Monday, April 14, 2014

Ukraine updates - April 14 , 2014 --Blowback: Protesters In Kiev Demand Resignation Of Ukraine President .......White House Admits CIA Director Brennan Was "Secretly" In Kiev ...... ​Protest expands in eastern Ukraine as Kiev threatens military op ...... Is CIA Director Brennan quarterbacking the KIEV strategy against protesters in the Eastern Ukrainian Cities ? East Ukraine Braces For Military Operation As Ultimatum Passes: Full Ukraine Event Recap ....... Morning Updates from Russia Today and additional items from Anti War .....


Sixth Phone Conversation: Obama Warns Putin "Costs" Will Increase; Kremlin Tells Obama To "Prevent Bloodshed"

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A few hours ago, Obama and Putin held their sixth phone conversation since the fate of Ukraine rekindled the second cold war. As usual, much was said, the generic talking points were uttered, and nothing was resolved nor will anything change.
First, here is the White House repeating, literally for the sixth time, the "costs" line:
Readout of the President’s Call with President Putin

At Moscow’s request, President Obama spoke with Russian President Putin today about the situation in Ukraine.  The President expressed grave concern about Russian government support for the actions of armed, pro-Russian separatists who threaten to undermine and destabilize the government of Ukraine.  The President emphasized that all irregular forces in the country need to lay down their arms, and he urged President Putin to use his influence with these armed, pro-Russian groups to convince them to depart the buildings they have seized.  The President reiterated the importance of Russia withdrawing its troops from Ukraine’s border in order to defuse tensions.  President Obama noted that despite the rhetoric from Russian officials, the government of Ukraine has acted with remarkable restraint, and he praised the Ukrainian government’s efforts to unify the country by holding free and fair presidential elections on May 25, pursuing inclusive constitutional reform and proposing concrete steps toward the decentralization of power.  The President noted Russia’s growing political and economic isolation as a result of its actions in Ukraine and made clear that the costs Russia already has incurred will increase if those actions persist.  The President noted the upcoming contact group meeting in Geneva and said that while he continues to believe that a diplomatic solution is still possible, it cannot succeed in an environment of Russian military intimidation on Ukraine’s borders, armed provocation within Ukraine, and escalatory rhetoric by Kremlin officials.
Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with President of the United States of America Barack Obama.

The leaders discussed various aspects of the crisis in Ukraine, first and foremost in the southeastern regions engulfed by mass protests against the policies of the current authorities in Kiev.

The Russian side stressed that the protests in Donetsk, Lugansk, Kharkov, Slavyansk and other cities in southeastern Ukraine are the result of the Kiev authorities’ unwillingness and inability to take into account the interests of the Russian and Russian-speaking population. Vladimir Putin called upon Barack Obama to use the American side’s capabilities to prevent the use of force and bloodshed.

In response to the US President’s expressed concern about Russia’s alleged interference in southeastern Ukraine, the President of Russia noted that such speculations are based on inaccurate information. The current Ukrainian authorities must think first and foremost about truly involving all the main political forces and regions in a transparent process for developing a new constitution that guarantees the main rights and freedoms for citizens, the nation’s federal structure and its non-aligned status.

The two sides agreed to continue efforts to seek diplomatic cooperation in the context of the Ukrainian situation ahead of the four-party meeting (EU, Russia, US and Ukraine) scheduled to take place in Geneva on April 17.
Meanwhile, East Ukraine is preparing for a full-blown military operation.
In lieu of an actual updated photo op, here is the stock footage from the first such conversation. It will do the job since it could as easily have been taken in Hollywood.








and....







Blowback: Protesters In Kiev Demand Resignation Of Ukraine President

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While the CIA-staged government coups in Libya and Egypt at least managed to last nearly a year before the inevitable "Thermidorian reaction" resulted in a blowback response that saw a overthrow of the interim US-handpicked rulers, Ukraine may not even last that long. According to reports by both Russian Interfax and Ukraine's Unian press services, for the first time since the coup that overthrew Ukraine's president Yanukovich in late February, hours ago a group of protesters assembled in front of the parliament building and on Independence Square in central Kiev, with demands for the resignation of both the interior minister Avakov as well as the acting president Turchinov.
Additionally, VZ.com reports that the protesters have issued a 24 hour ultimatum to the government to suppress protests in the South East where, as is widely known, "pro-Russian separatists" have effectively taken over the bulk of the cities bordering with Russia.
Simply stated, the people are tired of a figurehead government that already folded when it handed over Crimea to Russia on a silver platter and are demanding at least a token resistance before the rest of the cities in the east flip over to Russia effectively splitting the country in two.
A clip of the protesters taken earlier this evening.

