Saturday, August 9, 2014

Ukraine situation ( August 9 , 2014 ) --Donetsk militia ready for ceasefire to prevent further humanitarian catastrophe ........ Ukraine sanction blitz against Russia to be voted upon Tuesday , really is squarely focused on Europe once one considers blockage of natural gas transit ..... A review of Ukraine's escalation into extreme violence - even as the West continues to arm Kiev ......... Maidan protesters back off a bit - agree to leave Kiev Administration Center ...... Russia may redirect oil for Europe away from Ukraine ...... US issues threat against Russia regarding humanitarian aid efforts i South East Ukraine .......

http://rt.com/news/179212-ukraine-militia-ready-ceasefire/


Donetsk militia ready for ceasefire to prevent further humanitarian catastrophe

Published time: August 09, 2014 13:41
Edited time: August 09, 2014 15:54
A dental clinic in downtown Donetsk shelled by Ukrainian forces. (RIA Novosti/Mikhail Voskresenskiy)
A dental clinic in downtown Donetsk shelled by Ukrainian forces. (RIA Novosti/Mikhail Voskresenskiy)
Donetsk region militia says it is ready for a ceasefire to stop the humanitarian catastrophe deteriorating, the self-proclaimed Republic's prime minister said.
“We hope that the international community will influence the bloodthirsty Kiev government,”Aleksandr Zakharchenko said as cited by RIA Novosti. “But in the case of Ukrainian army aggression continuing, our people’s militia will fight with any balance of forces and in any conditions,” he said.
The self-proclaimed Republic's prime minister confirmed Kiev forces surrounded Donetsk on Saturday. Briefing on the current situation there, he said “there is a humanitarian catastrophe in the city.”
“People are dying in shelling. In the case of a storming of the city, the number of victims will increase. Today there are absolutely no humanitarian corridors. Medicines can’t get into Donetsk and food supplies are running out. Because of the blockade and bombardment, it is impossible to repair the destroyed municipal network,” Zakharchenko said. He added the city has problems with water supplies and power.
The statement comes as the UN voiced serious concerns over the situation in eastern Ukraine.
“Innocent civilians trapped in the fighting continue to lose their lives,” UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said on Friday.
Residential buildings in Shakhtyorsk, destroyed by a Ukrainian military artillery attack. (RIA Novosti/Mikhail Voskresenskiy)
Residential buildings in Shakhtyorsk, destroyed by a Ukrainian military artillery attack. (RIA Novosti/Mikhail Voskresenskiy)

Ban promised that the UN will continue to "actively and closely" follow the situation, and if there is further deterioration of the humanitarian situation, or if nationally-led response efforts are not sufficient to meet humanitarian needs, the organization will be "ready to consider additional measures of support."
The UN chief also praised Kiev for handling the situation at this stage "appropriately."
Despite increasing numbers of refugees fleeing to Russia and the continuing fighting in eastern Ukraine, Ukrainian officials deny that the region is on verge of a humanitarian catastrophe.
The eastern Ukrainian city of Lugansk declared a state of humanitarian catastrophe on Tuesday, as there are no medical supplies, electricity, or lighting, as well as a lack of mobile and internet communication. Some 250,000 civilians are unable to leave, a statement on the city council website said.
Russia's Ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, is calling for an international humanitarian mission to be launched. Whereas Ukraine’s envoy to UN Yuriy Sergeyev said the situation in eastern Ukraine is manageable by the government, adding that there is no humanitarian crisis.
On August 4, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov proposed humanitarian convoys, saying that Russia was ready to provide humanitarian assistance to its neighbor “on our own.”
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) supported the proposal, saying that “the ICRC acknowledges receipt of the offer from the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sergey Lavrov, about organizing aid convoys to the affected areas in Ukraine.”
Grocery store in Shakhtersk (RIA Novosti/Mikhail Voskresenskiy)
Grocery store in Shakhtersk (RIA Novosti/Mikhail Voskresenskiy)

Kiev officials claimed a Russian "humanitarian convoy" was stopped from crossing the border on Friday over fears it was an attempt by Moscow to invade Ukraine.
"Supposedly in consultation with the International Committee of the Red Cross in Ukraine, the humanitarian convoy with 'peacekeepers' was meant to enter apparently in order to provoke a full-scale conflict," Valeriy Chaliy, deputy head of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko's office said.
Russia has denied Kiev’s claims that Russian military attempted to infiltrate Ukrainian territory.
“We struggle to understand what the Ukrainian side means. There have been no attempts of infiltration by the Russian army,” said President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov.
The Red Cross, at the same time, also denied allegations the organization was involved in any such "humanitarian convoy."
ICRC spokeswoman Sitara Jabee told AFP that if all sides in the conflict were to agree, the ICRC could potentially receive aid from Russia.
But so far, "nothing has been done," she said.





