Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Global proest watch ! Ukraine out of control and Thailand getting hotter - a pro-government faction leader shot last night !

Ukrainian Protesters Chant "Yankees Go Home"; Klitschko Warns Of "More Deaths"

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Ukrainian protesters erected more street barricades and occupied another government ministry building on Friday after the failure of crisis talks with President Yanukovich, as opposition leader Klitschko feared "more deaths" pointing to a weekend of increasingly violent protests. Reuters reports that Yanukovich's party stated "the situation has grown sharper throughout the country," and called on people to disregard the calls of "radical troublemakers" to turn out for protest rallies. Klitschko punched back, "Yanukovich has declared war on his own people. He is trying to hold on to power at the price of blood and de-stabilization of the situation in the country. He has to be stopped." The international community is getting involved with Hollande calling for "dialogue" but it is Biden's threat of "consequences" that spurred a different protest at the US embassy - "The US is behind everything that is happening in Kiev’s downtown right now."

The problem started...
Hundreds of thousands took to the streets in the capital after Yanukovich backed away from signing a free trade deal with the European Union, which many people saw as the key to a European future, in favor of financial aid from Ukraine's old Soviet master Russia.

But the movement has since widened into broader protests against perceived misrule and corruption in the Yanukovich leadership.

Protesters have been enraged too by sweeping anti-protest legislation that was rammed through parliament last week by Yanukovich loyalists in the assembly.
and is spreading...
Yanukovich's Party of the Regions confirmed reports that two months of anti-government protests were spreading to other parts of the country, particularly the west, where "extremists" had seized regional administration buildings.
And will get worse...
Opposition leader Vitaly Klitschko, who with two other opposition leaders failed to wring any concessions from Yanukovich late last night, said the only way out of the impasse lay with international mediation.

"Any discussion of how to settle the crisis in Ukraine must take place with the involvement of the international mediators of the highest level," a statement from his Udar party quoted him as saying.

"Instead of shifting to solving the situation by common sense, Yanukovich has declared war on his own people. He is trying to hold on to power at the price of blood and de-stabilization of the situation in the country. He has to be stopped," the boxer-turned-politician said.


Masked protesters, some carrying riot police shields seized as trophies, stood guard as others piled up sandbags packed with frozen snow to form new ramparts across the road leading down into the square.


Opposition leader Vitaly Klitschko, after leaving a second round of talks with Yanukovich empty handed, late on Thursday voicedfears the impasse could now lead to further bloodshed.
But at the US embassy, a different crowd is revolting...
...a new faction of intelligent Ukrainian protesters has sprung up this week.
They see right through the covert western operation:
“The US is behind everything that is happening in Kiev’s downtown right now.”

From yesterday afternoon, this new group have begun to encircle the US Embassy in Kiev. Their demand to the US:
‘Stop meddling in our affairs, and stop sponsoring unrest mobs in our country’. 
Following John McCain’s recent trip to Kiev practicing his new brand of international racketeering by threatening the Ukraine if they did not join the EU, it seems that the real Ukrainians have finally figured out that the pro-EU mobs have been staged by a conclave of western NGO’s and ‘democracy foundations’ – the very same nest of hornets who brought on the fabled ‘Arab Spring’ to the Middle East three years ago.
The main goal for Washington and the City of London is to separate Kiev from Moscow, and thus weaken Russia’s hand in Eurasia.
For EU central bankers, the prospect of raping and privatising the Urkraine economy-  is also a big incentive.
It looks like the old tricks are no longer working. At last, the ‘colour revolution’ jig may finally be up…
A huge crowd of demonstrators has surrounded the US embassy in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev, protesting against Washington’s meddling in the country’s internal affairs.
Follow RT’s live updates.
The event was organized by Kievans for Clean City, a new pro-government activist group which has spoken out against the rioters and violence in downtown Kiev.
Several thousand demonstrators are taking part, urging the US to “stop sponsoring” mass unrests, local media reported.
“The US is behind everything that is happening in Kiev’s downtown right now. The financing is coming from over there. This has to be stopped. That is what we came out here to say to the whole world: ‘US – stop! US – there needs to be peace in Ukraine,’” said Ivan Protsenko, one of the movement’s leaders.

Clashes have resumed in central Kiev, following a tense ceasefire. Rioters are burning tires and hurling firecrackers and Molotov cocktails at police. There are reports of injuries.
Read RT's timeline of the unrest in Ukraine 
Radical protesters attacked and held three police officers inside the occupied city council building amid clashes near Independence Square. One of the officers received a stab wound, Ukraine’s Ministry of Internal Affairs reported.
The injured policeman was released and hospitalized. The condition of the other two officers is unknown at this time.
In a separate incident, a police officer was shot dead in Kiev on Friday night. Witnesses heard the shots and saw two people running away from the scene, Unian news agency reported. The victim lived near the Berkut living quarters.
RT’s Peter Oliver described the situation in central Kiev: “We saw many, many Molotov cocktails being thrown by the rioters, also fireworks, as well as any bits of stones, about the size of a fist if not bigger. We also saw homemade sling-shots being used on those rocks being thrown at police.”
“The wall of flame is separating the rioters and police,” he said. “There is no sign of any kind of truce, no sign of any kind of listening to calls for calm.”
Oliver said that rioters are chanting: “Glory to Ukraine, glory to heroes. Glory to the nation and death to our enemy.”
Police are responding to attacks with rubber bullets and flash grenades.
Rioters have started at least 10 new fires on Grushevskogo Street, with protesters actively adding more car tires and fuel to the flames, Unian news agency reported.
 January 24, 2014. (Reuters / David Mdzinarishvili)
January 24, 2014. (Reuters / David Mdzinarishvili)