More from Unian:
The Interior Ministry of the capital noted that it is unknown to what protesters are demanding positions remove Turchinova.

According to law enforcement treated protesters politely, but for law enforcement in the event of a breach to the scene, police officers directed.

Also in the Interior Ministry of Ukraine in Kiev urged protesters not to resort to radical actions and do not disturb the public order "as any problematic issues could be resolved through dialogue."
Ironically, the protesters may just get their wish. Russian RT reported that "Ukrainian tanks and heavy military equipment are moving towards the eastern town of Slavyansk, ITAR-TASS reported quoting acting mayor Vyacheslav Ponomarev as saying. On Monday, protesters ignored the ultimatum to leave by 9 am, and a Russian flag continued to fly over the besieged police HQs in Slavyansk. Ponomarev added that they are getting ready and are monitoring the situation. “We don’t want bloodshed, we are committed to negotiations,” he said."
Finally, and rather surprising, a clip was also released earlier today showing Ukraine troops and APC dispersing anti-tank "hedgehogs" along the Odessa coastline, as if in anticipation of a marine landing.
Finally, while all this is happening, Obama keeps on talking:
  • IN PHONE CONVERSATION, PUTIN AND OBAMA AGREED TO CONTINUE DIPLOMATIC EFFORTS BEFORE APRIL 17 GENEVA TALKS ON UKRAINE - KREMLIN
That... and this pearl: "White House warns Russia of more 'costs' over Ukraine."  Does the White House mean these "costs" we wonder?




and......






East Ukraine Braces For Military Operation As Ultimatum Passes: Full Ukraine Event Recap

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As was expected, so called Russian separatists completely ignored Ukraine's 0600 GMT ultimatum to hand over their weapons and give up, which means Ukraine now is in the clear, according to its leaders, to engage in the previously warned military "anti-terrorist" operation. As a result, as Reuters updates,  "towns in eastern Ukraine on Monday braced for military action. As the 9 a.m. (07.00 a.m. BST) deadline issued by authorities in Kiev expired, a Reuters reporter in the flashpoint city of Slaviansk, where armed men had seized two government buildings, said there was no outward sign the rebels were complying with the ultimatum." Subsequent reports indicated that since the deadline passed, at least 4 people have been killed however since virtually no "factual" propaganda news out of Ukraine is to be believed, we would heavily discount this update.
In Slaviansk as of 9 a.m. local time on Monday, a Russian flag still flew over police headquarters, one of two buildings taken over by the separatists, while masked men continued to man barricades of sandbags in front of it.

Even as the deadline passed, a truck appeared bringing more tyres to heap on top of the barricades to reinforce them.

There was tension in the air as people tried to go about their normal business, though school and colleges have been closed and parents advised to keep their children indoors.

Alexei Myzenko, a 38-year-old bank teller, was at work as usual, but he said he and his wife had told their son, who is at university in the eastern town of Kharkiv, not to attend lectures on Monday.

"We didn't want anything to happen to him," said Myzenko. "Of course, some people are afraid. But they are still lining up to get their pensions," he said.

