Thanksgiving for a Grateful Empire

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US-fighter-jet-400x181“Rooted in a story of generosity and partnership, Thanksgiving offers an opportunity for us to express our gratitude for the gifts we have and to show our appreciation for all we hold dear….”

So begins the official Presidential Proclamation of Thanksgiving Day, 2015, signed and issued by Barack Obama.

While it hearkens back to earlier Thanksgivings in St. Augustine in 1565 and Plymouth in 1621, this is an essentially imperial document than gives only vague lip service to giving “thanks for the many blessings bestowed upon us.” When his proclamation gets specific, in the third sentence, the President gives the highest place of grateful honor to the source of global American imperial dominance:

We also honor the men and women in uniform who fight to safeguard our country and our freedoms so we can share occasions like this with loved ones, and we thank our selfless military families who stand beside and support them each and every day.

This is, of course, fatuous pandering and a patent lie that is widely and unthinkingly shared by much of a preoccupied populace. Our country and our freedoms have needed no serious military defense for decades. Even amidst the popular revival of terrorism hysteria these days, our country and our freedoms need no military protection, because they face no credible military threat.

It is a nice thought to imagine Americans quietly sharing an inclusive and comforting community in which we express gratitude for our gifts and share them with others wherever in the world they meet our military. That might actually achieve the aspiration of showing “appreciation for all we hold dear.” But the sad reality seems to be that, as a nation, we no longer know what we hold dear, or even what we once believed we held dear.

Our country and our freedoms are unthreatened by others around the world despite our well-cultivated baseless fear. At home, our country and our freedoms are daily attacked by the cold dead hand of the unelected corporate state. Our country and our freedoms are daily attacked by the shrill, vicious demagoguery of divisive factions that are as dedicated to the dominance of minority views as any Taliban or ISIS or other monomaniacal evangelist. Our country and our freedoms go daily undefended by a feckless, reckless government that would rather control a cowed population than seek conciliation and general well-being for all.

As things now stand in a nation more exceptional for its fragmentation than its collective sense of confidence and purpose, a more honest sampling of appreciation for what some Americans hold dear might include:

    • Almost all American people can be thankful that their nation is not involved in any serious wars, just turkey-shoots in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, much of Africa, and other places that produce few American casualties while maintaining the constant expense of ordnance to no useful purpose, but steady profit to the international arms industry.
    • President Obama and his administration can be thankful that almost none of their totalitarian surveillance and permanent-war-making powers face serious challenges, not even the President’s assassination-by-drone terrorism.
    • American Muslims can be thankful that they have not been rounded up and confined to internment camps (yet), for the duration of the preferred endless hostilities.
    • All minority-Americans can be thankful if no one in their family was hurt or killed by police this year. Black families in that category can be super grateful. Even white families can be a bit grateful, since cop brutality isn’t as completely bigoted as it sometimes seems.
    • Media-American performers can be thankful that they will never be held accountable as journalists for their culturally destructive and dishonest hucksterism.
    • Police-Americans can be thankful for their special above-justice status, since even the most violent among them typically goes unpunished.
    • The American prison complex can be thankful for another year of high profits at the expense of decent people jailed for non-violent crimes by a judiciary that has lost its sense of justice (with the significant assistance and insistence of Congress claiming to act for an infantilized and fearful American majority).
    • Women-Americans can be thankful that it is still mostly lawful to be a woman.
    • American terrorists can be thankful that they can go on assassinating doctors, torching clinics, executing church congregations, or shooting up mosques without fear that anyone will call them “terrorists.”
    • The American public in general can be thankful that it remains generally undisturbed by these or other American realities and that it lacks a widespread feeling that it has any personal responsibility to fix anything.
    • Ben Carson and the rest of the Republican field can be thankful that they have yet to be deemed a danger to themselves or others, and have not been forcibly hospitalized.
    • Any Americans still nurturing the hope of living in an advanced, civilized nation can be thankful that we have two presidential candidates, a man and a woman, who actually have credible records of espousing humane values with regard to at least some of the critical problems we face. Obviously one of them is Bernie Sanders. The other, better one is Jill Stein.
    • Upper-income Americans can be thankful for the country that cares for them and neglects others, making sure, year after year after year, that people who could learn are not educated, that people who could work are not hired, that people who could eat are not fed, that people who could be free are not.
  • Any Americans who feel no shame for the state of their country can be grateful for their psychic numbness and failed humanity.

As some were wont to say back in the day: “Things are going to get a whole lot worse before they start getting worse.”

So we can be thankful that things aren’t worse already.

Blessing on all, regardless of just deserts.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s).  UNRULY HEARTS will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article.

Destroying Syria to Create Sunnistan. US Bombs Syrian Military Base. Turkey Invades Northern Iraq

 

 

What is the connection between the US bombing of a Syrian military base in Ayyash, Syria, and the Turkish invasion of northern Iraq?

Both of these seemingly isolated events are part of a larger plan to Balkanize the Middle East, to strengthen Washington’s grip on dwindling resources, to draw Russia into a costly and protracted war, and to ensure that ME oil remains denominated in US dollars. Author Joseph Kishore summed it up like this in a recent post at the World Socialist Web Site. He said:

“The basic force behind the war in Syria is the same as that which has motivated the imperialist carve-up of the Middle East as a whole: the interests of international finance capital. The major imperialist powers know that if they are to have a say in the division of the booty, they must have also done their share of the killing.” (“The new imperialist carve-up of the Middle East“, World Socialist Web Site)

Bingo. Ultimately, the war on terror is a public relations fig leaf designed to conceal Washington’s attempt to rule the world. It’s impossible to make sense of goings-on around the globe without some grasp of how seemingly random acts of violence and terror fit within the broader and more comprehensive geopolitical strategy to create a new unipolar world order, to crush all emerging rivals, and to extend US full-spectrum-dominance across the planet.

Let’s look at the particulars:  On Sunday, US warplanes bombed a Syrian military base east of Raqqa killing three Syrian soldiers and wounding thirteen others. The incident took place in the village of Ayyash in Deir Ezzor Province. Coalition spokesman US Colonel Steve Warren denied US involvement in the deadly raid despite the fact that the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed ‘that the air strike hit the military camp’.  According to the observatory,  ‘This is the first time that a strike from the US-led coalition killed Syrian government troops.’   Warren’s denial, which is the reflexive Pentagon response to any claim of culpability,  suggests that the attack was a deliberate provocation intended to trigger retaliatory strikes from Russia that would, in turn, justify a larger commitment of US troops and weaponry to the 4 and a half year-long Syrian war. Whether the airstrikes got the greenlight from the White House or from rogue elements acting independently at the Pentagon is unclear.  What is clear, however, is that the attack on Syrian troops, a full 30 miles from their designated target, was no mistake. It’s also worth noting, that according to South Front military analysis, the US bombing raid coincided with a “a full-scale ISIS offensive on the villages of Ayyash and Bgelia.” In other words, the US attack provided sufficient air-cover for ISIS terrorists to carry out their ground operations.

Was that part of the plan or was it merely a coincidence?

Less than 24 hours after the attack, US warplanes bombed the village of Al-Khan in north-eastern Syria killing 26 Syrian civilians including at least four women and seven children and four women. The message the US military is sending with these lethal attacks is that it wants to control the air-space over east Syria where it plans to remove ISIS and establish a de facto Sunni state consistent with its scheme to break Syria and Iraq into smaller cantons governed by local warlords, Islamic fanatics, and US puppets.  A great deal has been written about this topic already, so we won’t spend too much time on it here. A recent op-ed in the New York Times by neocon John Bolton sums up the basic concept which appears to be supported by virtually the entire US political establishment. Here’s an excerpt from the article:

“Today’s reality is that Iraq and Syria as we have known them are gone. ….. Rather than striving to recreate the post-World War I map, Washington should recognize the new geopolitics. The best alternative to the Islamic State in northeastern Syria and western Iraq is a new, independent Sunni state….

This Sunni state proposal differs sharply from the vision of the Russian-Iranian axis and its proxies (Hezbollah, Mr. Assad and Tehran-backed Baghdad). Their aim of restoring Iraqi and Syrian governments to their former borders is a goal fundamentally contrary to American, Israeli and friendly Arab state interests….

The new “Sunni-stan” may not be Switzerland. This is not a democracy initiative, but cold power politics. It is consistent with the strategic objective of obliterating the Islamic State that we share with our allies, and it is achievable.”  (“John Bolton: To Defeat ISIS, Create a Sunni State“, New York Times)

Like we said, the Bolton piece is just one of many articles and policy papers that support the partitioning of Iraq and Syria and the redrawing of the map of the Middle East. ISIS, which is largely an invention of western Intel agencies and their Gulf counterparts, is a critical component in this overall plan. By situating a terrorist organization at the epicenter of world oil supplies, one creates the rationale for intervening in the affairs of other sovereign nations whenever one chooses.  This helps explain this week’s bombings in Ayyash and Al-Khan in north-eastern Syria. The US justifies the attacks by waving the bloody shirt of “ISIS, when in fact, the US is merely pursuing its own narrow strategic interests. And while the US has not formally established a no-fly zone in the area, it’s clear  now that there are greater risks associated with operating in east Syria then there were just week ago,  which is precisely the message the Pentagon wanted to send.

This same rule can be applied Turkey’s invasion of northern Iraq with an estimated 900 troops and 20 tanks. First of all, there is no way that Turkey launched the incursion without first getting the thumbs-up from Washington. We all know how violently the Obama administration reacted when Moscow defended Crimea following the CIA-backed coup in Kiev. Compare that to the subdued response of special presidential envoy, Brett McGurk,   who has this to say on Twitter:  “The US does not support military deployments inside Iraq in the absence of the consent of the Iraqi government.” (Today’s Zaman)

That’s it?  5,000 US soldiers died fighting in Iraq and all McGurk can say is ‘You really shouldn’t do that, Turkey’?

Keep in mind, Washington hasn’t levied sanctions onTurkey, attacked its currency or financial markets, or threatened it with it with war as it did with Russia. In fact, Obama hasn’t even scolded Turkey. He’s simply looked the other way and ignored the matter altogether. Naturally, that’s incensed US ally in Baghdad, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who has threatened to take action if Turkish troops don’t leave in the next 24 hours.

Once again, the Turkish move fits perfectly with the overall imperial strategy of “deconstructing” Syria and Iraq and breaking them into smaller, innocuous statelets that will remain in “a permanent state of colonial dependency” for the foreseeable future.

As for Turkey’s Islamist zealots in Ankara; they feel entirely justified in reclaiming territory they think was stolen from them following WW1. Turkish columnist for A Haber, Cemil Barlas, summed it up like this to RT’s Harry Fear:

“In the past, these lands belonged to us; we have the right to take part in their fate. Moreover, our relatives live in those regions. We are concerned as to what is happening to them….According to Barlas, Turkey has a right over Syrian and Iraqi’s natural resources and he thinks that people living there are not profiting from selling oil as it all goes to the ‘dictator.’”  (Sputnik News)

Turkey’s invasion of Iraq signals the beginning of a long-term occupation that will likely expand to Mosul. This will establish a critical beachhead for controlling resources and pipeline corridors that will keep the oil flowing through Turkey and on to the southern port of Ceyhan.  Here’s more on what’s going on from Turkish columnist Yavuz Baydar:

“Taking back Mosul in full is on the top of the agenda. For this there is an apparent convergence of interests between Turkey, the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) and the Western allies….The key figure in the big picture is Khaled Hodja, leader of the Syrian National Coalition (SNC), in close cooperation with KRG leader Masoud Barzani. It was he who declared that there would be a joint combat force built in the canton of Rojava.

A colonel, speaking anonymously to Tunca Öğreten with the Diken news site in İstanbul, confirmed the plans, adding that it was a formation initiated by the US and Turkey and that it would consist of around 5,000 men.

“…. These forces are supported by the US and Turkey, both against the [Syrian President Bashar al-] Assad regime and to cut out the Kurds in northern Syria.”

Idris Nassan, the deputy foreign minister of Kobani, claims that this new force would consist mainly of members of the groups Ahrar al-Sham and al-Nusra, and Turkmens.

Nassan connects the latest moves to an imminent meeting in Riyadh, where Saudis are organizing new alliance-building for the Syrian opposition forces.“Behind the term ‘moderate forces’ are Saudi Arabia and Turkey,’ Nassan told the Diken website.” (“What lies beneath Turkey’s ’Mosul move’?“, Today’s Zaman)

So it looks like an agreement has been struck between Turkey, the KRG and the United States to seize parts of northern Iraq and eastern Syria to create a de facto Sunni state that will be jointly-controlled by Ankara and Washington.  It also looks like Obama has agreed to use dodgy jihadi-proxies (aka–Terrorists) to work alongside US Special Forces to carry out future military operations.  So while the effort to remove Assad has been temporarily put on the backburner, the determination to destroy Syria is as strong as ever.

Mike Whitney lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at fergiewhitney@msn.com.

The Real “Terrorist Sympathizers” Want To Wage War On Syria … And Russia

 

 

 
 

Syria airstrikes: Cameron accuses Corbyn of being ‘terrorist sympathiser‘

David Cameron has appealed to Conservative MPs to give him an overall parliamentary majority in favour of military action in Syria by warning them against voting alongside “Jeremy Corbyn and a bunch of terrorist sympathisers”.

“You should not be walking through the lobbies with Jeremy Corbyn and a bunch of terrorist sympathisers,” the prime minister reportedly told the committee.

To get rid of the “terrorist sympathizers” who do not want to bomb Syria the pig-fucker will have to incarcerate half of the British people.

Surely terrorist sympathizer should not be allowed to run around freely and to influence the children. These could end up no longer believing what the government and the media are telling them. They would becomeradicals:

A leaflet drawn up by an inner-city child safeguarding board warns that “appearing angry about government policies, especially foreign policies” is a sign “specific to radicalisation”.

Parents and carers have also been advised by the safeguarding children board in the London Borough of Camden that “showing a mistrust of mainstream media reports and a belief in conspiracy theories” could be a sign that children are being groomed by extremists.

The “war on terror” is turning into a war on the local opposition of the ruling classes. Those who oppose its polices are labeled 2terrorists” and those who doubts its word are “radicalized extremists”. How far is it from such verbal insults to actually concentration camps?

Who initiated this sudden rush within major NATO governments to get parliamentary blank checks for waging a long war on Syria? Not only in the UK but also in France and Germany?

The German government turned on a dime from “no military intervention in Syria ever” to “lets wage a war of terror on Syria” without any backing from the UN or international law. (The German government’s legal argument for war is so flimsy that the constitutional court will probably stop it.) Who initiated this? A simple, medium size terror attack in Paris by some Belgians and French can not be the sole reason for this stampede.

Did Obama call and demanded support for his plans? What are these?

I smell that a trap is being laid, likely via a treacherous Turkey, to somehow threaten Russia with, or involve it in, a wider war. This would include military attacks in east-Ukraine or Crimea as well as in Syria. Obama demanded European backing in case the issue gets of of hands. No other reason I have found explains the current panic. The terrorists the “west” supports in Syria are in trouble. The real terrorist sympathizers need to rush to their help. It is a start of all-out war on Syria and its Russian protectors.

But Russia is cool headed and is preparing to make its position in Syria even stronger. There will soon be at least 100 Russian military planes in Syria, some say up to 150 in total, plus dozens of ground attack helicopters including the very modern KA-52 (vid). New airfields for Russian fighter jets are being prepared in Shayrat (map), south-east of Homs. 10 fighter jets and 15 attack helicopters are already stationed there. Another airport will be in Tiyas (map), some 30 km west of Palmyra. This one will be used to cover east Syria and the Syrian army’s movement against the Islamic State in Raqqa. A fourth airport for jets, likely near Hama, is planned and several smaller airfields are to be used for more helicopters. Some 1,000 additional Russian personal will include special forces to designate targets and to provide support for Syrian troops.

The Syrian army was provide with new electronic snooping systems to be able to listen to its enemies communication. To protect against U.S. made anti-tank missiles (TOWs), which the CIA handed to the Jihadists, Syrian tanks are upgraded with the Shtora anti-missile systems. Brand new artillery has also arrived.

The “moderate rebels” of Jabhat al Nusra and Ahrar al Sham which Turkey and others support currentlyget squeezed (map) in their corridor from the Turkish border down to Aleppo. The Islamic State is pressing from the east against the corridor while Kurdish YPG fighters, with Russian air support(!), are attacking from the west and the Syrian army is pushing from the south. The moves on the government and YPG side and the IS side are not coordinated but a race to conquer as much as possible of the area before the other party reaches it. Two month ago the Kurdish leader had hinted at this plan to close the uncontrolled gap at the Turkish border.

This is the area Turkey wanted to occupy as a “safe zone” for the terrorists it supports. It also needs the corridor to smuggle oil from the Islamic State to Turkey. Should Turkey, backed by the U.S. and NATO, have funny ideas and try to invade Syria to secure that safe zone, it will have to take on very well armed and serious opponents. From there to World War III is only a small step.

I prefer to be called a terrorist sympathizer over supporting any move into that direction.

Putin: ISIS financed from 40 countries, including G20 members

Published time: 16 Nov, 2015 14:29
Edited time: 16 Nov, 2015 16:55

RT @RT_com

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President Vladimir Putin says he’s shared Russian intelligence data on Islamic State financing with his G20 colleagues: the terrorists appear to be financed from 40 countries, including some G20 member states.

During the summit, “I provided examples based on our data on the financing of different Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) units by private individuals. This money, as we have established, comes from 40 countries and, there are some of the G20 members among them,” Putin told the journalists.

Putin also spoke of the urgent need to curb the illegal oil trade by IS.

“I’ve shown our colleagues photos taken from space and from aircraft which clearly demonstrate the scale of the illegal trade in oil and petroleum products,” he said.

“The motorcade of refueling vehicles stretched for dozens of kilometers, so that from a height of 4,000 to 5,000 meters they stretch beyond the horizon,” Putin added, comparing the convoy to gas and oil pipeline systems.

BREAKING: Putin & Obama hold talks on G20 sidelines http://on.rt.com/6wkv

It’s not the right time to try and figure out which country is more and which is less effective in the battle with Islamic State, as now a united international effort is needed against the terrorist group, Putin said.

Putin reiterated Russia’s readiness to support armed opposition in Syria in its efforts to fight Islamic State.

“Some armed opposition groups consider it possible to begin active operations against IS with Russia’s support. And we are ready to provide such support from the air. If it happens it could become a good basis for the subsequent work on a political settlement,” he said.

“We really need support from the US, European nations, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iran,” the president added.

RT UK

Putin pointed out the change in Washington’s stance on cooperation with Moscow in the fight against the terrorists.

“We need to organize work specifically concentrated on the prevention of terrorist attacks and tackling terrorism on a global scale. We offered to cooperate [with the US] in anti-IS efforts. Unfortunately, our American partners refused. They just sent a written note and it says: ‘we reject your offer’,” Putin said.

“But life is always evolving and at a very fast pace, often teaching us lessons. And I think that now the realization that an effective fight [against terror] can only be staged together is coming to everybody,” the Russian leader said.

Sinai plane crash: 10-month girl becomes grieving symbol of Russia tragedy

RT NEWS

 

DAY OF MOURNING WE WILL NEVER FORGET

Russia declares day of mourning for victims of plane crash in Egypt

OUR HEART IS WITH VLAD PUTIN PRESIDENT OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION AND THE FAMILIES OF THE VICTIMS.

AINHOA AND ALEXA ARISTIZABAL

 

Candles

Everyone on board the Airbus died when it crashed into a mountainous area of Egypt’s Sinai peninsular. Claims by the self-proclaimed ‘Islamic State’ (IS) that it caused the crash have been dismissed.

The Airbus 321-200 went down in northern Egypt only 23 minutes after taking off on Saturday from Sharm al-Sheikh, a popular Egyptian Red Sea resort.

The Airbus, carrying mostly Russian citizens, was returning to Saint Petersburg in Russia from Sharm al-Sheikh , Egyptian authorities said Saturday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has declared Sunday a day of mourning while the authorities have set up an emergency center at the Saint Petersburg airport, where friends and relatives gathered, awaiting news of the victims.

The Egyptian investigators found one of the plane’s two flight recorders or “black boxes,” at the scene. A senior air traffic controller said the plane’s pilot told him in his last transmission that he was having trouble with the radio system.

The pilot also reportedly said he wanted to make an emergency landing before losing contact with ground control. The initial information suggests that the plane crashed due to a technical fault, security sources in North Sinai said.

Kogalymavia The 18-year old Airbus went through a detailed check last year, according to its owners

Authorities in both Russia and Egypt have started investigations into the incident. Moscow is to “insist” that the flight recorders are processed in Russia, a source within the Russian investigation team told the Interfax news agency.

The 18-year old Airbus went through a detailed check last year, according to the TH&C Holding company which owns the Kogalymavia airlines which operated the flight.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, US Secretary of State John Kerry, British Prime Minister David Cameron, as well as representatives of several other countries, have offered their condolences to Russia.

IS claims

“You who kill will be killed,” a militant group affiliated to “Islamic State” (IS) in Sinai, said in a Twitter message on Saturday.

IS, which is active in Egypt’s Sinai Province, said it brought down the passenger plane “in response to Russian airstrikes that killed hundreds of Muslims on Syrian land.”

Egyptian President, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (C), shaking hands with a member of the armed forces during his official visit following unprecedented attacks in North Sinai, Egypt, 04 July 2014 (Photo: EPA/OFFICE OF THE EGYPTIAN PRESIDENT / HANDOUT HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES +++(c) dpa - Bildfunk+++) Egyptian security forces are battling against IS and its affiliated militant networks in Sinai

Russian authorities told Interfax news agency the claim “can’t be considered accurate.”

“Based on our contacts with the Egyptian side, the information that the airplane was shot down must not be considered reliable,” Russian transport minister Maxim Sokolov told media.

In January 2014, Sinai-based militants shot down a military helicopter, but they are now known to have the capability to strike a high-flying passenger plane. The Russian airliner that crashed on Saturday was cruising at 31,000 feet when it lost contact with air traffic controllers, according to Egyptian aviation officials.

Egyptian security forces are battling against IS and its affiliated militant networks in Sinai, much of which has been declared a military zone.

German carrier Lufthansa and Air France-KLM said they would not fly over Sinai until the investigations about the crash were complete.

Shs/jm (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters, Interfax)

Egypt

Sinai attacks show ‘IS’ influence growing

The attacks in Sinai were claimed by Sinai Province, an Egyptian militant group that has pledged allegiance to the “Islamic State” group. Kristen McTighe reports from Cairo on its growing influence in the region.

As details of the deadly assault on the town of Sheikh Zuweid continue to emerge, the attack underscores the growing strength of “Islamic State” (IS) militants and the inability of the Egypt’s army to quell violence and restore stability, analysts say.

“This was very expected, it was not surprise at all,” Dr. Khalil al-Anani, a scholar at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, DC and an expert on Islamist movements and Egyptian politics, told DW. “The Egyptian army doesn’t seem to be able to prevent such attacks, the regime policy failed and it shows [President Abdel-Fatah] el-Sissi is very weak right now.”

Formally known as Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, the group first emerged following the country’s 2011 revolution and attacks were directed mainly against Israel. The government’s trouble controlling the country’s vast northern territory, where weapons smuggling from both Libya and the Gaza Strip was rife, has allowed the group to flourish.

Following the military-led ouster of former Islamist President Mohamed Morsi, the group began to shift its focus to fighting against the government and security forces. In September 2013, the group claimed responsibility for one of its most high-profile attacks with an attempted assassination of then-Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim, targeting his convoy with a car bomb.

Inspired by al Qaeda

Initially seen as inspired by al Qaeda, it renamed itself Sinai Peninsula and pledged allegiance to IS in November 2014. It has since been involved in suicide bombings, assassinations and beheadings.

The return of Egyptians fighting for militant groups in Libya, Syria and Iraq has also contributed to the group’s increasing capabilities.

“I think a lot of the reasoning behind their increased capabilities over the past couple of years has been that fighters have trained abroad and they’ve come back, not necessarily sent back by the Islamic State to cause trouble, but they’ve returned home after being abroad and they’ve brought these skills with them,” Zack Gold, a visiting fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv, told DW.

But while the group has been carrying out frequent attacks against the army, the scale of and tactics used in the recent attack signals a sharp escalation in the group’s capabilities.

“What I think is unprecedented, and what I didn’t expect, was the assault on Sheikh Zuweid because it really seems to have moved their operations from attacks on the state security apparatus to attacks directly on the population,” said Gold. “They may have not run in and slaughtered people, but shooting in civilian areas, laying down IED in civilian areas, was basically an assault on the civilian population, even if you are laying down those traps for the military.”

New cycle of violence

Previously, Gold said, violence in the Sinai had become a “very predictable cycle” of militant escalations followed by massive military maneuvers inside the Sinai Penninsula since the July 2013 military coup.

“Frankly we’ve seen for all the hundreds of militants that have allegedly been killed or captured by the Egyptian state, the group itself has only been getting stronger,” said Gold.

Making the situation more difficult to gauge, for the past two years the Egyptian government has restricted media access to the northern Sinai region. “Our surprise at the attacks in Sinai ought to be a reminder that we know precious little about what happens in the peninsula – and especially regarding radical groups like Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis,” Dr H.A. Hellyer, associate fellow in International security at the Royal United Services Institute in London and the Brookings Center for Middle East Policy in DC., told DW.

The Egyptian army says its operations have been successful and often publishes grisly photos online like those posted by Egyptian army spokesman Mohamed Samir on his Facebook account following the attacks in Sheikh Zuweid showing scorched and bloodied bodies of what he said were “despicable terrorist elements that were eliminated.”

“Overall, the government’s response has not been helpful and in some ways it’s actually been harmful,” said Gold. “A lot of the policies that are put in place in order to clamp down on the militants are almost in no way affecting the militants maneuvering and they are putting a great deal of stress on the local population.”

Making life difficult

Since the military ouster of Morsi, Egyptian army operations in Sinai have included house demolitions and the forced relocation of thousands of residents to build a buffer zone between Egypt and the Gaza strip. Curfews have been imposed and Internet and phone networks are often shut down during military operations, making daily life even more difficult for locals who have long been caught in the crossfire of militants and the army. Locals have also been the victims of beheadings and executions by militants.

“I don’t know if this is necessarily in the immediate term radicalizing local populations…but even if they are not signing up and joining and operating with the jihadi forces, they certainly aren’t willing to join the military against them,” said Gold.

man sitting down copyright: KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images Sissi’s critics says he’s fighting on the wrong front

Others say the government’s repeatedly harsh crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood, the group from which former president Morsi hails, has distracted the government from the real threat of jihadist groups.

“There has been a crisis since 2013 and one of the main mistakes of the Sissi regime is that it is fighting in the wrong place,” said Dr. Al-Anani, from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. “The Sissi regime will not be able to win the war against terrorism in Sinai without having a solution with the Muslim Brotherhood. They cannot fight such wars on both fronts at the same time.”

The government has consistently blamed the Muslim Brotherhood for attacks the group has denounced and that have been claimed by jihadist groups such as the Sinai Province. The Sinai Province views the Muslim Brotherhood as traitors, but it has criticized Morsi’s ouster by the military and declared war against Sissi’s government and the army.

“Why do they fail so badly vs IS? Because they’ve been busy using the IS threat to go after their non-IS opponents,” wrote Iyad El-Baghdadi, an activist originally from the United Arab Emirates but now based in Oslo, Norway after being expelled from the country, on his Twitter account.

“How many attacks has ABM (IS in #Egypt) launched and claimed, just to have Sissi say no, it was the MB (and the MB say it was Sissi)?” he added.

Twenty-five children were believed to have been on board, along with 192 adults – nearly 140 of who were women. According to the officially released list of passengers, many were traveling in families, as many passengers had the same family names.

Many of the passengers killed in the crash had VKontakte accounts, where they had posted many pictures from their holidays at the Egyptian resort. “Time please stand still,” one of the captions read.

A couple from St. Petersburg had been celebrating their one year wedding anniversary at the resort, having traveled to Egypt to mark their special day. “She called us yesterday, said that they had a great time on holiday, that the weather was very nice. She also sent some pictures, the two of them were looking so young and beautiful,” a friend of the two victims told RT, adding that the woman would have turned 35 years old tomorrow.

Two young men who became friends with two girls who were flying to St. Petersburg from Sharm El-Sheikh on Saturday morning were devastated by the news, they told Russia’s LifeNews. “We became friends at the resort, stayed at the same hotel… It’s so difficult to realize what has happened,” one man told the reporters, adding that they have decided to help the families of the dead women.

