Thursday, December 31, 2015
Zakharchenko Speaks Strongly Against EU Peacekeepers in Donbass / Interfax.ru / Edited autotranslation by Quemado Institute / December 30, 2015 / According to him, Poroshenko is trying to incite conflict in Europe. / MOSCOW / The Head of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic Alexander Zakharchenko said that the creation of a special EU mission in Donbass to appease the world is unacceptable and will serve as an escalation of the conflict. “If Poroshenko’s press speaks the truth and he really proposed to organize in Donbass a Special Mission of the European Union to appease the world, which supposedly would be engaged in maintaining order and security, it is totally unacceptable. Poroshenko has long dreamed of dragging an outside force into Donbass, but that would mean foreign troops and weapons. Such action would only escalate the conflict. Poroshenko understands this, but that’s what he wants,” Zakharchenko told reporters Wednesday. “Foreign arms spark tension. It would incite a civil war in Europe and dump the responsibility on them. I hope for rational self-assessment in Europe, which would stop them from being able to intervene in our conflict with Kiev. Let the best of Berlin, Paris and Brussels provide valuable guidance, especially to Kiev,” said the head of the DPR. He stressed that Donbass is ready to fulfill the Minsk agreement. “Donbass is prepared to consistently implement the Minsk Agreement, in accordance with the set of measures, item by item, but it must be in the order in which they appear in the package of measures. If Kiev can not comply with the prescribed road map as it is—that is, set of measures—that is their problem. We can help Kiev, but only if they ask. We are willing to be lenient, because we want to end the war. But, as I have repeatedly said, not just on any terms,” said Zakharchenko. Earlier Wednesday, the president of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, during a telephone conversation in the “Normandy format”, called for an EU peacekeeping mission in Donbass. “During a phone conversation in the” Normandy format “the president called for the creation of an EU peacekeeping mission in Donbass. In the context of European security and the shaky situation in Donbass, such an initiative is becoming increasingly important, the more the militia do not allow the OSCE SMM [Special Monitoring Mission] to work properly,” shell observers, “and do not give them access to the rest of the occupied territory,” he wrote on Facebook to the representative of Ukraine in the humanitarian subgroup Irina Gerashchenko.
Yatsenyuk’s year-end presser: Ukraine’s national goal is the return of Crimea, Lugansk, Donetsk / Translated for Fort Russ by Tom Winter / Fort Russ / December 30, 2015 / Prime Minister of Ukraine Arseniy Yatsenyuk, in his annual year-end press conference proclaimed the national goal of Ukraine to be “restoration of territorial integrity of the country,” which, according to him, means return of Donbass and Crimea under the control of Kiev. “The national aim is the restoration of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Ukrainian state. This means the return of Donetsk, Lugansk and the Autonomous Republic of Crimea under the full control of the Ukrainian authorities,” he said. How he is going to establish control over the territory of Russia and the People’s Republic of Donbass, Yatsenyuk did not elaborate.
Fall of electricity pylon in Kherson region causes new blackout in Crimea / Ukraine Today / December 31, 2015 / The pylon was the only one supplying power from mainland Ukraine to Russian-occupied peninsula / UNIAN / Head of Ukrainian energy company Ukrenergo’s press service Zinoviy Butsyo announces that a fallen electricity pylon of the Kakhovska-Titan power transmission line, which was the only one supplying the power from mainland Ukraine to Russian-occupied Crimea, has been found by a repair team not far from the town of Kakhovka in Ukraine’s Kherson region, according to TV Channel 112 Ukraine. “The fallen pylon was found at about midnight during examination. It was impossible to conduct its detailed examination when it was dark. Therefore, the cause of the damage will be determined later. An application for repairing it has been submitted already. The repair team will decide whether the pylon needs to be repaired or replaced,” Butsyo said, TV Channel 112 Ukraine reported. Ukrenergo’s personnel examined the Kakhovka substation in Kherson region and revealed no damage, yet they failed to reconnect the power transmission line. The first reports about a new halt to the power supply from mainland Ukraine to Crimea appeared on Wednesday evening (December 30). Ukrenergo confirmed an unscheduled outage was behind the failure of the only operating transmission line supplying the power to Crimea. As was earlier reported, the power supply from Ukraine first stopped in the early hours of November 22, 2015, after four power transmission lines at the administrative border between mainland Ukraine and Crimea – Melitopol-Dzhankoi, Kakhovska-Ostrovska, Kakhovska-Titan and Kakhovska-Dzhankoi – had been damaged in explosions. On December 8, Ukraine resumed the power supply to Crimea via the 220 kV Kakhovska-Titan power line with the maximum capacity being 160 megawatts, which, according to Crimea’s local authorities, was enough after the first line of the so-called power bridge from Russia’s Kuban was launched on December 2. That line supplies 200 megawatts to Crimea. On December 15, the second line of the power bridge was put into operation, having increased the capacity to 400 megawatts.
