Monday, September 1, 2014

Ukraine / Russia Situation Updates ( September 1 , 2014 ) - State of Play from the Battlefield , Negotiations to resolve unrest and the fighting , natural gas talks.........


Food for thought as to possible outcomes. With the Novorussians success of late on the battlefield and Russian support , a new day ?

680 army soldiers held captive by separatists, 80% were taken in Ilovaysk encirclement: expert | Liveblog →

5000 volunteers,who are willing to defend their city against the Russian hordes,registered in during the last days.

The Ukrainian army plans the establishment of a guerrilla movement in the occupied areas to fight some 15.000 Russian troops.

 Retweeted by 

: the Ukrainian army keeps losing ground today, they have abandoned Kurakhove, west of

: Russian forces have captured Heorhiivka after the Ukrainian army retreated from airport today

BREAKING: the government has declared that the is officially over and the country now needs to focus on Russian invasion

Anti War....

As Rebels Advance, Ukraine Spurns Calls for Peace Talks

Claims East Ukraine the Start of a 'Great War'

by Jason Ditz, September 01, 2014
The deputy premier of East Ukraine’s breakaway region headed to Belarus today, and rebel officials say they’re eager to negotiate a settlement of the ongoing war, with a goal of comparative autonomy instead of their previous pushes for secession.
But it takes two sides to make peace, and as usual, Ukraine’s pro-West government is spurning the calls for talks, insisting the war over the nation’s impoverished east is actually the start of a “great war”for all of Europe that must be won militarily.
Ukraine had rejected peace talks in the past on the notion that they were about to win the war, but now seem to be in retreat from the east, withdrawing from the Luhansk airport and falling back from the border areas in the face of a counter-offensive.
Russia has been calling for Ukraine to adopt a federalist system as a way of resolving the war. The Ukrainian government insists the whole war is Russia’s fault, and that they want Western support for their massive war against Russia.
The US has been pushing Ukraine not to accept negotiated settlements, and the EUhas piled on with threats of sanctions against Russia if they don’t forcibly disarm the rebels and end the rebellion.
After months of fighting and an estimated 2,600 dead, the rebel push seems like it can be solved the same way as ever, with an agreement for federalism. The Ukrainian government, however, seems less negotiation-minded than ever, and seems willing to keep pushing the narrative of a world-changing, albeit stalemated, conflict to avoid making moderate concessions.

More Sanctions: Europe Will Ban Purchase Of Russian Bonds; However Russian Gas Exports Remain Untouched

Tyler Durden's picture

Over the weekend, insolvent, debt-dependent Europe thought long and hard how to best punish Russia and moments ago reached yet another milestone in deep projective thought: as Reuters reports, Europeans could be barred from buying new Russian government bonds "under a package of extra sanctions over Moscow's military role in Ukraine that European Union ambassadors were to start discussing on Monday, three EU sources said." This will be in addition to the ban on the debt funding of most Russian corporations. So as Europe's 7-day ultimatum for the Kremlin to "de-escalate" counts down, Putin has a choice: continue operating under a budget surplus and ignore Europe's latest and most amusing hollow threat which is merely a projection of Europe's biggest fears, or spend himself into oblivion as Europe has done over the past decade and become a vassal state of the Frankfurt central bank.. Somehow we doubt Putin will lose too much sleep over this latest "escalation"...
Some more details on today's latest threat by Europe, which if nothing else has sent the ruble to a fresh record low against the dollar, leaving Europe green with envy at such currency debasement, and boosting Russian exports even more:
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who led the drive for a tougher EU response, said on Monday that Moscow's behaviour in Ukraine must not go unanswered, even if sanctions hurt the German economy, heavily dependent on imported Russian gas.

"I have said that (sanctions) can have an impact, also for German companies," Merkel told a news conference in Berlin. "But I have to say there is also an impact when you are allowed to move borders in Europe and attack other countries with your troops," she said. "Accepting Russia's behaviour is not an option. And therefore it was necessary to prepare further sanctions."
It remains to be seen just how much more loss-generating populism German companies are willing to take. After all, every now and then even Europe requires a reminder that it is corporations who pull the political strings. And if German corporations want Merkel gone, that just may be what they will get. For now however, all Europe gets is more "draconian" populism.
The leaders asked the executive European Commission to prepare further measures within a week, building on steps taken at the end of July, which targeted the energy, banking and defense sectors.

