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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

Ukraine launches offensive in east, vows to rid country of 'parasites'.

Source: Al Jazeera America

Ukrainian forces struck at separatist positions in the country’s restive east Tuesday, just hours after President Petro Poroshenko ended an uneasy cease-fire in the region and vowed to rid the area of “parasites.” The new offensive against pro-Moscow rebels saw pro-Kiev forces attack rebel bases and checkpoints “from the air and land,” the defense ministry said. Casualty figures were not immediately available. It came as Russian President Vladimir Putin again sought to blame Western governments for the ongoing crisis, accusing the West of trying to destabilize the whole region. He also reiterated a vow to protect ethnic Russians in Ukraine.

The resumption of full-scale fighting, which followed a cease-fire punctuated by sporadic violence, came as Poroshenko announced in a statement that Ukrainian forces "will attack and will free our country." The fragile laying down of arms expired Monday night. The idea had been to give rebels a chance to disarm in order to start a broader peace process including an amnesty and new elections. But rebels did not disarm, and the cease-fire was continually violated. Additionally, separatists did not comply with Poroshenko's latest push to get them to turn over key border crossings with Russia and permit international monitoring of the cease-fire.

"The unique chance to put the peace plan into practice was not realized," Poroshenko said in a speech to the nation. "This happened because of the criminal actions of the fighters." In a statement on Facebook he added that Ukraine needed to unite to “free our land from dirt and parasites.” The Tuesday offensive saw gunfire break out in the center of Donetsk, the capital of one of the two regions that pro-Russian insurgents have declared independent in eastern Ukraine.

Russia warned the authorities in Kiev that they would be held responsible for the ongoing military operation against separatists after refusing to extend the unilateral cease-fire. "One will have to answer for the crimes against peaceful civilians," the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement. "We demand that Ukrainian authorities stop shooting at their own country's peaceful cities and villages and return to the real and not pretend cease-fire to save people's lives."

Read more: http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2014/7/1/ukraine-russia-poroshenko.html

President Putin vows to protect Ukrainians who are ethnically Russian. President Poroshenko states he thinks those same people are "parasites," and he intends to use military force to ethnically cleanse them from their homes in Ukraine.

I wonder how this is going to settle out?
Posted by another_liberal | Tue Jul 1, 2014, 01:12 PM (94 replies)

Russian government demands Kiev stop shelling civilians in breakaway cities.

President Poroshenko's decision (under pressure of right wing street demonstrations) to end the partial ceasefire with forces seeking independence for Donetsk and Lubyansk regions has brought a demand from Moscow that the bloody offensive going on just miles from the Russian border must end:

Ukraine military resumes ‘active phase’ of operation against ant-govt forces

Massive artillery shelling and airstrikes have resumed in Eastern Ukraine after Kiev terminated a shaky ceasefire with local milias. “Starting this morning the active phase of the antiterrorist operation has resumed. Our forces are conducting strikes,” announced Aleksandr Turchinov, Ukrainian parliament speaker and former acting president. Russia demanded that Kiev stop the military attacks on cities and announce a new ceasefire, which would result in an actual rather than a declarative pause in hostilities.

Reports of night gunfight and explosions came Tuesday morning from Donetsk, the capital of Donetsk Region. By daytime, clashes started in the center of the city near a militia-controlled police station. The gunfire reportedly injured a passer-by and damaged many cars parked nearby. People fled a business center located in the vicinity.

There were also causalities in Kramatorsk, where a bus was fired at early in the morning, with four people reported killed by militia sources. Five people were reportedly injured in the incident. Kramatorsk was also shelled overnight, with a residential building damaged by the artillery fire. Near the village of Snezhnoye, a Ukrainian bomber jet was shot down by an anti-aircraft battery, militia claimed.

Andrey Lysenko, chairman of the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council, denied the claim, saying all military hardware is “in good shape and performing combat duties.” No independent corroboration or disproval of the incident was immediately available. The militia has a record of shooting down Ukrainian military aircraft and both sides have been known to report false information concerning their victories and defeats in the past, which makes neither a completely reliable source. The incident was not immediately confirmed by Kiev, but the militia has a record of taking down Ukrainian military aircraft.

Read more, and see videos of attacks, at: http://rt.com/news/169580-ukraine-military-operation-east/

Posted by another_liberal | Tue Jul 1, 2014, 07:34 AM (2 replies)

President Poroshenko accepts right wing demands, ends truce.

Despite calls by numerous international leaders to extend the Ukrainian government's truce with eastern separatists, Ukrainian President Poroshenko has seemingly caved to demands made by right wing military volunteers who demonstrated yesterday in central Kiev. The armed demonstraters demanded an end to the truce with anti-government fighters in breakaway regions and that all-out war be made on them instead. Threats were made by ultra right wing leaders to treat Poroshenko the same as they had President Yanukovich if he refused. Clearly, their strategy worked:

Ukraine president terminates ceasefire

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has decided to not prolong the ceasefire with Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, announcing an end to a fragile deal to deescalate tensions in the eastern regions of the country.

