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"It is certain, in any case, that ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have." James A. Baldwin

Journal Archives

Kiev will keep troops in eastern regions despite Geneva agreement?

Despite just having agreed to, "Refrain from any form of violence, intimidation or provocative actions," Kiev's interim government has announced it will continue the "anti-terrorism" actions it began in eastern Ukraine earlier this week. A truly bizarre style of statesmanship:

Kiev: Military operation in Ukraine southeast to go on despite Geneva agreement.

Despite calls for a peaceful dialogue in the document on Ukraine adopted in Geneva, the coup-imposed Ukrainian Foreign Minister said it will not affect the “anti-terrorist” operation in the East of the country and the troops will remain there. Soon after the Geneva document, adopted at a four-side meeting between Ukraine, the US, the EU and Russia, was published, Ukraine’s acting Foreign Minister Andrey Deshchytsa said Kiev is not bound by its recommendations.

According to Deshchytsa cited by RIA Novosti, “the troops in the East of the country are carrying out a special operation and can remain where they are.”

This comes despite the statement issued by the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry following the meeting, which says: “All sides have pledged to refrain from any form of violence, intimidation or provocative actions. The participants of the meeting strongly condemned and rejected all forms of extremism, racism and religious intolerance, including manifestations of anti-Semitism.”

Deshchytsa said the Ukrainian side has agreed on “joint efforts” with Russia “to start the process of de-escalation in eastern Ukraine.” Speaking after the four-side meeting, US Secretary of State John Kerry also gave an assurance that the Ukrainian authorities are ready to ensure “inclusive and transparent” constitutional reform. All regions of Ukraine will be included in the work towards this reform, he said.


Read more at: http://rt.com/news/kiev-troops-southeast-ukraine-244/
Posted by another_liberal | Thu Apr 17, 2014, 07:43 PM (10 replies)

Why is the Kiev government, "Using Tanks and Jets against its own people?"

'Tanks, jets against own people?! Are they nuts?!'

President Putin has criticized Ukraine’s coup-appointed government for using tanks and jets against its own people, during a live Q&A session. Branding Kiev’s approach as a “crime,” Putin said they must open dialogue with eastern Ukraine. “Have they lost their minds!?” said Putin during his annual question and answer session. “They are deploying tanks, armored vehicles and weaponry! Against whom?! Are they nuts?!"

The Russian president said he thought that asking activists in the southeast of Ukraine to hand in their weapons was the right approach, but this measure should also be applied to armed Ukrainian nationalist groups. Putin went on to say the crisis in Ukraine can only be solved through a compromise in the interests of the Ukrainian people. “The coup-appointed government in Kiev needs to come to its senses before we can negotiate,” said Putin.

In spite of the fact the interim government is illegitimate, Russia is still prepared to open dialogue with them, said Putin. Ukraine’s interim government came to power on February 22 after weeks of violent protests on Kiev’s Independence Square. They ousted President Viktor Yanukovich and declared elections in May, something that violates the Ukrainian constitution. NATO’s reinforcement of its presence in eastern Europe was also touched upon during Putin’s Q&A session. Head of Russian news agency Rossiya Segodnya, Dmitry Kiselev, said that he felt like NATO was “suffocating him” and described the organization as “a cancerous tumor.”

Dmitry Kiselev was included in the list of Russian politicians who were hit by Western sanctions following the Crimean referendum that led to the region’s integration with Russia. In a tongue-in-cheek response, Putin told Kiselev not to be afraid of NATO, assuring him that “Russia would suffocate everyone else.” NATO has accused Russia of attempting to destabilize Ukraine, something that Russia categorically denied. Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov told the press on Monday that Russia had no interest in promoting crisis in Ukraine, and the West needs to produce evidence to support its accusations.

Read more at: http://rt.com/news/putin-ukraine-military-operation-120/

An additional development in regard to the Ukrainian crisis is the following announcement concerning natural gas supplies from Russia to Ukraine:

Russia to switch to advance gas payments for Ukraine, if no money comes.

Gazprom will switch to a pre-payment system in one month if Ukraine doesn’t start paying for natural gas imports from Russia, President Vladimir Putin has warned during the annual question and answer session. “We could do it today, but we will wait another month,” Putin said about implementing a pre-payment system for Ukraine.

In March, Ukraine didn’t pay a dollar of its $525 million gas bill, Putin said. “In accordance with the contracts, we will start pre-payment in one month. They will pay in advance and we will give them as much as they pay for.”

