Donetsk Lugansk News Oct 1-4 2015

Sunday October 4, 2015

DPR Shoots Down Four UAVs, Says Kiev Violates Minsk Accords by Using Drones in Donbass / TASS / October 4, 2015 / Ukrainian troops are violating the Minsk agreements by using unmanned aerial vehicles over three settlements in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), Eduard Basurin, a spokesman for the DPR defence ministry said on Sunday. “Yesterday [on October 3], four drones of the Ukrainian army on a reconnaissance mission were shot down in the vicinity of the settlements of Yenakiyevo, Yakovlevka and Korsun,” he said, adding that under the Minsk agreements only OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) drone can be used in the conflict zone. The Package of Measures, known as Minsk-2, that was worked out by the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France after marathon talks on February 12, 2015 envisaged a ceasefire between Ukrainian government forces and people’s militias in the self-proclaimed republic in Donetsk and Luhansk starting from February 15 and subsequent withdrawal of heavy weapons from the line of engagement. The deal also laid out a roadmap for a lasting settlement in Ukraine, including local elections and constitutional reform to give more autonomy to the war-torn eastern regions.

Eduaard Basurin (--DNInews)

Eduaard Basurin (–DNInews)

DPR Defence Ministry: Situation Report, 4.10.2015, VIDEO / DNInews.com / Video transcript translated by DNInews / The situation in the Donetsk People’s Republic has stabilized over the past day. There weren’t any ceasefire violations by the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Four ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicles were shot down by the DPR’s armed forces near the settlements of Yenakiyevo, Yakovlevka and Korsun which were conducting aerial reconnaissance of the DPR’s positions. I would like to remind you that according to Minsk Agreements only the OSCE unmanned aerial vehicles in the area of the conflict are allowed. Using the ceasefire agreement the ukrainian armed forces continue the redeployment of units along the front-line and to strengthen their positions. According to our intelligence the concentration of weapons, military equipment, the location of artillery firing positions near the settlement of Ptichiye (23 km – to the contact line) and artillery positions under camouflage cover in the settlement of Starognatovka (4.5 km – to the contact line) were detected. In addition, the OSCE mission while visiting places of withdrawal of heavy weapons found out that 12 units of towed anti-tank guns MT-12 “Rapira” were missing. Once again, I would like to urge the military and political leadership of Ukraine and the Army’s Command to give up on the aggressive intentions towards the Donetsk People’s Republic and to make efforts to resolve the conflict peacefully. For video click here.

Ukrainian tank camp, (stock photo--telegraph.co.uk)

Ukrainian tank camp, (stock photo–telegraph.co.uk)

UAF Camouflage Artillery Along Front Lines – Intelligence / DAN / Edited autotranslation / October 4, 2015 / DPR investigators discovered new artillery positions near the contact line of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (UAF) under camouflage cover, the deputy commander of the DPR Ministry of Defense Corps Eduard Basurin told journalists today. “According to our intelligence, near the village of Ptichye (23 km from the demarcation line) a concentration of weapons and military equipment was determined, as well as the location of the artillery positions, and in the village Starognatovka (4.5 km from the demarcation line) firing artillery positions under camouflage cover were revealed,” he said. According to the package of measures to be implemented under the Minsk Agreement, which was signed by the Contact Group on February 12, artillery of 100 mm caliber and above should be withdrawn from the contact line by 50 km, MLRS – 70 km, MLRS “Tornado”, “Hurricane”, “Smerch” as well as the rocket “Point” – 140 km.

Ukraine’s General Staff confirms weapons withdrawal in Donbass due Monday / TASS / October 4, 2015 / KIEV / Kiev has confirmed it is ready to begin on Monday withdrawal of weapons of calibre under 100mm from the engagement line in Donbass, speaker of the General Staff Vladislav Seleznev said on Sunday. “We are putting together and discuss the lists of weapons to be withdrawn to the distances as per the Minsk accords, so that to begin the physical relocation tomorrow [on Monday, October 5],” he said. “The process of discussions continues. We are working closely with the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission, and plan the process will be over by end of the week.” “We begin withdrawing tanks, and then as within a fortnight they are relocated, the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission will confirm the equipment at certain locations,” the speaker said, adding the process of withdrawing should “be simultaneous, both in the territory controlled by the Ukrainian forces and in the territory, controlled by the militia.” He said the withdrawal should begin from the Luhansk region. “It will last for 15 days, and as the process in the Luhansk region is over, the withdrawal will begin from the territory in the Donetsk region, which will continue for 20 days,” he said, adding thus from October 18 the synchronised withdrawal of weapons should begin in the Donetsk region. “The process will be divided into stages,” he said. “First of all, tanks will be pulled back, then – the artillery of calibre under 100mm, and at the third stage – mortars of calibre under 120mm.” On Tuesday, September 29, the Trilateral Contact Group initialled a document envisaging withdrawal of weapons under 100mm calibre to a distance of 15 kilometres for the line of engagement. The first stage would begin in two days, OSCE’s (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) Special Representative in Ukraine Martin Sajdik said, adding that first tanks would be pulled back, then artillery and then mortars. The first stage of 15 days will be followed by a 24-day second stage. The Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine comprising senior representatives from Russia, Ukraine and the European security watchdog OSCE on February 12, 2015, signed a 13-point Package of Measures to fulfil the September 2014 Minsk agreements. The package was agreed with the leaders of the Normandy Four, namely Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine. The Package of Measures, known as Minsk-2, envisaged a ceasefire between Ukrainian government forces and people’s militias in the self-proclaimed republics in Donetsk and Luhansk starting from February 15 and subsequent withdrawal of heavy weapons from the line of engagement.