"I'm hearing that a ban on buying Russian government bonds could be in the next package," an EU official familiar with the preparations said.

Tighter restrictions on dual use technologies with military as well as civilian applications could also figure, along with some more curbs on advance energy exploration equipment, the official said.
To be sure, nothing was decided: it is, after all, Europe, and decisionsis what well-catered parties in the future are for.
An EU diplomat said ambassadors of the 28 member states would hold an emergency meeting on Monday at 1300 GMT to start work on a "significant" package of further measures although no immediate decisions were expected. A further meeting is set for Wednesday.

The leaders said the Commission should include in the sanctions "every person and institution dealing with the separatist groups in the Donbass", potentially leaving a very broad area that could be targeted.
And just to add to the European flavor, and humor, the key countries in central Europe have already opined against further Russian sanctions, thus further jamming the wedge discussed previously whereby Russia has succeeded in converting that all-important safehaven, Austria, to its side.
However several EU countries heavily dependent on Russian gas, including the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Austria, are opposed to new sanctions, which require unanimous agreement.

"I consider sanctions meaningless and counterproductive," Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico said on Sunday.

"Until we know what is the impact of the already imposed sanctions, it makes no sense to impose new ones," Fico said. "I reserve a right to veto sanctions harming national interests of Slovakia."
But back to the stupidity of Eurocrats, who instead of focusing on fixing their own imploding economies, are hell bent on making Russian life a living hell, in the process accelerating Europe's mere "triple-dip" into an outright depression:
EU diplomats said the main thrust of new steps could be financial because that would hit the Russian government rather than citizens. It could be coordinated with the United States, whose measures were also focusing on the financial sector.

Two diplomats said they did not rule out a ban on the purchases of Russian sovereign bonds to make it more difficult for the Russian government to finance itself on markets. In July, the EU banned Russian state-owned banks from raising capital or from borrowing in EU markets.
And of course, since Putin knows he hold all the trump, or rather Gazprom, cards from day one, all Europe will achieve with further sanctions is even more retaliation:
Moscow has retaliated against sanctions by banning most agricultural imports from Europe and the United States. The risk of a ban on buying Russian sovereign bonds is that the Kremlin could hit back by dumping European government bonds, of which Russian state institutions have significant holdings.
Which bring us to the dumbest idea from last week: the UK's push to exclude Russia from SWIFT... and in the process accelerate the demise of the dollar as the world's reserve currency.
Asked about the idea that Russia could be cut off from the international money transfer system known as SWIFT, one diplomat said the idea had been floated several months ago, but that there was opposition to it among several EU countries.

"The problem is that while it would probably work well in the short-term, as in the case of Iran, in the long-term it would trigger the creation of an alternative system to SWIFT and the setting up of two alternative world transaciotn systems and nobody wants that," the diplomat said.
It appears not everyone in Europe is an idiot.
But the punchline, and why once again anyone with half a brain knows it is all for show, is that as usual, Russia's gas sector, which powers European industry and lights its cities, has been spared so far and will continue to be spared.
By now even 5 year olds realize that if Europe really wanted to hurt Russia, it would cut off the gas imports.
Only one problem: it can't, as that would be economic and political suicide for Europe, and for the "infinite" political capital behind its unraveling monetary union. Everything else is noise.

Ukraine Defense Minister Warns Of "Worst Conflict Since WWII", Shifts Forces To "Combat Full-Scale Russian Invasion"

Tyler Durden's picture

Unless they are tilting at windmills, the rhetoric this morning from Ukraine's defense minister is the strongest and most actionable yet. Via his Facebook page, Valeriy Galetey accused Russia of "open aggression," and explained that:
Earlier in the morning, US Senator Bob Menendez said he has "no doubt Russia has invaded Ukraine," and following Ukraine requests for assistance from Europe and US, NATO responded by noting a reaction force or 3-5,000 can be ready in 48 hours.

Jose Manuel Barroso, who has just heard Putin. He says that when he asked about the military boundless in Ukraine, the Russian leader went to the threats: "The problem is this," according to Barroso, "if I want to, I can take Kiev in two weeks." As if to say, do not provoke me to anger with new sanctions.
Then the US chimes in...
Then NATO responds...

