Friday, September 12, 2014

Ukraine Situation ( September 12 , 2014 ) -- Sanctions from the EU and US , Russian Responses to same in focus ...... Ceasefire still in effect and holding , ongoing attempts at resolution of Eat Ukraine situation in focus .....

Itar Tass
2 hours ago
Ukraine wants financial aid from its Western partners and US’ major non-NATO ally status

“We expect the United States to grant us a major non-NATO ally status,” he told the television Channel 5“Kiev needs technical assistance to carry out real reforms, it needs support in the defence sector and pressure and stable position of our Western partners, the United States and the European Union, on Russia.”He said that the situation in Ukraine was “joint responsibility of the world for global security, it is not just a Ukrainian matter.”“The country needs peace. But no one can grant peace to anyone just for nothing. It is necessary to struggle for peace,” he said.

Europe Folds To Russian Demands, Delays Ukraine Free Trade Deal By Over A Year

Tyler Durden's picture

While the world was poring through the details of the latest round of preannounced western sanctions against Russia - a round which Russia commented would have virtually no actual impact - and just as excitedly awaiting the Kremlin's retaliation which Putin warned is coming shortly, far from the glare of the center stage Europe quietly folded to a bigger Russian demand namely to delay the implementation of a Ukraine free trade deal by more than one year until the end of 2015 and likely beyond.
As AFP reported, EU Trade Commissioner Karel de Gucht said, after talks with Russian and Ukrainian ministers, that the free trade agreement which Ukraine and its imploding economy had hoped would be implemented in the immediate future, will instead be delayed. Perhaps the date of the provisional launch has something to do with it: EU sources said the trade deal was to have taken effect on November 14, i.e. in the middle of Europe's cold, snowy, GDP-sapping winter. The European Council of 28 members states must now sign off on the delay.
De Gucht said that once Kiev ratifies the EU Association Accord, expected next week and which was negotiated at the same time as theDeep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement, then Brussels would offer "additional flexibility" in the hope of meeting Russian concerns that its economy would suffer if the DCFTA deal went ahead.
This would be done as part of efforts to "fully support the stabilisation of Ukraine," he said after talks with Ukraine Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin and Russian Economy Minister Alexi Ulyukayev. "Such flexibilty will consist in the delay until 31 December 2015 of the provisional application of the DCFTA," he said.
Additional flexibility? That sounds very close to what Obama promised Putin's right hand guy, Dmitry Medvedev, nearly three years ago.


Sometimes glitches in the matrix such as this one make one wonder just how much of what is going on right now between the "west" and Russia has been long pre-agreed and pre-approved by the "feuding" sides, and what is really going on behind the scenes.
But back to what the data available for popular consumption: in effect while Russia and the West are engaging in populism-happy trade and capital flow wars what is taking place at a higher level is far more nuanced, and it is here that a far more pragmatic EU is certainly concerned about pushing Russia too far.
The reason why Moscow is against the Ukraine free trade agreement is because Russia sees it as bolstering Kiev and potentially harming its own economy by allowing an influx of cheaper/better EU goods into the country, an important Russian market. Equally damaging, Moscow said these goods could then be sold on into Russia itself, damaging domestic industry.
Of course, with Europe launch sanction after meaningless sanction, in a world that is all about leverage and optics, the last thing the EU could afford is to be perceived as folding to the Kremlin in a matter which could really hurt the Russian economy. So instead DeGucht presented the delay as win-win for all sides, saying the preferential tariffs addressed "the very difficult economic situation in Ukraine" while the delay in implementing the deal leaves "15 months for either party to make remarks, proposals."
One can just imagine the remarks and proposals that Putin would have uttered had Europe not delayed the agreement.
What's more interesting, Russia may just win another major round in the political war that is taking place just behind the surface: the preferential tariffs announced in March and due to expire in October offered Ukraine significant reductions in customs duties worth about 500 million euros per year, the commission said.
Still, had the free trade deal passed today, it would have allowed the economically devastated Ukraine, whose economy is rapidly imploding, to boost its exports to Europe by one billion euros per year, according to the commission.
In June, the EU and Ukraine signed the long-delayed Association Agreement, the very deal whose 11th-hour refusal last year by then president Viktor Yanukovich plunged the former Soviet country into chaos. It sparked a wave of pro-European protests that eventually toppled the Kremlin-backed Yanukovich in February and ushered in a pro-Western government that deeply angered Moscow.
What goes unsaid is that the signed agreement was merely yet another optical pseudo intervention: in reality is provided nothing to Ukraine but simply sent signals to the global community that the "west" had the upper hand when it comes down to Kiev realpolitik.
If only for now. 
But once the Ukraine people have been forced to go through a full winter with no benefit from the Russian bear, it remains to be seen just how enthusiastic they will be about the ongoing western-backed (and funded, and orchestrated) revolution.
As for Europe's true "leverage" vis-a-vis Russia, the following quote from AFP encapsulates it best:
"If you want to solve a conflict, you have to be flexible,"a European source said when asked about the delay in the trade deal.
And speaking of memorable quotes, one my want to timestamp these:
In Kiev, Poroshenko thanked the EU for the new sanctions."A friend in need is a friend indeed," Poroshenko said.