Hundreds of Subversives Speaking Turkish, Arabic Infiltrate Donbass – DPR / Sputnik / December 31, 2015 / Around 300 of Turkish- and Arabic-speaking mercenaries arrived in the city of Mariupol under Ukraine’s control, the Donetsk People’s Republic military reported citing locals. / MOSCOW / About 300 foreign mercenaries speaking Turkish and Arabic arrived in the eastern Ukrainian city of Mariupol, the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic’s deputy defense minister said Thursday. “Arrival of some 300 foreign subversives in Mariupol is confirmed. Local residents notice Arabic and Turkish speech among the arrivals,” Eduard Basurin said, as quoted by the Donetsk News Agency. On December 23, DPR’s Defense Ministry also reported about some 100 Turkish mercenaries arrived in Mariupol, while about 200 people, speaking Polish, Slovak and Turkish arrived in another eastern Ukrainian city of Artemovsk. [… More general background at source.]
US Crimes Abroad Must End: Foreign Policy Reversal a Mandate / American Hawk Spurs Ukraine to War with Russia, commentary by Natalia Vitrenko, translated for Fort Russ by Tom Winter / Quemado Institute (from Fort Russ) / December 31, 2015 / The sermons, insolent, cynical, and provocative, of US Vice President Joseph Biden are humiliating and insulting to me as a Ukrainian politician, scientist, and citizen of Ukraine. As is the behavior of President Poroshenko, Prime Minister Yatsenyuk and deputies of the Verkhovna Rada [are] playing the role of lapdogs and lackeys. A hawk flew in to Ukraine, a warmonger, colonizer, and russophobe—Biden. The representative of the Evil Empire, the representative of: The country that dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945; The country that burned civilians with napalm in Vietnam in 1968; The country that—in violation of UN Security Council . . . MORE>> Click here.
Putin in his New Year address praises Russian military waging war on terror / TASS / December 31, 2015 / PETROPAVLOVSK-KAMCHATKSY / Russian President Vladimir Putin in his New Year address to the nation has praised the Russian military who these days are waging a war on terrorism. “By tradition most of us celebrate this holiday with our families and friends,” Putin said in the message that was telecast minutes before midnight in Russia’s Far East. “True, some have no chance to see in the New Year in the company of the dear ones – some have to remain on duty at hospitals and non-stop production factories, perform official and military duties, protect the borders, stay on guard and maintain our security,” Putin said. “We are grateful to all those who are always on the alert day and night, on weekends and on holidays.” “It would like to address special thanks to those of our military servicemen who are waging a war on international terrorism and safeguarding Russia’s national interests far away from home,” he said. Putin pointed to such essential qualities of military servicemen as willpower, resoluteness and firmness of character. “These qualities are essential everywhere and always and in any undertaking,” he said. “The success of the whole country depends on the effective performance and achievements of each of us,” he said. Putin recalled that Russians shared the determination to benefit the Motherland and bear the responsibility for its future. He looked back on the 70th anniversary of the great victory over Nazi Germany in World War II, celebrated in 2015. “Our history, the experience of our parents and grandparents and their unity in the moments of hardship are a great example for us to follow,” he said. “They helped us all the way and they will be helping us further on in providing a worthy response to modern challenges.” Putin remarked that while celebrating the New Year in the company of relatives and friends one could not but have the keenest feeling of how very precious those around might be. He wished to all parents the love and warm care of their children and to the young people, the brightness of mind and proactive attitude to life. Their love and responsiveness, he said, should provide support to all those around in the daily routine. Putin proposed a toast to success, joy, happiness and the prosperity and well-being of Russia.
Trump: What Do We Need Problems With Russia For? / Says Russia can be ‘a positive force and an ally’ to the United States (VIDEO). / Russia Insider / December 27, 2015 / Billionaire turned presidential candidate Donald Trump just can’t stop making sense. In an interview with Fox News last week, Trump once again refused to apologize for saying he was “honored” by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s praise. Mr. Trump strongly challeneged the Washington political establishment line on Russia, telling the interviewer that “smart people” understand a hardline approach to Russia doesn’t serve America’s interest. He also asked why the United States needs “more problems” with a country that could have (and wants to have) amicable relations with the West. [VIDEO available at source.]
Creating an “Independent Sunni State”: Washington Calls for the Partition and Fracturing of Syria and Iraq / by Steven MacMillan / Strategic Culture Foundation / December 31, 2015 / On the 29th of November, 2015, Foreign Affairs – the publication of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) – published an article titled: Divide and Conquer in Syria and Iraq; Why the West Should Plan for a Partition. It was written by Barak Mendelsohn, an Associate Professor of Political Science at Haverford College and a Senior Fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute. In the article, he argues that the “solution” to the current crisis in Syria and Iraq is the creation of an “independent Sunni state” (or Sunnistan), in addition to separating “the warring sides:” “The only way to elicit indigenous support is by offering the Sunnis greater stakes in the outcome. That means proposing an independent Sunni state that would link Sunni-dominated territories on both sides of the border.Washington’s attachment to the artificial Sykes–Picots borders demarcated by France and Britain a century ago no longer makes sense. Few people truly believe that Syria and Iraq could each be put back together after so much blood has been spilled. A better alternative would be to . . . MORE>> Click here.