Consider the connection between Ron Paul's hint and the Consortium new article directly below the info War piece !


http://www.infowars.com/ron-paul-us-hiding-truth-on-downed-malaysian-plane/


RON PAUL: US ‘HIDING TRUTH’ ON DOWNED MALAYSIAN PLANE

"The U.S. government has grown strangely quiet on the accusation that it was Russia or her allies"
Ron Paul: US 'hiding truth' on downed Malaysian plane
by JESSE BYRNES | THE HILL AUGUST 9, 2014



Former Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) accused the U.S. government of “hiding” the truth behind the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which crashed in eastern Ukraine last month.
“The U.S. government has grown strangely quiet on the accusation that it was Russia or her allies that brought down the Malaysian airliner with a Buk anti-aircraft missile,” Paul said on his news website Thursday.
U.S. officials believe the plane was brought down by a missile likely fired by pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board. The U.S. and Europe have slapped tougher sanctions on Moscow for providing the rebels with weaponry and assistance.
Paul, though, questioned that account and said the U.S. could be more forthcoming with information.


http://consortiumnews.com/2014/08/08/was-putin-targeted-for-mid-air-assassination/



Was Putin Targeted for Mid-Air Assassination?


Exclusive: Official Washington’s conventional wisdom on the Malaysia Airlines shoot-down blames Russian President Putin, but some U.S. intelligence analysts think Putin, whose plane was flying nearby, may have been the target of Ukrainian hardliners who hit the wrong plane, writes Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

U.S. intelligence analysts are weighing the possibility that the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was a botched attempt by extremists in the Ukrainian government to assassinate Russian President Vladimir Putin whose aircraft was returning from South America the same day, according to a source briefed on the U.S. investigation.

If true, the direction of the investigation into the July 17 crash has veered dramatically from initial U.S. government allegations that eastern Ukrainian rebels, using a Russian-supplied anti-aircraft battery, were responsible for bringing down the plane killing 298 people onboard.
A side-by-side comparison of the Russian presidential jetliner and the Malaysia Airlines plane.
A side-by-side comparison of the Russian presidential jetliner and the Malaysia Airlines plane.
The Obama administration used those claims to whip up an anti-Russian hysteria that prompted European countries to ratchet up economic sanctions against Moscow, starting what now looks like an incipient trade war.

But the U.S. analysts dismissed those original suspicions because they could find no evidence that such a missile battery had been supplied by the Russians or was in the possession of the rebels, prompting a shift in thinking toward a scenario in which Ukrainian hardliners working with elements of the air force may have tried to ambush Putin’s plane but instead hit the Malaysian airliner, said the source speaking on condition of anonymity.

Putin flies in a plane with similar red, white and blue markings as the Malaysian airliner and was known to be on his way home after a six-day visit to South America. But his plane took a different route and landed safely in Moscow.

After the crash, as U.S. intelligence analysts pored over phone intercepts and other intelligence data, they began to suspect that the motive for the shoot-down was the desire among some Ukrainian extremists to eliminate Putin whom they had been privately vowing to kill – words initially viewed as empty bluster but which were looked at differently in hindsight – the source said.

If some Ukrainian authorities were hoping to ambush Putin’s plane, they also would have had only a matter of minutes to detect the aircraft’s presence and make a decision to fire, so it could be plausible that the attackers made a hasty decision to hit Putin’s plane before they realized that they had made a tragic mistake.

Blaming Russia

After the crash, the Ukrainian government quickly assembled some pieces of information from “social media” to pin the blame on the eastern Ukrainian rebels and the Russian government for what would have been a reckless decision to supply such powerful weapons to a poorly trained force.

The rebels denied having a Buk anti-aircraft battery capable of reaching an aircraft flying at 33,000 feet and the Russians denied having supplied one, but those denials were brushed aside by the mainstream U.S. news media and were rejected as well by senior U.S. officials. Only three days after the crash, Secretary of State John Kerry made the rounds of five Sunday talk shows to embrace the Ukrainian government’s assertions although the official investigation into the crash had just begun.

The following Tuesday senior U.S. intelligence officials briefed mainstream reporters from several news outlets offering qualified support to the claims by Kiev and Kerry, but some journalists noted the lack of any real evidence and the briefing’s curious reliance on “social media” rather than aerial reconnaissance, phone intercepts or other official sources. The absence of this corroborating evidence suggested that the case against the rebels and Russia was weaker than the Obama administration was letting on.

Yet, because of the high-level endorsements of Russia’s presumed guilt, the U.S. intelligence analysts are moving cautiously in developing their alternative scenario, said the source, who added that another line of inquiry still being pursued is that the Ukrainian military brought down the passenger plane simply to create a provocation that could be turned against the rebels and Russia.