“We will attack and will free our land,” Poroshenko said. The ceasefire officially ended at 19:00 GMT, according to a statement that appeared on the president’s website shortly after midnight.

Since then, heavy shelling and intense shooting was reported in the vicinity of Kramatorsk airport in the Donetsk region, Itar-Tass reported, citing a representative of the local militia. According to the source, the attack by Ukrainian troops began at around 19:30 GMT. The Ukrainian military claimed that it was the militia who launched the attack, killing several service members.

The newly-elected president said that the decision to unilaterally end the ceasefire was taken after his meeting with Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council. Poroshenko told Ukrainians that “peace” is the end game, but the “tools” of achieving it have changed.


Read more at: http://rt.com/news/169512-ukraine-poroshenko-ceasefire-end/
Posted by another_liberal | Mon Jun 30, 2014, 07:04 PM (38 replies)

PR video from the newly proclaimed Islamic State, or "Caliphate."

The English language narrator who takes us on a tour of the captured border post seems to be of Chilean origin. So there is at least one South American Muslim who traveled to the Middle East and joined in "Jihad."

Posted by another_liberal | Mon Jun 30, 2014, 06:54 AM (9 replies)

Pro-war demonstraters in Kiev demand President Poroshenko continue war.

War seems to be many peoples' favorite solution to Kiev's problems, at least it is to those who make up Ukraine's new right wing, volunteer assault battalions. They held a mass rally, estimated to number at least a thousand, in Maidan Square, beside President Poroshenko's administrative offices. Not only did the protesters insist all pretense to a "truce" be ended, but also warned their new national leader that he had a very limited time to fulfill their demands:

‘Let’s wage war!’ Huge crowd rallies in Kiev for end of ceasefire, martial law.

Over 1,000 protesters led by the Ukrainian army’s Donbass Battalion fighters gathered for a rally in central Kiev on Sunday. The demonstrators are demanding that President Petro Poroshenko end the ceasefire and impose martial law. The Sunday rally was organized by Donbass Battalion Commander Semyon Semenchenko, who told the pro-Kiev protesters on his Facebook page to gather near the presidential administration building. Some Azov Battalion fighters also reportedly took part in the demonstration.

A Donbass Battalion representative read out a petition to President Poroshenko on behalf of Ukrainians, with a demand to "stop the truce, impose a martial law in the country, provide the military with necessary armaments and measures to destroy terrorists and request the EU and the USA to impose a third round of sanctions against Russia."

Following the demonstration, the protesters marched to the infamous Maidan (Independence Square), the traditional place for political rallies and the symbolic location of the recent armed coup against President Yanukovich's government. The protesters held a “people’s assembly,” during which they warned Poroshenko that “this Sunday campaign may be the last peaceful one,” Itar-Tass reported. The demonstrators called on the newly-elected president to “listen to the real holder of power – the Ukrainian people.” They added that if the president didn't “hear [their] demands,” they would “consider him a traitor of the country” and “he will share the same fate as [ousted President Viktor] Yanukovich.”

Talking to the gathered demonstrators, Semenchenko said that the Ukrainian military units fighting in the east are in a dire situation, as the money allocated by the government does not reach the army. "The Finance Ministry still allocates money to support businesses that are in separatists’ control,” he said, referring to anti-government protesters in the eastern part of the country. “There are many traitors in governmental agencies.”


Read more, and see video of demonstration, at: http://rt.com/news/169240-ukraine-rally-ceasefire-martial/
Posted by another_liberal | Sun Jun 29, 2014, 03:46 PM (20 replies)

Ukrainian politician and Rada Deputy threatens President Putin's life.

What is the reason for this constant stream of ever more violently destabilizing statements coming from the government in Kiev? Do the men and women who lead Ukraine really want to have a full-blown war with the Russian Federation? Are they just jockeying for power by trying to out-threaten each other, so as to look tougher to their hardline backers? Surely our diplomats, and those of the E.U., realize how serious this kind of a provocation can be, especially when your nations armed forces are facing each other from opposite sides of an active combat zone:

Putin 'would be killed' if he came to Kiev, Ukraine parliament deputy says on TV.

A Verkhovna Rada deputy who is also an ex-defense minister of Ukraine, said during a prime time talk-show that the country’s “patriots” would be justified “to kill” Russian President Vladimir Putin if he came to Kiev. Anatoly Gritsenko made his shocking statement speaking on the popular national talk show ‘Shuster Live’.

“Putin won’t stop. He wants not only Ukraine, he wants the Baltic States and other countries,” claimed Gritsenko, who was a presidential candidate twice, in the 2010 and 2014 Ukrainian elections. Gritsenko did not elaborate on what had driven him to such a conclusion.

