Saturday, August 30, 2014

Ukraine Updates ( August 30 , 2014 ) -- Ukraine Demands Arms, NATO Membership as Rebels Advance on Mariupol Kiev Cries 'Invasion,' But Still Has No Evidence ....... Ukraine Claims ‘Thousands’ of Russian Troops Invaded, Offers No Evidence Rebels Advance, But No Sign of Putative Russian Backing ....... Next Week’s NATO Summit to Focus on Escalations Against Russia Expected to Reach Deal on More Eastern Europe Troops ........ NATO planning 'rapid-deployment force' of 10,000 troops to counter Russia ...... Updates from the battlefield and Political minefields......


 Retweeted by 
gives one week to scale back intervention or face sanctions, Germany's Merkel says

Acc. to Russian state TV, is fully surrounded by Russian invasion forces. Acc. to invasion command, 95%.

As with most things , there could be two sides to the story. Novorussian perpective....fwiw

( Someone paged Captain Obvious.... )

French President Says "There Is Risk Of War" As Europe Plans Additional Russia Sanctions

Tyler Durden's picture

For months Europe had thought that mere verbal (and hollow) threats, populist posturing and propaganda would be enough to force Russia's Putin to back off and withdraw from the endless Ukraine escalation, into a Kremlin cocoon with his tail between his legs. What they didn't anticipate was that Putin would in no way back down (as that would be seen as defeat and weakness by his numerous internal foes), nor would have have to: with Russia providing a third of European gas and with winter approaching, Russia had all the trumps cards from day one. Furthermore, as a result of escalating trade wars it is not Russia's economy that is hurting but Europe, which is on the verge of a historic triple-dip recession, only unlike 2010 and 2012, this time it is Europe's growth dynamo, Germany, itself which is leading the lemmings into the abyss.
Now, finally, Europe has realized that its "strategy" (if it ever had one, read: Obama's 'strategy' on dealing with ISIS) was flawed. It is with this mindset that European Union leaders met in Brussels earlier today and while, as usual, the the threat of new and improved sanctions to Russia was present, suddenly Europe's leaders seem far more "fearful of a new Cold War and self-inflicted harm to their own economies" and instead decided to give Moscow another chance to make peace according to Reuters.
Confirming Europe's realization just how serious events are, and how far down the rabbit hole Europe's bureaucrats have gone, French President Francois Hollande, while stressing that a failure by Russia to reverse a flow of weapons and troops into eastern Ukraine would force the bloc to impose new economic measures i.e., nothing new, it is what he said just after that indicated a dramatic change in rhetoric:"Are we going to let the situation worsen, until it leads to war?" Hollande said at a news conference. "Because that's the risk today. There is no time to waste."
Because when Europe, the cradle of both World War I and II talks war, it is a good idea to listen.
Of course, the problem of hypocrisy promptly emerges, because it is France whose mistral amphibious assault ship is being delivered to Russia over the objections of both Germany (whose own military export complex has quite a few pending RFPs to the Kremlin) and of course Washington. That, and the fact that it is Europe's actions that have led the situation to the bring of another world war. Actions such as the expansion of NATO to Russia's borders which the Kremlin, justifiably, sees as yet another offensive intrusion by the west into purely regional matters, because last time anyone checked, Ukraine was neither a member of NATO nor the European Union.
The paradoxical hypocrisy continued when none other than British PM, who has been teasing with pulling the UK out of Europe for months over the election of Jean-Claude "You have to lie pretty much all the time in Europe" Juncker, also spoke on behalf of a united Europe. From Reuters:
British Prime Minister David Cameron said: "We have to address the completely unacceptable situation of having Russian troops on Ukrainian soil. Countries in Europe shouldn't need to think long before realising just how unacceptable that is. We know that from our history.

"So consequences must follow if that situation continues."
Consequences such as pushing Germany into outright depression, which in turn would lead to a global economic contraction? Sure, go ahead, but keep in mind that once again Putin has done his homework. Unless, of course, the entire premise is to launch another round of global coordinated QEasing, and this time blame the Kremlin as the "scapegoat" for thrusting the world into at least one more year of unprecedented Reverse Robin Hood wealth redistribution by way of central banks.
Meanwhile, Europe's hawkish warmongers had free reign today to tell the world how they really feel:
The president of formerly Soviet Lithuania, an outspoken critic of Vladimir Putin and of EU hesitation to challenge him, called for urgent military supplies to Kiev and a tougher arms embargo on Russia. Dalia Grybauskaite said Moscow, by attacking Ukraine, was effectively "in a state of war against Europe".

But large Western countries are wary of damaging their own economies through sanctions. Those include Germany, Britain and France, as well as Italy, which is heavily dependent on Russian gas and expects to secure the post of EU foreign affairs chief. Poroshenko gave short shrift to Moscow's denials by denouncing the past week's incursion of thousands of troops with hundreds of armoured vehicles and said he expected the summit to order the European Commission to prepare a new set of sanctions.

