Eastern Europe/Ukraine

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby Philip » 26 May 2014 07:04

Ukraine crisis: 'Chocolate King' Petro Poroshenko prefers a whisper to a breakaway
Kim Sengupta
defence correspondent

Friday 23 May 2014
Vitali Klitschko had just stood down as a presidential candidate, pledging his support for Mr Poroshenko. The former boxer pledged his support to the billionaire who had made his fortune from confectionaries, resulting in banners proclaiming: “Willy Wonka and Rocky – The Dream Team.” That was two months ago, after Crimea had been annexed by Vladimir Putin, but before the separatists began to take over swathes of the east of the country. Mr Poroshenko condemned the destabilising role Moscow was accused of playing but was less vitriolic than others.

Now polls say Mr Poroshenko, 46, is on the verge of winning tomorrow’s election outright without the need for the hitherto expected second round scheduled for 15 June; and the daunting task he would face would be try to bring an end to the strife tearing his country apart.

That is unlikely to happen without the help of the Kremlin and today, for the first time, Mr Putin explicitly stated that he will respect the outcome of the election: a fundamental change from his previous stance. Mr Poroshenko may not be the dream candidate for the Kremlin, but the two who are seen as overtly Russian leaning, Serhiy Tigipko and Mykhailo Dobkin, should finish well back. And Yulia Tymoshenko, the former heroine of the Orange Revolution, whose star has plummeted as the Chocolate King’s has risen, is now held in wide distrust by many, including Moscow.

Mr Poroshenko had, like some other politicians, appeared in the barricades of the Maidan, often at personal risk to himself from thugs supporting Mr Yanukovych’s government, confirming his solidarity with the protest movement. But he had also urged Ukrainians to settle their differences peacefully and told Moscow newspaper, Novaya Gazeta: “Russia isn’t our opponent, but our partner. Understand, Euro-Maidan is not a movement away from Russia, but... the Soviet Union.”

With anxiety and anger among Ukrainians outside the east at the dismemberment of the country, Mr Poroshenko has, unsurprisingly, been talking tough: “My first step will be to go to the army headquarters and assume the role of supreme commander. We cannot negotiate with terrorists who rob banks, kill and kidnap innocent people.”

Any accommodation Mr Poroshenko makes with Moscow will not, however, mean turning away from the EU. He has pledged to sign an association agreement – the step which Mr Yanukovych failed to take, triggering the protests which led to his downfall.

He has been more cautious about joining Nato, something which would be opposed virulently by Mr Putin, saying only that there may be the need to form a “security arrangement” with the organisation.


How he intends holding onto the east is questionable.While Putin welcomes the election,on the ground the pro-Russian fighters are being heavily beefed up with reinforcements.

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby vijaykarthik » 26 May 2014 11:04

Reckon Putin will wait and watch. A few months before his next move comes out. He will surely want to see what the new guys are up to and how much of a move they make to calibrate his next step

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby Yagnasri » 26 May 2014 16:56

New guys are not going to be different from the Neo-Nazis who started the coup. If they are then Obomber will convert them as one. Riots and civil war will follow soon. Putin better prepare for a long hard cold war with border right in the middle of Russian lands.

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby UlanBatori » 26 May 2014 17:32

So West Ukraine holds an election. East Ukraine has already held a referendum. In one, few ppl in East Ukraine cast votes, in the other, no one in West Ukraine cast votes (firing bullets and burning down buildings and beating the survivors to death doesn't count as voting). Why is one any more valid than the other? I think the next step is the secession of East Ukraine. Can't see how they can willingly allow themselves to be now subjugated under this UkBapZi Richie-Rich Presidente.

Next move may be that the UkBapZi "army" in East Ukraine faces real resistance, even when they don't shoot at their own forces. The $Billionaire may be on his way to becoming a $thousandaire - unless he has already shifted his $$B out to Switzerland.

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby Philip » 27 May 2014 02:19

The "chocolate soldier" promises peace, bares his fangs and unleashes war!

News flash:35 killed as truck carrying wounded attacked.
Scores killed in Donetsk as grenade hits truck carrying wounded - reports
Published time: May 26, 2014
http://rt.com/news/161592-donetsk-truck-grenade-killed/

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/m ... eparatists

Poroshenko promises calm 'in hours' amid battle to control Donetsk airport
New president-elect says there will be no negotiations as Kiev launches air strikes on separatists at airport

Ukrainian helicopter gunships mounted an attack on the rebel-held international airport terminal at Donetsk on Monday. Photograph: Yannis Behrakis/Reuters

Ukraine's president-elect, Petro Poroshenko, promised to end the armed insurgency in the east of the country in "hours", as Kiev's forces launched air strikes on separatists during an intense battle to regain control of Donetsk airport.

With almost all the votes counted on Monday afternoon, Poroshenko, a pro-west businessman, was on course for a decisive victory with 54% of the vote, while his nearest challenger won just 13%, but when he takes up office he will be faced with the immediate task of bringing calm to Ukraine's eastern regions.

The pro-Russia forces who have occupied government buildings in eastern Ukraine said they were ready to negotiate with Ukraine's new leadership, but only with Russian mediation and on equal terms. The separatists have declared themselves de facto independent states and claim Kiev has no jurisdiction over them.

Less than a fifth of polling stations opened in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions on Sunday following a massive campaign of intimidation by the separatists, who say they want the eastern regions of Ukraine to join Russia after questionable referendums earlier this month.

But as the majority of Russian troops have now moved away from the border with Ukraine, the prospect of a Russian invasion or a Crimea-style annexation of the territory is unlikely.

Russia's foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, said Moscow was ready to enter talks with the new leadership, in his country's first high-level response to Sunday's election. "We shouldn't miss the chance that we have now to establish an equal dialogue of mutual respect considering the vote that has taken place, the results of which Russia is ready to respect," Lavrov said.

Poroshenko has not backed off from the harsh tone struck by Kiev regarding the armed rebels in the two regions, repeating on Monday that there could be no negotiations with terrorists and comparing the pro-Russia militia men to Somali pirates. "Their goal is to turn Donbass into a Somalia where they would rule with the power of machine guns. I will never allow that to happen on the territory of Ukraine," he said.

He suggested that he would move quickly and decisively against the rebels: "The anti-terrorist operation cannot and should not last two or three months. It should and will last hours."

Any Ukrainian assault on the rebel strongholds of Slavyansk, or on Donetsk itself, is likely to be bloody, however. Late on Sunday night the first deputy prime minister, Vitaly Yarema, promised that Kiev's "anti-terrorist operation" would be renewed after a pause during the presidential vote.

Lavrov said the renewal of the anti-terrorist operation would be a "colossal mistake" and could threaten the resumption of dialogue.

The separatists took the initiative, however, seizing Donetsk airport on Monday morning, something they had not attempted before. This appeared to be a red line for Kiev, which responded with helicopter assaults. Fighter jets flew overhead and there was a chaotic exchange of automatic and grenade fire, as trucks of separatist fighters arrived at the airport from central Donetsk as back-up. The battle continued as evening fell, and the number of casualties was unclear.

Poroshenko said on Monday he would try to gain the trust of residents in the east, who have looked at the Kiev government and the Maidan movement that toppled the former president, Viktor Yanukovych, with extreme suspicion. He has promised that his first trip as president will be to eastern Ukraine. His inauguration is due in the first 10 days of June.

"We will try to win the trust of those who didn't vote for me," Poroshenko said. "Now the main mission is the unification of the state, the establishment of peace and the eradication of lawlessness."

The separatists, who already have the tacit support of many of the police in the region and have occupied the buildings of the security services in most towns, are becoming more audacious in their targets even as their grip on power appears to be waning. On Sunday, a group of armed men travelled to the mansion of oligarch Rinat Akhmetov, the richest man in Ukraine, who lives in Donetsk and many believe financed the separatist movements in its early days, a charge he has denied.

Whatever the history, it is clear that at least parts of the militia are not under control of the oligarch, who in the past fortnight has come out strongly in support of a united Ukraine.

"We are here for negotiations with Akhmetov," said Anton Kosenko, a self-styled MP of the Donetsk People's Republic, who was wearing a white suit and appeared to be in charge of a dozen fighters with automatic weapons and knives who were lazing on the grass outside the gates to Akhmetov's lavish residence. "The people are beginning to realise that the oligarchs who have been stealing from them for years are now also killing them, and it is time to rise up against them."

There are fears that the splintering rebel groups may start fighting each other, with tensions already visible.

"Without a Russian invasion, they are beginning to panic and are moving further into the depths of madness," said a Donetsk political insider. "They wanted to fight the fascists, but in the absence of fascists, they will start fighting each other."

Poroshenko called for negotiations with Moscow in the presence of international intermediaries. Lavrov said Russia was ready to work with the US and the EU on realising the roadmap drafted by the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe to defuse the crisis. But he said Russia did not need an intermediary in its bilateral relations with Ukraine, especially not the former Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili, as suggested by Poroshenko's ally Vitali Klitschko, the newly elected mayor of Kiev.