The Latest: Co-pilot’s wife: He complained about plane

CAIRO, Egypt (AP) — The latest news on a Russian passenger plane that crashed Saturday on a flight from Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, to St. Petersburg, Russia.

11:15 p.m.

The wife of the co-pilot of the Russian plane that crashed in Egypt says her husband had complained about the plane’s condition, according to a Russian TV channel.

State-controlled NTV ran an interview Saturday with Natalya Trukhacheva, identified as the wife of co-pilot Sergei Trukachev. She said that a daughter “called him up before he flew out. He complained before the flight that the technical condition of the aircraft left much to be desired.”

An Egyptian official had previously said that before the plane lost contact with air traffic controllers the pilot had radioed and said the aircraft was experiencing technical problems and that he intended to try and land at the nearest airport.

7:25 p.m.

French airline Air France has decided to avoid flying over the Sinai Peninsula for safety reasons, following the crash of a Russian passenger plane in that region of Egypt.

A spokeswoman for the company said Saturday that Air France’s flights will avoid the area pending the investigation “as a precaution, until further notice.”

The airline will instead use other routes to the region’s airports.

The decision follows a similar move by Lufthansa announced earlier Saturday.

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6:40 p.m.

The Russian airline whose plane crashed in the Sinai region on Saturday says the aircraft was in good shape and the pilot was experienced.

In a statement on its website, Moscow-based Metrojet says the A321 received required factory maintenance in 2014.

The statement identified the captain of the plane as Valery Nemov and said he had 12,000 air hours of experience, including 3,860 in A321s.

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6:30 p.m.

Following the crash of a Russian plane in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, German airline Lufthansa says it will no longer fly across the area.

A spokeswoman for Lufthansa told The Associated Press that the company had decided in a meeting Saturday that the carrier would not fly over Sinai “as long as the cause for today’s crash has not been clarified.”

The spokeswoman said that “security is our highest priority.” She spoke on condition of anonymity in line with department policy.

For the time being, the airline will instead use detours for destinations in region.

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5:45 p.m.

The Islamic State group is claiming responsibility for bringing down the Russian Metrojet plane in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula — but it has have offered no evidence and is not known to have the capability to do so.

It is not clear what caused the plane crash Saturday morning that killed 224 people on the flight from Egypt to St. Petersburg. Egyptian officials say the pilot reported technical difficulties and wanted to make an emergency landing. The Metrojet crashed in an area where Egyptian forces have been battling an Islamic insurgency.

Russian Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov has scoffed at the IS claim, telling the Interfax news agency that such reports “must not be considered reliable.”

Militants in northern Sinai have not to date shot down any commercial airliners or fighter jets but there have been media reports that they have acquired Russian shoulder-fired, anti-aircraft missiles. These missiles, however, are only effective against low-flying aircraft or helicopters.

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5:20 p.m.

The airplane tracking site Flight Radar says current air traffic is operating normally over Egypt’s restive Sinai Peninsula despite a deadly crash there earlier in the day.

Air traffic in and out of Sharm el-Sheikh was normal and a flight just took off Saturday afternoon heading to Moscow. The Egyptian resort city on the Sinai Peninsula is a favorite destination for Russian tourists.

A Russian Metrojet plane crashed Saturday morning in a mountainous region in the Sinai after taking off from Sharm el-Sheikh, killing all 224 people aboard. Officials said the pilot had reported a technical problem and was looking to make an emergency landing before radio contact with air traffic controllers went dead.

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4:50 p.m.

Russian investigators are searching the Moscow offices of Metrojet, the company whose chartered plane has crashed in Egypt, killing all 224 people aboard.

Officers of Russia’s top investigative body, the Investigative Committee, were also questioning Metrojet employees and doing the same at the St. Petersburg-based Brisco tour agency that had contracted for the flight from the resort of Sharm el-Sheikh to St. Petersburg.

Spokesman Vladimir Markin also said investigators are taking samples of fuel from the airport in Samara where the plane was last fueled.

The plane crashed Saturday morning in a mountainous region of Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, 70 kilometers (44 miles) south of the city of el-Arish, where Egyptian security forces have for years been battling an Islamic militant insurgency.

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4:20 p.m.

Egypt’s foreign minister has promised to work closely with Russian officials and experts to find the cause of the deadly plane crash in the Sinai Peninsula.

Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry called his Russian counterpart to express his condolences for the victims and stressed his country’s commitment “to uncover the circumstances surrounding the incident, in full cooperation and coordination with the Russian side.”

Egypt and Russia have grown closer diplomatically in recent months.

Officials say all 224 people on board the Airbus A321-200 were killed in the Saturday morning crash that came 23 minutes after the plane took off from the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. Those on board heading to St. Petersburg included 3 Ukrainians and 221 Russians.

According to Russian news agencies, the Russian airliner was a charter flight under contract with the St. Petersburg-based Brisco tour company.

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4:05 p.m.

European aircraft manufacturer Airbus confirms that the Russian passenger plane that has crashed in Egypt is an A321-200.

The plane was made in 1997 and since 2012 has been operated by Metrojet, Airbus said in a written statement. The aircraft had accumulated some 56,000 flight hours in nearly 21,000 flights.

The airline manufacturer said an Airbus team of technical advisers “stands by ready to provide full technical assistance to the French Investigation Agency BEA and to the authorities in charge of the investigation.”

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3:55 p.m.

A top Egyptian official says except for three Ukrainian passengers, everyone on board the Russian Metrojet flight that crashed in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula was a Russian citizen.

Adel Mahgoub, chairman of the state company that runs Egypt’s civilian airports, spoke after officials said all those aboard the Russian charter flight from Sharm el-Sheikh to St. Petersburg were killed in the crash Saturday morning.

An Egyptian cabinet statement said the 217 passengers included 138 women, 62 men and 17 children. Seven crew, all Russian, were also aboard.

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3 p.m.

At a hotel near St. Petersburg’s Pulkovo airport, the friends and relatives of those on the Metrojet flight that crashed in Egypt are gathering to grieve.

Yulia Zaitseva said her friends, a newlywed couple named Elena Rodina and Alexqander Krotov, were on the flight. Both were 33. Egyptian officials said all 224 people on the flight were Russian and there were no survivors.

Zaitseva says Saturday that her friend “really wanted to go to Egypt, though I told her ‘why the hell do you want to go to Egypt?'”

She says “we were friends for 20 years. She was a very good friend who was ready to give everything to other people. To lose such a friend is like having your hand cut off.”

She said Rodina’s parents feel “like their lives are over.”

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2:45 p.m.

U.S. officials have offered their condolences to Russia and to all the families involved in the crash of a Russian passenger plane in Egypt.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told reports that “We don’t know any details about it, but obviously the initial reports represent tremendous tragedy, loss, and we extend our condolences to the families and all those concerned.”

Kerry spoke Saturday while on a visit to the former Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan.

Egyptian officials say all 224 people — 217 passengers and seven crew — on the Metrojet flight were Russian and there were no survivors in Saturday’s crash in the Sinai Peninsula.

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2:15 p.m.

Several Egyptian military and security officials say there are no survivors from the Russian passenger plane carrying 224 people that crashed into Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.

The officials all spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the media. Aviation experts have reached the crash site near the city of el-Arish.

Officials say all the victims in Saturday’s Metrojet plane crash were Russian citizens.

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2 p.m.

Egypt’s civil aviation minister says an investigative team has arrived at the Russian plane crash site in the Sinai peninsula to examine the debris and try to locate the flight’s data and cockpit voice recorders, commonly known as the black box.

Egyptian officials say the pilot of the Russian airliner that crashed early Saturday had reported technical difficulties and wanted to make an emergency landing before losing contact with air traffic controllers.

Adel Mahgoub, chairman of the state company that runs Egypt’s civilian airports, said the plane had successfully undergone technical checks at Sharm el-Sheikh’s airport before taking off. He said experts were going there to view security camera footage of the Metrojet plane at the airport.

The plane, carrying 217 passengers and 7 crew, all Russians, went down in an area where Egypt has been fighting an Islamic insurgency.

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1:50 p.m.

The Kremlin has declared Nov. 1 a day of mourning for those who died in a Russian plane crash in Egypt’s Sinai peninsula.

Adel Mahgoub, chairman of the state company that runs Egypt’s civilian airports, said all 217 passengers and seven crew on the Metrojet flight Saturday from Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt to St. Petersburg were Russian citizens. The plane has crashed but there is no report yet on any death toll.

Russia’s Premier League says all its soccer matches this week would begin with a minute of silence for the crash victims.

Roughly three million Russian tourists come to Egypt every year — nearly a third of all of the country’s visitors in 2014 — mostly to Red Sea resorts in Sinai or in mainland Egypt.

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1:30 p.m.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered Russian emergency officials to fly immediately to the site of the Russian plane crash in Egypt’s Sinai peninsula.

Russia’s Emergencies Minister Vladimir Puchkov will coordinate the search and rescue operation in Egypt, the ministry said Saturday.

Authorities say the plane was carrying 217 passengers and 7 crew members from the Egyptian city of Sharm el-Sheikh, a popular tourist resort for Russians, back to St. Petersburg.

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1:10 p.m.

Russia’s Investigative Committee, the country’s top investigative body, has opened an investigation into the crash of a Russian passenger jet in Egypt’s Sinai peninsula for possible violations of flight safety procedures.

Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin made the announcement in a statement Saturday.

An Egyptian aviation official says the pilot of Metrojet Flight 7K9268 had reported technical difficulties early Saturday and planned an emergency landing at the nearest airport before losing contact with Egyptian air traffic controllers and crashing.

Authorities say the plane was carrying 217 passengers and 7 crew members from Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, to St. Petersburg.

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12:40 p.m.

An Egyptian aviation official says the pilot of the Russian airliner that crashed in the Sinai Peninsula had reported technical difficulties before losing contact with air traffic controllers.

Ayman al-Muqadem, a member of the Aviation Incidents Committee, said the pilot had reported his intention to attempt to land at the nearest airport.

Egyptian authorities say the Metrojet plane took off early Saturday from Sharm el-Sheikh, a popular Red Sea tourist destination, heading for St. Petersburg carrying 217 passengers and 7 crew members.

Plane tracking website Flight Radar said the flight disappeared from radar 23 minutes after takeoff. Egyptian authorities say it crashed in Egypt’s Sinai peninsula. The crash site is in an area where the government is fighting an Islamic insurgency.

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12:25 p.m.

Egyptian authorities say the wreckage of a Russian passenger jet has been found in area where Egyptian forces are fighting an Islamic militant insurgency.

Egyptian security forces have been waging major operations against a burgeoning insurgency in the northern Sinai peninsula, including the city of el-Arish. Egyptian officials say the wreckage was found in the Hassana area south of el-Arish.

The long-restive northern Sinai has seen a spike in attacks targeting security forces since the military overthrow of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in 2013.  An Islamic State affiliate has claimed responsibility for many of the deadly attacks.  The Egyptian government has restricted journalists’ access to the area.

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11:55 a.m.

Russia’s civil air agency is expected to have a news conference shortly to talk about the Russian Metrojet passenger plane that Egyptian authorities say has crashed in Egypt’s Sinai peninsula.

Officials were gathering at a hotel adjacent to the St. Petersburg airport, where Egyptian officials say the plane was heading with 217 passengers and 7 crew members.

The plane took off early Saturday from Sharm el-Sheikh, a popular Red Sea tourist destination for Russians. Plane tracking website Flight Radar said Metrojet flight #7K9268 disappeared over Egypt 23 minutes after takeoff.

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Worst is over for Russia economy: CFO

 

 

 

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CNBC
Monday, 28 Sep 2015 | 5:06 AM ET

Holly Ellyatt

Russia’s recent economic turbulence, weakened ruble and high inflation could be coming to an end, according to the chief financial officer of the country’s leading telecoms business.

Alexey Kornya, chief financial officer of Russian telecoms giant MTS, told CNBC Monday that “in terms of inflation and ruble devaluation, the worst has already passed,” he said.

Russia’s economy was hit by a 50 percent-plus decline in oil prices since June 2014 and sanctions imposed by global powers for its annexation of Crimean and role in the pro-Russian uprising in Ukraine.

The combination of both saw capital outflows from Russia increase and the ruble weaken greatly against the dollar, spurring on a rise in consumer prices.

However, analysts are starting to see life coming back to the beleaguered economy and the recession bottoming out. Inflation remains high, however, at 15.8 percent in August and the ruble remains weak against the dollar, trading at 65.6 to the greenback Monday.

Kornya from MTS, which is the leading telecommunications group in Russia and former Soviet countries, told CNBC Monday that his company was not too dependent on the currency fluctuations his country had seen over the last year as over 90 percent of its business was domestic.

As of June 30 this year, MTS serviced over 100 million mobile subscribers in Russia, Ukraine, Armenia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Belarus. In the second quarter, the group reported a 4.4 percent rise in total revenues in Russia, year-on-year, to 94.3 billion rubles ($1.43 billion).

“We see challenges from the devalued ruble experienced over the past year but at the same time we’re not depending too much on macro volatility,” he told CNBC, adding that he believed “the worst was over” for Russia.

“I think that the worst in terms of inflation and ruble devaluation is now past so now we need to find the new engines of growth in the Russian economy,” he said.

“Generally, from what we observe in the market, we think the worst has already been experienced in terms of the fall in the oil price…but the question is how long this low commodity cycle will last,” he added.

Russia’s current economic crisis has highlighted how dependent its economy is on commodities for much of its growth, and Kornya said the country had to evolve away from its resource-reliant economic model.

“It is a challenge to see how other businesses in Russia that are commodity-oriented develop, especially in the environment where you have some inflationary pressures and where you’re experiencing a devalued ruble,” he said.

“We feel there is space for new businesses and new experiences for consumers however, it is still a challenge in the Russian economy to reduce this commodity dependence and to go into new sectors.”

Bloomberg:  Russian economy revives despite sanctions

The Russian economy has seen a notable rebound with businesses recovering despite a year of contraction caused by Western sanctions. Fluctuations in the domestic currency have narrowed, which brought investors back into the market.

Global investors appear to be optimistic about the future of Russian corporations, as the country’s economic performance provides evidence to recovery, says Bloomberg analyst Matthew Winkler in his article.

Those who invested in ruble-denominated government securities this year have already made a profit equivalent to seven percent in dollar terms, while those who invested in government bonds of other developing countries lost more than one percent from January, he says. The holders of corporate bonds gained even more with a 7.3 percent return in 2015, which leads the index for emerging market corporate bonds compiled by Bloomberg.

The 50 Russian stocks in the MICEX are up 11.9 percent this year, which is better than any North American market, and that, according to analysts, shows confidence is starting to return.

Russia overcomes the worst, sees stabilization – finance minister

Russian companies were more profitable measured by their Ebitda margins (earnings before taxes, depreciation and amortization) than the rest of the global MSCI Emerging Market Index. Around 78 percent of enterprises represented in the MICEX index showed a greater increase in sales than their counterparts around the world.

For instance, Novatek OAO, a $22.8 billion independent producer of natural gas in western Siberia, saw its sales increase 19.5 percent, compared with 0.76 percent from the sector globally. Oil major Rosneft with a capitalization of $41 billion and production in western Siberia, Sakhalin, the North Caucasus and the Arctic, reported an 18.26 percent annual sales growth, while its international competitors having shown an increase in revenue of just 0.76 percent.

However, the pace of economic recovery strongly depends on investment demand, according to Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov. The finance ministry estimates the country’s GDP will fall by roughly three percent in 2015.

<strong>Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). Unruly Hearts will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article.</strong>

War Crime Inquiries and a Toppled Lenin as Ukraine Ceasefire Violations Continue

vicenews_warcrimes

September 30, 2014 | 2:21 pm

It didn’t take long for Russia’s launch of a genocide investigation into Ukraine’s political and military leadership to draw counter-fire from Kiev. Just hours after Moscow’s announcement, the Ukrainian prosecutor-general’s office opened its own inquiry, this time into alleged Russian support for “terrorist and separatist groups”.

The Russian investigation follows a call from Moscow last week for an independent inquiry into alleged mass graves discovered in the area surrounding the village of Nyzhnia Krynka, approximately 20 miles northeast of Donetsk city, from where locals say the pro-Kiev National Guard battalion had recently retreated.

“Died for Putin’s lies” reads the inscription on a makeshift plaque that marks two of the three grave sites at Komunar mine, according to a report by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Another sign nearby – written in Russian – lists the date of death as “27/08/2014” alongside the names of four individuals, and in one additional case a simple set of initials.

According to initial statements by rebel leaders, the burial sites discovered on September 23 contained scores of bodies.

Speaking to the Russian News Service, Alexander Zakharchenko, self-declared Prime Minister of the Donetsk People’s Republic, claimed there were about 40 bodies of civilians, prisoners of war and Ukrainian militia soldiers. Over the weekend, the rebels claimed a fourth grave had been found close by with an unknown number of victims; the report could not be independently identified.

Other pro-Kremlin media outlets have reported as yet unsubstantiated claims by the rebels that amongst the dead were victims with their hands tied behind their back and who had been shot point blank in the head, or beheaded.

Since then, however, the number of confirmed dead has been significantly reduced and there has been no independent verification of the identity of the bodies or the causes of death.

“Around ten bodies have been removed from the site,” a senior official in the rebel defense ministry told VICE News. “There could be many more, but we can’t continue digging until the area has been demined,” he added.

The director of Donetsk morgue, Anatolievich Kalashnikov, told VICE News by telephone that nine bodies had been brought to the morgues in the region from the area of the burial sites.

Four bodies seen at the grave by OSCE representatives on September 24 were in “such an advanced state of decomposition, there was no immediate way to tell how they died or who they were,” Michael Bociurkiw, spokesperson for the Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, told VICE News. “There are no forensic experts in our team, and we did not meet with any at the site, but we are happy to facilitate access for any outside experts as we did with MH17,” he added.

Speaking about the claims that some of the bodies were found with their hands bound, the OSCE’s Bociurkiw said he had “nothing further to add on that”.

Announced on Tuesday, Ukraine’s counter-war crime investigation is expected to focus on the detention of Ukrainian military pilot Nadezhda Savchenk – accused by Moscow of killing two Russian journalists in Ukraine.

However, the statement released by the Ukrainian prosecutor general’s office said that other issues will also be examined and accused officials from the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation of “illegal interference” in the work of Ukraine’s law enforcement bodies and armed forces.

“[The interference] is aimed at aiding the terrorist organizations ‘Donetsk People’s Republic’ and ‘Luhansk People’s Republic’ in their criminal activities and obstructing the performance of duties by government officials,” it said.

Both Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have highlighted mounting evidence that both sides in the conflict have violated international laws of war in a host of ways, including indiscriminate use of artillery in populated areas, irregular detention, torture and even executions.

The opening of legal inquiries by both sides in the conflict comes as continued shelling in pockets of the region puts further pressure on a ceasefire agreed in Minsk on September 5.

Despite now being more than three weeks into the supposed peace deal, shelling has not stopped in several flash points across the region including Donetsk airport, Shchastya and Popasna.

On Monday the worst outbreak of fighting in a week left at least 12 dead.

Ukraine Clashes Kill 12 as Donetsk Airport Battles Threaten Fragile Ceasefire. Read more here

Ukrainian army officials said at least nine soldiers were killed and 27 wounded in just one day of clashes, seven of them in a single attack by rebels close to Donetsk airport, which has been the focus of fierce battles as the separatists try to rout Kiev’s forces from their last foothold in the city.

According to city officials, three civilians were also killed and five wounded by shelling overnight Sunday on a residential neighborhood near the aerodrome in the north of Donetsk.

Despite a deal on September 20th to create a buffer zone which saw both sides tentatively agreeing to withdraw heavy artillery from within firing range of one another, the details of the pact were almost immediately contested, with the area around the airport cited as a key bone of contention.

Speaking to journalists on Saturday, Ihor Kolomoysky, the oligarch governor of Dnipropetrovsk who has bankrolled several of the pro-Kiev battalions fighting on the frontline of Ukraine’s anti-terror operation, said that an agreement had been reached with the rebels to abandon the airport in return for a large swathe of territory to the south of Donetsk.

However, military spokesperson Andriy Lysenko later denied the claim saying the airport “was, is and will be under the control of the Ukrainian military.”

Meanwhile, in a move that could spark a backlash in the divided Ukrainian held city of Kharkiv, pro-Kiev demonstrators felled a 66-feet tall statue of Vladimir Lenin late on Sunday evening.

Several monuments to the Soviet era dictator were desecrated and pulled down by protesters during the Maidan revolution in early 2014, but the latest toppling is amongst the first in the country’s east where pro-Russian sentiment is stronger.

Back in April thousands took to the streets for pro-Russian demonstrations in Kharkiv, some of which descended into violent clashes. Now, in a bid to keep the peace the city’s mayor Gennady Kernes, who has managed to straddle the divide between the two warring factions, called the destruction “barbaric” and pledged to rebuild the monument.

In Kiev, however, Ukraine’s interior minister, Arsen Avakov, expressed little sympathy for those who might object to the statue’s toppling. “Lenin? Let him fall down. As long as nobody suffers under his weight,” the minister wrote on his Facebook page. “I ordered the police to protect the people and not the idol.”

Vlad Putin: “Wait for us and prepare yourselves, Odessa! The moment will come!”

October 23, 2015 –
Valentin Filippov, PolitNavigator –
Translated for Fort Russ by J. Arnoldski

odessa

“The events which all of Odessa is waiting for will certainly come”

Deputy Aleksey Albu is probably the youngest Odessa politician, and over the course of the Russian Spring he has stepped far beyond the regional political scale. A participant of the events on May 2, 2014, he was forced to leave the city. He is one of the organizers of the Committee for the Liberation of Odessa, an officer of the political department of the “Ghost” brigade, and now lives in the LPR, working to establish the structures of Odessa Compatriots, which unites Odessans from all countries and continents with the aim of overthrowing the neo-Nazi regime in their native city.

youngestpolitician

Aleksey Albu discussed the Minsk Agreements, the war, the role of Odessa, and hopes and plans for resistance with PolitNavigator’s Valentin Filippov.

Valentin Filippov: Greetings, Aleksey!

Aleksey Albu: Greetings.

VF: Has the heat in Lugansk already been turned on?

AA: It was already turned on on the fifteenth.

VF: And what’s the deal? There are elections in Odessa, and heating in Lugansk?

AA: It’s difficult to say. Probably because here the new government is working, and there the old one doesn’t want to work.

VF: This always surprises me. Even Romanians didn’t think about holding elections in Odessa. Or am I confusing something?

I mean the past occupation of the city.

AA: Well, it’s hard for me to make a comparison. They aren’t going to hold elections because they can’t.

VF: Well, alright. How is the Odessa diaspora?

AA: Well, I can’t say that the Odessa diaspora is really doing well, but I can’t say that it’s very bad. There are difficulties associated with the fact that people leaving for somewhere have lost practically everything: work and housing, position in society, and money. And practically everyone has to start from scratch in order to provide for themselves and their families.

But on the other hand, if we speak about Odessans which are here, then everything is ok. The process, which is now going on, is going very positively. Finally, everyone has begun to communicate with each other, uniting into one whole structure with one goal. And this is a very positive process.

VF: The Minsk Agreements, the LPR, DPR, and Kiev – do they have some kind of relationship? Odessa is not specified in them. How do Odessans react to what’s happening? How do they participate in processes?

AA: Really, there are some positive aspects associated with the fact that Odessa is not represented in these agreements, because we are virtually unencumbered by any obligations. And we can act in Odessa with the aid of those forces which remain in the city and the region.

On the other hand, there are a number of negative aspects. With Odessa not represented in these agreements, those people who are in prison in Odessa, and I’ll remind you that this is a very large number of people – it’s very difficult to help our comrades who are sitting in the Odessa solitary confinement center. But I think that we will solve this problem and that we will achieve an exchange for everyone on the list scheduled for autumn. There is an agreement on amnesty, and everyone has to be exchanged. And we’re trying to get our comrades on the exchange list.

VF: Well, here I’m looking and I see that the Ukrainian side has some kind of agreement. And they have their own understanding of captured prisoners. Who is considered a captive? Who is considered a terrorist? Who is a criminal? For example, I still haven’t figured out who the Ukrainian side considers a captive when it doesn’t recognize the opposing side as a belligerent, but considers them terrorists.

Is there some kind of logic here in general or not?

AA: Well, of course. The logic is that the face they have to show to the West, to their voters, supporters, and ultra-right nationalists is an entirely different one in each case. That is, they are between a rock and a hard place. This is not a secret to anyone.

That is, they can’t tell the West that they will ignore these agreements. And they say that they will fulfill them, and that our side and Russia are sabotaging them. And, at the same time, they can’t say to their supporters openly that they will fulfill these agreements. So, of course, the Ukrainian government is in a very difficult position.

If we’re speaking personally about me and my opinion, I believe that these agreements will be torn up. And their tearing up will be precisely the fault of the Ukrainian side. What happened in Donbass, and what happened in Ukraine is not a finished process. There will still be war. And we still have a long and bitter struggle for the liberation of our region.

VF: Well, I basically agree with you completely, but in regards to the “there will be war” and “the Minsk Agreements will be fulfilled…” – all the time I think that the Minsk Agreements were not spelled out fully. Sanctions are not prescribed for failing to comply. It’s not absolutely understood what responsibility the Ukrainian side has. What will happen? At what point can we say “that’s all guys, you didn’t do anything”? And then what will happen?

They have been proposed to extend the fulfillment of what they’ve already done. But they still refuse to do so. They say: “Yeah, no. There’s no need to renew anything. We won’t do anything.”

AA: The point is that now the Ukrainian side went to a meeting. It was demanded that elections [in the LPR and DPR] are postponed and, so to say, the ball was put in the Ukrainian side’s court. Now the LPR and DPR are awaiting the fulfillment of these agreements by Ukraine. What is to be expected in the case of a failure to comply? Well, the process of separation from Ukraine will just continue. That’s it.

VF: Well, this process of separating from Ukraine in no way solves the problem of Kharkov, Mariupol, and Odessa…

AA: I disagree, because, in fact, if there weren’t the people’s republics, how would us Odessans be able to prepare resistance in Odessa? the LPR and DPR are for us a place where we can engage in organizational work. And not only organizational work, but also “other work.” Therefore, the fact that the territories of the LPR and DPR are partially liberated is for us, undoubtedly, a huge plus..

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VF: Ok. This is an unexpected question: You participated in the political life of Odessa and in elections. Despite your young age, probably more than once. Yes? Do you not feel any symptoms of withdraw? Don’t you want to do this again? Rallies, leaflets, meetings with voters. Or is this already a bit in the past, from a different, civilian life?

AA: No, why? Then they were just political process, and today they are entirely different. If earlier it was possible to express your position with the aid of rallies, leaflets, and newspapers, then today, unfortunately, we can’t express this position.

For example, I cannot come to Odessa and hold a rally because, as a minimum, it will be prohibited by the authorities, and, as a maximum, it will be dispersed by paramilitary squads, which today are at the service of the authorities….

Undoubtedly, it’s necessary to show that our resistance is not broken, that people do not accept this government, and I believe that this must continue…But [distributing leaflets] will not be an effective mechanism for the realization of those principles for which we are fighting.

Today, we must move on to an entirely different phase of the fight, and I think everyone understands what I’m talking about.

As for whether or not this is enough for me or not, I don’t know. On the one hand, of course, being a deputy had more doors open for me. There were more opportunities for movements. But living in Odessa, whether I’m a deputy or not – this is actually the same thing.

AA: We are not abandoning political struggle. The methods have just changed.

VF: Ok. Forms and methods. And how do you appraise the political struggle which is happening in Odessa today? The parties which emerged, the new political figures are different ones, and here is the most striking: if you formerly asked in general “What’s with the Khokhol” [a derogatory slang for Ukrainians – J. Arnoldski], then Odessans are now asking “What’s with Saakashvili?” …

What is your appraisal of what is happening in the Odessa regional council and the Odessa state regional administration?

AA: You can’t express what is happening there in one sentence. On the one hand, we understand that the electoral field, which was represented by the Party of Regions and pro-Russian forces which positioned themselves as pro-Russian, showed in practice that they in fact were not such…Now this is free, not filled. A vacuum has formed. And all sorts of rascals from the nationalist forces are trying to fill it somehow. But they’re not succeeding.

That is, a large part of the population of Odessa is critically disposed against the current government, as well as the future government which will come as a result of these elections. I mean the local authorities.

