Friday, January 29, 2016
Artillery bombardments hamper OSCE monitors’ visit to Naberezhnoye village in DPR / TASS / January 29, 2016 / MOSCOW / The Ukrainian armed forces are shelling Naberezhnoye village in Ukraine’s Donetsk region where monitors of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the Joint Center for Control and Coordination (JCCC) have departed for an inspection visit, the Defense Ministry of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) said on Friday. “A delegation of the Joint Center for Control and Coordination, the OSCE and the DPR Defense Ministry has spent a few hours in Novoazovsky district trying to enter Naberezhnoye village that was shelled earlier. Now the Ukrainian side again opened fire on the village. It’s impossible to get there,” Donetsk news agency quotes the Defense Ministry spokesman as saying. DPR Defense Ministry spokesman Eduard Basurin and deputy Chief of Staff of the People’s Militia Corps Igor Yaschenko earlier said that the Ukrainian armed forces had begun to work out plans to carry out subversive activities and terrorist attacks against members of the OSCE mission “with a view to withdrawing the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) and deploy the NATO peacekeeping contingent to the area of the so-called anti-terrorist operation.”
Donbass: Clean out the oligarchs in 2016! / Red Star Over Donbass / January 28, 2016 / The struggle against the oligarchs has long been a popular slogan in Ukraine, but there was little meaning behind the phrase. While the need for such a struggle was acknowledged by virtually all politicians and political forces, they also carried out numerous and costly election campaigns on the dime of the same big capitalists. Ukrainian voters simply stopped believing in anti-oligarchy slogans, preferring to vote for the protégé of “their” oligarch. The principle of “our son of a bitch” worked in all recent elections, where the final outcome came down to representatives of “Ukrainian” vs. “Russian-speaking” oligarchs. Even the Communist Party of Ukraine, whom it would seem Marx himself ordered to fight against big capital, preferred to forego this dangerous path of struggle for comfortable alliances with the winning group of oligarchs. Then came the winter of 2013-2014, when the delicate balance of the oligarchic consensus was broken, first by the cold winds of the global crisis, and then the brutal interference of external forces in the political struggle within the country. In part because of the shrinking of the “pie” which the oligarchic groups shared, in part because of the excessive greed of Viktor Yanukovych’s entourage, virtually all Ukrainian oligarchic groups united in the struggle against his “family clan,” which included relatives and close friends of the president. Almost without exception, the oligarchs of the country supported the Maidan. Even the “boss” of Donbass, Rinat Akhmetov, after some hesitation . . . MORE>> Click here.
Thursday, January 28, 2016
Nazi Roots of Ukraine’s Conflict / by Jonathan Marshall / Consortium News / January 28, 2016 / Exclusive: Few Americans understand the ugly history behind the Nazi-affiliated movements that have gained substantial power in today’s U.S.-backed Ukrainian regime. Western propaganda has made these right-wing extremists the “good guys” versus the Russian “bad guys,” as Jonathan Marshall explains. / The latest issue of Foreign Policy magazine, one of the leading journals in its field, offers a two-page photo essay on “what to see, do, and buy” in Lviv, a picturesque city in the Western Ukraine. “Amid the turmoil that has rocked Ukraine over the past two years,” the article gushes, “Lviv has stood firmly as a stronghold of national culture, language, and identity.” That’s one way of putting it. Another, less charitable way would be to note that Lviv has for nearly a century been a breeding ground of extreme Ukrainian nationalism, spawning terrorist movements, rabid anti-Semitism, and outright pro-Nazi political organizations that continue to pollute the country’s politics. On the lovely cobblestone streets admired today by tourists flowed the blood of some 4,000 Jews who were massacred by locals in 1941, during the German occupation. They were egged on by the radical Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN), whose founder and . . . MORE>> Click here.
Wednesday, January 27, 2016
UAF Shell Northern Suburbs of Donetsk / DAN / Edited autotranslation by Quemado Institute / January 27, 2016 / Ukrainian security officials opened fire on the northern suburbs of Donetsk. The shelling was carried out with mortars, infantry fighting vehicles and AGS. This was announced to DAN today from a source in DPR law enforcement agencies. “Shelling is underway in the northern suburbs,” he said. “Under fire from the UAF are the “Volvo Center”, Zhabichevo, near the airport. According to preliminary data, the shelling came from 82 mm mortars, infantry fighting vehicles and ACS.” As reported today by the DPR Ministry of Defence, the situation has deteriorated along the contact line. Ukrainian security forces fired on the territory of the Republic 222 times, including using MLRS. Editor’s note: According to another DAN report, a woman was injured by shelling from Ukrainian security forces in the village of Zaitsevo in the northern suburbs of Gorlovka. “During the shelling of Artemovskaya Street, one woman received a head wound,” said the source. The incident occurred in the evening of January 26.
Statement by Denis Pushilin on Draft Amendments to Constitution of Ukraine / DAN / Edited autotranslation by Quemado Institute / January 27, 2016 / The DPR officially declares that Article. 18 of the transitional provisions of the Constitution of Ukraine, which Kiev submitted to the parliament for vote, is not consistent with the [requirements of] the Republic. This is a flagrant violation of the Minsk Agreement. The revision does not hold water. It is a legal fake, fabricated to deceive the people of Donbass and the world community. We do not acknowledge and do not accept the amendments to the current Constitution of Ukraine in the context of “Minsk-2”. We do not agree to them. The DPR has offered for consideration by the Contact Group a compromise amendment to the Constitution of Ukraine, prepared by our lawyers. It provides real guarantees of the special status of the Donbass and the political rights of our people, for which we have shed blood. We once again appeal to Russia and the Western countries to exert pressure on Kiev and force it to implement the Minsk Agreement.
French politician plans to visit Crimea, Donbas in response to PACE resolution — lawmaker / TASS / January 27, 2016 / CAIRO / Member of the French National Assembly Thierry Mariani will visit Crimea and Donbas in response to the resolution by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) that allegedly imposes sanctions against European deputies for such visits, Russian State Duma’s International Affairs Committee’s chairman Alexey Pushkov said on Wednesday. “Famous French deputy Thierry Mariani who was criticized in PACE for heading the delegation of French parliamentarians to Crimea, told me that in response to this resolution he wants to visit Crimea once again with a group of French deputies. He also wants to take them to Donbas by June,” Pushkov, who heads the Russian delegation to PACE, said. Mariani will thus respond to the amendment proposed by Ukraine and adopted by PACE “demonstrating that it is insignificant, and it will not have any consequences for his own activities and activities of those who consider it necessary to visit Crimea or Donbas,” Pushkov noted. “This is the response of a renowned French deputy to this amendment,” the Russian lawmaker stressed adding that PACE only took note of the “blacklists” that existed in Ukraine before. Pushkov wrote earlier today on his Twitter microblog that “PACE did not and cannot impose any sanctions on European deputies that visited Crimea and Donbas. This is another fake ‘made in Ukraine’.” Pushkov noted that PACE’s resolutions are in fact recommendations, and “they are not entitled to prohibit or allow something for deputies.” The French parliamentary delegation visited Crimea in July 2015. That was the first visit of West European parliamentarians to the Black Sea peninsula since March 2014, when Crimean citizens voted overwhelmingly for its reunification with Russia in a referendum. Delegation leader Thierry Mariani said the visit was to seek first-hand information about developments on the peninsula.
