Thursday, May 28, 2015

Hopes that UN will be able to solve Ukraine Crisis fades away...

Hopes that UN will be able to solve Ukraine Crisis fades away...
Posted on May 28, 2015

An analysis of recent events on the international scene shows that Russia's attempts to prove that the West must recognize their responsibility for the civil war in Ukraine and to stop practicing the use of Ukraine against Russia, in general, are not being supported by the Ukraine side. 

Opponents of Russia continue to put an ultimatum and accused of them of violating the principles of international law. In this regard, all of the latest meetings of the UN Security Council, where it was discussed the situation in Ukraine, were around one scenario - EU diplomats expressed moderately negativity against Russia. The US and its satellites sharply condemned Russia and China who to anyone can see as non-binding declarations, and Russia was justified to insist on a more decisive answer. Therefore the hopes that somehow the UN will be able to solve the ongoing crisis fades away, as any attempt to put its position to the vote, would in any case blocked veto the US or Russia. 

Against the background of active hostilities against the Donbass it is unlikely that the situation can return to a practical implementation of the agreements Minsk-2 - the parties have to some extent come to terms with the mutual attacks continuing for now. Perhaps in the future, an attempt to follow through with new consultations they may come to a new agreement that will depend on the course of diplomatic consultations and not hostilities. 

There should be a variety of issues in where are, in addition to the questions, an exchange of prisoners and the withdrawal of heavy weapons, that could reduce what is expected of Russia to offer in options for a compromise, but for now the US and its allies will continue to demand only on the complete surrender. Russia is unlikely to agree and in the near future is expected to get further sanctioned. In a parallel with these measures, the US advocates an aggressive line, and will insist on expanding the West's military involvement in the events in Ukraine and bringing to an anti-Russian actions of other states. 

The war has long gone beyond only Ukrainian problems, so an extension of the war would follow logically from the aggressive line of the United States. The situation in relation to the truce after the "Minsk-2", 15 February, is developing, it is not in favor of "the Kiev European power," which is the second time during the war suffered a political and military defeat. Militia counterattacked after unsuccessful attempts to break the APU and the National Guard under "Russian terrorists." 

Staying in the human, technical and information minority militia of New Russia was successful in the offensive, which required tremendous courage fighters and residents of the unrecognized republics. His main result - forced negotiations "Kiev European power," which pulled in the process and the western countries, which they tried to escape, hoping to solve their problems only through Ukrainian politicians. The intervention of John Kerry, Francois Hollande, Angela Merkel in the situation in the south-eastern Ukraine, the Kiev demonstrates the inability of the "political elite" or to protect "European democracy" or build a "new European state." 

The media war "Kiev European power" plays on the domestic front, where jingoistic projects "cyborgs Ukrainian airport" and advocates "debaltsevskogo Stalingrad" collapsed, and on the external front, when not loyal republics Novorossia Western media, for example, The Sunday Times, The New York Times on February 22, criticized "the Kiev authorities" for incompetence and corruption, and "armed groups in Ukraine" - for the looting and violence. But a media value of these lessons is more dangerous for the "Kiev authorities" in changing the consciousness of the majority of Ukrainian citizens, who have seen the conflict only "terrorists Russian" and "Ukrainian liberators." 

Myths about the destruction of "Russian armies" do not hold themselves Ukrainian military have been in the area of ​​the ATO, and their relatives, Ukraine begins to see through the lies of propaganda. The defeat of the "Kiev authorities" set before them the problem of urgent redress. Need Display victory, because the collapse of the "party of war" and the expansion of the army could launch a mechanism of self-destruction when the power begins to understand within themselves, using various factions controlled security forces not to fight in the east, and directly in Kiev. 

Model the behavior of the Ukrainian leadership readable - a new offensive to achieve victory, or the "new anti-Ukrainian speech in Kiev," as scary Ukrainian nationalist press. This tension on the front lines continue to Ukrainian division has not withdrawn from the front and moved to the capital (remember how a noise in early February in Kiev 50 people "aydarovtsev" and if will drive thirty thousand?). Apparently, therefore, attacks and strikes on the positions of militias and the cities of Donbass saved. In the republics of New Russia is also a huge problem. Firstly, it is a huge loss in the most combat-ready units, which are a key issue of command. Second, the continuing humanitarian catastrophe (people do not receive salaries from October, financial and other systems no scientific elite, which is famous for the region, leaving the militia or run into other countries, gumkonvoi "lost in the steppes"). 

The flow of refugees in Russia keeps growing. This is now in the media (including Russian) sparsely cover the internal situation in the republics. Third, political uncertainty persists in the republics. "The Russian leadership" aims to "push back under the Donbass Ukraine" and now this process has gained new forms, there was a requirement to review the provisions of the Constitution of Ukraine, which should provide guarantees "certain territories of Donbass"; conditionally legitimized militia - the Minsk Agreement on new "Kiev government" agree on the creation of the militia in the eastern territories, allowing the militia to get out of the status of illegal armed groups. 

However, this situation still looks too abstract and unreal. The environment is not only the militia, but also of the citizens of the republic, there is no understanding of the purpose of the war itself. They do not know when and under what conditions, the war will be over. The leaders of the republics did not look the undisputed leader precisely because of "dependence" of the people "from above", which creates for the "Kiev authorities" opportunity for maneuver - if militia will be defeated, they can expect to have the shock within the republics of New Russia. 

It should be stated that the situation continues to be uncertain in nature. The "European Kiev authorities" have all grounds and reasons to consider a truce as a breather before the new stage of the war, the militia of New Russia, solving the problem of "Debaltsevskogo pot" makes up for the loss and solve humanitarian problems (at least part), while remaining ready the new inflame hostilities. At the moment, the balance of the situation in the Donbass shifted clearly in favor of the Kiev authorities, but its representatives are trying hard to regain its former position, and even improve it. Unfortunately, the mechanism to ensure the unconditional implementation of the Minsk Agreement, is not, so a truce looks purely temporary. 

While the developments are logical - the West will continue to feed the "Kiev European power" and manipulating it, will continue to try to help her to make Russia fulfill a Minsk format that in its original form was not a part of the original proposals put forward by the Kremlin. Therefore, a speedy default of Ukraine should not expect, is that the sponsor will have problems, and they will not until the "new Europeans". 

Most likely, after the offensive potential of the parties in the Donbas dry up during the alleged ceasefire followed by an attempt to work out a new scheme consultation compromises that will advance the Russian Federation is obviously impracticable to replace the Minsk Agreement. West likely will ignore these attempts and to demand the implementation of the September agreement. Therefore, a quick end to the conflict - both military and diplomatic means unlikely. The Russian Federation will continue to try to "bring to justice" for the United States unleashed a war. 

 AI Ladyga 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Australian Media Mimics U.S. Media's Phobia Reporting...Baseless Propaganda

Australian Media Mimics U.S. Media's Phobia Reporting...Baseless Propaganda
Airstrip construction on the Fiery Cross Reef in the South China Sea is pictured in this April 2, 2015 handout satellite image obtained by Reuters on April 16, 2015

As tensions continue to rise in the South China Sea, Australian media outlets are reporting that China has installed weapons on its artificial islands. This despite citing no evidence, and despite the fact that Beijing has consistently stressed that the islands will be used for peaceful purposes.