But, like Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, he used their joint news conference to stress a will to find a political solution to a crisis that President Putin blames on Kiev's drive to turn the ex-Soviet state away from its former master Moscow and toward a Western alliance with the EU and NATO.

He said he was not looking for foreign military intervention and expected progress toward peace as early as Monday - because failure could push the conflict to a point of no return: "Let's not try to spark the new flame of war in Europe," he said.

Barroso also warned of the risk of a "point of no return" in stressing that EU leaders wanted to defuse the confrontation with their nuclear-armed neighbour.

"It makes no sense to have ... a new Cold War," Barroso said. Further conflict would hurt all of Europe, he said, adding that sanctions were meant to push Moscow to talk. His Commission already had prepared a number of options for further measures.
Europe may be shocked to learn that the Cold War never went away, but simply was on hiatus until the Russian bear and the Chinese dragon felt strong enough they can finally ascend to global superpower status, in the process sweeping away the insolvent west, and its reserve currency status.
All that said, no pun intended, there was nothing actually decided today in Brussels, nor was any action taken, as is generically the case in Europe. In fact, the only thing that did happen is that as was known in advance, moments ago Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk replaced Haiku-spewing, unelected Gollum lookalike Herman Van Rompuy, a well-known figurehead from the days when Europe was actively fighting for its survival.

Elected. The European Council has elected PM Donald Tusk as the next President of the European Council & Euro Summits @premiertusk

With Tusk, a conservative easterner, replacing the Belgian Van Rompuy, Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini from the centre left would take over as the bloc's foreign policy chief, replacing Briton Catherine Ashton.
In overall charge of the executive Commission, in succession to Barroso, will be conservative former Luxembourg premier Jean-Claude Juncker, appointed at a stormy summit two months ago.

Eastern leaders, alarmed by a resurgent Moscow, had resisted the appointment of Mogherini at that time. At 41 and in government only since February, they saw her as lacking the political experience and weight to stand up to the Kremlin and also handicapped by Italy's dependence on Russian energy.
In fact, while Europe's powerlessness to do anything to halt Putin's advance is well-known, the most interesting aspect of today's meeting that left Belgian caterers that much richer, was the horse trading of hollow, bureaucratic figureheads at the top: something Europe also excels at.
Britain, France, Germany and other countries are competing to see their nominees secure important portfolios in Juncker's team, such as in economic affairs, trade and energy supply.

The horse-trading over jobs underlines the power of rival national governments over the supranational institutions of the EU. Proponents of a strong political leadership in Brussels that can inspire and rally an increasingly sceptical European public behind the common project may again be left disappointed.

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said on Friday he would propose a meeting to discuss tackling the "really worrying" economic situation across Europe, with growth and jobs elusive and fears of a new crisis for the euro currency.

The leaders agreed to schedule that summit for Oct. 7, according to the draft statement.
And so on.
To summarize: more worthless power moves, more hollow rhetoric and threats, more verbal escalation; nothing else.
In fact, the most notable comment all day today came from Hungarian Premier Viktor Orban who said that EU sanctions on Russia haven’t worked and it’s "self-delusion" to think they’ll help resolve the crisis in Ukraine.
Well, if there is anything Europe, and its allegedly unlimited but certainly very limited amount of political capital spent to preserve an unsustainable, artificial union, excels in it is "self-delusion."

Itar Tass....

Association Agreement with Ukraine on fast track to ratification in Europe

 August 30, 21:19 UTC+4
European Parliament President Martin Schulz said the agreement had to be ratified quickly to spur political and economic reforms in Ukraine
BRUSSELS, August 30  /ITAR-TASS/. The European Parliament will use a fast-track procedure to ratify the Association Agreement with Ukraine, parliament President Martin Schulz said at the EU summit in Brussels on Saturday.
He said the agreement had to be ratified quickly to spur political and economic reforms in Ukraine.
The Association Agreement will go to the Ukrainian parliament for ratification in the middle of September, Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko said.
“I will submit the Association Agreement to the Verkhovna Rada [parliament] in the middle of September so that we could transfer all ratification documents to the EU before the end of September,” Poroshenko said this week.
On June 27, the European Union signed Association Agreements with Georgia and Moldova and the economic part of the agreement with Ukraine.
In April, Ukraine signed the political part of the agreement with the EU, which makes up about 2% of the document. The remaining 98% deal with the creation of a free trade zone between the EU and Ukraine.
Late last year, European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Stefan Fule reiterated that “the European Union remains ready to sign the Association Agreement, including DCFTA, as soon as Ukraine is ready and proves its commitment by deeds… Let me stress what the Association Agreement is all about: it is an offer to Ukraine, to Ukrainian people and as such it is on the table. There is a shared ownership of this agreement, so the message that the door is open, should reach not only President’s office and Prime Minister’s cabine.”
He welcomed the European aspirations of the Ukrainian nation and expressed firm belief that “the Association Agreement, including DCFTA, will be the first substantial step towards fulfilling these aspirations. Respect for our common values and implementation of the Association Agreement will define the future progressive developments in our relationship.”
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavel Klimkin said the signing of the economic part of the Association Agreement with the European Union would require Ukraine to restructure its economy.
“The Association Agreement is not only a question of theory or preferences. Its purpose is to provide access to the European market because European rules will become a part of Ukrainian legislation,” Klimkin said.
On November 21, 2013, Ukraine suspended preparations for signing the Association Agreement with the European Union because it had not received a clear signal indicating Europe’s readiness to compensate it for losses from worsening relations with CIS countries.
The government’s decision caused people to take to the streets of Kiev and other Ukrainian cities to rally in support of European integration, which subsequently led to mass riots and the overthrow of the president and government, bringing to power Western-backed forces led by Parliament Speaker Alexander Turchinov and Batkivshcina party leader Arseny Yatsenyuk.
Talks on the Association Agreement resumed earlier this year and resulted in the signing of the political part of the document in April.
Now the agreement has to be ratified by the parliaments of all of the EU member states.