But the assassination motive would seem to make more sense given the intense hatred expressed by Ukrainian leaders toward Putin and how Ukrainian extremists would view the murder of Putin as a giant feather in their cap.

Still, the idea of assassinating the Russian president by shooting down his plane – even if the attack were carried out by hardliners without the approval of top officials – could have provoked a major international crisis. Nuclear-armed Russia would have almost surely retaliated against Ukraine, possibly with a full-scale invasion which could have escalated into a dangerous military confrontation with the United States.

This possibility of a cascading crisis beyond the control of rational policymakers has always been a risk since the U.S.-backed overthrow of elected Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych on Feb. 22, a putsch spearheaded by neo-Nazi militias though also supported by more moderate political figures. The U.S. State Department quickly embraced the coup regime as “legitimate,” but ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine, which had been Yanukovych’s political base, resisted the new order.

Crimea, another stronghold of ethnic Russians, voted overwhelmingly to secede from Ukraine and rejoin Russia, a move endorsed by Putin and backed by Russian troops who were stationed in Crimea, the site of the Russian naval base at Sebastopol. The annexation of Crimea was heartily denounced by President Barack Obama and U.S. allies in Europe, who began applying sanctions on Russia.

Meanwhile, the new Ukrainian government, which gave the neo-Nazis several ministries in appreciation for their key role in the coup, began calling the ethnic Russian resistance “terrorists.” New National Guard units, formed from neo-Nazi militias, were dispatched to intimidate ethnic Russians in the southern city of Odessa, where scores were killed when a pro-Kiev mob set a trade union building ablaze.

A Worsening Crisis

As the crisis worsened, several eastern cities in the Donbass region also voted to secede and an armed resistance emerged against the Kiev regime, which responded by vowing to crush the rebellion with an “anti-terrorist operation” that has included artillery and aerial bombardments against towns and cities held by the rebels.

On Friday, a Ukrainian parliamentary group reported that more than 10,000 people have been killed in Kiev’s offensive since April, a number far higher than earlier estimates.

Angered by the mounting violence, the Russians lodged murder accusations against two Ukrainian officials, Interior Minister Arsen Avakov and Ihor Kolomoisky, a billionaire oligarch who was appointed by the coup regime to be governor of the southeastern Dnipropetrovsk Region.

Kolomoisky, known for his strong-arm business tactics including deploying paid thugs to intimidate rivals, is now using his fortune to finance paramilitary units, such as the Dnipro Battalion which is considered one of the most aggressive and brutal units in the “anti-terrorist operation” in eastern Ukraine.

Since the February coup, Kolomoisky also has engaged in a bitter war of words with Putin whom he publicly mocked as a “schizophrenic shorty.” But Kolomoisky’s fury toward Putin has intensified in the face of the Russian murder charge and other threats to the billionaire’s PrivatBank holdings. In private conversations, Kolomoisky has made angry threats against Putin, the source said.

Other Ukrainian officials have vowed to kill Putin. Ex-Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, a onetime Kolomoisky ally, said in an intercepted phone: “It’s about time we grab our guns and kill, go kill those damn Russians together with their leader.”

Though U.S. intelligence was aware of such threatening anti-Putin rhetoric via American intercepts, the rants were not taken seriously, at least not until after the shoot-down of the Malaysian airliner, the source said. Now, they are reportedly being studied as a possible motive for the July 17 attack.

Another curious development was the sudden resignation on Thursday of Andriy Parubiy as chief of Ukraine’s national security. A longtime neo-Nazi leader, Parubiy had organized and directed the paramilitary forces that spearheaded the putsch on Feb. 22 forcing Yanukovych and his government officials to flee for their lives.

Parubiy refused to explain his reason for quitting but some analysts believe it may have a connection to the Malaysia Airlines shoot-down, the source said. The U.S. intelligence analysts specifically said their evidence does not implicate Ukraine’s current President Petro Poroshenko or Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, but they did not extend that clearance to the more extreme elements of the government, the source said.

Russian Evidence

Based on technical evidence that Moscow has supplied to U.S. and other investigators, it appears that the Ukrainian military had several Russian-made Buk anti-aircraft missiles along the path of the Malaysia Airlines flight as well as two jetfighters in the air in the vicinity of the doomed plane.

Eyewitnesses also reported seeing one or two Ukrainian jetfighters near the airliner right before it was blown out of the sky. Two theories are that the jetfighters were trying to identify the plane or were responsible for finishing it off if the missile failed to do the job.

An independent analysis by an expert on the Buk systems, who has reviewed the Russian evidence, says it shows that one of the Ukrainian anti-aircraft batteries was in position to take down the Malaysian airliner by inflicting damage consistent with the wreckage that has so far been recovered from the plane.

