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Posts : 6613
Join date : 2015-05-29

Please scroll down to view news items added during the course of the day

News -
Putin fires at Ukrainians about 20 times yesterday.
Update - 4 soldiers injured.
EU to submit legislation for visa-free regime for Ukrainians. "early 2016", which probably means by Christmas 2016.

Weather -

Strange - waking up to the sound of rain on the window - in later December.
+1 now. May get up to +4 today. A little warmer tomorrow.

Last edited by Nelson on Fri 18 Dec 2015 - 7:05; edited 3 times in total
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Russia demanded that the Ukrainian Armed Forces to "liberate" the seven settlements in the Donbas.

Such a statement today in his speech to the Permanent Council during the discussion of Ukraine has made ​​Russia's permanent representative to the OSCE, Alexander Lukashevich, the channel quoted him as saying "112 Ukraine".

"December 4 Ukrainian military seized seven settlements in the buffer zone, which is not controlled by any of the parties", - he said.

The special operation SBU Krasnogorovka when detained 85 people involved in terrorist groups, according to him, has led to an escalation of the situation.

"To stabilize the situation, it is important to ensure that all of these items have been exempted from the Ukrainian troops," - he said. In Russian
'Donald Trump is like that stray dog anybody can pet and it will follow you home,' a former Romney aide says.

Four years ago Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee, stood before the American public and definitively stated that Russia was America's biggest "geopolitical foe."

This week, the far-and-away Republican poll leader Donald Trump gave Vladimir Putin a big, wet kiss, calling him "a strong leader" and saying it was a "great honor" to have Putin compliment him.

Trump's warm embrace of the Russian president has shocked and alarmed the Republican establishment. There's no secret about why Trump has psychologically tethered himself to Putin, whose bombast rivals that of the U.S. billionaire businessman and whose own strongman reputation reinforces Trump's. But as the United States and its allies try to beat back Russia's intrusions into Ukraine and Syria, Trump has ruffled countless feathers by cozying up to the Russian leader..........................

To read further go to this link: 
In 2015, Crimea has not received funding under the federal target program for the development of the Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol, peninsula's puppet head Sergey Aksenov said.

Censor.NET reports citing FlashCrimea.

Russia's government approved in August 2014 the federal targeted program on the social and economic development of the Republic of Crimea and the federal city of Sevastopol until 2020 with the financing of RUB 681 billion (approx. $9.64 billion) intended for the dynamic development of Crimea, modernization of the engineering, transport, and social infrastructure of the region, contribution to the growth of the priority sectors of economy, improvement of the life quality of the population.

"According to the federal program, 15 billion rubles were supposed to be allocated in 2015. Today it is December, not a single kopeck has been received. We agreed the schedule by June 15, had a resolution of the government on this issue," Aksenov stated.

According to him, the federal authorities have received documents on 174 objects supposed to be financed under the federal program.

"People do not care, they say: you promised to build a water pipeline, a hospital - so build it," Aksenov complained and offered to change the decision-making procedure, "because otherwise we would never build anything." In Russian
An investigation into corruption schemes voiced by Head of the Odesa Regional State Administration Mikheil Saakashvili has been initiated.

As reported by Censor.NET citing LigaBusinessInform, this was announced by Head of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) Artem Sytnyk.

"The information on some enterprises and schemes, announced at the anti-corruption forum in Odesa, has been entered in the Unified Register of Pre-Trial Investigations and a corresponding probe has been started," he said.

Read more: Officials included 100 billion hryvnia into draft budget to cover their wants, - expert group of co-authors of parliamentary tax reform draft

"The very fact of entering data in the Unified Register of Pre-Trial Investigations by some political forces is sometimes used to discredit political opponents. The position of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau in this regard is as follows: we will stay aside of any political tricks, we will respond to claims. And if we have enough evidence that certain individuals are involved in certain crimes, and a corresponding suspicion is issued, then we can say there is information indicating the involvement of a person. But even in this case, you can not say that the person is guilty of a crime. I call on all political actors not to abuse the right to appeal to law enforcement agencies and not to abuse any comments about the entry of data in the unified register," he stressed.