Wednesday, December 30, 2015
Exclusive: Evidences that Kiev is bringing heavy armament to the frontline / Novorossia Today / December 30, 2015 / PolitNavigator found out evidences that Ukrainian Army may start attacking at Donbass. The 31st December is the end of Minsk Agreements. ‘In comparison with OSCE mission, we managed to find out evidences of the fact that Kiev returns back to the frontline not only tanks, but air defence missile systems also. Photos of military armament are posted in social networks even by fighters of Ukraine. Some of them posted even photo galleries of their positions and how they entertain with alcohol in time of military service. Failure in social networks: When Kiev started ATO last year, they miserably failed it. And they did not correct their mistakes after this experience. All fighters used mobile phones and it was easy to map them. And after this, they had scandals, and fighters were forbidden to use mobile connection in Donbass. Moreover, “instructions and methods’ of the use of phones in trenches were worked out at support of western organizations. Apparently, not all Ukrainian fighters understood the order. They keep on not only taking selfi at the frontline, but they are posting photos of positions and military weapons. In is necessary to point out that part of fighters do not turn off at their mobiles function ‘geolocation, and they ‘surrender’ positions of military bases and heavy armament moving to the demarcation line. For instance, one fighter of UAF (Ukrainian Armed Forces) Alexandr Oleynik posted . . . MORE>> Click here. Editor’s note: Many photos taken by Ukrainian troops near the front line are available at source.
Tuesday, December 29, 2015
Refusal by Kiev to Comply with Minsk-2 Will Mean Complete Failure for Ukraine – Pushilin / DAN / Edited autotranslation by Quemado Institute / December 29, 2015 / The refusal of Ukraine, by prolongation of action, to fully comply with the Minsk Agreements in 2016 will result in the complete defeat of the Kiev authorities. This view was expressed today to journalists by the head of the DPR delegation to the Contact Group Denis Pushilin. “Martin Sajdik (special representative of the OSCE and Chairman) announced that we have a schedule drawn up for the first three months of operation (for 2016). The Normandy format will be supported. If Ukraine is not able to accept a solution, they will then be guilty of disrupting the Minsk Agreements, and for them it will be a complete failure. For them, then all doors will be closed,” said Pushilin. Recall that last year a meeting in “Minsk” format was held in the capital of Belarus on December 22. Previously it was assumed that the performance of the Complex of Measures signed on February 12 would be completed by the end of 2015, but the dates January 13, 20, and 27, 2016, have already been scheduled for the next rounds of negotiations.
Ukraine: OSCE mission comes under fire in Donetsk region (VIDEO) / Ruptly / Published on Dec 27, 2015: Observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), along with DPR Ministry of Defense Deputy Corps Commander Eduard Basurin, two Russian journalists, and personnel from the Joint Center for Control and Cooperation (JCCC) came under fire during an inspection of craters from Ukrainian bombardment of the village of Kominternovo in the Donetsk region on Sunday. For VIDEO click here.
Judgment: Kiev Confirms Ineptitude of Security Forces by Legalizing Mercenaries / DAN / Edited autotranslation by Quemado Institute / December 29, 2015 / Kiev has confirmed the incapacity of Ukrainian security pfficials by legalizing the status of foreign mercenaries in Donbass, I’m sure, said the DPR People’s Council Chairman of Security and Defense Anatoliy Koval (also chairman of the faction “Donetsk Republic”). The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine December 25, 2015 adopted the Law, “On Amendments to the Law On the National Guard of Ukraine”, which provides the ability to perform military service in the National Guard under contract by foreigners and stateless persons who are lawfully present in the State. “First and foremost, it is a confirmation of incapacity of the Ukrainian army. Besides the new law [promoted by] Poroshenko also underscores the enormous losses in the ranks of Ukrainian soldiers – a lot of dead, wounded and maimed,” he said in an interview with the deputy correspondent at DAN. According to him, it is necessary to take into account the facts of mass defections by security forces. Recent reports indicate these amount to more than 16 thousand. For more than a year, Kiev has violated international law by using mercenaries. The Ukrainian government has violated a rule of international law by hiring foreign military experts, says the chairman of the faction “Donetsk Republic” in the DPR National Council Anatoly Koval. “In the Ukrainian armed forces there have been mercenaries for more than a year. According to international rules and concepts, this is a violation of all norms oin the political and military sphere,” said the deputy to the Donetsk News Agency. Recall that on November 12, 2015, a law passed by the Verkhovna Rada came into force entitled “Transmission of foreign military service in the Armed Forces of Ukraine”, thereby legalizing the use of mercenaries. The explanatory note says that the law was adopted in order to “enhance the combat capability of the UAF and reduce the human and financial cost to Ukraine, which are a consequence of the fighting in the east of Ukraine.