Ukraine's Naftogaz is deeply indebted to Moscow, owing over $2.2 billion in unpaid bills. In response to Kiev’s non-payment, Gazprom has increased natural gas prices to $485 per thousand cubic meters, $100 more than Germany pays for its Russian gas. “It is a complicated settlement, and it may lead to a disruption for European partners,” the Russian President warned.

In Putin’s view, Ukraine is the most dangerous element in energy security in Europe. Russia is responsible for stable gas deliveries to Europe, but not transit through Ukraine, which is guaranteed by the agreement with Kiev, he said.


Read more at: http://rt.com/business/putin-speech-economy-russia-088/
Posted by another_liberal | Thu Apr 17, 2014, 08:31 AM (5 replies)

"Free and Fair" elections in New Ukraine.

Two opposition candidates for the office of Ukrainian President, to be decided in a May 16th vote, have found the still quite dominate far right forces in New Ukrainian politics are playing by very different rules than those normally seen in what we like to call "free and fair" democratic elections:

Ukraine presidential candidates attacked in Kiev.

Radicals have attacked two Ukrainian presidential candidates. One of them, Oleg Tsarev, was “brutally beaten,” claimed the candidate’s press office. The radicals poured green antiseptic solution and flour on another candidate, Mikhail Dobkin. Oleg Tsarev was attacked after being trapped inside the ICTV media building following his appearance on the ‘Svoboda Slova’ chat show, according to the statement released by Tsarev’s office. “It was with great difficulty that government’s security forces were able to recapture Oleg Tsarev from the angry mob. He was severely beaten and is in serious condition,” the press office said.


Earlier, there were reports of the entire building being surrounded by unidentified gunmen with Tsarev trapped inside and his car attacked, including slashed tires. Following the attack, Tsarev said that he would not withdraw his candidacy from the presidential election under any circumstances, his press office stated. “Peaceful dialogue between the authorities and all of the people in the country, the search for compromise and understanding are the only ways to solve the political crisis,” Interfax quoted the politician as saying in the lobby of the General Prosecutor's Office Tuesday night.

The Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s office has opened a criminal case into the violent attack on the presidential candidate, the office reported. According to the office’s statement, the case has been launched over charges of hooliganism. Meanwhile, Konstantin Dolgov, the Russian Foreign Ministry’s commissioner for human rights, has noted a “shy silence” from Western countries towards the attack on Tsarev. “The Maidan tank democracy is in full swing, the extremists remained unpunished,” Dolgov tweeted. “Typical double standards.”

According to Dolgov, Kiev coup-appointed government used ‘tank’ force against people of south-eastern Ukrainian cities whose rights should be protected by this vey government. “Is it an inclusive political dialogue and a constitutional reform?” he asked on Twitter. Around the same time, unidentified individuals blocked and damaged the vehicle carrying another presidential candidate, Mikhail Dobkin, while attacking and injuring his aides on their way to that same talk show. Dobkin admitted to the attack during a live phone interview later on the show. Other media reported that the radicals poured green antiseptic solution and flour on Dobkin. The two candidates were scheduled to join a third presidential candidate, Yulia Tymoshenko, on the talk show.


Read more, and view videos of the attacks, at: http://rt.com/news/ukraine-presidential-candidates-attacked-516/

Posted by another_liberal | Tue Apr 15, 2014, 08:42 AM (0 replies)

Protests spread in eastern Ukrainian cities.

The interim president of Ukraine says he wants a nation-wide referendum on federalizing the country and allowing more independence for Russian-speaking, eastern regions. Mr. Turchinov also replaced Ukraine's hard line commander of anti-terrorism forces (who he gave the job to just a week ago), apparently signaling a softer, less confrontational approach to the unrest. But is it already too late? Has the ship of independence for eastern Ukraine sailed?

Protest expands in eastern Ukraine as Kiev threatens military op.

The anti-Kiev protests are expanding in Ukraine's Donetsk Region, where activists are besieging police HQ in the city of Gorlovka. The central authorities are threatening to use military force to quash the uprising. Gorlovka is an eastern Ukrainian city with a population of more than 250,000 inhabitants. The activists apparently spent the night in City Hall and proceeded to take over the police HQ on Monday morning

Troops holding the HQ barricaded in as a crowd of several hundred people gathered outside, according to footage from the scene. At one point they opened fire and used stun grenades, when the protesters tried to raise a Russian flag on the entrance to the building. The person trying to set the flag atop the entrance roof was pushed down and broke his arm. The flag was taken down right after it was raised.

The angered protesters threw a Molotov cocktail in apparent retaliation, but the fire was quickly extinguished. They later forced their way and demanded that the defenders of the building surround their weapon and leave. The interior of the building sustained some damage as the attackers, but no major instances of violence were seen.