As previously reported, Dec. 6, Saakashvili delivered accusations of corruption against People's Front deputy Mykola Martynenko, businessman David Zhvaniia, Energoatom CEO Yurii Nedashkovskyi, Prime Minister of Ukraine Arsenii Yatseniuk, and Eastern mining and processing plant CEO Oleksandr Sorokin. In Russian
Dec. 17, Antonov Aviation and Тaqnia Aeronautics from Saudi Arabia signed a memorandum confirming SA intention to buy 30 An-178 cargo planes, Antonov announced.

The signing of the memorandum is another step in developing cooperation between Ukraine and Saudi Arabia. Antonov has earlier signed memorandums on cooperation in designing a new transport An-132 plane and joint promotion of An-148 special purpose variants.

“We have decided on buying the An-178 due to its low operational costs and price,” Тaqnia Aeronautics president Ali Mohammed Al-Ghamdi said.

An-178 is an up-to-date and highly reliable plane. We are determined to fulfill the contract,” Antonov Aviation vice-president Oleksandr Kotsiuba said. In Russian
Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin expects the European Union to provide a visa-free regime to Ukraine in May-July 2016.

He said this on air of Inter TV channel, Censor.NET reports citing Ukrainski Novyny.

"I very much hope that a visa-free regime will be available for Ukrainians in 5 to 7 months maximum," Klimkin said. He added the decision was expected in late May-July.

Klimkin noted that the immediate introduction of a visa-free regime by the EU required a certain procedure: it will take a month or a little more time for the European Commission to submit a proposal on granting Ukraine a visa-free regime, after which the issue will be considered by the EU countries, followed by European Council's decision and a final approval by the European Parliament. In Russian
Ukraine has ruled out paying a disputed $3bn bond it owes Russia by Sunday, exacerbating tensions between the neighbouring countries.

Kiev said on Friday that the failure to reach agreement with Russia on restructuring the debt — as it did with other bondholders — left it with no option but to impose a moratorium on servicing the bond.

The decision sets the stage for a protracted legal stand-off that could become entangled with Kiev’s litigation claims over Russia’s annexation of Crimea last year and alleged backing of a separatist uprising in east Ukraine....................

To read further go to this link:
Ukrainians should be able to travel freely across the European Union sometime in 2016

Ukrainians will soon have freedom of movement across the European Union.

President Petro Poroshenko tweeted on Friday that the European Commission confirmed Ukraine had met all criteria required to enter into a visa-free regime with the European Union.................

To read further go to this link:
Putin says Russia wants conflict in eastern Ukraine settled as quickly as possible. In it, Squamish Chief reports that:

Putin, speaking Thursday at a televised news conference, said that "we are interested in seeing the conflict settled as quickly as possible." He urged the Ukrainian government to swiftly approve legislation on holding local elections in Ukraine, but he says the Ukrainian authorities were dragging their feet on the issue.
On December 18, Sberbank shares showed a decrease following Ukraine's statement on imposing a moratorium on any payments of the Russian debt, including payment of a $3 billion loan borrowed under Viktor Yanukovych's presidency.

According to the Moscow Stock Exchange, Sberbank shares fell by 3.6%.

Russia's stock market also reacted to news from Ukraine.

The MICEX index dropped by 2.69% to 1733.01 points.

RTS Index dipped by 3.61% to 766.47 points.............

To read further go to this link:
Ukraine has accused Russia of looting two of its oil rigs after the Crimea-based oil and gas firm Chornomornaftogaz moved the Black Sea rigs into Russian territorial waters.

Russia seized Chornomornaftogaz, formerly a state-owned Ukrainian company, when it illegally annexed the Crimean Peninsula in 2014.

On December 14, Chornomornaftogaz said it moved the two oil rigs, worth about $357 million, from a location in international waters about 150 kilometers off the coast from Odesa.

It said the move was due to “the complicated international situation and risk of losing vital assets.”

Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry on December 16 described the move as “large-scale looting” by Russia...........