Russia won’t negotiate Crimea’s return with anyone — FM / TASS / January 26, 2016 / MOSCOW / Russia is in talks with no one on Crimea’s returning back to Ukraine as Crimea is a Russian territory, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday. “There is nothing to return, we are in talks with no one on Crimea’s return. Crimea is Russian territory in full conformity with the expression of will of Crimea’s peoples,” he said at a news conference dedicated to the results of 2015. “[It was the expression of will of] all of them, including those who had had no rights under the Ukrainian authorities and who had been granted their rights, including the state language, when Crime reunified with Russia after a referendum, the results of which are well-known.” “Of course, you can follow the logic of our Ukrainian colleagues who keep on saying they will recapture Donbas this year and get back Crimea next year but, as a matter of fact, it would be better to speak about the implementation of the Minsk agreements,” Lavrov went on to say. He drew attention to the fact that the Minsk agreements “envisage Donbas staying a part of Ukraine but with obligatory elements of decentralization.” “And the Verkhovna Rada [Ukrainian parliament] is failing to do what was agreed by the president of Ukraine,” he noted. “And as for Crimea, probably it will be better not to judge the situation based on hearsay but to go there to see,” the Russian foreign minister said, adding that many journalists and a number of European politician had already visited Crimea. “It’s better to see everything with your own eyes.” Amid a political crisis and the change of power in Ukraine in February 2014, Crimea’s Supreme Council (parliament) and Sevastopol’s City Council adopted on March 11, 2014 Crimea’s and Sevastopol’s declaration of independence. A referendum on reunification with Russia was held on March 16, 2014. With a record-breaking turnout of 80%, the overwhelming majority of Crimea’s and Sevastopol residents, mostly ethic Russians, (96.7 and 95.6%, respectively) voted in favour of ceding from Ukraine to join Russia. After the treaty of Crimea’s and Sevastopol’s reunification with Russia was approved by the Russian parliament, President Vladimir Putin on March 21, 2014 signed a federal law on admitting two new constituent entities in the Russian Federation. Despite the absolutely convincing results of the referendum, Ukraine, the United States and the European Union have been refusing to recognize Crimea as a part of Russia.
Tuesday, January 26, 2016
“Hell is Night”: Foiled UAF Attempt to Break Through; Donetsk and Gorlovka Under Massive Shelling “Worst Since January 2015” / Novorossiya Information Agency / Autotranslation (with minor editing by Quemado Institute) / January 27, 2016 01:31 / Ukrainian executioners subjected Donetsk and Gorlovka today with massive bombardment, armored vehicles and tube artillery, and tried to break between Spartak and Avdeevka. All the evening January 26 the APU [Ukrainian Armed Forces] led massive shelling of the suburbs of Donetsk. As of 12 am, the shelling and fighting continued throughout the western front line. The most heavily shelled village being Trudovska in the Petrovsky district of Donetsk, in which the APU fired from ACS, infantry fighting vehicles, 120-mm mortars, and anti-aircraft installations. Heavy machine guns and small arms. With Novomarinki on militia positions in the “stables”, next to Trudovska, Ukrainian insurgents fired mortar fire from “Cornflower”. Reported about those falling into the residential sector, the number of civilian casualties is not known. Earlier, authorities reported the shelling of the DPR western suburbs. “The shelling of the village started at 22.00 in Trudovska near the line of contact,” said the head of the district administration of Petrovsky Maxim Zhukovsky, adding that the firing is carried out with mortars and small arms. A resident of the area of Petrovsky told “Summary of the militia of New Russia” about what is happening close to her home: “From the strong discontinuities I cracked the window. This powerful artillery attack not seen since January of last year’s fighting. People are talking about a possible breakthrough, and some have already started to go down to the cellars, to what not happened. Today will be a hell is night. We’re all waiting for the militia to finally attack and expel the invaders from our land. Living every night listening to the bombardment is unbearable! We are prepared to endure battles and advance, just to get rid of the threat and to live in peace and quiet.” About the chronicle of events in the direction of Donetsk 01.26.2016 told voenkor with the call sign “Magician”: “Today is the fourth evening of aggravation of the situation and the TRN otvetku. Our answer is weak, most helpful. It works several trunks and only for those who shelled the suburbs of Donetsk.” The shelling by the APU on the airport, Octyabrsky and Spartak stopped at 21:50, but at 23:20 gunfire began again until running multiple trunks. In the area near Marinka at 22:15 the APU again began shelling positions BCH operates two tanks, machine guns (possibly KPVT), mortars, AGS. At 22:27 from Krasnogorvoki, APU began firing mortars into positions of the DPR Guard at Staromykhailivka. VSN given otvetku on batteries and mortar barrage infantry attempting to break through between Spartak and Avdeevka.” The situation remains complicated in Gorlovka, where 14 hours of the day the fighting does not abate on the northern front and in Balkakh. The most difficult situation is in the area of Zaitsevo. According to “Self-Defense Gorlovka”, at midnight the APU continued to fire mortar shells and 82 caliber 120 mm. In the area of fixed Bahmutki entering the residential sector, a house is on fire. Connects something heavy, rumbling in the distance can be heard in all the surrounding villages. The tense situation was in the “Balkakh”. Approximately 20 hours APU fired on Shirokoi Balke BMP, ACS, and heavy machine guns. Tension is also added by the message to withdraw Ukrainian observers from the Joint Center for Coordination and Control as reported by our agency before. Many fighters in the DPR Army commented on this initiative as a “finishing touch” to a large-scale offensive.