Timoshenko announces start of preparations for NATO accession referendum

 August 30, 21:00 UTC+4
Batkivshchina party is planning to collect 3 million signatures required for initiating a referendum
Yulia Timoshenko

Yulia Timoshenko

© ITAR-TASS/Valerii Matytzin, File
KIEV, August 30 /ITAR-TASS/. Ukraine’s former Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko said on Saturday her Batkivshchina (Fatherland) party would soon initiate a nationwide referendum on the country’s accession to NATO.
She said the party would submit the necessary papers to the Central Electoral Commission before the end of the day so that the referendum could be held simultaneously with the early parliamentary elections slated for October 26.
“The Batkivshchina party made the decision to begin today all procedures that are required for holding a referendum on accession to NATO on the day of the pre-term elections to the Verkhovna Rada [parliament],” Timoshenko said in a statement posted on the party’s official website.
The party is planning to collect 3 million signatures required for initiating a referendum.
On Friday, a bill abolishing Ukraine’s non-bloc status was registered in the national parliament. The bill also resumes the process of accession to NATO.
The bill amends the laws on the basic principles of Ukraine’s domestic and foreign policy and on the basic principles of Ukraine’s national security and creates a legislative framework for the country’s integration into the Euro-Atlantic security space and for protecting territorial integrity and sovereignty.
The bill also forbids Ukraine to join any alliances other than the European Union.
Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk told a cabinet meeting earlier in the day that Ukraine would seek NATO membership. Only several months earlier, he stated that “the question of membership in the alliance is not on the agenda now” and “we are talking about cooperation and technical support in order upgrade the army”.
“We are submitting a draft law to parliament that cancels the non-bloc status. This charts the way for Ukraine to become a member of NATO,” he said.
Ukraine signed the Charter on Distinctive Partnership with NATO in 1997 and began to take steps towards joining the alliance five years later, setting 2008 as the target date for joining the Western military bloc.
Ukraine joined NATO’s Partnership for Peace programme in 1994. NATO defines the programme as allowing Euro-Atlantic partner countries to build individual relationships with the bloc, choosing their own priorities for co-operation.
The process of accession to NATO was halted in 2010 when the then president Viktor Yanukovich pushed through a law declaring the non-bloc status and giving up plans to join the organisation.
Yanukovich said that non-block status would allow his country to develop cooperation with all countries.
“The non-bloc status of Ukraine will enable us to develop equal and pragmatic cooperation with other countries on the basis of national interests, sovereignty and territorial integrity,” he said back then.
The law giving Ukraine its non-bloc status was passed by the parliament on July 1, 2010.
Yanukovich said that Ukraine would stay clear of military blocs, while taking part in NATO’s peacekeeping operations and participation in the Partnership for Peace programme.
NATO leaders stressed earlier that an independent, sovereign and stable Ukraine, firmly committed to democracy and the rule of law, is key to Euro-Atlantic security.
They also recalled their decisions in relation to Ukraine and Open Door policy stated at the Bucharest and Lisbon Summits, and stressed that NATO was ready to continue to develop its cooperation with Ukraine and assist with the implementation of reforms in the framework of the NATO-Ukraine Commission and the Annual National Programme (ANP).
The Annual National Programme is the main executive document providing the framework for short-and medium-term cooperation with NATO.

Al Jazeera.....

NATO: Russia supplying Ukraine rebels tanks

NATO chief says Moscow has continued giving pro-Kremlin rebels military aid, including rocket launchers and artillery.