View image on Twitter
Free to read: Nato allies at odds over response to Russian aggression 

And then Ukraine steps it up...
*  *  *
Seems like the right time to be buying US stocks..?

Several NATO officers blocked in Ukraine's Mariupol — militia

 September 01, 15:37 UTC+4
"Their exact location is unknown for top secrecy reasons," a spokesman for the Donetsk militia said on Monday
DONETSK, September 1. /ITAR-TASS/. A group of five or six NATO officers has been blocked in the town of Mariupol in the Donetsk region, a spokesman for the Donetsk militia said on Monday.
"Their exact location is unknown for top secrecy reasons. But they obviously cannot leave Mariupol as all junta commanders and special units have already left the city," the spokesman said.
ITAR-TASS has not confirmed this report from other sources yet.

Losses of Ukrainian army near Mariupol

The militia staff reports that units of Novorossiya’s army have shot down a Ukrainian Su-25 jet and two Mi-8 helicopters on the outskirts of Mariupol. According to the Donetsk People’s Republic, about 100 Ukrainian servicemen were wounded or killed.
In the fight, militiamen managed to capture two tanks, about six multiple rocket launcher systems, two armed personnel carriers, up to 14 guns and mortars, up to 24 automotive vehicles and two ammunition depots.

Donetsk, Luhansk to preserve Ukraine's unity if Kiev accepts their demands

 September 01, 15:29 UTC+4
The list of demands that was made public ahead of the meeting of the Contact Group for Ukraine includes the recognition of the special status of the republics' territories and the Russian language
© ITAR-TASS/Zurab Dzhavakhadze
DONETSK, September 01. /ITAR-TASS/. Representatives of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics (LPR and DPR) said on Monday they will make every effort to preserve Ukraine's unity if Kiev accepts their demands.
Representatives of LPR and DNR have made public their position for the meeting of the Contact Group on Ukraine in the Belarusian capital Minsk that begins later on Monday.
They say “equal talks are the only acceptable means for the settlement of the conflict and restoration of peace”. They also base on principles worked out at the Geneva meeting of representatives from Russia, the US, the European Union and Ukraine on April 17, 2014.
Vice-Premier of the DPR Andrei Purgin said on Monday he brought proposals for the contact group’s meeting to reduce the duration of combat operations and the number of victims. “I’ve arrived here with proposals to find common points. They contain eight or nine points,” Purgin said before the contact group’s session. “These are initial proposals for the consultations,” he added.
What Donetsk and Luhansk demand
The list of demands that was made public ahead of the meeting of the Contact Group for Ukraine includes the recognition of the special status of the republics' territories and the Russian language, as well as the end of Kiev's anti-terrorist operation and holding free elections in the region.
Donetsk and Luhansk have also demanded amnesty for militia and political prisoners, along with a special status for their military units and right to appoint judges and prosecutors.
DPR and LPR speak for preserving common economic, cultural and political space with Ukraine, if their conditions are accepted. They want special foreign economic status, considering its deeper integration with Russia and the Customs Union.

Crisis in Ukraine demands political resolution in Ukraine — Chinese Foreign Ministry

 September 01, 15:08 UTC+4
The priority is that all parties “showed calm and restraint and refrained from the actions that could escalate violence and aggravate disagreements”, he adds
BEIJING, September 01./ITAR-TASS/. The crisis in Ukraine demands a political resolution and the EU sanctions on Russia can only deteriorate the situation, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said on Monday.
“Sanctions cannot help solve the Ukrainian problem cardinally. On the contrary, they can create new complicated problems,” Qin Gang said, adding “There are different positions in the EU on sanctions against Russia.”
The priority is that all parties “showed calm and restraint and refrained from the actions that could escalate violence and aggravate disagreements”, he said.
China called for immediately ceasing fire in Ukraine and searching for a political resolution of the crisis, the spokesman said.
He expressed hope for the success of the upcoming meeting of the contact group on Ukraine (Russia-OSCE-Ukraine) due to be held in Belarus.

Ukrainian military move away from Luhansk airport

 September 01, 15:02 UTC+4
KIEV, September 01. /ITAR-TASS/. The Ukrainian military have moved away from Luhansk airport, Andrey Lysenko, an official of Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council, said at a meeting with journalists on Monday.
He asserted that Ukrainian troops "moved away (from Luhansk airport) in the direction of the populated area of Georgiyevka".

