Sunday, July 12, 2015
(Updated throughout the day)
Merkel, Hollande Urge Ukraine Leader to Give Rebels Self-Rule / New Indian Express / July 11, 2105 / KIEV: German Chancellor Angel Merkel and French President Francois Hollande took the rare step of pressing Ukraine’s Western-backed leader to ensure partial self-rule for the pro-Russian separatist east. The blunt message yesterday from two of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s most important allies marked another sign of European impatience with fighting that still engulfs the ex-Soviet nation five months after the signing of a broad truce. The 13-point agreement reached in the Belarussian capital Minsk controversially guarantees three years of autonomy to militia-run districts of Ukraine’s industrial provinces of Lugansk and Donetsk. The mostly Russian-speaking regions — dotted with war-shattered steel mills and coal mines that once fuelled Ukraine’s economy — want their special status spelled out in constitutional amendments that would be enormously difficult to overturn. But Poroshenko’s draft changes so far only make passing reference to an existing piece of legislation that gives insurgency leaders temporary self-administration rights. The rebels fear the law could be easily watered-down or even revoked — a decision that would cheer Ukraine’s nationalist forces and outrage Russian President Vladimir Putin. The European Union’s dire state of relations with Russia have been of particular concern to Merkel as she tries to return calm to the continent’s jittery markets and bring more stability to the 28-nation bloc’s eastern front. Poroshenko said Merkel and Hollande — both present at the Minsk agreement’s signing in February — had “recommended that the president of Ukraine continue with (his) constitutional reforms”. The two “especially stressed that the draft constitution of Ukraine reflects special self-rule for certain districts of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions”. Hollande’s office confirmed that the French leader and Merkel placed “particular emphasis on the special status of certain areas in the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk in the draft constitution”. The German statement carried a similar message. None of the sides mentioned who had initiated the conference call. More than 6,500 people have died and 1.4 million have been left homeless since the conflict erupted in the wake of the February 2014 ouster of a Russian-backed leader and his replacement by a strongly pro-Western leadership. Editor’s Note: the number of dead in the Ukrainian war has been reported as over 50,000, most of the them Ukrainian troops, according to German intelligence.
Zakharchenko Video: See Important statement by Alexander Zakharchenko at Vineyard of the Saker (July 11, 2015). Editor’s note: an approximate transcript of the subtitles is as follows: Question: Alexander, today is the anniversary of the withdrawal of forces from Slavyansk. After one year, do you think it was right or wrong? Or maybe something could be done in another way. Zakharchenko: In any case it is hard to judge, because the war always gives a big number of excuses, and any decisions which are made by one of the commanders are on his conscience. All this territory is the Donetsk People’s Republic. My personal opinion is the following: From the first day when I became the head of state, I said one thing: I don’t divide the territory of the DPR by what is occupied or controlled by us. All this territory is the Donetsk People’s Republic within the administrative borders of the former Donetsk region. That’s why one year ago there was, probably, a historical event which resulted in — let’s say it this way, in one day we lost Slavyansk, Kramatorsk, Konstantinovka, Artemovsk. A group of forces in Karlovka [Gorlovka?] was put in danger. In 3-4 days we lost Debaltsevo and Uglegorsk. It was done in almost one week. That’s the reason for everything which took place afterwards, and the number of victims — this was a consequence of the exit by one of our famous field commanders from Slavyansk [Igor Strelkov –editor] — we suffered by releasing these cities. His subordinates knew about that, the main thing is that he knows about it as well. Any denial that the rest of the territory is not occupied, is not ours I consider as a personal treason, treason of all militias, soldiers. We insist on only one thing, that all territory, both Slavyansk and Kramatorsk, Krasnoarmeysk and Konstantinovka, and all the rest, and Mariupol, are cities of the DPR. I would like to address those people who live in this territory. Sooner or later we will be together. It can’t even be discussed, ie. I say fully assured that sooner or later we will be together. And all punishers, all contractors who kill our civilians, rape our women, plunder our houses, sooner or later will bear responsibility. They will be charged wherever they will be, in Poltava, in Sumy, in Lvov, in Kiev. Nobody will escape or hide anywhere.
Two people killed, eight wounded in Right Sectors attack on Transcarpathia’s Mukachevo / TASS / July 11, 2015 / KIEV / Two people were killed and eight wounded as the right-extremist Right Sector organisation, banned in Russia, attacked a gym and a traffic police station in Ukraine’s Mukachevo in Transcarpathia, the local media reported on Saturday. “Firing continues in Mukachevo. Two were killed, eight wounded,” the local media reported. “The police have circled the city.” Some reports say the Right Sector militants attacked a gym, owned by a local legislator – Mikhail Lanyo. The extremists in several off-road vehicles came to the building and opened fire from a machine gun installed on a car’s roof. Two people were killed. “A fight continues now near the Krasna Gorka along the Kiev-Chop highway,” Seven Days. Uzhgorod reports. Besides, residents say about a fire at a gas filling station near an exit from the city.