As the pieces of this puzzle fill in, the image that emerges is of a possible Ukrainian ambush of a jetliner heading into Russian airspace that had markings very similar to President Putin’s official plane. As shocking as that picture may be, there is a grim logic to it, given the demonization of Putin who has been likened to Hitler and Stalin by pundits and politicians from Ukraine to the United States.

However, even if the U.S. intelligence analysts do assemble a strong case implicating an extremist faction within the Ukrainian government, there is still the political problem for the Obama administration of dealing with a conclusion so dramatically at odds with the original accusations aimed at the rebels and Russia.

Powerful people are notoriously unwilling to admit mistakes, especially when it could open them to charges that they rushed to judgment and behaved recklessly. There are similarities with the hasty U.S. conclusions a year ago when sarin gas killed hundreds outside Damascus on Aug. 21 – and the finger of blame was pointed immediately at the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

On Aug. 30, Secretary Kerry declared repeatedly that “we know” that the Assad regime was guilty, but some U.S. intelligence analysts were privately expressing their doubts and refused to endorse a “Government Assessment” which presented no verifiable evidence to support the accusations. The four-page white paper also suppressed the dissents of the analysts.
Over the ensuing months as much of Kerry’s case fell apart, some of these analysts came to believe that rebel extremists were likely responsible for the attack as a provocation to draw in the U.S. military into the civil war on their side. But the U.S. government has never retracted its allegations against the Syrian government. [For details, see Consortiumnews.com’s “The Collapsing Syria-Sarin Case.”]

Given how far senior U.S. officials have gone in heaping blame for the Malaysia Airlines shoot-down on the rebels and the Russians, it is hard to envision a walk-back of those accusations regardless of the actual evidence. To compel that would require true courage from U.S. analysts or from international investigators looking into the crash.

It is never easy to contradict important people, especially when they have leveled such serious accusations so confidently. That is one reason why Kerry and the mainstream U.S. news media should have held back on their conclusions until a thorough investigation had been done.






Ukraine through Russia eyes......


http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-08-08/how-putins-advisor-sees-ukraine-crisis-playing-out


This Is How Putin's Advisor Sees The Ukraine Crisis Playing Out

Tyler Durden's picture




Vladimir Putin's chief "integration" advisor, Sergei Glazyev, has been regularly featured on these pages in the past (see Putin Advisor Threatens With Dumping US Treasurys, Abandoning Dollar If US Proceeds With Sanctions and Putin Advisor Proposes "Anti-Dollar Alliance" To Halt US Aggression Abroad for two examples). So now that the Ukraine situation has once again escalated, this time with both sides openly engaged in trade war and many suggesting all-out war just over the horizon, how does Putin's advisor see the Ukraine conflict playing out?
Putin has sought to lure Ukraine and its more than 40 million people into the alliance to build a trading bloc to rival the EU. Yanukovych pursued closer ties with the customs union and pulled out of an association agreement with the EU before his ouster in February. His successor, President Petro Poroshenko, signed the free-trade accord with the 28-nation bloc in June.

Russia can’t go it alone against the U.S. and must create an “anti-war coalition” to check the “aggressor,” Glazyev said.

The point of a series of regional wars organized by the Americans, especially today’s catastrophe in Ukraine, centers on the U.S. securing control over all of north Eurasia” to bolster “its position against China,” Glazyev said. “That’s how the U.S. military and oligarchs are trying to maintain leadership in the global competition with China.”

The effort will backfire, said Glazyev, who spoke before a round of retaliatory steps announced by Russia yesterday banning food and agricultural products for one year from the U.S., the EU, Norway, Canada and Australia. The U.S.-led “economic war” against Russia will ricochet, leaving the EU to pay the steepest costs in the conflict, he said.

The trading bloc stands to lose about 1 trillion euros ($1.3 trillion), an estimate he says includes the possible bankruptcy of several European banks and companies toppled after the cutoff in financial and economic ties. An energy crisis in Europe will bring a sharp spike in prices and a loss of competitiveness for European producers.Meanwhile, Turkish, Chinese and east Asian nations will fill the void left by the departure of their European rivals from the Russian market.

The fallout will cost 250 billion euros for Germany alone while pushing the three Baltic states to the brink of an “economic catastrophe,” he said.Lithuania and Latvia will lose the equivalent of half of their entire economic output, and the cost for Estonia will reach 50 percent more than its gross domestic product, Glazyev said.
Where does that leave Russia?
“Task no. 1 is to block those threats to economic security that are now coming from the U.S., neutralize them by reducing the dependence of our external economic activity on the mercy of American politicians, whose aggressiveness threatens the entire world,” he said.
Glazyev's conclusion:
To further insulate its economy, Russia should abandon the use of the U.S. dollar as a reserve currency, according to Glazyev. Russia, which international reserves are the world’s fifth-biggest,needs to diversify its holdings to include China’s yuan, India’s rupee and Brazil’s real.  “If a country aspires to reserve status for its currency, it should behave properly, and that isn’t the case today,”Glazyev said.
And this is how Putin sees the world. De-escalation? Good luck.




