Commentary on the economic , geopolitical and simply fascinating things going on. Served occasionally with a side of snark.
Monday, April 21, 2014
Ukraine Updates April 21 , 2014 -- Eastern Ukraine still planning a May 11 , 2014 Referendum - as that date gets closer , expect more violence , provocations from both the Kiev Government / Right Sector forces and Separatists ..... Not unlike with the Syrian Rebels , bothe sides in the Ukraine conflict want to get their Allies further enmeshed into the political struggle ....KIEV, April 21. /ITAR-TASS/. The leader of the Batkivshchyna Party and candidate for the Ukrainian presidency, Yulia Tymoshenko, has cancelled a trip to the United States after congressmen refused to meet with her, local media outlets report on Monday.
The on-again, off-again Ukrainian military offensive against eastern Ukraine threatens to drag both the United States and Russia into open warfare with one another, and the combatants on both sides seem determined to have that happen as soon as possible.
Yatsenyuk suggested Russia would annex its eastern provinces without a massive build-up and modernization of Ukraine’s military, and that Putin would restore the Soviet Union before America knows it if they don’t get involved in his government’s internal fight.
An agreed-upon Easter truce in eastern Ukraine lasted only a few hours before the single bloodiest incident of the entire conflict over the area, when attackers opened fire on a protester-run checkpoint in Slovyansk, killing six and wounding an unknown number of people.
Exactly what happened is unclear, as Ukraine’s government insists they did not launch the attack. Russia blamed the neo-Nazi Right Sector for the strike, while the Right Sector insisted the allegation was “blasphemous” and that the Russian military “clearly” staged the entire incident to embarrass them.
Ukraine’s government jumped on the bandwagon, embracing the Right Sector’s explanation and insisting the protesters had staged a “cynical provocation” with the support of Russia’s military intelligence.
Though Ukraine’s military apparently had no role in today’s checkpoint attack, they did attempt to invade Slovyansk last week, in an offensive that failed and ended with many troops refusing orders to attack protesters and surrendering without firing a shot.
Lavrov: US should face responsibility for powers it installed in Kiev
Published time: April 21, 2014 08:49 Edited time: April 21, 2014 10:16
The Russian Foreign Minister says the US should take responsibility for those whom they put in power instead issuing ultimatums to Moscow.
All attempts to isolate Russia will lead to a dead end, he added. Speaking about the crisis situation in eastern Ukraine and Kiev’s crackdown on the Donetsk region, Lavrov also said that Kiev authorities don’t want or maybe cannot control the extremists who continue to control the situation in the country, said Russian FM Sergey Lavrov during a press-conference.
According to Lavrov, the Kiev authorities are still spinning out the implementation of constitutional reform in the country.
“Why were they waiting for so long to speak about the necessity of constitutional reform? Why are they spinning out the process?” he asked at the conference.
Meanwhile, Lavrov also said that the Kiev coup-appointed government has violated the Geneva agreements from April 17.
“They did nothing to eliminate the deep crisis in the country,” he added.
The attack by militants on the checkpoint in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slavyansk on Easter Sunday is a crime beneficial only for those who want to derail the Geneva agreements, he added.
Lavrov also stressed the necessity of restoring order in the crisis-torn country.
By this he meant stopping extremism and religious intolerance, starting constitutional dialogue and disarming the illegal armed groups.
Lavrov criticized statements from Western countries and Kiev’s authorities, which “invent possible and impossible arguments against Russia,” saying that a large amount of Russian arms in the conflict zones proves Russian interference in Ukrainian affairs.
He called the statements absurd as Ukraine has traditionally used Russian-made arms.
“This statement is ludicrous. Everyone has Russian arms in Ukraine,” he said.
Meanwhile, he also said that TV outlets have reported that US arms were also found in Ukraine.
He added that illegal armed groups, not the Ukrainian army were in possession of these American arms.
He also censured statements made by the Kiev government that the Geneva agreements don’t cover “Maidan protests.”