And actually this large part of Odessa pulled itself away from the political process which is happening today. The very problem which arose from this hasn’t been resolved. In Odessan society today, there is a bomb, and sooner or later, it will explode. And, most likely, it will explode precisely at the moment when the contradictions of the half, pro-nationalist Maidan reach their peak.

Today, they are already quarreling with each other over practically everything. Today, they stuff each other in each other’s trash cans and beat each other up on the streets. Today, there is a competition among volunteer organizations to make the other ones regret the most, waste more money, and blow up each other’s offices. But that is only today. We know that tomorrow, or maybe in a year or two, these processes will reach a point where they will start to shoot each other.

As soon as these contradictions escalate this much, we should be ready to return home.

VF: Alright, Aleksey. And what are our wishes for our fellow countrymen who remained in Odessa? Again about elections: is it right not to go, to not vote as Odessa already demonstrated twice?

AA: It’s difficult for me to give any recommendations. On the one hand, if no one goes, nothing changes. On the other hand, if everyone goes, still nothing will change. Maybe, if there are people separate from the movement Kulikovo Field, which today is running…

VF: Yes! Where are they from? What is this? Does it exist?

AA: They’re there. They are units who, for example, came to the Opposition Bloc. They are units who went to “New State,” although these are leftovers from the Communist Party of Ukraine. It is especially those who expelled all the communists that came to Kulikovo Field, who fully supported the new government. But, nevertheless, these are people. And there is the opinion that it’s necessary to go there and run for office. Maybe it makes sense to support such concrete people and personalities. But not the party as a whole.

It seems to me that it’s nonsense to say that the political situation will change in any way, especially dramatically. And all these elections do not play the same role as the events which will come some time later.

VF: Well, you know, we all believe in these events. And we are all waiting them.

AA: They will definitely come.

VF: Whoever can prepare, prepare.

AA: They will come and this doesn’t depend on any geopolitical processes. Here there are enough people who in any case will return, despite whether there are agreements or not…There are people who are just angry, who will never forgive the mass murder on May 2, their arrest in front of children, and who will never forgive the SBU busting in at night and beating up the relatives of those people who were there. Therefore, there is a certain percentage of people that will definitely be back.

Just time is needed.

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As regards, as you said, my wishes for Odessans, the most important is not to get mixed up in anything. It’s not necessary now to participate in some kind of doubtful affairs. I know very many people who appeal to me and ask: “Tell us, what do we need to do? Let’s blow up something and so on.” But today this isn’t needed. Today we only need to understand who this person is, and for what he is ready. And when we will have the understanding that there are a lot of these people, then we can start something. If something is done now, then certain people will go to prison. And we will have no one to rely on upon returning.

The most important wish – take care of yourselves.

VF: In general, take care of yourself, Odessa.

AA: This is what we really need.

VF: Alright. Thanks.

AA: Thank you.

Russian Parliament Won’t Consider Restrictions on Hollywood Films

Ukraine Revolution Documentary to Premiere in Kiev as Conflict Continues

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Many cinemas close to the frontlines won’t show the film due to fear of violence

Stronger Than Arms, a feature-length documentary that tells the story of Ukraine’s revolution and civil war, opens Thursday in Kiev and at cinemas across the country, including two close to frontlines in the rebel-held East of he country.

But many cinemas close to the conflict region, where nearly 1,000 people have died since a shaky ceasefire was announced Sept. 5, have refused to show the film, fearing violent retribution.

The 78-minute film is based on the Babylon 13 “Cinema of a civil protest” project that chronicled the winter revolt that toppled president Viktor Yanukovych and sparked a civil war between Russian-backed separatist forces and those loyal to the government in Kiev.

Ukraine Bans Films With Russian Star Who Shot at Ukrainian Forces

Igor Savychenko, one of the film’s producers, told The Hollywood Reporter that the film, which opens in a sold-out screening in the Ukrainian capital’s 1,200-seat Kyivska Rus cinema, falls into two broad segments.

“It is a story of war and revolution. The first part of the story covers events on Kiev’s Maidan Square until Yanukovych fled,” he said. “The second part relates the story of fighting around Donetsk airport.”

It seems Igor Savychenko forgot that Yanukovych didn’t flee but was ousted by the people who organized, paid, and executed the coup.

The film, showing with English subtitles, is being released at 23 cinemas, including two in Mariupol and Severodonetsk, towns that are close to the rebel-controlled territory. Many cinemas in the conflict region, however, simply refused to show the film.

Ukraine has around 330 cinemas, although the latest available figures predate the revolution and civil war. Savychenko said that 23 screens for a documentary film was a decent figure in a territory where a Hollywood blockbuster might play on 150 screens.

“The film is being released without a distributor, everything is being done by volunteers,” he added.

In a further sign of current tensions in the country, the film’s credits list only Babylon 13, although the documentary is the work of an ensemble of feature and documentary directors, and film school students.

A YouTube trailer for the film demonstrates that it squarely takes the side of the revolution, with stirring music, an emotional voiceover and English subtitles.

Publicity in Russian released for the film says it “will inflame your heart … giving the viewer the opportunity to reexperience the rise and despair of Maidan, and the war in the east of Ukraine.”

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The move follows President Vladimir Putin speaking against the idea

The State Duma, the lower chamber of Russian Parliament, won’t consider legislation introducing restrictions on Hollywood releases in Russia. The moves comes just days after President Vladimir Putin spoke against the idea of restrictions on Hollywood fare.

“Today, regulating film exhibition by introducing quotas on Russian or foreign films would be superfluous,” Leonid Levin, head of the Duma’s committee on information policy, which is in charge of film industry issues, was quoted as saying by the Russian News Service.

“If a good Russian film is released, people will come and watch it anyway,” he went on to say.

A draft law, limiting the share of foreign films to 50 percent of all releases was submitted for consideration to the Duma earlier this year on the wave of souring relations between Russia and the United States. If adopted, it would have primarily hit Hollywood movies, which account for about 80 percent of Russia’s total over $1-billion-a-year box office.

Now, the legislation won’t be considered by the Parliament, and there is technically no other way for restrictions of that kind to be introduced.

However, it is widely believed that the future of this issue will be depend on relations between Russia and the U.S., and if they sour further, the issue could be revisited.

Recently, there were also calls for a complete ban on Hollywood fare in response to sanctions introduced by the United States and the European Union against Russia over Russian policies in Ukraine.

Veteran directors Stanislav Govorukhin and Yuri Kara were among the proponents of the idea, which, however, did not find Putin’s support.

“It wouldn’t be correct to limit our consumer when it comes to products people generally want to have,” Putin said last week, responding to Kara’s proposal at an official event. “And films belong to those major products.”

Meanwhile, Russia’s culture minister has called for his department to get control over the scheduling of film releases in Russia to potentially help homegrown films facing tough competition.

Count Bodies to the Rhythm of the War Drums: Bodies Pile Up in Donetsk Morgue as Ukraine Ceasefire Crumble

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The war in Ukraine Donetsk morgue Daily

September 30, 2014 | 2:21 pm

As fighting rages around eastern Ukraine despite a tenuous ceasefire agreement between anti-Kiev self-defense forces and the fascist Ukrainian government, bodies continue to pile up in the morgues of Donetsk, with officials reporting at least 20 deaths over the last two days, according to Russian media.

At least 11 civilians were among those killed in the latest round of fighting, Dmitry Kalashnikov, the head of Donetsk’s main morgue, told Russia Today, a news outlet that reports on the
civil war in Ukraine and Russian foreign policy.

“Twenty bodies have arrived at the morgue over the past 24 hours. Among them are 11 civilians, who were killed by shell explosions. I find it hard to call this a ceasefire,” Kalashnikov said. “Last week there were many civilian deaths, and I’m not even counting the soldiers.”

The rising number of civilian fatalities came over the weekend amid reports of heavy fighting between separatists and Ukrainian forces for control over the Donetsk airport. The Ukrainian military confirmed that rebels had launched a fresh offensive to seize Ukraine’s second-largest airport, which is located on the outskirts of the restive city.

It didn’t take long for Russia’s launch of a genocide investigation into Ukraine’s political and military leadership to draw counter-fire from Kiev. Just hours after Moscow’s announcement, the Ukrainian prosecutor-general’s office opened its own inquiry, this time into alleged Russian support for “terrorist and separatist groups”.

The Russian investigation follows a call from Moscow last week for an independent inquiry into alleged mass graves discovered in the area surrounding the village of Nyzhnia Krynka, approximately 20 miles northeast of Donetsk city, from where locals say the pro-Kiev National Guard battalion had recently retreated.

“Died for Putin’s lies” reads the inscription on a makeshift plaque that marks two of the three grave sites at Komunar mine, according to a report by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Another sign nearby – written in Russian – lists the date of death as “27/08/2014” alongside the names of four individuals, and in one additional case a simple set of initials.

According to initial statements by rebel leaders, the burial sites discovered on September 23 contained scores of bodies.

Speaking to the Russian News Service, Alexander Zakharchenko, self-declared Prime Minister of the Donetsk People’s Republic, claimed there were about 40 bodies of civilians, prisoners of war and Ukrainian militia soldiers. Over the weekend, the rebels claimed a fourth grave had been found close by with an unknown number of victims; the report could not be independently identified.

Other pro-Kremlin media outlets have reported as yet unsubstantiated claims by the rebels that amongst the dead were victims with their hands tied behind their back and who had been shot point blank in the head, or beheaded.

Since then, however, the number of confirmed dead has been significantly reduced and there has been no independent verification of the identity of the bodies or the causes of death.

“Around ten bodies have been removed from the site,” a senior official in the rebel defense ministry told VICE News. “There could be many more, but we can’t continue digging until the area has been demined,” he added.

The director of Donetsk morgue, Anatolievich Kalashnikov, told VICE News by telephone that nine bodies had been brought to the morgues in the region from the area of the burial sites.

Four bodies seen at the grave by OSCE representatives on September 24 were in “such an advanced state of decomposition, there was no immediate way to tell how they died or who they were,” Michael Bociurkiw, spokesperson for the Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, told VICE News. “There are no forensic experts in our team, and we did not meet with any at the site, but we are happy to facilitate access for any outside experts as we did with MH17,” he added.

Speaking about the claims that some of the bodies were found with their hands bound, the OSCE’s Bociurkiw said he had “nothing further to add on that”.

Announced on Tuesday, Ukraine’s counter-war crime investigation is expected to focus on the detention of Ukrainian military pilot Nadezhda Savchenk – accused by Moscow of killing two Russian journalists in Ukraine.

However, the statement released by the Ukrainian prosecutor general’s office said that other issues will also be examined and accused officials from the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation of “illegal interference” in the work of Ukraine’s law enforcement bodies and armed forces.

“[The interference] is aimed at aiding the terrorist organizations ‘Donetsk People’s Republic’ and ‘Luhansk People’s Republic’ in their criminal activities and obstructing the performance of duties by government officials,” it said.

Both Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have highlighted mounting evidence that both sides in the conflict have violated international laws of war in a host of ways, including indiscriminate use of artillery in populated areas, irregular detention, torture and even executions.

The opening of legal inquiries by both sides in the conflict comes as continued shelling in pockets of the region puts further pressure on a ceasefire agreed in Minsk on September 5.

Despite now being more than three weeks into the supposed peace deal, shelling has not stopped in several flash points across the region including Donetsk airport, Shchastya and Popasna.

On Monday the worst outbreak of fighting in a week left at least 12 dead.

Ukraine Clashes Kill 12 as Donetsk Airport Battles Threaten Fragile Ceasefire. Read more here

Ukrainian army officials said at least nine soldiers were killed and 27 wounded in just one day of clashes, seven of them in a single attack by rebels close to Donetsk airport, which has been the focus of fierce battles as the separatists try to rout Kiev’s forces from their last foothold in the city.

According to city officials, three civilians were also killed and five wounded by shelling overnight Sunday on a residential neighborhood near the aerodrome in the north of Donetsk.

Despite a deal on September 20th to create a buffer zone which saw both sides tentatively agreeing to withdraw heavy artillery from within firing range of one another, the details of the pact were almost immediately contested, with the area around the airport cited as a key bone of contention.

Speaking to journalists on Saturday, Ihor Kolomoysky, the oligarch governor of Dnipropetrovsk who has bankrolled several of the pro-Kiev battalions fighting on the frontline of Ukraine’s anti-terror operation, said that an agreement had been reached with the rebels to abandon the airport in return for a large swathe of territory to the south of Donetsk.

However, military spokesperson Andriy Lysenko later denied the claim saying the airport “was, is and will be under the control of the Ukrainian military.”

Meanwhile, in a move that could spark a backlash in the divided Ukrainian held city of Kharkiv, pro-Kiev demonstrators felled a 66-feet tall statue of Vladimir Lenin late on Sunday evening.

Several monuments to the Soviet era were desecrated and pulled down by protesters during the Maidan revolution in early 2014, but the latest toppling is amongst the first in the country’s east where anti-Kiev ethnic Russians have a pro-Russian sentiment.

Back in April thousands took to the streets for pro-Russian demonstrations in Kharkiv, some of which descended into violent clashes. Now, in a bid to keep the peace the city’s mayor Gennady Kernes, who has managed to straddle the divide between the two warring factions, called the destruction “barbaric” and pledged to rebuild the monument.

In Kiev, however, Ukraine’s interior minister, Arsen Avakov, expressed little sympathy for those who might object to the statue’s toppling. “Lenin? Let him fall down. As long as nobody suffers under his weight,” the minister wrote on his Facebook page. “I ordered the police to protect the people and not the idol.”

Ainhoa Aristizabal contributed to this report.

погиб работник “Красного Креста” из Швейцарии – Red Cross worker from Switzerland killed ( + 3 Videos)

погиб работник “Красного Креста” из Швейцарии – Red Cross worker from Switzerland killed in Ukraine

Разгром позиций украинской армии в н.п. Дибровка – The defeat of the Ukrainian Army in the village Dibrovka

Ukraine Have Accepted That Crimea And The Donbass Are Lost

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Ukraine Have Accepted That Crimea And The Donbass Are Lost
on: September 22, 2015

Ukrainians have accepted that not only Crimea is lost, but the Donbass, too? There were signs a year ago that there was little appetite to recover it by force of arms, at least among those young people who would have to do the fighting. But there was still fierce (albeit impotent) anger about Crimea. There were also totally unrealistic expectations about Western military help and Ukraine’s European future. Had its sacrifice not earned it fast-tracked EU membership?

A year on, the mood seems incomparably more realistic and less angry. There is concern, at many levels, that the West in general is losing interest – in part out of frustration that Ukraine’s institutional reform is too slow; in part because of the press of other concerns – refugees, Syria, Islamic State.

But perhaps being out of the international limelight has been beneficial, in helping to convince Ukrainians that, in the end, their fate lies primarily in their own hands. The US and the EU can provide – conditional – economic assistance and debt relief. They can supply templates for tax, judicial and regulatory reforms. And they can help to train and equip the country’s relatively small, and backward, armed forces.

From last year to this, acceptance seems to have settled that Kiev’s early expectations were hopelessly inflated. And the change sounded loud and clear at the conference of the annual Yalta European Strategy forum, which I attended.

The first difference was that few Ukrainian officials voiced any serious criticism of the Minsk-2 agreement. President Petro Poroshenko announced early in his speech that the previous night had been the first in the whole conflict with no shelling. The lull is seen as a chance to extend the ceasefire and fulfil the rest of the agreement, rather than another pretext for demonising Putin.

A second change was on the Western side, where even inveterate cold warriors – such as the ultra-hawkish former Nato secretary-general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, and the US assistant secretary for European affairs, Victoria Nuland (the official overheard treating Ukrainian government appointments as if they were in the gift of the US and dismissing the EU with a profanity) – were singing a different song.

While insisting on Ukraine’s right to make its own choices of alliance, they were far less militant than before. Alluding to Russia, Nuland even corrected herself, replacing the word “aggression” with “pressure”, as though instructed not to jeopardise the fragile peace. Nato membership was almost universally ruled out. The overall impression was of a wiser West, but a wiser Ukraine – with a young, energetic and well-qualified team of ministers. It is a Ukraine that may finally have understood its eastern lands must be wooed, rather than bombed, back into a more devolved Ukraine.

The country’s prospects are excruciatingly finely balanced. Pervasive corruption remains barely tackled, despite a newly trained and equipped police force in major cities. Nor is it clear that the bright, young government can carry public opinion with it on such basics as new tax structures and higher fuel bills. And if it can’t, then Ukraine will all too easily sink back into the resigned cynicism that followed independence in the early 1990s, and the Orange Revolution in 2004. Its leaders may plead not to be forgotten, but a period for reflection outside the international spotlight could be exactly what Ukraine needs.

DONBAS STRUGGLE, EUROPEAN SHAME

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Photo: Sputnik
Author: Pepe Escobar

I am standing on sacred territory in Donbass, which also happened to be sacred territory during the former Soviet Union. On the top of this hill roughly halfway between Donetsk and Lugansk, there used to be an elaborate monument complex celebrating the heroes of World War II who defeated nazi-fascism.

Kiev’s self-described “anti-terrorist operations” (ATO) – which continue to demonize the whole population of Donbass – have turned this literally upside down. Last year, Kiev’s forces took Saur-mogila, and bombed the whole monument complex. The forces of the People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk retook it, at great cost; and now a red-white-blue resistance flag dominates the landscape, waving in the wind.

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As I was climbing the hill I stumbled accidentally into the definitive, graphic image of the current civil war in Ukraine, the microcosm/proxy theatre of a do-or-die, Cold War 2.0 geopolitical confrontation between the US and Russia.

One of the statues in the monument, representing a World War II hero, is in fragments, but not destroyed; the torn torso is striving to rise up from the ground. Seventy years after the victory against nazi-fascism, the statue has almost been blown to bits by forces in Kiev aligned with, and infiltrated by, nazi-fascist elements. And Europe, refusing to look at what’s really happening in its eastern borderlands, is, once again, splendidly oblivious.

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A Ukrainian army soldier examines his shelter at a position in Debaltsevo, Donetsk region, Ukraine – © AP Photo/ Efrrem Lukatsky

Head of DPR Suggests Ukrainian Troops Leave Debaltsevo Without Weapons
On the top of the hill, I could finally get a full geographical perspective of the battles of last summer. Facing northeast in the distance were the forces of fascist Right Sector leader Dmytro Yarosh. Russia is to the right.

The “cauldron” of Debaltsevo — actually three cauldrons where Kiev’s forces were encircled, squeezed and devastated by the resistance is slightly northwest, 40 kilometers away. Donetsk residents say there could have been at least 10,000 lethal casualties on Kiev’s side during the whole siege.

“Children Holed up in Basements”

Saur-mogila represents a great military victory for Donbass. But what matters most for average people is the humanitarian situation, which remains dire. The main trauma doctor at Donetsk’s general hospital assured me there has been no Red Cross or “international community” help whatsoever reaching the city.

The remains of a projectile is seen in front of shops damaged by recent shellings in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, October 21, 2014
© REUTERS/ Shamil Zhumatov
EU Should Focus on Ukraine’s Humanitarian Crisis, Not Constitutional Reform
After all, for all those corporate/manicured faces from Washington to Brussels, everyone in Donbass is a “terra-rist”, according to Kiev’s playbook imported straight from the neo-con controlled Dubya era.

The oh so civilized “West” – unwilling to learn anything from history – would rather listen to the spiders-in-a-bottle oligarch dance in Kiev, which in these Orwellian times sings a travesty of “democracy”.

Well, this is how the oligarch theoretically in charge (he’s not; the CIA and the State Department are), Petro Poroshenko, wants to treat the whole population of Donbass; “Our children will go to schools and kindergartens, while theirs will be holed up in basements!”

And this from the “leader” of a (failed) state which aspires to become a EU member; the EU, predictably, looks the other way.

So, also predictably, an overflow of “holed up in basements” is exactly what I saw in Donetsk — from veterans’ homes turned into refugee centers to Soviet-era bomb shelters complete with Soviet iconography painted on the walls. Whole families, the elderly, people afraid to come out even by daylight, and dozens of traumatized babies, children and teenagers.

Ukraine’s parliament adopted on Monday a law restricting the payment of pensions to working pensioners until 2016, a press release on Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada website said
© Sputnik/ Mikhail Voskresenskiy
40% of Ukraine Population on Brink of Survival
According to Moscow-based Iskander Sultan, a coordinator of volunteer union groups, there may have been as many as 2 million refugees fleeing from Donbass over the past year; compare it to Pakistan in the early 2000s, when there were 4 million Afghan refugees fleeing the Taliban.

For those who have chosen to stay behind, especially among the elderly, at least the payment of pensions — frozen by Kiev — will be reinstated by the twin People’s Republics (their Parliament has 60 members, 30 from Donetsk and 30 from Lugansk, working in close cooperation.)

Seen from Donetsk, the plight of so many average working class or lower middle class families, which look just like your average family in Manchester, Lille, Bologna or Valencia, displaced by a proxy war which they never wanted, demonized in block as “terra-rists”, threatened by fascists with deportation, and completely ignored by the “civilized” West, is as mind-boggling as the cosmic arrogance/ignorance of the “civilized” narrative which sees Ukraine only as good guys/democrats in Kiev against bad guys/rebels remote-controlled by evil Russia.

The “civilized” bunch does not know it, because Western corporate media isn’t allowed to inform them. But in Donetsk, for instance, there is ample debate on what would be a possible future for Donbass. Some prefer a largely autonomous region within Ukraine (but then again, a minute later, they admit that after the Odessa massacre last May and this “junta” in Kiev treating them as terrorists, that will never happen). Some prefer an independent nation (although admitting the interests of the “West” would never allow it). And some prefer to become part of Russia (while admitting, a minute later, that would be a burden Moscow would rather not take.)

Meanwhile, the fight for mere survival is primordial. Primorka (“Land by the Sea”), bordering the Sea of Azov in Rostov Region, is one of the refugee camps for eastern Ukrainians on Russian territory, currently hosting 246 people, including 51 children attending school, and three newborn babies. Most are elderly, mainly from Donetsk, unable to find work but dreaming of going back. One of the families even managed to escape the Debaltsevo cauldron.

The site used to be a children summer camp, closed for a few years. It was reopened through the initiative of a private citizen, Alexander Dobrovolsky, who sold his apartment to finance the operation. At the start Primorka was housing over 1,300 refugees. Now it has finally obtained municipal and federal funds as well.

Among the stray dogs roaming the very clean and well-maintained camp, right by the sea, one is called Obama. Another one is “Yats”. There also used to be a dog called Poroshenko. It died two weeks ago.

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not reflect the official position of Sputnik.

Pepe Escobar traveled to Donetsk at the invitation of German-based media project Europa Objektiv.

Pepe Escobar’s latest book is “Empire of Chaos”.

Read more: http://sputniknews.com/columnists/20150331/1020264143.html#ixzz3js8c9VCN

WELCOME TO GENOCIDE IN DONBASS : The U.S. Elite Run a Ukrainian Genocide While American Public Are Ignorant of It

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ENTER AND LEARN WHAT THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA DOESN’T WANT YOU TO KNOW

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October 20, 2015
By Eric Zuesse

Washington Blog

About that tragedy on May 2 in Odessa, there has been a lot written, with hundreds of photos and videos posted on the web. I have a few more to add to the overall picture, in the hope that they will help to bring some further understanding to those events.

And I still very much hope that those responsible for the brutal murder of dozens of residents of Odessa will be brought to account and be punished.

As I recall, the march was announced as purely peaceful. But looking at these people I see that the definition of “peace” in the Ukrainian reality has been perverted to quite the opposite meaning. Clubs, weapons, bulletproof vests, shields, Molotov cocktails. . . Is there still an idiot who can believe these people wanted to quietly walk through the streets of Odessa?

Next five pictures: I was surprised how quickly the “peaceful demonstrators” began the work of tearing up paving stones. They worked in teams, steadily, quickly, smoothly. Some with special hooks (Peaceful demonstrators always show up with steel hooks, right?) While some hooked and dragged paving stones, others broke them into pieces, others stacked them on Ukrainian flags, and some brought them up closer for the throwers.

Accidentally happening on the event, a policeman tried to stop the vandalism, but with shouts and foul language they got through to him that he mustn’t stop the “good Samaritans.”

Even some famous faces. An ally of Hurwitz, Yuri Borshchenko, and the younger generation of “patriots” of the SS, Pravy Sektor activist Nikolai Dotsenko.

Here they are separately: Dotsenko

And here Dotsenko. Certainly his pony tail on the head…

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Above, and next two pictures: Box full Molotov cocktails already prepared and ready for use. Above, the boxful is escorted by guys wielding pipes and clubs of rebar, with plastic wrap for a handle. It’s only been 20 minutes since the beginning of the demo. All assembled from scratch in so short a time? No of course not. I have seen the box in in someone else’s post, in a photo that accidentally included it, carefully covered with cellophane, and peacefully lying near the wall of the house of Transfiguration, before the riots. Peaceful march, eh?

Here’s the box of Molotovs, close up. Note the rebar club, this one with a cord-wrap for handle.

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Young toughs with club, or mallet, or pavingstone. . .

To be continued…

WELCOME TO GENOCIDE IN DONBASS

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ENTER TO LEARN ABOUT WHAT THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA DOESN’T WANT YOU TO KNOW

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Maidan 2.0 in Kiev?

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anti-maidan1Ordinary Ukrainians have every reason to oppose fascist governance far worse than what they rejected earlier – a Nazi-infested monster responsible for mass unemployment, growing poverty, hyperinflation, social injustice, horrific deprivation, police state repression, and endless war on its own Donbass citizens wanting fundamental democratic rights.

Anti-Russian, Jew-hating, overt Nazi, Interpol wanted criminal (for “public incitement to terrorist and extremist activities”) Right Sector leader Dmytro Yarosh called on Ukraine’s National Guard, army and security forces to disobey Kiev orders as internecine warfare threatens to erupt into Maidan 2.0.

Calling regime officials “traitors,” he said “(l)et’s stop betrayers who hold high office and want to destabilize the situation in the enemy’s rear and…dismiss volunteer movements.”

They’re “bandits” only wanting self-enrichment. “While we are shedding our blood defending our Motherland, they are making fortunes and doing everything they can so that the war will continue as long as possible.”

Poroshenko ordered security forces to disarm unauthorized armed groups. Right Sector spokesman Artem Skoropadsky responded saying:

“The statement by Petro Poroshenko is addressed to illegal armed groups. We are not an illegal armed group.”

“Illegal armed groups are bandits, and we are volunteer Ukrainian corps, which protects the independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine. Therefore, this statement does not apply to us.”

The group demands Interior Minister Arsen Avakov resign, among other ultimatums made. They called for Maidan mass anti-regime protests.

They denounced “crooks and oligarchs” in power. On July 21, thousands from their ranks and supporters rallied in central Ukraine calling on regime officials to resign. “Death to enemies,” they chanted.

Yarosh announced a “new stage of the Ukrainian revolution. (W)e are a disciplined revolutionary force.” He announced plans for a no-confidence referendum.

Right Sector field offices and “revolutionary committees” nationwide will begin working on setting things in motion for regime change.

Yarosh favors rule by martial law. Maybe he has something like Hitler’s Enabling Law in mind – empowering him as a dictator, letting him enact laws without Reichstag involvement.

“People must voice their attitude to what’s happening in the country,” said Yarosh. “(T)he government should know that if the people are not pleased with it, then it must go.”

If Kiev rejects a referendum, Right Sector officials will conduct one on their own. RT International correspondent Murad Gazdiev reported from Ukraine saying ordinary people joined Yarosh’s rally – angry about dismal conditions.

Last Sunday, Kiev protesters rallied against high prices, low wages, none at all for unemployed workers, lost benefits and regime officials caring only about power and self-enrichment. Banners read “Where are the reforms?” “We are dying of hunger.”

Right Sector members, supporters and other angry Ukrainians held protests in other cities. Polls show majority anti-regime sentiment.

Russian lower house State Duma foreign affairs committee chairman Alexei Pushkov said protesters “are plotting a new ‘revolution’ in Kiev, and Dmytro Yarosh is ready to give his fellow Ukrainians a set of new guidelines for revolutionary changes in the country.”

Days earlier, Right Sector spokesman Artem Skoropadsky said Poroshenko won’t be able to flee Ukraine like Yanukovych if ousted from office.

He “can’t expect anything, but an execution in some dark basement carried out by a group of young Ukrainian soldiers or members of the National Guard.”

Thousands of well-armed Right Sector members are a force to be reckoned with. It’s an ultranationalist, Nazi-infested criminal gang formed during fall 2013 Maidan protests in Kiev.

It’s banned in Russia for good reason. Yarosh is a wanted man. Whether he and supporters can topple Ukraine’s government for the second time in less than 18 months remains to be seen.

