Tuesday 26 August 2014

Ukraine update - 08/25/2014

Ukraine President dissolves parliament, paves way for early election
Ukrainian president, Petro Poroshenko, has made the decision to dismiss the country’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, a message on his official Twitter account says

25 August, 2014
The decision comes because “the majority of the MPs voted for dictator-style laws,” which cost the lives of Maidan activists, RIA Novosti news agency reports citing Poroshenko's spokesman.
Dear compatriots, Today I have taken a decision to early dissolve the Parliament.

The election of the new parliament will be held on October 26, the spokesman Svyatoslav Tsegolko wrote on his Facebook page.

Poroshenko has called on “democratic forces” in Ukraine to enter the elections as a united “pro-Ukrainian, pro-European team,” Tsegolko’s Facebook post states adding that the Rada was dismissed “because it is the only right and responsible decision.”

The Fifth Column in the parliament consists of dozens of so-called people’s deputies. But they don’t represent the interests of the people, who elected them, but the interests of some other people,” the statement said.

Neither Poroshenko's nor the Verkhovna Rada's official websites contain any messages giving details. However, the official Twitter account of the President's Administration also states the one-chamber parliament is dismissed.
View image on Twitter
Президент достроково припинив повноваження ВР України VII скликання. Вибори нового парламенту - 26.10.2014
Poroshenko, who came to power in Ukraine on June 7, declared his intention to hold early parliamentary elections in his inauguration speech before the Rada.

In late July, following the resignation of the government, Ukraine’s ruling coalition of nationalist Svoboda (Freedom) party and the Udar (Strike) party dissolved itself enhancing the prospects for an early vote.

On August 2, Poroshenko again spoke of a snap parliamentary election after the Rada refused to recognize the self-proclaimed Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republics as terrorist groups.

Back then he also labeled the deputies as a “
Fifth Column,” saying that he doesn’t know how to work with such a parliament.

The term
“Fifth Column” originates from the Spanish Civil War of 1936-39 where Franco’s fascists literally sent a “fifth column” of spies and provocateurs to try to capture capital Madrid from inside the city.

Lavrov on Donetsk POWs: Didn’t see anything which would remind me of humiliation

Several dozen captured Kiev soldiers were paraded through the streets of Donetsk, Sunday, where they were heckled by a large crowd. 'I saw the parade pictures in question, and didn’t see anything which would remind me of humiliation of captured soldiers', said Russian FM Sergey Lavrov on news conference Monday.

Ruthenians stand in favor of the union of Great, Little, White and Red Rus 

On August 23, in Lugansk People's Republic was created the first national militia - Ruthenian Battalion of Ivan Georgievich Kundri (Archimandrite Iov of Ugol) - known Carpathian Orthodox missionary and a veteran of World War II. In the battalion entered Ruthenian volunteers from Carpathian Rus Pryashev (Slovakia), Lemkovina (Poland) and Hungary. Military personnel of the battalion formed by 387 people. Commander of the batallion is Y.A Yantso.

Ruthenians - are a fourth slavic people, in whose veins flows the undivided "Russia". Rusyns (Ruthenians) are living witnesses of the one and undivided of ancient people. Rusyns live in the Red Rus - Transcarpathia, Eastern Slovakia, in Serbian Vojvodina, southeastern Poland, Hungary and the north-western Romania. In some countries, they are recognized as an ethnic minority. Even under Yanukovych Ukraine has recognized them. Themselves Rusyns consider themselves an integral part of the Russian ethnos. Before the revolution, we considered and called a Ruthenians simply Russians, and the word Rusyns was coined by the Poles, a latinized designation of Russians.

Rusyn dialect resembles more Great-Russian dialect of Russian than Ukrainian. In the borders of Ukraine enters only part of Red Rus, taken from Czechoslovakia. While themselves, Ruthenians wanted to become the 17th republic of USSR (there was 16 republics, as there was one Karelo-Fisk SSR ), but then Transcarpathia was considered too small for the scale of a Union Republic. The Ukrainian authorities have begun already to plant in Transcarpathia the Small-Russian dialect, referred to at the official level as the Ukrainian language. Ruthenians in favor of the union of Great, Little, White and Red Rus into a single state. Ruthenians stand in favor of the union of Great, Little, White and Red Rus into a single state.

Pryashevsky areas of Red Rus' now belongs to Slovakia and Carpathians region is a part of Poland, where Rusyns as in the days of Pilsudski and PPR were exposed in times of outright genocide. 

As a literary language Ruthenians have long been used Church Slavonic (even in the XIX century), which greatly influenced the spoken language. Fundamentals of Rusyn literary language was laid by Alexander Dukhnovych, he published a primer and grammar, for which he was arrested and persecuted by the Hungarian government.