The president-elect promised to return Crimea to Ukraine, though this is likely to be a fruitless pursuit given the wave of patriotism in Russia that accompanied the annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula. A key point in any negotiations with Moscow will be the price at which Ukraine purchases Russian natural gas. Moscow has demanded Ukraine pay back billions of dollars it saved on a significantly reduced gas price under Yanukovych.


Smoke billows from Donetsk international airport during heavy fighting between Ukrainian and pro-Russian forces May 26, 2014. (Reuters/Yannis Behrakis)
Gunfire, airstrikes leave Donetsk Intl airport up in smoke (PHOTOS, VIDEO)
Donetsk self-defense forces claim on Twitter to have regained control over the international airport in the eastern city after Ukrainian troops launched a military operation there, deploying fighter jets and helicopters.


Merkel's miao!

“The talks about gas prices [for Ukraine] are very important for us,” said Merkel. “I hope it will be possible to get an agreement this week. It's very, very important.”

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby UlanBatori » 27 May 2014 02:41

I wonder if a few UkBapZi helicopters are going to get splashed - from above.

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby Philip » 27 May 2014 07:17

Situ bleak for the future from this report . Will the "chocolate soldier" melt in the heat of the separatist resistance? All bets are off!

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/com ... 36715.html
Kim Sengupta
Monday 26 May 2014Ukraine crisis analysis: There is no chance of the offensive ending within weeks, let alone hours
Diplomatic Channels


The election of Petro Poroshenko as the President of Ukraine was followed by warplanes carrying out strikes at Donetsk airport and the Kremlin declaring that it was ready to open talks with the new leader to try and find a solution to end the bitter strife in the east of the country.

It was a dramatic start to the confectionery billionaire taking over the helm, but what significance does it have for his divided land? After his overwhelming victory in the polls, at least in the parts of the country where voting could take place, Mr Poroshenko has spoken of amnesty, reconciliation and the need for reform after his victory.

But the new President is yet to take office and it is unclear how much say, if any, he had over this latest military action by the outgoing caretaker government in Kiev. The “chocolate king”, however, could hardly be seen to be wilting at this point before an electorate which has become anxious and angry at the dismemberment of their country. The most he could do was offer veiled criticism of the conduct of the mission launched by the administration’s acting President Oleksandr Turchynov two months ago.

Speaking at a press conference in Kiev as the fighting got under way, Mr Poroshenko declared that the “anti-terrorist operation should not last two or three months; it should last a matter of hours”.

Those of us who have observed the current unfolding conflict can say with a degree of certainty that there is absolutely no chance of the current offensive finishing with the successful recapture of a dozen towns and cities across the region in days or weeks, let alone hours.

The Ukrainian forces do not have the numbers or the weaponry to do this, and many of the regular troops spoke of their unwillingness to take part in a bloody and internecine civil war with the inevitable loss of civilian lives.

The appetite for such a scenario may be there among the recently raised National Guard and oligarch-funded private armies, but these have tended to come off worse in the skirmishes so far when faced with well-armed militant fighters, many of them veterans of Ukrainian and Russian forces.

The Kiev administration has been carrying out its media offensive about the “anti-terrorist operation” largely through Facebook, with the acting Interior Minister Arsen Avakov leading often with highly inaccurate postings. But today’s posting on Facebook by Vladislav Seleznyov, a spokesman for the “anti-terrorist” operation, appears to have reflected what happened on the ground. The military acted after separatist fighters took over the airport.

Denis Pushilin, a separatist leader, acknowledged fighters had been sent to confront the forces of the “Kiev junta”. The “chairman of the governing council” of the People’s Republic of Donetsk has, however, lost the power to order military action two weeks ago, in a putsch. Col Igor Strelkov, of Slovyansk, a militant stronghold, is now the commander of the People’s Militia and would have been in charge of the airport operation.

The bigger question is whether Mr Poroshenko is prepared to continue with a combat mission that may well take months, with all the attendant instability and rising casualties. Or will he, after a show of force, start negotiating with the separatists to arrive at a federal system which seems the only form in which Ukraine can survive as a state?

Mr Poroshenko, who does not like being called an oligarch and would rather be described as a successful businessman, needs to do business with the Kremlin. He is already committed to dialogue, stressing: “without Russia, it will be impossible to speak about the security of the whole region”.

Just before the election, Vladimir Putin, who had repeatedly accused the Kiev government of being illegal, stated that he would be prepared to work with the new President. Today Sergei Lavrov, the Foreign Minister, reiterated: “We are ready for dialogue with Kiev’s representatives, with Petro Poroshenko”.

Moscow still complains that the presidential election should not have taken place until a new constitution, including the federal option it favours, had been discussed. But that apart, having accepted Mr Poroshenko as a legitimate leader, it has no excuse not to work towards a speedy solution in the east.

It can no longer charge the Ukrainian administration with being full of fascists.

The government which took power after the fall of Viktor Yanukovych indeed contained unsavoury extremists. But, in the week when the far right was gaining ground in elections across Europe, the electorate in Ukraine delivered them a firm rebuff. Oleh Tyahnybok, the candidate for Svoboda Party, polled just 1.3 per cent while Dmytro Yarosh, of the Right Sector, whose paramilitaries have been accused in the east of carrying out killings for the Kiev administration, received only 1.1 per cent, according to exit polls.

Just how much control does Moscow have over the separatists? Colonel Strelkov, who was born Igor Girkin, is a member of the GRU – Russian military intelligence – according to the Kiev administration and the EU. No conclusive proof, it must be said, has been provided for this. But there is evidence that he has been at least in liaison with members of the Kremlin’s security apparatus. Why, the question may be asked, did the commander of the People’s Militia order his fighters to seize Donetsk airport, starting a battle, just as news came through of Petro Poroshenko becoming President, with the chance it brought of a negotiated settlement?


More violence expected from the "chocolate soldier" in the east as he tries to claim control over it.
http://rt.com/op-edge/161500-ukraine-pr ... on-result/
Before going to the east of Ukraine, likely new president Poroshenko will need to secure the situation for his PR-event, which means more violence by Ukrainian army and Western mercenaries, a German journalist Manuel Ochsenreiter told RT.

Manuel Ochsenreiter, who's covered events in Ukraine extensively, believes the country could be in for a sugar rush - with half of the ballot now counted these are the latest partial results putting the country's chocolate king, oligarch Pyotr Poroshenko, in the lead with over 50 percent of the vote in the presidential election. His main rival, former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, is trailing far behind.

RT: Poroshenko's claiming victory. Is this going to pass unchallenged by the other election runners?

Manuel Ochsenreiter: The big question is by who it should be challenged. The only opportunity would be that only Yulia Timoshenko would challenge that. But anyway, I think she would need to challenge the result for support of the West. But for the West it’s completely OK when Poroshenko won the election, because if Poroshenko or Tymoshenko are ruling the country it is a little bit like a choice between McDonald’s and Burger King - the agenda is not so far away.

So who else can challenge the result of the elections? Moscow will not do it, the People’s Republic of Donetsk and Lugansk will not do that - they do not see themselves anymore as a part of Ukraine, the already said it is not their business. Crimea is a part of Russia, there will not be any vote. I think we can be pretty sure that Poroshenko will be acknowledged president.

RT:With half of the ballot now counted it looks like a clear win for Poroshenko. Can he bring stability to the country?

MO: I do not think so. I think even the presidential elections which took place on Sunday are not a measure to bring peace and to calm down the situation, more or less it is a contradiction. He is very clearly the man of the West, one of the favorite candidates of the West. So what he will do, he will push Ukraine or the rest of Ukraine - Ukraine is not anymore the state we see on the map, it is a failed entity – towards the West and will of course push towards contracts with the EU and towards NATO. Both he announced already in the past.

RT: Experts have been saying that it would be crucial for the new president to open dialogue with Russia. Can Poroshenko deliver here?

MO: We see contradictory messages of Poroshenko. We see on the one side that he announced that he wants to talk to the Russian government, especially to the Russian President Vladimir Putin. But at the same time we see that he announced that he will not recognize the change of Crimea from Ukraine to Russia, that he will go to the eastern regions, to the regions which declared independence and which are now looking towards Russia. He also announced that he is against the federalization of the country. So he is not even doing a small step towards those people who are not at all confident with what happened in Kiev in the last months.

We are seeing contradictory messages. He is saying he wants to talk to Putin and at the same time he seems to do everything that there will not be any agreement possible. Maybe it is expected from him to give moderate message but at the same time he is acting against what he says.

RT: What about the eastern regions? What do you expect from him when it comes to finding common ground with protesters there?

MO: This will be a very interesting mission because he will not just go there as he is right now so far. So to go there he has to secure the situation. He feels as the president, he is the president of Ukraine and so-called antiterrorist operations must be enforced to secure the area for him. When he announces visiting Donetsk or Lugansk it means clearly, the clear message is the so-called antiterrorist violence turned out by Ukrainian militants, by the Ukrainian army and by the West - we know today the Western mercenaries are also in service of the Ukrainian government - will be enforced. The violence will be [there] to secure the situation for his PR-event when he is speaking in Donetsk or in Lugansk.

