[DPR Election news: please scroll to September 19.]
Sunday September 20, 2015
South Ossetian President Tibilov Meets Zakharchenko and Plotnitsky / Integrative*Mind / Autotranslation with minor editing / September 20, 2015 / Zakharchenko and Plotnitsky Attend Ceremony for 25th Anniversary of Republic of South Ossetia. / Leonid Tibilov, president of the Republic of South-Ossetia, met with Prime Minister of the Lugansk People’s Republic Igor Plotnitsky and Prime Minister of the Donetsk People’s Republic, Alexander Zakharchenko. Leonid Tibilov said at the ceremony, which included a number of guests, “I express my deep gratitude to everyone who supported us, showed compassion and solidarity with the people of South Ossetia.” President Leonid Tibilov took part in the ceremonial meeting of public representatives of the Republic of South Ossetia, “I praise my Motherland!” dedicated to the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Republic of South Ossetia. The event was also attended by members of the Government, MPs, and many guests of the republic. [Autotranslation:] President Leonid Tibilov met the Head of the People’s Republic of Donetsk Alexander Zakharchenko, who arrived in Tskhinvali to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Republic of South Ossetia. The meeting was also attended by the Chairman of the Parliament of South Ossetia Anatoly Bibilov, head of the Presidential Administration of South Ossetia Alan Dzhioev, Minister of Foreign Affairs of South Ossetia Kazbulat Tskhovrebov. The head of the South Ossetian State welcomed the guests and expressed gratitude for participating in the festivities. He noted that the people of South Ossetia was the same path that the people of Donetsk People’s Republic and said that the South Ossetian leadership will continue to work . . . MORE>> Click here. [Photo gallery available at source.]
Zakharchenko: The DPR will develop relations with South Ossetia / DONi News Agency / September 20, 2015 / Tskhinvali / The Donetsk People’s Republic intends to develop and strengthen relations with South Ossetia – the DPR’s leader Alexandr Zakharchenko who had arrived in Tskhinvali to celebrate the Day of Republic said. Zakharchenko emphasized that he considered it his duty to come and “congratulate the fraternal people of South Ossetia on the 25th anniversary of their republic.” “This is the only country which has recognized our independence, which has sent us its volunteers. People of South Ossetia are close to us in spirit. We consider them to be our brothers also because they have gained their independence in the fighting,” he said.
Ukraine Government Truce Violations: Artillery, Tanks / Novorossiya News / September 20, 2015 / “The situation has escalated hard in Donetsk… Ukrainian forces have renewed usage of heavy calibre artillery and battle tanks at the contact line. Last night, Donetsk outskirts and Donetsk airport came under heavy Ukrainian artillery fire from the directions of Avdeevka and Spartak. Separately, the settlement of Staromihailovka was shelled by Ukrainian battle tanks and artillery. Reportedly, Ukrainian armed forces provoke Lungask Armed Forces moving battle tanks closely to the contact line. Yesterday, the movement of Ukrainian military equipment was observed at the sector of Lopaskino where Ukrainian battle tank took a fire position in 300 meters from the contact line. The movement of Ukrainian battle tanks and armored vehicles was observed at the sector of Novotoshskoe. Also, an Ukrainian military column including heavy caliber artillery was observed at the sector of Novodar. 3 battle tanks, 3 jeeps and a few of armored personnel carriers were observed at Muratovo. The movement of 12 armored personnel carriers with Ukrainian troops was fixed from the settlement of Schastie to the North-West. The situation is escalating.” (Courtesy of South Front.)
