Saturday, August 1, 2015
Churkin: another vote on tribunal over MH17 in UN to have same result / TASS / August 1, 2015 / UNITED NATIONS / Should the idea of creating an international tribunal to investigate the loss of Malaysia’s flight MH17 over Ukraine last summer be put to the vote in the UN Security Council again, the results will be the same as in the first case, when Russia used its power to veto the resolution, Russia’s UN envoy Vitaly Churkin told TASS in an exclusive interview. “The mass media have mentioned a statement by Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavel Klimkin to the effect Ukraine would bring the same product in several months’ time. The way we see it, this sort of approach would be not serious at all, because the result would be the same,” Churkin said. “In the course of the discussion of their draft in the UN Security Council we said: let’s ask the UN secretary-general. May he present various drafts. He has an excellent legal service and top professionals. They have accumulated international experience. They may propose drafts that will look possible. But the quintet (Ukraine, Australia, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Malaysia) opted for a different way. They said ‘We know all ourselves.’ . . . ” MORE>>
General Staff of Armed Forces of Ukraine creates the Muslim battalion for “the liberation of Crimea from the occupation” / Novorossia.su / Edited autotranslation / August 1, 2015 / The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine decided to establish the Muslim battalion, consisting of the Crimean Tatars, Chechens, Uzbeks and other nationalities. After the liberation of Crimea from “occupation” battalion “will be used for law enforcement and prevention on the peninsula of all sorts of possible riots.” “Who decided to establish a Muslim battalion, which will be subordinated to the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, and which will be mainly deployed in the border with the Crimea, Kherson region,” said the representative of the president of Ukraine on the Crimean Tatar people, the scandalous representative of Mejlis Mustafa Cemil at the II World Congress of Crimean Tatars in Ankara. According to him, those who have expressed a desire to serve in this battalion [include] a lot of Chechens, Ingush, Azerbaijanis, Uzbeks and other nationalities who want to “bring in their contribution to the defense of the independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine.” “This is a battalion that can be used to control the passage of people and goods in the occupied cordon between the Crimea and mainland Ukraine, and after the liberation from the occupation of Crimea – to ensure law and order and to prevent on the peninsula all sorts of possible unrest,” said Dzhemilev. Also, Mustafa Dzhemilev believes that Tatars who have left Crimea concentrate in the Kherson region [trans?]. “In the same Kherson region, we consider it appropriate to concentrate all our compatriots who are now forced to leave their homeland and settle in other regions of Ukraine. By this we can achieve several objectives. First of all, living together in their linguistic and religious environment, they will have less risk of losing their national identity, and secondly, [this will] give an opportunity to build and open national schools and religious institutions,” he said. Editor’s note: Mustafa Dzhemilev is former Chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People and a member of the Ukrainian Parliament since 1998. He is the recognized leader of the Crimean Tatar National Movement and a former Soviet dissident. [–Wikipedia]
Ukraine, Donbass and the New Cold War against Russia / workers.org / July 31, 2015 / The U.S. has greater ambitions. Not only does Wall Street crave Ukraine’s privatized industry and resources — not only does Monsanto want to control the fertile farmland — not only does Washington seek to control the flow of fuel to the countries in Europe that are both military allies in NATO and economic competitors — but at the heart of the Ukrainian crisis is the long-term U.S. strategy of overthrowing and breaking up an independent, capitalist Russian Federation. / From a talk by Greg Butterfield at a Workers World Party forum in Los Angeles, July 23, 2015 / According to the United Nations, at least 6,400 people have been killed since the start of Ukraine’s so-called anti-terrorist operation in April 2014 against the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics of the Donbass mining region bordering on Russia. This is widely understood to be a vast undercount. Donbass officials estimate 10,000 deaths, while a German intelligence report leaked last winter put the death toll closer to 40,000. The number of casualties is growing. There is daily shelling by the Ukrainian Armed Forces and neo-Nazi volunteer battalions, in violation of the Minsk ceasefire agreements — often as many as 50 to 60 incidents in a single day. The weekend of July 18-19 saw some of the heaviest shelling in months in downtown Donetsk . . . MORE>>
Friday, July 31, 2015