On Tuesday, Japan announced that it would join in the Talisman Sabre, joint military exercises typically conducted by the United States and Australia. The newly formed trifecta of Pacific allies was largely seen as the latest in an attempt to bolster defenses against an alleged Chinese threat.

While Japan’s participation in the drills demonstrated Tokyo’s concern over the Beijing’s construction of islands in the South China Sea, Australia seems to have taken even more of Washington’s bait. A number of Australian media outlets are now reporting that China has moved weaponry onto artificial islands in the South China Sea.

Beijing Protests US Surveillance of South China Sea

While these claims, if true, would represent a major shift in Chinese policy, and a major escalation in the ever-growing tensions between regional stakeholders, the outlets have not provided any evidence.

Many of these reports could stem from the Australian government’s growing concerns about their own trade routes, as Washington continues to stoke fires about their imagined Chinese threat. While Australia had previously remained neutral in all South China Sea disputes, it appears to be changing its tune.

"Give the size and modernization of China’s military, the use by China of land reclamation for military purposes would be of particular concern," Australia’s top defense official, Dennis Richardson, said during a forum in Sydney.

Japan to Join Huge US-Australian Pacific War Games As China Tensions Mount

The Chinese government has repeatedly insisted that the islands lie within its sovereign territory, and that it has every right to build. On Tuesday, Defence Ministry Spokesman Yang Yujun compared the land reclamation efforts to the construction of roads and homes on the mainland.

"From the perspective of sovereignty, there is absolutely no difference," he told reporters. This echoed earlier statements made by Foreign Ministry spokesman Hua Chunying, who emphasized that the islands would help maritime search and rescue, disaster relief, environmental protection, and navigational security.

"Some external countries are also busy meddling in South China Sea affairs," a Chinese policy document, released on Tuesday, reads. "A tiny few maintain constant close-in air and sea surveillance and reconnaissance against China."

This was taken as reference to the efforts of the United States. Despite the fact that the US has no territorial claims in the region, it has consistently heightened efforts to incite unrest in the sea, staging military exercises with the Philippines and Indonesia, and launching patrol missions over the land reclamation projects. 

China Labels New Tension in South China Sea as ‘Old Tricks’ by West

"China’s actions are bringing countries in the region together in new ways," US Defense Secretary Ash Carter said during a military ceremony on Wednesday. "They’re increasing demand for American engagement in the Asia-Pacific. We’re going to meet it."

"We will remain the principal security power in the Asia-Pacific for decades to come," he added.

With nearly $5 trillion in trade passing through its waters annually, the South China Sea is a hotly contested region. While China lays claim to most of the area, there overlapping claims from Vietnam, Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, and the Philippines.

Read more:

WTF is Really up with The presence of the US military in the South China Sea ?

WTF is Really up with The presence of the US military in the South China Sea ?

The U.S. counts the Philippines as an ally even though the Philippines ordered U.S. to leave Strategic Navy Base at Subic Bay., but still the U.S. says it is obliged under U.S. law to help Taiwan defend itself. Both governments have claims in the area as well.

Beijing and Washington are at odds over whether the U.S. has the right to send military planes and ships close to the Spratly Islands, where China is in the process of building a set of artificial islands. International law – the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea — only goes so far in determining who’s right.

What are China’s claims?

China says it has sovereignty over virtually all South China Sea islands and their adjacent waters. It hasn’t defined those waters, but it issued a map that has what is called a nine-dash line that swoops down past Vietnam and the Philippines, and toward Indonesia, encompassing virtually all of the South China Sea. It has also never clearly explained whether the nine-dash line represents a historical or a legal claim – an important distinction under international law. China says its claim won’t hinder commercial vessels from passing through what is one of the world’s most important shipping routes, but it says foreign military ships shouldn’t conduct operations in the waters it claims.

Why does that trouble the U.S.?

The U.S. claims the right for its warships and aircraft to conduct military operations in and over what it sees as international waters. Its forces regularly carry out surveillance and other missions close to China’s coast. China has suggested the U.S. would cross an important line if it sends warships too close to the Spratlys. Because China has been vague about its claims, U.S. officials say Beijing could in theory one day seek to restrict access to some foreign commercial vessels as well.

What does international law say?
International maritime law is complicated. Under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, every country has the right to control territorial waters stretching out 12 nautical miles from its coast. They can also claim an exclusive economic zone extending up to 200 nautical miles, within which they can regulate economic activity like fishing and mining. Foreign warships can pass through a country’s territorial waters in what the law calls innocent passage but can’t conduct operations there, according to the convention. It doesn’t specify what activities foreign warships can undertake in the exclusive economic zone.

How do the new islands change the equation?

The U.S. and China’s neighbors fear Beijing will use the artificial islands it is building to bolster its claims to the area – and assert those claims by force. The U.N. Convention says states can build artificial islands in their exclusive economic zones, but it says countries can base their claims to maritime rights only on naturally formed land features. The U.S., its allies and some of China’s neighbors are concerned that China will declare an air-defense identification zone over the South China Sea, which it could use to challenge other countries’ aircraft in the area. Facilities on the new islands could allow its military aircraft to police the skies. A secondary concern is that the islands could provide a backup airstrip for Chinese aircraft carriers. The islands are roughly 1,000 kilometers from the main Chinese coast.

What are the flashpoints?

The U.S. is continuing to conduct surveillance and other operations throughout the South China Sea, including waters close to the Spratlys. It is also considering plans to send navy ships and aircraft within 12 nautical miles of the artificial islands, though U.S. officials say they haven’t done that yet. Meanwhile, the Philippines is challenging China at a U.N. tribunal, arguing that the nine-dash line has no basis in law. China is a signatory to the U.N. convention, but has rejected U.N. arbitration. 

The U.S., alone among major nations, hasn’t ratified the U.N. convention, which to some extent weakens its position in taking Beijing to task.
U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter answers reporters' question during a joint news conference with his South Korean counterpart Han Min Koo at the Defense Ministry in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, April 10, 2015. REUTERS/Lee Jin-man
Analysts believe that recent US military activity is another example of how the US is struggling to maintain the status quo while coping with the rise of China as a global power. They urge the US to face up to the reality that China is becoming a maritime power and that China’s determination to protect its sovereignty should not be underestimated.

“The South China Sea issue makes up a small portion of Sino-US ties,” wrote Cen Shaoyu, an international relations commentator. “Leaders from both countries should understand that the future of China and the US, as well as the future of Asia, are far beyond just that.”

China electronically jammed Global Hawk long-range surveillance drones spying on China’s Nansha Islands, a possible attempt to capture a Global Hawk by causing one to crash in shallow waters, or to snatch one in flight using a manned aircraft, The Washington Free Beacon reported on Friday.

Disclosure of the jamming came as a US P-8A anti-submarine and maritime surveillance aircraft flew over waters off China’s Nansha Islands for reconnaissance activities on Wednesday.

It is the US that travelled thousands of miles to China’s doorstep to force China to safeguard national territorial sovereignty and maritime interests, Peng Guangqian, a specialist in military strategy at the PLA Academy of Military Science, told the Global Times.