Putin, Dmitri Peskov, Angela Merkel, Petro Poroshenko, Francois Hollande, Paris, October 2, 2015 (--Mikhail Palinchak/AP)

Vladimir Putin, Dmitri Peskov, Angela Merkel, Petro Poroshenko, Francois Hollande, Normandy Four meeting, Paris, October 2, 2015 (–Mikhail Palinchak/AP)

The deal also laid out a roadmap for a lasting settlement in Ukraine, including local elections and constitutional reform to give more autonomy to the war-torn eastern regions. On July 18, the Donetsk and Luhansk republics announced their plans to unilaterally withdraw tanks and armoured vehicles with a calibre of less than 100mm to a distance of at least three kilometres away from the line of military engagement. The Donetsk republic said at the end of July it had pulled back weapons under 100mm calibre from the contact line, leaving tanks only in “hot spots” to the north of Donetsk and in Debaltsevo. The Luhansk republic said it had also completed the withdrawal of weapons from the contact line, leaving tanks and armoured vehicles only on positions near the Schastye settlement. The republics’ self-defence forces also expressed their readiness to pull back weapons from “hot spots” if Kiev took a similar action. On Friday, October 2, leaders of Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine held talks in Paris in the so-called Normandy format. According to Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov, the talks were “intense and business-like.” He said the leaders discussed implementation of the Minsk Agreements, including withdrawal of armaments, elections, amnesty, gas issues and other crises, including air services. The Kremlin spokesman confirmed the sides held constructive talks and confirmed that the Minsk deals have no alternative.

Kiev did Everything to Conceal from DPR Investigation the Circumstances of the Volnovakha Tragedy – Prosecutor General’s Office / DAN / Edited autotranslation / October 4, 2015 / The SBU [Ukraine Security Services] made every effort to hide from DPR investigation the incident in Volnovaha, where in January, 12 people were killed and 18 were wounded. This was stated by Acting Attorney General of the Republic Andrew Spivak in an interview with DAN. “The SBU hid from the DPR investigative team the circumstances of the tragedy at the checkpoint in Volnovakha. Employees of the Prosecutor General’s Office were denied access to the material evidence and the affected bus, and were not allowed to take even the most basic measurements,” said the head of the supervisory authority. The head of the Prosecutor General’s Office added that the DPR investigation team was forced to perform a remote study of the materials available. “Based on the data that were obtained, we assume that there was undermining by an anti-personnel mine of type OZM-72. With this kind of ammunition, the UAF had mined the side of the road on which the bus was moving,” said Spivak. The mining of the public passenger bus “Donetsk Zlatoustovka” occurred on January 13, 2015 near the checkpoint in the vicinity of the town of Volnovaha, in the territory of Donbass occupied by the Ukrainian Security Services. 12 people were killed, another 18 were injured. The Ukrainian side has blamed the deaths on the DPR militia.

Donald Trump (--nbcnews.com)

Donald Trump (–nbcnews.com)

Donald Trump: “The Middle East would be safer with Saddam, Qaddafi and Assad” and “We are giving Syrian rebels billions of dollars, and they could be worse than Assad!” (CBS Video) / Fort Russ / October 4, 2015 / Chuck Todd: Let’s move to Syria. You came across to me as if you welcomed Putin’s involvement in Syria, you saw very little downside…Why? Trump: Tell you why, I am somebody that, and you know I have been saying this to you for a long time … I want our military to be beyond anything, no contest, and technologically most importantly, because now militaries have to be technologically advanced and we probably have a big advantage, we do have a big advantage, BUT … We are going to get bogged down in Syria… And if you look at what happened with the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, that’s when they went bankrupt! They went bankrupt! They were there for so long… Todd: So you think Putin is going to be suckered in? Trump: They are going to get bogged down, everybody who has touched the Middle East have gotten bogged down. Putin does not want ISIS, I know they haven’t hit him as hard as they should be hitting him, because… Todd: They are hitting the people we trained! Trump: Excuse me, they are hitting people, we are talking about people that we don’t even know … the rebel group … we have NO IDEA! I was taking to a general two days ago, and he said, we have no idea who these people are. We are training people we don’t who they are, we are giving them billions of dollars to fight Assad. And you know what, it’s very possible… And I am not saying Assad is a good guy, he is probably a bad guy, but I watched him interviewed many times, and you can make a case… If you look at Lybia, look what we did there – it’s a mess, if you look at Saddam Hussein with Iraq, look what we did there – it’s a mess! It’s going to be the same thing! Todd: Do you think the Middle East would be better today if Saddam and Qaddafi . . . MORE>> Click here for video and transcript.