DPR and LPR Ready to Extend Upcoming Meeting in Minsk to Reach Agreements on Key Issues / DAN / Edited autotranslation / July 31, 2015 / DONETSK / The Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republic are willing to increase the duration of the next round of talks in Minsk to reach agreement on the key issues of the peace process. This was stated by the official representatives of the Republics to the Contact Group for the peaceful settlement Denis Pushilin and Vladislav Deinego. “If we fail on August 3 to address these issues, we propose to extend the work of the representatives of Ukraine in Minsk to August 4th or 5th, if required. If it is necessary to work all week, we are ready to stay in Minsk for the whole week,” it was said in a statement received by DAN. Pushilin and Deinego made it clear that they are talking about agreements “on the implementation of the law on the special status; amnesty for combatants from both the militia and from the Ukraine; as well as the organization of local elections in Donbass in a separate special law.” Authors of the statement noted that the proposal of the Republics on these issues has once again been transferred to the Contact Group. On Monday, August 3, in the capital of Belarus, talks among the Contact Group and its sub-groups, including the working group on political issues, are planned. “We strive to fulfill all the requirements set of measures for the implementation of the Minsk Agreement in a timely manner,” stressed the representatives of the People’s Republic. “Therefore, we consider it necessary to speed up our work.” The set of measures to implement the Minsk Agreement, also known as “Minsk-2” is the key document for a peaceful settlement of the conflict in Donbass. It was signed by members of the Contact Group (DPR, LPR, the OSCE, the Russian Federation and Ukraine) February 12, and required immediate and comprehensive ceasefire in Donbass on 15 February , the withdrawal of heavy weapons, the establishment of a security zone, the beginning of benefit payments and pensions to residents of the DPR and LPR, as well as constitutional reform in Ukraine, the result of which should be a profound decentralization of public administration.
Refusal of Ukrainian Side on Joint Patrols in Shirokino Undermines Peace Process – Pushilin / DAN / Edited autotranslation / July 31, 2015 / DONETSK / The refusal of the Ukrainian side on the joint police to patrol the village of Shirokino in the DPR district of Novoazovsk has lead to the disruption of the peace agreements, said Deputy Chairman of the DPR National Council and representative to the Contact Group Denis Pushilin. “In fact, it leads to the disruption of any agreements. Ukraine is trying to cling to the existing contradictions, to do absolutely nothing,” said the vice-speaker of the parliament. On July 1, the DPR unilaterally declared Shirokino a demilitarized zone. The next day the militia left the village. On July 4, the leaders of the STSKK and OSCE held talks in the village on the final demilitarization Shirokino. It was proposed to deploy in the village a post Monitoring Group, composed of representatives of Kiev, Russia, Donetsk, and STSKK with the participation of the OSCE. However, as stated by STSKK later, Kiev has abandoned this. Currently UAF [Ukrainian Armed Forces] units are still in the village. In turn, the DPR Minister of Defense Vladimir Kononov said that the Ukrainian military regularly visit Shirokino, with signs of their looting already evident.
Gorlovka and Suburbs of Donetsk Under Shelling Right Now / Donbass News Agency / July 31, 2015 20:20 UTC / The evening in some places of the DPR started with the massive fire from the Ukrainian Army. Gorlovka and the suburbs of Donetsk are under shelling of tanks and other artillery at the moment. The people are hiding in the shelters. There is no information about casualties yet.
Kiev Places Foreign Mercenaries in Building of Boarding House in Volnovakha – Defense Ministry / DAN / Edited autotranslation / July 31, 2015 / DONETSK / Foreign mercenaries hired by Kiev to participate in the punitive operations in the Donbass region have been housed in the orphanage building of the village of Novotroitskoye, in the Volnovakha area near the line of contact. This was stated by the DPR Ministry of Defense Corps Deputy Commander Edward Basurin. “Yesterday foreign specialists were arriving in the vicinity of a boarding school for children from poor and disadvantaged families in the village of Novotroitskoye, near the line of contact … ,” said zamkomkorpusom [sic]. He recalled that it was “previously reported the finding in the same boarding [house] of up to 50 people from the National Guard.” According to Basurin, intelligence data were received that “indicate the planned development of the Kiev punitive [forces] toward the beginning of active hostilities, with the involvement of foreign military instructors and professionals.” Earlier, Ukrainian security forces and foreign mercenaries have repeatedly captured social establishments in the occupied territory of Donbass, for example a kindergarten in Krasnaya Polyana Velikonovselovskogo District, the Central District Hospital in Volnovakha, the City Hospital in Dzerzhinsk and others.