Nancy Perreault: by International Law, American boots on the ground in Ukraine, which is not a member of NATO nor the EU, is completely illegal / Novorossia Today / December 29, 2015 / Nancy Perreault, American journalist and public activist, living in France, wrote on her page in Facebook: For information, Nuland was not received by either Lavrov or Putin at Sochi. She waited during both of Kerry’s meetings where she was not included. Nor was she received by either when she arrived in Moscow, uninvited, a few days later. Nevertheless, she CONTINUES speaking about Crimea belonging to Ukraine as does Poroshenko, which is totally out of order, regarding the Minsk 2 cease-fire agreements, which both she and Kerry pretend now tardily, to be supporting. Not a day goes by without shelling of residential areas and infrastructure of the Donbass by forces officially Ukrainian or other. Atrocities released recently on cell phone videos are beyond description and ressemble those practiced by terrorist groups in the Middle East – you know which ones I am referring to. Such conditions, which don’t forget for a minute, include American Boots On The Ground in Ukraine since April, training National Guard forces during a cease-fire agreement signed in February and now supposedly supported by Washington, which did not negotiate or sign it – are out of place at “international partner” talks ! By International Law, American Boots on the Ground in Ukraine, which is not a member of NATO nor the EU is COMPLETLY ILLEGAL and until they are removed, Russia should not accept to receive US representatives on her own soil. That is to say, if Russia is serious!
Ukraine finds way to implement decommunization law without extra financing / TASS / December 29, 2015 / KIEV / Ukraine has discovered a way to follow its decommunization law without extra financing, taking the example from the city of Dnipropetrovsk, which kept its name, originally taken after Soviet figure Grigory Petrovsky and currently announced to be after Saint Apostle Peter. On Tuesday, the Dnipropetrovsk government decided not to rename the city but to change the origins of the existing name. According to the city website, more than 80% of its residents opposed the name changing. Leader of the “Opposition Block” party Natalia Nacharyan said that this way budgeting for supporting the residents and restoration of municipal utilities may be saved. In April, Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, passed a law condemning Communist and Nazi totalitarian regimes, banned their propaganda and symbols. In May, President Pyotr Poroshenko signed four relevant laws, or the so-called “de-communization package.” Under the law some 84 cities and towns, 857 villages and more than 10,000 streets, which names may be associated with Soviet figures, must be renamed. Editor’s note: Twitter source John Delacour tweets: “Ha ha!! They’d have a bit of a problem using that trick with #Kominternovo. They should thank #DNR for saving them the trouble.”
Monday, December 28, 2015
Ukrainian Security Forces Again Fire at Kominternovo in DPR’s South / DAN / Edited autotranslation by Quemado Institute / December 28, 2015 / DONETSK / The Ukrainian security forces again fired on the town of Kominternovo in the south of the Donets Basin, it was reported today to DAN by the head of the Novoazovskiy district Oleg Wink. “Yesterday Kominternovo was fired on again,” said the agency. “The victims, the wounded, the destruction is not only damaged power lines. Now eliminate (–tr?).” The shelling was specified [as the cause]. Recall that yesterday the Ukrainian side shot into Kominternovo during the inspection by the OSCE and STSKK, at the same place the UAF attacked on Friday (December 25). There, under sniper fire from the Ukrainian security services, was deputy commander of the DPR Ministry of Defense Corps Eduard Basurin. Later, the OSCE reported the shelling. Editor’s note: This October 2015 map from Voice of Sevastopol shows Kominternovo flying the DPR flag. There are conflicting reports about who controls it now. Update: Twitter source John Delacour tweeted at about 01:00 UTC December 29: “According to I.I.#Strelkov, #Kominternovo is firmly in #NAF hands…but the ukronazis have sabotaged the power lines.”
Spot Report by the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM): Small-arms fire impacts near SMM patrol in the vicinity of Kominternove, comes out unharmed / osce.org / December 27, 2015 / This report is for media and the general public. At 10:53hrs on 27 December, a SMM patrol comprised of six SMM members in two armoured vehicles arrived at 3.5km south-south-west of the centre of Kominternove village (92km south of Donetsk, 23km north-east of Mariupol) from “Donetsk People’s Republic” (“DPR”)-controlled Zaichenko (90km south of Donetsk), escorted by armed “DPR” members and a Russian Federation representative of the Joint Centre for Control and Co-ordination (accompanied by a media representative). There, the SMM started monitoring on foot and found three craters in an agricultural – not cultivated – field. At 11:20hrs, while conducting analysis of the third crater, the SMM heard three single shots of small arms, outgoing 150-200m north-north-west of its position, and saw the third shot impact on the ground 5-7m north-east of its position. The SMM left the area immediately. On its way to its vehicles, the SMM heard a burst of small-arms fire originated from the same location. There were no injuries to SMM members or damage to its vehicles; the SMM returned safely to its base in Donetsk city at 14:39hrs.
Three People Killed Four Wounded Last Week by Ukrainian Shelling – DPR Ministry of Defense / DAN / Edited autotranslation by Quemado Institute / Two civilians and one DPR personnel were killed this past week as a result of shelling by the Ukrainian Security Forces. Four more were injured. This was reported today at a briefing in the DAN press center by deputy commander of the DPR Ministry of Defense Corps Eduard Basurin. “The losses for the week are: one DPR army soldier killed and one wounded. Among civilians, there are two dead, and three wounded,” said a spokesman for the defense department. Earlier, on [December] 27, the DPR Ministry of Defense Corps Deputy Commander Eduard Basurin said that as a result of shelling by the UAF of the village of Zaitsevo north of Gorlovka, two civilians were killed. Editor’s note: According to a second report from DAN, the DPR Defense Ministry recorded 14 attacks on the Republic over the last day at localities Kominternovo and Novolaspa in the south of Donbass. Zhabunki, Oktyabrsky, the airport area, Zaitsev and Zhaleznaya Balka also came under enemy fire from more than 30 mines of caliber 82 and 120 mm, including 20 tank shots. For YouTube VIDEO (English subtitles) of Eduard Basurin’s December 28, 2015 Situation Report, click here.
