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Posts : 6613
Join date : 2015-05-29

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News -
Russia attacked Ukraine 21 times yesterday.
Update - sadly one soldier killed, one injured by Putin yesterday.
Ukraine NOT buying gas from Russia at $212.

Weather -
Fresh snow this morning. Very pretty. But not great if you're heading to work.
Saw some guys trying to push start a van. Not easy in fresh snow. Temperature near zero. Mild. Zero.

Last edited by Nelson on Mon Jan 11, 2016 6:03 am; edited 3 times in total
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"We have to introduce new perspectives on policies in Donbas and new rebooted political approaches to Crimea, if we really want Crimea to be with Ukraine. I don't mean that it to be returned to Ukraine and to become as it was used to – this is already an unreal task, but policies [regarding Crimea] should be rebooted," Kravchuk said in an interview with TV Channel Five aired on Friday night.

Kravchuk has said he believes that Ukraine should put forward a suggestion to grant Crimea a wide state autonomy in the composition of Ukraine. "When Crimean territory has a wide state autonomy, however is a part the Ukrainian state," he added.

He explained that prior to annexation by Russia the Autonomous Republic of Crimea had no state autonomy.

"One has to be wise and suggest the ways known in the world history. I want that such an offer to be made to Russia, may be not now, maybe later, when the situation changes," Kravchuk noted....................

To read further go to this link: 
According to the so-called “Big Mac index,” the U.S. dollar should trade for UAH 7.3 instead of UAH 23.35, The Economist reports.

The exchange rate of the Ukrainian hryvnia is undervalued by 68.7%, The Economist reports.

According to the research, the justified exchange rate of the Ukrainian hryvnia to the U.S. dollar should be at UAH 7.3 instead of UAH 23.4.

Only the Venezuelan bolivar and the Russian ruble are ahead of the hryvnia in the said rating.

For example, the average price of a Big Mac in America in January 2016 was $4.93; while in Venezuela it was only $0.66 at market exchange rates. So the "raw" Big Mac index says that the bolivar was undervalued by 86.5% at that time.

The price of a Big Mac in Russia was RUB 114, or $1.53, so the Russian ruble is undervalued by 69%....................

To read further go to this link:
While explaining Russia’s incompliance with the Article 9 of the Protocol to the Minsk agreements with the fact that Ukraine “failed to amend its Constitution in accordance with Article 11,” Putin conceals Russia’s failure to comply with the five of the previous seven articles of the Protocol, according to a blog entry by a political scientist and a journalist, Vasyl Ukolov, on Ukrainska pravda.

The author offers his own analysis of the fulfillment of each of the provisions of the Minsk Protocol.

As for the complete ceasefire, UKolov notes that the Russian mercenaries and militants have systematically violated it, even trying to go on an offensive during 2015, although they were refuted.

Speaking about the withdrawal of heavy weapons, the political scientist stressed that, according to the OSCE, the militants violate this provision regularly, by moving toward the contact line their BM-21s, as well as other mortars and tanks.

On the Article 3, the journalist noted that the militants do not allow OSCE SMM to the certain areas of the occupied territories.

In addition, Ukolov mentioned the Article which started to be implemented: a dialogue has begun on the modality of the local elections...........................

To read further go to this link:

In an interview with Germany's Bild newspaper published on January 11, Putin said, "What the European Union is doing with those sanctions is nothing but a theater of the absurd."

Putin also added that sanctions were "severely harming Russia" on international financial markets.

He contended that a Russian-orchestrated referendum in which people in Crimea voted to separate from Ukraine and join Russia was "democracy, the people's will."

The vote, held after Russian forces entered the peninsula, was denounced as illegal by 100 countries in a UN vote.

Putin rejected criticism of Moscow's role in eastern Ukraine, where a conflict between government forces and Russia-backed separatists has killed more than 9,000 people, saying Kyiv has failed to adequately implement a peace deal signed in Minsk in February 2015.

Putin also hit out at NATO's enlargement following the 1991 Soviet breakup, saying the alliance's inclusion of countries close to Russia exacerbated tensions......................
Head of the Odesa Regional State Administration Mikheil Saakashvili has fired his adviser Volodymyr Rieznik for having illegally endorsed financial documents.

Censor.NET reports referring to Saakashvili's Facebook page.

"After head of infrastructure and housing department Marchenko was caught red-handed, I ordered an internal check which revealed adviser to ORSA head Rieznik having illegally endorsed documents related to construction works in the region.

"Today, I invited the leadership of internal affairs department and prosecutor's office to an ORSA meeting where I publicly dismissed the adviser and asked law enforcers to immediately check him as well as all the financial documents related to administration's basic divisions.