Who blinks first - Ukraine or Europe ?

http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2014/08/ukraine-threatens-to-block-gas-to.html

Friday, August 08, 2014 10:50 AM


Ukraine Threatens to Block Gas to Europe; Bluff or Stupidity?


Sanction madness has gotten so silly now that Russia may not have the option to play the nuclear card of blocking gas to Europe. Ukraine might play that card first.

Please consider Ukraine May Block All Transit from Russia in Sanctions Row 
 Ukraine ready to impose sanctions against any transit via its territory, including air flights and gas supplies to Europe, Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said Friday.

Kiev has also prepared a list of 172 Russian citizens and 65 companies predominantly Russian to put under sanctions for “sponsoring terrorism, supporting the annexation of Crimea, and violating the territorial integrity of Ukraine,” Yatsenyuk said at a briefing on Friday.

Proposed sanctions include asset freezes, bans on certain enterprises, bans on privatizing state property, refusing to issue licenses, and a complete or partial ban on transit- both aviation and gas.

“We simply have no other choice,” the Prime Minister said, adding that Ukraine will use part of the planned $17 billion IMF aid to achieve energy independence, and may go to the World Bank for help. The country, which is on the brink of economic default, received the first $3.2 billion tranche in May.

Ukraine wants to “put a stop” to its gas dependence on Russia, its main source for energy to heat homes and buildings, but understands it will not be an “easy” process, Yatsenyuk told reporters.

The Prime Minister estimates Ukraine could stand to lose $7 billion as a result of imposing sectorial sanctions against Russia, its biggest trading partner after the European Union.

If approved, a halt to Russian gas transit would hit Europe as the continent gets 15 percent of the energy it needs from Russia. In June Gazprom, Russia’s national gas company announced it was stopping deliveries to Ukraine, but would continue to ship 180 billion cubic meters of gas to Europe.

The falling out with Russia’s gas major over pricing and debt has forced Ukraine to cut back on its heavy use of energy. Until the winter, homes will go without hot water to cut gas consumption by 30 percent.

On top of that, Ukraine is also exploring reverse flow options; importing gas from neighboring European countries.
Gas Pipelines 



Bluff or Stupidity?

My first thought was this is an obvious bluff. However, sanction madness is so ridiculous, Ukraine might do it as an act of one-up stupidity.

****





http://rt.com/news/179164-ukraine-violence-war-arms/




Ukraine’s violent escalation: From Molotov cocktails to ballistic missiles

Published time: August 09, 2014 10:34
Edited time: August 09, 2014 11:11

Ukrainian servicemen sit on an armoured vehicle with a Ukrainian flag as a convoy of Ukrainian forces drive towards the eastern city of Debaltceve, in the region of Donetsk, on July 30, 2014. (AFP Photo/Genya Savilov)
Ukrainian servicemen sit on an armoured vehicle with a Ukrainian flag as a convoy of Ukrainian forces drive towards the eastern city of Debaltceve, in the region of Donetsk, on July 30, 2014. (AFP Photo/Genya Savilov)
In less than a year, Ukraine has been plunged into a vortex of violence that doesn’t appear to have any end in sight. The vicious circle that started with Molotov cocktails thrown at riot police has now gone to ballistic missiles launched at cities.
RT traces the bloody path that led a once peaceful country into civil war.
Protesters hold up their mobile phones as they attend a demonstration in support of EU integration at Independence Square in Kiev November 29, 2013. (Reuters/Gleb Garanich)
Protesters hold up their mobile phones as they attend a demonstration in support of EU integration at Independence Square in Kiev November 29, 2013. (Reuters/Gleb Garanich)

The Ukrainian turmoil started in November 2013, after President Viktor Yanukovich put on a hold on a key EU integration deal. Thousands of Ukrainians, outraged by what they saw as betrayal of their aspirations, responded with mass protests in Kiev.
Supporters of European integration of Ukraine clash with the police in the center of Kiev, on January 25, 2014 (RIA Novosti/Andrey Stenin)
Supporters of European integration of Ukraine clash with the police in the center of Kiev, on January 25, 2014 (RIA Novosti/Andrey Stenin)

Over the weeks the protests became increasingly violent, as right-wing radicals weighed in and the government attempted to tighten the screws. Eventually, Kiev turned into a scene of rioting, with protesters using Molotov Cocktails and guerrilla tactics to take over government offices.
Anti-government protesters aim their weapons during clashes with riot police in Independence Square in Kiev February 18, 2014. (Reuters/Vasily Fedosenko)
Anti-government protesters aim their weapons during clashes with riot police in Independence Square in Kiev February 18, 2014. (Reuters/Vasily Fedosenko)