Conflict of Militant Nationalists and UAF Caused Four-Hour Battle in Avdeevka – Intelligence / DAN / Edited autotranslation / September 20, 2015 / DONETSK / Intelligence of the Donetsk People’s Republic recorded a long clash between militants and nationalist divisions of regular troops in the Ukrainian city of Avdeevka north of Donetsk. This was stated by deputy commander of the DPR Ministry of Defense Corps Eduard Basurin. “According to our intelligence, yesterday an uncontrollable gang of Ukrainian Nationalists, being intoxicated, began to sort things out with the UAF [Ukrainian Armed Forces] military, resulting in a four-hour battle in the precincts of the village Avdeevka,” said the corps representative. He noted that, in connection with the incident, the Ukrainian position opened fire on the village of Spartak in the Yasinovatskiy area. “Trying to hide traces of the crime and blame the armed forces of the Republic in an attempt to advance, Ukrainian criminals opened fire from mortars and anti-aircraft guns on the locality Spartak,” said Eduard Basurin. In addition, he said, the Ukrainian security forces continue to enjoy the calm at the front for the [placement] of military equipment, including those banned by the Minsk Agreement. “So, DPR intelligence Sun recorded in the north-eastern outskirts of the Trinity, 8 km from the demarcation line, the location of firing positions of four units of MLRS BM-21 ‘Grad’,” said the representative of the Ministry of Defense.
International Observers Agree to Attend Local Elections in Donetsk / Sputnik / September 20, 2015 / Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) negotiator Denis Pushilin said that the list of observers, set to monitor the elections in the DPR, will be announced soon. / GORLOVKA / A number of international observers have agreed to attend local elections in the eastern Ukrainian self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), while participation of representatives from the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) remains an open question, DPR negotiator at reconciliation talks Denis Pushilin said Sunday. “Regarding the ODIHR, the question remains open. They do not intend to participate as observers, while a number of other international observers have already given their consent,” Pushilin told journalists. A list of observers, who will monitor the election process, is set to be announced later, the negotiator added. The Ukrainian government does not recognize the DPR along with the Lugansk People’s Republic that voted for independence in May 2014, and Kiev has stated it would never formally recognize local election results. Ukraine is expected to hold parliamentary elections on October 25. But Donetsk and Lugansk breakaway regions plan to hold local own elections, on October 18 and November 1 respectively. Related article: The DPR can feel the Ukrainian pressure because of the local elections – Pushilin / DONi News Agency / September 20, 2015 / According to the People’s Council of the DPR Denis Pushilin, despite the holding the local elections in Donbass there are questions needed to be discussed in the Minsk format. “The elections question will be touched and we expect some pressure from the Kiev’s side. We know how to defend our arguments and we continue to follow the Minsk agreements. Unfortunately, it is done only by our side”, — mr. Pushilin said. He also added that the DPR is willing to sign the document concerning the withdrawing of the armament with calibre less than 100 mm.
Media: Putin, Poroshenko Agree to Complete Cessation of Fighting in Donbass / Rossiski Dialog / Edited autotranslation / September 20, 2015 / UKRAINE / The Ukrainian media have started talking about the fact that the conflict in southeast Ukraine will be completed in the near future. On Sunday, September 20, some publications have reported that the presidents of Russia and Ukraine Vladimir Putin and Petro Poroshenko agreed that the fighting in Donbass will be stopped in the near future. This means that Poroshenko will soon announce the termination of the ATO [“Anti-terrorist Operation” or war on Donbass — QI editor]. According to sources, after the statement by Poroshenko, it will be Putin’s turn to make a move. The Russian president intends to send all the forces of the country to Syria and Iraq, said the Ukrainian media. It is noted that such a scenario would rearrange all aspects of the conflict in the Donbass region, since it would gradually divert world attention from the events in Ukraine. According to a source, now the world media is focused on the events in Syria and Iraq. Russia will focus on the Syrian issue. Poroshenko gets no rest from the fight against the opposition, which has recently increased. As a result, the conflict in the Donbas will be frozen for several years. Quemado Institute comments: We post this unconfirmed possible rumor as a curiosity. The sources, apparently Ukrainian, seem to assume Russian forces are currently fighting in Donbass. Foreign journalists visiting the DPR, however, have noted the absence of the Russian military, and the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission has never reported Russian fighters in the DPR/LPR.