Last updated: 29 Aug 2014 17:01
Russia has continued to supply pro-Kremlin separatists in Ukraine with tanks, armoured vehicles, rocket launchers and artillery, NATO's Secretary General has said, echoing comments by Western leaders that the separatists seeking independence are being aided militarily by Moscow.
Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on Friday that Russian troops had also "fired on Ukraine from both Russian territory and within Ukraine itself".
"Russia continues to maintain thousands of combat-ready troops close to Ukraine's borders," Rasmussen said in Brussels.
"Despite Moscow's hollow denials, it is now clear that Russian troops and equipment have illegally crossed the border into eastern and south-eastern Ukraine.
"This is not an isolated action, but part of a dangerous pattern over many months to destabilise Ukraine as a sovereign nation."
Russia denies intervening in Ukraine by arming separatist rebels or sending soldiers across the border into the cities of Donetsk and Luhansk.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the allegations were "conjecture" and that not facts had been presented to support claims made by NATO.

But the separatists contiue to take orders from Russia, and on Friday they agreed to let encircled Ukrainian government forces leave the rebel-held areas following intervention from Vladimir Putin, the Russian president.
In Amsterdam, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said the sanctions against Russia "have not worked" in changing Moscow's behaviour in eastern Ukraine.
He said additional measures had to be considered by the European Union.
Rutte told journalists after a weekly cabinet meeting that Moscow's presence in Ukraine was "extremely concerning and violates international law".
"We do not accept it and additional sanctions should not be ruled out," he said.
Responding to calls by Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk for his country to join NATO, Rutte said "joining NATO would not contribute to a solution".
Ukraine said on Friday it would seek the protection of NATO membership following the open involvement of the Russian military in the war in its eastern provinces.
Formal Ukrainian membership in the Western military alliance - which would come with the full protection of a mutual defence pact with the US superpower - remains an unlikely prospect, at least in the near future, Reuters news agency reported.
But by announcing that it is seeking NATO membership, Kiev is taking its most decisive step yet to pursue Western military protection from what it now describes as an invasion by its neighbour.
Rasmussen said he respected Ukraine's right to seek membership, which was denied in 2008 when a previous pro-European government in Kiev tried to pursue closer ties with the alliance.
The arrival of what Western governments say are armoured columns of Russian troops on a new front in recent days has tipped the balance towards the rebels after weeks in which Ukrainian forces appeared to be gaining the upper hand.
Prime Minister Yatseniuk told a government meeting on Friday the cabinet would "bring before parliament a law to scrap the non-aligned status of the Ukrainian state and establish a course towards membership of NATO".
Were NATO to contemplate extending its mutual defence pact to Ukraine, it would be the biggest change in the security architecture of Europe since the 1990s.
Al Jazeera and agencies

Vineyard of the Saker......


“Russian Invasion” – How long is screaming ‘Wolf!’ having an impact of the Western Populations? – Until Full Spectrum Dominance has been attained?

by Peter Koenig 
"The separatists are backed, trained, armed, financed by Russia. Russia determined that it had to be a little more overt in what it had already been doing, but it's not really a shift."
Barak Obama, 29 August 2014. 
"If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth.
Joseph Goebbels

Interestingly, most of us who are seeking the truth are primarily attempting to undo the lies - lies umpteen times repeated, lies about Russian invasions, first proclaimed by Poroshenko, Ukraine’s oligarch leader (sic), lies of Russia not respecting Ukraine’s sovereignty, demonization against President Putin, Malaysian airliners downed by Russia – and-so-on. The latest accusation is that JP Morgan and four other Wall Street banks have been hacked. And the culprit is…. Of, course Russia, according to the presstitute MSM.

It doesn’t matter whether what Poroshenko said and is repeated the world over was based on a translation error (according to the German Tagesschau, the German mainstream TV news) – or whether it is just a conventional lie continuously repeated until it becomes the truth à la Goebbels – the western bought propaganda machine takes full advantage of this hundreds of years old simple strategy of deception.

The interesting part, however, is that hardly anyone on that very occasion is presenting the counter-weight, so to speak, namely to what extent Kiev is assisted by US paid mercenaries, CIA military and strategic advisers and their equipment, all paid for in one way or another by the State Department, CIA, or NATO. And these are facts. Not inventions for deception.

There is enough proof about who caused the 22 February 2014 coup (Maidan) – Madame Nuland, Kerry’s assistant, bragged about it at the Washington Press club – remember the US$ 5 billion investment in Ukraine’s regime change that cannot be let go down the drain because of the f….ing Europeans. She was caught hot-handed or hot-voiced on the phone with the US Ambassador in Kiev.

Ever since that infamous coup, the US / NATO and the EU have had their dirty hands in Kiev's Nazi killer junta - otherwise the Kiev thugs would have never had either the courage or the military knowledge to advance to the Donbas area of Ukraine, where they were literally ordered to kill their brothers. Some of them with some conscience defected early on; then they were accompanied under threats of life by CIA ‘advisers’. Eventually they defected by the thousands because of lack of food and ammunition and the resulting low-low morale.