“China’s responses were justified acts of self-defense when the US flights approached China’s territory and were in accordance with international practice,” Tao Wenzhao, a research fellow with the Institute of American Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times.

China will very likely strike back if the US comes within 12 miles of the islands, Peng said, adding that the US was deliberately provoking China.

“The US provocation has boosted the chance of military confrontation between Beijing and Washington,” Zhu Feng, director of the Collaborative Innovation Center of South China Sea Studies under Nanjing University, told the Global Times.

Once China dispatches aircraft to drive away the US fighters, both sides are likely to exchange fire due to high flight speed, Zhu said.

“The reconnaissance conducted by the US military aircraft poses a potential threat to the security of China’s maritime features, and is highly likely to cause miscalculation, or even untoward maritime and aerial incidents,” Hong Lei, a spokesman for China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told a regular press conference on Friday.

The presence of the US military in the South China Sea also encouraged countries neighboring the waters to increase military build-up, making the region more unstable and deterring peaceful settlement through dialogue, said Jin Canrong, vice director of the School of International Studies at Renmin University of China.

The Pentagon’s moves came after US Secretary of State John Kerry finished his two-day visit to China on May 17. Kerry reaffirmed the US government’s stance of not taking sides on the South China Sea issue and said the same stance will apply to other parties involved in the dispute, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

“The conflicting attitudes adopted by the US government and its military demonstrated the disunity within the US,” Jin said.

“Of course the involvement of great powers outside the region complicates the South China Sea situation. However, the involvement of major countries also means more convoluted interests are at stake when it comes to making the decision to enter military conflicts,” said Xue Li, a research fellow with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

As their Sanctions on Russia failed, The Plan C is a pivot to a new Asian theatre of conflict..

The United States has asked for access to Philippine military bases in eight locations to rotate troops, aircraft, and ships as Washington shifts its forces to Asia and as China expands its military presence in the South China Sea.

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter, in a speech in Arizona, has outlined Washington's next phase in its Asia "pivot", deploying its most sophisticated destroyers, bombers and fighters to the region.

The Asia "pivot" has already seen U.S. Marines rotating through the Australian tropical city of Darwin, the country's closest city to Asia, for training.

At least eight locations in the Philippines have been identified as possible sites where U.S. troops, planes and ships will be rotated through a series of military training and exercises, Philippine General Gregorio Catapang, military chief, told local television network ABS-CBN.

But, the Americans will have to wait until after the Philippine's Supreme Court makes its rulings on the constitutionality of the military deal, called Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement, signed last year between Manila and Washington. It may decide later this year.

"If we formalize (now) and they start putting up structures and it’s not constitutional, they will have to destroy those structures," Catapang said late on Friday, adding the list was finalised in October during a Mutual Defence Board meeting.

Four of the locations are on the main island of Luzon, where U.S. and Filipino soldiers usually hold exercises, two on the central Cebu island, and two more on the western island of Palawan, near the disputed Spratly.

China claims most of the potentially energy-rich South China Sea, disputed in parts with the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan, and denies accusations its actions in its own territory are provocative.

Recent satellite images suggest China has made rapid progress in building an airstrip suitable for military use in contested territory in the Spratly islands, which drew concern from the United States and its allies in Asia.

"Once the U.S. rebalance to Asia policy is in full swing, the Philippines expect the Americans to seek more access to military bases on Mindanao island and civilian airstrips on Luzon," said a senior air force official familiar with the arrangements.

"The Americans are interested in Laoag airport and Batanes island, both in the northern part of Luzon," he said, adding U.S. planes had landed on Batanes during the war in Iraq and Afghanistan in the early 2000s.

The United States is also interested to return to its two former military bases in Subic and Clark, which they left in 1992 after the Philippines terminated basing agreement.

President of Poland: to Poroshenko, I have no time to meet with a Loser

President of Poland: to Poroshenko, I have no time to meet with a Loser

The new president of Poland, the first thing "sent" Poroshenko clear: there is no time to meet with the loser new Polish president, followed by the European Union, "put the instrument" to Ukraine and its president. No sooner had the Polish Central Election Commission announced changer Komorowski won the presidential election, both Duda immediately from this height spat in the soul of the great Ukrainian people. And Poroshenko, who announced the meeting with the new Polish leader, had to wipe.

Suddenly it became clear that the President of Poland do not have time to communicate with Maidana losers. Scheduled for Wednesday, May 27 at the Warsaw meeting of the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, with the winner of the presidential elections will not take place Andrzej Duda. 

It is reported by the Polish agency PAP, citing its own sources close to the newly-elected head of state. "previously planned meeting with Andrzej Duda, however, will not take place ... The decision was made ​​because of the many duties of the newly elected president and believable because of the need to travel Brussels, "- said the agency and recalled that Duda is a deputy of the European Parliament. 

Everything is logical: the new leader of Poland's first compare notes with the EU, which demonstrates the fatigue and irritation of the Ukraine, and then will decide how to deal with the "lackeys" . By the way, before leaving Duda sent a clear signal to Kiev. 

He stated that: - Poland will not allow its soldiers to war in Ukraine - Ukraine will have to reconsider the glorification of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army fighters, cutting Poles in Volyn. In general, Poroshenko, who apparently will be the last president of Ukraine will have to while away the time in the company today the same loser: Pastry and retired president of Poland together look the final match of the Europa League.

Rathke admits, United States supports Kiev's use of heavy artillery in residential areas

The representative of the US State
Department had no answer to the question of the shelling civilians in Gorlovka



At a news briefing, State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke once again left to answer the question of the correspondent Gayane Chichakyan RT. This time, she asked how Washington sees the recent shelling of residential neighborhoods Ukrainian security forces in the Ukrainian city of Gorlovka. They killed three civilians, including a 11-year-old child. However, Jeff Rathke, who, in his own words, reads the reports of the OSCE, saw in the documents is that most of the violations occur Minsk Agreement by militias.

When the daily briefing we were talking about the situation in Ukraine, RT correspondent Gayane Chichakyan asked the representative of the US Department of State on how Washington regard the bombardment by the Ukrainian security services Gorlovka, killing and wounding civilians. Rathke very evasive began to talk about. that the situation in Ukraine is a concern, and the United States is very concerned about the situation. But the majority of violations of the Minsk Agreement is the fault of the militia, stressed Rathke.

"From what sources do you get information about. what is happening in Ukraine. You read the reports of the OSCE, or based on the fact that Kiev authorities say? "- Asked the journalist. "On the territory of Ukraine performs the monitoring mission of the OSCE. And if you look at their reports ... "- he began Rathke. But then the reporter RT napomnila him that the fact of shelling residential areas Gorlovka has been specified in the document. In response, the Rathke recalled that earlier reports spoke about the attacks by the militia.

"If the Kiev authorities believe that the other side violates the cease-fire conflict, whether they give it the right to have to break the truce even more?" - Asked Gayae Chichakyan.

In response to this very specific question, the representative of the State Department said the United States supports the full implementation of the Minsk agreements by all sides. "And most of the separatists violate the agreement," - said Rathke.