Some more radical people in the crowd called for immediate revenge for the incident with the flag as the police chief Andrey Krishchenko as he was escorted out of the building, but their more cool-headed comrades restrained them. The officer, who reportedly was the one to push down the activist, sustained a head injury in a scuffle inside the building and was taken to hospital.


Read more at: http://rt.com/news/donetsk-region-protest-escalation-348/
Posted by another_liberal | Mon Apr 14, 2014, 07:56 AM (16 replies)

CIA director, John Brennan, may have "sanctioned" assault on protesters?

Ukraine on brink of civil war after blood was spilt in east – Yanukovich

Ukraine is a foot in the door to civil war, ousted President Viktor Yanukovich said in his address from Rostov-on-Don, where he has been residing for over a month after fleeing Kiev amid protests.

“Blood was spilt today,” Yankovich told journalists referring to the events in the eastern city of Slavyansk. “Now our country finds itself in a totally new situation – with one foot in the door of a civil war. The Kiev junta has issued a criminal order to use armed forces and the army against the protesters. During my time in Kiev, we never used such methods against radicals or extremists,” he added.

Part of the responsibility for dragging the country into domestic war lays on the US, which brutally interfere in the situation and to point out what to do, Yanukovich said. The ousted president declared that CIA director John Brennan visited Ukraine and it was after the meeting that the coup-imposed authorities in Kiev ordered a military operation in the country’s east. Brennan “de facto sanctioned” the use of weapons and thus provoked the bloodshed, Yanukovich said. Earlier, sources told Interfax news agency that Brennan was paying a secret visit to Kiev.

In the event of a mass crackdown on protesters and use of force, the “new rulers” of Ukraine will carry full responsibility, the ousted President said, adding that the people of Ukraine will never accept “dictatorship” and “especially nationalists’ dictate.” He has urged the country’s security forces not to obey “unlawful orders” and restrain from shooting at “people of Ukraine”. “You will never be forgiven,” Yanukovich said.


Read more at: http://rt.com/news/yanukovich-ukraine-war-civil-292/
Posted by another_liberal | Sun Apr 13, 2014, 06:37 PM (0 replies)

Kiev "government" folds like a cheap lawn chair!

The ethnic Russian protesters in eastern Ukraine have won their demand to hold referendums on independence from the "interim government" in Kiev. Whether it was the brave stand of anti-coup protesters holding government buildings in cities like Donetsk and Lugansk, the reluctance of European nations to lose Russian natural gas supplies, the near certainty of Russian intervention if the Kiev government resorted to armed violence or some other yet unknown cause, the threatening standoff seems to have given way to an uneasy truce:

Kiev backpedals on referendums after deadline to stop protest expires

Just after a deadline set by Kiev for protesters in eastern Ukraine to vacate seized buildings expired, Parliament-appointed PM Arseny Yatsenyuk pledged to push through a law allowing regional referendums in the country. Holding referendums on the status of their respective regions was among the main demands posed by anti-Maidan activists, who have taken over a number of governmental buildings in eastern Ukraine this week. Ukrainian law currently does not allow regions to hold referendums separately from the rest of the country. It was one of the main arguments Kiev voiced in declaring illegal last month’s referendum in Crimea, which ended with the peninsula’s seceding from Ukraine and joining Russia.

Speaking in Donetsk, one of the regions engulfed by the anti-Kiev protests, Yatsenyuk said his government wants greater autonomy for Ukrainian regions, including the abolition of the offices of capital-appointed governors. He was speaking just as a 48-hour deadline, which Kiev gave to protesters to liberate the seized buildings, expired. Previously the central authorities threatened to use force, including that of the military and even threatened their opponents as terrorists, unless they withdrew from the buildings.

The U-turn comes after Ukraine’s elite Alpha unit reportedly refused to obey an order to besiege protester-held buildings. At a session of law enforcement officials in Donetsk, one of the Alpha commanders said that he and his men are a force intended for rescuing hostages and fighting terrorism and will only act in accordance with the law, local media reported. The unconfirmed act of defiance comes days after the siege by police of a protesters-seized building in Kharkov, which ended with dozens of activists being arrested.

On Thursday, a local police lieutenant-colonel spoke to the media, claiming that he and other officers had been deceived by the Kiev authorities. He claimed that they were sent to take over the building under the pretext that it was held by dangerous armed bandits. In fact the protesters had only improvised clubs and offered no resistance to the storming troops. The officer, Andrey Chuikov, said he would no longer take “criminal” orders and announced his resignation from the police, adding that he would be sacked anyway by his superiors for speaking to the press.

