Friday 3 February 2017

The Ukrainian conflict -02/02/2017

OSCE observers fraternize with Ukrainian tankers using residential Avdeevka as human shields

February 2, 2017 - Fort Russ News -

Christelle Neant in DONiPRESS, translated by Tom Winter -
"OSCE February 1, 2017.  Tanks? Not here."

The Ukrainian army has redeployed heavy artillery and multiple rocket launchers near the front line, as noted by international observers. [For more on this buildup, click

Weapons that are used from children's playgrounds, schools, or the Avdeyevka coke plant, allow the Ukrainian army to use the civilians who live there and work as human shields. 

Yesterday the residents of Avdeyevka shared photos and videos taken in the afternoon showing OSCE observers having a sympathetic discussion with Ukrainian soldiers near the Ukrainian army tanks that were in the middle of the residential area, at Number 20 Molodyozhnaya Street.

While the deputy head of the OSCE mission, Alexander Hug, is trying to have the ceasefire respected (which allowed the repair work of the water treatment plant to take place and to restart), his subordinates in territory controlled by the Ukrainian army protect the Nazis who used artillery and tanks from the dwellings of Avdeyevka to fire on the cities of Donetsk, Makeyevka and Yasinovataya.

All this gives the impression that some representatives of the OSCE are trying to aggravate the situation by informing the Ukrainian army of the best places and times to shoot, to reach vital infrastructures, or prevent repairs from taking place.

In view of this new scandal, the authorities of the DNR have demanded that this flagrant violation of the OSCE mandate give rise to an investigation and that measures be taken for observers to objectively cover the situation -- without concealing the crimes of the army against civilians.

For his part, Alexander Zakharchenko, the head of the People's Republic of Donetsk, has issued assurances, saying that these attacks are those of a regime in its agonies and that despite the civilian losses of the last few days, victory is, from now on, at hand.

FAKE NEWS: Even when CNN covers the Ukrainian-caused carnage, they lie [+Video]

- An op-ed by the editorial staff -

This is the widow of a man who has just been killed by shelling in the city center of Donetsk. While she vents her grief, CNN puts this trailer on the screen! 

Back in January 2015, CNN carried news of bombardment in the Donetsk city center. The video is compelling, and emotive.

"Families destroyed in the blink of an eye."

And yet, they had to deny that the US-backed government in Kiev was doing it. While the widow is wanting revenge for the killing of her husband, CNN makes itself complicit in the war crime by cleaning the hands of the Kiev putschist government. 

Where were the shells coming from? CNN pretended not to know. Plain and simple truth: CNN was already lying about the war in Ukraine in January of 2015. Now, two years later, the lie is by omission. No coverage at all.
What an outrageous injustice, and these are not just isolated instances of the formerly mainstream media - now just 'legacy media' - making 'fake news' stories. 
We can see in the CNN clip above, what appears at first to be some fairly decent reporting of the horrors of war. This is a war of ethno-religious cleansing, genocide by any working definition, brought to the ethnic Russians living in the east of Ukraine, by none other than former President Barack Hussein Obama and his neo-con cabinet. 
What strikes us instantly though is their caption.. 'Unclear ...'. Everyone being shelled knows exactly who is shelling them. 

The report concludes by attempting to deceive, posing a false contradiction meant to leave viewers to 'sort it out for themselves - even though Russia is helping those being shelled, they were the ones who backed separatists who seized the city.