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Saturday October 3, 2015

(--Reuters/Valentyn Ogirenko)

(–Reuters/Valentyn Ogirenko)

Ukraine Nationalists Block Peace Efforts of Normandy Quartet – Basurin / Quemado Institute / October 3, 2015 / The Ukrainian Armed Forces have violated the ceasefire eighteen times in the past day, reports dnr-online, the official Donetsk People’s Republic government news site. According to Deputy Commander of the DPR Defense Ministry Eduard Basurin, the situation in the DPR has deteriorated, despite the new weapons withdrawal treaty signed this week by leaders and representatives of the DPR/LPR, Ukraine, Russia and the OSCE. Over the past day, “Ukrainian security officials violated the ceasefire eighteen times,” Basurin said. “Once again, from the position of the 93rd mechanized brigade under Colonel Nikolyuk from the area of the mine ventilation shaft ‘Butovka,’ more than 40 mines and shells were issued on the town of Spartak, which underwent massive fire from 82 mm mortars and tanks. Also gunfire reached the settlements of Zhabichevo, Dokuchaevsk, the Trudovs’ka neighborhood, ‘Volvo-center’ and the airport in Donetsk. Using the ceasefire agreement,” Basurin explained, “the Ukrainian security forces continue to actively pursue the redeployment of units and along the line of demarcation, and strengthen the engineering aspect of their positions. According to our intelligence, in a ravine on the north-eastern outskirts of the village of Gnutova, artillery positions and two mortar batteries have been installed. Despite the tremendous efforts of leaders of Russia, France and Germany, as well as the political leadership of Ukraine to resolve the conflict in the southeast in a peaceful way, we are once again faced with a situation where Ukrainian nationalists in uniform show their rebellion against Poroshenko and demonstrate total dependence on the interests a narrow circle of people intent on blocking the peace efforts of the ‘Normandy Quartet.'” In a further statement reported by the Donetsk News Agency (DAN), Basurin says, “Withdrawal of weapons in the DPR, in accordance with the agreement signed a few days ago, will begin on October 18, subject to the truce. … It will be after the 18th, provided that it is quiet.” According to him, the time to start removing equipment should be defined by the mission of the OSCE, which verifies the implementation of agreements reached in Minsk. Yesterday it was reported the withdrawal of weapons of caliber less than 100 mm was to begin in the LPR today, October 3.

Merkel, Putin, Poroshenko, Hollande, Paris, October 2, 2015 (--TASS/Alexei Druzhinin)

Angela Merkel, Vladimir Putin, Petro Poroshenko, Francois Hollande, Paris, October 2, 2015 (–TASS/Alexei Druzhinin)

Slutsky: Normandy Four talks is Europe’s attempt to solve Ukrainian problem without US / TASS / October 3, 2015 / The Normandy Four summit in Paris is Europe’s successful attempt to address the problem of Ukrainian settlement without “overseas partners,” a Russian lawmaker said on Friday. “Looking back at today’s talks in Paris, I think Europe is trying, and is doing it rather successfully, to solve the situation in Ukraine and make real progress towards the crisis settlement without interference from overseas, without the pan-Atlantic expansion we see in Western European countries, at international platforms,” Leonid Slutsky, the chairman of the committee for the affairs of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Eurasian integration and relations with compatriots of the Russian State Duma lower parliament house, said in an interview with the Rossiya-24 television channel.

Leonid Slutsky (--Mikhail Pochuyev/TASS)

Leonid Slutsky (–Mikhail Pochuyev/TASS)

The lawmaker said he was optimistic about the results of Friday’s summit of the Normandy Four (Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine) leaders. “I would be optimistic in my opinion of today’s talks of the Normandy Four leaders,” he said. “Nobody expected a breakthrough bearing in mind that President [of Ukraine Pyotr] Poroshenko was rather inert about all the previous agreements and that Germany and France proceed from the position that elections in Donbass should be regulated by Ukrainian laws,” Slutsky said. “These are difficult factors. But the most important thing is that it was stressed that elections are to be held and that these elections would be linked with the use of the law on (Donbass’) special status.” “Whatever Verkhovna Rada’s (Ukrainian parliament) interpretations of these agreements might be, it was said utterly clear – elections will be held and it will be linked with the beginning of the application of the law on special status. It is a good and serious result of the Normandy Four. Now it is important that Kiev doesn’t distort this result,” he said. According to Slutsky, the Normandy Four format is “the most constructive and efficient out of all current formats.” “It should be used to reach lasting truce and grant special status to the republics (the self-proclaimed republics in Donetsk and Lugansk),” he added.