OSCE Envoy Confirms Ukrainian Staff Quit Joint Control Center in Donbass / Sputnik / January 26, 2016 / Alexander Lukashevich, the Russian envoy to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) said that the Ukrainian military officers have received orders to stop their JCCC-related work in almost all areas of the Donetsk People’s Republic. / MOSCOW / The Ukrainian military representatives have unexpectedly quit their work at the Joint Center for Control and Coordination (JCCC) tasked with observing ceasefire in eastern Ukraine, the Russian envoy to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) said Tuesday. “It has become known that the Ukrainian military officers have received orders to stop their JCCC-related work in almost all areas of the Donetsk People’s Republic [DPR]. Only two officers are still left, in one of the areas,” Alexander Lukashevich said in an interview with Rossiya-24 television. The DPR authorities said on Monday that Kiev representatives at the JCCC were recalled as early as on January 23.
Zakharchenko advises Poroshenko to worry about the legitimacy of his own defective status / Translated for Fort Russ by Tom Winter / Fort Russ / January 26, 2016 / In contrast to the rather dubious legality of the status of the president of Ukraine, the status of the head of the DNR is absolutely legitimate. The mock elections, which Poroshenko supposedly won, “can be regarded as flawed in terms of democratic standards.” This was stated by the head of DNR Alexander Zakharchenko. The statement was made in response to the attack of Poroshenko, stating the need to undo the November 2, 2014 elections in the People’s Republic, which chose the head and members of parliament. The head of the DNR said that undoing the elections will not happen, because they “have absolutely legitimate status. “The elections, resulting in Poroshenko becoming president of Ukraine, may justly be considered flawed in terms of democratic standards. “Not only that, they were the result of illegal armed revolution, and a great part of the country that picked Poroshenko president, was no longer part of Ukraine. It’s not just about the Crimea, but also about the Donbass. “So it may be a stretch to count Poroshenko’s election legitimate. In Poroshenko’s shoes, I would be more worried about the legality of my own status,” said the head of the DNR. Recall that in early April 2014 the inhabitants of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions of Ukraine, not recognizing the legitimacy of the coup, declared the establishment of the People’s Republic. When conducted in May of the same year, they held referendums declaring their sovereignty; they have formed their own governments, and in November they held elections to choose heads of republics and parliamentarians.
John Delacour on Twitter
January 26, 2016 20:20 UTC
“10pm—Ukronazis began shelling the Trudovsky quarter of Petrovsky
district, reports the local head.”
Enrico Ivanov confirms at about 19:30 UTC: “Fightings with the use of
machine guns and mortars between Marinka and Trudovskaya! #Donetsk.”
Propaganda of terrorism in Ukraine: State-provided fascists and genocide of civilians in Donbass – DPR SitRep 26.01. / DONi News / January 26, 2016 / ‘Over the past day the situation on the contact line has not changed. The Ukrainian military violated the ceasefire nine times and shelled the territory of the Republic seventy-five times,’ reported on Tuesday the Vice-Commander of the DPR Eduard Basurin, having pointed out that ‘in order to legalise the radicals, a part of the Ukrainian nationalist battalions were artificially incorporated into the AFU brigades’, due to what ‘between the AFU units and gangs of Ukrainian nationalists incorporated into them there often happen clashes followed by losses of the personnel and injuries to the soldiers.’ ‘Nationalism has become the state propaganda in Ukraine, and the nationalist radicalism has long gone beyond the control of the state and turned into terrorism. The genocide of civilians in Donbass can be a proof of it,’ emphasised Basurin. [Video available at source.] Editor’s note: Twitter sources are reporting as of about 22:00 UTC Ukrainian firing along the entire contact line, with attackes primarily near Gorlovka and the Donetsk airport.
DPR intelligence spots 30 foreign mercenaries arriving to Kiev-controlled part of Donbas / TASS / January 26, 2016 / The arrival of 30 people from a private military company communicating in English was registered in the settlement of Mirnoye in 11 kilometers from the contact line / MOSCOW / Intelligence of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) has spotted a group of foreign mercenaries arriving to the Donbass’s Volnovakhsky ditrict controlled by Kiev, DPR defense ministry spokesman Eduard Basurin told reporters on Tuesday. “The arrival of 30 people from a private military company communicating in English was registered in the settlement of Mirnoye 11 kilometers from the contact line,” Donetsk News Agency quoted Basurin as saying. DPR intelligence repeatedly reported about the presence of foreign mercenaries among servicemen of Ukrainian Armed Forces and in Ukraine’s nationalist battalions. At the start of October, Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada adopted a law “On foreigners undergoing military service in Ukrainian Armed Forces” thus legalizing recruitment of mercenaries.
Defense industry starts supplies of drones to Donbas army / zik.ua / January 26, 2016 / The Ukroboronprom Crop., uniting Ukraine’s defense sector plants, will soon supply 5 Spectator drones to the [Ukrainian] army in Donbas, the corporation announced Jan. 26. The system developed by Kyiv Polytechnic scholars is made up of three drones and a control unit, UNIAN says. Due to their small size and noiseless engines, the drones cannot be easily detected. Its maximum altitude is 2 km, with the speed of up to 120 km/hour and 2-hour flight duration. The drone can be equipped with a night vision camera, high-resolution photo camera and radiation detector.
Enemy report: Ukraine’s former PM could be appointed new leader of ‘Donetsk People’s Republic’ / uatoday.tv / January 26, 2016 / Ukrainian NGO InfoResistance names Yanukovych’s top officials Azarov and Arbuzov possible candidates to replace Zakharchenko. Mykola [aka “Nikolay”] Azarov, former Ukrainian Prime Minister during Viktor Yanukovych’s presidency, and Serhiy Arbuzov, former First Deputy Prime Minister and former National Bank of Ukraine head, are reportedly being considered by the so-called ‘political circles’ of Russian-backed militants [sic] in eastern Ukraine as candidates to replace the current leader of the so-called ‘Donetsk People’s Republic’ Oleksandr Zakharchenko, the Information Resistance Group reports. According to the Information Resistance Group, the Kremlin authorities controlling [sic] the militant Donetsk People’s Republic will dismiss Zakharchenko and appoint a new leader. Azarov and Arbuzov, as well as a former governor of one of the southern regions of Russia, are considered to take the office. Russia’s Novaya Gazeta newspaper wrote in the middle of December 2015 that Ukraine’s ousted ex-president Viktor Yanukovych and other top officials and businessmen from his entourage that fled to Russia could reemerge as leaders of the self-proclaimed ‘Donetsk’ and ‘Luhansk People’s Republics’ terrorist [sic] organizations in the occupied areas of Donbas. Quemado Institute comments: We decided to post this enemy article to alert readers to the divisive nature of Ukrainian propaganda. The NGO InfoResistance clearly has subversive intent. It is extremely important for the DPR’s future that Alexander Zakharchenko, who fought on the battlefield for the Republic, remain Head of State. Even though some pro-Novorossiya observers criticize his stance on the Minsk agreements, a substitute candidate appointed by traitorous Kremlin oligarchs would be far worse. Editor’s note: Quemado Institute’s Karl Pomeroy left the following comment under this article at uatoday.tv: “Please realize that the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republic forces are not ‘terrorist organizations’. The technical definition of ‘terrorism’ is ‘the deliberate killing or harming of civilians to create terror for political ends.’ The DPR/LPR forces have never deliberately killed or harmed civilians. They are fighting against the Kiev military for their way of life, their land, homes and beliefs. Poroshenko’s army began bombing the civilians of Slavyansk in the Spring of 2014, following the illegal violent US-backed coup that overthrew Viktor Yanukovich, Ukraine’s democratically elected president supported by the voters of Donbass. That makes the Ukrianian military technically a terrorist organization. The French delegation that recently visited Donetsk concluded, after viewing residential housing shelled by the Ukrainian army, that it was indeed the Ukraine Armed Forces that were guilty of terrorism.”
