Friday, August 15, 2014

Ukraine Updates August 15 - 16 , 2014 ( First three items sum up fog of war BS nicely ) -- Did Ukraine Attack Its Own Tanks? White House "Can't Confirm Russian Convoy Was Destroyed By Kiev" .......Someone Is Lying: Russia Defense Ministry Says There Was No Military Column In East Ukraine ....... It Begins: Ukraine Troops Destroy Part Of "Armed" Russian Convoy, Stocks Crash....... ukraine trying to cover up faltering War against the Federalists ? Additional items of note on the state of play on the battlefield , the natural gas situation , talks between Russia / EU and Kiev , Russian sanctions impact on Europe and War Crimes against civilians......

Moon of Alabama....


August 15, 2014

The Mysterious Destroyed "Russian Armored Vehicles"

Yesterday the Guardian's Shaun Walker claimed to have seen Russian military vehicle crossing the Russian border into Ukraine. I wrote elsewhere that I am skeptical of that claim:
I'd be very careful in believing the stuff Shaun Walker writes. He was with the [aid-]convoy yesterday and the convoy is halted some 20-30 kilometer away from the border. How could he have observed the (not really well defined) border from there?
Said differently: The Guardian and Shaun Walker have certainly not be neutral in their reporting and  publishing about the Ukraine conflict. There is no reason for the Russian army to invade Ukraine especially not in near an aid-convoy which is covered by dozens of "western" journalists.

But this afternoon the Ukrainian government claimed that its troops overnight had destroyed  some Russian vehicles:
Ukraine's president, Petro Poroshenko, told David Cameron in a phone call on Friday that a column of Russian armoured vehicles had been destroyed.
Now everyone in the media is jumping from the Shaun Walker report to the destroyed "Russian armored vehicle" to claim that it was a Russian military convoy that was attacked and destroyed within Ukraine.

But all armored vehicles in Ukraine are "Russian armored vehicles" as they all were constructed during the Soviet times. All the 123 tanks and APC destroyed in this conflict, most of them from the Ukrainian army, were "Russian armored vehicles". The insurgents use such vehicles as does the Ukrainian army. So even if Poroshenko's claim is true, and there was no proof presented for it at all, there is actually nothing factual that lets one connect "Russian armored vehicles" to actual Russian army vehicles.



The Russian government asserts that no Russian army vehicles have entered Ukraine. The Ukrainian government has claimed for several month that a Russian invasion is imminent or already occurring and a lot of other nonsense. Unless there is additional evidence that actual Russian army vehicles really entered Ukraine I will rather believe the Russian government.









http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-08-15/did-ukraine-attack-its-own-tanks-white-house-cant-confirm-russian-convoy-was-destroy


Did Ukraine Attack Its Own Tanks? White House "Can't Confirm Russian Convoy Was Destroyed By Kiev"

Tyler Durden's picture





While today's trading session was marked by news which at first blush correlated with what may be the 2014 equivalent of the Archduke Ferdinand shooting, in retrospect the news flow made painfully little sense. Let's recap:
  1. Yesterday afternoon, two UK reporters working for the Guardian and Telegraph, supposedly located by the border in east Ukraine, reported that they were "eyewitnesses" as a convoy of military trucks crossed the Russian border into the breakaway Donetsk republic, aka Ukraine. While there have been photos of the military truck that have accompanied the Russian humanitarian convoy on Russian territory, there has so far been no proof, aside from said eyewitness reports, confirming Russian military vehicles entered or were in Ukraine.
  2. This morning Ukraine military’s spokesman, Andriy Lysenko, shocked the world when newswire reported that Ukraine forces had attacked an armed convoy from Russia, and "destroyed" a part of it. This was subsequently reiterated by the president of Ukraine himself who said that "the given information was trustworthy and confirmed because the majority of that machines had been eliminated by the Ukrainian artillery at night", and by the secretary-general of NATO, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who said that the alliance had detected an “incursion” of vehicles from Russia last night, adding that “what we have seen last night is the continuation of what we have seen for some time." Alas, as in the case above, just more verbal reports, with zero actual evidence.
  3. Shortly thereafter, Russia responded when the Russian defense ministry said that there was no Russian military column that crossed into Eastern Ukraine, and that the above reports are based on "some fantasies."
This is where the breakdown of logic occurs, because for Russia to make such a formal statement it clearly implies that Russia believes there is no evidence of destruction of a Russian convoy in Ukraine territory, something which obviously would exist if indeed as Ukraine's president had claimed, the "majority of the machines had been eliminated."
If true, it also implies that either Ukraine had fabricated the entire story, and certainly the part about the destruction of the convoy and by extension that Russians had ever entered into East Ukraine. Furthermore, that would also suggest that the reports of the British reporters were also a fabrication.
Unless, of course, there is evidence, in which case the credibility of the both the Guardian and Telegraph reporters can be preserved, Ukraine can not be accused of fabricating a story to suit what some may say its own warmongering ambitions, and the onus is on Russia to explain why it lied about there being no invasion.
More to the point, the onus is on Ukraine to present some evidence, in fact any evidence, of a destroyed Russian military convoy instead of merely building upon a story conceived by the two UK media outlets, because if Ukraine indeed has no evidence, then its story falls apart and what's worse, the credibility and reputation of its government, of NATO and certainly of the UK press would be in tatters.
So what other possibility is there? Well, one that is all too unpalatable for Ukraine, namely that in its excitement to blow something up, it may have well destroyed some of its own military vehicles. A possible lead to such a turn of events comes from this Interfax report citing the leadership of the breakaway Donetsk People's Republic.
The leadership of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic has dismissed the Ukrainian government's statement on destroying a convoy of what appeared to be Russian armored vehicles in eastern Ukraine.