James Petras (--petras.lahaine.org)

James Petras (–petras.lahaine.org)

Ukraine’s President Failing on All Sides – US Analyst / Sputnik / October 3, 2015 / Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is a failure on the home front and abroad, and just how long he is going to cling to power is simply a matter of time now, a US sociologist said on Friday. “The problem in Ukraine today is the strength that the right… is exercising on the government, and the attempts by Poroshenko to mobilize world opinion against Russia at the UN were a total fiasco,” James Petras, Professor at Binghamton University in New York, said in an interview with RT. Professor Petras said he was confident that, with the situation in Ukraine’s southeast now stabilizing, “we are going to get a federal state in the process and the extremists in Kiev will have a difficult time mobilizing international support and any kind of major military operation.” President Poroshenko is very vulnerable and weak. Discontent with the economic conditions for the majority of people in Kiev is increasingly hostile and he has no domestic foundations to sustain his rule, Petras noted. “The question is who will replace him… Poroshenko doesn’t really know what he wants because he is failing on all sides: he is attacking Russia… he hasn’t been able to put together a development strategy to get out of the recession; he doesn’t have strong military support. I think Poroshenko will stay on by default, not because he is a strong president, not because he has a viable foreign policy, but because no one else is around that can actually implement an alternative program,” James Petras said in conclusion. Editor’s note: James Petras is the author of more than 62 books published in 29 languages, and over 600 articles in professional journals, including the American Sociological Review, British Journal of Sociology, Social Research, and Journal of Peasant Studies. He has published over 2000 articles in nonprofessional journals such as the New York Times, the Guardian, the Nation, Christian Science Monitor, Foreign Policy, New Left Review, Partisan Review, TempsModerne, and Le Monde Diplomatique. He received his B.A. from Boston University and Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley. (–Petras website)

Vladimir Putin (--Sputnik/AFP/Don Emmert)

Vladimir Putin (–Sputnik/AFP/Don Emmert)

Putin Calls Out Washington / by Paul Craig Roberts / PCR Website / October 2, 2015 / “We can no longer tolerate the state of affairs in the world.” –President Vladimir Putin. / Last Wednesday (28 Sept 2015) the world saw the difference between Russia and Washington. Putin’s approach is truth-based; Obama’s is vain boasts and lies, and Obama is running out of lies. By telling the truth at a time of universal deceit, Putin committed a revolutionary act. Referring to the slaughter, destruction, and chaos that Washington has brought to the Middle East, North Africa, and Ukraine, and the extreme jihadist forces that have been unleashed, Putin asked Washington: “Do you realize what you have done?” Putin’s question reminds me of the question Joseph Welch asked witch-hunting Senator Joseph McCarthy: “Have you no sense of decency?” Welch’s question is attributed with initiating the decline of McCarthy’s career. Perhaps Putin’s question will have the same impact and bring the reign of “American Exceptionalism” to an end. If so, Putin has launched a revolution that will overthrow the world’s subservience to Washington. Putin stresses the legality of Russia’s intervention in Syria . . . MORE>> Click here.

Crimean Bridge Promo Video
The 19 kilometer bridge connecting Russia and Crimea is scheduled to open
in December 2018.
For Fort Russ video click here.
(Photo –russia-ic.com)

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Friday October 2, 2015

Withdrawal of tanks in Luhansk republic will start at 10 a.m. Oct 3 — militia / TASS / October 2, 2015 / MOSCOW / The militia of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic said on Friday they would begin withdrawing tanks from the frontline in east Ukraine on Saturday morning. “The People’s Militia of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic will begin withdrawal of weapons tomorrow, October 3, at 10:00 [local time]”, Colonel Igor Yashchenko, deputy chief of staff of the LPR People’s Militia corps told the LuganskInformCentre news agency. On Thursday, Yashchenko said the pull-back of weapons would begin on October 3 and would be carried out in two stages – from October 3 to 17 and from October 18 to November 10. He added that in accordance with corresponding documents, the hardware would be pulled out at a distance of 15 kilometres from the contact line.

What’s going on with the NAF? / Translated by J. Arnoldski / Fort Russ / October 1, 2015 / “What’s happening with the militia of Donbass?” Regarding the front lines and the dynamics of hostilities, the situation has essentially remained the same for the past month. There are low-intensity fights at the most remote sectors of the front where there are no European observers, staff officers, or Russian “curators” (most are at Bakhmutka and closer to Mariupol). Where there are observers and “curators,” weapons are not used even in response to the enemy’s provocations. There are strict instructions for commanders (with threats up to imprisonment) to exclude firing from our side. This has led to the most absurd situations – when one fighter in the LPR fired his gun at a block post in response to enemy shelling, the prosecutor questioned him: “On what grounds did you shoot at Ukrainian servicemen?” The guy was in shock: “We have a war.” They responded to him: “What war, we’ve had peace for a while, and apparently your commanders didn’t inform you.” In the majority of sectors, heavy equipment has been taken away, and in some places they removed guns less than 100 mm. In some places, commanders and fighters are cunning and manipulating equipment (I won’t specify) in order to bypass orders and be able to defend themselves in case of an unexpected breakthrough by the enemy. As for “military trade,” the situation here is twofold. There are sectors where all equipment and vacationers have been taken away, and some places where, on the contrary, they’ve been strengthened. That is, they’ve left only a safety net in areas where complications are expected in the case of enemy attacks. Here it’s possible to name one of the reasons why assessments of the situation by militiamen and observers sometimes differ so greatly. At some parts of the front . . . MORE>> Click here.