Police forces have lined up directly across from the rioters, keeping calm and periodically lighting up the area with powerful floodlights.
There are currently about 1,500 people present on Grushevskogo Street, including both rioters and police officers, according to Unian. Two ambulances have arrived at the site of the clashes.
RT's Alexey Yaroskevsky reported that people on the streets are facing severe weather, with temperatures expected to drop to -30 Celcius overnight.
View image on Twitter
The wall of fire is back

The Ukrainian president has promised a government reshuffle and amendments to the anti-protest laws that triggered violent clashes in Kiev.
Read RT's timeline of Ukrainian clashes
"We will make a decision at this session [on January 28]. I will sign a decree and we will reshuffle the government in order to find the best possible professional government team," Viktor Yanukovich said Friday as quoted by his press service.
The president has also pledged to amend the anti-protest laws signed on January 16 which sparked violent confrontations between protesters and riot police on Grushevskogo Street.
January 24, 2014 (RIA Novosti / Andrey Stenin)
January 24, 2014 (RIA Novosti / Andrey Stenin)

“Experts will work on the issue regarding this and along with the opposition we will prepare compromise decisions, will vote in the parliament for these changes,” Yanukovich stressed during a meeting with church leaders.
In return for rioters leaving Grushevskogo Street - the epicenter of the unrest - Yanukovich on Thursday offered the release of those detained during the riots and mitigated penalties for protesters arrested in clashes.
On Friday, he confirmed his readiness to pardon all protesters involved in the riots, as long as they have not committed grave offenses.
A fragile ceasefire reigns in embattled Kiev, but unrest is spreading across the rest of Ukraine, with hundreds taking to the streets and seizing administration buildings.
During the six days of rioting, the opposition and the government were not reporting any substantial progress. On Thursday, despite it being the second day of talks with no concrete deal reached, the opposition still described their four-hour meeting with the goverment as “positive”, and said it would continue talks. The opposition's major demands are focusing on the government’s resignation and early elections.
The public responded to the meeting with new barricades on Independence Square. A group of protesters seized the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food headquarters nearby.
January 24, 2014 (RIA Novosti / Andrey Stenin)
January 24, 2014 (RIA Novosti / Andrey Stenin)

Nevertheless, Friday has seen no major clashes in Kiev yet - for the first time this week. The protesters aren’t provoking police with attacks, but, at the same time, they are not standing idly by either. They are strengthening barricades and building new ones, and moving closer to presidential headquarters.
A total of more than 100 people were detained following mass riots in the city, Kiev authorities stated on Thursday. Hundreds more have sustained injuries. Ukraine’s Ministry of Internal Affairs said about 256 police officers have been wounded, with 100 of them hospitalized.
In some cities, mostly in western Ukraine, protesters have attempted or seized local administration buildings, demanding governors’ resignations.
Google Maps
Google Maps

Protesters seized the governors’ offices in the cities of Lvov, Ternopil, and Rivne, and administration buildings in Uzhgorod, Lutsk, Khmelnitsky, Zhitomir, and Sumy.

The regional parliament in the traditionally pro-Russian Crimean Peninsula appealed to President Yanukovich and the National Security and Defense Council to declare a state of emergency to end the “anarchy and violence” in Ukraine.

“We propose halting budget payments for regions that have waived the rule of law, until constitutional order is restored there,” the regional parliament said in a statement. “The very basis of a constitutional state and the whole system of state power is under threat."

Images From Ukraine Clashes After Three Killed Overnight - Live Feed

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Following the deaths of three protesters (two from gunshot wounds) after the government crackdown overnight instigated by the increasingly hard-line President Yanuckovich, the streets are becoming markedly more tense and violent. The uprising in Ukraine is not simply one of a youthful population dismayed at not joining Europe. Similar in vein to Thailand's protests, Ukrainians have become disgusted with the corruption in government (and increasingly enraged at Yanuckovich's repressive laws against the protesters). As Martin Armstrong warned recently, "welcome the ticking clock measuring how little time we have until this whole things just goes bust." As the following images of the war-torn-looking streets of Ukraine show, perhaps that clock is closer than many think...

Live Feed:
Azarov said earlier on Wednesday that police deployed on the streets did not possess firearms and the interior ministry has denied that police have used guns during the crisis.