To read further go to this link:
PSKOV, Russia -- Svitlana Moroz, her two sons, and her elderly mother have lived in the spartan Sport hotel in Pskov, in western Russia, for nearly a year and a half now.

But they and hundreds more like them who fled the fighting at home in eastern Ukraine could soon be out on the streets after Moscow in November adopted tougher new rules for the refugees.

In the past, those fleeing the conflict in Ukraine's Donbas region could live in so-called temporary accommodation points (TAP) -- mostly rundown hotels like the Sport -- for as long as it took them to get back on their feet. Now, as of November 1, those stays in TAPs will be limited to 60 days, as will daily allowances.

Russian President Vladimir Putin had made a point of warmly welcoming Ukrainian refugees in large part to demonstrate Kremlin concern at the plight of Russian speakers, who Moscow claimed were suffering persecution under the new authorities in Ukraine.

But Moscow is in a less generous mood these days, as the Russian economy sags under the weight of depressed global oil prices and international sanctions over Russian actions in Ukraine, including the forced annexation of Crimea and alleged support for armed separatists.

And the refugees are becoming a drag on Russia's federal budget. According to official data, 16,418 Ukrainian citizens who fled the conflict are still living in temporary housing in Russia. Quick math suggests that Moscow is spending nearly 400 million rubles ($5.7 million) a month to house them, not a paltry sum. Every refugee is also entitled to 800 rubles ($11.34) a day as a subsistence allowance.................

To read further go to this link:
The European Commission says both Georgia and Ukraine meet all benchmarks for getting visa free travel to the European Union's Schengen zone, possibly allowing the citizens of the two countries to travel to the EU without visas as soon as 2016.

The commission announced on December 18 that it will now be up to the EU member states and the European Parliament to decide whether to actually grant visa-free travel for the two countries next year.

However sources in Brussels say that, while the European Parliament will vote in favor of visa-free travel for the two countries, it might prove difficult among some member states to approve the measure, especially regarding Ukraine.

Some big member states, notably Germany, are believed to be fearful that visa liberalization will increase migratory flows into the EU...................

To read further go to this link:

The police have detained two suspects in the murder of a soldier on the border with Russia adjacent to the Kharkiv region.

Censor.NET reports citing the press service of the National Police of Ukraine.

According to the report, the body of a soldier, who was born in 1983, with signs of death through violence was found in the hollow near Rybynske village in the Volnovakha district Dec. 16. The same day, the law enforcement officers have established two 24-year-old local residents involved in the murder. The perpetrators were trying to escape to the Russian Federation but the police officers acted proactive and did not let the suspects to cross the border.

On the night of Dec. 18, the officers of the Volnovakha Police Department and Criminal Police detained the suspects in Kharkiv, where they had fled to immediately after the murder.

It was established that they had committed the grave crime under the influence of alcohol. The investigators are currently establishing the circumstances of the criminal offense.

Thorough examination of the scene was carried out as well as the witnesses were interviewed. The police have investigated all possible leads. The police officers managed to pick up the trail of criminals due to intense operational work. A task force was sent to the neighboring region. The law enforcers detained the suspects when they were trying to escape to the Russian Federation. The attackers were taken to the police department in Volnovakha. They are giving testimony.

The information on this crime was registered in the Unified Register of pre-trial investigations under Part 2 of the Article 115 (premeditated murder) of the Criminal Code of Ukraine. The defendants are facing up to 15 years in jail or life imprisonment. In Russian
Commenting to on Pres Putin’s Dec. 17 press conference, renowned political expert Vadym Karasyov said this,

“The Russians won’t step up their military campaign in Donbas as he wouldn’t be able to expect the lifting of West’s sanctions.
The sanctions are very effective. Coupled with the drop in oil prices, they are corroding the financial and budgetary sectors of the Russian economy.

Putin is not after controlling Donbas. Russia has financial problems paying its budget-supported workers because 44% of Russia budget revenues come from the sales of oil.

With Crimea’s 2 million residents and Donbass’s 4 million, Putin has no intention to put them on the payroll.