"While we have ruined the traditional chain of corruption in Odesa, I will be particularly uncompromising, and we will finish the complete purging of departments from all kinds of rogue officials.

"Having reduced the number of administrative staff from 800 to 400 people, we will continue the reorganization and despite all the obstacles of the Labor Code, almost every representative of the older leadership will be replaced, and all new personnel will be recruited via a transparent competition, as was the case with the heads of regional administrations, several departments within the administration, and the new public service center," Saakashvili said. In Russian
Canada is rotating its instructors involved in training Ukrainian army soldiers at the Yavoriv base near Lviv.

The first group of Canadians arrived on Jan. 10 with the remainder to follow by the end of January. They all are the servicemen of the 5th Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group stationed in Quebec.

The project is named Unifier. It was launched early 2015 with the help of 2nd Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group.

The Yavoriv training range is in Western Ukraine 1,300 km away from Donbas.

on Mon Jan 11, 2016 10:29 pmAdmin
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov discussed in a phone conversation on Monday a number of the most pressing international issues and agreed on the need of a personal meeting in the near future.

U.S. Department of State spokesman John Kirby said, Censor.NET reports referring to Ukrinform.

The sides discussed a number of issues, including the political process in Syria, fight against ISIS, regional issues in the Middle East, situation in Ukraine, recent nuclear test in North Korea, as well as bilateral relations between the U.S. and Russia, the representative of the U.S. foreign service said.

Read more: US anticipates additional opportunities and challenges in Ukraine and other countries, Kerry says

As reported, Kerry and Lavrov agreed to remain in close touch and look for an opportunity to meet in the coming days. In Russian

According to the Big Mac index, U.S. dollar should cost just 7.3 hryvnias instead of 23.35.

Censor.NET reports citing The Economist referring to the updated Big Mac index.

According to the newspaper, the Ukraine's currency exchange rate is undervalued by 68.7 percent.

As noted, the national currency of Ukraine ranks third among the undervalued currencies in the world. The first and the second places have been awarded to the Venezuelan bolivar and the Russian ruble.

If the average price of a Big Mac in America is $4.93, in Venezuela, in U.S. dollar terms, it costs $0.66. Consequently, the bolivar is undervalued by 86.5 percent, and one dollar should cost just 26.77 bolivars and not 198.7.

In Russia, Big Mac's price makes 114 rubles, or $1.53 versus $4.93 in the United States. Thus, it appears that the Russian ruble is undervalued by 69 percent, and $1 should cost three times as cheap as it is now - 23.1 rubles.

The top five of the most undervalued currencies also includes the South African rand and the Malaysian ringgit. The most overvalued currency turned out the Swiss franc (30.7 percent), Swedish krona (6.1 percent), and the Norwegian krone (5.8 percent).

The Big Mac index was invented by The Economist in 1986 as a lighthearted guide to whether currencies are at their "correct" level. It is based on the theory of purchasing-power parity (PPP), the notion that in the long run exchange rates should move towards the rate that would equalize the prices of an identical basket of goods and services (in this case, a burger) in any two countries.

Burgernomics was never intended as a precise gauge of currency misalignment, merely a tool to make exchange-rate theory more digestible.

Yet the Big Mac index has become a global standard, included in several economic textbooks and the subject of at least 20 academic studies. In Russian
on Mon Jan 11, 2016 12:24 pmNelson
1 minute ago
Rubles to one dollar / one euro / one pound
Inverse: 76.1871 82.9498 110.950

The ruble is crumbling.
On the other hand, the Ukrainian hryvnia has strengthened -
Inverse: 23.4750 25.5577 34.1842
It was nearer 25 to a dollar at the weekend.
..."Commission of foreign economic activity LNR " authorized for export production capacities of JSC "Lugansk Cardboard" ...
And how do the "commission" explain how this helps the economy of Lugansk? Moving everything to Russia - pure theft.
I reported a few months' ago on some Border Guard guys taking home half a million uah in bribes from a 6-month spell at the border with Occupied Donbass.
Let a few trucks full of beer or vodka through, and you are making big big profits.
Of course, you have to bribe everybody, the police, the Border Guards, and also the Security service people. They all want their cut of the action.
Top Kremlin Critics In The West Face Media Smears On The Home Front
...Carden's ... essay......This time the blame for anti-Putin currents in the US falls on neo-McCarthyism – certainly not on any blameworthy act by the Napoleon in the Kremlin. ...
Not for the first time then - a clear Kremlin apologist.