In the worst violence that anyone can remember in Kiev, a 200-metre stretch of the city center close to government buildings has been turned into a battle zone as hard-core protesters, ignoring opposition leaders' pleas for calm, have bombarded police with petrol bombs and cobblestones.

Riot police have replied with rubber bullets, stun grenades and tear gas.

Wednesday's violence erupted ironically as Ukraine marked 'National Unification Day' - the day in 1919 which brought together that part of the country that had been under Russian rule with that which had been in the Austro-Hungarian empire.

In a Unification Day message, Yanukovich expressed the conviction that 2014 would be a year of "mutual understanding and frank discussion about our common future".
The President calls for Compromise...

The protest in Ukraine are getting really out of hand. Even the Russians have now said this is too much. Over 100,000 people have responded with violence as the President ignores the people and the corruption is simply our of control. This is turning into war on the city streets.

The President Viktor Yanuckovich comes from the East where they speak Russian, not Ukrainian. When he tries to speak Ukrainian on TV, he does not even get the accent down correctly. This is primarily about corruption. However, his repressive laws against the protesters have only brought out more people who see the country headed back into Communism.

But the following images are stunning...

Pro European protesters holding a rally this morning...

Interior Ministry members take cover behind shields as pro-European protesters erect a barricade during a rally in Kiev

Pro-European protesters launch a pyrotechnic pistol towards riot police during clashes in Kiev

Pro-European protesters take cover behind a burnt bus, with a demonstrator seen on fire, during clashes with riot police in Kiev

Pro-European protesters take cover behind a burnt bus as a demonstrator throws a stick during clashes with riot police in Kiev January 22, 2014. Two demonstrators were on Wednesday reported killed in new anti-government unrest in the Ukrainian capital Kiev, inflaming protesters who confronted police shouting "Murderers" and "Glory to Ukraine!"

Pro-European protesters take cover during clashes with Ukrainian riot police in Kiev

Pro-European protesters throw stones during clashes with riot police in Kiev

and Kiev this morning...

Thai CDS Rise To One Year Highs After Pro-Government Faction Leader Shot

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Following last night's implementation of emergency rule in Thailand for a period of 60 days, where the ongoing clashes between protesters and the government mean the economy is likely set to grind to a halt at least judging by the constant downward revisions in the country's GDP, the default risk of Thailand just jumped to a fresh one year high, rising to 159 bps, or double where it was in May of this year (but still well below the 240bps hit at the peak of the European crisis in September 2011).
However, since tensions do not appear to be getting resolved, expect this particular CDS to continue drifting higher, especially following news that the Thai leader of a pro-government group was shot last night.
A leader of a pro-government faction was shot and wounded outside his home in northeast Thailand Wednesday, one day after Thailand’s prime minister declared the imposition of emergency rule in Bangkok and surrounding areas as tensions in the country escalated.

Kwanchai Praipana, who runs a group of so-called red shirts that supports the government, was shot in Udon Thani Province in what appeared to be a politically motivated attack, the police said.

“From what we saw on CCTV, a bronze pickup truck drove by and several rounds were fired at the house,” Kowit Tharoenwattanasuk, a police colonel, told Reuters. “We believe this is a politically motivated crime.”

The shooting of Mr. Kwanchai, who has thousands of followers, came as the country’s prime minister, Yingluck Shinawatra, sought to counter the increasingly aggressive moves of antigovernment protesters on the streets of Bangkok. Her declaration of emergency rule on Tuesday suggested a more forceful posture toward protesters who have occupied parts of the city during the past two months and are seeking to overthrow the government.

But officials said they had no plans to crack down on protesters, who have escalated their campaign over the past week by blocking government offices, taking over major intersections and staging daily marches across Bangkok. The emergency decree enacted Tuesday gives the government the power to invoke curfews, censor the news media, disperse gatherings and use military force to “secure order.”
More importantly, those wondering if the current episode will degenerate into the same lethal clashes as were last seen in 2010 when dozens died, are keeping a close eye on what the local army is doing. Here it is in a nutshell from Bloomberg:
Thai army Chief Prayuth Chan-Ocha says the military will provide needed support to police in managing violence linked to anti-govt protests in Bangkok.

Prayuth declines to comment on whether it was necessary for the govt to use emergency decree; On Jan. 20, he said the situation now was not the same as in 2010, the last time the emergency decree was used to control protests.

“It is worrying that divisions in society and families have widened,” Prayuth tells reporters. “I’m concerned how we can live together if people are divided and don’t lower the degree of violence. If conflicts remain, no matter how we enforce the law, it will be dangerous”

Prayuth urges people on both sides of the political divide to hold talks to “find a way out” and says using violent tactics to curb protests “could worsen the situation”
One thing is sure: no matter if Thailand manages to temporarily shove the current bout of social anger under the rug, such escalations in which the poor, with little to lose, lash out against their governments, are sure to become a far more frequently fixture of daily lives. Let's hope that the Davos billionaires who are meeting right now to fix just this thing, have a quick and painless resolution to this biggest problem modern society is facing. We are not holding our breath.