"I feel a full part of the European Union family," he added.

Let's all check back on how Ukraine, and whoever is its president then, feels about being part of the European Union "family" in a year. Or less.

September 11, 2014

Ukraine: As Economic War Escalates, Fighting May Resume Soon

The ceasefire of Minsk between the Ukrainian coup-government and the federalists of east Ukraine was something both sides needed.
The Ukrainian army was on the verge of completely  loosing it. It was temporarily defeated and needed to rearm and reorganize. While the federalist insurgents were successful and probably able to continue their fight for a few days their forces were overstretched and needed to consolidate.
But many on the insurgent side did not like the ceasefire. It did not give them the federal autonomy they demanded. The neo-nazi "national-guard" battalions on the other side also criticized the ceasefire. They want the total destruction of their enemy and ethnic cleansing of all Russia-affine Ukrainians.
Russia had pressed for the ceasefire to avoid further sanctions. It was an offer to the "western" side to step back from the cliff of an economic war. Obama and NATO tried to sabotage the ceasefire through false claims of a Russian invasion and other propaganda. But the Ukrainian president had to ignore the pressure from Washington and Brussels or he would have lost another city, Mariupol, to the insurgents.
The main Russian reason to support the ceasefire, to hold back sanctions, has now vanished. Three days ago the EU, against the will of several of its members, decided on new sanctions on Russia:
The European Union adopted new sanctions against Moscow on Monday despite the leaders of Russia and Ukraine vowing to uphold a truce aimed at halting a devastating five-month war.
In Brussels, the EU formally approved fresh sanctions against Russia but said they would not come into force for a few more days, effectively delaying the measures to see if the current truce will hold.
The truce held and despite that facts and its earlier claims the EU today announcedthat the new sanctions will be implemented immediately:
The European Union has agreed to impose further sanctions on Russia on Friday over its role in the Ukraine crisis, diplomats say.The move is aimed at maintaining pressure on Russia, the sources said.
Russia says it is preparing a response "commensurate with the economic losses" caused by the EU sanctions.
This is another catastrophic and escalating EU move with regards to Ukraine and Russia. This turns the conflict into an economic war between the EU and Russia in which no side can win. Only the United States and China will profit from it. 
Additonally Poland had the crazy idea of supplying gas which it purchases from Russia to Ukraine which is not willing or able to pay for direct deliveries from Russia. This is a breach of contract as the deliveries from Russia to Poland are not allowed to be resold to other Russian gas customers. Russia allegedly responded by lowering the volume of gas it supplies to Poland and Poland immediately folded and stopped the reverse gas flow to Ukraine:
Russia’s OAO Gazprom limited natural gas flows to Poland, preventing the European Union member state from supplying Ukraine via so-called reverse flows.Polskie Gornictwo Naftowe i Gazownictwo SA, or PGNiG, got 20 to 24 percent less fuel than it ordered from Gazprom Export over the past two days and is compensating flows with alternative supply, the company said today in an e-mailed statement.
Poland halted gas supply to Ukraine at 3 p.m. Warsaw time today, according to Ukraine’s UkrTransGaz.