Ukraine Exposed: Kiev's Authoritarianism
....In January, according to Agence France Presse, thousands of Ukrainian nationalists took part in a torchlight procession marking the 106th birthday of Ukrainian nationalist Stepan Bandera. According to AFP, some of the marchers “wore second world war-era army uniforms while others draped themselves in the red and black nationalist flags and chanted ‘Ukraine belongs to Ukrainians!’” Anyone under the impression that torchlight processions through the streets of European capitals are a thing of the past would be sorely mistaken.....
...Avakov, has only encouraged these elements, noting that “ September he even named a leader of the neo-Nazi Azov brigade to head the police in the Kiev region.”

Shaun Walker stuff! Ukrainian nationalists! Bandera!! Neo-nazis! Flags!
I think this nutcase Carden is Shaun Walker in disguise!

For more on Carden, his anti-Ukrainian articles, and his Kremlin links, see our
"Journalists reporting on Ukraine"
The post for today, 11 January, 2016. [currently the last post]
Uncle Sam Got a Shiny New Propaganda Bullhorn for Christmas
A new partnership is turning Radio Free Europe into an anti-Russia propaganda machine.
By James Carden
...The Interpreter will be, in turn, obligated to publish each installment of ITS intractably Russo-phobic “The Power Vertical” blog...

Sounds to me as if Carden is very very jealous of what Whitmore is doing at RFERL. "CIA funding..." - which stopped before most of us were born..
This guy Carden is really scraping the barrel for a anti-Whitmore story here.

Whitmore's response -

Who is Carden?  
see more at our "Journalists reporting on Ukraine: the good, the bad and the ugly"

Last edited by Nelson on Mon Jan 11, 2016 9:58 am; edited 1 time in total
Twice a week, from 31 March. Planned.

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At night in the area ATO 1 soldier killed, another suffered injuries - Staff
Monday, January 11, 2016, 12:35
...This at a traditional briefing on Monday, spokesman of the Presidential Administration on ATO Andrey Lysenko.
"For the past day because of fighting one Ukrainian military killed, another injured," - he said.
... including tanks and self-propelled guns ...

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Last edited by Nelson on Mon Jan 11, 2016 6:09 am; edited 1 time in total
The experts said that tariffs for hot water this year grew by 36%, next year they will grow by 20%, and the power tariffs rose by 38.5% and 10% respectively, and gas tariffs – by 20% and 15%.
So next year, electricity up 10%, and gas up another 15%. Inflation predicted to be 13.1%.
You wonder - with the massive fall in oil and gas prices - if they could cut these increases, as the budget deficit will not be as big as expected. In fact, a surplus of 2% of GDP is predicted. Otherwise they are risking social protest. We will see. They would need IMF agreement on such a move, I expect.
"Currently there is about 13 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas in Ukraine's underground storage facilities. This is 2.3 bcm more as compared with the last year," the prime minister said ..
"On January 1, they offered us the gas price set at $212 per 1,000 cubic meters. We do not buy Russian gas, because we are getting it at a lower price from the European Union. ... about $200,"

Nice headline here!

Ukraine chooses cheaper EU gas over costly Russian price [Engl]

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Last edited by Nelson on Mon Jan 11, 2016 6:41 am; edited 2 times in total
Ukraine has cut the reverse gas from Slovakia
The volume of orders decreased
Ukraine in the period from 6 to 11 January reduced the application for the import of natural gas from Europe through Slovakia to 13.48 million cubic meters. m per day. This is according to the Slovak transmission system operator Eustream...

Read elsewhere that Yatseniuk has said that Ukraine now has enough gas to survive the winter.
I think about 25% of gas in storage has been used up so far. December was incredibly mild. Mild also now, particularly in western Ukraine. But the weekend may see a colder spell again for a few days, or more.
on Mon Jan 11, 2016 5:01 amNelson
...In 2015, part of the state concern "Ukroboronprom" Kharkov factory armored armed forces handed over 50 tanks T-80BV and T-64B (B1). This is stated in the message "Ukroboronprom" transmit Ukrainian News...
Repair and restore, over the past year.

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Last edited by Nelson on Mon Jan 11, 2016 6:08 am; edited 1 time in total
....In the worst-case scenario with oil staying at or below $30 per barrel, Russia's coffers would empty in just over a year, ...
For Putin, the $100 billion-plus Russia still has in two rainy-day funds, is "the ultimate insurance policy to navigate the election," says Christopher Granville, managing director of Trusted Sources, .....
Granville notes this year's planned budget deficit of 3 percent of annual economic output hinges on $50-a-barrel oil, a gap the government had hoped to fill by borrowing and dipping into the national reserve fund.
But oil at $30 would blow the hole out to 5 percent or more, Granville says. If that happens, Putin may have to risk irking voters with tax hikes and savage spending cuts that throw the economy deeper into recession.
Or he must dig even deeper into rapidly-dwindling savings....