Poroshenko is at war on two fronts. He lost earlier in Donbass – likely again against a much more formidable force than earlier if he resumes full-scale fighting.

Challenge by angry, well-armed Right Sectors battalions may be his undoing. Obama’s February 2014 coup opened a hornet’s nest of trouble.

He’s got a tiger by the tail. His new Nazi-infested client state looks like more than he bargained for. Maybe blood in the streets of Kiev again may follow.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

The Real Reason Russia is Demonized and Sanctioned: the American Petrodollar

Global Research 2014
Region: Russia and FSU
Theme: Global Economy, Oil and Energy, US NATO War Agenda

By Alexander Clarkson

petrobrasWhat do Iraq, Libya, Syria, Iran and Russia have in common? They have all been a victim of American aggression in one form or another – either a military attack or economic sanctions. Washington uses ethical pretexts, such as “protecting civilians” or “promoting democracy”, to act belligerently towards these nations, but due to its hypocritical nature of supporting dictators throughout the world and its disregard for human rights, this excuse is a fabrication.

The real reason for singling out these countries is the petrodollar system, a scheme that enables America to stay afloat despite being more than $17 trillion in debt. The existence of petrodollars is one of the pillars of America’s economic might, because it creates a significant external demand for the American currency, allowing the U.S. to accumulate enormous debts without defaulting.

The beginning of the petrodollar

What makes the dollar unique is the fact that since the early 1970s it has been, with a few notable exceptions, the only currency used to buy and sell oil on the global market. This began when in 1973 the Richard Nixon administration began negotiations with the government of Saudi Arabia to establish what came to be referred to as the petrodollar recycling system. Under the arrangement, the Saudis would only sell their oil in U.S. dollars, and would invest the majority of their excess oil profits into U.S. banks and Capital markets. The IMF would then use this money to facilitate loans to oil importers who were having difficulties covering the increase in oil prices. The payments and interest on these loans would of course be denominated in U.S. dollars.

This agreement was formalised in the “The U.S.-Saudi Arabian Joint Commission on Economic Cooperation” put together by Nixon’s Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in 1974. The system was expanded to include the rest of OPEC by 1975. This was a major economic success for the U.S. As long as the world needs oil, and as long as oil is only sold in U.S. dollars, there will be a demand for dollars, and that demand is what gives the dollar its value.
How victims of American invasion wanted to stop trading in dollars

This petrodollar system stood unchallenged until September of 2000 when former Iraqi Persistent Saddam Hussein announced his decision to switch Iraq’s oil sales off of the dollar to Euros. This was a direct attack on the dollar. To protect the supremacy of the dollar, the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003. Once Iraqi oil fields were under U.S. control after the invasion, oil sales were immediately switched back to the dollar.

In February of 2009, former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was named Chairman of the African Union. He immediately proposed the formation of a unified state with a single currency. It was the nature of that proposed currency that got him killed.

In March of 2009 the African Union released a document entitled “Towards a Single African Currency”. Pages 106 and 107 of that document specifically discuss the benefits and technicalities of running the African Central bank under a gold standard. On page 94 it explicitly states that the key to the success of the African Monetary Union would be the “eventual linking of a single African currency to the most monetary of all commodities – gold.” In 2011 the CIA moved into Libya and began backing militant groups in their campaign to topple Gaddafi and the U.S. and NATO pushed through and stretched a U.N. no-fly zone resolution to tip the balance with airstrikes. The presence of Al-Qaeda extremists among these rebel fighters was swept under the rug.

In February of 2014, Russia became the new target for the U.S. Russia is the world’s second largest oil exporter, and not only have they been a thorn in Washington’s side diplomatically, but they also opened an energy bourse in 2008, with sales denominated in Russian currency (roubles) and gold. This project had been in the works since 2006. They have also been working with China to pull off of the dollar in all of their bilateral trade. Russia has also been in the process of organizing a Eurasian Economic Union which includes plans to adopt common currency unit, and which is scheduled to have its own independent energy market.

Leading up to the crisis in Ukraine had been presented with a choice: either join the E.U. under an association agreement or join the Eurasian Union. The E.U. insisted that this was an either or proposition. Ukraine couldn’t join both. Russia on the other hand, asserted that joining both posed no issue. President Yanukovich decided to go with Russia. In response the U.S. national security apparatus did what it does best: they toppled Yanukovich and installed a puppet government.

Having a puppet in place however hasn’t turned out to be enough to give Washington the upper hand in this crisis. They therfore decided to impose sanctions and demonize Russia in hope that Moscow would lose its international friends. However Russia is not Iraq or Libya. It is a dominant power an going up against was unlikely to work out in America’s favour. In fact it has already backfired. The sanctions have merely pushed Russia and China into closer cooperation and accelerated Russia’s de-dollarization agenda. And in spite of the rhetoric, this has not led to Russia being isolated.

End of petrodollar would bring an end to the U.S. hegemony

The petrodollar is the only life support machine left for the U.S. and this is precisely why Washington goes after any country that tries to destroy it. This is not deterring Russia and China from going ahead with their plans. Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov announced after talks in Beijing recently that Russia and China are currently discussing the creation of a system of inter-bank transactions, which would be an analogue to the international system of bank transfers – SWIFT. The Russian authorities intended to reduce the dependence of the financial market on SWIFT after the first wave of US sanctions, when international payment systems Visa and MasterCard refused to work with a number of Russian banks. According to Shuvalov, Russia also discussed the creation of an independent rating agency with China. Specific proposals are to be made by the end of 2014.

All this indicates that the Eurasian Economic Union will gradually abandon the dollar. As soon as Russia and China show that it is really possible to abandon the dollar, especially given the fact that the United States is pushing for this, other countries will follow their example. This could become the beginning of an end of the American global dominance.

Alexander Clackson is the founder of Global Political Insight, a political media and research organisation. He has a Master’s degree in International Relations. Alexander works as a political consultant and frequently contributes to think-tanks and media outlets.

Copyright © Alexander Clackson, Global Research, 2014

Posted by Ainhoa Aristizabal – 09 October 2015 – 2:39 PM

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WHY I DON’T TRUST MADAME CLINTON

Elizabeth-Warren-Time

hillary-clinton-winking-AP-640x480

HILLARY CLINTON

BY AINHOA ARISTIZABAL – 30 SEPT 2015

Pathetic CLINTON: Using Decades Old Pics to Make Her Seem ‘YOUNGER’
Since launching her campaign last June, Clinton has flooded the Internet and filled her TV spots with surprising, little-known images of the candidate pulled from old family photo albums, all part of a larger campaign strategy to make Clinton (67 yrs old) look younger to voters.

CLINTON AND THE WHITEWATER CONTROVERSY AND CRIMINAL CASES:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/special/whitewater/stories/wwtr960602.htm

HER LATEST BATCH OF E-MAILS:
The latest batch of Clinton’S e-mails disclosed by the State Department is perhaps the most interesting. This is not because there is a bombshell; we know she destroyed “personal” e-mails, so we are not likely to find any real nuggets in those she turned over. (In one humorous e-mail previously released, she asked whether the e-mail can be printed out “without identifiers.”) GOD PROTECT US FROM THIS AMBITIOUS WOMAN!

No, this tranche of e-mails is revealing because it shows Clinton to be lacking real authority, surrounded and protected by political hacks, filthy rich and obsessed with political power. In short, this is the real Hillary Clinton.

As secretary of State, Clinton was on the periphery, lacking much influence and devoid of creative policy-making abilities. Her e-mails reflect that. Comically, Clinton hears on the radio that there is a Cabinet meeting and e-mails to find out why she is not invited. (“I heard on the radio that there is a Cabinet mtg this am. Is there? Can I go? If not, who are we sending?”) She shows up at the White House to find another meeting canceled. She is the third wheel, the least important person in foreign policy making.

HER CRONIES AND HACKS – HER JUDGEMENT AND INSULARITY
She is, however, immersed in a web of cronies and hacks. She solicits Sid Blumenthal for advice, and not just on Libya. (“[T]he newly disclosed emails show he also acted as an intermediary with officials involved in the Northern Ireland peace process and shared advice on issues from Iran to British politics to how to blame China for the breakdown of global climate talks.”) That she should be getting advice from a political hatchet man — one whom the White House banned from the administration — tells us something about her judgment and her insularity.

Clinton’s enormous wealth and the people who helped make her wealthy make an appearance. Clinton and Huma Abedin discuss what sort of private jet she will take and her trip to the Hamptons. Just like “everyday” people! And most troubling, her e-mails are filled with discussions of corporate cronies whom she was more than willing to assist: The former secretary of state also wrote an encouraging note to Bill Owens, chairman of AEA Holdings Asia, about an effort he was pushing to open a dialogue with retired Chinese military official. short for donors? Former Virginia governor Bob McDonnell is facing jail time for much less.

And then — this is the supposedly nonpolitical secretary of state with her fixation on news reports, interest in domestic politics and outreach to labor unions. The Wall Street Journal observes: “While serving as secretary of state, Hillary Clinton was keenly attentive to domestic political issues—following the gay-rights debate, staying in touch with Democratic allies and keeping tabs on her public image—a batch of emails released by the State Department Tuesday shows. . . [She] received numerous updates from her department advisers about the changing politics of gay rights and activists’ frustration with the Obama administration. . . . The emails show Mrs. Clinton engaged with domestic political figures.” Why is this so significant?

Aside from using the taxpayers’ provided office and staff to attend to her political aspirations, it is evident that while in office Clinton was planning ahead, greasing the wheels for her campaign. That puts her receipt after leaving the State Department of outlandish speaking fees and foundation receipts in a clear light: Both she and the donors correctly figured this was cash flowing to a future presidential candidate.

And the e-mails are interesting for what they don’t include. Where is Hillary Clinton the wonk? Hillary Clinton the master of policy? Maybe there will be more of that to come. But she comes across as many critics have long surmised — vain, small-minded and, above all, politically calculating in everything she does.

One reason is that they’re usually stinking rich, even though they have to pretend not to be. Hillary Clinton’s primary interaction with lower income Americans in recent years usually involved firing them for not making her bed correctly, now she has to pretend as if she truly cares about them. It’s a tough gig.

So out come the older pictures from a happier time, before the soul-selling deal she made with her philandering husband took its toll and made her sour and imperious.Before she built up a huge bank of resentment for the American people for not giving her what she feels she’s entitled to.

Why is it that the party that portrays itself as the most caring about humans has such a difficult time making its presidential candidates seem…human? From Al Gore to John Kerry to Her Inevitable Madameship, they’re all about as personable as the stomach flu. Even Barack Obama, whose entire career is built on smirking, has been called cold and aloof by people close to him. The press calls him “professorial”, a code word for “cold and aloof”.

DONATIONS TO CLINTON’S FOUNDATION BY BIG CORPORATIONS
Unless Hillary Clinton immediately reinstates the ban on foreign countries giving to her foundation and returns the millions of dollars these governments have already donated, she’s setting an incredibly dangerous precedent,” said the chairman of the Republican National Committee, Reince Priebus. “The American people are not about to elect a president in Hillary Clinton who could expose them to the demands of foreign governments because they dumped massive sums of cash into her foundation.”

i DON’T TRUST MADAME CLINTON WITH ALL HER MONEY. BUT I WOULD HAVE PREFERRED THAT SENATOR ELIZABETH WARREN HAD DECIDED TO RUN FOR THE PRESIDENCY. SHE IS YOUNGER, SMARTER, AND TOTALLY DEDICATED TO IMPROVE THE LIVES OF THE POOR AND NEEDY.

This isn’t the end of the UN’s monstrous actions. Just watch.

UN Disregard for Victims of Saudi-Supported ISIS by Appointing Saudi Arabia Head of UN Human Rights Panel

By Saman Mohammadi
Global Research, September 29, 2015
The Excavator 26 September 2015
Region: Middle East & North Africa
Theme: United Nation

122875An excerpt from, “Saudis Behead 87 In 2014, Head UN Human Rights Panel In 2015″ by Shane Dixon Kavanaugh, Vocativ, September 22, 2015:

The United Nations is facing intense criticism following the revelation that it chose Saudi Arabia as the head of an influential human rights panel. The kingdom was quietly selected in June to chair the UN Human Rights Council’s five-nation Consultative Group, which appoints applicants for 75 key human rights monitors around the world. The Saudis lost a bid earlier this year to chair the 47-nation UN Human Rights Council itself.

With its penchant for executing non-violent criminals, torturing suspects and suppressing women and religious minorities, the Saudis are considered by many to have one of the world’s worst human rights record. UN Watch, a non-governmental monitoring group that first reported the appointment, called the move “scandalous,” alleging that “the UN chose a country that has beheaded more people this year than ISIS to be head of a key human rights panel.” Alexandra El Khazen, a representative from Reporters Without Borders, said the appointment was “outrageous” and “grotesque.”

U.S. President Barack Obama meets with Saudi Arabia's King Salman (R) at Erga Palace in Riyadh, January 27, 2015. Obama is stopping in Saudi Arabia on his way back to Washington from India to pay his condolences over the death of King Abdullah and to hold bilateral meetings with King Salman.   REUTERS/Jim Bourg     (SAUDI ARABIA - Tags: POLITICS ROYALS)

U.S. President Barack Obama meets with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman (R) at Erga Palace in Riyadh, January 27, 2015. Obama is stopping in Saudi Arabia on his way back to Washington from India to pay his condolences over the death of King Abdullah and to hold bilateral meetings with King Salman. REUTERS/Jim Bourg (SAUDI ARABIA – Tags: POLITICS ROYALS)

An excerpt from, “United Nations Farce: Saudi Arabia to Head UN Human Rights Council” by Felicity Arbuthnot, Global Research, September 24, 2015:

The “crown jewels” have been handed to a country with one of the worst human rights records in the world. Saudi Arabia will head a Consultative Group of five Ambassadors empowered to select applicants globally for more than seventy seven positions to deal with human rights violations and mandates.

In a spectacular new low for even a UN whose former Secretary General, Kofi Annan, took eighteen months to admit publicly that the 2003 invasion of, bombardment and near destruction of Iraq was illegal, UN Watch points out that the UN has chosen: “a country that has beheaded more people this year than ISIS to be head of a key Human Rights panel …” (2)

In May, just prior to the appointment, the Saudi government advertised for eight extra executioners to: “ … carry out an increasing number of death sentences, which are usually beheadings, carried out in public” (3.)

Has the United Nations lost its mind?

Saudi Arabia is the spiritual fountainhead of ISIS, so by choosing it to head a global human rights panel the U.N. is giving a big fuck you to the victims of ISIS terrorists in Iraq, Syria, Libya, and other countries.

And we have to ask ourselves, what’s next? A Grand Ayatollah serving as the Secretary General of the UN? This is absurdity. The U.N. is a sick joke of an institution. It has no legitimacy or respectability whatsoever.

And this isn’t the end of the UN’s monstrous actions. Just watch. In 2020 they’ll probably invite al-Baghdadi to the General Assembly in New York to give a religious speech alongside Pope Francis and whatever idiot is occupying the White House at that time, and thereby legitimize the barbaric and genocidal Caliphate that is coming into being thanks to the active military support of Washington, Tel Aviv, Ankara, and Riyadh.

Copyright © Saman Mohammadi, The Excavator , 2015

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). UNRULY HEARTS will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article.

Ukraine Crisis: Zionist-led terror against people of Donbass continue

Published on Oct 8, 2014
Documentary. Crimes against civilian population of Donbass (Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republics) from August 14 to October 5, 2014, in a war waged by Kiev’s warmongers/Zionists with the approval of US/EU/NATO leaders. Genocide of civilian population and deliberate destruction of Donbass’ infrastructure – schools, hospitals, kindergartens, power plants, train stations, etc. The majority of amateur footage and interviews you will see in this compilation have never been shown on TV. The corporate media is quiet on the issue of the genocide being committed.

U.S. to Station New Nuclear Weapons in Germany Against Russia

OFF GUARDIAN

Into The Fire – Full Film

Published on September 24, 2015
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Germany’s ZDF public television network headlines on Tuesday September 22nd, “New U.S. Atomic Weapons to Be Stationed in Germany,” and reports that the U.S. will bring into Germany 20 new nuclear bombs, each being four times the destructive power of the one that was used on Hiroshima. Hans Kristensen, the Director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists, says, “With the new bombs the boundaries blur between tactical and strategic nuclear weapons.”

A former Parliamentary State Secretary in Germany’s Defense Ministry, Willy Wimmer, of Chancellor Merkel’s own conservative party, the Christian Democratic Union, warns that these “new attack options against Russia” constitute “a conscious provocation of our Russian neighbors.”

German Economic News also reports on Chancellor Merkel’s decision to allow these terror-weapons against Russia: “The Bundestag decided in 2009, expressing the will of most Germans, that the US should withdraw its nuclear weapons from Germany. But German Chancellor Angela Merkel did nothing.” And now she okays the U.S. to increase America’s German-based nuclear arsenal against Russia.

Maria Zakharova, of the Russian Foreign Ministry, says: “This is an infringement of Articles 1 and 2 of the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons,” which is the treaty that provides non-nuclear states the assurance that the existing nuclear powers will not try to use their nuclear status so as to take over the world.

German Economic News says: “The federal government had demanded the exact opposite: The Bundestag decided in March 2010 by a large majority, that the federal government should ‘press for the withdrawal of US nuclear weapons from Germany.’ Even the coalition agreement between the CDU and FDP, the German government in 2009 had promised the withdrawal of nuclear weapons from Büchel. But instead there will be these new bombs.”

empire watch, latest
Tagged with: Germany, nuclear bombs, russia, USA

by Eric Zuesse

Moscow says it will retaliate if Ukraine hosts US anti-missile defenses

A Patriot anti-missile system (Reuters) / Reuters

A Patriot anti-missile system (Reuters) / Reuters

RT QUESTION MORE

Published time: 20 May, 2015 16:53
Edited time: 20 May, 2015 17:28

Russia will take retaliatory measures to protect itself if Ukraine decides to station US anti-missile defense systems in its territory, Kremlin spokesman told the media.

“Concerning Ukraine’s plan to house anti-missile systems in its territory, we can only perceive it negatively,” Dmitry Peskov said Wednesday. “Because it will be a threat to the Russian Federation. In case there are missile defense systems stationed in Ukraine, Russia will have to take retaliatory measures to ensure its own safety.”

He was commenting on a recent statement by the head of Ukraine’s Security Service, the SBU, Aleksandr Turchinov, which claimed that Ukraine faces a “Russian nuclear threat.” In an interview-structured statement published by the Ukrainian Security Council’s website, Turchinov claims Russia has stationed nuclear missiles on the Crimean peninsula.

“Nuclear weapons in Crimea will be targeted, first and foremost, at European countries. There is also real danger for Turkey, which is, by the way, a NATO member,” Turchinov said.

READ MORE: Russia to boost military presence in Crimea, response to NATO E. Europe expansion

“To protect ourselves from the nuclear threat, we may have to hold consultations about stationing components of an anti-missile defense system in Ukraine,” Turchinov said in his statement.

The statement also calls for additional international sanctions against Russia, including blocking the Bosphorus strait from Russian navy vessels and shutting Russia off from the international SWIFT financial transfer system.

When asked about Turchinov’s statements on hosting anti-missile defense, a NATO representative told the RIA Novosti news agency he could not comment, saying only that the alliance was “responsible for protecting its member states from missile threats.” Although NATO leaders have expressed support for Ukraine, it is not a member of the alliance.

Russia has already rebuffed the idea, with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov saying at a Federation Council meeting that Turchinov’s statements are “hot air” and “have no prospects.”

In March, the Director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s department of non-proliferation and arms control said Moscow had the right to station nuclear weapons in Crimea, since the peninsula is Russian territory since the 2014 referendum and its reunification with Russia. He said, however, that there are no plans to put any nukes there.

Despite that, last week at a NATO gathering in Turkey the alliance’s secretary-general said he was “concerned” by Moscow’s statements about the possibility of nuclear deployment in Crimea and warned Russia against it.

In March, the Director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s department of non-proliferation and arms control said Moscow had the right to station nuclear weapons in Crimea, since the peninsula is Russian territory since the 2014 referendum and its reunification with Russia. He said, however, that there are no plans to put any nukes there.

READ MORE: ‘More air policing, more drills’: NATO to boost presence on Russia’s doorstep
Despite that, last week at a NATO gathering in Turkey the alliance’s secretary-general said he was “concerned” by Moscow’s statements about the possibility of nuclear deployment in Crimea and warned Russia against it.

Ukraine troops storm east Slavyansk with helicopters, APCs

POSTED BY AINHOA ARISTIZABAL @7:23pm
RT NEWS

Ukrainian troops begin special operation in Slavyansk
(PHOTOS, VIDEO)

Published time: 2 May, 2014 02:49
Edited time: 2 May, 2014 12:50

Славянск, 02.05.2014, 5.00, ВЗРЫВ, ИДЕТ БОЙ!!!

The Ukrainian army has begun a special operation against pro-autonomy activists in the eastern town of Slavyansk. The city is now blockaded by the Ukrainian military, with 20 helicopters reportedly deployed to crack down on self-defense forces.

Follow live updates on the special operation in Slavyansk

Two helicopters have been shot down by self-defense forces, according to reports. Earlier, two helicopters were allegedly downed, with two pilots dead and another one captured, RIA Novosti news agency reported. This information was confirmed by Ukraine’s coup-appointed Interior Minister Arsen Avakov.

Following the loss of the aircraft, Kiev halted their operation.

01

The total death toll in Slavyansk currently stands at three: besides the two troops, there is also one fatality among the defense forces. Both sides report injuries.

Also, a journalist’s car has reportedly been fired on, according to RT’s Paula Slier who is trying to reach the scene, but the Ukrainian army seems to be blocking all entrances to the city – and even Kramatorsk.

The Slavyansk self-defense leader said that helicopters were firing on the city with missiles, but that there have been no reports of damage, Interfax stated.

Slavyansk self-defense forces told RIA Novosti that the Ukrainian military had attacked several positions.

“The attack is targeting a few checkpoints at the same time. A few armored vehicles and airborne combat vehicles arrived and airborne troops descended from the helicopters and attacked the checkpoints. Some forces were dropped off around the train station, where we didn’t have anyone,” RIA Novosti quoted the press secretary of the Slavyansk self-defense units as saying.

Pro-federalization units prepared sacks with sand. The atmosphere is tense, people are ready to fight.

Early on Friday morning, a city siren – which is designed to warn local residents of a Ukrainian military attack – went off and shots were heard. A few minutes later, the siren stopped and everything calmed down, according to reports.

A few of the activists were injured during the attack, Interfax cited the city’s self-defense unit as saying.

A commander at one of the checkpoints told RIA Novosti that the Ukrainian army had taken control of one of the roadblocks on the outskirts of Slavyansk, as well as the city’s TV broadcasting center. The Ukrainian army was mounting artillery positions around the captured TV station in Slavyansk, a city administration spokesman said, as cited by RIA Novosti.

map

Vatican separated Crimea from Ukraine

FROM NOVOROSSIA TODAY

His Holiness Pope Francis and Russian President Vladimir Putin

His Holiness Pope Francis and Russian President Vladimir Putin

Vatican separated Crimea from Ukraine
on: September 24, 2015

Catholic journalists from Crimea visited the seminar for parish MMs in Moscow. It was held on 17-20 September; about 40 people from 4 eparchies of RF, Crimea, Vatican took part in it. It was reported by the radio of Vatican. The event was arranged by information service of the Eparchy of Madonna and internet portals Ruskatholic.rf and Gaudete.ru

The seminar was opened with holy mass under archbishop Pavel Pezzi and then was the meeting with all participants and organizers of the project.

Pavel underlined the significance of devotion of catholic journalists to the church. The archbishop called to provide facts, but not personnel ideas, the portal Ruskatholic.rf reports.

THE ODESSA MASSACRE: WHAT REALLY HAPPENDED

 

 

ASHES AND LIES

By Ainhoa Aristizabal
 
 
For the first time in history, an organized massacre of civilians has been filmed by many people from many different angles and perspectives while it was happening, and is documented in extraordinary detail in “real time,” the perpetrators having no fear of any negative consequences from their endeavor, and even cheering and celebrating the tortures and deaths as they were being imposed upon the helpless victims. The perpetrators were unconcerned, because what they were doing was what the government (which the U.S. had imposed upon their country and which U.S. taxpayers had spent more than 5 billion dollars to bring about there) had wanted them to do, and had helped to organize them to carry out. These people were just having fun, like a party to them, nothing really serious at all. Sort of like Stanley Kubrick’s movie A Clockwork Orange, more than, say Auschwitz (such a bore!). But, if so, a hundredfold more. And none of these people (tragically including the victims) were actors!

The pain and the sorrow of a loved one killed can’t be washed away, seems to be what the director of the above video wishes to express. “I feel like screaming but I can’t breath in shall I wane right now? I will not leave this World of living until she has said Goodbye.

Out in the cold I still wait for her call And her last kiss it shall be released. I can’t forget her. Her face will not leave from the depths of my soul, I long for her. So I heard all about it. Her voice’s so clear She’s woven both themes in there moved me to tears The world shall hear this sad song Song of Sorrow, Song of grief. Can’t change the way of his kind. Can’t change the way of her kind chorus.

THE ODESSA MASSACRE

Contrary to what the mainstream media has tried to convince you, it’s not at all a mystery how the fire started in Odessa, Ukraine and it’s not at all a mystery who started it. We owe it to the victims to expose what really happened.

On May 2nd, the Ukrainian Government in Kiev, located in the west, ordered local governments in the country’s east to take over the buildings that were being occupied by Russian-speaking Ukrainians who didn’t recognize the legitimacy of that newly installed and U.S.-supported Ukrainian government. There was violence in many cities, one being Odessa, where Russian-speaking Ukrainians were taken into the Trade Unions Building (viewed as leftist by the conservative political parties) and were massacred by burning, gunshots, and other means.

On May 2nd 2014 over 40 people were murdered in Odessa Ukraine. Some eyewitnesses claim the real number is over a hundred. Some of them were burned alive. Others were strangled or beaten to death. A pregnant woman was among those killed.

I’m going to show the images of the corpses but I warn you they are truly horrific, and should not be viewed in front of children.

Now the mainstream media and western politicians have glossed over what happened that day. They’ve attempted to blur the chain of events and have completely avoided condemning those responsible. Instead they’ve blamed the anti-Kiev protesters and Russia for the violence.

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THE VIDEOS

What about the video that showed the anti-Kiev protesters firing automatic weapons during the clash? You’re probably thinking about this video. This is the video that corporate media outlets broadcasted to the public which shows what appears to be anti-Kiev protesters firing on Maidan protesters on May 2nd.

Open and shut case right? These guys brought this on themselves. If you just saw this clip that would be the obvious conclusion, however this isn’t the only clip that we have.
We have quite a bit of footage that the mainstream media isn’t showing you, and that footage tells a very, very different story.

Here’s that same scene with the shooter video taped from another angle.
[VIDEO REMOVED FROM YOUTUBE]

Now if we freeze this frame, the man in the back of the ambulance that invites the police officer to get in looks a lot like the shooter, but this is a very brief scene and the image isn’t clear enough to hang a case on it. However what we see next is very clear.

Here we see him and other police consulting with masked men who are presenting themselves as anti-Kiev protesters.

Why would the Ukrainian provisional government work with thugs presenting themselves as the opposition. Why would they stand by and allow those thugs to escalate the situation by firing into the crowd, then flee the scene with them? Doesn’t that strike you as a little bit odd?

The Maidan protesters, which eyewitnesses say outnumbered the anti-Kiev protesters 10 to 1, headed straight for the opposition’s camp ground. First they burned down their tents. The anti-Kiev protesters tried to put up a defense at the door, but the Maidan crowd began throwing Molotov cocktails. Soon the building was engulfed in flames.

Here’s what the scene looked like on the ground. You can hear the crowd cheering as they set the building ablaze. The Maidan can be seen beating those who try to escape, and a Maidan activist shooting at those trying to escape from the windows.

You can hear the crowd cheering as they set the building ablaze. The Maidan can be seen beating those who try to escape. And you can see a Maidan activist shooting at those trying to escape from the windows. There was a fire station less than a kilometer away, but they didn’t intervene for hours. Why? Here’s why:

Odessa-fascists-block-firetrucks-2_0

The Maidan crowd blockaded the fire truck and wouldn’t let the firefighters operate. It’s not unclear how the fire started as the mainstream media has been trying to convince you. Nor is it unclear who started the fire. Here we see a group of Maidan girls doing their part by filling up Molotov cocktails behind the scenes while the boys are busy using them to burn people alive.