Petro Poroshenko, Angela Merkel, Vladimir Putin, Francois Hollande, Paris, October 2, 2015 (--twitter)

Petro Poroshenko, Angela Merkel, Vladimir Putin, Francois Hollande, Paris, October 2, 2015 (–twitter)

Weapons Withdrawal in Donbass to Begin at Midnight Saturday to Sunday / Sputnik / October 2, 2015 / The Normandy Four leaders noted progress in weapons withdrawal in Donbass; the withdrawal of weaponry under 100 mm in caliber will begin at midnight Saturday to Sunday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Friday. / MOSCOW / The Normandy Four talks on the Ukraine reconciliation concluded in Paris on Friday. “A positive headway in terms of pullout, adherence to agreements, signing of corresponding documents on the withdrawal of weaponry under 100 mm in caliber, which is expected to begin tomorrow at midnight,” Peskov told journalists. The meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin, Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko, French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel lasted for about five hours.

Denis Pushilin (--DAN)

Denis Pushilin (–DAN)

DPR Hopes for Change of Course in Kiev after “Normandy Quartet” Meeting – Pushilin / DAN / Edited autotranslation / October 2, 2015 / DONETSK / DPR authorities are counting on a substantial change in the position of Ukraine on the issue of settlement of the conflict in Donbass at the end of today’s meeting in the Normandy format. This was stated by Chairman of the DPR National Council Denis Pushilin. “We hope for a conceptual change of approaches in Ukraine to the Minsk Agreement, on which this meeting really very much depends,” said the speaker of parliament. He stressed that until now the policy of Kiev has severely hampered the efforts for a peaceful settlement, but in the future the situation will only worsen if the course of the Ukrainian authorities is not revised. “To solve the political and economic issues is far more complex than the security issues. Have you seen how much time it took to sign the document on completely simple techniques for withdrawing [weapons] of caliber up to 100 mm. In fact, to what was supposed to be off the agenda in March, unfortunately, did not come until September and October – this is the position of Ukraine,” said Pushilin. “I hope that the actions and wishes from the Normandy format will have the impact that these matters are dealt with quickly,” concluded the chairman of the People’s Council. Negotiations of the “Normandu Quartet” (Russia, France, Germany, Ukraine) are scheduled today in Paris. For the first time since February 12, the meeting will be held at the highest level. The agenda includes a number of issues of conflict settlement in Donbass, including the holding of elections, removal of weapons and others.

Poroshenko, Hollande, Putin, Merkel in Paris, October 2, 2015 (--censor.net)

Petro Poroshenko, Francois Hollande, Vladimir Putin, Angela Merkel in Paris, October 2, 2015 (–censor.net)

“Normandy Four” talks started in Paris. / en.censor.net.ua / October 2, 2015 / The talks in Normandy format started in Paris with the participation of Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko, Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande. This is stated by French president’s press service on Twitter, Сensor.NET reports citing Ukrainski Novyny. The summit in Normandy format on Ukraine is currently going on at the Elysee Palace, the message notes. The heads of “Normandy Four” states met to discuss possible ways of stopping the war in the Donbas. The meeting will be held behind closed doors. Just before the summit, a number of bilateral meetings between Putin and Hollande, Putin and Merkel, Hollande and Poroshenko were held. The sides are set to discuss strengthening the cease-fire regime in the Donbas as well as holding local elections in certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Petro Poroshenko’s press secretary Sviatoslav Tseholko said in Twitter that the talks had started outdoors.

Last Normandy Four top-level meeting, February 2015 (--Ruptly)

Putin, Merkel, Hollande, Poroshenko, at last Normandy Four top-level meeting, February 2015 (–Ruptly)

Normandy Quartet talks on Ukraine crisis: departures / Ruptly / October 2, 2015 / The ‘Normandy Four’ leaders are set to depart from the Elysee Palace after Normandy Quartet talks on Ukraine crisis. Russian President Vladimir Putin was set to meet Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko along with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande in Paris on Friday, October 2. The ‘Normandy Four’ are meeting for the fourth time after the Minsk II agreement was signed on February 11, 2015 in a bid to help resolve the Ukrainian conflict. The meeting seeks to re-inforce the principles of the Minsk Agreements and the ceasefire in the Ukrainian conflict. Putin has emphasised that for peace to last in Ukraine, direct dialogue between the self-proclaimed republics in Donbass and the Ukrainian government must be forthcoming.