"We haven't received any armored vehicles from Russia. No Russian units, including Russian armored vehicles, have crossed the border. Hence, no Russian armored vehicles could have been destroyed," DPR First Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Purgin told Interfax on Friday evening.

Purgin claimed that, on the contrary, the militias destroyed about 100 Ukrainian armored vehicles.

"A lot of Ukrainian armored vehicles were destroyed today, 7 at one place, 12 at another. And the same all over the DPR territory. A total of about 100 of them," Purgin said.
The implication is clear: while 100 or so Ukraine armored vehicles may or may not have been destroyed, one wonders if indeed the Ukraine army was responsible in "aiding" the separatists with what would appear to be a friendly-fire incident?
But perhaps the most damning evidence comes from none other than the White House itself, which according to CNN just admitted that while it accuses Moscow of "incursionsit can't confirm the convoy was destroyed by Kiev

WH accuses Moscow of "repeated Russian & Russian-supported incursions" into tho says can't confirm convoy destroyed by Kiev


Perhaps for the simplest reason that there is no evidence to help with the confirmation process?
Which is rather unpleasant, because as explained above, without confirmation of a destroyed convoy, the whole story falls apart as merely yet another unprecedented warmongering fabrication, one involving not only the Kiev regime, but NATO and the UK press as well!
What is worse, is that if indeed the specter arises that Ukraine is lying about an event that nearly gave the market a heart attack on the belief that a new international war involving Russia may be about to break out, was Ukraine also lying about flight MH-17. And else may the Kiev regime been lying about?


http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-08-15/someone-lying-russia-defense-ministry-says-there-was-no-military-column

Someone Is Lying: Russia Defense Ministry Says There Was No Military Column In East Ukraine

Tyler Durden's picture





And just like that the disinformation war goes full retard:
  • RUSSIAN DEFENCE MINISTRY SAYS THERE WAS NO RUSSIAN MILITARY COLUMN THAT CROSSED INTO EASTERN UKRAINE - RIA
  • RUSSIA SAYS UKRAINE STATEMENTS BASED ON `SOME FANTASIES': RIA
  • STATEMENTs BASED ON FANTASIES SHOULDN'T BE THE SUBJECT OF SERIOUS DISCUSSION: RIA
And the full google-translated RIA article:
No Russian military convoy that allegedly crossed the Russian-Ukrainian border, does not exist, said Friday the Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major-General Igor Konashenkov.

"In the Russian Defense Ministry denied reports of alleged" extermination "Ukrainian military" Russian military convoy, "which allegedly crossed the eve of the Russian-Ukrainian border," - said the Russian defense ministry.

"No Russian military convoy, which allegedly crossed the Russian-Ukrainian border by night or by day - exists. And it would be best if the Ukrainian artillery destroyed some phantom, instead of refugees or their own troops," - said the official representative of the Russian Defense Ministry, General -Major Igor Konashenkov.

"Such statements are based on some kind of fantasy, or rather assumptions journalists should not be the subject of serious discussion by senior officials of any country", - the report says. 