Myzenko said his wife, who is a teacher, had been called by the town administration to tell her that school was cancelled until further notice.
Presenting "military forward guidance"
Iryna Zemlyanskaya, 62, who works as a pharmacist, said: "I am going to work. They've promised to use force so many times and have not done a single thing. No-one's even afraid anymore."
Below is the complete recap of overnight events courtesy of RanSquawk:
  • Interim President Turchinov had set a deadline of 0600 GMT for the rebels to lay down their arms or face full anti-terrorist operations, however this deadline was not met. Since then 4 people have been killed in the clashes in Slovyansk.
  • Ukraine President Turchinov says Kiev leadership 'not against' referendum being held in Eastern Ukraine at the same time as Presidential election.
  • At least 100 Pro-Russian separatists attack police headquarters in east Ukraine city of Horlivka.
  • Following the news of increasing tensions coming from Ukraine, Germany has halted arms export licenses to Russia, according to Ministry.
  • EU is looking at stage 3 sanctions for Russia which could include economic and financial measures, according to Irish Deputy Premier Gilmore.
  • Polish Foreign Minister says the situation in Ukraine could be used as pretext for armed Russian intervention.
  • UK Foreign Secretary Hague says there can be no doubt that events in Eastern Ukraine have been instigated by Russia, that Russian denials of involvement do not have a shred of creditability and that further sanctions have to be the response to Russia's behaviour in East Ukraine.
  • Donetsk's branch of the Party of Regions will have an urgent convention in Donetsk on April 16.
  • Former Prime Minister and Batkivshchyna party leader Yulia Tymoshenko called Ukrainians for general mobilization. She also backed the government's decision to use military force against separatists in the east.
  • Pro-Russian rioters have stormed the police station in the city of Horlivka, a city of 290,000 people in Donetsk oblast. Before seizing the building, protesters threw rocks at windows and set small fires on the ground floor, which police officers promptly extinguished. Police initially lobbed stun grenades to repel the attacking protesters.
Should Ukraine once again escalate and launch the trumpeted military operation, watch for a prompt and significant Russian response.

White House Admits CIA Director Brennan Was "Secretly" In Kiev

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Late last night we asked if, as the Russian media had reported and only the Russian media, CIA director John Brennan had secretly visited Kiev over the weekend: "Brennan landed in Ukraine on Saturday under an assumed name and held a "series of secret meetings" with the country's "power bloc" Interfax reported, citing an unidentified official in the Ukrainian parliament.  The person who said this to Interfax in a phone talk added that John Brennan came to Ukraine not under his real name.  According to some yet unconfirmed information, the decision to suppress protesters in Slavyansk, a city in Ukraine's east, with force was advised to Ukraine's authorities by Brennan."
One can further admit the meeting was "secret" - if only in initial intent - not only because of Brennan's assumed fake name (why the secrecy?) but because until Russian Interfax- of all places - had reported about what is certainly a key meeting in a nation in which disinformation and counterpropganda is not only rife but the last thread the current Kiev regime is hanging by - Brennan's meeting was completely unmentioned by the US press.
Until today, when moments ago White House speaker Jay Carner confirmed that indeed the CIA director was in Kiev last weekend.
"We don't normally comment on the CIA director's travel but given the extraordinary circumstances in this case and the false claims being leveled by the Russians at the CIA we can confirm that the director was in Kiev as part of a trip to Europe," White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters.

According to media reports, Russia has urged Washington to explain what Brennan was doing in Ukraine.

"Senior level visits of intelligence officials are a standard means of fostering mutually beneficial security cooperation including U.S.-Russian intelligence collaboration going back to the beginnings of the post-Cold War era," Carney said.

"U.S. and Russian intelligence officials have met over the years. To imply that U.S. officials meeting with their counterparts is anything other than in the same spirit is absurd," he said
You know what's absurd? Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. Or YouTube clips "proving" an Assad chemical weapons attack... which was organized and executed by NATO member Turkey with the blessing of rht US. Or the same CIA director showing up in a Kiev hotel under a fake name. Or for Interfax to have more credibility than US media outlets. 
You know what isn't absurd? Speculation that just like the CIA organized the overthrow of the Yanukovich regime, which has been confirmed courtesy of theRussian secret services leaking Victoria Nuland's very inconveient recording, so the recent escalation in east Ukraine is indeed the work of the CIA.
You know what won't be absurd? If and when the Russians release another recording, this time of Brennan, proving that all the latest "Russian" propaganda is once again in fact, fact.