Hearing that, obviously, one is led to conclude an utter absurdity, that the shelling and the seizing of the city are one and the same, and the 'contradiction/hypocrisy' here is that Russian backed separatists were the ones who are, today, shelling the city. Those familiar with the conflict, and where it stands today, would instantly understand that CNN is inferring that the separatists are shelling themselves and their own base of support, the citizen base that supports the revolution.
That CNN is now actively promoting the censorship and ostracizing of independent journalism is simultaneously no surprise, and an affront to whatever dignity humanity in the west still holds onto. 
Fort Russ, recently named by the Washington Post, in the 'Prop or Not' short list of 'fake news sites', is proud to be a remaining bastion of free and independent journalism, committed to sharing counter-narratives, the inconvenient truths, and voices of resistance and hope from around the world. 
We believe that only an ever vigilant people, who maintain their right to free press by exercising it, can act as a check, [and ultimately a guillotine!] against the genocidal inclinations of the elites in charge of western governments and institutions. 
Like Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria - Eastern Ukraine has been in the cross-hairs of the US. What the US has committed are war crimes and crimes against humanity. 
What has become apparent, and this is something we are optimistic about, is that increasing numbers of people are awakening to the fact that - 'bat-boy lives' tabloids aside - it's the legacy media outlets like CNN, NBC, ABC, (and so and so on) which are the world's largest and most criminal offenders in the realm of Fake News.

Poroshenko's Options Burning in The Fires of Donbass

Photo: Colonel Cassad blog

February 2, 2017 - Fort Russ News

Oleg Tsarev (Former Ukrainian MP), Live Journal - Translated from Russian by Kristina Kharlova

I, like many of my comrades believe that a horrible end is better than horror without an end. Recent events in Donbass show that the process has entered the final stage when decisions will soon be made.

What is reassuring is that the armed forces of Novorossia are now allowed to respond to provocations, because until now it was very strict: they were practically banned from responding to attacks in order to avoid accusations that the Republics are provoking escalation. Because Ukrainian authorities distorted the situation. If there was a response, they said "We were shelled!" and so forth, involving the OSCE. But now the global landscape is changing, changing the methods. We can see this from reports of foreign media. The militia began to respond, and this response is very painful for the enemy.

The Ukrainian side very clearly feels the line, after which the answer will not just be painful, but fatal. And I believe they don't want to cross this line. This is why they only resort to shelling, not a massive advance. Indeed there are many victims. Moreover, the common position of Donetsk, Lugansk and all of us – there is no joy in the high number of deaths. It is clear that the killed civilians and soldiers of NAF on our side are a tragedy, but losses on the other side don't bring joy to anyone either. We understand that responsibility for all rests on Poroshenko. And we understand that as soon as the political situation in the country will change, those guys who stand on the other side of the front line – 90% and maybe even more – will change their perspective. But if they are dead, it's irreversible... And that's what's tragic.

It is encouraging that Russian TV reporters now react to the events in Donbass more adequately than in previous months, and reports of the same Alexander Sladkov on channel "Russia 24", in general, correctly describe the situation on the battlefield. I think the reason is as follows. For several years people died, and there was no end to this situation. And how should they present it on Russian TV? Russian people are dying and the Russian government does not take any serious action. So the subject of Donbass was pushed aside. But now everyone understands that in Ukraine, and in Russia, decision will be made. And soon enough. And the situation will evolve in a different direction. So Donbass is back in the media.

Against this background, we see an extraordinary activity of Poroshenko. First Poroshenko announces a referendum on Ukraine's accession to NATO and says that if four years ago 16% of Ukrainians supported this move, now it is 54%. But the numbers of those wishing to join NATO in Ukraine are irrelevant (according to other sources they are quite different).  What matters is that NATO itself is now categorically opposed to Ukraine joining the organization. Therefore, there is no point in holding the referendum. It's just one of the ways of Poroshenko to remind about himself.

Imagine this situation. He was a minion of Western European and American leaders, politicians. He was showered with attention, the money sent to Ukraine, the aid. Suddenly and rapidly, literally in a month the situation has changed and no one wants to see him or talk to him. It took him much effort to meet with Merkel, and the results of the meeting were such that he had to urgently save his reputation. Blaming Donbass escalation, especially in Avdeevka, his hasty departure from Berlin actually saved a failed visit. Poroshenko clings to every opportunity to get back on the global political agenda. He will fail, but he will still try. I think it's more of a psychological denial to come to terms with the role, with the situation in which he finds himself. His situation is about the same as Hitler, six months before the end of the war. Only then the war lasted longer, and now the time is compressed and everything happens quite quickly. He is trying to build some kind of relationships, to negotiate with one, the other, to find his place, to stay alive. And the most important thing for him is to save his money. He is approaching the point when it would be impossible.