Then the conversation took another journalist. "You say that the vast majority of agreements violate Minsk militia. But the majority - this is not all. Since cases of violations of the Kiev authorities still there, is not it? "- Asked Matt Lee. "Yes it is," - was forced to admit a State Department spokesman. "But in most cases it is clear who violate the truce," - he immediately made a reservation, referring to the militia of Donbass.

"From what you say, you would think that Kiev has taken a position of non-interference in the conflict in the east. Is that so? "- Asked the correspondent RT. But Jeff Rathke somehow did not understand a simple question. Gayane Chichakyan was forced to repeat. "I did not say that," said State Department spokesman.

On the question of how to evaluate the actions of the US in the Kiev authorities, Rathke said duty phrases that the authorities in Kiev, Minsk adhere implementation agreements.

"The use of heavy artillery in residential areas - is, in your opinion, the implementation of the agreements Minsk?", - The journalist asked again. But Jeff Rathke left again a direct answer, saying that according to his information, the security forces the withdrawal of troops.

Rathke commented on the issue of a possible lifting the sanctions against Russia.Earlier, US Vice President Joe Biden said the US sanctions against Russia will remain in force until the full implementation of the Minsk Agreement on ceasefire. However, Rathke said that the performance of the Minsk Agreement is not related to sanctions against the Crimea. They are, according to the spokesman of the State Department, will not be lifted until the return of the Crimea under the jurisdiction of Ukraine.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

For many East Ukrainians, The Great Patriotic War was key to their National Ideology

Abandoned: The Kiev Government's Isolation of Eastern Ukrainians

"[W]hen governments strip people of their identity, they create a vacuum that will inevitably be filled with something else, like extremism, religiosity, nationalism, etc."
Olena Lennon

May 20, 2015

Growing up in Horlivka, Ukraine, I never took to public holidays. Celebrations of religious holidays seemed too pagan and pretentious, while others lacked a sense of purpose, besides offering an excuse to eat, drink and be merry. Regardless of what many of the holidays commemorated, they did create a sense of culture and social identity—essential to any society’s existence.

The only holiday that seemed to unite everyone was Victory Day on May 9. On this day, not only Ukrainians, but people across the post-Soviet space, commemorate victory in World War II and the “Great Patriotic War,” a term used to describe the war during June 22, 1941 to May 9, 1945 along eastern fronts of World War II fought between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany.

With its teary-eyed veterans, colorful parades, flowers, balloons, patriotic songs and war movies Victory Day had always been a day like no other. This was perhaps one of the rare occasions when I would bring flowers to my grandparents and listen to my grandfather’s war stories for the umpteenth time—but they always sounded new and exciting. His typically stern and unreadable face would light up, and he would beam with excitement like a child getting to recite his favorite scene from an action movie.

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Over the last year, my grandfather’s enthusiasm to talk to his granddaughter living in the United States seemed to have dwindled. When I talk to my grandmother on the phone, I can hear him in the background, “Is that America calling? Ask her to tell Obama to stop bombing us.” With my grandmother trying to change the subject, the calls inevitably end with my grandfather’s forceful insertion, “Say hello to Obama,”—an ironic and troubling echo of “Thanks, Obama”—to which my grandfather is rightfully oblivious.

Recently, I called to wish my mother, who still remains in rebel-occupied Horlivka, a happy birthday. Naively, I asked her if she had enjoyed the celebration. Her voice shaking, she said there was little to celebrate. She proceeded to inform me that the new ban on Soviet symbols, which effectively prohibited celebration of the upcoming WWII Victory Day, had left everyone angry and bewildered. “Your grandfather is not taking it well,” said my Mom.

On April 9, 2015, the Ukrainian Parliament voted to ban Soviet symbols, a move that further exacerbated the country’s divisions. The package of bills was largely drawn up by the head of the Institute for National Remembrance, Volodymyr Viatrovych, widely known for his strong support for the controversial nationalist leaders Stepan Bandera and Roman Shukhevych. The bill replaced May 9 Victory Day with the May 8 Day of Memory and Reconciliation. It also criminalized the term “Great Patriotic War,” effectively making almost all war movies, songs, and literature illegal.

The government’s zeal for shedding the Soviet past is understandable. But the problem with removing Victory Day and denying the existence of the Great Patriotic War is that it destroys the sense of pride in collective accomplishment that has for so long been a source of culture and identity for Ukrainian people. National identity is often described as a perception of a common past, present, and future. Thus, people often look into the past for sources of social identity, especially when the present and the future become particularly murky.

For many Ukrainians, the Great Patriotic War is not an artifact of Soviet ideology; it is an example of a commemoration of a great collective achievement that cost the lives of many of our ancestors and deserves to be cherished and preserved. And this is true not just for Russian-speaking Ukrainians in the east. A recent survey conducted by the authoritative Democratic Initiatives Foundation and Ukrainian Sociology Service on what unites and divides Ukrainians found that in their attitude to historical events, Ukrainians were most united in their positive view of the victory of the Soviet Union in the war from 1941-1945 against Nazi Germany (84 percent). Across all regions, Ukrainians also demonstrated a unity of views on such events as Ukraine’s declaration of independence (71 percent) and national liberation movement under the leadership of Bohdan Khmelnitsky (69 percent). Khmelnytsky was a Ukrainian leader, who in 1648-1657 organized an uprising against Polish rule in Ukraine, which ultimately led to the transfer of eastern Ukraine from Polish to Russian control.

Stripped of the present and the future, eastern Ukrainians need their historical past to fill the voids of the present and uncertainty of the future. Death, dislocation, and destruction have caused enough anguish and confusion in the region. Being denied all sources of their identity has set people into yet another unimaginable crisis, a point at which “habitual reactions are no longer adequate and previous experiences provide no guidance.”

Of course, crises bring fundamental changes that call old dogmas into question. They force us to critically examine our present reality and to reevaluate our previous opinions and beliefs about the past. And the Ukraine war has certainly done this.

Yet denying people their history can create a different sort of crisis by destroying people’s sense of belonging and threatening the unity created by shared principles and memories. We should be aware of this even if politicians engaged in manipulating history for their own ends are not. Their short-run agenda and the long-run interests of society do not always align. This is why the Ukrainian leaders’ effort to strip people of their history and the symbols is short-sighted and poorly-timed.

First, they labeled everyone who lives in rebel-controlled areas as “terrorists” and cut them off from financial aid. In September 2014, President Petro Poroshenko and Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk cancelled government benefits for residents living in separatist-controlled areas. Yatsenyuk said, “The government will not finance terrorists and impostors.” Since younger, healthier and more financially stable individuals who had opportunities to immigrate had already done so, these cuts affected the most vulnerable people: the poor, old, and sick, fuelling resentment among those fated to be stuckbehind separatist lines.

People felt abandoned, humiliated and lost. Most (especially older generations) have worked for the government their entire lives contributing to their retirement funds by paying heavy taxes. They are now being denied their hard-earned savings. One would think that if the government cut off one of its territories as a gangrene-infected limb, at the very least, it owed hundreds of thousands of “uninfected” people living in those areas help to relocate and survive.

