Commentary on the economic , geopolitical and simply fascinating things going on. Served occasionally with a side of snark.
Tuesday, July 1, 2014
Ukraine Updates ( July 1 , 2014 ) ....Ukraine Begins Offensive Against "Parasites"; Who Really Broke the Ceasefire? Journalist Prosecution ....... Ceasefire over - a short SITREP from Juan ....... Putin to West: Stop turning world into 'global barracks,' dictating rules to others !
Ukrainian forces struck at pro-Russian separatist bases in eastern regions with air and artillery strikes on Tuesday after President Petro Poroshenko announced he would not renew a ceasefire but go on the offensive to rid Ukraine of "parasites".
His decision quickly drew fire from Russian President Vladimir Putin who said Poroshenko had disregarded the advice of himself and German and French leaders. Putin said Poroshenko would now have to bear full responsibility for veering off the road to peace.
Poroshenko said in his early morning statement that Ukraine had not seen "concrete steps for de-escalating the situation, including strengthening controls on the border".
Actually, that statement by Poroshenko is a blatant lie.
Specifically, Putin agreed "Ukrainian border guards be granted access to those crossing points from the Russian side as observers for joint control of the border, and that observers from the [Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe] also be admitted to those crossing points from the Russian side.”
That should have been enough because it was the only thing Russia could directly control.
Reader Jacob Dreizin, a US citizen who speaks Russian and reads Ukrainian had some comments on the "ceasefire" yesterday.
From the time that this bizarre unilateral “ceasefire” was declared until its expiration today, dozens of civilians have been killed and many more wounded by Ukrainian government shelling. The government even shelled a fully operational coal mine for no discernible reason, killing a female employee on the surface and forcing an evacuation of the facility. At the same time, Kiev continued to further deploy its forces in the rebel areas, moving up large numbers of additional tanks. In response, the rebels continued their attacks.
In short, the “ceasefire” was mostly a PR stunt to show the West that Mr. Poroshenko tried to be "reasonable" before going all-in with bombs.
What comes next will be bloody. In the Slaviansk area, the Ukrainian army has already been using everything from white phosphorous to flechette rounds. Just like Moscow, Kiev has been testing the waters of international opinion, slowly upping the ante to see what it can get away with.
In line with this, the Ukrainians have pushed the envelope by bombarding several Russian border/customs posts (causing damage and injuries) and even sending patrols across the border, one of which ran into mechanical difficulties and had to leave an armored personnel carrier behind.
All of this has been very well documented in the Russian and even the Ukrainian press, as well as some of the European media, but almost completely ignored here in the U.S. While it may be that these incidents are simply mistakes made in the context of Kiev slugging it out with rebels near the border, it nonetheless shows (at a minimum) that the Ukrainians have been very careless in their operations. Almost none of this is being reported in the U.S. mainstream media. Our reporters sit in Kiev and prefer to carry "facts" from Ukrainian nationalist blogs and army press conferences.
Then we come to the recent U.S. State Department press conference at which the spokeswoman seemed to question or discount the United Nations’ tally of refugees pouring out of the war zone. This was simply laughable, but it is symptomatic of the total, do-whatever-you-want cover that Uncle Sam is providing Kiev.
All the best,
There you have it: Two sides of the story, and a few simple questions.
Did anyone negotiate (or even state) terms of the ceasefire?
Were the rebels supposed to allow Ukrainian military helicopters do whatever they wanted, including move military equipment and personnel under guise of a ceasefire?
Was the ceasefire nothing but a PR stunt stunt all along?
Prosecution of Journalists
If you think the US news reporting is accurate, I invite you to read a very important article on a completely different front:
From the website of the US Gauleiter in Kiev, Petro Poroshenko: “We will attack and liberate our land". And attack they sure did. Below is the report which Juan has just sent me.
The Saker ------ The situation deteriorated. Kramatorsk is being flattened by intense bombardment. The ukes are using everything they have including gas and multiple Grad and Hurricane salvos.
04:00 Heavy armor moving on Kramatorsk. A full regiment including main battle tanks.
05:00 Sukhoi aircraft attacks started Kramatorsk. Reports one has been shot down, not confirmed.
05:30 Intense fighting has commenced outskirts Kramatorsk. Tactical situations unknown. 06:45 Heavy civilian casualties reported Kramatorsk. Civilian living areas are targeted. One hospital has been hit and is burning. Casualties unknown in hospital. One 7 floor flats building has collapsed. Casualties unknown.
Slavyansk and outlying villages and towns are under heavy bombardment from Karachun Mountain. Civilian living areas targeted. Reports two flats buildings burning. Reports 2 hospitals including children hospital hit multiple times. Heavy casualties reported at hospitals, unconfirmed.
03:20 Counter batter fire from Army Novorossiya has knocked down 110 m high radio/TV tower on Karachun Mountain (second party visual confirmation). Nazis had observation platforms on the tower. Unknown if platforms manned at time of destruction.