It is worth noting today's statement by the permanent representative of Ukraine to the United Nations Volodymyr Yelchenko that the American authorities promised him not to recognize Crimea as part of the Russian Federation. There are different points of view, but, most likely, Crimea will not be recognized by the West as part of the Russian Federation in the near future. It's hard to imagine what needs to happen in order for the global elite to recognize Crimea's accession to Russia. Another thing is that this issue can be pushed into a far corner and removed from the agenda. Even sanctions could be lifted, but recognition of Crimea is a long and laborious process. It is not about USA, or Europe, but Russia. If Russia becomes as strong as was the Soviet Union, then it doesn't matter if it is recognized or not recognized by the United States and Europe. By the way, we should remember that the three Baltic republics were not recognized by the West as part of the USSR for half a century, but, nevertheless, this has not prevented them from remaining part of the country. And there are many such examples.

The Minsk agreement: the latest meeting in Minsk was, as always, empty talks; have you seen any real steps? Nobody expected any developments from Minsk. Yes, there are no changes – and it is expected. Obviously, all the developments are taking place elsewhere. I have already said that the ideal scenario is a situation when Ukraine's problem will be resolved outside of the borders of Ukraine. Not through armed confrontation when one Russian is fighting with another Russian who is convinced he is not Russian – but in some other place. And these process is underway.

What are we seeing? Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump had a talk. The conversation lasted forty minutes. Taking into account the time for translators, it lasted twenty to thirty minutes. What say the leaders on such occasions? Look at Trump's impressive entourage. The Western media highlighted that, when Trump talked with Merkel, he had a different smaller set of advisers. When leaders talk longer than ten minutes, it is significant. They discuss issues on the agenda, reason if there is a desire to solve them, and in a few words describe how they see the solution to these issues. If there are no contradictions, they appoint those responsible for each issue. Next to Donald Trump were the people who were immediately told: you are going to deal with this issue, you get Syria, you - Ukraine, you - another issue. Further those responsible must communicate with each other and develop the concept for the personal meeting of the leaders. And plans developed by Trump's and Putin's team will be implemented.

According to my sources, team Trump will arrive in Ukraine within two weeks (but certainly before the end of February). The representatives of the Republican party visited Ukraine before, but not the wing which will today address Ukrainian issues. We remember McCain's visit, a meeting with Tymoshenko. Now it is the turn of Trump's representatives to solve the issues. In my opinion, there is a working script, by which Ukraine will be dealt with. In principle, the leaders agreed that cooperation between Russia and USA will be focus on solving the problem of terrorism. In Syria it is ISIS, in Ukraine, terrorists in fact are at the head of the state. And these terrorists staged a civil war, staged a genocide of their own population. And this issue must be addressed.

How will it be solved? There are too many options to discuss here. I will focus only on the fact that in any case the path that is charted by the Minsk agreements is the only way that provides a political solution. It is obvious that with this composition of the Verkhovna Rada it is impossible to resolve political issues, which are recorded in the Minsk agreements. The deputies simply will not vote. In Ukraine, the "war party" is very strong. The "war party" is led by Yatsenyuk, Parubiy and Turchinov.

Poroshenko had the opportunity to remove Avakov after the events in Knyazhich. Did not go through, although thought about it long and hard. As you remember Avakov was in hiding for a week, held unofficial talks, and yet he remained in place. And today, Turchinov and Avakov actually organized the blockade of Donbass, to avoid an open confrontation with Poroshenko. The contradictions came to the brink, and Poroshenko understands that the global situation is now changing and he needs to be replaced. He cannot be replaced, because in this case he must purge the "war party", which will fracture the coalition. If the coalition dissipates – the parliament understands that it must be re-elected. And most likely impeach Poroshenko.