I would just add to this excellent piece from the Moon of Alabama about the plunging collapse of the Ukrainian economy one further little known fact. This is that at the end of September $1.6 billion payment on a eurobond taken out by Naftogaz falls due. $1.6 billion is equivalent to 1 % of the Ukraine's GDP at the current rate of exchange. It is not far off the amount of the next tranche of the IMF loan the Ukraine is desperately trying to get brought forward. Naftogaz already owes billions to the Russians. Where is the money to pay this eurobond going to come from? We could be looking at a default this September.

--- Alexander Mercouris

Ukraine: Economy Declines, 

Merkel Sues For Peace

5 August, 2014

Recent statistics show that the already decaying Ukrainian economy is further turning towards depression. New money from IMF loans, if granted, will solely go into military costs. The European Union will not bail out Ukraine and Germany, hurt by Russian counter-sanctions, is suing for peace with Russia.

Nulandistan's wheels are falling off and no one one will help to repair it.
According to the Ukrainian government statistics production in July 2014 decrease compared to July 2013 (both ex-Crimea). Mining of coal and lignite was only 71% of its former numbers. Manufacture of coke and refined petroleum products was 84% of its 2013 value. Manufacture of chemicals and chemical products 77% and natural gas production and distribution was 78% of its 2013 number. As the government's fight  against the people in Ukraine's industrial heartland continues these numbers will continue to go down.

Ukraine's standard of living did not, unlike in Russia, significantly increase over the last 20 years. Since the beginning of the year inflation increased to 19% and the Ukrainian central bank had to raise interest rates from 6.5% at the beginning of 2014 to 17.5% now. This to support the value of the Ukrainian currency as the hryvnya has fallen 40% since early 2014. The banking system is coming apart:
The ratio of banks’ non-performing loans will reach 30 percent this year as credit costs rise, Moody’s Investors Service predicted in a May report.
Ukraine’s lenders are already in a precarious position, according to the IMF, which estimates that the nation’s biggest 22 banks would require fresh capital of as much as 5 percent of gross domestic product if the hryvnia averages 12.5 per dollar this year.

The Ukraine is now requesting a third and fourth tranche of an IMF loan but the $2.2 billion it expects to receive is about as much as it plans to additionally spend for military operations. Under the conditions of the new IMF loans Ukraine's standard of living will decrease further and poverty will rise.

Some delusional minds in Kiev may hope that the EU will hand them some money. That is not going to happen. EU economies ex Germany are in serious trouble and Germany is not eager to help either:
There is precious little enthusiasm among the German public for bailout of other Eurozone members. The idea that Germany will consent to spending tens of billions of dollars rebuilding Eastern Ukraine is completely and totally divorced from political reality. Can anyone seriously imagine Angela Merkel, whose country recently had its 2014 growth estimate downgraded to a mere 1.5%, going in front of the German public to demand a substantial outlay for Ukrainian infrastructure? It would be political suicide, and Merkel is clearly a clever enough politician to understand this.

The German government had to cut is GDP forecast because of the insecurity the sanction back and forth with Russia introduced into businesses. The issue will clearly hurt her in the polls. That is likely why she is sending peace signals to Russia:
[Merkel] mentioned Ukrainian “decentralisation”, a deal on gas prices, and Ukraine’s “trade relations” with Russia as elements that could bring about an accord [between Ukraine and Russia].
"I want to find a way, as many others do, 
which does not damage Russia. We [Germany] want to have good trade relations with Russia as well. We want reasonable relations with Russia. We are depending on one another and there are so many other conflicts in the world where we should work together, so I hope we can make progress”.

This also from an interview Merkel gave to public German TV yesterday:
A solution must be found to the Ukraine crisis that does not hurt Russia and which the Ukrainian people must choose for themselves, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Sunday.
"There must be dialogue. There can only be a political solution. There won't be a military solution to this conflict," she said.

On Saturday, her vice chancellor Sigmar Gabriel had suggested that establishing a federal Ukraine was the only viable solution to the crisis pitting Kiev against pro-Russian separatists.
Merkel said that if Ukraine opted to rejoin the Eurasian Union with Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia, then Europe would not make "a huge conflict" out of it.

Especially the last point is clearly a big step back from the earlier all out "Ukraine is EU" position.

Additionally to the economic side, pressure on Merkel also grows because there is more and more doubt, even in German mainstream media, about the veracity of the Ukrainian propaganda and about the destruction of flight MH17. Why is there is no news about it? Is there a coverup (in German)?