It is actually irrelevant whether Russia has troops and armory in East Ukraine. In fact it would be well justified for Russia to defend her countrymen from savage slaughter, as many Donbas citizens are originally Russians. But - they don't, as Mr. Putin is too smart to spoil his diplomatic assets on a war that is already lost by Kiev.

Be this as it may, why do we, truth seekers, at a time of Obama’s lie exclamations and countless media repetitions not present more frequently the US / NATO invasion in Ukraine and their assistance to the Kiev murderers, rather than always being on the defensive, undoing lies in defense of Russia?

The truth of what the US-NATO killing machine, its vassal EU states and its paid mercenaries are up to in Ukraine, and that they won’t let go regardless of what Obama mutters to tranquilize the world --- the truth is in one way or another Washington is committed to its financial and corporate elite to achieveFull Spectrum Dominance, meaning complete subjugation of the world to Washington’s masters, the military-security industrial complex and the war financing monetary system – FED-Wall Street-IMF, the latter being a mere extension of the US Treasury.

The Endgame means encircling Russia and China with more NATO bases, including in Ukraine and Moldova, as close as possible to Moscow’s doorsteps; and, foreseen by 2015, with 60% of the US naval fleet in the South China Sea.

We should not be detracted by the day-to-day details and lies, by the fires that flare up here and there, though all horrible, killing thousands of people; we should not be confused by ‘who is doing what?’ – But rather focus on the Big Picture, the intentions behind the US / NATO killing machine, not so much by denying the obvious lies, but rather by describing actual facts and the long-term strategy behind them.

Obama screamed again ‘wolf’ today, literally shouting – ‘Russia has invaded Ukraine, Russia’s military and equipment are in Ukraine, Russia is funding the separatists’ --- then adds, ‘but it’s not in the cards for America to intervene now.’

Don’t be fooled. Obama and his masters won’t go away. He says the same about American intervention in Syria – it’s not the right time, while arming and bombing (as a disguise) at the same time ISIS, created and funded in 2007 by Washington under successively different names to further confuse the public at large. At that time they came out of Turkey as Syrian Freedom Fighters, later they converted into the Al’Nusra Front of rebels, and now they are the ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, also called the Islamic State of the Levant. 

This will do until the public needs to be again confused with a new group of Islamic terrorists to justify continuous wars on terror – to feed continuously the fat profit accounts of the eternal war lords. But only, if we the people let them confuse and deceive and divide us.

At the same time, Washington’s warmonger-in-chief, encourages his EU puppets to intervene and sending their troops into Ukraine, and imposing still more ‘sanctions’ on Russia. Let Europe take the hit if there is war. Not for nothing are NATO bases spiked throughout Europe, convenient targets for Russian missiles. – One could wonder – are the Europeans blind or just don’t care – or their leaders (sic) bought to the point where they hope to just disappear to America’s paradise when Russian rockets hit their countries’ NATO bases - and let their people smolder under nuclear dust?

We the 99.99% have all the powers to stop these US instigated murderous aggressions, by rejecting the continuously lying and deceiving propaganda machine, by rejecting and refusing to listen to the corporate presstitute media.

A few weeks ago there was hope that German Chancellor Merkel would see the light, would abandon the bandwagon of the ‘sanctioners’, because not only did she get a lot of pressure from German industrialists, but also the German people are worried about their energy supply – especially this coming winter. Germany depends by up to 40% on Russia for their energy supplies.

Unfortunately we were wrong. Madame Merkel bent over backwards to please Obama. The naked emperor convinced her not to leave his sinking ship. – What does he have up his imaginary sleeve? Anything he may have discovered by eavesdropping on her cellphone conversations? - So strong to sway her away from reason to the detriment of all of Europe? - These latest sanctions are backlashing on the EU, especially the farmers, a multiple times harder than they hit Russia. European agriculture and mostly small farmers, are losing billions of euros worth on stalled exports to Russia of meat, vegetables, fruit and other food stuff, because Russia retaliated by blocking imports from the EU. Russia is now establishing new trade routes with Latin America.

On 18 September Obama will meet at the White House with Poroshenko, to be sure he stays in line and doesn’t sway Putin’s way, because corrupt oligarchs tend to be not very reliable. Obama may promise him premature entry to NATO and all the fake fiat dollars that come with it.

It would not be a surprise if Obama were also to receive Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the ‘new’ ISIS caliphate, to assure him of America’s continuous support, if he lets him bomb them, the ISIS troops that is, ever so often, just for show and to confuse the public mind - and, of course, as a disguise to bomb Syria to eventually topple Baschar al-Assad for – regime change.

Obama may also promise the ISIS a key role in the new Syrian government – provided he succeeds in regime change (for now unlikely) – similar as he did to the ‘rebels’ and other Islamic fractions of Libya. What Obama needs are not well-organized new regimes, but civil wars, fighting sections of societies to keep populations dying, and those still alive on their toes, fighting for their daily survival and fleeing across borders into refugee camps of other lands, thereby swallowing up neighboring countries resources and creating anger in the local population – the old divide to rein tactic.