What is happening in Ukraine and New Russia

Mass anti-government protests began in the south-eastern regions of Ukraine in late February 2014. They were a response to local residents on the violent change of power in the country and the subsequent attempt to cancel the Verkhovna Rada of the law granting the Russian language the status of regional. Center of opposition pro-Russian citizens with the authorities in Kiev became the Donbass. About how the conflict evolved in the south-east of Ukraine, read in the chronicleof RIA Novosti.
Surely the Ukraine president, who already confirmed to David Cameron that the Russian column was mostly "eliminated" will be releasing a YouTube clip with the proof momentarily.





http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-08-15/it-begins-ukraine-troops-destroy-part-armed-russian-convoy


It Begins: Ukraine Troops Destroy Part Of "Armed" Russian Convoy, Stocks Crash

Tyler Durden's picture





Things just escalated notably - (Via Bloomberg):
  • *UKRAINE FORCES ATTACK ARMED CONVOY FROM RUSSIA: LYSENKO 
  • *UKRAINE TROOPS 'DESTROY' PART OF ARMED CONVOY: LYSENKO
  • *UKRAINE'S POROSHENKO: CONFIRMED APC INCURSION TO CAMERON
Reuters reports,
Ukrainian artillery destroyed a "significant" part of a Russian armoured column that crossed into Ukraine during the night, President Petro Poroshenko told British Prime Minister David Cameron on Friday,according to the presidential website.

Separately, a Ukrainian military spokesman said Ukrainian forces had tracked the Russian armoured column as soon as it crossed onto Ukrainian soil."Appropriate actions were undertaken and a part of it no longer exists," military spokesman Andriy Lysenko told journalists.
We await Putin's response...
  • *RUSSIA CONCERNED AT ATTEMPTS TO DISRUPT AID CONVOY
  • *RUSSIA SAYS IT'S GETTING INFO OF DIRECT THREATS TO CONVOY
  • *RUSSIA SAYS UKRAINE INTENSIFIES MILITARY OPS TO DISRUPT CONVOY
EU & US Stocks and bond yields (and Ruble) are tumbling, gold rising.
Of course we noted this last night...
While the white trucks came to a halt well short of Ukraine's border, a different Russian convoy did cross into Ukrainian territory late on Thursday evening.

The Guardian saw a column of 23 armoured personnel carriers, supported by fuel trucks and other logistics vehicles with official Russian military plates, travelling towards the border near the Russian town of Donetsk.


After pausing by the side of the road until nightfall, the convoy crossed into Ukrainian territory, using a rough dirt track and clearly crossing through a gap in a barbed wire fence that demarcates the border.Armed men were visible in the gloom by the border fence as the column moved into Ukraine.

Kiev has lost control of its side of the border in this area.

The trucks are unlikely to represent a full-scale official Russian invasion, and it was unclear how far they planned to travel inside Ukrainian territory and how long they would stay. But it was incontrovertible evidence of what Ukraine has long claimed – that Russian troops are active inside its borders.

...

The armoured column seen by the Guardian appeared to be further evidence of Russia's incursions, which the Kremlin has repeatedly denied.



*****



http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.com/2014/08/novorossiya-military-briefing-august-15.html


FRIDAY, AUGUST 15, 2014


Novorossiya Military Briefing, August 15, 2014

Novorossiya Military Briefing, August 15, 2014


Map: Hostilities in Novorossiya, August 6-15, 2014

Translated by Gleb Bazov

Overall, it is becoming increasingly clear that the widely publicized offensive on Donetsk has, as expected, amounted to zilch. The Ukrainian Armed Forces does not have any more strength. It simply does not. And that is all. Moreover, the Junta forces are facing several simultaneous catastrophes on the local scale, which can become operational-tactical in nature and then strategic. 


DPR:


The Saur-Mogila Area

The counter-offensive of the DPR forces that began on August 11, 2014 resulted in the DPR army taking control of Stepanovka on August 12, 2014 and then of Marinovka in the morning of August 13, 2014. The Marinovka border crossing checkpoint (“KPP”) was taken over in the afternoon of August 13, 2014. Thereby, the Southern Cauldron 2.0 was formed. As a result, three more armoured-tank groups of the Ukrainian Armed Forces ended up being encircled. Although the Junta troops’ desperate attack on Stepanovka on August 13-14, 2014 resulted in heavy fighting on the outskirts of the village and in the settlement itself, it ultimately resulted in the attacking grouping’s complete rout. So far, the trumpeted importance of Saur-Mogila appears to offer the Ukrainian army no particular solace. This suggests that the widely advertised capture of the strategic height was nothing more than a PR move on the part of the Junta (equivalent to the Nazi Germany installing its flag on Mount Elbrus in 1942). 