Yatsenyuk figured out how to stall for time with the amendments to the Constitution / mia.news / January 26, 2016 / The so-called Kiev war party strikes back on the initiatives of Waltzman. Things got too hot and it became clear that one boycott in Parliament the issue of amending the Constitution of Ukraine does not get off that easy, the radical part of the “Parliament” of the junta resorted to a proven method. Ukrainian fanatics instantly remembered about the people and decided that there should be a referendum. This was not without pathos said by the Prime Minister of the Kiev junta Arseniy Yatsenyuk in the program “10 minutes with Prime Minister” on Sunday evening. “It is time that the Ukrainian people have spoken, what should be the new Ukrainian Constitution in the European Ukraine. No one but the people of Ukraine have the right to determine what will be the Basic law,” said Yatsenyuk. However, he stressed that the referendum on the Constitution is a “direct democracy in a free and democratic country for which we fought two years ago on the Maidan and now protected with arms in our hands”. “The new Constitution — is a new social contract among citizens and the power they chose. It’s the Treaty on the distribution of rights and responsibilities inside the government — among the President, government and Parliament. It’s the relationship agreement between the center and the regions. It’s the agreement on creation of a new honest and fair court, not a reassignment of existing. It’s agreement on a clear geopolitical goal of Ukraine — membership in the European Union and NATO,” said Yatsenyuk.
Vladimir Putin: The transfer of Donbas to Ukraine was nonsense! / joinfo.com / January 26, 2016 / Speaking at the forum of public movement “Russian People’s Front” Vladimir Putin said that Donbas was transferred to Ukraine by a pure coincidence, and without thinking, Joinfo.ua reports with reference to the Kremlin website. “Stalin formulated the idea of autonomization of the future Soviet Union. According to it, all the actors of the future state were to enter the Soviet Union on the basis of autonomy with broad powers. Vladimir Lenin [the first head of the Soviet Union] criticized the position of Josef Stalin and said that it was untimely, wrong idea. And what’s more, Lenin promoted the idea of entering all future actors of this state, and then there were four of them – Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and, by the way, the south of Russia – North Caucasus Federation,” – said Putin. ”Lenin advocated that the Soviet Union was formed on the basis of complete equality, with the right to secede from the Soviet Union. That’s what he said, I could be wrong, but the idea is clear. And this was a time bomb under the building of our statehood. Not only that multinational ethnic groups were tied to the borders and territories of, in fact, a unitary state, but the borders were arbitrarily determined and, in general, not always justified”, – Putin stated. “For example, on what basis was Donbas transferred to Ukraine? … It’s nonsense, you know? And this is not the only example, there are many of them”, – said Russian president. “Cultural autonomy is one thing, autonomy with broad state powers – is another, and the right to secede from the state is the third thing. And in the end, all this along with inefficient economic and social policies led to the disintegration of the state. That was a time bomb, “- said Putin. It should be recalled that yesterday BBC Panorama showed the results of an investigation, where Adam Szubin, who oversees US Treasury sanctions, told that the US government had known president Putin was corrupt for “many, many years.” Today the Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that allegations of corruption against Vladimir Putin were “pure fabrication and slander.”
U.S. Wants Russia Collapse to Gain Its Resources – Security Council Head / Novorossia Today / January 26, 2016 / The U.S. wants to dissolve Russia so it can get access to its resources, Russia’s Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev said in an interview with the Moskovsky Komsomolets newspaper on Tuesday. “The US government has a goal — to dominate the world. It’s possible that they want to achieve this goal through Russia’s collapse, which will allow the U.S. access to its rich resources, which, in their opinion, Russia does not deserve to possess,” Patrushev was quoted by the newspaper as saying. Patrushev also added that Moscow is not interested in a standoff with the West. “The initiator of the current conflict is the U.S. Europe obeys their will,” Patrushev was quoted as saying. In the interview with the Kommersant newspaper last year, Patrushev said that the U.S. wished that Russia didn’t exist as a country and that it considers Russia’s possession of the Far East and Siberia illegal.
Novorossiya Today Editors and Readers: Best Wishes and Congratulations to Graham Phillips on his Birthday / Novorossia Today / January 26, 2016 / January 26 thirty six years ago independent war correspondent Graham Phillips was born. British subject Graham or as he’s being called in Donbass Grisha is risking daily his life to reveal the truth about war crimes of Ukrainian army to the whole world. Being on the front line almost everyday the British reporter had narrow escape more than once: was taken into captivity by Ukrainian military, he was wounded by shrapnel on Novemeber 24 while preparing report in Peski area, after that he proceeded with treatment at one of Donetsk hospitals. Russian Spring editors and readers would like to join numerous congratulaions and wish all the luck, health and happy returns of the day to Graham. All of us would also like to thank you for your dedication, honesty and attitide, Mr. Phillips.