Pravy Sektor extremists set up blockade of Crimea / Translated from French by Tom Winter / Fort Russ / September 20, 2015 / The extremists of Pravy Sektor have installed a blockade of supplies to Crimea in the Kherson region. They are blocking the highways to prevent the trucks that bring in provisions from getting there, reports Television Network 112. At the moment there are about 300 people gathered alongside the highway up to the frontier post at Changar. More keep arriving by car and by bus, the network reports. The Ukrainian extremists set up trashbins of cast concrete. Furthermore they are benefitting from the support of the local authorities who have put a tent city at their disposal, where local activists furnish them food and water. The local Pravy Sektor office has spelled out that they had to get the authorization of the regional Pravy Sektor directorate. Earlier the Ukrainian MPs were envisaging blocking the frontier with Crimea and cutting off its food supplies. The extremists of Pravy Sektor supported the idea, along with representatives of the Tartars from Crimea. Sunday a deputy of the Verkhovna Rada, Refat Chubarov confirmed to journalists that demonstrators were blocking trucks delivering supplies into Crimea, but letting pedestrians and cars cross the border. “Our action will last. The Verkhovna Rada has to duscuss the project of a law that will regulate the relations between continental Ukraine and the occupied Crimea,” he said, adding that it would be necessary to abrogate the law on free exchange in Crimea. Vice premier of Crimea, Mikhail Cheremat, considered the blockage “a political farce.” He indicated that currently the border situation remained calm, but he emphasized that Crimea was prepared to settle any disturbance.
Poles Aren’t Russophobes and are Ready for Dialogue With Moscow –Politician / Sputnik / September 20, 2015 / In an interview for Russian news program Vesti on Saturday, Magdalena Ogorek, a former presidential candidate in Poland’s presidential elections this past May, emphasized that ordinary Poles aren’t Russophobes, adding she has and will continue to call for the normalization of relations between Warsaw and Moscow. The former candidate from Poland’s center-left Democratic Left Alliance, Ogorek emphasized that in a time of strained relations between the two nations, she wholeheartedly supports dialogue to work through differences and to find areas of agreement. “I am a proponent of dialogue. This was in my election campaign. If you talk to one another, it is possible to solve problems,” Ogorek explained. She added that during the campaign, the topic of normalization of relations with Russia was of tremendous interest to ordinary voters. Asked whether the Russians and the Poles seem to be doomed to be enemies, Ogorek emphasized that “this is not true. In the course of the election campaign, nowhere in Poland was I confronted with anti-Russian sentiment. Poles are not Russophobes. Of course, geopolitics plays a big role, but we are neighbors, even if just via the Kaliningrad region, and therefore we must normalize our relations.” Noting that differences of position continue to exist, for example on Crimea, the politician emphasized that “this does not mean that we cannot speak on other issues, where we can find something in common. The election campaign showed that Poles want to see their president not just in Washington, Berlin and Brussels, but also in Moscow. I for one understand that it’s possible not to agree with Vladimir Putin, but . . . MORE>> Click here.