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby TSJones » 28 May 2014 02:00

From the masked girls of Pussy Riot to the masked men of Ukraine.

http://www.russia-direct.org/content/sa ... ign=widget

Good analysis

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby vijaykarthik » 28 May 2014 12:40

Russian stock markets fall after Ukrainian elections

Russian stocks fell over 3% on the RTS Index in Moscow Monday after a no-surprise victory for Petro Poroshenko, the chocolate magnate that won the presidency in Ukraine. Investors have happily cashed in their chips on the Poroshenko win. The market will now likely wait and see how a post-sanctions Russia turns out in the daily news flow.

Russia’s former Soviet ally has been a thorn in its side for years, but most notably since the fourth quarter. For investors, the past four weeks have been best kept secret in the BRIC markets. With Poroshenko poised to win in the first round against some 21 candidates, investors bought into Russian equities. The Market Vectors Russia (RSX) exchange traded fund rose more than 10% in the four weeks ending Friday, clobbering the MSCI Emerging Markets index. But on Monday, the ETF is already down more than 2%, while the MSCI Emerging Markets Index is down less than 1% in the pre-market and the S&P 500 is up 0.4%.

Poroshenko is seen as a political pragmatist. He served in cabinets of both pro-Russia and anti-Russia presidents, including the recently ousted Viktor Yanukovych. The billionaire also has his hand in Russian business as well, with at least one chocolate factory in the country.


–It’s been a nice four weeks. But on Monday, the Market Vectors Russia exchange traded fund followed the RTS Index in Moscow with investors cashing their chips after Ukraine’s relatively benign election.




He has also indicated that while he intends to move the country closer to the E.U. economically, he will not sign any defense deals with Brussels. The last thing Russia wanted was for Ukraine to join NATO, like many former Soviet states close to Europe have done since the end of the Cold War.

On Monday, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow is fine with Poroshenko and does not need any Western intermediaries to start building healthy dialogue between the two countries. Russia and Ukraine have been in a mini-war, with Russia annexing parts of the country in March. The Crimean peninsula, with its majority ethnic Russian population, voted to secede from Ukraine on March 16 when the new interim government axed the Russian language from its official communications policy immediately upon taking office.

“Direct ties between Moscow and Kiev exist, they have never stopped,” Lavrov said. ”We will be ready…to establish a pragmatic and equal dialogue,” Lavrov said, paying special note to an ongoing gas dispute between Russia and Ukraine. Russia is Ukraine’s leading foreign supplier of natural gas. The country owes Gazprom over $1.5 billion. Gazprom shares fell nearly 3% in Moscow today.

Nabi Abdullaev, RIA Novosti’s Foreign-Language News Chief, wrote in an op-ed Sunday that Russia’s best bet now is to “sit on the fence” and wait.

“If, after a time, things go well for Ukraine, Moscow would be able to deal with a functioning, established government capable of reciprocity,” Abdullaev wrote. ”If the new government fails, Ukraine will see a wave of popular resentment for the idea of integration with the E.U., especially in the eastern regions and the Crimea. This would mobilize and empower proponents of closer ties with Moscow, who could then open its arms wide to embrace anyone disenchanted with the Europeans.”

Investors are likely selling on the news.

Russian equities have been performing surprisingly well, despite Western sanctions. Providing the sanctions talk wears off, and Lavrov is correct that Moscow is — albeit not very enthusiastically — waving a white flag, a more positive sentiment may return to Russia in the second half of the year.

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby vijaykarthik » 28 May 2014 14:03

Not exactly relevant to the core. But a stunning analysis all the same from the peerless Stratfor.

This crisis intrigues me!

Hungary Maneuvers


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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby Philip » 28 May 2014 18:52

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/m ... isis-paris
Presidents of Russia and France to discuss Ukraine crisis in Paris
Talks will be Vladimir Putin's first meeting with the head of state of a major western power since Russia's annexation of Crimea

Agencies and Shaun Walker in Donetsk
theguardian.com, Wednesday 28 May 2014

Presidents of Russia and France to hold Ukraine crisis talks in Paris
Vladimir Putin will meet François Hollande on 5 June. Photograph: ITAR-TASS/Barcroft Media

The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, will discuss the crisis in Ukraine at talks with his French counterpart, François Hollande, in Paris on 5 June, the Kremlin has said.

The talks will be held at the Elysée Palace in Paris on the eve of a second world war anniversary, and will be Putin's first meeting with the head of a government or state of a major western power since Russia's annexation of Crimea in March.

"The presidents of the two countries will hold talks on fundamental international and bilateral issues, including the Ukraine crisis," said the Kremlin foreign policy aide Yuri Ushakov.

The announcement comes a day after separatists in east Ukraine counted dozens of losses after fierce fighting with Ukrainian government forces for control of Donetsk airport.

Representatives of the so-called Donetsk People's Republic said they had lost around 50 fighters in Monday's clashes, while the Kiev-appointed mayor of Donetsk, Oleksandr Lukyanchenko, said there were around 40 dead, including two civilians. He claimed that many of the dead were Russian citizens.

The government has intensified the "anti-terrorism operation" in the east since the victory of the businessman Petro Poroshenko in presidential elections on Sunday.

Poroshenko, who will formally take over in early June from the interim government which has been in place since the former president, Viktor Yanukovych, fled Ukraine three months ago, has already said the operation should last not weeks or months, but be over "in a matter of hours". Russia has said it is open for dialogue with Poroshenko but has repeatedly called for Ukraine to withdraw its troops from the east.

Following a meeting in Brussels on Tuesday, EU heads of state and government called on Moscow to "use its leverage on the armed separatists to de-escalate the situation in eastern Ukraine".

Russian troops should also continue to withdraw from areas near Ukraine, where Nato has said they have been exerting a coercive influence, the EU leaders said.

Rebels are still in control of a number of government buildings in Donetsk and other cities in the region, which have been occupied for more than a month. However, the airport appeared to be a red line for the Ukrainian authorities, and when a group of around 200 fighters attempted to seize it in the early hours of Monday morning they met with serious resistance, including air strikes.

Ukrainian media have widely reported that "Kadyrovtsy" – the feared forces loyal to Kremlin-backed Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov – are involved in the fighting. There have indeed been many sightings of fighters from the North Caucasus in the region, but it is unclear whether they are volunteers or semi-official battalions sent by the Kremlin or its proxies.

In a statement posted on Wednesday on Instagram, Kadyrov denied sending troops to fight alongside pro-Russia insurgents in eastern Ukraine, but said some Chechens may have gone there on their own.

He said two-thirds of 3 million Chechens lived outside the province in Russia's North Caucasus mountains, so he "can't and must not know where each of them goes".

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby pankajs » 29 May 2014 17:42

CNN Breaking News ‏@cnnbrk 1h

14 people were killed when a military helicopter was shot down in east Ukraine, that country's acting president says. http://cnn.it/1kq0F9q


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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby ramana » 29 May 2014 18:22

Russia announces creation of Euro-Asian trade zone with Russia, Belarus and Kazakhastan.

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby Philip » 29 May 2014 18:54

"What ye sow ,so shall ye reap".The "chocolate soldier" spurned Pres.Putin's olive branch and desire for talks to end the UKR crisis,sent in his dogs of war,sowed the "wind" and is now "reaping the whirlwind". It was inevitable that the use of air power by the UKR junta would eventually see MANPADS used by the independent forces of the east. The inevitable end result.The "chocolate soldier" will melt in the heat of his own making.Putin will simply flick him off the board like a fly!

The Germans and Euro-Peons do not want their cheap gas supplies disturbed,Putin has shown that he has another huge buyer in the east,China and if supplies are worked out with India too,esp. in any barter deal,US desired sanctions will end up like a damp squib. The UKR armed forces are not geared up for a fight against their own people in the east,even if they're pro-Russian.The chocolate soldier has to depend upon the fascists,neo-Nazis and western mercenaries and CIA agents.It is quite likely that some of the 14 killed aboard the helicopter were US/western mil "advisors",the tooth will out soon.Expect more whirly birds and vultures of the UKR air force to hit the dust.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/m ... -slavyansk
Ukraine military helicopter shot down by pro-Russia rebels over Slavyansk
Kiev says 14 people on board killed as leader of insurgent-held city says held OSCE monitors will be released imminently

Alec Luhn and agencies in Donetsk
theguardian.com, Thursday 29 May 2014
Vyacheslav Ponomarev, the self-proclaimed 'people's mayor' of Slavyansk, said the OSCE monitors were safe. Photograph: Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP

A Ukrainian military helicopter has been shot down by rebels over Slavyansk amid heavy fighting around the insurgent-held city in eastern Ukraine.

Ukraine's acting president, Oleksandr Turchynov, said 14 people on board, including an army general, were killed when the helicopter was shot down on Thursday. He told the parliament in Kiev that rebels used a portable air defence missile to down the aircraft.