The violence spiraled out of control a day after Yanukovich submitted to virtually all the demands conveyed to him by parliamentary opposition leaders. Snipers started shooting at both the protesters and the police in Kiev, triggering a bloodbath and a collapse of the government. The identity of the snipers remains unknown.
Presidential candidate Oleg Tsarev from eastern Ukraine was beaten by a mob of radical activists as he was about to take part in a political talk show. (Still from YouTube video) (Still from YouTube video)
Presidential candidate Oleg Tsarev from eastern Ukraine was beaten by a mob of radical activists as he was about to take part in a political talk show. (Still from YouTube video) (Still from YouTube video)

After the coup, the new authorities in Kiev took steps such as an attempt to strip the Russian language of its official status in largely Russian-speaking eastern regions. A protest movementgrew in response, only to be dismissed and retaliated against with the dispersion of rallies, arrests and kidnappings of protest leaders, and attacks on local politicians. Kiev pressure led to some protesters taking arms and storming local government offices much as their opponents had done months earlier.
A Ukrainian soldier points his weapon at an approaching car with armoured personnel carriers behind him at a checkpoint near the town of Slaviansk in eastern Ukraine May 3, 2014. (Reuters/Baz Ratner)
A Ukrainian soldier points his weapon at an approaching car with armoured personnel carriers behind him at a checkpoint near the town of Slaviansk in eastern Ukraine May 3, 2014. (Reuters/Baz Ratner)

Kiev declared the militias terrorists and Russian mercenaries and launched a military crackdown in the defiant east. Armored infantry vehicles were sent to cities like Mariupol in a demonstration of force, while mortar shells started falling on militia-erected roadblocks.
A Ukrainian fighter flies above Lugansk during a battle between resistance fighters and the Ukrainian National Guard. (RIA Novosti/Evgeny Biyatov)
A Ukrainian fighter flies above Lugansk during a battle between resistance fighters and the Ukrainian National Guard. (RIA Novosti/Evgeny Biyatov)

Instead of a quick victory, the so-called ‘anti-terrorist operation’ stalled, with militias capturing police armories, some military depots and even the military hardware used against them. Kiev’s response was to deploy Su-24 bombers, Mig-29 fighters, Mi-24 helicopter gunships and other aircraft, since their military had unchallenged air superiority. Militias proved to have shoulder-launched SAMs in their arsenals.
Ukrainian tanks move along a road near Eastern Ukrainian village of Novoselivka Persha July 31, 2014. (Reuters/Valentyn Ogirenko)
Ukrainian tanks move along a road near Eastern Ukrainian village of Novoselivka Persha July 31, 2014. (Reuters/Valentyn Ogirenko)

Angered by the armed resistance and hindered by the poor morale of their own troops, the Ukrainian government upped the violence ante. T-64BM Bulat battle tanks and heavy artillery pieces like 152 mm howitzers Msta and 152 mm field guns Giatsint-B joined APCs and mortars in the battlefield, laying waste to militia strongholds like Slavyansk.
Rockets shoot off from a Ukrainian Grad multiple rocket launcher towards the position of anti-Kiev militants in Donetsk region on August 7, 2014. (AFP Photo/Anatolii Stepanov)
Rockets shoot off from a Ukrainian Grad multiple rocket launcher towards the position of anti-Kiev militants in Donetsk region on August 7, 2014. (AFP Photo/Anatolii Stepanov)



Among the heavy weapons the Ukrainian army uses are BM-21 Grad and BM-27 Uragan multiple-rocket launchers, a highly indiscriminate kind of weapon designed for destroying enemy forces in the field. If fired at a city, it cannot but cause multiple civilian casualties. Kiev denied doing so, but international rights group reported evidence to the contrary, adding that such actions mayamount to war crimes.
***
Another kind of weapon that is banned for use against residential areas is phosphorous ammunitions. Kiev reportedly shelled the militia-controlled Slavyansk with these on several occasions in violation of its own international commitments.
A satellite image showing the location of anti-aircraft missile system BUK M1 equipment in the area of the town of Zaroshchenskoye, Donetsk Region, on July 17, 2014, presented at the news conference of Chief of the Russian General Staff's Main Operational Directorate Andrei Kartapolov and Chief of the Russian Air Force's Main Staff Igor Makushev on the crash of the Boeing-777 airliner in Ukraine.
A satellite image showing the location of anti-aircraft missile system BUK M1 equipment in the area of the town of Zaroshchenskoye, Donetsk Region, on July 17, 2014, presented at the news conference of Chief of the Russian General Staff's Main Operational Directorate Andrei Kartapolov and Chief of the Russian Air Force's Main Staff Igor Makushev on the crash of the Boeing-777 airliner in Ukraine.