We can be not sure that this is the whole story though. Gazprom says it provides all the gas Poland ordered through its pipelines but hints that Ukraine, where those pipelines cross, may be the party which is taking the gas:
Russia has denied that its state-run gas giant Gazprom has been limiting flows to Poland."Reports by news agencies on the reduction of volumes of gas supplies by Gazprom to Poland's PGNiG are incorrect,” Itar-Tass reported Gazprom spokesman Sergey Kupriyanov as saying. “The same volume of gas as in previous days – 23 million cubic meters a day – is being supplied to Poland now."
Before Gazprom issued its statement, Uktransgaz’s Prokopiv blamed Russia for trying to “derail” the plan for Poland to supply Ukraine with “reverse” gas, while Ukraine refused to pay its debt to Gazprom and is currently cut off from Russian supplies, and accused Russia of limiting the supply of gas.
In August, Russia’s energy minister, Aleksandr Novak, warned that in the upcoming winter Ukraine may begin siphoning off Russian supplies intended for Europe if it fails to build up its reserves.
There is more conflicting news. The Ukrainian president Poroshenko claimed that most of the "Russian troops", which no one, including the OSCE observers in the area, has ever seen, have left Ukraine:
“Based on the latest information I have received from our intelligence services, 70 percent of the Russian troops have moved back across the border,” Poroshenko said. “This bolsters our hope that the peace initiatives enjoy good prospects.”
NATO, likely fearing that Poroshenko was again moving towards a peaceful solution,disputed the claim:
"The reported reduction of Russian troops from eastern Ukraine would be a good first step, but we have no information on this. The fact of the matter is there are still approximately 1,000 Russian troops in eastern Ukraine with substantial amounts of military equipment and approximately 20,000 troops on the Russian border with Ukraine," the NATO military officer said.
Push, push, push for war ...
But some parts of the "western" media are slowly waking up to the fact that not all is well with Ukraine and the "western" strategy. They note that Ukraine can not afford the IMF's 'Shock Therapy' and needs money without conditions which it will likely never pay back:
Absent this "bail-in" of foreign creditors, Ukraine will simply be taking on more debt that it lacks the capacity to service, risking a long-term compound debt spiral for the country and practically guaranteeing a wholesale default down the road -- and continuing political instability.
After months of ridiculing anyone who pointed to neo-nazis within Ukraine's regime and military forces as "Putin lover" reports about those neo-nazis now pop up inseveral "western" media.
Russia best reason to hold the insurgents in east Ukraine back from further fighting has vanished. The economic war is escalating no matter what Russia does or does not do. As the media have more time to look into the real issues in Ukraine the state of the sorry affair will become more clear and "western" public support for Ukraine will decline. This is a threat to "western" warmongering and to again escalate to fighting is the best method to suppress such news.

Hawks on both sides now have reason to restart the fighting. Expect the ceasefire to completely fail very soon.


First group of trucks with humanitarian aid for Ukraine is through Russian customs

Russia pledges response to new US sanctions but says door for dialogue open

Ukraine wants US, EU to take part in talks to implement peace plan - Arseniy Yatsenyuk

US sanctions not make Russia change its principled position - Russian Foreign Ministry

US says ready to lift some sanctions if Ukraine ceasefire holds

US imposes new sanctions against Russian companies


Itar Tass.....