Instead, in January 2015, the Kyiv government introduced a travel ban: they installed new check points and the quagmire of paperwork they required made it harder for people from rebel-occupied territories to travel, sometimes just a few miles down the road, to get access to basic necessities, such as banking and groceries. This policy raised concerns among aid organizations, who warned that a medical crisis could be brewing as the Ukrainian authorities refused to let even essential medical supplies through.

This was the context in which the ban of Soviet symbols and the Great Patriotic War appeared. It made the one thing that remained familiar—the cherished past—no longer acceptable. My mother’s reaction was typical. “I am shocked and confused,” she said.

One in four Ukrainians was killed in World War II and every single family suffered a loss of some kind. Under the leadership of a less than perfect Soviet government, the survivors dedicated their lives to honoring the deceased and restoring the country. My family, along with many others, worked their entire lives to rebuild postwar Ukraine (both sets of my grandparents and my father worked in the railway). They dutifully paid their taxes. Now they are being denied the fruits of their labor and the memories they hold dear and embraced as Ukrainians.

We must always reevaluate and debate our Soviet history, but we must do it for the right reasons and with care. The ban on commemorating the Great Patriotic War was act of defiance against Russia and an expression of Ukraine’s aspirations to be “European.” But many in eastern Ukraine regard it as an attempt to deny history in order to smack Putin’s face and to please Europe. In their eyes, the Ukrainian government is no better than the Russian government they are defying. If Moscow is using the past for his own ends, they believe, so is Kyiv.

Kyiv’s actions are dangerous for two reasons.

First, people in the east are feeling increasingly alienated and are in fact showing more support for the self-proclaimed Donestk National Republic (DNR) and Luhansk National Republic (LNR), thereby making it harder to win this war.

According to the Kiev International Institute of Sociology, in December 2014, only 15.6 percent of people in Donbas (and 11.4 percent in other eastern regions) considered DNR and LNR legitimate governments, with the overwhelming majority not recognizing them as legitimate. Just a few months later, there was a noticeable growth in public support for the rebels: in March 2015, approximately 43.1 percent of Donbas’ population deemed the DNR and LNR legitimate—the largest proportion compared to 38.2 percent who viewed the separatist governments as illegitimate and 32 percent who hesitated to respond either way.

Moreover, people feel that the aim of the antiterrorist operation is not just to destroy terrorists, but also to punish everyone who lives in the areas they control. In March 2015, 46.3 percent (the largest percentage since the Ukraine crisis began) of the people in Donbas said that they considered antiterrorist operation to be a punitive measure directed at them.

Second, when governments strip people of their identity, they create a vacuum that will inevitably be filled with something else, like extremism, religiosity, nationalism, etc.

In eastern Ukraine, this vacuum is increasingly filled by a more pronounced Soviet nostalgia. Ten years ago, in 2005, only 25 percent of eastern Ukrainians aspired to the restoration of the Soviet Union, while 48 percent did not. In 2015, the percentage of people in Donbas lamenting the dissolution of the USSR went up to 70 percent; while in western Ukraine, 80 percent still view the fall of the Soviet Union positively.

If the Ukrainian government is trying to follow the example of former communist countries in Central and Eastern Europe by banning Soviet-era symbols and ceremonies, they should reflect on the mixed successes similar policies have had in Eastern Europe, even when timing seemed better. In other words, neither of those areas had raging wars on their territories while implementing anticommunist reforms.

The transition to democracy in post-Soviet societies has often been accompanied by poverty, corruption, street crime and social chaos. This has produced a growing romanticization of the Communist past in parts of East-Central Europe. In 2008, Reuters reported a survey of  East Germans that found that 52 percent believed that the free-market economy was "unsuitable." Approximately 43 percent said that they wanted socialism back.

Likewise, the conservative Czech government’s strict anticommunism laws have led to “rosier memories” of a “dark system” that offered job security, cheap housing and low-cost food. In 2013, a survey conducted by the Centre for Empirical Research, the main polling agency in the Czech Republic, found that 46 percent of people felt that the present system was better than communism, a twenty-one-year low.

In Latvia, the neoliberal austerity of 2009 has created demographic losses that exceed those created by Stalin's deportations back in the 1940s. As the government cut back on public education, healthcare and other social services, many people found emigration to be the only way out. More than 12 percent of the population (and a much larger percentage of its labor force) now works abroad. Similar trends are observed in Bulgaria and Poland.

Soviet nostalgia is on the rise in eastern Ukraine and hatred of the government is constantly fueled by Kyiv’s policies. Still, eastern Ukrainians are not giving up hope of reconciling with Ukraine. On the question of which integration path Ukraine should follow, in Donbas, the responses were almost equally split between joining: the Customs Union (the Russia-led economic alliance of former Soviet states), 28.5 percent; the European Union, 28.5 percent; and neither, 23.6 percent. In other regions of eastern Ukraine, the largest proportion selected “neither,” while the second largest fraction chose joining the EU (32.2 percent). In all regions of Ukraine, joining Russia’s Customs Union was the least-favored choice.

People across Ukraine are also united in their criticism of Ukraine’s war in Donbas. The majority of Ukrainians in the east do not support military operations and are in favor of peaceful resolution. In western and central Ukraine (the Kyiv government’s main constituency), approximately 60 percent agree; in southern and eastern regions, the percentage increases to 80 percent and in Donbas to over 90 percent.

So whose opinion does the Ukrainian government represent?

These statistics show that people in the east desperately want to believe that the Ukrainian government is capable of offering them a brighter future. But this belief is increasingly harder to sustain when what they face is abandonment and disillusionment.

If it truly wants to reunite Ukraine, the Ukrainian government must offer more support to those in the east who wish to relocate, as well as restore financial, humanitarian and medical assistance. In short, it’s time for a change.

Olena Lennon is a former Fulbright scholar from Horlivka, Ukraine, currently teaching Foreign Policy at the University of New Haven. Her hometown Horlivka, located in the Donetsk province of Eastern Ukraine (Donbas), has been one of the main strongholds of Russian-backed separatists in the past year.

Image: Flickr/ EU Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection​.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Nazi Genocide In Donbass | How Long Before EU's Minsk Signees Act ?

Nazi Genocide In Donbass | How Long Before EU's Minsk Signees Act ? 