Odessa-fascists-block-firetrucks_0

Here we see a group of Maidan girls doing their part by filling up Molotov cocktails behind the scenes while the boys are busy using them to burn people alive.

This wasn’t a tragic accident, this was murder. One of the official Youtube channels for the Maidan (EuromaidanPR,) uploaded this video right after the blaze where they do a walk through of the building examining the corpses. They entitled it “Russian Terrorists Burnt Alive In Trade Union Building Fire In Odessa Ukraine, May 2 2014“. They were proud of what they did, and they weren’t the only ones. WARNING: The video below is extremely disturbing. Do not click if you are not emotionally prepared to see it.

During all of this the police did nothing. There was no investigation. In fact the provisional government in Kiev has blamed the anti-Kiev protesters for the fire and arrested the survivors. Apparently these people burned themselves to death and strangled their own people. Right.

Does this all seem out of place with the narrative you’ve been handed for months by the media and the politicians?

All over the internet self proclaimed fascists were hailing this as victory. Extreme Right Celebrates Odessa Murder

A victory over who? There were no Russian citizens among the dead. They were all Ukrainians.

What’s even more disturbing is that there was video taken from the ground which captured the audio of her screaming in her final moments.

Here the screams can be heard clearly: [VIDEO REMOVED FROM YOU TUBE]

After the screaming stopped Maidan activists presented themselves at the window gleefully waving a Ukrainian flag.

During all of this the police did nothing. There was no investigation. In fact the provisional government in Kiev has blamed the anti-Kiev protesters for the fire and arrested the survivors. Apparently these people burned themselves to death and strangled their own people. Right.

The grand irony here, is that these so called nationalists are apparently too stupid to realize that their leadership just sold them out. You say you want a Ukraine for Ukrainians, but Kiev just brought in the IMF vultures. The IMF! This is the worlds most notorious predatory lender. The western globalists own you guys now.

Debt is a far more insidious method of subjugation than military occupation. At least with an army you can recognize the enemy, and you can fight them, but when that enemy hides behind banks, they destroy a nation from the inside out. They use your own strength against you. Rather than fighting back, you’ll end up groveling at their feet for table scraps.

You’ve heard the saying “History is written by the winners”. That’s not poetic, that’s a literal truth. Don’t let these people win. Now pay close attention to the people he’s with. The red arm bands these guys are wearing are supposed to symbolize the anti-Kiev contingent. In particular pay attention to this man in the brown jacket. Also take note of the padding that the man in the brown jacket is holding in his right hand. This guy with the brown jacket is important, and you’ll see why when we show you the next clip.

Is not unclear how the fire started as the mainstream media has been trying to convince you. Nor is it unclear who started the fire. Here we see a group of Maidan girls doing their part by filling up Molotov cocktails behind the scenes while the boys are busy using them to burn people alive.

A victory over who? There were no Russian citizens among the dead. They were all Ukrainians.

As horrific as the video is, it’s a bit deceptive, because it doesn’t show the pregnant woman who was killed upstairs. Her body wasn’t burned at all. She appeared to have been strangled to death.

What’s even more disturbing is that there was video taken from the ground which captured the audio of her screaming in her final moments.

Below is a Video footage showing Right Sector and Ultra pro-Kiev nationalists storming the streets, burning tents and starting fires on the Trade Unions House where hundreds of anti-Kiev activists were burnt alive or killed by bullets fired to the head.

Russia’s International Clout Comes as a Surprise to the West : Russia, major player in the world.”

SPUTNIK INTERNATIONAL

Politics
19:58 09.09.2015(updated 21:02 09.09.2015)

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Russia’s current international clout and foreign policy achievements still come as a surprise for some political analysts. Jonathan Adelman, a professor at the University of Denver, called Russia’s rebirth under the leadership of Vladimir Putin “the greatest surprise” in a world full of surprises.

The expert focuses on Russian foreign and defense policies recounted the country’s assets:

“With its strong military capabilities, Eurasian geographic location, capable leadership, conservative nationalism and resuscitation of old Cold War relationships, Russia has become a major player in the world.”

Russia has successfully established and strengthened working relations with other powers across the globe. Moscow hosted or will welcome leaders from Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, Kuwait, Qatar and the UAE this year. Additionally, Saudi King Salman invited the Russian president to Riyadh.

Even Washington’s closest ally Israel has promoted closer ties with Moscow and “increasingly looks to Russia for help,” the expert noted in an opinion piece titled “The Surprising Resurgence of Russia as a Great Power.”

Russia has found a way to cooperate with countries that have strained relations with each other, including key Asian nations (China, India and Japan). Moscow also enjoys good relations with Latin American and European states.

“Clearly, Putin is not that slouched bored kid in the back of the class but a smart, tough realist moving Russia towards great power status,” Adelman asserted, referring to Barack Obama’s 2013 comments with regard to the Russian leader.

Posted by Ainhoa Aristizabal @ 5:45PM

Ukraine edits sanctions list — source

TASS RUSSIAN NEWS

Kiev’s blacklisting journalists threatens freedom of press — Reporters Without Borders

Russian journalists from TASS, RIA Novosti, Izvestiya and Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspapers, RUPTLY news agency, NTV television company and Channel One were included in the sanctions list

World – September 18, 19:57 UTC+3

Ukraine’s sanctions list was approved on September 16 by President Petro Poroshenko against those supporting Russia’s stance and those involved in Donbas conflict

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KIEV, September 18. /TASS/. Ukraine’s Presidential Administration is editing the list of sanctioned Russian companies and individuals, a source from the governmental department told TASS on Friday.

“The list is being edited now,” a source said, not specifying the names to be changed.

The presidential decree from September 2 approving Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council decision is missing on the president’s official website, but it is available on the National Security and Defense Council website.

Ukraine’s sanctions list was approved on September 16 by President Petro Poroshenko against those supporting Russia’s stance and those involved in Donbas conflict. After the Western countries’ reaction the list was edited, removing sanctions from several foreign reporters. It was also found out that some unexciting names were in the list.

In line with the document, the sanctions against these people include asset freezes, visa denials and other restrictive measures.

Moscow considers Donetsk republic leader’s decree on local elections forced measure

Russian Politics & Diplomacy
September 17, 20:37 UTC+3

The Russian Foreign Ministry says the move was forced by Kiev’s violation of the Minsk Agreements

© Artyom Geodakyan/TASS

© Artyom Geodakyan/TASS

MOSCOW, September 17. /TASS/. Moscow believes the decree of the head of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), Alexander Zakharchenko, on local elections a forced measure caused by Kiev’s violation of the Minsk Agreements, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mariya Zakharova said Thursday.

“We proceed from the assumption that we understand this step by the Donetsk authorities, consider it as a forced one, caused by violation by official Kiev of provisions of the Minsk Agreements, simulation of their implementation, first of all regarding unilateral steps and not on the basis of direct dialogue between Kiev and Donbas,” Zakharova said.

“We believe it is important to keep acting in accordance with the spirit and letter of the Minsk Agreements, which have no alternative as a basis for restoration of peace and stability in southeast Ukraine,” she stressed.

“The cornerstone of the implementation of the Minsk Agreements remains the problem of Kiev not conducting direct dialogue with representatives of Donbass,” Zakharova said.

DPR head Alexander Zakharchenko on September 16 signed a decree to set elections to local self-government bodies for October 18.

Ukrainian troops have been engaged in fierce fighting with local militias during Kiev’s punitive operation, underway since mid-April 2014, against the breakaway territories – the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics constituting parts of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions of Ukraine.

Massive shelling of residential neighborhoods, including with the use of aviation, has killed thousands and led to a humanitarian disaster in Donbass.

Kiev has regularly violated the ceasefire regime imposed as part of the Package of Measures on implementation of the September 2014 Minsk Agreements.

The Package (Minsk-2) was signed on February 12, 2015 in the Belarusian capital Minsk by participants of the Contact Group on settlement in Donbass.

The Package, earlier agreed with the leaders of the Normandy Four envisioned an overwhelming cessation of fire and withdrawal of heavy armaments to create a security area in the region at least 50 kilometers wide.

GENOCIDE IN DONBAS – by Stephen Lendman

 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Genocide in Donbas

by Stephen Lendman

 

Last April, Kiev launched premeditated naked aggression on Donbas. Mischaracterized as a “counterterrorism” operation.

 

Fighting raged for months. Abated somewhat following agreed on September Minsk protocol terms. Never stopped.

 

Illegitimate oligarch president Petro Poroshenko vowed to crush Donbas resistance. Intends full-scale war. Wants fascist tyranny replacing Donbas democracy.

 

Last May, the reliable Strategic Culture Foundation (SCF) called Kiev’s war on Donbas a “genocide campaign.” Believing at the time anti-junta resistance would spread across Ukraine.

 

Not so far. Perhaps ahead. Kiev fascists want fundamental freedoms systematically eliminated.

 

Repressive regimes lose support. Especially ones at war. With a generation of youths threatened.

 

People take so much before exploding. Maybe eventual revolution looms. Kiev’s genocidal campaign on Donbas continues.

 

Russian expert Stephen Cohen said “(w)hat we’ve seen…is an extraordinary rapid re-militarization. A lot has changed and for the worst…It’s hard to find a lot of hope.”

 

On January 18, SCF headlined “Ukrainian Leadership Decides in Favor of War.” So-called ceasefire pause was fantasy.

 

Fighting never stopped. On Sunday, Kiev “launch(ed) a large-scale offensive against the Donetsk and Luhansk republics along the entire front line,” said SCF.

 

Fighting rages. Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) Defense Ministry spokesman Eduard Basurin said:

 

“Over the past day, the Donetsk militias have repelled massive attacks against the airport of Donetsk, that the Ukrainian troops launched on direct instructions from the Ukrainian president.”

 

“Ukrainian armour that was about to storm the militias’ positions was stopped far away and mostly destroyed.”

 

“In the course of defensive operations the militias destroyed 27 tanks and 20 armoured vehicles.”

 

“One tank was seized. Ukraine’s losses have exceeded 200 killed and about 300 injured.”

 

“Our losses stand at 16 killed and 62 injured. The airport and the areas around it are under the full control of the Donetsk Republic’s forces.”

 

“At the moment, the militias are conducting a security sweep in the village of Peski, close to the airport, from where Ukrainian artillery had shelled Donetsk residential areas and suburbs for the past few months.”

 

DPR Prime Minister Aleksandr Zakharchenko issued a statement saying:

 

“I can with all confidence say that all Ukrainian attempts to retake the airport and to recoup the defeat which we inflicted on them last year, failed.”

 

“The Ukrainian army had taken severe losses. Six armor-infantry attacks were launched on the terminal over the course of two days.”

 

“They all were defeated. We also defeated Ukrainian attempt to break into Donetsk.”

 

“Unfortunately, the Putilovskiy bridge was blown up. The entire column which attempted the breakthrough was destroyed.”

 

“Three Ukrainian tank crewmen were taken prisoner. Ukraine is using the ceasefire in order to rearm, regroup, and restore combat effectiveness”

 

“Now we can see that Ukraine broke the ceasefire and went on the offensive.”

 

“We have never experienced the sort of artillery bombardment that we had experienced over the last two days.”

 

Kiev is waging genocidal war against Donbas’ entire population. It’s military is “smashing the houses of peaceful residents: children, the elderly, women.”

 

“They are using combat aircraft. Yesterday evening Ukraine bombed Gorlovka.”

 

“A representative of the Coordinating Center was in the zone of fire. Shrapnel was flying past the OSCE mission in Donetsk.”

 

“We are peaceful people and do not want war, do not want to kill anyone. However, the DPR Armed Forces stand ready to repel any enemy attacks.”

 

“(W)e began (counteroffensive) combat operations on the outskirts of Avdeyevka. Yesterday Peski changed hands twice. Today we will conclude clearing operations.”

 

“I should note the upsurge of patriotism among the population. I want to address the international community, OSCE, one more time…”

 

“(I)f you share our opinion concerning the ceasefire, compel Kiev to fulfill (its) obligations under Minsk” ceasefire protocol terms.

 

Russia’s Foreign Ministry criticized Euronews television of covering Kiev’s war on Donbas “lopsidedly.”

 

Saying “(t)he loss of life among civilians resulting from massive artillery shelling by Ukrainian troops as well as the assessments of the OSCE special monitoring mission in its fresh reports on the situation in eastern Ukraine are all being hushed up.”

 

“Europe (suppresses) the whole truth about the situation in Ukraine…” It refuses to explain “its primary causes.”

 

Kiev criticism is absent. Despite its junta leadership “attempts…to shut down the channel’s Ukrainian version.”

 

Neo-Nazi national security and defense council head Okeksandr Turchynov warned of “full-scale continental war.”

 

The reliable Colonel Cassad web site discussed ongoing fighting. Saying Donetsk airport buildings remain under NAF (Novorossiya Armed Forces) control.

 

“The junta still cannot present any tangible proof of its presence in the area of the terminals…”

 

“The NAF infantry not only held the terminal, but also started to increase its presence in the immediate vicinity of the airstrip…”

 

“(J)udging from the continuing artillery barrages, neither side is prone to yielding.”

 

“The situation on the front lines of the LPR (Lugansk People’s Republic) was quite stable. (A)rtillery barrages continued, but their intensity was lower than on January 18th.”

 

“Under Mariupol our forces today managed to capture Lebedinoye and to approach Vinogradnoye, but whether they managed to capture it or not is not yet known.”

 

“Powerful artillery shelling continued in the area of Granitnoye. As NAF approach the city the intensity of the artillery fire by the enemy increases.”

 

Junta attacks continue over a wide front. NAF counterattacks respond effectively.

 

Full-scale naked Kiev aggression shows no signs of abating. Expect much worse ahead.

 

Sputnik News (SN) said Kiev’s “offensive now appears poised to expand from a battle for the airport to an entire regional operation, with no weapons off-limits.”

 

Including banned ones. Kiev uses chemical weapons. Cluster munitions. Incendiary devices.

 

Civilian neighborhoods are deliberately targeted. On Monday, a hospital was shelled.

 

Poroshenko has full US support and encouragement. Perhaps intending expanded conflict to Russia’s border. Risking greater war.”

 

“The resumption of open conflict in Ukraine (which never truly ‘ceased’ in the first place) looks to be the first ‘new’ war of the year, and it’s entirely Washington-backed,” said SN.

 

“The US has been using Ukraine as a proxy against Russia ever since the EuroMaidan Color Revolutionaries seized power last February…”

 

Blackwater USA mercenaries (now called Academi) are training a 550-strong paramilitary force for Kiev,” said SN.

 

“(T)he combination of US support and Blackwater is a surefire recipe for disaster in any country of the world.”

 

Full-scale war rages. Ukrainian armed forces general staff spokesman Vladislav Seleznyov said “a delegation from the US army command, headed by” US Army Europe chief Lt. General Frederick Ben Hodges will arrive in Ukraine this week.

 

Kiev will participate in NATO’s January 20-22 military committee conference. Discussions will include Alliance/Ukraine cooperation.

 

According to society of assistance to defense of Ukraine head Yury Chizhmar:

 

“At our military centers, about 100 people per week are being prepared in line with the accelerated NATO weekly program in military professions such as gunner, machine gunner and others.”

 

On Monday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin said “(i)t’s the biggest, even strategic mistake of the Ukrainian authorities to bank on a military solution to the crisis in Ukrainian society and to all of southeast Ukraine’s problems.”

 

“This can lead to irreversible consequences for Ukrainian statehood.”

 

Is Poroshenko running things or are other junta members in charge? Fort Russ said he “turned to drink.”

 

“He arrives at work only by 2-3pm. While talking to visitors in his cabinet he likes to throw items from his desk.”

 

“By 10-11pm he’s drunk. He is driven home every night around 1-2am.”

 

Poroshenko may be more figurehead than leader. Prime minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk and national security and defense council head Oleksandr Turchynov appear running things.

 

Neo-Nazi extremists. Risking greater war. Western media reports on Ukraine turn truth on its head.

 

Managed news misinformation substitutes for hard truths. Little is reported on Kiev’s Sunday launched aggression.

 

Practically nothing on US television. CNN International lied claiming Russian “military forces and equipment entered Ukraine.”

 

Its source: illegitimate neo-Nazi prime minister Yatsenyuk. Days earlier he reinvented history.

 

Telling Germany’s ARD TV Soviet forces invaded Ukraine and Germany in WW II.

 

Why anyone takes him seriously they’ll have to explain. Now he claims so-called “intelligence” reports “confirmed military personnel and equipment have been transferred from Russia to Ukraine.”

 

Citing no corroborating evidence. None exists. CNN International left his brazen assertion unchallenged.

 

The Washington Post reported the same Big Lie. While admitting reports of “two (Russian) battalions” crossing into Ukraine “could not be independently confirmed…”

 

At the same time irresponsibly accusing Moscow of “fueling the separatist uprising in eastern Ukraine with a steady stream of weapons and personnel.”

 

Again, no corroborating evidence whatever exists. The New York Times irresponsibly reported about “700 (Russian) soldiers” crossing into Eastern Ukraine.

 

Turchynov its source. While admitting it’s not able to verify his statement independently. Then why headline a brazen Big Lie?

 

London Guardian editors want “pressure on Russia” maintained. Reporting rubbish. Not hard truths.

 

Highlighting nonexistent “Russian propaganda.” Irresponsibly blaming Putin for US-backed Kiev aggression.

 

Repeating the Big Lie claiming “Russia’s armed forces have been deeply engaged in backing (Donbas) rebel separatists…”

 

“(M)aking sure Ukraine’s sovereignty over its internationally recognised territory is not restored.”

 

Ignoring Kiev’s illegitimate putschist government. Run by hate-mongering neo-Nazi criminals.

 

Representing mob rule. Waging dirty war on their own people. Abolishing fundamental human and civil rights.

 

Declaring open season for Western predators to plunder Ukraine. Exploit its people. Transform them into virtual serfs.

 

Challenge Russia irresponsibly. Risk East/West confrontation. Possible nuclear war.

 

Guardian editors recited a litany of Big Lies. Omitting what most needs explaining.

 

Ukraine’s conflict was made in the USA. Washington bears full responsibility for the most serious post-WW II geopolitical crisis. Escalating it risks global war.

 

The fullness of time will tell whether any Western leaders have sense enough to prevent it. So far, things don’t look encouraging.

 

 

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.  His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

 

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

 

The Government authoritarian war on journalism

The government’s authoritarian war on journalism: How a flaccid press enabled this Orwellian disgrace

Officials launch an all-out assault on free press — with nary an objection from the Fourth Estate’s guardians

A MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle prepares to land after a mission in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. The Reaper has the ability to carry both precision-guided bombs and air-to-ground missiles. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Brian Ferguson)

A MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle prepares to land after a mission in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. The Reaper has the ability to carry both precision-guided bombs and air-to-ground missiles. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Brian Ferguson)

Many readers will know, or know of, the Committee to Protect Journalists. It has been around since the early 1980s and does a lot of honorable work. This is what we all know about the C.P.J. But it is not all we need to know. The C.P.J. also exhibits the usual American biases when the big ideological chips are down on the table. This must be said plainly.

Few people in or outside the craft seem to think much about this. But it is not a small problem. It is a symptom of a very big problem that belongs to everybody. What happens when reporters, editors and their news organizations defer at every turn to the preferences of power? Short answer: Rot accumulates. Flaccid work becomes the norm. A slow, daily accretion of bad judgments, or refusals to judge independently, produces a weak institution that no longer understands its responsibilities, to say nothing of fulfilling them.

The C.P.J. reports frequently on difficult media conditions in Venezuela, for instance, but takes no cognizance of a long-running C.I.A. subversion campaign that greatly complicates the scene. This is indefensible. There is no judging any revolution without reference to the counterrevolution. No exceptions, in journalism or anywhere else.

A C.P.J. report on Ukraine a year ago was, sorry to say, patently over the top. It was based on one researcher’s one trip to Kiev—nowhere else—and had nothing whatever to say about press problems, which are severe, under the U.S.-backed Poroshenko government. It focused wholly on the rebelling eastern regions and Crimea even as it quoted not a single source representing either. Not a peep, of course, about the open secret of the Ukraine crisis—McCarthyesque American coverage that has propagandized nearly an entire nation into ignorance and prejudice.

Okay, the C.P.J. comes out net-positive, if marginally, for all the work it does on behalf of seriously endangered and/or imprisoned journalists and the worst excesses of censorship. But its shortcomings and numerous blind spots lead me to this question: Where is our Committee to Protect Journalism? We need one. Fail to protect the craft and you are striking heroic poses while swatting flies for eternity.

You will never guess where the work I propose must begin. We have to look at three very critical fronts in the assault on journalism under way not in some far-away locale where bullets fly every day but here in our great country (where bullets fly every day).

* * *

Anybody see that PBS documentary aired last week, “Navy SEALS—Their Untold Story”? If not, here is the link, but I urge parental guidance. It is not quite obscene, but it is close.

PBS has put together a history, and I am all for history always. The core problem with “Navy SEALS” is the use to which this history is put. This is what makes the film so offensive.

Anyone my age or a little younger grew up on World War II adventure books such as “Up Periscope,” one I remember to this day. The precursor of the SEALS figured in some of these stories. It was a few frogmen in Speedos and diving masks then, and it did very heroic advance work in Europe, notably on D-Day, and then in the island-hop across the Pacific in the months prior to the atomic bombs and the Japanese surrender.

Fine. Superb footage. Truly remarkable men.

But the PBS film runs into trouble as soon as SEALS were first called SEALS, which was in 1961, when they activated in Vietnam. Instantly these guys were headed for Conrad country—the “Heart of Darkness” barbarities common to “civilizing” powers. “We had rules of engagement,” one veteran recalls breezily, “but in fact it was a playground.” Vietnam a playground. Right.

Can you believe PBS would let someone make that remark on camera at all—and then leave it without comment?

Another SEALS vet from the Vietnam period comes on camera to tell us, “There are parts I’m uncomfortable with, and I don’t want to go there.” One is sure of it, given what we know now about the conduct of American special forces. Nonetheless, the war in Southeast Asia stands on the record of our SEALS as another heroic chapter midway in the glorious story.

We fast forward to such episodes as the 1983 invasion of Grenada, where SEALS helped knock over a social democratic prime minister because President Reagan needed an “I’m tough” moment. It was the single cheapest shot of the Cold War decades in my book, though there are many contenders. But the SEALS get PBS’s credit for “stabilizing the country and triumphing over Communism.”

Takes the breath away, doesn’t it? But by now you know the best is yet to come.

“The threats were shifting in the 1980s—to terrorism,” the voiceover advises us. And so we come to the “war on terror,” ending up—you will not guess this, either—with the “taking out” of Osama bin Laden.

Not even a nod to Sy Hersh’s exposure earlier this year of the bin Laden assassination—since corroborated and then thrown into a deep, dark closet—as a setup to make the Pentagon, the Obama White House and the now-famous SEAL Team 6 look good to Americans if few others. Straight-out dishonesty. In my read, this film is in some measure specifically a reply to the Hersh report.

The film is rich with rubbish. We get earfuls about the “mystic bonds” among the brotherhood of SEALS and “hearts that will not quit.” And it is one continuous story, the film tells us (just in case we missed the point), “from Hitler’s beaches to the war on terror.”

“Obscene” is a strong word even as qualified here, so I had better explain.

Near-obscenity No. 1: This is a very unprincipled use of history to put the point politely. Less politely, PBS is pimping the past heroism of authentically courageous Americans to legitimize the excesses of late-exceptionalist American policy and strategy in all their lawlessness—which is what the SEALS have come to stand for.

Near-obscenity No. 2: What under the sun is PBS doing airing such a frontally propagandistic film? We now have a public broadcaster participating directly in the militarization of the American consciousness.

I long ago signed off on the supposed superiority of the programming at N.P.R. and P.B.S. Frightened since Newt Gingrich’s famous “we’ll zero them out” threat, both have reduced themselves to happy talk for the Williams-Sonoma set. Nonetheless, P.B.S.’s government funding raises a troubling question: Just how far are American media from a relationship with power that is institutionalized at state level?

Keep the question with you. It helps explain why a couple of other problems now arise and why American media have to be held in large measure responsible for both.

* * *

Back in 2010 the State Department issued a definition of anti-Semitism that any right-thinking person must count a shameful attempt to shield Israel from its ever-more-justified critics. Straight off the top, where does the State Department get off intervening in any such matter, whatever may be its definition?

While we will never get an answer to this, its highly pernicious interpretation of this highly charged term remains on the books and so is available to those who, as Israel’s policies toward Palestine grow more objectionable, can be counted on to stifle any discussion of these by any means possible.

When I first read the State Department “fact sheet” I could hardly believe what was on my computer screen. It is here. The salient passages term (1) “demonizing Israel,” (2) “applying double standards” and (3) “delegitimizing Israel” as anti-Semitic.

For the sake of argument, demonizing a nation (as Washington now demonizes, say, Russia) is anyone’s right. So are double standards—the very lifeblood of Western civilization for the past half a millennium. As to delegitimation, I am not even sure what it means, but if it is anything like what it sounds, preserving the right to it is essential to making one’s way in the world as we have made it, I would say.

No, you have not read much about this question, and what you have read almost certainly papers over the utter irrationality of the connection State draws. The exceptions—pleased to report—are David Palumbo-Liu’s carefully complete analyses on this site. Two recent pieces are here and here. I have not seen coverage remotely as thorough as Palumbo-Liu’s anywhere.

“It’s necessary to get back to the basic issue,” he writes. “Is being a critic of Israeli state policies actually the same as being an anti-Semite?  If every time one voices a criticism of Israel one is acting as an anti-Semite, and if making an anti-Semitic statement is prohibited by the State Department, then ardent supporters of Israeli state policies have won a huge victory — they have essentially made Israel immune from criticism, and made anyone even thinking about raising a serious concern about Israel think twice about just how (or even if) to voice that point of view.”

State’s definition has echoed in the national conversation regularly since it was issued. Three years ago both houses of the California legislature passed resolutions referencing the State Department language; in addition, these bills specifically condemned support for Palestine and B.D.S., the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement. Until last month it appeared that the University of California would adopt State’s language as its own.

The wind out west has since changed direction. The California Senate recently amended its definition to exclude the clauses equating anti-Israeli views with anti-Semitism. A few weeks ago Janet Napolitano, U.C.’s president, surprised everyone when, at the last moment, she announced that the regents had dropped the entire thought.

My take: Amid increasing protests, it simply got too hot to push this junk into law and land it atop nearly a quarter-million students and faculty. But it would be foolish to assume this is other than a running fight, far from over.

“Shameful” is almost as strong as “obscene,” so what do I mean?

Shame No. 1: To accuse critics of Israel of hating Jews is a tiresome, nonsensical ruse everyone has heard one time or another. To institutionalize this is, among much else, another cynical use of history and memory—and another offensive memorial to the 6 million, in my view.

Shame No. 2: We have here a brazen attempt to control thought and speech for purely political purposes, straight out of Orwell and Huxley. What comes after this, one has to ask. In the land of the freedom-worshipping individual, conformity in our views grows subject to law.

Shame No. 3: Not only are our media cowed into more or less silent acquiescence. I take it further: They did much to engender a climate wherein America’s foreign ministry would dare try something like this on. The line of responsibility is straight and boldly drawn.

A friend asked recently, “Does this mean the truth is anti-Semitic”? One rejects State’s definition as a matter of course, but accept it and the answer is yes. One would have to stand proudly accused if required. One’s deep objections to Israel as it has become cannot change until it stops dishonoring two great peoples who long lived side by side in peace.

* * *

After a speech I gave in Kuala Lumpur some years ago, an American embassy official in the audience put his hand up and asked a hypothetical question: “You are a correspondent and you have information of immense news value. It will jeopardize American intelligence agents if you filed the story. What do you do?”

“What if” questions are almost always pointless or traps—or both, as this one was.

I said, “Your job.” There may be extenuating circumstances, as in times of war, but the principle otherwise holds: An American journalist is a good American by being a good journalist.

Now we have a new Defense Department report, the Pentagon’s first-ever “Law of War” manual. I do not know when the Pentagon got authorization, or from whom, to write law of this kind, but here we are: This 1,180-page how-to, published in June, is a guide explaining all aspects of war and its proper conduct. It is very lawyerly. Included among its many topics is a guide to journalists as to how to do their jobs in conflict zones.

In gist, if they do them well they can be classified as enemies. Death, capture, imprisonment: It is all on the table.

Here is the document, the outcome of a process that began in 2006, by which date things had gone to hell in Iraq and Bush II’s “war on terror” was proving a wobbly narrative.