Special status for Donetsk, Luhansk regions no threat to Ukraine's integrity — Poroshenko

 September 12, 15:32 UTC+4
Local governments will be entitled to settle language problems and control expenditures of local budgets, but problems of foreign and home politics will remain in the competence of central authorities
© AP Photo/Virginia Mayo
KIEV, September 12. /ITAR-TASS/. A bill on a special status of a number of territories in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions envisages that local administrations might take over power from the center to an extent to which it was done in Poland, President Petro Poroshenko said at an annual meeting of Yalta European Strategy in Kiev Friday.
The Ukrainian president played down concern, expressed by someone in Ukraine over a bill on a special status of a number of territories in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, saying " it poses no threat to Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity"; the power will be turned over from the center to regions on approximately the same scale as it was done to local bodies of power in Poland, he explained.
Local governments will be entitled to settle language problems and control expenditures of local budgets, but the principle problems of foreign and home politics will remain in the competence of the central authorities, Poroshenko said.
It is important to hold early local election in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions to have officials to represent the population of these territories, the Ukrainian president said.
He expressed hope that the Ukrainian parliament would approve the bill. Commenting on the expected bill on amnesty, the Ukrainian president said it would apply to people who committed no violent crimes.

Finland’s Prime Minister hopes sanctions against Russia to be revised at end September

 September 12, 15:20 UTC+4
The EU was introducing a new package of sanctions against Russia and was banning the issuance of loans to three largest Russian defense-manufacturing corporations
HELSINKI, September 12. /ITAR-TASS/. Finnish Prime Minister Alexander Stubb said on Friday he hoped the EU would revise sanctions against Russia in several weeks’ time, the Helsinki-base media said on Friday quoting him.
While taking the floor in the national parliament, Stubb said the EU would assess implementation of the plans for peaceful settlement of the armed conflict in Eastern Ukraine at the end of this month.
Prior to the imposition of a third package of sanctions on Russia, which took place on Friday, EU officials stressed on a number of occasions that the restrictive measures against Russia were revisable depending on the progress of peace settlement between the West-backed government in Kiev and the Eastern-Ukrainian pro-federalization forces.
Stubb said that the EU would do a review of the situation in Ukraine in three weeks’ time and he hoped there would be an opportunity then to lift the restrictive measures.
European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said upon the end of EU ambassadorial consultations on Thursday the EU was introducing a new package of sanctions against Russia and was banning the issuance of loans to three largest Russian defense-manufacturing corporations and three companies in the fuels and energy sector.
Also, the EU banned the market trading of bonds and other securities of these companies with maturity periods longer than thirty days and the issuance of their securities into market circulation.
A total of nine defense manufacturers have fallen under a ban on exports of dual technologies to them.
The EU introduced restrictions on access to the money markets for five Russian state-owned banks, which Van Rompuy did not name either. In addition, EU companies have been prohibited to do deepwater drilling for the Russian oil industry, as well as to develop deposits in Russia’s Arctic areas and deposits of shale oil.
INFOGRAPHICSEconomical sanctions against Russia Economical sanctions against Russia
The USA, EU, Canada and Australia have introduced sanctions against Russia over its involvement in the Ukrainian crisis. Infographics by ITAR-TASS
The latter sanction, however, does not cover service agreements in natural gas production.
EU decision-makers have again expanded the list of personalities who will face restrictions on obtaining EU travel visas and whose banking assets will be frozen, should any such assets be found in the banks of the union’s twenty-eight members-states.
An official announcement on the sanctions was published in the EU official journal on Friday.

Rosneft, Transneft, Gazprom Neft on new EU sanctions list

 September 12, 10:42 UTC+4
On September 11, ambassadors of 28 EU countries decided to introduce from September 12 additional sanctions against the Russian Federation
INFOGRAPHICSEconomical sanctions against Russia Economical sanctions against Russia
The USA, EU, Canada and Australia have introduced sanctions against Russia over its involvement in the Ukrainian crisis. Infographics by ITAR-TASS
BRUSSELS, September 12. /ITAR-TASS/. The EU Official Journal (OJ) has published information about companies and officials on the sanctions list against the Russian Federation, which came into force on Friday.
The “blacklist” includes major energy and defense companies, as well as several Russian and Ukrainian officials.