“White Führer” of Azov Battalion invited to European Parliament / by Systematic / OffGuardian / July 29, 2015 / A Czech Member of the European Parliament, Jaromír Štětina, has invited the military commander of the white supremacist neo-nazi Azov Battalion, dubbed “White Leader”, Andriy Biletsky to come speak before the European Parliament to explain the motives, positions and plans of Azov to the MEPs with the aim of creating a dialogue. “Volunteer battalions are a significant, real political and military force in eastern Ukraine. Not to talk to them and not to know who they are means not to be interested in the solution to the conflict,” Štětina told the Czech news Agency, as Prague Post reports. He further stated that reports of mainly young neo-nazis being part of Azov were the results of Russian propaganda. Does the EU need further explanation? Is a look at the battalion’s photos, military gear (with painted swastikas and SS runes on them), emblem (showing the “Wolfsangel” and a “White Sun”, both famous nazi symbols) and their public appearances (see photo below, click to enhance view) not enough to confirm their nazi identity? Apparently Members of the European Parliament don’t think so.
Veto by Russian Federation on Tribunal for MH17 Shows Russia Has Something to Hide – Dalia Grybauskaite / donbass.hromadskeradio.org / July 31, 2015 / The veto of the Russian Federation on the proposal to establish an international tribunal regarding the catastrophe of the passenger plane MH17 over Eastern Ukraine shows that Russia has something to hide. This was stated by President of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaite, reports Delfi.lt. “I think this is a very clear signal that Russia is trying to evade investigation, and it proves that the country has something to hide,” she said to journalists on Friday. It was reported that the UN Security Council failed to adopt a draft resolution on the establishment of the International Tribunal to investigate the shooting down of Boeing flight MH17 due to the fact that Russia, which is a permanent member of the UN Security Council, opposed and vetoed the document. The member countries of the investigation will seek prosecution of the crash flight MH-17, despite the fact that Russia vetoed a resolution on the establishment of an international tribunal. Quemado Institute comments: Russia vetoed the Tribunal because the wrong parties were likely to be accused and the true perpetrators allowed to go scot-free.
Will Azarov’s government in exile save Ukraine? / Translated by Kristina Rus / Fort Russ / July 31, 2015 / Former Prime Minister of Ukraine Nikolai Azarov wants to create a “government in exile”. Former Prime Minister of Ukraine Nikolai Azarov announced that on August 3 he will present in Moscow the so-called “Committee for the salvation of Ukraine”, which is, in fact, a “government in exile”. It will include former people’s deputies of Ukraine from the Party of Regions: Igor Markov, Vladimir Oleynik and Oleg Tsarev. The head of the government in exile will become Nikolai Azarov. In addition, the committee will present an alternative candidate for President — according to media reports, it will be Vladimir Oleynik. The speaker of the Parliament of Novorossia Oleg Tsarev told NSN, that it is too early to speak about his participation in the “government in exile”. “I support this idea, but I can not say if I will take part in that committee. I have been on “the front line” for too long, I want to pass the opportunity to prove themselves to other politicians. But I am ready to help them with advice and support. I have great respect both for Mr. Azarov personally, and to other politicians, who are considered for the project. Now they are considering establishing such a committee, choosing a place and the participants,” ― said the politician. According to him, the people of Ukraine need to hear an alternative point of view on the events that are happening in the country. . . . MORE>> Quemado Institute comments: We have been suggesting for some time that Russia establish a government-in-exile for viktor Yanukovich, the technically still legitimate President of Ukraine. A recent poll, however, showed he had very low support in Ukraine, as did nearly every other major public figure except Vladimir Putin. Azarov, Prime Minister during Yanukovich’s administration, was not included in the poll.