Saturday September 19, 2015
Statement by DPR PM Alexander Zakharchenko on Elections to Local Government / DAN / Edited autotranslation / September 16, 2015 / Zakharchenko: “Today, I have signed a decree on appointment of elections to local self-government, which will be held on October 18 2015. A month later will be held the first elections of the heads of cities and districts of our young state. This is an important event for our Republic in that as we conduct elections to local self-government, we are completing the process of nation-building. I want to note, that on October 18 in Donetsk People’s Republic will host the first phase of elections to local self-government. According to the Decree signed by me, the terms of the electoral process, electoral districts and its basic principles are defined. The election campaign requires additional costs from the budget of the Republic. Taking into account the budgetary constraints and the need to give priority to the restoration of social facilities and industry, as well as providing the population of social benefits, pensions and benefits, the local elections will take place in several stages. At the first stage, the citizens of the DPR will vote for heads of city and district administrations. First of all, we will elect the heads of Amvrosievsky, Novoazovskiy, Starobeshevskiy, Telmanovskiy areas, in the cities of Gorlovka, Debaltsevo, Dokuchaevsk, Donetsk, Yenakiyevo, Zhdanovka, Kirov, Makiyivka, snowy, Torez, Khartsyzsk, Miner and Yasinovataya. The next stage, according to the decree, will be the election of leaders assume all other levels – village, town, etc. We plan full completion of the electoral process at the local level in the first half of 2016. The Donetsk People’s Republic is an independent democratic state, and the election of local self-government is a responsible and important step for every citizen of the Republic, which determines not only the recognition of our country in the international arena, but also the way in which the DPR will follow in subsequent years.” Editor’s note: Larisa Tolstykina, the new “Donetsk Republic” party candidate for Mayor of Makeyevka, said about her campaign: “I’m sure, to join forces, we can achieve a beautiful and promising future for our city and the whole of the young Republic. My whole life is connected with my beloved city, I know its problems, traditions and history, we have a strong team, and together we will achieve great results.”
Interview from Donetsk with French Journalist Laurent Brayard / New Cold War / September 19, 2015 / French journalist Laurent Brayard announced earlier this year that he would take up residence in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine in order to report on the war situation there. On September 19, Vox Populi broadcast a nine-minute interview with him. The interview is in French, sub-titled in English and Russian. For video, click here.
Media: political subgroup bridges positions on Donbass conflict / TASS / September 19, 2015 / MOSCOW / The political subgroup of the Contact Group created to settle the conflict in Donbass has reached certain progress at talks held in the Belarusian capital of Minsk, a source close to the negotiations told the LuganskInformCentre on Saturday. “During the last meeting of the political subgroup ‘close negotiating stances’ were found practically on half of the disputable issues,” the source said. “Kiev’s command to its negotiators ‘Don’t reach agreements!’ may be the only thing to hamper the further movement ahead,” he said. “Ahead of the Normandy Four new meeting in Paris, this highly erroneous position of Ukraine may once again demonstrate Kiev’s lack of readiness to enter negotiations which will become a beacon for the countries-guarantors.” The political subgroup held its latest meeting in Minsk on September 15-16. The working group is expected to convene a next meeting in the Belarusian capital on September 22, along with other subgroups. Leaders of Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany, known as the Normandy Four, are due to meet in Paris on October 2. [… More background at source.]
NATO Secretary General to Visit Ukraine – Ukrainian President’s Office / Sputnik / September 19, 2015 / NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg will visit Ukraine on September 21-22, a statement on the official website of the Ukrainian president said Friday. / MOSCOW / According to the statement, Stoltenberg will attend Yavoriv training center near Ukraine’s border with Poland to take part in the opening ceremony of the joint drills between Ukraine and NATO on the liquidation of consequences of emergencies. Stoltenberg will also participate in the session of the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council (NSDC). Last year, Ukraine dropped its neutral status to open the way toward membership in the US-led military bloc, but NATO’s former Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Kiev needed to meet certain criteria before it could join. On September 2, NSDC endorsed a new military doctrine that called for the country to pursue NATO membership. President Petro Poroshenko estimated it will take Ukraine five years to upgrade its military to the level expected from NATO membership applicants. Ukraine is active participant of joint military exercises with NATO states including the Saber Guardian/Rapid Trident-2015 and the naval drills Sea Breeze that took place this year.