Yulia Tymoshenko tried to pull it off: using the son of UPA commander Yuri Shukhevych she wanted to question the Minsk agreement and declare impeachment of the president. Failed. But in today's Ukraine it is not necessary to follow the full impeachment procedure. It is enough to vote for impeachment and say, Yes, we impeached him. It is enough to declare it, and then just throw Poroshenko out of the administration of the president and call new elections.

Ukrainian authorities wiped their feet on the Constitution of Ukraine so many times, that they can do it again – for political expediency. Therefore, the collapse of the coalition for Poroshenko is a critical point. He is grasping for options. There is a possibility that Yatsenyuk will be put in charge of National Bank. Many banks, including systemic "Privat", are bankrupt, there are many debts, and the head of National Bank is in charge of significant financial resources. All of these debts are sold at a lower price. There is a flow of black money. In charge of this flow is Poroshenko. Yatsenyuk offered himself for head of National Bank and guaranteed that the deputies of "Popular Front" will remain loyal to Poroshenko, or will remain in the coalition.

But Poroshenko has not yet made a decision. Why? Because about 50% of the deputies of the "Popular Front" side with Avakov, 7-8% - Pashinsky. And there are risks even if Yatsenyuk gets National Bank, the coalition will still fall apart. Therefore Poroshenko has a difficult choice, but he hopes to find the way out. He hopes to survive as a political figure and offer something to Trump, if Trump will hold. Because I must say that Soros is not missing a bit. US protests are funded by Soros and Soros (cannot accuse him of being stupid), apparently believes he has a chance against Trump. And now all Poroshenko's statements, all the shelling of Donetsk is very nicely playing into the hands of team Democrats – Clinton, Obama, Soros... As he further pushes himself into a corner.

Ukraine - Coup Government Tries To Sabotage US-Russia Rapprochement
written by moon of alabama