In addition to heavy offensive weapons, Kiev deployed batteries of anti-aircraft missiles near the battlefield. The militias don’t have any aviation of their own, but the Ukrainian military claimed that Russia is sending its fighters and bombers to strike their positions and cities. Kiev hasn’t bothered to provide any proof of the claims, but they had Buk-M SAM launchers and radar stations on stand-by at the time a Malaysian Airlines plane was shot down in the area.
FILE: Tactical Operational Missile Complex "Tochka" (RIA Novosti/Igor Zarembo)
FILE: Tactical Operational Missile Complex "Tochka" (RIA Novosti/Igor Zarembo)

The most destructive weapons Kiev was reported to have used so far are tactical ballistic missiles. CNN said at least three Tochka (SS-21 Scarab) missiles have been launched, each carrying up to 482 kg of explosives. The attacks were confirmed to German media by NATO sources, although the alliance later denied this.

http://rt.com/news/179136-nato-plane-arrives-ukraine/

A massive Canadian transport plane has arrived in Kharkov carrying US$4.5 million worth of non-lethal military equipment to help Ukraine “protect its eastern border against Russian aggression.”
The equipment includes “helmets, ballistic eyewear, protective vests, first aid kits, tents, and sleeping bags,” Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said in a statement on Thursday.
Canada said it received the request from the Ukrainian government. “Ukraine has asked for this and once again we are delivering," Defence Minister Rob Nicholson Nicholson said at the Canadian Forces Base in Trenton.
The flight marks the first in a series, and all of the items will be delivered by the CC-130J Hercules plane. Canadian military personnel accompanied the equipment to Ukraine.
The technology provided will “allow Ukrainian security and border authorities to better detect and track the movement of illicit goods and people,” according to Harper.
The news comes after Russia banned the imports of fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, and dairy products from the 28 countries of the EU, the US, Canada, Norway, and Australia for one year.
Russia’s ban is set to cost Canadian pork farmers more than $500 million. But the Canadian government is continuing its current stance on the matter. “We will not be intimidated by these kinds of tactics,” Canadian Industry Minister James Moore said.
On Thursday, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen pledged that NATO will work with Ukraine on defense planning, as well as on how to reform its armed forces and institutions.
He also announced that NATO is planning joint exercises with Ukraine.The comments were made during a press conference in Kiev.
Rasmussen also mentioned that Russia has amassed 20,000 troops near the border and could be planning a ground invasion of its neighbor, mentioning that Russia "should not use peace-keeping as an excuse for war-making."
In response, Moscow slammed NATO’s claims, calling them unsubstantiated.
"In Russia’s Ministry of Defense such statements only raise sympathy for the speakers of the Pentagon, the US State Department and NATO. It seems the people are serious, but they have to constantly improvise during their speeches to somehow add seriousness to their statements,"Ministry of Defense spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said.

http://en.itar-tass.com/world/744200

Campaigners in Kiev’s center to leave administration building - mayor Klitschko

 August 09, 5:13 UTC+4
Kiev’s police has opened three criminal cases over the August 7 unrest in Independence Square
© EPA/SERGEY DOLZHENKO
KIEV, August 09,  /ITAR-TASS/. Activists in the tent camp in Kiev’s Independence Square have agreed to leave the building of the city administration and vacate an area from the Central Department Store (TsUM) to Proreznaya Street, Kiev’s mayor, Vitali Klitschko, said on television Friday evening.
“We have persuaded the people inside the Kiev City Administration to leave,” Klitshcko said in the Shuster Live talk show. “It was no easy. But finally we managed to talk the people in the square to leave the area stretching from the Central Department Store to Proreznaya Street. We managed to do that and we keep talking to them and asking them to let us restore life in the city centre to normal,” Klitshcko said.
He acknowledged that the situation in the centre of the city was far from calm and remained a great problem for the authorities and the city dwellers.
“Security is the key question that worries Kiev’s people today,” Klitschko said.
Robberies and even attacks on journalists in Independence Square were frequent of late. The area is crammed with piles of stinking garbage and crawling with rats.
“Yesterday, to our deep regret and surprise, stones were thrown at utility workers. Tires were burned,” Klitschko said, adding he was certain that the negotiations with tent camp activists would take a constructive turn, which would allow for clearing the centre of Kiev and putting life there in order.
Kiev’s police has opened three criminal cases over the August 7 unrest in Independence Square.
“Criminal investigation is underway under three articles of Ukraine’s criminal code into car theft, illegal handling of firearms, ammunition and explosives, and hooliganism,” Kiev’s police chief Aleksandr Tereshchuk said Friday. According to the official, five people were taken to district police stations. Another two were given administrative punishment for petty hooliganism. Pre-trial investigation into the criminal cases is continuing.
Last Thursday, utility workers arrived in Independence Square in an attempt to remove the barricades on instructions from the city authorities. The demonstrators offered resistance. Clashes with police and utility workers followed. Fifty police and four utility workers were injured, police sources said. About ten trouble-makers were detained.