70 saboteurs caught in DPR over past three months / DONi News / December 27, 2015 / About 70 saboteurs have been detained in the territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic for the last three months due to the curfew, reported the Head of the DPR Alexander Zakharchenko. The curfew in the territory of the DPR has been introduced since the middle of 2014. It is acting from 22:00 till 6:00. “Over the last quarter of 2015 about 70 saboteurs have been apprehended, about 16 kilograms of explosives have been seized, more than 150 units of firearms, detonators have been withdrawn. Therefore, the curfew is necessary,” said Zakharchenko.
Gryzlov appointed plenipotentiary representative in Contact Group on Ukraine – Kremlin / TASS / December 26, 2015 / MOSCOW, December 26. /TASS/. Permanent member of the Security Council of the Russian Federation Boris Gryzlov has been appointed plenipotentiary representative of the Russian Federation in the Contact Group on settlement of the situation in Ukraine, says an order by Russian President Vladimir Putin posted on the official website of legal information. “The order takes effect on the day of its signing,” the document says. The Russian delegation also comprises Russia’s special representative in the Contact Group Azamat Kulmukhametov and representatives in working subgroups: Yaroslav Moskalik in the security subgroup, Vladimir Stepanov in the humanitarian subgroup, Sergey Nazarov in the economic subgroup and Maxim Polyakov in the political subgroup. During the previous meeting of the Contact Group on December 22, its participants agreed the schedule of work for January 2016. The next meetings of the Contact Group will take place on January 13, 20 and 27, the OSCE chief’s special representative in the Contact Group Martin Sajdik said after talks. At talks in Minsk on December 22, the Contact Group on settlement in Donbass reached a joint decision to establish from 00:00 December 23, 2015 a complete and unconditional ceasefire – the sixth since the conflict start. Ukrainian troops have been engaged in fighting with local militias during Kiev’s punitive operation, underway since mid-April 2014, against the breakaway territories – the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics constituting parts of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions of Ukraine. [… More background at source.]
The fate of hundreds of political prisoners in SBU prisons is unknown / NewsFront / December 27, 2015 / The Minsk Agreements on Ukraine have been prolonged for 2016, the State Secretary, Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin told RIA Novosti. “It is already clear that they have been prolonged. Nobody is limited by timeframes. For us, it is important to achieve the result – a peaceful settlement in southeastern Ukraine. Until such a settlement is reached, we will demand active steps from our Ukrainian partners and our partners from the ‘Normandy Quartet’: push somewhere, pressure somewhere, but the whole world, and especially Ukraine, are interested in peace and tranquility in the east of Ukraine,” Karasin said. / According to the political scientist and member of the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation, Veronica Krasheninnikova, the most urgent items of the Minsk Agreements have been settled. “Yes, some kind of truce has been achieved, yes, armaments have been removed from the line of contact, but why are the Minsk Agreements not being fully implemented? Perhaps the fact that the US and the NATO countries are supplying weapons to Ukraine, providing combat training to both the so-called ‘Azov’ battalions and others, and now to the armed forces, giving the Kiev authorities some sense of permission. That is why such provocations resumed, perhaps.” Meanwhile, it is clear that an amnesty is necessary for the implementation of the agreements. “We met with representatives of various departments of the DPR and LPR and non-governmental organizations that defend the rights of prisoners, political prisoners. We also met with political prisoners. And, of course, those stories that were told to us in dry language were profoundly tragic. People who went through months of prisons, who do not even exist on paper in the SBU, the Ukrainian special services, of course, we can only imagine how it really was. Hundreds of such people are still in prisons. We asked a question of the organization the International Red Cross, which is present at each meeting in a very disciplined manner – what can they do in order to clarify the fate of those people? But the thing is that even the International Red Cross is practically unable to get into these places, because they do not exist on paper. So the fate of many hundreds of people still remains unclear, and a huge amount of work awaits us, of course.”
EU Policy Fails to Give Impression of Experience and Wisdom – Lavrov Interview with TV Zvezda / tvzvezda.ru / Edited autotranslation by Quemado Institute / December 28, 2015 / The shelling of the OSCE observers and Russian journalists in the area of the Ukrainian settlement of Kominternovo [at the contact line with the DPR] indicates the reluctance of Kiev to comply with the Minsk agreements. This was said in an exclusive interview with TV channel “Zvezda” by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. As the politician told Zvezda, in spite of the regular violations of the Minsk agreements, Western countries continue to support the officials in Kiev. Lavrov noted that European politicians often say one thing from the podium, but in backroom conversations, change their point of view,” Lavrov told the president of the station Zvezda Alexei Pimanova. “They, in general, do not give the impression of experienced, wise, far-sighted politicians, but I cannot understand sometimes why they fight on the issue itself. Sometimes what they say from the podium is contrary to what they say to you alone, when no one hears. And one by one the vast majority of EU members tell me things that I think are reasonable, that it is a mistake to confront Russia over Ukraine, which itself proved to be, in general, a victim of the policy of the European Union which forced it to make a choice,” the minister said in the interview with Zvezda. “Ukraine broke the contract with the French, the Poles and the Germans to promote [a peaceful solution]. The next morning, instead of a national unity government, there was an armed coup. And they say, well, that’s what they are now, so let things calm down a little. It is necessary to implement these agreements in Minsk, then we will return to normal interaction and strategic partnership. But when they all get together and speak from the rostrum, they cannot say that,” Lavrov stressed. The full version of the interview with Sergey Lavrov by the President of station Zvezda Alexei Pimanova [will be shown on] the TV channel on December 30 at 22:20. On Sunday, while the [OSCE] monitoring group was in the area of the Ukrainian settlement Kominternovo [at the contact line], sniper fire was opened by the Ukrainian security services. No one was hurt.