Petro Poroshenko, Angela Merkel, Paris, October 2, 2015 (--Unian)

Petro Poroshenko, Angela Merkel, Paris, 10-2-15 (–Unian)

Normandy Four leaders to meet in Paris today / Unian.info / October 2, 2015 / The meeting of the “Normandy Four” leaders, including Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and Russian President Vladimir Putin will take place in Paris today, on October 2. As UNIAN reported earlier, on October 1, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande coordinated their positions ahead of the Normandy Four meeting in Paris, scheduled for October 2. Holding of local elections in militant-controlled areas of Donbas, providing access to international observers, and the withdrawal of weapons from the demarcation line are the main topics of today’s agenda. “We are far from the solution of the conflict, but there are elements, which increase our confidence that the crisis can be overcome, and, most importantly, that there is no shelling now,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said. According to the Presidential Administration of Ukraine, during today’s meeting, Poroshenko will demand Russia cancel the sham elections in militant-occupied Donbas. The parties will also discuss the agreement on the withdrawal of small-caliber weapons from the Donbas conflict zone, as well as the issue of the access of international humanitarian organizations to the occupied areas. On September 1, the intensity of the fighting decreased significantly in Donbas. On October 2, for the first time in the last few weeks, the situation in the Donbas conflict was absolutely calm.

Vladimir Putin

Vladimir Putin

Putin heads to Paris for Normandy Four summit on Ukraine crisis / TASS / October 2, 2015 / Putin is scheduled to hold separate talks with French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel / MOSCOW / Russian President Vladimir Putin will arrive in Paris on Friday to attend the summit of the Normandy Four countries, namely Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany. This will be the third such face-to-face meeting of the four leaders since the so-called Normandy format of negotiations on the conflict in Ukraine was introduced in June 2014. Kremlin aide Yuri Ushakov said besides the talks, the leaders will also attend a working lunch. Putin is scheduled to hold separate talks with French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The Kremlin expects the meeting to give an impetus to the effort on implementing the Minsk peace agreements on Ukraine reached in the Belarusian capital in mid-February. “We seek the implementation in all the directions, all the points of the Minsk agreements should be fulfilled,” Ushakov told reporters last month. Speaking on whether the Minsk agreements could be extended, Ushakov said: “In principle, they could be [extended].” Moscow calls for focusing on the implementation of the Minsk peace deal within the deadline set for the end of 2015. “Along with the agreements that give grounds for definite optimism, we’re still stating a certain stalemate in the implementation of the Minsk accords,” Peskov said on Thursday. “There’s a hope that we’ll manage somehow to assure proper action under the Minsk accords, which don’t allow of misinterpretations or dual reading.” In his speech at the UN General Assembly on September 28, Putin said: “We are confident that the only through full and faithful implementation of the Minsk agreements of February 12, 2015 can we put an end to the bloodshed and find a way out of the deadlock. Ukraine’s territorial integrity cannot be ensured by threats and force of arms.” On Tuesday, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Russia and Ukraine announced that Kiev and Donbas reached an agreement on withdrawing weaponry of less than 100mm caliber to a distance of 15 kilometers from the contact line. Peskov said the Kremlin considers the agreement on weaponry withdrawal in Ukraine “the reason for moderate optimism” but calls for implementing the Minsk agreements in full. “This is positive news, especially ahead of the [summit] in the ‘Normandy format’ on October 2,” the Kremlin spokesman said. “However, the best breakthrough would have been the fulfillment and full implementation of the Minsk agreements that are outlined unequivocally and do not allow for any interpretations,” Peskov said.

Petro Poroshenko, Francois Hollande (--Unian/Reuters)

Petro Poroshenko, Francois Hollande (–Unian/Reuters)

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko had a meeting with President of France Francois Hollande in Paris ahead of the Normandy Four talks on Friday. / Unian.info / October 2, 2015 / “Ukrainian-French relations are at the highest level since the Ukrainian independence,” President Poroshenko said, according to the presidential press service. The parties discussed the situation in the occupied Donbas and Crimea, and coordinated positions on the eve of the meeting in the Normandy format. The Presidents also noted the necessity of UN Security Council reform, the presidential press service reported. The parties discussed the issue of visa-free regime for Ukrainians and agreed on the holding of Ukrainian-French Investment Forum in November 2015. Francois Hollande accepted Petro Poroshenko’s invitation to make an official visit to Ukraine. As UNIAN reported earlier, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko arrived in Paris on October 2 for a one-day visit to take part in a meeting of Normandy Four leaders.

(--bellingcat.com)

(–bellingcat.com)

DPR Intelligence Discovers Ukrainian “Grad” 8 km from Front Line / DAN / Edited autotranslation / October 2, 2015 / DPR intelligence has found two “Grad” multiple launch rocket systems belonging to Ukrainian security officials close to the line of contact in the south of the Republic. This was stated by the deputy commander of the DPR Defense Ministry Eduard Basurin. “In the village of Gnutova, 8 km from the demarcation line, investigators revealed two units of MLRS ‘Grad'” said the corps representative. “Near the village of Kleban Bull 14 km from the line of contact there was the arrival of automotive equipment marked with ammunition for the MRL in the amount of eight units.” Eduard Basurin added that south of the village of Granite (12 km north-east of the village Telmanovo) 500 meters from the front lines, eight heavy UAF artillery were identified. “To the south of the village of Granite wasestablished a concentration of six MT-LB (multi-purpose conveyor light armored – approx. DAN) from the biaxial towed guns 2A36 “Hyacinth-B” – four units, the MT-12 “Rapier” – 2 units and ACS – 2 units,” the representative of the Defense Ministry summed up. According to the set of measures for implementing the Minsk Agreement, which was signed by the Contact Group on February 12, artillery 100 mm caliber and above should be withdrawn from both sides by 50 km, MLRS by 70 km, MLRS “Tornado”, “Hurricane”, “Smerch” as well as the rocket “Point” by 140 km.