An Associated Press reporter witnessed the helicopter being shot down. It was not immediately clear exactly where it fell.

Slavyansk has become the centre of fighting between pro-Russia insurgents and government forces in recent weeks. The city, located 100 miles (160km) west of the Russian border, has seen constant clashes and its residential areas have often come under mortar shelling from government forces, prompting some residents to flee.

The Kiev government has condemned the insurgency in east Ukraine as the work of "terrorists" bent on destroying the country and blames Russia for fomenting it. Moscow denies the accusations, saying it has no influence over rebels, who insist they are only protecting the interests of the Russian-speaking population of the east. However, fighters from Russia, including the battle-hardened region of Chechnya, have been appearing recently in the ranks of the separatists.

A tense standoff developed on Thursday afternoon outside the Donetsk regional administration building, which pro-Russian rebels have been occupying since April. The dispute between locals and a group including many volunteers from Russia appeared to be a sign of growing divisions within the rebel camp.

Armed and masked men of the Vostok Battalion, including a large contingent of Russians who were greeted as heroes when they appeared in Donetsk on Sunday, arrived at the building in cars, a van and a fighting infantry vehicle. They set up a perimeter around the barricades and trained their machine guns on the regional HQ, while snipers appeared briefly on a nearby apartment building roof.

One of the commanders of the men outside the building who identified himself only as Maksim said they had come to resolve a dispute about looting.

"Negotiations are taking place," he said. "I can't say how they will end."

Klavdia Kulbatskaya, a spokeswoman for the self-declared Donetsk People's Republic, said the Vostok Battalion men were "checking" rebels from the Donbass People's Militia who had been accused of looting yesterday. She denied there was a power struggle between different rebel groups and didn't know what punishment could be meted out to the violators.

"It's purely a struggle against looting," she said.

Pro-Russian rebels and local citizens in Donetsk began to bury their dead on Thursday after vicious fighting with Ukrainian government forces on Sunday and Monday.

Morgue workers and rebels outside the Kalinin morgue said more than 50 people had been killed in the fighting near the Sergei Prokofiev airport outside the city. At least one civilian was reportedly killed in the crossfire, but most of those dead were volunteer fighters from Russia, including members of a group from the Chechen republic, where Russia put down two bloody insurgencies in the 1990s and early 2000s.

A member of the Vostok Battalion said 33 Russian citizens had been identified among the dead. Thirty coffins were stacked outside the morgue. Alexander Borodai, the prime minster of the self-declared Donetsk People's Republic, told journalists that the 33 bodies would be taken in a convoy to be buried in Russia.

The Vostok Battalion fighter, a Russian citizen who identified himself only by his nickname, "Ram," said he had known several of those killed. He accused Ukrainian forces of shooting at civilians and said heavy losses at the airport had only hardened the rebels' resolve.

"No one is talking about surrendering. They've gotten angry, and this will be reflected in battle," he said, adding that the rebels' ranks were growing.

A group of residents took the body of Mark Zveryev, 43, a taxi driver who was killed with pro-Russian forces near the airport on Monday, to a local cemetery to be buried. Zveryev left behind a wife, a teenage son and a teenage stepdaughter, according to friends.

Tatiana Kozodavenko, a nursery school teacher who previously taught Zveryev's stepdaughter English, said tragedies such as his death were further inflaming feelings the Kiev government, which many locals already view with deep mistrust.

"Anger is growing," she said. "First there was bewilderment and disbelief, but it's now turning into anger."

Also on Thursday, an insurgent leader in eastern Ukraine who said his fighters were holding four observers from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe promised that they would be released imminently.

Vyacheslav Ponomarev, the self-proclaimed "people's mayor" of Slavyansk, told AP the monitors – who were from Turkey, Switzerland, Estonia and Denmark – were safe.

"I addressed the OSCE mission to warn them that their people should not over the coming week travel in areas under our control. And they decided to show up anyway," Ponomarev said.

"We will deal with this and then release them," he said, without setting any specific time frame.

The OSCE said it lost contact with one of its four-man monitoring teams in Donetsk on Monday evening. Rebels have previously kidnapped military observers working under the auspices of the OSCE.

The OSCE observers were deployed to Ukraine to monitor the security situation following Russia's annexation of Crimea and a pro-Russia separatist insurgency that has engulfed regions in the east of the country. They also observed Sunday's presidential vote, won by billionaire confectionery magnate Petro Poroshenko.

Poroshenko, who is due to be inaugurated by 8 June, has promised to negotiate with people in the east, where insurgents have seized government buildings and fought government troops for a month and a half. But he also vowed to continue a military operation to uproot the armed rebels and bring it to a quick end.

In the most ferocious battle yet, rebels in Donetsk tried to take control of its airport on Monday but were repelled by Ukrainian forces using combat jets and helicopter gunships. Dozens of men were killed and some morgues were overflowing on Tuesday. Some insurgent leaders said up to 100 fighters may have been killed.

The mood in Donetsk was calm on Thursday, although many businesses have stopped opening their doors for fear of renewed fighting.

Pro-Russia separatists have declared the Donetsk and Luhansk regions independent of Ukraine. They have pleaded to join Russia, but Vladimir Putin has ignored their appeal in an apparent bid to defuse tensions with the west and avoid a new round of western sanctions.

The Russian president has supported an OSCE peace plan that calls for ending hostilities and launching a political dialogue. Russia also said it would be ready to work with Poroshenko, but strongly urged the Ukrainian government to end its military operation in the east.

Chechnya's Moscow-backed leader, Ramzan Kadyrov, on Wednesday rejected allegations he had sent his paramilitary forces to Ukraine, but said he could not stop fellow Chechens acting on their own accord and joining the fight.


http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world ... 52672.html

Rebels in eastern Ukraine have shot down a government military helicopter amid heavy fighting around the eastern city of Slovyansk, killing 14 soldiers including a general, Ukraine's leader said.

Acting President Oleksandr Turchynov told the parliament in Kiev that rebels used a portable air defence missile to down the helicopter and said General Volodymyr Kulchitsky was among the dead.

Slovyansk has become the epicentre of fighting between pro-Russia insurgents and government forces in recent weeks. Located 100 miles from the Russian border, it has seen constant clashes and its residential areas have regularly come under mortar shelling from government forces, causing civilian casualties and prompting some residents to flee.

An Associated Press reporter saw the helicopter go down and the trail of black smoke it left before crashing. Gunshots were heard around Slovyansk near the crash site and a Ukrainian air force jet was seen circling above. It was too dangerous to visit the site itself.

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby Philip » 29 May 2014 19:28

80 UKR soldiers surrender to independent forces in Lugansk.

All of the 80 Ukrainian troops holed up at a Lugansk military base have surrendered to self-defense forces who stormed the military installation hosting the Ukrainian National Guard.

The initial assault lasted for 10-15 minutes with almost unceasing gunfire, witnesses say. A video reportedly filmed near the attacked facility has appeared on YouTube.

There are conflicting reports on casualties and the outcome of the attack, which took place on the territory of an Air Force academy. Earlier, at least one Ukrainian soldier was reported to be seriously injured.

According to RT’s Paula Slier, one anti-government protester was killed in the gunfight and there have been several injures on both sides.

All of the 80 Ukrainian soldiers holed up at the base surrendered, reported RIA Novosti. The servicemen were escorted out of the building as the other side applauded.

Self-defense commander Gennady Tsepkalo also confirmed to journalists that all troops have surrendered. He promised that all soldiers will be sent home shortly.

It had earlier been reported that only ten troops surrendered and others barricaded themselves inside the base, with some of the soldiers saying that their captain had forbidden them from surrendering.

These events come as Kiev has intensified military operations in eastern Ukraine. On Wednesday, Kiev mortar shells hit a school and a kindergarten in Slavyansk, injuring at least nine civilians.

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby ramana » 29 May 2014 20:34

Philip, Please tone down the rhetoric. No bone in this dog fight.

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby Philip » 30 May 2014 07:33

"Digging in" in Donetsk.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/m ... ly-donetsk

Miners hold pro-Russia rally in Donetsk
Around 300 coalminers march through city centre in show of support for self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic
Luke Harding and agencies in Donetsk
theguardian.com, Wednesday 28 May 2014

Around 300 coalminers rallied in support of pro-Russia separatists in Donetsk on Wednesdayyesterday as rebel fighters fortified their positions in the city in anticipation of a possible attack by Ukrainian forces.

The miners marched through the city centre to show support for the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic, waving Russian flags and banners that read: "We will revive the power of Donbass."

"I want peace and to be able to work and make money. I want the occupying soldiers to leave and return to their Kiev junta," one protester, Valery, who works at the state-owned Abakumova mine, told Reuters.


Tensions are high across the city after Kiev used warplanes on Tuesday to dislodge rebels who had seized Donetsk airport. At least 50 pro-Russia fighters were killed in the offensive. More shooting was reported around the airport on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, the Kiev government claimed the dead from three days of fighting included Russians from the North Caucasus republics of Chechnya, Ingushetia and Dagestan, as well as Serbs and Ukrainians.

