implemented at its full volume.

    Under the contract, Russia is to receive the first of the two warships, the Vladivostok, in October-November this year. The second Mistral-class helicopter carrier, the Sevastopol, is expected to be handed over to Russia by the end of the next year.

    The Mistral issue was in the focus of attention in late July when the United States started to exert strong pressure on France, urging it to give up Mistral deliveries to Russia amid persisting differences between Washington and Moscow over developments in south-east Ukraine.

    However, French President Francois Hollande said that France would fulfill its obligations for the construction of the first Mistral-type warship and would hand it over to Russia on time.

    Hollande said that work on the second Mistral warship would depend on Moscow’s stance on the Ukraine crisis.

    Mistral contract

    The €1.12 billion contract for building two Mistral-type ships was signed by the Russian defense exporting company Rosoboronexport and French DCNS in June 2011.

    The Mistral-type helicopter carriers have a displacement of 21 tons, the maximum body length of 210 meters, the speed of 18 knots and the range of up to 20,000 miles.

    The crew is 170 members, and in addition it can take on board 450 people. Each ship is capable of carrying a fleet of 16 helicopters. Six of them can be simultaneously deployed on the flight-deck. The cargo deck can accommodate more than 40 tanks or 70 motorized vehicles.

    Mistral landing helicopter carriers are capable of performing four tasks at the same time: receive helicopters, land troops, and act as a command post and a floating hospital.

    Source: France fulfills all obligations under Mistral deal with Russia

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    Germany Is Building a European Army Before Your Eyes

    Off topic. I am not sure if the populations of Germany and the Netherlands are aware of this and I am fairly surprised, also that the Dutch have a female Defence Minister as well. I heard that a German General took command or some higher position in the US Army in Europe somewhere, but about integrating the Dutch army with the German one, I have not heard anything before.

    World News - Breaking International News Headlines and Leaks

    A German soldier wears a badge of the Division Schnelle Kraefte at an event marking the integration of Dutch forces into the Division Schnelle Kraefte , or Rapid Forces Division, on June 12 in Stadtallendorf, Germany.(Sascha Schuermann/Getty Images)

    The Dutch Army is being absorbed into the German military, and Poland’s could be next.

    The Dutch Army is made up of three brigades, plus support staff and Special Forces. On June 12, one of those brigades, the 11th Airmobile, officially joined the German Army.

    This was the first time ever that European country has handed part of its army over to another country. “Never before has a state renounced this elementary and integral part of its sovereignty,” wrote Die Welt’s political editor, Thorsten Jungholt.

    “The hour has come, finally, for concrete steps towards a European Army.” — Chairman of the German Parlaiment’s Defence Committee Hans-Peter Bartels 

    Now, Germany is making it clear that this was not an isolated event. Instead, it is a pattern Germany intends to follow as it absorbs more units from foreign militaries. “Germany is driving the European Army Project” was…

    View original post 1,058 more words

    #Putin and #Poroshenko Meeting in #Minsk

    Under the protection of Europe’s beauty queen, Lady Ashton, the presidents of Russia and Ukraine shake hands in Minsk. In their opening speeches, Poroshenko and Putin addressed fairly different topic. While the former is looking for a negotiation solution to the ukraine crisis, the other addresses the need to protect Russia from the huge losses for the Russian economy stemming from Ukraine’s EU accession, if this can be called like that. 

    Video of Russian Paratrooper captured by Ukraine

    First of all, this is a very young guy, not even 20 years old. He is used to ‘prove’ that the claims that Russian troops have entered Ukraine are true. Corresponding reports are spread by Ukie propaganda pages, even that the Russian defence ministry admitted it ‘as a mistake’. Same stories I heard yesterday in German radio. Western media have criticized the presentation of captured Ukie soldiers in Donetsk on Independence Day. Strangely, they have never commented the presentation of captured enemies. Hope this guy will get home unharmed.

    A Mother’s Letter: “Who Gave the Order to Kill my Children?”

    Eyewitness account from #genocide in #Ukraine

    Original: Novorossiya Militia’s Briefings (VKontakte)
    Translated by Vera Van Horne / Edited by Paul Shalley & Gleb Bazov

    Kristina Christina, together with her little girl, was killed in Gorlovka by the Ukrainian punitive forces

    Natalia, the mother of the murdered Christina, wrote a letter to the mother of Poroshenko’s children, asking: “Who gave the order to kill my children?”

    I met Natalia, whose daughter and granddaughter were killed in the Grad shelling of Gorlovka by the Ukrainian troops, at the railway station in Kiev. In the eyes of the beautiful and once happy woman today there is deep pain, sadness and emptiness. On a page of her notebook she wrote a letter to Marina Poroshenko, and, sitting in the waiting room, she descended into painful memories from two weeks ago.