Ukraine’s Security Service sets up operative headquarters over Mukachevo attack / TASS / July 11, 2015 / KIEV / Ukraine’s law enforcement agencies have set up an operational headquarters after an attack in the western city of Mukachevo, the spokesperson for Security Service said on Saturday. “An operational headquarters has been set up in the region,” the Ukrainian Pravda daily quotes Elena Gitlyanskaya as saying. “A deputy of the Service’s head has gone there along with Spetsnaz forces.” The malefactors have been offered to lay down arms and are guaranteed “the incident will be unbiasedly investigated,” she said. Editor’s note: videos are available at OffGuardian.
Kiev Doing Whatever It Takes to Asphyxiate Independence Movement in Donbass / Sputnik / July 12, 2015 / The Ukrainian government is trying to asphyxiate the independence movement in the Donbass region through a full-out economic blockade, Polish war correspondent David Hudziec notes. Regulations imposed by Kiev are suspending the supply of food and medicine to the breakaway republics of Donetsk and Lugansk; it seems the Ukrainian government is determined to give the Donbass region the treatment Leningrad received during the Second World War when it fell prey to a deadly 900-day siege, independent Poland-based journalist and publicist Konrad Stachnio notes. In order to shed some light on the present situation in the Donbass region … MORE
The NED’s Euro-counterpart: EED / by Wayne Madsen / Strategic Culture Foundation / July 12, 2015 / The U.S. National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a U.S. Central Intelligence Agency-financed Cold War contrivance created to advance right-wing governments and attack progressive nations around the world, has spawned a European offspring, the similarly-named European Endowment for Democracy (EED). The NED was largely the idea of conservative Miami Democratic Representative Dante Fascell, whose career was centered on supporting CIA efforts to overthrow Fidel Castro’s government in Cuba. Fascell never met a CIA covert operation he did not like. In fact, Fascell supported the successful effort by the U.S. Congress in 1985 to repeal … MORE
Prime Minister Tsipras’ Bailout Reform Package: An Act of Treason against the Greek People / by Michel Chossudovsky / Strategic Culture Foundation / July 12, 2015 / After having launched a Referendum to refute and refuse the debt bailout agreement put together by the Troika, Prime Minister Tsipras together with his newly instated Finance Minister, comes up four days latter with an austerity package broadly similar to the one which was turned down by the Greek government in June. This about-turn had been carefully engineered. The Greek people were misled and deceived. The Referendum was an outright ”ritual of democracy”. Tsipras had made a deal with the creditors. He was in favor … MORE
Saturday, July 11, 2015
US-Backed Armies Slay the Innocent. Pravda columnist Xavier Lerma sums up the atrocities perpetrated by the United States around the world, citing greedy trade practices and hawkish military strategies, with an emphasis on the horrors in Ukraine that media-brainswashed Americans condone. Lerma quotes the document National Military Strategy of the US 2015: “Provide a Global, Stabilizing Presence. The presence of U.S. military forces in key locations around the world underpins the security of our allies and partners, provides stability to enhance economic growth and regional integration, and positions the Joint Force to execute emergency actions in response to a crisis. We are improving our global agility. The ability to quickly aggregate and disaggregate forces anywhere in the world is the essence of global agility. We are striving to increase our agility by improving campaign planning, sustaining a resilient global posture.” He urges the American people to pressure their government and change the course of events: “The US propaganda machine cannot win against the people of today as in the days of Joseph Goebbels. The time is now. Act now to help the suffering. Act now before you become enslaved.” For full text of this insightful commentary see Fighting the Beast (July 10) by Xavier Lerma. Quemado Institute comments: The motive for US atrocities in the world is incomprehensible. Hawkish aggression does not strengthen America. What would strengthen America is a free small business environment, true free enterprise for individual people, free competition in manufacturing, and a powerful middle class. It is this, not war, that protects national security. US Government policies have instead wrecked small business, retail, manufacturing, and the middle class. Quemado Institute therefore concludes that US officials do not work for America; they work for transnational corporate and financial interests. We must look beyond puppets like Barack Obama and zero in on the real culprits, both American and European, who exploit the political and military machinery of Washington for destructive global purposes.