Russia, Ukraine ready to hold gas talks with EU on 6 September — Energy ministry

 September 01, 15:17 UTC+4
A source close to EU Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger said that the date of the trilateral gas talks may be defined on Tuesday-Wednesday
BRUSSELS/US KHATYN, September 01./ITAR-TASS/. Russia and Ukraine are ready to hold a trilateral meeting on gas issues with the European Commission on Saturday, Energy Minister Alexander Novak told reporters on Monday.
“There is an 80% probability that the meeting will take place on September 6,” Novak said, adding that Russia and Ukraine are now waiting for an answer regarding the date from the European Commission.
"We together with (Ukrainian Minister of Energy and Coal Industry Yuri) Prodan are ready, awaiting a reply from the European Commission," Novak said. Russia is prepared to hold the meeting at any place, including Moscow," he added.
A source close to EU Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger said that the date of the trilateral gas talks may be defined on Tuesday-Wednesday.
On August 30, Ukraine agreed to resume the trilateral talks suspended in June when Russia and Ukraine again disagreed on the price and repayment of a $5.3 billion debt. On June 16, Russia’s Gazprom switched Ukraine off gas supplies.

New Siberian export pipeline to unite Russia’s gas network — Putin

 September 01, 13:27 UTC+4
Putin is expected to take part in a ceremony later on Monday to connect the first stage of Russia’s new pipeline Power of Siberia intended for natural gas supplies to the Russian Far East and China
© ITAR-TASS/Alexei Nikolsky
INFOGRAPHICSSupplies of Russian natural gas to ChinaSupplies of Russian natural gas to China
May 21, 2014, Gazprom and CNPC have signed a deal on gas supplies to China
YAKUTSK, September 01. /ITAR-TASS/. The construction of Russia’s new export pipeline will boost gas infrastructure development in Siberia and the Russian Far East and help unite the country’s gas networks, President Vladimir Putin said on Monday.
Putin is expected to take part in a ceremony later on Monday to connect the first stage of Russia’s new pipeline Sila Sibiri (Power of Siberia) intended for natural gas supplies to the Russian Far East and China.
The gas pipeline will make it possible “not only to boost export deliveries and expand the geography of our hydrocarbon exports but also to make another serious step towards developing our country’s gas infrastructure, which is especially important for the eastern part,” Putin said at a meeting with students of North-Eastern Federal University.
The next step will be “more interesting from the economic standpoint,” the Russian president said.
“After we create a network of gas pipelines here, in the Far East and Siberia, we’ll have a possibility to unite the European part of the gas pipeline system with its eastern part and, from the standpoint of export possibilities and expanding the geography of the country’s gas infrastructure development, this will give us big advantages in rechanneling gas flows, depending on the world market situation - either to send more gas to the west and achieve greater effect or to the east,” the Russian president said.
These projects are of great interest for the Yakutsk-based North-Eastern Federal University as their implementation will require at least 3,000 highly-qualified specialists, Putin said, adding that Gazprom had already signed a corresponding agreement with the university.
The Power of Siberia gas pipeline’s first stage is to be launched at the end of 2017. The pipeline will have an annual capacity of 61 billion cubic meters of natural gas.
Gazprom earlier signed a $400 billion 30-year contract to supply 38 billion cubic meters of gas per year to China.

Ukrainian Military Targeting Residential Areas, Europe Prefers Not to Notice - Putin

