Monday, November 10, 2014

Ukraine / Russia situation ( November 10 -12, 2014 ) - Updates on the state of play in South East Ukraine , items of note regarding Russia attempts to deal with sanctions and low oil prices ....

Anti War.....

Ukraine Launches Worst Shelling of Rebel Donetsk in Over a Month

Rebels Shell Govt-Held Airport as Tensions Rise

by Jason Ditz, November 09, 2014
Tensions are on the rise between Ukraine and the eastern rebels again, with the city of Donetsk, the de facto rebel capital, seeing the worst shelling its had in over a month as Ukrainian military forces move into the area.
Not that the Ukrainian military were the only ones fighting. The rebels were quick to start shellingthe airport on the outskirts of down, which lies in ruins, but still in government hands.
Over a month into the ceasefire, what fighting there’s been has been in Donetsk, though whether this latest escalation actually means a resumption of the war or not yet remains to be seen. The Ukrainian military sent additional troops into the area after the easterners held a vote they objected to.
The White House blasted the rebel moves against the airport as a “blatant violation of the Minsk agreements,” but was mum on the government shelling of Donetsk itself.

Links .....

Security Framework Eyed as Way Out of Ukraine Crisis

( Great report - ton of links , comment from a Mish read fluent in russian and ukrainian sett forth below ! Really gives an idea of what's going on inside Ukraine presently. )


Reflections from Reader Jacob Dreizin 
 Hi Mish,

Allow me to chime in on another election. On November 2nd, the Donetsk and Lugansk Peoples' Republics held elections to basically validate the existing, Moscow-backed rebel leadership that has come to the fore since roughly July-August of this year.  The turnout was incredible, considering that many residents of battered frontline towns braved potential artillery fire to get to the polling stations.

On a symbolic note, the elections were held exactly six months after the May 2nd massacre of 40-some pro-Russian demonstrators in Odessa, for which, incredibly, no one has yet been indicted.  (Several "investigations" were quietly abandoned months ago, as they were likely pointing to prominent nationalist groups in Kiev.)

Naturally, the EU and U.S. State Department are not happy with these elections, although they were quite happy with the Ukrainian parliamentary elections of October 26th, in which turnout was as low as 30% in some areas as parties more popular in the south and east were too intimidated to campaign or were simply banned.

In other news, Ukraine's Prime Minister Yatseniuk recently stated that Ukraine is open to buying coal from the rebel areas. This is a sign of desperation, which shows that buying coal from overseas (chiefly from South Africa) has not saved the day as there is simply not enough infrastructure to keep Ukrainian power plants continuously supplied with foreign coal. Also, some Ukrainian plants are specifically designed to burn certain grades of Donbass coal.

Already there have been many rolling blackouts and hot water cut-offs, and things will only get worse.  Keep in mind that water flowing to apartment buildings (for both washing/cooking and central heating) in the former USSR is typically heated by coal. So you can expect Ukraine to have a very rough winter.

Yatseniuk also said that while Ukraine will continue selling electricity to the rebel areas, it will no longer be paying out pensions or any other benefits to residents of rebel-held areas until such time as these areas return to Ukrainian control.

Although Kiev had already minimized these disbursements since summer, Yatseniuk's statement is the most formal and and extreme announcement to that effect. This is a clear abdication of responsibility for the rebel areas as well as a de facto recognition that those people are no longer Ukrainians.

Note that Russia continued to pay benefits in Chechnya during its periods of de facto independence in the early 1990s and again in the late 1990s. Thus, there is precedent for continuing to treat people as your own citizens as you seek to return them to the fold. In this context, Kiev has just severed the last link that people in Donetsk and Lugansk may have had with the Ukrainian state. It is a scorched-earth policy as well as an admission of failure.
Reader Jacob Dreizin is a US citizen who speaks Russian and reads Ukrainian.



Morning Tweets - 11/12/14

Senior Ukrainian officials from nationalist Svoboda party step down

Suicide bomb attack on police headquarters in have killed 11 people and wounded 23, security officials confirm.

Ukraine has no choice but to buy coal in Russia or Donbass — Ukrainian minister

Security Council to hold emergency session on

South Ossetia plans to seal diplomatic ties with east Ukraine self-proclaimed republics

German Foreign Minister plans to visit Moscow to discuss current situation in

McCain continues to call on to start lethal military aid supplies to Kiev

Moscow, Beijing plan to sign agreement on Russian-Chinese cybersecurity cooperation in 2015

prepares seventh humanitarian aid convoy for

Russia offers Argentina cooperation in oil, metallurgical, atomic energy sectors

Evening Tweets- 11/11/14 ...

Ukrainian government accused of fraud with coal purchase in South Africa

Ukraine can purchase Russian coal — Ukrainian official

Morning Tweets.....

BREAKING: German Foreign Ministry plays down intel report claiming militia downed

considering Japan's offer on gas pipeline to Hokkaido, energy projects

German Foreign Ministry calls interpretation by media of Germany's special services report of crash incomplete, taken out of context

MORE: Putin says shelling by Ukrainian forces of crash site is hampering investigations

MORE: says Russia, Malaysia insist on full investigation into Boeing crash

Putin on air crash investigation in claims territory of crash site controlled by East Ukraine militia completely groundless

MORE: Russia's VTB bank may leave London stock exchange and list instead on Chinese markets

Russia’s VEB bank believes court ruling on western sanctions against bank will be positive

MORE: Russian Central Bank set economic scenario with oil prices at $80 per bbl to end of 2017

MORE: said accounting in rubles and yuan will weaken dollar’s influence

MORE: said Russia plans to expand trade in rubles, yuan for export of energy resources

Russia’s energy ministry hails using rouble in oil contracts - minister

Russia, China sign technical agreement for Rosneft to supply 5 mln tons oil additionally