Ukraine Closes Airspace to Russia, But Fears Tit-For-Tat Retaliation / Sputnik / Many in Ukraine fear that Russia could close its airspace to flights by Ukrainian airlines in a tit-for-tat response to similar sanctions imposed on Russia by Kiev, Ukrainian media reported on Friday. “We expect Russia to respond in kind and do even more than that… I mean that while we are taking our time implementing the sanctions, the Russians could become the first to close their airspace to our planes,” the Kiev-based Vesti newspaper quoted AtlasJet Ukraine legal assistant Andrei Guk as saying. The Ukrainian side could find it hard implementing the sanctions with no definitive steps outlined and no state agencies who are tasked with the implementation yet still to be named, ECOVIS Bondar & Bondar bureau lawyer Sergei Dzyubenko said. The number of Kiev-Moscow flights is now down to a maximum 30 a week compared to over 100 just two years ago. If the airspace is closed, people will have make detours via Belarus and the Baltic states or take the train to reach their destinations, the newspaper noted. . . . MORE>> Click here.
We Are Not Under Threat, We Are The Threat – Oliver Stone (Article And Video) / Novorossia Today / September 19, 2015 / “We’re not under threat. We are the threat.”Americans live in a bubble and are spoon-fed information by a school system, politicians and a media that portrays the US as a beacon of stability and a force for good in the world. In one famous example, former President Ronald Reagan called the US a “shining city on a hill”.“It’s very comforting to be an American,” Stone said. “You get the sense that you are safe and have prosperity of material goods, and that you have enemies everywhere – Russia, China, Iran and North Korea. “You get into this cocoon where you have a big country, two oceans, but that you’re always under threat.” Stone says he wants to counter the “educational crime” of misleading American schoolchildren. “American exceptionalism has to be driven out of our curriculums,” he said. One thing that really hit me hard was the history of our involvement in the Middle East,” Stone said. “It was a nefarious involvement.” Stone traces Washington’s hand in the region back to the 1930s, but he says it reached a peak when President George HW Bush . . . MORE>> Click here.
Russia Should Ignore Washington’s Blind Arrogance on Syria / by Finian Cunningham / Sputnik / September 17, 2015 / The trouble with arrogance is that it is intellectually blinding; and the trouble with being intellectually blind is that you fail to see your own contradictions – no matter how preposterous those contradictions may be. The arrogant ones we are referring to here are the United States and its Western allies. In the past week, Washington has been up in arms about Russia’s decision to step up its military support for the government of Syria. The Americans are calling on Moscow for “clarification” and are getting all hot under the collar about what they say is unwarranted Russian support for the “regime” of Bashar al-Assad. This finger-wagging from Washington comes at the same time that a US-led military coalition continues to bomb Syria for nearly 12 months. This week, US warplanes striking Syria were joined by fighter jets from Australia for the first time in those operations, which are allegedly aimed at hitting the Islamic State terror group within the country. France and Britain are also expected to soon join the bombing runs inside Syrian territory. Now hold on a moment. Let’s get this straight. The US and its allies have appointed themselves to carry out air strikes on a sovereign country – Syria – without having approval from the government of that country, or without a mandate from the UN Security Council. Thus, the legality of these US-led air strikes – which have resulted in numerous civilian casualties – is therefore of highly dubious status, if not constituting flagrant violation of international law. Yet the arrogant Western powers, led by the US, have the temerity to lecture Russia about . . . MORE>> Click here.
No Nation ‘Has Ever Threatened Humanity’s Survival’ More Than US / Sputnik / September 18, 2015 / No nation in history has ever threatened peace more than the United States, US author Stephen Lendman emphasizes, adding that Washington bears full responsibility for creating the notorious Islamic State. US President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry are hypocritically calling for a diplomatic solution to the world’s burning conflicts, while waging perpetual wars in multiple theaters, US author and syndicated columnist Stephen Lendman underscores. “Washington bears full responsibility for creating ISIS [ISIL]. Russian UN envoy Vitaly Churkin traced its origin from Bush’s Iraq war, saying it ‘became active when (it) began storming Baghdad…So, the Islamic State ripened in Iraq during the US occupation. (America) should be blamed for’ its rise and proliferation,” Lendman pointed out in his article for Global Research. Remarkably, the recent poll carried out by the British polling organization ORB International, an affiliate of WIN/Gallup International, has found out that 82 percent of Syrians blame the US for creating ISIL, while 79 percent claimed that “foreign fighters made war worse.” Furthermore, the poll has indicated that Bashar al-Assad’s . . . MORE>> Click here.