Dmytro Tymchuk, a government spokesman, said Ukrainian forces had recovered mortars and flamethrowers from the "terrorists", as well as a minibus carrying 10 anti-tank grenade launchers. The operation against "illegal armed formations" was continuing, he said.

Alexander Borodai, the rebels' unelected prime minister, admitted that Chechen and Ossetian fighters had arrived in Donetsk. But he described them as "volunteers" who were protecting ethnic Russians.

On Tuesday Chechen fighters told the Financial Times that Chechnya's president, Ramzan Kadyrov, had ordered them to eastern Ukraine. The fighters said they were from the "dikaya diviziya", or savage division. Kadyrov has denied the claim.

Much of Donetsk – a city of one million – was largely deserted on Wednesday as residents stayed indoors and Ukrainian combat aircraft flew overhead. Witnesses reported hearing firing from inside the main security service building in Schorsa Street, occupied by Donetsk People's Republic fighters. The rebels claim to have shot down a pilotless drone flying over the area.

The separatists seized the fire department building, removing crates and erecting barricades. Donetsk's city mayor, Oleksandr Lukyanenko, urged people nearby to stay home. "We're asking residents of neighbouring houses not to approach the [rebel-occupied] buildings, not to come on the balconies or the street without extreme necessity," he said, according to the Kyiv Post.

A column of rebel military vehicles was spotted early on Wednesday trundling through the city centre towards the regional administration building, occupied by the separatist leadership since April. The vehicles included an armoured personnel carrier, with fighters perched on the top, a large-calibre gun, trucks, buses and an ambulance. Kiev officials accuse the rebels of using ambulances to transport weapons and military equipment.

The miners, meanwhile, said the pro-western government in Kiev was made up of "fascists" who had seized power illegally. Petro Poroshenko, a chocolate baron who won Sunday's presidential election by a landslide, has offered the east greater autonomy. But he has vowed to take a tough line against armed separatists who have refused to give up their weapons, comparing them to Somali pirates. Ultra-nationalist Ukrainian leaders did badly in Sunday's poll, winning only 2% of the vote.

Russia wants an immediate end to Ukraine's military offensive against the rebels. It has denied arming or training the separatists, who have taken power in several cities and towns across the region, but says their calls for autonomy from Kiev are legitimate and should be addressed.

On Wednesday, Denis Pushilin, the self-appointed head of the Donetsk People's Republic, suggested the armed fighters from Russia were joining the battle against Kiev. He said more and more volunteers were crossing Ukraine's long eastern border from Russia to support the rebel cause. "We will drive fascism away," he declared.

Coalminer Vladislav said he hoped Russia would recognise the Donetsk People's Republic as an independent state. "But I can also live on bread and water if that is what it takes to win independence," he said.

The Union of Mine Workers, to which most of Wednesday's protesters belong, has close links to the Party of the Regions, which ousted president Viktor Yanukovych once led.

Other miners' unions distanced themselves from the rally. "We did not organise this action," said Mykola Volynko, head of the Independent Miners' Trade Union of the Donbass, on Ukrainian television. "[The protesters and the Party of the Regions] continue to do everything to break up the country."

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby vijaykarthik » 30 May 2014 12:00

happened to see Bob gates speak recently. A beautiful video, IMO. Covers a fair bit of Russia and Ukraine and NATO / history of the problem etc. A fair and balanced opinion from an old realist.

Wish there were more of these *kinds* currently at the helm of affairs.

Bob Gates speaking on CFR

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby vic » 30 May 2014 12:37

Re Admins:-

I think that admins should consider instructing posters on BRF (on all threads) to post only relevant portions from links, otherwise it is very inconvenient to read the forum.

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby Rony » 30 May 2014 18:01

Indian citizens, particularly students, in Donetsk & Lugansk in eastern Ukraine strongly advised to leave

Image

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby pankajs » 30 May 2014 21:10

Ian Talley ‏@IanTalley 1h

Putin may have a financial nuclear weapon in its policy arsenal against #Ukraine: forcing a default: http://on.wsj.com/1myRHoi via @WSJecon
Russian President Vladimir Putin may be toning down his rhetoric toward Ukraine, but he still holds potent financial levers to keep Kiev from turning westward.

First, Moscow can use the price it charges for natural gas supplies Ukraine relies on to fuel its economy, a power that gives it unprecedented to make or break the country’s finances. Ukraine’s turn to the West coincides with an escalation in the price dispute. The more Kiev looks to Europe as its future trade partner, the higher the natural gas bills seem to head.

Second, Moscow may be able to use a special clause in the $3 billion in Ukrainian bonds Russia bought in December to trigger a system-wide debt meltdown, says a Georgetown University law professor and debt expert Anna Gelpern. That financial nuclear option could pressure Ukraine’s new pro-West government from embracing a full-fledged European integration and a turn away from its former Soviet masters.

Ukraine’s newly-elected President Petro Poroshenko has already asked his European counterparts for more time to commit to a major economic and deal with the European Union.

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby Philip » 31 May 2014 03:16

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/m ... poroshenko
Poroshenko vows to punish rebels who shot down Ukraine helicopter
President-elect pledges to do everything to stop further deaths after attack over Slavyansk kills 14, including army general

Alec Luhn in Donetsk and agencies
theguardian.com, Friday 30 May 2014

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby habal » 31 May 2014 13:25

It is interesting to note that all movers and shakers in Ukraine today are of jewish heritage.

1. Arsen Avakov (armenian jew born in azerbaijan)
2. Piotr Poroshenko (ukrainian jew)
3. Yatsenyuk (catholic of jewish heritage)
4. Yulia Tymoshenko (jewish heritage)
5. Ihor Kolomoyskyi (jewish oligarch)

the right sector meanwhile seem to be mostly polish heritage catholics who can barely tolerate the western sponsored jewish ukrainians, but have no options but to back the washington installed leadership, if they desire western backing for their unrest.

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby Philip » 31 May 2014 14:48

V.interesting Habal.What about the Baptist preacher PM,old "Arsenic"? It is interesting to not few if any Orthodox Xians in the core group. The Chocolate soldier promises revenge for the downed helicopter debacle,but Putin is of and running in another direction with the formation of the EEU.With Russia oil and gas rich,solid revenues from the same,apart from an abundance in natural wealth,the EEU might attract quite a few nations.Interesting that the word "Eurasian" has been used.It might attract some Central Asian states who have good relations with Russia.Perhaps even Afghanistan?

Putin develops plan for economic union of former Soviet states
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world ... 62359.html

Abigail Hauslohner
Moscow
Friday 30 May 2014

Vladimir Putin has moved to further bolster Russia’s ties to former Soviet republics, as his nation’s relationships with the US and Europe continue to fray.

The President met his counterparts from Kazakhstan and Belarus in the Kazakh capital, Astana, to initiate the formation of the Eurasian Economic Union. He has long sought to form the bloc in hopes that it would provide an eastern counterweight to economic and political powerhouses such as the EU and the US.

The codes of the union, set for launch on 1 January 2015, will give the citizens of member states equal employment and education opportunities across all three nations. The three presidents also said that the deal would involve collaborative policies on energy, technology, industry, agriculture and transportation.

“A new geo-economic reality of the 21st century is being born today,” said the Kazakh President, Nursultan Nazarbayev, The deal, 20 years in the making, was “a hard-won achievement,” he said.

The Kazakh First Deputy Prime Minister, Bakytzhan Sagintayev, told reporters the three countries had not discussed the possibility of instituting a single currency.

Meanwhile, regional moves by Russia continue to spur anxiety. Poland’s ambassador to the US, Ryszard Schnepf, told reporters in Washington that his country was looking for a clear commitment of support from President Barack Obama during his visit next week. Mr Schnepf said Poland would welcome a greater US military presence in the region as a check against potential Russian aggression. He said Europe and the US “need to take the steps to prevent the future possible aggressions.”

Some analysts quickly dismissed the Eurasian Economic Union, saying it was likely to have little practical impact. “I don’t believe that the Eurasian union is [going to be] able to open the door for modernisation,” said Alexey Malashenko, an analyst at the Carnegie Endowment’s Moscow Centre. “That’s a big deal, because without modernisation and real economic reforms, what does it mean?”

But the idea of a Eurasian union has become particularly attractive to the Kremlin because the Ukraine crisis has sent US-Russian ties tumbling to their lowest point since the Cold War. Western powers have levelled sanctions against key Russian figures linked to Moscow’s annexation of Ukraine’s autonomous Crimea region two months ago, and broader sanctions may be on the way. In March, the former US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, accused Mr Putin of seeking to revive the Soviet Union, which collapsed in 1991. The Soviet Union included Kazakhstan, Belarus, Ukraine and 11 other states, most of which remain under Russia’s influence.