“The law of war is part of who we are,” the document begins. “The law of war is part of our heritage, and obeying it is the right thing to do.” None of the above three statements is true—not as the “law” applies to journalists in the Pentagon’s rendering of its legal authority.

The lightning-rod phrase that has drawn most attention is the suggestion that journalists may be treated as “unprivileged belligerents.” This is a stone’s throw from the “unlawful combatants” category Bush II’s lawyers concocted after the September 11th events, and you can take this as a clue to the provenance of this document.

“The Obama administration’s Defense Department appears to have taken the ill-defined practices begun under the Bush administration during the war on terror and codified them to formally govern the way U.S. military forces treat journalists covering conflicts.”

That is Frank Smyth, a senior adviser at the aforementioned C.P.J. and among the first to fasten onto this document’s dangerous implications. Bravo Smyth and the committee in this case.

“The manual’s justification for categorizing journalists this way,” Smyth continues, “is not based on any specific case, law or treaty. Instead, the relevant passages have footnotes referring to either other parts of the document or matters not germane to this legal assertion. And the language used to attempt to justify this categorization is weak at best…. This broad and poorly defined category gives U.S. military commanders across all services the purported right to at least detain journalists without charge, and without any apparent need to show evidence or bring a suspect to trial.”

Here is Smyth’s thorough analysis. Others, including Reporters Without Borders and the New York Times, have also raised their voices.

Fine, although the protests have not been as loud or as many as one would like, and a forceful rejection of the Pentagon’s baldly aggressive moves against American media is wholly in order. The Times just reported that lawyers at Defense will consider amendments to the “Law of War” tome based on these objections. Also fine. But the history at work here, once again, directly implicates the Times and most other protesters.

Go back to the Vietnam defeat and the blame cast on the press for reporting it accurately (when it finally did). The Pentagon was determined never to make the same mistake, recall? And by the first Iraq war, the new principle was established: To cover it correspondents had to “embed” with an American unit.

Maybe you recall protest then, too, but if you do you must not forget how quickly editors and publishers capitulated. It was a strategic mistake and a drastic ethical breach. The right moves for the Society of American Newspaper Publishers would have been to say, “We refuse,” file a lawsuit and urge members to publish pictures of body bags arriving at Dover Air Base on page 1 every day of the conflict.

The media made another big mistake after Bush II declared his “war on terror.” Nomenclature was not a small matter once the American press accepted this phrase and began using it without quotation marks. Had the media asserted itself as the independent pole of power they are supposed to be they would have insisted, “No, this is not a war, and we will accept nothing accruing to the term.”

How much would have been different? It is painful to ask but we all must, readers and viewers as well as practitioners. Consider this new Pentagon attempt to intimidate, and State’s “anti-Semitism” nonsense, and the PBS documentary on the SEALS. They are all symptoms of a pallid, uncourageously run institution. Too many empty chairs on the Committee to Protect Journalism.

Patrick Smith is Salon’s foreign affairs columnist. A longtime correspondent abroad, chiefly for the International Herald Tribune and The New Yorker, he is also an essayist, critic and editor. His most recent books are “Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century” (Yale, 2013) and Somebody Else’s Century: East and West in a Post-Western World (Pantheon, 2010). Follow him @thefloutist. His web site is patricklawrence.us.

Military training young children to a “summer camp neo-Nazi” in Ukraine. The recruitment of “child soldiers” would it be financed by military aid “non-lethal” US?

 

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky
Mondialisation.ca, September 10, 2015

Article Url:
http://www.mondialisation.ca/formation-militaire-de-jeunes-enfants-a-un-camp-dete-neonazi

-en-ukraine-le-recrutement-denfants-soldats-serait-il-finance-par-laide-militaire/5475299

 

Ukraine-Neo-Natzi-Militia

Unbeknownst to most Americans, the US government provides financial support, weapons and training to a neo-Nazi entity as part of the National Guard of Ukraine, the Battalion Azov (Батальйон Азов). Canada and Great Britain have confirmed that they also gave their support to the National Guard.

The Azov battalion, which sports “officially” the Nazi emblem SS (bottom left) is described by the regime in Kiev of “battalion trained volunteers called to defend the territory.” This is a battalion of the National Guard under the Ministry of Home Affairs, the equivalent of the United States Department of Homeland Security.

Officially based in Berdyansk, along the Azov Sea, the Azov battalion was formed by the regime to repress the uprising of the opposition in the Donbass region (east and south of Ukraine).

Legend

Emblem of Azov battalion formed by the junta in Kiev

Black Sun of the Nazis

Emblem of the SS Das Reich division

Military training young children to fight against the Russians

The Azov battalion, with the support of its Western partners, is involved in paramilitary operations in eastern Ukraine. But there’s more. According to various articles, including one published by the Kyiv Post (newspaper of Ukraine), the Azov battalion organized a military training summer camp for young children as part of a training program and more general indoctrination.

According RT:

The camp was created to show the children that life is not just to school and to mobile devices and to “express our love,” said the Ukrainian channel ICTV Azov a battalion commander and platoon instructor at camp Oleksii appointed. We must be strong and courageous to defend the integrity of our motherland, he added. (Article RT)

Western media sources (quoted by the Kyiv Post) confirms that children as young as six years (see images below) are participating in the Azov summer camp battalion in the district of Vodytsya outside Kiev.

 

On the banner, it says: Iдея B Нації, сила В тобі, which roughly translates the idea of nation, the power in you.

The photos above confirm that many of the participants are young children and not teenagers.

The Kyiv Post, condemning Western media for their biased coverage, nonetheless recognizes the evil nature of the proposed military training:

(…) This very special camp is led by the Azov Battalion, founded by the Parliamentary Andriy Biletsky, his former commander. In this summer camp, located in a wooded area of the district in Kyiv Vodytsya Pushcha, children do not just play soldiers; they receive a proper military training by the soldiers who fought at the front in the war of Russia against Ukraine.

Called Azovets, the camp has been the subject of negative coverage in the Russian media, on websites and even pro-Russian in the British tabloid The Daily Mail.

“Summer Camp neo-Nazi: members of Azov battalion of Ukrainian show children how to wield AK-47s (PHOTOS)”. This is the title given RT has that control the Kremlin, in his article about the camp.

“Shocking pictures taken in a neo-Nazi military camp shows older recruits of just SIX years to learn to handle weapons and shooting (even if a cease-fire)”, as the Daily Mail in an article sensationalist and inaccurate. (Kyiv Post, August 29, 2015)

While the Kiev regime denies that the Azov battalion is a neo-Nazi entity, the battalion’s logo and that of summer camp Azovets (sported T-shirts summer camp) are a Wolfsangel,

a Nazi symbol SS, with the “Nazi black sun” watermark.

© vk.com/tabir.azovec

T-shirts, logo Wolfsangel a symbol of the SS Das Reich division

© vk.com/tabir.azovec

Recruitment of child soldiers

The summer camp of the training program is the first stage of the recruitment of child soldiers, in contravention of international law.

Invariably the recruitment of child soldiers includes a training program to familiarize young children in the use of lightweight automatic weapons.

Military trainers are dispatched paramilitary battalion Azov summer camp (see the Nazi SS badge on the uniform below):

 

Tattoo of a Nazi insignia on the arm of a trainer Azov battalion

© vk.com/tabir.azovec

© vk.com/tabir.azovec

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

© vk.com/tabir.azovec

© vk.com/tabir.azovec

© vk.com/tabir.azovec

© vk.com/tabir.azovec

© vk.com/tabir.azovec

© vk.com/tabir.azovec

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Kyiv Post article describes in detail the nature of the “Summer neo-Nazi camp.” Confirm that reporting is an entity within the National Guard of Ukraine (funded by the Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine) forms and indoctrinate young children to art of war:

The summer camp Azovets accepts children of members of Azov battalion, as well as children from the neighboring district Obolon in Kyiv and more remote areas. It opened June 22 and offers programs of activities a week in groups of 30-40 children. Officially, the camp is for children 9-18 years old, but some as young as 7 years. Some children have participated in activities several weeks away.

This raises the most controversy is that the camp is run by fighters of Azov battalion, some of which are considered supporters of the extreme right and neo-Nazis. Opponents say that the symbol of the battalion is reversed Wolfsangel, an indirect but embarrassing association with Nazism.

In previous interviews with Ukrainian media, Biletsky said that the symbol was misinterpreted. The letters “I” and “N” that form the badge of Azov battalion mean “national idea”.

Biletsky founded a neo-Nazi group in Ukraine called Social-National Assembly and it is clear that the battalion has neo-Nazis in their ranks, some even wearing Nazi tattoos. Some media reported that up to 20% of its fighters are neo-Nazis, and press officers of the battalion were still struggling to explain that military training does not share the ideology of its founder Biletsky or she does other ideology has a fervent patriotism.

When the Kyiv Post visited the camp Azovets August 19, the children were engaged in a series of activities including the disassembly and assembly of AK-47 assault rifles, target shooting (with air guns tablet) over the defense against aggression, practicing stances and patrols. They also practiced various sports and games, were climbing and rappelling, and participating in activities related to Scouting or crafts like making knots.

© vk.com/tabir.azovec

“I’m here for only three days, but I realized that this is not a camp where one is just playing. We receive military training here, “said one of the camp’s children in the Kyiv Post.

In the forest near the camp, a group of children receives advice on the safety of a weapons trainer of Azov battalion.

“Do you know what would happen if you let your fingers on the trigger? If it was a real gun, you could kill your comrades. So do not do that! “Yells the instructor.

“Yes, sir,” meet the children.

The children then simulate the evacuation of wounded soldiers from the battlefield.

It is clear that the militaristic atmosphere in the camp, including the rigorous discipline, affects some children.

“I got very short hair cut yesterday announced a boy. This is what I wanted. I look more like a soldier now. ”

Two older children who, like many other camp, have given war names (Medic and physicist) to do as the real soldiers of Ukraine, expressed their desire to join the Azov battalion.

“I want to defend my homeland. Comrades share my opinion. I think if it’s necessary, I will fight, “explained physicist, 17, the Kyiv Post.

Camp Children are divided into four groups, depending on their age, each under the direction of a trainer and caregiver. The camp day begins at 7 am and ends stack to 23 hours. Children sleep in tents.

Access to the website battalion Azov and sites that support has been closed to the public last September when the battalion was integrated with the National Guard of Ukraine, but the camp has a page on the social network Vkontakte Russian (https://vk.com/tabir.azovec), where we actually promoting. One can also apply to become a volunteer or contact the camp to send their children there.

The page description reads: “The mission of the camp: the Ukrainian form of the new era, a patriot who is willing to actively participate in the construction and defense of Ukraine.”

(…)

The military and patriotic songs that children sing every day and are part of the camp program seem to be one of the most popular activities among children. Late in the evening around a campfire, they hum their favorite patriotic songs, which date back to the days of old struggles for independence of Ukraine, in the early to mid-twentieth century.

The Kyiv Post listened to the words of one of these songs. There was talk of victory of Ukrainian soldiers on their enemies.

Today, the enemy is Russian. A boy sitting on a log whisper softly, “I want this war to end and we will kill all the Russians” (. Kyiv Post, August 29, 2015, emphasis added)

(To read the full article in the Kyiv Post staff writer Faina Nakonechnaya, click here.)

US military aid

This diabolical initiative, which incites hatred on innocent children against ethnic Russians and opponents of the regime Kiev, is widely supported by US military aid given to the National Guard of Ukraine through the Ministry of Internal Affairs. It is this ministry that coordinates the “counterterrorism operation” in the Donbass.

While the US Congress has adopted amendments to its “2015 Appropriation Act to the Department of Defense” to block the formation of neo-Nazi battalion Azov, in fact, the money continues to go to.

In addition to military aid under the Pentagon, the National Guard of California has partnered with the National Guard of Ukraine, of which the Azov Battalion:

“The mission of the partnership program California-Ukraine [under the auspices of the National Guard of California] is ​​to promote democracy, free market economies and a military reform, establishing long-term institutional affiliations (…) The California-Ukraine partnership directly supports the objectives of the US ambassador to Ukraine and the commander of US Forces in Europe. (…) (Office of Defense Cooperation (ODC), Head: LTC Tracey D. Rueschhoff)

Scroll down the page to see pictures showing “freedom fighters” of Azov battalion.

These are the people that form Ukrainian children in the use of AK-47 at the Summer neo-Nazi camp. All for a good cause, “the development of democracy”, in the words of New York Times.

Just think what would happen if the National Guard of California showed symbols that resemble swastikas on their uniforms.

National Guard of California, October 2013. Fight against fires in southern California.

Michel Chossudovsky

Original article in English:

Military Training for Young Children at Ukraine’s “Neo-Nazi Summer Camp”. Recruitment of Ukraine’s “Child Soldiers”

Financed by US “Nonlethal” Military Aid?,

Published August 30, 2015.

Translated by Daniel for Mondialisation.ca

Outright lies from the New York Times

Wednesday, Sep 2, 2015 06:59 PM EST

SALON

Outright lies from the New York Times: What you need to know about the dangerous new phase in the Ukraine crisis

While establishment media toe Washington’s line, violence and instability have shaken the Ukraine this week

Patrick L. Smith

putin_nyt2-620x412

           (Credit: Reuters/Maxim Shipenkov/Photo montage by Salon)

The slightly fetid “phony war” in Ukraine—the unsettling stagnation noted in this space a month ago—is emphatically over. Suddenly there is movement on several fronts, and some of it is promising. But this is a dangerous moment, too, chiefly because Washington’s bet on the post-coup government in Kiev, bad from the outset, is on the brink of producing a result so ugly and shameful its consequences all around cannot now be calculated.

I refer to the very real potential, as of Monday, for a coup mounted by violence-adoring ultra-rightists—those neo-Nazis airbrushed out of the news coverage even as they now maraud through the Ukrainian capital almost with impunity. “The far right won’t make a full move on the Poroshenko government now,” a Ukrainian émigré said on the telephone Tuesday. “I think it’ll be a couple of months before we see that.”

Comforting, isn’t it?

In effect, we will now watch a race between those attempting to forge a negotiated settlement in Ukraine—and the prospects for this look good once again—and the collapse of the Kiev government precisely because the European powers are now forcing it to accept such a settlement. You tell me who is going to break the tape.

Before I go any further, there is an aspect of this new phase in the Ukraine crisis that needs to be noted right away. The narrative advanced over the past 18 months by most Western media—and all corporate American media, without exception—is coming unglued before our eyes. This is going to make it even more difficult than heretofore to understand events by way of our newspapers and broadcasters.

Already we see the kind of contorted reporting always deployed when our media have to cover their tracks after long periods of corrupt, untruthful work. Per usual, the most consequential offenses occur in the government-supervised New York Times.

Example: Petro Poroshenko, the Ukrainian president, now confronts “Ukrainian nationalists” over plans to decentralize power because Vladimir Putin forced this upon him, “with a metaphorical gun to his head.” This we read in Tuesday’s paper. And here we need a trigger warning for the faint of heart, because I have two strong words for this report, written with deliberation.

Outright lies. We are beyond lies of omission now. These are the real thing.

One, these are not “nationalists.” France’s Front Nationale is nationalist. The U.K. Independence party is nationalist. The majorities on Capitol Hill are nationalist. These are black-shirted ultras who vote with explosives and assassins’ bullets. You deserve to know this, and it does not change simply because Washington backs them covertly and John McCain—ask him—does smiling photo ops with Oleh Tyahnybok, their openly fascist leader.

Two, there is no accounting at all for the “gun to his head” bit, but Putin’s view that federalization is the sensible solution to the Ukraine crisis is (1) plainly the sound way to hold the nation together while addressing its differences and (2) vehemently endorsed by the French and German governments. Chancellor Merkel, with no gun to her head, made this plain Tuesday, when she insisted that autonomy legislation now pending in Kiev must be acceptable to the leadership in the rebellious eastern regions. You deserve to know this, too.

Chronology is all if we are to understand the events of the past week or so. You have not seen a chronology, because this is the very worst time, from the official and media perspectives, for you to understand events. A brief sketch of the errant timeline, which will do for now, looks like this:

Angela Merkel and François Hollande, the German and French leaders, had Poroshenko to Berlin last week and made him stand next to them as they vigorously reiterated their commitment to a negotiated settlement based on the pact signed in Minsk last February. “We are here to implement the Minsk deal, not to call it into question,”Merkel declared in that forthright way of hers.

Last weekend, with Poroshenko back in Kiev, Germany, France and Russia—the Minsk signatories, along with Ukraine—declared that a new ceasefire would go into effect Tuesday, September 1. At writing, the very early signs are that it has a better-than-even chance of holding, previous efforts having frayed.

On Monday the Kremlin announced that the Minsk signatories would meet by mid-September “in the Normandy format.” This means the four foreign ministers will convene, probably by telephone (as they first did in northern France on the D-Day anniversary last year). Two implications: One, this is a working session, devoted to structuring terms. Two, Paris, Berlin and Moscow want concrete progress toward a settlement within two weeks. In other words, the clock ticks.

Also on Monday, the Rada, Ukraine’s legislature, held a preliminary vote on the constitutional revisions that are to provide the eastern regions a high degree of autonomy. While this is a key provision in the Minsk agreement, the Poroshenko government had previously done nothing to implement it over the seven months since Minsk II was signed.

• And finally, far-right protesters had gathered outside the Rada in anticipation of the vote. As soon as the measure was passed—by a narrow margin—they erupted into violent rioting featuring bombs, explosive devices and grenades. Three police officers are now dead, more than 100 injured. The instigator was the same party that turned demonstrations last year into a coup— Oleh Tyahnybok’s Svoboda, the Russian-hating, Jew-hating party that canonizes Nazi collaborators. Poroshenko called Svoboda’s riot “a stab in the back.” Of course: Until recently his deputy prime minister and prosecutor general were both Svoboda members. He’s no stranger to these people.

So went the past week. What do we make of it? Where are we in this story?

* * *

I see several moving parts in what is now a highly kinetic situation in Ukraine and surrounding it. In some cases these are intricately related.

Consider first the European position. The Germans and French have plainly quickened the pace of their joint diplomatic efforts. Why is this and why now? It helps to note that Paris and Berlin have chosen to work with the Russians within the Minsk II framework while excluding the Americans (as, indeed, Mink II pointedly excluded them earlier this year, when warmongers on Capitol Hill and in the Pentagon were hoisting the thought of arming Kiev up the flagpole).

Two concerns appear to be at work in the European capitals. One, Washington has stepped back but half a step from its effort to force a military solution in Ukraine. Recall: As of this summer the Pentagon is effectively managing Ukraine’s armed forces. Note: Joe Biden, the White House’s point man on the war, had little to say to the French and the Germans last week, but he called Poroshenko in Kiev to stiffen the wayward president’s back in countering rebel forces on the ground in the eastern regions. (Biden for president is an odious thought, incidentally.)

Two, and more urgent, the Europeans are well aware that the Poroshenko government is highly unstable, if not teetering indeed. Its support in opinion polls is well down in the single digits. Even before this week’s street violence, nobody in Berlin could fail to see the threat of an overthrow posed by the black-shirted ultras of Svoboda and Right Sektor, a more recently formed descendant of the Social-National Party, as Svoboda used to call itself.

Remember the wave of assassinations in Kiev last April? Among the victims was a journalist and historian named Oles Buzina, who opposed a radical breach with Russia on numerous grounds. Buzina seems to have been much honored among Ukrainians, for some of them placed a plaque on the front wall of his home. Last week, Right Sektor members gouged it off—and then replaced it with a similar slab honoring his assassins. “In broad daylight. No police to be seen,” as Russia Insider, the Western-run news site in Moscow, reported.

A few days later Svoboda and Right Sektor staged the riot outside the Rada. There have been arrests in both cases, but we are looking at something close to impunity.

I called Lev Golinkin, a young Ukrainian writer from the eastern city of Kharkiv (and the émigré quoted above), to ask him about this. Here is some of what he said in a long telephone exchange Tuesday:

“The far right does not have enough support to win any presence in parliament. But they don’t need support. They need unrest. All they need is for people to see the Poroshenko government as just as corrupt and inefficient as the one it replaced. And of course it is.

“Svoboda sees Poroshenko as a traitor, who is letting Europeans betray Ukraine. They have no interest in equal rights, decentralization of the country, peace with Russia. There’s no room for compromise in their position…. The war serves Poroshenko because it distracts the far right. They’re for the war. But other than this, they have nothing in common with this president.”

“Why, Lev, do you think a move against the government is probable in the next couple of months?” I asked. Golinkin replied:

“It’s historical reality. Once they’re active they don’t stop until they’re completely defeated or they take power. After World War I, Poland brutally suppressed them. After World War II, the Soviet Union brutally suppressed them. And now there’s no one to suppress them…. The Ukrainian army may not be on Poroshenko’s side. The biggest question in my mind is whether the army will fight the far right.

“Right now Poroshenko’s darting around like a squirrel. In Kiev he says, ‘There’s no plan to decentralize. There’s no special status for the east.’ Then he works with Merkel and Hollande on plans to decentralize and grant the east special status.”

Let me put it this way: If I am talking about this near-chaos as I sit in a village of 1,600 souls in the New England hills, they are talking about it in Berlin and Paris. Merkel and Hollande appear to be motivated in some measure, and maybe in large measure, by the thought that they must move now if they are to grasp their last, best chance to achieve a negotiated settlement in Ukraine.

* * *

I had a note from a reader the other day—a prominent, connected man—who conveyed the thoughts of an American colonel now serving in Germany. (I will name neither my reader nor the officer I am about to quote.) The colonel was writing about “a shift toward collaborative behavior” he sees among Americans—the thought being that Washington is moving gradually away from unilateral action and an insistence on American primacy across all oceans and continents.

I, too, see signs of this in the Obama administration’s record, but only signs, and they are faint. It occurs on a here-and-there basis and there is no consistency to it. In my read, this shift reflects partly a new understanding of America’s place but mostly the force of circumstance. The colonel sees the latter at work in Europe, referring to “the pretty much complete failure of the most recent ‘regime change’ that was engineered in Ukraine.”

The note prompted me to think, and the events of the past few days confirm the thought: It is not too soon to assess Washington’s failure in Ukraine. It is, indeed, “pretty much complete” and pretty much on display as we speak. No surprise from this quarter: As argued severally in this space, this failure is has been more or less inevitable since the beginning of the Ukraine adventure in the first post-Soviet years—and certainly since the coup Washington cultivated in Kiev last year.

I do not seem to be as isolated in this judgment as I was even a few months ago. “Better to get the most advantageous possible negotiated terms,” a new piece on Ukraine in The National Interest argues, “than to set up ourselves and the NATO alliance for a high-profile defeat.”

That is a foreign policy “realist” doing his reckoning. It is the sound of tactical retreat in the face of failure. I go even further: Not only has failure been inevitable from the first; it is the best outcome for Americans by a long way.

There are a couple of ways to explain this. First, there are the practicalities. The shambolic Poroshenko government is simply too weak to serve as an effective client, even if you think a client regime on Russia’s border is a good idea. It long ago spent its political capital. Its support in the Rada is crumbling. The I.M.F. just completed its bailout arrangement, but in so doing it assumes responsibility for an economy that has more or less ceased to exist.

The new figure for deaths in the conflict zone bouncing around in the press is “approaching 7,000.” Bad enough. But as Stephen Cohen, the honored Russianist, pointed out long ago, this is the number of bodies counted in morgues, nothing more. German intelligence put fatalities at 50,000 or more, and that was six months or so back.

Now comes the very real threat of a far-right insurgency no one can control. Even if Poroshenko manages to keep his balance, this problem will haunt him. Equally, consider the damage to trans-Atlantic relations—already complicated by the Ukraine crisis—if a neo-fascist regime were to take power as the outcome of Washington’s 20-odd year effort to pull Ukraine out by its roots and repot it as another flower in the Western garden.

These are on-the-ground reasons Washington simply does not want to put its name on this mess any longer. A “realist” in these matters might agree. Wait for it, readers: All the blame must now be shoved off on Russia, which is never right about anything and which holds guns to people’s heads. This is going to take a lot, lot, lot of lying.

But there is another reason to applaud Washington’s failure in Ukraine, and I put a higher value on it.

Good people in Washington and elsewhere in this nation can think all the high-minded thoughts they wish, but none is going to alter the policy cliques’ conduct abroad decisively, as it must be altered if we are to avoid a series of calamities and tragedies as the 21st century proceeds. It is essential to wage the intellectual war, surely, but we also need failures. Repeated failures are the only way we will get this done. In failures lies our success, to put the point another way.

It is not a matter only of countering entrenched interests—the Pentagon, the defense industries, the intelligence and national security apparatus. I conclude that the American consciousness must also sustain a certain kind of violence before we will imagine our place in the world anew. This seems to me the colonel’s thought: We failed in Ukraine “pretty much completely,” and we can learn from this to think differently.

I see two major misapprehensions immediately at issue. One is the neoliberal model, arising as it does out of the Chicago School’s free-market ideology, econometrics, rational choice theory, and the drastic tilt toward mathematics and computer modeling in postwar social sciences. It strips all history, culture, tradition and human preference out of our thinking such that we can pile into Ukraine and expect to win the day.

Impossible. This is the irrationality of hyper-rationality. It is a proven loser. Let the losses pile up.

Two, of course, is the exceptionalist impulse, and it is closely allied to neoliberal thinking. I have little faith that we Americans will abandon our claim to providential righteousness—the ideological cloak draped over our incessant drive for markets—until the world tells us one too many times to keep it to ourselves. Drop the mythological veneer, and we Americans can have a proper debate as to whether we want to subvert nations such as Ukraine for the sake of corporations such as Chevron.

The only weakness in this argument, so far as I can see, is undue optimism—and yes, you read the sentence correctly. It may be that I overestimate this nation’s capacity to learn from its mistakes. Maybe I see higher aspirations among us than the policy cliques will ever reflect and, in a drastically changing political scene, see a chance for these to rise to the surface as they might have before the three assassinations that changed everything 50 years ago.

We will see. Let us watch how our failure in Ukraine computes out. Two wishes in the meantime.

One, the odious triumphalism that arose in the 1990s—so tinny and unbecoming when seen from the perspectives of others—will go straight to hell at last. I detest it.

Two, the shockingly bad performance of our media, notably but not only the government-supervised New York Times, will prove a turning point in the arrival of alternative media. It is they that have got the Ukraine story right, shining more light on it than news organizations commanding a hundred times the wattage. Given this performance, we should not consider them an alternative to anything, I like to think—only new growth on the old tree.

Patrick Smith is Salon’s foreign affairs columnist. A longtime correspondent abroad, chiefly for the International Herald Tribune and The New Yorker, he is also an essayist, critic and editor. His most recent books are “Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century” (Yale, 2013) and Somebody Else’s Century: East and West in a Post-Western World (Pantheon, 2010). Follow him @thefloutist. His web site is patricklawrence.us.

Ceasefire in E. Ukraine is major achievement, no alternative to Minsk accords – Putin

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A woman stands by the house damaged during a mortar shelling in the village of Oleksandrivka, Donetsk Region. © Iliya Pitalev / RIA Novosti

Russian President Vladimir Putin has welcomed the ceasefire in Eastern Ukraine, describing it as the major achievement of the peace process. He also said the deadline for implementation of the Minsk peace accords could be extended.

“Of course, it is very good that the shelling of Donbass (eastern Ukrainian rebel region) by so-called volunteer battalions and Ukrainian armed forces has ceased…I think it is the major achievement today,” Vladimir Putin said in the Crimean city of Sevastopol.

Putin went to Crimea to meet with Italy’s ex-prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi on a visit that came at the request of the Italian politician.

RT Putin & Berlusconi hold informal meeting in Crimea http://on.rt.com/6r3r

4:48 PM – 11 Sep 2015

Talking to journalists Saturday, Russia’s president stressed there was no alternative to the Minsk agreements which were signed by the leaders of France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine in February.

“The most important thing to do is to establish direct contacts between Ukrainian authorities and authorizes of Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics so that the accords can be fully implemented,” Putin said.

The main issue, according to Putin, is a lack of coordination between Ukraine and rebel republics on amending the constitution and adopting the local election law, which is a part of the Minsk agreements.

“Moreover, the amnesty law must be adopted,” Putin added. “How can one hold negotiations with people under criminal prosecution?” He also called for the adopted decentralization law to be put into force.

READ MORE: Kiev clashes, grenade explosion injure dozens during protests against constitutional law
Vladimir Putin also commented on the statement of Leonid Kuchma, the Ukrainian representative in the contact group talks, who said that more time is required to implement the agreements.