Friday September 18, 2015
Kiev Right Wing Violence: Time for Poroshenko to Look in the Mirror? / by Nikolas Kozloff / Global Research / September 18, 2015 / Amidst the emergence of politically-right-wing forces in Kiev, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko claims to be shocked and outraged by recent violence. Speaking in reference to an explosion which killed three members of the national guard outside parliament and left another officer in a coma, Poroshenko called the attack “an anti-Ukrainian action” and demanded that “all organizers, all representatives of political forces… must carry full responsibility.” More than a whopping 140 were also wounded in the attack, which was apparently caused by a grenade. All three guardsmen were young, in their twenties. The incident occurred in the midst of a demonstration against a plan to provide more autonomy to separatist enclaves in the Ukrainian east where Russian-backed rebels hold sway. Authorities have blamed the explosion on a fighter in the so-called Sich volunteer battalion, which is linked in turn to far right-wing Svoboda or Freedom Party [in Ukraine, “Sich” refers to historic Cossack homelands. Though Cossack is a loaded term and carries unpleasant historic meaning for some, nationalists . . . MORE>>
Kiev imitating implementation of political part of Minsk accords — Russia’s envoy to OSCE / TASS / September 18, 2015 / MOSCOW, September 18. /TASS/. Ukrainian forces are not only imitating the implementation of the political part of the Minsk agreement, Russia’s Envoy to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Alexander Lukashevich said on Friday. “Over the last week, different sources hinted that the Minsk agreements are allegedly impossible to fulfill, that the implementation cannot be approached formally,” the diplomat told the session of the OSCE Permanent Council in Vienna. ‘in this respect, I would like to unequivocally stress that the Package of measures supported by the corresponding resolution of the UN Security Council, has no alternative. It should be implemented in full measure and in the order envisaged by the document,” Lukashevich noted. “We consider Kiev’s attempts to interpret or distort [the Minsk agreements] to their own advantage as a departure from the agreements made in the five-party format,” the envoy said. The key condition for implementing the Minsk agreements is Kiev’s direct dialogue with representatives of Donetsk and Luhansk, he continued. “For now, all Kiev’s actions in the sphere of implementing the political part of the Minsk agreements remain an imitation,” Lukashevich stressed. [… More background at source.]
Spanish Journalist Sanctioned by Kiev Says Never Been to Ukraine / Sputnik / September 18, 2015 / Cesar Vidal, a Spanish journalist on Kiev’s sanction blacklist, has never been to Ukraine, he told Sputnik in an interview. MADRID (Sputnik) — Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko signed a decree on Wednesday barring almost 400 individuals, including over 40 journalists and bloggers from Russia, the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, Poland, Israel and Latvia from entering Ukraine. On Friday, Poroshenko lifted sanctions against six European journalists, including Spain’s Antonio Pampliega and Angel Sastre, among a group of journalists presumably kidnapped in Syria this summer. However, Cesar Vidal remained on the blacklist. “I have never been to Ukraine in my life, but I understand the bitterness of the Ukrainian nationalists towards me,” Vidal said. Kiev explained the decision to retain sanctions on Vidal by claiming he had acted as an observer at Crimea’s referendum on its secession from Ukraine, an illegal act from the Kiev point of view. The sanction justifications include an accusation that the journalist made remarks describing Ukraine as an artificial state. Crimea rejoined Russia in March 2014, after 96 percent of the peninsula’s population voted in favor of a reunification deal. According to Vidal, the Spanish radio host, historian and contributor to La Razon daily newspaper, the claim that he had been an observer in the Crimea vote “is a lie which . . . MORE>>
Thursday September 17, 2015
Luhansk republic leader says 60% of residents support accession to Russia / TASS / September 17, 2015 / Actions of Kiev authorities is pushing the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) out of the process of integration with Ukraine, the republic’s head Igor Plotnitsky told a round table on “Ways of Donbas Integration into Russia” on Thursday. “Developments underway and Kiev’s attitude to us discourage and push us out of the process of integration with Ukraine,” he said. “Today, we have only one way left – a return to our own family. LPR’s integration into Russia is an objective and most likely inevitable process that meets vital interests and aspirations of the Luhansk region,” LuganskInformCentre news agency quoted him as saying. Citing opinion polls, he said Kiev’s attitude prompted local residents to look to Russia. Last year’s surveys said about 20 to 23% supported accession to Russia, but currently this figure had reached about 60%, Plotnitsky said.