Mr Putin has denied any intention to annex former Soviet republics, even though Moscow has backed pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine and other former Soviet lands. On Thursday, he said other countries were scrambling to join the Eurasian Union. The participants discussed Armenia’s potential membership during their meeting. It was unclear which other countries Mr Putin thinks will join.

It also remained unclear whether the union would constitute an economic arrangement or something more political, Mr Malashenko said. The Ukraine crisis has made it “clear” that the Eurasian union is “a tool for Russia to realise its political goals,” he said.

Inside Russia, many people are frustrated with what they see as domineering US foreign policy and economic might, and they are angry at Russia’s flagging economy and endemic corruption. The combination makes the idea of a Russian revival – and commanding new attention on the world stage – increasingly popular. And thus, so is the concept underpinning the Eurasian Economic Union.

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby Philip » 01 Jun 2014 07:22

The east's porous borders make it virtually impossible for the Kiev junta to prevent a steady stream of arms,supplies and even would-be fighters from entering and taking on the demoralised UKR border guards and forces,many of whom are joining the separatists.

Guns and fighters seep through Ukraine's porous Russian border
Combatants engaged in last week's fighting say walked into the country 'to visit relatives' at poorly policed checkpoints
Alec Luhn in Donetsk
theguardian.com, Saturday 31 May 2014
Pro-Russian fighters during the battle for Donetsk airport in Ukraine. Photograph: Sazonchik Konstantin/Corbis

In late April, 65 Russian men in groups of five to 10 crossed the border with Ukraine on foot, telling border guards they were going to visit relatives.

It wasn't a fond babushka who picked them up at the border, however, but rather pro-Russian rebels from the self-declared Donetsk People's Republic in eastern Ukraine. They bussed the Russian fighters to the regional capital, where they took up arms and last week engaged in the fiercest combat yet against forces loyal to Kiev.

"I was watching events in Odessa and was very upset about what was going on," said one of the Russian fighters, who would give only his wartime nickname "Varan" or "Monitor Lizard". Clashes between pro-Ukrainian and pro-Russian protesters in that city last month left more than 40 people dead. "I called up the military enlistment office and asked what I could do. They said people were gathering in Rostov and it may be possible to go to Ukraine. It's not official; they whispered it in my ear, so to speak."

The Russian fighters – including veterans of the military, intelligence services and riot police – formed the core of a new unit called the Vostok Battalion, which took a lead role in the bloody battle for the Donetsk airport last week, in which 33 Russian citizens were killed.

The story of how Varan and his brethren simply walked into the country highlights the problem that Ukraine has had in keeping out the growing number of Russians reinforcing local rebels in the two-month-old uprising in Luhansk and Donetsk regions. Recently, Ukrainian forces have reportedly captured vehicles carrying weapons from Russia, while others have got through, hinting at the porous nature of the 1,400-mile border between the two countries.

Speaking on national television on Friday, Anton Geraschenko, a top aide to Ukrainian interior minister Arsen Avakov, said establishing greater control of the border will be key to Kiev's "anti-terrorist operation" against pro-Russian rebels in the east.

"Closing the border is becoming the number one issue today," Geraschenko said. "All 23 years that Ukraine has been independent, our border with Russia has been fairly porous. We don't have exclusion zones, we don't have sufficient border defences."

On Friday, pro-Russian forces attempted to storm a border post near Dyakovo in Luhansk region from the Ukrainian side, the border service said, marking the latest in a string of similar clashes. Russian Cossacks who entered Ukraine last month reportedly took part in the assault. On Thursday night, there was a rebel attack on another border post further east.

Earlier last week, the border service said a column of 40 trucks and cars attempted to cross the border from Russia in the early hours of the morning, and many of them made it in during the ensuing firefight, in which one Russian was killed. Border guards reportedly captured a car and two minibuses, confiscating machine guns, grenade launchers, sniper rifles and 84 boxes of live ammunition.

"Our border, especially in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, has become a front line that various 'terrorists' are trying to break through," border service head Mykola Lytvyn told journalists in Kiev on Wednesday. "Daily fighting with 'terrorists' and groups of criminals near the Ukrainian and Russian border has become our routine reality."

A weekend visit by the Observer to border crossings near the town of Uspenka in Donetsk region, where military forces reportedly repelled a rebel attack on 20 May, did find that border guards were delaying and checking vehicles coming from Russia. Paratroopers from a brigade based in the nearby Dnepropetrovsk region were opening boots at checkpoints on main roads leading from the border.

The commander of the main checkpoint said the military had been monitoring all traffic for the past three weeks, but added that the interior ministry was not doing its part to control the border region. Many police officers in restive cities in the east have supported the rebels.

"It doesn't do anything. We haven't seen a single police officer. The interior ministry has eliminated itself," he said.

But the regular traffic across the border of Russians and Ukrainians, many of whom have relatives on the other side, presents a trickier problem. Despite reports in April that Ukrainian authorities had barred Russian men aged 16 to 60 from entering the country, border service representatives denied there was such a restriction and said that the border was functioning under the same rules as before. Russian and Ukrainian citizens can cross without a visa.

The border runs directly between rustic one-storey homes in the tiny village of Stepne in the Donetsk region, where surveys show a majority of locals support more independence from Kiev.

Several locals told the Observer they would like to join Russia. At a tiny border service booth, Vladimir Uvorvikhvost, a pensioner from the nearby town of Amrosivka who was originally born in Russia, was waiting for his daughter and son-in-law to return from visiting relatives in the Russian city of Taganrog.

"Russia is our saviour. We won't go anywhere without Russia," Uvorvikhvost said.

Sergei, a taxi driver in Amrosivka who declined to provide his last name, said the border was well-patrolled now, but said not all roads into Russia had border posts. "You could bring in one machine gun, but no more than that. One you could take apart and hide in your underwear, as we say," he said.

The flow of Russian fighters is not likely to decrease any time soon, if Varan's experience is any indication. Many others in his homeland feel the same "outburst of patriotism" that he did, Varan said.

"Friends call me and ask me how it is here," he said. "They want to come too.

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby habal » 01 Jun 2014 08:54

>> What about the Baptist preacher PM,old "Arsenic"?

Arseniy Yatsenyuk is a catholic of jewish heritage. But he denies his jewish heritage in public fearing wrath of right sector and right wing catholic ukrainians.

In the name of the Jewish people he demanded the candidate not be ashamed and declare himself a proud Jew. Not only is his mother a scion of the ancient family whose members "wrote the Talmud," but his wife, Tereza, is the scion of the glorious Gur dynasty, which includes Israel's foreign minister. Well, there were stormy reactions.


http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/2.2 ... ish-1.6323

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby Philip » 01 Jun 2014 22:11

Illuminating! Can these worthies all belonging to just one community be just a simple coincidence?

Meanwhile,Marie Le Pen,the biggest winner in the French elections has savaged the US over the Ukranian crisis,saying that Europe is being duped by the US,which is trying to protect its own interests,inimical to Europe and demonizing Russia.

http://rt.com/news/162888-marine-pen-us-europe/
Le Pen on Ukraine crisis: US pursuing own interests, not those of EU
June 01, 2014

Marine Le Pen, France's National Front political party head.(Reuters / Francois Lenoir)

The EU is responsible for the developments in Ukraine, French right-wing leader Marine Le Pen said in an interview
, stressing the bloc should have its own opinion on global events and not slavishly follow the America’s lead.

“The EU added fuel to the fire by offering the partnership to the country where half of the population is looking to the East,” Le Pen told Der Spiegel newspaper.

Le Pen said she supports federalization in crisis-torn Ukraine, where the coup-appointed government has launched a massive military operation in the country’s eastern regions. The offensive has already claimed dozens of lives, both among the militias and local civilians. Schools, a kindergarten and hospitals in several cities have come under fire.

The French leader warned the EU against falling into Washington’s steps, as those have nothing to do with Europe’s interests.

“The United States is trying to expand their influence in the world and first of all in Europe. They are pursuing their own interests, not ours,” Le Pen said.


She went as far as to call the EU “an anti-democratic monster," where people’s right to self-determination is stolen.


"I want to stop it [the EU] getting fatter, continuing to breathe, touching everything with its paws and reaching into all areas of our legislation with its tentacles," she said.

Earlier Le Pen repeatedly stated that Russia is being unfairly “demonized” and that the campaign against the Russian political administration has been cooked up at the highest levels of EU leadership, with the implicit support of the US.

"I am surprised a Cold War on Russia has been declared in the European Union," she said at a meeting with Russia’s State Duma speaker Sergey Naryshkin in April. "It's not in line with traditional, friendly relations, or with the economic interests of our country or EU countries and harms future relations."

Le Pen’s National Front far-right party in France has been steadily gaining popularity and scored a triumphant success in the latest EU elections by gaining around 25 percent of the votes.

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby vijaykarthik » 02 Jun 2014 11:42

Another 6 pro-Russians killed near the Donetsk airport.

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby member_28539 » 02 Jun 2014 12:05

Philip wrote:Illuminating! Can these worthies all belonging to just one community be just a simple coincidence?