Head of LPR Igor Plotnitsky’s appeal to residents of Kherson region / DONi News / December 27, 2015 / Dear residents of the Kherson region! I know that the citizens of the Lugansk People’s Republic are watching, with great concern and sympathy, you suffering from looting and banditry by the punitive battalions controlled by Kiev and former Crimean Tatar and now Kherson-Turkish radicals. These events remind of the ones we experienced in spring of 2014. At that time the people of Donbass came out to hold peaceful demonstrations to ensure respect for their constitutional rights. However, Kiev, instead of starting a dialogue with a significant part of the country’s citizens, unleashed the ATO against us – the Anti-national Terroristic operation. We had to take up arms and survive bombings, shellings, sieges and lack of light and water. At a high price but we have defended our freedom and our legal . . . MORE>> Click here.
Ukraine’s Bankruptcy. Help from Abroad Won’t Come / by Valentin Katasonov / Strategic Culture Foundation / December 28, 2015 / On Dec. 18 the Ukrainian government officially announced its refusal to repay its $3 billion debt to Russia. Repayment was due Dec. 20. Kiev also refused to pay both the $75 million in interest on the debt, as well as the additional $507 million that two Ukrainian companies still owe to Russian banks (the Ukrainian government had promised to back those firms’ debts). Ukrainian officials have called this refusal a «moratorium», and some in the Ukrainian media have dubbed it an «embargo», but there is a crystal-clear meaning lurking behind those words, which is that the country is going bankrupt. That same day, Aleksei Pushkov, the head of the State Duma’s foreign-affairs committee, stated that if Ukraine introduced a moratorium on the payment of its debt to Russia, that would be the equivalent of the state declaring a sovereign default on its debt. And no speeches by Arseniy Yatsenyuk will be able to conceal that glaring fact. Natalie Jaresko, the minister of finance of that bankrupt state, could not come up with a better explanation of the refusal to pay the debt, other than to call it «the will of the people». The current government has forced Ukraine into a corner: the country is now being held hostage by its debt restructuring agreement. If Kiev pays Moscow, then all the private creditors who signed the restructuring agreement will cry foul. The house of cards created by the restructuring will collapse. And there’s yet another element to Kiev’s reluctance to pay. Dmitry Medvedev summed up the logic of the Ukrainian government in one short word: «crooks». Washington has done all it can to encourage Kiev’s predilection for chicanery, as well as . . . MORE>> Click here.
2016 Trends Forecast, mega analysis by Andrew Korybko / by Andrew Korybko / The Saker / December 28, 2015 / 2015 has proven to be a monumental year full of geopolitical surprises, with Russia’s anti-terrorist intervention in Syria being chief among them. The old world order is changing at a rapid pace as rising multipolar forces push outwards against the resistant unipolar establishment. Just as much as Russia, China, and Iran are endeavoring to change the global system, the US and its Lead From Behind proxies are ferociously fighting to retain it, and this engenders a serious escalation of geopolitical tensions that can appear to be largely unpredictable to many. Nevertheless, while accounting for unexpected developments that are always guaranteed to pop up, it’s still possible to identify some of the most impactful international processes that are currently reshaping the world and use them as the starting point for forecasting upcoming events. The exercise is formatted whereby all of the Eurasian supercontinent is analyzed in five separate chapters. The first part of each section begins by describing the overall state of play there before pinpointing a couple key trends that have defined the past year there. Afterwards, it then segues into a forecast about where the aforementioned processes are headed and lists a few disruptions that could occur to offset the course of events. Whenever possible, it also highlights key geopolitical fault lines and hot spots that interested individuals can monitor throughout the coming year. CHAPTER ONE Europe: State Of Play: The homeland of Western Civilization has seen its fair share of turbulence and destabilization throughout the past year, largely owing to the large-scale and purposefully intended geopolitical blowback of the US’ regime change operations in the Mideast. The overwhelming “refugee” crisis has unbalanced the origin, transit, and . . . MORE>> Click here.