Sunday, January 24, 2016
Poroshenko’s Statement on Restoration of Ukraine’s Sovereignty in Donbass Region in the Coming Year / by Alexander Zakharchenko / Zakharchenko official website / Edited autotranslation by Quemado Institute / January 23, 2016 / Petro Poroshenko has promised to restore the sovereignty of Ukraine in all its former territory, including Donbass. I take this as a promise to implement all of the activities discussed in Minsk almost a year ago. Poroshenko even spoke about the “consistency and logic” of the Minsk process. It’s a good promise. Now we have to carry it out. That is, point by point, starting with the first and second items—that there will be a ceasefire, and the removal of heavy weapons from the line of contact. And our task is to ensure that Kiev is not engaged in cheating and does not put forth any imitation in place of taking real steps. For example, on February 2, Kiev is supposedly planning to adopt amendments to the constitution. Open the text and read it—first of all, it does not talk about amendments and “Constitutional Reform” (paragraph 9), as a result of which there should be a “new constitution” (paragraph 11); and secondly, all this was to be done “in consultation and in agreement” with the representatives of our Republics. Kiev has made no attempt to reconcile [their amendments] with our constitutional innovations. Therefore, if on February 2, Kiev makes amendments that do not lead to constitutional reform, and during the intervening days does not make attempts to reach an agreement with us on these amendments, we will be witnessing, on February 2, political fraud. Unless Poroshenko fulfills his promises, we will not see any accomplishment by Kiev of the Minsk agreements, and therefore, the restoration of sovereignty. And finally, in his speech, Poroshenko said that Kiev has to do, and that Russia should do, the things suggested by the Western community. Whether that would restore our Republic, Poroshenko did not say. Does this mean that we do not have to take [steps]? Or does it mean that Poroshenko is still allegedly at war with Russia, but Russia remains unaware of this? I would recommend Petro Poroshenko clear up his vision and begin to distinguish the features of reality. Then perhaps he will see that his forces and punitive battalions are near Donetsk, not Moscow. Maybe, after changing his glasses, Poroshenko will become a great realist, and then between us, real political dialogue on the settlement of the conflict can begin.
Two civilians Injured by UAF Gunfire in Village of Zaitsevo – Eduard Basurin / DAN / Edited autotranslation by Quemado Institute / January 24, 2016 / Two civilians in the village of Zaitsevo, a suburb of Gorlovka, were wounded by gunfire from the Ukrainian Armed Forces. This was reported to DAN by deputy commander of the DPR Ministry of Defense Corps Eduard Basurin. “At 12.05 as a result of shelling by the UAF, presumably from the ACS or the CBC, two civilians were injured, a grandmother born in 1958, and her granddaughter, born in 2001,” he said. Recall that the aggravation of the situation in the area of Zaitsevo, near Gorlovka, began after the occupation by the UAF of villages in the buffer zone. The DPR has repeatedly stated that the demilitarization along the demarcation line will be the key to the normalization of the situation in the region.
UAF Begins Clearance at Front to Prepare for Capture of Buffer Zone – Ministry of Defense / DAN / Edited autotranslation by Quemado Institute / January 24, 2016 / Ukrainian security officials are preparing to engage in the territory of the neutral zone in the Mariupol area, and for this purpose, have already begun work on demining explosives. This was announced today at a Donetsk News Agency briefing by deputy commander of the DPR Ministry of Defense Corps Eduard Basurin. “Intelligence of the Donetsk People’s Republic continues to record the facts about enemy preparations for aggression in the direction of Mariupol,” he said. “For this purpose, near the village of Talakovka, six kilometers from the line of contact, they are demining mine-explosive engineering obstacles, anti-tank and anti-personnel mines for the further advance of security forces in the buffer zone, in order to use it as a springboard for attack.” Basurin added that at the same time in the area of Donetsk, work on additional construction of engineering structures was recorded. “To this end, in the area of Marinka (near Donetsk) ten units of engineering equipment arrived,” he added.
Summary events of Novorossiya, January 24, 2016 (VIDEO) / topnews.lg.ua (Anna News) / January 24, 2016 / Ukrainian fighters opened fire at 6 settlements near the contact line. The Deputy Commander of Corps of the DPR the Ministry of Defence Eduard Basurin reported to the Donetsk News Agency at a briefing today. Fighters shelled the territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic 88 times. The settlements: Zhabichevo, Belokamenka, Novolaspa, Zaytsevo in the north of Gorlovka, Veseloe, Spartak, Volvo-Center and the area of the airport in the north of Donetsk were subjected to fire. Fighters used mortars of 82 and 120-mm calibre, infantry fighting vehicles and grenade launchers. Ukrainian battalions shelled the territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic from the settlements Peski and Opytnoe. As a result of shelling 2 civilians, grandmother and her granddaughter, were wounded in the settlement Zaytsevo to the north of Gorlovka. Eduard Basurin reported to the Donetsk News Agency today. DPR field engineers finished to demine the railway Elenovka-Yuzhnodonbasskaya to the Mariupol direction. It was 1 of 12 objects, that were coordinated in Minsk. The head of the DPR delegation in the Contact Group Denis Pushilin reported today. [Video available at source.]
Ex-CIA official in Donetsk: ‘US business is to export death and destruction here’ – DONi Video (Part 1) / DONi News / January 23, 2016 / The new and interesting international volunteer in Donbass is a former CIA official from Seattle, United States. David “Dave” Simpson gave two exclusive interviews to DONi News Agency on Saturday. He told us about the reasons why he had overcome to the side of the Donetsk People’s Republic, and what he saw behind and around the war in Donbass. The first video interview was recorded in the DONi News office, the second one near the Donetsk Airport. “The more I saw US tax dollars spent to bomb people, to kill people here, and not just here, in Afghanistan, Iraq – all over the globe, it’s becoming the American business model to export death and destruction, rather than anything what is productive and helps people. And the more damages I saw to people here, the more I knew, I had to come and try to help,” said Simpson. The former CIA official, who has recently moved to Donbass permanently, is in full readiness to give his helping hand with all his professional and governmental experience for the new Republic and the DPR officials. Part 2: Ex-CIA official in Donetsk Airport: ‘Destruction is like in major World War’ – DONi Video Interview by: Janus Putkonen, DONi News Agency, Chief-Editor. [Video available at source.]
Ukraine Has Gone Mad, Will Take Russia To Court Over Crimea, Good Luck! / Novorossia Today / January 25, 2016 / Ukraine will lodge suits against Russia over Crime with international courts in the next two weeks, Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko said on Sunday. “We have stressed our position that Crimea is to top the agenda of our international partners,” he said in an interview with Ukrainian television channels. “In a span of two weeks, you will see a number of suits, including related to individual companies, we will lodge with various international courts.” Amid a political crisis and the change of power in Ukraine in February 2014, Crimea’s Supreme Council (parliament) and Sevastopol’s City Council adopted on March 11, 2014 Crimea’s and Sevastopol’s declaration of independence. A referendum on reunification with Russia was held on March 16, 2014. With a record-breaking turnout of 80%, the overwhelming majority of Crimea’s and Sevastopol residents, mostly ethic Russians, (96.7 and 95.6%, respectively) voted in favour of ceding from Ukraine to join Russia. After the treaty of Crimea’s and Sevastopol’s reunification with Russia was approved by the Russian parliament, President Vladimir Putin on March 21, 2014 signed a federal law on admitting two new constituent entities in the Russian Federation. Despite the absolutely convincing results of the referendum, Ukraine, the United States and the European Union have been refusing to recognize Crimea as a part of Russia.