Snezhnoye-Miusinsk-Krasniy Luch (DPR+LPR)

The situation is under the complete control of the Militia. Although the enemy grouping has not lost its combat capability entirely yet, it has been dissected by the Militia into parts and is fighting on the defensive. Considering the importance of the nearby road intersection for communication lines between the Republics and Russia, the elimination of this enemy grouping has been prioritized. Control over Miusinsk has been fully restored. Krasniy Luch also is firmly in the hands of the Militia.
South of Donetsk

In the last few days, fierce battles were fought in the Ilovaisk area. The importance of this region is that it represents a convenient springboard for an attack into the rear of the Amvrosievka grouping of the Ukrainian forces. On the other hand, the Junta’s contemplated offensive aimed at the encirclement of Donetsk also required the taking of this city. And that is why the DPR Army fought to retain it at all costs. And not only succeeded, but defeated the advancing enemy grouping. Throughout the area, the enemy has been driven back and in the last day showed no signs of activity. It appears that the Junta has exhausted its reserves in this direction of the front (that which was available likely will be redeployed in an attempt to de-blockade and relieve the new Southern Cauldron, opening several important opportunities for the DPR Army).
West of Donetsk

Apart from the foolish destruction of the bus carrying Praviy Sector militants, nothing else happened. In general, there is a lull in this section of the front.


North of Donetsk, Gorlovka, Debaltsevo

Fierce battles were fought here in all the previous days. At first, there were the strikes of the Kiev forces on Nizhnyaya Krynka, the DPR Army’s junction area between Gorlovka and Yasinovataya. Simultaneously, a second strike followed from Debaltsevo on Uglegorsk. This part of the operations was aimed at the encirclement and dissection of the Donetsk-Makeevka-Gorlovka grouping of the DPR Army. Due to lack of sufficient troops the operation became bogged down without reaching its goals. Yesterday, the DPR Army commenced its counter-offensive. Yasinovataya is once again controlled by the DPR. The development of the offensive in the direction of Panteleimonovka will cut off the enemy strike group from the rest of the forces. Near Gorlovka the enemy has lost dozens of armoured vehicles, essentially losing its strike capabilities. Moreover, the grouping of Mozgovoi has started an offensive into the rear of Debaltsevo. As of this morning, battles were being fought on the outskirts of the city. The threat to the Junta in losing Debaltsevo is the creation of yet another cauldron. At the same time, the battlefield here has been radically transformed. The Junta is no longer advancing, but rather is doing its best not to end up encircled in new cauldrons. 


LPR


South of Lugansk

The Russian humanitarian convoy awoke the hostilities from hibernation also on this front. The goal of derailing the convoy has prompted the Junta’s leadership to organize an attack on Novosvetlovka-Khryashchevatoye. The goal here is to cut off the remaining open road that enabled the supply of the Lugansk garrison. The initial success (caused by the suddenness of the strike) has turned into a complete rout. As of this morning, the units of Battalion Aidar were crushed in the area of Khryashchevatoye (the Junta has admitted 22 dead and 36 wounded). In the area of Novosvetlovka, the units of the Ukrainian Armed Forces (totaling up to a company of tanks and a company of motorized infantry) sustained significant losses (losing up to half of the tanks). Right now, the LPR Army is engaged in artillery suppression and elimination of the entrenched grouping. A day or two, and here also everything will be over. 


Conclusions

Whatever one’s attitude may be with respect to the latest resignations (Strelkov, Bolotov), but … it was after these resignations that the general staff of the Militia’s Armed Forces was created, such that it can now properly be called an army. This is so because central command was the one thing that the Militia lacked to function as such. The result of this coordination is already apparent. Moreover, by formally giving the leadership of the Republics a purely Ukrainian appearance, this transformation has provided the Army of the Southeast with the capacity to start solving tasks outside the borders of the Republics. Not only military ones, but political objective as well. The centralization of the military command will also oust the remnants of Makhnovism, which have been discrediting the movement. And so, a radical turn in the war no longer is just fast approaching. It is already visible with a naked eye.