Sunday, December 27, 2015
DPR Intelligence Discloses Information on UAF Unit that Shelled Kominternovo / DAN / Edited autotranslation by Quemado Institute / December 27, 2015 / DPR intelligence documented facts about the shelling of the village Kominternovo from positions of 56 separate motorized infantry brigade of the uAF [Ukrainian Armed Forces]. This was announced today during a press conference at DAN by deputy commander of the DPR Ministry of Defense Corps Eduard Basurin. “After a gross violation of the Minsk Agreements and the capture by the UAF of seven settlements in the buffer zone, the enemy took an opportunity to conduct artillery strikes on Kominternovo. Attacks were underway, including from the position of Gnutova by 56 separate motorized infantry brigade under the command of another junta puppet – Andrew Miller,” said the corps representative. Basurin stressed that security forces, in order to capture Ukrainian settlements in the buffer zone (primarily Gnutova), have not conducted Kominternovo-type attacks, as the enemy was physically unable to use mortars because of the great distances.” According to the Ministry of Defense, during only the last day in this village, “the UAF released 54 mines of caliber 82 and 120 mm.” Earlier today it was reported that the Ukrainian side, for the second time, thwarted the inspection by observers and representatives of the OSCE and STSKK mission in Kominternovo. There, under sniper fire from the Ukrainian security services, was deputy commander of the DPR Ministry of Defense Corps Eduard Basurin. Later, the shelling was reported by the OSCE. Editor’s note: In a second report, DAN quotes Eduard Basurin as saying, “It seems that the Ukrainian security forces actively oppose the efforts of the international monitoring mission and sabotage any of its initiatives. This is evidenced by the fact that the representatives of the OSCE SMM have not yet gained access to the settlements the UAF captured in the buffer zone.” As an example, Basurin noted that if you try to drive the representatives of the OSCE mission to Kominternovo and record the results of the UAF shelling, the Ukrainian side refuses to allow the international observers, citing the security situation in the village. According to a further report from DAN, Ukrainian security officials violated the ceasefire 17 times in the last day, using mortars of caliber 82 and 120 mm, as well as tanks and armored personnel carriers. The UAF bombarded the settlements of Kominternovo, Zhabunki, Zaitseva, Zheleznaya Balka, Lozove, Staromykhailivka, the Spartak district and the airport of Donetsk, using more than 125 mines, more than 10 rounds from tanks and more than 30 rounds from APC.
OSCE observers, journalists under fire in E. Ukraine / rt.com / December 27, 2015 / OSCE observers have come under fire in the Donetsk Region of Ukraine and had to abort their inspection of the village of Kominternovo on Sunday, the watchdog said, adding that none of its staff had been injured in the incident. The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine said it “confirms that an incident involving small arms fire took place, today, 27 December, at 11:20 in the vicinity of Kominternove.” There were no injuries among the mission’s members or damage done to OSCE vehicles in the attack, it added. According to the watchdog, the OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) observers had to “evacuate the area immediately” and return to their base in the city of Donetsk, held by the forces of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR). The DPR’s Deputy Head of General Staff, Eduard Basurin, and the Russian TV crew was accompanying the monitors when the shots were fired. “Fortunately, there were no victims among the journalists and OSCE mission members. Eduard Basurin also avoided injuries,” a DPR military representative told Interfax. The Rossiya 24 channel said none of its crew, who were filming in Kominternovo, were hurt. “As soon as the OSCE began its inspection, we heard separate shots. The military later told us that it was sound of the sniper rifles. It was followed by machinegun fire,” Andrey Rudenko, Rossiya 24 correspondent, said on air. “After driving around a kilometer away from the scene, we’ve heard that shells, which were presumably fired from mortars, began exploding on the very spot,” he added. Rudenko stressed the area where the attack took place is controlled by the Right Sector ultranationalist group. The fire came from the direction of Ukrainian military positions, according to Basurin. The Ukrainian Defense Ministry said the attack on the OSCE observers was a provocation staged by the self-defense forces of the Donetsk People’s Republic. The OSCE observers are working in eastern Ukraine to monitor the implementation of the Minsk peace deal, which was signed in February between Kiev and the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republic. [… More background at source.]
Ukrainian Snipers Reportedly Fire on OSCE Team, Thwarting Inspection / Sputnik / December 27, 2015 / An OSCE and JCCC inspection of an area of the Donbass under ceasefire was apparently fired upon by snipers from the Ukrainian side, thwarting an inspection of recent shelling, local media reported. An OSCE observer team and members of the Joint Center for Control and Coordination (JCCC) came under sniper fire from Ukrainian security forces, deputy commander of the headquarters of the self-proclaimed Donbass People’s Republic militia Eduard Basurin said on Sunday. A source in the Donbass militia earlier said that Ukrainian forces fired at least 240 shells at the village Kominternovo on Friday, at the demarcation line in the south of the Donets Basin. On Saturday, Eduard Basurin said that Ukrainian forces fired upon Kominternovo 15 minutes after OSCE and JCCC representatives left the area. “The delegation did not have time to work, so to say. We managed to inspect only two funnels,” Basurin said. Local media earlier reported that the inspection team, which includes Basurin, representatives of the OSCE and JCCC came under sniper fire in the Donetsk region village Kominternovo. Observers have already left the village, according local media citing a source in the self-proclaimed republic’s security forces.