Saturday, January 23, 2016
Zakharchenko: On Amendments to Constitution of Ukraine / by Alexander Zakharchenko / Zakharchenko official website / Edited autotranslation by Quemado Institute / January 23, 2016 / At a press conference held on January 22 in Donetsk, the Head of the People’s Republic of Donetsk Alexander Zakharchenko answered journalists’ questions concerning the initiatives of the Kiev authorities to amend the Constitution of the Ukrainian state on February 2. Question: On February 2, Kyiv is going to amend the constitution, and it may be a law “On special status of the individual regions of Donetsk and Lugansk Oblasts.” What is your attitude to this? Zakharchenko: If Kiev is going to consider amendments to the Constitution, I want to remind you what a full response to the Minsk Agreement means. Skipping a few points, we stop at paragraph 9: “The local elections in some regions of the Donetsk and Lugansk Oblasts of Ukraine [are to be held] on the basis of law and constitutional reform by the end of 2015, subject to paragraph 11, in consultation and in agreement with the representatives of individual areas.” The key words are “in consultation” and “in agreement”. To date, none of the representatives of the Kiev authorities have attempted, either with me or with the leadership of the People’s Republic of Lugansk, to agree on anything. Therefore, they can adopt anything they want, any amendments. This will be an internal affair of Ukraine. It will not be our internal affair. I quoted item 11 because this is the document that bears my signature. Constitutional reform in Ukraine will enter into effect—I emphasize, this was in the official document—a new constitution. Ukraine should not make corrections, but completely change the constitution. Regarding the state border: at the moment, the Ukrainian military has stationed their border guards along the line of contact. That is the state border of Kiev. At present, it lies on the line of contact with us. We have a state border and it is well controlled. Paragraph 12, again: according to the Law of Ukraine “On temporary order of local government in some regions of the Donetsk and Lugansk Oblasts,” questions regarding the local elections will be discussed and agreed with the individual regions of Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republic. Thus, at each point appears the word “coordinate”. Pay attention—no one has reached an agreement with us. And once again, dear Ukrainians, not “amendments” to the Constitution, but the new Constitution, as such, means a new election law. And anyway, all this must be new. This is the document which I signed, as did Igor Plotnitsky, the representative of the OSCE, Russian Ambassador to Ukraine Mikhail Zurabov and former Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma. Therefore, no progress in this regard can be made if Ukraine takes whatever it pleases. We’ve already had a laugh about it. Question: And how, in this regard, do you generally see the future of Ukraine and its territorial integrity as possible? Zakharchenko: Another Chornovil in 1989 [sic], that year in his speech said that the federalization of Ukraine is the only way to save it. And his predecessors are currently nationalists. As I see it, this is the structure of a neighboring state. This keyword is “neighboring”. I wonder about the fate of the state, with whom we are fighting, or trying to make peace. Now I do not remember, it was about ten areas: Galicia, Bukovina, Sloboda, Transcarpathia, Hetman, Kiev region, Tavriya and so on. And then he suggested that Ukraine should be federated, and regardng the Republic of Crimea, he proposed to conclude a contract as an independent state. I now propose to disperse civilized Ukraine. How did the Czech Republic and Slovakia do it? We have already had people killed. I propose simply to disperse, to free the territory of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republic, to conclude with them, as I said earlier, any economic agreements. And even if they will be involved in their own country, at the moment their situation is very tense. That is my opinion on Ukraine.
Is the US unleashing a deadly virus in Donbass, Ukraine? / by Stephen Lendman / sott.net / Is Washington intending biological war on its area residents? Chemical, biological and radiological warfare is longstanding US practice, used in direct and proxy wars, Syrians and Yemenis notably affected. On January 22, the Donbass International News Agency (DINA) headlined “Deadly virus leaked from US laboratory – DPR Army and Intelligence,” saying: “More than 20 Ukrainian soldiers have died and over 200 are hospitalized,” affected by a virus “immune to all medicines.” Thousands of Ukrainian troops are stationed menacingly in areas bordering Donbass. Intermittent shelling continues, civilians largely threatened. The lab in question is located in Shelkostantsiay, about 30 km from Kharvov near Donbass. “US military experts” operate there, said DINA. Donbass Deputy Defense Minister/spokesman Eduard Basurin informed area residents of a potential epidemic. “According to the medical personnel of the AFU units (Ukrainian troops), there were recorded mass diseases among the Ukrainian military personnel in the field,” he said. “Physicians recorded the unknown virus as a result of which the infected get (a) high fever which cannot be subdued by any medicines, . . . MORE>> Click here. Editor’s note: see also uatoday.tv report Ukraine Flu Virus: Death toll rises to over 50.
Implementation of EU-Ukraine Association Agreement (I) / by Dmitry Minin / Strategic Culture Foundation / January 23, 2016 / Ukraine is «saving Europe»!? The full implementation of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, along with the opening of the Free Trade Area between the two parties on Jan. 1, 2016, was expected by Kiev to be an important historic milestone, upon which all of Ukraine’s problems would miraculously melt away. But what actually happened? The beginning of the year brought dismal news to Kiev from Holland. An extensive survey showed that a large majority of the Dutch (78%) intend to vote against the ratification of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement during the upcoming April 9 referendum in Holland. No one was expecting this number to be so disastrously high. The Hague and Kiev have until now not been inclined to attach much importance to the impending vote, reminding everyone that it is non-binding, since the Dutch parliament already completed the procedure to ratify the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement back on July 7, 2015. However, the survey results have shaken their confidence. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has stated that although it is a non-binding referendum, the law requires the government to define its position and present that to parliament. But Rutte promised that his government would work to ensure a positive outcome, as that agreement is in the Netherlands’ best interests. And he tried to be clear that this document in no way represents Ukraine’s first step . . . MORE>> Click here.