The Big Picture is important. The people need to see it, the End Game – what is expecting them, if they – we, the 99.99% - are not taking actions to prevent Full Spectrum Dominance from succeeding. 

Anti War....

Next Week’s NATO Summit to Focus on Escalations Against Russia

Expected to Reach Deal on More Eastern Europe Troops

by Jason Ditz, August 29, 2014
The upcoming NATO summit in Estonia is expected to focus heavily on new military buildups for the alliance, with a buildup in Eastern Europe expected to be finalized, including commitments for new bases in Poland and the Baltic States.
The deployments underscore rising tensions between NATO and Russia, with many in the alliance having designs on a new Cold War, and seeing such deployments as a way to further that narrative.
The other topic of discussion is expected to be ISIS, with claims of a “threat” posed by the Islamists to Turkish territory, after years of Turkey letting them use their southern border as a staging ground for attacking Syria.
With alliance-wide involvement in the occupation of Afghanistan on the decline, NATO is looking for new conflicts to justify their continued existence. With the US already on its way to a full-scale war with ISIS, expanding the war to cover the whole of NATO could give them a major, open-ended battle to fight.

Ukraine Claims ‘Thousands’ of Russian Troops Invaded, Offers No Evidence

Rebels Advance, But No Sign of Putative Russian Backing

by Jason Ditz, August 29, 2014
Ukrainian officials are now claiming a Russian invasion of four to five thousand ground troops backed by columns of tanks and other armored vehicles, a dramatic escalation from yesterday’s claims of about 1,000 such troops.
As with yesterday’s allegations, Ukraine is offering no evidence to back up the claims, and the reports coming out of the region suggest such a massive invasion is not likely to be happening at all.
Ukraine’s government not offering backup for its allegations is nothing new, but is particularly conspicuous today, as media provides images of the few hundred rebel fighters’ advance in southeastern Ukraine, but offers nothing to support the claims that thousands of Russian troops and armor are traveling with them.
The US, which had been rubber stamping Ukrainian allegations for months, seems to be particularly hesitant this time, and is saying they can’t independently confirm any of the allegations being made this time. President Obama, who was eager to exploit the claims to push more sanctions, still did not lend any credence to the claims actually being true, and yesterday said nothing the US saw happening in the east was a “shift” in Russian policy.
Ukraine’s wild allegations have become so common and so often untrue that they have very little credibility left, and indeed this is the third separate invasion they’ve alleged to have taken place in the past week.
So far, the only “invasion” that had any truth to it at all was the one where Russian trucks delivered humanitarian aid to the city of Luhansk, and while Ukraine was eager to chalk it up to a military invasion, the trucks left the following day.
As with the phantom “column” on armored vehicles Ukraine claimed to have destroyed earlier this month, the lack of photographic evidence speaks volumes, and the allegations seem to be aimed primarily at getting increased “emergency aid” as opposed to informing people about the actual situation on the ground.

Ukraine Demands Arms, NATO Membership as Rebels Advance on Mariupol

Kiev Cries 'Invasion,' But Still Has No Evidence

by Jason Ditz, August 29, 2014
Ukraine’s government continues to escalate its claims of a Russian invasion, now insisting that there are several thousand Russian troops, backed by tanks and artillery, and mysteriously totally unphotographed in eastern Ukraine.
The eastern civil war continues along the nation’s southeast coastline, where rebels areadvancing on the key Donetsk Province port of Mariupol. Hundreds of rebels were photographed making there way toward Mariupol, but again, none of the “thousands” of Russians were seen.
The Ukrainian military is now picking up calls for a dramatic increase in NATO shipment of weapons and ammunition, saying they have not been providing any weapons to the troops invading the breakaway east.
Ukraine also wants to become a member of NATO now, because then when they come up with their dubious claims of Russian “invasion” it would immediately start World War 3. NATO, needless to say, has not generally admitted members with existing territorial disputes, and would not consider Ukraine specifically because doing so would quickly escalate into a massive war.
Incredibly, while the non-credible invasion claims continue to circulate, Presidents Putin and Poroshenko met and worked out a deal on more shipments of humanitarian aid into Ukraine’s east. Russia will provide future aid by rail. The last humanitarian aid shipments Russia made, last Friday by truck, were also dubbed an “invasion” by Ukrainian officials.