OSCE PA president plans to visit Kiev, Donbas / TASS / September 17, 2015 / OSCE Parliamentary Assembly President Ilkka Kanerva has announced his plans to visit Ukraine’s capital Kiev and Donbas to get unbiased information on the situation in the region, Russian MP Nikolay Kovalev said on Thursday. “OSCE PA President Ilkka Kanerva has informed of his plans to visit Kiev and Donbas,” said State Duma deputy Kovalev, who is a member of Russia’s delegation at the OSCE PA. Kanerva named no dates but said the goal of the visit would be “to obtain objective information from the both sides.” “He has this intention, and we will see whether this will be put into action,” Kovalev said. On Wednesday, the representatives of Russia’s and Ukraine’s delegations at the Assembly met in Mongolia’s capital Ulan Bator, which hosts the OSCE PA autumn session. The sides agreed to contribute to the implementation of the Minsk agreements.
OSCE urges Poroshenko to exclude journalists from sanctions list / TASS / September 17, 2015 / VIENNA / OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatovic called on Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Thursday to exclude journalists from the list of people banned from entering Ukraine. “I call on President Poroshenko to amend his decree and exclude journalists from it [the sanctions list,” Mijatovic said adding that “the authorities should facilitate the work of journalists and abstain from creating administrative obstacles to the entry…. I fully respect governments’ legitimate right to fight terrorism and to protect their national security and their citizens,” Mijatovic noted. “But introducing over-broad restrictions that curb free movement of journalists is not the way to ensure security”. Ukraine’s sanctions against companies and officials: On Wednesday, Poroshenko approved Ukraine’s sanction list against 105 companies. Among them are Russian flag carrier Aeroflot and other air carriers Transaero, Ural Airlines, Siberia and Orenburg Airline, Gazpromavia Airline, Gazprombank, Bank of Moscow, antivirus software producer Kaspersky Laboratory and its Ukraine’s subsidiary. The list includes the Novorossiya civil movement, the Oplot organization, the Prizrak and Somali brigades as well as a number of charity Christian foundations. Poroshenko also approved the inclusion of 388 people in Ukraine’s sanctions list, including Alexander Brod, director of the Moscow-based human rights bureau and a member of the Council for Civil Society Development and Human Rights operating under the Russian president; Russian president’s adviser, Sergey Glazyev; Russian Children’s Rights Ombudsman Pavel Astakhov and Konstantin Kosachev, the head of the Russian Federation Council Committee for International Affairs. Russian journalists from TASS, RIA Novosti, Izvestiya and Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspapers, RUPTLY news agency, NTV television company and Channel One were included in the sanctions list. Among sanctioned journalists are three correspondents from TASS – Andrey Sitov (Washington), Alexander Nechayev, the head of TASS bureau in South Africa; and Alexander Surzhansky, an employee of the agency’s department for European countries. All sanctioned individuals are banned from entering Ukraine, and their assets, if any, on the territory of Ukraine are subject to being frozen.