Anne Brasseur (--coe.int)

Anne Brasseur (–coe.int)

PACE Head Urges End to Ukraine Crisis to Avoid New ‘Deep Frozen’ Conflict / Sputnik / October 2, 2015 / STRASBOURG (Sputnik) — The crisis in Ukraine needs to be resolved so that Europe does not have another “deep-frozen” conflict on its territory, the president of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) said Friday. “I hope that we are not going to end up with another frozen conflict, because all of those conflicts that we are speaking – be it in Transnistria or Nagorno-Karabakh – they are not frozen, they are deep frozen,” Anne Brasseur told journalists. Transnistria, a strip of land in eastern Moldova, populated predominantly by Russian speakers, has been operating effectively as an autonomous region since a war in the early 1990s. Meanwhile, Armenia has been locked in a row with Azerbaijan over the mountainous Nagorno-Karabakh area since the 1980s. Brasseur stressed that freezing conflicts was not a solution as it only harmed the local population. She voiced concerns about the situation in Ukraine where people are scheduled to vote in local elections on October 25. Separate local elections have been called in the country’s southeastern self-proclaimed republics, despite Kiev saying that it would not recognize the results. “I’m really worried about the elections, we are going to assist to separate elections… that would lead to even greater divide of that region,” Brasseur said, adding she hoped that a solution to the crisis could be found before the elections take place. The breakaway regions of Donetsk and Lugansk plan to hold local elections on October 18 and November 1 respectively. The self-proclaimed republics have repeatedly stated that the decision to hold elections independently from Kiev was made after the Ukrainian government proceeded to adopt a law on local election without consulting with them, which contradicts the Minsk peace deal. Quemado Insitute comments: A worthy sentiment, but as always, the devil is in the details.

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Thursday October 1, 2015

Alexander Zakharchenko

Alexander Zakharchenko

Withdrawal of Equipment in DPR Will Begin Next Day after Full Ceasefire – Zakharchenko / DAN / Edited autotranslation / October 1, 2015 / DONETSK / The Donetsk People’s Republic will begin the removal of equipment from the line of contact under the new contract after a full ceasefire. This was stated today to journalists by the Head of DPR Alexander Zakharchenko. “Withdrawal will begin the next day after the occurence of a cease-fire,” he said. The Head of the Republic noted that there were still recorded violations on the Ukrainian side [during the mode] of silence. In particular, small-arms fire was opened in Donetsk, wounding civilians. “The rhetoric of the Ukrainian military is different from the rhetoric of the representatives who participate in the Minsk format,” said Zakharchenko. An addition to the package of measures of the Minsk Agreement of 12 February 2015, with respect to the removal of tanks and artillery pieces of caliber 100 mm mortars and 120 mm (inclusive), was initialed on 29 September at the talks of the Contact Group on peaceful settlement in Minsk. On September 30 the document was signed by the Head of the DPR. According to the agreement, initially tanks are to be removed, for which 15 days is allowed. Then artillery caliber of less than 100 mm mortars in a period of 24 days. The distance of removal is 15 km on each side of the contact line. The procedure for withdrawal: first of all, [weapons will be withdrawn] from the contact line in the LPR, including Lugansk (sector “North”); then along the remaining part of the front, including the DPR (sector “South”). The whole process should take 41 hours. Recall that on February 12 the Contact Group has signed a key document for the peace settlement in Donbass. A set of measures, in particular, obliges the parties to withdraw heavy artillery from the contact line: artillery of caliber over 100 mm out 50 50 km, MLRS to 70 km, MLRS “Tornado”, “Hurricane,” “Twister” and the rocket “Point” to 140 km.

Eduard Basurin

Eduard Basurin

UAF Continue to Conduct Attacks on DPR Settlements – Eduard Basurin / dnr-online (official DPR government website) / Edited autotranslation / October 1, 2015 / The situation in the Donetsk People’s Republic over the past day remains tense. This was said during a briefing on October 1 by Deputy Commander of the Corps of DPR Defense Eduard Basurin. “The Ukrainian security forces violated the ceasefire eight times. Once again, from the position of the 93rd mechanized brigade under Colonel Nikolyuk, there was heavy fire from 82 mm mortars, small arms and ACS on the town of Spartak, which was released on 7 min [sic]. It should be noted that, in the area of the mine “Butovka”, there is also an unspecified unit of the right sector. Let me remind you that yesterday, Ukrainian law enforcers fired on nineteen settlements in the DPR. Using the ceasefire agreement, the Ukrainian security forces continue to actively equip their position along the line of contact between the parties, and continue to carry out the redeployment of units [at] the line of contact. According to our intelligence, near the town of Artemovsk, 20 km from the line of contact, noted the movement of twelve POPs MT-12 “Foil” from Druzhkovka in Konstantinovka, 25 km from the line of contact, and discovered the arrival of eighteen tanks. The OSCE Mission near the village of Artemovsk recorded the presence of ACS 6 2S1 “Carnation” and 3 D-30 howitzers. Once again, we see that the Ukrainian command, despite the signed agreement on the withdrawal of weapons of less than 100 mm, continues to carry out attacks on DPR settlements, thereby demonstrating not only disrespect for the resolution of the political and military leadership, but also deliberately disrupting the implementation of Minsk agreements,” said Eduard Basurin.