The wheels are coming off in Victoria "Fuck the EU" Nuland's new Ukraine. Her project of capturing Ukraine from Russia while letting the EU pay for it is not going as planned. The likely result of Nuland's coup in Kiev will be a destroyed Ukrainian economy and no winner at all.

Poland, Baltics Urge NATO to 

Target Russia with Europe’s 

Ballistic Missile ‘Shield’

MOSCOW, August 24 (RIA Novosti) - Several NATO member states have reportedly thrown their weight behind an agenda of targeting Russia with the US-controlled ballistic missile “shield,” which is being built in Europe to allegedly guard the European Union against Iran, Germany’s Der Spiegel said Sunday.
According to the German daily, the push comes from Poland and the Baltic trio of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia who claim they “feel threatened by Russia’s intervention into Ukraine.”

Ahead of the NATO summit at the end of next week, the four countries have urged the military bloc to mention Moscow as a potential aggressor in its summit communique and have safeguards against Russia hardwired into the document, as they did with Iran.

The majority, especially Germany, have opposed [this proposal] to avoid provoking Moscow unnecessarily, because NATO had spent years trying to assure the Russians that its missile shield wouldn’t target them,” Der Spiegel said.

The German paper said further debates had been put off till after the summit, which is scheduled for 4-5 September in Newport, South Wales.

The move came after NATO hit out at Russia for allegedly ordering its humanitarian aid convoy across the border with Ukraine, which it said was a flagrant violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty.

Russia’s ambassador to UN, Vitaly Churkin, retorted that Kiev’s permission was granted to Moscow back on August 12, while the Red Cross bowed out of escorting the convoy after leaving the 227 trucks stranded at the border for a week. The vehicles were confirmed by Ukrainian customs officials to be carrying food, water and generators to the besieged city of Luhansk in Ukraine’s east.

NATO has repeatedly blamed Russia for the escalation of tensions in Ukraine and building up arms and troops on the country’s border. The alliance has used the crisis to justify an expansion of its military forces near Russian borders, bumping up the number of air patrol missions in Eastern Europe. Today, the United States has missile defense bases in Turkey, Bulgaria, Poland and the Czech Republic.

Donetsk fighters encircle third Ukrainian army grouping

About 2,000 Ukrainian troops, over 100 pieces of the armor and about 60 artillery guns of various caliber have been encircled by Donetsk fighters

25 August, 2014

DONETSK, August 25. /ITAR-TASS/. Self-defense militias of the Donetsk People’s Republic have encircled a third attack force of the Ukrainian army by Monday morning, the local news agency Novorossiya reported.

The third Ukrainian army grouping was encircled near the settlements of Stepanovka, Amvrosiyevka and Stepano-Krynka, Novorossiya reported, referring to the militia headquarters.

All throughout the night, the militia’s forces were concentrated on narrowing the encirclement rings around two Ukrainian army groupings blocked near the settlements of Voikovsky, Kuteinikovo, Blagodatnoye, Alekseyevskoye, Uspenka and Ulyanovskoye and in the area of the settlement of Olenovskoye,” the news agency reported.

The militia headquarters have reported that “over 40 tanks, about 100 infantry fighting vehicles, armored personnel carriers and airborne combat vehicles, about 50 Grad and Uragan multiple launch rocket systems and over 60 field artillery guns and mortars have been encircled.”

Several hundred captive Ukrainian military convoyed down streets of Donetsk
Surprise attacks by Donetsk militias have also encircled a Ukrainian army grouping near the settlement of Yelenovka, Novorossiya reported.

About 2,000 Ukrainian troops, over 100 pieces of the armor and about 60 artillery guns of various caliber have been encircled by Donetsk fighters who have also liberated the populated areas of Novodvornoye, Agronomicheskoye, Novokaterinovka, Osykovo, Klyonovka, Stroitel and Leninskoye, the militia said.

Donetsk self-defense fighters are also cutting off Ukrainian troops from Ilovaisk along the line of the populated areas of Agronomicheskoye, Kuteinikovo, Voikovo and Osykovo, the militia headquarters said.

A militia reconnaissance has carried out a successful attack on the Ukrainian army in the Starobeshevsky district of the Donetsk Republic, the headquarters said.

Donetsk fighters have also attacked a patrol of the Ukrainian Azov battalion near the settlement of Novy Svet some 30 km (19 miles) from the border with Russia, killing and wounding Ukrainian troops, Novorossiya said, citing combat reports of the Donetsk People’s Republic.