Putin does not need Donbas, he needs Ukraine. Not as a territory. Putin is eager to control Ukraine politically, and he was quite sincere about this at his press conference.

Moscow expects to keep rocking the boat in Ukraine and lead Kyiv to premature parliamentary elections, hoping they will make it possible for his fifth column to come to power again.

Putin wants the 2005-2006 scenario to come back when the Orange team was blown up by internal feud between Yushchenko and Tymoshenko and Yanukovych was able to grab the power.
on Fri 18 Dec 2015 - 8:09Nelson
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Friday it was concerned by signs Ukraine's parliament might reject a proposed tax code and budget for 2016, warning that this could further disrupt its $17.5 billion bailout programme.
Disagreement in parliament over critical tax reforms and the draft budget has held up the disbursement of a third $1.7 billion tranche from the IMF at a time when divisions in the ruling coalition have raised concerns the government could fall...
i think this is the journalist he is talking about. Екатерина Винокурова,. Very brave - knowing what happens to real journalists in Russia -

Published: Dec 17. 2015
Russian President Vladimir Putin, responding to a reporter's question Ekaterina Vinokurov when asked about the investigation against FBK Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika, the conflict between the journalist Oleg Kashin and the governor of the Pskov region Andrei Turchak as well as business tycoons Rotenberg. Catherine Vinokourov took the floor, noted that Russia managed to grow some "elite" children Prosecutor General Chaika, son of tycoon Arkady Rotenberg - Igor Rotenberg, who is the co-owner-operator of the" Plato ", as has been mentioned

Basically a question about corruption in Russia. The question generated applause. The answer did not.
Putin - he didn't know how to answer that question at all.
Her write-ups are interesting to. She said that the most interesting thing at the Putin press conferences are the questions, not the answers.  Very Happy  Very Happy
And also - the president did not really answer any of my questions.

I didn't read about this from any of the other English-language reporters.
The government in Kiev is barred from paying Russia back in full under the conditions of the agreement with private creditors and a $17.5 billion International Monetary Fund aid package secured this year to keep the country’s economy afloat. Under that deal, bondholders including Franklin Templeton accepted a 20 percent reduction to their principal holdings.
"Given the relations between Ukraine and the EU Commission in early 2016 will submit (to the Council) a legislative proposal to change the regulation 539/2001" - concludes the EC.
In the mentioned EU Regulation established a list of countries whose citizens do not require visas for entry to all EU countries except Britain and Ireland.

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Last edited by Nelson on Fri 18 Dec 2015 - 7:07; edited 1 time in total
At night in the area ATO injured four soldiers - Staff
Friday, December 18, 2015, 12:50
The last day in the area of ​​anti-terrorist operation passed without loss, four military were injured.
This at a traditional briefing on Friday, spokesman of the Presidential Administration on ATO Andrey Lysenko.
"During the last day of hostilities there were no losses, that no one died, but four soldiers injured," - said the colonel.
According to Lysenko, two soldiers were wounded in the Novgorod - because of fire by fighters, two at Berioza blown on a mine. They received medical care.
@Nelson wrote:
1. Turkey. 2. USA. 3. Ukraine.

The original link contained the word "sh*t" and was changed to "shyte" by the forum software. This gives the inevitable 404 error!

Trying tiny url to see if it provides a workaround.

Using tinyurl as workaround

Last edited by Odessite on Fri 18 Dec 2015 - 6:22; edited 1 time in total
Traditional buyers of Russian Urals - Hungarian MOL and Finnish Neste - appealed to the president of Lukoil Vagit Alekperov to pay attention to the Russian suppliers of the deteriorating quality of the delivered oil.

This writes the Russian news agency "Prime".

"I was approached by the Finns and the Hungarians - wrote a letter asking to pay attention to the quality of the crude oil on the Urals», - said Alekperov told reporters.

"Tomorrow I will appeal to the government in order to draw attention to this problem," - he added.

Alekperov noted that all Russian crude oil has become a redirect to the eastward, while the western areas - mainly in the oil market of the Russian Federation - the quality of supplied oil deteriorates.