Confirmed Air Defense unit A-1402 taken by Army Novorossiya. Condition of air defense missile systems and related targeting and control systems unknown 07:10. Additional ordinance supply for systems unknown in quantity or quality.
Real time communication with Slavyansk and Donetsk City lost 03:20 today.
Donetsk City outlying areas coming under artillery fire. 04:30.
There was no 'cease fire'. During the slight decrease of hostilities of the last week the Nazis used the time to send massive reinforcements and supplies to Novorossiya and positioned their units for the assaults extant this morning. Strong attempts were made by Nazi units to disrupt humanitarian aid and gifts coming across the Russia/Novorossiya borders.
The preplanned in the event of capture demolition of the military park in Donetsk is destroying a large ammunition, weapon and equipment store destined for the 5th Column right sector units in Donetsk City.
Putin to West: Stop turning world into 'global barracks,' dictating rules to others
Published time: July 01, 2014 11:42 Edited time: July 01, 2014 19:11
Russia’s president has blamed the turmoil in Ukraine on the country’s newly-elected leader Petro Poroshenko. Vladimir Putin also criticized the West for its intention to turn the planet into a "global barracks."
Russia’s president has laid the blame for the ongoing turmoil between Kiev and south-eastern regions squarely at the feet of Petro Poroshenko, after the Ukrainian leader terminated the ceasefire.
He has stressed that Russia and European partners could not convince Poroshenko to not take the path of violence, which can’t lead to peace.
“Unfortunately, President Poroshenko has made the decision to resume military actions, and we – meaning myself and my colleagues in Europe – could not convince him that the way to reliable, firm and long-term peace can’t lie through war,” Putin said. “So far, Petro Poroshenko had no direct relation to orders to take military action. Now he has taken on this responsibility in full. Not only military, but also political, more importantly."
Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko walks at the military camp near the town of Svyatogorsk in Eastern Ukraine, June 20, 2014 (Reuters / Stringer)
On Monday, the leaders of Russia, France, Germany and Ukraine held a phone call in which Putin stressed the need to prolong the ceasefire and the creation of “a reliable mechanism for monitoring compliance with it and the OSCE [Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe] should play an active role.”
Russia offered that checkpoints on the Russian side should be monitored by representatives of the Ukrainian Border service as well as OSCE observers for “the joint control of the border.”
As the violent conflict continues in the east of Ukraine and the number of refugees fleeing to Russia grows, Putin vowed to provide help to everyone who needs it.
“Everything that’s going on in Ukraine is of course the internal business of Ukrainian government, but we are painfully sorry that people die, civilians,” Putin said. He added that the killing of journalists was “absolutely unacceptable.”
“In my opinion, there is a deliberate attempt to eliminate representatives of the press going on. It concerns both Russian and foreign journalists,” the president said.
‘West should stop turning world into 'global barracks'
Speaking in front of ambassadors on Tuesday, Putin expressed hope that Western partners will stop imposing their principles on other countries.
"I hope pragmatism will still prevail. The West will get rid of ambitions, pursuits to establish a ‘world barracks’ – to arrange all according to ranks, to impose uniform rules of behavior and life of society,” Putin said.
"I hope the West will start building relations based on equal rights, mutual respect and mutual consideration of interests.”
Putin recalled the situation with France and the delivery of the Mistral-class ships that was agreed between Moscow and Paris, but was jeopardized in March.
“We know about the pressure that our American partners put on the French so that they would not deliver the Mistral [ships] to Russia,” Putin said. “And we know that [they] hinted that if the French don't deliver Mistral, sanctions on banks will be gradually removed, or at least minimized. What is this, if not blackmail?"
A photo taken on May 9, 2014 in Saint-Nazaire, western France, shows the Vladivostok warship, a Mistral class LHD amphibious vessel ordered by Russia to the STX France shipyard. The Vladivostok warship is one of two navy ships ordered to France by the Russian army (AFP Photo)
Russia is ready to have dialogue with the US only bases of equality, Putin added.
“We are not going to stop our relations with the US. The bilateral relations are not in the best shape, that is true. But this - and I want to emphasize - is not Russia’s fault,” he told diplomats.
Speaking about international relations, Putin stressed that Russia always tried to be “predictable, to do business on an equal basis”, however, in return, its interests were quite often ignored.
‘Ukraine devised shady schemes to get gas’
Putin then touched upon a gas deal with Ukraine, saying that the country “devised some shady schemes with some of their partners” to get “the so-called reverse supplies.”
“It is artificial reverse traffic. There is no such thing in reality,” Putin said. “How is it possible to use the same pipe to pump gas both ways? You do not have to be a major specialist in the gas sector to understand that this is unrealistic," he said. “They have devised some shady schemes with some of their partners,” Putin added. “They are getting Russian gas and paying to some of their partners in Europe, who under-consume these amounts."