Friday, January 22, 2016
Funeral Service for Those Killed on Donetsk Trolley / Zakharchenko official website / Edited autotranslation by Quemado Institute / January 22, 2016 / On January 22, the Head of the Donetsk People’s Republic participated in the funeral service for those killed in the terrorist attack on the trolley bus [in Donetsk, January 22, 2015]. “Today we remember our fellow countrymen, who a year ago came under fierce shelling. The funeral service was held for the dead in the trolley. These people just wanted to live … There was no military present, this was not the front line, and the Ukrainian fascists simply fired on the peaceful city. And there are places in our Republic where this happens a lot: Gorlovka, Shahtersk, Snezhnoye … Dozens of our compatriots have also laid down their lives for the most noble reasons, for the sake of what we live for – our freedom and our children. We have to remember these people. Those carrying out these punitive atrocities want our children to live in basements, so we are left without light, water and gas, so that we cannot live. But we will live! We raise and teach our children, build our country. And in spite of it all, we will make our country happy. This is the most that we can do for all of those who laid down their lives in this war. To the bright memory of them,” said Alexander Zakharchenko at the service. On the anniversary of the tragedy at the scene of the monument, a memorial service was held to mourn for the innocent victims. Hundreds of Donetsk residents commemorated a minute of silence. Editor’s note: Our report from one year ago reads: “Donetsk Trolley Bus Shelled. At least 7, with some reports estimating as many as 13, civilians were killed when a shell hit a trolley bus this morning in an area of Donetsk that had not suffered previous attacks. Ukraine denies its forces were responsible. OSCE monitors however, reported that a shell that exploded in the middle of the road came from the northwest and could have originated from Ukrainian holdout positions at the Donetsk airport. Outraged over the attack, Novorossiya Armed Forces personnel paraded about a dozen Ukrainian POWs, who were captured at the Donetsk Airport, through the streets of the city to the bus stop where the tragic attack occurred.”
Opening of Monument to Victims of Tragedy at Trolley Stop Attended by Over Five Thousand People / DAN / Edited autotranslation by Quemado Institute / January 22, 2016 / A funeral ceremony in memory of the victims of the shelling of the bus stop in Donetsk drew today a crowd of more than five thousand DPR residents. A year after the tragedy, a monument has been erected to the victims. The ceremony was attended by DPR Head Alexander Zakharchenko, Deputy chairman of the National Council of the Republic Olga Makeev, parliamentarians, social activists and residents of the capital. “These people just wanted to live. Many of our countrymen gave their lives for a noble purpose for which we live – for the freedom of our children, our grandchildren and our land. We have to remember these people. To the bright memory of the victims,” said the Head of the Republic. The memorial is a granite candle about one meter in height. On the pedestal were carved out the names of eight people killed by the shelling. The monument was consecrated by father Nicholas and Nicholas clergy of the deanery of Donetsk. Students of the Moscow Military Command School fired three rifle volleys into the air. “Today is one of the most bitter days in the history of our city and our Republic. Each of the victims had their plans, hopes and dreams, a whole life. But it was broken because of a criminal order to kill,” the Vice-Speaker of Parliament said in his speech. Requiem students visited the Leninsky district. A student of school No. 26, read a poem of his own composition called “Trolley. January 22nd.” The mourning ceremony ended with a moment of silence, and the meeting participants laid flowers at the monument. A year ago, on January 22, Kiev militants fired artillery at the Leninsky district of Donetsk. The shells hit the area of public transport along Kuprin Street. According to official figures provided today by the General Prosecutor’s Office of the DPR, by eight people were killed and 26 injured by the shelling. Previously it was assumed that the fire on the city bus was conducted with mortars, but according to the findings of the investigation, which this morning was published the Donetsk News Agency, the shelling came from the north-west side, using large-caliber artillery shells. In the high-rise buildings near the place of shelling, people still aren’t living, and many windows are broken or boarded up.
Summary events of Novorossiya, January 22, 2016 (VIDEO) / Anna News / January 22, 2016 / Today Ukrainian fighters disrupted repairs on power lines in the settlement Zaytsevo to the north of Gorlovka. The Deputy Commander of Corps of the DPR the Ministry of Defence Eduard Basurin reported to the Donetsk News Agency at a briefing today. It was the fifth time – he added. Ukrainian fighters had been shelling Petrovsky district in the west of Donetsk for several hours. The head of administration Maxim Zhukovsky reported to the Donetsk News Agency today. 3 electrical substations were damaged in the settlement Trudovskie. Specialists worked there. The power line was also damaged. At present 3 streets don’t have electricity. Ukrainian fighters used mortars and small arms. Moreover, the house was damaged in Alexandrovka. Fighters used grenade launchers. As a result of shelling a roof was destroyed. Residents were not injured. Ukrainian fighters shelled the territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic 153 times. The DPR Ministry of Defense reported to the Donetsk News Agency today. According to the Ministry of Defense, the settlements: Zaytsevo in the north of Gorlovka, Staromikhaylovka, Alexandrovka, Trudovskie, Zhabunki, Spartak and the area of the airport in the north of Donetsk were subjected to fire. Moreover, Ukrainian fighters opened fire at the settlements: Belaya Kamenka of the Telmanovsky region and Kominternovo in the south of Donbass. Fighters launched 44 mines of 82 and 120-mm calibre, 1 tank shot, 88 shots from grenade launchers and 27 shots from infantry fighting vehicles. One militiaman of the DPR was killed. [Video available at source.]
Hundreds of Ukrainian Military Hospitalized with Suspected “Swine Flu” – Intelligence / DAN / Edited autotranslation by Quemado Institute / January 22, 2016 / A leak of a deadly influenza strain from the lab in the Kharkov region could become a cause of hospitalization this week of hundreds of Ukrainian servicemen. This was announced today at a briefing in the DAN press center by Vice commander Eduard Basurin of the DPR Defense Ministry Corps, citing intelligence data. “DPR nvestigators previously noted the conduct of research in a private laboratory in Shelkostantsiya village, 30 km from the city of Kharkov, with the involvement of US military experts. “According to our information, a leak of the deadly ‘California’ strain of influenza has occurred there,” said Basurin. “Since the beginning of this week, the military and civilian hospitals in Kharkov and Dnipropetrovsk have received more than 200 Ukrainian security officials.” Note that this flu strain referred to as “California” is causing the human and animal disease widely known as “swine flu.” According to Basurin in general in the ranks of the UAF military they are now seeing an epidemic of acute respiratory diseases. Earlier DPR intelligence repeatedly reported a high incidence of viral diseases among the participants of Kiev’s punitive operation in Donbass. In particular, on 12 January it was reported that more than two dozen security officials were killed by the virus, unfamiliar to doctors in the field, and on January 15 the deaths of seven more cases became known.