Among the Junta forces, increasingly, it is not the names of regular units of the Ukrainian Armed Forces that we see flash in the briefings, but those of militarized battalions. This is a direct consequence of the losses that were suffered by the Junta troops in the last several weeks, resulting in units of the second line coming to the forefront. This forced transformation immediately aggravated the losses of the Ukrainian strike groups (the example of Ilovaisk is quite telling in that regard). In other words, the most battleworthy units of the Junta have either already been exterminated (the 72nd, the 79th, the 51st, and parts of the 24th Brigads), or are currently blockaded in cauldrons (the 80th, the 95th, the 30th, and parts of the 24th Brigade). At the same time, the militarized battalions that were left holding the front cannot compare to the regular army despite all their patriotic zealotry. In other words, at the front we are observing an equalization of forces not only in terms of quantity (particularly in military hardware), but also in terms of quality (in fact, quality-wise, the Army of the Southeast already has an appreciable advantage).




Itar Tass.....



Putin briefs Merkel on progress in providing humanitarian aid to Ukraine

 August 16, 2:30 UTC+4
The telephone conversation was held at the initiative of the German side
© ITAR-TASS/Alexei Nikolsky
MOSCOW, August 16. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has briefed Germany’s Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel on progress in implementing in close coordination with the International Red Cross the Russian initiative to provide humanitarian assistance to civilian population in the zone of the intra-Ukrainian military conflict, the Kremlin’s press-service has said.
The telephone conversation was held at the initiative of the German side.
Concern was expressed over the aggravating humanitarian disaster in Ukraine.
The discussion was continued of possible formats of international assistance to a political settlement of the crisis in Ukraine.


Russia voices concern over increased US and NATO military activity near Russian border

 August 16, 0:20 UTC+4
In a telephone conversation with his U.S. colleague Chuck Hagel, Shoigu also called for an immediate ceasefire in eastern Ukraine
Russia’s Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu

Russia’s Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu

© ITAR-TASS / Aleksei Pantzikov
MOSCOW, August 15 /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu on Friday voiced serious concern over increased U.S. and NATO military activities near the Russian border.
In a telephone conversation with his U.S. colleague Chuck Hagel, Shoigu also called for an immediate ceasefire and safe corridors to deliver humanitarian aid and evacuate civilians from the combat area in eastern Ukraine.
He gave a detailed assessment of Ukrainian troops’ actions in the combat area. Shoigu said it was unacceptable to use combat aviation, heavy weapons, including rockets, artillery and missiles, against civilians and the region’s civilian infrastructure.
Shoigu described the situation in the area as “a humanitarian catastrophe”.
He also told Hagel about the efforts being taken to deliver humanitarian aid to eastern Ukraine and problems with the movement of the humanitarian convoy.
The Russian Defence Ministry described the conversation as “business-like and constructive” and said Shoigu and Hagel had agreed to continue contacts.


EU Council asks third countries not to replace European food on Russian market

 August 15, 23:07 UTC+4
The council's statement said the move is designed to ensure unity of the international community and compliance with international law
© ITAR-TASS/Vyacheslav Prokofiev
BRUSSELS, August 15 /ITAR-TASS/. The European Union regrets that Russia imposed a food embargo on Western food products and is asking third countries not to replace European food on the Russian market, the EU Council said Friday in a final communique following an extraordinary foreign ministerial meeting on Ukraine.
The statement said the move is designed to ensure unity of the international community and compliance with international law. The EU, it said, hopes third countries and countries applicants for EU membership will abstain from measures aimed at using new trade opportunities due to the current situation.
In response to new Western sectoral sanctions against Russia, Moscow imposed on August 6 a one-year ban on imports of beef, pork, poultry, fish, cheeses, fruit, vegetables and dairy products from Australia, Canada, the EU, the United States and Norway.
The banned products list includes cattle meat (fresh, chilled and refrigerated), pork (fresh, chilled and refrigerated), poultry meat and all poultry edible by-products, salted meat, pickled meat, dried meat, smoked meat, fish, clams and other water invertebrates, milk and dairy products, vegetables, edible roots and tuber crops.
The list also contains fruits and nuts, sausage and analogous meat products, meat by-products or blood, as well as products made of them, ready-to-eat products including cheeses and cottage-cheese based on vegetable fats.
The EU Council also welcomed on Friday the European Commission’s work to assess losses from Russian countersanctions and discuss a proper response. The Council confirmed that a special meeting of 28 EU agriculture ministers to discuss the problem will be held in September.
The EU foreign ministers did not speak about new sanctions against Russia but noted in their final statement that new restrictions against Russia were possible.
Russian officials and companies have come under sanctions, including visa bans, asset freezes and other punitive measures, on the part of Western nations following reunification of Crimea with Russia in mid-March.
Despite Moscow’s repeated statements that the Crimean referendum on secession from Ukraine was in line with the international law and the UN Charter and in conformity with the precedent set by Kosovo’s secession from Serbia in 2008, the West and Kiev have refused to recognize the legality of Crimea’s reunification with Russia.
The US-led West has threatened Russia with further penalties, including economic ones, for incorporation of Crimea and what the West claimed was Moscow’s alleged involvement in mass protests in Ukraine’s war-torn Southeast.
Russia has repeatedly dismissed Western allegations that it could in any way be involved in protests in the Southeast of Ukraine, which started after Crimea refused to recognize the authorities propelled to power during a coup in Ukraine in February and reunified with Russia in mid-March after some 60 years as part of Ukraine.
Moscow has said the language of sanctions is counterproductive and will strike back at Western countries.