Friday, July 10, 2015
Putin on Minsk: Higher Chance of Success than Failure. Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a press conference today in Ufa that that chances of success for a Minsk peace settlement are better than the chances for failure, but that Kiev must be willing to hold dialogue with the leaders of the Donetsk and Lugansk Republics. See Russia Beyond the Headlines report Peaceful settlement in Ukraine stalling over Kiev’s unwillingness to hold dialogue with Donbass – Putin (July 10). See also Sputnik report on the final day of the BRICS/SCO meeting of global leaders in Ufa, Russia, at President Putin Holds Final Press Conference in Ufa (July 10). The full transcript of Putin’s July 10 press conference following the BRICS Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summits in Ufa may be found on the official Kremlin website at News conference by Vladimir Putin following the BRICS and SCO summits (July 10).
Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations: It Is Necessary to Create Tribunal for Donbass / antifascist.com / Edited autotranslation / July 10, 2015 / Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations Liu Jieyi assures us that the proposal on the proclamation of the Republics of Donbass for the establishment of an international tribunal to investigate the crimes of the UAF [Ukrainian Armed Forces] can be assessed only after a detailed study. The Chinese diplomat said that while nothing has been heard about this idea, now we can say that it is necessary to study and evaluate all proposals. “We need to see … Obviously, we need to look at the details to make any conclusion. But I think that a crime of any kind against anyone should be condemned by the international community,” said Liu Jieyi. Representatives of the diplomatic missions of other countries abstained from official comments on the initiative of DPR and LPR representatives. Recall than on July 8, the Russian Federation Council supported the request of the Head of Donetsk People’s Republic on a proposal to establish an international tribunal for crimes by Kiev and the Ukrainian military regime in Donbass. Alexander Zakharchenko and Igor Plotnitsky made a request to the UN Security Council to establish an international tribunal investigating crimes by Kiev in the territory of the republics on Wednesday. “None of the deaths will be forgotten,” Zakharchenko warned then. In Donetsk People’s Republic it was estimated that since the start of the year 1212 civilians were killed in the DPR/LPR region, among them 25 children. Since the beginning of the military conflict 3684 people [civilians] were killed, including 522 women and 65 children. Three thousand people are missing. Quemado Insitute comments: We caution that prosecution of Kiev battalions for war crimes violates the universal amnesty provision of the Minsk Agreements. Universal amnesty protects everyone, including the Novorossiya Armed Forces. This DPR/LPR proposal could backfire, causing a rash of similar proposals by the enemy which a biased UN might view more favorably.
Prosecutor’s Office of Ukraine Counts 2267 Unsolved UAF Crimes Against Mariupol Inhabitants in Six Months / Donetsk News Agency / Edited autotranslation / July 10, 2015 / The Prosecutor General of Ukraine has counted over a period of six months at least 2,267 crimes by UAF troops against the civilian population in occupied Mariupol. This was reported to DAN by the DPR Ministry of Defense. “Thanks to the sources in the Prosecutor General of Ukraine, the DPR received intelligence statistics of criminal offenses and investigative work for 6 months of 2015,” reported the Defense Ministry. According to the Defense Ministry, the Prosecutor’s Office Ukrainian statistics show 1048 serious unsolved crimes against life and health, 48 armed assaults, 122 robberies, 729 episodes of the misappropriation of vehicles, 320 crimes related to drug trafficking. Also, they do not disclose the fact of the death of 72 people and the disappearance of missing. The Defense Ministry added that during the mentioned period the percentage of unsolved crimes in the territory of Mariupol was 75.3%. As noted by defense officials, often UAF crimes against are civilians committed while intoxicated and with a weapon. Earlier, the deputy commander of the Corps of the DPR Ministry of Defense Edward Basurin repeatedly reported the interception of DPR intelligence material with evidence of crimes by Ukrainian security forces against the local population in the area of punitive action, as well as cases of torture against DPR and LPR citizens.
Russian and US Deputy Foreign Ministers Consult to Enforce Minsk. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin and US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland met in Zurich, Switzerland Thursday to further discuss ways to implement the Minsk 2.0 Agreements. “Concerning the feasibility of creating new formats to resolve the Ukrainian crisis involving the United States, Karasin noted that ‘the main task was now not to search for new formats, but use the existing ones to consolidate contacts and make progress in implementing the agreements that had been reached,'” reports TASS. Another meeting will be held later in July. See Russia, US to continue consultations on defusing Ukrainian crisis — diplomat (July 9).
Journalist Babitsky to Open Donetsk TV Channel. Former Radio Liberty/Radio Free Europe correspondent Andrei Babitsky was fired from the US-funded news and propaganda agency for publishing a video exposing crimes of Ukraine’s infamous volunteer Aidar Battalion. (See Sputnik report Radio Liberty Fires Reporter for Video of Civilians Killed by Kiev Forces (March 15, 2015).) Now Babitsky is coming to Donetsk and, with a crew of six, plans to get a new independent TV channel called Dialogue up and running within a month. More can be found at The Guardian under Former Kremlin critic changes tack to launch television station in Donetsk (July 10).