Protesters in Lugansk have announced the creation headquarters for the coordination their activities in the south-eastern region, Itar-Tass found out. The base will be set up in Donetsk. This is taking place in an atmosphere of public gatherings aimed at tackling the kind of issues that will make their way into the upcoming May 11 referendum, including the question of federalization.
The “people’s mayor” of Slavyansk, Vyacheslav Ponomarev, has imposed a curfew from 12:00 a.m. to 6:00 am, Ukraine's Unian news agency reported.
Sunday, April 20
Educators from Ukraine’s eastern region of Lugansk have threatened the government with mass protests, chairman of the Lugansk Workers Union of Education and Science of Ukraine, Gennadiy Sorkin, said. He added that the decision was prompted by recent Cabinet decisions that would reduce the level of wages.
OSCE monitoring teams in Ukraine hope to get permission to visit the city of Slavyansk in Donetsk region “within several hours,” Michael Bociurkiw, media officer for the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, told Interfax-Ukraine.
So far, monitors have not been given access due to safety reasons and instability in the city.
"While we are aware of reports of violence in Sloviansk, our monitoring teams have been unable to access the location due to security concerns," Bociurkiw said. "We'll try to visit Sloviansk in the next few hours," he added, stating that regional and local authorities are conducting negotiations with protesters at a number of occupied buildings.
"I can tell you that patience and caution in negotiations are working to provide our monitors with access to people," he said.
Ukraine’s Interior Ministry has called on former Berkut special forces troops to rejoin the Ukrainian military. However, the troops are viewing the invitation with skepticism, chairman of the Association of Veterans of Berkut, Vladimir Krashevsky, told RT.
Ukraine is now forming the National Guard forces with children and the elderly, who do not have any proper training, Krashevsky said, adding that this is the reason why they called upon Berkut to return – because they have very few professionals they can rely on. “I don’t think even one Berkut unit would respond to the invitation,” he stated.
The Ukrainian Interior Ministry has announced the creation of a special units corps to maintain order in the southeastern parts of the country.
The move is explained by the “externally inspired separatist terrorist attacks, creation of gangs financed from outside the country, and the threat to internal law and order” in those regions, the ministry’s website said.
The self-defense forces in Ukraine’s Donetsk region are expecting assaults on checkpoints and administrative buildings they’re holding in the town of Slavyansk at 18:00 GMT, Itar-Tass reports.
The anti-government activists are on high alert, with preparations to repel the attack underway, said Vyacheslav Ponomarev, the “people’s mayor” of Slavyansk.
According to Ponomarev, unidentified armed men were spotted gathering outside the town.
The self-defense forces failed to establish their belonging to any units of the Ukrainian military and say they are militants from the radical Right Sector movement.
Machine gun fire has been heard in the center of Slavyansk, a city in Ukraine’s Donetsk Region, a RIA Novosti correspondent reported from the scene.
Anti-government demonstrators in Odessa have demanded the resignation of the head of the regional administration, Vladimir Nemirovsky, Vesti.ru reports.
Hundreds marched the streets of Odessa on Sunday, with the demonstration concluding with a rally at the city’s Kulikovo Field.
Protesters also showed their support to the idea of referendum on the federalization of Ukraine and urged the coup-imposed authorities to end political repressions.
The self-defense forces in Ukraine’s Donetsk Region said that three of their checkpoint in the suburbs of the town of Slavyansk came under fire by unidentified gunmen, Interfax news agency reports.
KIEV, April 21. /ITAR-TASS/. The leader of the Batkivshchyna Party and candidate for the Ukrainian presidency, Yulia Tymoshenko, has cancelled a trip to the United States after congressmen refused to meet with her, local media outlets report on Monday.
According to the media, the trip was scheduled for April 23. However, Tymoshenko herself cancelled it in the long run, after none of the high-ranking politicians in Washington had confirmed readiness to meet with her. Media reports said some congressmen who Tymoshenko or her representatives had contacted, implied that she should not be running for presidency.
Last week, the leader of Batkivshchyna appealed to the US Congress for military assistance to Ukraine. Tymoshenko said that the country needed “comprehensive assistance, including military-technical aid that would include air defense and anti-tank munitions as well as assistance in the training of military personnel”.