Meanwhile,Marie Le Pen,the biggest winner in the French elections has savaged the US over the Ukranian crisis,saying that Europe is being duped by the US,which is trying to protect its own interests,inimical to Europe and demonizing Russia.

http://rt.com/news/162888-marine-pen-us-europe/
Le Pen on Ukraine crisis: US pursuing own interests, not those of EU
June 01, 2014

Marine Le Pen, France's National Front political party head.(Reuters / Francois Lenoir)

The EU is responsible for the developments in Ukraine, French right-wing leader Marine Le Pen said in an interview
, stressing the bloc should have its own opinion on global events and not slavishly follow the America’s lead.

“The EU added fuel to the fire by offering the partnership to the country where half of the population is looking to the East,” Le Pen told Der Spiegel newspaper.

Le Pen said she supports federalization in crisis-torn Ukraine, where the coup-appointed government has launched a massive military operation in the country’s eastern regions. The offensive has already claimed dozens of lives, both among the militias and local civilians. Schools, a kindergarten and hospitals in several cities have come under fire.

The French leader warned the EU against falling into Washington’s steps, as those have nothing to do with Europe’s interests.

“The United States is trying to expand their influence in the world and first of all in Europe. They are pursuing their own interests, not ours,” Le Pen said.


She went as far as to call the EU “an anti-democratic monster," where people’s right to self-determination is stolen.


"I want to stop it [the EU] getting fatter, continuing to breathe, touching everything with its paws and reaching into all areas of our legislation with its tentacles," she said.

Earlier Le Pen repeatedly stated that Russia is being unfairly “demonized” and that the campaign against the Russian political administration has been cooked up at the highest levels of EU leadership, with the implicit support of the US.

"I am surprised a Cold War on Russia has been declared in the European Union," she said at a meeting with Russia’s State Duma speaker Sergey Naryshkin in April. "It's not in line with traditional, friendly relations, or with the economic interests of our country or EU countries and harms future relations."

Le Pen’s National Front far-right party in France has been steadily gaining popularity and scored a triumphant success in the latest EU elections by gaining around 25 percent of the votes.


Phillip Sir... this seems to be another nail in the coffin for khan :lol: but I really fail to understand the German Khujli behind the sanctions for Russia :?: ...Have they reached any consensus on the Gas supplies?...the winters are just around the corner for that part of the globe..

habal
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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby habal » 02 Jun 2014 13:35

US-Euro oligarchs get together to discuss how to screw the world .. this time more effectively.
This time the excuse is .. Ukraine.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/m ... ine-summit

Austin
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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby Austin » 02 Jun 2014 13:54

Joshi_Sa wrote:I really fail to understand the German Khujli behind the sanctions for Russia :?: ...Have they reached any consensus on the Gas supplies?...the winters are just around the corner for that part of the globe..


BP CEO Bob Dudley last week mentioned that Western Politician dont have a long term vision beyond 18 Months.

So all sactions are just rhetoric to boost their political image ...most Western Companies dont want any sanction against Russia ... just last week BP , EXonMobil signed Energy deals with Russia.

Western Politician need to show they are strong to their electorate so they need to talk loud for public consumption but behind the door they cut big business deals.

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby Philip » 02 Jun 2014 18:18

Joshi,this may explain Germany's reluctance to punish Russia with more sanctions even though the US wants it.Marie Le Pen put it well that the US is trying to screw Europe to protect its own interests.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/europe/roundup
Business Live: German inflation hits four-year low, putting more pressure on the ECB
Latest: German Consumer Price index falls to just 0.9% in May <- details start here

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/201 ... aine-talks
David Cameron to meet Vladimir Putin for Ukraine talks
Prime minister to join Russian president for face-to-face talks in France on Friday during D-day commemorations

The prime minister's official spokesman said Cameron would "restate our very clear and unchanged position on the Crimea which is we do not recognise the annexation" in his talks with Putin.

He declined to say whether the meeting was requested by the UK or Russia.

Cameron at one point prized his special relationship with Putin, but discovered as chair of the G8 last year that Putin was unwilling to move on the issue of President Assad remaining in power in Syria.

It has been argued that Putin has outmanoeuvred the west over Syria, quickly seizing on the Commons failure last summer to back the principle of a military response to the Syrian regime's use of chemical weapons.


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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby Rudradev » 05 Jun 2014 01:02

So what does all this Ukraine tamasha mean in terms of a geopolitical fallout for our neighbourhood?

Well, for one thing, Russia has new strategic compulsions of greater urgency than before.

We've heard about the new 30-year Russia-PRC gas deal. Of course, we know PRC probably extracted its pound of flesh from Moscow when signing off on what (thanks to the Ukraine situation) became something of a "distress sale" for Putin.

What did they extract? I believe it's a strengthening of SCO in much closer alignment with Beijing's strategic outlook than previously envisioned.

For example:

https://uk.news.yahoo.com/putin-looks-e ... ml#2l39Xdt
Putin looks east to bolster ties with North Korea

TOKYO (AP) — Angry with the West's response over Ukraine and eager to diversify its options, Russia is moving rapidly to bolster ties with North Korea in a diplomatic nose-thumbing that could complicate the U.S.-led effort to squeeze Pyongyang into giving up its nuclear weapons program.

Russia's proactive strategy in Asia, which also involves cozying up to China and has been dubbed "Putin's Pivot," began years ago as Moscow's answer to Washington's much-touted alliance-building and rebalancing of its military forces in the Pacific. But it has gained a new sense of urgency since the unrest in Ukraine — and Pyongyang is already getting a big windfall with high-level political exchanges and promises from Russia of trade and development projects.

...
"By strengthening its relationship with North Korea, Russia is trying to enhance its bargaining position vis-à-vis the United States and Japan," said Narushige Michishita, a North Korea and Asia security expert at Japan's National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies. Michishita added that showing Washington he will not be cowed by the sanctions was "one of the most important factors" why Putin is wooing Pyongyang now.

Moscow... has pledged to reinvest $1 billion that Pyongyang still owes into a trans-Siberian railway through North Korea to South Korea — a project that is still in the very early stages. That, together with a pipeline, would allow Russia to export gas and electricity to South Korea.



...

A three-day visit in April by Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Trutnev, who is also the presidential envoy for Russia's far eastern federal district, marked the "culmination of a new phase in Russian-North Korean relations taking shape — a sort of renaissance if you will," Alexander Vorontsov, a North Korea expert at the Russia Academy of Sciences, wrote recently on the influential 38 North blog.

"It is still an open question whether the current crisis in Ukraine will result in any more substantial shifts in Russian policy toward North Korea, particularly in dealing with the nuclear and missile issues," Vorontsov said in his blog post. "With the West increasing pressure on Russia as a result of differences over Ukraine, the very fact that Moscow and Pyongyang are subject to U.S. sanctions will objectively draw them together, as well as with China.


Ok-- so the above comes from the Associated Press, a possibly suspect source from the point of view of Russian apologists.

But look at this report revealing another feature of Putin's Pivot, that comes straight from a Russian source (the Moscow Times). I have no doubt this was also an action spurred by PRC in lieu of the 30-year gas deal.

http://www.themoscowtimes.com/business/ ... 01300.html

Russia Lifts Embargo on Weapons Sales to Pakistan

The Moscow Times Jun. 02 2014 17:47



Russia has lifted an embargo on weapons deliveries to Pakistan and is negotiating the sale of a number of Mi-35 attack helicopters to Islamabad, Sergei Chemezov, head of state-owned technology corporation Rostec, told Itar-Tass on Monday.

The potential delivery of weapons and military hardware to Pakistan from Moscow could create tension between Russia and India, which has a long-standing rivalry with neighboring Pakistan. Historically, Russia has sold more weaponry to India — Russia delivered just 70 Mi-17 transport helicopters to Pakistan from 1996 to 2010.

In 2012, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, who oversees the defense industry, seemingly took offense to Indian journalists asking him whether Moscow could supply Pakistan with weapons in future.


Russia "always cooperates with India to ensure safety in the region. We have never created problems for India, unlike other countries. If someone says differently, spit in their face," Rogozin said, Vedomosti reported.

Boris Volkhonsky, head of the Asian sector of the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies, said Monday that although India has always tended to react badly to the idea of arms being supplied to Pakistan, he doesn't expect collaboration between Moscow and Islamabad to cause problems.

"I do not think that India will have any objections. After all, India and Pakistan both buy weapons from the U.S., and this has not bothered them," Volkhonsky told RIA Novosti.
Note the uncanny resemblance to the Unkil apologists' argument we have heard repeated ad nauseam. India Pakistan are both our allies onlee, we have to work with both to ensure regional stability onlee, etc. If we accuse the US of double-dealing when it comes to arming Pakistan and talking "strategic partnership" with us... what shall we now say about Russia?



Despite a lot of partisan fellow-feeling for beloved Putin Chacha being expressed on this thread, it's a very good time to remember that as Indians, we have NO permanent friends... only permanent interests.