NATO Can’t Break Its Old Habit, Threatens Russia – French Political Expert / Sputnik / July 31, 2015 / NATO drills in Poland demonstrated that the alliance is able to quickly respond in case of a military action. That’s the official version. Unofficially, the large-scale military operation was directed against Russia and was intended to intimidate the Kremlin, said Florent Parmentier, a political expert at Paris Institute of Political Science. NATO created a Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF), a special unit available to respond to threats on short notice. All together the VJTF is expected to have at least 40,000 soldiers ready to be deployed within 48 hours, according to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. NATO wants to show its strength and to intimidate Russia, wrongly assuming that Moscow wants to “invade” Eastern Europe. “Cold Warriors” from NATO want to demonstrate their usefulness and assume the role of “European protectors,” Parmentier said. The western military alliance has been openly stating that Moscow poses a threat to its neighbors, all the while flashing its military hardware close to Russian borders. However, NATO muscle flexing and enhanced drills in Europe lack any merit . . . MORE>>Showing Antipathy Toward Russia is Fashionable in France – French Media / Sputnik / July 31, 2015 / In its relation to Russia, Europe is ruled by double standards, with politics dominated by pro-Atlantic sentiment. Therefore, as explains French political analyst Philip Migo in an interview with Le Figaro, anyone who calls for peaceful relations with Russia, is labeled as traitor or a Kremlin agent. Europe is under the influence of the United States and the countries that adhere to pro-American sentiment, says the scientific director of the French Institute of International and Strategic Relations Philip Migo. Even in Paris and Berlin, who in 2003, along with Russia opposed the invasion of Iraq, are now on the side of the pro-NATO leaders. Therefore, the position of Russia where it needs to protect its own interests is clear and dignified, the expert said in an interview. Migo further mentions how France is currently actively criticizing the French parliamentarians who traveled to Crimea. He recalls that President Francois Hollande has repeatedly been in “much more dictatorial countries” than Russia — for example, in Saudi Arabia. “If we talk only with those countries that adhere to the same views as we do, then it is very weakening to our diplomacy . . . MORE>>. Editor’s note: the French Institute for International and Strategic Affairs (IRIS) is an independent French think tank located in Paris. It employs some 65 researchers. Philippe Migault is a Senior Research Fellow specializing in military issues, armed conflicts, the defence industry, and Russia.
Europe Going Through Changes Right in Front of Our Eyes / by Vladimir Nesterov / Strategic Culture Foundation / August 1, 2015 / The Greek crisis provided an impetus to the ongoing centrifugal process inside the European Union. A strong secessionist sentiment is there. National interests happen to be more important than the values of «United Europe»… Looks like Europe is in for a wave of referendums with unpredictable results. Besides Great Britain, Austria and Finland, Euroscepticism is on the rise in many other EU members as well. / UK Prime Minister David Cameron is set to hold the in-or-out referendum on Britain’s future membership of the European Union in June next year and will announce the fast-tracked date as the centrepiece of his party’s annual conference in October, according to the Independent. The legislation is going through Parliament. Having won the May 2015 election David Cameron promised to review the UK’s terms and conditions of EU membership if the European Union does not change its immigration policy. After that the European Commission introduced new quotas on asylum seekers. […] According to the Guardian, a group of Bank of England experts is formed to study possible losses the United Kingdom may suffer in case the country leaves the EU. The group’s work is veiled in secrecy. The very fact of its existence surfaced only after a leak. According to Gallup survey held in late 2014, the majority of UK citizens support the idea of leaving the European Union. Austria is also contemplating the possibility of ending its EU membership. 261,159 Austrians have signed a petition . . . MORE>>
Thursday, July 30, 2015
Kiev forces shell Donetsk republic more than 60 times in past 24 hours — DPR / Novorossia Today / July 30, 2015 / The militias of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) have registered 61 ceasefire violations by the Ukrainian military over the past 24 hours, the DPR Defense Ministry said on Thursday. “The intensity of the artillery bombardments by the Ukrainian side has grown over the past 24 hours totaling 61 violations of the ceasefire regime,” the Donetsk News Agency quotes the ministry as saying. According to the Defense Ministry, Kiev-controlled units fired 34 152-mm and 122-mm artillery shells, 102 tank shells and 303 82-mm and 120-mm mines on the territory of the Donetsk People Republic. In addition to that, they used grenade launchers and small arms. The most intense artillery and mortar fire fell on the city of Gorlovka. Earlier on Thursday, the City Hall said two civilians had been killed in the shelling, and six other people, including two children, had been wounded. Donetsk (Petrovsky and Kirov district, the village of Alexandrovka and the airport area) and a number of populated localities, including Kalinovka, Staromikhailovka, Belaya Kamenka and Spartak, came under fire as well. The Donbas region ceasefire formally came into force on February 15. Requirements to halt hostilities were envisaged in a package of measures for implementing peace accords signed in Minsk, Belarus, three days before. Authorities of the two territories have repeatedly said observance of the truce depended entirely on the Ukrainian side.