In mid-October, the head of "Rosneft" Igor Sechin said that Russia should make every effort not to reduce the share of oil supplies to the world markets. However, he noted that the dumping, in particular, from Saudi Arabia, in Poland, is one of the factors of change in international oil prices.

As reported, the average price for oil grade Urals, Russia's main exports in the first ten months of 2015 decreased by 1.9 times compared to the same period last year and amounted to 53.61 dollars per barrel. In Russian
This could be advantageous to both countries.
Today, December 18, will be announced to implement the conclusions of the EU Ukraine Action Plan on visa liberalization. This was stated by the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko yesterday, Dec. 17, at a joint press conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

"I would like to deny that it will delay that will be announced only Georgia and Kosovo, and in Ukraine the debate supposedly should go - no, I'm for it arrived in Brussels, in order to in a frank dialogue, we have removed all the obstacles to tomorrow December 18 announced an important decision that Ukraine has met the criteria of the Action Plan to liberalize the visa regime, "- said Poroshenko. In Russian
Russian President Vladimir Putin held his annual news conference on December 17, fielding questions for over three hours in one of the annual set-piece events he uses to send signals about domestic and foreign policy -- and to make a splash with comments that raise eyebrows.

These are some of his more striking remarks:

-- On the downing of a Russian bomber on November 24 by Turkey, which said the Russian warplane entered Turkish airspace and ignored repeated warnings:

"If somebody in the Turkish leadership decided to lick the Americans in a certain place then I do not know if they did the right thing or not.... And I even do not know whether the Americans needed it.”

“We do not rule out that on some level there was an agreement [between Ankara and Washington] that, ‘Well, we here will whack a Russian plane and you will close your eyes to our entrance into, let’s say, Iraqi territory.’ … Maybe there was such a deal. We do not know. In any case, they put everyone in a difficult situation."

WATCH: Putin made what appears to be his clearest admission yet that Russia has sent military forces into Ukraine. Asked essentially the same question at his annual news conference in both 2014 and 2015, he gave a slightly different answer this year -- saying "people" were there carrying out military tasks....................

To read further go to this link:
on Fri 18 Dec 2015 - 2:32Nelson
"We were not surprised by the new trends of the Kremlin lies. Our task is to throw out of Ukraine the Russian invaders (regular, irregular, GRU, FSB and other scum), no matter how Putin brands them," said Turchynov.
Aware of the social risks, the government is likely to cut spending, first and foremost, on infrastructure and investment, Weafer said. But this would undercut the foundation of any economic recovery, and as a result “the economy will be weaker for longer,” he said.

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Last edited by Nelson on Fri 18 Dec 2015 - 6:16; edited 1 time in total
1. Turkey. 2. USA. 3. Ukraine.
Thanks to Ods for pointing out -
software has changed link address. So please replace the word "shyte" with the original s-h-i-t (without the dash marks, of course )

Last edited by Nelson on Fri 18 Dec 2015 - 6:14; edited 1 time in total
Various articles being re-posted now to confirm Putin's about-turn ; yes, there are Russian troops in Ukraine. This one, from Atlantic Council, I missed.
Liar Putin however yet to admit that many attacks were made from Russia itself -
Bellingcat Report – Origin of Artillery Attacks on Ukrainian Military Positions in Eastern Ukraine Between 14 July 2014 and 8 August 2014
Direct shelling from Russian territory into Ukraine.
Friday, December 18, 2015, 6:01
Slightly amusing, as only recently Putin addressed the Russian Duma talking about improving the quality of goods.
Finland and Hungary complaining about the deterioration of the quality of oil supplied.
Yatseniuk - I agree with. If he went, things would go downhill quickly.
Of course there are lots of press and people against him now. He is in an impossible situation - trying to balance the demands of the west - financially - with the demands of the people. Everybody is out with knives for him. I hope he stays around for another year and guides Ukraine through the crisis. Things will get better, but it is a difficult time at the moment. Not forgetting the war against Russia.

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Last edited by Nelson on Fri 18 Dec 2015 - 6:16; edited 1 time in total
The same places along the de-facto border with Putin's troops.
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