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby UlanBatori » 05 Jun 2014 02:23

India cannot very well ask Russia not to sell weapons to this or that. Significantly, Russia HAS helped Indian indigenous defense development a HECK of a lot at times when that was desperately important.

Look at it this way:
Suppose you are in an arms race with Houristan.
You BUILD an axe.
They BUY an axe.
You BUILD 1000 axes.
They BUY 1000 axes.
Now you BUILD a missile.
They BUY a missile.
You BUILD 10,000 missiles
They BUY 100 missiles. (because they are running out of cash)
You BUILD 100 attack helicopters, put your missiles on them, and target axes, enemy missiles, etc.
They try to BUY 100 attack helicopters, they go even more broke
Now you BUILD 1000 attack helicopters....

As long as you have the discipline to build your own, you can run your lazy enemy into the ground.

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby UlanBatori » 05 Jun 2014 02:24

Cameron would "restate our very clear and unchanged position on the Crimea which is we do not recognise the annexation" in his talks with Putin.
He declined to say whether the meeting was requested by the UK or Russia.


Crimea, Balaclavas... sounds like Cameron is doing the Charge of the Light Brigade all over again.

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby Shreeman » 05 Jun 2014 02:42

UlanBatori wrote:India cannot very well ask Russia not to sell weapons to this or that. Significantly, Russia HAS helped Indian indigenous defense development a HECK of a lot at times when that was desperately important.

Look at it this way:
Suppose you are in an arms race with Houristan.
You BUILD an axe.
They BUY an axe.
You BUILD 1000 axes.
They BUY 1000 axes.
Now you BUILD a missile.
They BUY a missile.
You BUILD 10,000 missiles
They BUY 100 missiles. (because they are running out of cash)
You BUILD 100 attack helicopters, put your missiles on them, and target axes, enemy missiles, etc.
They try to BUY 100 attack helicopters, they go even more broke
Now you BUILD 1000 attack helicopters....

As long as you have the discipline to build your own, you can run your lazy enemy into the ground.


There is only one reason for the Rus-Pak news -- substituting for Ukraine. Russia is goinng to sell cheaper than Ukr, anything Pak buys from Ukr currently. The talk of attack helicopters is just that, it will mostly be engines and parts for what Ukr was selling to Pak. Killing folks like Motor Sich, preventing Ukr from selling spare IL-76s instead dealing direct.

Also, you are correct on the scale aspect. Nothing will matter if the scale of building in India is 1,000. That is how China became a country. Doesnt matter how you do it, just industrialize.

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby Philip » 05 Jun 2014 03:59

Yes,the fall of Ukraine spells trouble for Pak,which got cheap tanks,etc. from the UKR. Russia by supplying some mil. eqpt. to Pak will have some degree of control on it if necessary,especially in the wake of a US withdrawal from Afghanistan with a rampant Taliban/ISI attempt to take Kabul.

Meanwhile Putin "put's it in",demolishing the EU/US's pack of lies about Russian troops in Ukraine.

http://rt.com/news/163676-putin-ukraine-french-us/
‘Russian troops in Ukraine? Got any proof?' Putin's best quotes from French media talk
Vladimir Putin faced a barrage of tricky questions in France from the media ahead of his meeting with world leaders at the 70th anniversary of the Normandy landings. Here are his best replies on key issues: Ukraine, Crimea and relations with the US.
On Ukraine, its sovereignty and Russian troops:

The ongoing crisis in Ukraine has been occupying the center of international attention since the end of last year. While the coup-appointed government in Kiev is carrying out a military crackdown on the southeast of the country, the US said that Russian troops are allegedly involved in the crisis and they have proof of that.

“What about proof? Why don’t they show it?” Putin told French media.


“The entire world remembers the US Secretary of State demonstrating the evidence of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, waving around some test tube with washing powder in the UN Security Council. Eventually, the US troops invaded Iraq, Saddam Hussein was hanged and later it turned out there had never been any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. You know – it’s one thing to say things and another to actually have evidence.”

“After the anti-constitutional coup in Kiev in February, the first thing the new authorities tried to do was to deprive the ethnic minorities of the right to use their native language. This caused great concern among the people living in eastern Ukraine.”

“I wouldn’t call them either pro-Russian or pro-Ukrainian. They are people who have certain rights, political, humanitarian rights, and they must have a chance to exercise those rights.”

“When [the coup] happened some people accepted this regime and were happy about it while other people, say, in eastern and southern Ukraine just won’t accept it."

On Crimea, its referendum and historical ties to Russia:

After Crimea voted in its March referendum to join Russia, the West voiced concerns that the people in the region voted at gunpoint.

“Russian troops were in Crimea under the international treaty on the deployment of the Russian military base. It’s true that Russian troops helped Crimeans hold a referendum 1) on their independence and 2) on their desire to join the Russian Federation. No one can prevent these people from exercising a right that is stipulated in Article 1 of the UN Charter, the right of nations to self-determination.”


“We conducted an exclusively diplomatic and peaceful dialogue – I want to stress this – with our partners in Europe and the United States. In response to our attempts to hold such a dialogue and to negotiate an acceptable solution, they supported the anti-constitutional state coup in Ukraine, and following that we could not be sure that Ukraine would not become part of the North Atlantic military bloc. In that situation, we could not allow a historical part of the Russian territory with a predominantly ethnic Russian population to be incorporated into an international military alliance, especially because Crimeans wanted to be part of Russia.”

One journalist asked the president whether he wants to recreate the old borders of the Soviet Union.

“We want to use modern policies to improve our competitive advantage, including economic integration. This is what we are doing in the post-Soviet space within the Customs Union and now also within the Eurasian Union.”
On US relations and its aggressive foreign policies:

“Speaking of US policy, it’s clear that the United States is pursuing the most aggressive and toughest policy to defend its own interests – at least, this is how the American leaders see it – and they do it persistently."

“There are basically no Russian troops abroad while US troops are everywhere. There are US military bases everywhere around the world and they are always involved in the fates of other countries, even though they are thousands of kilometers away from US borders.”

“So it is ironic that our US partners accuse us of breaching some of these rules,” Putin said, apparently referring to Hillary’s Clinton’s statement on Russia’s foreign policy in Eastern Europe, comparing it with Hitler’s in the 1930s.

“When people push boundaries too far, it’s not because they are strong but because they are weak. But maybe weakness is not the worst quality for a woman.”

On Russia, defense, sovereignty, and opposition parties:

Amid the tensions concerning the latest $1.6 billion military deal that France will supply Russia with two Mistral helicopter carriers, Putin said he hopes the two countries will continue to develop their ties.

“Overall, our relations in this area are developing well, and we would like to continue strengthening them – in aviation, shipbuilding, and other sectors.”

“A policy of expansionism and conquest has no future in the modern world.
We’re confident that Russia can and should be a partner with its traditional allies, in the broad sense, now and also in the future.”

“Any country that becomes a member of a military alliance gives away some of its sovereignty to a supranational body. For Russia, this would be unacceptable. As for other countries, it has nothing to do with us. They have to decide such matters for themselves."

"And there’s another example: François Mitterrand, who spoke of European confederation, with Russia as its member. I think this opportunity still exists and we will have it in the future.”

Speaking about internal policies Putin said that Russia is a common democratic state and its “current regime is not connected to any particular person”

“The overwhelming majority of Russian citizens tend to rely on their traditions, their history and, if I may say so, their traditional values. I see this as the foundation and a factor of stability in the Russian state, but none of this is associated with the President as an individual.
Moreover, it should be remembered that we only started introducing standard democratic institutions recently. They are still in the process of evolving.”

“Some of our opponents say there are unacceptable restrictions. What kind of restrictions do we have? For example, we have banned the promotion of suicide, drugs and pedophilia. These are our restrictions. What’s wrong with that?”

“In the United States, since we talked about it, homosexuality is illegal in some states. We impose no criminal liability whatsoever. We banned only promoting homosexuality among minors. It is our right to protect our children and we will do it.”

Philip
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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine

Postby Philip » 05 Jun 2014 10:59

It appears that the US/West's strategy in Ukraine is to get the UKR junta to pursue the military options regardless of civilian casualties,in an attempt to destroy their morale,and defeat the separatists who have taken control over the eastern regions,as they know that Russia will not invade as long as casualties are limited in number,Putin being a man of his word.

However,in the long run it is likely to backfire as the resistance to the UKR regime could get stronger,as more civilians join the fight and the separatists continue to receive unofficial assistance from Moscow.If the junta can use mercenaries and Right Sector neo-Nazis to terrorise the population,so too can Russia turn a blind eye to "reinforcements" making their way into the east through the hugely porous borders,well armed and equipped.The UKR forces are a demoralised lot,the majority not wanting to fight their own tribe.Increasingly one will see the use of US and western mercenaries,who will be airlifted straight from Aghanistan into Ukraine!

http://rt.com/news/163352-ukraine-airst ... -missiles/
Confirmed: Ukrainian air force fired over 150 missiles at Lugansk, bombed admin HQ
Published time: June 03, 2014


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