Sanctioned energy companies

The European Union banned debt financing for 3 Russian companies - Rosneft, Transneft and Gazprom Neft. The sanctions come into force from the moment of their publication.
The EU has introduced a ban for trading those companies’ 30-day yield bonds and participating in issuing stock of the kind.
On Thursday, ambassadors of 28 EU countries decided to introduce from September 12 additional sanctions against the Russian Federation.

Sanctions against banks

The European Union has also imposed restrictions in the provision of loans and investment services for five Russian banks - Sberbank, VTB, Gazprombank, Vnesheconombank (VEB) and Rosselkhozbank. 
EU residents will not be able to provide loans to these Russian banks any more. In addition, operations with new issues of bonds and other securities with maturity of more than 30 days are banned.
These banks are not listed by the name, as the list remains unchanged since the previous sanctions’ issue of July 31, 2014.

Sanctions against defense companies

The European Union has banned the organization of debt financing for Russia’s three major defense manufacturers - UralVagonZavod (UVZ), Oboronprom and United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), the EU Official Journal reports on Friday.
The EU banned trading in bonds of these enterprises with maturity of more than 30 days and participation in the organization of such bonds’ issue.
Supplies of European dual-purpose technologies are banned for nine more defense institutions - the Sirius Concern, Stankoinstrument, Khimkompozit, the Kalashnikov Concern, the Tula Arms Plant, Technologii Mashinostroyeniya, Vysokotochnye Kompleksy, the Almaz-Antei Concern, and Bazalt.

Blacklisted officials

The European Union has added 24 more names to the blacklist, bringing an overall number of those sanctioned to 119.
The new figures put on the EU black list are LDPR leader Vladimir Zhironovsky; Deputy Сhairman of the Federation Council Yury Vorobyov; Rosoboronexport Board Chairman Sergey Chemezov; Duma Deputy Speakers Vladimir Vasilyev, Ivan Melnikov, Igor Lebedev, Nikolai Levichev; deputy heads of the Duma Committee on International Affairs Leonid Kalashnikov and Svetlana Zhurova; deputy heads of the Duma Committee on the Affairs of the CIS and the European Integration Vladimir Nikitin and Oleg Lebedev; Duma deputy Alexander Babakov; MP and Cossack Troops commander Viktor Vodolatsky, Commander of the 76th division of airborne troops Alexei Naumets, Crimea's official representative in Moscow Georgy Muradov; First Deputy Prime Minister of Crimea Mikhail Sheremet.
The new "blacklist" also includes eight representatives of the leadership of Novorossiya — prime minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic Alexander Zakharchenko and defense minister Vladimir Kononov; leader of Donbass people's self defense forces Miroslav Rudenko, prime minister of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic Gennady Tsypkalov, security minister of self-proclaimed Donetsk Republic Andrey Pinchuk, interior minister Oleg Bereza; an official representative of self- proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic to Russia Andrei Rodkin, vice-premier for social affairs Alexander Karaman.
The twenty-four figures put on the sanctions list on Friday are banned from entering the territory of the European Union, and their assets, if kept at European banks, are to be frozen.

RIA Novosti.....

French Riviera Hit by EU Sanctions Against Moscow, Sees Decline in Russian Visits