NATO planning 'rapid-deployment force' of 10,000 troops to counter Russia

Published time: August 30, 2014 01:12
Edited time: August 30, 2014 10:24

German troops who are part of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) (Reuters / Omar Sobhani)
German troops who are part of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) (Reuters / Omar Sobhani)
NATO is reportedly working towards the creation of an expeditionary force composed of 10,000 troops from seven different member states as a result of escalating tensions with Russia over the conflict in Ukraine.
According to the Financial Times, the force’s creation will be spearheaded by Britain and involve contributions from Denmark, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Norway, and the Netherlands. Canada is also interested in joining the group, but it’s not known what its final decision will be.
Although no formal announcement has been made, British Prime Minister David Cameron is expected to declare its formation at the upcoming NATO summit in Wales on September 4th.
Many specifics have yet to be worked out or announced, but planners are reportedly implementing ways to increase the number of soldiers involved even more if necessary. Air and naval units will be integrated into the group, as well as ground troops led by British commanders.
As noted by the Times, the creation of the force comes as a response to Russia’s involvement in the ongoing Ukrainian crisis, with the ultimate goal being to “create a fully functioning, division-sized force for rapid deployment and regular, frequent exercises.” NATO has accused Russia of deploying more than 1,000 troops into Ukraine to bolster separatists in the eastern part of the country.
Russia, however, insists that it does not have troops operating inside of Ukraine and has dismissed NATO’s assertions.
Despite the fact that NATO has opted not to act militarily in Ukraine – unnamed sources told Foreign Policy on Friday that there are no plans to confront Russia with anything more than stronger sanctions – Jonathan Eyal of the London-based Royal United Services Institute said the group needs to demonstrate that its eastern European members are just as integral to the alliance as other states.
“We need to end the idea of different zones of security in Europe,” he told the Financial Times. “We need to be talking about prepositioning, regular rotation of troops and making it very clear that we do not accept that the eastern Europeans are in some different category of membership of NATO.”
The revelation also arrives just a few days after NATO’s Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussenexpressed interest in forming “a more visible presence” in Eastern Europe in the form of facilities capable of rapidly receiving “response forces” needed to counter Russia.
For his part, Russia’s envoy to NATO, Aleksandr Grushko, said any attempt to stretch further into the region would impact Moscow’s own security planning.

With natural gas shortages central heating may not be in place in Ukrainian flats for the cold winter. While people are rushing to buy electric heaters, authorities have issued brochures with advice on how to cope with freezing temperatures.
Recognizing that it is extremely hard to keep a city flat warm with no central heating, Kiev authorities, for example, launched a campaign aimed at informing citizens on tricks and methods they could use to save energy and heat – at temperatures of -10 degrees Celsius and lower.
Firstly, the heat insulation of windows and doors is strongly advised, as well as the purchase of a personal boiler or energy-saving heating installation. In fact, people are already starting to buy the boilers: shop owners in Kiev told TCH TV channel that demand for such devices has increased at least threefold since the beginning of the crisis.
Also, it is suggested in the brochures that city residents should buy warm clothes made of natural fabric, valenki, and headwear to protect themselves from freezing temperatures.
Where there is heating in flats, the authorities advise to paint the radiators red or brown instead of traditional white, in order to increase their heat output – or wrap them in foil.
With so many heating devices power consumption will increase and may overload the grid, authorities are also giving advice on electricity savings: from switching to lower wattage light bulbs, to giving up on devices’ stand-by functions and instead unplugging them completely.
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Image from

Among the more extreme advice, the authors of the brochure suggest that the Kiev residents should use their balconies as fridges, and turn on the lights only in one room, preferably pointing the source of light only on one spot – for example, a table.
There are some kitchen suggestions too: people are advised not to wash dishes in running water, and to eat only the types of food that take a few minutes to prepare.
Meanwhile, the Ukrainian government started an aggressive propaganda campaign called “Energy independence”, the aim of which is to inform Ukrainians about the necessity to save energy and natural gas – in order to become independent from Russian supplies. It is noted that the funds for this campaign aren’t allocated from the federal budget, but from donor programs from the EU and the US.
The vice premier of the country Vladimir Groysman has suggested the population remember how to heat their homes with wood waste, turf, and straw – and this is seriously being considered by experts.
The whole campaign sounds like a revolutionary step, but not all are convinced.
“Nowadays, the authorities say we need to switch gas for something, to reduce the gas consumption by 10-30 percent. It’s true, but they don’t tell the most important thing: we consume much more than our European neighbors. For instance, Poland consumes only 14-15 billion cubic meters of gas, while Ukraine consumes almost 50.5 billion cubic meters,” Oleg Kozalchuk, the president of Ukrainian Association of energy efficiency and energy saving, told media outlet.
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Image from

Warning the residents of Kiev to prepare for winter, Mayor Vitaly Klitschko said he hopes they will “understand the temporary difficulties, taking into account the situation in Kiev and in the country.”
Since currently there are no natural gas supplies from Russia, all the gas extracted domestically “goes to the storages,” he told agency explaining the decision to switch off hot running water in summer. “It’s the Cabinet of ministers’ demand, and respect it.”
Despite the mayor’s pledges that the heating is to be expected in households in October, experts aren’t so sure.
“Klitschko can promise whatever he wants, but he can’t guarantee anything. Does he have gas in storages? “Kievenergo” got the limits of gas usage of 1.2 billion of cubic meters, while last year, they used 1.8 billion over the same period, from August until March. And if the temperatures are low in autumn and winter, then they’ll surely heat the radiators, and will turn off the hot water,” the co-chairman of Fund of energy strategies Dmitry Marunich told agency.
And while the temperatures go down, the tariffs increase – the utility rates have already grown 1.5-2 times this year.
The consumption of natural gas in Ukraine reduced in July by 30.3 per cent compared to July 2013, according to the country’s State Statistical Committee. The consumption of oil has fallen by 23.3 per cent compared with last year – and so has the consumption of coal, with figures showing a reduction by 25.9 per cent.
Nevertheless, the cabinet of ministers declared an emergency situation in the Ukrainian energy sector in June, urging the population to stock up on firewood to try their best to save energy.