By George
May 22, 2015

Just what will it take for the EU to stop acting as puppets for their US Master...? You Turn My Stomach

UPDATE 22:00: Heavy fights in progress near Avdiivka,near Donetsk City and Gorlovka, Ukrainian Army is using 122mm and 152mm howitzers — Militia Source — Confirmed

UPDATE 18:00: Near Marinka Ukrainian Army moved around 8-15 BM-21 GRAD — Militia,Resident Source — Confirmed

UPDATE 18:00: Fights continue in Avdiivka,Donetsk Airport and Gorlovka , Ukrainian Army is using 122mm and 150mm howitzers — Militia Source — Confirmed

UPDATE 15:00: Fights in progress are in Gorlovka,Marinka,near Donetsk City ( in 2-3 districts and Donetsk airport ),Shyrokyne,Hapiness,Sahanka — Militia Source — Confirmed

UPDATE 14:30: Yesterday in Gorlovka was one of the most intense shelling that occurred in this war,Ukrainian Army is using all types of weapons ( 122mm,152mm howitzers,NATO howitzers,mortars,APC,Tanks,machine guns,small arms ) –Militia Source–Not Official Confirmed

UPDATE 14:30: Near Mariupol Ukrainian Army continued the shelling on Shyrokyne , Ukrainian Forces used heavy artillery and tanks — Militia Source — Confirmed

UPDATE 14:00: Heavy fights were in Gorlovka the most affected areas of Gorlovka were west and south-west,Ukrainian Army used 122mm shells and also they used tanks,machine guns,mortars and small arms — Militia,Resident Source — Confirmed

UPDATE 14:00: The night in Novorossiya was intense,Many villages and cities were shelled by Ukrainian Forces,Huge shelling occurred in Happiness (Lugansk) — Militia,Resident Source — Confirmed

Source: Strelkov_info, and brigada_15 and Militia and Residents of Novorossiya

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APU military staged a mutiny on the Yavoriv training ground, where the joint exercises with the US

APU military staged a mutiny on the Yavoriv training ground, where the joint exercises with the US

APU soldiers staged a mutiny just before the American instructors

While at the Yavoriv training ground in the Lviv region unfolding US-Ukrainian exercises involving the National Guard under mobilized in APU soldiers staged a mutiny, blocking the way to the training part.Military demand from the country's leadership, or give them a form and start learning, or dissolve the new wave of recruits to their homes.
According to the Ukrainian edition of "Today" with reference to the wife of one of the rebel soldiers, mobilized soldiers outraged by the actions of the General Staff, who once again sided with the volunteer battalions : leadership training the National Guard under the soldiers arranged by American instructors, provide them with food and clothing, and the regular army conscripts to ignore.
- Today, exactly one month, how to mobilize the guys are out there, the form has not got a lot of running on the teachings in slippers or flip-flops, - quotes edition of the word wife of one of the soldiers. - On the shooting they were taken only four times. Training Battalion set patriotic, but none of them wants to be cannon fodder.
Recall, on the Yavoriv training ground passes six Ukrainian military training under the guidance of instructors from the United States. The Americans have prepared the soldiers for the National Guard under the program, similar to the last month of the basic course of training in the US Army, but in the first two weeks it was found that skills of Ukrainian soldiers is not enough. So far, the Ukrainians are taught to cut the barbed wire, knock the door with the help of scrap, used the radio and do not throw fellow soldiers on the battlefield. There are videos on the frames of which the US Marines at the site near Lviv taught men to use the APU to the Soviet RPG-7, which was adopted more than 50 years ago.
Problems with the equipment of the army of Ukraine remained the same as a year ago, as the Ukrainian General Staff used to systematically save on their troops. For example, a battalion of "Phoenix" were armed with mortars 1943 issue, but several teams have given militants rusty bullets. In August last year, the Ministry of Defence has spent 3.5 million dollars on the vests, which Prosecutor General's Office found to be unsuitable for use in the area of ​​so-called anti-terrorist operation. Moreover, in October, the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine has sent to the front line "helmets Paintball": coldaty APU read in the instructions that the fragile equipment is not designed to protect against bullets.
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Awesome Pictures made with Rhinestones.

Awesome Pictures made with Rhinestones.

Marina Sergeev

New-York Times came out with a devastating article about the regime Poroshenko-Yatseniuk

New-York Times came out with a devastating article about the regime Poroshenko-Yatseniuk

 One of the most influential newspapers in the world New-York Times today has come out with a devastating and frank article on the results of the government euromaidan. Ukraine called bankrupt, directly recognized the presence of political assassinations and corruption in the new government. 

The following excerpts from the text of the publication. The publication writes: "The wave of politically motivated killings and mysterious suicides of former government officials to spread fear in the capital. Infighting was the beginning of the split of the coalition of pro-European majority in parliament. And keeps a constant threat of war on the border with Russia. 

A year after the election of Petro Poroshenko to replace ousted President Viktor Yanukovych, and six months after the swearing in of the new legislature, Ukraine remains a country deeply mired in political and economic chaos. " "The Ukrainian government is so weak and fragile that it can not take the necessary steps to create a unified and independent state" - the newspaper quoted Bruce Jackson, president of the "Transitional Democracy" American nonprofit groups.

The publication notes the deadlock of negotiations in Kiev and Donbass, "in spite of the that the February agreement between the parties of the ceasefire calls for the decentralization of power, greater local autonomy as a basis for a long-term agreement. " "Destruction of the economy continues to fall, the decline in GDP was 17.6% in the first quarter of 2015. Hoping to avoid a default, senior officials began protracted negotiations with creditors, with whom they have been unable so far to agree. 

The officials are now openly worried about that the promise of a loan of more than $ 40 billion. from the International Monetary Fund and the allies, including the United States and the European Union, will not be enough to keep the country afloat. Probably the biggest disappointment for the protesters who had seized the center of Kiev in the past year, it has become that the new leadership headed by Poroshenko, Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk still not been able to fulfill its promises to eradicate the rampant corruption. Instead, it has become entangled in the new allegations of misconduct and expenses, reducing political scores. 

The parliament, in which the pro-European parties, controls the majority, voted last month for the creation of a special commission to investigate the charges against suave English-speaking Yatsenyuk, who so admired the West and his Cabinet about the theft of more than $ 325 million. ... more from the state budget mess becomes a source of friction between the Government of Ukraine and its European allies, especially Germany and France, whose leaders have helped to achieve a ceasefire, which more and more frustrated by the slow pace of change. 

EU says: "Where decentralization? Where the fulfillment of obligations? Where is the reform? ". It is not surprising that public trust in government fell. In addition to the confusion, Poroshenko recently declared war on the richest and most powerful businessmen of the country, known as oligarchs, in an attempt to limit their influence and regain popular support. At the same time it risks to make enemies among the largest employers in the country, which still supported the government in Kiev ... 
For there is no greater problem than has still not brought the fruits of the struggle against corruption. 
Even those officials who are at the forefront of this struggle, recognized that it was largely ineffective. David Sakvarelidze, the Deputy Prosecutor General, who helped implement radical changes in the judicial system in his native Georgia, received Ukrainian citizenship and the authority to reorganize the prosecutor's office. "They still are corrupt, have not made ​​any changes to the system of law enforcement and the courts," - Sakvarelidze said in an interview in his office in Kiev. 

One of the main promises of the Maidan was the creation of a new Anti-Corruption Bureau, which is expected to employ 700 law enforcement officers. April 16, after a long delay, Poroshenko finally elected as the first director of the Bureau of Artyom Sytnik, former prosecutor of Kiev. This was the main reason for support in Parliament to establish a special commission to investigate corruption, promulgated by Nicholas Gordienko, a former head of the State Financial Supervision Authority, which accused the government of Yatsenyuk in enrichment using corruption schemes. 

According to analysts, should expect a significant disappointment. "At the end of the year, everything is always disappointed after any revolutionary upheaval, it is one of the laws of social science," - said Michael McFaul, a Stanford University professor and former US Ambassador to Russia, who is an expert on revolutions and who visited Kiev last month. "There has never been cases where people say," Oh, things are going even better than I thought. 