A battle is continuing for control over the Novoazovsk checkpoint, Novorossiya reported. The pro-Kiev Dnepr-1 battalion sent in support of the Ukrainian troops was stopped by fire from a group of guerilla snipers. Several Ukrainian servicemen were wounded, Novorossiya reported.

Militia's tactic

The political crisis in Ukraine led to the formation of many armed groups on its territory. Infographics by ITAR-TASS

The latest military successes by Donetsk self-defense fighters have become possible as the militia headquarters have switched from military action by small units to full-scale operations by full-fledged formations and army units, the militia said.

The army headquarters of the Donetsk People’s Republic have decided to give up action by small units and shift to military action by full-fledged formations and army units which are provided with full fire support,” the republican army headquarters said.

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian army’s headquarters claimed destroying the militia’s eight tanks, 10 combat vehicles and 250 self-defense fighters during the night.
Units of the Ukrainian National Guard are hurriedly leaving Mariupol, Novorossiya reported, citing local residents.

Trucks full of armed people have been leaving Mariupol since Monday morning and heading for the town of Mangush and the Zaporozhye Region, eyewitnesses said.

Five civilians injured in overnight fighting in eastern Ukraine

Military experts of the Donetsk People’s Republic have said the hurried retreat of the Ukrainian troops from Mariupol can be explained by self-defense fighters’ successes on the southern front.

Donetsk militia earlier said that subversive and reconnaissance groups of the eastern Ukraine self-defense army had burst into Mariupol on Sunday night.

The militias’ subversive and reconnaissance groups also started battles back on Saturday near the town of Novoazovsk 47 km (29 miles) from Mariupol. Donetsk fighters have liberated several populated areas by Monday morning, including Telmanovo, a local administrative center close to Mariupol.

At the same time, Ukrainian army units and a part of the National Guard are still staying in Mariupol, the Donetsk People’s Republic said.

ITAR-TASS has no confirmation of this information from other sources.

Ukrainian army achievements

The Ukrainian military established control of Mariupol in mid-June, after which the pro-Kiev Donetsk regional administration moved to the city.

Pro-Kiev troops and local militias in the eastern Ukrainian Donetsk and Luhansk regions are involved in fierce clashes as the Ukrainian armed forces are conducting a military operation to regain control over the breakaway regions, which on May 11 proclaimed their independence at local referendums.

During the military operation, Kiev has used armored vehicles, heavy artillery and attack aviation. Many buildings have been destroyed and tens of thousands of people have had to flee Ukraine’s embattled east.

From Mark Sleboda ---

For most of the last night, I could not help but having Mariupol as a fixed idea of my dreams, which I foresaw happening already yesterday, but, for obvious reasons, I did not want to advertise it too early. When I, however, look at the military map of the war with the neo-Nazi junta today, I then see the following:

Amvrosiyevka appears to have been liberated and Southern Cauldron 2.0 has not only dramatically shrunken, it has also been split in two. The counter-offensive of the army of Novorossiya is so powerful that it is hard to keep up with it just by watching from a distance

---Vladimir Suchan

Russian humanitarian aid distribution begins in E. Ukraine
With heavy fighting underway in south-eastern Ukraine, the distribution of humanitarian aid from Russia has started in the city of Lugansk, which is besieged by the Kiev forces.

25 August, 2014

The first 12 points distributing food have already begun working. The minimum offering includes rice, buckwheat and sugar, three canned meats, a packet of tea and 10 liters of water, Novorossiya news agency reports.

Kindergartens, schools and other social facilities were the first to receive the aid.

The city said it was planning to open another 37 aid distribution points in the coming days.

The Russian aid convoy of 227 trucks arrived in the city on Friday, bringing almost 2,000 tons of relief supplies.

However, the humanitarian situation remains “critical” in Lugansk as the people are forced to survive without electricity, water and communications due to ongoing fighting between the Kiev troops and the local self-defense forces, Lugansk City Council said.

“Every day, firefights and shelling lead to new destruction of urban infrastructure and homes as well as combustions and fires,”
 the local authorities said.

Earlier on Monday, Russian foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, has voiced plans for a second aid convoy to be sent to eastern Ukraine, urging foreign actors and agencies to participate in continuing efforts at relieving the “humanitarian crisis”.

The bread is being baked and is always on sale in Lugansk, but the City Council expressed concern that problems with water supply may result in spread of infectious diseases.

According to Kiev, the Ukrainian forces were able to entrench themselves in the northern part of Lugansk.

The army plans to use the area as foothold to begin its offensive on the rest of the city, Andrey Lysenko, Ukraine’s National Security Council spokesman, said.

However, Lysenko stressed that “most of the Lugansk” remains under control of the self-defense forces of the Lugansk People’s Republic.