26 November, 2014

Fighting in east Ukraine has restarted. This is an attempt by "deep state" forces to prevent any rapprochement between the US and Russia under the new Trump administration.
The west-Ukrainian forces under command of the coup government of President Poroshenko started a large attack against the Russian supported Ukrainian self-defense forces in Donetsk and Lugansk governate.
A ceasefire arranged after the Minsk II agreement provided for demilitarized zones along a line of separation. The Ukrainian government has so far avoided to fulfill the Minsk II agreement that would allow a reuniting of the country. An OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM), which includes officers from NATO countries as well as Russia, is supervising the ceasefire and issues daily reports.
On January 26 the SMM reported:
The SMM recorded more ceasefire violations [1] in Donetsk region, including about 420 explosions, compared with 228 in the previous reporting period. More than 160 explosions were recorded around the Svitlodarsk area, with exchanges of fire also recorded around Avdiivka and Yasynuvata.
The Mission revisited a Ukrainian Armed Forces permanent storage site, whose location corresponded with the relevant withdrawal lines and observed that 12 tanks (T-64) and four mortars (2B9 Vasilek, 82mm) were missing, as previously noted.
The SMM followed up on reports of a blockade of a railway track near government-controlled Hirske. The railway leads towards the “LPR”-controlled settlements of Donetskyi and Sentianivka (formerly Frunze) (49 and 44km west of Luhansk, respectively). The Mission had observed a train traveling east through Donetskyi on 23 January. The SMM observed that the tracks had been blocked by tree trunks under a bridge on the southern edge of the settlement. About 20 unarmed men wearing camouflage clothing told the Mission that they were veterans from former volunteer battalions. The SMM observed a tent near the blockade site.
The observations on the 26th pointed to the preparation of a full attack which was launched on January 28:
The SMM recorded fewer ceasefire violations in Donetsk region between the evenings of 27 and 28 January compared with the previous reporting period (including about 330 explosions compared with about 520).[1] In the following 24 hours, however, the SMM recorded over 2,300 explosions, primarily in the Avdiivka-Yasynuvata-Donetsk airport area.
The SMM observed that the intense artillery barrage was launched north to south originating from the government held area.
The NAZI volunteer battalions from west-Ukrainian Galicia are spearheading the attack. There is ongoing fighting with intense artillery usage on several points along the ceasefire line (map). One main battle ground is the city of Avdeevka in the demilitarized zone north-west of Donetsk city.
The US government propaganda site RFERL sees a "creeping offensive" initiated by the government side. Even the belligerent and anti-Russian Washington Post editors have to acknowledge that the Ukrainian government started this round. While unreasonably blaming Russia they observes:
Ukrainian commanders acknowledge that in recent weeks their forces had moved some positions forward in the no-man’s land between the front lines.
During the last two years the Ukrainian army experienced a massive build up. New equipment came in from the US and other NATO countries and US training missions tried to teach some basic fighting tactics. But while the newly conscripted 250,000 men army looks big on paper it still lacks any coherence and will to fight for the coup government and its US overlords. Only the NAZI "volunteer battalions" have some fighting spirit but they are up against people defending their immediate homes. Any large offense from the government side will thus fail.
The fight was planned and started just after the inauguration of the new US president Trump. Trump has acknowledged that Crimea is part of Russia as its population is overwhelmingly Russian. He has announced to seek good relations with Moscow. He will likely eliminate sanctions against Russia.
For the Ukrainian coup government and its neo-conservative supporters this marks the end of their dreams. If it loses US and NATO support Ukraine must declare bankruptcy, the government will be kicked out, and the country will, over time, move naturally back into the Russian sphere.
To prevent that Poroshenko was ordered to launch a new attack while blaming Russia. He did as his mentors told him and traveled to Berlin in the hope of German support. But such is not coming. The German government let it know that it sees through his games and has no interest in them. The government friendly daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung "leaked" (translated here) that Berlin knows that Poroshenko started the fight to influence Trump and to prevent any sanction relief for Russia. But Berlin believes that the gimmick will fail and Merkel fears that Poroshenko will end up losing another round of the war while Russia will still get the better relations it seeks.
One would hope so. There is nothing to win for western-Europe, or anyone else, in another fight with Russia.
Neither the Trump administration nor the EU has blamed any side for relaunching the conflict. The civil NATO head Stoltenberg stayed within the official line blaming neither side. That surely is not to Poroshenko's favor.
The massive buildup of US and NATO troops along the Russian border as well as the renewed fighting in Ukraine are part of the imperial plan initiated under Obama to squeeze Russia into a minor global role. It is an extremely dangerous endeavor. Russian history shows that it will not allow such. Trump will hopefully reverse the Obama plans and, as far as one can currently tell, seeks to arrange friendly cooperation with Russia wherever feasible.
The destination of the last official foreign visit of former Vice President Biden was Ukraine. The World War III-promoting Senator McCain visited Kiev on New Years eve. Both were heavily involved in the earlier coup against the constitutional Ukrainian government. Biden's son is involved in natural gas business in Ukraine. Did they leave directives or suggestions?
The current attempts in Ukraine to sabotage a US Russian rapprochement will probably not be the only ones. Some "accident" in the Baltic or "mistake" in Syria could surely be arranged by "deep state" rogue force. If such happens nether side should fall for it.

Politico wrote about the John McCain / Lindsey Graham New Year visit to Ukraine a month ago. Notice what they said:
I admire the fact that you will fight for your homeland,” Graham told Ukraine’s 36th Separate Marine Brigade in the town of Shyrokyne, about four kilometers from the line of contact, according to a video released Monday by the Ukrainian presidency.

“Your fight is our fight,” Graham said during the visit on Saturday alongside President Petro Poroshenko. “2017 will be the year of offense,” he continued. “All of us will go back to Washington and we will push the case against Russia. ..."
McCain, a former Republican presidential candidate and prisoner of war in Vietnam, said: “I believe you will win. I am convinced you will winand we will do everything we can to provide you with what you need to win. ..."

That is obviously incitement to start a new war. But with their opposition to Trump McCain and Lindsay are out of the decision circles in Washington DC. They can write as many furious op-eds as they want but no one is going to read them and start a war with Russia.

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