Did CIA Director Brennan Visit Kiev Recently?
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Just a few weeks ago, someone (allegedly Russia) leaked a recorded phone conversation of Victoria Nulandcommenting "fuck the EU" and how she (the US) wanted the political stage set in Ukraine. A lot has happened since then but as multiple pro-Russian sources have now 'confirmed', the new puppetmaster appears to be in town (or was). As Interfax reported, citing sources inside the Ukrainian parliament, none other that CIA Director John Brennan landed in Ukraine on Saturday under an assumed name and held a "series of secret meetings" with the country's "power bloc" Interfax reported.
As Interfax reports, citing sources...
Brennan landed in Ukraine on Saturday under an assumed name and held a "series of secret meetings" with the country's "power bloc" Interfax reported, citing an unidentified official in the Ukrainian parliament.
The person who said this to Interfax in a phone talk added that John Brennan came to Ukraine not under his real name.

According to some yet unconfirmed information, the decision to suppress protesters in Slavyansk, a city in Ukraine's east, with force was advised to Ukraine's authorities by Brennan.
Which The Moscow Times sums up with a rather ominous conclusion...
Ukrainian parliament Communist Party deputy Vladimir Golub told RIA Novosti that lawmakers were talking about the visit openly and opined that the Ukrainian Security Service had become a unit of the CIA.

Commenting on the report,deputy chairman for the State Duma's Defense Committee Frants Klintsevich said that he would view such a visit as a challenge to Russia.
Which leaves us wondering just how long until Brennan's conversations are leaked to YouTube?

From Anti War .......





US Irked as Israel Doesn’t Back Their Ukraine Policy


US Complains About Israeli 'Neutrality' on Russia Question


by Jason Ditz, April 13, 2014


The Obama Administration and Israel don’t see eye to eye on much these days, and the latest source of tension is the Ukraine regime change and the subsequent dramatic anti-Russia swing in US policy.
The US assumed Israel would be on board with the shift, and has expressed anger at Israel’s refusal to support a UN General Assembly resolution condemning Russia over the Crimea.
Israeli officials, for once, are arguing that the situation is none of their business, with Soviet-born Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman staking out a policy of neutrality on the matter. Israel’s Defense Ministryseems to be backing the stance too, arguing they don’t need to automatically endorse the US position.
US officials disagree vehemently, and were reportedly “incensed” that Lieberman suggested relations with both the US and Russia were important to retain, since the US gives Israel billions annually, and Russia doesn’t.
In many ways the split has also been reflected in media coverage of the situation in Ukraine, as US media has dutifully mirrored government claims of Russian aggression, and claimed anti-semitism among the neo-Nazi Right Sector in the Ukraine as a “myth.” Israel’s media, by contrast, has reported extensively on attacks against Ukrainian synagogues, and the growing emigration of Jews from the nation.



East Ukraine


Protests Too Well Coordinated for Ukrainians

by Jason Ditz, April 13, 2014
US Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power continued to blame Russia for the escalation of the situation in Eastern Ukraine, saying the demonstrations showed the “tell-tale signs of Moscow’s involvement.”
Power argued that the protesters were too “professional” and too well-coordinated to have ever been organized by the east Ukrainians themselves, saying it must’ve been done by the Russian government.
The US should know, too, as they and other Western nations were repeatedly implicated in organizing the Kiev protests that earlier this year ousted the elected government, and replaced them with the new, pro-US “interim” government that the ethnic Russians in the east are trying to secede from.
Russian officials denied any involvement in the protests, but warned the “western sponsors” of the new government to do something to stop the crackdown, saying they “must keep their wards under control.”