Topic: Situation in the South-East of Ukraine

Vladimir Putin said Europe prefers not to notice that the Ukrainian military is purposely firing at residential areas
11:01 01/09/2014
Tags: military operationpolitical crisisVladimir PutinEuropeUkraineRussia
Updated on 01:08 p.m. Moscow Time
YAKUTSK, September 1 (RIA Novosti) – The Ukrainian military is purposely firing at residential areas but Europe prefers not to notice, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Monday.
“The [actions of the militia in eastern Ukraine] are apparent because Ukraine’s regular units have encircled large populated areas and are firing at residential quarters on purpose,” Putin said.
“And this, unfortunately, in many countries including Europe is preferred to not be noticed,” Putin added.
The Russian president arrived Monday in the city of Yakutsk to participate in a discussion about Russian Far East matters and to attend the launch of the Power of Siberia gas pipeline construction. The meeting will be attended by the heads of federal ministries, regions and major companies.
Since mid-April, the Ukrainian government has been conducting a military operation in eastern Ukraine, attempting to suppress independence supporters who refused to acknowledge the newly instated authorities following a February 22 coup.
Thousands of civilians have suffered as a result of the ongoing conflict, with more than 2,000 people killed and in excess of 5,000 injured. Continuous attacks on residential areas by the Ukrainian Army are worsening the already catastrophic situation in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions.
Moscow has repeatedly condemned the military operation and urged a peaceful resolution of the conflict. To help the civilian population, Russia sent a humanitarian convoy to the troubled regions of Ukraine with about 2,000 tons of humanitarian aid under the auspices of the Red Cross, with the intention to send more.

Russia Not to Intervene Militarily in Ukraine – Foreign Minister

Topic: Situation in the South-East of Ukraine

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov attends a meeting with students at Moscow State Institute of International Relations in Moscow, September 1, 2014. Lavrov said Ukrainian forces must pull back from positions from which they can hit civilian targets, and negotiations taking place on Monday should seek an immediate ceasefire in eastern Ukraine.
13:15 01/09/2014
Tags: negotiationsPoliticsceasefiremilitaryRussia's Organization for Security and Co-operation in EuropeRussian Armed ForcesRussian Foreign MinistryVladimir PutinAndrei KelinSergei LavrovRussia,Ukraine
MOSCOW, September 1 (RIA Novosti) - Russia will not intervene with its military in the Ukrainian conflict and supports only a peaceful resolution of the crisis, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday.
“There will be no military intervention, we support exclusively a peaceful settlement of this difficult crisis, of this tragedy. Everything that we’re doing is targeted at pushing through political approaches,” Lavrov said.
Ukrainian and Western officials have repeatedly accused Russia of providing aid for independence forces in eastern Ukraine, or even of a direct military intervention. On August 28, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko claimed, “Russian troops were brought into Ukraine.” Also on Thursday, NATO released what it claims to be the satellite images showing Russian hardware in Ukrainian territory.
Last week, Lavrov stressed that claims about Russia's military presence in Ukraine were wrong. “Accusations have been heard before, we have been accused from practically the very beginning of the crisis that we are to blame, so we’ve heard these tales several times, but no one has ever presented any evidence [of Russian troops in Ukraine],” the minister said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin stressed that Russia “will in no way interfere,” in Ukraine's regional policies.
Russia's Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe envoy Andrei Kelindenied any presence of Russian troops and hardware in Ukraine, calling such allegations “imaginary.”
Since mid-April, Kiev has been carrying out a special operation against eastern Ukraine’s pro-independence movement. According to the latest UN estimates, the operation has left about 2,500 killed and 6,000 injured. Russia has called Kiev’s actions punitive andurged the international community to help organize a ceasefire and dialogue between both parties.

Australia Imposes New Sanctions on Russia

Topic: Sanctions Against Russia

Australian PM Tony Abbott says new sanctions will ban arms exports and ban oil and gas exports to Russia
13:35 01/09/2014
Tags: political crisissanctionsbanTony AbbottAustraliaRussia
MOSCOW, September 1 (RIA Novosti) - New Australian sanctions will ban arms exports to Russia, prohibit Russian state-owned banks further access to the Australian capital market and ban oil and gas exports to Russia, Australia’s prime minister announced Monday.
The sanctions are a response to Russia “deliberately and now openly violating Ukrainian sovereignty,” The Guardian quoted Tony Abbott as saying Monday.
Australia will not invest in the Russia-annexed Crimean peninsula and will “further target financial sanctions and travel bans against specific individuals,” Abbott said.
Australia’s sanctions will affect 63 Russian and Ukrainian individuals as well as 21 organizations and businesses.
Monday’s sanctions are a response to the European Union’s warning on furthersanctions against Russia over Ukraine. Abbott confirmed that Australia’s sanctions were coordinated with the United States, Canada and Europe.
In July the European Union and the United States imposed economic sanctions, targeting Russia’s defense, energy and banking sectors. In August, Russia responded by introducing a one-year ban on food imports from the European Union, the United States, Canada, Australia and Norway.