Kostyantin Yelseyev (--en.migraciya.com.ua)

Kostyantyn Yeliseyev (–en.migraciya.com.ua)

Coup Leader Of Ukraine Regime Asks Russia To Cancel Elections In Donbass / Novorossia Today / October 1, 2015 / During his visit to Paris on October 2 to participate in a meeting of the “Normandy Quartet” leaders, i.e. France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine, Coup Leader of the Kiev Regime Petro Poroshenko will insist Russia to cancel the elections in Donbass, according to Kostyantyn Yeliseyev, deputy chief of the coup leaders administration. “The most important issue is the abolition by the Russian side of elections in Donbass, on October 18 and November 1, respectively; and Ukraine, Germany and France unanimously agree on this issue; and this position was confirmed in New York during the bilateral meetings with the French President and the German Chancellor that an important prerequisite for further peace process is a categorical cancellation of these elections by Russia,” Yeliseyev stressed.

Petro Poroshenko, 70th UNGA, New York (--rushincrash.com)

Petro Poroshenko during visit to New York for the 70th UN General Assembly (–rushincrash.com)

Poroshenko to Insist on Cancellation of Donbass Elections / Sputnik / October 1, 2015 / Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said Monday he will insist on full implementation of the Minsk peace accords and the cancellation of local elections in Donbass during the upcoming ‘Normandy Four’ summit in Paris. / NEW YORK / Leaders of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France are expected to meet on October 2 in Paris to discuss the Ukrainian crisis. “I think we should create all necessary conditions to ensure the implementation of the Minsk agreements, including the cancellation of illegitimate elections [in self-proclaimed people’s republics of Donetsk and Lugansk],” Poroshenko said on the sidelines of the 70th session of the UN General Assembly in New York. Ukraine will hold parliamentary elections on October 25. But the country’s eastern Donetsk and Lugansk breakaway regions plan to hold local elections on October 18 and November 1 respectively. The Normandy Four was created in 2014 to secure a peaceful settlement to the conflict in eastern Ukraine. In February, the quartet leaders worked out the Minsk peace deal, later signed by the Kiev forces and the militias of the eastern Ukrainian Donbass region. Under the deal, both constitutional reforms aimed at decentralizing power in Ukraine and local elections in Donbass must be concluded before the end of 2015.

Russian lawmakers ready to organize trip to Crimea for EU parliamentary group / Novorossia Today / October 1, 2015 / Lawmakers from Russia’s parliamentary lower house are ready to organize a trip to the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea for a European Parliament delegation led by French MEP Nadine Morano if they express such willingness, a senior State Duma deputy said on Thursday. Vasily Likhachev, former Russian ambassador to the European Communities, told journalists: “If they wish, we will tackle all organisational matters and create conditions for them to visit Crimea.” Likhachev did not rule out that the issue would be under discussion at a meeting of Morano and her colleagues with State Duma Speaker Sergey Naryshkin on Friday. He also said the Russian side could extend an invitation to members of the European Parliament to visit the peninsula. In mid-September, Leonid Slutsky, chairing the State Duma’s committee on Commonwealth of Independent States Affairs (CIS), Eurasian Integration and Ties with Compatriots, said he expected a number of western European high-level parliamentary delegations to visit Crimea in the near future. Slutsky recalled that a group of French lawmakers travelled to the Crimean peninsula in late July, in a visit which helped “the world to learn the truth about what is happening in Russia’s Crimea”. Following the visit, Western media stopped publishing . . . MORE>> Click here.

Russian TU-160 strategic bomber (--Reuters/Viktor Korotayev)

Russian TU-160 strategic bomber (–Reuters/V. Korotayev)

Russia’s Federation Council unanimously approved the use of the country’s armed forces abroad / Novorossia Today / September 30, 2015 / MOSCOW / Russia’s upper house of parliament on Wednesday approved the country’s armed forces to be used abroad. The decision includes only the use of the Air Force and does not foresee any ground troops operations, Kremlin Administration Aide Sergei Ivanov said Wednesday. “We’re talking exclusively about operations of Russia’s Air Force, as our president has already said, the use of armed forces on the ground theater of military operations is excluded. The military goal of the operations is exclusively air support of the Syrian government forces in their fight against the Islamic State,” Ivanov said. Syrian President Bashar Assad has turned to Russia with a request for military assistance, according to Ivanov. “I would like to inform you that the president of the Syrian Arab Republic turned to the leadership of our country with a request to provide military assistance, so we may say that terrorism needs to be fought, efforts need to be combined, but it is still necessary to observe the norms of international law,” Ivanov told journalists. Kremlin will inform foreign partners of the decision . . . MORE>> Click here.

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