Read more at: http://rt.com/news/ukraine-protest-deadline-expires-856/
Posted by another_liberal | Fri Apr 11, 2014, 07:20 AM (3 replies)

Despite talk of negotiations, Ukrainian troops have been sent to breakaway cities.

Ukraine's "interim president" has given orders for troops, including tanks and other heavy weapons, to move into eastern Ukrainian cities which have declared themselves independent republics. This was apparently done despite negotiations planned to begin soon between representatives of EU nations, Russia, the "interim government" and the anti-coup protesters. Anti-coup activists have recently posted videos and still photos of special trains carrying tanks and troops from western Ukraine toward eastern regions:

Kiev orders ‘state protection’ of protester-held govt HQ in Donetsk

Ukraine’s self-imposed president Aleksandr Turchinov has ordered the protester-held local govt HQ in Donetsk to be taken under ‘state protection’ as armed personnel and armored vehicles have been reported moving into the eastern region of Ukraine. According to a decree signed by Turchinov, the local administration building in Donetsk and surrounding territory is an “important government facility, which is a subject to state protection.” The decree entered into force upon signature and Turchinov has already given Ukraine's state security service appropriate directions, Itar-Tass reports.

Ukraine’s acting interior minister Arsen Avakov stated earlier on Wednesday that a “special police task force” had already arrived in Donetsk, Lugansk and Kharkov from western regions of Ukraine and was ready to take them under control within 48 – using force, if needed. The buildings of power structures in the eastern cities of Donetsk and Lugansk remain under control of the protesters. While so far there have been no attempts to recapture the occupied buildings, activist continue building barricades preparing for a possible attack by forces shipped in from other regions of Ukraine.

Activists expect the military operation to take place overnight in Donetsk and Lugansk simultaneously. Local administration in Kharkov was already stormed on Tuesday by armed men without insignia and masked law enforcement officers, after the local police in Kharkov refused to fulfil orders from Kiev. About a hundred fighters from the newly-formed Ukraine’s National Guard reportedly arrived in the airport of Donetsk, the deputy director of a local group called People’s Militia of Donbas, Sergey Tsyplakov, told Ria Novosti. “In Donetsk airport about a hundred of people from the National Guard have been housed,” Tsyplakov said. “Around a hundred of Right Sector thugs are also in the city, as well as a hundred employees from a private US military company operating under contract with Kiev junta. Totally around 300 professionals or well-trained and motivated fanatics,” Tsyplakov added. “This is a major force, but we are ready to fight.”

Earlier in the day, pro-federalization activists in Donetsk blocked two busses carrying unbadged armed men in camouflage near the military commissariat. According to Tsyplakov activists believe they were mercenaries but were unable to identify gunmen as they kept silent and refused to answer any questions. In the meantime, Ukrainian personnel and armored vehicles were spotted moving closer to the city of Donetsk. In an amateur video posted on YouTube shows locals were trying to stop machinery from progressing further.


Read more, and see several videos of Ukrainian troop activity, at: http://rt.com/news/kiev-forces-eastern-ukraine-512/

Posted by another_liberal | Wed Apr 9, 2014, 06:46 PM (8 replies)

How dissenting opinions are dwelt with in the new Ukraine.

Someone had the unbridled gall to actually criticize violent actions some ultra-Nationalist parties had taken in response to the pro-independence demonstrations sweeping eastern Ukraine. He rose to speak his mind on the subject in a session of the Ukrainian Rada Parliament, and the result is chronicled below:

Ukrainian MPs brawl as nationalists are accused of playing into Russia's hands.

A brawl erupted in the Ukrainian parliament chamber after the country's communist leader accused nationalists of playing into the hands of Russia by adopting extreme tactics early in the Ukrainian crisis. Two deputies from the Svoboda far-right nationalist party took exception to the charges by communist Petro Symonenko and seized him while he was talking from the rostrum. His supporters rallied to his defence and a brawl broke out with deputies from other parties joining in and trading punches.

The fight erupted hours after Ukraine launched an "anti-terrorist" operation against pro-Russian separatists occupying government buildings in several of its eastern cities. Police arrested 70 pro-Russian demonstrators in Kharkiv on Tuesday, while protesters in two other cities held similar standoffs. Ukrainian authorities gave few details of the operation that cleared the building in Kharkiv but said two police officers had been wounded by a grenade.