EU suggests Moscow, Kiev resume tripartite gas talks

 August 16, 2:27 UTC+4
"The agreement is critical in safeguarding the security of gas supply to Ukraine as well as the unhindered transit of natural gas through Ukraine", the document said
© ЕРА/SERGEI KOZLOV
BRUSSELS, August 16. /ITAR-TASS/. The European Union has suggested that Moscow and Kiev resume as soon as possible tripartite gas talks and reach an agreement, the EU Council said Friday in a final communique following an extraordinary foreign ministerial meeting on Ukraine.
“The Council supports the [European] Commission's efforts to facilitate a resumption of the negotiations between Ukraine and Russia on the conditions of gas supply, and urges both sides to reach an agreement as soon as possible,” the document said.
“The agreement is critical in safeguarding the security of gas supply to Ukraine as well as the unhindered transit of natural gas through Ukraine. These two objectives should be pursued by the Russian Federation and Ukraine and no actions should be taken by any side that could negatively impact on achieving them,” it said.
On August 14, Ukraine's Verkhovna Rada (parliament) passed a government-submitted package of anti-Russian measures as 244 lawmakers supported the document.
Ukrainian sanctions could include a ban on Russian gas transit through Ukraine, but experts told Itar-Tass that the ban could be excluded from Ukraine’s planned sanctions list regarding Russia.
“The Council looks forward to the upcoming trilateral EU-Russia-Ukraine consultations on energy at ministerial level in September and expresses the hope that full use of these consultations can be made in order to deliver concrete progress,” the EU Council’s statement said.
“The security of energy supplies, including through improved interconnections, is of utmost importance for the EU. The Council reiterates that the Ukrainian gas transit system is in urgent need of modernization in order to secure safe energy supplies through the territory of Ukraine,” it said.
“The Council calls on the Ukrainian authorities to closely coordinate with the Commission any actions which could put at risk smooth energy supplies to the EU,” the statement said.
The statement lacks any direct mention of Kiev’s proposal to ban Russian gas transit through Ukraine.
Russian energy giant Gazprom on June 16 switched Ukraine’s oil and gas company Naftogaz to prepayment for gas supplies because Kiev failed to pay part of its gas debt by the deadline of 10:00 Moscow Time on June 16.
Gas supplies to Ukraine were halted, but transit volumes were reportedly passing via Ukraine to Europe in line with the schedule.
Gazprom said June 16 that Naftogaz’s past due debt for supplied Russian gas totaled $4.458 billion: $1.451 billion for November-December 2013 and $3.007 billion for April-May 2014.
Russia recently raised the gas price for Ukraine to $485.5 per 1,000 cubic meters, but Ukraine has insisted the price should be lowered to that of this year’s first quarter ($268.5 per 1,000 cu m).
Moscow increased the price for Kiev to $385.5 per 1,000 cu m in the second quarter of 2014 because Ukraine failed to fulfill its commitments under an additional agreement concluded in December 2013, which obliged the country to pay for supplied volumes of Russian gas in time.
Another raise to $485.5 per 1,000 cu m was due to the cancelation of the Kharkov Accords with Ukraine, which had been struck in 2010 and stipulated that Russia’s lease of naval facilities in Crimea [then part of Ukraine] would be extended by 25 years beyond 2017 - until 2042. The accords also envisioned a $100 discount.
Crimea refused to recognize the legitimacy of authorities propelled to power in Ukraine during a coup that rocked the country in February 2014. The peninsula held a referendum and reunified with Russia in mid-March, seceding from Ukraine after some 60 years as part of it.