Federation Council Calls Shelling of OSCE Observers in Donbass “Blatant Challenge” / RIA Novosti / Edited autotranslation by Quemado Institute / December 27, 2015 / The shelling of the OSCE representatives and journalists is a brazen challenge to world public opinion, said the first deputy chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Defense Franz Klintsevich. / MOSCOW / The shelling of the OSCE representatives by the Ukrainian security forces at Kominternovo in Donbass is a brazen challenge to world public opinion, said the first deputy chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Defense Franz Klintsevich. Earlier on Sunday, the Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) confirmed the shelling of the OSCE SMM observers in Kominternovo near Mariupol at the line of demarcation in Donbass. “Apparently, the Ukrainian security officials believe in their impunity. The shelling of the OSCE representatives and journalists is a brazen challenge to world public opinion, implying that they ‘thumb their noses’ at the affairs of others,” the senator told reporters. At the same time, said Klintsevich, Western leaders are all trying not to notice, believing, apparently, that Ukraine “is on the right path.” Earlier on Sunday, the site of channel “Russia 24” said that VGTRK journalists came under fire in the village of Kominternovo where they were sent, together with the representatives of the OSCE and the joint center for control and coordination of the ceasefire in the Donbass (STSKK) to secure a ceasefire. As was told to one of the RIA Novosti correspondents, none of the crew members was injured.
Shelling of OSCE monitors and journalists in Donbass causes serious concern – diplomat / TASS / December 27, 2015 / MOSCOW / The shelling of Russian journalists who accompanied monitors of the Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) near the village of Kominetrnovo in Donbass causes serious concerns, Russian foreign ministry’s envoy for human rights, democracy and the supremacy of the law Konstantin Dolgov said on Sunday. “These reports are preliminary, the circumstances of the incident are yet to be thoroughly investigated. But judging by the available information, a group of OSCE monitors and Russian journalists who were accompanies by the militias came under fire. First, one shot was fired, then another, including from mortars,” he said. “bearing in mind the available information and the general bad history of the work of journalists in Donbass, another shelling of journalists causes serious concern.” The Russian diplomat noted that over the course of the conflict in Donbass many Russian journalists had been killed in shelling by Ukrainian troops and neo-Nazi battalions. “It is necessary to investigate this incident, it is necessary to identify those responsible , those who systematically open fire at journalists,” Dolgov said. “I would like to stress in connection with this situation that, regrettably, not a single murder of Russian journalists, not a single incident when journalists from a number of other countries came under fire from Ukrainian troops, radical nationalists and neo-Nazi battalions has been investigated. No one has been punished.” Earlier on Sunday, reported from Russia’s VGTRK broadcaster said they had come under fire when they were accompanying monitors of the OSCE mission near Kominetrnovo. According to the journalists, fire had first been opened from firearms and after they and the OSCE monitors had left the village mortar fire was opened. The OSCE SMM confirmed reports that its monitors had come under gunfire but did not specify from which side the fire had been opened. Eduard Basurin, a spokesman for the defense ministry of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), who accompanied the OSCE monitors, said the shelling had come from the positions of the Ukrainian army.
Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Called Poroshenko A “Windbag” / Translated for Fort Russ by Ollie Richardson / Fort Russ / December 25, 2015 / The former Prime Minister of Ukraine, Mykola Azarov, commented on the speech of the President of Ukraine Poroshenko during his visit to Israel, calling his speech before the Israeli Knesset a set of phrases devoid of meaning and value. The Ukrainian President this week staged a two-day visit to Israel, where he performed in front of the local Parliament. There he stated that “Jews as a nation were direct participants in the creation” of Ukraine. While speaking in the Knesset, the President said it is a sign of respect and honor not only to himself but also to the “brothers of Ukraine the people of Israel”. “It is shameful for Ukraine. The speech was deprived of meaning and the meanings of the phrases were lies, bragging and cynical. Therefore they are not subject to analysis,” Azarov wrote on his page on Facebook. The ex-Premier of Ukraine noted that during his speech, Poroshenko said that he could remember “the words of this famous “Cyborg” warrior, Eugene Podolianchuk, who “died in January of this year in Donetsk airport”, however, as noted by Azarov, the words of the Ukrainian leader showed he could not. “Previously, these sorts of people were called a ‘Windbag’, which is a very precise definition characterized by his reference to “about half a million Ukrainians living in Ukraine,” but this pearl is already on Twitter. No comment,” said Azarov. The former Prime Minister of Ukraine, Mykola Azarov, commented on the speech of the President of Ukraine Poroshenko during his visit to Israel, calling his speech before the Israeli Knesset a set of phrases devoid of meaning and value. The Ukrainian President this week staged a two-day visit to Israel, where he performed in front of the local Parliament. There he stated that “Jews as a nation were direct participants in the creation” of Ukraine. While speaking in the Knesset, the President said it is a sign of respect and honor not only to himself but also to the “brothers of Ukraine the people of Israel”. Other Poroshenko quotes from the visit: “Today, Ukraine is a stronghold for democracy in eastern Europe as Israel is a stronghold in the Middle East.” “When evil prevails in one place it wants revenge in another place. We need to reach cooperation and unite our powers so that also in Israel, politicians will clarify better their position towards Ukraine.” “We are fighting against the Russian aggression and we are a free country. Today we are protecting our democratic regime, we want to determine our future on our own.” [Videos available at source.]