Not Welcome: Ukraine Bans Former Italian PM Berlusconi for Three Years / Sputnik / September 17, 2015 / KIEV (Sputnik) – Last week, Italian ex-prime minister visited Crimea and met with Russian President Vladimir Putin. According to him, Putin showed him very interesting places on the Black Sea peninsula, in particular the ancient city of Tauric Chersonese, the UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is the third meeting of Putin and Berlusconi this year. Early in June, the Russian president traveled to Rome to meet with Pope Francis and Italian leadership, including Berlusconi. Following the meeting, Berlusconi said that his Forza Italia party would advocate for lifting the anti-Russia economic sanctions imposed by the European Union due to the Ukrainian crisis. “A decision was made on September 14, 2015, to prohibit Italian citizen Silvio Berlusconi from entering the territory of Ukraine for [a period of] three years in the interests of providing security to our state,” Ukraine’s Security Service said in a response to the portal.
Ukraine Information Minister to Launch Review of Blacklisted Journalists / Sputnik / September 17, 2015 / Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko signed a decree on Wednesday sanctioning 90 entities and barring over 400 people, including several high-ranking individuals and journalists, from entering Ukraine for one year. The Ukrainian president said sanctions were a contribution to his country’s defense amid the ongoing conflict in the southeast. / MOSCOW / Ukrainian Information Policy Minister Yuriy Stets said Thursday he would revise the list of journalists on a new Kiev blacklist. “The list of media representatives which were sanctioned is ambiguous and needs to be changed… During the next session of the National Security and Defense Council I shall introduce my proposals,” Stets posted on Facebook, adding that he has begun conversations with security officials on the issue. The new restrictions target more than 40 journalists and bloggers from the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, Poland, Israel, Latvia and Russia. The sanctions against journalists were criticized by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, Kremlin and the Committee to Protect Journalists.
Global Problems Can Only Be Solved With Russia’s Help – Former German FM / Sputnik / September 17, 2015 / Close cooperation with Russia is the only way to resolve major problems the world’s nations are facing these days, former German foreign minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher said on Thursday. “Global and European challenges can only be solved by working together with Russia and certainly not against our major partner in Europe,” Hans-Dietrich Genscher said while addressing participants of a conference marking the 70th anniversary of the 1945 Potsdam Agreement, which opened outside Berlin on Thursday. Genscher, who served as German foreign minister from 1974 to 1992, called for an active “reset” of the European Union with a focus on making it ready for the political challenges it might face in the coming years. The Potsdam Agreement was the agreement between three WW II Allies, the Soviet Union, Britain and the United States, for the post-war military occupation and reconstruction of Germany.
Migrant crisis: UN ‘shocked’ over clashes in Hungary / Strategic Culture Foundation / September 17, 2015 / UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has said he is “shocked” after Hungarian police fired tear gas and water cannon to force migrants back from its border. Mr Ban said such treatment of asylum seekers was “unacceptable”. Hundreds were involved in clashes at the Hungary-Serbia border on Wednesday, trying to breach a razor-wire fence. More than 5,000 migrants have entered Croatia so far – avoiding Hungary – police say, and another 7,266 entered Germany on Wednesday. German police said this was more than double the number that crossed the previous day, adding that most were picked up on the border with Austria. Germany is the final goal of many migrants, as the European Union remains divided over how to deal with the crisis. What is the next route through Europe? . . . MORE>>
Refugees Crisis Splits European Countries (I) / Strategic Culture Foundation / September 17, 2015 / Inside the European Union the discords are growing between Germany allied with Austria and the states of Central and Eastern Europe. The latter have grounds to believe that Berlin and Vienna – tacitly supported by Brussels – try to shift the heavy financial, political, social and cultural burden on their shoulders. Hungary is a good example. The government of Victor Orban plans to stop the free flow of refugees across its territory to Germany and Austria. Zoltán Kovács, the government spokesperson, assured that Hungary will comply with its obligations, defend its borders and try to register all coming migrants. He said, German and Austrian leaders encourage migration and make them believe they are welcome. As a result, they refuse to cooperate with . . . MORE>>