EU confirms Russia-EU-Ukraine meeting to be held on September 12

 August 15, 22:09 UTC+4
Also the EU Council described as unjustified Russia’s restrictions imposed on Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova
© ЕРА/SERGEI KOZLOV
BRUSSELS, August 15 /ITAR-TASS/. The European Union has confirmed representatives of Russia, the European Union and Ukraine will gather for a ministerial meeting in Brussels on September 12 to discuss the implementation of Ukraine’s association agreement with the European Union, the EU Council said in a statement on Ukraine issued at an unscheduled meeting held at the level of foreign ministers on Friday.
The EU Council described as unjustified Russia’s restrictions imposed on Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova that had signed association agreements with the European Union.


http://en.ria.ru/world/20140816/192057249/US-Unable-to-Confirm-Kievs-Claims-about-Russian-Military.html


US Unable to Confirm Kiev’s Claims about Russian Military Vehicles in Ukraine

Topic: Situation in the South-East of Ukraine

United States National Security Council
03:44 16/08/2014
Tags: militaryNational Security CouncilCaitlin HaydenUnited StatesUkraineRussia
MOSCOW, August 16 (RIA Novosti) - Washington cannot confirm Kiev’s claims that a Russian military column crossed into Ukraine, US National Security Council (NSC) spokesperson Caitlin Hayden said in a statement Saturday.
“We are working to gather more information regarding reports that Ukraine’s security forces disabled vehicles in a Russian military convoy inside Ukraine. We are not currently in a position to confirm these reports,” she said in a statement.
However, Hayden added that the United States believed Russia to be providing the independence supporters with weapons and hardware and that Moscow could help de-escalate the situation by “stopping its supply of weapons, support and cash to separatists.”
Earlier, the United Nations also said it could not verify the reports that the Ukrainian forces hit Russian military vehicles inside Ukraine, and called for peaceful resolution of the conflict.
The confrontation in Ukraine started when the Kiev-backed forces tried to suppress the independence supporters in eastern Ukraine who refused to acknowledge the authorities that came to power following the February 22 government coup. Russia has repeatedly denied its involvement in Ukraine’s internal affairs and called for a peaceful resolution of the Ukrainian crisis.


http://en.ria.ru/politics/20140815/192054047/Moscow-Slams-Kievs-Use-of-Aircraft-Heavy-Weaponry-Against.html

Moscow Slams Kiev's Use of Aircraft, Heavy Weaponry Against Civilians as Unacceptable

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu
23:01 15/08/2014
Tags: humanitarian crisisChuck HagelSergei ShoiguUnited StatesUkraineRussia
MOSCOW, August 15 (RIA Novosti) - Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said in a phone call with US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel on Friday that Kiev's use of combat aircraft and heavy artillery against civilian population in eastern Ukraine was unacceptable.
“The Russian defense minister...stressed that the use of combat aviation and heavy artillery, including multiple-launch rocket systems and missiles against civilians and civilian infrastructure in the region was unacceptable,” the Defense Ministry said in a statement.
Shoigu described the situation in the Ukrainian conflict zone as a “humanitarian catastrophe” and notified Hagel of the problems encountered by the Russian humanitarian aid convoy en route to the population of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions caught in armed hostilities between Kiev-led forces and independence supporters, according to the statement.
The Russian minister also reiterated the urgent need for immediate ceasefire in the violence-hit region and the establishment of safe corridors for deliveries of humanitarian aid and evacuation of civilians from the combat zone. And expressed concerns about increased NATO and US military activity on the Russian border.
Earlier today, Russia's Foreign Ministry denied allegations about a Russian "incursion" in Ukraine and urged the European Union to stick to the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) and not to send weapons to Ukraine.
Earlier this week, Russia sent to Ukraine 280 trucks carrying about 2,000 tons of humanitarian aid, including 400 tons of grain, 100 tons of sugar, 62 tons of infant food, 54 tons of medical supplies and medication, 12,000 sleeping bags and 69 mobile electrical generators.