Ren-TV camera crew comes under fire at night near Horlivka in Ukraine’s Donetsk region / Interfax / July 30, 2015 / MOSCOW / The Ren-TV channel reported that its camera crew came under fire in Donbas. “Last night Ukrainian artillery was firing at residential districts from heavy arms and tanks in the village of Hliboke and the outskirts of Horlivka [Gorlovka]. Many houses caught fire from a direct hit. The Ren-TV film crew came under fire among others,” the TV channel posted a statement on its website on Thursday. After a short while the film crew managed to escape the zone under fire, the document said. According to the information of the TV channel, Ren-TV reporters spent last night in a school basement with a dozen citizens. Reporters of the crew were not injured in the shooting and will continue to work in the region, the Ren-TV press office told Interfax.
OSCE helps Ukraine to clear Donetsk and Luhansk regions of unexploded ordnance / OSCE / July 30, 2015 / KIEV / KYIV, 30 July 2015 – An OSCE-supported project aimed at strengthening the State Emergency Service of Ukraine’s (SESU) capacity to clear explosive munitions in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions has launched today in Kyiv. The high priority project provides training, equipment and assistance to SESU staff, who are facing a major clean-up operation to remove unexploded ordnance and explosive devices left in Eastern Ukraine as a result of the 2014-2015 hostilities. These are the result of shelling with high calibre ammunition, such as mortar shells, grenades, missiles, rockets and improvised devices which were either abandoned or did not detonate as intended. In 2014 alone, 150,493 items of unexploded ordnance were retrieved by SESU. The project was developed by OSCE and SESU following a request from the Ukrainian government and a needs assessment conducted by OSCE experts in March this year. It received strong support from OSCE participating States, resulting in a one million euro financial contribution from the German government. The project will be jointly implemented by the OSCE Project Co-ordinator in Ukraine and the OSCE Secretariat . . . MORE>> Quemado Insitute comments: the OSCE report fails to mention the numerous landmines Ukraine placed along the contact line some months ago to enforce the embargo and encourage drivers to pass through checkpoints.
DPR official: Kiev sets up logistics centres instead of ending Donbas’s economic blockade / TASS / July 30, 2015 / MOSCOW / Purgin said that the US support for the idea of building logistics centres was an attempt to cover the Kiev-committed humanitarian crimes. The Kiev government is setting up logistics centers on the disengagement line what is practically useless in conditions of the ongoing economic blockade of the self-proclaimed republics in Donbas, Andrei Purgin, the speaker of the People’s Council (parliament) of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) said on Thursday. “It is a PR action, which can hardly have any practical importance or which will ever be implemented,” Purgin told the Donetsk News Agency. “At first, Kiev imposes full economic blockade on Donbas and burns trucks with goods, and then it announces plans to open logistics centres. Under the Minsk agreements, [President Pyotr –TASS] Poroshenko can lift the blockade with a stroke of a pen enabling our enterprises to send their products wherever they want. The Minsk-2 package of measures does not say a word about logistics centres. Purgin said that the US support for the idea of building logistics centres was an attempt to cover the Kiev-committed humanitarian crimes. Purgin believes that it is not in Poroshenko’s interests to implement the agreements reached under the peace process. “He needs to preserve the blockade to put the squeeze on Donbas and provoke the people of Donetsk and Lugansk to leave their homes and take bribes from our entrepreneurs at border posts in order to maintain soldiers fighting in the zone of Kiev’s security operation,” Purgin stressed. Pavel Zhebrovsky, the head of the Donetsk regional state administration, said on July 24 that a chain of trade centres would open along the disengagement line separating the parties in conflict to sell food, household appliances and medicine. The trade centers will have Oshchadbank terminals where pensioners will be able to withdraw pensions. The logistics centres, Zhebrovsky said, will be guarded by members of the National Guard and Ukraine’s State Border Service.