Saturday, August 30

10:44 GMT:
The situation in Ukraine is very serious, and may soon reach "a point of no return," European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said in Brussels at a joint press conference with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. Barroso added that the EU is not interested in a confrontation with Russia, but expects European leaders to approve a new round of sanctions against Moscow if Russia does not start work towards deescalating the crisis in Ukraine.
The EU was prepared to toughen sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine crisis but also that it wanted a political deal to end the confrontation, Barroso said:
"We are ready to take very strong and clear measures but we are keeping our doors open to a political solution."
He described any tightening of sanctions as intended not to escalate the crisis but to push Moscow to negotiate.
10:29 GMT:
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko appealed to the European Union to give an "appropriate response" over Russian forces being brought into Ukraine, his spokesman said in a Twitter post.
Referring to meetings in Brussels between Poroshenko and EU leaders on Saturday, the spokesman said: "Poroshenko expressed the hope that the leaders of EU members will give an appropriate response to the act of aggression towards Ukraine."
"The bringing of Russian forces onto Ukrainian territory requires an appropriate response from the EU." (Reuters)
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko (L) shakes hands with European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, prior to an EU summit at the European Council building in Brussels, August 30, 2014.(Reuters / Yves Logghe)
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko (L) shakes hands with European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, prior to an EU summit at the European Council building in Brussels, August 30, 2014.(Reuters / Yves Logghe)

09:56 GMT:
The US Department of State has warned US citizens against traveling to eastern Ukraine due to escalating fighting between self-defense forces and the Kiev military. "The Department of State warns US citizens of the risks of travel to eastern Ukraine due to ongoing violent clashes between Russia-backed separatists and Ukrainian forces in the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk," the State Department said in a statement Friday. US citizens were also advised not to travel to the Crimean Peninsula, “occupied … in support of the Russian Federation's attempted annexation of Crimea,” as well as to the regions of Odessa, Kharkhiv, Zaporizhia and Kherson.
08:04 GMT:
The first 28 Ukrainian troops blockaded in the east of the country by anti-government forces have left the encirclement, according to a Facebook post by Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov.

Several hours earlier, the commander of the Donbass battalion, Semen Semchenko, said Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and representatives of the anti-government forces in east Ukraine have agreed upon a safe corridor to let the blockaded servicemen out.
06:31 GMT:
On Friday night, the shelling of Donetsk has left the city’s railway station severely damaged, a RIA Novosti correspondent on the ground reports. The first floor of the station building has been partially burned out. The front of a nearby hotel and some pavilions of a nearby market have been badly damaged. One of the missiles hit a trolleybus, setting it on fire. The driver and passengers had time to escape from the burning vehicle.
05:55 GMT:
More than 130,000 Ukrainians have asked for either refugee status or temporary asylum in Russia since the conflict in the country’s east started in April, according to the Federal Migration Service.

A total of 820,000 Ukrainian citizens have moved to the Russian Federation since April 1, 2014,” officials at the agency told Itar-Tass.
Ukrainian refugees.(RIA Novosti / Alexandr Kryazhev)
Ukrainian refugees.(RIA Novosti / Alexandr Kryazhev)

01:35 GMT:
The Ukrainian army is in violation of international law by deploying "Grad" rocket systems in places where civilians live, deputy director of Human Rights Watch's Europe and Central Asia, Rachel Denber said in an interview to the Latvian radio Baltkom.
"We recorded the facts of direct shelling by the Ukrainian military. They also used 'Grad' missile systems, which cannot be used in areas where people live," she said.
00:01 GMT:
The OSCE monitoring mission in Ukraine reported that an 82-year-old woman was reportedly shot by a member of the Ukrainian ‘Aidar’ battalion in the village of Oleksandrivka in the Lugansk region.
“The chief surgeon in Severodonetsk (97 km north-west of Luhansk) hospital confirmed to the SMM that an 82-year-old woman with bullet wounds had been brought to the hospital on 23 August, and was in intensive care,” the mission says.
Aidar Battalion is a detachment of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine that currently fights in the east. The unit with roughly 400 members is gaining fame for looting and killings of civilians in Donetsk and Lugansk regions.

Reuters / Maks Levin
Reuters / Maks Levin

Reuters Maks Levin