“In principle, it is possible to prolong some aspects of implementing the agreements, but it is better to strive for implementation of everything we agreed in Minsk in time,” the Russian leader said.

Ukrainian President Poroshenko criticized the statement of Kuchma about the need to prolong the Minsk process. “Everybody must implement his obligations by the end of the year,” he said.

Putin also spoke about the importance of economic recovery of the rebel-controlled territories. “Thankfully, as I know, Donbass has started to supply Ukraine with coal,” Putin said.

The comments came ahead of a Normandy Four meeting in Berlin, attended by Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, among others. The meeting, according to German FM Frank-Walter Steinmeier, will focus on the withdrawal of heavy and light weapons under 100-mm caliber from the line of contact in Eastern Ukraine, local elections, amnesty and other issues.

The conflict in eastern Ukraine erupted in mid-April 2014 after the then-President Viktor Yanukovich had been toppled and the country had been hurled into chaos with eastern regions refusing to accept new authorities in Kiev. According to the UN estimates, about 8,000 people have since been killed in the military conflict.

Russia digs 100 km ditch along border with south-eastern Ukraine

ukraine

Russia has erected 40km of fortified walls, and more than 100km of defensive trenches on its border with the rebel Ukrainian regions of Lugansk and Donetsk.

“The engineering fortification of the state border is aimed at ensuring stability in the Rostov region, and preventing the illegal circulation of firearms,” Russia’s border service said in a statement.

The government agency said that it intercepted over 60 illegal weapons shipments across the border since the beginning of the year. In doing so, it confiscated 40 firearms, 200 grenades, 100 shells and 40 landmines.

The border service said it had to arrest more than 400 people for either illegally crossing the border or approaching the secure zone next to it, and open fire on five occasions. Occasional media reports have surfaced in recent months about spillover from the restive region, locked in a stand-off with the central government in Kiev for the past year, including a report of a Donetsk man illegally trying to cross into Russia in a Soviet-era off-road vehicle.

READ MORE: 3 civilians, including 11yo killed by Ukrainian army shell in Donbass – reports

Following the announcement, Kiev accused Russia of trying to seal in Russian fighters who have been drawn to the ranks of the rebel republics. Moscow strenuously denies that there are any Russian soldiers in eastern Ukraine.

“If the mercenaries decide to try to get back into Russia from Ukraine on their armored vehicles, their entry will be blocked. This is a clear signal to the mercenaries in Donbass – they might have come here, but they are not going back. At least, they aren’t going back out alive,” said government spokesman Andrey Lysenko.

Ukraine itself is spending $200 million to build what has been termed the European Bulwark on a different segment of its 2,200-km border with Russia, further up north. The project is scheduled to be completed in 2018.

Ukraine’s Expanded ICC Jurisdiction Marks Step toward Justice – But Justice – As Fairness for Whom?

Washington
September 9, 2015

Following the announcement that Ukraine expanded its recognition of the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) jurisdiction over crimes committed in Ukraine to include those from Nov. 21, 2013 onward, Freedom House issued the following statement:

“The Ukrainian government’s decision to expand jurisdiction of the ICC marks an important step toward ending impunity for grave crimes committed in Ukraine by Ukrainian citizens,” said Susan Corke, director for Eurasia Programs. “By accepting ICC jurisdiction over crimes such as torture, murder, and enslavement, the government helps victims of the conflict in Ukraine gain access to justice. The Ukrainian authorities should take the next step and signal their commitment to justice by ratifying and implementing the Rome Statute to ensure that future grave crimes and abuses do not go unpunished.” [Then you should have President Poroshenko and his Nazi battalions shipped to The Hague ASAP]

Ukraine is rated Partly Free in Freedom in the World 2015, Partly Free in Freedom of the Press 2015, and Partly Free in Freedom on the Net 2014. [No kidding?]

Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change (aka regime change), monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights. [ Human Rights in Ukraine when its president have children killed, and with the help of the Nazi battalions execute men, rape women, then kill them and dumped them in mass graves? ]

To support U.S. geopolitical interests, USAID is often called upon to administer exceptional financial grants to allies [of course!]. Also, when U.S. troops are in the field, USAID can supplement the “Civil Affairs” programs that the U.S. military conducts to win the friendship of local populations and thus to undermine insurgent support. In these circumstances, USAID may be directed by specially appointed diplomatic officials of the State Department, as has been done in Afghanistan and Pakistan during operations against al-Qaeda.

Freedom House’s programs support human rights and democracy advocates in their efforts to promote open government, defend human rights, strengthen civil society and facilitate the free flow of information and ideas. Freedom House primarily offers assistance through trainings, international exchange programs, grant giving and networking activities. In addition, Freedom House offers symbolic and moral support through advocacy and visible demonstrations of solidarity on behalf of counterparts abroad. [No kidding?]

Freedom House currently has fourteen offices and conducts programs in over thirty countries in all regions of the world. Primary funding for Freedom House’s programs comes in the form of grants from USAID and U.S. State Department, as well as from other democratic governments—Canada, the EU, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden—and from private foundations, including the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Ford Foundation.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is the United States Government agency primarily responsible for administering civilian foreign aid. Responding to President Barack Obama’s pledge in his 2013 State of the Union Address to “join with our allies to eradicate extreme poverty in the next two decades,” USAID has adopted as its mission statement “to partner to end extreme poverty and to promote resilient, democratic societies while advancing the security and prosperity of the United States.” USAID operates in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe.

USAID can also be called upon to support projects of U.S. constituents that have exceptional interest.

Freedom House
Floor 6
Washington DC 20036-0000
Year Assets Revenue
2012 $15,144,537 $45,249,648
2011 $9,922,321 $41,448,447
2010 $9,922,321 $41,448,447
2009 $9,284,227 $33,511,970

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS SEPT. 8, 2015

The New York Times – September 9, 2015

In a move that could clear the way for an investigation into possible war crimes in Ukraine’s bitter conflict with Russian-backed rebels, the Ukrainian government on Tuesday accepted the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court, backdated to early 2014. In a letter accompanying the formal acceptance, Ukraine’s Parliament accused “senior officials of the Russian Federation” and rebel leaders of committing atrocities during the annexation of Crimea and fighting in eastern Ukraine. While Ukraine is not a member of the court, based in The Hague, it can voluntarily accept its jurisdiction. Russia also is not a member, but any of its citizens suspected of committing a crime in Ukraine could now face prosecution.

DONETSK AS IT USED TO BE BEFORE CIVIL WAR

Donetsk, Donbass

The Donetsk People’s Republic

 

The Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR or DNR) (Russian: Доне́цкая Наро́дная Респу́блика, tr. Donétskaya Naródnaya Respúblika; IPA: [dɐˈnʲɛtskəjə nɐˈrodnəjə rʲɪˈspublʲɪkə], Ukrainian: Донецька Народна Республіка, Donets’ka Narodna Respublika) is an unrecognized state supported by anti-Kiev regime leadership living in the Donetsk oblast of Ukraine, where they control territory. It is a state which is widely rejected by western community. Donetsk receives humanitarian and military support from Russia. It was also a constituent state of the sovereign confederation of Novorossiya (referencing the corresponding historical region and its name), and since February 2015 assigned itself the status of successor to the historic self-declared Donetsk–Krivoy Rog Soviet Republic. On 20 May 2015 the leadership of the Federal State of Novorossiya announced the termination of the confederation ‘project’.

The entity was declared on 7 April 2014 by the anti-Kiev regime leadership in Donbass who at the time occupied the Regional Administration and the City Hall buildings in Donetsk.   Occupation of government buildings then spread to other cities in the region.

On 16 May 2014, the Republic as a whole was classified by the Kiev regime as a “terrorist organization”. Ironically, on 15 April 2014, acting president Olexander Turchynov announced the start of a military anti-terrorism counter-offensive to confront the anti-Kiev self defense forces.
 
The Donetsk People’s Republic has been recognized by the Republic of South Ossetia, on 27 June 2014. And by the president of the United States Barack Obama who has recognized the right of Donbass to ascend to the fraternity of nations first. He has reaffirmed this every year he has been in office.

On 17 April 2014, tensions de-escalated as Russia, the US, and the EU agreed on a roadmap to defuse the Ukraine crisis. However, Kiev officials ignored the agreement and vowed to continue their attacks against Donbass and Luhansk.
 
The Duntil a referendum is accepted or the government in Kiev resigns. Since the agreement, the Security Service of Ukraine continued to detain Russians entering the country with large amounts of money and military gear.

 
On 11 May, a referendums was held in Donetsk and Luhansk, where the anti-Kiev regime leaders announced that a vast majority of participants voted in support of the establishment of the People’s Republics.
 
On 24 May, the two anti-Kiev regime republics signed an agreement confirming their merger into a confederation called the Federal State of Novorossiya.  Between April and July 2014 some parts of Ukraine’s Donetsk Oblast were brought under the control of the Donetsk People’s Republic; however the Armed Forces of Ukraine regained some of these areas in its href=”https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_in_Donbass#Post-ceasefire_government_offensive”>early July 2014 post-ceasefire government offensive during the War in Donbass. This offensive led to the Donetsk People’s Republic only controlling the areas near to the city of Donetsk. In the anti-Kiev regime forces August 2014 counter-offensive the Donetsk People’s Republic with the help of retired Russian soldiers troops and arms gained territory again.
 
Over 50% of the total Donetsk oblast population (according to a November 2014 anti-Kiev regime estimates by the leadership of Donetsk and Luhansk, which Kiev claimed to be in line with the estimate of the Ukrainian government), around 1,870,000 people, live in the People’s Republics. Although the anti-Kiev regime leadership didn’t have control of most of Donetsk Oblast, this number is relatively low since the DPR has been controlling major urban areas and cities like Donetsk and Horlivka.
 
In an effort to stabilize the ceasefire in the region, particularly the disputed and strategically important town of Debaltseve, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has called for a U.N.-led peacekeeping operation to monitor the compliance with the agreement achieved during the latest round of Minsk peace talks Ironically, Poroshenko himself breached the Treaty obligations breaking the cease-fire many times.
 

A SONG FROM DONBASS –

 

 
Published on Jul 25, 2015

“Sing the eternal song for the eternally living. By the Law of Heaven, lies and evil are going to be erased from the pages.

By the Law of Love, the ones who stay with Him will live. Then the task is given to survive, to return home with victory. And Heaven will sing about your courage from above.
The waltz will swirl,
The march will march,
We will shout hurrah!

And praising the Law of Heaven you will sing the anthem of Love,

(Excerpt from a song from Donbass)
Video excerpt from “Donbass Under Fire: Unbowed” Documentary by Maxim Fadeyev
See entire video: <a class=”yt-uix-redirect-link” title=”https://youtu.be/z68hA6qcQY0&#8243; href=”https://youtu.be/z68hA6qcQY0&#8243; target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”>https://youtu.be/z68hA6qcQY0</a&gt;

Many THANKS to Kazzura for her translation of this video. See all her videos at: <a class=”yt-uix-redirect-link” title=”https://www.youtube.com/user/wintersodomy/videos&#8221; href=”https://www.youtube.com/user/wintersodomy/videos&#8221; target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”>https://www.youtube.com/user/winterso…</a&gt;

No Russian Troops in Ukraine- Obama still wants War
<a class=”yt-uix-redirect-link” title=”http://youtu.be/iNx2DvY3qaw&#8221; href=”http://youtu.be/iNx2DvY3qaw&#8221; target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”>http://youtu.be/iNx2DvY3qaw</a&gt;

Obama Admits US “Brokered” Coup in Ukraine
<a class=”yt-uix-redirect-link” title=”http://youtu.be/1QAXmf5_EOs&#8221; href=”http://youtu.be/1QAXmf5_EOs&#8221; target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”>http://youtu.be/1QAXmf5_EOs</a&gt;

US Started Ukraine Civil War *PROOF* Nov 20, 2013
<a class=”yt-uix-redirect-link” title=”http://youtu.be/hMVfN5AF0dI&#8221; href=”http://youtu.be/hMVfN5AF0dI&#8221; target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”>http://youtu.be/hMVfN5AF0dI</a&gt;

US Army in Ukraine Since Sept 2014
<a class=”yt-uix-redirect-link” title=”http://youtu.be/f6oLJB69dOU&#8221; href=”http://youtu.be/f6oLJB69dOU&#8221; target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”>http://youtu.be/f6oLJB69dOU</a&gt;

“Open Hand Now a Fist” to Kiev,USA”
<a class=”yt-uix-redirect-link” title=”https://youtu.be/Ws1ESTTDH9A&#8221; href=”https://youtu.be/Ws1ESTTDH9A&#8221; target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”>https://youtu.be/Ws1ESTTDH9A</a&gt;

Kiev Officers Defy Kiev,USA’s Genocide in Ukraine
<a class=”yt-uix-redirect-link” title=”http://youtu.be/lurflboZreI&#8221; href=”http://youtu.be/lurflboZreI&#8221; target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”>http://youtu.be/lurflboZreI</a&gt;

American Teaches Kiev Soldiers Not to Have Emotions in War
<a class=”yt-uix-redirect-link” title=”https://youtu.be/TZfexe3gR8w&#8221; href=”https://youtu.be/TZfexe3gR8w&#8221; target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”>https://youtu.be/TZfexe3gR8w</a&gt;

Kiev Major General Defects to DPR
<a class=”yt-uix-redirect-link” title=”http://youtu.be/mNV2q9MuOaI&#8221; href=”http://youtu.be/mNV2q9MuOaI&#8221; target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”>http://youtu.be/mNV2q9MuOaI</a&gt;

Obama Hypocrite of the Year
<a class=”yt-uix-redirect-link” title=”http://youtu.be/8itUHqit5sY&#8221; href=”http://youtu.be/8itUHqit5sY&#8221; target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”>http://youtu.be/8itUHqit5sY</a&gt;

Damn Obama &amp; Poroshenko!!! Wake up America!
<a class=”yt-uix-redirect-link” title=”http://youtu.be/i2VnxiIvdjg&#8221; href=”http://youtu.be/i2VnxiIvdjg&#8221; target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”>http://youtu.be/i2VnxiIvdjg</a&gt;

US Legacy in Ukraine
<a class=”yt-uix-redirect-link” title=”http://youtu.be/6Dvi_uz5eSU&#8221; href=”http://youtu.be/6Dvi_uz5eSU&#8221; target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”>http://youtu.be/6Dvi_uz5eSU</a&gt;

US Goal in Ukraine
<a class=”yt-uix-redirect-link” title=”http://youtu.be/X8k8xRQ2FCk&#8221; href=”http://youtu.be/X8k8xRQ2FCk&#8221; target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”>http://youtu.be/X8k8xRQ2FCk</a&gt;

Separatist Vows to Fight Kiev,USA
<a class=”yt-uix-redirect-link” title=”http://youtu.be/mmVVh6h8LQg&#8221; href=”http://youtu.be/mmVVh6h8LQg&#8221; target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”>http://youtu.be/mmVVh6h8LQg</a&gt;

US General, “start killing Russians”
<a class=”yt-uix-redirect-link” title=”http://youtu.be/3EJLi23fTPg&#8221; href=”http://youtu.be/3EJLi23fTPg&#8221; target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”>http://youtu.be/3EJLi23fTPg</a&gt;

Ukraine Crisis Summary -short
<a class=”yt-uix-redirect-link” title=”http://youtu.be/7jl06ALnLWk&#8221; href=”http://youtu.be/7jl06ALnLWk&#8221; target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”>http://youtu.be/7jl06ALnLWk</a&gt;

Ukraine Chaos Summary <a class=”yt-uix-redirect-link” title=”http://youtu.be/51NoHKpqVyI&#8221; href=”http://youtu.be/51NoHKpqVyI&#8221; target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”>http://youtu.be/51NoHKpqVyI</a&gt;

US Coup in Ukraine- Longer version
<a class=”yt-uix-redirect-link” title=”http://youtu.be/Yhcc4v1kh-Y&#8221; href=”http://youtu.be/Yhcc4v1kh-Y&#8221; target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”>http://youtu.be/Yhcc4v1kh-Y</a&gt;

Ukraine People Hate New Gov’t from Obama
<a class=”yt-uix-redirect-link” title=”http://youtu.be/7YGBLkRrxY8&#8243; href=”http://youtu.be/7YGBLkRrxY8&#8243; target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”>http://youtu.be/7YGBLkRrxY8</a&gt;

Ukraine Message to Obama
<a class=”yt-uix-redirect-link” title=”http://youtu.be/gPxRLx4X9YM&#8221; href=”http://youtu.be/gPxRLx4X9YM&#8221; target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”>http://youtu.be/gPxRLx4X9YM</a&gt;

Obama &amp; Poroshenko Poster
<a class=”yt-uix-redirect-link” title=”http://youtu.be/bIJaxDgvXnU&#8221; href=”http://youtu.be/bIJaxDgvXnU&#8221; target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”>http://youtu.be/bIJaxDgvXnU</a&gt;

EU coup d’etat in Ukraine – Nigel Farage
<a class=”yt-uix-redirect-link” title=”http://youtu.be/0ILMjrdL5Ds&#8221; href=”http://youtu.be/0ILMjrdL5Ds&#8221; target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”>http://youtu.be/0ILMjrdL5Ds</a&gt;

“Obama’s Appalling War Rhetoric” in Ukraine
<a class=”yt-uix-redirect-link” title=”http://youtu.be/LuiJVO6tzlA&#8221; href=”http://youtu.be/LuiJVO6tzlA&#8221; target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”>http://youtu.be/LuiJVO6tzlA</a&gt;

Anti-Putin Journalist-Truth About Ukraine
<a class=”yt-uix-redirect-link” title=”http://youtu.be/VSEkcCavcmE&#8221; href=”http://youtu.be/VSEkcCavcmE&#8221; target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”>http://youtu.be/VSEkcCavcmE</a&gt;

Joe Biden’s Son Appointed to Ukraine’s Largest Gas Co.
<a class=”yt-uix-redirect-link” title=”http://youtu.be/zFKzZPOcYb4&#8243; href=”http://youtu.be/zFKzZPOcYb4&#8243; target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”>http://youtu.be/zFKzZPOcYb4</a&gt;

US Wars – Blood for Money
<a class=”yt-uix-redirect-link” title=”http://youtu.be/xB7JcWoTiR4&#8243; href=”http://youtu.be/xB7JcWoTiR4&#8243; target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”>http://youtu.be/xB7JcWoTiR4</a&gt;

WAR- A Scam on Americans (Butler)
<a class=”yt-uix-redirect-link” title=”http://youtu.be/Nr4fJaXFh88&#8243; href=”http://youtu.be/Nr4fJaXFh88&#8243; target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”>http://youtu.be/Nr4fJaXFh88</a&gt;

Why the West Fears Putin
<a class=”yt-uix-redirect-link” title=”http://youtu.be/xNFmBJSAxUQ&#8221; href=”http://youtu.be/xNFmBJSAxUQ&#8221; target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”>http://youtu.be/xNFmBJSAxUQ</a&gt;

article- “Why the West Fears Putin”
<a class=”yt-uix-redirect-link” title=”http://xlerma.wordpress.com/2010/12/22/why-the-west-fears-putin/&#8221; href=”http://xlerma.wordpress.com/2010/12/22/why-the-west-fears-putin/&#8221; target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”>http://xlerma.wordpress.com/2010/12/2…</a&gt;

Why America Falls <a class=”yt-uix-redirect-link” title=”https://youtu.be/HkM-e2a2ql4&#8243; href=”https://youtu.be/HkM-e2a2ql4&#8243; target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”>https://youtu.be/HkM-e2a2ql4</a&gt;

US Dogs of War
<a class=”yt-uix-redirect-link” title=”https://youtu.be/3-M-i2ldc1w&#8221; href=”https://youtu.be/3-M-i2ldc1w&#8221; target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”>https://youtu.be/3-M-i2ldc1w</a></p&gt;

Fight for Freedom – US vs Donbass

 

55638

By Xavier Lerma

US foreign policy is choking the whole earth and at the same time has caused America to implode. They panic when they see the rise of Russia’s economy and almost limitless resources that give cheap gas to Europe and the world. The CIA pays off some and brainwash the weak to overthrow the government in Kiev then causing a civil war. They manage to call civilians “terrorists”, so it’s easier to murder their own people in SE Ukraine. This has forced the people of Donbass to fight like a pack of wolves backed into a corner.

It’s a mad upside down world where the US brainwashed its people to believe that Putin had invaded Ukraine while people from Donbass want Putin to intervene militarily to stop the US backed Kiev forces. They are begging Putin to stop the war. SE Ukraine begs Russia to help. Millions have fled to Russia from Ukraine including Kiev soldiers who were disillusioned with the war. Russia is a safe haven of peace. When Hitler invaded Poland the refugees that escaped did not go to Germany. People of Donbass do not flee to the US.

Many feel betrayed by Putin for saving Crimea and not Donbass. Putin asked Poroshenko for peace and organized the Minsk peace talks. Even though Putin sends food, water and medical supplies by truck convoys, many are still unhappy more is not done. Even Putin’s childhood friend, Venzin Vladimir Alexandrovich has changed his view about Putin.

In a video Alexandrovich said, “Now people are cursing him (in Gorlvoka, town near Donetsk)… a year ago we all would turn our TV’s every morning waiting to hear that Russia has started sending its troops. Now, people simply spit when hearing the word “Russia” because Russia has betrayed Donbass.” Venzin would laugh if he saw the media mantras on US TV stating that Putin invaded Ukraine with Russian troops. If Russian troops were in Ukraine he wouldn’t be upset with Putin and Donbass would be safe and sound like Crimea.

The Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) had gone on the offensive last February and created a Debaltsevo Cauldron. Anna News reported 8,000 Kiev troops were surrounded and their destroyed equipment was put on display. According to ITAR-TASS , militia headquarters reported “Around five thousand servicemen with weapons and around 50 tanks, more than 200 combat armored vehicles… were blocked in the trap,”. The US forced Poroshenko to scream for a ceasefire while the US soldiers train his military. It was a great victory when the Debaltsevo pocket was closed.

Unfortunately, the recent Minsk ceasefire agreement that was agreed to by both sides of the Ukrainian civil war lasted about an hour. It comes as no surprise as the first one was broken as well. The puppet president who was placed there by Obama never had any intention for peace. Genocide is their goal and the people of SE Ukraine in Donbass know it. When the devil tells you he wants peace you better prepare for war.

I have no idea why they even try to bargain with this monster Poroshenko. He is backed by another monster, Obama from the US who is a puppet himself doing the bidding of Soros, Rothschild, Rockefeller and other elites in the West. America is where paleface speaks with fork tongue. How many treaties did the US break with the natives?

Alexander Dugin in his “Letter to the American People on Ukraine” writes, “The American political elite has stolen, perverted and counterfeited the American identity. And they make us hate you and they make you hate us… – the global oligarchy who rules the world using you and smashing us. Let us revolt. Let us resist. Together, Russians and Americans. We are the people. We are not their puppets.”

Donbass is not happy with President Putin but he does his best to secure stability in the world with economic success while the US creates wars and discord like pyromaniacs. Obama smiles and laughs to his worshippers while elusively avoiding any blame. After all, he’s trying his best. His best to oust Assad and fulfill his masters plan of conquest in the Middle East. “Assad must go!” and “What difference does it make!, Clinton shouted. Pure madness displayed for all to see that extended to Ukraine.

A former member of the Ukrainian parliament in Kiev, Oleg Tsarov, warned us all, “American instructors presented examples of successful use of social networks used to organize protests in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya. Recent conference took place Nov 14-15, 2013, in the heart of Kiev in the Embassy of the United States of America! Is it conceivable that the representatives of the US Embassy which organized the ‘Tech Camp’ conferences, misuse their diplomatic mission?”

Yes! The US certainly does misuse their diplomatic mission. That is why many in Kiev this year protest the US Embassy like mad dogs. Even Kiev officers are defecting. Almost every week angry mobs come by the hundreds and the thousands. They protest America standing in the rain mooing like cows with a sign, We are not cattle!. They thank the weasel Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt for bringing war and poverty. He’s lucky they haven’t dragged him in the street like the US ambassador in Libya. On June 25, in this video, they made demonstrations with raw meat.

They said at the protest, “We, the youth of Ukraine… gather near the USA embassy in order to tell them: Americans, enough with interference  into internal affairs of Ukraine! Enough with killing our people! Enough with financing the war in Donbass! Enough with terrorizing our Motherland and all other Slavic states! This protest is called “Give your heart to United States”. Symbolic countries you see here are Ukraine, Syria, Iraq, Libya, where paid USA so-called revolutions took place. People believed this nation! And look, what they have done to them! They drowned them in blood, they destroyed the infrastructure!

Another protester said, “Two years ago, when I was watching videos from Syria I couldn’t imagine that the same could happen in my country. That people will be dying, that cities will be destroyed. But unfortunately, after the coup d’etat on Maidan our country burst into fire of the civil war.”

Donbass has had no choice but to fight. Oleg Tsarov wrote about another victory, “We won because God is with us and the truth, but we are not gloating. As a Ukrainian people we wish a speedy liberation from the occupying regime. After using Poroshenko, America occupied the Ukraine and tried to occupy us. Our common duty is to free Ukraine from Nazi power and give back to the people their country and to punish those responsible for inciting fratricidal war. We will win – no doubt about it.”

The spirit of this struggle has been captured in a video by News-Front called “Donbass Defenders – “My palm clenched into a fist”.  Great music, powerful, mixed with the truth. It is an expression of their defiant struggle sung by Polina Gagarina. “Oh sun of mine – break through the darkness…My open hand has turned into a fist. And if I have gunpowder – then give me a spark…Like this. Who will now follow the lonely trail? The strong and the brave stood firm in the field – and died…Few still remember,  of firm body and mind – few stand in our line… Oh Sun of mine, break through the darkness… My open hand now turned into a fist. If I have gunpowder – just give me a spark…. Like this. Freedom… – where are you now? Whose sunrise do you shine on? Answer me!!”

The song was not translated in the original so we found one video with the lyrics in English called “Open Hand Now a Fist” to Kiev,USA”. One day the world as one fist will defy the US. On that day the world will know freedom. The country that claimed to give freedom to the world will have its yoke over humanity broken by those nations it murdered. It has begun at Donbass and will make history.

“Open Hand Now a Fist” to Kiev,USA (English subtitles)

“CHILDREN OF WAR”

 TRUTHOUT

“Children of War” Photo Series Tells Stories of Youth in Wartime Ukraine

Sunday, 18 January 2015 00:00 By Roger Annis, Truthout | News Analysis

2015_0118ch_3Over the past several months, the thrice-weekly Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta has featured five photo stories about children in the war zone of eastern Ukraine. There are three more reports to come, said the series creator, Yan Shenkman, a journalist in Moscow and a contributor to Novaya Gazeta, in an email.

“The idea of our project is quite simple – we take pictures of children affected by the conflict in Ukraine, and tell their stories. No analysis, no political showdown, only their stories. Monologues, for the most part,” Shenkman told Truthout.

“The idea came from a friend, a writer and political activist Maxim Gromov. He had already worked on a similar project – ‘The Children of Prisoners,'” Shenkman added.

“The aim of the project is to show that because of the conflict, the most vulnerable parts of the population suffer.”

“The second participant in our project is well-known St. Petersburg photographer Vladimir Telegin. I offered the idea to the editor-in-chief of Novaya Gazeta, Dmitry Muratov. That’s how ‘The Children of War’ became a special project of the Novaya Gazeta. We have published five reports so far. There will be three more.”

“After that,” Shenkman continued, “I created a Facebook group to post the articles, photos and notes which were not included in the published reports in Novaya Gazeta. Soon, the group began to receive photos and notes from people who are doing similar things as well as posts of volunteers who work with children. I block any attempts at hate speech or aggressive expression in the Facebook group.”

“We made three trips for the project – to the Rostov region of Russia, where we visited the refugee camps; to Donetsk city and the surrounding area; and thirdly to Slavyansk, Melitopol and Kharkiv which also have refugee camps. Volunteers from both sides helped us a great lot. If not for them, the whole thing wouldn’t have worked.”

Shenkman explained: “The aim of the project is to show that because of the conflict, the most vulnerable parts of the population suffer. And people are suffering on both sides. Children and their parents often don’t even realize who and why is fighting and who is shooting at them.”

“We were struck by the evident contrasts. In city centers of the war zones, there are cafes, shops, well-dressed people, expensive cars. But just half an hour’s drive away, there are frightened children and elderly people living often without electricity, without food or proper clothing,” he added.