Ukrainian press now picking up on the "interview" above. [Also saying that he is lying about nobody being killed in Crimea. Putin = lies]

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Last edited by Nelson on Mon Jan 11, 2016 6:07 am; edited 1 time in total
To be honest, very little there of interest. In English. Very very soft questioning.
Interesting the the Kremlin consider this "interview" good enough propaganda to stick it on their own website!!

Vladimir Putin: I think, no. Despite all the attempts (you and your colleagues have been making) to upset our relations using mass media and anti-Russia rhetoric, I believe that you have failed to do this to the extent that you wanted to. Of course, I do not mean you personally. ..

[Still the old "coup" line..]
...These are the people that were frightened by the coup; let’s be frank, they were worried by the coup d’état in Ukraine. And after the coup in Kiev – and it was nothing but a coup d’état, .... To threaten Russians and Russian-speaking people living in Ukraine ....

Vladimir Putin: It is important to always respect international law. In Crimea, there was no violation of international law...

The reserves are still at a high level, and the Central Bank has about 340 billion in gold and foreign currency reserves. ... There are also two reserve funds .., each of which amounts to $70 to $80 billion. ..We believe that we will be steadily moving towards stabilisation and economic growth.

[on Minsk]
...Paragraph 9 – reinstatement of full control of the state border by the government of Ukraine based on the Ukrainian law on constitutional reform by the end of 2015, provided that Paragraph 11 has been fulfilled, which stipulates constitutional reform.
Consequently, the constitutional reform and political processes are to be implemented first, followed by confidence building on the basis of those reforms and the completion of all processes, including the border closure.

Crude Oil & Natural Gas
WTI Crude Oil (Nymex)
USD/bbl. 32.56 -0.60 -1.81% FEB 16 01:29:03
Brent Crude (ICE)
USD/bbl. 32.91 -0.64 -1.91% FEB 16 01:26:53

Good for keeping Putin's war machine in check. Russia getting shorter and shorter of money each month, as the price falls.
In the pre-holiday online AP were recorded electronic petitions from citizens of Ukraine.
The site of the Presidential Administration of Ukraine was registered petition by Sergey Anatolyevich Litvintsev, which was extremely indignant, and proposed a ban Poroshenko shake hands with Putin. "Ukrainian citizens outraged by the fact that the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko allows himself " handshake " international criminal criminal Vladimir Putin, whose actions have cost the lives of thousands of our fellow citizens - wrote in note to the petition Sergey. - Greet Putin - a slap in the face to all Ukrainians on whose behalf you are participating in international events, Peter A., ​​and you do not have it no moral right! In this regard, I suggest the President's Administration to develop and adopt a code of conduct in the negotiations with the occupiers. In particular, the ban handshake representatives of Ukraine with representatives of the Russian Federation before the actual restoration of the territorial integrity of Ukraine and reparations occupiers. "...

I have to agree with that.

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Last edited by Nelson on Mon Jan 11, 2016 6:06 am; edited 1 time in total
...In Kiev, is expected wet snow, the temperature at night -1 to -3, the day of 0 to 2...

A tractor clearing snow outside as I write this. About 10cm fell last night where I am, but expected to get above zero today.
Will it melt?
..."Informant" reports that in the LNR at the forefront were only "militia", mostly local; personnel  "Russian" bask in the rear and staffs. Moreover, the "Republic" started to save much on salaries of local militants cut off the prizes for taking part in the fighting. That's it and it makes little sense to fight...

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Last edited by Nelson on Mon Jan 11, 2016 6:05 am; edited 1 time in total
...Yet for one of the world’s most dangerous stretches of territory, the Ukrainians are woefully short of devices to spy on the other side to anticipate the next attack and spot intruders....
Spread over 3 pages.
FSB of Russia [KGB] establishes control over militia leaders DNR and LNR, conducted a sweep of the separatists, who are considered uncontrollable.

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Last edited by Nelson on Mon Jan 11, 2016 6:05 am; edited 1 time in total
During the last day of pro-Russian militants NFP 21 times the soldiers used weapons against the forces ATO. More than half of these episodes recorded at nighttime.
At Donetsk temporarily occupied by militants with small arms fired again our position in the area south of the Opitnoe and Avdeevki.
Under fire from the same weapon fired and one of our strong points near Starohnativky that Mariupol direction. In addition, near Mariupol gunmen opened fire with rocket-propelled grenades and heavy machine guns on positions in Ukrainian Shyrokyno. Ukrainian defenders were forced to open fire in response to small arms.
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