http://en.itar-tass.com/economy/744149

Russia may redirect Europe-bound oil supplies away from Ukraine route

 August 08, 18:02 UTC+4
The Transneft spokesman added that a change in the oil delivery route would increase the cost of oil supplies for European consumers
© EPA/ANDREI LIANKEVICH
MOSCOW, August 08. /ITAR-TASS/. The Russian oil pipeline company Transneft is ready to redirect Europe-bound oil exports away from the Ukraine transit route, Transneft spokesman Igor Dyomin said on Friday.
Transneft made the statement after Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk announced earlier on Friday that Ukraine considered imposing a series of sanctions against Russia that could include a ban on air flights and the transit of energy products across its territory.
Transneft’s oil supplies via Ukraine can be rechanneled into the northern stretch of the Druzhba oil pipeline and the port of Ust-Luga in northwest Russia, the company’s spokesman said.
This year, Russia’s oil exports to Slovakia, Hungary and the Czech Republic via Ukraine were expected at 14 million tons.
Transneft earlier said it could re-channel oil supplies through Russian ports, primarily via the Druzhba pipeline’s northern section and the port of Ust-Luga to the Mediterranean ports of Trieste and Omisalj. Transneft could also use oil swap deals but a route change would slightly push up the cost of oil deliveries, the company said at the time.
The Transneft spokesman added that a change in the oil delivery route would increase the cost of oil supplies for European consumers.


http://www.aljazeera.com/news/europe/2014/08/us-warns-russia-against-ukraine-invasion-2014890432988615.html

US warns Russia against Ukraine invasion

US official says any Russian intervention under the guise of providing humanitarian aid will be viewed as invasion.

Last updated: 09 Aug 2014 03:41

Four months of fighting in eastern Ukraine have left at least 1,300 people dead [AFP]

The United States has warned Russia against using the humanitarian crisis in eastern Ukraine as a pretext for an invasion, saying such a move would be "completely unacceptable".

The warning came after Russia proposed setting up humanitarian corridors to come to the aid of civilians in east Ukraine who are fleeing violence as Kiev's forces battle to retake the eastern city of Donetsk.

US Ambassador Samantha Power told the UN Security Council on Friday that international aid agencies were on the ground and helping civilians trapped between pro-Moscow rebels and Ukrainian forces.

"Any further unilateral intervention by Russia in Ukrainian territory, including one under the guise of providing humanitarian aid, would be completely unacceptable and deeply alarming and would be viewed as an invasion of Ukraine," Washington's envoy said.

Moscow proposed that the convoys of aid be organised through the International Committee of the Red Cross, but it was unclear how much of a role the ICRC would play in the deliveries.

"Urgent humanitarian assistance should be delivered by the international organisations that have the expertise, experience and independence to provide it. It should not be delivered by Russia," Power said.
With fighting intensifying near Donetsk, more civilians are fleeing while those left behind struggle to find water, medical care and other essentials.

The United Nations is ready to boost its support to Ukrainian relief efforts, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a statement.

"If there is further deterioration of the humanitarian situation, or if nationally-led response efforts are not sufficient to meet humanitarian needs, the UN is ready to consider additional measures of support," said the UN chief.
He added: "At this stage, the situation is being handled appropriately by the government of Ukraine, in coordination with international partners."

Four months of fighting in east Ukraine have left at least 1,300 people dead and driven 285,000 from their homes in a conflict that also brought East-West relations to their lowest point since the end of the Cold War.
Source:
AFP



Anti War.....

15 More Ukraine Soldiers Killed in Fighting South of Luhansk

Troops Were 'Surrounded' by Eastern Rebels

by Jason Ditz, August 08, 2014
At least 15 Ukrainian soldiers were killed today when they attempted to fight their way past rebels who had reportedly “surrounded” their position south of Luhansk.
The military reported that with the help of other troops who were not encircled, they managed to create an “escape corridor,” but 15 troops were killed and 79 others wounded in the fight.
The Ukrainian military has been pushing an offensive against eastern secessionist rebels for weeks, and continue to say they are “tightening the noose” around the rebels, though in this case it seems like the rebels were the ones who surrounded them.
Recent successes by the Ukrainian military appear to have stalled now, as the troops near the main eastern city of Donetsk, though the military continues to shell the city, causing civilian casualties.