http://rt.com/news/kiev-clashes-rioters-police-571/



Monday, April 14

22:18 GMT:
Ukraine’s Interior Ministry announced the establishment of special security units to protect public order, according to the ministry’s website.
22:09 GMT:
Pro-federalization protesters set up roadblocks on all of the three main roads leading into the eastern Ukrainian town of Slovyansk, RIA Novosti reported. The move follows earlier reports that Ukrainian tanks and heavy military equipment were moving towards the town.
22:08 GMT:
Armored Personnel Carriers belonging to the Ukrainian army have been spotted near the town of Kramatorsk in eastern Ukraine, RIA Novosti quoted witnesses as saying. Earlier, the city’s administration building was taken over by pro-federalization protesters.
21:47 GMT:
The National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) of Ukraine approved the decision to involve the Ukrainian army in an "anti-terrorist operation" in the east of Ukraine, according to Deputy Secretary of NSDC Victoria Syumar’s Facebook post.
21:38 GMT:
Demonstrators gathered on Independence Square in central Kiev are demanding the resignation of acting Interior Minister Arsen Avakov and more decisive actions in eastern Ukraine, Interfax quoted local media as saying.
21:32 GMT:
Ukrainian tanks and heavy military equipment are moving towards the eastern town of Slavyansk, ITAR-TASS reported quoting acting mayor Vyacheslav Ponomarev as saying. On Monday, protesters ignored the ultimatum to leave by 9 am, and a Russian flag continued to fly over the besieged police HQs in Slavyansk. Ponomarev added that they are getting ready and are monitoring the situation. “We don’t want bloodshed, we are committed to negotiations,” he said.
20:11 GMT:
Vladimir Putin has urged his US counterpart Barack Obama to use his influence on the Ukrainian government to prevent “bloodshed” in the country.
“The current protest in the south-east of the country is the result of the unwillingness and the inability of the current regime in Kiev to consider the interests of the Russians and Russian speakers. Putin called upon Obama to use all of his capabilities, to prevent the use of force and bloodshed,” said a statement from the Kremlin press service.
The Russian President also denied that Russia is meddling in Ukraine.
“The President noted that such speculation is based on unreliable information. Ukrainian authorities should rather direct their attention to formulating a new constitution that involves all political forces in the country, creating a federalized state and guaranteeing Ukraine's non-aligned status,” said the statement.
19:49 GMT:
The US has allocated $11.4 million to help Ukraine organize a “free, fair and peaceful” presidential election, which is scheduled for May 25, the State Department said.

The funds will be used to support local and international election observers, creating a transparent and efficient electoral commission, voter education campaign and other activities.
17:43 GMT:
European Union foreign ministers have agreed to expand sanctions against Russia, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said, Reuters reports.

"We have agreed among foreign ministers to expand the sanctions ... and to add further names to those sanctions," he said, adding that there will be "some rapid and important work on the exact numbers and names.”
17:21 GMT:
The Pentagon said a Russian fighter jet made multiple close-range passes near an American navy destroyer when the warship was deployed in the Black Sea.
Pentagon defined the jet as a Russian Su-24 aircraft, or Fencer, which made 12 passes at low altitude near the USS Donald Cook that, at the time, was conducting a patrol in international waters in the western Black Sea, Reuters reported.
US warship USS Donald-Cook sails through the Bosphorus in Istanbul, Turkey, on April 10, 2014, en route to the Black Sea (AFP Photo / Bulent Kilic)
US warship USS Donald-Cook sails through the Bosphorus in Istanbul, Turkey, on April 10, 2014, en route to the Black Sea (AFP Photo / Bulent Kilic)




























The leaders of the protest demanded that no one try to attack the people responsible for pushing an activist off of the entrance roof during the siege. They promised a proper investigation of the incident.
10:10 GMT:
The staff of the regional administration in the eastern Ukrainian city of Lugansk has been evacuated, only law enforces remained in the building, reported Interfax.































Anti-Maidan protesters have seized a local airfield in the city of Slavyansk, Unian news agency reports. In this video, a masked man says (01:04): “Today we seized Slavyansk airfield and said that no helicopter belonging to Ukrainian army will land here.”