Nice, the leading year-round European destination for wealthy Russians, is seeing a decline in private jets from Moscow for the first time since 2009 due to EU sanctions.
15:00 12/09/2014
Tags: Ukraineinternational travelbusinessmensanctionstourismEUDmitry PeskovVladimir Putin,FranceRussia
MOSCOW, September 12 (RIA Novosti) – Nice, the leading year-round European destination forwealthy Russians, is seeing a decline in private jets from Moscow for the first time since 2009 due to EU sanctions, according to Bloomberg.
The European sanctions against Russia have restricted travel for top Russian businesspeopleand politicians causing private aircraft flights from Moscow to Nice to drop five percent in the seven months through July, the first fall since 2009, Umberto Vallino, head of business aviation development for the Nice, Cannes and St. Tropez airports, said in an interview with Bloomberg.
With summer visits to the French Riviera on the decline, Alpine ski trips similarly popular with Russian private jet customers are also facing a drop, Geneva Airport CEO Robert Deillon said.
More than 140 people and 50 to 60 companies are already affected by the sanctions and the number grew today as a new round of restrictions came into force, Bloomberg said, citing research from law firm Debevoise and Plimpton.
The new sanctions imposed by the European Union against Russia over its alleged role in the Ukrainian crisis target the country’s major defense and energy companies. Brussels also added 24 individuals, including senior Russian parliamentarians and businessmen to the list, blocking travel to the European Union and freezing assets.
Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Thursday that Moscow regrets the European Union's decision to impose new sanctions against Russia, stressing that Brussels fails to see the reality of the situation in eastern Ukraine and the steps both sides are taking toward peace.
The Kremlin official referred to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s peace plan, which he proposed to the conflicting sides two days before Kiev and the eastern regions of Ukraine reached a ceasefire agreement on September 5 in Minsk.

Russia Deploys SU-30 Fighter Jets in Crimea

Russia has deployed Su-30 fighter jets at the Belbek air base near Crimea’s Sevastopol.
15:17 12/09/2014
Tags: Su-30Russian Defense MinistrySevastopolRussiaCrimea
SEVASTOPOL, September 12 (RIA Novosti) – Russia has deployed Su-30 fighter jets at the Belbek air base near Crimea’s Sevastopol, acting Sevastopol governor told RIA Novosti in an interview Friday.
“New Su-30 aircraft have already been deployed in Belbek,” Sergei Menyailo said.
He did not say how many Su-30 fighter jets were deployed, but RIA Novosti sources estimated their number at up to 20 aircraft.
According to the official, the Russian Defense Ministry plans to deploy military aircraft at four airfields in Crimea, including Belbek.

New Economic Sanctions Fail to Affect Russian Defense Industry: Source

Topic: Sanctions Against Russia

Officials of the European Union at the European Concil in Brussels.
14:55 12/09/2014
Tags: bankssanctionsRosneftEUUkraineRussia
MOSCOW, September 12 (RIA Novosti) - A new round of sanctions implemented against Russia by the European Union will not have a significant impact on the Russian defense industry, a representative of the Center for Analysis of World Arms Trade told RIA Novosti on Friday.
"The sanctions can be counterbalanced by increasing the credit available to these companies [targeted by sanctions] via largest Russian banksunder governmental control. State subsidizing of interest rates on such credits is also an option," the representative said.
"Funds allocated by the government within the State Defense Order for this year and the state arms program up to 2020 will keep the defense companies busy and will shield the enterprises from any influence that the fluctuating Western political climate may have on their economic performance," the source added.
The representative also said that sanctions imposed by the West on Russia are useless since it is impossible to put pressure on Russia, as the Kremlin will see to the implementation of an internal and external policy that protects Russian national interests, regardless of the reactions of certain countries.
On Friday, the European Union announced the introduction of a new round of sanctions against Russia, targeting the country's major defense and energy companies, such asRosneft, Transneft and Gazprom Neft in the oil sector, and Oboronprom, United Aircraft Corporation and Uralvagonzavod in the defense sector.
The new sanctions prohibit financial cooperation between EU individuals and entities and these Russian companies. An additional 24 people including senior Russian lawmakers and the leadership of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic are banned from traveling to the EU and subject to asset freezes.
Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Moscow regrets the EU's decision to impose new sanctions against Russia over Ukraine and views them as illegitimate.