    “Life Has Stopped, and There is Nothing More”

    Question: Natalia, my condolences! If you can, tell us what happened on that tragic day, when your children…

    View original post 2,509 more words

    #Donetsk fighters encircle third Ukrainian army grouping

    This is to all those who saw the Novorussian militias lose and had no hope any longer. Of course, this is not the end of the war. But the military tactics of retreating and surprise attacks is very successful. The self-defence forces avoid own losses and turn the poor training level and leadership skill in the Ukrainian army to their advantage.

    DONETSK, August 25. /ITAR-TASS/. Self-defense militias of the Donetsk People’s Republic have encircled a third attack force of the Ukrainian army by Monday morning, the local news agency Novorossiya reported.

    The third Ukrainian army grouping was encircled near the settlements of Stepanovka, Amvrosiyevka and Stepano-Krynka, Novorossiya reported, referring to the militia headquarters.

    “All throughout the night, the militia’s forces were concentrated on narrowing the encirclement rings around two Ukrainian army groupings blocked near the settlements of Voikovsky, Kuteinikovo, Blagodatnoye, Alekseyevskoye, Uspenka and Ulyanovskoye and in the area of the settlement of Olenovskoye,” the news agency reported.

    The militia headquarters have reported that “over 40 tanks, about 100 infantry fighting vehicles, armored personnel carriers and airborne combat vehicles, about 50 Grad and Uragan multiple launch rocket systems and over 60 field artillery guns and mortars have been encircled.”

    Surprise attacks by Donetsk militias have also encircled a Ukrainian army grouping near the settlement of Yelenovka, Novorossiya reported.

    About 2,000 Ukrainian troops, over 100 pieces of the armor and about 60 artillery guns of various caliber have been encircled by Donetsk fighters who have also liberated the populated areas of Novodvornoye, Agronomicheskoye, Novokaterinovka, Osykovo, Klyonovka, Stroitel and Leninskoye, the militia said.

    Donetsk self-defense fighters are also cutting off Ukrainian troops from Ilovaisk along the line of the populated areas of Agronomicheskoye, Kuteinikovo, Voikovo and Osykovo, the militia headquarters said.

    A militia reconnaissance has carried out a successful attack on the Ukrainian army in the Starobeshevsky district of the Donetsk Republic, the headquarters said.

    Donetsk fighters have also attacked a patrol of the Ukrainian Azov battalion near the settlement of Novy Svet some 30 km (19 miles) from the border with Russia, killing and wounding Ukrainian troops, Novorossiya said, citing combat reports of the Donetsk People’s Republic.

    A battle is continuing for control over the Novoazovsk checkpoint, Novorossiya reported. The pro-Kiev Dnepr-1 battalion sent in support of the Ukrainian troops was stopped by fire from a group of guerilla snipers. Several Ukrainian servicemen were wounded, Novorossiya reported.

    Militia’s tactic

    The latest military successes by Donetsk self-defense fighters have become possible as the militia headquarters have switched from military action by small units to full-scale operations by full-fledged formations and army units, the militia said.

    “The army headquarters of the Donetsk People’s Republic have decided to give up action by small units and shift to military action by full-fledged formations and army units which are provided with full fire support,” the republican army headquarters said.

    Meanwhile, the Ukrainian army’s headquarters claimed destroying the militia’s eight tanks, 10 combat vehicles and 250 self-defense fighters during the night.

    Units of the Ukrainian National Guard are hurriedly leaving Mariupol, Novorossiya reported, citing local residents.

    Trucks full of armed people have been leaving Mariupol since Monday morning and heading for the town of Mangush and the Zaporozhye Region, eyewitnesses said.

    Military experts of the Donetsk People’s Republic have said the hurried retreat of the Ukrainian troops from Mariupol can be explained by self-defense fighters’ successes on the southern front.

    Donetsk militia earlier said that subversive and reconnaissance groups of the eastern Ukraine self-defense army had burst into Mariupol on Sunday night.

    The militias’ subversive and reconnaissance groups also started battles back on Saturday near the town of Novoazovsk 47 km (29 miles) from Mariupol. Donetsk fighters have liberated several populated areas by Monday morning, including Telmanovo, a local administrative center close to Mariupol.

    At the same time, Ukrainian army units and a part of the National Guard are still staying in Mariupol, the Donetsk People’s Republic said.

    ITAR-TASS has no confirmation of this information from other sources.

    Ukrainian army achievements

    The Ukrainian military established control of Mariupol in mid-June, after which the pro-Kiev Donetsk regional administration moved to the city.

    Pro-Kiev troops and local militias in the eastern Ukrainian Donetsk and Luhansk regions are involved in fierce clashes as the Ukrainian armed forces are conducting a military operation to regain control over the breakaway regions, which on May 11 proclaimed their independence at local referendums.

    During the military operation, Kiev has used armored vehicles, heavy artillery and attack aviation. Many buildings have been destroyed and tens of thousands of people have had to flee Ukraine’s embattled east.