Moscow Believes Kiev Forces May Be Behind Firing at OSCE Mission in Donbass / Sputnik / January 22, 2016 / MOSCOW (Sputnik) – On January 16, the OSCE monitoring mission came under fire near Marinka in the Donetsk region. No one was injured in the incident. “It is absolutely inadmissible to fire at the observers. We consider statements claiming that Ukrainian forces are not behind the incident in Marinka to be unconvincing,” Alexander Lukashevich said in a statement. The Ukrainian Armed Forces are increasing their presence by changing the geography of the line of contact in eastern Ukraine, he said. “The [OSCE] Special Monitoring Mission [in Ukraine] noted at the end of last year the presence of Ukrainian troops in the populated areas of Pavlopol, Pischevik, and Zaitsevo, which were not occupied before [by the military]. The Ukrainian Armed Forces have been gradually increasing their presence there. Apparently, a unilateral change in the geography of the contact line in Donbass happened.” The return of Kiev’s control over the Russian-Ukrainian border depends on the political settlement in the country, Alexander Lukashevich said. “We will remind once again that the issue of returning control of the border to Kiev directly depends on reaching an overall political settlement,” Alexander Lukashevich said during an OSCE meeting.
Surkov and Nuland Help Find Cause Minsk-2 Kiev Failure – Zakharchenko / DAN / Edited autotranslation by Quemado Institute / January 22, 2016 / The meeting between Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland and presidential aide Vladislav Surkov should contribute to the conflict settlement in Donbass and a determination of the reasons why Kiev does not fulfill the Minsk agreement. This opinion was expressed today to journalists by DPR Head Alexander Zakharchenko. “Direct contact with Washington will help resolve the problem regarding the fact that Kiev absolutely does not want to abide by the Minsk Agreement, finds a thousand reasons and tricks to misquote things and to change everything, for the sake of certain immediate benefits,” said the DPR leader. Zakharchenko said that in this regard, he supports contact with Russia and the US, and generally refers to the meeting positively. “It’s no secret that the owners of Kiev are in Washington,” noted the Head. Recall negotiations between Surkov and Nuland took place in the Kaliningrad region of the Russian Federation on 15 January and lasted about six hours. The assistant to the President of the Russian Federation described the meeting as “a kind of brainstorming to find a compromise for the implementation of the Minsk Agreement.”
Moscow Doubts MH17 Joint Investigation Group Aims to Find Truth / Sputnik / January 21, 2016 / Moscow doubts that the joint team, engaged in investigating the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, is seeking to find the truth about the tragedy, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswomen Maria Zakharova said Wednesday. / MOSCOW / Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crashed on July 17, 2014 with 298 people on board in eastern Ukraine after being shot down en route to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam, leaving no survivors. Most of the victims were Dutch citizens, and the Dutch Safety Board is heading the international investigation into the incident. “The agenda-driving and biased approach to Russia can be seen not only at the level of foreign state agencies, it very boldly and almost openly predominates in a host of foreign media outlets, which smacks of work [being done] to order. This entire situation makes us doubt that the joint investigation team is interested in principle in seeking the truth,” Zakharova said at a briefing. According to Zakharova, open politicization of the process is far removed from the way a true investigation should be conducted. “We will not tolerate the selective approach being applied by the joint investigation team: this is interesting, that isn’t, we don’t even notice the other,” the spokeswoman stressed. The Netherlands, Australia, Belgium, Ukraine, and Malaysia form the task force that is conducting a criminal investigation into the crash. Dutch investigators published a report last October that said that the airliner appeared to have been downed using a Russia-produced Buk surface-to-air missile system. It was unable to identify the exact location from where the missile was fired. However, new facts obtained by Russian experts through an additional study confirm that some of the findings in the final report Dutch on the MH17 crash in Ukraine were unsubstantiated and inaccurate. Editors note: For more on topic see Quemado Institute Rebuttal: MH17 Dutch Investigation Weak, Inconclusive, and Flight MH17: Theory on the Motive for the Shootdown.
Thursday, January 21, 2016
Pete John on Twitter
Donbass Battle Map
January 21, 2016 17:00 UTC
(Click to enlarge.)
Donbas Elections, Special Status Impossible At This Point – Kuchma / Enemy report from Ukraine Business Online / Errors marked [sic] —QI editor / January 21, 2016 / KYIV / The leaders of the self-declared Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics aren’t fulfilling [sic] the recommendations of the Trilateral Contact Group on a cease-fire regime and exchanging hostages, Concorde Capital informed its clients today, based on a Jan. 20 statement by former president Leonid Kuchma, as reported by his press secretary. “It’s not possible to talk about elections or constitutional amendments – let alone resolving humanitarian and economic problems and issues of mine removal – without a cease-fire, without the full removal of heavy artillery and confirmation by the OSCE and without the renewal of our control of the Ukrainian-Russian border,” Kuchma said. Ukraine is also concerned about attacks against OSCE monitors in occupied Donbas [videos show these attacks conducted by Ukrainian snipers –QI editor], he said, which reflects the deterioration of safe working conditions. The next meeting of the contact group will occur in Minsk on Jan. 27. Kuchma’s position was repeated the same day by Iryna Herashchenko, the president’s ombudsman to resolve the Donbas conflict and member of the Trilateral Contact Group’s humanitarian subgroup. The vote for constitutional amendments that would set the legal foundation for Donbas de facto autonomy first requires all safety preconditions and the fulfillment of humanitarian points, in addition to the military-related requirements of the Minsk accords, she said on her Facebook page. “Pressure needs to be applied on the country violator and occupier, the Russian Federation [sic],” she wrote. The Petro Poroshenko Bloc plans to include in the parliament’s daily agenda on Jan. 28 the constitutional amendments for decentralization and creating the legal basis for Donbas de facto autonomy, said on Jan. 20 Parliamentary Deputy Head Ihor Kononenko, as reported by Interfax-Ukraine. The amendments have to be submitted next week because it’s the last week of the current parliamentary session, he pointed out. Concorde analyst Zenon Zawada added: “Indeed the talk about elections and creating the Donbas de facto autonomy is premature when even the most basic requirements of the Minsk accords aren’t being upheld. It’s possible that when these matters come up for a vote in parliament, the Russian-backed terrorists [sic] will be ordered by Moscow to halt their fire and comply with Minsk, as they had done when Russian President Putin embarked for the United Nations in September. “Yet besides this on-the-ground problem, the amendments also face a legal hurdle. The law requires the second reading of amendments to be passed by the end of the session subsequent to when the first reading was approved. Otherwise, the procedure for approving amendments has to start anew. A group of 51 MPs has already appealed to the Constitutional Court to determine whether the second vote on the amendments can be held in the next session, avoiding the need to return to square one. “We don’t expect the elections and amendments will be approved this month. At least two factions in the coalition, Self-Reliance and Oleh Lyashko’s Radical Party, still confirm they won’t support the amendments, which require a super-majority of 300 votes (out of 450). And we believe it’s unlikely that elections will be held at all.”