"We Are Essentially At War" Ukraine Admits, After Dozens Killed
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 05/03/2014 10:23 -0400
While there may be some confusion about why massive bond buying greeted yesterday's "better than expected" loss of 209 jobs in the 25-54 age group, dragging stocks down, the answer is actually very simple: there is a war in the Ukraine.
A war which just took a turn for the worst after at least 42 people were killedaccording to Reuters in street battles between supporters and opponents of Russia in southern Ukraine that ended with dozens of pro-Russian protesters incinerated in a burning building. The riot in the Black Sea port of Odessa, ending in a deadly blaze in a besieged trade union building, was by far the worst incident in Ukraine since a February uprising that ended with a pro-Russian president fleeing the country.
The clip below, not for the faint of heart, shows anti-government protesters jumping from the burning Odessa trade unions house: it appears when Yanukovich was "killing" protesters in February, the west couldn't get up in arms fast enough screaming for the former president's overthrow. But now that the acting post-CIA funded coup government is doing the same thing to its own protesters, the radio silence is stunning.
But while yesterday's tragic events in Odessa were the first time the Ukraine conflict manifested itself in pro and anti-Russian clashes in the Black Sea town, it will hardly be the last: not only does the port city have economic and military significance, it also sits between Crimea and pro-Russian areas in eastern Ukraine and the breakaway Transnistria region of neighboring Moldova.
The admission of the true state of affairsfinally came from Kiev itself which said that Ukrainian forces pressed their assault on separatists today, freeing up a regional airport as the head of the country’s anti-terrorist center warned eastern regions are “essentially” at war.
The campaign in the Donetsk region left five dead from the Ukrainian anti-terrorist operation and 12 wounded, said the center’s chief, Vasyl Krutov, at a Kiev briefing, even as military observers were freed by anti-Kiev militants. Government forces have secured the town of Slovyansk as operations in Kramatorsk continue.
“What is happening in the east is not a short-term action, this is essentially a war,” Krutov said today.
War it is:
Open clashes are sweeping Ukraine’s east, from Donetsk near the Russian border to Odessa, about 100 miles from the European Union’s southeastern frontier in Romania, amid signs the industrial and coastal regions are slipping out of the Kiev government’s control. The U.S. and the European Union accuse Russia of being behind the unrest, while Russian President Vladimir Putin is “extremely concerned” and is studying the situation, his spokesman Dmitry Peskov, said today.
There was some good news: military observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe who were taken hostage a week ago were freed and will be delivered to the Council of Europe in Slovyansk near Donetsk, the council said today in a statement.
Bloomberg reports further that the U.S. and EU accuse Russia of stirring unrest to undermine Ukraine’s May 25 presidential election. Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said at a briefing today in Jezioro, Poland, that officials are “losing hope” about a diplomatic solution to end the crisis.
“This is a war of maybe a different kind, it is a war that’s undeclared,” Tusk was quoted as saying by PAP newswire at a media briefing. “But what we’re really dealing with is de-facto a war. You can clearly see that actions taken by the international community haven’t brought results.”
To be sure, Ukraine and NATO is putting all the blame on Russia - not only for instigating the conflict but arming the separatists, seemingly oblivious of factual evidence that it was the US that was doing precisely the same just over three months ago when it was orchestarting the overthrow of the then government.
Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said the use of advanced weapons showed the separatists were “professional saboteur groups” rather than peaceful protesters. In a statement, it called their tactics “characteristic of foreign military or mercenaries.”Turmoil erupted yesterday in Odessa, where more than 130 people had been detained by police, with 10 criminal cases already started, according to Petro Lutsyuk, the head of the Interior Ministry’s directorate in the city, said on the agency’s website. The Interior Ministry later said on its website that Lutsyuk was fired.The nearby city of Nikolaev hosts much of the country’s defense and shipbuilding industry, as well as Zorya-Mashproekt, a state enterprise that manufactures gas turbines for OAO Gazprom (GAZP), the Russian natural gas producer and exporter.
Meanwhile, the theater by western leaders hit a new peak yesterday when Obama and Merkel did all they could: threaten more sanctions. At their news conference in Washington, Obama and Merkel said Russia must pull back support for the separatists so Ukraine’s May 25 presidential election can go ahead unimpeded. If the vote can’t be held, “we will not have a choice but to move forward” with more sanctions, Obama said. Merkel called the election “crucial” and said she’s ready to support economic sanctions if needed.
Ironically, it is German commercial interests which as we said back in March, are doing all they can to prevent sanctions of Russia as they know well they would be the biggest losers. Germany is Europe’s largest economy and had $127 billion in trade with Russia in 2013, according to the International Monetary Fund, making Germany is Russia’s second-biggest trading partner. Putin has threatened to escalate economic warfare if further sanctions are imposed.
“When we will reach a particular tipping point is very hard to say in advance,” Merkel said. “But all I can say is that the elections on May 25 are a decisive juncture for me and if there is further destabilization, things will get more and more difficult.”
Expect more furious bluster out of Germany and Obama, hoping that verbal escalation will finally cause Putin to pull back. It won't. Meanwhile Putin is keeping quiet. Which is the second good news because as we showed yesterday, all Putin has to do is give the command.
Ukrainian army attacks eastern towns of Mariupol, Konstantinovka
Published time: May 03, 2014 20:15
Edited time: May 03, 2014 21:46
Edited time: May 03, 2014 21:46
The Ukrainian military has started an operation against pro-autonomy activists in the city of Mariupol, southeastern Ukraine, as well as the town of Konstantinovka, according to local self-defense activists.
The troops have moved into Mariupol and have surrounded an administrative building held by anti-government protesters.
There are a few hundred activists inside the building. They told RT that the army is warning them that if they do not leave the building in the coming minutes, they will be fired at and the building will be seized.
“Special forces units are in the city center. Mainly, they are deployed in yards and make warning shots from there,” Mikhail Krutko from the self-defense headquarters told Interfax news agency. “Residents are unarmed, they blocked roads in the city center, built up barricades from tires and other things not to let hardware pass. They set tires on fire,” Krutko said.
People on the ground told RT’s Paula Slier that there are 300-500 anti-Kiev protesters there and they are unarmed. There have so far been no reports of injuries.
10 killed, around 30 injured in Kramatorsk overnight fighting – self-defense leader
Published time: May 03, 2014 05:59
Edited time: May 03, 2014 09:38
Edited time: May 03, 2014 09:38
10 residents in Kramatorsk died and almost 30 were injured in the fighting that broke out overnight near the eastern Ukrainian city, according to a self-defense leader.
"Last night 10 people on our side died, they were all unarmed civilians,” the leader, who wouldn’t disclose his identity, told RIA Novosti.
He added that 30 people were wounded after the Ukrainian army opened fire.
The Ukrainian army’s assault on Kramatorsk started on Friday night. Earlier reports said that one self-defense activist was killed and nine were injured.
Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov warned that the special military operation in Kramatorsk would resume on Saturday morning, adding that the military has already taken control of the city’s TV tower.
“The active phase of the operation will continue at sunrise,” Avakov said on his Facebook page. “We are not going to stop.”
Avakov also said two self-defense checkpoints were destroyed near Kramatorsk airport.