Kiev fires ballistic missile at Donetsk

The hostilities continued in Donetsk on Monday, with the mayor’s office speaking of explosions, which are heard “in all districts” of the besieged city. “The epicenter of the fighting is now Kirovsky and Petrovsky districts [in the south-west of city],” the Donetsk authorities said.

Kiev has started using ballistic missiles against the self-defense forces in Donetsk, a RIA-Novosti news agency’s correspondent reported from the scene.

The Tochka-U missile, which is believed to be the most powerful weapon in the arsenal of the country’s military, hit a miners’ village on the outskirts of the city on the eve of Ukrainian Independence Day on August 24, he stressed.

The rocket’s cluster exploded in the air, damaging several buildings in the Kirovsky district and gravely injuring three people, including a mother of three children, the self-defense forces said.

Tochka-U is a Soviet-era short-range tactical ballistic missile, which was introduced back in 1989.

The missile is designed to make precise strikes on enemy tactical targets and can also carry nuclear, biological or chemical warheads.

Previously, the Ukrainian authorities have denied accusations that they used Tochka-U missiles during their operations in Lugansk, Snezhnoe, Shakhters and several other south-eastern cities.

A Ukrainian serviceman stands guard at a Ukrainian National Guard position on the border checkpoint near Novoazovsk.(AFP Photo / Alexander Khudoteply )

On Sunday, the OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM) has released a special report on civilian fatalities and damage following the shelling of a residential area in the north of Donetsk on August 23. “At the scene, the SMM saw a five-floor apartment block with the ground in front of it littered with debris. Some sixty civilians, mainly elderly and in shock, were standing in the vicinity. Close to a footpath leading to one of the entrances, the SMM observed three bodies covered with blankets, judged by SMM to be two adults and a child, in close proximity to each other,” the report said. “Local residents told the SMM that the three were a mother, father and their child. They said that another child, five years old and the fourth family member, died on the way to the hospital, as a result of head injuries,” it added.

The monitors also a nearby three-floor building, a garage and a kindergarten damaged by 
“what appeared to have been shelling.”

“The SMM saw a kindergarten, with the window panes of its second floor shattered and children’s toys scattered around,” the report said.

Anti-Kiev forces enter Elenovka village

The self-defense forces have entered the Elenovka village outside Donetsk, the press-service for the Defense Ministry of the self-proclaimed People’s Republic of Donetsk said.

The advancement came as a result of the 
“offensive reconnaissance” by the militias, the press-service stressed.

According to the self-defense forces, the Kiev troops were dislodged from two check points, with three Ukrainian soldiers taken prisoner.

The anti-Kiev rebels also seized two Rapira anti-tank guns, MT-LB armored personnel carrier with a mounted anti-aircraft twin-barreled auto-cannon and two transport vehicles, the ministry told Itar-Tass news agency.

However, the agency stressed that the info coming from the rebels isn’t confirmed by any other sources.
Ukrainian troops stand beside a tank with the inscription "victory", as they guard a checkpoint near the small eastern Ukrainian city of Avdiyvka, north of Donetsk.(AFP Photo / Oleksandr Ratushniak )

Earlier on the day, it was reported that the militias have enveloped a large grouping of Ukrainian military in Elenovka. 

The self-defense forces said that around 2,000 Kiev troops, more than a hundred armored vehicles and 60 artillery pieces of various calibers were trapped. 

According to People’s Republic of Donetsk staff, Kiev has lost 182 troops (107 killed and 75 injured) in fighting in Donetsk Region during the last 24 hours. 

However, Ukraine’s National Security Council spokesman, Andrey Lysenko, said that only 4 Ukrainian soldiers were killed and 31 others injured. 

Kiev’s military crackdown on in the south-east of the country started in April after the people in Donetsk and Lugansk Region refused to recognize the new coup-imposed authorities and demanded federalization of the country. 

According to UN’s estimates, over 2,000 people have so far been killed and over 5,000 wounded in the fighting.

Captured Kiev soldiers, military hardware on display in Donetsk

According to the Kiev regime, the supposed POWs in the DNR parade yesterday were actually just Russian actors. Well, if they say so... I guess its supporters and the Western media (as if there is a difference) can stop their absurdly hypocritical whining about violations of the Geneva Conventions then, eh?

Киев не признал в колонне пленных собственных солдат

According to the Ministry of internal Affairs of Ukraine, the column of prisoners of war, held on the streets of Donetsk, could consist of actors, extras. Power DND tried to give the procession captured Ukrainian soldiers similarity with the famous "parade" of the Nazis in Moscow in 1944, according to Euronews.

---Mark Sleboda

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