13:27: GMT : Ukraine’s coup-empowered president, Aleksandr Turchinov, has proposed to conduct a joint operation with UN peacekeeping forces in the east of the country in a phone call with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
Turchinov told Ban Ki-moon that Kiev’s new authorities would welcome “if, with your help, there will be conducted a joint anti-terrorist operation in the east of the country. Then, specialists and observers will be able to confirm the legitimacy and legality of our actions,” the press office of the Batkivshchyna (Fatherland) party quoted Turchinov as saying.
On his part, Ban Ki-moon said that Kiev could rely fully on help from the UN as its partner.
12:43 GMT:
Roughly two dozen pro-federalization protesters have seized the building of the city council in the city of Zhdanovka in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk region. One of the protesters declared that Zhdanovka was a part of the “Donetsk People’s Republic,” local Unian news agency reported. The media report said that no one prevented the seizure. Activists claimed that local government officials went over to the side of pro-federalization supporters.
10:45 GMT:
UK Foreign Secretary William Hague has urged further sanctions against Russia, claiming that Moscow was responsible for the anti-Maidan protests in southeastern Ukraine.
"There can't really be any real doubt that this is something that has been planned and brought about by Russia," Hague said. "I don't think denials of Russian involvement have a shred of credibility."
The next round of EU sanctions may include restrictions on trade and finance with Russia, Hague said.
10:27 GMT:
Gorlovka’s police HQ is under the complete control of the anti-Maidan protesters. Many police officers have declared their support for the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic.
The protesters are preparing to erect barricades around the building, in a similar way to how this was done in other Donetsk region cities and towns, and spread their control to other parts of the city.
The leaders of the protest demanded that no one try to attack the people responsible for pushing an activist off of the entrance roof during the siege. They promised a proper investigation of the incident.
Ukrainian police try to stop anti-government activists from storming the regional police building in the eastern Ukrainian city of Horlivka (Gorlovka), near Donetsk, on April 14, 2014. (AFP Photo / Alexey Kravtsov)
Ukrainian police try to stop anti-government activists from storming the regional police building in the eastern Ukrainian city of Horlivka (Gorlovka), near Donetsk, on April 14, 2014. (AFP Photo / Alexey Kravtsov)

10:10 GMT:
The staff of the regional administration in the eastern Ukrainian city of Lugansk has been evacuated, only law enforces remained in the building, reported Interfax.
According to local Vostochny Variant internet portal, the administration staff was evacuated due to possible crackdown on the building scheduled 12pm local time (09:00 GMT).
Earlier, the anti-Maidan activists have taken over the building of regional security service.



and.....

Protest expands in eastern Ukraine as Kiev threatens military op
Published time: April 14, 2014 09:14
Edited time: April 14, 2014 10:07

image from @RT_russian
image from @RT_russian
The anti-Kiev protests are expanding in Ukraine's Donetsk Region, where activists are besieging police HQ in the city of Gorlovka. The central authorities are threatening to use military force to quash the uprising.
Gorlovka is an eastern Ukrainian city with a population of more than 250,000 inhabitants. The activists apparently spent the night in City Hall and proceeded to take over the police HQ on Monday morning
Troops holding the HQ barricaded in as a crowd of several hundred people gathered outside, according to footage from the scene. At one point they opened fire and used stun grenades, when the protesters tried to raise a Russian flag on the entrance to the building.
The person trying to set the flag atop the entrance roof was pushed down and broke his arm. The flag was taken down right after it was raised.
The angered protesters threw a Molotov cocktail in apparent retaliation, but the fire was quickly extinguished. They later forced their way and demanded that the defenders of the building surround their weapon and leave.
The interior of the building sustained some damage as the attackers, but no significant violence was seen. Some more radical people in the crowd called for immediate revenge for the incident with the flag as a policeman was escorted out of the building, but their more cool-headed comrades restrained them.
Police HQ in Gorlovka is surrounded by a crowd of protesters. (screenshot from www.ustream.tv)
Police HQ in Gorlovka is surrounded by a crowd of protesters. (screenshot from www.ustream.tv)
For a third day in a row the coup-appointed government in the Ukrainian capital demanded that the protesters vacate all the taken buildings and lay down arms, threatening to send the army against them, if they don't. However, as the deadline expired on Monday morning, the protesters remained defiant.
The Kiev-appointed regional government announced a “special operation regime.” The central government earlier announced an “anti-terrorist operation” in the Donetsk Region. The Ukrainian authorities refrained from announcing an emergency, saying this would require for the presidential election campaign to be put on hold.
Acting President Aleksandr Turchinov also replaced the head of Ukrainian Security Service's Anti-Terrorism Center, sacking a man he appointed to the position just a week ago.
Police HQ in Gorlovka is surrounded by a crowd of protesters. (screenshot from www.ustream.tv)
Police HQ in Gorlovka is surrounded by a crowd of protesters. (screenshot from www.ustream.tv)