Always "The government is not doing enough," "Reforms are slow." ... But the opposition only added to a sense of fear in relation to Ukraine, especially among businessmen and officials who had ties with the government of Yanukovych. At least six of these officers were killed this year, apparently committed suicide, and the seventh - Oleg Kalashnikov, a former member of Parliament from the Party of Regions led by Yanukovich, was gunned down outside his home in Kiev last month. "

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland (Reuters / Sergei Karpukhin)

Victoria Nuland arrived in Moscow last weekend and declared that Ukraine’s government doesn’t intend to resume the civil war. Either Nuland was being mendacious or President Poroshenko is on a dangerous solo-run.

It’s all gone Lethal Weapon. Not in the sense of munitions, although some of those are definitely in play, but rather the movie series. Just as Danny Glover and Mel Gibson delivered four memorable performances in their good cop/bad cop roles, the US State Department is now deploying the tactic.

First John Kerry, who like Glover probably thinks he’s getting too old for this, turns up all smiles in Sochi. Convinced the straight man’s charm offensive has softened Russian resolve, the Americans then let Victoria Nuland loose on Moscow. The fact that the Russians were so pleasant about it, after shehelped coordinate the 2014 Kiev coup, speaks volumes for their tolerance.

While Cold War 2 might have stalled in pre-production, spin-offs from the original remain box office.Just as Cheers led to Frasier, the first installment has left us with Ukraine. As the film director Baz Luhrmann once explained, channeling Mary Schmich, “real troubles are… the kind that blindside you at pm on some idle Tuesday." Ukraine is exactly that kind of thing. Thanks is no small part to Nuland, it’s become an albatross for both Washington and the Kremlin.

Nuland was adamant that she came in peace .

“There is no indication from our own information, or from my consultations in Kiev, that anybody on the Ukrainian side, anybody in leadership - and I spoke to President Poroshenko, I spoke to Prime Minister Yatsenyuk, I’ve spoken to security officials - has any intention of launching new hostilities,” she declared.

Given that Nuland was trying to cover every feasible base, her comments just might have been genuine.

Then just a day later, the Ukrainian army shelled Donetsk, killing at least one civilian. RT’s Murad Gazdiev, on the ground in the modern-day Sarajevo, described the attack as one of the worst for months. He also reported that the target was the north part of the city, where the previously contested airport is located.

Of course, the assault came just days after Poroshenko passionately vowed to “fight to the last drop of blood” against what he described as “Russian aggressors.” Furthermore, on Germany’s state-controlled ZDF network, the billionaire Oligarch called the Minsk peace agreement a “pseudo-peace” deal. Before that, Poroshenko said: “I have no doubt - we will free the airport (in Donetsk), because it is our land. And we will rebuild the airport."

Something doesn’t add up here. Let’s assume that the US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs would not travel to Russia and knowingly lie. In that case, either Nuland has completely lost control of her Ukrainian proxies or those once-useful idiots are performing to a different script. If it's the former, expect more intense violence this week. If the US still calls the tune, Poroshenko and his cronies should fall into line with reasonable haste.

Perhaps, I’m naive but I’d really love to believe that Washington no longer commands the Kiev regime. It would mean that the US bears no culpability for the ridiculous anti-Communist laws and the appalling snub to brave, elderly veterans of WW2 on Kiev’s 70th Victory Day, when they were forced to accept parity of esteem with their Nazi opponents.

Assuming Nuland is being sincere, it’s then clear that the post-Maidan regime fear the US is washing its hands of them. If Washington is earnestly sacrificing its pet crazies in Kiev in order to secure Russian cooperation in more important areas, the world wins. Ultimately, Ukraine will also benefit. A bad peace for the failed state is still better than a good war. After 18 months of collective hara-kiri, the fractured lands need respite.

Interestingly, the Russian side denied that any deals had been done. The Deputy Foreign Minister, Sergey Ryabkov said: “We focused on the problematic aspects of bilateral relations and some international problems.” As for the bilateral relations, he added “Russia said it was dissatisfied with their current form, but we are ready to continue dialogue and discussion of all the existing problems, whether in the military-political sphere or the humanitarian sphere."

The disastrous condition of Ukraine’s economy must also be focusing minds. The private intelligence company Stratfor, known as the ‘shadow CIA,’ noted that Nuland's visit to Moscow "is the latest indicator" that Washington's position on Ukraine and its role in the country's future "may be shifting.”

After 18 months of ludicrously soft-soaping the regime, even the US mainstream press is suddenly highlighting Kiev’s problems with corruption. This increases the likelihood that Nuland has had a Damascene moment. It’s hard to imagine the US’ lap dog corporate media straying too far from the State Department line.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko (L) greets U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland (Reuters / Ukrainian Presidential Press Service / Mikhail Palinchak / Pool)

The New York Times last weekend quoted Bruce Jackson, President of something called The Project on Transitional Democracies, once a side-project of the supposedly dissolved ‘Project For The New American Century (PFTNAC)’ who said: “Poroshenko, whether you like him or not, he’s not delivering.”Jackson is former military intelligence officer. Additionally, he once ran the US Committee on NATO, dedicated to expansion of the alliance.

However, what is far more significant is the fact that, together with Robert Kagan, Jackson served as one of five directors of the PFTNAC, a neocon think tank that also involved Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz. Kagan is the husband of Victoria Nuland. It’s reasonable to assume that whatever Jackson is thinking isn’t far removed from Nuland’s thoughts.

Jackson further observes that “the Ukrainian government is so weak and fragile that it’s too weak to do the necessary things to build a unified and independent state.”

In British soccer, there’s a humorous expression, “squeaky-bum time,” attributed to the legendary Alex Ferguson. It relates to the exciting part of a game or season, particularly the last few actions. It’s fair to say that it’s now “squeaky-bum time” for Poroshenko. His American sponsors could well be abandoning him. If so, his future prospects are beyond grim.

Ukraine’s GDP plummeted by 17.6 percent in the first quarter of this year. The New York Times reports that officials in Kiev now believe that the $40 billion pledged by the IMF, US and EU will not be enough to keep the country afloat. The NYT further suggests that Yatsenyuk and his cabinet may have embezzled more than $325 million since taking office.

For his part, Jackson continues: “We don’t simply have Russian aggression against the victim Ukraine… Ukraine is now seen as not to be trusted. What the EU is saying is: Where is the decentralization? Where is the commitment? Where are the reforms?”

When somebody like Bruce Jackson, so close to US policymakers on Eastern Europe, to be talking this way, it is reasonable to assume that something has changed dramatically. While Nuland might revel in the role of bad cop, she’s also not a law onto herself.

President Obama has 18 months left in office. This crucial period when two-term US Presidents usually strive to finalize their legacy. You will remember that George Bush was much more enthusiastic about Georgia in 2003, than he was in 2008, when he seemed to regard it as an irritant? There’s a simple reason for this. By the time Mikhail Saakashvili launched his ridiculous war; Bush was furiously attempting to burnish his place in history.

Obama is now entering the same final lap. The key foreign policy issues on his table are Iran and Syria. On these he can realistically make headway and cooperation from Russia would be extremely useful in both situations. Devoting further time and effort to Ukraine would be as productive as banging his head off a wall.