Friday, September 12

08:58 GMT:
OSCE observers stationed at two Russian border checkpoints haven’t witnessed any movements of military hardware into Ukraine, Paul Picard, the acting chief observer of the mission told journalists.
“We saw no military vehicles passing through the Donetsk and Gukovo checkpoints, which fall under our mandate,” he said. “We saw helicopters patrolling the border as well as planes and drones. But their numbers have decreased.”
The official added that there is increased civilian traffic across the border, which results in long queues forming at the checkpoints, especially on the Russian side heading towards Ukraine. Travelers told Picard and his colleagues that they go into Russia’s Rostov Region due to a shortage of food on the Ukrainian side of the border.

Thursday, September 11

17:05 GMT:
Russia’s Foreign Ministry has reiterated that Russian troops have not been in Ukraine and they are not there now. However, there have been volunteers from Russia, spokesman Aleksandr Lukashevich said.
“The Russian army is not fighting there. There are volunteers who could not stay away from those events happening in Donetsk and Lugansk regions,” he said.
At the same time, he said that no one was paying attention to foreign mercenaries fighting in Eastern Ukraine.
“No one questions on which basis, under which international legal norms, mercenaries are fighting on the side of the regular army of Ukraine,” Lukashevich said.
16:57 GMT:

Ukraine's National Security Council (SNBO) has reinforced its forces at the frontline in the southeast of the country, its spokesman Andrey Lysenko said.
08:11 GMT:
The International Committee for the Red Cross needs signed permission from both Ukraine and Russia to start the delivery of the second Russian humanitarian aid convoy to eastern Ukraine, Bruno Husquinet, deputy head of the ICRC regional delegation to Russia, Belarus, and Moldova, told journalists.
He added that Russia did file a request to the ICRC to take charge of the convoy.
The trucks with some 2,000 tons of aid, including food, medicine and water treatment equipment, have been stranded in the Russian city of Donetsk on the border with Ukraine for almost a week. Russian Deputy Emergencies Minister Vladimir Stepanov said Thursday “there has not been a movement made” to let it in.
The delivery of humanitarian aid into war-torn Donetsk and Lugansk Regions was part of the ceasefire agreement reached last week by representatives of Kiev and the local militias with the help of Russia and the OSCE.

Anti War......

As Ukraine Ceasefire Holds, US and EU Push New Russia Sanctions

Obama Cites 'Russia's Illegal Actions in Ukraine'

by Jason Ditz, September 11, 2014
The Russian-brokered ceasefire in eastern Ukraine is holding, much to the chagrin of western nations looking to use the ongoing war as an excuse to spark a new cold war. Not to worry, though, they’re going to keep trying.
President Obama announced today a round of new sanctions against Russia’s financial and energy sectors aimed at punishing them for “Russia’s illegal actions in Ukraine.” President Obama blamed Russia for the war, and the administration hasn’t seemed too happy with the peace either.
The European Union, which had announced sanctions earlier this week but delayed them because of the ceasefire, announced they’regoing to implement them Friday, whether the ceasefire collapses or not.
President Obama spoke of the potential for the sanctions to be rolled back if Russia complies with the very non-specific Western demands, but the implementation of new sanctions after Russia effectively took the helm to end the Ukraine War they’ve been harping about suggests that, whatever happens in the weeks and months to come, the West will find excuses to continue the sanctions war.

Ukraine Security Services Break Into Newspaper Office, Shut Down Website

Posted: Updated: 

The Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) broke into the office of a Kiev-based digital newspaper on Thursday, physically trapping reporters and ultimately shutting down the website.
Vesti News's editor-in-chief Igor Guzhva wrote on his Facebook page Thursday that the news outlet had been raided by SBU, according to a translation by Russia Today. The SBU reportedly took all servers, kept staffers in a "hot corridor" and shut down the website completely.

Guzhva said that this is the second time in just six months that the SBU has tried to "intimidate" its editors. He added that he is unsure of the reason for the raid, but suspects that it might have to do with a story the website recently published on the SBU chief's daughter.
The ongoing crisis in Ukraine has resulted in a major threat to press freedom in recent months. A May report from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) found approximately 300 instances of violent attacks on the media in Ukraine since November.