Calling the Russian president “a fascist,” Gritsenko went on to say that he cannot imagine Vladimir Putin coming to Ukraine to sign some kind of a deal. “I believe there are patriots who would volunteer to kill him – and that would be the right thing to do,” Gritsenko remarked. The leader of the Civil Position party, Gritsenko is a vocal advocate of Ukraine joining both the EU and NATO.

Speaking in the same edition of the ‘Shuster Live’ talk-show, Gritsenko accused the current Ukrainian president, Petro Poroshenko, of not fulfilling financial obligations towards the Ukrainian military units taking part in the punitive operation in the Lugansk and Donetsk regions. Gritsenko insisted that Poroshenko must allocate the money he promised during his election campaign, even if it is to come out of his own pocket. The politician also proposed to send the sons of top Ukrainian officials to fight against the self-defense forces in the east of the country – including the son of the President Poroshenko himself.


Read more, and see a video of Deputy Gritsenko speaking, at: http://rt.com/news/169160-ukraine-mp-putin-kill/

Posted by another_liberal | Sun Jun 29, 2014, 10:18 AM (73 replies)

A tribute to victims of the violence in east Ukraine.

Posted by another_liberal | Sun Jun 29, 2014, 09:41 AM (0 replies)

Despite ceasefire, resumed fighting and shelling in eastern Ukraine.

Posted by another_liberal | Fri Jun 27, 2014, 02:15 PM (3 replies)

Iraqi PM Maliki will get Russian attack aircraft to bomb ISIS.

Prime Minister Maliki of Iraq has claimed that he will get attack fighter jets from Iran's principal high-tech arms source, the Russian Federation. The wait for delivery of American planes, Maliki explained, is just too long; in fact, he suggested that it was the slow arrival of promised American planes which left his country's army in such sorry shape against the initial offensive by ISIS rebels:

Russian jets to aid the fight against Sunni rebels in Iraq – PM Maliki.

Jets from Russia and Belarus will hopefully make a key difference in the fight against ISIS in Iraq, the country’s Prime Minister Nouri Maliki said. He expressed regrets over Iraq's contract with the US, saying their jets are taking too long to arrive. "God willing within one week this force will be effective and will destroy the terrorists' dens," he told BBC Arabic.

Meanwhile, Maliki criticized the process of purchasing US jets as “long-winded,” adding that the radicals could have been repelled if Iraq had proper air defense. "I'll be frank and say that we were deluded when we signed the contract [with the US]," Maliki said. "We should have sought to buy other jet fighters like British, French and Russian to secure the air cover for our forces; if we had air cover we would have averted what had happened," he went on.

Maliki said Iraq bought second-hand jet fighters from Russia and Belarus "that should arrive in Iraq in two or three days.” The radical Sunni Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS or ISIL) has taken large parts of the country's north from the Shia government.

During the interview, the prime minister also confirmed that Syria was behind Tuesday’s air strikes that targeted Iraqi rebels, adding that he welcomed the move. "They carry out their strikes and we carry out ours and the final winners are our two countries," he said.


Read more at: http://rt.com/news/168744-russia-jets-iraq-maliki/
Posted by another_liberal | Fri Jun 27, 2014, 07:59 AM (7 replies)

Obama attacks Republicans for appeasing climate deniers.

Source: The Guardian

Barack Obama has turned up the political heat on climate deniers, making fun of Republicans in Congress for catering to “a bunch of fringe elements”.

In a speech to environmental activists in Washington, Obama suggested Republicans were playing dumb on climate change to avoid a backlash from ultra-conservative Tea Party elements. Republicans actually recognised climate change was real, Obama suggested, but were afraid to admit it in public. “They ducked the question and said 'Hey I'm not a scientist,' which really translates into 'I accept that manmade climate change is real but if I say so I will be run out of town by a bunch of fringe elements,'” Obama said, “So I am just going to pretend like – I don't know – I can't read.”

It is the second time in days that Obama has mocked Republicans for being anti-science as he tries to rally public support for his new rules limiting carbon pollution from power plants. Earlier in the month at the University of California Irvine Obama likened Republicans' positions on climate change to believing the moon was made of cheese.

At Wednesday's event in Washington he returned to the idea that Republicans are anti-science. “In Congress folks will tell you climate change is a hoax, a fad, or a plot – a liberal plot,” he told the annual dinner of the League of Conservation Voters.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jun/26/obama-attacks-republicans-for-appeasing-climate-deniers

Our President may be temporarily down in the polls; however, when he takes on the issues which really matter to his base, as he has done with the false controversy over climate change, he gains back lost support, and he stays firmly at the top of my personal favorites list.
Posted by another_liberal | Thu Jun 26, 2014, 08:04 AM (33 replies)
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