Russia’s tabloid daily Moskovsky Komsomolets suggested on Monday that Nuland was “unlikely to be bringing with her a plan for how to resolve the conflict in Ukraine. It is unusual for a person who started a fire to be involved in the fire-fighting effort.”

While that’s true, I think it was Kerry who came to mend fences. Nuland’s public presence was rather an attempt re-assure Washington’s Republicans that Obama is not suddenly going soft on Russia, as they would perceive it. Good cop/bad cop, indeed. Squeaky bum time in Kiev.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Macedonia vs. Maidan 100,000 People Anti-US, but Western Media blocks Coverage

Macedonia vs. Maidan 100,000 People Anti-US, but Western Media blocks Coverage
Date: May 19, 2015 
Rubric News

In the center of the capital of Macedonia Skopje, about 100 thousand citizens supporting the current government, came to the rally. They filled the square in front of the parliament building, thus responding to the actions of the opposition.

But they are, of course, none of the Western (and with their submission - and international) media does not write or report.

But today continues its work the opposition camp, divided front of Government House. Several of its "inhabitants" are demanding the resignation of the Prime Minister of Macedonia Nikola Gruevski. And write about it all the Western (and with their supply and global) media. 

The answer is "disagree"

The rally of the ruling conservative party VMRO-DPMNE Skopje became the largest in the history of the country, reports the Macedonian media. According to unofficial estimates channel "Sitel»,, and several other publications, actions in support of the current government was attended by over 90 thousand people. In addition, many Macedonian banners carried Serbian flags, some activists lit flares. This action of supporters of the ruling party has become a response to the statement of opposition forces.

Recall, on Sunday evening in the capital of Macedonia was held a rally "dissent", headed by the Social Democrat Zoran Zaev. Among the claims - dissatisfaction socio-economic situation in the country. Zaev accused cabinet members in criminal and corruption and election fraud in 2014, where his party SDSM won the second place.

After anti-government rally Zoran Zaev called on his supporters to remain in the government building as long as the cabinet will not go into retirement. The politician is required to organize a new transitional government that would start preparing early parliamentary elections.

Official government headed by Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski control the situation in the city - until all is quiet on the streets, and statements Zaeva evaluated as a desire to come to power by undemocratic.

Macedonian police took opposition camp under heavy guard. Who is on duty a few dozen well-equipped police, special forces, here is the police armored cars and buses. The camp itself "inhabit" a few dozen opposition supporters, they listen to music, communicate. On stage were the opposition leaders, who are trying to encourage. From time to time heard cries of "Resignation! Resignation! ", Reports RIA" Novosti "from the scene.
Macedonia opposes the USA

A series of anti-government protests that swept Macedonia, caused by persistent attempts of the West to contribute to the change of the political regime in the Balkan country, said political scientist, chief editor of Chronicles Srdzha Trifkovic in an interview with RT.

"Everything happens for a classic scenario of regime change, developed by Gene Sharp (political scientist and author of the theory of non-violent political struggle - approx. ) many years ago. It is unlikely that this tactic will work again, this time in Macedonia, because we are talking only about the thousands rather than the tens of thousands of protesters, "- says Trifkovic.

According to him, the leader of the Macedonian Socialist Zoran Zaeva no reason to believe that the Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski voluntarily resigns - Zaev he is under pressure as the West, provided the opposition about allegedly unlawful actions of the authorities and the Albanian terrorists so the freedom of maneuver of the opposition leader is severely limited.

Washington and Brussels have their fingers on the pulse of the crisis from the outset, convinced Trifkovic.

The reason for Western intervention in the domestic political landscape Macedonian prime minister Gruevski was the desire to join the "Turkish stream."

Under the same pressure from the US and the EU, Bulgaria was forced to say "no" to the Russian project of gas transit to Europe via the Balkans. The next in line was Macedonia.Once it became aware of the intentions of Nikola Gruevski, he turned to the West, "target" and "corrupt nationalists", said the analyst.

"We see a tremendous performance with the advent of the crowd of protesters EU Ambassador in Skopje. It is clear that the promise of regime change comes from Brussels and Washington, and the roots go back to the protest actions of Albanian terrorists in Kumanovo May 9th. I think we are witnessing the next episode of the long geopolitical struggle between the United States and its European friends accommodating on the one hand, and Russia - on the other ", - concluded Trifkovic.

Rally in support of the prime minister and the government

In Skopje about the parliament building Rally supporters of Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski and his government. The meeting, entitled "Strong Macedonia!" Was held in response to yesterday's 20,000th demonstration of the opposition Social Democratic Union of Macedonia.

"Poroshenko Can't Cope", says - New York Times

"Poroshenko Can't Cope", says - New York Times


Ukraine is on the verge of sovereign bankruptcy. A wave of politically motivated killings and mysterious suicides of former officials to instill fear in Kiev. A year after the election of the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko remains deeply mired in political and economic crisis, writes The New York Times.
"Poroshenko, weather you like it or not, you can not cope. The Ukrainian government is so unstable and in its inactivity that is unable to take the necessary steps to build a unified and independent state, "- said president of the American non-profit organization" Project on Transitional Democracies, "Bruce Jackson.
Attempts by the political settlement of the relations between Kiev and militias in the south-east of Ukraine reached an impasse because of procedural disputes. Destruction of the economy continues to deteriorate. Hoping to avoid a default high-ranking officials involved in lengthy negotiations with creditors, but the deal is still not concluded. Now, officials do not hide that the $ 40 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund, the European Union and the United States will not be enough to keep the country from falling apart.

Perhaps the biggest disappointment for those who participated in anti-government protests last year, was the fact that the new government led by Poroshenko still failed to fulfill promises to eradicate the rampant corruption.

"The ongoing confusion becomes a source of contention between the Government of Ukraine and its European allies, especially Germany and France, whose leaders have helped to achieve a ceasefire and the most frustrated by slow pace of change. Not surprisingly, therefore public confidence in the government fell, "- the article says.

The Participants of the Odessa Massacre Must Never Walk Away Free, Officially or Not.

Odessa Massacre Perpertrators May Walk Scot-Free After Parliament's Pardon

The Participants of the Odessa Massacre Must Never Walk Away Free, Officially or Not.A woman cries during a gatherin in front of the Trade Union House in Odessa, southern Ukraine, on May 2, 2015, in memory of people who died in a fire at the Trade Union House in May 2014

KIEV (Sputnik) — The bill pardoning those involved in violent clashes and subsequent deadly fire in Odessa on May 2, 2014 was submitted to the Ukrainian parliament Monday, the parliament's press service said.

The text of the draft law has not yet been published, according to the statement.

The initiator of the bill is Ukrainian lawmaker Alexei Goncharenko, who was briefly detained in Russia in March for alleged involvement in Odessa clashes.

Up to 50 people, believed to be anti-Kiev activists, died last year in a blaze at the Trade Unions House in Odessa, a southern Ukrainian port city on the Black Sea.

The activists had taken shelter inside the building after clashes with pro-government football fans. A raging mob hurled Molotov cocktails at the union's house, apparently setting the Soviet-era building alight. Eyewitnesses said later some of those trapped inside died after jumping to death, or being attacked by the crowd.