“I don’t believe that anyone behind this war would truly come to their senses while looking at these photos and reading the stories. But at least they won’t be able to say they were not aware.”

“To help them is very simple, but for some reason, nobody or almost nobody seems to care. This is what we observed in all three trips: in the town of Shakhty [Rostov region of Russia], in Donetsk (which, additionally, had been severely bombed) and in Kharkiv. Everything is very much alike on both sides of the frontline.”

“I don’t believe that anyone behind this war would truly come to their senses while looking at these photos and reading the stories. But at least they won’t be able to say they were not aware.”

“In my opinion, at present, regardless of who started the war and who is to blame, both sides of the conflict have their arms in blood up to their elbows. In this war, there is no right side or wrong side. There are criminals and there are victims. We talk with victims and speak about them. It is useless to talk to the criminals.”

“There is yet another reason why we are doing this. Russian society (I can’t talk about Ukrainian society, since I don’t live there) is in a deep moral decay. Whatever you are doing – politics, business, even art – everything is upside down and has a bad smell. Assistance to victims is one of the few good and right things to be doing now. I won’t comment about numerous other things that people are doing. The only moral act right now is to see that killing people is a bad thing, whoever commits it and for whatever aims. Meanwhile, helping people is clearly a good thing. We work to remind people about this moral rule.”

Meet the Children of War-Torn Donbas

2015_0118ch_1Here is a selection of the photos and stories of children from the Novaya Gazeta “Children of War” series . The stories have been translated from the original Russian by NewColdWar.org. Photos are reproduced with permission.

* Alyona, 13 years old

Alyona and her family lived in the village of Peski, close to a military factory. The site was among the first to be bombed. The family fled to the city of Donetsk, where they live in a shelter for displaced families.

“Once after the bombing, I had a nightmare. I dreamed that my mother was drafted to the levy as a nurse and I was left alone. It’s very frightening without my mother. I can’t be without her.”

When asked what she wants to do when she grows up, Alyona said, “In my childhood, I wanted to become a veterinarian. But now I’m afraid of blood, very afraid. With this war, I do not know who I can become at all.”

Alyona was asked if her family thought of moving to Russia. “Yes, we did. We were going to leave, but then the ferocious shelling started and we decided to wait. We waited and waited, and ended up staying. Mom said, ‘Who needs us in that country? What would we do there?’ It’s true. Here, at least, I know some people.”

* Nikita, 7 years old

NikitaNikitaNikita’s 7th birthday party took place in the refugee shelter where he lives. He received a present that was put aside beforehand from a humanitarian aid package – a toy car. The party was a lot of fun. A group of Roma who are also hiding in this shelter sang songs for Nikita and danced a little. Three languages were spoken at this birthday party – Russian, Ukrainian and Romani.

“Then we ate cake,” Nikita said. “It wasn’t a real cake, though – mum put jam over bread and said that this is a cake for the celebration.” And celebrate they did.

* Anastasia, 11 years old

“My girlfriend Sasha was killed; she was my best friend. They were traveling by car. A diversionary group came running out of bushes; they started shooting, and Sasha got shot in the head. She was covering her younger brother, who was 2 months old at that time.”

“When they told me about it, I asked, ‘How could this happen?’ It happened, and that is it. Sasha was operated on; she fell into a coma, which lasted all night. She died at dawn.”

“When they bombed us, there was no shelter around, only a basement, where I stayed for 24 hours. Mice and rats [were] everywhere; it was cold.”

“Housing blocs in our neighborhood are four stories. All I could think of throughout this time was that they are going to hit the building and the whole thing will collapse on me. I was afraid to sleep. I didn’t want to be buried under the debris. But finally I got so exhausted that I fell asleep.”

* Lisa, 8 years old

LisaLisa The conversation takes place in a student residence of Donetsk University. “Here we are, sitting with you, while over there, they are bombing my grandma,” Lisa said.

“Over there” is in Shakhtyorsk [a сity and district center on the territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic, population of approximately 50,000)]. Lisa spent all summer in basements, hiding from the bombs. Her house was destroyed in an airstrike. She doesn’t have a home anymore. Her only remaining family is her grandmother who bluntly refused to leave her apartment.

Lisa, do you have a dream? “Yes. I want this war to end.”  What did you dream of before the war? “I dreamt that my mom bought me a tablet.” Did she buy it? “Yes, she did. Now I dream that they stop shooting, and everything will be OK.”

During the siege of the town of Ilovaisk, the town of Mospino was caught between the militia forces of Donetsk and the Ukrainian National Guard. Mospino has undergone a bombardment so massive that even three months later, the town is unable to recover. School 152 was lucky – it was untouched. Only the walls in some places are broken. You enter a classroom and it looks like the ceiling has dropped down.

“We tried to teach a ‘lesson of peace’ to the schoolchildren there,” said the creators of the “Children of War” project. ”What they have experienced are lessons of war, of hatred and fear, which hasn’t ended even now when the shelling has stopped.”

Andrey, 15 years old

Andrey had been away from the town for the whole summer. In early June, he passed his exams and then took up arms, joining the Donbass militia along with his father. He came back to classes in October when school reopened. It was not a romantic impulse to join the militia. It was a decision he took deliberately. Moreover, it was discussed at a family council. His mother and father thought about it and said it is better than him hanging out behind garages with vodka and cigarettes.

“They didn’t assign me to military actions. We were at the front and we provided soldiers with their necessary equipment. During bombardments, we would jump out of the car, hide in trenches or ditches and then drive on. When it happened that there was no one to take over command of the training squadron, they appointed me because I performed well. Before the war, I never thought about what I would do. Now many are telling me that when I finish school I should go to Russia and train for a military profession.”

Do you like to fight? Did you want to do this in life?

“That’s not the point. I can manage it; that’s all. It wasn’t on purpose. I was watching TV and saw the May 2 events in Odessa. I decided, that’s wrong; I don’t want that to happen here; we have to resist.

“Although . . . on the other hand, they are also trapped in this situation. They shoot us; we shoot them. What else can we do?”

Vladislav, 13 years old

“I lost my father and grandfather. They drove into our yard and then two shells fell. A shock wave hit the car, killing both of them instantly. I know the date exactly: August 14, 5:30 pm.”

“I don’t understand politics. I only know that just recently, we all went together to the sea, swam and rode on a boat. Now all this will never happen again. Ever.”

Copyright, Truthout. May not be reprinted without permission.

Ukraine’s President Poroshenko Says Overthrow of Yanukovych Was a Coup

GLOBAL RESEARCH CA.

Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko requests the supreme court of Ukraine to declare that his predecessor, Viktor Yanukovych, was overthrown by an illegal operation; in other words, that the post-Yanukovych government, including Poroshenko’s own Presidency, came into power from a coup, not from something democratic, not from any authentic constitutional process at all.

In a remarkable document, which is not posted at the English version of the website of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, but which is widely reported outside the United States, including Russia, Poroshenko, in Ukrainian (not in English), has petitioned the Constitutional Court of Ukraine (as it is being widely quoted in English):

“I ask the court to acknowledge that the law ‘on the removal of the presidential title from Viktor Yanukovych’ as unconstitutional.”

I had previously reported, and here will excerpt, Poroshenko’s having himself admitted prior to 26 February 2014, to the EU’s investigator, and right after the February 22nd overthrow of Yanukovych, that the overthrow was a coup, and that it was even a false-flag operation, in which the snipers, who were dressed as if they were Ukrainian Security Bureau troops, were actually not, and that, as the EU’s investigator put his finding to the EU’s chief of foreign affairs Catherine Ashton [and with my explanatory annotations here]:

“the same oligarch [Poroshenko — and so when he became President he already knew this] told that well, all the evidence shows that the people who were killed by snipers, from both sides, among policemen and people from the streets, [this will shock Ashton, who had just said that Yanukovych had masterminded the killings] that they were the same snipers, killing people from both sides [so, Poroshenko himself knows that his regime is based on a false-flag U.S.-controlled coup d’etat against his predecessor]. … Behind the snipers, it was not Yanukovych, but it was somebody from the new coalition.”

This was when Ashton first learned that the myth that Yanukovych had been overthrown as a result of public outrage at his having rejected the EU’s offer of membership to Ukraine was just a hoax. (Actually, the planning for this coup was already under way in the U.S. Embassy by at least early 2013, well prior to Yanukovych’s EU decision. Furthermore, the Ukrainian public’s approval of the government peaked right after Yanukovych announced his rejection of the EU’s offer, but then the U.S.-engineered“Maidan” riots caused that approval to plunge.)

If the Court grants Poroshenko’s petition, then the appointment of Arseniy Yatsenyuk by the U.S. State Department’s Victoria Nuland on 4 February 2014, which was confirmed by the Ukrainian parliament (or Rada) at the end of the coup on February 26th, and the other appointments which were made, including that of Oleksandr Turchynov to fill in for Yanukovych as caretaker President until one of the junta’s chosen candidates would be ‘elected’ on May 25th of 2014, which ‘election’ Poroshenko won — all of this was illegal.

However, this illegality had already been known. It was already explained in detail on 28 February 2014, that, “Yanukovych’s removal was unconstitutional.” That’s for lawyers; but, now, finally, Ukraine’s Constitutional Court is faced with the shocking predicament of Ukraine’s own President, who won his post as a result of this coup, requesting them to “acknowledge” that it was a coup, much as the founder of the “private CIA” firm Stratfor had even called it, “the most blatant coup in history.” (It was that because the authentic video and other evidence of its having been a Washington job was so massive.)

Also in the news now is that Dmitriy Yarosh‘s Right Sector — the same group that Washington had hired for the coup and for the ethnic cleansing campaign in Ukraine’s former Donbass region — have announced that they will assemble in Kiev on July 3rd to overthrow Petroshenko unless he restarts right now the war against Donbass. The people whom Washington paid to oust Yanukovych are planning to do the same to Poroshenko. There is a struggle inside the Obama Administration about how far they can successfully go with their Ukrainian nazis not formally leading the country.

Washington is having a hard time keeping in line the Ukrainian nazis upon whom Washington’s plan for Ukraine has been based. Ukraine’s nazis are thirsting for Russian blood, and want to slake their thirst faster than the Obama Administration is willing to go along with. Washington’s previous “F—k the EU!” hasn’t worked as well as they had hoped. There is thus increasingly bad blood between the Obama Administration and the Ukrainian enforcers upon whom Obama has been relying.

Basically, Poroshenko now is torn between the EU, on one side, and Ukraine’s well-armed nazis, on the other; and, thus far, the ultimate decider, U.S. President Obama, who has needed cooperation both from Ukraine’s nazis and from the EU, in order for his Ukrainian gambit against Russia to work, is on the fence between those two sides. John Kerry sides with the EU; Victoria Nuland sides with the nazis. But Obama himself hasn’t yet played his hand.

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity, and of Feudalism, Fascism, Libertarianism and Economics.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). Unruly Hearts will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article.

Copyright © Eric Zuesse, Global Research, 2015

Russian President Vladimir Putin: Kiev, not militias is to blame for escalating violence in Ukraine

Russia  August 18, 17:01 UTC+3

Russian side has evidence that the Ukrainian army is amassing troops and military equipment in Donbas, Russian president said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin

SEVASTOPOL, August 18./TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has said he hopes that the situation in the Donbas region will not amount to open large-scale clashes between the militias and the Ukrainian army and that he believes there is no alternative to Minsk-2.

“I hope that it will not come to direct large-scale clashes,” he told reporters.

“As for the Minsk-2 agreement, I believe there is no other alternative for resolving the situation and that peace will prevail in the long run. Our task is to minimize the losses, with which we will come to this peace,” he added.

The Russian leader also noted that the blame for the current escalation of violence in Ukraine rested with Kiev rather than the militias. “Unfortunately, today we see the escalation, and the blame for this rests not with the militias, it rests with the opposite side,” he told reporters.

Meanwhile, the Russian side has evidence that the Ukrainian army is amassing troops and military equipment in Donbas. “It was the Donbas militias that suggested withdrawing all military equipment with caliber under 100 mm. Unfortunately, the opposite side didn’t do that. On the contrary, according to the available data, it is concentrating its units there, including those reinforced with military hardware,” Putin said.

However, he declined to comment on remarks by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko regarding the Russian president’s trip to Crimea. In response to a request to comment on these statements, Putin recalled that Crimeans had closed the chapter on the issue of the future of the peninsula during the referendum.

DONBAS CHILDREN – VIDEOS

Ukraine’s Forgotten Children (BBC4 documentary) HD

“The Anna Tuv Story – Warcrimes in Gorlovka (Trailer)”>The Anna Tuv Story – Warcrimes in Gorlovka (Trailer)

“Russia: Child refugees flee Kiev military operation in eastern Ukraine”>Russia: Child refugees flee Kiev military operation in eastern Ukraine

Russia: Child refugees flee Kiev military operation in eastern Ukraine Refugees seeking safety from Kiev’s military operation in Donetsk arrived in Sevastopol, Crimea on Thursday, attaining temporary shelter at a boarding school. Sevastopol’s utility enterprise organised transport from the school for the refugees to be officially registered at the Federal Migration Service. Militia and volunteers have come forward to guard the school around the clock, as well as arrange additional humanitarian aid to reach those most in need such as children and the most vulnerable. Those who have fled are also being provided with three meals a day, financed by the local city administration.

Nowadays in Ukraine it is in common to call “HEROES” those who “DESTROY peaceful cities and kill children”. What these poor children deserve all these troubles and misfortunes for? Why do they have to suffer while the politicians and oligarchs are celebrating in their luxury villas having no problems?

Укровойска убивают детей Донбасса/Ukrovoyska kill Donbass Children

DONBAS CHILDREN HOLED UP IN BASEMENTS

SOME STORIES ARE BEST TO BE SUNG

SONGS FROM A BASEMENT

How can the world ignore the many children killed by the Ukrainian Army? One baby, not even born yet was cut in half inside the mother’s womb.

Where is Amnesty International when is needed. Not a word about the killing of children or their isolation in basements.

Those children who survived shelling are locked up in filthy basements, without electricity, and often kept away from their parents. And we are talking about CHILDREN for God’s sake!

Where are the leaders of the world? Where has their humanity gone?, Their support to human rights, while they back a KILLER monster as president of Ukraine?

The terrorists are the leaders of those countries that keep their mouth shut, afraid of becoming pariahs for not supporting the Empire that is destroying Ukraine.

And here I, Ainhoa Aristizabal, denounce Germany, the European Union gangsters, France, Italy and the Empire of Chaos for not denouncing the Kiev government fascists for killing the children of Donbass, and for isolating those still alive in filthy basements, away from their love ones.

Why Are Terrorists Drawn to Belgium?

 

During a house search 20 years ago, Belgian policemen investigating the Algerian GIA network discovered an Arabic document. Page one had a dedication to al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden. It was the first jihad manual ever found in Europe. The GIA was only one of many terrorist organisations to put down roots in Belgium. Over the past few decades the country has turned out to be a platform for Action Directe, the Red Army Faction, Eta, the IRA and several other terrorist groups.

The importance of Belgium for global terrorism became even clearer on 9 September 2001. Two days before the attacks on the Twin Towers, in northern Afghanistan, commander Ahmed Shah Massoud – the last man standing against the Taliban – was killed by two terrorists who had entered Afghanistan with Belgian passports.

Other recent terrorist events can be traced back to the Belgian capital. Mehdi Nemmouche, who in May 2014 killed four people in the Jewish Museum in Brussels, had been staying in the suburb of Molenbeek. Early in 2015 in the Belgian town of Verviers the Belgian police dismantled a terrorist group with links to Molenbeek. Ayoub el-Khazzani, who in August 2015 was planning to attack the Thalys train service from Amsterdam to Paris, got on the train in Brussels after staying in Molenbeek.

 

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Abdelhamid Abaaoud – reportedly one of Islamic State’s most active operators and suspected of being behind Friday’s attacks in Paris – is from the Molenbeek suburb of Brussels. Photograph: Reuters

 

The reasons why Belgium is attractive to terrorists are diverse. First there is its strategic location between France, Germany and the UK. In two hours one can cross Belgium by car, and because Belgium is part of the Schengen area its outside borders are open, making it extremely easy for terrorists to enter and leave the country quickly.

Second, the anonymity of Belgium’s capital appears to offer an ideal hiding place, with some sympathisers for the terrorist struggle – individuals, not communities – willing to give a helping hand to plotters. The fact that the name of Molenbeek turns up so often is obviously worrying.

Molenbeek – one of Brussels’ 19 districts– has a population of about 100,000, with around 30% of foreign nationality and more than 40% with foreign roots. Unemployment is higher than 25%, with youth unemployment even higher. Young inhabitants, often with Muslim backgrounds, do not get the same chances in the labour or housing market, and testify how in their everyday lives they are confronted with racism. They have the perfect profile to be prone to radicalisation. If the Belgian state had put more effort into integrating migrant communities, the potential for radicalisation would be significantly smaller today.

Third, the Islamic experience in Belgium has characteristics that differ from other European countries. There is a lack of local imams; most of the imams have been imported from abroad or educated there. Belgian security services point to an important religious influence from Wahhabi Islam, “sponsored” by Saudi Arabia through the Grand Mosque in Brussels.

Fourth, Brussels has the reputation for being a place where you can easily buy illegal firearms. The fact that the city has no fewer than six different police zones makes the fight against illegal arms trafficking and other forms of organised crime cumbersome and inefficient.

Last, Belgium has a relatively small security apparatus. Although Brussels is the diplomatic capital of the world, Belgian state security only has some 600 employees (the exact figure is classified information). Its military counterpart, Adiv, has a similar number. That makes just over a thousand intelligence officers to secure a country that hosts not only Nato and the EU institutions but also the World Customs Organisation, the European Economic Area, the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (Swift), the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation (Eurocontrol), another 2,500 international agencies, 2,000 international companies and 150 international law firms.

One does not need to be 007 to understand that the security challenge is huge – not only taking into account terrorism but also espionage and cybercrime. The disregard of the Belgian political world for intelligence and the lack of an intelligence culture have allowed terrorist groups to proliferate.

More than 250 Belgians have left the country to fight alongside jihadis in Syria and Iraq; about 75 have died in combat and 125 have returned. According to the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence, Belgium has the highest rate of foreign fighters per capita of all Europe.

Belgium’s anti-terrorism organisation Ocad has a “consolidated list” of more than 800 people who are on the radar of the Belgian intelligence services in relation to foreign terrorist fighters. Yesterday, two well-informed sources within the Belgian security services independently confirmed to me that two of the Abdeslam brothers currently being investigated in relation to the Paris attacks and Bilal Hadfi, the suicide bomber at the Stade de France, were on that list. The question is why this information could not prevent the attacks in Paris. Standing Committee I, which controls the Belgian intelligence services on behalf of the government, has announced an official investigation. Meanwhile, the citizens of Belgium cross their fingers.

 

 

News
Paris Terror Attacks
Nov 20 2015, 9:22 am ET

Paris Attacks: Commando Captain Shares Details of Bataclan, Saint-Denis Raids

An NBC News exclusive interview with the head of the Swat team that entered the Bataclan theatre to rescue the hostages recounts the horror of the theatre and the ensuing battle with the terrorists inside the building. For security reasons, the officer is known only as Jeremy and has his face covered

When elite French commandos stormed the Bataclan concert hall last Friday night, they found hundreds of people laying on the floor, blood everywhere — and an eerie silence.

Jeremy, captain of the commandos, revealed details of how the operation played out in an exclusive interview with NBC News’ Lester Holt — on condition that his last name not be used.

Among the revelations:

  • Commandos had to ignore the moans of the wounded to find the terrorists.
  • The jihadis identified themselves as “soldiers of the caliphate.”
  • “Negotiations” with the shooters included “classic political demands” about French operations in Syria.
  • The negotiations were an excuse to buy time to murder innocents.

“We discover like a hell on earth,” Jeremy said. “No sound. Nobody was screaming. Nobody were moving because they were afraid of the terrorists.”

Uniformed police first to respond to the scene had managed to shoot dead one terrorist, but two more remained holed up in a second-floor room — with hostages.

Jeremy’s unit — the BRI — systematically and carefully went room to room. That meant the commandos had to ignore the pleas of the dying and wounded — which was brutal, Jeremy said.

“A lot of people… ask us to help them because they were wounded, bleeding and we had to say no — we have to find first the terrorist,” he told NBC News. “It was difficult for the guys, for the men on the team.”

 Terror Ringleader’s Death Raises Fears of Intelligence Failures

The two remaining terrorists referred to themselves as soldiers of the caliphate. They were upstairs on the left side of the concert hall and down a hallway, behind a small wooden door, Jeremy said. When the BRI approached, one shouted to get back.

 When elite French commandos stormed the Bataclan concert hall last Friday night, they found hundreds of people laying on the floor, blood everywhere — and an eerie silence.

Jeremy, captain of the commandos, revealed details of how the operation played out in an exclusive interview with NBC News’ Lester Holt — on condition that his last name not be used.

Among the revelations:

  • Commandos had to ignore the moans of the wounded to find the terrorists.
  • The jihadis identified themselves as “soldiers of the caliphate.”
  • “Negotiations” with the shooters included “classic political demands” about French operations in Syria.
  • The negotiations were an excuse to buy time to murder innocents.

“We discover like a hell on earth,” Jeremy said. “No sound. Nobody was screaming. Nobody were moving because they were afraid of the terrorists.”

Uniformed police first to respond to the scene had managed to shoot dead one terrorist, but two more remained holed up in a second-floor room — with hostages.

Image: Lester Holt interviews the head of the Bataclan theater raid
NBC Nightly News Anchor Lester Holt interviews the head of the Bataclan theater raid. Joe Gabriel / NBC News

Jeremy’s unit — the BRI — systematically and carefully went room to room. That meant the commandos had to ignore the pleas of the dying and wounded — which was brutal, Jeremy said.

“A lot of people… ask us to help them because they were wounded, bleeding and we had to say no — we have to find first the terrorist,” he told NBC News. “It was difficult for the guys, for the men on the team.”

Related: Terror Ringleader’s Death Raises Fears of Intelligence Failures

The two remaining terrorists referred to themselves as soldiers of the caliphate. They were upstairs on the left side of the concert hall and down a hallway, behind a small wooden door, Jeremy said. When the BRI approached, one shouted to get back.

‘Hell on Earth’: Leader of Bataclan Raid Describes What He Saw Inside  0:44

“I try to speak with them and he told me that he wanted to negotiate,” Jeremy said. “So I said OK, give me a phone number.”

The phone number provided was radioed back to a police negotiator. Jeremy said that around five “very short” phone calls took place, during which “classic political” demands about French action in Syria were invoked.

“It was not really a negotiation,” he added. “They want just to prepare themselves for the final assault. They don’t want to negotiate anything.”

The unit knew time was critical — there were a lot of hostages and the green light for a full assault was quickly given by command. The team took a moment to collect themselves and prepared to push through the door, stacking up behind a heavy bulletproof shield.

When the commandos pushed through the unlocked, wooden door, one of the terrorists immediately opened fire. More than 25 bullets from his AK-47 struck the shield, and one round injured a BRI commando, striking his hand and causing him to fall down.

“We cannot take care of him, we still go,” Jeremy said of the difficult choice to push forward without helping the wounded commando. The unit had agreed before going in not to stop if anyone was injured.

“We can’t afford pause,” he explained. There were hostages.

Despite the barrage of bullets, the BRI did not fire because they saw around 20 hostages between them and the shooter, Jeremy explained.

“It was too risky… for the hostages but we keep going,” he added. They pushed on with the shield — and unsure footing. There were unexpected obstacles, like a set of stairs which caused a shield to tumble and leave some commandos exposed.

Watch videos – NBC News

NBC Exclusive: SWAT Team Commando Describes Attack Scene as ‘Hell on Earth’4:35

Ringleader of Paris Terror Attacks Confirmed Dead After Police Raid | NBC Nightly News

 

The Funding Must Be Stopped, And we all know why, and it’s not about our Policies.

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Paris attack

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Odessa massacre (Ukraine)

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Odessa massacre (Ukraine)

The world reacts in shock at Paris attacks of innocent victims, and we pledge solidarity with the French people after  horrendous assaults by terrorists killed 132 people across the French capital in deadliest violence in decades.

Ethnic Russians in Ukraine were also innocent victims that were attacked, tortured, shut in the head, and burnt alive by paid Kiev supporters who new they were committing war crimes.

The first anniversary of the Odessa massacre (aka the Odessa coverup), a group of French people gathered together in Paris to pledge solidarity with the families who lost their sons and daughters, parents and friends in such a horrendous attack to our people in Ukraine. And we won’t forget that.

The news that ISIS/ISIL is financed from 40 countries, including G20 members is not only shameful but also shows that those countries involved don’t care about innocent civilians being
kidnapped, tortured and killed.

If the United States had a real leader, the Islamic State (ISIS) would already be wiped off the map.

But they don’t. And as Yousef al-Salfi, an ISIS leader in Pakistan just admitted during interrogation, ISIS is being FUNDED by the the United States and other countres. What an incredible story, as it confirms our worst fears.

Salafi told the Pakistani government that America paid $600 per terrorist recruit if they joined the fight in Syria against the West.

The American military is opposed to what ISIS is up to, but hasn’t been able to stop the funding that is flowing through America. To try to kill these rumors, the Obama administration has supported military attacks in Iraq, but have avoided the issue of Syria entirely.

It is shameful to learn that America’s leaders are involved in supporting the most oppressive regime in recent history. ISIS wants to destroy the West and Christianity, while murdering all non-believers. In Pakistan, Christians have already been slaughtered as ISIS fights to instill a Sharia regime. ISIS should be eliminated, not funded by tax dollars:

It is critical that we understand what is really going on, starting with an acknowledgement that Islam – the moderate kind – has an integral role to play. If you tell your kids that the Qu’ran represents the words of God, then they’re uniquely vulnerable to someone telling them that all the words in the Qu’ran are true, including the ones that don’t match with 21st century democracy and liberalism.

It’s absurd to carry on insisting that all this has nothing to do with the ‘religion of peace’. And it’s condescending in the extreme to behave as if any acknowledgment of this will unleash some sort of Fourth Reich in Europe – it won’t. It’s possible to distinguish between people (who deserve respect) and their ideas (which don’t). No one, of any religion or none, should be afraid to walk the streets of Europe. But it’s not ‘far-right fear-mongering’ to point out that Islam is diametrically opposed to every value that defines us, even when it’s not being used to actively harm us.

Recently, the Guardian ran a piece called “Terrorism has come about in assimilationist France and also in multicultural Britain. Why is that?” – this sort of wilfully insane questioning has gone on far too long. We all know why, and it’s not about our policies.

Investigating the Russian Plane Crash in Egypt

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MIDDLE EAST

A Russian flight crashed in the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt on Oct. 31, killing all 224 people on board. Officials are investigating what might have caused an explosion that brought down the plane.

UPDATED Nov. 5

The Egyptian government has long promoted the glittering resort of Sharm el Sheikh as both the crown jewel of its tourist industry and a redoubt of security against jihadist violence.

As a militant insurgency based in northern Sinai has raised alarms about travel to broad sections of the country, the Egyptian authorities and Western governments held out Sharm el Sheikh as a safe haven. The steady flow of sun-seekers — increasingly budget-minded Russians — was a bright spot in Egypt’s deeply troubled tourism industry.

Now, the crash of a Russian passenger jet that took off from Sharm el Sheikh has threatened the resort’s reputation.

So what? What is more important, the reputation of a resort or the lives that were lost? [AA}

The tail of the Metrojet airliner that crashed in the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt on Saturday.

Mystery Deepens Over Russian Plane Crash in Egypt NOV. 2, 2015

Vladimir Puchkov, left, Russia’s emergency situations minister, with other officials on Sunday at the site of the Metrojet crash on the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt.
Who’s Involved in the Metrojet Crash Investigation NOV. 2, 2015

Grieving at Pulkovo Airport in St. Petersburg, where a plane from Egypt on Monday returned the bodies of some of the 224 victims.

Families and Experts Begin to Identify Sinai Plane Crash Victims in St. PetersburgNOV. 2, 2015

Flowers and stuffed animals piled up at a makeshift memorial at Pulkovo Airport on Sunday, forming a somber scene as Russians commemorated their dead.

Amid Vigils and Debris, Officials Seek Cause of Sinai Peninsula Crash NOV. 1, 2015

Although the cause of the crash remained unknown pending investigation of the wreckage, an Egyptian arm of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, has claimed responsibility. The claim has focused attention on the possibility that the militants might have penetrated the Sharm el Sheikh airport in order to plant an explosive inside the airplane.

And who funds, trained, and provide weapons to ISIS ?