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    Donetsk fighters encircle third Ukrainian army grouping

    This is to all those who saw the Novorussian militias lose and had no hope any longer. Of course, this is not the end of the war. But the military tactics of retreating and surprise attacks is very successful. The self-defence forces avoid own losses and turn the poor training level and leadership skill in the Ukrainian army to their advantage.

    DONETSK, August 25. /ITAR-TASS/. Self-defense militias of the Donetsk People’s Republic have encircled a third attack force of the Ukrainian army by Monday morning, the local news agency Novorossiya reported.

    The third Ukrainian army grouping was encircled near the settlements of Stepanovka, Amvrosiyevka and Stepano-Krynka, Novorossiya reported, referring to the militia headquarters.

    “All throughout the night, the militia’s forces were concentrated on narrowing the encirclement rings around two Ukrainian army groupings blocked near the settlements of Voikovsky, Kuteinikovo, Blagodatnoye, Alekseyevskoye, Uspenka and Ulyanovskoye and in the area of the settlement of Olenovskoye,” the news agency reported.

    The militia headquarters have reported that “over 40 tanks, about 100 infantry fighting vehicles, armored personnel carriers and airborne combat vehicles, about 50 Grad and Uragan multiple launch rocket systems and over 60 field artillery guns and mortars have been encircled.”

    Surprise attacks by Donetsk militias have also encircled a Ukrainian army grouping near the settlement of Yelenovka, Novorossiya reported.

    About 2,000 Ukrainian troops, over 100 pieces of the armor and about 60 artillery guns of various caliber have been encircled by Donetsk fighters who have also liberated the populated areas of Novodvornoye, Agronomicheskoye, Novokaterinovka, Osykovo, Klyonovka, Stroitel and Leninskoye, the militia said.

    Donetsk self-defense fighters are also cutting off Ukrainian troops from Ilovaisk along the line of the populated areas of Agronomicheskoye, Kuteinikovo, Voikovo and Osykovo, the militia headquarters said.

    A militia reconnaissance has carried out a successful attack on the Ukrainian army in the Starobeshevsky district of the Donetsk Republic, the headquarters said.

    Donetsk fighters have also attacked a patrol of the Ukrainian Azov battalion near the settlement of Novy Svet some 30 km (19 miles) from the border with Russia, killing and wounding Ukrainian troops, Novorossiya said, citing combat reports of the Donetsk People’s Republic.

    A battle is continuing for control over the Novoazovsk checkpoint, Novorossiya reported. The pro-Kiev Dnepr-1 battalion sent in support of the Ukrainian troops was stopped by fire from a group of guerilla snipers. Several Ukrainian servicemen were wounded, Novorossiya reported.

    Militia’s tactic

    The latest military successes by Donetsk self-defense fighters have become possible as the militia headquarters have switched from military action by small units to full-scale operations by full-fledged formations and army units, the militia said.

    “The army headquarters of the Donetsk People’s Republic have decided to give up action by small units and shift to military action by full-fledged formations and army units which are provided with full fire support,” the republican army headquarters said.

    Meanwhile, the Ukrainian army’s headquarters claimed destroying the militia’s eight tanks, 10 combat vehicles and 250 self-defense fighters during the night.

    Units of the Ukrainian National Guard are hurriedly leaving Mariupol, Novorossiya reported, citing local residents.

    Trucks full of armed people have been leaving Mariupol since Monday morning and heading for the town of Mangush and the Zaporozhye Region, eyewitnesses said.

    Military experts of the Donetsk People’s Republic have said the hurried retreat of the Ukrainian troops from Mariupol can be explained by self-defense fighters’ successes on the southern front.

    Donetsk militia earlier said that subversive and reconnaissance groups of the eastern Ukraine self-defense army had burst into Mariupol on Sunday night.

    The militias’ subversive and reconnaissance groups also started battles back on Saturday near the town of Novoazovsk 47 km (29 miles) from Mariupol. Donetsk fighters have liberated several populated areas by Monday morning, including Telmanovo, a local administrative center close to Mariupol.

    At the same time, Ukrainian army units and a part of the National Guard are still staying in Mariupol, the Donetsk People’s Republic said.

    ITAR-TASS has no confirmation of this information from other sources.

    Ukrainian army achievements

    The Ukrainian military established control of Mariupol in mid-June, after which the pro-Kiev Donetsk regional administration moved to the city.

    Pro-Kiev troops and local militias in the eastern Ukrainian Donetsk and Luhansk regions are involved in fierce clashes as the Ukrainian armed forces are conducting a military operation to regain control over the breakaway regions, which on May 11 proclaimed their independence at local referendums.

    During the military operation, Kiev has used armored vehicles, heavy artillery and attack aviation. Many buildings have been destroyed and tens of thousands of people have had to flee Ukraine’s embattled east.