Against the backdrop of the deepening crisis in the south-east, Symonenko stirred nationalist anger in parliament when, referring to the pro-Russian protesters who had seized buildings in eastern Ukraine, he suggested that nationalists had set a precedent earlier this year by seizing public buildings in protest at the rule of the ousted president, Viktor Yanukovych. Now, he said, armed groups were attacking people who wanted to defend their rights by peaceful means. "You are today doing everything to intimidate people. You arrest people, start fighting people who have a different point of view," he said, before being pulled away from the rostrum by the Svoboda deputies.


Ukrainian special forces in combat gear, helmets and balaclavas and carrying machine guns stood guard outside the building early on Tuesday. A partly destroyed sign near the main door read: "Avakov – to jail", a reference to the Ukrainian interior minister, Arsen Avakov. Avakov made mention of the operation to clear the buildings on his Facebook page: "An anti-terrorist operation has been launched. The city centre is blocked along with metro stations. Do not worry. Once we finish, we will open them again."


Read more at: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/08/ukraine-russia-plan-divide-country-operation
Posted by another_liberal | Wed Apr 9, 2014, 07:22 AM (1 replies)

The "interim government" in Kiev sent us their priceless cultural treasures.

A month ago the newly installed "interim government" in Kiev sent Ukraine's greatest national treasures to the U. S. for "safe keeping." Though, "collateral for loans" may in fact be a more accurate description of the purpose for this transfer. Many of these are priceless golden artifacts of the ancient Scythian culture which inhabited southern Ukraine twenty-five hundred years ago. The treasures (insured to a value of 18 billion dollars) accompanied our hand-picked "interim prime minister" when he came to pay his highly publicized visit to Congress and President Obama back in early March. The excerpt quoted is at the end of the article I've linked to:


On March 12 US President Barack Obama held a meeting with Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk in Washington DC. Head of Moscow Center of Lev Gumilev Pavel Zarifullin said that according to his source in Ukraine’s Security Service, in addition to proposals and requests Yatsenyuk brought to US certain guarantees - evidence of Ukraine's readiness to cooperate.

“During the upcoming trip to the US, Mr. Yatsenyuk brought to Boryspil International Airport a large amount of cultural artifacts of Scythian time from the Ukrainian State Precious Metals and Gems Repository. All this was brought in armored cars to the airport and then transported to the US,” Zarifulin told RT.

Zarifulin said that under the decree and the list of artefacts his source saw Yatsenyuk’s signature. The head of the center also said that according to his information, the estimated insurance cost of the Scythian gold was up to 18 billion dollars.

Read more at: http://rt.com/news/paintings-missing-right-sector-233/

Posted by another_liberal | Tue Apr 8, 2014, 07:35 AM (62 replies)

Things are heating up in Kharkov.

An announcement by separatists in Ukraine's second largest city, Kharkov, that they were declaring their region an independent "peoples republic" (just as protesters in Donetsk had done earlier in the day) has been met with violence by authorities loyal to the "interim government" in Kiev:

Clashes erupt as Kharkov protesters declare independence.

Police have clashed with anti-coup protesters in Kharkov, in an effort to push the crowd back from the administration building. Earlier, activists in the second-largest Ukrainian city followed those in Donetsk and proclaimed a People’s Republic of Kharkov. A group of protesters tried to storm the Kharkov administration building on Monday evening but were pushed back by law enforcement officers who barricaded themselves inside the building. Police were reportedly using fire-hoses and stun grenades to push the crowd back. According to witnesses, the violence was triggered by a group of provocateurs. Earlier in the day, pro-EU demonstrators had already clashed with supporters of the federalization of Ukraine.

Protesters reportedly started several fires near the building and were also throwing Molotov cocktails in order to smoke police out from the building. According to activists at the scene, police who barricaded themselves inside the building were deployed from western Ukraine. Eventually, a group of local police outside the administration building moved in to push protesters back. However, witnesses at the scene reported that a group of demonstrators were allowed to enter the government building after the tensions eased.

Speaking through a loudspeaker in the hall of the city’s regional administration building, an activist could be heard saying that the issue of Kharkov becoming a sovereign state independent from Ukraine will be decided by a regional referendum. A crowd of demonstrators responded to the statement with cheers.

Earlier on Monday, Kharkov protesters erected barricades around administrative buildings and the regional headquarters of the Security Service of Ukraine. Brief clashes between supporters of the federalization of Ukraine and pro-EU demonstrators were reported in downtown Kharkov. Protesters on both sides reportedly used firecrackers and stun grenades.


Read more, and see video of the events, at: http://rt.com/news/kharkov-clashes-ukraine-independence-993/

Posted by another_liberal | Mon Apr 7, 2014, 07:36 PM (4 replies)
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